Thursday, 9 August 2012

Anatomy Scan - 19 weeks

I had my anatomy scan this week, so leading up to that I was quite nervous.  I had trouble sleeping and lots of weird nightmares, not related to pregnancy, but just disturbing in general and revealing the anxiety working constantly in the back of my mind, which comes out in my dreams.  The scan apparently went fine.  I have to trust that the u/s technician did a good and thorough job because she would not let me see the screen until the end, and made no comments during the scan, except to ask if we wanted to know the gender.  She told us it was a boy.  I was trying to see from her expression if she was seeing anything unusual or bad on the scan, but I could not tell.  DH was there and he had the benefit of seeing the screen during the whole thing.  He tried to discreetly pull out the camera but the u/s tech said "no pictures!" without even turning around, having heard the beep of him turning the camera on.  At the end, after 1/2 hour of her clicking and beeping with her probe, she "let us see" for a minute, the baby squirming around.  I was glad to see that it was moving around and it seemed to have all the right parts-  a spine, head, arms, legs, beating heart...  She sent us to wait while a doctor reviewed the pictures.  I'm not sure which doctor, but I did see the doctor that was our genetic counsellor and who did our CVS last time, walking around in full scrubs just before we went for the scan with the tech.  I wondered if he recognized me as we walked by to go to the u/s room, however it has been a year since I saw him and he must have seen a million other patients since then.  So as we waited there I was hopeful the scan results would be ok, but a bit scared during that wait.  I asked DH what he had seen and he said it looked ok to him.  After 1/2 hr the tech came back and said it was ok, the doctor was fine with the pictures and we could go.  We were happy, but then I was thinking- does this just mean the pictures are clear and don't need to be redone, or does it mean all the parts of the baby are normal?  We had to go to the OB in another part of the hospital after the scan.  I was hoping that there was no bad news relayed to her that she needed to break to me then.  However when she saw us she was so relaxed and unconcerned about everything.  She said the scan was normal and also the bloodwork screened negative (I know this just means I am low risk, which is great, but is not a diagnostic test).  I asked her the numbers for the bloodwork and she said for T21 (which I had last time after screening 1:8) I was 1:1400 and for Spina Bifida I was 1:54000.  I was glad to hear that I was low risk for SB because my PGS did not test for this.  She never told me the results of the screening for T13/18...  I suppose she didn't even think I knew what that was, and I guess I should have asked her for those results... Last time my bloodwork showed 1:2 for T18/13- a shocking result!- and I did not end up having either, so I was curious to know how it went this time....  however, I had a LONG list of other questions so I let that slide to fit in all my other questions before annoying the hell out of her.  BTW, if I hadn't had any questions the meeting would have been super short because she pretty much had nothing to say except "everything looks fine, see you in four weeks".  I asked her if I needed an amnio, and she said in her opinion, no.  I guess with the PGS and also the negative screening bloodwork, and the clear anatomy scan, that is fine.  No, I don't know 100% that the baby is normal, but it looks very likely that this is so.  I asked many other questions, mainly about the health of the baby and should I be concerned about this and that.  She said there were no concerns, however made a little joke to say that you can never really relax and not worry until they are married, and even then the worry continues.  So I guess that is funny, but I don't think she understands there is worry and then there is WORRY, and having been faced with 1:2 for chromosomal defects and then BEING the one, that changes one's perspective.  However, we are glad to now accept that, according to her, we have just the "little worries" to face, most other bad things that could happen are very unlikely to occur, so not really worth thinking about much. 

We got one more little printout of the ultrasound for the fridge.  Now we are daring to move on and think about things like picking a name and decorating the nursery.  And since we know it's a boy we can buy some clothes and other things, eventually. 

