Thursday, May 31, 2007

OB visit this morning

The checkup went well. The heartbeat was 158bpm and my uterus measured 16cm, which is about 1.5 weeks ahead, but that is to be expected. I have a big uterus. Well endowed? {wink} My blood pressure was lower than last time at 104/67 and the urine dip was fine (no sugar or protein in urine). I spoke with the doc about the possibility of 5th disease and we decided to wait to see how Joseph's test results come out and go from there, especially since I don't have any symptoms (rash, joint aches).

Tuesday, May 29, 2007


Joseph has a rash. This is a problem because I suspect it might be fifth disease. And that can be harmful to a fetus in the first half of pregnancy. I took him to the doctor on Saturday to get checked, and the doctor swore it was not fifth disease. The rash was too papular, not lacy. Well, on Monday, yesterday, it looked more lacy to me. And it keeps going on and on. It has been going on for 2 weeks now, seeming to get worse when he is hot or stressed, which is a symptom of fifth disease. If it were roseola it would be gone in 3 days. {sigh} So I called up the pediatrician's office today demanding a lab slip. I read up on the internet this weekend and found out that there is a blood test for fifth disease. And if he has IgM for it, that means he was infected recently. He's sleeping right now. I just got home from work and I'm waiting for him to wake up so we can go to Children's Hospital to get his blood drawn. I took his older bro for a blood draw a couple of years ago at the adult lab and they hurt him badly and ended up not getting any blood at all. I took him to Children's after that and they got it on the first draw. So little Joseph is going straight to Children's. If he doesn't have fifth disease I can breathe easy. If he does, I will need to talk to my obstetrician about it. Also, I will need to report it to the Mommy and Me teacher of the weekly class that we go to as at least half of the moms there are pregnant. They would need to be informed.

The good news is that only 5% of babies of moms who are infected with fifth disease have problems. The bad part of fifth disease is that it can cause severe anemia. So bad in the fetus that it can die in utero. Kids with immune insufficiency or low resistance get anemia as well. They get pale and have malaise, and they get no rash. The rash is actually a good sign that the immune system is fighting properly. As for my chances, since Joseph is my fifth child (chuckling because everything is fifths today), I have probably already been exposed to this in the past from the other kids. So hopefully it is not a problem. Joseph takes Flintstone's vitamins with iron every day, so I think he is probably in good shape with his blood, but a cbc will also be drawn today so we will know for sure. And my red blood cells are excellent as you recall from my labs drawn early this month.

Monday, May 28, 2007

14 week belly shot

Here is my 14-week belly shot. I really *do* start to pop in the second trimester. I can see a difference from last week. I weighed in this morning and I'm only 3 pounds up from my weight at 5 weeks. Yay! I have gained a pound and a half since my last doc's appt, and I have my next appt this Thursday. I like to gain 1/2 pound per week in the second and third trimester, so being close to a 2-pound gain for the 4 weeks is perfect. I'm so glad I didn't put on more weight in the first tri. I prefer to gain weight in "baby" and not "bottom", arms or other mommy parts. :D

Friday, May 25, 2007

getting technical

The genetic counselor called me back and she states that the risk ratios I was given *do* take into account the nuchal measurement. Age is also factored in, along with race and weight. So I nosed around the internet to get more info. Here is what I found. It turns out that the nuchal measurement grows as the baby grows. So an average measurement for an 11 week fetus will be smaller than for a 13 week fetus. My baby measured 12w4d (64mm) at the ultrasound, even though I was 12w2d based on my ovulation estimate. For now, I will take it that the baby was 12 and a half weeks for purposes of comparing to the internet numbers. There is a table that shows the measurements for 3000 women at 12 weeks and 2500 women at 13 weeks. The nuchal measurement average for a 12 week fetus would be 1.7mm (mine was 1.4). The nuchal measurement for a 13 week fetus on the average would be 2.0mm. Since my baby measured 12.5 weeks, the nuchal average measurement expected would have been 1.85mm. So my baby's nuchal thickness was much smaller than average. Somewhere below the 25th percentile. FYI, they get scared when the measurements are above the 95th percentile, which would be 2.6mm and 3.0mm at 12 and 13 weeks.

Here is the address of the table I referred to if you are interested:

See below for the blood results.

blood testing results back

The first trimester screening blood results are back. The likelihood of Downs Syndrome purely based on my age would be 1 in 24. The likelihood based only on the blood test are 1 in 110. While anything over 1 in 220 is a "positive" result, it is actually a good result for my age, and there are a lot of false positives for ladies over 40. The likelihood of trisomy 18 based on age alone is 1 in 87. Based on the blood test, the risk is 1 in 5400. I asked if these numbers take into account my great nuchal measurement of 1.4mm. They do not. She still does not have the doctor's report in my file about that. And then she asked me how far along I am and I'm 13w4d, so she said it's now too late for a CVS. {big eyeroll} I TOLD them if they waited until I was 12+ weeks to do the first tri screen there would not be time to do the CVS. They ASSURED me there would be time. Only nobody bothered to call me from either my OB's office or the fetal testing office regarding my bloodwork results when they came in. Not that it really matters. I'm not going to change my mind about choosing the amnio over the CVS based on these blood results. But it would have been nice to have the option.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

13 week belly pic

Here is the most recent picture. I should start growing rapidly now. The second trimester is when I grow the fastest. In the third tri, I'm huge from start to finish.

