Sunday, February 24, 2008

Good luck with your trigger finger

Please go over and send lots of positive vibes to my dear friend Rho. She triggered tonight for her latest IVF. Retrieval is on Tuesday morning.

Please, oh please, oh please let this be the one for her and S!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Some Good News

Now, for some good news...

Please head over and congratulate Shelby on the birth of her beautiful baby boy!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Say Cheese

We went to see the Perinatologist again today to check my low-lying placenta. Thankfully, although it is still low, it has moved far enough away from my cervix that they pronounced me "in the clear." Whew.

We got some new pictures. They aren't as good as the ones we have of Megan, but are cute nonetheless. Partially that's because Megan's pictures (which are below Spidey's) were taken at 30 weeks, and then again at 36w1d whereas Spidey's today was at 26w1d. Also, it's because he just wasn't feeling photogenic and therefore wasn't as cooperative as Megan proved to be.

Here is a picture of his face:

And, in a feat you will never see an adult pull off (except, perhaps, in Cirque Du Soleil), here he is in an exaggerated punt. That's his leg on the left side (foot on top), the umbilical cord in between, and then his head on the right. Really, all I can think to say is "ow." Nothing about this picture looks comfortable...
For comparison's sake, here is a picture of Megan at 30 weeks. For those of you that have met me in person, you'll probably recognize that face since she is the spitting image of me (and already was in 30w in the womb!).

Lastly, here is just a nice picture of Megan at 36w1d. No less than 3 of the OBs at my doctor's office were convinced she was HUGE and there was no way they should let me go to term. They were worried that she was getting too big and that she'd get stuck, or I'd need a c-section or other stuff like that. They sent me to the Perinatologist who proclaimed her over 7 lbs at 36 weeks gestation. This put her on track for a birthweight of 9 lbs or more. So, how much did she weigh at birth, you ask? A whopping 6 lbs 15 ozs. Just goes to show you that sonograms are much more of an art than a science. Anyway, here is the picture:

Prayers Please

My IRL friend Lea (not an infertile, doesn't have a blog) just experienced a horrible tragedy. She and I used to work together, but I've primarly kept up with her pregnancy through Rho who is much better friends with Lea.

Lea just lost her baby at 34 weeks and had some very serious health issues herself -- so much so that she needed to be transferred from her hospital to the local Shock Trauma Center. It turns out that she had acute fatty liver (AFLP). I didn't know anything about this until I heard about Lea's tragedy, and apparently it's very rare, but that makes it no less devastating.

Please pray for Lea's continued recovery, pray for her baby boy to rest in peace, and pray for her family to make it through this incredibly difficult, horrible time.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Freight train or happy ending?

In my last post, I started talking about how I felt simultaneously ready and not ready for Spidey to come along. Here is where I elaborate on it. Once again, this post has nothing whatsoever to do with IF, so if you don't feel like reading a pregnant chick's rambling about preparing for the baby to arrive, then you should skip this one too.

On one hand, I am ready. I mean READY. Totally, completely and utterly ready to be done. Done with babymaking entirely. But also done with being pregnant. It's just not fun. Beyond the physical discomfort, there's the ever-present terror that keeps me convinced Spidey is going to simply die inside there and I won't know until it's too late. I'm ready to meet Spidey, to see what he looks like, to feel him safe in my arms.

But on the other hand, I am truly not ready. I really enjoy having Megan all to myself, not having to juggle attention between children. I enjoy that Megan is basically self-sufficient and can feed, dress, undress, get in/out of the car, walk, talk, and go potty by herself. She more or less sleeps all night and has a great routine going on. I think that I can imagine what a giant change it's going to be to our life as we know it now, but I can't possibly understand what it truly means until Spidey is here.

The room isn't ready, but it could be quickly enough. We moved Megan's crib in there when she graduated to a toddler bed and just never took it out. I need to wash the new bedding, but otherwise it's ready to go. We don't have a dresser/changing table but could either get one or make due without for a while. We've got diapers (handed down to us by our friends who recently had babies), clothes (mostly hand-me-downs which are my favorites), a car seat, a stroller, infant toys, etc.

I always joked about how Megan could have slept in a dresser drawer if she came before we were "ready." But it's true. Newborns really don't need all that much except a place to sleep, a car seat, some clothes and a boob (or bottle/formula). We've got all that and more.

So why do I feel so unprepared? Is it because I fear the horrible, dark, bleak days and nights that we endured with Megan? She was a very difficult baby who did lots of crying, very little sleeping (until 7 months), and was only a moderately successful eater (until 6 weeks when I gave up the SNS and nipple.shield and nearly gave up breastfeeding altogether). However, I was woefully unprepared for how to handle a baby.

Truly, I sucked at it. Normally, I am an incredibly capable, organized, efficient, confident person. But when Megan was a baby, I completely disintegrated. Partially, I think it was the fact that I had some retained placenta which really jacked with my hormones. It is a point of debate whether I truly had post partum depression or it was the retained placenta + lack of any sleep at all whatsoever. Either way, I was a wreck. I felt noticeably better after going on Zol.oft, but still remained a bit of a neurotic mess.

