Tuesday, July 31, 2007

9 Weeks

I am very excited that the S.impsonize Me website is finally working! I am going to see the movie tonight and I am very excited. I have even changed my profile picture to a Simpsons Kate.

I am 9 weeks today which means only one more week until my next ultrasound! Woohoo! My appetite has come back a little bit, but the heartburn has gotten worse and I'm not sleeping well, at all. This past weekend I must have taken two naps a day to try to catch up. What is it about the sun going down that makes you feel yucky? That doesn't make any sense to me. Also, I have been waking up really sweaty. It's so gross. Is it the progesterone I'm taking? Has anyone else had this experience? I had a dream that I had just stepped out of the shower and when I woke up I was soaked!

I have started to really want to tell people my news. It's the first time I've felt like I want to tell anyone, but M really wants to wait until we tell our families in a few weeks. I know he is right, and I know that once we do tell everyone the advice will flow in like crazy. I will probably wish I had kept my mouth shut a while longer.

Congrats to Serenity, Sticky Bun and I Will Be Mom who got some great news this week! Also, go and give some love to JJ. She is always so positive and is the first one to offer words of encouragement to everyone. I hope we can send a little of that sunshine back to her.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Get a Grip

I am nothing but a big, neurotic mess. All of the yoga books I read, all of the deep breathing and "staying calm"? Not sinking in. Monday night was a pretty rough night. Tuesday I woke up feeling, well, pretty good. Wednesday I woke up feeling pretty good. The nausea wasn't as bad, my boobs were not as sore, although they have never been terribly sore, anyway. I freaked out. I was convinced that my symptoms had disappeared and that spelled doom. I called the nurse's line at my RE's office and left a message. Then I waited thirty torturous minutes for someone to call me back.

Your nausea has gone away?
Well, not completely, but it's much better.
Have you had any cramping?
Have you had any bleeding?
I think that maybe you're just lucky. Everyone is different.
Well, I keep feeling these sort of pinchy feelings and pulling.
That's your body changing. ( I know she wanted to add "you idiot" at the end of it)

I felt a little silly, but I needed some peace of mind. M tried to make me feel better by telling me stories about our friends who only had 3 days of morning sickness. Yeah, well, they also got pregnant the first month they threw away their birth control pills. My friend MW, who has been through all of this and then some, told me she was always waiting for the other shoe to drop. It was a never ending line of small milestones that kept her sane.

If I think about this logically, I know that everything is likely just fine. After all, my symptoms started almost right away, before I even took a test. I've already had three weeks of morning sickness. From what I remember my mother telling me, her morning sickness didn't last very long and wasn't very severe. It's just reassuring to feel like crap.

My pants are getting tight and I seem to be well on my way to having P.amela A.nderson's figure. Thank you for all of your heartburn suggestions. I have managed to get a handle on it, but I have to really watch what I eat. Also, the thought of eating meat makes me want to gag. I guess I should find comfort in that.

One bright spot this week was that the summer semester has ended! This class was so annoying. I thought it would be valuable and interesting, but it was just busy work. As an educator I am so annoyed by poor instruction. Grad school has been pretty frustrating. Even though I don't teach anymore, I will always think of myself as a teacher, and I will always want to walk up and take over a class when the professor clearly has no talent for communicating the material. Getting off of my soapbox now.

Courtney is beginning her IVF journey, which is very exciting! If you haven't already, head over to Sticky Bun and check out the great news!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Another Week

I am managing to get a better handle on the fear and worry, although it won't go away completely. Today I am 8 weeks! Only 2 weeks ago I had an ultrasound, but it seems like it was months ago. Two weeks from today I get another one. It seems like it's an eternity away.

Heartburn has made an appearance in the last few days, mostly at night. I have always had an iron stomach, so this is new to me. I can take the discomfort, but not being able to sleep is what's really getting to me. I've done all of the usual things, like sleeping propped up, avoiding acidic/spicy foods, but it still comes around. Tums don't even touch it. Any remedies you may have are very welcome!

In the meantime, I am finished with the summer semester this week and I am so glad. The class, which I thought would be interesting, has really turned out to me a pain in the ass. I took it online to give me some more flexibility and to avoid driving on campus twice a week, but it is frustrating. I really resent paying grad school tuition for something that amounts to busy work. The end of the week can't come soon enough.

Congrats to Shelby! That is really great news. Life is going to get very exciting for you. :)

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

It Never Ends

My heart hurts so much for those who have recently gotten news about miscarriages and possible problems with their babies. It also scares the absolute shit out of me. Just as the blog world seemed to have BFPs popping up everywhere, now I seem to notice every negative occurrence. I've started worrying about the heart rate and the next ultrasound. I've started having tornado dreams and even had a dream that I went to the restroom and there was blood in my underwear.

