Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Thinking back to another life

Last night I went to see my friend A in the hospital with her two brand-new twin boys. They were adorable. Oh I can’t wait to have my baby! I’m SO very happy I’m pregnant now – I don’t know if I could have handled the visit very well if I wasn’t. I just kept thinking that six months from now, I would be at the same hospital, with my little one. Oh I hope this is true!!!

But last night’s visit brought me back to a time that seems like a different life, but was very early in my fertility struggle. It was the first time I had ever gone to a hospital to visit a friend and her new baby. It was for my best friend at the time. E and I met our sophomore year in college, and immediately hit it off. I don’t even remember how we met, but we were soon inseparable. Our friendship evolved from hitting the frat parties, to going across the country to be camp counselors together one summer, to living together our senior year, to holding her hand while she had an abortion, to spending time with her family at holidays, to her wiping the tears off my face when my mom disappointed me – again, to moving apart after graduation, to flying back home to be there for her dad’s death, to standing up beside her at her wedding, to her helping me move back home, to her introducing me to her neighbor who I ended up marrying, to her standing up beside me at my wedding, to becoming next-door neighbors again. Needless to say, we were very close, and we were like sisters – nothing could ever break us apart.

I think I was about 26, and my ex and I had been trying to get pregnant for about a year. I went to my gyno for my annual exam, and I wanted to get assistance getting pregnant. But instead, they found cancerous cells on my cervix in the Pap smear. So I had to have a LEEP procedure. My ex took me to the LEEP procedure, which was awful, and we went directly from the doctor’s office to visit my friend E at the hospital – the buildings were connected. She had just had her baby girl the day before. I was happy for her, but I was also devastated for me. I was afraid of having cancer, I was afraid of what the LEEP procedure would do to my chances of having babies, I was upset at my broken body, and I was also upset about my broken marriage, although I wasn’t quite ready to admit that part yet. I walked into that hospital room, and I saw this baby that I thought I would never have, and knowing that it came so easy to E, I broke down and started bawling. I feel so bad about this, robbing her of her excitement of having a baby, but I couldn’t control myself. She consoled me, and I apologized, and I tried to make it up to her later.

This was the beginning of my downward spiral. A month later, I was on anti-depressants because I couldn’t stop crying. Two months later, I was in the hospital for depression. I took two months off of work, got a lot of counseling, and got better. With a lot of help from E - I relied on her a lot that year. After a lot of couple’s counseling, I filed for divorce, and tried to move on with my life, and got a lot better. And then E broke up with me. She said I was too much to handle, that it was too hard being my friend. She kept bringing up the time when I cried in the hospital at her daughter’s birth. I fought hard, trying to keep her in my life, but she wanted nothing to do with me. And therefore she is no longer my friend.

I was so afraid of TTC again, especially afraid of how I would handle it, and how it would affect my relationships with others. I dated the hubs for 5 ½ years before marrying him for fear of making a bad decision again, and I tried to warn him while dating that TTC could be very difficult, and I don’t handle it well. He didn’t listen… I’ve done a little better during the last two years than I did in my 20’s – I started seeing a counselor earlier, and I think it helped that I listened to my intuition when it said that something was very wrong, and so I got professional help earlier. Being in control of treatments, and taking an aggressive approach seems to have been easier on my psyche. And talking to all of you fabulous people online has definitely helped! But it’s been so hard. And I’ve worked really hard to not be too much of a burden on my friends, for fear of losing someone like I lost E.

My friend A, who had the twins, has been so great throughout the whole process. She really has been an amazing supportive friend. She sees me every day at work, and she always knows where I am in a treatment cycle, and what exactly is going on, both physically and emotionally, with me. Because she asks. Even last night at the hospital, with one little boy at her breast trying to figure out how to suck, she said, “so you’re 11 weeks 3 days, right? How are you feeling?” I’m so lucky – she even knows to the day where I am – and she just gave birth! A few weeks ago, she said that a comment that I made at my wedding shower always stuck in her head. Two years ago, we were talking about trying to have babies (she was pregnant with her first at the time, and so was another woman). I made the comment, “I am not looking forward to trying to get pregnant – it’s hard!” And she didn’t understand. But now, after two years of watching me struggle, she gets it, she really does. Even if she didn’t struggle at all herself, she truly understands me.

