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Friday, March 06, 2009

All's Quiet on the Home Front (15 wks 3 days)

Yesterday I had an appointment with the OB. I got a chance to ask a bunch of questions and I was so relieved that we could get a quick listen to Petit’s heartbeat with a Doppler! I’ve been worried for the last week or so, wondering if I was still pregnant, or if something was wrong, because I’ve felt a bit ‘off’ all week. I would love to get a cheap little Doppler for home to reassure my incessant fears. If any of you have one, what do you have? Where did you get it and how much? And do you like being able to check in on your baby yourself or does it make you all the more neurotic?! I don’t know what to do but I’ll listen to your thoughts!

Anyway, all seems to be good. I’m in my 15th week’ I’ve only gained 1.5 pounds so far during this pregnancy! I love that! I hope that continues! I feel like I’m bloated all the time (my belly feels HUGE!) and my bella band is coming in handy on a daily basis. I’ve been super good with my food choices though; as one of my girlfriends said, “Make every bite count.” And that is what I’m doing. I haven’t been indiscriminate with my diet, however, set me down with a bag of salt and vinegar chips and you’ll be lucky to get the crumbs! Honestly! I’ve never craved the vinegar flavouring more in my life!. I think in the interest of my diet and my waistline, I’m going to start doing the popcorn thing with salt and vinegar flavouring on top. That will just have to substitute! At least… some of the time!

My blood pressure is relatively good too (138/78). Then I asked about my TSH levels and I got a copy of my recent blood work. “Oh,” the nurse says, “your TSH is fine. It’s 3.3.”

I FREAKED.

For those of you who don’t know, hypothyroidism is one of the reasons I hadn’t conceived earlier in our journey and having a TSH of 3.3 is just NOT satisfactory! AT ALL.

I reiterated to her how the head honcho at McGill Reproductive was adamant that TSH levels needed to be 2.5 at the MOST and it was absolutely imperative that we bring that back under control. Frequently, women who are hypothyroid and become pregnant have to adjust their medication to keep the TSH levels in check, so we’re upping my dose (temporarily at least) by 0.25. I’ll pick up that prescription in a day or two and we’ll get it checked again in 6-8 weeks to see if the TSH levels are more ‘normal.’

To my readers: Please understand too that many doctors still see TSH levels of less than 5.0 as ‘normal,’ as even my lab does. However for pregnant women and those TTC, less than 2.5 is a more optimal range to work with. Endocrinologists have revised ‘normal’ ranges to mean anything below 3.0, but laboratories have yet to catch up. Anything above 3.0 is frequently a sign that something is amiss. By all means, look for yourselves and check out the various reputable endocrinology websites. For us, I firmly believe that this is one of the reasons that my husband and I had no success for so very long as a TSH that is too high can cause spontaneous early miscarriage (which was our problem… twice).
For those who are interested in my other bloodwork results, check out this post for Tests and Results.

I was very pleased to hear that neither my doctor nor the hospital I plan to go to has a policy of “standard” IVs for childbirth. WHEW, total relief! Obviously there would be a need for an IV if I have an epidural or if I am having a C-section, and even if I test positive for Group B strep; apparently the only way to get antibiotics to Petit fast enough would be through an IV at that point. *shudder* As I said to the nurse, I will do anything and everything in my power to avoid an IV. If push comes to shove (*snicker snicker*), then I am not ruling out an epidural or pain relief, but knowing how much I despise IVs, it’s gonna take a lot to get me to that point I think. We’ll see when the time comes, assuming I get that far.

One thing that is completely out of my control is a damn fibroid near my cervix. Fibroids aren’t usually anything to worry about in pregnancy unless they are near the cervix. Why? Because a fibroid of significant size could potentially block the baby’s descent into the birth canal and impede delivery thus making a C-section a necessity. The fibroid I have is about 2 cms, so as of yet, it’s nothing to worry about. If it grows too big, then we have a problem. This is something that will be monitored carefully as I get further along in this pregnancy.

And to add to the party, my cystic ovaries are joining in on the fun. Yet another cyst on my right ovary (stupid overachiever!) is giving me grief these days. It’s about 4x5 cms, which is the size of the cyst that I had removed three years ago in a laparoscopy, and it’s downright painful some days. Most of the time I don’t notice it, but once in awhile, OUCH! I’m sorta hoping that when Petit starts kicking that the cyst will be on the receiving end of a deadly blow! I hope so anyway! I dunno if that’s even possible, but I can dream, can’t I? There’s nothing that can be done about it right now so I just have to deal with it.

I’ve finished my estrace (estrogen pills) and the dreaded PIO. OMFG, I SURVIVED PIO! I never thought I would say that. When I looked at our sharps container, and how full it was of needles, syringes and all that stuff, it just amazes me that hubby and I were able to get through it. He hated giving me those injections every day and heavens knows, I hated getting them. But you know,you do what you have to do. Whatever it takes. And again, you deal with it. One day at a time. One injection at a time. For someone like me who’s deathly afraid of needles, at the commencement of this journey I thought, “Well, I’ll do a lot but I can’t do IVF because of all the needles!” and I figured that IVF would be my breaking point. But as we progressed, and with doing medicated IUIs, I managed to handle the sub-cutaneous injections. And then with IVF, sub-cue injects x3 per day! And then, well, you just substitute 3 sub-cue injections for 1 Intramuscular injection! Three vs. One… it isn’t impossible. Not easy, but certainly not impossible either. Yesterday, I bought our super-full sharps container to the doctor’s office and asked if they would please dispose of it for us. While it is a reminder of our past, our journey, our unfailing love and the heroic things we’ve both done to get this far, it’s also a constant reminder of the grief and pain of the last five years. Seeing it in our bedroom every day made me emotional. I needed to shed that and so I gratefully turned it over to the nurse. I’m happy to leave it behind.

