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Friday, December 30, 2011

Hello World!

I'm pretty sure that I'm obligated to start this post by saying what a terrible blogger I am. I'm the worst. Sorry.

I gave birth to a healthy beautiful 9lb. 4oz. baby boy on October 14th. I am beyond happy. And I still can't quite believe it really happened, that I really became a mother. Every day I ask myself whether it's all a dream.

I didn't blog while I was pregnant because I knew that so many of my followers were still waiting for their BFPs. I couldn't figure out how to blog in a way that felt sensitive to them. I remember so well how it feels to read pregnancy posts when you're feeling like your time will never come. I am so overjoyed that in the last year so many of you finally got knocked up: Rebecca at Trying Not to Scream, S at Misconceptions About Conception, Misfit at Misfit Mrs., Jill at Infertility Unexplained, Jay at Stuck in a Baby Drought, Hillary at Making Me Mom, Crossing My Fingers at Crossing My Fingers But Not My Legs, Gurlee at Infertility Musings, Chon at My Path to Insanity and Beyond, and Francie at Yet Another Infertility Blog. I am beyond saddened to know that many of you are still waiting: CGD at Adventures in Infertility-Land, Kim at The A.R.T. of Babymaking, Raising Cain at Raising Cain (Someday), and Brave IVF Girl at Braving IVF. (If I've forgotten anyone, loyal followers, I'm sorry!)

I haven't blogged since giving birth, because, well, taking care of a baby is TIME CONSUMING! And, I don't have a (working) computer at home. So my only time to blog is while at work, and I've been bringing the baby with me, which means that I'm not getting much work done these days (not complaining, LOVING IT!).

I'm hoping to start blogging regularly again soon, but we shall see. Love to all of you!!

Monday, June 20, 2011

I Was Worried, And So I Owned It

After reading Sienna's comment on my last post I recalled that when she was pregnant she could of cared less if they wrote "CRAZY!!!!" all over her file in red ink. If she was worried, then somebody had better do something to reassure her or she would unleash her wrath upon them! And so I decided that yes, I was worried, and that I was going to own it, not deny it. So I called as soon as they opened this morning and told the receptionist that I wanted to come in today to be reassured that everything was okay. The receptionist did not tell me that I could take my crazy elsewhere. He told me, "I have a 9:30 and a 10:00." I said I could be there by 10 and the husband and I hopped on the subway. In the waiting room the little guy started kicking up a storm and so I already started to feel better. They did an ultrasound and the doctor said everything looked great and we could see him moving around. We listened to the heartbeat and it was nice and fast: in the 140s and 150s, and didn't drop down below that at all.

I was reassured. And happy. I just want to this little baby so much.

She also told me that I'd passed my 1 hour glucose challenge test, and that my iron was lower now than before I started taking prescription iron supplements (although I've skipped a few days here and there, so I will be taking them religiously from now on).

And congrats to S at Misconceptions About Conception on her long awaited BFP!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Worry: The Saga Continues

I had my 24 week OB appointment on Friday. I was feeling pretty relaxed about the whole thing: we weren't going to be having an ultrasound and it was with a doctor that I had met before and liked (there are several doctors in the practice I go to), so I wasn't worried about either of those things. I knew we were going to get to listen to the heartbeat again, but I didn't have any worries there because I've been feeling him moving so I was confident we would hear it just fine.

But it's always something you don't anticipate.

She put the wand to my stomach and there was the heartbeat, nice and fast. And then it slowed down. Way down. I thought maybe she was picking up my heartbeat instead. She moved the wand slightly and after a few more seconds the heartbeat sped up again. And then it slowed down again, and stayed slow for probably 10 seconds or so. Then it sped back up. I started to get a little freaked out. I asked if this was something we needed to worry about. She said that no, as long as it sped back up, it was nothing to worry about. She said it was probably the baby just grasping and squeezing his umbilical cord. Not a big deal.

At the time I accepted that this was nothing to worry about. An hour later, upon reflection, I started freaking out. I went home and laid down on the couch and put on some music. Usually he would be very active in that situation, but he was quiet. For about an hour and a half he was quiet, and then I felt some soft movements. After I ate that night he moved around a little bit, but he was quiet through the night and into the next morning, even after breakfast and apple juice. That's when I called the after hours line (this was Saturday morning). I was instructed to drink a tall glass of cold water and lay on my left side for an hour and see what happened. This did in fact perk him up, and when the nurse called back I was more calm. But for the rest of this weekend he's just seemed quieter than usual. Also, at our 20 week anatomy scan, the umbilical cord was around his neck. The u/s technician seemed unconcerned at the time, and I tried not to worry about it because I continued to feel him moving, but now I can't help but wonder if the heart rate decelerations have something to do with that.

