Lest ye forget

I made myself watch this again, just to make sure.  Still funny (and mostly truth).

Got the results from my glucose challenge test.  Nothing to be smug about, but passing (128 mg/dl, so no repeat, at least!).  Hemoglobin/hematocrit, not so much, sadly.

Component Your Value Standard Range Units
HEMOGLOBIN 10.7 12.0 – 15.6 G/DL
HEMATOCRIT 30.4 35.0 – 46.0 %

They recommended I add an iron supplement, as they’d like to see the hemoglobin at at least 12.  Boo.  But I’ll try it, of course.  From what I read it sounds like it can really…um…slow digestion…even further than pregnancy tends to already.  Ugh.  I guess the fact that I still find red meat less than appetizing most of the time has some consequence.  I will try that, too (but must admit that I’d rather celebrate passing the glucose test with a donut than with a steak).

But can I just say I love the new practice?  This getting an email when test results post thing is quite nice.  I went to the lab early Saturday afternoon and had results on the above Saturday evening, and the glucose number on Sunday.  Each with a note from the actual midwife I saw on Thursday.  I’m impressed.  Not sure if that really should be impressive, or if I’m just so used to doctors that I expect to have no choice but wait to be called or call and have nobody answer the phone, but impressive regardless. Also, can you imagine if I had that kind of immediate access as I was doing all the RE’s bloodwork?  Geek city.  I both sort of wish I did and am glad I didn’t.  I may still, someday, ask for a copy of all those numbers.

Ultrasound this Thursday afternoon at the peri’s office to check growth.  Certainly feels like he’s getting more vigorous.  Not every kick is a wallop, by any means, but some of them are leaning decidedly more toward solid thump than flutter.  I hope the measurements agree.  I keep trying to guess if he’s head up or head down or what, but frankly I don’t think I have a clue.  Looking forward to finding out, even though there’s probably enough room in there for him to change his mind more than once in the next three months.

Three months.  Eesh.  Kind of freaks me out.  I’m sure in another month or two I’m going to be uncomfortable enough to be feeling more “ready” regardless of my actual state of readiness, but…there is still way too much to do, and three months doesn’t seem like enough time.  Especially since I tend to want to do nothing after work.  Weekends are not long enough, and it doesn’t seem like there are enough left between now and the end of June to get anywhere close to where I’d like to be, around-the-house-wise.  So far we (and I mean Mike) have the ceiling in the nursery painted.  I hope this weekend we’ll (he’ll) get the walls primed.  Then I’ll feel obligated to pick a color.  You’d think I’d be way past that by now.  I hoped to be, but…I’m not.  And that has to be okay.  All is well, regardless of what my brain tries to tell me sometimes. Anxiety is a real asshole, you know?    



Much Better

Didn’t see the doctor this morning, but the ultrasound tech took two measurements – 3.41 cm and 2.75 cm (dynamic, shortens a bit when pressure is applied, is what she said).  Either way, both are better than the 2.5 cm the OB got last time.  She said she thinks 3.41 is more accurate, and there is no funneling, so I’m going with a big sigh of relief for now.  Still a tiny bit short of the 3.5 cm that MoD says is average for this far along, but I don’t feel nearly as alarmed as 2.5 cm had me.  Oh, and they DID send the fetal fibronectin to the lab last time – but it was negative.  Phew.  Would have been nice to know.

Was also told that they faxed over my records to the new practice this morning.  A day late and a dollar short for the midwife’s purposes, but I guess in plenty of time for the OB to review before my appointment with him on the 5th.

I didn’t cancel my next appointment with the current/soon-to-be-ex OB.  I figure just in case I should need something, though I can’t really imagine what, between now and then, I shouldn’t burn any bridges.

Set to meet with another potential doula next Friday.  Her fee is higher, but she says she’s flexible, so if I actually feel like I mesh with her, and she’ll match the fee quoted by the first one, then I’ll have a decision to make.  I’m not convinced either way after our phone conversation, so I guess that remains a big fat We shall see.

