Friday, January 29, 2010

26 weeks and double digits!

I started counting down at 260 days, back then double digit day felt like a mirage but like any parched traveler I continued the hike. Now I'm here at the brief oasis along the way: double digits. It doesn't mean much viability-wise but it means a lot psychologically for me.

Speaking of viability, I read some amazing stories of preemies that were born very early and survived against all odds, including Amillia whose mother had to lie to doctors about her gestational age because had they known she was only 21 weeks they wouldn't have tried saving her. She's now a preschooler! Or Will Goddard who was born at 23 weeks and doctors refused to treat him until they saw him struggling to survive without any assistance for 36 hours after his birth. He is now 11 years old, plays the sax, has his own website and has authored two books. My uterus has been acting a little irritable lately, I think I have had a few Braxton Hicks and some wonky discharge which Dr. Google tells me is normal. Still, I hold these stories close to my heart, they give me hope when I feel a little scared. I thought I'd share incase they give you hope too.

Jack shared our news to his co-workers today. He went to Dunkin Donuts beforehand and brought in a few boxes of Munchkin Donut Holes to announce the impending arrival of our own munchkin. It tells me how happy Jack is since getting up thirty minutes early and just thinking to do this is so unlike him! He has changed so much this past year. It's amazing to see and it makes me wonder what he will be like as a father. I anticipate good things.

Incidentally, I'm fully convinced Sunflower reads my blog because after penning my post about my nerves about evil eye, he decided to mess with my head and go totally silent for two days. No pokes, no nudges, nothing. It even took me five minutes to find him on the doppler last night. I slept fitfully, worried sick. This morning I managed to force him out of hiding by eating some cereal, a glass of OJ and some tea with plenty of sugar in it. My stomach suddenly became a bowl of shaky jello as he wiggled out of hiding. I kindly asked him to hold off on hide-and-seek until he's safely out!

26 weeks. I was never a girl scout but I wonder what kind I would have been. Probably the kind obsessed with collecting merit badges. I say this because tiny milestones like hitting 26 weeks, double digits, make me so excited, I could see myself getting beat up in a dark alley by other girlscouts after announcing my 20th cookie box sale. Oh well- Yay to 26 weeks as I hunker down to the next goal: Week 28 and officially entering the third trimester!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


I first started searching on-line for other IF bloggers after my first miscarriage. I remember e-mailing "Airing Dirty Laundry" asking her with all sincerity if this pain would ever end. In the moment it was hard to believe it ever would. During that time I also found Katery and Meggomae. Meggomae and I had lost our pregnancies at around the same time, we both had PCOS and we both wondered when it would happen for us. I've been following her ever since and was so happy for her when she learned recently that she was pregnant. It breaks my heart that despite being nearly nine weeks pregnant, her recent ultrasound showed her baby stopped growing at 6w4d. She and her husband are very special people and again I'm at a loss to understand how the universe works and why these things have to happen. If you get a chance please swing by and send her your support during this difficult time.

Evil Eye

I'm well educated and am fairly good at using my reason. In fact, I did quite well on the logical reasoning section of the GRE and the LSAT. However, in some areas, particularly the realm of paranoia, I can be quite primal. There is a concept in the culture my parents grew up in called evil eye. It's a concept that dates back thousands of years and is alive and well in many cultures, in fact, when we visited Turkey we saw blue eyes stuck on people's doors, shops, and embedded into concrete benches overlooking the Aegean Sea designed to ward off the nefarious evil eye.

If you're not familiar with the concept,its basically a belief that the jealousy or bad vibes of others towards you can actually affect your life. Growing up, my parents never referred to the evil eye, but the concept was ever present. We didn't announce promotions, or awards, and other achievements to the community at large. It could be termed modesty, but a part of it was also the evil eye concept. A fear that perhaps sharing the news could shatter it. This may sound strange to many of you, but when you're raised with a certain concept, you can tend to believe in it wholeheartedly even though the logical part of your brain says no, just because someone is thinking bad thoughts of me, doesn't mean my life will crumble due to their thoughts!

Someone I know who does not like me found out about my pregnancy. She is a major gossip and and in the three years I've known her she has never had a kind thing to say about anyone. I've witnessed her take joy in other people's sadness and so I avoid her like the plague. This person also struggles with IF and has been trying to conceive for three years. Jack just got a text from her husband saying Congrats we just heard about K's pregnancy! We are so excited for you guys and will keep you in our prayers. Instantly my primal caveman mentality clubbed me over the head and my first thought was thank God we waited this long to share our news with people! and then OMG did I donate recently? Must. Ward. Off. Evil. Eye.

