Thursday, August 23, 2012

Never Safe

I had a whole different post to put up today but changed my mind.

I have 2 pregnancy apps on my phone and both of them have message boards.  I’ve never posted anything but in the beginning of my pregnancy I was visiting those boards about twice a day.  I wanted to read about other people’s symptoms and was really just excited to be able to visit a due date board.  Every once in a while a woman would post about having a miscarriage.  It was tough to read but I did it anyway…just to keep myself grounded and not let myself get too cocky.  I felt horrible for these women and then hoped that it would not happen to me.   After a while I stopped going to the boards.  I felt more comfortable with what I was feeling (physically) and started reading What to Expect.  As much as the book freaks me out it helps me, too.  I visit the boards maybe once a week or so.

I clicked over there yesterday and read a heartbreaking post about a woman (on the January board so within 4 weeks or so of my due date) that went in for her regular check-up and her son did not have a heartbeat.  I was on the bus when reading this and had to fight the tears from coming.  It was a wake-up call for sure.  I know all that can go wrong; I read enough tragic internet stories not to be na├»ve.  However, reading that post was like a slap in the face.  We are never safe.  There’s no magic that happens at 13 weeks that prevents horrible losses.  A loss can happen any time and without warning.  There’s a blog I read in which a woman went her whole pregnancy with no issues (suffered IF for 10 years and then did IVF) and had to be induced as she was passed her due date.  She had a very tough labor and then upon delivery she had a placental rupture and her dear son did not survive but a few hours after birth.  It’s gut wrenching to read her writing but it’s also very grounding.  We are never safe.

I was bold enough to buy something for the baby this past weekend.  I was at the store and felt this overwhelming urge to do something for my baby…to acknowledge that a baby will be joining our household in January.  I walked the aisles of the store looking for something gender neutral and was feeling disappointed that everything was either pink or blue or just not appropriate.  BJ came across a Redskins bib set and said that I should buy it.  I looked at it and thought it was perfect.  I held it and touched it ever so lightly and decided to buy it.  As we were standing in line I asked BJ if he thought it was too early to buy something and he said that we’ll be buying things in 3 weeks after the anatomy scan anyway so why not start now?  He also said that if it made me too nervous to put it back.  I put the bibs up on the belt and as the cashier scanned them I fought back tears.  They were tears of happiness and trepidation and relief all mixed together.  That night, BJ asked me if I wanted to listen to the baby.  Well duh.  It took him way too long to find the heartbeat but he did at last.  I was about to panic when he finally was able to zero in on the baby.  Both of us were confused as to why it was so hard to find when we had gotten so good at it.  I breathed a huge sigh of relief and I think BJ did, too.  I thought for sure that I had jinxed us by buying the bibs.  I know that’s not how it works but sometimes it’s hard to shake those feelings.  The bibs are sitting on the arm of the loveseat and my heart fills with joy every time I look over at them.  I touch them lightly as I walk by, too.  BJ wanted to hear the heart again on Monday.  I think he was a little shaken by our Saturday night experience and just wanted to check on things.  He said, “I’m going to find him right away this time…he’s not going to hide from me again.”  And wouldn’t you know as soon as the Doppler was placed on my belly we heard the heartbeat.  We were both relieved to say the least.

I thought that I felt a few flutters Friday night and Saturday evening (before the HB detection fiasco) but I haven’t felt anything since then.  I really wish the baby would start kicking with some regularity so that I could stop worrying so much.  I’m 18 weeks today and I’ve read that now is the time when most first timers start feeling those kicks.  After Saturday, I’m a little weary of the Doppler, which is ironic because we rented for peace of mind, not extra anxiety.

I know I have a long way to go and that I’m nowhere near safe from tragedy.  I just have to remind myself that worrying won’t stop anything bad from happening.  Nor will it make something bad more bearable.  I just have to keep hoping and praying that I won’t be one of the tragic stories.  I have to keep praying and hoping that our story will continue to flourish in positive ways.  I need to keep enjoying this pregnancy like I have been because it’s going by so fast for me.  I love this little baby and even though he/she is not here yet, he/she is already a part of our family.  BJ talks to it a couple of times a night and rubs my belly and it’s the best feeling in the world.  Now if we could just coax a few kicks out of our little one that would be icing on the cake.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

My Pregnancy 101

I’m going to take some time and document certain aspects of my pregnancy.  This is mainly for me so that I don’t forget things that I’d want to add to a real journal one day and also to help anyone that might be wondering if their pregnancy is normal or maybe some of the things they can be prepared to experience.

