Monday, May 16, 2011

2nd trimester - and request for advice for a friend

First I wanted to say I can’t believe I’m in my 2nd trimester. I was 14 weeks on Saturday, and by any of the books, I’m now in the 2nd trimester (why do they disagree, by the way?)! I can’t believe I’m actually at this point. Throughout all the treatments, and the months of not getting pregnant, and the losses, I always wondered if it would ever happen for me. And although I’m still not convinced, there’s starting to look like there’s a good chance that there will actually be a baby at the end of this road. Unbelievable! I’ve had a lot of weird moments lately like this. I was complaining to my therapist last week about the hubs and how he’s not helping out around the house, and what is he going to be like when we have a kid, and I was getting really upset. She asked me, “do you think that you’re no longer as worried about actually having the baby, that you’re starting to worry about bringing a baby home?” That struck me… Um yes, it never really occurred to me that I might have to worry about a BABY! Suddenly I’m thinking about things like sleep schedules, and maternity leave, and daycare, and I should probably figure out something about breastfeeding, and how we’re actually going to do this, and honestly, it’s a little scary – good, but scary. Once I realized what was going on in my crazy head, I started to relax. I can do this. I WANT to do this – more than anything. I’m going to have a BABY, and it’s going to be wonderful! (Oh I hope there’s going to be a baby…)

Things have been going pretty good in the pregnancy front. The 2nd trimester is definitely shaping up to be better than the 1st. From the anxiety levels decreasing, to no more nausea (mostly), to sleeping a little better, all things are looking up. I went to the doc on Friday to have my cervix checked, as I had a LEEP about ten years ago. It measured great – 3.6 cm. He said anything over 2.5 is good, so no cerclage. I’m starting to look bigger, which I’m doing pretty well with (mostly). I went to a maternity store for the first time on Saturday, and I loved it. I had so much fun shoving that pillow in my pants, looking at my future big belly, it was like playing dress up as a child. But now it’s for real! And maternity pants could be the best thing ever. For the first time in weeks, I’m super comfortable at work…

I had a really stupid pregnancy moment this weekend, or at least I’m blaming it on pregnancy – there’s no way I could be this forgetful, right? For the first time in my entire life, I ran out of gas. Seriously, I’m driving along, and it just stopped. Thank goodness I had just exited from the highway and was close to home so the hubs could bring me gas. Who does this? I’m almost 36 years old, and I run out of gas???

Last weekend in Austin was fun. I successfully hung out with everyone, and didn’t get upset at their drunkenness or anything. The day we got there, my friend, the woman who had said I talked about TTC too much, got a call from her gyno recommending Clomid. They have been TTC since October, and it’s not working. She has consistent 6-week cycles. The gyno tested her for a bunch of stuff, but because she has 6-week cycles, and the day 21 progesterone test was low, the doc concluded that she’s not ovulating, and therefore needs Clomid. My friend was not happy. Through tears at a concert, she told me, “No offense, but I don’t want to take fertility drugs.” I feel so bad for her. I asked if she had charted at all, and she hasn’t – her doc told her it wouldn’t work since she works nights. Also, she hasn’t used ovulation kits. I told her before she did the Clomid, to try charting for a few months. As long as she’s sleeping for longer than 4 hours at a time, I think charting could work. Maybe she has a normal, ovulating, 6-week cycle. This is possible, right? Also, I told her to stock up on the OPK’s. I sent her my Taking Charge of Your Fertility book to teach her about charting, but do you ladies have any other advice? Is it possible to have an ovulating 6-week regular cycle? Also, could it take more than 8 months to get everything to work after going off BCP’s? She keeps blaming the pill for her wonky cycles, but it should be good by now if she went off in September, right? I don’t want to give her false hope, but if she’s really against meds, then maybe she should do some other things first, right?

One more thing – wanted to give a bit of a warning. I’ve heard a lot of good things about the book Sing You Home from Jodi Picoult – it’s fiction about infertility. I’m always looking for something good to read, so I downloaded it yesterday and started reading it before bed. I only made it through the first chapter I think, and although I will probably continue it another day, I do not recommend it to a pregnant woman. Or maybe even some women that aren’t yet pregnant. I don’t know – you have to be in a decent state of mind to start this book. Reading about how the main character lost her baby at 28 weeks (I’m not spoiling it – this is how the story begins!) is NOT GOOD. I was crying before bed, and then had the worst dreams ever. I kept waking up, afraid of losing my baby. I’m feeling better today, but I may need to read something else tonight. Something light and happy perhaps!


