6

Week 18 Update

How far along: 18 weeks, 2 days!

Baby size:  A sweet potato. 5.6 inches and 6.7 oz. He was already measuring ahead of that stat a week and a half ago (6.5 inches and 7 oz)! However, we’ll get a more precise set of measurements today at the anatomy/growth scan. I can’t wait to see how much he’s grown already! According to the internet, we are in a growth spurt right now.

week18Symptoms:  Fatigue and frequent urination. Also, suddenly I’m having trouble sleeping again. I think it might be a pregnancy thing. It happens even when I’m comfortable and don’t have to pee. I lie awake for awhile and end up getting up earlier than normal. Maybe my body is preparing for baby. 🙂

Food Cravings: The other day, I had to have a Frosty from Wendy’s. First time I’ve craved anything ice cream related since being pregnant. Hubby went out and got it for me. 🙂 It was so yummy. Other than that, my cravings aren’t very strong right now.

Emotions: Oh boy, I’ve been crying a lot this past week! Sometimes it’s because I’m happy and excited about my baby boy. Other times, I feel in pain or sad.

My Grandma’s health is failing. Last month, she was struggling after getting a compression fracture in her back. She ended up in the hospital with several other health issues a couple days after the fracture. It wasn’t looking good. However, she made a lot of progress in a short period of time. They sent her to a nursing home for a couple of weeks, and then she went home! We were all so excited!

But after only being home for a couple days, she’s back in the hospital. 😦 She has Pneumonia and Congestive Heart Failure. My Dad was crying on the phone with me yesterday and saying it wasn’t looking good. The whole family is there to be with her. I really wish I could be there right now. It’s a far drive for me, and my back/bum pain is pretty horrendous. I want to try to go this weekend. I am trying to stay positive and pray she pulls through again.

It seems like I worry more about people while pregnant. Maybe it’s a protective mommy thing? Obviously, I’d worry about Grandma, but I’ve noticed that it’s everyone I’m worrying about. LOL.

The other issue is my back/bum pain. My SI joint is still stuck in the wrong place. We don’t know why it won’t improve. I’ve been diligently icing it and doing my physical therapy exercises, as recommended. I’ve been in tears pretty much everyday. I took yesterday off work to rest, and I’m going to try to do half days until my boss returns from vacation on Tuesday. After that, I might have to take off work if no improvement. I’ll have to use my PTO/Short Term Disability wisely, because I need it for maternity leave.

My OB doesn’t want me going to Physical Therapy now. She wanted me to see a “spine specialist”, but they didn’t have any openings until the end of April. So instead, I’ll be seeing a regular Orthopedic doc next Thursday the 28th. That was the soonest they could get me in. I have to get an MRI done before then, which I’m worried about while pregnant. My OB says it’s necessary though. We need to see if there’s damage or something else happening in there. I’ve never had one, so I don’t know what to expect. My OB’s office will call today with my appointment for the MRI.

I don’t want to complain, but this is something I am concerned about. I can deal with pain and discomfort – anything for my baby. It’s just getting to the point where I’m not sure I can work or do hardly any activity really, and that’s not good. I mean, just getting up from the couch and walking a few steps inside my own home is making me gasp.

Despite all that, I’m feeling really good overall. On Tuesday, I reached 100 days since I found out I was pregnant! It’s still a precious miracle to me every.single.day.

Weight: 6 lbs total – whoa, had a little growth spurt there finally! I was stuck at 3-4 lbs gained for the past 8 weeks.

Something I’ve done to prepare for baby’s arrival: Nothing much yet. I would like to get some household projects done, but we haven’t had time. (Plus, my pain prevents me from doing anything). Time to put Andy to work, eh! I’m excited to start thinking about the nursery!!

What I am most excited about: Seeing my baby boy today at the anatomy scan!!! ❤ Also, still waiting for the first kick or movement! I cannot wait!

Belly pic: Definitely growing now!

