Six Week Warning

Holy Cannoli it’s getting close.  I still feel amazing, with the exception of a few minor symptoms that popped up.  I mean, small price to pay, and could be WAY worse but still, if you’re planning on doing this DIY baby stuff, you should know what you’re getting yourself into.  I’ll tell you about the crummy stuff but let me tell you about some awesome stuff first! 

I’ve only gained 13 pounds which makes me happy.  I was hoping the baby would take the fat from my arms to create its life, but it has not done that.  Good news is that the baby has not added any fat deposits to anywhere on my body except my protruding stomach.  Also, zero stretch marks besides two little ones by my giant emergency appendix scar.  I’ve been religiously rubbing my belly with this cocoa butter which my other pregnant friend suggested. It smells like dessert, so my dog follows me around sniffing me and I have to run away from her. 

Getting Bigger!

This may be TMI, but I have to tell you that my boobs are AMAZING.  Actually, I’m sure this is too much information, but I guess your nipples (Yes gentleman, I said nipples) get darker so the baby can find them.  That’s all I will say about that but, wow.  It’s too bad I’m going through this pregnancy single.  What a special gift to the dads out there during what could be a trying time.  Good for you dads!

The baby moves all day long. Loves when I eat, drink, and sit still. I can see it moving when I look down, but the second I put a hand on my stomach to feel the kicks, the baby stops. Same goes for anyone. No one has been able to corner the baby, including me. This baby will be really shy, very easy to soothe, or a ninja.

There’re many other lovely wonderful things but let me hit on some of the not so great side effects I’m experiencing.

Holy acid reflux batman.  I have never experienced anything like this in my life.  I spent my entire babymoon on the beach in Fort Myers, Florida burping out loud (my poor friend Sara) and chewing on antacids.  My chest and throat, the spot where you start to feel throw-uppy from, literally burned all day every day. You want to know what causes it you say?  Oh, just water, ice water, any beverage, air, any food, spicy food, bland food, no food, too much food.  That’s it.  My doctor told me to take omeprazole every morning which has helped tremendously, unless I forget to take it.  One time I took a sip of wine and it burned so bad I never want to drink wine again.  True story.

Burpin’ on my Babymoon

Then there’s this strange pelvic bone pain that happens any time I stand in one place for a length of time or walk for too long.  It feels like my pelvic bone is literally ripping apart. (I guess it’s called symphysis pubis diastasis (SPD)) So, then I have to squat for a while, unless I can find a chair, then I just sit for a while.  This symptom is hard for me.  I like walking.  And standing.  They are my favorite activities. Again, felt bad for my poor friend Sara on the Babymoon who has vacationed with me before and was used to long walks on the beach.  This time they turned into short walks on the beach followed by me crouching into a squat and telling her to just leave me and go on without me.  One time, I toured a client’s space for AN HOUR AND A HALF.  The pain started at 15 minutes into the tour and because I refuse to let pregnancy cause me any setbacks at work or allow anyone to perceive me as anything other than a normal healthy human, I grimaced my way through and then sat in my car afterwards screaming until the pain subsided.  I’m fine.  It’s fine. 

A new symptom that popped up last week that is blowing my mind is that I’ve developed carpal tunnel syndrome.  In my wrists and hands.  Yup.  WTF?????  Apparently, this is a thing that happens?????  I can’t even.  I woke up one morning with the tips of my 3 fingers on my left hand numb for a while.  Freaked out, phoned a friend, they said it was normal, then I hit the google research and can’t even.  This may sound like a “my dog ate my homework” moment, but it has severely delayed my thank you card writing from the beautiful baby showers that have been thrown for me!  I can only write a few, and then my wrist and hand are in too much pain and I must take a time out for a while.  I know.  You don’t believe me.  You’ll have to look it up but… yeah.  Wild.

I did a few flights in January and found out that congestion is a symptom.  Blew my nose on the beach in Florida for a week.  Blew my nose in Phoenix for a weekend.  Spent a week in Texas for work blowing my nose the whole time.  (Writing this now I see the upside is that I spent 15 of the 31 days of January in a warm climate) People would come up to me and sympathetically say… “Oh, you poor thing, you’re sick” and I would respond with, “No, apparently it’s just a side effect of pregnancy.  Lots of extra mucus.”  If you don’t like boogers, you won’t like being pregnant.  Thank God I love boogers. The congestion won’t stop event though I’m grounded now. It’s affected my sleep. You know how I love my sleep. I can’t imagine what my neighbors must think as they listen to 3 HOURS AND 7 MINUTES of snoring.

That’s too much snoring. It’s lowering my normally 100% sleep quality.

Well, that’s it for the symptoms.  Now I’m preparing for living my best alone life for the next 6 weeks.  This is my list of activities to do.  Feel free to give me suggestions that I haven’t thought of!

