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Falling in love with my husband all over again . . .

A little over a year ago I wrote about my skewed perception of Fathers. Now that we’re seriously counting down to the arrival of our little girl, my heart is melting as I absorb the love that J is already showing toward her. He started out feeling both nervous and happy, but I think the nerves were more prominent. Now he says he is still nervous, but his excitement clearly outweighs it. He is always saying cute things like “I love you girls”, “I can’t wait to do (insert some cute girly activity) with Lyla”, “I can’t wait to meet you”, etc. When he touches and kisses my belly, there’s such a tenderness in his touch. He has also amazed me with how understanding and patient he is with me and how helpful he has been. When I’m tired and I fail to accomplish the things I wanted to do around the house or I just spend the day being totally lazy, he is quick to point out that I am growing a human and it’s totally understandable. That means so much to me as I tend to be hard on myself or feel guilty if I’m not living up to what I think I should be doing. He’s just been so amazing, so invested, so loving, and so psyched about our little girl and myself that I often find myself with happy tears in my eyes telling Lyla how lucky she is to have a daddy like hers.

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The cost of infertility

I appreciate any well-researched, informed article on infertility, including articles from the financial perspective. It seems that the vast majority of the articles quote figures for IVF + meds that are less than what we were quoted. Although the totals are still crushing, I always want to shout out that it could be even more per cycle.

Financial Post | Business

Would you invest $100,000 of your life savings with a 50% to 75% chance of losing your money and receiving zero return?

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0926ivfProvinces will pay to investigate infertility and perform some surgeries; but few pay for treatments.

Continue reading.
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What if the return was a life? How much would you spend for the chance to have a child? What is it worth to you to expand your family?

Thousands of Canadian couples are faced with this dilemma — an estimated 11.5% to 15.7% of couples face infertility, notes a 2012 Vanier Institute of the Family report — and the compulsion to gamble everything is great, given the reward. Infertility doesn’t discriminate. It often arrives unannounced, leaving couples unprepared for the hefty financial implications. To pay for fertility treatments, people take out second mortgages on their homes. They clean out their savings.

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The Countdown is ON!

Ok, I’m really only 35 weeks, 2 days, but I am counting down for a few reasons. One is pure excitement to meet our baby! I am nervous about labor and all the new responsibilities and lack of sleep we’ll have, but the excitement far outweighs that.

Another reason for the countdown is that the third trimester has been the most uncomfortable for me by far and I do find myself looking forward to getting my body back and increasing my mobility. I have gained 41 pounds so far, which is totally due to my excess, although if what I’ve read about heredity mattering more than diet is true, I was destined to gain 40 pounds anyway. Even so, my 5’2.5″ frame is definitely not meant to carry this much weight around and I hope that I will never weigh this much without being pregnant.

A third reason is that I am so ready to start mat leave. Well in actuality, I have some client reports to finish, but I have been under extra stress at work lately to the point that my doctor started writing me a note to stop work effective yesterday. I stopped her and asked her to let me try (yet again) to get my boss to understand so that I could carry on with my original plan of making Oct. 18th my last day. I met with my boss and I think things will be ok now, but I’m looking forward to a year away from my office.

And speaking of stress, my blood pressure is much higher than it’s ever been before. In the first and second trimester, I was consistently 100/60, a wonderful number! Two weeks ago, I was 110/60 – still perfectly good. Yesterday, I was 130/80. It’s in the normal range, but according to one website I checked to help me interpret it, it’s prehypertensive. So my worry is that it will continue to rise and cause risks/problems. So if we can get to full-term and have this baby sooner rather than later, there’s less time for me to do damage.

This pregnancy has felt both fast and slow. I’m amazed at all the changes that seem to take place quickly and the fact that we’re already at 35 weeks, but at the same time, it is also hard to remember that I was ever not pregnant. I’m hoping the next ~5 weeks will be on the quick side rather than dragging!

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Birthing Class

J and I attended our first Childbirth Essentials class on Saturday. It’s from 9-12 for four Saturdays. This meant I actually had to set an alarm rather than sleeping to my heart’s content (usually somewhere between 8 and 9:30). There had been a 1-4 pm option a couple weeks later, but I figured it would be best to get up, go to class, and then have the rest of the day for whatever, even if that may be a nap. I also didn’t want to run a higher risk of going into labor before we finished the classes.

Our first class went through some basics, like the structure of the class and some ice breakers. We also discussed our hopes and worries about the class and labor. It was funny because the instructor split us into 2 groups for that activity: the mothers and the support people. All the support people there were men, more specifically husbands. The instructor had the men start with the worries and the women started with hopes and then we switched. The women all laughed a bit when we read the men’s worries. I don’t mean to undermine their worries, but I had to laugh because I could see J thinking pretty much all of them. There were worries that the class would be a waste of money/boring (J was the one out of us who seemed the most keen on taking a class though), dropping the baby (apparently all of the men’s worst fear), being the least prepared in the class, cleaning up the amniotic fluid if the water breaks at home, and that the wives already know everything.

We also went through the stages of labor, how long each lasts on average, what kind of noises we might make during a stage (e.g., moaning, chanting), what we might be thinking during each stage (e.g., I can do this, I can’t do this, I am doing this), where we’ll physically be during the stage (e.g., home or labor and delivery), what we might do during a stage (e.g., walk, sway, sleep, slap out a rhythm), and how dilated to expect our cervix to be during a particular stage (the instructor had a 10 cm circle she showed us and omg!!!). We talked about when to go to the hospital (e.g., 5-1-1 rule of thumb). She said that being dilated 4 cm would get us admitted into at labor and delivery (4 will get you in the door), but then she made a comment about how our husbands do not have to go spelunking to figure out how dilated we are. I think the men were all relieved at that one.

We finished the class by discussing relaxation techniques, and practicing a hand massage and deep breathing. I was quite satisfied with the class. It helped me feel more relaxed and gave me renewed belief that I can at least try to cope with the pain before begging for an epidural. I might still request one, but I want to try some other techniques first. J said he expected the class to be more about getting on the floor and doing Lamaze breathing (after all we were told to bring a yoga mat and pillow) and less about group activities. I think we likely will do more practice stuff, but the info and just talking about things is very valuable in my opinion too. Three more classes to go, so I’ll keep you updated.

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Looks like I’ll be pushing . . .

I had a follow-up ultrasound today to check on the status of my low lying placenta. First off, it moved so it looks like I won’t need a scheduled c-section after all! Also, the baby’s head is down (I totally thought she was still transverse from the movements that keep getting stronger and stronger). I am 33 weeks, 4 days but apparently baby is measuring at 34 weeks, 1 day. They also estimated that she weighs 5 pounds. I was born at full-term weighing 5 lbs, 6 oz and J was 10 lbs, 8 oz, so Lyla is on track to be in between, around 8.5 lbs. Of course, those are just estimates and I’ve heard they can be quite off.

So everything is sounding and looking good. I think I was so resolved to the idea of a c-section that I started to fear labor and vaginal delivery, but that is what I really wanted before. I also think I’m getting more fearful as it gets closer to being a reality. At one point I said that I would try to go without an epidural but play it by ear and not be upset with myself if I needed one. I can almost guarantee you that I will ask for one, but we’ll see. I’ll still try to hold out, at least at first, to see if I can manage. J and I start prenatal classes this Saturday, so hopefully we’ll learn good natural pain-relief techniques and maybe feeling more prepared will calm my fears. It’s just one of those things that you’ll never truly know what it’s like until you experience it and everyone’s experience and pain tolerance is different.