“Turtle”

A sporadic collection of pregnancy related milestones, ultrasound and bump pics.

 Pregnancy Ticker

On September 27th, 2013, we transferred two beautiful thawed embryos to my uterus. Nine days later, at 4 weeks exactly, we got a very positive pregnancy test.

My first beta at 11dp5dt was 1,508. My second beta at 13dp5dt was 2,538.

At 5 weeks 4 days, an ultrasound revealed that we had twins growing, and my beta was up to 37,195!

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That’s Turtle on the left. Hi Turtle!

At 6w2d, another ultrasound revealed a heartbeat on “Twin B,” but also that “Twin A” had not progressed and likely would not. We were simultaneously thrilled and heartbroken. This was confirmed a week later on a subsequent ultrasound at 7w2d.

At 8w4d, we had our final ultrasound with our RE’s office. This was the ultrasound that gave us the moniker “Turtle,” and also the first one where the baby started looking a little bit like an actual baby! Or at least a gummy bear.

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Turtle at 8w4d!

At 11w4d NT scan, we learned that Turtle had a condition called gastroschisis which would require immediate attention at birth and a 6-12 week hospital stay. We were devastated but would come to learn everything this condition entails and assemble a strong team of care providers.

Turtle's head at 11w4d

Turtle’s head at 11w4d

On December 3rd, we met with our new high-risk OB, Dr. Kind, for a Level II ultrasound. He confirmed the gastroschisis and set us on the path toward a new pregnancy and birth plan: frequent appointments with him as our high-risk OB to monitor the gastroschisis, a nearby OB who would deliver me at Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital, and the Advanced Fetal Care Center at Children’s Hospital who would be handling the surgery and care following Turtle’s birth.

On that day, we also had an advanced blood test done to screen for genetic issues (all clear) which could also tell us baby’s gender. One week later on December 10th (13w2d), we found out we were having a BOY!  Excitement ensued. We wouldn’t reveal this fact to our families until Christmas where we pulled off a beautiful surprise.

Proud mama starting to show at 13w6d

Proud mama starting to show at 13w6d

Really showing now at 17w2d

Really showing now at 17w2d

Our fetal survey ultrasound at 17w3d went well. Everything is measuring right on track. Turtle’s heartbeat was a strong 148 bpm and he is weighing 7 oz. now.

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17w3d

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18w4d, gastroschisis visible

Everything looked mostly good at our (approximately) 20 week scan (20w5d). Normal heartbeat, normal growth. We did see a dilation within Turtle’s bowel at this scan measuring .9 cm. Dr. Kind says not to worry until it is over 2.0 cm. At a subsequent scan the following week (21w5d), three dilations were visible with the biggest measuring 1.1 cm. Turtle still growing completely normally, even measuring ahead.

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The bump @ 23w5d

Our ultrasound at 24w3d showed a still healthy, growing Turtle, measuring right on track. HB 148 bpm, weighing 1 lb. 7 oz. Biggest dilation up to 1.47 cm, though there are several others. Dr. Kind tells us the hole in Turtle’s belly is likely on the smaller side, which is causing the bowels to constrict a bit and creating these dilations. We just have to watch them and see what happens.

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Turtle at 24w3d, with an open mouth!

Our ultrasound at 26w5d looked great! Healthy heartbeat, steady growth (even measuring a couple days ahead), and dilations that are holding steady (between 1.2-1.5 cm). His weight is up to 2 lbs. 4 oz.! So exciting to see those weight numbers going up and up. This is starting to feel very real indeed. I had my glucose fasting test this day and discovered that I do not have gestational diabetes, so that was great news too!

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My adorable little man at 26w5d

Bump @ 26w5d

Bump @ 26w5d

At 28w5d, we learned that Turtle’s bowel dilations had gone over 2 cm, into an area of concern. Still, the Children’s surgeon reiterated that there was nothing to do but wait and watch.

On Saturday, March 30th at 29 weeks we had our family baby shower! Lots of friends and family came in from all over to celebrate this amazing little life. I enjoyed a breakfast on Newbury St. with my dear friend R, followed by a haircut and makeup appointment. It was so nice to feel pampered!

At 30w2d we had numerous appointments with both OBs and at Children’s. Turtle’s bowels had not grown much past what we saw at 28w5d and we could observe movement and blood flow in the bowels, which was a good sign. Amniotic fluid levels looked good, which makes it less likely that we have a complete blockage. Dr. S at Children’s was not overly worried and said that almost all gastroschisis cases have some level of dilation. On this day, we also took tours of the NICU and regular floor at Children’s, as well as the Labor and Delivery ward at Beth Israel.

At 31 weeks exactly, we had our childbirth prep class at Beth Israel and learned all about how a typical labor works in a hospital. This was quite different from the natural birth we were planning and spurred us in our search to find a doula to aid with the birth experience we were aiming to have. We ended up hiring KK the very next day to serve as our doula.

