Thursday, June 28, 2012

I Did It!

I was nervous, but I did it!  I told my friends at dinner last night that we're expecting and it was so much fun. The 2 of them jumped up and hugged me so tightly at the same time I felt like I was in a love sandwich.  I can't tell you how amazing it was to share the news with friends who were so close to us, knew our struggles and had been rooting for us for the last 3 years. I feel like they may even take a piece of victory away for themselves and I truly think they deserve it.

While it's near impossible to endure infertility, it also takes a lot to stand-by infertile couples.  We don't always act rationally, we cancel on you last minute, we miss outings/events and we might not be there for you during your own pregnancy.  But we thank you for standing by us every step of the way to let us cry and share our joy. I truly believe this victory will be shared and SHOULD be shared by the many friends and family who have held our hands along the way.  We couldn't have done this without them.

I am still scared that this will not work out of course, but knowing that if it doesn't - I have a whole team waiting to help pick us up - makes me feel a little better.

Last night a close friend of E's called to catch up while I was at dinner so E got to share the news to someone as well.  Tomorrow, we'll tell my sister-in-law and my niece and nephew who are here visiting for just a few days. Sunday, we'll tell my parents and my sister - then my cousins and Aunt and Uncle who are coming for dinner.  This is definitely the fun part - it is helping me believe in the reality of what's happening.  It gets a little bit better each day, but I still have a long way to go.    

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Today's the Day

And I'm terrified.  Today's the day I had said I would tell my 2 college friends over dinner our big news.  But I find myself going through a list of white lies about why I'm not drinking instead of wondering how I can reveal this news.  What is wrong with me?

I think part of it is because E and I got in a huge fight last night and this morning again about couples therapy.  I am not averse to going, it's just that they way E talks about the reasons I won't like this therapist make me not want to go even more. I'm not sure why he would tell me I wouldn't like her if he genuinely wanted me to go with him. It doesn't make very much sense.  I know he's afraid I won't like what she'll have to say and frankly, the way E has relayed this information to me (not so diplomatically by the way) I don't feel like I'd like to spend 30 seconds with this woman, let alone 50 mins.  But I'm tired of fighting about the same things over and over again and I want to move past these issues.  That is something I can commit to.

I have control issues which I know I need to work on, but when your entire life seems to be out of control, I feel myself trying to control things maybe I shouldn't.  I think there are issues E had before we met that he needs to work on and that I shouldn't be blamed for all of this which is likely my biggest concern.  I also feel as if he's painted a picture of a monster to this woman...Also, we have some trust issues that need to be worked through.

There's another part of me that feels like I've been through SO much with infertility procedures that I should get a free pass. I know in my head that's not how it works, but physically, I'm drained - I'm pregnant and drained....I'm emotionally drained...

And  now I'm supposed to go to dinner with friends and tell them this wonderful news and I'm so terribly sad.  Monday's appointment was fine - I heard the little heartbeat on the doppler -- so I know there's a baby in there. But I've been having cramping and strange feelings in that area since last night which make me feel like something could be wrong.  I wish I could take a magic pill that would make all of these feelings just disappear.  

Monday, June 25, 2012

Announcement Freak Outs and Other Icky Stuff

I am incredibly nervous something is going to go wrong after we make our announcement.  The thought of telling my friends on Wednesday has turned from exciting to terrifying.  I am so scared that I will jinx this pregnancy by saying things out loud.  Also, I'm terrified that I won't have just had a US prior to the next appointment isn't scheduled until July 6th which seems like an eternity to me.

And then I was having a sad day on Sunday because I'm upset with myself that I can't just be happy and trust in this.  I don't want to be terrified any longer. I want to be happy and excited but it's just not coming so naturally.  I guess I continue to have good days and bad days and we'll have to make this announcement soon because I'm hibernating from friends and neighbors who invite us for drinks or want us to come jump on their brand new trampoline.  Seriously!?!?!  

I secretly hoped for an excuse to go into the doctor this week. To have one more peek before we do the big reveal.  Well, I got my wish - yay - I am pretty sure I have a yeast infection.  So uncomfortable but at least I have an appointment today for an exam and they can tell me what to use. I'm afraid to use much without the doctor telling me what's OK and what's not. 

So I'll go in today and hopefully, they'll let me see the baby too if I ask.  My new doc said I could come in to see the heartbeat whenever I wanted so I guess I could have called this week anyway, but at least now I have a legitimate and likely non-threatening excuse to come in.  

