Thursday, October 27, 2011

13w5d: Annual checkup and scan

Today's scan went well. I didn't get a picture to take home, but I got a good, but brief peak at our little girl. Got to hear her heartbeat (LOVE THAT!) and see her squirming in there. Most prominent feature: her backbone!

Had my pap test and breast exam, too. All my blood work came back normal. 
Next OB scan is scheduled for 4 weeks, Thanksgiving week (that will be 17 weeks). I have already scheduled our 20 week scan at the parinatologist (better u/s machine). I'm looking forward to a more leisurely, detailed view, with measurements.


This woman at the office yesterday overheard someone I'm close to say, "Congratulations!" The woman then yelled, "What are you being congratulated for, Jem?" I answered, "I won the lottery." and then distracted her with a question. I didn't feel like spilling the bean, as she's a major gossip. I'll tell her eventually, but not now.

Question: How have you handled indelicate questions?


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

13 weeks - status

(Today's post will be all about pregnancy. If you don't feel like reading about that right now, I completely understand. Hope to see you again soon.)

Monday, October 24, 2011

October IComLeavWe

Welcome new and returner readers!

It's still quite amazing to type: I'm pregnant. 

I'm just 13 weeks and have started telling people at work, and my friends that we are expecting. I'm still a bit in shock and have moments of complete denial about this whole thing. It's joyous and scary all at the same time.

I have a long bullet list explaining our journey (see link above) to walk you through our 3 IVFs and 1 FET. It was only when we resorted to donor sperm and medicated IUI that we find ourselves pregnant. 

When I was in my 20s I used to be very irritated by the "We're pregnant!" thing, but now I totally get it. Only our "we" encompasses a whole bunch of people: me, my husband, the sperm donor, our RE, the IUI coordinator, the on-call RE, the IVF lab, various people who have drawn my blood, then finally our OB and his crew, and a perinatal clinic. So, "We're pregnant!" says it all!

I want to leave you with what I did yesterday with my husband and a dear friend (no, not that! Get your mind out of the gutter!)

We went here and got to see these guys up close:

Did you know a group of giraffes are called a "Tower of Giraffes?"

Question: What have you done or seen lately that took your breath away?


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

12w2d: CVS test results

Waited all day Monday for the preliminary results. Nada. Called up the perinatal clinic: they hadn't gotten them yet.

Tuesday: waited all day for the call. 4:30 rolls around. I'm in the middle of a presentation at work and my phone vibrates - I hand the flip chart pen over to my colleague and dash out of the room.

First thing out of the genetic counselor's mouth: "It's good news! Tests for Trisomy 13, 18, and 21 are all normal. Gender chromosomes are normal, too. Do you want to know what they are?"

Me: "Yes!"

Her: "You have 2 sets of X chromosomes and no Y chromosomes. You are having a girl. Congratulations!"

Me: "Thank you soooooooo much."

Trisomy 13 is a congenital disorder characterized by profound mental retardation, cardiac problems, and multiple deformities. In Trisomy 18 (Edwards syndrome), there is an extra chromosome with the 18th pair.
Trisomy 18 affects all systems of the body and causes distinct facial features. Trisomy 18 occurs in 1 in 3,000 live births. Unfortunately, most babies with Trisomy 18 die before birth, so the actual incidence of the disorder may be higher. Trisomy 18 affects individuals of all ethnic backgrounds.

Trisomy 21:The presence of an extra number 21 chromosome causes the distinctive facial features, physical characteristics and the cognitive impairments seen in people with Down syndrome. While people with Down syndrome have some characteristics in common, it is very important to remember that each person with Down syndrome is an individual with strengths and weaknesses. Never make assumptions about a person’s abilities based on their diagnosis.
So, interweb friends, Mr. Jem and I are having a chromosomally healthy girl

You know before Mr. Jem. I won't tell him until I get home from work. Off I go!


Sunday, October 16, 2011

Busy bee!

I have another busy week at work, another group of new hires here for training.  I do promise to post the results of my CVS test, which I should have on Monday. Promise!


