Monday, February 22, 2010

Today's 5

I have some random thoughts, so let's discuss in no particular order.

  1. Did you see Keeping up with Kardashians last night when Kourtney delivered her baby? She was the chillest laborer I have ever seen and literally pulled the baby out herself. Whatever they gave her, I want.
  2. I am sick and tired of people's superstitions about buying things for a baby before it is born. People such as this, who shall remain nameless, can be hurtful. After going through so much to stay pregnant, a little faith in the baby would be nice from people who supposedly care. Newsflash, I didn't buy a damn thing, not even a copy of What to Expect when You're Expecting with the first two doomed pregnancies and look at how well that turned out.
  3. I have discovered the pregnant person's two week wait (TWW): not feeling the baby move for a long amount of time. It is like this crazy, anxiety-producing event.
  4. Babies are expensive. While you are TTC, consider starting to stash money away for the start up costs you will need to get the nursery ready. And maybe start secretly stocking up on small things you can hide from your husband so he doesn't freak over credit card bills. I never really understood those moms that would hide shopping bags in their trunk and sneak them in under the cover of night, but I am starting to get it.
  5. Anyone totally excited for the Bachelor Tells All Tonight? I know you probably think my greatest love is the Clear Blue Easy Fertility Monitor. But truly, my passion is reserved for the Bachelor. In fact, I am having a bachelor party next Monday for the finale.

Those are my five random thoughts of the day. Feel free to share yours.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Facebook Can Suck It

I have written before about the ills of TTC and being on Facebook. No doubt the day your cycle starts, the nerdy girl from high school announces she is pregnant with twins.

Today one of my webkins, as my husband calls them (friends in a group on posted she hates Facebook because a friend's pregnancy was not only posted by the mom-to-be, but her dad and some other family member.

I signed on today and saw this guy I went to school with impregnated his wife for the - wait for it- fifth time. He is expecting baby number five. Man this gets my goat on behalf of all people trying to conceive. I don't want to begrudge anyone and their little bundles of joy, but the last time I saw him he was trying to get my friend to make out with him at a bar about 3 years ago and 3 kids ago. He still had 2 kids at the time of his attempted transgression.

I am so happy I am pregnant because if I were still struggling, this tidbit would have seriously put me over the edge and my Clear Blue Easy Fertility Monitor may have found its death in the snow mounds outside my window.

As someone who hated the Facebook announcements and incessant postings of my friend's potty training exploits, I feel there is some gray area. Let's exam.

First, Facebook is an easy way to get info out quickly. I waited until more than 4 months to go public on Facebook and I didn't make a huge announcement. I first said something about the baby put an addition on its house (meaning my stomach popped). A couple people got it for others it was too esoteric.

At 19 weeks I posted that we confirmed we are having a boy. So that was my big coming out. I had told friends at about 13 weeks but not peripheral friends. That is the extent of my posting and I don't plan to post until the baby is here.

Why? Let's take my one childhood friend. Her life's joy is to be barefoot and pregnant. She is pregnant with her third child. Today's post showed a picture of her big belly and her two daughters kissing it. Her status said what a great day is having because she managed to drive through a snow storm, deliver treats to her daughter's school, get home, do loads of laundry, clean the house and get the younger daughter down for a nap by 1pm. Last week I learned about how her little one was going on a big girl potty. Talk about over-sharing.

Here is another one that was so ridiculous. A friend wrote on Facebook about her 2 week old son, who can't hold is head up, let alone read a status update, "Dear Jack, thank you so much for showing me and your daddy the meaning of truly loving someone. Love Mommy". Seriously, she got like 15 people click "like this". I am sure Jack is the greatest blessing on earth, but save it for you and your hubby.

Never will I forget the posts of my friend's cousin. It was seriously like watching the Discovery Channel. After enduring 6 months of posts about her pregnancy including updates on doctor's visit, who bought her what, her bed rest postings, she finally went into labor. She had updates on contractions every 30 minutes. Where did she find the time? Nothing will compare to what happens next. She posted once at the hospital, "epidural is in, hopefully baby S will be here soon". Mind you, you are paralyzed once an epidural is given, so her enabling husband must have fetched her the computer so we could all think about needles going into her spine.

For me, it was never feeling jealous of my Facebook friends. I just felt like it was adding salt to my wounds. All these people seem to get pregnant with no issue (which may or may not be true). Some people are on their 2nd, 3rd, and now 5th kid and I am struggling for one. I have taken many Facebook breaks in my day. I think if I had not been through this roller coaster ride, I probably would be one of these bubbly people posting belly pics and telling people how I don't sleep because I up peeing all night or I have a doctors appointment and get to hear the heartbeat. Our fertile friends don't have a clue that their good news can make someone else feel awful about their situations. So take it with a grain of salt and pretty soon, you can rub your pregnancy in your friend's faces.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Aren't We All Nesters at Heart?

