Thursday, May 31, 2012

Working toward Saturday

First of all, I have to thank you all for the well wishes and words of support.  It means so much to me and I've been struggling to make it through this week, so it's been so great to be able to see all the people who are pulling for us.  Thank you!!!!

There's so much to say, I'll try to be coherent, but I can't make any promises.  This week has been hard.  The two week wait wasn't that hard for me this time.  I got anxious right at the very end but I felt okay getting through it.  This week hasn't been that way.  Part of it is that I haven't felt so great.  I've been feeling the effects of Ovarian-Hyperstimulation and it's been a little rough.  On top of the physical difficulties I've been having because of this, the emotional toll took me by surprise.

When we were trying to get pregnant with Bean, we told the people who were close to us everything.  Then when a cycle didn't work, I had to let all of those people know it didn't work.  It got harder and harder to do and it felt crushing over and over again.  So this time around we haven't told that many people.  It's been so nice and even more wonderful to know that we had this amazing little secret that we could share when we wanted.  Then at the beginning of the week I started looking pregnant because my belly is so bloated.  I swear I have no clothes that disguise the belly.  I started to freak out because not only does this mean we're going to have to tell people we know, but we also have to tell people we don't know as well who all the sudden think I'm pregnant.  And then I have to either lie or tell them and explain our whole situation because the next question after, are you pregnant is when are you due, and I don't even know the answer to that yet.  It feels even more overwhelming then it did last time because then we just had to tell people who were close to us.  Now it feels like I have to face the world.

It's not that I mind talking about infertility, I don't.  I just want to do it on my terms and I'm not ready to tell the world that I'm pregnant a week after I found out myself.  That's not me and I'm not ready for it to be me.  On top of that, the hyperstimulation has made me worry about other things.  I feel like most people who hyperstimulate do IVF.  I didn't though, we did IUI's which makes me wonder what's going on in there.  I worry that if I'm hyperstimulated then that means there were too many follicles and if there were too many follicles, then I worry about how many babies there are.  Then in the next moment I can swing the other direction and worry that when we go in on Saturday there won't be any babies.  I'm seriously making myself nuts and have felt on the verge of a panic attack several times.

Last night I found myself laying in bed crying to hubby about how scared I am about all of it.  How I'm worried about what we'll do if we're pregnant with multiples(and by multiples I mean more then twins).  When we were trying the first time we always said we wouldn't do anything.  We would take however many babies came to us.  And I still feel the same way now, but my thoughts are somewhat different.  Now I'm thinking about Bean and how all of it would change her life.  I know the risks to myself with multiples and how I need to be here for her.  There are so many ways that I worry about this and I lay there last night crying to hubby about how Bean is perfect and I'm just so scared I'm going to screw her up.  I'm a mess.

Adding to my anxiety, I got together with another mom I know this week who also has been through infertility.  In the first ten minutes I saw her she asked if I was pregnant.  Which to me is something that you NEVER ask an infertile person.  I might expect that from someone else, but I thought she'd understand.  So I explained the situation to her and she immediately said something about hyper-stimulation and how that means I could be pregnant with multiples.  Which I of course know and am already thinking about and don't need any reinforcement of.

I don't want this to sound in any way that I'm not thankful to be pregnant.  I am SO thankful.  It's still surreal.  It's just so different then last time.  I'm already feeling pregnancy symptoms (which is so reassuring but also makes me wonder again), I have the hyperstimulation, and I'm scared in so many ways.  So thankful and so scared and I just want to know.  I just want to know what's going on in there so that I can get a grip on myself.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Thoughts and numbers

I'll give you the numbers first.  My beta on Thursday was 188.  Today it was 394.  So I feel good.  My doctor is happy and I go back next Saturday for blood work and an ultrasound.  That feels like a LONG time from now.  As far as how I feel physically, I'm exhausted.  I've been exhausted but now at least I know there's a good reason for it besides cutting out caffeine.  My stomach has started to feel a little yuck which surprises me because that didn't set in until later when I was pregnant with Bean.  I'm definitely have some emotional issues that I feel like are out of my control.  I'm feeling kind of pregnant, which is a relief.

