Saturday, January 29, 2011

No Longer a Blob!

Adam and I got to MN Perinatal about 1pm, and Wendy got us all checked in. I asked her if Krista was working, and if she could do our ultrasound. She said she'd see what she could do. So we waited, watching Rachel Ray on their new TV, for Joan (the genetic counselor) to come out and get us.

She took us back to her office, and we talked a little about Danielle. Then we started talking about this pregnancy. She said we're still at a low risk for downs and such, since I am still young, but she showed us the same list I remember seeing when mom and I went for our first appointment with Danni. It told us all about the first trimester screening, what it looks for, and how it's done. She told us that if we want to come in around 16-17 weeks for another ultrasound before the 20-week to help put our minds at ease. Of course we said we'd be in.

When we were finished talking with Joan, I gave her a picture that I had put together of Danni and one of her 3D ultrasounds. She thought she was adorable, and put one of my stickers on the back so that she would remember.

Joan brought us back out to the waiting room, and not long after, Krista came out. She said hello to a mom that was sitting with her three month old baby, then smiled at me and said come on back. We talked a little about Danielle, and I told her that I had asked Wendy if she would be able to do my ultrasound. Krista said she had seen my on the schedule a couple weeks ago, and had made sure that I was put into hers.

She started doing the ultrasound, and right away she found 10 fingers and 10 toes.

Then she took a couple measurements. Baby's foot was just under 1 cm long, and the crown to rump length was about 6 cm. She (cause I still think it's a girl) seemed so tiny with so much room to move around compared to the last couple ultrasounds of Danni that I remember. We asked her if we could find out the gender this time, but she said it's still a little early (I guess baby still has a tail at this point, but we couldn't see it.)

Baby was really squirmy and moving all around, which Krista liked to see, but it took a little longer to find her stomach and heart. She found her stomach on the correct side and filled with a little tiny bit of fluid. Everything was going so well with the ultrasound, but I think the part not just Adam and I had been waiting for, but I think Krista as well, was seeing the heart.

Next, I, the self-proclaimed ultra-sound pro, saw something I've never seen before. You have absolutely no idea what it is like to see a 4-chamber heart beating at 156 bmp on the left side of a tiny little body that is growing inside you! (I felt a slight relief when I saw it, but it really didn't hit me until about 9pm last night. I actually felt happy about this baby. It was a strange, but wonderful feeling!) I asked Krista if it was ever confusing doing ultrasounds of Danni since everything was mixed up on the wrong sides. She laughed, and said "Yeah, it did get a little confusing." And she took a couple more pictures (Krista was always good about getting us pictures with Danielle, and she took awesome ones!)

Then Krista brought us over to one of the other rooms for the blood draw part of the first trimester screening. She remembered how the last time she brought me over for that, it took two nurses to do it (they started with my right arm... bad idea, bad veins, and I was not aware enough to tell them to do my left). The nurse this time, though, did just fine. I told her my left arm, and she took seven vials.

On the way out, I gave Wendy, the receptionist a picture of Danni. She said she has a Danielle, and to be careful when she gets older. So I told her she died when she was two days old. I guess she must not really have access to records or something (I remember she never signed the card that they sent after Danni died either). She didn't seem to remember me like everyone else did either. (Even though I would walk in with Danni and she'd already have my arm band out and put it on without even asking my name.)

On our way down to our car, I mentioned to Adam that it must not be routine for the doctor to come in, unless something is wrong, because we never saw Dr. Calvin. (I guess Dr. Ledella has been out with some health issues that actually started when I first got pregnant with Danielle.)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Add Two More to the List...

Well, we've told two more people. I was talking to Jacque on Sunday about her wedding, bachelorette party, and shower, and it was hard to not tell her. She kept bringing up other women, and then saying, but she's pregnant. So I wrote down on a piece of paper "Can we tell Jacque?" and showed it to Adam while I was talking to her. Adam said yes, but he wanted to tell her. So I handed him the phone. Jacque was happy for us, and even said that if there was another dress that worked better around a pregnant belly, that I could get it instead.

