Thursday, September 21, 2017

Clinic Day

Just a quick post about my clinic appointment today.

I've been feeling really good, CF-wise, the last couple of months. A few weeks ago I was having some sinus issues, but I'm not sure if it was a cold or just allergies/change of weather. Whatever it was, thankfully it didn't stick around long and didn't get into my lungs. 

Today's appointment went well. As usual, I dreaded the three hour drive to Chicago (and would be okay never going to the city again if it wasn't for my amazing doctor). I made good time and was even called back right at my scheduled appointment time. I was a little nervous to do my PFTs today because when I was about this pregnant with the twins and did PFTs, I'm convinced it played a part in what set things in motion into their labor about a week or two later. Either way, this is a different pregnancy and I'm feeling completely different - in a good way. My lung function is stable at 85% today, which I was glad to see, but not surprised. My weight is slowly, steadily increasing. Doctor said I looked and sounded really good, and honestly, there wasn't really much to talk about this time around. I'll be going back in three months...and hopefully then again after I have Little Brother (even though I know she'll want to see me again). Overall, it was a successful clinic day and I'm glad that my body and lungs are cooperating with this pregnancy! 

Thursday, September 14, 2017

16 & 17 Weeks

Thursday, August 31 - 16 weeks
We're 16 weeks along in this journey and I cannot wait for my doctor's appointment this afternoon!

It's been almost 5 weeks since my last appointment, and it's been 8 weeks since my last ultrasound! Today I have a feeling of excitement for my appointment, and that feels a lot better than nerves and anxiety. I haven't had any terrible dreams in the last couple weeks, although we are approaching the timing in my pregnancy when I started getting uncomfortable and having issues. I really don't like comparing the pregnancies, because carrying two babies is completely different than carrying one, but it was so recent, it's hard not to compare sometimes.

I've been feeling so good lately, pregnancy wise, though. Sometimes, I don't feel like I'm pregnant at all, which is wonderful. Of course I have some groin and low uterus stretching when getting up after I've been sitting/laying for a while, but I know that's perfectly normal for this gestational age. I have very normal energy level -- considering how exhausted I am from back to school and starting my masters, I'd say that I've been feeling really good.

At my last appointment, they told me at 16 weeks they'd start checking my cervix to monitor it for any changes. Today, we start that. It's a little nerve-wrecking to watch for your cervix to begin failing, and hoping for the best, but going off of the way my body's been feeling, I think we'll be in the clear today. I should be going back every two weeks until 24 weeks, which is what they told me last time. I don't know what's so significant about 24 weeks, but we'll see what they say today. I just can't wait to look at that screen and see Little Brother's body moving all around, look at his face developing and just watch him for a little bit - soak it in, realize that this is really happening again.

Update after appointment: It was SO good to see you, little brother!! The ultrasound tech and I were both surprised to see that you were basically folded in half today! I can't imagine you're that squished yet, but maybe you just like to fold up -- just like Anna did. You looked good. We were able to watch you move your arms and legs a lot, wave, open and close your mouth, and just wiggle all around. It was also confirmed today that you are indeed a boy. It was so reassuring to see all of your fingers and toes, your beautiful little face and perfectly growing body.

My cervix is holding up very well. They don't want it to be under 2.5 and mine was measuring a 5, so I was (and doctors were) very pleased. I'll be going every two weeks for an ultrasound to check my cervix, placenta, and fluid around baby. This will end at 24 weeks because technically then baby will be "viable", so placing a cerclage (stitch closing the cervix) is not seen as effective at this gestational age - this is what was explained to me this afternoon. I'm hoping that everything continues to go well.

I'm still having a hard time wrapping my mind around bringing home another baby. It just feels very surreal. I think I'm still struggling to really accept that we'll be having another child in our house later this winter because I'm still afraid to get my hopes up. I see my growing belly. I saw him moving all around today. I'm slowly starting to feel the beginning flutters. But I still had to tell myself at the ultrasound today, "that's my child". I feel like I'm on the outside looking into someone else being pregnant. It sounds weird to put it into words - I don't know how to explain it. Of course I'm excited to have another baby, but I still have this fear in the back of my mind that we won't be bringing him home.

