Two Years and Counting

28 weeks
August 26, 2009, 9:33 am
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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.


20 weeks
June 28, 2009, 5:30 pm
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It’s a girl! We had our 20 week appt on Thursday and found out the news. I have to admit, right when she said “it’s a girl!” my first thought was, “Huh?” I didn’t realize it until right then, but I think I was expecting a boy. But I’ve pretty much settled into the idea of a girl. We’ve told many of our friends and my husband’s parents, but we’re not telling my parents until next weekend when we see them in person. It’s SO hard to talk to my mom on the phone and not tell her! I’ve had to lie through my teeth, telling her we’re not finding out until the week after the 4th of July. Telling M’s mom today was really fun, and I can’t wait to tell my mom!

I figured I’d immediately go out and buy something as soon as I found out what we were having, but I haven’t bought anything yet. I’ve found the baby book I want, and I’ve made some decisions as far as infant car seat, stroller, etc, but I feel like the first item of clothing I buy this girl is important–I want to get just the right thing. So when she’s 20, I can say, “This is the first thing I ever bought you!” I already have a bag of girl clothes my friend picked up from a yard sale a friend of hers was having, and this kid already has blankets out the wazoo thanks to my mother in law. I suppose I need to start buying stuff myself.

One thing the tech did notice on the ultrasound, and that the doctor confirmed, is that our baby has some fluid that has collected on her kidneys, meaning it’s not draining as it should. They said a lot of times babies grow out of it as they continue developing. We’re getting another u/s at 28 weeks to see if the fluid is still there. If not, great, and if it is, she’ll refer us to a high risk doctor for another u/s. She said most likely, he’ll say, “Can it be a sign of a chromosomal abnormality? Yes, but there’s still a good chance she’ll grow out of it, and we’re just going to wait and see what happens.” I feel pretty confident with this doctor that if there was a reason for us to worry right now, she’d tell us. Yes, it’s a tad annoying to have to think about it for the next 8 weeks, but I’m doing pretty good not worrying about it. If it turns out to be anything more than reflux (which is what the tech said it can sometimes indicate), we’ll deal with it when the time comes.

Other than that, she said the measurements were all good and normal. She didn’t measure my uterus, like she did last time, and I didn’t think at the time to ask her about it. Sometimes I feel like girls on blogs and in forums come away from their appointments with so much more info than I have…all these numbers and stats and things that my doctor doesn’t mention and that I don’t know to ask. I’m 100% confident in our doctor and the practice she’s in, so I know it’s not that she’s not taking good care of me. It may just be that I’m trying to have the attitude she has, which so far as been positive and laid back, and I’m making a big effort not to freak myself out too much so I’m not reading a ton online about measurements, stats, etc. And I’m ok with that right now.

17 weeks
June 8, 2009, 2:27 pm
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I see I haven’t updated here in a while. Every time I’m on the computer and I think about updating, I wonder what I’ll write about. I think it’s partly the fact that I started this blog as a place to vent frustrations about infertility and connect with others going through the same thing (which proved to be so valuable to me), and now that I’m pregnant, I’m wondering what to write about without making anyone uncomfortable and/or sad…and partly because maybe I’m afraid I’ll jinx all this if I talk about it too much! Seriously, I know how sensitive I was (and in some ways still am…more about this later) when I was trying to get pregnant and heard someone talking about her pregnancy or new baby. Granted this is a little different because someone can choose not to read my blog anymore if it bothers them (and I wouldn’t blame them at all) whereas if you’re in conversation with someone who starts to talk to you about their baby, there’s nothing you can do except try to wait until you’re alone before you start to cry (or was I the only one who did that?!)

So, I struggle a bit with how to approach this blog now. I definately desire a place where I can talk about things that are on my mind and connect with other people, pregnant or not. But I don’t want to hurt anyone who is still on the journey to conceive. So, even if I talk about things having to do with my pregnancy or pregnancy in general, please know that in my day to day life, I strive very hard to not hurt anyone who may be on that journey, and I watch what I say as much as possible when I’m around people whose whole stories I do not know.

