Moving forward

The other day, I went for the level two ultrasound and genetic counseling appointment. After getting to see Sweet Pea on the screen and listening to the genetic counselor tell me and my husband that while everything looks good, there is always a chance that there is something that they cannot see.  We were also told that we had been misinformed by the doctor who said the baby had a 1 in 30 chance for Down’s when it was actually 1 in 130. Big difference there. We were offered the choice of having an amniocentesis or doing the Panorama (or Harmony) blood test again. For those of you unfamiliar with the Panorama test, it is a blood test that not only tells you the gender of the baby, but it can also detect whether the baby has such things as Down’s Syndrome, Trisomy 18, and Trisomy 13. I had it done previously, and it came back inconclusive. I decided not to do it again at the time because I had only really done it to find out the gender of the baby. After much discussion, my husband and I have decided we are not doing the Panorama again, nor are we doing the amniocentesis. A few people have mentioned to me that I might want to do the blood test once more just for peace of mind, but really, I am done. Here is why.

looking forward to tiny feet

looking forward to tiny feet

I am now over the halfway point in my pregnancy. I have a very visible bump, and yet I have a hard time getting excited for what lies ahead. It is not because I am not happy about the baby because I am. However, I feel that my mind is still trying to protect me from heartache. I feel like I have to protect my sanity just in case something goes wrong. These tests and this whole experience has been messing with my mind. I have lost sleep over this wondering if everything was ok with Sweet Pea and what would happen when we would go for the ultrasound.

Deep down, I know that whatever is going to happen is going to happen. Things look good. Sweet Pea is a fairly active little munchkin. I should find hope in that. I want to enjoy being pregnant. I want to look forward to finishing my baby registry, buying my maternity clothes, building our nursery, not worrying all the time. I want to look forward to the things a normal pregnant woman does without the constant fears that I have. In order to let go of these fears and worries, I just feel it is time to accept everything as it is.

Sweet Pea deserves to have a mama that is not stressed out, and I want to be that mama. I want to work on bonding with my baby now and losing the fear I have. I can’t do that by going forward with more tests.

And with that, I am hoping to move forward.

If any of you have been through this, I would love to hear from you. Feel free to comment on my facebook page discussion or in the comments below!

Wordful Wednesday: Making Learning Fun

Sissy loves puzzles. So when I saw this puzzle kit of the US with all the state names and capitals already added, I thought this would be a great way for her to learn them all while doing something she loved. As you can tell from the owl in the corner, she had to make Fluffy watch her work!

Sissy hard at work learning her states and capitals!

Sissy hard at work learning her states and capitals!

What to say to a woman having a baby…

…Pretty sure the appropriate response should be: Congratulations! Yes, there may be some women you know that are having babies, and maybe you don’t think they should for whatever reason. However, those feelings are often best to be kept to yourself.

Why am I even talking about this? Well, to put it simply, it has come up, and quite frankly it’s kind of hurtful when people use your pregnancy to take jabs about your parenting skills, husband, job, life, or whatever.

I know not everyone is happy my husband and I are having another baby. However, this is something we thought long and hard over for a long time before we started trying two years ago. After the heartache of losing two while on this journey, this is still something we want to do.

baby crying

Why yes, I do realize that the baby may do this and do it a lot, and I am okay with that.

I may not be the best mother in the world, but I do try. I try to do what is best for my children, and I have their best interests at heart. Not only that, I love them dearly. I love being a mother. I know how challenging it is to raise children when their daddy is gone for weeks at a time seeing as how I have been parenting like this for almost 6 years. I know that babies cry. I know that it is a forever commitment, and it is one I am willing to take on fully…again.

As you can tell from my tone, I have heard it all and usually from people that really have no reason to say anything at all…people who are not active in my children’s lives, people who don’t lend me a hand when I need it, people who just like to have something to complain about and I just happen to be their target that day.

