Hi. Hello! Hey there friends! It has been SIX whole weeks since I last updated. It has been a wonderful time of preparing to learn if we were having a girl or boy, working, managing stress and <asperusual> catching up. Managing all of the daily things while Tim was gone and then spending some time together once he got back was all encompassing and necessary. So, now that is all out of the way – I can catch-up here.
So, we left off at week 10. It was my last appointment with Dr. B. I feel like I have lived years since that date! We got our ultrasound and the NIPT testing to check for chromosomal abnormalities which also will detect babies gender. Ugh, I was so excited about this! But I also know me and I cannot be trusted with such things, especially since we wanted to excuse to have a great party (you know, a Tim and Katie style party) to share this news with our friends and family. They gave me a card with a code to get my results and I immediately gave it up to my keeper of the gender, Shelly. Y’all – I didn’t even take a picture of it so I wouldn’t be tempted to look since the party date was weeks away. I tried my best to not let it eat me alive. I think I did ok til the end.
Luckily, I didn’t have to wait long to check in on the Millikid again. My first real OB appointment was just a week later. I was so nervous! Why? Well, this was my “interview” with the person that could help me deliver our kid. I had a lot of questions and I was really nervous to ask a lot of them. I was worried I would inconvenience the doctor, that I wouldn’t get the answers I wanted, that I might be mocked or laughed at or shamed for some of the things I felt were important. If I have said it once to my friends, I have said it a thousand times. Dealing with a chronic illness and infertility, I have learned that you HAVE to advocate for yourself. NO ONE else will advocate for you. If there is something important for you to know or understand and your provider won’t even explain it to you, move on. So, I gave myself my own pep talk and reminded myself there are 100’s of OBs in our area and if this wasn’t the one, that it ok. I know that I am NOT a doctor and I don’t want to make ill informed medical decisions because of feelings I have, but I do want a provider that also thinks it’s important for me to understand what is happening, what my options are and why they came to their medical opinion in my situation. I have seen this doctor before as a gynecologist, but this was the first time I would be interviewing her as an OB. Many of you know that I’m pretty crunchy about some things. I.e. – I threw away every single plastic food implement in my home when we first started the IVF process. I completely changed my diet to whole, real foods. I stopped wearing perfume. I changed my skin and hair care products. I mean, if we are dumping our live savings into this, it’s my responsibility to do everything in my power to make it work. So, in this phase of the operation, my mindset hasn’t changed much. I’m probably a little more relaxed about some things (I wear perfume, but it’s as natural as possible – thanks Phlur) but, I still want to be conscious about how the things I do and products I use could affect our baby. And my birthing experience (or what I want) has been influenced by that, too. I have said before that if I could have a home birth in my bathtub, that would be the height of ideal for me. But, I just don;t think Tim can handle that. So, I wanted to make sure my ideals, given our situation, matched up with my providers philosophies and practices around labor and birthing. I’m happy to say that I was put completely at ease during my visit with the OB, she took her time and answered all my questions even though I was so early in pregnancy. With that said, I am so happy to call Dr. Malone my OB. I definitely WANT all the medical intervention I NEED and I don’t want to be pressured by any arbitrary-to-me timelines and standards. I am in the process now of interviewing doula’s and I am very excited about that.
So, OB appointment at week 11 went great. I cancelled my appointment with Dr. Podraza. Dr. Malone said that my pregnancy was normal at this point, but I’m still not normal – in a good way. Even though everything looked great, she liked to pay close attention to her patients from the fertility clinic. At this point, a ‘normal’ pregnancy would been seen at their office every month, but she wanted to see me every two weeks til I’m well into my 2nd trimester. I was so relieved. I was really concerned about mot being able to be monitored fairly closely but weekly appointments are hard. So, our next visit would be at 13 weeks.
13 week appointment
This would be the LAST appointment that Tim would not be present for. I was also really excited about this one because the following weekend was Father’s Day. I was so excited about Tim’s first Father’s Day as an expectant dad and also so sad he wouldn’t be here for it, I wanted to try to do something special for him. I asked the ultrasound tech if I could record the ultrasound on video so I could share it with Tim on Father’s Day since he couldn’t be here. She was so happy to oblige. We did have a little excitement in the waiting room! One of the nurses came out o announce that Dr. Malone had to leave to deliver two babies and to see if it was ok that we been seen by the Nurse Practitioner. I was fine with this and it was a good opportunity to meet the other providers should Dr. Malone not be available when it was my turn. Plus, I’m super glad to know she would be there to attend me if it was at all possible. Other news – I am officially OUT of the first trimester!
