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so glad to report that my blood work came back normal!

i’m relieved.

but i’m also taking this scare seriously and sticking with my protein plan.  [for more info on steering clear of preeclampsia see nina planck’s real food for mother and baby, the brewer diet, and the weston price foundation.]  no more slacking off for me and forgetting to eat or eating simple carbs just because they go down easy and require little effort or planning. 

must.stay.committed.

we’re in the home stretch now!

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on this day one year ago, the huz and i went to see a movie…seven.pounds.  just before we went into the theater, but after we bought our tickets, of course, i started to bleed.  so there i was at the movie theater, bleeding from m/c #3 had commenced and i was determined to be a normal person…i was going to see a movie with my huz no matter what. 

what’s a girl to do in this case?

run from movie theater to the store, of course, to obtain two necessary items:

pads

and

pad-fitting undies

with these in hand, i ran into the bathroom to get myself comfortably situated…then headed back over to the theater to join my huzzy.  i watched the movie like said “normal” person, went home and felt defeated, hopeless, horrible and anything other than “normal” or “person”.

last night on the way home from our new year’s celebration we were remembering this time last year.  we both agreed that the worst part of m/c #3 wasn’t the actual bleeding or not being pregnant, which felt so incredibly painful with m/c’s 1 and 2…..no, this time the worst of the pain, grief and anger centered around our fears that we might never be able to carry a baby to term.  after all, with the 3rd conception we didn’t even make it to our typical landmark of week 7 before bleeding.  what did this mean for us?  for our futures?

turns out, so far it meant a six month hiatus to ttc.  it meant a ferocious endeavor on my part to assist my body in the healing process….three failed pregnancies in 9 mos is just plain too much for one’s body and heart.  i needed–we needed–time to rest and heal a bit.  it was a much-needed and very nice break.  after those six months passed, it turns out i decided to start acupuncture for fertility and began to see dr. naturo for fertility blood work. 

it also turns out we conceived a fourth time and here we are today….27wks 4d pregnant with a little girl baby bear.  all the way back on new year’s day of 2009, though, we didn’t know all this.  we didn’t know where we were headed or what the outcome would be or if our hearts could take another loss.  we didn’t know that acupuncture would be so healing for my body and we didn’t know that working with dr. naturo would give me the sense of support that i needed…support that the medical community doesn’t offer, in our experience.

that’s the thing about pain and loss and grief and infertility and life in general….there’s no way of knowing where it will all lead to…if it leads to anywhere at all.

we don’t take for granted one moment of this experience—or at least we try not to….and it’s pretty amazing to find ourselves on the dawn of 2010 entering into the third trimester of this pregnancy.

we are more than grateful.

today marks one year since our blueberry’s due date.  that little being would have been one year old sometime around now…maybe in a couple days since they say your first usually goes late. 

 

i remember last year feeling quite sad right about now…having racked up another miscarriage by that point and not knowing if i’d ever be able to sustain a pregnancy…somehow i thought that if i was at least pregnant by our blueberry’s due date, that would help.  then when that didn’t happen, i thought that as long as i was pregnant by our beanie’s due date, i’d be fine.  that didn’t happen either.

 

now, here i am a year later, almost 18wks pregnant……and guess what?

 

it doesn’t help.  yes, i feel distracted b/c this baby and my changing body consume most of my energy and time….but when i tune in to my feelings, beyond my baby-euphoria, it still hurts.  not knowing our blueberry, all the pain that i felt at the shock and horror of suddenly miscarrying, all the questions and fears about my body and my fears of not being able to sustain life—fears about what that might mean about me….that’s all still real…pregnancy or no pregnancy…i still feel those feelings, remember the acute pain and rage and confusion.  i feel the fears and the sleepless nights.  it’s all still with me. 

 

just as my little blueberry remains with me.  no matter where i am in my fertility hunt, you always remain, little one.

last night we had our second prenatal exam…our midwife was running late–very late, but i didn’t care.  i just wanted to hear our baby’s heartbeat.

 

as the midwife was coming out to the lobby to get us, i heard her say, “I hope lilly hasn’t left yet.”  are you kidding me?!  i wasn’t going anywhere….not until i heard that whoosh, whoosh, whoosh, no matter how long it took her.

 

it turned out to be a good thing she was running late anyway b/c my huz was stuck in terrible traffic on his way there.  plus, once he met me at the office it was nice for us to have a chance to catch up with each other before heading in to the meeting.

 

anyway, anyway, anyway……….blah, blah, blah.  here’s the long and the short of it: we heard our baby bear’s heartbeat again. YAY!  the baby kept moving around so that we’d briefly hear the whooshing and then–poof!  it was gone.  so funfunfun!

 

now i’m counting down until november 6th for our ultrasound….is it a boy or a girl?!  i have a guess—what do you think?