I’m so lucky to have my friend A, but I also miss my friend E. I wish I would have handled it differently nine years ago, but I didn’t. But I certainly did learn a lot.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

I love my Doppler! And a request for help

Against my doctor’s wishes, I got a Doppler, and I love it! Like I said yesterday, I’ve been having some cramping after doing a little work outside this weekend. I am taking your advice, and I’m officially lazy – for the rest of my pregnancy! There’s no need to stress out like this, and I’ll have plenty of time after work to get back in shape. Yesterday, the cramping got worse – and sharp. All weekend they were dull achy kind of cramps, but then yesterday I started getting sharp pains – which suck! I plan to talk with my doc on Friday about it – I go in for my 12 week checkup and NT scan. Crazy, I know!

Anyway, I went home yesterday and sitting in my mailbox was a Doppler from my dear friend Laura. She just had a baby boy a month ago, and there she is at the post office sending me her Doppler – amazing. I was able to put it on my belly and I heard the most beautiful sound of all – my little one’s heartbeat… Whoosh, whoosh, whoosh, super fast – love it! After all the cramping, at least I was able to confirm that my little guy is fine.

Speaking of Laura, I’d like to ask a favor. For all the mom’s out there, can you stop by and give her some comfort and perhaps some advice? She’s having a hard time with her newborn, with getting him to sleep and with her dealing with the lack of sleep and all the other stuff that comes with having a newborn with reflux and sleeping issues. She could use some support right now, so if you could go over there and give her a virtual hug, I think it would help. Thanks!

Monday, April 25, 2011

11 Weeks

I hit 11 weeks this weekend, and I’m still wondering when it’s going to seem real. I haven’t told most people at work, although I assume most people suspect – I’m starting to get fat… I know, it’s because I’m pregnant, but it really just looks fat. I lost about 4 pounds in the first month of pregnancy, and have since gained one of it back, but I can’t help but thinking I just look fat, or fatter than normal. Actually some people may not notice – it’s not that unusual for a fat girl to get a bigger belly than normal! I think when I get bigger it will be easier – we’ll see.

My friend who accidentally got pregnant with twins gave birth this morning. I’m so impressed with her – she made it to 38 weeks and 3 days to her scheduled C-section date. She worked up until 2 weeks ago, and then worked at home, part-time for the last 2 weeks. I’ve never seen legs that swollen – she’s been miserable. But because she made it so long, she now has two beautiful boys that are 7 pounds, 1 ounce and 7 pounds, 3 ounces – amazing for twins. I’m going to the hospital tomorrow to see them. I’m so happy for her, and yet… I’m so happy for me that I’m pregnant at the birth. I’ve watched her get pregnant, and find out she was having twins, and then finding out it was two boys (she was disappointed at first, but got over it), and then watched her at the end. I have to say, since being pregnant, it’s been so much easier to be happy for her. It’s awful, I know. Even today, while listening to all the women here at work talking in their high-pitched voices about the twins, I feel jealous. I don’t know why, I have a little baby that’s growing in my belly now, but I still feel the infertility twinge – the jealousy of the surprise twins, the ease in how she got pregnant, how she would just assume throughout the whole pregnancy that everything would be fine. Even this weekend, knowing she was going in for her c-section this morning, I was worried about the boys – what if something happened and they didn’t survive the c-section? How rational is that? She just wanted them out of her body so she could move again, and I had so much fear about the boys. Doesn’t exactly bode well for my anxiety levels during my own pregnancy. I’m very happy for my friend, and looking forward to meeting the boys tomorrow, but I’m even happier that I’m going through this now while pregnant – I can’t imagine trying to fake my way through it after even more failed treatments…