I know that these are anxiety dreams and that all indications from the ultrasound and my symptoms are that everything is fine, but the fear has come back. Time seems to be creeping by, and while I know there are no guarantees no matter where you are in a pregnancy, I would feel so much better if it were already week 12. My symptoms have become my mantra:

Sore Breasts
No Appetite
Acne Like a Teenager
Slightly Bigger Tummy

I am praying for Bumble and Vee and anyone else who is going through a hard time right now. I have been reminded that life and the creation of life is so fragile. It humbles me and my heart fills with hope that I will see my baby in 9 months.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Barren Bitches Book Tour-The Kid

I really enjoyed this book and the different tone it took from many of the other books on infertility that we are presented with, namely that it was mostly humorous and told from the perspective of a gay male couple. The author says in the chapter "Grieving Our Infertility" (page 25 in my book, but not sure if we all have the same printing) that "Heterosexual identity is all wrapped up in the ability of heterosexuals to make babies....Infertility did more than shatter their expectations; it undermined their sexual identities." If you're part of a heterosexual couple and in fertility treatment, did you feel the same way? Did you feel that you had lost your sexual identity once you started treatment, or had somehow "failed" as a partner in terms of what is expected of you as a woman?
I think that Dan Savage got right to the heart of the matter with that statement. However independent or liberated you may think you are, finding out that baby making isn't easy for you is something that goes right to the core of who you are. As a woman, I felt that I could earn an education, a good salary and a successful career. Having a child, though, that is something that is given to me and is mine. Finding out that isn't the case changes the way you think about everything - sex, your identity as a female, and your sexuality. Even now, as I make tentative steps into the realm of pregnancy, I feel that my view of myself as a mother is changed because of my experience.

Dan and Terry face opposition as a gay couple trying to adopt and are able to overcome that stigma with the help of an open-minded birth mother. In some international adoptions, their chances of adopting would have been slim to none due to their sexual orientation. How do you feel about the "rules" some countries have for parents looking to adopt from their country (Examples: sexual orientation, weight, age, mental health, marital status, or income)?
In the movie "parenthood" Keanu Reaves has a line that goes something like, "They make you take a test to get a driver's license, but any asshole can be a parent." Obviously this statement doesn't take into account IF, but I think you get my point. People who are able to have their own children have them, regardless of weight, income or mental status. I have to admit that after teaching in the inner city for 5 years and seeing some truly horrible examples of child abuse, I sometimes thought that maybe a parenting test would not be such a bad thing. (True or False A child is not an ashtray.) I can understand why a country or agency may want to screen perspective parents for things such as mental health issues, but I have never thought that a person's sexual orientation or income level should exclude them from being a parent. From a teacher's perspective, since I am not yet a parent, what kids need is love and security.

What would you have done if given only a few hours to decide whether or not to take someone like Melissa into your life in such a permanent way? Would you have avoided the situation altogether at the expense of becoming a parent or growing your family?
I don't think I would have avoided it, but it would make me pause. It's not only taking someone as a permanent part of your family, but her circumstances made the situation even more unique. In the end, I would like to think that I would say yes. There is no guarantee that any child will be perfect, whether you give birth or adopt, but it is all an amazing journey.

Friday, July 13, 2007

All Things Bright And Beautiful

*There is an ultrasound picture at the bottom of this post*

It was a good thing that my appointment yesterday was in the morning because I think I would have gone insane if I had to wait. As it was, the hour and a half that I spent at my desk in the was torture.

The ultrasound technician was very nice and gave M and I the "if we don't see a heartbeat it could be for these reasons" speech. Yeah, yeah - just stick that thing in me, will ya? A gestational sack appeared and so did a heartbeat! It was really amazing. I kept my eyes glued to the screen because I knew if I looked at M I would completely lose it. She took a bunch of pictures of the little blob and of my ovaries. The measurement was 5mm and the heart rate was 101. They also gave us a due date of March 4th. It was all good news. We were happy and overwhelmed at the same time.

While we waited for our pictures in the "consult room", the nurse came in to talk about my symptoms and gave me a lot of reading material. It dawned on me that I never got the results from my initial 7dpo blood work. I knew my progesterone was probably low, but I wanted more details. I discovered that I am not a c.ystic f.ibrosis carrier, that my thyroid was normal, but my prolactin was slightly elevated. My progesterone was only 9.2. This confirms ovulation, of course, but is well below the 15 that they like to see. It makes me amazed that the embryo made it through the first few days. Back in April, I really, really thought I was pregnant. I was only two days late, so I decided not to test. Then, of course, AF came. Knowing the progesterone results, it makes me wonder if I was, after all. For now, I feel happy, although still cautious. Every day that goes by is one day closer to March.

