Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Reflections

2014.

What a year.

What an amazing and devastating year this has been for me and my husband.  The highs have been so high and the lows so crushingly low I don't even know how to describe them.

At this time last year I was finally pregnant for the first time due to IVF. All I felt was hope and happiness.  I had "beaten" infertility and only saw smooth sailing in my future.  But my path took a much different turn than I ever would have expected and thrust me into a whole new community: the Loss community; the TFMR community.  Groups I never would have wanted to be a part of but groups where I found strength, and support, and love. And I hope I was able to offer that to some of those incredibly strong women as well. Though I'm no longer very active with these groups I still think of these women and their children almost every day.


Three days really stand out in my mind this year: March 19, March 27, August 5.

March 27th, the day we said goodbye to Petey, was one of the hardest days of my life. But harder still was the day we found out we would need to say goodbye: March 19th.  That horrible day that I will never forget in that doctor's office.  I've never written about it in detail but that day is and will remain one of the most vivid memories of my life. Sitting there, hunched over on the edge of that ultrasound bench in that hot, darkened U/S room, crying harder than I ever knew was possible while we received wave after wave of horrible news about this little baby I was carrying that we worked SO hard for and loved SO much but would never get to see or bring home or watch grow. I disassociated partway through it and found myself looking down on the scene, watching myself slumped there, crying so so hard into my husband's chest; crying out every last ounce of hope I had for our future and trust I had in the world. It was... animalistic. It was without a shred of self-consciousness. It was the day that prompted the perinatologist to write in my medical history: "This couple is devastated."   That we were, Doc. That we were.  Losing Petey was the hardest thing I have ever had to go through.

Heh, it sounds so simple to write that: It was hard. Yeah, hard.  But that word, in no way, can describe what it is like to experience a loss like this. To have to make a choice like this and then have to live with the consequences and the guilt and the pain and the sadness every single day.  There is no way to describe it unless you have been there. This is something that changes you forever and gives you a different perspective forever. I can understand why this breaks some people. Why they never "get over it".  I feel lucky actually.  Lucky that I am "okay". That I have been able to find ways to move on in healthy ways and that, though I love and miss my Petey and ache to hold him in my arms every single day, I am able to have perspective on my loss and my grief and be able to still live a happy and grateful life.

And I am grateful. Not for what we went through but for where we are now.  I am so happy to be 6 months pregnant with this little boy. I cannot wait to meet him and love him and raise him. HE is my unbelievable high for the year. 
Which brings me to my third unforgettable date: August 5th.  Not the day I found out I was pregnant again and amazingly, without infertility treatments this time (that was actually the following morning), but the day I saw my rainbow and felt hope for my future again. That day was a turning point for me in my grieving process and gave me strength to move forward.  I still struggle each day with being able to trust that everything will be okay but I have learned that there really is no other option.  What will be will be, good or bad, and I just need to live and be thankful for what I have.

I miss my Petey, my first baby, and I love him.
I am excited about this new healthy little baby I'm now carrying and I love him.
My relationship with my husband is stronger than I thought possible as a result of everything we have gone through together.
I have hope for the future.

What's better than that?!


The new year also marks my 2-year blogiversary; 2 years, 268 posts, 1487 comments, and more than 70 THOUSAND pageviews (that absolutely blows my mind)! 
Wow.

This blog has meant a LOT to me over the last 2 years: It has helped keep me sane through infertility and pregnancy and loss and grief; it has helped me sort out and come to terms with my feelings and move forward; it has connected me to some incredible, strong, and supportive women who have become real friends.

THANK YOU to everyone who has been a part of my journey. It has been a rocky road and your unwavering support and friendship has meant more to me than I know how to express.

Here's hoping that the hope and excitement I felt at this time last year and what I feel now will be my reality in 2015.  Happy New Year! :-)


Monday, December 29, 2014

Viability!!

So....I'm exhausted!

I had family staying with us all this past week and finally got rid of them said goodbye to them yesterday.  I spent the rest of the day with my feet up, watching football, and willing my house to magically clean itself. Now, I am back to work already and am tired and completely overwhelmed with everything I have to do so what am I doing instead? Writing a blog post, of course!

Here's this week's bump!

I am feeling...large. Baby boy is the size of a canteloupe which seems big and heavy to me.  
I am having some troubles rolling over in bed these days and my pillow nest is just not doing it for me anymore so I'm sleeping like crap. My hips are killing me when I lay on my sides (which is the only way I can lay) so to try to alleviate that pain I sit in the recliner but when I do that, the weight of my stomach makes it hard to breathe so there are literally NO comfy positions for me right now. Baby also seems to be laying in a way that keeps cutting off circulation to my right leg so I'll get up and then have to catch myself as my leg gives out.  Isn't all of this a little early to be happening?  I hate to say it but I am sort of already in count-down mode 'til April.

Apparently this is a whiny check-in post today. Sorry.

I also kept getting annoyed with people at Christmas.  All the women wanted to talk about was breastfeeding and how it's best for the baby (yes, I know, I plan to do it) and how it's sooooo easy (ummm, based on what I know from other new moms it does not seem like it is ALWAYS easy for everyone - particularly for women like ME with PCOS so please stop putting that pressure on me), and bugging me about what we're going to name him (we don't KNOW yet so STFU!), and my sister kept poking at my belly and asked me to lift up my shirt in front of everyone so she could see my belly button (which is still an innie BTW so nothing to see here except my stretch marks)... Gah! Maybe I was just bitchy and tired (oh, and also the only sober one there) but I was just very annoyed the whole time. And then my aunt made a comment about how this is the "best year ever!!" since I'm 6 months pregnant and oh isn't everything so fucking wonderful. I had to REALLY bite my tongue to not go off on her about how this has actually been the WORST year of my life and though I'm very grateful to be PG, we SHOULD actually have a 4 month old with us right now. Grrrrrr.....

Aaaaanyway, I'm glad that lovely holiday is over.  
Sorry for all the bitching.

On the bright side, I am so so happy to say that I reached VIABILITY!!! That feels good :-)  
And I've started to gain weight now and have my next routine prenatal appt with MFM next Tues 1/6 (where I'll also be doing the 1 hr glucose screening).  FX for a good fundal measurement and no GD!!


Friday, December 19, 2014

Grapefruit!

23 weeks. My baby is the size of a grapefruit!

