Saturday, December 31, 2011

Counting Down to 2012 (oh, and baby, maybe?)

I'm so very excited for all the possibilities and potential that 2012 holds! 2011 has been an O-K year, but definitely filled with too many ups and downs to simply classify it as a good year or bad year.

Not entirely sure how we'll be ringing in the new year just yet. If you had asked me last week, it would have been possibly hanging with a few friends. Now, plans are kinda in limbo.

On Christmas and earlier in the week, I lost that glamorous mucus plug. Then at my 38w check up on Thursday, the Dr told me that I was already 2cm dilated. While I know that doesn't mean baby is imminent, he said I was ahead of the curve for 1st timers. So I've spent Thursday and Friday checking the TP with renewed vigor for some tinges of blood that would further show progress is being made. The irony is not lost on me though. I spent the last 30-some-odd weeks in fear of anything remotely reddish in color showing up. Now? Bring it.

Everyone keeps chatting me up about labor and baby's arrival. My mom and FIL were betting on the 30th. MIL says a NYE or NY day baby would be awesome. And since all the females on my side of the family have gone into labor prior to their due date, I've been entertaining the notion of meeting baby sooner, rather than later. I'm not sure why I think that trend will continue with me. The fertile/accidental pregnancy(ies) thing sure didn't. What makes me think that anything else reproductively will go the same?

I have to admit, I'm dying to meet my baby. I'd love to go into labor any day, hour or minute now. I'm not really doing anything to rush baby before it's ready, but if the kiddo decides it is time to come out, I'm totally cool with that! But for now, I just feel like I'm stuck in another waiting game. Everyone telling me I could go at any minute and how cool this day or that would be isn't helping either. The Boy is over me being pregnant. He wants our little munchkin to be here 5 minutes ago. Nothing is really helping in making the time go by quicker or distracting me with all that coming my way. It's almost worse than the 2ww. This wait, I have to make sure that the essentials are close at hand should we need to rush to the hospital. Can't/don't really want to go too far from home or the hospital, ya know, just in case. That and I don't really have the energy or range of movement to do all too much anyways.

I've also discovered my newest fear. It's pretty ridiculous, but I'm very much afraid of it. I'm petrified that I won't know I'm in labor, and I'll end up having the kid in the toilet thinking I just had to use the restroom or something. I've been having lots of Braxton Hicks contractions, but since they aren't painful or stop me in my tracks, I haven't been really paying attention to them. What if they are real, honest to goodness labor contractions? What if my incessant need to pee is actually my amniotic fluid leaking out slowly? Everyone says I'll know when the real show is on the road, but what if I don't?

At least if I was in the 2ww, I could justify a drink (pregnancy not likely, and no shared blood flow either way). That and I could fit into something cute and go out for the night. This NYE looks to be shaping up for 1 of 2 outcomes- either I'm sitting at home in pj pants and a shirt that doesn't meet the waistband or I'm wearing a hospital gown trying to push out a baby. Neither is as glamorous as a big night out on the town, drinking and partying, but I'm sure ya'll can all guess which one I'd rather it be!!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The BIG Drop

I'm not referring to my holiday season lack of decorating, card mailing and present buying.

I'm not even referencing the NYE ball drop.


I'm talking about my belly. It's lowering more and more each day. I am actually, honestly, and undeniably waddling these days. I need help up off the couch or chairs most of the time. If I squat down to look or pick anything up, someone had best be next to me to pull me up! That, or I have to fall to my butt, get on my hands and knees, and pull myself up using nearby, stable objects. And just an FYI (and probably TMI too), a mucus plug is like EWCM on crack and steroids! Plus, it isn't accompanied by the urge to pounce the husband, much to both our dismay.

It took almost the whole 9 months, but I'm at the point where I can't help but complain. My back is killing me. My boobs feel like lead weights on my chest half the time. My ankles and feet are swollen more often then not. I have to visit the restroom far to frequently for my personal comfort. Sleep is elusive. I have 2 bottoms and 3 shirts that kinda, sorta fit and cover the burgeoning belly and are decently comfortable. Oh, and the on-again-off-again nausea has returned. I don't think I even need to mention the pendulum that is my emotions. Did I mention the lightening punches to my cervix?

Still, even given all the physical discomforts, the hormonal roller-coaster of my mental state, and the fact that I'm barreling ever faster to my due date, I'm still overjoyed and immensely grateful to be pregnant. To have the opportunity to have these things to complain about, mostly just to the Boy. 90% of people I know or those strangers that find out I'm 38w continually mention how I must be beyond ready to get this baby out of me. That I should be begging to go into labor ASAP. Honestly, I'm not. Sure, I mean I'm uncomfortable, but that doesn't mean I still don't relish having my baby staying in until (s)he is ready, growing strong and staying healthy in the mean time.

Besides, I've gotten pretty good at being pregnant (or at least I think so). I know what I'm doing, mostly, and things have been going pretty well. This next part? I'm not 100% sure about it. Are we truly ready to be completely responsible for another human being? Babies, from what I hear, are a lot different from puppies and kittens, at least in the beginning. While I can't wait to be a mom, will I be a good one? Will my child be happy to have me as a parent years down the road? How can I make sure that I don't screw this kid up for life? Compared to all those thoughts and worries, labor doesn't even remotely frighten me.

Hopefully, before the end of the week, I can work up the courage to finish packing my labor and hospital bags...

Friday, December 23, 2011

Paging Dr. WTF!

I wonder if doctors have to take etiquette classes in med school. From my experience, I doubt it. It definitely needs to be a requirement though. Special session: Infertile Etiquette.

Yesterday, during my routine (and now weekly) Ob check-up, after the Q&A session and hearing the heartbeat, the Doc checks my fundal height. Out of the blue, "Excuse me a moment" and out the door he goes. I can hear him talking with a nurse out in the hall for several minutes. He re-enters. Without any apology or explanation- "Will you be around tomorrow? I'd like to schedule you for an ultrasound."

The panic alarm goes off in my brain. I don't think anything is really wrong, but I always go to the worse case scenario in my head. The fact that this just came out of left field caught me off guard as well. The last thing a Dr should do is make a pregnant lady worry about the health of her baby. It should never be done to someone who has gone through infertility.

Apparently, I'm measuring small for date. I've been so pretty much the whole time. It seems like the last few weeks it has been drastic enough for them to be concerned that their may be some growth restriction or something else possibly going on with baby. He even said "We don't want to be surprised and caught unprepared for a 4-4.5lb baby." Do they always have to bring on the bad options and save the only good option for last? "It could just be that everything is fine, and you are just smaller."

I was never expecting a big baby. Heck, I wasn't even 6lbs at birth. My mom's biggest baby was 6.5lbs. The boy was an 8 pounder, but he's not a very large guy. I've always been small and petite. I would be astounded if baby was to be >8lbs!

Why couldn't the Dr just say "It's most likely that you're measuring small because you and your husband are smaller people, but just to make sure that there isn't anything more serious going on, I'd like to get you in for an ultrasound in the next few days."? Would that be so difficult?

In the end, baby is measuring fine. A bit smaller at 36w4d rather than 37w3d, but in the 37th percentile off measurements. The u/s tech said baby is probably about 6-6.5lbs (ish) and my fluid levels are good. "I know he just wanted to make sure, but I'm not surprised that everything is fine. You're not very big yourself. It should be nice not to deliver a 9lb baby though!" The techs always amaze me. They can so easily find what they are looking for in there. I could barely tell what was what this time as it was all jumbled and squashed up together.

Long story short: Dr. made a "could go into labor any day now" infertile pregnant lady thing something might have gone wrong since the last u/s at 24w. I seriously kept going back to the thought that I've made it all this way for something to go wrong at the end?All it would have taken to prevent that is a change in wording!

At least now we have some small peace of mind over the holidays that things are good. Baby and I are healthy and doing well. Hopefully, the trend continues onto delivery and well beyond...

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

I've missed the Holiday Hooplah bus.

3 (or 4 depending on how you look at it) days until Christmas. Here's what I've completed for the holiday:

Put up 2 wreaths in the windows and a bow on the front door.
Decorated the chandelier tree I showed last post.
Hung holiday cards and stockings from the mantle

The end.

Writing and sending out Christmas cards is just not going to happen this year. Heck, Christmas is on Sunday, and I've accomplished exactly ZERO gift shopping. Zilch. Nada.

Thankfully, family and friends have given me the "preggo pass" on some of these things, but that does nothing to ease my guilt of coming off as Scrooge or the Grinch. Christmas just snuck up on me this year, it seems.

Some of my guilt and self-shaming is alleviated has been countered by me not asking for anything for Christmas. There is nothing really that I want that people can get me. I'm truly just thankful to have family that I can spend it with since my folks moved down here (which means my other sisters will be visiting here). Previously, it would have just been the Boy and I sitting on the couch with Christmas Spaghetti or the like. It's apparently not highly recommended to be traveling a few hours from the hospital at almost 38w pregnant. Go figure. Also, his parents will be coming up to visit on Tuesday, so that will be great as well.

All I'd really like for the holidays is to spend time with family. Now, if some one was able to wrap it up and put a bow on it, I'd love assurance that baby will arrive safely, and we'll both be happy and healthy at the end of it all. But since that doesn't fit well in any box, I'll just take family time.

