November 29, 2011

Movement Is Not Making This Easier

I do not do well with Kiddo moving only intermittently. I have a feeling I'm going to be an obsessive kick-counter.

Last Tuesday, I noticed I wasn't feeling movement as often, and it wasn't as strong. I began to worry. I called the peri's office. The nurse reassured me that this is normal, that it's too soon to feel consistent movement.

That helped. For about 12 hours.

On Wednesday, the movements were even less, even lighter. By early afternoon, I was in tears and couldn't take it any more - I knew I was going to be a basket case all weekend if I didn't have some reassurance. So I called and asked them to fit me in, and they did.

And of course Kiddo was moving around a ton, which wasn't surprising given the amount of sugar I'd consumed in the 18 or so hours leading up to the scan in an attempt to get him/her to give me a definitive kick.

It turns out s/he was head down, kicking into the biggest part of my uterus, which was why it was so hard to feel.

Thankfully, by the weekend, I started to feel movement more regularly again. And yesterday, it was even strong enough that I could feel it externally when I put my hand on my abdomen. Just barely, but I could feel it. Unfortunately, R had already gone to bed and he was in the guest room because we both have minor colds right now, so he didn't get to experience it yet.

But I still get stressed about it. For instance, I feel movement the most between 8-11 p.m., and now here it is 10:30 p.m. and I'm realizing I'm not sure if I've felt it tonight. So now I'm nervous again, although there was definitely movement earlier today.

In other news, I managed to finish one of my papers but not the other. I requested an incomplete, so I have a month to finish it, although my goal is by Monday. The incomplete means a 10% penalty to my overall grade, but right now my goal is just to get the classes done. As long as it's a passing grade, the grade is not my highest priority at the moment...

And since we went for a scan last Wednesday, we moved yesterday's appointment to Friday.

Ten (almost down to 9) days to the edge of viability...

November 21, 2011

19 Days to the Edge of Viability

A quick post...

Everything still looked good during Friday afternoon's ultrasound. The Kiddo looks like s/he is starting to add a little bit of fat/chub - very adorable.

I've been feeling movement more regularly throughout the day for the past few days, which helps me to worry a (tiny) little bit less. I am still so thrilled every single time I feel something. I've had R put his hand on my abdomen to see if he can feel it, but invariably the Kiddo stops moving then. I know it's probably still way too early for that, but he's been right beside me through every bit of these last 9 1/2 years, so I want him to be able to get to experience this (happy) part of it, too.

I have two major papers to write for school between now and Thursday. I don't know why I keep doing this to myself. I like school, I really do. Yet I procrastinate, which is why this will be a short (for me, anyway) post.

The peri's office is closed on Friday, so for the first time we are going 10 whole days (gulp!) between appointments. If not for the regular movement, I don't know that I'd be able to survive until next Monday without another peek.

I am behind in commenting, so please forgive me. I will catch up after the papers are done.

Meanwhile, I wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving!

November 12, 2011

20 Weeks, and Emotional Progress

There have been small steps in emotional progress this week, but steps none the less.

We've been hanging out at R's parents in preparation for having a garage sale at their house. Most of the stuff we're going to be selling is down in their basement, which is also where all of the baby stuff resides from our failed adoptions. (After we sold our previous house and moved, I refused to let any of that stuff cross the threshold into our new house.)

So there we were on Wednesday night, and curiosity got the better of me. I had R pull out one of the suitcases of stuff. It had somewhat less emotional stuff in it - a baby carrier, the thingamajig you put into a carseat to make it smaller so that an infant is snug in it, some plastic-backed swatches of rather stiff fabric that I'm thinking are maybe mattress protectors that go under the mattress sheet.

I think it would have been harder if I had opened the suitcase to find all the onsies, receiving blankets, towels, etc. we had bought. But what was there was okay - I could handle it.

We have more stuff in boxes down there, but R's brother had piled a bunch of clothes on the boxes, so we couldn't easily get to them for now. That was okay, too. But R also showed a little bit of emotional progress/forward thinking/hoping: he asked his brother to begin removing some of his stuff over the next several weeks so that we could eventually get to it.

And I also got a pleasant surprise - we have more baby furniture than I remembered.

I knew we had two cribs, given to us by two different friends, a very cute dresser R had refinished, and an armoire from my mom. But I had forgotten that the friend who gave us one of the cribs also gave us a tall chest of drawers and shorter chest of drawers that match the crib. So I'm thinking (imagine me, allowing myself to consider the possibility of a happy ending in the near future!) that we could put one of the cribs and the small chest of drawers downstairs so that we would have supplies more easily at hand without having to always run up and down the stairs.

Then, in a sign of even more progress, when we went to our appointment yesterday, I forgot to stare at the ceiling until the heartbeat was announced. It took a couple of seconds of staring at the ultrasound screen before I realized what I was doing. Then, just as it occurred to me and I quickly glanced away, the tech announced the heartbeat.

