Thursday, April 23, 2009

8 Weeks, 6 Days: Hope Re-enters

I love my life these days. I'm feeling stronger every day and am more convinced about the health of our baby.

Most recently, my typical glass is half empty/worry about everything attitude has been challenged by reading Emily's blog (which incidentally, is of a similar name to mine - "What to Expect When You're NOT Expecting"). She recently got her BFP, and has been awe-inspiringly hopeful since her beta. This is the kind of hope and attitude that I believe is best for our baby, and I'm working on embracing this moment instead of succumbing to worry and fear. I really appreciate her optimism and "enjoy-every-minute" mentality.

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.

Hope is something that's been an alien (and inconsistent) concept to me over the last couple of years, and it feels good to feel it re-enter my life. I've missed it.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

8 Wks, 0 Days - Nausea is My Friend

I have a new best friend. Her name is Nausea. She pops up when I haven't eaten in 10 minutes or so, and she is a fabulous indication of a healthy hormonal cocktail flowing through my veins. She isn't overpowering (yet) or even annoying. She's just present.

I have never been so happy to feel like crap.

The beauty of infertility (if there is any beauty about infertility, that is) is that pregnancy symptoms are each small victories to be celebrated. My pants are a little tighter and I'm thrilled. My boobs look like a veiny spiderweb, and I think they're amazing. And, now, Nausea has arrived, and she is the ultimate reassurance.

I absolutely love her.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

We Have a Flicker!

Driving to the clinic yesterday was difficult. I cried as we got closer because I was so scared and excited, all at the same time (the hormones are also helping with this). When I saw my shrink last week, she told me that I really needed to work on letting myself feel some excitement about the first ultrasound of my life that didn't involve cysts, follicles and endometriomas. She was right, it was a brilliant moment.

L. (who can read ultrasounds) saw the baby before I did and smiled at me with a thumbs up. We've developed our own nonverbals for the ultrasound room because his expression always gives me the lowdown before the tech does. It was a relief to see how happy he was, and when the ultrasound tech moved the monitor toward us and showed us the flicker, I caught my breath. 140 beautiful beats per minute. Perfect. Priceless.

Our baby's heart is beating! It is a Divine Miracle.

The icing on the cake: Debbie, my favorite IVF RN came in to share the moment with us. I love that she was there after everything else she's been through with us.

Today I am excited and working on shedding a little of my past failures a little at a time. My shrink says that I have to start thinking about the success of this pregnancy rather than waiting for the other shoe to drop. It's so hard after 2 1/2 years of disappointment, but I'm trying. I want to feel hopeful and excited, and really, I do. It's just so hard to believe this is all actually happening, and I have to look at the ultrasound images on a regular basis to convince myself.

And, the lowgrade nausea I've developed is also helping with the reality check.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

To Tell or Not To Tell...

For those of you who haven't had the opportunity to stop by Baby Smiling in Back Seat's Thoughtful Thursdays, you really should. Cassandra has become one of my favorite fellow bloggers, and I make it a point to stop by every Thursday to read some of the most thought-provoking posts in the blogosphere. Today's Thoughtful Thursday was so relevant, in fact, that my comment is going to be in the form of my own post:

Today's Thoughtful Thursday question is about telling:

"When is it okay to make the pregnancy announcement?"

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

5 Weeks, 5 Days

I am still waiting for a bunch of fabulous, definitive pregnancy symptoms to pop up, and for the most part, I feel the same physically as I did this time last month (with the exception of the bulging ovaries I had during stims). This is all so surreal: my husband tells me I'm pregnant, I have a good HCG level and then...nothing, or nothing I expected.

After 2 1/2 years of negative tests, I expected this change of mass proportion to take over my body when I was finally pregnant. Pregnancy seemed like a mystical state of being, and I never imagined it being so 'normal'. Frankly, I'm a little nervous about that and would almost prefer the "solace" of raging vomiting episodes.

I have wrestled all week with (my lack of) symptoms. I keep waiting for something magnificent to arise, and to date, it hasn't happened yet. Thusfar, I've experienced:

-Slight fatigue, but nothing overwhelming

-A couple of instances of low grade nausea, but nothing debilitating

-I'm really thirsty all the time, which leads to numerous trips to the bathroom

-Mild cramping (which is more and more intermittent)

-Insomnia - I go to sleep very easily and invariably wake up at about 2 or 3 and can't go back to sleep, and yes, this is a symptom of early pregnancy per Dr. Google.

-Sore breasts

-Vivid dreams (when I finally do sleep)

I am trying to refrain from believing the old wive's tale that a healthy pregnancy is a vomiting pregnancy. Hopefully, I'm just blessed with very few horrible symptoms or maybe it's just too early. After all the stims, hormonal injections and terrifying calls from the IVF nurses (whom I really miss these days, believe it or not!), things are pretty quiet on the pregnancy front.

On another note, I got to tell my dentist I'm pregnant on Monday. For 2 1/2 years, I've been awaiting the moment I could finally announce my pregnancy in response to the obligatory: "So...are there any changes to your health status?"

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.

Ignorance really must be bliss.

One day closer to April 10: Ultrasound Day.