As much as I wish it didn’t hurt, it does, like today when I was told that if it turns out there is something wrong with my baby, it’s okay because I have two children already and I obviously don’t know what kind of commitment or how hard it is to raise a child. Um…excuse me? My two children seem to be pretty well-adjusted. I obviously know what kind of commitment it is since I have done this twice before, and yes, I do know how hard it is to raise a child and also how much it sucks sometimes to do it on my own when my husband is away, especially knowing there are people out there that I guess want to see me fail.

Needless to say, that conversation today really stung.

So yes, there are going to be people in your life that you are not going to agree with their choices. And if you come across a pregnant woman that happens to be one of those people, do the proper thing. Say “congratulations” and keep your opinion to yourself.

Must haves for your Pregnancy Beauty Kit

While some of you may never have to worry about these things, there are those of us that pregnancy brings puberty back to us with a vengeance. You know that pregnancy glow everyone talks about? Well, with me, it is not so much…well at least not with the help of a LOT of cosmetics. So I put together a list of things that are good to have on hand for when the hormones get the best of you, so that you can feel normal even if your body is working against you!

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Just a few of my “must haves”

While many pregnant women brag about how thick their hair is now, I have had a lot of issues with greasy, oily hair that makes me look like I haven’t washed it in weeks, even if I just washed it that day. Because I have had hair extensions for much of the last two years, I have tested just about every dry shampoo under the sun. However, recently I discovered the “Not Your Mother’s” brand of hair products, and I absolutely adore their dry shampoo. I would highly recommend it for anyone with hair like mine or who just ran out of time in the morning to do a wash and dry. The best part is that it is relatively inexpensive and can be found at most drugstores.

Now about that pregnant skin. Pregnancy is nature’s revenge on me for having relatively good skin when I was a teenager. One product I really like is the Pure System from Yves Rocher. I use a gentle cleanser in the morning and then use this scrub and toner in the evening. It has really helped cut down on the number of breakouts which makes me incredibly happy because seriously, while it is nice to get mistaken for a teenager when you are in your 30s, rocking a baby bump and getting mistaken for a teenager in your 30s isn’t so grand.

One of my biggest must haves is Bio Oil. I had the stretch mark cream, and honestly, while Bio Oil is more expensive, it is worth every penny. Not only does it make your stretch marks less prevalent, it also works the best for me at reducing itchy belly caused by the growing stretch marks. You can find it at Babies R Us.

Now if you are like me and have skin problems while pregnant, you will want a good foundation and/or cover up. For this, I love Lancome and Mary Kay, but if those brands out of your price range, there are great ones by E.L.F and Yves Rocher. Just make sure you invest in a good make-up brush and/or sponge. Don’t use your fingers. You will only make the acne worse.

Finally, add some color to your cosmetics or nails. With summer approaching, I love having my toe nails painted at all times. However, as I get bigger, it becomes harder to bend over and paint them. That is where the Gelato Nail Polish comes in handy. It goes on thick. I only need one coat usually, and it will last for two weeks! I am rocking red piggies right now, and even though my feet are slightly swollen, they are still gorgeous!

So that is what is in my pregnancy beauty kit. Did I miss anything? What would you add? Please let me know in the comments below!

Quad Screens and Staying Calm through the Process

On Friday, I went for my second trimester anatomy scan, which was a totally different experience because I only had ultrasounds with my other pregnancies. I got a creepy picture of my baby’s skeleton head and thought all was going well. The doctor couldn’t see the gender of the baby, and there were a few other things he wanted to see up close that he couldn’t see at that time. However, he wasn’t concerned and just said for me to come back in a month. I was just happy that everything seemed to be going well and was starting to breathe a sigh of relief…until I went to checkout.

My doctor started to set everything up for my follow-up visit and then took a look in my chart. Everything suddenly changed. He saw my quad screen results and asked if I had seen them or if my midwife had gone over it with me. I had the blood test done over a week ago, but of course, no one had called me.

