October 25, 2012


I'm rather glad that I got yesterday off from work, rather than just work an evening shift, because my quick doctors appointment in the morning ended up lasting for hours, including a trip to the hospital emergency room.

I told Matt he didn't need to come to the clinic with me - it wasn't a big important appointment, and since he works nights, I'd rather let him sleep. So I headed there myself, and met with my midwife, Tracy.

First, a note: I went to the clinic two weeks or so ago for "OB orientation," a program for moms-to-be to find out about this clinic and the services they offer. It's run by the medical school at the university where I went to grad school, and I'll be delivering at the university hospital, which I feel good about - 1 out of every 6 doctors in Illinois is a graduate of their medical school. That said, though, I didn't like the orientation. I felt very talked-down-to, and it was sort of impersonal.

Meeting with Tracy, though, was incredible. She was fantastic, very comforting, and I feel great being in her care. She asked me a ton of questions, and I told her everything: about my weight loss, about California, about my history with Matt, about our families, about my current work situation, and about my morning sickness (gone) and my latest cravings (cottage cheese). She said my weight loss was fantastic, my blood pressure was great, my resting heart rate was low, and that even though I've already gained some weight, I have a great understanding of why it happened (no longer running 3-4 times a week and an increase of bland flavored carbs like crackers/pasta to settle my queasy stomach in the first trimester) and how to maintain and control the gain.

Then she had me lay down on the table and said, Alright, are you ready to hear your baby's heartbeat? I've been waiting for this for weeks. It's what got me through lousy days at work - knowing that in a few days, I'll be at my appointment, and I'll hear our baby.

She gets the Doppler going, feels around, and ... nothing. Moves to the left, nothing. The right, nothing. She picks up something faint, and then checks my pulse and confirms that she only hears *my* heart, not the baby's.

It's not necessarily bad, she said. But it's not always good. The next step: I get sent to the university hospital emergency room.

By the time I get there and am wheeled up to the OB/GYN emergency area, I'm sobbing so heavily that I can't explain why I'm there. They get me into a hospital gown and try their Doppler - still nothing. So while the technician consults a doctor on what to do, I'm left alone in a tiny room saying over and over, Please, please be okay, Baby. Mommy loves you. I'm sorry if I did something that hurt you. And I start obsessing over every little thing from the past few days - when I put my subway card in the wrong turnstile and pushed my stomach hard into a bar that didn't turn, when I had a sandwich at Jimmy John's (on lettuce instead of bread, and not toasted - deli meats are not recommended unless they're heated to kill germs)...

The next step was to be brought into the ultrasound room to check viability. I had an ultrasound scheduled this morning anyway to check for a few diseases and conditions, but this was a quick one just to verify (a) there was a heart and (b) it was beating. Another midwife popped into the room to talk before the doctor was ready, and said that she didn't want to give me any false hope, but also that she's seen cases where a hard-to-detect heartbeat wasn't a concern. Still, I worried.

The doctor put some goo on my stomach, then started up the ultrasound machine. Within a few seconds, she found it. I started to cry again, but this time, tears of joy. There it was. Our baby. Alive. Healthy looking. Heart beating perfectly.

The trouble with hearing the heartbeat had to do with the location of the placenta - the doctor said that this also means I will feel less fetal movement as the baby gets bigger, since instead of kicking me directly, it will be kicking something like a pillow between us. We're so, so lucky that it wasn't something very serious!

This morning, we had another ultrasound - an appointment this time, not in the hospital emergency room - and Matt was able to get off work early and come with me. We went into the room and an ultrasound tech student did the scan and got the baby's measurements. The little one would barely stop moving around so the woman could measure it! Definitely the child of two runners.

I haven't been able to stop looking at the pictures we were given - at first they gave us one of just the head and torso and it wasn't very clear, so I asked for a full-body one (the one above). That's the head at the bottom near the "CRL," with one arm up as if it's waving hello to us!

I'm so glad Matt came with me today - not only in case something went wrong (everything was perfect, except the baby's fidgetyness!), but so he could see the baby too. I think today is the day when it became "real" for him - seeing it move, seeing its brain and spine and arms and legs and teeny tiny everything. And this dialogue with the ultrasound tech:
Doctor, what's that moving right there?
That's the heart beating.
It was, as he put it, a "jaw drop moment." He's been so good to me, especially lately - rubbing my back and shoulders when I'm achy after work, putting up with me when I get super emotional and start crying for absolutely no good reason, being on the lookout for good deals on gently used baby things (he has already found us a stroller, tub, and high chair!), and not eating the ice cream I hid in the freezer.

