Monday, February 28, 2005

My dorky emails to my RE

I decided that my RE misses me and my dorky emails filled with my warped humor, micro analysis on pretty much everything, not to mention my questions, questions, and more questions. It’s a given that I miss him. As I have previously stated, I would have stayed with him through delivery if I thought I could get away with it. My friend who also sees him was in last week and he asked about me and how I was doing since he hadn’t heard from me. I, of course, took this as a clear sign that he misses me so I sent him and email titled, “No questions, just a quick update”. He responded back within an hour or two (this was on Sunday afternoon/evening) asked me a few questions (about what genetic screening I was doing because I had told him that I was trying to decided whether to do amnio or not and kept changing my mind) and he even specifically said to keep in touch. I don’t know why this makes me so happy, but it does. When I last saw him and he said that some of his patients asked him questions all the way through their pregnancy. I thought he was just being nice. Now, I think he really does want to get periodic questions/updates and make sure everything is going well. That just makes me so happy!

Sunday, February 27, 2005

It happened…

My fear of walking the dogs and barfing on someone’s lawn as I pick up dog poop happened last night. I wasn’t even feeling nauseous and haven’t been getting sick very often, but I just caught a whiff of the smell and started gagging. It caught me by surprise. Oh well. I have to say the reality wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. I mean, it wasn’t the most pleasant thing in the world, but it could have been worse. Luckily, I hadn’t eaten in awhile so there wasn’t much in my stomach.

Also, when I said that nothing really has been going on in my last post, that may not have actually been the whole truth. After all, the hardwood floor that I had put in my master bedroom not more than 5 years ago buckled with all the rain/moisture in the air and needs to be completely replaced. One night when I was going to bed I saw a trail of ants climbing behind my headboard from my ceiling to my floor. Luckily, I had Ant/Roach spray in the house and that seemed to have taken care of that even if the smell of it did make me sick. And, my dog Lucky required a trip to the vet because of an abscess on her paw which requires 10 – 14 days of antibiotics and me to soak her paw in the iodine type solution twice a day. It’s funny, I guess the pregnancy hormones have caused a newer calmer me, where I can’t even bother to remember these things let alone get worked up about them.

My weekend was spent getting caught up on a little work, taking naps, and reading a book. My big adventure was going to the hair dressers yesterday. I didn’t have an appointment, but decided that I couldn’t stand my hair one more day so made a last minute call to see if there were any openings and how soon I could get in. I got lucky because she had just had a cancellation. She and her assistant asked me what my plans were for the weekend and I told them that my goal of the weekend was to water the plants in my house. I think they thought I may be joking, but I was dead serious. By the way, this goal was accomplished while talking on the phone yesterday.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

New OB is a keeper

I have been in hermit mode the last few days. Could you tell? Nothing really going on. Just tired. The house is still an incredible mess, but I haven’t cared enough to clean it. Just working, walking the dogs, and watching t.v. or reading a book. That pretty much fills the days. I haven't really even felt like talking on the phone much.

I had an appointment with my new OB today. Her style and smaller office setting is much more to my liking. I didn’t even have to beg for an u/s. I think it may be standard practice. I hope I get one every visit. The nurse is going to call me in a day or two about my referral to the Perinatologist and I will ask her if that was just for the first visit. I did get a bit worried because it was my first abdominal u/s and it looks a lot different from a vaginal one. She was looking and searching for quite a long time. Finally, I asked her if everything was okay and was she having trouble finding the baby. She gave me a smile and said that everything was fine and the baby looked great. She said she was looking for something small, the bridge to the nose, because we had talked a lot about genetic testing and amnio before the u/s. She measured the “head to rump” and said it was too big to do the nuchal translucency screening test. I think I was measuring 14w4d and you need to be under 13w6d. So, I will do triple screen test in 2 weeks and then decide on amnio.

One of the things I like best about Dr. P was her sense of humor. One of the first things she said to me with a big smile on her face was “So, my husband got you pregnant, huh?” I knew right then that this would work out. She asked if I would need a c-section because of the fibroid surgery as she glanced through my surgery report and then commented, “how nice that he hand wrote in, just for me, that the cavity wasn’t entered” so I didn’t have to read too hard. When I told her that I got pregnant on an IVF cycle that got cancelled and converted to IUI, she said, I think I remember that because it doesn’t happen too often.

All in all, it was a good visit. I am happy with the choice and plan to keep my next appointment with her. I must remember to cancel my one with Dr. G.

