15 Months of Mommyhood

I really am awful about this whole blogging thing…and then a milestone hits and I’m like oh yea…I was writing about this stuff…ughhh.

All-in-all we still pretty much have a jackpot child. Seriously, a few rough nights here and there but this gorgeous little being we created is a pretty easy specimen from what I have witnessed and been told of others her age.

Her 15 month well baby was a few weeks ago and her “medical” stats were as follows:

Weight: 23.2 lbs (58%)   Height: 30 inches (44%)   Head: Big Fat ? She freaked when they tried to put the measuring tool on her. So that one is just a mystery. Haha.

She is currently at 14 teeth and I do believe 15 and 16 are coming through…she is chewing her fingers in that area of her gums an awful lot. It is so crazy to see that full mouth of teeth on such a little girl. I think it has helped with her eating for sure though. She almost never “chokes” anymore. When she has too much in her mouth she just takes it out and eats a smaller portion.

The big talk of children: sleep. We had a few nights last week and one this week where she woke up for a little bit in the middle of the night and I think that was due to a cold and the teething. Another new thing we have going on, that we are not fond of, is waking up at 5 am. What in the heck is up with that?! Again, I really hate to complain, she goes to bed at 6:30pm. We have started adjusting her schedule to see if that helps. We pushed back dinner and bath by about 15 minutes in hopes of getting her to stay awake until 7pm. We are slowly getting there. Tonight was about 6:45pm. She just gets so grumpy because she is sleepy and it really isn’t worth messing up her amount of sleep to me!

A few big changes we have went through is weaning the bottle and milk. I was really nervous about this. She was still getting one bottle right before bed each night (straight milk) and it was what would really get her into the sleep zone. The idea was to switch to a sippy cup of milk and then wean her off that to no more milk before bed. The doctor (and most things you read) really encourage the weaning of milk right before bed as teeth come in to avoid cavities at such a young age. Well to my surprise the first night without a bottle she didn’t want a sippy cup either. She pushed it away while we were in the recline and just closed her eyes and went to sleep. It was amazing.

Now I know many people will think we are crazy but she still isn’t “sleep trained.” And honestly at this point I do not have any intentions of really forcing it until what we are doing no longer works. After bath time I snuggle her in the chair and within five minutes she has heavy eyes and I lay her down in her crib while she is just slightly still awake. If it took us hours to put her to bed-I would definitely start working on the cry-it-out method. We just do not have those issues with her. She is more than ready for bed 90% of the time so in my opinion there is no reason to stop the 5 minute snuggle that helps her calm down for bed.

The next big step we will be working on with her is saying goodbye to her pacifier. I do not have a set time we will start working on this but I feel like with her getting so many teeth I am going to wait until she just finishes because I know the sucking can help soothe her. At the rate she is going she will have all her teeth well before two years old and that is absolutely when I would not want her to use it anymore but the “goal” is closer to 18 months.

This blog got long! I will do a follow up one with our daily routine, eating habits, and talking! I also plan on doing a 15 month postpartum blog about myself. I know that is always a curious topic! Until next time…hopefully not 3 months!

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How to Use Frozen Breast Milk

I can see what people search when they wind up on my blog and some common search terms have to do with using breast milk and specifically frozen milk. So…here goes a blog on how I used my frozen stash of liquid gold!

When I went to a breastfeeding class that the Air Force Base hosted for free I received a refrigerator guide magnet that had the guidelines for using milk. It was VERY helpful when using fresh milk. However, it did not provide as much guidance for using frozen milk.

breastmilk-storage-reference

As I started to get a good stash we bought a small deep freezer. Boy am I glad we did! I was very lucky and produced a lot of milk. We did not need to use formula at all with her until recently as we started to wean. See my blog on doing that here: http://wp.me/p6P8Lo-3S

My routine for milk was as follows: Anything I would pump “extra” for the next day I would freeze. So when this first started I was taking 3 or 4 5oz bottle to daycare with her. So I would freeze anything over 15 oz. Her daycare has a little bit stricter guidelines than what is “recommended.” Freshly expressed milk was good for 48 hours only (for daycare purposes). Thawed guidelines are the same-use within 24 hours.

