… to a lesbian conception adventure!

Posts tagged ‘anxiety much?’

Decisions, Decisions

We are finally getting things together and done as we are forced (by time and necessity) to make some choices. Here are the things on our checklist for this week:

  • Interview Doulas (or at least set up interviews). After going back and forth, mostly due to cost, we’ve decided that we definitely want someone whose job it is is to be there for us.  I emphasize us, as I am very aware that I may not be the most pleasant and cheerful supportive and communicating partner whilst concentrating on birthing this child, and I do not want the burden of every other responsibility to be placed on my wife.  Also I realize more and more how little I know about so many aspects of birthing and I want someone available to explain things so that we can make informed decisions. I would hope the midwives would do that, but they have different priorities than a doula will.
  • Contract with Daycare. We’ve chosen a place that has been exceedingly willing to allow us time to decide, now we just need to get the contract in and pay our first two weeks. We’ve decided to go with one day with grandma, three days with daycare, and three days with us (one with me, one with C, and one where we’ll all be together).  At least to begin. We’re hoping that we will have the option to move to 5-day-a-week daycare if things don’t work out with this plan, but I’m just glad to have a plan.
  • Talk to HR. I already did this way back in December, but I want to make sure I know everything I need to know.
  • Set up times for maternity photos.  We are lucky to have had someone offer to do this for us for free a couple months ago. I’m hoping she’s still available and willing.
  • Call potential pediatrician. I have a highly recommended one who is fairly close to home and daycare and also on the list provided by the midwives. Only downside is that she’s been in practice for many many many years and I have a track record of meeting with health care providers just as they are going into retirement or moving away or engaging in some other life change that prevents them from continuing on as a care provider.  But we’ll try.
  • Fill out forms for midwives. Or at least get them started. We filled out forms for the hospital already, but our midwife made it clear that while she would like to think our information won’t get lost, it definitely still could and this gives us extra protection from filling them out again when we get to the hospital.
  • Update registries. Because we really just started them for fun (and to get free gift cards) and now that we have a shower date, folks might want to know (though lets face it, most people swing by the big box baby store just before the shower). I want to do some research for some of the items and would gladly accept any advice any of you have on “must have  items” for the registry.

I think that’s mostly it (for this week).  C is out of town for work for several days, which means I will be either super motivated (after Tuesday, since the next two days are jam packed) or super lazy.  I’m hoping it’s more the former and that between the two of us, we can knock out several items on the list and I can feel better about everything that is coming our way in the next couple months (couple months! eek!)

Hope you all have productive, awesome weeks!

21 Weeks (and Updates)

[We got the screen results today; if you don’t want to read chronologically, feel free to scroll down to the ***]

More than halfway there.

The biggest pregnancy sign this past week has been unending worry and concern accompanied by the return of nausea and vomiting and not wanting to eat so therefore eating junk (probably all stress related). Also the Cub moving more and more and C feeling him/her on Saturday morning (very cool, very bittersweet in the midst of all the worry).

C was my hero this weekend, making sure that we were busy pretty much every moment of our time off together and being exceedingly EXCEEDINGLY patient with me at the end of her work day on my solo day off, trying to find me food, putting up with me agreeing to eat and then not wanting to eat (more than once), and taking us to the grocery store so that there would be food in the house this week. All as life was also terribly difficult for her, not only personally with worry about the Cub but professionally and scholastically. I like to think that I did an okay job being there in return, but she really was the leader and source of calm in our household this weekend and I cannot express enough gratitude.

We pretty much spent every day since last Wednesday worrying, hoping, getting blood drawn, and praying that the results would get here sooner rather than later. Today at around 12:30 I got a call from the administrative assistant (who is also the source-of-all-knowledge) at the midwives’ office.

***The test was negative. On all three measures.

I started shaking and getting tearful and immediately called C. The relief was palpable. While we are now more than ever all too aware that there are no guarantees, a negative screen plus isolated findings on the ultrasound are super-highly-indicative that everything is as “okay” as we can know without an amnio (which was always the point of last resort, if we would do it at all). We will still have the second ultrasound next week to confirm that the cyst is isolated (if it is even still there) and then we will feel about as good as we can. In the meantime, we will be able to feel positive and hopeful as we go on our trip this week and spend time with relatives, perhaps for the last time until the baby was born.

There is so much more to be said about the ups and downs of this past week, the anxieties that will linger until the baby is born, and my personal thoughts and feelings about prenatal screens. There is also much to be said to all of the blogs I’ve been reading (but been too necessarily self-focused to respond). For now we pack. And feel grateful.

