Monday, February 28, 2011

Work worries

So, things are fine in case you've been wondering. At least, I think they're fine...but as we all know the wheels on the bus can fall off fast even when you think you're being I'll just say as far as I know, things are fine.

So we are at 13 weeks and 2 days (3 days in a couple of hours) and so far I've had nothing untoward happen after stopping the progesterone the weekend before last. I don't know the half life of progesterone, but I'm going to assume it is out of my system by now.

Now that the first trimester is over, the fear of early miscarriage is waning, but of course other fears crop up in its place. Like the fear of late miscarriage, genetic defects, pre-term birth, pre-eclampsia, stillbirth, and oh yes, my personal fear of my heart failing on me. And those are just all the disasters I can think of right now.

My 'heart fear' is beginning to increase. I noticed once I hit 12 weeks that I started feeling more 'heart tired'. Stairs are becoming *slightly* more difficult and my heart feels like it is working just a *wee* bit harder doing regular daily activities. I've gone to taking my pulse and blood pressure at work just to keep track and so far my heart rate is it's normal high 90s to low 100s. So the question becomes "Is this normal pregnancy changes? Do others feel this way?" or "Am I just stressing myself out and increasing my own heart rate by worrying about it?" (a distinct possibility when we are talking about me). It's hard to know because I've never been a person with a normal heart. And by this time in Aidan's pregnancy I was already on bed rest, so didn't have to contend with work and chores. My biggest tasks each day when I was pregnant with Aidan was getting myself lunch, changing the DVD in the Playstation, and the inevitable trips to the bathroom (oh and of course the daily mantra of hoping things would end well...that didn't pay off).

All of this current pregnancy stress is also getting mixed up with work stress. If you were following my posts last summer, the current job that I'm doing is a contract position. I couldn't bear the thought of returning to the NICU after Aidan died, so I was glad to get this much lower stress, much better hours position, even though the contract is up at the end of March 2011. At the time I didn't care that it was a contract, because I could only imagine life a few weeks into the future. After Aidan died, I couldn't concentrate 'on my career'. All I wanted was a job that got me out of where I was. But, now it's March 2011. We haven't heard yet, but there is a distinct possibility that this contract could be made permanent. Which would be awesome. However, I am holding off on telling my work colleagues and my manager that I'm pregnant until I know if I have a permanent position. I don't know if this is being sneaky or not, but hey, I figure I have to protect my own interests and I want to give them no reason to decide to get rid of me. But hello, I'm 13 weeks pregnant here. Give me a few more weeks and it's going to be pretty damn hard to hide that I'm pregnant. Baggy scrubs and zip up hoodies can only conceal a baby bump for so long.

My heart defect worries me regarding my job, because there is a distinct possibility that I'll be off work early on sick leave. I asked my OB a week and a half ago at our 12 week appointment when he thought I might be off and his response was "whenever you feel like it's too much, I'll take you off". I was hoping to make it to 28 weeks at least, but with already feeling tired, I don't know if that's feasible.

So if the job becomes permanent and I get to stay, great! But I feel bad that a few weeks after they make me a permanent staff member on this unit I might be telling my manager "Oh yeah, I'll be on sick leave until my baby's born and then I'll be off for my year's maternity leave...see you in late 2012!". It would be my right and entitlement...but still I feel bad about it. Not to mention what going off on leave with only half pay will do to our finances. I HATE being seen as shirking my responsibilities, but my biggest concern is to get this baby to term (or close enough) with my heart in good shape. Anything other than that must come second.

I just hope everyone at work sees it that way too.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Progesterone...all alone

I'm exactly 12 weeks pregnant today.

Tonight will be my first night Prometrium (added Progesterone) free since I ovulated sometime back in December.

Okay's all up to you and your placenta now! Just like when you walk unassisted for the first time, or your first day of school or your first night sleeping away from home, I'm rooting for you, but I can only do so much to support you and then you've got to do it on your own.

Please please please be able to do this on your own. Please let this be the right time to let you try. Please don't let my body, or your placenta, fail you.

*Fingers crossed*

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Off to see the wizard...

"We're off to see the Wizard, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.
You'll find he is a whiz of a Wiz! If ever a Wiz! there was.
If ever oh ever a Wiz! there was The Wizard of Oz is one because,
Because, because, because, because, because.
Because of the wonderful things he does.
We're off to see the Wizard. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz"
-(Obviously) song is from "The Wizard of Oz"

Today I went for my IPS screening (blood work + ultrasound) and threw in a visit to my OB. This OB is the same one I had for Aidan's pregnancy. Being a 'high risk' cardiac patient I have no choice in who I go to see for pregnancy care. He is "THE" OB who takes on complex cardiac defect patients. He works out of the 'Special Pregnancy Program' which is a combined office of Fetal and Maternal medicine specialists. They are the province-wide specialists in "investigation and management of the full range of maternal, fetal and placental difficulties that may occur during pregnancy." Underline and bold the word 'investigation' and put the word 'management' in smaller, finer type.