He can hear me now so I should probably stop swearing soon.  Also, he can hear the dog barking! I find that really endearing for some reason and it makes me less annoyed when the pup won't shut up.

ONE WEEK TILL VIABILITY!!!  Granted, "viability" means that if something happens and I have to deliver there's still only a 50/50 chance of survival so a lot of women don't put too much stock in V-Day but y'know what? I do.  After already losing one baby this is a BIG EFFING DEAL to me and I can't wait to reach that milestone. I feel like once I hit 24 weeks every subsequent week is going to feel like an accomplishment and bring me that much closer to bringing home a healthy baby :-)

Here's my 23 week bump!:

It seems to morph. Sometimes it's really full and rounded but this week is more pointy. Not to be gross (but I'm gonna) but I think it has to do with how recently I've pooped. Constipation is my middle name lately. Or, y'know, diarrhea.  Feast or famine around here folks!

I still am not gaining weight though.  ::Sigh:: Whatever. I am eating what I can so I don't know what else I can do. I suspect that soon enough I won't be able to slow the scale down (right?) so no use worrying about it anymore.  My next appt is on Jan 6 at just under 26 weeks so I assume they'll start measuring fundal height and all that. I guess I'll see then if things are on track or not. My belly FEELS big though!  I certainly can't lay on my back anymore because it's too uncomfortable and cuts off circulation, and when reclining or laying on my side my ute feels so big and firm and full to the touch soooo... we'll see.

Awesomeness of the week: I think I've finally figured out my headache situation!! It's been a tough couple of weeks with that but I do believe I've narrowed it down to vision changes from pregnancy!  I've started wearing my glasses now whenever I'm on the computer, my phone, driving or watching TV and it has really been helping.  Unfortunately for my work life, if I'm on the computer too much during the day I still end up getting a headache even with the glasses so this has increased the amount (and length) of breaks I'm taking. Oh well.  And I really do have to keep it in check because if I start forming a headache it's all over. There is nothing I can do to make it go away and then I'm useless and miserable all the rest of the day and night. I'm so so relieved though that I think I figured it out!  Aaaaaand that I don't think it's blood pressure or blood sugar related! Hooray! Bring on the Christmas cookies!

Annoyance of the week: Yesterday my FIL posted a comment on my facebook page about how "soon enough the dog will be sleeping under little Jack's crib and they'll be inseparable" and some other crap about my pregnancy.  Note that I have not made our pregnancy public on FB. (Oh, and we have not decided on the name Jack!  WTF?!) I could have killed him.  LUCKILY, I just happened to check FB a couple mins after he posted it, thank GOD, and I deleted it.  (It was pure dumb luck that I logged on at the end of the day before I left work though. Normally I don't and I would have gone to dinner and then driven home and it likely would have been up there for about 4 hrs. Ugh.)  I have no idea how many people saw it but only 2 "liked" it by the time I deleted it - one was a coworker who already knows I'm PG since she's not blind, and another was someone I went to high school with and never talk to. Sooo, hopefully no damage done.  But seriously?!!  SO clueless.  My blood pressure probably shot up 30 points when I saw that. Oy.


Sunday, December 14, 2014

22 week check-in

How Far Along: 22 weeks (+ a few days)

Baby is the Size of a: Papaya (measuring about a foot long and somewhere around 1 pound during these couple weeks!)


Total Weight Gain: No change: 2.5 lbs

Showing Yet?: Yes and there are certain days (like the day I took this pic) that I feel HUGE.

 
Maternity Clothes?:  Oh yes. I had to order more this week too. And I am learning horizontal stripes do not appear to be my friend, haha!

Stretch Marks?: No new ones


Rings?: Tight. I only wear my engagement ring now when I'm going out and take it off as soon as I get home.  Wedding ring is a little looser so it's still okay but leaves a mark when I take it off. I really hope I'll be able to wear it through the pregnancy but it's not looking good.

Sleep: Hit or miss as usual.

Symptoms: Good news: nausea is lessening! I usually only need Zofran in the middle of the night now and sometimes in the mornings.  

Bad news: I have developed bad headaches. The end of this week was actually a little scary because I was worried the (rather debilitating) headaches were tied to high blood pressure. I ended up buying a BP Cuff to use at home but it was a piece of crap and kept giving me bad readings which was upping my anxiety which, in turn, was upping my BP.  I exchanged it for a much better one and my BP readings have now been normal, thank God. It has not been a fun few days though - Hubs was scared to death that something was majorly wrong and I was developing preeclampsia and we'd lose this baby too. It was a little rough around here. BUT, my BP seems to be good and I think I'm narrowing the headaches down to blood sugar fluctuations. I'm finding I get seriously localized pain shooting through the left side of my head (near/behind my eye) when I eat sugar and also get headaches if I don't eat often enough. Seems to be blood sugar issues to me.  I wonder if this is indicative of increased insulin resistance and/or gestational diabetes? Oy.  For now I am trying to eat very little sugar, making sure to eat regularly, and am continuing to monitor my BP and take it easy just in case.

Food Cravings: SUGAR (of course).  Glazed donuts are still my only real craving but I don't think I can eat them anymore. Sad face. 

Though I am REALLY looking forward to making chicken pot pie this week. Random! haha

Miss Anything?: Just feeling normal/healthy.

Mood: Still good! (When I don't have a massive headache that is)

Best Moment of the Week: I decided to move forward and start buying stuff to decorate the nursery! Here are some of the wall decorations I've ordered off of Etsy. I think they are so cute and am excited to have decided on a theme and colors :-)





I'm sticking with the elephants and giraffes theme with grey/white chevron patterns and decided the colors will be the baby blue and apple green. The walls are actually already this same color as the pic too so it will look similar.  I love it! I'm excited!!

I also ordered this plaque from Etsy as a little "present" for Hubs. It melts me a little bit :'-)

So sweet.
Upcoming Appointments: I have to do my glucose tolerance test sometime in the next few weeks. Should be interesting. Next OB appt though isn't scheduled until Jan 6th(!) due to the holidays.  I'll already be 25 1/2 weeks at that point. That's 6 weeks between appts. Yikes. I wonder if I should push to have it sooner...?

What I'm Looking Forward to: Christmas!  We throw a huge Christmas Eve party every year for both sides of the family plus friends where we do a Yankee Swap and everyone gets hammered and stays overnight, then we do stocking presents to each other and a big breakfast in the morning :-)  This year will be the last baby-free one! I love our tradition but I'm so glad next Christmas should be very different for us :-) I can't wait.


