Thursday, September 30, 2010

Hello? Anyone there?

I can feel it move.

Let me amend that. I'm about 85% sure that what I am feeling is it move.

Wow. There is something in there and I can feel it.

Suddenly the reflux and lack of decongestants seem really really unimportant (and incidentally, both issues appear to be resolving themselves with rest, no eating before sleeping, and a lot of chamomile tea and honey).

There is a growing child inside of me and it is moving and I can feel it.
That is so unbelievably exciting and wonderful I just might cry.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Status update

Warning -- this is a whine-fest. But if you want my view on some of the physical aspects of being pregnant, here it is.

I've been feeling like shit, recently, in at least 2 different ways, but I've been holding back from sharing because, well, it's just seems not terribly gracious. But now? I'm tired, and cranky and need to offload.

I am more excited than I can possibly tell you that I am pregnant. Every day I wake up, rub my belly, and feel grateful to all the powers that be for allowing me to make it to 17.5 weeks. But being pregnant is HARD work.

Way one I have felt bad:
Just when I was rejoicing about how the nausea went away and the exhaustion had lifted, and how I really wanted to eat again for the first time in about 12 weeks, I ran headlong into my new worst enemy: reflux. It turns out that the really spicy food that I am craving (like a burrito with spicy barbecued beef) makes my chest and throat burn like, well, like a whole lot of acid is eating its way through tissue it shouldn't be touching. And worse still? It's not just the spicy food. It's tomatoes. And cereal with milk. And green salad with oil and vinegar. And a peanut and butter and jelly sandwich on whole grain bread. All of these foods have caused tremendous gastric distress and forced me to look longingly at food and then turn away, which is a problem because I am starving.

The solution? Eat virtually nothing I like. The other solution: sleep sitting up. It's bad enough that I am no longer allowed to sleep on my back, which blows as well, but to sleep propped up? I'm basically awake for at least an hour every night just sitting there like a fool, feeling really annoyed that it's 3am, I am sitting up in bed with my chest still burning despite the aforementioned sitting and not asleep. So I am tired, too. Oh yeah, and my shoulders and back hurt from sleeping like that.

Way two: I have a cold. And pretty much all I can take for it is liquids and more liquids and tylenol. Of course, citrus juice would be good, but that makes the reflux kick into overdrive. (I tried it. Not fun.) So I am coughing and coughing and yesterday I coughed so hard that I vomited. It was epically horrible and I think I am scarred for life. Word from the wise: next time you are pregnant and coughing hard and have to pee insanely badly all at the same time, try to hold the pee and face the toilet. Because I made the other decision and it was a disaster. Oh, and I was at work. Which made it horrible and embarrassing, because some poor soul was two stalls down. I took today off because (a) I was afraid of coughing/ puking again in public and (b) I'm hoping that a day off will actually help me kick this, and (c) I think the other person in the bathroom deserves a reprieve from the horror show of yesterday.

And since I can't for sure feel le bebe yet (and of course am starting to get worried about that), and have no other indications aside from belly growth that I am still pregnant, I've convinced that my belly is smaller, which means, to my mucus-addled brain, that the bebe is not growing and doom has finally caught up with me.

In short, I'm sick, chock full of acid, and a nutcase. Fabtastic combination.

On the plus side, Glee is on tonight, I got to sleep until 10 (with a "what the fuck are you doing sitting up" break between 4.30 and 5.30am), and I am starting to feel better. Oh, and I'm 17 weeks and 5 days pregnant, which blows my mind and means that my fancy dancy level II ultrasound is in just. one. week.

Monday, September 27, 2010

I've been tagged!

Thanks to Sienna and InBetween for tagging me in this "let's learn more about each other instead of about our periods and hormones" game.

Here you go!

1) What's the best dish you can cook?
I make a really good roast chicken. It is one of our go-to staples -- roast chicken with lemon, rosemary and roasted potatoes and onions. Sadly, because we are gluttonous, it never lasts more than one meal.

2) Have you ever been mentioned in the newspaper? What for?
I think 2x -- once for my wedding announcement in my hometown paper (thanks, mom, for that) and once way back in 5th grade for winning the local spelling bee. So basically, I've done nothing notable between the ages of 10 and 38.

3) What's the worst/ most memorable job you have had?
I had some truly sucky ones in my teenage years, but I think that the all time worst was working for OhioPIRG (Public Interest Research Group) going door to door canvassing for some initiative or another. I hated it with a passion, and lasted only 2 or 3 days. I mean, I wouldn't even go to people's houses to sell them Girl Scout cookies when I was a kid, so going to ask them to do something that is a lot less appealing than buying thin mints? Not for me.

4) When you were a teenager, at what age did you envision getting married?
When I was 8 and my sister was 5 (or something like that), we were watching Little House on the Prairie and my sister said to my mom: "I want to get married when I'm 16 just like Mary." This prompted a little chat where we were basically told not to get married until we were 26. Why 26? I don't know, but I think my mom wanted to be sure we had an opportunity to be independent between college and marriage. So I always though "after 26." I don't think my mom had in mind that I would be 38 and my sister (now 37) would still be holding out. I guess that falls into the "be careful what you wish for" category?

5) What's your most hated household chore? What's your favorite?
I hate cleaning the bathrooms. So I don't. We have a housekeeper that keeps us in shape. My favorite? I love putting away groceries. It's consistent with my desire to organize the universe.

