Monday, December 28, 2009

Holidays



I've been kind of quiet lately because the holidays were a little hectic and then I had nothing at all to write about. It seems that nothing interesting is really happening lately, which is good but doesn't make for very good blogging. Maybe it is just me. I think I expected to be a little lighter and more fun this year. For the most part, Brett and I are very happy...but maybe the family drama is just overshadowing a lot of the lighter holiday cheer? Its completely silly and frustrating because nothing is really wrong at all - I mean, I don't know how my family would behave if we really had a problem since we are such a disaster when everything is going great!

We had my mother in law and sister in law staying with us for a few days. The puppies were more than thrilled with this. It was a load of excitement over new people in the house who don't know dog language so they get away with murder. Yes, my 70 lb lap dog actually decided to be a lap dog for my 100 lb (maybe) sister in law....meaning he sat on her and basically cut off all circulation but, boy, was he happy doing it!


The dogs got some kind of stomach bug that was going around at the puppy day care I take them to on Mondays (to let some energy out). So, I had several days of waking up to massive diarrhea in the family room and then days of cleaning carpets only to get the house clean and smelling fresh as the bug moved on to the next victim. It was a disaster. Luckily the 45 lb dog and the 70 lb dog got it all out of their systems before MIL and SIL came into town...though the 5 lb-er got it smack dab in the middle of their visit. But seriously, a Chihuahua's diarrhea is nothing compared to the 2 boxers.



I did have one doctor's appt and it looks like I have a UTI...still waiting on the confirmation. The nurse practitioner said that I have blood in my urine but I had already warned them that I think I have a UTI since I've been peeing non-stop and have had some pain and burning. However, I've only had a UTI twice before and both times it has gone from no symptoms to literally peeing blood in seconds....so I'm a little surprised I'm not in more pain. She gave me a prescription but told me to take it only if it is unbearable otherwise I should wait to get the culture results today. I really hope its a UTI b/c otherwise blood in the urine is scary. Besides that, everything was great. I measured great. She was super-happy with my weight gain (21 lbs total) and with Teagan's responsiveness to any poking or using of the doppler.

We also did the L&D tour at our local hospital. It was interesting and informative and very very real. Those beds look really small and really uncomfortable. In the meantime, I am reading a book called "the thinking woman's guide to a better birth" that I received as part of my Baby Expo Grand Prize this summer and it is scaring the crap out of me! It is one of those books that makes you very cautious about modern obstetric care and modern day medicine's inability to let the body do what it is supposed to. Most of the stuff I already knew but it backs it up with medical literature and really spooks you about putting your care in your doctor's hands.

Okay, for nothing going on, this is a long, rambling update post. I'll be more fun next time.

Monday, December 14, 2009

31 weeks and a church story

As of yesterday, I am 31 weeks! I can't believe we are just chugging along at this! I woke up yesterday morning and got ready for church...I felt huge. I finally felt like I looked like I was in my third trimester...so much so that I put on my long-ish discount maternity shirt that I've been dying to wear and thought I'd fit sooner than later. Well, we got into church and I got up to go to the bathroom before service started. As I was returning, I noticed a couple sitting across from us look at me and then both smile HUGELY. I kinda smiled and went to our pew and told Brett that I think that couple just figured out that I was pregnant too (we see them every week and over a month ago bumped into them at Lowe's where Brett and I realized she was pregnant). Anyway, at our "peace" break, my church has a tendency to clear out the pews and every single member greets every other member with a "peace be with you", I mean, it takes forever. Well, I see this woman (half of the smiling couple) who usually sits in church and knits with the pretty fabric sitting peaceably on top of her pregnant belly, make a beeline for us. She was sweet and smiling and said "welcome to the club!". So, I smiled, said peace and then asked her how far along she was (guessing she'd be due around the same time as me). She said "April"...and then she asked me. I said mid-February...and time stopped. Seriously, a moment frozen. Her eyes got wide, she opened her mouth, looked at my belly and FROZE. My mind feverishly backtracked...what did I say? what happened? And then I realized it is because they see me every week almost and just realized that I was pregnant and I am already so far along. Well, it was sooo uncomfortable. I coughed a little, sputtered, and said, "I know...I don't look big, I guess its just the way I am carrying her." She finally shut her mouth, looked at her husband, who had finally made his way over too...and then smiled and went back to their seats. Brett couldn't stop laughing. It wasn't that I am so proud that I am carrying funny or small...it was just this odd frozen moment in time with the look on her face. Brett actually turned to me and was like "she is probably kicking herself for her reaction...b/c that was so funny!". Of course, it makes me nervous. I mean, is my baby tiny? I don't think so...I am measuring fine - well, one centimeter behind but my doctor said that the tape measurement is normal within 2 cm either way...so that is normal. I am gaining weight like I should...less than my doctor said but more than the nurse practitioner wanted. So, normal. It was so awkward...I hate making people feel uncomfortable. The worst part is that I turned to Brett a few minutes later and whispered..."but I finally thought I looked as pregnant as I am!!!!". Oh well....on a good note, maybe I won't get any stretch marks, right?

When we got home, I asked Brett to take a picture of me so that I can preserve it and this very funny story. I mean, it probably isn't so funny in retelling but that frozen moment still makes me giggle! So, here is my 31 week belly pic:
I just look like a barrel in this pic:



And this one...who knows?




On another note, we are done with the childbirth classes. I'm not sure what I thought of them. The information was useful. It scared me away from most medical intervention and pain relievers in labor and delivery...though that wasn't her intent at all. She was pushing the pain meds and epidurals at the same time as saying they are likely to slow down or stop labor which will then require adding pitocin (and we all know that as soon as you add pitocin, your chance for a c-section increases). So, that didn't help. The breathing techniques were awful. I was kind of wishing I knew more at the start of this and tried to find a class in the Bradley method, which seems more along the lines of what I was interested in. Oh well. I seriously doubt I will use any of the breathing techniques but instead, resort to my well known yoga breathing techniques.




Also, I made an appointment to do maternity photos. Part of that grand prize from the baby expo included a few discount seatings with photographers. Some were baby-specific, others not. So, we are using one of those huge discount cards on a maternity photographer. However, I have no idea what to wear....I'm not big on the nude or flowy sash almost nekkid shots...so does anyone have any recommendations? I'm leaning towards a burgundy fitted v-neck and jeans, a white button down of Brett's and jeans and/or black pants. She said she liked colors so she'd prefer less whites and blacks...but I don't know. She also said to somewhat match Brett to what I am wearing...I'm so afraid of these coming out cheesy!!!! My appt isn't until mid-January, but I'm thinking on it.


Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Our Loss

Today is the anniversary of my awful ultrasound last year, that showed that my beautiful 10 week fetus had stopped living sometime in the last week. I don't dwell on this and I know for a fact that time heals and in years to come I may start to actually forget the date that this occurred on...though I will never forget how painful it was nor how excited we were to be finally pregnant. I can say without a doubt, this was the hardest thing for me to live through. Just seeing that heartbeat for weeks, getting released to the OB, starting to have hope that our baby was strong and would make it...and then seeing that blank, unmoving ultrasound. I truly wish no one had to experience anything like this. I know it was early...I know things happen later that are worse...I know I am lucky that this is the hardest thing that I've had to experience in my life so far. Knowing that doesn't help. It was still awful.

I am so thankful that we are so much further along this year and that I can feel little Teagan moving all the time. I am so happy she keeps me up at night now with her kicks and wiggles. I don't care about that sleep I am missing...it is so much nicer to have the reassurance from her movement. It is crazy what infertility does to you...and what loss does. So, this post is just a little memorial to our loss last year. Our beautiful, loved, little bean.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Bye bye Scrooge?

I've been having a hard time getting into the Christmas spirit which is really frustrating to me. I used to love to put up our tree, shop, watch the Christmas specials and overall, just have a great season. I counted the months in May, when we were going for that last transfer and thought I'd have the easiest Christmas ever if I got pregnant because I'd already be well into the third trimester, be feeling very pregnant, and know that the baby could live outside of me at this stage...what could be better? What I didn't count on was the fact that we've had some horrible Christmases in recent years that, though I don't dwell on them, has made us "out of practice" with this holiday. As much as my will to enjoy it is there...its been hard. Two years ago, we found out on December 23rd that I was pregnant! but, the numbers were bad...and it was likely to miscarry or be an ectopic. Well, it was an ectopic. Crappy Christmas. Last year, I was pregnant!!!! But, on December 12th our little angel was taken away...Brett and I got the cheapest tree we could find, decorated it with maybe 4 boxes of our least favorite ornaments and just tried to "nod" to the holiday and tried to get through it. This year, we are all set to do it up right...but we are both lagging. Its strange, because we are really really thrilled. TRUST ME. I'm not doing the "woe is me b/c I'm finally pregnant" thing....I'm just commenting on how odd it is to feel like I want to celebrate but almost feel like I don't know how to enjoy it anymore! We got a beautiful tree!