I can't figure out if I'm worrying unnecessarily or not. My worry compass is officially all screwed up. I would like to call tomorrow morning and ask if I can come in and hear the heart rate again, and if it's still slowing down, get an ultrasound, but is that crazy?

I googled the heck out of this, trying to find someone who had the same experience and was (hopefully) reassured by her doctor, but came up empty. Has this happened to anyone?

Should I be worried?

Monday, June 6, 2011

Don't Worry, Buy Baby Stuff

After our first IVF failed, I began to feel more and more like I would never get pregnant, never have a baby. Yet all I ever thought about was getting pregnant and having a baby. And I wanted to be able to look at baby clothes and cribs, and I wanted to talk about baby names. And as I thought more and more about it, I realized that plenty of couples talk about baby names before they get pregnant. Some even talk about baby names before they're even trying to get pregnant. There was no reason that my husband and I couldn't talk about baby names. And, additionally, I realized that if we came out of our TTC struggle without a baby, and if we gave up trying, and if we decided to live childfree, then at that point we probably wouldn't be able to talk about baby names anymore. Because that would just be weird.

And so I realized that talking about it then might be our only chance, because while we were still trying, we still could. And I wanted that experience. Even if I never had a baby of my own, I wanted to be able to experience some of the pleasures of hoping for one. So I told my husband that I wanted to talk about baby names, and I told him my reasons. And he thought it was a really bad idea. But I ended up convincing him, and it was a little weird and awkward, but it was kind of fun (and I learned that we have very different tastes in names!).

Now, I am pregnant. And we've been able to talk about baby names now for real. But I still worry sometimes that we are not going to have a take home baby at the end of this. And when, after my 16 week anatomy scan, I decided that I would combat my worry by forcing myself to buy maternity clothes and baby stuff and to at least try to act like a normal pregnant woman, I also realized that buying/looking at baby stuff now is similar to talking about names before we were pregnant. And so I am savoring it and loving it now. I've even started a registry.

(Note to readers: I am considering starting to post again more regularly. After my last update post, in which I was able to express some of the worry I've been feeling, I felt a distinct release of tension. I hadn't been posting because I was afraid that posting about pregnancy would increase my anxiety. But I may have been mistaken. So I think I may come back on a trial basis and see how it goes. Of course I am going to try to start doing some commenting again, too!)

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

An Update, Somewhat Belated

Since it's been so long, I suppose bullet points are in order:
  • I am 21 weeks and 3 days pregnant today.
  • It's a boy!
  • Everything has been going well (yes, it's difficult to write that without feeling like I'm jinxing it).
  • After my 16 week OB appointment and anatomy scan I decided that it was time to stop worrying. I thought a good first step was to: A) stop saying "hopefully" in the sentence "When we, hopefully, have a baby in October"; B) start actually letting myself buy maternity clothes and baby stuff; C) stop talking about how worried I was feeling. Although I accomplished those 3 things, on the inside I still worry. It just still feels so surreal to be pregnant. I'm actually thinking about going back to my therapist to specifically try to address this. I know it's normal to worry about your baby/child, but I don't think it's normal to constantly worry that your baby/child is going to die at any moment, and I'm starting to feel like this extreme worry is not going to go away even after I have a real live take home baby in my arms.
  • It is especially painful to me that I still have bloggers in my reader under the "still waiting for their miracles" category. I know how it feels to still be trying and to read blogs of those who have succeeded in getting pregnant. It hurts. I hope that those who are still trying who are reading this can take some comfort in the fact that I never thought I would be here, and yet I am. It will happen for you, too!
  • Thank you everyone for all the support you've given me over the last year and change. (And thanks babybaker for checking in on me! Sorry it took so long for an update!) This is such a hard road to walk. It's still hard for me, which I know must seem ridiculous.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Heart vs. Brain: Or How I Soldiered on After Losing All Hope

I put hopeful in the name of my blog because when we started this journey that's how I felt. Or, possibly, that's how I wanted to feel. Either way, hope and I were still on speaking terms back then. But, somewhere along the way, we had a falling out. Hope and I became estranged, and I convinced myself that I couldn't become pregnant. I even began to tell myself that it was silly for me to have ever even thought that it was a possibility.

Partially this was because when we began TTC back in November 2008 I already had convinced myself that it was not going to happen quickly for us. This was because a) I felt I was already past my fertile prime at 33 (I know, HA!); b) I had been tentatively diagnosed with endometriosis by my OB/GYN and told that getting pregnant might be difficult for me; and c) I had had stomach discomfort for going on 2 years which may have been endo or could have been something else, but either way made me feel broken.