This reaction of course surprises me. I tell myself logically that this girl and her negative feelings towards me will not influence the outcome of my pregnancy, but its hard to push away a lifetime of teaching. My mom still hasn't told relatives the gender of my baby because of evil eye and the fact that many of my relatives will be envious I am having a son. Jack's mom doesn't plan to announce my pregnancy until I have the child. I share this to show you how much this concept permeates my life on a subtle level.

I guess on its most simple level its just weird to know that people out there who would smile if they heard bad news, now know about my pregnancy. I know I need to just snap out of it and just accept that she knows. I will say a small prayer of thanks. Donate to March of Dimes. And tell myself that even if evil eye is real on some level, God Willing, it won't affect me.

Please don't think I'm weird. Other than this, I'm fairly normal.

Any logical rebuttals to help cure me are much appreciated!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Unintentional Pinpricks

We went to see a friend who just had a baby girl. It was the first time since getting pregnant I've gone for the "new baby visit" and the first time I didn't feel the pinprick of pain that usually accompanied such visits. I felt like a little girl in her mother's pearls and high heels sitting to tea-time with her stuffed animals as we discussed breastfeeding and strollers. I must add quite proudly that when she asked me so was it an accident or did you plan the baby? That I did not break into hysterical laughter. No, we didn't exactly plan this baby since planning and baby just don't go together in my world and so yes the sheer luck that I'm pregnant and it stuck does seem accidental but that's not what you meant is it? Instead I quite somberly told her yes, we wanted a baby.

The conversation moved to labor and the first few weeks after a baby comes. She talked about how stressful it can be and how you just don't know what you're doing sometimes. Jack said well K's mom is coming and we don't know what we'd do without her. I smiled and nodded adding, you need your mother, there's nothing like your own mother. I can't imagine if my mom wasn't coming. I need her to just hug me and give me support. My friend smiled and nodded amiably. As we wound down our conversation I commented on her daughter's pretty middle name and asked its origin. Its after my mother. I smiled, your mom must be so happy. She got quiet, my mom died in a car accident when I was 14 but I'd like to think she's looking down on us and is happy.

Driving home I thought of all the things people have said in my journey of IF and loss from you don't know what you're missing to You're lucky you guys don't have kids they're such a pain! I thought of how these words felt like pinpricks under my fingernails. Today my words hurt someone. I didn't know. But I caused her pain by reminding her of what she does not have, a mother to help guide her as she navigates young motherhood. Sometimes I've felt anger at people who casually remark about fertility and children as though they are undeniable rights and not blessings we are fortunate to have. They don't know either. They are not bad intentioned. Perhaps my unintentional statement to my friend will remind me to be gentle in my thoughts towards those who unintentionally prick me beneath the skin.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Baby Loot and Hope

When I found out I was pregnant I told myself I would allow myself a baby outfit once I hit the second trimester. Since then I've literally walked into Carter's five times, glanced from side to side like a wary cat and then fled out as fast as I could. I'm not sure why but just being in the baby store made my heart beat faster and I would begin to feel a little nauseous. I began wondering if we'd be bringing my son home in May in a diaper and nothing more. Yesterday I went to an outlet store near my house and decided to once again try it out. One little outfit, I told myself, just one. Baby steps. Well, I was a lot more successful this time:
My favorite purchase was a pack of onesies with elephants. As I've said before I feel I'm gestating an elephant so it was fitting to buy a few elephant clothes. It was amazing to show these clothes to Jack. He ran his hand over them and said I feel like we bought these as a gift for someone else. I can't wrap my mind around the fact that this is for our child. I think it was very important for us to do this. Just yesterday Jack mentioned going to a local baby furniture store to browse at cribs, something he refused to even discuss just a week earlier.

He told me our MFM tech helped him change perspective. When I lay there getting the ultrasound I kept firing questions, what's the cervix looking like? How's the amniotic fluid? What percentile is he in? And then she laughed a little and very gently said I know you've been through a lot and I understand that you're scared but what happened before does not predict what will happen. This is your time to enjoy pregnancy and feel excitement at what is to come. Lay back and just look at him, really look at him and let yourself feel happy. And just like that we stopped talking and stared at this little miracle on the screen, sucking his thumb and stretching his legs, his eyes shut tight. For Jack that was his moment, his epiphany to embrace hope and try to work on letting go of the fear that's gripped us by the throat.

We feel like toddlers walking on wobbly legs with this whole hope business, but the more I walk on its path the more sure footed I hope it will feel.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Managing the fears of others

Just because I am feeling better about things and a little more hopeful does not mean I can control those around me. Jack still asks with a nervous hint in his voice if I'm okay when I use the restroom in the middle of the night. If I grimace or make any sort of expression he immediately asks what's the matter? what's wrong? are you okay? I get it. Just beacuse I'm not as scared anymore doesn't mean I can turn this switch off in others.

