Friday, December 31, 2010

Another year in the books

2010 went something like this for us: I went back to sucky work (only one gun scare the second half of the school year, all of my seniors passed and graduated except for the one who ended up in prison), Joe did the unemployment thing and job searched for the first 6 months, grieving and more grieving, trying and more trying, fertility doctors (4), Joe finally gets a job- a much better job with a much farther drive but no on call time, ultrasounds, bloodwork, more doctors, more bloodwork, more ultrasounds, more tragedy and grieving, start thinking about moving when Joe's job becomes permanent, resign from my job for moving/fertility treatments/pregnancy/and so I don't get shot,  finally pregnant (cancel the moving idea until 2012), enter fear and stress plus grieving, it's a boy!, more doctors, more ultrasounds, more bloodwork, still grieving. And here we are at the end. (This is probably the most concise I have been all year.)

What a strange year this has been.
It's weird that I'm ending this year hugely pregnant (19 weeks and 2 days when this was taken Wednesday) when that was supposed to be the way LAST YEAR ended, with my January 23rd,2010 due date. (And ironically, on the second anniversary of my due date with Olivia, I will be 23 weeks, which is how far along I was when we lost her. What a fun week that will be.) Clearly, the universe enjoys screwing with my head. I propose we fast forward January and make tomorrow February 1st. (My two brothers with January 1 and January 10 birthdays probably wouldn't like that so much, but I sure would.)

Instead of relief that this year is over and we get a fresh start, I'm very wary of what 2011 has in store for us. More grief is inevitable for those we've already lost. But will there be a "take home" baby? Another loss? More losses?  It still feels as iffy as if it's dependent on the flip of a coin. Every month that passes that I'm still pregnant and things seem to be going well, the possibility of taking this baby home seems a little better. After January, I hope it will seem a lot better. But it's still all so very uncertain and fragile. There are SO MANY things that can and do go wrong. (And sometimes I want to shout at a well meaning person trying to reassure me: Placenta abruptions! Incompetent cervix! Preterm premature rupture of the membranes (PPROM)! Intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR)! Pre-eclampsia and HELLP! Cord accidents and knots! "Unexplained stillbirths"!...There are so many reasons that babies die in utero and shortly after they are born. I don't for one second think that this is a sure thing, even when we're safely past 24 weeks. (Definitely it's a good thing that last month was our last at the support group hopefully until May or maybe June. Although I'll miss going, too, I'm doing just fine on finding things to worry about without it.) Luckily, when we reach the magical age of viability (aka 24 weeks), the list becomes a little shorter-while 24 weeks is by no means an ideal time for a baby to come out, it's not a certain death sentence like having to deliver at 22 weeks would be, 24 weekers at least have A chance, not the greatest odds of survival, but at least it's possible, and my doctors will be watching me even closer, then. So I like to keep thinking this will be easier in February, but I guess we'll  hopefully see.

The definitely changes over time. Even our happiest moments now our tinged with the bittersweet sadness that our daughter isn't here for them. The days that I spend sobbing in bed and barely leaving our room have become fewer and farther between...I'm not even sure when the last one was.  It's not that the pain ever eases up, it doesn't, it hurts as bad today as it hurt a year ago. It's just it becomes more comfortable, I'm used to it, it's part of both of us now. Just as surely as my name and birthday, our first baby died. It hurts. We miss her. There isn't a day I don't think about her. But I guess we're figuring out ways to live again, with the new lives and as the new people we find ourselves to be. It's like a heavy weight that will always be on our shoulders, the first few months the weight was so unbearable we really couldn't do or focus on anything but how uncomfortable it was to be in this totally new and foreign position. And now, the weight is still there, and it's just as heavy as it always was, but we've figured out how to move around again, to think of other things, sometimes the weight still absorbs a lot of our focus, and then there are some moments we get so used to it we almost forget that it's there.