When I thaw milk for immediate use I simply run it under warm water as shown below.

I recommend only doing this method when using milk for immediate use. Since thawed milk has a much shorter life than fresh milk I was always worried it would go to waste.

Using frozen milk for her daycare I would take out the milk a full day ahead. For instance, on Sunday morning I would take out milk that she needed for Monday. I make her bottles at night for the next day and it takes awhile for milk to thaw. To thaw this way, see picture below. It is very easy!

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As I mentioned, I took mine out a full day early. This probably depends on whether your milk is in a deep freezer or a refrigerator freezer AND how cold your refrigerator is. It seemed like it took mine FOREVER to thaw.

For fresh milk it is considered safe to refrigerate warmed milk if it is not used within an hour. Example: I pump at 9am. I warm up that milk at 1pm. She doesn’t drink 2 oz of what I warmed up. That milk can go back in the refrigerator by 2pm. It needs to be used within 24 hours after being warmed up though. So at 1pm the next day that milk must be used. I never used this rule of thumb with thawed milk. I do not think it is considered as safe. I would just say be cautious of how much milk you thaw so you do not waste it!

Whenever she doesn’t drink any kind of milk…fresh, thawed, a mix of formula and thawed, I follow the one hour guide to be safe. If she doesn’t drink all of the milk I will try again about 45 minutes later. Some of the time that works. Some babies are also picky about temperatures. Too hot or too cold. So I’m sure that is part of it sometimes also. If I warmed it up too much the cooling down makes her want it more. Others I end up throwing out 3-4 oz 😦

I hope this was helpful for those new moms who don’t want to waste their milk. It is a precious thing, that breast milk!

First Trimester Diet and Exercise

As promised! As a follow up to TTC what-nots (https://themomchrons.com/2016/10/06/trying-to-conceive-ttc/) I am going to talk about what I changed when I found out I was pregnant. Since we had experienced a miscarriage I was pretty paranoid during my 1st Trimester. My diet and exercise changed pretty drastically.

Food. It goes without saying (or it should..) that I immediately stopped drinking alcohol completely. I honestly had no issues with this. I’m not much of a drinker nowadays anyways so that part was not hard for me. I had a friend who told me she craved beer while pregnant. I’m glad that was not me! I also switched to decaffeinated coffee for the most part. I did get some wicked headaches a few times that I curbed with “real” coffee. It was MUCH later in pregnancy, and I mean around 25 weeks, that I switched to half-caffeinated. My one pregnancy craving was Raspberry Snapple Iced Tea though so I did also get some caffeine from that. Some other foods you may or may not know you should not have. Deli meats, bleu cheese (this was tough for me), certain juices, sushi, limited fish, raw meat. The one thing about deli meat…you can have it if heated up. So on those days I really wanted a sandwich I would put the meat in the microwave for about 25 seconds and then put it in the fridge to cool back down. There may be other things not recommended…but those were the things that I specifically wanted that I had to watch for!

Exercise. This is tricky. I was so paranoid. I did not do too much for 8 weeks! I walked and hiked but did not run. I was so scared after that miscarriage! Now after that I had a little routine that worked well. From weeks 8-20 of pregnancy I would do 5 min run/3 min walk intervals on the treadmill. I also did some pretty intense hikes later in pregnancy. At 27 weeks we “accidentally” did a 7.5 mile hike! We were camping and just started hiking and next thing you know…we were too far in to turn around. Granted…we went pretty slow at certain points and I had to rest a lot. Your body will tell you when it needs to take a break. I promise.

The one thing I did until the day I delivered? Walked. I walked like a maniac! Every hour at work I would walk for 5 minutes and then each night I would take a 30 minute walk at home. Did it help? I have NO clue. But it made me feel better when I was 38 weeks pregnant and huge and feeling ridiculous.