July 2009 we first saw an RE and quickly were assigned to the "unexplained" category, confirming my fears that whatever was wrong with me was so intrinsically wrong that it defied explanation. I quickly came to believe that although IUIs were the proper step to take before IVF, that they would only be a step to cross off our list and would not actually do anything for us. I was right, and this solidified my belief: we were super broken.

I believed that if we were to have any chance at pregnancy, it would be through IVF. I reminded myself over and over again that the majority of women will need more than one IVF to get pregnant, and that if we didn't get pregnant after the first one I should not freak out. But when our first IVF failed, I seriously freaked out. We had pulled out the big guns, and they had done nothing for us.

And that is when my heart broke and all my remaining hope abandoned ship.

I became like a zombie, a shell, a walking talking Jane doll with my heart in a million little pieces inside my chest. And yet, I still had a brain. And my brain was somehow still functioning. And what it was saying to me was,"Most women will need more than one IVF to get pregnant. In fact, for your age group, 80% of women will be pregnant after 3 IVFs. The odds are in your favor. You have to keep trying. Do not give up."

And so, like an automaton, I pushed forward. Not because I thought my second IVF would work (because I didn't) but because my brain was patiently instructing me that, logically, I did in fact still have a chance.

And then it did work. And now I am experiencing some extreme cognitive dissonance. And my heart is only slowly mending.

So, in conclusion, IF is a big fat f-ing bitch.

And to all you out there still battling her, you are in my thoughts and prayers, and I believe in you, even if you are having a hard time believing in yourself. Some of you may still have hope, but some of you may be in the same boat as I was: a sinking one. Don't give up. This may be the hardest thing you have to do in your life. I hope it is. Be strong. There are plenty of happy endings in the IF world, and there is one out there waiting for you, I know this with all my (still a little bit broken but slowly mending) heart.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Long Time No Blog!

Well, it's been quite some time since I've posted. Um, about 3 months. Wow. Here's what happened: I got seriously down in the dumps. I was not living up to my blog name. I had lost hope. I learned that failing an IVF can really knock you down hard. I was knocked down and was having a hard time getting back up. The only posts I had it in me to write were woe-is-me posts. Whiny, crazy-pants, "WWWWWHHHHHYYYYYYYY?!?!?!?!?!" posts. I hate writing those kind of posts. It makes me feel worse when I wallow in my own misery, so I chose to step away from the computer. I also went into therapy, which was a BIG help. We didn't even talk much about infertility, because as it turns out, a lot of what I was going through was a bigger life crisis: Where is my life going? What does it all mean? And what's the f-ing point? My therapist helped me to calm down and to see that although these are important questions, they are not questions that need to be answered today or tomorrow or even in the next year. In essence, she told me to just relax. Ha!

So for the months of November and December I was in therapy, and I was learning to relax, and then I found out that I had been accepted into the IVF study in Philly starting early January. Although tempted to blog about my 2nd IVF, I just couldn't. I had found a new peace that I was so afraid would be shattered if I went back to the daily detailing of every blood draw and ultrasound, examining every number for hope or the dashing of hope.

Instead I approached it like it was a mini-vacation (I stayed at a hotel down there for about half the time). I had to get up early and show up for my daily wanding, but otherwise I didn't let it occupy my mind at all. It was... dare I say it... relaxing. Snowy. But a nice break from my routine.

About 8 days past my retrieval (5dp3dt) I started getting cramping like my period was going to start. It was early for that and I started to think that I was either going to get my period early or that my body had found a new way to be broken. After 4 days of the cramps getting worse and worse I broke down and bought HPTs.
This is what I saw at 9dp3dt:

You can barely see it but yes, there is a 2nd line.

Yesterday we went in for our beta (15dp3dt): 785.

It's weird for me to write this but it looks like we're pregnant.

I had honestly convinced myself that it couldn't happen.
I am of course nervous because it's still early, but I didn't want to keep this from all of you, who have been such an amazing support system for me for over a year now, any longer.
So, am I back to blogging? I don't know... Any big events that happen I will post about because you guys deserve to know. But other than that I may continue to be quiet for a while. Or maybe not! I'm just not sure yet.
Finally, I'd like to extend a big heartfelt congratulations to these ladies who have just gotten their BFPs, too:
A at Remember All the Way (approx. 4 weeks 8 days today)
Erika at Pollination Chronicles (approx. 4 weeks 5 days today)
Secret Sloper at Park Slope Purgatory (approx. 4 weeks 6 days today)
Nicole at Lesbo Parents to Be (approx. 4 weeks 2 days today)