Wednesday, December 28, 2011

1/2 Way, an Infertile's Perspective

Today marks the ½ way point, 20 weeks.  It’s strange how fast time is going now.  At the beginning I was so worried all the time that it seemed like the minute hand on the clock never moved while I waited and waited for the next test or ultrasound.  Now, all of the sudden a week has passed and I don’t know where it went!

I got a comment on my last post that said “congratulations on your son” it was the first time I’d thought of him as that, an actual person.  I’m only now starting to embrace the fact that we’re actually having a human being, it’s almost like it was too risky to think of him like that before.

Today marks the point where if we lose the baby it’s considered a still birth and not a miscarriage.  I’m not sure why that seems significant but it does, somehow a doctor acknowledging the fact that if we lose the baby I’m truly losing a baby and not just a pregnancy seems important. And yet, I don’t feel any differently about this baby today than I did yesterday, it would be no harder to lose him today than it would have been yesterday.  I’m already counting the weeks until we reach viability.

I think wading through the trenches of infertility really messes with your mind.  I don’t think normal fertile women contemplate things like this when they reach the ½ way point.  I think normal fertile women just get excited about baby showers, newborn clothes and being on the downhill slope.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m excited about those things too but they weren’t the first thing I thought of this morning, miscarriage vs. stillbirth was…  Just like the first thing I thought of at 18 weeks was that if I went to the ER I would now get seen by the doctors in labor and delivery not just regular ER docs.  Do normal women ever contemplate a trip to the ER during their pregnancy?  Do they have contingency plans for what hospital they’ll head to at the first sign of distress like I do?

I took a quick picture of myself to mark the day, of course I forgot this morning but against my better judgment I snapped a picture of myself in the mirror of the ladies room at work.  I was laughing about how ridiculous I felt while I took it so that is why you see the stupid look on my face…

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Wiener Confirmation!

Last Thursday we had an awesome 19 week ultrasound!  I apologize for taking so long to post this but after our appointment I was just so happy I never got to the computer to type this up.  The ultrasound confirmed that we’ll be welcoming a baby boy in May!  It also gave me an incredible Christmas present, my placenta previa cleared!!!  So, as would be expected, Blue and I celebrated all weekend…

Little Man is going to be tall, you could tell he had really long legs in the ultrasound, the tech also said that he’s measuring 6 days ahead for crown to rump length (which is the measurement they usually use for dating the pregnancy.)  Early on he consistently measured 3 days ahead on CRL but since 12 weeks he has been growing like crazy!

Somehow finding out he is a boy makes this whole pregnancy thing feel more real.  We’ve started serious talks about names and think we’ve come to an agreement but I still have a few little hang ups.  Our plan is to call him by his name (secretly) for the next few weeks and see if it sticks.  I have to admit that I’m having a hard time not calling him little man though, that seems to fit the best of anything!

This week I promise a 20 week post complete with belly pictures and another post all about the fact that we’ll no longer be having a planned C-section and why that terrifies me. 

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A Whole Year and Blog Awards!

I can’t believe I’ve been blogging for a whole year (and a week since I’m late writing this!)

Blogging has helped me put my life and TTC in perspective.  In the beginning, before any one actually read my blog, just writing down my thoughts (both negative and positive) had a huge effect on me.  From the time I started this blog to the first positive pee stick was 9 months.  We had been trying for almost 2 years before that but the 9 months that followed were the hardest of my life.  I wouldn’t have survived it with out blogging and the friends I have met through it.  You are people I will remember for the rest of my life, you have been there for me through thick and thin and I mean it when I say it meant the world to me.

A few of these wonderful friends have given me blog awards in the last month or so and I’ve been slacking about doing my own award post, so here it goes! 

I huge thank you to:

Since I’m combining two awards I’m changing the rules slightly and making them a little more fun… Here are the new combo rules!

1. Thank the person who gave you the award!
2. List 7 things people may not know about you (complete with pictures.)
3. Pass the award to 5 other bloggers and notify them as well.

Here are my 7 things:

1.       You may know how much I love Blue, but you may not know that his military uniform involves a maroon beret and dress pants stuck into his boots, apparently this silly outfit is an honor to get to wear…  This is us at his graduation in April of 2010.

2.       You may know I have 2 goldendoodle (half golden retriever half standard poodle) fur babies, but you may not know that Trapper, the white one, sees it as his personal responsibility to clean Panda’s face, most importantly his eye boogers.

3.       You may know I live in Alaska, but did you know that I LOVE borrowing other people’s animal fur hats to take photos in?

4.       You may know I’m pregnant but you probably don’t know that it is due in part to the fact that I wished for it while rubbing this statue on Charles Bridge in Prague, Czech Republic this summer.

5.       You may know about Panda and Trapper but I doubt I’ve told you about Daisy, my 8th grade birthday present.  Daisy died this year at age 14 but this is my favorite picture of her, she was attending an 80’s party and came dressed for the occasion. 

