Monthly Archives: July 2016

Zdravo Week 18

Maybe I had this coming. Maybe I approached this second surrogacy overconfident and too carelessly, assuming it would go as smoothly as all the others. We aren’t even to the halfway mark and this is proving to be the most stressful one yet. 😧

Thursday I noticed my feet were starting to itch, like perhaps some bug had taken a bite while we were at the zoo or something. As the day progressed, the itching got much worse and that night I’d developed a blotchy, lacy rash that was starting to spread up my ankles. The palm of my left hand and fingers were also starting to get angry. Whyyyyy is this something that has to happen now? Googling symptoms of foot rash – it’s so hard to self-diagnose any rash over the internet because it could be a cause or effect of so many different things- I came across the condition of ICP which can be brought on in pregnancy. ICP is characterized by very itchy feet and palms as a result of liver dysfunction. The bile your liver normally produces doesn’t filter through your system properly and builds up in the extremities of your limbs. This can come on in pregnancy as a result of the hormonal changes that take place, and resolves itself after delivery, so similar to gestational diabetes, you’re ‘cured’ once the baby is born. Something reassuring and working against the case of me developing a case of ICP was the fact that it was only the tops and sides of my feet that were rashy and itchy (ICP usually affects the soles) and only my left palm, not my right, was itchy. ICP would affect both hands, not one.

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NOT a sunburn

Playing the better safe than sorry card, I called into my doctor on Friday and described my symptoms and they said they did want me to do a blood draw to check the bile salt levels and come in to the office for a check. I’ve gotten to see this baby like once every other week now! And of course, there she was, happy as a little geoduck, heartbeat in the 150s. No news has been good news and I haven’t heard back the result from the lab, so I’m pretty confident that it will come back negative.

Today is Sunday and the rash has practically disappeared leaving me only with some minor residual itching. The conclusion I’ve come to, now that the worst case scenario has been ruled out, is that I experienced an allergic reaction to some ingredient in a crap lotion I used on Wednesday night. My feet were dry so I put some of this Eucerin lotion on them, clearly with my left hand, annnnnd yeah. Bad lotion is going in the trash.

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Of course, just when I feel like I can relax, I woke up to more spotting this morning.

Nooooooo!!!

Im not quite as concerned this time around compared to a couple weeks ago as the blood is very brownish and light and it doesn’t appear as if I’m actively bleeding. Old blood is okay blood. Given that I saw baby on Friday doing well and my cervix is very much closed, I don’t think there’s a need to go in to be seen anywhere unless things get worse. 4 weeks ago was like I was having a heavy period and this is nowhere close to that. But still, it would be nice to have a reason why my body keeps doing this. I suppose there could be a cyclical/hormonal imbalance due to the artificial nature of this pregnancy and maybe if there’s bleeding again in 3-4 weeks we could attribute this to the hormones in my body acting like they’re still on a regular menstrual cycle. Does that even happen?? Our next appointment is not for another 3 weeks but I’ll definitely inform them about this when I next go in.

Looking forward to an uncomplicated, healthy new week.

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Merhaba Week 17

Can you feel me now?

Baby kicks!

Yes, yes I finally can. Such a reassuring feeling. They’re hard to distinguish at first, like tiny bubbles popping up against a wall, but they’ll become stronger as time goes on. What a fun milestone to share with my IM!

This week it feels like the exhaustion has returned. Boo! I’ve been tired again lately and should try harder on pushing through. Naps are such a blessing but hard to squeeze in with 3 little kids. We took an outing to the zoo this week and have gone swimming every day. As baby grows, I’m appreciating the pool more and more. Too bad we’re going against the seasons here. Taking a dip in an unheated pool mid-December may be an act  of desperation when we get that far.

Missing coffee so hard right now.

It’s allllll worth it in the end.


Kia Ora Week 16

Getting a bit behind on our updates. To be honest I’ve been completely on edge since the bleeding incident 2 weeks ago, I haven’t had much time to relax; or get a chance to celebrate the A I earned in my Psych class last week. Woot, I guess?!

Well, here we are at 16 weeks. I made it to our OB appointment on Monday and asked the doctor her opinion why I might have bled out like that with baby still chill in there. She wasn’t sure either and unfortunately isn’t a future teller and can’t say whether it is likely to happen again. So, we will keep our fingers crossed and hope for NO MORE SCARY BLEEDS!!

