Kicking some ass, making a baby!

29 Jan

Pardon my long absence! I unexpectedly had a big ol’ case of yellow-bellied chicken scaredy pants disease.

You see, shortly after that last post, I peed on a stick. And then another. And they were positive! Once I saw those two faint lines, it was as if my brain went into ‘oh, crap, shit just got real’ mode. All I could think of was how badly things could go and how heartbroken I would be so I clammed up. Bad things don’t happen if you don’t talk about stuff, right?

Then, I had a gigantor scare that just reinforced my worries: I had an afternoon of heavy bleeding and clotting. The Wife rushed home from work and our clinic (they really are so awesome) got us in for an ultrasound and assessment and that’s when we got to hear the fetal heartbeat for the first time! It was strong and the sac looked great, the bleeding and clotting were terrifying but meaningless.

We have since moved and found a birth center here in Savannah, found out we were having a girl, and here we are plodding along! So, here I am, 27 weeks and awkwardly round. I had an unremarkable first trimester (y’know, aside from that little scare) with no morning sickness. My second trimester was dullsville as well. The big thing is this persistent awful back ache in this one specific spot that Just WILL NOT STOP. And some intense red meat cravings. My boobs started leaking around 18 weeks and I started feeling kicks shortly thereafter! The Wife got to start feeling those kicks around week 20. The other night, we actually saw her poking her little foot against my belly button! We could feel her leg and knee and everything! It was the creepiest, weirdest, most wonderful thing ever!

The third trimester is shaping up to be a bit more…aggressive. My pelvis feels like it’s held together with string and old duct tape. My hips ache like an old lady’s. I’m exhausted all the time and my belly is constantly getting in the way!

So that’s it in a nutshell. I was completely petrified of saying anything for the longest time; at first, I was like “pssht, I’m telling er’body once I get my positive!” and then that switched to “maybe I should wait until I’m out of the first trimester”. And then I wanted to wait until I got my anatomy scan to make sure everything was alright (scan done and, yay, everything looked good!). And then it was just a lingering feeling of foreboding. Naively, when I was trying to conceive, I thought that, once I was pregnant, I wouldn’t have to stress so much. Now I see that the best I can hope for is that this persistent worry that Something Bad Will Happen will subside to a manageable background noise.

PS: TV!

14 Aug

Is anyone else watching Showtime’s The Real L-Word? Yeah, yeah, it’s awful and completely ridiculous, but I can’t help myself. But, holy hell, this season has been so difficult to watch for someone who is trying to get pregnant. One of the lesbian couples conceived via IUI, but ended up going into pre-term labor at about 20 weeks and lost their daughter. They seem to be a very sweet, loving, together couple and it was so heart-breaking to watch them go through this. It just underscores how utterly uncontrollable and terrifying getting pregnant/staying pregnant/giving birth can be.

Oh, hey. So…it’s been a few days.

14 Aug

It’s been almost two months since I’ve updated. Yikes. I had no intention of abandoning this project, but it just kind’ve happened. Since that last post, I had my July insemination and it failed. I’m not entirely sure why, but it really hurt my feelings. Everything had gone so perfectly-thanks to my doctor trusting my data-collecting, the insemination was spot-on in timing. And I already had my first negative out of the way! My charts were beautiful; they could have been published in a book on what luteal phase temps should look like. And then, at the very last moment, my temp dropped and my period started.

At first, I thought I was okay with it, but then, after realizing that I had not gotten out of bed for the day and had no desire to start back up with the acupuncture and the green tea and the whatnot, I thought that maybe I wasn’t so ok with the negative. Logically, I know that I have no reason to expect anything and that you can’t really will yourself to catch pregnant, but eh, the heart wants what the heart wants, right? And the heart wants a bun in the oven asap.

Fast forward and we’re in the midst of another two week wait. Another great insemination with good timing. And I’ve taken steps to reduce the crazy for this cycle. I stopped recording my temps past the point where it was necessary to back-up my ovulation date. It wasn’t doing anything, but giving me more material to obsess over.

