After years of infertility and IVF, we've finally seen light from the other side. I knew it could happen, but certainly didn't think it would be us ... our new life with twins. Gulp.
Wednesday, November 30, 2005
This has been my life for the past two weeks, and will continue as such for the next three or four. But this week, in particular, is the craziest, as we participate in a huge, much-anticipated holiday bazaar-type event, as well as maintaining the store in regular fashion.
So, I've been missing from my blog and yours, and am looking forward to January when I can do some catch-up reading, and check in on your progress and your life. Actually, J & I spend the first week in January skiing in this small god-forsaken town a few hours west. I'm going to refrain from skiing this year, knowing that while I'm a pretty decent skiier, I also like to challenge myself, which means that I fall alot. And falling is not what I need to be doing right now. Perhaps I can figure out how to take my laptop? Will it work in that decidedly low-tech, backwaters ski town? Anyone? How do I know?
In terms of baby updates, it's been really fun to tell people the news. I see alot of people at this time of year whom I haven't seen since last holiday season, so when they ask if we have kids yet, I'm enjoying the answer.
I have an appointment on Monday, which I'm excited about. I'll finally get to meet with my doctor, and as I've said before, I'm so excited to be able to finally talk to her! I believe my ultrasound is going to be done my the maternal/fetal specialist, which is very cool. The last ultrasound was rather unsatisfying, as they were hours behind, rushing everyone through, and I never got to see any of the individual baby closeups, just the long view of them together. (Which was lovely, but I'm jonesing for some details!)
My dear friend K gave me "The Pregnancy Journal" the other day. I'm not typically a big fan of these types of books, but this one is full of such interesting info. Did you know? Over the next three days, the babies fingernails will begin to grow. Ahhhh, the better to scratch me with!
Monday, November 21, 2005
I don't have a lot of faith in these types of things, but I do believe in coincidence and plain indecipherable mystery. However, when the fortunes are directed positively towards me, I'm all for it - sign me up!
I've been waiting to reveal these mysterious proclamations, just in case they managed to reverse themselves and prove me wrong.
Some coincidences or signs, if you will, and excerpts from my pre-retrieval desperation :
A woman I've known for years, casually, told me that months ago, she had a dream that I was pregnant with twins. She had to ask some mutual friends if it was true, because she wasn't sure if she dreamed it.
I read over at Cecily's about this online tarot card thingie, and I thought, what the heck, I'll give it a try. Some excerpts from the answers to my question "Will this IVF be successful?" include:
- "... become aware that while something in your life is dying, something else is nearing its time to be born."
- "You are bing challenged by overflowing abundance and fertility ... You may be pregnant with so many new creations that you are having trouble focusing on just one."
- "You will find yourself emptied out, clean, and ready for the next stage of your journey."
My sister recommended this horoscope site. My monthly horoscope for October revealed the following:
- "You have now reached the most important month of the year. This month brings two eclipses, two weeks apart, on October 3 and 17." These were the dates of my retrieval and beta test.
- "If you need surgery, you are likely to get the right medical help and have reason to believe you can reach the desired outcome. October 3...even more reason to expect good news about your health...an ideal time to schedule exams or procedures."
These are just the highlights from the tarot and the horoscope, but there was much more info that simply inspired me. At that point, I had little hope, a negative attitude, and an overwhelming feeling of pessimism. I took the printouts of both with me to the retrieval, and I read them over and over as I waited to get started. It gave me the hope that I couldn't quite muster on my own.
So, if you don't have inside of you the kind of hope that can get you through a hard time, look for it externally. From a good friend who believes unwaveringly. From your church. From signs and coincidences. From whatever will work for you.
* With apologies to Karen. I promise I wasn't copying ... I've had this post in my drafts folder for ages, and the time just seemed right to finish it up. But it sounds like coincidences do happen for lots of us!
Friday, November 18, 2005
I don't have the energy to go through it again, and will hope I feel up to recreating it later.
For now, the Cliff*notes version:
*Sweet little fluttering heartbeats
*Possibility of a third yolk sac that didn't develop
*Reminding myself that I'm so happy to have two inside!
*All is good, in me, in life.
And for your viewing pleasure:
Tuesday, November 15, 2005
I have many ... White Rain hairspray, the thick and almost gelatinous goop that helped me achieve huge bangs and blown-out "wings" on the side of my head. One whiff of White Rain, and I am instantly transported back to seventh grade. Not a specific instance, but the year in general ... the girls bathroom at school, primping for a party or dance, the smell of my bedroom.
Salsa is a tricky one for me. A grade-school incident involved eating gobs and gobs of the stuff, resulting in an uncomfortable evening spent on the floor in the arms of the toilet. Now and days, I never know if the taste of salsa will catapult me back to that tragic night, or if I'll enjoy it fully.
