Monday, July 21, 2014

A Pregnancy Nightmare

pregnancy nightmare bleeding Her Umbrella Grace Lynne FlemingWell, we are officially into our 2nd trimester! We're excited to move forward with our nursery plans and in 7 short weeks we will get to find out if there's a little boy or little girl causing all the ruckus. 

Unfortunately, that's not really what this post is all about. As soon as I thought I was getting back to my normal "bloggy" ways on Her Umbrella, we were hit with another giant pregnancy hurdle. As I said before, I was going to be candid throughout this entire experience. The reason being, for myself to look back and be able to comb through our adventure. Another reason being for this little jellybean to do the same. But also, to reach out to fellow bloggers and women who have had similar experiences with no where to really share or talk about them. 

Now onto the nightmare.

You know when you see movies or hear stories of pregnant women waking up in the middle of the night in a pool of their own blood? That's the nightmare right? It's the ultimate ominous sign and it's terrifying. 

Well, that happened to us - minus the actual pool of blood. 

Last Wednesday morning, I woke up around 3:30 AM and noticed that I was "wet." This time instead of leaping from my bed because I thought I was bleeding, I got up steadily and went to the bathroom, this time thinking that I had just wet the bed again. To my surprise I found my underwear soaked, with what seemed to be blood.

My heart was pounding a mile a minute. I had never even had this happened to me when I started my period by surprise - and it happens to us all ladies. And never, ever was it this much. I calmly (as calm as I could be) cleaned myself up and woke up Justin. He, being the actual calm one in the relationship, assessed the situation as best he could. Told me to try and go back to sleep for a few hours since I didn't have any pain or cramping and see if it tapered off by morning.

Our thoughts are that since I've had a lot of spotting here and there since the beginning, my "growing" time may be the cause. This is what we were hoping was happening. 

Around 6:30 AM I woke back up and headed towards the restroom. Luckily the pantyliner was clear, but the toilet was not. The water turned bright pink, which says a lot since our water is blue, and there was a nice size blood clot at the bottom of the toilet. My heart sank. I felt like there was no way we were getting out of this with good news.

I got a hold of the doctor on call through my office and she told me to wait until 8 AM to call in and let them know I needed to see my doctor and have the baby checked. 

It was a really long wait, but thankfully, again, my doctor's office worked quickly and efficiently to get me in to not only have an ultrasound but also a checkup with the doctor.

Let me remind you this was the second time now we waited to see our baby on the big screen and hold our breaths that there was a heartbeat. And there was, in fact, a big, STRONG heartbeat of 183. Before we even got to see the heart pitter-pattering we saw our baby moving and grooving. Jazz hands, shaking his/her tushy at us - even the sonographer was giggling at our little goofball. 

So, what caused the bleeding? Which, did taper off completely by the time we left the doctor's office. A small hemorrhage - apparently this happens with 50% of women. Some women experience bleeding and some women never even know it happened until it's seen in an ultrasound. It can happen as the placenta grows, in between the folds of the placenta, around the uterus or just because of the growing going on inside of you. 

My doctor didn't get into too much detail because she said it was  small, everything looked perfect and it didn't increase my chances of miscarriage <--- which I really needed to hear. 

I left with good news and relief, but that doesn't stop my anxiety. Every time I go to the restroom, I get anxious. Every time I wake up in the middle of the night, I feel like something else happened. And Friday night it did, in a matter of 15 minutes, I bled through a pantyliner - and then it just stopped. Justin's theory? The hemorrhage wasn't completely healed yet and the horrid 15 minutes of barfing I did before I noticed the bleeding irritated the problem.

So, who else had a scary experience like this and has the guts to share? After it happened I found out that one of my really good friends experienced 3 hemorrhages during her pregnancy, without the pool of blood scenario, and now she has a beautiful baby girl. That helps my anxiety, a little. 

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Sunday, July 13, 2014

Candid Thoughts On Our First Twelve Weeks

Today marks our 12 week milestone. Now, I understand technically we aren't out of first trimester for another 7 days but I still feel it's time I share some of the wild ways we've taken part in thus far. 