Yesterday at work, I also ended up telling my administrator. I had asked about the budget-job situation, and he said we wouldn't know until June or July if our jobs would be there, and then we'd have to re-apply. He said it might even just be part time. I told him I was pregnant and due in August, and I know it's going to be difficult to interview. He & his wife lost their first set of twins at 18 weeks, and so he kind of has an idea of how this second one is a joy, but it's also very scary. I told him we are waiting as long as we possibly can to tell people, and he said he understands, and would not even tell his boss until I let him know. I told him we have a ultrasound on Friday (after conferences) to find out if the baby is healthy, and he asked if I could let him know how it went.

Bad Dream

I had a dream last night, and at this point, I don't remember much. I dreamed that we ended up miscarrying this baby, and when they went to find out what was wrong or why it happened, they found that this baby had HLHS (which is was they were going to kind of be treating Danni's heart condition as). That's all I really remember.

11 Weeks, 3 Days

Sunday, January 23, 2011

More Worries for Dad

We went to a wedding on Saturday, and the bride & groom (Brandon & Becky) hosted pop and beer all night. So Adam & I kept getting cherry coke. At one point I made a comment about how I must be over my "quota" of caffeine for the day. (You're only supposed to have 250 mg a day.) Then I added that since I never drink coffee and rarely ever drink pop, that I'm sure its fine. Adam wasn't so convinced, and said I should switch to Sierra Mist. I didn't like it as much, but I did. Adam tells me he's not worried or scared. Though it's little things like this that let me know that he really is, but doesn't want me to know that he is.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Worried Daddy

We have an electric heating pad on our bed (really it's just for me, as I'm always cold). With Danni and with this one, I've been reading some pregnancy books. Two of them say not to use electric heating blankets, but each has a different reason. One says that they don't know the effects of the "electro-magnetic waves" on a developing baby. The other says that over heating and your body temperature rising above 102 degrees (from heating blankets, hot tubs, hot baths, etc.) is not good for the baby. But it says right after that, that typically people start to feel over heated and get out of the bath or hot tub, or kick off the blankets or turn the heat down.

Both with Danni, and with this one, I have been turning on the heating pad while I am getting ready for bed. Then when I'm done reading and ready to sleep, I turn it off. Adam just realized the other night that I was lying down while it was still on. He was very stern in telling me that he really doesn't want me to be using it. We really don't know what made Danni's organs flip for sure, and he said he wants to take every precaution to make sure it doesn't happen again. Looks like I'll have to cuddle up with him to stay warm!

9 Weeks, 3 Days

Monday, January 17, 2011

First Official Appointment

We had our first "official" appointment today with Elisabeth Berry-Jensen. We opted out of a couple tests: blood draw/ OB check (I'll have Perinatal do it next week with the quad screen), and a pap (I guess ACOG now recommends every two years in your twenties, if they've all come back normal, plus we didn't want to risk more spotting since it just stopped about a week ago).

She went over the ultrasound results with us, and said that we would go with the August 15 due date that the ultrasound predicted. She mentioned the hemorrhage, and said that it is very possible that it went away. I told her that I would ask Perinatal to look next week at the ultrasound.

One important thing for us was the possibility of a VBAC at Woodwinds. Elisabeth said that just last Wednesday they had a meeting about it, and they're looking to change their policy. She said things would be changing a lot in the next couple weeks/ months, but she would keep us updated. She also told us that Health Partners allows VBACs that are just attended by a midwife, and we would not have to worry about an OB (like we would right now at Woodwinds). But she did say that a water birth was not an option (though water labor still is).

She did a quick "check-up" on everything else, and then pulled out the Doppler to hear the baby's heartbeat. It took her a while to find it, and I started getting a little nervous (Carrie had found Danni's right away, though Danni was 2 weeks farther along). But I think she was determined to find it to help put our minds more at ease. And she did! The baby's heart rate was 165 bpm. (Looks like we're having another girl! Though we should be able to confirm that next week at the ultrasound.)

After the appointment we went to Walmart to pick up a couple things, and of course, I stopped in the baby section! I found one cute girl's outfit (Winnie the Pooh, of course), a little denim jacket, and a "baby's first new years" onesie. Adam let me buy the little girl's outfit, saying that if we had a boy, we could give it to one of the other pregnant ladies in the family.

