May 2010

So Johnny’s ex emailed with me the other day about the baby, and she told me she was praying for me and Littlest…. I like that for a nickname, so I’m now using it.

I’ve had a nasty migraine today. I woke up a couple hours after Johnny woke up and was at my computer for a couple minutes when nasty left side head pain started in my temple. I’m blaming hormones and the fact I’ve been eating lots of chocolate ice cream (certain chocolates seem to be triggers, and I never know which ones, though I avoid the ones I’ve already learned from the past), possibly my lupus as well, though other than the “fatigue” which is complicating my pregnancy tiredness it seems to be mostly back under control (Thankfully!!!!)…. so who knows. Either way my head hurts if I sit up for long, but I can’t sleep anymore (I’m getting bored and restless) so I’m watching stuff on Netflix while I lay curled up on the couch. I’m currently sitting at my computer while I drink a ginger soda to settle my tummy again, so I’m blogging and chatting with a friend.

My drink is almost gone and Mischief is sitting by my feet looking like I should move back to the couch, so I think I’m going to take his hints and I’ll try to post more again soon.

Mischief and I early morning 5/4/10

Johnny and Mischief 5/20/10

Between the fact I’m pretty exhausted and the fact I’m really annoyed today I’m annoying pretty much everyone and everything, so I’ll be back when I’m more calm (and awake)… comment replies are on hold for now as well.

I had my first OB appt of the pregnancy today. Johnny and I left just before 1 and didn’t make it home until after 4, so I’m worn out and hope this all makes sense.

She (Dr. P – my OB) walked in and grinned at us over the pregnancy! Then she said something like “See, I told you to get pregnant and it worked!” … Johnny and I both really like her. She sets us at ease right off, she always checks to see if we have questions or comments, she wants our input, and so on.

The plan is:
I will see an OB (not just a NP) every month. There will be ultrasounds performed at every appointment.
Sometime in July (once I’ve had another regular OB appt with u/s) I will see a perinatologist …. I will also see this doctor at 20 weeks (or so) and 28 weeks (or so)… the reason it’s not going to be exact is because we only have a perinatologist closer to us than 4 hours away two days a month. There is one who comes up from Albuquerque twice a month, if we didn’t have him we’d be driving at least 4 hours (each way) away to see one… this way we only drive about an hour each way. So we’ll be seeing him as close to 20 weeks as possible (though it will be at or after because of what we need to image at that appt) and as close to 28 weeks as possible, as well as sometime in July. My OB will also be working with him on my case due to the lupus and the fact I’ll be going onto heparin shots next week some time. The reason we have to be past 20 weeks before I see him is that we need to do the 20 week u/s with him due to the concerns about issues my lupus can cause in a fetus, including heart blockages. So that ultrasound is to be done by him… also that’s one of the major ultrasound points for growth checking and so on I guess, so my OB wants him to do it… and I assume he’ll want to do it as well. In between appointments with the perinatologist I’ll be seeing an OB in the practice I’m working with. Due to doctors being on call and having different days on and off due to that (and my ob also being a laparascopic surgeon) it will depend on the day and the week for who I see, but it will always be one of the OBs.
As I mentioned I will be on heparin. I need to get some blood work done (which we all forgot to have her order for me so I could get it done today) for baseline numbers and so my OB can communicate with the perinatologist so they can decide which levels of heparin I need to be on (prophylactic/preventative or therapeutic) depending on how the blood work comes back. I’ll also have tests done a couple days into heparin treatment to see how the levels are looking at that point. I will be (probably) taken off of the aspirin at this point, though Dr. P is talking with my rheumy to see what she recommends on the drug combo, especially since the rheumy is the one who originally had me on aspirin.

We also will definitely have to (somehow) make it to the hospital my OB works out of no matter the weather or amount of snow when I go into labor, if they’ll even let me try to deliver naturally, I’ll have to talk to both doctors about trying that. This could be interesting since I’m due in mid-January which is some of the worst snow (we’ve had to make it up there for appointments before for both of us at that time of year and nearly had to turn around because it was a total white out)…. However there is no way that there is a delivery happening at home or our local hospital at this point due to the risks involved with this pregnancy.