People always talk about when you are pregnant, you nest. You get organized, you clean a lot, and you dote on all details related to the house.

This is true for me, but it isn't new. Even before I became obsessed with HGTV, I could salivate walking into the Container Store. In the last week, I have had 2 closets organized (the nursery and a hall closet), had the room painted, and put together and decorated a night stand for the baby's room.

I have shown some people pictures and everyone, pregnant or not, is moved by the beautiful simplicity of an organized closet.

There is something so sweetly satisfying about an organized closet. I have about 8 baby things in the closet and yet, every day I find myself opening the doors and looking at the bins and shelves.

I will post pictures as the nursery develops. I know there isn't much to see now, well except for my awesome closet.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Allergic to the Doctor

I have learned a very important lesson over the last 2 years. Between trying to conceive and being pregnant, sometimes you need to forget what the doctor says and trust your own instincts.

In terms of TTC and my miscarriages, my doctor, once the mutant fibroid was found, didn't assume that was my problem and ran a million test. I absolutely appreciate her being thorough, but I felt in my gut the fibroid was problem. Since she would never definitively say so, I have been haunted throughout this pregnancy with doubt.

Next, the whole luteal phase defect which you guys are probably sick of hearing about from me. But I was convinced I had a problem and it wasn't an ovulation problem, it was a progesterone problem. My doctor thought I should be treated with clomid. I didn't want to accept that since I knew from my charts I ovulated just fine on my own. I then found a doctor that agreed to test me twice in my TWW, 6dpo like normal, and 12dpo when I was spotting. And I was right, it was a progesterone issue. Next month, I was pregnant, and the progesterone supplements helped me hold onto this baby.

The latest is this blood pressure issue that landed me in the hospital 3 weeks ago. It was high at the doctors, 140/80. The next week it was 140/100 and I was sent to labor and delivery to be monitored. It came down while there to a healthy level. The on-call doctor said it was probably white coat syndrome but come in the next week to get checked again. Last week it was 140/80. And they had me convinced the reason it was normal at the hospital was because I was lying down in the bed. At my last visit they said I should come in this week and if it is high again I will have to see my internist for medicine.

Without their recommendation, I ordered a blood pressure cuff online. I didn't like the idea that I would be walking around with high blood pressure for 5 weeks unchecked. If you have high blood pressure, your placenta might die off early, and your baby might not have the nutrients to make it full term, so you have to deliver early. Plus high blood pressure is more common in people that develop preeclampsia. I kept telling the doctors I always get white coat syndrome when I get checked at the doctors office but if I sit a while it will come down. This happened even before I was pregnant. I understand they need to worry about it, but I wasn't being heard.

My cuff arrived today. I seriously have taken my BP about 25 times and each time it has been well within normal range and more often then not, under 120/80, which is considered normal. The doctors had me so freaked that I wasn't sure if it was calibrated correctly. So when my husband came home, I took his blood pressure and then mine right after. His was in normal range and mine was lower than his. He just had a physical a couple weeks ago and had no issue, so now I believe it.

The point of all this is, sometimes you know yourself better than the doctors and need to be your own advocate. If you really believe you know what is going on with you, or why you have trouble getting pregnant, try to get your doctor to test your theory and if she refuses, find someone else. I fully believe I wouldn't have held onto this pregnancy, had I not advocated for myself for the odd request of a 12dpo progesterone test. I also would have very likely ended up on blood pressure medicine that I didn't need and could have caused my bp to crash.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

The World is a Stage

You know how when you want to have a kid, it is all consuming? I am pretty sure you know what I am talking about. You start worrying that with each month you are only getting older and your eggs aren't getting any younger.

Lately I have started to be more observant about the life stages my friends are in. I have narrowed it down to four stages:

Stage 1: Single and no longer looking to mingle: These friends are either making their best efforts at, e-harmony, speed dating, and set ups with their parent's neighbor's nephew, twice removed. Or these friends might have found their meant to be, but are so used to being on their own, they don't know if they should "settle" when there is absolutely nothing wrong with the guy.

Stage 2: The Free Birds: These people have either been married a short amount of time, or just really love their freedom and flexibility and would rather spend their time and money traveling now. They definitely want kids, but not for a couple more years.

