Sunday, February 27, 2011

This baby's story

(Warning: slightly personal information below so if you don't want to know about making a baby, please click away. NO, I don't mean like THAT and it's NOT graphic but I do talk about my "cycles" and "fertility".)

Oh you guys, THANK YOU! Thank you so much for all your kind words and congratulations and general merriment you sent our way. It really means the world to me, really. This pregnancy has been something we've wanted for a long time and something we weren't sure we were going to be able to have. You see, there was a time when my ob-gyn came to the conclusion that I had unexplained secondary infertility. Rather sad and confusing, isn't it?

When Noah had just turned one, I was staying at home with him and beginning to think about expanding our family. That was late summer, early fall of 2009. So we started trying. And I started charting and tracking my cycles and taking my temps regularly. What I discovered was that I was all over the place with my cycles. I think my longest cycle was 80-something days (and no, I was not pregnant). Each cycle that went long and for no obvious reason spiraled me further into the "we will never get pregnant" despair. We tried faithfully until I went back to work this past June.

Prior to deciding to go back to work, I met with my ob-gyn for a battery of tests to help us understand why my cycles were so wonky and why we weren't having any luck. Vial after vial of blood was drawn, ultrasounds were had, and my doctor couldn't come up with any good reason why my body was rebelling against making a baby. She determined that our best course of action would be to start Clomid to get things jump-started.

Clomid scared me. There is a risk of multiples and we already have a family history of twins. Our insurance didn't cover ANY infertility treatment so all the medication and follow-up monitoring was out of pocket. Have you seen the bill for ONE ultrasound? Insane. If we got more than one fertilized egg during a cycle, what would we do? Could I handle a multiple pregnancy? Did I want to? Would we selectively reduce? How would we ever decide which one(s)? The concerns and questions were more than we could handle and Tim made the executive decision to not pursue Clomid treatment. This was in May. I was devastated.

We talked about IUI and IVF and knew that there was no way we could afford it without our health insurance covering a portion of it. It felt like I was standing at the bottom of the steepest and tallest mountain with no way up. I decided at that point to become ok with the idea of one child...that our family was perfect just the way it was. Noah brought us an immeasurable amount of joy and I knew we would be happy forever if we just had him. I know now that my head got the message by my heart was lagging far behind.

Once I was back at work I felt less pressure to MAKE A BABY NOW. Since we had taken Clomid off the table for the time being our options were a) keep trying the old-fashioned way or b) stop trying and get to a peaceful place with our little family. Tim and I talked it through, turned it inside and outside and agreed to stop trying until January 2011. He was under enormous pressure trying to keep his business afloat and couldn't expend more energy on making a baby. I was feeling despondent and broken and knew that forging ahead with trying for a baby, and the subsequent disappointment every cycle that didn't bring me one, would break me. So we took a break and took it off the table.

The Summer and Fall of 2010 were hard. Really hard. Friends all around me were having babies, making babies, thinking about babies and I just kept going back to my crappy diagnosis of "unexplained secondary infertility". Why was it so hard to figure me out? What were the issues my body was having? To top it off, the fall was when my cycles magically straightened themselves out and started working the "normal" way. OUT OF NOWHERE it was like my reproductive parts had a meeting and decided to screw with me. There they were mocking me and saying "you gave up on us so now we're going to na na boo boo." So I kept charting and temping. I wanted to prove my doctor wrong. I wanted to prove myself wrong.

The end of the year came and went. It was finally January. I asked Tim if he was on board as promised. We agreed that we would try until March and then re-visit the Clomid discussion if needed. I felt a little wind in my sails again because we had a plan. A plan that WORKED in January. The first time. Like it was EXPECTED and PLANNED and NORMAL. To say I was shocked would be an understatement. This is not how it happens for us. This is not how our lives have been the past two+ years. We don't get what we want when we want just because we want it. That's how other people live...not us. We get to struggle and get kicked when we're down.

I spent the first few days in a state of awe and denial. There was no way this baby would stick. I was destined to miscarry. That's what would happen to us because life hasn't been so kind as of late. How sad that I thought that way but it's been our constant frame of mind for so long. Even the positive pregnancy test couldn't allay my fears of the bottom dropping out tomorrow. My doctor required a blood test to confirm my hCG levels and see how well the baby was "taking". My first read was low and she wanted me back three days later. If the number dropped, I was miscarrying. If it went up, we were good to go. Funny how three days can turn you into a psycho. By the time the second blood draw came around I was convinced I would start bleeding any minute and this would all come to an end. But my numbers were going up. The baby was sticking. How could we be so lucky?

