Sunday, November 28, 2010

Results of Serial Sequential Screening

I was surprised to get an e-mail from my midwife this morning telling me that the results of my serial sequential testing were normal.  After all, it was Sunday morning!  I assumed that I would just discuss the results with the doctor during this week's appointment.  But I was happy to have the good news early:

Risk of Down's Syndrome:  1 in 2,300
Risk of Trisomy 18:  < 1 in 10,000
Risk of Open Neural Tube Defects:  1 in 4,500

These results aren't quite as good as our SST results with Ian (see here), but I think I'm comfortable enough with them not to risk doing an amniocentesis.  After all, although I'm 36 years old now, this baby was created with a 34 year old egg and is Ian's fraternal twin.  And even an amniocentesis doesn't rule out things like autism or cerebral palsy.

To round it out, here are pictures of my baby girl from last Wednesday's ultrasound (15 weeks, 3 days).  Look at that little nose!

This next shot is a picture of the baby's face and a little harder to figure out.  But she is looking straight at the camera.  The top of her head is pointed towards the 10 on a clock and her chin is pointed towards the 4 on a clock.  You can see the dark circles that are her eyes,  the bright white bone surrounding her nose and the bright white bone that is her jaw.

I'm still a bit worried about this pregnancy and I've tried very hard not to get too emotionally attached.  But there's no turning back now.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


It turns out that my doctor's office is not licensed to do ultrasounds after 12 weeks.  So I had to go to the specialty ultrasound place (Boston Ultrasound) to understand why I gushed blood this morning.  They didn't have any appointment openings, but they said they would squeeze us in.  Thank god!  The waiting room was actually empty when we got there and we were taken within 5 minutes. 

The doctor immediately found a strong heartbeat (hooray!) and started scanning around to figure out the cause of the bleed.  After about 1 minute, she told me that my full bladder was inhibiting her scan and made me go to the bathroom.  (I didn't know if I needed a full bladder and I figured it was easier/faster to empty than to fill.)  When I came back, she started scanning again and told me that she thought I may have placenta previa (where the placenta covers the cervix) and that may be the reason for the bleed.  But she was unsure of this diagnosis and called in another doctor who didn't agree.  They think that they just couldn't get a good picture near my cervix because the lower half of my uterus hasn't yet expanded.  Together, they decided that it probably wasn't placenta previa (but we should double-check at our Level 2 ultrasound in 3 weeks).  So why the bleeding?

She kept scanning and actually found a NEW subchorionic hematoma (SCH) behind the placenta.  The old SCH (the one that caused me to bleed at 6 weeks) was actually nowhere to be found.  It shrank and disappeared over time just like we hoped and expected it would.  This new SCH was 3 cm long, but not very wide at all.  In the SCH world, my hematoma is actually considered small.  But it is the most likely source of my fresh bleeding.  So I'm supposed to "take it easy" again although I don't need to be on strict bed rest.  I shouldn't pick up my toddler, do heavy loads of laundry, cook or shop.  It's all good - I can handle that.  Hopefully, this new SCH won't get any bigger and will shrink over time just like the last one did. 

What I don't understand is why I have the new SCH (or whether I'm prone to develop even more).  I'm nervous about the increased risk of pre-term labor, but I guess I have to just focus on the positive right now.  And there is a LOT of positive!  The baby was doing GREAT.  The sonographer measured the head, stomach, femur and radius and all measurements showed that the baby had grown appropriately and measured on track.  There were 4 chambers of the heart, 2 halves of the brain, and all of the organs were present.  And we know the kidneys were functioning properly because there was fluid in the bladder.  And...and...and...and...IT'S A GIRL!!!!!!!

I knew it wasn't critically necessary to know the baby's sex, but I figured that once we knew the baby was okay, it couldn't hurt to know the sex.  :-)  I knew it.  I felt it.  And when I told my mom, she exclaimed in her typical high-pitched excited voice, "I KNEW IT!!!"  She attributes my skin woes to the fact that I'm having a girl.  So I'm truly excited.  I would have been totally excited to have another boy, but it sure will be nice to have one of each!  I have to buy a whole new baby girl wardrobe now.  What fun!  So my fingers are crossed that all will be well, that there won't be any more bleeding and that the doctor will give me the okay to go on my Cancun vacation with my extended family next month.

And I want to send out a sincere apology to all of those people with actual appointments who were sitting in the incredibly full waiting room of Boston Ultrasound this morning when we finally left.  Sorry!!!

I'm scared...

I'm 15 weeks, 2 days pregnant today.  After almost 10 weeks of no bleeding, I soaked my underwear through with bright red blood again this morning.  I was sitting at the kitchen table and felt the wetness and thought, oh maybe I just didn't empty my bladder all the way.  So I peeked into my underwear and my husband looked over at the same time wondering what I was doing and we both said "Oh Shit" at the same time.  Objectively, I don't think it was a huge amount of blood.  But subjectively, it seemed like a lot.  I mean, it was dripping out of me.  The bleeding seems to have stopped for now.  This is EXACTLY the same pattern I had when I was bled for those 2 mornings at 5.5 weeks - a big gush of blood in the morning after waking up with no more bleeding after that.