This year I've learned/managed to talk about her, and even tell our story, without crying (sometimes.) I braved the doctor's offices and hospitals again. Normal pregnant women bother me a lot now-when I have to hear them talk- ("My doctor is making me go in for another ultrasound because they are worried about [insert reason], I'm so annoyed about this" "The worst thing about having this pre-eclampsia stuff is that I might have to get induced, which is not in my birth plan at all."-- true stories/comments.) (When they aren't making obnoxious comments like that, they don't bother me.) I've talked a lot about wanting to punch particular people in the face this year, moreso than past years, but there has been no actual face punching, which I consider an accomplishment. In fact, I've gritted my teeth and sucked it up and been nice far more times than I probably should have. (And then came home to tell Joe about wanting to punch someone in the face.) Needless to say, I don't think any of the hospital classes are in our future. I've answered the "so do you have any kids?" and "how many kids do you have?" questions more times this year than I can count, and probably given a different answer then the one before each time. Sometimes, if I'm just not in the mood to get into it, I just say no or shake my head or even ignore the question. And sometimes I will say "yes, but she died", because I've stopped really caring about making other people uncomfortable. And sometimes I just said, "Yes, one" and didn't elaborate and changed the subject. That's definitely my least favorite question of 2010.

I am hoping that 2011 will have more "ups" then "downs", and will be a lot less tumultous than 2009 and 2010 have been.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas, 19 weeks, 27

Christmas is always tough for most parents who have lost children. This year was a little bit easier and more bearable than last year in some ways, and harder in other ways. Last Christmas, I was *supposed* to still be pregnant...this was supposed to be Olivia's first Christmas and she would have been almost one, it was hard to think about all of the stuff we were missing out on with her.

We went to Olivia's grave and left a little stuffed Winnie the Pooh. I wrote her name on the tag, in case it gets blown away and someone wants to go to the trouble of returning it, and realized how few things there are to write her name on. We were pleasantly surprised to find that the teddy bear and pink birthday duck that we had left there on her birthday in September were still there even now, because she's buried in a national cemetery, the only thing you are really technically supposed to leave is flowers, and there are even rules about the kinds of flowers (can't be fake after April or something like that.) So, we never really expect the things we leave there to last long, but it's always nice when they still are there.

We survived the rest of it okay. It's still a struggle. There are things I wish we had done differently this year and I think next year we will hopefully be better at finding a better balance of what's right for us. Our first Christmas without Olivia, we did mostly nothing, just wanting to pretend Christmas didn't exist and for it to be over with (we did go to her grave, I think we always will.) This was our second year, and we did the normal things that we did before Olivia and added visiting her grave around the usual schedule. Next year, I'm not sure about yet, but we'll figure out what works for our family, I hope, finding the right balance of missing and remembering Olivia and celebrating with her little brother. There aren't really rules for this, but what I do know is that the usual routines don't really work for us very well anymore, even now, that became very apparent this year.Next year I won't try to force it so much.

Today I turned 27 and also 19 weeks pregnant. I got lots of sweet birthday wishes that I really appreciated and had a nice time with my family.  I'm not really in a great mood for celebrating or doing much, the holidays just make it kind of draining. Raja the elephant turned 18 today, which makes me feel really freaking old, because I remember when he was born (it was sort of a big deal because he was the first Asian elephant ever born at the St.Louis zoo and elephant pregnancies take like 2+ years.) It's been funny how many people have mentioned Raja's birthday (he had a birthday party that they featured on the news, apparently, Joe said he wished he had taken off work so we could have went...I'm okay with not going to the zoo today, it's pretty cold out.)

I've been pretty calm this week, relatively speaking, about this pregnancy. I guess my focus has been more on missing Olivia than making up things to worry about. My blood pressure has creeped up a little bit, but not alarmingly high or numbers I've never gotten before, they are still well within my normal range, just a little bit higher than usual. I think I'm chalking it up to the holidays, my blood pressure was up a bit around Thanksgiving too. I've had a tiny bit of really mild heartburn too, not even bad enough that I need to take anything for it to be comfortable, and I know it's normal to have heartburn during pregnancy. Still, it concerns me a little, because with Olivia I was having really bad heartburn one week and in the hospital with my liver on the verge of rupturing the very next week. I'd feel a lot better if the heartburn would just go away for 10 more weeks or so. Lucas is moving a lot some days, and others not so much though I'll still feel him at least a few times every day. I think I've felt a few kicks a couple of times, but nothing blatantly obvious yet and nothing that Joe can feel just yet. Hopefully that comes soon. This week will hopefully be rather uneventful, no appointments or anything until next Friday when we have our next growth ultrasound.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Rainbow baby has a name

