Thursday, June 28, 2012

You Turned My Daughter into a Blueberry

Someone a while back mentioned that at a certain point in pregnancy, you can't suck in anymore. I can't believe I reached that point already at 13 weeks. I am full on in maternity pants and needed to buy 2 shirts today. Check out the difference! Holy crap!
13 weeks
12 weeks
I feel a little like Violet Beauregard in Willy Wonka.

A few things I'm learning and considering about belly shots:
1. Really consider what you wear. I did not think about that enough before the last 2 shots, and just went with comfy clothes. Note to self: choose cute clothes for the next pic.
2. Make sure no drawstrings are hanging down. Again, see above.
3. Choose pants that don't have VPL. (Thanks for reminding me of this fact on your recent post, Belle!)
4. Think about the possibility of including my head in these shots.
5. If I include my face, spend time on hair and makeup.

Some of you take REALLY cute belly shots (Lanie, Jen, and ADSchill come to mind among others) and you are inspiring me to give a crap about what I look like on the interwebs. :)

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Cliche and Proud at 13 weeks

Something has shifted inside of me since Friday. KG noticed. I noticed. My mom noticed. My therapist noticed. Somehow, I've managed to turn a corner and start to fulfill my promise to myself to become 100% invested in this pregnancy. You know, that one Mel held me to. I think it was the NT scan that did it: seeing The Nugget in real time, with fingers and toes. Something inside of me clicked. There really is a baby in there and all of this could turn out okay. Suddenly, I want to tell EVERYONE and am so damn excited.

KG and I have had many discussions about how and when to tell everyone that we are expecting. Obviously we wanted to wait until after the NT Scan but I kept wavering about waiting longer than that. Once an infertile, always an infertile. I don't know how to deal with anything without going first to a place of fear. What if we tell too soon? What if I jinx it?

But here's the thing: if it is just fear holding me back, there's no real point in waiting longer. The truth is that something bad could happen with the baby at any time during this pregnancy and birth. We have passed through the first trimester, but that doesn't mean the danger is over. So, does that mean we should wait until 15 weeks? 18 weeks? 24 weeks? When is the magic time? When does the fear go away?

It doesn't.

So, we took a baby step. Over the weekend we called and emailed some good friends and announced our good news. These were folks that are important to us, but necessarily in the know about our IVF cycle. Still, we wanted them to know before we do IT.

By it I mean, you guessed it, the Bookface announcement. I know, I know. It's tacky and lame to use social media to announce such news. But honestly, it's a quick way to spread the news. And you know what? We are freaking excited to do it, cliche and all. We worked hard to get to this point, and I'm excited to be ending the first trimester. I am so beyond happy right now, and I want to share that joy. Roll your eyes if you must.

So, later tonight, the deed will be done. I'm nervous about it, because I am still a bit stuck in the superstitious frame of mind. But, maybe there will be some relief too, once it's out there.

In other news, here is a list of weird things happening to me:

1. Over the course of the last 3-4 days, BAM. Belly. Has. Popped. No sucking in possible. 13 week belly shot to come.

2. A fine layer of peach fuzz appeared all over my belly. Strange.

3. My skin is breaking out like a 13 year old.

3. I'm having some muscular pains under my belly, near my pelvic bone.

4. There is lots of random crying watching various things on TV, baby-related or not.

Anyone else in either TTC or pregnancy hormonal overload right now?

Friday, June 22, 2012

NT Scan and Bravery

Thanks to my trusty doppler, I wasn't nearly as nervous for today's NT scan as I might have been without it. As of last night, The Nugget still had a heartbeat, so I knew we were in pretty good shape.

Today's scan took place at the high-risk clinic (even though I'm not high risk). Once I was on the table, KG and I both were shocked at the changes with the baby in just 3 weeks. It went from an alien-looking life form to a real, live baby in there.  

