april 1- anti-D update

i just got an email back from my doc. it seems it is the anti-D that i tested positive for after all. this can be caused by blood transfusion, miscarriage, birth, etc. but you can also test positive for it after the rhogam shot.
i had a rhogam shot in january when i was having the spotting... and it usually lasts about 12 weeks. the last 2 blood tests that i've had show that the levels are decreasing. according to the doc this lends itself to the possibility that i'm only testing positive due to the shot i received. i'll continue to have blood work monitoring the levels of anti-D in my system until they are at 0.
really, i'm already giving a pint every time i go in, i'm not too worried about one additional test at this point. right?
keep praying!

march 31- another belly picture 18wks 2 days

here's some skin!
i am relying on thadd for picture taking right now... and well, we can see how that's turning out. :) but i think you can see the belly better than in the other pictures....

(i think i need a belly tan...and a more supportive bra!!)

march 31- calling all spicy, zesty and tangy foods!

it tastes so good!

but why am i doing this? help me... i can't stop!

march 31- i think i'm splitting in half

did you have pelvic pain during pregnancy? from what i've read it's predominantly in the 3rd trimester that most women have experienced it. (from my really adept google research!) it feels like someone is jamming an icepick up in my crotch area... splitting me into two nice pieces. i have found a few women who had it around 20 weeks... so i'm just wondering what you think about this topic. sometimes it starts when i'm walking, sometimes when i'm sitting or laying down... it doesn't seem to go away with rest or exercise. i'm baffled. it started about a week ago. i guess i should just enjoy it as another sign that, yes charla- you are pregnant! i had a bit of crampy feeling last week too, (of the "i ate a burrito, uh-oh!" variety, not the menstrual type). they weren't at the same time, so i'm assuming it's unrelated.
i have a dr. appt on friday... so i'll see what she says about it then.
(just for the record: i'm freakin' amazed at this yoga woman... can you believe that?)


march 29- 18 weeks

the maternity pants that fit me a few weeks ago are already painfully small. :/ and sitting with my legs up is pretty much out of the question... it's a little crowded in there already. at 18weeks i'm already bigger than i was with max at 21.


march 23- kicks!

thadd felt the baby kick for the first time tonight! it was really exciting!
i'm only 17 weeks now... and he didn't feel max until almost 19- so i'm happy he was able to experience the little rumbles. it's a neat feeling. i've been feeling them off and on for a few weeks now. i'll be happy when they're a little more regular. (though i'm sure i'll be cursing them a bit when they're aimed at my ribs and organs.)


march 20- doc's news

today i had my appointment... the last one until my ultrasound. here's the news:
bp- low and fine
weight- +3lbs (which the doc said is just about right)
heartrate- 150/minute healthy and strong

the bad news is that i have some sort of antibody. (yes, another one, other than the antiphospholipid antibody syndrome.) i'm working on finding out what it's called. i was a little shell shocked when she told me about it, and didn't get the name. apparently it's similar to the rh- antibody that women can get while pregnant. the doctor said that many women get similar antibodies, and as long as the level stays under 16 that it doesn't affect the baby. right now my level is at 1- the lowest it could register... so she didn't seem worried about it. if my levels rise then she said, worst case scenario, that they would give the baby blood transfusions through the umbilical cord. (but, she said that they'd never done that in the history of the hospital, that no one has ever needed it.)

apparently this antibody is caused most commonly by blood transfusions... which she assumed i had had. (i could be wrong, but i feel like i would remember that!) she said it less commonly can be caused by miscarriage. which, apparently happened when we lost max. (she checked back in my records and i didn't have the antibody during my pregnancy with him.)

looks like i'll be having more blood work done more frequently to monitor the antibody. i had several vials drawn on friday... haven't gotten the results back yet. i'll post when i have news.