On the job front, I was up on the middle of the night worrying about work. I don’t do that very often, but we are getting ready for an organizational change. My boss is going to play a dual role in the new structure. It gets somewhat complicated, but the role that I think they had in mind for me, I told my boss straight out that I didn’t want as it stands. In my opinion, it is a 2 – 3 person job and would have anywhere from 70 – 150 direct reports with direct day to day delivery responsibility for a lot of projects. I gave a few different scenarios (maybe 5) for how I thought it could work out better. I didn’t want the whole pie, but I do want a slice and not a small slice either. I was up worrying about that and pondering if I wasn’t pregnant, would I feel differently. I came to the conclusion that pregnant or not, I would not be happy in the that position as it stood. I was still really worried that I might have shot myself in the foot and maybe I should have just taken it. It would be a lot of work and even more stress. However, this post was interrupted by a call from one of the leaders making the decision and it looks like they are going with my second favorite approach which is splitting the job in two where I would co-lead with another person. My favorite approach was to split the role in two with one person having the people care responsibility and me having the delivery responsibility. I can live happily with the second approach.

All is well here. Off to enjoy the clear skies and walk the dogs and then to be a couch potato.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Virtual Friends

There are two women that I met through the SMC-TTC list during my first few cycles who were my “cycle buddies” with whom I really bonded. One got pregnant on her first IUI with twins on the same cycle that I got pregnant and miscarried. When I finally joined the SMC-Preg list a few weeks ago, we ran into each other again and caught back up. While she had it easy conceiving, the pregnancy seems to have been a difficult one for her and she is now off work and on bed rest for the duration of her pregnancy. While it was great to touch base and the bond was still there, it was bitter sweet to be reminded how close to my due date I would be now, if only. She is living in Spain and is from England.

Another one, was put on hold because of an active infection. By the time she was given the go ahead to try again, an ex was back in her life and she was going to see where that led. Recently, that relationship ended again and rather abruptly by the sounds of it. She is rethinking the decision to move forward with donor insemination and can’t really afford adoption right now. As she struggles with this decision, she asked me how I came to it and became comfortable with it. I thought I would share with you what I shared with her. She lives in Vancouver, Canada.

I always knew that I wanted to be a mom. I must have also had some premonition that I would be going solo. I remember very vividly telling people in my 20's that I was going to have a child by myself when I was 30 "if I wasn't in a serious relationship" don't think it was an accident. 30 came and went and I wasn't ready. I struggled for years with the decision going back and forth and weighing the pro's and the con's and not getting anywhere. I asked myself what would be the deciding factor and couldn't come up with it. Finally, what did it for me was the realization that if I didn't at least try...I knew it would be something I would regret for the rest of my life. The option to try is time constrained. I could always meet a mate or love later, but I could not always have a child. I started putting the beginning blocks in place when I was 37 when the other reality set in that I did not know anyone that I currently wanted to marry. Even if I met him right then, it would be a year or two before I would feel comfortable marrying, etc. When I started doing the math, I realized that I had to let go of the whole dream and go for the child. I decided that I wanted a child more. Bottom line, I just knew for me that if I did not try, it would be the biggest regret of my life.

It’s funny how these two women, these “friends” that I have never met except through email, have touched me and continue to touch me. Its funny these bonds that form and the people that you connect with as you go through this journey. We all three are in different countries and have had different struggles and yet, we would never have “met” if it weren’t for attempting to become a single mom at the same time over a year ago.

Friday, February 18, 2005

1/3 down, 2/3 to go

Yesterday, I hit a major milestone. Not only did I hit the 13 week mark, I also moved into the SECOND trimester. Can you believe that? I am 1/3 of the way through this journey. Every day, I start to believe more and more that this could have a good outcome. I am starting to feel good about it. All of the baby’s major organs are developed. If I had an u/s, we should be able to determine the gender. If anything bad were to happen at this point, more than likely, it would not be genetic. No spotting for a week now. I have gained a few pounds in the last few days, more likely the result of too much birthday celebration and no vomiting for two weeks than a growing baby. Everything seems to be settling in and going well at the moment (knock on wood)! I can’t wait until I can feel the baby move, but that is awhile off yet. I am hoping for a nice boring, uneventful second trimester. May the remaining 2/3 of the journey go by as fast as the first 1/3 did, but with much less stress and anxity.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

It is official. Changing OB’s.

Since my first OB appointment last week, I have been researching options on a new OB and/or midwife. What I found out is that my insurance doesn’t cover midwives and in my area, there are only one or two hospitals where midwives are allowed to deliver. Even my acupuncturist, who is totally into the natural approach, didn’t recommend me using a midwife. Midwife option is out.

I took advantage of my health insurance web page to do a comparison of 7 different hospitals in the area. I compared the following categories:

1) Vaginal Delivery
2) Cesarean Delivery
3) Pregnancy Complications
4) Normal Baby Delivery
5) Infant Premature
6) Infant Premature/Major Problems
7) Infant Full Term/Major Problems

The hospital where my current OB delivers highest ranking was 3 and that was for Cesarean. Hmm. Interesting that C-Section was the first thing Dr. G talked to me about. Don’t you think? It rated 5th for Infant Premature/Major Problems; 6th for Vaginal Delivery; and 7th for everything else.

