Friday, December 25, 2009

Conversations one has only when pregnant

J: Why the grin? Oh, you went to the bathroom didn't you?
K: Yes!
J: That is SO awesome! How do you feel?
K: I feel great!
J: *hugging K* I'm so happy for you.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Brave Warriors

Sitting around with family, I had another uterus irritation but knowing my cervix is about 5cm is keeping me calm (thanks for clarifying inches versus cm Kate!). When I'm with others I don't focus as much on my pregnancy but then I start getting paranoid like did he kick me as regularly as I'm used to? And then it really hit me, you and me, we are so incredibly brave. This whole TTC business is so scary. We are Frodo carrying the ring to Mordor with perils potentially every step of the way. And we still do it. We sit through the months of the first trimester wondering every minute about all the things that can go wrong. And sometimes, things do go wrong, and we fall down, get up, and try again. And again. And again. Some of us hesitate. Some of us jump into it again without pause, but we do it.

I told a friend recently about my pregnancy and my losses and infertilty and she said I can't believe you tried again. After one loss I'd have just not been able to do it. And truth be told, when I look at all I stand to lose each time I try, I'm amazed I try. I'm amazed you try. I guess we know that despite all there is to lose there's so much to gain, so incredibly much. In this way, carrying sunflower gets a bit scarier with each passing day because the magnitude of potential loss grows each day for me and can overwhelm me if I stop to think about it.

Getting to know you all has taught me so much and though I never would have chosen it, if it had to happen I'm so glad to be in the company of such strong, beautiful, gentle, warriors.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


I've been following Myndi's story for a long time. She went for her 12 week ultrasound today and found out the most horrid horrible painful news you can learn: her baby no longer had a heartbeat. I keep wanting to type something but nothing can capture how shitty this is. It sucks. It just does. Please hold Myndi in your heart tonight and send her your support during this incredibly difficult time.

MFM Update

Thank you for thinking of me and praying for me. It means the world. As we went to the MFM I had more uterus irritation, not full out contractions but you could tell it was acting funny. I went to give a urine sample and there was more pronounced pinkish spotting. Naturally I freaked out but everyone said this is normal. They did a cervix check and I'm at almost 5 inches! So they said the cervix is doing just fine and the amniotic fluid levels are also just fine. They saw some darkness by the uterus that they think might be the source of the spotting but said it was likely as a result of the uterus expanding and nothing they were concerned about. They told me based on the scan, the contraction was likely braxton hicks and I should expect to see brown discharge with Braxton hicks simply because the lovenox and baby aspirin is going to trigger it more than if I were not on those medications.

Phew. <-- [My understatement of 2009]

Sunflower was chilling out, he's head down on my cervix and his hands covered his face for most of the ultrasound. She had to nudge my belly to get him to move his hands but then he quickly covered his face again. Shy guy. The doctor said all looks well. I'm a little disappointed that the u/s machine the MFM uses isn't very high quality so the images are super blurry but that's besides the point since they saw him and measured my 14 oz bundle of joy, and he's doing fine.

I was dismayed to see I've gained about 17 pounds. Most of it is due to care to the wind eating. I can't even blame sunflower since I haven't had unhealthy cravings. It's just me letting myself eat what I want when I want. Yikes, if I've gained 17 pounds by now I could double this weight by the time I deliver. I'd like to say I'll start watching what I eat now but we're heading to Florida to spend the week with my family and we live to eat, not the other way around. So I guess I'll start hunkering down and doing more portion control in 2010.

But that's all beside the point. All is well. I am so grateful they checked the cervix and the amniotic fluid levels and discovered a probable source of my spotting. The doctor told me to expect spotting on and off here on out, so that is reassuring if I see more spotting while out of town to know its normal.

I hope you are all doing well too. Every night you're in my prayers, most of you by name. I'm not sure what good prayers do sometimes but I believe good vibes go a long way. Here's to good vibes for all of you this holiday season and beyond!

Waiting for the Appointment

Thanks for your words of support from yesterday. I'm feeling quite high strung right now and I don't know why. Couldn't sleep last night, puttering around the house uselessly. The spotting is much lighter now but I noticed a pinkish tinge, very faint, and you had to look it at like you do when you're examining a 9dpo pregnancy test but it was a pinkish tinge, which is said to be a potential sign of amniotic fluid, but I haven't had another contraction since yesterday. I see Dr.MFM at 2pm and I'll bring up all these concerns but I'm scared. My stomach literally feels like its in knots. I will be honest, I don't know if I'm just worrying for nothing, that this is just a symptom of me waiting for the other shoe to drop, or if my fears are justified. I think its just being on the bad side of statistics so often that though the chances are minimal that anything is wrong is enough to make me nervous. Taking deep breaths. Everything will be okay. What will be will be. So far so good.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Spotting, I HATE YOU

I was preparing an egg sandwich and suddenly felt my uterus contract and then I checked and I had brown spotting. Fuck. The nurse said to stay off my feet, drink liquids and talk to my MFM doctor at tomorrow's visit. So far no more pain. Spotting is status quo, light and not much.

My hands are shaking. I'm so tired guys. I'm so tired of the constant fear.

Baby Dust

Sunflower will sleep in our room for the first year, at least, that's the plan. Still, I realized that he will have things such as diapers and books and clothes and they will need to go somewhere. In that vein I began cleaning out the office next to our bedroom. I was once a teacher and many of my old teaching supplies are gathering dust there. Since my mother also teaches and we're going to visit them this week I figured I'd get them out and organize them to take with us. It felt really strange organizing this room, knowing that it was for my child. It felt even stranger as I felt him move, to realize, we are organizing, together.

As I pulled open a drawer filled with ancient graded papers, ready to toss them out, my hands brushed upon a small plastic bag. It was a little baggie of stars and moons and glitter. The outside of the bag said This baby dust is special and is being sent to you hoping it will help your fondest dreams come true. It came with an order I placed almost two years ago at baby hopes.

I remember holding this little baggie when I first saw it years ago and felt so full of hope. Then, ofcourse, the hope faded and bitterness replaced it. I must have stuck this in the storage closet to push it away into the recesses of my mind.

Holding this little baggie felt strange today. Last time I held it I felt this was all futile. Last time I held it I shoved it away hoping to forget I ever had such hopes. And now I hold it with different circumstances entirely.

I go for my 20 week ultrasound. I hope it goes well. I admit, I'm a little nervous. But I am so thankful to have found this baggie. I will keep it always as a reminder of what it feels like in the space of ambiguity and darkness and remember that sometimes the light does come.

Saturday, December 19, 2009


I've heard people refer to their miscarried babies as angels, but I never fully understood. Then today, I said something that hurt Jack's feelings. I apologized and that was the end of it but it hit me, Speck and Bug never hurt anyone. They were pure innocence. Their hearts beat, they existed, but they came and left without any stains on their soul. I've spent a lot of time grieving the trees they will never climb, the kindergarten classes that will start without them, and the hugs and kisses I will never get to give, but they were also pure white innocence who helped make sunflower's life possible, and who left too soon. The only home they knew was my womb and while they were here they were angels. I feel proud to have been their mother.

Dinner parties

We had a small dinner party tonight with friends we haven't seen in ages. Jack still didn't feel comfortable sharing and said we would only disclose if someone asked. No one asked though I feel convinced I got a few belly stares.

