Friday, March 19, 2010

I decided to get a temporary handicap placard!

My friend put the idea in my head as she said several people at work had done this. I didn't do it last time since I thought it would be a pain to get it and I didn't want to go wait in the tax office.

I was debating about going in to get one since it involved getting down somewhere and standing or sitting for long periods of time.

The first step was asking my dr. I asked my obgyn since I know my peri would think I wouldn't need one - he thinks I am normal. My obgyn gave me a prescription that said 'complicated pregnancy' when I was 11weeks. I asked him what to do with it. He said 'I don't know, I just give people this and they figure it out and get it'. Gee thanks! My friend who mentioned it to me at the beginning asked someone at work to give me the info on how to do this. Of course, she was saying 'oh sure I will help you'. Well, I got nothing from her...

I looked up online and I had to fill out a form and take it into the office. Hindsight, I should have just mailed it in. I got to the tax office today at 12:10pm (grabbed lunch via drive thru on the way). The wait was horrendous. I should know better than going during lunch, but I wanted to time it with my lunch as I don't get to get lunch out much. I took my number and their stupid system has numbers that don't go in order....great...I decided to walk back to my car and sit there for awhile. I parked pretty close. I waited about 30minutes and then went back in. Again, I had no idea where they were in the process because they don't go in order...But I stood for about a minute and then someone left their seat and I quickly grabbed it. Yea! I waited there another 30minutes and finally they called the number before mine so I knew they hadn't skipped over me. Then I waited for 10 more calls - which was the 30min...and finally they came around to my set of numbers again. The girl was quick and the window I was at had a chair (most you have to stand). I got two placards for $5 each. You can get one or two.

A good thing to know is that my dr. put that I needed it until November on the prescription, but they only issue the temporary placards for 6 months. Glad I didn't get it sooner as mine expires in September!

Now, I'll feel better if I have to go to work. I work in a different building than last pregnancy (even though I worked from home after 12wks) as I have to walk a little further to get into the building. The handicap placard should help! I wasn't planning to go into work until 24wks but I may have to attend a meeting between now and then. I am not sure. Still, I am glad that I got it if my husband and I go out as we can park close anywhere now. I will use it once I return to work too at 24wks.

I am glad I endured the 1hr headache to get the placards!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

OBGYN appt - 15w4d

I am posting this two days late.
Babies h/b was in the 160s.

One of the nurses took my blood pressure and asked me about swelling, etc. Then she says 'oh, so you have an easy pregnancy with no complications'. I said 'no, I am high risk with a cerclage'. It is funny that they think when everything else looks good, that you are fine 100%. No, it isn't *that* easy being me...

I didn't see the dr. and the nurse practioner was kinda in a bad mood. I still have some itching down low, so she took a look at it (as my dr forgot to write down what I needed that I should only take in the 2nd trimester - nice.) I got a steroid/fungal cream and I really hate to start it as it says not to use if you are pregnant, but they told me it is ok with minimal use. Ugh!

I had some yellow discharge this week, but my urine looked good and I don't have any contractions. I didn't really want her to swab my vagina. She did it last time (same nurse I had at 24wks when I had an infection...), but I prefer my dr. I had it only once and discharge is normal for me. I had discharge a lot -last time. I just never had brown discharge and hope to not have that anymore (I had that in the first trimester due to a hematoma and maybe some cervical shortening).

Everything else is OK. I take it really easy. My day is taking my son to daycare and my husband picks him up. I come back home and work from home. My boss has been great about letting me work from home. I may go into the office next week for a meeting, but I am hoping to get a handicap parking permit.(maybe) I have a different boss than during my last pregnancy, but he is pretty good at letting me work from home. I told him I will start at 24wks going into the office. Last time I worked the entire time at home.

On the weekends, I have been getting some help from friends.

Oh, the nurse tells me that they found atypical cells on my cervix from my pap. Really? WTH? I would think they would have called me for that. I had my pap over 4wks ago. She said 'but your HPV came back negative, so they will just wait until after you have the baby to check you out again'. I didn't bother to ask her, but had the HPV come back positive, they might have had to do a biopsy and I would have freaked out as I can't have that with my cerclage. I hate, hate, hate getting pap smears during pregnancy...I know sometimes they cause atypical cells due to hormones. Ugh! I forget if they call it atypical or abnormal cells on the cervix...nothing new for me as I had that before (but not while pregnant).

I have gained 5 lbs, but not sure if that was from my last appt. I hope it is total, but I didn't ask them.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Sickle Cell Trait

I have finally been diagnosed with sickle cell trait. It doesn't mean much right now during pregnancy.

My son was born with it. I knew he would be, but my pediatrician insisted I must have been tested by my obgyn and she didn't think my son would have it. We found the first month of his birth that he did have it. My sisters have it and I suspected that I had it forever. Only one of her kids has it though.

