Two Years and Counting

28 weeks
August 26, 2009, 9:33 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

This morning, M and I had to go back to our fertility clinic to have blood drawn. It’s required that people who have embryos (or any tissue) frozen to have blood drawn after 6 months to test for infectious diseases. I guess they want to make sure we don’t run out and engage in risky behavior while we have little lives preserved there. Who knows. Anyway, I had a bit of a hang up about going back there with my pregnant belly. I kept thinking about the women and couples who’d be there trying to conceive, and here I come walking in the door with a belly. I even apologized in my head as I opened the door. I had to hope that someone would think, “At least she got pregnant while using this clinic, maybe it’ll happen for me,” rather than “How dare she walk in here pregnant?” I remember having similar feelings when people woudl come in the waiting room with children. I’d always think, why in the world would you bring your kids here when you know everyone else is here trying to have their own? But now that I’m almost on the other side, I’m thinking that could easily be us in a couple of years if we’re unable to conceive a second child on our own. I’ll probably have to bring our little girl in there with me, and I’ll again be feeling sheepish about it.

Since those are my thoughts associated with returning to my fertility clinic in full bloom, I guess that may explain some of why I’ve been absent here. I’ve really been trying to figure out how to handle blogging at all. I do enjoy it, and I intend to document some of our pregnancy and our child’s life when she’s born, and I’m going to do that in a blog. It’s mainly for our scattered family members and friends who live in different places–a way for them to keep in touch. Also a friend told me about, who will put your blog into a book, which I think would be a cool way to document each year. But I’m struggling with how I want to keep up with this blog. I definitely don’t want to approach this as having been just something to get me through those hard two years, and now that I’m pregnant, I don’t need this community any more. This arena was important to me, and reading all of your blogs was incredibly helpful for me as I treaded the infertility waters. And like I said, I may be back in the IF world again when we try for #2. I pray often that we will be able to conceive naturally, but who knows? I currently have two pregnant friends, both of whom conceived first children with IVF. One is pregnant through completely unexpected and natural means, and the other had IVF again. So I know it can go either way.

Since I’m here right now, here’s an update on where we are. I had my 28 week appt last week. Kate (her name is Katherine Grace and we’ll call her Kate) is measuring right where she should be and looks great. The fluid on her kidneys that we saw back at 20 weeks is completely gone, so that was a huge relief. It was also a huge relief that she’s still a girl! I started feeling a bit of anxiety that the sonographer would have read the u/s wrong and that she was actually a boy! Not that that would have been a bad thing, it would just have required a huge mental shift to go from “Kate” to “boy.” I also passed the glucose test, but just barely, which was a shock to me. I mean, I scored within 1 point of not passing. They said they’d just keep an eye on my urine tests to see if there’s any problem. Also, I’m very slightly anemic, so I’m starting taking an iron supplement once a day. (In addition to a calcium supplement twice a day to counteract any calcium suckage that’s going on due to the heparin (blood thinner) I have to inject twice a day. Lovely!)

Problems/issues: I’ve had a mostly easy pregnancy, I have to admit. Other than some issues getting used to eating much more often to stave off super weak/faint feelings at the beginning, I pretty much sailed through until 20 weeks, feeling, although not normal, mostly fine. That week, it was like it turned into a different pregnancy. My “regularity” hit the brakes and constipation became a big problem (sorry for TMI). It’s manageable now, but I have to take steps to keep things moving. That was also the week I started feeling Kate’s little kicks, which is by far the best part.

I also started having some sporadic back issues. More accurately, it was deep in the back of my pelvis, but saying back was just easier. It flared up here and there, but didn’t become a permant issue until around week 25. We went on a mini vacation to New Orleans and did a whole bunch of walking. Some time during that weekend, my back (read: pelvis) started hurting and didn’t stop. For the next 3 weeks, I was in fairly bad pain–sometimes it would flare up super bad to where it hurt to do anything–sit, stand, go from sitting to standing, go from standing to sitting, rolling over in bed, getting out of bed, bending, lifting, pulling, carrying, etc etc. Everything. The worst part has been that I basically had to stop exercising, which has been really hard. I long to go out and walk in the mornings, but I just can’t. I finally talked to a physical therapist friend who guessed it was my SI (sacro-iliac) joint that was causing the pain, but said I needed to see a prenatal PT. So I found one through the hospital and it’s been such a relief. I’ve seen her twice now, and within a few days of seeing her the first time, I already started to feel some relief. She agreed that it’s my SI joint, and it’s slipping in and out of place–when it’s out, that’s when it hurts the most, but even when it’s in, there’s still pain because the area is inflamed from the constant movement. Apparently, this is common in pregnant women because our joints are much looser and more prone to slipping. But, she said our goal is to get me back to where I can exercise walk, and that gives me hope! I am encouraged that, while not in any way back to normal, things are better. She’s given me exercises to do on my own daily, and showed me what to do when it’s hurting bad, meaning it’s slipped out of place, the goal being to prevent it from slipping out of place.

Other than the GI issues and the pelvis thing, I’m losing lots of hair! It’s strange because most women don’t lose any hair while pregnant and have this thick luxurious hair, then lose some after pregnancy. For me, I started losing much more than normal about 6 weeks ago. Lucky for me, I started out with really thick hair, so the average person can’t tell my hair is any thinner, but I can absolutely tell. It’s pretty annoying, and it worries me a bit that if the typical after-delivery hair loss happens to me, I’ll have some serious problems! My doctor says it is possible to lose more hair while you’re pregnant, and I can chalk it up to hormones.

The heparin. The twice daily injections are really becoming a burden. My thighs and belly are bruised and tired of being poked! The “pregnancy brain,” something I thought was just a cliche, is totally alive and well. I do and say stupid things! Your brain really is partly fried during pregnancy. I’m having to get used to getting tired more easily than I used to. I keep feeling like I need to defend myself–“I’m not usually this weak!” After lugging a load of groceries to the car, I always flop in the driver seat and just breathe for a minute or do. It wipes me out!

But overall, I’m ecstatic to be pregnant. I even enjoy seeing my belly get bigger–although it’s weird to see yourself looking so different. My husband and I both sometimes just laugh at how crazy it is to be so different. My good friend who also walked the IF road, just had her baby girl on Friday, and we’re a bit jealous! We’re beyond happy for them to have a healthy baby girl and for my friend to be feeling so well, but we wish we could meet our little girl too! I have such mixed feelings. On one hand, I’m so not ready for her to come–as in, her room is no where near being ready, we haven’t had any showers so we hardly have anything except a crib with no bedding, a changing table, a few packs of diapers, and summer clothes for next summer that I’ve bought on sale! Plus, I feel like I have no idea how to take care of a baby! But on the other hand, Nov. can’t come fast enough–we’re ready to see her!

So, that’s where I’ve been. I’ve been keeping up with your blogs, even though I haven’t been keeping up with mine. I rejoice with those of you who have had good news lately, and think of those of you still “in the trenches.”

I’ll try to come back and update again soon.