July 30, 2010

Thoughts in my head now

Posted in Uncategorized at 10:27 pm by Erin

1. I really hate cramps.  They were gone for almost 2 weeks, and now I’m having them intermittently again.  I’m really sure my body barely tolerates pregnancy.  I just hope it will tolerate this one for another 30 weeks or so.

2. My fortune cookie tonight said “You will be offered unexpected amounts of support next week.  Accept it graciously.”  I opened it and my immediate thought was “I’m going to lose the baby…that’s why I’ll need so much support next week.”  Combined with the cramps, I’m feeling rather superstitious in a terrible way.*

3. That J finally understands why I’m not ready to tell people, despite my joking about “Can I tell people now?” with him.  I told him tonight that I remember how hard it was on everyone when we had to explain that we’d refused M’s referral, especially how devastating it was for P.  I said that if I can protect others from feeling that pain just by waiting a reasonable amount of time to tell them, then how can I not do that?  I explained that it’s not like I’m planning to wait until 35 weeks or anything, just through this trimester.  He finally seemed to get it.

4. That my cousin had a m/c at 14 weeks with her first baby.  The end of the 1st trimester doesn’t feel nearly safe enough, but I’ll try to get as comfortable as possible with the idea of telling by then.

5. I’m really fortunate in the styles available now.  I really needed some larger shirts to hide my belly, which I can easily pass off as having gained some extra weight (as I’ve gained 2 1/2 lbs in the last 2 weeks…with a baby the size of an olive).  I found a couple of perfect ones today that are those A-line ones that gather under the chest and then flow out.  Normal shirts, bought in a normal section of Koh.l’s, but excellent for hiding anything.  I flat-out refuse to go into maternity clothes before the end of this trimester—you can’t hide a pregnancy if you’re in maternity clothes.

6. I’m feeling so lucky every single day that NBHHY.  And very freaked out that I don’t have another appt until August 16th.  That’s still more than 2 weeks away!

7.  That tomorrow marks 9 weeks.  Officially longer than the last pregnancy.

*In the interest of trying to pretend that DBTs don’t happen constantly, I’ve decided that the “unexpected support” will be that my secondary department chair will call and say “We happen to have an extra iP.ad.  I know you won’t be teaching the course in the spring, but would you like it anyway?”  Because that’s a much happier thought 🙂

July 28, 2010


Posted in Uncategorized at 8:44 am by Erin

Thankfully.  I managed to say nothing while we were visiting my family, though it wasn’t easy.  Particularly since I’ve got a belly.  It’s noticeable.  If you didn’t know that I am pregnant, you probably wouldn’t have known—I just look kind of puffy—but my pants are getting tight.  Urgh.  I really, desperately want to make it through this trimester without maternity clothes.  They’re such an obvious announcement and I’m nowhere near comfortable with that yet.  We’re going to meet with a homebirth midwife tomorrow night and I’m hoping she’ll take a listen to the heartbeat so that J can hear it since he didn’t get to come to the appt last week.  That would be another benefit of seeing her, that J could come to the appts with me. 

Krista, I wish I had seen your comment earlier—what a good idea that would have been!  I did tell my department chair, who was thrilled for us and agreed not to say anything yet.  She also said that we’d just take my class off the project…which is too bad, because I would really have liked a free iP.ad 😉  I’m glad I don’t have everyone knowing yet.

Feeling pretty good so far, so nothing to update.  I get freaked out because I really don’t have any symptoms anymore but I’m taking the growing stomach as a good sign.

8w4d today.

July 21, 2010

Being outed

Posted in Uncategorized at 4:56 pm by Erin

I think I am going to keep my mouth shut during the visit.  As much as the idea of telling gives me the warm fuzzies, the idea of the knowing after that makes my stomach tie up in knots. 

