First Bumpdate: 13 Weeks

I guess it’s time to finally document the pregnancy itself. I’m starting to get a bump that both my husband and I can see (my husband EVER SO NICELY told me the other day that my belly is sticking out farther than my boobs… which doesn’t mean a whole lot since I don’t have a whole lot up top, but whatever). I know I’ll look back on my pregnancy and want to see the changes and if I was EVER lucky enough to get pregnant again, be able to compare them. So this is the first Bumpdate at 13 weeks. I’m a bit late because in just two days, I’ll be 14 weeks, but whatever. I won’t be doing these every week, but will hopefully do every other week.

We went to Ruby Beach over the weekend and that’s where I took the photo. My ass really isn’t that large, but I had my phone, etc in my back pocket. This picture was taken at 13 weeks, 2 days.

 

How Far Along? 13 weeks, 2 days when the picture was taken

13 weeks, 2 days

13 weeks, 2 days

Size of Baby? 2 1/2 – 3 inches (size of a peach)

Maternity Clothes? Pants, yes. Tops, some, though I have many regular tops that will work as well.

Weight Gain? About four pounds

Stretch Marks/belly button? Nope, too early.

Baby’s Sex? Won’t know until October. Finally started feeling that it was a boy the other day…  haven’t felt one way or another before. We’ll see.

Sleep? I’m finally only getting up once a night instead of 3-4. I know it’ll change back in the future, but it’s nice to have a bit of a break.

Food Cravings? More like food aversions. I don’t like sweet stuff… except one or two glasses of chocolate milk a day. And I have an aversion to anything fried.

Best Moment This Week? Seeing the Skipper (our new nickname for baby) at our first NT scan. S/he was kicking, squirming, giving us a high five and sucking his/her thumb.

What I am loving? Just having this opportunity to be pregnant.

Movement? No, but I’m excited to… hopefully within the next month to six weeks.

What I’m looking forward to: Just the pregnancy continuing and feeling movement one day.

Other Updates… Nothing really. I’ll blog about the wonderful first NT scan and the horrible second one (Skipper didn’t cooperate so we had to have a second) later.

 

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Trip to Ruby Beach

So Saturday we decided to make the three hour drive to Ruby Beach, which is on the Pacific Coast. Since I have a Prius, the trip takes just a bit more than 1/2 a tank of gas, so it’s pretty cheap. The beach is truly a pink-ish Ruby Beachcolors some days and has a variety of other colors depending on the sun and what sediment is being deposited at the time.

When we visited five and a half years ago, it had a light pink hue to it. This weekend, it was more of a gold color among the darker sands.

We got there as the tide was pretty far out (tides around here can vary up to 14 feet). We were able to take off our shoes and walk in the sand for quite a ways before getting to the water. Water in the Pacific Northwest is COLD. Year-round, it stays in the 45-55 degree range. I’d say this water was probably around 55. Since it was close to 85 outside, the water was bitterly cold when we got in, but it quickly became just refreshing. We only waded up to our knees, though.

A sea star (more than one, actually)... and sea urchins? I'm not sure what that is to the left of it.

A sea star (more than one, actually)… and sea urchins? I’m not sure what that is to the left of it.

See the gold in the sand?

See the gold in the sand?

Our Public Announcement

Saturday we announced our pregnancy on Facebook. My husband isn’t one for sweet, loving photos (though he has his moments when he’s ok with them) and he hates to smile at the camera. So we decided on a bit different of an announcement… one that focused on our dogs rather than us.

Dogs, like kids, rarely pose quite perfectly, so you can’t see Lulu’s full sign. We are also standing a bit awkwardly as it was raining and neither dog really wanted to sit for long. What did work is I expected Lulu to look at the camera while I expected Skah to avoid it (like he usually does). Surprisingly, he looked at the photographer (my friend Poekitten from Many Waters), but did finally look away as expected.

“Mom and Dad are getting us a human in March!” – Lulu  “Wait, I don’t have to share my bed, do I?” – Skah

“Mom and Dad are getting us a human in March!” – Lulu
“Wait, I don’t have to share my bed, do I?” – Skah

 

 

 

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First OB Appointment

Yesterday was my first OB appointment. Luckily, Huzzy was able to come with me (it is never guaranteed that he can). With him next to me, I was able to not have a panic attack like I did when I walked in to make the appointments several weeks ago. There were huge pregnant bellies everywhere and extremely unruly kids running around unchecked.

