Closing the chapter

Friday, December 31, 2010

Just four hours left in 2010, and for the most part it’s a year I’m very willing to leave behind. We hit the one-year mark of trying for a second child early in the year, secured the services of a reproductive endocrinologist, then spent the entire year trying to get and stay pregnant. We thought we might have caught a break when I found out I was pregnant in May after many months of treatments, but that did not come to fruition, and to say that loss threw me into a tailspin is fairly accurate. More visits to The RE and even more treatments followed, and thankfully the year ended on a positive note with a positive pregnancy test. The ending to that chapter has not been written yet, but thankfully I’ve got strong symptoms that are working to keep me as reassured as I can be at this point.

If you cast aside all the reproductive issues, the year wasn’t that bad. We took our first weeklong family vacation and enjoyed our first family trip to the beach (overlooking the fact that I was waiting to miscarry that whole time). We sent Baby B to Connecticut to spend a week with her grandfather and great-grandmother (overlooking the fact that I indeed did miscarry about 5 minutes before leaving on the road trip to pick her up). We’ve (very nearly, knock on wood) survived the year of the threenager. We made a trip to St. Louis to meet some special people, Baby B and I ran our first race together, we went to Kings Island and Cedar Point, and I enjoyed trips to visit good friends in Milwaukee and New York City. We had many highlights in between, so thankfully we had a lot of good things to balance the crappy reproductive challenges.

I’m going to try to go into 2011 on a hopeful note, trying to envision us bringing home a baby this summer and finally becoming a family of four. I’m sure many other adventures await us, as well. So while I’m closing a chapter of my life story that has some moments I’d like to forget, I’m eager to begin writing this new chapter. Follow along and see how this chapter ranks against the others.

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Checking in

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Looking back on my blog from when I was first pregnant with Baby B, it looks like so far the morning (read: all day) sickness is following the same pattern. During this first week of it, I’m experiencing near-constant nausea (with a few breaks in there) and throwing up maybe a few times a day. All in all, not too bad; I’d say on a scale of 1-10 (with 10 being the worst), I’d say I’m hovering around a 3 or 4 right now. Totally manageable.

But what I know now — that I did not quite realize then — is that the first week of morning sickness was just the calm before the storm and it got much, much worse. This time it’s both good and bad that I know how bad it can get: good because I’m able to mentally prepare myself for that battle should it come to it but also bad because I know how extreme it can get. There’s a chance I’ll escape the severity, but I’m fully expecting it. As long as it doesn’t hit until after our cheese and chocolate fondue extravaganza, it’s all good. 🙂 One good thing is that one of my main triggers (besides anything in my stomach…or just breathing, really) was being hot, and thankfully it’s wintertime so I don’t have to worry about getting into a hot car right now. That was always pretty awful. I do have to be careful with my showers since I tend to like them hot, but that’s easily fixable.

I can already tell I’m leaning toward a preference of the same kinds of foods as last time — fruits mostly. Definitely nothing fried or heavy. I’m going to the grocery store tomorrow and will stock up on a few essentials just in case: Ensure shakes, baby food, and fruit. That’s what got me through two months last time, so I want to be ready. Just taking this day by day and dealing with it as it comes, and thankful that I have some reassurance here.


Wordless Wednesday: A very princess Christmas

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

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Appointment details

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

I am 6w6d today according to the IUI.

The baby is measuring 6w4d, but The RE was happy with that and said it’s good growth from last week.

There was a nice, strong heartbeat, though he doesn’t like to measure it the first time it’s seen since it’s usually just begun and he doesn’t want to do anything to potentially interfere.

The bleed is still there and it is the same size, so it is still possible for it to absorb or I will have spotting/bleeding. Hopefully the former.

He asked when my miscarriages were, and the last one stopped growing at 8 weeks (found out at 10w) and the first was natural at just over 8 weeks, so he’s going to have me come back in two weeks for one more ultrasound (one day before 9w) before releasing me to the midwife. I was going to request to go back one more time, but I’m glad he suggested it.

