First Belly Glimpse

I think this is the only picture I’ve ever posted of myself. (Well, sort of- its just my body). I put on some leggings and a t-shirt after my shower this morning (joys of working from home) and was shocked at how…differently it fits.

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my guess: 30% baby, 10% cupcakes, 60% pad thai

I am not ready to make any kind of proclamation about what is responsible for this. Tacos? Cupcakes? Pad Thai? Baby? Definitely pad thai is partially responsibly, since I’ve increased my intake of it by about 200%. All I know is I did not look like this in December.

I will be 3 months this Friday- am I supposed to get a bump already? Who knows!

I know I have not been the healthiest eater in pregnancy, and I keep telling myself I will change that as I approach my 2nd trimester. But either way, a bump is a bump, right? And the baby is bigger than a lime right now, supposedly, and that certainly should change the shape of my uterus and body.

I love you, Little Rabbit, and little bump, even if I’m at that awkward stage where I look like I just ate too many burritos. I cannot wait to be 12 weeks with you and get to see you on the big screen this Friday.

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What a Difference a Year Makes

Last February I created this blog. I had been struggling with my diagnosis of infertility and I felt lonely, confused and completely helpless. I hadn’t yet gone to a fertility clinic, I hadn’t yet met my RE. I was scared to, honestly. I didn’t know what they would say to me, or if they would take me at all.

A year ago, on February 16, 2016 I wrote this post. Frankly, it was at one of my lowest points. I’m not sure if it comes through entirely in that post– it took a while for me to feel comfortable enough, even in the anonymous internet sphere, for me to be raw with my emotions– but it was a very tough time for me. I started getting a lot of depression after that appointment. I can’t tell you what set me off, exactly, about the cysts- they’re cysts, not a nuclear holocaust- but I do know that it sent me into a dark place for a while. I think it was the utter loss of control and the lack of a plan forward. I remember sobbing in the stirrups (not the last time either) and feeling completely utterly without hope.

I had to create this blog because I was struggling. And that struggle didn’t end soon after. Hell, it’s still not over- the grief and trauma of infertility or recurrent loss doesn’t end when you get pregnant. But through time, connection with all of you, through my IF therapist, through my fertility clinic, through meeting new people and actually BEING HONEST about what I was going through- things really did get better. I had a plan. I had a support group. I had my authenticity.

And here I am. Just shy of 11 weeks. I have acne and bloating and gas and heartburn and I couldn’t be happier with the reason why. I also am in awe of how far I have come from just 1 year ago, and what a wild ride it has been. I know this is something everyone says, but I mean it- a year ago I never pictured myself here, pregnant, healthy, full of hope. I had no plan forward and no one to take me fully seriously (the place I went to before my clinic was like ‘you’re young and skinny, you’re totally fertile, so here’s some femara, check back in 6 months’).

Every day is a milestone, every minute of being pregnant a momentous occasion. But it’s not only the past 2 months that have contained milestones. I went through so much over the course of a year. I had my first cysts, my first clinic visit. My HSG (old place never offered that to me???) Our first IUI. The end of IUIs- when I realized where we were. Everyday shots for my follicles. My egg retrieval. The agony of waiting to hear about those eggs and embryos. My FET. The heartbreak of losing our embryo. The depression that ensued. My ERA biopsies. BOTH of them. And all the feelings of faith and loss in between.

The reality is that everything- my first cysts, my HSG- in the moment, they were all momentous. Frightening. Hard to get through. A big relief in their aftermath. Just because it seems like a piece of cake now doesn’t mean my first IUI wasn’t wrought with fear and hope.

I guess all I mean to say is: I have been through so much in a year. I am blessed beyond belief to be where I am right now, but I’ll never forget what I went through to get here. The scary, grief-stricken moments of infertility live within me and I’m proud of myself for getting through every month of them. So grateful to be sitting where I am today. And so thankful for all of you who have guided me, sent good vibes or prayers, kept your toes crossed, gave me advice and support. Couldn’t have done it without you.