He said that the quad screen came back as a 1 in 30 chance that my baby had Down’s Syndrome. My heart sank. I fought hard not to cry in front of him and the nurse behind the counter. The plans went from a follow-up visit to a visit to the genetic counselor and a level 2 ultrasound.  I will say that I appreciate that he didn’t instantly say something was wrong with the baby like the horrible OB I had for my first half of my pregnancy with Sissy Girl. However, after all the struggles my husband and I have been through the past two years trying to conceive, this came as a pretty big blow.

I spent most of the rest of the day with a racing mind and trying not to go into a full-blown panic attack. I cried. I got mad. Gotta love hormones, I tell ya. Then a few of my friends and I talked, and I started looking in some of the baby forums for answers.

Thinking of things that make me happy helps me not to stress

Thinking of things that make me happy helps me not to stress

The message I kept seeing over and over was that this was a common issue with Quad Screens. One of my friends had even mentioned that she wasn’t sure why they bothered to still do them since the occurrence of false positives was relatively high. The baby forums helped ease my fears a bit, and I woke the next morning a bit calmer.

A 1 in 30 chance seems so high, and after everything we have been through, it is a bit hard for me to process right now. No matter what, we will love and adore the baby. That is not an issue. However, it is a lot to take in and with all the hormones a pregnant woman has, it does put one through the wringer. I have little over a week until I get some more answers, so now I am just playing the waiting game.

However, I have been through this before. The difference is that when I got the call when I was pregnant with my daughter, I was told that my daughter had a million things wrong with her and that the level 2 ultrasound needed to be done early. What I wasn’t told was that it was only a chance, not a certainty.

Have any of you mothers gone through this? If so, what are your thoughts? If you are pregnant now and reading this, I want you to know that whatever you are feeling is okay. However, there are reasons to stay calm. As always, please feel free to leave a comment below.

 

Hello Baby

dbf5e7b0667841ce96779a60da4a08e7I thought it might be a good time to start writing to my unborn baby. I have so much to say and so many fears, so it is my hope that this will help. If any of you who are pregnant or were pregnant have done this in your blog, please feel free to share links in the comments below.

Hello Sweet Pea. You aren’t even born, and Mommy is putting you in her blog already. We have made it to week 17 together and as I write this, I can feel you moving around. It is one of the most awesome feelings in the world.

So why is Mommy writing you here? Well Mommy wants to make sure she remembers everything this time. While my memory is a little better, there is so much I don’t remember from being pregnant with your brother and sister because of the accident. Everything seems so new. I drive your daddy nuts asking him all the time if the cramp I am feeling is normal. If I was this forgetful when I was pregnant with your siblings and if I will ever have my brain back. (Last time I asked, he said no. Boo.)

I have been able to feel you move for a while but your movements are still not strong enough for Bubby and Sissy to feel. They really try though. You seem to respond to certain music and your sister’s voice. I am hoping that means you like her. She really is a neat kid, when she is not being a stinker. The same can be said of your brother.

I seriously think you and I need to have a talk about this food aversion thing. I am starting to get the feeling that you are a health nut. I mean, I am ok with the meat aversions, but ice cream!!! I mean really. How can you not like when I eat ice cream? It used to be so good, and now it is awful. I am really hoping this is temporary because you are really missing out and evidently making me miss out by extension.

I got to hear your heartbeat last week at the midwife’s office. It was magical. It made me feel a little less afraid. I am sorry I am afraid, and I know it makes it a little harder to try to bond. After losing two before you, I sometimes think my mind tries to protect me. I can tell my belly is getting bigger. I have a picture from the last ultrasound close by, but sometimes it doesn’t seem real. I can’t wait to meet you though, and while I am scared, just know that I love you and am anxiously waiting your arrival.

So you keep growing and kicking. And I will try to write it all down. Only a few more months to go!