Fatigue – the books are not kidding when they say you will be tired.  And I’m not talking tired like you just want to take a nap every day.  I’m talking the kind of tired where you just want to sit and do nothing.  There really is no respite from this kind of fatigue.  There were days I could barely keep my eyes open at my desk while working.  I would take 1 to 2 hour naps on the weekend and still be ready for bed at 9:30.  Just sitting was tiring let alone walking anywhere.  I catch a bus to and from work and making the trek to the bus stop in the afternoon took all the energy I had left.  I napped on the bus before pregnancy but once the exhaustion set in I was sleeping on the bus.  A sleep so heavy that I would dream.  And then I would still be tired after getting home and could barely keep my eyes open watching TV after dinner.  I slept so hard at night that I wouldn’t move.  I’d wake up stiff and sore from lying in the same position all night.  It was unreal.  Thankfully, that part has started to slowly lift.  I still get tired and love my weekend naps, but I’m able to stay awake and socialize with my husband in the evenings now.

Queasies – I don’t think queasies is a real word but that’s what I’m using.  I never really had morning sickness.  My queasies came on right around lunch time and lasted until bedtime.  There were some nights I could only eat a few bites of my dinner.  Nothing tasted good, nothing smelled good and nothing looked good.  BJ would not let me just make something different to eat.  He insisted on trying to please my appetite.  That was not the best course of action because I didn’t want anything that he ever suggested for dinner.  Sometimes, I would take a few bites and really enjoy my food and then all of a sudden a couple of bites later I was spitting it out and pushing my plate away from me.  This was particularly true with white meat chicken and green vegetables.  I could force a few bites down but that was it.  We had grilled steaks one night and I only ate two bites.  I put the third bite in my mouth and couldn’t even chew it.  I had to spit it out immediately.  I’m almost over all of that stuff now, thank goodness.  I’m not “cured” but I was able to eat a full chicken breast last Thursday!  Yay!

Breasts – my breasts started to grow pretty early on.  They were very sore, too.  They are still pretty sore, actually.  I am disappointed that they have stopped growing because I was hoping for some new bras but I still fit in my old ones.  BJ would do the “boob check” every day to see how much they had grown.  He noticed, as did I, that they definitely got harder and fuller.  They aren’t as mushy as before.  I am rocking a pretty nice cleavage these days even if they aren’t as big as I was hoping for.  See, I’m a very small chested girl…34A and I’m probably up to a B cup right now.  I was hoping for some good solid C’s but I don’t think that’s going to be happening.  There have been a couple of times that I’ve noticed I have some dried white stuff on my nipples.  I read that this is normal and may increase as the pregnancy progresses.  It wasn’t much, just enough for me to notice and wonder what the heck it was.

Headaches – I’ve had some doozies.  I actually have one right now.  I found out the hard way that being out in the sun/heat brings on some pretty bad headaches for me.  Although, they have been increasing in frequency this last week and I haven’t been outside much.  A few of them have been migraine strength and have sucked the life right out of me.  The others are tolerable but still very bothersome.  Tylenol barely takes the edge off.  If I’m at home, which I usually am (except today), I put some ice in a baggy and put it on the back of my head.  It helps but doesn’t fix the problem.  I’ve read that hormone headaches are very common, unfortunately.  I hope I can get a handle on them soon and try to avoid any triggers that I know of.

Cravings – I haven’t had any strange cravings per se but I do tend to gravitate toward cold food.  I love cereal and snack pack pudding and cold pasta salad.  Things that are hot just aren’t as good right now.  I also can’t drink room temperature liquids.  Just typing that made me gag.  I drink a lot of water and if it starts to get warm I can’t drink it.  I have to add ice to make it really cold.  I bought a tumbler to keep on my desk to keep my water colder longer.  I also am not that into sodas anymore.  I used to love drinking a diet sierra mist when I got home from work.  Now, not so much.  I drink a little of it and then switch over to water and end up pouring most of the soda down the drain.  The same with my beloved diet coke fountain drink.  I love that soda the most.  Again, I can drink about half of it and then I’m ready to toss it in the trash.  I don’t know if it’s necessarily a pregnancy thing or more of an “I quit drinking it for so long it just doesn’t taste that good anymore” thing.  Either way, I shouldn’t be drinking these things so I guess it’s good that I’m not really indulging too much.  I have allowed caffeine back in my diet, just in very small amounts.  I do love me some tea when we go out to eat.  I’m careful not to drink the whole glass, though.