Yesterday the new practice gave me the bright orange drink I hear such lovely things about for the glucose tolerance test.  I guess I’ll go do that tomorrow.  Really hoping that doesn’t raise any issues.  My diet isn’t perfect, by any means, but I have not been as sweet-toothed as I sort of expected.  Hopefully that’s a good sign.


100 Days to Due

Had my first appointment with one of the midwives at the new practice today.  I’m very encouraged.  She seemed optimistic that the OB will be fine with letting me plan for birth at FB.  Yay!  I see the doc in two weeks, hoping he agrees that there’s no reason why I can’t.  Was annoyed that my current OB’s office hadn’t sent over my records yet, despite having called me to confirm that I wanted them sent over.  Whatever.  I have to go back tomorrow for the cervical check, so I suppose I’ll just pick them up my damn self.  I expect some attitude about switching practices, but it’s honestly not about any dissatisfaction with them, other than the fact that they won’t willingly deliver where I want to go.  If the ultrasound should happen to show any cause for concern, it’s not like I’m going to ignore sound medical advice, whatever it may be.  Will be really interesting to see what the peri thinks of all of it when I go back for the growth scan on the 29th. Think I have enough medical professionals involved here?

(They also changed my due date back to June 28th.  Not that an estimated due date really means much.  I’m just confused on how it was ever the 30th.  I think maybe that particular nurse needs a remedial wheel-thing lesson or something.)

(Oops, I guess that makes the title of the post null and void.  98 days to go.  In theory.)


Misc. (25w1d)

I hope I didn’t speak too soon in my last post.  On Tuesday, the day after my last OB appointment, I got a call from one of the nurses saying that they want to repeat the cervical measurement in two weeks.  Um, okay.  I scheduled it for this coming Friday, a week from today.  Since I’d mentioned the suspected contractions at the appointment, before the doc did the measurement she took a swab for fetal fibronectin, too.  She said that if the measurement was good, she wouldn’t even send it off to the lab.  Then, when she said that 2.5 cm is “within normal range,” I assumed at the time that she didn’t send it.  But once I consulted the ever-wise Internet and then got that phone call, I’m wondering if a) she just didn’t want me to panic and b) she’s a liar and c) holy shit what if she sent it and the fetal fibronectin was positive?  Would the nurse really just not tell me that when she called?  I know lots of stuff can cause false positives on that test; it doesn’t necessarily mean that something bad is going to happen this week.  I do still get a few contractions, and I hate not knowing if they’re Braxton Hicks or if they’re really starting something, but when you’ve never had either kind before, there’s really no basis for comparison.  They’re not painful, really, and they’re not on top of one another, only a few to a handful a day, so I’m trying to think positively, that it’s just my body’s slow preparation for labor.  But still.  Eek.

On the other side of the coin, I was thrilled to hear that being on the heparin/aspirin is not an automatic disqualification for the hospital birth center I’d like to deliver at.  Assuming I make it to at least 37 weeks (please, please, please), I can likely come off the meds at that point, presumably still being closely monitored by the peri, and have my crunchy granola natural birth.  So, while I’m clearly keeping my scheduled appointments with my current OB, I’m also in the process of trying to switch to an OB-plus-midwives practice that will deliver at the birth center.  Even if I don’t get to the birth center, I’m leaning more toward the hospital where the center is located, so I feel like it is a smart choice overall to switch practices.  Both hospitals have a Level 1 NICU, but the one where my current OB would have me go has only been Level 1 since January, so…still best for both scenarios to switch, I think.  I do feel like I’m playing both sides of my murky risk-coin here.  No!  I’m not high risk – let me deliver at the birth center!  But YES, I’m high risk!  Make sure my cervix is not being wonky!!  But right now, I see no reason not to pursue both paths.  The baby’s head was right on my cervix while she was trying to measure on Monday, so hopefully this Friday he’ll be slightly out of the way (oh, but don’t be breech, little dude!) and we’ll get a reassuring number, and move onward a little more confidently.
We are meeting a potential doula tomorrow morning.  I have also sent out email inquiries to a few others, though some are not exactly in my price range (and some are far from it, OMG).  At least one has said she’d be flexible, so if tomorrow doesn’t leave me feeling like I “click” with the first one, I’ll see if I can negotiate a similar fee elsewhere.  
There are two showers scheduled, one late next month and one in late May, and a third will likely fall between the two (lots of family on both sides, plus apparently more enthusiastic coworkers than I’d ever have guessed).  It’s exciting, yet…scary.  The medical stuff I suppose I’m more comfortable navigating, as it’s been the only part I’ve been able to even pretend to control in this deal – take the pills, do the injections, research the options, etc.  The social, celebration parts are different…it’s great, don’t get me wrong, but it still feels a little too normal to be real sometimes.  

