Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Fertility/Baby Updates of Others

There have been some updates and announcements swirling in my mind over the past week.


My best friend from graduate school recently found out her second attempt at IUI was not successful. She is on her third and final attempt and feeling very discouraged. I've been there, and yet I feel so helpless and guilty.

C's best friend, the best man in our wedding, just announced to us that he and his girlfriend are also expecting. They announced this approximately 30 seconds after telling them our news. They are only six weeks. They do not live together, have had a very tumultuous relationship, and let it slip that this was an "accident".

Another friend from graduate school has spent the last two weeks in the hospital with her four-month-old daughter, her second hospitalization in the past month. Her daughter was diagnosed with a very rare genetic condition in which she does not properly metabolize a key nutrient needed for life. She's been in an out of the ICU and her prognosis is largely unknown.


This universe has a peculiar sense of humor. No one ever promised me that life was fair, but sometimes I can't wrap my head around the injustice and absurdity of it all. 

Monday, April 21, 2014

Resolve to Know More... Sensitivity

One in eight couples will struggle to create their family. One in eight! This is higher than the prevalence of depression (one in ten) or autism (one in 68) and the same estimated lifetime prevalence as breast cancer. This month was autism awareness - it has been all over the news, Panera Bread is selling special cookies to raise money, and there have been walks and races. Where is our ribbon? Where is our 5K Komen race or 3-day walk benefit in every city?

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Ten Weeks, Confirmed!

I am in love. Forget that rubbish I posted a few days ago about not yet being attached to the actual living being inside me.

On Thursday, exactly the first day of week ten, we had our "prove I'm still pregnant" ultrasound. It was a little confusing at first because I wasn't sure if I was supposed to undress from the waist down or not, but then the OB simply told me to open my pants below the belly button. I kept my pants on, people!

He found the baby quickly. It definitely looked bigger and less blobish then the last ultrasound a few weeks ago, but I wasn't convinced. I didn't see a heartbeat and he didn't tell how big it was to see if it has actually grown. I think he could sense my apprehension, because he quickly zoomed in and pointed out the flicker. The very quick flickering of a very active heart. Then... it began to move. It's little arm buds and leg buds were flailing all around, doing Tae Bo to the air as C described later.

I probably could have watched it squirming for hours. It was just so amazing to me how active it was, and yet I don't yet feel a thing. The OB was awesome and suggested that we take a video of the screen on my phone so now I have a video image of it's movement. This is SO much better then the pictures, which he also printed off, but that are still pretty blobish looking. Not especially impressive. But the video... the video shows life. My heart swoons.

At ten weeks, the baby is measuring 9 weeks and 5 days, or 26 millimeters. I still feel nothing on the outside, but I can now sense its presence on the inside, squirming about.

The nausea and heartburn have gotten a lot better this past week, but still show up at random times. The fatigue has gotten a little better on some days but there are other days that I can't lift my head off the pillow and I am so tired that my bones hurt. I continue to be a little congested, which sometimes makes sleeping difficult. I am not urinating any more than usual but I also don't think I'm drinking nearly enough water. My bowel habits are largely unchanged, but they have always been a little finicky. I have gained maybe a pound, but it's hard to tell because my weight will fluctuate 2-3 pounds in a day sometimes. My pants feel a little tighter, but I haven't had to do anything special to keep them closed.

I didn't attribute this as a pregnancy symptoms necessarily before, but ever since day 1, I have been extremely winded and feel more out of shape then ever in my life. My heart is often pounding out of my chest after going up one flight of stairs! I'm not sure if this is due to the actual loss of physical fitness (I was not active during this whole IVF process out of discomfort), or because my body is just working extra hard. I hope it is more the latter.

In four weeks I will be officially out of the first trimester. I need to schedule a meeting with my boss. I also need to come up with a preliminary plan on how to wean down my caseload, which still gives me anxiety. I've been putting this off until "we know for sure" but I think now is the time. I need to accept that this is real, he/she is alive, and I am very likely going to be giving birth to a healthy baby in November.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

My First OB Appointment: High Emotions

In general, this blogging community has been an immense support, provided me with valuable information, and offered a safe-haven to truly understand and be understood. Yet, sometimes, I am faced with the primary draw-back. Hearing about others' success gives me hope. Reading about others' struggles when I am also struggling makes me feel less alone. But hearing about when things go wrong for others, when they seem to going right for you, just causes me anxiety and panic.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

9 Weeks, Unconfirmed

Today begins week nine, although technically nothing has been confirmed since halfway through week six. I didn't start to get nervous about this until today when I had continuous cramps that were too reminiscent of period cramps to be comforting. I'm now fairly certain it was due to constipation and I felt mostly better after going to the restroom.

