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Journey To the Finish Line

PR's, 4 children, hopes and dreams; I'm always running after something

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early pregnancy

Time [for] Change

(my apologies if this is a bit jumpy)

I purposely went to bed late last night, but was up at 630 this morning anyway, my body thinking it was 730. Damn body clock.

I don’t sleep the same that I used to. That has changed. I used to be one who could fall asleep practically once I hit the pillow, and even though I’d tend to wake up a few times in the middle of the night, could always go right back to sleep. Now, it takes me 30-45 minutes to fall asleep and I’m finding it harder to fall back to sleep once I’ve had my 1st, 2nd or even 3rd bathroom break. Strangely so far it has not made me useless during the day, but is super frustrating at the time.

Last night I was restless, tossing and turning, unable to get comfortable. And not because of my stomach or any physical reason (that I could tell – it’s still a bit early for that I think), I simply could not get my body to calm down and rest. My mind jumping from one thing to another and my body responding in turn.

There are lots of big changes coming.

I am excited, but admittedly also scared. Sometimes, caught up in my anxieties -my mind wonders how these changes will affect me, our relationship, us as people. We are getting closer to the end of the first trimester, but not out of the woods yet. I wonder and worry about sleep, money, and whether we will be good parents. Whether we will have to deal with health problems having twins. How we will fare as a couple. I think that this is all normal, and deep down in my heart of hearts I know we will be fine.

I am happy and grateful to be here – we waited a long time and went through much heartache to get here. It is just that even the best things come with their own changes and anxieties. Sometimes I forget to take this one day at a time, to enjoy one day at at time, to worry about one day at a time. I get caught up in my own head. It makes me restless. People talk about the emotional ups and downs during pregnancy and I think mine manifests more as anxiety.

It is useless worry. Worry will not change anything, except perhaps for my mood. I seem to write about worry often, and it is worse with my Type A “want to be able to control everything” personality. Bryan and I had a conversation on Friday about essentially this same thing. The kicker is I know so many that would kill to worry about this rather than their own infertility. The irony is not lost on me.

I finally gave up going back to sleep (it is really 730 after all :)) and came downstairs for some breakfast (there is no waiting to eat for me nowadays!). I sat at my computer with my cereal still a little restless. And probably not coincidentally, I thought of the serenity prayer – a little piece of wisdom that makes a lot of sense.

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

The Very Hungry Preggapillar

Today I had a laugh at myself moment.

Everyone is familiar with the children’s story The Very Hungry Caterpillar, right?

As a quick recap, basically the caterpillar is hungry and he eats through foods every day of the week but is still hungry. On Monday he ate through one apple, but he was still hungry. On Tuesday he ate through two pears but he was still hungry. And so on all the way through Saturday when he had himself a caterpillar sized buffet and ended up with a stomachache. In the end he turns into a butterfly. (I wonder how hungry butterflies are)

A friend at work recently commented that since becoming pregnant, I talk about food an awful lot. This was proven when, at lunch yesterday, I declared what I was planning to have for dinner. Truthfully, I haven’t been this food obsessed since my teenage/college days of counting calories (God knows why because I wasn’t anywhere near overweight).

Today at lunchtime I took an out loud mental note of what I had eaten that day. Pop parts, a nutra grain bar, a cheese stick, some pretzels, a protein bar….and I was still hungry.

It was then that I nicknamed myself The Very Hungry Preggapillar. And here is my story (slightly exaggerated for dramatic effect, only bc I could never eat 4 yogurts at once):

One day, there was a young girl who just LOOKED at her husband and ended up pregnant with twins. (HA! KIDDING!) She awoke each morning feeling as though her stomach had been empty for days. So, she ate.

At 7am, she ate one half of a bagel with cream cheese, but she was still hungry.

At 8am she ate two mugs (yes, mugs – I did this once for portion control and bc I like refills) of cereal, but she was still hungry.

At 9am, she ate 3 cheese sticks, but she was still hungry

At 10am, she ate 4 yogurts, but she was still hungry

At 11 am, she ate 5 licorice sticks, but she was still hungry

At noon, she ate a sandwich, an apple, some doritos, some carrot sticks, two cookies, some Mike and Ikes and turkey pepperoni. She got a stomachache.

At 1pm, she was still hungry.

At 2 pm, she ate 2 bites of salad. And then the babies exclaimed “are you freaking kidding me mom? Are you trying to STARVE us to death? Are you prepared to live with that kind of guilt?!?!”

So she ate the whole salad….and a cupcake.

After 8 months of this, she was a big as a house.

The End.

I could totally get a book deal with this, right?

Letting Go

Today marks 9 weeks.

And I have, somewhat inadvertently, wished most of it away by doing things like counting down days to to the next appointment or ultrasound. I swore to myself many moons ago that I would enjoy every day of being pregnant, and in some ways I have, but in many others I’m wishing time away.

