Sunday, March 30, 2014

3 days.

We've made it three whole days. That actually feels like a bit of an accomplishment.

I am doing okay.  I'd like to describe how I feel but it's like I just have no words left now that the waiting is done and it's all over. I've gotten some calls from family and friends but I don't answer. There's nothing to say.  I appreciate hearing that people are thinking of us and love us but I don't want to talk. It's too hard to talk. I have almost nothing to say and certainly nothing GOOD to say so I would just depress people. My sister has been great though and has been keeping everyone up to date on my behalf which I so appreciate.

Physically I am fine.  Friday ended up being a tough day with pain and soreness so I needed the pain meds afterall but it was mostly because it appears I ended up pulling a neck muscle at some point during the surgery or recovery. I'm ok now though. I'm still bleeding and will continue to for a while but it's nothing major. The worst of it was actually being able to feel my organs moving back into their original positions over the past couple days. My intestines shifted down and stretched back out...that was the grossest thing I have ever felt. (Aren't you glad you're reading this?) Now, the biggest issue is my breasts. They are out of control.  My milk has started to come in which is just punch-in-the-face fantastic.  I spend almost every minute of the day icing them to dissuade swelling and leakage. They are so full and heavy and painful, and are a constant reminder of what we lost (as if I need a reminder).

I miss my bump. I miss my baby and I miss my bump and I miss being pregnant.  

Last night when getting into bed, Hubs made a comment about how much thinner I was already. In the past I would have loved to hear that. Now, it just makes me cry. I don't want to be thinner, I want to be pregnant! I want to be growing and gaining weight and getting rounder and rounder. I want things to be back to the way they were 2 weeks ago but I want for the fantasy that I was carrying a healthy perfect child to have been the reality.     

Right now I should be celebrating the knowledge that Petey is either a boy or a girl, deciding on a nursery theme, shopping for strollers and searching the internet for baby tips. Instead, today we called to cancel the order for our beautiful nursery furniture, discussed what kind of tree we may want to buy in Petey's memory, and I'm searching the internet for loss support groups. Life isn't fair I guess.

The last few days made me realize just how often the fact that I was pregnant was on my mind; it was constant. I was so much more careful walking the dog amid the snow and ice, I thought about everything I put in my mouth so I was getting proper nutrition to Petey, I sat in ways to accommodate my bump, I was conscious of how much I lifted, when I needed to put my feet up, how much sleep I got...  Now it's just me.  I felt like a whole person before I got pregnant so why, now that I'm no longer pregnant, do I feel like such a huge part of me is missing? 

I started a different "blog"; one that's just for me. One that I can pour my heart and soul out into and don't have to worry about making sense or even making sentences. I'm hoping it will help me work through things.  I don't intend for anyone to ever read it (it's possible I may never even read it) but writing is cathartic for me. It helps me to get things out of my head. I'm hoping it will help me start to heal.

If you're reading this I know that you care about me. This stuff is not fun at all so I appreciate you reading it and caring about how I'm doing. I will still continue to post updates here but until I am in a better mind-frame it will probably be better for all of us if I shield everyone from the shitstorm in my brain for a little while.


Thursday, March 27, 2014

And it's over.

Just like that.

I don't know how I feel. I'm sad, I feel empty (physically and emotionally), but I also feel the tiniest sliver of relief that it's finally over. All the waiting and dread and fear is done and now we can just try to heal and "move on".  I also feel guilt about the fact that I'm not currently an absolute mess like I thought I would be. I thought I'd get home, crawl into bed and just cry and cry. I haven't. Not yet anyway. Today when we got home I took a 3.5 hr nap, got up, ate a full meal, and now I'm just here. Sitting, with the Bruins game on in the background. Like nothing ever happened even though EVERYTHING is different. 

I am extremely conscious of the fact that now it's just me.  I used to think and feel and do for both me and Petey and now I'm alone.  It's weird to place my hands on my sides or stomach because my body has already changed from what it was just this morning. The seatbelt on the way home fit differently; my jacket zipped with room to spare; my pj pants now rest on my stomach like normal instead of under my baby bump... because there is no longer a baby in there to create a bump.

I just feel hollow right now. I can't even estimate how many tears I've shed since last Tuesday evening. I feel like I'm all cried out and am now just a withered empty shell.  I think I aged a decade in a week. 

The end was not what I imagined; it was so... surgical. I guess I pictured having a chance to have a quiet moment to think and say goodbye and send peaceful thoughts down to my Petey before s/he was gone. I did not.  There were nurses and anesthesiologists and doctors, IVs and beeping machines and breathing tubes.  From the moment I walked in there at 6am I did not have a moment to think.  It was a steady stream of signing forms and answering questions and meeting hospital staff. At 7:30 on the dot the anesthesiologist informed me that she was going to give me a shot to relax me before we went into the OR. The next thing I remember is waking up in the recovery room crying.  I didn't get a chance to say goodbye to Petey. I didn't even get a chance to say goodbye to my husband.

