Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Sleep Deprived but Still in Love

It's been a while since I posted, which pretty much sums up my life right now -- it's been a while since I've been able to do anything but feed the baby, rock the baby, change the baby, bounce the baby on the bouncy ball, eat, go to the bathroom, and get what little sleep she allows me to get before we repeat everything again. Completely ordinary new parent stuff but so intense when you are experiencing it for yourself!

Thanks to everyone who stopped by with congrats, it means a lot to me. Being a mom is at once the best thing I've ever done and the absolute hardest...and it feels so good to have people cheering me on, because some days I definitely have felt like I just can't do it right now. These days are always following a day when I've had no naps, so I'm on strict orders from G to take a nap every day no matter what. This morning I got about two hours, hooray! So now I'm more in the zone of happy mommy vs. crazed sleep-deprived mommy.

Ava is amazing, she is changing almost literally in front of our eyes. She's starting to chub out a bit, and seems to be losing a little hair and what's growing back in is a little lighter in color. I'm dying to find out what color her eyes are, but I know that will take a while. She's starting to hold her head up a little more, which is exciting. And we're definitely starting to learn her likes (milk, bouncing on the bouncy ball, hanging out in her papasan chair, listening to water running in the kitchen sink, sleeping right on top of us, lights) and dislikes (waiting for more than 1 second when she's hungry, the swing, being swaddled without her arms free, getting her diaper changed).

Breastfeeding has been SO hard, I really didn't think it would be this hard. We've had an incredibly hard time getting a good latch, which meant hours of pain for me. Nothing like getting woken up in the middle of the night to someone chomping down on one of the most sensitive parts of your body. But it's slowly starting to improve, and I'm hoping for completely pain-free nursing sometime in the near future.

More pics:

"oh, hello!"


chillin' in the papasan:


trying out the moby wrap (hmmm, not sure if I like this or not):

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Looks Like I Spoke Too Soon

Well, a little less than 3 hours after posting my last post...I went into labor!!

Ava Katherine was born on Friday, October 5, at 10:18 AM. She weighed in at 6 lb 5 oz and is 19 inches long, and so far she's the love of our lives!

The birth went so well, although laboring overnight is pretty tiring and suffice it to say we certainly haven't caught up on sleep now that we have a newborn ruling the roost. Honestly, pushing my daughter out into the world was the most amazing thing I have ever experienced and I am so incredibly grateful that she is here and healthy and happy. What a journey...

I'm exhausted, so I can't write much more now, but will be back soon with more updates and more pics.

Some pictures for now:

Weighing In:


First Shampoo (ahhh, spa day):


Mommy & Ava:

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Waiting, waiting, waiting...

I'm still here. Not much new to report! I am sloooowly making some progress in the dilation and effacement department -- had my 39 week appointment yesterday and I am now between 1 & 2 cm dilated and over 50% effaced (my doc's not much for specific numbers, which actually helps me obsess less, yay!) So it's a good thing that I'm making progress, but still doesn't tell me much about when this baby might be coming out.

Doc said at my next appointment we'll talk about what the next steps might be, how I'm feeling, how she's feeling about how things are going, etc. So I guess this will be the induction talk. I spent some time today doing a bunch of research on induction and talking to folks online who have gone through it and I feel less afraid of it. I think I'm just at the point where I'm ok with whatever needs to happen to get the baby out safely and so she's the most healthy. Not sure yet if that will include inducing, but if it does, so be it.

It's funny because I was really against the idea of induction a few months ago, and now I realize that just like I couldn't exactly plan the "perfect" conception, I can't plan the "perfect" birth. And while the reality of it is that it will be great if I go into labor on my own (still hoping, still have time), there's nothing wrong with a little medical intervention to get the baby into the world either. I figure since we had medical help to get her in there, no shame in having medical help to get her out either!

It just reminds me again though, how much people put moral values on all sorts of things related to parenting, from how you get pregnant to what choices you make during pregnancy to how you choose to go through labor and delivery...and I won't even get into the crazy hotbeds like feeding and sleep training and cloth vs. disposable diapers. There are definitely people out there who are adamant about not inducing, just like there are people who discouraged me from going to the RE and said I should just take herbs and do acupuncture and I'd get pregnant for sure. Ultimately I need to gather all the info I can and then make my own decision.

The truly exciting news is that I will very likely be holding my baby in the next couple of weeks! And I know that none of this stuff will matter then...

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

False alarm...aaarrgh!

Monday night we had a bit of a false alarm...frustrating! I woke up at 1:45 AM with a big contraction. Not that unusual, it happens from time to time. I settled back in to try to sleep, when I got another one. "Hmm," I thought, "that was odd. I don't usually get them so close together." Then, another one. "Maybe I should check the clock?"

Another one, 5 minutes later.

Another one, 5 minutes later.

Now I'm wide awake.

They went on like this for 2-1/2 hours, going from 5 minutes apart (Holy crap, is this IT?) to 8 minutes apart (wait, maybe it's not) to 6 minutes apart (wait, maybe it IS). G was a champ, getting out the kitchen timer for more accurate recording of each contraction time and duration, finding "The Birth Partner," our favorite book for how to get through labor and childbirth, and finally, insisting that we take the book's suggestion to only time & record 6 contractions, then wait for a while and start again when the mother notices a change in the contractions.

All I can say is, thank dog for Tivo, because we definitely needed something to take our minds off of what was happening. We watched "Curb Your Enthusiasm" and by the time that was over, the contractions had slowed down and lessened in intensity.

Final verdict: not IT.

Time awake: 1:45 AM to 4:30 AM.

Emotional state: Exhausted, frustrated, disappointed, and afraid that it will go on like this for weeks.

The good news is two-fold though. 1) While this episode did not result in the birth of our baby, I know that my body is working up towards the main event, and hopefully my next doc appointment tomorrow will confirm that more progress has been made. 2) I got a good 9 hours of sleep last night, interrupted only very briefly by my three bathroom trips, after which I fell asleep promptly each time. So I'm feeling refreshed and also remembering that no matter how frustrating it is to think you're in labor and then turn out not to be, it WILL happen in a matter of hours, days or weeks. Which in the grand scheme of things is barely a blink of an eye.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

37 week appointment update

I am now almost 1 cm dilated! I am so excited. I called my mom and told her and she said "wow, what does that mean?!?" and I realized it pretty much means...that I'm going to have a baby. But I still don't know when.

But you know, that's ok. I was fretting about how I had no idea when the baby would come, and G gently reminded me that in fact we do have SOME idea. It will be sometime in the next month. Which suddenly seems very soon!

Doc also told me to get walkin' -- she said I should walk for at least 30 minutes a day to encourage my cervix to keep dilating and effacing. You can believe that I will be out there trekking around my neighborhood first thing tomorrow.

Lastly, I just want to say how incredibly grateful and amazed I am to have made it to today, 37 weeks and full term. When I realized that I would be dealing with IF, I just felt immediately hopeless and pessimistic and afraid, and that has continued to plague me on and off throughout pregnancy...and now today, I can finally breathe just a little, I can know that at least my fear of not making it this far was not realized.

And so today, I am sending super duper positive vibes out to everyone struggling with IF...may we all become parents of the wonderful kids that were meant for us, however we come by them.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

36 weeks 5 days with latest belly pics

I've been feeling more energetic the past couple of days, even restless. The urge to clean, organize, DO things is huge. A sign of impending labor? Please let that be it! I'm so ready to meet this little girl...

Here's the latest belly pics:



Thursday, September 13, 2007

36 weeks...!

Just a quick update...things seem to be progressing towards this baby actually coming out of me in the relatively near future. I can't believe it.

The details:
Over the last few weeks I've felt a few sharp shooting pains in my cervix. I also think at some point the baby dropped, although I'm not sure...but I feel less crunched up in my ribs and more pressure in my pelvic region. In fact, it's uncomfortable to sit without my legs spread wide because my belly is resting so much on my legs.

On Tuesday morning I lost a little bit of my mucus plug, which I know doesn't mean that labor is around the corner exactly, but it is a sign that things are moving in the right direction. I've been having more Braxton Hicks contractions, and on Tuesday evening they were actually fairly painful, and I got six in one hour, the most I've ever had. G and I were a little freaked out, since I wasn't quite 36 weeks yet, but thankfully they didn't follow any pattern and they must have stopped after six because I fell asleep.

