10 weeks

Double digits!  I can’t really believe I’m 10 weeks today.  What a rollercoaster this has been so far.  After the craziness of last week, I really tried to stay positive this week and so far I’m feeling good about how things are going.  Being positive doesn’t come all that naturally to me (I’m a chronic worrier) so I’m pretty proud of myself right now!

In the last week, my symptoms have really kicked into high gear and my evening sickness morphed into more of an all-day sickness.  My belly has been pretty bloated, enough that D and I actually argued about whether or not I was “showing.”  I say it’s just really bad bloat but he thinks it’s too big to be bloating.  Obviously, I’m right.

Nausea:  I feel OK when I wake up in the morning.  I eat something small before I leave for work and then have a bigger breakfast when I get to my desk.  Mid-morning is when the nausea has been starting this week.  Afternoons and evenings are pretty bad too.  I always drink a ton of water, but I’m starting to notice that, by the afternoon, sipping water makes me gag a bit.

Vomiting: None to date.

Food cravings or aversions: No real change here.

Aches and Pains: The boob pain has actually let up a bit.  They still look pretty swollen and veiny but aren’t as excruciatingly sore as they were a couple of weeks ago.

Fatigue:  Killer.  I’m so tired all the time.  It doesn’t help that Littleman is getting his molars and has been up a million times in the last couple of nights.  I really need to sleep through the night. 

Other:  My bowel issues continue, which is a total pain.  I actually bought myself some baby food prunes the other day but haven’t been able to get up the courage to try eating them.  My skin is pretty bad again this week, especially on my chin.

Extreme fatigue and other people’s babies

Over the past couple of weeks, the pregnancy fatigue has kicked into high gear.  I’m not just tired, but downright exhausted.  By shortly after lunch each day, I start yawning those massive yawns that cause huge tears to spring to my eyes.  I drag my body home after work and attempt to feed my family dinner, usually ending up on the couch before the end of the meal.  I go to bed by 8:00 p.m. whenever I possibly can and, even then, I find getting up in the morning to be excruciating.

I vaguely recall feeling like this with Littleman’s pregnancy.  I remember being in bed when it was still light out and hearing the neighbourhood kids playing outside.  I guess the difference was I didn’t have an active toddler to keep up with at the time.

Thankfully, this weekend I had the chance to get some rest.  My parents were amazingly helpful and took Littleman on some errands on Saturday morning (a visit to the farmers market and a stop at the tractor dealership!), leaving me alone at the farm to “take it easy.”  It was amazing.  I lay on the couch for a while, then dragged myself into the shower.  After getting dressed, I made myself comfortable on a different couch and read my book until they returned.  After lunch, I put Littleman down for his nap and then crawled into bed for my own two-hour nap.  Dreamy!

In other news, I survived my first birth announcement since my miscarriage in March.  A friend of mine had a baby boy on Friday.  I knew the announcement would be coming at any point and worried about how sad I would feel, knowing that my original due date would be approaching.  We had been excited about our babies being close in age and being on maternity leave together. 

Surprisingly, hearing the news  wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be.  I’m very happy for her.  Of course, I couldn’t help thinking about the little one we lost, but knowing that Bo is hanging in there and continuing to grow helped me feel better.  There are a few more babies expected to arrive over the next month or so, which means I was going to have to face this sooner or later.  I’m sure that actually seeing the babies in person may be a bit tougher, but I’m feeling stronger these days and I know I can handle it now.  As long as I can stay awake!

No heavy lifting

Have you ever tried to follow a “no heavy lifting” rule while alone with a toddler?  Turns out, it isn’t easy.  In fact, I’m starting to think it’s going to be impossible.

After getting diagnosed with a subchorionic bleed earlier this week, Dr. P called me to check in.  Along with no intercourse and no exertion, I was told no heavy lifting.  I assume that my 30-something-pound 2 ½ year old son counts as “heavy.”