Stuff I’ll want to remember

It’s kind of unsettling how shallow my bellybutton is getting.  I’m guessing there’s no way it won’t pop out at some point in the next 15ish weeks.  I have gained plenty of weight, but I still tend to look down at my belly and think…eh, not so big.  Looking at my profile in the mirror leaves me with a completely different impression, though.  It’s more like, WHOA.  I really should take more pictures.

Still feeling lots of movement – which can now also be seen from the outside.  Every time I feel him moving around and kicking I sort of want to drop everything and just stare at my belly.  I don’t know how to describe it.  It’s…yes, Alien-esque, but also…pretty much the best thing ever.  
Had a doctor’s appointment this morning – everything seems to be going well.  My blood pressure was up a bit, though not in any kind of warning or danger zone.  Will check it again this evening when I go to the pharmacy to pick up heparin and vitamins.  Had to admit that I have been feeling what I’m pretty sure are contractions, sometimes a few a day.  Nothing consistent or progressive, so I haven’t panicked or worried too much about it, but I was sure to mention it this morning.  I have nothing to compare them to, so I figure they’re Braxton-Hicks.    Was enough to get a cervical length check – still at 2.5 cm, which she says is “within normal range,” but…damn Dr. Google.  Seems short to me.   Kind of scary, but I’m not freaking out, since there was no funneling.  I guess I will just pay close attention to the contractions (funny, haven’t felt any today since I brought it up) and make sure to drink a lot of water and try to de-stress.  Work has been supremely annoying, and I skipped yoga last week.  I think I’m going to try a different studio for a few weeks…if they return my email.  The class is a bit earlier in the evening, so I’ll get home sooner.  
Sadly, though not unexpectedly I guess, she did not seem to have gotten more information for me about the birth center  and whether being on blood thinners disqualifies me.  I did call, and left a message, and they called me back and left me a message, but I haven’t called again yet.  It took a ridiculous amount of convincing myself to just dial the number the first time.  I’m afraid they’re going to say no way, not gonna happen, too bad so sad.  Still, I am leaning toward that hospital rather than the one my current OB would have me go to…so I may be switching OBs regardless.  Seems petty, to a point, but when I compare the tours, one was so much more encouraging of going the natural route, even in L&D and not in the birth center.  The other seemed to assume I’d want the epidural and the monitor and everything else and dammit, I don’t want to assume that.  I realize I may get into it and change my mind in a hurry, but I at least want to really give myself  a chance.
To that end, I may have found a doula.  Her experience is very impressive and she’s not too expensive, so I should probably just go for it.  My hesitation here is mainly what I find on her Facebook page.  First…it’s one of those weird me-and-my-hubby-share-EVERYTHING deals – seriously?  Second, it says she has “conservative” politics and religious beliefs.  Meh…I’m assuming she’d be respectful of my heathen liberalism, but it’s hard to say.  I may keep looking a bit, but I’m starting to feel like these things need to start falling into place soon.  Eek.


