Friday, April 30, 2010

Crazies are back


And you thought all that crazy talk was in the past?  Yes, I have been feeling much more positive and rational since baby girl has been kicking me, but now what am I obsessing over?  The frequency and quality of her kicks of course.  I swear this is what happens when I haven't seen or heard her at the OB for a couple weeks.  Even though she lets me know she's literally alive and kicking all day, I always think the worst when I've been without a doctor check for a couple weeks.  I know she's fine - I can freaking feel her!!  But I had started feeling some huge kicks earlier in the week and not so much now.  So I envision that she's become weak and unhealthy.  (go on, roll your eyes...I understand)

(as I write this by the way, she is kicking like crazy as if to say "Aw, mom, just shut up and enjoy me please!")

It's just that since we found out it's our little girl, this whole thing has moved onto a whole new level.  You know that I had a hard time accepting that this is really happening and spent a good amount of time waiting for bad news to come.  Well ever since we found out it's baby Sofia, it's like a switch has been turned on.  I'm connected and talk to her and we refer to the guest room as "Sofia's room" and I've started buy clothes and her nursery is all picked out and it's like she's already here.  Because she is already here, right here in my belly.

My point?  If we lost her now, it would be an inconceivable devastation.  Not just because she was pretty much our last shot at a baby, but because we wouldn't have just lost a baby, we would have lost our little Sofia. 

Thanks for letting me get it out.  (And yes, I wonder about how I'll deal with things when she's here and not physically attached to me 24 hours a day.  I worry now?  Just wait til that day I drop her off at day care.  Oh my word.)

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

I'm Aware


So this is National Infertility Awareness Week.  Well, I'm fully aware that I'm infertile.  Oh!  It's for others?  To help them understand the issue better?  Got it.

Here's the thing.  I know I'm supposed to say something about how people who haven't been through this can't possibly understand and need to become enlightened so that they don't say dumb stuff to people like me going through all the stuff we went through.  I know I'm supposed to complain about things like strangers who say ignorant things, insurance companies who don't cover treatment, and the hate I should feel toward naturally conceiving women. 

The problem is that I can't seem to fit into that mold and neither has my experience.  Some of my infertile friends said some of the most painful things to me while some of my single, not-even-close-to-starting-a-family friends were the most supportive.  I never, not once, felt anger toward a friend, colleague, or stranger who became pregnant.  Why begrudge them their joy?  Even when I worked with students who feared they'd become pregnant and contemplated possible abortions, I never projected anger towards them.  They are who they are.  I am who I am.  I never asked "Why us?"  and I never said that it wasn't "fair". 

I felt it was a shame.  I felt that it was a waste of a couple of fabulous parents.  I felt sad.  I felt broken.  But I was thankful every day that the phone call we received from the doctor's office wasn't a different kind of bad news that can't be comforted by lunch at Cheesecake Factory.  I was thankful for having the best husband ever and knew (know) that no matter what happens, we'll be OK. 

I get why many (seems to be most) women working through infertility feel the way they feel.  I don't sit in judgment of them.  I'm just saying there are no general statements that can be made.  I really do feel that what is meant to be will be.  I really do feel that all my IF sisters will be wonderful moms one day - one way or another.  And (gasp!) I really do think that the minute I stopped obsessing over getting pregnant, I finally got that BFP (I admit, that one is hard to swallow as people saying "Just relax and don't think about it" really did bother me) - if you recall they said there was no way IVF #5 was going to work and we did it just because insurance covered it, never thinking it would work.

My point?  None of us feel the same way about this journey.  We can't be generalized into a Top Ten Things to Never Say to An Infertile Woman.  We're all different and we all deal with this differently.  Bottom line?  Support us please.  Just know that it sucks and be our supportive friend. 


Thursday, April 22, 2010

Registry Confusion


First of, woo hoo!  I'm 21 weeks!  I love Thursdays because I flip over into a new week and my Baby Center weekly update comes and I feel like I've climbed another hurdle.