I did not calorie count while pregnant and some people would disagree with me STRONGLY, but I do not see anything wrong with it if excessive weight gain is happening. The first trimester no diet change is recommended. The rest of the pregnancy is 300 additional calories a day. People take this way too lightly. If you use that each day to eat oreos you may have some issues. I’m not saying I didn’t do it a few times…but I would suggest not making it a habit! Once again my non-professional nutritionist suggesting would be at least getting 2000 calories a day. When I calorie count I aim for 1200 for weight loss and 1500 to maintain. I am very aware that is a low number. That is why I would suggest 2000 while pregnant!

For those scared of exercise…I get it. I really do. But your body needs it to prepare for labor. Even if it is just a nice 10 minute walk a day. Find something you like. That is safe. Don’t go out rollerblading. A fall doing that could cause harm. There are many women who do weight lifting and running up until delivery. It is all based on what your body was already immune to. I was a runner for many years. Running throughout my second trimester was fine for me and doctor approved. If you have not been very active and get pregnant-that is not the time to train for a 10k!

All in all? Follow general guidelines that you should really follow when not pregnant! Get your fruits and veggies. Get your exercise. And grow a healthy baby 🙂

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Trying to Conceive (TTC)

I recently asked a friend of mine who is TTC (trying to conceive) what she thinks about the most and what questions pester her mind as she is going through the process. Not surprisingly, her answer was pregnancy diet and even her diet now as she is trying.

When we decided to start trying I started the process by calling my doctor and making an appointment. I had read about some specific things but I really felt it was important to get the doctor answers to my questions. Well, I’m not going to lie…that doctor really did not help me too much. She did an annual exam and prescribed me some prenatal vitamins (which I threw away and got the gummy kind-much easier on the tummy). Her biggest concern she said was making sure her mom-to-be’s are within in a healthy weight and BMI. A BMI that is too low or too high can both cause issues in getting pregnant and having a healthy pregnancy once conception takes place. Like I said-not a lot of help for me specifically (although, I still recommend it). Instead, I will talk about what I did and what I found on my own.

So TTC diet. I’m not even going to lie. I did not change a whole lot. If you have read my previous posts you know-I am a runner and I was training for a half marathon when we found out I was pregnant. So as far as diet-I ate a lot to replace the 700 calories I would burn after those long runs. As far as exercise (DISCLAIMER-I am NOT a medical professional and I am NOT a certified physical anything…) I would recommend if TTC you should be doing at least 30 minutes of activity 5 days a week. What do I base this on? I have put the website reference below, but the Mayo Clinic actually suggests 30 minutes every day of the week.

One thing I DID change. Caffeine intake. There were days I could easily drink 3 cups of coffee. I slowed my coffee down to one cup a day. If I did need that extra pick me up I always had half caffeine in the house. When I was at the doctor I asked if I needed to stop drinking alcohol while TTC and she said there has been nothing to support needing to stop an occasional glass of wine. What I personally did was watch my alcohol intake for the 10-14 days between ovulation and what would be implantation.

I will preface the most important part of TTC advice with this: I DID NOT DO THIS. But the most important thing: stop stressing. Stop wondering if every single thing you feel is a pregnancy symptom-you know…the day after you ovulated 😉 I was my own monthly stalker while we were trying. So I know it is easier said than done. The only time I was relaxed was the 14 days when I KNEW I was not pregnant or ovulation was coming. When did I get pregnant? When I dropped $100 on a half marathon and was in the 11th week of training. Am I saying you should sign up for a half marathon? Yes! Haha, just kidding. But do not plan your life around it. Plan a vacation. Not ready for a half marathon? Train for your first 5k.