I decided that I wanted to delivery at Huntington Memorial Hospital in Pasadena which ranked either 1 or 2 in every single category. Yes, it is further from my house by about 25 miles than the other hospital, but it clearly has one of the best records/results around. In addition, it has a Level 4 NICU, which is the highest level, and received above average or average ratings on patent satisfaction surveys.

I talked to a few local SMC’s about their OB and got a few recommendations. I sent an email to my RE and got a few more recommendations. And, I made a final decision today. I am going to Dr. P and have an appointment set for next Thursday. I feel really good about this decision. Did I happen to mention that Dr. P is married to Dr. N, my RE? I hear that she has all of the requirements that I am looking for in an OB.

In addition to being a skilled and knowledgeable OB dr.:
1) can deal with a paranoid, neurotic, and/or obsessive patient without making them feel more paranoid, neurotic, and/or obsessive
2) can deal with a patient who wants to ask a question or two or a lot more without feeling like their skills and knowledge is being questioned
3) has an u/s machine in their office to appease the paranoid, neurotic, and/or obsessive patient when needed

Some other “nice to have” features would be a doctor who meets you for the first time with your clothes on and responds to emails.

The added bonus is that she takes my HMO insurance. I was willing to go out of network and pay the 20% co-insurance, but turn out this wasn’t necessary.

I called my insurance company and changed medical groups and primary care physicians effective March 1st. I had been told that since I had already seen one OB that to change I would have to petition a change with medical management. However, the member service rep went ahead and allowed me to make the change since I had only had one appointment so far. We agreed that I just would not use the referral to the specialist when they came in the mail and wait for my new OB to refer me out.

Now, I just need to get the latest copy of the lab results before next week and I will be all set. I called Dr. G’s office today to find out if the results were in and to try to get a copy. Dr. G called me back himself and said everything was fine and normal. I asked how I could get a copy of the results, and was told I just need to stop by the office to get a copy. I was hoping they could just fax it to me, but I guess that would make it too easy. I felt a little guilty because he asked when he was seeing me again and if I had gotten the referral information, which I hadn’t. He was going to have his nurse follow up. If he remembered anything at all about me, he should have remembered that I regularly get copies of all of my medical records. Remember the file he didn’t really even look at?

I only felt a little guilty. Mostly, I felt relief.

I am very happy with my decision and am looking forward to my appointment with Dr. P next week. As odd as it sounds, I like the idea that Dr. N helped created my child and Dr. P, his wife, will help bring it into this world. It just brings a smile to my face when I think about it. While I haven't yet met Dr. P yet, I just have a really good feeling about this.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Today’s My Birthday

Today’s my birthday…na na na na na! My 39th birthday…na na na na na!

The one thing I can say about today is that I am so glad that I am pregnant for my birthday. In my ideal plan, the one I had in the beginning when I still thought I had some semblance of control over this process, I was delivering a child this month. Exactly one month from today is my due date of the baby I miscarried this summer. I am not where I thought I would be a year ago today, but I am at least happy that I am on that path. I truly hope that in a year from now, I have a healthy happy 5 month old and am beginning to think about going for two. Time will tell what the future holds, but that is my birthday wish.

Monday, February 14, 2005

The best of intentions of friends

A friend called the other day to see how my pregnancy was going. I hadn’t talked with her in a few weeks and I told her that I had started spotting again last week, but had an ultrasound that confirmed everything was going well. Before I could get another word in, she started giving me a lecture about how I needed to take it easier and that I should go on complete bed rest, after all, I have tried to hard to get to this point. When I got a chance, I explained that I had seen 2 doctors this week, nether of which suggested that bed rest would do any good. And, since I had tried very hard to get to this point, I would not do ANYTHING that I thought would jeopardize the pregnancy. She still started laying into me about this and was going on and on, like I was irresponsible or something. Finally, I ended up getting a little short with her. I’m still a bit irritated days later. I know that she had the best of intentions and that she was just concerned for me, but I wonder how she felt this was supportive?

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Good Ole Mom

I have to say that as unhelpful as my mom was after my fibroid surgery, she really has been helpful so far during the pregnancy. After Julie's birthday lunch, she cleaned my kitchen for me while I lay on the couch watching her, t.v., and falling asleep. I had made this Zitti Bake for the SMC meeting and had just left all of the dishes in the sink or on the stove. She cleaned it all up for me. That was a really nice treat. When I mentioned I was going to go to bed and try to take a nap, she went home. It is kind of amazing. I really appreciate it and told her so. She said that even though it has been a long time she still remembers how tired she was when she was pregnant. Wow, this pregnant thing isn’t half bad sometimes.

I talked to her after the memorial and told her about my sister Julie’s call telling me I should cancel my plans and go and that I was sorry if she felt unsupported. She said, no that she was fine with it. She hadn’t known that Julie had called. And, she knew that I had these plans for awhile because I kept telling everyone I couldn’t do Julie’s B-Day lunch on the 12th because I had plans. The little guilt I had is now gone. She had both my sisters AND my brother in law there plus some other good friends of the family.

