Aug 5, 2015

A Pregnancy Story: 4-8 Weeks

{4 Weeks}
This is right about the time when we started calling your big sister Poppy for the obvious reason - but
I'm thinking you are more of a Peanut. However, you are the size of a poppy seed, just the same. You are officially an embryo now. Your organs are beginning to develop and some will even start functioning, so you are more vulnerable to things that might affect your development. But no worries, I'm going to do everything in my power to make sure you are healthy and nothing will hurt. You consist of two layers (the epiblast and the hypoblast); also the current placenta is made up of two layers that make it possible for nutrients and oxygen to get to you when your placenta develops fully. The amniotic sac and fluid are now working to cushion you.

Well, so far so good. The truth is that I wasn't surprised at all to see a second line on the pregnancy test. I pretty much knew without a doubt that I was pregnant, and all I could do was hope. Of course there is part of me that is still afraid. There is part of me that is still nervous. But all I can do is take it one day at a time and enjoy all the time I have with you.

Holy pregnancy symptoms batman! Part of the reason I was sure I was pregnant was because of all the symptoms. My boobs have been seriously hurting for days. I have some major mood swings. I have to go to the bathroom every five minutes, and sometimes I think it's actually every five minutes. This time I have also had some issues with food. Either I want nothing to do with it, it tastes weird or I have a major craving for something. I'm also exhausted, which means daily naps for me. Not that I'm complaining. Mostly I'm feeling pretty good. Of course that was definitely helped by good betas and an optimistic doctor's office.

I wish I could say that I jumped up and down out of pure joy from seeing the positive test, but that wouldn't be true. The truth is that I knew and I was just confirming what I knew. But instead of being joyous after having so many losses, I was immediately worried. There was part of me that was definitely thrilled. I am more than ready to be done with the trying stage and on to the pregnancy and actual baby stage. But so early I was scared of being too hopeful and having it all come crashing down again. Although I'm conflicted on when I want to reveal our secret, I know for now you are mostly just our little secret. Immediate family knows, but for the time being I'm keeping you to just us. If I'm asked how it is all going, I won't lie but I don't plan on making you public knowledge until we are finally released to the OB and are officially on the right track. But for now I am taking it one day at a time and just trying to choose joy.

(Saturday, June 27 - Friday, July 3)

{5 Weeks}
You are looking more like a tadpole than a human being at this point. A lot of change has changed in
just a week. Now, instead of two layers, you have three layers (the ectoderm, the mesoderm, and the endordem), which will form all your organs later. The ectoderm is the top layer, developing the neural tube, such as your brain, spinal cord, nerves, and backbone. The mesoderm is the middle layer which will develop your heart and circulatory system. It will also form your muscles, cartilage, bone, and subcutasneous - under skin - tissue. The third layer is the endoderm will develop your lungs, intestines, urinary system, thyroid, liver and pancreas. That's a lot of technical things, but it's all pretty important things in making you the very person you are becoming. Just know that for the time being the placenta and umbilical cord will give you nourishment and oxygen.

I was honestly starting to get a little worried heading into this week because I was almost feeling too good. The occasional queasiness but no morning sickness. My boobs don't hurt like they did before. I still have to make a trip to the bathroom often and I'm pretty tired but for the most part I'm feeling normal. Cravings have been hitting me hard though. I have been wanting random things that I don't normally want then once I get them I decide that I really didn't want it. I still feel pretty scattered and all over the place but I'm hanging on and taking it one day at a time. I've been pretty bloated too, but that's to be expected at this point. I'm just feeling pretty good overall.

Part of the journey of getting pregnant now is having my betas taken after getting a positive test. Once upon a time, all I had to do was see a positive line then have it confirmed at the doctor's office with another urine test then that's it - I'm pregnant! But now my betas have to be checked. And honestly I have found the whole progress very stressful. Instead of just celebrating a second line, I wait for the phone call telling me if my numbers were good and indicate that this pregnancy is going to last. Twice I have been on the receiving end of the bad news call telling me that I was miscarrying. But this time it has been nothing but good news.