Saturday, October 15, 2011

African fertility statue

I just realized that I promised to tell you the story of the African fertility statue.

My colleague, JB, is younger than me, with two daughters. The other day this statue was on his desk.

It's from Africa and clearly shows a woman with a huge head, earrings, outstretched arms, a necklace, breasts and then an abstract design for her hoo-ha (I think).

He explained that it was given to him when he had his wife were trying to conceive their first child, and it had helped him with their second child, too. He'd given it to a friend (who had a daughter) who was only returning it now.

I just stood there, holding the statue in my hands when he said, "Better be careful, this is pretty strong juju!"

I pretended to be startled, and laughed and set it down (reluctantly). Oh, how I wanted to tell him that it must have already worked on me!

Question: Have you been give or do you have any fertility statues, totems, or other symbols to help you conceive?


Friday, October 14, 2011

11w4d: CVS test

We went in to the Perinatologist for genetic counseling (third time is a charm!), followed by a CVS test.

(Warning! U/S pictures below...)

Saturday, October 8, 2011

10w6d: to CVS or not to CVS?

I've made an appoint for next Friday to have the CVS test done. Mr. Jem and I are very interested in finding out 100% (okay, closer to 98-99%) if our baby is healthy and viable, not just to test for Down syndrome, but the other Trisomies, too.

We know there's some risk involved with doing CVS and amnio, for that matter. But I'm 41 and really, want to know. For our peace of mind and sanity. We have an appointment at a perinatal lab that does a lot of these procedures, and we're in the SF Bay Area, a major metro area, which makes the chance of something going terribly wrong much lower. But still. 

I'm not really asking for advice, just letting you know where our thoughts are... could evolve before Friday, but it doesn't seem likely.

Oh, and Mr. Jem and I would really like to know baby's gender!


P.S. Went into an actual maternity/baby store yesterday, with another pregnant IF friend. It was weird and felt good at the same time. Bought new bras, as I'm literally busting out of mine.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

10w5d: Questions for OB (updated)

I have my first OB visit today at 11:30 (Pacific). I already have a list of questions for Dr. L, but want and need your input.

Testing: what's next? CVS test?
Fetal Doppler: okay to buy one?
Vitamins: I'm bringing a bag in with everything I'm taking. Do I need to add back in Vitamin D?
Sinus headaches: anything else I can do?
Sex: is it really OK?

Am I missing any important question to ask? Please help me with anything I might have forgotten!!


Monday, October 3, 2011

10w1d: sinus headache

Wow, it's been over a week since I last posted ... work has been very busy. I had another major training workshop that I led last week. It went really well and I actually got a compliment from the boss. "Jem, you did a great job this week. You deserve some time off." Nice, huh? 

Note: Pregnancy symptoms ahead, so you don't have read unless you want to. I won't be offended.

On the not so fun side, I threw my back out last Sunday (2 trips to the Chiro and I feel better). I actually started reading a pregnancy book - What to Expect - and they said lower back pain is normal post-orgasm, especially in the first trimester. I hope I didn't jinx this pregnancy by reading a pregnancy book.

Plus I've been getting wicked sinus headaches lately - two in the last 4 weeks. These are "I want to stab myself in the head" type headaches. Really bad. I have taken Tyl.enol because the pain was so bad. I bought a humidifier today after work. I plan on using my Neti.pot to clean out my sinus naturally with saline. I also have a really sore throat so much so that I left work early and came home and took a nap. I plan on working from home tomorrow. I have been a bit dizzy and tired.

Not that I'm complaining! Au contraire! I couldn't be happier to be nauseated, tired and dizzy. The sinus thing is less cool. Still not complaining, tho!!!

Can't wait until Thursday - first official OB scan. Yippee! Hopefully we'll have a clear plan of what's next, further testing - CVS, perhaps?

Question: I'm thinking of purchasing a prenatal doppler and need advice. Are there certain brands that you in cyberland can recommend? What have you used and liked?