Monday, December 7, 2009

35 weeks....almost 36 weeks

I am officially hella big. I catch my reflection sometimes in a window or look at the pictures my hubby took of us in front of the Christmas tree and I am like - WHOA. My belly is a huge protuberance! I think I look kind of ridiculous. I'm not sure why I am so surprised by the size of my belly. I am plenty feckin uncomfortable. I can barely get my ass off the couch. When the husband is home, I have him help me. And if I stand for m more than 15 or 20 minutes, my back is killing me. But sometimes I just look at myself and think "Wow. That's ME."

So I am having lots of contractions. I guess I am in what you call "false labor." They are not very painful, just uncomfortable and they are not particularly regular, but go on pretty much all day. We ended up in Labor and Delivery a week ago. They said I am indeed having lots of contractions (every 2 to 4 minutes that night) but that I am not dilated at all. The doctor said that since I was about 35 weeks, I could go home and just see wait and see what happens. If it had been a week or two earlier they would have admitted me and tried to stop the contractions and given the baby steroids to mature his lungs in case labor had really started. But she said I was in the "you're on your own zone." Which is fine by me.

Then I saw my OB on Thursday and she said I was still not dilated but she felt lots of pressure on my cervix. So everyone seems to think this kid could come tomorrow or in 4 weeks. I'm supposed to stay off my feet as much as possible since I am still technically early. They don't WANT him to come yet, but if he does they seem pretty relaxed about it.

So I am staying off my feet, bored out of my mind. Soon I will have no Newsweeks or Tivo to catch up on. But I'm almost done with all my thank you notes, I've done some internet Christmas shopping, I have folded lots of baby clothes and I'm just trying to rest as much as I can while I can.

And actually I HAVE to rest. I have no choice. The funny thing is, I thought I was tired before....man, I didn't even know what tired was. In the first trimester, I was sleepy. In the second trimester, I had viral labrynthitis (long story) and was sleepy and had vertigo. For about a month in the third trimester I felt pretty damn good. Then I felt sleepy again.

Now I feel a kind of physical exhaustion I have never experienced. I went to the city last weekend to see the show my husband was working on. We had some time to kill before the show so his mom and I walked down to Union Square to pop into a couple of shops. Union Square is three blocks from his theatre by the way. We hit two stores and started back and I literally HAD to stop and rest for 15 minutes before BARELY making it back. I didn't feel like I would pass out or anything, I just felt like at some point my legs would literally stop working and I would just fall down. It was crazy. I mean I knew that pregnant women got tired in the last month or so. And I've always tried to help out my friends when they got to this point and tell them to sit down, relax and all that. But now I know firsthand just how it feels. And its pretty weird.

But I think I am ready to go. The car seat base is in the car. We have narrowed it down to three possible names. My bag is (almost) packed. The baby clothes are washed and put away. The crib mattress should get delivered tomorrow. A friend of mine took some beautiful maternity photos. The husband has someone to cover for him at work when needed.

And I am absolutely dying to meet this baby. I can wait another few weeks of course, but its really starting to hit me how close all this is getting. Soon I will look back on how I feel now and say "The funny thing is, I thought I was tired before..." It may be easy for me to say this now, but I can't wait to feel that way. I have waited so long to feel that way. And now its so close.


Friday, November 6, 2009

31 weeks

Wow. I haven't written since 18 or 19 weeks. Thank you Ines for motivating me to get back to this. Why haven't I written in so long? Not sure exactly.

Its certainly not because I've been too busy - I was laid off from my teaching position in June, finished up my summer job in August and currently work about 3 hours a week for an after school theatre program. And while I thoroughly enjoy my temporary "retirement" (except for the no paycheck and the COBRA payment) and find plenty of delightful ways to fill the hours of my day, I am in no way BUSY.

I don't know. Maybe I have just felt pretty good (mentally anyways). Not too much I need to get off my chest. Once we had the big ultrasound at 18 weeks and saw that everything was going well and that our baby had a big, beautiful brain, my biggest fears were taken care of. I got past that hurdle and felt SO much better.

And while this may seem to contradict what I just wrote, maybe I have also been a little scared to write. Like I could jinx the relatively healthy pregnancy I've been experiencing. Or if I wrote about every wonderful moment, every blissful pregnancy experience, than there would be all these things in writing to haunt me if something bad were to happen. And I am painfully aware of the fact that many of the bloggers that I follow lost their babies late in pregnancy. I can't UNknow that. I can't FORGET about all the experiences I have read about. And its not like I think I can CATCH it or something. But I just can't read the updates every day. I have worked very hard to not let my fears get out of control, I have had to make an effort to stay in the moment and enjoy this pregnancy. Maybe that means I went too far in the other direction - the DENIAL direction. Who knows? So anyways, I haven't read as often and I haven't written at all. Enough of that.

So I don't have time to chronicle the last three months in this one post. But I will give a "31 week" update. As I type this, my baby is wiggling around in my belly. I absolutely LOVE the sensation of feeling him move. First and foremost, it reassures me. Like, YAY! You are still alive and moving around in there! Second, its just the coolest, most amazing feeling. Like nothing else I have ever felt. My husband ask me to describe it, to compare it to something else and I can't. I can't put it into words. Its exciting and brings me peace at the same time. It just feels RIGHT. I simply love it.

Pregnancy symptoms...let's see. I can't wear my wedding rings any more. I only wear flip flops because my feet either don't fit or feel horribly hot and claustrophobic in other shoes. But aside from starting to get a little swollen, I am pretty much just belly pregnant. I look like a basketball with skinny arms and legs sticking out. I still don't feel every well in the morning - little nauseous, little lightheaded. I start to feel better around eleven after I've eaten a couple of breakfasts. I have actually slept well for the last THREE nights in a row! Woo hoo!! Don't get me wrong, I still got up 3 or 4 times to pee and shift my position, but I was able to fall right back to sleep every time. Unbelievable. Here's some TMI: I can't say that I am horribly constipated because I manage to make something happen every day, but lets just say that it is not a good experience. I believe Jenny McCarthy wrote about "hard poops" in her book? I can definitely relate. I pee about three hundred and seventy times a day. My boobs are enormous. Okay. Enormous for ME. My friends (especially the guys) cannot get over it. I have been quite flat my whole life so this is a very new experience. I don't know how people walk around with these things. I finally know how women feel when someone checks out their rack. Not that my husband gets to enjoy them much.....okay.....at all (but that's a whole 'nother post really) - they HURT. ALOT. Still. I tell him he is not even allowed to LOOK at them too hard. What else? The baby room is almost ready to go. Now we just need all the "stuff" to fill it up. My baby shower is next weekend. I still can't believe I'm having a baby shower. Feels surreal. But I am very excited.

So there we are. I think I am having a pretty much normal pregnancy. I am not one of those gals that just feels GREAT and AMAZING, but I can't complain. I am so happy and grateful that my baby is healthy and that I get to experience all these minor discomforts. And I don't have a job. So I can rest and take care of myself ALL DAY. Life is good.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

19 weeks

I am 19 weeks pregnant. My ultrasound was yesterday. The baby looks healthy and we are having a boy. I put those facts in the order of importance. I am so happy and relieved (and maybe a little numb and still processing all this?). I am pregnant with what appears to be a healthy baby boy. Wow.

As the day of the scan got closer and closer, I started getting more and more nervous. I kept telling myself that things have looked good this whole time - I was much more closely monitored this time, I did the full integrated genetic screening and everything came up negative, we saw a skull and brain developing at the 12 week neuchal scan....

But the memories of the 19 week ultrasound with our first pregnancy are burned forever on my heart and my fear of reliving that event or something like it is something I could not completely deny. This was the hurdle I had never gotten over.

So I woke up early yesterday morning and found ways to fill the four hours until the appointment. I checked email and facebook, cleaned the kitchen, did some laundry, and then it was time to start drinking a big glass of water and head on out. This might sound weird, but before I walked out of the house, I sort of took a deep breath and looked around, just taking it all in. Hoping that this wouldn't be my "before." That everything would not have changed when I got back.

As we walked into the medical office, I was thinking how completely different it felt this time. Last time it was freezing cold and my husband and I were talking about snow on Mt. Diablo as we walked in. We were so happy and excited. Blissfully clueless as to what the ultrasound held in store for us. Yesterday, it was over 90 degrees and we couldn't even see Mt. Diablo because of the haze. We nervously held hands, remembering the last time. My husband said "Remember the snow on Mt. Diablo last time? Its so different now. That's a good thing." And I felt so glad to have him there with me, knowing and understanding.

To make a long story short, the baby looks great. We got some beautiful pictures - including a great crotch shot to show the family and friends that we are having a boy! At first the baby was not moving, maybe sleeping, and the technician was able to look at lots of what she needed to. But then he woke up and was moving all around, kicking and reaching for his feet, turning all around. It was amazing to see. After I stopped being nervous, I just watched this little thing on the screen and thought....that's happening INSIDE me. That baby is inside of me.

