For a full P-word update (um… with pics), click here.
Archive for January, 2008
I don’t know if the last post made it sound like T. is reluctant to be a father; it’s more that he’s scared of jinxing it. When he says it’s “too soon” to choose names, etc., he means there’s still to great a risk of loss, so he’s trying not to get too attached to the idea or the hope. It’s how a lot of us feel; I just feel like I’m closer to confidence than he is at this point in time.
I think T. is starting to get more comfortable with our current state. Lately whenever he sees my belly he gets a big smile on his face. He’s always been good with the problem-solving conversations, which I think he approaches as contingency simulations: what will we do about child care next fall? Cloth or disposables? That kind of thing. It’s like it seems far enough away that it’s hypothetical, not real.
He’s also in hyper-protective mode with me, fussing over my sleeping, eating, hydration, and potential hazards. When we were driving to NY a couple weeks ago we passed a cement truck that was emitting a cloud of dust. It smelled like cement dust, so I wasn’t worried, but he immediately closed off the vents and worried out loud whether it was some kind of toxic, deformity-producing dust.
He resists, though, conversations about names, or anything that would require him to envision an actual real-life infant that he’d be required to relate to – like whether he’d prefer to be called/referred to as Dad, Daddy, Papa, Pop, etc. (We’ll probably end up with “Hey you, old man!”). But I’m getting the feeling he may be ready to start thinking about those things in a few weeks. I’m already there.
Sonogram today, everything looks good! *You can see pictures here, if you are so inclined.
I’m kind of thinking that I might scale back posting here, as far as P-progress reports etc. are concerned, and use my other blog for that kind of thing. Although I will continue coming here to keep in touch, and with posts that feel more appropriate for the IF/loss community.
Last night I ran into not one, but two fellow stirrup queens and can’t help mulling over how different the encounters were from one another. I previously e-mailed each of them individually with my own P-bomb.
6:35 p.m. ~ She was running out of the gym with her husband, S., while I sat in the car out front waiting to pick up mine. Her face lit up, and she ran over to the car. I got out and she gave me a big hug, with an enthusiastic “congratulations! How big are you? How are you? S., they’re pregnant!” We talked for a few minutes, during which she enthusiastically recommended “Juno,” then they took off because it was frickin’ cold. They decided last year, after 7 years and 4 IVF attempts to live child-free.
7:05 p.m. ~ Their car pulled up just behind ours at a mutual friend’s house for the weekly evening of Star Trek and sugary snacks (which we’ve not been attending much since I started school again). The husband waved and called out “good to see you!” Inside, I asked the wife how school is going and listened to her unhappiness for a few minutes as she stole glances at my belly (hidden as much as I could – at home, I’d tried on three different sweaters before settling on the one I thought hid it best). She’s knitting a gorgeous spring-green baby blanket – they’re in the two-year wait for a domestic adoption. Her frustration at this delay was palpable.
I didn’t quite know how to be, with the second friend. Fortunately the rest of the group were sensitive enough to avoid asking me any P-related questions during the evening. It’s weird to have the proverbial shoe on the other foot.
Minutes before we left NY on Saturday, I got an e-mail from the notorious B. – turns out that with this trip to VA, I’m missing her brief campus visit with 4-week-old baby L. Her e-mail said, “call me anytime if you want advice on pregnancy or birth.” I think I’d rather dive naked into a swimming pool full of razor blades. Is that just incredibly petty? I mean, I’ve been mentally filing away advice from other women since 2004… I just don’t want any advice from her…
I think I need to just get over it… but I would never demand that from Ms. 7:05.
Halfway there! I’m not showing as much as I thought I would be at this point; could be the retroverted uterus I guess. But lots of kicking. This morning though I woke up from a bad dream of blood on the TP – so I had hot chocolate for breakfast to provoke kicking.
We’re in VA for a few days and evidently word has gotten around; T. says people keep coming up to him with congratulations. What throws him, he said, is when they say “good job!” He finally came up with a pretty good comeback: “Couldn’t have done it without Elizabeth!” 🙂
Ever since the BFP, I’ve been thinking about how differently you are handled when pg from when ttc/if. And I still think it’s really not fair. I know, I know, life isn’t fair, and infertility is even more not fair, but there’s nothing to rub salt in the wounds like being made to feel like you’re at the bottom of the priority list at the place you go for help.