My sisters Birthday lunch was good. Everyone was on there best behavior.

Other than that, I have been mostly lazy today. I was on the computer a bit this morning and then just laid around. I have just been really tired today. I have been watching my sugar and haven’t had much at all. I think I had too much at the SMC meeting yesterday and was just wired, not falling asleep until almost 11 pm last night. This is late for me. It was a good reminder of why I have been staying away. Maybe that is why I am so tired today. In spite of it all and the fact that I woke up feeling like I was bloated and retaining water, my weight remained steady. Yes, in fact, I do check my weight almost each and every day first thing in the morning.

I just got back from walking the dogs and was hoping that would get me going. It didn’t really so I think I will go back to bed and catch up on some serious t.v. watching. I am still feeling full from lunch, although I didn’t eat that much, so I am likely skipping dinner tonight. Maybe I will get hungry in a bit.

I wish I had another day off from work so I could have a whole day to just do nothing. Wouldn’t that be nice?

Saturday, February 12, 2005

The pointless, multi-topic post

Usually, when I sit down to write a blog, I have a topic or theme in mind. Usually, it is something I have been thinking about and the blog may be mostly written in my mind and I just need to get it onto paper. If fact, often, I write blogs in my head that never make it to paper and therefore never get posted. Today, I have a lot of random, unrelated thought so I decided I am just going to type and we will see what comes out of it.

First off, the spotting finally stopped. Hallelujah!! It got more constant as Wednesday went on and was heavier and steady all day Thursday. Needless to say, I did NOT like that at all. Instead of mentally composing blogs, I mentally composed several emails to my RE on this topic with questions such as how heavy and how long does this have to last for me to get more worried and seek medical attention. These emails never got to paper or sent. Friday, the spotting started letting up. Today, none. What a relief!! Life is better and I am much happier without the spotting. Even my OB appointment this week didn’t seem quite so bad once I had stopped spotting. As I have said before, give me the nausea; give me the vomiting and the fatigue. I will take it all. I just don’t like the spotting.

I was talking to my sister Cindy in Atlanta this morning. Being as supportive as only a sister can, she said it was great that I was able to have an u/s this week at 12 w because, you know, anything can really happen until that point. THANK YOU!! I think she must forget or not realize how paranoid I already am. I don’t need any reminders. However, she had a good point on the spotting. She told me I should keep track of when it occurred and how long to see if it corresponded to when I would have gotten a period. As she put it, you have always had strong hormones. This is sister speak for you were always a raving B*I*T*C*H and made our lives hell. I have always felt my sisters overstated this, but then again, I didn’t have to live with me. Anyway, I haven’t had a chance to go back and calculate yet, but I think she may have a point. Not that I won’t still panic and freak out if it happens again (or if she is right, when it happens again), but it will give me more questions to ask my dr. when I find one who has time for me or Dr. N.

I went to a local SMC meeting today. I had such a great time. It is such a wonderful group of women. We had two new members this month. One was a woman that is foster adopting who had an adorable little girl and finds out in 6 weeks if she will get to keep her. I sure hope it works out for her. The other is a tryer who also goes to Dr. N. It turns out that she and I ran into each other on the day I found out I was pregnant, before I found out I was pregnant. Remember, I had the beta and my what’s next consult with Dr. N, then I needed to wait for the tank to go move my sperm from the sperm bank to the clinic? She was the person who had reserved the tank for the morning. I was waiting in the lobby when she brought in the tank and exclaimed, your back early. I have it reserved next or some other such comment. Isn’t it a funny, small world sometimes?

My mom’s boyfriend died. They have dated for years, but haven’t seen much of each other lately because he hasn’t been feeling well for awhile. He had called her a week or so ago and left a message saying it is important and to call him back as soon as she could. She called and called, but never reached him. She called the local hospitals, but he wasn’t there. It turns out he was in a comma in UCLA. We just found this out yesterday and the memorial service was today at the same time as the local SMC meeting. I told them I couldn’t go because I had a prior commitment at the same time. My sister called and left me a scathing message this morning about how I should cancel my appointment and go to the service so I could be there for mom. This is sister speak for you are such a selfish B*I*T*C*H and if I have to do this, you should as well. I haven’t called her back. I did feel slightly guilty for a few minutes, but 1) I was not that close to Russ 2) my mom has both my sister Julie and my sister Kris there for support. If she really needed someone, I would have gone. However, I started wondering if maybe Kris couldn’t go because of work and Julie had to go with Mom by herself. I would not be surprised. We are finally having Julie’s Birthday lunch tomorrow. I am sure I will hear all about it and how awful I am then. I can’t wait. Regardless, I am glad I made the choice that I did. It probably is selfish of me, but I don’t care. Mostly.