Weight – I gained about 5 pounds from cycle prep and have since gained another 6.  I’m up 11 pounds since the beginning of February.  Yikes.  I’m not eating a lot more and I’m also not eating a lot of junk but the pounds still seem to find their way to my hips and my butt.  I really didn’t think my hips could get any wider but alas I was proven wrong.  I’m already walking differently because of this change in my body structure.  I’m not waddling (yet) but I am noticing my center of gravity has changed significantly.  I’m on target with my weight right now so I’m not worried but as someone that has struggled with weight in the past, it’s scary to watch those numbers climb.

Sex – I have no desire for sex…of any kind.  Between being the most worn out and tired that I’ve ever been in my life and having nighttime queasies I just have no interest.  Not to mention the fact that I don’t feel sexy at all.  Aside from the larger breasts, the other parts that have gotten larger are not appealing to me so I’m not very quick to uncover them.  We’ve been active, although not as much as pre-pregnancy but it’s definitely something I do to keep the husband happy.  I do not have any desires or needs right now.  I’m hoping the books are right and that things will pick up in the 2nd trimester because I do miss the enjoyment of being intimate with my husband.

Dreams – the dreams are crazy and pretty much non-stop all night long.  Sometimes I wake up and have to remind myself that it was just a dream.  I haven’t had too many nightmares, thank goodness.  The few bad dreams I’ve had were pretty bad, though.  All of the dreams are vivid and even odder than before I was pregnant.

Hair – the hair on my head has turned into a wonderful mane.  I used to have to wash my hair ever 2 to 3 days or else it looked greasy and nasty.  Now, I can go 5 or 6 days without washing my hair.  It’s so awesome!  Yes, I shower daily I just hate taking the time to dry my hair.  Those precious 8 minutes could be spent on the couch.  :-)  The hair on my legs and underarms is growing faster so I have to shave more but that is not a big deal.  My bikini line has been waxed 3 times since getting pregnant.  The first time was fine, just like usual.  The second time I thought I was being tortured in war.  I didn’t tell the lady (a new lady) that I was pregnant because the last session went fine.  OUCH!  Not only did it feel like she was ripping my skin off, when she was done I was red and sore for several days.  Always tell the lady that you are pregnant.  I went yesterday and told her (another different lady) and she used a different wax and was much more gentle.  I was still a little red but I’m always red the first day.  I’m back to normal today.

That’s about all for now.  I’m sure there will be more later but I think this is a pretty good start to help me remember things.  I know it’s not the most exciting post so if you read all the way through, I commend you!  See you all later!

Friday, August 10, 2012

What's Happening?

Hi everyone!

Sorry I haven’t been the best at updating lately.  It’s an election year and that means that we are really busy at work so I don’t get much free time.  I will catch you up on what’s been happening lately…bullet style!

·         We are getting ready for the Little Guy to start middle school.  Ack!  He’s not looking forward to his summer vacation ending but I’m hoping that he will start to get excited very soon.  We are going school supply shopping this weekend.  I LOVE shopping for school supplies.  I always have.  There’s just something about folders and notebooks and new pens that get me all excited!  I could spend hours in an office supply store shopping for these things.  He has an orientation day on the 20th.  They will ride the bus to school and take the tour of their classes and probably get lists of more supplies that are needed and then be home before 12:00.  School actually starts on the 21st.  We never had an orientation day.  We just had to show up and hope for the best the first day.  No, I didn’t walk to school barefoot in the snow uphill both ways.

·         We were going to go the beach for a few days next week but given my penchant for heat/sun induced headaches we are skipping it.  I’m sad because I really need to get away for a few days but there’s not much to do indoors at the beach.  We have decided to take the LG away in early October to an indoor waterpark for a couple of days. We looked into it for next week but the prices were way over our budget for a 2 night stay so we will go in October when it’s about half the cost.  He was ok with this as he’s never been to the indoor waterpark before.  Score!