I asked Jack when he feels comfortable sharing and he said once we reach viability, 24 weeks. I think this is unnecessary but I respect his wishes. I see how his face pales when I flinch or touch my belly with a concerned expression. I'm nervous too but his fear is of monolithic proportions. I guess part of it has to do with the fact that anything that happens is so out of his control. It's out of my control too, but I get to feel sunflower do pilates daily so I have more peace. Still, I'm accepting that this is where he is emotionally. Jack can be laid back to a fault, so if he is uptight about disclosing this news, I'm going to respect it but it was weird today to sit there and not disclose particularly when the topic went to babies and pregnancy.

They began mentioning how everyone is having babies, all of them have toddlers of their own. For a split second I felt the old feelings coming back, the unique pain of infertility, and then sunflower would start up his dance dance revolution and I'd remember that I'm not alone right now. One of the girls inadvertently implied she was pregnant to which everyone said are you pregnant? She shook her head and then looked away and said I wish. Soon I hope. I remember her telling me last December of wanting to expand her family. I was struck again when she mentioned her daughter is no longer afraid of needles because she sees her dad giving me injections daily so... and then she fell silent and then I mean, she saw the doctor give me my H1N1 so. . . I nodded but I knew in the way she blushed that we were two IF sisters, sitting just feet apart, but the words went unspoken.

Seeing children make me long for sunflower. By the time I have him in May, I will have been pregnant for 15 out of 17 months. I know sunflower is the newest to chillax in my womb, and though I love being pregnant, I do feel like I'm gestating an elephant.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Twenty Weeks!

I was looking at the sidebar listing out the sampling blog titles this month: nothing is certain, taming fear, fighting depression, irritable uterus, watery discharge, waiting for the other shoe to drop, bacterial vaginosis. Yikes I'm a barrel of laughs lately huh?

Well, changing the topic to something nice, I'm twenty weeks pregnant! and it feels wonderful. Though your risk of miscarriage drops considerably in the second trimester its at week twenty that your changes dwindle to zero [yeah doesn't mean other things can't happen, but still] I am officially past miscarriage territory, I am now closer to having healthy baby than not, and this feels awesome.

For the past two mornings a beautiful thing has happened, sunflower pokes me as I wake up, as if saying hi. When Jack says goodbye to me and then leans in to say goodbye to sunflower before heading to work, sunflower pokes again. I stay in bed for an extra fifteen minutes just feeling his little legs or hands against me and in those fifteen minutes all is right in the world and I want for nothing.

I'm also excited about my new eating regimen in the hopes it will get things, er, moving. I felt like I had a poster saying "I am constipated!" yesterday when I stood at the check-out counter with my activia yogurt, metamucil, and box of prunes, but if it will help I'm game!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Bacterial Vaginosis

The nurse called with the results of testing on the discharge I went in Monday for. The good news: It's not amniotic fluid. The bad news: It's baterical vaginosis. She said its not a big deal and I just need to take some antibiotics. I feel fine though, it doesn't hurt or anything and she said sometimes the body fights it off on its own, sometimes it doesn't. I looked up the dangers and realized it can cause second trimester miscarriage, and pre-term labor. Even taking the antibiotics doesn't mean that you're not at increased risk but it helps decrease your risk. So, I will be taking the antibiotics starting tomorrow. From what I read most people don't even know they have it. Good thing I'm as paranoid as they come I suppose. I really hope that the dangerous side effects don't come to fruition (obviously), I'm surprisingly not freaking out about it, maybe its because the nurse didn't seem particularly phased by it.

Just another reminder how fragile it all is. And a great reminder that when in doubt call the OB. Better to feel silly than sorry.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Waiting For The Other Shoe To Drop

Sitting here I am wondering what is bringing me down when my life, as I've said countless times, is going good. If you asked me a year ago where I'd love to be a year from then, I'd say right where I am right now. So why this weird feeling of discontent.

I considered the irritable uterus. The discharge. The frantic trip to the OB and then I finally had my aha moment: I'm feeling this way because I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop. I remember reading a post by dooce years ago on this topic which said in relevant part:
a singular thought that has followed me through my life, the thought that because there are other people in the world who do not have it good as I do that I... need to worry about something, anything. That I owe it to those who have a harder life. That because I am very lucky I need to suffer crippling anxiety to even things out a little bit. And of course, the exact opposite is true. I owe it to those who are not as lucky as I am to appreciate the hell out of my life, I know this fundamentally, I just can't get around the guilt I experience almost every hour over the fact that my life is really good when so many in this world have lives full of ongoing tragedy, an overwhelming feeling that if I am not a stressed out mess everything will be taken away from me.
As fucked up as it sounds, because life is finally on track. Because things are going so well I'm waiting for the rug to be pulled from under me. We are so strong yet at our core we are as fragile as egg shells and there a million things that can go wrong at every second of every day. I'm thinking, no, life can't be going so well. When exactly is the shit going to hit the fan?

I feel a strange sense of survivor's guilt. Why did it take me less than two years to get to this point, when people have been trying so much longer to conceive? Why do some people have to go through more pain, more miscarriages, more severe infertility diagnosis? I got so used to crying out why me during my most difficult moments, that now that I am where I want to be I find myself feeling guilty and wondering why me.

This guilt extends to beyond fertility. I got an agent while others have struggled. Why me, not them? Add this to pretty much every blessing I have and this is a heavy load to carry.

I know I'm more lucky than I am deserving so I'm afraid it will all be snatched from me. I'm afraid someone close to me might fall ill, or something will happen with this pregnancy, or all the myriad of things that can happen in a day.

So in essence I've figured out my issue, the root cause of the melancholy that threatens, I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop. I'm trying to find it with a telescope. I'm glad I've pinpointed the problem, now the next task on the list is dealing with it and putting it to rest.

Visiting the OB

The goldfish dream I wrote about in my previous post got to me more than I cared to admit. Add to that the nurse leaving a message at 8:00pm last sounding worried about my discharge and hoping it went away. Add to that a damp underwear last night of watery discharge. So I decided to go in to see the OB. They did the check up and said my cervix is long and closed and she thinks I'm just having your usual discharge.

Then, we had a talk about ahem, bowel movements, and it turns out they might be a significant factor in my crampy achy feeling. She asked me when the last time I had a normal BM and I told her in August. So, now I'm upping my Metamucil, she recommends I start activia yogurt daily and try to down as much water as is humanly possible. I don't really *want* to share that part of my journey but I think there are surely others freaking out and it could be due to this same issue.

When I was young I asked my mom if she hated me when I cried as a baby and kept her up at night, or they had to leave a party because I was being fussy. She always shook her head and said she never hated me, sometimes it felt frustrating but she never for a minute hated me. I pictured myself, a sack of helpless crying and just didn't fully believe her. But here I am, making weekly trips to the doctor, stabbing myself daily, worrying myself sick, all the while he floats and wiggles and dances inside me. The sacrifices and struggles of a mother have already begun, but I do it all gladly. I would do it all 1,000 times over until forever if I know it meant my sunflower will be okay. I wonder how much more surreal this will all feel when he's finally here.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Bellies, Goldfish, and Michele

The morning I turned 19 weeks, my belly changed seemingly overnight. Whereas for the past few weeks its looked like I swallowed two trays of cheesecakes, it is now small, rounded and firm. I am humbled by this outside reminder of what is changing within me. There are days I wake up and it hits me as though I just learned, I am pregnant. Just today I was sitting reading a book on the couch while Jack watched football and I realized, its not just the two of us. There are three separate entities in this room. I might not be holding him, but my son is here.
Last night I dreamt of a goldfish that needed water. It was flopping on a wet table and trying to bury its head in the corners where the water pooled. I kept flinging more water on the table but the goldfish stopped moving and then though it moved it was limp. I woke up terrified. The watery discharge has stopped but the dream left me frightened. I'm trying to remind myself the discharge is what brought on the dream into my subconscious. It was a reflection of my fear. I've heard baby animals in distress dreams are normal in all pregnant women.
Michele brought my attention to the fact that PCOSers can have challenges producing milk for their babies. After breastfeeding her babies for some time she had to make the difficult decision to stop. She generously offered to the blogworld her supplements. I took her up on the offer. I got a package from her in the mail with the supplies, and some wonderful books on pregnancy and breastfeeding, nursing pads, etc. Then I saw two stuffed animal rattles in the package. My heart skipped a beat at sunflower's first gifts. I had given myself permission to buy sunflower a small outfit or toy in the second trimester but I still hesitate. Seeing these baby toys brought me so much joy because it wasn't lovenox, or baby aspirin, or extra folate. It was something fun and light for my child. They gave me a wonderful feeling of optimism. Just maybe, one of these days, I'll buy him a little something too.

