I’m Pregnant!

Oh, yes.  You read that right.  I’m pregnant.  Again.  We were just as shocked as you.  Sure, we know how babies are made.  We went 12 years successfully preventing or making pregnancy happen.  We were happy and done at two.  I sold all of our baby stuff.  I sold my maternity clothes.  I looked toward the future as a happy family of four and all that was in store for us.  And then came a huge surprise!  I couldn’t tell you exactly when it happened because I’m not really sure, but happened it did.

Asher was successfully supplementing breast milk with formula, so around 10.5 I decided to wean him before I went on a weekend girls’ cruise.  I didn’t want to mess with pumping or uncomfortably full boobs on the trip.  After the cruise (and maybe before) I noticed that my clothes were getting more snug.  I assumed it was because of holiday, as well as cruise, gluttony and the fact that I stopped nursing but didn’t stop consuming massive amounts of calories.  And I was not working out regularly.  So I cut back on my diet and started making the gym part of my routine and the weirdest thing happened:  I continued to gain weight.  And a substantial amount.  I was back in my postpartum clothes and not fitting into my regular pants.  My stomach was bloated, and I was gaining an average of a pound or two a week.  Crazy!

So I thought I would just take a pregnancy test to rule it out, and to my shock, the test was very, very positive.  It wasn’t one of those faint, maybe I see two lines.  Two lines were very clearly present.  I couldn’t believe it.  And so I chose to be in denial for a couple of weeks.  I didn’t call the doctor immediately.  Trav’s parents were visiting for Asher’s birthday, so I wanted to wait until they had gone back home.  But eventually I made the phone call and had my pregnancy confirmed.  Because of a past miscarriage, they wanted to check my hCG levels to make sure they were doubling at a normal rate.  When the nurse called me with the results, she told me that my numbers didn’t double, but that they were higher than would be expected at this stage in the pregnancy, so they were going to have me come in that week for an ultrasound.  We were guessing I was probably 4 weeks at that point, (because I had what I now know was spotting in early February), but my ultrasound showed that I was measuring at 8 weeks.

So my due date is October 15th.  And though this all started out as a shocker, we are more than ecstatic to grow our family by one more blessing.

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First Appointment

I better get this down now before it’s all a fuzzy haze in my memory.  Plus, our third appointment is tomorrow!

Appointment 1  November 9, 2012

Our first appointment was on a Friday morning.  After filling out even more paperwork, (They had given me a manila envelope to take home and complete on my first visit, but when I got there, there was yet another packet to complete.) and waiting about 20 minutes for my name to be called, we were led into a small, dark room with a flat screen TV hanging on the wall across from the exam table.  I was instructed to unbutton and pull my pants down just below my hips.  The nurse squirted some jelly onto my belly, and there was my uterus in black and white sonar on the TV!  We immediately heard our baby’s rapid heartbeat, and this was even greater confirmation that all of this was real!  The baby itself was simply a dot on the screen, still a little sac of embryo the size of a kidney bean.

Baby's First Photo - 8 weeks old

Baby’s First Photo – 8 weeks old

After our first sonogram, we were sent back to the waiting room (after a stop off to the restroom – full bladder plus sonogram equals uncomfortable situation).  We then met with a nurse who gave us packets and packets of information and went through our family history.  She told us about the tests I would be undergoing and what to expect at my appointments.

The next step was to draw blood.  Lots of it.  Eight tubes to be precise.  The nurse asked me how I did with getting my blood drawn, and would I need a bed.  I told her I had donated in the past, and it was a horrible experience but that this shouldn’t be so bad.  I’d be fine.  I was wrong.  Halfway through I was getting cold sweats, shaking, dizziness, and the need to vomit right then and there.  I didn’t, but the nurses grabbed a bucket for me just in case.  When I went back into the waiting room, Trav said I looked like a ghost, and he thought the nurses had splashed water on my face.  So apparently, I didn’t handle it as well as I’d thought.  From now on, they told me, they wouldn’t draw blood unless I was in a bed.  Wait, they were going to do this to me again?!

