Thursday, October 24, 2013

It's A....


Which is what we thought it would be, from the sonographer's prediction at 13 weeks, but it was still really good to learn for sure. This makes it much more concrete that this is really, actually happening. My husband was so cute... he is fascinated by the ultrasounds and almost squeals every time the baby would move. As soon as we left and were in the hall, he had his phone out and was texting everyone he knows! His friends, his sisters, his study group from school, everyone! And of course many of them didn't even know I'm pregnant, so there were several confused texts back of "?????" in response to his "It's a boy!"  I had to remind him that we've been very cautious in sharing our news, so he needs to first tell people we're expecting! Anyway, it was cute.

More importantly than the sex, the baby is very active and healthy. Since we did IVF with ICSI, they did an echocardiogram of the heart. It looks fine. My friend's IVF baby was born with his urethra in the wrong place, so of course that risk remains (those are the two things that show up in slightly higher rates than non-IVF/ICSI babies: heart defects and urogenital abnormalities in baby boys). But hopefully all is well.

The sonographer also assured me that he is very active. I'd been getting concerned because I was 20 weeks at the ultrasound and had not felt any movement yet, which is a little on the late side. But just like I am not really showing yet, I guess I was late for that too. We saw the baby kicking and moving a ton, but I felt nothing. However, on Friday evening, I started to feel a strange bubbling in my lower abdomen. I thought maybe it was gas... but no. It has continued consistently now, and seems most noticeable after I eat, and when I am sitting quietly. It is definitely kicks. I have to say, I LOVE feeling this. Between the ultrasound and the kicks, I actually am starting to feel pregnant. Sometimes it has been hard for me to accept that I am pregnant after so many years of failures, so it's really amazing to me to actually be pregnant, and to start realizing I may really have a baby in my life in a few months....

Anyway, telling people has also helped me to feel like this is really happening. My mom has now told all her friends, and I did the dreaded Facebook reveal. I had been resisting for months, but as I talked about before, my husband really did want to tell his friends. He is five years older than me and most of his friends have one if not more children already. I consented, though we ended up posting very different things: he just announced it's a boy, whereas I felt an acknowledgement that it's not easy for everyone was necessary. So this is what I wrote: [my name] is thrilled to share that we're expecting a baby boy in early March. It's been a long, long journey to get here and we couldn't be happier or more excited.

And immediately, I started getting "likes" and congratulatory comments. Nearly half of my total friends on FB actually "liked" it, which I find shocking. I usually get like four likes for typical cat pics (I can't resist! she's so cute!) or shots of what I made for dinner (yes, I am that person- cat and food pics). So this is what I am wondering: do people just like babies, or did anyone read the second part about the long journey?

Oh well, who knows. I just hope I didn't hurt anyone or ruin their day, as so many pregnancy announcements had to me for all those years. Oh, I'm sure I did upset someone, but my wish is that the second line spoke hope to anyone who is still trying or is frustrated with their situation. My pregnancy is still so tied to my infertility that I can't separate the two, nor do I want to. I am grateful every day that this is where I am, and that I was financially and emotionally able to undertake this long and harrowing path. I hope to appreciate my child every day, in ways that I might not have if I hadn't seen a future where this would not have been possible. I am grateful to my donor and to my doctors and my husband every day.

For those still considering donor egg, I can't say enough good things about this decision I made. While I mourn the loss of a genetic child, and I had these slightly sad thoughts as we tried to see the baby's face during the ultrasound, and I think of my donor quite often, this was the best decision I could have made and I don't regret it for a fraction of a second. I thank the universe every day that I live in a time where this was possible.

Today I am 21 weeks and 1 day, and grateful.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Upcoming Anatomy Scan, and Musings on Facebook Announcements

Pregnancy has many things in common with infertility. One of the biggest is waiting. I am 19 weeks today, and my big anatomy scan ultrasound is one week from yesterday.

