Showing posts with label birth control. Show all posts
Showing posts with label birth control. Show all posts


Third time around...the details (lots and lots of details)

This pregnancy has proven to be different than the last two in numerous ways. The first big one is that it was "planned" (as planned as something like this can be). We were pleasantly surprised with both girls so I was a little nervous about how this would go. 

(Please skip ahead if you don't like a lot of very personal details...)
I am not sure I mentioned it on here, but at my 8 week appointment after Audrey was born, I had an IUD put in. It didn't hurt and I had minimal bleeding for each period. I had researched it a little bit, all from the medical point of view, and thought I knew what I was doing. Within the last year and a half, I kept hearing little tidbits about what the IUD really did. Basically, I learned that IUD's (along with other forms of birth control) kill fertilized embryos before they can implant. The medical world doesn't refer to this as abortifacient because the medical point of conception is not the same as what my belief of the point of conception is (when the egg and sperm join, creating an embryo, regardless of if it has implanted yet or not). I was devastated, and angry with myself for not having learned as much about it before putting it in my body. To think of how many embryos my body rejected was overwhelming. Let me tell you, I couldn't get the IUD out of my body fast enough.

So I got it removed. It was pretty awful, to be truthful. I bled for 12 straight days and lost so much blood that I was light headed and tired all the time. I used my Diva cup which helped me keep track of how much blood I was losing. On average, each day of my period (especially the heavy first couple of days) I would fill the cup within 12 hours. After getting the IUD removed, however, I lost about a cupful every hour all day long. That is a lot more blood than the average period! It slowed down after a week or so, but it didn't go away all together for almost two. I didn't think I had a chance of getting pregnant this time around, but I still charted and figured out my fertile time of month. 

So, we tried. (You get what I'm saying, right?) And then we didn't for a while. It was all very charted out (and unromantic). I knew what was going on. I knew that if we did conceive, it was on this particular day. We played the waiting game. It was awful. 

Before I come across as insensitive, let me prefix this by saying that this waiting period gave me a brief glimpse into the lives of women that struggle conceiving. I am so grateful for this time because it gives me more understanding of the constant battle each month with hope, disappointment, and whatever else comes with it. I only got the teeny tiniest taste of it, but it did give me more of an understanding. Before this, I really could only use my imagination to understand what that was like since we had never purposefully tried to conceive. 

Weeks passed, and I got my first clue. Sore breasts. It was like deja vu, except that this time, I was looking for it. Instead of being excited, I just felt paranoid. I  knew there was a small chance I could be pregnant so I assumed I was making up symptoms. I waited out a week or so of this and then took a pregnancy test. Negative. 

The test was old, so I tried a newer one a couple of days later. Negative again. I felt like I was losing my  mind! Hubby told me that I was taking all the fun out of it, but I just wanted to know. I was terrified of getting my hopes up only to have them crash down on me. We headed to the lake over Memorial Day weekend and I tried my best to put it out of my mind.

We learned that our foster boy was moving to a new home that Monday night (he didn't actually move for another week and a half, but we learned it was happening that night). The next morning, even though I knew I shouldn't, I took another test. 


I immediately texted a picture to hubby and celebrated like crazy in my bathroom. It was strange (to put it lightly) to be preparing for one child to leave while knowing another was on the way. 

(If you want to know more about our foster boy's departure, we can talk about it privately. I'm definitely open to sharing more about it, but it is not something that should be talked about publicly on this blog for his and his family's privacy.)

A week and a half later, we were headed back out to the lake. At this point, nobody else knew that I was pregnant. I had stopped talking to my mom and sister about symptoms, dates, and any other details so that we could surprise them with the news. We were with all of our extended family and I wasn't ready to tell them yet. I thought I was about five weeks along at this point. 

We did make the decision to tell my immediate family, so we had Josie announce that she was going to be a big sister again to them before we left for the family gathering. Not all the surprised I'm sure, they all cheered and hugged us. It was fun.