Then there's my mother. I love my mom but since I got pregnant again she's been very concerned. Considering we share genetic makeup I should not fault her for being a bit of a worry-wart but the fear is beginning to wear on me. My parents live 7 hours from us and we spent the holidays with them. If I jumped to reach something, went out past 10pm with Jack, took a long walk, she chided me telling me to not over exert! In the past I would have gotten mad but I realize she says this out of a place of love and we don't see one another daily so I bit my tongue and let her rebuke me.

Then began the phone calls. We used to talk a few times a week and if she called and I wasn't there it wasn't a big deal, I'd call her in the evening or the next day. But now its different. Now, she calls my home phone, then my cell phone, and then will repeat every twenty minutes and then she will call JACK saying frantically that she can't reach me causing Jack to panic causing a big unnecessary mess.

Granted, I should have my phone on me at all times but sometimes I'm in the shower, or out shopping where there is no reception and its simply not possible. I know she is afraid that me not picking up means I'm passed out on the floor somewhere (since its happened a few times) but its getting tiring to feel tense wondering if she's calling and I missed the call or being nervous to mention I cleaned the tub because I shouldn't be kneeling while pregnant! It's gotten to the point that when she calls I cringe. And I HATE that because I LOVE my mom.

I talked to her gently yesterday and told her that if she calls me once and leaves a message I will call her back when I can. She apologized but I know that this isn't going to stop. It's difficult sometimes to move forward with optimism when everyone around you is biting their nails and shaking their head waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

MFM Update and a question about Gestational Diabetes

Despite becoming more hopeful these past few weeks, I had trouble sleeping last night. Part of me wondered if now that I let my guard down, would the fears become real? It would just figure me getting all hopeful would jinx everything. Thankfully so far my theory has been disproved. I'm pleased to report all is ho-hum in the womb area. The tech did a few 3D shots which honestly kinda freaked me out! Cervix is long and closed, amniotic fluid is as it should be and my little sunflower weighed in at 1 pound 10 ounces and is measuring 25w2d, three days ahead of schedule. He's head down so the cervix hits I get are apparently head bumps. When we saw him he was sucking his thumb and giving me soccer kicks. She said he has long legs so I might get a long baby in May. All in all he measured in the 47% percentile which is average so I can't complain. The doppler and these visits are what keep me sane.

Dr. MFM is awesome and after having rotated with so many subpar doctors it was just nice to talk to him. At my OB visit I brought Dr. M my Nordic Cod Liver Oil to ask if I could take it and instead of answering my question, she wrote me a prescription for DHA supplements which I didn't want. Dr. MFM checked it and said it was fine to take. I discussed all my questions that Dr. M was too hurried to answer with Dr. MFM and he rocks. If an OB one day stumbles upon this site I hope they can learn to not condescend to their patients and to respect that they may also know what they're talking about. Though you know more than me, I will listen to you a lot better if you respect me as a person while we talk.

Anyhoo! We discussed my 28 week gestational diabetes test and he said some people carb it up a few days before the test and then eat no carbs the day before the test and pass it. Which leaves me confused. With a PCOS history and GD in my family, I likely will have GD but should I try to beat the test? If I have it, don't I want to treat it, not do a temporary fix before a test only to have my levels rise up again? I'm assuming there is some harm in having GD hence the testing.

Driving home, Jack and I reflected how one year ago we were still TTC. One year ago I had not known Speck. My next OB visit is February 20, the day I found out I was pregnant. I will become full term April 13, the day I lost Speck. He turned to me and said when Speck died, something in me left with him. I feel like there is a hole that will never be filled but I know when I see our son I will see what Speck and Bug might have been. I felt tears form in my own eyes. I am grateful for this pregnancy and I love this little boy but just like Jack there remains a crater somewhere within. I love Speck and Bug. Loving Sunflower does not negate the occassional heavy heart I feel over what could have been.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Remembering Today

As fear recedes
and hope steps forward
I begin to enjoy this moment
of holding him within me.
Instead of looking at the calender
wishing the time away,
I realize-
he's already my child,
alive and vibrant inside me.
I am seeking the end of my journey
conceiving, gestating, birthing, and raising
are all part of the same journey.
And this stage is special
because its the stage only we alone share.
I am the only one in the world who can say
I knew him first.
I knew him when.
When he swam like a fish in my womb
When he kicked, squirmed and prodded my insides
When he bounced on my bladder and poked my cervix.
May will come
and we will meet for the first time,
though he is a part of me,
so in truth I've known him
all my life.
Each day he will grow stronger and smarter
and one day he will be fully grown and
And that day I will remember this moment
that he lived inside me
and swam like trout
and I rubbed my belly
and sang to him.
And that day
all this time
that I wish away right now will seem
irretrievably precious.
I will want to remember
the togetherness
we share now
these moments
of just he and I
that will never come back again.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Doctor Vent

The doctor's appointment went fine but the more I rotate the more I realize how much I like my real doctor. I feel like one of those kids with the lower lip quivering when the step-mom tries to be nice and they say but you're not my real mom! I don't want to be induced if I don't have to, but I do think that one positive of scheduling when I deliver would be coordinating my own OB to deliver Sunflower because so far my two experiences with the other doctors have been unpleasant.

