Wilson’s Birthday

Leading up to Wilson’s birthday, I thought a scheduled c-section would be less stressful than the emergency c-section I had with Gus almost four years ago.

I was mistaken.

Turns out when you’ve been in active labor for several hours without an epidural, and your baby is suddenly in danger, you don’t have much time to process what’s about to happen as you roll into the OR (and then almost sleep through the whole thing from sheer exhaustion).

This time I was wide awake, over-thinking everything, and walked myself into the OR past tables of terrifying surgical tools before getting my epidural on the operating table.

The actual delivery went well, but caught me a little off guard only because a few minutes before we got started they got word another baby in L&D might be in distress and they warned me they may need to go to the other OR for an emergency delivery (Been there! I’ll wait.)

The next thing I knew: the doors opened, doctors and nurses were everywhere, someone turned on the radio (raise your hand if “Despacito” was playing when your baby was born!) and they were just talking like it was another day at the office.

“Did you see Roberta’s haircut?”
“Who has the medieval torture devices I sterilized?”
“Let’s make the first incision.”

Wait, what was that last thing you said?

No, hello. No, we’re about to get started. No husband (wearing a beard cover) sitting patiently by my side. No, ready, no set.

Just, GO.

Mike was there a few minutes later, but surgery was well underway at that point. And while I definitely didn’t feel pain, the amount of pressure I could feel was so overwhelming that it was extremely uncomfortable.


Ultimately I needed two extra doses of my epidural during surgery, and three doses of additional pain meds while they closed my incision.

Recovery has been going well, and we’ve been home for four days now. Aside from the usual newborn woes (mainly not sleeping) this time has been a lot less stressful for all of us.

I already know how to breastfeed (even though my milk didn’t come in until last night), I’m sleeping as much as I can when I can, I’m staying on top of pain meds and physically I feel really good.

The biggest difference: my mom is living with us this time, so we have an extra set of hands to help with baby and Gus. When I think about one day getting this baby fed and out the door in time to get Gus to preschool on time, it makes my eye twitch but I know we’ll get there eventually.

Wilson is a pretty good baby, and Gus LOVES him. It’s only been a few days so we’ll see how long it lasts, but he loves to help with diaper changes, he kisses him constantly, and whenever he cries, Gus sings him customized lullabies (“Rockabye Wilson” is his go-to, “Twinkle Twinkle Little Wilson” is a close second).


I genuinely still can’t believe this beautiful, healthy baby is here right now, after everything that happened in the last year. And in a few weeks, we’ll celebrate Gus’ fourth birthday as a little family of four!

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This is Easier/Harder Than Last Time

Having a normal sized baby, after having a teeny tiny one, is much easier than I was prepared for. 

It’s easier to go to the doctor, get NSTs and BPPs, there’s a lot less monitoring and blood work, and none of the medical professionals I see throughout the week come at me with a doom-and-gloom attitude.

My NSTs are over, passed with flying colors, in record time. My BPPs are literally just fluid checks — no dopplers, no practice breaths counts, no constant talk of growth scans. 

I’m not laying awake at night frantically reading about IUGR causes and complications. 

Doctors say things like, “this is all a testament to how well you’re managing your gestational diabetes!” as I stare blankly over their shoulders, thinking about plates of French fries and bowls of ice cream. 

It’s also harder though, physically.

While it’s only the matter of a few extra pounds, I’m feeling the difference between carrying a baby in the 10th percentile versus one in the 50th. 

My belly button is gone, and I’m horrified, and I can’t even look at it (which is difficult since I have to give myself multiple abdominal injections a day). Oh god I hope it goes back to normal. 

And then there are all the regular third trimester wonders like heartburn, and round ligament pain, aching back and ribs, and (new for me this time!) Braxton Hicks, all of which seem intensified this time, but that could just be my pregnancy amnesia talking. 

But of course, like any lucky former infertile (a former infertile with a miracle unicorn accidental pregnancy no less), I’m trying not to complain. 

Six Weeks to Go

Yesterday I started my twice-weekly NSTs and BPPs for Little Brother, and despite my clotting issues, gestational diabetes, a history of gestation hypertension AND a previous IUGR diagnosis — this baby is perfect.