Wednesday morning I had a doc appointment scheduled, and after telling her everything that had been happening, she decided to check my cervix...it's still closed, but she said it's 20% effaced! Which means that all those contractions are doing something productive, and also was reassuring. I don't feel afraid that the baby is going to come shooting out in the next day or two. In fact, I feel like if I can just make it one more week, I will be so ready for her to come on out into the world!

I've now moved into the every week doc appointments, so next Thursday I'll find out if there's been any more progress -- and even better, I'll be full term so all of my fears about the baby coming too early will be laid aside. It's really strange to think about being happy and excited about signs that labor is on the way, when I've spent the entire pregnancy worrying about losing the baby or her coming too early...

Mostly, I'm excited and working on resting as much as possible over the next however many weeks it takes. So much easier said than done, I want to madly clean and organize everything (guess the whole nesting thing is real) but I just don't have the energy. On the plus side, I got my mom's housecleaner to come do a one-time clean for me tomorrow, so I will feel much better once the house is really really clean!

But honestly, I don't know when this whole baby thing will start to feel real...it feels like some sort of strange dream. I guess I just need to continue on the ride...

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Latest belly pics 33 weeks 2 days

Hard to believe it will get any bigger, but my pregnancy book says the next four weeks are a time of incredible growth for baby girl...eeep!





Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Not much to say...

I've been having trouble blogging lately, I feel like there just isn't much to say. A pregnant writer friend of mine is blogging for one of the big parenting websites and she told me she did a whole post on how boring she feels she's become...I totally feel the same way! My wit and insight appear to have at least temporarily left the building (if I ever had them to begin with) and in their stead is an obsession with all things baby, from the concern over BPA in bottles to what kind of playlists I should make for the hospital (as if I will even care about music at that point, but if I don't bring it I might want it!) Even I'm sick of hearing me talk about this stuff.

So -- anyway, long way of saying "hello blogosphere, I'm back for more blah blah!"

Had my last monthly doctor's appointment today and it went as boringly well as always, which is actually a huge relief but doesn't make for exciting posts. Oh well, at this point I will take boring over exciting since it means things are going along just fine. The doc pronounced baby girl's heartbeat to be "perfect" and told me that her almost daily hiccups are actually a good sign developmentally. I felt like a very proud mama! She (the doc, not the baby) also asked me how the childbirth classes were going and strongly suggested that we take the Infant Care and Breastfeeding class. I figured we'd do that after the baby is born since there's a free class daily at the hospital, but she reminded me that I'd likely be exhausted and emotional then so it's better to do it now. So I will be looking into that and signing us up asap, and G can practice changing diapers which is good since that is his biggest fear right now. What is up with guys and the diaper thing? Poopy diapers are the least of my worries...it's just poop, it washes off!

I've now scheduled all of my remaining prenatal doc visits, at least through week 40 and hopefully I won't go any longer than that. My doc's office seems to be much more relaxed about visits than most, as I don't do the weekly visits until week 38. So I have one at 36 weeks, then 38 weeks, then 39 and 40. She assured me that I will be sick of them by then, but I like going to the doc since it feels like I'm doing something other than just waiting for this baby to decide to come out!

Other things I can tick off my list:

- Chose and bought baby bedding (the thing that almost put me over the edge a few weeks ago)
- Purchased infant car seat (although we're waiting to install for another few weeks)
- Purchased breast pump, which should arrive in the mail in the next day or so
- Purchased a probably ridiculous number of 0-3 size baby clothes. I may have too many, but she'll look darn cute!
- Took three of four childbirth prep classes; the last class is next Monday. Our last class included a tour of labor & delivery, which was a bit underwhelming. The rooms were small and not that nice...incentive to get outta there and home with the baby quickly I guess. The main thing is that everyone I know who has delivered there was really happy with their experiences, especially the L&D nurses. So that's good.

Next up on my to-do list includes a trip to buy all of the boring things like a diaper pail and crib mattress pad, and a trip to get nursing bras, which I'm strangely excited about. I don't know why, since they're not exactly lacy lingerie, but I guess I'm looking forward to breastfeeding since I think it's just amazing that I will be feeding the baby with my own body. Honestly, I've never felt such an awareness of being an animal-like physical being as I do now. It's been strangely grounding since I've pretty much spent my life being focused on the quality of my large brain and obsessed with wanting to have a "perfect-looking" body. I've never given much thought to the wonder of what my body can DO. So it's a good feeling. And one that I hope I can remember if/when the going is tough with breastfeeding, as I know it is for many.

My mom and I both have a feeling that the baby will come before the due date, but I think that's just wishful thinking! So, we'll see. More belly pics to come next week, I'm planning to take some this weekend. I suddenly realized that there's not much time left for belly pics, which just seems insane -- it feels like only yesterday I was in the RE's office having a hot date with a syringe.

So I guess I did have a lot to say, it's a bit of a blah of what's running through my mind as I get into the home stretch. Mostly I'm starting to get excited to meet the baby...!

Monday, August 6, 2007

baby shower

I had my baby shower this past weekend, which was fun and exhausting and exciting and overwhelming all at once.

Fun -- seeing all of my friends, seeing my mom meet my friends' babies for the first time, eating yummy food (especially chocolate cupcakes!), getting amazing and cute and even useful presents.

Exhausting -- standing around wearing heels (I know, why on earth did a pregnant woman decide to wear heels? Let's just say I'm about as tall as a mailbox without them, and the added girth of pregnancy means I'm even more troll-like now), worrying about how it would go beforehand, having to be the center of attention while opening presents.

Exciting -- seeing two of my friends' babies meet each other: the girl hitting the boy in the face and the boy immediately swooping in for a hug & kiss (he's learning early how to deal with female mood swings!), imagining my baby wearing all the clothes and playing with the toys and books.

Overwhelming -- the generosity of my friends, the sadness of my best friend who isn't in a relationship and isn't having babies yet while so many of her friends are, my mom's excitement about my pregnancy, the sheer realization that this is really happening, the underlying fear that something still could go wrong and perhaps I've jinxed it by having a baby shower.

Whew.

I'm getting a little more used to all of the baby stuff now that it's been in my house for two days, and starting to feel less worried about things like how many newborn pajamas I need (I'm going to start with three and see how that goes) or what color rug to get (still undecided as my bedding choice has changed yet again).

And honestly, as a chronic obsessive, the only way I can deal with the range of emotions I feel about being this far along in pregnancy (joy, fear, self-doubt, fear again, excitement) is to get completely stuck on minute details about crib bedding and clothing and baby bath towels and mobiles. Somehow I feel like if I just get all of the right stuff, everything will turn out ok. Which can backfire into obsessive worrying about how right the stuff is, and whether there is better stuff out there somewhere...I guess you could call me a commitment-phobic obsessive compulsive shopper. Woohoo, something for my daughter to discuss with her therapist in 25 years!

Anyway, for all of the frivolous attention I'm giving to material things, I'm also quite aware that this is all really about my anxiety over being a mother. I have no idea what I'm doing and whether it will all work out. I don't even know yet if my baby will make it out of my body alive and healthy. My mom's first baby didn't, and I think that no matter how much I deny it, in the back of my mind I have a huge dark hairy fear that my baby will not survive labor and delivery. Which is so horrifying to even consider that the only realistic option seems to be obsessing about crib bedding and the number of pajamas I need. Because I can control that part. I can't control what happens to my child. Not in the womb, not during labor and delivery, and not for the rest of her life after that. Which scares the living crap out of me. Sometimes I think it would be easier if she would just stay in my belly forever, so that I always know where she is and that she's safe.

However, given the discomfort level I'm experiencing today (sometimes I think it's got to be some sort of large wildebeest in there with all that moving and pushing and banging around) I think that Nature has in her infinite wisdom provided a way for me to be ready to do the whole labor and delivery thing, no matter how afraid I am that things won't work out. And that is at least reassuring -- whether I'm ready or not, this baby will make it out of me one way or another in the next 9-11 weeks.

Eeek!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

(almost) 29 weeks (updated w/belly pics)

Yay! I went to my doctor's appointment today and I don't have GD and I'm not anemic. Phew! I was really worried about having to take the 3 hour glucose test, so I'm glad to have avoided it. My doc is also happy with my weight gain, which is so reassuring. Really, so far this pregnancy has been going so well that I can't help thinking that the bad news must be coming. But I continue to work on letting go of that idea, and just being happy with where we are today. Baby girl certainly seems pretty happy, she's been dancing around in there all day!