Joe and I started discussing names in October, or so. (Figuring we would want to name him no matter how this works out.) I was also pretty sure this baby was a boy, and boy names are especially tough for me after working in an alternative school for a few years. Most of our kids (who had been suspended/expelled from their regular public schools) were male. So pretty much, every name of every student that we had had there (about 100+ a year) was OUT. Then another problem is that I'm just not fond of very many boy names anyway, and of course the few names that I liked, Joe usually hated. No matter how much I hoped the name “Braden” would grow on Joe, it wasn’t going to happen.

After about a month though, we managed to settle on two names, figuring that we'd wait until the baby was born and see which name fit him better. We also knew and agreed that his middle name would be "Oliver", in honor of his big sister.

(The story veers slightly off course here, but stick with it, I'm getting to his name soon!) In mid November, I had been thinking that I really wanted to get an ornament with Olivia's name on it for our Christmas tree. (Not that I'm putting a Christmas tree up this year, but next year we will, and I still wanted an ornament.)
So my mom and I ended up at Kohl's one day when they were having a big sale plus we had a bunch of coupons. Kohl's happened to have these really cute snowmen ornaments (50% off) that look like this:

With names along the base of it at the bottom, and they also happen to light up and change colors from yellow to red to green to blue.

So anyway, as soon as I saw them, I immediately started looking for an "Olivia" snowman, and quickly realized that the side of the rack only had A-M name ornaments. A "Leah" snowman happened to catch my eye, which is the name of my friend's daughter, who was stillborn a few months before we lost Olivia. My friend collects things with her daughter's name on it (as do many "baby loss mamas"), and it was so cheap I grabbed it to buy it for her, still hoping I'd find an Olivia ornament. I walked around to the other side of the display (it was not a moveable one), and when I found the spot where the "Olivia" ornaments were supposed to be, it was empty. I looked around at all of the other O names, no Olivia's, and no Olivia ornaments were to be found there.

I was getting REALLY disappointed, but I went back to the first side of the display and started to look for an Olivia ornament there again, knowing it was a long shot since the Olivia ornaments weren't even supposed to be on this side of the display. I closed my eyes and thought to myself, "Please let there be an ornament!" and seriously, I opened my eyes and just happened to see an Olivia ornament right there.

 The hanger that it was on was only a few away from "Leah", but somehow I completely missed it, and somehow I managed to immediately see it when I went back to that side.

When I saw the name hanger that it was incorrectly placed on, I almost gasped because it was one of the two names that Joe and I had managed to agree on. Out of a couple hundred of names on the display, on the wrong side of the display that the Olivia ornament was supposed to be, there it was.

I'm not always a strong believer in signs, but that was good enough for me. And when I got home and told Joe what had happened, he agreed that it should definitely be our little boy's name, if we had a boy. So we've actually known his name longer than we've known he was a boy. (We were nowhere close to pinning down girl names.)

My new mom bracelet that showed up in the mail today:

 Rainbow baby's name will be Lucas Oliver. (Somehow I managed to grab the Leah ornament but not see the Olivia ornament a few spots away on the Lucas spot until I went back, that was the only Olivia ornament on the entire display, by the way.)

I'm not sure if and/or when we'll start calling him "Luke", we probably will but that's not definite. For now, we think of him as baby Lucas.

      In all of our name search and discussions, we looked at name meanings, but never particularly paid much attention to any of them. We don't really name our kids based on meanings. Last week, after we found out he was a boy and knew his name would be Lucas, I went back to look at meanings because I didn't remember what it meant, the last time I had looked at it I didn't even know if Joe liked the name "Lucas", and I figured he probably wouldn't like it since I did, and that's how naming goes with us. But he did like it. And it turns out that Lucas means in Latin "bringer of light"...which makes it even more perfect for our rainbow baby.

