Monday, November 28, 2011

Fetal FAQ

I thought I'd do a little info session on the new pregnancy, because everybody wants to know my business. ;-)
And also because I've been super bad about answering any form of communication and I can't see this improving until I get a new brain. I'm basing the questions on things I've been asked and things I can tell people are thinking. Upon reviewing my words, I find them to be whiny and long, so continue if you dare.

Another baby? Weren't you just pregnant? Isn't Adam like 3 months old?
Yes, I do feel like I was just pregnant, but in actuality, it's been a little while. Adam and the new baby will be exactly 2 years apart. (Adam- May 12th, New Baby- May 9th)

Why did you keep it secret so long?
 Because we needed extra time to let it sink it. I only regret lying to two of my friends who outrightly asked about my womb status. (Karissa, Jeanette) It sucks because they're both two of my most candid, honest friends. Sorry, guys.

Is it true that you got pregnant on birth control AGAIN? 
Oh yes it is. Apparently, Jeff and I could really give the Duggars a run for their money if we wanted to. With Adam, I was prescribed antibiotics and my birth control by the same doctor. I knew there were some associated risks, but I figured he would be telling me these risks as he was prescribing both medicines AT THE SAME TIME. It wasn't until my 3rd cycle of antibiotics that the pharmacist told me that it probably was counteracting my birth control. By then, the little guy had made his way to my womb. And I'm grateful for that dumb doctor every day.

This time was more of my fault- actually, completely my fault. You know how they tell you to take birth control at the same time every day? You should do it. Because I had about 3 days where my timing was off and some little bugaboo is now in my womb.

Listen, I'm blessed. I'm glad that I can have children. Adam is the greatest blessing of my life and I know that this new baby will share that title with him.

Have you ever considered a new method of birth control? 
Congrats, you are the billionth person to say that. :-) Yes, I will probably not be taking the pill again come May, but I'm pretty sure that my awesome fertility could find a way around a hysterectomy.

Is it true that you were sad? 
Nope. I was super happy when I found out.  Adam was too. I was holding him as I looked at the test and he just starting laughing and clapping. It was cool.

Yes, I was really happy to find out, but... I'm more scared than I was with Adam. I barely feel like an adequate parent as it is and I don't want to just be adequate- I want to be good. I'm a little burnt out by the toddler stage and I'm not sure I am ready for this new addition. I see people all around me having two kids two years apart and it makes sense for them. I feel like they can handle it. I'm not sure I'm there yet.

How's Jeff doing with all this?
Jeff has been sharing a little of my apprehension. He'd have liked to have had more say in our reproductive choices. Jeff is such an amazing dad and he and Adam are just so close- so Jeff has had more of the "how in the world can I love another child this much?" fear.

Luckily, Jeff and I are both aware of two things. 1st: Adam will love having a sibling. We can already tell that. This will be such a huge blessing for him. 2nd: Parenthood showcases humanity's amazing ability to adapt. I never knew how little sleep I could survive on 'til I had Adam. I never knew I could devote all day, every day to taking care of one little person. We will have this baby and it will blow our minds how we ever survived without our family of 4.

Boy or girl?
I picture the baby as a boy, but we'd like a girl. We might not have any more, and I'd like to have at least one of each. We'll find out what we're having on December 15.

Will you need a bigger place?
Probably not for a while. Our 2-bedroom is actually pretty comfortable. The baby will be living in the master bedroom closet for a few months, but will eventually share a room with Adam.

Are you sick this time around?
Yes, I've been sick, but that's not what people are really asking. Is it like with Adam? No. With Adam I had Hyperemesis. I didn't know that's what it was until I was hospitalized with dehydration and when the nurse was checking me in she was like, "Oh, I see that your doctor has diagnosed you with Hyperemesis." I had no idea 'til then, but I probably should have because I threw up about 5 times a day until about 22 weeks. Also, I learned that I probably should have been treating my dehydration more seriously. I was just kind of ignorant.

So yeah, I've been pretty sick, but nothing like before. I had a few weeks where I was throwing up a few times a day everyday, but it's really died down. I still maybe get sick a few times a week, but I've been holding things down well. And luckily, I haven't needed any Zofran. I feel like I'm super rotund this pregnancy, but I've been losing weight. I'm not super worried about it. (I am worried about my teapot resemblance.)

