Inducing Labor

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I’ve been reflecting a lot lately about how people (me) and things change over time, whether good or bad.  Around this time last year, I was angry and bitter after a failed IVF cycle.  I had SO many feelings.  I cried, I was frustrated, I wanted to be alone, and I distanced myself from the Lord.  The feelings of my heart floated around like endless ripples in the water.  The thoughts in my mind crashed like waves on the shore.  I was in no position to help anyone because I was the one that needed help.  I needed to change my attitude then in order to accept the change I embrace now.  Now, a year later, my life has undergone an irreversible change…being a parent.

Inducing Labor

As the days drew near to our babies’ delivery, I knew the plan was to induce labor.  The doctor wanted me to make it to 39 weeks, if baby didn’t come before then.  With twice/week appointments and NSTs plans seemed to change frequently.  Everything depended on my doctor appointments and exams.  In the meantime, I decided to read up about inducing labor to prepare me for that process.  At 38 weeks, I was dilated to 3 cm and my doctor was hopeful for my scheduled induction.  My uterus was “ripening” well so my doctor recommended pitocin to induce labor.  A week earlier he recommended pitocin and a vaginal tablet.  Sorry, can’t recall the name of that medication right now.  The tablet is inserted vaginally and used to help the uterus soften to prepare for delivery.  But, since my uterus was “ripening” I didn’t need the tablet.  Lucky me.

Week 39 arrived – my scheduled induction.  My husband and I had a leisure morning, ate lunch at Zippy’s, and then headed to Queens with all our stuff.  When I say stuff, I mean baby’s car seat & 1 bag – full of clothes for both of us, clothes to dress the baby upon discharge, snacks, toothbrushes/paste, and whatever else we felt was necessary.  I had been warned to eat a good lunch because I wouldn’t be eating anything until after the baby came out.  (I would’ve been fine except being induced took WAY more time and energy than I ever expected.)

Anyways, so once we got there, we got our room, got hooked up to baby monitors, IV, and pitocin…the inducing started.  My husband and I pretty much just cruised in the delivery room until it was time to sleep.  We watched TV, looked at our phones, texted family members with updates, and stared at each other.  Lol.  Actually, it’s REALLY hard to do anything in the hospital.  A nurse or 2 would come in every hour to check the monitors, medications, ask questions, do a vaginal exam, etc.  My doctor came in the evening (and was in consultation with the nurses and doctor on shift) to check on me.  He reminded me that inducing labor is a really slow process.

About 14 hours into the process (3am) I decided to have an epidural.  I was really hesitant about having an epidural because then I would be bed bound and reliant on a catheter to use the bathroom.  I asked the nurses and residents about the specific process.  I was SO tired but I couldn’t sleep because I was uncomfortable.  It’s funny because every time there’s a new shift a new nurse would come in and ask me what my level of pain was.  For me it was low (2-3) because of the excess fluid made it almost impossible to feel any contractions.  You’d think that since I didn’t feel any contractions, I didn’t need an epidural.  But, I agreed to have an epidural.  Apparently Queen’s was really busy that night and I had to wait about 15 minutes.  It wasn’t long to wait.  I suppose if I was farther along in the process, 15 minutes would feel much longer.  Lol.

The anesthesiologist came in and explained the process of an epidural and what to expect afterwards – possible side effects.  At 3am my husband was already sleeping but was awoken by the bright lights that needed to be on.  The anesthesiologist talked me through every thing, step by step.  She was really good, I hardly felt anything.  To me, if I can barely feel the needle – you’re good.  I’ve had blood drawn that’s hurt more than getting an epidural, honestly.  The anesthesiologist also explained the button…an additional boost of medication that should only be pushed as needed.  Once you push the button, you’d have to wait at least 10 minutes before pushing it again, if you needed to.  Well, you could keep pressing the button but it wouldn’t release any medicine.

The epidural was nice!  I was definitely able to feel comfortable and get minimal rest.  I didn’t feel the contractions before I got it and sure didn’t feel them after either.  Lol.  After that things were pretty mellow until the morning.  Mellow as far as progress for the baby.  The nurses and residents continuously come in and check on you…but at least at night they use the low light so you can a little rest, or none if it bothers you.  Lol.

In the morning, around 7am, now 18 hours into my scheduled inducing, my doctor came to check on me.  He, along with a couple of nurses, pricked my water bag so it would slowly drip out.  He made a few holes using a very thin needle.  I happily didn’t feel anything because of the epidural.  My doctor noted progress – I was dilated to 6 cm.  This was great news to me because I thought we were nearing the birth of our baby.  Technically I was in active labor but couldn’t feel it.

In the early evening my doctor came to see me again and I was still dilated to 6 cm.  I had so much fluid and the baby was still now dropping so the doctor decided to let out a little flow of fluid to help guide the baby down and help me dilate more.  He made a few more pokes to let more fluid drain out.  The nurses changed the padding under me as needed.

