Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Change


Things change.  I’m an adult.  I know that is just the way the world works.  And change can be good.  In fact, it is probably ultimately good more often than it is bad.  But I’m not generally good with change.  I have a tough time letting go of what is comfortable and familiar to me.  It is hard for me not to see “moving on” as “leaving something behind.”   Lately, I haven’t been left with much of a choice.  Change is happening whether I like it or not. 

This weekend, starting on Friday, was a weekend of change.   The news we received on Friday changed my “Positive Polly” perspective into confusion and sadness.  Then, on Friday night and Saturday, my relationship with my family changed drastically.  My mother (mentally ill), brother (16 with cognitive disabilities), sister (we’ve discussed her previously) and niece (five years old) came to my house, uninvited, to spend the night.  I had a nice dinner and pregnancy announcement planned, but (not surprisingly) things did not work out the way I’d hoped.  My mother’s vehicle broke down about an hour and a half from my house and it had to be towed to a service station.  My husband had to drive the hour and a half each way to pick my family up at the service station and bring them to my house.  My mother told my husband that she would just have to rent a car the next day.  She failed to mention that she had no money with her, no money in her bank account, and she does not have a credit card because she declared bankruptcy a few years ago.  So, when it was time for her to make arrangements to leave on Saturday, you can imagine my surprise when she asked me for my credit card while on the phone with the car rental agency.  I told her she couldn’t have it.  Without getting into too many of the details, I explained that she cannot have hundreds of dollars of our money because: (1) we don’t have it lying around for her to take as needed; (2) we now have a baby on the way and need to save for what is going to be a tight budget;  (3) she already “owes” me tens of thousands of dollars that I have written off because I know I will never be paid back; and (4) she isn’t entitled to our money just because I am related to her.  She yelled and screamed and then went to the other end of the house where my husband was.  I heard her tell him that I told her to ask him for his credit card!!!  I couldn’t believe it!!!  It was like dealing with a teenager who is addicted to drugs.  How could she lie like that, and think she wouldn’t be found out?  The Prince and I had already discussed that my family was not to be given any money this trip (The Prince is the one who finally made me realize I can’t keep funneling our money to them because I’m not helping their situation, I’m just enabling them).  In my not at all hormonal state, I screamed at my mother that there would be no more handouts.  She is on mental health disability and I understand she is too crazy to hold down a job, but she chooses to buy $80 mail order “real life baby dolls” and new furniture at 26% interest rates.  Those behaviors are in her control and I’m not paying for irresponsibility.  She told me that she’s glad I’m pregnant so I will get to experience what it feels like to be stabbed in the heart by my ungrateful child.  I didn’t expect my family to be as awesome about the pregnancy as The Prince’s family, but I didn’t expect it to get that bad, either. 

The Prince barely held his tongue.  I told him we were stuck because we couldn’t give her money but we also needed to get my family back on the road and heading the four hours it would take them to get back home.  I was cramping and sick and couldn’t take anymore stress.  (I should add that my sister was incredibly kind and tried to act as a buffer during this ordeal…but she isn’t really equipped to stand up to my mother, so she ended up as sad and stressed as I was).  We ended up calling The Prince’s parents and asked to borrow their extra vehicle for my mother to use until her checks clear next weekend.  My in-laws are the sweetest people ever, so they quickly agreed even though it is an inconvenience for them.  The Prince and I are scared that my mother will try to keep the vehicle, as she isn’t going to have money to get her car fixed and she has no credit card (a requirement for most rental car agencies).  She won’t speak to me on the phone…and won’t acknowledge my existence while on the phone with The Prince.   I know she’ll speak to me again when she needs money, but she crossed a line with her comments this weekend and our relationship will never be what it was before this weekend.   I’m saddened by that change, but I’m handling it better than I usually do.  I now have a good reason to distance myself from my mother’s craziness and distance is what I need right now. 

Also, after writing yesterday’s post about the comments made by my friend, I received a message from her that she was none too happy with my post and that our friendship was essentially going to be placed on hold, as I don’t appreciate her efforts to stay friends with me even though my pregnancy causes her some sadness.  I understand where she is coming from.  In hindsight, posting about the insensitive comments she made instead of addressing them with her directly was bad behavior on my part.  I think I was afraid of the confrontation that would ensue and so I took the passive (if you can call it that) approach.  But here is the thing…I’m not sorry that our friendship is changing.  I have a couple of friendships that I’ve made throughout my IF years that I really value but also realize that I have to really work at.  This friendship was one of those…I think we were both working really hard at staying friends.  A couple of my friends make comments that hurt my feelings on a regular basis, but I’ve been afraid to address the issue with them because I don’t want to lose them as friends, or I’m afraid that our friendship will change into something stiff and awkward.  But what I realized, reading my friend’s message yesterday, is that our friendship already had changed…I just wasn’t acknowledging it.  We are in such different places in our lives and our journeys, and we have been since even before I got pregnant, that we would be better served appreciating each other for what we are – two amazing strong women who have gone through IF hell - and not trying to make our relationship something that it just isn’t anymore.