The morning sickness is kicking up a bit. I wake up regularly at 3am with an upset stomach and usually have to go and watch TV while I eat a little something. I feel sick and I love it! Since everything looked good, my next appointment will be in four weeks. How can I wait that long?! It's going to be hard. Thanks so very much for all of your thoughts and prayers. I am sending prayers right back at you, so keep them coming! Here is the ultrasound picture:

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

My Favorite Day Of The Week

Tuesday is my new favorite day of the week. Every Tuesday that goes by means another week of pregnancy. Today is the beginning of week six. I woke up at 3am feeling sick and with a wicked headache. Although I had to stay in bed until 9:30am and didn't get to work until noon, I say bring it on. Bring on the headaches, the puking, the weird food cravings, the sore boobs and the exhaustion. I want it all.

Thanks to everyone who commented on my "fear" post. I know it's something that we all confront on a daily basis. I have been trying to really get a handle on things, but when you're up in the middle of the night it's always hard not to let your imagination get carried away.

I was visiting my parents this weekend when I ran into CH at church. She is due this Saturday and looked very uncomfortable. I thought maybe it would be easier to see her now, but it wasn't. All of the insensitive and condescending things she said came back to me and I still felt hurt and resentful. I am gong to have to try to let all of that go. I don't think I will ever be able to make her understand how her platitudes made me feel and, quite frankly, I don't have the energy right now. Am I going to carry these feelings with me against everyone who gave me idiotic assvice or told me to "relax"? If so, I am going to waste a lot of time and energy.

Thursday is getting closer and closer and I keep going back and forth between worry and excitement. My friend MW who has traveled a very long and very hard IF road told M, you have to allow for the possibility that everything is fine. I'll just hang on to that thought and to my exhaustion and nausea and hope for the very, very best.

Friday, July 06, 2007


Fear is now my constant companion. It greets me in the morning if I wake up with breasts that aren't as sore as they were yesterday. It follows me to the bathroom a zillion times per day to make sure there isn't any more spotting. I try to ignore it and pretend it isn't there. That seems to make it worse.

In the latest issue of Y.oga J.ournal there is an article about fear. I thought about it last night and re-read it. It is an amazing piece. The author, a psychiatrist, talks about how she helps her patients embrace the fears that paralyze them from day to day. Through some meditative examination about what the fear actually is, her patients name the fear, dissect the fear and are able to make friends with it. I thought it all sounded like a load of crap at first, but the more I thought about it, the more I knew she was right.

When I lived in Boston I had an upstairs neighbor that was a real piece of work. Everyone warned me about her as soon as I moved in. Any little noise would either send her to her front balcony to scream at me for being to noisy, or to the complex office to complain. One morning as I left for work, she came out on her balcony to yell at me for closing the door to loudly. I marched up the stairs and stuck out my hand. I introduced myself, apologized for any loud noise and told her that if she had a problem she could come down and politely discuss it with me. There were no more problems after that.

Maybe fear is just something I will have to live with. Just like that upstairs neighbor. I think I need to learn to embrace it, examine it, and try not to let it overwhelm me. It's not going to go away and (hopefully) when I give birth to a healthy baby, a whole new set of fears will set in.

I am still pretty tired, but not overwhelmingly so. After teaching for six years I think my idea of "tired" might be a little off. The waves of nausea have become a little more frequent, but still aren't too bad. I tend to wake up in the middle of the night and I still have no appetite to speak of. (I had six pieces of bacon for lunch yesterday.) My first ultrasound isn't until Thursday, so I will try to distract myself from the worry and excitement.

I have a pdf version of the article about Fear and it really is very good. If you want a copy of it e-mail me and I will send it to you. You can also find it in the August issue of Y.oga J.ournal.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

More Numbers

So, the second set of numbers are back. My hcg was 1272 and my progesterone was 41. This means that my hcg has doubled every 48 hours, which is good....right? I go in next Thursday for my first ultrasound and I will see Dr. Fast again. I'm nervous about it. I just hope there's something in there.

I spoke with the nurse a little bit. Although I was not on any meds this cycle she said that I probably would have been on progesterone, given my low levels. So, I guess my suspicions were right. She called it "subfertility". Yeah, no kidding. I just hope it proves to be my only issue for the next nine months. I can't shake this feeling of wanting to be really happy, but feeling like I don't want to jinx it. I know M feels that way, as well.

I am going to go back to Yoga on Thursday and give it a try. There aren't too many restrictions during the first trimester. Just no inversions or twisting. I'm just afraid to move right now. I'll have to get over it soon, though, because my house is such a mess!

Happy 4th everyone!