4-ish Weeks to Go

I hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving. I know it can be a difficult holiday for some. I, personally, have never had trouble with any family gathering. Even in low points in my journey I always found spending time with loved ones re-energising and I just love it. But if you do find any type of gathering saps your energy or makes you feel less than, then know that you are in my thoughts and I hope that you made it through Thanksgiving okay this year. xx

Ours was really good. I won’t bore you with details but it was nice to see everyone again and to catch up and more importantly to eat everything in sight.

Yesterday, I had another appointment. This time I wore my lucky IVF socks and I wrote down all my questions. I just wanted us to get on the same page instead of just sitting there and taking it all in. I’ve also decided that I do not want anymore cervical checks because they suck. So I saw the gel on the table and I was preparing myself to do some serious advocating for myself. Luckily I didn’t have to. It was just a quick blood pressure, fetal heartbeat and tummy measurement check. She said that she felt a head on my top left but let’s keep hoping this little stinker gets his act together.

She’s booked me for an ultrasound next week and if he’s still breech we’ll make an appointment to manually turn him. Woohoo! The socks worked and I didn’t have to fight for an ECV. We talked about how the procedure works, the risks involved and the success rates. I asked all my questions and wrote down all her answers (kinda) and we had a good talk.

I know an ECV isn’t ideal but I’d really like to avoid a scheduled c-section if I can. Or at least say that I’ve tried everything I can. If it doesn’t work and Lucky decides he’s happy where he is then so be it.

Real talk: I worry that I’ll experience some postpartum because I’m not getting the birth that I want. It makes me sad to think about it now. I mean I listen to birth podcasts, I’m on birthtube on fb (it’s great btw if you like birth videos). I read birth without fear blogs. I have fully immersed myself in this world and I’ve just stopped now because they make me sad thinking I may not get the opportunity. It really does feel like infertility again. Like I’m being robbed of something that should be the norm.

That being said, I have the tools to dig myself out of this funk. I have the experience of shifting my mindset and being okay with my new path. I can do it but right now it just hurts.

But I’m doing what I can. I’m looking for planned c-section videos and birth stories and working towards being okay with it. What’s helping the most is that when I think about the day we found out we were having little Lucky every single drop of  hurt and shitty feelings about how we got there was gone and it was just pure happiness. So I know for a fact that once we hear his voice and see his face, how he got into our arms won’t matter at all.

Right now I just have to get out of my own way and let life unfold.

I apologise if I sound a bit ungrateful but I’m hoping you can appreciate the feelings I’m feeling.

Today’s been a bit aggravating as well. I had the worst sleep of my life last night. I was just telling (humble bragging to) my friend that I’ve been sleeping really well considering, and last night I was up at 3 and just could not fall back asleep. Surrounded by 3 cats and a husband all happily snoozing. I just wanted to cry. Eventually I dozed off by some miracle only to have my alarm go off after what felt like 3 minutes. Then when I got to work my space heater died and let off a nice big smelly cloud of smoke which prompted the entire maintenance team to run downstairs to find out if the building was on fire. Now I’m sitting at my desk freezing with my winter coat wrapped around my legs (I work in the basement next to a server room so there will be no warmth for me ever).

Also, I’m working on a terrible project and the deadline is next Thursday. Guys, I finished this project last month but I needed help from a third party company that runs the site to fix a few issues before I submit. It’s taken a month… a month for these dudes to help. It’s so frustrating. Look, I don’t mind if you can’t find a solution. But don’t go missing for days at a time and make me run around after you and have to explain myself several times. I just hate it so much. I’m so angry. Luckily my boss is now involved and hopefully we’ll get it sorted by next week. Well we have to. But today is one of the days I would much rather just start maternity leave.

Okay, that’s enough whining out of this sorry sack for one day. I have appointments everyday this week (dentist, orthodontist, acupuncture and chiropractor) which I’m excited about. Hopefully my next update will be a bit less mopey and a bit more happy.