But then I got a call today.  A call from a woman with whom I work, about a project that they’re doing for their students.  It’s a professional program and I teach one of their courses; in fact, I’m the only one in my entire college who is qualified to teach the class.  So I’m kind of it when it comes to that class…there is no backup.  I normally teach the class during the spring semester and well, that could present a problem should this really result in that take-homer as my due date is the week before Spring Break.  At best, I’ll be there for 1/2 the semester; at worst, if I deliver early like I did with P, it’ll be about 4 weeks.  My thought had been that I could ask my department chair if I could teach that class the following fall.  It’s not ideal for the students but I did it the first semester I taught the class (there hadn’t been anyone to teach it the previous spring) and it worked out fine.  I figured I’d ask her about it on September 1st.  She wouldn’t be happy but I’m pretty sure she’d agree to it.

The problem is that with this phone call, I’m being asked to make a committment to something for next spring’s class by tomorrow.  It’s a project in which apparently my class is supposed to play a pretty key role.  (Wish I’d known about this project ahead of time but whatever…)  I called J and we agreed that I’m going to have to talk to my department chair by tomorrow to find out what we should do.  The Erin who never says no to anything wants to believe that I could manage the class somehow, since it’ll be taught as a hybrid and I’ll only have to go in for 2 hours once every 2 weeks.  The Erin who is a realist and can barely remember the newborn days because they passed in a haze of exhaustion knows that would be pushing it WAY too far.

Damn it.  I can ask her to keep it to herself but I know her and I know that department, and it’ll probably come out pretty quickly.  Well, at least my family will be in the dark.  The internet knows, work will know but my children, parents, and siblings?  They won’t have a clue.

Something seems wrong about this whole situation but I don’t see another way out.

Telling vs. Knowing

Posted in Uncategorized at 9:41 am by Erin

After my appt the other day, I was giddy with excitement.  This baby seems so robust, so strong, that surely it will all work out.  I drove home thinking that we should tell people, imagining their happiness and joy.  The kids and I are going to visit my parents this weekend and I thought about how much fun it would be to get them each an “I’m the Big Brother” T-shirt and see how long it took people to figure it out.  I though about telling my aunt, who is so very ill, and knowing how happy it would make her to hear that she’s got another great-nephew or a great-niece on the way.  I thought about getting to tell my grandmother in person because I feel so lucky that my kids actually know their great-grandmothers. 

That night at dinner, I told J that we could tell people now, that I feel more confident now and sure that this little grain of rice will be OK.  He’s not the reason we’ve waited (he would have told his parents on our cruise if he’d had his way) but he said “Why don’t you think it through and decide on Wednesday?”  He knew that I was making a decision in excitement and that I might regret it later.  We have to tell the kids together and tonight at dinner would be that chance.

And now I’m just not sure.  The telling is the exciting part.  It’s full of happiness and fun, exciting suppositions and joy for the coming of a new life.  But the knowing—do I really want people to know for the next 32 weeks?  Am I ready for that part?  If it does all go wrong and ends in the next month, do I want the burden of taking that happiness away from people on top of the grief that I will already be experiencing?

We will be telling the kids in a week at the latest because we’ll be meeting with the homebirth midwife and the kids will be at that meeting.  Once they know, all bets are off—if you tell them to keep something a secret, it gets out faster than if you don’t tell them that it is a secret.  But even if we don’t say it’s a surprise and not to tell anyone, they could easily just say something randomly that will make it clear.  Part of me wants to tell them tonight so that we can control its getting out, so that we’re not forced into it when they say something at some point.  And part of me wants to protect them in case anything happens.  I remember so clearly P’s devastation when we had to reject M’s referral and I can’t even imagine how difficult this would be for them.

I’m afraid it will come out at this visit even without my saying anything.  The boobs are huge—that 36D bra that I bought is containing them but they’re substantially bigger (I have several shirts I can no longer wear because they’re not long enough to cover my stomach with my boobs this much bigger).  My stomach has been poofy since P was born but now I can no longer suck it in, so my shorts are a little tight.  The exhaustion is so strong that I grocery shopped yesterday while leaning on the cart the whole time.  There’s not really a whole lot of nausea except for when I eat.  Or when I’m hungry.  The rest of the time, food just doesn’t seem appealing.  (Actually, it’s not that appealing even while I’m hungry and eating it.)  My sister and cousins and I are going to go out one night and the fact that I’m not drinking will be really obvious, despite any excuses that I could make.  I think someone’s going to figure it out even if we don’t say something, and (because I’m Ms. Type A) I’d like to control how it comes out.