We got our crib put together last weekend, and went and picked up the changing table, so the baby's room is actually beginning to look a whole lot like a baby's room. It felt pretty overwhelming at first but now I just love going in there and thinking about how it's her room. Not the junk room in which we used to throw all the crap we couldn't figure out what to do with, but my daughter's room...! I will post pictures when I have it more set up, right now it's pretty much just empty furniture.

My baby shower is coming up in about a week & a half, and I'm pretty excited about that. I already know that someone bought us the bouncy chair and baby bathtub that I registered for, hooray! And best of all, we are getting a whole bunch of second-hand stuff from some friends with a 11 month old -- another bouncy chair, a baby bjorn, a moses basket, and a play saucer. I feel really lucky that I have so many friends who started down this road before us, although of course when I was going through IF and they were all getting pregnant I didn't feel so lucky. Right now it just feels good to have let go of the bitterness I felt towards my fertile friends and to have found some bit of peace with the fact that IF is a part of my story.

So, 29 weeks tomorrow. What a friggin' miracle. It's funny, when I think about sending out birth announcements, the first person I think of sending one to is my RE. Because really, all credit goes to him.

The latest belly pics:



Friday, July 13, 2007

27 weeks...3rd tri?!

I'm still a little confused as to when the 3rd trimester starts (27 or 28 weeks) so I decided to go with 27 weeks because I'm ready for it! Welll, I don't know if "ready" is really the word, because mostly I've been feeling overwhelmed at the idea that I will have a baby in just a few short months...but I definitely have been feeling different physically in the last few days and I'm chalking that up to leaving the easy streets of 2nd trimester and moving into the more challenging/uncomfortable 3rd trimester.

I think the best way I can describe it is that I feel pregnant again. 1st trimester was all about feeling pregnant -- exhausted, bloated, gassy, nauseous. Once I hit the 2nd trimester I felt like myself again: I had energy, I could go to bed past 10pm, I could exercise, I could eat whatever I wanted, the bloating went away (ok, the gas stayed, much to G's dismay)...sure I had random pulling and stretching as the ol' ute made way for my growing baby, but other than that it pretty much didn't feel like I was pregnant.

Now, I feel pregnant.

I'm tired again -- not that bone-tired 1st tri exhaustion, but just slowed down in sort of an old-person way. By the end of the day (i.e. around 7 or 8 pm) all I want to do is lie down and take some of the weight of my belly off. And speaking of my belly, my new pains are at the TOP of my belly, where my uterus is slowly but surely mashing the rest of my organs up towards my ribs. It does know that at some point it just has to go OUT and not UP, right? Because I like my stomach and lungs and ribs and heart very much, and I'd like to keep them in good working order.

My legs hurt, sometimes a whole lot, and especially at night. The pain starts in my hip (mostly my right but sometimes my left too) and travels down my leg to my foot. Sleeping soundly has become a thing of the past, what with the bathroom trips and stiff sore legs, I spend a lot of time waking up and shifting around and stretching my legs in vain attempts to stop the pain. I have found that the only real cure is walking, getting the blood flowing again. So today I have a nice walk scheduled with a friend, and hopefully she won't mind that I also walk at a snail's pace these days.

BUT despite my newly decrepit body, apparently my baby is still happy in there, wiggling and thumping around at intervals throughout the day (and night). I'm so grateful for this, I can't even believe it. Every time I start getting worried that maybe I haven't felt her enough, she gives me a few reassurance kicks, which feel to me like she's saying "don't worry Mom, I'm still ok in here!"

I've spent some time lately trying to visualize how exactly she's positioned in there and my latest theory is that she is head down with her face towards my back but swiveled a bit towards my left side (sort of a 3/4 view if you will), punching towards my nether regions with her hands, with legs folded up lotus style and kicking with her feet towards my side. And then sometimes she swivels around toward the right and kicks towards my right side. I'm going to ask the doc what she thinks re: the baby's position at my next appointment, so we'll see how good I am at deciphering baby positioning.

Oh! I almost forgot -- hiccups! I have felt what must be hiccups twice now, and it's a very odd feeling. Little rhythmic thumps that I feel somewhere between my hoo-ha and my bum, hence my thought that she is now head down. They feel like...hiccups. Like the inside of my body is hiccuping. Very strange.

Baby products, stuff, and paraphernalia:
We went and picked up the crib a few days ago, and G will put it together sometime soon, after we get through this retirement party we're throwing for my mom on Sunday. But it's in the nursery, mattress and all, which feels like a pretty big deal.

And in a very exciting development, a friend of mine with a 1-year old daughter has offered to loan me her mini co-sleeper! So that's one thing we don't have to buy, hooray. Another friend offered to loan me her sling to try out, so I can see if my baby likes it before spending money to get one. She speaks from experience since her son screamed his head off when she tried to put him in it. With all of the stuff I am planning to get (and I keep trying to stay away from buying unnecessary things) I'm pretty happy that I have friends like these!

And another milestone:
I have an appointment set up to interview a pediatrician in late August. The woman I talked to was very nice and explained all of their policies etc...it sounds like a great practice. There are a lot of doctors so we won't just see the one we pick for our main doc, but I'm looking forward to talking with her. Even though I have no idea what you're supposed to ask them, I've never interviewed a doctor in my life. But I certainly feel like a "responsible mommy" by setting up the appointment.

And did you know that babies have their own insurance cards? It's like someone out there actually thinks that my baby will be a real person, and not just some sort of pretend person/figment of my imagination/doll. And G and I will be responsible for this person. Shouldn't someone have checked our credentials before allowing this to happen?

Friday, July 6, 2007

There's a monkey in my tummy! (+ belly pics)

As of yesterday I feel like we're in a whole new ballgame...the baby's movements are HUGE (and seemingly constant) all of a sudden. I feel like I'm being rocked by an earthquake or something -- my whole belly moves and I feel very discombobulated. It's probably the trippiest thing I've ever experienced...forget drugs, try being pregnant!

It's really cool but also sort of makes me feel more aware of her as a totally separate person from me, like she's just doing her own thing in there while I'm doing my own thing out here in the world. And it really made me realize that while I am extremely aware of her presence, she has no idea that I even exist! I'm just her environment, her little cozy world. It's going to be so strange when I finally get to meet her, to see with my own eyes this little being that I feel like I already know...and to her I'll just be this giant creature, thankfully with some handy-dandy food dispensers built right in!

In other news...the nursery is all painted now and we have the dresser, rocking chair, and bookshelf set up along with the assorted books and stuffed animals that we have been given so far. Next up is the crib, then after my August shower I'll complete the rest of the room. I love how the paint turned out, the room feels so peaceful and airy.

Lastly, some new belly pics. I don't know what happened in the past week or so, but I seem to have had some sort of growth spurt since the last pics were taken! And my linea negra has officially sprouted. I'm only hoping that stretch marks aren't my next milestone. I still don't feel comfortable showing my face, but I'm thinking about it...maybe next time :)





Thursday, June 28, 2007

25 weeks (w/belly pics)

Whew, 25 weeks! I really can't believe how fast this whole thing is going. It really feels like only yesterday that I was crying about my 2nd cycle at the RE resulting in eggs that never fully developed, and now here I am. What a miracle.

In the past few days I've become aware of how overwhelmed I really am about the idea of having a baby. I feel like my focus for so long was getting pregnant, and then all I could focus on was staying pregnant, and all of a sudden now I'm realizing that if things keep going well (and I'm so aware of what a big if that is, but I can't think about that too much or I couldn't get out of bed in the morning) I will in fact have a baby -- and more than that, I will have a daughter for the rest of my life. It's just really hitting me that there will be this whole new person in my life and a whole new intense relationship...and today that feels overwhelming and scary. I don't know if I'm ready for a whole new person in my life. How will I manage to still have enough love and room in my heart and mind for G and my parents and my friends when this new little person will take up so much room? Everyone says that you will be able to find the love and room in your heart, and I know I have to believe that...but today I feel like I don't know how I'm going to do it.

