Monday, September 15, 2008

Welcome, Jordan!

August 30, 2008 -- 10:10 PM

8 lbs., 12 oz.

20 1/2 inches

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

My Birthday

So, my birthday was last weekend. I am now officially "Advanced Maternal Age." I guess technically I was AMA before (they calculate it based upon how old you are going to be on the date of delivery, not before then). I hate the label, but it is allowing me to get all sorts of tests performed, and it's very reassuring when things turn out okay. For example, I had the nuchal translucency test and genetic testing early on in my pregnancy and, most recently, I am scheduled for biweekly non-stress tests. The latter involves me sitting in a comfortable chair listening to the baby's heartbeat while the monitor records fetal movement (maybe not necessarily in that order). That is followed by an ultrasound to detect amniotic fluid levels, which basically means more time for me to actually see and hear the little one inside. The catch? I was supposed to start the NSTs last week but, due to insurance reasons, they wouldn't let me start until this week -- after I technically turned 35. Unbelievable.

Another significant aspect of this birthday is that it marks the one year anniversary of the date I first went to my RE's office for help. I was so comforted by my new doctor, and I left there convinced that my birthday on that date was truly a "sign" (the office staff made a big deal about it while I was there as well). My husband and I have been through so much this past year, and we are in such a good place now. I really feel like everything is finally falling into place with us, and with our family, and I never want to take this miracle for granted. Part of me is still waiting for the other shoe to drop -- after all, we can see the light at the end of the tunnel, but we're not exactly there yet -- I don't know that I will feel truly at ease until I am holding this baby in my arms. I know that sounds pessimistic, but I think I have really trained myself to be nothing more than "cautiously optimistic" when it comes to this baby (it's a huge step that I'm even using the "B" word at this point). I really attribute that to our infertility and subsequent IVF -- I wonder if parents who conceive naturally have all these feelings? I think having gone through what we went through really makes us painfully aware of everything that can possibly go wrong. In any case, it makes me truly thankful for what I have, and I will treasure this experience all the more.

Finally (and there is absolutely nothing significant about this), I had a blast on my birthday. My husband has been so wonderful over the past few months, I told him I didn't want a gift. I told him that, instead, I just wanted us to have a "fun day out." He and my uncle decided to take me to the County Fair (the last day was actually on my birthday). I can't really walk due to the Evil Crotch Pain, so they rented a wheelchair and pushed me around. We spent the whole day just laughing and talking and eating everything FRIED (I'm not kidding -- funnel cakes, deep fried Snickers bars, deep fried Oreos) -- it was a pregnant woman's fantasy!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Don't Mess With The Crazy Pregnant Lady

31 days until my due date and counting...

I am now officially home on modified bedrest, which means I can now focus on the more important things in life -- daytime television and blogging. Not that my life is without adventure, though...

I was put on bedrest (and taken off work on disability) due to a condition called Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction (or pubic symphysis separation, or pubic symphysis dysfunction) -- I simply like to call it Evil Crotch Pain (um, yeah, I've given up on that whole not complaining thing). It doesn't affect the baby, but it basically means that my pubic bone is separating more than it should, causing me excruciating pain when I do anything but sit still in my recliner. My husband is now in the position of having to do everything -- cooking, cleaning, taking care of the cats, etc., and I have to say that I am really impressed at how he's risen to the occasion.

Lately, I feel like I'm wound so tightly I'm ready to spontaneously combust -- it all started with the earthquake a couple of days ago. I live only about 15 miles from the epicenter, and we didn't sustain any damage, but not a single person in my family called to see if the pregnant lady was okay (except for my husband). I was fine (although after taking cover in the doorway I felt like that woman on those old "I've fallen and I can't get up" commercials), but you would think someone would think, "Hmmm...she's 9 months pregnant...maybe we should just call and check in." I don't think it would have bothered me so much had I not found out later that other family members were doing things like calling home to see if their large screen televisions had made it through with no damage(!)

This morning, I was sitting on the sofa and I heard some strange noises in the kitchen. Both of my cats ran in and stopped in front of one of my kitchen cabinets in particular. I heard some scuffling, some scratching, and something trying to get out of the cabinet. I freaked. I mean it sounded big. The adrenaline hit, I grabbed both cats and bolted up the stairs into what will soon be the baby's room. Keep in mind that stairs are no easy feat for me with the SPD -- it usually takes me 20 minutes or so to get upstairs to the bedroom. I have no idea how I did it.

