Gummy bear baby!

I haven’t blogged in for-e-ver. Mostly because I have just been trying to survive day by day. The nausea was pretty constant. Couldn’t eat anything healthy. Craving fast food- which I don’t eat, ever- not to mention I’ve been pretty much exclusively vegetarian the past two years. Haha, no more! There was a brief period during which I only wanted Chick-Fil-A, which I oppose on so many different levels, but the embryo must be obeyed! I can’t remember the last legitimate vegetable I ate. Maybe some baby carrots.

Well, we saw our Captain Doctor for the last time Monday and got our first ultrasound. What a cool experience. The baby looks perfect and we saw the little fluttery heartbeat. The ultrasound she printed out for us doesn’t really show the little arm and leg buds, but we saw them on the monitor and the baby looked exactly like a little gummy bear!! It was the cutest thing.

My favorite moment of the appointment was after the ultrasound, when Jen asked the doctor if she could hug her. Our doc is awesome, very knowledgeable, but definitely has a very businesslike demeanor. Jen is also not the type to ask strangers if she can hug them! But she was so happy. The doc said that she loves giving hugs and gave each of us a great one. I will remember that moment forever!! It was so precious.

Even more precious, to me at the moment, is the recommendation the doc gave me for Sea-Bands. They are acupressure wristbands and they pretty much eliminated my nausea when I put them on. Between seeing our little human-in-progress on the ultrasound, and actually starting to feel human myself again, I feel like I am truly able to finally feel happy about everything! I was feeling kind of messed up that I wasn’t overtly happy yet. But now I am.

Jen is away, visiting her family for Christmas, and I am working two straight days on the ambulance. But it feels magical anyway.

December!

It’s December first, and it was at least 70 here today. Gorgeous late fall weather- most of the trees are bare now, and there are piles of leaves to crunch through on my walks. I have a stretch of days off work and I’m really enjoying them.

Early pregnancy is a funny thing for me. I’m sure that knowing I’m pregnant brings a lot of little signs and symptoms to my attention that I might not notice otherwise- but I’m pretty attuned to my body, and I think I would know something was different even if I didn’t know.

My appetite has been interesting. Week four, last week, I was ravenously hungry, at weird times. Waking up at 3 and 4 am starving. Week 5 started out with a lot if stomach achiness and discomfort, which has thankfully passed. Bloating like you wouldn’t believe, constipation (already?!?!), and now just much less appetite than usual. One day so far of intense fatigue.

Today, and on the whole, I’m feeling very good. No nausea, and this is a mantra I will relish and repeat every day as long as it is the case! My mom and my aunt (dad’s side) both said they had no morning sickness, so I’m hoping that bodes well. They both also loved being pregnant and each delivered four babies naturally with no interventions, so here’s to history repeating itself!

Jen and I have been chatting about our house configuration when we have to make room for another (albeit tiny) human down the road. We live in a small “three bedroom” house that has a large walk-in closet in the center of the house. Currently one bedroom is ours, one is a guest bedroom, and one is our “den” with couch and TV. I’m loathe to give up either den or guest bedroom if we can manage to keep them for awhile. All of Jen’s family, a good many of mine, and some of our loveliest friends live far away, and I want to have space for them when they come visit. The den situation is more selfish- it’s currently the one area of the house where we can corral the dog(s) (if we have any visiting besides our one) to keep them away from us when they get annoying. We both need this option for our sanity!

So our current thinking is this: baby goes in our room at least for first few months. Walk-in closet to be turned into baby storage area (for a dresser or changing table and baby’s clothes and other accoutrements, not for the actual baby) (although I have a great friend who has a big fancy house and she turned an only slightly larger storage area off the master bathroom into a tiny and adorable nursery).

We will figure it out. Our neighborhood is amazing and we could probably never afford to actually buy a house here, so we will keep renting for the next few years, is the plan. Jen and I both grew up in small-ish homes with large-ish families, so we know it’s perfectly possible (it’s hilarious to think of the idea of a “guest bedroom” back then, isn’t it??). Just a matter of being creative with the space that we have. And, of course, getting rid of crap we don’t need. But that’s kind of a theme of life, isn’t it??

