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Monthly Archives: December 2011

Goodbye 2011

I think that it’s exciting that 2011 is over.  Not because it was terrible.  It wasn’t great either, but I know I’m blessed to say that for every con there was pro.  It’s always there if you look for it.

In February I started to try to quit smoking.  It didn’t last, but I’m happy to say that since October I’ve been cigarette free.  In April I was being terrorized by killer spiders, but in May we celebrated our 1 year anniversary by going to my friend’s wedding in Coacoa Beach, Florida.  Two days after we got back, DH accepted a job in Austin, TX.  It was a crazy two weeks and DH’s car almost didn’t survive the trip, but we love our new city.  By August we had barely survived the 70 some days above 100 degrees, and I got a part time job.  After months of infertile heartbreak we took the steps to begin IVF.  September was a sad time of family fights, and October was an uncertain time with car wrecks and fertility treatment.  We had the IVF procedure done in the beginning of November, and we were blessed to have it work in our first attempt.  We stopped back in Ohio before the end of the year to celebrate the news with family.

There are a lot of people who love to be negative and think that 2012 will be the end.  If they cared to actually find out what the Mayan’s predicted, they would know that it’s not the end.  Just a change, and new beginnings.  I think that’s terribly exciting.

We’re all guilty of being negative at times, but it doesn’t do us any good.  My resolution is to try to be more positive, and enjoy all the possibilities that are ahead of us.  2012 is going to be a fantastic year.  I hope you can enjoy it.

10 Week Ultrasound

Christmas came and went in a whirlwind.  It was nice to see friends and family that I haven’t seen in so long, but being in Cincy was very weird.  Like running into an ex who you’re still friends with.  You catch up and realize that both of you have moved on in your life without the other, for the better.  We did enjoy our 4 way together though!

I had to give myself the second to last Progesterone shot to myself on Thursday, but I wasn’t comfortable getting the angle right with the long needle. So before I could think about it, I asked my shaky mother to do it.  I’m happy to report that she did a great job, and actually did a better than DH had been doing lately.  Then DH gave me my last one on Christmas Eve.  Sooooo glad I don’t have to have any more shots!

The running around really knocked it out of DH and I though.  When we finally got home around 11 am on Monday, we basically slept until noon on Tuesday.  Then DH caught a nasty cold, and has been in quarantine in the extra bedroom since.

The nice thing was how quickly the two weeks went.  I didn’t really have time to think about being afraid of miscarriage.  As long as I kept having symptoms (aka feeling nauseated all the time), I knew it was ok.

DH always thinks I’m crazy to set my ultrasound appointments so early, but I couldn’t wait to see how baby was doing.  The ultrasound tech told me last time that I needed to drink something sugary before I came in so that we may get to see the baby moving around.  So I grabbed a Hawaiian Punch at the gas station down the street and was on my way.

First let’s look at the last heart rate we’ll be getting.  The tech said that she doesn’t want to subject the baby to the sound waves anymore, and we’re so far along now that it’s not necessary.  Everything looks good with a heart rate at 174:

When I got to actually see the baby I was so amazed.  It’s gotten so big!  It used to be this tiny little white squiggle in a big black blob, but now you can see this little person squeezed in this black bubble:

The tech showed me the different parts of the brain forming and the four chambered heart.  I myself was so jacked up on sugar, and so was the baby!  It was the most amazing thing seeing it move around so much!  The arms and hands looked like they kept moving up to rub it’s would-be eyes, and the legs and feet kept kicking out.  I still cry thinking about it.

Oh, and I know that the crown to rump measurements only say 9 weeks 4 days, but when you get this far it’s hard to measure that way because the baby is not only moving so much but the legs are scrunched up. The tech said not to worry since it’s been so on the ball this entire time. She told me that from now on they’ll be measuring things like head ratio.

That’s also it for the trans-vaginal ultrasounds.  I’ll be getting the tummy ones from now on.  When we finished up the next patient came in and she couldn’t speak a lick of English.  I just left to get out of their way.  So I’m not exactly sure when I’ll be getting my next ultrasound, but I’ll be able to talk to them about it more when I go to work on Monday.  I’m pretty sure this is it with the fertility clinic though.  We graduated!  Until next baby I guess though :p

My Midwife did call to ask that we reschedule our next appointment.  I was suppose to go Monday, but we pushed it to Thursday.  I’m actually glad they did.  The time is better, I won’t get stuck in after work traffic, and it just gives me time to adjust and get back into the swing of things.

So I guess until then, have a happy new year!