18 weeksComparison14-18

7

A special meeting yesterday…and inspiration

I had the pleasure of meeting a fellow infertile in real life yesterday! It’s kind of strange to say pleasure, because there’s obviously no pleasure in infertility. Despite that, the people affected by infertility/recurrent pregnancy loss are amazing, the connection is strong, and the support we can give each other is invaluable. I consider it a privilege to know so many wonderful people, even if it’s for a very sad reason. If there’s anything good that come of infertility, it’s connecting with others and sharing experiences, as well as creating awareness.

A woman who lives in my city found my blog! We decided to meet in person yesterday to talk. It was a really positive experience for me, and I hope for her as well. She has gone through 6 miscarriages and was just referred to Dr. Kwak-Kim for immune testing/treatment. Despite her struggles, she is such a kind person and full of positivity. It broke my heart to hear her story. It’s been a traumatic few years for she and her husband. She is full of strength and fight, which is inspiring. This lady is on a quest for answers, which reminds me of myself! I hope her story has a happy ending, like mine! I feel hopeful that it will!

Even though we all have different stories, we all share similar goals and experiences. It’s amazing how much one can relate to someone they don’t even know, based on pain and heartache. I’ve noticed a trend that we all share similar (if not EXACT same) thoughts, feelings, and worries when faced with infertility and/or recurrent pregnancy loss. It feels good to know you’re not alone…and NO, you’re not crazy!! Your feelings are valid, I promise!

Regarding immune issues, this has been an eye opener for me. Ever since I achieved a successful pregnancy, I’ve had a huge response via email regarding immunological problems, infertility, and recurrent pregnancy loss. I love that people are reaching out to me, and I want to help. It makes me so angry though that there aren’t enough resources, information, or doctors who will diagnose and treat these issues! So many women are suffering needlessly. There are proper tests and treatment. There is science and tons of research behind it. And there is HOPE!

This makes me want to start a local immunological/infertility support group. I know there are more ladies (and men) out there dealing with the frustration and pain that I once was. It took me a long time to find out about my diagnoses, and to find Dr. Kwak-Kim for my 2nd opinion! I’m so thankful that I finally did. And to think, if I had taken the first opinion from Dr. Sher (or all the other doctors that told us there was no hope), we would probably not be pregnant right now. We would still be saving money for a surrogate or donor eggs. And there’s nothing wrong at all with choosing one of those paths, we just weren’t ready. Our hearts weren’t in it. You gotta follow your heart and your gut. Don’t have any regrets!

If I wasn’t a blogger or so actively involved in the online infertility community, I probably would have never known anything about immune issues. Imagine how many people don’t have that information. Even when you do discover your diagnoses, it can be overwhelming, confusing, and difficult to coordinate the care you need or find second opinions. It can also be a time of trial and error, with more losses (or no pregnancies at all) along the way. It’s a hopeful and optimistic time, too though! I feel like it would be therapeutic to get together with others to share experiences. Maybe with power in numbers, we can even get more local doctors to recognize these problems.

I feel so inspired right now, as well as angry and fired up. I mean, it took SIX miscarriages for this poor lady’s doctor to refer her to Dr. Kwak-Kim. And many more women never get referred at all (like me, I had to find her myself). If there’s anything I can do to help even one person, I want to do it. If I can be successful after being told we would never achieve a healthy pregnancy, then I have hope that others can, too – with the right testing/treatment. Personally, I feel it’s my responsibility to create awareness. More importantly, I want to! I have a passion for this. So many people have helped me over the years, and I’d like to pay it forward as much as possible. xoxo