Luckily, I feel like I was able to make some peace with my situation and within myself on Tuesday night while writing my last blog post.  That was when I was able to do my thinking and I'm so glad I did. I was able to say goodbye in a different way instead of audibly just prior to the surgery like I had imagined.  Surprisingly, I'm okay with that. I couldn't wear my necklace into the OR but I wore it all the way to the hospital and felt the smoothness between my fingers, thinking about how much support we have.  I gave it to Hubs for safe-keeping while I was in there and he told me later that he held it all morning and it gave him strength during the times he started to get emotional.  I was so grateful for that because I felt so bad thinking about him alone in the waiting room for hours, just thinking and worrying.

The recovery today has been fine.  I am bleeding but it's nothing crazy.  I don't need the Percocet they gave me and have been fine with just Ibuprofen.  Surprisingly, recovery from yesterday's pre-op was much worse that today has been: Yesterday they inserted things called laminaria sticks into my cervix in order to manually start the dilation process.  My cervix dilated all evening and night and it was quite uncomfortable.  I was so crampy and the 1 hour drives from the hospital home yesterday and back again this morning were not fun.  Right now my entire body is sore and tired and my throat is raw from the breathing tube, but the fact that I have no actual pain just adds to the feeling that if I didn't know any better I might think this has all just been a bad dream.

I don't know how I'll feel tomorrow, or even tonight when I crawl into bed. I'm sure my emotions will be up and down and rather unpredictable over the coming weeks and months. I worry about that but I feel like Hubs and I were able to make good progress this past week by dealing with the emotions as they come and not trying to suppress them.  My plan is to continue to do that and just hope that it will help me heal.

Thank you to everyone who sent us well wishes and good thoughts and love today. <3

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Saying Goodbye

I don't know how to say goodbye. 

I keep searching for something, anything, that might give me a clue about how to do this (preferably step-by-step directions) but unfortunately it's not as simple as that.  It's a process. A process that will likely take a very very long time and can't be squeezed into a handful of days.  I've felt like I needed to get myself to a point where I can accept all of this and be "okay" by Thursday (whatever "okay" is) but I'm learning that that is unrealistic. I'm starting to let that go now and let myself off the hook from all this searching searching searching for some intangible state of mind.

A few days ago I didn't know how I'd make it through these last couple days before the procedure starts with the pre-op tomorrow and now I find myself wishing I had more time. I do certain things and am not sure if they're helping me or hurting me: I sing to Petey; I picture the very last moments I'll be with him/her on Thursday, saying goodbye as my eyes close from the anesthesia; I scour the internet for other women's stories of loss and I cry as I feel their pain as well; I stand naked in the bathroom mirror before showering and examine my pregnant body, tracing my stretch marks and letting the sadness and despair wash over me. But I also let myself feel the love and the pride that my body was able to provide a home for my baby too.
All of these things may be partial torture but I also feel like I may need to do them. Like I may need to confront these feelings as they come or else I'll bury them deep inside and never be able to get over this tragedy and live life again.

I think I'm making some progress because I am feeling slightly better each day.  I have tiny breakthroughs: Sunday was the first day both Hubs and I laughed out loud at something the dog did, yesterday I cooked a meal, today was the first day I didn't completely break down in the shower... it's little things that make me realize I am still capable and although this is heart-wrenching it will not break me.

The guilt is certainly present though. It's almost unbearable to think that this will be happening because we are making the choice for it to happen. I know we don't really have a choice since we will be losing Petey either way but it's still a hard pill to swallow since s/he was so wanted.  We made this decision out of love and I just try to focus on that. On Thursday, once the anesthesia puts me under, the doctor will be administering a shot through my belly into my uterus that will slow Petey's heart until it stops. The procedure will not start until that happens so the only thing our baby will ever know is the warm quiet cozy home its mother's body provided for it. I don't actually know if I am considered a mother since I will not be giving birth but if what we're doing and how we feel right now isn't indicative of a mother's love then I don't know what is.

I've been trying to find things to comfort me and have been soothed recently by a verse from a beautiful song that entered my mind the other day and hasn't left:

A Little Fall of Rain (from Les Miserables)

Don't you fret, M'sieur Marius
I don't feel any pain
A little fall of rain
Can hardly hurt me now
You're here, that's all I need to know
And you will keep me safe
And you will keep me close
And rain will make the flowers grow.