Stage 3: The "I'm Ovulating!" crew: This cohort is compromised of couples who are trying to make a baby like it is their full time job. Ahh, am I familiar with this one. They don't drink, don't smoke, they take their pre-natal vitamins, eagerly visit their doctor for a pre-conception check-up and most noteably, force themselves on their man at minimum of every other day for a week each month.

Stage 4: The Parentals: These are people that have successfully graduated from the first three stages and now can't go anywhere with child after 7pm and if they do need to be somewhere during these witching hours they are paying the babysitter through the nose.

So why the sociological study? When you are in the thick of trying to conceive, it can be so all consuming. Everything you eat or drink is about this hypothetical baby. Your thoughts are all about conception timing. I was going through some old papers from work and found page after page of my homespun calendars calculating when I might ovulate and my fertile days. I would come up with ways to avoid work trips during the time I thought I would ovulate. I went through a period where I was traveling to the west coast a lot and I would set my alarm for 4 am every morning to making sure I didn't miss my Clear Blue Easy Fertility Monitor window. Point being I stopped looking at what was great about my situation and was so fixated on getting pregnant. So let's discuss.

Reasons why Stage 3 is better than Stage 1: Single and no longer looking to mingle: I just turned 32 and I have a huge chunk of single girl friends from about 30 to 43. Very few are in relationships now. I can only foresee one of these relationships ending in engagement anytime soon. The others try so hard. But it isn't easy. They are all great girls. Smart, good education, good jobs, funny. But as they get older, they find the guys they are interested in want someone younger. Most rarely mention fertility concerns when talking about not having someone now. Some do talk jokingly about freezing their eggs, others think they will never be moms, even though they want to be. Some tell themselves if I have not met someone by 36, then I will freeze my eggs. But for the most part, they are just looking to move to Stage 2: The Free Birds. Bottom line, I feel so lucky to have my husband and not dealing with dating now. I don't have the energy to go out three nights a week for drinks, wait for call and texts. I think there are aspects of this lifestyle that are fun and exciting, but I wouldn't want to change it where I am for anything.

Reasons why Stage 2:The Free Birds can be better than Stage 3. For the first 8 years of my relationship with my husband, one of us has always been in school. We were both in college at the same time. He went straight to grad school and I worked. Then he worked and I went to grad school. When we were 28, we finally were in a place where we had good jobs and could afford to enjoy ourselves a bit more. We started to do some nice trips and stay in nice hotels. We went on an Alaskan Cruise, we went to Europe, a spa in AZ, Montreal. Point is, we got to spend time enjoying being a couple without the responsibility of children. We weren't concerned with ovulation, I could have a gin and tonic on a whim, and never had to feel like having a diet coke would poision a potential fertilized egg and lead to a miscarriage. This was the blissful stage when I had no clue when I was fertile and if I did know, I would avoid getting romantic during these times at all costs.

Advantages to being in Stages 1, 2, and 3, to being in Stage 4: The Parentals: This is a classic case of be careful what you wish for. Everyone says that having a baby is the best experience, you don't know love until you have a child. But that child does impact your life. People in the first 3 stages get to sleep in. They can decide last minute to take a quick flight to Napa and go wine tasting. They can go to dinner and a movie and not pay a babysitter $40. If they want to have a lazy Sunday watching a Meredith Baxter Burney or Kelly Martin Lifetime Movie marathon, they can. While you gain something so wonderful, you lose some automony and independence. Your life isn't your own anymore, you are there to make sure your child is safe and happy and that is a 24/7 job.

So back to the question I posed earlier, why the sociological study? I guess I wished that I had lived stage 3 a little bit more like stage 2. I didn't enjoy TTC, it was stressful for me. I put a lot of pressure on myself and my husband, who really was a trooper about the whole thing. I felt like if I had a crystal ball and could see I had a child I could enjoy it TTC and see it as an extension of Stage 2. But to my knowledge, no crystal ball exists and there are no guarantees that you get a kid in the end. I think I lost sight of what I did have (great husband, good job, good friends, amazing parents, house that I love) and concentrated with all my energy on what a didn't have (a pregnancy and a baby).

I am not saying don't worry about it, worrying will impede getting pregnant. I would be the biggest hypocrite on the planet and plus I don't believe it. For most, pregnancy takes planning and thought. My point is, enjoy your independence. Enjoy going to dinner with girl friends during the week. Treat yourself to the manicure. Go out to dinner every weekend with your husband. Sleep in on Sundays. Cherish sleeping through the night. Because come pregnancy and baby, you lose a lot of advantages that you have enjoyed your entire life. Your time will come to be pregnant and your time will come to be a mom. Enjoy yourself now.