Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Thursday, November 26, 2009
According to the ultrasound, she is a very big girl, weighing in at almost 10 pounds. After consulting with our doctor, we've opted for a C-section, scheduled for Friday at 2:30. Of course, ultrasound weights tend to be a little off at this point in pregnancy, so she probably doesn't weigh that much in actuality. However, I'm not arguing the benefits of a C-section, and I just want her to enter the world as safely as possible.
I am so excited about seeing her that yesterday flew by in a blur, but as we get closer, I find that I am nervous and wrestling with the feelings I suppose any new parent grapples with: I can't believe we're going to have a newborn baby in our home in less than 48 hours.
Friday, November 6, 2009
After weeks and weeks of sitting on pins and needles, we are relieved to reach this point. Our baby is measuring in the 72nd percentile for growth, and the doctor is predicting she will be approximately 8.5 pounds. Unbelieveable!
Physically, I'm feeling good overall, just very tired. I think that fatigue has been far more of a factor for me in the 3rd trimester than any other - probably because I ran on adrenaline during the first two.
The nursery is complete, stroller purchased and the carseat is ready to go (I even know how to use it!).
I am feeling really reflective at this point in the pregnancy - I often wander into the nursery and sit there for a very long time, just thinking about where we've been and where we are now. I feel so grateful for every hiccup, every kick and every little movement. Somehow I don't think I would have been so gracious had this pregnancy come easily. I know I wouldn't.
I am apprehensive about labor, but not really about the pain. All I can think about is getting to that moment where our little girl cries for the first time and we know that everything is really okay with her.
And, I still can't believe the miracle of IVF and the fact that when we first saw her she was 7 or 8 cells. Now, she is a living, thriving little baby kicking inside of me.
It's the miracle of my lifetime.
Friday, July 10, 2009
I'm not sure why it's been nearly 10 weeks since I've posted - I know now from personal experience that getting pregnant does not erase the battle wounds of the last 2 1/2 years.
I originally wanted to post about every aspect of my pregnancy, but somehow it didn't seem appropriate to do so this in this forum because every time I did, I felt like I was evoking pain for someone else. I know that's presumptuous - I mean, in all likelihood if my posts caused pain for anyone out there, surely they'd just stop reading my blog. I know that, but it still felt like "that girl" who can't stop talking about her pregnancy, and my heart has been broken by that person so many times throughout this experience in my life.
Nonetheless, I am inspired to post today to commemorate the midpoint of our pregnancy.
Significant events of the last 9 weeks:
- We've moved to a new city and are getting settled into a completely new life. I'm not currently working and probably won't for the next few months, which is a huge life transition for me. I've been a career girl for the last 11 years of my life, and taking time off is not something I ever planned - it's just that finding employment at 5 months pregnant in the (ailing) nonprofit world is probably not a great likelihood at this point. I think it's a God-given opportunity to take a break, be pregnant and re-evaluate my life. I feel very blessed (albeit somewhat displaced) to have this time.
- We are having a little girl. We did not learn this in the way I thought we would - I didn't wake up one morning and think, "Today we'll find out the sex of our child." In fact, like many things in life (i.e. not being able to conceive at will), this fact did not reveal itself in at all the way I imagined that it would. I had a very scary spotting episode en route to vacation at 17 weeks, 4 days. It was the single scariest moment of my life. Unfortunately, I discovered this 1 hour into a two hour flight. We cancelled everything as soon as we landed and headed straight to an ER (which wasn't an easy task to accomplish in Newark, NJ). God led us to a wonderful ER in Somerville, NJ, and we received the care we needed. The spotting stopped as soon as it started and hasn't returned. There was no specific reason given for the episode other than it may have been a bursting capillary on my cervix or the result of a low lying placenta. We'll find out more about the low lying placenta in an ultrasound scheduled for next Friday. Interestingly, in the hour following the spotting discovery on the plane, my thoughts were not of needles, swollen ovaries and egg retrievals - all I could think about was the little face on the ultrasound and the most intense fear that our baby was in distress. It was a horrible moment.
- My relationship with my IVF friend is officially over. Long story short, I attempted to graciously share the news of our pregnancy with her at 12 weeks before she heard of it from someone else, and subsequently received a nasty response in which I was told I was a "black cloud" that hung over her pregnancy because she had to "walk on eggshells" throughout it because of me. A disappointment, for certain, but a relationship I will never again question putting in my rearview mirror.
I don't know if I'll start posting again. I've noticed that sometimes people create new pregnancy blogs, which I can completely understand. But somehow, this doesn't feel like the right venue for me because I still feel like infertility is undeniably my shadow, even throughout pregnancy: in no way does it feel like a part of my life that's completely finished. I've considered creating a new family blog when our our baby makes her appearance, but that's still very much a dream for me.