Here is hoping everyone out there have a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Awesome Kwanza, and Jolly Festivus! May your days be Merry and Bright and you get all that you want under the tree, menorah, etc. I'd put a baby under them if it was in my power!!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Busy Bee Sampler

Woohoo! Another post! And only 2.5wk between them... Oh well...

I figured that rather than a long, text-filled post, I'd join the photo bandwagon for a change and show you guys some of the things that I've been filling my time with these last few months, weeks, etc. You know, as proof that I haven't just been sitting on my (expanding) butt on the couch the whole time.

**WARNING: there are several baby and pregnancy related pics below. I've tried to group them as best I can if you need to skip on past them. I totally understand.**

Our still un-completed deck that was started in September.
Eventually, one day, we'll finish staining it, put up the last few rail spindles and do the benches...

Sparse Christmas decorations. Just a little bit for that holiday feel,
without all the work of a full on tree and exterior lighting.

Lots and lots of painting involved. And even more moving things from one room to
another and back again! Eventually, that will become an actual, usable closet and room!

I've written so many as you can see. That whole stack is blank...

 Oh and when I am on my kiester on the couch (Boy calls it my "fort"), I'm doing 1 of 2 things:

1) Internet-y things. Primarily, email, blogs, and P.interest. Lots and lots of pinning! (There is far to much good food and amazing crafts on that site!!) Oh and hunting for some awesome craigs.list finds for the nursery, etc.

This has probably been my best find/deal ever!
$50 and in great condition- original caning and finish.

2) Experiencing things like this:

The closest I'm going to come to posting a "bump" pic on here.
Enjoy my "beauty mark", scar, and wonderful linea negra!
Yeah... it's like a college dorm room in there - very little space but lots of partying! We've reached the "Countdown" stage. Just 1 month to go (ish) and hopefully the last 1.5yr+ will all have been worth it!

And if anyone is wondering, my weight gain reached about 30lbs total now. I've never been one to really gain or lose weight in any real amount, but to have put on 30lbs in pretty much 4-5m blows me away! To think, I was doubting that I could gain it when the Docs 1st told me. I don't mind the amount, and I'm sure it has all gone to my boobs, butt, hips, and of course belly. For being 8m pregnant, I'm feeling pretty good 90% of the time. Here's hoping that keeps through the holidays!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Post-shower Thought Dump

Ok, so it's been a week since my shower. A very busy, sleep-deprived kind of week.

So, overall, I'd have to say the shower wasn't all that bad. Awkward and uncomfortable at times, but not too horrible. There were points were I felt kinda lost and useless, standing/sitting around while other people were playing the games and getting ready, etc.

My SIL and friend really out did themselves, though. It was a good bit "theme-y" but at least the theme was fall/pumpkins and not something obnoxious like diaper pins/rattles, etc. I don't personally have any photos as I was a bit occupied putting on my smiley face and pretending that this is just a commonplace pregnancy and I don't have a care in the world. All the relatives over 35 that attended insisted on belly rubbings though. Definitely some of the awkward times there.

The food was really good and was predominantly made by the friend-that-helped-decorate's boyfriend. Yum! I just mostly grazed. The anxiety kinda killed my appetite. I experienced most of the food as leftovers that SIL insisted we take home. Left-overs included about 1lb of meatballs, a pint of spinach dip, a quart of chicken and grape salad, 1 dozen cupcakes (mostly carrot cake, but a few chocolate ones too), brownie "cake" pops, misc candies and some pretzels.

Games weren't too horrible. There was the obligatory "How big is my belly" game, a diaper raffle, and "guess the mystery baby items". I prefaced the belly sizing game with the fact that I won't hold it against anyone if they make their length of "belly tape" crazy long. I'm not huge and I know it. I'm comfortable with my size so a silly piece of plastic that is 5ft long isn't going to send me into hysterics, hiding in the bathroom. Two people tied for the game though. My super-fertile friend from work with the practically 1yo little girl who is my cloth diaper mentor and my friend E who is (still) TTC and recently started going to the RE practice that we saw. I really wanted E to get the prize b/c Fertile Friend won the diaper raffle. Unfortunately, SIL had a guess the number tie-breaker instead. It was fair, but I really wanted E to have won! I got to keep all the baby items from the Mystery game which I not too surprisingly got all of them correct when we did the answers.

Then it was presents time. Holy freaking Cow! I have never opened that many gifts at any one point in my entire life before. Not even for our wedding! It was like a never ending pile of gifts and cards and tissue paper! We got some awesome stuff from our registry. Lots of practical items (which I love!). We even had a few crafty friends and families make us some things like a bib, onesie, pants/sweater outfit and blanket. I almost cried at those, but was able to hold it together. My MIL even brought the travel system she purchased for use, assembled and all. She out did herself b/c she even got it in the color I truly fell in love with, but couldn't find a link for anywhere but the maker's website. Sneaky husband apparently had a hand in that.

And then it was time that things were wrapping up. Holy crap again! It had been 3.5hrs! All in all, there were about 20 people there (10 of which were relatives). I didn't expect so many people to show up at all! As the Boy said, "Guess people actually really like me" (or they just really like things baby related). It was awesome having the Boy there the whole time, even if he wasn't actively participating or spending time with many people.

I can't remember if it was that evening or the next day, but I sent E a message to let her know how greatly I appreciated her attending and how much it meant to me. She said she had a great time and loved it. She is a better woman than I because I know how hard and sucky showers are when you keep getting met with disappointment in your own baby-endeavors. On top of that, she has just started her period a few days earlier. Bless her heart, she has such a better outlook on things than I did at that point. I keep thinking about it, and when the time comes (hopefully soon), I think I will offer to throw E a shower...

So grand summation of the baby shower - Not bad and almost enjoyable, but makes me really glad I only had 1 big shower and not several of medium showers (like my 2w-behind me friend whose 4th shower is this afternoon). Sure, you'd get more things that way, but that is sooo not my cup or tea! I just enjoyed having all my family and friends there supporting us and being excited for us. It also kinda lit a fire under my bum to get things cranking away in preps for baby. We had started painting the nursery, but last weekend upped the gears a bit. As I type this, the room has 2 coats of the 2 primary colors, and I'm about to start on one of the accent stripes. Also, I've gone through some of the items we've received previously and sorted/organized them as well. We still have quite a ways to go... 7w should be plenty of time for that, right? Especially with Thanksgiving and Christmas tucked in there...

List of things left to do for nursery:
Buy/decorate baby dresser
Assemble crib once my parents drop it off
Get a chair of some sort
Hang new light fixture and curtains
Make previously said curtains
Wash and put away all baby clothes, etc
Organize all other baby items (diapers, bottles, etc)

For my next post, I think I'm going to show you guys all what things I've been keeping myself busy with these last few weeks/months (and how none of them are completed). Maybe I'll even have a pic or 2 of the nursery, painted at least. Not sure if I'll be able to get that up before Thursday, in which case I want to say "Happy Thanksgiving" to all of you in the US! Those of you not in the States or not celebrating Thanksgiving, I still invite you to stuff your faces full of delicious foods and lounge around as much as possible!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Pre-shower Thoughts

(Hey! A post 2 weeks in a row!)



Tomorrow is the big day.

MY baby shower.

That just sounds so odd and crazy. Surreal and unreal. But that's what my calendar says and the little invitation on my cluttered "desk" in the kitchen leads me to believe. My mom and dad are on their way down here to spend today and tomorrow with us. According to my previously-PG SIL, 20 people have RSVP'd.


That seems like a ton of people to me! Sure 10 of them are just our family, but still... I guess people actually like me. That or they just like free food and talking babies. I think it's a coin toss there. We have already received a few gifts by mail for those that are unable to attend due to distance. It's kinda scary how much baby stuff is in our house right now and how much will be here by the end of tomorrow.

So I really want to explore my thoughts and feelings pre-shower and then compare them with post-shower. I feel very strange about it all. I'm a bit more apprehensive than I think most moms-to-be are about it. I hate being the center of attention and having a huge fuss and deal made over me. I don't know how comfortable I'll be talking about my pregnancy and baby plans etc with people. I'm far more relaxed to talk about our infertility than our current success for some odd reason. There's also the fact that practically everyone has advice and recommendations about these last few weeks and beyond. While I appreciate that they are trying to "help", I'm just taking things as they come. We don't so much have a plan as we have "preferences" (thanks to our birth class teach for that term!). Our journey this far has taught me that nothing is predictable, and you really can't plan life. It does what it wants for the most part and you just have to roll with the punches.

Also, I'm worried that lots of people are going to try to be touching my belly at the shower. This totally weirds me out, big time! I love touching my belly. I love the Boy touching it. I'm awkward with our parents touching it. I haven't had anyone else try to touch it, so I don't know how I'll respond. I really don't want to punch someone when/if they try to rub it. I think that would make me a horrible honoree.

The Boy keeps telling me just to think of it as we'll be getting lots of free stuff from people. True, but I feel odd when people give and buy things just for me. I keep trying to think of it more as them doing that for Baby and not me, which helps some. It is still weird for me to think that people are buying stuff and getting all excited for this giant lump in (on?) my abdomen. Plus, it brings me back to the belly-touching phobia.

