Sunday, August 29, 2010

19 weeks, Patches and Work

Oh my, it's been a full week without posting! Thankfully I had not signed up for ICLW or I would have definitely struggled with commenting.

First news first. 19 weeks! Little Elvis is a mango! I am quite sure I can feel more movements, they would not be too frequent, but certainly after having eaten something if I put my feet up I feel little pokes! No butterflies for me, or at least I would not describe them as such, sometimes more like vibrations but the only time I'm certain is when I can feel a distinct poke!
All well, sleeping is getting better, I still get up for a pee so I don't think that will go away, but I don't mind. Weight gain this week is stable! Delighted with myself! I definitely feel the extra weight, specially if I sit on the floor playing with the cats and have to get up...I kind of have to turn on my knees first...
The belly is now quite defined even when I wake up in the morning and I'm flat on my back. Nice!
Since this week I will have to change my weekly picture outfit as my sister pointed out I was at the limits of decency! So stay tuned for the next round of belly pics!
Oh, I meant to say that Mike and I will not look to find out if Elvis is in fact a boy (I think so though!) or if we've been calling a girl Elvis all the time...If it happens that we see something from the scan it's no problem but we won't ask the tech to tell us. We think we'd like the surprise!

I also wanted to update on Patches. Remember his blood-work showed hypothyroidism? Well, we started giving him the meds and he was reborn to a new lively, playful and hungry kitten! We were so delighted. Then, the Ultimate Vet Hero told us that a colleague of hers, working in the Vet hospital at our College, specialised in endocrinology and was really interested in seeing Patches. So we brought him there on Tuesday and after a long visit she said she doesn't think he suffers from congenital hypothyroidism. Yes, he is very small, but lacks many of the traits typical of this condition. While visiting him, she saw that he had a big ulcer on the roof of his mouth and said that was typical of another viral condition. She advised to stop the thyroid meds, stop the steroids (she think they may have masked the thyroid real functionality) and put him back on the antiviral. Then re-test him in a month. Reluctantly we did, knowing well that Patches wouldn't be doing well with no steroids for more than two days. But he did very well for 5 days! Our Ultimate Vet Hero is very happy that if we have to give him 0.5mg of prednisolone every 5 days is really no big deal and won't affect the next blood test.

Finally work. Term starts in two weeks, I have to write a proposal for a grant (deadline 7th of September) and I am as motivated as a dead slug... I've done all the less important bits like my CV, the budget, the titles and abstracts (yes two...a scientific one and a lay one) and can't bring myself to write the damn thing! Hopefully I'll be inspired soon....and it better be very soon! I also have to prepare a poster for the conference I'm going to on the 12th of September. Again, I've played with the background, the font, the title...oh boy can I be less interested in doing it?
Ah well.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

18 weeks and Weekend Update

Thanks to all of you for your support on my last post. I was sooo stressed out about it but it turned out to be better than I thought. Mike looked after him completely and I just stayed in the office reading bogs and surfing the net! He was very respectful this time, and kept the noise to a minimum when he got back. We kept the cats in our bedroom for the night and I was more relaxed. I even decided I could use the time to iron the giant mountain of clothes that had accumulated. Delighted now to have the house back to myself!
On Friday and on Saturday we went out for dinner with two different sets of friends and when we told them our news (and a brief background on how we got to this point) they were all delighted for us, we had a great time which contributed to my weight gain though...

And this brings me to the fact that I'm 18 weeks today! Can you believe it? And I am!
Everything is good, the only issue I keep having is sleeping which is still a bit all over the place. I have to get up once for a pee and even though I'm trying my best, I do wake up almost completely and feel ready to start the 2.45 am! The fluid retention is now localised to my hands and my ankles which unfortunately meant that on Friday I just had to remove my rings...ah well, for Elvis it's all worth it! The weight gain is on a steady rise and it's going 80% on my boobs which are now huge, itchy and with unavoidable stretch marks despite the generous oiling I go through twice a day. Again I'm so happy I'll take all the stretch marks that come my way with a smile on my face. Movements are a bit more convincing (still no more than a weird sensation though) but strangely I feel them more when I am in a seated position rather than lying down, I think it may be due to the fact that my placenta is on the anterior wall and quite high. We also listened to the heart beat which is now stronger (I can basically pick it up straight away) and the rate is a bit slower generally between 140 and 155 which it's the way it should be as the brain takes control of rhythm.
For your joy I'm going to post a belly picture galore of the last four weeks as I understand today I'm officially entering the 5th month of pregnancy!

