Thursday, August 15, 2013

It Doesn't Go Away

As phenomenal as it is to have this beautiful baby in my arms at last, he has not been a cure for the emotional wounds of the last four years. I never expected him to be, but the last few days have taken me by surprise with just how intense and sharp and close to the surface that grief still remains. I knew it wouldn't really go away, but I thought it would dull around the edges. It doesn't. It is part of me and I'm not even sure I would want it to go away at this point.

Last week, I was staggered watching a Twitter friend receive news that her long-awaited pregnancy was over... and remembering the days and weeks spent processing the loss of my own first pregnancy in vivid and excruciating detail.

Then, I finally went to the grocery store for the first time since before I was pulled from work and put on bedrest... bad idea to leave Thumper at home with Daddy and go all alone. I found myself drifting up and down the aisles with tears dripping down my face, thinking how the last time I was at the grocery store (in June!) I was still pregnant. And staring down the knowledge that I will never be pregnant again and admitting that despite all the complications, I DO WANT to be pregnant again. I always knew I wanted two children. I knew when we had our first sight of Thumper on ultrasound that I still wanted him to have a sibling and I was heartbroken that he would be an only child. All of that grief came flooding back along with memories of years of pre-pregnancy grocery trips spent fighting tears over other women's pregnant bellies in the aisles. For some reason the produce section was always the worst...

All this also dregs up the memory of the phone call from the embryologist after our donor egg cycle, telling me that all of our remaining embryos had stopped growing and we had none to freeze. I closed my office door and sobbed for hours over those little lost lives, even knowing that they were only ever "potential". The power of that sorrow shocked me then and it still does. I never expected to be so attached to a handful of cells that weren't certain to be anything ever. For a few days, they were mine and then they were gone.

It never goes away.

Friday, August 9, 2013

He's Here (or An Eventful Two Months)

And nearly one month old... to recap and catch you all up:

34 weeks: NST after a day of no fetal movements. All fine. Two days later, we had to put one of our cats to sleep - definitely one of the most horrible moments in my life. He was my first ever furbaby and had been with us for 12 years.

36 week appointment: BP 170/110 with protein in urine. Midwife pulls me out of work and puts me on bedrest. NST shows baby is fine but I'm not great, so admitted to hospital with possible pre-eclampsia. Ultrasound shows baby is still breech and estimates weight at 8.5 pounds already. Three days in hospital to monitor, medicate and get BP under control. Last ditch ECV to turn baby not successful. C-section scheduled for 39 weeks, bedrest continues.

38 week appointment: BP still elevated, increased protein in urine. Officially diagnosed with pre-eclampsia and called in to hospital for c-section with only four hours notice. Thumper delivered healthy and perfect in every way (and at only 7.5 pounds).

Now we are four weeks out and he is hitting milestones left and right. As of today, he can hold his head up by himself for about 30 seconds at a time and is starting to make social sounds instead of just crying. Prof has taken to fatherhood like a fish to water - he was absolutely made for this and I am loving watching him don this new mantle.

I am hitting MY milestones a little more slowly... but then, a 40 year old body doesn't heal as quickly as a younger one might. My pain levels are lingering a little higher than normal. I am also struggling a bit with the baby blues, combined with emotional side effects from the blood pressure meds and the inevitable baggage of infertility trauma. As I said on Twitter,

I live in fear that the Universe is going to snatch my beautiful boy away from me, that he's too perfect for me somehow. Then I wonder if losing Cat Two was the Universe taking a "sacrifice" so I can keep my baby & if the Universe will honor that substitute.

I still have eight weeks before I go back to work, and I'm already dreading it.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

32 Weeks and All's Well

For anyone who is still checking in... that about says it all. Things seem to be going quite well. Most of the weirder symptoms/problems have tapered off. We had a baby shower, started childbirth classes and the nursery is mostly complete. I'm trying to savor the whole experience, knowing I will never get to do this again.

I never wanted this to be a pregnancy/parenting blog, so there will not likely be frequent posts though I will let you know how this all plays out. I don't plan to disappear entirely, but neither do I plan to transition this space into anything other than what it already is. I will leave it "as is" for others to find in hopes that it can provide some comfort or reassurance that YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

Friday, April 26, 2013

March/April Shout-Out

I don't really know what to say right now...

We are all still here, Inhabitant is still kicking away in the inside to my eternal relief. March basically sucked as usual (with occasional rays of sunshine). April is sucking much less, but has not exactly been blissful either. I'm back on pelvic rest due to random episodes of unexplained spotting and mild contractions. Work is completely insane and I'm exhausted.

This week was NIAW and I couldn't even tune in. I spent the week owning that fact that I'm still carrying a lot of sadness, resentment and jealousy and that is not likely to change any time soon. So I have the happy thoughts of Inhabitant and the accompanying fears on his behalf, plus the grief for years wasted and embryos that didn't make it and siblings that will never be... and I am not feeling eloquent or even articulate, much less able to rally to any battle cry for awareness. I'm just trying to get through one day at a time and that is going to have to be enough for now.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Brought to You By the Letter B

  • BOY - Inhabitant is Team Blue! We had our follow up scan to get the rest of the measurements (all good, kiddo measuring slightly ahead as usual), cervix and placenta doing just fine and we have an official sex ID. We can now refer to the offspring as "He". And He is very active. He also feels very strongly about mealtimes. I get a flurry of kicks and punches every time I eat. This is immensely reassuring.
  • Boobs - Had a bit of a scare here this week. I have developed what *may* be mastitis, but no one can confirm this. It doesn't hurt or itch, but things are pink and warm and inflamed. Midwife gave me antibiotics which made no difference, so I got an urgent appointment for a breast ultrasound. While this failed to yield a diagnosis, it did uncover two small masses in one breast, one of which needed a biopsy. It turned out to be cyst, so a HUGE relief. I am now off to a dermatologist to try again for a diagnosis as I am unwilling to just keep trying different antibiotics in the hope that one will do the trick. Sigh.
  • Belly - Totally eclipsed by the boobs (in size). At my almost-20 week weigh in, I was up a total of six pounds from my pre-BFP weight. My mom gained twelve total with me, so six seems OK for the halfway point. I'm pretty sure five of those pounds are in my bra. My belly still looks more bloated than anything. I was a little concerned about this, but the scan shows the Inhabitant is growing just fine, even slightly ahead of schedule. Must just be how I'm built. I admit, I feel like it would be nice to actually look pregnant. Only one person has guessed at work so far. They asked my boss (but not me?), and haven't said anything aside from that.
  • Basketcase - I finally broke down and bought the Baby Bargains book in an effort to prepare myself for the onslaught of stuff that will need to be acquired in order to support the Inhabitant once he makes it to the outside. I made it about half way through the first section (discussion of nursery furniture, specifically cribs) and freaked right the fuck out. Ended up hiding under the duvet in tears. One week later and I'm not exactly certain why I freaked out, but I just couldn't deal. I asked Twitter for some advice and after a brief chat with Prof, we decided just to check at the Ikea near his Mom's house later. Neither of us is up to thinking that far ahead just yet. Ostrichville, I tell you.