So, in summation, there are some changes happening that, while uncomfortable, are healthy and ultimately positive.  You can try to swim upstream, or you can turn over, put your feet up and surrender to the current....it's going to keep flowing anyways.  It’s sad that, as usual, it has taken me so long to grasp a concept that is so basic…but at least I’ve got it now.  And while I am certainly not a “go-with-the-flow” kind of girl yet, I’ve got potential.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Still Dealing With Infertility

A fertility friend who is still waiting for her happily ever after wrote to me on Friday, after reading my post about my loss.  She informed me that the title to my blog was misleading and potentially hurtful to others.  People may read my blog title that says I am waiting for a positive pregnancy test and read my blog only to be unpleasantly surprised that I've already gotten a positive pregnancy test.  It was strongly recommended that I fix the title.  Here's the problem with that (Okay, I actually have multiple problems with that).  First, on the day that I find out I lost a twin, I don't need to be told that I am hurting others struggling with infertility, nor is it reasonable to think that I am concerned with updating my blog at that particular time.  I know I probably sound like a real witch right now, but I just think that a fellow infertility survivor should have been able to be more compassionate and thoughtful about the timing of those comments. 

But the bigger problem with the title issue is that I don't know where I stand yet...so I can't change my title right now.  It is true that I am not waiting for my first positive pregnancy test anymore, but I am still feeling very much infertile, and my faith in this pregnancy has been shaken to the point that I'm not ready to modify anything.  I hope that doesn't cause other people pain or mislead them, but this blog is mine and I need to follow my heart.  Right now, my heart is fighting with my head and they are both too confused to make any decisions.  So for now, my blog isn't getting updated.  Hopefully soon I will figure some stuff out and will update who I'm following, what my totle portrays and my "about me" section.  But for now, I'm lost, so I ask for everyone's patience.

As most of you know, I've been struggling since I got pregnant to figure out my identity. Well, in the last three days it has become clear to me...I'm still struggling with infertility.  I've played over the words the nurse said on Friday a million times in my head...trying to decide if I put a more negative spin on it than I should have.  I've reviewed (once with a magnifying glass) the ultrasound pictures of the sac that we didn't see a baby in last week...trying to determine whether the sac got smaller or the perspective was different.  I've imagined that I can see a small dot in the sac and that it is a baby.  I've cried and cried over the loss of the twin, and then I've convinced myself that the ultrasound was a fluke...that it just didn't pick-up the baby, but the baby is still there.  My heart keeps telling me that the twin isn't gone, that it is fighting and needs me to believe in it.  At the same time, my head is telling me to accept what I know. 

These feelings are all far too familiar to me.  I'm doing the same thing I would do during each of our IVF cycles.  The evidence would be there, that the cycle was getting cancelled or that we didn't have enough mature eggs to make it to transfer.  And yet, my heart would tell me to keep hoping.  I would believe that things were going to be okay even though I knew they wouldn't.  Believing and knowing are two different things...and every woman I know who has struggled with infertility is acutely aware of that difference.  I feel myself spreading out the pain of a loss that same way I would do after a transfer...peeing on a stick each day, mourning each negative HPT, so that the negative beta test didn't sting as much.  I'm realistic about what is going to happen at our next ultrasound, and yet, I still have the infertility mentality - my heart won't let go of the hope that both twins are still there.  Maybe this is the mentality of everyone who has to grieve, maybe it is not exclusive to infertiles.  But I feel like I own the duality, and I never experienced it until my infertility journey.

I apologize that my posts don't seem to have much of a point right now.  I apologize that I am accepting everyone's support but not doing much commenting right now.  I promise to catch up on all of the blogs I follow and to update my blog as soon as I can.  I want to thank everyone who has been supportive.  Some of you have shared your experiences with me and I can't tell you how helpful that insight is.  I wish I was being a better blogger and a better friend right now.  All I can do is promise that I will be better someday soon.  I've become an expert griever over the last three years...I'll move on from this.  Until then, thank you again for your patience.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Good News and Really Bad News

To say that I am lost right now would be a huge understatement.  We just got back from our 6 week ultrasound.  I’ve been incredibly sick all week and the nurses were concerned from the start because I had trouble staying in the room because I kept getting sick.  Then, drawing blood was almost impossible because I am so dehydrated.  By the time they took my blood pressure and heart rate, the doctor was already writing me a prescription for medication that will help me keep food and fluids down and that will also help me sleep.  My blood pressure is a little high, my heart rate is off the charts.  I’ve known all week that I wasn’t doing so great, but I just took comfort in the fact that I was so sick because I was housing two little babies…and that’s a lot of change to adjust to.

But then they did the ultrasound…and there was only one heartbeat.  It’s a strong heartbeat, especially given that we are only 6 weeks and 1 day pregnant.  But it’s one heartbeat.  The other gestational sac that we saw last week (which was actually the bigger one last week… and the one they found first) has gotten a little smaller since last week and there is no visible yolk sac in it, much less an embryo.  The nurse doing the scan was really sweet.  She said “Twins are fickle little things.  If we don’t see a heartbeat next week then we’ll know for sure that it decided not to stick around.  But don’t worry.  Your body will just reabsorb it and your cute-as-a-button baby with the healthy heartbeat will do just fine.  Sometimes these things just happen.”  The nurse also said that it isn’t guaranteed that the second baby won’t show up next week.  She said that sometimes with twins one will just be tucked up in a spot that is tough to see until the 7th week.  But she won’t be shocked if the sac is gone or almost gone next week. If she had to bet one way or the other, she would bet that we have one baby.

