Riding the Wave

Things have been… different since hitting the third trimester. It’s physically a bit more difficult but nothing I can’t handle and emotionally it’s been a bit taxing as well.

I always said that I would never complain if I was ever so lucky to be in this position and for the most part I think I’ve been okay. There have been days when I’ve been in tears wondering if I actually did deserve this miracle. I know most women would kill to be in my shoes and here I am crying silently on the toilet on day who-knows of violent constipation and painful gas.

I was in a bit of a state when I first noticed the hemorrhoids too. I thought I was doing so well but I guess I just drew the short straw on that one. And then a few days later I failed the 1 hour glucose test. That was a really low point for me. I felt like I couldn’t do anything right.

I was given this incredible gift and I was ruining it. Am I not supposed to be glowing with pride every single day? The picture of joy?

I know I’m only human and I should really give myself some grace. I’ve had to dig deep these past few days. Thankfully this past weekend was a good weekend and I had to remind myself of the mantras. Just ride the wave. Cling to the good moments with all my might and give myself some grace on the bad days.

On Saturday I did the 3hr glucose test and in the 3hrs I was there I re-read blog posts and found birth stories and tried to remind myself that I wouldn’t change any of this for world. Not the constant night peeing. Not the fact that I can’t take a full breath anymore or that bending over is more effort than it’s worth.

Afterwards we had our baby shower (thrown by my amazing friend B and my mom in law – They are fantastic) and it was everything I needed. Seeing most of our family and friends in one room again was really re-energizing and wonderful. Everyone seemed to have a good time and I laughed… I really laughed a lot and it felt so good.

I listened to mom’s tell no sugar-coated birth stories and mom stories. I got advice on hemorrhoids and gestational diabetes. I got sympathetic nods and compliments on my small bump. I was told not to get up to say goodbye when guests left. I did but it was nice to be fawned over.

The food was good, the dessert was better (3 words, creme brulee cheesecake). The games were fun.

When we got home and snuggled under a blanket, too tired to make it through a late night movie, I breathed slowly through one of the painful cramps that started a couple of weeks ago and I smiled… and then I got up to pee… again.

I wonder if that’s why they throw baby showers. To remind women who are having a less than easy 3rd trimester that it’s all going to be awesome in the end.

 

Advertisements

Go With Your Gut

So I’ve decided on a hospital, finally. We’re going to stay with the current hospital and my current OB.

I consulted absolutely everyone and got really good feedback and ultimately I just had to go with my gut. Thanks everyone here who weighed in as well. It was really helpful.

I met with the midwife at the new hospital 2 weeks ago.  She was fantastic. Answered all of my questions satisfactorily. She did say that the 2 hospitals are under the same umbrella so policies will likely be the same. The c-section rate at my current hospital is higher though, 30% vs 20% at the new hospital.

As far as everything else is concerned, labouring and pushing in any position, using non-chemical induction methods before pitocin, etc. both providers were fine with. So it was really just up to who I felt most comfortable with and that was a no-brainer.

Granted, I’d only just met the midwife and she was really awesome, I just feel like I’m in really good hands with my OB. I felt that way from the minute we met.

Last night, at our doula meeting a couple and their chubby 5month old came to tell their birth story (my favourite part of the meetings). It started off how most of the doula assisted birth stories started. Soft lighting, affirmations everywhere, calm music, no pain meds. Up until 5cm where she stayed for several hours and no amount of re-positioning was working. Eventually they did an emergency c-section because her little one was stuck in her pelvis. I really enjoyed that story. Both parents seemed so content with how everything went even if it wasn’t to plan and she kept saying over and over for everyone to have a plan but keep an open mind because you can’t plan a birth. And yes yes everyone has been saying this but this birth story sounded similar to what I have in my head and ended with one of my fears but here they were, a healthy and very happy family. It was just what I needed to hear.

So I’m feeling good about this choice and I’m glad it’s not keeping me up at night anymore. I feel a bit more relaxed about how this is going to go.

I only have one more big fear which I’ll talk about once I can put my thoughts together.