Although out of sheer defense, I was in denial I was pregnant. So getting the first call that my betas were 265 was amazing. I started having more hope that this was going to last. But the first number was not the one that mattered, the number needed to double. So 48 hours later I went back in and shortly after I got another call that my number 758. It more than doubled! I was beginning to breathe easier but I still had one more beta to go before I was finally done with the blood tests. I waited all day for the phone call and as the day got later and later I got more nervous. My past experience was that the later in the day the call came, the worse the news. So I was dreading answering my phone and all day I prepared myself for the worse-case. And finally I got the call. The nurse told me that they were looking for my number to be about 1400 but it more than exceed their expectations at 5000! I was over the moon happy. I can't even describe the relief. Having my betas taken definitely add a level of stress that I never had before but at the same time it also adds the piece of mind that everything is on the right track. And this time everything is definitely on the right track!

(Saturday, July 4 - Friday, July 10)

{6 Weeks}
You are about a quarter of an inch long - stand back, you are so tall! - so basically about the size of a
lentil. Your nose, eyes, ears, chin, and cheeks are starting to develop. I keep reading that you are basically looking a little weird right now with you head way over-sized that has dark spots where your eyes and nostrils are forming, your ears are just depressions on the sides of your head, and your arms and legs are just barely protruding. Your heart is beating about twice as fast as mine is, about 100 to 160 times a minute. Your circulatory system is starting
to circulate blood throughout your body. Your intestines are also developing, plus tissue that will develop your lungs are forming. Let's just say that everything is starting to form. That's a good start in life.

This week has definitely been a little harder than the last. The nausea hits me off and on, with only one trip to the bathroom with unpleasant morning sickness. The exhaustion is definitely not off and on though; that's pretty much always on. I have definitely been moody and emotional this week as well. My fuse is so much shorter than normal which means staying at home with a two year old hard. The crazy dreams have already started. I wake up either craving a food or wondering why I was dreaming about Alex Gordon (KC Royals left fielder) again. The bloat is also getting the best of me this week prompting me to find my belly band so I can unbutton my pants or just changing into elastic waist pants. Overall I am feeling even more excited about you because you seem to be doing great and taking up residence, which makes me feel so much better considering my past.

I can't even describe how nervous I was going into this first ultrasound. I was excited at the same time but my nerves were definitely wining out. After my history I knew I was going to be watched closely but at the same time I was so worried we would get bad news while at our ultrasound and I worried about how I was going to deal with that. But I knew I just had to if that happened. Even though I tried to just enjoy the moments this pregnancy, I knew I was also preparing myself for the worst. My stomach was in knots all day as I waited for my afternoon appointment. For the first time since we started with the RE they were running way behind which meant an even longer wait.

Finally it was our turn and for our ultrasound we saw the actual RE (not a nurse practitioner this time) to do the ultrasound. She explained why we were doing this ultrasound to make sure the baby was where it was supposed to be and everything looked how it was supposed to be. The goal was not to look for the baby or a heartbeat because the baby was so small at this point. But one of the first thing she said was that she saw a single baby in there and the flickering heartbeat. I didn't care about anything else she said after that. I knew that there was a baby with a beautiful heartbeat. Of course I did care some about what else she said and I listened to her tell me that everything looked exactly like they wanted it to at this stage. I seriously felt instant relief. I knew there was so much that could still go wrong but I knew that it wasn't going wrong right then. Right then things were perfect. Things were like they were supposed to be. I felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders and for the first time I started enjoying this pregnancy and was really looking forward to each beautiful step.

(Saturday, July 11 - Friday, July 17)

{7 Weeks}
This week you are the size of a blueberry, about a half an inch long. During this week, you are
producing about one hundred new brain cells each minute, which means that your developing brain is becoming more complex. But it's not just your brain becoming more complex, but also your heart. You have an appendix and an pancreas, and your liver is sending our red blood cells until your bone marrow eventually takes over. Your hands and feet are developing from your arms and legs, although those are still developing as well. You have a small tail that is extending from your tailbone, but it will disappear in the next few weeks. As you get bigger, you will take on more human characteristics and look less like a tadpole.