seriously, how many obscure problems can i have? am i battling with natural selection here? :/

on the upside, if it weren't for the growing bulge in my belly i wouldn't even think i was pregnant. other than being a little more tired than usual, i'm almost completely free of side effects.
oh! but i did forget to mention i'm losing entire hand fulls of hair. eeek! i've heard that it will fill in a little more in the third trimester.. if not, i'm not above some hair plugs!
and.... i guess i also forgot to officially welcome- HEARTBURN! i'm bucking the system though... still eating all sorts of spicy food that i love. i mean, if a roll gives me heartburn, why not enjoy a burrito?:)


march 18- boogie board meets belly

i had a little scare today while enjoying some beach fun. i had never successfully boogie boarded before. (and by that i guess i mean "caught a wave".) so, after living in hawaii for a year i decided to figure out exactly what people were doing that was fun.
alicia and i had a great time.. catching many, many waves- and it was SOOO fun!
one time the board tipped forward, planting itself in the sand, and the wave took me right over it, hitting my belly right on the stationary board.(leave it to me to get injured on a boogie board!)
i freaked out a little. my belly was sore for a while... but i still felt random kicks (which is all i've felt so far)... so everything is probably ok.
i have an appointment this week, so i'll be double checking with my doctor to make sure everything is good.


march 12- the plan for the move

we found out today that thadd's officer candidate school date is set for november 22. YAY!!!
this means that while we have to stay here in hawaii a little longer than we want, thadd will be able to be with me to deliver... and have a few months as a family before he has to go away for training. this also means that i won't have to make a move by myself mid-pregnancy to arkansas and switch doctors.
we'll be moving to virginia, and we're really excited about having seasons again. (and being within a days drive home.)

march 12- not too much new news

still no word on my labs. my next appointment isn't until the 20th. so... i'm just anxiously awaiting that appointment. i'm thinking of buying a doppler. anyone had any good luck/bad luck with these? i'm going CRAZY not being able to check on the baby regularly. :/ my next ultrasound appointment won't be until probably the first week in april.
i'm going to put up a picture of my 38I bra. (it came in the mail... and it's a size too big... only a size- but you should see it!!! it's hilarious! thadd just laughed and laughed when i held it up... but then when it almost fit- he was sorta in shock!) i'm going to hang onto it- i'm sure i'll grow into it before too long!
i pretty much can't watch tv at all anymore. i just cry and cry... everything is either so happy or so sad.


march 7- doc says... (please feel free to comment. anything to keep this from feeling like a diary.)

my appointment yesterday went well. we got to hear the hearbeat... along with lots of indistinct swishing, which the doctor said was the sound of active baby kicks.
i pretty much did everything but get on my knees and beg for an ultrasound. to no avail. its just not going to happen for at least 3 more weeks. (sigh) i explained to her that it was really just for my peace of mind... i guess that's not a medical reason. :) but she assured me that my monitoring will go up significantly after that next ultrasound. once i get closer to my third trimester.
for now, i'm still having bi-weekly appointments. i've got the next two scheduled... and i'm scheduling the ultrasound next week. (for about 3 weeks out.
the doc was great about answering my questions- many of which i got from concerned friends and family. (as though i'm not neurotic enough! haha!) here's the verdict:

passing out- probably just normal pregnancy related wooziness... but she's checking my blood for iron and such... as well as putting in a consult with neurology. (she was pretty sure it's nothing serious- but better safe than sorry i guess.)
bp- at the appointment my bp was 128/87 which is closer to how it's been running normally at home. she said that's fine. (and so is 100/52 for that matter.) that as long as i'm under 140/90 we're good.
abdominal pain- could be just normal "aches and pains" of pregnancy. but she's going to double check my urine to see if it's an infection. (doesn't feel like one.)
frequent headaches- normal.
shot location (my belly fat is already getting hard to grab onto as it stretches out)- she said i could do the back of my arms. ouch! or the inside of my thigh. double ouch! i'm sticking with the belly for a few more weeks!

i actually weighed in 2lbs less than my last appointment. (which surprised me since i've been eating like a cow lately. that nausea went away and it was like "bring on the buffet!") she said that's ok. she's just going to double check at the next appointment- because i should put on a few pounds in the next few weeks for sure.
and i had a question about my due date. since we graduated from the infertility clinic on the 17th of feb. we should have been about 12 weeks at that time. when i called the nurse (after the whole passing out incident the other day) she said the computer had me at just 13 weeks! i was like, whoa! i'm sure i'm further than that! (secretly i'm dreading it! what if i have to go through weeks 13 and 14 again! i'm always hoping to jump ahead as far as possible... get past 25 weeks as soon as possible.) so i asked the doc about it when we were in yesterday. she did the math again, based on one of my earliest ultrasounds (because my 42 day cycle isn't all that reliable) and put me at 15 weeks today. (which is only a few days off from what i thought i was. new due date: august 30
i'll update with the blood test results, as well as the urine, when i get them back.