With all that being said I will add…it can make your partner go crazy as well. My husband never said a word about my obsession (such a good husband). But after the fact I have thought to myself a million times…man, I must have seemed insane! “It’s day 11, I can have sushi.” “If I am pregnant this 2 mile hike won’t hurt.” So, again, just go live your life.  It will happen. It may be 10 months like it was for us, but it will be happen. And you know what, it will be worth every single month of trying. I have two friends right now who have to use other than traditional methods to get pregnant. Hearing what they have to pay makes me ache. But you know what? I would pay that money right here, right now, every single day if I had it to have my beautiful little girl that I do.

Next up…what I did during the first few months of pregnancy for diet and exercise!

http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/expert-answers/exercise/faq-20057916

Picture: me disc golfing at 10 weeks pregnant…before most people even knew. Exercise doesn’t have to be intense!

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Everything I Never Knew About Breastfeeding.

As promised…here we go! So many questions always surround this touchy, sensitive subject. Does it hurt? How long do you do it for? How much milk should you produce? When is it okay to introduce a bottle/pacifier? What is wrong with formula? I do not know all the “right” answers to these questions. I can share with you what I have experienced and what those I personally know have said about their experiences.

I will start by saying the touchy, sensitive comment…was sarcasm. I will never understand why breastfeeding is such a controversial topic. What I do understand is that it can make people uncomfortable who are unfamiliar with it. I believe the thing that makes people uncomfortable is public nursing. From what I have seen…chances are if you saw someone nursing in public (and I mean without a nursing cover) it was a rare situation. I say this because it is happening ALL around you and you just do not notice because most women are discreet and you cannot even tell. I somehow managed to only nurse in public once and it was with a nursing cover. Even then I got some stares and a whispered “how inappropriate.” Not sure what was inappropriate but…lets get back to all those questions.

Does it hurt? It did me for many weeks. For a couple reasons. One, until I went in for my six week postpartum check I did not realize if you are cracking like I was you should use lanolin cream after each nursing. Whoops! After I started using it more the pain was much better! Another reason it may have been painful was because Scarlett did not latch very well on one side for quite some time (10 weeks) and I used a nipple shield. So many people say horrible things about nipple shields but let me tell you-it worked for us! She did not get nipple confusion or have issues otherwise.

How long do you do it for? This question goes two ways. How long was each nursing and to what age. Well, I learned much later that my daughter used me as a pacifier and would “nurse” for hours. I spent the first 4-5 weeks of her life on a couch with her latched on! I believe what most books say is that after 20 minutes they are not getting any milk and they are using you as a pacifier. This also may have attributed to the pain! Now for the tricky one…to what age. To me this is a completely personal choice. I have heard baby led weaning is generally best. Me personally, I am starting the weaning process now. The reason for that leads to the next question.

How much should you produce. I have no clue. I do know that I am a milk machine. I went back to work when she was 8 weeks old. We introduced a bottle pretty early on when she just would not give me a break from nursing so we did not have any bottle taking issues. When I went back to work I had to pump.I would pump around 9am, nurse her at lunch, pump again at 2pm, then the other pumping early on depended on her sleeping habits. I quickly built up a huge stash. I am talking I currently have probably enough frozen milk to last until she is 1 (in 2.5 months). That is why I am starting to wean. Since we are moving to Japan I cannot take it with us so I want to use as much of it as possible. To put into number what I pumped: it was usually 27-32 ounces a day and I would only send her to daycare with 18 ounces and then it bumped up to 21 ounces. That was also with nursing her in the morning and at night.

That is all the insight I have for now. I will do at least one more breastfeeding post since I am weaning. I know this is something that I was so curious about so I want to share my experience with you all. 10338253_1142011155816665_2979713689489562773_n

Disregard me looking a mess but this is the picture that was “inappropriate” while nursing in public 🙂

The Skinny on Pregnancy Weight Gain

So I know what doctors say they “want” to see pregnant women gain. My question is-how realistic is that suggestion? I am personally in the recommended weight gain range (28 pounds at 36 weeks) but it has not come easily. I have, for the most part, closely monitored what I eat and have been walking about 4-4.5 miles a day. I hear many women say they do not closely monitor what they eat and gain around 40 pounds. So maybe me slightly obsessing over it is not even worth it for those last 5 pounds. But because of my OCD and always wanting to be as textbook as possible I have worried and stressed over staying in the recommended range. So I want to see how many other women actually have done the same thing. Please take my poll and lets see how often women actually stay in that 25-35 pound window!