I just assumed I had it, but when I had genetic counseling my counselor told me that my husband should be tested. We have not done that as he doesn't have risk factors for sickle cell trait. Risk factors are African-American. I am 3% African (not African American) per a DNA test my sister took. The guy who gave it to her said I would be about the same. Anyway...My major risk factor for having it is my European heritage. So some people who have ancestors from Spain or the mediterranean could have this.

My obgyn finally tested me for this and yup I have it. Big surprise!

My peri said that the only time it is worrisome is not just if my husband has full blown sickle cell anemia or trait, but if my husband has some other blood disorder that mixes with my sickle cell trait. I asked my dr about blood disorder testing a few times before and asked him about it for this pregnancy (monitoring needed, etc). He said it isn't a blood disorder as others who take lovenox, etc. I found it interesting that he said my husband could have something that mixed with my weird blood thing. I don't worry about it, but I am just putting this info out there.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Post opp checkup-cerclage 2

Today was my follow-up after my cerclage two weeks ago. Oh, I bought a doppler, but I really don't like to use it much. I have tried it twice and only found the h/b once. More later on this...

They do the u/s and I have a tech that is new to the practice. I ask her if she will measure my cervical length and she said they only do it every other appt. uh what? Anyway, she measures it at 3.4 or over. I count it as 3cm.

The baby looked great. I am there without my husband as my son is sick and had to go to the dr. I ask about gender and she sounds kinda reluctant to do it, but finally checks it out. I am shocked to find out it is a GIRL!!!! When she was first looking, the baby was moving a lot. I am happy about that because I haven't seen the baby move much in my past appointments. The 2nd time she looked I thought I saw 3 lines and I thought girl and then she said it. At first she said she wasn't 100% as it was early. At the end, she said she is pretty sure though...I was so shocked that when she left I called my husband and he is over the moon and more shocked than me!

We did an intelligender test and I don't think I posted that. I was a little over 10wks and it looked like 'boy'. My husband said he was 100% sure it was right. He even told some people based on that test. He is still not 100% convinced because he asked me to do the intelligender test again. Oh, that test says it doesn't work if you have PCOS. I am pretty sure I do not have that, but it made me wonder.

H/b was 160something. I didn't take my notepad in so I am having to go by memory. She did the baby's crown to rump length and I didn't see it say 14wks or whatever. But she said it was 8.6cm or something like that and I saw on this other website that is inline for 14 wks.

She got some great pics of the baby, in fact better ones than I ever got from the other u/s techs. She left it on one of the profile pics and when the dr came in he said 'that is the best picture'. Although it wasn't the anatomy scan, he went through and told me what he could see (the liver, the heart, the brain, the spine, etc).

I asked him about the surgery and how it went. I said 'well i didn't get to talk to you' and he said 'you did talk to me, you just don't remember'. :) He said I kept saying thank you. He said they put the cerclage higher as they could see where it was placed last time and could manage to do it higher. Maybe that is why my length is good at least now...I don't know but I hope it stays over 3cm the entire time!

I really like to talk to my dr and he really spends time talking with me on just stuff that is interesting. For example, I asked him if I woke up from anesthesia and he said it wasn't that I woke up but it took me awhile to get down. I was moving when they tried to get me comfortable. He went ont to say that there is something different that propofol (sp?) and with that one sometimes they don't know how much to use on someone. He went on to talk about it for awhile.

I asked him about the doppler and I told him I wouldn't use it everyday since I am scared to. He said 'you can'. I won't as it has been hard to find the h/b. He gave me advice on how to find it. He is very patient with me and my million questions. He said 'give it 2 wks and it will be easier to find'

I told the dr that I have felt movement and it seems earlier than last time. He looked surprise. I told him that I also have bh contractions and he sad movement causes those. I said I had bh contx since 9wks. I am pretty sure I felt movement, but my husband doesn't believe me. I think my placenta might be really forward or something. It is part of the reason why I haven't freaked using the doppler because I feel the baby. It isn't consistent this early, but I feel taps. Last time I felt them around 16wks but I didn't know it was movement.

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Trying to Conceive and Acupuncture

I started acupuncture in 2008 when I decided to do a FET (frozen embryo transfer -which failed). After my loss in 2007, I had a lot of anxiety. My eye was twitching due to the stress of losing a child. Acupuncture really helped me in that. I found it very relaxing, which was pretty unusual for me since I hate needles. After going through IVF, needles became more of the norm. It is sad that I've had so many blood draws that the ladies at the lab know me.

I decided to go to a place that specialized in fertility. I decided to continue going to acupuncture, but not while I was pregnant. I went for relaxation. It is pretty expensive though.

I want to share my story because I really think acupuncture can help people get pregnant. I have mentioned this a few times on my blog, but I want to summarize my experience.

