It’s a b…

…aby girl!

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Of course you can’t tell from this profile shot, but I will NOT be posting pictures of my daughter’s genitals on the internet.

And I know, shame on me for waiting an entire week to post about this but life has been crazy.  Any time I have to spend on the internet, I spend it researching baby gear, names, etc.  I’m really not working that much overtime, but working days one week and evenings the next really takes a lot out of me.  And I really see no end in sight to this nonsense at work, but I’m kind of stuck since I’m pregnant and I need this job with the benefits and short term disability for maternity leave.   So whatever.

Anyway, our baby girl is doing just fine. I’ve even started to feel her moving around.  It’s so weird!  At first I thought it was gas, of course, but now I feel like I can distinguish the little kicks and flutters from that.  I’m feeling reasonably well other that hating my job right now.  I need to try to focus on everything I have to look forward to.  I wish I had more time for this blog!

“Well, there’s a person in there…”

Where the heck have I been?  I’m still here.  Still pregnant, at 17 weeks 5 days, to be exact.  I really can’t think of any good excuses for neglecting this blog.  Feeling like garbage from weeks 6 to 14, and working stupid crazy hours comes to mind, though.  I feel much better now that I’m a few weeks into the second trimester.  Nausea is mostly gone (though it haunts me now and then), energy is back, and I’m really starting to get excited about having a BABY in about five months!  And scared.  But mostly excited.

After another ultrasound back at around 12 weeks, several doctor’s visits and blood tests, everything indicates that I have a healthy fetus growing in there.  And now that I’m starting to “show” I’m really starting to actually believe that I’m pregnant.  Any time that I make a comment to my husband about my growing belly, or the weight I’m gaining, he remarks, “Well, there’s a PERSON in there, you know. ”  He makes me laugh.

I should be sleeping.  But how can I possibly sleep when tomorrow is Ultrasound Day.  I mean, the BIG ultrasound.  The one where I find out if there is a little boy or a girl in there.  That is, as long as the little munchkin cooperates.  He/she has a history of being uncooperative.  The purpose of my last ultrasound at 12 weeks was to assess the nuchal fold measurement.  Baby would not get into the right position long enough for the ultrasound tech to get the measurement, and it was not for lack of trying.  It was super cool, though, to see my baby actually look like a BABY (and not like a blob or a gummy bear) and jumping up and down.  So, regardless, I am excited to see my baby again tomorrow in greater detail now that he/she is much bigger.  But it would be nice to know the gender, especially since everyone is asking about it.  And I want to know, too.  I will of course be happy with either outcome.  I’m not even particularly wishing for one or the other, I just want to know!

I’m disappointed that P won’t be able to join me because he has class and can’t skip it.  I wanted to try to schedule it for an afternoon that he could come, but it was nearly impossible to find a time when I could even go due to my nutty work schedule.  I’m on days one week, evenings the next.  This week is days, except for tomorrow.  Ugh.  But enough about work.

I’m going to go and attempt to get some sleep.  Exhaustion does not work for me at all these days!

Sometimes I forget that I’m pregnant.

YEAH RIGHT.  Well, sometimes for about 30 seconds, maybe.  I’ll be going about my day, doing my usual thing, when I realize oh yeah!  I have a tiny human growing inside of me!  Mostly I still can’t believe it.  I definitely feel pregnant – I have all the classic symptoms (still tired and nauseous most of the time), but no ones knows unless I tell them.  At 11 weeks, not showing yet, and I’ve barely gained any weight (a whole pound, whoop whoop).  I could swear though, looking down at my belly today, that I’m starting to “show”… it’s definitely rounder and I can’t suck it in much. I’ve also resorted to using a hair elastic to hold my pants together (by looping it through the button hole and around the button).  Classy, I know, but it’s just so much more comfortable and I’m not sure I’m ready for maternity clothes yet.  My instincts tell me I should shop SOON so that I have them when I need them, rather than wait until I’m desperate for new pants that fit.