When did you go into labor?

Calling all my moms!

So I have been super terrified about being one of those “oh they had to induce me at 42 weeks because I wasn’t going into labor naturally” stories. So after many searches and googles I was happily surprised to find polls that showed the average woman going into labor between 39-40 weeks. I was so stinking excited. My original due date from LMP is 25 November…yea, take a look at a calendar-that is the day before Thanksgiving! I am not even trying to be in a hospital when I could be home eating some green bean casserole, rolls, and pie (those are my favs).

Then my doctor ruined it! I mentioned it during one of our monthly appointments and she quickly brushed it off and said not to read too much into what I had researched. She said she was sure if a poll was done on just first time moms the results would probably much more likely show between 40-41 weeks. So I want to do some of my own research 🙂 Please tell me when you went into labor! If you have more than one child please use your experience with your first one. Thanks, all!

The Process of Conceiving Part II

Well after we finally made it through the entire miscarriage nightmare I contemplated how much energy we were putting into trying to get pregnant. I think a lot of people will understand when I say…”trying” to get pregnant is stressful and can take a serious emotional toll! Each month when that dreaded period comes it was like having a little mini heartbreak before getting excited to start trying again. Even though it was absolutely nothing I did it was almost like a feeling of failure that the pregnancy didn’t stick. My doctor retested my thyroid labs shortly after the miscarriage and I went on the medicine so that gave me a positive outlook that if that had something to do with the miscarriage I was getting it under control.

From October-December of 2014 we continued doing the ovulation tests and I started running again. I told myself if I wasn’t pregnant by the new year I would finally sign up for my first half marathon. For my non-runners out there…race fees can get very expensive and I just knew as soon as I signed up for a race I would get pregnant. Well January rolled around and I signed up for that half marathon! During this time I had to get lab tests done every 6-8 weeks to check my thyroid because it takes at least 4 weeks for your body to respond to adjusted medicine.

In about my 10th week of training I hurt my hip pretty bad. I was not a good runner while training and putting in all those miles…I never did the portion of training that included strength training or even the long stretches I should have been doing. The plan was to complete my half marathon in San Francisco and then we were flying to my hometown in Northern Indiana. This was all supposed to happen at the end of March. In the middle of March I started having some similar symptoms that I did previously when we were pregnant and had the miscarriage. I had some slight brownish spotting, I was cramping, and my boobs were sore. As many people know, this is also many of the same symptoms that happen prior to starting your period! Well one night Nick wanted to go have sushi for dinner. Since you cannot have sushi while pregnant I just had a hunch and gut feeling to take a pregnancy test. At this time I was one day late for my period. I thought well, what can it hurt? And sure enough, it was positive! For those of you who do not know me let me tell you-I rarely swear. It is just not something I typically do. Let me tell you…I swore that day!

At this point I still planned on trying to do my half marathon. I knew within your first trimester it is generally considered safe to continue any type of activity that your body was already familiar with. Well the doctor seemed to think differently. Since you normally will not see your OB for pregnancy until 10-12 weeks I spoke with my normal primary doctor and she recommended that due to my previous miscarriage and having never run a half marathon that it probably wasn’t a good idea. We had learned our lesson about telling anyone we were pregnant this early on from last time so now I had to think up some way to tell people why I wasn’t running because all I had talked about for months was doing that race! I was actually thankful that I had a slight hip injury so I could use that as an excuse!

