Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Poppin' fresh

I think I'm starting to figure out how this guy feels:

Well, OK, so strangers haven't started poking me in the tummy yet, but I have had a couple of people (luckily, semi-close friends) ask if they could rub my belly.  Since both of them were very supportive during the bad days, I let them have a go.  But I'm not planning on making a habit of it!

I guess what all of this means is that I've started to look more and more pregnant.  Which is interesting, because it means that all of a sudden people seem to only have this one thing to talk to me about.  In general, it takes one of two routes.  People who know me a little bit better have been alternately telling me how awesome I look or (jokingly) slagging me for not having a bigger belly, whereas other people (mostly co-workers I don't know so well) just give me this weird smile and a sing-song-y "So how are you feeee-ling??"  Lucky for them I'm feeling pretty good, because I doubt they'd seriously want to hear something like, "Oh, well, this morning I found something leaking out of my nipples.  Is that normal?" (Answer: yes, but I don't actually have any nipple leakage.  Yet.)

Anyway, I've been lax in posting headless bump pics, so here are a couple for anyone who's interested.  And yes, it has become painfully clear to me that it seems like my entire wardrobe consists of stripes.

21 weeks

24 weeks.  Definitely rounded out!

I had my 24 week checkup with my OB today, and was given a letter declaring me "in good health and able to travel" just in case Air Canada decides to give me any flak in a couple of weeks.  M and I are headed back east to see my family for the holidays this year, and I'm seriously counting down the days!

Monday, 1 December 2014

2nd Blogiversary

What a difference a year makes.

Last year in my first blogiversary post, I lamented the fact that I was feeling left behind, as almost half of the bloggers I was following were now either pregnant or parenting.  This year, that statistic has risen to almost 80%.  For a lot of people, it's been an awfully good year.

I'm one of them.  You might not be.  And maybe now you're one of the ones who's feeling left behind.

This post is for you.

I want you to know that you're not forgotten.  I want you to know that I remember all too well how it feels to read or hear about yet another pregnancy announcement.  To feel that bittersweet mix of happiness for someone else, tinged with more than a little sadness for yourself.  To blink back your tears until you can make it to a bathroom somewhere and let it out, just a little, only to bottle it back up again so you can head back to your desk or party or wherever it is you are without people knowing you've been crying.

To wonder if it will ever be you.

I remember all too well how it feels to grieve over and over again, month after month, year after year.  To ride the roller coaster of each new cycle from excitement to fear to disappointment, and wonder if you'll know when it's time to get off.  To question whether you'll have the strength to do so when it is.

To have hope become an enemy.

I wish I could tell you that it's all going to work out how you want it to, and that your BFP is just around the corner.  I wish I could tell you that you just have to do a few more cycles, or try IVF, or try a donor or a surrogate, and you'll get your wish.  But we both know I can't do that.  No one can.  All I can tell you is that, a year ago, I was in that same place.  I was starting to think that it would always be someone else's turn, and that it would never be mine.  And then, for a little while, it got even worse.  And then I became one of the lucky ones.

I hope with every single fibre of my being that someday it'll be you.  If I've been remiss in not saying it before, let me say it now: I'm still with you.  I haven't for one second forgotten what it feels like.  No matter what this journey holds for you, know that you're not alone.  

Everyone here is ready to go
It's been a hard year with nothing to show
From down this road
It's only on we go, on we go
Everyone here is ready to go
It's been a hard year, and I only know
From down this low
It's only up we go, up we go 

Sunday, 23 November 2014

That one time I went to prenatal yoga

I am not a bendy person.  Despite many years of dance and martial arts classes, I have and never will be able to do a split.  While other girls were extending their legs up by their ears, I was struggling to get mine to 90 degrees.  As a result, yoga and I have never been friends.  I've tried a couple of different classes, but while everyone else is smiling contentedly and breathing into their poses, I'm huffing and puffing and sweating and shaking as I fight frantically not to topple over.  I've never found anything even remotely relaxing about it, so despite how good it's supposed to be for you, I gave up trying.

A little while ago my work friend Maya signed up for a new yoga studio close to our office.  She started bugging me about coming to a lunchtime prenatal class with her as a way of using up some of her free guest passes, and after a few weeks of putting her off I finally ran out of excuses.  I figured it had been a couple of years since I'd last tortured myself with yoga, so I was due for another round.  (Side note:  No, Maya is not pregnant, although her partner is currently in the middle of a 2WW after their most recent FET.  The prenatal class was just conveniently timed.)