  1. congrats on getting to T2. so exciting!! are you posting belly pics soon????

  2. Congrats on making it to the second trimester! And on how well you handled your trip to Austin. I think your suggestions for your friend are spot-on. She might have more luck with opk's than temping, but other fertile signs aren't dependent on sleep and they give you an idea of how your cycle works, too.

    And thanks for the info about Sing You Home. Maybe I will put off reading that for a while . . . I don't want to douse my hope.

  3. Congratulations on entering the second T! Glad you are feeling better!

  4. Congrats on being in the second trimester. I'm so excited for you!

  5. So many things to comment on! I'll start from the bottom. Jodi Picoult is to me way too depressing. Honestly, I think I read a couple of books in the past and I was in tears by page 10. Not what you need during a pregnancy (and maybe ever in my opinion), I suggest to read something uplifting and fun!
    For your friend. I have never been on the pill that long but friends who have told me it took up to a year to be back to normal. Some others of course got pregnant the month after quitting it but that's another story. Thing is it may still be her body readjusting. And yes, if she has very long cycles they can still be ovulatory but she should see some signs around two weeks before af shows. Even without charting, maybe she can just familiarise herself with CM? Just a thought given that she's so not ready for any kind of intervention.
    And so happy you are doing so much better! You know, on the semesters and months, I was doing it this way. I was calculating it backwards based on the due date. Say may due date was Jan 23rd. So October 23rd I was entering the last trimester and July 23rd I entered the second trimester. I felt that was definitely right!
    Much love, Fran

  6. Funny-- I never really thought about bringing a baby home. I couldn't bear to read about or prepare for childbirth or child care in any way, so worried was I that it wouldn't apply! You're way ahead of me there, and I am happy about that.

    I'm glad Austin was fun, and I hope you enjoy your 'honeymoon trimester' or whatever it's called. The easy one, at any rate! And I agree with cgd, we need some belly pics soon!

    Oh, also funny about the maternity clothes. At about 14 weeks, you think you've found God's gift and pledge to wear them forever. At about 3 weeks postpartum, you'll sell your soul to fit back into a pair of pants with a zipper!!

  7. thanks for the congrats! yayay us!! right?! hahah
    I heard of that book..I knew right away..not to read that book. It is crazy isn't it..we try so hard to have a baby..and then it is happening..and then there are so many issues to think of. But for me, I never did think about it, I have just been fighting to get pregnant. In my crazy denial..I figure everything will just work out. But there are many things to decide! I am so excited for you!

  8. Congrats on T2 and a long, strong cervix! It must be so strange to realized that your thinking has changed from making a baby to actually bringing it home!

    As for your friend, I think before she jumps straight to meds after only 7m without figuring out what her body is actually doing. I 2nd the charting, and def the opks!

  9. Congrats on the second trimester! I did the same thing with the worrying. A close friend of mine pointed out I didn't have to worry about trying to conceive anymore so I was putting it elsewhere. I guess. Anyway. It's awesome where you're at.

    As for your friend, I have no advice on charting but I don't think she should be quick to blame the pill. The thing about birth control is, it masks wonky cycles. And just because she was regular before doesn't mean anything, especially depending at what age she went on it. Menstrual abnormalities can produce themselves in women into their 20s so it's possible she developed this naturally but never knew because the pill was giving her regular cycles.

    All that being said, six weeks isn't very irregular (I had six-week cycles on meds), and I think she could definitely be ovulating within that time. I would try OPKs before Clomid and maybe wait a month of two more.

  10. Yay for second trimester! The nerves eases a little, but I was worried up until baby was born!!

    I'm sorry that your friend is struggling with IF. Is there a reason why she's so against fertility drugs?? I hope everything works out for her!

  11. I am so glad you are enjoying the 2nd trimester! It sounds like things are going really well, what a relief about your cervix :) take care x

  12. What a great post to read! Congrats on coming this far and also feeling better.

    As for your friend, maybe she is willing to try some alternative treatments like acupuncture. I know it could help with these things. Just a thought.

  13. Congratulations Alex!!! And i think it's a nice change that you've gone from worrying about staying pregnant to worrying about "nesting" type things. It's a great sign. Worry is part of mommying, so i dont think it ever goes totally'll hover around your husband while he tries to change a diaper (and of course he'll be doing it wrong because it's not how you would do it)and you'll give scary side-eyes to strangers who touch your babies face or ask to hold him/her while doused in perfume. Because this is what you're a mom.