I’m trying to let my anxiety ease up a bit and it helped after checking  out the baby on Monday. The OB office has one of those hi-def 3D rendering ultrasound that makes baby look like someone was scanning the surface of Mars and discovered an alien life form. I think my intended parents can start to relax a bit more as well. I can’t even imagine what it must be like to be far away when things like this happen! We saw a good omen on our drive home from the appointment following behind this truck on the highway with ‘you are loved! <3’ tagged in white letters on the back. D’awww!! Baby Girl is SO loved and I know Mom and Dad can’t wait to hold and kiss her and tell her exactly that.

Happy that things are back to normal, for the most part, this week. And yes, this IS a new bathroom selfie destination! Places to go…washrooms to utilize. The life of a surrogate is so very glamorous.

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Dia Dhuit, Week 15

Unexplained second trimester bleeding.

There is not much information out there to learn about why this happens, which is why it’s left as “unexplained”. It speaks a great deal as to how many gaps there still are in the medical field in Women’s Health and when something goes on in pregnancy that defies explanation, doctors are left shrugging their shoulders.

Thursday I awoke feeling normal, had a little breakfast, and when I went to use the bathroom noticed some blood on the wipe that was red enough and of a quantity to be concerning. This was more than spotting, and had I not known for sure I was pregnant I would think I was starting a regular period. I told my husband we needed to head to the ER to get this checked out. We were out of town visiting his Dad, so we wound up going to same the hospital my FIL works at. Luckily there was no wait because as we walked from the car to emergency, blood started soaking through my pants and running down my legs. It’s a bit embarrassing to tell the triage nurse you can’t sit while they go through your admission paperwork because you’re going to stain their chair.

Waiting for an ultrasound to find out if there’s a living baby still growing. Will I see a heartbeat or a motionless outline? Surrogacy is an exercise in ‘hurry up and wait’. The time between having goopy gel applied to your abdomen and an image appearing on the screen is the longest, most excruciating wait of all.

There is an active, wiggling, heart-beating baby free floating without a care in the world! Ok, do we have a placenta–that vital, temporary organ of connection–intact? It’s there and whole as well.

So why bleed? What function is taking place in the body causing this to happen? It defies medical explanation when all the other possibilities are ruled out. The doctors send you home saying, “we can’t say for sure why you’re bleeding. You may be starting to miscarry, you may not be. 50% of women go on to have a successful pregnancy after experiencing a bleed.” What to give to be in the lucky half?

Thursday night I continued bleeding soaking about three pads and passing a couple gnarly sized clots about the size of my thumb. I thought for sure this pregnancy was lost. I kept waiting for the cramps to start. Will this be a quick process or take a week? By the time you reach the second trimester, the risk of miscarrying drops to 2%. That may seem like a low number, but keep in mind that is 1 out of every 50 pregnancies. You or someone you know has miscarried late in the game.

The fact that the bleeding has turned into spotting and the blood is getting more brownish indicates a turn in the right direction. Also, still no cramps or feeling like there are contractions. I’ll feel much better once I go 24 hours no spotting, but from the pretty much the only thing I could find on the Internet about other women who experience this, some women keep bleeding periodically and still go on to deliver a healthy baby!  This was the only site I could find with other ladies sharing their experiences: http://www.steadyhealth.com/topics/unexplained-bleeding-during-2nd-trimester

The bleeding remains a mystery,  but it seems like it’s not all that uncommon as the doctors would have you believe! And unexplained second trimester bleeding doesn’t always end in miscarriage. It really makes me rethink my opinion on those “I didn’t know I was pregnant!” TV shows like, there is NO way you can not know you’re pregnant. But after this…I’m not so sure! If my cycles were irregular and I started bleeding out of the blue like this…if there wasn’t a catheter inserted up my Hoo-ha with one viable embryo by an IVF doctor 13 weeks ago…I don’t know, I may not have known I was pregnant either.

Keep your fingers crossed and say a little prayer this was a one-time scare. I think we can use some Irish luck for the next 25 weeks.

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yo! I’m okay, things are good in here. Relax, lady.