The rule was relatively easy to follow when D was around.  He could plop Littleman into his high chair for meals, hold him up to the sink to wash his hands, lift him into the bath tub and put him to bed in his crib.  But starting last night, D was on night shift.  That means I’m on my own for dinner time, bed time, middle-of-the-night wakings and mornings.

We prepped a bit by putting a stepladder in Littleman’s room.  We thought we could trick him into thinking it was fun to climb up into his own crib.  As for meals, using the same concept, I dragged a dining room chair beside his high chair and let him climb up himself, with me supporting him.  The difficulty, of course, came when Littleman woke up numerous times after his initial bedtime, wanting to be held by mommy.

How do you tell a toddler that you can’t pick him up?   It’s so, so hard.  There were more than a few tears last night.

Thankfully, my parents have offered to take us to the farm with them for the weekend so they can help out. 

I’m so glad that I decided to tell my parents about my pregnancy this time around.  For the past two pregnancies, we’ve waiting until after the first trimester to share the news.  We knew how excited they would be and wanted them to be able to share the news with the world once we told them.

After the miscarriage, however, I decided I didn’t want to wait.  I knew that I would need to rely on my parents no matter what happened this time and I’m so glad they know.  Especially now.   Having people around who give me a break when I need it and give Littleman the attention he deserves is so important.

So, while D is working this weekend, I’ll be doing my best to take it easy and trying to let other do the heaving lifting.

9 weeks

I think it goes without saying that this has definitely been the most stressful week of my pregnancy.  After the spotting episode followed by the gushing blood and subsequent subchorionic bleed diagnosis, I’m ready for a break.

On a positive note, the pregnancy symptoms have really kicked up a notch over the past week.  Whenever I feel like shit, D reminds me that this is exactly what I was like during Littleman’s pregnancy.  After living through a first trimester virtually symptom-free, only to lose the baby, I’m nothing but thankful for feeling horrible right now!

Nausea:  My “evening sickness” seems to have begun and I feel generally nauseous most evenings.  It usually begins after (or during) dinner and often I have to get up from the dinner table to lie on the couch.  I do get random bouts of nausea throughout the day as well, mostly when I start to get hungry.  “Morning sickness” is such a stupid term.

Vomiting: None to date.

Food cravings or aversions: I’ve mainly been interested in white/beige foods these days.  For example: fries, chips, mac and cheese, bagels… No particular aversions.

Aches and Pains: Boobs are still very sore, although it seems to be more off-and-on this week.  Either that, or I’m just too focused on the other stuff to notice as much.  I’ve also had some minor cramping which, I suppose, could be related to the bleed or to my bowel issues (see below).

Fatigue:  Full on fatigue has kicked in and I’ve been in bed before 8:00 p.m. most nights.  Luckily, D has been around to take care of Littleman (who now stays up later than Mommy!)  I’m a little worried about this coming weekend, when D starts night shift.  Oh well, we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it. 

Other:  I’ve been alternating between constipation and diarrhea, which has been pretty uncomfortable and has left me feeling quite crampy.  I’m sure my diet isn’t helping that situation, so I should probably try to eat a bit better.  I did, in fact, go down to the food court at lunch time today with the intention of buying a salad.  Instead, I came back with rice.  Oops. 


Another scary day

Things have been getting pretty crazy around here.  When I said that last week’s incident probably wouldn’t be my only “freak-out moment” of this pregnancy, I don’t think I realized the next one would come quite so soon…

I didn’t have any more spotting after the ultrasound on Thursday.  I also hadn’t heard any results from that ultrasound, so I took that to mean there was nothing out of the ordinary to report.  I felt pretty crummy off-and-on over the weekend – mostly feeling nauseous in the evenings and had been going to bed super early.

