Monday, August 30, 2010

The great reveal, and random thoughts

I told my direct boss today.
He was awesome about it, although he did say those dreaded words "Oh I *knew* it!" which leads me to believe that I am just looking F-A-T fat. (Actually, he said he knew because the day that my nausea hit we were at an all day meeting at his house, and since I both (a) asked for hard candies and (b) threw up in his bathroom, his wife kind of guessed. And yeah, I'm mortified that someone actually heard me puking my insides out, but at least I was very tidy about it.)

Which leads me to another point: I'm very ready for the nausea to take its leave. I believe that I'm ready to eat a meal and then not feel terribly bloated and nauseous for the following three hours. It was super reassuring back at weeks six and seven, but now? Now I just feel like poo and would like to be back to my own self again.

I'd also like, if the pregnancy gods are listening, to sleep more at night. I get that I have to wake up to pee. That's fine. 4am-4.03am seems like enough time for that. But at 5.44am I'm not sure I still need to be wide awake listening to my husband sleep peacefully. And, while I know this is wrong and makes me a bad wife, when I'm awake and he's asleep, I want to wake his sleeping ass up. It makes me angry that he is sleeping and I can't. I know it's bad, but it's true.

Lastly, I'm just waiting to actually look pregnant, not overweight. I know that I was probably 6-10lbs over my ideal weight when I got pregnant, and I would like to thank IVF for that (all those drugs and the times where exercise was verboten really did a number on my girlish figure), but right now, even when I look at myself hard, all I see is that stupid extra weight around my stomach instead of a pregnancy bump. I'm having a weirdly hard time with this, and really am feeling icky and fat and kind of ashamed of how I look instead of all glowy and pregnant. Maybe its just too early (13+ weeks) to look like much at all, and maybe in a few weeks when things progress further this will change, but I'm not at all in love with my pregnant shape right now, and that makes me kind of sad. The sad, of course, then makes me feel guilty that, after all of this time waiting to get pregnant, I'm not enjoying it as much as I should.

To summarize: on the one hand, very very excited to be pregnant at 40 with what appears to be (for n0w, at least) a healthy child. On the other hand, some of the stuff that comes with first trimester (weird body changes, nausea, insomnia) are not that great, and while I'd rather have them than not be pregnant, I'd also rather be pregnant without them.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

It's done

I bought a new bra and one of those bands. Yep, I did it. Yesterday I braved the fates and I bought what I desperately needed, and so now I am much more comfortable.

But that's not all I did. The Boy and I told people. Specifically, our families and some close friends of mine who were aware that we had been trying for a while.

It feels weird, and makes me really really anxious, as if by telling people I could super double jinx things. But at this point, after the test results and the number of weeks, we decided that it was time.

Of course then I panicked, because we hadn't been to the OB since the CVS test, and who knows what could have gone wrong. For at least three days I was convinced I had made a terrible error in telling people because I was sure that I had been leaking amniotic fluid since the CVS and that everything was over. As it turns out, I went in for my scheduled appointment on Tuesday and everything IS just fine, and I am 13 weeks today.

And next week, when my boss returns from vacation, I'm going to tell him and stop wearing oversized shirts and holding my stomach in. Because it doesn't feel good and is starting to not really work. And so then? Then I will be out for real.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

CVS test, part 3

Well, results are in and they are good.

The structural chromosomes all look good, and per our blood work, we are not at risk for any of the hereditary genetic diseases that strike our particular ethnic tribe.

So as far as we can know at this point, it's genetically/ chromosomally normal. Here's more info on the test itself.

I am beyond relieved, since I thought that my old eggs were certain to screw this up. We were giving it about a 50-50 chance.

I'm at 12 weeks today, and this plus the test results gives me the peace of mind to both buy some new bras (I'm literally overflowing my regular ones, and the underwire is leaving some nasty marks) and one of those belly band things, because the clothing situation is somewhat dire.

And we might actually tell people. That scares the living daylights out of me, but we are thinking that it might be time. We are going to see my mom and grandfather in person over Labor Day, so I'm going to wait on them, but my sister and inlaws might find out in the next day or two!

Oh. my. god. This is insane. I cannot believe I'm here.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Mysterious happenings

Dear Abdomen:

Could you please pick one size and stay it throughout the day? It's very hard when I get dressed and have one waist measurement and then blow up like a Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade balloon by mid-afternoon and have to unbutton and unzip my pants when seated because my waist is many inches larger and I fear that I will cut off circulation to my lower half.

I know mysterious happenings are afoot, but it's a little disconcerting when I go from looking not-so-pregnant to looking like I could give birth any moment all in the course of a few hours. It's also hard to keep things a secret at the office if I am so round.

Also, could you please tell me what is actually in there? I know it can't actually be all fetus-related, because last we looked it was only the size of a lime and every afternoon you are the size of a ripe honeydew melon. Is it air? Water? The concentrated hopes of a 40-year-old woman who is praying every day for things to go well with her first pregnancy after 2 years of trying? As this is a question that the Boy has asked I'd really like to know too, because the "I'm just getting fat" answer is starting to give me a complex.

Thanks much for your help.

Friday, August 13, 2010

CVS test, part 2

Early results are in.

Everything appears to be normal for chromosomes 13, 18, 21 and the sex chromosomes.

What is the FISH test? The FISH test basically looks for pairs of the above chromosomes and ensures that there are no more or less than 2 of each. Per the genetic counselor, this test is 95% accurate for what it tests for.

I may be relaxing a tiny bit.

CVS test, part 1

Test is done. So far so good. For those of you considering/ planning, I'm giving you my full experience below.