The smell of pot, I must admit, sends me back to a college boyfriend and his room in the fraternity house, playing the guitar, late nights.
Last Friday, I had a revelation. I had to, I must, I was practically required by some force greater than myself and my ability to reason, get myself to Dunkin Donuts and pick up a vanilla cream-filled powdered donut.
I can't tell you the last time I've had one (it must have been a good time, for sure), and the closest DD is easily 15 miles out of my way and in an area of town I rarely frequent. Already late for work, I drove in the opposite direction, full of anticipation and delight at the prospect of filling my mouth with that icing-like goodness.
I was desperate when I got to the counter, realizing that I had no cash, and how could I buy just a donut with my credit card. How pathetic! So I upped my order to two donuts and a bag of coffee, and hurried the cashier through the transaction. I had a donut to get to.
With napkins covering my lap and donut in bag, I headed off for work, opening up the bag at stoplights, I devoured that thing in three minutes. I relished the creamy texture and the sweet bread holding it all together. I had flashbacks of happy times (what times, specifically, I'm not sure, but it did take me to a "happy place") as I stuffed my face, managing a few sips of water in between bites.
Before I'd made it to work, it came over me. The total body-encompassing feeling of disgust and straightout grossness. I might as well have swallowed whale blubber, for as nasty as I felt. There was no way I could look at the second donut, as a feeling of bloated, nauseous illness came over me.
I sheepishly made my way into work, careful to wipe the powder off my cuffs, asking "Does anyone want a donut?"
Monday, November 14, 2005
It's a boring time, frankly. It's been ages since I've seen a doctor, and I'm feeling a bit of withdrawal. I miss all the nurses, and even my doctor, in a weird sort of way. Someone was keeping check on my life, in very minute detail, and now I'm just in limbo. I'm noone's responsibility except myself. And wow, that's a big responsibility for lil' old me.
I'm sure I'm not the first person to say this, but I don't feel pregnant. What does feeling pregnant feel like, you may ask? Well, you're asking the wrong person, cause I have no idea. Tired, yes, and a bit queasy, but pregnant? No, not so much.
My boobs are still sore, but not as much since I switched from the progesterone in oil injections to the pill/suppositories. Although J says they are much bigger, I really can't tell. But who am I to argue? He must be right!
I've been using this long stretch of highway to do, what else, but read and research. I've been very good about not buying any more magazines, but I have been delving into the vast archives that I managed to maintain during the e past three years. They will tide me over for a bit.
I never let myself buy pregnancy books while we were in treatment. It just seemed to real. Magazines were okay, they are less permanent, just informational, and could be tossed away if upsetting. So while I've got shelves of magazines, the books are slow in coming. Mom just passed along an interesting one by J*ane Seymour - you know, Dr. Quin*, Medicine Woman. But I'm always looking for more ... maybe a trip to the bookstore is warranted this afternoon?
We'll finally be getting off at a rest stop on Friday for a visit with the nurse practitioner and an ultrasound ... I'm looking forward to getting some more information about where we stand, and where this roadtrip is headed.
Wednesday, November 09, 2005
However, there is one issue that's really been on my mind, just cause of it's strangeness:
My due date is the same day as my RE's birthday.
Is that creepy to anyone?
I keep thinking that it's gross, being that he's the one that actually made the babies happen (I know, with some help from us and the embryologist). He mixed it all up and put it there. And their birthday could be his birthday. Yuck.
Noone else thinks it's creepy. I think it's creepy. Real creepy.
Tuesday, November 08, 2005
He just can't do anything right, in my eyes. Every step, every breath, every move, it's all wrong. I wonder, does it mean something that I actually recognize my poor behavior? Maybe so, but hell if there's anything I can do to change it. Or want to do for that matter.
We work together, so the days that we're both in the office have been a alternate version of hell for him. Some excerpts from our oh-so-blissful time together:
"Stop chomping your gum in my ear ... it makes me want to puke." Said from fifteen feet away.
"You want me to what? To answer the phone? What gives your the right to tell me what to do?"
"Don't. Talk. To. Me."
"No, I don't like my pad thai. Stop scooping it off my plate. Stop! Stop! Stop it now, do you hear me? It's mine."
"You've got the sheets all inside out. Why can't you do this right? This corner goes here, this one here, this one..." collapsing into sobs.
Composure regained. Sniffle, pittiful smile. "Could you get me a ginger ale? I don't feel so good."
While happiness abounds in our household, my sheer exhaustion and on-again, off-again upset stomach is turning me into a real ogre. I've got to get it together before we have a whole household of marathon-running out of town guests this weekend!
Saturday, November 05, 2005
I’m back in the swing of things! With glee, I went to the bookstore last night and chose a book about multiples, and took practically started devouring it in the parking lot.
This, of course, only intensified all of the logistical worries that have been plaguing me since receiving the news. I’m very much a “by the plan” kind of girl, and while infertility has led my plan far off its original path, this most recent news takes me onto a whole new highway.
