Monday, June 13, 2016

1st Trimester Rewind...

**Thank you so much for all the amazing text messages, emails, voice mails, etc. after we announced our big news on Friday!  We know we have lots of amazing friends and family in our cheering squad and your support means the world to us!  #TeamBoring**

Since most of our friends/family had absolutely no idea that we were expecting during the first trimester, here's a little rewind to those early days...

We found out that we were pregnant on a Friday morning... December 11, 2015.  In terms of timing, it meant that I had to skip out on the open bar at Nick's holiday party (memo to self --- never get pregnant the weekend before a big/fun gala with an open bar!!).  I "pretended" to sip on a glass of something all night long to fool his co-workers and our family at the party... while shooting jealous looks at everyone and their fun drinks!

A day after finding out that we were going to be a family of 4!

I turned 36 just a few days after we found out that we were expecting.  Still feeling great, I completed my annual birthday tradition... running 3.6 miles for 36 years.  That might be a rough 3.7 miles next December just 3-4 months postpartum, especially if I have to have another c-section.

On December 18, 2015, we found out the great news that my beta numbers were doubling appropriately and that the pregnancy appeared to be viable (I had previous pregnancies where my numbers looked atrocious right from the start and those that crashed and burned after initially looking good.).  I was still a nervous wreck during those early weeks, especially with multiple losses still fresh in my mind, but this felt like a first "baby" step in the right direction.  

I managed to snap a picture right at 5 weeks to document the "beginning" of the process as we headed out to National Harbor for the day...

Even as I took these pictures, I was so nervous that I would jinx everything.  In fact, I then skipped several weeks purposefully thinking that I wouldn't want those pictures on my phone if we miscarried again.  I didn't even upload them into my computer until well into my 2nd trimester.

Heading home to Massachusetts for Christmas break and not telling anyone was tough.  I figured the hardest part was going to be turning down drink offers over the holiday week.  Turns out, the toughest part was getting ridiculously sick and just surviving the week.  I woke up on Christmas morning with pinkeye and the start of a sore throat.  Within a few days, I was at the walk-in clinic in my home town and was given a round of antibiotics for my "extremely swollen glands."  Not the most memorable of Christmas weeks when you feel like death the whole time, but everyone also had no trouble believing that I had no interest in a glass of wine.  It was also the start of just being exhausted.  Not sure if that was from the pregnancy or the illness, but I caught myself more than once just nodding off and craving sleep.

Christmas Eve 2015

Unfortunately, I remained sick all week long... and all 1st trimester long.  I was blessed to not have any morning sickness or nausea with this pregnancy.  However, I made up for it by being "sick" for just about the entire 1st trimester.  Pinkeye, sinusitis, bronchitis, etc.  As I told my doctor, "my immune system seems to have left the building."  Mini fun-fact --- you cannot cough out your uterus - I asked... not my proudest moment.  I don't think I slept much for several weeks.  Coughing all night long when you can't take any medication is not fun.

We returned to Maryland and had our first sonogram on January 4, 2016.  I was a nervous wreck!  I felt horrible with a head cold, was coughing like crazy and still had no morning sickness. I ran out from work in the middle of the day for the appointment and Nick joined me at the doctor's office.  Luckily, the technician knew my history and said "there's the heartbeat" almost immediately.  I can't even explain the sense of relief.  The little bub had a heartbeat rate of 161bpm at 7 weeks, 3 days (old wives tales claim that a high heart rate = baby girl, so our assumption was that another baby girl would be joining our family!).

They invited Nick to take a video clip of the sono...

Unfortunately, our bubble of happiness came to a brief, but scary halt on the morning of January 8, 2016.  I was home sick from work with a new diagnosis of bronchitis and had been up all night coughing away.  I woke up to bleeding.  For me, bleeding while pregnant had never ended well.  So, I immediately called the doctor and they rushed me right into the office.  Even though 1st trimester bleeding is not completely uncommon, with my history, they knew I was a hot mess and needed reassurance that everything was okay.  Within an hour of me calling the doctor's office, we breathed a sigh of relief as the baby was right where we last saw him/her and the heartbeat rate was still going strong in the 170s.  I was diagnosed with a small subchorionic hematoma, which was not a new diagnosis for me.  I had a large hematoma while pregnant with Georgia and bled for the entire 1st trimester with her.  I can't say I was pleased to be bleeding again, but it was light and tapered off within a few days.  My cough did not!