I thought I had lost another pound on Friday, but it was back today. I am holding steady at down 5 – 6 lbs since the beginning of my IVF cycle. Dr. N said losing weight in the first tri wasn’t a problem, but he would be worried if I didn’t start gaining in the second. Dr. G didn’t seem to care one way or another. We will see what the next few months hold. I guess I am not too worried because at my u/s on Tuesday, I was 11w5d and the baby measured 12w6d almost a week ahead. I don’t want Dr. G to be right and have such a big baby that I have to have a c-section. But, not to worry. I am not dieting by any stretch of the imagination. I am eating on a regular basis. I am still having difficulty with the veggies and protein, but am less nauseous at the thought of them so maybe I will be able to work them back into my diet soon.

I have decided that Wednesday, the day I met with my OB, was the start of the emotional phase of my pregnancy. I have been near tears a few times since over silly stuff. The other day I was listening to the radio and got tear eyed at this song that wasn’t even particularly sad. Today, on the way to the SMC meeting, there was a sign on the freeway saying that there was an accident on the 405S at Mullholland and that the 2 right lanes were closed. When I read that, I got all sad and teary eyed thinking that it must be a bad accident for them to post it and for 2 lanes to be closed and that I hoped no one was seriously hurt. I had to laugh at myself.

I really am starting to get excited and think that this might work out. I decided that when I see Dr. G next month I am going to ask him if I can get referred out for monthly u/s. And, as I search for a new one, I am going to find someone who will agree to that. I read a post from someone on the SMC Pregnancy list that she had an u/s and that it had been 12 weeks since her last one. God, I hope I don’t have to go that long. I really don’t think I can take it. I have decided that there is no use trying to be otherwise. I am just going to be a high maintenance pregnant patient and I need to find a dr. that is willing to accept that with good humor. This is LA. Come on, there are plenty of dr.’s around. I just have to find the right one. I could temper and try to restrain myself, but I don’t think that is going to make me happy.

I wish I had no more plans for the weekend and could just hang out and relax for the duration. Oh well. At least I have no plans for the rest of the day. I think I will go walk the dogs and then plant myself on the couch for the duration.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

1st OB Appointment

I had my first OB Appointment yesterday. Maybe the best way to tell the tale is to start from the end and work backwards. I am up at 3 am thinking about all the things I didn’t like about it and having trouble coming up with one thing I did like. I ended the day sitting in a warm bath crying over it. And, I am not much of a crier. Flash back to yesterday when I couldn’t stop smiling when I got to go back to my old RE clinic, even knowing that he could be telling me I had a dead baby. If I had to have that news, I would rather it came from him. I was so excited after the appointment, I couldn’t sleep Tuesday night. It was just so awesome to see the baby that actually looked like a baby moving all around. I forgot to mention yesterday when we first saw the baby he was sucking his thumb and I got to see the ears too. Did I mention that Dr. N said that the brain looked normal? Everything looked normal? Dr. N knows how worried I have been. After the exam, when he looked at me with that smile of his and said, “This is real. You are going to have a baby”. I FINALLY got excited. I’m at 12 weeks now. Something bad can still happen. I know this. However, every day the odds keep going up that I could actually get a baby out of this. This could actually work. I am starting to believe that.

Anyway, I digress. My OB appointment wasn’t horrible. It just wasn’t great. The best way of putting it is that Dr. G’s practice is probably not a good fit/match for me. The more I think about it the more the word “hate” comes to mind, but that is really too harsh for the experience.

As I lay awake overanalyzing everything as is my nature and style, I realized there were really two fundamental things that bothered me and everything else steams from there.

The first is that I never had an opportunity to talk to the Dr. with my clothes on. In talking to several people since the appointment, I guess maybe this is somewhat common and some people are surprised that I am even bothered by this. But, I am. I think it shows lack of respect for the patient/women as an individual. On top of that, who can think when they are naked or half naked and have an intelligent conversation? Not me. I think it is demeaning and rude. My preference is to meet with Dr. first with my clothes on before having an exam, especially if we have never met before. I am also okay with having the exam and having the Dr. say to get dressed and meet in his office to discuss questions. As it was, I had to tell the Dr. that I had some questions and if he had time or could we schedule some time to go through them since I knew he was running behind. He said now was fine and I had to hop off the exam table with my ass hanging out to get them. Granted, he had already answered quite a few, but I only had the heart to ask a few more and then just let everything else go for now. I am a questions person. I usually have lots of them. I like information and knowing. Remember, I purchased 2 OBGYN Text books. I need a Dr. that I can ask questions to either by phone, by email, or in person WHEN I HAVE MY CLOTHES ON. I didn’t realize today how much I took that for granted and that it was important to me.

The second is that one of the first things he said to me was he thought I may need a C-Section. Now, I really haven’t given the actual birth too much thought at this point. I’m still working on the fact that I am still pregnant and may actually get to that point. I HAVE been talking to a friend of mine (who happens to be a Dr. and works in a NICU who attends lots and lots of births) about it. She wants a natural birth with no drugs if possible, etc. and has been explaining why. In fact, she got 2 books on natural pregnancy and natural birth that I want to buy and read. In general, I don’t share her passion for the no drug/ natural thing that she has, but I am pretty ignorant on the subject at this point. I need to think about it and research it. I’m not opposed to drugs or a C-Section if needed or warranted. However, I didn’t really like that this is one of the first things Dr. G said to me. He did have his reasons, but I am just not sure how valid they are.

