I saw a new doctor (Rheumatologist, Internist, Nutritionist) on Wednesday. I’m not sure what I think. Johnny will be going with me to my next appt, and asking his own questions to settle his own mind, then we’ll decide.

I am really more comfortable with the conventional treatments than with what this guy offers, but if he can set mine and Johnny’s minds at ease, we’ll move forward with him.

I did my labs for him today (a blood test and urinalysis)… it took 3 pokes this time to get into a vein, and then the blood was moving so slowly that she had to take off the one vial and put on another, and got the amount between the two. It hurt pretty bad too… I’m expecting bruises on at least one any time, though since she couldn’t get into that vein, it may not bruise?

Idk… we shall see what we shall see.

We did not find out the gender today, but we did get to see all the organs and everything (other than gender, as I said)…

Littlest was showing the fact s/he does belong in this family – being completely stubborn, blocking us from getting all the heart pictures (that has been the big concern due to the fact a heart defect runs in my family, as due murmurs and the fact my lupus can cause heart problems for Littlest as well). Also, when we tried to get face pictures s/he kept turning away and/or using hands to block us from getting many good face pictures lol.

Everything looks good! S/he’s small at this point, but other than that everything looks good, and the size isn’t a big deal at this point, though we do now have an extra appointment with the perinatologist beyond what was originally expected … we go back in 7 weeks or so. The doctor isn’t too worried about anything at this point, but does want to follow the size and make sure that growth does start happening properly.

I have not been told to go on bed rest, but I am to take it as easy as I can.

Kate at Busted Plumbing brought a new meme to my attention. This is the first week for the Saturday Snap Cup meme.
As The CEO puts it Saturday Snap-Cup is your chance to share a story of appreciation with your readers. Being positive one day a week instead of venting about how hard it is to sip coffee and gab with my girlfriends while our kids wreck whomevers house we are at be a mom is the least I can do! Share whatever you’d like–send a *SNAP* to your newest follower or favorite blogger, a *SNAP* to a stranger who gave you a compliment that made your day, a *SNAP* to a new lipgloss that makes you feel like a rock star, or even send a *SNAP* to your kids by sharing a picture of something they did that put a smile on your face!

This week I’d like to send a *SNAP* to my OB for including the kids in the appointment this week when we took them. They had a blast and are still talking about how great it was to get to help and to hear the heart beat. I love that rather than just letting them hear the heartbeat when she put the doppler up to my belly, they each got to do something with the appointment – Gamer with the doppler and Duckling with measuring me. She made all our days with that one move, and made the kids extremely glad they’d gone with us rather than them and Johnny staying at home so they didn’t have to do a long car ride. We didn’t even get complaints in the car, other than one question of how long it would take to get there, and we didn’t get any on the way home at all.

If you’d like to join us with this feel free to head over to

My OB thinks at least part of my pain, with where it’s been located, may be a cyst. If I remember when I have my ultrasound in a couple of weeks I’ll ask them to let me know if they see any cysts, or any signs that one has popped or anything.
The other thing is that we discussed how to keep me from having another pregnancy, because 1) we have three (human) kids so that’s enough for us (one with us year round, two with us every summer for now, though hopefully eventually we’ll be closer and have them more), and 2) another pregnancy, whether it lasted or not, would obviously not be a good idea for me, mentally, physically or emotionally. Since the hospital my OB works out of (the closest one other than the one in the town we live in – which has no OBs) is a Mercy hospital she can’t perform a tubal litigation there. However at her office she can do this procedure in her office 6 weeks postpartum, and 3 months after that it should be permanent. I can’t tell you how much that eases my mind. It’s not that I don’t want more kids, it’s that this pregnancy, it’s been enough for me without going through it again. And I wouldn’t want to go through even more miscarriages trying to get another pregnancy to stick again… I’m just not strong enough. Plus, as I said, three is a good number for us.
I think I’ve covered everything from yesterday now…..

I had an appointment with my regular OB today. The only issue going on with me is my lack of weight gain. She did paperwork so that I’ll be provided with lactaid free whole milk, and Ensure. That will hopefully help with my weight gain. I think two big issues preventing weight gain in me have been that at least once a week I’m ill all day. I may not vomit all day, but I’m at the point that just getting fluids in me is a struggle those days. And I am prone to having everything solid come back up. 😦 I think the other issue is that most of my cravings are not for fattening foods, they are for fruits and veggies – which, while healthy, isn’t helpful for me gaining weight.
I’m off the prometrium/progesterone now! I can’t tell you how much of a relief that is. And, pending her talk with the peri I will be off my heparin soon (even though he told us very strongly that there is no reason for me to be on it, she wants to be sure my lupus isn’t enough reason to keep me on), which will be an even bigger relief, especially since we strongly suspect my latest lupus flare was linked to said medication. What can I say… my body likes to be difficult and react in funny ways. 😦
We found the heartbeat with the doppler today.. .baby scooted away from the doppler so she had to hunt it back down lol. The heartrate is right where it should be… it was 140 something, when she stopped checking it it was up to 150. πŸ™‚ I’m hoping this is a good sign that nothing is wrong with Littlest’s heart since there are a couple of risk factors for it – my lupus and some heart issues that showed up in both of my male cousins on my dad’s side… if I’m not mistaken they were both born with holes in their hearts, and I’m pretty sure they’ve each had 3 open heart surgeries… I know the one 11 months older than me has had 3 for sure, I remember one of the surgeries (his most recent, when we were both in high school) and I’ve heard stories about the other two. So hopefully the good beat is a good sign. In 7 weeks they’ll be doing a scan to check all the organs, and paying close attention to the heart, so we’ll know more in September on that front.
The only other news I have is that I hit 14 weeks yesterday, and am now in the second trimester no matter who you ask! Some people say I switch to the second at the end of 12 weeks, others say at the end of 13, the receptionist and nurses I’ve talked to at the OB office when I was switching meds around said 12 to 13 weeks is when it switches lol.

