… to a lesbian conception adventure!

Posts tagged ‘change for the better’

Protected: Birth Story

This content is password protected. To view it please enter your password below:

Never Alone

Warning: This is going to be one of those posts that is relative to me and my experience but has the potential to leave you annoyed (or worse). I don’t know if adding the disclaimer makes it worse or better, but it felt important to me to acknowledge.

There are moments during this pregnancy – perhaps hormonally driven – when I long for just a little bit of separation between me and the fetus and the constant, unending awareness of being with child. These moments are generally fleeting, but I sometimes find myself annoyed with being always aware that everything is going to change, always in transition. At times, I feel that I have lost my stability, my sense of self because it is so hard to find firm footing and be who I am when a part of who I am changes daily with the growth and development of the Cub and the forward march to the birth day. And then I get kicked repeatedly and I feel simultaneously grateful and irritated, which then leads to guilt for not being super grateful at all times (which, when I’m rational, seems like a ridiculous notion for anyone). And of course, the opposite also occurs, where I haven’t felt a kick in a little while and I worry that everything is okay (which, when I’m rational, is confirmation that I’m not heartless).

I think that many of these feelings are related to the general anxiety of pregnancy and parenthood. Will the baby be okay? Will we be okay?  Will be successful at all the aspects of caring for a newborn? How will we balance our helpful-but-sometimes-overwhelming family with our needs? How will our communication and relationship as a couple change? How we will manage our stress in a healthy way? Am I really ready to birth a child and how will that experience change my perception of self and my abilities? And on and on and on. For me, I believe the desire to be able to step away for a moment is more about the desire to step away from all of these worries.

On top of it all, I continue to worry about the impact of “bad karma” (in quotes because I realize karma is not as simplistic as I’m about to make it seem). That is, if I’m not eternally grateful, gracious, and glowing, will we be somehow punished? Will something horrible happen? And if I push that sense of karma aside and something does go wrong, will I regret not taking everything a bit more seriously? Again, in rational world, I confidently answer these questions; in the midst of anxiety, not so much.

Time does keep marching forward and we do move closer to the “big change” that all these little changes are leading toward. I am working to be in the moment because I know that despite the ups and downs and worries, I am going to miss this.

 

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.

17 Weeks

This past week was a pretty low-key week in terms of much to do with the pregnancy.

Symptoms mostly have to do with my growing size, which I am loving (so much more to write about that!). I did make it a full ten days without vomiting and then got massively sick on Saturday after a lunch of (fake) Mexican followed by a milkshake a few hours later. Apparently those were mistakes. Breast changes galore, as well.

Back at almost 12 weeks, I felt a fluttery, bubbly sensation in my abdomen that I have never felt before and believed was fetal movement. I have not felt much since, but in the past week have started to get interesting rolling feelings that feel like my lower abdomen is rolling in on itself… seems to me like something is going on! (I never understood why women would say “I didn’t know if it was movement or not” but now I totally get it… I want to feel something so much that it’s easy to trick myself into “maybe that wasn’t movement at all.”)

I have been taking belly shots since 6 weeks… and realized tonight that the shirt that I chose is never EVER going to make it to 40 weeks. It is a workout shirt that was form fitting at the start of the pregnancy (the better to see the non-existent “bump” with my dear)… at this point, the bottom of my stomach sticks out a little when I put it on… and it’s just going to get worse. I wonder if I can find the shirt somewhere in a bigger size?

No other news on this front. Work is busy but the part time job is winding down. Life is busy and I don’t know how we’ll ever get everything done in time when we are both so tired at the end of our (work / work + second job / work + school) days.  We see the midwives tomorrow – I am so excited to hopefully hear the little one and to get reassurance that all is well (please let all be well!)

13 Weeks!

*Thought this posted earlier today, apparently it did not, here it is now!

 

And depending on who you ask, I’m either into or just about into the second trimester as I have completed twelve full weeks (or ten full weeks of actual baby development or eight full weeks of actually knowing what is going on).

My 12 weeks weekend was full of vomit, including getting sick all over myself while driving to a training, necessitating a return home to change. I’ve gotten sick at least once a day since then but today so far (it’s only 8 in the morning), all is well.

I can’t say that my appetite is back, but I have been able to cook food and C is finally seeing glimpses of her old wife. On Sunday, I cleaned a good amount of the house, went grocery shopping, and cooked lasagna (with beef AND sausage). Last night, I stopped by the grocery store again on my way home and when I got home, walked the dog (for the first time in over a week). I was pretty much done after that, but “that” was a whole lot, considering.

I definitely have a bump at this point, and it is fairly substantial. I think some of it is all the food I ate trying not to be nauseous, but it has gotten more noticeable in the past two weeks despite the fact that my weight has been steady. My jeans still button (though I’ve used a belly band and have not buttoned for real in weeks) but it’s a stretch and they are much less comfortable. My “baggy” sweater no longer has bag, but belly, and I am not going to be able to keep it from anyone at work much longer. I could still be misconstrued as eating a tray full of holiday cookies, I guess, but the gain is definitely in my stomach. I can’t imagine 27 weeks from now!