Pregnancy post infertility is a moment in life that, to me, has been like a long drink of water after a prolonged drought. I cherish every single minute and revere my growing belly and all 12 pounds of my weight gain. I am still in awe of the whole process and can't quite get over the miracle growing inside me.
I still read your posts and pray regularly that there resolve is on the horizon. This journey is one that seems without ending, although pregnancy resulting from a treatment cycle is accompanied by a profound joy that is no comparison for the feelings experienced by someone who conceives after 2 months of trying.
And no one will ever convince me otherwise.
Monday, May 11, 2009
I can't stop looking at the pictures and marveling at the fact that I met this little baby at just 8 tiny cells, and he has now morphed into an actual being with arms and legs that move. (By the way, I'm using "he" here generally.)
Our baby has a little chin, a tiny nose and ears that are moving into place. His arms and legs are moving, and at one point in the ultrasound he arched his back. Our baby is measuring at 12 weeks, so he's growing well - approximately the size of a beautiful lime! Heartbeat increased to 162 beautiful beats per minute. My OB says our baby "looks great".
There is still a part of me that has to convince myself that the monitor was actually connected to my uterus and was not a television appearance of someone else's baby. It's all so surreal, still.
Things are going well - still intermittent nausea that feels exactly like bad car sickness, insomnia (I finally fall asleep to the Golden Girls nearly every night, starting at about 1:30 a.m.) and fatigue when I get home from work. I'm hungry all the time and very emotional.
It was great seeing my OB today because she was so thrilled for us. As we were leaving, she said, "This baby is so lucky to have you two as parents."
We feel so blessed to have this baby. God is good.
Friday, May 8, 2009
Thursday, April 23, 2009
I think about this little life inside me from the moment I wake up until the moment I go to sleep, and many, many times in between.
Thusfar, our baby has given us no crazy, violent symptoms - just a quiet nausea, food cravings and aversions and most recently, a tasty case of metal mouth. It's just enough to know he/she is down there with a beating heart, and we're smiling through the whole thing: "Money in the bank", as my good friends T. & S. say.
I don't know how many times each day I smile to myself and say, "I can't believe this is actually happening to us."
We've received a few gifts here and there from several close friends and family, which has been a great reminder that this is all actually happening. My friend M. brought over a toy with a little pull cord that plays "Somewhere Over the Rainbow", a song from our wedding. It was so special and even more so because she bought it 2 years ago and has been waiting all this time to give it to us. My parents sent a special bear, our friends A & C sent some cute bibs and my friend S. sent an assortment of baby items "to get us started".
This outpouring of support has been amazing, and I cry every time I open a package with a card that reads "...And Baby Makes Three" - I still can't believe it is actually meant for our little family.
I am working on allowing myself to feel completely hopeful about this pregnancy. We are here, and it's an amazing moment in our lives. I have loved every minute of being pregnant, and believe that this is the most beautiful miracle God has ever created for us.
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Saturday, April 11, 2009
Thursday, April 2, 2009
When L & I naively started trying to make a baby, we were resolute about the 12 week wait. We shook our heads at people who pompously announced their two pink lines before the pee stick even dried: How could they be so stupid??!!
Enter Clomid after a year shrouded in secrecy: This was the point I called my mom, crying, scared that we would end up with 4 or 5 kids in the womb at once. In retrospect, what a joke.
As time wore on, we wrestled with a secret that became harder and harder to keep. Our closest friends had no idea what was going on, and our only support came from each other. While I believe that IF has intensified our relationship in ways I never dreamed possible, having such little outside support was becoming more and more difficult for us both. We began to think that letting a few people in on the situation might actually relieve some of the stress we were feeling so burdened with.
So, we decided to put it out there and we let our closest friends and family in on the most difficult journey of our lives. While it was a difficult decision to make, it was the right one because we could never have made it through IVF without the prayers and support of the people we decided to tell.
Now that we are pregnant, we have shared this joyous news with the same people who so graciously walked with us this far. I believe that if this ends in some unthinkable situation, these are the same people who would support us through the devastation. I can't imagine something like that being a part of my life story without these very same people knowing.
Truthfully, "coming out" to a few select people has been one of the biggest blessings in our lives, without a doubt. It was a risk, but it was worth taking.
As for the "outer circle" (i.e. people at work, more distant friends we don't talk to that often, etc), I won't feel okay telling them until the end of the first trimester - at least. While we are thrilled that we are pregnant, I don't exactly feel compelled to go out and shout it from the rooftop.