Friday, September 8th - 17w, 1d
Hey little brother! It's been a week since your appointment and just another week until I'll see you again. It's a good feeling knowing that I'm going so often right now. This was about the time I started to feel off and funky with the twins, so it's really reassuring to feel so normal right now. I really cannot complain about this pregnancy at all.
Your little flutters are becoming a little more noticeable, although still few and far between. I'm excited for when they get stronger so Daddy and Anna can feel them - I think Anna's going to love that!

Daddy and I have started talking about names for you. We have a couple ideas, but nothing that we absolutely love yet. We plan to keep your name a secret until you're born - most likely because it won't be decided on til then anyway!
We also bought you a new stroller this last weekend. We were up visiting friends and we all went to Buy, Buy, Baby and they had a nice stroller on clearance for super cheap. We took it back to our friends' place to see if we liked it and we did. We got such a good deal. So now we'll plan on selling Anna's old car seat/stroller combo so that we can get you a new car seat that fits in with this type of stroller. Your closet is full of stuff - diapers, wipes, clothes, toys, books, etc. I'm getting excited to start working (watching Daddy work) on your room. Hopefully once things settle down for him at work he'll be able to start spending time on it.

Monday, September 11 - 17 w, 4d
Not too much to update here. I've been feeling really good the past few days. I haven't felt much movement from you, but I know it's still early. I'm really looking forward to my appointment on Thursday. It's just an ultrasound - no doctor visit. Just looking forward to more good news.
Daddy, Anna and I went to Hobby Lobby this weekend to try to get some ideas for your bedroom. They had some cute stuff that gave us a few ideas, but nothing set in stone yet. Daddy has a lot to do in your room before we can even think to start decorating. I can't believe we're almost half way through this pregnancy already. It feels like it's flying by! I know February is going to be here before we know it.

Wednesday, September 13 - 17w, 6d
I've started to have a fear creep slowly back into my thoughts over the last day or so. I'm terrified that when I go for my ultrasound tomorrow that you aren't going to be moving. I'm so afraid that you won't have a heart beat.
Physically, I've been feeling just fine and I have had no signs of issues, but something is making me really nervous. I don't know if it's because things are finally starting to settle down with work, school, home, etc., so I'm thinking about you more often. I don't know if it's because we're just getting closer to the day when the twins were born (19w, 4d), or the anniversary of when Alayna died. There's a lot of sadness approaching and I guess I'm just expecting something else to go wrong, too.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

14 & 15 Weeks

Saturday, August 26 - 15w, 2d
Little brother, I already feel like you've got the "second child syndrome" where we're forgetting about you....don't worry, I think about you every single day! But finding time to write to you during the first couple weeks of school has been really hard! That picture above is already over a week old and I feel like I've grown a little more since then. You're about 4 inches long now, according to my app, and can bend your arms and legs now.

I swear I have felt you move a couple times over the last week, especially last night. I could have sworn you were flailing your arms & legs temper-tantrum style for a couple seconds yesterday evening. Either that, or it was just a ton of gas bubbles at once (doubt it). It's mostly been tiny little flickers here and there which I'm not 100% sure are from you, but I tell myself they are because it's reassuring to me.

I am really looking forward to seeing you on the ultrasound next week! I haven't been able to see you since you were eight weeks along (and you looked like a blob), so I'm very excited to see how developed you are and to see your little face! I'll now be going every two weeks from 16-24 weeks so the doctors can monitor my cervix. I'm very glad that I haven't been having any weird or strange feelings/symptoms. We're approaching that time in my pregnancy where it started happening with the twins, so I'll definitely be on high alert over the next month or so! I can definitely tell you're growing though because my belly is finally starting to get hard (it's been a CF belly for a while) and I've been experiencing stretching and groin pain from my expanding uterus. I know these are good things, but I worry about having the discomfort so low again. It just brings back lots of memories from this past winter. I'm guessing I just carry my babies low - which is good for my lungs, but makes me nervous that you're too low....not quite yet, but as you grow bigger and start putting pressure down there.