Is it too personal to share with the Internet-world? Some would say, "Yes," without a blink of an eye. But to be honest, letting another couple in on what we've been experiencing could lessen their worries and even give them a reason to laugh at their own ridiculous situations. 

The problem is, we all have an idea of what pregnancy is like before we get that positive mark on an at-home test. You'll experience this definite checklist of symptoms. You'll be moody, you'll gain weight, you may experience some "morning sickness" in the beginning and, don't forget, you may even have to run to the restroom for an obnoxious amount of number 1's for what seems like the rest of your life! But the fact is, there are so many more "normal" circumstances that we should be made aware of. And so far, I've experienced a hell of a lot of them, from scary to hilarious. 

1. Spotting & Cramping: Since week 5, I've had spotting & cramping once a week. It was never constant, it was never a lot and I  never actually bled. But you can imagine my horror when it happened the first time. You're not supposed to see anything while you're pregnant or you're having a miscarriage, right?! After several assurances from the nurse at my doctor's office, I went about my daily ways until week 8, when I just couldn't take the anxiety of waiting to know if everything was truly okay. I was sent for an "emergency" ultrasound, and told on the phone, "Honestly honey, this can go either way for you." I was petrified. My worse fear was to see our baby for the first time and there be no heartbeat. (*Do not, I REPEAT, do not read online forums.) Thankfully, my doctor's office and the imaging center worked quickly, efficiently and with all the sensitivity in the world. And that afternoon Justin, my mom and I got to see our little baby up on the big screen - with a strong heartbeat and everything "down below" healthy and normal. I even told the sonographer that I loved her. No worries though, it was only awkward for a second. 

*Moral here? Spotting and cramping aren't always signs of something ominous. In fact, it's incredibly common for women to experience these "strange" happenings. Although, when it happened to me again several days after my first "official" appointment at 9.5 weeks, I still had a minor freak out. 

2. Pregnancy Brain: It's real y'all. You become stupid and nonsensical. To be blunt, I'm one of the smartest people I know - truly. And since around week 5-ish, I've had bouts of dumb insanity. For instance, I asked Justin to go get me "carpal tunnel," and without a bat of an eyelash I respond, "O wait, I mean Arnold Schwarzenegger." All the while, Justin is just staring and I haven't even realized what was happening. 

Example number two, which I'm really not proud of. When it's time to freshen up the fridge, in a smelly sense, what do you do? O yes, you stick a box of baking soda inside and call it a day. Well, not in Grace-land. Instead, I buy a room freshener, you know the really strong, odorous types that come with the gel beads? And I have Justin stick it inside. Granted, he should have stopped the madness, but as he puts it, "I just went along with it since you're pregnant." About two days after, I realize that the fridge AND the freezer smell horrendous. Even stepping inside the kitchen makes me gag, right in Willow's face every morning while I grab breakfast. Finally, we figured out what I had done after I bit into a bagel that, in fact, tasted like, THE SMELL. 

*Sidenote: Your smelly senses are on high alert during this time, so this whole debacle really spun me into a frenzy. And still, after two weeks of mildly pungent freedom, it's hard for me to enter the kitchen. 

3. "Morning" Sickness: Let's be frank, this is bullshit. There is no morning to this sickness. You can have it in the middle of the night, it can strike during your evening bath or yes, you can open your eyes in the morning and start heaving in bed. Or, you can be like me and have 24/7 sickness since 6 1/2 weeks. And did you know that pregnancy vomit is not necessarily like regular ole sick vomit? At least in terms of the noises and gagging. It's actually quite comedic, well, in this house. My mom continues to carry on a conversation with me as my husband stands outside the door saying, "It's the smell, I can't take the smell." All the while we're all laughing, even me, because the exorcist-inspired sounds I'm making are ludicrous. Which brings me to my next topic ...