I have my medical file from my old OBGYN that I have been adding to over the last few years that I brought in along with my film from my pre-pregnancy kidney u/s and the old one of my fibroids (which I figured could just be thrown out, but brought just in case). The only thing he was interested in and asked me about was my fibroid surgery. He asked me not one question about my medical history, my past history, the treatments I had with Dr. N, how I was feeling, or how the pregnancy had been going so far. The only thing he wanted from my file was the fibroid surgery report which clearly states that the uterine cavity was not entered. He saw that I had 4 fibroids removed and made the assumption that I had 4 incisions. This was his main reason why I would need a C-Section. I explained that I was pretty sure that Dr. N only had to make 2 incisions because 3 of the fibroids were all together. He said, “well, he had to scrape 4 of them out”. I let it go. I have read the surgery report several times in detail and he just glanced through it for a minute or two. Hey, I am not a doctor. It’s just my body. What would I know?

Another reason he had for my having a C-Section was advanced maternal age. These are my words. As he put it, I am older and not going to be having tons of children at this point and as you get older there can be more problems with a delivery. A C-Section is safer and more controlled. Yes, I may not be having 8 kids at this point, but I would at least like to have 2 if possible. Okay, I’ll start with one, hope I get that far, and see how it goes from there, but I felt like an assumption was made that this was my one and only shot at this. Maybe it is, but how do we know that now?

The last reason he had for me to have a C-Section was the size of the child. He is making the assumption that I am going to have a big baby. Statistically speaking, he could be right on this. Typically, overweight women or women who gain a lot of weight in the first trimester are at increased risk of a large baby. I have read this in my OB book and I think it may also be referenced in the What to Expect book. The odds really increase if I end up with gestational diabetes. I have actually lost 6 lbs. in the first trimester. Of course, he didn’t know this because he never asked. When I told him, he looked at me like why are you telling me this and just said, well, we will see how it goes.

I am referred out to a specialist to go through a Level 2 U/S and to talk about genetic testing and to “either have or not have amniocentesis”. And, I am to see him again in about a month.

He did see blood when he did the physical exam. Yes, I am still spotting; in fact, it is a bit more frequent than yesterday. This is disconcerting to me. I asked him for the cause and he said not to worry since the u/s yesterday looked good. Of course, he didn’t look at my past u/s’ pictures, he just took my word for it. He agreed with Dr. N that at 12 weeks progesterone supplements are not needed because the baby/placenta has taken over. No explanation given. I think they don’t know. Easy for them to dismiss it. Not so easy for me.

He did take a little hand held monitor like the one I rented. Again, he had trouble getting the heartbeat. He said that he was able to detect it and got a reading of 154. I mentioned as he was searching that Dr. N wasn’t able to get the heartbeat that way yesterday and we ended up having to do it vaginally. I think he was determined to one up Dr. N because he searched and searched around to try and get it so I could hear it. If I hadn’t actually seen the heartbeat the day before, I would have appreciated the effort more and been worried that he had such trouble. I wanted to ask if it was a problem that the heartbeat was 178 at my 9w u/s, 159 yesterday, and only 154 today which is showing a downward trend, which of course, he didn’t know because he never looked. I figured he would just tell me it was in range so I didn’t even ask. I let it go and will just email Dr. N and ask him. Probably, it is nothing and fine, but I need to know. I need to be able to ask.

I didn’t like the fact that they didn’t even look at any of the testing that had already been done. Did he even notice that I am RH -? I am being retested for HIV, Gonorrhea, Syphilis, Rubella, etc. so it can be “their” panel in “their” format from “their” lab, which happens to be the same lab that most of these tests were done. I just let it go since it was $0 out of pocket to me.

I also didn’t like the fact that I had to wait for an hour and a half before I was even brought back. I had t o pee twice and got so hungry that I went down to the pharmacy and got some milk and cookies to hold me over. Don’t they know that pregnant women need regular feedings?

Dr. G comes highly recommended from multiple sources including my RE who I adore (in case you haven’t figured that out yet) and a lady I was talking to in the waiting room that has been seeing him for 10 years, who incidentally had a 10:30 appointment and was seen before me when mine was 10:15. Did you notice I had a handful of dislikes and no likes? I have tried. I can’t think of one thing I actually like (as opposed to being either neutral or disliking). I am not sure if it was just an off day or not, but I think I need to look around for another OB. I’ll keep my referral to the specialist and my next appointment. In the mean time, I am going to look around and maybe talk to another dr. or two. I am thinking about going outside of my HMO benefit and use my PPO benefits. I think it will be worth the extra money to get the care I think I deserve and someone who sees me as a person who is going through their first pregnancy after much effort to get to this point. Maybe my standards are too high? Maybe I am too high maintenance? I just think maybe I can do better.

