Thursday, April 24, 2008

Finding Fame in the Strawberry Patch

The boys had their field trip to Washington Farms today. First, the kids marched around the petting zoo. There were baby cows, goats, bunnies, even a pig. Mrs. Washington taught the kids about how the 100,000 strawberry plants are planted, how they rent bees for pollenation, and how to pick the berries. During this portion, Addison of course had a lot to add. The UGA cable channel news program was there filming the strawberry farm and took notice in my Addison. They asked me if they could fit him with a wire during his strawberry-picking! He donned the mike, clipped the battery pack to his pocket, and went out to pick berries. After he filled his container, they briefly interviewed the three of us about coming out to the farm, the strawberries that we planted at home, and our preferrence for organic fruits, veggies, and meat.

You can check out the video and see the adorable little kids, but keep in mind that my pregnant self was feeling less than fabulous (and pretty queezy) at 9:45 this morning chasing a bunch of kids!! I've definitely looked better!

Click here: It may be under Thursday's archive.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Visiting Gram and Grandpa

We went by and visited Gram and Grandpa today. After dinner, the boys wanted to go fishing. So, Gram and Mom helped fix up a cane pole and I found a dozen worms (in record time). We all headed down to the lake. The fish weren't biting at all, but it was fun anyway!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

So this is what a routine OB appointment's like?

I had a OB appointment with one of the doctors that I haven't met. She joined the practice since my pregnancy with the boys. First of all, let me remind you that the last time I did all this, I was released from my RE (reproductive endocrinologist; AKA infertility doc) to the OBGYN at about 12 weeks... I had maybe two OBGYN appointments, a maternal/fetal scan, and then I was in the hospital in labor for a quarter of a year. I don't really know how these OB appointments usually work, heck, I don't even know how the maternal/fetal appointments are supposed to work. I saw a different doctor from my practice every morning that I was in the High Risk Unit, and Maternal/Fetal Specialists came every so often with their portable ultrasound machines and their pessimism.

I am getting to see what normal people visits are like. Sure, I'm a high risk patient. But, there was nothing special about today's appointment. They weighed me, listened to the baby's heartbeat on the doppler, found the top of my uterus and measured my fundal height, and asked me if I was having any problems. Ta da. I'm out the door. Can that really be right? I mean, what is the point exactly? With a doppler and a tape measure at home, I could have handled that one over the phone! I did ask about keeping me on my metformin, which the doc said was fine. The maternal/fetal guys were keen on taking me off, but I'm not so sure. I'm enjoying the lack of dizzy spells, hypoglycemia, etc. Who knows if the metformin really is making the difference, but if it won't hurt to stay on it, I'd rather side with caution. I was, however, thrilled that my RE gave me the okay to stop the Crinone. Without going into gory detail, that stuff is a mess. So now, I am no longer on progesterone and no longer wearing the estrogen patches.

I'm passing up all the lovely screening bloodtests, but I will have a level II ultrasound at 20 weeks. This is the same ultrasound that I had done with my boys that measured all the parts and pieces... and that one was in 3D no less! As for the OB, I will just come back in four weeks, which happens to be the same day as my next Maternal/Fetal appointment. I wish we could spread those out a bit. I'm really not sure how I'm going to handle childcare for that day. The maternal/fetal folks don't allow kids in the ultrasound rooms, so I've got to do something. With a 30+ minute drive one way, a 2-3 hour M/F appointment, a little gap, 1+ hours at the OBGYN office, and 30 more minutes home, it's going to make for a long day.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Today's Visit - 12 weeks 4 days

Well, I spent three hours at the Maternal / Fetal Specialists office today. I guess it was probably half and half, waiting and action. I had to give my medical history, which takes forever given my reproductive woes. The nurse was only aware of 9 total pregnancies, and this was the 10th, so we were trying to figure out which was missing. Fun, fun. There was some preterm labor talk, the inevitable jotting down of all my many many medications that I've been on to get me this far, etc.

Jeff, in all his organizational glory, arranged for a meeting at work today... the day of the big ultrasound. If the ultrasound tech had come in to get me 10 minutes later he would have missed it. I had an abdominal ultrasound, which was nice for two reasons. First, the obvious lack of invasion by a foreign object and second, it gave me a visable excuse for my expanding waistline. And, to top it off, this fancy office has an ultrasound goo warmer.

The ultrasound tech began by apologizing for the long wait. They had two emergencies this morning... and at the maternal/fetal office, those aren't good. I was just so glad to be the person in the waiting room looking over yet another copy of Parenting Magazine and not the people whose lives were just thrown into a blender this morning. Thankfully, Jeff was able to see the baby for about 10 minutes before he had to go save the world.

The tech tried to get a good reading on the heartbeat first, which was a little hard because the little bugger was squirming around like crazy in there. She was finally able to get enough to tell the rate, which was around 168. The whole point of this visit was to have a NT ( Nuchal translucency) Scan. This is where they measure the space at the back of baby's neck. Babies with chromosomal abnormalities, like Down's, have fluid in this area. They measure this between weeks 11 and 13. The tech was trying to get a measurement of this space, but the little one wasn't in the right position. We tried for 20 minutes to get him/her to move. I rolled over to one side for a few minutes. We checked. I rolled over to the other side. No luck. He/She would move, but not the right way. After a bunch of prodding, she finally gave up. Although we did not get a measurement, the tech did say that everything appeared to her to be normal. Our little peanut is even measuring a few days ahead! (It's funny... looking at the pictures he/she looks big! It's hard to believe the little one is only 2 1/2 inches!)

She said that we could do it again this week, but I declined. I also turned down the series of tests: cystic fibrosis, Quad screen, etc. In my opinion, there is no real point to my having these tests since I would not terminate no matter the results. I don't want to have the stress of waiting for results or getting a false positive, which has happened to some that I've talked to.

After the ultrasound, I met with the actual Maternal/Fetal doctor. Now, the last time I saw these people, they were coming into my hospital room every few weeks to give me the gloom and doom report on the fragility of my situation. With the boys, I went to this specialist one time and then was hospitalized in labor that same week. I remember realizing, lying in the hospital bed probably watching reruns of Dawson's Creek, that I was about to miss my next appointment at their office. So, they came to me. I digress...

The doctor was very nice. He went over all of my losses, my preterm labor, my vast amount of past bloodwork: Antiphospholipids, autoimmune thrombocytopenia, Lupus anticoagulant and anticardiolipin antibodies, and every other antibody or clotting test known to man. Yes, all were normal. My OBGYN had suggested putting me on progesterone injections beginning at 16 weeks in effort to prevent preterm labor, just to be safe. This doctor said that he didn't think that it would be of any help to me. I didn't fit the criteria with this pregnancy (not multiples), which is fine. They are going to keep a very close eye on me. I will be seen every 2-4 weeks, with ultrasounds. I will also be seen by my OBGYN every 4 weeks for a little while until they move me up to every 2. My OBGYN has me on the high risk list, so I will move up to more frequent visits pretty early. So, I should be busy hoppin' from doctor to doctor, which is better than not hoppin' anywhere!

And hey, at least insurance covers this part.