We just got back from visiting G's family across the country, which was intense as always...I love them dearly but being with them all always exhausts me too. And while we were there, two big things happened:

1) I had some spotting.
It was very minor, but it scared the crap out of me. I called my doc's office and they told me to go to L&D triage to get it checked out...so G and I jumped in the car and drove to the nearest major hospital, which was an hour away. And here I have to say how incredibly grateful I am that he didn't blink an eye when I said we'd have to go there instead of the local small-town hospital -- it just reminded me how much he loves me and the baby, and how he is going to be a great father.

So off we went to the hospital, and after holding it together in front of his family, I finally was able to cry my eyes out and really feel how afraid I was that something might finally be going wrong. And I say finally because as someone who's gone through IF, I don't know if I will ever fully lose that feeling that underneath it all I'm waiting for something to go wrong. I just let loose and cried and thought about how much I love my baby, and that she will always be my daughter no matter whether she makes it out of my body alive and healthy or not. And this was an amazing realization , because it made me see that I am a mom, right now. And that I can have a complete bond with my baby, right now. My mom lost her first daughter shortly after she was born, and only recently has she been able to really say that she has two children, and one is living. And on this car ride through the wilds of the western Pennsylvania night, I got a tiny bit closer to understanding how much she loved her first baby and how important that baby was to her. She's been telling me that I'm a mom since I first got pregnant, and I finally understand why she says that, and how true it is.

Everything is fine with me and my baby. My cervix must have gotten bumped somehow, most likely while I was playing around on a swing set with my niece. The doc checked everything and I was monitored for a few hours, and baby girl reassured us by bonking around in my belly the entire time we were there, which was so cool to hear on the monitor. And I've almost put the entire episode out of my mind...but writing about it now has made me even more grateful to still be pregnant today. And that is a good thing, because I don't ever want to forget how lucky I am.

2) I had a little surprise baby shower.
This was so much more fun and also overwhelming than I thought it would be. The strangest part was packing all the presents in my suitcase for the trip home...I just kept thinking "whose tiny clothes are these?" and finding it hard to believe that someone would be wearing them in just a few more months. And now the junk room/room where we keep G's stuff that I don't want out in the rest of the house/nursery is starting to fill up with...baby stuff. So it's yet another reminder that it's really happening...eek!

Lastly for anyone who's made it through this far, here are the latest belly pics taken at 24 weeks.





Saturday, June 16, 2007

23 weeks 2 days

Wow, looking at my ticker today brought home a little reality...I'm steadily creeping up on the 100 days to go milestone, which is just so insane. I feel like this whole pregnancy thing is flying by. I know everyone says it slows down a lot a the end, and I'm sure they're all right, but for now I feel like I can't believe how fast it's going.

Yesterday I went and ordered our crib, which I'm really excited about. It's so pretty and the wood is so nice and smooth...perfect for when baby girl wants to explore the world with her mouth! I've been spending time with a friend's 6 month old lately and am catching on that he thinks mouth first is the best way to discover something new (or say hello to something familiar). So my girl should be very happy with her crib according to those criteria. The drop side is really easy to use and very quiet, and the drawer underneath slides out smoothly. Yay!

I also test drove the stroller I had been thinking of getting, and I really liked it. I felt like an idiot trying to fold it up, but after a bunch of practice runs I think I have it down...it's stuff like this that makes me worry that I have no idea how to do the mommy thing, but then I realize that I'm not worried about meeting her most important needs, like food and cuddles and lots of love. So what if I don't perfectly and smoothly fold the stroller the first time, she won't know the difference.

She's still moving a lot, now I feel lots of wiggles and swimming around in addition to the bigger kicks. And I've started to see my tummy move sometimes, which is so nuts.

My belly seems to be getting bigger by the minute and I go back and forth between loving how round it is and feeling like a huge cow. The huge cow feeling is so hard, I just don't feel that cute a lot of the time...everyone says I'm "all belly" but I can tell that my thighs are a little bigger and my arms are softer/rounder than they used to be. I keep telling myself that it will come off after she's born, but I'm already scared of how much work it might be to get the weight off and tone up everything. I hardly ever talk about this stuff because I feel like I should just be so happy all the time about being pregnant, but the truth of the matter is that some days I just feel fat and huge and even my happiness about the baby doesn't make it go away.

I guess what it comes down to though, is that I am learning how to sacrifice my wants and desires for my child...she has to come first, not my desire to be thin or to bend as far forward as I know I can in yoga class (I have to make room for my belly now and not squash her). So I guess I feel like this is probably a good introduction to at least part of what motherhood is about -- it's already not just about me anymore.

More belly pics to come, when I'm feeling a little more cute again. Hopefully we'll take some tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

20 weeks 5 days

I'm feeling happy today.

Yesterday was our three year wedding anniversary, which we celebrated by going for a hike along a beautiful lake and dinner out. We talked a lot about how much has happened since our wedding...including remembering our last anniversary, which we celebrated in Mexico. We didn't yet know that I wasn't ovulating and spent a good portion of the time doing the horizontal hokey pokey and thinking that maybe we'd come back from our trip to the sight of a positive HPT. Ha.

But back to feeling happy -- and grateful. I'm so grateful for my wonderful husband, and for our relationship that continues to grow. I'm grateful for my amazing friends, my yoga teachers, and let's not forget my kickass therapist. I'm grateful for my parents, who are absolutely thrilled about the baby. I'm grateful for my fertility docs and IUI coordinator and all the doctors and scientists who first figured out how to help infertile people achieve pregnancy. And I'm grateful beyond belief for the little kickboxer in my tummy...I still can't believe how lucky I am that the IUI worked and that we're where we are today. I can honestly say that it feels like a miracle.

Some 20 week belly pics:







Friday, May 25, 2007

Just kickin' it...

Baby Girl has been kicking up a storm lately. It's really the most amazing feeling ever, I don't think I'll ever get tired of it. Her little "hello!" thumps are without a doubt the highlight of my day.

Best of all, G felt her kick for the first time last night! He has been putting his hand on my belly trying to feel her for a few days, but every time he's done it before she is quiet as a mouse. Last night she obliged with a nice big thump for him, much to his surprise! It was so cool to see him have this new experience with her...I feel like we're turning into a family.

So my latest conundrum is whether or not to have my mom at the hospital with us during labor. G and I already decided that we want it to be just the two of us for the actual delivery, so we get to see her together first, before anyone else does. But I have had it in my mind that I need at least one other person with me for the labor, in case it's too much for G or just to be an extra voice of encouragement...and I had pretty much decided on my mom, but after she said something that really upset me last night I remembered that sometimes she can really bring me down, and I definitely don't want that happening while I'm in labor. It's so hard to plan for something that you've never done, never even come close to doing...how do I know what will be best for me?? Right now the only person I can think of that I absolutely unequivocally want in the room is G. I'm starting to think that maybe I don't need anyone else but him there...and how amazing would it be to have it be something that only we share.

I'd love to hear people's thoughts or experiences with this sort of thing -- WW the Blogosphere D?

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Update on U/S, w/pics

It's a GIRL!

I am so relieved that we don't have to deal with the hemophilia thing hanging over us, I can't even believe it. I didn't even realize how much I was worried about that until the tech said the baby was a girl, and tears sprang to my eyes. G and I held hands for the whole rest of the ultrasound, and while I was looking at all her little bits and parts, I just kept thinking "I'm going to have a daughter."

It has made the whole thing so much more real to us both...I feel like I just can't wait to meet her.

And everything else looked great, we saw the heart and brain and bladder and all that. She was rolling around, stretched out her legs at one point, and it even looked like she was scratching the top of her head. She is so cute! (says the completely unbiased mommy)

So I know I will have a lot more thoughts to share about having a girl, but right now I am just excited. And of course being me, and maybe because I come from the world of IF, I'm still afraid that somehow the other shoe is going to drop and something will go wrong. But for now I'm trying to just be grateful and happy that we've made it this far, to this amazing milestone.

Pics from u/s:

Profile shot:


"I think I'll roll over this way":


Shot of her hand, right in the middle of the picture (thumb is on the right):


Lastly, you may have noticed that I've changed my name here to simply "A". The truth is that my real name, while it does start with A, isn't Ava and I am starting to feel funny about using that name. So from now on, I'll be going by A...

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Some thoughts on the day before the BIG u/s **updated w/belly pics**

Two posts in less than a week -- guess I'm back in the blogosphere!