While those lyrics run through my brain it comforts me to imagine them being sung to me from Petey's little soul. I am so thankful that our baby won't feel any pain. I hope it can feel love from me, knows I'm here, and feels safe and warm in my womb. I change the words around and sing it to Petey too hoping to comfort him/her. I think this will always be "our" special song.

Another comforting thought came from my mother in law:  She sadly lost a close friend to cancer just last week. Her friend was a nurse and my MIL said that she likes to think that the reason her friend went first is so that she can be there waiting to receive our little Petey Nugget, her grandchild, with open arms and that she'll take care of him/her until we can be reunited.  I can't think about that without crying but it is also a soothing thought and will be on my mind Thursday when I wake up empty after the procedure.

Thursday morning at 7:30 am when I am laying on the doctor's table experiencing those last precious moments with my Petey Nugget, I am going to feel the necklace at my throat and think about everyone who loves us. I'm going to think about how much I love my baby and I hope the last thing s/he hears is me saying "goodbye" and "I love you". That's how I want my child's life to end. I don't want to feel fear or anxiety, I want to be filled with love - love for him/her and love from those in our lives.

I felt compelled to take one more bump pic today so I can always remember.  I don't want to pretend Petey didn't exist.  Though my baby will never live outside my body s/he did exist.  My baby was here and existed and mattered.

And it was loved.

Unbelievably moved

I mentioned before how absolutely appreciative I have been of all the support I've received from everyone - here of course but especially on my support groups on Facebook. It truly has meant the world to me to know that so many people care and are thinking of me, my husband and our little Petey Nugget.  During the times this past week when all of this has just felt like too much to bear, one of the ONLY things that has helped me is to read the messages of love everyone has sent, and think about how much support we have around us. This is an awful and tragic thing to live through and there's nothing that anyone can do but I want you to know that your words really are getting me through this nightmare.

Up until now I have been grateful and appreciative but today, I am truly humbled.  Late this morning I received the most amazing gift from all the wonderful ladies of IDOB (my infertility group) and SAIF (my success after infertility group): cards filled with special messages of love and comfort and a stunning necklace from Tiffany & Co (!!):

I am stunned.  I am so humbled that all of you care SO much about little old me and for the first time in a week, the big fat tears rolling down my face are for happy and grateful reasons, not from pain.  I don't even have the words to express what this means to me.  My IDOB girls know I love them - so many of us have been together through thick and thin, celebrating each others small victories and sharing in each others disappointments. Some of you really do feel like sisters to me and although we still have never been able to give each other a real hug (yet!), these relationships feels truer to me now than most of the ones in my daily life.  These women of IDOB and SAIF are the ones who understand without having to explain things. They are truly good people - generous and kind and loving, and every single one of them deserves every happiness in the world.  I haven't even been active in the SAIF group for all that long and am blown away that so many of them were still kind enough to take time out of their very busy days and money out of their pockets for me.  I am so so grateful. Thank you all.

One of the things that moves me the most about this thoughtful gift is the fact that these messages were sent to both me and my husband.  I've felt bad for him because he hasn't had a support group: he just has me and that's been hard on him.  I have been able to feel all the love that's surrounding us but he couldn't, and now he can SEE it plain as day with all of those wonderful messages. We cried together reading them all and it makes me so happy that he now understands how much people care about us. I know it makes him feel less alone and I am so thankful to every one of you for making that possible.

And the necklace: It is so very beautiful and it means SO so much. It's something tangible that is so much more than just a necklace: it's full of love from every one of you and I really can feel that love radiate from it.  I also couldn't help but notice that it is an imperfect heart. I feel like that perfectly represents my little Petey Nugget (it even looks like a nugget!): something beautiful that is imperfect.  I can feel it rest against my collarbone and I think it's going to make me always feel like Petey is still with me even though it's symbolic.  I will be wearing this during tomorrow's pre-op and on Thursday morning during the procedure, and will hold it tightly as I go under and think about all the love that is surrounding and enveloping us. I know it will give me strength and peaceful thoughts as I drift away and will take away the fear and the loneliness.  I know that it will also help fill the empty spot within me when I come to and realize that my Petey is no longer physically a part of me. 

Thank you all so SO much. You truly are wonderful and generous and caring and loving and sweet and thoughtful and AMAZING women.  And a very special thank you to Cici. Cici, I know you organized this and pulled all these messages together and created these cards and collected money and bought this precious gift.  Please know that I am forever grateful and I love you. 

Thank you all from the bottom of my heart. This will be something that is with me always. <3

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Halfway through limbo

Thursday is the day.  