My next OB appointment is April 9, which is the day after I return from Newfoundland and also the day after our first prenatal class as offered by the city. At that appointment I’ll be 20 weeks, and I’ll have an ultrasound first (morphology, where they check measurements, the sex, etc.) after which I have an appointment with the OB. We still don’t want to know whether Petit is a boy or a girl, but I’m listening to opinions about what people think on the topic and what they believe we’re having. I’ve got a running list going and it’s sure interesting to hear people’s reasoning behind their thoughts!

In other news…
We’ve received the bedroom furniture that we’d ordered for Petit’s room. I’ve yet to unpack it and make sure nothing is damaged. My original plan was to unpack it and put it together after I get back from a quick trip home next month; however, in the interest of NOT voiding the warranty, I expect I’ll have to unpack it sooner rather than later. And if I’m unpacking it, will I bother to put it together and tempt fate? I just don’t know. Setting up the furniture seems so… real, you know? I’m terrified to do that.

We’re also going to rearrange our bedroom this weekend to try to accommodate a bassinette. Yes, we’re jumping the gun a bit but it’s going to take time to adjust to sleeping on the opposite side of the room! In our bedroom, we have a king sized bed, two nightstands, two armoires (our closet is miniscule), and a four-drawer dresser with a TV and a shelf above that. We have space for the bassinette as it is right now, however it would have to be on hubby’s side of the bed. So either I switch sides (ugh… I could do that, but neither hubby nor I like sleeping on the other side of the bed; we tried it before) or we rearrange the bedroom.

The latter it is. Wish us luck.

Thinking of…
My thoughts are with Vee and Max (http://sweetvee.blogspot.com/) this week as they struggle with the latest news from Max’s oncologist. No one should be faced with the issues that they are right now and my heart aches for them both. I’m in the process of putting together a few little things to send to the Land Down Under for them; hopefully as a temporary distraction and at least it’ll be a parcel that they can dig into together! If perchance you would like to contribute or have ideas, get in touch with me and let me know. I continue to have all the faith in the world that Max WILL defy the odds and he will live to welcome his child into the world and help Vee raise their baby. Hang in there guys. I just know it will be okay and I pray for you every day.

7 comments:

Carrie said...

My husband found a hospital-grade doppler on Craig's List for $65. Considering you can rent them for like $45 a month, this was a steal so we bought it. If I wasn't still pregnant, I'd totally sell it to you but I'm not ready to let go of it yet... I love having it handy to listen to Baby K's heartbeat.

We've never had an issue finding his heartbeat so I never became neurotic about it, but I was afraid that I would. Then again... if you can't listen, you will have moments of freaking out anyway, so it can be stressful either way.

OHN said...

You are very right about the TSH values and SO MANY docs have not kept up. When my TSH got to 8.80 YES, 8.80, I told my doctor she was a moron and went to an endocrinologist. He was amazed I was even functioning. (I barely was!)

As for the doppler...had they been available many moons ago, I would have gotten one in a heartbeat (no pun intended :)

Patti said...

We rented a brand new doppler and the price was reasonable. http://www.dopplerstodiapers.com/

Mo and Will said...

Gil,

Glad to hear all of your updates! Congrats on getting to 15 weeks - wow!!! Things seem like they are progressing fast! Hope you can get your thyroid under control quickly and find an inexpensive doppler. I don't know anything about those, unfortunately, but I think i would want one too, for peace of mind!

Take care, and be well! I'll be checking back soon.

Mo

ultimatejourney said...

Glad all is going well!

It's funny, hubby and I ended up switching sides of the bed after Baby A was born because of the bassinette. I didn't even think about it beforehand -- I guess I was in *complete* denial about the whole baby thing :)

Neeroc said...

I have the Heart-to-Heart listening system (cheapie thing from BRU). Let me know if you want to borrow it. I will warn you, you can't hang on to the bit that goes on your belly, you have to use the strap, otherwise you just get interference, and it's caused a few of my friends to freak out. But I loved listening to V every day.

Nearlydawn said...

Just wanted to give you a head's up on the IV thing. As you may remember I suffer from severe needle problems too, and IVs are enough to make me break into a cold sweat.

One thing I did was work with my OB ahead of time so that there were standing orders in my hospital file that in the event of the need for an IV they were to use lidocane 1st.

I had my IV done and OMG did it make a difference! There was NO PAIN! I kid you not. There was the slighest whisper of a pinch from the hair-like needle to inject the lidocane, and that was it - no more pain at all.

So, if you think you even might need an IV, work with your OB ahead of time and possibly you can get it setup ahead of time. I found it made my stress level over the birth go way down.

Oh, and if they do an epidural they use the lidocane 1st on that shot, so you don't have to worry about the needle pain there...

Hope that helps!