Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Heated Debate

You might have seen quite the snippy comment on my Facebook post.  I shared the response with my Webkins and received a variety of responses.  So felt like as moms they felt they couldn't post everything they wanted to because they didn't want to offend those TTC.  Others felt that they love to post about their kids and read everyday how their friends potty training went.  Others who have been TTC felt like it is really hard to keep seeing pregnancy annoucements when they don't know when or if they will ever be pregnant. 

On my blog, I did an informal poll, (I realize this is not statistically significant), about the subject.  I asked, "Do you avoid certain social situations or Facebook because of so much chatter about babies and pregnancy?".  At the time of publishing this 84% said they either do or sometimes do avoid social situations or Facebook.

When discussing with my webkins, it reminded me of me being in college.  Freshman year, all the girls on my hall rushed.  It is almost unheard of not to get offered membership to any of the thirteen sororities.  Well my roommate was the ONLY person who didn't get asked to be in a house.  I felt so awful for her that I downplayed my interest in being in a house because I wanted to spare her feelings.  As a result, I never really embraced being in a sorority.  Looking back, I probably should have put more of an effort into it, but I just felt so sad for my friend. 

So while the anonymous poster on my blog post things I am such an awful friend and don't need enemies, I feel like I am trying to be empathetic to people who are struggling with infertility.

That said, being pregnant, I don't get upset at all at posts.  And even before, I never got upset seeing pictures of babies that were already here.  It was really a pregnancy thing, because it just highlighted to me that I may never have a baby.  I comment at least once a day on someone's post about their kids. Nonetheless, before this pregnancy, I would always keep up with my pregnant friends, asking how they felt and were preparing for pregnancy.

This point the post was that sometimes people are in their own world and don't realize that going on about their child can make someone else feel bad.  So take a break from it if you need to or trust that you will one day be pregnant and doing the same thing.

I still stand by that some posts are absolutely absurb and are so personal they should be saved for your spouse and  maybe your closest friends and family.

As for me, I don't know how I will respond once my little guy is here.  I don't know if I will post anything else pregnancy related.  I definitely will announce his birth.  I would like to put up pictures although not so sure my husband is comfortable with that.  Maybe I will post about being sleep deprived or his first intentional smile.  But I will be cognizant that there are FB friends of mine that are trying desperately to get pregnant.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

New Level of Ridiculous

I am not to proud to admit that I get daily updates in my inbox from US Weekly.  Today's headline is absurd, "Suri Cruise hates Jeans".  Are you kidding me? In order for this to be a headline, this must have gone through many steps.  Here is how I imagine the process.

1) A 4 year old in Suri's Scientology Pre-School class, overhears Suri telling a fellow tot, "I love dresses like Belle not jeans like Handy Manny."

2) The eavesdropping tot turns informant.  When his mommy comes to pick him up, he throws a tantrum until she gets an writer of US Weekly on the phone.  The indulgent mom obliges.

3) The industrious eavesdropping tot offers an exchange, some shocking Suri Cruise news in exchange for a jumbo pack of Goldfish and the deluxe DVD edition of Dora the Explorer, Seasons 1 and 2.

4) The deal is made and the eavesdropping tot, says, "Here it is, Suri Cruise, and I mean, THE Suri Cruise, hates jeans."

5) The writer thanks the tot and arranges for the goldfish and DVD set to be delivered.  In the meantime, a story like this can't be printed without fact checking.  Finally, she tracks down a gardner on the Cruise estate who confirms that Suri rarely leaves the house in jeans. 

6) The writer than grabs her editor and says, I have big news, "Suri Cruise hates jeans. I have two sources confirming it."

7) The editor says, "We can't sit on this.  This week's issue is closed. Call the Internet team and get this on the daily e-mail push.  We cannot let In Touch Scoop us on this.  Not something this big".

And that my friends, is how I envision this headline coming to us.