6) What's your earliest memory?
This is hard. I think I remember being in the hallway outside my bedroom when my sister was brought up the stairs for the first time. It was late out, and dark, and she was way up high being held by one of my parents.

Now to pass it on --

Pie at Slice of Pie
Circus Princess
Rebecca at Trying Not to Scream

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Ooops -- I missed it!

I missed my one year blogoversary -- it was yesterday.

Last year at this time I was pretty much an emotional wreck:
- I had left my job because the stress and travel were too much, but had no concrete job prospects.
- The Boy had been out of work for a few months and his industry (finance/ trading) was in significant disarray, making job hunting very challenging.
- My mom had been diagnosed with breast cancer for the second time.
- My FIL's cancer had returned and he was undergoing aggressive chemotherapy.
- We had been trying to get pregnant for 9 months to no avail, and were just about to start our first IVF cycle.

This blog was an outlet for me to express all of the stress and fear and anxiety in a way that was both (hopefully) productive and could connect me to a community of people that could support me through the hard parts of everything. I had no real expectations of what I would find, and I have to say, I still remain floored by the unconditional outpourings of kindness that are received in this community between women who are, by some measure, complete strangers.

I've leaned on all of you, and leaned on the writing, to help me get through the very darkest, hardest parts of the last year. My IRL friendships, family relationships, sense of self, and marriage were strained, but I've managed to muddle through and have emerged, a year later, into a place I could only have dreamed of.
- I have a job I love, and found it relatively easily.
- Both my mom and my FIL's cancers are gone. Mom's is hopefully really gone, and my FIL is again in remission and he is feeling good.
- I'm 17 weeks pregnant today.

The Boy, throughout all of this, has been nothing short of spectacular. Yes, we have disagreed about how to proceed on cycles, about turning down jobs in the face of no other prospects, and about all manner of other foolishness. And yes, he made/ makes me crazy sometimes. But he has never really wavered in his support and love of me, even when I was hormonal and mean and not necessarily deserving of what he was offering. And for that I am profoundly grateful and immensely happy. We have made it through a very very hard year, and can honestly say that it has made us, and our relationship, stronger in every way, and has shown us that we really can weather even storms that by all rights should overwhelm us.

So now, looking forward, what do I want from the next year? Three things, actually.

I want more than anything for the thing that keeps the Boy up at night worrying to be gone. I want him to find a position where he can contribute his experience and expertise, and is valued and he enjoys his work. He has been so patient and hard-working throughout this whole process, and is so talented and smart that I want nothing more than for him to be rewarded with a role that deserves and values him.

I want this pregnancy to stay, and stay healthy and smooth, and then for there to be a healthy, happy baby at the end. I still have moments of sheer terror that this will all end in tragedy, but most of the time am just so grateful for each day of being here and being pregnant.

Finally, I want the world to be right and just and fair, and for everyone who is trying so hard to have a family to do so in a way that makes them happy. The women in this community are some of the most caring, kind, thoughtful people I have ever encountered, and they would all make wonderful mothers and should all have that opportunity.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

All is still well, but I'm stuck

I'm 15 weeks 6 days and all is still well.

I haven't been writing a lot recently because, well, this started as an infertility blog and I feel kind of shitty about turning it into a place where I bitch about how I don't fit into my pants any more because I am gaining pregnancy weight. I hate the idea of this blog in any way making someone else unhappy, because I can certainly tell you that there were many blogs that I used to read and had to stop because (in my mind, at least) they got pregnant and seemingly forgot all about how it felt to be infertile.

So I'm torn, I guess. I struggled for a while -- 18 months to be exact -- to get pregnant, and that pain is still very fresh in my mind. But I'm pregnant and things appear to be ok for now, and for me that means that some things that used to really bother me don't sting so much any more. But I'm not sure about talking about them here, because I really don't want to make anyone else feel bad.

This blog, then, like me, is torn between two worlds -- pregnant, fertile-dom and infertile-dom.

This even came up IRL at dinner on Saturday. We went out with friends who have a toddler, and much of the conversation was spent discussing baby stuff. Read: pregnant, fertile women conversation. But then it shifted, and I was back to being infertile: we were discussing another friend who is expecting in January after many many rounds of IVF. While I haven't spoken to that friend yet (more on that in another post), apparently she said that, while she is thrilled to be pregnant, she may never recover from the experience of infertility. The friend who was telling the story was dismissive of that; something to the effect of "she just doesn't know yet. I view my life as really starting when I gave birth and I think she will forget all of the trouble she had getting there." Infertile me could feel the heat rising and my pulse rate going up when she said that, because, frankly, I don't think you ever really "get over" infertility. I tried to explain to her that the fundamental loss of control, the loss of trust in your own body, and the sheer amount of bitterness and jealousy are really hard to get past, but I don't think she bought it. But the hurt and the anger, the lack of confidence and fear that it would/ could never work all came rushing back when we were talking.

Anyway, this is kind of rambling and long, but the point is that I feel stuck in the middle. I'm definitely pregnant (we just saw it yesterday, and so it is still there and still doing well), but I feel definitely infertile. And because I feel stuck, this blog has felt a bit harder to write. I'm sure it will change and evolve, but right now it's definitely a challenge for me to navigate these two worlds.