Eventually I’ll get my other planned posts done, but I’m dealing with a lot of fatigue with this pregnancy (not complaining, sleep is not a bad thing, just explaining), so right now the only posts I’m managing to get out are the ones that are keeping track of how things are progressing with the pregnancy – I had planned to keep this from becoming the main theme of my blog, as I know I have a lot of readers who are infertile or have fertility issues, but I was thinking about it last night, and my purpose for the blog has always been to talk about how my autoimmune health issues affect my life. Well my pregnancy is affected by those issues, and my life is most definitely affected by both, so I am still in the lines of my actual blog purpose. It was never a purely infertility blog. So I’m doing these updates so I can keep track of how everything is going.

I get tears in my eyes each time I think about the fact this is the longest lasting pregnancy so far. I have a ton of hope that that’s a good sign, and the fact that there is a heartbeat now gives me hope too, but there is also a part of me that is holding onto cynicism in an attempt to keep me from getting too attached and hurting even more than I already will if something happens.

Tomorrow is the first prenatal appointment. I’m not sure if we’ll be doing an u/s or not. There’s one scheduled for me, but it may be cancelled based on the fact I already had one done this week. Apparently even though I told the hospital to send the u/s from Monday up to my OB’s office and the tech wrote that on my paperwork, they still don’t have it, so the nurse who is working with my doctor right now is calling and bothering them about it this morning. She’ll get back to me later today about if we are still doing an u/s tomorrow or not, depending on what everything looks like from the hospital. As much as I want to see the embryo and heartbeat again, I’m also hoping we don’t have to do one, as it’s really uncomfortable to have my bladder full for any amount of time… and I’m back to having some UTI symptoms after the last one due to all the holding. Cranberry juice is also definitely a part of diet now, since I skipped it for two days and my symptoms are becoming stronger again… I’m not sure what all played a role in the UTI symptoms returning, but I’m going to guess it’s a combo of my having been late (by an hour or so) with a couple of doses the last couple days with my antibiotic, the amount of water I drank and had to hold in my bladder in the form of urine, and the fact I stopped my cranberry juice. So between that and my discomfort with having to hold a full bladder for any amount of time I don’t want to do another u/s right away. Plus I’m not comfortable with constant ultrasounds. And I’m still achy (endo all over, and my vaginal/rectal area) from the last one… not an easy thing to deal with.

I can’t wait to talk to my doctor about all of this and to mention the staff issues I’ve been having (issues with phone calls not being returned so I have to keep calling), I know she looks stuff over and responds, but I don’t get calls from the nurses. I’m so excited about all of this though, I’ve never been to the point of having any appointments for my pregnancies in the past. Johnny is going to be going with me, and we’ll see what the doctor has to say about a trip I’m supposed to be taking to pick up Gamer and Duckling from their other home, and to visit my family. Hopefully everything looks good tomorrow and the doctor will tell me to continue doing regular activities…. I’ve been having definite pain, but no bleeding, so I’m guessing everything is ok, and it’s just the endo and adhesions that sent me to ER the other night and have continued to cause me pain again. It’s just on one side that I’m having the massive pain, and although it could be just regular pregnancy pain, there is an overall conclusion that it’s the endo and adhesions, especially since that’s my worse side anyway. I’ll report back after the appointment tomorrow, and probably after I get some sleep as that drive wears me out when I’m not pregnant… with pregnancy fatigue on top of it I’m expecting to need at least a nap after we get home.