The hubs worked very hard this weekend dismantling our deck in our backyard. It wasn’t made very well, and the wood is pretty much rotten. Have to love this Houston weather and what it does to wood – it was only about six years old! The plan is to put in a flagstone patio where the deck was, but first we had to remove the deck. I’ve been feeling very good, and haven’t done much exercise at all since finding out I’m pregnant. First, I’m scared to do any, and then I had that hematoma, and so I was on modified bedrest, so I wasn’t allowed. But this weekend, I really wanted to get outside and do something! I’ve been released from all restrictions, so it should be fine – just don’t lift anything too heavy. On Saturday, I was helping the hubs by putting very small pieces of wood from the wheelbarrow into the dumpster that we rented. And it was going fine. Then he asked me to tighten the bolts on the wheelbarrow as they were loose. And so I spent about 10 minutes bending over, tightening up bolts – not a real strenuous task. But then I started feelings cramps around my ute. I immediately went inside and started resting on the couch, and pretty much didn’t leave the couch the rest of the weekend. The cramping continued most of the weekend – it was better on Sunday, and a little better today. I know that people cramp sometimes throughout their pregnancies, and my ute is growing and shifting, and that could be causing it. But still, it’s so very nerve-racking, especially since it started while doing a very small amount of physical activity! Everything I read says that I should be exercising while pregnant, but I’m very nervous now – how am I supposed to do that now? I keep telling myself that everything is ok, and it probably is, but I hate all this worry!!!

Things are slowing down at work, which is good, and bad. I actually prefer to have the distraction of busy work. Now what am I supposed to do with my time at work? I know, awful… Hubs wants me to prepare a budget for baby. Any suggestions?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


First, thanks to everyone for your reassuring comments. I hate that infertility and loss does this – we have a couple good days in our pregnancy, and we automatically assume that there is something wrong with our babies. Because sometimes that’s what it means – sometimes the absence of symptoms means the baby is now dead. But most of the time it means that you’re lucky, and hopefully the symptoms are getting better. I hate that those of us that have experienced infertility or loss, or both, automatically assume it’s bad. But you all sent me very encouraging comments, and gave me reassurances, enough to get through the few less-symptom days. And then, this weekend, all the symptoms came back, with full force! Good times!

I went to my RE office today, for my final appointment. They told me to stop taking the progesterone shots, and I’m not on any restrictions anymore – no restrictions on exercise, sex, anything! I don’t have the hematoma anymore – it’s completely gone. And everything looks great. The little guy was hitting and kicking all around – so feisty! He even reached up to his head – the nurse said he was scratching his head a little – so very cute. He’s measuring at 10 weeks 4 days, even though I’m at 10 weeks 2 days today. And a heartbeat of 156.

It was a little sad leaving that office. I have gone there so many times over the last 18 months. I was glad to have the nurse that I have seen the most doing my last ultrasound. I thanked her for all her help, and she said that she gave me kudos for all the research and self-advocacy I’ve done to have this baby. Love her! It was so weird walking out of there. I won’t be back until I start trying for baby #2. We haven’t decided when that will be, but I love knowing that they’re taking care of seven frozen embryos for us.

So I now must accept that I’m no longer a fertility patient – now I will go forward with my pregnancy as a normal (yet scared) pregnant woman. Luckily I have my next ultrasound scheduled for April 29 (next week!), which will be the NT scan. But after that, it will be every four weeks that I have to go without confirmation from a doctor that everything is ok. And I think that after we get the results from the NT scan, I’ll officially come out at work. Although I think most people suspect – there’s been some weird vibes lately. Oh who cares, let them all gossip! For now, I’m celebrating that everything is ok – at 10+ weeks, my baby is alive and well. Maybe I will get to have this baby after all…

Friday, April 15, 2011

It Took One Comment

Yesterday morning as we were getting ready for work, the hubs looked over at me and said, “You don’t seem as sick as you have been lately.” And he’s right. Suddenly, yesterday I started feeling so much better! Very little nausea, not as tired, the brain was clicking a little better, and I was in a better mood. I thought for a second, and I said, ”Well, it’s one of a few things. I stopped the estrogen pills and patches on Tuesday per the doc’s instructions. And I decreased the progesterone to every other day. And sometimes nausea subsides after awhile. Or it’s because the baby is dead.” He shushed me, and we went on with our days. But I keep thinking about it…

Last night when the hubs came home from work, he checked the mail and I already had picked it up. Then he came inside to see his wife cooking dinner – with real ingredients like raw chicken, onions and everything. Usually he comes home to napping wife, and I haven’t picked up the mail in a long while. And the only times I’ve “made dinner” in the last month or so, I’ve made grilled cheese or soup or PB&J sandwiches or something. He was very surprised, and quickly asked when my next doctor’s visit was – it’s on Tuesday.

