Monday, June 30, 2008

Week 8 - A little scare

It is week 8! And what a difference a week makes. Early last week, I couldn't imagine how I'd get through the day. But then mid-week, my morning sickness improved improved to where I almost feel normal sometimes. I was mostly grateful, but this morning, some other things weren't quite right, so I called my fabulous nurse Bree, and she said come in.

I just had an unscheduled ultrasound. Luckily everything is fine. Heartbeat is 169 (118 last time), and the length is what it would be at 8 weeks 5 days (I’m only 8 weeks, 2 days). So all is good. Here's the picture of the muffin (as if you can't tell, the head is on the right, body to the left, and arrow pointing to the heart in the middle; s/he is just starting to get arms and legs):

I didn’t tell poeple I was going, because I knew I wasn’t prepared for a bad outcome, and I knew I’d need time to process, etc. But it was great news, and s/he even squirmed a little for me. So cute!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Week 7 - The start of the belly

Every Saturday marks another week. This week is week 7, and my belly looks like it did when I was 20 lbs heavier! I’m only 7 weeks! They confirmed I’m not having twins. Could it be triplets? Good grief!

You know how they say you need 300 extra calories per day? I think I get all mine in the middle of the night. Since Mexico, I have been up for two hours every single night. I've watched LOTS of bad TV and Sex in the City. Last night, I lay in bed thinking it would be perfectly reasonable to get up and make mac and cheese. But showing restraint, I waited till 7 am.

I started getting morning sick on Sunday. I’m learning survival techniques. Slow movements in the morning, gingersnaps in bed, lots of food early in the day, preggie pops, etc.
I have a prescription for anti-nausea drug, but I’m going to hold off as long as I can.

The heartbeat!

On June 18th, I was in bad shape. I had been so sick with a virus I no doubt caught in Mexico. I still didn’t have my lab results back saying what was wrong with me. Melinda came over. She sat with me while I cried (literally into a beach towel - it was what you might call a low moment).

Melinda gave me something called the miraculous medal, something from a Catholic church in France where Mary appeared. Less than 10 minutes later, my nurse called and said they wanted to work me in today. Melinda was in the background saying, I TOLD YOU! It was awesome.

I called Kirk and said please come home immediately. He cancelled his appointments before realizing he’d taken the shuttle and didn’t have a car. His boss Kim drove him all the way to Austin so he could make the appointment. I called mom and asked her to call Tracy and Craig and please all be praying for the little muffin at 2:30. I don’t know if I’ve ever felt such desperation.

The significance of this appointment was undeniable. It was literally “do or die” for the little guy.

And thankfully, we saw a heartbeat. Here it is on the ultrasound. The arrow points to the heart. It looked like a tiny area of "static," like on an old TV. But still more exciting than I can put into words.

It was a little slow, 118, where they like 120-160, but it was there. I made a conscious decision not to worry about the low heart rate. I didn’t think I had tears left, but as it turns out, I did. It was “the most dramatic ultrasound ever.”

The highlight is when Dr. A said she’d see me in a month. Clearly it was all up to the muffin now.

The best reaction ever

Another super fun group to tell was the Kathy Katz’s and the Lisa Katz’s. We were having a dinner party, our last birthday celebration. Here are the girls, although we let the husbands come too:

Melinda knew the secret, of course, and I thought she’d love a piece of the action telling. She was so nervous before we told that she was texting me while she was right next to me!!!

Melinda got Kirk a teddy bear that said “#1 Dad.” Kirk opened it and held it out for everyone to see. Everybody just sat there shocked, not getting it AT ALL for what seemed like a half an hour.

FINALLY, I am so grateful that Melinda had her camera on as Lisa gave what will go down as my favorite reaction of ALL time:

Telling the Wescotts

The lack of heartbeat effectively stalled my plans of a big announcement at our family reunion – I just couldn’t do it. However, I did tell my immediate family.

I got everybody together in our room the first night to open gifts. Craig had gotten us all these hysterical hillbilly teeth, so we took a family photo. I pulled the same trick as with Kirk, where I backed up the camera and actually showed Tracy the pregnacy test, instead of the photo we had just taken.

