We are trucking along into the second trimester! On Tuesday I had a follow-up with my radiologist and, unfortunately, all of the fluid is still around my ovary. What will be done about it is TBD. The fantastic part about my visit is that I got to see my little cutie's face! He/she finally has facial features! It was incredible to see. My husband, Billy, was not able to come to this appointment and he was majorly bummed when I told him that I was not able to bring the picture home! They just got brand-new sonogram machines in that don't have their printers hooked up yet. But, I promise you, the little darling is looking quite human and, if I may say so, prettty adorable. :)
A few strange things have been happening. One, I am showing perhaps a bit more than most other first time mothers would at this stage of pregnancy. I have been told that this is most likely because of my non-existant abdominal muscles. After having three major surgeries this past year, I have still not reached the point of being able to go from a laying down position to a sitting up one without complete reliance on my arms. The second strange thing is that in the last couple of days I am almost 100% certain that I am already feeling this little booger. But just in one place. Right under my old ileostomy sight. Because of the abscess issues I experienced after my takedown, my ileostomy site did not heal the way it was supposed to and has actually become a large indentation in my abdomen. The muscle never regenerated underneath either, and so this 1 x 2-inch scar on the bottom right side of my abdomen is almost like a direct portal to what lays deep inside. It is only covered by some not-so-pretty scar tissue. Now, I could be wrong about this being the little one. But he/she is swimming around in there already and I have been occasionally feeling some very strange and alien-feeling flutters in that one spot.
One other bit of big news is that I decided to leave my job. I worked through my whole first trimester, but ultimately decided that I needed to focus on this miracle in my belly for now. This was a very difficult decision. I take pride in my financial independence and never saw myself as being content staying at home. But between the almost four hours of commuting each day and getting knocked around on the subways while on dangerous blood-thinning medications, I ultimately decided that I couldn't risk the health and viability of this pregnancy. After all I have been through, it's just something that I cannot take for granted. As mentioned, I have also been experiencing extreme fatigue, frequency and have had to attend several doctor appointments each week. I of course feel extremely fortunate that I was in a position to be able to leave my job and if I had not been in such a position, I do feel that it would have been possible to be a pregnant, full-time working j-poucher. But it wouldn't have been easy. At all.
Ever since making this decision to leave work, I have experienced many rude remarks about this lifestyle and medically-relevant personal choice, from, "What are you going to just stay at home and be a pregnant princess for the next six-months?" to "I just don't understand why you would leave work six months before giving birth. It seems remarkably stupid." Some of these people do know my medical history, others do not, but this is just another example of how we UC patients and J-Pouchers have to rise above it all and remember that our struggles, angst, worries and personal lifestyle decisions are nothing to be ashamed of. After spending 10 years struggling through college, graduate school, and full-time work, all while very ill, I know enough to realize that having this baby and focusing on making him/her and myself as healthy as possible over the next six months is nothing that I should be ashamed of. And it is far from remarkably stupid.
More next week. :)