Until next time!!

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Life’s a Breech

**Trigger warning! This is a “p” update. Please take care if you’re not in the mood for this type of post**

 

 

 

We’re in the final stretch.

I vacillate between “OMG we don’t have much time left!! We need to get XYZ done asap!” and “Meh, plenty of time. No need to be an eager beaver.” I haven’t actually done anything but I have plenty of lists. To-do, To-buy and the like.

We’re on weekly appointments now and yesterday’s one didn’t go like I’d expected. Last week she measured my tum and said that it’s a little small so she ordered and ultrasound to check his size. She didn’t seem concerned so I wasn’t either. I did do some Googling but I think I held it together well enough.

I had hoped to get some pics of his little face and perhaps a 3D one as well but unfortunately he’s decided he’s most comfortable in an incomplete breech position and his face was hiding so she couldn’t get any good pics except for the ones the doctor needed. So I saw the top of his head, his abdomen and his thigh bone and I heard his heartbeat. That was enough for me. All through the ultrasound he was squirming and fussing about. I don’t think he liked any of it.

At the appointment afterwards I was told that he’s 4lbs 11oz and in the 13th percentile for weight. She’s going to order another ultrasound in 2 weeks and if he drops to the 10th percentile she’s going to send me to a specialist. She never used the words IUGR or anything scary sounding so it’s probably just to make sure the placenta is working properly.

Then she casually mentioned that because he’s breeched that she’s likely going to do a scheduled c-section at 39 weeks if he hasn’t turned by the next ultrasound.

You know when you’re talking on the phone and someone else is having a conversation with you and you’re trying to concentrate on both voices? That’s how I felt. Like I was talking to the doctor on the phone about this impending c-section and my inner self was like “Wait, what?… What about feeling contractions?… Why 39 weeks?… Can we wait to see what happens?…” all the while the dr was talking and I couldn’t hear what she was saying over the voice in my head. She asked if I was okay with the idea of a c-section, I know that because I answered. I said I’m not at all afraid of a c-section but I’d like to avoid it. I know she mentioned an ECV (External Cephalic Version) and threw out a stat of it working but mentioned that it could put him under some stress. But that was all I caught. I know she said other stuff but it was just a buzz.

While I was trying to process everything she moved onto the glorious GBS test. That certainly took my mind of things. Goodness me!

I don’t remember much of the appointment after that just the words “scheduled c-section” over and over until I got home and jumped in the shower to wash the GBS test feeling off of me.

When N got home and I filled him in he basically asked all the questions inner me was asking. None of which I had an answer for because I  never verbalised them. I decided to text the doula to let her know what’s up and she quickly called me back with ideas on how to get him turn. Techniques on the spinning babies website (which I’m perusing now). Acupuncture. Chiropractor. And she talked a bit about an ECV as well as a last resort.

I’m looking into all of these things. I would be nice to see my acupuncturist again. The last time we saw him was for our 2nd failed transfer. We did pre- and post- acupuncture sessions with him.

I’m also just trying to wrap my head around this new plan in case he decides he’s happy in breech position. He’s really who’s in charge here anyway.

I’m not okay with it yet. I think I will be if I’ve tried my best and nothing works. But for now I feel like the rug has been pulled out from under me and I’m frustrated and annoyed and trying to find my footing again. I’m also trying to not blame myself since this is clearly not something I have any control over. It just is what it is.

But Lucky is otherwise perfect and healthy. He moves almost all the time. I’m not sure if he’s active while I sleep because when I do sleep I am dead to the world. I struggle to drift off initially but then it’s on. I usually wake up 15 min before my alarm in the morning but I’m very lucky that it’s not interrupted by needing to pee all the time. I know I’m not drinking enough water but I also try to get all my water in before I leave work to avoid night time peeing.

