23 week ultrasound & fetal echocardiogram

today we had a check in with the high risk doctor.  it was time for my next cervix check and fetal echocardiogram.  getting right down to business, our appointment went well.  and for that, i am so grateful.  thank you to anyone who said a prayer for us!

my cervix was nice and long still {despite my near daily mini panic attacks from the ever changing flow of cervical mucus}.  bitty boy measured right on track at 23 weeks 2 days.  my repaired septate uterus seems to be stretching enough with the baby, although he is breech since i have more room horizontally than vertically.  there’s still time for him to turn, so we shall see.  the echocardiogram went well.  the ultrasound tech and doctor looked at several parts of the heart: the atrium, ventricles, veins, the flow of blood, and probably more {i’m not well versed in anatomy}.  we did ask the doctor about the potential arrhythmia.  he doesn’t doubt that we heard a skipped beat or two, as it is quite common.  he said they see a lot of patients for irregular fetal heartbeats, some so strange they have the pediatric cardiologist come listen, but the majority of the time everything is ok.  apparently as the baby’s heart continues to develop, it can just have an irregular rhythm.

i loved the ultrasound tech today.  she was so sweet, very patient, and did a great job explaining everything she was looking at.  at the beginning of the appointment, she spent quite a bit of time to get us a good profile shot of our sweet boy.  she also gave us a 3D photo of his little face {hands down my favorite picture yet}.

overall, we’re very relieved that everything went well today.  i can’t ask for anything more at the present moment.  we go back again in 4 weeks.

below is our very first picture of our little boy in his petri dish on transfer day, followed by his sweet face at 23 weeks.  i am in awe of our Creator’s perfect design for His creation.

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fetal arrhythmia?

every so often, when i doppler, it sounds like bitty’s heart is going to stop. or at least like it is slowing tremendously. or maybe skipping a beat. but then it picks back up. it happened several days close together once, so i tried asking the ultrasound tech at the high risk doctor. she had some fluff answer, but basically dismissed my concern. the next time i went back, i figured i’d ask the doctor… until the same ultrasound tech called me back. grr! so i figured i’d ask my regular OB. part of me was afraid to admit i have a home doppler {yes, i’m that girl}, but i asked the doctor on call i saw once when i went in for headaches. she made up some fluff answer as well and dismissed my concern.

i hadn’t heard the arrhythmia for a while, so i thought maybe my home doppler just sucks, or maybe the baby was slightly moving and throwing it off, or whatever. until one morning this week. i {and hubby, so i have validation} heard the slow/skipping beats three times in a row while bitty was completely still. queue meltdown. i’m talking full on crying fest.

hubby quickly started researching fetal arrhythmias and found that it’s quite common for irregular heartbeats to occur in the second trimester. according to the world wide web, the irregular rhythm usually resolves itself prior to birth or shortly thereafter. but there is that 1% chance the arrhythmia is due to a structural defect.

we are already scheduled for a fetal echocardiogram this coming wednesday anyway. IVF babies have a higher risk of having a heart defect, so the high risk doctor always likes to take a look. i’m not sure what to expect, but my OB said the test is quite long. i hope it’s long enough to catch any arrhythmia, and i hope it involves listening to bitty’s heartbeat so the doctor can thoroughly assess the situation. otherwise, i’ve been taking a video of my daily doppler time, so i can share an example with the doctor. so far, i haven’t gotten a video as clear as the arrhythmia from earlier this week, but i have a couple pieces of footage that may indicate a skipped beat.

if you have any prayers to spare, please say a prayer for bitty’s heart and that the echocardiogram goes well next week. thanks, blog friends!

{in}fertility changes you

i feel more self-centered after the septate uterus and PCOS diagnoses, an early and drawn out loss, multiple months of fertility treatment, and IVF. and now that i’m currently experiencing a “high risk” pregnancy, i think the self-centeredness is worse. i can’t celebrate friends’ pregnancy announcements {with the exception of one or two ladies}. i wait until the last minute to RSVP to others’ baby showers. i don’t reach out to my sister-in-law who is expecting a little boy in march. not to mention, i delay making preparations for our little boy like registering, buying furniture, and painting his room. he doesn’t have a name yet, he’s still just “bitty.” i’m even hesitant to send out our 2014 Christmas card including one of our pregnancy announcement photos. i only think about me and how i can lessen the sorrow and pain should something happen to our sweet boy. i am selfish.

i always assumed that once we got pregnant, life would be grand. there would be no more pain and worry. i was wrong. i struggle every day to not live in fear. what if the low papp-a causes growth restriction? what if i get preeclampsia? what if my misshapen, repaired uterus gives up early? what if our ICSI and IVF baby has a heart defect like that 1% statistic? what if?

we are high risk. we have a few ugly statistics. God is mighty, but why are we worthy of a healthy pregnancy? why didn’t He heal my friend’s friend’s little girl? why did He let one of my other friend’s friend’s triplets die? why should everything turn out fine for us?

every step i take in this pregnancy like buying maternity clothes, finally announcing our expected boy, and ordering those Christmas cards, i confer with hubby on whether or not i would be jinxing us and bitty. i always rationalize, “if we can just make it to this appointment, through this test result, or to X number of weeks, i will relax.” but when we reach whatever the current milestone is, the bar moves one step further. ugh.

i just want to celebrate. i’ve thought about it and read this before: that making plans for a long awaited child is placing faith and trust in God. i don’t know how the story will continue to unfold. i don’t know what tomorrow or any day between now and april holds. at some point i have to turn my fears into faith. every day, multiple times a day, i recite and pray Jeremiah 32:17.

i’ve made some progress over the last week. i finally mailed those Christmas cards that were addressed, stamped, and ready to go for 5 days. and today, i bought the crib we’ve been eyeing while it was $200 off and i had pottery barn rewards. that’s about it, but it’s progress. i’m starting to lose track of a few registry wants, so maybe i’ll finally start working on one.

in other news, here is the 21 week bump. it looked much bigger in person, the black dress camouflaged it a bit. please keep growing, little boy!

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