In other news, I've been feeling pretty good. I'm getting ready to start Cayston back up again next week which should help give my lungs a boost for my appointment at the end of September. School is overwhelming at this time of the year, but it always is. I'm also beginning my Master's degree (something I never thought I'd do), so that's putting some added stress on my plate. But, I've got a great local support system and when it's over, it'll be an amazing feeling of accomplishment.

Friday, August 18, 2017

12 & 13 Weeks

Friday, August 4 - 12w, 1d
One more day!! Tomorrow everyone will be finding out about you and your cousin during Anna's birthday party.

Saturday, August 5 - 12w, 2d
This is it, folks! Anna's third birthday party day is here and people will be finding out about two more babies entering our family this winter, very soon! I didn't sleep the best and I'm tired already (it's only 11:30am), but I know we're going to have a fun afternoon. Anna is very excited that it's "party day" and what she thinks is her birthday. I put her down for a nap a bit ago hoping that she'll get a little sleep before the exciting afternoon, but I can hear her playing in her bed, so we'll see how that works out. Hopefully she'll crash. Well, I'll update more this evening!! :-)

Thursday, August 10 - 13 weeks
Things have been so busy that I haven't written in a while. We celebrated Anna's birthday on Saturday, announced this pregnancy that evening, then recovered from the party basically the rest of the weekend. Everyone was so surprised (mostly surprised about Elise!!) at the party about your announcement. Grandma and Shirley were a little suspicious because Anna's been talking about "the baby" at Grandma's lately, so they were waiting. Grandma is also very excited to have two little babies again later this winter. I am so excited for these two cousins to grow up together as Anna and Liam have. :)

OHH, how could I forget, we found out if you're a boy or girl on Monday!! I can't wait to share! I was planning on sharing on Anna's birthday, but decided to hold it in just a little bit longer. Maybe on the first day of school next week. :)

It's been nice having people know about this pregnancy. It's nice to have the support of other people and to not have to hide my growing belly. I've been feeling really good lately and my stress level has been manageable over the last week or so, which has been really nice.

Tuesday, August 15 - 13w, 5d
We're starting to get back into the school grind.  Yesterday was my first day back and Anna's Open House. Daddy was able to take her to drop off her supplies and meet her teacher. She loved it! I've got a very large class this  year, 27, double what I had last year. It's going to be tough, but I know we'll make it work.

Sunday night into Monday I had a dream, again (this is my second one), that you were born too early. When I have dreams like that, it takes me a long time to fall back asleep because I just keep thinking about all of the "what-ifs". I had myself convinced at 2:30 that morning that later in the day I was going to call MFM and schedule an extra appointment to check on you for my own sanity, but by the time I got up for the day and was distracted by work, I felt a lot better and never called MFM. I really don't think these feelings of anxiety will ever go away, although I'm glad they are few and far between, for now. I'm guessing as we approach 19-20 weeks, when I lost the twins, I'll be having a few more worries, but for now I'm going to just keep going day by day.
I've been feeling pretty good, although I think you've grown a bit this last week because I'm feeling some stretching and I feel a little bigger. I feel a little pop or flick every now and then, and I'm sure it's gas, but I let myself think it's you, just to reassure me that you're moving and grooving in there. :)

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Back to School

Happy first day of school from Daddy, Mommy, Anna and little brother! :-)
We survived the first day of school!!! Anna had her first day of preschool and I began my sixth year of teaching. I'm so glad Tim was able to take the day off and bring Anna on her first day...even though I was sad it wasn't me. Tim said she walked right up to her teacher in the lobby when she called her name and walked down the hall with all of the other kids without looking back. What a big girl!!

As soon as I was out of school, I rushed home so I could go with Tim to pick her up. We pulled around and she was trying so hard not to smile huge when she saw us ready to get her - it was so cute! Her assistant got her into the car, buckled her, told us how sweaty she got today and that she had a good day. :) It took her a minute when she got in the car, but once I got Anna talking, she talked for a long time! She was SO excited! She told me about school, she told me about her imaginary friend, and absolutely anything she could think of, she was just so happy.
We decided to celebrate this big day with some ice cream from Krekel's after. :) Anna enjoyed a strawberry cone with sprinkles, and Tim & I split a chocolate. She played outside for a little while this evening, ate dinner, took a bath, read some stories and was in bed by 8:00pm. She's been so tired this week because she's been getting up early, that I'm curious to see how late she sleeps in this weekend!