4. Incontinence: Since we're all for being honest today, I believe I've always had a pretty weak bladder. There are numerous amounts of my friends that can attest to the fact that I've actually wet my pants when laughing too hard. But, when you're throwing up bouts of stomach acid while you're laughing along with your husband because of the magical insanity of it all and you realize that you've also wet yourself a little - well, the whole pregnancy thing gets a bit more real and a bit more chaotic. And then I say aloud in between giggles and gags, "Justin, I think I just peed," and he absolutely loses it, as in ugly cry laughing. 

*To be fair to this whole candid theme, one night while I was dead asleep I rolled over and realized the back of my pants were slightly wet. My first thought was that I was bleeding so I lept up, ran to the bathroom, pulled down my pants and, what do you know, I had literally wet the bed. Apparently, it's normal .. and no it hasn't happened since. Obviously, by the third trimester I'll need a diaper.

5. Fatigue: This is real too. I'm not really a sleep all day type of person, I'm far too anxious to ever do that (unless I'm at my parents' house). Instead, I'm making to-do lists and cleaning clean spaces and finding more work to do. But now, now I sleep and wake up when I want to. And now, my favorite thing to do it sit ... and hold in my vomit because the only energy I have is for sitting and vomiting. 

6. Just Grace things: With all the experiences we had above, you'd think that was enough, but no, it wasn't. At our first official visit, we find out that I have a slight "arcuate" uterus, and mine happens to be in the shape of a heart. It isn't severe, there's just a small divite at the top. My doctor reassured me that the absolute "worst" case scenario with this anomaly was that our baby be breech and born via C-section, but mine was very minor. But once I got to thinking about it, I felt like it was a sign from God, my grandmother or someone special looking out for me. With all the worrying that we've been through in the previous weeks, an arcuate uterus could be any type of "weirdo" shape but mine formed into a heart - it has to be a positive sign. 

And then, last week .... I wake up on a Sunday morning thinking, "I'm going to do nothing today. Just the couch, me, Willow, Justin and a High School Musical marathon." <--- Don't judge. As I sit enjoying and soaking up every bit of these Disney creations, I snack on some chocolate-covered almonds. And in doing so, I discover another anomaly. While sliding my tongue over the back of my teeth, I feel ... something strangely familiar to a TOOTH. So now, I'm growing a magical tooth too. I've never missed my bi-annual dental appointments and I've had x-rays every year, and I was always told I didn't have any wisdom teeth. You can imagine my surprise on my relaxing Sunday when I discover I do, in fact, have A wisdom tooth and it had broken through the gum and, hello, I'm pregnant - I can't do anything about it! <--- That's not necessarily true, because I went to my fabulous dentist, we identified my wisdom tooth as a "micro dot" (which is truly another anomaly as it was a very small wimp of a wisdom too - practically no wisdom stored in there at all) and he pulled it right then and there.  

Candid thoughts on early pregnancy 12 weeks spotting and cramping, grace lynne flemingBasically, in a less eloquent nutshell, I don't feel good. I'm getting grouchy, but never unappreciative of this opportunity. As you can see from this fancy photo-op, taken by my husband, early pregnancy isn't the most fashionable of seasons. 

Other symptoms we've faced? Leg cramps, extreme bloating, weight loss & metal mouth (for 3 excruciating days). 


Candid thoughts on early pregnancy 12 weeks spotting and cramping, grace lynne flemingStill in all the messy adventure, I feel very connected to our baby. When either me or Justin refers to our Fall 2015 Disney Cruise, I imagine our little jellybean pumping his/her fist in the air with an, "Alright Momma, can't wait!"or if I happen to put something into my body he/she doesn't quite like, for example a handful of Trix, he/she punches it out with a Herculean force.

Even though we've been to the doctor now and checked on our magical baby twice via ultrasound, we do not know the future. But, we're going to do everything in our power to make this a healthy pregnancy and in the meantime, share some of our candid thoughts and experiences throughout this venue. Cross your fingers that our bumpy ride smooths out soon - although, we really just take it as a sign that this baby is going to be an extremely special individual. 

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