When she was done getting all the pictures she needed, she said it was time to tell us the sex. Greg had already mouthed and pantomimed to me that he saw boy parts and he said "I already know. Its a boy." And she said "Yup. Its a boy." That is not what I expected. In the last couple of weeks, I had started to feel like maybe it was a girl, even though I hadn't said anything to anyone. But I am not disappointed. I honestly just wanted to know that the baby was healthy. And now I can have my blue baby room without any controversy (everyone thought I was so weird last time because I was going with blue even though we weren't going to find out the sex).

And then we got to leave. I said "We can just go?" I was thinking.... you aren't sending us to talk to a doctor? That's a good thing right? Greg hugged me, again understanding. I just wanted to cry.

The only teeny tiny bump is the fact that I have to go for a follow up. The technician warned us that they might call and schedule another because there was one shot she could not get because the baby was moving around too much. She told me not to worry. The clerk who called to make the appointment told me not to worry. I emailed two of my doctors to ask about it and both of them told me not to worry. So I am not worried (well, only a teeny, tiny bit).

So there you have it. Things are STILL going well. Thank God. Now I need to start to make some plans, buy some things and make a concerted effort to try to ENJOY this more.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

A 2nd Birthday Party

I went to my friends' son's 2nd birthday party today. And it struck me how different I feel this year than I did last year at his party.

His first birthday last year was a huge bash - tons of people, many of whom are mutual friends, both my age and my parent's age. Many of my de facto "family" and oldest and dearest friends. My husband had to work so I was on my own. Now, he has to work lots of nights and weekends, so over the years, I have gotten very used to going to events by myself, and except for wishing that he didn't have to miss so many dinners/parties/etc, I usually have no problem going alone.

But since we lost the baby, there are certain kinds of events that I really don't like going to alone. Namely kid birthdays and baby showers. Having him there would mean that I wouldn't be the only one at the party that had "lost a baby." That SOMEONE there would know how shitty that event was for me and I would know how shitty it was for them. Strength in numbers.

So back to one year ago. I was not in a good place. I had a miscarriage in June - which turned out to be a long drawn out process physically in addition to the emotional shit of losing another pregnancy. My body was finally feeling better and I was rejoining the world by mid-July but I was definitely NOT myself. Okay, but not really okay ya know? Two years of trying, two losses and a me I did not exactly recognize anymore.

And I vividly remember sitting on my friend's couch.....my best friend on one side of me, her three month old in her arms.....my sister-in-law on the other side of me, her almost one year old walking around holding on to us and the couch to keep his balance....various other kids running around.....one of the older generation commenting on how wonderful it was to have all these beautiful babies around.

And I sat there feeling so alone. Like if you took a picture of that happy and beautiful scene, I wouldn't even be in it. Or I would be in black in white and everything else would be in color.

Part of it was I was feeling very left behind. Many of my friends were there with their children - chasing after them, changing diapers, trying to get them to sleep - doing all the things I wanted to do so badly. Their lives were moving forward all around me and mine wasn't.

And part of it was that MY baby was supposed to be turning one that month. I looked at my friends' son and I looked at my nephew and thought, my baby should be here too. I don't have those moments very often. But that day it hit me like a load of bricks. It really sucked.

Today, I felt okay. So many people commented on how I'm starting to show and asked me how I was feeling and told me they were thinking of me and glad to hear that things were going well. Its so nice to see people be happy for us and to know that they are praying for us.

And it really struck me that I'm in a very different place now. Partly because time has past and my wounds are healing. But mostly because I'm pregnant. And that's wonderful. It makes sense to me that getting pregnant and making it through the first trimester would make me feel better. But its also scares me a little. No. Scare is too strong a word. I don't know how to describe it. But here's the thing: My happiness is fragile. I'm happy because I am pregnant. Today's party was not awful because I am pregnant - I have moved a few steps forward and it feels good. But it also feels fragile. And that's just the way it is.

I'm not exactly sure where I'm headed with this, or how to put into words what I think I have learned and learned to accept. Maybe I should just leave it at......I feel at peace today.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

15 weeks

So I am 15 weeks along today. According to the weekly email I get, the baby is now 4 inches long, about the size of an apple. Pretty crazy.

I am FINALLY feeling better! I have not felt nauseous at all in TWO OR THREE days!!! I am so happy about this. I'm still pretty tired, especially since I am working full time again (doing a summer theatre program for kids) and not sleeping very well. After laying around doing almost NOTHING for the three weeks after school got out, going back to work was a rude awakening. When I wasn't working, trouble sleeping was no big deal I would take a nap (or two or three). Now I can't take my nap until 4pm. Poor me right?

We had a check up yesterday. I expected to get to hear the heartbeat, but my doctor also did a quick ultrasound. He said, since he had time and we had worked so hard for this.....what a nice guy. It was a quickie, but I saw a big beautiful spine and what looked like a big beautiful skull. The baby had its (his? her?) back to us and seemed to be sleeping. Not too much movement, just a couple of kicks. I saw them, didn't feel them. Although I thought I MIGHT have felt something a couple of times. I'm pretty small, so its possible I could feel something this early or of course, it could be my digestive tract (which is active and inactive at the same time... very attractive).

Our big ultrasound is on August 10. I can hardly wait. I know its NOT (I have read far too many babylost mama blogs), but that feels like the last big hurdle I have to get over. In my experience, its the hurdle I never got over, so getting over it this time will help my nerves. At least I have work for the next few weeks to make the time go by faster.

It feels more real and more okay at this point. I talk about it more - its hard not to, I am really starting to show (and my boobs are getting way bigger - how do you people walk around with these things?!). I feel like I am finally standing in the shallow end of the pool (after only allowing myself to put in my feet), but I'm still not quite ready to put my head under and swim. Wow. That's not a very good metaphor.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Great NT scan!

So I am breathing a huge sigh of relief! The baby tested negative for Down's and Trisomy. Our odds for either condition are very small. And even though this is not a scan to rule out NTD's, after we told her about our first baby, the ultrasound technician said she saw skull and brain developing. She said things look really good. The baby's heart rate was 170 - normal for this age - and measures at 12 weeks and a couple of days. I still have the second blood test, but I am feeling so much better.

That's all for now because I am starving and exhausted. Food and then a nap. Thanks for the good thoughts and vibes ladies. I really appreciate it.

NT Scan today

Our NT scan is this afternoon. And, I admit, I am feeling very nervous. Not for any concrete reason - while I am no longer feeling horrible all day, I still have plenty of symptoms. Constipation, sore boobs, never-ending hunger. No spotting, no horrible cramping. Everything seems fine. Although when I stopped feeling like total shit, I definitely had a moment (okay several moments of...) of why don't I feel shitty anymore?

But now that I am 12 weeks along (you know, almost out of the first trimester danger zone) and showing and almost all my friends know and I find my self resting my hand on my belly and.....its like I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop. I have lost two pregnancies, one at 20 weeks and one at 7ish weeks. The early one was much easier. Not easy, but easier.

And I just have these horrendous memories and feelings associated with an important ultrasound. I didn't have an NT scan for my first pregnancy. My insurance company didn't even offer it then. So the 18 week was my first BIG ultrasound. Now I know its still only 12 weeks, but this NT scan feels like my first BIG ultrasound. We will learn some important things today.

I have not gone around for the last week and a half (since the ultrasound in my OB's office) worrying and stressing and feeling miserable. I feel like I've been pretty good at focusing on the positive and keeping busy. But this very real fear is there in the background and in the these last two days leading up to our appointment today it has presented itself more forcefully. I woke up this morning and my first thought was Everything HAS to be okay today. As in, I don't think I can take it if its not.

Okay. I got it out and now I can go on with the rest of my day.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

10 weeks and counting.....

Wow. Its been a LONG time since I posted. I've been busy and tired and sick. And I guess I haven't felt the need. Or maybe I was trying to keep this pregnancy in perspective and avoiding writing or thinking about it too much. Or a combination of all three.

We had another doctor's appointment today (we've basically gone once a week) - our last at the fertility clinic. Our doctor said the baby is measuring perfectly, placenta looks perfect, heartbeat rate is good (hearing the heartbeat is the most wonderful sound). The baby was moving around A LOT. It was so beautiful. The baby looks like a little bear - really big head, stumpy arms and legs. Its so friggin cute.

At one point, she zoomed in on the side view, and I said, "doesn't this (the top of the head) look flat?" I can't believe I actually verbalized this fear, but I couldn't help it. She said that's how its supposed to look at this point. But she also moved the wand around (very weird feeling...and a little scary when you are so gaseous) to try to get a top down view. It took a minute, but she got a good view and showed us the two hemispheres of THE BRAIN. I just wanted to cry. The backstory here is that our first baby was diagnosed with anencephaly and the doctor told us that basically the brain never developed. So seeing a developing brain today was incredibly reassuring. I love her for doing that for us. She has been telling us the whole time that the odds of having another anencephaly baby were incredibly low. My head knows that. My heart is still so afraid.