The logistical bumps in my highway right now include:
- The medical questions, obviously. I really don’t want a c-section. Really really. And I know that just because there are two babies, it doesn’t necessitate that option, but does increase it by a good percentage. Breastfeeding … again, something I really want to do. Do I have the willpower (and the boobs) to do that for two babies?
- The nursery. We have two guest rooms, one very small and one very big. Logically, the small one was to be the nursery. Hmmmm… not sure how two cribs would fit in there.
- Work. I own a business with two partners. Two of us (both pregnant) really run the day to day operations, and now I’m not sure where I stand. Where I want to stand. If I want to stand at all, or if I just want to sit at home. One plus work seemed manageable. Two plus work seems totally out of control. Which kind of lifestyle is more important to me? Hard to know until they’re here, but I’ll have to make some big decisions way before that day comes.
- One of my dearest friends is getting married mid-May. Will I even be able to go? And if I do make it, will I be so horrifically bloated that I won’t want to show my face?
I am so very aware that I am getting ahead of myself. But I’ve always had a pretty clear picture of how it would all work out, and man, this was NOT IT!
On the very positive side, last night I took my last PIO shot. My blotchy, welted, lumpy ass is very thankful that Dr. Pleasant gave me the option to switch to a pill. A pill that’s inserted, not swallowed, if you get my drift, but infinitely more pleasant.
And, I was able to get an appointment with my OB/GYN’s office in just two weeks! I won’t actually be seeing my OB/GYN, but a nurse practitioner, which sucks, but it does mean another ultrasound! I’ve been going to this OB/GYN for years and years, and I really think she’s the best. She’s so level headed, warm, a genuinely nice person, and only works part time so she can still be with her family. She was so understanding throughout our initial bouts of infertility, I can’t wait to show her the good news!
I actually had a visual image of myself walking down the street, holding the hand of a child on either side, and they called me “mommy.” I’m almost crying as I rewrite this. I can’t believe it … I’ve never actually thought of myself as a mother in those very real terms, in a real visual picture, with real children with real faces. But I did, and it was just natural. I’m so happy.
Thursday, November 03, 2005
Tuesday, November 01, 2005
Well, I feel pretty exhausted, and yesterday I felt like hugging the toilet in nauseous desperation, but inside, on an emotional level, I'm blank.
I am devoid of emotion and excitement, and quite frankly, I'm disappointed in myself. I expected the nervous excitement of being pregnant, of having the very real possibility of a child in my future. Yes, I know we're probably having a child, but in my mind's eye, I can't see that child, I can't imaging holding that child, I can't work him or her into my everyday life and schedule.
I'm excited in front of J, and my family and friends who know, and on a certain level it's authentic in nature, but not in volume. Maybe this is normal, and I just expected too much. Maybe I figured that the amount of pain and emotion involved in the effort should equal the amount of enthusiasm and emotion involved in the end product.
With baited breath and anticipation, I approached the Pregnancy section of my local chain bookstore. All of these possibilities awaited me ... I could browse these books if I wanted, and even buy one! No more Women's Health section for me, I'm in the big leagues. The section I often wandered by, glancing surrepticiously at the titles, but continued to pass by. Imagine my disappointment when nothing, NOTHING, appealed to me. I didn't even want to sit and stay awhile. So I left, because this section wasn't for me.
A nurse friend is currently working at the city health department clinic and just treated a young woman who is expecting twins. She has no support, no family, and none of the supplies that she'll need to get life started with the little ones. When my friend asked for help rounding up some gear to give to the young woman, I was gleeful. A mandated trip to the baby store! Where I could meander among the strollers, bop through the bassinets and dally at the diaper aisle. And get to buy baby things, but not jinx myself!
The trip was a downer. I had no desire to browse. I obligatory checked out each aisle, but with no anticipation and idea of how this place would apply directly to me. I chose a few receiving blankets and some sleep sacks in yellow and green, and loved the way the soft fabric felt on my cheek. I imagined how good it would feel on her babies in the coming cold weather. But I left quickly, as this store wasn't for me.
These experiences are the radical opposite of the beginning of our IF treatment. Still full of expectation that one good HSG to clear out my tubes, or maybe a hit of Clomid, and we'd be on the train to Parenthood. I frequented the Pregnancy section at the bookstore, and often went to baby stores to browse, just because. Just because I was sure that I'd be back, lickity-split, shopping for myself. But once things got more serious, I abandoned these joyful spots, just knowing I would jinx myself, that being so presumptuous would work against me.
I am still the IF patient, not the pregnant woman. I am happy, I am thankful, I do feel the potential for joy and excitement. Just not now.
Guilt overtakes me as here I am, the wife of infertile, who got lucky, yet still manages to feel negatively. How gross is that? But really, I just feel blank.