Week 11: "Fig"

[Bebito], just over 1 1/2 inches long and about the size of a fig, is now almost fully formed. Bebito's hands will soon open and close into fists, tiny tooth buds are beginning to appear under his/her gums, and some of his/her bones are beginning to harden. [Bebito] is already busy kicking and stretching, and his/her tiny movements are so effortless they look like water ballet. These movements will become more frequent as his/her body grows and becomes more developed and functional. [I] won't feel [my] baby's acrobatics for another month or two — nor will [I] notice the hiccupping that may be happening now that his/her diaphragm is forming. (http://www.babycenter.com/)

My parents, Josie, and her boyfriend all came down for a visit this past weekend. I was worried how I would feel, but I seemed to do okay Friday and Saturday. I was glad because we went to a Brewers game on Friday night and then Jeff, Amy, Mikayla, and Tia came Saturday for dinner and I was able to join them. But then I think it caught up with me on Sunday because I was pretty sick all day Sunday, Monday, and today. Teirney and I did manage to take a walk last night, which was nice. I'm hoping I'll be feeling well enough tonight to get out for another walk.

Not to gross anyone out, but the past two days I've been most sick after eating lunch. Teirney comes home for lunch everyday, so he has had the unpleasant experience of eating lunch with me and then watching me lose it. It has been really very frustrating. But as long as everything is okay with the baby, I can survive this no problem.

My appointment with the new midwife got moved up to September 2. Assuming all goes well, I'll be 12 weeks at my next appointment and done with the first trimester. Woohoo! I also have an appointment with an endocrinologist on September 22. I wish it could be a little sooner, but that was earliest they could get me in. I'll keep you posted on how things are going.

Day in, day out...

I'm counting down the days until I feel normal again...not sure what that feels like anymore. At the same time, I'm just glad to be feeling something, so I have lots of mixed emotions about it.

My routine is: wake up, eat graham crackers in bed, lie there for awhile until they digest, slowly get out of bed and go make something for breakfast (usually just ginger tea, yogurt and/or fruit), by this time, my stomach is already talking to me and most times it isn't very happy, sit on the couch until it settles down a little, take a shower (if my stomach has settled down), check e-mail, journal, start thinking about what I should make for lunch, watch the Olympics, make lunch, Teirney comes home for lunch, lie down on the couch, watch more TV, feel sick, try to snack on something, watch more TV, blog, and wait for Teirney to get home. Pretty sad, huh? On good days, I can usually fight the nauseousness, but today it got the better of me. Not feeling well right now at all, but trying to hang in there.

They say morning sickness usually subsides in the second trimester, I pray I am one of those people. But as long as we have a healthy baby, I don't really care that much. Although, it has been starting to bother me that I haven't been able to get any exercise since I've been so sick. I just hope I'll be able to kick into gear once I'm feeling better.

The other day, I received a call from a nurse at the midwifery center I went to when I had my first appointment. It was in regards to an endocrinologist. The midwife had originally told me that she would refer me to an endocrinologist and someone would call me from his/her office. Well, the nurse who called me from the midwifery center said that they no longer refer patients to doctors because sometimes the patient's insurance doesn't cover the doctor they are referred to, so now they just tell you to check with your insurance company. I looked online today on United Health Care's website and it gave a list of doctors, but I have no clue how to pick. So I posted a question on the message board on www.milwaukeemoms.com to see if anyone could point me in the right direction. We'll see if I get any responses. Otherwise, I might just wait until my next appointment with the new midwife and talk with her about how I should go about finding an endocrinologist. I will keep you posted.

Week 10: "Kumquat"

[Bebito] is barely the size of a kumquat (I have no idea what that is, but...) — a little over an inch or so long, crown to bottom — and weighs less than a quarter of an ounce, [Bebito] has now completed the most critical portion of his/her development. This is the beginning of the so-called fetal period, a time when the tissues and organs in his/her body rapidly grow and mature. [Bebito is] swallowing fluid and kicking up a storm. Vital organs — including his/her kidneys, intestines, brain, and liver (now making red blood cells in place of the disappearing yolk sac) — are in place and starting to function, though they'll continue to develop throughout my pregnancy. If you could take a peek inside my womb, you'd spot minute details, like tiny nails forming on fingers and toes (no more webbing) and peach-fuzz hair beginning to grow on tender skin. In other developments: [Bebito's] limbs can bend now. Bebito's hands are flexed at the wrist and meet over his/her heart, and his/her feet may be long enough to meet in front of his body. The outline of his/her spine is clearly visible through translucent skin, and spinal nerves are beginning to stretch out from his/her spinal cord. [Bebito's] forehead temporarily bulges with his/her developing brain and sits very high on his/her head, which measures half the length of his/her body. From crown to rump, [Bebito is] about 1 1/4 inches long. In the coming weeks, Bebito will again double in size — to nearly 3 inches. (http://www.babycenter.com/)