My ideal shower would be more like a cook-out get-together. People just come over and hang out and talk about anything and everything. There are dudes and chicks, food and drinking and just general good times being had. There would be no "games" and no really decorations. No cutesy and froo-froo items or activities. Just chilling and "Oh yeah, I happen to be pregnant" in the background. While I didn't have my SIL label the shower as co-ed, guy are free to attend if they wanted. Shockingly, none of the male counterparts want to attend! If I had said co-ed, I think some of them may have been guilted into coming by their Sigs. I'm well aware that 99.99% of guys do NOT want to be at baby showers. And I totally understand why. They are the same reasons why I do NOT like being at baby showers! Far too many females talking about babies, being pregnant, getting pregnant, those looks of "Honey, don't you just want (another) one of those?" and "How cute is X, Y, Z!" Those things translates into "Blah blah blah blah blah" and "Warning! Danger! Danger, Will Robinson" to most guys.

Lastly, I think the shower brings up a huge fear, one I'm sure that most women that have battled infertility have. What if we get all this stuff and everyone is all excited and worked up, but there doesn't end up being a baby at the end? What if something happens between now and coming home from the hospital? What do you do with all the baby stuff that has filled your house and life? That and it is starting to make things far too real for me. It seems to no longer be "This is cute for a baby" and "Baby would like that". Things are morphing into "Baby will be using this" and "Baby will be wearing these" and "Baby needs this and that".

Sh!t is gettin' real, yo! We are both starting to get really excited about it all. I'm actually giddy about a few things. Plus, I'm starting to plan and get ahead of myself with things. Things like Maternity leave. We've been putting off most of the post-birth necessities like finding a Pediatrician and figuring out child-care for when I go back to work. Now, we are feeling the crunch to get these things done; the pressure of the limited amount of time until they are going to be needed. All that keeps making that big FEAR pop up in my head more and more.

I'm sure that these feelings are completely normal given everything to date, but it sucks. I'd really just love to be able to let myself get and stay excited. Stupid loss and IF! Well, Here's to the home stretch!!

** I wrote this all up yesterday, but forgot to hit post! Thank you auto-save!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Distance Does Make the Heart Grow Fonder

Sometime I've realized after my last post:

I super-duper miss blogging. Lots.

I really wish I posted more. I love the connection, camaraderie, and commenting (both the leaving and the getting). I know it should be just as easy as writing more posts, more often. But it really isn't.

There is a lot going on in my life right now, but no more than in other peoples. I think my day to day stuff is pretty boring really. Not much to talk about regarding the going-ons.

I've notice my constantly decreasing drive and interest to super/over-achieve at work. "Good enough" seems to be my new methodology. An 8 or 9hr day is plenty in my book, and I'm reserving longer hours for only the days that crap HAS to get done. Things and people are just irritating me too much to put a lot of effort and energy into things there.

My parents have made an offer on a house 10min down the road from us. It's been accepted. They just had the inspection, which came back pretty good - only minor repairs, and will be closing at the end of November. We sorta have mixed feelings about this but overall are pretty happy about it. Not really enough angst or anything to dedicate a full post.

And there is always the baby stuff. 3rd trimester. Less than 10w to go. Half way through our birth and childcare education classes. But for the most part there really isn't any news to report. Ob appts are pretty generic most of the time. I'm gaining weight. Heart rate, BP, and urine are all good. Baby sounds good. Passed my glucose tolerance tests (yak!). I just don't think this is the right outlet to chronicle and go into details about all the little things of pregnancy right now and baby activity, etc. I know the last thing I wanted to read about when I was still going through treatments and trying was how uncomfortable or large someone was feeling and how "baby does this" or "that". If ya'll want all those details, by all means, let me know! Otherwise, I'll just leave you with the knowledge that my little tyke is very comfortable inside and seems to regularly have some sort of crazy rave parties that the Boy and I get to witness frequently.

I was talking to a grad student from another lab at lunch earlier this week, and she pointed out something very poignantly. "You know, you have been very different about your pregnancy than most people. I haven't heard you complain much or anything. You just seem to get on with it. You always seem to be happy and good. I never would guess that you've not felt well at any time." It's true. I just get on with it. There are things that come with being pregnant that are expected. Why complain to everyone about feeling a bit queasy early on or "uncomfortable" later? Call me daft if you will, but those things are intrinsic to being pregnant. I am so grateful to be here right now that I can't and don't feel the need to groan and moan about little things that I was aware happen in pregnancies.

Ya know... thinking about it, I'm kind of a pregnancy rebel here:
Not finding out the sex
Late on the prep (registry, nursery, etc)
Not complaining about it all

I'm the freaking John Mc.Cain of pregnant - a Maverick if you will. That or I'm just like every other infertile that is so freaking appreciative to be able to get and stay pregnant that things like gender and a nursery are just icing on the ice cream-filled, sugar and chocolate laden cake.

Maybe I'll just force myself to make time for small little posts. I do miss this space a lot...

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Random Run-down #3

Yikes! Has it really been practically 3 weeks since my last post? Somebody smack me around a bit and get my butt into gear here!

There hasn't been a whole lot to say about any one particular thing so I'll just do a quick rundown with some bullet points.

  • Life is still a bit frazzled here. Lil sis has moved out, but my dad is still staying with us ~3d a week. That will soon be changing, as my parents are under contract to buy a house less than 10min away from us, but likely won't close or move until after Thanksgiving and into December.
  • Holy moley, I'm 30w pregnant! Some how the 3rd trimester crept up on me... just over 2mo and hopefully, we'll be bringing home a baby. I've also started the every 2w appt at the Ob's office. I wonder if they'll be doing a growth scan and all these other things I hear other women talk about their practices doing?
  • It's freaking getting cold! It is too early for lows in the 30's and frost/freeze warnings here! I shouldn't have to turn the heat on in October! The cooler temps have been nicer for sleeping though.
  • Speaking of sleeping, I wish I could. I need to learn how to fall back to sleep anytime I wake up for a bit at night. Taking 20-30min to drift off again each time is getting old, fast.
  • The baby shower the SIL is planning/throwing for me with help from my mom and lil sis is less than 2w away. Not sure how I'm feeling about it... I'm kinda starting to have to resign myself to people fussing over me... The following weekend is the shower for the friend who had the surprise pregnancy due 2w after me. It will be her 4th shower for this child. Does that seem absurd to anyone else?
  • I've made it this far without any random stranger(s) touching me or the belly. It's only been in the last month or less that people in line places, etc seem to realize and comment on me being pregnant. Let's hope the hands-off continues for the next 70d or so.
  • We have still not done a thing for the nursery. Actually, I take that back. We picked out the 2 main color swatches, not just color group. Glid.den's Fresh Guacamole and Beh.r's Pastel Jade. That is the extent of our progress. Someday we'll clean the room out, actually paint it, and maybe even put some furniture in there.
  • The little tyke is a mover and a shaker. It's a bit surreal (and freaky) to watch my abdomen contort like it does. Thankfully, I have a polite fetus that doesn't wake me up at night with movement or kicks to the ribs (at least not yet). Now if only my hips would be as cooperative...
  • We are 95% complete with the deck. It is all built and railings are up. Just need the slats put on the step-side rail and to finish staining it all. At least it is usable and such now. Maybe I'll take a pic of it and post soon, if I can talk myself into to doing so without the project being totally complete...
  • We started childbirth classes 2 weeks ago at the hospital I'll hopefully be delivering at when the munchkin decides it's ready. It's an interesting collection of people in our class to say the least. I apparently have over-researched all this stuff, because I often feel like one of the few people there that seem to know what things are, what terms mean, and all. Oh, and there is 1 other couple out of the other dozen that are waiting to find out gender as well. Coincidentally, they are also C and C W. That just tickled me!
I can't think of much else to say just now. Life has just been moving on, day by day. I have discovered the wonder that is maternity leggings and husband shirts. Other than that, my animals have been stinkers and either peeing on the floor (evil male cat) or shredding whatever they can get their slobbery traps on (Mazzy, Cricket, I'm looking at you two here!).

I hope everyone else out in blog land is doing at least ok if not great. I'm still reading and rooting for you all! Take care and hold onto hope!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Blogland Spectator

There is something I've been feeling super guilty about the last few months. People say I shouldn't, but I can't help it.

I've been a Blogland Spectator.

I read the posts that Blogger and Google send to my Reader everyday (or other day) or so, but sadly that is about it. I comment here and there. Post something sporadically. But mostly, I've been a ghost around the blogosphere.

I wish I could say there was a good reason. Honestly, though, there just isn't one that I feel is justified. Sure, we've been busy, but I've been busy before and was still able to keep pace. Part of it is still that lack of interest in the internet. Some of that is due to some lovely pregnancy-related vision issues and reading things for any considerable amount of time.

I fear that it might be coming off as "I'm pregnant and have far more important things to busy myself with than IF and blogs." That isn't at all the case.* I've actually felt more attached and involved with ya'll's cycle outcomes and news than before being pregnant. It's probably the hormones, but I find myself crying tears of joy at the good news and tears of sadness at  disappointment, loss, and heartache right alongside you.