I have, however, already bought a couple of new bras.  That was absolutely necessary, as I’ve already gone up a cup size.  Sounds awesome, huh?  Not when you were already a D cup.  Now I’m wearing a 34 DD.  What the heck size am I gonna have to get in September, after I have the baby and the “milk comes in?”  I’m scared.  Seriously!  I’ve always been so self conscious of my breasts.  When I was skinny and running I got all the way down to a C cup.  That was perfect.  I was so happy with my body then.  But that body couldn’t ovulate and get pregnant, so…what can you do.  I’m sure there are many women out there that would LOVE to have my dilemma.  Trust me, you can have them!  I’ve always wanted petite, perky little boobs.  I guess that is not in the cards for me, barring surgery, so I’ve gotta deal with it. Can’t really complain, as I wanted more than anything in the world to get pregnant and have a baby, and here I am…porn star boobs and all.

ANYWAY, enough about that. As for other symptoms: the tiredness isn’t bad as long as I get enough sleep. I actually came home and took a nap the other day, which is so unlike me. The nausea, which has been pretty much constant since week 7, is still dragging me down.  I’ve been able to eat but most of the time, and all I want to eat is carbs, carbs, carbs.  And cheese.  And lately, peanut butter is amazing.  I had some cheese and peanut butter crackers yesterday that really hit the spot.  So that covers all three of my cravings.  You could even call it the trifecta of pregnancy cravings.  You know what I’m talking about –  those crackers that come from vending machines that are an unnatural shade of orange, and are definitely loaded with lots of good artificial colors and chemicals that don’t belong in food.  I would normally not eat this sort of garbage (well, not all the time), but my banana that I had brought for a snack was just not appealing, at all.  So junk food wins out.  But I was good today and ate some actually nutritious food in addition to carbo loading: cantaloupe earlier, and yogurt, and I had a salad with my grilled cheese sandwich for dinner.  The salad was, of course, covered with parmesan cheese.  How have I not gained 50 pounds already?  I guess I am not as nauseous tonight.  I’m really hoping it goes away soon, but every time I think that it’s getting better it comes back with a vengeance.  And let me tell you, working in the microbiology lab is pretty much incompatible with the first trimester of pregnancy.  If you weren’t already nauseous, the smells of E. coli and Citrobacter will help you with that.

I realize this post is all over the place, but I haven’t posted in nearly a month.  I didn’t even post 2 weeks ago after my first OB appointment.  It went well, and I even got to see my baby via ultrasound (on the belly!  Not in the vag!) and heard the heartbeat (pumping away at 174 bpm…go baby go!)  Other than that it was pretty boring.  I will see her about every 4 weeks for now, probably until the last couple months.  I have my NT (nuchal translucency) scan scheduled for Monday. My OB didn’t even suggest that I have one – I was the one to bring it up. She said that they usually only do them if there is a high risk of chromosomal abnormalities (like Down’s Syndrome).  I am not yet 35, the magical “advanced maternal age,” but 34 is close enough in my book.  So she said we could schedule the NT scan if it would give me “peace of mind.”  I suppose that it would only do so if it turns out to be normal. I’m not even sure why I’m doing it. My insurance may not even cover it. But I’m just excited for another chance to see my baby!  And this time the baby will actually look like a baby, and not a tiny blob of tissue with a heartbeat. I’m just trying to focus on that and not worry about what the results of the scan will be.

I hope that I can be a little better about updating this blog, now that I am (hopefully) getting close to coming out of the fog of sickness and exhaustion that has kept me down for the past 5 weeks!

Our baby’s first picture!

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Well, after a morning filled with much anxiety, I am very happy to say that our first ultrasound went wonderfully.  The baby is measuring 6w6d exactly, which is where I am based on the date of my IUI.  At first all I could see was the giant blob of a gestational sac, but Dr. Babymaker quickly found the tiny, flickering heartbeat, which measured at a strong 140 beats per minute.  He said to us, “You’re gonna know this little person for the rest of your lives,” and that there was a 98% chance that I will have a take-home baby out of this. I don’t know if I believe the odds are quite THAT high just yet at just shy of 7 weeks pregnant. But hey, he went to medical school, so what do I know?