All I Want for Christmas is a 4-Way

I know you would love an explanation for that title, but you’ll just have to wait.

We had our private interview with our midwife yesterday, and it went really well.  It was mostly getting to know you, health background, urine and blood check (My poor arm is so tired of blood work), and price/insurance stuff.  Deb is really sweet though, and I’m really happy with how comfortable I am with her getting to know me so intimately over the next few months.

They usually also do a heartbeat check with a doppler.  She started to warn me that they don’t always hear a heartbeat, but then I told her, “Oh, we’ve been hearing and seeing it since week 6.”  So we opted out of doing it.  It’s always nice to hear, but I couldn’t imagine how worried I would be if we didn’t manage to get it on the doppler.  I don’t need that stress over an already busy holiday week.

We always seem to amaze these midwives out with how much we already know for being first time parents.  I doubt they deal with IFers a lot.  I wish I didn’t have to learn all this stuff the hard way, but it does make all this preliminary stuff go by quicker.

That was all for this visit, we go back for a physical on January 2.  I still can’t believe this is all really happening.

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So I should be napping now, but I’ve got to get some laundry done and finish packing.  I’m heading back to Cincinnati after work tomorrow with DH following me Friday night.

I’m excited to see friends and family, and to finally really get into the holiday spirit.  I’m not excited, however about the traveling.  I’m tired all the time, I get nauseated unless I eat every two hours, I hate crowds (people in general really), and I hate travelling without DH.  He can always keep me relaxed.

**Side note not really related.  I used to work for the TSA about 5 years ago.  The only reason I quit was because I got tired of working at the check in and dealing with passengers.  Are some of the rules stupid and inconvenient?  Of course, but the agents aren’t the ones that make up the rules.  They are just paid to enforce them.  That’s their job they do to put food on the table.  They don’t deserve to be cursed at or to have your shoes thrown at them (happened to me on a daily basis).  So I know that this is a stressful time and the airport is a stressful place, but don’t take it out on the TSA agents.  You know the rules, just take off your damn shoes and suck it up.  You’ll get through quicker.  If you really have a problem with it, then take the bus.**

So anyway, I’m just looking forward to getting it over with and getting my 4-Way on..

    Get your mind out of the gutter!  I’m talking chili.  Cincinnati chili that is.  It’s very different from a Texas chili.  It’s a lot thinner, herbier, and sweeter.  Saying a “4-way” is referring to what comes on it.  It starts with a bed of noodles, followed by chili, topped with a huge mound of sharp cheddar cheese (this is a 3-way),  and then you can add onions and/or beans to make it a 4 or 5-way.  It may not be for everyone, but if you grew up in Cincinnati you were fed it in your bottle.  It is one of the only things I crave and miss from my home town (the other being Big Boy.  I know it’s a national chain, but we don’t have any around us.  I need me some tartar sauce).

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  I’m going to be super busy travelling and stuffing my face hole, so I won’t probably post until after Christmas.

   I want to say how thankful I am for the blessings we’ve received this year, and I’m very thankful for all of you who take the time to read my ramblings.

  Have a very Happy Holidays, and I wish you all the best in the new year!

Week 8 U/S and The Birth Plan

We had our 8 week ultrasound today, let’s get right to it:

The heartbeat looks great.  We’re calling it at 160, right where it should be.

This picture really doesn’t do what we saw today justice.  It’s really starting to look like a human.  You could totally make out the head, arms, and legs.  The tech even showed me where the umbilical cord is forming.  She also pointed out that the yolk sac is collapsing, as it should be, and we should expect to see the placenta by week 12.

“You’re totally having this baby,” she reassured me.  It may bite me in the ass, but I think she may be right.  It still seems so unreal though.

Since I’ve stopped spotting and everything looked good today, they don’t want to see me again for another two weeks.  I was also told to drink a lot of sugar before I come in so we can see the baby wiggling around.  Like it’s father, it was doddling today.

They also reiterated that they’ll be releasing me by the end of the first trimester, Week 12, so they want someone to be seeing me by that time.  BTW, I can’t believe that we’re already 2 months in and only another 4 weeks from the end of the first trimester.  I really want to start enjoying this instead of worrying so much.

Ok, so here it is:

THE BIRTH PLAN!

When DH and I started thinking about having children almost a year ago (and way before we realized we were infertile), he came to me one day and out of nowhere said, “I want us to have a midwife and a homebirth.”

Like most probably would, I thought he was a little nuts.  “I was on Netflix last night, and I saw this movie called ‘The Business of Being Born‘,” he told me.  “Watch it with an open mind, and then make a decision.”