Friday, August 20, 2010

So annoyed...

Breathing to stay calm isn't really helping. I'm in a very bad mood and although I think I may be a bit hormonal, I generally do work really hard to keep acting normal...

Here's what happened. Yesterday Mike sent me an email asking me if we could host a friend of his on Saturday night. This guy is coming to Dublin from quite far away for a night out with a group of friends or ex co-workers I'm not sure. Basically he needs a place to crash for the night before driving back home.
I'm generally extremely happy to have people over, but not this guy. First of all he smokes and I can't stand the smell of smoke at all (this was always the case but now is magnified a million times). Of course he won't smoke in the house, but the clothes bother me all the same. Second, when he's drunk (as he will be) he's out of control and I can't stand him (note that he's a very pleasant guy otherwise). Third, the last time he stayed over after a night out he stepped on the futon mattress with dirty shoes and didn't bother cleaning it even when he was sober the day after. I mean he's no teenager, he should know better. Finally we have the cats and I am not sure when he'll be coming home in the middle of the night if he can at least make sure they aren't running out the house terrified...
Anyway, I replied immediately saying that we were out for dinner so not really easy to arrange for keys. Mike said he would tell him so and see. I replied back saying that actually the idea of having this guy drunk in the house was not appealing at all. I never heard any more on the matter until Mike informed me that they arranged for the keys and he'll be staying over.
Oh ok then...I'm glad my opinion matters...

I am so distressed about this, I didn't sleep at all last night and I'm on the verge of tears constantly... If I could spend the weekend somewhere else I would. The thought of having to get up on Sunday to a stinky house is revolting and at what time will he leave? Do we have to entertain him? Can't face it, just can't.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Another peek at Elvis!

The OB appointment this morning went very well! He reassured me on all my fears and questions, he said we will definitely check my cervix at the 20 week scan but that there is nothing to indicate any risk. He reassured me also on the possibility of infections which are much rarer than I thought and mostly are not through vaginal microbes but potential blood infections. Right so!

Let's have a look at Elvis! Dr. L has gotten a new scanning machine, much much more high tech and we were very pleased with the improvement. This time Elvis was immediately visible and so so much bigger! He was sleeping at first but then stretched out a bit, nodded and moved the legs! I could see very well the placenta and the umbilical cord. Dr. L. pointed out to us the spine, the head and the heart beat which looked great. He didn't take any measurements and in a way I'm happy not to be worried if he was a bit smaller or too big or whatever, I trust that if the doctor thought there was something out of the ordinary he would have certainly said so. He just said to keep doing whatever I'm doing because everything looks exactly as it should. No pictures though!! Ah well, next scan is the big one and only 3 weeks away, I am sure we'll get plenty at that point.
My blood results were all perfect, I mentioned to him that I had mild hypothyroidism a few years ago but only kept it in check, never took medication for it. My last blood test for it was in the summer of 2008 and the values were within range even though not perfect. He said no harm in checking it again. So I'll probably do it the day of the morphological scan given that it's in the same place.
He didn't weigh me! So no questions asked about weight gain!
He gave me the green light to travel in September with nothing special to do whatsoever, he said it's perfectly safe.
So that's it, I don't think I've forgotten anything, we are so so happy things are progressing nicely and I definitely think I'm starting to feel movements! Woohoo!!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Patches results and more on the Project

We just got a call from the Ultimate Vet Hero and Patches suffers of SEVERE hypothyroidism!! We understood that normal values would be between 10 and 40, where 10 is already quite borderline of course and little Patches has 3!!! the Vet was so happy she found what was wrong and so are we. We really hope that the cure will kick in soon, the dose we had him on since last week is way too low, poor kitten! No wonder he's always cold and sleepy! Now he has this other symptom which he developed in the last week or so; when he eats, any time he swallows, he gags too. Nothing comes out, it's as if he's something stuck in his throat, but that would also be very strange. Another mystery illness I think. The Dude on the other hand is doing really well, getting more and more similar to a dog in his behaviour, so cute! Thanks for all your good wishes and for remembering the Dude too!

