Transfer Day (posted a week later..)

Wow. I had  2 embryos transferred today. One 8 cell Grade B and one 4 cell grade B. I was so relieved to know that they survived the thaw this morning, and was so nervous that the doctor was going to tell me upon arrival and that the embryos had spontaneously arrested and that I could turn around and go home with an empty uterus.

I am  more nervous than excited. I won’t let myself be too excited because unfortunately I feel defeated and jaded after our BFN last month.  Even though I was blessed enough to have my first IVF result in a successful pregnancy,  I still feel scared and depressed as I go through this process. I’m not thinking about baby names or decorating a nursery. I just feel the dark, heaviness of infertility creeping its way back into my life.

I remember looking at a picture in a magazine many years ago of a stunningly beautiful woman, lying down as her 3 young boys surrounded her. They were crawling on her like  little cubs. You could tell how much they loved her, and how deeply happy she was. I wanted that. I wanted to be the Mama Lion surrounded by my babies,  feeling their warmth and showering them with my love and protection. I hate that I might not have that. I know how lucky I am to have my one precious, perfect cub. But there is room in our den for one more, and more than enough room in our hearts

Back in the Saddle

Wow, it’s been a while. Oh, how I have missed writing, reading and commiserating with all of you! Unfortunately I just have not had much free time to write this past year. Along with the arrival of Baby Lily, we moved farther away from my job so my commute is between 2 1/2 -3 hours a day. It’s been pretty freaking crazy but I really can’t complain since Lily is here and she is amazing.

So amazing, in fact that we decided to try for another. We tried another IVF cycle in December. I took a leap of faith and went for it, even though I knew that it would make me a crazy person over Christmas. I went in on Christmas morning for the retrieval. 16 eggs! 3 days later they transferred a single 8 cell grade A embryo. 2 weeks later we found out it was a BFN. It was NOT a Christmas miracle.

We did end up with two frosties which we will transfer on 2/21. Im taking estrogen now and it is kicking my fucking ass. Speaking of ass, I also have to take shots of progesterone in my ass starting in a few days. I thought the FET prep was going to be easier! So far, not so much.

It is different this time around. Obviously I don’t have time to analyze every step and think about it 24/7. So, in that sense it is better because Im so busy with Lily that I can’t sit around being a Debbie Downer all day. Thankfully Lily decided to take a nice 2+ hour nap on the day I found out the IVF was a BFN. I laid in bed and cried my eyes out. But when she was up, it was over. I had to be strong for her.

It is different now. Lily is my miracle and my ultimate joy. I still am in disbelief that she is here and that she is mine. Life is so filled with details, so it is easy to get caught up in the constant every day planning ,and to forget to soak in the blessings in our lives. Even after 16 months, and after taking her on multiple vacations, having her Christened and celebrating her 1st Birthday, I still second guess myself when I say, “my daughter..”, because it is still so hard to believe it’s true.

Infertility is still real though and it is still fucking up my life. The process I am going through now makes me physically, mentally and emotionally weak- which affects my abilities to be the best mom to Lily. She deserves a sibling. She deserves someone who will be there for her , always. Someone to share a childhood with, life with and a future with.

In my heart, I really feel like there is another little soul floating out there, waiting to find life in me and with our family. I am positive and hopeful, but still scared.

A New Year…A New Beginning

Happy New Year! I can’t believe how long it has been since my last post. These last few months have been very eventful to say the least. Lily is now 13 weeks and is such a joy. Being a mommy to her is definitely the best job I have ever had and the most rewarding. Honestly, it is hard to sum up new parenthood in few words. It goes without saying that she is my life, my heart and darn right adorable. We have been blessed with a healthy, good and happy baby and I feel like I have hit the lottery. I do have more thoughts on parenthood that I plan to elaborate on in future posts but for now I’ll just share some entertaining details about my life.

Overall, my time with Lily has been great, but it certainly could have been better if not for the shit-show that was my maternity leave. Let’s itemize the crap for a brief summary:

  • A few weeks before my due date, we moved into our new home which we were buying from my Mother-in-Law. She was still living here, but it made sense to “overlap” residences since our old house sold so quickly and we were both scheduled to close on our new mortgages in a few short weeks. Due to several stupid closing complications, those 3 weeks turned into 3 MONTHS. Yes, you read that correctly. We had been living with my Mother in Law from September 6th until Dec 10th. Most of my friends can barely stand their MIL’s for a weekend, let alone 3 months..with a newborn! My MIL is also a compulsive talker, which only made for a more exhausting and stressful living experience. I feel like I could have created a blog devoted to that living situation alone.
  • When Lily was 2 weeks old, DH had to have emergency back surgery. He had two bulging discs which were causing pressure on his sciatic nerve-and he could barely walk, let alone drive. I know it wasn’t his fault, but I had very little sympathy for him. To top it off, MIL was more annoying than helpful. Fucking nightmare. At that point I seriously thought I was being Punked.
  • I was also having major difficulty breastfeeding. Lily was chomping away on my nipples and the pain was excruciating. I tried special healing creme (Apno) and then started using nipple guards. These caused even more problems because baby would just suck on the guard without getting enough milk. I didn’t realize this until her 2nd weight check when she hadn’t gained any weight. Cue the tears, guilt and devastation. I became good friends with formula and my breast pump after that. (*She is now in the 75th percentile for size..yippee!)
  • Throughout all of this ridiculousness, the health of our long time companion and family member, Timber , was plummeting. He was unable to walk upstairs and was slowly wasting away. Finally, 2 weeks before Christmas, we had to say goodbye. It was so heartbreaking to lose such a loyal and loving pet, but at the same time it was a huge relief to know that he was no longer in pain.

