2

Sharing the News

Both of our families now know that we’re expecting! We told my parents first because I already had their gift purchased, but it took some time to get the one for my in-laws. Several of our friends knew before our parents even did (partially because I wouldn’t have been able to keep lying or hiding it at an all-inclusive in Mexico!).

To tell my parents, we waited until we got back from Mexico because they were away when we found out and very soon after they got back, we left for our trip. Also, by telling them we were sending them something after our trip, I figured they might be less suspicious because they might think it was a souvenir. I told my mom that we picked something up for them and to FaceTime us before they opened it. My parents are new to the iPad and iPhone so they are loving FaceTime. They don’t need much invitation to use it. Once they got the package, we arranged a time to FaceTime and then we saw them open the gift. It was a onesie from Simple Wear on Etsy that said “Loved and Spoiled by Grandma & Grandpa _______”. My mom’s jaw dropped but then she seemed confused. She ended up calling later and she said she had been wondering if it was too good to be true. My dad gave us a thumbs up (he’s dorky like that)  and said he had guessed that we were going to announce a pregnancy. As an only child, this is my parents’ first grandchild and they are thrilled.

To tell J’s parents, I made a photobook on Shutterfly. I enjoy scrapbooking and Shutterfly has these really cool photobooks with more personalization options and they feel more like scrapbooks than just plopping some pictures into pre-decided spots. J has a bigger family as he has 2 siblings and they each have kids. So the scrapbook made more sense for his family than mine. It started out with pictures of each of the kids (i.e., J and his siblings) throughout the years, then pictures of the grandkids, then pictures of everyone together, and at the end it announced that there would be a new addition along with a picture of J and I and the due date. They got the book yesterday so we called them in the evening. Of course they are very happy for us too!

It feels good that the families know now! I can’t wait for it to be public knowledge because I suck at lying and hiding things.

0

First Maternity Purchase

I am so thankful for belly bands/tummy sleeves! My pants were tight and uncomfortable. I didn’t feel ready to buy all new maternity pants though since I’m not full on showing yet. So, I went to Motherhood Maternity yesterday (Thyme Maternity was all sold out of their belly bands) and I bought a black and a white tummy sleeve. Now I am wearing my normal dress pants, undone, but no one is the wiser. I am so much more comfortable now!

5

Update

I am 8 weeks now and I feel like I have a belly, but it’s probably just bloating and fat. My symptoms include: constipation, LOTS of burping, constant mild nausea, fatigue, some heartburn, and intermittently sore boobs. This morning, I threw up for the first time. It was before I had eaten anything, so it was just a bit of bile. I have gagged and heaved before, even knelt before the toilet just in case, but never actually had to puke. I wonder if this was a one time thing, or if it’s a sign of more to come.

I don’t have any weird food cravings. I’m not even sure when that typically starts. I have had cravings for things I normally like (but don’t often eat) and I satisfy those. I find that I’m having more food aversions than cravings. It seems that the thought of fruit and veggies turns my stomach. I was drinking smoothies at first, but then I started feeling sick after. I spent a Sunday afternoon in bed after one smoothie. I feel bad because I know I should be eating tons of fruits and vegetables for my growing baby, but I seem to only want carbs and other junk. I have read that the baby will take whatever nutrients it needs from you and it doesn’t need much at this point, but I just want to do the best for my baby and I feel like I’m not.

I booked my 12 week ultrasound (the NT scan) for April 23rd. I am anxiously awaiting it. I hope the baby is low risk and still developing properly. I am so excited to see him/her looking more like a baby. And I’m excited to be able to stop hiding/lying about my pregnancy.

We call the baby Jujube (J hated all the other ideas I came up with). I talk to Jujube every day and I definitely feel in love already.

4

Y

Here’s the latest installment in my half-assed book reviews (how do you do a good book review without giving too much of the plot away?!). Before I left for Mexico, I started the book Y: A Novel by Marjorie Celona.  It was recommended to me by a coworker. Normally, this coworker has really great recommendations, so I expected to be riveted. The book had an interesting premise, but I just wanted to get through it. I still hadn’t finished it by the time we left for Mexico, but I rarely give up on a book and it was interesting enough, so I finished it on the beach. That’s never a bad way to finish a book, but I wanted to get into one of the frivolous reads I had downloaded for the trip.

Y is the story of a girl who was abandoned by her mother on the doorstep of a YMCA. The story goes back and forth between this girl, who was abandoned shortly after birth, and her mother. The girl’s story is told as she ages, whereas the mother’s story takes the reader up to the point of the birth and abandonment. The plot is interesting, but I didn’t connect with the characters. I didn’t truly like any of them and they all felt weird (for lack of a better word). They weren’t people I could relate to and they often felt awkward. I wanted to know how the story ended, but it was the kind of book that I could put down for days and not really be itching to read more.

5

What was the magic trick?

I have seen people ask and post about what was different about the cycle where someone actually manage to conceive. I started reflecting on my cycle and there a few possibilities:

1) the extra CoQ10 my RE had me taking (800mg – 200 4X a day) helped my eggs out

2) the Chinese herbs I was taking finally kicked in

3) chance of pregnancy often rises in the three months after an HSG – we conceived in February, the third month after my HSG

4) I decided eff it – it’s probably not going to happen on its own and we’re on the wait list for IVF. I drank whenever I wanted, not just before ovulation. And we didn’t put much effort into sex (i.e., timing it, making sure we did it tons). My mind was more occupied by other projects, work, and things I enjoy.

I’m hesitant to even post the fourth point because it gives fuel to all those people who say things like: just relax, you just need to get drunk, stop trying. I really don’t think that it’s easy to stop trying or relax and I don’t think alcohol is a magic fertility drug. I think that pouring myself into projects like prepping for my friend’s stagette and getting my mind off TTC and infertility likely helped, but I don’t know that it was the magic trick. I doubt that if I had suddenly been more relaxed say 6 months ago that it would have happened then.