Lupus is kicking my rear end… it’s affecting all my joints, plus having some fatigue issues. My main issue right now is with my wrists and hands.
Saw the perinatologist today – thinks look great, we also had an ultrasound! πŸ™‚ The heartbeat is great, we got to see baby from lots of angles, and I have a story from this that I’ll get to at the end of this post.
I should be going off the prometrium next week when I see my OB, it’s usually only used in the first trimester, so the peri suggested talking to the OB about it.
I should also be stopping the heparin next week (YAY!!! No more home shots for awhile unless we start my B12 back up), since I don’t have a personal history of clots, I haven’t had any clots come out when I’ve bled, and I’ve not had any other issues that indicate we should continue it, since we’re now at the point where miscarriage is extremely unlikely!
I need to have my OB order a 24hour urine collection for me (peri is in another state, and not a primary doc for me, he’s just giving input on my case to my OB) to see if there is any sign of problems with my kidney function, since I’m still having pain. He is also concerned (obviously, from the start of this section) that it’s my lupus… that was the only suspicion he had.
On to my story! When we first started the ultrasound Littlest was moving all over, showing us hands and feet (if you have the password you’ll see the pictures in the next post, if you don’t have it send me an email… it’s in my contact info on one of my pages). A few minutes into it Littlest fell asleep, so the sonographer started poking at him (Most of the time for whatever reason male pronouns come out when referring to the baby, though once in awhile female ones come out instead), he woke up, stretched his arms, went back to sleep. She tried again and got a couple movements before sleep happened again. This kept happening, then she switched to 3D for a couple of minutes and got a dirty look shot at her before sleeping again (she was pressing harder at that point)…. For those who don’t know… that’s totally how I am. If I’m tired I go to sleep no matter what anyone wants, and if you try to get me to wake up you’ll either get grumped at or you’ll get me rolling over and going back to sleep lol! It was so cute and funny to see my personality already coming through some lol! πŸ™‚ I turned to Johnny and said something about how “Not that there’s any doubt, but this is totally my kid!” lol! πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

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.

I sent this out as an email to my family, and since I’m still not back to typing very well (will explain later) I decided to just copy and paste it.

Hi Everyone,
I had an appointment with the rheumatologist today, and wanted to let you know how it went.
She looked over all the blood work, talked to me about my symptoms, and told me I definitely have lupus, though she needs some more lab work, so off to the lab again. My heart rate was fast when she was listening to it, and though she forgot to mention it during the appointment, her assistant called me a few hours later and told me they want to set up an EKG. So this will be EKG number 3 in 2 months. I go for that on the 29th. I am on blood pressure medication for my raynaud’s phenomenon, as it will help to keep the blood vessels in my fingers and toes from spasming, and help keep me from losing circulation to them and having all the pain and difficulty with my fingers and toes. While I was there she looked at the vessels in a couple of my fingers and said that they look good, so that is excellent news. I also am on Plaquenil, which is a common medicine used to treat lupus, it is also an antimalarial. It is supposed to help with the joint pain and the rashes I get. Those seem to be the only issues my lupus is causing, so this is excellent news! The lab work will be the last of the tests (at this point, they will continue to check them) to give an idea of how well my kidneys are working at this point, it will be blood work to show which of my antibodies are so high so that she can get a clue as to what my lupus may be likely to do, and it will be blood work to show if I have the antibodies that point to blood clots forming to easily, which will show if I will be able to go back on birth control for my endometriosis and other reasons or not. I think that’s everything that we were told today. We go back at the end of next month (a week after E’s birthday) to find out the lab results and for her to monitor how I am doing with the treatments she has me on, which will also probably include tweaking them and possibly adding more in if necessary.
Merry Christmas!!!
J

I sent this out as an email to my family, and since I’m still not back to typing very well (will explain later) I decided to just copy and paste it.

Hi Everyone,
I had an appointment with the rheumatologist today, and wanted to let you know how it went.
She looked over all the blood work, talked to me about my symptoms, and told me I definitely have lupus, though she needs some more lab work, so off to the lab again. My heart rate was fast when she was listening to it, and though she forgot to mention it during the appointment, her assistant called me a few hours later and told me they want to set up an EKG. So this will be EKG number 3 in 2 months. I go for that on the 29th. I am on blood pressure medication for my raynaud’s phenomenon, as it will help to keep the blood vessels in my fingers and toes from spasming, and help keep me from losing circulation to them and having all the pain and difficulty with my fingers and toes. While I was there she looked at the vessels in a couple of my fingers and said that they look good, so that is excellent news. I also am on Plaquenil, which is a common medicine used to treat lupus, it is also an antimalarial. It is supposed to help with the joint pain and the rashes I get. Those seem to be the only issues my lupus is causing, so this is excellent news! The lab work will be the last of the tests (at this point, they will continue to check them) to give an idea of how well my kidneys are working at this point, it will be blood work to show which of my antibodies are so high so that she can get a clue as to what my lupus may be likely to do, and it will be blood work to show if I have the antibodies that point to blood clots forming to easily, which will show if I will be able to go back on birth control for my endometriosis and other reasons or not. I think that’s everything that we were told today. We go back at the end of next month (a week after E’s birthday) to find out the lab results and for her to monitor how I am doing with the treatments she has me on, which will also probably include tweaking them and possibly adding more in if necessary.
Merry Christmas!!!
J