Sometimes, I just can't think of a comment to write. "Sorry" and "Yay" seem like such lackluster statements to post on such monumental and personal entries. Plus, I feel they seem even more hollow coming from someone that is sailing along in pregnancy.

I am really sorry for my lack of presence these last few months in the IF blogosphere. I wish I could promise that it will change soon, but if I'm being honest with myself and you, I don't see it happening thanks to the impending holidays and hopefully, a take home baby. Just know that I am reading your words and that you have my support and shoulder as you continue in your struggles and in your successes. I am thinking of you all and wishing you nothing but the best and happiness!

*I have done next to ZERO to get ready for a baby or anything like that. Call me slack. The only pregnancy/baby related things I've accomplished is starting a registry at Targ'et (@ 25w - which is apparently unheard of and crazy late to most people) and confirmed a date with previously PG-SIL for the shower she's offered to host for me. That is absolutely it. My younger sis is still in the future nursery room site. No furniture has been purchased or assembled. Paint colors haven't been selected (other than just general shades). I've been delinquent on pretty much everything that isn't our back deck or work.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

I'm No Superman

No woman is an island (even if are feeling like you are large enough to be one).

It has taken me 28yrs and 6m being pregnant to realize that, sometimes, even I can't do it all. I still try. Oh boy, do I still try!

Asking for help has never been easy for me. It always feels like I'm admitting defeat. That I'm incapable of doing something. I know a large part of this is due to frequently being underestimated in my abilities by others. How on earth could a small, little female like me be able to do (fill in the blank) ? So I overcompensated. to show them that not only CAN I do it, I can do it better than they can. This worked well for me for a good number of years. Plus, this kept others from not meeting my exacting standards for things. If there was one thing I could say I honestly hate, it is having to go behind other people to do thing correctly or to fix their half-effort attempt.

It has taken me years to relinquish control of several household chores to the Hubs. Call me crazy, but I use to prefer to do all the laundry, dishes, 90% of the household cleaning, all because our definitions of clean were... different, to say the least. Slowly, I let him help where and when he offered. Mostly because I ended up not having time between going to school full-time and working about 30hrs to do much of anything at some points. A semi-clean house was miles better than a not clean house, right? Eventually, I put him in charge of a few chores and he was openly welcomed to help with anything else he wanted to do around the house. There was no way I could keep up with keeping things clean between the 2 of us, the 2 cats, and the 2 (adorable) fur explosions we call dogs while working ~50hr a week.

Queue pregnancy.

The 1st trimester, I was so worn out to be much good at anything. That and the constant nausea prevented me from doing any chores that had even a slight odor. The Boy was stellar here. Sure, our house wasn't spick and span, but it was passable and liveable. Once the nausea and utter fatigue passed/lessened, I was back to doing more. (I'll admit here that I didn't pick up all the things I was doing before. Hey, it was pretty nice not having to do all the cleaning and sitting around instead).

The 2nd trimester, I've been more involved. Not just with household cleaning. I've been back to helping with all the projects around the house, doing more at work. It feels great to have energy to do things, even if I tend to overdo them just a touch. I no longer feel delegated to the sidelines.

Except, that's where people keep putting me or at least trying. Now that I'm "noticeably" pregnant, sure people are nicer to me and are offering their help left and right, but they are also pretty quick to try and prevent me from doing things. Oh no you don't! I may be pregnant, but that doesn't mean I'm disabled. I can still do lots of things, even some manual labor. For the most part, I just have to modify how I do thing. However, there are things that I admit I can no longer do at all (Goodbye, heavy lifting and repetitive bending over). But all their objections and coddling has kicked my "I'll show them" overcompensation into overdrive.

Exhibit A: The last month of my life - At work, things have picked up for me. I have had the usual lab work, no problem, additional (and time demanding) tissue culture for a collaborative project, and that manuscript/paper I've been making figures for and writing. At home, I've been involved as much as I could in the demo of our old deck, the construction of the new, larger one, and all that goes with it. The build ended up being more involved and took longer than we initially thought. Now that the platforms are fully constructed, we've been trying to work on the staining and railing construction, when the weather decides that it isn't going to try to wash us all away. I haven't had a weekend off this whole month. The one weekend where I wasn't doing work or home stuff, we hit the beach for a impromtu family reunion of sorts as Hubs' brother and family flew in for a week from California. We hadn't seen them all in about 2yrs, and hadn't meet the youngest niece at all! While it was tons of fun, I wouldn't call staying in a house with 8 other adults and 5 kids (4 were under 4yrs) super relaxing.

Oh, and I've forgotten to mention that my younger sister is still staying with us, and now my dad has started his new job in the area, (but due to his several days on and off schedule that makes it difficult to rent a place cost-effectively and older vehicle) stays the night at our place as well on work nights.

In the last 2 weeks, I've made next to no progress on that paper writing. I had to keep pushing back when I said I'd hand it over to the boss. It was defeating me. I didn't want to give into it, so I kept struggling. Add in crazy hormones to that frustration and you get an awesome meltdown. I realized, between my snotting and sobbing over failing at everything, that I just have taken too much onto my plate. I just can't do it all. At least, not right now. If I wasn't in my current "condition", I could probably make some serious progress staying up later and pushing myself a bit more. Right now though, that isn't a viable option. I sleep poorly as it is, so all the rest I can get is desperately needed. It just isn't healthy or a good idea to strain myself that much at the moment. I wouldn't be the only one suffering.

What's a Type A, over-achiever to do? I squeezed into my big girl panties and sucked it up. I met with the boss man and let him know that I'm not getting anywhere on the paper due to not having time outside work hours and no time during them without letting other work suffer. It was a bit of a relief, but I still almost cried. He was super understanding and asked if I wanted his help with the paper. He didn't want to take it away from me as he felt I should have ownership of all aspects of that project. But if I wanted, he would be willing to finish it for me. Part of me still felt like a failure, throwing in the towel. He understood that too. He's a classic over-achiever as well. He did admire my choice of self and family over work a bit. Apparently, if he could go back, he would like to change how often he worked instead of spending more time with his family.

I know this is just the start of me needing to let things go and start asking for help more regularly. It's creeping into all sorts of corners of my life. More and more, I've had to ask the Boy for help getting up from certain positions and to carry things that I previously could. I know I'm going to need a lot more help with little things and big things as time ticks by and I get bigger. Oh and definitely if/when the baby comes.

It's dawning on me that just because I can't do every little thing myself, it doesn't mean I'm incapable or worthless. Just human. And pregnant.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

From Happy to Anxiety in 1 second flat!

 I don't know if it is the hormones, or what, but I've started having countless instances of extreme anxiety recently. I'll be happy, smiling, and just content with life one second, and petrified the next.

Holy. F'ing. Geez.

I've spent the last 16 months focusing on getting (and staying) pregnant. Why is it just now occurring to me start thinking (read: worrying) about actually having a baby and being a mom? I'll just be sitting/laying around, enjoying a few kicks and punches when -


Are we ready for a baby?!
Will we be good parents?!
Am I able to be 100% responsible for the well-being and life of another person?!

I've been so blinded by reaching the 1st step and keeping my footing that I haven't looked at the destination. I was so wrapped up in the idea of being pregnant and the thought of a baby that the actual baby was never a solid, corporeal thing.

While I'm sure this is completely normal, I still feel immensely guilty for it. Here I am at a place that so many women (and couples) would give limbs to be at, and I'm freaking out about it.

WTF, Christina!?!

I've had these thoughts a feelings off and on before, but more in a far away, day-dreamy sense. I don't know if it has to do with the fact that I can now see baby moving around from outside or the fact that people have started to buy us things and pass on baby stuff. maybe it's because "viability" is just around the corner. I don't know, but, we are at the point that we need to start putting things together and planning for this real, live, fast approaching baby that we so desperately wanted.

How much will I start freaking out when my lil sister moves out of the spare room, and I no longer have an excuse to put off doing a nursery? Or when we start up our registries? Or planning showers?*

Don't get me wrong. I still feel extremely and immensely blessed to be where I'm at, to have had a (so far) practically uncomplicated pregnancy. Insanely lucky, really. But I just can't seem to prevent these little, mini-panic attacks. I feel just horrible having them when this is something we worked so hard to have, for far less time (and money) than so many of you out there. I feel even worse complaining about them. However, I feel that if anyone could truly understand my fears and feelings, it would be this community. Very few people IRL seem to get my hesitation at diving head first into all things baby-obsessed.

"Gasp! You haven't started the nursery or a registry or named the baby and planned its whole life? You need to get on that! The baby will be here before you know it!!"

I'm sure there has to be some way to deal with all this anxiety and worry. I mean, something other than staying pregnant for the rest of my life. **

* My mom has mentioned planning one, but that (thankfully) got put on hold when my dad got laid-off. Now that he's been offered and accepted a job, she has a ton of other things on her plate to keep her busy and stressed-out over. The previously PG-SIL, however, emailed last night to offer to host/throw us one. We are touched, but I'm freaking out at the prospect of a) the registry, b) a huge fuss being made over me, and c) Holy crap- the impending avalanche of baby things.