Friday, December 5, 2014

21 week check-in


How Far Along: 21 weeks. It feels good to write that :-)

Baby is the Size of a: Pomegranate (about 10.5 inches!)


Total Weight Change: +2.5 lbs

Showing Yet?: Uh, yeah.  I'm getting congratulated all over the place by people I haven't told.

 
Maternity Clothes?:  Yes indeed. I made the somewhat unsettling discovery yesterday that I now have ZERO non-maternity clothes that fit me. I may have cried a little at the fact that I have so few clothes available now, and that it seemed to just happen overnight! I'm going to have to go shopping again. And this time I need maternity undies too :-(

Stretch Marks?: No new ones

Sleep: Not awful. Some nights I have "pregsomnia" and am up for hours in the middle of the night but other nights are decent.  Seems to be every other night. I'll take it.

Symptoms: Hip pain and lower body soreness. My hips are widening and man, can I feel it.  In the mornings I have a hard time walking. Also, nausea is lessening!

Food Cravings: Glazed donuts. All day, every day. And eating one doesn't even stop the craving for that day.  I cannot believe how much I crave sugar. Besides that I eat soup almost every day for lunch. I'm already looking forward to beef & barley tomorrow.  Ooo, with a nice piece of bread and butter.... yum.  (I am finally at the stage where I like food again. I'm hungry.)

Miss Anything?: Nah. Although Hubs mentioned that for a work dinner earlier this week he took his clients to a great Sushi restaurant. It made me jealous for a second. Then I ate some beef stew and was happy again.

Mood: Good and quite level!

Best Moment of the Week: (1) My coworker friend who lost her 4 month old son told me she's currently 14 weeks pregnant :-) I am so so happy for them.  (2) I bought our baby boy his first clothes this week :-)  And they are so tiny and adorable I can't even deal with it. Yay Cyber Monday sales!

Footie pajamas and onesies! Ahh!
Upcoming Appointments: Not until the end of the month at 24 weeks as long as there are no issues between now and then. It's just a routine OB appt plus the dreaded glucose tolerance test (boooooo).

What I'm Looking Forward to: Starting to shop for nursery stuff soon. We can't actually change the spare room into a nursery until after Christmas because we will be having lots of family staying with us but all bets are off after the 1st of the year!  Nursery, here we come!

Randoms: For the last month I've been going to weekly therapy appointments and they have been helpful in giving me perspective and having a chance to talk through my loss and fear with this pregnancy. However, during yesterday's appt, both my therapist and I came to the conclusion that I have made great progress and really don't need to be coming so often. I don't know if it's because of starting to see her or because I have passed my last milestones (anatomy scans and passing 20weeks PG) but I am just in a really good head space right now. I am able to focus on the positives and look towards the future, and now feel I have the tools to pull myself out of any depressive feelings that will inevitably come along.  I'm really proud of myself and also happy that I started seeing this therapist since I feel like she's helped me. We don't officially have another time set up until the New Year (but I can contact her if I feel I need to see her sooner). I'm happy with that.


 

Friday, November 28, 2014

20 Weeks & Final Reveals!

I am officially 20 weeks pregnant - Half-Baked.  One day more pregnant than I have ever been.  And I have to say: It feels good :-)

I am happy and weepy and so thankful for where we are.  And I am just over the moon that I am feeling our little baby move now!  I have been waiting a looooong time for that - 2.5 years since we started TTC including 40 full weeks of pregnancies and I'm finally experiencing it. And it is amazing.  I love the reminders that my little guy is in there and is growing and is HEALTHY. I feel like he's saying hi to me every time I feel him move!  I just feel so grateful.

We revealed the pregnancy to all our family yesterday!  Hubs' parents are separated and both remarried so we had 2 sets of families to hit up (almost all of my family knows now due to my FL trip last week).

First we went to my FIL's and I didn't even get my coat off all the way before he said "Oh my God, I knew it - you're pregnant!!" Haha!  We don't see them very often and Hubs called out of the blue to ask if we could swing by to say happy Thanksgiving before going over to my MIL's which is not what we normally do so it seems we made them suspicious :-)  FIL and stepmom were so happy for us and couldn't hide the fact that they were thrilled it was a boy since he will carry on the family name. Hubs has 2 younger brothers in their early-mid twenties on that side and after FIL relayed the news to them yesterday they posted on Facebook about how excited they are that they'll be uncles to a baby boy in April!  I think that is very cute that they are excited enough to post about it :-)

Then we went to my MIL's and pulled the same routine we had with my parents:  I walked into the living room full of people with my coat still on and gave everyone hugs and hellos. Then Hubs addressed his mom and said "I hope you don't mind that we brought someone else with us" and I took off my coat. Everyone's jaws just dropped, hahaha!  My MIL just kept repeating "Oh my God, Oh my God, is this for real? Are you serious?" while starting to cry. And then: "Holy crap, how far along ARE you?!"  When I said "5 months! Halfway through"  I just heard a chorus of "Oh my God" and "No way" all around me. LOL!  I looked around and pretty much everyone was just staring at us in shock. It was hilarious.  They eventually got their acts together and there were hugs and congratulations and excitement all around. They were all just so so happy for us and were floored when we told them that it was without IF treatments this time.  One of my SILs wasn't there at that point and she came in a little while later after the excitement had died down. She was a flurry of activity when she arrived, giving hugs (to me and everyone) and bustling around with appetizers and wine opening while everyone just stared at her waiting for her to notice my belly. Eventually she realized everyone was being weird and my MIL said "uhhh...notice anything different?" while motioning to me and she looked at me then and dropped the box of crackers she was holding all over the floor while shrieking and running over to me with tears pouring down her face. It was adorable and made me cry too. She is just the sweetest and was really there for us when we lost Petey so she knows how amazing this is for us and was absolutely overjoyed.

We also revealed to them that it's a boy with the same present we had given my parents (a picture frame that read "Tiny Miracle" with an ultrasound pic and our baby sporting a blue bow tie. Everyone was so happy and then spent the rest of day coming up with the most ridiculous names for our child, haha! I think the current frontrunner is Sherman because they got a kick out of calling the baby Shermy.  LOL!!! Oh man, I hope that dies down soon. My BIL patted my belly on our way out and said "Bye little Shermy!"  Hahahaha!