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First OB appointment

So even though I technically snuck in a scan at 7 1/2 weeks with my OB’s office, today was my first actual appointment. I love their office but the wait times are out of this world. I was in the waiting room about 50 minutes before I was called back and waited like another 15 for my OB. And this was a 9 am appointment! But what can ya do….

Little Rabbit looks like a baby for the first time! Its head is massive. (S)he  was waving and bouncing around! It was incredible to see- I think (s)he was sleeping last week so I didnt see movement. The heart rate was “very good” at 153 bpm- but I thought it was weird it was slower than last week’s rate of 169. My OB told me it can change every 10 minutes and its well within normal range, basically anything above 120 is considered good. So, okay then, I will try not to worry.

I got blood drawn which means more TSH workup, which I am pleased with. I should hear in a few days, I guess.

Our next appointment will be at exactly 12 weeks (after some scheduling difficulties with Mr Upside’s schedule– grr his job requires so much travel). Which means 2+ weeks of waiting. But I am going to try my best to get through with limited anxiety. At our 12 week appointment they will do the NT testing (down syndrome related) and then we are opting to do the Harmony test- which will give us our odds for the most common genetic problems- and the sex! I am so excited to find out the sex of L.R.

I miss my RE- I can’t help it. I was so comfortable with him and his office and their wait times and nurses and procedures and methods of contact. But its a brave new world, one that I am ecstatic to join, so I just have to buck up and trust my regular OB to do her job. (And I do trust her- she’s lovely).

Trying to be chill is not a strong suit of mine. But pregnancy is obviously a nerve-wracking time, especially first trimester, and all indications are good for us. So I think of it as a kind of test- I have to have faith that the numbers are right, the timing is right, and that this will be my baby.

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9 Weeks with Little Rabbit

Today I am 9 weeks pregnant. It is a great feeling. Yesterday, we had our final sonogram with our fertility clinic! L.R. was measuring 8 weeks, 5 days and curled up in, well, a fetal position! We could see (s)he already has a large head and little tiny hands. (S)he had a heart rate of 169 bpm, which the RE seemed quite happy with. We graduated after this scan, which felt both wonderful and strange.

We’ve been at this clinic for a year and I know my RE, nurse, and even some of the office staff quite well. I am comfortable there, with the other infertiles. It’s strange to know we’re off to our regular OB, jumping back into the pool of “normals.” It’s a wonderful feeling that I am very grateful for, but it is a bit strange!

One thing I figure I’ll mention is spotting. I have had it on and off since becoming pregnant, with the worst moment happening about 5 1/2 weeks, when I had 2 actual drops of bright red blood in the toilet. I had been straining (TMI) and my nurse told me it all sounds okay. And it was! Since then I’ve gone about a week with absolutely nothing, then a day or two of some dark brown spotting. And then many days that are clear, and then again- today I have had some brown. I am not overly concerned about it- it’s very light, it’s brown, we just had a great check-up, and I know this area is very sensitive and vascular in pregnancy. Still, I would be lying if I said it doesn’t bother me at all. It does. I don’t like seeing it when I wipe. I am going to ask my OB when I see her next week, but as far as my RE is concerned, it’s nothing he particularly worries about.

Anyway. Fatigue is still quite present and my boobs are sore (and they’re fuller!). Occasional nausea is there, but it seems less bad than a week or two ago. Our next scan is next Wednesday, so in 5 days, with my OB. Seeing L.R. on the big screen and hearing his/her heartbeat is the best feeling in the world, and these 5 days can’t come soon enough!

xx

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8 weeks, 4 days: I Love This Community

Today I checked the mail and received something very special from a fellow infertility blogger– The EcoFeminist! Inside the envelope was a beautiful print from one of her favorite local artists, Tamara Adams.