Well, it turns out, I can't get hold of my husband, so I do the only reasonable thing -- I call my family across the country. They all think the situation is much funnier than I do -- especially the part about me not actually seeing the animal intruder before going upstairs. Since I left my laptop downstairs with the scary animal, my sister was kind enough to try and locate animal trapping services for me on the Internet even though she lives over 3,000 miles away. Of course, I'm still barricaded in the room, I have to pee (and I'm worried that the cats will have to pee at some point), and I'm pissed at my husband for not being reachable only a day after the doctor tells me I can go into labor any day now!

After about an hour, I try my husband again. I find out he's in a meeting and ask reception if they can pull him out due to an emergency at home (I did think to tell them to tell him it had nothing to do with the baby). They pulled him out of the meeting and he called -- by that point, I was near hysterical. I told him he had to come home and do something with the gigantic animal hiding in our kitchen cabinets (it was, of course, gigantic by now).

He came home, checked all the cabinets and left them open so he could bring me downstairs and actually show me that it was all my imagination. He determined that what I was hearing was an echo coming up through our kitchen cabinets from the tile work our neighbor was doing next door. I guess I was lucky that he was laughing about the whole thing (especially since I had him pulled out of a meeting to come home for all this), but I still wasn't convinced. He went back to work, leaving me standing in the middle of the kitchen wielding a large broom.

A short while later, the phone rang. It was a recording from our mortgage company (who shall remain nameless), telling me it was urgent and I needed to call an 800 number immediately. I've been receiving these calls daily, at all hours, and up until today I had just assumed they were trying to sell me something. Well, still fueled by the adrenaline from the morning, I finally called them to demand they stop calling me every day. They couldn't pull up my account without my account number (my husband had it, and I couldn't get up off the sofa to look), but the woman on the phone told me they would not be calling to sell me anything, and that the only reason they would call every day was because we owed money on our mortgage. I told her it was ridiculous, that we had never even made a late payment and, further, that we have automatic debit from our account. She said so long as our account was "delinquent," we would be receiving the calls. I yelled at her (something about me being on bedrest and her sending me into preterm labor) hung up the phone, and realized I was standing in the middle of the kitchen with a broom to fight off the giant rat or whatever it was, arguing with the mortgage company, all while literally barefoot and 9 months pregnant -- I had become that woman.

I called my husband again (who was still giggling about the "animal" -- he asked if I was still holding the broom -- I didn't tell him I was). He called the mortgage company, and we found out that one of their other customers (one that was delinquent in their payment) had our phone number listed as their own (they put in our number, and both of us came up). Mystery solved!

In any case, I told my husband how I felt like such the psychotic, hormonal pregnant woman waiting for this baby to come and it was his suggestion I blog about it. I confessed I hadn't blogged in a long time. I guess I'm back...

Just in case any of you were interested in my progress -- here is me at 32 weeks (even though I'm now at 35)...

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

To Grandmother's House We Go (And Other Odds And Ends)

It’s been a few weeks since I’ve written, and I’m once again finding myself in the position of having to catch up…

My grandmother’s birthday was a few weeks ago. We decided (kind of at the last minute) that we would fly out and surprise her for her birthday (both with our presence and with the news of our pregnancy). Our plan was to take the red-eye out on Thursday night, get to Florida by Friday morning, spend all day Friday and Saturday with the family, and fly back early on Sunday (and back to work on Monday morning!). Kind of a whirlwind trip, but we were so glad we did it in the end. Grandma was beside herself with our news, and we got to spend a lot of quality time with the rest of my family (who otherwise probably would not have been able to see me pregnant).

The day we left for our trip, we had our first appointment with our actual OB – we absolutely LOVED him! He took the time to go over our AFP results (all negative), as well as to answer all of our questions (even after we warned him that we were THAT couple, and proceeded to pull out our list). We also got to hear the baby’s heartbeat again, which always makes my husband tear up a bit. It was nice to have that reassurance before we left on our trip.

I keep going through these cycles – I am absolutely elated when I am able to hear a heartbeat, or see the baby at a doctor’s appointment. The elation eventually wanes as time progresses and we get nearer to the next appointment. It then turns to worry as I wonder if something has gone wrong, or if everything will be as it is supposed to be at the next appointment. Then I go to the appointment and the cycle begins all over again. I suppose I will reach some level of relaxation (I’m not sure that is the correct word – reduced anxiety?) once we start feeling the kick on a regular basis (or even a single kick would be nice!!). In the interim, we have rented a baby Doppler and are able to hear the heartbeat on a whim – what a reassurance that is!

Finally, a lot has been made recently about our decision to not have a baby shower before the birth. We have had to explain to numerous friends, as well as my husband’s family, that we are following the Jewish tradition of not having the shower until after the baby is born – it’s more of a superstition than anything else, like a jinx, but why tempt fate when we have been though all we have? A large part of the idea behind it is that, until the baby is born, it’s still in G-d’s hands. I also read somewhere that the tradition is also partly based on respect for those that are having difficulty conceiving – that really resonated with my husband and I and kind of sealed our decision.

