Ok, before I start the post I have to say I love Douglas Adams’ series The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy! 🙂 🙂

Anyway… Last weekend I started having UTI symptoms again. I didn’t want to go to ER over the 4th of July, I knew no matter what hour I went it would be crazy, so I decided to wait until our primary care office was open again Tuesday. I went in and did a urine sample, which the doctor looked at under the microscope before coming in to see me, and it looked normal OTHER THAN having red blood cells in it, and one or two epithelial cells as well. He didn’t think there was an infection, but started me on amoxycillin just in case, and sent the rest of the sample off to the lab to be cultured. We talked about what else it could be and his first thought (with the RBCs) was kidney stones, I reminded him of my lupus as we were talking about medications, and he said that it could be lupus nephritis starting up too. He told me to call back and check for the culture results in two to three days, so I called and left a message today for someone to look in my records and see if the results were back. A few hours later I checked back and there was a message in our voicemail inbox from a woman at the clinic letting me know the results were back and perfectly clean. I’ve since stopped my antibiotic. By the time I got the message it was too late for me to reach my nurse at the OB’s office, so I’ll call in the morning and find out how they want to proceed. I’m guessing they’ll want me to head to my rheumatologist, but I do want to check and find out if they have testing they want to do as well, so I’m going to hopefully hear back with their thoughts sometime tomorrow. Thankfully this all happened before meeting the perinatologist (as I’ll only see him a few times and am unsure how to get messages to him about changes with my health), so it’ll come up during the consult we have next week with him. At this point I’m trying to keep in mind that it could still be something minor causing all the kidney pain (and other things, but kidney pain and urine odor are my main issues right now) and that my rheumatologist does keep an eye on my kidneys just to be sure nothing changes there. However, my concern is that this pregnancy has well… not been easy on my body. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t expect it to be, but it is causing health issues for me, so that is what I’m referring to. My lupus is definitely not in remission at this point – I’m sporting a butterfly/malar rash, I’ve got a sore/blister in my mouth (which hasn’t happened in… a year? I know it’s been at least 6 or 8 months now), my joints have been bothering me, etc., so that’s not helping my worry, and my worry isn’t helping with any of that. We’ll see what the doctors office says, hopefully they’ll be able to get back to me the same day (it depends on if my ob is in or not, or on call, etc), and we can move forward with testing and treating.

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.

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.

Before I say anything (and I’m guessing that at least to some of my readers this will give away what’s coming) I want to say to any face to face friends or family members who know us in person – if you are reading this news and haven’t heard it from me or Johnny personally please contact us before you get all upset, we have our reasons that this has been kept quiet, so please just let us explain and don’t start contacting other family members or friends to find out if they know, they may end up pissed off too, which is the last thing we need.

IFers and M/C sisters beware, this could be a tough post.