Most women don't get as much attention as I did during my 1st trimester, but with my loss history, I was poked and prodded quite a bit... and never minded!  It helped ease my anxiety.  On January 18, 2016, we were back for another sonogram.  Again, all was well and baby's heartbeat was a rapid 181bpm at 9 weeks, 3 days.

This baby is definitely a mover and a shaker.  Georgia always just hung out with her feet above her head (more of a concern for her teen years).  This one doesn't stop moving and doing flips.  The ultrasound techs earn every penny of their pay trying to get measurements.

Around 10 weeks, the coughing finally subsided.  It didn't go away entirely (at least not for the next 4-6 weeks), but I was starting to feel semi-normal again.  It's amazing what some sleep can do for a person.

I also got a bonus week to recover from the coughing when Maryland got hit by a blizzard at the end of January!  Getting out of shoveling almost 3 feet of snow was definitely a highlight of the 1st trimester.  Though I did have to come up with a few excuses as to why I wasn't out back sledding with the neighborhood crew.  It was also tough to not let the news slip to Mimi when she was in town later in the week.

Back for another appointment during the first week of February and all still going well... and baby starting to actually look like a baby and not just a blob on scans!

I can't even tell you how great it felt to go for a short run again... I ended up taking off most of the 1st trimester due to my never-ending cough and the bronchitis that would never die.

On February 11, 2016, I finally got to see my high risk specialist again for my NT scan.  I hadn't seen him since the summer of 2015 when I went to visit him after our 3rd miscarriage.  I love him (and his South African accent!).  He's very calm, has a great bedside manner and an even better sense of humor.  The best part of the appointment was hearing that everything looked great.  I was told that I had an anterior placenta, which also occurred with Georgia (meaning, it takes longer to feel those baby kicks).  

Due to my "advanced maternal age," our insurance covered NIPT testing, which would test for the most common chromosomal conditions, as well as tell us the gender.  With Georgia, all looked well at the NT scan, but it was all drama when the blood work showed an increase risk for down's syndrome and required more blood work, as well as a few weeks of anxiety and worry.  So, our fingers were crossed that everything would come back normal this time around considering I already had enough worry and anxiety surrounding this pregnancy.  Finding out the gender this early was just going to be a bonus (that I was dying to know!)... though Nick and I were both convinced it was a girl.

The other news during that appointment... due to Georgia's premature birth, I was required to see the high risk specialist every 2 weeks.  Truthfully, seeing the baby was the only thing that made me feel better, so I had no problem with the frequent appointments.  He also put in an order for weekly P17 shots through my insurance, which he assumed I would qualify for due to my history of preterm labor.  Nick immediately started worrying that he was going to have to inject me weekly with a giant needle.  However, we quickly learned that a home health nurse would be assigned to us and she would come to the house weekly to stab me!  

Nick and I celebrated the great news by heading out to a Valentine's Day dinner in DC that weekend.  Our waiter might have been one of the first people on the planet to find out that we were expecting (and thanks to the bartender for mixing me up a safe, but fun drink!)...

Proud to still be wearing my regular jeans and buttoning them all the way up!

We also celebrated Georgia's 1st dance recital, as well as Mimi's birthday that weekend.  We let Mimi in on our big news as part of her birthday celebration.  She was pretty shocked to unwrap a present with a framed baby sonongram picture inside!  Not exactly what she was expecting when I told her we had a secret present for her that she needed to open after Georgia went to bed.  I think she was slightly terrified!

She has no idea that she's going to be a big sister next summer!

A few days later on February 16, 2016, I got the call from the high risk's office that all my initial blood work came back indicating no problems and no increased risks!  WOO HOO.  I was in the Target parking lot when I got the great news...

A peanut allergy Mama means you celebrate by inhaling peanut butter cups in a parking lot and then immediately brushing your teeth and scrubbing down like a surgeon heading into the OR!

Stay tuned for the 2nd trimester update... including finding out whether we would be team boy or girl (and the crazy modern way we found out!!), early glucose testing, my new weekly injection, and all the other fun that happens when our news slowly started to go public!

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