Friday, August 27, 2010

Magic Number 9

Remember elementary school when we learned all about the magic of the number nine? There's the whole square root thing, the cool hand trick for the 9's multiplication tables, the way you can add a multiple of nine together to get 9 again. To be honest it took me years to understand these tricks cause I just did math the old fashioned (slow) way, but now that I am 9 weeks pregnant, and officially past my miscarriage and D&C milestones, I am a big believer in Magic number 9!

Today we got another peek at our precious Snow Pea. On the way to the appointment, Chad and I both admitted that were a bit nervous, but more out of habit than having any real fear this time. We were also excited and hopeful for a good ultrasound. And Snow Pea did not disappoint! We got an amazing picture from the sec
ond the u/s started and I am happy, relieved and still a bit disbelieving when I report that everything was perfect.

Snow Pea looks like a cute little gummi bear and is 22.5 mm now, about the size of an olive or a large grape. We could see the arms and legs and of course a big round head. The heart is still strong and steady at 161 bpm. Dr Jedi said this is about the point where movement can often be seen on u/s, although it is of course way too early to be felt. He tried to move wandy around to wake up Snow Pea and get a little wave but no such luck. Poor Chad almost had a heart attack when the doctor said there was no movement but he assured us that babies can nap for 2 hours at a time and there is nothing to worry about. Sounds a lot like me and daily 2 hour naps. We both need our rest for all this growing to continue!

Before he left, Dr Jedi gave us the option to stay with him for 2 more visits before moving on to the OB. I think he truly did hurt for us losing Sprout and he knows how much peace of mind these visits give us. Once we go to the OB our appointments will be fewer and farther between
so I really appreciated the opportunity to see our RE a bit longer. Plus it buys me some time to find an OB since I still need to do that.

I am just so blown away and grateful for every second and every milestone with Snow Pea. And I am continuing to stay hopeful I will hold Snow Pea in my arms, happy and healthy very soon. 9 weeks down, 31 to go.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Hard to Believe

I suppose it's official, I'm pregnant. So why can't I get my brain to believe it yet? My body certainly believes it with constant waves of fatigue and nausea, making it difficult to accomplish an entire day's worth of "to-do's". But I still can't seem to accept it. Every time I feel queasy my first thought is "YAY! Nausea reduces likelihood of miscarriage, this is great!" My next thought though is always along the lines of what I ate recently and whether my green face was actually caused by that or worse, completely imagined. Same with the exhaustion. I first think about how great it is that Snow Pea is making me so tired with all that growing going on, but then I re-think and wonder if I am just staying up too late. I know this is ridiculous. I am genuinely nauseous nearly everyday, and I can easily sleep 10 hours each night and still take a 2 hour nap every day. This is really happening. I am just stuck in the "too good to be true" mindset.

Well that's not entirely true. I have had flashes of acceptance and mind blowing reality checks. There's been moments when I have seen a glimpse of the magnitude of this huge reality and been completely dumbfounded at the realization that I will be a mom, I will be completely responsible for a living human being, a human being that is currently growing inside my body! It is a lot to fully comprehend, kind of like understanding how vast the universe really is. You think you understand until you really stop and think about it and then it dawns on you that this is something so much bigger than you or anything that has ever happened in your life.

Of course these moments can't last forever and I have found myself back in the realm of wondering if all this bigger than me, amazingness is going to be pulled out from under me again. Anyone who follows me on twitter knows I had a bit of a freak out when my nausea went away for a few days before my last ultrasound. (thank you again by the way for all the words of comfort during my craziness) I know morning sickness is one of the hardest things to deal with for most pregnant women and I know I am naive to think I won't be hating it after another month of daily queasiness, but right now it has become a mental security blanket. I had so many other symptoms the last time around and they felt like such a slap in the face after I learned the pregnancy wasn't viable. So now I am carrying around the nausea and the old wives tale about lower miscarriage risks, like a soft cozy teddy bear. If I even for a second think that I wish my tummy felt better, I remember that it means my Snow Pea is healthy and smile instead.

Besides the obvious mental protection I'm doing by not fully believing this is real, I think some of my difficulty with accepting it all is normal. I've spoken to moms who had no trouble conceiving (may they know how blessed they are) and they say it didn't feel really real until they were showing or felt kicks or experienced some other big moment. And other than immediate family, very select friends and of course anyone who follows me on my blog or twitter, no one knows about Snow Pea so that makes it seem more surreal too. I think that once I reach some of these milestones I will be able to believe it more, but I also have a feeling I will still have those "Wow this is too huge to wrap my head around" moments too. Because wow this is huge! I just hope I am as ready to be a mom as I always thought I was.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Wordless Wedsesday: Growing!

Ultrasound #2 was today. Snow Pea is now 7 weeks 4 days and growing perfectly. I still can't believe it. It all just feels so incredibly surreal and amazing!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Heart to Heart

Yesterday was the 1st ultrasound and I am thrilled to tell you, WE HAVE A HEARTBEAT!

