Thursday, April 26, 2012

9 Weeks

Here are my week 9 updates:

How far along? Exactly 9 weeks today

How big is baby? We have now moved from an 'embryo' to official 'fetus' status! The little one is now about the size of a green olive.

Total weight gain: 0 (I actually lost 1.5 lbs at the beginning and am just now back to near my normal baseline)

Maternity clothes? Not yet! The only change so far is eliminating belts from my wardrobe- my pants are now staying up just fine on their own and are much more comfortable this way. I am also still able to stuff fit my boobs into 2 of my bras, even though they are about a cup size larger.

Sleep: When I sleep I am out cold- however, I seem to wake up extremely often through the night- and when I wake- I am totally awake. It takes awhile to get comfortable and fall back asleep. I am also managing to take a 20 minute catnap each day.

Food cravings: Cheese! Preferably melted on something. Whenever I think about mac n cheese, quesadillas, pizza, nachos, etc, I swoon. I actually cooked some wheat pasta late the other night just so I could smother it in cheese. I am also loving my new morning breakfast- toast with cream cheese, a fried egg, and of course- shredded cheese on top. I make this immediately after waking as I start to feel nauseous almost right away. I've also been craving steak - especially on top of salads.

Food aversions: I am still not craving sweets, but can now palate them. Last night when out to dinner, I really really REALLY wanted Bess Bisto's amazing brownie/ice cream dessert that normally comes with a shot of espresso. I had them put decaf espresso on top, and it was worth every bite (and also worth the insomnia that resulted from sugar & chocolate that late at night.) Anything too rich or fancy is tough for me- my dinner last night had potato cakes & a fancy brussels sprout salad- all which I could hardly touch. I fell back on the good ole delicious bread and butter on the table! Simple and bland is the name of the game.

Symptoms? I am having all day nausea pretty much every day. I need to eat immediately upon waking- and am able to manage it pretty well as long as I keep food in my stomach. My chest is still sore & about a cup size larger- and my fatigue has definitely picked up in the last week, noticeably so!

Guesses on the sex? I have to admit I've started a Pinterest board with nursery ideas, and the majority of the ideas are for girls. I do have a feeling we'll be having a girl, but don't want to get "set" on that as obviously there is a 50/50 chance it could be a little boy!

Most looking forward to: Our next OB appointment. It took me an entire WEEK to finally get through and switch to my new doctor, and then her first available appointment was for May 17th- which feels so far away! I will be exactly 12 weeks along at that appointment, and can't wait to see our baby on screen again. It will actually look like a real baby this time!

My brother & sister-in-law are here in town visiting from Seattle- and my sister-in-law is 7.5 months pregnant with a baby girl. We had a funny moment earlier today while at a shoe store- the shop owner came out from behind the counter to reveal her own baby bump- 5 months along. So we had 2++ months, 5 months, & 7.5 months- all different phases of pregnancy. And Anna got some adorable shoes to boot! I hope I look as lovely as she does when I get that far along.....

Tonight at dinner BC suddenly turned to me and exclaimed "I think you are starting to show!" I assured him I thought the bulge was due to the mac n cheese I'd just consumed- but Anna concurred that she too thought it was the beginnings of a wee baby bump. You be the judge- here first is a picture I took at 5 weeks, then another tonight- it is a super subtle bulge, and if it is gone in the morning than I am definitely chalking it up to the mac n cheese!

 5 weeks.....
9 weeks! Baby bump? Or cheese......

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Our TTC Overview

Welcome to the ICLW folks stopping by!