Continuing on from this post I went to bed after eating, though I didn’t get a whole lot of sleep right away between nerves, psyching myself up that things would be fine, and having to pee from all the fluids they gave me. I finally somehow managed to sleep for a bit before Johnny got home, then we cuddled for a bit and I slept a bit more until I needed to wake up and start making sure I had enough water in my system for the ultrasound (for some reason they wanted to do an outer ultrasound even though I’m not very far along, so it wasn’t likely to show up well), at which point my nerves went into overdrive. When I finally got to the hospital I was almost wetting myself, so I ended up going into the restroom while I waited and emptying my bladder part way before I was called back. It was a good thing because I barely made it through the ultrasound with the partially emptied bladder. We were able to see the sac, but I’m not super far along so we decided to do a transvag ultrasound to see if it would all show up better. So while I was changing the u/s tech went and grabbed a woman to stay in the room with us (the tech was a male) and she helped me get everything set up and covered so he could come back in and do his job. Then he had a screen set up so I could watch the ultrasound… it was sooooo cool! First we were not zoomed in very far, but we could see the sac more clearly. After that he zoomed in more and I got to see the heartbeat. At that point I started crying because it was so amazing! I’ve never made it that far before, and I’ve never had an ultrasound until after miscarrying, or when dealing with cysts. I think I worried the tech and the lady who was in there with us a bit because suddenly they were asking if I was alright, so I explained to them about the past miscarriages and never seeing this before, and the lady came over and held may hand and started pointing things out to me, it was soooo cool. I wish Johnny could have been there, but works was really rough on him Sunday night, so he was sleeping. He’ll be with me on Thursday when the ob does an u/s and we meet with her, so he’ll get to see it then, and he’s seen it before, so while he’s excited over our pregnancy, it’s not quite as big of a deal for him to see a heartbeat again. But he has been getting more and more excited, even as we are both feeling more and more cautious over everything. And of course I’m super excited. I have a lot of emotions going on as I’m that much more scared that something is going to go wrong the more attached I get to this pregnancy, but I’m also so extremely happy to have made it this far, I end up in tears every time I think about it, I’m extremely excited too! I can’t wait for Thursday whether the doctor does another ultrasound or not (I need to call and let them know I had one done and see if they want to do another or not), because I get to see and talk to my doctor and find out how she thinks things are looking. I think I’m also in shock about all of this, I never expected to see a pregnancy get so far, so while I’m extremely excited, I’m also terrified because I’m in such new territory. So there are a lot of emotions going on, but I’m pretty positive over all. There is a part of me that probably won’t accept that this is going to work until I’m actually in labor due to all that has gone on in the past, and that is trying to prepare me for the what if’s because I do need to protect myself some at this point since so much could still go wrong with the pregnancy, but I’m also super excited and positive. And that outweighs the rest of my emotions by far! 🙂
I think I’m going to check with the health department (I’m getting a few services through them) and see about getting some cheap or free counselling in town, since I definitely need it! I need it for a lot of reasons, but I really think it would help me process this pregnancy too… with all the emotions involved.

And on that note I’m off to lay down again… I’ll update more later… I’m still pretty worn out from all the missed sleep and all of the excitement. I know I had more I wanted to say, but it can wait for another post. 🙂

I’m sleepy and hurting and too distracted for a good post right now, but did want to put up that WE HAVE A HEARTBEAT! I’m still not entirely convinced this is going to work… too many miscarriages, but that is a good sign that it’s in my uterus and there is a heart beat. My ovaries didn’t want to cooperate and there was pain due to the endo around my rectum and bowels/back of my uterus, so there is definitely some endo stuff going on (not a shock), and I have the corpus luteum cyst which is probably adding to my discomfort….. so it seems to be the endo, cyst and adhesions combining with normal pregnancy movement to cause the pain. Neither of us (Johnny or I) are surprised by this, but it is a relief to know that’s what is happening.

So to sum up – there’s a heartbeat! Also, my endo and complications from the endo/surgeries and the pregnancy are conspiring for pain.