** While I've enjoyed, truly enjoyed being pregnant, I couldn't fathom staying this way forever. I'm sure I'll reach the point where it would no longer be funny that I can't get up from laying down without rocking myself up/rolling to my side or dropping food on my now larger boobs and belly. That, and staying PG forever would make me HAVE to go shopping for maternity clothes, rather than making due with pj pants/yoga pants/stretching my regular shirts down for my wardrobe.

Monday, September 12, 2011

I've been a bad, bad blogger...

Good thing it's not against the law to not update your blog. Otherwise, I'd bee looking at some serious time in the hole.

I'm not sure exactly why, but I've just not been feeling the internet lately. I haven't had the obsessive urge to check my emails (yes, plural) or stalk FB or pin things like a fiend on Pinterest. I just haven't been that into the World Wide Web...

I can't say that I've been using all the time away from the computer on productive things, but some of it was. We've (I'm including myself even though I had limited involvement) demo'd our old cruddy, warped, and peeling back deck. I was on nail-flattening and water duty as I can't exactly swing the sledge hammer and such. The site has been prepped, rudimentary leveling and some basic measurements and placement of things. This weekend, after 2 marathon construction days, the upper level was erected and boarded, and the bottom level had the supports placed/sunk in and the framework done. There is just some bits of supporting left to do and then placing the boards.

I have to admit that I weaseled my way into doing some of the manual labor, despite some protests from a few of the helpers. I know my limitations, but I just can't stand by on the sidelines while everyone is sweating and grunting working on my project. I stuck with drilling mostly. I did some of the small board placements, plank cutting, and helped in some dirt leveling and stamping and block sinking.

Other than that though, I've just been sitting around, eating, sleeping, and just hanging out. Oh, and writing up a paper/manuscript for work. Blah. there just isn't a ton going on that is exciting, and I haven't had to motivation to write anything other than the paper (and most of the time, not even that...). I have been reading other blogs, but haven't really been commenting. For that I'm sorry! Like I said, I've been bad. Bad about blogging and bad about commenting. I hope everyone know that I'm secretly stalking your lives and cheering for you!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

No News is Good News, Right?

I apologize for the radio silence. There hasn't been a huge amount to talk about since the anatomy scan. My days are pretty much the same in and same out. Kinda boring really. Also, I'm not quite sure why, but August and September always seem to be rather hectic months. Time just flies, and *poof*, it's October. I've been contemplating a finance post, but I'm not sure how entertaining a "Holy crap! We need to get our $$ ducks in a row super quick! Ack, we have debt!" post would be. I'm sure most 1st time parents feel the same. Heck, most people in general probably would have a similar post. For now, I'll just give ya'll an update on the newest thing going on here.

I had our 20w check up this morning. It was pretty much the same as the 16w. Pee sample. BP and weight. Talk with Dr/Nurse Practitioner. Today was slightly different as it was with the NP I normally see at the practice for all the routine and annual stuff. Last I saw her was almost exactly 1 year ago when she referred us to the RE. She was very happy and excited to see us for a prenatal appt rather than another annual.

Everything checked out as normal. Baby does not enjoy the doppler these days. It goes on, and the bugger wakes up, jostles around and hits the probe! It is a crazy feeling when baby makes direct contact with that piece of plastic. Heartbeat, when it could be heard, was right on target. I'm measuring on track with my uterus right at my belly button. I was told by 3 people at the office that I have such a "cute, adorable, tiny, baby belly!" I admit I'm not huge but to be honest I'm getting bigger. None of my bottoms fit unless they are elastic, and even some of them are uncomfortably tight. My belly is large enough if my wardrobe is the judge.

The only not great, on track thing going on is that I'm gaining weight slowly. I lost 5lbs in the 1st tri. I've gained those all back, plus 2 additional pounds. To stay on target for the 25-30 they would like for me to gain (as I was on the light end to begin with), I need to gain 23-27lbs more in less than 20w. Looks like I need to schedule in another snack break somewhere in my day. I'm not worried about gaining weight. I know I'm suppose to and I'm trying to, but (about 99% of the female population is going to hate me for this next bit) I've never really gained weight easily. No weight gain on the Depo shot. No freshman 15. No anti-depressant/anxiety med weight. Maybe protein shakes are in my future...

Other than that, we are just doing yard work. Digging up some shrubs and plants from the previous owners' (non-planned) landscaping. Tearing down the old busted-up deck. Rebuilding the back deck. Pouring cement in the utility room/garage to level things out. Install new water heater.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

All the bits and pieces

Thursday's appt was probably my 2nd favorite to date (just behind see that 1st little heartbeat on the screen). We arrived at 9:10a and left right about 11a (EST). These people were thorough!

We did the general info, relatives' health survey thing upon our arrival. It was the strangest thing filling in spots with "mother" and "father" and actually be referring to ourselves! Craziness. Thankfully, I have a bit of background in genetics and knew that we didn't have to include every little health issue that uncles, cousins, and great-aunt-twice removed had. Allergies and vision issues are not something that you can pick up as defect on these scans!

We then were taken back with a genetic counselor to go over the family history and discuss risk factors and such. I'm such a dork and thought it was super awesome that she was drawing out our pedigree! None of the health issues anyone in either family has is considered a genetic/inherited risk or birth defect. She did reassure us though that it is definitely better to be thorough and do these types of checks than to "wait and see"- Better to be safe than sorry, pretty much. I pretty much found myself reiterating that the only defect we were actually concerned about the baby having is a heart issue. They asked if we were interested in any amniocentesis or CVS or other screenings. All I want to know is that the baby is healthy. Sure, it would be great to know if it had this or that disability to prepare.

And then it was time to go back and let the real fun begin! We were told to tell the tech right off that we were trying not to find out the sex. She said she'd do her best and have us turn away when they do in to scan that region. After she loaded my belly with what would be about 2 handfuls of jelly, we were off! Baby was in a great position for the scan, laying side to side in my belly, just folded in half with legs up and over the head. She was able to get awesome shots of the heart and everything looked A-okay and 100% normal! The rest of the scan was just icing after that.

We worked our way from head to rump (since baby was a sandwich). It was incredible to see the amount of detail they were able to get. We could see brain structures, each chamber of the heart, the stomach filled with fluid, the bladder, the kidneys the major blood vessels, each and every vertebrae in baby's spine, all the little bones in the hands and feet. Apparently, baby has the correct number of bones in its pinky finger even! The tech seemed to be mightily impressed that I had any clue what she was looking at as we went along. I'm no stranger to ultrasounds (not at this point) and I've done my research.

Baby was incredibly cooperative with it all and pretty much stayed in the exact same position throughout the scan, just moving the limbs a bit here and there. It did have its head tucked to chest which made capturing facial things a bit more difficult, but the tech was able to get what she needed. My favorite part was when she was checking the face for any defects (nasal, cleft lip/palate, etc). We got a shot of baby's chin, mouth and upper lip and nostrils. And then it swallowed! Not only was it adorable, but it showed that baby has that ability and that the fluid was going where it was suppose to since there was fluid in the stomach.

We finished the scan with the all important between the legs shots. We turned our heads, closed our eyes, and held each others hands.

I'm not going to lie. I'm not some great fortress of patience and resolve. I was so very very VERY! tempted to just turn my head and see. I one point I opened my eyes. Just in my peripheral vision I saw some red and blue flashes. The imaged flow of blood. Most likely from the umbilical cord. It took every single ounce of self-restraint I had to not look up at the screen. Heck, I strained to see if I could make something out from that side glance! After a few seconds of only seeing a grey and black haze of jumbled shapes, I squeezed my eyes shut until she cleared us to look.

The tech was great at the secret keeping though. She didn't label the images as Boy or Girl. Just Gender. That way parents-to-be couldn't count key strokes. She even filled out the info to send over to my OB as "Gender- normal" rather than any confirmed sex so that they wouldn't accidentally spill the beans in excitement. I will also admit that I'm really glad she set the screen back to the start of the scan, because I was 100% trying to see if one of the pics on the monitor showed the all important "parts". Not that I could make out any details from the ~1in pictures, but I tried!

The perinatologist then came in and talked with us about everything from the scan. he agreed that everything looked great, normal, and healthy. He did ask if we were interested in a fetal echocardiogram, just to make sure that there isn't any irregularities that the anatomy scan didn't catch. Those things are even more refined and high-def than this Level2 scan was and would pick up any slight rhythm variation, murmur, hole or flow issue. As it is also non-invasive and we really want to make sure baby's heart is 100% a-okay, we scheduled that too. Plus, it will be another opportunity to see the little. That's in 4 more weeks.

I was pretty nervous going into the scan, though. Not that I thought the baby wouldn't be alive like for previous scans. I'm reassured often that that is not the case with the little bumps and thumps I can feel now. I was just so scared to know or find out that the baby had some misdevelopment that would make living on its own without my body as its life support system either impossible or extremely difficult. The fact that everything was completely normal and average was a larger relief that I think I can put into words. All I can keep thinking is "healthy."


It's more beautiful a word than pregnant to me these days.

Friday, August 12, 2011

We're having a...

Healthy Baby!

I am so very relieved. The heart looked absolutely normal and heartbeat was spot on. I'll expand on this later. Just wanted to put that out there!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Random Run-down #2

I think I'm going to start doing these "Run-downs" periodically when lots of little things go on, but nothing worth a huge, full post on their own.