We let our families know that we are having a BOY and they are happy.  I think DH's family is the most excited about the pregnancy, which is strange because they have been the least supportive during all the infertility treatments and years of struggle up until now.  They totally didn't get it and would say all the dumb things that make infertile people cringe, advice like "maybe you should relax more", and "have you thought about going on a cruise?", and the worst one "well, you know, some people aren't meant to be mothers".  Meanwhile, my own mother has gone the opposite way.  She is only semi interested in the pregnancy, perhaps she is waiting to see if it really pans out.  She was so supportive when the last pregnancy went terribly and was there during my grieving process with kind words, etc.  But now, as she serves me rotten expired cheese when I visit her, and I tell her I can't eat that because I'm pregnant, she is more concerned about wasting the cheese and says grumpily "it's perfectly fine" rather than showing concern for the baby and following the recommendations of my doctor.  I knew that my pregnancy would be hard for my infertile and/or childless friends to put up with, but I never thought that my own mother would have some issue with it.  I thought she would just simply be thrilled, it is her grandchild after all, but I really don't think that's the case.  DH has noticed it too.  He says that my mother is kind of like "oh, you're pregnant, that's nice.  Hey look, my favourite show is on tv now!"  She mentioned to me a few weeks ago how she never even took vitamins during her pregnancies.  Plus she never had any ultrasounds, because I guess in the 70s they didn't do them.  The subtext she is saying is "and look, it all came out fine.  What is wrong with you that you need to have so much care and attention, and coddling from doctors, drastic and expensive medical interventions that never even used to exist, and ONLY after all that you are able to have a baby, unlike the rest of us women that never had that help".  I don't know if that is what she really thinks, but I get a sense of disapproval from her and I think it has to do with how much we have relied on modern medicine, while she had to struggle with nothing to have her babies and in fact had terrible doctors in her opinion, that she had to argue with to get basic care during her deliveries. 

Anyway, getting back to the topic at hand... I am glad that the scan is behind me, and the doctor says I don't need another one to clarify anything, so I guess that is good.  I have to trust that they did not cut any corners and everything really is clearly fine.  So my next appointment is in a month, and I guess no scan.  So far she said my blood pressure and thyroid are fine.  My TSH is at 1.04 which is good since the RE wanted it under 2.5.  This OB does not seem to care about the thyroid level anyway.  At the next appointment we will do bloodwork for gestational diabetes, etc, and retest the thyroid. 

DH and I signed up for some prenatal classes at the hospital.  That will start in November.  I still had to just ask about the cancellation policy for the classes, since we paid on the spot.  The lady asked, "why, do you think you might cancel?" and I didn't want to make it awkward and say "well, if the baby doesn't make it to November for some reason, we don't want to go to the classes and we want our $300 back!" but said instead I said "oh no, I don't plan on cancelling at all, but just in case there is a family emergency or something is it possible to change the dates or cancel altogether".  She said sure, but there is a $20 processing fee.  Hopefully all will be well in November with the baby and the family, but you can never know for sure, that is the unfortunate truth.

Oh, I almost forgot to mention that I ordered a Sonoline B pocket fetal doppler online and it finally arrived late last week.  After reading the instructions booklet, including 4 pages of warnings, which had me a bit freaked out (DH calls it the "Death-Ray Doppler"), we got around to trying it a few days later.  At first I couldn't hear anything so I was worried (this was before my scan), but then we picked up the heartbeat which was about 150 bpm.  We don't plan on using it much, but I was happy to have it in case I start getting nervous again, and it will be a long time until another scan.  Of course we did not show my mother this doppler, that would further convince her of how nuts we are! 

I am starting to feel small flutters now, for the first time.  They are very light, though, and not too frequent.  I'm still not fully showing but do have a bump that could be interpreted as a beer gut or small baby bump.  I'm still wearing my regular clothes, though I have to choose the clothes carefully because not all of them fit.  I sorted them and put away the stuff that I clearly won't be wearing for a long time.  I did buy a few maternity clothes but don't really need to wear them yet.  They are just sitting in the cupboard, maybe by September I will need them when I start back at work and will be 23 weeks or so. 

I'm thinking of making a baby quilt for our friends who are expecting a baby in October.  But maybe I will be too lazy, I'm not sure.  I have the fabric, but I haven't pulled out the sewing machine in a year or two and it will make quite a big mess.  But maybe it would be fun to do a sewing blitz and pop out a few quilts for gifts to give people, and make one for our baby as well, while I'm at it.  Baby quilts are easier since they are SMALL.  I have made some regular sized quilts and they can take me months to finish.  The lack of a sewing room is also a problem, so when I make a quilt it destroys our dining room until it is done. 

Ok, that's all for now!