I know I won't be that bad again. For one, I'll go back on Zol.oft around 37 weeks. Also, I won't have the time to sit around and obsess about every little thing like I did with Megan. But still... having a teeny tiny person completely dependent upon me for every little thing is daunting. No routine (at the very beginning), no sleep, and all the other junk that goes along with it is just so not fun. The disgusting bleeding, the c-section recovery, the hospital stay...

But it's all worth it. The bottom line is that -- God willing -- Spidey will be here in 14 weeks and I'd damn sight better get ready. More so emotionally than logistically. So wish me luck, or just go ahead and tell me I'm being a jackass whiner about the whole thing.

If it goes according to plan, my wish will have come true. It may have taken much longer, much more heartache, and much more money than I could have ever imagined, but I will have arrived at my dream . . . a wonderful husband and 2 healthy kids. I can slam the door shut on fertility clinics, BCPs, counting cycle days, daily bloodwork, dildocams, Lu.pron, Gani.relix, stims, retrievals, fertilization reports, embryo growth updates, transfers, 2WWs, betas, heartbeat checks, graduations, nuchal.translucency tests, and on and on . . . you get the point. I will be done. D. O. N. E.

Will this make me a better blogger? Probably not. It will make me boring. But hopefully it will make me a better supporter and commenter since I'll be able to focus more on my friends and less on my own personal drama.

Up until now, I haven't really considered that it might work out. That I would be able to put all of that shit behind me. I will never forget it, the pain and the disappointment and the fear and the crushing sadness of the years of trying and the BFNs and the miscarriages. But I won't have to personally endure it anymore on a daily basis.

It takes my breath away to think of this as a possibility, and it also makes me scared. I don't want to think like this yet, it's still too soon. Way too much could happen and I can't go getting cocky or confident. So instead I feel like I can sort of see the light at the end of the tunnel. As always, I'm hoping it's a signal of resolution, and not just a freight train bearing down on me.

Pregnancy-Induced Stupidity

This post is terribly boring. It also has very little to do with IF. So if you don't want to read about my OB appointment and a ridiculous epiphany I had regarding the actual delivery of a baby, then you should skip this post. You know that I won't mind one bit.

I had another OB appointment today. Nothing exciting, I just peed in a cup, got weighed, and had my blood pressure taken. I complained relentlessly about my heartburn (I'm now approaching 300mg of Zan.tac a day) and my newly-acquired inability to sleep (thanks to uncomfortable back, legs, etc. -- not due to run-of-the-mill insomnia). The Doc measured my fundal height with the nifty paper tape measure and listened to Spidey's heartbeat. All in all, pretty uneventful.

As I was checking out, I noticed some writing on my paper. It said 25 +4 + 14. I asked what the heck that was. He explained that the 25 was because I'm 25 weeks along. The +4 is because I put on 4 lbs since my last appointment. The +14 is because I've put on 14 lbs total. I cringed and started beating myself about the head and shoulders when he said this. I worked so hard to keep my weight gain low because I had started out about 15 lbs too heavy to begin with! But last week I lost my mind and ate about 673,984 donut holes in one day. Plus I've been hitting the ice cream pretty hard at night. With the nausea and vomiting mostly under control, I've been able to eat more. And, obviously, I have been.

Anyway, when I started pissing and moaning about my weight gain, the Doc said, "Are you kidding? I see people all the time who put on 14 lbs in the first trimester! I'm very happy with your weight gain." So I explained that I take my imaginary pencil and tack on another 15 lbs to whatever they tally up since I started out chunky. He looked me right in the eye and said, "I don't measure that way, and you aren't allowed to either." Nice! (But I still will.) He offered that he thought I was on track for a weight gain somewhere in the mid 20s or 30 lbs at the most. That's better than with Megan when I gained 38 lbs -- but it was also August and I swelled up like a sausage thanks to the heat and pre.eclampsia.

I gathered my things up and went to check out. When the nurse asked if I had my next appointment scheduled, I said no. I knew I had to do it, though, because I've got to drink the Glu.cola stuff for my gestational diabetes test. With Megan, I completely flunked the 1 hour test, and was borderline on the 3 hour test. So I probably shouldn't mess around with it. I made my appt for March 6th -- 2 days after we return from a week in Florida so I hope that I can make a last-ditch effort on vacation to eat reasonably. :-)

Then she said, "Do you want to make your appointment for 2 weeks after that?" I just couldn't believe I'm already approaching the switch to appts every 2 weeks instead of every 4 weeks. In so many ways, this pregnancy is dragging on forever, but in others it's just flying by!

