Monday, July 17, 2017

looooong three weeks

Today I'm 13 weeks + 3 days pregnant.

My 16 week cervical scan is in a little under three weeks. I'm hoping to make a successful pitch for an early anatomy scan that same appointment. 

These will be some long fucking weeks.

According to the one close confidante at work who is aware of my condition (I broke down and had to share with someone), my waistline isn't currently giving anything away.... but the same can't be said for my bra and the spillage that I am not paying close enough attention to, it seems.  On my 5'2 usually athletic frame, this rack is huge. 

Here's something the Viking told me a few nights ago: he had a dream shortly after my FET.  He dreamed we were taking care of a baby girl.  After watching the ultrasound he's "convinced the little bugger is a boy" (his words).  I am convinced it's an alien.  A really stereotypical, boring alien that demands mint chocolate chip ice-cream and pickles.  Could you just be a little more creative, alien baby?


Monday, July 10, 2017

hahahahahaha (part II)

Yesterday, at 12 weeks 3 days, I started puking my guts out.  Now?  Now I experience actual morning sickness, in addition to the constant nausea?

Today I was something of a wreck.

Just walking into the Genetics Center where we learned of Celine's fate made me feel like I couldn't breathe.  When I laid down on the table I grabbed on to this necklace I chose to wear today.  It isn't symbolic at all,  just a really smooth aqua blue stone that feels calming when I rub it.  The Viking grabbed my toes at the other end of the table, as I stared up into the monitor, trying to test my considerable lay skills at identifying birth defects....

The ultrasound technician made tons of comments.... heart rate is great, 160s.....your placenta is posterior.... it looks like you have an ant baby (??? THANKS TECH???).....head to rump length is measuring 12 weeks 5 days.... abdominal wall looks great (INSERT AUDIBLE BREATH)....And she went on.

It took some time for this baby to allow us to see its nasal bone.  The nuchal measurement was great, but none of my valiant efforts at telepathy worked in moving this baby to give us a face view.  I guess this baby isn't listening to me any more than my one living child does.

Finally, a quick turn.

And wait, is this baby fucking laughing at us?

Friday, July 7, 2017


I'm 12 weeks in.

My clothes are getting tighter.  I've only (thankfully) gained three pounds. I think I look a little 'thicker" rather than knocked up.  Like I've been willfully ignoring the counsel of my evil nutritionist.  Being open with my colleagues about the nutritionist and the change in diet and the A1C number, etc, has hopefully worked in my favor on this front....maybe?

But when I mentioned to Dr. W yesterday that I was planning on not divulging this pregnancy until I made it through an anatomy scan (mine is scheduled at 19 weeks), she actually laughed in my face.

You're five feet tall! You're small! Where do you plan on hiding this baby?

Ha Ha Dr. W.  Yeah, you know, seeing as things go terribly terribly wrong in pregnancy in the second trimester, I'm gonna try hard as all fuck to hide this.

But then life is also making it harder.  Like, my in-laws are popping in on my beach vacation, when I will be between 17 and 18 weeks.  Awkward much?

And the leadership of my organization is adding a fuck ton of work to my team's plates... unrealistic goals and assignments that I know are unrealistic if I make a calendar that includes my leave.


Monday I'm having my first trimester Level II scan -yes, the very scan where my life fell apart when I was pregnant with Celine.  No amount of mediation will prevent my blood pressure from skyrocketing at that visit.  Fuck, I'm expecting to ugly cry regardless of the outcome (no mascara that day justonemore). This time I've demanded that Viking accompany me.  There are a million things that are rare, not even on the radar of the average pregnant women, that can still go wrong later on.  I am going to spare my blood pressure and not start listing them here.  Yes, indeed, I know too much.

But that scan would be a temporarily pleasant hurdle to jump regardless.

Focusing on trivial matters like weight gain is a lot more fun than the reality that tight clothes haven't led to a baby in my arms since I was pregnant with the Nibble.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Mom rocks

Last night I had a few minutes to chat with my mom, and man, it felt so normal.  We talked about this pregnancy, I described how this one feels eerily similar to Niblet's (though unfortunately, so did Celine's).  But mostly it was nice to hear her voice and her sardonic sense of humor come through while I described my fatigue, and my cravings.  What kinds of clothes to wear to hide the three pounds I've gained and the tiny bulge in my lower abdomen (she is crazy fashionable,also a former dancer, and steered me well in skirt choices).

Some points were understandably awkward.  She's never really kept the kind of running log on my fertility history that I have.... so she mistakenly thought that at 11 weeks, I was farther along than I had been with others....and she thought I was being a little hyperbolic when I said this was my tenth pregnancy ("no, really Mom, counting Nibble this IS ten.")

I made the (possible?) mistake of telling her when my next drs visits were.  Appointment with my OB next thursday (where I explained I will likely only hear a heartbeat - if there is one - on doppler), and the N/T screen the following monday, where I will have a far more detailed ultrasound.  She didn't make the connection that this is where my world fell apart during my pregnancy with Celine, and I didn't want to tell her.  I also noted that I wouldn't feel truly confident until after an early anatomy scan, which wouldn't likely be until maybe 18 weeks.

