Sunday, June 30, 2013

Holy Cow! 4 months!

I am sort of in shock at the moment. One, the days are getting away from me (stupid summer vacation) and I completely forgot it was Sunday! And two, I am in shock that I get to write about being 4 months pregnant!

That seems so loooonnnggg! I never would have believed I was going to be able to write this post, but I am beyond happy I can! :)

So on to being 4 months pregnant. 

Well, here's the thing...I had an appointment with my midwife on Thursday and got to ask all the fun questions about being pregnant. "What are these weird brown streaks all over my arms and legs?" "Oh, that's the melasma that kicks into high gear when you are pregnant. Don't worry it will go away after the baby comes." Ok, great. But it looks like I have been coloring on myself with brown marker. Bleh! "Can I dye my hair now, I really want to!" "Well it's perfectly fine to dye your hair after the first trimester but you should only get foils." Oh. Well. I don't want foils. I want to go uber dark with all over hair dye. So nope. Can't do that either. 

Then we talk about the nuchal scan readings. "Well it looks like you have a 1 in 10,000 chance of having a baby with down syndrome or trisomy 13 or 18." YAY! Happy dance! "It looks like your placenta is actually anterior though." Crap.

Oh Dan

So yeah. Anterior placenta's are stupid. 

The most cartoon-y pic I could find of this. You're welcome!

With an anterior placenta I won't be able to feel the baby move as early or as much. So that stinks! Next week was when I was going to start to really pay attention for movement since they say 16 weeks is the time.

We are hoping that the placenta will actually move up as I become bigger and bigger and my uterus stretches out. It doesn't harm the baby and it doesn't harm me, it is just inconvenient. 

So if anybody has any good stories about anterior placenta please leave them in the comments to make me feel better. Thanks.

Onto the questions!!!

How far along: 4 months!

Total weight gain: 2 pounds gained (Womp, womp)
Maternity clothes: Actually wore a maternity tank this weekend. I bought my first pair of maternity jeans too! Got them at a great resale shop in town and they were only 10 bux! They are really cute but haven't worn them yet. My fat jeans are officially hard to button though so it may be soon.
Stretch marks: Nada
Sleep: Sleeping A LOT harder lately. Dan has noticed since the dog doesn't wake me up first anymore in the mornings. He also says I am talking nonsense a lot more during the night. Funny story...One night last week Dan come to bed really late and must of kinda woke me up because I immediately thought there was a stranger in my bed and I needed to get help. Dan says I popped right out of bed and walked into the hall. Then I slowly turned around and came back to bed telling him that I thought he was "a stranger that I had to get away from". Then immediately passed back out. He got a kick out of telling me that story the next day.
Best moment of this week: I got my haircut! For the first time since chemo! Before: fluffy and crazy!                                                         After: Nicely coiffed!

Miss anything: This week was a lot better. Did crave a coffee Saturday morning when Dan and I went to Starbucks, but I stuck with a tea.
Movement: Sadly no, and maybe not for awhile. 
Food cravings: Just HUNGRY. Like all the time. Eating double portions and finishing everything on my plate. This could stop anytime. Please.
Anything making you queasy or sick: Wasn't a fan of working out at the gym this week. All the bouncing around made me a little queasy. May need to finally sign up for those pre-natal yoga classes and stop doing the hardcore kickboxing stuff.
Have you started to show yet: Yep. I would say it is there. Still probably don't look pregnant to strangers and I disappointed a teacher friend at the Gifford celebration by not "looking" more pregnant. But hey, I got plenty of time to be big!
Gender: Starting to try old wives tales. Half have said girl half have said boy. Sigh. But this weekend I had my first guess of a boy!
Labor signs: N/A
Belly button in or out: In
Wedding rings on or off: On, they don't feel tight at all yet.
Happy or moody most of the time: Pretty tired this week for whatever reason (ummm maybe being pregnant?!) but feeling pretty good. Have noticed I will start crying uncontrollably at things I used to only shed a few tears over. Away We Go was a sob fest last weekend. Great movie though.
Looking forward to: 4th of July this week though I have no idea what we are doing and Dan has a gig in Pittsburgh the next day so he might not even be here for it. So yeah. Can I start looking forward to the last week of grad school in 3 weeks? Is that too far ahead?

