My progesterone barely rose this time. It's 32.5. I believe in the past month and a half it has gone from 36.5 to 29, to 30.5 (guessing on that one), to 32.5.
Dr. S's nurse said to keep my injection dose the same, 100 (not sure of the unit of measurement) twice a week. She didn't sound like the level was of any great concern.
I'm trying not to be super nervous, but I can't help but see on the graph that progesterone is supposed to rise pretty steadily. While my numbers have been in zone two for a few draws now, if it hovers in the low 30's from this point on (my next draw will be right as week 19 begins) I'll be in zone one.
I'm feeling kind of dejected today, but I'm still trying to trust in Jesus. I know that, ultimately, He has both my and my baby's best interest in mind.
This afternoon Clara and I are heading to my first appointment with the endocrinologist to talk about handling my thyroid medication. I'm really hoping Clara can be on her best behavior while we're in there! And I hope it's an easy, stress-free appointment, and nothing causes me any additional worry.
I just can't help but feel like my body isn't doing what it's supposed to with the progesterone. And when there's a living baby that's possibly being affected by that, it brings a whole new level of guilt. But, I'm also trying to remind myself that everything else is okay, we just heard the baby's heart beat and I have no other complications.
So if you have any success stories about low progesterone, please let me know. But, if you don't mind, please don't tell me any horror stories. I'm trying not to lose it.
Wednesday, June 30, 2010
My progesterone barely rose this time. It's 32.5. I believe in the past month and a half it has gone from 36.5 to 29, to 30.5 (guessing on that one), to 32.5.
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
There's really a baby in there!
We heard the heart beat, praise God! And as my husband said right after, that never gets old.
At first I thought the incredibly fast beating was my own, since I was so nervous and mine was beating pretty quickly itself. But I caught a glimpse of Ryan smiling so I asked the nurse. I think they both thought I was nuts for confusing the two!
It's truly such an overwhelming feeling when you hear it, just so surreal. I usually feel like I'm having an out-of-body experience while it's happening and later wish I had taken in the moment more. Although part of me thinks that's not possible. It will always be overwhelming in the most wonderful way possible.
My doctor also assured me that I'm a perfectly healthy pregnant woman (Ryan told her I worry) and that everything's going beautifully. She also told me that those bubbles and pops I'm feeling are definitely the baby. "You're feeling your baby move!" she told me, without any doubt that's what it was.
My next appointment is on July 19, and that's when we'll find out the gender. I know some people find out earlier, and our baby's gender could have been seen on ultrasound for several weeks now, but my doctor only does ultrasounds at 12 weeks (or at least that's when mine was) and 20 weeks. So that's when we'll find out (as long as the baby's legs aren't crossed!) and I can't wait!
My appointments have all been on Tuesdays so far, the same day as our weekly adoration hour, so it's nice to be able to go afterwards and offer prayers of thanksgiving for the good news and for both of our miracle babies.
While there today, I came across Psalm 31, which is where my blog name comes from. I hadn't read the whole psalm in a long time, and wow, is it perfect:
Blessed be the LORD, who has shown me wondrous love, and been for me a city most secure.
Once I said in my anguish, "I am shut out from your sight." Yet you heard my plea, when I cried out to you.
Love the LORD, all you faithful. The LORD protects the loyal, but repays the arrogant in full.
Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the LORD.
I love it! I told the Lord that very thing before I became a mother - that I was shut out from His sight. That's exactly how I felt. But He had heard my plea all along. He hears all of us - no matter what His plan is for us and how our families grow - and protects us. And I know He's protecting Baby #2 right now.
So thanks for all your prayers and for your comments that made me realize I'm not nuts (or maybe we all are!). While the nervousness could set in again, I am so joyful right now knowing there is a living, kicking baby in there! Praise the Lord!
Monday, June 28, 2010
I have a check-up tomorrow (which means no ultrasound, but we do get to hear the heart beat) and, like always, I'm nervous (for no apparent reason) that something could possibly be wrong.