I held it together and smiled until she was out of the room and then I lost it.  I started sobbing.  I was angry with The Prince because he wasn’t upset at all about losing one…he was just so excited to see the heartbeat on the one that’s doing well.  So, needing to lash out, I said “You seem a little too relieved.  I guess you don’t have to worry about daycare costs now.”  He insisted that he just isn’t going to get upset or get his hopes up about the twin because he thinks it is too early to know anything.  He said he’ll deal with it next week.  I explained that I’ve already researched the “vanishing twin” phenomenon for hours and, I can assure him, that things don’t look good.  (When I got home, I compared this week’s pictures with last week’s…the twin is definitely gone.  The sac has collapsed to about half the size that it was last week and the edges aren’t defined anymore like they were last week.)  He feels like we should be happy with one.  It is what we set out to have and we have one very healthy baby to be thankful for.  Plus, he said he’s been worried since last week that my body won’t be able to handle twins.  I have a lot of health issues and have had three uterine suspensions because my uterus keeps falling and getting stuck to my pelvic floor by adhesions…without the weight of babies in it.  He thinks that maybe this is nature’s way of taking care of what would end up being a dangerous situation for me and the babies later on.

I hear him, but I can’t process what he is saying.  All I can think is that I should be so happy and feeling so blessed to have one healthy baby…something I was beginning to doubt I was ever going to get…and instead I am crying and grieving a baby that we never even really saw.  I feel terrible that I wish I could go back to last week and not say anything about the possibility of twins…so that the nurse wouldn’t have moved the wand and I would never have known that there were ever two.  I have always had a “better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all” kind of girl.  But I’m not so sure in this situation.  If I had never known, I would just be over the moon thrilled right now, instead of bawling. 

My family is going to be here in a couple of hours and I don’t know how to stomach making my pregnancy announcement to them under these circumstances.  They are going to expect me to be so insanely happy, after everything we’ve gone through to get pregnant.  I don’t know if I can fake “insanely happy” right now.  I don’t know if I can even try.  And I’m pretty sure I shouldn’t have to fake it…I should just feel that way.  How ungrateful am I that I am complaining about making a pregnancy announcement to my family?  What the hell is wrong with me?  Five months ago I would have given a limb to be in this position – one healthy little baby in my belly.  But now…UGH!  I don’t even know what to say.  I’m sorry and I hope this post isn’t angering or upsetting anyone.  I haven’t forgotten my IF struggle or what so many women are going through right now.  I know in my head how lucky I am…I just can’t get my heart on board right now.  It’s too busy being broken.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Uniquely Unqualified

I know I have not been leaving very many comments on other people’s blogs lately.  It isn’t because I’ve been too busy to read your posts.  My most recent wave of insomnia has allowed me to keep pretty up-to-date with my blog reading.  It also isn’t because I don’t care about what people are going through.  I still care deeply for each of the people who write the blogs I follow.

The reason that I have not been commenting is because I am in a strange place right now…a place where I feel uniquely unqualified to do anything…especially comment on other people’s situations.  I feel like a walking oxymoron – a pregnant infertile.  And that title is making me uncomfortable.  I don’t know that I still have the right to be giving advice or telling people to “hang in there because it will get better.”  Every time I even think those “comments,” a little voice inside of me says: “That’s easy for you to say, Princess.  You are pregnant.  No one wants to hear your two cents.  You aren’t in the trenches anymore.”  And even if I could quiet that mean little voice long enough to hit “send,” I find that frequently I can’t even think of anything intelligent and helpful to say.  I can offer support, but do people still want my support?

I remember that one of the blogs I read when I got started with blogging, in January, took a dramatic turn after only a couple of weeks, when the author got pregnant with twins.  I followed the blog for a few weeks after the pregnancy announcement, but then I had to stop because I felt like what she was writing about was no longer relevant to my situation.  Now I’m that person.  I’m becoming irrelevant to the situation that most of my blog buddies are in.  I haven’t changed the title of my blog yet, even though “the quest for the ever elusive positive pregnancy test” is now over.  I simply don’t know what to do with this blog.  I don’t know what it is supposed to become.

Do I tackle infertility issues based on my past experiences and make it a more “informational” type blog?  Do I continue to discuss my everyday experiences during the pregnancy, even though I am consciously trying to shift my focus to positive thoughts about the pregnancy, instead of the pain and grief of the three years it took to get here?  Is there a way to create a happy medium?  Can a pregnant infertile write an infertility blog? 

I used to see myself as this wise (I know…and apparently pretentious) self-made expert on infertility.  I felt confident giving advice, pointing people towards sources of information and pouring out the support that we all need and want.  But I don’t feel confident about anything anymore.  My self-given label is changing, my perspective is changing and I am feeling really irrelevant.  What does a fairy tale princess do when she’s ended one tale but hasn’t yet fully embraced the next one?  Can she exist in both simultaneously?  Do we care what happened to her in the first tale if we're reading her second tale?  I don't even feel qualified to answer my own questions right now, but they still need to be asked.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

The First Announcement

The announcement to The Prince’s family went really well.  I had to fine-tune the ideas discussed last week, to make it match the “twins” theme.  That included modification of the poem for the grandma and grandpa-to-be, and changing the card idea a little.  The card given to his sister had the ultrasound picture of Baby 1 on the front, saying “My belly-to-belly cell phone service stinks!  Please tell my cousin Taylor that I am available for play dates in January 2012.”  Then, on the inside of the card it had the ultrasound picture of both babies, with Baby #2 saying “Me too!  Me too!  Tell Taylor that I am available for play dates too,”  and Baby #1 saying “Okay, okay.  Tell Taylor that we both are available in January 2012.” 