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Aimee, I can’t thank you enough! The print is beautiful and I will hang it in my office (I work from home). But I also hope one day to move it to a nursery 🙂

So lucky to have found a great supportive community like this as we all faced and continue to face something very life-altering and challenging. So much gratitude for found friendships.

Two more days until my next sonogram….

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8 Weeks Today

I am a full 2 months pregnant today with something that appears to be an actual peanut! Haha.

I got a bit nervous yesterday that I was really piling on the pounds. I had gained 2 lbs in the past month, which for my body weight/height apparently puts me at the high-end of acceptable weight gain thus far. Then I ate Chick-Fil-A and a cupcake. Wasn’t my best moment.

The good news is I scaled back on dinner and watched what I was eating and I woke up this morning seemingly having lost some of the bloat. So going forward, I’ll do my best but will try to not be so hard on myself for giving into my cravings. Sidenote: I convinced myself I deserve a cupcake for every day survived under a Drumpf presidency. But thats not too healthy to sustain 🙂

Mr Upside and I told our parents on Wednesday. We went back and forth on whether to tell them this early, but ultimately decided they will have to be there for us no matter what- including if something goes wrong. My MIL was in town Wed and we had dinner with her. My husband prepared her a little card and stuck an ultrasound photo inside it. Watching her reaction at dinner was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Getting past her initial shock took a while, but then she was just so elated and over the moon. We called my FIL and my parents next. My mom yelled for quite a long time 🙂

Our next scan is in 6 days. The waits are excruciating! But I know it will only get longer and longer between scans and appointments. Trying to center myself to get me through the days. I want you to know I took some of y’alls advice on getting a little bit more active 🙂 I did a small 10 min set of prenatal yoga (on youtube) on Wednesday and then yesterday I went for a 30 minute walk. I want to try to keep this up as much as possible, because gentle activity can only be good for me and Little Rabbit. I imagine it will also help my anxiety.

Every day I share my body with this little one is a blessing.

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Food Aversions and Another Scan

Upside here, reporting live from 7 weeks, 4 days. I’m so excited to be 8 weeks on Friday. And then 10 weeks 2 Fridays after that. Why is it the even numbers seem like more important milestones? Every day is one, I suppose.

My slight queasiness and food aversions are getting stronger. Fish is the worst for me. I can barely type the word out without feeling affected. The only thing that makes me feel totally comforted is carbs. Like, big bowls of cereal, rice, noodles, etc. Honestly its all making me feel relatively unhealthy. Today I had a bagel + cereal for breakfast and ordered Pei Wei for lunch. This is not how I ate pre-pregnancy.

I’m torn between saying 1) I should give myself a break for the 1st trimester since nausea is so prominent and feeling well and energized is so touch and go and 2) trying to force myself to eat better for my own health/weight and for Little Rabbit’s.

On top of this, I havent been doing yoga. I’ve been a combination of too scared that some of the poses would have a negative effect and too gross-feeling to do some vinyasa flow. As such, I have pretty much lost my flexibility- I tried to touch my toes and let’s just say it’s a bit harder than it was a month ago.

In other news, yesterday I had a bit of a worry about a possible infection. I had some yellow discharge and emailed my nurse about it. I wasn’t too worried, but upon googling I saw that you should let your doctor know about anything that is a color other than white. I expected to get the same response I had been getting for month now- something like “that is normal, just keep an eye and make sure you aren’t bleeding, etc.” Instead my nurse said it’S NOT common and could be sign of infection. Infections can hurt the baby if left alone. Blergh.

It took me a bit to get in with my OBGYN, whom I had not seen in a year. (Side note: this all would have been much easier if my clinic could have seen me. I get that vaginal infections aren’t their ‘speciality’ but REs are DOUBLE board certified in Gyn & RE, right? So…okay then). I spent some time panicking about it already hurting the baby before the call back that let me go in around 2 pm. It was somewhat surreal to be back and..actually pregnant.