Oh, and as I mentioned earlier, I threw up this morning. Nothing since, but a nice unsettled feeling the rest of the morning and early afternoon.

The stakes are even higher now. I really don’t know if I can take losing *another* after seeing a heartbeat. (The chances of success are now 95% after seeing the heartbeat. Of course, they were last time too and, well…)

I can’t say I’m confident yet, but at least it’s another step. I’ll certainly take it. I’ve still got a lot of hurdles to overcome, including the crucial 8-week point for me, but I’m glad to be moving in the right direction, at least.

Based on my IUI date, we’re looking at a due date of August 17. To be honest, August is probably my least-desired due-date month (primarily because of how hot it gets then), but beggars can’t be choosers, so I will gladly take it. Hey, I wasn’t too thrilled with a January due date with Baby B and I’ve come to love it, so I know initial opinions don’t always matter in the end.

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Click here for a larger version of the ultrasound. (The bleed is not visible on this scan. He had to angle the wand in a different direction than this to see it.)


Another step

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

I’ll try to write a more detailed update later, but I have to get back to work right now.

Bottom line: There was a nice, strong heartbeat this morning.

Also: I threw up this morning and very likely will again before going back to work.

More later.


Symptom watch ’10

Monday, December 27, 2010

My ultrasound tomorrow morning will tell what’s really going on in there, but slowly I’ve started to notice a few symptoms (always such a funny word to use, as though pregnancy is an illness).

*Very mild nausea/unsettledness: Twice I’ve briefly gagged and thought I was going to throw up (both times when super-hungry) but did not. A couple more times I’ve had some passing waves of nausea that lasted 1-2 minutes at most. Could be the beginning of something quite unpleasant (though overall welcome), or could be something that would’ve happened anyway and I’m just more hyper-sensitive about it now. Time will tell.

*Breast pain: I’ve definitely had an increase in breast pain on the outside near the armpits. It’s not yet quite to the level that I had with Baby B (“trampoline boobs”), but certainly reassuring to feel.

*Extreme sleepiness: Clearly I’m not one to immediately blame anything out of the ordinary on pregnancy. Sleepiness is one of those symptoms I had with Baby B, but it’s much more complex now because it’s a busy time of year (both at work and at home) and it takes a lot of energy to keep up with Baby B and all her activities, so extra sleepiness could easily be attributed to that. But for the past few days I’ve been having extreme sleepiness. Example: Yesterday morning I slept until 11 a.m. (thanks, The Husband!). By 8 p.m., I could barely keep my eyes open. After having been awake for 9 whole hours. Yeah, extreme sleepiness.

So part of me, of course, is fairly reassured by the appearance of symptoms and think the ultrasound tomorrow might go better than I expect. Then again, lingering in the back of my mind is the thought that I hope I don’t have to experience the ultimate insult: clear symptoms but still not a viable pregnancy.

I shall know more tomorrow.


It’s Christmas time in the city

Thursday, December 23, 2010

“City sidewalks, busy sidewalks,
Dressed in holiday style.
In the air there’s a feeling of Christmas”
–“Silver Bells”

This is a bit belated, but I figured I’d do a general recap of my time in NYC with Serenity, mostly so I remember it for myself.

Thursday:

  • arrived around 9 p.m.
  • took a cab to Gramercy Park and thought I was going to DIE
  • chilled and caught up with Serenity

Friday:

  • Blueberry bagel and cream cheese at a Gramercy Park deli
  • Walked to Times Square to get our double-decker bus tour tickets
  • Saw the 2011 New Year’s Eve ball (replica) up close (at the visitor’s center)
  • Wandered Times Square for a bit
  • Got on the bus for the downtown loop
  • Got off at Ground Zero
  • Walked to Battery Park/saw Statue of Liberty
  • Lunch at Stir Cafe in financial district (mozz, basil, tomato panini and a salad, plus black and white cookie)
  • Back to Battery Park again to wander
  • Caught the bus to do the Brooklyn loop tour
  • Caught the downtown loop tour bus again
  • Back to Times Square
  • Went to John’s Pizza for dinner
  • M&M Store
  • Saw Mamma Mia
  • Met my friend’s aunt and uncle at a bar for drinks after the show
  • Walked with them around the shopping areas looking at store holiday windows
  • Went to Rockefeller Plaza to see the tree
  • Stopped in at the Plaza Hotel
  • Cab back to the apartment (only in-town cab ride all weekend)
  • In bed around 1:30 a.m.