I wanted to update also on the Ectopic Pregnancy Ireland Project. After a series of emails which escalated to quite strong tones, it calmed down and we agreed to disagree. We also blamed a bit of the misunderstanding on emails which are subjected to interpretation of course, so I'm still on board and very happy to contribute to it. We'll try to have more frequent meetings where things can be said face to face and clarified immediately rather than creating anxiety for all of us involved. I'll have a dedicated page on the project once we have a few more items together.
Thanks as always for your support!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Seventeen and counting!

Elvis today becomes an onion! Yes, the ticker was giving this from yesterday, just can figure out how to tune it, ah well.

So I gained another kilo this week, that makes it +7.5! Ahh what can I do, the OB may say something to me about it on wednesday...
Again I feel well, with a bit of stretching and exercise and the magic pillow between the legs, my back ache is minimal! I have new interesting things appearing every now and again though, such as a blocked right ear and stuffy nose, plus a touch of heart-burn occasionally. And feeling blessed for all of it. I also had to buy new bras. I had bought a good few when I realised my standard bras didn't fit me anymore, spending a small fortune may I add, without realising that that was only the first step up! You fooled me once....

Now I am more convinced that sometimes the belly-bubbles are not in fact bubbles but Elvis! Still very very minimal though, we can hear more movements with the doppler.

No news yet on Patches blood results, hopefully monday, but he is well so hopefully the treatment is the right one.

And there has been some drama in the last couple of days between me and the girls on the Ectopic Pregnancy Ireland project. I basically disagree with most of the decisions made which in my eyes are just causing a major delay in getting the website up and running, an online forum working, and leaflets out to the public. I'm thinking of stepping down, I'm sure I can give my time to other charities where I feel more in line with the way of thinking. Real pity to be honest, but sure you cannot get on with everyone I suppose.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Patches saga and Attic update

It's a while I hadn't posted about Patches. The little cat is still very small, in fact we think he'll be an eternal kitten! But since he's on the new meds (antiviral and small dose of steroids) he's been doing very well. Until last week. It became obvious to us that the poor thing was trying to use the toilet, straining a lot and nothing would come out. He peed normally so at least we know it wasn't a UTI but more a constipation issue. We contacted the Ultimate Vet Hero and she said to bring him in as he was probably in discomfort. She adores Patches and is so so good with him. The verdict was that yes he was VERY constipated and needed an enema. When I went picking him up in the afternoon the little cat was exhausted but empty! Within a couple of days he was back to his old self but then on Monday night he refused his food and his belly seemed tender to the touch. After a few texts with the Ultimate Vet Hero (she's that good) she said that she searched on her Vet website for more info and thought that another possibility is that Patches may suffer of congenital hypothyroidism! All symptoms fit: halted growth, slow appearing teeth (he only has 6!) lethargy (he sleeps most of the time hence "LazyPatches!") and little appetite. Anyway, after a good night sleep he seemed better and used the toilet (I gave him lactulose) but we still went in for a blood test to check the latest theory. We should have the results by the end of the week and we are so so hopeful that this may be the problem! He definitely had also this herpes virus because since he's on the antiviral his breathing has been great all the time. If the blood work comes back positive for hypothyroidism we will be able to eliminate the steroids and give him the proper meds! Hang in there Patches, lots of people are looking into your case!

And yesterday we had the structural engineer coming over to take measurements and tell us how much steel we need to support the floor of the new room in the attic (we need to reinforce the current structure both for the floor and the roof). The Architect was also there and they worked very well. The plan is now for the engineer to do up his drawings, give them to the architect so that he can finalise the document which will be used for tendering the work! We are very excited! He's confident that overall it shouldn't take more than 4-6 weeks, to us seems a bit quick, but hopefully he's right! We have also found a place to move out to when the works will be ongoing, probably there is no need to move out but I'm sure we won't regret it! The place is in the same estate, it's a one-bed apt on the top floor of a block with a fantastic view of Dublin as well as the mountains! We love it!

And finally I have contacted a yoga teacher specialised in pre-natal yoga! I'll start in September!! Wohoohoo!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

And sixteen!

Thank you all so much for the sleeping advices! The pillow behind the back really helped a lot and I slept better. I'm going to check out the body pillow too it seems fantastic! I'll also check out magnesium supplements, my prenatal only contains the equivalent of 17% RDA, so maybe I'm a bit low?

Today marks 16 weeks and I'm so happy to report that for the first time I have NOT put on weight since last Sunday! It's as if I'm less swollen which is great so maybe I've started losing a bit of those retained fluids finally! The belly is shaping up nicely, I will post some pics when I gathered a few more together. Apparently Elvis is the size of an avocado!