I put all the pix from today on The Nugget's page, but here is my favorite one:

Hi Blogosphere!
The measurements all looked great and the baby was moving a lot, kicking and bouncing. The technician was finishing up and I asked her if she had a guess at gender. She confirmed our gut feeling and said boy. But, we won't be certain until the 18 week scan.

I also mentioned to the doctor that I am staying on one medication that has a slightly elevated risk of cleft palate. She said we would check for that at the 18w scan, and to come back to this clinic instead of the regular imaging center, considering my concern. For now, I'll try to put that out of my mind.

I decided to rejoice in the good news of the scan with a celebratory maple chocolate doughnut.

The perfection that is a doughnut from Ohlin's Bakery in Belmont, MA.

Perhaps the doughnut is a contributing factor to the fact that I had to buy maternity shorts from Target today. Yup, I'm down to 1 pair of pants that I can button. Thanks to some friends who gave me a BeBand (thanks Angela!) and 2 Bella Bands (thanks SKB!), I should be okay for a little while longer, but I need to start some shopping.

And with that, I have made a decision to be brave and share that belly shot, horrific angle, bad clothes, and all. If anyone mentions my granny arms, there will be blood.

12 weeks in all its glory.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

ICLW, Fifty Shades, and the Belly Shots Saga Continued

Welcome ICLWers. There is a lot of information about my TTC process under the "TTC Curriculum Vitae" page above, as well as the "ICLW" page. Although I am currently pregnant after 2 and a half years of trying, I still am firmly stuck in my infertile brain. Lately, I've been writing about being caught between those worlds and finding my place in this new unknown territory. Thanks so much for coming and I hope you stick around.

I did it. I took a belly shot yesterday at 12 weeks 1 day. Actually, I made KG take about 6 of them. None of them pleased me. In each, either I looked fat, my boobs looked small, it was taken at a bad angle, etc. I even tried taking one myself and it just got more and more depressing. In order to publish any of them I either need a stylist, a professional photographer, or photoshop.

To be fair, we took them at the end of a 100 degree day, after lugging and installing two window air conditioning units in our apartment, and were in generally cranky moods. Still, I can't help but wonder how to stop being so hypercritical of my body in these pictures. Old habits die hard. So, now the question, to post them or not to post them?

In other news, today I am taking myself to the beach, to escape the heat. I have spent the last 3 days firmly ensconced in Fifty Shades of Grey. I know, the writing is crappy and all, but damn. Mel has some excellent views on this book. But, damn. I lost about 8 hours to these books in the last 3 days, 2 of those spent in a Starbucks (air conditioning!), desperately wondering if it was socially acceptable to read such material in public. But, DAMN. What can I say? I was the girl who used to steal my mother's romance novels and skip to all the good parts. Some things never change. Except with Grey, you don't need to skip far. Already loaded Fifty Shades Darker on my Nook, thanks to a B and N gift card from my students. Oh, the irony.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

What's Left Behind

I've been struggling with writing for the blog lately. I'm going to be totally honest here. For the most part, when I was still struggling to get pregnant, posts about pregnancy were incredibly difficult for me. Yes, I was happy for those women, and it was important for me to see that infertility could have a positive outcome. But, in the moment, it was gut wrenching. The support I needed and wanted was not from those blogs. They were from others still in the trenches with me. I had guilt about that fact, but it was the truth. So, I spent more of my time commenting and reading blogs of women still in the trenches because I felt I had something to contribute to their conversations, and not so much to the others.

Now that I am pregnant, I have been feeling very unsure of my footing. On one hand, I worked damn hard to get here. I endured years of disappointment, physical and emotional pain, and a loss. I deserve to enjoy my pregnancy and am starting to fantasize about sharing the news with more people. We have been giddy as we listen to the heartbeat of our baby on doppler (too often) and I'm even tempting fate by planning a tentative date for a baby shower in Los Angeles, thrown by my mom. These small steps are helping me to begin some attachment.