Thankful, despite

Today, Thanksgiving, I’ve had trouble focusing on the things I’m grateful for. I am coming down with a cold and kept waking up throughout the night feeling like I was being stabbed to death in the throat. Of course, when I woke up, it wasn’t nearly that dire, just a little sore. However, then I felt like I was being stabbed to death in the stomach. Okay, that’s an exaggeration, too. My stomach just felt uncomfortable. Like extreme hunger pangs. And also kind of like I had just eaten a huge turkey dinner. I managed some toast and prepared my broccoli casserole and cinnamon cheesecake bars for later.

I had to work today, and my stomach has not felt any better all day long. No nausea, really, just that discomfort. Just so happens, my best friend and my step-siblings both got a terrible stomach virus within this past week. I’m truly hoping this isn’t that. Usually I’m pretty immune to the GI bugs that go around.

We had Thanksgiving dinner here at work, and I ate a little of everything. It didn’t make my stomach feel any better or worse. I had some crackers and ginger ale later. It didn’t make my stomach feel any better or worse either.

Ugh. Maybe I actually hope this is just a stomach bug that will be over in a day or two, not my version of morning sickness that will last for weeks. Although my doc did tell me that my second HCG levels were high enough that I might start experiencing some, if I were going to, even though it’s a bit early still. (Over 2000! High enough for her to say that multiples are a possibility!)

If I were a more enlightened person, I would feel thankful for my amazing life despite feeling crappy: my wonderful family which has become more wonderful over the years as we add to it; my beautiful wife, the most nurturing person I know; a warm home in an awesome town; friends; a career that still inspires me; and the new teeny spark that is possibly responsible for me feeling like death warmed over!

Maybe I’m able to feel grateful today after all. Happy Thanksgiving, y’all. I wish each of you all the same blessings in your lives!!

HCG, baby!

Doc just called and my initial HCG level was 194, which she says is very good! We did the math backward, just for fun (I know it’s super variable) which would put implantation on the 9th… which was the day I had the dizzy spell! My mother-in-law says she got a definite dizzy spell the day of implantation with each of her five pregnancies, which I think is pretty cool.

I go for a recheck of my levels next Tuesday, so now I guess I will alternate between being happy, occasionally getting distracted enough not to think about it, and stressing out with worry for the next week!

Test results…

I got my blood drawn for my beta test today. At the lab, I asked when Doctor Captain would be called with my results. The answer? TOMORROW. I can not believe it’s a whole nother day until I get some numbers!

With that being said….

I have now had four, count them, FOUR days in a row of positive home pregnancy tests!!!

We kept it to ourselves until today. Initially we wanted beta results to back it up before we shared the news, but I’m feeling pretty great about it. And we all know the first beta results don’t tell you much other than yay or nay anyway. I couldn’t wait several more days to get a second or third beta showing (hopefully) climbing numbers before sharing.

We both told our moms and siblings today. As expected, everyone is over the moon. My youngest brother and his wife are expecting their first baby in January, and it was so great to tell them that there is a cousin in the works! My cousin is also pregnant, right at about 12 weeks, and she and her husband got knocked up on their first try, too. (They are old pros, this is their third child.) When I called her this morning, she answered the phone and said, “Are you calling to tell me you’re pregnant??” And I responded, “I’m calling to tell you that our family is so fertile it’s ridiculous!”

I truly hope that the optimism and happiness we are all feeling right now is justified and that my betas come back nice and climb-y over the next week or so. Maybe it would’ve been more prudent to hold off on telling folks for a bit longer. A more sensible couple might’ve decided to do that! But we couldn’t. Just couldn’t keep it to ourselves!

Tomorrow, tomorrow!!

Tomorrow is our blood test. It seems like it is taking an eternity to get here. I can’t concentrate, have become totally absent-minded and tongue-tied, and have lost my fine motor skills. This morning, Jen was cutting some celery for my lunch bag, and I referred to it as “spaghetti.” Earlier this week, I went back into the house for something I had forgotten a record-breaking SIX times before actually leaving for work. And speaking of work, my poor patients have been on the receiving end of some extremely diminished IV skills these past two weeks, which is frustrating for us all, especially since I’m usually very good! The crocheted Christmas gifts I’m working on are being unraveled almost as frequently as they are advancing.