Friday, June 22, 2012

The Risks We Take

What do we do when those small percentage risks associated with ART actually land in our laps?  We aren't prepared for them although every waiver we've signed, nurse we've met with or doctor that's treated us has reminded us of the risks associated with ART.

Here's what we do - we look them dead in the eye and sign right there on the dotted line without another thought in our minds because OUR desire to have a child is more important than any of the risks the doctors have just explained - multiples, miscarriage, abnormalities, risks to our lives or other fetuses lives.  I've done it - you've done it.

I found myself sick to my stomach after reading a post about reducing multiples being a "no-brainer" decision.  How can this be?  I would have hoped no matter how many babies were in there, that this was the hardest decision one might ever have to make. I simply don't get that sense at all from the author and that's the part I really can't grasp.  

E and I decided against transferring even 2 embryos because we were not comfortable with even the risks associated with twins although it effectively lowered our success rate.

Now I realize there are a 100 medical decisions that have to be considered with multiple reduction and appreciate the honesty of the blogger - but this is my blog - a place where I can express how I feel and I hope others will respect that as well.  I only hope that I will never have to go through what she's going through, but I know if I did, it would absolutely be the most excruciating decision I would ever make in my entire life. And something that I likely might never fully be at peace with.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

My New Docs

Yesterday was my first appointment with the OB.  This is a brand new doctor to me because I refuse to go back to the practice I was just getting my routine paps done at for the last 8 years.  It was a huge practice (15-20 docs) and I thought the few OBs that I had seen were condescending to my IVF journey.  No more going to doctors that I don't like.  So, while I researched the heck out of new OBs, I ended up going with a practice with 2 doctors recommended to me by my RE and a close friend now pregnant with twins after IVF.

E and I arrived 15 mins before our scheduled appointment as instructed and ended up waiting 45 mins to see the doctor.  Now, this practice has routinely been applauded for running on time so first impressions were not looking so good.  Forty-five minutes in an OB waiting room to a infertile person was surreal.  There were visibly pregnant women, babies and kids EVERYWHERE. It felt very strange - like the twilight zone or something. I was so glad E was there with me.

We read through all the NT Scan and cystic fibrosis materials they handed us after checking in - which took all of 10 mins. Then, just the wait. Wait to see the baby - wait to ask the doc questions - wait, wait, wait.  I was nervous something had gone wrong over the weekend because I was having these intermittent cramps so that made the wait even more difficult.

Then, they finally called us. I had to give a urine sample and step on the scale. Honestly, I was pretty nervous for the weigh-in.  I know that I can only gain about 25 pounds and I've already used about about 3 of those - I'm just nervous of really letting my weight get out of control so I'm trying to be very vigilant on what I eat and what the scale says. Anyway, I hopped off the scale and was let into the US room.  A few mins later, a knock on the door and this thin, older man burst in and yells, "You're pregnant!"  I have to say that it took me by surprise - not so much the whole action itself but the words - someone congratulating me on pregnancy.  I am simply not used to that yet.

Dr. E then took a look at the paperwork from my RE's office and asked how many attempts this took us. I took a deep breath and explained the gory story - short version of course. Dr. E looked genuinely concerned and patted my leg telling me that we'd worked so hard to get here and we deserve the utmost of congratulations. He actually used the words, "We've climbed mountains to get here."  I thought I might cry.  He said we could come in at any time to see the heartbeat if we wanted and that he completely understood our anxiety.  He was also thrilled to hear that we had 4 frozen embryos too. I told him we hoped to keep him busy for a few years.  

We did the US and baby was measuring right on schedule with a heart rate about 140. It seemed a little low to me but the doc said that's totally normal as it will go down after 9 weeks and can vary depending on my mood too. So I guess I was more relaxed than I thought.  We got to hear the heartbeat as well which was absolutely incredible. Gosh, I do love modern science.

He did some cultures and I got to skip the blood work! Woo hoo -- since I had a physical back in February for the home study, I had done all the necessary blood work and didn't need to get poked again. I was so excited about this.  We told him about being excited to tell our families and he said that after the NT scan I should be good to go.  This scan and blood work will measure our risk for Downs Syndrome.  My appointment isn't until July 6th.

Honestly, we still plan to tell family next Sunday ahead of the scan because no matter what, this kid is coming  home with us.  Also, I'm at the point where I am really needing support here and if something goes wrong, I want friends and family around to help me.

Each day I get a little stronger in my resolve to think happy thoughts. It's tough, and sometimes I "relapse" but this may be the only time in my life that I'm actually pregnant and I'm trying to enjoy whatever little moments I can.  

