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Friday, May 11, 2012

Graduation

It's the time of year for graduations and for celebrations. Friends, we've graduated! Yesterday was our last ultrasound with Dr G and the end of our time with the fertility specialist for this pregnancy. We've been "promoted" to the regular OB, which is a big milestone for us to reach. I'll be scheduling my first visit with my same OB from last time, Dr R, in the next couple of weeks. It feels wonderful to have made it to this point. I'll be 11 weeks on Sunday and the second trimester is just around the corner. Praise God!

Out of seven previous pregnancies, only one of our babies ever survived for this long in the womb. She lives and breathes, walks and talks, and is currently sleeping in the bedroom down the hall. I'm still amazed by that. It makes me feel very hopeful and excited about pregnancy number eight as the days and weeks pass. With the skin cancer and the pregnancy happening all at once, there have been more doctor's appointments and trips to the big city in the past two months than we usually have in a year. Rather than complaining, though, I'm thankful in a way for all of the activity. That, in addition to taking care of a sweet toddler every day, has kept my mind occupied and my worries mostly under control simply because there has been so much to do. The first trimester has practically flown by, which has never happened to me before.

Our little one looked fantastic at yesterday's appointment. Ultrasounds will probably always make me nervous, but each time we have one with good news it's like a balm for our hearts that were hurt by so many bad ones. The first thing we noticed when the baby came into view was how much he or she had grown. That little body (still less than two inches long) almost filled up the screen, and we were thrilled to see a busy and active baby with legs kicking and arms waving! It was adorable, and all we could do was smile at each other during the exam. Baby is still growing right on track and looked normal for 10w4d. Heart rate was 170 bpm.

We have a bit of a crazy schedule over the next few weeks, so I expect that the rest of May will be gone in a flash. This weekend is full with family in town and birthday plans for my sister-in-law. Next Thursday we'll have one more ultrasound for the first trimester screening test. On Friday we'll head north to attend my mother-in-law's retirement party before heading back south to vacation with my sister's family at the beach for a week. After we get back, I'll have my pre-op appointment on May 31 and the melanoma surgery (finally!) on June 1.

I'll be welcoming a bit of a slower pace by then I'm sure, and I'm very much looking forward to settling into the second trimester with most of my worries put to rest. Thank you for all of your continued support, sweet comments, and precious prayers!

For those of you who are bracing yourselves for another tough Mother's Day weekend, please know that you're in my thoughts and prayers. I'll never, ever forget what that felt like and I'll always remember to pray for those who are hurting from infertility and loss, especially on that day. Much love to all of you!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Amazed

Today was my appointment with the maternal fetal medicine doctor. This was the visit that the melanoma surgeon wanted me to do before we schedule the surgery, just to have the baby checked out and all of my questions answered before we move forward.

It was a great experience from beginning to end. I felt an immediate rapport with this doctor when I spoke with her on the phone last week, and she was just as kind and friendly in person. We had to drive about an hour to get there and we arrived about a half hour early but didn't have to wait long before we were called back to start the ultrasound. I'm still amazed hours later as I sit down to try and put the experience into words. I had a couple of 3D ultrasounds during my pregnancy with Lily and they are always pretty amazing, but I've never had the experience so early on in a pregnancy before. I think that's what was so awesome to us today, to see so much of the miracle of new life in such detail at a little over 9 weeks. It served as a wonderful display of a God who performs miracles and whose timing is always perfect! I've been in awe of Him all afternoon.

My eyes filled with tears as we saw that tiny, perfect baby on the screen. We saw his or her heart beating, and brand new little arm and leg buds. For the first time in this pregnancy we saw the baby moving around, too, which was the next big milestone we were hoping to see at next week's ultrasound. It was a very special moment, and at one point I exclaimed, "Wow!" and Lily echoed the word back in her sweet little voice. :)

After we got a good look at the baby and all of the appropriate measurements were taken (baby is growing "right on target," which is music to our ears), we sat down with the doctor for a while to talk about everything and ask any questions we had. I found out a few days ago that they will not have to test the lymph nodes around the melanoma site, which is great news. The doctor today cleared me to go ahead with the surgery whenever we can get it scheduled. I still have about three weeks to go until the second trimester, so it shouldn't be too much longer before we can get it all taken care of.

I have to honestly say that today is the first day during this pregnancy that I've begun to feel RELIEVED. We still have some relatively small hurdles coming up, but I'm starting to let myself believe that this is going to happen and that it will be okay -- that this baby will survive growing in my body and actually come home to live with us. I'm trusting, believing, and hoping. I saw this quote on a devotional site this week and loved it: "Trust (in God) chooses faith over fear, confidence over cowardice, and power over panic." That's exactly what I want to do!

**I never want anything I post here to cause any additional pain to anyone who is hurting from infertility or miscarriage, which is why I've always refrained from posting ultrasound images, pictures of pregnancy tests, or belly pics on my blog. I want to make a picture from today's appointment available for you to see if you want to, though, so I'll attach it through the following link. It's the image that left me feeling completely overwhelmed -- in a good way -- today: Ultrasound Picture