Yesterday, I was 8w5d.  I woke up and went to work as usual.  I was having a bit of gas-like cramping, but my tummy had been a bit off (I was a little constipated over the weekend and then had some diarrhea) so I wasn’t really concerned.  Just before 10:00 a.m., I got up from my desk to  go to the washroom.  I felt a bit of wetness “down there” but I assumed it was my usual pregnancy discharge – watery/creamy/whitish stuff.  When I arrived at the washroom and sat down, there was an immediate huge gush of blood.  It was bright red and way more blood than a normal menstrual bleed.  I was freaking out.  How could this be happening?  I just saw Bo looking perfect on Thursday.  How could I have a miscarriage now?

I pulled myself together and made it back to my desk.  I somehow managed to set my out-of-office response on my email and stumbled over to my boss to tell her I had to leave.  She didn’t know about my pregnancy yet, so I felt I had to tell her.  She was very good about it and I rambled about my situation as she walked me down to catch a cab.

D was up at the farm doing some work, so it would take him a while to get back to the city.  I couldn’t get a hold of my mom and first, so I knew I was going to have to go the ER on my own.  Mom finally called back and met me at the hospital.  She made it there before the triage nurse had even seen me.  I managed to hold myself together until I was talking to the nurse.  That’s when I started sobbing.

I made it through triage and registration relatively quickly.  Our hospital is massive and has a crazy busy ER, so usually the wait is very long.  Of course, once inside, I was escorted to yet another waiting room.  To wait.  D arrived while I was waiting to be seen.  Around noon, a doctor came to get us.

We went into an examination room and I described my symptoms again.  At this point, I hadn’t had any more bleeding beyond that one big gush.  I told the doctor about my spotting and subsequent ultrasound on Thursday.  He said he would do a “screening” ultrasound right away and then we’d take it from there.

I lay down fully prepared to be told that I had miscarried.  I felt sick to my stomach, but strangely calm.  He pulled in the portable ultrasound machine and got down to business.  D was standing beside me and I knew he could see the screen but I couldn’t see anything and D was keeping quiet.  Finally the doctor asked if I wanted to see the baby and turned the screen toward me.  It was much less clear than the previous ultrasounds, but I could definitely see the blob of a baby and the fluttering heart.  Thank God.

He told us that the ultrasound machine wasn’t good enough to measure the heart rate properly but that everything looked normal to him.  He said he suspected that I had a subchorionic bleed, which apparently is common cause of first trimester bleeding.  I would get a more detailed ultrasound that afternoon, as well as urine and blood work.

Back to the little waiting room to wait some more.  In the meantime, I called Dr. P’s office to let him know I was in the ER.  His receptionist said that my ultrasound from last week had been “normal” but did show a small subchorionic bleed.  She said it was good that I was getting checked again and that they would look out for the results.  Um, why hadn’t they called and told me about the bleed??  I’m sure I still would have freaked out, but maybe not quite as much…

Anyway, after many hours of waiting, we were finally taken to radiology for the second ultrasound.  After a quick abdominal ultrasound, they moved on to transvaginal.  When I say “they”, I mean that I got to have it done twice because there was a student as well as the regular technologist.

After that, I was given a radiology report to take back to the ER doc.  It was stapled shut so I couldn’t read it (I sure tried though).  Shortly after returning to the ER, the doctor pulled us aside to tell us the findings:

  • a very small subchorionic bleed was seen on the ultrasound
  • likely a lot the blood came out in the morning during the “gush”
  • there may be some more bleeding or the rest of the blood may be reabsorbed by my body
  • the baby looked good and measured normally with a heart rate of 171 bpm, however this is still considered a miscarriage risk – meaning I could go on to have a normal pregnancy or it could cause a miscarriage
  • there are also signs of an umbilical cord cyst (not related to the bleeding) which needs to be re-checked at the NT scan between 12 and 14 weeks

Woosh, that’s a lot to take in.  By the time we got home, I was completely exhausted.  I had a quick dinner and was in bed by 7:00 p.m.  I did a bunch of reading online (which sometimes helps, sometimes not) and had a bit of trouble falling asleep. 