We had wanted the procedure to be sooner so that we could avoid prolonging this state of limbo we're in but that was the best anyone could do.  We had also wanted a specific hospital that's located on the NH/VT border because we NEVER go in that direction and were hoping to avoid the barrage of vivid memories that will surely come with passing by the hospital where this heartbreaking procedure will take place, but the earliest that hospital could get us in is Friday. On Friday I will be 20 weeks. Half-baked. I cannot be 20 weeks when this happens. I know it's only a difference of one day but it's important to me for this to be done at 19w6d and not at 20 weeks. Therefore, we will be going to a hospital in Boston that can get us in on Thursday. It's not the hospital we went to for our IVF, where our 3 precious frosties are currently stored, and where we will likely (hopefully) be back again some day for a FET (or two, or three), but it is still in the city. Hubs works in the city.  I know it's going to be hard on him every single time he drives in to work. He'll think about this every. single. time.

I feel like there's something we should be doing to get ourselves to a place where we're prepared for this day. I don't know how to be mentally/emotionally prepared or if that's even possible, but once it gets here there's no way to go back in time.  There's no way to have my little Petey Nugget back after that point.  We are being gentle with ourselves and each other, exploring our thoughts and feelings and trying not to block out the hardest parts, but I have this... hole inside me like there's something I should be doing, some portion of this I need to fully explore before the time comes. I just don't know what that is.  I think I need to figure out a way to say goodbye and truly be okay with it. At this point I don't feel like that could be possible though.

We've decided not to find out the sex.  We love our baby and are hoping that that's all we need to know.  If we were to find out after we've already said goodbye that it was a boy or girl we'd just torment ourselves with visions of firetrucks and baseball games, princesses and dance recitals.  We'd imagine all the things that should have happened but never will with our first child.  This way, we will only think of the dreams we've already dreamed for Petey, not every single thing our brains could convince us would have (should have) been real.

I read an article yesterday written by a woman who also had to terminate for medical reasons (TFMR - I hadn't realized there was a name for this) who stated that one of the things she learned from her experience is that "pregnancy is a gamble, not a guarantee".  That is certainly a difficult lesson I am learning as well.  In spite of all my initial apprehension after that BFP, I was still a happy naive pregnant woman who assumed that as long as we made it past the miscarriage 'danger zone', everything would be just fine. I started to become less and less afraid of something going wrong and as the weeks ticked on I got confident; cocky even.  I loved being pregnant. I was proud to show off my baby bump. I was proud we made it through IF and let myself feel like we paid our dues and deserved this. I started to only look forward to bringing home baby and began thinking of the pregnancy as just something to get through before we could hold him/her while gazing in amazement at what we created. Little did I know that these 19 weeks of pregnancy would be all I'd ever know with this baby.

Hubs and I decided we're going to plant a tree in our yard in Petey Nugget's memory. It will be something tangible to remember him/her by; something we can physically watch grow through the years, in place of watching our child grow. I hope that it will be enough. I hope it will comfort me to kneel by it, sit under it, and see it's strength as it grows and as I remember.

I'm very worried about the future. I'm worried about how we'll get through these next 4 days, I'm worried about Thursday and I'm worried about everything beyond that. I don't know how we'll get over this and move on.  I try to remind myself that this is hopefully the hardest time. That every day will get slightly better and slightly easier and though I'll never forget, I'll be able to be myself again someday. There's no way I can picture that yet but I hope that in a year I'll be able to come back to this post and think about how much things have changed since this moment.

Friday, March 21, 2014

19 weeks: The end.

Well, I'm officially 19 weeks pregnant today.  1 week from half-baked; 2 days past the worst day of my life.  19 weeks will be the furthest I get in this pregnancy...maybe in any pregnancy.

My husband and I have spent the last couple days clinging to one another and just trying to process everything.  We had a very very difficult decision to make and we somehow managed to make it.  In a few more days I will no longer be pregnant. Our wonderful, amazing, IVF miracle baby; our little Petey Nugget who we love so much and dreamed for and planned for and wanted more than anything will no longer physically be a part of me but will forever be in our hearts. 

I HATE this.  I hate that we are forced to make this kind of decision. I hate that there is no good decision to be made. I have a very hard time thinking about what will actually happen next week but however abhorrent that process is, I know that I am not strong enough for the other option.  I can't continue to carry this life within me, just waiting for it to die. I know I can't physically go through full labor just to hold our lifeless deformed child in my arms for a split second before it's gone forever. I can be strong when I need to be, but I can't be that strong.  I'm pretty sure that would break me.