The last step was a basic pelvic and breast exam and meeting with one of the doctors.  It was a lot for one appointment.  We didn’t get out of there until noon, so we went to lunch and stopped by Trav’s office so he could take care of a few things before heading home for the day.  While I hung out on the patio waiting for Trav, I called Mom to chat.  I wanted so badly to tell her about everything, but decided to keep it secret a little longer, just in case she’d be able to drive up for our visit to KC in December.

Here's where I was chatting with Mom for over an hour.

The view as I was chatting with Mom for over an hour.

1st Trimester Symptoms

WARNING:  Serious case of TMI in this post.  Read at your own discretion.  Also, if you’re having thoughts about someday having children but aren’t yet decided, skip this post for your own good.  It’s better if you don’t know what’s to come.  Plus, everyone’s pregnancy is different.  This was just my experience.

The first 13 weeks of pregnancy was a pretty miserable experience.  Think of your Sunday morning hangover, and now pretend that it doesn’t go away for the next 2 months.  Yep.  That about sums it up.

I was lucky enough to not have the “puking” kind of morning sickness.  Instead, I had all day nausea that was appeased only by carby, bland, and overall bad-for-me-and-the-baby type foods.  I ate a LOT of fast food and toast.  My cravings toward the end of the 13th and 14th weeks were for pasta with red sauce and a never-ending supply of Fruit Loops.  My tastes changed in more ways than one.  First off, I’ve never been a fan of red sauce, but now I craved it on pastas and pizzas instead of my usual white sauce.  Not only that, but giving up coffee came rather easily because the taste, and then the thought of it, made me ill.  Now that I’m in my 2nd trimester, I am drinking it again occasionally because the new pregnancy symptoms include endless headache, and the only cure I’ve found so far, without turning to drugs, is a small cup of coffee.  Smells affected me as well.  I couldn’t wear my perfumes or body sprays or use any type of hair sprays.  I asked Trav to ease off his cologne.  I pulled out all the Wallflowers in every room of the house, hid the candles, threw all of my Bath and Body Works hand soaps in the laundry closet and replaced them with Dial soap.

When I wasn’t stuffing my face and avoiding nausea, I was sleeping.  During the weekends, I could generally make it until noon, and then I was passed out for the rest of the day.  I stopped going to the gym.  I used to be a warrior princess in combat class, but one evening I walked out half way through class and drove straight home to bed.  It felt like I had secretly been fed Tylenol PM. and the drug never wore off until around Week 11 or 12.  (I seriously am appreciative of my husband for picking up the slack in housekeeping and grocery shopping during this dark period.)

Another fun side effect of pregnancy is that I constantly have to pee.  I haven’t slept a full night through in months without having to get up at least once to go the bathroom.  On the flip side, my prenatal vitamins give me a lovely case of constipation even though it has a stool softener in it.  So if you add up a poor diet, overeating, fatigue, and no BMs or puking, I started gaining weight early on.  It’s very annoying going on to forums and hearing other pregnant women complain that they haven’t gained any weight yet, or worse, they have lost weight in their first trimester.

The final thing I learned about the joys of pregnancy in my first trimester is that my immune system is weaker.  According to what I’ve read, my baby is considered a foreign object, and if my immune system were working at full capacity it would be fighting off this unknown alien.  So thanks to lower immunity, I run a higher risk of catching the flu virus.  Yay, me!  Which is exactly what happened.  I rarely get sick, and I never get the flu, so imagine my surprise when it knocked me on my butt for several days.  I don’t take sick days, and I had to call out for an entire week of work.  The first day, I waited until the evening to take Tylenol because I was so afraid to take any OTC drugs.  The packet my doctor had given me of safe to use OTC drugs also cautioned that it’s wise to avoid all medications in the first 13 weeks.  The next day I took another Tylenol but was worried to take anymore for fear of killing my baby, so we finally called the doctor who ended up prescribing Tamiflu, but recommended I also continue taking Tylenol to try to lower my fever.  By that Friday, I was finally able to brush my hair for the first time in days.