Saturday:

  • Left the apartment by 7 a.m.
  • Walked to Rockefeller Plaza, saw Today Show (didn’t go over)
  • Picked up tickets for NBC studio tour
  • Grabbed muffins from Magnolia Bakery
  • Did NBC tour
  • Wandered the area a bit
  • Took pics at Radio City Music Hall
  • Did Top of the Rock
  • Grabbed a hot dog from a street vendor (at like 10 a.m. LOL)
  • Lego World
  • More wandering and pictures in the area
  • To Times Square to Lindy’s for lunch (had the most expensive grilled cheese sandwich ever, but it was AMAZING…best EVER. Also enjoyed some cheesecake there)
  • FAO Schwarz — took our turn on the big piano
  • Dylan’s Candy Bar
  • Uptown loop bus tour, including Central Park, Harlem, and Upper West Side
  • Disney Store
  • Holiday lights bus tour
  • Gray’s Papaya for a late dinner (needed something cheap after our expensive lunch)
  • Walked to Grand Central Terminal
  • Took subway to Union Square (only time we used the subway…and only did then because I wanted to say I did it)
  • Back at the apartment by 11 p.m.

Sunday:

  • Brunch at L’Express in Gramery Park (yummy bacon and onion omelet)
  • Caught cab to airport
  • Travel day from hell
  • Spent night in Detroit airport

Monday:

  • Finally fly out of Detroit
  • Have to rent a car and drive to get my suitcase in Louisville, then home to Lexington (total 4 hours)
  • In Lexington around 5 p.m.

I had major blisters since we did mostly walking, but it was so worth it. It was a wonderful weekend with a great friend, and I’m glad she thought to suggest it.


Wordless Wednesday: Someone’s cozy

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

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More than the usual Christmas waiting

Monday, December 20, 2010

I don’t want a lot for Christmas
There’s just one thing I need
I don’t care about the presents
Underneath the Christmas tree
I just want you for my own
More than you could ever know
Make my wish come true
All I want for Christmas is…
You

–“All I Want for Christmas is You,” Mariah Carey

Going by my IUI date, I am 5 weeks, 5 days today.

I had my first ultrasound this morning, and there was no heartbeat detected yet. It is early to see it, but possible (it’s more common around 6 to 6 1/2 weeks). The RE said he does see the yolk sac and it is round, so that is good.

However, he detected blood in there again, but wasn’t able to determine the source of it. So more pelvic rest for me this time around.

I know it is early, but no heartbeat yet + bleeding in there + no symptoms = not that much confidence at the moment.

I return on Tuesday the 28th for another ultrasound.

Until then, more uncertainty.

More waiting.

More hoping the other shoe doesn’t drop and everything comes crashing in on me again.


The post I hope I come to regret later

Sunday, December 19, 2010

This is the post wherein I virtually beg for obvious pregnancy symptoms — some good, ol’ fashioned puking like with Baby B’s pregnancy will do — and then mere days later find myself begging for mercy and wishing I hadn’t hoped for such a clear sign.

I know every pregnancy is different, but I know these three things:

1. I have two pregnancies that had zero symptoms and they both ended in a loss. I had one pregnancy with extreme symptoms that turned out successfully. With that pregnancy, my nausea started on this day ( 5 weeks, 4 days).

2. People who have hyperemesis  tend to have it with subsequent pregnancies as well. So while every pregnancy is different, it is a fact that hyperemesis would be more likely than not if I were to have a successful pregnancy.