This morning, Dr. P called after receiving all the results.  He definitely made me feel a lot better.  He said the baby looks great and doesn’t seem to be affected at all by the bleed.  My HCG levels look great.  He expects that I may bleed some more (in fact, I had another smaller gush last night before bed) and he said any bleeding should be dark red to black in colour. 

Dr. P told me that I can do normal light activity (i.e. go to work) but no intercourse, heavy lifting or strenuous activity.

I asked about the umbilical cord cyst as well.  After reading on the internet, I was a bit scared (can be a sign of chromosomal abnormalities in the second and third trimester) but it looks like most cysts found in the first trimester – especially between 8 and 9 weeks – disappear by the second trimester and end up with normal pregnancy outcomes.  Anyway, he said it was so small that he wasn’t even sure that there was a cyst and that we’d check on it at the next ultrasound.

All in all, I was told to try not to worry.  Easier said than done, but I don’t have much other choice right now.  There’s nothing we can do to stop the bleeding so I just have to wait it out.  I’m trying  my best to stay positive and hope that everything resolves itself.


Scary day

Yesterday morning, at 8w1d, I got up just after 6:00 a.m. as usual.  I went into the bathroom to start my morning routine.  That is where things got scary.  When I wiped after my pee, I noticed I was spotting.  It was dark brown and kind of stringy, but there was a fair amount of it.

My heart started pounding and I started to sweat.  I could feel myself getting dizzy, so I booted it back to the bedroom to lie down for a minute.  I was absolutely terrified.  How could this be happening?

After lying there for a couple of minutes and taking some deep breaths, I started to feel a bit better and was able to get myself moving again.  D was at work and I had to get Littleman up and to daycare.  I had a quick shower, called in sick to work and left a message for my OB’s office.  Somehow I managed to get Littleman fed, dressed and out the door.

I came back home and hit the couch.  I logged on to my work computer remotely, but my concentration just wasn’t there so I didn’t get much done.

The OB’s office called back just before 9:00.  They wanted me to get an ultrasound, so emailed me a requisition.  I was able to get an appointment nearby for 2:30 p.m., which left me with a few hours to kill.  Between trips to the bathroom to check on the spotting (which, for the most part had tapered off) I watched a couple episodes of Big Brother on my PVR.  It’s an awful show but I kind of love it anyway.  It was definitely a decent distraction.

D called to say he was coming home from work to go to the appointment with me.  I know how hard it is for him to get out of work so I really, really appreciated it.  When I found out about my mmc back in March, D was busy so my mom had taken me to the hospital.  I can’t imagine having been completely alone.

Anyway, as it got closer to the appointment time, I got more and more nervous.  I chugged the required 1/2 litre of water, which didn’t help the horrible feeling in my stomach.

Luckily they took me in pretty quickly when we arrived at the ultrasound clinic.  The technologist (thank goodness) mumbled something almost immediately when she put the wand on my belly, along the lines of “I’ll just look a bit more and then show you the baby.”

After a pretty quick abdominal ultrasound, she let me pee (best feeling ever!) and then did a transvaginal ultrasound.  That one took a lot longer but then, finally, I got to see my sweet little Bo.  There he/she was, looking much more like a real baby and with a nice strong heartbeat flickering away at 170 bpm!  The tech said the baby was measuring 8w1d (perfect!).  She gave me a printout of the ultrasound and sent me on my way, saying the doctor would get the results.

Bo at 8w1d

Bo at 8w1d

So, I still have no idea what caused the spotting but I am so incredibly relieved that Bo is still in there and apparently growing as expected.  Hopefully, I’ll hear from Dr. P’s office soon so I’ll know for sure if there is anything to worry about.  But, I’m guessing there will probably be no explanation for the spotting.

I wish I could be one of those people who has a relatively straightforward, uneventful pregnancy, but I guess that’s not meant to be.  This probably won’t be the only freak-out moment of this pregnancy.  However, I can only hope that things continue to be OK in there.  For now, crisis averted.