Evening went fine, well maybe fine isn’t the right word for it.  I was hungry, tired, and confined to the bed.  We watched TV, talked and cruised in the room.  We got a visit from my sister-in-law and 2 nieces, who brought dinner (for my husband of course).  My sweet husband ate outside the room so I wouldn’t have to smell any of it.  We chatted and then they went to visit someone on another floor.

Everything was pretty calm…until about 1 in the morning.  (I had been at the hospital for 36 hours now.)  My husband was sleeping on a fold up bed near me.  I started to shake and shiver as if I was cold.  I tried to go back to sleep but couldn’t.  After 10-15 minutes, I decided to call the nurse.  Unfortunately, the remote had fallen to the left of the bed and it was hanging down that side.  I tried to reach for it a couple times and almost got it.  I felt the shaking getting stronger and out of control.  I called my husband a few times but he didn’t hear me.  I reached one more time for the remote and got it.  Oh, I forgot to mention that besides having the IV on my right hand, the epidural tube came up my right shoulder, I had an oxygen mask on, a blood pressure cuff on my left arm, AND I couldn’t feel from the waist down.  The blood pressure cuff went off every 20-30 minutes.  SO, reaching for the remote to call the nurse was much more difficult than it sounds.  Lol.

I finally called for the nurse.  When she came in, I told her how I felt and she told me to try and relax.  She asked if I wanted some medicine for nausea.  I agreed to take it – via IV.  But before she could give it to me, I threw up on myself and the gown I had on.  My husband awoke to me throwing up and helped the nurse clean me up.  I got a new gown and a warm blanket, literally.  When the nurse left to get the nausea medication, I asked my husband to give me a blessing.  I didn’t know what was going on with me.  I was shaking and shaking.  I couldn’t stop myself.  My husband gave me a blessing before the nurse came in with my nausea medicine.  My regular nurse for the evening came in and checked my temperature.  The thermometer read that I was fine but the nurse didn’t believe it and quickly obtained another thermometer, which showed I had a fever.  I took deep breaths to help calm me but that didn’t always help.  I got the nausea medicine and my shivering slowed down.

It was 2:15am…My contractions plateaued and I was over it.  I wanted the baby out.  I still had a fever and shakes (intermittently).  The nurse called my doctor and a c-section was in the works.

Next post: Cesarean Delivery


Invoice

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A few weeks after attending the Baby Expo, I received an invoice in the mail.  It wasn’t something I was expecting but I knew why I received it and had forgotten about it.  It was an invoice from Fertility Institute of Hawaii regarding our 5 embryos.

No, I had not informed Fertility Institute of Hawaii that I was pregnant.  No one called to follow up with me and I didn’t feel the need to tell them I was pregnant.  It’s not a big deal to me, that’s just how it happened.

Anyways!  The invoice was to preserve the 5 frozen embryos for a year.  This cost $628.27 ($600 + 4.712% tax) to be exact.  Seems like a lot of money for something that can’t be see with the naked eye.  Lol.  Well, that’s how much it costs and here are our options:

1.  Pay the $600+ to preserve our embryos

2.  Not pay the invoice and choose to discard or donate our embryos

Oddly enough, this decision was much harder than we thought.  My initial thought was that we would discard the embryos.  Paying the more than $600 was not appealing to me and it wasn’t a decision I really wanted to make while I was pregnant.

It’s not any easy decision to make but it had to be done.  In discussion with my husband, we talked about the pros and cons of both options available to us.  It took us 2-3 weeks during various times, to finally make a choice.  In the end, we decided on option #1 and paid to preserve our embryos for a year.  That will take us to May 2014 and we would go from there.  I know there’s no guarantee that we would have an easy time becoming pregnant again.  I suppose the best option for us at this time is to keep our options open, thus preserving our embryos.

I understand that this option is not available to everyone nor does it mean that anything will come of this decision.  We may be able to conceive on our own again or we may need to rely on assistance through IVF.  But since we paid the invoice to preserve our embryos, we have the option available to us.  We will have to see how it goes.

Next post: Low to High Risk


Pregnancy Class & Baby Expo 2013

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Hello All!

Time is quickly passing and I need to catch up on few things.  So I’m going to combine a couple things into 1 post.

First, since we plan to have our baby at Queen’s Medical Center (QMC) in Honolulu, we decided to check out the classes and other information they offer.  That’s how we signed up for the “Understanding Birth and Babies Intensive” class.  It was 9am – 5pm and $80/couple.  You could bring your own lunch, which we did, or you can purchase something in the cafeteria.  The provided some snacks too.

At first, I wasn’t concerned about the class and thought it would be helpful for us to do something prior to the birth of our son.  I definitely wasn’t sold on participating in a particular thing like lamaze classes.  I sought information pertaining to labor and delivery, breast feeding, and any other information that would help.