Highlights from Anna's day:

  • Wearing her new school shoes (even without socks, oops!)
  • Cold water - she was "so, so sweaty"
  • She found a Bubble Guppies book in her classroom and read it
  • The teacher read a "school book" and "pirate book" 
  • There were "ten kids in my classroom" 
  • Our neighbor asked Anna how her day went and she replied, "Great!" 
  • She told me all about how they got cold water in cups without lids. She drank it "carefully and slowly". Then she threw the cup in the garbage and washed her hands, but the soap wouldn't work at first. 
  • She sat on the carpet that had a pattern on it

Overall, I think she had a wonderful first day. She's excited to go back tomorrow! I am so happy that she had such a positive experience today. 

On my end, I had a pretty good day, too. 23 of my 27 students showed up today, so that was kind of nice. The students were all very excited to see each other and were a bit chatty, but they seem to be a good group. I'm excited to see how this school year unfolds - my partner and I have some cool ideas for this year. :) 

Anna and I are both completely exhausted, but I'm sure we'll both have a great next two days. I am looking forward to sleeping in this weekend and relaxing. Every year I forget how stressful and exhausting the beginning of the year is, but it's also so exciting and fun to start over with a brand new class. 

Saturday, August 12, 2017

10 & 11 Weeks

Friday, July 21 - 10w, 1 d
Here you can see my day-to-day belly
Ten weeks, it's hard to believe. I feel like summer just began. I feel like we just went through IVF. It also means that we're just two weeks out from spilling the beans about you, little bean, and your cousin! Although, around town, I haven't really been hiding it physically. Some of our friends know, and the most important people will find out your sister's birthday party, so who cares if people in town know - who are they going to tell?

This picture is cuter, but makes me look bigger than I am
Third pregnancy + CF belly + previously pregnant with twins = Big belly already (especially since I'm still in my first trimester). I don't care anymore. I'm just embracing it. I'm hoping that'll make me realize that this is real. 

I decided to do our belly pictures in front of your room. Then throughout the progression of the pregnancy, we can also see the progression of your room coming together. As you can see, right now it's a HOT mess, but this was taken yesterday. Since then I've taken all of my school stuff to my classroom yesterday, and took all of our left over garage sale stuff to charity today, so it's already a little clearer. Daddy has a lot of work to do, but we've got time. :)

Monday, July 24 - 10w, 4d
I've been feeling really good over the last few days. There are still some things that don't smell or look appetizing sometimes, but if I remember correctly, that's going to happen for a while. Other than that, I've been doing well. I'm working on keeping my sugars in check, which sometimes I'm better about than others.

I think deciding to do the pictures in front of your room, plus Anna's upcoming birthday party, really has motivated Daddy to start working on your room. We're going to move my desk to the basement, my treatments into the living room, and the butcher block table to either the shed or the basement. Once we do that, we can focus on your room. We (and by we, I really mean Daddy) need to removed the popcorn from the ceiling and fix the bulge/crack. Then we're going to add the same type of ceiling that's in Anna's room (white-washed something, I can't remember what it's called - that's been happening a lot lately). Daddy will also have to drywall over where the doorway used to be to the kitchen. He also wants to add access to the attic through your room, but it'll be closed off for now. Then comes the painting, decorating and organizing. He'll be quite busy, but I'm excited to see it several months from now! :) 

Tuesday, July 25 - 10w, 5d
I am getting really sick of these progesterone shots! Daddy's been giving me one every night for exactly two months now. My skin has been super sensitive to everything since getting pregnant, so it gets really irritated if I leave a band-aid on for too long. My right side has been bleeding a lot after the last few times, and my left side is itchy and irritated. We're getting so close to being done, I hope. The fertility clinic said August 4th (next Friday!) would be my last one, but I'll be double checking with MFM on Monday.

