12/30/2004

Good news all around today! At my last ultrasound appointment with the perinatologist, they were not able to get a good visualization of the baby’s lips or spine, so they wanted to check those again today for abnormalities. They found none – perfect little lips and a perfect spine. I also got it confirmed with the perinatologist that I do not need to continue sticking myself with needles filled with Lovenox (the blood thinner) anymore! I spoke to him today about switching hospitals, and he said that the ob/gyn I am going to IS affiliated with the hospital I want to use. If for some reason he cannot do my c-section at the hospital I want to go to, he will be able to refer me to someone who practices more regularly at the hospital. I’m not sure it will matter a whole lot, but I just feel comfortable at the hospital with the higher level NICU, especially since Brighid needed one for 31 days. I am good to go for another month before I go back, and then they will do another ultrasound just to check the baby’s growth. I did learn today that she weighs about 15 ounces. I got only one u/s picture today, and it is very similar to the leg one I already have posted, so I’ll spare you!!

12/13/2004

Here are the latest pictures of our new baby! They were taken this morning at just over 19 weeks. The doctor said everything looked great, the baby had no detectable birth defects, and there were no markers for Downs Syndrome or any other abnormalities. I know the photos are kind of large, but I wanted to make sure you could see the detail that they pointed out to us – including the baby’s little foot and the outstretched leg!

baby pictures

This is the baby’s face – the technician marked where you can see the eyes.

baby pictures

This is a foot – you can actually see the little toes.

baby pictures

This is a little outstretched leg. You can see the foot at the left, with toes pointing up, and then the lower part of the leg, up the slightly bended knee, and then the thigh. I told Jim if there was a lamp shade in there, this would very much resemble the lamp from the movie ?A Christmas Story.?

Oh, and in case you hadn’t figured it out yet…

And Jim wasn’t too disappointed πŸ˜‰ I know he would have loved a little boy, but I am absolutely over the moon to have another daughter!!

Here is a picture, measuring 13 weeks and 5 days:

baby pictures

The head is to the left, and that is a little leg sticking up at the right side. I even saw the baby put his hand straight up in the air. The tech tried to capture that, but the baby moved too quickly. We also saw quite a big jump!

11/5/2004

My appointment today with Dr. Bolognese was pretty good. The tech that was working today took lots of pictures and said everything measured just fine – and they took a lot of measurements. Dr. Bolognese actually said we could probably go with my original due date of May 7th, since all the measurements have been pointing that way for the past couple of ultrasounds. I will see them again in mid-December for what is called an anatomy study. In that ultrasound, they will measure things like long bones (leg bones), the nose, check the heart, etc. There are several things in that ultrasound that will give them an indication of things like Downs Syndrome. Even if I was not advanced maternal age, they would do that scan because I am diabetic, and the doctor said they like to keep a closer eye on diabetic pregnancies. I don’t mind seeing the baby again, but I get so nervous with all the talk of the possibility of genetic defects. They keep assuring me that the chances of something being wrong are small, but the reminder that the possibility exists is always frightening.

My next appointment will be on November 12th with the regular ob/gyn office. I won’t get an ultrasound then, so we’ll have to wait until December to see how big our little one is getting!

You can scroll down for the previous journal entries.

11/3/2004

There’s not too much to update, since I haven’t seen the doctor since before our trip to Florida. The trip went extraordinarily well. I handled the walking and long days pretty well – I did get tired, but I’m a fat chick who never exercises, I’d get tired regardless! My blood sugars never went above 90 the entire trip – and I was able to enjoy dessert twice and some extra servings of fruit, which I loved, since it’s what I am missing and craving. I passed what I thought would be the magical 12 week mark last Wednesday, and the 13 week mark today, but since the doctor told me I really need to wait until week 16 before my chances of miscarriage drop again, there wasn’t much celebration.

I saw the nurse at Diabetes Control this week. She was very concerned about my 16 pound weight loss. I should have told her not to worry – we have Halloween candy now! She would not have been amused, but she does want me to mention the weight loss to the doctor to see if it bothers him. I lost weight when I was pregnant with Eilis, only to end the pregnancy with a 15 pound gain. Overweight women do have a tendency to lose in the early stages of pregnancy, so I really think her concern was unfounded.