So... so far, so good?
Nope! My morning sickness had been fine, but I've had some other unique challenges. A lot of people know that I have anxiety. I'm not embarrassed about it. I was diagnosed when I was 12 with GAD and obsessive compulsive tendencies and it's something that I deal with daily. I know that there's a weird stigma attached to these problems and I know that a lot of people may ignorantly look at me and assume that I am just bad at coping with life's problems, but again, I'm not embarrassed or ashamed. I think my diagnosis is one of the most brilliant medical decisions I've ever encountered. I could regale you with tales of how cuckoo-crazy (also, cuckoo-crazy is my favorite phrase) I am/was or try to convince you that I'm super legit, but honestly, that would ruin my memoir. :-)

Anyway, through medicine, I've been able to keep my anxiety under control for several years. In fact, I think I'm a pretty happy, well-adjusted person, so... hooray!  When I was pregnant with Adam, the medicine I was on (Effexor) was a Class B drug and I stayed on it. Since his birth it has been downgraded to Class C during the 1st and 2nd trimesters and Class D during the 3rd. There are some significant risks associated with bleeding and birth defects. Staying on it is not an option this time, and truthfully, there are not very many good options for anxiety medicine and pregnancy. (If you're curious, there are many anti-depressants that are safe, but I don't have depression.) Anyway, the decision to get off my meds was easy, but actually doing it has possibly been the hardest thing I've ever done. I've gotten off medicines before, but I've never been as sick as I was with this one. I tapered my dosage down over 2 months, but the final step was super difficult. I'm not sure I can emphasize that enough.

I went home to Utah to make the final leap so Adam would be looked after. I know that a lot of you wanted to see me and that I didn't make much of an effort, and this is why. I took my last dose of my meds Friday morning and by that evening, I felt awful. I couldn't get out of bed for most of the week-long trip. SSRI withdrawal is no joke. My main complaints were dizziness, headaches, nausea, intense nightmares, and the weirdest/worst thing I've ever experienced called "brain zaps" or "brain shivers." It's hard to explain, but it feels like your brain is being jolted around. It really was terrible- enough that this life-long proponent of psychiatry is terrified by the idea of taking another anti-anxiety medicine. Sheesh- I feel like I've been complaining for years- next question.

And what about preterm labor? 
Ah, yes. What a jolly good time that was. Yes, I am at a high risk for it again. I'm seeing a high-risk OB and she is concerned. The main point of concern is not that I had Adam crazy early, (He was a solid 36 weeks despite my initial labor at 28 weeks and subsequent flare-ups.) but that I constantly progressed in my labor and dilation despite medical interventions and intensely strict bedrest. (I was dilated to a 4 1/2 when I was taken off bedrest and meds and then I instantly went into labor.) My doctor thinks that I "squeaked by" avoiding an earlier delivery and is concerned that I might not be as lucky this time.

There are some things you can do, luckily. I'll be taking weekly progesterone shots starting this week until the end of the pregnancy. The baby will be getting steroid shots to strengthen his/her lungs at 24 weeks. (I'm glad- Adam got them at 30 weeks, but still had some breathing problems.) I'll be also getting regular ultrasounds checking my cervical length and thickness (ew). My doctor tells me to plan on being on some constant anti-contraction medicine again, which is fine. The anti-contraction meds were never able to stop my contractions, but they spaced them out and made them irregular, which made a difference. And as for bedrest? Well, we'll see. I have a little ball-of-energy toddler and no family around, so we're operating under the assumption that I won't be able to have the same level of it that I did before. If I absolutely need to go on some sort of hospital/home bedrest, I have two amazing moms who I know would rearrange their worlds to be here. So, we'll see.

No more kids??? But you're both so attractive! 
We'll see. If this pregnancy is rough, we may be done. I can handle me being sick, but the fear and risks of preterm delivery is paralyzing. (This is what is in competition with "hardest thing I've done.") Imagine having a baby that could realistically be born at anytime and thinking, "if the baby is born today, he/she has a 30% chance of cerebral palsy" or "if the baby is born today, he/she will probably be in the NICU for 2 months."  It's scary and if we have a similar experience, we will probably not have another child. But don't be super upset. I do not feel like I have the capabilities to be a good mother to many many children, so even if every thing is peachy, you'd only be seeing one or two more baby Carrs tops.