So, I knew going into the class that I would be bombarded with information.  Interestingly enough, the class kept my attention and I learned a lot.  I watched more birthing videos at that class than I’ve ever watched in my life.  Lol.  The class covered an overview of all the medications available during labor, breast feeding including different positions for the baby, changing diapers and swaddling.  We also practiced various breathing methods for contractions.  I’m not sure how successful I was with that.  The women held a bag of ice in their hands while the instructor timed the “contractions”.  By the end of the exercise my bag of ice was melted.  Lol.  During one of the breathing exercises, the spouses or partners were coached by the instructor to assist the women with a “contraction”.  When I looked at my husband for the breathing, he smiled at me and didn’t say anything.  I shook my head and we just laughed.  Obviously we weren’t taking it too seriously.  Lol.  It’s something we’d have to work on.

We also received a few magazines, a lot of handouts, and a booklet.  The booklet we got was “Understanding Birth”.  I believe you can check it out at seewhatyouread.com.  There was a booklet about installing a car seat, a pamphlet about birth certificates, a pre-registration form for admissions, and general information about maternity services.  All helpful information, of course.  That was not everything we received.  Prior to attending the class, we received an email with ALL the handouts and powerpoint presentations that would be discussed in the class.  We didn’t print them all out but we looked through all of them before attending the class.

The class ended with a maternity tour.  We saw the individual rooms complete with a bathroom, shower, tv, and pull out bed.  It was good to see what things will look like rather than just show up when you’re in labor.  Overall, I thought the class was good and helpful.  It didn’t necessarily calm any of me fears, but it helped me to understand more and be aware and hopefully more prepared.  I’m glad we went.

Baby Expo 2013

I wish I could say the same about the Baby Expo 2013.  I should’ve known better but we still went.  To attend, it was $6 for parking and $5.50 per person.  There was a $1 off coupon for admission making it $4.50 per person.  So, just to get the 2 of us in the door…it was $15.  Typing that makes it seem even more ridiculous that we went.  Anyways!

Upon entry we were given all these ads and papers.  There was supposed to be a free gift for the first 100 people.  We were one of the first people in line because I had an early appointment.  Believe me, we were not there early to stand in line for a free gift.  Besides, you know what the free gift was??  Drum roll….$10 off coupon for “Banz”.  Seriously?  I don’t want to sound like I’m complaining about a free gift, but that’s pretty much what I’m doing.  I thought a little goodie bag would have been more helpful.  Well, that’s just what I think.

I soon realized that the Baby Expo wasn’t going to be helpful to me as an expecting mother. I felt like I was a target for companies.  Everywhere we went, vendors were trying to get us to sign up for a drawing for some kind of baby item or 1st birthday party.  A first birthday, really?  The baby’s not even here!!  I thought that was a bit ridiculous.  Yes, I know I like to be organized and plan things far in advance but entering a drawing for a 1st birthday party was a bit much for me.  Needless to say, I didn’t enter too many of those.

Unfortunately, I was not about to leave after paying $15 to enter.  There were a lot of food booths around and a lot of other meaningless vendors.  Check this out, for example, there were at least 2-3 solar companies there.  Tell me, what do solar companies have to do with me having a baby?  I don’t know who goes to a baby expo looking to install solar panels!  Lol.  That was obviously one vender that was not helpful for me.  It could have been helpful for someone else looking to lower their energy costs with all the laundry they’ll do with a baby.

Of the 100+ booths set up, I think there were only a handful that were meaningful to me.  The Queen’s Medical Center booth was the one I found most beneficial and pertinent to my needs.  Since I would be delivering there, it made sense to stop there.  There was a lactation specialist present and she provided some helpful information about breastfeeding.  I was a little caught off guard by the way she talked about breasts.  I suppose I was not expecting such straight-forward talk.  Lol.  My husband reminded me that it’s her line of work/career.  Made sense.  At that booth they also handed out magnetic picture frames.

We got a lot of handouts – some helpful, some not.  We also attended a class or workshop on how to keep your baby safe.  There were 4 couples total in the class and it was free.  The class touched on how to keep your baby safe in a crib/play pen.  The instructor had a crib set up and we, the participants had to tell her 7 things that were wrong with it.  So, pretty much the baby should lay on their back with nothing else in the crib – no bumpers, blankets, nothing.  She explained risks for SIDS, answered our questions, invited us to receive free texts about caring for baby, and that was it.

I think we spent more money on parking, entrance, and food than anything else!  Of course there were vendors selling items such as hooded towels, blankets, clothes, etc.  None of those things appealed to me because if I made the time, I could make them myself.  Lol.

Well, I probably won’t be going to another Baby Expo but it’s ok.  I’m sure it can be helpful for someone else! 🙂

Next post: Invoice


Gestational Diabetes Testing

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Hi everyone!  I didn’t realize it’s been over a month since my last post.  I’ve been thinking about writing for a couple weeks and am only now sitting down to write.  I’m pretty sure you’re not dying to read my posts and if you are, I apologize for the delay!  Lol.

Well, between 24-28 weeks, the doctor ordered a blood test for me, specifically to test for gestational diabetes.  I wasn’t worried about how the test would go because a few of my co-workers explained the process to me.  I was a little worried about the results because I have diabetes in my family history.