Chad and I were both incredibly scared and nervous on the way to the clinic yesterday afternoon. Neither of us could imagine this appointment going very well because we don't know anything different. Our last experience with pregnancy taught us that ultrasound = bad news. I almost lost it in the car when "Imagine" by John Lennon came on, the song we had both felt was Sprout's song, I was so afraid this ultrasound would be a repeat of that one.

It felt like we sat in that little room staring at wandy for a million years waiting for Dr Jedi. We hugged and took a deep breath, both grateful that neither of us had anywh
ere to be after this appointment. I told him all about the amazing support I had been getting from friends, family and twitter all day, about all the incredible people that were waiting and hoping with us. He echoed my feelings when he said how great it was to know we had so many people out there rooting for us.

Dr Jedi finally came in with total confidence that everything would be great this time. He had no doubts that everything would be perfect and after starting the u/s he immediately confirmed that things looked great. We have one little one with a great sized ge
stational sac and well formed yolk sac. Then he pointed out the most lovely sight of all- the perfect, tiny, hyper speed flutter of a heartbeat! He said it is still too tiny for him to accurately count beats per minute but that in his opinion it looks very fast and strong just like it should. He was a bit shocked that there was only one sac with my high beta numbers but we all agreed the high numbers were a great thing anyway.

He let us watch the heartbeat a bit more and I was almost speechless with relief and joy. He kept asking if we had any questions, but I could barely make my mouth work let alone remember anything important to ask. Dr. Jedi kept smiling me and telling me I did it. I reminded him that he helped. The force really is with him, I swear. I looked at Chad
who had tears in his eyes from sheer overwhelming relief and just smiled at him in disbelief.

We scheduled our next ultrasound for next Wednesday at whi
ch we should be able to see more growth and get a bpm count on the heartbeat. As we left the nurse all came by with huge smiles to congratulate us and one remarked that I had a pregnancy glow.

After we left we started to call our families to tell them the great news but I, being slow to experience the big emotional moments, needed to pause as the reality of everything washed over me and tears came to my eyes. I am really, truly pregnant! There is a tiny heart inside my body besides mine that is beating and growing. This could all really happen. We could actually become parents! This dream could really come true, I could really be a mom! It just seems too good to really be true!

Of course, now that it is more real I have the need to call my little one something other than "it". Chad dubbed the blasts we transferred our snowflakes but he has since said he didn't feel a strong connection to that name. We agreed that since one little snowflake has successfully spouted into a healthy little bean, we needed a more appropriate name. So may I introduce our little Snow Pea!

The round almost circle is the yolk sac and Snow Pea is a tiny little flicker right underneath that. I still just can't believe it. I can't believe this is really happening inside my body, that there is an actual person growing in there, an actual person that is half me and half Chad, an actual person that we will one day hold and kiss and take care of. After over 3 years of trying and hoping and losing and hurting can this really be happening? It's just so unreal, I can't seem to get my brain to work properly and fully comprehend everything right now. Luckily though my heart, just like Snow Pea's, is working just fine.

Friday, August 6, 2010

A Versatile Wait

It is only 2 days, 21 hours and 4 minutes until my first ultrasound, not that I'm counting or anything. So, while I am oh so patiently waiting for Monday to get here I wanted to take the time to say thank you to Keiko and Jen for honoring me with the Versatile Blogger Award!

Here is how the Versatile Blogger Award works:

1. Thank and talk about whoever gave you the award.
2. Share 7 facts about yourself.

3. Give this award to 7 other bloggers who you think rock!

Keiko's blog Hannah Wept, Sarah Laughed is an amazing and inspirational testament to the power of need for infertility advocacy. If you have not visited her site before, please don't miss her 5 part series on advocacy "Belly Full of Fire" or her award winning "What IF?" video. Jen blogs at This Is More Personal and she has also inspired so many lately by "coming out" and sharing more of herself with the IF community as well as more about her IF with the "real world". Jen will be undergoing her 1st IUI tomorrow so please stop by and wish her lots of luck! Thank you again Keiko and Jen for the lovely award! You both rock!