(I had an Olivia bracelet, that broke in October/November. I hated not having it and knew I wanted a new one made, so I waited until we knew rainbow baby is a boy and ordered this new one with a new strand immediately after, I'm so happy to have it before Christmas.) 

Monday, December 20, 2010

18 weeks

Today is 18 weeks.

It seems like every week we get closer to the 23/24 mark, my anxiety doubles.

My current worry is that I don't feel rainbow baby moving as much the last few days as I have in previous weeks. (Last week I worried about amniotic fluid levels, convinced Joe and myself I was having braxton hicks contractions every few minutes of course in the middle of an ice storm, and probably a few other things.) I know my doctors aren't going to be especially concerned about movement at this point, because I'm not really supposed to be feeling consistent movement already, anyway. It just sucks because I *was* feeling consistent movement (a lot in the morning, sometimes in the afternoon, and a lot late at night)...My saving graces are that I just had an ultrasound 3 days ago and *know* he is doing just fine, thriving even, and ridiculously active. And our doppler is getting more use than it ever got in the first trimester. I could go an entire week or two without using the doppler then. Now it's more like every couple days, and sometimes twice a day if he's been really quiet.

Besides that, everything is continuing to go well. I have a doctor's appointment tomorrow and meet my doctor's new partner then.

Friday, December 17, 2010

17.5 week growth and picture update

Rainbow baby is still a boy. (Third opinion, all agree, with ultrasound picture evidence.) And, still not shy about showing us.

Everything looks great, still. His heartrate was a little lower than I'm used to (143 beats per minute), but well within normal range, so for us the old wives tale has been true so far...Olivia's heartrate was always in the 150's-160's, rainbow baby has always been in the 140's-low 150's.

Most importantly, he is still measuring ahead. Most of his measurements were 18 weeks + 3 days or so (and today is 17+4, so 6 days ahead), and the average of all of the measurements together was 18+3. (One measurement was actually 18+6, more than a week ahead.) They are already estimating his weight to be 9 ounces, + or - 1 ounce, so 8-10 ounces already. (So he may already be as big as Olivia was at a little over 23 weeks.) My fluid levels look good, all of his organs and everything look good, and he is "a very active baby", put nicely. The ultrasound tech actually said, "This baby does not stop moving for even one second!" He started out laying at the bottom of my uterus looking up, 5 minutes later he was laying against the top of it, looking down, and not long after that he was laying along the bottom again...I mentioned to the tech, "He's changed positions 3 times since we've been here." She said, "Three times nothing! He's changed positions way more times than that!" (I guess I was watching the measurements so closely that I missed it.) The blood flow looked normal, but it's only 17 weeks so that's not especially reassuring yet. We go back in 3 weeks for another growth check. (Normally my ultrasounds are every 4 weeks and sometimes also the high risk doctor will do one with the roll in machine, but since this is when Olivia seriously fell behind in growth, we are checking it a week early this time.)

We didn't get many pictures this time because he moved so much she had a hard enough time just getting the measurements and everything that she needed to get:

His little legs are sticking up against me although it's not as obvious in this picture:

And two blurry baby feet, number of toes still uncertain, but we're not too worried about it. :)  (5 fingers on both hands confirmed.)

The next 6 weeks are going to be busy, but if we could just fast forward to March or so, I think both Joe and I would be okay with that.

Monday, December 13, 2010

17 weeks + high risk appointment

17 weeks today and here is the evidence (plus Koda's supervision):

My high risk ob appointment today was pretty good, although I got stuck with the bitchy tech to take my vitals. (This would be the same woman who asked over the phone if I had any kids, and I sighed and said, "well, she died"...she replied in this really snotty tone, "so no then." --I understand that they meant *living* children, but she didn't have to be crappy about it. You would think that someone working in a HIGH RISK ob office would have a little more compassion.)  Anyway, she's still always pretty bitchy about everything- today she had an attitude because I stepped off of the scale before it beeped even though the numbers had stopped changing for several seconds, and then again because I was trying to take my blood pressure on my machine after she had taken it so we could make sure my machine is working right, and she insisted we check the baby's heartrate first, even though she had just taken my blood pressure. (And then she insisted that I check it in the other arm, so the pressures were taken 5 minutes apart and in opposite arms, thanks for helping me get an accurate comparison.)