So what else? I am off the prometrium since Monday and I must say, I feel like my symptoms are lessening. And no more hideous panty liner stuff - YAY!! (I won't go into detail - those who know, know and those who don't, probably don't want to). I still feel nauseous most of the day, but its pretty mild. I still feel tired, but its not the overwhelming exhaustion I was feeling. Man, I was pretty sick there for a few weeks. I felt like total shit. And I am NOT complaining - THANK GOD I feel this way. But it made dealing with school and putting up one last play production very difficult. Now I have felt a little better for last couple of days and tomorrow is the last day of school. THANK GOD.

We filled out the paperwork today for our genetic screening. I think I will get the blood test next week and the NT scan in the next couple of weeks. My first appointment with my OB is next Tuesday.

Things are progressing and I am starting to feel more okay about all this. Of course, whenever I have a positive though like that, it is followed by the little voice saying "that's when something bad will happen." But I accept that I feel both ways. Its just the way it is. And I think, considering all we've been through, its understandable.

But for today, everything is still okay. And I am so thankful for that.

Friday, May 15, 2009

6 weeks 1 day

Today was our 6 week appointment with my usual doctor (she was on vacation last week).  I was feeling pretty shitty this morning.  I felt good for about an hour after waking up and started to feel like today might be a "feel good" day, but then the nausea reared its ugly head.  And it hasn't left me all day.  That's the thing - I don't get morning sickness.  I get all day sickness.  Now I'm not complaining (exactly).  I am SO GLAD I FEEL LIKE SHIT.  But I definitely feel like shit.

Back to the appointment....I wasn't nervous.  On the drive there, it briefly occurred to me that I didn't feel worried.  It really hit me as I was sitting, naked from the waist down, waiting for my doctor to come in.  I didn't feel butterflies or have worried thoughts racing through my head.  Of course, as soon as I noticed that I WASN'T nervous, that made me feel like, uh-oh...if there's bad news, you won't be ready for it.  The joys of having bad ultrasound memories.

Well we DID NOT get bad news!!!  We saw and HEARD the heartbeat.  As soon as she got the wand in there, moved around a little, I saw the sac.  I had a moment of shit where is the baby and then saw the teeny tiny little blob and flickering - the HEARTBEAT.  I said "I see the heartbeat!"  And my doctor said "Yes you do.  Let's take a listen."  It took her a moment to zero in on it - I didn't even know you could hear the heart beat on the ultrasound machine.  But then she got it and we heard it.  Wow.  Just wow.  It was the most beautiful sound.  Greg and I just looked at each other and smiled.  She said she thinks it probably just started yesterday.

On the way home, I called both of our moms to tell them that it was a good appointment.  They both sounded hugely relieved.  They have watched us go through so much in the last few years.  It feels good to finally have some good news to share.  And they understand that it is still early.  They won't get all koo-koo-krazy about it.  They can take it one step at a time with us.

After we got home and the glow from hearing the heartbeat could no longer hold the feeling shitty at bay, I assumed the position on the couch to watch Grey's Anatomy on DVR.  First of all, HOLY SHIT.  What a great season finale.  Spoiler alert.....when I figured out that John Doe was George, I jumped up and paced around the living room and said "OMIGOD its George."  I scared the shit out of my husband who was working on his laptop at the dining room table.  He really looks down on my Grey's addiction and found it amusing that I would behave in such a fashion about a TV show.  And then when Izzy "died" I flopped my head down on a pillow.  The combined actions of jumping up and flopping my head around, brought on a huge wave a nausea.  Which made my husband laugh.  Mean.

Anyways, or second of all (whatever).....at one point in the show, someone (I already forgot who  because I am already a complete idiot - this happened the first time I was pregnant too.  Can't remember shit.  Again - not complaining.  Being an idiot is totally cool) says something about how there are so few moments of true joy in our lives that, when they happen, you have to stop and really enjoy them.  And I thought, that is so true.

Especially when you are pregnant after losing a baby or having a miscarriage or dealing with infertility.  Those past experiences steal much of the joy of the experience of being pregnant.  The innocent, dance like no one's watching kind of joy, for me anyway, is gone for good.  

But I had a moment of pure joy today.  I saw and heard my baby's heartbeat.  And no matter what happens in the future, that was a wonderful moment.  The word wonderful doesn't even do it justice.

I am still cautious.  Five minutes after the fabulous ultrasound, I asked my doctor about scheduling my level II ultrasound to check for neural tube defects.  When I called our parents, I prefaced the good news, with "its still early, but...."  And I am certainly not heading to Babies R Us to pick out a crib and a stroller any time soon.  

But I figure, I will be crushed if something goes wrong no matter what.  If I completely shut down and allow myself to feel nothing or to feel nothing but fear, I will still be crushed if something bad happens.  So when there are good moments I want to really have them and acknowledge them.  Nothing can take away the joy I felt for a brief moment this morning.  And I am so glad that I am allowing myself to feel it and remember feeling it.  That is not easy for me.

Thank you Grey's Anatomy (I can hear my husband saying OMIGOD....).

********************************************************

My next appointment is on May 27.  Thank God I don't have to wait a whole month for another ultrasound.  The giant cyst I still have ensured that.  I think she wants to monitor it.  

They gave me a picture of it by the way. We have three pictures of the "blob" and one picture of my cyst.  The baby measures 6w1d and the cyst measures 11w5d.  No wonder I look like I am carrying twins.  I admit, the cyst worries me a little.  Like, will that will be the other shoe that drops?  She told me not to worry but to take it easy.

Also, I am supposed to call my regular OB to set up my prenatal appointments for the beginning of June.

Another good day.

Friday, May 8, 2009

So far so good

The doctor's appointment went well.  My usual doctor is on vacation so I saw Dr. G - I really like him.  He is super mellow and has a light German accent.  My husband was like - that guy is great.  I felt so calm listening to him.

He saw one gestational sac and the yolk sac inside.  He said it implanted in the perfect spot.  He said my abdominal pain is probably digestion related and maybe from some stretching already.  Also, I have a two and a half inch cyst on my ovary (which he said not to worry about), so I guess its already crowded in there.  He told me to completely stop drinking coffee (I was still having half a cup in the morning because its helps gets things moving if you know what I mean) and take a laxative if I need to.  Actually the way he worded it was more like, only stop drinking coffee if you want to stay pregnant.  He also said I may want to reconsider taking Qvar for my asthma - to ask my general physician if there is class B medication I can take.  

He said things are looking really good at this point.  YAY!  Our next appointment is next Friday with my usual gal.

I think I smiled my first real smile today about being pregnant.  It was nice.

Feeling a bit nervous

My doctor's appointment is today.  I am only 5 weeks and 1 day pregnant so I know that this appointment is not a HUGE deal.  5 weeks is WAY early.  I'm just hoping we can rule out ectopic, see one perfect little sac in there and then get ready to wait for the 6 week U/S. Waiting.  Waiting.  Waiting.  Yuck.

But I admit that I am feeling nervous.  For one thing, I am pretty crampy this morning.  No spotting or anything, but definitely crampy.  I know this can be very normal for early pregnancy.

However, I'm feeling a little deja vu.  It was almost exactly this same time last year that I found out that I was pregnant.  And that didn't turn out so well.  

Last year we told our family on Mother's Day.  We also told them that things were not off to a great start.  So we were all happy that I had finally gotten pregnant again, but very cautious.  My numbers were low and we were waiting to see what the ultrasound showed.  Then came the ultrasound and then another and then another - never saw a heart beat.  My numbers did not increase like they were supposed to.  Blighted ovum.  I started spotting the Friday of Memorial Day weekend and then came the shitty three weeks I'd rather not get into right now.

Mother's Day is this Sunday.  That's been a tough day for me the last few years.  Although last year, I found some comfort in the fact that I was actually pregnant on Mother's Day.  I think I feel the same way this year.

I'm trying very hard to take this one day at a time.  Today, until the appointment, I will take it one hour at a time.  At this point, I have no reason to worry.  My first two betas were good.  I wish they had taken more, but they didn't because the first couple looked great.  And after the appointment, we'll know a little bit more.  

I feel pretty nauseous and tired, so I think some couch time with The West Wing and/or my book will help pass the time.

By the way, I am really big.  I seriously look like I did when I was three or four months pregnant.  And my boobs are big too.  Well, not BIG, but big for me.  I caught my husband staring at my chest last night (I was wearing a tank top because its gotten warm here again).  He was really GAWKING.  And I said "I know right?!"  I mean, I look pretty pregnant.  And its barely started.  For some reason that makes me nervous too.  

I  guess the point is - I'm fuckin nervous today.


Monday, May 4, 2009

So I didn't start my period....

I just read my last post from a week ago.  I was getting really pissed off because I was certain that my period was coming.

It didn't come.  I'm pregnant.

There I said (wrote) it.  I have not said this to anyone except my husband.  I have not talked about it much with even him.  I have tried not to think about it too much.  Because I am not sure how to process this.  I'm not sure how to feel.  There are two things I am sure of - I am pregnant and I am scared shitless.