The appointment was a two-part appointment. The first was with a nurse and my husband wasn’t allowed to go to, which made both of us think that it was an appointment where they ask if there is abuse, etc in the home. But it wasn’t. It was just my medical history and they gave me a great pregnancy week-by-week book and handouts. There was NO reason for him not to be there if I wanted him to be there.

The book I received from my OB's office.

The book I received from my OB’s office.

The second appointment was with the OB. While I’ve been with this clinic for GYN stuff for more than four years, I decided to switch providers because my original one is a bit abrupt and I’m not sure she’d be as compassionate about my concerns as I need her to be. My new OB was all I hoped she’d be… kind, caring, compassionate and willing to listen to anything I had to say and talk to me about it. She also “got” it that this pregnancy, while “normal” in the fact that it was a spontaneous conception… isn’t normal. There’s no guarantee that we can ever get pregnant again, especially without medication. She was amazed that we were pregnant spontaneously after a failed IVF and just before lap surgery for endo. I really, really like her and am so glad I have someone I immediately connected to.

During this appointment, I had a full physical, along with testing to see if I had any STD’s (they do for every pregnant woman) and testing to see if I had any other infections that may harm the baby. We also listened for Squish’s heartbeat via doppler and I about had a heart attack.

The first doppler didn’t find anything except my stomach noises. The doctor said it was an old machine (more than 20 years old) and she had a new one on order because it didn’t always work. So she went to get another one. Cue deep breaths and calming thoughts to keep me from freaking out. The second doppler didn’t pick up ANY sound… because there were no batteries in it. Finally, the third doppler picked up the heartbeat right away… Squish’s heart was beating away at about 160bpm.

Next week we’ll get to see Squish again as we have our NT (nuchal translucency) ultrasound scan, which will assess baby’s risk for Down’s Syndrome, other chromosomal abnormalities, and major congenital heart problems. I’ll also be getting the integrated blood test, which will will screen for many of the same things. While neither test can tell with 100% accuracy, if either show a possibility, my doctor said she believes my insurance will then pay for the Mat21 or other similar test, which costs about $2,000 and is 99% accurate.

My mom disagreed with my decision, but even though I wouldn’t abort for DS or something similar, I believe it’s a good idea to know up front. The hospital I will be delivering at does not have a NICU, nor does it have the specialty doctors that may be needed in the case of DS, a chromosomal abnormality or heart defect. I think it’d be best to know ahead of time so I could have the proper specialists on hand and also get to the right hospital that can handle it rather than being surprised, have the baby emergency airlifted to a different hospital and be separated from him/her until I was released. Huzzy disagreed at first, but understood my reasoning and said he was ok with knowing.

We’ll have another just-listening appointment around 16 weeks and then the anatomy scan around 20 weeks.

So… so far so good. I believe we will be announcing our pregnancy this weekend on Facebook as I enter the second trimester either tomorrow or in a week and a half, depending on which method is used to calculate trimesters. One of my bestest friends, Poe at Many Waters is going to take a few photos for us for the announcement.

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East Coast Visit and Pregnancy Update

Last week, I flew to the east coast for a week of active duty. Normally, my duty includes being the officer-in-charge of a team of 3-5. This time, it was just me and my chief… who only worked 1/2 days due to his other job. This meant I had to make up for not only the half day the chief wasn’t there, but also the missing 1-3 team members. 

I may have been born and raised in Michigan, but I still do NOT deal with heat and humidity well (yes, Michigan has both… in spades). Apparently the week I was in Virginia was one of the most humid of the summer. Yay. Pregnancy has my core body temperature running high and adding on to the fact that I’m no longer used to the heat and humidity and… I was a mess. 

I was supposed to spend two days aboard the ship as it is being constructed (it won’t be commissioned until 2016), but I soon found out that if you are pregnant, you aren’t allowed to step foot on the ship. Which saddened me because I have wanted to be on this ship since it was announced years ago. But it’s ok because I have something better on the horizon and a good reason to not be there. 