  1. Carry around only my keys, wallet and phone.
  2. Go to the casino and stay until the wee hours of the night.
  3. Sleep 14 hours strait every chance I get.
  4. Say yes to EVERYTHING without ever even considering I might have to pay for and arrange childcare to say yes in the future!

Wow, the possibilities are endless.  Thanks for being on this journey with me!

I Got 99 Problems But This Baby’s Heart’s Not One

Hit me. Bad blogger alert.  I’m 2 weeks behind on giving you an update on my little baby travel buddy nuggets’ heart.  Been too busy slaying hearts again.  Seriously, for some reason I am WILDLY attractive to men while being pregnant.  Can I always be pregnant forever? This time, I was asked out IN PUBLIC whilst being 6 months pregnant.  I’ve only gained 5ish pounds and it’s all baby, so from the boobs up I guess it must be hard to tell. And these boobs. Hubba Hubba. I was sitting at Camp Bar, the best bar, in the 3rd Ward with my friend drinking some hot chocolate (she was drinking a vodka for full context) and a couple guys came up and asked to share our table.  After a couple fun hours, dude asks me out on a date.  I told him that I would give him my number and my full name, and that he should google me and then text me and decide if he still wants to go out on a date.  Next day, he texted me saying he has some questions, but would still like to take me out.  Go figure. 

So back to baby.  2 weeks ago I had my ultrasound with the fetal cardiologist.  The ultrasound technician did about 25 minutes of work measuring, taking pictures, and listening to and recording flows of blood.  Heart rate was 123 for all of you tracking that with your baby gender guesses.  (You people better be gambling on this… I’m not giving you this opportunity to gamble against each other for nothing!)  Basically, she did a full echo-cardiogram on the baby. 

The fetal cardiologist walked in.  He was 14.  Doogie Howser, M.D.  I mean, obviously he was older that that but at my age they all look young.  (Can you believe I’m at that age where I say things like “they all look young”?)  He was the opposite of what I imagined a cardiologist would be.  He was calm, humble, and had great bedside manner.  Super weird.  Just kidding, he was lovely, obviously.  The first thing he said was “I’m not saying I’m a better doctor than the other doctor who told you there was a hole but all I do for a living is look at babies’ hearts and I don’t see a hole.”  To which my mom who was with me and I try to high five him and say, “Hell yeah you’re a better doctor!”  and he blushed and said “Oh no no no, I wasn’t trying to say I was, I was just defending him.” 

You read that correctly, baby does not have VSD.   Dr. Cardiologist says he saw the picture the other doctor looked at and said that he saw “an artifact”, not a hole.  But since they did do a full echo-cardiogram, Dr Cardiologist did find something out of sorts.  Baby has an extra vein.  Yes, of course, my baby is an overachiever already, what did you expect.  

It’s called Persistent Left Superior Vena Cava.  He drew me a picture because he was lovely.  1 out of 300 people have it but don’t know it because they have never had a full echo-cardiogram.  It’s usually found if someone is getting heart surgery for something unrelated later in life because they can’t put something in on that side?  Wow, I’m doing a great job explaining this. I guess it hasn’t showed up yet on any of my medical dramas so I’m not an expert yet. Just google it, it’s not that bad, I promise.  The baby can come out normal, it’s not in high risk anymore.  They will do an ultrasound of the baby’s heart after it comes out to check really good without all the goo and placenta and my stomach fat and my skin in the way.  Also they will check again in a month with Dr. Cardiologist as well. 

A rare piece of doctor art showing what a Persistent Left Superior Vena Cava is.

Great news, right!!!  Baby is currently trying to prove to me that they are healthy as a horse by using my insides as a punching bag.  Love this kid already because they only act up during the day.  We sleep like angel babies through the night.  Me, the little nugget face, and my other little nugget face Sushi.  Sushi is LOVING the new belly activity.  We just started feeling the baby on the outside so Sushi has been spending time laying her head on my belly bonding with her new little sister or brother.  I die.  It’s everything.

Watching my little babies snuggling in the morning… The smaller one is kicking the bigger one in the face in this picture.

I’m still doing amazing.  I’ve never in my entire life felt this good or happy or healthy.  I’m doing everything in my power to enjoy my final few months of freedom before I’m never alone again.  My only complaint is that after 4 o’clock, I’m literally a burp factory.  I try to burp it all out but can’t stop taking in air which just keeps coming out.  Buy stock of Tums immediately, I’ll make you an good ROI.  Oh shit, was that insider trading? 

Thanks for being with me on this journey!  I appreciate all the support. 

A Broken Heart

Don’t freak out yet, but we may have a little problem.

I went for my 20 week ultrasound last week! Don’t you worry, after the last blog post, Vivid Dreams, Hormones and Loneliness, I brought my best friend Cynthia with me so I wasn’t alone. It’s all good. Promise. I’m fine.