6.       I have a friend who is a circus performer and I tried to learn how to do the whole ribbon dancing thing once.  It’s hard and somehow this picture is fooling you into thinking I had it figured out, I didn’t, I was a mess.

7.       Blue and I had a couple’s Halloween last year and went as Little Red and The Big Bad Wolf (dressed as a grammy).  Isn’t Blue so cute in a romper!

Now onto the award passing!  I’m going to give this award to 5 of the blogs I recently started reading, so head on over and check them out! - This is the blog my fabulous friend who I cycled with in Vegas started.  She’s still on her journey to a BFP so head over and cheer her on! - This is a great girl I met through TWW, she and I are almost the same due date and she is pregnant after struggling with IF as well. - Pregnant with her miracle after IVF, she just graduated from the RE, go tell her congrats! - I love Alicia’s honesty!  She is an honest, sincere blogger and I enjoy all her posts.  She is also still on the IF train so go cheer her on! - Tippy is also pregnant after donor IVF and recently wrote a great post about what a difference a year can make, its so true considering I started this infertility blog a year ago and now here I am.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Belly Shots and my OCD

I’ve mentioned my OCD before, right?  Do you recall my super nerdy trigger calculator which caused me way more anxiety than necessary?  Or maybe one of my other crazy spreadsheet admissions helped you realize the extent of my crazy?

The point is sometimes I’m a little obsessive.  I over plan, I stress over details and if God forbid if I ever have to compare things to one another THEY WILL be perfectly comparable or I won’t compare them at all.  Hence the reason I have a belly picture from 8 weeks and then not another until 16 weeks. (Well, there was one failed attempt at 10 weeks but it is just another illustration of my crazy.)

I took my 8 week picture in what seemed like the perfect outfit for it, black yoga pants, because I have 2 of the exact same ones, and a black tank top, because I have 3 of the exact same ones.  You see, the reason the outfit choice was important was because I already knew how crazy I would be about comparing one picture to the next and how could I possibly compare them if I was wearing different clothes??

So why didn’t I just keep taking weekly pictures?  See the following reasons and be thankful you’re not totally nutso like me:

9 Weeks:  Blue was out of town and since he took the first picture and I would have to take the second picture alone they would not be comparable because number 2 would have to be a mirror picture and number one was not.

10 Weeks:  Blue was late for work but I threw clothes on and got him to stay an extra 2 minutes so we wouldn’t miss it.  He refused to come upstairs so we had to take them next to the door to the garage.  I cannot use these for comparison because the angle and distance and lighting are way off, I was so mad I deleted all but one (just incase I ever need it for anything other than comparison sake.)

11 Weeks:  I forgot to take the pictures before work.  If they aren’t taken in the morning they won’t be comparable because I will be more bloated because I ate.

12 Weeks:  Both pairs of my favorite yoga pants were dirty.

13 Weeks:  I forgot until it was 13 weeks and 1 day.  This clearly would not count because it was Thursday, not Wednesday like it was supposed to be.

14 weeks:  Blue was on nights so he slept in (see reason from week 11.)

15 weeks:  I had the day off so I slept in and Blue left for work at his normal time (see reason from week 9.)

So how did my neuroses allow me to finally take a week 16 picture?  My belly popped between week 15 and 16 and I was devastated to have missed that on film, it was enough to allow me to push aside all reasons to avoid the picture (which really added up on this particular day… See below for the reasons I am convinced I may have finally cured my crazy fear of improper comparisons!

Week 16:  I forgot.  I took the picture at 16w1day (compare with legitimate reason from week 13), my favorite yoga pants were dirty so I had to wear different black pants (ref: week 12), Blue and I were running late for work but I forced him to be later (week 10 disaster), I had a glass of water first (see detrimental effects as demonstrated in week 11.)

8 to 18 week Comparison with nice edited pictures

8 to 18 week comparison with 10 week terrible pic included...  Clearly I'm right about the importance of using the same location right?
I did take a week 18 picture with all the original rules just for one final comparison shot to make me happy but I have decided that it is now ok to move on to bi-weekly comparisons with the following reasonable stipulations: 
  • I must be wearing black, but any black outfit will do.
  • I must be standing against a white wall but any white wall will work.
  • Someone else must take the picture but it doesn’t have to be Blue.
  • The picture still counts as the week its taken in as long as its with in the first 3 days of the given week.
This is what the Bubble looks like under clothes, its fun to be obviously pregnant
This is a picture that I found on Pintrest (my new obsession) made me realize that I’m crazy and its way cuter to have a little fun with it!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Symptoms Series: Post 3, Holy Boobies Batman!

***Disclaimer: I am joking, not complaining.  I think the booby symptoms are funny not annoying (although it was annoying to have to pay $70 for a bra...)***

Within days of my positive beta I noticed that my bras weren’t fitting so well… This problem persisted until they didn’t fit at all, at which point I moved on to my Fat Day Bra, you know, like fat day pants for your boobs?  I keep this bra around but only to break out for the interim time when I need to get my weight in check.  The Fat Day Bra has always been my motivator to get to the gym or lay off the cookies.

