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How I Knew I was Pregnant Before the Test January 16, 2010

Posted by Tori in Pregnancy.
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When we had our accident, I initially didn’t think much of it. Until the next morning when I realized I was ovulating. The timing would have been perfect if we had been trying. Since my second pregnancy, I’ve had really strong pain whenever I ovulate, so while I may not know when my last period was, I know when I ovulate because I’m miserable for two or three days. This time I only hurt for about half a day, so I immediately suspected something was up.

Within a few days, my suspicion grew. My love for coffee is well known to friends and family. A few days after the accident, I could no longer tolerate usual amount of morning coffee. My stomach did an acidic churn after my second cup. I couldn’t drink anymore.

Then my pit started hanging all over me. I could even go to the bathroom without him trying to climb into my lap while I peed. At this point, I’m getting pretty suspicious, but I didn’t want to say anything to my husband until I knew something for sure, so I’m keeping it all to myself besides vague comments to one of my online communities.

As I’m waiting for enough time to pass to have an accurate pregnancy test, I notice that I’m already getting gassy and my pants feel uncomfortable in certain spots. By now, I’m positive that I’m pregnant, but it’s still too early to get a positive test, so I’m anxiously awaiting for enough time to pass. Yet I still bought tests and took them, hoping to get a really early positive.

Finally, I got a positive test on Christmas Eve. I kept it to myself all day. At 4:30 Christmas morning when our eldest got up to open presents, I took another test and handed it to my husband with a Merry Christmas. He took it well considering that he wanted to be done with two kids and this was not planned at all.

I ended up spilling the beans to our families over Christmas because I can’t keep this kind of secret.

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Coffee and Pregnancy December 18, 2008

Posted by Tori in Coffee, Moms, Pregnancy.
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This blog is obviously titled for a mom that has a serious need for coffee. And I do, trust me. I’ve also had several search hits on coffee in the third trimester, coffee in the second trimester,  and coffee and pregnancy. I thought I might do a post on some of the recent research on coffee consumption during pregnancy.

Let me just say that my caffeine addiction is such that there was no way I was giving up all my coffee. In both of my pregnancies, I cut down on the amount of caffeine I consumed and in my most recent pregnancy, I couldn’t drink more than a couple of small cups, even the decaff stuff, because my stomach did not like the acid.

While I was pregnant, a couple of new studies came out regarding caffeine consumption. The first study linked caffeine consumption to miscarriage. In this study there the conclusion that 200mg or more of caffeine a day raises the risk of miscarriage.  But there is a dissenting voice in this article that says the evidence just isn’t there. A second study links caffeine consumption to fetal growth restriction. This article shows that those who consume more than 200mg of caffeine daily had an increased risk for fetal growth restriction.

Reading both articles, I find the results only semi-conclusive. However, for pregnancy, I follow the moderation method of things. I still consumed my daily coffee, only in lesser amounts. I given birth to two healthy girls, 7lbs 3oz and 7lbs 11oz, respectively. So, the biggest factor is to look at the research, and decide what method works best for you. I knew I couldn’t survive the caffeine withdrawal headaches, so I just reduced my consumption and made my own half-caf blend of my favorite coffee.

Welcome Baby – A Labor and Delivery Story December 15, 2008

Posted by Tori in Childbirth, Introductions, Pregnancy.
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We welcomed our beautiful daughter into the world on Monday, December 8, 2008. Cadence Laurelei arrived at 12:17 PM after about six hours of labor at 7 lbs 11 ounces and 21 inches. This was a very wonderful birthing experience, which was beyond what I was expecting.

At my 39 week appointment, my blood pressure was up and my urine was showing a little protein, both signs of pre-eclampsia. My doctor decided to give me a couple of days to go into labor on my own, but scheduled me for another appointment on Friday to check my numbers again. She knew that I really preferred to go on my own if possible and my symptoms weren’t serious yet. On Friday, there was no protein in my urine and while my blood pressure was up a little, it was still in the normal range. The doctor told me that there was no need to rush for an induction, but after some discussion we decided that the following Monday was a good day to be induced provided I didn’t go on my own over the weekend.

I kept expecting to go into labor any minute, but on Sunday night, I realized it was not going to happen on its own. Mind you that I’m afraid of induction because I’m terrified of having to have a c-section, so I was pretty nervous. We took our older daughter over to my parents’ house to spend the night, finished packing our bags, and tried to get some sleep. The alarm went off at 2 AM and the day started entirely too early. Per my doctor’s instructions, I forced myself to have some breakfast and we left the house around 4 AM to arrive at the hospital by 5 AM.

Once we arrived, we were given a room and the nurse came in to start paperwork and IVs. In a funny little twist, the nurse I had upon arrival was the same nurse I had the night after I delivered Piper. When I had Piper, she was on her first night back from maternity leave after having a little girl that she named Piper. As we got talking, the whole thing spilled out. She even remembered what room I was in and said she still tells the story to this. After a little difficulty finding a vein, she got my IV going and a little after six, my pitocin started.

