Friday, September 28, 2012

So Complicated.

Last week I had a little blood work done. Okay, a lot of blood work. Yes, that's 18 vials worth of tests.

This blood work was being ordered by my OBGYN after consulting with a high risk doctor because of a family history of blood clots, DVTs, and a pulmonary embolism.

Tuesday I got a call from the doctor (nurse) that they had the results of these tests.  She left a message that said they got my test results back and they were a little off and that I was being referred to a high risk doctor.  End of message and we never got a call back the rest of the day.  Dave and I were FREAKING out the rest of the day.  Wednesday morning I called the nurse again who called me back pretty quickly.  Test XXX - normal. Test YYY - normal. All of them came back normal except for two which came back "off", as they put it. I was now being referred to a high risk doctor who specializes in hematological disorders in pregnancy. The two tests that were "off", one was a protein that was low that can cause blood clots and the other was a gene mutation which doesn't allow the body to absorb folic acid and other B vitamins into the body. This mutation can cause heart attack, blood clots, or stroke, preeclampsia and placenta abruption, and neural tube defects in the baby. This scared the sh!t out of me. See, my sister lost a cost a child at 20 weeks due to a neural tube defect.

After crying a thousand tears in the last two days, I started asking questions and googling the hell out of it (and using the husband's expertise since he studied genetics in college).  While I understand the low protein will probably land me on blood thinners for the remainder of this pregnancy, I was more concerned regarding the gene mutation.  This mutation is quite common, actually.  Like 40% of people have this mutation.  There are two types: homozygous, which means you have it from both of your parents, and heterozygous, which means you carry only from one of your parents.  The homozygous is the one with more concern as it can cause the neural tube defects.  Heterozygous, according to one article I wrote (by an OSU doctor who works two floors above the high risk specialist I will be seeing) is "medically irrelevant."

So, where does this leave me/us?  With a lot of upcoming appointments.   We have an Ultra Screen on Monday which test for down syndrome and spinal bifida, although the false negative/positive percentage on this test is not all that great.  Next Thursday I have my regular appointment with my OBGYN, and then on October 16th I see the high risk OB.

What do I think about all of this? After the initial shock of thinking OH GOD! EVERYTHING'S FALLING APART!!  I actually have a lot of positive thoughts about it.

First, if things were really, really bad, I think the doctor would have sent me straight to a hospital or had me into her office.  Although I know the October 16th appointment with the high risk doctor was probably the first appointment, if it were truly an emergency they would be taking quicker action.

Secondly, I have always assumed that I have a vitamin B deficiency as I'm tired all the freakin' time.  Also, this same family member who has the blood clotting issues also has a B12 deficiency so badly, that she gets B12 shots from the doctor.  So I have been taking extra B12 vitamins for over year.  Plus, because we were trying to get pregnant I was taking prenatal vitamins for months before we got pregnant and before that I was taking extra folic acid vitamins for over a year.  My body has been pumped full of vitamin B for over a year which makes me feel better that it is unlikely our child has a neural tube defect.

Thirdly, the nurse said I had a "single mutation", which the way Dave and I interpret that to mean is that the defect is only from one of my parents, thus making it heterozygous and therefore medically irrelevant.  At least, that's what we're assuming.

Lastly, and most importantly, things have been going well.  I have made it to 13 weeks - one more week to go until the second trimester.  The sickness has subsided and frankly, I feel really good.  My body is growing and changing.  I truly believe that when something bad is happening in the pregnancy that your body has a way of telling you things are not going well.  Like you would be extra sick or you would have pains or fluids that were not normal.  To date, this pregnancy has been pretty easy.

If you're the praying type, say a little prayer for us for our upcoming appointments.  If you're not the praying type, just offer up a thought.  We appreciate all the positivity directed towards Poppyseed (that's what we call the baby). 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Pregnancy and Running, Thus Far

I always thought that when I was pregnant that I would continue to run until my body just wouldn't allow me to and really love the freedom of running without training.  I've had many friends run through their pregnancy, all the way through, and even had a friend run a 4:09ish marathon while 7 months pregnant.  However, I've got to let you in on a little secret.  So far, I have not really enjoyed running while pregnant.