Probably because it sucks to think of myself as 'high risk', I wasn't thrilled with my OB, even before my last pregnancy. It wasn't anything specific to do with him. I'm sure he's a perfectly adequate OB (even a great OB)...but it sucked not to have a choice of care provider. If I'd had a choice, I would have chosen a female OB. Plus I probably would have chosen one that was closer to home, rather than all the way downtown (almost an hour drive in traffic). I would have liked to chose a less busy practice, one that could see me other days of the week rather than JUST Thursdays. Hell, if I'd had my druthers I'd have gone to a midwife (but stuck with the hospital birth). No such luck however, for Emily and her half a heart.

So, now after having a very bad experience during my last pregnancy, I wasn't looking forward to going back there. I felt a little like I was going to see 'the Wizard' like Dorothy and crew from The Wizard of Oz.

Let me explain: You know how Dorothy arrives in Oz and hears that the Emerald city has an all powerful wizard who will help her return back home to Kansas. So she makes the trek to see him...only to find out he's an ordinary little man, hiding behind a big machine and a microphone, who really has no power at all. Eventually Dorothy and co. realize the powers they were searching for was in them all along etc. Cue crying, hugging and general merriment.

That's kind of how I feel about going back to this "Special Pregnancy Program" and my OB. I feel like Aidan's pregnancy was me going to the Emerald city with promises of finding 'specialists' and 'experts' to help me and my body make a healthy baby. Instead I found an ordinary bunch of men and women, including the 'best' OBs in the city...who couldn't do anything to help when my pregnancy was failing and my son was dying. No magical shoes at the end of that pregnancy.

However, griping aside, my appointment today went quite well (despite lasting 4 hours, most of which was waiting). Ultrasound showed nothing out the ordinary (as far as the tech could see). NT measurement was 1.2 mm. Met with the (regular ole', non-magical) OB who actually flat out admitted that if anything went wrong with the placenta this pregnancy, there was nothing they could do about it. I appreciated his honesty. But he said that he felt 'cautiously optimistic' because so far, I've had none of the problems I had early on in Aidan's pregnancy. We will, once again, be monitoring my heart closely, and I already have FOUR ultrasounds to look forward to in the next couple of months including a 16 week placenta ultrasound, a 18-20 week anatomy scan, a 20-ish week fetal cardiac ECHO to check out the baby's heart, and another 22 week placenta ultrasound to get a better read on how my placenta's functioning. I'm sure they'll also throw in a cardiac ECHO for me sometime in there too. None of which will prevent or help any sort of problem that may develop, but hey it's always nice to know if the scans are reassuring.

These are all assuming we make it to those future far off dates, of course.

So that's where we are at. We've told my parents and Brian's parents about the pregnancy and they were (thankfully) low key about it all. I was dreading comments like "I just know this time things will be fine!!!" and "Oh I can't wait, I'm SOOO excited!!!" and other such inane and completely ignorant of our history comments. Also, I've since learned that my brother and sister in law check in here every once in awhile. I'd given them the website address way back in November and then promptly apparently they have known about the pregnancy for awhile and didn't say anything. Props to them.

So now I'm going to try to rest and relax and send positive vibes to Acorn to just keep doing what's he (or she, although I think it's a he), is doing.


If you've had a pregnancy after loss did you return to the same OB/midwife? Why or why not? If you haven't, do you think you will? How do you feel about returning to 'that office'?

Monday, February 14, 2011

February 14th: I heart you

It's February 14th so you know what that means.....

Happy Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Day!

oh yeah and...

Happy Valentine's Day.

The heart symbolism is just so cute! (gag me).

Friday, February 4, 2011


I'm 9 weeks and 5 days. With Aidan I had my first 'big' bleed at 9 weeks and 4 days (as opposed to the 'minor' bleeding I'd been having since week 3). Both Brian and I huff a *teeny weeny* sigh of relief when yesterday passed without rushing to Emerg.

During Aidan's pregnancy Brian rented a doppler, which I used every couple of days as the pregnancy progressed just to make sure Aidan was still alive. After the bad news, I was sure one day I'd put that wand on my belly and hear...silence. It never happened (which I'm SO grateful for), but because he didn't move much (because he had no so so sorry Aidan), being able to use that doppler to hear his heartbeat every time I passed more blood or fluid...well, it kept me sane. If he had died inside me I wanted to know it. And if he was alive, I wanted to know that too. It was the not knowing that would have done me in.

So, this time, Brian planned ahead and bought a doppler. He got it in the mail a few weeks ago and hid it from me so I wouldn't be tempted to try it out. Initially he said "let's wait until at least 11 or so weeks to try it". We heard Aidan's heartbeat at 9 weeks 4 days. Honestly, I think he had to hide it from himself more than me, because I knew he wouldn't be able to wait that long. So I wasn't surprised when I got home from work tonight and Brian almost immediately says "Do you want to try the doppler tonight!!"

Of course I want to...but I'm a little afraid that we won't hear anything. Will that make the anxiety worse? I mean, I know it's early...but still...what if we don't hear anything?

So of course, we try it anyway.

Pull it out.

Squirt the goo on and


Then I say "try a little higher...I think my bladder's full"

and....sure enough...



So I'm feeling happy tonight. I can confidently say as of 8:30pm on Thursday Acorn was alive with a heart rate somewhere in the 170s range.