All in all it was very fun and exciting and I'm feeling so good about this pregnancy. I even bought my baby's first clothes today with some awesome Black Friday deals :-)

Also I just have to say thatThanksgiving dinner was DELICIOUS. I am so glad I am reaching the point in this pregnancy where food is yummy because I enjoyed every single smackerel yesterday :-)  Lucky for me it's lunchtime now so: time for leftovers!!


Thursday, November 27, 2014

1 Year Ago / 8 Mos Ago / Today

1 year ago: Drove down to Boston in the early morning. Sick as a dog due to OHSS. Scared and nervous and excited for our 5 day transfer.
8 months ago/On this exact day during my last pregnancy (19w6d): Drove down to Boston in the early morning.  Sick to my stomach with grief and fear and sadness as I steeled myself for surgery.
Today: Drove down to Boston in the late morning.  Sick to my stomach with morning sickness.  Excited and happy to reveal the wonderful news of our rainbow pregnancy to our family.


1 year ago: Shared with those closest to us that we were able to transfer one beautiful blastocyst and asked for prayers and positive vibes that the IVF would work.
8 mos ago: Shared with those closest to us that we had to say goodbye to our much loved and wanted baby and asked them to help care for us physically and emotionally while we were so broken.
Today: Shared with those closest to us that we are 5 months pregnant with our sweet rainbow and celebrated in their excitement and happiness and love.


1 year ago: Thankful and happy that at long last I was finally PUPO.
8 mos ago: Thankful and relieved that I never felt any movement from Petey by the time we had to say goodbye.
Today: Thankful and elated that I finally felt my healthy baby boy move inside me for the very first time :'-)



It's been a tough road. But I am thankful for where we are now and I pray that in April we will be welcoming our new baby boy into our lives. <3


Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Thursday: The last milestone

Thursday is Thanksgiving.

On Thursday we will be spending time with family, giving thanks, eating deliciousness, and celebrating my little miracle rainbow with a lot of excited people.

But Thursday is also the 27th of the month. I hate the 27th.  It will be exactly 8 months since we said goodbye to Petey.

Thursday is also the 27th of November: Exactly one year to the day that we got pregnant with Petey. The day I finally became PUPO. A day of hope. The day that started a chain of events that led to an unbelievably difficult year for me: A year of extreme happiness and extreme sadness.  A year that has changed me forever.

Last but not least, on Thursday I will be 19weeks 6days pregnant: The exact day when my last pregnancy ended. The day we had to say goodbye to Petey.  The hardest day I have ever had to endure. 


How will I feel on Thursday?


I want to be able to celebrate.  Our family is going to be overjoyed with our news. I want to be able to enjoy that and to feel the excitement. But I also want to honor what this day means for Petey and for us. I don't know how to do both.

This will be our last milestone. By Friday it will be over.  On Friday I will be 20 weeks pregnant: Half baked.  One day more pregnant than I have ever been.  On Friday the comparisons with this pregnancy to Petey's pregnancy will stop because I will have nothing else to compare. I will be entering uncharted territory.

I think I'm a little afraid to let go and move on. Now that there will be no way to compare, does this mean I will just need to simply trust? I'm always afraid now to trust that things will be okay (though I am constantly working on that), and don't know how to feel about this new blank slate that's about to be stretched out in front of me. This blank slate should signify hope and excitement and anticipation for the future. But it's not truly blank because fear encroaches on the edges.  My therapist (Amy) calls FEAR: False Experiences Appearing Real. And she's right.  I had a very bad experience with Petey's pregnancy. But everything I now fear with this pregnancy is false. None of it has happened, and none of it is likely to happen. I need to stop focusing on my fear.

During my last therapy appointment, Amy gave me a pair of little plastic children's binoculars and told me to look through them and focus on something in the room. I chose a funny little toy animal on the windowsill and described to her every tiny magnified detail that I could see: the silly feet and googly eyes and orange afro and polka dots. Then I described everything else I could see through the binoculars: The plant that was sitting next to the toy and part of the book that was propped up behind it and the top of the pillow resting against the sill.  She then told me to turn the binoculars around and look again - to change my perspective.  This time the little toy was still there. I could still see each detail if I looked closely but it was further away. And it was placed amongst a greater context of items. This time I could see the whole windowsill, with the sun streaming in and all of the plants and all of the books and the fishbowl and the ottoman in front of the sill holding the 2 smooshy pillows.  I couldn't see any of that before when I was so focused on that one little toy. That one detail. That pain and fear.  Changing my perspective and placing the pain of my loss and my fear with this pregnancy in a greater context doesn't mean that it's not still there or that I'm not still affected by it but it allows me to not amplify it quite so much. It allows me to enjoy other things in my life instead of only focusing on the sadness.

I think on Thursday I need to grant myself permission to be happy. To enjoy where we now find ourselves and to truly celebrate our good news. It doesn't mean the pain isn't still there but it would mean that I'm not allowing myself to let that pain overtake something else that is also important, and is positive, and is exciting.

I love my Petey and I miss him every single day. But I am also happy and I love this little baby boy I am carrying. I am going to try to allow myself to celebrate and be THANKFUL for that on Thursday. 


Monday, November 24, 2014

Anatomy Scan 2.0!

Today's scan went well! As you may know, we had an early anatomy scan during week 17 but at that point the doc wasn't able to see everything in the heart so today we had Part 2 to confirm everything was good there. And it is :-) Baby boy's heart looks perfect, the choroid plexus cysts in his brain are disappearing, and he's measuring right on schedule!  Yay! 
Unfortunately, we did confirm today that our baby only has 1 kidney. But in the broad scheme of things, that is totally fine. Plenty of people live normal lives with only 1 kidney - maybe our son will just play golf instead of football.  The good news is that the one kidney looks to be strong. I am just so so RELIEVED.

Today is the first day I actually thought to myself (and then said out loud): Holy crap - WE ARE GOING TO HAVE A BABY.  

We are going to have a baby. A little boy.  A little healthy baby boy.  And we're going to get to bring him home. And we're finally going to be a family :'-)  

It's hard for me to feel confident in saying and thinking these things but overall I am just so happy. I'm finally feeling good and positive and hopeful and happy and excited.  I'm finally focusing on my rainbow now and not just on my loss and sadness. I am so thankful.