So, those of you who are my real life compadres, know that we love you and generally think that you all rock. We are so glad you're on this journey with us.
By the way, have I mentioned that I've eaten almost a whole jar of pickles in less than 24 hours?
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
It's amazing sharing the news in the World of the Fertiles because no one questions anything at all - they seem to cherish a sweet, naive peace of mind that a beautiful baby will magically pop out in 9 months. I was met with high pitched congratulations followed by advice about baby shower gifts.
One day closer to April 10: Ultrasound Day.
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
I came home yesterday after working the most intense half day of my life to balloons, beautiful flowers and L. walking around the corner saying words I've longed to hear for 2 1/2 years:
"Congratulations, Babe, you're pregnant!"
The magic number: HCG=857
I am over the moon, thrilled beyond belief and scared to death, all at the same time.
But, mostly, I'm over the moon.
It's a memory a pee stick just can't possibly grant.
To all of you who have supported us, prayed for us and cheered us on, thank you. This cycle was truly a miracle, and I am completely convinced of the power of prayer and love.
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
After a great visit with my shrink yesterday afternoon, I walked out into the sunshine actually believing it was okay to feel hopeful about this cycle. She helped me understand that we'll be disappointed (okay, devastated) if this doesn't work, but there's nothing wrong with feeling some hope right now.
Essentially, it's going to suck either way if it's a negative.
After my appointment, I went to have coffee with an old friend I haven't seen in many months. I initiated this time with her because we will be moving in a few months, and I wanted to reconnect with her. She's a bit on the intense side, but I thought it would be a good diversion. She's one half of a couple with no kids, so I knew there would be no baby talk.
Well, I thought I knew.
We talked work for about 30 minutes, from which she launched into a discussion about her recent IVF cycle: "If you ever need a fertility specialist, I know a really good one. We just went through an IVF cycle. By the way, I'm 9 weeks pregnant."
She suggested the specialist in the same tone one would recommend a dentist or a hairstylist.
I was astounded and couldn't help but stammer that we just gone through the same thing. It seemed like the natural thing to do given the circumstances - I mean, I don't typically have coffee with someone for the first time in months only to hear that they just underwent IVF.
Her response: "Well, if it doesn't work, I know this great specialist..."
The remainder of the conversation was me listening to her complain about her pregnancy symptoms and how awful being pregnant is - "I'm soooo tired of being sick, and all I want to do is eat. This is just awful."
Needless to say, after a few minutes, I thought of somewhere else I needed to be and abruptly ended this fiasco.
I am realizing that IVF has many faces, and amazingly, simply going through it doesn't mean that you have an ounce of empathy or compassion. I have now encountered two women who have ridden the IVF roller coaster, and I couldn't feel farther apart from either of them in terms of their emotional response to this experience.
Today, I'm moving on from this horrific coffee date. Frankly, a few more months of separation from this friend (if not a permanent arrangement) might definitely be in order.
Saturday, March 14, 2009
Thursday, March 12, 2009
I returned to real life today, and I made it through the day. I'm definitely not on my A-game at work, but I'm doing my best. There were several moments when I became so engrossed in work drama today that I realized afterward I hadn't questioned whether our embryos were still dividing in nearly ten minutes.
The highlight of my day was the welcome back I got from my staff - one of them approached me this morning: "Leslie, we're so glad you're back. I'm just going to tell you on the downlow that people have been talking about where you've been...some people thought that you've been out sick because you're pregnant."
UGH!!! Insert forced laugh here and change subject. Quickly.
Thanks to everyone for all your great comments and support yesterday.
Also of note, I was really moved by Cassandra's post today about Affirmations and thought that you might want to check it out, along with all the comments. Very encouraging. And, by the way, she just got a surprise BFP. Stop by and congratulate her and enjoy a very uplifting post.
One more day down....
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
In fact, I invested so much time and energy getting to this point that I never thought about what comes after. After all of the drama and Divine Intervention of the last few days, I feel like I've entered a desert of some kind - there's nothing for miles and miles and miles.
I am preoccupied with the fact that with Divine Assistance, we created life, and it was subsequently placed in my uterus. I am overwhelmed with this crazy emotional attachment to it, along with a sickening fear about whether or not it's still there.
I know I need to stay positive, keep hopeful, keep the faith.
I just never in a million years realized how hard this was going to be. I can't even fathom how I'm going to feel the night before that pregnancy test.
The IVF 2 week wait is the CROWN JEWEL of all 2 week waits. It doesn't get any more intense than this, at least not in my humble infertility experience.