    As for that book i started reading it on Saturday and i've stalled out a couple of times. There are a WHOLE lot of strange twists in it that i know you havent gotten to yet since you stopped at her stillbirth/ miscarriage. It's well written, and that's the only thing that keeps making me pick it back up. But it's a strange read.

  14. WOOHOO 2nd tri!!!! Yeah!
    LOL @ running out of gas! Must be preggo brain :-)
    I'm going to have to read that book! I really like her.

  15. SECOND TRIMESTER!! This is huge!! So, so happy for you!

  16. Yay for the second trimester and starting to think about what comes next! That's awesome!

    As for your friend, I would definitely recommend she chart a bit before she jumps to fertility meds -- especially if she's so reluctant to take them. Her doctor may not think it will work, but even with shift work it is possible to get the timing of temping to work. I know some hate it, but it also can be so useful to let you know what's going on with your body. And, the same with OPKs. And, the most important part -- it really can't hurt so, why not?

  17. Happy 2nd trimester! Happy to hear you are starting to feel better. And thoughts of an actual baby at the end of this are huge :) I will have everything crossed for you the entire time!

    I feel for your friend. I don't want to take fertility meds either. Personally, I would tell her that clomid is worth a try but only if she has her clinic monitor her while on it. I agree with you that charting and OPKs are the next route she should take. I don't know why some docs are negative about charting but it tells you a lot. Even if she can't temp, she can track CM changes, sex, and other things. It is possible to ovulate late on a regular schedule. If she has a consistent cycle I would guess she ovulates. It can take 6-18 months for a normal fertile person to get pregnant so, especially if she is against fert meds, she should definitely keep trying and add charting and/or OPKs.

  18. Maternity pants rock my socks. I want to get pregnant again just to wear those super comfortable pants. lol

    I remember feeling the way you're feeling all through my pregnancy and even in the first couple weeks after my daughter was born. It is pretty typical.

    I would definitely recommend the book Making Babies: proven 3-month fertility. Can't remember the exact title off top, but it does contain all of the words above. That book is pretty good about helping get things on track.

    Congrats and welcome to the 2nd trimester!

  19. Yay for the second tri! You are getting there. I am totally overwhelmed with picking a pediatrician, I mean peds are for live outside babies, of which I don't have yet. It's a process letting go of the anxiety, but I'm getting there. And it sounds like you are too.

    As for your friend, I think she could have ovulatory 6 week cycles, especially if they are regular 6 week cycles. Although of course her 21 day P4 test would be negative since she's probably not ovulating until day 28ish. She should have her P4 tested around day 35 instead. But OPKs and charting would also confirm it. I wouldn't want to jump right into clomid either, especially if I was already ovulating, as it's not good for women who ovulate on their own. Best wishes to her.

  20. Thanks for the book warning...I was getting ready to download it, but think I'll wait until post pregnancy.

  21. yay for the 2nd trimester! so glad your busy weekend went well.

    as for your friend, do you think she is just reacting out of fear by saying she doesn't want to do fertility drugs? regardless, your advice was good- if she really does not want to start that process, then charting will give her a better idea of what's going on with her cycle. also, is she seeing an RE? even if she doesn't want drugs, she will get more insight into her cycle and what is going on.

  22. Maternity pants are the best. The BEST. I will never go back!

    I keep hoping that when I get to the second trimester, I'll have some sort of relief that the babies will really be okay. I don't know if that will ever come, not fully, but I do think that these little milestones along the way help us to feel a little more confidence and faith each time. Just think... A year from now we'll both be blogging little adorable "check out how cute my kid is!!!" photos all the time. How exciting is that???

  23. 22 April 2011 BFP
    23 April went on vacation with hubby
    25 April started reading that exact Jodi Picault book on my iPad and struggled through the first chapters.. So sad. A bad omen? I had my ectopic pregnancy surgically removed on Monday :-(

    Congratulations on T2 - that is a real milestone! You should be feeling pretty well for the next couple of months. Good luck! :-)

  24. Alex, welcome to the second trimester!!! I'm so glad. And what you say about your therapy session is interesting. The same has happened for me: my preoccupations about viability have been slowly replaced by concerns over logistics, support, etc.. It's good that it happens. And natural. But I know that it's also strange to realize.

    I've heard of cycles being messed up for a full year after coming off the Pill. But I do think it's possible that she's ovulating. Has she thought about a fertility monitor? I know they don't work with hyper-long cycle, but am wondering if there's something she could use with a 6 week one.

    As far as the book: glad you put it down.