I've been shopping for family and friends, we decorated outside...



and I even found the dog Christmas costumes we bought a few years ago:

As you can see...Harley is Nekkid...but that is only b/c Sherman ate her hat before we noticed it. So, she was allowed to be free and happy and the poor guy was solely subject to such abuse. The chihuahua did not cooperate at all...she doesn't put up with nonsense (is SOOOO above it) so she doesn't get featured today.

In any event, its been weird. I am working on it. Hopefully I can learn how to be fun again...and be light. I don't want to count on Teagan to teach me all of that again...I'd like to be back to my old self BEFORE she comes along...but I'm not sure that is possible. In any event, this holiday is going to be fun damnit!
On another note...I AM 30 WEEKS TODAY!!! How great is that? Yesterday we visited a friend who had triplets a little over a year ago and Brett and I got to spend time with all 5 of them:-) They were born at 30 weeks 2 days and they are gorgeous and healthy and funny. It was the right thing to put us in the mood for the holidays and lighten our spirits....and be thankful for ONE beautiful little one in there (kidding)....but wow that is a lot of work!
So, in the holiday spirit, I've altered the blog to pay respects to the sillier side of the holiday season!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Belly pics...and some cute dogs:-)

Nothing too new here. I am still bummed about those pics. Thank you for all of the suggestions! I tried the walgreens thing and it didn't work...and I may still try the software that someone else suggested either this time or next time something like this happens since I am just having NO LUCK...but for now, I did take a few belly pics just to pass time. Not sure why they are looking a little smokey...strange. Again, camera issues! So, here is my 29 week belly:
Me, making a face at Brett when he kept telling me to smile...
And, look at our little family of dogs! Aren't they so cute? and, lest you worry at all about the little one...she keeps the big ones in line, trust me!
Besides that, I met my new therapist today and she was great! We had a good discussion about handling the issues with my mom, particularly when Teagan is born. She understands my concerns and sympathizes and didn't think it was odd that I was going to talk to someone about my mom and instead try to discuss my marriage and infertility struggles. It was very refreshing and very helpful. Although sometimes I feel a little dramatic to be seeing a therapist to help me deal with my mother (when I am 35 years old), I realized today that I need it for the support in helping to set boundaries and hold them.
/
I am still feeling GREAT. I have no real complaints. I get up a million times to pee at night but that is expected with her big nugget of a head crammed into my pelvis! My lower back hurts on occasion, but that is typical from even pre-pregnancy. I think that I am getting big but I don't feel it yet...sometimes forget I have the belly until I bump into something. So I guess that is all good. I'm really just kind of enjoying it. I love feeling her move and having Brett feel her move around in there. He always seems amazed at her strength, which makes me giggle, which probably makes her fall asleep and then he feels no more movement! Besides that, I still worry. Logically, I know we are in the home stretch and problems are unlikely at this point, but it is hard to shake the worry when you've lived with it for so many years. I just pay lots of attention to her movement and spend a lot of time praying for a healthy, happy baby.
/
Even funnier, you should see me in my maternity bathing suit, swimming at the Y. When I look in the mirror, I look like a big black bowling ball on stilts! It kind of cracks me up. However, I will say that the swimming is a life saver! I recommend it to all pregnant women...seriously. It helps with lower back pain, keeps everything moving, and when you start feeling bigger, it really feels great to be weightless for a while! I still love it. I know, at some point, I am likely to cut down on the amount of laps I do but for now, I'm still doing my daily 30 laps (though I take more breathing breaks since the lung capacity ain't what it used to be) but will probably slow down in the next month or so...or maybe not.

Monday, November 30, 2009

The camera hates me!

So, I said there would be some baby shower pics and there were none. Then I said I wanted to get some great Thanksgiving shots...and we got some great shots! Pictures of me and Brett and our three dogs on the couch at my mom's little rustic cottage, pictures of the entire family (those that chose to attend) at my brother's house, pictures of the neices, and even a cute picture of me and my sister in law baby belly to baby belly at their house. I was so excited to post those pictures! My family was smiling! The neices looked so cute! Then yesterday, something happened with the memory card on the camera...somehow it reformatted itself and POOF!!! all cute pics disappeared. Believe it or not, I started crying. Like, seriously unconsolably crying! Poor Brett. I don't think it was so much the pictures themselves than finally the stress of the holidays and family stuff hitting me. I am over it now...but still pissed off about the pictures.

However, this theme continues. We went for our 3d ultrasound today and were hoping to come home with beautiful pictures of our baby girl. Those 3d shots are amazing- you get to actually see your baby before birth in detail. They are just amazing...well, needless to say, she did NOT cooperate! First of all, I had no idea that the 3d machine at the OB's office is the same as the regular u/s machine so that was our first hint. Further, Teagan has moved to a head-down position, which makes me happy overall, but at the same time, she was smushed with her hands in her face, facing my spine for the entire half hour of the ultrasound. We got to see her well in 2d but when the not-so-state-of-the-art machine tried to build a 3d image, we got nothing! So, again, a camera is out to get me this week.

I will be taking a belly pic soon and posting it for posterity....and I will write more soon. For now, we survived Thanksgiving. I love my brother and his family though they are all crazy and becoming extremely religious right-wing type people who are crazily sheltering their girls from EVERYTHING. My mom did not show up for Thanksgiving but instead spent the entire day crying and telling my dad how awful we all were to her and how she is such a victim. My dad showed up at my brother's farm halfway through the day and actually did alright for himself though we all kept him in line. It was an interesting holiday and I am so glad we are staying home and doing a small-scale Christmas...with me, Brett, a very good friend from out of town and (maybe) my mom.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

MIA

Sorry I've been MIA lately. I'll probably update more after Thanksgiving. For this weekend, I had a very fun and sweet shower on Saturday where we got lots of goodies and pink outfits:-) It was wonderful having a bunch of friends meet each other and celebrate our baby! We did try to get some pictures but since there was family drama, there were only about 4 pictures taken and of those 4, none of them are clear or light enough to see anything, for some reason. My family drama continues and continues to escalate, culminating in who knows what? For now, it appears that my mom is protesting Thanksgiving to punish us all...but we'll see how that turns out. My therapist is no help and belittles my concerns with my mother (telling me to "tune them out") and instead chooses to focus on IF issues, which I no longer have as my very obvious belly should shout out to her. So, I am dropping her today and will have to explain to her why (fun, right? at least I'm not someone who shies away from confrontation, lol). I will hopefully get a belly pic this weekend. It seems that my happy pregnancy has kind of gone on the back burner for now as I try to fix some family stuff. It is a shame, but probably better to deal with while I am pregnant and not after little Teagan is born. Ugh. We are at least heading out to my brother's house for the weekend and should have a good time with the nieces and all...if the family can get their sh*t together. Oh well, I hope everyone is having a great Thanksgiving week!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Send some love

I hurried onto the computer tonight to check on a friend's blog. I just knew her IVF cycle was going to be a success this time...it had to be! She'd just been through so much already...but the news wasn't good. If you get a chance, please stop over and visit Mrs. Last Chance IVF and give her some love and support. She needs it. Her blog is at http://lastchanceivf.blogspot.com/. I know nothing really will help at this point...I know (to an extent) what this feels like....but at least she will know that we all love her and worry about her.

You know, failing an IVF is one of the most painful experiences...and it doesn't get easier with each cycle. It also doesn't get easier when that failure occurs at the best clinic in the U.S....it just gives us that much farther to fall. When I told my husband about this particular friend's result (yes, I talk about all you bloggy friends like you are my sisters), he made a good analogy, probably a great one that will help some people who have never been through this process, or have been through this process but only the very early stages of it...and have found success. He said it is like being that puppy at the pound. You are there one day and a family wants to take you home, you get so much hope and can almost feel the love that you are going to get, and then something happens and you get returned to the pound....but another family sees you and picks you....so you get excited (though you may be a little wary this time just knowing that it doesn't always work out)...you can feel that love again...and you get returned for something that you didn't do again (say, another dog there didn't like you). Now, you are in the pound and you so much want to have that hope again but you are almost afraid to hope...but, say, a single person comes in and sees you and wants to take you home....but then within the week, they lose their job and need to return you. You know damn well that things rarely, if ever, turn out well...and you know that your chances of ever going home with someone else are getting smaller and smaller (b/c who wants a puppy that's been returned 3 or 4 times?). It is like little pieces of your heart are just breaking away each and every time. You get cynical. And, each time you think you can't hurt more....and then you allow yourself just a tiny bit of hope and get it smashed.

I know what it is like to fail IVF after IVF with no answers for what the hell is happening. I know what it is like to think this will never work (oh, but maybe we'll give it one more shot anyway). I know what it feels like when people say that you are crazy to be trying again -I mean, how many times do you want to hurt yourself like that? Clearly, after 6 tries at IVF IT DOESN'T WORK for you....I know....I just wish now that no one else knew what that felt like. It hurts like hell and it really reinforces how unfair the world is. Sending Hugs to Mrs. LC and Mr. LC. I will still hold on to a little piece of hope in my heart for your low beta. But, this was a particularly cruel 2ww for you two. My heart hurts.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Super short celebration post...

