Day #1 in California

After what seemed like an eternal day of traveling, McKenzie and I are finally in California visiting Grandpa Jeff (my stepdad). She was an amazing little traveler, but she was queasy on the plane…she threw up on the 2nd flight then fell fast asleep. I’m so happy I always carry a car sickness bag with me at all times! I highly recommend it for any parents…it’s saved me from cleaning up vomit in cars or planes on more than one occasion (the joys of parenting!).

Anyway, on our first full day yesterday, we took Dexter the dog on a long walk, and McKenzie stopped to enjoy all the flowers. She loves flowers. Then we ate a delicious breakfast at The Original Pancake House, after which I napped. Later in the day we went to Strand Beach in Dana Point, 10 minutes from Jeff’s house. The vistas are beautiful & McKenzie wanted desperately to play in the sand…she did & she loved it! It was a great start to our visit, and today we’ll be boating on the ocean on Jeff’s boat. Hopefully we’ll see some dolphins, seals, & whales!

Part of me is always a little sad when we visit, with the realization that we won’t be living here anytime soon (which was our plan before the Army). It’s just so beautiful: weather, scenery, everything. I would have loved for McKenzie to grow up here.

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17 Weeks

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How far along are you? 17 weeks now! Time is still flying, I can’t believe I’m 2.5 weeks away from half-way.
How big is the baby? According to my BabyCenter App, it’s about the size of a turnip.
Weight Gain? 6 lbs. nothing new
Maternity clothes? Yoga pants & sweatshirts?
Stretch marks? A tiny one on my inner thigh. Blast.
Sleep: My itching is horrible at night, so my sleep leaves much to be desired…hopefully the meds kick in soon. =/
Best moment this week? It’s been a rough week (as mentioned in my last post). Maybe hearing Jon’s voice? We’re flying to Cali today, so that’ll be nice. A break from this dreary rain. And I guess finding out I’ll get to see Baby Boy weekly via ultrasound & we’ll meet him early? In about 20 weeks…
Movement? Here & there, nothing consistent yet.
Food cravings? Water? Apparently the Cholestasis of Pregnancy can cause loss of appetite…I think I have that aspect as well. I guess I’ve been wanting Bite Size Tostitos (my fave) covered in Sharp Cheddar. MMmmmm…
Food aversions? Not so much, just not very hungry.
Labor signs? Nope.
Gender? BOY! BOY! BOY!
Symptoms? Itchy, itchy, itchy…still not feeling/looking very pregnant. I honestly thought I’d be bigger by now, since it’s baby #2.
Belly button in or out? In. With McKenzie it just went flat…it was never an “outie.”
Wedding rings on or off? On.
Happy or moody? Moody…not the best week. McKenzie had a wonderful tantrum last night, and the dogs are a handful sometimes. Urgh.
What I miss: Jon, Jon, Jon…I should get to talk to him Sunday. He left a month ago tomorrow. Blah.
What I am looking forward to: Sunshine & the ocean. My step-dad (Grandpa Jeff) lives 10 minutes from this slice of heaven (and that is a camera-phone pic):Laguna Beach

So, now I’m high-risk.

itchytummyAs I mentioned in my last post, I’ve been really, really itchy lately. Well, for weeks actually. It is TERRIBLE. Like, wakes-me-up-in-the-night-type terrible. I even mentioned it at my 9 & 14 week appointments. “It’s just hormones,” they said. “It’s your skin stretching,” they said. “Itching is a 3rd trimester thing,” they said.

Well, I self-diagnosed weeks ago with ICP (Intrahepatic Cholestasis of Pregnancy), characterized by severe, wide-spread itching without a rash. Basically, your liver doesn’t process the bile-acids properly, which makes your histamines go crazy (hence, the itching). And I’ve always had an asymptomatic liver disease (since birth), so it made sense. It fit my symptoms perfectly. I even called the after-hours nurse line because I was freaked-out. When I spoke with the nurses at my doc’s office the next day, they were unconcerned. “It’s just hormones,” they said. “It’s your skin stretching,” they said. “It’s too early, it’s a 3rd trimester thing,” they said.

But guess what showed up in my labs, after demanding that they test me for it?! ICP. Yeah, I f***ing knew it. Moral of the story? Always, always listen to your body. It normally shows up in the 3rd trimester. At 17 weeks, I’m nearly half that. My doctor told me she was “shocked,” and that in the other cases she’s dealt with, none of the other women had it before 35 weeks. Lucky me.