At 25 weeks, which was mid-April, I went in for the test.  I knew I had to be there for an hour, which is not the most exciting thing to do, but it had to be done.  Prior to my blood test, I was instructed not to take my thyroid medicine and that I had to be fasting at least 8 hours.  So, I did.  The phlebotomist gave me 5 oz of a sugary drink of my choice – lemon, lime, or orange.  With no particular preference, I went with orange.  She told me I had 5 minutes to finish it but instead I drank it as fast as I could.  I felt so disgusted afterward.  It was as though I drank pure syrup.  It was so concentrated, it reminded me of the Malolo or Hawaiian Sun syrups.  Yuck!  Upon finishing the drink, I was informed that I was allowed to take sips of water while I waited an hour.  I was also instructed to remind the phlebotomist 5 minutes before my hour so she could be ready to draw my blood at the exact hour mark.

While waiting, I took sips of water here and there.  My poor baby was active.  I felt so gross from the drink and so sad for my baby.  I also went for a walk to distract myself from feeling so gross.  The walk and sips of water helped ease my discomfort and calmed my active baby.  When it was time, I notified the phlebotomist, she drew my blood, and I left.  Luckily, I had taken the day off so I didn’t have to rush anywhere.

The next morning, early into my work day, the nurse called me about my test results.  She told me the results came back high so my doctor wanted me to do the 3 hour test.  I hesitantly agreed.  At the time, she didn’t tell me what the actual value was and I didn’t ask because I was too overcome with worry that I might have gestational diabetes.  I told her I would do the 3 hour test the next day.  I adjusted things at work so I could take half day.  I later found out that my blood glucose was 165, which was high.  The range was 70-140 mg/dL.

I looked up information on gestational diabetes to get more educated about it.  Then my husband and I went on a walk to talk about gestational diabetes, how it would affect our baby, what it would require of me, and all the risks involved.  I was so overwhelmed with information it was if I assumed I had it.  I was definitely worried, in fact, it was my first pregnancy scare.  I decided that night that I would take my thyroid medication in the morning before the test.  I also made sure to fast for at least 8 hours.

So, the next morning I went early to start the 3 hour test, 7am to be exact.  This test was a little different from the first test I did 2 days prior.  The phlebotomist took my blood before giving me the glucose drink.  I again went with orange flavor and then I was given 10 oz, the entire bottle, to drink.  Yuck!  After I finished drinking I came back 3 more times (every hour for the next 3 hours) and got my blood drawn.  In the meantime, I sipped water and walked.  The phlebotomist alternated arms and in the end, I received 4 pokes.  My poor arms.  I left with both arms wrapped in colored stretchy tape.  I was anxious about the results but hoped it would come back normal.  I knew I wouldn’t hear back until the next day so I tried not to think about it too much.

The next day, I expected to hear back about the results so I waited a few hours before calling the doctor’s office.  I spoke with the nurse, who confirmed that the results came back normal.  I asked her for the specific values and wrote them down.  I knew I would receive the results in a day or 2 via mail but I wanted to know the break down.  Here are the values she gave me: 74, 134, 124, and 116 mg/dL.  The 74 was the baseline value, no glucose drink.  134 mg/dL = after 1 hour, 124 mg/dL = after 2 hours, and 116 mg/dL = after 3 hours.  Phew!  It was such a relief and I was really grateful not to have to worry about that anymore.

I think I now truly understand why pregnant women do not look forward to the gestational diabetes testing.  Although I was impressed by the choices of glucose drinks, I was not a bit excited to drink it, twice.

This experience, although briefly stressful, helped me remember that this pregnancy is a gift.  It helped remind me to take things slowly and enjoy the experience of being pregnant.  Not that I haven’t enjoyed it, but this experience was just a little reminder for me.  It was also a reminder to me to exercise more to prepare my body and mind for labor.

My husband found a short video on You Tube for me – on stretching.  This meant that I would have to wake up 10-15 minutes earlier each day.  Not what I desired to do, but knew that it was important.  My husband offered to stretch with me, which helped, until he got sick.  Then I needed motivation to stretch on my own.  And now, he’s not sick, but I’m still stretching every morning on my own.  I tease him that it was a trick.  Lol.  There have been a few instances when I’ve stretched right after returning home from work, especially if I’ve been sitting a lot and my back is sore.  The video has helped me.  Just as a side note, it’s about 10 minutes, only instrumental, and calm.

Here’s the video!  Check it out if you want.

Next post: Free Breast Pump


Weight Gain!

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Hi everyone!!  Hope you’re all doing great.  I have so many thoughts but not enough time to express them all.  So, I’ll have to spread them out through a few posts.

In recent weeks, my baby bump has grown to the point where it can no longer be hidden.  I’m not trying to hide it, but I have noticed I get asked the same questions by different people.  Here are the 2 questions I’ve been bombarded with:

  • How are you feeling?
  • Do you know what you’re having yet?

I typically answer that I’m fine and/or good.  I tell people we’re having a boy and that’s about it.  The questions don’t bother me, I think I’m just surprised at the number of times I repeat myself.