Monday - I felt a true, unmistakable, genuine baby movement after dinner. Since then, they've only gotten more noticeable. I can pinpoint the common times of day that the little bugger is most likely awake and practicing it's baby-fu (mid-morning and after dinner are the most active times). It's a pretty incredible feeling. Also, completely weird and mildly disturbing at the same time. It's crazy.

Tuesday - My youngest sister "moved in" and will be staying with us for a bit. She's relocating from the town she went to college in to this area and needed a temporary lay-over. Almost 1 week in and so far so good. We haven't had the best track record/experience with letting family (BIL) and friends stay with us, but here's hoping things continue to go well. Plus, she likes to cook and bake. Oh and totally loves the dogs (Hello! In-town pet sitter!).

Wednesday - found out from my mom that my dad was laid off from his job. He'd been with the company for 15yr. They needed to cut some expenditures and the more senior supervisor (not managers mind you) seemed to have taken the brunt of the pink slips. While that completely and totally sucks, it means he can find a new job (hopefully soon) that he likes better. My parents will be fine financially as he gets a week paid for each year he worked and all his stored up PTO. Their only real worry right now is health insurance. The only exciting bit from this all is that there may be a chance of them moving to this area as well!! I would be pretty stoked about that!

Thursday - Wellness appt for the pups! They are "prime" examples of happy, healthy pooches! "Great dogs." I've apparently done a great job with them as they are "so well behaved and look fantastic!" Our almost 6yr lab mix, Mazzy, has only the tiniest hits of tarter on her teeth and the only health problems they have are Cricket's joint issues and Mazzy's chronic ear infections. They are such great dogs that they "volunteered" to participate in a study at the Vet school. I felt kinda bad for them as it required vaginal swabs, but they were champs like always. I totally felt for them though.

Friday - Not so great work day. Was straight up lied to by the newest co-worker. I had to clean out a waterbath and scrub it because it was completely gross and smelly. Apparently, it was all clear the day before when she put our stuff in it. That and I've noticed how much time she spends talking without working, talks on her phone, does non-work related stuff on the computer (which we are "prohibited" from doing), and just all-around wasting time. She's pissing me off.

Saturday - The Boy finally was able to feel The Baby move/kick! Each time he's tried, it stops or he only notices my GI movement. His reaction was classic. Que eyebrow quirk, a smirk and a bit of a giggle/chuckle. I was practically in tears, I was so touched, and he's only mildly amused. Oh well. We went ot the $1.50 theater and saw Pir,ates of the Cari.bbean 4. Good movie. Plus, I stayed awake through it all, didn't have to leave to pee, and was comfortable in the theater without a jacket on.
We ended our evening with a pseudo-birthday grill out at a friend's house. It was great to see them all again. As they were Boy's friends that I inherited, he was in charge of telling them all. Oops. It was still a bit of a surprise to quite a number of them. the fact that I'm almost 18w was pretty much a surprise to everyone though!  The food was absolutely delicious! Chips and mango salsa. Veggies and dip. Cheese (with the mango salsa). Black bean and corn salad. Caprese soaking in balsamic. Grilled jerked chicken. Mac & cheese (by yours truly). Homemade Pina Colada ice cream! Pecan cinnamon swirls. All 3 of us thoroughly enjoyed it!

I'm not looking forward to my dental appt on Tuesday morning. I'll have to inform them I'm pregnant and answer the hygienist's barrage of questions. With instruments and a spit sucker in my mouth. I hope they don't yell at me for not flossing...

Then, Thursday is the big day. THE Anatomy Scan. With a perinatologist. I really hope all the baby's structures are just as they should be, and its little heart is perfect. I'm also hoping that the little one is modest and won't have all the "goods" in full display. We shall see. I can't wait!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Change of Pace

I know I said I'd write a post all about the visit with the head doctor from last week. I've tried several times to sit here and write it all up. Forgive me for not doing so just yet (if at all). I just keep end up focusing on one thing that came up from the session.

We don't want to find out the gender.

Well, mostly I don't, but I've convinced the Boy that he doesn't either. Between my eloquent and heart-felt explanations and a few favors on top, he has agreed to wait it out with me. For 5 more months!

Call me crazy. In fact, I probably am. At least, crazy for me (but most likely, crazy for other people, too). This is a complete 180 from the normal, usual Christina. If I'm known for one thing, it's for being a planner/organizer/Type A/OCD. I would plan out what to pack for an overnight stay at friends' or family's. Heck, I actually still do! If it is for several days, I'll probably even make a list and check it off as I put the items in the bag. I schedule my days at work by the hour, for the week. If it is something that can be planned and over-thought, I'm your girl.

And yet, this whole pregnancy, I haven't really planned, other than scheduling appts when the Boy has the day off and in the morning to impact my work day as little as possible. I've been moving along, letting things take me where they will. On a day to day basis, my anxiety levels are almost non-existent. I worry about things, sure. I'm just not doing it for as long or as often. Most of the time, if I'm fretting about something with the baby or my body, I practically dismiss it with a "What will be, will be. Nothing I can do to change that."

That is probably the overriding theme of this pregnancy. Nothing I can do to change anything. It's all beyond my control, so I might as well accept it and enjoy this whole trip. That definitely carries over into the "to know or not to know" decision on the baby's sex. There is nothing I can do to make it one or the other, nor do I have a preference either way. As long as it is healthy and happy and I can take it home, I'm a happy camper. What difference will knowing the sex have any of my decisions or actions the remainder of this pregnancy?

We are planning a gender neutral nursery (green, aqua and chocolate). I'm not huge on going all blue or all pink. I don't want to force my possible daughter to wear big flowery headbands and frilly, flowery dresses. Nor do I want my boy stuck in sport themes and construction vehicles. I feel (other than the frillies) that babies of either sex can wear little overalls with bugs or dinosaurs or hearts on them. Whatever. When they are older and decide they want to wear pink (both sexes), then so be it. As long as they are happy and comfortable with themselves and in what they are wearing, does it really matter? Besides, I know how to care for boys and girls in the early stages and on up thanks to my older sister and her kids, not to mention all the baby sitting I've done. No huge surprises there or tips/tricks I need to prepare for before birth.

As for the name game, I'd like to meet the baby before saddling them with a name for the rest of their life. If I wait to get to know my pets before naming, at least I could do the same for my child! We'll likely have had several names picked out even if we end up finding out if it is a he or she, just to have a few choices to find the one that fits best. Besides, gender isn't always 100% on u/s. There could be a surprise at delivery anyways, in spite of months of planning and name selecting. (The Hubs nixed the idea of selecting gender neutral names, though, which solves this problem altogether).

Most importantly, it's been an uphill battle to get to this point since day 1. maybe more like month 3, but still. We didn't get here easily. We didn't have that naive innocence that most couples get to experience when TTC but for 2 months, 1 of which we weren't technically "trying" as much as giving it a whirl. It was bad news after bad news for us from September to easily January if not into March with the crazy ovarian cyst. None of that was planned. We weren't able to decide on those things ahead of time, schedule them in to best fit in with our lives. Why start now? We've had few happy surprises this past year. This pregnancy happening, and then continuing to progress well, happily, and healthy has been one of the greatest surprises of our lives. We may not get to experience many more joyous surprises like this. Why not make the most of it? How sweet would the icing on the cake be in the delivery room to not only welcome our child into the world (hopefully) but to find out the sex as the nurse/Dr yell "It's a _____!!"

It is more important for me to end this whole family building (phase I) with a baby than with a boy or a girl. Not all the family/friends/coworkers think it is the best choice, but it's ours. And I'm kinda digging the more relaxed approach on things. I know it will all change with that 1st little cry, so I should enjoy it while I can!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

The quickest appt EVER!

So I had 2 appts today. First thing in the morning was my 16w check-up. Afternoon was with the therapist. The real meat is in the afternoon's appt, but the funniest stuff was from the morning!

Wake up. Get ready. Head to OB's with Hubs in tow. On the way there, I realized I had forgotten deodorant. Go me! I have a travel stick in a drawer at work, but that was going to be about an hour later I could access it. Thank you crazed health paranoia that has been going on these last few years. Hand sanitizer is a quick fix for no deodorant. If it kills the germs on your hands, it should kill the germs/bacteria in your pits that cause you to get musty. Plus, they are usually lightly scented, so that also helps! I slather mine while I go and do my routine, pre-appt pee-in-a-cup. (Rather than using this urine to dip a ov test or hpt, they use it to check for protein and stuff).

I was suppose to have the usual urine, weight, BP work up, a visit with one of the Drs, and blood work to check on my thyroid levels. Urine was clear. I've gained 3.5lbs since last visit. BP was 100/59.

"Are you having a glucola test?" Uh, not that I'm aware of? "Sit here to wait for teh lab tech to draw your blood."

"Actually, the Dr wants to see you 1st. You know, in case he wants to add any more tests to the draw. Don't want to stick you more than we have to!" Whatever. "Have you had a glucola test yet?"

The remaining 10 min of my appt were as follows: Greet Dr. He's about to retire so not really sure why they felt I needed to see him before he left, but whatevs. Then begins the Q&A.

"How are we doing?" - Good, slight ease in the nausea. "Good."