I haven't felt too nervous otherwise because I'm too busy having pregnancy symptoms. I am nauseous every day, most of the day, and sometimes this is mixed in with some lovely heartburn. I haven't vomited. I am taking nightly naps many nights and sleeping away most of my weekends. My cold is still lingering but is 90% better.

I haven't developed any lasting cravings, but I did have a random desire for an egg salad sandwich on a toasted bagel. One of these hit the spot and I haven't felt the need for C to buy any more bagels. As for the aversions, it is hard to tell because many days I seem averse to most things. I have this fun game I'll play in my head where I imagine a food in my mouth and think, "yum!" and then I imagine swallowing the same food and immediately feel like I want to vomit. Hot foods, like soup or tea, are especially off-putting.

My weight is exactly the same as the day of the transfer and I'm still wearing all regular clothes, although my one pair of pants is a little uncomfortable around the middle.

I am appreciating how incredibly boring this is. I have better thoughts in my head but the energy required to form these into a coherent post just seems too overwhelming. Hopefully next Tuesday, the day of my first OB appointment, will bring more excitement - in a purely positive way.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Why I Hate Birthdays

Today I turn the big 3-0. I've been dreading this for some time now. Initially, it was because I wasn't pregnant and I really didn't want to be thirty and not pregnant. Then it turned into this big drama of timing IVF so I have enough time to cope with it failing before the big day. Then there were those weeks when I couldn't plan anything because either I'd likely be not-pregnant-and-depressed or pregnant-and-still-hiding-it. Turns out I'm in the second camp. I'm pregnant. Life is good. I still hate birthdays.

Birthdays are a reminder of the gap between where I thought I would be at this age and where I actually am. By thirty, I was supposed to be a home-owner with one child and a second on its way. I was not supposed to living with my parents, having spent our life savings on one pregnancy. Home ownership still seems like a very far off goal and an actual child is still surreal.

Birthdays are are also a reminder of how small my social circle really is, and then I begin to feel lonely even though I'm normally very satisfied with the amount of friends that I have. But when you're trying to arrange a get-together and you have one couples friend, one close cousin, one good friend from work, and one friend from graduate school who may care enough to come to drive 45 minutes, it all seems very disjointed and piecemeal.

Mostly though, the actual day is usually just anti-climactic. It really is just another day. We will go out dinner and I will get a present, but then I'll go about my day like any other day. And life will go on, just like it always has.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

The Time I Forgot I Was Pregnant and Got Myself Ill

I was considering titling this post "The Walking Dead" in honor of the season finale and because that's how I've felt for the last several days. Today, urgent care confirmed that it is in fact just a cold, commended me on not taking any medications to-date, and then kindly told me that I could try a saline nose spray. Are you kidding me?!?!

I haven't slept well for several days because I'm so congested and can't breath. I'm coughing so much that my chest hurts when I take deep breaths now. I am sneezing and blowing my nose and generally feel very disgusting. I would not allow my children to be around me if I were a parent, so I cancelled my afternoon line-up and headed home and to bed.

I blame myself. C and I went to Philadelphia last week for a psychology conference and then drove to New Jersey to visit my best friend from graduate school. It was an odd mix of seeing close friends for the first time and sharing my news and then seeing a bunch of less-close work people and pretending that nothing was different. The pretending part probably screwed me. I pushed myself way too hard. Too much walking and exploring the city. Too stubborn to accept a cab ride when the weather dropped into the forties and was rainy. Too many late nights going out to dinners with colleagues and friends. Too many hours in a stuffy airport and airplane with everyone's germs. And now I am paying for it.

This is the major status update for week 7 and I am now officially beginning week 8. It's a little bizarre to say this though because technically there has been no confirmation that there is still a pregnancy going on in the past week. I am just holding on to this monster cold, while my husband is the picture of healthy, as a clear sign of my weakened immunity.