I keep telling myself everything is ok – the ultrasound on Tuesday was perfect – measured perfectly, baby waved at us, everything looked well. I’m sure it’s just the change in meds or something that is causing me to feel better, but there’s a part of me that wonders. It’s so nice to feel good, but I’m so afraid of what it could mean…

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

There’s a Person in There!

I had another ultrasound visit with the RE yesterday, and the hubs was finally able to go with me. At 9 weeks, 2 days, we got to see the baby, and it’s starting to look like an actual human! It’s so hard to tell up until this point what is what, but when he pointed out the head, and the arms, and the legs, it was so easy to see my little baby. The baby was waving at us a little, and it just about broke my heart. Aside from the sickness, I can’t physically tell that there’s something inside of me growing, but there is – an honest to goodness, live baby! Amazing.

The doc told me that I’m supposed to start decreasing my meds. Completely cut out the estrogen pills and patches, and do the progesterone in oil shots every other day instead of every day. This will go for a week, and then no more progesterone. This scares me a bit, as it seems like most people go off of meds at around 10 weeks, but I’m going to trust the doc. He says my placenta should be able to take over now, so that’s what it is – I have to accept this.

I’m hoping that these kind of visits will help me get more positive. I really need to work on my attitude over the next few weeks. I can’t feel this petrified when I finally come out to everyone at work. Because it will come across as grumpy or negative or something, and that’s not really appropriate at work. So I need to figure out some ways to be more positive. I shopped online for some maternity clothes today, got about five things in my cart, looked at them, and then quickly logged off so I wouldn’t buy anything – don’t want to jinx anything! Then later I shopped for baby stuff – oh no, that’s not going to happen any time soon. The hubs sent me a picture of a beautiful rocking chair. I said it was nice, but we shouldn’t buy it soon. I know he’s finally getting excited, I think the ultrasound helped, and I wish I could too. I think I need to keep thinking about it, and try to get myself more used to the idea, and maybe it will be better. But it’s hard, it’s very hard!!!

The hubs looked online and informed me the Chinese gender predictor thing said we’re having a boy. But he dreamed we are having a girl. So now he’s convinced it’s a girl… OK, even I have to admit – he’s pretty cute like this.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Hating myself

The hubs was gone all weekend – he went to Denver on Thursday and came back last night. Which meant I was home alone. Which I usually love. Of course I love hanging out with the hubs, and would prefer for him to be there, but I like being alone every once in awhile. But not this weekend. It was generally ok, I made it through the weekend fine, I kept myself pretty busy and took care of some stuff. But I didn’t realize how much I was feeling needy, and wanted the hubs to be home until he got home.

I think it started when he got home and started complaining about something immediately. And then I think I asked him to do a few things – gosh, I can’t even remember what I asked him to do. But at one point, he barked at me, “OK, let’s start making a list. How many things can you ask me to do in one night? You’re so bossy!” Then my feelings got hurt, then he continued to say slightly negative things – not really bad, but nothing nice. I think I just wanted him to come home, act excited to see me, and want to spend the evening cuddling, or doing nice things for me, or something. I hate when I get like this. It’s like the inner child comes out and throws a huge temper tantrum. Which is what I ended up doing – the evening ended with me crying in bed, and the hubs saying I’m out of control. I don’t even know how that happened, I just wanted things to get better, and they were spiraling out of control. Finally I was able to say through my tears, “I feel so alone. I spent all weekend, feeling scared, and feeling sick. And thinking of you in Denver with our friends having a good time. And how I couldn’t be there.” Finally he softened up and held me for awhile, which I guess is all I really wanted.

I hate how vulnerable I feel. I hate that I’m so needy. And I hate that I’m acting like such a child – who is this woman? I used to be so independent, and I’ve turned into this sniveling baby who cried when her husband goes away! I hate this side of me! I definitely didn’t do what my therapist tells me to do: stay in my adult!

