Thursday, February 21, 2008

Milestones...

I feel like, since I started BCPs last June, I’ve tracked this IVF and this pregnancy in terms of milestones—hurdles that, once reached, seemed meaningless and insignificant compared to those that lay ahead. It’s almost made me feel secretly ungrateful—like I couldn’t be happy for where I was. Rather, I’ve always looked forward to see where I could be and worried that I wouldn’t get there.

I can only imagine how annoyingly frustrating that must be/have been to those of you in the trenches. But, for better or for worse, that fear, or disbelief, or worry, has been front and center since the beginning.

Today feels a little different, though. Today, I am 34 weeks pregnant. My Ob tells me that I’ve reached the point where, were I to show signs of labor, they’d just let me deliver; they wouldn’t do a thing to stop it.

Sure, we’d like them to stay put for another month. But, it seems that today marks the point at which, if the stickies are that eager to meet us, doctors have every reason to believe that they would have just as good a chance as anyone of leading trouble-free, healthy lives.

Of course, I know that is no guarantee that things can’t go south. But really, that’s life. Things could go south at any point in our and in these babies’ lives. And the thing is, while I’ll never stop worrying about them and about their well being, I can’t let that worry consume me indefinitely.

And so, for some reason, crossing this milestone today is helping make this real and is helping me rise above my fear, if only a bit. I’m beginning to see that four weeks—maximum!—is not a lot of time to put the finishing touches on my maternity leave plan. I’m beginning to see the need for the pediatricians we’ve started to interview. And I’ve started to realize that it’s not completely ridiculous to put car seats in the back seat of our (tiny) car.

And, as I realize that we need these plans, it’s allowing me to start focusing on actually meeting the stickies and holding them in my arms. In fact, this morning, as hubby and I lay in bed before we got up, I pictured waking up one morning in the not-too-distant future and bringing our two little babies into bed with us and snuggling together. As a family.

And that made me really happy.

Monday, February 18, 2008

More on "that" room

I actually have much to update you on--from a maddening MIL story to why my office's "new" insurance company is the bane of my existence to a general stickies update (in short, all's well). But because we're glued to the TV to see if Obama is going to seal the deal with tonight's primary, I'll just share the latest photos of "that" room. It frightens and excites me more and more each day that, assuming all goes according to plan*, in just over 4 weeks or less these two cribs will be filled with beautiful little stickies. It's still so hard to wrap my mind around.

But, here's the evolution of the room. I'm really excited about how it's coming together.


(Hubby's mom actually made those quilts. They're awfully cute.)


(This is now the most comfortable chair in the house. I L-O-V-E it. We purposefully got a color that matched our living room so that, when it's time to move the glider from "that" room, we can just move it downstairs.)

What you can't see in the cribs are these:


I saw these two t-shirts when we were visiting Hubby's sister in the fall but I was, of course, nowhere near ready to buy them. So, SIL bought them for us for our shower, which was so thoughtful. (And she knitted those caps, too.) Very cute.

Note that there's nothing on the walls yet. We've been waiting to get the last of the furniture to see how it all came together. And we couldn't decide what "theme" to go with. We didn't want anything too gendered or over the top. We thought about a French theme, but it seemed too complicated to pull together. Hubby really wanted a jungle theme, but we struggled to find jungle themed stuff that wasn't over the top. But then I found this painting, which I picked up for hubby today. It's going to go on the center of the wall above the cribs. We're very excited; it's super cute.
The rest of it, we may purposely leave empty and get some shelving and put photos up. I'm a big photo person, so it would make sense.

In other news, Belly Laughs just brought home her three newborn boys. She was just two weeks ahead of me in her IVF cycle, so I've been following her journey pretty closely--particularly since she found out, after being told she was having two that there were actually three in there--and am so happy for her. Congrats, Belly to you and your boys!

* Yes, I still put that caveat in all the time. But, my optimism truly does grow everyday. So, keep your fingers crossed for me that things continue to go well and that we're blessed with two beautiful stickies sometime in March.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Urban legends...

It's no secret that, here in the blogosphere, the idea of getting pregnant on your FIRST fertility treatment seems about as realistic as riding to your first beta on the back of a flying unicorn.

And yet, somehow, my SIL just got her beta results from her first clomid/IUI and, surprise! It worked! Her first number looks good, too--113 at 14dpiui.

I'm SO excited for them. Last week marked one year since her last miscarriage, so the timing of this wonderful news couldn't be better. So, please keep her in your thoughts and keep your fingers crossed that her next beta looks great, and that this is the one that sticks for her.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

6 weeks 3 days (or less!) left

Amy reminded me that I need to update you on what’s going on with the stickies. It’s really hard to believe, but on Thursday I’ll be 32 weeks pregnant. Just wow.

In the way of an update, here’s where things stand:

Last week, we had two big appointments--the first was with our perinatologist on Monday for an ultrasound. The stickies still seem to be thriving--one was 3lbs 6oz, one 3lbs11oz (the 47th and 57th percentile, respectively). Their fluid levels look great, they are now both head-down (a new development), and my cervix remains long and closed. So, really, as much as we could possibly hope for at this stage of the game. Fingers crossed that everything continues to go well, but we feel so fortunate that we've gotten this far and that things look this promising.