Monday, March 15, 2010

The Complain Game

When I was trying with all my might to get pregnant, nothing was as irritating to me as people complaining about their pregnancies.  I am not talking about the extreme cases where people are hospitalized for severe morning sickness or had surgery for pregnancy complications like some of my friends have.  They earned their right to make their ailments known.

I am talking about the comments like "It is hard work cooking a baby", "My back kills", "He is attacking me from the inside", etc.  In my mind, you should be so lucky that you are nauseous, tired, or feeling kicks, because it means the baby is thriving.

I have tried to be mindful that each ache, pain, and sleepless night is for good reason.  I really try not to complain to anyone but do find I slip once in a while.

Well lately, I started thinking, maybe I am not complaining enough to my husband.  Hear me out.  He always asks how I am feeling and I say good.  In the beginning I would say, so tired but good, or a little nauseous but not that bad.  Well as my third trimester is dangling before me, I have definitely felt the physical toll the pregnancy is taking.  In my mind, I have had a good ride, about 6 months of feeling pretty good for the most part.   I fear he won't have the true appreciation of pregnancy since I have been so breezy about it.

Take Saturday night, my back started hurting pretty badly. I feel like if I could lay on my back, it would help a lot, but you aren't allowed.  I couldn't get comfortable in bed.  I asked if he would rub my back.  The massage lasted under 15 seconds, and ended with two pats, his universal sign of I am done with this .  I barely slept all night, and somehow my speed massage didn't do the trick.  I feel like their are wives out there whose husbands give them massages all the time, on demand, or just for the sake of being a nice expectant dad.

Okay, I know my theory of complaining more sounds crazy, but the other day, I was speaking to one of my closest friends who will be delivering anyday now.  Her husband made some comment like big deal you are pregnant, that isn't an excuse for sitting on the couch all day.  Yeah, I would want to smack him too.  So she said, about a day after I had come to the same conclusion myself, "I don't think he gets how most pregnant woman are, complaining, making their husbands do stuff all the time.  I should have complained more, so he could appreciate what I have gone through."  Her pregnancy is basically over and she feels like she missed the boat.

I find myself in this state of in-between.  I am so grateful to have a growing baby and healthy pregnancy.  Each day, I feel more and more secure and confident all will work out.  I chose to be pregnant and knew what to expect.  And trust me, it hasn't been bad at all.  But on the other hand, I do want some credit from my husband that I have been a great pregnant wife.  I am rarely emotional, don't complain much, and haven't stopped doing things for him like cooking, like many of my friends did because they are tired, the smell makes them nauseous, or they plain don't want to. 

But if I were to be honest, my husband has been a pretty great expectant dad. He definitely checks in with me throughout the day to see how I am doing, won't let me lift anything heavy, and gets excited about different baby milestones.  There are no doubt guys out there that do none of these things. 

So while there are men out there giving their wives unsolicited back massages and bringing home flowers every week, there are wives out their that don't complain about anything.  I don't know where they are, but I am sure they are out there.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Baby Viability

I know most pregnant women are anxious for 40 weeks and then a lifetime to follow. Having had miscarriages, I still feel like the bottom can fall out from under me. In my heart of hearts, I know everything is going well and the baby is doing great. But the one comforting nugget of information is with each passing week, the baby becomes more and more viable if I delivered very early. I originally heard the real viability date was 24 weeks. Well on Private Practice a couple weeks ago, a baby born at 24 weeks had no shot of making it. That was a dagger and yes, I am aware it is a fictional show and Addison Montgomery is not actual an Neonatal extraordainaire.

Today I turn 25 weeks, which means in baby terms that I have completed 24 weeks. I set out to find out the viability at this point and moving forward. Here is what I came across in my quest for peace of mind.