He’s almost 4.5 pounds, and has measured anywhere from the 40th to the 60th percentile depending on the day we have a growth scan. Gus, at this point, was already hovering around the 10th percentile, so the idea of having a giant normal sized baby is blowing my mind right now.

And, I don’t know if it’s because this time the baby is bigger, or if it’s my anterior placenta, or if it’s just because it’s my second (well, sixth, but who’s counting?) pregnancy, but I feel ENORMOUS. My belly button is almost gone, and it’s threatening to pop out, and I can’t even look at it, and Gus thinks it’s fascinating and wants to poke it (GAHH.)

If everything continues to chug along as it has been, and I don’t go into labor on my own, I’m rolling up to the hospital in six weeks to have this baby (and my second October baby will, in fact, be a September baby).

Anyone else still shocked this is happening? Because I am, 100%.

I’m all for going into labor naturally. That’s what happened with Gus, a few days before my scheduled induction. I’m NOT a huge fan of contractions, and labor pains though, because HOLY MOLY, so part of me is thrilled to just show up and have another c-section.

Complicating matters this time (because of course!) my mom is scheduled to be out of the country up until three days before my scheduled delivery, so fingers and knees crossed he stays put while she’s gone.

 

 

Still Here, Still Pregnant, and A Little Less Paranoid!

I’m a few days shy of 29 weeks, and officially in my last trimester with Baby Boy #2 (Name confirmed! Intentionally withheld!)

Today we had our second growth scan since my anatomy scan in May, which in my case will continue monthly, thanks to 1) gestational diabetes and 2) Gus’ IUGR diagnosis four years ago.

Only good news, thank you baby Jesus.

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Little Brother is around three pounds so far, and is in the 64th percentile for his gestational age. Comparatively speaking, Gus had already fallen way below average at this point (I think? Four years ago was a long time ago, and I didn’t write anything down, and pregnancy brain isn’t helping).

The only main difference between now and then, has been my blood pressure, and, well, how I got pregnant in the first place.

There is a correlation between IVF and higher blood pressure, and there’s a definite correlation between high blood pressure and placenta/growth issues — so perhaps that’s why Gus was a peanut, and so far Little Brother is not? I guess there’s no way to ever know for sure, but that’s my theory and I’m sticking to it.

In other news I got an email from my OB’s office confirming my c-section date for early October at 39+3 weeks, which was news to me, since I haven’t actually talked to anyone there yet about if I wanted or needed another c-section (I’m fine with it, thankfully) and how late I’d be allowed to wait to deliver (in the past I’ve been told I shouldn’t go past 38/39 weeks with my various risk factors).

I talked to the MFM team about it today, and they agreed it would prrrrobably be ok to wait a few days past 39 weeks, but maybe just to be on the safe side we push that date up a few extra days — which was also OK by me.

Baby is also finally big enough that I can feel regular movement, so I’m significantly less paranoid than I was a few weeks ago. We’ve even spent a few weeks at the beach (three hours away from home, and doctors, and decent hospitals) here and there, which was something I could never do when I was pregnant with Gus because I had so. many. appointments. throughout his pregnancy — and I was a crazy person until the day he was born.

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Mountains of Baby Clothes, The Power of Oxyclean, and Viability

The best part of the second trimester is a tie, between finally feeling some baby movement (in your FACE, anterior placenta!) and no longer feeling like a train hit me.

With my newfound energy levels came a desire to clean and organize all of Gus’ baby clothes.

I figured, everything was clean when I packed it away, and it’s mostly organized by size already, how long could it possibly take?

Short answer: It takes like two weeks.

So many of the teeny tiny wittle baby clothes were covered in milk stains (which is apparently super common over time, even if they look clean when you pack them) and the sheer volume of four years worth of clothes (no matter how tiny) was overwhelming.

I separated out all the things worth keeping, and then anything with terrible staining. The internet assured me that a long soak in some Oxyclean would get rid of the majority of the yellow spots, so I gave it a try.

Oxyclean is everything Billy Mays promised us it would be, and then some.

