Monday, July 7, 2014
One of the benefits of such a small community is that the tech had all the time in the world to be incredibly thorough. It was the longest sonogram I've ever had. She was at it for over an hour. She wasn't satisfied unless she had clear pictures of absolutely everything on the checklist. No matter how wiggly the baby was, or how hard it was to find a good angle. The only thing she couldn't do is take a good 3d image. There just wasn't any way to get the angle needed for that.
First, the important stuff. Everything is developing healthily. It's all the right size. It's all functioning incredibly well. And that goes for me, as well as the baby. They check on Mom's cervix and the placenta and such during sonograms. The cord is incredibly well placed. The blood flow within it is about as strong and healthy and ideal as anyone could want. Organs are all correctly organized, properly sized, and those with obvious function are doing their jobs quite well. Bones, limbs, fingers and toes. Everything is as perfect as it gets. She also checked for markers for chromosomal abnormalities. It wasn't on the checklist, but I asked her to check, as my age puts the baby at a higher risk. She took a good look, and there are absolutely no red flags. Everything looks perfect.
Now for the gender reveal. It's a boy! No, there is no chance we were mistaking something else. This kid isn't shy. We saw confirmation from multiple angles during the exam. It is absolutely a boy. We've had a name picked out for years now. Since our first pregnancy together. Patrick Alexander Shepherd. Patrick was my dad's name. I have a leaning toward family names....except that I don't actually like most of the common names in my family. lol I've always really loved the name Patrick, though. Lucky for me, +Jason Shepherd does too. ;) Alexander is Jason's middle name, and his favorite part of his name. He doesn't mind Jason, but he really like Alexander. So, he was very excited to name the baby Alexander. I hope Patrick likes the name as much as +Jason Shepherd does. lol
We talked about it as a first name, but I have some strong feelings about actually naming a child after another person. While it can be great to have that tool to create a kind of instant bond between them....it's often really not that great. It almost always saddles the kid with a sense of responsibility to either live up to or overcome some set of expectations of similarity to the name-holder. I think that's likely the whole point, but it's really not a weight I want to put on my children's shoulders. They have enough internal and external expectations to live up to already. I don't want their names to make them feel like they have to be someone they're not....just to prove they aren't someone they're not. In this world, the last thing they need is any more pressure not to be themselves.
So, in conclusion, Patrick is healthy. I am healthy. Everything is progressing, not just normally, but ideally.
Sunday, July 6, 2014
Saturday, July 5, 2014
Wednesday, May 21, 2014
I had an excellent doctor appointment. Let's see if I can remember everything! Lol
- All the previous testing came back inconclusive or negative. That means all my weirdness was almost certainly just a mix of PCOS and pregnancy. I gave blood for the standard run of pregnancy testing.
- We brought the kids with. They heard the heart beat. He had trouble finding it with the doplar. So, they even saw the baby wiggling around a bit on the very low end ultrasound they have at the clinic. It's far too low end to see gender. That will wait for the real ultrasound.
- Even though there isn't a real medical need for another ultrasound, I'll be scheduled for one around 20 weeks. Dr feels it can't hurt to have the extra info (though I got the feeling he might not have suggested it if I hadn't brought it up), and we're anxious to find out who's room needs remodeling before I hit my inevitably third trimester uselessness.
- I love love love my Dr. I can talk openly to him about things that would normally get me kicked from practice just for mentioning. Best example ever: He's totally comfortable with the idea of my having an unassisted home birth. The fact of the matter is that I'm giving birth wherever my water breaks. If I'm at home, I'd give birth in the car if we tried to get me into town. If I'm in town, the kid will still probably be half out by the time I get to the ER. The thing I love though is how he was totally comfortable with it all. I told him flat out that if there were no major red flags, I was more comfortable with an unassisted home birth than a hospital birth...and that baby and I would come in for a post natal visit "when I felt up to it". He didn't get antsy. He didn't try to control whether that meant hours or days. He just said that it was a good idea to be prepared for any circumstance (as an agreement, not warning) and " sounds good " when I gave him a run down of what the basic game plan was on my end. He even thought it was really cool that I was going to have the kids read doula/midwife reference books so they were prepared to help out or even for the chance I go into hard labor while Jason is at work.
- Also, he laughed and told me it was "perfectly reasonable" when I told him he could have all the blood and urine he wanted, but I wouldn't be drinking glucose or having anyone poking around at my cervix while I was pregnant without a damned good reason. I'm fully aware that there are far safer and gentler ways to carefully monitor a pregnancy than the standard methods...assuming you are inclined to carefully monitor. It's nice to finally meet a doctor that does too! Lol. He doesn't seem inclined towards carefully monitoring unless there is an unusual risk factor though.
- I'm taking the maximum dose of my raw foods probiotic instead of a normal prenatal. At the maximum dose, it meets the minimums suggested for pregnancy... Plus I'm not suffering from constipation even at 13weeks. That alone is all the endorsement it needs! :D
- Normally, I would be having monthly appointments right now but we're a little behind schedule so my next appointment is in just a couple weeks. Friday, June 6th. I'll update again for sure after that appointment. Maybe in between. I was going to update before today but cell service has been really choppy out here the last week or so.