Women's Pavilion

As I mentioned in a previous post, I've already had my first appointment with a midwife at Aurora Sinai Medical Center. However, what I didn't mention, is that I didn't care for the medical center that much. I really loved the midwife -- she was great -- but the office had a very cold atmosphere and wasn't anywhere near the comfort level of all the other women's health offices I've been to in my life, which then made me worry about the actual birthing center. After doing a little more online research, and my sister talking to her husband's cousin who is doing her residency in Milwaukee, I learned about the Aurora Women's Pavilion of West Allis Memorial Hospital. I was little upset at myself for not looking into medical centers more thoroughly before I had made my first appointment, but I was anxious to get an appointment and make sure everything was okay. I called the Women's Pavilion to see if they have midwives and was told they do have one, Cheryl Jaeger, CNM. I asked if she was accepting new patients and they told me she was. So I scheduled my next appointment with her at the Women's Pavilion on September 15. I'm really hoping I made the right decision by switching -- I do feel good about it though. I called to cancel my appointment with the other midwife at Sinai and then I had to go and sign a Release of Medical Records...kind of a pain, oh well.

I logged onto a message board on http://www.milwaukeemoms.com/ (a great resource for ways to connect with other Milwaukee moms) to see if anyone could tell me anything about the nurse midwife, Cheryl Jaeger, at the Women's Pavilion and I got a couple encouraging responses, one of which is below.

"I delivered with Cheri and it was just wonderful. She took so much time with me at each appointment to make sure all of my questions or worries were answered. She has a calm, unhurried bedside manor. I delivered during office hours, so she was there with me the whole time. I remember she told me that she would try her very hardest to be there if I delivered in the middle of the night and she wasn't on-call. She sat by my side the whole time I was pushing. The Pavillion was a really nice place to be during labor and delivery. The nurses didn't pressure me to get an IV "just in case", and they let me get into the whirlpool right away after I checked in. They were all super positive about my desire to not use pain meds. Like a bunch of cheerleaders!"
So I think I feel pretty good about my decision at this point, we'll see how it plays out. I'll keep you posted. Assuming all goes well, I will be 14 weeks at my next appointment.

Week 9: "Grape"

[Bebito] is nearly an inch long — about the size of a grape — and weighs just a fraction of an ounce. He/she is starting to look more and more human. [Bebito's] essential body parts are accounted for, though they'll go through plenty of fine-tuning in the coming months. Other changes abound: [Bebito's] heart finishes dividing into four chambers, and the valves start to form — as do his/her tiny teeth. The embryonic "tail" is completely gone. [Bebito's] organs, muscles, and nerves are kicking into gear. The external sex organs are there but won't be distinguishable as male or female for another few weeks. [Bebito's] eyes are fully formed, but his/her eyelids are fused shut and won't open until 27 weeks. [Bebito] has tiny earlobes, and his/her mouth, nose, and nostrils are more distinct. The placenta is developed enough now to take over most of the critical job of producing hormones. Now that [Bebito's] basic physiology is in place, he/she is poised for rapid weight gain. (http://www.babycenter.com/)

Week 9: Bebito's First Picture

Tuesday, August 12, finally arrived...woohoo!!!

I apologize in advance for any graphic detail you may read in this blog that you did not ask to hear. I figure most of you won't mind. For those of you who do mind, you may want to skip over this next part.

I was told that I would need to drink 32 ounces of water an hour before my ultrasound because you need a full bladder for the test. I was petrified about this because I haven't been able to keep much food or water down and I was sure that by drinking all that water there was no way I would be able to keep it down. So I eased into it all morning by hydrating myself so that when I had to drink the 32 ounces it would go straight to my bladder. It worked and I kept it all down. However, the technician said my bladder was a little too full, but she was able to accomplish what she needed.