I thought it might be good to introduce myself, and give a snapshot of our almost 3 year TTC journey:

July 2008: I marry my "Babycakes" (BC) in Austin, TX
April 2009: We decide to start officially trying for a family
April 2010: My regular OB/GYN gives me the 'unexplained infertility' label
Fall 2010 I begin seeing a fertility specialist
December 2010: 50mg Clomid (produces 3 follicles!) = BFN
January 2011: 50mg Femara (just 1 follicle)= BFN
February 2011: Back to 50 mg Clomid (1 follicle) + IUI = BFN
June 2011: Laparoscopic surgery revealed (and cleared) Stage III endometriosis.
June 2011: IUI = BFN
July 2011: 50 mg Clomid (1 follicle) + IUI = BFN
September 2011: IUI= BFN
October 2011: IUI= BFN (are you seeing a theme here?)
November 2011: move into my first injectables cycle with Gonal-F + 2 IUI's (3 follicles released)
December 2011: Holy S***- first every BFP!! Sadly, ended in a chemical pregnancy days later
BREAK due to ovarian cyst
February 2012: 2nd Injectables cycle w. Gonal F and 2 IUI's= BFN (only 1 follicle released)
March 2012: With cysts on both ovaries, my doc told me this month was out for interventions. On March 20th- testing on a whim, I got a surprise, natural BFP!!! In total shock.

We are now a bit over 8 weeks along on our journey, and praying daily that this little one becomes our take home baby at the end of November.

I'd love to learn a bit about each of you as well! A few questions:

*Where are you from? 
(I am from small town Wisconsin- went to Madison for college then moved to Austin on a total whim in 1999)
*What is your all time favorite movie?
(I LOVE Annie Hall)
*If you could take a dream vacation anywhere in the world, where would you go?
(This is a toss up between another European tour- hitting Paris, Barcelona, Budapest, Vienna, etc- or heading out to New Zealand)

Happy ICLW week! I look forward to getting to know you all.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


I had booked an appointment to see Dr. Vaughn again in two weeks, knowing this would likely be my last appointment with him before being turned over to a regular OB/GYN. Today I got a call from the fertility clinic saying that my insurance had put the cabosh on the appointment, apparently because they only cover me up to 8 weeks there. BOO! I didn't even get to say goodbye to Dr. V.

So now I will officially be dispatched back into the "regular" world, where the waits for appointments can stretch hours, and there isn't as much individualized attention. Choosing a new doctor to see me throughout our pregnancy has proved daunting as well; I haven't been thrilled with my regular OB/GYN since she gave me the "unexplained infertility" diagnosis a couple years ago- delivered without any sweetness or sympathy, just dry and cold. Thankfully two of my friends & clients here in town are labor & delivery nurses at Seton Hospital- and have given me the complete low down on the doctors they work with. I love that they see these docs in their element, knowing how they handle emergencies & tougher situations. Given their feedback I am excited about the doctor I've chosen- Dr. Karen Swenson- and truly hope we love her when we meet her. I left her clinic a voicemail today, and am keeping my fingers crossed they'll have an opening for me around my 10 week mark (and hoping Dr. Swenson is taking new clients!)

It's been a long bittersweet ride with the Texas Fertility Center. While I am sad to be leaving them, I am also grateful for what it represents- that we now have a healthy, viable pregnancy (may it continue that way!)

Monday, April 16, 2012

First Photo

I guess technically this aura photo was our baby's first mug shot, but I have to say I think this picture takes the cake:

This is Baby Lambert at 7 weeks 4 days, measuring right on schedule (measured at 7w3d) with a strong heartbeat of 146. It was crazy to actually hear the heartbeat- and BC declared that this was his favorite part of the appointment! I think we are both just so happy and relieved to have seen our little one and to know he/she is growing healthy and strong. Dr. Vaughn said our risk of miscarriage now goes down to 6-7%, so that was super reassuring to hear!

As far as symptoms go, my nausea is totally playing hide and seek with me. The last 2 days it has been seeking me throughout the night- causing me to feel quite unwell when I wake between sleep cycles, and hence interrupting my sleep quite a bit. This morning I got SUPER close to throwing up- I *think* because my prenatal vitamin might have just hit my stomach (I did have food in there, but possibly not enough). My boobs are still very sore and up about a cup size, and aside from the occasional sharp tug around my belly, that is really it. Spot has been MIA for almost a week now, and I say GOOD RIDDANCE to him!