Don't get me wrong.  I didn't WANT to start my period.  But I was ready for it.  I know how to deal with that.  I've dealt with that quite a bit.  I'm not as familiar with being pregnant.  Yes, I'm happy, but mostly I am scared and cautiously awaiting the next step.  

A small part of me really wants to throw caution to the wind and say "I'M PREGNANT!!!"  And do a couple of cartwheels and high five the husband.  But the bigger part of me knows that we never get to do that again.  Because of the previous two previous pregnancies.

So I'll just be quietly happy and hopeful.  And give him a knowing smile every now and then and try to control my nerves. 

We've gotten over the first big hurdle.  But I have to be ready for the next one.

*************************************************************

Wed, 4/29  beta 115
Fri, 5/1        beta 259

I have an appointment on Friday because I am having some pain on my right side every now and then.  Could be the combination of eating twice as much as I usually do and the fact that the digestive system has SLOWED WAY down.  But I think they want to check for ectopic.  

So that's my next hurdle.

And mostly I feel okay.  Being a teacher makes the time go quickly and doesn't allow for much time to think during the day.  And then I get home and fall fast asleep on the couch while I watch the news, wake up, eat, and go back to bed.  I can easily get through a few more days of that.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Dammit

Last night I noticed that I am getting a zit and I had cramps that definitely felt like "your period's coming" cramps.

Today I have SUPER light spotting.  But I know what that means.  I'm peeing on a stick tomorrow morning and my blood test is moved to Wednesday because I don't have time to go on Thursday.

I have not totally given up yet.  But I feel some serious anger bubbling beneath the surface.  Not sadness this time.  Anger.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Its a kid party and I'll cry if I want to...

First, my symptoms check........
  Swollen, very sore boobs (I have to wear my "big" bras, which are not really very BIG compared to most gals, but big for me)
Crampy on and off - some sharp, stabbing ones
Bloated on and off
headache last couple of days
tired
lower back pain (uh oh - classic PMS symptom)
These symptoms tell me that I am either pregnant or about to start my period.  No DUH.  I mean really.  Its either one or the other and I just need to get through a couple more days to find out.  But, try hard as I may, I cannot help but analyze and catalogue these symptoms.

Yesterday was my god daughter's first birthday party.  Greg had to work so I went by myself. Now its not REALLY a big deal that I went by myself - these people are like my family - I wasn't exactly worried about wandering around hoping I would have people to talk to.  And, since he works nights and weekends, I go to places by myself quite often.

Its just.  You know.  The KID party.  One of those events where my lack of (living) children is painfully obvious, at least to me, and right up in-my-face.  You know these events.  Birthday parties, baby showers, baptisms.  Even our weekly poker night is a reminder these days. Almost all of our friends have kids or are pregnant.  And when Greg is there with me, at least then we are the infertiles together.

These events are not unbearable for me.  I go, I have some fun, I want to cry once or twice, its over.  I know that there are worse things to have to go through in the world.

But because of where I am in my life and the infertile road I find myself on, these events do kind of suck.  There are some tough moments.  And this time, I couldn't even drink (the whole 2WW thing).

There's the moment when someone says "Its so wonderful to see all these little ones running around" or "I can't believe how many BABIES there are.  Isn't it wonderful?"

There's the moment where everyone is talking about their child or grandchild, you know, the stuff that parents talk about - getting their pictures taken, the first time they walked on their own, how they have a cold - whatever, and I'm just sitting there with nothing to contribute.  I suppose I could share stories about my dog, but its not really the same is it?

There was the moment during present-opening when my friend opened the most adorable little summer dress and tears just sprang to my eyes.  I mean it was so FUCKING cute.  And I really wanted it to be for MY BABY.

There's the moment where my friend looks at the stack of presents they got and says "I guess I'll have to spend all day tomorrow figuring out where to put all of this."  And I'm thinking - I would LOVE to spend my Sunday that way.

Now to be clear, I really don't feel bitter toward my friends who have kids.  I don't feel BITTER about most pregnant women (the octomom kind of pisses me off, but my gut tells me she's crazy, so I feel a tiny bit bad for her too).  My god daughter's mom is one of my oldest and dearest friends and one of the most understanding and sensitive regarding my infertile status.  I don't think she is an asshole for dreading putting away all the gifts.   I just wish I was in her shoes.  Pregnant women, kid events....they just remind me of what is missing from my life.  They just make me feel sad.

So there you have it.  Kid events are tough.  They aren't like having cancer, but they are not easy.  And they seem to be tougher lately.  I feel like I've been to SO MANY of these things since we starting trying and since we lost the baby.  I used to tell myself, its okay, soon this will be you.  Now I'm like, so its still not me.  I really want it to be me.  Although after we spend all our money trying to have a baby, we won't have any left to spend on celebrations.  

Thursday, April 23, 2009

One week left in the 2WW

I will say this for our last cycle - it happened during an incredibly busy time at school and I did not have time to think about waiting to test.  Not as busy this time around and time seems to be draggin.  I have a WHOLE WEEK TO GO.  Boo.

Although not really.  If I'm going to start my period, I usually start before the test date.  Even on prometrium I started spotting 2 days before the test date last time.  And if my boobs stop hurting I know its all over but the testing.

You know the shit of the two week wait?  I could load up the weekends with fun activities, in other words, those involving large amounts of wine or Coronas.  But obviously that is not recommended.  So I remain sober and antsy.  Is it wrong that during the 2WW I always tell myself, well if you're not pregnant, at least you can share a bottle of wine or have a coupla beers next week/this weekend/tomorrow? 

I am by no means a big boozer.  Since trying to have a baby for the last THREE YEARS, I don't drink much at all.  But I do like to drink wine with a good dinner or throw back a couple of beers around the fire pit on a nice night - these are things I really enjoy.  And its not that I really care about not being able to drink.  When I was pregnant, I didn't care one little bit.  Its the not being able to drink for two weeks and then discovering that it didn't matter anyway.  Its the making all these sacrifices (big and small) for NOTHING over and over again.

I don't mean to sound negative because I am actually feeling pretty okay.  Some days it just really strikes me how much has changed and how much I/we have given up and how much other parts of your life get put on hold - all for the baby quest.  And some friends who have children and probably lots of infertiles would say - it will all feel worth it someday.  And I used to believe that wholeheartedly.  I mostly still do.  But now when some friend says that to me-first of all, I want to punch them in the face - but then, I think, it will be worth it IF IT WORKS.

I'm glad there is a new Grey's Anatomy on tonight.  I hope its really emotional, so I can sit on my couch and eat ice cream and get weepy.  That's a good Thursday night.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Just a little update

So today is hump day - over halfway through the week.  Yay!  I am so friggin tired.  This whole working thing is tiring.  I like spring break so much better....

Symptoms - VERY sore boobs, cramps (different than usual by the way), tired (but I feel like I have not been NOT tired since starting this job this year), and I can't make it through the night without a pee.  The bloating has mostly gone away.  I was SO bloated this time, I almost called the doctor - I started thinking I had OHSS.  On Sunday, I told myself if the size of my belly did not decrease by the following morning, I was calling the clinic.  I seriously looked 12 or 14 weeks pregnant.  But the next day I was more the size I was at 10 weeks.  On those couple of days I was the most bloated, I really think of couple of my friends thought I was pregnant.  I caught them checking out my belly, but they were too afraid to ask of course.

I found out some bad news about a blogger I follow.  I am praying for her.  And, I admit, for myself.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Bitter Betty

Okay.  I have two things I need to get off my chest.

First of all, I check my email today and what do I see in my inbox?  An email titled "Your Twenty Month Old" from "My Toddler This Week."  WTF?  After I lost the baby and I received the "Your Baby at 21 weeks" email, I cancelled my Babycenter account, for obvious reasons I think.  This was TWO YEARS AGO by the way.  Since then I have not received any emails from them.  So why the hell did I get this email today?  Two years later?  I'm confused.  And a little bitter.  Thanks for the newsletter that reminds me of all the milestones I am missing.  I don't need the ABC's of toilet training yet you dumbasses and my baby does not have a favorite sleep position that I can interpret.  You suck.  There was a link you could click on that said "Wrong age?"  and I wanted to click on it and tell them, my baby died you asshole.  But I just clicked on unsubscribe.

I still get things in the mail every now and then - Gerber life insurance, coupons for diapers, shit like that.  It used to bug me.  ALOT.  It was like a knife in my heart when I got a box of sample formula or a catalog for baby stuff.  We don't get that stuff as much anymore and when we do I just head straight to the garbage can and throw them away.  And now I only feel a tiny little prick to my heart.  

Okay, on to number two.  I'm home tonight getting ready for going back to school tomorrow after spring break (which I am also very bitter about).  I have Jon and Kate Plus Eight on the TV (a guilty pleasure of mine) and during the break, there is a commercial for a new show.  Its called, get this...."I Didn't Know I was Pregnant."  Are you fucking kidding me?  Just seeing the commercial with those stupid women in labor and saying "I just couldn't believe it" seriously pissed me off.  I mean, how in the hell do you not know you are pregnant until your water breaks?  Unbelievable.  What ignorant bliss that must be.

