Sunday, March 20, 2011

a little bit of everything...

My sister mentioned to me that I hadn't updated in a while and I am embarrassed that it has been over a week since my last post. My absence is not without reason... I have been busy with wrapping up my internship, writing papers, and the general day to day busyness. A lot has happened and while I'm exhausted from all of it, I'm excited, too! Anyways, without further ado, here is what has been going on:

-MBL was gone in The Netherlands two weeks ago. He had a business trip that came up last minute and was gone from Saturday to Friday. When he came back, I had to work Saturday, and so the first time we really got to spend any sort of time together was last Sunday. During the time he was gone, my grandfather passed away and two close friends announced pregnancies. It was a lot to deal with entirely by myself. The hardest thing being trying to process my grief when my biggest support person was thousands of miles away and completely unreachable. I was quite surprised to find that with the pregnancy announcements I was completely happy for both people! Seriously, not even a hint of jealousy/resentment, which felt good. I may feel a little envious as it gets closer to their due dates, as we will likely be back on the TTC wagon again, but I'm keeping everything crossed that we get a miracle BFP for #2.
-I finished up my internship this week! I am officially done with 50-60 hour weeks!! I now only have to worry about work and a girls group that I am coaching. This means that I have 5 full days a week to devote to preparing our house/lives for the baby. The people at my internship asked me how I would fill my time and I nearly fell on the floor laughing. I have been pushing myself for 8 months now... I have stacks and stacks of laundry, paperwork, clutter, and other "stuff" that has been neglected nearly that entire time. I also have a baby room that has absolutely no furniture in it and stacks of baby clothes that need to be washed and put away. Plus a whole bunch of serious organizing to do. I will have absolutely no problem filling my days :).
-We had our monthly baby check this week and everything looks fantastic! I only gained 1 pound over the past four weeks, so I was pretty happy with that. I am at a 16 pound weight gain overall (according to my home scale). I was dealing with some pretty wicked swelling and a serious lack of energy, so I did my best to step up my game over the past few weeks... I've been walking at least 2 miles 3 times a week and watching what I eat (just making healthier choices) and I feel loads better! If my belly had measured small, I would have asked the doc if I needed to put on more weight, but I was measuring right on, so I'm happy :). We asked about my GD screening because they forgot to draw me right when I got in (at our last appointment) and we just wanted to make sure that I had missed the cutoff by a considerable amount and we were happy to find out that my level was 79 and the cutoff is 139, so it seems pretty obvious that I do not have GD. I just can't believe my body is handling pregnancy so well... after 21 months of TTC, I was convinced my body was broken, apparently I need to give it more credit!
-At our appointment I also asked my doc about how long she lets her patients go past their due dates. I have friends/coworkers that have had amazing births after going nearly 2 weeks overdue, but some of the reading I have done says that going more than one week over can be risky and I am just so paranoid about things going wrong! I have absolutely no qualms about what other people choose, but for me, I don't want to go past 41 weeks. So, I asked my doctor about it and she says that if I haven't had the baby by my 40 week appointment, then she will schedule an induction! She does that for all her patients, unless they are really trying to avoid medical intervention and then she works with them (doing NSTs and ultrasounds to make sure the baby isn't under distress). She also mentioned that she will strip my membranes at my 39 week appointment in an attempt to get things going. Overall, I was very happy with her approach and I can't believe I'm at a point where we are talking about these things!
-Speaking of labor, MBL and I had birth class this weekend. Our hospital offers week night classes over several weeks or a weekend class that is Friday night and Saturday day. Due to other responsibilities we have during the week, we decided that the weekend class would be best. The women on my due date board all said they didn't like their birth class, but I found it to be amazing. I had no idea what to expect and I was pleasantly surprised by how much we covered. The biggest surprise? That the class focused almost exclusively on natural childbirth. Apparently the hospital we have chosen strongly advocates for drug free births. So, we learned a lot of coping/relaxation techniques that would help us accomplish that. I was excited about the techniques I learned and I will definitely use them, but I'm nearly 100% sure I will still be getting an epidural :). I am going to try and make it to past 5cm before I get it so that I can continue to walk around and have gravity help me get the baby in the prime birth position, but it's very likely I will end up with the drugs before I get to the pushing part! I was really impressed with MBL at our class, he was so attentive and did a great job listening to what I wanted. It made me realize that going through IVF really helped us get in tune with each other and I am excited to go through the birth experience with him. I have absolutely no worries about the support that I will get from him.
-Finally, a week from today I will be on my way to sunny Flo.rida!! MBL and I are taking a little babymoon. MBL has to attend a conference the first 3.5 days, but then we will be going to Disn.eyWorld and possibly the Kenn.edy Spa.ce Ce.nter. After how busy we have been, I am really looking forward to this time away and getting one last trip in before the baby gets here!!

Oh, and this week we got our first two gifts for the baby!!! The staff at my internship got us a very cute pink and green polka dot stroller blanket that I just adore! AND, my sister and her husband got us our The is a device that you tuck into the baby's diaper and after 15 seconds of no movement/breathing, it vibrates and after 20 seconds it sounds an alarm. It was something that we decided was a must, so it was SOOOOO amazing to get it as a gift!! It will definitely help me sleep better at night (you know, during the little sleep I get). All in all, things are going really well and I am just so grateful!

Friday, March 11, 2011

what i'm not saying...