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Last Day for Meds!

I am 10 weeks today and it's my last official day of Estrace and Endometrin.  I am thrilled to finally be crossing this milestone. I have to take the milestones where I can, right?

I am of course nervous like most infertiles, that stopping these medications will automatically mean that I'll lose the baby.  I still can't trust yet that my body is capable of sustaining life.  It's a tough one to grasp.  I am comforted by the fact that we have our first OB appointment tomorrow and I can go over all the rest of the meds I'm still taking with him - Metformin, baby aspirin, Folgard and prenatals of course.  Tomorrow is scary and exciting all at the same time.

We still haven't told any family or friends outside of our support group about our news.  If all goes well tomorrow, then I'll be able to tell 2 of my girlfriends from college who I'm having dinner with next week. It will be absolutely impossible to make up a good excuse as to why I'm not drinking with them (as I've already seen the 1 friend and had to use another excuse).  So E and I have discussed and I will be able to share the news with them as long as I swear them to secrecy. No emails to anyone else, no facebook congrats etc.  I am sure I can trust them.

I just can't trust my mom not to tell EVERYONE which is why we've waited to tell my parents.  They proved they couldn't handle keeping the news to themselves at our Ireland vacation last year when my sister told us she was 8 weeks along. My parents told everyone at the rehearsal dinner despite my sister's instructions to keep it to immediate family only!  

We plan to tell our families next Sunday when I'll be 11.5 weeks along.  It will be my mom's birthday and E has come up with this really cute way of telling my mom.  I hope I'm not jinxing things by saying how excited I am to tell people but - I truly am.  Also, part of me wants to tell because if anything goes wrong, I will need their support.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Excerpt from FMLA

Thought I'd share this little FAQ I came across while I researched my leave under the FMLA.

Q23.  An employee with difficulty getting pregnant is going to have fertility treatments.  Can she invoke FMLA for these treatments?

A23.  Inability to get pregnant is not a serious health condition.  Therefore, the employee cannot invoke FMLA for the purpose of receiving fertility treatments.  However, FMLA may be invoked if complications from receiving the treatments result in a serious health condition. (5 CFR 630.1203(a)(3))

UUMMMMM - I beg to differ. Any condition that requires the amount of blood draws, therapy, needle pokes, surgeries, doctor's visits and procedures is most certainly a serious health condition. Wondering how we work to change these laws!?!?!?

The Shrink

So E went to see a therapist today.  He's been battling some depression almost since we met and I finally convinced him to go see someone on the recommendation of my therapist.  Now today was only the first session, but right off the bat, he tells me she thinks we need marriage counseling. Seriously, who doesn't!?!?!

I mean I'm already in therapy, E's going and now we need more. I don't think so. I hate these therapists where all they do is tell you you need more therapy.  Well, no kidding because that means I'm paying you!  Seriously, if we went to 3 therapy sessions, we'd be spending all of our time and money in therapy and I think we've done pretty good all things considered. 

I love my therapist, but I fully intend on stopping or spacing out my appointments in the near future. I don't think I need continuous therapy.  One of the reasons I like who I see is because she gives credit where credit is due - meaning, she tells me it's great that we still have such a supportive relationship through all this infertility stuff and then gives me concrete things to work on. 

UGH - I'm just really annoyed at this lady E saw who also told him to discontinue his weight loss regimen during this time.  I can't help but feeling like this is a huge mistake because I'm afraid E will gain the weight he's worked so hard to lose. That would be devastating because his health effects our family so much.  Anyway, this is just a vent this morning.  Really, what did we do without therapy - oh yea, there's wine!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Good News Today

We graduated from our clinic this morning! I am so thrilled. Our little one is measuring right on time at 9 weeks 1 day. Phew - he/she caught right up. Heartbeat is going strong at 182 and we even saw a leg move which was absolutely amazing! 

I have my first appointment with the OB next Wednesday. I decided we're going to go to 2 appointments and then decide who we like because I don't want to just jump into this decision - so we'll go to one OB on Wednesday and the other on Thursday and decide after the second appointment. 

I still really can't believe this was happening.  I was nervous for today's scan but not as nervous as before. Course it didn't help that I had lunch with one of my dearest college friends yesterday who relayed the story of her friend's miscarriage at 17 weeks! I swear - do any of you have friends you love to death but really, they say the wrong thing all the time?!?! That's how my friend is - she doesn't know what she's saying and I think I'm really going to need to have a chat with her. Now she doesn't know I'm pregnant as we aren't ready to share yet, but there are just some things you don't tell someone who's been trying to have a baby for the last 3 years!?!?!