·         More people at work are learning about the pregnancy.  I’ve told a couple more people and I think word will start to spread now on its own.  BJ asked me how in the world I can keep it in.  I don’t really know the answer to that.  Maybe it’s the fear or maybe it’s because I like having this wonderful little secret all to myself.  Once people know, the questions and the advice start flying around and I’d rather not be bombarded with co-workers’ advice.  The important people have been told by me and that is what matters.  The others can learn through the grapevine or when they see the belly.

·         I have been bad about keeping up with my beautiful flower garden.  It’s been so hot this summer that going outside has been nearly impossible.  Even most evenings are still pretty warm.  I’m usually out there every weekend trimming roses, cutting back lilies and pulling weeds.  The migraines I get from the heat/sun have won out over my quest for the best looking yard in the neighborhood.  I’m hoping for some cooler weather this weekend so that I can trim things up a bit.

·         BJ finally went back to the doctor about the pains he gets in his side that travel around to his back.  They took some x-rays and noticed that the base of his spine is curving the wrong way.  The doctor wants him to go to physical therapy and try some exercises to strengthen his back to see if that alleviates some of the pain.  His first session was yesterday.  Of course it felt great while he was there and when he left but then later he was hurting pretty badly.  I told him that he probably just worked some muscles that he hasn’t worked before and it will get better.  I hope so as I hate to see him in pain.

·         We are supposed to start clearing things out of the basement this weekend so that BJ has room to start working on finishing it.  (because we’re having a baby!)  I have some things set aside to take to the thrift store but we have quite a bit of stuff to sort through to see what else we can get out of there.  I’m a little anxious to get going on this because I know that once school starts the time will start flying by and then it will be the holidays and oh my gosh the baby will be here shortly after that (hopefully).

There’s much more to write about but for now that is about all I have time for.  I hope you all have a great weekend and I’ll talk at ya later!  (one of my Grandmother’s sayings).  Oh, and I put up a ticker…not sure how I feel about it yet.  Does it make me seem too arrogant or confident?  I’m not sure these feelings will ever go away.  I guess I can thank IF for making me worried about a ticker, right?  *sigh*.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Getting Things Done

My long-time readers will remember that we bought a house back in December of 2009.  This house has 4 bedrooms…a master, the Little Guy’s bedroom, a play/game room for the LG and a spare bedroom that has been turned in to my scrapping room.  This 4th bedroom was intended to be a nursery and hopefully that is exactly what it will be in a few months.

We have told the LG since we moved in that we were going to fix up his play room.  We were going to get him a new TV, paint, hang up a bunch of sports stuff and make it a really cool room.  Well, we have dragged our feet.  It’s not cheap to buy a new TV and TV stand so we have been procrastinating.  We have also had a hard time finding a TV stand that we like and that will hold the video games and consoles in a neat and orderly fashion.

I’m now pregnant and BJ is anxious (to say the least) to get started on the basement so that we can move my scrapping things down there and turn the room into the nursery.  I told him that there is no way we are starting on the nursery until we complete the LG’s playroom.  I suggested doing it all at once on a weekend that we didn’t have him so that he could see it completed on his first day back at our house.  BJ agreed and we set our plan in motion.  I already had bought quite a few things to hang up in the room over the last couple of years so we were set there.  We bought a TV and actually found a really cheap but perfect TV stand and hid them in the basement.  BJ bought the paint (the same gray we painted our bedroom and a bright orange that the LG had picked out for an accent wall) and we were set.  One Friday after work BJ began taping off the trim and ceiling and we moved everything out of the room and I did almost all the cutting in.  It was a late night for us.  The next morning I got up early and finished cutting in while BJ drank his coffee and then he joined me.  He taped off the accent wall and we starting painting.  We worked all day and into the evening but we got the room painted with 2 coats and it looked great!

Sunday was spent adding all the decorating touches…sticking on the wall decals, hanging the sports pictures, pinning the Ovechkin jersey to the wall, hooking up the TV, hanging the pictures of the LG playing sports, setting his trophies out and making sure everything looked awesome.  The room was missing something so we headed to kmart to see if we could find a sports clock.  No luck, but we found a great sports area rug that we snatched up and added to the room for a final touch.  There are still a few bare spots on one of the walls so we need to get some Orioles things and maybe a few more Redskins items and then we will be 100% finished.  The room looks so great.  I don’t think I’ve ever been so proud of us and how we worked together to make it perfect for the LG.