At 32w2d, Turtle was still looking good on ultrasound. His growth was good (everything measuring about a week ahead, weight around 4 lbs, 10 oz.) and the dilations seemed stable (still around 2.4 cm).  The amniotic fluid level remained on target. This was our first non-stress test and we passed with flying colors!

Unfortunately, we also learned that Turtle is still in breech position and has a 50-50 shot of turning. We also learned that Dr. Kind plans to deliver me right at full term (37 weeks). As a result, Dr. Caring went ahead and reserved OR space for us for a c-section delivery on May 28th! If he does turn, we have the option of an induction.

The next day, my work threw me a surprise shower! It was so lovely with delicious Italian food, beautiful decorations, lots of lovely gifts and my favorite part – Kondeitermeister cake!

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32w4d

32w4d

Turtle at 33w5d

Turtle at 33w5d

Our weekly ultrasound at 33w2d showed dilations increasing in size (over 3 cm) and high amniotic fluid levels (27 cm). This had everyone a little worried and Dr. Kind said we’re now taking it “week by week.” We went in for an extra check up three days later due to symptoms of cramping but my cervix looked closed, and all looked good with Turtle.

Our next ultrasound at 34w2d looked much better! The dilations had gone down slightly, back under 3 cm, and so had the amniotic fluid, back into normal range (17 cm). The NST looked good, Turtle was very active. Dr. Kind was pleased and gave us a pass for another week. Since Turtle is still breech, he approved of Dr. Caring delivering us at 37w3d by Cesarean. On this day we also met with Dr. Caring to review our birth plan. Right now, the OR is booked for 5/28 and we are on “stand by” but she assured us that some of those women will deliver on their own by then and we will definitely be able to deliver that day.

16 Responses to ““Turtle””

  1. Kate @ Infertile First Mom January 9, 2013 at 3:45 pm #

    Precious lil turtle bump! Love it! Congrats:)

  2. Amy Skins January 9, 2013 at 10:40 pm #

    He’s so handsome, Shelley! You can totally tell from the 17 week pic. Also, you have the cutest bump EVAR. :oP

  3. Keisha January 9, 2013 at 11:22 pm #

    You look awesome!

  4. Lisa @ hapahopes January 10, 2013 at 2:11 am #

    Hi Turtle!! Lookin’ good. And I was so shocked to see your hair. You were totally blond in my head. Ha!

    • Shelley February 26, 2013 at 8:29 pm #

      I can’t believe you thought I was blonde! I’ll try not to be offended by that. 😉 That’s got to be one of the strangest things ever b/c I’m a dark haired, dark eyed gal to the core!

  5. Amanda @ readingeachpage.blogspot.com February 25, 2013 at 9:33 pm #

    You have such a cute bump!

  6. nonsequiturchica February 25, 2013 at 9:48 pm #

    Like Lisa I totally thought that you had blond hair as well!

    Looking good!

    • Shelley February 26, 2013 at 8:30 pm #

      That totally blows my mind!

  7. Courtney February 25, 2013 at 9:58 pm #

    Hi Shelley, my name is Courtney and I just stumbled upon your blog. While I did not experience infertility, I am 20 weeks along with a baby girl who has gastroschisis. I am so thankful to have found your journey because I have emotional good days and bad, and on the bad days I just want to hear from someone who is going through the same thing. I like to feel like I’m not being irrational in my fears and that I’m not alone. We found out about the gastroschisis at 18 weeks and do not go back to the high-risk OB for another week. I have so many questions, they are probably going to think I’m crazy. Since we are close along in gestation, I look forward to sharing my journey with you and reading your entries..they make me feel better (and are very informative since we haven’t been back to the Dr. yet!) So anyway, thank you again and best of luck with the remainder of your pregnancy. And of course, congratulations!

    • Shelley February 26, 2013 at 8:32 pm #

      I’m sorry you’re on the same track as me. I hope by sharing my story it can help you in some small way. I haven’t really been able to connect with other people who have been through this so would love for you to keep in touch as to how your baby girl is progressing!

  8. Courtney February 25, 2013 at 10:30 pm #

    You look great! I hadn’t even noticed this page so I’m glad you drew attention to it in today’s post. Turtle looks so good – what a nice profile shot they got of him recently!

  9. Courtney May 4, 2013 at 9:01 pm #

    Those cheeks look totally kissable, and full-term, to me!

  10. Belle May 4, 2013 at 10:58 pm #

    Back again to say WOW that photo is amazing! Beautiful little baby!

  11. Lisa @ hapahopes May 9, 2013 at 12:43 am #

    Shelley, he is beautiful. Look at those perfect little baby lips! I’ve been thinking about you guys and praying that everything goes as smoothly as possible.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Two bits « tales from the waiting room - January 9, 2013

    […] “Turtle” […]

  2. Loose change (26w5d) | tales from the waiting room - March 14, 2013

    […] “Turtle” […]

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