My pregnancy symptoms mock me now.  Nothing has changed with me physically just because we now have this knowledge.  My belly continues to grow, my breasts continue to ache and every stretch and pain and cramp that I used to cherish now makes me cry.  I'm still up in the middle of the night throwing up from morning sickness but now I choke on my tears as I retch over the toilet. I know it hurts my husband too to see my belly bump but there's nothing that can be done. I absolutely dread what we have to do next week but it also can't come fast enough.  We are in purgatory right now and there's no way to try to move on and heal until that is done.

We started telling our families last night. Originally we thought we might wait for a bit until we were in a better place mentally and emotionally but then we realized that once we finally reach this "better place", they will all be starting from scratch with their grief. They'll want to grieve with us and we'll be at a point where we want to move on.  So, in spite of how difficult it has been to verbally relay this information to people who love us and also love our baby, we're doing it. We're working our way through everyone.  It is so painful and we keep finding ourselves apologizing to them for hurting them too. It's so hard.  My parents and sister will be coming over today for a bit and my mother-in-law tomorrow because they just want to be with us during this time.  Everyone feels so helpless.  This will be the first time we'll be talking with people face-to-face about this and I'm a little worried. I'm sure it will be completely draining. Everything is draining right now.

The last few days have moved in slow motion. Hubs and I are together all the time; we are so conscious of how one another is feeling at any given moment and we spend the days alternately crying, processing out loud, or just staring off into space.  We really are each others lifelines right now. He's strong for me when I can't be, and I for him. I am so lucky to have him. He's truly amazing.  I guess what we're really doing is figuring out how to grieve.  Neither of us has much experience with grieving and there's no rule book on this so we're just figuring it out as we go along; being open with each other and allowing ourselves and one another to explore every thought and feeling, while also trying not to dwell or wallow in pity. I don't know if this is what we're supposed to be doing but it seems to be the only thing we are capable of right now.

One of the only things that really has helped is the kindness we've received from everyone.  I am truly blown away by the love and support we've received - and so much of it from people I've never even met in real life.  When I lay awake in bed in the middle of the night tormented by my thoughts, I'll think about Cici & Jen's willingness to just be there to listen to me ramble and help me work through things, or about Sam's recent blog post that truly moved me, and it calms me and makes me feel loved and not alone.  I think about all the amazing IDOB and SAIF ladies who are so caring and loving and took time out of their days to think about and pray for me, my husband and our baby.  I am truly humbled by how much people care and how many people seem to physically feel our pain too. I am so lucky to have met such wonderful women and I really don't know where I would be without you all.  I just want to say thank you for all the comments, all the love, all the prayers and also for sharing our pain.  Kate said something to the effect of how her heart is with us and is enveloping our home with love and warmth and that's truly how it feels, knowing how much you all care. It helps to think about that during the really hard moments. 

I know I will need to fall back on that strength and support next week. I don't know how we're going to get through it but I know that we will.  And eventually we will start to heal and slowly begin to move back into normal lives again. I have no idea what the future holds and can't even think about that right now but I do know that we'll be okay.  

A quote from Les Miserables kept replaying in my head the other day and I think that may have to be my driving motto for a little while:

We are definitely still in the dark and will be for a while but I know the sun will rise for us again.  In the meantime, thank you so much for being there for us.  It means more than you could know.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Bad things certainly happen to good people.

Thank you all so much for the outpouring of love and support here and especially on facebook. It is so appreciated through all of this.

Unfortunately, after our appts with the specialists today, I do not have good news to report. It looks like we are going to lose our beloved little baby as it has severe mental and physical deformities.  

*~*~*~*~WARNING: The next part is very graphic so stop here if you don't want to read it and skip to the end~*~*~*~*

Although our integrated genetic screening revealed very low risk, we hit the bad luck jackpot and our baby has severe Spina Bifida (a neural tube defect that does NOT run in either of our families). Most of the baby's spine is wide open which has caused irreparable nerve damage and it has severe brain deformities with 'water on the brain' (hydrocephalus). The head is misshapen due to the brain defects and our little Petey is paralyzed from the waist down with malformed legs and feet. S/he also only has 1 partially functioning kidney. 

(There may have been more issues but those are the main points.  I stopped listening when the doctor said this is one of the worst cases he has ever seen and that he has never seen a positive result from a case like ours.  We are a "case".)

In other words, today we were informed that our sweet baby who we worked so hard to create and who represented a happy future and an end to a difficult past is not going to make it.  The prognosis is that it will die in the womb at some point, the doctors just can't give us a definite on when exactly. If it somehow makes it through towards the end, I will deliver prematurely and it will die at birth.  Experimental fetal brain and spinal surgery would be useless. We were given the option to either terminate the pregnancy within the next couple weeks or let it run its course and I will end up having full extended labor and deliver a stillborn.