Anyway, really trying to forget about that story for now. I have plans to go to prenatal yoga with my friend on Saturday morning which I'm super excited about. I have really missed yoga and exercise other than walking. E is always hounding me not to jump around, walk too fast or whatever.  I have always been an active person so I'm definitely missing the workouts. 

Monday, June 11, 2012

Holy D Cup, Batman

Thought I'd share something fun today rather than bore you with regular updates.

On Saturday I ventured into the lingerie section at Nordstrom to purchase some items for friends' bridal showers coming up this summer. I had some items in my hand and the saleswoman asks if she can start me a room.  I said sure, thanks (FYI - helps me gauge which size to purchase friends if I try things on first - then I know to go up/down a size if needed).  Then she asks, have you been measured? You look like you're about a "D" cup. 

Wait, what!?!? Did she just saw D cup? I almost laughed out loud, but realized she's probably exactly right.  Before pregnancy, I was a C cup and now I'm totally spilling out of my bras so it makes sense that I would be a D cup.  But that just sounds ridiculous to me!  Anyway, E got a kick out of that when I got home and asked if I purchased anything for me.  To his disappointment, I didn't mainly because I don't know if I'll get bigger. I sure hope not because these are big enough, but good lord - never thought I'd be a D! 

Friday, June 8, 2012

8 weeks 3 days

I'm counting the hours and minutes until our next US.  Hoping and praying that our little one keeps on growing and sticks around for another 7 months so we get to meet him or her.  Each day is a struggle to remember that I'm in a good place. Everything is OK.  I literally have to repeat this to myself on an hourly basis.  Three years of infertility is tough to get over and I just haven't done it in 8 weeks.

I really would like to tell my sister my good news, mostly because I have a zillion questions I need help with.  The first being, how on Earth will I choose an OB?  I know first had not all doctors are alike but when I go in on Wednesday to hopefully graduate from the RE, I'm going to have to tell him who I've chosen.  I'm thinking of doing consults with 2 OBs to at least get a better feel before I commit.  I mean, I have consulted over 8 doctors in our infertility journey, it seems a little ridiculous to just go with the first OB who I can get in with.

I'm still dealing with anxiety over miscarriage and overwhelming feelings with regards to all the choices that have to be made for our near future.  Hopefully, Sunday with my pregnant infertile friends will help me feel a little better.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

I Didn't Know I Was Pregnant

Seriously, this would be me unless we hadn't just seen our baby with a gorgeous heartbeat of 154 at 8 weeks!  Unfortunately, I'm still not entirely convinced that we'll get our take home baby come January.  I am exactly 8 weeks today, but the CRL (crown to rump length) only measured 7 weeks, 4 days which is making me a little uneasy. The gestational sac is measuring right at 8 weeks and the yolk is measuring at 8 weeks 2 days. The doctors were thrilled with the results and said definitely not to worry. Things were progressing wonderfully.  Right, don't worry. Not things an infertile woman does easily.

E is a little annoyed with me I can tell, that I'm not jumping for joy.  I know the doc said everything is fine, I know these measurements aren't entirely accurate at this stage in the game but I'm still nervous.  We were given the choice to graduate to an OB today or to do one more US with our RE and of course I opted for one more US next week. 

I think I'm putting off going to the OB because I'm so scared they'll treat me like any other regular patient. And I don't feel like a regular patient at all.  Thankfully, I am having lunch with some pregnant friends from my support group on Sunday so I'll be able to talk with them about all my craziness. 

We still have not told anyone outside of our support group that we're pregnant. I really would like to tell my parents first and in person but I don't think we'll be able to see them until mid-July - when I'm about 14 weeks along. That will be a long time to wait but we'll see.

Friday, June 1, 2012

It's June

I wish it were July!

No more spotting today so far which is excellent news.  I am having a few friends over tonight and am going to have to figure out how to hide the fact that I'm not drinking. With 8 extra people in the house, hopefully no one will notice if I just carry around a glass of wine. I also feel like, as the hostess, I'll be running around and it will be easy to misplace my glass. Heck - I do that half the time anyway when I am drinking so nothing out of the ordinary there.  The only problem I see, is that I really do want a glass. I just want one - I want to chill out - feel normal again. Instead I'm a ball of anxiety all day every day. 

Though we're getting close to Tuesday it still seems so far away.  I can't shake this feeling that my body isn't doing what it's supposed to.  This has to work because I truly don't think I can go through this waiting again.