coming in 2 weeks..... quad screen & sugar test.


march 5- out like a light

so, last night, after going to pick up thadd from work about 930 i got severely dizzy. as i was walking up the stairs to get to our apartment i actually fell down to keep from passing out. (if that makes any sense at all.) and he helped me in the house, then as i was almost to the couch- BAM- passed clean out. luckily, my husband is a beau hunk and can keep me from face planting into the floor.
the severe dizziness continued until i went to sleep. (about an hour and half later.)
when i laid down in bed, and was still dizzy, i decided to take my blood pressure. it was about 100/52. thadd assured me that this is really a healthy blood pressure. but i was concerned because i've been taking it almost everyday for the past few weeks and it had been at LEAST 120-130s/70s.. so the 100/52 freaked me out.
my appointment is on friday. we'll see what the doc says.


march4- ultrasound pic updates

i've messed with the sizing for about an hour. i'm going to work on it more tomorrow. in the mean time feel free to just click through to the pictures. (i'm having no luck right now re-sizing them.)

these are photos of the pictures. (my scanner still isn't working.) but i think they turned out ok.

march 4- the baby bump

a big bump- but i haven't gained any weight yet. :)

march 3- i'm fine. and how are you?

here's an update on how i'm doing.. since i know how much you care!

----i still have bo. really, really bad bo. i'm sticking to my antibacterial soap, followed by immediate deodorization... it's working.. sorta.
----smells are really the only thing that sets off nausea at this point. whew! i'm so happy to be past the ickiness phase!
----my hair seems to be falling out in clumps. :/ the thick luscious hair of my high school days is long gone. (as though i didn't lose enough in my last pregnancies.. i'm losing more now. i guess this is a recurrent thing.)
----i'm still a little sleepy. but overall i have SO much more energy! thadd and i started a new bike riding plan... hopefully we'll get out of the house more, and i'll get a little more exercise that i have been. (read: anything is more than none.)
----i'm winded just walking up the stairs. not tired, or near muscle failure or anything, just breathing heavy. i guess it's all the extra blood.
----about a week ago i started getting some lower abdominal pains. they aren't cramps. but i'm not sure what they are. i had ligament pain with max, but it wasn't until i was about 19 or 20 weeks. (and to be honest i don't remember exactly what it felt like.) i did read on whattoexpect.com that you can expect to start having ligament pain around weeks 14-15.. which is where i am. so i'm hoping that's all it is. (whatever it is, it seems to be worse when i need to pee.)
----the frequent urination is mostly gone- yay! (for a little while anyway)
----no kicks yet... but maybe some flutters. i'm still undecided.
----the pooch seems to be getting more pronounced everyday! it's like i wake up in the morning and go- "wow, i don't think i was that big yesterday". in fact i was a little worried about it. (i guess most all pregnant women have the fear that they're becoming a fatty.) but i haven't gained any weight. (that i know of yet- my appointment's on friday.) it is getting harder to do my shots since my belly is stretching a bit. (it's much easier to give shots when there's a nice chunk of fat to grab onto and stick. sorry, i guess that might be gross.)
----my dizziness seems to be a little better too. i'm hoping that it's nothing too serious, and that my body finally figured out how to share blood with my brain AND the baby.
----the headaches are coming more frequently though. eek! like, almost everyday i wake up with at least a little one. i think that, like morning sickness, it's probably hormonal since it's occurring the same time everyday. i've been drinking TONS of water... and taking meds when i have to... but they don't usually last past early afternoon.
----i have a poo confession: i'm having diarrhea everyday! at least once! still! icky.... but i suppose it beats constipation. (am i right?) i'm just REALLY trying with all my might to not get hemorrhoids. those SUCK!
----and finally, the forgetfulness. its really been going full force for about 3 weeks now. i can't remember nouns for the life of me! the other day, for instance, i was trying to tell a story and couldn't think of the word 'turnpike'. "it's a road. that you pay to go on. oklahoma has them. they have high speed limits. there's a tollbooth." haha.. it's really funny. thadd and i are actually getting a kick out of this one. it's like being in a permanent game of password with me. :)