At least these things make me bitter and sarcastic instead of weepy.  Sometimes its nice to feel pissed instead of sad right?  And these two things today did not make me feel sad, they made me want to cut someone.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Cramp, cramp, crampy...

I am so crampy.  What does this mean?  When I was crampy on Wednesday, I thought good, impending ovulation.  When I was crampy yesterday, I thought, of course, today was the IUI and I am (hopefully) ovulating.  I woke up this morning without any cramps and thought good, I must have ovulated yesterday, maybe we timed it just right this time.  

But soon after getting up, the cramps quickly returned and by this afternoon they were pretty bad again.  I don't remember this from last time.  I need to go back and reread my posts from last time.  Or maybe I should just chill out and not try to analyze every cramp, sore boob, and feeling of nausea.  Easier said than done.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

The eagle has landed...

IUI #3 is complete.  We got home, ate burritos and chips & salsa, watched The Office on tivo, husband left for work and now I shall read and take a nap.  I am  thinking "fertile" and "please just fekking fertilize one of these goddamned eggs" thoughts.

Before I go.....about these cramps.  I mean, WTF?  I have had some pretty bad cramps yesterday and today.  A couple of BLINDING, I feel like I might pass out moments.  The doctor told me this is a good sign and to take Tylenol every 4 hours.  I have been taking the Tylenol, but in my experience, Tylenol does not do the job on bad cramps.  Hence, my plan to sleep through a few hours of this.

If I am this bloated and crampy with two or three eggs, how the hell do people stimming for IVF do it?  Don't some people retrieve like 15 or 20 eggs?  They must get them out before they are mature right?  Or do people go around looking 6 months pregnant?  Now, I am not a big person - in fact, I am what Joy Behar of The View would refer to as a skinny bitch - so a little bit of bloating is pretty noticeable on me.   But if I am this bloated with only 2 or 3, I would seriously look like I had a small sumo wrestler in my pants if I had 15 or 20 eggs cooking.

I am not feeling BAD today, but if I am honest, I am not feeling GOOD.  I definitely feel like this will not happen too many more times.  I do not enjoy this process.  Maybe I'm just a big ol' whiner, but if so, than that's who I am.  I am trying to stay positive, but it seems to get harder. And I know its taking a toll on my husband too.  We have done IUI three times now and today felt different -  I don't know.  We knew what to expect, we had our little morning routine.  But it just felt more.....I don't know.....tired?

Hopefully , this IUI worked and I won't have to find out what it feels like to have double digits worth of eggs growing.  I'm keeping my finger crossed.  And, I know I said this last time, but I actually feel pretty good about this.  There is a good chance this worked.  Two or three (maybe four, but probably not) good eggs, good sperm sample, good timing, four days of no stress and plenty of time to rest.....I still have hope.

IUI #3 Today

We're getting ready to head out for IUI #3.  I've been up since about 5am - I had trouble sleeping last night.  Mostly because I had to pee three times during the night - I love how I get to experience the inconveniences of early pregnancy (peeing, BLOATING, cramping, nausea) during the "trying to get pregnant" phase.  

I was SO bloated yesterday - I literally looked the same as I did when I was about 4 months pregnant.  At one point, I found myself resting my right hand on my belly as I switched back and forth between American Idol and  rerun of the Rock of Love finale.  It reminded me of being pregnant - in a good way.  

So here is out IUI routine we have developed:  We go to the lab for the sperm wash (they don't have one onsite at my RE's office).  I wait in the car and read - sexy right?  Then we go to breakfast at this little place near the lab.  Maybe pickup a few things at Target. We go back to the lab and pick up our deposit an hour or two later and then head to my doctor's office for the basting.  Home before noon!  Let's hope this works...


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Sisterhood Award

clevergirl nominated me for the Sisterhood Award - thank you so much!  I have seen this logo on many other blogs and was touched to see my name on her list of nominees.

Finding this blog world of babylost mamas and women battling infertility was such a random blessing - I found a blog when I googled the fertility drug I was about to start taking and then just kept clicking on links and reading and linking and reading and reading and reading.....I had finally found people LIKE ME.  Because I am not nearly as eloquent as many of the women I read, I'll just have to say:  I AM SO GLAD I FOUND THIS PLACE AND THESE PEOPLE.  

Writing and reading here has made things a little better.

And though I may not be much of a commenter/establisher of online relationships (in fact, some of these ladies may be thinking - who the hell is this leahjane8 chick?), I am a loyal reader/lurker.  And this seems like a nice way to let you guys know that you have had a positive impact on my life.  Thank you to all these wonderful ladies (and many more) who have helped me along my journey by sharing their stories.








Amy 


Sunday, April 12, 2009

Show and Tell - Easter

The husband and I went over to his mom's house for Easter breakfast and hunting eggs with our nephews.  G's brother and sister-in-law live with his mom so all holiday mornings are held at her house.  We had a lovely breakfast and then headed out to hunt for eggs with the kids.

The Easter bunny brought the boys matching big wheels in addition to the usual eggs and baskets.  Above is my five year old nephew trying his out.  Below is my 20 month old nephew and me looking for eggs.  Today was one of those days when I was painfully aware that my baby would have been hunting for eggs with her cousin.  My sister-in-law and I were due only days apart so, every now and again (although it seems like it happens more and more lately) when I look at my youngest nephew I have those "she would have been..." thoughts for a moment.  
I love both my nephews, but the little one has a special place in my heart.

After breakfast, the husband had to go to work, so I hung out and played with the kids for a while.  Then I headed home, took a very long nap, sat out in the sun and read my book and now I am getting ready to go out to dinner with my parents.  It was a pretty nice Easter.

Go see what the other kids are sharing at Mel's 

Friday, April 10, 2009

Feeling a little blue

So I stayed home sick AGAIN today.  That's a total of FOUR DAYS this week.  Yikes.  But I refuse to feel guilty.  I went to school yesterday and felt like shit all day.  My mom brought me McDonald's last night for dinner (its what I crave when I'm sick- weird right?), took one look at me and told me to stay home.  She said I looked awful and I should just call in sick and not feel bad about it.  So that's what I did.  I always do what my mother tells me (she would laugh uproariously at that).  I would feel more guilty if it wasn't spring break next week.  After a week off, the kids won't even remember that I was absent. 

So I'm avoiding the guilt, but not the blues.  I'm feeling blue because I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired, I'm bored (I have no good books waiting to be read, no good shows left on my tivo, no movies I haven't watched), my stomach really hurts where I did my injection last night and to be honest, I'm feeling ambivalent about this cycle.  Why?

A few days ago, I found out that a babylost mama whose blog I follow is pregnant (actually, SEVERAL bloggers I follow have found out they're pregnant in the last couple of weeks - I figure, I've got be next, right?  Ha, ha).  And she posted a picture of herself and her husband and they looked so HAPPY.  I mean seriously BEAMING.  And as I looked at the picture and read her posts, I thought "I would be so scared."  I would be so scared and cautious and not able to go to the happy place yet.  She even wrote about that and said how she was trying to stay in the moment and enjoy being pregnant right now - lord knows she is not naive, but she said she was trying to enjoy the moment and take it one day at a time - and I was really impressed with that. I think that is a fabulous attitude.  I'm just not sure I could do it.  It really made me think about the next step.   I spend so much time and energy getting through TRYING to get pregnant, I rarely think about how scared I will be if I ever get pregnant again (which I still believe I will). Its like jumping from the frying pan into the fire.

And then today I read her most recent post.  She has had some bleeding.  And I was like - FUCK.  No. No. No.  Do not do this to this woman.  Do not let this happen. 

And of course because I am totally self-absorbed in this whole trying to get pregnant thing, it becomes about me.  That could happen to me.  Again.  I could go through all this stress, spend all this money, get all crazy on hormones - for what?  Well, most likely - to not get pregnant. Again. And if I do get pregnant, then I have to STAY pregnant......with a healthy baby.  Which I have not thus far been good at.

I read the blogs of women who have done numerous IUI's, several IVF's, lost many more than I have and they still keep trying.  And they don't seem to bitch about things as much as I do. How do they do it?  Am I up to this?  I'm not sure I can do this for another year or two.

*****************************************************************************
Okay - my mom just came over to take my dog for a walk, so I stopped writing to chat with her for a minute.  Then I went back and read what I wrote.  Pretty negative.  I think she interrupted what was destined to be a very pathetic litany of what if's and why me's.  

But I have to say, I feel better already.  I don't know if its that's I put the negative feelings on paper (metaphorically speaking) and got them out of my system for the moment or if the hormones are making my mood swings shift rather quickly.  Maybe a combination of both.

Its okay that I feel negative sometimes and this blog is the place to write about the bad days and the fears and the doubts.  And, if I'm honest, I'm NOT sure I can do this for much longer. And that's okay.  I'll do it as long as I can.  

And when I get pregnant, I will be afraid.  And that's okay too.

