the washing machine

March 23, 2010 at 7:04 pm (pregnancy after miscarriage, Second Trimester) (, , )

Sorry I haven’t posted in awhile. I feel like I haven’t had much to write about. My belly is still growing and I’ve given up on regular pants. I’m now exclusively in yoga pants or leggings since I find them to be the most comfortable. I think I could still squeeze into one pair of jeans and one pair of dress pants, but why bother? I enjoy wearing some of the new maternity shirts I’ve bought because they’re cut to show off my expanding belly. Depending on what I’m wearing, it’s actually very obvious that I’m pregnant now and not just fat.

For the most part, I’ve been feeling great. Just hungry. REALLY hungry, and all the time. I can’t eat a lot at any one sitting, but I honestly need to put something in my tummy every two hours or else I’m starving. I am feeling pretty proud of myself that I’ve stuck to healthy foods and snacks: fruit, whole wheat crackers, multi-grain cereal and lots and lots of water. However, I did cave yesterday afternoon and bought an ice cream sandwich from the office vending machine. It was heaven!! So good!

Today was our second appointment with the prenatal care clinic. It was thankfully much shorter than the first one, with no pelvic exam (hooray!). At the end of the exam, we got to hear baby’s heartbeat again. It was nothing short of amazing…. It was so loud! Baby was moving around a bit, so sometimes it would fade and she would have to re-position the listening device, but then she would find it again and the sound was so loud, I could barely believe it! When we got to hear it a month ago, it was there, but faint. It sounded like it was at the back of a cave. Which, in a way, makes sense… baby was so small at that time and my uterus had not started pushing forward yet. This time, the heartbeat was strong, loud and fast. The rhythmical beat sounded just like a washing machine! M and I just smiled at each other as we listened breathlessly. Baby’s heartbeat was 156 beats per min 🙂

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feeling great

March 12, 2010 at 9:34 pm (Second Trimester) (, )

Today I experienced something that I haven’t really felt for ages: I felt great! I had tons of energy, positive vibes and felt a sense of joy in just being…. It was strange that the feeling of happiness was actually so tangible. Of course, I’ve had bursts of joy on a few occasions recently, like when we found out we were pregnant again, when we got to see the heartbeat during the ultrasound, and of course that momentous moment when we actually got to hear baby’s heartbeat. But the thing is – all of those joyful moments were just that: moments. Today the feeling of happiness ran tangibly throughout my entire day.

The morning started off well as I stopped at our little cafeteria and found that the Friday special breakfast was a belgian waffle with whipped cream and fruit compote with a side of bacon. Now, yes, I do like waffles, but I would not say it’s my favorite breakfast item, but for some reason, it just tickled my fancy today. I was thrilled to have it for breakfast. One of the guys in line even commented at how good of a mood I seemed to be in. Then all day at the office, I just felt like I was beaming. I was wearing one of my new maternity shirts, a cute plaid top, and you can actually tell that I have a bit of a baby bump because of the lines.  A few people commented on how cute it was that I was starting to show. In the bathroom, I took an extra minute in front of the mirror to smooth my hand over the curve of my tummy to say hello to baby. When I sent an email to M telling him how oddly happy I was today, he responded by saying that baby must be having a party because it knows how beautiful mommy is. For lunch, I had Greek food, and the soup was absolutely delicious – some of the best tasting Avgolemono ever! Just the right amount of lemony tang. I didn’t have my usual afternoon energy crash, and happily snacked on some crackers, cheese and strawberries to get me through to dinnertime. Food tasted great today.

Is this what the second trimester is really going to be like? Because I could really get used to this…

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no more scares, please

March 9, 2010 at 8:08 pm (Pregnancy at Work, Second Trimester) (, , )

First off, everything is OK. I wanted to get that out of the way immediately so no one panicked.

A few days ago, we had a terrible scare. I was just about to head home from work but had to make a pit stop in the bathroom. To my surprise, when I looked down, there was a spot of red in the toilet. Now – because I had discovered that hemmoroids are very common during pregnancy, and I had already had a run in with this problem, I was not too panicked about it. But, when I went to wipe up, I discovered the blood was not coming from my behind. I checked again and to my horror, it was coming from the place I dreaded. There was a lot of blood, but less after each check with the tissue.

oh my god oh my god oh my god, was all I could say, over and over again. Thankfully, there was no one else in the bathroom to hear me. I tried desperately to stay calm, but all I could think about was that this couldn’t be happening again. We had just told everyone. I couldn’t bear to go through what I had already endured – publicly this time.

I managed to hold myself together for long enough to get down to the car and call M. “I’m scared.” I said, and then burst into tears. He tried to keep me calm and get me to explain what had happened. He asked if I was sure that the bleeding was coming from up front and I said yes, that I was positive. He told me to come home and begged me to drive carefully and try to stay calm while on the road.

It felt like such a long drive home. I bawled the entire time. I considered just cheating and driving in the carpool lane, but I didn’t want to chance having to delay getting home or explain my situation if I got pulled over. I rehearsed what I would say in my head:

Please let me go home. I think I’m having a miscarriage. I’m bleeding. Please.

Surely, no police officer would give me a ticket in my situation. But I couldn’t bring myself to do it, and just drove along slowly and miserably in the traffic. When I pulled into the garage, I broke down again. I was scared to go inside. I was scared to have to check again and possibly find more blood. I dragged myself out of the car though, and trudged into the house. M was there immediately to take me into his arms, and I just sobbed into his shirt. We tried to decide if we should go to the hospital. I was lost. I didn’t want to go, but I didn’t want to stay. I went to the bathroom and checked again. There was a tiny bit of blood, but nothing like what was there before. We decided we would call the clinic and ask them what we should do. Of course, it was closed, and the messaging service person told us that the doctor on call would call us back within 15 minutes. 15 minutes was a lifetime to wait.