On February 11th we saw our baby for the first time. We saw it's tiny, microscopic heart beating, beating, beating and it's little tail that would become it's spine. We saw it wiggle around and the tech pointed out where it's arm and leg buds were beginning to form. I spent the entire ultrasound sobbing while Tim kept trying to reassure me that everything looked fine. What he didn't know was that this was months and months of tears that I had shut away and put under lock and key. Tears that I hadn't yet shed for the baby I thought we would never have. Because he or she is here and so very much alive.

I know we're not out of the woods yet and really won't be until I deliver this baby in September. I know adding to your family is never easy and the second baby changes everything. But I also know that this is EXACTLY how things were supposed to work out for us. I know that now. I wish I could go back and tell that broken girl from June to just wait. To be patient and happy and positive and she will get what her heart wanted. A squirmy, wiggly, tiny bean of a baby.

I can't wait for September.

Monday, February 14, 2011

On love

Love sneaks up on you in a dozen different ways.

Perhaps love snuck up on you at a tiny bar one long ago April evening, swept you off your feet and told you to never look back. It did to me.

Perhaps love hit you over the head the minute your first-born's arrival was heralded with the sounds of a terrific rainstorm…a clap of thunder, a flash of lightning and a tiny wail. It did to me.

Perhaps love spoke to you through the transformation of a perfect infant into a magical little boy. It did to me.

Perhaps love surprised you by telling you that special little boy wouldn’t be your only beloved child. It did to me.

On September 30, 2011, love will be giving us another reason to celebrate…a new baby! We’re pregnant and over the moon, thrilled to pieces, can’t believe its true, oh so very excited. And most definitely in love with our growing family.

What a journey it’s been, getting to this place of a soon-to-be foursome, and I can’t wait to share it with all of you. For now, know we’re so very, very happy and so very, very nauseous J

Friday, February 11, 2011

Friday brought the good stuff

Well now. That's better. Today was a good day...a really, really, really good day. Noah thought so too and stood still long enough for me to take one picture. Welcome weekend, we're excited you're here.

See you kids Monday.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

A litany of complaints

Welcome to my therapy session.

Today was one of those days that just kind of sucked the life out of my soul. This snow that will never go away is wearing on my nerves and my walk to the train in below negative, brutally windy temperatures left my face frozen. I was shoved in the corner of the train by some jerkface guy who kept swinging his huge backpack all over the place, knocking into me with every lurch of the train. It took all I had not to swat him.

I got to work and had to deal with HR crap about my hours being short of 40 per week and blah blah blah and WHO CARES? My bosses don't, that's for sure. But HR, oh lovely HR, had to crap all over my week. Guess who has to go to 10% flextime and lose 10% of her vacation days and paid days off? This girl...all because I clock in at 38 hours a week instead of the standard 40. It's ridiculous, I know it is, no need to reaffirm.

Then my lunch was crappy and I was hungry and I ate all the secret chocolate in my stash yesterday so there was none left for today. After that I got my annual review form and realized I haven't made as much progress at work as I would like. Basically the workday sucked so when I left to head home and pick up Noah I wasn't exactly pleased when my train was 20 minutes late. I had to make a transfer to another train to get home today and THAT train was 20 minutes late. When I finally got to my car I realized I was completely out of gas...not even enough to get to Noah's school. But then I remembered that I had asked my husband to fill it up LAST NIGHT and clearly he did not do that. So I went to the gas station...where their credit card machines were down. Its a good thing I scrounged together $20 in cash to get a little gas.

Finally I was off to pick up Noah with ten minutes to get from the gas station to his school...which is at least 15 minutes away. And I hit every light. Every. Single. Light. When I pulled in to pick up Noah, I saw his little face peering out the window and felt like the worst mom ever. I never pick him up late. Never. He was the last kid there. Of course the minute I picked him up he proceeded to have an epic meltdown (oh hey, no nap today, super!) that lasted until I finally threw him in his bed at 7:15 tonight and shut his door. He fell asleep within seconds and now I am going to go lay down on the couch and ignore the piles of laundry and dishes and my husband who did not get me gas.

I am not even going to proof this post or delete it because now I feel a little better after getting all this whining out. The rest of this week better show up and bring the good stuff. And...GOODNIGHT.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Foul mouth

You know my son, that darling boy I was weeping and exclaiming over the other day? Well, that boy just stepped in a puddle of wet snow that my husband tracked in, looked at me and said:

"SHIT, MOM! My foot is wet!"

If that doesn't teach you to watch your language then I don't know what does.

Cheese and Rice.