It has been quite the whirlwind!  I didn’t think I could handle the stress of the holidays after all of that but we ended up having such a special Christmas with Lily. Right now, I am just so ready to start this new year with a new beginning. I’ll be starting my new life as a working mom, in our new (pet-free) home. Our new family.  I am really looking forward to enjoying my time with Lily without all of the craziness.

Despite it all though, 2010 was still my best year yet.

Next Post: Thoughts on motherhood, Working, etc

 

My Sweet Lily

She’s here! We welcomed Lily into the world on Saturday, Oct 2nd at 3pm. She is just perfect! It is totally surreal, amazing, wonderful and terrifying. I just cant believe that this precious little creature is mine! Or how much your life can change in a matter of days.  All of a sudden I am a proud and worried mommy, and so many things that mattered before don’t anymore. It scares me at how much I love this baby and how much she has a hold of my heart.

As far as labors go, mine was not that bad. I started feeling light cramping on Saturday morning and wasn’t even sure if I was even in labor. We decided to go to the hospital but stopped on the way so that DH could get a hair cut! I was giggling on the way to the hospital and thought that they might send me home since I wasn’t in too much pain. But the moment I stepped out of the car, my water broke and the contractions weren’t so funny anymore! Even though I was 10 centimeters dilated by the time I got to the labor room (!!), they still had time to administer an epidural.. thank god. (In Homer Simpson Voice: Mmmm… epidural…) I pushed for a total of 30 minutes and out she came! I didn’t cry like I thought I would. I couldn’t even believe my eyes, and couldn’t comprehend where she got a full head of dark hair!!?! (My husband and I were both light haired kids)

We did both cry on the way home from the hospital, so overcome with joy that we were were finally bringing our daughter home. I find myself tearing up at random moments because I just cannot believe that I really have been given this precious gift. For example, moments like at the doctor’s office when the nurses were making a big fuss over her, if she is looking especially cute, or whenever I try to sing “You Are My Sunshine” and cant get through the whole thing because Im so choked up.

So here I am.. awake at 3:30 in the morning, sitting and staring at my sleeping daughter, not caring that I probably wont be going back to bed until tomorrow night. It’s hard to let myself sleep because I feel like I should always be either feeding her, holding her or watching her. I just need to forget about the chores and my “to-do” list for a little while….and cherish every single second of being with this sweet, perfect little girl.

She is almost here!

I will be 40 weeks on Monday so am just about cooked! It is completely and utterly surreal. I have also been dilated at 3-4 cm for several weeks now, which puts us even more on edge than we would usually be. The baby’s room is ready, my bag is packed and I think I’ve got all of the “essential” products and materials stocked. Now all we need is a baby! I am using up my last free days of selfish time by relaxing, cooking, making trips to Target, getting my hair colored, toes pedicured and eyebrows waxed. Who knows when I will be able to get out to the spa again? My healthy eating habits have gone out the window over the past few weeks though, and I have been plowing through ice cream, cookies, etc with wild abandon. (It’s not fair that those of us who go to term or past term, naturally end up gaining more total weight than those who go earlier!) My total weight gain is creeping past my 35 lbs “max”, but since I feel good and baby is on track I’m not too worried. I’m ready to start taking some fall walks with the stroller as soon as we are feeling up to it.

Unfortunately, I have already used up one week of my maternity leave so hopefully she will arrive soon so I wont have to waste much more time.  I just couldn’t work right up to my due date being dilated for so long. The stress of possibly going into labor at work was too much for me and I also needed a break from the commute! Guess I am not one of those cool women of the millennium who work right up to their due dates. Kudos to them. I like the old-fashioned way of thinking… and just want to put my swollen feet up!

I am definitely feeling the baby’s larger size now as she is kicking, punching and squirming  around. As much as I have been in love with this belly and this pregnancy, I am ready to face the challenges ahead and meet this little person who I have been waiting all year for. Will she ever realize or understand just how loved, needed and wanted she is? She may, but not for a long time.

I feel like I am walking into a whole new world that I could never before comprehend and will never look back. Im ready. We’ve been through so much to get here and we’ve made it. Here we go…..

33 week Update

Here I am at 33 weeks pregnant. My latest goal is to make it to 34 weeks, which seems to be a safe time for delivery and when the vast majority of delivered babies “seem to do just fine with no long-term health issues.” The reality is still sinking in, as I feel her whole body shift and roll around inside me and I see her tiny limbs poke outside of my belly. I knew I would feel kicks, but had no idea that the movement would be this strong! I am so amazed at  this little creature and am so curious about what she will look like and what kind of person she will be.

