Monday, March 29, 2010

7 Weeks Pregnant

Baby's Growth and Development at 7 Weeks Pregnant

During the first 6 weeks of pregnancy, your baby's heartbeat was the big story. At 7 weeks pregnant, the most exciting event is your baby's developing facial and physical features. Highlights for your 7th week of pregnancy include:
  • By the 7th week of pregnancy, she is 1/3 of an inch to half an inch long — barely the length of your pinky fingernail.
  • Your baby's face becomes more defined when you're 7 weeks pregnant. Her mouth, nostrils, and ears begin to appear.
  • When you're 7 weeks pregnant, the lenses in your baby's eyes begin to form and the iris color is visible.
  • Her arms, shoulders, hands, legs, and feet begin to take shape by the 7th week of pregnancy, with the early formation of fingers and toes just another week away.
  • Around the 7th and 8th week of your pregnancy, your baby's body elongates and her neck straightens.
  • Your baby's brain becomes more complex during the 7th week of pregnancy. The skull that's growing to protect it is transparent and rounding.
  • Your hormone production increases during the 7th week of pregnancy.
  • You might continue to experience some of the common symptoms of pregnancy such as breast tenderness, fatigue, or faintness.
  • You might feel like you have PMS with your emotional ups and downs.
  • By the 7th week of your pregnancy, a mucous plug now blocks the cervical canal, helping prevent germs from getting into your uterus. The mucous plug will pass late in pregnancy.
 Right now, the biggest pregnancy symptom I have is nausea and fatigue.   Hopefully they both pass in the next few weeks :)  Friday is our first u/s to look at baby and then we see Dr. Zielinsky on Tuesday :)

Sunday, March 21, 2010

6 weeks

Baby's Growth and Development at 6 Weeks Pregnant

During your 6th week of pregnancy, your baby grows at a phenomenal rate and his systems develop significantly. Here's what's happening at 6 weeks pregnant:
  • Your baby, now called an embryo, is clearly visible on ultrasound. He is about 1/8 of an inch long, about the size of a grain of rice.
  • When you're 6 weeks pregnant, his nervous system and all major body organs — heart, kidneys, liver, and lungs — are the first to form.
  • Facial features — jaw, cheeks, chin, ear canals, nose, and eyes — begin to develop around the 6th week of pregnancy.
  • You baby's heart beats about 80 times per minute and gets faster each day.

Your Changing Body at 6 Weeks Pregnant

Like your developing baby, your body experiences many changes during your 6th week of pregnancy.
  • Hormones begin to increase. They include elevated levels of estrogen and progesterone, hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) — the hormone that indicates pregnancy, and HPL (human placental lactogen) — the hormone that promotes baby's growth.
  • As hormones increase during your 6th week of pregnancy, your body might react both physically and emotionally.
  • By your 6th week of pregnancy, common pregnancy symptoms include nausea and vomiting, aka morning sickness, which for many might not be limited to the morning. You also might experience mood swings.
  • At 6 weeks pregnant, some women also notice other symptoms. These could include changes in your breasts, headaches, faintness or dizziness, increased urination, insomnia, fatigue, excess saliva, constipation, food aversions or cravings, and emotional changes.
  • If any pregnancy symptoms feel extreme, it’s a good idea to speak with your doctor. Also, don't be concerned if you aren't experiencing any of these symptoms or don't "feel" pregnant. Every woman's body is different.
  • Spotting or vaginal bleeding also can occur during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. As many as 40% of pregnant women may experience some bleeding. Check with your doctor if you're concerned about spotting or bleeding.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Miss Kaitlyn

Kaitlyn has been doing great in school.  She loves reading and is now at the top of her class.  She is on the level 9 reading books, which to me, is really impressive.  I'm going to videotape her reading one of her books for you to see how good she's doing this afternoon :)  The higher reading 1st graders are at level 11, so there is no reason why she won't at the very least catch up to them by the end of the year :)  She's doing a ton of math, actual addition and subtraction problems, counting to 300+ and writing her own sentences in math.

Her allergies, asthma and headaches have been rough.  She has an MRI scheduled for Friday just to rule out any neurological problems that could be causing her headaches.  She has been seeing a chiropractor, which is also helping some and we were giving her medication that we've weaned her off of.  Since spring time is upon us, her allergies have been crazy bad, which means that her asthma is acting up.  Which has been no fun for her!  She missed her first day of school this week because she was coughing so bad all night and all day long that I couldn't see sending her to school like that.