I am moved by Michele's generosity and grateful for all the people I know through the IF community. A tangible package in the mail reminds me we are all real people behind the screens. I don't know if I could have made it this far with my sanity intact (such as it is) without the support I've gotten. Thank you!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Watery Discharge

I woke up this morning with a sensation I hate feeling, that of a full wet feeling down there. I checked and it was clear watery discharge. Not enough to soak through, but enough to be quite, undeniably wet. I naturally panicked a bit but felt relieved after I changed underwear and it seemed to have gone away. Then as I cleaned the kitchen half an hour later, there was more. After frantic googling about amniotic fluid leaks I called my doctor who said its probably nothing but if I wanted I could go to my hospital's Labor and Delivery and have them take a look at the fluid and rule out amniotic fluid. Jack's not home right now, and he's not picking up his phone so for now I'm in a new underwear, drinking lots of fluid and hoping its just a new discharge I've never seen.

Part of me is annoyed with myself. I feel like I'm turning into a hypochondriac. But then the nurse didn't take it lightly, so I don't know. I really really hate this.

May seems so far away. I feel like I'm gestating an elephant.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Irritable Uterus

I woke up around 5am this morning to use the restroom when I felt a weird pressure on the left side of my uterus. It was a pressure, almost like a menstrual cramp but only on my left side. After a few moments, it went away. I fell back asleep. In the morning when I awoke I felt it again, on and off while I roused from sleep. Maybe its the baby, I thought, so I put on the doppler, but he was on the complete right side of my uterus, dancing up a storm, but decidedly not on the right side. It kept happening all day. A few times an hour. Then on a trip to the bathroom I noticed some slight brown spotting. Nothing major, nothing that made me panic, but I figured it was time to ask the doctor if I should be worried.

The nurse just called me back and said it sounds like an irritable uterus. Even though the sensation of cramping is only on one side she said it could be I'm only feeling it on the left side but the entire uterus could be contracting. She said its nothing scary but to stay off my feet, drink water like a fish, and call if the spotting worsens/persists, and if the cramping persists.

I've eaten a bowlful of honeydew (high water content) and on my second glass of water. It seems to be better so hopefully it will just go away.

Memo to Uterus: Yes, I know the little boy likes to dance, and I agree I think he's building a jungle gym and a pool deck in there, but you let him do what he wants, and keep your trap shut. Understood? Mmmkay?

Fighting Depression

Sometimes I wonder, when depression clings to me like slick oil is it me at my essence feeling this way or is it my body controlling the reigns? Depression is like a noose made of rope gently placed over my head, pulling me towards it with a tangible tug. I can feel it coming and I know I have two options. I can sink into it. I can hang my hands limply to my sides and follow him down into the dark dank place. I used to take this option. I believed it was things in my life causing this depression and so when it came to lead me with it I walked for where else would I go when X, Y, and Z were missing from my life? Now, I’m beginning to think its not things in my life. I am writing full-time, a lifelong dream, I am pregnant, I am married to someone I love, and now when I feel this melancholy start pulling me into its murky depths I have nothing to hold onto and say say, yes I should follow you depression. Look at the holes in my life, what else can I do but sink?

Now when I search for the cause of the depression, there is nothing to cite to, and I'm a lawyer, you must cite to something concrete to back up this feeling. But there’s nothing. It’s winter and the days are short and the nights are cold. I’m home a lot more than I’m used to, and I may not know as many people as I once did, but I cannot wrap my mind around any of these as the culprit. Particularly when I can sense the depression like a tide, like a wave trying to physically pull me under.

I'm watching this depression in an almost clinical fashion because I can see it and I can see how hard it is coming for me. I am not depressed but I'm in quite the fight to avoid it. I’m holding onto the jagged shore and trying my best to keep its tentacles at bay. I am reading good books, I went out to lunch with a friend today, I cooked some fun mac and cheese for dinner. I am doing what I can to fight this senseless, ridiculous sensation that is standing over my shoulder watching me like the Grim Reaper on silly cartoons, waiting for me to break.

I am sure this is a combination of hormones and the weather which has been overall dismal with chilly rain day in and day out and I know it will pass, but while depression stands waiting for me to follow him I will do what I can until he gives up and leaves me be. It amazes me though how little this emotion has to do with logic. Its much like being caught in a meadow when it begins to rain violently, thunder and lightening crashing around you. And then- after a while it passes and the sun comes out and the birds chirp again. You shake your soaking hair and wonder what the hell happened but you are grateful you made it through.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Shaking the infertile family tree

One of the reasons dealing with infertility was so difficult for me (among all the other reasons) was feeling like the defective one in an orchard of fertile mango trees. I have over 45 cousins and it seems everywhere I turn another aunt is cranking another out. In the midst of all this reproduction, there was me, the cheese, standing alone. My mom didn't help matters when she would say in a plaintive tone, but no one in our family has clotting disorders or PCOS, how did it happen to you? I began feeling like an X-man, but not a cool one.

When my mom relayed to me in the past, that Aunt X,Y,Z are praying for me to have a baby, I felt like a strange mutant. The fertiles staring with pity at this weird infertile. This pissed me off, their assumption (albeit correct) and corresponding pity that there was something wrong with me. I felt their superior eyes and the clucking of their tongues in disapproval as they herded their multitude of children around their breasts.

So imagine my surprise at this conversation I had today.

Mom: You'll be the first to have a firstborn son on my side of the family.
Me: What about Aunt G? She has three boys.
Mom: Her firstborn was a girl, she was stillborn.
Me: Uh, what?
Mom: She tried to conceive for two years after that with no luck. Finally her doctor put her on some sort of diet and then she got pregnant without an issue.
Me: I thought I was the only one who had issues getting pregnant.
Mom: Come to think of it Aunt J. She has two kids but she had at least six miscarriages we know of. She gained all this weight she couldn't lose, had hair under her chin, her periods went wacky, she was tired all the time. . . it was sad, she never really wanted to talk about it.
Me: Anyone else?
Mom: Well your cousin F had her first very quickly, shotgun wedding, but then she tried for three years for baby #2. I think she said she had a hormonal imbalance. .
Mom: Yep- that's it! Hey, like you!
Me: Sigh. Anyone else?
Mom: Well no one else really, your grandmother, God rest her soul, she lost two sons a few days after birth and she had a lot of miscarriages, but in those days you never knew for certain if your period was just late or if you had a miscarriage but I remember sometimes she just knew.