I called my doctor's office and my own OB just happened to be on call.  Since the bleeding isn't ongoing and I don't have accompanying pain and cramps, she doesn't believe that I am miscarrying.  But she thought it would be good for me to come into the office today to hear the baby's heartbeat and get an ultrasound.  I pushed for the ultrasound because I want to see how large this hematoma is.  So now I'm just waiting for it to be 8 am so that I can call the office when it opens and see when I can come in.  Unfortunately, my OB said that when a patient bleeds in the second trimester, it means that there is a greater risk of pre-term labor and a higher risk pregnancy.  I'm scared.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Ian - 20 month update

Ian is 20 months old now.  I can't believe how fast he's growing.  Just this morning, I watched him climb into his chair at the kitchen table and sit down and I said to my husband, "Look how big he is!"  His vocabulary is getting better and better and he's started putting some words together (like "read book" (bee buh), "hi kitty" and "bye bye kitty").  He understands so much of what we say and can express choices if asked yes or no questions.  He has learned to say all of the colors except for orange and it's pretty funny to hear him say "red" because he can't say the "r" sound.  At first his favorite color to say was blue, but now he's excited to say yellow.  He's also babbling more than he's ever done in a way like he's pretending to speak in full sentences.  It's very cute.  I think that because his communication skills are improving, he's whining SO much less.  That's a nice change for everyone.  His teachers at daycare also noticed the improvement.

In other news, Ian decided that he would, in fact, tolerate wearing feetie pajamas.  The last time we tried to put him in feetie pajamas, he freaked out screaming and kept raising his feet to try to get them off of him.  So once he accepted the feetie pajamas, I asked him to pose for me and got this picture.  What a little imp!

The other exciting thing is that Ian is once again sitting in the bathtub.  For the last 6 month, he has refused to sit and would only stand in the bathtub.  Of course, I worried that he was going to fall and bash his face on the faucet and watched him like a hawk.  But he decided that it was okay to sit again and during our last bath, not only did he sit, but he turned onto his stomach and blew bubbles in the water.  And he also lay flat on his back so that water covered his ears and he was okay with that too!  Wow.  It's amazing how much can change overnight.

I'll leave you with this picture of Ian sleeping.  Before I go to bed every night, I go into his room to check on him and when I found him sleeping like this, I couldn't resist taking a picture.  He's such a sweetheart.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Halloween 2010

I'm late on this post.  But better late than never, right?  For Halloween this year, we went over to a friend's house for a party and a little bit of trick or treating.  I met this friend at a mommy group when I was on maternity leave with Ian and the party was so much fun because all the kids are roughly the same age.  Ian didn't actually do any trick or treating.  He was super happy riding in the wagon with his friend and playing with a glow stick.  He was such a cute little dinosaur/T Rex!  He made me proud when he didn't rip off the hood of his costume.

Monday, November 15, 2010

14 Weeks

I'm 14 weeks pregnant today.  I started telling people at work late last week and have given my mother the go-ahead to start yacking as of tomorrow.  It looks like my boobs are making grandiose efforts now to make up for the lack of activity early on.  They are getting bigger (enough that I had to change bra sizes) and sadly, they are getting pretty sore.  Sleeping on my stomach is getting difficult because of the soreness and yowzers, watch out if Ian kicks me in the chest when I'm trying to change his diaper.  I'm still wearing my regular clothes at work (but only because I had slacks custom-made with an adjustable waist-band), but I don't think I can keep that up for much longer.  The button-down shirts that I wear with these slacks are starting to gap in the chest.  I'm sort of dreading switching to maternity clothes (which may be a sign that I need to buy some new clothes, since I'm SO sick of the ones I wore during my pregnancy with Ian).

We're moving ahead with our basement remodeling project.  Now that child #2 is on the way, we won't have a guest room for my parents anymore.  So we're refinishing an unfinished room in the basement to create a new guest room.  In the process, and at my parent's request and expense, we're also adding a shower to the basement half-bathroom.  I guess they think a shower downstairs will be much more convenient for them and I'm not going to refuse as long as they're paying the bill.  It will actually be nice that they don't have to shower in the current guest bathroom, which will really be the kids' bathroom.  This way, we won't have to move all of the toys out of the way and I won't have to worry about my mom or dad falling when trying to step over the very high wall of the tub. 

We're also going to have to think about getting another car.  I'll be able to carry 2 kids in my sedan, but my husband has a Mazda 3 and the rear-facing car seat only fits in the middle of the backseat, which means he doesn't have room for 2 kids.  So we're going to need to replace his car.  I didn't want to think about the basement remodeling project or the new car until this pregnancy got a little further along.  But given that I'm at 14 weeks and nothing seems amiss, we should probably press forward. 

It's crazy but I do really think that I'm feeling this baby move already.  It probably helps that the placenta is posterior versus anterior and it probably helps that this is a second pregnancy so I know the feeling of the baby moving.  But I'm still surprised at how early is happened this time around.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Eastern Standard Time 0: Mommy 1!!!

My son usually sleeps from about 7:30 pm to 6:00 am.  So I've been DREADING pushing the clocks back because it would mean that Ian would be up at 5:00 am.  All week, we've been pushing his bedtime later and later with the hopes that he would be adjusted by the time we had to roll back the clocks.  I'm not sure it worked because all week, he kept waking up at his normal time, but took longer afternoon naps at daycare.  Anyway, this morning, he woke at 5:20 am and we brought him into bed with us hoping he would go back to sleep.  And he did...until 7 am!!!  We were totally psyched.  It was so nice to "sleep in" on a weekend again.

There isn't much else going on, which is why I've been quiet on the blog.  I've been super duper busy at work and pretty drained when I get home at night.  I think the first trimester symptoms are almost all gone.  I don't have that awful feeling in my stomach when I'm too hungry.  I'm just back to being hungry in the regular way.  And I haven't been as tired at night.  I got on the scale this morning and it looks like I'm up 4.5 pounds in roughly 13 weeks.  The hives continue as always...and I'm living on Zyrtec.  It looks like the prenatal vitamin wasn't the culprit (surprise, surprise) because after 1 week of taking only folic acid instead of the prenatal vitamin, the hives remain.  I think it's going to be a full 40 weeks of blotchy red skin and itchy hives.  I've lost hope that it will go away during my pregnancy.  Now I only hope that it goes away after delivery!