Pales. In. Comparison.
Words of wisdom from those of you who have been through this would really be welcomed.
Praying. Praying. Praying.
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Sunday, March 8, 2009
Saturday, March 7, 2009
Friday, March 6, 2009
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Sunday, March 1, 2009
Friday, February 27, 2009
Monday, February 23, 2009
Sunday, February 22, 2009
Monday, February 16, 2009
Thursday, February 12, 2009
2. The obligatory work baby shower: I supervise a girl who is pregnant and was asked by another staff I supervise when we were going to start planning the shower.
My response: "Thanks for volunteering."
3. A former staff decided to pop in to show off her newborn baby. I pasted a smile on my face and forced myself out of my office to ooh and ahh about how wonderful she looks and how beautiful the baby is. As talk turned to the great tax break she got for her newborn child (apparently, the government loves fertiles too), she said, "Hey, do you girls mind if I breast feed?"
Sunday, February 8, 2009
The confirmation didn't come that night.
The evening was uneventful, and in the days that followed, before I knew it, two months had passed since we had spoken. This was previously a very close relationship, - we just seem to have less and less in common lately. It just feels like we don't fit anymore.
Nonetheless, I received the following e-mail from her last week:
First of all, I apologize that I am writing you this in an email - please don't misunderstand it as impersonal or a lack of courage. I know that I can only try to imagine how you are feeling right now, but I think that I would prefer to receive these news in a way where I get a chance to digest it and do not have to make a happy face to my friend's bittersweet news. I guess, in the end, there is no perfect way to say this...
I am writing you today to tell you that I am pregnant. I know how hard it must be for you to hear yet another pregnancy announcement right now and how much it must hurt you. But not telling you wouldn't be fair either. Please do not feel like you have to react to this email right away. I am also not expecting you to sound excited when we do talk. I understand. I just want you to be yourself and say what you're feeling. Let's get together for coffee soon. Just let me know when is good for you.
I'm sorry, Leslie.
I have been so pained by this that I haven't responded, and I'm struggling with what to do here. Yes, I realize that it was incredibly thoughtful of her, and she is a very special person. I do not want to lose this relationship.
However, I don't feel like I can handle this right now. "Not talking about it" would be like ignoring the elephant in the living room, and sitting there across from her at coffee would be so painful for me. I remember when she told me she was pregnant with #1 - we had just gotten married and were getting ready to start trying ourselves. It's amazing to me that here we are, almost three years later and we're still running in place.
I'm interested in your thoughts and opinions about this before I respond.
Is it possible to take a Friendship Holiday?
Thursday, February 5, 2009
She said that I also have to accept the timing element of this thing (and the lack of control I have over it). If we haven't come through an IVF cycle yet, then the timing wasn't right, and when it is, we will move through.
And, I need to learn to squash those dumbasses in the backseat.
Monday, February 2, 2009
Thursday, January 29, 2009
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Apparently, Nurse Nightingale forgot to explain to me that I should be looking for a little spotting and not a full blown period. So, I missed it.
I called the Clinic today, and they said that I have to wait for my next period (which is probably about 3 weeks away) because I somehow should have known that a little spotting was my period this cycle. I've been sitting around waiting for the real thing. Then, it's baseline all over again, and I guess stims - I'm waiting to hear back from them about that part.
I am furious with her for not explaining that for me. I am furious with myself for not being more proactive by calling sooner. And I am most furious with the fact that we even have to go through this crazy madness.
This is getting ridiculous.
I am beginning to think that we aren't supposed to do this. It's like we can't even get past the starting line, and I'm so tired of going through this again and again.
So, I'm feeling sorry for myself because I don't understand why this is happening or what I've done in my life to deserve this misery (must have been something pretty damned bad). It just keeps happening over and over again, and I'm just exhausted of dealing with all the pregnant people, the fact that my 35th birthday is about 4 months away and the fact that practically everyone I know is well into their child bearing/having experience.
So, if we go forward (and I guess we don't have a choice since the money is already out there), we're looking at yet another month away.
I'm so tired.
Saturday, January 24, 2009
I've been a little crampy here and there - I'm guessing it will be Monday or so before she finally decides to ride into town. Our 2K worth of meds will have to refrigerate until she gets here.
On a positive note (and I have to think of something positive these days), I will admit I have enjoyed my extra week of lattes.
Monday, January 19, 2009
I'm still on the bandwagon, as of today. This cycle I am just realistic - my goal is just to hold onto the wagon and remain in the process as long as I can. Vanished is my idealistic self who used to believe that a girl could give herself a few shots, go through an egg retrieval and end up with a few embryos. I get it now - it's an accomplishment just to make it from one step to the next.