The other thing that really bothered me last night is he told me about a conversation he had with his best friend (K) and K’s wife (J). J and I are pretty good friends, but we don’t really talk on our own. When the four of us get together, we have a great time, but J and I have never hung out or talked on our own without our husbands. We all vacationed together in Europe in September, so we got to know each other even more, but we haven’t really talked outside of our husbands since. We spent quite a bit of time in Europe talking about trying to get pregnant – I was trying to get over my miscarriage, she was on her last round of birth control pills before starting to get pregnant, and she’s a nurse, so she’s fascinated by all things medical. I saw her in November, and I knew that her first cycle after BCP didn’t go well, but she seemed positive and upbeat, hoping everything would be fine.

I asked the hubs how they were doing, and asked if they were pregnant yet. And he said, “no, and don’t bring it up when they’re here.” They’re coming to stay with us for a long weekend in May. The hubs and K and J had a long conversation about it late Saturday night, her cycles are really long to the point where she is wondering if she’s ovulating, her doc has recommended Clomid, but they both think her cycle will figure itself out – that maybe her body isn’t over being on BCP yet (she went off of them in September!). But J doesn’t feel like she’s ready for meds. The hubs suggested that K go get a semen analysis done, just in case, as it’s a good step prior to meds and completely non-invasive. So proud of him for suggesting that, as it was a bit of a struggle for him to get it done the first time! But he said that J started crying, and is upset that it’s not going well, and she sees her friends having troubles (like the hubs and me) and she worries that it will be the same for her. And that all I talked about while we were in Europe was TTC – either the miscarriage or my future plans for me, or talking about starting to TTC for her, and she doesn’t want it to take over her life like it did for me…

First, I feel so bad for J and K, especially J. I want to help her, and call her and offer support, and all that. I know how stressful the worrying that there is something wrong can be. But now I don’t feel like I can do that. The hubs thinks I should just ignore it because J thinks that is all I can talk about or think about. And you know what? J is right. It is all I can think about. I have spent the last two years obsessing about it – every single day. And now that I’m pregnant, I’m worse. All I can think about is whether this baby will live. I’ve always hated those women – those moms that don’t have anything to talk about but their kids, or those pregnant women who don’t have anything to talk about but their pregnancy. I didn’t realize I became the kind of woman I hate a long time ago, and it’s only getting worse.

I feel so bad that this is who I am. But it is. My parents or friends ask, “how are you?” And I respond, “I’m good – I’m still pregnant.” As if that is the only thing in my life. But it is – that’s how I feel. And from feeling awful for my friend J but not knowing how to help, to getting upset with the hubs because he dares to leave me and have fun while I sit at home and worry about our baby, this is my life. And I don’t know how to change it.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Uncharted Territory

I just got back from my first regular OB appointment, and the baby is still alive. It’s measuring at 8 weeks 3 days, even though today is 8 weeks 2 days. And the heartbeat is great – 157 bpm. I’ve never had a baby this big in my belly. So today, officially, I’m further along than I ever have been. And that makes me very happy.

The appointment went well – I love this doctor. I’ve seen him for about two years, I remember telling him we were trying. He’s the one who recommended my RE. He’s the one who did my D&C last June. And now he’s the one who will hopefully follow me through this pregnancy. He’s great – he’s all about the good bedside manner. He told me that once I stop the weekly RE visits, that I can call his nurse at any time, and they will get me in for an ultrasound, just to cure my anxiety. I talked with him about getting a Doppler, and he said that it’s fine – after about 20 weeks. Until then he even has a hard time finding the heartbeat on a Doppler sometimes, so he doesn’t recommend it to his patients. But by 20 weeks, I should be able to feel the baby kick, so what’s the point? So I’m going to try to take his advice and hold off on purchasing one.

I spoke to the doc for awhile about Lovenox, and he said he has plenty of patients who use Lovenox successfully through their pregnancy. He wants to change a couple things for my pregnancy compared to a normal one: starting at around 28-29 weeks, I’ll start going in for weekly non-stress tests. He wants to monitor my blood flow, and make sure everything looks good. So the weekly appointments will start early. And the second thing is because I should be off Lovenox for 24-48 hours prior to delivery, he doesn’t like to wait until I go into labor. So he wants to induce me at around 38 weeks. So my due date is officially November 12 (really it should be November 13 but the baby is measuring a day big, but who cares?), but I’ll likely give birth in late October. I was hoping to go as long as possible, and I’ve heard bad things about the inducing process, but that’s ok. I just want to do whatever I can to have a healthy baby, and if it takes inducing, or shots throughout the pregnancy, or standing on my head for the next seven months, I’ll do it.