The last time I saw a rotating doctor, I asked if I was expanding too much and he pulled up my chart and said well you have two kids so you grow larger with each subsequent pregnancy. He simply glanced at my chart, saw prior pregnancies but failed to see that I miscarried. I felt too horrified to correct him but then tried working it in later by saying I'm just a little nervous because I've had two miscarriages. He did a double take at my chart and looked a little sheepish but it was clear he had not read my chart or had any clue who I was.

Still he was an angel compared to the doctor I saw today. I wanted to talk about breastfeeding and PCOS with Dr. M since I know I may have issues and my local La Leche League contact person suggested I talk to my healthcare provider. Dr. M had no idea about PCOS and said that's just silly that PCOS would cause low milk supply, just because its on the internet doesn't make it true. I do NOT appreciate being condescended to. First off, you don't know anything about PCOS and since I have the diagnosis I happen to be informed, and second of all do you think I got my information just based on a random message board? I stood my ground and told her no I read scientific journals that published studies on PCOS and breast milk supply. Only then did she concede there could be a correlation. She then chided me on worrying about preterm labor saying look, move on from your miscarriages, you are in different territory now. I get what she was trying to say, but she said it in such a curt manner I felt I got scolded by my mother. You know what lady? If I'm scared about a symptom I will call and ask. You only have to deal with me until May, so deal with it. It was frustrating and she was in a rush to get done so we were in and out in ten minutes.

My next appointment at 28 weeks will be with Dr. T who is notoriously mean. The internet is filled with former patients and horror stories. She was the doctor on call when I was miscarrying my second pregnancy. When she called me back I said I'm pregnant but I'm bleeding a lot, her response: Yeah? And? I will never forget her lack of compassion and her nonchalant attitude about miscarrying, if you're miscarrying its not a big deal, it'll feel like a heavy period. Let me tell you, miscarrying a nearly seven week fetus is NOT like having your period. I told my regular OB I don't want Dr. T but she said that Dr. T is nicer now and has realized she was too harsh. But, still.

I'm disappointed by the doctor experience but at least baby-wise things look good. I'm excited about my MFM on Wednesday. He is a sweetheart and luckily I don't have to rotate with him. Seems like there a few of you, Susan and Kate, with ultarsounds Wednesday. Hopefully we will all hear good news that all is well!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Growing, growing, growing

I am a plant. I drink enough water to make a cactus weep with envy. (Though I guess it wouldn't take much to make a cactus jealous). It seems water is the only thing that helps stave off all the bad things that make me scared like irritable uterus, constipation, round ligament pain and so on. A friend referred to her growing bean as a plant in need of watering, and this is a good analogy as I douse myself with liquids helping my sunflower grow. . .

Speaking of growing, my boobs are growing. I did not think they were and was a bit concerned about this. I mean, my bras were fitting just as they always were . . . or so I thought, until I took out my laundry and looked at my bras, I mean really looked at them which is when I noticed the metallic clasps are quite bent from the strain of keeping me up. Yikes. So I went to Target and got one of those maternity/nursing bras and figured I'd get the next size up, 34C. Silly me brought it home, ripped off the tags and put it on only to discover that holy mother this thing is TIGHT. I'm not sure how this happened as my 34Bs are still fitting me (though surely the straps of said bras likely want to slither up and strangle me at night for overworking them so). Now I'm befuddled. Do I go to a maternity store and get a bra at this stage for such temporary purposes when the boobs will likely grow some more rendering the newly purchased pricey ones useless? At the moment I'm wearing tanks with built in bras, they're uncomfortable but I'm not sure what to do as I continue to grow. . .

And speaking of growing, the belly be growing too. So far I've bought four maternity tops and three pairs of pants and hopefully that's all I'll need for the remainder of the pregnancy. What I love about the tops is they are very cute and can double as nursing shirts so will be worth the money I spent, which is the point of telling you about this, I paid very little for my maternity clothes. If you're in the market, please go to ROSS. It can be hit or miss, but I just got a pair of jeans that fit wonderfully for. . . $2.99! They are flawless and fit great! In fact, I bought all three maternity pants from Ross for a total of $27. It can be hit or miss there, but the potential to get some great bargains is worth a stop to flick through the racks now and then.

This is doctor week with a checkup tomorrow with my regular OB practice and then my MFM on Wednesday. I hate that I'm being rotated now to meet the other doctors. I want my doctor to deliver my baby, but I know that I don't really have a say in this. I hope the doctors visits go well.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Houston, we have viability!