I see Dr. Bolognese on Friday this week. I am missing my Wednesday appointments, but enjoyed the last one with Dr. Bolognese, so if this is not my last visit with that office, I may switch to Fridays.

10/22/2004

Well, I had Barry today as my ultrasound tech, and he’s not the most sociable guy. He wasn’t quick to point anything out, and at first, I was sure something was wrong. He seemed to be pressing really hard and not saying anything. It wasn’t until he took the measurement of the fetal heart rate that he finally turned the screen and said, ?Here’s the heart beat.? The heart was beating at 171 beats per minute, and the baby measured 11 weeks, 3 days – a day ahead of schedule.

When Barry was finished, Dr. Bolognese came in and went over the findings. Of course, despite Barry’s demeanor, absolutely everything was fine. He said he was very pleased that the heart rate was so high, as that is a good indicator of a positive outcome. He said that until week 16, there is still a risk of miscarriage at about 10%, but by week 16, it drops to less than 3%. I thought I would be out of the woods by week 12, but Dr. Bolognese just smiled and said everyone thinks that’s the magic number. He asked me about genetic issues and amnio, and I asked him about the value of a quad screen (a blood test that screens for things like Down’s Syndrome and neural tube defects, like in spina bifida). He said that the test is ?graded? on a bell curve, and if they find where I am on that curve, there is no reason to completely discount the findings of the test. In other words, there is not a predetermined reason for me to fail that test. He also said at about 16 – 18 weeks, we can do a Level II ultrasound, which will check for certain markers they look for in babies with Downs syndrome, such as calcium deposits in the heart, a thicker nuchal fold, difference in long bone length. He said that due to my diabetes, they would do this more intense ultrasound anyway. I have actually begun to feel very small movements from time to time. There is nothing consistent yet, and the doctor was suprised I was feeling them, but he verified with the ultrasound that what I was feeling was the baby. I told him when I felt the baby move, and he verified that the baby was moving when I indicated. It’s a wonderful feeling, but you kind of grow to expect it, and it’s disappointing when you don’t feel it. I won’t feel regular movements for at least 8 more weeks.

They did give me an ultrasound picture today, but it’s an awful one. Barry is just not into the real adorable pictures. He just likes to finish the scan and get out of the office.

I thought I would be done today, but I go back the first week in November. I scheduled the appointment on a Friday again with Dr. Bolognese, because he and Eilis made a deal about some Halloween candy.

10/13/2004

My appointment with Dr. Librizzi was like night and day compared to yesterday’s appointment. He came in all smiles and hugs to tell me that the ultrasound looked great, the baby looked great, and he is thrilled I have gotten further along than I have with any of the babies I have lost. He asked how my meeting with the ob/gyn went, and I told him. He pulled me into his office and told me that she should have told me that the baby has a 97.5 percent chance of being perfectly fine instead of scaring the life out of me, and he reiterated his feeling that someone coming from my background needs as much positive reinforcment as possible. Even though the midwife told me I didn’t need to see Dr. Librizzi again after today, he scheduled me for another peek at the baby next week, YIPPEEE. He also said he was going to phone Dr. Ayres on my behalf and speak with him about what he considered the improper treatment I was given. Go, Dr. Librizzi.

And here is the latest picture of our little one.

It’s still very hard to tell what it is, but the part to the left is the head, and you can see little brighter white spots to the right and left, which are the arm buds. The triangle shaped part is the rest of the little body πŸ™‚ I think he resembles Jim!!

This is a 10 week old fetus, actual size:

He weighs about as much as 4 paper clips.

I see Dr. Librizzi again next Wednesday for another ultrasound, so keep checking back!