Overall I feel great. Aside from a little anemia, swollen feet and uncomfortable sleep, the pregnancy has been pretty wonderful. (I must have already blocked out all of the nausea in my 1st trimester!) Since my weight was so f-ed up from IVF I don’t know for sure how much I have gained, but I guess I am about 30 pounds above my normal weight. I am using the excuse of undiagnosed anemia and RECORD BREAKING heat for my lack of exercise. It’s hard enough to make it up a flight of stairs with a laundry basket let alone survive  a 2-3 mile walk in 90 degree heat. My face and ass have not blown up thank goodness, but my ankles have disappeared! I wear flip-flops to work every day and I cannot stuff these swollen size 10’s in any of my cute heels OR flats.

We just accepted an offer on our house and I am trying to keep the stress level to a minimum. I still need to schedule the delivery of the nursery furniture, line up day care and find a pediatrician but cannot do this until we get this damn P&S contract signed. We are buying my MIL’s house and she still has not found a new place. Once again, I am taking deep breaths and trying not to get stressed out about the prospect of living with the MIL AND all of her stuff for a while. I decided that all I need is an organized and peaceful space for baby. Our stuff can be sorted out later.

After much indecisiveness, we decided to take the one day child-birth class. I had heard conflicting opinions about these classes but figured that we might as well go since we are pretty clueless first time parents. I am really glad we went because our teacher was amazing and I left with a great sense of confidence and excitement. She wasn’t biased towards “natural” delivery , was very informative about the labor process and also had a good sense of humor. My eyes welled up as she described the delivery and the moment when they put your baby on your chest. I still cant believe this is all really happening.

I can feel myself changing. My existence of daughter, wife and sister is already shifting to a much bigger role: mother.  I can also see the shift in my husband as he drives 30 minutes after work to our new house to strip wall paper, paint and prepare a room for his daughter. I washed my first load of baby clothes in Dreft  and carefully folded each little item while picturing her in each one. Already, we just want to protect this little baby and keep her clean, safe and warm.

Even as we approach and reach all of these milestones and go through the motions of preparation, it is all still so surreal.  I wake up every morning a little surprised at this belly and in disbelief that I have been given this gift.  It feels like I am dreaming or living someone else’s life. The ride is still a scary one though, and I realize that it has only just begun.

Just Checking In…

Wow, I can’t believe how long it has been since my last post! The last 3 months have been the most joyous yet nerve-racking of my life.  Thankfully, my pregnancy has been progressing wonderfully and I am just about 26 weeks! Although I haven’t had any problems since my threatened miscarriage in February, I have still not been exactly relaxed  or carefree.   I did order an at home heart beat monitor which I used 1-2 times a week just for piece of mind.  I would panic at each ultrasound, so fearful that they would not be able to hear a heartbeat. I was too afraid to do much planning and couldn’t believe it when my sister-in-law wanted to start planning a shower last month.  My SIL is a one of those girls who can get knocked up just looking a her husband, so in my crazy infertile brain, I felt like she was being a little presumptuous and was going to jinx it. I just went along with all of the excitement of family and friends, when inside I was still in such disbelief and so afraid that this miracle inside me was going to be to taken away.

Lately though, ever since we found out that we are having a baby girl, and ever since I have started to feel her move around, I have truly been enjoying the reality and am treasuring each moment. OK, so I already have started baby clothes shopping. I just finally decided to go for it since this may be my only pregnancy and I might as well enjoy it. My little (Lily, Annabelle, Madeline??) punches and kicks me every day and I love every second of it. But the worry is still there.

Just this week while vacationing in Florida, I was sure that something was wrong because I wasnt feeling her move that much. I had been sitting by the pool in 90++ degree weather and was convinced that she was overheated. Stupid me didn’t realize how dangerous it is for a pregnant lady to be overheated or dehydrated since the baby is always around 1 degree hotter than mom and has no way of cooling off. I immediately moved into the A/C and contemplated going to the ER. I was in tears, feeling so irresponsible and selfish. Thankfully, I knew she was fine after I drank some OJ and laid down for a while. All she needed was a little sugar boost.

While the panic of losing the pregnancy has subsided, there is still so much more to panic about. It hit me really hard last night that I am responsible for this little baby’s life.  I was trying to lean over a table to plug in a lamp and couldn’t because my belly was in the way. I was being careful of my stomach by not leaning too much  but finally had to give up and call hubby for help. I sat there, feeling so helpless and terrified that I had just crushed my baby’s head on the table’s edge. I sat there in tears, holding my belly as the immense responsibility of motherhood hit me like a ton of bricks.  Can I do this? Am I going to be able to care for this baby? I can’t even plug a damn lamp in without feeling like I’m hurting her, how the hell am I going to care for this little one when she is here? Holy. Shit. The worry continues.

I’m honestly not sure where this blog will go from here, because I obviously have lost my blogger mojo and feel a little strange sometimes writing about the joys and fears of pregnancy on my infertility blog. I do know that I am still so interested in all of your stories and journeys and will continue to follow along with you. I will also post updates here and there, because writing and sharing always helps to put things into perspective.