The Prince’s sister read the card first, before seeing the onesie (Option A…the choice that won the vote).  I was worried because she seemed to sort of rush through without reading everything…but then she said “There’s two?”  And his Mom immediately threw her arms around me and started jumping up and down saying “There’s two!  There’s two!”  There was lots of crying as his sister took the onesie out of the bag.  The Prince even got teary…I think because his Mom was crying.  I gave a framed picture of the modified poem (it was harder to work with plurals than you would think) to The Prince’s mother and father (the father had come out of the kitchen at that point).  They looked at it, but didn’t read it.  The Prince’s Mom was so in shock, and so happy, she couldn’t stop hugging us and cheering long enough to read it (she Facebooked me last night to let me know that she had read the poem when she got home and it made her cry happy tears again).  It was so great.  I waited so long to make that announcement and it couldn’t have gone any better.

Any worry I had about the timing being awkward for his family was unfounded.  They were thrilled for us.  The only tough thing is that The Prince’s Mom is a lot like him.  He makes me open my Christmas presents the day he gets them, because he can’t wait until Christmas to see my reaction.  I’ve learned to just go with it.  I didn’t realize his Mom has the same impatience.  She wants to tell his extended family at the shower next Sunday because the family never gets together and she thinks they should get to hear the news in person.  I’ve asked her not to and explained that we don’t want to have to “untell” anyone if something changes.  I also pointed out (outside of the earshot of The Prince’s sister) that we absolutely do not want our news intruding on her day.  His mother brushed that off, saying “She doesn’t even want a shower.  Her mother-in-law is forcing her to have one.  Trust me.  She won’t mind.”  But I stuck with my insistence that the shower wasn’t the right time to tell people.  I’m hoping she can be convinced, but I have a feeling there might be conversations behind my back with a “don’t tell that I told you” addendum.  I won’t be angry with his Mom if it happens.  I adore all of The Prince’s family and I am thrilled that his Mom is so excited.  She’ll be the one having to “untell” people if she tells them behind my back, so I guess it is fine if things go that way.

My family announced to me, early last week, that they are coming to my house for dinner this upcoming Friday.  I was perturbed because I wasn’t asked if it was okay.  I was just told that they were coming from four hours away and that I could just not open the door “if I hate them that much.”  Grrrrr.  I do NOT feel like cleaning the house and entertaining.  But The Prince thinks it is fine and that we should just make the announcement to my family while they are here, so everyone is on the same page and they feel included.  I’m not thrilled at the prospect of telling my family.  I know insensitive and stupid comments will be made by my mother.  But…I understand The Prince’s position and he understands that any “untelling” of my family will have to be done by him because I would be waiting to tell them if it were just up to me.  We’re bracing, as a united couple, for what might happen on Friday.  At least it will be over then, and I will not be concerned about whether my family’s feelings will be hurt if they find out “through the grapevine” that I am pregnant and didn’t tell them. 

Friday, May 20, 2011

Our First Ultrasound...

Today we went for our first ultrasound.  I wasn’t expecting much, as we are only five weeks and one day along.  The Prince came to join me a few minutes before it was time for the ultrasound to begin.  While we waited, he answered work emails, called his personal trainer, and did other annoying things that indicated to me that he was generally disinterested in what was going on.  But then…the nurse came in the room.

The Prince has never seen a prenatal ultrasound before.  As the nurse positioned herself and the machine to get started, I looked over at The Prince.  He had his hands cupped over his mouth, his face was covered with sweat and he was hyperventilating a little.  I asked if he was okay and he said with a shrug “Yeah.  Of course”...but he never took his hands away from his mouth or his eyes off the screen.  “Is that it?” he said, pointing at the screen.  The nurse hadn’t put the probe in yet.  She smiled politely and said “Nope.  Not yet.”

A few seconds later, I started crying.  A beautiful dark circle had appeared on the screen, with a tiny light circle inside of it.  The Prince said “What?  Is that bad?”  And the nurse responded “Nope.  That’s a beautiful sac and if you look right there, we can see the yolk sac.”  He said, “The yolk?  Like a chicken?  Where’s the baby?”  Taking over for the very patient nurse, I said “The baby is still too small to see honey, but the sacs mean the tiny dot of a baby is in there.  Things look good." 

With that, The Prince leaned back and started breathing deeply.  I said to the nurse, “I think he’s relieved.  My Hcg was pretty high, so there was some thought that it might be twins.  But it looks like we have one healthy baby cookin’.”  The nurse said “Well, sometimes we only see one at first and then a second appears later…”  She stopped mid-sentence because as she said “a second appears,” the probe shifted and a second gestational sac, complete with a yolk sac appeared.  The two little babes couldn’t have been further apart from each other in my uterus, but there they were…like two little eyes staring at us from the screen.  We have twins!!!

The Prince said “No…where?  I don’t see it.”  I kept asking him if he was okay, because although he was smiling, his face had become pale and he looked like he might faint.  The nurse walked him through what he was looking at and, for a second, he teared up.  He didn’t let any tears fall…but he was close.  To his credit, he said only positive things to me about the “twin situation” (except for one joking comment about how we are “now officially going to be poor forever”…a comment that I can forgive under the circumstances).  He kissed me a lot (even in front of the nurse, which is not The Prince’s usual style) and kept on smiling.  He was shaking when he said good-bye to me and he still looked like he might pass out, but I think he’s in shock and he will be just fine once the shock wears off.

As for me, I had been a little worried about this scenario.  What would I think and how would I feel if I found out we were having twins?  Would I panic?  Would the pregnancy stop being “fun” and start being scary?  It turns out that, as usual, I worried for nothing.  I was elated when I saw that second dot.  In fact, the nurse chastised me for giggling so hard that she couldn’t get a still picture of “Hamish 2” after we found him (or her).  I was so excited, laughter was the only response I could give.  I was literally bursting with joy. 