In my limited yoga experience, I'd discovered that the stereotype of the crunchy granola hippie yoga instructor was usually a myth.  Not this time.  Either that, or the universe had just been saving up.

The teacher started off by introducing herself as a former finance professional who'd given up the rat race to become a naturopathic doctor, yoga teacher, and lactation consultant. 

Then she casually mentioned that she was a mom of two, and that she was still breastfeeding her 4 and a half year old daughter.

Look, I think it's really great that there are so many different parenting choices available today, and I plan on trying really hard not to judge others just like I hope they won't judge me when the time comes. But this?  Fuck this.  I'm totally judging this.

With this horrifying image still fresh in our minds, we started class.  And it was actually ok.  Tougher than I thought it would be for a prenatal class, but definitely not the worst class I'd ever done.  I was even starting to think that I could actually see myself doing it again.

And then we got to the cool-down meditation.  Rather than the usual "concentrate on your breath, clear your mind, connect with your baby" relaxation that I was counting on, the instructor walked us through some top-level hypnobirthing earth mother goddess stuff.  Amongst other things, we were encouraged to "feel the beauty of each contraction" and envision our cervixes "opening like a flower to the warm rays of the sun".  Now, I know I haven't given birth yet, but I've read an awful lot of birth stories and for the life of me I can't remember any of you guys talking about how beautiful your contractions felt.  So clearly, you were all doing it wrong.  I'm also pretty sure that "cervix opening like a flower" is code for "3rd degree perineal tear", in which case I'll pass.  

Either way, at that point I had one eye open scanning the room to see if anyone else was trying as hard as I was not to laugh. 

Cervix opening like a what now?

So yeah.  I don't yoga so good.

Otherwise, there's not much to report around here.  I hit 22 weeks on Friday, and I'm feeling good.  Chalupa Batman has begun regular disco sessions in my uterus.  And yet we've still made no progress on names, or the nursery, nor have we bought anything or really done a single thing to prepare.  Eep.

Monday, 3 November 2014

Teeny weeny peeny

Today we had our anatomy scan.  Everything looked great, with baby measuring a few days ahead at exactly 20 weeks.

Oh, and they saw know, a...

 *Apologies to anyone who doesn't watch New Girl, but that scene was frigging hilarious.

So yeah, it's a boy!  Unfortunately the $30 rip-off CD of photos that my hospital now forces you to buy in lieu of giving you free pictures did not contain a photo of the money maker itself, so you'll just have to take my word for it.  But here's a shot of our little dude!

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Where dat bump at?

I'm just going to lead off with this image, as I'm pretty sure this is what a lot of people are thinking when they look at me right now.

On Friday I hit 18 weeks, and so far reactions have been mixed.  On the one hand, one of my...ahem...rounder friends at work good-naturedly yelled at me last week because I wasn't really showing yet (quote: "I look more pregnant than you do!").  Yet only two days later, a colleague quietly asked M if we were expecting.  Now, to be fair, we were out for drinks and I was nursing a water whilst wearing a very blousy top that had always given me a bit of preggo look even before the advent of Chalupa Batman, but still.  I figure the reason she asked him instead of me was because she was a little concerned that I'd been hitting the donuts too hard and didn't want to offend me just in case.  Either that, or she was aware of this helpful infographic:

Right now, I figure I'm sitting somewhere around level 2 or 3 of this chart.  See for yourselves.

Baby?  Or pizza?

I have to admit, it's a little weird to be almost halfway (!?!) through this pregnancy without really being able to see or feel anything.  This stage of pregnancy is such a tease!  Over the past week or two I've occasionally felt little rumbles that could maybe sorta kinda be CB moving around in there, but my stupid anterior placenta makes it so faint that I can't really be sure.

Also, while my regular pants and belly band are getting pushed pretty close to the limit, I still don't seem to be quite ready for maternity clothes yet.  Especially tops.  Every time I've tried one on, even if I grab a really small size I still look like I'm wearing a potato sack because I'm not filling them out properly.  (Side rant: is it just me, or do they make maternity tops really huge at the neck??  Everything I've tried on seems like it gapes down to my boobs, which I'm sure is great for nursing but not so good for going to work and otherwise associating with humans who don't suck on your breasts regularly.  Or perhaps, as a member of the itty bitty titty committee, I'm just not filling them out properly.)