Pregnancy has been extremely nice to me. I’m not sick. My fatigue is mostly limited to recent wishes to spend more time on the couch.  I don’t have headaches or nausea. I don’t have food aversions. I do get some light headed-ness, but my biggest “complaints” surround hunger, thirst and potty breaks. Oh, and some interrupted sleep. I can already see myself growing.
And instead of enjoying it, I worry.

At 4 weeks I worried about BETA levels. At 5 weeks I worried about BETA levels still. At 6 weeks I worried about seeing heartbeats. At 8 weeks I worried about those heartbeats disappearing. Even now knowing my risk of miscarriage is much lower, I still worry.

Some of this is the nature of having gone through infertility. We know all the things that can go wrong. If it hasn’t happened to us, we’ve seen it happen to others. But this is getting ridiculous. I cannot spend an entire pregnancy worrying. I refuse to get to the end of this and realize I worried the entire pregnancy away.

In my defense, I’m not worrying ALL THE TIME, and I know some worrying is normal, but this is too much.

Belle @ Scrambled Eggs posted a fabulous quote recently:

“If you get caught up in the worst case scenario and it doesn’t happen, you’ve wasted your time. And if you are caught up in the worst case scenario and it does happen, you’ve lived it twice.” -Michael J. Fox

Good call, Mr Fox.

It’s time to let go.

Graduation Day

I’ve had three four major graduations so far in my life:

High School – 2000

College – 2004

Graduate School – 2007

None of them ( as far as I can remember ) were as bittersweet as today.

I hit 8 weeks two days ago and was relieved to find that at 8 weeks, babies look more like babies and less like aliens.

phew, I’m not actually having alien babies

I kinda wish now that I had taken note of what I first thought when stepping into the RE’s office for the first time a year and a half ago. I know that after 18 months of trying on our own I wanted some answers, though admittedly “IVF is your only option” was NOT the answer I was looking for. Clearly, because it took us almost another 18 months to finally delve into IVF. I imagined many times walking out of that building jumping with joy and no desire to look back.

Today was my final ultrasound at the RE’s office. I walked in to a half full waiting room wondering where all of these couples were on their quest for parenthood, how long they have been on this path. I wished them all luck, silently. Then we waited.

After being called back and the customary stripping, I said to Bryan that I hoped today would be my final date with Bob. The same as last time the doc commented on my ovaries (still huge, but shrinking) and counted one……two. Both were still there, both hearts still beating (at 170 and 180bpm), both measuring on track. To see those heartbeats again was amazing – I could have stared at them all day (yes, even if that meant a vaginal ultrasound wand up my lady bits for the whole day)

Baby B was hiding a bit and so looks more blob-ish in the picture

We met with my nurse for a final time, paid our final bill and walked out the door – no longer patients. As we left I felt relieved, grateful, excited, and a little bit sad.

I never expected this office to be as supportive as they were. Those women became more than just the women who talked over my plan, gave me new medication instructions and drew my blood – they became friends. As time went on I found myself looking forward to my appointments – they were rooting us on just as much as anyone else. Even the RE himself, who we didn’t see much of in the beginning, was caring and truly congratulatory. I only had consistent appointments there for a couple of months and I didn’t expect the office to become like a family. I’ve felt an incredible amount of gratitude for all of them.

Today was graduation day, and we left with the greatest diploma possible – two ultrasound pictures of our healthy and growing BOGO’s.

(And because I feel like I’m finally starting to let go of the anxieties – a “belly” picture)

8 weeks

Alien Blueberries and Other Early Pregnancy Tidbits

If you are going by “conception date”, i.e. the day my eggs and Bryan’s sperm fertilized in a petri dish (how romantic – do you think they kissed or held hands first or just went at it?), I am 7 weeks pregnant today.

I still wouldn’t believe it were twins if it weren’t for the ultrasound, and the fact that I already look as though I’ve eaten a bit too much pizza. In my teens and early twenties this would have sent me into a tizzy of exercise and diet but today I’ve never been happier to look like I am pizza’s number one fan. (GO PIZZA!)

I’ve still been a bit gun shy about this whole thing, but after last weeks’ ultrasound I finally downloaded a few pregnancy apps on my phone. It’s been fun and interesting to track week to week (well, 6 to 7 since I’ve only had them a week) and read some of the daily tips, except for the fact that every.single.app talks about how ” well you probably don’t feel pregnant until you vomit up your lunch”. Oh, and those most likely to be sick? Those pregnant with multiples. I feel like an anomaly.

I know that some don’t get morning sickness until later, and I may be eating these words in the next few weeks, who knows. Or rather, vomiting them. But so far I have been blissfully morning sickness free. The only problem with this is that it makes me worry there is something wrong, despite that fact that PLENTY of women ( and one I know who had twins in fact) didn’t have any morning sickness. I do have a bit of nausea if I don’t eat frequently enough, but I don’t think that counts.

For a size comparison, a 6 weeks the embryo is about the size of a grain of rice. At 7 weeks its a blueberry. At 7 weeks vital organs are forming. Ears, eyes, arm and leg buds. It’s crazy. I remember learning in school about the development of the ears/mouth etc and how an issue like cleft palate was likely due to an issue with development in the first few weeks of pregnancy, but now that it’s actually happening it’s even crazier.