Now, as you read this, please understand that I am not complaining.  I am embracing every last minute of this process, but my goodness, figuring out what to put on this gift registry is exhausting!  The internet is a beautiful thing, full of reviews of everything you can imagine.  But can I really research EVERYTHING?  I feel lost.  And people keep asking me if I'm done yet!  I'm so very grateful that they want to get shopping, but I am feeling some pressure.

For the nursery, I've decided to allow Pottery Barn Kids to just throw up all over the room.  I thought I wanted simple and modern?  Um, no.  This is a girly-girl room full of flowers and bunnies and I'm loving every second of it!  Pink, yellow, and green - here we come!  That part was fun.

It's the little things.  Which thermometer is best?  I don't know.  Breast milk storage system?  I don't know.  Swing?  Bouncer?  Jumper?  I don't know.  My friends all have differing views, but the one constant is that they say you just don't know until your baby tries things and decides if she likes it. what do I do?

I live in a 2-bedroom high rise condo in Arlington, VA.  Space is an issue.  I refuse to have huge, brightly colored plastic ugliness taking up space if it isn't soemthing that she will use and enjoy.  But it sounds like you just don't know, so we'll just try our best.  I know we'll make mistakes and have to run out and get other things, but that'll be OK.  It's all for her and she's worth it.

Friday, April 16, 2010

And we're having...


...a GIRL!!! 

And her name is Sofia. 
(I was hesitant to put that in print in case we change our minds, but we've been pretty solid on it for a in it's been on my vision board for a year and a half and we've told me mom already)

We are thrilled.  My mom screamed and cried.  There hasn't been a baby girl in our family since ME!  Needless to say people, are excited to shop for girly stuff.

Everything looked great.  She measured perfectly on everything they measured.  She weighs 13 ounces.  She was lying on her belly so they had a hard time getting all of the details of her heart.  They saw 4 chambers and blood flowing through, but they there were some things they couldn't see, so I get to go back in a month for another u/s!  I'm happy about that!  My cervix looks great and my amniotic fluid is good, two things I was worried about.

First the sonographer did her thing and took all the measurements and then the doctor came in, spoke with us, and then took another look.  He was pressing so hard, it was really painful!  Take it easy, doc!

She was very active and waved to us.  We got to see her little feet and her little butt is precious!  She kept changing positions and the sonographer said "Whoa, she's a bossy one!"  Gee, we don't know anyone else with that quality, do we?  Uh oh.

So now the planning really begins.  I thought I'd want to run out right away and register and shop, but really I just want to sit here and take it all in.  I have our baby girl healthy and happy in my tummy and there's nothing better than that.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Half-way there!


Just needed to share how crazy excited I am to have reached 20 weeks!!! 

Tomorrow afternoon we have our anatomy scan and I will let you all know as soon as possible what the gender verdict is.  And this weekend?  Let the nursery planning officially begin! 

I realize that I'm not blogging enough about my symptoms and how I'm physically feeling.  I'm going to try and focus on that stuff more because one of my goals of this blog is to document this pregnancy every step of the way. 

I can't believe I'm already half-way through this process. I'm so grateful for that little kick I just felt.  Ahhh...

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Random thoughts...


How did I ever go to Target before we were blessed with this pregnancy?  I remember feeling like it was a nightmare, but man, it had to be hard!  There are NOTHING BUT PREGNANT LADIES THERE!  And I find myself feeling somewhat inferior.  Maybe because I'm not showing like I want to or maybe because there's a carefree attitude that they have that tells me they are clueless about the IF struggle.  Whatever it is, I feel intimidated by them - and there's an army of them there!  I'm not going to say that they're arrogant, but it is the vibe I'm projecting onto them.  That's my issue, though, I'm sure.  My advice to my IF sisters out there still in the midst of the journey, STAY AWAY FROM TARGET.