A down and up day.

The midwife office was… interesting. It’s a small place with a waiting room that looks like it needs quite a bit of updating. When we walked in, we weren’t really greeted and C made a point of saying hello. Though they’ve worked with same-sex couples in the past, their paperwork was very heterofocused with “father of baby” throughout.  When I asked if perhaps I should list C on the paperwork somewhere (if she should be listed where FOB was), the person collecting the paperwork seemed confused and at first said no but then said yes after the (much younger) midwife corrected her.

Meeting with the midwife was good. She was very low-key in terms of discussion about their practice and we had to ask a lot of questions to get an idea of their philosophy. It seemed like it was in line with our own, in terms of being supportive of the process in whatever form that takes. At the hospital, they will be the ones in the room along with a nurse and there will not be other folks coming in and out. They want us to write a birth plan so they have guidance in what we want. They will not offer medication but will provide it if it is requested. She offered us a variety of screenings that we would have to take advantage of in the next several weeks and spent a brief amount of time explaining the pros and cons (though that was probably more due to the fact that we already knew we weren’t interested in most of them). There was no pressure to either have the screenings or to avoid them, which I appreciated. The only thing I really did not like about our whole conversation is that she dated me from LMP despite the fact that I explained that there was no chance of conception prior to CD 19. It’s not the end of the world (it amounts to a difference of 4-5 days) but it annoyed me because if I know one thing, it’s the very brief period in which I could have conceived, and I did not feel like she either fully understood or cared.

After chatting, I had an exam and then she pulled out the doppler to try to find the heartbeat. She mentioned that it might be hard to find “at 12 weeks” (I’m about 4 days shy of that per my estimate and measurements at the RE which lined up with my estimate) but that we would try anyway.

And she tried. And tried. And tried. Lots of neat wooshing sounds, but no sound of a heartbeat. She tried one last time and found… nothing. She noted that my uterus is slightly tilted, which may cause the problem. We spoke briefly of ultrasound and she told us she would try to get us an appointment with a radiology place that day, maybe by “lying a bit” and saying I had some bleeding.

I wasn’t terrified but I certainly was not okay. I was tearful and worried, especially when the prescription we were given was for a “viability ultrasound.” The administrative assistant called around and got us an appointment while we finished up with some final questions. We had a little over an hour to kill and we spent it eating lunch and watching bad television before heading out for the u/s.

Fortunately for us, the place was not super busy and we were seen fairly quickly. I am far enough along that I have graduated to abdominal u/s (and I was glad… was not interested in getting undressed again). The way the room was set up, my head was next to the screen and C was at my feet. So she could see the screen but I could not. As the tech began to work, I watched C’s face. The tech did not speak much at all at first, just scanning and punching the keyboard and scanning some more. After a couple minutes, C smiled at me (she later admitted she had seen the heartbeat but didn’t want to say it in case she was wrong).  The tech showed me the heartbeat – it was probably the most emotional moment of the pregnancy thus far. Tears sprung to my eyes as I expressed my relief and also noted how amazing it was.

And that’s when it got fun. I don’t know if it was my enthusiasm for the u/s or my relief or the tech feeling good… or maybe they always do this, but she spent another several minutes “giving us a tour” (as my RE would say) of the fetus. She showed us the head and the arms and showed us different angles. We saw the bottom of the feet. We watched the fetus dance around – arms moving, legs moving – I have never seen anything so amazing!

And then… she went 3D.

(Let me add here that I never have been terribly interested in 3D ultrasounds. The ones I’ve seen right before a baby is born are kind of strange to me and I know that a lot of folks pay extra for them and I can think of other ways I’d want to spend my money)

It was amazing. Sure, I can imagine the 3d version of the fetus when I’m looking at a 2d ultrasound. But seeing it? Wow. She also did this thing where we could see activity by the colors that poured over the screen (kind of like heat detection, except the movement was red).

When we left the radiology place, I sobbed. Like my own mother, I am okay at holding things together when everything is up in the air. Once I know the outcome, good or bad, all of that pressure releases.

We spent the rest of the day showing our 3D picture to our parents, who were also amazed. And we slept. Because a wave of feeling awful and needing to sleep came over me very quickly after the stress of the day.

I realize that this was a terribly long post – mostly out of a need for a regrouping activity for me. But if you’ve made it this far, there’s a reward!

 

 

Nervous

Off to the midwife appointment in a little bit and I have to say, I’m quite nervous. Nervous to meet new practitioners, nervous that I might not like them, nervous because the world of prenatal care is so vast and even with recommendations it seems like it’s pretty much a crapshoot.