One thing I always forgot to say is about baby movements. I don't think I feel them yet even though at times I have the impression I do (like a very light tapping mostly happening in the evening and if I have something pressing on my belly, like...Patches!) but I have to say the doppler has almost cancelled all my anxieties. I still look forward to my next appointment and this time I have a series of questions ready for the doctor:

1) Weight gain (am I in line with what he was expecting?)
2) Being short of breath (not always but if I walk fast or go up a flight of stairs definitely so)
3) My blood tests results
4) Possibility of an incompetent cervix and can I be checked (and the anxiety that the awareness of this condition creates for me)
5) Vaginal discharge. It has increased and I have read it's very normal, but at the same time could it be a mild yeast infection?
6) Back pain and mild abdominal cramping (I think it's all normal but rather have him say so)
7) Discuss my first trimester screening results
8) I need a certificate to apply for a maternity leave

Anything else I have forgotten?

Mike is gone to see his hurling team playing in the semifinal, they are given as strong favourite and this apparently puts them under a great deal of pressure! I'm staying at home watching the same match from the comfort of my couch with Patches and the Dude...

Friday, August 6, 2010

Sleeping troubles

First of all welcome to my most recent followers! I look forward to check out your blogs too!

Next, the doppler is giving us a lot of joy, a part from last night when I could not find the heartbeat at all and kept hearing my own! Eventually we put on a bit more gel, moved the doppler more central and a bit higher up and cloppetecloppetecloppete there it was! I think the first time I used it at the weekend I was probably listening to the umbilical cord blood-flow which had the same rhythm but missed the "tump" sound. Still beating at 160bpm!
Yesterday I had quite a lot of pain in my belly, couldn't tell if it was bowel though and got a bit frightened...but was bowel! I must have eaten something wrong in the canteen....what a surprise... Anyway, my next appointment cannot come soon enough, I'm counting the days.

I have not been sleeping well lately, my back is sore and even if I'm trying to sleep on my left side I seem to wake up on my back. And so I toss and turn. Every book does recommend not to sleep on your back as you enter the second trimester because the growing uterus will press on your blood vessels but I think it may be pressing on my spine...I tried putting a pillow in between the legs but I found it more of a hindrance than help. Any suggestion appreciated! meanwhile the peeing is definitely easing off, I still go once a night but much less during the day.

This morning we stopped by the clinic with chocolate for everyone there and a small special gift for the Favourite Doctor. They were all so so happy to see us (maybe it was the chocolate!) and the Favourite Doctor brought us in an office for a proper chat. She was so lovely as usual, you know she has two children! I never knew. Strangely I feel so safe when I'm there. I suppose it is the familiar feeling, I know everyone so well they are like friends. One of the nurses from the theatre even came up to say hello and give me a hug! Also coincidentally while we were saying our goodbyes we learnt that it was going to be the last day of the nurse who gave us the very first round of blood tests in 2008! She is going to a different fertility clinic closer to where she's from (only a few miles from Mike's home-town! The World is small, but Ireland...God, it's like a big village!).

Sunday, August 1, 2010

15 weeks and new addiction

Today I'm 15 weeks. I feel very well, much more energy (although after the two days conference I needed a lot of rest!!) and no headaches for a good 10 days now. I still feel I'm putting on too much weight, from the beginning of the pregnancy I think I'm up 6.5 kg (like I'm putting on something every week without exception). I really look forward to seeing the OB and see what he thinks.

In this last week I definitely didn't eat a lot, but didn't seem to have made a difference. I wonder if I'm retaining fluids (my hands feel a bit swollen but my feet and ankles are not).

Having heard the heartbeat has calmed me down a lot. Really. I'm still concerned about the cervix of course but reading a bit more about it, it seems to be a quite rare condition (between 0.14 to 0.44% depending on age with 0.44% based on 50 years old women) so I want to try and relax a bit about it until I speak to the OB in any case. I've started my meditations again in which I visualise my cervix very strong and tight!

So little Elvis, as you can see from the ticker (which is still acting strangely, it said I was 15 weeks yesterday! I wonder which time-zone it's set on!) is the size of an orange!
Grow Elvis grow!

And my new addiction is "Private Practice"...not as good as Grey's in my opinion but still a great distraction from the irrational fears!