And that afternoon, I felt the first signs of morning sickness. We were with my extended family by this point in the day and like I said before, they didn't know, so I did my best to act normal and tried to just enjoy our little secret.

The sickness didn't appear again after that for quite a while. After the six week point, I started to get worried. I had got sick with the girls almost exactly at six weeks. I knew that every pregnancy was different, but it just seemed a little strange.

At 8w5d (hubby's birthday), I woke up, got the girls ready, and went to the bathroom. There was blood on the tissue, and I panicked. It wasn't a lot, but I knew something wasn't right. I called the doctor, made an appointment for a blood test and ultrasound the next day, and waited some more. It was such a long day. There was more blood, and many tears and prayers coming from me. I thought for sure I was miscarrying, and my heart was shattered.

Throughout my prayers, I kept coming back around to praying, "I trust you Lord, in all things. Please help me through this no matter what the outcome." Honestly, I needed to hold on to His plan and love for me even if this baby didn't live. He never fails, and He got me through that day that felt like an eternity.

Hubby and I went to the ultrasound together the next morning. Praise the Lord, the heartbeat was strong! The ultrasound technician showed it to us right away and I couldn't stop staring and smiling. Afterwards, we talked to a nurse who had looked over the results. She told us that I had a subchorionic hemorrhage. Another praise! We had an answer to our questions about the bleeding. Also, having this did not mean that I would necessarily miscarry the baby.

Because it was moderate sized, there was more of a risk of it leading to a miscarriage, so the nurse and my midwife thought it was best if I was on pelvic rest, or partial bed rest as I preferred to call it (because pelvic rest sounds weird). I wasn't supposed to do anything remotely strenuous, couldn't life anything over 10 lbs (Audrey is a solid 25 lbs so that was challenging), no intercourse, and minimal walking/exercise of any kind until the end of the the first trimester.

I was also prescribed progesterone supplements until I was 12 weeks pregnant since my levels were a little low. For those of you that have never had to take these, they are inserted vaginally twice a day, every 12 hours, and you are supposed to be laying down for at least a half hour so that it can be absorbed properly. If you don't let it absorb (by laying down), it will just... pour out of you. So that was fun. It was hard to get it done as close to 12 hours apart as possible, so often times, I'd try to take it before the girls got up in the morning (6 AM) and again around supper time (6 PM). That often left hubby to fend for himself in the evenings (supper, bath time, bed time, etc) because I was beyond sick at this point of the day.

At the ultrasound appointment, we learned that the baby was measuring smaller than I had originally thought. Instead of 8w6d, the baby was 7w3d, a week and a half younger. In some ways, this made sense (morning sickness kicking in later), but it did not make sense at all with my charting and the morning sickness ending (foreshadowing...). Either way, the due date was pushed back to February 2nd instead of January 23rd. No big deal, except that I had an extra week and a half to look forward to of morning sickness.

And morning sickness sure did come! Really, it was not morning sickness. It was all day sickness, even more dominant in the evenings. Generally I got sick around 11:00 each morning and it just got worse as the day went on. I spent most of my days getting as much done as possible in the morning and then supervising the girls from the couch as the day progressed. I did my best to drink a lot of liquid and eat when possible, which helped a little, but really I just felt like it was never going to end, that I was going to be sick forever. My mind knew this wasn't true, but emotionally I was a wreck.

It gradually got worse each day until just before I was at 11 weeks (which would have been the 12 week point of my original due date estimate interestingly enough). Suddenly, I could function. The world didn't seem so bleak and I could do things like dishes and laundry without feeling like my world was crashing down. If that sounds dramatic, I assure you it was very real to me. During those dark weeks of sickness, I had terrible images of our future, me unable to handle three kids at home, the house in disarray, kids being terribly disobedient and out of control, life being unbearably overwhelming forever. Being sick all the time makes even the smallest of tasks seem overwhelming, so feeling better meant I felt like a whole new person.

I still got sick in the evenings, but it wasn't nearly as bad. I could still function, I just felt icky the whole time. It was much better.