My husband was cute.  He seemed as excited as he gets about anything, which if you know my husband, isn’t very much.  But I knew he was excited after I saw how hard he was trying to take a picture of the ultrasound photo with his phone.  And he keeps asking when we can tell people.  I told him that telling family would be OK now, but not sure I want to announce it on Facebook or anything like that just yet.  He also remarked that he was disappointed when the doctor pointed out that the yolk sac was not the head, as he had thought.  “It doesn’t even look like a baby…it just looks like a little blob.”  I explained to him that it will be a few more weeks until it actually looks like a human baby.

The nurse sent us on our merry way and hugged me goodbye, and gave me a bag of goodies (pregnancy magazines, coupons, and a few samples including an itty bitty diaper, which had me practically squealing when I discovered it).  I have officially graduated, and it’s time to move on to the OB!  I made an appointment with her for 2 weeks from tomorrow (Valentine’s Day).  Yet another 2 week wait!  It never ends.

So is it okay to get excited yet?

Six weeks, and I like cheese

Today, I’m 6w4d and there are only two more sleeps until the ultrasound.  I can’t believe it’s almost here!  I’m feeling pretty optimistic about it because I’ve felt like total crap lately. (Does that even make sense?)  Exhaustion hit hard this week, and a few days ago the intermittent nausea started up, and it’s getting to be more frequent.  It’s pretty mild, and hits me at random times during the day.  I haven’t gotten sick yet, and I hope that I don’t!  Eating a snack seems to help, so I’m definitely getting in enough nourishment for myself and the baby.

Other than that, I’m excited to have the next two days off from work.  I FINALLY get some time to relax.  Work has been insane.  A few weeks ago, several people were laid off, including our evening shift tech, and she will not be replaced anytime in the near future.  I am thankful that I still have my job.  Not having a job right now would be devastating.  But still pissed off that things are the way they are at work right now.  I love my job, and love the people.  But now I’m left with all of these somewhat resentful feelings.  The evening shift still needs to be covered, so me, my co-worker, and my supervisor must trade off working that shift.  And it will be me this week, Thursday through Saturday.  Should be interesting, as my new bedtime is 8 PM.  It’s going to be tough to stay awake until midnight or so.  Also worrisome is that my supervisor is frequently out sick, and she will be getting jaw surgery sometime in March or April and will be out for a month. She tells me that everything will be fine and we will have coverage, but I am imagining disaster…or long hours, at any rate.  I should welcome the overtime and extra cash!  I do, so long as I can handle my current responsibilities, and her responsibilities on top of that.  Because when she is not there, it seems I’m the one in charge.  I don’t like being in charge!  (My husband would probably disagree with this statement.)  I guess I should be used to it, because people already joke that I’m really the supervisor of the department.  And I know that everyone is looking at me to replace my supervisor when she retires, but we shall see what the future brings.  No matter what, my family will always come first, and I don’t want a career that is going to interfere with that.

Anyway, back to pregnancy symptoms. Tonight was weird.  I had it in my mind all day that I wanted to get pizza for dinner.  I was SO SURE that that’s what I needed.  There are two local pizza places that deliver around here, and I was very disappointed to discover that the better of the two is closed on Mondays.  I tried calling the other place, but I kept getting their answering machine message.  So frustrating!  I said to DH, “Dammit, pregnant lady wants her pizza!”  During the process of calling pizza place #2 about ten times and getting nowhere, I ate 2 pickles.  By that time, I decided I no longer wanted pizza.  Definitely not bad enough to drive to the other place in town that doesn’t deliver.  I didn’t even really want pizza anymore. So I settled on grilled cheese, which turned out to be a delicious substitute.  All I want lately is starch and cheese.  All of this is not so good for another pregnancy symptom (constipation), but I had some baby carrots dipped in hummus on the side with my grilled cheese, so hopefully that will counteract the unfavorable effects that cheese has on my digestive tract!