When we got the call, I couldn’t take it – I had to get M to explain what happened. They asked how far along I was, if I had had any cramping (no), if we had sex recently (no). We also told them that we had gone in just over a week ago and had heard the heartbeat. They asked if the bleeding was getting worse (no, it was almost gone).

It turns out that it was caused by a polyp on my cervix. Completely non-urgent. Completely not a threat to the pregnancy. Basically just a skin tab that is prone to bleeding, especially after sex or exerting yourself in the bathroom. They are commonly developed during pregnancy due to…you guessed it… hormones! The reason they’re so prone to bleeding is because of all the extra blood volume women have during pregnancy. I’m going to have it removed next week. Apparently, it’s nearly pain free and extremely quick to get rid of. No more pain or discomfort than your pap exam.

I can speak of this now calmly, but that night we were in agony. We were both terrified that it was happening again. I was shaking with fear, saying I didn’t think I could live through another miscarriage. This time would be even worse because now I had 13 weeks to connect with our baby instead of just 8. It would be worse because now everyone knew. It would be worse because then I would be a failure again. It would be worse because I would wonder if we could ever have a child.

That night, we fell asleep holding hands, thankful to know that our baby is still safe in there. But, please, no more scares. I would love to just be able to get through the rest of this pregnancy with no more panic. I am so jealous of women who get to enjoy their entire pregnancy. I wondered aloud to M if he thought I would ever be able to just enjoy being pregnant instead of being scared all the time and he said no. I agree, I don’t think it’s in the cards for us. But as long as we have a happy, healthy baby at the end of it, it’s all worth it.

Please, baby, stay with us.

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cat’s out of the bag

March 3, 2010 at 7:54 pm (pregnancy after miscarriage, Pregnancy at Work) (, )

Now that we had gotten the OK from the doc to start telling people about our pregnancy, it was time to take that big, big step – telling my work. There have actually been a LOT of babies in my office in the past two years. Last year, there must have been 10 new babies, which is a ton considering we have a staff of about 150 people. I suppose we are all just sort of getting to that age, so I figured that the news would get a good reception.

Telling the boss that you’re pregnant can be a pretty intimidating thing. I wasn’t too worried about it, but I still wanted to make sure that I was well prepared. I decided that I would speak to my HR rep first, then to a co-worker in my department who recently came back from maternity leave so I could see what her experience was like, then tell my boss the following day. It turned out that my HR person was only available later in the day, and I definitely wanted to speak to my co-worker the same day so I would not have to delay telling my boss. So, I strongly suggested to her that we needed to go for lunch together so that I could talk to her alone.

As we were headed to pick up some food, we started talking about her baby, and how it was lots of work to have to go out anywhere now since they had to deal with packing up the stroller and having all of thier just-in-case supplies ready to go, and I thought that was a good lead in. When I told her I was pregnant, she started SCREAMING! Like full on screaming, to the point that I was actually a bit scared to keep driving! She was so excited for me and gave me a big hug. It was helpful to talk to her about how she told her boss at the time, and what sorts of questions they asked. Next up was talking to HR, which went quite smoothly – ie., no screaming – and she gave me the run down on what my benefits would be while I was off, and some advice on what I should talk to my boss about when I told him. She advised that I should let him know when my due date is, and how far in advance I was planning on going on leave. She also suggested I let him know if I was planning on coming back or if that was to be decided later on, and that he would likely also appreciate knowing if he should keep the news mum, or if it was now open knowledge.

The next day, I told my boss. I was emailing M to get his opinion on whether I should do the “pop-in” or schedule an appointment. We agreed that the pop in would be more appropriate as it’s more casual. He also changed my mind about leaving it until the end of the day and suggested that I do it mid-day- more confident/assertive instead of giving him the news and then taking off for the day. I had not really considered that an end of day meeting might leave that kind of impression, so I decided to go for the mid-day chat. It was nice to get M’s input on this since he is a manager and has had to deal with women letting him know that they are pregnant. Anyhow, the chat went extremely well. To my surprise, he told me that he had a feeling about a month and a half ago that I might be pregnant. And here I thought I was hiding it so well! He congratulated me and was very supportive. When I told him my plan was definitely to come back, he laughed and said he had little doubt about that 🙂

So – now the news is out there. I told more co-workers at the end of the day that day, and then this morning, I was sort of put on the spot to announce it to the larger management group in our morning meeting. A VP (who knew I was pregnant) announced that a co-worker had given birth to her baby girl, and then asked if there were “any other highlights” while looking at me. Everyone else in the room who already knew were also also staring at me expectantly so I had to say “Ok, Ok, I’m next!” Everyone cheered and congratulated me. Other than the embarrasment of being the center of attention (and thus turning beet red), it was a wonderful moment.

It’s sort of strange now that it’s completely out there after trying to hide it for so long. In a way, it’s exciting because everyone is so happy for us. It might even make it seem a bit more real since now it’s public knowledge. But in an odd sense, it’s scary. I know the chances of having another miscarriage is very low at this point, but anything can happen. When we went through our miscarriage, it was just us, we clung to each other for dear life, but no one else knew what we were going through. Now that we’ve made our announcements, it would be so terrible to have everyone know about it.

I have to keep telling myself that it should be OK now, that we are going to have our baby, but I think that fear will always be there. Right up until I’m holding baby in my arms…. And then I can worry for the next 18 years rest of my life!

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