So yesterday (Sunday) morning I had some cramping happen again, but between how I was laying and the fact I’ve been having gas I wasn’t too worried. Then around 9pm or so I started having massive dizzy spells. I had just taken a nice warm bath (not too hot, I’ve cooled my bath temps down from normal) and sometimes it happens so I just sat there for a bit before getting dressed and it eventually cleared up. Nothing to worry about, right? Well a couple hours later I was chatting with friends while sitting at my pc when I got hit with an even more massive dizzy spell that wasn’t clearing up, so I moved to the couch and rested for a bit, but since I wasn’t feeling any better I decided to go to bed. I thought maybe it was just that I haven’t had as much protein the last couple of days (mainly it’s been pb for protein as neither of us have been up to cooking and we need to buy some more easy protein stuff) … but when I got into bed the pain returned and my dizziness got worse, so I ended up making my way to the phone and calling Johnny at work saying I thought something was wrong and needed to get to ER. I wasn’t sure if the infection was worse than we’d thought and the antibiotics weren’t working or if I had something going on with the pregnancy. Unfortunately he was unable to leave work. I called his mom, who works at the nursing home connected to the hospital, and asked if she was home or working and if she could get me to ER. She was able to leave work and pick me up (5 minute drive each way if you hit red lights at night) and dropped me off at ER before returning to work. I got in, and of course between me being absolutely freezing (I wore my winter coat over long sleeve pjs and a pair of pants) and being emotional my Raynaud’s was not happy so they couldn’t get the machine to read anything other than my BP (which was a little higher than normal, but it has been with this pregnancy, and it’s not unhealthy – plus with the fact of more blood it makes sense for it to be a few points higher) so they sent me to admissions to do my paperwork, then settled me in a room and started warming me up and asking questions. I ended up needing a urinalysis run, and they wanted a bunch of blood. The urinalysis was pretty easy, though I’d peed not long before I got dizzy, so there wasn’t a whole lot and they called it concentrated (don’t ask me how when I’m drinking water like it’s going out of style) and they worked on getting a blood draw and IV going. We got the needle in with the first poke, but my vein wasn’t giving blood (not unusual) so they decided to just start the IV and wait for the doctor to see exactly what tests NEEDED doing, and which could be ignored. After awhile the doc came in and talked to me and told me what she wanted to do (IV, Urinalysis, HCG quantification) and the EMT tried again to do a blood draw. My right arm is sporting one spot where the IV was at… my left has either 3 or 4. The doctor messed up one of my veins while the EMT was trying to get enough blood out of it by moving my arm *while he was in the process of trying to draw and not warning him!!* …. Needless to say between her comments about my pregnancy (oh, well at least you are barely pregnant) and that action I’m not impressed. After she walked out the EMT and I laughed about how “Doctors shouldn’t try to do my job” … we were also laughing about my poor veins. I like it when the people working on me can laugh with me because they are a major pain in the ass!!!! VERY few people have luck with them, let alone as fast as he got my IV going. We finally got a good vein for the blood draw, and he left the needle in once he got enough in case the doctor changed her mind. Once he confirmed we were done with blood and that we were just waiting on the IV to finish he came back and took out the extra needle (the one in my left arm, not the one for the IV that was in my right) and got it all bandaged up and checked my IV bag. A bit later the doctor came in and said that my urine was concentrated, but clean; that my HCG would be ready in the morning; that I needed an ultrasound (no u/s techs at our hosp at night); and to drink lots of fluids constantly and to have my bladder full for the u/s. Then she walked back out and I didn’t see her again. The EMT did most of my care, the nurse was in less than the doctor (I saw the doctor 3 times, the nurse twice, the EMT 5 or 6 times)… I can’t complain, he was nice, and we talked while he did the blood draw (mostly about EMT stuff and my veins)… I would have loved to see the nurse and doctor even less as both were rude. So after the IV bag finished they released me and my MIL brought me home. I go back in 5 hours and have the u/s and find out if my hcg is right or not. The doctor said I’m far enough along that not only will we be able to make sure the pregnancy implanted in the right spot, if everything is good we’ll see the heart beat! I can’t even express how much my heart is in my throat about that… I’m excited and absolutely terrified. I think while I’m there doing the testing and getting results I’ll also go to the business office and complain about the doctor. The nurse wasn’t as bad (though I wouldn’t mind not dealing with her again) but I REALLY didn’t like that doctor. So that’s been my night, and now that I’ve had 2 glasses of water and eaten some food (eggs… thankfully I felt up to cooking them and getting some protein that way) I’m off to bed for a few hours until Johnny wakes me when he gets home so I can take my next dose of antibiotics and start working on all those fluids they want me to take and the filling of the bladder for the u/s. I’ll report back (with a new post) when I get home from the hospital later. Wow…. I just realized if things are good still I’ll get to u/s in less than a week. I knew that as far as I realized that Thursday I have an u/s and appointment with my ob, but it hadn’t hit home how close together they’d be! Anyway, off to bed I go! 🙂