I try to take this whole process one day at a time.  But sometimes, its more like, one hour at a time.  Or when you're on high doses of hormones, one minute at a time.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Nasal spray okay

Three posts in one day is definitely a record for me.  I squirted that shit up my nose and it was fine.  Okay.  I had to call my friend Stacy for a little pep talk, but then I did it.  

Wait a second

Okay.  I just found the drug info sheet for Synarel in my giant bag of medications.  Under side effects it reads: "Nasal irritation, hot flashes, headaches, mood swings, decreased sexual interest, muscle pain, vaginal dryness, acne or decrease in breast size may occur in women."  Excuse me?! DECREASE in breast size?  One of the few benefits of all these fertility drugs has been an INCREASE in the size of my naturally SMALL boobs.  Granted, the pain that accompanies the increase in size makes the value purely cosmetic (poor husband has been told many times to keep AWAY from them).  

But now they might shrink?  This is just fucking great.

I hope the 3rd time's a charm

I started my period yesterday afternoon, so I went in to see my doctor today to get started on this new cycle.  I was finally feeling a little better today, after feeling downright shitty for the previous 2 days (I have missed THREE days of school and successfully avoided feeling guilty - only because I felt so sick - although I dread going back tomorrow - any teacher knows what its like to go back to school after three days of subs...at least next week is spring break).

So here is the plan for this cycle:  

I start Synarel tonight.  This is a nasal spray that my husband says the doctor said is to "antagonize" my ovaries.  Now, I admit I am not feeling well and even when I feel fine I can never remember everything she tells me.  But I'm pretty sure she is not giving me any medication to "antagonize" my ovaries. Considering my ovaries are a big part of the problem, I don't think we should do any thing to piss them off.

I looked Synarel up on the internet when we got home and apparently it is used to suppress ovarian function.  My doctor did say that last time she thought I possibly went too fast - my eggs matured very quickly and we may have had timing issues with the IUI or my lining may not have been ready. So I guess this is to suppress ovarian function/ovulation until the trigger? Whatever.  All I know is....that after needles, nasal spray is next on my list of things I hate.  I suppose next month they will need  me to use some sort of fertility eye drops or fertility toothpaste and then all the things I fears or dislike will be wrapped up in this delightful process.  I'll do it, but I will also bitch about it.

I'm not on Gonal f this time.  She switched me to a combo of Bravelle and Menapur.  3 amps of Bravelle and 1 amp of Menapur starting tomorrow night for 4 nights.  I also got my very own Sharp's container for all my used needles.

And in addition to the prenatal vitamins that I've been taking for THREE years now and the high doses of folic acid I've been on since the anencephaly, I got a new vitamin today - Folgard, which is a combination of folic acid, B6 and B12.  Apparently I have an abnormality or mutation in my MTHFR gene which could be part of the anencephaly/miscarriage problem.  And apparently taking high doses of these B vitamins may help.  There seems to be some disagreement out there about the MTHFR gene and its effects on pregnancy, but everyone seems to agree that taking more B vitamins won't hurt, so I add a new vitamin to my regimen

I walked out of the pharmacy with a shopping bag full of drugs and needles and other paraphernalia.  I really felt like the other people in line were staring at me - they must have thought I was VERY ill.  But at least it was cheaper than last time.  These hormones are cheaper and my doctor is wonderful (I won't explain exactly what that means even though I'm sure my insurance company's spies aren't reading this or anything - let's just say, I love my doctor and since she found out I am only covered 50% and getting laid off at the end of the year, she has been trying to keep costs down for us).

Okay, so I need to go lay down.  I have been upright for over an hour and it seems to have tired me out.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Show and Tell - Spring is here!

*Okay, so I am a little technologically challenged and have very little patience.  Which is why my pictures are here at the top of my post instead of at the bottom where I wanted them.  I spent about 5 minutes trying to figure out how to move them and decided they are fine right where they are.*

This jasmine is in the front yard, right outside the door.  It has exploded with blooms and smells FABULOUS.  The minute I get out of the car, I smell it.  Every time I walk outside, I stop for a minute and just SMELL it.  I can even smell it when I am sitting in the back yard.  It.smells.so.freakin.good.




This Japanese Maple was a gift from our close friends after we lost the baby.  I LOVE Japanese Maples and they are most beautiful this time of year.   Its grown quite a bit in the last two years - at some point, its going to outgrow that pot and I don't know what to do then.  I can't stick it in the ground here, because I don't think I could ever leave that tree and I don't plan to live in this house for long (although thanks to the housing crash, I may have to).  I just feel like that tree has to be with me forever, you know?  Its what I have of my baby. 



(Remember, this is supposed to be BEFORE the photos)

So I've read the Show and Tell's for several weeks - never posted anything, but really enjoy reading other people's posts.  I decided that this week, I would post something.

I have been in a major funk for weeks, if not months.  Two year anniversary of losing the baby, a job that is incredibly STRESSFUL and that I hate on most days, two failed IUI's, husband working nights and weekends so we rarely see each other, getting tired of rain and fog and winter.....blah, blah blah.....the list goes on and on.

But last Sunday, I felt really good.  The sun was shining, the flowers were blooming, the birds were chirping - I felt really happy and GOOD. I just walked around with this stupid grin on my face feeling A-O-KAY.  And you know how when you have been feeling bad and then you come out of it and you start to feel good, only then do you fully realize how bad you were feeling before? (I apologize for the boring adjectives and horrendous grammar). Don't get me wrong, I didn't float around all week like some insanely happy Disney character - I'm not that guy.  But I felt noticably different - better.  

Spring is here, the sun is back and I am so glad.

*OKay, so I hope I did this right.  Here is the link to the Show and Tell list.  





Saturday, April 4, 2009

So I don't have much time to write during the week, and since not much has been going on in the fertility department (or the INfertility department as it were...), I have not posted in a while.

So what's new with me?  Just waiting for Auntie Flow so we can get started on another injections/IUI cycle. Based on my calculations, she is due in the next few days.  Its funny, for about a year and a half, I could have told you on any given day, what cycle day it was, how many days DPO, how many days until my period....thanks to fertility friend I kept very careful track.  Since we have started ART, I do not keep day-to-day track of things.  Just the first day of my last period - the doctor keeps track of everything else.  

But now that The Wiz is done and I am just WAITING, I feel like "come on already...let's get going."  Of course there is the SMALLEST of chances that I could be pregnant.  Before the husband left for his business trip, we, well, you know.  I happened to go see my doctor the next day and she said I was just about to ovulate.  So who knows?  Let's just say, I'm not getting my hopes up.  But that one in a million chance is keeping me from welcoming my husband back from his trip in proper fashion - poor guy.  But since the miscarriage, there has not been much action in our house in the 2ww, JUST IN CASE.

Monday, March 30, 2009

One to go...

Today is the last day of the third quarter.  Only one to go.  I cannot express how good that makes me feel.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

I love today.

I had to stop in the middle of my cleaning to knock out a quick post.  I thought to myself - so much of what I write is negative or sad or frustrated, that as I run around my (now) clean house, with the windows open and the sunshine pouring in feeling really GOOD - I should go put this in writing.

Now, since the purpose of this blog is to help me get through what has proved to be the long and arduous task of having a baby, I understand that most of my posts will be of the more negative variety.  Its when I feel down that I have the need to write.  So its cool.  I feel no need to be Sally Sunshine all of the time.  

But today is a good day.  The sun is shining.  My lavender is blooming.  I am going to get a pedicure - one of my FAVORITE things to do.  My huge zit is gone.  My house is clean. A woman whose blog I follow is pregnant.  The Wiz closes tonight.  A new Cooking Light is waiting to be read.  Since I am not pregnant or in the 2 week waiting, I will drink some wine tonight after the show.  I don't have ANYTHING I have to do tomorrow.

I love today.  And tomorrow looks pretty good too.


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Renewed determination

So I stayed home sick today - I seem to have caught the bug half of my cast had during Tech Week.  Although I started to wonder if I was having symptoms from another cyst - headache, fatigue, nausea, a little woozy... That's how I felt after the first IUI that resulted in a not-insignificant cyst.  

So I emailed my doctor this morning to see if she could get me in and she did.  I had not been in to see her since the negative pregnancy test - there simply was no time.   We had decided that starting another round of injectables during Hell Week was not something I could handle.  So this is a month off.  Anyways....I haven't written a post for so long, I didn't go in to see my doctor at the start of my current cycle, I had to take a month off, I haven't even felt bad about not being pregnant....all because I was SWAMPED with trying to get my show open. Which I did with great success by the way!

Now that the show is open and the rest of the school year should be do-able (not EASY mind you but nowhere near as stressful as it has been), it is back to "trying to have a baby."  And, for the moment at least, this is very exciting and I feel renewed determination.

So at the appointment today, she gives me an ultrasound - I do not have a cyst.  Yay!  Guess I just have some virus.  She also said it looks like I am about to ovulate (on my own - no drugs!), so we could do an IUI if we wanted.  Sadly, the husband is in North Carolina for a week so that's not going to happen.  But the good news is, my left ovary is about to ovulate - we had started to worry a little that my left was not working, but it appears to be okay, at least in this cycle.