I've been nervous before each appointment and I really don't think it has anything to do with my infertile past. Honestly, I'm really blessed in that I don't have any issues that have carried over into pregnancy; I believe I'm just a normal pregnant woman, except that I have to get injections. But even that doesn't bother me (and I'm convinced that there are 'average' pregnant women who probably have progesterone issues too and never even know). Early on my OB had a little talk with me and assured me that infertility is behind me and I'm just like every other pregnant woman now, and that probably really helped. But I might have been alright even without her advice; it has really amazed me how well each transition has gone for me - infertile to mother through adoption, and then to pregnant woman. It can only be God's grace because I am definitely not known for being emotionally stable! It's really a miracle unto itself.
So anyway, from what I've read and heard, some anxiety before appointments is common. After all, pregnancy is all about trust. Trust that there's actually a human being in there, trust that he/she is alive, trust that he/she is growing. The only real evidence you get (other than eventually feeling those reassuring kicks) is seeing the baby on ultrasounds and hearing his/her heart beat at check ups. And it seems the further I get from the last time I saw/heard my baby, the less confident I am.
It's really amazing the tricks your mind can play on you. Sometimes I question if I'm actually pregnant. I mean, I am eating a lot and maybe my belly is just fat. I have to actually remind myself I have evidence hanging on my fridge that there's really a baby in there (am I crazy? I tend to think it's only natural to have a hard time wrapping your mind around the concept of having an actual baby in your womb).
That's one common thread between infertilty and pregnancy (and, really, with everything in life) - we are forced to rely completely on God. We are asked to place our trust in Him, knowing that no matter what happens, He will carry us through.
So while I trust that everything will be okay, I can't help but be a nervous mama. And I will completely relax when, God willing, we hear that glorious beating of the little heart tomorrow. Seriously, I want to tell the nurse to take my blood pressure after we get confirmation that the baby's doing well.
(And, I should stress, I'm not freaking out or anything. I'm actually happy to report that my level of nervousness has decreased considerably since those first couple appointments.)
The wonderful part is (well, besides the miracle of hearing the baby of course!), is that after every appointment I feel euphoric. I breathe a sigh of relief. I walk around with a permanent smile on my face. I look forward to that tomorrow!
Jesus, I trust in you!
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
I know there are some times when you're advised to not make any bold moves - namely cut off your hair - like after a big break up or something. But does pregnancy fall into that category? For some reason I had this weird feeling that you're not supposed to do anything drastic because it may be the crazy hormones making you do it.
Oh well. It's too late.
I had it cut several inches to a little below my shoulders (I know, but that's short and bold for me). I think I like it, although my normal moody self had some doubts for a little while this afternoon. At least it's healthier and will be easier to do. I so don't have the time or energy lately and it was showing.
And another bonus - hopefully Clara won't yank it quite as much as before!
Here's a pic from my phone:
I know what you're thinking - that's not that short! But it was seriously long before.
So I have an issue that's come up a few times lately and I'm hoping some of you might have some advice for me.
Lately when people meet Clara (always people who don't know us and our story), they comment on her skin color. Of course we imagined this would happen, but just not like this. A few people have actually commented on her "tan", usually looking at her and saying something like, "your mommy must have you out in the sun!"
I typically then explain that oh no, she's actually adopted and that's her natural skin color, despite the fact that her adoption would otherwise not have been brought up and, frankly, I'm trying to get away from it constantly being the focus of any conversation about her. Not everyone needs to know our whole story. At least let us get to know you a little first.
So my issue is how to handle this in the future because, at least while it's summer, it's bound to happen again (hopefully they won't assume the same in the winter).
On one hand I wonder if it's perhaps my pride that wants to correct them, so they know I'm not a bad mother. Maybe I don't need to explain it at all since I know I'm not leaving her out in the sun, which is really all that matters.
Speaking of that, let's be real here. For a baby to get Clara's skin color - which is gorgeous, by the way - I'd have to lather her up in baby oil and flip her every half hour!
So if anyone has any advice, please let me know. I'm sure it's just the first of many interesting issues that will arise!
Sunday, June 20, 2010
I have access to the internet tonight!
I have to be honest, it's been quite an adjustment, but I think it'll get better. At the beginning, I was realizing each day what else I hadn't previously thought of that we'd now be missing out on (Skype, for instance). But then I realized that we'll live.