My next doctor's appointment was at 11w3d. I got the all clear to resume normal activities and got to hear the heartbeat on the doppler. It was the most wonderful sound! 

The next day we flew out to Denver. What a whirlwind, let me tell you. I will write about that trip soon, but as far as the pregnancy goes, I did my best not to overdo it (I hadn't exercised or even walked around a lot for a month so my body was a little out of it). I got quite sick in the evenings, probably because I was more tired than normal, but the days were great.

Other things to note: 

Food aversions: During the prime sickness time, any and everything made me sick. I couldn't drink coffee at all, and I got what I referred to not-so-lovingly as "gut rot" whenever I ate something sweet. It was especially bad if I had a sugary aftertaste in my mouth. This was made especially difficult/frustrating because carbonation was my very best friend but the only thing I could drink was Sprite or something like it. The aftertaste is soooo sweet and so the love/hate relationship with Sprite began. I would drink a glass (the best drink everrrr at the time) and then immediately have to brush my teeth or eat something salty. It was so strange.

Eventually, I started drinking diet Coke again because it didn't leave the aftertaste in my mouth but made my stomach feel a thousand times better. I always saved it for the end of the day so I wouldn't overdo the caffeine and it would soothe the stomach at the worst time of day. By always, I mean like twice a week. :)

I felt the pregnancy bloat right away, and thought for sure it looked obvious even as early as 5 weeks (when I got the positive test). Of course, really what I saw was the "leftovers" from Audrey's pregnancy. I didn't grow in tummy size (measured by how my non maternity pants fit) until about 11 weeks. I have been wearing maternity pants (capris) since pretty early on because I had them and no alternative for summer (I had planned to buy a non maternity option but it seemed pointless now), but they are so annoying when the belly isn't big enough to hold them up. 

I have a bit of a bump now but it definitely depends on what I wear. Most of the time, it just looks like a food baby...

Another huge difference with this pregnancy (and really, the only other obvious thing besides the hemorrhage) is that my hair is totally different. Instead of staying thick and shiny with minimal shedding, it is the total opposite. I feel like I've never shed so much in my life, although it isn't noticeably thinner than normal, just not as thick as the last two pregnancies. It's also a lot oilier than the other two. With the girls, I could skip washing it for days, up to three sometimes, but this time, by the end of the second day it is disgusting. Sometimes it's bad by even the night of the first day. I can't figure out if my hormones are different, if the summer humidity is mostly to blame, or if it is because of the haircut/different style. Whatever the reason, it is annoying.

We are so thrilled for this baby and the girls are too. In particular, Josie is so excited about her new "baby sister." She is absolutely convinced it's a girl and nothing we say sways her. First she named it "Josie" but after I explained how confusing it would be to have two "Josie's" she changed it to "baby Carrie." (We were reading Little House on the Prairie and she was loving it, clearly). She then changed it to "Laura," still on the same story kick, and now hasn't called it a name in a while. Well, she does make up nonsense names all the time, but I never understand or remember them. She insists on hugging the baby and giving my tummy kisses all the time, which absolutely melts my heart. She also asked to see it last week, and so I jokingly told her to look down my throat to which she screamed, "I see her, mama, she's in there!" What she actually saw, I'm not sure, but it was hilarious nonetheless! 

Note: if she asks you if you have a baby in your belly and you most definitely do not, please don't be offended. Anybody and everybody has some sort of baby in their belly according to Josie, whether it's a human baby or food baby. She is still figuring it out. :)

We do plan to find out what gender it is in about 8 weeks, so we shall see if she is right! Both hubby and I (and a lot of people we've talked to) feel like we will always have a house full of girls, so we are fine with that if she is right. Frankly, it's hard to imagine having a boy. We are used to girls. 

That should basically cover the first trimester. I hope to take pictures soon (because I love to document and I did it for both girls) and start biweekly posts.

A couple of outtakes from our "announcement" photoshoot:

Blurry, but I still like it.