Secondly, I’ve largely gone to back to my normal activities and diet. I’ve stopped acupuncture. The cost vs benefits ratio just wasn’t panning out, so nixed that. I’ve been having a cup of weak coffee in the morning. I’m still trying to eat healthier and I’ve been on top of my prenatals and vitamins, but I’ve definitely have made friends with sugar again.

Thirdly, funtivities! My birthday was a few days post-insemination so I had that. The Wife surprised me with a shark-swimming adventure at our local aquarium. It was awesome! We strapped on snorkeling gear, got into a tank full of sharks, clinging to a wall, while the more curious sharks were fended off by our guides equipped with 3 ft of PVC piping. Get away, 500 lb killing machine! *poke poke* They had just been fed the day prior, so we didn’t look like entrees.
THEN we went to a baseball game and got to sit in a sweet suite, complete with free food and drinks, including beer (for The Wife). This was her employer’s suite, so there were a few of her co-workers there, including a very pregnant woman. So baseball and pregnancy chat, a very good time.

The next day, we flew out to Savannah and stayed for two days. It wasn’t really a vacation-type thing. We haven’t made the official announcement, so let’s keep this between us, but it looks like that’s going to be our next move. The Wife and I have been trying to find a way out of our current city (too much crime, too much filth and grossness) and we had been trying to get to Atlanta, but there weren’t any jobs there. However, Savannah popped up when The Wife got a job offer and we went down to do a bit of investigation. After visiting and researching, it looks pretty good. Great cost-of-living, lower crime rates, beaches, close-ish to family-all things we wanted! The biggest downside is the state of their public education, ie disgraceful. But The Wife has been adamant that No Child Of Hers Is Going To Public School so that’s a non-starter for her.

So the first week of the two week wait was really thrilling. Now I’m rolling on 11 days past ovulation and I’m suffering. Every time I pee, it’s like a Christopher Nolan movie-fraught with tension, filled with tension, overflowing with drama. The special effects aren’t much to speak of though. But the will-I-or-won’t-I of each incidence of urination is ridiculous. I’ve managed to hold off so far, but I think I might test tomorrow AM. Day 12, that’s good, right?

I’m so hopeful, sooo hopeful, that this is positive. If not, then we’re going to try to time it so that we move after the next insemination. And we’ll have to make firends with another fertility clinic in Savannah, get them to be friends with our sperm bank-argh. Pain in the ass.

I’ve been having…experiences…that I hesitate to call symptoms b/c it feels like bad luck. My boobs started hurting so badly (needles in the nipples) while we were in Savannah and I never get breast pains at any point in my cycle. But then I realized it was only 4DPO and it doesn’t make sense that I’d start experience…experiences…so soon. I’ve also had waves of nausea on-and-off for the past week. BUT I’ve also been spending a lot of time eating bad food, up and down in airplanes, and stress. So…there’s that. And low levels of cramping like my normal PMS cramps turned way down in volume. But who knows, that could just be women’s crap. Hormones, amiright? So you see why I can’t think of those…experiences…as anything other than that?

Argh! Screw you, 2 week wait. Screw. You.

Cycle Day 3

15 Jun

Well, it came late, but it came. Old Bloody Britches showed on Wednesday. I was actually pretty okay when it finally showed; the days before, I was a stressed out mess, but finally getting an answer, even though it was a big ol NO, was like a weight off of my shoulders. Although, buying more tampons and OPK strips was bittersweet.

By coincedence, my fertility clinic called me to ask if I had taken a home pregnancy test (yes. All of them) and I explained that I had just started my period and I’d need to come back in. I think the med tech on the other end expected me to be broken up about it, but I was surprisingly not. It is what it is, right? I’m disappointed, sure, but this was my first go. I wish it had worked, but if it had, I would’ve picked my jaw up off the floor and ran to my nearest convenience store to buy so many lottery tickets!

So, no, I’m not pregnant and, yup, I’m back at square one. I went in this morning to start another observed cycle, got another ultrasound and some more bloodwork. In a few hours, I’m going to another acupuncture appt.