Kaitlyn is thriving in girl scouts.  She has earned all of her petals and just finished her cookie sales.  She ended up selling 576 boxes!  Holy moly!  Thank you so much to everyone that helped out our troop by buying those delicious little boxes.

She also started t-ball last week!  Her opening day is March 27, she is on the pink panthers and is SOO excited!!

My First Appointment

Yesterday, I had my nurse appointment to do all of our intake, medical history and that good stuff.  It was with Cathy, like it always has been, which makes it so much nicer.  She already knows our history, was there when I had Kaitlyn and Matthew and every pregnancy since.  She's very motherly and incredibly supportive.

I was blessed with the ability of giving 12 vials of blood :)  Including another beta hcg test to make sure my levels are increasing in a healthy way.  Again, the goal is to have them increase every 48 hours.  My levels this time were at 4,382!  Which says I am obviously pregnant!  It also means that our ultrasound will show everything!

I have been scheduled for our first ultrasound on April 2 to confirm fetal heart rate, size and placement.

Monday, March 15, 2010

When the desire is stronger than the fear of loss...

When you meet and fall in love with the person you want to spend the rest of your life with, you spend so much time discussing everything.  Where you want to live, the places you want to go before you die, how many children you'd like to have, how far apart they should be, what you'll name them, will you have cats, dogs or bunnies, will you both work or one stay home, will you drive and SUV or a mini-van? and on and on and on.

Never in those conversations do you discuss "What will we do if our baby or child dies?"  Or, what will we do if we're faced with recurrent pregnancy loss.  And there are two reasons we don't discuss that.  The first being the belief, hope and prayer that it will not and could not happen to us.  The second being that regardless of what you think you would do in that situation, it is nothing at all close to what you will do when you come face to face with that situation.

I had always wanted a ton of kids.  The more the better, there is no such thing as too much or too many to love in a family.  And I wanted them close together.  Dusty always wanted a couple, adequately spaced out.  But, we both agreed, we didn't want an only child.  It seems so lonely.

After Kaitlyn, we were blessed with Matthew.  And all seemed well.  Our family was complete, or so we thought.  While we were graced with 10 weeks with our son, and Kaitlyn with her brother, I also feel as though we were robbed of a lifetime of him.  Not only were we forced to mourn the loss of our much loved and wanted baby boy, but also to mourn the loss of our family, our innocence, our dreams.

They say you are ready to try again when your desire for a baby, your desire to grow your family outweighs your fear of another loss.  We were not there yet when we became pregnant last year.  But, we got there.  And after that miscarriage we had absolutely reached the place where our desire to give our daughter a living sibling and our desire to have new life in the house far outweighed the fear of another loss.

And while there are so many levels of guilt in regards to so many things related to losing your baby (those first smiles, laughs and good times after to name a few) a mother and a father should not ever feel guilty for living their life.  We have been blessed to continue our life on Earth prior to reaching our final destination to spend all of eternity together.

There is nothing we can do to ever replace Matthew or to fill the hole he left in our hearts, in our family or in our lives.

Kaitlyn deserves to be a big sister to a living sibling.  We deserve to have the joy of another baby in our lives. 

And at the end of the day, we're fully aware that we could lose this pregnancy at any day.  Tomorrow isn't promised to anyone, nor is a happy ending.  But, our desire for another bubbling bouncing joyful baby is so much stronger than any of our fears.  And that is all that matters :)

Sunday, March 14, 2010

5 Weeks Pregnant: The second Month

Baby's Growth and Development at 5 Weeks Pregnant

After weeks of rapid cell development, your baby takes on a more distinct form. During the fifth week of pregnancy, here's what's happening inside:
  • Her heart and circulatory system take shape — a bulge indicates where your baby's heart is developing. By the end of the 5th week of pregnancy, your baby's earliest blood vessels form.
  • Around the 5th week of pregnancy, your baby's heart begins to beat and may be visible on an ultrasound.
  • The umbilical cord replaces the yolk sac. The umbilical cord works with the placenta to bring nutrition and oxygen to your baby and remove waste.
  • At 5 weeks pregnant, your baby is the length of the tip of a pen, about 1/17 inches, and growing rapidly every day.