On the plus side:
- We got to see some really high resolution images of the little guy (yeah, I have given it a gender). That was pretty amazing and made me really, really happy.
- It measures 4.6cm (~11w3d) and has a heartbeat (which we got to hear!) of 170 bpm.
- The nuchal measurements were avg of 1.1mm, which I understand from both the Dr and Google is well within the normal range for its CRL.
- We got to see this cool thing where they show blood flow on the u/s, and saw the umbilical cord.
- It was SO active that it was actually tough to do all of the measuring. But it was really awesome to watch, and the Boy, who hadn't seen it in 3 weeks or so, was amazed by how much was going on in there!
- We got to hear the heartbeat again after the procedure. I seriously can't get enough of that!
- I got to keep my pants on the entire time. Amazing.

On the down side:
- The procedure itself, while only lasting about 90 seconds, was really not very comfortable. Because I have an anterior (front) placenta, they went in abdominally.
- The initial numbing shot stung. Not a fan.
- The big needle, which I did not see and would prefer to not have any visual image of, didn't hurt going in, but once it got to it's destination? Holy crap.
- On the "holy crap" part of the procedure: it felt like very very unpleasant, deep cramps. The closest analogy is the HSG cramping, except this involved a needle being moved around to break up some tissue and suck it up the needle. I didn't watch at all. I counted ceiling tiles and breathed. I want no visual images of what was going on there, as it's too scary.
- There was still some pretty tough cramping yesterday, but today its about 60% better. No spotting or bleeding, though, which is good.

The amusing part? The MFM Dr, who depite being quite the renowned specialist, is a tiny little woman wearing tight white jeans, platform sandals, and a fluttery silk shirt with exposed shoulders. Not exactly what I expected. Quote of the day from the Boy: "she looks like she should be pole dancer." While that did not boost my confidence, it did make me giggle just a bit before we went in.

So preliminary results either today or Monday, and full results in a week.

Overall, very glad I did this. Now I just need to wait to be able to exhale and relax.
Please please please please be ok.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


CVS test is tomorrow morning and prelim results are due back either Friday afternoon or Monday.

I'm terrified.

We met with a genetic counselor today, during which time she reviewed all of the 100000 things that can be wrong, and then went over our test results (all fine from my bloodwork) and then we both created a family tree and discussed illnesses, etc.

At the end of it, the Boy was ready to curl up into a ball under the covers and I was nauseous. Pretty much everyone has/ had cancer or heart disease of some sort. Even if this potential child makes it out into the world ok, now we are worried that WE are going to die.

I'll let you know how the procedure goes. Like I said, I'm terrified.

Friday, August 6, 2010


Pretty much everything about having a baby is a series of ambiguous choices. No one really knows what the "right" answer is, and the "go with your gut" is often the only way to really avoid being gripped with indecision and paralyzed at the crossroads.

From the very beginning, there were decisions:
- Should we have a baby?
- When should we stop birth control?
- Is it time yet to get some advice about why this isn't happening?
- Do we do IUI or IVF?
- Which clinic do we choose?
- How many embryos do we put back in?
- Are we ready to cycle again?
- Who do we tell that we are infertile?
- Do we skip the baby shower?
- Do we switch REs?
- Are we ready to start thinking about alternative routes to a family?

Now there are a whole bunch of new questions, some of which have answers:
- Do we tell anyone? (Nope, except one friend who just had her second baby, her first was IVF, and she "gets" it)
- Do we want to know the sex? (Nope)
- Are we able to handle a disabled child? (Not really. That's the honest truth for us.)
- Do we want to find out if everything is chromosomally ok? And when? (See below)
- How do I deal with feeling so physically crappy but at the same time remaining incredibly grateful? (Work in progress. Depends on my level of nausea and exhaustion)
- Do I have to tell everyone I am pregnant how I got to be? I'm not ashamed of the IVF, but is it anyone's business? Will I help the "cause" if I am open? (Not yet an issue, still thinking)
And I'm betting that there are more that haven't even arisen yet, but that list has already taken quite a decision-making toll on that "instinct."

Since the Boy and I both agree on what we will do with the chromosomal information, we are going forward with the CVS test next week. Thanks to all of you for your wisdom and advice -- ultimately it came down to what would work for us as a couple and (that old standby) our gut feeling.

As of today (10w1d) all is well. We took a look and it's about 3cm long and has a strong heartbeat (she didn't measure, and I resisted the urge to say "I must know this -- I need data!" because she did say that everything looked just perfect). It was on a different angle/ plane today, so initially there was just a big black circle, which created some panic, but then we found it, and it looks, well, less alien-like, but still kind of like something from a movie you might see at a drive in (back when there were drive ins).

So onward we go. Next week is a big week for us, so I'm just holding tight until then.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Making decisions (need help!!)

I've found something new to worry about! The big decisions (assuming that things are still cooking inside) are all about chromosomal testing.

Option a -- Nuchal translucency (NT) scan in 2 weeks and (assuming all is ok) amnio at 16 weeks. If something looks wonky on NT scan, CVS immediately.
Option b -- CVS test in 2 weeks and then blood test later to test for neural tube defects.

The upside of CVS test -- definitive information now. Which is great. The downside? Risk of miscarriage, which some estimate as high as 1/100, but others as low as 1/1000.
NT scans can get us a lot of good diagnostic information now with no risk, but they are not definitive.

I'm trying to decide which I would feel worse about: going for a CVS now and losing the pregnancy, which would make me hate myself for making such a bad decision; or having to wait until 16 weeks to find out that there was something really wrong and then having to make a termination decision then. Basically, both would be awful, so it's impossible to decide, but I'm quite anxious about making the "right" choice.

This is such a personal decision, and so hard to make, and I don't think either is wrong, but we do have to choose only one and I would love any input that you all, in your collected wisdom, have to share.