Anyways!  When I saw the doctor after my screening tests were complete, he explained the results and that I was low risk, not no risk.  I don’t know why, but that stuck with me.  It made total sense to me.  I was very grateful to be low risk because prior to being pregnant, I assumed I would be high risk.  With all the things my husband & I went through to try to become pregnant, I figured being pregnant would be difficult for me, especially with my thyroid.  I recognize that anything can happen during pregnancy.  Everyone I know desires for their baby to be healthy.  Unfortunately, that doesn’t always happen.  During this pregnancy I have tried to keep my excitement realistic and somewhat controlled.  Yes, I’m excited and taking it day by day.

Weight Gain

As promised, I’m going to tackle the topic of weight gain.  Well, I’ll do what I can.  Lol.  When my husband & I first met with the doctor, we were informed about A LOT of stuff.  One of those things was weight gain.  Based on my height and pre-pregnancy weight, the doctor told us that he would expect me to gain 25-30 lbs during pregnancy.  Seriously?

My initial reaction was, “he can’t be serious!”  Of course, I didn’t express that out loud, just to myself.  I kindly nodded in agreement but in fact, it was quite crazy to me.  I knew the weight gain was for a good purpose but the number seemed so absurd.  I quickly added it in my head and yikes!  I’ve never weighed that much, ever!  To top it off, I would weigh more than my husband toward the end.  At the time, I just couldn’t imagine that.  Oh dear!

I was almost 3 months when first saw the doctor.  He explained the break down of the weight gain.  I was to see him monthly for the 1st & 2nd trimesters, bimonthly in the 3rd trimester, and weekly for the last month.  So, with that, he went through the expected weight gain at each trimester.  In the 2nd trimester, he recommended I gain 2-4 lb every month or 1/2 lb – 1 lb per week.  In the 3rd trimester, he recommended I gain 1 lb per week.  It was all so overwhelming at the time.  Now, not so much.

1st trimester – I gained 5 lb (ended in January)
2nd trimester – I’ve gained 9 lb so far. (ends soon)  I gained 3 pounds in March and 6 pounds in April.  At my last appointment, when I got on the scale, the nurse said, “Wow, you gained a lot this month.”  As you can imagine, that just made me feel so great!  Lol.  I restrained myself from saying something, like shut up.  When we met with the doctor, he said, “just because you’re hungry doesn’t mean the baby is hungry.”  OK, I get it!  I understood that to be his way of telling me that I gained too much this month.  He added how it could change my overall weight gain and that I would still be in the 25-30lb range.  I suppose that made me feel a little better.  But really, it was quite the downer.  I knew I was stewing over it because I kept bringing it up to my husband.  I decided no more M&M ice cream sandwiches and more water at work instead of a snack.  Lol.  So far, it’s been good.

Just as a side note, my husband & I have been married for 8 years.  We’ve never owned a scale until now!  Lol.  Now I can keep track of my weight gain as often as I want…which is not that often.  Lol.

I think that’s it for weight gain right now.  I’m sure I can talk about it again in the next few months.

In my next posts, I have a few different topics I’d like to talk about…gestational diabetes testing, birthing class, & breast pump.

Next post: Gestational Diabetes Testing


Screening Tests!

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I realized after I completed my last post, I didn’t tell you my due date!  Well, here it is: July 30.  The ultrasound revealed that I was pregnant with 1 baby.

Alright, moving on to screening tests.  Oh ya, I forgot to mention that on January 1st, my insurance changed making it necessary for me to find an OB/GYN.  I searched and got information from family and friends.  I wanted someone nearby but that option was not available.  I didn’t prefer having to drive to town but it was better than the doctor that was only available every Tuesdays.  Plus, starting a job, I didn’t have time to take off nor did I want to take unpaid leave.  I was looking for a doctor that was available on the weekends as well.  So, we decided to see on of my sister-in-laws OB in town.

At my first appointment, the nurse asked me a lot of questions and I filled out some questionnaire as well.  When I met with the doctor, we went over all the information and he asked if I wanted to participate in a screening.  I told him that it didn’t matter because either way, we would be keeping the baby.  The choice was up to me.  So, I agreed to complete the screening.  I thought it was only one but as we talked about it more, I understood that it was 2 screenings.  He gave me the time frames for when they’re completed and then said he would send a requisition to Queens Medical Center (QMC) because they do the screenings.  I agreed and that was it.  I left and had lunch with my husband.  While we were eating I got a call from QMC to schedule my 1st screening.  I was really surprised at the  prompt response, very impressive.  I scheduled my first screening.

First Screening

I really wish I could remember the names of the screenings but I can’t.  All I know is the first screening was an ultrasound and blood work for down syndrome.  I completed it at 11 weeks, almost 12 weeks.  I thought everything went well.  It was pretty cool that I had my own bathroom, adjustable lighting, and a curtain for privacy.  Also, the jelly they use for the ultrasound was in a warmer.  Lol.  It was thoughtful, rather than it be cold.  I liked the fact that the technician gave me a USB to put all the ultrasound pictures on.  She reminded me to bring the USB to the second screening as well.  Having the USB is really cool and quite up-to-speed with the technology available now.  I’m grateful to have that, in addition to the 8 pictures the technician put on it.  Also, the technician printed out all the pictures she placed on the USB and gave them to me before I left.  I remember her telling me that now I will have the pictures forever and I can put them on facebook or wherever.  I told her her I was happy to have them but probably won’t be placing it on facebook.  Lol.

