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!

Another (Good) Surprise 

When I was pregnant with Gus, I was sure he would be a girl.

I’m a girl. My mom is a girl. Her sisters — all girls. My cousins, overwhelmingly girls. All their kids (you guessed it) even more girls.

But at 16 weeks, we found out he was, well, a he. The first boy in my immediate family, in more than two decades. 

And all the old wives’ tales were true. I wanted salty foods. I looked preeeeetty good, glowing and all that. Whatever his heartbeat averaged, meant he was a boy. That old Chinese gender chart (while technically not applicable thanks to IVF) said he’d be a boy.

This time?

I want sweet things. And salty things. Basically I want all the things that aren’t vegetables. But last time, sweet just seemed gross, and this time it seems like a good idea.

And I’m less pretty. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still super cute, as long as you’re not put off by all these pimples and this beard I’m slowly growing.

I don’t know why, but my intuition has been screaming GIRL GIRL GIRRRLLLLL at me for weeks.

My intuition, it seems, is crap.



Little Brother, coming in September.

(The anatomy scan went very well, and baby was measuring on schedule with all of his (HIS!) bits and bobs right where they should be.)

Next Steps

After our last (failed) IVF attempt, we’ve been talking about what our next steps are.

I’m definitely planning to try again, but the more I think about it, the more I’d like to take a few months off before starting again.

For starters, we’ve decided to have our remaining embryos genetically tested. While it doesn’t guarantee success, it certainly increases our odds (and the odds have not been in my favor). And despite the extra cost, the price is significantly less than it was four years ago when we started this process, so that was a pleasant surprise.

Then we have our annual family vacation coming up, and I would love to run, and jump and play in the ocean with Gus. I’d also like to take him on rides, and to splash parks, and eat (and drink) at all my favorite restaurants and bars.

After that, we have a destination wedding coming up in September, and making either 1) a long car ride, or 2) a plane ride with a toddler while pregnant and taking blood thinners was not something I was looking forward to. Now I just have to deal with the joys of toddler traveling, and I can drink away my feelings if that’s what it comes down to.

After THAT, my oldest, and dearest friend is getting married in the spring, and her bachelorette party is possibly happening in Vegas, in the fall, and now I can go and not be the sober party mom, and instead I’ll be the least drunk party mom. (Once the party mom, always the party mom.)

I don’t actually drink that much — despite my last three points being mostly alcohol related — I swear.

Our new house is pretty great, on the inside. But the outside? Needs some work. Like chopping down trees, and clearing overgrowth, and horrible gross outdoorsy-type work. Work I despise, but would like to do as cheaply as possible, and that means getting out there and doing most of it ourselves. I can’t really whack things with an axe on my best day, let alone when I’m super high-risk and pregnant.

And can we talk about Zika for a minute? Because it scares the bejesus out of me. I live in an area they’ve classified as low-risk, but those little bloodsuckers are nearby, and guess who has two thumbs and a giant reservoir in her back yard? This girl. So I’m ok with waiting for mosquito season to end.

And, maybe most importantly, I’m excited to spend a little more time with Gus —  just us. We’ve got a lot of things on the horizon for our little man in the next few months, and I had a lot of anxiety about how a new baby would change things for him.

We just started potty training. He’s starting preschool at the end of August. He’ll be a threenager, and probably transitioning to a big-boy bed in the fall. That’s not so much for you and me, but it’s a lot in a few months when you’re under the age of three. Add all that together, I’m ok with waiting a few more months.

Physically, waiting gives me more time to keep getting healthy. Selfishly, it lets me go on vacation and drink. Financially, it lets us save for the next cycle. And mentally, it’ll be nice to take a break from needles, and medicine reminders, and worrying about all the what ifs.