Your Changing Body at 5 Weeks Pregnant

Although later pregnancy is more dramatic to the world externally, the first weeks of pregnancy include the most dramatic internal changes for you. All the systems in your pregnant body change to help your new baby develop. During your 5th week of pregnancy you may start to notice the following:
  • Feeling fatigued? Your body produces more blood to carry oxygen and nutrients to your baby. Your increase in blood may be especially high at 5 weeks pregnant, placing demands on your circulation. Your heart rate increases to keep pace, and these changes may cause fatigue, dizziness or even headaches.
  • At 5 weeks pregnant, you may be experiencing a few other symptoms of early pregnancy. This can include breast changes, nausea, heightened sense of smell, frequent urination, or mood swings.
  • Most women start to feel symptoms at 5 weeks pregnant. But every pregnancy is unique. Some symptoms may come later or not at all.
  • Around the 5th week of pregnancy, the placenta that will help nourish the baby grows and secures to the uterus, which may cause light spotting.
  • By 5 weeks pregnant, you may find that odors from your daily routine can cause nausea. You may want to identify the source and avoid smells that bother you.
  • If you experience dramatic mood swings in early pregnancy, you're not alone. You may want to share your feelings and get the emotional support you need from your partner, family, and friends.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Second Betas are in!

Our goal was to see them double in 48 hours, which would be about 108.  We were about 5 hours shy of when I should have went in to get the most accurate reading, which meant I would be ok with anything in the 90-100 range.

I was thrilled that our betas came back at 154!  15 days post ovulation, HCG levels typically come back at 17-147 with an average of 71, so this is great to be so high!

A small study done and listed on squidoo showed that levels at 16 dpo can play a big role in your liklihood of having a successful pregnancy.  With my levels today, it would be safe to assume I would be in the low 200s tomorrow.  This is their chart:


What this study found:

25 - 50 hCG at 16dpo -- Four women in this study had hCG levels below 50 at this stage. The researchers concluded that with these levels less than 25% would continue on with their pregnancy with more than 75% miscarrying.

50 - 100 hCG at 16dpo -- Of 16 women, 25% continued on with their pregnancies.

100 - 199 hCG at 16dpo -- Of 27 women with these levels, 73% continued on with their pregnancies.

200 - 299 hCG at 16dpo -- Of 48 women, 96% continued on with their pregnancies

Over 300 hCG -- All 105 women continued on with their pregnancies.

We are going to be in the 96% category!  We have no reason to expect we won't be bringing this baby home alive and healthy! 

Sunday, March 7, 2010


I would really like this baby to have a name that honors Matthew without having the same name.  Matthew means "Gift of God" and I would really like for this baby to have a name with the same meaning.  For a girl, I like the name Madison.  It is the female derivative of Matthew, and I like that it starts with the same first letter.  For a boy, I would really like the name Jonathon.  As soon as I saw it, I loved it.  And it seems right, it feels like this baby is a Jonathon.

Middle names however, are much harder to figure out ;)  But, I do like Jonathon Edward and Madison Lee.

Dusty and I talked about names, he likes Jonathon, if I let him pick the middle name.  His name?  Danger.  And surprisingly, I really like it lol.  He, however, does not like the name Madison at all.  So, time will tell :)

4 Weeks Pregnant!

No, that is not an inappropriate picture ;)  It is what an embryo (baby) looks like at 4 weeks old :)  Isn't technology amazing!!

Now, here is some information on pregnancy at 4 weeks :)

 This is it — the week you'll likely miss your period and find out you're pregnant! By your 4th week of pregnancy, your baby probably has embedded in your uterus and is growing at an amazing rate. Here's what's going on at 4 weeks pregnant:
  • When you're 4 weeks pregnant, your baby's body now has three distinct layers from which all of his organs will develop.
  • From the 3rd week of pregnancy to the end of the 4th week of pregnancy, your baby grows to the length of the head of a pin — about 1/25th of an inch long.
Your Placenta's Amazing Role
During the 4th week of pregnancy, the placenta, which will carry nutrients from you to your baby, begins to form. It's made primarily from your baby's tissues, with the help of cells from your body. Here's a look at what it does:

  • At 4 weeks pregnant, the placenta continues to thicken until the fourth month of pregnancy.
  • The placenta actually matches the needs of your baby with the nutrients available from you to give him the specific nutrients he needs at the time.
  • Although it's made up of shared tissue, the placenta does not allow blood from your body and your baby's to come in direct contact.
By 4 weeks pregnant, you've missed your period. Time to test! You might be eager to find out if you have a little one on the way. Learn more about pregnancy tests:
  • Your home pregnancy test measures a hormone (hCG) that your body produces after a fertilized egg attaches to the wall of your uterus (usually six to 12 days after fertilization).
  • Most pregnancy tests recommend waiting to test until at least the first day of your missed period.
  • The longer you wait after your missed period, the more accurate the test will be.
  • Testing too early could result in a false-negative reading of a still-developing pregnancy.
What's the Best Time to Test?
  • Early in the morning when you urinate for the first time. The hCG hormone is at its highest level then. This is the same hormone your doctor will check to confirm that you're pregnant. These hCG hormone levels double every two to three days throughout your first 10 weeks of pregnancy.
  • Your doctor might choose to check these levels in a series of tests to confirm how your early pregnancy is progressing.
  • If you test negative, but you notice other pregnancy symptoms, wait a few days and test again.
How accurate are home pregnancy tests? Most tests can diagnose 90% of pregnancies on the first day of the missed period. Wait one week after your missed period and tests jump to 97% accuracy.

Fourteen days after conception, you're officially 4 weeks pregnant. In addition to the hormones, there's a lot going on with your body:

  • Around your 4th week of pregnancy, the uterus begins to thicken and line with blood vessels to nourish your growing baby.
  • Your cervix, the opening in your uterus where your baby ultimately will emerge, probably begins to soften and change color. Your doctor may check for this to confirm your pregnancy at your first appointment.
  • Tender breasts are often one of the first changes that signal that you have a baby on the way. This tenderness usually goes away after the first few months. Your breasts might seem heavier or full.
  • At 4 weeks pregnant, you even might notice a few of the other signs of early pregnancy before you even take your pregnancy test.
  • Emotionally, you might both be thrilled and worried — or both all at once. The emotions are different for each woman, but it is common to experience a full range of them.

In other news, according to the Chinese calendar, we're looking at a boy this time around :)  Obviously, I'm not going to run out and paint the nursery blue (like I was going to anyways :P), but it hasn't been wrong yet :)

Thursday, March 4, 2010

The evolving of the second line

Because I am neurotic, I had a lot of tests to try and easy my mind of a chemical pregnancy.  And here they are :)  It's so neat to see the lines darken.  By the time I stopped testing, the test line was a couple shades darker than the control line :)

First Blood Work is In!

Originally I had decided that I would wait a week or two before calling the doctor's office and getting my blood work taken care of.

Then, I had a change of heart lol.  I want to start telling people, but I also want to have my betas doubling before I do so to rule out another chemical pregnancy.

My test lines are getting darker (Yay!) and my beta came back yesterday at 10 dpo at 18.  Which seems low, but is really in a normal range.  Ideally, numbers should double or triple in 48-72 hours in a viable pregnancy.  To make me feel better, I'd like to see them double in 48 hours.  Anything between 72-486 would be in the normal range based on my initial number.  I would love to see something in the 150 or higher range.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Oh Baby, The places You'll Go...

This is the theme I've decided to do for the baby's room.  I found this really cute stencil on ebay while browsing a while back and fell in love with it.  It is easily one of my favorite Dr. Seuss books and makes me cry when I read it.  I've already decided on bedding:


Oh wait, what baby you say?  While most people should be aware by the time I actually hit publish on this post, as of right now, no one knows our good news.  I'm pregnant!  I got my first faint positive test at 9 dpo, which was yesterday:

And after the chemical pregnancy in December where the test never got any darker, I never got a positive on a digital (aside from the FRER Gold which is super sensitive) I wanted to be sure that the test line got darker (indicating that the pregnancy was progressing) before I got too excited.
The FRER tests, as shown above show a positive when HCG is as low as 12.5, and sometimes lower.  With the CBE digital they read positive when they HCG is at least 25 and many times even higher, like 50.  Since HCG should double every 48 hours, you want the line to get darker and to get positives on less sensitive tests to show that it's progressing.

This morning, 10 dpo, 5 days before my missed period, I took another FRER and got a darker line:

And, I also went out on a ledge and joined the 58% of people who will get a positive digital at 10 dpo:

Based on Ovulation I have a due date of November 14, 2010.  If you were to subtract 6 years from the year, you would have Kaitlyn's due date :P  Since I will possibly be having a cesarean (I would rather not) we could be having a Halloween baby :)
And there we are, growing a little baby as we speak :)