A week or 2 after my first screening, my OB/GYN called and shared the results of the first screening.  He explained that I was low risk.  Phew, that was a relief.  After all we experienced trying to become pregnant, I figured I wouldn’t get too much relief when I actually got pregnant.  So, hearing the doctor tell me the results showed I was low risk, was awesome.  I was so relieved and at the same time, still not convinced that my pregnancy would be smooth sailing.  Nevertheless, I was grateful.

Second Screening

At my second screening, my husband came with me.  It was around week 18-19.  I knew this screening would be looking at the physical development of our baby.  For instance, a cleft lip.  Also, the screening looked at kidney function, blood flow through the heart, the blood flow from the umbilical cord to the baby, etc.  I gave the technician my USB and she loaded the pictures on it.  It was so interesting to me to watch the things she looked for.  One of the coolest things I saw was my baby’s nose and lips.  I know you may be wondering why I think that’s so cool, but I find it neat.  I knew she was looking for any physical concerns like a cleft lip.  This was the 3rd ultrasound I’ve had during my pregnancy and it was neat to see the growth.  But seeing my baby’s nose and lips was cool because at that point I knew our baby was still very small but the technician could zoom in for a closer look, something that would not have been as successful in previous ultrasounds, for obvious reasons.  Of course, there are a lot of cool things to see during an ultrasound.  I remember while my ultrasound was going on that the lab technician came in and drew my blood.  Either she was really good or I was too focused on the ultrasound to feel anything.  Lol.  I think she was good because she drew my blood from a different arm and found my vein right away.

Towards the end of the ultrasound, the technician asked if we wanted to know the gender of our baby.  I told her we did and then she proceeded to move the probe all over my stomach.  She did mention that she would try her best.  I knew that meant cooperation from the baby would be necessary.  Lol.  As we looked at the screen, it didn’t take long for her to scan our baby’s gender.  The technician said, “Well that’s pretty obvious, no questions there.”  I tried not to bust out laughing, instead I let out a little chuckle.  I immediately turned and looked at my husband.  We smiled and then I looked back at the screen.  We’re having a BOY!!

At the end of our ultrasound, the technician wanted to try the 3D probe.  We agreed.  For those of you that aren’t familiar with the 3D probe, it’s a little more rounded with something that looks like a ping pong ball at the tip.  Not sure if that helps.  The 3D probe was quite entertaining for us.  The technician tried so hard to get a good picture but our baby didn’t make it easy for her.  Each time she got a good view, he would move his hand and block his face.  We just laughed.  She printed pictures for us, 11 pictures to be exact.  Soon after, we left.

I was relieved, not because we’re having a boy, but because we were able to find out the gender of our baby. For my husband and I, we didn’t have a preference.  You know, when you wait so long (or what feels like so long) you take what the Lord gives you/trusts you with.  I was also relieved to be able to refer to my baby with a gender.  I read that it’s important to talk to your baby early in pregnancy and all this time, I’ve referred to the baby as it or baby.  Now I could say he!  Lol.  It seems so minor but it was definitely a relief for me. 🙂

Next post: Weight Gain


Our First Ultrasound

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Thinking back on our first ultrasound, I have to take you back to December 2012.  I remember it like it was just recently.  Prior to our first ultrasound, we discussed the best time to share the news of our pregnancy, with our families (immediate).  It was actually harder than I thought, but we both knew they would be happy whenever we told them.  Of course, there’s the first trimester risk for miscarriage.  That weighed heavy on me because I knew my mom experienced miscarriage, which meant that I could too.  My husband would remind me to “take it easy” and most of the time, refused to let me lift things.  I know he was just being cautious and it was his way of supporting me.  It was difficult for me, at times, because I wanted to do things.  Also, we didn’t want to tell our family too early.  Hope that makes sense.

When we discussed when to share the news with our family, we decided on 2 options…Christmas or New Year’s.  We ended up choosing New Year’s because of the date of our first ultrasound.  Our ultrasound was in between both days, which made our decision easier.  Although I wasn’t quite at 12 weeks, New Year’s made the most sense and we would have evidence to show – our ultrasound.

The purpose of our first ultrasound was to determine a due date by taking appropriate measurements.  So, that’s what happened.  I remember seeing a side profile of our baby and being simply amazed.  I didn’t have any words, nor could I believe that baby was inside of me!  I think my heart skipped a beat, or 2.  It was SO cool and very interesting to view.  It was awesome.  At that point, I couldn’t wonder about being pregnant, I had evidence!  We received 2 pictures from our ultrasound.