Cynthia was the perfect person to bring along because she’s a nurse, and has a better idea of what they are looking at on the ultrasound that most others I could bring with me. I shouted a million times at the sonogramer, “Don’t tell me what it is! Don’t let my friend look when you’re looking at the tiddly-bits cause she’ll know!!!!” (Oh yeah, Cynthia wanted to know if it was a boy or a girl BAD.)

We spent a whole 45 minutes looking at the baby! So cute. It was moving EVERYWHERE. Blocking all the good shots. My kid, obviously. Active AF. #cantstopwontstop. The sonogramer spent a lot of time looking at the baby’s heart, and said that spending a lot of time measuring and taking pictures of the heart are super important. She said because my baby was moving everywhere, she was having a hard time getting a good shot of the heart.

She was very cool. Kept switching to 3D or 4D or whatever they call it so you could see all the details of the baby’s face. TOTALLY looks like one of my brothers. Amiright?

Crazy 3D/4D picture of the little nugget at 20 weeks

She sent in a nurse to take my blood pressure cause the machine wasn’t working (it was a little low but fine) and said she was going to grab the doctor to come in and review the pictures with me.

Doctor came in, whipped out the ultrasound machine again, and went strait to the baby’s heart. Didn’t say anything, but was studying it. Turned on a filter that shows the blood flow. Zoomed in. Studying it. I said, “Cause for concern doctor?” He responded after a long pregnant pause. “Yeah, I think so. I see a hole.” Praise the Lord I had Cynthia there because we both are very stoic in time of crisis. It’s our superpower. We calmly ask questions instead of reacting when stress levels are at an all time high. Some silence happened. Cynthia said “How big is the hole?” The doctor then zoomed in and explained what he was seeing and what he should see. She asked again. He said, “It’s small”.

Thanks to This is Us I’m into asking… “Worst case scenario?” The doctor said, “We don’t need to go there.” I said, “Give it to me anyways.” He explained that worst case scenario it’s a fatal Congenital Heart Defect (CHD) OR best case the hole in my baby’s heart heals itself by the next ultrasound. He asked if I had gotten genetic pre-screening done and I said I had and it had come back negative. He said that was good because chances are it’s not one of the most common genetic disorders, but instead is probably a one-off situation. (Which is good for my future offspring. I’ll potentially have to run some tests on myself though.) He said this particular heart defect, referred to as a Ventricular Septal Defect or VSD, can heal itself before birth. He said about 2% of 20 week ultrasounds show a heart defect and VSD is the most common. Still a critical CHD, but common.

He referred me to a prenatal cardiologist for a month from now.

So. We aren’t freaking out yet. In fact, we aren’t freaking out ever, because everything happens for a reason and everything happens according to The Plan and we are so freaking lucky to live in present time with such amazing access to technology and advanced medical care that allows us to identify heart defects like this as early as they have.

I did have some emotions about it though, I’m not going to lie. Those emotions basically consisted of selfish thoughts like “How will the baby and I get to take our first international vacation together over maternity leave if they have to have surgery?” and “Oh yeah great, this will make it even harder to find a dude because now I have to find a guy strong enough to be able to deal with a kid who needs extra attention AND me” and other ridiculous thoughts that 100% don’t matter in the grand scheme of things. I also processed the worst case and best case scenario in my head. Because of Private Practice (as you can tell I’m obsessed with Medial Dramas) the worst case scenario being a fatal defect means that I could potentially still carry the baby to term and they could maybe be a angel hero baby and donate all their good organs to babies who need them and save some lives. Best case scenario, the hole closes before the cardiologist gets to see it and we pretend this blog post and mini mind crisis never happened. Or anything in between.

I saw my OBGYN doctor after that, who is chiller than a actual cucumber. After a hug and some small talk, I told her I just had my 20 week scan. She said “I know. Are you freaking out?” I said, “I could be, I’m not, should I?” and she said “no.” I asked if I was now considered high risk and she said no I wasn’t and that I was doing great. She said I could still do my non-Zika New Years tropical vacation (still looking for someone to come with me… anyone want to disappear somewhere warm with me after Christmas?)

We won’t know any more until early December, but until then, I choose not to sweat the small stuff. Again, let me reiterate how grateful I am that I was able to get pregnant and that I’ve carried this wiggly nugget for 22 weeks. It’s been an absolute joy and my pleasure to carry a life inside me and whatever happens, happens. And if this baby does need extra attention, I know that I’m up for the challenge and capable of overcoming anything thrown my way. I trust God has a plan. Put a quick little prayer to the big guy for me and this little nugget if you don’t mind, will ya?

Thanks for being on this journey with me!


The bottom picture is the baby staring at the camera. So creepy, right?