My midwife thinks it will be OK.  She was so reassuring the other day about how hearing the heartbeat at such an early point is a very, very strong point in this baby’s favor.  And the telling is lots of fun.  I won’t have another chance to tell relatives in person.  And even if we tell now, I don’t want to tell most people yet.  I don’t want to say anything on FB.  I don’t want my colleagues at work to know.  It kills me to think that a “well-meaning” distant relative who hears about it from one I tell in person might post something about it on there.  And then that knowing.  I’m not sure I can handle them all knowing. 

If we weren’t going to visit it wouldn’t be an issue—I would gladly keep it to myself for another month.  But I’m just so scared it will come out and then I’ll be playing catch-up.  I hate that.

Thoughts?  Do I make a big obvious announcement when we get there tomorrow or hope that it stays hidden for my visit?

July 19, 2010

Sometimes the small end of the statistics is a good thing

Posted in Uncategorized at 1:17 pm by Erin

I managed to keep the DBTs at bay until last night, then they snuck in again.  My symptoms have started to abate and I have been worrying that there was something wrong, that everything had already ended but my hCG was still too high for me to start bleeding.  Needless to say, I didn’t sleep much or well last night.  I won’t even tell you about the dreams but suffice it to say that they were awful.  This type of anxiety cannot be a good thing but at least this time it was limited to one night.

My appt at the midwives’s was this morning at 10.  At 11, I was finally called back to a room.  At 11:25, the midwife finally came in and she was every bit as wonderful as I’d expected her to be based on what my childbirth students have told me.  She asked how I was and I said “Nervous,” explaining my history with infertility and how thrilled and shocked we are about this pregnancy.  She said that they normally only do an intro appointment at the first one, then would have me come back in two weeks to try to hear the baby’s heartbeat and do a full OB workup…but if I wanted, she could do the full OB workup and try to hear the heartbeat today.  Since they were able to see the heartbeat last week, she was willing to give it a shot.  “At best, it’s 50/50 that we’ll hear anything,” she warned me.  I said that I had nothing to lose but if we could, it would help set my mind at ease. 

She left the room while I got changed, and I begged the baby to be cooperative and help ease her mama’s mind.  When the midwife came back in, I told her that my uterus is retroverted and she said that would probably make it much harder to hear it.  She clearly didn’t think that we’d hear anything.

But we did. 

It took a long time and a lot of hard pressing with the Doppler, but we were able to hear it thumping merrily away.  We heard mine first and kept coming back to that but then eventually found the baby’s.  I don’t think I’ve grinned that much in a long time (OK, since the u/s last Monday).  At 7w2d, I was able to hear my child’s heartbeat.  I had no idea that we’d even try to hear it today, let alone that we actually could.

I am astounded and thankful and amazed at how that one little thrumming sound can make such a difference.

July 17, 2010

Covering for myself

Posted in Uncategorized at 10:07 pm by Erin

I know this all sounds so incredibly presumptuous…oh, she’s planning for a homebirth.  She’s already talking about breastfeeding.  (How arrogant would it be if I said that I feel like it’s a girl?  Or that I said that to J the day I tested positive?)  What does she think she’s doing making all these plans?  She’s only 7 weeks, does she not realize how early it is?  How many things can go wrong?

Oh, yes.  Yes I do.  I am scared to death.

I am terrified that I’ll go to my appointment on Monday and they’ll tell me that the baby’s heartbeat can’t be found, that it’s stopped.  Every time my uterus cramps, I get scared.  I get scared when I get a cramp in the area where I suspect my right ovary to be.  I’m terrified that everything will be fine on Monday but when I go to my next appointment around 11/12 weeks, they won’t be able to find the heartbeat.  I’m scared that we’ll hear it at that appointment and we’ll tell people at the end of this trimester, but then we’ll never hear it again.