Ok…. the reason for my last post, and for my silence lately is that I’m pregnant. I’m currently almost six weeks along, and have known since the first Tuesday in the month. The last two weeks have been extremely rocky as I have had to go on extra hormones, I had super scary cramping… I also had the “normal” cramping and pelvic twinges and such that are just part and parcel with pregnancy, but I’m talking cramps that had me in tears and felt like the ones I’ve had with my past miscarriages. For those just joining in on the story this is pregnancy number 5 for me, no live births, which means 4 miscarriages so far (I hate having to add so far on there, but even with the treatments I’m still really scared this is going to end badly) and at nearly six weeks this is the longest I’ve ever been pregnant. Three of those miscarriages have happened in the last year – starting the day before Father’s Day last year, then one in October at 5 weeks (the only one I even had a suspicion of pregnancy with, also the longest pregnancy I had before this one), and one in March. The cramping got really bad over the first weekend that I knew I was pregnant (I wasn’t able to start my progesterone suppositories until right before the weekend, a couple days after the positive) and I put myself on bedrest. The following Monday I called my ob’s office and the nurse told me to continue the bedrest until I heard back from my doctor. A couple days later I still hadn’t heard back so I started really bothering the staff to get me an answer, they had another of the ob’s review my case and I was told to go ahead and go off bedrest. I was supposed to up my progesterone, but there just isn’t money right now (I’m working on getting on other insurance) and now that it is in my system more I’m doing better. Then, Saturday or Sunday I started feeling more and more like absolute crap. I think it was Sunday I had some leg pain (one of those side effects they warn you about as it could be a clot) and early Monday morning I started itching around my butt, so I scratched and found that the skin felt really odd, so I had Johnny look at it (this was during his lunch break thankfully) and there was a good sized rash going on. I also had been having some issues urinating, but the retention I was having was listed as a possible side effect, and the pain I was having isn’t unusual (especially since I got brave and tried to drink one of my favorite drinks a day or so before – lemonade) so I hadn’t thought anything of it. Johnny bought a baby “healing creme” for me and has been applying it and the rash looks a lot better, I think we are at the point that we can stop treating it, it’s not itching anymore and although the skin is still a bit discolored (I look bruised) it’s definitely healed up. Due to all of this they switched my progesterone from suppositories to oral, same med and dose just different way of getting it into my body. Hopefully this works and I won’t have to do any more switching of meds. They also told me to “drop by and do a urinalysis” and I replied with something along the lines of there is no dropping by your office… I’m an hour from you guys, so they sent me to our PCP office, which I did Tuesday (yesterday for me) morning when they were able to get me in. Once I got there they gave me a cup and I went and peed in it so they could run the urinalysis… it was pretty obvious to me when I was closing up the cup and putting it in the cubby for the lab that something was up… I won’t go into details, but it was really obvious. Johnny and I both had appointments, so we took care of Johnny’s appointment, after which his doctor looked at the results, said “you have an infection, does your ob want to treat it or should I”… I didn’t know so he gave me a rx (the one he always uses for pregnant women apparently) and I’m to verify with my ob’s office that it is how they want it treated and start on it. So it’s been an eventful pregnancy. When I haven’t been dealing with those things I’ve been pretty happy, but it definitely hasn’t been an easy couple of weeks, and due to my health and miscarriage history we’ve been keeping it pretty quiet…. even with the treatments they are doing (aspirin and extra progesterone) we’re still walking on eggshells and pretty nervous about the whole thing. I have my first prenatal appointment and ultrasound next Thursday, we’ll see what the results are… the u/s tech isn’t entirely sure she’ll be able to see anything at that point, but since I’ll be pretty near 7 weeks she thinks that there is a good chance.

I want to let my readers know I don’t know how much or how little this pregnancy will come up in my blog…. when I’m not sick (like with this infection) although the pregnancy is on my mind it’s not so much a topic of conversation for this blog because my AI issues seem to be in remission. Unfortunately the infection has made my lupus flare a bit more and me feel like crap, but that’s no surprise. I will be doing updates, I’m not sure how frequently. Any pictures will be in password protected posts and labeled so that no one has to see them if they don’t want to, as I know how tough it is to see baby bump pictures when you want one so bad and can’t get there. This is my space and I will post what I need to, but if it does get rough for you to see the posts please let me know in a comment or email and I’ll let you know when non pregnancy posts are up (with a link) so that you don’t have to keep checking my blog and seeing pregnancy news. I am wanting to write about the pregnancy, especially as things change with my health, but I also do know how hard it can be to read and am concerned about how the news will affect the friends I’ve made through this blog. I know on a forum/community I’m on that deals with all sorts of topics and has both fertiles and infertiles there is a pregnancy boom going on and we’ve had a couple of members needing to take a break, which … although I haven’t necessarily forgotten where I’m coming from, has made me think a bit more about what I’m saying… I want to share my happy news, and I do want to give updates in what is a high risk pregnancy situation, but I also don’t want to overwhelm those for whom this is a sensitive topic, so like I said just let me know!

I think that’s all my news for now…. Umm…. I can’t think of anything else for now.