So tomorrow is the big day where we get to see if our baby has all the correct parts in the correct places...please please please let everything be ok. I know that statistically the chances are that everything will be just fine, but I am always a bit of a nervous wreck before my doctor's appointments since I'm always afraid that the baby has disappeared and this appointment is even bigger than usual. So try as I might to cover it up, I'm scared.

And then there is the crazy little fact that we will be finding out if it is a boy or a girl, which I have so many emotions about.

First of all, I have always wanted a daughter -- someone to play with, and dress up, and share so many of the things that I loved in my childhood. But I have recently been blessed to get to know some adorable little boys, so I'm starting to feel like I would be just as happy with a cute little boy, and I know G would love to do boy things with him. But it is hard to let go of an idea, and the honest truth is that my idea when I think about having a baby is still that it would be a girl.

Second of all, if it's a boy we will be faced with the dreadful truth that it will have a 50% chance of having hemophilia, which won't be confirmed for another 12 weeks or so when we'll do an amnio. And this is the part that I am so sad about, because I'm afraid that if we find out it's a boy tomorrow, we will be robbed of having total joy and excitement about it since there will be a nice black cloud of fear hanging over our heads for the next 12 weeks. I want to be 100% thrilled about my baby, and I just can't stand the idea that I may have feelings of sadness and fear mixed in. Not to mention the fact that I haven't even begin to think about how strange it will be to have a child with hemophilia when I had such a strange and rocky relationship with my father, who also had hemophilia (hence my being a carrier). And I know that the difficulty of our relationship wasn't related to his illness, but it's a little overwhelming to think that there would be something that reminded me SO much of my dad present in my own son.

So I have a lot going on in my little head today. I am trying to just remember to breathe and take it all as it comes. I absolutely will love my child -- boy or girl, hemophiliac or not...this much I know. I may just have to let go of the idea that I can't have other emotions too, like fear & sadness & confusion. Which I think is what my mom is always trying to tell me about being a parent -- it's certainly not an easy road emotionally.

On a lighter note, here are some belly pics from yesterday (18wks 4days)...a little blurry but they'll have to do.



Saturday, May 12, 2007

Bloggy Bloggerson

I have been feeling bummed out that I seem to have such a hard time blogging recently...well, really ever since I got pregnant. The funny thing is that I thought I'd be super into blogging and keeping a pregnancy journal and taking belly pictures every week and for some reason I just haven't really been keeping up with any of it.

I keep thinking I should take pictures and I just don't feel like it, or I don't like my outfit, or I feel blah and fat right at that minute.

I keep thinking I should blog and then I feel like I don't have anything to say.

I keep thinking I should write in my pregnancy journal and then I forget about it.

Sigh.

I don't know why I keep feeling like I don't have anything to say about my pregnancy! I think some of it is that feeling that I might jinx it by talking about it too much...and some of it is that at this point I'm sort of starting to get used to the whole idea. My belly is growing. Sometimes I feel the baby. But I feel like I've already said all that!

I guess the thing that feels new right now is that I'm realizing that I actually love the baby already, which is such a strange and amazing feeling. How can you love someone you don't even know? Who isn't even a fully hatched person yet? Who you wouldn't even recognize if you fell over them? But I do, I love my baby already.

I talk to it pretty often, which I had no idea I would do. And I actually talk to it the way I talk to other babies, in that higher-pitched voice that people automatically use with babies. And sometimes I feel like "we" are doing things...like we went to a cafe with my friend this morning, and then we went to visit my 92 year old grandma, who gave my belly lots of nice rubs. It's sort of silly, but I am starting to feel like my baby is my little pal who does things with me.

So...this Wednesday is the big day when we get the anatomy u/s and find out the sex. Eeek! I'm really excited. I get to learn more about my little pal who I already love...amazing.

Monday, April 30, 2007

Flutters!

So I am starting to feel some movement...what a strange and amazing feeling! To me it feels like light ticklish taps and sometimes a bit wiggly. Maybe he/she is doing somersaults in there. It's so exciting and cool to feel, and it really makes me realize that I am, in fact, somehow, having a baby. Whoa.

!!!

In other news, my belly is definitely an obvious pregnant belly and my OB confirmed last Thursday that being short has a lot to do with it. As she put it, a 7lb baby inside me would proportionally take up more of my total body mass than a 7lb baby inside her. (Not that it's 7lbs yet of course, but you get where she is going with it...). So that made me feel better as I seriously was starting to wonder if there was something weird going on! I guess I'm going to be a giant ball of belly by the end, with a head and some limbs poking out. I don't have any new belly pics yet but I'm planning to take some before Friday, so I'll post 'em next time.

And now for the downside of pregnancy...the endless farting! I seriously cannot stand it anymore, and for some horrible reason it doesn't really kick in until evening when G is home and gets to "enjoy" it along with me. UGH. I don't know what I'm going to do to make it more bearable, but there's got to be something. In the meantime, G has forbidden me to eat broccoli and I'm trying to keep beans to a minimum.

OH -- my big ultrasound has been moved to May 16th when I'll be just about 19 weeks. My doc would rather do it then since the baby will be bigger, and the only reason we were going to do it at 16 weeks was because we were considering having an amnio if the baby is a boy, since there will be a 50% chance he'd have hemophilia. But happy day, when I saw my doc last week she said the only reason to do the amnio at 16 weeks would be if we were thinking of terminating due to hemophilia, which we definitely wouldn't do. So instead, if it's a boy we'll do an amnio at 30+ weeks since if he did have hemophilia we'd possibly go straight to a planned c-section (less squeezing of baby). I'm so happy that we don't have to do it now, because I was really worried about m/c risk...hooray!

So, we have another couple weeks until we find out boy or girl -- definitely worth the wait for no amnio.

And on a related note, I finally got back the NT test results and everything is normal/good, so no need for amnio there either.

And I guess the last thing I want to say today is that I'm amazed every single day that I'm pregnant. I wake up in the morning and check to see that my belly is still there, and I look at it in the mirror every night before I go to bed. It just feels like a miracle.

Friday, April 20, 2007

15 weeks 1 day

A few assorted raves for the day...

Rave #1: SNOOGLE!
Ok, pre-pregnancy I thought body pillows were a little silly and airplane catalog-esque. But after tossing and turning three nights in a row, culminating in a night filled with horrid back pain, I turned in my last hipster credential and purchased not just a body pillow, but a special pregnancy body pillow that looks like a big curly worm.

And It. Is. Fabulous!

I used it last night for the first time and it felt like I was sleeping in a giant squishy cuddle all night. I could even sleep on my back without feeling an uncomfortable heaviness in my abdomen, because I was sort of propped sideways on the pillow. And best of all, my back feels so much better today. Hooray for dorky pillows!

G gives it a middling review however, as he feels like we're not in the same bed anymore because he can't see me over the edge of the pillow. All in all, a small price to pay for a good night's sleep (god, I must be getting old) and I told him we can spend extra cuddle time before I put my new boyfriend in the bed.

Rave #2: new prenatal yoga class
I posted recently about the frustrating "fertile people-centric" comments the one yoga teacher made, but I decided to give the class one more go...and left feeling frustrated by her and by the class itself. I'm all for taking it a little more easy with the exercise when pregnant, but I do want to get some exercise.

So I tried another prenatal class and it was so great. I loved the teacher and she actually had us work a little, not just relaaaax the entire time. Everyone in class was really cool too, they all seemed like interesting people. So I'm giving that class a big two thumbs up and I'm excited to continue in it.

Rave #3: big u/s coming up
I cannot believe that we will (most likely, if the sea monkey cooperates) know if the baby is a boy or a girl in a little more than a week! I just can't wait to know more information, not to mention start the naming argument in earnest with G. So far we are agreed on a girl's name and in complete disagreement on every boy's name either of us comes up with. So we've put that discussion on hold until we know if we even need to be talking about it.

Rave #4: maternity pants
I started wearing maternity pants this week and I cannot believe how comfortable they are. WHY aren't all pants made with stretchy tops? Why do we think we need buttons and zippers when it is so much more comfortable to just pull your pants on and go? Not to mention the easy access for bathroom stops (and I suppose for fun reasons too, how sexy!) and the wonderful feeling of never feeling your pants dig into you. I don't think I'll ever go back. And now I have negative hipster credentials.

