Friday, September 28, 2012


My appointment with the midwives was wonderful, you guys! I'm not sure that I could convey how scared I was leading in to this. I was fairly certain that my body was once again deluding me, and that there would not be a heartbeat.

With all of the delays involved in our visit (Don went with me), I was completely on edge by the time we made it into the ultrasound room. I tried to stay cool, but I burst into tears when we saw Baby Bean's heartbeat flicker into view.

Doyle Baby Two is measuring right on target, and has a beautifully strong heartbeat. For my more visually oriented readers, here is our glorious Bean:

For those not up on their ultrasound reading skills, the black center is where Bean lives. The largest round bit near the top center is a baby head. Following down to the right is baby body then baby leg. Branching toward the center is coiled umbilical cord.

It's so wild that almost exactly 4 weeks ago, our baby looked like a stick attached to a bubble, and now it is pretty much baby-shaped (albeit a bit lacking in birth-ready proportion...). Our medical group has huge monitors attached near the ceiling in their ultrasound rooms so that you can easily see the images in real time. This little one was moving a mile a minute. Legs peddling, arms pumping. Quite impressive for one so tiny (3.43 cm from crown to buns)!

Good news, great day! Followed closely by an energy crash of epic proportion. I had the kind of nap where you literally cannot force your eyes open even though you NEED to. I plan on repeating that nap in a much longer time frame tomorrow, because it is currently 2 a.m., and I cannot seem to shut myself off for the night :-/

Send me sleepy thoughts, friends. And tell Bean that I'll send down as much fat as my dumb gallbladder will allow me to... and if more is needed, just borrow from the reserves in my thighs - please.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Wait, WHAT!?

In the three weeks since my last post, things have been a bit wild around here. In fact, the situation has been completely non-conducive to writing of any sort. Lily Ruth's Daddy worked through his two-week-notice, and started out in practice with a friend. Things are going very well for them, but start-ups on this scale border on terrifying... especially when you are the one who sits down to pay the bills...

Also, I have gallstones. I know, right? Sadly, I should have (and sort-of did) see this coming. When I had my annual lady exam this year, I complained of feeling like there were tiny baby toes under my ribs on my right side. My midwife told me in no uncertain terms to get it checked out as it was probably my gallbladder. My mother vehemently seconded this as she had her gallbladder taken out only after it reached a crisis state, and it was NOT fun for her. Well, I meant to do it, just like I meant to have all of my 'I'm almost 40' tests done this year; but I forgot... because it stopped hurting.

Well, it started hurting again big time. Two weeks ago, I thought that I had strained a muscle (or twenty) in my back, but everything that I did to relieve it either didn't help, or made it worse. By the next morning, I was having trouble taking in a decent breath and I was afraid that my diaphragm was somehow involved/compromised. Then it hit me - it was probably my damn gallbladder. I dropped Lily Ruth off at Parent's Day Out, and headed for the minor emergency clinic. Seven hours and an ultrasound of my gallbladder later, I had my diagnosis. Definitely gallstones. Swelling was present, but no inflamed tissue. So it was the famous Clear Liquid Diet for a few days plus pain pills, muscle relaxants and anti-nausea tablets.

Here's the rub, you guys: that sucker's gonna have to come out. Not maybe, definitely. Apparently, you can have gallstones for ages before they present any sort of problem, but once symptoms present, it's a downhill slide... with no set timetable because everybody is different :-/ It doesn't have to come out today, because it's not currently irritated or inflamed, but if it does reach that point, it has to come out immediately. Why not have it taken out now, before it becomes a crisis? Good question, friend. THIS is why:

Since most folks don't walk out of their friendly neighborhood radiology clinic with images of their woe clutched tightly in a sweaty fist, you have perhaps surmised part two of my news... The round 'ball' in the center of the darker area is a yolk sac, and the tiny bit being measured just blow it is a 6 week, 1 day old embryo! I am (yet again) With Child! We are thrilled, delighted and terrified. Thrilled and delighted because we have been hoping for another baby for a year and a half now. Terrified because of last year's awfulness, and because I was so sick with this gallbladder stuff. As of now, I'm two weeks out from the gallbladder attack, and three days shy of being 10 weeks pregnant. I think (hope, pray) that after my appointment and ultrasound on Wednesday, I'll feel secure enough in this pregnancy to feel truly joyful instead of just scared.

For those of you feeling like 2 ultrasounds this early on is a bit much - after all, aren't I using midwives who believe that pregnancy and childbirth are natural processes and not medical emergencies? - you're right on. BUT, a woman of (get this) Advanced Maternal Age (dammit) and my history of loss gets a bit more of the medical side of stuff weather she wants it or not :-/ I must admit that the glimpses of our tiny bean are so reassuring that I'll gladly submit to whatever they want to do along with the imaging.

Back to my gallbladder - focus, people! For now, I have to understand the signs of an acute attack, and manage the rest with diet and pain medication in moderation. My diet went from 'um, fairly healthy' to '5g or less of fat per day' overnight. It's scary and frustrating to make a change that big while in pain. I'm feeling better every day, though, and it turns out that my morning sickness was mostly gallbladder sickness - so that's pretty great!

This is a very strange time, friends. Full of all kinds of new things and challenges both wonderful and not so great. I am ready to celebrate this pregnancy and shed my fear. Pray for me, guys. We should have an answer by Wednesday.

So, there you have it. Joy and Pain... Like Sunshine and Rain (what else... :-P) *whew* That dance break got out of hand FAST. But if you don't have a dance break every now and then, what do you have, really? Not enough, that's for sure. Keep on dancing!