On the other hand, when reading posts by some fellow pregnant bloggers, it's difficult for me to connect. I'm going to preface my next statements by saying I care about and adore my blogger friends. The way people react to and write about their pregnancies is very personal and there is no right way to do it. So, I mean no disrespect or criticism when I say that while I love reading about  symptoms, belly shots, and nursery plans of other people, it doesn't feel natural yet for me to focus my posts on those subjects. But, that's what I'm supposed to write about. Right?

Maybe it's because I have had very few, and very subtle symptoms. Maybe it's because I'm still incredibly cautious and worried about jinxing my pregnancy. Maybe it's because I'm a fatty and can't really see anything but muffin top yet. Whatever it is, I'm feeling a little alone in bloggie-land because I don't have a whole lot to say right now. There's a voice in my head that it telling me that's wrong. I should be full of excitement and bubbling over with all kinds of details to share. But, they just aren't there. Not yet.

Before my pregnancy, I thought that once I got pregnant, I would be a member of a special club. I expected to feel special and different. But, when all is said and done, I feel like very little has changed for me psychologically. Although I have put a part of my infertile experience behind me, what's left behind is the otherness that infertility creates inside of you. Only now, I don't belong with those still trying to conceive, nor do I feel as though I belong with those who got pregnant around the same time I did. I'm just here, wondering if anyone else is feeling the way I am.

But who knows? Maybe when I am out of the first trimester (in 10 days, but who's counting) it'll feel safer to do some of those more fun updates more often. Maybe then what will be left behind will be more of the original hope and excitement we had before all this began.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

So close!

I've been a bad blogger - both reading and writing. I am in my last 3 days of curriculum work at school and have been incredibly busy. A post is in the works for this weekend and I'll catch up then.

In the meantime, I posted a video on the "The Nugget" page of us using the home doppler for the first time. Yup, I caved. Try not to cringe at how badly I am bloated and need a tan.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Waiting Room

Apparently, I'm going to be spending a lot of time in my OB's waiting room.

First, the good news: Overall, I liked the doctor. She was warm and friendly. We got to hear the heartbeat on a doppler at 10 weeks 3 days. 155 bpm. She warned us it might take a while to find it, but then it was there right away. Music to our ears. Now of course I want to get a doppler for home use. I'm still debating about that. KG is convinced I'll use it every day if we get one. But, I think I could agree to only do it with him once or twice per week. Thoughts on home doppler use anyone?

We also scheduled the early and second semester integrated screening (NT Scan and the 18w scan). I see the doctor again in a month.We went over a lot of my records, talked about some vaccines His Royal Fabulousness and I need, got a breast exam and a vaginal culture, checked my cervix and uterus, tested protein and sugar in my urine, and discussed some additional genetic testing for Ashkenazi Jewish background that I haven't had. I only had the basic 4 tests for that, and now there are like 20. I need to call my medical insurance to see if those tests are covered. We also talked about my risk for PPD (higher because of my history of depression and anxiety). She supported the rec to stay on my medications for that and said overall everything looked perfect.

The bad news: It was quite the ordeal in the OB's office yesterday. We had a 3:00 appointment and she didn't walk in the room until 3:45. She also quickly saw another patient (one who had come late because she got her appt. time wrong) in the middle of our appointment. She seemed a bit scattered, but I think that might have been because she was running so, so late. I didn't end up getting out of there until 5. I was a little pissed off and even more so when she failed to call me last night with instructions about stopping my progesterone and Metformin. She said she wanted a bit of time to review my chart more before giving me instructions and that she would call after office hours. No call. Sigh. I guess I'll call Monday morning. Do you think this is a bad sign about her reliability, or just a bad day? She comes SO HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

So, I guess this baby is deciding to stick. KG said I looked genuinely shocked when we heard the heartbeat. That's both amusing and sad to me. I'm still working on my promise to think positively, but I'm making headway. My mom and I have been discussing timing for a baby shower in Los Angeles, which makes me happy. I've started to allow myself to look ahead, make plans, and get a little excited. Bit by bit.