I am 24 weeks pregnant. Wow. Just. . . wow. Does this make me six months? I haven't really figured out the month system but Sunflower is viable. Just barely, but now he has a chance and a chance is bigger than anything I could have imagined when I started this journey. Sometimes I catch my breath as I realize this might really happen. To be honest, even though I love my son, I haven't really allowed myself to daydream what it will be like when he's here. Right now that's an abstract concept. As I hit 24 I'm wondering when it will hit me that this is happening.

Viable is awesome but I must remind my son that he's not yet done baking because the way he's been stomping on my cervix I think he wants to come out and play. Last night I rubbed my belly and spoke to him, asking him to please stop, and . . . he did. It was amazing to interact with him, to soothe him. If only I could convince him to kick me in the ribs now instead.

I went to a book club today and one of the girls asked me when are you due? I stared at her, really? I look pregnant? You couldn't wipe that dumb grin off my face. [Hopefully I'll get a belly shot posted soon!]

In another effort to embrace hopefulness I finally got a copy of Baby Bargains to get an idea of what's out there and then promptly proceeded to panic because cribs and the like can apparently take many weeks to ship and the April date I've set to go shopping for things may be too late. Jack is insisting he does not want to baby shop yet so maybe I will start doing a little bit of exploring on my own to see what is out there.

Still having my fearful moments. Still wondering if the twinge or the pull is the beginning of the end but doing a lot better than I was. Kate's advice to make small goals is helping. My new goal is to reach 26 weeks. That's manageable, not quite as scary as waiting for week 40. Though the lab results said I did not have an infection, I'm fairly convinced something funny is going on since it kind of hurts to go to the bathroom and I just feel odd. I have my monthly OB appointment Monday and then I see the MFM on Wednesday so I'm being patient and waiting until then to see what is going on.

In the meantime I'm six times four. I'm 12 plus 12. I'm 24. Twenty Four weeks. And I'm happy.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Unintentionally hopeful

Jack and I decided a long time ago we would not get ready for the baby until April. This has not been a problem since a) I don't like shopping and b) you know, the whole being scared of the future thing. Even buying maternity clothes involved my mother dragging me to a store and marching me into the dressing room because I was perfectly content mushrooming.

The yard people finished up and what was once a jungle where you might reasonably think the wild things are, is now a yard. There are still plenty of trees, but so much more sunlight which means in a few weeks we can lay down sod and grass can grow. Jack came home today and we stepped outside to take a look at the new yard.

It looks amazing, he said putting an arm around me. Sunflower is going to love playing back here now. I nodded and smiled, I feel so relieved I was wondering where he could play if he couldn't play in the back yard. Jack patted my belly and leaned in close, can't wait until you're here to see the yard we made for you.

And then we looked at each other with surprise. We did this for sunflower. Somehow without realizing we engaged in act of faith that one day he will play here. That he will be here. Myndi reflected on the topic of fear, that either way, hoping or fearing, you have no control, so why not be a little hopeful just for your own sanity. It is so difficult to be hopeful when so many beautiful people are experiencing pain and loss around you, and you yourself have tasted this pain yourself. You know you are no more worthy or better, and that this game of doling out loss makes no sense. It makes you feel like you're all pinned to trees and blindfolded monkeys fling darts at random. It can leave you feeling paralyzed and helpless. I guess the key is to realize you are helpless, but you have to go on and live your life just the same.

I looked at the empty flower beds and turned to Jack, come May we're planting sunflowers.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010


There's already a beautiful place run by Mel to let us know what is going in on our community but I have to just post this in my small corner of the internet world. Eve of Infertility Rocks went for an ultrasound at 24.5 weeks and learned that though her little girl is doing fine, her little boy William passed away. I cannot imagine her grief but I'm heartbroken for her. If you can, please swing by and send her your love and support.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Changing my due date!

I am changing my due date! Well, sort of. In the pursuit of being less fearful I decided to change my perspective on the whole due date thing. May feels like its about 200 years away and when I feel like I'm gestating an elephant it makes the whole gestating thing feel overwhelming. I become full term at 37 weeks. April 12. So that's that then. That's what I'm shooting for. Not May 7. April 12. That is a mere 3 months away. And that makes me feel a whole lot better.

As an aside, the tree people are here and each time they chop down a tree they yell out, Yee Haw! They are working really hard and I don't envy their task but their whoops and hollers are making me giggle and feel a little wistful. Must be nice to feel yeehaw about the work you do, you know?