*~*~*~*~OK, safe to read again~*~*~*~*

I don't even have words for how I feel. I am absolutely shattered.
It still doesn't feel real and I honestly have no idea how I even just typed all that out.

Hubs and I have some very difficult discussions and decisions ahead of us and I don't know what will happen.  I also don't know yet if I'll post here again for a while or not. Usually I use this blog as a sounding board but I'm not sure if it'll be cathartic or too hard for me.  If I'm not around much, know that I truly appreciate all the thoughts, prayers, love and positive vibes sent our way. If you could please continue to keep us in your T&P I would appreciate it.

A very long night.

DEFORMITIES.  Take it from me; that's a word you never want to hear from your doctor.

We had our anatomy scan earlier today (Tuesday morning). Everything seemed to go fine except the baby wouldn't cooperate fully so there were some measurements we were unable to get and we couldn't tell the sex.  I remember asking the sonographer what the next steps were and she said the radiologist will review everything, I should expect a call, and then we'll set up the next U/S.  Okay, that sounds normal.  We walked out of there disappointed with the fact that we still don't know if it's a boy or a girl. What idiots.

This evening, my phone rings around 5:30pm and I see it's from my clinic.  Hmm, it's after-hours, that's funny.  I pick up the phone and hear that it's actually my personal doctor (midwife). That's a bit unexpected. Then she asks if I'm at home. BOOM. NOT normal.  She said she had the results of my anatomy scan, and as my heart sank lower and lower, she proceeded to tell me that they found some deformities with the baby: it appears our beloved little Petey has heart, spine, leg and possible brain deformities.  DEFORMITIES. Not "potential issues", not "abnormalities"; DEFORMITIES.  I'm pretty sure I went into shock and stopped listening.  I started crying almost immediately and when she asked me some sort of silly question I was completely unable to answer. She asked again and I managed to squeak out some sort of noise. She could tell I was crying of course, and apologized, but since I couldn't respond she just repeated the terrible news to me all over again.

Poor hubby walked into the room in the middle of all this.  He said I was white as a ghost and shaking but also just sitting there immobile. I eventually got my act together enough to write down what she was saying and what the next steps were. She told us we need to take tomorrow (Wed) off of work and go to a different hospital to meet with a Periontologist in Maternal Fetal Medicine (MFM) asap since he's a specialist. Apparently he also has better equipment and will hopefully be able to get a better picture of what we're working with.  I am scared to death of what we will find out.

Needless to say, it's been a long and difficult night. We don't have any answers or specifics yet so we're trying not to let our imaginations run wild but it's nearly impossible. Both Hubs and I have gone through phases of ugly gasping crying episodes, at one point during which he exclaimed: "Wasn't infertility enough?!".  Agreed.  We worked SO HARD for this child. 18 weeks in and I was finally starting to let my guard down and let IF-brain take a backseat. Now this. I should have known better.  I think I'm still in shock and disbelief about it.  I'm crying but I also feel detached. I think it's a defense mechanism.

I have so many emotions but mainly I'm afraid of what tomorrow will bring. I'm dreading it, and yet it can't get here fast enough.  If you have any prayers or positive vibes to spare, please PLEASE send them my way.

Friday, March 14, 2014

18 weeks! 4 days to go!

I've been waiting for this week!!  Less than 4 days to go until our anatomy scan and we get to find out if little Petey Nugget is a boy or girl!!!  At this point, Hubs has me so convinced it's a boy I think even I will be surprised if it's a girl!  I honestly do not have a preference either way though, I'm just so excited to find out!! (And I'll share on here, of course.)

Here's da bump:

I'm gonna do a list this week!
Weight gain: +4.5 lbs
Size of baby: Sweet potato/green pepper depending on which website I look at
Cravings: Nothing really. I'm very focused on my scheduled eating this week due to the blood sugar testing 4x/day
Symptoms: (I'm a little afraid to pull the trigger on this one because it tricked me last time but...) The nausea seems to be letting up and I haven't puked in almost a week!  Hoorah! Besides that, I'm still quite tired most of the time and I feel the pulling/pinching of the round ligament pain many times/day.  I also experienced the elusive 'lightening-crotch' for the first time the other day. Coincidentally, the pain seared through my vag at the exact time I happened to be speaking in a meeting at work which caused me to stop mid-sentence and do this: 
I think people were confused.