Sunday, July 30 - 11w, 3d
My appointment is tomorrow afternoon and I'm getting nervous & excited. I know that you'll start to look slightly more baby-like and I'm excited for Anna to see you. I don't think the nerves before each appointment will ever go away.

Monday, July 31 - 11w, 4d
Just got back from my doctors appointment. We did not have an ultrasound today, but we (Anna and I) were able to hear your heart beat through the Doppler. It was a nice, strong 180bpm and the nurse said that you were moving around a lot. She had to keep searching for you - she'd get your heart beat and then you'd move! It was reassuring the hear your heart beat, twice, as well as the nurse telling me that everything sounded great. She could hear some little bumps that she said was from you moving around, too. I'm glad you're active and I can't wait until I can start feeling it myself.

Today, I also got my blood drawn to check for chromosomal abnormalities. This is also the test that will tell us your gender! I was really hoping we'd have the results by Saturday to add in with our pregnancy announcement, but the results take 7-10 days to get back, so we'll find out next week. That's still exciting and I can't wait to know.

I forgot to ask about when I can stop my progesterone, so luckily I have one of the doctor's cell phone numbers - I just texted her to ask. The fertility clinic told me August 4 (this Friday) would be my last day, but I wanted to double check with MFM.

She just texted me back & I can stop on Friday, woo hoo!! Daddy's going to be so excited, too. That means, he's done 70 progesterone injections (and I've done one) since May 25th!!

I go back to the doctor in a month, at 16 weeks, but from there they will check me every two weeks, from 16-24 weeks to make sure that nothing is happening with my cervix. She said that since I didn't make it to 20 weeks with the twins, it's technically considered a miscarriage, but they're going to treat it like a previous preterm labor because it basically was. So they're going to be extra cautious and check me every two weeks for a while to make sure my cervix doesn't show any signs of shortening or opening. If it does, then there are options, but hopefully we won't have any issues -- but it's nice to know that they're planning on seeing me a lot and they were so nice today about telling me to call WHENEVER and if I ever have questions or issues.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

8 & 9 Weeks

Thursday, July 6 - 8 weeks
Anna and I got to see you today, little Bean! You pretty much just looked like a blob, but I saw your flickering heart and heard that beautiful sound. Your heart rate was 172bpm which is completely normal and you are measuring right on track. :)
My right ovary is still pretty swollen and has a couple cysts, but they said that's okay and I need the hormones from them to help support the pregnancy. I haven't been having any pain on my right side that I've noticed, so I'll have to keep that in mind over the next few weeks to see if I notice any pain/discomfort.
Even with seeing you today, I still feel anxious and a little stressed out. Today's appointment was reassuring, but it's like as soon as it was over, I started getting stressed for the next one, or what could happen in between. I feel like I'm going to be this way for the rest of the pregnancy. I know I just need to embrace this pregnancy, but it's hard. I'm so afraid something is going to go wrong.

Monday, July 10 - 8w, 3d
I've been having more typical pregnancy symptoms lately, which makes me think you're a boy even more. Looking back at first trimester posts from when I was pregnant with Anna and then the twins, I had similar feelings with the twins and basically zero symptoms with Anna.
I've been having more feelings of nausea throughout the day, and each day is different. Friday and Saturday, I felt pretty gross all day - nothing sounded good, but if I didn't eat, then I felt worse. Or after I ate I would feel like I might get sick. I haven't thrown up yet, but the nauseous feeling lingering around isn't fun either. I'm also very exhausted still. Sometimes I'll be tired enough to take a nap (like I did on Saturday at Chris & Sammy's), but other times my body just feels tired. Today and yesterday I've had lots of gas and bloating which is never fun. Of course I know that I should try to eat better, but sometimes I just eat what I can....and then feel sick after eating it.

It all sounds rough and miserable, but I really shouldn't be complaining. All of these symptoms are actually a little reassuring because I know they're normal in pregnancy and it means that my body is just reacting to the developing baby inside me. And after talking with a couple other CF moms, the bloating and exhaustion could be a symptom of the progesterone injection Tim gives me each night. According to the fertility clinic, my last day for those is August 4th. I'll double check with my MFM team at my next appointment (July 31), but its nice to see an end in sight.