I've made it to the third trimester!!! wooo hooo!!!!! I will post a belly pic later today or tomorrow...but I had to share my joy! (okay, I am going by "what to expect" and "your pregnancy, week by week" which both say 27 weeks is the third tri...some say 28 but that would make me shooting for 42 weeks, and lets be realistic, I'm really shooting for 40 here!!!)

Friday, November 13, 2009

Let the girl have a cookie!

I went in on Wednesday for my glucose tolerance test at the OB's office. Drank that miserable little barrel of orange drink that tasted like super-sweet syrupy and flat orange soda, had my appointment and then went to the blood lab. The appointment went fine overall. Even though I look small for how far along I am, I measured perfect. They think the baby is still head-up...and I am sure she is (stop kicking my bladder!!!), but she's got weeks to make a change (and I've got several yogic inversions daily in mind to help her forget which side is up!). My BP was a little high (137/65) but I was nervous, honestly, about the GD test and how my endocrinologist told me that I'm likely to get GD no matter how thin I stay in pregnancy...but I had no protein in my urine, so I am okay. I rechecked my BP yesterday at the local drug store and it went back to a highish normal at 123/64 so I think I'm fine in that department (given all the stress I've been under).

The OB's office called this morning and told me that my glucose test and my thyroid tests came back normal but that I have an elevated white blood cell count. Ugh, um...yay. I was happy at first and then was like, what does that mean? They want me in a week from today for more blood work. She said that normal is under 12 and mine was 15...which is higher than it should be but not scary-high. It can be because I am getting a cold, had an allergic reaction to something, have an infection somewhere or even, can be a reaction to high stress. It makes me nervous because any talk of infection during pregnancy makes me worry about pre-term birth. I am just barely making it to the third trimester...she needs to stay in there longer! Personally, I wonder if it is that I am just getting over a cold and am still a little phlem-y in the mornings or if my slight egg allergy kicked up when I got the H1N1 shot last week...I have no idea. I just hope it is lower next week.

In any event, I am happy to be able to eat a cookie here and there without freaking out about my blood sugar. Ever since my endo told me that I was likely to get GD because of family history, I still ate the halloween candy but then I felt guilty about it, lol. So, not that I'll go crazy now but it'll be nice to enjoy something sweet here and there without freaking out.

I met my therapist this week and I love her. She was very understanding and thorough and we did seem to click. This is a really good thing. Since our fight last week, my mom has been trying to pretend that nothing happened...and I usually let her do this because I hate holding on to anger...but I also have learned that it lets her walk all over me. So, I am trying to keep a little distance for now and set up some boundaries. I feel guilty as all hell about it...so I'm glad that I decided to try to talk to someone about it finally. Hopefully, she can help me figure some things out.

Besides that, my shower is next weekend and I have great friends coming to visit. I am so looking forward to seeing them! However, since we already did all the work on the nursery, there is no room in what used to be our "guest room" so I have to feverishly start cleaning out the office to fit our full size blow up mattress in. Then this weekend is some serious house cleaning and touch up since during the shower, Brett is having a bunch of guys over for football and snacks...should be a fun weekend next week! But, until then....

Oh!! and this will be my last post of the second trimester!!! yay! how exciting is that? double digits to birth!!!!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

New day

Things are a little better this week. As expected, my mom has decided to act as if nothing happened with the whole abusive hanging up on me episode. My tendency is to let it go. I'm terrible at holding grudges but I'm learning that I don't necessarily need to hold a grudge so much as not let EVERYTHING go all the time. So, I am being civil but planning to have a conversation with her. Brett gets upset that everyone is my family cuts her so much slack. We all get beaten down and held accountable but everyone in my family lets her act terribly and then immediately forgives her and lets it go. So, I am working on it. I have an appointment with a therapist later this week and I will see how things go after that. I know I've spent the last few months trying to establish boundaries to protect my family and it is starting to wear on me because I am seeing that none of it is working.

One of the weirdest things is that she insisted on throwing me a shower, which will be in a few weeks. This seemed like a nice idea. However, I am buying stuff for the shower, had to be there when she bought decorations, had to help her fill out the invitations and now I have to be thankful that she did all this work. To make matters worse, I went gluten free before this transfer and I've gotten even more sensitive to gluten than I was previously, to the extent that if I even ingest something that was anywhere near anything with gluten on it, I immediately vomit and am sick for over a day. I was surprised by this little development but it has kept me honest and my baby safe since celiac and serius gluten sensitivity can cause miscarriage. In any event, my mother knows this and is making everything for the shower with gluten in it. Everything. According to her list, there was not a damn thing I could eat at my own party (I even suggested potato salad and she insisted on pasta salad). Luckily my SIL (the one I am not great friends with, ironically) has come through and felt sorry for me so is trying to co-host the shower and will be making some snacks and cupcakes that I can share in. I mean, how mean is it to have a pregnant lady at a party where she sits and watches others eat? mean, right? Anyway, enough complaining. The shower is in 2 weeks and except for my mom hosting it, I can't wait. It is so exciting to me to have my friends celebrating my baby:-) On the other hand, if things get worse again between us, I'll just direct everyone over to my house and my SIL will host it here. Weird, but possibly necessary. To be honest, I kind of wish mom didn't want to do this because I had several friends who wanted to host it but I let my mom do it because she insisted.

Besides that, tomorrow is my husband's birthday and he is away on a miserable business trip. Ugh. I had hoped to make a nice dinner and have a nice, quiet evening and a cake. But, unfortunately, he is away. I also have an OB appointment tomorrow that he has to miss, which he isn't happy about. But, it isn't anything big. Just an office visit and the gestational diabetes test...so hopefully everything will be fine. On Thursday, we start childbirth classes!!!! It is 2 hours a night on Thursdays for 4 weeks. Not exactly sure how I feel about it since it feels weird showing up anywhere with 2 pillows and I have odd images in my head as to what I am going to encounter, but here we go! My labor and delivery tour at the hospital was also supposed to be this week but the hospital called and cancelled. It seems the H1N1 outbreak here has been so bad that they are severely limiting visitors to the hospital. It is so bad that they aren't even allowing any children under the age of 18 even as a visitor. So, a friend who is due on Friday can't have her 16 year old son visit her in the hospital. I think they should just give him a mask and let him in....but what do I know?

Last but definitely not least...I want to wish a blog friend good luck on her transfer tomorrow. She and I have been online friends in the forums and on our blogs for well over a year now and she is going for her last shot! If you can, hop over to http://lastchanceivf.blogspot.com/ and wish her some good luck, some sticky vibes, and support. She is a wonderful person who really needs the chance to be a wonderful mom. I have a good feeling about this one!!!!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Rough week

I won't go into all of the details, but I've had a really rough week. I'm aware that I should be the happiest I've ever been in my life. I am so ridiculously happy to be at the 100 day mark for the rest of this pregnancy - I truly got to the point where I never thought this would happen. I love my husband with all of me...seriously, he is the greatest guy in the world and treats me like gold (sent flowers for being such a good preggo last week!). I love my dogs, my house, my life. But then, enter mom. I've been having a lot of problems in the family department lately. My mom and I had always been close but in recent years, she has changed a lot. I don't want to complain too much in this particular venue b/c I really don't always know who reads this (though I am sure my mom doesn't...she told me she's not interested b/c she gets a phone call and doesn't need to look at my blog like everyone else). Seriously, my relationship with my mother is ruining my blissful existence!! (how dare she...right?). Seriously, I'm struggling. I even called a few therapists yesterday to find a good one to discuss some of this with. We fight constantly and she hangs up on me several times a month. She takes over EVERYTHING. To the extent that Brett and I decided that we are likely not going to call her until Teagan is born b/c I won't be able to handle having her in the labor room...and she is definitely not invited into the delivery room (something she is so pissed about b/c she is saying if she isn't there she doesn't think Brett should be either!!!!). Ugh. The end result, is that I am stressed.

To go one step further, she hates my husband. Oh yeah, she also hates my SIL and hated my brother's ex wife. Basically, anyone who she sees as getting in the way of what she sees as her part in the family. I absolutely refuse to raise a child around her if she is going to treat my husband badly. Its as easy as that. This Sunday we did a breakfast for church. My mom rarely goes to church but she decided to this week. When she got there, we were already in the pew and, because Brett was on the outside of the pew, she wouldn't sit with us but instead chose to sit behind us. She said hello to me and hugged me. Ignored Brett. She did the little "peace be with you" with him...but when she left, she hugged me, said goodbye to me, ignored him and left. How are you supposed to explain THAT to a kid? Its rude, uncalled for and emotionally scarring!

Anyway, I don't want this to be too much of a vent but I started this blog as a place for this sort of thing...and I've stopped doing it because a lot of IRL people read it and I'm trying to be sensitive to how crazy they will think I am, but I had to get this one out there. I seriously need to get into therapy before this baby is born b/c as is, I am letting myself be miserable over my mother...who has everything going for herself right now too! Why be miserable when nothing is going wrong? I called a few local therapists yesterday and haven't gotten any responses yet but I've heard they usually don't rush call backs. We'll see. I've read about a particular disorder that I know that my mom has...and how that impacts daughters of mothers like that...so I know, in some ways, what I am supposed to do. Its just 35 years of guilt and being taught that my emotions don't matter in relation to hers makes it very very hard for me.