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Another week down!

Here I am about to start week 15.

This week I got to start grad school again for the summer and realized how freaking hard it is again! All these papers! All this homework (6-ish hours a night). I feel like my undergrad degree was just a joke now. 
"Haha, you want to be a music educator? That's fine, take these fun courses about theory and ethnomusicology! It's sooo fun."
"Oh you want to get your graduate degree in music education? Might as well practice writing your thesis for the next 4 years in 4 different ways for every class you ever take. Hope you didn't want to have a life. Baahahahahaha!"

Dan is back to making me memes!

So yeah, grad school is nice. 

After this summer I will be half way through at least!

Other than all that homework Dan and I went to see a a double feature at the drive-in Friday night which was a lot of fun. We saw Man of Steel and World War Z. We both highly recommend both. We had a lot of fun on our date night and didn't get home till 3am. It felt like college again!

On Saturday Dan helped a buddy install new windows in his house while dodging the torrential downpour we were experiencing at the time.

Today we went to talk at a church that helped us out a lot during my chemo treatment. It was nice to be able to tell them thank you and let them know how well I was doing now. Dan and I both cried as we talked in front of the congregation, but we got through it. We celebrated with a long nap after the service and now I am avoiding my homework by blogging! Oh yeah! :)

The week ahead is pretty much the same thing for us, though I get to go for my monthly checkup on Thursday. I don't think too much is going to happen, but at least I get to go talk about being pregnant again! 

Onto the questions!

How far along: 15 weeks
Total weight gain: didn't weigh myself this week, will see at my appointment on Thursday
Maternity clothes: Nope, but I got a TON of great clothes from a friend (Hi Kate!) and I can't wait to start wearing them!
Stretch marks: Nope Nope Nope
Sleep: I got a body pillow! It helps my hips which have been hurting more. Our bed has gotten a little crowded though. Dan says he doesn't mind. I named the pillow Fred. I have no idea why, but it's funny to say "Fred has fallen off the bed!" in the morning.
Best moment of this week: Date night with the hubster
Miss anything: Soda cravings are killing me, but I bought some pineapple juice at the store today. I think if I mix it with seltzer and a little grenadine it will help my cravings.
Movement: Nope, don't think so. There have been a few times that I went hmmm, but pretty sure nothing yet.
Food cravings: Sugar cereal and chocolate. Both I never have really liked that much. We weren't allowed to have really sugary stuff growing up and I am not a huge fan of chocolate. But man I wanted some fudge and frosted flakes this week!
Anything making you queasy or sick: Just some nerves from talking to the congregation this morning. No morning sickness anymore.
Have you started to show yet: A little bump has sprung I think. Still just look kinda chubby though. 
Gender: Still waiting, though it is starting to drive me insane.
Labor signs: N/A
Belly button in or out: In
Wedding rings on or off: On, they don't feel tight at all yet.
Happy or moody most of the time: Much better mood this week. Grad school is stressful, but not getting me down. Looked forward to our movie date all week which helped too!
Looking forward to: Gifford Celebration next weekend. It's a big 4th of July thing my school community throws that we have never been too. Should be fun!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

12 Week Sono!

So we had our big sono on Friday.

I am pleased to introduce Baby Harts (as it is now being called):

I think it has Dan's profile!

The sono looked great!

Everything was there that was supposed to be and nothing was there that wasn't supposed to be. I had some blood work done too and that will come back in a week or so. As of right now they said since my chemo was a "mild" form and that I am still under 35, our chances are just like I was a pre-cancer patient. So that is great!

Right after the sono Dan and I hit the road for the Lake of the Ozarks for the weekend. We had a great time with the Shenanigans. 

The Lake

Shenanigans rocking the crowd!

So now we are back home and I am getting ready for grad school to start tomorrow. Back at it for another summer! 3 classes again though 1 is online and 1 is a 2 day 18 hour workshop. So really I only have to drive up to Bloomington for one physical class on campus. I am just excited it isn't at 8am this year!