This diagnosis officially makes me high-risk, but it should disappear within days of giving birth. It’s a “complication.” It doesn’t affect the development of the baby, cognitively or physically, but mothers with ICP have a much higher risk of stillbirth (for reasons still unknown) and babies are more to have respiratory distress after birth…which is exactly the thing a pregnant momma doesn’t want to hear. =( To minimize the risk to the baby, I will have weekly ultrasounds starting at 24 weeks (viability) until my 32nd week, when I’ll start having Fetal Non-Stress Tests (NST’s) 2x a week. Because of the increased risk of stillbirth, doctors induce between the 37th-38th week of pregnancy. That means we’ll have another late-August baby…I’ll literally be pregnant an entire month less than McKenzie (who was super, duper late). Maybe Jon will actually get to be there if it’s planned?

I comfort myself with the knowledge that, if delivered before 38 weeks, the risk of stillbirth is less than 1%, which is the same as normal pregnancy. My silver lining is that I get to have more ultrasounds (did I jinx myself with that last post?), and we get to meet *him* sooner.

I’m trying to stay calm. It’s still scary. And I’m still itchy. But hopefully the medication I’m taking 2x/day will have these wicked bile-acids under control soon.

And this makes me miss my husband that much more, I SO wish he was here right now. Thankfully, I got to speak with him briefly yesterday to tell him what’s going on…and he hadn’t gotten my letter yet, so I told him it’s a boy. Another silver lining? I’m trying to stay positive, it could always be much worse. =)

9 Weeks

{{First of all, thanks to anyone who “liked” our story on the Pasta Tree’s page! They announce the winners of the Valentine’s contest tomorrow!}}

So this is my first pregnancy post. Kinda exciting! And accordingly, here is my first official “belly pic.” No belly yet, but I hear it shows more quickly with baby #2. We shall see. Personally, I think I just look bloated. And please excuse my morning hair.

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My BabyCenter App told me to take a “belly pic.”

In baby-related news: I had my first appointment this week Wednesday, but it was just routine background/family history. They also analyzed last week’s ultrasound, and said the baby looks great. BUT they did find a 5.5cm cyst on my left ovary. Bummer. So they’re just going to monitor that whenever I have ultrasounds.

Last March (before I started this little blog), I had another large cyst removed from my left ovary. I’d had it for several months, but it had developed walls inside (visible by ultrasound), so the doc was very concerned: it was either ovarian cancer or endometriosis. I never thought I’d find myself hoping for endometriosis. I had a laparoscopic surgery to remove it, and they found that it was a large endometrioma (blood filled cyst caused by endometriosis)…but at least it wasn’t cancer! Phew! The doctor was surprised that I wasn’t experiencing pain, because usually endometriosis is very painful…I think he secretly thought it was cancer. Not complaining here. But ultimately, I’m just glad it didn’t cause any problems with conceiving baby #2.

We have also opted for a “First Trimester Screen” for genetic testing (mainly just because I want another ultrasound so we can see “it” again). We have genetic counseling & a blood test later this month, and on March 7th we’ll get the ultrasound and the results of the bloodwork. That is right before Jon leaves for the Army, so I’m very excited he’ll be able to be there with me and see the baby again. And maybe we’ll get a sneak peek of the sex? That would be awesome. I know that the “parts” can be visible by that gestational age, but it’s still pretty early. Hopefully we’ll get lucky!

Oh, and my jeans don’t fit anymore. I’ve gained like 3 lbs…I’m 178lbs now. That’s CRAZY. That’s what I was at the END of my pregnancy with McKenzie. Fuck. I’m screwed. The joys of pregnancy! But don’t judge me, I’m tall. I am currently living in yoga pants/leggings. I was so happy to find LONG yoga pants at Costco. I always need longs. My legs are longer than my dad’s, who was 6’3″.

Other than that, I’ve been a little queasy lately. The smell of cooking hamburgers/steak almost made me lose it. I find that soda settles my stomach, so I think I’m going to pick up some sparkling water to avoid the empty calories. Also, since Jon will be in the Army, we’ll be switching insurance mid-way through the pregnancy. So that should be interesting. And who knows where we’ll be living when I deliver? Maybe here? Maybe somewhere else? That should be fun.

Did you have to deal with any cysts during pregnancy? And if you’ve had 2 children, when did you start to “show” in your 2nd?