Besides that, I finally got my H1N1 shot today....which is the good news. The rest of the day has been a little bit of a disaster...but I'm working on it. Brett is coming home in a few minutes from a business trip so I'm gonna rush out the door to pick him up at the airport. I'm sure this post made barely any sense but I'll publish it anyway and maybe explain more/fix it later. I've just been an emotional mess this week...and was successfully hung up on 2x by my mom just this week!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Pediatric Cardiologist

We had our pediatric cardiologist appointment today...and all went GREAT! They were very very thorough, our appointment was at 2 pm and we didn't leave until close to 4. It took about an hour on the ultrasound machine, checking every part of her heart, the valves, different angles, blood flow and even blood flow from the placenta. I started getting nervous just because there was so much going on. But, when the doctor finally came in, we got the great news. They can't say that she definitely won't have a heart defect but there was no arrhythmia today and they just ruled out 95% of heart defects by doing this scan. There are about 5 that they can't see at this time, one of which was the one I was born with (but we aren't overly worried about b/c we all know how that turned out!). He did say that when we walked in the door, my baby was 10X more likely to have a heart defect than in the normal population, solely because I had one myself. However, when we were walking out, my baby is now 10X less likely to have a heart defect than the general population. Those are great stats for me! We also got to stare at our little wonder and all her moving parts for about an hour:-) Unfortunately, we don't get any pics from this ultrasound! But, she was cute and wiggly!!!!





Here is a new belly pic. I think the green shows my cute little bump better than the other shirts. I am definitely showing now:-) I feel great so far and have no major complaints except my hips hurt at night...which is annoying and I am getting a memory foam topper for the bed hoping that the softness will help me out....but really, that is not much of a complaint!



I'll post more later in the week since I have a few good topics to cover...but I'm tired and just wanted to let everyone know everything is alright!

Monday, October 26, 2009

24 weeks and a belly pic

I am at 24 weeks! I have reached the magical stage of pregnancy where if I give birth prematurely, the hospital will actually try to save my baby! In fact, I did some research (morbid, maybe, but it made me feel better) and if a baby is born at 24 weeks, it has a 38 % chance of survival...at 25 weeks it goes to 50% and at 28 weeks it shoots up to about 80-90% (can't remember the exact numbers). So, though I don't expect anything to go wrong at all (I feel great and everything looks great) I think those are pretty good stats!

On to a belly pic. We took these yesterday but they aren't wonderfully clear. I'll probably end up taking another next week to get a clearer shot. I did finally get asked by a relative stranger (an instructor at the Y) when I was due! That was exciting...of course, I was also in my speedo at the time so letting it all hang out, but I was still excited to look pregnant and not just pudgy! I look bigger all around but I think that is actually a lot from the fertility meds before pregnancy because I've only put on about 10-12 lbs, depending on what time of day I weigh myself at (and whether or not I've pooped, lol, something that is getting rarer and rarer these days....my one pregnancy complaint!). So, here are some pics...
It was a beautiful day...and we finally did some cute decorating for Halloween...


A close up (eeek)

So, I'm getting there! I will be honest...I didn't think I'd be someone who really loved being pregnant just because I am very active usually and am used to being relatively thin. However, and I know I am writing this in the "honeymoon period" (aka the second trimester) but I LOVE it. I can't say that enough. I think my belly is so cute. I have no complaints at all...my back feels fine, I only have had acid reflux issues once or twice, and I'm sleeping pretty okay. Then again, maybe I expected it to be much worse and therefore think it is amazing (my own personal brand of optimism, I think). I expected my back to be killing me because of that arthrtitis but it has felt great, except for those bad days with no pooping then the back aches a little, I expected to not be sleeping at all and I do get up maybe 6 times a night- 5 times to pee and at least once to get a snack,but then I fall right back asleep, and I expected to be super emotional and cranky and I've had a little crankiness and teariness but nothing compared to the stim cycle of an IVF...so I'm probably feeling the best I have in years...because those years were years of ongoing infertility treatments! In any event, I seriously love it and am looking forward to her birth and then doing a few retrieval cycles so we can have some siblings!!! Granted, I thought I'd be pregnant younger but "if you want to hear God laugh, tell him your plans"!
~
Besides that I am freaking out about the H.1N1 virus. It seems that everyone has it. A good friend's son just got diagnosed, another friend's daughter is home from school today with flu-like symptoms and I hear from the teachers that they have an average of 8 kids out a day with some kind of illness. I do know I have to get the vaccine but surprisingly my county hasn't got any doses in since those early doses for medical workers. I have an appointment at the OB's office on Friday for a supposed shot for this virus since they think they are getting a shipment in "by the end of the week" and I hope they are. I am in the high high risk group because not only am I almost in the 3rd trimester of pregnancy but I also have asthma. So, my chances of the flu turning into something major and very life threatening are very high up there....though I still think my immune system is working great and I could fight off the infection, I am scared for my little one. She is so active and we worked so hard to get her that it really does scare me. Oh well, I'm hoping the vaccines get here...

Friday, October 23, 2009

Nursery (yes, I know it is early)

We finished the nursery, for the most part. I realize that 24 weeks is a little early to have gotten it done but if you think that we've been anticipating this for years and stopping family from buying us stuff for years too, then you understand why we went ahead and did all this. Not to mention the height of nursery decorating was likely to happen in holiday season when we will be way too busy to think about it...then throw in Brett, lol. He is the absolute greatest husband and a beautiful optimist. When we got pregnant I had to do all I could to stop him from doing the nursery until after the first trimester. Then, once I hit 13 weeks I had to say, lets do it. So we did. You see, he has this forward momentum thing when he gets excited and that momentum was pushing the nusery forward...after all, we were gonna have a baby, right? And, though I was hesitating because I'm constantly terrified about something bad happening...if something terrible were to happen at this point, a finished nursery would be the absolute least of my worries. So, here is some of our pics. We made the letters ourselves and just put them up this past weekend when we were sure we were having a girl...whose name will be Teagan Marie.
Here is the crib area with her name up top! (and the cheap on clearance, $5.99 lamp from Target in the right hand corner that is already broken!!!) The crib that my friend (and fellow IFer Carrie) helped us purchase with a very generous gift card! This crib is so sturdy that all of my weight leaning back over it couldn't tip it, so it passed the 'boxer' test.


Our deep discount rocker that is oh so comfy and a beautiful antique hand-me-down dresser from Brett's family...(with Harley sneaking in).

The crib again with the cute fluffly little white rug I fell in love with (that Sherman has decided is a bed he can actually try to fit his entire body on in a tight little ball).



Here's the cute little face (notice the obvious lack of pink dot on his nose! there is still a little white/pink mark but that growth is gone WITHOUT SURGERY!!!):

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

my cheekbones and fetal arrhythmias

We had another OB appointment today and, since I ate a few grapes prior to the ultrasound, our baby girl wiggled her way through the ultrasound and totally cooperated with the tech. We DEFINITELY have a girl...she gave us several opportunities to see if she had dangly parts...and she doesn't. Her spine was beautiful and fully closed and her brain and head measurements were perfect. We got some great shots of her profile (Brett insists he sees my cheekbones!), some beautiful images of her little eyelids and facial features and even some cute shots of her little feet. We didn't get as many pics this time, but I will post a few.
Here is a cute profile pic (it is so much clearer on the machine!). But you can see her head to the left and her little ribs/belly region to the right. See her cute little button nose and mouth?


This is a picture of both of her feet. Somehow the ultrasound tech got them both in the shot...cute.


For now, she is breach. However, it is still so early and she's got tons of room in there to move around and flip right-side up and all that. I've been wondering how she is sitting since she really moves and I feel lots of kicks and flips and punches lately.

I met another doctor at the practice who seemed very nice. However, she did use the doppler and we discovered that our baby girl has a small heart arrhythmia, meaning that every once in a while, her heart skips a beat. I was initially worried because I don't ever remember hearing this on my home doppler and I was actually born with a heart defect, so it has been a concern of mine from the beginning. However, her heart has looked perfect from the beginning and the doctor told me that she sees this all the time and it means nothing. Also, if it turned out to be the same type of defect I had, it isn't all that scary. My heart defect was an atrial septal defect that my pediatric cardiologist thought I'd outgrow. I didn't. At the age of 12, I had open heart surgery. The thing is that atrial septal defects are not uncommon and since I was 12 (in 1986) lots has changed and the current repair does not require any real surgery at all...just a small incision to insert an umbrella like structure through the blood and to the heart. Not a huge deal. The doctor went on to say that they do not usually refer patients whose babies have heart arrhythmias to the fetal cardiologists because they don't want to see them. In fact, she gave me a handout from the local pediatric cardiology group that is a letter asking the OB practice to not send anymore of these patients over and says "Irregularities of the heart rhythm without sustained tachycardia or bradycardia are usually due to premature atrial or ventricular contractions, benign arrhythmias that require no evaluation or treatment before or after birth." It also says, " the incidence of birth defects of the heart in the fetus with an irregular heart beat was not significantly higher compared to the average fetus." So, needless to say, we are not worried. However, due to the fact that I had a defect upon birth, the OB did refer me to this pediatric cardiac group in order to have a fetal echocardiogram. The OB office tried to make me an appointment and the cardiac group seemed reluctant, again because they don't want to waste their time on these cases. However, they are still working on it so we can have some piece of mind. Not scared...just being cautious I guess.

