Friday, December 31, 2010

Lemony- Lime Goodness

Well it is my last blog post of 2010 and if you know about all that has happened in my life this year, I am sure you can imagine that I have a lot to reflect on as we enter into 2011. And of course, I have a lot on my mind and in my heart to blog about on the end of this year and the start of the next. I think I will wait until 2011 has officially begun to share these thoughts though, because there still are a few hours left of 2010 left and I want to be able to reflect on those moments too.

So while I wait for 2011, I will tell you about my very last lab appointment of the year. Yesterday was my glucose test to check for gestational diabetes. I have been kinda nervous about this one from the beginning. No one is ever very excited about getting done it done and the details never sounded particularly fun. If you don't already know, the GD test (which stands for gestational diabetes, not a colorful swear word) basically requires you to fast overnight, then drink a sugary glucose drink in the lab and have your blood drawn exactly one hour later. They test your blood's glucose levels to determine how well your body is processing sugars. If you "pass" you're done and can carry on. If not, you have to test again, this time with a 3 hour glucose test where blood is drawn every hour for 3 hours with nothing in your stomach but the sugary glucose solution.

It might not sound too terrible, and truthfully it's not, but just thinking about not being allowed to eat right when you hit the point of pregnancy where you are literally always hungry, was enough to make me a little anxious. But I scheduled my test early in the day so that I'd only have to starve for that hour plus the time it took me to get dressed and to the lab. And you know what they say about the best laid plans....

I was running a little bit late all morning, with my tummy ferociously growling at me for food. I did my best to push thoughts of food aside and make sure I was ready to walk out the door. I finally made it to the lab only 2 minutes after my scheduled time, which was perfectly fine according the tech. I signed in, handed her my insurance card, validated my parking and moved to sit in the waiting room when she asked for the lab orders I'd received from the doctor. CRAP! I had completely forgotten about that paperwork and left it at home. Of all the preggo brain moments to have, adding a half an hour to my fasting time so that I could go home and get that lab form was the worst! I would have rather been wearing two different shoes, or none at all (as I have heard is a common preggo brain slip) than force myself to wait 30 more minutes before I could eat.

So home I went, and to the lab I returned. And when I got there I was given a small bottle of clear liquid labeled "glucose drink lemon-lime" and was told to suck it down within 5 minutes. Knowing I had to finish it in 5 minutes the bottle suddenly didn't look quite so small, but sucked it down I did. It was cold and sweet and just as others have told me, it really did taste a lot like flat sprite. Snow Pea started bouncing around like crazy the second it hit my stomach and feeling her kick and twirl in my belly actually helped the hour wait for the blood draw pass fairly quickly. There is something about feeling her move like that, that is just awe-inspiring. I frequently get overwhelmed with love for her when she is dancing and making her presence known. I love the feeling so much, and as much as I can't wait to have her out here in the world so we can meet face to face, I know I will miss feeling her sweet little kicks inside my tummy.

Toward the end of my hour, I was admittedly getting a little cranky with no food in my belly but my blood was drawn quickly and easily and I was sent on my way. Then I spent a grumpy few minutes hustling through traffic to Chik-fil-A where I treated myself to the very last chicken biscuit they served that day. Ah food after an 11 hour fast is yummy! I wish I could tell you the results of my glucose test, but you know how lab work goes and it will be a few days to process. Hopefully my doctor's office will have it in time to give me the results at my next appointment on Tuesday. I am really hoping I pass the first time out so that I don't have to take the 3 hour test!

Before I finish up I also want to quickly tell you that last night, Snow Pea really made it know that she knows her Daddy's voice and loves hearing it. I have been trying to get Chad to talk to her more so that she will recognize his voice when she's born. He feels kind of awkward about it though, so for Christmas I got him lots of children's books to read so it would feel less weird. He has read a few times but last night she really got into it. She had been still for a while, but as soon as he started reading, she perked up and began moving almost as fiercely as she had with the glucose that morning. Then I could feel her move across my belly toward the sound of his voice, like she was trying to get closer to him. It was amazing! It reminds me that as much as I love and adore her before she's even been born, she loves us too. I so love these special moments and I can't wait to have even more of them once she is here in my arms.

Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Holiday Hopes

Happy Holidays to You and Yours!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Happy Heartbeat

Once again way too long of a break between posts. I am starting to feel like a broken record apologizing for my long blog absences. I am sure you all have been frantically refreshing my page looking for new updates. No? Well, that's ok too.

The past few weeks have been good ones. On December 6, I turned 28. It was a surreal birthday experience. I remembered how difficult and emotional my birthday had felt last year. Birthdays always seem to make us look back at what we wish he had done the previous year and what we hope to do in the new one. For an infertile, birthdays can be especially difficult because each year is a year lost. We know that as we get older the already difficult time we're having creating a family, just gets more difficult. And of course there is always the year you turn the age you always believed you'd be a mother by. That milestone past a few years ago for me, which only made the subsequent childless birthdays that much more emotional. It was bad enough not to be a mom by my "dream age", each birthday I was another year past it!

You may have guessed that, for the past few years my birthday wish has been to get pregnant. Now that I finally am, I was at a bit of a loss as to what to wish for when I blew out the candles this year. It was strange, amazing and wonderful to not know what wish to make this time around. (I finally did figure it out, but I have to keep it to myself or it won't come true!) It was even more wonderful to be celebrating the new life I will be beginning this year- my life as a mom!

More happy things have happened since turning 28. This past Thursday for example was as normal a day as any other until Chad and I were laying in bed. It has become part of his nighttime ritual to rest his hand on my tummy and feel Snow Pea kick. That night, he decided it would be funny to get her to kick him in the head, so he rested his head on my stomach and started talking to get her to move. He got an even bigger surprise though when he realized he could hear her tiny little heart beating through my stomach!. His face was priceless as he realized it and as soon as he told me what he was hearing, I welled up with tears. It was just so amazing! I felt so connected to both Snow Pea and Chad in that moment. Our family felt so real, and I was overwhelmed with love for both of them. I was of course, a teeny bit jealous that I couldn't hear her heartbeat too. I kept telling him how unfair it is that I am so close to her little heart but I can't bend over and hear her. Of course, I have heard her on doppler but it just doesn't seem the same. He tapped the rhythm on my arm for me, as he continued listening until finally we forced ourselves to go to sleep.

Yesterday, I finally got to hear her little heart myself when we went in for a monthly OB appointment. Of course, it was on the doppler so it wasn't nearly as exciting as what Chad got to hear the other night, but it is still the most beautiful sound I have ever heard and I was happy to listen. We met with the partner OB for the first time. Chad refers to her as Dr. Inconsiderate because she accidentally went in to see another patient and after she realized her mistake didn't seem too concerned with having made us wait. I didn't mind too much, but Chad who was on break from a busy day at work was pretty annoyed.

Dr. Inconsiderate was friendly though and said everything was looking perfect with both me and Snow Pea. Her oldest child was born from FET too so it was cool to talk to an OB that really understood everything we had been through to get here. Before the appointment ended she handed me a lab order for the dreaded glucose test and told me I needed to go before my next appointment, which she then informed me would be in 2 weeks! Holy wow! I knew that once you got to your third trimester, appointments were every two weeks, instead of every four, but I can't believe I am about to be at that point!

In case you are wondering, as of today I am 25 weeks 4 days pregnant with about 15 weeks to go! It seems like it is flying by. I guess when compared with how long it took until I had a healthy, viable pregnancy, nine months really isn't a very long time. Although I have heard that time slows down when you get really close to delivery day so we'll see if this warp speed feeling lasts. Maybe it just feels like it is flying by because I am enjoying it so much! Time flies when you are having fun, right? I really am having so much fun watching my body grow with new life and bonding with this little miracle before she is even born. I just can't wait until the day I can hear her sweet heartbeat for myself as she is laying in my arms.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Our Number One

Now that I am a few weeks past the half way mark in my pregnancy, I can unequivocally say that I really love being pregnant! My belly is no longer bloated looking but actually round and baby-ish. I won't lie, getting dressed is an epic event every morning as I tear through my closet trying to find something that fits, but once I do I am always excited to see my round tummy in the mirror. I also absolutely adore feeling Snow Pea kicking, flipping, and swimming around inside my belly. She seems to be most active around 10 or 11pm which is perfect timing for me and Chad to lay in bed feel her thumps and bumps. The past few days though the kicks felt a little more scary than sweet.