Dr. G may be a great Dr. and nothing he said was without merit. I think maybe it is just not a good fit for me. I shouldn’t be sitting in my bathtub crying after an appointment.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

All is well!

I called my OB office first thing this morning. I had to leave a message with the appointment desk. She said that she would leave a message for the dr. and he would decide what to do and call me back. I got a call back from the nurse (or maybe it was nurse practitioner) and explained the situation. She said that the exam tomorrow wouldn’t be sufficient and they couldn’t refer me out yet because I wasn’t technically a patient yet. She asked if I could go see my RE one last time or go to the hospital, but recommended my RE since I had a history there. I, of course, jumped at that chance to see my RE again and was able to get an appointment this afternoon.

All is well!! The size and heartbeat are great! The baby was so much bigger. Dr. N said maybe I was going to have a scientist. I said, “why, because she has a big head?” He laughed and said yes. Then, he changed is mind and said maybe he is a gymnast. The baby sure was flopping around and moving a lot. First, Dr. N tried an abdominal u/s, but he couldn’t get a clear picture so we switched to vaginal. Much better and clearer. It actually looked like a baby with a head, arms, hands, legs, feet and everything. Dr. N said the spine looked good and could see all 4 chambers of the heart. It was very cool. We had one quick full body crotch shot, but Dr. N said to early to tell the sex.

I was so happy to be going back to my RE office I couldn’t stop smiling on the way in. Everyone there was happy to see me too! As worried as I was, I just couldn’t prepare my self for bad news. I also figured that if the baby was dead, I was glad that it would be Dr. N instead of some strange dr. or a lab tech telling me. I warned Dr. N before we got started that I wasn’t prepared for bad news today. He said, he really thought it would be fine.

What caused the spotting? It could have been the blood clot. Although Dr. N said that it was almost gone and he would be surprised if it caused any more bleeding. It could have been low progesterone after going off the suppositories. Although, he didn’t think it was even worthwhile to test. It could have been a combination of the two. He did a quick check of the cervix to make sure there wasn’t something there causing it. Nope. So, it is a mystery, but it all ended well since I got a nice long look at my baby.

I also felt much better about not being able to get a heartbeat on the fetal heart monitor I rented because it took Dr. N a good 5+ minutes to be able to measure the heartbeat doing a vaginal u/s because the baby kept moving. He would just get it settled and the baby would move out of range. I think he started getting a little frustrated and apologized for it taking so long. I said “Are you kidding, more time to observe my baby in action? Don’t worry, take as long as you like”. LOL.

Dr. N said that every thing looked great and it was real. I was going to get a live baby out of this.

I am tired and thirsty and I have a headache, but all is well. I got to see my baby today and s/he looked great!

Monday, February 07, 2005

Freaking out …

I guess when you go though this process long enough, you become obsessive about certain things, like checking the toilet paper for blood when you wipe. I haven’t had any spotting since days before my last appointment with my RE. Last spotting was 3 weeks and 1 day ago, but who’s counting. Now, when just using the toilet, I saw clear signs of blood. I am just so freaked out. I immediately put in a progesterone suppository. Nothing like self medicating. I know this doesn’t necessarily mean the end has already happened or is eminent. However, I am so freaked out and worried. There is not enough bleeding to call my new dr. now. Why can’t I ever have a crisis during normal business hours? However, I will be calling first thing in the morning. I hate this. I really do. I was so tired all weekend. Today, I almost fell asleep at my desk a few times. Now, I am worried that was just my body killing off my baby. God, I hope not. The rational side of me knows that when you loose a baby this late it is likely some major chromosomal issue or deformity. The irrational side doesn’t care and just wants everything to work out this time. I want a real live baby at the end of this, not just getting pregnant. I’m going to go lay on the couch; try not to be too emotional and ball my eyes out; and pray. I’m so worried.

A Wild Weekend!

I have never been much of a caffeine person. I never learned to like coffee and if I drank tea it was usually decaf. I did have an occasional soda, but it just wasn’t something I HAD to have. I gave caffeine completely up sometime in the last year with no problems or really even second thoughts. It is not something I missed. I was just sleeping so badly at the time that it just wasn’t worth it. I pretty much cut out caffeine, sugar, and anything else that I thought may make a difference and help me sleep better and never looked back.

Today, today, I would really like caffeine. Today, all of a sudden, I miss it and want it. It is only early morning and I am dragging. Where is my endorphin high from my morning hike today?

This need for caffeine is probably a residual affect of living the high life this weekend. Friday night I pretty much did nothing, except walk the dogs of course, and talked on the phone with a few friends. I got off the phone just in time to puke. Then, I crawled in bed and was asleep by 9 pm.