My cheeks are still hurting a little from smiling so hard and I feel this warmth all through me.  I’m happy and content and feeling so good.  I may be poor for the rest of my life, but right now…today…I feel like the richest girl in the world.    

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Honeymoon Is Over



What a difference a good night’s sleep makes.  Yesterday, I was in rough shape.  The multiple nights in a row of only a couple of hours of sleep had taken its toll physically and emotionally.  Then, last night, something amazing happened.  I slept…the WHOLE night.  And when I woke up this morning, I felt wonderful.  The thoughts that have been triggering my anxiety lately were still there, but I was able to let them go quickly.  I smiled and joked with my husband this morning, instead of scuffling around him in zombie-mode like I have been the last few mornings.  I sang with the radio on my way into work.  It was lovely (not my singing…but the happy commute).

And then I went to a doctor’s appointment.  When the fertility center did my second beta test, on Monday, they called and let me know that I needed to start thyroid medication because my tests showed that my thyroid was underactive.  The only problem is, I’m already on thyroid medication for hypothyroidism and I have been for over 10 years.  Apparently, even being a little bit pregnant can make your thyroid go crazy, so I had to set up another round of blood work and an appointment with my primary care doctor to follow-up on the thyroid issue.  Yesterday, the lab drew blood to test my cholesterol, blood sugar, insulin level (gestational diabetes and Type 2 diabetes runs in my family, so we test my thyroid and insulin each month), and thyroid function.  Today, when I saw my doctor, she actually hugged me and squealed a little because she was so happy that I am finally pregnant.  But then, she looked at her computer and the mood turned somber.

One of my two thyroid tests shows that my level is three times what it should be (indicating a severely underactive thyroid) while the other thyroid test came back completely normal.  Both tests were normal last month, at my check-up.  Also, my insulin level is already just over the normal range and my blood sugar came back very low.  Usually, high insulin means high blood sugar, so my lab result is a bit contradictory and is completely different from last month’s lab work.  On the bright side, my cholesterol is good even though my weight is not.  Ultimately, the doctor said that, because I am pregnant, she isn’t comfortable interpreting these results and I need to start seeing an endocrinologist.  I also need to pay attention to what, how much and how often I am eating because I am not consistently getting enough nutrients if my blood sugar is so low.  The doctor recommended that I start journaling what I eat and then check where my calories are coming from so I can make healthier choices.  

I knew this was coming.  I’m starting a pregnancy obese, with a family history of gestational diabetes.  Of course I was going to have to start policing my food better and making healthier choices.  But I just thought I would get a slightly longer honeymoon period…maybe one month when I could eat whatever I wanted whenever I wanted, 100% guilt-free, because I’m pregnant.  Apparently, the honeymoon is already over and although it pains me to do so, I will be doing a thorough cupboard and refrigerator cleaning very soon…ditching many of the “vice” foods I bought to “celebrate” being pregnant.

Now I need to decide how much I want to tell The Prince.  He is all into body building and drinking protein shakes, etc.  He is REALLY good about being self-controlled with his nutrition and he is REALLY good about being an inspector of anything I put in my mouth, if he has a reason to be.  I don’t tell him when I’m dieting anymore because I want to jam my doughnut right in his face when he says “Are you supposed to be having that?”  Guilt is not helpful to me when I’m struggling to do what I need to do.  I’ve tried to explain to him that I need support, not a food policeman.  But he is who he is, and he can’t change his response to my behavior anymore than I can change my behavior.

So…do I tell him?  The stakes are higher this time, so maybe I need the accountability in all its ugliness.  On the other hand, if I feel guilty, I will be miserable and might overeat in response.  I feel like I should tell him because he can be helpful about eliminating the foods we shouldn’t have in the house (getting rid of temptation) and because, God forbid I have a hypoglycemic attack, he should know what is going on.  But I feel like I shouldn’t tell him because he is going to worry about the situation and might blame me if something goes wrong with the pregnancy.  What would you do???



Wednesday, May 18, 2011

A Letter To An Old Friend...


Welcome back Anxiety, my old friend.  I would say it has been too long, but, in truth, it hasn’t been long enough.  I thought we had an understanding…that you would leave me alone, at least for the next month, so I could enjoy being pregnant before you moved in and ruined it.  You did not live up to your end of the bargain.  Instead, you have crashed my party like an unwanted guest that just won’t leave.  You’ve left me shaking and gasping for breath, as my chest gets tighter and tighter.  You have me writing a blog post at 2:00 a.m., because, for the second night in a row, you won’t let me sleep.  You have my stomach in knots and my mind racing, and it isn’t fair.  I wasn’t supposed to see you so soon.

I understand that The Prince opened the door to you the other night, but I am really irritated that you leave him alone when it isn’t convenient for him to deal with you, and yet you follow me around at work, and while I’m eating, and while I’m trying to sleep.  Even my dreams aren’t safe from you…and I’m not the one that invited you in.  You cause me so much pain, yet you are so easy to embrace and so difficult to kick out.