9 Weeks, 3 Days

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Little Spills of the Beans

Adam's been telling me that I'm bad at keeping this baby a secret. He is kind of right. Though, I did very well today at the family Richter family Christmas party.

I told our neighbor, Sarah, across the street, when she asked me the other day. They are moving in a couple weeks, and I'm not sure when I will see them again, so I kind of wanted to tell her. She said she wouldn't tell anyone, other than Corey, her husband.

When we went to the holiday tribute that Faith's Lodge put on, I told the couple sitting next to us, as we were talking about our children, and our futures without them. (She had miscarried in the 3rd trimester, and was never able to see her son. I felt so lucky that we were able to meet Danielle.)

We went out with the Saint Bernard's staff right after we found out, and I really wanted to tell them then, just to ask them for prayers that this baby is healthy. But, Adam said we should wait. And I did. But just last week, when we were out with them again, I asked him if I could tell this time. He said we should still wait. So I was going to, but Rita asked why I was drinking water. I told her I almost always order water, then drink a little of Adam's cherry coke (which is totally true!). But she pushed the matter, and I'm a bad liar. It probably didn't help the situation that I was sitting next to Heidi, who was 13 weeks pregnant, and Stotz, who is due in February. But I think from the whole long table, only 3-4 of them heard the conversation.

I think Adam was worried that I would spill the beans today. There are three other pregnant women in the family right now, and it's hard to keep it a secret from other pregnant women, when they start talking about their pregnancies. But today, I really had no desire to tell anyone. (Honestly, I wasn't even really social at all.)

8 Weeks, 2 Days

Friday, January 7, 2011

Dream of Loosing Danni

I had a dream this morning right before I woke up to go to work. The layout of where we were, I likened to my parent's house somehow. The room Danielle was in was where my parents room is, and Adam and I were hanging out in right across the hall, in what would be my brother's room. Adam was playing video or computer games, I don't really know which. I kept going across to check on Danni, and when I walked in she wasn't there. A woman, that I likened to my mom, but it wasn't, wouldn't let me see her. Then I went back into the room that Adam was in and fell to the floor crying, and Adam just kept playing his game. That's when I woke up wanting to cuddle with Adam, but he was at work.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Rainbow Baby

I was reading comments today on Faith's Lodge's status on Facebook. The status said "Even in the toughest years, we still have moments that make us smile or give us peace and comfort. What was your favorite memory of 2010?" So I shared, "Seeing our daughter for the first time, seeing how proud her daddy was, holding her and loving her, even if it was only for two short days, those were the best memories I could ever ask for."

Then I went through and read what other people had shared, thinking I would see mostly memories of our lost babies and children. But I saw people writing about the birth of their "rainbow baby." I wasn't quite sure what to make of it, and Adam commented, "How do the know already that the kid is gay?" So I did what everyone does now when they don't know something... I Googled it. I found a post on that said,

'Rainbow Babies' is the understanding that the beauty of a rainbow does not negate the ravages of the storm. When a rainbow appears, it doesn't mean the storm never happened or that the family is not still dealing with its aftermath. What it means is that something beautiful and full of light has appeared in the midst of the darkness and clouds. Storm clouds may still hover but the rainbow provides a counterbalance of color, energy and hope.

So this is our rainbow baby, bringing light, joy, and hope into our lives.

After we went to Faith's Lodge, Melanie, one of the mom's we met up there, shared this poem with me.

A Different Child

A different child,
People notice
There's a special glow around you.
You grow
Surrounded by love,
Never doubting you are wanted;
Only look at the pride and joy
in your mother and father's eyes.
And if sometimes
Between the smiles
There's a trace of tears,
One day
You'll understand.
You'll understand
There was once another child
A different child
Who was in their hopes and dreams.
That child will never outgrow the baby clothes
That child will never keep them up at night
In fact, that child will never be any trouble at all.
Except sometimes, in a silent moment,
When mother and father miss so much
That different child.
May hope and love wrap you warmly
And may you learn the lesson forever
How infinitely precious
How infinitely fragile
Is this life on earth
One day, as a young man or woman
You may see another mother's tears
Another father's silent grief
Then you, and you alone
Will understand
And offer the greatest comfort.
When all hope seems lost,
You will tell them
With great compassion,
"I know how you feel.
I'm only here
Because my mother tried again.