Cable has been a little difficult too. We're realizing first hand what I barely paid attention to the last year or so when it was all over the media - how atrocious the digital signal is. The government took away all the analog channels, which came in just fine, and left us Americans with digital ones that are nearly impossible to tune in with an antenna. Ryan spent yesterday on our roof, while I spent yesterday checking the signal strength of the channels for him while he moved the antenna box around. We ended up with a less-than-perfect signal that is much better than what we had earlier in the week, which was to the point of me turning the t.v. off it was so bad.
So as you can see, we're not okay with giving up t.v. completely. We did this knowing (or hoping) we could watch the over-the-air channels. While there really only are about ten to speak of (mostly PBSs), they are actually the true HD, a clearer picture than even cable provides and the audio is superior too. Now if we could just get them to come in.
I'm really not writing this to complain. I, surprisingly to even me, have a good attitude about it all. Like I said before, we'll survive. And I rarely give anything worthwhile up for Lent lately, so on some level I look at it as a much-needed sacrifice, and I have been offering it up when I get frustrated. It's like a test for us.. can we do it.. can we give up something that is so important in our lives. I want to see if we can. That it doesn't control us. Because it was really starting to seem that way. And, of course, there's the saving $100 a month thing. That helps.
Thank you so much for all your wonderfully supportive comments on this topic, by the way. They really made the transition easier.
Okay, that's it for the cable/internet blackout of 2010 update.
In other news, I've been having some anxiety. Things just seem to upset me easily and I can't handle it. I freak out and get really nervous. I'm trying to tell myself it's due to pregnancy, which I hope it is because that at least brings me some comfort (because no reason for it would scare me more, if that makes sense).
In my current anxious state, I've also been letting things really weigh on me, particularly a topic Sew posted about today. Lately when I hear or read about people not respecting life and fertility, using birth control, and assaulting the Church, it drives me absolutely nuts. I actually think I need to avoid discussions and debates about this topic altogether because I am so overwhelmed with worry and frustration over it that it's giving me anxiety. I feel like the devil himself is casting a dark cloud over so many, lying to them, tricking them into believing it's okay... that it's better than okay.. that it's a social responsibility on par with recycling. And their message is everywhere! On t.v., the internet (haha.. another reason to get rid of both), magazines, basically everywhere we turn. The people who preach safe sex act like they are the only ones on the planet, that there isn't even another side to the debate. It's so scary. Instead of safe sex, what about 'no sex'? Why is that not an option? Because we've accepted that people are just crazy animals who can't control themselves?
Okay.. enough about that! I'm getting worked up again!
I'll end on a positive note - I'm 16 weeks pregnant now (or, as some websites put it, I'm in my 17th week, which sounds even better!). I'm really hoping I start feeling the baby move soon. I think I will be in shock when I do!
Time to go to bed. Hopefully I'll get to post again soon..
And, of course, happy first Fathers' Day to my wonderful husband! We love you!
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
I wasn't going to post a "baby bump" picture just yet, mainly because I think my bump still looks more like a bloat at the moment. And perhaps also because for so many years those photos carried a sort of negative connotation for me, something I quickly clicked off of on others' blogs (feel free to do that now).
But then I realized that after today, when our household officially goes internet free, I won't be able to upload pictures from anything but my phone. And those pictures will be pretty low quality, and most likely huge (I haven't figured out how to get them from phone to blog without them being enormous).
So, I quickly pulled myself together and made Ryan take some shots of me on his dinner break (so please don't pay too much attention to my air-dried-just-pulled-down-from-a-ponytail hair).
I didn't take a belly shot until I was ten weeks and already looking pretty bloated, so I don't really have a "before" picture. But I found one taken most likely right around conception that kind of shows my normal stomach (and no matter what I weigh, my stomach is usually pretty flat, which I more than make up for in other "problem" areas).
Okay, the "before" shot...
And here I am tonight, at 15 weeks, 4 days...
And because I can't post pictures without including one of my other babe...
So there you go. I will try to post pictures, no matter how odd they look, from my phone. And I will still be posting, even if that means I have to send Ryan to work with a printed-out Word document for him to type into blogger on his break (thanks, honey).
And hopefully the next time I post a belly shot, it will look like a big pregnant belly. God willing!
I have something I want to get to, but first I just want to give you a quick update on my progesterone. I found out this morning that it rose, but only by one point (it's now - or was at 15 weeks when I was tested - 30.2). The nurse seemed to think that was good news, but I couldn't help but be thoroughly disappointed. And worse, scared. I'm continuing on the two shots a week protocol for now and will test again in two weeks.