 

 

September Favourites

Gonna try to revive these monthly posts!  I don’t have too many this month I think. Let’s dive right in. I’m also adding a non-favourites category because it’s necessary lol. Actually let me start with the unfavourite because these posts always put me in a good mood and I don’t want to ruin it at the end.

Unfavourite:
Cell phone wallet cover combo thing
Just one this month but it’s a daily annoyance. I love how these look. My friend has one and it looks nice and easy to use and she like it but it’s really just annoying to me. Mostly because I like to keep my phone out and near me but I don’t want to have my purse near me as well. So I thought this would be good because the phone cover part detaches but it’s just an ugly useless cover then. My screen isn’t protected (It’s already shattered a bit but that’s a different story) and when I take the two apart the purse/wallet just looks ugly. I keep them apart mostly and i’m not a fan of that set up but keeping them together annoys me as well because then I have to again, take my purse out to send a text. I don’t know. I just was expecting too much I think. And I have a lot of cards. A lot and not all of them fit in this damn wallet so I have to put them separately in my handbag and that’s just not on. Okay that’s enough bitching and moaning. I’m in the market for a new wallet now and a new phone cover. Ugh.
71bdqvuK51L._SL1000_.jpg

Okay, on to the good stuff.

FAVOURITES!!

Wet Brush
You know I love my hair stuff. This is a brush my sister-in-law introduced me too. I didn’t expect much, goodness me, what a find. I took this picture late last night and didn’t feel like cleaning the brush so excuse the hair. Anyway, it’s a detangling brush so I’ve used it in the shower to distribute conditioner and I’ve used it out of the shower to help style. The bristles are so soft yet effective. It’s just a beautiful tool. I would say great for straight and curly hair. I paid $8 for it at Target. Love it!
20171001_171811

Cremo Shave Cream
Stumbled on this one in Walmart in March sometime. They didn’t have what I was looking for so I thought I’d try something new. The lady behind me in the queue saw it in my basket and would not shut up about how awesome it is. She was right. You don’t need a lot and it creates a slippery lather. I suffer from chronic ingrown hairs on my legs (FML) and I believe this is what has made a big difference. My legs are way less ingrowny now which is awesome. And remember I said I bought it back in March. The tube is probably only half way now. I think I paid $6 for it.20171001_171729

Dominos App
I had to hide this app on my phone because it is dangerous. I love it because it takes care of my two favourite things. Food and not having to interact with strangers. N and I do pizza at least once a month, I would say, and I love that it has our orders saved so I can just open the app and click maybe 5 times and food magically appears at my front door. Why isn’t everyone doing this? More apps like this please, universe. Thank you!
dominos_IMAGE_1_905
Dunkin Donuts Hot Apple Cider

I’m sure there are better hot apple ciders out there. If you know of one please tell me but this is my benchmark for now. I like the cinnamon-y smell. Yummy.
a7197f9b996bb834df807d288136e185--dunkin-donuts-apple-cider
TV Shows
90 Day Fiance – I’m so ashamed to say I love this show. It is absolutely terrible but we are hooked. It follows couples using the the K-1 visa (fiance visa) to be together in the US. It’s completely sensational but it really keeps us entertained. Maybe because we’re also in green card marriage. There are a few series running at the same time so there is a lot of crazy. Ugh, don’t watch it. Stick to the bachelor or something.

Movies
IT – Movies have been pretty lately IMO. But I really enjoyed IT. It wasn’t terribly scary but it was a good monster movie. Two thumbs up for me.

Music
Daniel Caesar – My little cousin introduced me to him. He’s a Canadian singer who just came out with a new album (Freudian) that I’m obsessed with. It’s R&B mostly and his voice is like velvet and I just love him. Here are my 2 favourites from the album although it’s hard to choose

Calvin Harris – Feels
My friend reminded me about this one today. It will put you in a good mood. It’s great. Great for driving home from work on a Friday.

 

 

HAPPY OCTOBER FOLKS!

 

 

 

Double Digits

**Trigger Warning ** This is just a quick boring update on Lucky and the renovation but please take care if you feel like  this isn’t something you’d like to hear about. ❤

We’re currently 92 days from our due date. I was going to post this on 99 days but… life. I saw on a December babies forum someone was 100 days so I did a quick calculation and realized we were on 100 as well and had a tiny little panic attack because we are nowhere near done with our reno and time is clearly running out.