I started getting some regular cramps, but I wasn’t too uncomfortable. They upped my pitocin every half hour, but I wasn’t feeling anything that was worse than what I’d felt in the last few weeks of pregnancy. I was nervous about the pitocin, too. It seemed that everyone I knew thought pitocin was much more horrible than natural labor. Shift changed occurred and I got another really nice nurse.

My doctor came in around eight to check me and break my water. It took her two tries because  it seems my bag was tough. After that, my contractions began to get increasingly painful. I didn’t really watch the clock, but I think sometime between nine and ten I requested my epidural. I could make it through the contractions if nobody besides the husband was in the room because he was quiet and I could go into a focused, quiet place during each contraction. When the nurse or the doctor happened to be in there, it was hard for me to reach that place, and I desired to be comfortable.

The epidural wasn’t like the completely numbing one I had the first labor. I could freely move my legs and feel the pressure from the contractions but none of the pain. My torso was pretty numb, but that was the only place I couldn’t feel very well. I commented on this to the nurse and she said it was a different drug that focused more on the sensory and less on the motor. Much better, really.

Baby Cadence decided to be difficult and not sit in one place for monitoring, so the nurse hooked up an internal monitor. My doctor was in and out for the next couple of hours, which was a new experience as well. Last birth, that doctor didn’t show up until the nurse called him to look into something. The nurse had positioned me on my right side for awhile and I was resting comfortably. She came in at some point to turn me to my left side, but Cadence did not like that position and started having decelerations. The nurse turned me back to my right side and gave me oxygen. I focused on taking deep, slow breaths and see how much pressure I was feeling and where I felt it at.

Just before the nurse came in to check me again, I started feeling very low pressure at each contraction. The nurse checked me and decided to start setting things up for me to push. As she was looking at the fetal heart monitor strip, the doctor came in to see if it was a good idea to take lunch. Cadence had been having several decelerations, so they wanted me start pushing right away. My doctor kept saying that we were almost there and she really didn’t want to take me back for a section if she didn’t have to. She did a physical check and determined that the baby was not far enough down to use the vacuum, and she started stimulating the baby’s head because she said some babies like that and respond really well to it.

So there I am pushing at each contraction and my doctor stimulating her head between contractions. The only bad thing was that one of the few places the epidural left me completely numb was a place that left me completely unable to tell if I am pushing the right way or productively. My husband, the nurse and the doctor are coaching me through each contraction because while I am trying to push properly, I have no idea if I really am or not. Finally, with my feet  sitting on the flat part of some stirrups while still trying to be mostly on my right side, I figure out that if I put a little bit of pressure in the stirrups with my heels, I can push effectively. Cadence makes her entrance a few minutes later, her arm up by her head as she comes out.

I couldn’t tell you how long I pushed for because the need to get her out became urgent, but I’m thinking it was 20-25 minutes tops. After I delivered, Cadence and I were doing fine. She nursed very well right after delivery and I surprisingly didn’t even feel very sore or anything. We left the hospital 48 hours later and have been doing pretty darn good ever since. She’s an aggressive nurser and I feel pretty good.

My husband was right though. I’ve been trying to do too much too fast and I finally realized that last night into this morning. Taking it easy has been the plan for today and probably tomorrow as well. Right now big sister Piper is holding baby Cadence on the couch and they both look really comfortable. Piper’s been trying really hard to take this change well, but I know it’s hard for her. In a week, she seems to be adjusting well. We’ll get it all figured out.

The newest addition to the family

The newest addition to the family

Home Stretch – Starting the Third Trimester September 27, 2008

Posted by Tori in Illness, Pregnancy.
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Well, I’m 30 weeks now, which means I will be finishing up this pregnancy and welcoming a new little one to the family soon. This pregnancy has had a lot of ups and downs. It’s been the complete opposite of first pregnancy, which was one of those textbook type pregnancies. This one has been full of issues and it seems one thing after another.

Lately I’ve been battling a UTI that won’t go away. I mentioned some symptoms at my doctor’s appointment, and she then gave me a prescription for some medicine to stop my cramping/contracting and an antibiotic because my urine sample showed a very high level of white blood cells, indicating the UTI. Last Monday I finished the last pill, felt better for a couple of days, then starting feeling worse. I was getting clusters of cramps that were pretty intense. My doctor wanted me to go to L&D observation to be evaluated, and they discovered that I still had my UTI, so I received another round of antibiotic to complete. It’s a different drug, and it seems to be helping. I feel better, even if I didn’t realize that I felt that bad.

In related news, my daughter is also suffering her first UTI. It’s kind of odd that we both got one at the same time, but she’s taking medicine as well, so we both should be all better soon.

I feel like I haven’t prepared near enough, though I have unpacked several boxes of stuff, washed them and put them away for the little one. I’ve purchased some of the things I need in my suitcase (mostly travel-sized toiletries), have gotten the suitcase out, and I’m ready to start slowly packing things in there. I feel paranoid that I’m going to go early, and I’m already nesting. I’ve been cleaning house, and I really need to declutter more.