My next appointment with the midwife is in two weeks - a diabetes screening test, since it runs in my family - but our next ultrasound isn't until early December. That's when we'll find out the sex of the baby - er, I'll find out. My plan is to find out alone and then incorporate it somehow into Matt's last-night-of-Hanukkah present. I'm trying to think of some interesting, creative way to reveal it - there are a lot of cakes and balloons on Pinterest, but I would like something more unique!

What about you? For your kids (now or future!), did/will you find out the sex? How did/will you share this with your partner? What were your cravings?


Chubby McGee said...


I just saw this news!!!! I AM SO HAPPY AND EXCITED FOR YOU!!!!!!


Oh, man! HAPPY, HAPPY times!

Poison said...

It's very common for them to not find the heartbeat right away and scare the hell out of us mothers. Even more so when you've got placenta previa. I'm so glad it was nothing serious and everything looks great. It's absolutely blissful seeing your partner have moments where it really sinks in that you're gonna have a baby together. It's also really nice when they are there to help you prepare and comfort you. So happy for you both!

I most definitely found out the sex as soon as possible with both of mine. I thought I was gonna find out two different times before I actually did find out with Jett so I cried a lot about things not going how I imagined and having to wait that much longer to know what I was having. lol. Yet again with Bethany I thought I would find out sooner but was made to wait a few weeks longer than I originally anticipated. The wait was so torturous. With my son I craved salty things and spicy foods. I enjoyed eating mexican and had peppered beef jerky almost every day. Pickles were one of my very first cravings. With Bethany I wanted sweets. Sodas, candy, ice cream, cake, fruit, juice, whatever. I'm having a hard time kicking the sweet cravings now that I'm trying to get back to eating right again. I hope it's much easier for you to handle.

Bailey @ Onederland or Bust! said...

I can't imagine how that trip up to the ER was for you. My sister is pregnant with her first child (1 month away!) and she had a few difficulties at the beginning which scared all of us. I'm pretty sure I'm going to be the most paranoid pregnant lady ever... I even worry when other people announce the baby within the first 3 months.
I'm so glad to hear baby is doing well! You both sound very excited! I've seen some neat gender reveals on Pinterest, but I can't think of any unique ones.

The Paris Chronicles said...

We knew the sex for our firstborn but we didn't want to know the sex for our secondborn (who turned out to be a girl, too.) I was convinced my 2nd was going to be a boy (that's actually very typical; when you have one gender, you "think" you want the other) up until they got her fully out...she had such broad shoulders the OB/GYN said "It's a football player" followed by "It's a girl!!!!" Ultimately I was really pleased because I'd always wanted two girls and I got exactly what I wanted...not only in gender but in the type of young women they grew up to be.

No cravings during my two pregnancies but then again, I ate everything I wanted, which I greatly regretted. By nine months I needed a crane to get out of bed.

Weight Wars said...

This is so beautiful and happy, so glad all is right. Bare in mind placentas can move, it may go higher which would be good, it may go south which might not be so good.

In answer to your questions I craved really really fresh food, I lived on chicken and baked potatoes, plain and bland, and really fresh fruit. Berries particularly. I really craved larger at one point but didn't partake.

I didn't find out the sex. I had a feeling the whole way through it was a boy, I carried the old wives tale of boys (all out in front). I was glad I waited, it was a wonderful thing to ring people and tell them "It's a boy". I was busting to know the whole time!

Corryn said...

Holy cow... this is the first I knew of this, too. I've been paying attention to the online world so sporadically the past couple of months. Congratulations, Mary and Matt! I'm so excited for you. :o)

Kristeen said...

Glad to hear everything is going super well! I'm so happy for you guys and everything this will bring.

Try not to worry about the weight gain. It has nothing to do with your body and everything to do with growing baby's!

I've had 3 pregnancies and 2 babies; so I'm here if you ever need to chat!

Amy said...

I have literally hit your blog url in like 15 times today eagerly waiting for the post/story.

I am so glad everything is okay.

I think of it kind of like the Friends episode (not sure if you watched the show) when Rachel is pregnant and wasn't exactly sure and she was freaking out. Phoebe tells her to take another test before she starts to panic or plan anything. They do the test and Phoebe tells her it is negative. Rachel gets really upset and confused why she is so sad about losing something she never had, and that's when Phoebe reveals that it was actually positive and that now Rachel really knows how she felt about the pregnancy (a cruel test Rachel noted).