We’ve been lackadaisical the past few weeks because the deadline seemed far off but now we’re realising that time may not be on our side so when we were just working on weekends we’re going to have to pull some weekday shifts as well. In theory we don’t have much to do so we’ve made a schedule, here’s hoping we can stick to it.

Our house is teeny tiny and old, as I’ve mentioned, and our reno consists of us creating a master bedroom and ensuite bathroom out of a shell of an attic. We installed a dormer up there to increase space but right now the entire room is gutted except for the walls for the bathroom and mini built in closet.

We’ve started the wiring but we need to finish it and have the inspector come check it out. After that it’ll be putting in insulation. Then we have to do the walls and ceiling then fully finish the wiring with the outlets and lights etc. At some point the inspector has to come check again. After that we’ll mud and paint the walls and ceiling and see about trim. Maybe we won’t need it. Then lastly we’ll install the wood floors. While this is happening the plumber has to come and fix a few pipes. Once he’s done we’ll move into the bathroom. I’m not too worried about this since we have a working one downstairs but it would pretty awesome to get it done before my parents come.

When you write it down it seem quick quick but let’s see how it goes. If we can get done by November life will be good. I hope to be of some use during that time.

 

Scroll a bit for baby news if you’re interested.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Everything that’s been going on is completely different to what I expected. I’ve been extremely lucky to have a very smooth 2nd trimester. Yes there’s heartburn and yes I’m struggling to sleep some nights but the heartburn is something I’ve struggled with all my life it seems and the sleeping is not that bad yet. I find I’ll a bad night every second night and the good nights I’m so exhausted I fall right asleep as my head hits the pillow and that amounts to feeling well rested the next day. I’m told it does get worse though so I’m not resting on my laurels.

I have officially stopped wearing underwire bras. I don’t know why I was suffering for so long. I should have stopped ages ago. My pants still fit but I have a feeling that won’t be for much longer based on my struggle this morning in the bathroom.

I will say that things are getting a bit uncomfortable and I find that I can’t sit in one position for very long. This is making the commute home a little challenging. Right now my car seat is positioned completely straight up but it’s still not the best. I tend to move it back and forth a few times while driving. That coupled with leaning to my left then right every 15 minutes is just how I live now. If anyone has tips on what’s a comfortable position to drive in, please help. Should I be getting an exercise ball for work do you think? My job is quite sedentary so I have to remind myself to go for a walk at least twice a day or it just starts to ache all over and it feels like I’ve been doing crazy ab workouts all day.

As for little Lucky. He seems to be pretty happy in there. I did start to feel what I believe are hiccups and it absolutely is my favourite right now. I can see the kicks from the outside but N has yet to see it. He’s felt a few kicks but Lucky gets shy when you put your hand where he’s kicking. I can’t wait to tell which body part is doing the kicking. Sometimes I do worry if he’s kicking for fun or because he wants me to move because he’s uncomfortable. I think that’s part of why I keep changing positions too. It’s probably silly but I worry if I’m squishing him of it there’s an arm or a leg trapped somewhere.

We haven’t had many appointments with our OB. Going to see her again early October, after which we’ll move to bi-weekly appointments. I’m not sure if there’ll be anymore scans though.

But we’ve seen our doula quite a bit. She teaches a gentle birth class which uses hypnobirthing techniques. We finished that course last week and it was pretty cool. They also have a mobile app with mindfulness, affirmation and hypnosis tracks that we have to listen to. We have to save our favourite ones to use during labour. We’re slowly working our way through the list. Slowly. We listen to the hypnosis at night and I listen to the others during the day when I can. The hypnosis isn’t that easy to get into. I’m too in my head I think. That, and the lady has an Irish accent and she says the word “calm” strangely and it sends N and I into a fit of giggles every time. But we’ll keep trying.

The doula also has bi-weekly prenatal group classes with all of her and her team’s clients. It’s nice to get to interact with other couples and talk about some fears. It’s been going well. I’m glad we chose her.