I’ve been eating well, taking all my vitamins, hydrating, and faithfully “up-the-hatch”ing my progesterone suppositories morning and night. Making sure I’m taking time to breathe deeply and relax my body and mind throughout the day. I’ve been sleeping well, too, for the most part- the past two nights I even fell asleep without reading for awhile first, which is completely and totally unheard of. This morning, I popped awake around 4am and couldn’t fall back to sleep. I’m a good sleeper. This is not normal! Also, I was starving, and had to pee, but for some reason convinced myself that it was better to stay in bed till my normal waking up time to take care of both issues.

I just can’t wait to hear something. I know that either outcome won’t necessarily relieve the anxiety, just give me a different outlet for it. I guess I’m just ready to worry about something new!

Sorry for a rambling and pointless post- just grasping all anxiety-relieving outlets at the moment, and writing and reading responses from you guys are a big comfort to me!

PS: I’m having really weird twitches/spasms in the general vicinity of the uterus last night & today. Painless, definitely not gas/digestive type feelings. Like when you’re tired & your eyelid twitches. Googled it (of course). Seems this may be a symptom of uterine adjustments to a new occupant. So hoping!!

9 dpiui

Nine days past IUI… five days until my test… have been feeling decidedly unpregnant today until I got a little queasy this evening which I know can be a side effect of the progesterone!!

I think I am bored with waiting. Not even, like, nervous or anxious. Just bored. I have a short attention span, and I can only stay hyped up about things for so long. My blood test is next Weds, 14 dpiui, 15 days past my HCG trigger shot. I’ve read that you can get a false positive if you home test within 14 days of the HCG trigger, so I’m not doing it. However, I was thinking of home testing on the day of my blood test. Which will be two days past the predicted start of my period. Which Captain Doctor says will be delayed by the progesterone suppositories. What do y’all think?? I have to work that day, so whatever results I get from the lab (will I get them the same day??) will be a phone call from Captain Doctor, which I will then have to relay to Jen, which seems… I don’t know. Kind of lame. Unromantic. Anxiety-producing, if I’m busy and can’t answer the phone when I get the call. (MORE anxiety than I will already have all day, that is!) I just wish we could get our results together.

Argh.

TWW Neuroses

Reasons I think I am pregnant:

1) Our timing was perfect. I had my back-to-back IUIs on cycle days 15 & 16 after a positive OPK on the afternoon of cycle day 14. Captain Doctor gave me an HCG trigger shot along with the first IUI just in case it was a false surge (it was a couple days earlier than normal for me, which she said was possible with the letrozole I had taken). The ultrasound showed a nice big, fat, juicy follicle all ready to go. I got my temp spike on cycle day 16, confirming ovulation.

2) I got lightheaded yesterday. It was about 7pm and I hadn’t had a chance to eat dinner yet; it felt like low blood sugar lightheadedness, but I’m used to occasionally missing a meal when work gets crazy and it’s extremely rare for me to feel it. When I do feel it, it’s more like I get a little shaky and HANGRY than lightheaded. Also I was sitting down when it happened, so it wasn’t like I stood up too quick or anything. Jen’s mom told her that she had a very distinctive dizzy spell during implantation with all five of her pregnancies.

3) Jen thinks my boobs look bigger.

4) I have weird twinges and occasional crampiness in my abdominal/pelvic region.

Reasons it’s ridiculous to think I’m pregnant:

1) It would be early for implantation. Today is only day five or six (probably five) past ovulation.

2) I hadn’t eaten since lunch- it’s totally reasonable to think that it was just low blood sugar, even though that’s rare for me. Also, Jen read that lightheadedness can be a side effect of progesterone supplements.

3) Boobs seem about the same to me. No tenderness or anything. Trust me, I’ve been checking. (Note to self: must NOT distractedly/unconsciously check for boob swelling/tenderness while at work.) And even if they were, that’s a typical PMS symptom for me.

4) I have weird abdominal/pelvic twinges and cramps ALL THE TIME. Constantly. Doesn’t everyone?