So, all that said, I’m 17 weeks and doing well. I missed out on morning sickness, which made me very happy and feel very lucky, as I have many friends not so lucky. We find out the se.x in about two and a half weeks. Things are definitely feeling more real now, as I have a small bump and have had such strange changes in my body. Some of them you’re prepared for–weight gain, bbs getting bigger, having to eat more often–but others have been surprises. I have the oddest pang and twitches in my belly from time to time. Not the baby-kicking kind of twitches–I haven’t felt those yet. But just other pains and things that come and go. I’ve had a bit of round ligament pain…that comes mainly when I stand up quickly or change positions quickly. It can be a really stabbing pain that catches me off guard, but it only lasts a couple of seconds. Yesterday I was feeling more regular, but much less painful, twinges, off and on all day. I didn’t call the nurse because I didn’t want to be “that girl” who calls with every pain. But I did call today just to let her reassure me that it’s RLP and not something else, which she did. I’m sure they’re used to women calling often.

I’m also burping a lot, and my hunger pains come on very forcefully and without warning. In the beginning, I was eating literally every two hours. I could almost time the hunger pains… I knew exactly when they’d be coming. Now, it’s not as regular, but when they do hit, boy I better have something to eat on hand. And I’m eating mostly healthy snacks. I’ve tried hard to not give into every craving of salty potato chips (my only true craving, other than cold OJ), and am trying to stick to fruit, cheese, nuts, peanut butter, etc.

I’m getting better with the resentment of other women who get pregnant (I think I mentioned that in an earlier post.) However, I still find myself feeling uncomfortable sometimes around babies. It’s weird-I’d think most pregnant women get excited to see and play with babies, but I still find myself having the familiar feelings of “That’s not for me”–feelings I had during our two year IF struggle. A few weekends ago, we were at the beach and ran into some friends of my parents, and they were holding their precious 6 month old grandbaby. M and I were sitting facing towards each other on two lounge chairs, and they were standing sort of behind me. The whole time they were there, I could hardly look at them–even though by next summer, my parents will be doing the exact same thing with my baby! I just felt like I needed to keep my face forward and not look at them too much. I think the feelings that carved themselves out a place in my brain during that time are sticking around, even though I am pregnant, and God willing, I will have one of those babies in November. It just still feels like babies and mothers with babies are part of a world that I’m not a part of. Maybe those feelings won’t truly go away until I am holding this little one.

I’m not as scared that something bad will happen to this pregnancy. At 17 weeks, I’m digesting the fact that chances are, I’ll have this baby as planned. I’ve passed the “dangerous” time (although we know anything can happen at any time), and a friend pointed out yesterday that it’s not too far off til I’m at the point where if something did happen and I went into early labor, the baby would have a decent chance of being ok. M and I have decided to not having any testing done on this baby–tests to determine abnormalities like Downs Syndrome. We thought about it and asked our doctor for her opinion, and she said if we wouldn’t do anything if we found out there was a potential problem (i.e., we wouldn’t have an abortion, which we wouldn’t) then she’d suggest we not do the testing. She said if she thought I needed to do it, if I were a higher risk, she’d tell me, but that it would be fine if I decided not to. She also pointed out that there’s a decent chance of false positives with the tests, and that it could pick up an abnormality when there really isn’t anything there. I know my tendency to worry, and I know that if we got any abnormal tests, I would worry and wouldn’t be able to enjoy the pregnancy. We’re just going to trust that God will give us the baby He intends for us to have.

Other than that, I’m furiously reading through Baby Bargains, and trying to make decisions on strollers and car seats, so when it comes time to register, I’m ready. I’m a planner and I like to have all the facts before I make a decision, and this book is fabulous in that it gives you so much information about every crib, stroller, car seat, baby monitor, that you hardly have to do any “test-driving” in the store–you can almost just buy what they recommend. It’s a life-saver, since all this stuff is totally new to me. It’s like learning a new language!

I hope everyone is doing well. I’m keeping up with many of your blogs even though I haven’t been updating here often and am not commenting much.

P.S. Has anyone heard of any cute (but not cheesy) ideas for fathers day for fathers-to-be? I’m drawing a blank.

11 weeks
April 28, 2009, 7:45 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

We had our first appt with my regular OB on Thursday, and it went really well. I had gotten a bit nervous about the appt, of course, so I was pretty anxious to get there and get the ultrasound. At first, the nurse tried doing it on my belly and couldn’t find anything at all! So she did it vag.inally (I thought I was finished with those!) and found the baby that way. She said my uterus may be tilted back a bit and that’s why it took her a minute to find it (although the nurses at the fert. clinic never had a problem finding it.) Pretty quickly we saw the baby wiggling around, then she located the heartbeat. Then she turned the sound up and we heard it! I wasn’t really expecting that, and it was a beautiful sound. The baby was much bigger than the ultrasound we had two weeks prior. She got some photos (one of which makes the baby look exactly like a little alien), including one 3D image–in this one, it actually looks like a tiny baby! His/her hand is up towards the mouth and you can see the beginnings of the legs, which aren’t fully formed yet.