At first, one of my friends recommended acupuncture. She and her husband were going due to infertility. My friend's husband (like mine) had a bad sperm count. She thought acupuncture could help. In the end, it didn't help him in this area, but the thing about acupuncture is that the acupuncturist looks at your whole body. What I mean by this, is I hate regular drs because when you visit a normal dr they ask 'so what is wrong with you'. Then they say 'oh let me write you a prescription for x and good luck with that'. This is what I hate about drs. For eastern medicine, it is SOOOOO different. You go in and they ask you 'what cycle day are you at, how is your mood, are you getting enough sleep, what other issues are you having besides infertility, how are you eating, do you go to the bathroom once a day,etc? They look at the whole body/person. I like this approach.

Ok, so back to my story about my friend. They asked him 'do you have any other issues' and he said he had back surgery several years ago and because of that surgery he lost some feeling in his leg. Well, they decided to try to solve that problem. Like I said, they couldn't fix his sperm problem but guess what...they were able to bring back feeling from his leg. I found this story amazing and so did my husband. My husband did not want to go to acupuncture though. I decided to go for me even though our main infertility issues were male factor.

I really think it helped me get pregnant both times. I used to kind of hold it against my husband since I put all of our infertility issues on him. Of course, I love my husband, but I felt our issues were due to him. This was hard on our relationship. I didn't tell him this, but I kinda blamed him. Well, after I had my loss I knew it wasn't his fault body failed too...

So, in 2008 I went to acupuncture only a handful of times. I do think you have to go several times for it to make an impact but here is my whole story (which isn't elsewhere on my blog). I went during my FET as I said and I did get a BFP, but I had an early loss. Well when I went through that early loss, they told me to come in. So I went in to get acupuncture even though I knew I was losing the baby...they were trying to save the baby, but honestly if the baby had a chromosome problem (most likely) -it was not something they could fix. I went in anyway and they gave me some herbs to take to help with the miscarriage process. The next month I got pregnant on my own. I guess my husband's sperm improved, but maybe there was something wrong with me too. My dr was amazed that I got pregnant because around ovulation my HCG was not down to zero. I did not go during pregnancy because although some people go, I do not like taking any chances. My drs definitely told me not to go before my first u/s.

In 2009, I went to acupuncture twice. Yup, the whole year I went only twice. It was hard to get away to go. In the past, sometimes I went on the weekend which was impossible with my son. I also sometimes went after work or during lunch. This was hard to do in 2009 too because I was pumping during lunch and had a lot of meetings where it was hard to take a 2 hr lunch. Acupuncture does take some time. I do admit that one time I went I was not completely relaxed because I was stressed that I had to get back to work for a meeting. Oh, I went in April 2009 to help increase my breast milk supply. They did do points specific for that, but it did not help me. See, it does not always work. Although to be fair, not much helped me with breast milk production. I had a lot of issues. I did breastfeed for 11.5 m, but I had to supplement almost the entire time. I even took Reglan to help me produce more and even a strong drug only helped me so much. I have heard that women who went through a loss or through infertility have breastfeeding issues. I don't know though. I have heard that Reglan has now been recalled, but I am not sure since I asked a dr last week aboout it and they said it was not recalled.

In December I decided to go to acupuncture. I was still breastfeeding, but had a little more time during pumps and during work. December is slower at my work. I went for relaxation in December. It turns out, I went around ovulation time. Everytime I go, I see someone different but I like some more than others at the place that I go. They all approach things differently. Well, I get to my appointment and I am late by 20 minutes. I was in a rush and had not eaten breakfast or lunch and it was now 12:40 or so. The girl that I see is one that I had before who is very serious about her work, not very friendly/chatty. So, she asks me the questions and honestly I just say 'yeah, yeah, yeah'. They always ask me if I am tired...hell yeah...I have a baby. But they always ask if my digestive issue are ok and if I am eating well..I just shut her up by saying 'yeah, yeah, yeah'. Well a lot of times they look at your tongue and they measure your pulse...not all of them do this, but most of them do. So, she looks at my tongue and says I need IRON. Then she is taking my pulse and asks me again 'are you sure you are eating well, 3 meals a day'. I kinda say yes again and then she says 'well your pulse is saying feed me'. I was amazed. I told her 'well I actually haven't eaten today yet' I don't tell her how amazed I am at her skills, but I really am. I had here before and she had amazed me before. I am now telling my friends this story to convince them to try acupuncture.

Do I think it helped me get pregnant? I think it did at least this time. I went around ovulation. Because she told me I needed iron, I started taking my prenatals again. She gave me an herbal supplement but I do not like taking those most times and didn't take it due to me breastfeeding. She said it was safe, but I hate taking ANYTHING while breastfeeding (even when I don't breastfeed). I don't know. I think it can help with infertility issues. When I hear that people do not have periods or they have endometriosis, I think acupuncture could help them. I think it can help with PCOS. Now, if you don't have an ovary or a tube, not sure it can help with that. It also can't help with incompetent cervix. It may help with preterm labor or irritable uterus...I don't know for sure though. As I said, I recommended it to two friends who have non-infertility issues. They have not gone though.

Let me know if you have any questions. My next post will talk about diet and trying to conceive.