3. I have no symptoms currently. Nothing that I’ve noticed, at least.

So here’s where I put it out there to the universe, asking for some obvious signs. Come on, universe. Make me feel silly for asking for it. Show me I’ve got it coming. Prove to me that I really shouldn’t ask for such things unless I’m fully prepared to deal with them. (Though, side note: I think I am more prepared this time. As much as one can be, at least. Last time I didn’t realize how bad it can be. This time I know that much.)


Say ahhhh

Friday, December 17, 2010

I took Baby B for her second dental check-up on Wednesday, and it was a good news/not-as-good news/not-that-bad news thing.

The good news: She did GREAT! Last time she wasn’t what I would call scared, but unsure, so they weren’t able to clean her teeth well. This time, she was more than eager to lay back and open wide so they could check her teeth and get them clean. I was so so so proud of her for how well she did.

The not-as-good news: She does have two minor cavities that need attention. There is one in each top molar in the very back, and one of these isn’t a surprise since she has that defect where the enamel doesn’t wrap around to cover the biting surface.

The not-that-bad news: The cavities are so minor that he’d probably ignore them if they were in one of her front teeth, but since she’s going to have these molars until probably age 10 or 12, he doesn’t want to leave it alone and then have a problem fester. Also, he said they’re so small that he may not even need to numb her at all.

So we’re scheduled for January 7 to go ahead and get it taken care of. We’ll try to do it all at once, but we can split it into two visits if necessary. If it doesn’t go well, they can refer us to a pediatric dentist and we’ll talk about light sedation options, however The Dentist said most people are surprised by how well kids do with this stuff and he doesn’t anticipate any problems with it based on how she did for this check-up and cleaning.


Wordless Wednesday: Generation gap

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


Home sweet home

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

I have to say, there is not much better than returning from a trip and reuniting with your family, particularly your daughter who is very enthusiastic to see you again. Particularly after your arrival has been delayed nearly 24 hours and you had to sleep on an airport floor.

I’m still feeling kind of beat up today with major foot blisters (NYC’s gift to me) and fatigue from a rough trip home (Detroit’s gift to me), but I’ll just say that the trip was wonderful and most certainly worth it despite the difficult travel home.


Numerical Updatery

Friday, December 10, 2010

Hi everybody – The Husband here, interloping in blogspace to give you some numbers, while my better half traipses around The City.

The new beta came in at 194, up from 58.  Hey, that’s way more than double!

So, it’s still early, yadda yadda yadda, but early signs are encouraging.  And who doesn’t like a little encouragement?


Oh, the irony!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

A few months ago, Serenity suggested that she and I meet up in New York City for a girls’ weekend in mid-December. Her uncle has an apartment there where we can crash, I’d never been, and we hadn’t seen each other for a while, so we made the plans and were so excited. Planning trips is a great coping mechanism for me, so it was perfect.

Well, then she got pregnant and I was faced with the very real possibility of having to see her in NYC with her being pregnant and me not. Even before we’d planned our trip, I knew her pregnancy would be a hard one for me; most other people I can just write off and shut out temporarily if I don’t want to deal with it, but I don’t consider that an option with her. Even though she was amazing back when I was pregnant with Baby B and she was still struggling with primary infertility, and I should have been able to do the same for her, I just wasn’t sure how I would react.

It wasn’t pretty. (And that’s an understatement.) This sent me into a spiral that resulted in quite a bit of insomnia as I tried to work on accepting the situation. To a degree, she understood why I was reacting that way, but I know it still hurt her that I couldn’t openly celebrate her good news, much as I really did want be able to do deep down. I knew that in person I would probably be fine and normal around her by the time the trip rolled around, but internally it was going to be super-hard and it sort of felt like my usual coping mechanism blew up right in my face. Fail.

Then she had some spotting and cramping. Not good. And her betas started to go down instead of up. She had an early miscarriage right around the same time I was beginning my most recent cycle. Crap.

Didn’t I feel like an ass. This goes without saying, but I didn’t want anything BAD to happen to her. I just wanted good stuff to happen for ME too.