Believe me, I’m still nervous, but we have reached a new point. I have my NT scan on April 29, and hopefully everything will look good then. Perhaps after that point I’ll be able to relax a little. I hope so!

Monday, April 4, 2011

I Want to Move!

We went to bed last night at 10, and I fell asleep around 10:30, while the hubs stayed up watching TV. About 11:30 at night, I woke up because I could feel something crawling on my head. I reached up there, and it crawled over my fingers. I let loose a blood-curdling scream, and sat up. The hubs looked over at me, and by the light of the TV, he could see it crawling down my hair and onto my shirt. He screamed too, and then told me to get up, out of bed and take off my shirt. I immediately did, all the while screaming. I turned on the lights, and we couldn’t find it – we looked in my shirt on the floor, and there was nothing. Finally he started going through the bed, and there it was. Running across my lovely white sheets was a 3-fucking-inch cockroach! I ran to the kitchen to grab a roll of paper towels, but in the meantime the fucker was running fast to the bathroom so the hubs grabbed my shirt and grabbed the roach. He didn’t know what to do with it, so he just threw the shirt and the roach into the backyard and shut the door! He told me later I can go get my shirt, wash it and wear it again – yeah, I’m good – don’t need that shirt. It’s going in the trash, if I ever have the nerve to go get it. Getting to sleep again – in my bed! – trying to calm down – was miserable. We left the light on for a couple hours, making sure his buddies wouldn’t come back out, but I couldn’t sleep so I finally turned off the light.

I fucking hate cockroaches. I grew up in the lovely mountains of Colorado – it was too cold for those fuckers! (I usually don’t cuss this much, I apologize for my language, but I had a fucking cockroach crawling on my head last night! I think I’m allowed a few f-bombs.) When we moved to Texas, I knew that we would probably encounter some bugs, but a fucking cockroach on my head while sleeping??? When we saw the lovely lot of our house, and how it backed right up to the forest, and how even part of the forest is in our yard, which is so nice for our dogs, I thought it was great. I didn’t think about the fucking tree roaches that lived in the forest and would get in our house! We’ve lived in the house for over three years, and haven’t had huge problems – just a dead roach here or there occasionally. BUT – we have always had the house sprayed for bugs every three months. Just like all my neighbors and friends here in Texas, we have someone come to our house and spray pesticide all over our house – both inside and out.

I’ve recently done some research, and I don’t remember all the details (don’t really want to do more research – trying to stick my head in the sand a bit today), but as you can imagine, pesticides are not good – for you, for your children, for your unborn babies. The hubs and I had talked, and I told him I didn’t want the guy to come out anymore now that I’m pregnant, he said why not just spray the outside, and not the inside, and so we agreed - generally. The bug guy is scheduled to come out THIS WEEK! He’s such a good sales guy, he calls every three months, and comes out the next day. So I know he’s going to call me today or tomorrow. What am I going to tell him when he calls?

Last night after the big cockroach debacle, the hubs kept saying, you want to cut back on spraying? Seriously? I know it’s been three months since the last spraying, which happened inside as well, but we just went through winter when the activity is supposed to be low. Now that the temps are rising into the 80’s, and it’s going to be 90’s very soon, the problem is only going to get worse! I can’t fucking live with cockroaches in my bed! I looked online, and one of the suggestions was to get a gecko or two to live free-range in the house. I sent the suggestion to the hubs, and he just ignored me. I can’t imagine why he doesn’t want that! And that should be fun with my two dogs – they love to bark at lizards outside and try to kill them. That would be fun inside the house…

I don’t know what to do – I’m going to ask the bug guy about less toxic measures. And I’m trying to pretend that a fucking cockroach didn’t wake me up last night by wandering over my head! I know I should be as safe as possible with this baby, but there was a fucking cockroach on my head!!! And lots of people in Texas and in the south use pesticides all the time – right?

But the big thing is that the next time the hubs brings up moving back to Colorado, I may just have to say yes… Especially if another fucking 3-inch cockroach walks on me again!