Enter – week 14/15. Our first real scare. Tim got home from his month long training rotation on that Tuesday. We were able to spend some much needed time together. I took off Wednesday and we got to go nursery shopping, which was so exciting. We got all the big furniture items and just basked in the joy of what was to come. We did a ton of walking and hit so many places. Thursday went by as normal, everything was fine. Right before bedtime on Thursday, I noticed i had started bleeding. It wasn’t a ton of blood but it was bright red and I knew that something was not quite right. I tried not to panic, hoping that it was just from the excitement of Tim getting home and going from zero activity to a marathon shopping trip but in the back of my mind, I knew something was off. I went to bed hoping i would wake up and it would all be resolved. Friday morning, there was significantly more blood, but it was very dark, not bright red like before. I wasted no time in advocating for myself and called the OB’s office as soon as they opened. I left a message for the nurse and she called back within 15 minutes. There was no “it’s probably nothing” “we see you next week any way, let’s just wait” which was so reassuring. She immediately said, you need to go get an ultrasound like – right now. She called in an order to a clinic close to me in Desoto county and I immediately left work. That drive from Hernando to Southaven was the worst, longest and scariest drive I have taken in a long time. I just had to keep reminding myself to breathe and to not panic. As soon as I saw the baby on that screen and it gave a big ol kick right to the wand, I swear to you it felt like the first time i took a breath since Thursday night. Everything looked great with the baby – strong movements, strong heartbeat and i was even measuring several days ahead on growth. However, it looked like i had a total placenta previa- meaning my placenta was growing on top of my cervix. This could complicate a lot of my “wants” for birthing, but all that could be dealt with because everything was fine with this kiddo. So, at this point (on Friday) I was officially 14w2d and my next appointment with Dr. Malone was at 14w6d (Tuesday) since Tim had to work Wednesday.
15 week appointment
Tim actually got to go! For the first time, he was able to see – in real time – our little nugget moving away, rolling away from the ultrasound wand, sucking their thumb and rubbing their eyes and hear that strong beating heart. Our ultrasound tech is amazing. I love her. She took some detailed images and showed me that my previa is not complete, just partial, and where it was currently resting on my cervix. She said most of the time, as your uterus grows upwards into your abdomen, the placenta will also migrate off the cervix totally and they would keep a close eye on it. I also learned that i have gained a whopping total of TWENTY THREE POUNDS. As much as I would like to be ok with this, I’m not. That’s just ridiculous. I had lost some weight in the first trimester, so I know i was going to have to put more back on but I wasn’t expecting it to be quite so rapid – especially since there is no bump in sight over here! Anywho, Dr. Malone had injured her shoulder and was out that week, so I got to meet another provider who was also super awesome. I was completely reassured about the partial previa and the weight gain. We were put on pelvic rest, plus. No lifting of any sort, no sex, no exercise and to generally take it easy til our next appointment until we can see that the cervix is completely clear of the placenta. Bummer – but we have come this far.
All this time, our gender reveal party is well underway. While i had intended for Shelly to be the keeper of the gender and help acquire the reveal device, as per usual, she went above and so far beyond our hopes for this day. I knew I wanted to do fireworks. The Fourth of July is my very favorite holiday – i love the summer. AND, Tim was off that weekend. On top of her heavy workload, her shelter volunteering and all her other day-to-day task, Shelly took on the entire party planning extravaganza. She complied a team and a spreadsheet (I knew I loved her) and I did not lift a finger. I made sure my house was clean and she did literally everything else. She delegated all tasks and ran with it. I really cannot express how incredibly grateful I am for all the work she did. The party was perfect. We had an amazing time, incredible food, the most amazing display of fireworks that our entire neighborhood enjoyed and minimal injuries to the dozen of kiddos with fireworks that came out. Shelly – I could dedicate an entire blog to how much i appreciate everything you have done for me and it wouldn’t scratch the surface. From work to friendship, I am just not sure how you find the time and emotional energy to make me feel so loved, cared for and supported. I know you were not alone in your endeavors for this party, even though you organized the masses. To my mom – for coming in clutch with all the details (as per usual), the last minute items and the time consuming cutting up of photos, labeling, decor, amazing trophy making, the trips to and from Hernando – you’re incredible. To Eddie – the mastermind of our fireworks display and for all those in the smoke trench helping you stage and light, you delighted all of us and I will never forget the literal show you put on for our kid. THANK YOU! To Dean – for getting and delivering (and fretting because I only have one fridge) all of the amazing food – we love you to the moon and love how you’re already spoiling this babe. You are such a great friend and we can’t thank you enough. To Becky, Doug, Dalton, Dawn, Dad, Ashley, Jason, Carrie, Finis and all the others I don’t know about that supported Shelly, my Mom, Dean and Eddie in pulling this off – I am forever grateful! All of your support in the orchestration of this event did not go unnoticed and I have never felt so supported by my community. I cannot wait to share this baby with all of you because the truth is, we wouldn’t be here without every one of you. Every person that has been part of this journey has fueled my fire to continue on – on the good days, on the bad days, on the darkest of dark days. You have helped me find what was already inside me and you kindled the fire so that it has burned hot enough to fuel this new life. This can be such a lonely road and all of the people that read this blog, check up on us and support us have showed me that it doesn’t have to be so lonely all the time.
And look where we are now. I am one month shy of halfway through a pregnancy that, 4 years ago, I thought was impossible. A mountain so high, it was insurmountable. For everyone that has uttered positivity, prayer, healing vibes and warm wishes into the universe for us – here is the fruit of your labor! Now – on to the reveal.
I still cannot believe it’s a boy! Honestly, that’s not even it. I just can’t believe we are in a place that we can even know that we are expecting a baby and that we know it’s a boy. I am a little shocked it’s a boy – I didn’t have a feeling or anything either way, we have just only known girls for so long! I cannot WAIT for this adventure! And now the naming
fights conversations have started. I would love to hear all of your suggestions for MilliBOY names! I can’t wait to finish the nursery to show you guys and all of the other little things that get to happen at this stage. Our anatomy scan is in a few short weeks, so I will update you then. For now – i will relish in the excitement that has built up and exploded in my heart. I love you all. To the moon!
Til next time