Did someone say c-section?

Well hello! Apologies for the radio silence since March. Life as I know it has sped up and become increasingly busy! So much has happened over the past couple of months and I’m happy to report that I’ll be blogging A LOT more between now and the big B-Day. 🙂 Look for posts about what’s in my hospital bag, my New York City baby shower and my maternity pics!

First let’s touch base about this picture:

 photo 5

This is my back and what it looks like currently…well 5 years ago when I had this X-Ray taken. I have 4 Harrington rods secured to my spine that will stay there forever.  I had two scoliosis surgeries, one when I was 9 years old and the other when I was 10. My spine was not only curved but it was twisting my rib cage. Some, when diagnosed with scoliosis, have the option to wear a brace first to try and straighten out the spine. My only option was to have a pretty serious 14 hour surgery where my amazing surgeon would place two rods on both sides of my spine (lower back) . A year later at my check up I was told I needed to have my second surgery because my upper back was still curved. So I had another lengthy surgery to add two more rods from the middle of my back up to my neck.

I recovered well and have had some minor back pain throughout the years as my only “complication”. To be honest, I am blessed everything went as well as it did and I don’t take any of it for granted.

So why am I telling you this?

Well, when I had these surgeries I was told that I would have to have c-section deliveries when I wanted to start a family. At the time that seemed like light-years away and compared to my curved spine and the complications that would arise from not doing surgery, it was a no-brainer.  Fast forward to now and I am delivering next month!

Good news, science is amazing and has come a long way. Women who have scoliosis surgeries no longer require c-section deliveries! However, there is a question as to whether or not I can have an epidural. Womp womp…there is the bad news. I have spoken to my doctor and seen an anesthesiologist at the hospital. The plan is to go into labor and try to get an epidural. If it works GREAT! If not I will then be given IV narcotics that will only last in my system for 5 minutes or so at a time. I’ll push a button each time I feel like I need more and hope for the best.

I’m a little nervous about this but to be honest there is nothing I can do about it. I trust that I am in good hands and will be given good care and that is all I can do. I’m thankful to be pregnant and that vaginal delivery is an option for me.  🙂

On a different note Daddy has been doing some “homework”. My mom gave him this book for Christmas and we recently spent an afternoon in the park. I tried hard to sit on the ground comfortably without complaining for a couple of hours.

Meanwhile this is what Mike did:

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My heart melts…

XO

For more information about Scoliosis and pregnancy check this site out: FAQ about Scoliosis

Boston Baby Shower

Charlotte was spoiled for the first time last weekend at our whimsical sweet Boston Baby Shower. Two dear friends hosted a tea to honor us. It was so nice to be around friends and family to celebrate out little peanut and here are some pics:

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shower 3

shower 4

shower

shower 5

shower 10

shower 6

shower 7
shower 9

I still can’t get over how beautiful everything was. 🙂

24 Weeks!

lex

How far along: 24 weeks!

Gender: Girl
Weight gain: 12 lbs.
Maternity clothes: Wearing my maternity leggings a ton still because it is so damn cold here & lots of drapey tunics. It’s been hard getting dressed these past few days because the belly is SO MUCH BIGGER! I have some dresses for Spring but buying new maternity clothes is just not in the budget and wearing non-maternity clothes is getting a little ridiculous, so I’ll have to come up with something until this weather starts cooperating.
Sleep: Sleep is touch and go. I was always one of those people who needed “9 hours of sleep every night” or I couldn’t function. It’s crazy how your body begins to adjust and you’re able to function on less and less sleep. If I don’t eat a large enough dinner you can find me at 3:30am on the couch having a snack watching Bravo.
Best moment this month: Our Babymoon to the Bahamas! This trip was so needed and there is nothing I would rather do than sit on the beach with my husband and relax. See pictures below.
Worst moment this month: I am happy to say I can’t think of one! Things have been great.
Miss anything: Adult beverages.
Movement: Now we have all sorts of movements & Mike can feel and see the baby kicking!
Cravings: Blueberries, strawberries, cereal, egg quesadillas that my brother-in-law makes, and water .
Queasy or sick: Still feeling really good. I get a little uncomfortable at night when my belly is stretching.
Looking forward to: Heading up to Boston and seeing family, friends, and all the snow up there!
Okay, so the Bahamas was amazing and even though it was a little chilly a few of the days, we spent almost all of the time by the beach or pool. Hey, I’d rather be bundled up by the pool than inside.
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Leaving on a jet plane.
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View from dinner at Cafe Martinique.
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Mike exploring in the aquarium.
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Dinner at Graycliff Restaurant.
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Lounging by the pool.
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Hanging with #50, Rob Ninkovich
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View from our balcony.
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My handsome stud muffin of a husband.