I need to remember that a lot of women have low levels throughout and their babies are fine. I'm trying to focus on that.
In other news, it's been pretty stressful over here. And honestly, it's the first time I've been stressed since before getting Clara. It's really been a wonderful five-and-a-half months, not entirely stress free, but when things came up, I handled them. But now it seems like it's a combination of more problems arising and a greater inability to "handle" them on my part.
So that leads me to a major change that is happening tomorrow. We are getting rid of cable and internet.
Let me just say that my husband and I are majorly into watching television. We don't take this lightly and we are not embarrassed about it. And, honestly, who doesn't have the internet these days?
I have to say I was on board with the idea until the actual cancellation was made this morning (they actually go away tomorrow), which was when I suddenly found myself in tears, realizing it was really going to happen. I know that might sound dramatic to some of you, but it's just so easy to grow accustomed to both things, especially the internet. I'm worried about what may come up that I'll need it for. I'm worried I don't yet realize how hard it's going to be... as a stay-at-home mom... home all day.
And taking a laptop to a place with free wi-fi isn't an option because we don't own a laptop.
The good news is we'll still be able to get a few channels using an antenna. And I'll still have most of the internet on my phone (we're under contract, so getting rid of that wouldn't have been as easy), so I'll still be able to read blogs and check email and facebook (I know, I'll really be roughing it). But I just don't foresee me posting on a regular basis because I find it so very difficult to type on the little screen. But it's nice to know that if I have to post, I can.
I am trying to embrace this change. I'm hoping it will give me more time to focus on other, more important things (although it's not like I just hang out and watch t.v. all day as it is, and clearly I'm not posting every day!). And I do sort of feel like I am a slave to the technology sometimes; I actually get stressed when the shows start to build up on our DVR. I won't have to worry about that anymore. Although I am pretty upset about not being able to watch part three of the Real Housewives of New York reunion. I'm trying not to think about it.
So we'll see how this goes. It might take some getting used to, but I know we're doing the right thing (it's for financial reasons, in case you're wondering). And, let's be honest, it's not the end of the world. And it's not like we're going off the grid or anything! (Actually, do you think the government will flag us for this? As like ultra-conservative militia or something? Hahaha...)
We'll be fine.. And it might even be like an experiment to see how our great-grandparents used to live...minus the iPhone!!
Sunday, June 13, 2010
* I feel like I have a newborn again (well, I never really technically had a newborn, but it's hard to not think that when she weighed FIVE pounds) because Clara is waking up in the night. The problem is ever since she has been rolling over like crazy, she has started rolling over in her crib while she sleeps. And she's totally freaked out by waking up on her tummy. I know exactly what it is when I hear her because it's a different cry than normal. It's like she's scared. So one of us (usually Ryan, since it's a huge production for a starving, nauseous, peeing-like-crazy pregnant woman to get up in the night, or so I've found) gets up and either turns her over - which never works because she's now awake and isn't a pacifier baby - or brings her into our bed. Usually it's the latter. So each morning we try to just let her fall back asleep in bed with us, thinking this time she won't scream for a bottle, and every morning we (Ryan) end up getting her a bottle. But we usually fall asleep while giving it to her and wake up just as she is happily finishing it. She then sleeps with us for a couple hours (if I can even get back to sleep). This morning it was especially cute because she was lying between us, awake, tapping Ryan in the face, then me, then Ryan, then me. It was like she came up with a sort of game. I love her.
* Anyways, if anyone has any advice about this, please let me know. So far the only thing I can think of is to try to have her learn during the day that it's not the end of the world to end up on her tummy and that she can keep rolling. And she usually does. It's just something about it happening at night that freaks her out (and crying it out doesn't work because this is the girl went for two hours once [wow, that sounds terrible that I even know she can last two hours. What happened was I fell asleep during the crying...]).