At least I’ve learned a lot about you over the last three years.  I know that you’ve gotten comfortable in my life the last couple of days, at least in part because I have allowed myself to consult Dr. Google on everything I fear about being pregnant and being a mother.  That stops today.  No more Googling…anything!  I also know that you are taking advantage of my fear of doing yoga this early in the pregnancy.  I know how you hate it when I do yoga, as yoga makes it difficult for you to stay with me.  Well…tomorrow I am going to add an additional morning walk to my current brief lunchtime walk…and I’m going to use my “walk time” to breathe you away.  I don’t care that it is raining straight through next week, I like the rain.  And nothing is going to stop me from walking away from you.  Oh, and in three weeks, yoga is coming back too…so be forewarned.

I won’t have you ruining my “happily ever after.”  I know you have the power to do it, but I’m not going to let it happen.  I’ve worked too hard, and waited too long, to have this moment of joy taken away from me.  And, I know that if I let you rest in my home, even for a little while, it will be even harder to make you go away.  So, you need to leave now.  I know you can’t be ignored, but you can be starved.  Our home will have a “no anxiety-fueling policy” from now on.  You’ll see how strong The Prince and I can be when we need to be.  Now leave me alone and let me sleep, so I can keep you at bay tomorrow.

Your Former Friend,
The Princess






                                           



Monday, May 16, 2011

The 100th Post!!!!

When I started this blog, I was in a place of desperation.  I felt sad and conflicted about our use of an egg donor.  I was teetering on despair and hadn’t felt hopeful for a long time.  I decided to start blogging because I felt like my head would likely explode, and my chest would implode, if I didn’t get my thoughts and feelings onto paper.  I never expected to tell anyone I knew about my blog and I never expected people to actually read it.  I just needed a sounding board.  I was fully embracing the shame and self-loathing that comes with IF…in fact, I was drowning in it, and I didn’t trust my own inner dialogue to guide me in the right direction any more. 

You hear stories in the news about strangers committing random acts of kindness, and the impact it makes on the lives that they touch and the world in general.  I want every one of you to know that every comment you’ve ever posted on this blog was one of those amazing random acts of kindness.  Although I have shared my blog with some of my in-person fertility friends, the vast majority of you have never met me, don’t know who I am and likely never will.  And yet, you’ve shared your hearts with me.  You’ve had opportunities to kick me while I’m down or to affirm my fears and doubts, but you never have.  This blog started out being about me, but I feel like it has become more about all of you…and our friendships…because I truly consider each of you my friend.  And every day, when I write, I feel like I’m writing to my friends…like I’m sharing myself…not just analyzing myself.

It is strange looking at how much has changed in five months.  The last five months, since the date I began my blog, have passed in slow motion.  I think, in the IF journey, time does run thick like molasses.  But if I look at my old posts, I realize that a lot…I mean A LOT…has happened during those five months.  And when I look at what has happened in terms of my personal growth since January, I have to say that five months doesn’t seem like such a long time to have packed in so many blessings.    

Speaking of blessings, today we got our second blood test results.  Our level was 715.  We had been expecting around 300, or maybe 500.  The average HcG level for a healthy singleton pregnancy at 18dpo is around 303 – 522.  The average HcG level for a healthy twin pregnancy at this point is 499 – 963.  So, although our HcG level is a bit high, I personally still feel like we have one Baby Hamish cookin’ in the oven.  The nurse I spoke with this afternoon also said that people rarely fall within the averages and you can't really know anything until an ultrasound confirms it.  But The Prince has jumped the gun on his twins fears...and he is beside himself.  His first words when I told him the level was, “I hope you like our house, because if we have twins, we’re going to be stuck in it for the rest of our lives.”  Poor Prince.  I suggested that he give himself one month to be happy about the pregnancy no matter if we have one little Hamish or two little Hamish (or would it be “Hamishes”.  Perhaps “Hami” is the plural?).  There will be lots of time for him to freak out over finances and plan for the future.  He’s trying but I think his hair has turned at least 50% gray since last week. 

There are a number of possible alternate endings for this fairy tale, some happy, some not so happy and some "happy with terms and conditions."  But no matter what, looking back on this blog, I am immensely satisfied with this leg of the journey and how my story unfolded over the last five months.  Five months ago, I didn't truly believe I could get pregnant.  Now, my dream has come true.  Whether this ends up being “happily ever after” or just the beginning of another volume of our IF story, I feel so blessed and so thankful to have this blog, to have my first BFP and to have all of you sharing this journey.  Happy 100th Post Day (Oh yeah…it deserves it’s own day of celebration...as do each of you)!   

Sunday, May 15, 2011

I Got 99 Problems…Lack of Ideas Ain’t One

Okay.  The title of this post is admittedly awful (sorry Jay-Z), but this is my 99th post, and I had to find some kind of tie-in with the subject of today’s post….which would be…announcing to The Prince’s family.  Since before we found out how difficult it was going to be for us to get pregnant, I have been thinking about the wonderful ways I would break our happy news.  Since before I started taking the hormone medications, I’ve had my eyes well-up with tears as I played through various announcement scenarios in my head.  And on more than one occasion, I’d decided how I would reveal our long-awaited pregnancy to the families…only the idea I’d decided on become outdated or clich├ęd because the wait was too long.  But now the wait is over…and while I’ve narrowed the field down to just a couple of ideas, I’m not sure which of my favorite ideas is best.  So, I’m turning to my girls (not my breasts…you guys) for some advice.  Below, I will discuss the various options and will get your feedback.  Then, after the announcement next weekend, I will post about which idea we went with and how it went.  I totally understand if anyone doesn’t want to participate…but I truly want every step of this pregnancy to be shared by the amazing women who supported me on my journey…so you get a vote in the announcement process.