I can’t do anything about the fear.  It’s been 7 years since I got to do this, at least knowingly.  Last time it all worked out wonderfully but I’ve been on the wrong end of the statistics too many times to think that I can read anything into that.

I’m a complete Type A person. I feel better if I can control things.  Infertility has taken away so much of my control over anything—my control over my own body, the control of being able to conceive my child privately and intimately with my husband, the control of how to build our family.  I couldn’t control that.  I couldn’t control my feelings about it most of the time.  I have absolutely no control over this pregnancy, beyond my taking the best care of myself that I can.  That will be small comfort if it goes south, but it’s all I can control.

But I can control making plans.  It scared me to death to call the midwives’ practices but I did it because it was something I could do.  I can set a date to tell people, even though it feels like years away, because having a date in my mind makes me feel better about it.  I can buy larger bras and a new bathing suit to reign in the girls because a) they’re necessary, and b) it felt like something else about which I had a choice.  (Mind you, I bought them before my u/s but didn’t wear them or take off the tags until afterwards.)  Having choices feels good.  If it all falls apart, it will be incredibly painful.  But I can’t control that.  Hell, if we could control these things, none of us would be going through IF.

Even though I know full well that these plans are fragile and written in the sand right now, I feel better for having been able to make them.  So if it seems arrogant, I apologize.  I’m hiding my fear behind making plans.  Having no options about the future is scarier than making plans.


Posted in Uncategorized at 12:47 pm by Erin

So in me, you get a very weird combination.  You get the typical infertile.  Scared, neurotic, jonesing because it’s been 5 days since the last u/s.  Anxiously hoping to be able to find someone to pick up P from soccer camp on Monday so I can go to the appt with the midwife practice who is, bar none, the best hospital-based midwife practice in the city.  Dying to think that if I have to reschedule, it’ll be sometime during week 8.  EIGHT!  How can I go from 6w2d to sometime in mid-week-8 without any reassurance???

Then you get the crunchy woman who’s been teaching natural childbirth classes for 5 years.  The one who, 36 weeks a year, talks about how pregnancy is a natural process and that women’s bodies are designed to go through labor and birth.  (Mind you, one of the more mild-mannered ones who also thinks that every baby is a blessing and it’s not really so much about the route of delivery than that the baby is here safely, which is why my couples who have medicated births and/or c-sections are still proud and elated to call and tell me about their babies.)  One who truly believes that if I can get far enough along in this pregnancy, giving birth to the baby is an incredible gift.

The infertile really doesn’t care if the baby comes out naturally, with meds, or via c-section.  The childbirth teacher in me—OK, she’s the same way.  As long as the baby is here safely.  But, given the option, I’d rather have the baby naturally. 

And I’d rather have the baby at home.

So we have a consultation with a homebirth midwife in a few weeks.  J is a little leery of it but he was also leery of natural childbirth in general the first time around, and came around to be a fantastic support person.  I’ve promised not to make any committments without us discussing it fully, but he’s open to having the consultation and seeing what happens there.  I will also be seeing the hospital-based midwives in case I need to transfer to the hospital while I’m in labor, or if I develop complications later in pregnancy that would risk me out of homebirth care.  The hospital midwives have an OB who backs them up, so there’s someone available for any emergencies.  My insurance will cover the hospital-based midwives—we will be paying out-of-pocket for the homebirth midwife.

I’ve done a lot of thinking over the past few years of IF—what was I really hoping to get out of another pregnancy and birth?  Was it a fun pregnancy?  Was it another natural childbirth?  Was it the breastfeeding afterwards?  I was worried that if those were the things that were truly important to me and I didn’t get them, was I destined for depression?