Talk about perspective change. Perhaps they meant it when they said they prayed for me, and it was not a veiled snide remark at the sole infertile in the family. I don't have a close relationship with many of my relatives for legitimate reasons but knowing they struggled like me softens my heart towards them. It also helps me let go of some of the guilt I've felt all these years about being the sole carrier of clotting issues and PCOS. Why did these things happen to me? Perhaps I deserved it. These feelings were never articulated but I now realize I've internalized it because the knowledge that this is likely a genetic issue based on a family history is helping me feel just a little bit lighter today.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Taming Fear

Your comments yesterday really resonated with me. I felt drained today like I had run a marathon. Sometimes I underestimate the power of my emotions and the battering they can do when I'm feeling vulnerable. Sunny's comment on my previous post really resonated with me, she said:
Even after they are born, you have a lifetime ahead of worrying about your son -- it's in the job description of a parent. It's hard to live in a world with pain, suffering, and loss sometimes... I appreciate the moments with my son every day, because even though I certainly try to keep him safe to the best of my ability, if neither one of us is enjoying life, well there's really no point.
I reflected on these words for some time. There is so much to be afraid of. My immediate fear is losing him, but once he is here, its not as though my worries will cease, there will simply be new worries. In fact, forget children from a moment, and just look at life with its accidents, and murders, and natural disasters and illnesses, and its a damn scary world out there in general. Jonathon Tropper, one of my favorite writers says in one of his books: life is so huge, but it can turn on a dime. The question is, do we sit and abide with and enjoy the beauty of life, or do we look at the dime worrying which way it will land?

I'm reading a book by Anne Lamott on writing, she tries to help people deal with the fear of writing and wondering how you will wrap up a complicated novel. She says:
[it] is like driving a car at night. You can see only as far as your headlights but you can make the whole trip that way. You don't have to see where you're going, you don't have to see your destination or everything you will pass along the way. You just have to see two or three feet ahead of you.
This strikes me as beautiful advice not just for the art of writing, but the art of living as well. It brings to mind one of my favorite poems, by Rumi, which I kept tacked to my door in college to comfort me when I wondered what my life would bring me:

Keep walking, though there’s no place to get to.
Don’t try to see through the distances.
That’s not for human beings.
Move within, but don’t move the way fear makes you move

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Nothing is certain

Yesterday we went out to a nice Moroccan restaurant with friends for dinner. After, everyone came to our place for dessert. I baked a chocolate cake, one of my friends made cappuccino cupcakes. We talked, we laughed, I made tea for everyone while taking a glass of milk for myself. We talked about light fluffy topics like movies, and LOST, our holiday plans. I wore my maternity jeans for the first time with a loose long shirt and a shawl covering me. Jack still does not feel comfortable telling people, yet every minute I thought of my son, alive and vibrant, swimming inside me. I felt like those people in cartoons wearing trench coats covering up another person hiding with them.

Sometimes when I go so long pretending I'm not pregnant, I get afraid, wondering if I am making it all up. Is it possible this womb can sustain my son? Is it real that I am pregnant or am I one of those mad women who are so crazed for children they make up an entire pregnancy. Have I deluded the doctors? It's an irrational fear yet only listening to him on the doppler soothed me, reminding me he is here.

And then- today, I came downstairs to make brunch of hashbrowns, eggs, toast and tea when Jack shows me an ESPN special on Demarcus Ware, a football player. His wife got pregnant and had a miscarriage, the next pregnancy they counted down to the second trimester and felt relief when she made it, then, at the 20 week anatomy scan they discovered the child had no kidneys and the pregnancy ended with a stillborn son. She got pregnant again with top-notch monitoring and checkups. They found out it was a boy and Ware talked about seeing his son wiggle on the screen, frown and grimace and kick his mother from time to time. And yet, somehow, inexplicably her son lost his heartbeat and she delivered anther stillborn son.

I don't know why Jack wanted me to watch. I guess the ending, they adopted a little girl they love, was an ending of hope, but for me I felt myself grow weak as I sank to the floor. All I could think of was, I can't lose my son. Oh God, what if lose my son? I can't lose you. I won't survive it.

I've let down my guards. I've fallen madly in love. He is as real to me as Jack, my brothers, anyone I pass on the street. And yet, anything can still happen. I can still lose him. Nothing in this world is guarunteed.

The other day my mom and I were talking and my phone died. I searched for my cell phone but it too was dead. I searched for the charger and plugged it in. Perhaps two minutes passed. When I called her she sounded shaken with fear. I've passed out a few times in my life, once quite recently and she was afraid of me home alone, passed out. I felt a hint of annoyance, its not like I pass out daily, her fear seemed a bit of an overreaction.

And yet- just the mere thought that anything could happen to my child growing inside me, just writing those words, my chest hurts, my heart physically aches and tears spill down my cheeks.

He kicked me just now, as if to reassure me that he is here, not going anywhere. But- nothing in this world is certain. We live entirely on hope that things will be okay and have faith that we may get through what does not go as planned. Nothing is certain. After I finished sobbing I told Jack I wish so badly sometimes that I could be an ignorant pregnant person. Someone who did not know how much was at stake. How much there was to lose.

Friday, December 4, 2009


I went to the doctor for one of my regular ho-hum, yep you're pregnant, big deal appointments. I enjoy those so much because its only now that the panic level has lowered and I can simply be weighed, measured, and sent on my merry way. Still, I am a little disappointed by my last appointment. The doctor said because I'm on lovenox they don't want me going past my due date and will likely induce me on week 39 or 40.

I don't want to be induced. Induction means meds and I wanted to go as natural as I could without an epidural or pitocin or anything else. Induction means they're forcing my body to go into labor which means they'll likely have to force contractions which means that the pain of forced contractions (which is stronger than natural contractions) will require me to take an epidural.

I need to talk to my MFM doctor to get his take on this but I don't understand why I need to be induced just because I'm on blood thinners. She said by week 39 I will be on heparin which is easily reversible at the hospital but because they would need time to get the heparin out of my system they don't want me rushing in 5 cm dilated, they want time to get that out before I begin labor. I guess this makes sense but I'm still disappointed.

Have any of you had experience with inductions? Any advice?

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Thoughts on pregnancy

Note: Pregnancy discussed. The gushy mushy sort I wouldn't normally want to read while TTC.

After a year of tears and pain unlike any I ever experienced in my life I am amazed by the emotion that now crowds in pushing out all others: happiness. I am happy. This isn't to say I've only felt unhappiness this year. I've smiled genuine smiles and laughed from time to time. But its always been coupled with fear, with pain, with grief nestled deep within like a flower with folded petals that open only for me.

Feeling his little feet kick me, or at a quiet moment feeling the sensation of a goldfish swimming, I feel happy. A pure happy that eluded me for eleven months. I'm selfish because sometimes I will eat a sugary sweet just to feel the gentle karate chops against my womb. His physical presence reminds me he is real.

Fear still maintains a studio apartment in my head. Fear is the reason that despite being 18 weeks pregnant only a handful of people know. Fear is the reason I will turn down any thoughtful offers for a baby shower, opting instead to throw a big party to celebrate sunflower after he is safely here. Fear still hovers when I think of May, because until May 7, 2010 my baby remains a dream and a hope and a prayer. I know too much to think I'm free coasting from here on out.

But most of the time I feel peaceful. Most of the time I am happy. There are moments I might sink into mundane melancholy as I consider a messy bedroom or the writer's block that's hit me at the moment, but all he has to do is kick me. All I have to do is feel him acting like that there space is all his to do with as he pleases and every sad sensation dissipates like steam on a warm summer day.

My mom called the other day. She googled my name and found some articles I wrote, and a you tube video. She was so excited. My dad got on the phone and told me he was sending me the links. I hung up and considered their obvious pride. No one really gets that proud of you other than your parents. No one else sees your accomplishments and beams because they ring like they are their own. I understand this today. All I have to do is hear my son's heartbeat, or see him wiggle his legs on the ultrasound screen or feel a gentle kick against my side and I wonder, could I possibly love you more? Can I be any more proud?