Idea Number One:

This one has an A and B option as well.  In this idea, we will say that we have an early baby shower gift for Taylor (Taylor is the name that my sister-in-law has chosen for her baby - boy or girl) that we just couldn’t wait until the shower to give (this will insure his mother’s and sister’s presence at the big reveal, without raising suspicion).  In the card, we will put a Photo-shopped picture of our…well our gestational sac I guess…with a cartoon “thought bubble” coming from out of the sac.  In the bubble, it will say:

 “Ugh!  My belly to belly cell phone service stinks!  Can you please tell my cousin Taylor that I will be available for playdates in January 2012?  Thanks, Baby (Our last name).” 

Then (in case that isn’t clear enough…I need to be sure given The Prince’s reaction to “The Situation”), we will have one of the following onesies wrapped as a gift…


Option A


Option B- This one is a 6-12 month size.  Thus, acknowledging the due date.



That’s Idea #1.


Idea Number Two:

We tell The Prince’s mother that we have an early anniversary present that we couldn’t wait to give them (his parent’s anniversary is in mid-June, but I haven’t been able to think of a more subtle way of launching into giving them a gift…and this could get his Dad involved in the gift opening).  The card attached will say on the front… “This is what love at first sight is all about…” and on the inside of the card…we will put a picture of the first ultrasound (again…just the sac will show, but I think that’s okay).  Then, wrapped as a gift, we will have a Grandparents picture frame with the following poem in it….

“I do not have a face to see
Or put inside a frame.
I do not have soft cheeks to kiss
I don't yet have a name.
You can't yet hold my tiny hands
Nor whisper in my ear.
It's still too soon to sing a song,
Or cuddle me so near.
But all will change come January,
That's when they say I'm due.
I'm your new grandson or granddaughter.
I can't wait ‘til I meet you.
All I ask between now and then
Is your patience while I grow.
I promise I'll be worth the wait.
Because of all the love we'll know.
So what I have to give you now,
Is a wish to you from me.
I cannot wait to be a part
Of this wonderful family.

Love Baby (our last name)”


I know this poem has been around for awhile, and isn’t original, but I can’t read it without crying.  I tried writing something original, because I HATE copying other people… but I just can’t come up with something better than this.  The benefit of this idea is that they have something tangible to put in their home to remind them of their grandchild-to-be…and his Mom is weepy like me, so I know that it will move her to tears over and over the way it does me.  Plus, she always opens cards first and the card may be subtle enough that she won’t get the announcement until she opens the gift.

I should note that it is unlikely that we will travel to tell my mother in person our big news…in late June or early July.  So, we will likely send her the framed poem with a regular “can’t wait to meet you, Grandma” card.  I mention this because it would be nice for both sets of parents to have the same framed poem (making this a more appealing option), but I will also get a chance to use the gift part of this idea, even if not with The Prince’s family (making the first idea seem like a better one).      

Idea Number Three:

The next idea is to somehow combine the two ideas into one.  Give the gifts at the same time and see who opens their gift first?  The appeal of this option is that I don’t have to choose which idea to go with…as fate will sort of decide for me and both of my favorite ideas will get used.  Also, if his sister happens to be out on a catering run…or goes home sick… we always have the back-up plan.  The other good thing is that, if they opt to do one at a time, we get the reaction from one of the announcement gifts…and then a second wave of reaction from the other gift/card.  The downside is…how do I come up with an excuse for why his mother and sister are both getting random gifts and cards from us?  I think I managed to set up the dinner on Saturday without raising suspicion…but if I all of the sudden want to assemble the family for random gift-giving, someone might guess the reason before the “announcements” even have a chance.  And The Prince’s family is a family that yells out the answers during Jeopardy (people after my own heart).  If someone guesses it…they won’t be shy about yelling the possibility out pre-gift opening.


Okay…so that’s the three ideas, with an understanding that Ideas # 1 and # 3 require an opinion on whether onesie A or onesie B is cuter.  Also, PLEASE provide any input you might have regarding how to solve the snags in my announcement ideas that I have raised.  For those of you who choose to participate…thank you SO MUCH for your help!!!  I can’t wait to see what you have to say.    


Saturday, May 14, 2011

Mending and Moving On...



This morning, The Prince and I had marriage counseling, and the counselor  (and I) acknowledged that there has been a drastic shift in attitude and effort by The Prince, since we started 7 months ago.  We have truly become a team and, although there are still some communication issues to work out, we have a game plan for that.  The counselor noted that we are calmer together and seem to be caring more about the other person’s needs than our own (agreed…most of the time).  Our next counseling session will likely be our last…and I am hopeful that we are going to be one of those couples who come through IF feeling like we’ve gained more than we’ve lost.  Our relationship has certainly changed, and I’ve had to mourn the loss of some of the things that IF has taken away from our marriage, while simultaneously learning to find and appreciate the gifts this experience has given us.  If nothing else, I know that, should the road get rocky again, we have a safety net…we know marriage counseling is an option for us and that it has helped us as a couple.  So, hopefully, we will know to come back to it, if it looks like we are ever heading into stormy waters again, before we get to the point of our boat capsizing.