I'm also still waiting for the fabled "nesting instinct" to start kicking in, because I know the next 20 weeks will pass by in a flash, especially with Christmas holidays thrown in there.  We've done exactly zero preparation so far, which I guess is probably pretty normal, but at some point we'll have to buckle down and focus on turning "that room" (which has held junk for the past three years of our infertility process) into a nursery.  So far though, my couch has had a whole lot more appeal than the paint aisle of Home Depot.

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

The Absentee Blogger turns out when I'm not dealing with the daily slings and arrows of infertility, I'm a really boring person.  I keep waiting for there to be something noteworthy for me to write a blog post about, but we're just basically trucking along on an even keel here.  Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining AT ALL.  And I'm not deliberately avoiding writing or anything, because hopefully you guys know me well enough by now to figure out that if you're not in a good place to read about my pregnancy, there's no hard feelings.  You take care of you first.

That said, here's what's new:
  • I seem to have gotten my acid reflux issues under some semblance of control.  My OB put me on twice-daily Zantac, and I've only had one more puking incident after an ill-advised large BBQ rib meal (but DAMN it was worth it).  In general I just find that I have to eat much smaller portion sizes than I'm used to, which means I'm pretty much eating all day long.  There's breakfast, second breakfast, elevensies, lunch, afternoon snack, pre-dinner snack, dinner, and bedtime snack.  I'm literally eating like a hobbit.
  • Despite my prolific eating, I still don't have a real "baby bump".  I've put on about 6 pounds (which is on track for almost 16 weeks) and am definitely thicker around the middle, but so far I've been making do with my fat pants and a belly band.  When I finally told my dance classmates last night that I might not be doing the recital with them this year, they seemed pretty surprised that I was almost 4 months along.  Then they told me that, since I'm due in March, I have a whole three months to get back in shape and learn the choreography so I apparently have no excuse for missing the recital in June.
  • My sis told my 5 year old niece this weekend that there was a baby growing in auntie's belly.  Hilariously, my niece didn't believe her and immediately insisted on Facetiming me to ask me herself.  She didn't appear too impressed with my answer...I think she sees her days as the one and only child getting my attention coming to an end.
  • The name game has begun!  Even though we won't find out the baby's sex until the start of November, M and I have started tossing around a few suggestions.  I thought this would be fun, until I realized that his attention span for this activity is approximately 0.36 seconds before he starts firing out ridiculous shit like "Lando Boba Fett".  Also not helping?  The fact that he just recently finished binge-watching the TV comedy "The League" and now, in homage to the characters on the show, has begun to refer to our gestating fetus as Chalupa Batman.
Even I'm doing it too.
  • I had another OB appointment today and happily, Chalupa Batman's heartbeat was easily found and was thumping away.  I apparently have an anterior placenta (it's on the front of my uterus with the baby behind it), so that can sometimes make finding the heartbeat difficult because it's muffled.  It also will likely mean that I won't feel any kicks or movement until a bit later on, which kind of sucks.  Although I did have a moment other day when I thought I might have felt something...but then figured it could also be gas.  Given the amount of bloating still going on, if we're playing "baby or gas?" then there's a pretty good chance it's just gas.

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Good news and gooder news

The good news:  We had our follow-up appointment at the OB's office today to get the results of our first trimester screening bloodwork.  Combined with our normal NT scan, our risk of Down's and other chromosomal abnormalities has been assessed as 1 in 37000.  Seriously, 37000?!?!  That's pretty damn low, and better than I could even have hoped for.

The gooder news:  That whole freakout I had about the possibility of having a single uterine artery (with its accompanying risk of birth defects)?  Totally unnecessary.  I asked the nurse about it today and she looked through our file, and saw that our OB had recorded seeing 3 vessels (one vein, two arteries) in her u/s notes.  If she hadn't seen the third vessel at all, it would have said "not visualized".  So either she found it afterwards when reviewing the u/s photos, or she saw it at the time and didn't communicate it to us.  Either way, another needless worry averted.  We have a normal umbilical cord.  Phew!

The prospect of us coming home with a real, honest-to-goodness baby in March is starting to feel more and more real!