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


It's been over a year since I discovered the world of IF bloggers and what an amazing support network there exists for one another going through the trials of infertility and loss. In this time I've grown close to people I've never met just through reading your stories and reading your honest thoughts. When I read about failed cycles, or losses, it affects me in the way it would if I knew you in real life. Which is silly to say because I do know you if only through your words, and this is real life, what we're talking about going through is perhaps more real than what any of our "real life" friends know, the stuff we write about it is as real as it gets.

I'm thinking today of Bon. I've been following her story for some time now. Like us, she has struggled with infertility, and recently, in June, she was matched with a birthmom looking to place her son with her. I've been following her babyshowers, her painting the nursery, her excitement and her fears about adoption. When the labor was announced I thought of her at night just as I would anyone else I knew, as I would think of a friend. Just now, I saw her posts related to the adoption have all been deleted and her latest post though vague indicates something bad has happened.

I don't know what that something is, but my heart just breaks for her. If you get a chance please stop by and give her a virtual hug.

Thoughts on having a son

When I first told two close friends I'm pregnant and thought I was having a girl, one said, You’re okay with that right? and another said, there’s nothing wrong with that. These reactions surprised me. Why would there be anything wrong with it?

There has been a tumble of emotion since learning I'm having a boy. Every little boy I see looks different now, as does every man. I will be responsible for raising one. But something makes me feel emotional, and after having thought about it for some time I’ve realized what it is.

Boys and girls, it takes both genders to make the world we see today and yet it is undeniable that throughout the centuries one gender has been preferred over the other across cultural, religious, and racial lines. This history of preference is wrong but its the truth, when looked at from a statistical perspectives, throughout history, males are preferred over females.

Chinese orphanages are filled with baby girls who are not in the truest sense orphans because they have parents who, because of the one-child rule, would rather send their child away while hoping for the coveted son. In India there was, and there still may be, a ban on ultrasounds that indicated gender because of the sharp uptick of abortions of female fetuses. The female infanticide rate was so extreme that today there are villages in India where there are simply no girls, and girls must be imported from neighboring villages when it is time to marry.

Close to home my own aunt had five daughters in her quest to have her son which she ultimately had on baby number six. What must it feel like to be the first five daughters who know their birth was merely a disappointment. My grandfather was pressured to marry someone else because my grandmother only gave him daughters. As ironic as life can be sometimes, his second wife gave him three sons. My FIL proudly announces from time to time “I am proud I had a girl, I don’t mind.” Why is there a need to make this proclamation if gender is not an issue?

I can’t stop thinking about this, the emphasis on boys. The desire for boys. The devaluation of mothers who could not produce sons. How people will drive themselves to a litter of children, and abortion of little girls, in their quest for their son.

And then there's us. The IF sisters who would do anything for a child, a healthy live breathing baby to hold and care for and love and raise. The very idea of wanting one gender over another seems silly when you come down to it, just being able to reproduce is something not to be taken for granted.

This overwhelms me. I'm having a boy and I wouldn't have cared either way. Yet because my baby has a penis instead of a vagina, this would matter to so many people in ways I cannot comprehend. This small detail in another place, another time, another country could be the difference between life and abortion, between adoption and raising one’s own child.

When I thought I was having a girl I felt determined to raise her to have self-confidence and pride in being who she was. I was ready to snarl like a mother bear at anyone who dare give a disappointed glance at my female child. And now I’m having a boy. I’m thrilled to pieces but it bothers me that people may smile with approval at this. That somehow because I am having a boy I may have more worth, or my child my have more worth.

Both genders are beautiful and worthy. I hope I will be able to raise him well, into a man who will be a productive member of society, and who will never consider himself the better gender simply because of the goods God put between his legs.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Telling his parents

If you've been reading you know we still haven't told Jack's family I'm pregnant despite the fact that I'm well into my second trimester. After some random people noticed my pregnancy I urged him to tell them this weekend. Once we got there, he changed his mind again. I didn't push it, if he did not feel comfortable who was I to force the issue?

Today as his sister and her family pulled out of the driveway, Jack looked at me and whispered, I'll tell my parents but I'm not ready to tell my sister. My relationship with my in-laws is a rocky one. I did not expect jumps for joy, or even a smile. Still, despite reminding myself the response was painful:

Jack: We have some good news to tell you.
MIL/FIL: What is it?
Jack: We're having a baby.

oh.Two years of stark white lines, two pregnancy losses one of which you witnessed in my home, and now we tell you that perhaps the hell we've endured might be behind us, that we are finally hopeful that a baby might be ours, and the reaction to your son having his first son, is oh?

Oh, is a fine reaction to us telling you I bought new shoes
Oh, is acceptable if I said I got a new job
Oh, is okay for pretty much any fucking thing else but...

when it comes to this, no, oh does not fucking cut it.

We stood there staring at them for a few seconds and then the silence got awkward and we got our luggage to leave. His mom finally mustered, how far along are you. I told her, FIL made a face. Why did he make a grimace? I don't know, but Jack saw the face, and the expression on his face broke my heart. He quietly told them, I shouldn't have told either of you, if you can't be happy you didn't deserve to know. They responded telling him he should respect his elders and what he said was not nice. We closed our car doors and drove away.

I should have expected this but seeing Jack's crestfallen face as he told me in the car, your parents are so excited, they are worried but they obviously care, I feel like I have no parents. It's just wrong. It's so easy to plaster a fake smile and feign joy. Why could not do this for him? He asked me why I was so worked up when I knew they would react like this, I just feel like, they don't deserve to have my baby in their life. He said we're not visiting them again, and if they want to see the baby they can come down and visit, but we're done for now.

I'm sad about their reaction but I don't regret telling them. No matter when we broke the news they would have reacted like this. I do feel sad for my sunflower that he will have a set of grandparents who just won't give him the love he deserves. I had a set of grandparents that didn't care about me, who treated me like a nuisance taking up space. I cried because I don't want my baby to ever feel this way. Luckily Jack agrees, and if they continue behaving in this manner, it will be them who miss out and it is their loss entirely.

Hope y'all thanksgiving weekend went way better.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

So much for motherly instincts

We had the appointment and thank God, all looks well, then they checked the gender and there clear as day . . . our son. I could not stop laughing and crying. I told the tech are you sure, because her name is sara. The tech laughed and said um, nope its 99% certainly a boy. I apologized to him for calling him a girl all this time. I'm the mother, what do I know? He's still my little sunflower and yeah, come Halloween 2010 he will be wearing a sunflower costume. Too bad kiddo!

I oscillate between smiling and crying. I can't believe I've made it this far into the pregnancy. I knew it would be a girl or a boy, but just knowing, truly knowing, makes it so much more real.

I'm leaving today to go to the in-laws until Sunday. We plan to tell them this weekend about my pregnancy. I haven't yet decided if we'll tell them the gender. I know they will look at us blankly and say that's nice, moving on to another topic but I don't think their attitude can erase this goofy grin off this face of mine.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Boy or Girl

I've begun to feel movement. It's pretty spectacular though I heard you're only supposed to feel it once every other day if even, and I'm feeling it every hour. So either I'm mistaking gas for movement or this is one active little one. Tomorrow is my MFM appointment. I chose a 7:45am appointment with the hope that if I'm the first in line it means I'll be in and out quickly. We may find out whether I'm having a girl or boy. It don't really matter but its fun to anticipate something that is not anxiety provoking but just a fun thing to know. So what do you think? Take yer pick!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Are you pregnant?