Next baby related thing is a monthly midwife appointment on the 25th. So just a lot of sitting and getting more of a belly. I thought since I am really using this blog to document our lives I would answer some questions weekly about the pregnancy.

So questions.

How far along: 14 weeks
Total weight gain: 0 (oh yeah!)
Maternity clothes: Nope, but lots of stretchy pants or skirts to help with a burgeoning belly!
Stretch marks: Nope, and I really hope I won't get them!
Sleep: No longer needing to sleep for 12 hours a night. Still enjoying my sleep immensely though!
Best moment of this week: Going on a nice weekend getaway with the hubs as well as seeing our Baby Harts!
Miss anything: It was a little tough this weekend to be outside on a beach, listening to rock and roll and not have a drink in my hand. I really only like to drink occasionally at most, but this weekend I really missed it.
Movement: Nope, not yet. Though on the sono we literally saw the baby jump up with it's whole body and Dan was all "You can't feel that?!". But not when the baby is only the size of a lemon!
Food cravings: Everything sounds great then I start to eat it and immediately don't want it AT ALL. Slightly annoying at restaurants especially.
Anything making you queasy or sick: Had a little morning sickness this week but just occasionally and it wouldn't last long. First morning sickness of the pregnancy so I will take it!
Have you started to show yet: I would say I still just look like I ate too many donuts. A little depressing really.
Gender: Was feeling boy at the sono, but too early to tell! Dan still thinks girl!
Labor signs: N/A
Belly button in or out: Still IN, thankyouverymuch.
Wedding rings on or off: On, they don't feel tight at all yet.
Happy or moody most of the time: Ridiculously grumpy lately. I mentioned I didn't feel as chipper to Dan and he confirmed that I seemed a little off (he said it very nicely, don't worry). So my goal this week is to get out of my funk and not let some hormones bring me down!
Looking forward to: Starting grad school!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

So here we are

Present Day! 

You did it! You made it through the craziness that has been my brain for the past 13 weeks. I know it was hard, and probably pretty annoying at times, but I promise that from now on we will just talk about fun things! Like being pregnant! And trying not to look like Florence Henderson:

Crap I need a haircut.

I have finally caught you up to the present day. Having the blog this time around, even when I wasn't publishing anything really helped me. I was a nervous wreck for pretty much the first 11 weeks of this pregnancy. 

When I try to explain to people why, it always seems silly. I had a miscarriage, on top of our doctor telling us at the beginning of March that the chemo had wiped out my ovaries. I was actually diagnosed as pre-menopausal and they told us to start looking into donor eggs. 
All that. 


And here I am pregnant. 

So forgive me if I didn't believe it at first. Forgive us for waiting so long to tell people, and in not believing I would ever get to experience pregnancy. 

That isn't to say it didn't take A LOT of drugs. 

We were told that IVF would have a 1% chance of working. We decided to wait till this summer to try it since we would have to go to Indy for the procedure and I didn't want to miss school. 
As a favor to us our fertility doctor (Dr. Faye by the way, so awesome) let us try just the hormone shots leading up to the IVF to see if my ovaries could be stimulated at all. She warned us that it was really a shot in the dark. But our insurance paid for some of the shots and we figured what could we lose. This way at least we would know if IVF had even a remote chance of working this summer. On top of seeing how strong a dose I would need to get my ovaries to turn back on.
We had done this once before. Right before chemo with disastrous results. So they really upped my dosage of hormones this time. 

Come to find out. 2 weeks after starting the drugs I had 4 viable eggs!! 4!!! 

We were ecstatic   My ovaries still worked. We had hope. We waited to see if any or all (gulp) would stick. 

1 did. 

And here we are. Getting ready for my 12 week ultrasound (even though I'm 13 weeks) tomorrow morning. We are hoping to bypass any crazy genetic disorders and hoping the chemo didn't mess up my remaining eggs. 

So in a way I am still holding my breath. Still waiting to let it go and believe that everything is going to be ok. When I get really worried I listen to the baby's heartbeat and I am reassured that they are still there, that this is happening, and that everything is going to be ok. 