Between weeks 6 and 10 of my pregnancy I battled "morning" (all the damn time) sickness.  And although I was never actually sick, I felt terrible.  It was hard to find the motivation to get out of the house and workout when I just wanted to be curled up asleep, fighting off the nausea.  Plus even slowing WAY down in my runs, I found myself getting winded rather easily and would spend more time walking than running.  So, I started incorporating a lot of walking.  Sometimes the workout would just be a walk.  I've been able to manage between 9-15 miles a week, mostly walking.  With the cooler temperatures now and quickly sliding into my second trimester, I'm finding it a little easier to run.  Last week I even managed to make it a mile and a half before I needed to walk.  And yesterday I ran three miles with only two walking breaks.  I'm hoping to run a few fun races in November.

When I decided earlier this year not to do triathlon again for a while, Dave and I quit our gym membership.  We had no idea what it was costing us but MAN!, it was expensive.  I have a membership to our gym at work, which only cost me $10/month.  I initially joined basically for the showers for when I rode my bike to work.  It has treadmills, ellipticals, classes, etc., but there are also strict rules regarding what you can and can't wear and there's loud pumping music there.  (Can you guess where I work?)  Lately, though, I've been longing to get back in the pool.  I think I'd really enjoy swimming while pregnant - easy on the body yet good exercise.  I want to be able to GO to a gym; I'm really lacking in motivation.  So, Dave and I are currently checking out the local Y which will save us over $30 a month from our previous gym and offer many programs we like for a future child.

And because some of you might care, and what's a blog post without a picture, here's the growing belly at 12 weeks, 4 days.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Our Planned Surprise

If you missed the memo from last Friday, I am pregnant - preggo, knocked up, with child, in the family way, whatev.  I posted this same picture on Facebook and received a crazy amount of feedback including almost 150 likes and nearly 100 comments.  Geesh, I didn't know I even had that many friends! One of my friends offered up congratulations but then said that this was unexpected.

If you know anything about me and my type A personality, and he should, he's known me for 15+ years, you would know I don't do anything without a plan. This baby has been in the works for a LONG time, although we only really got serious about it this year.  As I'm now in my mid-30s I thought if I didn't have a child now it probably wouldn't happen.  I took things seriously.  I was taking my basal temperature and charting it.  I was using ovulation prediction tests.  But after a few months it was clear that things were not working as well as they once were.  The doctor speculated it could have been my age, or how much I was running, or the amount of vitamin D I was taking to help with my depression.  Basically, no one had any ideas. 

Running was going well, though, and I signed up for a marathon and started training hardcore.  Then we got hit with the news that we were going to be relocated for Dave's work.  And although we really weren't NOT trying to get pregnant, we were moving on with our lives and planning on the marathon and the move.  Life got busy and "sexy time" fell to the wayside.  Whatever.  We would try again after we moved.

Before we knew it we were packing to go to London.  Although we weren't taking this whole "getting pregnant thing" all that seriously anymore, I was still charting my temperature and noticed that when we went to London I should be on my period.  I swear, I am on my period every damn vacation I take!  The day before we left for our trip I even mentioned this to the girl who sits across from me at work.  (Yes, chicks talk about this stuff.)  So on the way home from work I picked up "supplies" and also grabbed a pregnancy test.  I had ZERO thoughts of why I would be pregnant but I thought, hey, if I don't have to pack supplies even better.

At 10 minutes until 4:00 Monday July 30th, I took the pregnancy test.  Although it says to wait three minutes, it came back positive in about three seconds.  I kid you not!  I would have thought when I finally saw a pregnancy test that I would be all giggles and happy and crying and joyous, etc.  Instead I said a few choice four letter words.  You have got to be kidding me?  Now!?  NOW?!

At 4:00 I had two realtor come over and tour the house.  I swear to god, I did not hear a single word they said.

As soon as they left, I called Dave.  I asked him when he was coming home.  He said why?  Umm...when are you coming home?!?!  Why?  Because Dave!  My pregnancy test came back positive.  WTF?!  He said, I'll be home in a few minutes.  We didn't hug.  We didn't say anything.  We just stared at the test.  Seriously.  Seriously?!  NOW?!

Of course, we didn't believe the test (you know, they're only 99% accurate), so I took another one Tuesday morning.  This one came back even darker and more clearer.