While I was there, I managed not to gain any weight (which is good, because now I’m perfectly on track for where I am in this pregnancy). This, of course, was in spite of the fact that I was enjoying food I don’t normally see on the west coast… namely, Cracker Barrel (yes, I stopped there twice). I also tried Chick-fil-A for a third time in my life. Once again, I was not impressed. It was ok, but not fantastic–though I do have to admit the milkshake was super yummy!

Tomorrow, I have my first OB appointment. I can’t wait to hear the heartbeat for the first time. I haven’t had a doctor’s appointment for nearly a month and that feels like too long. I would be lying if I said I’m not terrified that there won’t be a heartbeat. I have no reason to think this because I’m still having symptoms and my belly is obviously growing. It will just make me feel a little better that we will have made it through the first trimester (I’ll be 12 weeks on Thursday and according to the developmental timeline, that’s second trimester… the gestation timeline says it’s not until September 7–a week and a half later). 

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Unplanned Ultrasound

Last Friday (yes, it took me a week to blog this because… yeah, I have no good excuse), I finally called the RE to let them know about the light brown bleeding I had (with some small clots). I wasn’t concerned (much) because it wasn’t red and wasn’t heavy. But… since I hadn’t had a SPOT of blood the entire time, it was different. They told me to come in for an ultrasound so I didn’t worry over the weekend.

They did an exam first and found what they assumed was the cause of my bleeding… the skin near my cervix was irritated. Apparently this can happen easily for some women during pregnancy. But they did an ultrasound to make sure there was no other cause for bleeding, to check the fluid, and make sure I didn’t have any clots or anything near Squish (that’s my unoriginal name for baby for at least this pregnancy).

Everything was fine. Squish was, at 8w1d, measuring 8w3d, which means s/he grew 6 days of growth in 7 days. Early ultrasounds can be off, so I’m not worried one bit that there wasn’t 7 days of growth. The hearbeat had gone up to a perfect 176bpm. I considered re-naming the newly-named Squish “The Gymnast” because baby had decided that while the ultrasound was going, s/he was going to do L shaped crunches while standing on his/her head. While hilarious… I’m slightly concerned that this is neither my husband’s nor my baby because the love of crunches does not come from either of us. Or even either side of our families.

In fact, everything was so fine that they canceled my ultrasound that was supposed to be today, and instead released me to my OBGYN.

After fighting with TriCare (surprise surprise), I decided to switch to TriCare Standard and see the OBGYN I’ve seen for the past four years (since they would let me if I wasn’t pregnant, but if I was pregnant, I MUST go to the military hospital… don’t understand that one). Standard lets me choose my doctors, so that’s good. It just means we’ll pay more out of pocket. Whatever. It’s worth it to have my doctors and at a place I trust more.

Downside to having an earlier ultrasound is that it’s going to be even longer before I see Squish again. I have an appointment at 11w5d with my OBGYN, but they’ve already said it will not be an ultrasound. So my next one may not be until 20ish weeks. That seems a bit odd to me since it seems I’ve seen most of my infertility friends have ultrasounds the first time they see their OBGYN and then the 20ish week scan. The end of October just seems so far away to have the next ultrasound. But, it is what it is. We’ll see what the OBGYN says when I see her.

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When is Compassion Warranted- a Replay

So now that the secret is out of the bag, I want to talk about my experience announcing my pregnancy on Twitter. I knew that the spontaneous pregnancy would make some people’s hearts hurt. I knew I might be unfollowed. And in my announcement post, I acknowledged both and said those feelings were completely understandable. I totally understood… I’ve been hurt by them before as well. I wasn’t expecting everyone to throw me support because some people aren’t in that part of their journey where they could. But I also wasn’t expecting to be UNSUPPORTED, either (ambivalence, I expected and that is fine, too).  And I most certainly wasn’t expecting a few downright rude and hurtful comments, especially since it is my first pregnancy (and hopefully first child). [note: for some reason, it's more accepted in the infertility community and you are more supported with your first pregnancy/take-home baby than you are with subsequent ones]. Also in the infertility community, I’ve noticed that people seem to be more supportive of pregnancies the more you’ve “suffered” and the more procedures you’ve gone through… those who needed some help with Clomid tend to receive less excited responses than those who have gone through IVF.