It kind of backfired, because Tracy was already crying when she saw it, so I finally just had to spill the beans. But it was super fun - hugs and tears all around. Here's the picture seconds before I told the family:
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The first to know

The first people I told were Jenn and Melinda.
I told Jenn on the phone, and it was just great. We had had a chat on the beach about maybe trying for kids, and she had been shocked, since we hadn’t talked about it in ages. Little did I know that I was pregnant at that moment!

Melinda came over to bring me some chicken broth (I was sick with the Mexico thing), and I told her in person by showing her a picture of the pregnancy test. I felt terrible physically, but it was just the most fun to tell Melinda. She has called me almost daily since, and I literally don’t know what I would have done without her (and Kirk, of course; he's been unbelievable).

I also told people at work. In case something went wrong, I knew I’d need their flexibility and support. I told the guys on the phone and Jessica and Arden at Firebowl. I was talking about my cousins all having 2.2 kids, and then I said Kirk and I would be upping the average. I’ll never forget Arden and then Jessica looking up with these big smiles. It was super fun.

We told Kirk’s parents at breakfast that weekend. I was so sick, and I think Kirk was nervous, because he waited until we were all finished! They were so excited and put in their order right away for a little girl. It was awesome!

Our first doctor’s appointment

The best thing about being high risk is that you get to see the doctor immediately. Since I have two cards stacked against me – my “advanced maternal age” and prior miscarriage – I was a shoe-in. I was booked for the date when I’d be 5.5 weeks pregnant. Aside from all the poking and prodding, I had an ultrasound, and we didn’t see a heartbeat. I’d have to come back.

In the meanwhile, I got blood work done. I was first told my progesterone was at 23, a “perfect” number. But my excitement was dashed later that day when they said my HCG numbers were abnormally low. I’d just have to wait for the ultrasound on the 23rd.

Telling Kirk

Kirk came back, and I suggested lunch. The second we sat down, I asked the waitress to take our picture. I quickly took the camera and flipped the display back to the photo I’d taken of the pregnancy test and handed it over to Kirk. It was a very quiet lunch. He was smiling but totally in shock. The picture to the left was taken the moment before Kirk found out he'd be a daddy.

Upon our return to Austin, we took what we lovingly call the “dumbass pregnancy test,” the one that says “pregnant/not pregnant,” and it was confirmed. I finally opened the books and card that Jenn had sent me so long ago. I was scared, realizing there were only two ways out of the “situation.” I’d already been through a miscarriage, and I knew I could survive that. And I had absolute faith that we would love being parents. So all in all, it was a very exciting day.

I want to try to remember the funny things, so I'll share Kirk's one and only insensitive comment throughout. I had eaten little on Monday, and I was famished. I was only beginning to learn the hunger that comes with pregnancy. As I stood at the refrigerator trying to explain how intensely hungry I was, Kirk looked at me and said, you know you don't always have to eat when you're hungry. Let's just say it didn't go over well. :)

One more gift

The day after everyone left and the day after I turned 40, I was so sad sitting on the beach. I listened to Josh’s song Ocean and cried behind my sunglasses. I would pick up my phone periodically to check the time, and something made me check the calendar. I checked my cycle and found that I was one day late.

I’m never late.

I went to Starbucks for a quick latte and then headed to the pharmacia “just for fun.” The test was behind the counter with a non-English speaking person, so I had to give that international sign for pregnant (making a “baby bump” with my hand.

I took the test, and it was undeniably positive. I literally couldn’t believe my eyes. I have told so many friends there is no such thing as a false positive, but I looked at it in every kind of light, at every angle, etc. I was tingly and in disbelief.

My 40th

My 40th birthday is something I’ll never forget. Early in the year, I did a little soul searching and figured out that I really wanted to mark the occasion of my 40th birthday by sitting on a beach in Mexico. We found cheap tickets and asked our friends Todd and Steven to go. After a little research, we found a great hotel in Playa called Hotel Tortuga, and we booked it.

Meanwhile, we went to Scott and David’s civil ceremony in Puerta Vallarta, and we had such a good time that we mentioned it to people there. Scott, David and Kevin booked on the spot. Karyn B. said she was coming too.

So I decided to email a few more people to tell them about the trip and see if they wanted to go. I also emailed a musician I love, Josh Komorowski, and asked if he would come. He said yes.
In the end, 19 people went, and it was just about the most memorable, magical experience of my life (rivaling my wedding). Here's a photo of the people who went.