This week was a good one: I turned 32, went to a Red Sox game on free tickets, said goodbye to my students for the summer, and heard the sweet sound of my baby's ticker. All in all, not bad.

Enjoy listening to Fugazi's "Waiting Room." Bonus points to anyone who can sing along.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

The Demise of Rock and Roll and Thoughts on Belly Shots

I'm in the mood for bullets.

• Those of you who have been reading the blog for a while know about my love of music. It's a part of my identity that I cling to. But, I am grieving for a death in the music community this week, hardcore.

My favorite Boston radio station is going under this week, after being sold to Clear Channel. I have been depressed about it all week, probably disproportionately so. WFNX (started in 1983) was one of the last independent, alternative rock stations. It comes on the heels of another major rock station's demise (WBCN) in 2009.

Both of these stations were a major part of Boston's local rock scene. WFNX had entire blocks dedicated to showcasing local bands and sponsored live shows nearly every week. It was where I heard bands like The Raconteurs, The Black Keys, and Alabama Shakes for the first time. They had bands like The Pixies, The Smiths, and The Cure in heavy rotation with newer bands like Bombay Bicycle Club. It kept me in the loop. It kept me current. It kept me from feeling like a total dinosaur. Howard Stern warned me about the evils of Clear Channel years ago when he made the switch to satellite radio. I should have listened to him. Now, where will I hear about tiny bands, about to make it big?

• I saw The Avengers last week. It is AMAZING. Go see it.

My thoughts on belly shots:

I hate my stomach. I have struggled with body image issues my entire life. I have posted before (I think) about how much I struggled with my weight for most of my life. Then in 2008 I went through a significant weight loss (although it wasn't enough to reach my goal weight), which improved my comfort in my own skin. I was at the gym consistently taking spin classes and I got a trainer for a while. I weighed my food and made pretty good choices. Then, since starting injectables (IUIs, then IVFs) my exercise routine went by the wayside. I just couldn't handle the emotional and physical fatigue. But, I've been okay with the softening of my thighs, butt, and belly. I haven't really gained any actual poundage, I am just...mushier. I am also 100% okay with gaining baby weight. I'll deal with the aftermath post-partum. BUT....then there is the idea of belly shots. My intention is to avoid belly shots until later on, perhaps 12, 14, or 16 weeks. I wouldn't show until then anyway right? No need to make people gross out at the site of my stomach.

But then, I was in a dressing room yesterday in yoga pants, and I noticed it. The beginnings of a bump. I'm 10 weeks tomorrow, so it makes sense. Honestly, I got a little excited at the sight. Then I realized, I was sucking in. I suck in every second I am standing. I always have. When I let go of the breath that was holding my tummy in, I realized the belly was WAY rounder and larger. The perfectionist in me wondered: when women take belly shots, are they sucking in? Or are they letting it all hang out? For those who are or have been pregnant, what do you do?

• Some folks have been asking about my symptoms. In general, I have gotten off very easy so far. I don't have many, and the ones I do have are very subtle. I've been very tired (naps and such) and had some passing queasiness. Also, I suddenly can't eat fish or beef, and want iced drinks instead of my normal room temperature preference. For the first few weeks, I couldn't regulate my temperature very well - I would swing from freezing to sweating a lot. I hadn't heard of that as a symptom before, but what can I say? I'm an original. But all of that seems to be settling down, which my RE says is normal between weeks 9-12.

• My intake appointment with the new OB's nurse is Wednesday. We meet with the actual OB on Friday afternoon. Not sure if that will be too early for a listen to the heartbeat with a doppler, but here's hoping.

• I also turn 32 on Wednesday. I almost forgot I have a birthday coming up, until KG asked what I wanted to do. I'm thinking this will be a quiet one, but the best birthday I've had since my 29th, before we started TTC.

In honor of the demise of WFNX, REM's "It's the End of the World As We Know It"