8 weeks

8 weeks down and, according to one of my iPhone apps, only 224 days to go.  Good grief.  Human gestation is loooonnngg!  Apparently, this week Bo graduates from an embryo to a fetus.

I’ve been thinking a lot about how pregnant I would have been right now if I hadn’t miscarried in March.  I’d be 31 weeks today, and I’m guessing I would have been pretty damn uncomfortable in this crazy heat wave we’re having.  I feel gross enough as it is, so I can’t imagine how hard it must be for the very pregnant women right now. 

As for the symptoms…

Nausea:  My nausea continues to be intermittent.  I’ll feel pretty crappy one day and then fine the next.  It’s not as intense or consistent as it was with Littleman, but it’s definitely there sometimes, which I hope is a good sign.

Vomiting: None to date.

Food cravings or aversions: I’ve had a recent interest in poutines.  Today, I tried to stop myself from walking to McDonald’s for a hot fudge sundae.  I failed miserably and scarfed it down in about 30 seconds.  It was worth it. 


My afternoon treat!

Aches and Pains: Excruciating boob pain.  Yesterday it was really bad.  Just the feel of my softly padded bra on my nipples was enough to make me cringe.  And, it lasts all day long.  Ouch!   I’ve had a pretty bad headache for the past few days too, but I expect that is due to the ridiculously humid weather we’re experiencing, rather than pregnancy hormones.  Without Advil, there’s not much I can do about it. 

Fatigue: I’ve been dragging this week and getting out of bed in the mornings has become a real struggle.  By the end of the day, I’m totally wiped. 

Other:  The wacky hormones are causing me to be pretty irrational and overly emotional lately.  Also, my skin is still pretty spotty.  I was hoping to get the perfect skin that I had with Littleman’s pregnancy.  Oh well, you win some and you lose some…

Morning sickness and miscarriage

Both before and after I got pregnant for the first time, I read a number of reports stating that pregnant women who suffered from morning sickness were less likely to miscarry. Some examples of what I read:

  • The absence of morning sickness is associated with an increased risk of early pregnancy loss.
  • One study noted that women who had no nausea or vomiting during their first trimester were more than 3 times more likely to miscarry than the women who did have morning sickness.
  • Another study stated that morning sickness lowers the risk of miscarriage by almost 70 per cent.
  • The longer a pregnant woman had morning sickness symptoms, the lower her risk of miscarriage.

The early days of my pregnancy with Littleman were plagued by nausea. From midday until late into the evening, I felt miserable and could barely eat. And when I hit the second trimester, I was disappointed to find that the nausea continued to hang around for another month or so.

As my second pregnancy progressed, I couldn’t help but wonder if there was any truth to those studies. I anxiously awaited that horrible feeling of sickness and the inability to stomach anything more than bread-type products. As much as I hated feeling nauseous all the time, there was definitely something comforting about it. It meant I was pregnant!

I hit six weeks, then seven, eight. The morning sickness just wasn’t showing up. I felt fine. I was tired, but I was eating. No food aversions, no throwing up, nothing.

I knew that miscarriage was always a possibility. I knew the stats. But, as much as I worried about my lack of symptoms, I don’t think I ever actually thought miscarriage would happen to me.

When my 12-week appointment finally rolled around, Dr. P asked me how I was feeling. “Fine,” I told him. I did tell him that I was nervous about not feeling sick. I reminded him about how I felt the last time I was pregnant and told him that I was worried about the lack of morning sickness.

He told me that he only worries when symptoms disappear. Since I never had any morning sickness, I was just lucky. That reassured me. Then we heard the baby’s heartbeat and saw the ultrasound. All was good. And I was lucky enough not to have suffered any morning sickness!

After losing the baby a couple of weeks after that appointment, I can’t stop thinking about whether or not it was a fluke or if the lack of morning sickness was a sign of trouble.