march 1- the cart before the horse or something like that

over the past week or so it has become really important to me to work out the "plan" for my pregnancy. i've got a whole new list of questions to ask my doctor this friday at my appointment... and i've been thinking even further down the line to my birthing plan.
that's where the cart before the horse thing comes... er... the plan before the 2nd trimester is even halfway over! i don't even know the sex of the baby, and already i'm asking thadd- do you want to circumcise him..er...if it's a him? and, he absolutely LOVES watching births on youtube.. you wouldn't believe the amount of skin we've seen in the last week. now, i'm all for educational videos and such.. and i've really been able to glean a good bit of information from seeing some different things... but you will NEVER find a full frontal picture of my child crowning on the internet. (unless, of course, the off chance that i become rich and famous and someone might sell it to a tabloid to make millions of dollars... and then... i guess.. you might find it if you googled me or something.) this may be a little too personal- but how do they get completely hair free for these videos- really- i want to know... some of those ladies..well.. let's just say, with a big belly like they had, i was impressed! :)
so, here are some of the things i've come up with:
(with a caveat that i'm probably going to come up with a hundred more, and change my mind about some.)
----i REALLY would love to have a water birth... but that's probably not going to happen because of the risks involved in my pregnancy. the birthing isn't so risky, from what i understand. it seems to be everything leading up to the birth... when i need so much medical following. i would recommend it to anyone i know (having never done it and only seen videos) because the mothers seem so calm, the babies are so relaxed after they're born, and frankly, it just seemed like the blood wasn't just all over the place. the spurting blood sorta grosses me out. also, your chance of tearing is apparently like nil. which sounds good to me!
----i would like to give birth in the squatting position. i know it seems a little weird- but the way it felt when i was in labor with max seems to really lend itself to that position... just the pressure... it seems like being on my back wasn't the best option. thadd says, "so.. you're going to like, poop the kid out?" haha! i LOVE that man! yes, i'm going to poop the kid out.. that's the idea- get em outta there!
----i want to go au natural... (just meds- not my grooming habits.. i'm still using deodorant and shaving) that's the plan. i'm pretty set on this part. i know that childbirth goes much faster without epidurals, which lessens my risk for the baby to go into distress and also my overall risk for a c-section. i'll have a c-section if it's an emergency... for some reason something happens.. but i really don't want to have to. and the IV meds they can give you also drug the baby.. which seems a little weird to me. a really cool gal i met described labor as "a hard day's work". having been through a tiny bit of what labor really is, i appreciate that description. she said it's like knowing you have to get up and dig a ditch. it's going to be a long hard day, and it's gruelling work... but you know it can't go on forever- when it's done, it's done. :) and you have- A BABY to show for it! i'm not militantly against epidurals or whatever... it's just not for me. sometimes i wonder about things that have become so commonplace in medicine... if someday people will look back and compare it to leeching or something. sort of how episiotomies were commonplace just a few years ago, now almost all doctors only perform them in emergencies... most siding with the idea that our bodies are made to stretch, in most cases they will, and tears heal faster with less infection than incisions. (i read it in a book, i think that makes it true. :) the idea that our bodies need all this medical intervention (well, OTHER than mine!) to have kids is absurd. god made us to pop out some kids! and pop out some kids we (usually) can, with little problems, in the comfort of our homes, with a trusted friend or doctor there to help. (but, i have to say, i wouldn't want the job of cleaning up that mess in my house- i've seen that stuff on youtube. i think i'll go to the hospital. it's like eating out- someone else does the dishes.)
----i don't want a c-section or really any interference (forceps, episiotomy, etc.) unless i absolutely need it. i really would like to find a doctor who could act like a midwife. because i really need a doctor- cause there's the part where i might have a seizure and a blood clot and die- but i want a midwife. i'm not sure how these things will play out in the months to come.
----i don't mind IV fluids. but don't really care one way or the other. i suppose i might have to go on mag again... so i guess it's better that they already have the IV in. ick.