The next big obstacle was the visit home. At that time I was only 6 weeks pregnant so we were not telling anyone! We had the three hour time difference we could use for me being so sleepy and thankfully I was in pretty good shape from all the training that even with the slight bloating there was no physical signs of pregnancy. But being around my family that I only get to see once a year it was VERY hard to not tell them we were pregnant! But we made it through. I decided once we got home that I needed to make sure I ran as much as I was allowed (the doctor said 6 miles was good through the first trimester and 3 miles through the second). When we got home from Indiana I was about 7 week pregnant. I started having some slight brownish spotting and I knew that this was normal sometimes but with a previous miscarriage I figured I would be cautious and give the doctor a call. I was considered high risk so I already had an appointment for the next week but the doctors office wanted me to go ahead and go to the ER just in case. My HCG levels were all where they should be and we got an ultrasound. An ultrasound technician will not typically let you see the screen or say anything to you until a doctor has reviewed it. Well she turned the screen and showed us our little bean and it was amazing.

When the ER doctor came in he said there was one live fetus with a heartbeat of 171 present. The cause of the slight spotting was I had several subchorionic bleeds. A subchorionic bleed is when a clot forms between the uterus and placenta. Sometimes they can be dangerous and other times they will just absorb. The next week at our first OB appointment the doctor was not at all worried about them. She told us they were not in a dangerous location that would create any type of separation and she did an abdominal ultrasound and we got to see the little one again and see the heartbeat. It was the most amazing thing ever. And that was the beginning of the journey we are on now! To learn more about how each month was please take a look at my bUmP Dates!

The Process of Conceiving

Oh where to begin…our little journey trying to get pregnant was not easy for us. At the same time, I know it is a lot more difficult for others! I remember very clearly the day we decided to “try.” We were driving to watch our niece play softball and we started talking about baby names. I made a comment along the lines of  “when we start trying” and Nick came back with “I think I’m ready to start trying.” And that next week I scheduled an appointment to get my annual girly girl checkup and make sure there were no obvious reasons I could not start trying and I got put on some prenatal vitamins to make sure I was getting all the good nutrients I needed! We had already made the decision for me to stop taking any form of birth control right before we got married because we knew we would want to start trying to get pregnant within our first year of marriage. This was in April of 2014.

Because I am me, I started researching everything! The best days (14-16) of the monthly cycle to conceive, what I should do (cut back on caffeine and alcohol) and a million other things I learned. At this time I was working part time for a bank and there were days I could sleep for 12 hours and still be exhausted. I kept thinking “man, am I depressed?” Then one day I was so exhausted I could barely move AND I started getting a migraine. I went to the doctor and after a million questions she determined I may have a thyroid issue. Let me tell you, I am a pretty healthy person and run and take care of myself so when someone was telling me I may have a health issue that has to be controlled with medicine I freaked out. This was in June of 2014.

When the test results came back it was true, I had hypothyroidism. Which I am told is better than hyperthyroidism but that did not really matter to me. My tests were right on the line of being normal so the doctor decided not to put me on medicine at that time. I wish I had looked into it a little more when it happened because I later learned that the thyroid controls your metabolism and hormones in your body which can really mess with your ability to conceive. So ladies, listen to me! If you have any of the following symptoms get your blood work done. Especially if you are closing in on 30 or over 30-apparently this is when it is most common. The main symptoms are: unexplained exhaustion, trouble losing weight, constipation, always cold, and sometimes hair loss. Anyways, she wanted to have me re-accomplish the tests in 6 months or if I got pregnant.

Over the next few months we focused on trying during days 14-16 just like everything I read said to do. Well a girl that I work with through the Air Force Reserves was also trying to conceive and she mentioned that she uses ovulation test strips so that she knows the actual days she is ovulating. So guess what I did? I went out and bought some of those bad boys! And guess what? I was glad I did! It turns out my ovulation days were not normal! My first fertile day each month was usually the 11th or 12th day instead of the 13th or 14th. I could have been missing conception each month by one or two days. We used them for the first time in July. At the beginning of August we were thrilled to find out we were pregnant! Only three months of trying and we got pregnant on our first try using the ovulation strips. Unfortunately for us, and about 20% of other women, this pregnancy ended in a miscarriage.