We had told our families and close friends about the pregnancy already, but were waiting for that first appt with the ob before we told everyone else. So, since it went well, and since I feel like I can relax more now and enjoy it, we’re now telling other people about it, and that’s making it seem more real. That, and the fact that at the appt, they loaded us up with books and pamphlets about pregnancy, which also made it feel more real. I think I’ll start to connect even more when I start to look pregnant. Right now, I have a pooch where I used to not have one, and my bbs are a bit fuller, but other than that, you can’t really tell. Definitely can’t tell when I’m fully clothed. Now, if I wasn’t holding my stomach in, people would be able to tell, but since I’m still just at the pooch stage and not the small belly stage, I’m still holding in a bit! I’m really ready for when it’s obviously baby and I can let it all out–when it doesn’t just look like I’ve been eating big meals lately! I’ve gained 5 pounds, which I guess is fairly normal. I’m at ll weeks, so really just a couple more before I’m finished with the first trimester. When I realized that a few days ago, part of me thought–well, I’ve wasted this first part of my pregnancy being worried and nervous…but the other part reminds me that pregnancy is really long…almost a year! And I have plenty of time to go.

Every day we’re thankful that we’ve been blessed in this way. I have no idea why God chose to have us wait as long as we did, and why he allowed us to get pregnant when we did. I told M the other day that it would have been fine if we’d gotten pregnant when we first started trying two years ago, but there’s something to be said for being two years further into our marriage, two years more stable financially, two years of learning more about ourselves and each other before we bring another person into our world. So I’m thankful for God’s timing, even though the path to get here was very difficult.

Pregnancy After Infertility Issues
April 18, 2009, 2:01 pm
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I’ve discovered over the last several weeks as friends have announced their pregnancies that I’m a bit resentful towards those who “just get pregnant.” I’m going to have to start being careful to not let that resentment color how I treat them or think about them. It’s an ugly thing, really, but it pops up when I least expect it. It seems that we hear of someone from our church or someone in our larger circle of people getting pregnant almost every week. When we were struggling to get pregnant, those announcements stung, of course. I figured that stinging might go away if we ever got pregnant, but I’m finding that pregnancy doesn’t automatically make the pain of infertility go away. The fact that people continue to “just get pregnant” when it took us so long, really bothers me, and I understand that it shouldn’t. I’m sure I’ll get over it at some point. I have a firm grasp on the idea that God has us all on different paths and no one’s journey is the same–I understand all that and I’m fine with it. But the ease of most people’s pregnancies still stings. In the last week or so, I’ve had two friends announce their pregnancies–one with her third child, and one with her second. With both of them, that ugly part of me thought, “Wait a minute, I just got pregnant after a really long time of trying and it’s a big deal. Why are you here announcing that you’re pregnant after deciding when you wanted to have a baby, doing the deed, and peeing on a stick?” See? U-G-L-Y.

Another part of it is that I sort of feel like an imposter. My church is mostly made up of couples in their upper 20s to upper 30s, most with multiple small children. Over the past 2 years when we were trying to get pregnant, I can’t even begin to figure out how many kids were born. So many that I had to stop looking at people in the communion line because of all the big bellies. And now I’ve “crossed over”–I’m one of the ones who will (assuming everything continues to go smoothly) have a big belly one day, but I don’t feel like I belong at all. It’s like there’s an invisible wall between the girls with kids and the ones without. Or come to think of it, maybe I’m the only one on the other side of that wall…and I know I’m the one who put myself there. No one did anything to make me feel like I’m on the other side, but after having seen so many of my peers have their first, then second, child while we still struggled, the wall definitely crept up for me. Even when I’m holding a baby in my arms, I’m not sure I’ll feel like I belong on that other side of the wall. Like I’ll still feel like I’m not up to par with the ones who got pregnant easily and never knew any burden in that regard.