This time I never made my way back to normal sized bras….  The fat day bra kept getting tighter and tighter… Eventually I had quad boob, you know, the phenomenon where your boobs are busting out and getting cut off half way by the top of the bra so it appears you have four boobs?

I let quad boob persist until I started to notice the full outline of my bra indented in my skin every time I took it off.  At this point I admitted I had a problem.  My mother in law decided she would fix it so she assumed that I’d gone up a cup size from 36D to 38DD.  She bought me a nice bra but then when I took it off it looked like I was still wearing it.  Hence this week’s trip to get measured and the inspiration for this post’s name, so, without further ado…   

36G: Holy boobies Batman!

Ignore the awful coloring and just look at the difference in boob size in the same shirt...  PS I will post an 18 week belly shot this week, i'm just behind in taking them but that is a post about my OCD that I will save for another day!

Here are some of the other booby changes in no particular order:

Veins Galore:  I used to look for this sign in the TWW, I remember many a morning staring in the mirror trying to decide if there were more visible veins than normal.  This symptom didn’t actually show up until about 7 or 8 weeks (like most of the common symptoms.)

Red, sometimes purple in color:  Sometimes when I look in the mirror I want to do the Heimlich on them, they look like the people on TV who are choking and turn weird colors.  This probably has something to do with the fact that they are double the size trying to fit in the same amount of skin.  It may also be a result of trying to squish them in tiny bras, I’ll let you know in a few weeks.

Sensitive: This one comes and goes.  Sometimes my nipples hurt to touch, sometimes my boobs themselves itch so bad I feel like I took a bath in poison ivy, just depends on the day.

Bigger nipple size:  I always thought women got bigger nipples from breast feeding, not true.  The hormones prepping your boobs for breast feeding seem to prompt this change.  My nipples themselves are bigger and so are the areolas. 

Stretch Mark:  I have officially gotten my first stretch mark.  Not on my belly as expected but on my gigantic right boob.  This makes me want to cry, probably because of this.

In conclusion, everyone I’ve mentioned the size change to has responded with something along the lines of “well at least Blue is happy!”  When I told Blue this he didn’t even laugh, instead he scoffed/pouted and said “doesn’t matter to me, I don’t even get to touch them.”

Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Lincoln Dilemma

Almost two years ago Blue and I fell in love with the name Lincoln for our first baby boy.  We’ve wavered and changed girl’s names a million times but we’ve never steered away from Linc for our baby boy.

Sounds great right?  We most likely have a kid with a wiener growing in there so just name him Lincoln and move on.  Not so fast, the cruelty of IF continues…

A family friend in another state just had a son and named him Lincoln.  If we had gotten pregnant just a few months earlier we would have announced our son’s name first because they waited until their son was born. 

Everyone else says just name him the same thing, but I can’t seem to get over it so now I’m stuck and Blue and I can’t seem to agree on any other names.

I know it’s petty.  I know that I’m pregnant and I should just be happy that I’m the lucky bitch that got the happily ever after, but couldn’t I just get a break? 

Monday, December 5, 2011

The Fertile's Club 'aka The Military'

I used to hate going to parties at Blue’s work.  He’s in the military and so it’s a given that there will always be gobs of babies and pregnant women.  For the record they are always nice and I always get to snuggle babies, but even before we started trying I just never felt like I fit in…

I’ve always wondered if maybe I just didn’t have anything in common with his coworkers and their families or if it really was because we didn’t have kids. 

It was because we didn’t have kids.

When I went to the first party post-pregnancy it was not what I expected at all.  Not only were all the women asking me how I was feeling and giving baby advice, the men were too!  Guys I had literally never even talked to before were saying congratulations and touching my belly. 

It was like I suddenly went from being the junior-high outcast to one of the popular kids over night.  I smiled through the whole party and relished in my new found membership to The Fertile’s Club.

I didn’t let myself dwell on how I felt about it all until Blue and I were driving home… Then I wasn’t sure I was so happy about suddenly ‘fitting in’…  I was mad that I was right all those years about why I didn’t fit in.  By enjoying it I felt like I was burying my infertile past and moving on, which I promised not to do.

Blue, as always, was slow to say anything but when he did it was wise, “they just didn’t know how to start a conversation with you before.”  Then there was silence while he let me ponder his wise words.

I think he was right.  Most of these couple’s entire lives revolve around their families, they have to move every few years and the one thing that is constant is their family.  Most of the women are stay at home moms to help accommodate the military dynamic and probably can’t remember back to a life before they had kids. 

I get it.  That’s why we go through the heartache of infertility, isn’t it?  It’s why we don’t just give up and move on to a life with out children, because we hope someday that our families will be the center of our whole lives.  Some people have an easier time with that transition than we’ve had and I guess I can’t fault them for that.