This ended the first half of our journey to conception. Please see my next post, The Miscarriage, to continue through the step-by-step journey we went on at that point. If you prefer to just know about all the good stuff-skip straight to The Process of Conceiving Part II!

The Miscarriage

So as I begin this post I know it is a sensitive and very emotional subject and topic for many. It was for me and I’m glad it is over. At the same time it is something I definitely want to talk about because I believe it is an area that a lot of people do not talk about even though it is so common. Hopefully someone reading this that may be going through a miscarriage or is having a difficult time conceiving can find some peace in knowing they are not alone.

While we were trying to get pregnant I read A LOT of articles. One of the things you will often read about is when is the right time to tell people you are pregnant. I knew that everything I read said miscarriages are very common and have the most likely chance of happening so early that the woman may not have even realized she was pregnant. Well, since we were trying, as soon as I was two days late for my period we took the test. We also did not listen to all articles that say you should wait to tell anyone until you make it out of your first trimester or until you get a chance to see or hear the heartbeat. We did not tell everyone though, thankfully. We shared our joy with our immediate family and a few friends within the first few days of finding out. Well about a week and a half after we got the pregnancy test I woke up for work and when I went to the restroom there was blood.  I remember very loudly waking up Nick and saying “I’m bleeding.” We did not really know what to do. It was 5:30am and it did not seem like a situation that would warrant going to the emergency room because at this time there was no cramping or pain of any kind. So we waited until I got to work to call the doctor and see what to do.

The only thing they can really do when you are that early (5 1/2 weeks) is check your HCG levels and then check them again a few days later. For those who may not know, HCG is the hormone that becomes present when you are pregnant. The levels should at least double every 48-72 hours. I went to an urgent care that same day and my levels were where they should be for being 5 1/2 weeks pregnant but that is not always a positive indicator. HCG levels still have the ability to rise for a few days even if a miscarriage is taking place. I was instructed to return to urgent care in two days to have my levels checked again. Well that next morning I was in so much pain from cramping I left work and when I got home I immediately passed multiple large blood clots. I waited for Nick to get home and we headed to the ER at this point. After blood work and an ultrasound it was determined that an amniotic sac was present but there was no sign of anything else. The doctor made sure I realized at that point it is very possible that nothing would be present even if I was not having a miscarriage. My levels has also went up from the previous day. The ER told me to return two days later to have my levels checked (AGAIN) to determine the status.

I generally do not consider myself a negative person but more of a realistic person. Knowing my body and what I was feeling I just felt deep down that it was not going to be a viable pregnancy. One thing I want to encourage here is – stay off of WebMD, Google, or any other internet search engine if you are going through something like this. You won’t listen to me. I didn’t even listen to myself and I searched and I Googled and I drove myself bananas! It, unfortunately, took a long time for us to get the definite result of a miscarriage. My levels kept rising for about a week and at that time they scheduled me for an ultrasound two weeks later. So about 3 1/2 weeks after the bleeding started the ultrasound showed no sign of an amniotic sac or fetus. I can honestly say by this time I had accepted and done the grieving that was going to take place. Nick and I were both just ready to be done with the process so that we could start trying again.

This next part may be a little TMI but I want to share as much information as possible without getting too graphic! For me the original bleeding lasted about five days and included clots that they said were probably small pieces of tissue. At that time I stopped bleeding for ten days and then I started bleeding again (I thought I was just getting back on my normal cycle and having a period) and it lasted for three weeks. I remember being amazed at how there could possibly be so much blood and “tissue” when I was only 5 1/2 weeks which actually means only probably 2 weeks since implantation! This brought us to the middle of October before the bleeding had completely stopped and we could try to start monitoring ovulation again. For the next part of our journey please take a look at Part II of The Process of Conceiving!