Today's the first time I got to see 3D ultrasound pics.  Baby boy had his hand/arm up in front of his face almost the whole time so this is the best they could do but I love it. Seeing him this way makes it feel more real. He's no longer just an outline, he's a baby.  OUR baby. And I am so in love with him.  He has Hubs' nose. I cannot wait to kiss it.


Also, I realized it's been a couple weeks since I posted a bump pic, so here ya go (from a few days ago):


As you can see I definitely popped over the last few weeks.  No doubt anymore that I am pregnant. So this past weekend I decided to just go with it and took myself on a little maternity clothes shopping spree :-)  This is the first time I've actually worn maternity shirts and people are right: they make the bump look much cuter! I'm so happy to now have clothes that both fit and are comfy!

Happy Thanksgiving on Thursday to all my fellow American friends!  I plan to wear my roomiest maternity pants so I can EAT ALL THE THINGS!!!   We will be revealing the pregnancy to all my in-laws this day too so it should be exciting :-)

Besides that, Thursday will also be 19 weeks 6 days for me which is the exact day we said goodbye to Petey back in March :-(  I'm glad I'll have Thanksgiving to help distract me from that milestone.  It is the last milestone.  I'm ready for it.


And last but CERTAINLY not least:  My wonderful friend Cici, who has supported me and SO many others through IF, found out today SHE IS PREGNANT.  I cannot even generate cohesive words to express how unbelievably HAPPY this makes me. Just happy tears leaking out all day today... Cici - I love you!!! Congratulations my dear. No one could deserve this more.  :'-)  <3


Saturday, November 22, 2014

Florida, Reveals, and Therapy (19 wks)

Hi! I'm now into my 19th week and have a lot to update on! (Warning: Long one)

First, physically I am doing okay. I think I'm finally starting to get a little of the 2nd Tri energy I've heard so much about so that's pretty awesome. I still have the constant nausea though so I'm still on Zofran daily. Thankfully it works most of the time but then there are times like the other night when I ended up puking on the bathroom floor because I couldn't get out of bed and to the toilet quickly enough. Ugh.  

I also had my first awful calf cramp in the middle of the night earlier this week. THAT was a treat.  I shot up straight in bed out of a dead sleep like I had been tasered. My leg was hard as a rock and hurt SO F-ING BADLY.  I had no idea what to do - I couldn't really reach it very well to massage it and half the time massaging seemed to help and the other half it made it worse so I just sort of writhed around in pain attempting to relax the muscle and not die.  The pain started to subside so I thought it was over but a few seconds later it came back with a vengeance and I couldn't help screaming and gasping in pain. I scared the shit out of Hubs who likely thought I was in early labor and he jumped out of bed and sort of ran around the room in the dark in confusion, haha. I tried it tell him it was just my leg but I couldn't really get the words out since I was gasping and flopping around like a psycho with my face mushed into the blankets. It was quite the scene at 4am I tell you.  He came around to my side and massaged it for me and tried to get me to stretch and flex... it took a very long time to get it back to the point where I felt it might be okay to try to go back to bed again but it stayed uncomfortable and tight the rest of the night and I could tell it was on the verge of spasming again. That was Wed night. It's now Saturday and my leg STILL hurts. Crazy. I am drinking water and milk and eating bananas like there's no tomorrow (apparently hydration, calcium & potassium can help) in the hopes that that doesn't happen again.

In other news, still no movement felt yet.  I really hope to feel something soon! I know baby will be even harder for me to feel since I have an anterior placenta but I'm getting a little antsy. I like when I can differentiate things between this pregnancy and the last pregnancy because it reminds me that just because bad things happened last time it doesn't mean they will this time, but at this point with Petey I still couldn't feel him either. FX it happens soon.

Also, I'm officially gaining weight now! I'm up 2 pounds and am strangely proud of myself. Remind me of this when I am over 200 again and want to cry.


Second, I went to Florida earlier this week!  I'm so glad I did.  I got to reveal the pregnancy to my parents (and 2 sets of aunts and uncles who live down there too) and it was really fun.

(I also finally got to see a beautiful gulf coast sunset for the first time which I was hoping to do :-) 