I guess I have not really interacted with many people in the past few weeks because I really thought I didn't look pregnant. Sure a little chunkier but not fat. My pants are tight but they fit. My in-laws said nothing, no stares at my belly, only confirming further that I did not in fact, look pregnant.

I went to a wedding yesterday. The first lady I approached said congrats! I asked for what. She said your pregnancy!

This happened three different times.

Jack freaked out since we have yet to tell his family, who were at this wedding so he told them no, we were not pregnant. This felt weird. It's like you're standing next to someone and they say oh could you introduce us? and you look at them like they're crazy and say there's no one there. Even though said person is hopping from foot to foot with its tongue dangling out. I felt like a demented person saying no this bump that is apparently obvious to you does not in fact exist.

I finally confronted Jack. If I appear pregnant we cannot mortify congratulating people by lying! (Two of them came back and profusely apologizedt so I told them I was pregnant but not to say anything since we haven't broken the news to my in-laws).

Jack and I compromised. We'll tell them on Wednesday after the MFM appointment and hopefully stop mortifying future people proffering congratulations.

Friday, November 20, 2009


I got the e-mail today with a contract offering representation with a major agency, my dream agency, one that I sent to as a "may as well" thinking they'd never glance at my unsolicited manuscript.


More details to follow :0)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Pregnancy Bunker and Agents

In-laws invade Thursday evening and the house is getting ready for their impending arrival. I've turned our spare room into a pregnancy bunker of sorts. The doppler packaging, books, lovenox boxes are all stored there. I didn't realize I accumulated so much . . . stuff. I really hope no one tries to open it. I'm having a hard time putting away the baby pics on the fridge, I guess I'll wait until evening before I put those in the bunker. When they come this laptop is going in the bunker too. I'm not sophisticated enough to know how to delete all my history so I'll be mooching off Jack's laptop should the need arise.

I'm not too anxious about them at the moment. I think I'm distracted as I wait for my agent to get back to me. She e-mailed me Sunday telling me she loved my book but the agency requires two enthusiastic reads so she'll get back to me as soon as her colleague finishes reading it. The waiting is excruciating because this is the agent of my dreams. I've offered them an exclusive for three weeks which expires next Monday. In the meantime another agent has written asking for my manuscript as well. I can't send her anything because I agreed to an exclusive with the first one so now I'm sitting here trying to compose a polite letter saying essentially If agent 1 rejects me and finds my work foolish then I'll send it to you! I guess its a good problem to have, but I'm telling you, I SUCK at waiting!

At least checking your e-mail like an obsessive trying to see if you got a positive response, is a lot cheaper than the pee sticks. So there is that.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

My rock

3am and I can't sleep. I came downstairs flipped on "Top Chef" and decided to run my dishwasher. As I closed the dishwasher I heard J yell "HONEY" at the top of his lungs and then I heard frantic footsteps down the stairs. His eyes were full of fear. Are you okay? I nodded, rushing up to him hugging him, yes, why? what's wrong? He shook his head, I heard a noise, I thought something happened. I told him I was loading the dishwasher because I couldn't sleep. He looked at me and said I'm glad you're okay. I looked at his hands, they were trembling.

Every time I call him at work, the usual mid day call, he asks me are you okay? And in his voice I hear subdued apprehension. When I called him breathless about an agent who seems interested, his first reaction was oh my God, you scared me, I thought something happened. He's afraid to tell anyone because he's scared of losing sunflower. We listen to the doppler every evening and if it takes longer than a second I see his shoulders tense and his jaw clench.

During the trial of infertility and losses, Jack held me up. He talked me off the figurative ledge. He told me everything would be okay.

Tonight is another reminder of how hard these two years have been for us. He's been my post to lean upon but now that things are settling down, I am beginning to see the cracks in his armoire. How hard its been for him to put on the strong front, to keep me from crumbling. I just took this for granted. I assumed his pain was less, that he handled it differently. Just the other day he said to me when sunflower is old enough we'll tell her she had two siblings and I'm pretty sure Speck was her brother. This shocked me because for months we argued as Jack insisted that my miscarriage was not a baby, just some cells that failed to work out. Now he's admitted to me he never felt that way, he said this because he thought it would ease my pain.

Now my fears are slowly diminishing, and he feels more comfortable telling me what he's going through and I feel like I'm looking at my husband of 7 years for the first time.

I'm sitting here now, tears rolling down my cheeks. To think he lives in my home, sleeping next to me in my bed, and only today is the full effect this has all had on him, truly hitting me for the first time.

I will not play cat and mouse

As you all know I moved to this blog because I suspected SIL had found me. Today she called Jack to discuss the logistics of their impending arrival. Jack said to me, it was kind of weird, she kept saying, 'sooooo whats new? anything you want to tell me?' He said it was strange and she said it in a gleeful sort of way like she knew something. I told him she probably read my blog but he thinks she's just being regular weird SIL.

I have a feeling, judging from SILs behavior, that she is going to play a game of cat and mouse with me. I am trying to convince Jack to tell his family, but until he decides to, she's going to 'play' with me. She loves doing that. My plan at the moment is to just address it if she chooses to play those games. I know she will judge me for being infertile (I waited too long), having losses (I waited too long) and being high risk (I waited too long), but really, so what? Just because she believes it, doesn't mean its true. I hope I can do this calmly and rationally. You only give people as much room to lord over you as you allow it. I am worried though because pregnancy makes me a tad. . . pissed. There are some other things I know she will try to make me squirm about (some embarrasing things that happened at my brothers wedding in May), but I'm going to do my best to make a poker face and bite my lip as best I can.

What makes me feel funny is her mentality is that if she did read that blog, her reaction was glee at learning my secret, and not sadness that though we told my parents and brothers, we have yet to tell her. It's strange that the emotion that comes to the forefront of her mind is a childlike giddiness at finding me out, and not sadness that her brother feels so uncomfortable sharing his happy news with his family that he's waiting until Im practically in the labor room before he says a word.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Seriously, WTF!?!

I just found out if I mail-order my lovenox, instead of $250 a month it will be $20 a month. I feel like an idiot that I did not inquire sooner because this isn't a piddling few dollars difference here, but better sooner rather than later. I called MedCo and ordered and paid.

Thirty minutes later our phone rings. It's my FIL. Did you order some medication via mail order? He asks. Jack is speechless. Well, MedCo called saying they had some questions about your medication.

I am absolutely dumbfounded. I called MedCo in a state of fury. They don't even know I'm pregnant and you're calling them? How the hell did you get their number? They have no idea. Are they listed as your alternate contact. Um. Yeah, that happened. (NOT!)

I went up the insurance bureaucratic chain but no one can explain to me why associated with my claim number is my FIL's name, social security number and address. All I can imagine is that since we share the same last name they called him by accident.

They didn't ask Jack why we needed the medication but I'm assuming they'll ask when they arrive Thursday (gulp). Jack will likely tell them at some point we're pregnant but really didn't want to have to explain why I require buckets of meds to boot. Insurance is infuriating.

Monday, November 16, 2009

The day I became the "other" woman

I went to the bank to open up a safe deposit account. As the friendly young associate processed the paperwork I asked her about opening up a 529 at some point. [A college savings account, I know- I'm a bit ahead of myself] She asked me how old my child was, I blushed saying set to arrive in May. Her expression dropped just a tad, with a thin lipped smile she said That's great, we've been trying forever but oh well.