I have a list of things to get done around the house that could loop around my neighborhood twice. Well, not exactly, but it certainly feels that way sometimes. One of the things giving me the most grief has been the pine trees in our backyard. We have a postage stamp sized back yard with enough pine trees to be declared a national forest. No joke, at least 30 pine trees on a quarter acre lot. Our backyard has the potential to be lovely but because of this overgrown forest perched on a hill behind our home the backyard gets no sunlight so its grass-free and kind of dark there. This has never been a big deal but with a baby on the way I've wanted to get some of these trees down and some pruned so we can have light and get some grass there. We've asked a few places and the costs have been prohibitive. We heard its cheaper to get trees cut in the winter so we planned to do that this year but I kept putting it off.

Today as I sat down to watch my DVR'd Big Love, the doorbell rang. Luckily Jack was home (because I don't open my door for strangers!) and it turned out to be a landscaping group down on their luck knocking door to door asking if we needed work done. Why yes we do! They quoted us a price half the cost of the other estimates and they're getting started tomorrow. They also threw in replacing our pine straw in the beds and cleaning out our gutters (another thing on my to do list).

You might be wondering what any of this has to do with anything but this simple random event gave me an an epiphany: I worry too much. You might be shaking your head thinking I've read your blog for two weeks and I could have told you that. I know I'm a worry wart but today it hit me that all that worrying won't solve anything. Some things I can control and sometimes some things work themselves out [granted they haven't done the work yet so it remains to be seen if I can check it off, but I'm choosing to be optimistic].

Sometimes us worry-warts think that if we worry ourselves silly the bad thing won't happen because we're on guard. But today something I've fretted about since August just got wiped off my list without me making a single phone call. Something good happened while I was off guard. Good things can happen even if you're not on guard at all times. I think I can let my guard down a little. I'm worrying so hard about the well being of my son but I need to learn to be vigilant without the burden of destructive worry. I think I can let go of the reigns because today I got a small understanding that I'm not really the one pulling them anyways.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Rantings of a nut**

I wasn't going to blog about this because I feel so dumb. Plus, I don't want to be one of those blogs that just kind of waxes on about the same exact thing over and over again in finitum. But then I thought, this is my space to let myself say what I'm feeling so I will. If you are tired of my endless paranoia please skip this post.

I think little guy might have stomped on my cervix because I was just sitting there watching Public Enemies and felt a weird feeling on my cervix from inside the womb. I know babies River Dance on their mother's cervix so I didn't freak. Then half an hour later I felt a weird pain high up in my vagina where the cervix is. It lasted 30-60 seconds and then it went away. It got me a bit more paranoid but again- y'all have told me this is normal, so I didn't freak. Then I went to use the bathroom and when I wiped a red little mucus strand type thing came out and then some slight discharge clear and whitish. The red ball of mucus was very small, the size of a grain of rice, but when it comes to my vagina, my least favorite color is red no matter how big or small.

Little guy is giving me occassional taps. His heartbeat is going strong. I have no more discharge, nor do I have any other signs that anything is amiss. So I'm telling myself that all is well and that this mucus thing might be leftover from the suppository I took for BV (which btw- a lab test confirmed I DID NOT have and was advised to stop taking the suppository three days into treatment?) But I'm nervous because well, I don't like red anywhere near or around that area.

I'm feeling stupid. I don't want to call the doctor tomorrow to have the same nurse call once again to hear this paranoid person saying she's scared. I'm feeling eye rolls if I walk in and they examine me and tell me all is well. I keep asking Jack, should I call tomorrow. He says I should just to give me peace of mind. So I guess I will, but I'm feeling like the boy who cried wolf. Except I'm not doing this for attention. I'm not doing this on purpose. I'm just a nut.

**Thank you for reassuring me its okay. I sometimes forget I'm allowed to call and not feel bad about it. The nurse said to monitor it and if it happens again to call. From the sound of it she thinks its just leftover suppository that may have irritated my cervix. I feel better that I said something though. I guess despite how far into this pregnancy I am I'll be resorting to the phrase I used to get me through the first: So far so good.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

K, the fidgety passenger

I'm making my way through Stirrup Queen's 2009 Creme de la Creme list and I'm blown away by these touching, beautiful posts. I felt particularly moved by Irish Man's post about pregnancy after loss, it truly captures it:
This pregnancy is like a smooth long-haul flight…we know that flying is generally safe, but we’re the jumpy passengers that freak everyone else out. Every rumble of turbulence makes us thing we’re going down.
My best friend has babies on command. She decides and then she is. A month after me she got pregnant on her first try. Two days before her first OB visit she casually mentioned how her symptoms were not as strong. I said nothing but felt my heart panic. When she returned from the visit she told me about her husband's nightmare through traffic, her funny doctor, and I had to interrupt her shouting but did they hear a heartbeat!?! She was quiet for a second and I could practically hear her rolling her eyes, yes!