We had our company Client Appreciation Party yesterday, and happily my nausea stayed at bay for the duration of the event. I brought my own metal coffee mug to drink out of- typically it would have been filled with beer, but this year I had plenty of water in there (and the party goers were none the wiser!)

Our Juice Homes, LLC team. 
Couldn't ask for more amazing people to work with!

Oh happy, happy day!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Oh, Baby

Yesterday I woke up feeling much less nauseous- and foolishly thought I was out of the woods (and even had a moment of panic- 'my symptoms are gone! What does this mean?) HA.

Cut to today. This little one is absolutely making itself known- as I have my first official "All Day of Unrelenting Nausea" day. Ick. Nothing I eat will curb it, and everything I eat doesn't really taste good. After my morning Congee I went to my fav coffee shop thinking my regular omelet would hit the spot. While awaiting its arrival I had to breathe slow and steady and was seriously afraid I might throw up. I picked at the omelet- which helped my belly for maybe 15 minutes after (especially the cheese. I am lovin' the cheese). I absolutely couldn't touch their refried beans, which tasted way different from the ones I love from our local taco stand.

I still can't stomach sweets- and today everyone else is tasting WAY too salty. My taste buds are on a crazy roller-coaster ride, and they seem to change their preferences at the drop of a hat.

I'm currently cooking up a pot of West African Peanut Soup. So far my nose is LOVING the smell of it, and I hope my taste buds and then belly love it as well! Fingers crossed.

I am hoping this all day nausea isn't the start of a new 'thing.' We have our annual company Client Appreciation Party on Sunday, and I will be sending my prayers to the powers that be that I feel well enough to be there and be present (4 hours of standing and socializing outside in our Texas heat!).

All in all, I am still grateful to be having symptoms that clearly point to our little one growing and developing. As I've said before, I am willing to take on anything that comes for the health of this baby!

 But this part is definitely not fun.


Update: my soup is absolutely hitting the spot! All that ginger probably helps. Grateful I have a big pot of it that should last for several days. Sweet relief (for now).

Monday, April 9, 2012

6 Week Updates

When I first told my cousin (who is 3 months pregnant) that I too was pregnant, she warned me about the 6 week mark. She said she had felt great until 6 weeks hit and then BAM- she had 4 weeks of pretty constant nausea.

Last Thursday I hit 6 weeks and thought "hey hey! I am totally going to be that girl who doesn't get morning sickness."

Then at 6 weeks, ONE day (good one, universe!)- voila. After breakfast #1 of my congee mush I got a wicked wave of nausea that had me breathing deeply and looking at what else I might stuff in my mouth at that second. And it has continued every morning since then (and often at night too).  It is definitely not 'all day' nausea, and thankfully I haven't felt the need to throw up, but it is intense when it hits. I now have a supply of crackers and peanut butter next to my bed, and anytime I wake to use the bathroom during the night (which is often!) and feel that icky tickle in my throat, I eat a snack, take a drink of water, breathe- and usually it subsides.

I remembered reading something about how having morning sickness correlates with a lower chance of miscarriage, so of course I had to google it. I ended up finding lots of articles confirming this- which is really crazy & fascinating. I am just so happy to finally be pregnant that I am willing to take & put up with anything that comes my way- morning sickness included.

I am starting to have more specific cravings & aversions, which seem to change constantly. Last night, turning my nose up at a fridge full of Easter dinner leftovers, I wanted nothing more than a simple (and heavenly!) bowl of ramen. Today at Whole Foods I stocked up on more soups & noodles, only to find in the check out line that the idea of refried beans was the only thing on earth I thought would taste good to me at that moment. Thankfully I live in Austin, where every 2 blocks is a taco stand. Those tacos tasted as amazing as I'd hoped (with the exception of the dude mixing up my request for tomatoes with onions- I HATE onions!)