I have wanted to make this confession for the past few weeks, but I have been afraid to do so. The reason for my fear? Because it seems totally unfair for me to even be worrying about it, but I am and I feel the need to talk about it here. To be totally honest, for the past 12 weeks, I have absolutely LOVED being pregnant. And each day that I carry this little girl, I love it even more. Yes, I have to pee 3-4 times in the twenty minutes before I lay down for bed. Yes, I have cankles. Yes, I get heartburn. BUT, every time this little girl moves I fall more in love with her. And each time she moves, I can't wait for her to do it again. I LOVE my belly. LOVE IT. I don't think I've ever been so amazed and in love with my body (despite the fatty fat ankles and increasing number on the scale). I am thankful that I love being pregnant because I know there are women out there who find it completely uncomfortable and others whose pregnancies are riddled with complications. I have been incredibly lucky that I am not too uncomfortable and, since week 16, I've been complication free.

All of that is besides the point, really. Because the confession I'm trying to get out? Is that I'm already starting to think/wonder/worry about how we are going to get #2 (and 3&4). I am already thinking about what it will be like to go back to TTC. And, I am already formulating a plan/timeline. And, I don't mean timeline in the sense of, "I'd like to have my kids 2.2 years apart." I mean it in how we will proceed with naturally TTC, IUIs, and IVF. How long we will try each. And I'm already starting to get worried about what the potential cost will be. I have been scared to write about this because I know that so many of you are still waiting for #1 and I'm sure it seems completely egotistical/selfish for me to be thinking about how I will get 2-3 more children when I have already achieved pregnancy once and should just be thankful. I should count the blessing I have been given and not worry about anything else...but, I can't do that. I've always wanted to have 4 kids and I don't think that just because I'm infertile that I should have to give that dream up. If anything, it reminds me of another way that I am different from all the people out there who are able to just have se.x and get pregnant. I have no idea if doing that will ever work out for MBL and I. We did that for 7 months and nothing happened. We did IUIs five times and only got a chemical. I didn't get a sticky bean until our SECOND IVF and 21st month of TTC.

So, I suppose I'm already thinking about #2 because if it takes 21 months to get my BFP again, this little girl will be 2.5 years old. And BFNs are hard (even if I have gotten the elusive BFP once already). As I said at the beginning of this post, I LOVE being pregnant. Adore it, can't wait to do it again (minus the 12 weeks of gagging...but even that seems totally worth it). And it makes me sad to think that getting to be pregnant again may or may not happen. Or, it might only happen one more time (I know, I shouldn't be whining about that). I just calculated our medical expenses from last year and they were...$25,000 and the truth is that I don't know that we can afford to spend $100,000 to achieve our dream family of four children. And the fact that I have to even consider the cost of adding to our family, meaning just the cost to MAKE our children, pisses me off. Why can't I just have free babies? Or a baby that was the price of a bottle of wine? And why am I thinking about this when we could *potentially* afford to do IVF again which is something that so many are unable to consider? And why am I jumping the gun and worrying about this when we may get VERY lucky and get pregnant from se.x or an IUI and not have to worry about this? I'm thinking about TTC again because I love this little girl so much already and I love feeling her grow inside me.

I just wish I were a fertile and could worry about other things. Like, "What would we do if our birth control failed?" Or, "How can we handle 2 under 2?" Or, "Maybe we should get the big V after this one?" But, nope, the worries I have remind me of all that I went through to get here and all that we may have to do to get to this point again.

Saturday, March 5, 2011


The other night, around 3am, I realized the downside of infertility followed by pregnancy. What is it? Denial. I would say that the denial about what this pregnancy would bring didn't really start until the second trimester. I spent the first trimester feeling so gosh darn awful, that it was easy to believe there was something "cooking" inside me. Plus, like most women, I proceeded with caution, knowing that if something were going to happen it would very likely happen in those first twelve weeks. So, I was a mixture of "wow! pregnancy does not feel so good" and "why am I no longer nauseous? you better stay stuck little bean!". When I started to feel better it felt very weird. I pulled out my doppler no less than two times a day because without the all day gagging, I needed to hear her heartbeat to *know* she was still in there. During my second trimester I had 4 ultrasounds (one elective and three medical) and even though the ultrasound probe was on my tummy, it didn't truly sink in that the baby on the screen was inside ME. Yes, I absolutely loved every single one of those ultrasounds. And, no, they were not long enough...I could stare at our baby all day! As each week has passed by, I've fully expected the realization of what is about to happen to hit me. Well, it hasn't. Not fully, at least.

The other night? At a full 28 weeks pregnant? I got up out of bed for my nightly middle of the night pee run and as I walked back to our room, it hit me. The only way this little girl is getting out is if I give birth. The realization was so shocking that I woke MBL up. I think what I said went something like this, "Um, sweetie, I just realized that I have to give birth. Can you believe that?" His response was quite mumble-y as it was 3:00 in the morning, but he basically was like "Um, yep, that's what's going to happen..." The next day I walked around in a daze of "Holy crap, this might actually happen!! I might actually have a baby after this." I've been in denial this whole time. Holding my breath, waiting for the floor to fall out from under me. Waiting for something to go terribly wrong. And, while I know there are no guarantees, at this point it seems very likely that in the next 12 weeks I will give birth. To a baby. My baby. A baby that the hospital will let ME bring home. A baby for whom I will be responsible. Even as I type this now, I have a hard time believing it. I have the protuding belly that should serve as a daily reminder of that reality, but it doesn't.

When I think of how I get to be 79 days from my due date and still in shock that my stomach is jumping because of the human inside it, I feel uneasy. Most women get a positive test and fully expect that their life will be radically changed in 9 months time. At times I wish I could have that mindset...that a positive test equals a baby. Or, at this point, I would settle for my mind to accept that daily bladder punches and swollen feet mean there really is a baby in there!! Just today, MBL was feeling my belly and said, "Do you believe it now that she's in there?" And, without hesitation, I replied, "No. I don't believe it." Let's just hope that, despite my denial, I am able to get everything ready for this little girl before she actually gets here!