PAIL Post – Breastfeeding

Well.  That was quite a kerfuffle.  I’d not anticipated the level of hurt feelings that were expressed about the start of PAIL.  I hate that Mel was hurt by it, because she’s obviously been a champion of building an active, supportive community for ALI (adoption, loss, infertility).  I’d never want to have to remove myself from the blogroll to beat all blogrolls, but frankly, I have not requested to be moved from the Loss Room to the Pregnancy and Parenting room.  I can imagine that perhaps (and I don’t pretend to know) that for a woman whose primary challenge was getting pregnant (or finalizing an adoption or whatever path one takes), that might be a huge celebration, to move from one of the “before” rooms to the “after” room – but again, that probably varies from person to person.  For me…it would feel presumptuous to do it now, as if I’m taking a live, healthy birth for granted.  I’m starting to believe it might really happen, but I’m still having moments of disbelief as well.

It has occurred to me that people clicking through the blogs in the Loss room might come upon mine and feel that sting I’ve felt so many times when exploring new blogs, realizing that I’m now writing more about an ongoing pregnancy than any of my losses.  I don’t want to purposefully inflict that on anyone, but again…a quick look at Sitemeter or StatCounter shows that it’s less likely – more people are already finding me via PAIL than via Sorted and Filed.  I hope that PAIL will be what Elphie wants for it to be – an active community.  I’ve found some of that in the RPL subset of ALI since my last miscarriage, and it’s been absolutely priceless.  I must thank Misfit Mrs. for adding me to her list of fellow misfits – and even more for the private email she sent me with advice on what to expect when I posted about my impending D&C in December 2010.  Those individual acts of outreach mean a helluva lot – and I haven’t gotten that sense of community via the main ALI, so I didn’t hesitate to join PAIL when I found it.  I don’t think it’s meant to be exclusionary, it’s just that it’s the nature of the nasty beast we all battle.  When you’re infertile you’re excluded from the fertile.  When you’re an RPLer who can conceive naturally, you’re sort of even excluded from the mainstream infertile (no IVF, no IUI…a Clomid cycle like mine, for instance, is considered child’s play, basically). And I’m assuming that the adoption route has its own set of exclusionary feelings – all that waiting, the feeling of being made to prove you’re fit to parent rather than just proving that your biology is competent…it’s a whole ‘nother thing, I’m sure.  Each room has subsets, and each is deserving of a support network that’s actually supportive.  If a separate blogroll is what it takes to make that truly functional, I say so be it.  But I really do not mean to say it in a snotty tone that disparages Mel’s work, not at all.  I can absolutely understand her frustration, but for me and my situation, it’s not right to decline an opportunity to further connect with people who might actually reach back.  I feel fairly confident in speaking for everyone who’s reached or is reaching “the other side” – we want all of you to join us.  This isn’t meant to rub anyone’s face in anything or to be Sneetch-y.

With all that said, the group activity so far is to have a monthly theme post-gathering.  First topic being breastfeeding. What do I think about it?  Besides the fact I’m totally not there yet and I still can’t really picture myself actually doing it, I’m for it.  And then I have to laugh because I have so many what-ifs and tangents to explore on the topic.  I want to do it.  I haven’t done much to prepare other than reading online and putting some supplies on my registries and confirming that the hospitals (yeah, that’s plural.  Still TBD which one I’ll end up going to) will rent me a pump.  I plan to take a class, once I figure out which hospital I’ll be dealing with, and I plan to not hesitate to ask for help.  But I also plan to keep a can of formula (or at least the samples that already came in the mail, gah) in the house and if I need to use it, to try not to beat myself up about it.  Not saying I won’t be upset if it comes to that, but I don’t want it to have to mean that I FAIL AT ALL THE THINGS.  Bottom line, feeding the baby is important, clearly.  Method, less so.  Frankly, it would be a huge bonus for us to not have the expense of formula, but I have to be realistic – my past PCOS indicators could mean that it won’t be easy or perhaps even possible to establish a good supply.  If that ends up being the case, I have to remain convinced that it won’t be my fault.  I will give it my best – Mother’s Milk tea and fenugreek and whatever else I can come up with, I will try.  But if it doesn’t work out, it won’t be the end of the world.