Now that I’m pregnant again, I’m hyper-aware of any pregnancy symptoms (or lack thereof). Will my minor nausea kick into higher gear? If so, will it stick around long enough to make me feel safe? If not, will I be able to enjoy feeling decent or will I constantly worry about what it may mean?

I guess I just have to wait and see.

Thank you

When I first started writing here in this space, I was in a pretty bad place.  It was just days after finding out about my missed miscarriage and going through a D&C.  I was a complete mess.  I sat at home, alone, suffering from a broken heart that was brought on by my broken body.

I wasn’t ready to talk about it.  I was too sad and it was too hard.  I have great friends and I’m very close with my family, but I’d never had to deal with something like this before and I didn’t know how to talk to them about it.

That’s when I started writing.

For years – throughout trying to conceive and being pregnant – I had lurked on pregnancy and fertility blogs.  I read people’s stories but I always stayed silent.  But this time, it felt like I needed an outlet for my own feelings.

This isn’t the first blog I’ve written.  In 2009, D and I purchased our first home.  It is a semi-detached house on a wonderful street in a great neighbourhood.  It had the same owner for 50 years before he passed away.  The house was in excellent condition but it was OLD.  D is extremely handy and had always wanted a fixer-upper.  So, as we embarked on a major renovation, we decided to blog about it.  The original intention of that blog was to have a way to share photos and updates with our friends and family, who were all very interested in tracking our progress.  It seemed easier than having to email everyone photos all the time.  In time, we discovered we had other readers and had connected with some homeowners who were doing similar renovations.  It was a fun little project and is a great “scrapbook” of our renovation days.  Of course, after Littleman came along, the projects slowed down and the blog died off.

This current blog is so different.  I started writing for myself, not for anyone else.  I haven’t shared it with anyone I know.  It’s about my feelings and my body, rather than a hobby or a home.  And while I’m somewhat anonymous here, it still feels so much more personal.  So much more me.

I’ve been truly amazed by the incredibly supportive people I’ve connected with through writing.  I can’t tell you how much this has helped me through the tough times.  And it’s still helping me.   So, really, what I want to say is thank you.  Thank you to all of you out there who have taken the time to leave a comment and provide your suggestions and support.  I know there are so many people out there who have gone through difficult things, horrible things, and I’m so touched that you take the time to reach out to me.  Whether I’m feeling sad or I have some happy news, it’s wonderful to have you there with me for the ride.

7 weeks

The weeks are chugging along slowly, but at least this was a good one with my successful ultrasound on Monday.  At 7 weeks, not much has changed in the way of symptoms from last week.  While I definitely feel more symptoms than I did with my last pregnancy, I certainly don’t feel as bad as I did with Littleman.  I have to wonder though, is it because I actually don’t feel as bad or are my coping skills better now?  For example, after living through the sleep deprivation of the first year of motherhood, is the fatigue of early pregnancy easier to tolerate?   Perhaps.  Anyway, on to the symptoms…

Nausea: Minor nausea off and on.  It doesn’t seem to start at any particular time of day.  And, I’ll go a few days feeling pretty much fine and then I’ll have a blah day.  With Littleman’s pregnancy the nausea hit after lunch every day and stuck around until bedtime.  Now, it’s just random nausea that seems worse when I’m hungry.

Vomiting: None to date.

Food cravings or aversions: Nothing in particular.

Aches and Pains: Still having some breast tenderness.  Scratch that.  It’s more like full out boob pain.  If Littleman accidentally elbows me while he’s sitting on my lap, I want to scream.  Sometimes I even get random shooting pains that feel like my nipple is being electrocuted.

Fatigue: Yep, I’m tired.  Not as bad as I remember from Littleman’s pregnancy, though.

Other:  My skin is still not great.  I’m continuing to get random zits on my chin.  And today I’m being bothered by smells.  I feel like I’m being assaulted by odours from every directions.