After our ultrasound we talked about how we would tell our families.  Hmm.  New Year’s Eve is my sister-in-law’s birthday and we spend it with my family.  We have a tradition of making toasts at midnight with sparkling cider.  Our toasts are pretty much resolutions for the new year and/or something we’re looking forward to in the new year.  We go in order according to age, oldest to youngest, starting with my dad.  Oh ya, we make 2 toasts each, so we waited until the 2nd round to say our clever toast.  Also, after each person says something, we lightly tap our glasses together.  When it was our turn, we decided I would say, “to our little baby” and then my husband would follow up with, “to a healthy pregnancy.”  We would see how this would go!

In sharing the news with my husband’s family, we decided that he would call his parents before midnight and then send texts to his siblings at midnight.  So, during the evening my husband went outside to call his parents.  He went outside so no one else would hear before it was time to toast.  🙂

Midnight approached and it was time for our toasts.  My husband came inside after talking with my in-laws but he wasn’t able to talk to me about it because of the timing of things.  Then he told me his phone died.  He used up his battery and needed to use my phone to send the texts.  He tried at least 3 times to send the texts with the picture but it wouldn’t sent.  Lol.  So he ended up sending the texts and emailing the ultrasound picture.  He later told me that he had to do the same thing with his parents.  The picture wouldn’t send.  Lol.  I should have known that was a foreshadowing of things to come.

The glasses were ready and filled with cider.  Everyone made their toasts and we completed the first round.  The second round came and it was our turn to go.  I went first, because yes, I’m a few months older than my husband, only months.  Lol.  I said, “to our little baby.”  We all tapped our glasses and took a sip of cider.  Then my husband went, “to a healthy pregnancy” and the same thing happened.  We were about to move to my nephew when my dad leaned over to my mom and said, “did I hear that right?”  My mom confirmed that he had and there was a little pause.  I decided to intervene because I realized the news had gone over everyone’s head.  LOL.

I got up and brought out our ultrasound to share.  Before passing it around, I told everyone I was 10 weeks pregnant.    We passed the ultrasound around and everyone was surprised, except my mom of course, because she’s the only one that knew.  Our clever attempt to share the news didn’t exactly turn out the way we planned, but it’s ok.  It was definitely entertaining.  I know we’ll remember it for a long time. 🙂

Next post: Screening Test


Yikes!

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After accepting the job, it wasn’t long before I realized the scope of everything that occurred.  At the time, I was experiencing some pregnancy symptoms and wasn’t sure how I was going to work outside my home.  No, I didn’t have morning sickness, instead, I was super exhausted and peeing quite frequently throughout the day.  I felt like I was urinating so much during the day, it was ridiculous!  Lol.

I decided I was flushing the toilet way too much, so I would wait until I peed 3-4 times before I would flush the toilet. I know, some of you may consider that disgusting, but I don’t really care.  I do wash my hands after using the restroom.  Although, now that I think about it, I don’t have to justify flushing the toilet.  Lol.

Anyways!  I was worried about starting a new job and being pregnant.  I couldn’t even stay awake for 8 straight hours, how was I going to stay up at work?  I wasn’t worried I couldn’t do the work, I was worried that I would fall asleep at work.  It would definitely be an adjustment for me (& my husband).  I knew I would have at least a month before I started.  I hoped and prayed to gain some energy by then! 🙂

Being tired made me feel lazy, although I was not.  I accomplished tasks throughout the day, but at a much slower pace than I was comfortable with.  I wanted to do more, I just could not.  I would require a nap or 2 during the day, seriously.  By lunch time, I would need to rest and then again after lunch.  As I think about it now, it seems so crazy.  That’s how exhausted I was.

On a weekly basis I would drive to Waianae to help my mom clean and de-clutter.  At times I felt bad because I felt like I wasn’t really helping.  I think I needed more breaks than she did.  Nevertheless, we did what needed to be done.

I took things a day at a time.

1st Prenatal visit

I skipped ahead a little.  After confirming that I was in deed pregnant, I called the OB department and scheduled my first prenatal appointment.  (It actually occurred before I was offered the job.)  It was 3 days after found out.  My husband accompanied me and we spend A LOT of time waiting.  I mean, A LOT, way longer than I expected and beyond my patience limit.  We waited and hour and a half, which I deemed to be ridiculous.  I was quite annoyed but remained cordial with the staff.

So, what happened at the appointment?  Well, a group of about 5 couples sat in a room and viewed a ppt (power point presentation) given by a NP (Nurse Practitioner).  It was basically an overview of pregnancy.  Honestly, it was lame, especially after waiting all that time.  Then, we met with the NP to go over a questionnaire I completed while waiting.  Following that, I had a list of blood tests to complete.  We did that and then my next appointment was scheduled for the end of Dec for an ultrasound. (A about a month later).  That was it!

Next post: Our First Ultrasound


More to Come

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Hi everyone!  I know it’s been a while since I posted anything.  I’ve been busy, just like the rest of you.  I can’t believe that by the end of the week, it’ll be February!