I love my high risk doctor, though. She suggested the names "lovenox" or "heparin" (my daily blood thinner shots) for the baby.  And did a quick scan- he's still a boy (and not a tiny bit shy about it), my fluid looks good, everything looks good (no measurements, it's just a crappy roll in machine and I have a real ultrasound Friday anyway.) She assured me that it doesn't matter that we did the quad screen at 16 weeks (I did it at 17 weeks with Olivia), that if it was going to come back bad, it would have been bad even then, and she's really encouraged that it came back normal. She agreed to let me do my next growth ultrasound in 3 weeks rather than my usual every 4 weeks,since 20 weeks is when Olivia had really fallen behind in growth, and we're going to start checking for notching and fluid levels on Friday. (Notching is basically an indication that the blood flow isn't perfect from the placenta to the baby, instead of the normal full flow of blood, there's a little "notch" in the flow. Between 19-21 weeks, notching indicates an increased chance of pre-eclampsia.) I'll only be 17.5 weeks so no notching won't really mean much this early, and it's not a guarantee in any case, but I'm glad she didn't hesitate to agree when I mentioned it. (And she looked impressed that I asked.) So I have notes for my ultrasound tech on Friday from her to make my next appointment in 3 weeks and to check for notching. (I had only wanted her to check for notching at 20 weeks but she wants it checked both times. She said they normally don't check so early, but with my "checkered past", she wants to keep an eye on it.) 

Hopefully lovenox+low dose aspirin+ normal quad screen+ normal growth + no notching= a healthy 36 weeker.

Tomorrow probably, I'll be scheduling my amnio for 36 weeks, which will be the last week of April. It will be just to check the baby's lungs for maturity, and we'll deliver soon after the results are back. It seems crazy to be scheduling it so early, but my ob wanted me to talk to the high risk ob about it and decide and schedule it now (the alternative is to wait until 37 weeks and cross our fingers that I don't go into labor first, because of the type of incision for my c-section with Olivia, if I go into labor than there is a risk of uterine rupture that they aren't really comfortable with.) Joe and I talked about it, and quite frankly I want this baby out the minute it's safely possible, now knowing all of the things that can go wrong. The high risk ob had the same opinion, so the only guessing about this kiddo's due date will hopefully be if I will make it that far. (Labor or signs of trouble-pre-eclampsia/HELLP/hypertension/growth restriction- and we deliver earlier.)

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Quad screen results are in

(If you missed the gender reveal, go back a post.

When I called my OB's office to see if they had finally received my labs from the high risk ob's office, (they had), I asked if my quad screen results happened to be back yet. They were! And she said, "They are negative! Woo hoo!" (Seriously, she said woo hoo.) Just to make sure I was understanding correctly, "You mean it's normal?" "Yes! Normal!"

I had her fax the results to my high risk doctor who I'll see Monday and harass her for more details. (Exactly how normal is it?)

We've already been forewarned that this does not mean I won't get sick and this does not *necessarily* mean this time will be better. But, for now, we're taking it as fantastic news until we have a new reason to worry (which will come up soon enough.) 

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Olivia's a big sister...

Olivia is a big sister, and she's going to be watching over her little....


The ultrasound tech, whom I was not really that impressed with (we cheated and went to an elective ultrasound place, so it was not a medical person although all of the techs are real certified techs) got a slightly alarming picture of his foot:

I counted 8 toes and Joe counted 6. We're both pretty sure that it was just because he was moving and the tech seemed more interested in getting us out of there as quickly as she could and not so much trying to get good pictures...or maybe she just wasn't that good. Either way, I think the pictures from 3 weeks ago are almost better than these, but maybe I'm spoiled with fantastic ultrasound techs at the high risk center.