I wasn’t completely turned off of this idea.  It was just that I simply knew NOTHING about midwives, or homebirths, or really births in general.  From what I saw of births on tv, this was a horrible experience that I could only hoped to be doped up for to survive it.  So I sat down and watched this movie.  It changed everything for me.

Business of Being Born Trailer

While watching it, it clicked in me.  Yes, this is what birth is supposed to be.  This makes sense.  I want a at home water birth with all my being!

At the time though, we were in a state where it was illegal.  It was one of the many reasons we decided to move to Austin, where it’s legal and practiced by many people here.

So now that we’re FINALLY pregnant, a lot of people are starting to ask about our birth plan.  Like I figured, I get a lot of mixed reviews.  Here in Austin, people say, “Oh, cool.  Here’s the name and number of the midwife I used.”  The reactions from those anywhere else, are very different.

“You’re being silly, you just need to come back home and have this baby with a doctor”, “Oh sure, once you feel the pain you’ll feel differently”, or they just shake their head at me.  None of these people though know anything about midwives or homebirths, and it’s hard to explain to people who don’t want to educate themselves.

I don’t believe that you will ever have a natural birth if you go into a hospital.  There is nothing that they do that is “natural” or done for the benefit of you and your baby.  The very way they have you laying on a table on your back is not a natural birthing pose, but it’s more convenient for the doctor.  I’m sorry, but I’m the one that’s going to birth my baby, not them.

I’m also in utter shock and disgust at the C-section rate in this country.  Women even schedule them!  Do you not realize that it’s major surgery, and if you ever do get pregnant again that it puts you and baby at risk?  It’s completely unnecessary!

If we’re so advanced, and it’s so much better to have a baby in a hospital than why does the US have the second highest infant mortality rate in the world?  Why have American women allowed ourselves to be convinced that we can’t birth babies on our own?  The rest of the world uses midwives, and women have been doing natural births for thousands of years.  We were literally made to do this.  Why be afraid of that?  Why not enjoy that power you have?

Because it hurts?  Well, duh, but you can still do it.  What if there is an actual problem and you need to go to the hospital?  This is absolutely possible, and can happen.  A midwife is trained for this.  They know when they need to get you to the hospital.  At least then, I know that it is absolutely necessary, and not just because a doctor wants to get home in time for dinner.

Midwives are usually nurses who have trained and been doing homebirths for years. They have experienced hundreds of births.  They’ve seen it all.  They come prepared for anything.  They come with oxygen, pitocin,  sutures, and anything else that you might need.  Doctors leave medical school having never seen an actual birth, and most doctors after years on duty have still never seen a natural birth.

Even if you don’t want to debate the whole doctor thing, here’s what really sealed it for me.

Mother/Baby Attachment

When the mother first births the baby, both baby and mother release a chemical in the brain that bonds them.  Baby becomes attached and dependent on mommy, and mommy becomes bonded and wants to protect and nurse baby.  This very powerful chemical of love only lasts minutes, and if baby is taken away from mother during the first few minutes after birth they won’t become connected.  Any hospital birth, they instantly whisk your baby away to be measured and weighed, denying this connection.  Babies allowed to be held by mommy are known to not only be better breast feeders, but all around happier.  Watch any home birth, and you can see this connection.  You can see the look of pure ecstasy on the mother’s faces.  I want that for my baby and me.

Ok, so I understand that even after educating yourself about it, it may still not be for you.  You may even have a high risk pregnancy that doesn’t allow you to have a homebirth.  I get it.  It’s a very personal and deep thing for everyone.  We might not agree with the choices we make, but I’m not going to tell anyone how they should birth. I just ask for the same respect.

I was really upset a few months back when a family member through a marriage put a post on Facebook bashing the movie, midwives, and those who chose homebirths.  Now we were nowhere near being pregnant yet, and he had no idea that it is what we chose to do, but I couldn’t believe that he could be so close minded and insensitive.  They were maybe five minutes into the movie before they had made their opinion.  I never said anything to him or his pregnant wife.  I simply unfriended them, and moved on.  I don’t think they would ever notice, and if that’s the kind of people they are, I don’t need to hear anything else from them.  I just hope that on the minuscule chance that we ever see each other again, they don’t bring up birthing stories.

So anyway, I hope in this community where we’re faced with stupidity and insensitivity all the time that our choices can be respected if not agreed on.

DH and I have been interviewing a lot of midwives in the area, and I think I feel really good about Debra from Heart of Texas Midwives.  She’s definitely the one I would feel comfortable being naked around making animal noises.  We go for a private interview with her Monday, and hopefully we’ll be able to make a final decision and get everything ready by Week 12.

