Wednesday, July 11, 2007
The next episode happened at our 33 week appointment when they did an ultrasound to check on the size and position of the baby. As soon as his image came up on the screen, I choked up. I couldn't say anything at all. We saw him wiggle his toes, swallow, and blink. And we got some good news - he's head down! Based on where I feel his movements, I was pretty sure that was the case, but it was nice to be assured. He's also almost completely curled up on my right side, giving me an interesting lopsided look. They think he weighs about 4.5 pounds and will be 6-7 at birth. They also showed us that he has enough hair to show up clearly on the ultrasound. It looked like a sea anemone surrounding the back of his head. I guess the old wives tale about heartburn and hair holds true for us.
Then last weekend we were on the subway. It was a crowded car and a woman immediately stood up to give me her seat. I protested because we only had a few stops and I didn't mind standing. She announced loudly that she was NOT going to sit down while a pregnant person stood, so I gratefully accepted her offer. And promptly started tearing up again...it's hard at this stage to forget that I'm pregnant, but when I think about how much I wanted to be the pregnant person on the subway and what it took for that to happen, I am really humbled. Sometimes it's hard to believe how much things have changed in such a short amount of time.
And finally there was the hospital tour. It started when we parked. The parking lot was right next to our fertility clinic since they're a part of our hospital. As we walked down the hill to the main building, I remembered clearly walking down that same hill, ovaries painfully swollen, watching the slate gray sky give way to some snow flurries and hoping that all of this was going to be worth it. Please, please, please, I thought with each step. Once we were in the hospital and they took us into a labor room, there were more tears. If everything keeps going well, I realized, I will be in a room like this next month having a baby. Again, I never forget that I'm pregnant, but this overwhelming sense of gratitude just hits so hard. We drove around to the clinic before we left and I remembered all the time I spent in that building and sent some good thoughts to the embryos still waiting for us there.
Nothing much to report other than my hormonal teary episodes. I'm 35 weeks today. I've been pretty uncomfortable, especially with the heat and humidity. I'm ready to have this baby, but hope that he waits until August 11 when my Mom gets here from California. My Dad is arriving on August 15, my official due date. Until then, we continue to wait and get things ready for our new arrival.
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
While we were in California I had a nice talk with my sister's SIL. Her best friend has been going through IF and they were told IVF is their best chance. She asked me all kinds of questions about what we went through. I told her everything I could and gave her my email address for the friend. I haven't heard from her yet, but I hope I will. I can completely understand, though, if the last thing she wants to do is talk to someone who is currently pregnant. That would have been hard for me, too.
I've been very lucky with everything so far. I passed my GD test even though it wiped me out for the rest of the day. All of my appointments have gone well. I did have a 12 pound (!!!) weight gain in one month, but things have returned to a more normal 1 pound a week.
We're trying to get everything ready for August. I have a million different lists because I can't seem to remember anything these days. I even shaved one leg twice and skipped the other one a few days ago. B is getting more and more excited as the time gets closer. I've mentioned before that he was kind of distant in the beginning out of fear for what could go wrong...seeing his excitement has been one of my favorite things about being pregnant. And you know how some guys have sympathetic pregnancy symptoms? He is starting to "nest" lately. He was super excited with how clean he got the shower last weekend and has been a huge help. We're still working on a name. Our last name is very long, so two of the names we like would be over the top. All we know is that it will start with an S and won't be our previous first choice - Samuel - because we have a brand new nephew with that name.
I'm crossing my fingers that I will be able to finally post more often. I have a lot of catching up to do with all of the blogs I was reading before the crash. I'm looking forward to finding out how everyone is doing. My thoughts and good wishes are always with all of you even when technology gets in the way.
Monday, April 09, 2007
Our ultrasound was scheduled for March 27. My MIL came with us and we were lucky - her friend is an ultrasound technician at the hospital and she was able to do the ultrasound. After she established the position of the baby, this is what we saw.
I looked at B and said "You were right, I admit it!" He didn't know what we were seeing on the screen at first, but our helpful friend typed "boy" on the screen for him and circled the appropriate area. We both had tears in our eyes. My MIL was with us and she just started whooping. I wonder what the people in the hall thought?