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

What a difference...


A year makes!

Almost a year ago to the day I found out I had cancer. May 31st, 2012 actually. That was the last day of school for us. We had a party that night for a teacher who was moving. Dan and I were planning on going, but after the "phone call" we no longer felt like celebrating.

Now a year later I announced to the teachers at my school that I was pregnant!

It doesn't seem long enough. Has it really only been a year that we got to deal with all of this?? Has it really only been 6 months since my last treatment?! The midwife we met with on Tuesday for our first appointment was amazed.

And after I thought about it more, I was too.

Last May I had so much to NOT look forward too. Surgeries, chemo, sickness and losing my hair. This May I have SO much to look forward to! Maternity clothes, baby showers and decorating the nursery.

Our friends and family are amazed with us. I hated telling everyone last year that we needed to talk with them. I felt like everyone was thinking we had happy news. Everyone was shocked when we told them I had cancer. They never expected it. Neither did we. 

Now we finally get to share good news.

To say that I am grateful, to say that I am thankful, would be the emotional understatement of the year.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Everything is going so well


So why am I not more relaxed?

All my concerts went well. Besides two graduation ceremonies I am pretty much flying through the rest of the year.

I feel great! Despite now needing to go to bed every night at 8pm I feel fantastic.  (Editor's Note:  Still not telling the truth about bed time huh?)

No nausea, no dizziness, no grossness.

I still miss coffee, and have been having cravings for soda even though I haven't touched the stuff since the first of the year. Part of our eat-good-stuff-not-crap plan.

I took last week off of working out due to all my concerts and wanting to make sure my 8-week sono looked good. Which it did! Here is our little penguin:

But I went and worked out last night and felt fine. Maybe even too fine. I immediately started to worry that something was wrong. My heart rate wasn't going crazy, I felt fine pushing myself like crazy during kickboxing.

So yeah. Then the worrying began again. It is so hard after always being in control of what happens to your body; what you put in it, what you expect out of it, what you wear on it; that you now have no control over something very important. Something you can't see or check on whenever you want. Something that from day to day could change drastically and you would have no idea.

So I keep trying to tell myself that I have been released from Infertility  I am officially a regular old, but not that old, pregnant lady with my first prenatal appointment on May 24th.  

We even felt confident enough to tell our parents this past week that we were pregnant. Dan's mom was overjoyed and we caught my parents reaction on tape. I have to post it because I think it is so awesome. If you don't feel like waiting through all the banter we have while she is opening her mother's day gifts you should skip to 2:15 in the video.

So she opened a coffee mug that said  "World's Okayest Mom" on the front, but on the back it read "World's Greatest Grandma". That's why when she turned it around and read it she immediately stopped.

I have to explain a little since I think Dan would probably want me to. I picked out that mug months ago. In fact I have picked out how I wanted to tell certain people for years.  (Editor's Note: YEARS.)I love surprising people (even though I hate surprises) and also love to plan. I knew someday this would be a big deal for me and I wanted to be ready. If we had found out we were pregnant near Christmas or near my Dad's birthday I had different things picked out to tell them. So yeah. You could say I was thrilled with my Mom's reaction. It went exactly according to plan!
So yeah. Things are going great. Now if only my brain would believe it.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

So close


Today I am 10 weeks. I so want to tell everybody at school, but I just don't want to deal with having to tell a whole school if something goes wrong this summer. So I am not going to. I think I might tell the teachers on Friday or Tuesday since they are institute days and we won't have kids. I'll tell everybody else in August! Or at least some parents who follow my blog will see these posts and I bet word will spread pretty quickly.

I went and bought a heart rate doppler  It is soooo cool! I can find the baby's heartbeat pretty easily and hear it beating away whenever I want. It has really helped my anxiety level with all of this. I have even been smiling to myself at school when I think about hearing the little heart beating inside me. 

So yeah, there was some debate between Dan and I about how "safe" we felt the home doppler was, but we did a lot of research and it seems perfectly fine. And since my anxiety level has gone from a 100 to about 10 I feel it's worth it.