Everything went fine and we got to see our Bebito -- so cute! I love Bebito already! Bebito was moving and squirming about quite a bit and we got to see his/her heart beating fast. Bebito is already forming little hands and feet and the technician pointed out his/her little leg. Teirney looked a little serious during the ultrasound so I could tell it was finally starting to hit him. But we both couldn't be happier.

I'm officially 9 weeks along and Bebito's due date is March 17, 2009 (the day after our 7th anniversary and St. Patrick's Day). Bebito's heart rate was 183 bpm, which I was told is normal for how far along I am. We got to take home pictures, one of which is attached below.

First Appointment

Teirney went with me to my first appointment with the midwife on August 4. Since we didn't know how far along I was, we were both hoping I would be able to have an ultrasound, or at least listen to the heartbeat, but no such luck. She just got my medical history, did an exam, and did labs. The midwife did want to schedule me for an ultrasound to ease some of my worry and to determine a due date, but she felt it might be too soon on that day so she wanted me to wait a few more days. Based on the date I got a positive pregnancy test, she thought I would be due somewhere around March 19, 2009. My ultrasound was scheduled for Tuesday, August 12. More waiting...yuck!

The midwife called me the next day when my labs came back due to the result of a thyroid test she did because of my family history of hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism. She said my thyroid itself is fine, but my TSH level was a bit higher than normal. The normal range is .4 to 4 and mine was 7.2. "TSH is a pituitary hormone, not a thyroid hormone. Its function is to stimulate the thyroid to produce more thyroid hormone, so a high TSH level usually indicates that your body isn't getting enough thyroid hormone. This condition is hypothyroidism. A too-low TSH level usually indicates the opposite, or hyperthyroidism." ("The TSH Story" -- Lois Summers.) This can usually be corrected by medication, but the midwife said she would need to refer me to an endicrinologist who has more expertise in this area. I'm still waiting for a call from that person to schedule an appointment.


So it's official, we're expecting a little bundle of giggles!!! I first got a positive pregnancy test on July 10, 2008, the day before my last day of work at Foley & Lardner in Madison. It was the morning of my going away party and I woke up in the middle of the night to use the restroom when I decided I would take a test since I would be having my going away party at work that night and wasn't sure if I should have a cocktail or not. Teirney was already working in Milwaukee and I was finishing up my week working in Madison before joining him the following week (after a visit with my mom in Marshfield). I remember psyching myself up so I wouldn't be disappointed by thinking "I'm not pregnant," but I just wanted to be sure. It was 3:30 in the morning and my dear, sweet husband was sound asleep 80 miles away when he was rudely awakened by a phone call. "Hi honey, I took a test...it's positive!" Neither one of us was quite awake to realize the full impact of what had just happened, nor had it been in our imagination that we would find this good news out while separated from one another. I was scared and excited all at the same time. So then the waiting began...

Since we were relocating from Madison to Milwaukee, I was told by the midwife in Madison that I should make my first appointment in Milwaukee so that they didn't have to "transfer" my records. So I called a midwife in Milwaukee and they could not get me in for my first appointment until August 4, which seemed like an eternity away -- I didn't even know how far along I was! With packing and the move, I was able to keep my mind off of what was going on inside of my body, until...

I got sick! I started getting sick almost a week after I found out I was pregnant and ever since then it hasn't let up, which has been bitter sweet...a good sign, but not a fun process. I really knew my body was going through a transition when I tried eating several favorite meals and I could only take one bite and then felt sick to my stomach by the mere sight of it. Eating has been a real chore, I have to force myself to do so which makes it very un-enjoyable. However, I need to remember that this too shall pass -- before you know it, I won't be able to put food down. I spoke to my midwife about how sick I've been and she told me to try ginger tea, which has seemed to work -- at least for the last two days. I can really only nibble on food throughout the day. In the meantime, we have moved and I'm trying to get settled in our new apartment, but finding it very difficult to do so with how sick I've been. It will take some time, but we'll get there.

Now, for those of you wondering why we chose the Spanish word "Bebito" (literally meaning "little baby") to refer to our little one, it is because Teirney and I are hoping to raise a bilingual child. Well, "attempt" to anyway. This could be a challenge considering I know very little Spanish, but the plan is for Teirney to talk to the baby in Spanish and I will talk to the baby in English. We'll see, but that is the plan for now. I hope this clears up any questions anyone may have.