Friday, February 16, 2007

Unearthing my emotions

We were finally able to tell the rest of our friends and family our news. It's nice to be open with everyone. I'm still struggling with the whole infertility thing. For example, B's pregnant cousin was telling everyone how she tested and found out she was pregnant. She asked me how I found out and if I thought it would be positive. I wanted to tell everyone about how I knew exactly when to test and explain my week of HPT madness followed by the obligatory repeat betas. But I chickened out and just told them I took a test and it was positive. True, but not the complete story. A part of it might be that I've always struggled with speaking to a group of people, regardless of how well I know them. But I was still angry with myself for not being more direct.

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, 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

6 Weeks?

I can't believe that it's been six weeks since I posted to this blog.
So far everything continues to go well. I was released by my RE at 7 weeks after we saw the most wonderous thing - a tiny beating heart. Dr. C seemed genuinely happy and reminded us that he'll be there when we're ready for a FET. I was also told to stop my PIO at 9 weeks, which meant my last shot was the day before my birthday. That was an awesome gift, let me tell you. B kept asking me what I wanted for my birthday and I wasn't kidding when I told him being able to sleep without the pain of the lumps from the PIO was more than enough!

My first OB appointment was a week later. My OBGYN is really nice and she's the one who ordered the initial testing for me when I went to her at the one year of TTC mark. She went out of her way to make me feel good about having made it through IVF. Then came the best part - another ultrasound.
After this ultrasound we started calling the baby "gummy bear". It was amazing to see little arm and leg buds and we also got a great view of the spine.

And today was our ultrascreen/nuchal test. I pricked my finger at home at around 10 weeks - pre-IVF that little lancet would have scared me, but it didn't bother me at all. Since I'd already done the bloodwork, they were able to tell me right away that our odds for Down's went from 1/711 to 1/>10,000. The risk for Trisomy 18/13 went from 1/1,259 to 1/>10,000 as well. The nurse told me that my risk was in the range for a 20 year old. Whew! And we got some really amazing pictures. This is my favorite - my sister said that he/she already sucks his/her thumb like I did as a baby:
I think he/she looks pretty comfy in there. I drank some orange juice an hour before the ultrasound and the baby was moving all over the place. Even the technician thought it was funny. I was in awe of this little creature who suddenly looked so human. Unfortunately, B was not able to come to this appointment. We thought that we were going to have an ultrasound at my regular 12 week appointment and he came to that...but we "only" heard the heartbeat on the Doppler. He's working out of town this week and it would have been very hard for him to make it back here for the appointment. I was lucky enough to have my MIL with me, and while we were waiting for the results she reunited with one of the people she used to work with as a sonographer. So for our 20 week ultrasound if she's available, she'll do it. That made me feel good because if the orange juice doesn't work I feel like she would be more patient trying to find out the sex. I have a strong feeling that it's a girl, and B told me he really, really wants it to be a girl, too. Of course we're happy with anything, but since everyone thinks it's a girl it will probably be a boy. :) And tomorrow we're going to tell most of B's family our news at a family dinner.

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.