Thankfully, all that thinking really made me realize that those aren’t it at all.  My pregnancy with P wasn’t fun.  There were fun parts—I treasured the movement and things like that—but in general, it was really uncomfortable and painful at times.  I don’t expect any differently this time, so I ruled out the fun pregnancy part.  Natural childbirth was, for me, a great thing—but I’ve already done it and if this baby has other needs to make sure it comes out safely, then those needs will be met by whatever medical means necessary.  So it isn’t about the birth.  Breastfeeding—that was the part I treasured.  I admit that I’m really, really hoping to be successful with it again.  But if it doesn’t happen for whatever reason, so be it.  I’ll cope.

What I really want is the baby.  The connection that I already feel.  Not missing a day of this child’s life.  I’m so glad that K had that first year with his firstmom but I wish I also had those memories, because it’s hard not to be able to share them with him.  I wish I could have watched those times through a looking-glass, not taking away from them but able to see what it was like.  He doesn’t have those memories because I don’t have those memories.  It’s just part of being a mom—I wish I could give him everything that he asks for but when he asks about himself as a baby, I can’t tell him much.

The cramping ended about 5 days ago but last night and this morning, it’s been happening again.  So I’m nervous.  But as long as I can get the childcare stuff worked out, I’ll hopefully have a u/s on Monday to reassure my heart and head.  At least for a little while.

7 weeks today.

July 15, 2010

Grain of rice 1, students 0

Posted in Uncategorized at 5:03 pm by Erin

The fatigue has hit.  It’s not just a little sleepiness, it’s “I desperately hope I make it home before I fall asleep driving” exhaustion.  It hit yesterday, during the week before final exams for my classes.  I had 20 lab reports, 12 term papers, 15 tests, and 21 lab notebooks to grade.  Guess what I’ve done?  12 of the reports and decided to give everyone 100 for their final lab notebook grade.

The grain of rice won—today, I took a nap instead of grading anything.  I did that yesterday also, but then did some grading last night.  I could so easily go back to sleep now.  I’ve decided that while the students would like their lab reports back tonight, they don’t need them back tonight.  I, however, needed a nap so as not to kill myself falling asleep at the wheel after class tonight.

These things will get done before the finals.  They always do, somehow.

I rarely feel like eating but often feel like I’ll be sick if I don’t eat.  Eating doesn’t really make the sick feeling go away, though.  And last night, I felt like I was on the verge of throwing up when I was trying to sleep.  That’s a first for any of my pregnancies.  I had lots of food aversions with P but never anything I’d really term nausea.  I suspect it’s just beginning, which will make it challenging when I’m at my parents’ house next weekend.  Coupled with the massive boobs, I’m just hoping that my mom doesn’t ask me outright.

Still trying to work out childcare for my appt on Monday—really hope I don’t have to postpone it!

July 13, 2010

It’s been a fun 24 hours

Posted in Uncategorized at 8:50 am by Erin

We (read: I, as J is not the pessimistic sort) decided to be happy and excited about the news yesterday, and for as long as those awful thoughts will stay away.  I made my first prenatal appointment for next Monday (hoping I can sort out childcare to get to it!).  I showed J the u/s pictures as soon as he got home.  We giggled about our “grain of rice”, as that’s what we’re using for the time being.

When I was pregnant with P and we had our first u/s done, J said it looked like a weather satellite photo.  Sure enough, when I showed him yesterday’s photo, he said “Boy, looks like a rough time for the Gulf of Mexico.”  I giggled.  We’re giddy and happy right now.

I was out with some friends last night, and one of the other women was another adoptive mom.  She knows that we planned to start the adoption process at the end of the year (that’s what we’ve been telling people, since I didn’t expect IVF to work) and asked how things were going.  It was hard to continue along that track, to say that we hadn’t started the paperwork yet but were considering agencies and all, when all I wanted to say was that it’s probably going to be a couple more years until this baby is a little older 🙂  But I resisted.
We think we’ll start telling people on September 1.  It feels like forever away.

July 12, 2010


Posted in Uncategorized at 11:44 am by Erin

One perfectly-sized little embryo. 

One perfectly-beating heart at 119bpm. 

One perfectly happy RE.

One perfectly thrilled set of parents.

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