 Now grow baby grow!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Glimmer of hope

"If you know someone who has lost a child, and you're afraid to mention [the child] because you think you may make them sad by reminding them that [their child] died-- you're not reminding them. They didn't forget [their child] died. What you are reminding them of is that you remembered that [their child] lived, and that is a great gift." -Elizabeth Edwards

This is so true. In fact, it can be hurtful when your child is not mentioned. It's not that I need Olivia brought up by someone every day, but sometimes when she's forgotten during a discussion that is relevant, it really hurts our feelings.  This something that I struggle with now that I'm pregnant again, there are people who act as if Rainbow baby is our first child. It makes me feel as if I have to fight even harder to make people remember Olivia. There will always be someone missing in our family, no matter how many children we end up having. And while we are both very excited (and terrified) to be expecting another baby, it doesn't fix what we've lost, we're both still very sad that Olivia is not here, and nothing can fix that.


Last night at our support group, there was a woman who lost her first baby a long time ago but I've never seen her at a meeting before. Her story is all too familiar, she developed pre-eclampsia and HELLP at 19 weeks and had to deliver her baby. It's rare, for me to run into someone who got sick even earlier than I did.  This woman apparently got pregnant again, and with her next pregnancy, she made it to 34 weeks before she got sick. Unfortunately, I didn't get a chance to talk with her later to ask if she did anything major differently. (There's not much that I can do differently that I'm not already doing, anyway. ) But still! 34 weeks! I know that both of my doctors would be thrilled to get me to 34 weeks. (34 weekers generally need a couple of weeks of NICU time as "feeders and growers", so it's still sucky because we'd have to leave the hospital without our baby. We've done that once and I don't want to ever again.) I'm stubborn and determined to make it all the way to 36, but one milestone at a time.  Also, there was someone new that we talked a lot with, it turns out she was born at 24 weeks (because her mom got severe pre-eclampsia and probably HELLP but they didn't test for HELLP back then), and that was in the 80's. I needed that reminder, I guess, that 24 weekers CAN live and be perfectly normal. Our goal is not anywhere near 24 weeks, but getting there with everything going okay will be a relief. 


I'm sure it won't be long before I'm panicking again. But for now, I am hopeful.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Angel of Hope candlelight vigil, 2010

This year, I actually looked forward to the candlelight vigil. It's a special night. Last year, everything was so fresh, it was so hard (and lighting my hair on fire with a freaking candle didn't help either- don't worry, it was just a little bit of hair), but it still felt good to be there and go.

The high yesterday was supposed to be 30 degrees so we knew it was going to be COLD. The weather did not disappoint (at least there was no snow or freezing rain, as we've been told has happened in past years.)  It was about 19 degrees and we figured out the perfect amount of layers, none of us got too cold. I wore sweatpants, jeans, 2 pairs of socks, my sister's work boots, a long sleeve shirt, a hoodie, a thick hooded jacket, my maternity coat, thick gloves, a hat (which Joe insists on calling a toboggan just to annoy me), a fleece hood thingy that covers your head and up to your nose of your face, and a scarf.  I'll admit, my legs did get a slight bit cold, but more of like "it's a cool fall day" and not
shivering. In the car on the drive there, I felt like a gigantic
marshmellow with all of my layers. We also opted to use battery candles this year, which was a good idea because there were no hair fires and we didn't have to worry about the flame burning out. Last year there were hundreds of people there and we got there late and had trouble finding a parking spot and ended up standing in the back. This year we were there probably a bit too early, about a half hour early, we were some of the first people there and had no trouble parking.