Oh with the nausea! Well the trips to the bathroom are more frequent thanks to my stomach being so out of whack. But I'm managing. It's been a rough week actually. If I move too much then I start feeling worse. The first couple of weeks I craved all sorts of foods and I just wanted to eat, but now I have a lot more aversions. Now I'm eating to survive. Not much is sounding good. I have been eating a lot of grapes and I have had a hankering for green bean casserole but mostly food makes me want to gag. Which is actually pretty easy to do these days since my gag reflex seems to be extra sensitive. Brushing my teeth has become a new challenge as is taking out the trash. The exhaustion is hanging out which makes me quite useless. I just don't have the energy to do anything, which makes me feel a little sorry for your big sister since she gets my worst. But I'm hanging on and doing the best I can.

I will admit that I'm a bit worried about the upcoming ultrasound. I have no reason to think that you won't be perfect but with my past I have some worries which are definitely making me nervous for our Monday ultrasound during my 8th week. However, I am pretty excited about the fact that we are halfway through this first trimester. I'm ready to start feeling a little better at least. I'm just looking forward to not feeling so nauseous all the time, and getting back to eating somehow normally.

I forgot the crazy dreams that come with pregnancy. I have always had really weird dreams but they have gotten even weirder lately. Pretty much every night I have had some dream comparing my past and my present. I have dreamed about the people I went to high school with, only it was a reunion at my elementary school that turned into shark infested water. I have dreamed about my first job at FDI where I did not only inventory but also took my shift on a crab boat and argued with a good friend about what shirt it was that he liked that always made him laugh. I have dreamed that baseball players have helped me solve crimes involving airplanes. I have dreamed about Alex Gordon being chased by some men who wanted to hurt him - that one is a bit more vague now. Every night I have a different version of another crazy dream. Every morning I wake up chuckling at another dream. At least it is keeping me entertained every night when I pass out from exhaustion.

(Saturday, July 18 - Friday, July 24)

{8 Weeks}
It's amazing how quickly you are growing. You are now the size of a kidney bean, but you are still
small enough that I can't feel all that moving around that you are already doing. That tail that you sprouted is pretty much gone, you have eyelids that basically cover your eyes, and you have small webbed fingers and toes. You also have taste buds that are forming, so that's fun. I bet you just can't wait until you can try all the delicious foods we have out here. You nerve cells are branching to connect with each other which are forming neural pathways. Primitive ones, but pathways all the same. You also have breathing tubs that extend to your developing lungs. I know it all sounds weird and hard to actually imagine what you look like but it is all important steps to make you a healthy baby.

The nausea comes in waves. I wish it would stay away but I'm not that lucky. I'm basically eating to survive but just thinking of food pretty much makes me want to throw up. It's probably part of the reason I have lost about 5 pounds since getting pregnant. But this is pretty much the same thing that happened last time. I just hope the nausea passes quicker this time and I can start eating like a normal person again. Otherwise I'm actually doing pretty good this week. I've been bloated so it makes it look like I have a little bump. I've been exhausted, so I've been napping pretty much every day. I forgot how exhausting it is to grow a human being. I've definitely been irritable. I get frustrated pretty easily and most of the time just want to be left alone. I have had some major mood swings and I get super mean when I'm pregnant. But overall this week has been better than the last week.

I was definitely nervous going into the ultrasound this week but no where as nervous as I was at 6 weeks. I knew that there was a baby and there was a heartbeat and everything was as it should be, but that was no guarantee. Although I still was having all kinds of pregnancy symptoms that didn't take away my nerves that something might be wrong. But the ultrasound was going to give me those answers, good or bad.

This time we had to take Addison with us but she did amazing through the ultrasound. We didn't have to wait quite as long as we did the first appointment. We got right in and got started. And immediately we could see a beautiful baby with a beautiful heartbeat of 160 beats. We could see little arms and little legs. It's amazing how much a little baby can change just in two weeks; going from a little dot to a little person with arms and legs and a head and a torso. It was moment that I truly didn't think I would see again. I really did wonder if we would ever have another baby but here we are. I'm giving up things I love (I love you Dr. Pepper), taking all these medicines, and see fancy doctors. And now after all of that we are finally released to the OB. We are exactly where we are supposed to be so we can go back to my regular OB and move forward with this normal pregnancy.

(Saturday, July 25 - Friday, July 31)

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