I'm a jumpy passenger and lately I've realized I'm one of those people who tend to read scary stories of other people's flights and then wondering if my flight path will be the same. I read a few blogs about people who lost babies at 23 weeks and felt my chest constrict as tears slipped down my face. My cousin's wife just delivered a baby one month early, and suddenly my round ligament pain feels ominous. I find myself googling a few times each night about preterm birth. A lot of mothers who have lost babies to preterm birth say to trust your instincts about something being wrong but I'm flinching and jumping constantly. I don't know if I even have instincts when it comes to this anymore, just fear. This is not to say I'm not enjoying the pregnancy. To some degree I am. I love seeing my belly move when he does pilates, and I love listening to his heartbeat and watching my belly expand with each passing day. I love him so much and this love brings with it fear. I long to be like Susan at Sprogblogger who got the beautiful two lines and is already ecstatic, choosing joy over fear. In the alternative, I long for May, beautiful sweet May of budding flowers and chirping birds and my son: safe, healthy, happy in my arms.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Gas, I'm going with gas

I'm 23 weeks pregnant today and my belly literally popped again. I swear I look bigger today than I did yesterday. I thought this whole growing thing was supposed to be gradual but I feel like I bloomed. With this growth spurt I've started feeling pain in my upper abdomen that travels down the right side of my body. It's not a contraction since its not exactly in my uterus, at least I don't think. We went out for sushi (nonfishy california rolls for me!) and as we shopped at Target later that evening I felt the pain get stronger, but still it felt like gas, a whole lot of it radiating. I'm assuming its not in the usual place gas would be because the belly is kind of intruding on all other organs at this point. We went home and I'm now lying down sipping water and have a heating pad on the offending area and googling the heck out of all of this but it feels better now. I only drank a few glasses of water yesterday and today so that could be the culprit. I felt tempted to call my doctor but I'm monitoring it to see if it goes away. So far, if I get up and walk around it comes back, if I lie down and use the heating pad its fine. I hope it goes away for good tomorrow when I wake up.

Off topic, I just finished reading The Help. A very touching story of infertility and loss in there, and a really great book overall. If you're looking for a good read I highly recommend it.


I remember driving to school with my mom at twelve. Why do people have kids? I asked. They are expensive and they are a lot of work. My mother responded because you love them. I shook my head at this, you can love your husband and its not nearly as much work. If I don't have kids that would be allright with me. My mother slammed the brakes and turned to me. In an even voice she said be careful what you say, you never know when God is listening and decides to agree with you.

At 20 I remember my roommate saying you'll probably have ten kids since you're a teacher and love kids so much. I laughed and responded, Nah, the good thing with teaching is at the end of the day you give them back to their parents.

I remember being 22 and sitting across the table from Jack after our first month of marriage as we stared at the pregnancy test waiting for it to portend our future. I felt scared. I'm too young, I thought. I don't want kids right now! When it confirmed negative, I could have sank to the floor with relief.

When I remember these things I wonder what kind of parent would I have been if I got pregnant with ease. Would I have been like the lady I saw at Target yesterday, sporting a tiny bump and a frustrated expression as she shopped for baby clothes, snapping at her husband at what a chore this was to do. Would I resent my children? Would I have less patience?

I used to visit my birth month club to see what other women in my due date month were talking about, but the conversations about being devastated and in denial about the gender of their babies, annoyance at their baby kicking too much and other similar topics that just left me feeling cold.

Maybe I would have been that way too though if motherhood came easy. I once thought motherhood was my right, something I could take for granted. This struggle has taught me its a privilege, an honor, a blessing. It has taught me that children are not doled out to the worthy and the entitled, the method with which we are given this blessing is one that still eludes me today.

I know not all fertiles take their pregnancies for granted or don't appreciate what they have, but I do wonder had I been able to conceive with ease what kind of parent I would have been. I know the sleepless nights will still be hard, and the breastfeeding will still frustrate me, but I'd like to think that my struggles will at least give me the benefit of being able to appreciate what I have all the more.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Inching out of the closet

I met up with two friends for lunch. At this point I either look a) pregnant or b) like I stuffed a basketball up my shirt, but my friends said nothing so I cleared my throat and made the announcement. I've waited to utter these words for well over two years but it was so weird to say those words out loud. The more people I tell the more real it begins to feel and the more real it feels the more vulnerable I feel but- they were so happy for me, and started talking about a baby shower. I told them I wasn't sure if I'd have one and when they asked why I felt my stomach tighten as I inched my way out of the closet.

Sometimes I feel I live two separate lives. There's the K who in 2009 pursued her writing dream, ate at nice restaurants with friends and took fun vacations. Then there's the other K, the one who sank to the bottom of the ocean in 2009 and is still not quite sure how and why she is still floating. It felt strange to breach the divide, to let people through the veil I hold between what I reveal and what I fully am. Voicing outloud that I am infertile, I have PCOS and I lost two pregnancies felt like I lay my heart on the table for everyone to see.