But there are still backwards steps sometimes, too. I was at work on Thursday when I began to have a lot of anxiety about not having felt the sensations I think are movement in a while. I texted one of my friends to say that I was tempted to leave my desk and drive around in my car with the radio on to see if I could elicit some movement from Kiddo. I didn't, but I was still super stressed about it until I finally felt some movement again late Thursday night.

So, like I said, small steps, but steps none the less.

November 04, 2011

Almost Half Way to Goal

At 19 weeks, you'd think I could walk into an ultrasound room feeling a little more confident that we'll see a heartbeat on the screen. Yet there's still a twinge of anxiety and nervousness every time.

I wasn't planning to ask the peri about what she's thinking in terms of the timing of delivery; it feels way too soon to even be thinking about it. But when she commented that I was almost half way there, I told her I was hoping that today was half way, that she wouldn't make me go any farther than 38 weeks.

She said studies have shown that 39 weeks has the most optimal outcome rates, so her goal is for me to go to 39, but she won't make me go any farther than that. But she said she'd also be happy with term (at least 37 weeks) if that's the way it turns out, and okay with late pre-term (35-36 weeks), but that if there were signs that the best thing would be for the baby to come out earlier, that's what we'll do.

I told a few more people this week.

I hadn't shared the news with my VP yet, but I had decided I would tell him if the big scan went well, because he and my boss are starting to plan 2012 and they need to factor in my absence. He was very supportive and also understood why I'm still not ready to let the rest of the team know for another several weeks.

Last night, I got together with a group of friends. All of us used to work together, and one of us was visiting from out of town for the first time in several years, so we went out to dinner together. I almost chickened out - I still look pudgy rather than pregnant so I could've gotten away with hiding it - but I took a deep breath and shared the news. They know what we've been through so they were very excited. But I still can't talk about it like a normal pregnant person.

Five weeks to the edge of viability...

November 01, 2011

Movement?? And Other Craziness...

First, about the movement. I can't say with 100 percent confidence, but I think I might have felt it for the first time last night. Either that, or I have been hoping for it so hard that my mind has resorted to manufacturing the feeling.

It wasn't really a fluttering, more like a foot or hand (I'm guessing) very softly bumping up against the wall of my uterus repeatedly. It's kind of hard to describe. I wouldn't call it a tapping feeling, either. It happened when we were laying in bed before turning the lights off, so after I finish this post I'll go upstairs and see if it happens again tonight. (I know it doesn't always happen every day in the beginning.)

The other craziness...

Remember when I was feeling restless while on bedrest and decided to set up an exercise program for R? Yeah, well, that didn't go so well. He did it sporadically a few times, and then that was it.

So, after hearing a couple of my friends rave about an exercise program called crossfit that's gaining popularity, I got the bright idea that he should try it.

I found a crossfit gym that is literally two blocks from his office. I called to inquire about price and whether it's something someone who is not in shape can do. Yes, absolutely, each participant works at their own level, I was told. They offer to let people come in and try out one session for free to see if it's something they want to commit to.

I prodded R into attending, which he did reluctantly on Saturday morning.

About the time the class was ending, I got a phone call. He sounded tired and annoyed more than anything, so I knew he was ultimately okay, but the words "doctor" and "fracture" and "wrist" came up. Thankfully, he didn't actually break his wrist - after spending several hours at urgent care, it was determined to be a sprain, and he's now wearing a splint.

Since he called me at the end of class, I figured he'd hurt it around then. But it turns out he actually injured it during the first drill, which involved running forward 25 meters, running backward 25 meters for a total of 250 meters. During his second backward run, he leaned his body too far back and fell. He twisted around to try to catch himself, which is when he landed on his wrist. Still, he continued to press on through the rest of the session.

To add insult to injury, he was the oldest participant there, and it was the day before his birthday.

Apparently my attempts to get him into better shape are actually dangerous to his health. Maybe someday I'll also tell you about the time I set him up on a man-date with another tennis player and he came home with bloody feet as a result.

And yet more craziness...

Work has not been a super happy place since layoffs were done several months ago. Due to the manager I wound up reporting to, I've been spared most of the pain, but 20-25% of the folks in my department who were not laid off have since left, and I know another 15% or so are actively looking. Meanwhile, more and more work continues to be added, and it's not like we were light on work to begin with.

So with all of these people leaving or looking around, it's kind of become contagious. I searched online, and I found a position that sounds like it would be a great fit. The scope of work is narrower (i.e. more reasonable) that what I'm trying to juggle now, and it would be a significant salary boost. I meet all of the qualifications.

Except that FMLA only applies if you've been with a company for 12 months or more, and obviously Kiddo's going to come out before then.

Still, I think I'm going to apply for it and just see what happens. (Don't worry, I happened to have a therapy appointment this week, so I talked it through with her before deciding this.)

Maybe I won't even be called for an interview. But if I do happen to make it to the point of a job offer and they can't give me a written guarantee that they would keep the job for me while I'm out, or if any complications arise with the pregnancy between now and then, I can always politely decline.