I have also had a pretty constant aversion to sweets since very early in this pregnancy. We hosted the family Easter celebration this weekend, and I was a baking fool- making my sister-in-law's cake pops and baking my traditional sugar cookies:

And I didn't want to eat ANY of them. So sad. I made BC let me have one tiny bite of his cake pop- just so I could see how they turned out. They were dee-lish, but I still absolutely didn't want any more bites.

Spot has still been stopping by maybe 1x/day, if even, and remains extremely light & brown. I think I've finally got used to him enough not to feel alarmed, but still hope he takes a permanent hike soon. And I still have a tickle of glee with every bathroom visit where he doesn't show up!

I can't help thinking that this whole pregnancy thing is like a mad science experiment. As the baby grows & develops it interacts in totally different & unique ways with my body. This week, for instance, as I begin to experience what 'morning sickness' is,  our baby's nervous system & organs are all starting to develop. The heart is already beating, and its facial features are starting to take shape. Amazing how quickly these little ones grow.

I had my last beta blood draw Thursday at exactly my 6 week point. The nurse said anything over 10,000 is really great- and I came in at 35,485! It was strong enough that I was told I didn't need to do any more blood draws- yippee! Now we await our 1st sonogram in about a week, where we pray to hear a strong heartbeat. Go baby, go!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

See Spot, Run

I am definitely suffering from what I call Newly Pregnant Paranoid Syndrome. Having tried for so long to get pregnant, every twitch, every pain, can be grounds for paranoia.

Take yesterday morning. When I awoke and used the restroom, I noticed light brown spotting when I wiped. Cue me to thinking OMG I AM HAVING A MISCARRIAGE! I took a deep breath and did what any psychotic reasonable girl would do- ferociously googled "spotting in early pregnancy" and reading every.single.thing I could possibly find on the subject. I also put in a call to Dr. Vaughn's office.

Consensus? Totally normal. Brown means old blood, and spotting is super common in early pregnancy. In fact Dr. V's nurse said 3/4ths of her patients have early pregnancy spotting. The cause for concern would be if it turns to red blood and/or is accompanied by extremely severe cramping (neither was the case for me).  I had done a full Ashtanga yoga practice the night before Spot showed up (felt great to my body at the time) which may have loosened some old blood and been the culprit. Believe you me I am going to be laying off the more rigorous exercise for awhile! Saggy butt or spotty pants... *sigh*

This morning I was THRILLED when no spotting was to be found... and hope dear old Spot stays away for the remainder of my journey. I realize he may come and go, but every bathroom visit with a clean wipe is now grounds for excessive celebration.

I am 5 weeks, 5 days pregnant today- and my symptoms are still pretty much the same. Very sore boobs (which by golly I do believe have filled in a bit!), feeling a little more tired than normal, and still freakishly waking up at the crack of dawn. What IS that? I have always slept until 7:30-8 daily, and now I am up around 6-6:30 and unable to get back to sleep. Perhaps it is my body slowly easing me into getting used to less sleep?

And here are my final 4 pictures for March's Photo Challenge:

Day #28 -COZY:

Lying with my love in Central Park, enjoying the soft grass 
(which is an anomaly here in Texas)

Day #29- CUT:

Flashback to my laparoscopic surgery. 
No more endo for this girl!

Day # 30-  ORANGE:

I absolutely LOVE fires & fireplaces. Unfortuantely, our home does not have one, which is something I've lamented since the day we bought it (yes, yes- I know you don't NEED a fireplace in the hot Texas climate, but there is something so cozy & comforting about them that I can't get over). We found this electric fireplace at a Wimberely store, and I am a bit obsessed with it. To the point where I asked our architect- who is also a Feng Shui expert- if this addition to our living room would bode well for our chi? Apparently NO- it will 'burn up' the family area bagua. 
I remain undeterred!

Day #31- COMPLETE:

This is a drawing I did back in December of 2010- hoping, praying that this would manifest for me. Complete. : )