But what was really helpful, what made me smile inside, was that the donor factor never came up.  I was just another pregnant lady talking to her mom about how the pregnancy feels. 

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

The waiting in between anxiety in between the waiting

Today I'm 10 weeks and 5 days pregnant.  At least, I am going to assume I am still pregnant, since I haven't had anything resembling a scan for about two weeks, and I won't be getting any additional proof that this baby is still alive until after the Fourth of July holiday (Thursday the 6th, to be precise).

Saturday I woke up and felt amazing.  Maybe this is the week the placenta takes over and I start feeling great?  I took a relatively easy ballet class, ate a brunch with lots of flavor and nutrients, took the Nibble out for ice cream... and then needed to get home to pass out cold.  Like the narcoleptic I have been the past few weeks.

This week, it's been a mixed bag of nausea, the desire for real food, and then last night, some insane bloating that I shit you not, created a stomach on me that looked 6 months pregnant. I jumped in a bath (not too hot, don't worry), threw in some lavender oil, and an hour later re-emerged feeling a little better, with the ability to put on a pair of pants.

Is this baby a boy?  A girl?  Dead?  Still developing?  Developing normally?

Last night I was on the phone with a colleague, "O," going through some work related stress and bullshit that just shouldn't be.  She is awesome and brilliant, a great sounding board.... we've worked together on a campaign for the last three years, but I've never told her anything of this hidden life.  My story has always been "I've got some medical issues I have to deal with."  Well, last night, I told her a little more of the story.  We were talking about the need to shake off our work, be home for our children in the summer, be present in our marriages, not become martyrs to the mission-driven insanity of our work just blurted out of me:

Can I tell you something I've never told you?  All of my health issues these three years?  They've been miscarriages.  Eight of them.  Yes, eight.  And now I'm pregnant again.  And who the hell knows if it's gonna be a ninth miscarriage.  And I just want to not be additionally stressed by this fucking job.

Pregnancy after loss(es) is living at the edge of a glacier, facing the abyss.

Sure, work's been a little stressful, but it's got nothing on this.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Adventures in eating

This morning I ran to the corner store next to my office and got one of these.  Because THIS is what my body was demanding.

To say my diet has a been a little skewed these days would be an understatement.

The list of the only things I want to eat:
  • Real pasta with marinara sauce (Chef Boyardee notwithstanding)
  • Nectarines
  • Apples
  • Potato chips
  • Toasted sandwich bread with mayonnaise and a thick slice of tomato
  • Tuna sandwiches (I know, I know)
  • French toast with bananas and walnuts and vanilla creme fraiche from one specific local restaurant 
And that's really about it.   All washed down with water or iced tea.  Viking picked me up a McDonald's Fillet o'Fish the other day that I thought would hit the spot, but really didn't.

The good news is that my doc ordered a 1 hour glucose screen for me, because of my borderline A1c numbers.  The better news is that I passed it, so for now, this diet  - better called "the foods I can choke down" - isn't technically killing me.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Brutal honesty, and the great genetic crapshoot

The other night I woke up at about 4 am with just a tremendous amount of anxiety.  Of the OMG, What have we done variety.

This time it was about the donor.  Did I choose wisely?  Should I have waited to find a Jewish donor? What if I bear a child who is so clearly not of my blood line?  What if I give birth to a baby that just looked like they dropped from the sky?

Then I had to breathe.  And then I was ok.  Sure, finding a Jewish donor would have been awesome, but would also have added months - and probably another $10K -  to this process.  I turned 43 this year.  I just didn't have it in me to wait.

I reminded myself that my donor was lovely, and thoughtful, and artistic.  Just like my one living Niblit, who thoughtful, lovely and artistic, AND who is heading towards being a 6 foot tall amazon blonde. 

And then I worried about my generally awesome, but some what old-fashioned parents.  Would they treat this child differently because they wouldn't be able to see themselves?  Would it even matter?  My mom often calls Niblet and Viking "frick and frack" because she is just so clearly OF him. Some of her facial expressions are uncannily HIM.  On the other hand, the Nibble is such a mini-me in her words, the cadence of her speech, her love of arts, how she moves.  Is all this nature or nurture?  How much of this hinges on genetics?  Will I ever truly know?

I know not just in my brain, but deep in my heart that so much of what has made the Nibble an astounding kid is our love for her, and the way we have raised her.  The way we talk with her, the ideas we expose her to. 

The Viking and I often note to each other that Niblet is exactly why we want to do this again.  We could never replicate her.  But we do honestly feel like whatever little person we would be lucky enough to raise would have all of the potential to thrive with us as parents. Simply put, we enjoy it.

But I will be honest.  At 4 am I made a wish:  I hoped this baby I am gestating (yes, I am acknowledging it and the potential for it to love) comes out looking like the Viking. Just like the Nibble did.  The donor and I have similar eyes and we're both brunette, but she's hardly my twin.  What your baby looks like is truly a genetic crap shoot.  It's a little exciting.  But I am pretty sure that for many donor egg mothers, it's also a little terrifying.

A second baby is the same for any expectant mother.  Different, with the potential to be a completely unique fully-formed human.  For me, a little bit of the familiar might come as something as a relief.