Oh my stars!  What is going on?  This was the day we were leaving for London so I called and talked to the nurse.  I had a few concerns....

I had no idea we were pregnant.  NO IDEA!  I really had no reason WHY we would have been pregnant.  So, I had gone about my business.  I had had a few drinks.  I had run a lot and fast (including one HOT 20 miler and two races).  And I was leaving out of the country in a few hours.  What do I do if I get sick over there?  PANICPANICPANIC!!!

**Sidenote...I had been told A LOT by many doctors that I would not be able to get pregnant because of the amount of miles I run and because my weight was so low.  To them I would like to show them my middle finger and tell them to F*Off.**

Here we are....11 weeks pregnant with a real baby.  So far, things have gone smoothly.  I have not been sick, I've been able to manage the "tireds" with lots of naps, and luckily, I have yet to put on a single pound.  We might have been really, REALLY surprised by our positive pregnancy test, but we are excited and are looking forward to our new adventures.

Thursday, September 06, 2012

So You Want To Know About London and the Olympics

(That is totally what I am going to name a band someday.)

It's been one month since we left for London so I guess it's about time to blog about it.  I'm going to try to do this in one post.  I just can't remember all the details and the daily things that happened to write multiple posts about it.  Warning, it's going to be long and it's going to contain a lot of pictures.

We had tickets to three events and were able to attend three (and tried to see a fourth event) free events.  We also did a little sightseeing.

You might think that running is my favorite sport, but you are wrong.  Tennis, is actually the sport I most enjoy watching.  I am a huge tennis fan having been to the US Open in 2005 and attended one of the ATP hard court tournaments in Cincinnati.  One of my Life List items (and if it's not on the list, it should be) is to attend all four majors.  To go to Wimbledon is any tennis lover's dream.  Well, I may not have seen the Wimbledon tournament, but I did get to go to Wimbledon to watch tennis at the Olympics.  It was beautiful and much smaller than I anticipated.  We had tickets to men's and women's third round.  Our tickets started before we even got off the plane, so we missed our first match which was Serena Williams (eventual gold medalist).  We did get to see Novak Djokovic/Lleyton Hewitt, Marcos Baghdatis/Andy Murray (eventual gold medalist and Team GB favorite), and Caroline Wozniacki/Daniela Hantuchova.  I'm not gonna lie, I cried being at Wimbeldon and Centre Court.  It was so amazing to watch the crowd go crazy for Andy Murray.  And we got to have the ultimate Wimbledon experience by eating strawberries and cream.

If you don't know, I was on the women's rowing team at Ohio State my freshman and the start of my sophomore year.  I love rowing.  It's such a neat sport - so tough and powerful and yet it looks so elegant.  The rowing venue, at Eton Dorney, was about an hour away from London.

As a side note, no venues were that easy to get to.  Eton Dorney required a trip by train, and then bus, and then about a 20-30 walk.  Most venues required a lot of walking!!

Anyway, one thing each sport did a good job of was explaining the sport for the spectators.  Rumor has it, the Brits when given a chance to purchase tickets to the Olympics were put into a lottery and you got whatever sport you got.  So, each sport was explained at the venue.  We were about the only Americans at rowing but it was so exciting to be part of the Team GB excitement as we saw them win one or two gold medals.  We got to see a total of about 10-12 races that day including four or five gold medal races.  Total worth our money.

Weight Lifting
Of all the sports we were interested in seeing, you might be surprised to know that weight lifting was one on the top of our lists.  We specifically wanted to see the women's 75+kg as we had a local girl competing in it (Holley Mangold).  Again, we were really happy the sport was explained to us because we had NO idea how competitive weight lifting works.  It's a little like a chess match.  Each competitor gets six lifts - three snatches and three clean and jerks.  The athletes compete from lightest weight to highest and can change their weights at any point, even after missing a lift.  This allows them to screw with their competition and of course, allow them to lift the correct weight to get a higher score.  Speaking of either lift or you don't.  There are three judges and they decide what's considered a lift or not.  This proved to be interesting as our girl, Holley Mangold, looked like she had successfully snatched a weight only to have the judges say no and therefore she missed that lift.

In the end, the Americans finished 9th and 11th (I think) and we got to see three world records broken.  Pretty cool.