Overall, it was a great appointment and I was sent home with the glucose drink to have before my next appointment when I get the gestational diabetes test...something else I worry about due to family history. However, I'm not overly worried since our baby girl weighed in perfectly (1 lb!) and seemed actually on the smaller side for now (the total opposite of what she'd be if I had GD). On my side, they said I only gained 1/2 lb between last month and this...but their scale is wacky. At my last appt I thought I was up 5 lbs (according to the home scale) and they had me up 7lbs!!! This time, I thought I gained another 5 lbs (put on the weight this month, for sure) and they say it is only 1/2 lb. But, I am at a good 11 lbs for the pregnancy so far, so within healthy normal limits.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

My poor puppy...

Today was the big day for Sherman's (the boxer boy) surgery...and for the little chihuahua, Katie, to get her teeth cleaned. I brought them both to the vet this morning. As I am talking to the vet tech about Sherman's growth on his face, I point out to her how much better it looks since yesterday. She says (get this...), "that kind of growth does that. First it appears, it growns big fast, bleeds a lot, scabs up, and then the scab falls off and it goes away". Now, it hit me as strange but, for some reason, I left him there for the surgery anyway...I was literally a few blocks away when I pulled to the side of the road and called the vet's office to ask them to speak to the doctor. I wanted to know why I am spending $500 (at least) and putting my dog under anesthesia for something that is going away. In the end, they were nice about it, but I had to go back and pick him up. Unfortunately, they already gave him the groggy shots and a benadryl in anticipation of the surgery. It may be stupid of me to have cancelled it since it may still not really go away and I will probably have to pay more out of pocket b/c of the meds he already got, etc, but I got mad that they didn't tell me all of this weeks ago and I just can't see him going in for surgery when it is starting to improve and likely will go away....am I nuts?

So, here are some pics of things we got this weekend. We were told by my mother in law that they were going to have a small brunch at the bed and breakfast we were staying at to celebrate our good news and my sister-in-law's recent wedding. It was going to be small in that only a few close family friends would be invited. Well, it turned into a mini-baby shower with 25 in attendance! I knew about 4 of the people in the room (intimidating, no?) but it was really lovely and very sweet. Though I was nervous about it (when I found out the day prior...), it turned out to be a fun morning. People were expressly told not to bring gifts, but of course they did. Here is one of the funniest from my SIL, Amy...
Now, anyone who knows me knows my biggest fear is raising a cheerleader. It is totally a personal prejudice that I recognize and is probably based on life experience and some erroneous beliefs. However, there it is. I was always the very girly one who was athletic and getting dirty in my pink ruffled dress. So, its not the girlyness I don't like. It is more the cheering for someone else as your athletic outlet. I want my girl to learn that she should be cheered FOR not cheering for the boys all the time. I also know that there is a general thought about cheerleaders themselves and their role in society and I also know that it is a VERY dangerous "sport". As a result, I'd much prefer a soccer player or volleyball player or softball player. I mean, even football and hockey players get padding...cheerleaders don't. So...after geting some ribbing from my husband's family this weekend at the Football game about my unfair prejudice, this shows up in my gift pile at the brunch:
Okay, frightening in so many ways! But it is just so CUTE! She will wear it on saturdays while dad sits in front of the TV cheering them on. And, yes, if my daughter decides she absolutely wants to be a cheerleader, I won't stand in her way...but I do have issues with it. Sorry.
To my SIL's credit, we also got these (and keep in mind, she is a State fan so it must have been hard for her to buy this stuff). (its a 3 pack of MI onesies!)

Other cute pics of outfits:




I am going to have so much fun dressing her up! In any event, we had a great weekend with the family!!!


Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Deed is done:-) and unfortunate belly pics...

These pictures are terrible, but I wanted to document my donating my hair to locks of love. So, here they are...oh! and the belly has made an appearance!
Before I left for the appointment, in my bathroom mirror...the hair is starting to look damaged (all that swimming at the Y probably!)

And, a close up of the belly (21 weeks, 3 days). I personally think that the butt still outweighs the belly's appearance but I still think my bump is cute!
At some point this morning, it occurred to me that maybe I'd put off the haircut again...but then I realized that my hair is still pretty healthy and all that chlorine from the pool is not helping so if they can get a good 10 inches from my donation, then they should do it, even if it leaves me with really short hair...so here is a later pic....
And, a close up...for once in my life I have cleavage!
Besides the big drama of the hair donation, we had a great weekend in Michigan with family. I am going to dedicate a post to our weekend because we had a little bit of a surprise brunch baby shower with some fun gifts that I want to post pictures of. The reason we travelled this weekend was that Aunt Amy (Brett's sis) got us tickets to the Michigan v. Michigan State game (there is a huge family rivalry) and though Amy's team won and our's didnt, we had a great time anyway....

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The goods

Very quick post here but I had to share. So, along with that limo ride, here is our booty:



What you don't see are a bunch of gift certificates. Two of them are from photography studios - one for a free sitting for our baby and one for $75 off any kind of photo shoot (maybe maternity?? hmm....?). Another one is for an eclectic baby boutique. Very cute stuff. We did get a carseat for when our baby outgrows the infant seat that Grandma H got us last week (which is AWESOME and we love it!). So....good stuff. We had a ball going to get it and going through it. Ahhh....Karma:-)

Too ironic and funny!

I just got a phone call from the people that ran that baby expo that Brett and I went to on Sunday...I won the grand prize. I have no idea what the grand prize is....so I asked Brett, he said "didn't you notice the hundreds of baby items on top of the limo where you entered your name?". I vaguely recall a breast pump, some clothes and diapers, a toddler seat, etc....I think. Anyway, I won ALL OF THAT and a limo ride home from the hospital for me and my baby in February. How crazy is that? I'm still laughing. Brett and I are going to run down there to pick the stuff up tonight, the guy was like, "do you have a pretty big car?". We do!!!! Even funnier, this is the computer entry where the woman was so rude to me about my baby bump and didn't believe I was 20 weeks pregnant!!! The universe laughs. So, I'll be sure to take a pic and post it as soon as possible which will either be tonight or next week since we are leaving to visit family and watch college football in Michigan tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

This is getting ridiculous

So, I think I look pregnant, lol, but no one else does!!! On Sunday, Brett and I went to church and then decided to head over to the baby expo going on at the Holiday Inn. It was free admission and was supposed to have a lot of information, including info from the local diapering services since I just have issues with disposable diapers and can't bring myself to use them and Brett has issues considering putting those cool bum.genius type diapers in our own washing machine (though I think we'll be using gDiapers, more on that later). So, my goal was to find the cloth diapering services and discuss. Well, upon first entering the exhibits, we saw one of the local hospitals set up with plastic models for the uterus and baby size for each milestone during pregnancy. Since I was exactly 20 weeks on Sunday and giddy with the very thought of making it halfway (let alone all that movement!), I went running over to the table, dragging Brett to look at the 20 week model. The women sitting there smiled at me and said "is someone in your family or a friend pregnant?" I said that I was 20 weeks TODAY...they looked at me, looked at my belly and said "really?" and then were like, "well, I guess it is it possible, don't worry you will pop one day!" I then picked up the little 20 week baby model, held it up to my belly and said, "see she still fits, even though I don't have much of a belly!" (and she did!) This continued through photographers and other vendors but the really fun one was at the end of it. Towards the end of the exhibits, they ask you to sign into a laptop computer for a raffle entry. The woman running the laptops told me, as I was approaching, that you didn't have to be pregnant to enter the list. I told her I was pregnant. She looked at me and said, "well, it must be early." Of course, I said no, I'm halfway today! 20 weeks! She then said that I didn't look it and, behind my back made a 'this woman is crazy' face to her co-worker. Brett saw it and leaned in to her and said "my wife really is 20 weeks pregnant today...we are due on Feb 14". The woman then got awkward and told me that I should enter my due date in the computer too. It was so awkward!!! I know I should be happy about this since I feel great and have no pains and am not uncomfortably large but I'd much rather have looked pregnant at this point. The thing is that all I could think was 'thank God I went to the doctor only 2 weeks ago and he told me that everything measured fine for 18 weeks'. I would seriously be a nervous wreck that something was wrong or she wasn't growing properly. Even with the reassurance from my doctor and the baby books saying I should feel my uterus at my belly button now (and I do), I am still nervous b/c I feel like I should show more. Of course, to me (and Brett) I am showing a lot. I am a lot thicker through the middle than I ever have been and haven't been fitting in my regular clothes for weeks...but, you never know what others see.



