Wednesday, June 23, 2010

How do you spell relief?

Well, for me, it certainly isn't Rolaids. For me, relief has come in the form of the 12-week milestone. Today is the day. When I woke up this morning, I felt -- well, I felt very content. I know that 12 weeks isn't some magic number that removes all risks, but for me, the fact that I've made it to this point is very comforting. If I've told you before that I had my doubts that I'd ever be pregnant, you'll just have to hear it again. Even with this most recent FET cycle, after that first HPT was negative, I told my mama "it's just not meant to be."
Yet here I am, noting another milestone along the way. It still seems surreal at times that it actually worked and that there's a tiny little human growing inside of me.
I know they say you can't feel the baby moving at this point, but a few times a day, I feel this fluttering sensation in there and I feel certain it's the baby. It's like nothing I've felt before. I told Greg it feels like a little gold fish swimming around in my uterus. So, the baby has gone from being referred to as "Spaceman" to "Little Fishy" at our house.
Yesterday, I ventured into Motherhood, that store that has taunted me for years. Some of you long time readers might remember that it was outside of a Motherhood store in February that I had a little breakdown. It was just after our third failed IVF and I saw a shirt that said "I love my bump" in the window. I just sat down on a bench and cried. Yesterday, I timidly went into that great unknown. I was the only shopper in the store. The sales woman asked me "have you shopped here before?"
"Nope, this is my first time."
"Well, welcome to Motherhood."
I'm sure that's what they always say, but for me her words held a more significant meaning.
Welcome to motherhood.
I wasn't sure anyone would ever say that to me. For the first time since I found out I was pregnant, I made a couple of purchases for the future. Until yesterday, I only allowed myself to buy pregnancy books. It felt like if I made any other purchases I might jinx this stroke of good luck. I bought maternity panties, pajama pants and a pair of denim capris. I don't really need the pants yet, but I have faith that I will very soon.
But I think it's time to embrace this miracle and stop worrying that something will go wrong. I think it's time to start looking ahead.
Tomorrow, I will announce my pregnancy to my social network on facebook. And, I will allow my husband to tell our neighbors the happy news.
Yesterday, my sister told me that an acquaintance from high school was about to start her third cycle of IVF. The news made me sad in many ways. I think about all the people I know in real life who have had to travel this road and I think of all of you out there who are still putting one foot in front of the other all in an effort to hear someone say "welcome to motherhood."
Then, I think of how many people I know who have been in this boat have found a happy ending. For example, my dear friend B, who suffered so many losses and finally moved on to adoption. She just posted pics of her son taken moments after he was born. In the picture, you can only see her eyes because her entire face is covered with a surgical mask. But her eyes say it all. That picture makes me cry with joy for my dear, sweet friend.
I guess, what I'm trying to say is that I'm ever grateful for this pregnancy, which I pray is the beginning of my own happy ending. And, everyday, I pray that my friends (both in the real world and this virtual one) will turn the page and start a new chapter, one that tells the story of their own happy ending.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Tiny dancer

Here is the latest ultrasound picture of our little one. The baby measures 11weeks2days and Dr. V says everything looks and sounds great. Today was a special day for us -- it was our "graduation" day, our last visit with our RE. The best part was seeing our little one moving around in there, a tiny dancer on the screen. It looked like he/she was having a good ole time just floating around doing water acrobatics. Greg and I agreed that it looked like when you see someone in a zero gravity chamber on TV. The little one was floating and flickering around in there and it seemed to me that if it could make a sound, he or she would be saying "whhhheeeeeee!"
We got our "official" due date, which I had already calculated myself but now since the doc said it we can be more confident -- January 5. We are simply over the moon with joy right now.
We were happy to see Dr. V for our last visit since he was our RE and it was his knowledge and expertise that helped to create this little miracle. But, he is the most humble doctor I've ever met. He kept saying, "you guys worked so hard for this. I'm so happy for you." When I said, "And you worked hard too," he just shook his head.
In the past, it has been hard for me to be thankful that we ended up at this base, where I have few friends and I don't really like the area and I'm so far from home. But, it's easy for me to be thankful today. I am so thankful that chance led us here to Dr. V and his wonderful staff and to this pregnancy.
I used to say that my favorite thing about Shreveport is the midget carhop at Sonic, who I just adore. I can't say that anymore. Dr. V is by far the best aspect of life in Shreveport. To finally get personalized, attentive, expert care was more than we had hoped for. How do you say thank you to the man who has put you on the path to parenthood after such a long and winding and sad road? I just shook his hand and said, "we can't thank you enough."
And, being the man that he is, Dr. V said, "send us a picture in January and that's all the thanks we need."