Who would have ever thought that pregnancy would be so exciting and glamourous?  I guess that’s why I don’t have much to update with these days.

5 weeks

I feel like I should update with a post at least once a week, even though there isn’t much going on. Other than the fact that I still cannot believe that I’m pregnant!

Symptom wise, the major ones are breast soreness (and, I swear I’ve gone up a cup size already!  Not cool when you’re already a 34D) and feeling quite tired, even exhausted at times. At first I thought it was the lack of caffeine, as I am super groggy all morning at work.  I drank my morning cup of coffee right up until I tested positive.  I didn’t experience any headaches from caffeine withdrawl.  Probably because I wasn’t taking in all that much.  I used to be a 2 cup-of-coffee-per-day gal, but I had been gradually cutting down.  So, I thought that maybe I’m exhausted in the mornings because I’m so used to having that little boost, and now I have switched to herbal tea and it’s just not doing it for me.  But the exhaustion comes back in the afternoon, and in the evening, so I think it must be pregnancy related.  This is probably only the beginning of all of the wonderful symptoms I have to look forward to!  No real nausea yet, but I do feel a bit queasy when I haven’t eaten in a while.  (A while being like, a couple of hours.)  I haven’t been going to pee more than normal, which is good, because I pee a lot! I’ve been trying to drink even more water than I already do, because I’m constipated (I know, lovely) but that’s a given. I’ve read that the real symptoms don’t usually start until about 6 weeks anyway. It’s kind of weird that, in a way, I want to have a little bit of the good ol’ morning sickness…just to reassure me that the the embryo is growing and healthy.  But not really.  I can deal with tired, not sure if I can deal with being on the verge of puking all day long at work.  I’m a microbiologist, and I work in a very smelly place.  It’s definitely bothering me more than usual, but, no yacking in the garbage can yet.

P and I have already been discussing the possibility of staying here in our tiny one bedroom apartment, rather than moving right away.  P is in school until the end of the year.  He should graduate in December.  But the baby (if there even is a baby…who knows?  maybe it’s a tumor? Or a molar pregnancy?  I hate Google!) should be born in September. P doesn’t know if he’ll get a job here, or if we’ll have to relocate.  It would suck to move now, or in the next few months, only to be stuck in a lease in December, if relocation was necessary.  Plus, moving sucks.  Moving now, and then a year from now, doesn’t really make any sense.  Yes, things will be tight, but we can make room.  And I’m sure the baby would be sleeping in our bedroom for the first few months, anyway.  It would be easier with nighttime feedings.  So maybe it actually makes sense to stay here for the rest of the year.  And maybe I’m getting too ahead of myself.  I’m already looking at bassinets and such, and it just seems dangerous!  I give myself full permission to go all out with my baby product research after the ultrasound.  Sure, things could still take a turn for the worse afterwards, but it’s less likely then. (I hope!)

In other news, P got a new job!  He’ll be working 20 hours a week (days only!) and it pays a little bit more than his old job.  But the great thing is, there is potential to move on to a full-time, higher paying job there after graduation.  Which would be awesome, because then we could stay in the area where we actually have friends and family, and I can keep my job, which I love.  He had to resign from the other job, but that wasn’t going anywhere.  He’s very busy with school right now.  I hope this isn’t going to be too much for him, but it definitely won’t be as bad as when he was working that night shift job.  That was a nightmare!

I’m exhausted and I have to work tomorrow (Saturday…ugh!), but I need the money.  And looking forward to lunch with a friend afterwards.  I think I may need to go to bed at 8 o’clock tonight.  Craziness!

This is starting to feel real…

…but I still can’t believe it.  As P said, “It seems too easy!”  HA!  If you think dropping 2.5K and injecting yourself for 15 straight days is easy, sure!

