10 July, 2012

A New Little One

My sweet husband has been kind enough to keep up the blogging while I have been struggling through my first trimester of pregnancy, but I thought you might want to hear a little from me now that I'm feeling better!

I will be 13 weeks along tomorrow and am finally feeling a little bit of the second trimester relief that so many women talk about! Ben and I found out that I was pregnant on May 10th. I had been suffering from terrible allergies for a month or so and decided it was time to get an allergy test to discover exactly to what I am allergic. The doctor had some students sit in on the skin test and they were not disappointed as I got STRONGLY positive test results to cats, feathers, and dust mites. I was not surprised about the cats or feathers, but the dust mite allergy explained why I suffered year-round instead of seasonally. The doctor and I talked about medication options and how I had been taking Allegra for some time, but had recently run out and decided to wait until after the appointment to get more. I also told her that my husband and I were trying for a baby, but I was only one day late. She decided to go ahead and do a pregnancy test, since I cannot take oral antihistamines if I am pregnant. Sure enough, I got another positive test result and the lab tech gave me her congratulations!

Where was Ben in all this? Our area director had recently had surgery and Ben and I had decided to make him and his family a meal to help ease the stress for his wife during his recovery. So while I was at my doctor's appointment, Ben was in the middle of schlepping a full meal out to the suburbs for the mom to pick up whenever she got her kids from school.

I was then faced with the dilemma of how to tell Ben. I never doubted that he would be thrilled, but didn't know how to share this big news. I ended up taking the long (air-conditioned) way home to buy some time to think up a plan. I woke from my thoughts at a stop I knew had several baby clothing stores. I hopped off the tram and bought a onesie that said "I love dad." When I got back on the tram, I busied myself with rolling a stuffing the onesie in one of the boxes for the allergy spray my doctor had prescribed.

Ben was surprised that he beat me home, but I made an excuse, "The appointment took longer than I thought and I had to pick up some prescriptions." He wanted to hear all about my appointment and we sat down at the kitchen table as I pulled out my prescriptions. I showed him one and asked him to help me open another. His first thoughts as he pulled out the onesie ranged from "Is this a breathing mask?" to "Did they give her socks?" Until it finally dawned on him what it was and what it said. He looked at me and said, "Are you pregnant?" I nodded and we were both lost in the midst of disbelieving excitement!

A week later we got to go to Brusssels, Belgium for a surprise trip I had planned for Ben's birthday. We had a great time, but while we were there I started to feel the beginnings of nausea. It just got worse when we got home and there were a few days of vomiting. The nausea increased to the point that I could hardly do anything. Getting up and moving around, smells, and even bad color combinations had my stomach pitching like a ship in a storm! The worst of it, oddly enough, occurred when it was morning in the States. Regardless of never having been there, apparently this baby is a Texan!

I tried to do as much as I could, but the only thing that could keep the nausea at bay was to take up position on the couch and do very little. Food sounded disgusting, but I tried to eat what I could, because an empty stomach is the worst thing for morning sickness. When I was 11 weeks, I was looking forward to the nearing end of the 1st trimester and hoped-for relief. What struck instead, was the worst dizziness I have ever had in my life. Dizziness that just intensified my nausea and vomiting. I could not even move my head without the world spinning. It did not matter if I was standing, sitting, or lying down. One small movement and things were no longer stationary!

I decided to wait almost a week until my next OB appointment and tell him the symptoms. He thought it might be low blood pressure and over two days I came in for 2 liters of fluid intravenously. When that did not help, I went to see a GP who diagnosed me with Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV). It turns out that there are crystals in your inner ear that can occasionally get out of place. When this happens, moving or tilting the head causes them to move and abnormally displace the fluid in you inner ear, thus causing the dizzy sensation. The doctor did some maneuvers to try and replace the crystals. I felt no better that day, but the day after was noticeably better, and the day after that I felt almost normal. I still have issues when I lie on my right side, but other than that I feel better than I have in over a month. I am working now on building back up my stamina, since I have basically been on bed-rest for 6 weeks. In the month between my appointments I had gained no weight, so I am working to make sure I am eating well and drinking a lot of fluids. I still have REALLY low blood pressure (inherited from my mom) and am trying to do what I can to raise it a little so I don't have so much light-headedness. I don't regret any of this. I am excited for the little miracle that God is growing and want his or her health more than anything! Even if that means more nausea for me.

Wow! Probably WAY more than you wanted to read and I applaud you if you made it this far! In all of this, Ben has been so amazing and supportive that I cannot thank him enough. Many of you have said you are praying for me and the baby, but please pray for him too. He has had such a great attitude, but I know it has been difficult to be suddenly saddled with a caregiver role as I have been ill. Pray for his arthritis. The Enbrel seems to have lost some of its effectiveness and he is experiencing more pain. Also, he has been denied another year by the Encourage Foundation. This means we cannot get his Enbrel for free and we cannot afford the amount it costs normally. He has a few more weeks worth of shots, but is meeting with a rheumatologist tomorrow to see if there are any other, cheaper options for him to pursue. Maybe this is God's way of helping us pursue a medication we otherwise would not have known about?


Kristen said...

CONGRATULATIONS! I am very excited for you.

Pregnancy can be horrible. I hope the worst is behind you and that you can enjoy the rest of it.

~big hugs~

Kristen said...

Congrats!!! Glad you've made it to the relief of the 2nd trimester!
The same thing happened to me with Enbrel--it normally has an effectiveness life time of 5ish years, but mine only worked for 2 1/2. Humira is very similar, so it might not work, but his doctor will have a better understanding of how it might interact with his progression. Ask about Remicade--it did wonders for me and I think there's a payment assist plan.
Congrats again on the baby!!!