Baseline ultrasound and E2 levels indicate that we can move ahead, per Nurse Nightingale. The cyst is still present on my left ovary, but is the same size. No worries about it presently.
Now, I'm just waiting for Aunt Flo to appear. Meds will start on Day #3.
As is typical in IF Land, I am now waiting again and mentally preparing for the numerous (additional) questions that will no doubt arise in the next few days.
Saturday, January 17, 2009
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
I marveled at the love I felt at being so "taken care of" by these phenomenal women who support me implicitly.
Over my 34 years (10 of which have been spent in the counseling profession), I've been exposed to many stories of human adversity and the way it often leads to the scattering of so-called friends.
I never believed it, really. The truth is, I never believed it would happen to me, that is.
Until now, I didn't realize that life's storms are often more than some people can handle. I could have never predicted who would earnestly hang with me and who would run for cover (or jump off the Titanic, as my sister puts it so eloquently).
Perhaps the silver lining of these ship-jumpers is the renewed appreciation in those people in your life who continually cheer you on, who listen and who even let you get by with a bad attitude here and there because of the adversity.
So, if you're reading this, thank you. It undoubtedly means that you are part of the silver lining of another otherwise perilous journey.
Monday, January 5, 2009
- Birth control pills until 1/18/09
- Call Nurse Nightingale THE MINUTE Aunt Flo swooshes in
- Baseline on cycle day 2 or 3
- Begin 150 mg. Gonal F in the morning
- Begin 150 mg. of Menopur at night
- When follicles reach 13 mm, begin using Cetrocide
If everything goes according to plan (and I am based in reality this cycle, so that's a big IF), egg retrieval and transfer should be sometime early February.
I know very little about Menopur and Cetrocide other than that I am being fed no drugs which directly suppress ovarian function. Per Nightingale, my brain will be doing the work.
Hmmm..that sounds eerily reminiscent of Clomid, my scary drug.
I'm actually feeling fortunate that Dr. A. doesn't want to do "more of the same". When you're playing around with this kind of money, it's nice to know there's a little variety in the gamble, particularly when last time was such a flop.
Here's to a very expensive rendezvous with the pharmacy....
Sunday, January 4, 2009
Saturday, January 3, 2009
She said that Dr. A. wants to change my protocol, which means birth control pills beginning on cycle day 3. Since we connected, we're going to be able to proceed this month, and the nurse agreed to call in my birth control pills.
Friday, January 2, 2009
This year, I didn't have the creative energy to put it together (along with the energy to do much of anything "Holiday-related"), but now that it's Jan. 2 (IT'S FINALLY HERE!!), I have developed a new energy to document 2008's highlights, so here goes:
10. I ran a minimarathon with my good friend Angela. It was an amazing experience, and I loved every minute of it. I'm excited about doing it again someday.
9. Vacations to Boston and Washington D.C. Great trips, and according to everyone I know with kids, someday I'll be even more grateful for these "pre-kid" memories.
8. Starting a new job. It wasn't something I expected out of the year, but it was a tremendous gift all in all.
7. Discovering the blog world. This is certainly one of the best things that happened to me this year. Blogging has become an incredible, invaluable therapy for me through this infertility experience.
6. Progress in Infertility-ville: We endured half of an IVF cycle and 3 IUIs in 2008. Sure, none of them were successful, but we made it anyway (i.e. we're still alive).
5. L. started interviewing for jobs. This is a major hurdle in our lives as he's been in school for a very long time, and hopefully, life is going to settle down a little in 2009.
4. Significant family events: My sister broke up with her commitment-phobic boyfriend (this time, it's for good) and L.'s brother got married (my new sister-in-law and are far from what I would call "best friends", but we've managed to find some common ground with each other because, after all, what choice do we have?).
3. I endured IF and it's impact on my friendships. Some of this has been a disappointing (and harrowing) experience, but I've moved on nonetheless and am learning the merits of self-care.
2. I am learning that maybe unexplained infertility is a decent diagnosis if you have to have a diagnosis at all. I'm still working on this one, but L. almost has me convinced.
1. I feel closer than ever to my wonderful, amazing, committed, loyal husband. And, it just doesn't get better than that. No, I can't say that my #1 2008 is a positive pregnancy test, or the birth of a child. What I can say with absolute certainty, however, is that I am married to the most wonderful person for me on Earth.
So, that's my Top Ten List for the year. I'm going to dive back into the blogging world - I've missed you all, and I'm ready to start plugging along with you again.
Happy 2009. I hope it's "The Year" for us all.