So, I guess I'm feeling good these days...still scared from time to time that the baby has disappeared, and of course still scared that something will go horribly & hideously wrong, but most of the time I'm working on sailing along assuming that things actually will turn out just fine.

And a tiny little part of me is starting to realize that yes, there is a very good possibility that I will be having a baby in October. Holy crap.

Last but not least, here are some belly pics, taken on Monday (14 wks 4 days) in my glamorous yoga outfit:



Monday, April 9, 2007

13 wks...hello 2nd trimester!

Well, now I feel even worse that I stopped posting for so long after people left such nice comments about being worried about me! You made my day, and I promise I will keep posting.

Sooo, now for the latest:

The NT scan last Wednesday was great, the u/s tech said all the measurements looked really good. Of course we still need to get the combined results but I'm glad that at least so far things are looking good!

The Jumbo Shrimp (size of the baby courtesy of BabyCenter) was sleeping away with his/her hand to mouth, possibly even sucking his/her thumb...so cute. Then of course we needed it to move to get the final measurement, and the tech kept trying to wake it up by poking my stomach and it wouldn't wake up. For a split second I panicked thinking something was terribly wrong, then I remembered that we had just listened to the heartbeat, so it really was just sleeping. Then I had my first moment of "worried Mom", thinking "Great, my kid isn't doing what it's supposed to be doing, it's not paying attention to direction" -- then I snapped out of it and gave it a good poke and said "Wake up!" and it did. So then I got to feel like super Mom.

G's eyes were like saucers the entire time, this was the 1st time he saw it moving and I think it's really starting to hit him that this is really happening. He was amazed that it could be sleeping or awake, and when it started moving/swimming around he couldn't believe it. I think it's funny because even though it's amazing to me too, I already really think of it as a little separate creature in my tummy, so of course it could be awake or asleep! Since the u/s he has been sticking his face right up to my tummy every night and talking to the baby, which I love...he is starting to have his own relationship with the baby, and not just with a pregnant wife.

Next milestone will be the big anatomy u/s, which we are having a little early at 16 weeks, 3 weeks from today. I am really excited to find out the sex...I keep thinking it's a boy but for a split second at the NT scan I thought I might have seen some girly parts. So we'll see...

Pics from the NT scan at the end of this post.

Other musings:

I was in my prenatal yoga class the other day, which I really love. It's great to be with all the pregnant ladies at once, and see how everyone's bodies are different and beautiful in their own ways. The teacher is great and really helps us focus attention on our babies and on getting ready to give birth. BUT. She said something that really bothered me, and I am debating whether to talk to her about it.

She was talking about how amazing being pregnant is, and then started talking about how wonderful it is that we're all fertile, and how being a woman is amazing because we can do this, and when we're not pregnant and we bleed every month it's a celebration of fertility...and then mentioned the movie "Children of Men" and talked about how the people are infertile in it in a way that suggested this was a terrible horror. And I was sort of shocked that she didn't even think for a MINUTE that someone in the class might have struggled with infertility before getting pregnant, or that not everyone bleeds every month (as in, I haven't had a period on my own without drugs since I was 19 years old) or that the ability to give birth (or lack thereof) doesn't make you more or less of a woman.

So what do you guys think, should I mention this to her and ask that she be more sensitive to how she talks about this subject? I am so grateful that I am pregnant, but that doesn't mean I consider myself "fertile"...I don't know what to say I guess. Thoughts and ideas welcomed.

Close-up side view:


Side view (sleeeepy baby). The little triangle shaped blob near the face is the hand:


This is after it woke up and started rolling around. It's the back and the head is starting to turn a bit:

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Bad, bad blogger.

Wow, it's been over a month since I've posted anything...I don't know what's wrong with me, but I've just not wanted to post anything at all. I don't know if I was worried I would jinx it (side note: I have never been so concerned about "jinx" until I got pregnant, it's like I'm living in the superstitious dark ages) or what. I think some of it is still what is basically survivor's guilt -- I feel so afraid that it's not ok to blog about my pregnancy when so many IF sisters are still struggling.

But I've been thinking about it lately and realized that it's also not fair to just abandon my blog, because I started it for a very good reason, which is that I was up to my eyeballs in frustration over my own infertility and lo and behold there was a whole community of people out there who could really understand what I was going through, and who could show me the way to survive it all. So who am I to abandon that community just because I got pregnant...that's what we're all trying to do, right? And when we do get pregnant after IF, it's a whole different ballgame than for women who have never struggled to get pregnant in the first place...so perhaps it really is important to blog about it, so that we all can continue to learn from each other about how to deal with the very strange hand of cards we've all been dealt.

So, I'm back. We'll have to see what happens, but I hope I can post more frequently again...I miss everyone, and I need to catch up on how y'all are doing.

My quick update is that I'm still pregnant, and often still scared that it won't stick...but today marks 12 weeks, so things are looking up. I've seen the baby twice now and got to hear it's heartbeat for the first time this week, which was crazy. It's just unbelieveable that there is this separate being living inside me. I don't know if I'll ever get used to it.

I've had some spotting incidents a couple of times, most recently a tiny bit yesterday. And my heart absolutely stops every time. But I keep breathing and keep trusting that I will be ok, no matter what. After the first spotting day at about 8 weeks I came to the realization that even if the worst were to happen, I would survive. It would be probably the hardest thing I would ever go through, but I would survive, because lots of people have. So whenever I get really scared, I remind myself that. And I also remind myself that this is just the beginning of parenthood and all of the fears we will have about the fact that we can't control what happens to our children, all we can do is love them and try to provide the best loving nest for them as possible. So, I'm doing that...

Next week we do the NT test, so I'll post some pictures then.

And pretty soon I may even post a belly pic because believe it or not, I'm already growing a belly. It still looks small in pictures but it feels huge to me!

It's good to be back, blogosphere...sorry for being absent for so long.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Relief!

The ultrasound went great today -- there's a cute little bean in there, heart beating away! Heartrate was 125 bpm which the doc said was good, and it's measuring 6w 5d, so right on track. I think my legs were trembling the whole time, and I couldn't stop smiling as we left.

It was so exciting and cool to see it...and I just can't even believe there is a real little creature living inside me, with her/his very own heartbeat and everything. I'm completely amazed that this is where humans come from.

It feels so good to have made it this far, and the whole thing is definitely starting to feel more real. Everyone says pregnancy goes by fast but right now I feel like it will be an eternity until I make it to the 2nd trimester...although my MIL reminded me that I'm already 1/2 way there!

My RE was really sweet, he told me that I had graduated from the clinic and could go to my OB, but that I should email him and tell him how things are going. I feel so lucky to have found such a great clinic with such kind people.

So while I still have the fear blanket close by in case I need it, today I don't have it wrapped around me...and hopefully I won't have to clutch onto it again any time soon. Thanks as always for everyone's words of comfort, you really helped me to start to let go of the fear enough to start to be excited and happy about what's happening, which is a real gift.

Awwww, I think I'm getting all hormonal and emotional...

Monday, February 12, 2007

Fear.

Much as I want to be excited and happy about this pregnancy, I'm afraid all the time that something is going to go wrong, and I'm going to lose the baby.

And I know that this is "normal" for almost all women in early pregnancy.

But there is nothing like getting pregnant after infertility...I just keep feeling like I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop. Like it just can't be possible that something could go right when I had gotten so used to things going wrong. But the reality of it is that it really didn't take that long...which just feels like one more reason it won't work out: because I haven't paid my dues long enough on the old infertility merry-go-round.

And I know that there's no such thing as the kind of cosmic accounting that I think must be taking place, that in reality, difficult (and good) things happen to good people for no rhyme or reason, all the time. Yet I can't seem to shake the feeling that someone or something is going to "notice" that I got pregnant too easily, and take it away.

I feel sad that I've been robbed of the innocence that so many people have when they get pregnant. I feel sad that I'm afraid that anytime I log on to a pregnancy discussion board or post about it here, it's going to somehow jinx it. I feel sad that I can't seem to be happy that right now, as far as I know, everything is just fine.

I posted about this on a pregnancy forum that I frequent, and got some amazing advice from someone who has been down the infertility road and is currently pregnant.

She said that witholding my excitement and joy of being pregnant would not make it hurt any less if I did end up miscarrying. So after that long period of disappointments, I should enjoy the pregnancy while I have it. And even though it's scary, you really have nothing to lose by letting go and being excited for what you have right now.

