Monday, August 18, 2014

Is this your first?

We went to our first wedding of 2014 over the weekend.  It was black tie, and I borrowed (thankfully) a dress from a friend... and apparently it is now quite obvious (even to strangers) that I am pregnant.  It isn't that I'm hiding it, but I'm tall and both with this pregnancy and with L, it was unclear until about 20 weeks whether I was putting on belly fat or was pregnant.  Apparently the cat is out of the bag.

I'm thrilled to look pregnant because I am obviously over-the-moon excited about this little baby growing in my belly.

That said, I have a confession.  I don't love strangers asking if I am pregnant in the same way that I did with L, because they always ask "Is this your first?" and, truthfully, I don't always know how to respond.

Twice over the weekend, when people asked me if this was my first, I just said "yes."  I definitely paused, thought about how to respond, and then just said "yes."  It wasn't because I wasn't thinking of L, but I just couldn't, in the situation, bear the idea of launching into what happened.  The first woman to ask was the woman from whom I got a pedicure on Friday who is also pregnant.  She was very sweet and we chatted a bit about being pregnant, but I just didn't want to share with this stranger what happened (and we also had a bit of a language barrier and I feared it would just get awkward to explain and that others nearby would overhear).  The second person was the wife of a friend of my husband's.  She sweetly asked if I was pregnant and then asked if it was our first.  We know the couple, but not well, and then don't know what happened with L (obviously).  We were at a cocktail party, and it just didn't seem like the time or place to share.

Ever since I said it was my first, particularly to the woman at the wedding, I have been feeling this overwhelming sense of guilt.  I feel like I let down L somehow - like me not acknowledging her to those people means something horrible about me like that I don't love her with all of my heart, which I do.  I wish I could rewind and just be honest - succinct, but honest.

I know there is nothing I can do to remedy the situation now, but I've just been feeling so guilty and sad about it all weekend.  Am I the only person who has lied to someone to avoid an awkward discussion? Is there a time and a place when it is okay to not tell someone the whole truth?

In happier news, we saw a spectacular rainbow over the weekend, and rainbows always make me think of L and this new baby, who I hope will be our rainbow baby.

Friday, August 15, 2014

18 Weeks & Anatomy Scan

We had our official anatomy scan this morning and I am thrilled to report that everything is looking good and we have confirmation that we are having a girl!  All of the vital organs are growing and the baby is measuring right on track and blood flow to the placenta and through the umbilical cord looks good.  Phew!

I've realized that I really need to come up with a nickname for this little one so I can stop referring to her as "she" or "her."  We called L "Lemon" the whole time she was in the womb and I loved having a nickname for her (we were very superstitious and didn't give her a real name until she was born... not that it helped).

Today's ultrasound was with the high-risk OB who finally clarified something for me that I have been quite confused about.  We lost L due to extensive clotting in the placenta, which essentially cut off her blood supply.  My understanding has been that the only way you can see potential issues with blood flow before birth is through the use of doppler ultrasound showing blood flow.  Typically this isn't done unless and until the baby starts measuring small, but L was born at a normal size, so she didn't have growth restriction.  My fear is that if we wait until we see growth restriction, it would be too late to help this baby if something is wrong.  All of my doctors thus far have said that since doppler ultrasound hasn't been studied to show effectiveness to detect clotting, they don't suggest it.  But since I had clotting in such an unusual way, of course it hasn't been studied!  Does that mean we shouldn't be as proactive as possible in preventing it from happening again?  I certainly don't think so.  Does anyone have experience with doppler monitoring for blood flow? I'd love to know.

The OB today finally agreed that we would use doppler ultrasound to look at blood flow starting at 24 weeks as a precautionary measure.  It certainly isn't a guaranteed way to detect clotting, but since there is no harm, I'm relieved that we'll add it to our normal monitoring.  If nothing else, it will give me some peace of mind.

It will be a few weeks before we have another appointment and in that time we have our first vacation in over a year.  I cannot wait for a week off!  The last two weeks I have felt like I did at 10 weeks with L - so, SO exhausted every day.  At 9 PM, my eyelids are shutting and I cannot force myself to stay awake any longer.  I think a week off will be just the break I need.

Wishing everyone a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

17 Weeks

This morning I breathed a huge sigh of relief.  I had become absolutely convinced in the last week that something was wrong with this baby.  The combination of the ultrasound where she was sleeping and having trouble with the doppler (and my general anxiety and fear about this pregnancy) resulted in me just agonizing all week about her not being okay.

But then.... there she was!  Moving away and with a strong heartbeat in the 140s.

Today I feel like the luckiest person in the world.  Hello, baby!  Hello, cute feet!

The sonographer was able to basically do a full anatomy scan as well (we have the official scan with the high-risk OB next Friday) and everything looks great so far.  We could see her brain, spine, liver, etc.  It was amazing.  She also scolded me for not coming in sooner since I was feeling so anxious, gave me her cell phone number, and told me the next time I was worrying to just call and she'd squeeze me in.  I have no doubt I'll take her up on it as we creep closer to when we lost L.

I'm just feeling so thankful today.  Thankful for this baby, for my supportive husband, family and friends, and for support from readers who I haven't met, but who have shared in similar experiences and can empathize in a way that others cannot.  Thank you!

One more week down...