9 weeks
April 9, 2009, 10:07 am
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Things are going well here. I had my 9 week appt this morning for an ultrasound and bloodwork. It was actually my last visit to the clinic, and I have mixed feelings about it. I’m excited to be close to being considered “normal” but I’ve gotten very used to the faces I’ve been seeing at the clinic for the last year, especially these last couple of months when I’ve been there a lot. Everyone has told me to prepare myself for very few ultrasounds with the regular obgyn, so I’m savoring what I saw this morning and am looking forward to our 10 week appt with my regular doctor and the ultrasound we’ll get then. But after that, I’m guessing it’ll be at least 4 weeks before we have another one (maybe 8 weeks?) I understand that you just can’t feasibly do an u/s on every pregnant woman, every week, but I wish I could have more regular bloodwork and urinalyses. It seems like checking the blood and urine can catch so much, and waiting 4+ weeks between checks seems like a lot. But what do I know?

I’ve been feeling good for the most part. Actually better than I was feeling 2-3 weeks ago. I’m not as tired as I was before (except for yesterday when I was about to fall asleep on my feet all day, but that was because I went to bed a good bit later the night before than I usually do. Won’t make that mistake again.) I’m eating every two hours, which staves off most not-so-good feelings. But I haven’t had any bad nausea, which I’m thankful for. I know “they” say nausea can indicate a healthy pregnancy, but since we know that’s not completely true, I’d rather not have those feelings, thank you very much!

Baby is measuring about 1 day ahead with a strong heartbeat. Today, I saw it move! It was really wiggling around, and it’s so hard to believe something so small can actually move like that. There was a big difference between what we saw on u/s last week and this week. Now, you can see a bit of a separation between the head and the body, you could see a leg hanging down, and you could see the brain forming in the head. Really unbelievable.

I have to admit, I don’t feel quite connected to this baby. Even now, it’s almost like the nurse is just showing me something on a screen, not something that’s actually in me. I don’t know if it’s because I don’t really feel all that pregnant (other than the hunger, the constant peeing, etc) or if it’s more because M and I aren’t quite yet at a point where we feel we can get really excited about being pregnant. I think we’re both feeling like this is so fragile, we don’t really want to throw ourselves into it yet. I’m praying for a peace that’ll allow us to get as excited as we want to be, as excited as our friends and family are for us. I know we’ll get there, but I guess we’re just still being cautious. Maybe another week or two and we’ll feel like we’ve at least made it out of the woods, so to speak.

7 weeks
March 28, 2009, 10:01 am
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I have to say, I don’t know how people ever just relax and enjoy their pregnancy. That hasn’t happened to me yet. It’s not so much that I’m constantly worried or anxious…there’s just a sense that this could all go away so quickly, and I think that’s keeping me from being truly excited and really enjoying the fact that I’m pregnant for the very first time. Any time the nurse says any tiny thing that’s not overly positive or gushy, I wonder why she’s being hesitant, even if she’s not meaning to be that way. My first two ultrasounds were perfect. Then at the one this week (at 6 weeks 6 days), she said the baby was measuring 6 weeks 4 days, which is great, and that the gestational sac (I think that’s what it’s called) is measuring 1 week behind at 5 weeks 4 days. She said they consider anything within 1 week to be normal, so mine is normal (although it looks to me like it’s barely normal). And she said they like to see the baby looking proportional to the sac, not the baby taking up most of the room in the sac, which mine wasn’t. So she said it’s nothing to worry about. But of course, it enters my mind from time to time and I think about it. I’m not freaking out about it, because I know there’s nothing I can do, but it still doesn’t totally go away. Maybe part of it is that I’m just so used to things not working out, and I’m half expecting this pregnancy to not work out…or maybe concerns like this are common to all pregnant women.

Then the other thing is that the nurse left me a message late Thursday saying they saw a small amount of protein in my urine, which makes them wonder about a UTI. I’ve had no symptoms at all, and in the message she said if there are no symptoms, they may not need to treat it (that it can be something other than a UTI) and for me to call her on Friday. I called and she never called back! I was pretty disappointed. They always call back, and I figured especially for something like this where we needed to determine if I need to be treated for something, they’d call me back. I’m telling myself she must have not thought it was worrisome enough to do something before the weekend. I know untreated UTIs can cause miscarriages, so I’m just hanging on til Monday.

That’s about it. I’m just praying for some peace, that I can enjoy this ride, whatever happens. It’s just hard to do that when it feels like everything is so shaky and fragile.