Beta #2 (16 DPO) is 509!!!  My progesterone was also nice and high (50).  The gestational ultrasound is scheduled for the 30th, which is two weeks from Wednesday, and 18 days from today. I will be 6w6d then, and should see a heartbeat. It seems so very far away.  It would be nice to at least get a peak before then, and see how many are in there!  But I’m pretty sure it’s just one healthy little bean right now.  I’m going to be optimistic about this.  No reason to worry yet, though I know that only time will tell.

I didn’t even pee on anything today either.  Isn’t it amazing?  I figured that it isn’t really going to get much darker, when it’s already as dark as the control. And besides, what will it tell me?  I probably will use up my internet cheapies in the next few weeks, just for fun.  And to reassure myself that yes, I am indeed still pregnant.  I need something to keep me busy in the next 18 days, right?

203…

…= my beta HCG level today.  That’s right!  I am pregnant!!!

Yeah, this blog is in serious need of an update!  So, on Monday morning, which was 11 DPO, I totally caved and took a test.  I thought it might be negative, and I shouldn’t test because I would just be upset.  But I couldn’t stop that evil little voice that kept saying, “test…test…TEST ALREADY DAMMIT!!!” (Disclaimer: I don’t actually hear voices.  I am perfectly sane, mostly.)  Anyway, so I gave in…and this is what I saw:

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Yup, definitely much darker that the faint faint test I saw two days prior at 9 DPO (which now I’m kind of wondering, was that the real deal, or the trigger?)  I couldn’t believe it.  I was giddy for about 15 minutes, sharing the news with P who was still groggy.  Then, I thought to myself, let’s get real.  It’s so early.  Don’t get too excited yet!  Seeing as I am well read on everything related to infertility and early pregnancy and all the things that can go wrong, I remain cautiously optimistic.  I’ve tested every day since and yesterday and today’s test were darker than the previous days’ tests.  This has put my mind at ease.  And my decent beta level today makes me feel even better.

This still isn’t real, but it’s getting more real every day.  I’m trying not to think much farther ahead than the next few weeks, which will hopefully include an ultrasound and seeing the embryo’s heartbeat.  I go in on Saturday for a repeat beta, and a progesterone level.  I should see the beta level double, or nearly double.  Then we can think about the ultrasound!

At least, on Saturday, I won’t have to wait all freaking day for the result, as they only see patients early in the morning.  Today, I had to wait for the call until just after 5 PM.  I almost lost it.  What kind of cruel and unusual punishment is it to make someone in my position wait almost 10 hours for the result of test that take minutes to do?  I even called around 3:15, just to make sure that I was actually going to get the result today.  The nurse I spoke to informed me that she couldn’t give me the result (I have a feeling she was looking right at it!) because the doctor had not had time to review it yet.  I kept wondering, what could that possibly mean?  That made it sound like something was terribly wrong!  I had a pretty good feeling that it would be OK because my test this morning looked pretty dark.  But you know me…I was still freaking out a little bit inside.

Here’s another story about the staff at my clinic, and kind of a funny one at that. On Monday morning I called to schedule my bloodwork.  I told the nurse that I was 11 dpiui and got a positive test that morning.  She asked if I’d taken Ovidrel, and I said yes, but I knew it wasn’t due to that because I tested it out.  She had never heard of such a thing, and I had to explain it to her.  She said something like, “WOW.  That seems, uh…rather…expensive?”  I replied, “Oh, you can get pregnancy tests on the internet for real cheap.”  She must have thought I was C-R-A-Z-Y!  Clearly, she’s never had to deal with infertility.

So now I wait for Saturday and hope for a great number.  Then maybe it will feel real?  I am still in shock.  Me, pregnant?  After the first time I’ve ovulated in maybe a decade?  Craziness!  No matter what happens, I am incredibly thankful to have made it this far.