I've been feeling movement very regularly now, particularly after I eat something and specifically in the evenings to night time. She wiggles a lot in there and I just wish I had a little camera into my uterus so I can watch! I've also been dying to get to the point where her movements can be felt on the outside so Brett can share this with me. I wonder when that will happen....?

We signed up for a birthing class...wasn't too crazy about the idea initially but our local YMCA actually has people from the hospital I will give birth in come in to do these classes so it is much cheaper for us as members and I thought that it couldn't hurt. My main reason for wanting to do it was to go on the extended tour of the labor and delivery and maybe get us to the point where this whole delivery thing is real finally. Not to mention, someone in one of my forums said they aren't "crunchy" or "granola" enough to do one of these classes and, lol, I think I qualify for that (or at least I have at several times in my life!)....so I am compelled to do a child birthing class and wonder how Brett and I will do (will we get annoyed at it? frustrated? love it?). It starts in late November.

Now, about the diapers. I don't have issues with others using disposables at all and I get the feeling we will have to use them for the first few weeks because I've read that newborns are often too tiny in the beginning for the cloth or gDiapers to actually fit properly...and I will test that theory. My thing is that I can't imagine that much waste (here comes the 'granola' and 'crunchy' part, right?). I just can't bring myself to throw that much away...so I've been researching this stuff since we found out we were pregnant. I really like the Bum Genius diapering system but Brett can't handle that at all...the very idea of dirty poopy diapers being put in our dishwasher (oops, I meant washing machine, good catch, B!) is just too much (and I get it so am not criticizing him, though I'd prefer this method). I've researched the local diapering services and they are reasonable (all of these options cost about the same as regular disposables...except maybe the gDiapers are a little less cost efficient). ..but at the baby expo they were so busy selling something else that I didn't get to ask all of my specific questions (like do they come to my neighborhood? Do I buy my own covers? etc) so I will have to call them this week. So far, I've read good things about gDiapers though there are some complaints on leakage, this seems to be a growing pain issue of learning how to use them properly. These are the biodegradable flushable diapers. They have a cute little diaper cover and inside is a cloth liner and inside of that is a flushable diaper. Basically, when you have a dirty diaper, you take the disposable part to the toilet, swish it with a stick (provided) and then flush...and that is it. The other parts are machine washable if the mess goes beyond the flushable liner. We bought the starter kit for about $15 at a sale online and I am ready to go with these...but still want to research my options in case we aren't happy with this system. Has anyone used any alternative diaper services or products? what did you think? Oh...and I also can put in that as a baby I was very allergic to disposables so am wondering if my baby will be the same way so cloth may be a requirement.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

This puppy needs surgery!



Just look at that pathetic face! See the bump on the side of his nose...think it is big in this pic? In the last week (since I took this picture) it has more than doubled in size!!! We had it biopsied last week and it is NOT cancer but since it is growing so fast (so much so that it is stretching the skin so much that it keeps reopening from the biopsy and bleeding everywhere), we will have to get my little man in for surgery...on Oct. 8th! Poor buddy. He'll be all handsome again soon!

Besides that, I feel movement! Lots and lots of movement! It is the coolest thing ever!!! I can't believe it b/c as you all saw, I am carrying her in my tushy...but the movement was in my belly! She is an active little thing and I thought it would be more subtle...but no, I feel her regularly though, of course, I can't discern what the pokes and nudges are, but there they are. It is finally very very real! I love it.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

A belly pic.

So, I got Brett to take a picture this morning. He made my put my hands on my belly so that it would look like I actually had a belly:-) I have to say, I did think it would be more obvious by now...I actually took one of our dogs to the vet on Friday and the vet tech was very pregnant so I said to her, "how far along are you?" (you know I wouldn't have asked if I didn't absolutely KNOW she was pregnant- wearing maternity scrubs and really filling them out). She smiles and says, "almost 21 weeks". I said, "wow, I'm almost 19 weeks!". She looks at me, I see her gaze glance down to my belly, she looks a little confused, smiles and says, "oh, congratulations". So, I had to go a step further and ask her if this was her first b/c we all know that you show so much faster with your later children...nope it was her first. Then another woman who works there comes in and she is 20 weeks and again, she looks WAYYYY more pregnant than me. It looks like all I'm getting is some hip spreading (which hurts in the mornings, by the way) and just a little bit of belly action. So, here are my pics...Oh, and did I mention I really really need a haircut? I am set up to get one in 3 weeks, where I will lose that huge ponytail and donate it to Locks of Love...and I will have non-flat hair again!!! !



19 weeks!!! In another week, I will be halfway there!!!!




Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The girl is stubborn!

We had a great OB appointment yesterday. The anatomy scan went relatively well. Our baby girl was drop-dead gorgeous, of course, and was flailing away with her arms and legs. We saw the beautiful blood flow to her organs. Her heart was a big, beautiful, beating 4 chambered wonder. The umbilical cord was thicker than I expected to see (never saw one before) and we found out my placenta is high in the fundus. So, all good!!! However, she was totally uncooperative with the gender check and the head measurements. So...get ready for this....we get another u/s next time!!!! And, I didn't even have to beg!!! Woo hoo!!! The scale scared me though. At home, I've gained 5.2 lbs...we have a good scale and I check almost daily. At the OB's office, I've gained 10 lbs!!!! How is that even possible? I still don't really even like food! But, he said 10 lbs is ideal...and the baby weighed over 7 oz so she is doing just fine in there...so no matter what, all is good. I still voiced some worry over miscarriage and my doctor said, which a shocked face, "but you are 18 weeks, she is in there!!!".

The ultrasound technician is the nicest woman. She spent a long time hoping that our little girl would move over or flip over and wiggling the probe on my belly in the hopes that it would help. Neither Brett nor I could take our eyes off of the screen. Her arms were flailing overhead and she has very long legs already (gets it from mom:-)). We were laughing and tearing up and totally glued to the screen. She also sent us home with 7 pictures! Some aren't so clear but I'll post the three best here.
About the doctor himself. He was great. It started out very quick, he asked "how are you feeling?" and after he measured my belly and said, "yup, it feels like 18 weeks to me!" and looked toward the door, I looked at him and said I have some questions and proceeded to pull a sheet of paper out of my purse. He laughed and sat down and said "that is what I am here for". So, we talked. I genuinely liked his philosophy. He is conservative in terms of c-section and induction, unless the patient requests otherwise. He came off as very understanding and willing to work with me as to what I want. I did tell him that I am not demanding anything at all...if medically necessary, I don't care what he does to get a healthy baby out...so he wasn't feeling overwhelmed by me either, I hope. Brett and I left feeling a lot better about our choice. So, I am staying with him.

Besides that, we are just enjoying this. Life has been stressful lately since Brett is traveling so much for work, my family is crazy and overpowering lately, and we are caught in cash-for-clunkers hell. But, we have a beautiful little girl (90% or so odds she is female, right?) growing. I am starting to show and am now willing to post a belly pic (I know, I've been saying this for weeks, but ultimately, I really have been waiting for the belly to overshadow the big butt). Every time I have Brett take a pic of me to post, I am offended at the size of my tush! But, I'm getting over it now that the belly is looking more pregnant and less beer gut. So, I promise that this weekend, I will post a 19 week belly pic. There, I said it:-)

So, without further ado...
Check out the leg! And the big foot!!! She was almost sucking on her toes!
Here is a really good profile. You can see her little nose and lips and that line of dots is the umbilical cord (you probably already knew that - I didn't!).
Another shot of the profile with the foot and you can see some of her ribs, etc. She's so cute!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Maybe some issues with the OB?

I think I might need some advice. I am not overly crazy about my OB. I am going to give it another shot on Tuesday...and I've heard great things...but here is the situation. First, I very rarely get any time to talk to anyone in the office. Second, I had to actually request an anatomy scan (no one suggested any testing or ultrasounds at all), which they are giving me on Tuesday, but they told me that my ultrasound appointment is at 2:45, my OB appt is at 3. Isn't the anatomy scan supposed to be detailed and take a long time? Don't they check every organ that they can to make sure all is okay and measure everything on the baby, the placenta, etc? How can this happen in 15 minutes? They also haven't done ANY tests at all. I told them I didn't need genetic tests but I know there is a urine protein test that should have been done around week 16 and that time period has passed. I am getting confused.

Then, this morning, I went to a prenatal aqua fitness class, which was fun. However, of the 5 other women in the pool, 4 of them have had repeat c-sections and the 5th one had her first baby 16 years ago, so she doesn't really count. This prompted me to do some research. It turns out that NY is one of the worst states for c-section rates. The rates are incredibly high - mainly b/c of malpractice insurance. However, the World Health Organization has researched this issue and found that the ideal number is 15% of births can be c-sections. Over that number and women start having complications and babies have health problems and higher mortality rates. Well, NY's rate is 36%. My hospital's rate is 33.7%. My OB, though he hinted we'd be going for a vaginal birth, seems to go along with these stats- of the 2 women I know who have gone to him, both have had c-sections. I am not anti-c-section. I am anti-unnecessary-c-section. My thought is that God provided an exit for them and if the exit is available, the baby should use it. If something causes a problem and the exit is blocked or inaccessible or the baby is in distress, my doctor is free to create another exit. Until that point, I'd like to go the natural way, please. So, now I have more research to do and more questions to ask my elusive OB.