Purdy.

~~~STORYTIME~~~ (sorry if you're on SAIF and have already heard this)

So when we landed my dad and uncle picked us (me, my sister, and baby boy!) up from the airport and I got big hugs and funny looks immediately. I could see them both glance down at my belly but pretend they hadn't. While they asked about our flights and joked about the fact that we were dressed for 20 degree Boston weather not 80 degree Florida weather and loaded luggage into the car I was mean and didn't say anything about the obvious elephant in the room. Finally I let them off the hook just before we climbed in the car and said: "So. Notice anything different about me?" while I motioned to my belly.  A huge look of relief came over both their faces and my dad said: "Yeah! You swallowed a basketball!" Hahaha!  We all hugged and my uncle shook my dad's hand saying "Congratulations Grampa!" It was pretty cute. Dad was all questions on the way back to the house about how everything's been going, how far along I am, when I'm due, etc. It was obvious he was really happy.
As we pulled up to the house and got out of the car my mom and aunt were coming down the driveway to greet us with big smiles.  I was holding a bag over my belly and as they got closer I said: "I hope you don't mind that I brought someone else with us".  A look of confusion crossed their faces and then I took the bag away and they FREAKED OUT.  They both screamed and started skipping/running/bouncing down the rest of the driveway to come swarm us with hugs. They were both bawling and laughing and just so so excited and happy. Once they ran out of people to hug they just started hugging each other and jumping around and crying and shrieking. It was hilarious. I SO wish I had gotten it on video!  They were just so happy and it was a really good feeling and now a really good memory.  
Later, I gave them this present (wrapped in both pink and blue) to let them know that they'll be having a little grandson :-)



It was really nice to be able to tell them in person. We'll be telling my in-laws later this week on Thanksgiving too. I'm not sure yet how we'll reveal that it's a boy. I did buy another one of these picture frames in case I want to do the same thing but now I'm wondering if maybe I should bake a blue cake or something. I'm still undecided but I'm sure whatever we do will be exciting.  My parents already have other grandchildren but this will be my in-laws' first grandbaby so I expect lots of tears and happiness.


Next: I've been going to therapy appointments for the last couple weeks and haven't had a chance to write about them yet. I think they are really helping.  I like this therapist. She isn't one to just sit and listen to me talk, instead it's like more of a conversation. And she asks helpful probing questions that make me think and also gives me homework every week which I like!  Last week's homework was to let myself feel some excitement around this pregnancy and to start to share it with others. When I went in for my appt this week and told her I actually ended up flying to Florida and revealed to my parents she was kind of dumbfounded and joked about me going for extra credit. LOL!  The timing just happened to work out to spontaneously make the trip though and it definitely helped me start to feel excitement about this baby.  Now that I'm finally reaching my milestones (anatomy scans and 20 weeks PG this coming week) I really am starting to focus more on this pregnancy and less on my loss.  It is a good feeling.  My homework this week is to work on imagining positive future outcomes: start to picture a healthy rest of the pregnancy, a positive labor and delivery of a healthy baby, and how life will be for us when this little baby comes home. (I still have to fight myself not to say "IF this little baby comes home with us" so obviously this area is something I need to work on.)  I'm very happy to have found this therapist though since we click well and she specializes in maternal/prenatal areas. I think it has already helped and I plan to keep going every week for the foreseeable future.


Okay this is crazy long so,
Lastly, I have my anatomy scan 2.0 on Monday morning! They will recheck everything and should be able to confirm if everything is good with baby boy's heart.  We will also find out for sure if he only has one kidney.  I am hoping for the best with everything and, though I have a little bit of anxiety, I can honestly say I'm feeling pretty good. I'm happy this will be one more milestone to overcome and I'm feeling pretty positive.

(Also - major hugs and love to my girl RunCC who will be finding out on Monday if her beautiful embabies stuck!! Hoping and praying SO HARD for you, love!!)


Thursday, November 13, 2014

Update post (weeks 17 & 18)

Ok so I started writing a check-in post last week but must have gotten distracted because I never posted it.  Whoops. And I am now 18 weeks! So here's a super long double post.

I am happy to be 18 weeks along. But it's also a tough number for me to see because it was during our 18th week with Petey that we found out s/he wouldn't make it. 18 is not a number filled with happy feelings for me. BUT, I am trying to turn my thinking around and focus on the fact that this is NOT the same pregnancy and 18 weeks this time does not mean the same thing that 18 weeks last time meant. 

Since my last post I've gotten some wonderful ladies checking in on me to make sure I'm doing okay with the knowledge that this baby is a boy since I previously said that I expected I'd have a problem mentally/emotionally if that was the case (since it would make me question what I've felt about Petey all this time).  Well, it was/is a little tough every now and then but overall it's okay.  As the weeks tick on I find I'm starting to be able to further separate my pregnancy with this baby from my pregnancy with Petey in my mind. (That's something I'm consciously working on.) And Kate's previous comment really helped put my mind more at ease when she said that her two pregnancies have been extremely different even though her babies are both boys so that makes me feel like it's still possible that Petey was a boy as I've felt in my heart.

Here's the bump pic I took last week after we learned we have what looks to be a healthy baby boy:


Now at 18 weeks I'm still about a pound under my starting weight and depending on what I wear sometimes I look pregnant and other times I just look like I ate too many donuts.

Speaking of donuts, I met with the nutritionist last week to talk about how poor my diet is right now since I have aversions to pretty much everything except simple carbs.  It was a good appt and she completely empathized with my weirdo eating due to almost constant nausea (and the puking has decided to stage a comeback in the last week or so too, yippee)  but didn't seem concerned about it. Surprisingly, she was more interested in talking about my lack of weight gain.  I don't want to say she seemed worried but she did say that while right now it's not an issue yet, at this stage they'd like to see me start to gain. She also made a point to say they do NOT want to see me losing weight, and she gave me some tips for ways to add items with higher calories and more protein into my diet so that's helpful.  I have to say, after dealing with weight issues my whole life it is definitely a new thing to be failing at trying to gain weight. I feel like I'm in the twilight zone.

I am wondering if the concern about weight gain has anything to do with a piece of info we got during last week's anatomy scan?  We found out that I still have an anterior placenta (which is fine, it just makes it harder to feel baby's movements - still waiting!) and that the placenta has a post Succenturiate lobe. What that means is that there's the regular placenta and then also a second additional part (lobe) connected to the main placenta via blood vessels and attached to different part of the uterus. (Here's the official definition: Clicky!) Apparently having an additional lobe (or a bi-lobal placenta) can sometimes result in poor growth for the baby so that's something to watch for. (It also means the OB will  likely have to manually remove all of the placenta after I give birth to avoid hemorrhaging.  Yeah, I'll avoid thinking about that for right now.) At this point though, the baby is still measuring on track growth-wise so the perinatologist said not to worry. It would probably help ease my mind a bit if I could start gaining some weight soon though.