I am having a bit of trouble. I feel like I know which way I’m going to go but maybe you could weigh and let me know what you think. After talking to the doula a few times, she stated that she didn’t have a good experience at our hospital the one birth she had there. She operates in Rhode Island so doesn’t come to Mass often but when she does she goes to another hospital which she is in love with. We decided to check the other hospital out just because it couldn’t hurt. It was absolutely beautiful! Brand new and the rooms were huuuge. And another bonus was that they had a tub. Something my current hospital doesn’t have but something that I would really love to have access to.

So now I’m torn between the two because they both have pros and cons. Here’s the list of pros and cons.

Hospital 1 (our current hospital):
Pro’s
15 minute drive from home
We love our OB but she only delivers here. But we may not get her anyway because they rotate.
Pretty much everyone we know gave birth at this hospital and have only good things to say about it.
Con’s
One of the OB’s who I complained about in a previous post is in this rotation and I would hate for her to deliver my child. I don’t want her near me.
No tub
The postpartum room is oh so tiny. I know it’s not a big deal but it’s really really small. Barely enough room for partners to sleep in.

Hospital 2:
Pro’s
It’s so big and pretty and new
They have a tub (Big selling point for me)
Doula recommended
The same nurse took us on a tour at both hospitals and she recommended hospital 2. She works at both.
Con’s
We would need to find a new OB who’s in rotation at this hospital (really don’t want to do this)
It’s a 45 minute drive from home (boo)

Now this is only round 1 of the pros and cons list. The biggest deciding factor would be whether or not the hospital/doctor’s policies are in line with how we want the birth to go. I plan to find out from my current OB at our next appointment. And I’ve just made an appointment with a midwife at hospital 2 for next Thursday to see how she will do things.

I just need to know where they stand on inducing and episiotomies and things of that sort. My next update will be on their responses and I’ll have to decide what are deal breakers.

Right now I’m leaning towards staying with my OB and current hospital because it’s so close to home and I love my OB but that being said I really don’t know how she approaches each birth and she may not have the same thoughts as we do.

Part of me is frustrated that I’ve put myself in this situation.  I was content not being presented with choice. It never occurred to me to be open to different hospitals etc. I would be happy if someone told me what to do. I even asked N to choose and he flat out refused. He’s afraid he’ll choose one that we end up hating and that he’ll be blamed. But he’s insistent that we do our due diligence and he’s going along to the appointments to ask questions. So he’s involved but he’s reluctant to make a choice for me which is enough for me right now.

So that’s where we’re at right now. I can’t believe this is going by so quickly. I am still in awe of everything. Not everyday is easy but, as they say, everyday is so worth it.

 

 

Am I Okay Now?

This is the post where, if you’re fortunate enough to be carrying a child after infertility, you reflect on whether or not pregnancy announcements or pregnant bellies still send you into a downward spiral of despair. Everyone’s experience is different but I think the short answer to “Are you okay now?” is “kind of”. Yes it can be a lot easier to bounce back but it’s still a painful reminder of what you’re not able to do spontaneously.

For me, in particular, all the announcements I’ve experienced since my own are for second babies and the reminder that a second baby for us being highly unlikely is something I’m not ready to think about yet and seeing second or third pregnancy announcements forces my head into that space for a short while.

The one thing I’m especially not proud of is in my infertility group on FB. The one I spoke about where the ladies weren’t vibing for a while. I’d mentioned that everyone in that group had a baby already while I was still waiting and I’d started to feel out of touch with them. We’re a year or so on and they’re all either pregnant with number 2, trying for baby number 2 or have had baby number 2 and are trying for number 3. I should be ecstatic for them. But most times when I see their positive tests it just makes me feel how I felt when I was seeing their first positive tests and I had nothing.

The good thing about all this is that the bounce back is incredibly quick. I remember feeling despair for at least a full day but lately it’s just a quick pang. Maybe 20 minutes of me feeling very sorry for myself and then it’s over and I can move on. Lucky Bean is very active lately and when I’m down he’s very good at giving me quick taps to remind me that everything is okay and I love him for it.