I'm not eating as healthy as I should.  I'm not eating a ton of food (so not going crazy with the "eating for 2" myth) and in fact aren't even that hungry...but when I do eat, I know I should be making better choices.  Like, ummmm, vegetables maybe?  I suck.  And I'm so surprised that I'm not doing better...I would have thought I'd kick ass in the eating well for the baby part of this.  What a fantasy that was.

Lastly, I'm thinking about going with natural childbirth.  I'm somewhat a control freak (still - IF taught me a lot about my control issues, but they are still back there) and the idea of not being able to feel anything below my waist makes me feel very anxious.  I can handle pain (I think)...but of course I'm scared that it'll be the worst experience ever.  But how bad can it be when you get to meet the baby at the end of it?  I'm just not sure...

Monday, April 5, 2010

Check Up


Started the day at the endocrinologist where I learned that my thyroid is under control thanks to the synthroid I've been taking over the past month.  Yay.  I have to go back monthly to check, but she thinks I'll be just fine and if I want to experiment with coming off of the drugs after delivery we can talk about it.  She still thinks this is a coincidence and has nothing to do with the pregnancy.  I find this hard to believe, but am not going to argue about it now.  (Seriously though, I've had my thyroid checked a zillion times and it's always been normal...seems awful strange that it suddenly turns up wacky now)

Then we were off to the OB (same building, down one floor) where Russ met me for our 4 week check up.  For the first time i wasn't even nervous about them finding a heartbeat because little baby has been letting me know that he/she is in there and active (still only the one true kick, but lots of movement throughout the day).  HB was 150 and she said it was great.  She also said that my the top of my uterus is now at my belly button, so I think that means my belly button should start moving out to reach the rest of my belly soon and I might start looking like a regular pregnant girl.

I specifically asked for an internal exam...She went in and said my cervix was perfectly normal and that everything looked good.  She tested my discharge to confirm that it is not amniotic fluid. =)  She did say that if I notice I'm "leaking a watery substance" I should call.  Umm....yeah, that's why I was nervous last week because I thought I was leaking a watery substance.  I kept asking her how much I should be nervous about and she said "Don't worry unless you're leaking".  Yes, but please define leaking in terms of ounces or something because I'll come in there with one little tiny spot that probably got there after I coughed and peed a little...  The message was clear, though, that I shouldn't worry about leaking but that I can come in any time to get it checked so I guess that should help me for my next round of craziness.  Luckily I have the anatomy scan next Friday and then my 4 week check up in another 4 weeks so I won't really go more than 2 weeks without getting checked in.

They had me make my appointments through mid-June!  Starting in 8 weeks (so I'll be 26 weeks along) I'll start going every 2 weeks!  That seems early, but I don't mind at all.

I am feeling full of joy.  I'm almost out of the denial that this is really happening and I am loving the world that I am entering.  In this world, I am a normal woman expecting a child and all the other stuff is insignificant.  In this world, I barely remember what the anxiety of those trigger shots felt like and the nausea after the egg retrieval is a vague memory.  In this world, I can allow myself to envision Russ and I wheeling our baby in his/her stroller on a beautiful spring day.  In this world, we're a happy little family who had to travel an inconvenient road in order to get here.  In this world, I am almost comfortable revealing these thoughts, but there is still some anxiety in the back of my mind full of "what ifs"...but I'm almost there.  Almost.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Last Hoorah Weekend


So I get home from grocery shopping Friday and Russ tells me to pack a bag, we're going to Atlantic City.  He figured it may be the last time we go for a loooong time.  He had just booked two nights at Showboat and we were off!

Even though I tried to steer clear of the smoking tables (there are plenty of non-smoking sections), I still felt guilty for walking through areas where people were smoking.  I felt like I was being irresponsible...It really wasn't bad though.