Telling Travase

The following day I took a second pregnancy test and also called the Ob/Gyn.  I was able to get an appointment for the next day, Friday.  It was hard not saying anything those first two days, but I wanted to wait and be sure the pregnancy was confirmed before telling Travase.  I had a FCIS Librarians In-Service at Bolles that morning and then plans to have lunch with Trav that afternoon before my 3:00 appointment.  I hadn’t had coffee in two days.  I was tired, headachey, and freaking out, but somehow managed to play cool.

There was a ton of paperwork to fill out and I felt like I had to wait hours before I was finally seen.  In fact, I think I almost fell asleep in the waiting room for a time.  The nurse led me back and had me pee in a cup.  Then she filled out my chart, asking the same questions I had already answered in the paperwork, took my weight and blood-pressure, and sent me to a second, smaller waiting room.  After about 5 minutes, she came out, leaned over, and whispered, “Congratulations!”  I was a little put off that she would disclose something so personal in a waiting room, whispered or not, but that was overshadowed by my stunned frame of mind.  This was really happening.  I was led back to a private room 10 or 15 minutes later, where a nurse practitioner ran down the dos and don’ts of pregnancy and what to expect at my first appointment.  I made my next appointment for  November 9th and was on my way.  How to tell Travase?

That Sunday would be our six-year wedding anniversary.  I thought, What a great anniversary gift!  Unfortunately, I could not hold out til Sunday to tell him.  He came home that night and saw that I was a stress ball.  I wanted to come up with a creative, memorable way to share the news.  Instead, I ran to my office, grabbed the pee sticks, and held them up in front of him, without saying a word.  His reaction was an excited, “You’re pregnant?!”  And that was that.  He was in on my little secret, and it made the whole thing a little more real.

Holy Hell. Is that thing positive?

The beginning of my story really starts in August 2012.  I took my annual solo trip home to Kansas City to visit friends and family.  I left my dog and husband behind for two weeks.  It was during this trip that Trav and I decided that when I got home we would finally stop using contraception.  I excitedly told all my parents the good news before I left for home.  Trav and I had heard of many friends who had tried forever, or were still trying, to get pregnant, so we thought we’d let nature do its thing, and if we got pregnant – good, if we didn’t – oh, well, we’ll have fun while we’re waiting.  It wasn’t really the perfect time to get pregnant anyway (although, when is?).  I was starting a new job and still working on completing my Masters, and Trav was gaining more and more responsibilities at his firm.

Fast forward to mid-October.  I hadn’t been tracking my ovulation, but I did every once in a while pee on a stick.  I had gone to the store and purchased 3 or 4 boxes of pregnancy tests, because I thought I would be doing this for a while.  I was due to start my period October 13th, but because I have never been very regular, wasn’t too concerned that it hadn’t happened yet.  The evening of Wednesday, October 17th, I was bored, home alone (Trav was gone on another out-of-town work trip), with an hour to spare before four hours of classes, so I thought what better time than now?  So I did my thing and left it alone in the bathroom and went on to do something else.  An hour later, as I was sitting down in front of my computer, about to run my audio test with a minute to go before class began, I remembered I had a pregnancy test sitting in the bathroom.  I shot up and ran to see the results.  What I saw made my heart stop, my stomach flip, and my breath catch.

Were those two lines?  One looked a little fainter than the other.  Surely, it’s a mistake.  Can pregnancy tests give you a false positive?  I have to sit in class for the next four hours and pretend to be interested in what’s going on when I’ve got a baby in me? 

Forgive me, professors, but I did not hear a single thing you said that evening.  I was busy frantically searching the Internet for information on false positive pregnancy tests, baby websites, books on what to expect when you’re expecting, and what to do when the test is truly positive.  I had been feeling really run down that week and had taken some B-vitamin supplements to regain some energy.  I thought the supplement affected my test.  I didn’t realize at the time that I was feeling run down because I was pregnant.

Two Pink Lines

Yep. Time to call the doctor.

I now have three unopened boxes of pregnancy tests under my bathroom sink, if anyone is in need of them.