I realize that it is early to be considering labor and delivery type things but my concern is that birth has very much been taken away from women. Our decisions frequently are made for us and, if they are not, we are rarely provided the information to make our own informed decisions. So, I want to know now and discuss things this early so that, if I don't like the answers, I can find other options (aka, other OB's or midwives, etc). I wish I could come up with another OB practice in Syracuse that I heard was good and delivered at my chosen hospital...but maybe they are fine. The truth is that I am not very high maintenance in this department at all...I just want to feel like I am included in my own care and have things explained to me. I'd also like to feel cared for so that I don't need to research all of my own options and ask them to give me scans. It seems that all of my fellow February Due Date girls get suggestions for tests from their OB's - not the other way around. I'm frustrated.

Things I am going to ask my OB:

1. How long do you allow a patient to go after her due date before you induce? (ideally, he should say up to 2 weeks if all is fine)

2. What is your practice's particular c-section rate and what medical reasons would prompt you to perform a c-section? Do you automatically do c-sections if the baby appears "big" and how big is "big"?

3. How long do you allow your patients to labor (in early labor) before you either break their water or give pitocin to move labor along?

4. Do you allow your patients to get up out of bed or sit up on a labor ball to let gravity help with labor?

5. What are your recommendations about the swine flu and the vaccine? Will your practice be getting the vaccine?

6. Are there other screening tests that I need to be aware of?

Do you guys have any other ideas of questions I should ask? I really have no idea, I've just been paying attention to stories of other women and recommendations made by friends. So, please share if you have ideas that I've forgotten about.

Also, what is your take on the anatomy scan thing? did yours take longer than 15 minutes?

Sorry I've been away...I think I am trying to just live again a little. I am at the boring stage in pregnancy (which is LOVELY), where nothing much is happening, I'm not overly stressed, I'm not feeling movement yet, not showing too much yet, etc. So, I'm just trying to get by. Tomorrow night, I have a great date night planned with my hubby. First we are going to one of the most elegant restaurants in Syracuse (not saying much, lol) but truly, this is one of the only real culinary experiences in the area with a chef from NYC (food is what I miss most about living in NYC) and they are willing to cook gluten free for me!!! They were very gracious and confirmed that my favorite salad - lobster and goat cheese- is gluten free and the cheese IS pasteurized, so I can eat it! yay! Then, we are going to Cirque du Soleil! Granted, it is probably the "D" string of performers since we aren't in a big city, but I think it'll be fun anyway!

In other news, the state fair was in town and Brett and I hit every country concert that they had. We do it every year. And, just in time b/c our little girl already started hearing...so we've got her started early. During the free Darius Rucker show (which was seriously a BLAST- he did his new country stuff but then lots of Hootie too - and random other fun stuff. surprisingly good performer), my neighbor on the grass leaned over and said, your daughter is getting an early start -she's going to love this music. How fun was that? Then I got nervous at the level of noise at Big and Rich (we were in the 7th row on the floor, center), but looked around and from my seat, could see 2 other HUGELY pregnant women who were doing just fine too! I think I am done with loud concerts for a while, but it was fun. There were some great shows and it is really rare to get good shows up here.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

we survived...and it was almost fun

We both survived the visit from my family. And, oddly enough, all of that dread and pessimistic preparation seemed to have done the trick - we actually had a good time, we all got along, and I almost feel bad for dreading it so much! My nieces - 4 and 2 -were wonderful and fun to spend time with. My SIL seems to have come down a notch or two and was very easy to talk to and, at one point, asked me if my mom was throwing me a shower b/c she'd like to be "in on it" but said it would be hard to plan exclusively from 4 hours away....which was shocking to me...and considerate! She did look about 7 months pregnant...but I guess that is expected with your third. She looked at me and said how she remembers she didn't look as big as she does now with her first until she was almost giving birth (very unlike her to be self-deprecating, so I was nicely surprised again). In any event, we had a good time. Brett and my brother sat around laughing and drinking beers. We do all know that we have different views on things and, though my brother and his wife used to pick on us horribly for that, they seem to now be willing to live and let live. Maybe we are all growing up.

I have discovered one major pregnancy symptom- I am a HUGE klutz. I am hurting myself and breaking things left and right. I'm not very big so my balance can't be that far off (and yoga has been going fine) so I'm assuming it has something to do with being tired a lot...so I don't move as well as I usually do...not sure. I just know that I have a sprained finger, a blood blister from where a mop 'bit me', a badly stubbed toe, almost fell down the stairs 2x yesterday and broke a glass 2 days ago. I'm a mess.

The other thing is that I have a lot of pulling pains in my belly area. It is really really uncomfortable. It seems that that nice strong core I've cultivated from 12 years of yoga is holding in my organs and uterus and everything and this is seriously causing my hips to move slightly out (which makes them sore)...it is also causing stretchy pains from the strain of holding all of that in. My mom just keeps looking at me and going "I don't remember any pain like that, are you sure that is normal?" Yes, mom...its normal...

So...onto where our little peanut is in her development...





She is the size of an avocado! This week she is apparently working on her facial expressions! Her uterus is fully developed and her ovaries are already containing primitive egg cells (uh oh, watch out daddy!). Her skin is still translucent but her heart is pumping 25 quarts of blood a day...crazy.

Interesting developments this week - there have been a few instances this week of women who knew what sex baby they were having finding out they were having the other sex. One of them transferred a CGH normal female embryo and her 20 week anatomy scan showed that she was very clearly carrying a well-endowed boy. Um, eeek. She then discovered that this is the main error for CGH embryos b/c the x and y chromosomes are the smallest and so are the hardest to define with accuracy. So, we might still have a surprise. Another woman did one of those genetic tests at home where you prick a finger and send your blood to a lab and they tell you if you are carrying a boy or girl. It said "girl", and her anatomy scan said "boy". She is now pretty upset and selling brand new baby girl stuff on craigslist. The last one is a friend of mine who, at her 20 week scan, the OB said, "it is a girl - I am 99.9% sure". Well, at 29 weeks, she had a 3d u/s and boy did they see boy parts! She isn't upset -other than the fact that they need to re-paint the nursery and return a lot of stuff (and get the word out b/c her shower is next week!). So, my first thought was, uh oh...maybe we shouldn't have told anyone we were having a girl...and then more stories came up and now it seems that the "wrong gender predicted" quota is likely met. So, I'm pretty secure that we are having a girl...but I really still don't care either way. I just think it must be very mind-shifting to be talking about "her" and "she" and picturing her for months and then be told otherwise!

We have our next OB appt in 2 weeks or so and we are getting our detailed (and last) scan then. Hopefully they will be able to confirm or deny our CGH results...

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

family stress

So, thank you for supporting me in my last post. I wasn't really mad at anyone in particular, but noticed a few comments, had no idea who they were directed at, but wanted to say something. I know of several women who feel so guilty about blogging about their pregnancies (after many, many years and many, many treatments) that I wanted to say that we should cut them (and me!) some slack. But, it is every one's choice...and it is my choice that I continue to follow all of my favorite infertility blogs and so end up reading the unfortunate comments, so what can I say?

On my end, things are going really well. I am feeling a lot better. I'm exercising and starting to get some energy back...though, given yesterday, maybe a little too much energy. I thought I overdid it during the day, was exhausted by 5PM and then by bedtime, couldn't sleep. I got about 3 hours of sleep! I have no idea why and am starting to wonder if this is just normal. My symptoms are almost non-existent at this point and I haven't started to get the predicted "must eat everything in sight" symptom. In fact, I'm still not all that interested in food. If I don't eat for a couple of hours, my belly hurts but then I have to figure out what I feel like eating and nothing really sounds great. Although I had this amazing thing this weekend- do any of you have a Yogen Fruz near you? OMG, it is heaven. They blend fresh frozen pro biotic yogurt with any fruit you want....yum. Anyway, I haven't gained anything really yet- 1.5 lbs though I do look like I am rockin the beer gut at this stage. I am hoping to pass into looking like I am pregnant soon b/c it is funny to see me with my beer gut in my racing colors speedo at the pool:-) (and, yes, I am going to post a belly pic soon...have been working up to it - well I just keep forgetting to get Brett to take a pic of me)

I should post a warning here b/c I was hoping to be more light-hearted but this post turned into a panicked bitch-session about family visiting later this week. If you don't want to hear me complain about my miserable sister in law and my family, skip the rest of this post!