I made sure to actually ask questions at my appt this morning, too! So proud. I asked about increasing my chances and he was very encouraging of the things I was already doing, specifically the prenatals and CoQ10. He strongly recommended any sort of anti-oxidant supplement. He also emphasized that sperm and eggs are dumb (my words) and conditions could be awesome and it could still not work. He said that a lot of times sperm and egg WILL meet, but just not implant. So, what can you do. Stupid sperm and egg. It’s mind-boggling that SOO much of my body’s time and effort is spent towards reproduction-creating linings, farming egg follicles, hormonal cocktails, shedding linings, etc.-and when I finally give it what it wants, it completely boffs the deal.

C’mon, physiology. Get with the program!

Frustration. So much frustration

12 Jun

Well, it’s all over but for the fat lady singing.

It’s been a non-stop parade of single-lined pregnancy tests. No matter how hard I stared at those little thin pieces of cardboard, no second line developed. But I still haven’t gotten my period yet, so instead of being able to say “not pregnant, moving one”, it’s not pregnant….? I don’t want a question mark! I want a period!

I’ve been having the worse pre-period cramps for the past few days, culminating in last night’s 3am bout that had me up and walking around, trying to read, eating some noodles-anything to distract. I didn’t feel comfortable taking meds or using a heating pad in case, long shot scenario, I was pregnant and just not testing positive (which apparently can happen). This morning, I checked my temp and it had dipped below my coverline*, I had a few streaks of red in my CM, and my pregnancy test was negative. Again. So I figured that’s that and broke out a tampon and crawled back in bed. The Wife wrapped a heating pad around me, tucked me in with ibuprofen, and made me promise to text her if I started feeling badly.

But when I got up, no period. It was barely enough to qualify as light spotting. And it was dark brown. So, while I know that it’s pretty much done for this cycle, there’s still that “pretty much”. I can’t say definitely it’s DONE until I get my period. It would be a relief to say it’s done. At least, that way I’d know what I’m supposed to be feeling and get on with it already. But everyday I don’t have my period is a day I can still hope, a day that I might still be in the game. Like a third string benchwarmer, but still there.

Usually, my period is decently regular, maybe a day or two off. But there is always the same pattern. The night before, I’ll get cramps when I get into bed. The next day, I’ll start having some stomach issues and then cramping again before I fall asleep. Then my body will wake me in the middle of the night to go pee. I’ll go to the bathroom, pee, and bam. I’m bleeding. Take some ibuprofen and fall asleep in the arms of my handy dandy electric heating pad. I never get consistent night-after-night cramps. I never wake up in the middle of the night with cramps without having a period to go along with it. And this is the longest luteal phase I’ve had. Either the doctor’s office, my OPK’s, and my temps were all wrong and I ovulated later than I thought or I’m pregnant or my body is pulling the RUDEST TRICK EVER. Just so rude.

If I don’t get my period tomorrow, I’m going to call the doc and see if I can get a blood test for Thurs. That has to be a sure-fire way to get my period going.

PS: These past few days have sorely tested my ability to communicate. I am not the one to talk about troubles and worries. When I was in high school, my best friend found out my family was moving after my senior year when she saw the For Sale sign on our lawn because I just can’t talk about things sometimes. This has been a real struggle to get through because so many people are involved and know The Wife and I are trying to conceive and they want to cheer and support us, which is amazing, but I just want to shut down everything, barricade the metaphorical doors, and not emerge until I have a definitive answer. My poor mom called on Sun and I haven’t called her back because I just can’t talk about it right now. I’m struggling to stay open with The Wife, who has been so freaking wonderful through all of this. I feel so much more connected to her and I’m just so in love with her. She’s just the best. But it’s still hard to talk about all of the stresses I’m feeling. We’ve started taking evening walks and we’ll just stroll through the neighborhood and she’ll wait for me to work my way around to it and that has been really effective and helpful.

Even posting to a blog has been somewhat difficult, but I’m glad it’s here. Just bear with me a little bit as I get my stuff together.

Halfway into an Eternity

7 Jun

Peeing has never been so fraught with tension. I read about it, fret about it, I’ve even argued with The Wife about it! For three decades of my life, peeing has always been so simple. So easy. Now, I’m obsessed.