My bladder infection seems to be slowly getting better, I’m over halfway through the antibiotics now. I have plans to do a post about UTIs, IC and pregnancy… since it’s a muddled mess and involved in why I didn’t catch the UTI sooner (besides the fact I believe it to have partially been a med reaction).

My migraine is gone but I’m still having headaches… of course with all the crap in the air from the wind, and the pressure stuff that happens with these storms it’s not surprise that I’m having headaches.

My rash has cleared up, but I’m still having skin issues in that it did a lot of damage and drying to the skin, not just where the rash ended up, but the whole area around it, so I’ve been peeling some, itching a lot, and thinking I need to use some lotion on the area so that the skin gets moisturized again and the stuff that is dead will come off and the rest will hopefully go back to normal… that whole area feels REALLY odd right now. 😦

My lupus is back out of control…. I had a bit with this pregnancy where it was “in remission” I suppose would be the way to put it… I had a couple days where I was in pain, then I went on bedrest for the pregnancy and although I ached because our couch is uncomfortable and the way I use the mouse doesn’t help my shoulder out, I was not having lupus pain. I had a couple days after bedrest when I was still feeling pretty good, then about a week ago when the UTI really hit and I started really having signs of a reaction to the progesterone suppositories I ended up really ill again…. the dizzy spells are expected with pregnancy, as is the fatigue… the joint pain, the achiness, the migraines and the general feeling like crap… not so much.

The lupus stuff has sent my emotions spiralling even more out of control. I’m still all over the place (and with hormones and what has happened with my other pregnancies is it any wonder?), but adding the lupus pain back in when it looked like I might finally have a break from most of my pain other than some achiness and the normal pregnancy stuff has sent me into a bad place emotionally. With the pain rolling back in all the darkness did too… I had been so hopeful, but the pain, the med reactions and the UTI all happened close together and really is making it difficult to be in a good mood. I’m still excited about the pregnancy, and still hopeful it’ll work since I’m further than I have made it before, but I’m also really down about everything else. I never expected pregnancy to be easy… nothing else relating to my body is, but I still hoped that maybe I could get a bit of a break. And I hadn’t really thought it would happen until I got that time where everything was calm, I now feel as if things have been stolen back away from me, and it has really put a damper on things. Right now I’m just really hoping the ultrasound on Thursday goes well… I don’t think I could handle bad news there on top of everything else going on. I mean, I know I could, I know I’ll make it through, but I’ve had enough going on this pregnancy that I could really use some good news.

I’m awake again and at the computer.

I’m very bored, and have slept for around 14 hours, so sleep is out unless I drug myself again, and I prefer not to do that. Sitting here is a better option than laying on the couch with something playing on Netflix or a dvd because although the keyboard makes noise when I type it’s not as much as a movie, so this is the lesser of two evils. My visision is defintiely affected by this, so I’m reading things wrong part of the time and spelling things incorrectly (thankful for browser spell checks), but hopefully anyone I talk to while dealing with this can get past that.

As I said, I’m here at the computer and probably will be until I need a nap again, it’s the easiest thing I can do to distract myself right now, which I need.

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