…if not risky.

today, my huz and i started our day at a local coffee shop reading a financial book together…one of his favorite pastimes.  (i could do without, but he likes to think about our finances so i try to indulge him from time to time.)

anyway, we were on our way from there to the grocery store when my huz looked to the right and said, “i’ve always wondered where that road leads.  one day i’d like to drive along there to see.”  i said, “why not today?”  and we were off on a mini adventure that led us to one of the coolest places.

that’s when i started dreaming about taking our children there one day…to the sandy shores with great pieces of driftwood perfect for climbing and hiding…to the pier to watch the fisherwomen and men…to the play structure for hours of fun.

i was walking around, checking out the scenery and trying to figure out which islands i was looking at across the bay…thinking all the while that i’m so glad we live in such a beautiful and surprising place…we had no idea this park existed less than five miles from our house until we took our spontaneous little adventure today.

i wish all roads led to beauty.

i know i’ve been quiet lately…i was talking to my big sister about my silence the other day.  i was trying to articulate what it is that’s holding me back from writing.

 

i don’t know all the reasons consciously, but i’m certainly aware of a few…for one, i know that i don’t want to worry anymore.  i don’t  want to feel those all too familiar panicky feelings…i want to ignore them, dodge them, hide from them….be free.

 

obviously, not writing doesn’t prevent these scary feelings from breaking through to my conciousness, but it doesn’t keep me from trying to escape them.

 

next, between bouts with nasty migraines and house guests (the house guests aren’t responsible for causing my migraines, it’s just a coincidence they are mentioned in the same sentence), i’ve been busy.  busy.  busy.

 

plus, my computer has been unreliable.  ever since i downloaded adobe flash player it’s been acting crazy….and i’m tired of fighting it sometimes.

 

additionally, my work as a teaching assistant (in addition to my other jobs) has picked up again now that the school year has begun…and i’m tired.

 

then there’s the guilt i feel that the hunt for my fertility, while a deeply painful and grueling journey for me, is nothing compared to what many of you have endured and continue to endure….i remember many of you daily.

 

and so, here i am…trying to wade through my feelings of panic and loss amidst the flurry of excitement and hope with each gas bubble i feel (it could be the baby moving, you know).  i’m confused and caught in the middle of all that i feel, yet full of smiles when i remember the sound of our baby’s heartbat.  it’s a complex place i’m navigating and all i can say is i don’t know how i’d even begin to do so if it weren’t for the several years of therapy i’ve experienced that taught me how to even begin to attempt to locate myself amidst emotional storms like these….or at least showed me through experience that eventually the tides will turn if i simply hang on long enough…i know i won’t feel whatever i’m feeling forever.

 

and so, i’m hanging on….hoping to see our baby floating around inside of me on november 6th and bursting with excitement to hear the heartbeat again on the 21st of october at our next prenatal appt.  in the meantime, i’ve made the switch to maternity clothes, which are too big, but at least they fit better than my pre-pregnancy clothes, which barely fit at all….i’m so, so hoping i continue to fill them up with my growing baby tummy (i really don’t like the word belly).

 

i suppose that’s all i know for now.  thanks for hanging in there with me, riding this roller coaster to the end….i hope it’s one of those rides where i think at the end, “i’m SO glad i rode that!”

i met another milestone yesterday when i went to my very first prenatal appointment with my midwives.

 

how do i love thee, midwives?  let me count the ways:

  • i don’t have to get weighed…EVER!
  • i don’t have to have any pap smears/pelvic exams until a month or two after i deliver!
  • they weren’t mad at me when i accidentally peed into the toilet instead of into the cup they just finished instructing me on how to use!
  • and finally, they found our little baby bear’s heartbeat in 30 seconds or less with the doppler!!

 

and the sound of our little one’s heartbeat is truly the sweetest thing.

i’ve been quiet lately…mainly because i’ve been out of town for the past two weeks and blogging hasn’t been high on my priority list, nor have i had much time to slow down and reflect.

 

but i’ve also been quiet because i haven’t wanted to blog.  i haven’t wanted to slow down and feeeeeeeeel.  i’ve been on autopilot, rushing through my feelings and trying to keep a step or two ahead of the weight of anxiety that threatens to crush me, especially at night.

 

on tuesday i’ll be ten weeks.  i haven’t gotten this far before, but i’m also painfully aware of the possibility of a missed miscarriage…i know of women who’ve not known for weeks that their babies stopped growing and so, naturally, i fear this for myself in this pregnancy.

 

we meet with our midwife on wednesday evening for the first time.  i’m looking forward to it and i’m scared.  i vascillate between thoughts consumed with the question of what if there’s no heartbeat and a total confidence that we’ll hear a beautifully beating heart with no trouble at all.  i feel like a monkey on a ropes course, swinging back and forth and all around.