I never went to an RE, although at least one IF friend counseled bypassing all ob/gyn farting around to go straight to the experts. I dont’ really want to go into all the reasons why I didn’t do that, but in any case I suspect that with an RE I wouldn’t have experience the particular frustration I felt at the ob/gyn I did go to first. It was incredibly frustrating to have so much trouble getting hold of the nurse who was supposed to be helping me at the first practice I went to, usually because she was out on call. Talking to pregnant women.
I can be all olympian and understanding at one level (well of course, there’s two human lives at stake for those women, there’s an actual baby, and that has to take priority) but at another level I was tremendously hurt and enraged. I felt the stigma of barrenness weighing oh so heavily – unworthiness, shame … and resentment. And then guilt for feeling resentment.
One thing I really, really appreciate about the practice I go to now is that they never made me feel like I was second-class or less important. When I needed to see the nurse at awkward times, they would work me into the schedule – sometimes over her lunch break. When I phoned, I’d get a call back usually within an hour (sometimes ten minutes!!!) instead of playing phone tage for three or four days like at the other place. This place sees women for everything – in the waiting room, there are couples with anxious and worried faces, women with big bellies, teenagers, post-menopausal women, and one time I’m very certain that a girl was there for an abortion. But it feels to me like everyone is given equal consideration, and I really appreciate that.
Still, now that I’m pg, I noticed that the co-pays for appointments have disappeared… I asked about that, and the receptionist told me “pregnancy is considered like one big appointment.” That’s so weird to me. Why can’t a course of treatment for infertility be considered like one big appointment? Because there’s no baby yet? But why should trying to create a baby be treated as insignificant or unimportant?
I guess for us the trying becomes all-important; I read this post on the creme de la creme: “Is there any kind of personal pain that is so little understood by those not experiencing it?” I count myself lucky in having friends so compassionate that they actually do get it, but the wider world at large is pretty clueless. I don’t think I really got it until I experienced it. But still. You’d think that a clinic that includes infertility treatment on its menu should have a clue.
All is well; heard the heartbeat today and got back integrated screening test results – all normal! The neural tube defect risk came back as 1:4300, Down’s as 1:9000, and I forget the trisomy one – it was somewhere between those two. My blood pressure is way down – an astonishing 122/64, and my weight is exactly the same as it was a month ago. The big long ultrasound will be in two weeks.
T. came with me for once (I think this is only the second appointment he’s been able to come with me for). I asked him his impressions, and he said “smooth… maybe a little impersonal, but you said you liked the efficiency. It was like ok, nothing’s wrong, so we’re not going to sit here and invent things to talk about.”
I also learned that the strange clenching feeling I’ve been experiencing sporadically for the past few weeks is Braxton-Hicks contractions, and nothing to worry about. It’s what I suspected – the first couple times it happened I was a little worried, but there was no pain or spotting or anything else, and I was getting kicks again, so figured it was ok. They usually last about 10-5 seconds, and may happen a couple times in one day but usually just every couple of days.
I went to the university bookstore this afternoon and almost bought a “Go Big Red” onesie… but am not quite ready for that yet…
I’m knitting a cream-colored alpaca shawl to use as a baby blanket, but it’s ambiguous enough (I mean, it could actually be a shawl) that it feels ok, as in not a jinx.
Christmas seems to have marked a transition in my thoughts and feelings – for the better. I realized yesterday that sometime in the last couple weeks I finally stopped checking the TP for blood every time I went to the bathroom. And then I realized that I’ve also stopped checking the “countdown” feature on my cell phone every morning upon waking (for the first 16 weeks or so, I marvelled at each passing day and anxiously awaited each coming milestone).
Saturday I went to the store I like to call “Ancient Armada” and bought 4 maternity sweaters (got to love those post-Xmas sales!). As I was leaving the store I felt the tears rising, tears of happiness – that I’m buying maternity clothes for me… tears of thanksgiving.