To amnio or not to amnio???

If you’re on Instagram then you know we were tossing back and forth the idea of doing an amnio. I asked the question : “Have you had one or are you considering one?” Most responses were that people had not done them and further they would not do one.  A few people who have done PGD said they would do one if earlier tests suggested something was wrong but that they wouldn’t “risk it” if everything had been okay up to this point. Mike and my OB both felt that we should do one to double check our PGD results. I however, was scared of miscarriage.

Crazy? Maybe, but let’s first talk about what an amnio is.

What is an amnio?

Amniocentesis is a prenatal test that allows your healthcare practitioner to gather information about your baby’s health from a sample of your amniotic fluid. This is the fluid that surrounds your baby in the uterus.

The most common reason to have an “amnio” is to determine whether a baby has certain genetic disorders or a chromosomal abnormality, such as Down syndrome.”

What is the risk of miscarriage from Amnio?

The risk of miscarriage due to amniocentesis is low. Because a certain percentage of women will end up miscarrying in the second trimester anyway, there’s no way of knowing for sure whether a miscarriage following an amnio was actually caused by the procedure.

Estimates vary, but according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), the loss rate from the procedure is as low as 1 in 300 to 500 — and perhaps even lower if the doctor or center has a lot of experience performing amnios. – from Baby Center

I have been a little bit of a crazy person when it comes to getting this amnio. At our last OB appointment I asked how long after the amnio would I know if I miscarried? My OB smiled and said usually 24 hours. I worried day and night about if doing this procedure would cause harm to my baby. After I posted the question on Instagram I started crying and got really upset with worry. Mike (bless his heart…and his amazing patience) said “You worrying about this is enough reason not to do it.” What a gem. He made me feel so much better and I have to admit a part of me was only doing it because he had said we should.

I called and called the amnio the next day. I realize that the baby probably would have been fine and I may have overreacted but the bottom line is, we would use these results to prepare. I do not want the next few months to be worrisome and stressful. If we are meant to have a baby with a genetic or chromosomal issue then we will find out after she is born.

17 Week Re-cap (this is re-capping the last week, I’m actually 17 weeks 6 days now)

How far along? 17 Weeks

Total weight gain/loss: 8 lbs but I haven’t weighed myself for two weeks. I like the Dr. to do it, it’s a fun surprise at each visit.  Next appointment tomorrow!
Maternity clothes? Everyday all day.
Stretch marks? No, but I can feel my skin/muscles stretching.
Sleep: Some nights better than others, but overall good.
Best moment this week: I think I felt my first little flutter!
Have you told family and friends: Yes!
Miss Anything?  D.E.L.I  M.E.A.T.
Movement:i think so!
Food cravings: Mmmm…deli meat.
Anything making you queasy or sick: Strong smells…
Have you started to show yet: Yes… a tiny bump. 

Labor Signs: No

Belly Button in or out? In
Wedding rings on or off? On
Happy or Moody most of the time: Happy.
Looking forward to: Seeing our little lady at our appointment.

xo

Snail Mail & 14 week re-cap

It’s the most wonderful time of the year and topping my list of traditions is getting the mail everyday. I cannot be the only person who gets super excited to open cards from my loved ones and see what beauty lies inside! I’m not going to lie, I take notes and immediately start planning for next year, “What company will I use? What font? Should we do a picture?” The answer to that is always no because who wants to look at a picture of me and Mike…no one.

Here are a few of my favorites designs this year.

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Minted

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Tiny Prints

Our card was from Etsy and couldn’t be more perfect for this Christmas. We wanted to announce baby Charlotte but wanted to do it in a way that really expressed our excitement and relayed how blessed we feel.

SO from the Mortons to you…

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14 Week Re-cap

How far along? 14 Weeks

Total weight gain/loss: 8 lbs (from 112 to 120)
Maternity clothes? I bought three more pairs of maternity leggings, it’s an addiction. I plan on posting some outfit pictures for inspiration. Stay tuned.
Stretch marks? No
Sleep: I’ve been waking up to pee two or three times a night.
Best moment this week: Vacation started! A much needed two weeks off!
Have you told family and friends: Yes!
Miss Anything?  I would hurt someone to have some deli meat right now.
Movement: Not yet
Food cravings: Mmmm…deli meat.
Anything making you queasy or sick: Strong smells…
Have you started to show yet: I have cute little bump. I don’t think anyone would notice if they didn’t know me.