Thursday, May 15, 2014
Well I've certainly had a roller coaster ride lately. Things have been going absolutely haywire with my body. I tried adjusting my diet and exercise levels. I tried every home remedy I could think of. I finally broke down and went to the doctor. We began running tests. Each round ruled out less and less preferable issues. Before I knew it, I was scheduled for an ultrasound to look at my ovaries. I won't go into much detail but with my symptoms and testosterone levels (117. Healthy can range from 2-45), ovarian cancer was looking pretty likely. It wasn't my first cancer scare but we really ruled everything out first this time. I was going in pretty sure of the outcome.
All of one second into the ultrasound, the world was tipped on it's side. That's how long it took to find the baby...because it's pretty decent sized. At twelve weeks, it's a little over 2 inches long. The tech really took her time and thoroughly checked out the baby and both ovaries from every possible angle. Everything is incredibly healthy and well developed. We still have a few tests to run just to be sure, but with this added information it looks likely that all the weird symptoms and such are just a result of my hormone disorder interacting with the pregnancy. I haven't had a baby survive past 7 weeks in over a decade. And frankly we weren't monitoring my systems at all until about three years ago. Add to that, I didn't suspect I was pregnant with my first until I was showing... And the Dr insisted I wasn't pregnant with my second until I was around 12 - 18 weeks. Clearly I don't have any idea what's really normal for me in the first trimester. Lol.
What I do know is that I am well past my personal miscarriage zone, and still have a healthy and very active baby in me. And it seems that the pregnancies that are easy to detect are the ones that self terminate, with me. The healthy ones throw off all the wrong signs in the first trimester. Since I'm clearly not incapable of having more kids without fertility treatments, as previously thought, I'll have to keep that in mind in the future!
As for pregnancy updates...
- I can't drink anything but bottled water without getting nauseous. That includes our awesome well water at home. I'm going to give my favorite soda a try tonight though. Fentimens rose lemonade. It's pricey so it's a rare treat. I'm hoping the touch of ginger in it will allow me to still enjoy it.
- I crave raspberries and raw goats milk cheese. I know raw dairy can be a crap shoot during pregnancy but it's soft cheeses and milks that are the real issue. With harder, drier cheeses the risks aren't any worse than eating pasteurized. So I found myself a nice hard goat cheddar (tastes almost like string cheese though, with a texture almost like fresh Parmesan). It comes from Sierra Nevada Cheese Company and is available for a nearly reasonable price at the discount grocer in the nearest big town. I'm eating like 12+ oz of raspberries and 8+ oz of cheese per day and not much else right now.
- Weight gain. I'm like 70lbs above my personal healthy weight range to begin with. At 5' 8" that's not quite as bad as it sounds, but it's still a serious issue. I really shouldn't need to gain much weight to support this pregnancy. I gained about 5 lbs the first month. Then, plateaued. Around week 10, I gained almost 10 lbs. I was bloated with water weight at first. Then, it all just kind of absorbed into my body. My comfy jeans are now snug. :( I haven't gained anything since then, though. So, I am figuring that was just my body increasing blood volume. The body increases blood volume significantly during pregnancy. Not normally so fast, but my body tended to handle changes in sudden shifts with my first two kids. So it's not a red flag.
- Although the baby doesn't have a gender yet, I am beginning to suspect it might be a boy. I'm having truly insane pregnancy dreams, and the one constant is that I'm always a man in them. That's very weird for me. My dreams are usually third person. Occasionally I might be myself or even someone I know for part of one. I'm never just some random guy my mind makes up though. I might share some of the dreams with you, but I'm not sure how well received they would be. They are increasingly disturbing and graphic. The consistent theme is that the guy I dream I am is witness to or the sole survivor of some kind of weird tragedy where he loses whoever he cares most for. They were almost comic at first but are getting to be more and more twisted and intense. The only upshot is that I wake up feeling like I just read a thriller novel, instead of like I just lived through it. The story lingers with me, but without any kind of emotional attachment.
- My next Dr appointment is Tuesday. My last batch of test results will all be in by then. I'll update you once I process whatever I learn then.
Friday, February 7, 2014
Well it's been almost a year since my last post. We moved into our absolute dream home. It's so far from civilization, though, that the only way to access the net is over a very old and very slow 3g network. We've played with other options but finally broke down and upgraded to smart phones when we renewed our cellular contract. I still have far too much livestock and gardening and teen drama in my life to spend loads and loads of time online but I've always enjoyed blogging. So this is one of the first things I decided to start back up with.
Friday, March 1, 2013
Well, it just so happens that Jae knows a very independent ASD adult blogger. So, she asked if I'd be interested in writing a guest post or few. I agreed to post once per month until either I run out of material or she tires of my prattling. I encourage you all to check out my first guest post, as well as the rest of her entries.
Read my Guest Post here!
This month, I discuss some of my tricks for handling social communication.