So I'm going to do my very best to try to let go of this fear blanket I seem to have wrapped myself in. I can't protect myself from being hurt if something happens, but I can trust that if it does, I will be able to get through it.

And maybe, just maybe, everything will turn out ok.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Feeling better, looking...huge

The good news is that I'm feeling much better now that I'm on both Colace and Gas-X, both ok'd by my doc. No more constant pain, and I'm sleeping better.

The bad news is that the bloat is INSANE and doesn't seem to be going anywhere. My tummy is enormous, puffed out as far as it can go, and there's no doubt about it -- I look like I'm pregnant. Even G admits it, and he is usually terrified to tell me anything other than "you look skinny!"

It just feels hard because I am so. not. ready. to share this pregnancy thing with the world, because it's so early and I'm so not out of the woods yet...and yet my body isn't cooperating. Yet another lesson in how little control I have over this whole process, from the infertility part to this.

On the other hand, people gave up their seats on the subway for me twice this week, and I really am tired -- and if I wasn't looking like I swallowed a watermelon whole I'm sure they wouldn't have done that.

Crazy, this whole thing is crazy.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Nothing like what I envisioned

I don't know where to go with these feelings and thoughts so I guess I just need to blog it out. First of all, let me just say that I am so happy and excited to be pregnant.

And now I have to say that it's been really miserable so far. I have been in so much pain from gas, constipation, and bloating that at times I can barely walk. I'm hardly sleeping. And I don't know what to eat because everything seems to make it worse. I'm not eating very much. And I'm so afraid that somehow I can't do this pregnancy thing. I'm so afraid that if I don't eat right something is going to go wrong, and yet I'm in so much pain when I eat that I dread eating.

The one piece of good news is that I've scoured the internet and found that there are other people out there who have had it this bad with the digestive problems, so at least I know that it's relatively "normal". And my doc doesn't seem too concerned, which I guess is a good thing.

After being up all night last night I decided to stay home from work today to try to get some rest. I'm trying to figure out what food seems to make the digestive problems worse and what might make them a little better. I'm hoping I can go back to work tomorow though because at only 4 1/2 weeks it feels a little early to be missing work.

I just never thought it would be like this. I wanted to be pregnant so badly and now I feel like my body can't do it right. I'm scared that all of this means that something is terribly wrong with the baby, or with me -- what if I just can't do pregnancy??

And I feel so terrible feeling this way, like I should just be so grateful that I got pregnant in the first place and that I have no right to be so upset about how hard it is. But I have to get this out somewhere, because it's making me crazy.

Friday, February 2, 2007

Beta #2

Just got the call and we're now at 262. So it's more than double! I am so relieved. The past few days have been so intense and anxiety-ridden...I am just hoping that I can find a way to relax more between now and my 6.5 week ultrasound which is scheduled for 2/21.

I just can't believe this is happening. About 100 times a day I'll be cruising along at work or whatever and suddenly just think, "I'm pregnant". And then I totally lose track of what everyone is talking about. Needless to say I've been very productive this week.

What else can I say? I've been obsessing about my symptoms seeming to come and go, but I've read and re-read 1,000 times that this is totally normal. I haven't thrown up yet, although I'm nauseous, especially in the morning. And wierdly, in the middle of the night. I've been a little dizzy. I've been a little crampy. Everything smells strong. I'm tired, although unfortunately I seem to be wide awake for a few hours every night. I'm constipated and gassy -- joy! But most of all, I'm alternately excited and terrified...and I'm trying -- trying -- to get used to the idea of all of this.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Holy Crap

I'm pregnant.

I called the doc this AM about all of the stomach pains I've been having (like bad gas) and told her about the + test I took on Sunday at 10dpiui. They told me to go in for a beta.

Levels came back at 92...!

I just can't believe this. I don't even know what to think or do or feel. I'm thrilled and terrified all rolled into one...whoa. "What if something goes wrong?" keeps running through my mind, along with "holy fucking shit, I'm really pregnant". All at once. Over and over.

Thanks so much to everyone who has been cheering me on, your comments have been exactly what I needed. And for those of you who have been in the 2ww with me and don't have results yet, I am REALLY hoping that this is it for you.

Next huge hurdle to get over: 2nd beta on Friday. I really hope those levels are doubling...ack!

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Stupid stupid stupid

So this morning, I did the unthinkable. I took an HPT. At 10dpiui. And there was a faint line. And my heart started beating faster. And I ran in our room and woke up G. And he reminded me that it could possibly be the effects of the HCG trigger shot.

I

am

so

dumb.

How could I have forgotten about the trigger shot?!?!

Please let this level of forgetfulness be some sort of early pregnancy sign....

Sigh.

Well, I've now given G all of my pregnancy tests to hide. And he's made me promise I won't test again until 16dpiui like the doctor told me too. And if any of you out there are considering testing as early as I did, don't do it. It's most definitely not worth it.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Aha!

Turns out I wasn't a posting dummy at all -- I was just another victim of incompatible technology...which is ironic considering I work (sort of) in the technology field. Meaning it's sort of technology-related, not that I sort of work. Although I do sort of work sometimes, like when I'm blogging or reading blogs or on infertility message boards. Not that I ever do that sort of thing (ok, this "sort of" thing is getting silly) when I'm at work! No ma'am, I'm all about productivity! (In case my boss is reading this. Which he isn't. Because he isn't struggling with infertility.)

Aaaanyway, apparently Blogger supports two browsers: IE and Firefox. And I'm on a Mac. And I was using Safari. So I've downloaded Firefox and just as Heather pointed out, there's a handy little "create link" button right above the posting window!

And the reason I wanted to learn how to post links is to send you all over to my friend Carol's blog to congratulate her on getting through the transfer stage of her first donor egg cycle with two beautiful blastocysts that are now on board and a whole bunch of 'em in the freezer! Stop by to wish her good luck in the 2ww...

As for me, I'm starting to freak out and obsess and I hate it. I couldn't sleep last night because I kept waking up every time I rolled on to my stomach and SORE boobs. And I know they are sore because of the progesterone I'm taking. And yet. And yet in the middle of the night I had myself convinced that they couldn't possibly be that sore from just the progesterone pills, right? I mean, I must be pregnant, right?

ARRGH.

Oh, also I might be a tiny bit upset because another friend of mine just gave birth yesterday. I am truly happy for her. And I am also truly sad that it's not me getting to meet my brand new baby this week. But the one good thing is that even though I'm sad, and frustrated, and angry, and disappointed, I am also determined. I am determined to be a mom, one way or another. I don't have to be afraid that I'll never get there. I just have to be willing to accept that the road may be long, and twisty, and bumpy, and dark sometimes. And you know, some days I can do that with joy in my heart and a smile on my face and other days I just have to force myself to get through the day without breaking down crying in the middle of work. Today is one of those days.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Questions... plus a little love for my peeps

I must be a blogger dummy, because I can't figure out how to put a link in a post. Like if I wanted to point all of you to some cool thing I found somewhere else on the world wide web. Can someone explain it to me?

Also, can someone explain to my brain that every little feeling I have in my stomach does not necessarily signify potential implantation? I keep trying but my brain doesn't like to listen to me, especially since today is 6dpiui so technically if there was something in there, it could technically be implanting. Which I technically probably couldn't feel anyway, but my brain especially doesn't like to listen to technicalities that point away from what it wants to happen. Maybe it will listen to you guys.

And finally, I want to thank everyone who has started reading and commenting on my fledgling little blog. It makes me feel so welcome in the cozy little infertility blogosphere. You make me think and you make me laugh, two things I really like doing. I only hope that I can do the same for all of you.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Blog it out

Just back from the RE's office and my hot date with the syringe.

G's sperm numbers/count/motility/etc were rockin' as always...I have a nice fat egg...so why do I feel so hopeless & melancholy? Aargh!

And it's so strange how the IUI procedure itself is so fast. Today I was laying on the table with my knees up for 10 minutes afterwards (because we all know THAT is the magic trick that will get me pg) I was feeling sort of...used. Like when you're young and meet some hot dude and are all excited about having sex with him and then you DO have sex with him and then it's over and you're just lying there in some stranger's bed feeling like a big fat piece of nothing, wondering what to do next.