She also said she thinks we should stick with IUI a little longer.  Which made me breathe a huge sigh of relief - I know that IVF may very well be in our future, but I certainly wouldn't start that until school was out and I'm not sure my head is ready for that step.  This gives me a couple more cycles of trying during the school year - I won't feel like I have to put the most important thing in the world on hold any longer because of my stupid job.  We'll get to keep trying.  And if we need to go on to IVF, I can think it through in the summer.

What else?....  She wants to put me on Menapur next time instead of Gonal F because she thinks I go too fast on the Gonal and maybe my lining is not ready for it.  And she said we could do back to back inseminations to cover any timing issues.  The husband was not too happy to hear that, but he'll make it work.

I also asked her about my nagging fear that something is wrong with my eggs - like maybe ALL of them.  I have had two unsuccessful pregnancies and a very hard time getting pregnant when supposedly everything else is just right - my husband's sample, my lining, the number of eggs, my ability to carry, etc.  I told her I also realize that this may just take awhile and I haven't given up or anything, but I do have this fear.  It may not be rational, but its there.  So she ordered a blood test - I'm embarrassed to say that I can't remember what for, I should have had her write it down - MTA or something?  But I know its something to check the quality of my eggs.  

And, get this - she said that I should call when I start my next period and come in for a "talk." They won't charge me the $130 for a "talk."  But she is still going to "make sure" that I actually ovulated and don't have another cyst.  Get my drift?  What a nice woman.  

So, even though I don't feel well today, it was a good day.  The sun is shining.  I wore flip flops for the first time this year.  They played good music on the radio as I drove to and from the doctor.  I do not have a cyst.  And we are going to get a few more half-price IUIs out of my insurance before I stop working for this district.  And tomorrow is already Wednesday...

Let me finish by saying that I do feel like kind of an a-hole for being so excited about losing my job - did I mention that I was pink slipped?  When there are hundreds of thousands of people around the country dreading losing their jobs, I was so happy to see that envelope come certified mail.  But, terrible economy aside, the husband and I had decided that this job is just TOO MUCH.  Financially, we will be okay in the short term - not sure about the long term. Maybe we are crazy for taking this risk, but we are going to do it.  I will not go back to this job or this school even if they ask me (which they probably will).  And that makes me feel so much better.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Its official - IUI #2 is no go

So I already knew this.  The minute my boobs stopped being sore, I knew there was no way.  Not sure how I feel about it.  Don't have time to feel horrible and fall apart - maybe that's a good things.  

I know I really want it to be Friday so I can have a night when I don't have to go to school the next day.  And I could use a few Coronas....I'll have to figure out the rest later.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Test today

So I get tested today - to find out the result of IUI #2.  As if I don't already know.  Spotting yesterday and still this morning, boobs no longer sore, cramping and back pain.  I think the prometrium is the only thing keeping me from a full blown period.

And the weird thing is, I don't feel mad or sad.  Maybe because I still hold out a glimmer of hope, maybe I am just getting used to this, or maybe its because of this heinous job I have.  These next two weeks will be the most stressful of the whole year (the show opens next Friday) - I am literally working from morning til night.  I can't fall apart for even a second until March 21 because I don't have time.  

I'm willing to do ANYTHING to have a baby.  That is my number one priority.  But I have this job that holds me back from truly taking care of myself in that regard.  I'm not going back for the next school year - of that I am SO sure.  But these three and half months until summer vacation still seem so long.  I RESENT them.  I try not to do a daily countdown because that makes me feel worse.  I think I'll start the countdown at about 30 days left.... 

I told Greg that I wished I was pregnant and had to be put on bed rest because then I wouldn't have to go to work.  How pathetic is that?  I mean, obviously I want to be pregnant for many reasons, but I was actually thinking - maybe two or even three eggs took and I will be forced on bedrest for the first trimester....  Forced?!  HA!!!  Willing to run the risk of multiples because I hate my job?  Nice.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Two Years Ago Today

Two years ago today I lost my baby.  We found out on February 27 about 20 weeks into the pregnancy that our baby had anencephaly and would not live.  I guess technically February 27th is the day that the world fell out from under me.  But March 7 is the day my baby died and this is the date that has such meaning for me.  

This is the date that signifies "before."  Before we lost the baby.  Before I had ever known such pain and loss and grief.  Before we struggled so hard to get pregnant again.  Before we learned there were fertility problems.  Before we had a second loss - a miscarriage at 7 weeks.

I started a journal on my laptop on February 28, 2007.  I have never been much of journal writer.  I had diaries as a kid that I would start and stop over the years, but that's about it.  But when I found out that I would lose my baby, I felt like I needed to get some of what I was feeling out of me.  I had to write.  I was too numb to talk yet, but I couldn't just keep all that pain and confusion in my head.  I felt like I would explode.  So I wrote some things in a word document on my laptop (I don't think I even knew blogging existed at the time).

Here are some excerpts from what I wrote:

February 28, 2007

We found something in the results and you need to see Dr. B in the other building.  The ultrasound technician handed me a post it note with his name on it.  I felt the blood instantly drain from my face.  They don't send you to the doctor straight from the ultrasound for a good reason.  Greg and I started to walk down the hall.  This can't be good I said.   I don't know baby he said and took my hand.  My heart was pounding in my chest.

I started thinking....what could it be?  Is the placenta too close to my cervix?  The technician said she was checking for that.  Is it spina bifida?  Downs?  I don't want that - that will be so difficult.  Maybe I have a tumor in my uterus or my bladder.  Please let it be me.  Please let me have a tumor.

We check in at the women's center.  They ask for my copay.  I think but we're just talking to the doctor.  Would they really make you pay to hear bad news?  We sit in the waiting room holding hands.  It feels like an eternity.  Every time the door opens, my heart jumps.  Every other woman waiting is called.  I really start to believe that they would not make me wait this long if it was something serious.  It must have something to do with the placenta.  Maybe I'll be put on bed rest or have weekly appointments.

Finally a nurse calls my name and takes us to a room.  I sit on the exam table and Greg sits in a chair next to me.  We keep holding hands not saying anything.  I want to ask him...what could this be?  What could be wrong?  Why are they taking so long?  But I know he doesn't know and I don't want to upset him.  And if I say these things out loud my fears will be real before they have to be.  We wait for another eternity but it is only ten minutes.  Every footstep outside the door stops my heart, but they just keep walking by.

Finally the doctor comes in.  He is a nice looking man and his face tells me that he has bad news.  He looks like he feels sorry for us.  He introduces himself and sits down in front of me.  I don't remember all of what he said, only bits and pieces.  I remember hearing....anencephaly....a neural tube defect...about 1 in 1000....the brain never developed.  He puts his hands up to his skull to demonstrate and I think oh my God, my baby only has half a head?  It is a fatal condition...the baby would only live a few hours, or was it days, after delivery.  They didn't know until the ultrasound because everything else develops fine.  But I remember seeing two arms and legs.  The baby waved, put her left arm up to her forehead like Greg does when he sleeps.  We saw the heart beating, the four chambers of the heart, the face.  Everything looked fine.    The doctor says they don't really know why this happens.....could be a lack of folic acid.  
But I did that.  I took prenatal vitamins.  I'm not an idiot.  He says he was on the phone calling another doctor, trying to schedule a D&E.  Its a very specialized procedure.  Some women choose to carry to full term, but he doesn't recommend that.  Waiting increases the danger to me.  He hands me two paper towels because there is no Kleenex in here.

I don't remember much else until we get outside.  Its raining.  I hate walking in the rain.  But now I don't care.  Greg says he's driving me home.  Right.  We drove here separately.  I can't say anything.  This cannot be real. Everything feels heavy and foggy, like a dream.  When I get in the car I think....last time I was in here everything was different.  I was so excited and happy.  I can  picture Greg standing by his car as I drove up.  We walked into the hospital holding hands, talking about the snow on Mt. Diablo and how I had to pee so bad even though I didn't drink as much water as they told me to.  Greg gets in the car and starts crying.  We hug.  I ask him if he is okay to drive home.

It rains all the way home.  I keep seeing that little hand waving at me.  Seeing Greg smile at me and our baby on the ultrasound monitor.  I will never forget these images that for a moment were so wonderful and happy and now are so painful and sad.  A couple of times I think that this must be a mistake.  This just cannot be happening.  In the span of a couple of hours everything has changed.

I remember the dreams I had.  I'm scared to remind Greg of this as if it somehow makes it my fault.  I hadn't told him exactly what I dreamt anyway, just that I had a bad dream about the baby.  I dreamt that something was wrong with the baby's head.  I had woken up and told myself to relax, all pregnant women worry, have bad dreams.  Only now something IS wrong with my baby's head.

I had finally stopped worrying about the pregnancy.  I had finally started to feel good again, well enough to get excited and make some real plans.  I feel bad because I was so sick and unhappy for the first trimester.  I did not like being pregnant and I complained a lot.  I wanted to skip the whole pregnancy thing and just have a baby.  I shouldn't have complained.  I didn't understand then  Now I do.