But it looks like an alien. For real. This is one apps’ depiction:

Hello alien baby, er, babies

Man I hope I don’t have nightmares about birthing aliens now. Alien blueberries.

I still worry- namely about the 8 week ultrasound, because I’ve seen the stories out there about babies with heartbeats at 6 week ultrasounds and no heartbeats at 8 week ultrasounds. This is the biggest hump for me right now. From what I understand though, the worry never stops, not even after you give birth. One mom simply told me “welcome to motherhood”.

Well damn.

Bryan already talks to them. He kissed my stomach when he left to go back out of town. No matter how detached I try to stay “just in case”, I already love them. We both do. Please, alien blueberries, continue to grow and be healthy.

I will buy you both a pony.

An Ode to Rollercoasters (metaphorically speaking)

The roller coaster ride does not end when you find out you are pregnant.

The last few weeks (and probably still for the next upcoming few) have been a mix of emotions including (this list is not all inclusive) joy, anxiety, worry, peace, happiness, fear, panic. Not to mention that I feel a little between two worlds with this blog right now – hovering between the realms of infertility and pregnancy. My intention has always been to keep writing about the journey no matter where it took us, pregnancy included. I just haven’t quite figured out how to do it – how to share the pregnancy journey while staying sensitive to those still battling. I’ve started to read blogs and be completely at a loss for words as to how to comment because I simply do not feel like I truly belong in either category.

At times I find myself thinking about a future baby shower, a growing belly (which, by the way, is already pooch-y), feeling the first kicks. Then I begin to panic when I wonder if we are equipped mentally and financially for TWO babies. (must.buy.two.of.everything! must.save.all.the.money!). Then I tell myself to stop getting too far ahead when we could still lose one…or both, and then I begin to picture the worst case scenario. It’s exhausting. Sometimes I am thankful for mild symptoms because it allows me to put it out of my head for bit when I’m making myself crazy (other than the constant eating and trips to the bathroom, anyway).  But other times it makes me worry something is wrong. And I think about blogging but stop myself because I don’t want it to sound like I’m complaining. Or that I am not thrilled. I am not trying to complain. I AM thrilled.This is just the way it is.

ADD brain doesn’t help – a couple days ago I put gas in my car and forgot to put the cap back on. Luckily Bryan was with me, noticed, and fixed it before I drove away with the gas cap dangling in wind.  I can now totally appreciate the fact that my gas cap is attached (I have NEVER done this before either!)

So to you, crazy emotions, An Ode:

Hooray, I am pregnant!

Holy shit, there’s two!

Man, I sure am hungry

Can I steal a bite from you?

Oh my can we afford this?

Don’t think too far ahead

The thought of something going wrong

It fills my heart with dread

The though of little heartbeats, though

That fills my heart with glee

I promise I’ll enjoy this

Just as soon as I go pee

Perspective (Part 2)

Way before I had any idea what infertility even was, I remember asking, or overhearing pregnant women being asked: do you want a boy or a girl?

Some stated preferences, but most replied “I just want a healthy baby”.

My naive brain couldn’t wrap my head around this. How could you not have a preference? Haven’t you been thinking about playing with your little dream boy or girl? Hair bows and tea parties. Soccer games and super heros.

I’ve been calmer this week. I’ve let my guard down a little. But today, a little more than 24 hours before our first ultrasound, I totally get it. My imagination hasn’t really been gender specific. While I’d be lying if I said that the thought of twins didn’t overwhelm me a little – all I want is appropriate growth and heartbeat(s). We will figure out the rest.

I just want a healthy baby. Or two, if that’s what’s in the cards.

A Watched Phone Never Rings

A watched pot never boils.

A watched phone never rings.

I almost had a heart attack today when I didn’t get a phone call about my 3rd beta when I usually do. Thank goodness I was done with work for the day at 1230, because by then I was already practically staring blankly at the computer, glancing at my phone every 5 seconds (with a ringer on HIGH, by the way, so it isn’t like I’d gone deaf).

I left work and drove home, but left the radio off and my phone directly in my lap. You know, in case I’d gone deaf.

By the time I got home at 1:00 there was still no call. I started to panic a little, but thought surely no news is good news? If something had gone wrong, SURELY she would have called.

I dozed on my couch for 40 minutes. With my phone right by my ear. (again, deafness)

At 1:40 I called them.  The nursing staff usually leaves at noon and so I was starting to wonder, and knew there was NO WAY I was waiting till Monday to find out what my number was. The lady at the desk said my nurse happened to be the one on call and she would call me back.

I waited.

I played words with friends.

I took my dog to his vet appointment.

I stared at my phone A LOT.

I WILLED it to ring.

It didn’t.

DAMMIT.

I drove myself and my dog home.

And then it finally rang.

They had been slammed all day.

Third and final beta came in at 8,273

I think the clinic is taking bets on twins. And we will find out Thursday!

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