I’ll let you know how it goes!

Week 7 Ultrasound

Again, my apologies for not posting a lot.  I’m tired.  All the time.  When I’m not tired, I’m hungry or nauseous.  I haven’t had any morning sickness yet, but every few hours I get nauseous and I eat a little something and then I’m fine until a few hours later.  I just rarely feel like putting my thoughts together, let alone getting them all down.

Anyway, I had a bit more spotting Monday, but it went away by the afternoon.  So I’m hoping I’m done with that.  Here’s what I got from my week 7 ultrasound:

  Baby is looking especially blurry today, but the ultrasound tech told me that the two horizontal white lines at the bottom of the blur are little leg nubbies.  I don’t know how she can tell this stuff, but she’s really good.  She said that next week she should be able to see the arms, and that baby might even be wiggling around a bit.

  Next up is heart beat.  It was really strong this morning, and the heart rate is already up to 133.  I hear that if it’s at least 120 at week 8, that we have even less chance of a miscarriage.  So lets hope things stay on track.

The nurses also looked at my cervix under the ultrasound and said that there wasn’t any sign of funneling (a sign of impending miscarriage), so that makes me feel good too.   Every day I feel a bit more secure about the pregnancy, but I know next week is a big one for us.

I go in for another ultrasound on Thursday morning.  I think I may have one more before we leave for Ohio for Christmas, and then if everything looks good, I think they’ll release me.

I know I get to cut back on the Progesterone at week 9 to every other day.  Good, my hips could use the break.  The bad news is that I’m heading to Ohio two days before DH is.  Meaning that one day, I have to give myself injections.  Eek, I’m really not looking forward to it.  No, I don’t have anyone else I trust to do it for me.  I’ll just suck it up.

Ok, I also know that I promised a post about our birthing plan, but we’ve got a meeting about it on Tuesday night and I figured I would wait until after that to do a post.  So I haven’t forgotten, I just want to give you as much info as I can.

So tune in next week.

It Only Takes One

I know, it actually still makes my skin crawl to hear it.  “It only takes one!”  I guess it’s true for us though.  It also may be what scares me the most.

We got to see and hear the heartbeat this morning.  Just one.  One baby.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy about it.  I’m happy to be able to have anything.

Multiples are more of a health risk, but IVF may be the only way we can conceive and I don’t know how many times I want to go through all of this.  My body and emotions have taken quite a beating.  Even as good as DH is at giving me Progesterone shots, both my hips are sore and bruised.

It also sucks because I should be so excited and happy.  That’s my baby there. That little white blob in the little black blob has a heartbeat and is there.  Normal couples would be elated.  All I can think is, “it could stop.”

The doctor took a look at everything and said it still looks good.  The gestational sack looks nice and round (if it was collapsing, that would mean miscarriage), the baby is chillin’ on the yolk sac, the baby is measuring at 6 weeks, and the heart rate is right on.

She said I could still spot for a few weeks, but as long as it’s still the old brown blood it’s ok.  She wants me to come back and check everything again in a week though.    So I set an appointment for next Friday morning.

I know everything is looking good now, but I can’t shake knowing that it could all change in an instant.  And we only have one.  There’s no frozen backup.  We had 16, then 10, then 5, then 2, and now only one.  I know it “only takes one”, but I’m so scared that because the rest arrested, so will this one.  I don’t know if there’s any scientific proof to this thought, but you can’t help but to think it.

I also can’t begin to think past the next appointment.  I just go day to day or at most to the next week.  So the fact that I know I’m almost done with my time at RMA scares me.

It’s a fertility clinic, not a birthing center.  So I knew that if I would make it to the 8th week, they would release me.  Now, I don’t know if the spotting is going to effect this in any way, but if it continues to look good I can’t imagine they’ll keep me much longer.

DH and I have a birth plan.  I actually have a lot to say about it, but I feel like that’s a whole other post.  So I’ll wait until tomorrow.

It’s hard for me to go ahead and start it though because I feel like it’s getting ahead of myself.  I don’t know if the baby is going to be around a week or two from now, so how am I supposed to make plans for beyond that?

Ugh, I’m so sorry I’ve been negative Nancy, but it’s hard.  We’ve gotten 18 months of bad news, so it’s not easy to not expect any more.  We finally got good news with a successful IVF, but I’m waiting for the other foot to drop.

We are really happy though.  We’re excited to finally have a baby and be parents.  I probably will just be paranoid about miscarriage until it’s 34….