I made a couple more appointments and then asked her to print out the listing of them so I could put them in my calendar. Here's what the paper said:

3/6/08 Dr. MR
3/20/08 Dr. FG
4/4/08 Dr. FG
5/19/08 Dr. MR
5/19/08 Dr. FG

I said, "Wait a minute, this is messed up. One of these appointments has me seeing 2 Doctors at once. This must be wrong." Then she said, "No, that's your surgery appointment." Like a complete moron, I said, "Surgery? What are you talking about?" After looking at me like, well, a complete moron, she said, "Um, aren't you having a c-section?"

I almost fell over the chair behind me. I already knew that May 19th was the date we were going to schedule the c-section (39w1d), but for some reason, my brain didn't even come close to processing it when I saw it on the paper. I simply couldn't believe it was already there -- and in a way it feels so close.

On one hand, I am completely ready. But on the other hand, I am just not ready. As I started to try to explain this concept, my post got insanely long and booooring. So I've broken it up and will save that rambling for a different post later in the week.

In the meantime, I'm working to be happy that things seem to be going along drama-free and that we are (amazingly) getting one step closer each day to our dream of a real, live baby in the house.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Musings on how IF is sort of like cotton candy

I am forever droning on and on about how IF has permanently changed me. I contend that it has changed me much more than finally being pregnant actually has. That's why I often sort of "forget" that I'm pregnant, and still sneer at big bellies with bitter jealousy.

I intentionally put the word forget in quotes there because I most certainly do not forget I'm pregnant -- too many physical reminders for that to actually happen at this point -- but it seems that my brain is a little slower on the uptake when it comes to finding a way to dissolve the feelings of jealousy, anger and that of being unjustly tortured.

I have, however, come up with at least one way that being pregnant has changed me. I have always organized the entries my bloglines according to Still Trying, Not Trying, or BFP. There are some overlay categories (Braces Bunch, Order of the Plastic Uterus / DC Bloggers, and Other), but the basic categories relate to their status regarding the p word.

Prior to becoming pregnant (or holding on to a pregnancy longer than most people keep a sinus infection) when I would head over to my bloglines, I would always read the Still Trying section first. I still do that, so no big change there. Here's where the change has come into play... Previously, when I would read those blogs, I would be looking for someone in my situation. Sistas who just got their BFN from yet another cycle, Sistas who were enduring miscarriages, etc. It's like I focused on those in misery because, well, I guess I wanted company.

Don't get me wrong, I was happy when someone got a BFP but it was so convoluted and mixed up with jealousy (not to mention that my reaction was tempered by the IF Pain Olympics and the Sliding Scale of Happiness) that it left me feeling conflicted and shitty. It was like an IF train wreck -- I didn't want to look because it made me feel like a pathetic failure, but I had to look because I care about these people and I do genuinely want them to get their hearts desires. Needless to say, it left me feeling sort of like I'd eaten cotton candy... it was yummy and sweet and I knew that it was supposed to make me feel good, but it also left me feeling empty and unfulfilled and disillusioned.

Now, it's different. When I head over to read my bloglines each day, I continue to start with the Still Trying section, but I am desperate to find someone with a BFP. I'm not one of those nutty pregnant chicks who wants everyone to all be pregnant together [insert twittering birds and Disney-esque music here], but I am ashamed to admit that I experience a more pure form of joy (is there such a thing as "unpure" joy?) when other Stirrup Queens get their two lines. It's like I can allow myself true, unabashed happiness for them now that I'm not wallowing in self-loathing, jealousy and other such nastiness.

I'm not entirely sure why I am writing about this topic. Clearly, from the choppy nature of the post and crappy flow of the writing, it's not a sentiment that I've worked through enough in my head. But I guess I'm bringing it up for two reasons:

1) to let my friends who are still in the trenches know that it really is okay to only pretend to be happy for other people's BFPs, or to genuinely be happy but not actually as overjoyed as your half-dozen exclamation points in the comments make you seem like you are

2) to ask other pregnant infertiles if they have experienced this emotional shift as well -- from half-dreading other people's BFPs to desperately seeking them out

Am I crazy? Most definitely. Am I alone in this demented way of thinking? Probably not, but it would be nice if you guys could tell me that I'm not a complete ogre or raging nutjob. Thanking you in advance...

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Unspeakable Sadness

My deepest condolences to Mary Ellen and Steve for losing their three little girls, Sylvia, Claire and Lucy.

I cannot comprehend the emotions they are feeling now. My thoughts and prayers are with them. Please go send yours as well, they will need all the support they can get.

According to the latest update (thank you so much, Serenity), Mary Ellen is doing a bit better so that is encouraging.

It's just so unfair. And so, so sad. I will never understand why things like this happen.

The Intention to Catch Up

I've been tagged for stuff and have really been slacking lately, I'm so sorry. I'm such a sloth that I never even wrote a post during the Blog You Very Much frenzy. I still intend to do that.

So, sometime this weekend, I intend to write a post that contains:
1) my Blog You Very Much inspiration explanation
2) the 6 non-important things/habits/quirks about myself meme
3) the ... well, crap ... now I can't even remember what the 3rd one was

Geez, I suck.