The ceremony was nice but seemed shorter than last year. Last night it was too crazy and packed to get a picture so we went back today to get some pictures of it... (It goes like this: people talk and read a few poems, a few singers sing songs, and then everyone lays a white flower at the angel.) You can see the bricks under the base of the angel which are all engraved. Olivia has a brick too here, and since the cemetery is almost an hour away, we tend to go to the angel when we are missing her and don't have the time to spend 2 hours driving. (The angel is about 15 min. away from us and we are very lucky to have one in our area, especially in the middle of a beautiful park that is almost always peaceful and quiet.)
 On this side of the angel, it says:
 The Christmas Box Angel

With hope in its wings this monument was dedicated October 16, 1998 as a place of love and healing for all those who have lost children. We invite all to leave a white flower at its base. 

Annual candlelight vigil December 6, 7 pm
And lastly, here is Olivia's brick, which my grandparents bought in Olivia's honor:

16 wks belly pics + quad screen

I had the quad screen bloodwork done yesterday morning. Now we wait nervously for the results, which can take as many as 7-10 days. (This is the bloodwork that first came back bad with Olivia.) I have to call my OB's office on Friday for other reasons, and so I'll definitely ask if they are back yet then. And if not, I'll call again Monday before my high risk appointment because we'll definitely want to discuss it either way if they are.  I'm a bit terrified and regretting doing the bloodwork now that it's all done. My high risk doctor warned us that doing this test could be like opening Pandora's box and she was fine with us skipping it- good results aren't exactly totally good because they are no guarantee I won't get sick, and bad results...we can't really do anything to fix. Still, I think I'll ultimately be glad we did it, I'd go crazy wondering if not and wishing we had done it.

So, I can't figure out how to get blogger to let me put the images side by side so this will have to do. I'm in the pink shirt for 16 weeks, the striped for 15 weeks.

It doesn't seem like I'm that much bigger this week. Also, surprisingly even to me, I had to get weighed yesterday for the quad screen, and I haven't actually gained weight this pregnancy yet. It probably helps that I lost a few amidst the first trimester ick, so I probably have gained just not a net pregnancy gain yet. In any case, I'm happy about it, I had expected that I'd gained several given my expanding stomach. And, we're pretty sure that there's just one baby in there, our ultrasound techs are pretty good and always take pictures of everything-placenta, ovaries, etc. and would not likely miss an extra baby.  I know I'm awfully big for 16     weeks, let's hope that there's a ginormous baby in there.

Friday, December 3, 2010

15 weeks and little milestones

So on Monday, we made it to the 15 week mark. My belly is looking ginormous already which is just fine with both of us.
Rainbow is bouncing around a lot and I've been feeling flutters 3 or 4 times a day for a couple of weeks now. On Thursday, I started feeling Rainbow kick (I think?) It felt more like someone tapping than fluttering. I never really felt much with Olivia so I'm not really sure what kicks feel like.

Also! My belly button has started hurting yesterday. After my first pregnancy, Joe freaks out whenever I mention any sort of pain and wanted to make me call the doctor. I called Dr.Mom instead, figuring she would know after 4 healthy pregnancies. It turns out it is normal (I figured.) It's not stabbing pain or anything alarming. Just achy like my stomach is stretching (even more.) It seems awfully early for all of this. My baby bump was not this big even at 23 weeks with Olivia, granted I started out a little bigger this time. I'm pretty sure my numerous ultrasounds have not missed an extra baby or two hiding in there, but the thought has cropped up. My blood pressures are behaving, everything seems to be going smoothly so far (which really isn't that reassuring at this point, because everything was going just fine with Olivia at this point too, I'm not sure that anything can reassure me until a healthy baby is in our arms.)

Next week should be a busy and exciting week! The Angel of Hope candlelight vigil for Olivia is on Monday (we will freeze our butts off), my quad screen blood test will also be done Monday (but results probably won't be in for a week, I might call the nurse on Friday anyway), our support group is Wednesday (the last one I'll be going to until rainbow baby arrives, hiding my bump will be a bit challenging but we have a bunch of blankets to donate to the hospital and I really want to go this last month), and on Thursday we will hopefully know if it's a boy or girl.  I thought early on that it is a boy (same happened with Olivia), and now I've been thinking it's a girl (same happened with Olivia), BUT, both Joe and I have had dreams about a boy baby, so we're pretty confused.

Olivia's Story at