Rings: Still on but getting tight...
Maternity clothes: Pants are a must but I haven't crossed over into tops yet and am still just wearing my largest/longest ones. I'm hoping I still have a few more weeks before I need to buy some. 
Stretch marks: Oh yes. I am a zebra. I'm going to choose to think of them as the battle scars of IF made visible so that I can appreciate why they are there and that they got me to where I am now. 
Belly button: Will still be an innie for a while but getting rounder and more shallow
Bewbs: Still tender and my nips are chameleons; they seem to be a different shade of pink every other day. Today for instance, they are a lovely tie-dyed mixture of peachy/coral/pink.  Interesting. 
Sleep: Ugh.  A typical night: 
  • Go to bed around 10:30,
  • shift around and adjust pillows/snoogle for 20ish mins to find comfy position,
  • force Hubs to rub my back because it feels like all my vertebrae shift out of position when I lay on my side,
  • fall asleep and snore like a bear until 2-3am,
  • get up to pee,
  • go back to bed and shift around/lay awake feeling ill until at least 4am,
  • get up to pee again,
  • give up and go into the guest bedroom hoping that the change of scenery will help me fall asleep (which, on a good night happens quickly, and on a normal night just causes me to lay awake in a different bed hoping not to puke while I eventually fall back to sleep),
  • wake up around 7am ready to pee my pants.
Movement: Nothing yet but I'm hoping to feel something soon! 
Best moment of the week: We got all our integrated genetic screening results back and everything came back negative which means the baby has a very low risk for trisomy 18, neural tube defects, and downs syndrome!  YAY!!!
Looking forward to: Going crib-shopping for the first time tomorrow and then anatomy scan on Tuesday! Can't wait!!

Thursday, March 13, 2014


Finger pricks that is! I've been doing a lot of this lately:
 Luckily, I have some experience with sticking myself with needles thanks to IF...

Funny story; when I searched googleimages for "finger prick" this gem appeared:

Anywho, I've been sticking needles into my fingers 4 times/day lately because I met with an OB and high-risk nurse at my clinic earlier this week to discuss how my PCOS/insulin resistance might affect my pregnancy, and they decided I should test my blood sugar for the next week to see what we're working with. If my levels indicate that I already have issues regulating my blood sugar then they'll consider me 'high-risk'; I'll have to go in twice a week every week until the end of my pregnancy for monitoring (yikes), and they'll pretty much treat me like I've got the 'Diabeetus' even if I don't actually have it.

It's only been a couple days but so far so good with most of the BS readings. I reaaaaaally hope I don't fail this test.  As long as everything is good I don't need to worry and can just continue on like normal and then go in and do the regular fasting glucose test that all pregnant women take around 26 weeks (that's the one where you fast then drink the gross sugary drink and get your blood tested 1 hr later and 2 hrs later). Fingers crossed!

At the appointment we also discussed me continuing on 1500mg Metformin daily.  Apparently the medical community is somewhat divided on whether or not pregnant women who were on Met prior to pregnancy should stay on it or not. I personally want to stay on it because I feel better on it,  there have been studies showing it actually helps with breastfeeding (women will PCOS can have troubles BF), and there have been no adverse effects found in infants born to pregnant women taking Met. Soooo, it seems silly to me that I should go off of a medication that is helping me with my insulin resistance, when pregnancy already increases a normal (non-IR) woman's resistance to insulin! Wouldn't that be rather counter-productive and just ensure that I would indeed end up developing gestational diabetes?  Luckily, my doctors agree and all seem to come down on the same side of the debate that I do so I'll be staying on it. Victory!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Can I just not talk to people until the baby's born?

I swear, people are dumb.  Especially people I work with apparently.  (This would be my Annoyance of the week from my last blog post.)

Why do so many people seem to lose all sense of boundaries when it comes to pregnant women?  Just because I am growing a baby doesn't give you free reign to examine and comment on my body. Yes, my body is changing. Believe me, I am well aware of that fact and do not need you to point it out to me.

Why yes, yes you do.

Let's examine the comments I've already received, shall we?:

    "Wow, your breasts are much bigger!"  Yup. Thanks for noticing?

   "I can't stop staring at your chest!" Good for you?  You should probably try though since it's unbelievably inappropriate at work.

   "I thought you looked pregnant but didn't want to say anything in case you had just gained more weight." MORE weight, eh?  Thanks (bitch).

   "I bet you have stretch marks now, huh?" Yes actually but it's certainly not something I want to discuss with you, person-I-barely-know.

And last Wednesday: 
   "Wow, look at your belly! You're only 17 weeks? Even with my second kid I was barely showing at that point.  Are you sure you're not having twins?"  Fuck you.

Okay so it's possible I'm losing my sense of humor when it comes to all this but the twins one really pissed me off. Are you kidding me?! I'm not even big yet!! Yes, I have a growing bump but it's not like I'm 30 weeks along - shouldn't THAT obnoxious comment be saved for when I'm actually big?