We also had an OB appointment on Thursday and the doc was equally pleased. And we actually started to talk seriously about delivering these babies, which was just bizarre. Long story short, neither the peri nor the ob want me to go past 38 weeks. So, our OB scheduled us for a c-section on Friday, March 21. Barely more than 6 weeks away.*

!!!

That's not to say that we've decided on a planned c-section. But the challenge is, if we haven't gone into labor by 38 weeks, they would induce. And, induction raises the risk of c-section. And I'm already at a higher risk with twins. And we want to avoid an emergency C at all costs.

Plus, the doctor explained to us that we're better off scheduling because we can always cancel the day before if we decide to try for a vaginal birth. But, apparently in the hospital where I’m delivering, the appointments fill up quickly, which means that if we didn't schedule the C, we'd be painting ourselves into a corner. So this helps us keep our options open. And we have a real due date, which is crazy.

And, just to keep the "holy sh*t this might actually happen" news coming, our cribs were delivered on Friday. So, we have cribs. Cribs! And our changing table is being delivered on Thursday. That both terrifies and excites me all at once.

In other news, J.Lo finally confirmed she’s pregnant with twins. Her father is saying it runs in her family, but I can tell you that I’m telling the same line to random people who ask me as well. (Hubby has a bunch of twins in his family. Granted, all but one set are from fertility treatments, but whatever…)

I’m pretty sure that me and J.Lo are due around the same time…is it wrong that I think it would be pretty cool to deliver at the same time? ☺

*Out of curiosity, I went back and read my post from when I was 6w3d pregnant just to marvel at how far we've come. I found it funny that it was this rant about "expectant mom" parking, because I've never gotten over that. I STILL have never parked in one. They just piss me off too much; I can't really explain why.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Which one of these things is not like the other?

For reasons I can't fully explain, I still have my account at fertil1tyfr1end.com. I don't pay for it, but I surf over to view the pregnancy tracker every now and then to check in on milestones, etc.

Of course one of the other things on the "pregnancy" page is a list of tips from "real" pregnant women. They're typically mildly irritating, but otherwise pretty benign. Today, though, I surfed over and found this helpful tip from Julie from Chicago:
Early in our pregnancy we began buying diapers when they were on sale or if we had a coupon. We bought all sizes, especially the larger sizes. Now, when we have the baby we will have a good supply of diapers and will have spread the cost out over many months.
Um, really?? You began stocking up on DIAPERS months before you gave birth?

And that, my friends, is the clearest example of the chasm between fertiles and infertiles I've seen in a long time...

Saturday, February 02, 2008

For Mary Ellen, Steve, and their girls

My 5th grade teacher was a nun who wasn’t a particularly warm woman but who, in hindsight, was a very good teacher. She’s one of those teachers who I think had more impact on me than I would have ever admitted at the time or that I even fully realize now.

On the academic side, she’s the reason I know grammar as well as I do. (All evidence on this blog to the contrary, I do know it, and it helped me immensely when I learned and taught French.) She is also the woman who taught me persuasive writing for the first time—something I grew to really love and helped push me into what I now do.

She also had a lot to say about God and religion. Those things didn’t stick with me quite the way her grammar lessons did, but every now and then I find myself going back to some of her lessons and realizing that, while they may seem trite or insignificant, she did have a way of making mystery and faith more accessible to the 10-year-olds sitting before her.

I can remember once, for example, that she described life as a crocheted picture. From our perspective, she explained, all we can see is the back of the picture—the loose string that hangs down, the knots, the imperfections, the mess. God, on the other hand, only sees the front of the picture—the smooth edges and the beautiful, seamless end product.

I realize that this is an overly simplified view of life—and of faith for that matter—but we were ten. We could understand not much beyond a simple explanation that said, “yes, life is messy, but there is a larger plan that does have a rhyme and reason and that does contain beauty and joy even when we can’t see it.”

It’s no secret that I still struggle quite a bit with religion and faith, but when I hear stories like what’s happening to poor Mary Ellen and Steve, I find myself going back to the simple explanations, like the one Sr. Carmel taught us in 5th grade. I don’t mean to imply that I think unfeelingly and simplistically that this is all happening “for a reason.” Rather, the only way my cluttered mind can make sense of the heartache and sorrow that some people are faced with—sometimes over and over again—is to say that I’m not meant to wrap my mind around it. It’s complicated and it’s so spectacularly unfair. And because all I see are the snarls and the mess and the pain, all I can do is provide whatever meager support I have to offer—no matter how insignificant it seems given the weight of the situation.

So, for now, ME and Steve, know that I’m thinking of you and your three sweet girls. I know that we’ve never met in person, but my heart—and the hearts of so many people in this community—is aching for you and your family. And, while I still am grappling with what prayers do in these situations, I am praying for you and hoping that better days, filled with beauty and hope, lie just ahead.