Saturday, January 10, 2009

Little Peanut??

I've had a whirlwind of emotions this week...

On Monday 1/5 I took 2 home pregnancy tests and they were positive! This was very exciting! I've been off the pill for 3 years, and was beginning to wonder if I should ask my OB for help with fertility issues. Hooray! Now we had a little Peanut on the way! A sibling for Emma! :)

DH and I spent the evening talking and planning: talked about moving Em's room to our extra 3rd bedroom, moving baby things back in from the garage to Em's current room (which still has Suzy's Zoo baby wallpaper border), where should we pursue infant daycare centers, how long should we wait to share the news with Em, etc. DH and I decided not to share the news with our family until after my first OB appointment.

The next morning I scheduled an appointment for Monday 1/12 with my OB to "confirm the pregnancy" and check our status (health, duedate, etc.)

Tues and Weds were fun, as DH and I continued to plan...

Halfway through Thursday I started having abdominal cramping at work. The cramps felt like severe menstrual my stomach was being pushed and twisted on the lower right and lower left sides. Fearing the worst, I prepared for a substitute teacher and planned to take the day off Friday. (Sorry for the TMI, but I was relieved when I ran to the restroom and there was NO spotting.) I tried to ease my anxiety by researching on the Internet. I found many websites that said cramping is common in the early weeks of pregnancy, as a woman's uterus starts to expand. I was a little bit relieved....but still anxious. I had NO cramping with Emma...and as this is my 2nd child, shouldn't my uterus still be somewhat stretched out? I was able to make an appointment with Lynn, the midwife at my OB's office for 10:30 Friday morning. I made it through the night, restless and not sleeping well...and cramping all night.

Friday morning I went to the appointment at 10:30. The urine test at the OB's office, also indicated that I am pregnant. The staff confirmed that cramping sometimes occurs in the early stages of pregnancy. Then Lynn, the midwife did a vaginal ultrasound and couldn't find anything. She told me not to worry, this could just mean that I am too early along for a fetus to be detected. (Fetus' are not usually visible via ultrasound until the mother is 4-5 or more weeks along.) Wow...I'm even earlier along than I thought.

Lynn called in the ultrasound tech, to have her try to view the Peanut. The technician said the same thing. She could see "thickening of the uterine lining," but no fetus. She assured me this was likely not cause for alarm, but rather just a very early pregnancy. Umm....yeah. At this point I'm starting to regret coming by myself and telling DH to go to work.

They gave me a RX for blood work to have blood drawn on both Friday and Monday. In the early stages of pregnancy, the mother's hormone levels nearly double on a daily basis. If the blood work next week shows that my levels are increasing appropriately, there will not be cause for alarm. (Next week? Yikes...long wait!) She also asked me to have a higher tech ultrasound at a local Imaging Center, to try to see the fetus.

So I left the OB's office and called to arrange a 2:30 appt at the imaging center. I went and had my blood work done, had some lunch, and then headed home. I had to drink 32 oz of water before my ultrasound, so drank, drank, drank and then headed off to my appointment.

At the imaging center the ultrasound hurt! The technician poked and prodded and apologized, but said she was trying to get "clear" pictures of my ovaries. After 20 minutes of ultrasound pics, she began typing notes I could see on the monitor. I remember snippets: "pregnant with abdominal pain, but no bleeding" and then "cystic mass on left ovary" As the technician left, she told me the doctor would be in to speak with me in a little while. She left. I barely held back tears as I waited.

After about 20 minutes, the ultrasound technician came in and said she had spoken with the Imaging Center doctor who was going to call my OB. I could get dressed and wait in the waiting room for further instructions.

5 more excruciating minutes...they called me back to an office where the midwife, Lynne from my OB's office was on the phone. Lynn said that the ultrasound indicated I have a cyst on my left ovary. The ultrasound also did not detect the fetus. She wanted me to go the emergency room at Memorial Hospital immediately for blood work. There was still a chance that I am pregnant and also have an ovarian cyst. However, there is also a chance that I have an ectopic pregnancy and that the fetus is part of the cystic mass...and ectopic pregnancies if left untreated can eventually kill the mother. Holy crap!

I made it out of the office. Started crying before I made it to my car. Texted DH at work that he needed to leave so he could be with me at ER. Called Papa to see if he could pick up Emma from school...and headed to the ER.

Met DH in front of the hospital. When we arrived at the ER there were at least 20 people already in the waiting room. Sighs. Fortunately, DH's Mom was seeing a patient of her own in the ER. (She's a Physician's Assistant.) She made a trade: helped the ER crew out with one of their patients, so that they would get me in sooner. We only waited about 30 minutes...

Then another urine specimen and more blood work...and an IV drip "just in case." The nurse said:
--I need to understand that if the pregnancy is ectopic the baby can NOT survive, and I will possibly have to have surgery to remove it so that it doesn't kill me.
--If it is a cyst and a normal pregnancy, it is possible that the baby is fine and I will have a healthy delivery. We'll have to monitor the cyst to see if it bursts on it's own or if it needs to eventually be surgically removed.

The nice doctor confirmed this when he came in. We waited about 2 1/2 hours for the blood work results to be returned. Doc said my hormone levels indicate a normal rather than ectopic pregnancy. Whew! He said his "gut feeling" tells him I have a normal pregnancy and a cyst...however, I do still need to do blood work follow-up as requested by OB's office next Monday to ensure that my hormone levels are increasing appropriately. Mother-in-law knew the ER doc and said she trusts his I'm trying to have peace of mind.

So basically things are "most likely" safe. But it is still a waiting game. I still have my OB appointment next Friday. I'm taking Monday off work to get blood work done and see if OB wants to see me as well.

I didn't really realize how much I wanted the little Peanut until I thought I had lost it. I'm trying so hard to "let go, let God." I know it isn't ultimately up to me...and that I need to trust that whether or not there is a Peanut, it is all part of a larger plan. But sometimes letting go is so difficult. Grow, little Peanut, grow! Be visible in next week's ultrasound so that we know everything is o-kay.

Today I need to call my principal and ask if I can postpone my yearly observation which is scheduled for this Wednesday. I haven't decided yet if I'm going to give him all the details...I know I don't have to. But part of me wants to...if things work out, we'll need to start planning for next autumn and Peanut's arrival.

And so the waiting continues...


tbonegrl said...

Oh Alana, I am praying that it isn't ectopic. Congratulations to you both!! Have your betas been doubling?

MEB said...

I'm so sorry you are going through this. Speaking from personal experience, the beta numbers don't mean much. They can still double with an ectopic, mine did. The ultrasound will be the true test. It is really early to see it at all. I sincerely hope and pray they see it, in the uterus, next week. I'm thinking of you and praying for you!!! Stay busy this weekend so you don't go crazy.