10/12/2004

I had my first appointment today with the ob/gyn office that I have chosen at the recommendation of two of my doctors. Because the perinatologist wanted me seen right away, I took the first available appointment, and that was with the Nurse/Midwife. Things seemed to be going well early on in our meeting. We discussed my medical history and things of that nature, then she asked if I intended to have an amnio done. I told her I didn’t think so, and I suggested I could have the Quadruple Screen blood test first. She said I wouldn’t pass it due to advanced maternal age, and if I was not prepared to have an amnio done, I should be prepared to handle a child with Down’s Syndrome. She gave me a 1 in 40 chance of having a child with this birth defect. I was pretty put off by the number, and got a bit upset. She followed that up by telling me my endocrinologist has me checking my sugars too many times a day, and I should cut back to 4 times, and finished by telling me that at about 30 weeks the doctor would schedule my c-section for around 39 weeks. Okay. None of what she had to say was positive, and I left pretty upset. This was not a good appointment. I even had to have a Pap smear πŸ™

10/6/2004

I had another good appointment today with the perinatologist. The baby measured 9 weeks 1 day, which is actually a day ahead of schedule. The heart rate was 164 BPM, and the nurse said they love to see the heart rate up nice and high like that – it’s a good sign. The baby was moving quite a bit today, and the nurse got a kick out of it. She said not all babies this small are quite as wiggly, and that was good too. She got to see the baby from a variety of angles because of all the movement, and pointed out leg buds, arm buds, and a few other important parts. Because of the blood thinner I am on, I have to add twice daily calcium supplements because the blood thinner tends to zap calcium which both the baby and I will need. I also have to have some blood work done to check the level of blood thinner in my body. They would like to see me get a medic alert bracelet as well indicating that I am on the blood thinner, and she told me about one patient who had a jeweler make a Tiffany style bracelet with her medical conditions on the little heart. I can’t imagine a hospital or an ambulance thinking to check a normal looking bracelet for medical conditions.

So, all is looking good right now, and I am getting ready to order my first maternity tops – I need a couple of summer tops to wear to FL at the end of the month!!

And here is what our little one looked like for the camera today:

The head is to the left.

9/29/2004

I cannot begin to tell you what this picture is. I know the round circle that you see is the yolk sac, which is how the baby is currently receiving what he needs. The tech tells me the head is at the same end as the yolk sac. There was a better picture at the office, but somehow, the tech thought this was the one I should take with me. Go figure.

>At any rate, the baby continues to grow right on target and measured 8 weeks today. They have given me a due date of May 7th, although as we know with the other two babies, the due date means very little. Babies seem to arrive whenever they want to get here!

The doctor told me today that he really thinks the chances of miscarriage now are definitely less than 10%, which was music to my ears. He said everything looked great, and when I asked him about taking our vacation at the end of October to FL, he encouraged it. He said that I would be at the end of the first trimester then and in need of a celebration, and he could see no better way to celebrate! I’m still going to play it by ear, though. If I don’t feel up to it, I will definitely be staying home. Right now, though, I feel pretty good, and am losing weight (down ten pounds) now that I am more strictly following the diabetic diet. Hopefully, I’ll be down another few pounds by then and full of energy. The big symptom I have in this first trimester is the fatigue. I feel like I can never get enough sleep. Thankfully, Jim watches Eilis so I can get in bed earlier at night and sleep later on the weekends.

This is what a baby at 8 weeks looks like when you are not looking at an ultrasound screen:

9/24/2004

I saw Dr. Packin today for what turned out to be a great appointment! The baby is right on target in terms of growth, and there was a quickly beating little heart at 158 beats per minute. Dr. Packin turned off the ultrasound machine and said, ?It’s time we kicked you outta here!? I was a bit shocked, as I had been told that they tend to keep an eye on things up until 8 weeks. But, he said he feels things are going really well and there is no reason for them to continue following me, especially since I have two other doctors to follow the baby on a weekly basis.

This is the baby’s second portrait – 7 weeks, 2 days. Already a bit pudgier, don’t you think?

In the meantime, I am trying to adjust to the insulin injections, the diet, the blood sugar testing. It’s not fun, my fingers are sore, and while I can test on other parts of my body, they suggest to keep things kind of consistent that I stick with the fingers (no pun intended).