Wednesday, July 19 - 9w, 6d
It's been an uneventful week in the baby-world over here. The nausea spurts are getting fewer and farther between and my exhaustion is manageable without a nap lately, but I'm still having some food aversions sometimes (I'm pretty sure that will last the whole pregnancy).
Starting last Thursday, at 9 weeks, I started checking my blood sugars. I know they're going to start asking me to do it soon, so I figure I might as well start. I've been doing pretty well, but my fasting has been over 100 and my dinners are usually a little high, so I have to work on those. But I can already tell what a huge difference in the management between one baby and twins! When I was pregnant with the twins, my blood sugars were constantly all over the place. This week, they've been about what I expect, so it's definitely less stressful and more manageable.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

3 Years Old!!!

Anna, today (Aug 8) you are THREE years old!

  • You've gone from calling me Mommy, to Momma, and now Mom. It's weird, but cute. You've also started called Daddy, "Dad" the last couple weeks. Sometimes it varies, but it's fun to hear what comes out of your mouth.
  • You are so sassy! It started a few weeks ago and man, is it exhausting! Bedtime is the worst of it, but sometimes you just love to pick a fight. You're developing a little attitude when you talk sometimes & we are surprised, again, to hear the things that come out of your mouth...
  • You talk A LOT! It's fun listening to you tell stories about your "friend" who is always named something silly & is a boy, and all of the cool things they've done. Your imagination is huge and I love that about you. You are really good at holding a conversation, too. 
  • You love to be outside. You don't care if its 100 degrees or 70 degrees. You don't care if it's raining, or buggy, or windy. If you're outside, you're happy. You love to dig in the dirt, get dirty, do whatever Daddy is doing, ride your bike and your scooter, climb on anything/everything, play at the park, and follow Berkley around everywhere. Probably about 99% of the time, you're "walking barefooting" as you call it. The bottoms of your feet have often been black all summer long and you typically have at least 10 mosquito bites all over your body. (You obviously get these qualities from your Daddy, not me!)
  • You are currently obsessed with the movie, Trolls. When we first started watching it, we'd have dance parties because we all loved the music so much. Then you got to the point when you wanted to watch it every single time I did my treatments. It's getting a bit old, but you got the soundtrack for your birthday, so I'm sure we'll be jamming to that in the car for a while. 
  • You know most of your letters, can count to twelve (then you say 18, 19, 20, 21). We haven't been working on it as intensely lately because I know that you just pick up on it as it's introduced to you. You can also write your first name as AnnA. 
  • You still love to read and insist on reading a book before nap and bedtime every day. We just got a bunch of new Usborne books from Aunt Katrina's parties, so I'm excited to read all of those with you! You also love going to the library and picking random books off the shelf for us to bring home - we've found some really good ones...and really bad ones :) 
  • You're starting preschool in exactly eight days! I am SO excited for you because I really think you're going to love it! Now that you're finally three, you know that you're going to preschool soon and are getting excited, too. 
  • You're going to be a big sister, again! I cannot wait to see you interact with Rainbow Bean when it's born! You are going to be an amazing big sister! 
  • You are 36.5" tall and weigh in at 26 lbs, which means you've grown 3.5 inches and have gained almost 5lbs since turning two! The doctor is very pleased with your growth and I am, too!
You have developed such a personality over this last year. You love your friends and family, and get crazy/silly around those you're comfortable with. Your sass comes out when you're tired and typically put up some kind of fight (or a million excuses) at bedtime. You're an outdoor girl, which Daddy loves, but you're also a little bookworm and love to read & color, which I love. I really think you're the perfect mix of Daddy and I's personalities. I'm so excited to see you flourish in preschool this year. I hope you make friends, are nice to others, listen to the teacher, have lots of fun, and of course, learn so much! I love, and always will (even when you're a difficult teenager), your independence. It makes me happy to see that you have confidence to do things on your own. Even today, you insisted on taking your own shower, so I walked you through step-by-step on how to wash your hair & body. You are little growing up right in front of our eyes, little peanut, and you make us SO proud! We love you so much!! :-)