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

first OB visit - 14 wks

This actually happened a while ago but was not very eventful so I didn't bother writing about it.  (I am now currently at 17weeks 6 days)  I went in on July 4 and met my new OB.  This is the doctor I was supposed to go to last time but the pregnancy fell apart a few short weeks before the appointment, and I was sent to the genetic counsellor and high risk team instead.  So it was one small victory just to make it there, as a regular patient, having graduated from the RE. 

The OB was nice, she took down my medical history and listened to the heartbeat on the doppler in her office.  That was pretty much it.  There was no ultrasound, and she said to book the next appointment for the week of August 10.  After having weekly check ins at the RE with ultrasounds each time, Aug 10 seemed quite far off.  But I didn't think too much of it.  Only now, as time has stretched on endlessly from that last appointment do I think Holy f**, is the baby even still alive in there and how would I even know otherwise??  I am totally paranoid that this next u/s will be shocking and devastating...  Why?  Because I am not really showing much (I just look fat) and I feel no movement (too early for a first time mom), I don't really have other symptoms since my nausea is I guess "better".  My back hurts a bit, I take this as a great sign that everything is OK, but then I wonder if I get bad news it will just end up being that I had a sore back for no particular reason. 

Also, no news from the bloodwork that I did a few weeks ago.  The part 2 of the sequential screening, which was supposed to take one week for the results.  What does no news mean???  Is that good, they don't think they need to bother calling me to let me know?  Or does it mean that they did not finish testing it?  Or the blood sample got lost and was not tested (this happened once before for my AMH bloodwork last year, I waited weeks and weeks and then it ended up when my doctor called the lab that they had no record of anything, even though they had taken 11 vials of blood that day and I had paid $80 out of pocket for the test since it was not covered by insurance).  So I am a bit anxious about the lack of results, however it SHOULD be fine because of the PGS testing of the chromosomes that I did.  But I would still like to know the results.  Hopefully I will get them at my next appointment, which is now a week away on August 7th. 

At the end of the last appointment the doctor left and the secretary said, as an afterthought, "oh, you need to take this urine test.  If it doesn't change colour then everything is fine, but if it changes colour bring it back to show me" and she gave me a pee stick to take to the washroom.  Well of course that thing changed colour.  I asked the secretary, what does that mean?  And she said "oh, it's just protein in your urine.  I will make a note of it and the doctor can review it next time".  In a month??  Isn't that a bit late if something is wrong.  After checking with Dr. Google later, I was a bit reassured that it is probably not a major problem.  Maybe I have a mild bladder infection.  Should that not be checked into and treated???  Or the other thing it could indicate is pre-eclampsia or high blood pressure, and I am not far along enough to have that and I know my blood pressure is low.  But still, that whole urine test thing was just a bit disturbing because it reveals their laid-back attitude and I am, let's say, not-so-relaxed after having lost my first and only pregnancy.  I don't have that "oh, everything is going to be fine" outlook because that is NOT what I experienced last time.  And the secretary was not even going to tell me anything about the test, am I supposed to be ok with "oh, you have tested positive for something.  We will tell you about it next month.  Bye bye, enjoy your day.  Please move aside, there are other patients waiting."  I don't really like that secretary much.  She doesn't really know my full history of infertility and loss, but still, who would be ok with that??

So now I'm just waiting for my next appointment, which will include an ultrasound.  I am writing down my questions as I think of them so I will remember to ask the doctor.  I have quite a list now, including:  -  Where is my part 2 bloodwork/ what were the results?  -  What do the results mean?  Do I need an amnio?   - Did my thyroid bloodwork come in/ what were the results?  -  Do I need to keep taking the thyroid meds/ change the dose?   -  WTH was the protein in my urine all about?  What does it mean?  Is it getting better or worse?   - What were the ultrasound results?  Is the baby alive  ( < < The most important question!!!)  / normal/ will it be ok??????    - Could they see everything on the ultrasound?  Do I need another ultrasound in a few weeks to check again?   -  Are there any signs of NTD or any other developmental or chromosomal problems?  -  What is the location of the placenta?   - Does the cervix seem ok? / length of cervix? 

I think that is it.  I don't know what else I should be worried about but I get the feeling if I don't ask they won't tell me much, so I am trying to think of everything that I would need to know to feel reassured - in an informed way, not an ignorant "I don't know anything, so everything must be fine" kind of way.  Hopefully I don't annoy the doctor too much with these questions.  The next appointment is August 7th, which is next Tuesday right after our long weekend here.