 

i’m worn out.  how do those monkeys do it?!

 

today marks our 6 year wedding anniversary.  we drove to the beach for fish and chips, walked along the water a bit and headed home….nothing too big, since we just returned from our vacation, but just a little something to take a moment to remember………remember where we’ve been and where we’re headed.  as with all couples who’ve been together for a while, we’ve been through a lot.

 

and i’m thankful that for the most part, on most days, we’d rather go through it with each other than with anyone else.

 

so we will be together on wednesday when for better or worse we will find out what’s happening so far with this pregnancy…and i wouldn’t want it any other way.

my ultrasound appt was yesterday morning…very early.  i couldn’t sleep past 4:45a.  i was anxious and scared and feeling very young.

 

the medical imaging clinic dr. naturo referred me to did not allow partners to go into the exam rooms until the end.  when they told me this on the phone, i thought i was fine with that.  until i put the gown on and got up on the table, that is.  then the panic set in. 

 

i felt alone and naked.  on top of this, i was sure my bladder was going to burst any minute.  i’ve never heard of them using the stomach ultrasound tool (i have no idea what the heck to call it) for a pregnancy that’s 6 weeks along.  each time she pressed on my bladder i thought i would pee on the table.  luckily, i was able to use the restroom before the transvaginal u/s.

 

the tech should become a professional poker player…her poker face kept me on pins and needles for 50 mins while she poked and prodded.  i literally had no idea what she was seeing or not seeing.  this not-knowing was really beginning to take its toll on me…at one point i sighed heavily while tears were streaming down the sides of my face and she asked me if i was okay.  i said, “i’m just anxious to hear the results.”  “oh, the doctor will tell you.”

 

what?

 

in my previous two experiences with ultrasounds, the doctor is brought in to deliver the bad news (and even in those two cases, the tech told me what she was not seeing as she was not seeing it).  well, then the tears really started to flow.  i was in a panic and feeling desperate to get off that table to find my huzzy.  i was mentally planning the phone calls i needed to make to rearrange the rest of my day…i was envisioning myself holed up in my room for the coming week.

 

i was in a panic.

 

then she called the dr to come in.  oh my.

 

he said, “well, you’re obiously pregnant.  what are we looking at here?  6 weeks?”

 

tech replied, “yep, 6w2d.”

 

and then the dr started giving her instructions on showing him my ovaries and such, making her sound like a total idiot and i felt bad for her while simultaneously trying to make sense of whether he’d just delivered good news or bad news to me.  he was so matter of fact.  so dry.  so not excited.

 

just before he turned to walk out he said, “well, everything looks good so far.  congratulations.”

 

i was thinking, “really?  well, how come you’re not showing me anything?”  so i asked the tech if she would let me see (can you believe i had to ask if i could see?!).  the dr heard and gave his approval for her to show me.

 

and that was when i saw our little baby, right inside of me with a tiny little dash of a heartbeat.  i’ve never seen anything like it inside of me.  i’ve never been able to see the baby or a fetal pole or anything…it’s always been darkness.

 

but yesterday there was light.  a tiny little spark of life with the most beautiful little heartbeat. 

 

and while we all know anything can happen…….i am in awe and am thrilled to announce a first for me: yesterday i saw a baby and a heartbeat!!

thanks to all who responded to my plea for help in making this decision.

 

 thankyouthankyouthankyou.

 

i took it all in and, of course, over-thought it…(i totally resonated with your comments, kate and jeanine.)

 

and i’m nervous to announce that—for better or worse—i have made my decision.

 

i realized that while initially it was helpful not to be poked and prodded, it is currently driving me crazy to not know whether this pregnancy is viable.  i need to know.  i really resonated with many of your comments re: this and especially when MEG.said she wouldn’t want to be surprised by a miscarriage on a vacation…that clicked with me.  (by the way, do you mind that i always type your name as “MEG.”?  i like it, but wondered the other day if you find it annoying…if so, i’ll stop…just say the word.)

 

so……………..i called dr. naturo on monday morning and told her i was ready for the referrals for an ultrasound.  by monday evening, i’d made the appointment.  then i read gabby’s comment about “trying on” a decision to see how it feels…and while i’d already actually gone ahead with my decision to make the appointment, it was really helpful for me to pause for a moment to check in with myself on how i’m feeling.

 

and i’m feeling anxious.  which is why i’m up in the middle of the night right now. 

 

i’ve never had a positive outcome to an ultrasound.  maybe this week will be a first.  maybe not.

 

but i’m as ready as i’ll ever be to find out what’s happening…at least, what’s happening at this point…sadly, many of us know that things can change…even after an ultrasound.

 

once again, thank you all for your kind wishes and support.  putting it out there and hearing from you really helped me get connected with what i want and need right now.

 

thank you.

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