"Any questions?" Not really at this point. "Any concerns?" Not really. (What I really wanted to say was, Not really, other than going through this all and not going home with a baby. I just didn't think that is what he was referring to though!).

"No bleeding, cramping, etc?" Nothing other than the expected pulls and stretches as things grow.

Now was the time for me to lay back so he could feel for my uterus and check the heartbeat with the doppler. My uterus was right where it was suppose to be for my gestation. It's weird how it can be so easily felt. While he was using the doppler, he pointed out what noises were the heartbeat (duh), my heartbeat (duh) and what was "kid movement". That one impressed me. I thought those noises were my digestive system moving along! Looks like it was the kiddo bouncing around in there. I do have to say that my Sono.line B is actually quite a bit fancier than the one used there!

"So do you know how to tell the difference between the sexes?" Uh... huh... wha? "Boys have a little extra bit between their legs." Doh!! I was trying to figure out if he meant if I knew how to tell the differences from externally or via heartbeat, etc. Um, actually, I'm fairly familiar with how things look different between them on ultrasounds. I figured there wasn't any other way to tell until they were born. "That's right." and went on to tell me about how his kids did science fair projects about heartbeat, maternal feelings, days of the week vs gender and how none were different than random, 50/50 chance.

"We'll check your levels next appt. That will be in 4wks. We'll get the nurses on scheduling your Level 2 scan in about 2wks. You can find out the gender then if you'd like." And the glucola test all the nurses have been asking me about? "That we don't do until closer to 28w, so I don't know why they were even asking you about it this early."

We schedule the 20w check-up and check out. In and out in 20min! It is a bit crazy though to think that I have 2wks to convince the Boy that we shouldn't find out the gender. I really want it to be a surprise! Apparently, I have to figure out what that is on my own as he won't give me any hints, clues or suggestions about what it would take to change his mind.

I'll go into the shrink appt in another post (next probably) as I really want to cover it well. Teasers: We filled her in on my pregnancy, responses, our feelings, etc. We didn't quite make it to cover all the "issues" I wanted, but we are to do so next appt with her.

Other than that, the last few days have been hectic and a bit frenzied. I missed my prenatal yoga class last week due to the barfs. I also missed the announcement that this weeks was the week the instructor had to reschedule. I felt like a doofus sitting in the room waiting for people to show up after changing into stretch pants, only to walk back out the front door with all my yoga crap 15min later. Plus side was that I actually got to spend some time with the Boy when I though I wasn't going to (not so plus side was that it was at B & SIL's place). SIL put my due date in her iphone so she can keep up with where I'm at in my pregnancy. I don't care, but I think it's a bit of an odd thing to do. I'm ready for a few days of nothing now. Well, other than reading and commenting on other blogs!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

6 Years of (mostly) Wedded Bliss

Saturday, July 23rd, 2011.

The Boy and I celebrated our 6th wedding anniversary. It's absolutely mind-blowing to think that we've been married for 6yr now. Heck, come Sept, we'll have been together for 10! Complete craziness.

I got to open my gift on Thursday night. They/it arrived that day, he prettied them up in a bag, and had it waiting on the table for me. You maay be asking why he didn't wait until our actual anniversary. See, he's really bad (really, really bad) at keeping things a secret for too long. Plus, he likes to spoil me. All week long, he gave me hints and clues as to what he got me. I couldn't figure it out to save my life. Let's see if any of you can guess it!

1 - You'll really like it, but will probably want to give it to someone else.
2 - One of them you really don't want, but you'll like it.
3 - One of them is something that you really need.

Anyone figure it out? I know I sure didn't. They made a lot of sense though when I opened the gift and saw these:

Yay! Giant Microbes! I love these things, but have never bitten the bullet and splurged to buy any for myself. The cute thing is I actually do some work with leukocytes. Well, I use to as I can't really work with some of the chemicals we use in processing them now that I'm all knocked-up. The dogs were pretty excited about them too, until they realized they weren't new toys for them.

Our actual anniversary day was great, low key, and full of yummy food. We started Saturday off with Boy letting me sleep in. All that really means these days is that I get to be lazy and just lay in bed a bit longer without the pups bothering me to take them out, play with them, etc. But hey, I like just being lazy and staying in bed, so it was nice! He came back to bed, we cuddle and talked about our life these last 6 years and how we feel about things, what we've enjoyed the most, what we love about one another. Reminiscing and being sappy and mushy, really. At some point, I found myself looking up at his face, and felt this unbelievable amount of happiness and love right then that I started crying. Not sure if I can blame it on the hormones or not, but we both got a kick out of that!

Boy suggested we treat ourselves to breakfast out, and suggested IHOP. Apparently, he'd been craving it for a few days. Another instance where I could swear that he was the one that was pregnant in this relationship! I can't say that it didn't sound mighty tasty, so off we went up the road to our local IHOP. Apple juice, fried eggs, bacon, hashbrowns, and a few bites of his pancakes with some butter pecan syrup. YUM! To be honest, I only ate the yolks of the eggs really. The whites have just tasted off to me since, well, you all know why. We had left over hashbrowns that we took home (and I ate this morning for breakfast - yum again!) and left full and happy.

We were off to Targe't, where I was letting him pick out his anniversary gift. I know that is super uncreative, but I was completely caught off-guard and not expecting to do presents this year. Surprise. He picked out a movie (127 Hours - really good) and the 1st season of the Walking Dead (also really good if you like zombie stuff - which he loves).

I was about to keel over at this point, so we came home and napped. Mmmm, sleep...

Then around 6/6:30, it was time to start getting ready for dinner. The Hubs had made reservations for us at the Melting Pot (for 8:30!! but we thought we try to squeeze in early). We'd been there for our 4th anniversary, and OMG! was it delicious! It's a bit $$$, but this is probably the last anniversary for a while that we can go out to such a nice restaurant and just enjoy each other and our food for hours. So, I went and shaved my legs, etc in the hopes that I'd be wearing this dress to dinner:

Sadly, the top of the dress was not nearly as flattering of my fuller bosom as I had hoped. My now larger bra stuck out in the neckline and the empire waist was actually on my boobs. *Big sad face* I tried on another pretty dress I liked, but it strained too mightily across my midsection to be comfortable or presentable even. So, I fell back to a recently purchased, jersey skirt. Not as fancy, but better than any pants I own, none of which can be completely buttoned.

Serious picture
Not serious picture
Awesome arm placement for concealment there! Off we went for a nice, romantic dinner! One thing I love about the Melting Pot is how easily you can do substitutions! We had a nice cheddar-cheesy app fondue followed by Caesar salads. The Boy ordered Filet mignon, steak, salmon and extra salmon in place of shrimp. I was able to just order the chicken platter, but had them add on some spinach ravioli (which they did for free!). The only wine I had this time was in the cooking broth (sad face), and it made everything delicious, regardless of the fact that the alcohol cooked off! We finally started our chocolate dessert course just shy of 10pm. This baby has totally screwed up my sweet tooth! The thing I enjoyed the most with the chocolate were the apples we held onto from the cheese course, followed by the bananas. The cheesecake, strawberries and rice krispy treats were all just "eh" rather than the "YUM" they usually are. It was ridiculous that I wasn't all over the cheesecake! More for the Hubs, which he was more than happy have.

After eating for about 3hrs, we navigated our way back home. I was sooo fully, ridiculously happy, and probably looked like I gained 10lbs in that amount of time. All in all, it was a great anniversary. As much as I enjoyed this year's low-key celebration, I can not begin to describe how excited I am for next year's!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Milestones and Anniversaries

Wow, how time flies!

I'm just a few posts shy of 100 posts here.

Saturday is our 6th wedding anniversary.

Last week, I was thinking "how awesome would it be to have my 100th post done on our anniversary!"  I don't think that is going to happen. I could try and squeak out a post each day from now until then, but I'm pretty sure they'd read as just filler posts.

So I've just decided that they'll have to be 2 separate posts. 6th anniversary first -probably Friday or Sunday. I think Saturday itself will be a bit busy. Hubs is in charge of making the plans this year. Apparently, my gifts are arriving any day now, and his clues have not clued me in on what they are in the slightest!

For the 100th, maybe I'll just hold that one until after next week's appointments. I have my 16w (holy crap! really?!) checkup in the morning and then finally got around to scheduling an appointment with the therapist. Haven't gone since probably March. It should be interesting to see how things go there. We'll be filling her in on the pregnancy and discussing a few *ahem* "issues" that I've been having these last 2-3mo. I'll probably wait until that post to delve into them to see what she has to say on the matter and suggestions she may have.

As for life in general, it's been pretty normal. Work has only been a little odd since informing. Just mostly questions about how I am, belly stuff and the usual innocent, general public type inquisitiveness. I has made some things a lot easier though.

Like today.

We had an appt for the Boy to see his cardiologist. We get up early, drive there, and wait. Go in for one thing. Wait. Go in for the other. It takes forever. Wait. Oops, a few more images are needed. Wait to see the Dr/fellow. She was excited to learn we are expecting. Funny thing is it came about because he disclosed that he started taking a multi-vitamin, and then mentioned the motility supplements, how long he took those and why he's not taking them. "Haven't taken them in the past month or so. We had some success." Men... (and yes, I had him keep taking them until I was about 10-11w along. At that point, I figured if things didn't work out, we'd have to wait 2-3mo anyways to try again. The supplements would kick in by then)

She made sure that I was aware that we both needed to limit our activity in this oppressive, stifling heat and humidity. I need to stay hydrated to prevent placental something-or-other. She did seem glad to hear that I knew all that (other than the placental thing) and that we'd be having a fetal echo-cardiogram done just to double check that the baby's heart developed normally.