In November when we received the news of our pregnancy, we were ecstatic and overwhelmed.  We decided to keep quiet until we designated an appropriate time.  Well, the following day, I told my mom.  She was the only person, other than my husband & I, that knew.  I asked her not to say anything…and she didn’t.  I know my mom, she’s a trustworthy person.  She’s always been like that.  I wasn’t at all worried that she would tell anyone.  I LOVE my mom, she’s the best! 🙂

When I told my husband, he teased me for at least a few days.  It didn’t bother me, we just laughed about it.  Thinking back, that was one of the best decisions I made in this pregnancy process.  My mom would check on me and I would ask her different things.  It was great.

Some of you may be wondering why I didn’t have her tell my dad or why we didn’t share the news sooner.  When you wait for something for what feels like forever, wouldn’t you want to tell everyone??  For us, no.  We were more concerned about the chances of miscarriage than who to tell.  So, we kept quiet.

Keeping quite was very easy.  Since I posted about doing IVF in January or February, I knew people wouldn’t be asking questions because they knew we were taking a break.  Plus, the holidays were upon us, being with family was the priority.  My husband & I don’t prefer being the life of a party, we’re not gonna get up on stage and make an announcement.  That’s just not us.  Lol.

Well, as if finding out we were pregnant wasn’t surprising enough, about a week later, I was offered a job.  I was just leaving the Public Library with a couple of pregnancy books when my phone rang.  I was very surprised, not that I would be offered a position, but that it had only been a couple weeks since my interview.  I thought it would take longer.  After accepting the position, I immediately called my husband.  I remember telling him, “More blessings for us.”  He agreed.  I was still in the library parking lot.  My mind and heart were racing.  I felt extremely grateful and very blessed.  When I got home, I cried because I felt so blessed.  I prayed and thanked the Lord.  I wrote in my journal and called my mom to let her know.

It didn’t take long before things started to settle in.

Next post: Yikes!


Thanksgiving

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A few days after our fast, I received a call for an interview.  I agreed to an interview and accepted the date and time available.  As the day drew near, I was definitely more nervous.  I had at least 2 weeks to prepare for this interview and hoped everything would go well.  I soon realized that the day of my interview was the day I could be expecting my menses.  Oh dear!  I hoped that if I did get my period, it would come after my interview and I would be home, ready for it.  I also hoped that it wouldn’t come and that we would be pregnant.  Either way, I’d be ok and prepared for whatever we would face.

Upon returning home from my interview, I soon forgot about my period and decided to put up the Christmas tree.  I know, it was the week of Thanksgiving, probably the earliest I ever put a tree up!  I’m sure it was just a distraction.  Lol.  As I put up the tree, I was particular about the ornaments I chose.  I didn’t go with the usual ones.  I felt that this Christmas we would focus on hope and faith.  I did my best to express these thoughts in the ornaments I put on the tree.  Here are a few of the ornaments.

hope


hope shines bright

 

heaven and nature

 

bird

I thought these ornaments were perfect!  Looking at each of them reminded me to keep focused on the miracle we prayed for.  They helped me keep calm and do my best not to worry about the “what ifs.”  I knew that whether or not my menses arrived, was out of my control.  But it didn’t mean I should lose hope either.

A few days went by and still no period.  I tried not to fret over it because I knew it was very possible that I could get my period late.  Thanksgiving came, we made it through Black Friday, and I began to wonder.  It was a great weekend by the way.  I asked my husband if he thought I should take a pregnancy test.  He said I should wait 2 weeks after I expected my period.  I thought that was ridiculous.  I explained that with IVF we knew 10 days after the transfer, which was only a couple days after a missed period.  I didn’t think we needed to wait 2 weeks.  We talked about it and then decided I would take a pregnancy test.

Having gone through IUIs and IVF, I never needed a home pregnancy test.  Not to mention, they’re quite expensive at the store for a 2-3 pack.  Hence, I didn’t have a pregnancy test to use and I didn’t want to purchase any either.  Hmm…that presented a little dilemma.  Well, not really.  We decided that I would just call the doctor and request it.  In fact, I would have my thyroid checked at the same time.  I called my doctor and he agreed to both tests.  Yeah!  Plus, I knew that paying for a pregnancy test at the doctor’s office would be cheaper than buying one at the store.  So clever!  Lol.

The next day I went in for my 2 tests.  A few hours later, I had results.  Here is a journal entry from that day…

“I don’t know where to start but today I went in for blood work and a urine test – for my thyroid and HCG test.  When I came home from errands I got an email with my results.  The results showed that I’m pregnant(emphasis added).  I don’t know what to think!  I’m excited & scared.  But mostly grateful.  With all that Samuel & I have been through the past 6½ years trying to have a baby, this is truly a miracle.  I know there is no medical explanation for why I’m pregnant.  It’s unbelievable.  I just gave a prayer of thanksgiving & gratitude to the Lord.”

This was close to 10 ‘o clock in the morning.  I called my husband and let him know the results.  He was just as surprised and grateful as me.

I shed tears of joy that day, so grateful the Lord answered our prayers, blessing us with this miracle.

Little did I know there would be more to come.

Next post: More to Come