7 Facts About Me

1. I am notorious for taking forever to order at a restaurant.
I can never decide between two things (or sometimes more) I like. If you ever go out to dinner with me, just let be the last at the table to order or I will drive you crazy telling the server "Just one more minute"
2. I have been taking Spanish lessons for a year and while my understanding of grammar has improved my vocabulary still basically sucks. My teacher swears I'm now bilingual but I think she is muy loca!
3. I went to a very small private school as a child, and I mean small- my 4th grade class had 4 students. My parents put me into public school right before middle school though, which I hated but stayed in until graduation.
4. I know how to dance the "Thriller" and have performed it in a flashmob and for Thrill the World to set a world record for largest simultaneous group dance. I plan to dance again this year too!
5. I love to read and have become a library addict this summer, going at least once a week, usually more. My favorite reading experience overall has been the Harry Potter series, and when it ended I was so moved that I immediately wrote an essay on the way the series affected me. (giant nerd alert!)
6. I cannot stand shoes and almost exclusively wear flip flops 365 days a year. I will force my feet into sneakers when I am working out and heels when I need to be professional or dressed up, but I am always out of them and back in my flips as soon as humanly possible.
7. I have naturally thick curly/wavy hair but hardly anyone knows that because I straighten it compulsively.

7 Bloggers That I Pass This Award On To

1. Jen at The Road to Happily Ever After. Jen is tough, supportive and determined. She and her husband have been trying to create a family for four years. After her 6th IUI, she is finally pregnant and one step closer to her happily ever after.
2. Katie at From IF to When. Katie is an amazing writer and blogs about her struggle with infertility with an honesty we can all relate to. She is also an inspiring member of the IF community.
3. Lisa at Waiting Lisa. Lisa is incredibly supportive and brave blogger who writes about her journey to become a mom through domestic adoption. She also writes the most amazing reviews on children's books about adoption.
4. Becca at Liberal Granola Girl's Blog. Becca is a strong and inspiring woman who is currently working toward adopting her sister in laws children, as well as starting her 1st IVF cycle, all while her husband, P, is deployed overseas with the military.
5. Erin at Our Heart's Desire. Erin is a courageous woman and after a heartbreaking miscarriage, and many subsequent hurdles, she has just gotten the green light from her doctor to begin TTC again.
6. Courtney at The Peeks. Courtney and her husband, Jason, have faced indescribable tragedy with the loss of their 3 sons to late term pregnancy loss. They are incredible people and are currently starting a new IVF cycle in hopes of bringing home their rainbow baby very soon.
7. Sharon at Pouring Out My Insides. Sharon is a witty and caring blogger. She and her ovaries have been through a lot and her quest to be a mom has been challenging and emotional as a result.

These ladies, along with so many others, have been an amazing source of support for me, won't you stop by their blogs and support them as well? And as many of you know blogging is not only a great way to support one another, it is also a great way to pass the time when waiting for something. Only 2 days, 20 hours and 28 minutes to go...

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: Fountain Of Hope

Staying hopeful and optimistic for Monday's ultrasound

Monday, August 2, 2010

Is It Nap Time Yet?

Well it's Monday, which means I had my 3rd beta today. My last beta level came in at 1315 four days ago, so it should have doubled twice and measured at about 5200 today. I had my blood drawn at 8am and was then told that the results wouldn't be in until after lunch, at about 2pm, a wait that normally would have made me incredibly anxious, but today I have been far too tired to feel very strongly about anything except my desire to curl up with my soft green blanket and pass out. Actually, I was in just such a state when the phone rang this afternoon and my nurse very happily reported that my beta was 6900!

She then decided my number was high enough to warrant an ultrasound but wanted to consult with Dr Jedi first before scheduling the appointment. She said it would either be Friday when we would be able to see the yolk sac but possibly too early for the heartbeat, or Monday when she was confident a heartbeat should be visible. I happily thanked her for the good news and went back into my couch coma. After another hour so she called to schedule the first ultrasound for Monday.

Seems Dr. Jedi thinks those few extra days will be worth it for a better chance of finding a heartbeat. And even though it is a full week's wait, I agree with him. The ultrasound was mine and Sprout's undoing last time. Even worse though was that it was all so inconclusive. At that 1st ultrasound, we were told it was most likely a non-viable pregnancy, but I had 3 more ultrasounds before it was made official. That week and a half of uncertainty and doomed hope made everything so much harder. It forced us to put our grief on hold and dragged out the hurt. I hope with all of my heart that this pregnancy is the one that goes the distance, but either way I want as much accurate and conclusive information as I can get from the very first ultrasound. So those few extra days of waiting is really worth it to me. (
Please remind me I said this when I am freaking out at the end of the week, anxiously willing Monday to hurry up and get here.)

Right now though, I feel pretty calm and relaxed about the wait. Or maybe I'm just too sleepy to be nervous. I honestly feel like I have the ability to sleep straight through until next Monday, only waking periodically to do my injections and maybe eat or go to the bathroom. I took 2 naps today, both filled with crazy vivid dreams (one of which lots of my bloggy and twitter friends showed up in!) Yes, these symptoms make me happy but they aren't as comforting as you would think, since the sleepiness and vivid dreams stuck around until well after my last pregnancy was determined to be non-viable. I just need to see the heartbeat to feel like this is real and if I have to wait a few extra days for that, it will be worth it. I am still one tired girl though, so if you need me I will be the girl curled up the couch napping. Wake me when it's Monday again.