I had planned to come out and I don't regret it. Its important on so many levels. Silence equals at worst taboo, at best, shame. Infertilty and loss deserve neither. I never know who I might come out to who will one day be able to turn to me. I know at least five people in my community who have suffered IF but we don't talk about it, we talk around it. It has to stop so I may as well begin the process. I admit when I didn't know I had fertility issues I never understood how painful infertility was. I thought it would be sad if I could not have children but I didn't know until I faced the possibility of childlessness how deep the abyss of grief could be. Putting a face to infertility will hopefully help fertile friends see the issue on a human level rather than an abstract concept.

On a more selfish level, I want people to know how big this is for me. All pregnancies are a huge and miraculous but for me this miracle is so profound- that it could happen to me- I'm without words.

I'm not planning to discuss my infertility at light dinner gatherings because talk about party pooper! But- when I discuss my pregnancy with friends on a personal level I plan to tell. I will admit its not the most comfortable feeling to say outloud what I've kept buried so deep within, but its important to do, so I will.


A lot of us read Sunny in Seattle, and enjoy her positive outlook on life and her honesty about being pregnant with twins. I just learned she is in the hospital. Her cervix is shortening and she is having minor contractions. If you can please swing by and send her your support.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

BV, we meet again

I went to the OB today and he confirmed I do indeed have bacterial vaginosis- again. I must never have gotten rid of it considering I recently finished the course of treatment. Now I'm taking suppositories for it which are class B drugs but because the first drug didn't work this is the next course of action. I'm nervous but he said it only poses risk in the first trimester when organs are in their critical stage of development. So I'm still taking meds for the UTI, I took meds for the BV before, and now once again I'm taking meds. I really don't like to do this but I think I don't have a choice. I hate that. I hope they are right and it won't affect sunflower. I've also been having shooting pains in the round ligament area but so frequent it concerned me... he told me to up my water intake and it has been helping.

I'm VERY worried about this BV because studies have shown higher rates of preterm labor associated with it. Still, my cervix is long and closed, so I hope I will fall on the good side of the statistics in this area.

Can. Not. Wait. Until. May.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

The: Is This Normal? Post

I just clicked into Google reader and gasped that I have 180 unread posts. I'm pretty excited to sit down with a cup of tea and catch up with all of you when I get back Tuesday. I hope its all good news. *knock on wood*

Being in Orlando has been nice because it distracts me from the day to day worry of wondering if I'll successfully bake my baby and meet him healthy and happy in 2010. Still, the worry remains. It's as part of me as the blood in my veins so I accept it and manage it as best as I can.

Still. Since yesterday I've been getting the watery discharge again. It could be that my bacterial vaginosis is back. I don't know. I also noticed today, slight shooting/throbbing type pain in my vaginal area but up high. It's not while standing, but while sitting. It comes and goes lasting for a few seconds at a time. I asked Dr. Google who has told me it could be anything from "normal" to "your cervix is dilating."

Have any of you experienced this type of pain? I'll call my doctor when I return on Tuesday but just curious if you've experienced this?

Friday, January 1, 2010

2010 etcetra

It's been a while since I last blogged which feels strange since I normally blog daily. We're in Orlando visiting my parents and brothers. It's amazing to see their joy. We finally told Jack's sister (she lives in Florida) and she was mildly amused, but my family. . . wow. My little brother plays an altered version of "got your nose" with sunflower, and my mom says hello to him each morning. He's already their nephew and grandchild. In contrast, since finding out, his sister is very distant and cold. When I think about her apathetic expressions I feel so sad, but maybe she is in my life so I can better appreciate those who are truly happy for us.

My mom also had a sit down reality check with me. She told me I look blatantly pregnant and people aren't mentioning it because they don't want to be rude. She also told me the tanks with sweaters I'm wearing make me look like an overflowing muffin (only a mother can say it I guess). So I got dragged to a maternity store for my first maternity tops and wow. . . it feels so awesome to truly fit into clothes again! Maternity clothes really accentuate your bump though and I find myself staring at it in awe.

I have never looked forward to a new year as much as I have this one. We normally eat dinner in and watch a movie and countdown together but this year Jack really wanted to make it special. We are SO happy to put 2009 behind us and so excited about 2010. But we inquired too late and all the good restaurants were booked and the shows we wanted to attend were sold out. We ended up going to Cele.bra.tion, FL to watch fireworks and the advertised bands and eat burgers from the vendors. When we got there, there were no bands or burgers, and the fireworks got canceled. A part of me felt nervous sitting across from the dark lake for fireworks that never came. Did the ushering in of 2010 portend what it would hold? I'm telling myself, no. This was simply a symbolic way to end 2009, a year of dark lakes with fireworks that never came. I pray 2010 will be happier. I pray 2010 will be a beautiful way to put the memories of 2009 to rest.