And he used to be very still until around 7am but lately he’s up and dancing as soon as I wake up. Rests between 2 and 4 during the day then it’s on again for the rest of the night. He’s the most active when I’m trying to doze off. I often have to put my hand over him to get him to calm down just for a second to give me a break.

He reacts to loud noises now which is so cute. One morning N banged a hammer against the wall really loud and it definitely woke him up, poor guy and last night N yelled “Flip baby!” into my belly and he did a little jump. Not enough to actually flip though.

Other than that I’m doing quite well now that I have the hang of the 3rd trimester. The hemorrhoids are under control. The heartburn is annoying but I carry tums with me everywhere. I thought I found some stretch marks but it turns out it’s just a reaction to the kinesiology tape I was using. Driving is the worst but it’s bearable. The only thing I’m struggling with is that bending over actually hurts. Putting pants and shoes on is really difficult but I don’t want to ask for help to get dressed so I just moan and groan through it.

I’ll be doing more updates as the weeks roll on since I guess things will probably ramp up now. In the mean time, here’s to getting this boy to flip.

 

October Favourites

October is done already??? I woke up to this message in my friends Whatsapp group the other day and had a mini panic attack.

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But I have a feeling this month will drag. Let’s see.

Anyway, on to this month’s favourites!

 

I only have one that has been sticking in my mind all month. We really haven’t been out at all and I haven’t had a chance to try anything new.

So… we’re a “meals in front of the tv” kind of family. Always have been. Even growing up, we only sat at the table as a family for Sunday lunch.

And it’s not without trying. We’ve tried meals at the table but it always falls by the way-side and we end up in front of the tv again. Whatever, maybe when little one starts solids we’ll move our way to the table again.

With the renovation, we have been working extremely hard on the weekends because N gets home too late during the week and I have no energy when I get home. And it’s just the 2 of us. Up at the ass crack of dawn until 5ish. It’s awful. But. I am loving it.

Every morning we lay in bed for a bit and complain a bit about how much this sucks. Then N gets up and gets dressed and feeds the cats. I lay for a bit longer but eventually I get up and make breakfast.

During breakfast we’ll chat about what needs to get done and we’ll talk and joke about little Lucky and generally just catch up. Then N ties my shoelaces for me ❤ and off we go. We pick a Spotify playlist (right now we’re on 90’s RnB) and while working we joke around about the music and other random stuff. It’s not all sunshine and roses though, the work part. My husband is a perfectionist and I am the opposite. He gets grumpy with me when I make mistakes on the dry wall cuts and stuff like that but I think for the most part we make a good team. If it wasn’t for his drill sargenty ways we wouldn’t get any of this done. And if it wasn’t for me being relatively calm and blasé about some things then we wouldn’t be married anymore :).

At lunch time we order take out because there’s no way I’m cooking during the weekends now. And I love me some take out!! We usually check our phones or Skype with my parents or just catch up and chat before that final push of the day.

By the end of the day we have just enough energy to take a shower and plop our asses on the couch for some binge tv series watching while N catches up on work. My poor guy has been working terribly hard. I’m so proud of him.

I was sending pictures of our progress to a friend and complaining about how rough it’s been but I also said that I’m loving our time together.

My favourite time and my definite October favourite is breakfast and lunch breaks when we’re just chatting. We’re a techy phone family so it’s nice to take a break and talk to each other. I feel like this reno has brought us closer together. You know how misery loves company ;). I’m finding out new things about him and vice versa. When there’s a song that triggers a memory then we’ll share stories about our past. Sometimes N will open up about things he hasn’t before. We have more inside jokes now. And I’m loving watching him say and do things with Lucky in mind. I know that he really wants everything done before he gets here but he also wants things done perfectly which is lovely to see. These lunch time catch ups are really my favourite part of this reno. We’re making great memories.

It’s been really really difficult job, but it’s coming along nicely. We have lights up (which I did myself, if anyone asks lol) and we’re almost done with the walls. After that it’s just mudding the dry wall and then floors and making the lights switches and outlets look pretty. We’re definitely NOT going to have the bathroom done. We don’t even know what we want it to look like yet. But it’s not a big deal. I think for this being a 2.5 man job we’re doing really well and I’m proud of us.