The highlight of Saturday was a late breakfast with a friend and a little bit of shopping. I was home around 11:30 am and lounged around the rest of the day reading a book. I was asleep by 7:30 pm and other than a few quick trips to the restroom slept through until 5:30 am and then dozed until 6:30 am before dragging myself out of bed.

Sunday was pretty much a repeat of Saturday. I did force myself to get some work done on Sunday morning that had to be done before a new work week started. In fact, I had actually turned on my computer and tried to motivate myself to get it done on Saturday afternoon, but after sitting in front of the computer for a few minutes making no progress I just shut the computer off and went back to the couch. I was supposed to go to a movie and dinner with a friend, but she was running behind and didn’t think she would be available until 7 – 7:30 pm. I knew that I would never make it that late so we rescheduled. Instead, I was a couch potato and watched the Super Bowl. I must have fallen asleep before 7:30 pm again since a friend called around that time and I never even heard the phone ring.

As you can see, I had a wild weekend and was living the high life. Clearly, that is why I feel a driving need for caffeine this morning. I am settling for a caffeine free diet soda. We will see if that does the trick.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Fetal Heart Monitor Update

I read the instruction manual and listened to the CD which gave examples of heartbeat sounds at various stages of pregnancy starting from 10w and maternal sounds to help distinguish the difference. Feeling more prepared, I gave the fetal heart monitor a try. I never detected the heartbeat. I gave up after about 5 – 10 min. Afterwards, I stared having some pretty intense cramping in the area I had scanned with the monitor. My fibroid scar is also a bit itchy now. While it is supposed to be 100% safe and “just like the machines your doctors use”, I am rethinking this whole idea and strongly thinking about sending it back. Some of the fine print instructions (which were not advertised on the web page) indicated that only some women can detect the heartbeat at 10w and for others it is several weeks beyond that. Those women who are very slender (NOT ME) are much more likely to be able to detect the heartbeat earlier. Those who are heavier and have lots of padding (ME) are less likely to be able to detect the heartbeat for several more weeks. My current line of thought is that I will likely be able to hear the heartbeat about the same time I can feel the baby move. It isn’t going to be worth the extra worry. I guess Dr. N is probably right that it would just be a waste of money. Maybe I will give it one more try in a few days. More than likely, it will be going back well before the 14 day trial period is over. Like many things in life, you live and you learn.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Today’s Highs and Lows

I haven’t posted in a few days because not much has been going on as I wait patiently and sometimes not so patiently for my first OB appointment. However, I thought I would review a few highs and a few lows of the day.

Low: First OB appointment is NOT today, but next week instead.

High: My boss’s 2 hour staff meeting got cancelled. Instead of using the time to be a productive employee and catch up on work, I called a friend who is in her first 2ww and we went to lunch.

High: Right before lunch, my fetal heart monitor arrived.

Low: I took it to the restaurant with me and my friend who is a pediatrician and works in a NICU tested out the monitor on her wrist and arm and it was difficult to get the beat on the monitor. We both agreed that the baby's beat will be much harder to detect; that this may not be as easy as it looked; and it may not be a good idea because it may be more stressful instead of less stressful. We had a better understanding of my doctor had the following to say about fetal heart monitors:

As far as the home monitors, I think they are a big waste of your money. None of the ones available to the lay public are very good. What I've found is that most of my patients who buy them end up visiting their doctor in a panic because they can't hear the heart beat only to find out everything is OK. A much better indicator of fetal well being is monitoring the number of times the baby moves per day (at least 10). You should be able to start feeling the baby move between 15 to 20 weeks.

Low: Getting back from lunch and deciding that I am not feeling very good and that I was going to go lay down. Make it to the bed before deciding that I am going to be sick and only making it 2 steps, thus vomiting all over my bedroom floor.

Low: Trying to clean up the mess when my mom walks in. She offers to help and tries, but visible remains are still present so I must go behind her and redo.

High: My mom felt so sorry for me she went to the store and bought dog food, which I desperately needed.

High: My mom end up going out to dinner with my sister instead of me so I got a break and was able to walk the dogs early and still (barely) have enough energy to write this post.

Low: I decided I am too tired to fully read the new fetal heart monitor instruction and watch the instructional DVD tonight. So, I will save that for another day.

High: I had a nice talk with one of my neighbors on my way back from walking my dogs. She was one of the few who knew about my ttc efforts and ask how things were going. She was thrilled to hear the news and how far along I was. Both of her sisters suffered from infertility and ended up adopting. She never talked about herself in this regard (and I never asked), but she and her husband are childless and she had a full hysterectomy which was caused by a burst fibroid (I think) right about the time I had my miscarriage this summer. She is great and really “gets it”. She was so supportive and offered her assistance if I needed any help. It is so great to have such caring neighbors.

High: I am feeling better AND I have no commitments or responsibilities for the rest of the night so I can just go lay on the couch or in bed and veg. out.

There you have it. My day. The good, the bad, and the ugly.