It’s Not a Hernia

Today was a whirlwind. Thank God I took the whole day off – I was gone from 9:50am to 1:45pm.

I’ve been a little anxious this week waiting for my appointment. Although my doctor wasn’t positive it was a hernia, she seemed sure, and as did I. It seemed like all of the possible outcomes would be bad: surgery now, surgery after birth, required C-section.

You see, my “problem” area is in the general region where the baby comes out. TMI? If so, you can skip this post – I will not be offended.

About a month and a half ago, I noticed an odd feeling; it was almost like I was brusied. Some swelling began then, and the discomfort continued. I feel intense pressure down there after standing up from a sitting or horizontal position.

My appointment today was with a surgeon who specializes in complex hernia and intestinal surgeries. After examining me, he agreed that it was likely a hernia but that it hadn’t broken through the layer of fascia. He said I could still have a vaginal birth, and he’d do surgery about a month after giving birth. Brody and I were both quite relieved at that point.

We scheduled an MRI, per the surgeon’s request, and headed down two floors. At this point it was almost noon. The radiologist came to see us to get consent to do an MRI on my pregnant body. He explained that there are no known risks to a baby by doing an MRI. We signed the form, and I was ready to go.

I knew what an MRI was like and thought I’d be fine. Ummm…not so much. I am not claustrophobic (or maybe I am now?) and figured I could handle it.

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The techs had me keep my clothes and Ugg boots on, and they gave me a blanket. Over my belly they placed a plastic cover which put slight pressure on my belly. I put on the sound protective ear wear and closed my eyes.

Initially, I was okay. I tried to slow down my breathing and let my mind wander. I even thought I I could catch up on some sleep. Suddenly, I got panicky: my heart started beating, I felt nauseous, and I began sweating. I pressed the squeezy thing and told her I was really warm. The two women kindly gave me ice packs for behind my knees and my neck and removed my Uggs and the blanket. Relief.

Back in I went. This time was great – I was cool, comfortable, and relaxed (kind of like in savashana). Then that feeling came back again, and I had to get out. This time, there was no going back in. They said I looked pale (but as Brody pointed out later, I always look pale) and gave me water. Who knew I’d be such a pansy?

Because of my pansiness, we were sent in for an ultrasound. As the radiologist watched the screen, he said “It’s veins.” In my very comprehensive, thorough, and scientific research about my issue, I had read about having varicose veins in the vagina area. He explained that it was an enlarged bundle of veins. It wasn’t a hernia!

Although he couldn’t say much about what this meant for me, I had a good feeling about it.

Brody and I celebrated by getting lunch at Panera; it was one by now, and he was starving. What a trooper! I was hungry but not famished, as I had brought a granola-like snack pack and downed that before the MRI.

While inhaling our food, Brody and I both agreed that we are SO lucky to live in the Madison area and have such amazing medical care with UW Health. Within three hours in one day and in the same building, I was able to see a specialty surgeon, have an MRI, and have an ultrasound. Pretty incredible. I do not take this for granted.

The next step: talk to my doctor. I will call her later this afternoon, but I have already found more information online about this, and my amazing friend and fellow blogger, Bridget, has gotten me in contact with someone she know who is a nurse and also had these varicose veins.

There you have it. More personal information about me than I ever thought I’d share on my blog. I’m just so happy that it’s not a hernia, and maybe that is causing me to have the guts to share this.

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Happy pregnant, non-hernia Angie and an exhausted Moose in the background! Although he’s not showing it, he is also thrilled I don’t have a hernia.

Have a wonderful Friday!

The Big Day

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To be determined…

Our 20 week ultrasound is today at 3pm. I made this “note” for the tech to circle, and Brody and I will open it at dinner tonight (Fresco for Restaurant Week!). Hopefully we can hold off knowing for four hours.

To add to the excitement, I started feeling kicks yesterday. Finally! Having this anterior placenta really acts as a buffer.

I can’t wait to find out with Brody and share the news with our family and friends over the next few days.

We’ve Got a Bun in the Oven

In my last post, I snuck this big news in at the very end.

Brody and I are having a baby!
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The questions you may have (or ones I’ve been asked often):

How have you been feeling?
Not too bad! I consider myself one of the lucky ones (unlike Kate Middleton) who have had very few negative side effects. There was a little nausea around weeks seven and eight and no throwing up. I became quite tired at night and could’ve easily fallen asleep most nights by 8pm. Lastly, I am hungry more often and have started keeping a bag of mini-snacks in my desk at school.