I am not looking forward to later this week when my brother and sister in law visit. It is sad to me b/c my brother and I used to be so close...I mean, so close that when we were kids my mom used to punish us by separating us. Then, in college, I became best friends with the woman who would become his first wife. We all partied together and hung out and had really great times...then something happened. He divorced my friend and married the monster, who I really tried to like for his sake, but it didn't work. Anyway, I am sad that we don't all get along and sadder still that I so rarely see my two nieces. So, I look forward to seeing them but it is always tempered by the fact that when everyone is in a room, we are all either trying to find topics to not argue about, or arguing. Its sad.

Anyway, they are coming on Friday. His wife got pregnant about 6 days after I did (she knew we were trying again and she likes A LOT of attention). She apparently has already gained a ton of weight already trying to convince everyone that this time it is a boy (my family is insanely chauvinistic and I HATE it) and therefore, would be the savior of my family name on this end...so her way of convincing everyone is to show how different this pregnancy is from the others. So, this time she is apparently constantly nauseous (so she says) but not throwing up and so has to eat constantly, which results in 14 week pregnancy weight gain of about 30 lbs. It is going to be hilarious - I am further along but absolutely do not look pregnant yet and she looks ready to give birth.

Also- and here is where I get upset - I hear from my brother that after 2 c-sections she is insisting on trying for a VBAC again (she tried last time but has very big babies). It is not recommended by her old OB so she is going to a hospital 2 hours out of the way where they are saying that they will induce her labor 10 days before full term so that the baby is still smallish, that way she can have a vaginal birth (b/c an unmedicated vaginal birth is so much easier than a c-section, I hear -read that sarcastically, please). She says b/c she got to 1cm short of full dilation last time that she practically gave birth vaginally and knows exactly how much pain it is so will insist on a regular birth this time. THIS KILLS ME. Yes, I want a vaginal birth. If I can avoid major abdominal surgery, I will. However, if it is medically recommended that I have a c-section and it is safer for my baby, I will do that. I would never risk my baby b/c I want something done my way. (but again, I did a lot of not fun things to have this chance, they are, according to her, repeatedly, "very very fertile" and according to my brother "all I have to do is put my boots under the bed"). Apparently they went to a bunch of OB's around them and they all said they'd recommend a c-section in her case so she took it to another state...over 2 hours away.

So, I am going to get A LOT of unsolicited advice about pregnancy from someone I really can't stand and has been very very mean to me over all of my struggles. Someone who said of her best friend, who was undergoing IF treatments, "I hope it doesn't work, they should never be parents" (when her best friend is sweet, is raising her husband's 7 year old daughter, and has a very solid marriage). I am hoping I can keep my mouth shut and let her talk...or learn to change the subject. However, every other subject under the sun doesn't work in our company either. They are planning to home school starting soon (a very heated topic of discussion in my family) and they have changed religions and are becoming very rigid and opinionated, so any topic becomes hard to talk about. They are starting to disagree with even the thought of IF treatments, so even Brett and I feel discriminated against. It is awful. I love my brother, but how did all of this happen? Seriously, my brother grew up one block outside of NYC on Long Island, my SIL grew up one town south of us, just a few blocks from Queens too...and they are now farmers who barely have running water in their house and plan to home school! (there is nothing wrong with home schooling if approached properly...and if you continue to let your children experience different things in the world...in this instance, not good!).

You can tell how stressed I am just thinking about all of this. So, I'm hoping to start letting some of this go. I've been dreading this visit for weeks and am now just looking forward to getting it over with so we can move forward into the fall. We have a fun trip scheduled to visit with Brett's mom and sis in Michigan and some college football action out there. I want this weekend to be over so we can start looking forward to that!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Feel free to delete me

So, I've noticed something strange online lately. I totally didn't expect it and am totally blindsided by it. I've read several bitter-ish comments on blogs about people in the IF community being rude enough to title their blog posts with how many weeks pregnant they are or updating their facebook status with pregnancy announcements, or being rude enough to "flaunt" their pregnancies by posting belly pics or ultrasound pics on what used to be fertility blogs. You are totally free to have your own opinions...but I can voice mine too...and if it bothers anyone, please delete me from your blogroll, I really won't mind at all. You've all been very supportive of me as I've struggled and stressed and I hope I've been supportive and will continue to be supportive of you in all of your struggles...

Here is my thought- we need successful fertility blogs out there! We need to see someone make a goal. We need to see beautiful, round pregnant bellies so that we remember that the goal is worth it and attainable and that there is some goodness in the world! I remember I was right behind 3 other women in the fall with my pregnancy. I used to check on their status daily in the first few weeks of my pregnancy so I knew what to expect and what to look forward to. Then I miscarried...and they supported me in my pain...and I continued to go to their sites knowing that I would have been just a week or two behind them but also knowing that I had to follow through with their stories so that I could see there was some good and there was some success and happiness does come for some of us. I followed through. They all gave birth just last month. To happy, healthy babies that keep them up all night. Do I miss that my baby (due July 9th) didn't get to be born? Of course...it was horribly painful to remember and know that he or she didn't make it...but it made me also feel good for these women who finally had their dreams realized. How could it not?

Another point- Why shouldn't women who have struggled for years, gone broke, ruined their bodies and just plain suffered be allowed to enjoy their pregnancies? Speaking for myself...I know I've left some of you behind...I think of you often and check your progress almost daily...and worry when I don't hear from you. I cry at your loss posts or your BFN posts. I still feel that....but dammit, I am going to enjoy this pregnancy! I've been you for 7 fresh IVF cycles. 6 times I've watched women pass me in this marathon. I think I finally deserve to be excited about my pregnancy and flaunt my belly and shout out my making it past the first trimester. If you don't agree -delete me. Its that easy. I'll notice and be fine with it. I'll be honest, I think that those of us who suffered have more of a right to post our pics than others at times. It never bothered me a bit - what bothered me? When Brett and I were taking a walk a few weeks ago and I saw a woman who was obviously late in her third trimester smoking a cigarette! That bothered me...I thought why is this easy for her? (b/c you know it was...the rest of us gave up everything- caffeine, smoking, gluten, sugar, dairy, etc...you name it, we gave it up to try for this). Why can't one of my IF "friends" have that child that is right now suffering cigarette smoke in her body? NOT FAIR. I do still try to be sensitive to you all - but when you get pregnant, I will be the first one insisting on belly pics and u/s updates and encouraging you to enjoy the hell out of it. This is what you've worked for and I don't care if you are obnoxious (I doubt you will be) but flaunt it - enjoy it! live life!

We have all been through a lot to get where we are. They say infertility is second only to cancer in the kind of stress you endure and the amount of extreme treatments people will endure in order to succeed. That is why most of us started these blogs - to find support and give support to others who understand what we are going through. Most of us have lost a lot of real life friends over it because infertility does make you hide out from the world in many different ways -from avoiding pregnant friends for some of us, avoiding showers, staying home b/c you feel like crap from all of the shots and hormones, staying home b/c you are depressed about a BFN, or hiding b/c you just suffered a loss that no one would understand or want to hear about. We lose friends...so we find each other. Then I see negative comments online -maybe directed at me, maybe not - but I have a big mouth so I thought I'd mention it. It won't change how I act, what I do, because truly, I've been through enough to really care. But, I thought I'd say something for others...it gives us a very bad image that we can't even be happy for other people who have struggled and finally reached part of their goal. Also I hope a lot of those comments aren't directed at me b/c I'm not even flaunting it - I'm still almost making myself sick I am so nervous about this ending bad. I am certainly not someone you want to "take down a notch", lol, b/c I don't have very far to go. I am finally emerging from the fear to say that I am going to start to enjoy this!

Finally I want to say that I have seriously learned something about myself. I can't keep my mouth shut about IF. Seriously, if I tell someone I am pregnant, I then have to say that we did treatments. I didn't know this about myself and I keep surprising myself. It seems I have a compulsion to mention it b/c I hate that it is always so hush-hush. I hate that miscarriage is also something that isn't talked about. So, I say it. I don't do it for attention or sympathy - I think I do it so that maybe they can relate. I had an older guy at the YMCA talking to me at the pool the other day. He asked me how many laps I swim, I told him and we started talking. Somehow I said that I just started swimming again on doctor's recommendation b/c I am pregnant. He congratulated me and I said that we tried with lots of fertility treatments. He said, "how long?" I said 3 years...turns out he and his wife waited 6 years for their first...and each of their 2 daughters have had fertility problems- including doing treatments and having miscarriages and they've both had success. It was a great conversation. I don't think there is anything wrong with the route we took to get pregnant, I'm not embarrassed, and so I guess I won't be shy about it. I'm annoyed when I hear people say that they are appalled by IF treatments...and if they say it to me, I will disagree and try to educate. Annoying, probably, but at least they will know more the next time they say something stupid to someone who did treatments. So, I seem to have passed into pregnancy still waiving my IF flag! Good or bad.

Anyway, I'm not mad at anyone who made these comments. I'm just giving my side of the argument. I think it is unfair to expect us not to enjoy our pregnancies. I know a lot of women cancel their fertility blog and start a pregnancy blog...but that seems silly to me sometimes. If you don't want to read my blog, please don't. However, people are used to my blog right where it is. I have friends and family who check in here. And, I like that my fertility blog has taken a happy turn.