I'm trying not to think about the fact that my placenta is abnormal.  Apparently this happens in less than 3% of pregnancies.  I also have a 2 vessel cord which is abnormal too. Petey had a 2 vessel cord as well.  Neither of these things are particularly troublesome according to doctors (except that some studies have shown a correlation between 2 vessel cords and renal problems which I had with Petey and may also have with this baby) but I'm just sick of being classified into the "abnormal" categories.  I hate that when a possible issue arises and people say "oh don't worry about that, it's really rare" it seems like it always happens to me and I find myself on the wrong end of the statistics. At this point I just assume I will get gestational diabetes. And that I'll end up on bedrest. And that I'll get preeclampsia and have to deliver early... I just assume that the bad things that happen in some pregnancies will inevitably happen in mine. I guess it's because that has been much of my experience.  Hopefully this is as far as it goes though, and moving forward this pregnancy will join the ranks of the "normal" pregnancies and I won't have to be "special" anymore. I just want to be normal.

Ok, this post is awfully long and rambly so I think I'll end here.  I did have my first therapy appointment earlier this week (which went well!) but I think I'll save that for another post.

PS: My sister and I decided randomly last night that we're going to fly to Florida on Sunday to visit my parents for a few days. I think we both need a mini-break and a chance to soak in some gulf-coast sunsets. BUT, this means that the cat will officially be out of the bag!  They still don't even know I'm pregnant so it should be quite the shock when they pick us up from the airport! I hope I'm ready for this!

 


Thursday, November 6, 2014

RELIEF!!! (Anatomy scan results)

Holy lord was that difficult. This past month waiting for today's anatomy scan has been my own personal kind of hell. I cannot tell you how happy I am that it is finally over. And man oh man do I appreciate aaaallll the support from you wonderful ladies here and on PAIF and SAIF and TB - I really don't know what I would do without you all. I SO appreciate all the comments and the love and positive thoughts!!! <3 <3

So now, I am THRILLED to say that I have good news to report!!

Our rainbow appears to be healthy.   Pheeeewwwwwww.

::I am taking deep calming breaths as I type this, letting more and more of the anxiety go and more and more of the relief seep in::

They were able to confidently rule out any kind of neural tube defect or paralysis. No markers for Downs' Syndrome.  Only one marker for Trisomy 18 (they found choroid plexus cysts in the brain which, in recent years have been proven to not be reliable as a marker anyway so the perinatologist said do NOT worry and do NOT google.  I will not.) Besides that the brain looks good, no hydrocephalus, all parts of the brain are there(!), all parts of the body were moving(!), and overall our baby appeared healthy and measuring a couple days ahead!!

It was still too early to see everything in the heart so the dr is not making a judgment call on that yet. The heart was beating though and there were the proper number of chambers so during A/S 2.0 (in 2.5 weeks on Monday Nov 24th) they will be able to tell for sure if all is good with the heart.

The one not so great piece of news today was that it looks like our baby may only have one kidney.  Petey only had one kidney too but while his was barely functioning this one is strong.  Lots of people only have one and it's certainly not life-threatening so if that is the case, that is totally fine.  (My perspective on what is worrisome is sooooo different now.) Doc said it was possible it is just a little too early so that's why we couldn't find it but he wasn't too optimistic. There didn't look to be blood flow to the left side where there should have been. On Nov 24th we will know for sure.  Hopefully it will be there but in the broad scheme of things this is very miniscule.

I am SO. F-ING. RELIEVED I don't even have the words to express it.


Aaaaaaaaaaaaaannnnndddddd...........





We found out the sex!  :-D 





(Warning: Total fetal porn below)





So much for 'mother's intuition'! 


BAM!  Hello little willy! Baby boy was not at ALL shy.  I was shocked it was so easy to see and, quite honestly, slightly taken aback that it's so visible so early. Yikes! haha! Hubs, on the other hand, is one proud papa, LOL!

I can't believe we're having a little boy. A little healthy baby boy!!! I am so so HAPPY I can't stop the tears from leaking out.  Hubs and I just looked at each other and cried and smiled and cried some more when we found out. So many happy tears and just... amazement.  

This little guy certainly put us through the wringer today though.  He was moving during the U/S but refused to turn off of his back or change positions.  The U/S Tech had to dig around in my stomach for a LONG time, had me lay on my side, drink water, walk around, go pee... nothing worked.  Talk about flashbacks to previous scans when Petey wouldn't cooperate.  It was not a pleasant experience.  Finally I suggested trying a transvaginal U/S and I'm glad I did because although she didn't glean too much additional info from the T/V part, when we tried the regular U/S one last time he had flipped upside down so she was able to see the full (closed!) spine and the (lack of 2) kidneys.  It was a long appointment - almost 2 hours in total since we met with the perinatologist for results directly afterwards.  I am just so so happy though.  The relief feels like soothing waves enveloping my body and just washing over me.

I am just so THANKFUL.



 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(Looks like I have some store returns to make.... what a dope :-D )


 

Monday, November 3, 2014

3 days to go

I just got my appointment reminder from MFM that my anatomy scan is this Thursday.

Oh yes, I am aware. Believe me, noooooo reminder necessary.



ANXIETYYYYY!!!!!!!


3 days to go....


Friday, October 31, 2014

16 week check-in

I have now reached 16 weeks which means the anatomy scan is one week away!  Please oh please oh please let it bring us good news....

We'll also be finding out next week if this little baby is a girl or a boy.  As long as the baby is healthy I will be happy either way but I'd be lying if I said it wouldn't mess me up in the head a little if we find out it's a boy.  Only because I have convinced myself that Petey was a boy (though we elected NOT to find out for sure) and since my pregnancy symptoms and "cravings" (or lack there-of) have been SO different with this pregnancy it leads me to believe that I'm currently carrying the opposite sex. Therefore, if this baby is a boy it will make me question what I've felt in my heart about Petey all this time. ::sigh::  We shall see.

It's funny to me to think back about how I felt about the upcoming anatomy scan when I was pregnant the first time. I had a countdown going a month out and was SO EXCITED for the day to finally come so we could find out the sex! The fact that the whole purpose of the A/S is to make sure the baby is growing properly and is healthy really didn't even enter my mind; of course my baby was perfect!  This time I've had a countdown going again but for a whooole different reason.  Now finding out the sex is the afterthought and this last month has just been filled with anxiety for us.  But it's finally less than a week away and I'm just about counting the hours at this point.

I'm feeling pretty good physically, nothing major to note.  My belly is definitely growing. It's like once I hit 2nd tri it triggered a switch and now I'm ballooning. At 16 weeks I look similar to how I did at 20w with Petey. I still have not gained any weight yet though.

I had my routine prenatal with a high risk OB last Tuesday. Everything went well and the doppler worked this time, thank God. Baby's heart is still beating away at 150ish bpm and the doctor told me that "the size of [my] uterus is impressive". I must admit I feel a funny sense of pride about that for some reason. (Like I have any control over it...)

This was the first time I had met that doctor. It was SO different from seeing my midwife.  She is all touchy-feely, always wanting to talk about everything and offering all kinds of information and hugs and reassurance... Whereas he was the absolute stereotype of a cold, unfeeling doctor with absolutely no bedside manner.  He answered each of my questions in monotone, offering no additional information if I did not specifically ask for it, and gave no reassurance about anything. Example:
Me: Do you have the results of the urine sample I gave during my last appt?