The other piece I wanted to touch on is the judgment factor – it grosses me out that it grosses you out.  Really.  Two of my best friends clearly have opinions or at least feelings about it, and negative ones.  Which, fine, whatever, but also…the fuck?  In one instance I don’t really feel judged about my intended choice, it was just posed as a “do you plan to” question and nothing else was really said about it.  It wasn’t right for her and her kids, and that’s totally fine. Not to say I get it, but that doesn’t matter – her kids, her choices.  The other…does make me feel sort of weirdly judged, though I’m not sure why.  (Hi, sorry, yes, this is about you.)  I guess it’s just not exactly affirming to be shuddered at when you mention the concept.  Seriously.  She shudders at the thought.  If I ever get a surplus going I’m going to try to squirt her, just for spite.

Again, in the end, it doesn’t matter what people think.  I think I will have the support (my mom, Mike, most moms I know in “real life”) I’ll need to give it my best effort.  Like everything else in this rodeo – fingers crossed!

What We Say

Not sure where to start.  I really liked Belle’s idea to go half-mast, so even though I didn’t post that intention, it’s felt right to leave Nadav’s name up at the top of the page as long as I have.  To stop the world in the small way that I could, for Mo.  Even now I hate to “move on,” blog-wise, though I know I must, just as she is starting to write so beautifully for her son.  I’ve starred so many posts in the past couple of weeks.  I guess what I mean to say is what she said, and what she said, and what she said about what I said.  It still just blows my mind how close we can feel to those we don’t “know” in a conventional sense – when you know what someone is going through or has been through because you’ve been through something similar yourself, it somehow forges a very powerful connection, whether you can pair it with facial recognition on the street or not.  So while I know I need to continue what I’ve been doing here, writing about my own so-far-so-good-fingers-crossed pregnancy and how (usually) I manage to cope with the reality that it is both thrilling and amazing and yet also completely terrifying every single minute of every single day, it doesn’t mean that I will ever in a thousand million years forget Nadav and Samuel and what their existences have meant to their mothers, their families, and to the wider ALI community.  While nobody would set out to be a member of a club that requires infertility or loss to qualify for membership, the way that this community comes together in times of grief is so touching, so healing…it is almost a sort of silver lining to the worst ever storm cloud that these intensely personal tragedies allow others in pain to find so much support, because we’re willing to share them.  Just clicking around and following links in posts written in support of Mo, I found handfuls of bloggers that have clearly been just on the outskirts of the circle I’ve lurked in for a long time.  So the circle becomes wider.  It’s that awful double-edged sword – you’d never ever wish these things on your worst enemy…but when you find yourself in deep, it’s invaluable to know there are people out there who can genuinely understand and not judge how you process and cope, because they have been there too.

And as marwil commented a few posts down, it helps to find others in different parts of the “moving on” process.  (I need to keep that in air quotes, because we all sadly know that while life goes on in most cases, you can never truly leave your losses behind completely.)  I definitely had days, many of them, when I couldn’t bear to read about a blogger’s healthy, progressing pregnancy or exciting adoption news, no matter how many losses I may have known she lived through, because I didn’t at the time know how to or wasn’t ready to believe that I’d ever get there myself. But it helped to know that it can happen, even if I can only now see that in retrospect.  And it helps to know that while you’re getting there, and when you arrive, it doesn’t have to be easy, or perfect, or only cherished and never worried about.  It helps to know that it can be what it can be, and that it’s just fine exactly as it is.  That it’s REAL, and doesn’t need to be constantly polished and presented to the world as the ideal that nobody ever really lives up to anyway.  At every point, we can actually help each other, rather than be part of the constant stream of YOUR DOING IT WRONG (sic) that seems to comprise most of the assvice one finds for dealing with infertility/loss/pregnancy/adopting/parenting.

So there is a new button in the sidebar – PAIL (parenting/pregnant after infertility & loss).  I still sometimes, often, feel like a fraud, like a fool to believe that this pregnancy will end well, with me as a mother of a living child…but I’m guessing that by the time I read through each of the blogs on the list, I’ll again realize that I’m far from the only one to have felt this way.  Thanks to Elphaba for putting this together.  May we all “make it to the other side,” and keep such good company all along the way.