The practice we are going to today has at least three midwives. We will not work with any one midwife more than the others, ideally, as they rotate your appointment so that you see all of them over the course of your pregnancy because any one of them could be on call the day of your delivery.

Although I do not want a super medicalized birth, I am realizing that it might be hard for me to not have a medicalized pregnancy. I may be bizarre, but I have had many good experiences with doctors and I generally don’t mind medical intervention. That being said, I do not want to head down the surgery route at delivery and my chances are far less with a midwife than with an OB where I live (the midwife practice has a section rate of 13%).  It is going to be hard for me to not have tons more ultrasounds and invasive investigation into what is going on because I so desperately want to know that everything is going well ALL. THE. TIME.

That being said, I really do want a more personalized experience and I think if there is anyone who is going to give it to me, it will be the midwives. I am, however, already missing having just my one RE who was present for everything (every meeting, every appointment, even my HSG) and I realize that I was incredibly spoiled in that regard.

Really, I’m just afraid of the unknown. I think that so much of giving birth (and pregnancy in general) is hindsight being 20/20 and there are so many things I won’t know until I’ve experienced them regardless of any other experience that others have had. I also have to remind myself that one visit to one provider does not mean that I have to stay with that provider out of some false sense of loyalty or oh-they-spent-time-with-me-I-feel-bad-for-leaving.

Outside of the nerves, I am excited and hopeful that we get confirmation that things are swimming along nicely. I took off today so that C and I can enjoy the day together and following the appointment we are going to go clothes shopping because my (super form fitting) clothes just aren’t cutting it anymore.

I admit it…

… I called the doctor yesterday to ask whether our timing was okay.

I thought it was fine – right after and thirty hours after positive OPK… but yesterday FF was insistent that I had in fact O’d the day before the positive OPK… solid line certainty, not even a dotted line to give me some comfort.

In the first two tries, I would have just scoured the Internet, reading both horror and helpful stories that would do nothing to ease my mind. This try, I did some of that and then realized that am working with an expert who knows me and my body, so why not just call.

So I did and he was helpful, reassuring me that there would be no way that I would have had the other physical factors present had I already ovulated, That our timing was good. And that we can always Monday morning quarterback tries but really we do the best we can every cycle.

I continue to search the Internet from time to time as though if I ask enough questions, a search engine will respond like a magic 8 ball with whether this try worked. I feel less anxious overall than during the first two tries but that does not mean I don’t want to know yesterday. I am spending more of my mental energy preparing myself for potential failure as I should know right around Thanksgiving and that’s the kind of news that could make or completely break a holiday regardless of preparation for the worst.

Still

Waiting. CD 17. Annoyed about the best laid plans… Likely going in on (stressful) work days even though I had a three day weekend based on timing of previous cycles. RE seems unperturbed by phone, so we have not gone in, though he made it clear he is around all weekend.

This is one time when I, more than ever, would recommend charting. While I am anxious that I will miss the surge (as evidenced by my trashcan full of discarded OPKS), there has been no thermal shift and I am certain that I have not missed it yet. I also have ten months of charts that remind me just how weird my ovulation on CD 14 or 15 during the past few months actually was and that show me that I often have a temperature dip a couple days before ovulation.

Please remind me that it possible to get pregnant even when you have to go back to stressful work situations. My boss is out all this week, I will be doing her job and mine, making some really tough decisions, and hoping for the best. Over and over. I am stressed thinking about the stress and its impact on my body and a bit angry and annoyed that I can’t have better timing.

Just keep waiting, waiting, waiting…

CD 15, no +OPK, starting to go a little stir crazy.

To be fair, over my nine month charting history (seven of which have included OPKs), it has only recently been the case that my OPKs turned on or before day 15. Over last spring and into the summer, they sometimes did not turn until day 17 or, at the latest, day 19. And I do have a fairly strong history of cycle changes depending on the season.

I have had some color on a couple of them, but that seems to have faded in more recent tests (a byproduct of meds, perhaps?).

I think I will call the doctor today, see what he wants to do, get him prepped for a potential weekend of fun (which is okay with me – more time off to lay around!). Part of me wants to run right in and see him, but the one thing I do NOT want to do is jump the gun because we’re anxious. I think were early during our last try and that made the TWW much more blah than in had to be.

All I’m saying is last month, I got my positive OPK on day 13, a clear ovulation on day 14 and why-were-we-taking-a-break-again?!!?

🙂 Hope you all have a great Thursday!