Doc: Yes, it's in your file.
Me: Good. They're not posted on the online patient portal so can you tell me if everything came back ok?
Doc: You tested positive for Group B Strep. ::Goes back to what he was doing::
Me: And that means what exactly...?
Doc: It means you carry a bacterial infection in your body that could be harmful to the baby if it is passed to him during delivery.  ::Goes back to what he was doing::
Me: Ooookay, so what is going to be done to make sure it's not passed?
Doc: You'll get an antibiotic via IV during labor. 
-End of convo-
The fact that I had to pull the info out of him annoyed me a little (and of course I went home a googled GBS and I see it's pretty common - about 25% of women have it - and doesn't seem to be a big deal) but honestly? His complete lack of bedside manner really didn't bother me too much.  I much prefer my midwife's approach but I'm not really looking for reassurance and hand-holding right now, I am just going through the necessary motions like a robot until I can get to the anatomy scan and confirm that everything is okay. My advice to anyone who is newly pregnant though, is to look into a midwife vs. a physician if you have the option. When you're newly PG you have no f-ing clue what you are doing so it's helpful to have someone who actually wants to tell you things.

Finally, I wanted to end on the best moment of the week! 
I received an awesome present in the mail this week from a very sweet and thoughtful woman (Erin K) in my SAIF FB group! She told me she was out shopping and saw this, thought of me and just had to get it for my little rainbow :-)  I am just bowled over by that. When we lost Petey I hadn't been a part of the SAIF group for very long at all but still the amount of support and love I received was just incredible. Now, even though I'm PG I'll admit that it's still been hard for me sometimes to see babies (especially recently since I sort of feel like I'm in limbo) and so I'm currently not very active in the group. I recognize Erin of course, and would know a picture of her and her adorable boys anywhere but we've never actually had a one-on-one conversation. So I am just so humbled and appreciative that she would not only think of me but actually buy something (awesome) for my baby :'-)  There are a lot of good people in the world.
Check out my baby's first Patriots "jersey"!!



ADORABLE.

And look at that - you even get a bump pic out of the deal! :-)

Sunday, October 26, 2014

15 (& 1/2) weeks: Positive steps

So, I've taken some positive steps since my last post:
  • I contacted a therapist and set up my first appointment. She couldn't get me in until Nov 11th but at least it's scheduled.
  • I opened up to Hubs that night about everything. He was very understanding and said he would help in whatever way he could. It was a good conversation and it helped to set me at ease a little bit. I guess I was really holding a lot in because after that convo I finally slept well and woke up feeling good the next morning. That hasn't happened in a long time.
  • I called up a friend to get together for lunch on Saturday. I'm glad I did.
  • I went to a Halloween Party last night and saw a lot of people and it was totally fine.  I even ran into our friend A and his mysterious wife (remember them? The ones we unexpectedly ran into at the RE's office last year when we were going through IVF but I STILL had not met her?) and she's PG too, about 2 weeks behind me!  AND, I like her!  I thought she would be weird and snobby or something but she wasn't!  I hope we get together more.
Okay, so I'm proud of myself for all of that stuff and I hope I keep it up.  I guess I was in a real downward swing but hopefully things are starting to look up now. Being PgAL is QUITE the rollercoaster.

-------

So now I'm a bit over 15 weeks which means we have less than 2 weeks until our anatomy scan. I also have a routine prenatal appt this Tues with the high risk OB. Hopefully everything will go well there because Hubs can't come. I know I'm still PG because I can feel the stretching, etc. every day but I'm still afraid. I think I have PTSD from the last appt when I thought it was all over.

My belly has officially popped in the last weekish. Here I am in all my saggy-ass maternity pants glory:


My maternity pants fit me well with the last pregnancy but this time they are too big since I had lost some weight right before getting PG. I absolutely refuse to buy more at this point though since I suspect that if I continue with my crap-filled diet I will fill them up soon enough. For now I will deal with the sag. 

I'm still holding steady at -1 lb below starting weight. I suspect this is because I still hate all food. Every now and then something will sound good so I run right out and get it on the spot since that happens so seldom. Otherwise I mostly have to force myself to eat.  There's a lot of cereal consumption happening 'round here.  Nausea's still hanging in there but I can't complain. Plus, the Zofran usually works.

Other than that things are fine physically and I'm just waiting.


Thank you to everyone who offered support over the last week. I really appreciate it. <3

Friday, October 24, 2014

Depression

I am a horrible employee. I've done a handful of hours of work in the last week.  I work from home a lot so it's way too easy to slack off.  I just don't care.  I don't care how much is on my plate or how many pressing things I have to do.  When I turn on my computer for work it is all immediately pushed to the backburner and instead, I spend my hours trolling the internet.  Reading the TFMR board, reading the PG after TFMR board, and the Loss Board and the PgAL board, and my PAIF group and IDOB and SAIF. Reading through women's stories of loss and others blogs and even back through my own blog posts...  Hours and hours leading to days and days are just wasted away like this and I don't even care.  I don't care that I'm a shitty employee now.  I don't care that I have no passion for my work; that I have no passion for my life really.

My husband doesn't know I spend my days like this; sitting on the couch in my pajamas, sometimes showering, sometimes not, just lost inside my computer, often giving myself a headache from all the crying (which I then blame on the pregnancy).  When he asks me how my day was I say busy. He thinks I work all day. My boss and coworkers think I work all day - how I've managed to pull the wool over their eyes for this long I really don't know.

And I don't even know what I get out of all of this internet searching.  I am not learning anything new, it's not making me feel any better... Each night when I lay in bed thinking about what I have to do the next day I make a promise to myself to just NOT open those forums or blogs or links. To start right in on my work and have tunnel vision and not allow myself to stray. But I always do. My life revolves around my loss, my fear with this new pregnancy, and my internet world. I live that life all day and then I dream about it all night.

I know this is not healthy.  I know I'm depressed. Having constant nausea and fatigue for the last few months has not helped either since I can't exercise. I used to go to Zumba 3x/week. It made me feel good - the movement, the endorphins, the weight loss, the schedule, the reason to get out of the house and interact with people...  I don't do that anymore. I also don't reach out to my friends and when they (rarely) reach out to me to get together I always make up an excuse.  I isolate myself. It's easier this way.

Since we received the results last week from my screening I haven't been able to picture any other future besides loss.  I no longer picture myself with a baby.  Any amount of connection I felt with this pregnancy has pretty much dwindled down to nothing. All I can picture now is going through all the same pain we went through with Petey. And this time, I can't picture myself being strong and moving forward.  All I can picture is it breaking me.
And that is how I feel: Broken and useless and just... sad.

In the past I've felt like this blog has been my therapy. But it's no longer helping. I think it's time to go see an actual Therapist. I haven't wanted to because I just haven't wanted to talk about it. When I focus on all of this it makes it worse. If I can distract myself it is better. But I've been unable to distract myself lately. Maybe this is a sign that I'm doing a worse job than I thought working through my grief and my fear.
 
Finally opening up about this and typing it all out is making me see just how mentally unhealthy I really am right now. I think it's time to admit that I need some help.