In response to the twin comment all I said was "Nope, just one" and I received a: "You never knoooooow!" response. Uh, actually I DO know since they have this new fangled thing these days called an ultrasound. I can't even be bothered to play along anymore.  It probably doesn't help that I am still feeling pretty sick and exhausted most of the time so maybe when I'm feeling good (please let that happen soon!) I'll be in a better mood and these things won't bug me.

To be honest though, I know my biggest hang-up is that I'm feeling self-conscious about my rapidly changing body so I hate that people are just feeling free to have verbal diarrhea about it.  I love the reason why my body is changing and am so excited about it and love sharing it and talking about it WITH MY HUSBAND, but I do not enjoy random people I don't know very well making comments.  I've always struggled with my weight, and eating well and exercising has been so much more difficult during this pregnancy than I thought it would be.  I know what and how I should be eating but it's so hard to do that when you feel like shit all the time and food plays tricks on you (ex: lots of things don't taste the same anymore; or I go to all the trouble of making dinner and the first bite makes me want to puke...).  I guess I'm just very focused on it all right now and it doesn't help to have my fears and insecurities broadcast aloud by other people with no filter.

I'm thinking I better get used to it though since this is just the beginning.  The comments will probably be constant once I look like this:
Haha. No.

Can't wait for the unwanted belly touching to begin!  ::shudder::

Thursday, March 6, 2014

17 weeks!

Wow, 17 weeks feels like kind of a lot for some reason.  I feel like I haven't even been pregnant for very long but if I double the amount of time that has already passed that would bring me to 34 weeks already! That is CRAZY to me! This is flying by!

Here's the current bump!

Weight gain is holding steady at +4 lbs. Baby is supposedly the size of an onion but all these fruit/veggie comparisons are awfully subjective - what's the average size of an onion? ::shrug:: Depends on what's at the grocery store.

Morning sickness is still hanging in there but seems to be a teeny tiny bit better (maybe that's just wishful thinking since I can't wait for it to start tapering off for good), but I'm back to often craving red meat and lemony things.  I think I would be content with a cheeseburger and lemonade for most meals lately.  Hubs has been cute; he has been doing all the food shopping ever since my fateful grocery store trip and each time he shops he comes home with some new lemony-flavored thing for me to try :-)

Earlier this week I met with the Nutritionist. I didn't really know what to expect with that meeting but I was so happy afterwards because I learned that her specialty is actually PCOS patients and gestational diabetes (GD) so I feel like I'm in really good hands. The main takeaway was that every pregnant woman's body has an increased resistance to insulin once they hit 24 weeks (something to do with the placenta pulling extra glucose from the mother's body to give to baby), and since I already have insulin-resistance from the PCOS I am at an increased risk for developing GD once I hit 24 weeks.  So, we discussed how I should strive to eat during my pregnancy (aim for a target number of carbs during each meal/snack to keep an even blood sugar level, and try to always pair with a protein to keep me full), and she gave me some good easy food pairing ideas. When I told her how I have been eating (i.e., not well due to all the nausea and cravings) she was completely non-judgmental and totally understood wanting to eat a certain way and just not physically being able to. I also loved that she told me multiple times that I'm doing great so far. I didn't realize that I really needed to hear that.

Awesomeness of the week (besides the nutritionist appt):  We decided which room will be the baby's room!  When going through IF I didn't let myself give it any thought because it was just too painful and even now I'm still slightly apprehensive and haven't wanted to dive in to planning/buying yet (I still have not bought ANYTHING for the baby) but I feel like this was a big step! Now I'm allowing myself to picture what the nursery might look like and where the furniture will go...  And Hubs and I decided that next weekend we will go shopping and look at cribs!! 

~~~Oh my goodness, I can't even express the flood of emotions that I just experienced typing that...I can't keep myself from tearing up thinking about the fact that this truly is our reality and I actually have a reason to go shop for a crib! I just feel so unbelievably grateful...

Ok, I have to go cry now so I'll save the Annoyance of the week for a follow up post, haha!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

"Have you picked out any names yet?"

To this question I usually just say "we're still thinking about it." Honestly, I think we've already decided but I've heard horror stories from women on my BMB about all the unwanted opinions people feel free to express the moment you share the name so I'm a little gun-shy.

Along these lines, yesterday I was having a discussion with a coworker about naming your kids. First she begged me not to pick any trendy/different names (ok well, not sure how it affects you but we weren't planning to anyway) and when I said we were likely going to stick with some family names and, if it's a boy, name him after Hubs' beloved Grandpa John she proceeded to tell me she "HAAAAAATES the name John because it's soooo boring".
Okay, well fuck you very much and I never asked your opinion anyway. 

Maybe we WILL wait until the birth to share the name. Oy.