----i would like a doula. my mother in law has done this for several ladies... (most recently my friend meghan, my husband's cousin's wife, just a few days ago)...i just really like the idea of having someone who sees my side of things. not that my husband won't... but... he won't. other than the undecided doula and my husband we haven't decided who we want in the delivery room. thadd has pretty much put the ball in my court, "it's your show"... haha! no videos on youtube please! but i think as delivery becomes more real it's a question he might take more to heart. i see how people have a hard time deciding. it's sorta like a wedding list! it just keeps growing and growing... (should people come in from out of town to come? do we have a rehearsal? i guess i could just record it and show it at christmas.. does that count? :)
----i guess i have a lot of research to do about fetal heart monitoring... and some other things.. some of the stuff i'm seeing in the books and on the websites i just don't have a preference for or against.
---- i think i would definitely like an enema. i mean... who doesn't? i just don't think i could push with all my might when a little voice in the back of my head is saying "remember what you ate!"
----low lights, soothing music- quiet and calm is really for me (can i get a room next to someone who feels the same?)
----i would like to have drinks in the first stages of labor. i guess for some reason this might be a question... yes, if i'm thirsty, bring me a drink please.
----i think i'm going to look into hypnobabies... you buy a video or cd or something.. it's not over the top fruitcakey... it seems like it's more about focus and relaxation... i'm planning on looking into it, and maybe i'll use it.
----i do not want to be induced, or have my water broken. if i'm full term i'd like to walk around.. maybe do some jumping jacks or something... get the blood flowing and the baby coming that way. unfortunately, there's a chance... a pretty significant one... that i might not be able to wait until i'm full term... in which case, i suppose i'll have to be induced. but only if i must.
----i'll need some help with this one.. what's with the pushing and not pushing.. and feeling the need to push and pushing all the time...etc. don't you always push when you feel the need? maybe i missed something. do they make some women push when they don't feel they need to?
----thadd's still up in the air with the cord cutting... he wants to do it.. but he's not so good with blood... and there will be blood. :)
----we have decided that we won't be vaccinating our children. (at least not until they're much older) this is a constant debate right now in the public arena... with people passionately on both sides. given the information that we know, we've decided that the risk is not worth it. i've actually met many families who wish they hadn't (due to changes developmentally in their children), and many young families who are using the information out there to make informed decisions not to vaccinate. until then i thought we were the only ones. if you're passionately for it i would recommend reading everything you can about the topic and evaluating where you stand from the current information available. if you're passionately against it, i would say the same thing. but, luckily, we live in a country where we have so much information at our fingertips, and can use it to make our own decisions about medical treatments. :) so if you vaccinate- here here! and if you don't- here here! just make sure you know what's up.
----i think i would like someone with the baby all the time. maybe it's just that nervous nancy in me.. but the idea of them taking my baby away for a while to clean him/her up, or do whatever it is that they do.. just freaks me out. (like they might lose my baby or something? i know, it's crazy!) it's probably just my current fears about losing this baby that are giving me some attachment issues. but, for now, i feel that i would want the baby with me all the time.. and thadd with the baby if they absolutely had to take him/her away.
----i'll be breastfeeding... assuming my milk is good. with max it definitely came in! i think the top of my head might have been visible over the wall of mammary! so i don't have any fears that it might not come in.. but, you never know what can happen. so, the plan is breastfeeding, and pumping. (i'm not getting up EVERY single time- right?) i sorta feel the same way about breastfeeding that i do about labor. god designed us so wonderfully... our bodies do just what they should (again, USUALLY) to support our babies. i wanted to breastfeed, but mostly because it just made sense to me... that's what boobs are for right? :) but then i was glancing though the book the hospital gave me and it lists the benefits for the baby and the mother... i was amazed at some of them! i'll be posting about breastfeeding later.. it deserves it's own post.

i think i might be momentarily focused on the end because i'm so afraid of the journey there. this little fleck still has a long way to go before we can welcome him/her into the world... and thinking about that makes me more scared.. thinking about and planning the delivery like it's just around the corner makes the pregnancy outcome seem more positive. like if i plan and plan nothing can go wrong. so... kegels and olive oil here i come....
that's all i can think of now... but i'm sure there's more... feel free to tell me things i've forgotten, or, if you think i should do it differently. i'll politely reply, take it into consideration, and then do what i want. (and again, it's like planning a wedding! i should serve those little mints. those always make me happy!)