Also, my god, baby clothes are adorable.

Another fun fact: apparently I packed my fancy, moderately expensive, diaper bag away, full of snacks and a sippy cup full of water, and after two years in an airtight bag, instead of very convincing fake leather, it turned into a giant bag of fuzzy mold. 

And, just as exciting for those of us riddled with pregnancy anxiety, today marks my 24th week, and with it comes the magic word: viability.

15 weeks to go. 

Checkups and Confirmations

Today we had another appointment with our high-risk team, to check on Baby [Name Redacted] Little Brother’s heart.

As far as we knew, there was nothing wrong with his heart, but a Fetal Heart Echo is standard for 1) IVF pregnancies (which this was not, but I guess history counts for something?) and 2) anyone who has gestational/good ole’ regular diabetes.

His little heart looked perfect, and so did his itty bitty wittle face (pardon me, I’m biased).

I also had them confirm for me that he is, for sure, a he, since I finally broke down and started buying things I need (but also mostly DO NOT need, namely: tiny baby clothes).

While I was there, they also did a quick growth scan, and he’s currently measuring right on target for his gestational age, and is weighing in at a hefty 1 lb, 1 oz. Gus’ growth didn’t start to slow down until around 28 weeks, so I’m scheduled for another checkup with them next month to keep an eye on things.

And, speaking of Gus, I think we have a little clone coming our way (which, again, totally biased, but it’s going to be adorable in here).


(big brother/little brother)

17 weeks to go!

For Those of You Just Joining Us

Alternatively known as: Filling in Everyone From Facebook

It’s no secret we’ve struggled over the years to build our family. Various torturous medicated cycles, and then three rounds of IVF and two losses were under our belts (literally) before we had Gus.

Last year we decided to try again, and I rather optimistically thought it would be a walk in the park, now that we’d found a protocol that finally worked.

Boy, was I an idiot.

This time last year, we found out we’d lost another pregnancy. After a few months off and some extra embryo testing, we tried again in the fall, and it honest to god almost killed me.

After that, we decided to explore other options. Adoption. Fostering. People reached out to us about being gestational carriers. We found out more IVF was a possibility, if we eliminated certain medications.

We had a lot of possibilities to consider. But one thing we knew, for absolutely sure, was we were going to wait at least six months so I could recover physically (pancreatitis is no joke, friends).

And then like eight weeks later, clouds parted, and angels sang, and my boobs hurt, and I took the last pregnancy test in my possession on a whim, because why the hell not — they’re always negative — and all hell broke loose.

I got to surprise Mike. Technically I got to surprise EVERYONE, which I never thought would be possible. But I suddenly found myself in the position to surprise my husband with a pregnancy like a REGULAR PERSON, and I was so excited, I told him five minutes before a dozen neighbors and their kids came over for a pizza party, and then was like, “ok, that was the doorbell, lets go act totally normal for a few hours!”

(That’s the flabbergasted face of a man who has had zero time to process what I’m telling him.)

Also, I just want to point out how close I came to being one of those women you see on TLC who gives birth at home on the toilet, because they had no idea they were pregnant. I never got my period after the last loss. I have an anterior placenta, and a breech baby who likes to face my spine, so five months in and I still feel nada in the movement department. Now, maybe the nine weeks of dry heaving would have tipped me off eventually, but we’ll never know for sure. Anyway…

I’m 19 weeks along now, so I’m halfway there. I’m due in early October, but thanks to all my fancy high-risk factors, I’ll deliver by the end of September.

So far, everything looks good. I still have to take blood thinner everyday, and they tested me early for gestational diabetes, which of course, I failed (again.) The good news is, it’s mostly diet controlled at this point, so I’ve only gained three pounds total (to the shock and horror of pregnant women, everywhere). My blood pressure has been great (which was not the case with Gus at all) and more importantly — so far my pancreas seems fine (knocking on all the wood).

After last fall, I genuinely believed we would never have any more children, so just to have the possibility is such a miracle and we’re so excited, and still a little shocked. Thank you, everyone for all the heartfelt congratulations and well wishes!