As always, I am happy to talk via email: Baby4Lisa(at)gmail(dot)com

———————————————————————————————————————————-

In other news, my back/bum is still messed up. I’ve been resting a lot this weekend, doing my physical therapy exercises, and icing the area as recommended. Andy has been taking good care of me. 🙂 My OB said if it’s not any better by tomorrow, I’ll probably need an Orthopedic consult. If it does feel a little better, she’ll send me back to Physical Therapy. I’m doing all I can do and keeping my fingers crossed for improvement! My mood is so much better though. I desperately needed rest and relaxation. Working all day is what really kills me. I’m not looking forward to going back to work tomorrow! It’s just that our new employee is not trained thoroughly enough to work on her own yet (she’s close though!), and my boss is on a cruise. If anything, I’ll leave early each day. Don’t worry, I’ll be sure to take good care of myself and my baby. 🙂

10

Update from my appt yesterday

I got off work early yesterday, so I stopped and bought a Boppy Body Pillow! I think everyone should have one, pregnant or not. They are expensive, but I will tell you that it made a big difference in my sleep last night. Definitely worth it. I was also looking for some sort of low back support pillow, but could not find one. I want to find something to use at home, work, and in the car.

boppy

Next, I went to my OB appointment to address my back/butt pain and swelling. The swelling is actually improving a little, because I’ve been peeing a lot everyday this week. I think it’s most likely medication induced. My OB wasn’t worried about it. My urine was clear and my blood pressure was good. Her scale had me gaining 1.5 lbs since last week. I still think that’s mostly water weight, but that’s way better than the 4 lbs from Tuesday. So phew! That is a relief. We will keep an eye on it for sure though. I’ll continue to monitor my salt intake, drink plenty of water, and put my feet up whenever I get a chance.

The back/butt pain is another story. No relief there. 😦 My OB poked and prodded me while examining my lower back. She had me in tears. It hurt so bad just from touching. She said right away, that these are not normal pregnancy aches and pains. She said it seemed like something was wrong with my SI joint. There are 2 SI joints – one just to the right of the tailbone, and one to the left. My troublesome spot is the right side. It didn’t seem like Sciatica to her. She wanted me to get checked out by someone who would know more. There’s a Physical Therapy/Rehab office right upstairs, so she sent me there. First, they said they couldn’t see me until today at 2:30pm. I went home, but then they called me with a cancellation for that same day! I snatched that appointment right up and went in yesterday afternoon at 3:15. I was so grateful to get seen so quickly.

The Physical Therapist poked and prodded me some more, and she also made me do some exercises. I knew she had to though, to figure out what was wrong. She did find out the reason for my pain. My right SI joint is “locked” in the wrong place. Every time I move, I’m rubbing bone against bone! My whole lower back is completely inflamed, and my right leg/hip is weak. She tried some gentle exercises to “release” the joint, but it would not budge. She’s going to have to talk to my OB to see if I need to see a specialist, like an Osteopath or something. Not likely a Chiropractor – at least not right now. Due to my conditions, pregnancy, and medications, they must proceed with caution and be gentle. The Physical Therapist did give me some exercises and tips I can try on my own. I will totally do anything that might help. She also said ice is the best treatment, due to all the inflammation.

At first, I was feeling strong and positive. That I can manage. We know what’s wrong, and a doctor will help me soon. It’s not going to be that bad. After all, it’s for a really good cause – my baby! I have to admit though, I broke down last night. I called my Mom, crying like a baby. I cried so much all last night, it was ridiculous. Nothing helps the pain though. I’ve been sucking it up and dealing with it like a champ all week! Now I’m worried that maybe they won’t be able to fix this anytime soon. I can’t take off work because my boss is on vacation for the next 11 days! I’m sorry for whining. 😦 You guys know I’m usually optimistic and have a good attitude. Just not today. I don’t feel like myself, between pain and fatigue. I bet I’ll feel a little better after I rest this weekend.

I just called my OB’s office to find out what the next step will be. My OB is in surgery all morning, so the nurse won’t be able to talk to her until at least 1:00pm. It will probably be too late then to set up a plan today. I was hoping she would get me in today to see a specialist or whatever she had planned. Bummer. The nurse told me to go to the ER if my pain continues to be severe. I’m not sure what I’ll do yet. I’m at work now, but I’ll probably go home in a couple hours. I got everything done already, and we don’t have patients today.