The rest of the ultrasound went well. All measurements were normal. We also got a few more looks between the legs. He's not shy, this one. And then the technician surprised us by switching to 4D...this isn't something she was supposed to do, but she did it because she is friends with my MIL. This is my favorite shot from the ultrasound.
Something about seeing that little face just went right to my heart. I felt much of the bitterness, sadness, and anger vanish when I saw him there. I can't even explain how it felt. It was like I wasn't really allowing myself to feel a lot of hope or excitement until that point and then all of those repressed feelings just started erupting. I still feel it today.
That night when B came home from work we took a walk and had a talk. He said he never considered how important it was to him that we have a boy because he really wanted a girl. But he thought about his Dad and how this baby will carry his name forward. Only one other cousin in our immediate family will pass that name on if he and his wife have a boy, and it's important to him to carry on the tradition. It was a teary conversation, but it was good to talk about our feelings and move forward with the rest of this journey.
So now we're trying to pick a name. We're calling him Baby S for now because we want an S name to honor my father-in-law. The middle name will be my maiden name, something that really touched my parents. We're heading to California in a few weeks to see my family. I haven't been "home" in almost a year - our December trip was postponed because of OHSS. We're planning a special surprise for my Mom - a 4D ultrasound. I never really thought it was necessary, but she's been so sad that she couldn't be here for any of my appointments and we thought this would make her feel included. Plus, who could turn down the chance at seeing that face again?
I hope to update this blog with a little more regularity. I'm still learning how not to feel guilty for feeling so happy and excited about this pregnancy. I never stop thinking about the people out there who are still waiting and hoping...you are always in my thoughts and I still read your blogs even when I don't comment. It's weird to be an infertile pregnant person, and I'm still trying to find my stride.
Friday, February 16, 2007
The next night we got together for a Superbowl party at my SIL's apartment. I was speaking to her MIL about the pregnancy and she started asking me questions that I couldn't really answer without coming clean. So I told her everything except our diagnosis. B is still not sure how he wants to deal with telling/not telling about the MFI, and I respect his wishes. I was surprised by two things...one, it felt better than I thought it would to tell someone who knew nothing about our struggles what we went through. Two, I was so nervous/scared to take that first step that my hands turned cold and started shaking. But unlike the night before, I was happy with myself when we went home.
I hope to continue sharing our story with others in the future. I guess if anyone ever wants to see our collection of ultrasound pictures they'll know because we have the picture of our little embryos. It just continues to bother me that I have such a hard time talking about this. I have to wonder - if we had dealt with some other medical issue, would it still be this hard? Why, when I know intellectually that infertility isn't something to be embarrassed about, do I struggle like this? I think that so much of our struggle was my internal battle. I turned a lot of my feelings inward and directed a lot of my anger and pain at myself. Now it's all wrapped up in one big personal ball of yuck. Sharing it with others feels like giving them a glimpse at my soul. Even though I'm close to these people, once you let them see into your heart like that, you can't just take it back. It's so...invasive. I see now that a lot of my feelings were ignored and put aside as I focused all of my energy on getting through whatever appointment/treatment/phone call needed to be dealt with that day. Now that these feelings are ready to be dealt with, it scares me.
In happier news, my doctor gave me permission to continue dyeing my yarn and I was able to start on Monday. Seeing a box filled with bright, cheerful colors that I created makes me feel so happy.
I hope everyone has a good weekend...if you're also feeling the effects of the lovely winter storm that happened earlier this week, my sympathies. It's a mess out there!
Friday, February 02, 2007
So that's what's been going on here. I've been struggling lately with the aftermath of IVF and infertility. I can honestly say that becoming pregnant does not relieve all of the stress, worry, and emotional pain. It's like post traumatic stress disorder. I sometimes feel like I don't belong anywhere. And there are so many irritating pregnant people. You know the fertile people who announce they're FINALLY pregnant after 2 months of trying? They transform into pregnant people who fall into deep depression over their disappointment in the baby's gender. I can understand a preference, but do we really need message boards devoted to this disappointment? And I keep running across the book "My Boys Can Swim!" which is supposed to be a guy's guide to fatherhood. I don't think B would even open that one up. I was also fortunate enough to read a post claiming that people who can't get pregnant on their own are not meant to have children and all IVF babies carry a genetic deformity. Sigh.