IUI day 1

I decided to break this up into a couple of posts, because it was getting way too long. So even though it’s Thursday and I’m currently 1dpIUI, we begin our story earlier this week:
We had planned to trigger on Tuesday, day 14, because my LH surge has traditionally been later in the month- around day 16 or 17. However, Captain Doctor did say that it might be a little sooner after taking the letrozole. Well, I got my surge on Monday afternoon. We were all set for an appointment Tuesday morning, so it worked out well.
When we got to the office, she did an ultrasound and I had two follicles on the left. One was plenty big enough (2.9 maybe??) and the other was hiding behind the first so it was tough to measure. My uterine lining was thinner than ideal, only about 5-6 mm. She said this could be a byproduct of having the Mirena for so long and that it will probably continue to get thicker each month. She went ahead and gave me the trigger shot to insure that I would ovulate within the next 36 hours just in case. Then, the insemination!
It wasn’t bad at all- pretty much just like getting a Pap smear. She asked us if we wanted to keep the vial, and we looked quizzically at each other before Jen answered, “Um, no?” Doc told us that some people like to keep it as a memento, which never would’ve crossed my mind. I told her that if we got pregnant, a baby would be memento enough, and she laughed.
Afterward, she had me lie on my left side, tipped the exam table head down, and left us to rest for a bit, turning the lights down as she exited the room. It was emotional- the moment felt both surreal and yet somehow inevitable. Jen and I both got choked up, smiling and crying a little at the same time.
On the way home, we stopped at a little coffee shop and got a mocha for Jen and a sweet steamed milk for me. I felt a little crampy. The doc had put in a cup to prevent any leakage, similar to a diaphragm I think. Anyway the cup she uses comes in one size only, and apparently I am petite in my reproductive areas as well as in stature, so she said the cup might be a bit uncomfortable, but to try to keep it in until bedtime if possible. It wasn’t too bad, mostly just made me feel like I had to pee. Taking it out was kind of hilarious- my mom used to say that the way diaphragms prevented pregnancy was by the time you finally got the sucker where it was supposed to go, you didn’t want to have sex anymore. Ha! Getting the cup out made me think of that.
That evening, we got lots of texts & messages from far-away friends and family wishing us luck, which felt amazing. Then we went out to dinner with our family here in town and played with our niece, who is almost two. We felt so loved & supported- it was great feeling like there are so many people in our life who have a stake in the outcome of this process- lots of hopeful grandparents & aunts & uncles out there! Some related by blood, some by marriage, and more than a few by friendship.
Stay tuned for Day Two….

The Week Of

It’s Sunday- officially the week of our first insemination attempt. I’ve been watching my ovulation predictor kits like a hawk. The plan is to trigger with Profasi on Tuesday and then do back-to-back inseminations Wednesday and Thursday. I took Letrozole for five days and didn’t have any weird effects from it, thank goodness. Captain Doctor says occasionally it can shorten the time to ovulation by a day, so I’ve been keeping my fingers crossed that I don’t get a positive OPK before Tuesday. So far so good, and I think we are out of the woods now. Even if I got a positive tomorrow (doubtful), we already have an appointment set for Tuesday morning, so we could just skip the shot and jump right to inseminations. Actually that would be great- save us a little money for the extra appointment!

About OPKs: the ones I am using take five minutes to show results. I work in a dude-heavy field and don’t have a reliable bathroom to myself (there is a tiny ladies’ room, just one toilet behind a door, but it’s nicer than the men’s and I am certain that they take advantage of this fact by using it). This has resulted in some ingenuity on my part. Since I don’t want to stay in the bathroom conspicuously for minutes upon minutes at a time, I have had to find a good hiding spot to stick my tester and then sneak back to read it after time is up. Adding to the complexity is that I am 5’2″ and most of the guys around here are, predictably, taller. I quickly realized that most of the “hidden” spots (to me) would be right at eye level for most of the guys who might walk into the bathroom after me and assume they were looking at a pregnancy test. Or SOME kind of terrifying female thing that had come in contact with my pee anyway. I finally found the perfect spot- tucked behind all the cleaning products! No fears of it being discovered there. (The air freshener is on a different shelf, and I’m convinced that’s the only product that most of them use on a regular basis- though perhaps not regular enough.) This morning I was at the hospital when it was time to test (I work on an ambulance) and I did just hang out in the bathroom for the five-plus minutes. I found one down the hall a ways from where we usually go, it seemed pretty quiet, so I wasn’t worried about anyone noticing. I worked the overnight shift and impressed myself this morning by waking up (despite interrupted sleep, a completely dark room with no windows, AND the time change!) right at 6:45 to take my temp. Go me!

That’s all I’ve got for today. I feel pretty Zen about everything at the moment. Not looking too far ahead or “what-if-ing” myself into circles. Just being in today. Very unlike me. Maybe it’s the acupuncture!