And as much as I hate the actual physical work, I love getting spend time with my husband just us two and I’m soaking it up because it’ll only be just us two for 4 more weekends (my parents land Dec 10th).

It’s not your ideal babymoon but when it’s all done it’s going to look great and it will have been a true labour of love and I’m really loving it.

Happy November everyone! I know the holidays are coming up and it’s a difficult time for most of us. I’ve always loved this time of year but it’s not been without it’s difficulties, of course. But I hope we’re all able to find at least one favourite thing for this upcoming month.

Thinking of all of you and sending all my love to whomever needs it.

xx

When You Strike a Woman, You Strike a Rock

Seeing a baby bump when you have a child seems to stir up all kinds of feelings in mothers it seems. It’s lovely to see their faces light up as I wait for the excited hand clapping and barrage of questions and words of wisdom.

I read a lot forums of pregnant women complaining about the words of wisdom. “Just wait. You don’t know tired yet”… “Just get the epidural”… etc. I don’t mind it so much. Having gone through infertility I’ve learned to shrug off advice and comments that bug me. That and the fact that I’m actually in this new world is awesome. Yes please, tell me again how tired I am going to be and how painful birth is. The fact that you’re even talking to me about this stuff is awesome to me. Yes please.

The only comment that really gives me pause and makes me a little sad has been told to me by 3 older women with older children and grandchildren. And it’s a variation of this.

Oh, you’re having a boy! Boys are the best. I have both and my boys are my angels. My daughter is good too when she doesn’t have an attitude but oh *clutches chest and closes eyes* my boys. You’re so so lucky.

That’s a little offensive no? I mean, I’m a daughter, the woman speaking to me is a daughter. What did this daughter do to you?

I’ve spoken before about being excited and a little relieved to have a boy but also that I was sad about not having a girl because all the little girls in my life are such fire crackers and I just love all of them.

None of my friends/family who have little girls has ever said this to me. Little girls are magical and feisty and so so funny. Is it because they haven’t reached puberty yet?

I know for myself, my mom and I went through a very rough patch when I was between 16 and uhhh 25 (lol). I made life very difficult for her. Incidentally my eldest brother and her went through a rough patch, as well, that lasted a few years and I remember her and my middle brother having a few very serious arguments. I don’t think having a difficult teenager is based on gender.

I wonder why anyone would say that about their child to a stranger? Maybe they were having a bad day and their teenage daughter had just given them crap that morning? I wonder if my mother had ever said anything like that about me. I was really terrible though, so I guess maybe on day 3 of me not talking to her for whatever silly reason I’d made up that month she’d bumped into someone pregnant with a boy and felt relief for them in that moment. I guess that would make sense.

But I’m sure these women cherish their daughters, when push comes to shove. I’m sure they were just making small talk. Because lets be real – Girls are awesome, amirite?!

Especially with everything going on in the world right now wrt women’s rights and the various social media campaigns. I am in awe of what we’ve had to overcome as women and what we’re still having to overcome even in 2017!

I understand that teenage girls can sometimes not be easy and raising a strong willed girl can tire you out but that, to me, just says that she will be a strong woman and the reason you’re butting heads is because you’re strong willed as well. That’s a good thing as far as I’m concerned.

Anyway, just wanted to share that little story. I am over the moon to be bringing a boy into this world but I know that I have a duty to make sure that he is respectful to women, no matter who they are. He has to understand that women aren’t lesser. He should open doors and be a gentleman but also realise that women aren’t fragile creatures that need protection. And he will absolutely learn to keeps his hands to himself.

Phew, I can go on an on about this stuff but I’ll leave it at that.

Girls are awesome, that is all.

Happy Wednesday.

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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.

 

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.

❤ ❤

 

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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.