Thank you all for the comments, support, and advice as always!

13

17 weeks! Updates and a few problems…

How far along: 17 weeks, 2 days!

Baby size: The average for 17 weeks is 5.1 inches and 5.9 oz – but my baby boy was measuring at 6.5 inches and 7 oz at the ultrasound on Tuesday! I’m very proud of my little champ! My little “spot” has grown and changed so much. I’m soooo thankful for a healthy baby!!!

week172We went back to the private ultrasound location on Tuesday to finalize our DVD and get a few more pics, since he wasn’t super cooperative last time. 🙂 This visit, he was moving around a lot!! It was so wonderful! Also, he’s definitely ALL boy! 😀

File0017_zpsa373e636 File0006_zps61c250f3 File0007_zps8b12bad7 File0008_zpsc5bf396b File0009_zps33aeb6cb File0015_zps0e159e05

I’m going to skip the other regular updates. I have a few issues, unfortunately. First, I didn’t have a chance to tell you all that I got diagnosed with Hypothyroidism last Thursday. I began taking Synthroid 25mcg last Friday. I had a feeling something was off because Dr. Kwak-Kim kept wanting to check my TSH more often the past month and a half or so, as well as my T3 and T4. I’ve also had pretty bad fatigue continuing on into my 2nd trimester. I thought it was from my long term Progesterone use, but it was a symptom of Hypothyroidism. I’ll be getting my Thyroid levels checked a month from starting the Synthroid to see where I’m at. I was pretty upset at first about this new diagnosis – only because I already have several issues and risk factors. I want my baby to stay healthy. However, I’m just so glad they are monitoring me so closely and can make adjustments to my treatment. Thank God for that. I love my doctors!

Next, I began having pain in my lower spine and tailbone midway through last week. It didn’t bother me much at first. It got worse as the day went on, after walking and working all day. I kept trying to get as much rest as possible, do stretching, use heat, etc. I thought I would be fine. However, the pain has only gotten worse and worse each day. Now it hurts the moment I wake up, and doesn’t stop all day and night. It especially hurts when I walk. Each step is enough to bring tears to my eyes most of the time. The pain started out in the middle (at the very bottom of my spine), but now it’s also to the right side. I walk really funny because I can hardly put weight down, especially on my right leg. I also had some cramping in my right calf the past couple days, and it feels tight and sore like I pulled a muscle. I’m a gimp LOL!

My feet began swelling on Monday, and I can tell I’m retaining fluids elsewhere. My shoes are tight, and my feet hurt. My feet are like that from the moment I wake up. My face and fingers are kinda puffy. I have been limiting my salt intake, drinking lots of water, and elevating my feet. A couple medications I take cause fluid retention, so it could be from those. On Tuesday morning, I weighed myself and the scale said I gained almost 4 lbs since last week. Now, I know that’s not right. I have not changed my eating habits. I have only gained about 3 lbs this whole pregnancy. I would fluctuate about a pound here and there from water weight. Anyway, Tuesday morning I was peeing A LOT. About every 30 minutes. Later on that morning, I noticed my shoes didn’t feel as tight. I weighed myself again, and I had lost a pound of fluid in only about 3 hours. I had a girl take my blood pressure, and it was normal. The water weight gain is concerning though. I don’t think that’s normal, especially this early. I need to stay healthy for my baby.

So, I have an OB appointment today at 12:50pm to address my back/butt pain and swelling. I’m not sure what they will do for me with either issue. I’ve done some reading about the pain, and it looks like there are a few things I can do. I might have this pain the whole pregnancy. I just need to be able to work and function though. I will do anything and endure anything to carry this baby into the world. I love my baby boy so much, that I can smile through it and be okay (for the most part)! But like I said, I have to get some kind of relief to be able to go about my daily routine. I pray I can be helped somehow.

Belly pics:

DSC06962_zpsd372f99e DSC06939_zpscd2ff8fc DSC06947_zps4e9d76a3