I tried for a while too, I told her. She looked at me with surprise. I'm not sure why. Maybe because when we're consumed in the monthly trial of trying and failing to conceive we forget how many millions are also in our shoes. I told her about PCOS, my miscarriages, and my clotting disorder. She told me she was born with two uteruses that she just now resolved and advanced endometriosis. Her eyes welled with tears as she talked about adoptions that failed to come through. I can't stand the thought of another Christmas without children, she said.

We talked for at least an hour. I gave her the contact information for my doctors, and also the website for Mel's Stirrup Queens. She said she felt so alone because all her friends had children on command. I told her she wasn't alone and that online there is a community of support that can help her get through this.

As I drove home I felt overwhelmed. Had she not told me, I would have been another fertile woman overly eager to plan her child's future who unintentionally reminded her of the painful void in her life. This was an important reminder to me that I don't know the full stories of the pregnant women I see around me, or really anybody. I don't know the backgrounds and the secret struggles they may endure. But I also learned something else: Talking about infertility and loss is important. She struggled for two years with no one to talk to and feeling like her infertility was a stigma which she alone suffered from.

Its strange to be regarded as a pregnant woman. I went to Target and as I approached the maternity section I felt my chest constrict. I walked around the pants and shirts feeling a rush of excitement like I was somewhere I did not belong. I was pretending to be part of a secret select society. Infertility and loss really fucks with your head apparently.

I sometimes wish I could wear have a symbol, a necklace or a bracelet that gave a silent message that I too struggled. I want to be pregnant and I look forward to my belly taking away the sight of my toes but it hurts me to think the sight of me pregnancy might hurt someone else. That one day I might sit at the doctors office rubbing my belly while the girl across from me is waiting for her lab appointment to see if her betas are dropping from her miscarriage. I was there so recently and the pain of those scars still stings. But she won't know. She will see me and feel bitterness towards the world perhaps, like I once did. She will bite her lip to fight back tears like I once did.

A symbol of my struggle would not take away the pain of another but it would help us feel less alone. Yet, short of wearing an I'm infertile! maternity shirt, I'm not sure how to get the message across. I guess like today, I will talk about it when I can, to who I can. It's not enough, but its something.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Dipping my toes in facebook

I quit facebook over a year ago for many reasons. There was a lot of drama, I felt like I was in high school again as facebook is a place where many (not all) use as a showcase of their best self. The prettiest pictures and bubbly updates. If you didn't know any better, everyone on facebook has a perfect life. This is fine, but after update after update about pregnancy news, and birth announcements, I decided why throw myself into drama that is unnecessary, and why hurt myself with these constant announcements? I quit. Quitting facebook had a direct correlation to my social life. People use facebook for everything now including inviting people, if you don't show up on the sidebar, most people simply forget you. After a year of forgetting you become invisible.

I logged on today just to see what it would feel like. IF I get signed by an agent I'm pretty sure they will make me have a facebook account and other social networking accounts like twitter. I am 15 weeks pregnant. I am going shopping today for maternity jeans. And yet, logging on and seeing all these new babies, women I didn't even know were pregnant showing off swollen stomachs, I felt pummeled. This makes NO sense since I am pregnant too, but for some reason I guess my mentality is still that of an infertile miscarrier, an I still feel like an outcast.

Facebook began as a very fun opportunity for me. I enjoyed catching up with old friends and staying in touch with far away friends. I think somewhere along the way the definition of "friendship" loosened on facebook and even people you tangentially knew became friends. You might not feel like you should add them, but then, you feel rude ignoring. Soon you were getting newsfeeds from people, so many people whose minutiae does not intrigue you. Despite the potential wonderfulness of facebook, to see pictures of your friends and those you care for, the flipside of competition and negativity is too overwhelming. Maybe everyone does not have this experience on facebook. Maybe its just the community I'm part of, but it's just amazing to me how powerfully negative that site is for me.

I quickly deactivated my account.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Random thoughts

1. The spotting is gone. My OB thinks it might be because of a very mildly uphill walk we did the day before in a park. Yes, it was a teeny bit hilly, but we weren't climbing a mountain. She said the lovenox makes all areas around there sensitive so it can cause light bleeding. She told me I could continue to do these things but not to freak out if a few days later I see some spotting- Um no thanks!

2. I feel a lot better now. Thank you to you guys for your advice and support. I am happy that it appears I avoided anything like clinical depression because the feeling lasted for only 5 days. Things that are helping are, I plan to join a local writing group and meet some people, I am getting out of the house today to get some sunshine by sitting by the lake and reading a book, and if I feel that low again I'm going to write about it again because letting it out felt great.

3. Despite feeling better I sense I am more anxious than I should be. This is multifaceted and usually a quick run on the treadmill calms me down, but now I can't do that. This anxiety is robbing me of my sleep, so I think I'm going to start doing yoga. Anyone have any good DVDs you can recommend?

4. A few people mentioned on my depression post that perhaps these feelings have something to do with the year catching up to me. Just because I'm in a "safe place" in my pregnancy doesn't mean I'm safe as yesterday's spotting incident revealed. I think I need to find a quiet peaceful spot to think about this year, reflect on it and find some sort of closure or resolution on it because right now the things that happened are a raw gaping wound. I want to start stitching it closed. I know the scars will never fade but at least the wound will close.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The return of the brown spot

I don't check for blood anymore. I guess that was my first mistake. Today as I was about to step into the shower I realized there is unmistakable brown spotting, and not just a little bit. After the shower I don't see any spotting but it was there.

The doctor told me to come in right away. A cervix check showed all was closed and no bleeding to be seen. We listened to the heartbeat boom away on the doppler and I am now home told that all is well and there's nothing to worry about.

In the past week I began looking at mommy playgroups. I even browsed a maternity clothing store on-line. I considered buying my first baby outfit. When I close my eyes I see my child. I see us sitting by the lake near my house feeding the ducks. This child in my womb is real. She is mine. I want her.

Yet today was another reminder, though all is well, though I feel relief, that nothing in this world is guaranteed.

Depression, the prickly bitch

First, I just want to make sure its clear that I think me being depressed is absolutely silly. I have a solid relationship with my husband, I love my family, and I'm pregnant. I know that when it comes to solid reasons to feel this way, its ludicrous.

Walking in a park today with Jack as the fall leaves fell gold and yellow before our path crunching under our feet, we talked about the future. If my book thing doesn't work, he thought it would be good for me to go back to work. Give it a year or so and then let's think about it, he said, pointing out that lately I just seem down and he's wondering if it has something to do with being home. We talked about the lack of friends lately. Most of our close friends moved in the past few years and now I can count my local friendships on one hand. For people who are pretty social, this is not fun. I suggested I could reactivate facebook and reconnect with the community but we both remembered we didn't particularly enjoy those hangouts where the men discussed stock portfolios and the girls talked about the lipstick of the season. Should we make friendships for the sake of saying we have friends? I can't bring myself to make that compromise yet. After that conversation, I asked Jack if he felt deppressed by this. He looked at me like I was crazy. We have each other, and we have sunflower who cares about anything else?

He's right and yet why am I sitting here feeling depressed? Yes its hard not to have the social network I once had, yes its frustrating to get rejections piled at your door as you pursue your dream, and yes not getting a paycheck is doing a number on my sense of self worth, but I don't know if the way I feel is really about any of this. My father's side of the family suffers depression. I never knew a name for it as a child but it hurt me when I would see my father from time to time sit outside on the patio, alone, staring off with a vacant expression. I'm sure my reasons are triggers but I'm pregnant and in any normal reasonable universe I should be walking around with a permanent dumb grin on my face. As much as depression may be triggered by reasons, I think it may also be a chemical thing.