In general, my anxiety is much better. It's been three weeks since a midwife appointment, and six weeks since we last had an ultrasound. It's easy for me to forget that I am pregnant, since my first trimester exhaustion and mild nausea have been gone for so long and my spotting tapered off about week 14 (thank goodness!). I am still not showing (well, I look a bit chunky but who doesn't nowadays?). No one can tell except me and my husband- well, okay, my stepmom pointed out my, uh, increased breast size, but that's not really something I hope people at work are noticing! I have maternity clothes but I just don't need them. I wear my regular clothes, though I do need the belly band thing every day.

I have no real reasons to worry, but I create them. I spend a lot of time thinking I am not gaining enough weight. It was really disappointing to me last night when a neighbor told me my belly looked smaller. Also I was asked if I was in the right class at prenatal yoga two weeks ago. And women weeks behind me are popping out more than me. It's a little discouraging. I am on the small side, but by no means a shrimp. I am 5'4'' and my pre-pregnancy weight was around 130. Pretty average sized. I have gained only about 6 or 7 pounds, which seems a little on the low side, but maybe I will catch up. My donor is more petite, so I'm not expecting a huge baby, but come on! It's hard to feel pregnant when I look the same.

So, I worry about my weight, and I've had some pretty bad headaches lately, which isn't helping me to feel like eating. But I did something daring yesterday: I did a 40 minute home workout tape for pregnant ladies! I really haven't exercised except for yoga, and it felt amazingly good to squat and stretch and kick. Before the transfer in June, I used to go to the gym about three days a week: boot camp, body pump, and Zumba were all my ways to relieve stress and feel good. I used to go for hikes in the woods behind my house too, but lately I've been sick, and now it's been raining for a week straight, so that's been off the table too. But the workout video felt good! I am going to try to do it again soon.

My husband is also getting increasingly persistent in asking when we can put something public on Facebook. I know he is excited to be a dad, and it's cute, and he's a bit older than me so most of his friends already have kids and he wants to share his happy news with them. But this is something I spend a lot of time thinking about. While I was happy for friends always, pregnancy announcements and photos hurt me so much when I would stumble upon them on Facebook. If he wants to do this, I'd like to find some way to acknowledge it's not easy for everyone, and was a long road to success. As a message to those who are still on that hard path, and a reminder to the oblivious masses that procreation is not a guarantee. But I also don't want to be a TMI person on Facebook, as I am friends with plenty of work colleagues, relatives, even friends of my dad's. So I don't know. Has anyone seen particularly sensitive yet short postings on Facebook that touched them the right way?

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

18 weeks and no news is good news

I'm two days shy of hitting the 18 week mark, and I have to report, I have very little to report. My spotting stopped three or four weeks ago, thank goodness. I had very, very cautious sex and nothing happened, other than me getting bored, so a couple of weeks ago while on vacation, I gave in, shut my eyes, and made love the way normal people do (or at least, normal for a semi-cautious pregnant person who might also be considered a basket case). Then, I only checked my underwear every five minutes for the next two days, ha ha. But the spotting has stayed away, and I am so beyond grateful.

My weight was up about six pounds two weeks ago, and then I got a bad cold and I think I stopped eating. I drank a lot of tea but it was hard to breathe and eat at the same time. Anyway, I lost a few pounds and didn't realize it immediately. I am now back up to what my weight had been, but I feel very small. No one can even tell I am pregnant. Naked, I just look like I had a big meal. Sigh. I know it's not good to be pregnancy-belly greedy, but I think having a belly would make this feel more real. I go to prenatal yoga and feel like a faker. Oh well.

Nothing else much to report. I have pretty much no symptoms, which is something I'm grateful for. Other than exhaustion and then spotting and then anxiety, I really have had about the easiest pregnancy I've heard of. My next checkup is in two weeks, and the 20 week anatomy scan is two weeks from tomorrow.

My heart goes out to friends who are still trying to conceive, both real-life friends and those I've followed on the internet blogs for so long. I still feel more infertile than pregnant, though I suppose that shift will continue as this goes along. I miss my support group, though of course I'm glad to have graduated. I do often wonder if there's anything I can do to still support infertility awareness and funding. Things to think about in the future...