* I am 15 weeks and some odd days pregnant this week. I'm doing pretty well, although I'm not yet experiencing that second trimester bliss that some women describe. I had a couple weeks of it, but then it was right back to nausea, exhaustion, and - my new favorite symptom - sadness. Well, I'm not sad all the time (and, if I am, it's usually for no reason) but I definitely don't have the capacity to deal with things (like nausea) that I had in the first trimester. Does that make sense? It's obviously my hormones, which I have little control over. It's no big deal. I'm just riding it out, seeing what comes next. And I'm telling myself that feeling crappy is due to my progesterone rising, which has been my experience in the past. I'll hopefully find out on Tuesday that my theory is correct.
* I'm getting a sore throat. I was hoping that I could go the full nine months without actually getting ill and having to go without medication, but it looks like that isn't going to happen. Hopefully tylenol will do the trick.
* I cannot wait to find out this baby's gender, which will happen in about four and a half weeks. I go back and forth on what I think it will be, but I tend to think girl for a few reasons. First, because I'm one of three girls and my sister is pregnant with a girl right now. Second, because GIMH did the string test on me this weekend and the result was girl (and because that's basically scientific, right?). And third, I think it's a girl because we have a boy's name all picked out and can't decide for the life of me on a girl's name, therefore I just KNOW it's a girl.
* Ryan's cleaning, cooking, doing laundry, taking care of Clara and waiting on me hand and foot. I am very blessed.
Alright, time for bed. I wish I had more exciting things to say but that's it. I actually do have some reflections I want to post, but I usually find I can't concentrate on writing them if I haven't updated the mundane stuff in a while. So this was my attempt at clearing my head to make way for more thoughtful posting. If I ever get around to it!
Friday, June 4, 2010
She was born six months ago; she's been in our lives for five. It's hard to believe it's been that long, but at the same time it feels like we've known her forever. I can't imagine life without her now.
Here's a look back at our journey thus far, which I hope one day Clara can watch and see her amazing transition from three-pound preemie to nearly 14-pound bouncing baby in just six months.
(And, by the way, the first song was our wedding song. In the months before finding out about Clara, I would hear it and think about how I would one day sing it to my baby. It's perfect.)
Thursday, June 3, 2010
Further evidence that pregnancy messes with your hormones (as if we needed further evidence): I found out tonight that a very full stomach apparently makes me teary. Not because I felt sick, or guilty, or sad. I didn't. It was as if my brain simply told me that's what you do when your stomach is full.. you cry completely emotionless tears for no reason other than it makes total sense at that moment to cry in response to your full stomach. Okay, maybe I'm crazy. It was funny though.
Tonight I'm in the process of editing a slide show for Clara's first six months and I'm wondering now if it's going to be a little long for the average person to view. Oh well. We have taken, oh, about 10,000 pictures of her in the last five months so it's been tough narrowing it down (don't worry, I am narrowing it down).
My current favorite picture will, of course, be making an appearance in the slide show. Here's a sneak preview. It's her and her cousin Johnny who, I might add, is one handsome devil. Ahhh..I just want to eat her up!
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
My progesterone dropped again, this time from 36.5 to 29. The nurse assured me it's not a big deal and claims the drop, itself, is insignificant. But I'm not sure about 29. Of course, I would have LOVED to hear her tell me it was in the high 30's, or even 40's. She said 29 is low zone 3 (it was taken at 12 weeks), but from what I can tell (which isn't much, I'll get to that in a minute) it seems to be high zone 2.
Is anyone else annoyed by the lack of information out there on zones? The only thing I have found is on PPVI's website and it's a small, grainy graph. It's very hard to read the actual numbers (it's the same one I know they email to people as well). If they put so much importance on zones, why can't they make the image a larger file? Or, and this is a novel idea, why don't they just type up the actual zones and corresponding amounts, instead of leaving us to only gather information from a graph?
Okay, my rant on their tiny graph is over.
This most recent result was from a blood draw taken after my PIO dose was cut in half. Today, the nurse instructed me to go from doing shots twice a week to once a week. It makes me nervous to cut it down so much after it dropped, but I suppose I need to trust the doctor.
Clara had her six-month check up today and it went well. She's now in the 10th percentile for weight (for full-term babies, that is), and 5th for length and head circumference. Great news! The doctor said as far as development goes, she is at about five months physically; they'd expect her to be at about three-and-a-half to four months (her adjusted age, since she was ten weeks early), so she's ahead of the game. And the really good news - she's at six months socially. Go Clara! Because isn't it all about being social anyways?!
