"...and the greatest of these is love."   1 Corinthians 13:13

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Pregnancy: Part 3 - First Trimester

Hello all!

I left off last time with how we ended up telling different groups of people about the upcoming arrival of Baby W, so I'l pick up right there.

We left Rob's parents' house the Wednesday after Christmas, but that morning, I had been a little concerned. I had had some unusual bleeding that morning that was combined with cramping. Of course my go-to is to look up questions on the computer and that was a huge mistake. We left around lunchtime, and I just had a huge knot in my stomach. I called my mom to get her advice, and she asked me some questions. Because I was cramping, she encouraged me to call my doctor. We hadn't even had an appointment with my OB yet, but I did have an appointment scheduled for 2 weeks later. I spoke with the on-call nurse, and after a run-down of questions, she encouraged me to come in the next morning.

I went to sleep a little worried that night, but tried not to let it consume my thoughts. Rob and I went the next day to give blood and to be checked out. My OB was not there that day, so I saw another doctor in the practice. She said that we were probably too early to see anything on a sonogram (I was about 6 weeks) but she checked everything else out, asked me a ton of questions again, and then sent us on our way. She told me to come back in two days for more bloodwork, so they could compare my HCG levels to make sure my hormone levels were rising correctly. After I had done that, they said the blood work results would be back in a few days.

Waiting those few days was not fun. I felt like I couldn't continue to think that I was pregnant because of the bleeding (which had lessened, a good sign), but I wanted to because I didn't know that there WAS something wrong. It was emotionally very confusing. Lauren and Trevor were in town that next weekend, so I went over to the Prewett's house to spend some time with Lauren and Isla. It was so tough not telling her then what I was struggling with mentally and not being able to share my fears and/or excitement.

On the way home, on a whim, I called my OB's office. I just wanted to know either way, just to have some solid answer to hold on to. I wasn't even sure they were going to have the information, but if they did have it, I didn't want to wait until Monday to know. The front desk clerk answered and transfered me to my nurse practitioner. Hearing her voice on the other line made my heart beat faster. And then she said the words I was waiting to hear, "Well, you're definitely pregnant!" I couldn't help but smile from ear to ear. She told me that she would see me in a few days (for my regular 8 week appointment). I immediately called Rob and told him the good news. We were both very relieved and happy to just have an answer.

We continued to keep things under wraps from most. We wanted to wait until the 12 weeks mark to make sure we were out of the clear. Secretly, I think because we had had the scare of bleeding, I was a little bit leery to tell others. I just didn't want the pain of having to tell someone at a later date that we had lost the baby if that were to ever happen.

We went in giddy and excited (with a small side of anxiousness) a little bit later for our 8 week appointment. We sat in the waiting room, exchanging smiles and holding sweaty hands.

When our sweet Nurse Practitioner (Kathleen) came in, my heart started to beat a little faster. After what seemed like a million questions, she began the sonogram process...not the abdominal kind, but it didn't matter. We just wanted to see our little bean. Right away, it popped up on the screen, and a few seconds later, we saw the sweetest little flicker we have ever seen. I immediately started to cry, just overcome with emotion that we actually had a little life in there, that we were actually about to walk down the road that led to parenthood, and just amazed that the Lord had entrusted us with this little human being. It was such a sweet moment.

Our little peanut. :)

Our first "family" photo.

 Right after that, I started getting a little sick with morning sickness. Nothing was unbearable, and Rob was very sweet to help make me / go get me things that I could stomach. I switched to taking my prenatal vitamins to right before I went to bed, and that helped a little. I only vomited a few times, and most of the time, as long as I was eating little snacks constantly (a little challenging to do when nothing sounded good) I was pretty fine. 

I also started taking weekly photos after that appointment. Baby's first tennis tournament. :)

When I was 11 weeks and 5 days, we went for another appointment. We "graduated" to the belly ultrasound, and it was so fun to see our little one squirming and wiggling around. We were all smiles as the tech checked everything out with measurements, etc. We couldn't believe how much Baby W had grown in less than 4 weeks!

We talked to our OB, Dr. Sara Jurney, for the first time since finding out we were expecting and she answered some questions for us. It was so fun to talk with her, and just realize with her every answer that we were really going to have a baby. We left the appointment a little bit later with our cheeks hurting from smiling so much. 

A few hours later, when I was working after school, I got a call from my OB office. I was a little nervous, since we had just left from there, but I answered it and found that it was Kathleen, our nurse practitioner. She asked if I had some time to chat, and at that point I knew something was wrong. Basically, the short end of what she said was that after we had left, Dr. Jurney had looked at our sonograms closely and was concerned about a few things, mainly the thickness of Baby W's nuchal fold. This is a measurement of the thickness of his neck. All babies have somewhat of a thick "neck" before they develop a little more, but she was concerned about the measurement at that point in the game. My heart dropped as she told me some of the reasons why this could be so. She mentioned Trisomy 13, 18, and 21 and a few other genetic disorders. I took notes furiously as she talked because I knew I wouldn't remember a word she said to me. Everything suddenly felt like a blur. I kept thinking...a few hours ago, we were on cloud 9. Everything seemed like it was just crashing down. 

I got off the phone feeling numb. I immediately called Rob and told him through short breaths and tears what Kathleen had told me. He was stable and reassuring, but I could hear the concern in his voice. We both left work to go home. Luckily we had something to attend for that evening, as it kept our minds busy for a while. But when I think back to that night and picture it, things look dark and dim. We talked later that night and decided that we really needed to talk directly to Dr. Jurney. 

I called the office and left them a request to have her call me. The next day, I got a call after school again. Honestly, I think I was hoping to hear from her that she wasn't as concerned as Kathleen had let on. That there was only a marginal possibility that any of those things might be real. But I got off the phone even more anxious and worried after speaking with her. Dr. Jurney suggested genetic testing (something that we were against initially). I got off the phone so confused and so overwhelmed with all of the options. I called Rob and he just let me cry. I called my mom on the way home to work, and she told me that she and Stephen were going to come to Houston the next day to be with us. Rob and I just sat on the couch last night and weighed the options. It really was an awful night. I felt so low. But Rob prayed for us, prayed for wisdom that we would make the right decisions, that Baby W was growing and developing just like he needed to, and that His will would be done in the situation. It was then that we placed our little peanut in God's hands. We had to swallow the thought that our little one wasn't really ours - this was far more difficult than I ever realized it would be, and our little one was just a few weeks into his or her development. It was amazing how quickly we were attaching to Baby W in just a few short weeks. 

We decided to get the genetic testing that Dr. Jurney had suggested. It is called the Harmony test, and it tests for the main types of genetic disorders. I went the next day and gave blood. I had a knot in my stomach, but I knew that knot would stay if we didn't have some kind of answer. Waiting those 2 weeks was pretty rough. My grandfather, Papos, whom I was very close to passed away during that time too. It just seemed like everything that could possibly go wrong was happening. I will say, though, that because of his death, I was able to be surrounded by family for a few days which was great medicine. 

Finally, after what seemed like forever, I got a voicemail on my phone while I was at work. It was a lab technician from the company I had done my testing through. She let me know that there was less that 1 in 10,000 chance that our little baby had a genetic disorder. Tears pricked in my eyes, but I was so relieved. I immediately called Rob to let him know, and it was such a relief to know that things were looking so positive.

It took a few weeks for things to feel normal after the roller coaster of that event, but we were happy to put that behind us and move past the 12 week hump!

More soon,