I feel like this experience probably just super validated even more than you thought was possible all of the love and investment you have in your little nugget already. Then today you were able to make it so much more real for you both. It's truly a beautiful thing. I am so happy you have a healthy little runner growing inside of you!

As for the gender reveal, what an exciting idea!! Does he know that you're planning this? Perhaps you can get the ultrasound technician to put it in an envelope and you can find out together that day so that it is a surprise for you too. I've heard of people getting paint made (one colour or another), the balloons, the cake, you could get a third party to open the envelope and wrap clothing that is gender specific... lots of ideas!

I will definitely find out the gender with a gender reveal party. I'm way too much of a planner to have a bunch of white and yellow onesies.

Amy said...

I'm glad everything is okay!

Sarah Greenman said...


Miss Carrie Ann said...

I had my first ultrasound at 8 weeks pregnant and I remember not ring able to stop looking at the pictures! Afterward, my husband asked me if I wa scared that there wasn't going to be a baby in there... That's also when it became real for him. When there actually was a baby in there!

Once I went to the store and came home with cupcakes, deviled egg potato salad, and Pepsi. I had a random craving for bomb pops as well. And I went a couple months where I ate a crossiant every day.

We did find out the sex, a girl. My husband was disappointed at first, but he's a great dad to our daughter!

kelly o! said...

How about having the reveal be for *both* of you? I'd be tempted to take a decorated box to the appointment, and have the tech put the info in an envelope, then into the box, and seal it with tape. Make sure the tech doesn't tell you, either. That night, you'd both find out together.

I'm so glad your checkup went well. Everything is scary when you're pregnant.

Kami said...

I'm so glad to hear that everything is okay. I haven't had a kid yet, but when I do I would like it to be a surprise. I've already planned out in my head to have a vintage Winne the Pooh themed nursery. If I have a second one, then I'll go crazy with the boy or girl decorations and clothes.

timothy said...

so glad everythings ok! been sending you healing and love!

Anonymous said...

We found out the sex both times and it was confirmed with an amnio both times. I can't remember (mommy brain and it's been a while since mine are 8 & 11), but I think Chad was with me at the ultrasounds when we found out both times.

Sarah said...

I'm so relieved.

1) Play a game of Scrabble. Do your best to get the right tiles to play "boy" or "girl" on the board.

2) Have him open a clothing box with either a pink onesie or a blue onesie.

3) I also like this, since it isn't a cookie or cake. You could make pancakes for him and surprise him with the topping.


Frickin' Fabulous at 40 said...

I had bleeding right after discovering we were pregnant and had to have an internal sono. The tech didn't say a word until she found his heart beat. Terrifying to wait. Each second is an eternity. So glad you've been reassured! I didn't find out with Charlie, but I was desperate for a girl, so when I was pregnant with Chelsea, I wanted to know ASAP!

Fit Mom said...

I had bleeding with all of my pregnancies. My first ended up in a miscarriage but my other two were just fine. There are always scary things that can happen. Just take it easy!

Also- what about getting him either a "boy" onesie, or a "girlie" onesie for him as his gift? Or a baseball bat and ball for a boy and a Barbie for a girl? LOL

Carissa said...

I'm so glad to hear everything is ok!!

Maybe a cute pair of running shoes that would indicate boy or girl?

Mrs. S. said...

Congrats! I am so glad everything is okay.

I didn't find out the sex. It's one of the most amazing feelings to have that surprise. Plus everyone buys you stuff you need at baby showers instead of pink or blue clothes!

El said...

I'm so glad this had a happy ending. I was pregnant and at my first routine ultrasound appt there was no heart beat. They wanted to do a D&C but I said no just in case they had made a mistake. I ended up having a still birth alone in my apartment. Almost died. The obgyn I had was HORRIBLE. No support or help. I want to have kids but I need to lose weight first AND I don't have health insurance and that is terrifying. ANY ways. SOOOO glad your story turned out good. (Can stop holding my breath and clenching my fists now.) Is it cheaper to go through the local Medical Hospital?? We have a really good one here. I wonder if that would help with no insurance??

Anonymous said...

Wow. I have been reading your entire blog from all of your archives and i'm getting close to being done but I saw this post! It is amazing how far you have come and reading about your journey has been so inspirational. I wish you the best of luck and i'm so happy for you and that you are in such wonderful place right now. I'm 20 years old and I've lost 115 pounds so far and it has been great reading your bog and getting to reflect on parts of my journey similar to yours. Wishing you all the best!