Finally we are home and sitting on the couch in silence.  We go back and forth between crying and just sitting.  I think we need to call our moms.  But I don't want to yet.  As soon as we do, as soon as I say the words out loud to someone, its out there, its really true.  Other people will know.  We will have to tell everyone and I don't know if I can bear this.  I have to call my mom.  As soon as she hears my voice, she knows something is very wrong.  She is coming over.  I don't know what to do.  I am so tired.  And starving.  What do we do now?

March 1

I google pregnancy loss.  There are many websites.  All seem to list pregnancy loss as miscarriage, stillborn or neonatal loss.  None of those are me.  I find a website for anencephaly support and go there.  This is a website for women who choose to carry their baby to full term. The website counsels you and offers you support to complete the pregnancy.  Many of these websites are religious and don't consider mine a valid choice.  How can that be?  Half of anencephaly babies die in utero.  A quarter die minutes after birth.  A quarter might live a few days.  Is my choice not valid?  It doesn't even feel like a choice to me.  I never even considered the alternative until I see these websites and read these stories.  But I know this decision is right for me.  I ask Greg if it is right for him.  Thank God we agree on this.

March 2

I start looking at adoption websites.  I find Justin & Brian's page and imagine what Greg and I would put on ours, what would we say, what pictures would we choose.  I am thinking this and my baby isn't even dead yet.

March 6

Today is my pre-op and I think I am scared.  I was in bed last night watching TV and I started to feel very anxious and worried that I would have trouble sleeping so Greg got me some Tylenol PM.  Even still, I woke up several times, heart pounding, thinking I was late for my appointment.

Since last week (its been a week now...it feels like only an hour and a month at the same time), whenever I think about the procedure today and the surgery tomorrow and I am relatively calm.  Which you wouldn't expect from me.

I'm the person who almost left the hospital, had to call Kathleen to talk me down and then sat sobbing in the waiting room when I had to have my first blood test in college.  My only experience with surgery was when I had an infected spider bite.  It wasn't even real surgery, it was a procedure in the doctor's office.  I was only about 9, but my mom AND a nurse had to hold me down.  As an adult, I would get anxious for two days before a Pap Smear.  I pay extra for the gas when I get a cavity filled.

But I don't feel panic this time.   I will come out of this alive.  My baby will not.  What's going to happen to my baby is so much worse than what is going to happen to me.  I can take it.  I am the mother and I have to be strong for my baby.  Plus, they gave me good drugs....

The pre-op was okay.  I had taken an anti-anxiety pill and two Vicodin so I was pretty out of it.  Dr. B is so nice.  He talks to me as he puts the laminaria in my cervix - 8 little sticks of seaweed that will help me dilate in preparation for tomorrow.  He explains that they will each get to be about the size of a pencil.  Holy shit - eight pencils in there?  He keeps the conversation light.  At one point he says how this kind of reminds him of The Simpsons when they are working in the nuclear plant - the nuclear rods, you know?  I look over at Greg like - Seriously?  Because that's not at all what it reminds me of.  It is kind of funny though.  I appreciate that he is talking about something and that we aren't doing this horrible thing in silence.

March 8

So its over.  

I don't remember anything from the surgery.  I was put under anesthesia.  I started to come to as they were rolling me out and I think asked the nurse if it was a boy or a girl.  And if it was definitely anencephaly.  I'm not sure I made much sense, but she understood me and told me it was a girl and it was definitely anencephaly.  Then I was out again.  I come to again in recovery an ask her the same two questions.  And then I was out again.

When I finally wake up, Greg is sitting on my left, holding my hand.  I tell him I think the nurse told me it was a girl and he says he knows, the doctor told him.  I am so glad he is here.....

March 18

Some "its been two weeks" thoughts:
  • This is the hardest thing I have ever gone through
  • I still can't quite believe my baby is dead.
  • I am so thankful that Greg is my husband and partner.  He is the best support and I just love him so much.  I cannot imagine going through this without him.
  • We have a wonderful family and incredible friends.  I knew that before, but something like this really reminds me in a very concrete way.  I am overwhelmed by the love and support that we've gotten.  It has made this more bearable.  People don't know what to say, they feel helpless - I would too.  But a phone call, an email, flowers, a meal make a world of difference.  I have learned much from my friends in the last two weeks.
  • I'm not only sad for myself, but my heart breaks for husband.  And I am so sad that our parents are so sad.  And I can't imagine how my brother and sister-in-law must feel (we were due almost the same day).
  • We will have another baby.  At this point (and I keep going back and forth), I want to try again.  But I am willing to adopt.  We will have another baby one way or another.
  • I don't think this "happened for a reason."  I think sometimes, things just happen.  And there was nothing I could have done to stop this.  Some things are out of our control.  And I hate that.  But I accept it.
  • I am going to be okay.

Back to 2009.  So here I am two years later, remembering the worst days of my life.  Why?

Because in a strange way it makes me feel better.  As I type this and remember, it makes me cry a lot and even smile a little.  I have not shared most of these details with anyone except my husband.  And even though not many may read here, part my story is now out there.  And that makes me feel better.

And because I am still a childless mother.  I have lost another and I have struggled and struggled to get pregnant.  This place is where I still find myself.  But I know that even if I wasn't still a childless mother, that in the future when I have living children, I will always stop on this day and remember my first baby.  She deserves that.  She was a life and she mattered.

After we lost her and I went to message boards and found other people like me and read their stories, I saw that many people named their lost babies.  I admit, at first I thought that was a little strange and decided it was not for me.  We had a girl's name picked out, but I felt like I didn't know HOW to name her.  I had no birth certificate, no grave.  Its not like I would refer to her as her name if and when I talked about with people.  I didn't feel like I really needed it.  It was enough to think of her as just "my baby."
  
Gradually, I began to look at it differently.  I started to feel like my baby deserved a name.  The name wasn't for me, it was for this life that was lost.  A life that was much more than a few cells, a life that probably looked a lot like a very tiny baby.  I don't know what she looked like, I never saw her.  But I still see that little hand waving at me and I know that she was beautiful.

I have kept her name to myself for two years.  And mostly I will continue to do so.  But I will write this here, on this very sad and special day....

You are so missed Naomi, my lost little baby girl.



Thursday, March 5, 2009

Some times I wonder why I am a teacher.

The title says it all.

Grouchy and getting 2 zits...

So I've been pretty grouchy the last two days and last night I noticed that I'm getting 2 zits.  Uh oh.  These are the classic PMS signs.

Now, I'm not freaking out and I've been through this too many times to overanalyze every little symptom (I used to do that) and frankly, I'm too goddamned busy to even think about it much.

But when I got home from rehearsal last night, grabbed my two cuties (I'm SO glad its mandarin orange season), sat on the couch to watch American Idol on tivo, and had a moment to think....it kind of occurred to me that I was having PMS symptoms.

I am definitely in a "one day at a time" mode - that helps me get through trying to have a baby and survive my job.  And I've been pretty good the last few days (what an accomplishment - feeling not bad for three days in a row).  But with March 7 rapidly approaching and a possible/probable impending period, I can feel another bad spell around the corner.

Well, we'll see.  Que sera, sera....

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Its raining, its pouring....

It is storm of the century out there right now!  Wow.  Maybe we will finally be out the "drought" woods.

I feel like I did when i had a cyst.  Boo.  Not pain exactly, but something on my right side.  PLEASE don't be another cyst.  If I am not pregnant, having another cyst as well will make me very angry.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Monday

Not much time to write - I have rehearsal tonight.  Thank God its a choreography rehearsal, so I have to BE there, but I can do work while my choreographer (and friend) Anjee runs the musical numbers.

School today was not bad.  I announced the Advanced Theatre show and most of the response was good - most of the kids are very excited.  And the beauty of this show is that we will do the majority of rehearsing DURING CLASS!!!!  YAY!!!  While the next 3 weeks before we open The Wiz are going to be brutal, I am starting to be able to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

So today's symptoms - I am very tired, not very crampy, more hungry than usual, seriously bloated and my boobs are KILLING me.  It is so wonderful having all these pregnancy symptoms (thanks to the prometrium) when one may not even be pregnant.  Probably isn't pregnant.

School does make the day go by very fast - not much time to worry about the whole - am I pregnant? thing.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Update...

There is nothing profound for me to write today.  But in my quest to keep better track of the ins and outs of this cycle....

IUI #2 was Wednesday.  Stayed home Thursday.  School on Friday was okay - came home and slept for two hours - very tired.  Yesterday and today, feeling tired and crampy.  Could be because there is a tiny embryo making its way down, getting ready to implant or could be because I'm sticking prometrium up myself twice a day.  The bottle says "may cause dizziness" (which it does) and "may cause headaches" (which thankfully it has not).   Boobs are very sore.  But that is pretty normal for me post-ovulation and since I (hopefully) ovulated 3 eggs, I would expect heightened symptoms.

Boy its long wait until March 11.