I don’t know if this makes me sound ungrateful. This is obviously not the case. I don’t know how to rationalize these feelings. I think it’s just that when I’ve lived my entire life planning a big family. Then getting older and just wanting 3 or 4 kids. Then eventually finding myself struggling to have a child and just hoping for the opportunity to maybe have 2 to eventually having that dream half way realised. I now find myself in transition again to being content with just one child. Each time you have to mourn the loss of those dreams and it just takes a while to get to a place where you’re okay with it.

I know the future isn’t set in stone. I might still get that opportunity. I’m just sharing where I’m at today in this journey to motherhood.

All that being said, there have been 5 pregnancy announcements (3 within the same month) that would have knocked me off my feet and destroyed me if they’d happened a few months ago. But thanks to my awesome doctor and nurses I’m able to smile and feel real joy in the wake of pregnancy news and that feeling is something I am absolutely grateful for.

So while I’m not 100% okay now, perhaps when I have him in my arms I will be even more okay. Or if the universe is really kind I could be 100% okay.

Guess Who Turned 36!

4 more years before this blog becomes a lie hahaha…*sob*.

The day (The 21st) itself was pretty underwhelming. In fact, I’m still harbouring a few hurt feelings because it wasn’t a grand show seeing as how it’s likely my last birthday with just husband and I (and cats) but when you’re saving for maternity leave and paying for a very expensive renovation, your options are pretty limited. But I certainly felt the love around me as I always do on my birthday.

I also did an FB announcement about Lucky Bean’s impending arrival. That, too, was nerve wracking since I hardly ever post anything on FB. Afterwards I felt a bit sheepish, like that was way too much attention for me to handle (I guess I’m not a real Leo). I knew I never wanted to announce but I was in really high spirits after reading and replying to the wishes it just felt like a good time to do it. But it’s done now and again, that love was felt. I didn’t outright mention IVF but I did allude to the fact that there was a struggle. But I don’t think anyone picked up on it.

So that’s it. 36.

I went back and read a few post around last year’s birthday month just to see where I was at emotionally compared to now. Now that my biggest dream of the past few years has come true.

Again last year’s birthday was actually way better than this year. We spent the weekend in New Hampshire with our friends and spent a day slow tubing on the Saco River. It was simply glorious. This year I just ate my body weight in sushi and korean bbq. Still, not the worst but last year was better.

However, last year this time we had come off our 4 failed IVF cycle. Our worst fail to date. We retrieved the most eggs of any cycle but not one of them made to biopsy. We were at our wits end with our RE and just at the absolute lowest of low. Also, a few days after my birthday our RE eventually told us he was out of ideas and we didn’t have any plans to move forward.

As much as I remember that wretched feeling, I distinctly remember being happy as a lark on the actual day. It’s very important to grasp tightly to moments of happiness when you’re struggling with infertility and that was a really good day to be grasping.

And now this year, I’ve been flying pretty high most days but my birthday weekend was kinda of rough. I’m attributing it to hormones because by Tuesday I was fine. I cried a lot and I was irrationally angry a lot and I there really wasn’t any good reason.

But despite all that. Seeing how far we’ve come and to finally be here is so amazing. Yes work is stressing me the hell out and this reno is a pain in the behind but last year around this time I was crying in our RE’s office as he was telling us that he doesn’t want to move forward with more treatments and that he was out of ideas. And yesterday we saw our very last lonely embryo… in 3D… as a little person. With my nose and his dad’s mouth. Frowning, probably because someone was poking at him and disturbing his all day dancing.

As much as I think that last year’s birthday was way better than this years. There’s obviously no doubt in my mind that this August and this year, in fact, is on a whole other playing field in terms of awesome-ness.

The point that we all know, I’m sure, is that you never know what’s going to happen a year from now. My 2015 birthday month I’d just started a new job with new insurance and omg I was filled with hope. My 2014 birthday month we just started finding out about our diagnosis and what it would mean for our future. Gosh in ’09 I was single and so so brokenhearted and then in ’10 I was in another country with a boy I met online!

We all have different stories and big changes and little changes from year to year but my hope is that if you find yourself in a difficult year, try to remember that it won’t last forever. It can’t. And if you find yourself having the best year of your life, just cling to it with all your might because you just never know.