I'm not prone to depression. I get stressed and anxious and sad sometimes but depression has left me alone for the most part save during PMS. Lately, for at least four days now, its gotten me by the proverbial balls and it's not letting go.

I don't know if its circumstance. There are famous authors in the shoes I want to be in who commit suicide or turn to drugs for reassurance. There are rich people making the money I am not who rack up thousands with shrinks and anti-depressants. I don't think its the things in my life, its a state of mind.

I want to just snap out of it. But I can't figure out how to do it.

Depression is a smoky haze that filters over your entire world view. It makes you feel hopeless even as you remind yourself of the beauty and grace that exists in every breath you take. It's dark oozing black ink leaking onto a crisp white page. It coils around your heart like a snake. I want to shake it but at the moment, I'm just not sure how.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


It's my fault. I pulled the equivalent of wearing white undies and wishing AF wouldn't come. I said, lovenox is not bruising me at all! In fact, I was so unbruised, I began worrying if the injections were even working. I take my shots in the kitchen so I can toss the needle in the trash right away and I generally don't examine my stomach in any major detail. Sure, when I glanced down, I saw some black bruising, but it didn't look that bad. Just now I pressed a hand to my lower belly and felt like instead of the usual pudge that sunflower has managed to lift up, that there was actually a bit of pregnant belly showing! Eager to observe I lifted my shirt and examined my stomach in the mirror and felt promptly horrified. I look like an abuse victim. I'm told to alternate my shots so it looks like two large bruised circles on either side of my stomach.

It's no big deal, I'll do what it takes to bake my baby, and I'll take what comes with it bruises and all, but two thoughts come to mind (1) No bare belly bump pics for me [though perhaps belly pics are smart for moments 13 years from now when I try to guilt trip sunflower with look at my belly! Look at what I do for you! (2) I really wish I could inject below the belly button because these two bruised looking eyes to either side of my stomach seem to merit an expression of sorts.

Lovenox ladies, what do you do when the belly gets too big to stab yourself easily on the right and left?

Monday, November 9, 2009


It's interesting that my former blog had a waiting component to the title as does my new one. Both done unintentionally, but so completely true. I thought once I saw the two pink lines I would be done waiting. Then I thought once I saw the heartbeat flickering on the screen, the waiting would end. Then I thought, second trimester, if I can pass that milestone I will stop waiting. Now, I think, when I have a ripe round belly, then I'll stop waiting. I'm beginning to think I don't know how else to exist but to wait. I'm not terrified every day and there is certainly more joy and peace in my heart over this pregnancy, but the waiting remains. I still sigh with relief when we find the heartbeat on the doppler. I still check those baby countdown tickers to see how many days are left. The happiest part of each day is when I click on it at 12:01am and see that I am now another day further along in my pregnancy.

An agent, my dream agent, has requested my full manuscript and in all likelihood she holds it in her hands as I write this. She asked for a three week exclusive while she decides whether to offer representation. I relent, its after all, just one week longer than the standard two week wait I've done for nearly two years, and with PCOS I hardly ever had the traditional two weeks. You'd think with all the waiting we IFers do, that it would become second nature, but waiting no matter how often I do it, does not get easier. Each year I usually exclaim as December arrives, so soon? This year I cannot say this. Each day has been hard fought and won. Each minute and hour, felt. I suppose that's a benefit of waiting, your life suddenly slows down considerably.

I am reading a book about pregnancy and the author struggled with IF before having her son. She said to women with IF and loss under their belt, the worry never goes away, adding that she only now feels a bit more secure considering her son graduated high school and is off to college. Yikes. I guess babies bring with them new waits. Wait for solid foods, wait for toilet training, wait for the first crush. I hope that once this child is in my arms, I can stop waiting, and I can once again fully, truly resume living again.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Thoughts on frizzy unibrows

Today, the unthinkable happened: My hair straightener broke. The light flickered red for a second and then poof, gone into the infinite abyss. The wand still there but the heat, gone. I jumped up fast and in a half panicked state told the hub, I gotta get to a store and get a new straightener NOW. He looked at me like I was insane but I did indeed drive myself to Target and plunk down $150 for my Chi straightener. The wand in my hand, I felt relieved.

I know this must sound strange. I don't think I'm a vain person. I don't own an expansive wardrobe, I have seven pairs of shoes, and I hardly wear make up, but I need to straighten my hair. Growing up I had frizzy curly hair so unruly my mother kept me in a therapy-inducing boy cut for most of my childhood. When I got older it stayed in a bun or carefully braided lest I walk around school looking like this:
I was what they call an awkward youth, because add to this lovely hair do, my eyebrows which more or less, resembled this:

When I met J he couldn't believe the image I shared of how I once looked. All kids are beautiful he insisted until he took a look at one of my 7th grade pictures. "Oh," is all he said.

Luckily, college introduced me to the beautiful world of hair straighteners and tweezers and I never ever went back. My MIL thought I had naturally straight hair until just a year ago, and I get stopped sometimes by random strangers saying how lucky I am to have such nicely shaped brows. This has all worked out for me, I mean, if I had some issues with my appearance I fixed it with relatively minimal expense and I didn't harm anyone, right?

Except today when I felt that strange panic welling up at the sight of my broken Chi I started thinking, what if my daughter is frizzy haired and unibrowed like me? I want my daughter to believe in her beauty and be confident no matter what. I have a friend who tweezes her baby girl's unibrow but the thought of that makes me feel icky. But then, there's me, plucking and straightening away the very features she may have. How is she supposed to feel about her God given attributes if mommy is willing away those very things on herself? Do as I say, not as I do? A friend once considered getting a nose job but I told her, what if your baby has your nose? Then how will she feel knowing mom was ashamed of that nose? Isn't this the same thing?

It's an interesting thought for me without much of a resolution. I'll love my baby no matter how she looks and I want her to not have the self-esteem and confidence issues I once had. If I can give her one thing its to be proud of who she is. As I look at my warming Chi blinking red, its a question that will nag me for some time to come. What would you do?

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Welcome- again

If you're reading this, thanks for traveling with me- again. I think you're beginning to wonder if I am a nomad as I continually change the location of my blog. In my "about me" section on my old blog, I indicated that the names I used for me and my husband were in fact pseudonyms to protect my identity. I accidentally left a comment on a blog my SIL frequents like an obsessive using my anonymous blog's information and the comment I left indicated who I truly was. Because she obsessively checks the comments on this site, and I realized I did this about 15 hours later, I don't know if she went over to my anonymous site and put 2 and 2 together. I think she may have.

The good thing is I was already password protecting posts that were deeply personal anyways, so I am relieved about that, and though I'm unhappy I made this mistake and very unhappy that at least for 15 hours she had the potential to read my most vulnerable thoughts, I am also reminding myself that its a site about sadness and about fear and hope. It's a site about infertility, miscarriage, and pregnancy. I'm not scribbling about my nym.phoman.iac tendenies or my crack habit. If she reads it, its embarassing, but life isn't over.

In some ways its nice that I've been forced to move. Though wordpress has great templates, its maddeningly vague on its stats re: who is coming and going. If I could have installed a simple statcounter there like I can on blogger, I would know definitively if she was reading or not, since I know her IP address. Alas, I must live with ambiguity, but I decided if I'm going to switch, I may as well switch to a site that allows me a little more autonomy on what I can and cannot do on my blog.

It's also interesting to be switching my blog today, November 7. As you might know, my due date for my first pregnancy was today. It's interesting to leave that blog, template, content an all and really move. It feels symbolic to me.

So, in conclusion, welcome. Let's hope I can manage to not slip my identity in the span of six months to go. Jeebuz! If you've trekked over, please say hey. And thanks again for sticking along!