Last night, we went to Carmine's Restaurant which a classic NYC place, but there's one in the Tropicana in AC.  The best meal ever!!! Mmmm....  And when we sat down, Russ said that the reason he wanted to take me away is because we never took the time to celebrate the baby and that when he looks back at it all, he realizes that I made the whole process easy for him and he wanted to thank me.  And he said he could never have gone through what we did with anyone else.  And that if anything were to go wrong, he knows that we'd be OK because we have each other.  Aw...I cried.

And last night, I think I felt a true blue KICK!  It wasn't any of this flutter was a thud coming from the inside.  Perhaps an elbow or foot?  For the first time, I made a real connection to the fact that there is a living, growing person in me.  Whoa.

Tomorrow I have a 4 week check u/s (that's 4/16), but I'll get checked out.  I'm feeling very positive and happy...Yay.

Then it's back to work.  Boo!  =)

Friday, April 2, 2010

Catching Up...


Where have I been???? 

I know....sorry.

It's spring break, so I was up in Buffalo with the family.  We got back Wednesday and are enjoying the best weather ever!! 

Maybe you thought I was too busy setting up the nursery or something?  NOT.  My fabulous bloggy friend Cilla has theirs completely done and let me tell you it is a masterpiece (check it out here ).  Girlfriend is only 3 weeks ahead of me, but is light-years ahead in the whole nursery thing.  I feel inspired!  And am still waiting 2 more weeks until our anatomy scan to see what we got cooking before real nursery decisions are made...

Went to the liver specialist yesterday who kindly told me that "I don't need him" because there's nothing seriously wrong and, more importantly, nothing that will impact the pregnancy.  He said I could have always had high liver enzymes and that it could be explained by the small amount of fat (read FRENCH FRIES) around my liver.  He ordered more tests just to be safe but said I don't need him again until after delivery. 

At the lab, they took 16 vials of blood from me!!!  And my flow was just fine, thank you very much.

It was fun to go baby shopping with my mom when I was home, but man!  It is stressful.  (Russ HATES when I use the word stress in relation to baby shopping...he feels with all we've been through, nothing that takes place in a store could cause stress...I get his point and want to clarify that it is "relatively" stressful - relative to NOT having to make 100 decisions regarding safety, colors, size, and design.)  There is just so much to think about.  And I have my baby book with all the safety ratings and info about what's good and what's terrible (Baby Bargains 2010 - thanks for the tip Bridg!), but then I find things I like that are poorly rated and I want to throw something across the store.  We'll get there...

In baby bump news, I'm growing.  I apologize for not being able (by "able", I mean that I'm refusing) to post's really nothing to look at.  Still looks like my pre-PG belly but bigger and basically I look like I'm fat, but not PG at all, though it's coming, I believe.  Frankly I think you'd be fascinated by the whole thing.  I remember being little and the doctor examining my abdomen and commenting on it's unusual shape.  My lower belly (below my belly button) has grown but has always been fat even when I was super skinny...then there's the upper belly (above my belly button) that has started to grow more...It has looked like a typical "spare tire" over the past few years but is now just big and fat.  The deformity comes in when you visualize a beach ball wearing a belt.  Where my belly button is goes way in - and not just the button but the whole waistline area.  It literally looks like it's cinched.  It's moving out little by little but everything else is moving out too so it still doesn't look normal.  So no pics.  Sorry.

I am pretty sure I'm feeling him/her but I request that the baby become more vigorous so that I can be sure.

TMI alert:  Read on only if you are curious about my personal bodily functions.

OK, so there's some "wetness" that is concerning me. I've read that there should be an increase in discharge, but you know me - I can't think anything is normal, right?  The thing is, I don't consider what's happening as discharge.  It's more just wet all the time.  And what does Tracey think it is?  You got it!  Amniotic fluid!  I realize that by now, if it was amniotic fluid, things would have gone really badly but I can't help but wonder.  I know - call my doctor.  I have regular appt Monday so I'm just waiting.  It's not that bad, but I am insisting on an internal to make sure everything is high and tight up there.