Summer is almost here and I am looking forward to my parents coming over for Memorial Day weekend. We are going to cook out a ton, get my flower beds in order, and maybe go shopping for some pregnancy clothes. Some pants are getting a little tight so I have taken to wearing skirts and stretchy things. Nothing that says "maternity" yet for me though. I still have plenty of time for that.  (Editor's Note: "Ain't nobody got time for that")

8 weeks!


Today we got to see our little penguin again! 

Today they really looked like a penguin too! Sorry. Not "they", "it". There is only one. 

We are finally starting to tell people too. It seems more real and even a happier, less stressful, occasion now.

I think Dan said it best last night: "It has been a long 8 weeks!"

Hopefully from here on out it will be smooth sailing.
So far I have no pregnancy symptoms and feel great! A little tired, but I am used to that from the chemo anyway. It's fun to go to bed at 8:30. I am not drinking coffee right now so it also helps that my bedtime is a lot earlier.  (Editor's Note:  This is a bold face lie.  She is in bed at 7:30 each night)

13 more days left of school and then I can relax my summer away! Well and go to grad school and work at the Orpheum.

I am going to tell all my fellow teachers on the last day of school. :) 
I'm already excited about it! :) :) :)



Yesterday I got to see our baby for the first time!

I am officially 6 weeks and 1 day and everything looks great! We even saw the heartbeat, though it was a slow 104 bpm and that made me immediately anxious.  However, the doctor said  that since the heart just started beating that it starts out slow.

In 2 weeks when we get to see the little cheerio again (!!) it will be beating even faster. AND if everything looks good I will be able to head on over to OBGYN and no more infertility!

I don't even miss coffee...much


Today I am 6 weeks pregnant.

Of course no one knows still. We are still keeping our little secret. But it's getting harder....(Editor's Note:  insert favorite smiley face here)

So far every blood test I have had has been "beautiful". Showing us we are on track to actually getting to have this baby in our arms. My numbers were so good they pushed up my first ultrasound.

In 2 days I get to see my baby for the first time.

Now really it will just be a little heartbeat. Just a flicker on the screen. But if we see that flicker the chance of a miscarriage drops significantly. 

Then in 2 weeks we will have another ultrasound and if that one looks good I will no longer be a fertility patient. I will be a OBGYN patient. Which is soooo exciting!

So I continue to not know when I will post these little snippets of pregnant life. After the first trimester maybe?

But I am so much more hopeful than I was 2 weeks ago. So much more excited. I even signed up for a Pregnancy Newsletter. This is huge for me. 

I am finally starting to believe I'm pregnant.

And that I get to stay that way.



--This entry was written on April 9th 2013.  Five months out from chemo.--

I just found out I am pregnant.

However, I won't post this until after my first trimester is over. There are too many variables still to wait for.  I am technically only 4 weeks right now and I am feeling a mix of elation and trepidation. Constant back and forth. 

You see I have had a miscarriage before. 

I feel this is almost a taboo subject. So many women go through fertility issues and miscarriages but do not talk about it publicly.  Especially on the interweb.  (Editor's Note: "interweb" is a modern colloquialism for what used to be known as "The World Wide Web.")

I am not writing this for anyone to feel sorry for me. I don't want their pity from having a miscarriage.  We were told that I would struggle with getting pregnant (this was 6 months before my cancer diagnosis). All of a sudden we were! It was easy!   

And then it was gone.  And I have come to view our [premature] elation as the worst thing we got from that first pregnancy.

We had only gotten to tell a few people, but we soon wished we hadn't told anyone.  We had to go back to the people that we had shared such happy news with and watch their face fall when we told them we had lost the baby. Feeling the wound cut open again and again, each time you had to tell someone.

But then walking around surrounded by people who didn't know. Who didn't even know how I was breaking inside, how I felt utterly broken.

So I will write this all down so I don't explode.

We are keeping it close this time, keeping our time as "expectant" parents secret until the time is right.  Until we see a heartbeat, until we are done with the first trimester, until we know that this baby is here to stay.