Officially, I’m 10 days past ovulation (DPO). I have peed on two pregnancy tests, both came back negative. Now, I’m trying not to be completely dashed because it’s still too early for a definite, but it’s hard. I feel torn between wanting to just throw in the towel and drown my sorrows in sugar-rich caffeinated beverages and chemically delicious fast food (maybe even a beer or two) and staying positive and hoping for the best.

So far, I haven’t had any blatant obvious pregnancy symptoms. I’ve had some light nausea, but nothing I couldn’t write off as nerves or movie theatre popcorn. I’ve also had cramping and twinges of pain, but maybe I’m just having an exceptionally early PMS bout. That’s pretty much it. No chest tenderness or implantation bleeding. Nothing I can point to and say “ah-ha! I AM WITH CHILD”.

I have a handful of cheap internet pregnancy tests left and I went out a bought an early response one, just in case. I read in multiple places that the cheapies are actually supposed to be pretty damn sensitive, but why not get another just in case? I’m going to wait until the weekend to bust that one out, though!

Fingers still crossed!

We did it!

29 May

We had our first insemination! Finally, hallelujah!

Got no sleep last night, I was so nervous. And, in full dorkitude, I wanted to fall asleep with positive thoughts in my head, so naturally the meant my brain had to pull up the ol’ ‘Embarrassments and Failures’ file and rifle through those pages.

Finally, I fell asleep after midnight and woke up bright and early at 5:30am. My appt wasn’t until 8. I took my temp and then got up and went ahead and started getting ready. The Wife popped awake, too, she seems to do well with sub-6am waketimes.

We got to the clinic early, so proud, but then we had to wait. And wait. Other women (clearly in monitored cycles) were coming and going with the gauze and tape badge on their arm that shows they survived the bloodwork and transvaginal ultrasound.

About an hour later, The Wife had to pop out to feed the meter and I got called back, of course. The med assistant assured me that they would wait until The Wife got back.

Minutes later, it was me on an exam table, The Wife at my side, the doctor, a med assistant, and a nurse practitioner who was shadowing him all crammed into a teensy exam room the size of a generous closet.

The actual IUI itself was a breeze! All I felt was the speculum! I think I have a very easygoing cerix as none of the intra-cervix procedures I’ve had were painful or even uncomfortable. The doc said that I had a perfect cervix and perfect timing-whoo-hoo! This was really great because this was the doctor of doom, the one who liked to tell me the worse case scenario. So if he thought things looked good, things must have looked A+ sparkletime unicorn happiness!

He had The Wife come around to actually depress the syringe plunger. She looked panicked for a moment; later, she said that she was happy to trust in our doctor’s expertise, but she did it just fine and everything got where it was supposed to go.

After that, the doctor had us hang out in the exam room for ten minutes, with me laying down, and then we got to head home. It was nice to have that brief alone time. I was surprised how overwhelmed I was by the process! While The Wife was knocking me up (hopefully) all I could think was ‘holy crap! Shit just got real!’. There’s no going back once your uterus has been invaded! I didn’t have any last minute doubts, it was just, wow, we’re finally here. After all that prep, it kind’ve felt like we’d never get to that point and there we were!

The Wife held my hand and kind’ve sideways cuddle me in her chair and we talked and she said encouraging words for egg + sperm. Then I made her watch this Japanese (?) video about pregnant women and I have NO idea what’s going on, but the song and the visuals are beautiful and, combined, they always choke me up. So we watched that and chatted and then got home, me trying to not walk too vigorously.

The Wife was so sweet. She made me breakfast and tea and tucked me in for nap (don’t judge! I hadn’t gotten any sleep last night!). She had to go back to work for a bit and was bummed, but hey, the important part is over. After the appt, all that’s left is me hanging around. Doing stuff. Interspersed with laying around with m pelvis tilted. She’s not missing much!

And that brings me to now. Now, I have to figure out how to keep myself occupied so I don’t drive myself and The Wife crazy in this two week waiting period until I can take a pregnancy test!