Completed Weeks at Birth / Survival
23 weeks 10-40%
24 weeks 40-70%
25 weeks 50-80%
26 weeks 80-90%
27 weeks >90%
30 weeks >95%
34 weeks >98%

A baby's chances for survival increases 3-4% per day between 23 and 24 weeks of gestation and about 2-3% per day between 24 and 26 weeks of gestation. After 26 weeks the rate of survival increases at a much slower rate because survival is high already.

The chart below I found on babyandbump.com and it shows the instances of complications at different gestational weeks. This one is a bit more sobering.

23 weeks - 10-20% survival, 90% rate of serious medical complications
24 weeks - 60% survival, 75% complications
25 weeks - 70% survival, 55% complications
26 weeks - 80% survival, 45% complications
27 weeks - 85% survival, 40% complications
28 weeks - 80% survival, 35% complications
29 weeks - 90% survival, 30% complications
30 weeks - 95% survival, 25% complications
31 weeks - 96% survival, 20% complications
32 weeks - 97% survival, 15% complications
33 weeks - 98% survival, 12% complications
34 weeks - 98% survival, 10% complications
35 weeks - 99% survival, 8% complications
36 weeks - 99+% survival, 5% complications
37 weeks - full term!

All throughout pregnancy, I kept saying to myself if I get to X point (longer than previous failed pregnancy, first trimester, 20 week ultrasound) I will breathe easy. But the truth is I probably won't until he is here.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Protecting Marriage from Infertility

I know I have posted on this subject before, but in the last month, I have heard from several friends about how their marriage is taking a beating from TTC.

In all situations, the woman thinks she cares more than her husband. The truth is, she probably does, but that doesn't mean he doesn't want kids. One of my friends is going to start fertility treatments in the next 2 months and has a rainbow of emotions about it. Her husband isn't getting why she is so emotional about it.

In a couple of the situations, the husband is opposed to adoption. In one of these instances, they have gone through years of treatment and in another situation they haven't going through almost any treatments, but it is still a source of contention.

As someone who struggled to get pregnant, this makes complete sense to me. You want to know your options. Some options are easier to agree on, such as clomid, IUI, and IVF. Others require more reflection like surrogacy and adoption.

Before my husband and I even started trying, we agreed we would both be open to adoption. Knowing that we both wanted kids no matter what, was a relief to me, especially when things went south.

Despite being aligned, we weren't insulated from bickering because of trying to conceive troubles. When I think back, my overwhelming feeling was "he doesn't get it". He doesn't get why I am so upset. He doesn't get why I am so sensitive. He doesn't get why this latest set back seems so dire. At times it was infuriating. But what I didn't get at the time was that I was lucky. He never made me feel defective, even though the problems clearly laid in my court. He never made me feel like it was taking too long. He was of the mindset that it will happen when it happens. The only time he made a comment that all this was happening to him too, well it really upset me. And I did feel for a minute that I had failed him.

When I look back on the year and half we tried to conceive, especially after the first miscarriage, I do realize that we argued more than normal and I was at times resentful. Now we rarely argue and I haven't had the feeling once of he just doesn't get me.

Infertility is such a deeply sensitive and personal issue. So it seems natural we would expect our husbands to intrinsically know how to make it better. But really, what can they do besides besides making themselves available during ovulation, get testing if necessary, and letting you know that it will work out and one day you will have a child?

If your guy cried with you when you got another negative pregnancy test, is that really going to make you feel better? Personally, it would make me feel 100 times worse. In retrospect, I do think I lashed out at times at my husband, because he is my person, the one friend in the world that has to take what you dish out. I do think he could have been more sensitive to situations that would knowingly upset me. But theoretically, we were in the same boat, and those social situations with 20 pregnant people talking about their registries and pre-natal classes, didn't seem to phase him.

My advice, be explicit about what is upsetting you and what you need from you man. Have the mindset that this tension will pass. And know that a man's need to have a kid is often not nearly as strong as a woman's. That doesn't mean he doesn't want to have your children, it just isn't the only thing on his mind, like it seems to be for us.