Not that I am speaking from experience or anything.

But for some reason, this is how I feel after my IUIs. Like I was putting all my eggs in this one basket (ba dum bum) and then it's just over and there's nothing else to do but wait and see if the dude calls or in this case, if a stupid peestick test tells me good news.

The OTHER thing I was thinking about on my cab ride back to my office (because I reeealllly feel like being at work right now) is that all of the people in the waiting room at my RE's office studiously avoid making eye contact with each other. Is that how it is for all you fellow fertility-challenged people out there? Because really, it would maybe be cool if it was more like the blogosphere where we're all virtually smiling at each other and hugging one another and just offering as much support as we can. Instead, it feels like everyone in that waiting room is trying to pretend we're not really there, or trying to avoid being seen, or trying to keep from looking at anyone else in an effort to protect each other from the knowledge that we ALL KNOW why we are there. WE ALL KNOW that everyone in that room is dealing with this infertility beast and man, it seems like it would make it easier if we at least smiled at one another in solidarity.

I guess I need to start with me though, you can't change the world by trying to change everyone else. So from now on, I'm going to do my best to make eye contact and smile at people in that waiting room.

If you go to the same RE as me, you'll know who I am -- the petite dark-haired woman who is staring at you and smiling like a maniac. Feel free to run screaming.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Here we go...

Well after digging around for what seemed like an eternity, the fresh young med student (under the watchful eye of an actual doc) found a big ol' honkin' follicle on my left ovary. 20mm -- far bigger than I've ever produced, and on CD12 no less! Follistim is the bomb y'all.

Now for the whiny part...I was really hoping to get at least two follies to increase the chances of success this cycle. I know, annoying of me to complain when I should be thrilled just to have one ripe follie considering last cycle I didn't even get that. But...I want as many follicles as possible without getting into an OHSS situation! I want something, anything, to increase the chances! I just want this stupid infertility crap to be over! Waah! Ok, end whine.

So after announcing that Freddy Follie was 20mm, the doc told me to take my HCG shot immediately. Which was conveniently sitting in my fridge at home. 30 minutes away via freeway. And did I mention I had a meeting at work starting in 20 minutes? Soooo needless to say I skipped the meeting and we got back in the car and drove home, shoved the shot in, and jumped back in the car and drove back to the city. Guess next time I'll take it seriously when they say to bring the trigger shot to the u/s appointments.

IUI tomorrow afternoon...you know and I know that I am already thinking about how I'm going to announce that I'm pregnant, so I can't pretend that I'm not hopeful that this will work. But when it doesn't work, indulge me when I say that I hadn't gotten my hopes up, ok? Really, it's the least you can do.

Monday, January 15, 2007

posty post post (or ramblings from inside my jumbled mind)

I started my Follistim injections on Saturday and I have to say that they don't hurt one f'ing bit -- why was I so afraid? It's really not that big of a deal to get a shot every day, and yet emotionally it's still a drain somehow. I just want a vacation from this whole thing sometimes, a day or a week or a month when I don't have to think about what day it is, what medicine I need to take, when my next appointment is, and if I'll ever get pregnant.

You know what the honest truth is?

I still can't believe this is happening to me.

When I was (mis)diagnosed with hypothalamic amenorrhea almost 10 years ago, my gyno said "oh, this just means you might need a little extra help getting pregnant." Being 23 and nowhere near ready for motherhood, I thought "ok, cool! I'll just head to the doctor when I want to have a baby and they'll make it happen!" It never fucking occurred to me how hard this would be and that it might not work anyway.

I guess today my glass is 1/2 empty, because up until now I had been feeling a shred of optimism due to the fact that we're adding in not one but TWO meds this cycle -- Follistim and Prometrium. So Miss Blind-Faith-In-Medicine inside me starts thinking "woohoo! this will work for sure!!" and that lasts for a few days and then Miss Pessimistic-Cranky-Bitch chimes in and says "yeeeahh, you thought that the last time. and the time before that. and the time before that" and pretty soon Miss Defeated-n-Depressed has taken up residence in my brain and she doesn't say much because it's just too much work to even muster up something to say, so I end up here in blogland, trying to blog out what's on my mind in the hopes that I can somehow get back to an optimistic place.

Next up...u/s Wednesday. Those follicles better be fat dammit.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

I just can't help myself

I just knitted up my first hat and I have to show it off:



It's a little hard to tell from the picture but it's made of the most yummy soft yarn ever, that changes in shade from light orange at the brim to darker red/orange at the top. It was pretty easy to make so I shouldn't be THAT proud of myself, but it's so damn cute, especially with the huge fluffball on top! It's for a friend's soon-to-be-born baby...I'm thinking if the fertility gods & goddesses are kind, they'll decide that I'm so generous and kind that I deserve to get pregnant.

You never know, right?

On a related note, if anyone is looking for something to occupy her time (i.e. keep you off the internet for a while) I strongly suggest knitting. Very cathartic -- and at the end, you have cute stuff to give away or better yet, keep for yourself. And all of my TTC/"fertility challenged" (thanks Carol, I like that way of thinking of it!) friends will be receiving a celebratory baby hat when they get preggo, I guarantee it. Who knows, maybe even one day I'll get to make a hat for my very own baby.

On an unrelated (but yet even more relevant) note, yesterday I watched a show on Discovery Health channel about couples undergoing IVF and I cried my eyes out when it didn't work out for some of them, and cried even harder when it did work for others. I was happy to find the show amidst the huge number of shows about happy people having happy babies, but don't watch it unless you have plenty of kleenex.

Friday, January 5, 2007

Musings on SHAME

So I've been thinking, why is being infertile some kind of shameful secret for so many of us?

Is it because it has to do with sex and American culture is totally hung up about sex?

Is it because no matter how progressive or liberal we are, deep down we believe that a woman's true purpose is to have babies?

Is it because we believe that a woman should be and do whatever she wants, and we just can't quite believe that we can't MAKE this thing happen?

Is it because somewhere underneath it all we wonder if this is our fault?

I have no idea what the answer is but I'm sick of it. The fact that I'm infertile isn't something that's my fault. I have nothing to be ashamed of. And yet I was thinking about how I know so many people who are infertile from my roamings around the internet, but in real life, it's still something that is spoken about in the hushest of hush hush terms. Why don't we just stand up and say "YES, I'm infertile and luckily, there are things I can do about it so that I WILL be able to be a mother, it's just not as easy for me as it is for some other people"?

So I had this idea of a putting together list of names of all of the women I know who are infertile. Sort of a "we're here, we're real people, and we're doing this together". It's not something that we (I) have to be ashamed of and yet somehow, we (I) still feel like it is...and it helps me to be reminded that there are so many others out there who are going through this, that I'm not alone, that there is nothing shameful in this predicament I find myself in.

It's my own private list for now, but it gives me hope that someday infertility won't be something that we all feel like has to be a shameful secret.

WTF??

Yeah, my period arrived today...when I supposedly have 3 more days of Provera to go.

WTF??

Honestly, I think my body is so confused it doesn't know which end is up. This drug, that drug...not to mention four days of utter gluttony in New Orleans over New Years. Hey, maybe the excess of calories and fat kickstarted some kind of hormone overdrive!

Anyway, the doc says no big deal, and away we go with a baseline u/s tomorrow. Don't you love going to the doctor on the weekend?

I'm getting the Follistim pen this cycle and have to admit I'm a bit anxious about the daily shots. I know all you long time Infertility ladies out there are probably laughing at the newbie...but shoving a needle into myself voluntarily every day just doesn't sound fun. Well at least we know I'll never be a junkie.

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Happy New Year

Well, I'm back on the horse. The Provera horse that is...and it's as fun as ever. PMS on steroids. Blah!

However, the good news is that I talked to my doc today and he seems optimistic about my new protocol, which will be....(drum roll please)...

Clomid CD3-7
FSH injections starting the next day, for 8-10 days
HCG trigger shot
IUI
Prometrium 3x day for 14 days

So I'm pretty much fully medicated at this point. Guess I knew it would get to this point, but it's a bit strange. I'm excited that he seems to think this has a good shot of working, and also totally f'ing scared that it's not going to work (again) and if I'm doing all this damn medical crap I want it to WORK.

But I guess that's just how it is on the infertility train. Woo woo! All aboooaaard! Next stop, bloating, crankiness and acne!