Monday came and BJ told the LG that we had a surprise for him in his room so he wasn’t allowed to go in there to play.  As soon as I got home from work we all headed upstairs and we did the big reveal.  He was so happy.  He really likes his room and I’m so glad.  I hope that he can hold onto this memory and really appreciate all that we did for him.  And although he probably wouldn’t have said anything to us if we had done the nursery first, I think there would have been an underlying resentment there.  And who could have blamed him, you know?  So now he knows for sure that he is just as important as the new baby and that we worked just as hard for him as we will on the nursery.

I’ll eventually post pictures of the room and pictures of the rest of the house because we have done some work over the last couple of years and I promised pictures a long time ago.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Remembering My Roots

I received an e-mail from a woman who is embarking upon DE for the first time.  She was looking for some help in dealing with the process as she is, very understandably, overwhelmed by the whole thing.

I was happy to respond to her and to try and offer some advice and maybe point out some things that she hadn’t thought of yet.  In doing so, it reminded me of my feelings when we first started down this path.  I must say, things have definitely changed.  And maybe not for the better in some regards.  I will try to explain this as best I can without rambling too much.  Ha ha!

BJ and I decided that we would definitely tell the child about needing an egg donor to make his/her life possible.  This decision was made before I became pregnant.  It seemed very easy…no secrets, no regrets and no shame.  When we started telling people about the pregnancy I made my own decision that I didn’t care if people knew that we did IVF but that the DE portion of it was to remain just with us until the child was older and wanted to tell his/her own story of creation.  BJ had other ideas.  He doesn’t want people to know that we did IVF.  I’ve been asked outright 3 times (aside from BJ’s sister) if we went through IVF.  I told one person the truth but the other 2 I had to lie to because I didn’t want BJ to get mad.  He made his wishes known and I respect them but it has been a bit awkward at times.  Not a huge deal but it might come back to bite me in the ass down the road.  Although, the 2 people that I lied to will most likely not be regular people in our child’s life once the child knows the truth so I guess it’s fine.  This was just something that we should have discussed a bit more thoroughly before it happened.  Lesson learned.

Another lesson I have learned is that it’s very easy to forget that this is a DE child.  Yes, this is my baby and I’m the mother.  There have been times, though, that I have forgotten that I’m not the genetic mother of this child.  And when I remember that, I get scared.  I get scared to tell the child about its origins.  I’m not ashamed of what we have done.  Quite the opposite, actually.  I’m proud of how hard we have fought and the sacrifices we have made to get here.  Infertility is one of the hardest things a couple can endure…emotionally, financially, even intellectually.  I’m just scared that the child will feel differently about how he/she came to be.  I know that our attitude toward DE will greatly influence how the child feels so that is something I will need to remember going forward.  I won’t lie though,  I wish I didn’t have to tell.  I wish that I could continue to live in this blissful world of “normalcy” that I have created for myself.  I never forget that we went through treatments and spent gobs of money and are in debt to my 401k for the next 5 years…those things are easy to remember.  The fact that I’m not the genetic mother is something that I let go of sometimes.  It feels wrong to forget such an important fact but I’m just so happy to be pregnant with this little precious life that I think I let go of some of the pain that IF has inflicted upon me for so many years.  Maybe it’s something like child birth.  Many mothers have said that they forget just how painful it is to be in labor and push that baby out as soon as said baby is in their arms.  I will never forget the pain of IF but I will say that being pregnant eases the memories of the pain.  Does that make sense?  IF will always be with me and it will always be a part of who I am.  This happiness that I feel now pushes the pain from the past to the back burner, thus helping me to forget that this is a DE child.

Forgetting is good in a way because I think it has helped me bond much more with this pregnancy than I was expecting to.  I’ve read some stories where women sort of freak out because they feel like they have an “alien” child growing inside of them.  Forgetting is bad because it makes me not want to tell the child.  I will, of course, but as of right now I don’t really want to.  In my opinion, the consequences of not telling are just too great.  I’m hoping that when the time comes I will be more ready.  Right now I just want to protect and nurture this little life to the best of my abilities.  And I just want to be “normal” and happy.  And if that means from time to time I forget where that egg came from, then so be it.