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Feeling better, sort of

I'm feeling better, I guess. No more stomach problems, which is nice. But a dark cloud of worry has settled in over my head since I had that horrible cramping on Thursday night and I can't seem to shake it.
I'm OK during the day but at night I have these terrible dreams and I wake up certain that something horrible has happened in there. I am counting the days until the ultrasound on Friday. Sometimes, I wonder - would I feel this way if I had conceived naturally with no problems? I don't know. Maybe it's normal for every pregnant woman to worry. Maybe I worry more because I'm always waiting for someone to deliver bad news?
Speaking of bad news, my husband got some news yesterday that I am still trying to digest. At his annual dental checkup, the doctor noted that an old root canal probably needed to be checked. So, yesterday he went to meet with another dentist who does all the root canals at our base. Apparently, during the original root canal in 1994, the dentist noted that he lost the tip of a file during the procedure and couldn't find it. He assumed he irrigated the debris out during the procedure. Well, most likely, that tip has been lodged underneath my husband's tooth for nearly 15 years and on the newest films, the dentist can see two black spots that are either a) pockets of bacteria formed around this debris or 2)cancerous lesions. So, of course, we are pretty scared. Greg will go in at the end of July for the first of several procedures in which the dentist will try to determine what we're dealing with in there and how to best go about remedying the problem.
Just my husband's luck, he has never smoked or used smokeless tobacco and here he is faced with the scary prospect that he could have cancer growing in his jaw. Oh and let me say that this has been there all this time and Greg is required to have an annual dental check up and no one has ever noticed this problem until now. Makes me wonder about the dentists who have treated him in the past.

Saturday, June 12, 2010


So maybe I shouldn't have been so happy to move on from the PIO to the progesterone suppositories. I have been pretty sick since Thursday, when I woke up feeling bad and it got progressively worse throughout the day. I couldn't pinpoint exactly what was wrong until late Thursday night when I started having a lot of stomach/bowel cramping. The bad part about that kind of cramping is that it often feels a lot like uterine cramping and it scared the bejeezus out of me. I haven't had any spotting, so that is quite a relief. I will spare you most of the ugly details but needless to day, I've had diarrhea and terrible gas and stomach cramping ever since. I did manage to make it to work yesterday because I was feeling a little better and had a short shift, made even shorter when the boss let me go half an hour early. But then I spent half the night in the bathroom again and this morning after eating some toast, my stomach is hurting again. I read that these symptoms are all possible side effects from the progesterone suppositories, apparently caused not by the progesterone but by the base they use to form the suppository. If my body does not adjust by tomorrow, I will be calling my doctor for advice. Meanwhile, I've been drinking a lot of water and sports drinks to stay hydrated. Have any of you ever experienced these types of side effects while on progesterone suppositories? And I thought those shots were bad! Silly me!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Goodbye PIO, hello Wyatt!

Yesterday brought a couple of milestones for me. Last night I got my last pregesterone injection and today I started my suppositories. It was great to know that I don't have to deal with those shots anymore, though they were a small price to pay. Tonight, I get my very last Estrdiol shot and that's it for shots! I can't tell you how glad I am to be at this point. Hopefully, these knots in my back side will go away soon. In two weeks, I'll be off the progesterone completely and I'll be at 12 weeks, another milestone to look forward to.
And, even more exciting and wonderful news -- my great nephew, Wyatt, made his debut yesterday. He is a perfectly healthy, precious boy and my nephew and his wife couldn't be happier or more proud. Being so far away from all the excitement made me even more homesick than normal. I wish so badly that I could be there to hold that little baby. I have seen some pictures and from what I can tell Wyatt looks just like his daddy. My nephew was the most precious, angelic looking little boy ever and I hope I get to see him again (through adult eyes this time around) in Wyatt. What a wonderful thing to be a "great aunt!" I can't wait to get home next month to see my family and to meet my great nephew face to face.
Another milestone today -- I'm at 10 weeks today and doing my best to make sure Wyatt gets a little playmate this winter. I'm feeling great and can't wait to see how things are going in there at our next appointment on June 19.