Good news is my OB felt fairly sure it was NOT an infection, but discoloration from accumulation of white blood cells that happens during early pregnancy. But he took a swab anyway and I should hear back in a few days for sure. But while I was there, I snuck in another scan!

Sweet Little Rabbit seemed to have caught up to the due date OG since Friday- (s)he was tracking 7 weeks 3 days with a gorgeous heartbeat of 150bpm. I have to say, (s)he looked huge on the screen! Like so much bigger than just Friday- doubling in size about. So, I can’t say for sure that I ovulated later. I imagine growth does not track exactly the same during these early weeks. But the most important thing was how my OB said “We love your RE but we don’t need him anymore. Looks like a healthy pregnancy to me!”

He told me to book for a week later- but since I still have my final goodbyes with my RE scheduled for next Thursday, I opted to book TWO weeks later. So Feb 8th I will be going into my OB’s office for my first OB appt. It’s just incredible.

Food aversions and carbo-loading, I’ll take it. I just love this peanut and am so thankful. Every day I feel slightly more optimistic that this really might be my take-home baby.

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We have a heartbeat!

Little Rabbit’s first sonogram was this morning. So while the rest of the country is focused on..you know what- Mr Upside and I got to distract ourselves by the excitement and anxiety of preparing for our first sono.

Good news: we have a real live baby in there! No more fears about blighted ovum or whatever else I concocted when anxiety got the best of me. Yolk sac, everything looks good.

Baby is measuring 6.6 mm, or about 6 weeks 4 days, but I’m estimated to be 7 weeks based on my last menstrual period. Still, the measurements could be off, or, more likely, I didnt actually ovulate on CD 14. In fact, I’m not sure I ever ovulated at CD 14 when I tested. Back in the days of OPKs and LH surges, I always ovulated “late.” Sometimes even CD 21 or so (although thats clearly not the case here). So, really, I may not be at 7 weeks after all. Who knows.

What we DO know is that Little Rabbit has a beautiful heartbeat- 125 bpm- and the best music I could ask for. It was so surreal.

So, we have to go back in 2 weeks to get our second scan to see the growth. It’s going to be difficult to make it 2 weeks with no news- no betas, no ultrasounds, nothing. Still, hearing that beautiful heartbeat will keep me going. So much love. All I can do is keep pushing forward and hoping for the best for my little one.

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6 1/2 Weeks

My fourth and final beta was drawn today. It came in at 39,007!  Nurse says everything looks good and will call after my RE has a chance to review. SO beyond grateful and happy, especially to retire from the beta draws- they’re nerve-wracking. Those 5ish hours of waiting for the call- ugh!

We are still on track for our first sonogram this Friday, right before noon. Would appreciate any good vibes for a strong healthy heartbeat. (We are ignoring what else is happening that day…) POSITIVE VIBES ONLY.

I am starting to breathe more…little by little each time. But 6 1/2 weeks is still so early.

Symptoms: For the first time, I have started to feel a bit of queasiness. It started this past Saturday, then got better the next day, and it really seems to be intermittent. Saturday it was fairly constant- I even made my own ginger syrup (boiled a cup of ginger with water, added some honey) to add to my sparkling water when I felt off. The nausea was very mild the next two days, though. Today I got queasy after eating a bowl of cereal- although most people say they get nauseated when they don’t eat, it seems like mine comes more after a meal. I think that’s why they say small and frequent- don’t stuff your stomach quickly. Still, I am thrilled for every symptom I have. They are all worth it.

And now? Now I am trying to be a better employee. Through all this excitement and anxiety, fatigue and repeated illness, I’ve had a hard time with focus at work. Well, that coupled with the fact that the promotion I was told I’d get in 2016 didnt happen….yeah, moving on. Anyway. With the political and economic climate the way it is these days, it’s even more important for me to be on my game (I work for an agency that does community development work- I do a lot of research on low income communities). Trying to be mindful of how I am feeling, what I can and cannot control will help.

Little Rabbit, keep growing and growing.