I’m leaving you with a pic of my belly at 17 weeks (and note that I am now shopping at the big bazongas section of the lingerie store) – only a week and a half until we find out the gender!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Excuses, Excuses

I guess I have a lot of ‘splainin to do (and thank you to the lovely Kim who inspired me to start writing again)…

Please accept my apologies for leaving things where they were. Yes, I am still pregnant, and yes, I am still thrilled and thankful and grateful beyond words. (I’m actually a week into my second trimester now!) Physically, I have been exhausted. I haven’t exactly had morning sickness (other than some severe food aversions), although I did have a horrible case of the flu when I was about six and a half weeks along. I was vomiting uncontrollably, fever, chills, terrible cough – quite possibly the worst flu I have ever had. I was absolutely terrified something was going to happen to the pregnancy (I’m too superstitious to use the word “baby” yet) – either from the illness itself or from the medication my doctor was insisting I take. I finally recovered after a couple of weeks (and a subsequent ultrasound confirmed that the fetus was alive and kicking), only to find out I was anemic, and then to come down with gnarly cold, which is where I am now. I told my husband that, in my prayers, I promised G-d that if I were to become pregnant, I would not complain about any of my symptoms – I think I am being tested…

To be honest, I didn’t really fall off the face of the earth – I have been reading all of your blogs every single day. I am so touched by all of your stories, your struggles and your emotional fortitude – I almost feel like I don’t belong here anymore. The first thing that happened was that I stopped posting in my online buddy group. I know how blessed I am that my first IVF cycle actually worked, but I have so much empathy and sensitivity as to those who are still struggling – I couldn’t bear the thought of posting about my success. I tried to join another group for women who were pregnant with their first child but, after a while, I realized I was coming from a different place. These were women (mostly younger than I) who didn’t know what it was like to have a drawer full of OPKs and pregnancy tests, who have never given themselves an injection, who have never had to endure the battery of tests and procedures we infertiles have had to endure. I know these women realize how blessed they are, but I really think the gratitude I feel is due to what I have had to go through to get here. So, I stopped posting there, stopped posting to my blog… but I do still read everything out there. Even though I am where I am right now (and nothing is a certainty), my heart still belongs in this community.

So. That’s where I’ve been. I am going to try to continue to post and for certain I will continue to read all of your stories. And I will completely understand if you no longer wish to stop by my little corner of the Internet, but please know that I am here and my heart is with you…

Saturday, December 22, 2007

My Blessed Uterus

Sorry for the suspense, but it's been a busy week! Here's what happened:

I have no willpower. I finally convinced my husband a couple of days after the transfer that it really was in our best interests for me to start peeing on a stick, even though it was waaaay to early. Good or bad, I told him we would avoid a lot of stress and anxiety waiting until 12/26 for our beta.

So, the first day (and I think it was a mere 8 DPO, or something like that), I could have sworn I saw a very, very faint blue line on the test. My husband thought it too, but both of us refused to acknowledge that the line constituted a pregnancy. (I've heard that a line is a line, but when you have to put it up close to your eyes and tilt it to see even a shadow of a line, you begin to think you are just willing it there).

Over the next few days, it did seem to get darker and darker, but I still wasn't convinced I was actually seeing anything, and neither was my husband. Finally, on the fourth day, I saw an appreciable blue line! Unfortunately, my husband wasn't buying it. We actually got into an argument -- I told him I couldn't believe he was being so ambivalent about a positive pregnancy test! I made him go out and get a digital test for the following day.

The next morning, I got a "pregnant" on the digital in a very short amount of time. I woke him up at 5:00 a.m. to come look at the stick. Half asleep, he did a very cartoon-like double take when he looked at the test -- and promptly began to cry. We just stood there, in the bathroom, hugging each other. It was a very emotional moment.

The bad news is that I seem to have developed a rather painful post operative infection. I thought it was a UTI, and my RE put me on antibiotics pending the test results, but when they came back negative and I was still in constant pain, they made me come in for an emergency appointment. They checked everything and couldn't find a thing (no accumulating fluid in my abdomen, no enlarged ovaries, no acute pain on palpation, etc.). My white count was a little high, so they started me on new antibiotics (which they assured me were completely safe). I'm glad they couldn't find anything acutely wrong (OHSS, ectopic, etc.), but I wish I knew what was causing this pain. It's making me a little nervous.

In any case, I'm ecstatic and my beta is on 12/26 -- I will hopefully have more info then!

Friday, December 21, 2007

The full story later, but for now...