Monday, June 7, 2010

A little dream

How much stock do you put into your dreams? I have had some seriously crazy dreams since becoming pregnant. For example, I dreamed that I was in a very, ahem, provocative episode of CSI NY with Gary Sinese (not my ideal man by the way, but hey, I can't help what I dream), then I dreamed that I was drinking a very large, very tasty, very cold German beer out of a giant frosty mug and it was the very best thing I'd ever drank (and I don't even really like beer that much) and I dreamed that my Italian friend Daisy was giving me glass after glass of the most delicious wine I'd ever tasted. Do you see a trend here, people? Sex, beer and wine -- all things I can't (or couldn't have).
But the odd dream that stands out the most is the one where I was in labor and I showed up at the hospital to find that my co-worker Holly was my OB.
"What are you doing here?" I asked her.
"I work here on the weekends. You know, I work Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at Tal.bots, Tuesdays and Thursdays at the flower shop and on the weekends I deliver babies for fun."
"Well you aren't touching me! I want a real doctor!"
And, so it was a big joke when I told everyone at work about this dream. Everyone thought the idea of Holly delivering babies was absolutely absurd.
But then the dream started to make sense. I asked my RE to recommend an OB and he told me about a group of doctors that he respects and thinks I would get along great with. The catch? All the docs in the group, except for one, are women and I prefer a male doctor.
"I want him to be like you, Dr. London -- wise and experienced with gray hair," I said.
Dr. London laughed and said, "well, the little bit of hair Dr. Carter has left is gray but he's not like me -- he's skinny." ha ha. That Dr. London cracks me up.
So, I go to work and tell the girls about the recommendation and, of course, I ask if anyone knows anything about this Dr. Carter? And, Holly is the first to pipe up -- "he's my doctor. I love him! He's wonderful!" And, she goes on and on listing all the reasons Dr. Carter is her favorite doctor ever.
So, I start to think to myself -- maybe if you dream that Holly is your OB, it means you should look into seeing Holly's OB.
Today, I gave his office a call. After explaining my situation the lady on the phone asked the magic question -- what insurance do you have? Well, guess what? Dr. Carter doesn't take that insurance. Oh no! But, sometimes he makes exceptions particularly if a colleague has referred a patient to him. So, this nice lady tells me she'll talk with the doctor and call me back. About 20 minutes later, I have an appoinment for June 30 with Dr. Carter.
I can't tell you how excited I am about this because I have a feeling I'm really going to like this doctor and I feel like all signs were pointing in his direction. Have you ever had a dream that led you to an important decision?

Friday, June 4, 2010

That's alright now, Mama

Here's a picture from our ultrasound this morning. Our little bean measured 9weeks1day, which is great and had a strong heartbeat of 150 beats per minute. Isn't it amazing how much he/she has changed in two weeks?
The doc is happy with everything and I am happy that I will be able to stop all injections next Wednesday and then two weeks of progesterone suppositories and then I'll be home free, off all meds except the vitamins.
We go back in two weeks to our RE for our last visit and then we graduate to a regular OB. I asked today if this is a high risk pregnancy and my doc said -- not really, but when anyone hears that you conceived this pregnancy through a frozen embryo transfer, they are going to go bonkers. So beware."
Funny guy, that doctor.
Greg said the bean looks like a little space man, but I think it looks more like a cartoon baby Elvis with a little pompador hair do. I imagine he's in there singing "That's alright now, Mama."
I know, I'm a little nuts.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Another reason to celebrate and a question about the telling

We had another reason to celebrate last week when my husband found out that he made his next rank. It has been a long time coming and I'm very proud of him. He found out Thursday morning so that evening we went out to dinner and then on Sunday we had all of his co-workers over for burgers and dogs and beer. Everyone seemed to have a good time. It was sort of strange to entertain after so many months of near isolation here, but it felt good to have people in our house again.
I'm still feeling pretty good, still no nausea. We can't wait until our next ultrasound appointment on Friday to see how things are going in there. I am happy to be this far along (nine weeks tomorrow) and looking forward to being done with this first trimester because I think getting to that milestone will help me to feel more at ease and more confident in the pregnancy. I have been debating on whether to go ahead and make my big facebook announcement after this next appointment if all goes well or to wait until we're at 12 weeks. I know many people we know are going to be shocked to find out our news. Which brings me to another topic I've been thinking a lot about lately. Do you think it is more difficult to tell infertile friends that you're finally pregnant? I do. We were very good friends with a couple back in Italy and they were never able to have children (though they never pursued ART). When the husband called last week to tell Greg congrats, I told him about our pregnancy. I could sort of hear his voice crack as he said, "that's wonderful. Wow. That is just great news," and then he quickly said his goodbyes. I know that feeling, I've had those same pangs of hurt and jealousy when others have told me about their pregnancies. But, I don't remember feeling that way when my infertile friends found success (only the blissfully ignorant fertiles seem to bother me). I've always felt buoyed by the happy announcements of other infertiles. To me, it has always been reassurance that it can actually happen. But I know everyone doesn't feel that way. There are a few other infertile friends that we haven't told yet and I can't help but wonder how they will react to our news. Any thoughts on this subject?