One of the issues we discussed at counseling today was my concern that The Prince hasn’t told anyone about our positive pregnancy test.  I completely understand why we are waiting to tell most everyone, but it worries me that he hasn’t told ANYONE…not even one best friend.  The Prince explained that he has heard me talk about so many of my friend’s losses and about all of the things that can go wrong, and how devastating losses are, he can’t bring himself to get excited until he sees a heartbeat on an ultrasound.  I explained that my fear is, if something were to go south this time around (not saying it will…just a hypothetical “if”), The Prince will have no one to provide him with emotional support…and that’s why he needs to tell someone sooner rather than later.  I know I won’t be able to be supportive…and I think he is kidding himself if he thinks he won’t need any support to get through that disappointment.  I asked The Prince, in counseling, to tell me who he would turn to for support if we had a miscarriage, and suggested that he choose that person to tell the news to now.  He said he would want to turn to his mother, but he knows we agreed to wait to tell the families until after we see a heartbeat…so he guesses he wouldn’t turn to anyone for support.  It broke my heart to hear him say that.  He cares so much about sticking to “our” plan, that he is knowingly leaving himself with no safety net if things don’t work out.

So, I decided to change our plan…and The Prince is relieved.  He said that if we hadn’t moved up the “tell his Mom” date, he was afraid it would have accidentally slipped out anyways.  We are telling his family next weekend, as that was the first time we could get together with everyone, and we agreed we didn’t want to tell anyone over the phone.  Next weekend will get us past the first ultrasound, which won’t show much, but is a good milestone to point to as “officially, officially pregnant.”  We’ll go to his parents’ restaurant next Saturday night, where his mother, father and sister all work…and we’ll make our announcement.  I was worried about telling his family before his sister’s baby shower…which is 2 weekends from now…as I don’t want to seem like we are trying to steal anything away from her on her special day.  But I think that, in the long run, it may be better for his family to get this done before the shower, because I know The Prince’s sister and mother have been worried about how the baby shower is going to effect me emotionally, and this will put their minds at ease.  At least, that’s how The Prince and I are rationalizing telling them before the baby shower.  We still will not be telling my family for a long time, and we will let his family know that they are the only ones who are being told because we don’t want to have to “untell” other people in a worst case scenario.  (Tomorrow I’m going to write about my announcement ideas and take an opinion poll.  I’ve had three years to think of ideas, and now that the Big Announce is almost here, I am finding it difficult to make a decision about which idea is the best.)

Ultimately, this week has been a week full of firsts – first HPT, first positive beta, first non-sucky Mother’s Day during IF journey, first time leaving marriage counseling feeling like what was broke is not only fixed…but is better than it used to be.  And while I am sad to see this week end, I’m looking forward to next week, which will be a week full of “seconds” – second beta test, second intralipid infusion, and second major pregnancy announcement.  Thank you so much to everyone who is still taking this journey with me. 




Friday, May 13, 2011

We Are Experiencing Techinical Difficulties...

This will make more sense later in the post...This is not The Prince, but the picture gives you an idea of what he looks like in his poofy robe.

Apparently, Blogger is having some technical difficulties, as I have been having a very tough time accessing my blog.  My post from yesterday has been totally erased.  Thank you to all of you who posted your kind comments and advice in response to yesterday’s post, before it disappeared.  Your comments made a lot of sense (of course) and really helped with my anxiety.  That said, there’s this silly, superstitious part of me that is trying to read something into my “first positive beta post” being the post that disappears, but I’m not going to allow myself to go there.  If nausea is any indication, things are going great.

For those who didn’t get to see yesterday’s post, the big news was that my first beta test came back at 117 and my second beta is Monday.  I won’t rehash all of my feelings about everything that is going on and, even if I did, they might not be the same as what I wrote yesterday.  My thoughts and feelings about being pregnant and, more specifically, being a pregnant infertile, change from minute to minute.  For the most part, today was a good day.  I’ve spent less time “feeling” and more time “doing.”  I bought my first pregnancy book and a belly band (I’m so bloated from this stupid Progesterone, I need it now…).  I cleared my weekend schedule (except for marriage counseling tomorrow…that’s not getting cancelled), and I wrote down a “To Do” list, with the understanding that it may be more of a “Didn’t Do It, Yet” list by the end of the weekend.

I was initially supposed to go to a relaxation retreat this weekend.  The doctor who performed my transfer (yep…the chanting and holding hands one) was hosting a relaxation retreat, focused on embracing a more positive outlook in life (something I could certainly benefit from).  I signed up prior to the “transfer experience” and well before the recent events in my life.  The retreat is being held at the doctor’s lake house…and I have to be honest…I was probably more excited about seeing where this guy resides than about the programming at the retreat.  But today, as I sat at my desk, I thought “I don’t feel like being cramped in a car, driving three hours each way for a one day retreat.  I don’t feel like spending $100 on gas, or $45 on the retreat, or $200 on hotel and food for Saturday night, just so I can go ‘relax and be positive’ for seven hours on Sunday.”  It occurred to me that I would be spending the equivalent of a piece of baby room furniture to go to this one day retreat (Yep…the “frugal” part of me has already kicked in and is thinking of things in terms of “baby item value” instead of straight monetary value).  So…I cancelled.  I offered to pay the registration fee because I am sure it is an inconvenience that I am cancelling at the last minute, but it just isn’t realistic for me to try to make that trip this weekend.

So, my plan is to rest, do some light laundry and cleaning, rest, do some shopping, and rest…did I say that one already?  The Prince has to attend the chemistry department’s graduation ceremony on Saturday (I LOVE the funny poofy faculty robe and hat he has to wear…laughing at him in that get-up never gets old), so I will even get the house to myself for awhile.  I also plan to try to update my blog and iron out the kinks that have popped up lately.  In short, I am going to enjoy myself…and practice being positive from home…chanting optional.