When are you due?
Baby is scheduled to arrive June 10, which means I am just starting my fifteenth week. This is good timing because my last day of school is a few days before. I am hoping I don’t go into labor early so that I can finish out my year and not have to be grading final exams from a hospital bed.

Have you had any cravings or food aversions?
Early on I craved pita chips and hummus, and for a few days, strawberries. Pretty consistently I have been into cheese for most of the first trimester. My eating schedule has changed a little; now I eat breakfast right away after showering at 6am, a snack at 9:30am, lunch at 11:45am, a snack at 3am, another mini-snack at 5pm, and dinner at 7:30pm. I have been consciously eating a little less so as to not go way over the extra 300 calories I should be consuming.
The only aversions I’ve had are towards meat on commercials, especially for burgers and tacos. Barf! I am completely fine eating this stuff (we had burgers Friday night and will have tacos tonight), but it’s something about the visuals that makes me want to gag.

Have you met with your doctor?
We’ve had three appointments so far: one with my PA at eight weeks, one with my doctor at twelve weeks (when we got to hear the heartbeat), and one with an ultrasound tech at thirteen weeks (when we saw the baby). Brody and I both thought seeing the baby was the best ever; however, we thought the 3D (or is it 4D?) pictures were kind of creepy.
That night we celebrated with a fancy dinner at Chipotle.
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How did you tell people?
I had to tell the Wine and Recipe ladies when I was only about eight weeks along because we had the ladies weekend up in Minocqua scheduled. There was no way I would’ve been able to fake drink, and there was no way I wasn’t going to go. One friend knew, and she was responsible for bringing the alcohol; she totally hooked me and another pregnant W&R lady up with O’Douls.
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A couple weekends later, we told my mom and sister. I bought them each onesies and said I had an early Christmas present for them. My sister figured it out first and started hitting me with the onesie saying “Shut up! Shut up!” while my mom hugged Brody twice and repeatedly said “I’m going to be a grandma.”
When we were in DC, we told Brody’s mom and sister. Brody casually slipped it into conversation on Thanksgiving day before we had eaten and took everyone by surprise. They were both very happy as well.
We made it Facebook official on Thursday night. Brody had the idea of posting a picture of a single bun in the oven with no description or comment.
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*Please disregard our super dirty oven.
People got it right away. I hope our baby gets Brody’s sense of humor.
Our friends found out around week twelve. Brody texted it to most of his friends, and I called or emailed close friends. It was so much fun telling people. People who are already parents seemed to be especially excited.

Are you showing?
Not really. I have a little bump that becomes more pronounced at night. I am still able to wear all my regular clothes, but I did, per Kelly’s advice, go buy a few maternity items from Target for that day when nothing fits. I do need dress pants – suggestions? From week eight to week twelve, I gained two pounds but who knows if that was just general weight fluctuation or the start of my “gaining baby” weight.

How has your exercise routine changed?
It didn’t change much at first. If you recall, I was training for a half marathon this fall. I was two weeks away from the race when I took a pregnancy test, and after talking to my PA, decided to run it. At eight weeks, I ran a half marathon and PR’ed. I was not expecting that, but I listened to my body and paid attention to my breathing.
Since the half, I haven’t run more than 3.5 miles at a time. Most weeks I have gotten at least two runs in and walks at the dog park about five times a week. I have recently committed myself to attending at least one yoga class a week, as I purchased a 20 pass package for $20 that expires in six months.
One reason for the decrease is from tiredness. For many weeks I was exhausted after teaching, walking at the dog park, making (or throwing together) dinner, etc. Now that I’m officially in my second trimester, I am hoping my energy levels will increase and I can hit up the gym at least one more time a week.

There’s my first official pregnancy post. I don’t know if I’ll be able to swing a weekly post, but I’ll keep you all updated as things progress. I will soon begin forcing Brody to take photos of me so we can all see how my belly grows.

Have a great night!

Questions:
If you are pregnant or are a parent, what was the best and the worst things during your pregnancy?
If you aren’t pregnant or a parent, how has your exercise routine changed now that it’s winter?