I immediately started my next IUI cycle, with the procedure scheduled for the day before Thanksgiving. Which meant that I would find out the result right before our trip to NYC.

The day before my positive test, I told Serenity, “You know, irony dictates that this will probably work. I was all upset about you being pregnant in NYC and not me, and now there’s the chance that I could be pregnant and you not, with it being difficult for you now.”

And, as you know, I got a positive. Irony is sort of a bitch that way, huh?

But here’s the kicker. Serenity has been amazing yet again. It probably helps that right now I don’t necessarily want to talk about it too much anyway, so she doesn’t have to worry about me finding any excuse to bring it up. I’m sure it still must be upsetting to her on some level, and I’m know there’s a part of her that secretly hates me a little (we’ve already discussed this), but she has been way more gracious than I have been. It puts me to shame, really, but I am so fortunate to have her around.

She will be (begrudingly) beginning a fresh IVF cycle next month in an attempt at child #2. No matter what happens with my current pregnancy, I really, really hope that I’m able to learn a thing or two from her about how better to react in this situation. Naturally it’ll be easier for me to deal with if I’m still pregnant myself, but if that’s not the case, I need to find a way to be at peace about it. I don’t want to repeat the misery of last time.

So now we meet up in New York City later tonight, her on a bus from Boston and me on a flight from Louisville. Our theme of the weekend is: “EPIC! but on a budget.” We will eat our way through the city, play tourists, take lots of pictures, catch a Broadway show, no doubt commiserate on the unfairness and unpleasantries of infertility, and in general celebrate our wonderful friendship. We realized that next month will be five years that we’ve officially known each other — but it shocks us both to know it’s only been that long. It’s seemed like a lifetime, but in a good way. I’m so fortunate to have her — and all of my wonderful friends — in my life.


Wordless Wednesday: The angel

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

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A date which will (hopefully) live in infamy

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

I’m going to drop a bomb on Pearl Harbor day.

I’ve got a faint line on a First Response Early Result test and a positive on a digital test.

I’ve got no early symptoms.

But I’ve got a first beta of 58 at 13 dpiui with a repeat set for Thursday. (Number on the same day last pg was 25.)

That is all of which I am certain. But I will also remind you that this is exactly how things started out last time: faint line, positive digital, no symptoms.

So I am dubious and it remains to be seen whether this will work. I am engaging in a bit of denial to get me through the coming weeks and months.

But, all the same, I’m very grateful to take this step forward. Even though I’m now in the position of leaving several others behind.

I have an ultrasound scheduled for December 20, which will be just shy of 6 weeks and perhaps a little early to see a heartbeat, but we’ll see. That’s when The RE wanted to see me, though, and their schedule is kind of tight the last couple weeks of the month because of all the holidays.

The stakes are high — higher than they’ve ever been — and I’m either going to end up with another child come August or another loss and possibly the end of our journey. Not much middle ground here.


Bliss

Monday, December 6, 2010

The day before I test, I can still envision a potentially positive outcome.

I can see the new direction my life begins to take, leaving behind the failures of the past with a fresh start at something new.

When I test, however, my future is immediately stamped with either a “PROCEED” or “RETURN TO START.” My path either stays as straight and as long as ever or takes a sharp turn in a direction I have not seen very often.

But for now, I can see what it’s like to take that turn. To sustain life. To achieve our dreams.

Ignorance really is bliss.


Points for me!

Friday, December 3, 2010

I’ve mentioned before my issues with the whole princess thing, and it’s obvious the interest is here to stay, so I figured I need to do my best to make peace with it. I’ve never discouraged it, but I’ve definitely hesitated to encourage it myself. That still doesn’t mean I want the Disney Princesses ™ all over my house, but I am willing to make some concessions.

So today I bought Baby B a “princess dress” for Christmas so she can wear it for dress-up play.

And the best part? It was just $20 at the consignment shop. I can guarantee you this dress did not cost anywhere close to $20 originally.

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Wordless Wednesday: The Santa pic

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

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