This afternoon, I give notice at my part time job. I plan to stay another couple months (so that I will have been there a full year) but need time to transfer the work. It will be weird to be quitting but good to get two evenings a week back. C is very excited and wishes I would quit even sooner.

C’s mom is coming to town this weekend to help us prepare the house and get things together. This will be the first of hopefully many trips and we are both excited, though I’m also exhausted thinking about it. 13 weeks does feel solid enough to move in this direction, but I am still nervous that something could go wrong. It’s hard to be in between ultrasounds and in between ultrasound proof and baby movement proof.

Numbers game

Finally got a call from the doctor today at 1 pm. Less than twenty four hours after the draw? Yes. An eternity to C and I? Absolutely.

My original level was 106. Today, seven days later, I was expecting to hear numbers between 800 and 1200.

My number? 3562.

Quick (online) calculations tell me that’s a doubling rate of about 33.53 hours. Solidly solid. I said something like “wow” and the doctor agreed, noting that he would have been happy with 800.

So all is (very) well for now. We go for our u/s on the 16th at 7 1/2 weeks. While it is almost definitely possible that we could see something sooner, especially with those numbers, I have off on the 16th and I will feel more certain of whatever we see at that point just by virtue of being further along.

So we wait and hope for our appleseed to grow to pea status and then blueberry!

See the title of that last post…?

That’s pretty much EXACTLY how I have felt today.

Earlier this weekend, my boobs grew (like the first try). I was exhausted all day yesterday (but there was some emotional stress going on, too, so I chalked it up to that) and I took a nap (I NEVER EVER NAP unless I am ridiculously sick or sleep-deprived). Some minor breast tenderness last night which is different than AF tenderness but not so “real” that it might not be psychosomatic. Mild nausea while cooking but again, nothing that I couldn’t chalk up to desperation. Our friend, August, was over and she begged me to test but I decided to wait until today.

Today, 13 DPO. Woke up at 6 this morning and my temperature, which has hovered around 97.45 for the past couple days, shot up to 98.38. That’s a HUGE jump and by far the highest temperature I’ve had all cycle. I decide to test.

[Now if you’ve ever tested first thing in the morning and you’ve had some negatives and you’re anything like me, you keep the lights dim, your eyes half closed, and generally try to keep yourself in a sedated space so that if you test negative, you can get back to sleep quickly. You may also glance over repeatedly while still on toilet and you may have tricked yourself into seeing things in the past (it IS dark and you ARE hopeful).]

Well, this morning, I start to see something within a minute or two. And I say to C, who has woken up and I can hear outside the door waiting her turn, “I THINK THERE IS SOMETHING THERE!” And the lights go up and there are TWO PINK LINES.

I would like to say I was ecstatic, over-the-moon, so thrilled. And I was, in small amounts. But more than anything, I was excitedly shocked. In just two previous tries, I have looked at BLANK after BLANK pregnancy test and have publicly lamented never even getting an evaporation line. For something to BE there and for it to be getting DARKER… why, that was just unbelievable. Seriously, I felt total disbelief. C and I hugged, I was teary, and she, ever practical, expressed enthusiasm before suggesting that we return to bed. I took pictures for August and for the internet before going.

… where I laid awake for another two hours, wiggling and making shocked statements about how we are pregnant and watching a movie to keep my anxiety down…

… because let’s face it, if you TTC, you know the risks. And a positive test is step one of about a million. And it’s a HUGE step and I am GRATEFUL but I am not unrealistic about the (negative) possibilities…

I called the doctor before his office opened and got the answering service. I refused to tell them why I was calling since this was MY news. When I did speak to him later in the day, he made gasping sounds, said I made his day, and said “oh I’m going to cry!” (have I mentioned that I LOVE him?!). Went for bloodwork in the afternoon and while the visit was fairly short, he was super excited with me.

I called my endocrinologist and her secretary called me back and gave congratulations from both herself and the doctor. We scheduled an appointment and before she got off the phone, she said “Congrats again, mom!” … SO WEIRD.

I (of course) took another test this evening and it was a different brand (internet cheapie instead of FRER) and it was also unmistakably positive.

I am excited now and want to tell everyone and no one. I want to share the good news and hide it until I have more proof. I am STILL in disbelief but it is sinking in. I will say that two lines, while cognitively reassuring and a sign that something is happening, do not make you FEEL IN YOUR BODY pregnant. It’s strange to know a fact that you have so much emotional connection with but not to feel it.

I am hyper aware that this might not work out the way we hope but I am making the conscious choice to enjoy it as if it will because I don’t want to regret missing out on some of the excitement of these next few weeks (or months).

I should probably stop here and apologize in advance for what I’m sure will be endless musings on all of this strangeness. I find that this is just like my first try… no matter how much mental planning I did, it was not like I expected. Life seems like, that doesn’t it?

Also, time for some new tags!

Edited to add: bonus cheapie pee stick picture:

20111121-221704.jpg