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
I think of posts I would write all day, only to get a few minutes on the computer at night and totally blank out. So I am forcing myself not to give up. Let's see what I can come up with...
* We heard the baby's heart beat today for the first time. We had seen it twice before, but hadn't yet heard it. I had a simple check-up today so we were able to listen. Of course, it took a minute to find it and I found myself saying a Hail Mary before hearing the slow beat of mine become the very quick beat of the baby's. It was pretty incredible.
* I am still on progesterone and waiting to hear what my most recent blood test results were and whether I can stop the shots. My OB today informed me that I should be stopping them by now. Oh how I wish all doctors were on the same page. How I wish all OB's recognized how incredibly helpful progesterone is in pregnancy. And my doctor is at least one of the good ones who uses progesterone support (vaginal suppositories) in some patients. I could have gotten a doctor who didn't believe in it all together. But even she doesn't actually test for it (at least that's what she told us.. I guess she prescribes it in certain circumstances [history of miscarriage perhaps?] yet doesn't do blood draws to see if it's helping). Does that make sense to anyone? What's wrong with a simple blood draw to check the level? Why aren't all doctors doing this?
* She also told me that my Vitamin D dose is too high. I am currently taking 2,000 iu. I tested low for it in February and Dr. S recommended I take a certain amount at my six week appointment in April, but what the amount was I'm not sure. I didn't commit it to memory at the time because all I could focus on was the ultrasound I was about to get. I think it was a range - 1,000 to 4,000 perhaps? So I picked 2,000. From what I've read, this is a pretty safe amount. You can go much higher and still be fine (prenatal vitamins have some, but mine is only like 400 iu, so technically I'm getting 2,400). I plan to keep taking the 2,000.
* I still love my OB. And we loved her even more today after we got into a little discussion about health care at the end of the appointment. Let's just say that we were all on the same page.
* I also love Old Na.vy. Any store where I can buy maternity clothes and still fit in my pre-pregnancy size is pretty cool in my book. Keep in mind I have gained somewhere between 10 and 15 pounds and I would guess that 90% of that is sitting in my thighs. And I don't care if they are sizing big just to make pregnant women buy from them. It works for me.
* Yes, that's right. I bought maternity clothes. I started by buying a couple things this weekend because we were visiting Ryan's family and I went shopping with my sister-in-laws and mother-in-law. I figured I might as well buy stuff when I have people to shop with, since at home I'm all alone with no one to ask for opinions. Actually, there's a funny story about shopping with them in one store on Saturday. I was looking at bras and the saleswoman asked me how far along I was. I said three months, only to have my sister-in-law interject that I had been trying for five-and-a-half years and after adopting suddenly found out I was pregnant, a miracle (she didn't want the saleswoman to think this was just another pregnant lady). She was crying, my other sister-in-law also started tearing up, as did I, and then we all started laughing. We laughed for the rest of the day at our little moment in the bra aisle!
* So anyways, I bought some stuff and a friend let me borrow a bunch of stuff, and while I probably won't wear a lot of it for a little while longer, I am currently wearing my Old Na.vy maternity capris. They are comfortable. Really comfortable. My regular clothes make me feel like I do after eating Thanksgiving dinner.
* I had some nausea this weekend and I thought morning sickness was back, but I feel fine today. And my energy is still up. I'm tired, don't get me wrong, but I don't feel like I have to lay in bed every day. My self-imposed bed rest has been lifted.
* Clara is six months old today! She deserves a post dedicated entirely to her, which I will try to write tomorrow (and I don't want to give anything away, but there just might be a little Clara slide-show in the works). There is so much to say. She is amazing, doing more and more each day and constantly making us laugh. She has such a little personality now! Ahh.. I just love her. I can't get enough of her. Here are some recent pics:
* Ryan learned you don't let baby's feet with their delicate baby skin touch the bottom of the kiddie pool (see middle picture). The poor thing rubbed some skin off the bottom of her big toes, mainly because she had just discovered that she could bounce and jump that same day. Ryan was way more traumatized by it than she was. In fact, it didn't seem to hurt her at all.
* One more thing, If you get a chance, please say a prayer for a friend of ours, J. She's in her mid-twenties and was diagnosed with cervical cancer and is having surgery tomorrow (Wednesday). I appreciate it.