I stopped pio shots beginning Sunday morning. Meaning I skipped Sunday's shot. No big headache, which is a relief. I had a bad progesterone drop headache last week when I dropped the dose by another half, down to a quarter dose. Baby is still kicking away, so that is reassuring. I didn't feel any kicks all morning and I started to get panicky, but this afternoon the little one is tap-dancing away.

My morning ickies have gone away, too. I think maybe the progesterone supplementation makes that a little worse. I usually don't get much of that at all, and it was a little stronger with this pregnancy. This is the first time I used progesterone throught the first trimester. Now I'm only taking Lovenox and vitamins. Yay! Counting down to the amnio day, which is 29 days from today on June 20th. I'm nervous about that. About the risk to the baby from the procedure. I will feel SO much better with that behind me.

Friday, May 18, 2007

DS's reaction

I finally told DS age 8 about the baby. My tummy is getting noticeable, and there is no way to keep it a secret for 7 more weeks to wait for the amnio results. He was SO excited. Then he said that he *thought* my tummy was getting a little big! He couldn't believe that I was getting fat, because I exercise so much walking him to the bus stop every morning. So maybe I was pregnant? But he didn't ask. I thanked him for being so polite and not mentioning it. Then DH came home and told me how DS ran up to him and informed him that Mommy has a baby in her tummy. LOL Now he keeps telling our 3 y o that Mommy is pregnant, but I don't think the little one understand what he means. :D

Thursday, May 17, 2007

I scheduled the amnio

The amnio is scheduled for June 20th. That is good. Baby should be plenty big, and the procedure should have a very low risk. This is my 3rd amnio with the same doctor. The technique has always been good there, and I am a little worried, but not too worried.

At the genetic counseling appt yesterday, I paid special attention to the age-related risk ratios that were of interest to me. It turns out that the risk of genetic problems at my age is exactly 1:18, or 5.56%. And I glanced ahead to the 45-y-o risk ratio. The incidence of genetic problems for a 45-y-o is 1:11, or 9%. That is the risk in pregnancies that make it as far as 16 weeks. Wow. I think the risk for 49-y-o pregnancies, not that there are too many of those got close to 1:3 or 1:2, I can't remember which. Eeeek!

We also will probably find out the gender at the ultrasound that is performed at the amnio. That should make it interesting.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Great Nuchal Results!

The nuchal measurement was 1.4mm. Anything under 2 is great. Anything 4 and over would be bad. This is really good news, because the nuchal test, although just a screening test, is fairly accurate at predicting Downs or Tri 18. There is a bloodwork portion to the testing as well, and I should hear back on that in a week or so.

The baby measured 64mm crown to rump and was wiggling, stretching, kicking and waving all over the place. Very active and cute. The 64mm means the baby is measuring ahead for dates. If it was supposed to be 51mm on Monday, 2 days ago, and should be 71mm on next Monday, 5 days from now, then over halfway there after 2 days is wonderful. Maybe this baby will be tall like papa.

My progesterone test from Monday came back too. That was 50. So a full dose had me at 60, and a half dose has me at 50, I think the placenta is kicking in. I feel safe going down to 1/4 dose now and stopping altogether on Monday. Should be fine and hopefully no cramping or spotting.

The other prenatal panel tests were perfect as well. I don't have HIV, Syphilis, Hep B, Rubella, Gonorrhea, Beta Strep, yeast or gardnerella. My TSH is 1.978, well within normal. My urinalysis was completely normal. My CBC was normal, with the red blood cells at 14.5, a very healthy number as the normal range is 11.3 to 15.5. I guess they didn't run a beta this time. OK.

So I am celebrating. I actually did a Happy Dance in front of the nurses at the hospital in front of my MIL when we went into the other room after the ultrasound. I was dancing around singing "1.4, 1.4, 1.4...." WOOOHOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Thinking of Becky

I was driving back home after getting my progesterone draw this morning, and an ad came on the radio for the new Pirates of the Caribbean movie. I wasn't really listening closely, but in the back of my mind I heard a voice saying, "how can they make another movie when one of the main people is dead?" Then I focused my attention and realized that all of the main players in the movie are still alive. It is my friend Becky who is dead 11/14/68 - 11/20/06 :-(

For those who didn't know Becky, she was a wonderful lady who lived with her husband George in Colorado, and charted online to get pregnant. I met her when I first began charting online in February 2004. A couple of months later, Becky and George came to Disneyland for a visit (she loved Disney) and I met them in real life. We had lunch at Downtown Disney with my 2 youngest kids at the time. I found out I was pg shortly after that time with my youngest. She and George later conceived their only son, a beautiful baby boy named Jack.