A few days ago, I was sitting on the couch going about my daily internet habit when I suddenly felt a sharp kick. I smiled and patted my tummy, but a few moments later, I felt a very unnerving and uncomfortable spasm across my cervix. It made me wince in discomfort but I assumed it was just yet another of the weird quirks, pains and aches that come with pregnancy. But it kept happening, and it kept getting more frequent and more uncomfortable. After one evening of quite a few "cervical twitches" that had me jumping in pain and anxiety, Chad was researching the hard to explain symptoms and insisting I call the OB's office first thing in the morning. He is not one to get worried or anxious so seeing him so concerned made more nervous than I already was.

Yesterday morning, I called the office and tried as best as I could to explain what was happening. I was very nonchalant about it, expecting them to reassure me that these feelings were normal and not to worry. Instead, the receptionist asked if I could come in that afternoon and scheduled me for the 1st available opening. Knowing they weren't taking this lightly made me a bit more nervous but I tried to stay busy and optimistic until my appointment.

Finally, 2:45 came. Since my appointment was so last minute, Dr. Casual was unavailable and instead I met with the Nurse Practitioner, I will call her Nurse Understanding because that's what she is! She's simply awesome and totally "gets it". She came in after having read my chart and instantly said how important it is to keep this pregnancy on the safe track after all we went through to achieve it. She asked about my RE and the IVF process and was very attentive and compassionate as she did so. She said she was so thrilled for me and knew how precious this baby is to me. I felt so validated to know that she took the time to learn about our struggle and to honor it.

I explained what was happening a best as I could. She told me she was glad I came in and then checked everything out. I am very relieved and happy to report that my cervix is completely closed and nice and long so there is absolutely nothing wrong with me or Snow Pea. She didn't stop there though. She also did an ultrasound just to give me even more reassurance. The ultrasound confirmed what we suspected- Snow Pea is hanging out very low in my tummy and is extremely active. So those painful spasms turned out to be my sweet baby occasionally using my cervix as her own personal punching bag.

I told Nurse Understanding that I felt silly coming in like this but she reassured me that she would rather see me 100 times and have nothing be wrong than not come in the one time that I really needed to and so I should always call anytime I have questions or concerns. It wasn't doctor lip service either, I could tell she really meant it. She confessed that when she was pregnant with both of her kids, she would sneak into an empty exam room during her lunch breaks and give herself ultrasounds almost daily. Since I don't have that luxury, she treated me to a longer ultrasound and spent time pointing out each of Snow Pea's precious baby parts. She was even thoughtful enough to grab my phone for me so that I could record a video for Chad. During the scan, she flipped on the doppler and I got to hear the sweetest sound in the world for only the second time, my baby's perfect heartbeat.

As we looked closely at her long limbs, toes and fingers, Nurse Understanding and I could see her wiggling her little fingers around and it turns out that my little angel agrees with me that she is the best.
This is by far my favorite and the cutest ultrasound picture we have of her yet!

I am so glad I went in. Although I felt a teeny bit over-dramatic it so much better to be safe than sorry, and it's nice to say goodbye to the anxiety of worrying. Plus I was able to spend some quality seeing Snow Pea in action and share the video with Chad. She really is number one!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Mostly Wordless Wednesday: What I'm Thankful For

I know it's a little late but just because Thanksgiving has passed doesn't mean I don't still have plenty to be thankful for. Such as:

A wonderful, loving husband

An amazing family

Incredible In-Laws (yes, I know how VERY lucky I got on this one!)

Fantastic friends from coast... coast.

Constant, unconditional support from all of you

And of course what I am most grateful for, and the picture I have been most asked for these past few weeks...

A cute belly bump, where my sweet baby girl is currently growing and thriving

I am so grateful for everything in my life right now. Even though my infertility will always be part of me and I still face it daily and will have to receive treatment again when we decide to have another child, I know there is a special appreciation of these things I might not have had without my experiences and struggles. I truly feel incredibly fortunate for all of the love in my life. I may never be a millionaire, or set foot on every continent, or be famous and well-known, or be able to say I've lived a pain free life, but I have the things that matter most- and that includes you, so Thank You.