Wednesday, March 10, 2010

8 Week Update

I am officially 8 weeks along and Aaron is growing like a weed! He is now 1.77 centimeters long, and his heart beat is 167 beats per minute, which is all very healthy. We have had a lot of ultrasounds in the last few weeks, and we are just amazed at how quickly a human being forms! We didn’t do all these early “look-see’s” into how the baby was growing that early on last time. It has been really cool. We had our first visit with our regular OB today now that we are done with the fertility clinic. She and her staff were wonderful to us after we lost Noah, and we didn’t even give it a second thought if we would go back there. It was somewhat sad to be there because it did remind us of Noah, but at the same time, this is the best OB group in town, and Aaron deserves the best!

She gave us a great big hug and was genuinely excited for us. Our fertility clinic had written up a summary of our journey through IVF for her, with guidelines for next steps, so she had a good understanding of our situation before we arrived. Some of the things I have facing me are that I will have to do an amniocentesis when I am 16 weeks along. Even though we did the PGD testing on our embryos, we still have a 2-3% risk of Aaron having MCADD. That may not seem like much to some, but having been 1 in 15,000 last time around, we take that pretty seriously, and so do the doctors. Fortunately, she knows a doctor that is very well respected that does nothing but amniocentesis and ultrasound work. He is up in Denver, and in our opinion, worth the drive to have the best. They are working on getting that set up for us.

We also talked about when to begin working with a pediatrician. Even after Aaron is born, he will be treated as though he has MCADD until we have a blood sample that proves otherwise. The geneticists we have worked with recommended a pediatrician here in town that is successfully treating MCADD patients. My pregnancy with Aaron is not high risk, but Aaron is. Because of the nature of MCADD, she thought it would be ok to wait until later (24 weeks or so) before we track this doctor down. MCADD is like having life threatening hypoglycemia. When you are pregnant with an MCADD child, they are fine because they have a constant stream of nutrition coming from the mother. Their metabolisms never run the risk of running on empty. It feels good to have a plan around that after talking with her. She knew of this pediatrician, and from the look on her face, it felt like she approved wholeheartedly with that choice as well. I can’t wait to meet him!

My OB also finally released me from taking any more of my hormones from IVF! WOO HOO!!! This is such a relief. I was still doing two of them, and the fertility clinic wanted me to stay on them for 8 weeks, and then let my OB decide if I needed to stay on them longer. Aaron looked so good in the ultrasound, she felt comfortable with me going off the meds.

One of the more comforting things we talked about was addressing what we have been through and some of the anxiety we feel and reassurance we think we will need. I was beginning to look into the possibility of doing the 3D/4D ultrasounds, not necessarily for the keepsake side of it, but more for the reassurance that he’s there doing well, heart beating and growing. She said that they have had some frustrating situations come through where these places in town (run by ultrasound techs, not doctors) have made devastating diagnoses on babies that weren’t in fact true. These women frantically come to the doctor’s office only to find out that they went through the stress and heartbreak of the diagnosis for nothing. The baby, was in fact, fine. It is therefore their preference that anxious moms come in whenever they want for fetal heart rate monitoring, and schedule extra ultrasounds as needed. Because I am not in it for the keepsake side of it, much more for the reassurance, I love this plan, and appreciate their open mind towards keeping stress to a minimum.

First doctor’s visit with the OB aside, I am getting back into the swing of things again with pregnancy. Being pregnant for the second time has some of its own nuances. I just did this, so I already know a lot about what is going on, what works and what doesn’t, how he is growing, and other things. I remember when I was pregnant with Noah and was in prenatal yoga with a ton of other pregnant moms, how frustrated those of us that were doing this for the first time were at the moms who were on their second, third or whatever number of baby. They were so nonchalant about it all, and would even forget how far along they were! I remember thinking “how can you not know!!” I get it now. It isn’t that I am not excited, or don’t care. I am more excited than I can possibly tell you! It is just that I know the firedrill so well. I have read all the books, done all the exercises, have experienced childbirth. I’ve got this. I am poking through that stuff as a refresher on some things, but as a whole, I am a pro and ready to go with it all. Last time I was so excited about the pregnancy part. This time I am more excited about the baby part. I am trying to live in the moment because this is important to – the being pregnant part – but I am just dying to have the closeness of an infant again.

I am also really amazed at how quickly my belly popped back out again. I have pretty much been back in maternity pants since I found out I was pregnant. Turns out once you stretch that way once, it takes no time at all to get you stretched back out again! On one hand it is a bit embarrassing when people ask how far along I am, and I tell them and I get the raised eyebrows. On the other, it is nice to look and feel pregnant. He really is there.

Some parents of just one child wonder how they will love another. How does that love work? I can tell you that your heart just grows. I am giddy over the fact that I suddenly have two children. I love each of them so completely in their own unique ways. I can cry over it without much effort. You just make room. Or they make room for themselves somehow. They are the center of my universe and all I can think about. It is bizarre because I am a mother of two and yet my house is quiet and empty. It will be Aaron’s job to fill it with activity and laughter. Noah does that silently. I know his presence is here in the middle of it all too. But, both boys are amazing little presences that I love more deeply than I ever thought I could.

So think good thoughts for me over the coming weeks. I am dealing with morning sickness and fatigue. I kind of don’t mind though because it is a constant reminder that Aaron’s there doing what he is supposed to. I need more of that this time around. I am 2/3 of the way through my first trimester already, so I won’t have these symptoms for too much longer. I am looking forward to the upcoming ultrasounds when he looks more like a little person. I am looking forward to getting back into prenatal yoga and getting in shape for childbirth again. I am looking forward to having more time to relax in this pregnancy too. Last time around, we’d just bought our house that needed TONS of work. I spent every waking moment when I wasn’t at work practically living at Home Depot or Lowes keeping Chris in supplies. This time there isn’t anything to do like that. The house is ready. We have everything we need for a baby boy. I can just relax!

As always, we’ll continue keep you posted on our journey as we go. Thanks for reading!