In reality, I don’t think there was a magic trick. I think that it was luck (maybe divine intervention if you swing that way). I think that the perfect circumstances happened to collide this one month. Our RE always said there was a possibility of conceiving on our own, it was just less likely. I don’t know that if we were to try again we’d be able to conceive on our own again. It doesn’t feel like a certainty or suddenly I’m cured. It feels like a very fortunate turn of events.

25

Hope

Praying to a god that I don’t believe in

– Lyric from Breakeven by The Script

*Disclaimer: Do not read if you are in a difficult place right now*

I have not been posting much lately because I was too nervous and I wanted a chance to talk to certain people first. Then I found it hard to find the time and energy to appropriately write this. I still don’t even really know how to phrase it without it being a jumbled mess of thoughts.

On February 22nd, our nephew was born. That was also the day I found out that I’m pregnant. My cycles are typically 28-31 days, although I’ve had a few 26 days cycles more recently. I have not had a cycle longer than 31 days in over a year and even then there were only two – the first one after stopping birth control was 35 days and the following one was 33 days. Around CD26, I had a significant amount of ewcm. For some reason, I seem to get the most right before my period starts. It is often slightly brown or blood-tinged. I guess there is an estrogen surge right before your period that can cause the increase in ewcm. So when I saw it, I assumed that my period was hours away, as usual. However, days passed and nothing. I was also cramping like I typically do pre-period, so I still figured it was just a matter of time. There were two nights when I remember waking up with night sweats. My boobs were sore, but this had happened before and I had been fooled into hoping. Then I noticed that I was constipated, whereas my bowels normally loosen and I have my best poop of the month right before starting my period. CD32 came and went and I was still really backed up.  I decided that if I still hadn’t gotten my period when I woke up on CD33, I would test. I was very tired when I woke up though so I peed and then opened the pregnancy test; not the smartest move. So I put the capped test back in the cupboard and hoped it would still work later. I was hoping at this point but scared to hope because I had been duped before and it seemed too good to be true. I decided that if I still hadn’t gotten my period by the end of the work day, I would test. When I got home I pulled out that opened test and I peed on it for 7 seconds (2 more than the instructions said). Almost immediately, a faint line appeared. I couldn’t believe it. I had begun to think I would never see such a thing as a positive HPT. I ran to get my cell phone to take a picture just to make sure I could still see it on the camera and it wasn’t my imagination. It was quite clear in the picture. By the end of the 3-minute waiting period, the test line was almost as dark as the control line. I couldn’t believe it! I didn’t cry the way I expected I would. Instead I swore up a storm and jumped around. As soon as I could calm myself, I rushed to the nearby pharmacy and picked up a digital Clear Blue test that says “pregnant” or “not pregnant” and gives an estimate of the number of weeks since conception. Before buying the test, I decided I have no shame and I asked the pharmacist if the extra 2 seconds of urine exposure could have created a false positive (from reading Pee on a Stick I already knew this was improbable/impossible). The pharmacist asked me if a pregnancy was a good thing. I exclaimed that it was amazing! Then he assured me that I was pregnant. I drove home and hoped that I’d have enough pee left so I could take the test right away. I peed on the new test and it said “pregnant” pretty quickly. It took a bit longer for it to show “1-2” for the weeks since conception. I was in shock, but sooooo happy.

It was agonizing waiting for J to get home and it seemed like he was taking extra long that evening. He loooooves monkeys and, back when I thought getting pregnant was going to be easy, I bought a onesie with a sock monkey on it that said “Daddy’s Little Monkey”. I put the onesie in a gift bag and presented it to him as soon as he got home. He couldn’t believe it either and wondered if I read the tests wrong. It was so ironic too since just the night before we were at the IVF info session.

This past Friday, we went for our first ultrasound. I requested a dating ultrasound because a) I normally ovulate late, b) I needed proof that there really was a baby growing in there and c) I had heard that once a heartbeat is detected the chance of miscarriage drops considerably. During the ultrasound we discovered that my CD20 ovulation held consistent and I was a week behind what we thought (I just reached 7 weeks today). We also saw the fetal pole and a beating heart – 125 bpm! J was there and it was such an amazing moment that really helped make this all seem real.

I am still cautious because I know that the first trimester poses a lot of risks, but I am so hopeful and happy. This is a miracle and I find myself praying, thanking god for this amazing gift. I know I have said before that I mainly consider myself to be an atheist, but this whole process has brought me to prayer on a number of occasions. I also pray for my loved ones and the others I have connected with through this blog who are at various stages along the treacherous and arduous journey of infertility. Even though I did not require IVF after all for this pregnancy, I am still a long way from a live birth. This journey has changed me and opened my eyes. I won’t forget the process; I won’t be able to. And I won’t forget those who are still moving toward their own chance at motherhood. If it would help you to stop following my blog, I understand. I hope to continue to support all of you. Thank you for having been there for me.

BFP

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2

Reminiscing

A few weeks ago I decided to sort through old emails. I had a great time reliving some of the memories with friends, but the best was reading emails from J. The emails were from when we first started dating and the 8 months we did long distance. They were so sweet and funny! They made me feel all sentimental and loving. They also made me miss showering together! (Now we treat showers as functional rather than opportunities for intimacy.) Even though there are moments that still give me butterflies, there are few surprises after seven years together. We are fully committed partners who are very much in love, but revisiting those early days reminds me of the initial spark and I can’t help but re-experience the excitement. I made sure to keep those emails so I could return to them whenever I may need that reminder or a dash of romance.