There are lots of ideas floating around in my head for this blog, but I seem to not do them. Something to work on, I guess.

Second Trimester Adventures July 24, 2008

Posted by Tori in Pregnancy.
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So, the first trimester went fairly well. I had some hip pain trouble, but no real morning sickness so to speak. I learned I should avoid certain things such as BBQ sauce and bell peppers. But the real fun didn’t start until about the 9th of this month.

I woke up for work and couldn’t move. I couldn’t roll over or get myself out of bed. Doing so was some of the worst pain I ever felt in my life. It was in my hips, a problem that I had last pregnancy but not at this intensity. My husband had to help move me. Knowing that I couldn’t do certain crucial things by myself, my mother, who watches my daughter during the week, picked the two of us and took us to her house.

A call to the OB/GYN resulted in a recommendation to get in to see my general practitioner. Luckily, I was able to get in that afternoon, and he told me that it was hip joint pain and that there wasn’t too much to do about it besides take the acetaminophen with codeine he prescribed for the worst of the pain. So I rested for the next several days, getting help to move around, get dressed and use the restroom.

Monday arrived and I was still having serious trouble moving around. At this point, I’d probably sat in the recliner or on the loveseat to sleep for almost a week now. I called my OB/GYN to followup with the second recommendation to see an orthopedist. The office made the appointment for Tuesday, the same day as my mid-pregnancy ultrasound and regular checkup. All the running around caused extreme pain. You can only do so much on crutches, and getting up and down from a wheelchair just scared me. Nothing prepared me for the pain from getting up off the exam table after the ultrasound. It was some of the worst in my life.

The orthopedist also diagnosed hip joint pain and recommended physical therapy in addition to a few helpful instructions such as no bent lifting. I made it into physical therapy the next day where I was informed that there wasn’t much they could do for me. The ultimate solution to the problem is to not be pregnant, but the nice lady gave me some at-home exercises to work on. She also ordered me a maternity corset, which is an extra wide maternity belt.

The belt has helped some, but on Tuesday, I started feeling much, much better. I’ve been able to sleep at a slight incline on the couch with my legs stretched out, something close to heaven. So I am moving towards movement again, possibly to return to work on Monday. I can move around by myself some, and I am moving towards not using crutches at all.

I’ve probably toned down some of the more painful aspects of it, but I’m pretty sure I’ve met my pain quota for this pregnancy. I’m just glad to be on the other side of this mountain.

Good News, Sad News & Decisions Going Forward February 9, 2008

Posted by Tori in Moms, Pregnancy.
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On Thursday, January 31, my daughter turned two. It’s an amazing place to be. She’s so grown up. I’ve also been thinking for awhile that I’m ready to try for number two. So my happiness was great when I did not get my period last week. I took a test on Wednesday and it was negative. I tested again on Thursday and it was faintly positive. It being so early, I went out and bought another test on Friday and took it that night. Another positive.

We had Piper’s birthday party on Saturday, and because I’m not so good with that kind of secret, we told our families and close friends. I’d had light spotting, but that isn’t all that uncommon for early pregnancy.

Monday night, before I left work, I noticed heavy spotting. It stopped by the time I got home, and while there was some cramping, I felt okay and thought I would be fine after a night’s rest. When I woke up on Tuesday, I knew something wasn’t right. I attempted to go into work because it was THE busy day of the month, but my boss sent me home after I told her what was going on. So I made an appointment with my doctor’s office.

At the doctor, I received an ultrasound and blood work. The ultrasound showed nothing, which was expected because I was less than five weeks along. I stayed home the following day as well because I did not feel well and the doctor’s nurse had indicated that I might need to come back in for more blood work. When the doctor’s office called, I missed it. When I called back, I got the message the nurse had left, which was that my hcg level was zero and that I must have had a false positive on my test.

I was shocked, and I explained to the phone nurse that I’d purchased tests at two different times and that the results both showed positive, and that I found it highly unlikely that I would get two false positives. So she said she would have my doctor (or her nurse) call me back. When I received that call, I explained what I knew to my doctor’s nurse. She told me that my doctor had never seen a zero level that quickly after a miscarriage. She also agreed that it did seem very statistically unlikely to have tests purchased at two different times show positive. So it seemed a wash that the truth would ever be known.

Since then, I’ve done some research on my own, and I’ve developed a theory. I believe that I had a chemical pregnancy, and that while my levels were high to be seen on my home pregnancy test, they were mostly likely dropping by the time I took the second test, which gives my already low level four days to drop to zero before the doctor’s test. Plus, I know that my hormones do weird things in my body. I ovulated two weeks after I had Piper, regardless of the fact that I was pumping 4+ ounces every three hours. The hormones from breastfeeding are supposed to suppress the period, but that didn’t work so well for me.

Regardless, the hope and the pain are in the past now, and though my husband says we weren’t officially trying (A big WHATEVER, that I will address a different day), we’ve decided that we want to now. We were both really excited and happy by the news, and while I knew exactly how much I wanted another child, I think this helped him realize how much he wanted another child.

So onward and upward! We officially trying to have another child.