10 DPO and trying to be strong

I refrained from testing today, like a good girl.  I am proud of myself.  But now I wonder, and when I’m not busy with something else (like work today), I have time to ponder and obsess.

I have a long commute to and from work – about 45 minutes each way.  This is dangerous. Even if I try to get really into whatever program is on NPR, I can’t focus on anything else but the question of whether or not I’m pregnant.  Today, I was listening to “Travel with Rick Steves,” as he interviewed The Travel Channel’s Samantha Brown.  I was mostly paying attention, and it sort of got my mind in the right place, until he mentioned, “And you are about to embark on a very different type of journey.”  Yup, you guessed it, she’s pregnant, with twins, even! I can’t get away from it!  The world is obsessed with babies and pregnancy, it’s not just me!

I didn’t want to talk too much about my symptoms, but I’ve had cramping on and off since yesterday.  This means one of two things…AF is on the way, or implantation.  I had some pretty intense cramps for a few minutes on the way home today.  So intense, that I contemplated pulling over and taking something for it.  Then I remembered that I don’t have any Tylenol in my purse, just ibuprofen.  And Tylenol does nothing for me, anyway.  But the cramps disappeared after about five minutes. I wonder what the heck that was all about?

Every symptom I come up with turns out to also be just a sign of either impending menstruation, or increased progesterone. It would be nice to get a clue!

It’s going to be difficult to resist testing tomorrow, as I have the day off.  I have plenty to do though, and if I can get my FMU flushed down the toilet, I think I’ll be alright.  I drink so much water all day long, and my urine is so dilute, that it is pointless to test at any time other than first thing in the morning.  I am really tempted though, but I know if it’s negative it will only make me depressed, even if it is early.
What I need to do right now is get OFF the computer, and in bed with my book.  I definitely need to stay away from this website.  It is EVIL, pure evil, I tell ya.

Pee stick insanity

Oh, what have I gotten myself into?  I’m 9 DPO and I tested again this morning, even though I said I wouldn’t. Yesterday’s test still showed a faint second line from the trigger.  I though for sure today’s test would be dead negative, so I wasn’t going to test. But curiosity got the best of me and I tested.  At first, I thought the test was negative.  But then, when I looked at it lined up next to all the rest of the tests, I could still see a faint line.  Faint, but it’s there. I really think it’s still from the trigger, but supposedly the Ovidrel is out of your system in 7-10 days.  I took the Ovidrel 11 days ago. Again, I really think it’s the trigger, as you can definitely see a progression from dark to light when you look at all of the tests together. I should upload a pic of my testing insanity.  It looks like and art project, or a poster presentation for school.  I should put it up on the fridge.  “Hey Mom, look what I made!”

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You probably can’t see the tests on the bottom very well. Terrible lighting in my place.  But they are still positive. A sane person would quit, wait until at least 14 DPO, and test again.  A sane person would NOT continue to test for the next week. But I have issues, and I think I’ve developed a pee stick addiction, in addition to my thermometer addiction.  I really should at least hold off until 12 DPO, which is Tuesday.  But I’m so close…only 2 more FMUs (first morning urines) between now and then.  If I wait to test until then, and I get a squinter at 12 DPO, I won’t be sure if it’s still the trigger or if it’s ME.  Plus, my project would not be complete. I would be missing 10 and 11 DPO, and it will be worthless and ruined! And, if I quit testing now, I won’t live up to my husband’s expectations.  When I began this project, he said, “I know you.  You’re going to test EVERY DAY for the next two weeks.”  Well, I’m almost there, buddy.

In all seriousness, I really should step back and take a break.  Even if it’s only for 2 days.  I don’t think I can wait until Thursday to test, but I should at least wait until Tuesday to test again.  Today’s test was so faint that I really do think the trigger is gone.  If I see anything on Tuesday it should be for real.  Right?

Sigh.  Why can’t I just get knocked up and find out when my period is a week late and I’m puking up breakfast like a normal person?!!