Both the men's and women's triathlons were held in Hyde Park and were free venues.  Triathlon must be a really popular sport in England because Hyde Park was PACKED.  We were able to fight our way into a pretty good standing spot and saw half of the swim and a small section of the bike and run.  Being 5'1", I didn't see a whole lot, but at least it was something.

The men's triathlon, however, was a totally different story.  Being that the Brownlee brothers were expected to do well, and did, the venue was even more packed than the women's triathlon.  There was no way were were going to be able to find some standing room to see this race.  Instead we sat up on a hill to watch the swim and then basically just listened to the rest of it on the PA system.  I kinda wish we had stayed in the hotel and watched this one on TV.

Women's Marathon
The women's triathlon was a few days before the women's marathon, so we were smart enough to get our buns down to the race A LOT earlier than the start time.  We picked out our spot along the street where we would get to see the runners six times.  We got there over an hour before the start of the race and got a spot right along the fence.  Soon enough we were flanked by tons of people including these cute British children who said the cutest things.  I wish I could convey it words, but the accent was so important.  Let's just say, we waited a long time for the runners to come by and when they finally did, the little girl beside us in her cute little accent said, "Our patience is going to be rewarded."  Loved her.

If you watched the women's marathon on TV you know that it was pouring down rain for the majority of the race.  And we got drenched.  We wore our raincoats, but it did not protect our feet, our legs, etc.  And worse, we were going straight from this race to the weight lifting competition.  It was worth it, though, as the marathon was amazing and I really enjoyed watching the American women battle it out for most of the race.

I have been to the Olympic trials in 2008 and 2012 and am so happy to have seen the Olympic race.  Those chicks are fast too.  Faster than you think.  There was a girl who was WAY off the back of the pack for the entire race.  We didn't know exactly the mile marker we were at, but we were estimating the girl was probably running 8:00/miles and I thought, I could compete with her.  Turns out she ran a 3:22.  Even the slow girls are fast.  :)

Race Walking
We tried to see the race walking.  We thought it would be interesting and we thought not a whole lot of people would be out there.  I mean, come on, race walking?  Surprisingly, it was crazy crowded.  So crowded, it was like five deep the entire route.  We stuck around for a few minutes and heard the race come by, but I couldn't see anything.  We nixed the idea of watching this race quickly.

As you can imagine, it was crowded in London.  Shocking, I know!!!  :)  The only place we actually toured was Westminster Abby.  It was cool to see where William and Catherine got married.  Beautiful!  It was also really cool to see the crypts (is that the right word?) of famous Brits like Newton, Darwin, Shakespeare and other writers, etc.  It was really crowded there and felt a little bit like you were constantly in line for a Disney ride.

Other sightseeing included Big Ben, Tower of London, the London Eye, Tower and London Bridge, etc.  Oh, and we also got to have dinner and watch some Athletics (track and field) with our friends Angelina and Shaun.


Our trip was both short and long.  We jam packed those 9 days, but we were exhausted and ready to come home by the end of it.  There was a lot going on back at home (see last post)....

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

The Summer of Unexpecation

Okay, maybe unexpectation is not a word.  Maybe I should say, "The Summer of Unexpected Things".  Whatev.

I mentioned back in July that we were being hit with a swarm of highs and lows.  The high of booking our vacation to the Olympics (I swear I'm working on a post about this); the lows of some unexpected and costly medical and otherwise bills.  I also mentioned in the middle of that post that we had some big news regarding the husband's job.

Dave has always worked for a small company that has changed hands a couple of different times since he started there 11 years ago.  With the last management change, the company is now based in a different city and although they are keeping the office open here, the team he is on is now out in the San Francisco bay area.  Negotiation talks began and quickly we found ourselves looking to move.  Yep, this girl who has lived in the same town her entire life was ready to pack up and head 3000 miles west.  We had met with a couple of realtors here and had a timeline for when the house would go on the market.  We had decided we would move in January and come back in the spring to work the remainder of photo booth events we still had.  We started to clear out rooms by donating things and selling off other things.  The wheels were in motion.  Even though we were only a few days out from going to London, all we could talk and think about was moving.

But as our summer of unexpectation continued, everything changed....