Let’s talk about unicorns. Apparently, when you have a spontaneous pregnancy when you have gone though infertility the term is a unicorn… that mythical, beautiful creature that everyone wants to see. Apparently there has been a bunch of “unicorns” lately in the social media world. Relatively soon after I announced (maybe I was the straw that broke the camels back, maybe it was coincidence), there started a DELUGE of comments about unicorns. Some saying they hope they are the next unicorn… and some saying they hate unicorns… some making fun of unicorns… and some just talking about why they’ll never be a unicorn and that it must be nice to be one. It was a lot of talking and, in my opinion, a lot of thinly veiled negativity with a bit of snarkiness thrown in (again, not from everyone and not all the time). It wasn’t one specific comment or social media post, one specific conversation, or even one specific person. It was that it was EVERYWHERE.

In what should have been one of the happiest days of my life, I was feeling guilty and ostracized for being someone who was exceptionally lucky in circumstance. But I knew people were hurting and I knew I had contributed to that hurt… even though it wasn’t my fault and I shouldn’t feel bad about it. Someone told me that me getting pregnant did not and COULD NOT take away a pregnancy from someone else. And that made me feel a bit better and decide to just ride it out. I’ve felt horrible after other Twitter people had made announcements (though I NEVER would EVER say negative things about them or “their kind”) and knew the range of emotions.

That is, until someone slung an arrow at me.  **Editing this**  Apparently, I misquoted the person, or so I’ve been told since this person is showing screenshots to people. I no longer have a screenshot of this, so I can’t be sure who is right.  So, I’ll edit it to say this:   One of the most HURTFUL comments said to me privately that made be bawl and leave Twitter (I had decided to take a break, but this made me stay away for much longer than originally planned)  for a while was someone who let me know that she’d never heard of anyone who had endo or suspected endo and didn’t miscarry at least their first child before bringing one home. Really? Is that something I needed to be told? To be told that most likely I’ll miscarry. This wasn’t the only comment I received, but was certainly the worst.  **End Edit**

So let’s go back to my post I made more than a year ago entitled,When is Compassion Warranted?

If I had gotten pregnant as a result of last November’s IVF, it may have hurt some (“why did it only take her ONE try?”) but I think most people would have been thrilled for me. But that’s totally different when it’s a spontaneous pregnancy. It’s not ok in the infertility community to have thinly veiled negativity or snarkiness toward those who get pregnant via IVF (though I have seen it with less invasive infertility treatments) and if it happens, the community would rally around the newly pregnant person, but somehow… it is ok  for that to happen when it’s a spontaneous one, apparently even if the person has gone up to and through IVF, which failed, and then had things happen so their odds of IVF working a second time got even WORSE. So, pregnancy via IVF = good… spontaneous pregnancy, even after a failed IVF = bad. I don’t get it.

Again, I never expect people to support me, because, again, not everyone is in a place in their journey where they can expend that emotion and energy. But I never expected to feel purposely, blatently, unsupported, either. And never in a million years would I have expected specific, private comments that were hurtful, either.

This is my blog, and such as it is, it’s a journey of my life. It first started out simply as a blog of someone with a spouse who was deployed frequently. It took a turn and become a military spouse dealing with infertility. And now, it’s a military spouse (whose husband will be going back to sea next year), who has struggled with infertility and is now tentatively wading through pregnancy.

I have no idea where this blog will go from here… hopefully it’ll add on being a mom, but there’s no guarantee. What is guaranteed is that this blog will follow my life’s journey–whatever that may be. I will also guarantee that I always remember and try to remain sensitive to those who are in all different parts of their infertility journeys and I will continue to support–as I always have–those throughout their journeys, no matter where they are in their journeys. For example, I’m not sharing our first ultrasound for two reasons: 1. People probably weren’t expecting this post and it gives those a chance to choose if they want to continue to follow my blog without seeing a photo like that in the first place. 2. There’s really nothing amazing to show (I mean, the fact that I’m pregnant is beyond amazing)… you can see some newly formed arms and legs sticking up. My brother said baby looks like a seahorse. I rather agree. A cute seahorse, but a seahorse nonetheless.

I understand some may need to unfollow this blog, and I understand. I hope you don’t have to, but I get it, I really do.

 

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