Labor Signs: No

Belly Button in or out? In
Wedding rings on or off? On
Happy or Moody most of the time: Getting better. I get very HANGRY…and then I apologize to my husband.
Looking forward to: Christmas!

xo

12 Week Re-cap

I saw this on one of the blogs I love to read and it pretty much sums up my thoughts…

PartyingVS.Pregnancy

I haven’t posted in a while, mostly because I am exhausted when I get home but I wanted to give an update about my current status.

 

It’s a GIRL! Charlotte Catharine Morton… CC or Charlie

 

How far along? 12 Weeks, 4 Days

Total weight gain/loss: 5 lbs (from 112 to 117)
Maternity clothes? A pair of maternity leggings – why don’t people normally wear these?! So comfortable!!
Stretch marks? No
Sleep: In the late afternoon I get pretty tired, occasionally waking up in the middle of the night and can’t fall back asleep.
Best moment this week: Our nuchal test this week, getting to see the little babe for about 20 minutes!
Have you told family and friends: Yes!
Miss Anything?  Hot Dogs & Deli Meat!!! Would love to have a few of each right meow.
Movement: Not yet
Food cravings: Everything I can’t have…womp womp
Anything making you queasy or sick: Strong smells…like garbage.
Have you started to show yet: A little bump so far – basically looks like I ate a few too many cupcakes, which is typically the case.

Labor Signs: No
Belly Button in or out? In
Wedding rings on or off? On
Happy or Moody most of the time: Happy during the day and a Grinch at night.
Looking forward to: Getting a bigger bump!

 

 

GATTACA

Growing up my father would watch 60 minutes every night. It is one of those things you remember from childhood that makes you reminisce, like the way your grandmother’s house smelled or the feeling of Christmas morning. Over the years there have been many changes to 60 minutes and one of my father’s favorite parts about the show recently ended. Andy Rooney’s segment was my Dad’s favorite and it would always make him chuckle. Andy Rooney and my father have both passed on but I can happily say I have some great memories and 60 minutes is still reporting on current news and doing me a solid.

“Playing God or removing disease from your blood line?” was the topic of Sunday night’s 60 minutes. It was a segment on PGD testing and how this amazing test has given people the opportunity to remove devastating diseases from the next generation. Mike and I did PGD testing because we are both carriers of cystic fibrosis, and there is a 1 in 4 chance our child would have CF, a debilitating and ultimately fatal disease.

The truth is, many people do not know if they are a carrier of a mutation until they try to have a child and get tested. We both had no idea and had never given any of this a thought until it became our reality. It’s a tough decision and there are religious as well as ethical arguments that go either way, but for us it was about starting a healthy family and we were going to do what we had to do to make that happen.

When one decides to do PGD testing they are given an option of testing for chromosomal defects (that result in diseases such as Downs syndrome or worse) as well. Mike and I went back and forth on this mainly because it was going to cost an extra $3,000 to get the added testing. Ultimately we chose to do the extra testing and in the long run were happy with that choice. We also chose to test for chromosomal defects because we did not want to go through all of this and then still have a baby with a different, and potentially preventable disease. Of course this testing is not 100% accurate but we have significantly lessened the chances of that happening.

There is an argument that PGD can be taken too far.  Along with testing for disease, couples have the ability to choose their child’s hair/eye color or a number of other traits including gender. I personally do not believe in using PGD for these reasons. I feel that PGD should be used to prevent disease and nothing else. Though I do not mean to offend anyone who chooses PGD for those reasons.

I’m happy that 60 minutes has taken the time to address infertility and the struggle so many people face. Assisted reproductive technologies may not be important to some, it may even offend them, but the fact is 1 in 8 couples struggle with infertility. Many of these couples struggle in silence and it’s important to educate the rest of the population.

Dr. Hughes said it perfectly on 60 minutes:

“We all throw genetic dice when we have children. But when you know the dice are loaded and that there’s a really reasonable chance that your baby will have an incurable, dreadful condition, you’re looking for an alternative.”

To view the video or read the article head HERE

 

XO