Right now I guess I prefer my role as the undercover infertile. I can pass as a pregnant person and do my best to educate people on how insensitive their comments can be. Just because I'm lucky enough to be pregnant doesn't mean it's easy. I'm still working on adjusting. And I hope to be able to blog more regularly to help me sort this out.
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
I thought I saw a little flicker when the doctor was moving the wand around, but he didn't see it. I know it's really early to see anything, but I was still hoping. :) He said everything looks great - my ovaries are almost back to a normal size and it seems the danger of getting OHSS again has passed. I'm going back next week for another ultrasound and if we see the heartbeat, I'll be released to my OBGYN. He told me I'll graduate and shook my hand. I wanted to hug him.
I was feeling pretty good until yesterday - just tired and bloated. I'm embarrassed to admit that I had to buy a pair of maternity jeans. I didn't want to do this, in large part because I'm superstitious, but I had no choice. I'm blaming it on the OHSS bloat that stuck around. I tried on a zillion pairs of pants in a larger size, but they looked ridiculous. I'm also starting to get bouts of nausea. I can't complain, though. I don't think I've ever felt so content. All of this continues to feel like a dream.
It's strange to think that my next ultrasound will fall on the one year anniversary of my FIL's death. I've thought a lot about him during this whole process. I know that he's with us in spirit but I wish he could be here for our good news. After his death there was so much sadness and chaos. It's hard to believe that one year later so many positive things have happened. My FIL was the kind of person who could strike a bargain with anyone and make them feel like they were getting the better deal even if they weren't. We sometimes joke that he's negotiating deals for us even now. It doesn't feel like a joke these days.
I haven't felt like writing or much of anything the last few weeks...I hope that changes soon. Happy holidays to everyone!
Thursday, December 14, 2006
On Saturday we told our parents. I called my Mom pretending to be interested in the free flight she recently earned, asking her how she did it, how long it took to get the miles, etc. Then I asked her how she'd like to use that trip sometime in August. She caught on right away and was so happy. My Dad was at work so I called him and he was also very happy. It's weird - our anniversary is August 5 and last year we went to Niagara Falls to celebrate. We took long walks and hoped that we'd have good news by the time our next anniversary came around. At that point we hadn't even seen our RE yet, though we did have the appointment set up. Even though the months between diagnosis and IVF seemed interminable, when I remind myself where we were in August it seems like almost no time at all.
We went to B's Mom's apartment for dinner as we often do on Saturday. I took a picture of my digital HPT with the embryo picture in the background and printed a copy. We bought a Hanukkah card and put the picture inside. When she opened it she looked shocked. She wanted to know if we were sure, and I told her I had the beta early. Much shrieking, hugging, and tearing up followed. Then she called everyone who knows about the IVF to share the news.
Yesterday I had my OHSS monitoring appointment. My ovaries are still enlarged, but he said they're slowly going down. The pain I still feel when moving a certain way or walking too much is normal. The fluid inside my abdominal cavity is also going away. He was pleased with my progress. Then he took a look at my uterus:
The small dot in the middle of the image is our little embryo. So far it looks like there's one hanging out in there. It was totally amazing to see that little spot on the screen. So amazing, in fact, that I did something a little sneaky. After he left the room so I could get dressed, I noticed the image was still on the screen. I also saw the print button. Since you're looking at the image, you can guess what I did. How could I not?
When the nurse called me back with my bloodwork results, I asked her what my beta numbers were. On Friday (11dp5dt or 16 dpo) it was 65. Yesterday (16dp5dt or 21 dpo) it was 704. She said they are rising perfectly. I also continue to have normal hematocrit, another sign that the OHSS might stay away. Please, please, please!
B surprised me last night when he admitted to me that he wanted it to be twins. I had no idea he felt that way. We had a good talk about our feelings and it was the first time we really talked with the idea that this might just work. We're both big worriers, though I am the optimist in our relationship. I'm glad we were able to share some of our thoughts with each other.
My next appointment will be next Wednesday at 6 weeks. Still early to see a heartbeat, but that doesn't stop me from hoping anyway. I thought that I would be glad when the 2ww was over, and I am. But there's still a lot of waiting and hoping going on.