Is it true you're off Taco Bell?
This is a vicious rumor. Taco Bell and I still are in love, but I don't crave fast food when I'm pregnant. In fact, the idea of a lot of them make me feel queasy. This totally ruined McDonald's Monopoly for me this year, but is probably healthier for me and the baby (grumble, grumble)

Why don't you blog more, Sarah? 
Because I'm tired. And because I watch a lot of bad TV and read dumb books when I have a spare moment. When you're really busy, you go for cheap thrills.

Promise you'll be better at blogging?
Sheesh.  Why are you all so needy??


Karissa said...

That's alright, I forgive you for lying...but only if next time (if there is a next time of course) you tell me before 15 weeks. :) But, really, no worries. I'm SUPER excited for you just the same!

I'm also super glad that you are feeling better this time, for the most part. I'm praying that you won't go into early labor!

Also, if anyone gives you grief about only having two kids I will punch them in the face.

Rachel Bellamy said...

Hooray for baby Carr II!! This is lovely news, expected or not. Your blog was super thorough, I feel smarter now. Thanks for linking things to Wikipedia so I could learn. I'm going to have to up my Carr facebook stalking to make sure I am up-to-date on baby details. And for the record, I'm 110% positive you and Jeff will both be AWESOME at having two kids.

Sue said...

I love you Sarah and I love reading your blog. It always makes me laugh. You are such a trooper and I totally admire you. Having two kids is tough but it's doable (is that a word?). Hang in there and you'll be an amazing mother of two bedlamites(three if you count Jeff).

Jeff said...

Wait, you're pregnant?

Cindy said...

Congrats on the baby! I cried when i found out i as pregnant with roman and Jude was only 10 months old but now it is so fun to have them close together. I didn't know about the GAD diagnosis Sarah. I am glad you blogged about it. I think the more we speak about the less stigmatized people will feel. You are amazing and really funny!

Hannah said...

Sarah you are just so funny! Your blog posts always make me smile. So witty & clever :) congrats on baby # 2!!!

Fresh and Feisty said...

You're awesome and will certainly be more than just an adequate mom! I understand the drug issue...I'm on an anti-depressant and went off of it for the first trimester...big mistake and luckily I could go back on it. Take care of yourself and be sure to ask for help when needed! CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!

Karlie Ann Ady said...

¿He recordar sorpresa Meixcan? Todos los demás están diciendo los chicos obvio-que son muy buenos y va a estar bien. También espero que sepas que estoy orgullosa de ti para ir de sus medicamentos. No es que yo no estaba orgulloso de que en ellos, así que es una cosa difícil de hacer. Recuerde que las olvidó en Sun Valley y los enfermos todos los fines de semana. De todas formas, porque todo el mundo ya se ha dicho las cosas aburridas de apoyo que yo quería recordarle sorpresa mexicana:) Los niños, sin niños, ¿qué importa? Que usted tome lo que puede obtener cada momento y así sucesivamente. La paternidad es la cosa más difícil la gente tiene que hacer. Pero creo que es uno de los métodos más importantes de la preparación que necesitamos para la exaltación y yo creo que por eso es un mandamiento (entre otras cosas ... como personas que necesitan órganos o lo que sea). Ser madre me desafía de una manera que me parece muy difícil, pero lo que tiene el potencial para producir la mayor alegría. Y como supongo que puedo decir, me tomó un poco de español.

Lolita said...

Sarah, I am amazed at your blog and your willingness to tell us things that are really no one else's business! But they are things we wonder about and you just put it right out there. You are great at writing and I loved reading your blog. Best of luck with everything.
Avalon's Jesse just got out of the hospital again, and after his Jan 5 appointment with the pediatrician they may be able to visit for a couple weeks or so. I hope, I hope!

cail said...

YEah thats right . it is so hard and you will really suffer from it as the time passes and the due date becomes closer everyone is hurrying.

Dizziness during Pregnancy

Ariel said...

Thanks SO much for your thoughtful comment. Man, makes me feel a little less stressed out. It will work out. Those were really good points and I really value them. Thanks.
Also, congratulation are in order! I hope everything goes okay. I can only imagine that you are a wonderful mother and that Jeff is a great father. Whether you believe it or not! It sounds like you've got a lot on your plate, but we all care about you and will be sending prayers your way.
Best wishes!

Val said...

Oh you are so funny! I don't even know if you remember me from the 61st ward, so I hope you don't mind that I totally blog stock you and then pull your blogs up later to read to my mom.

Anyway, I love your candidness- keep it up. And congrats on the pregnancy.