❤ ❤

 

***

P.S. I’ve added a new page to the site with some ultrasound pics and my 2 lonely bump pics, if you’re interested.

P.P.S I just re-read the title of the post. OMG 36. That’s so weird.

 

You Gotta Doula, What You Gotta Do

All my life I’ve been petrified of giving birth. As you may well know, my tolerance for pain is incredibly low. I’m the person who’s on really strong prescription pain killers for most of my period. I just can’t do it. I always joked with my friends that I would be sure to get an epidural at the beginning of the third trimester if I ever had to give birth.

I don’t know when that all changed though. Perhaps during one of my two week waits. Day dreaming about finally carrying a child and in those daydreams, I became obsessed with wanting to feel everything that comes with bringing a child into the world. I wanted to experience the morning sickness, the kicking, the bloating, the “glow”, the throwing up, the heartburn (oh the heartburn), the cravings and most importantly I wanted to feel a real contraction.

As soon as we got the BFP I’ve been able to check off these things on the list which has been magical in itself and now that giving birth is going to happen I’ve had to put in some serious thought about how I want it to go down.

In laying in bed at night thinking excitedly about how I might get to feel a contraction I was also starting to dread feeling a contraction. Dread to the point of not being able to sleep. It’s interesting wanting something so badly yet fearing it with every ounce of your being.

I asked my husband if he thought I could do a pain med free birth and he flat out said no. Not because he’s an asshole but because he’s lived with this drama queen for 7 years. It did sting to hear him say that but I get it. So I asked my mother if she thought I could do it since she did it 3 times. All she said was “Oooh, my child…” and pulled this face.

enhanced-24106-1435713394-1.png

Again, my mother knows me so I understand. But I still want to try.

So, I asked two of my friends who gave birth with out pain medication if I could do the same and they both said yes. “Yes, you can. It’s going to suck but if you want it you can do it”. They did advise that a birth class would help. A proper birth class with support and proper techniques. It was exactly what I needed to hear.

Luckily I’d been toying with the idea of getting a doula. It started when I was looking at birth photographers. The one I wanted also happened to be a doula. I stalked her profile for a few weeks and it looked like she taught a gentle birth seminar as well. I really got a good feeling about her. After a bit of umm-ing and ahh-ing about the price I sent her and email to set up a meeting. I told her I was interested in using her as a photographer but I also wanted info on her doula services and the class she taught.

We promptly set up a meeting and I know this is going to sound silly but once we sat down with her and she began talking, Lucky Bean started going crazy. I really took it as a sign that she was going to be the one to help me feel the contraction I’ve been daydreaming about for years.

She’s really lovely so we promptly hired her and we also signed up for her gentle birth seminar. She does these prenatal group nights (we have to do 5 before the baby comes) where her and her partner doulas (there are 3 of them altogether) talk about everything in the whole process to all of her clients.

So far we’ve been to part 1 of the seminar and one of the prenatal group nights. There are about 5 to 6 couples. All of them first time parents so it’s a nice group. Her practice is in Rhode Island so we’re the only Massachusetts couple. They’re all giving birth at the same hospital so we don’t have that in common but that’s neither here nor there.

The classes have been good and bad. Good, in that it’s a lot of information and support and she really makes me feel like I can do anything. Bad, because the simple fact that the techniques we’re learning to get through birth, meditation and hypnosis etc., are insane to me. The fact that you need to hypnosis to make it through the pain is frightening. Like how much is this going to hurt that I’m going to need to be on another level of consciousness to get through it? I look around the room at the calm faces and think how are these women not running out of here screaming. How is this not frightening to them? Why are we all doing this??

So I’m in two places right now. On the one hand, I cannot express the gratitude for this little life inside me. I’m so honoured that I’ll have the opportunity to bring him into the world safely with extremely strong support around me (N has completely forgotten that he doesn’t think I can do this and he is 100% on board with my desired birth experience. I love watching him be engaged). I am ready and excited to prove my mettle. I absolutely do not take for granted how lucky I am to be where I am given where I’ve come from so I owe it to everyone and myself to make the most of this. I know that things might happen and I can’t plan anything but the fact that I get to try is a gift that I don’t want to squander.

On the other hand…

I.am.fucking.petrified.