In November 2006 Becky died in her sleep. The autopsy revealed nothing. Extensive blood tests were impossible. No reason is known.

Little things remind me of her. She loved Johnny Depp in Pirates of the Caribbean. She loved Disney. She loved Star Trek. She loved life and her husband and her little boy. It is not fair that she is gone so young.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Turning Heads

Mother's Day was lovely. My daughter came to visit from college. We heated the pool up to 83 degrees and the Jacuzzi to 93. DD wanted it hotter, but I couldn't in my condition. Even little Joseph improved his swimming skills. He should be swimming on his own in the deep water within the month, I would think. With the help of his inner-tube suit, of course.

When I drove dd back to college, I got the idea of stopping to have dinner at Olive Garden. I was craving the salad and breadsticks. Yum! It was as wonderful as I remembered. The best part was when she and I stood up from the table to walk out. My stomach was pooching out even more than it was in this picture, and I could see out of the corner of my eye ladies' heads snapping around to stare at my belly. So, I'm turning heads. Not quite the way I did when I was young and hot, but it was a good feeling.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Holding my breath

I feel that I have been patient. Waiting for the days to tick by. Waiting for the genetic testing. I'm starting to get nervous about it. DH and I went through the genetic counseling before our last amnio, and I remember flipping the pages to look at the statistics for 43-year-olds, anticipating that we would try for another child. The statistics were 5% genetic problems. That means 5% of the 43-y-o pregnancies who made it as far as 16 weeks had diagnosable genetic problems, such as trisomy 21 or 18. Now that may seem a small percentage at first glance, but when it is a matter of life or death, 5% is huge. For example, if you were to be undergoing an elective surgery and they told you there was something wrong with your heart and you had a 5% chance of not waking up from the anesthesia, would you go ahead with it? I think not. So here I sit, nervously biding my time. Hoping that the nuchal test this Wednesday comes out good, and that I can hold off for the amnio in June. If things are bad, I will rush in for an immediate CVS test. As I sit here typing, my little baby is tapping away at my insides. And my heart is heavy with worry.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Progesterone drop and rare cactus flower

I had the beginnings of a progesterone drop headache yesterday, and it is a little worse today. No cramping or spotting, though. I knew my prog would drop if I dropped my dose by half. I'll hold steady unless I get some scary symptoms. And I have a lab slip for a serum progesterone draw, which I will used in 1.5 weeks. In 2 weeks, I should get to stop the shots altogether at 13 weeks, according to my OB. He understands that I'm nervous about it, and he is willing to give me whatever lab slips I want.

I am also posting a picture of a rare cactus flower. I have owned this particular cactus for at least 10 years. I had it in my old apartment before I met my DH. Imagine my surprise this morning to see a huge yellow flower on top of the cactus. I have never had a cactus that actually flowered before.

Saturday, May 5, 2007

growing belly

Here are my last 2 belly pics together. The most recent one is with the blue shirt. I think the belly is larger now. I'm up 1.5 pounds since I weighed in at 5 weeks. I'll be 11 weeks on Monday.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

First OB appt today

I ran out of the house super early this morning for my first appointment with the obstetrician. It was exciting. The baby's heartbeat on the doppler was 166. Halfway between boy and girl heartrates, lol, so no information there. The doctor said that I could reduce the progesterone in oil dose back down to a half-cc since my progesterone draw last friday was 60. He says that the placenta is now making progesterone, so even at half the dose it will be above 20. He gave me a lab slip for 2 weeks to get a progesterone check to see that the level doesn't drop too much. He says that 13 weeks is when he has ladies stop the shots altogether. I look forward to that. My buns are quite ouchy! He also did the standard pap smear and ran the normal prenatal panel of bloodwork. I'm not sure exactly what that entails, but I will get copies of my results faxed to me next week. I think there is a beta hcg in there somewhere, so it will be fun to see what that number is now. He is on board with the plan of getting the nuchal and first tri test, then deciding on CVS versus amnio. I hope I get to do the amnio, and that the nuchal is good. That way I don't have to take my Lovenox break until later. Blood pressure was 112 over 75. Urine had no protein or sugar. He supported me on the meds I am taking and agreed that it is best to be cautious about this pregnancy. There is no room for error here. This is probably my last shot at it.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Peasant Blouse Pics

I have had several requests to post piccies of myself in this peasant blouse. The one that shows off my boobs and by baby bump. So here are the pics. Keep in mind that this pic was done in the morning before I get really bloated.