So a long, long morning. Much longer than I had planned and told work. On top of all the waiting, I was exhausted from not sleeping well the night before and waking up fairly early. Oh, and I had an crazy strong bout of nausea. I've been so lucky that no one has been in any of the public bathrooms when I've had to throw up. Sitting around feeling super queasy is not good. All I wanted to do was lay down and sleep.

Which is exactly what I did after informing work that it would be in everyone's best interest if I just stayed home today with my "quite unwell" self. After 2, 2hr naps with lunch in between, I'm feeling a bit more normal. I was disappointed to find out that I missed a Mendel commemorative cake one of the students brought in for the lab. I was also sad to have missed my 3rd prenatal yoga class. I quite like it, but I didn't think bending and stretching forward with my stomach would have been a good idea this evening.

Wow. That was quite a rambling post. That's the exact reason why I'm not going to try and rush to have my big 1-0-0 and anniversary mash-up post. maybe after a good night's sleep, I'll have my head more together and can write something decent!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Spilling the Beans, all over the floor

I did it.

I took the plunge and announce this pregnancy to the work folks. I went back and forth on the best way to do it. Email? In person for each person? Just randomly bring it up? Just show up wearing clothes that show off my barely-there belly? Just keep waiting until it is obvious to everyone?

The email thing wouldn't work because, well, everything sent/received through work email is publicly accessible. I'd feel weird knowing some random person is aware of my pregnancy and I don't even know they exist. I really almost went with the wait until even a blind person could tell I was pregnant, but these people are also friends. That would be a bit hurtful to me if I was them.

Then, technology epiphany. The one time social networking is beneficial in sharing news discreetly. Enter the FB private message. I lumped them all together in a message, so everyone would be told theoretically at the same time. It went like this - "I figured it was about time to fill you all in if you haven't already figured things out. Boy and I are happy to announce that we are expecting. We haven't gone fully public with this news just yet, so I would greatly appreciate it if no one posts anything about it just yet on my wall (or mention things at work in the presence of others)." Simple, straight-forward, and drives home the fact that I don't want everyone and their mother being told about it.

I wrote that up yesterday morning and enter the next dilemma. Do I send it now before work or wait until it's the weekend, and I don't have to see anyone until Monday? After agonizing over the when for about 5min, I just hit send. I pulled up my Big Girl Underwear (tm), just freaking sent it and headed off to start the work day.

I'm not even in the lab for 10min when one of the grad students run up to me and exclaims how excited and happy she is for us, how great the news is, "Congrats", and gives me a big hug.

In front of the other PI in the lab, who I was going to tell in person later that day.

Que me being utterly flabbergasted and caught unawares. I could barely mutter a "thanks". I could see and feel the PI watching and wondering what the heck was going on there. So, awkward convo #1. I had to go over and tell her right then or avoid her until later. She has suspicions it was something like that since my earlier chat about having a "medical issue" and needing lots of Dr appts. Thankfully, she's British and things like that aren't asked until the info is volunteered. She was very happy for us and understanding about things.

Next came the 2 other Research assistants in the lab that obviously hadn't checked FB that morning. To prevent another super awkward situation like the last one, I told them 1 at a time. Apparently, they both also had suspicions. I'm not sure how the new girl picked up on my behavior changes as they started pretty much when she did. It was uncomfortable telling people in person to say the least. I don't really like discussing things like that, especially not in a professional environment. So I pretty much said just that and how I don't need any special treatment or considerations in my abilities at this time. If there is something I don't feel safe or comfortable doing, I will let someone know and delegate that task to another lab member.

It was a bit funny, though, as some of them thought that my new shirts and sweater that I got back around the same time as I found out were "indicators" of my condition. Completely coincidental. I just needed new shirts and the sweater was to replace my aging hoodies, which were old and a bit informal for my new title in the lab.

It was nice to not have to play things off as something else or avoid answering questions. Now, I can chug my apple juice without curious stares or hide in the back corner of the lab waiting for a bout of nausea to pass. I did get some criticism on waiting so long. Most were shocked to learn that I am almost 15w. They were thinking a lot earlier on than that!

Awkward convo#2 was done over text message. One of the grad students was out of town but wanted to congratulate me. She "knew" something was up and had a "hunch" it was that I'm pregnant. Somehow, she knew it has been a rough year for us. That somehow, I'm 99.99% sure, is the now ex-co-worker that was on maternity leave, after accidentally getting pregnant with her boyfriend and not realizing it for a month or 2, before leaving the lab. She was the only one that knew we were undergoing treatment and about the miscarriage. Otherwise, this year has been really good to us. Oh well. People talk. A lot. It actually reassured me that waiting was the right decision. At least now, I'm getting comfortable in my status, so if word spreads, I'll be better able to handle it now than before.

As for other good, but not super close friends: the Boy was in-charge of his friends since college. He sent them text messages. They were surprised but happy for us. Of course, they joked about him being a dad and how I was a brave, brave woman to bear his offspring. Another group of friends will be informed this evening when we attend a cookout/bonfire hosted by our friends that are just a week or 2 behind me in her pregnancy. The surprise, not-trying-not-preventing ones that told us on my Bday. It should be interesting.

Here's hoping this doesn't mean I'll be getting bombarded by baby-talk from all directions. I don't want to become just what is going on in my abdomen in all facets of my life. Sigh. The word is out, and there is no going back now.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Yup, that about sums it up!

Also, got a link to THIS in my email and thought I'd pass it on to others. Not a huge, huge revelation, but hopefully means big things to come.

Monday, July 11, 2011

A Rant to the Masses

I realized over this weekend the whole range of reasons why I've not really gone "public" about my pregnancy. There are definitely several different reasons, and some of them I know you ladies, PG or on your way there, would agree with wholeheartedly.

In the beginning, one of the main reasons was fear. I was afraid to tell people. I didn't want to put the word out and have to retract it all again in a week or two if things crashed this 2nd time around. It was fear and worry that I might somehow jinx it. I know that is absolutely ridiculous, but I probably would have done all sorts of "good luck" charms and positive incantations if it meant I'd be bringing home a real, live baby at the end. Now that I'm in the for-real 2nd trimester regardless of the website I check, the fear, while not completely gone, is greatly diminished. Several good scans, the constant heartbeat on the doppler, nothing at this moment is giving me any reason to think this shouldn't work out in the end. (Here's hoping!!) I'm starting to feel a bit more relaxed about things in general.

Second, it's not really my thing to be the center of attention or to call attention to myself. I don't like LOTS of fuss to be made over me. You tell anyone really good news and there is bound to be a big to-do about it. When that news involves babies - forget about it being a low-key thing! There are very few people that can just leave it at a "Congratulations!" Most want about 1,000 specific details about the when's, where's, who's and how's.  Not my style in the least.

But the biggest reason I've not been spreading the news like butter on toast? I don't want to talk about pregnancy, being pregnant, or babies everyday, all day. Crazy, I know, but it's not the only thing going on in my life right now. Sure, it is probably the most exciting, but there isn't much to update each and every week. Yup, still pregnant. Yup, still feeling sick. Nope, no real "baby bump" just yet. No, we haven't picked out names. I don't have any inklings about it being a boy or girl or purple, 3-eyed, tree slug.

Parents. Other family members. Friends. Anyone that I've told so far. If I spend any decent about of time around any of them, about 80% of the conversation is centered around my uterus and what will hopefully be coming out of it in January. I don't like talking about myself that much to begin with (see my Second up there). I REALLY don't like talking about my bodily functions and private parts with everyone and anyone. I'm alright with sharing this info and parts with the medical profession. It's expected and kinda required. I do not need to nor want to discuss these with people I actually know and see on a regular basis. And I can not forget about all the advice and suggestions and reliving of other people's pregnancies or their sister's husband's cousin's labor story!! Apparently, people think that being pregnant means you not only want to disclose every little thing your own body is doing, but you are just dying to hear about theirs and anyone elses! But at the same time, I can't seem to let them down or disappoint them, so I nod, listen, and reply with some tidbits. Just the usual, generic pregnancy info.

"Gee, my boobs ARE bigger. Thanks for noticing!"

"How crazy is it to think that the baby is the size of some random item from the produce section and moving around in my growing uterus!?"

"Excuse me. Pregnant lady going to the bathroom for the 4th time this afternoon." And to get away from people to have a few moments of peace and quiet. No fetus-talk. No belly rubbings. Just me, my thoughts, a bit of urine and some CM. It ain't pretty, but it's better company than the pregnancy-crazed masses that seem to surround me.

**ps- I haven't really been posting, but I've been keeping up with everyone I was following! I've been having commenting issues and a dying laptop issue to contend with, so I can't always comment or reply to the things I want to! Just know that I'm cheering for you all - be it for good news, that long-awaited BFP, or continued success in your own pregnancy (don't feel pressured to tell me what fruit your baby is this week though!).