All of this is so surreal though.  I honestly didn't expect our first cycle to work.  I mean, I know we went through a lot of trial and error and figured out what worked when I had Bean.  But just because that worked then, doesn't mean it was going to work now.  I should be really excited and thrilled that this has happened so fast, but instead I'm pretty freaked out.  It feels too easy.  I keep waiting for the bad news because it feels like too much good.  When I told hubby that it was too easy he gave me a crazy look and said that while it might seem easy compared to last time, it hasn't been in the grand scheme of things.  Between feeling forced to wean Bean, having surgery, and having to keep pushing everything back for reason after reason, he's right to some degree.  It hasn't been easy, just easier.  I mean, we started this whole journey last August.  It feels like it happened fast but in reality it's been in the works for awhile.  It's been in my head, on my heart, and part of our world for even longer then that.

I still feel infertile and I still feel scared because part of being a member of this community is that you hear everyone's stories.  The good and the bad.  I know what can happen and what does happen all the time.  I know that a positive pregnancy test isn't the end of the line.  I lived that once and so many others have lived it more then that.  I know the heartbreak that can come at any moment.  But I'm trying to live with the feeling I did when I was pregnant with Bean.  My philosophy then was to think every morning "today I'm pregnant" and focus on enjoying and getting through that day and not thinking about what could happen.  So today I'm pregnant.  And I am excited.  I'm SO excited.  But I'm scared and I know it's so early.  I'm cautiously optimistic and hoping that in the next few weeks all of this worry will melt away to some degree.

I know this is going to be the hardest week.  We never made it to our first ultrasound when I got pregnant on my first cycle when we were trying to have Bean.  I don't remember if they did them later then, but I know we never made it.  I know we're not going to be able to see much at the ultrasound, but just knowing that what's supposed to be there is there, will be a relief.  So I'm looking forward to it.  To knowing more.  Hopefully this week will go by quickly and will be uneventful.  Thank you all for your continued support and well wishes!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

The results are in...

.....and I'm pregnant!!!  I can't even believe it.  My nurse called two hours after they took my blood and I was such a spaz I hadn't remembered to turn the ringer back on.  I called back though and got to talk to her so she could tell me the good news herself.  She says everything looks good.  I don't remember the exact beta number, I was too much in shock.  It was over 100 though which seems good.  I go back Saturday to make sure everything is going up like it should.  I have a million thoughts going through my head right now and a million things that I want to say but I just can't get them out.  I wanted to let everyone know though because I know you're all hoping and wishing along with me and I can't tell you how much that means to me.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Getting through the wait

Bean went to the dentist for the first time today and I was shocked at how good she did.  I've been putting this off, mostly because of my own issues.  I went to a pediatric dentist and was scarred by it and have had to push myself to go ever since I became an adult.  I wanted to be sure that Bean had the best possible experience and I didn't know what to do.  Should I go with the pediatric dentist or go to the one that we go to that's okay but not fantastic, mostly because they know us and we know them and I know they'll take good care of her?  I finally listened to my mama friends and my pediatrician and took her today to the pediatric dentist and she did SO GOOD!  She's really shy around new people and I just had no idea what to expect.  It helped that we don't watch that much tv at home and they had Curi.ous on the tv there so she was entranced.  It also helped that the dentist had Bean lay across our laps bridged together by this foam pad.  I think it made Bean feel pretty safe and I felt much better too.  So I'm super relieved that it's over and hoping that I made the right choice for the long haul.

I also have been kind of hiding out for the last week.  I was so overwhelmed at the end of the week with our IUI's and I knew I needed to recharge.  So Bean and I stayed home and just had fun.  It was exactly what I needed and I feel SO much better now.  I feel like a better mama, and just a happier person in general.  I'm still kind of snappy.  I can't handle stress like I normally can but I'm guessing that might be the hormones that are going on in my body right now.  I'm taking progesterone and I think my ovaries are finally starting to return back to normal after a couple weeks of a really sore, swollen belly.  I can only imagine that had some effect too.

As far as "symptoms", I have no idea.  Last time we did this I had pregnancy symptoms every cycle because of the progesterone I was on.  This time I'm on something different.  My body seems to be handling the progesterone issue much better on it's own so I don't need as much and I don't feel pregnant all the time.  Which is good and bad.  It's not as heartbreaking knowing that just because I feel this way, it doesn't mean I'm pregnant, but now I realize how hard it is to not feel that way too.  Every little way that my body is different I wonder about.  I swear my boobs are sore to some degree, although that could be in my head.  There isn't too much else going on besides the fact that I'm super tired, although I gave up caffeine on the day of our first IUI so it could be that.  It's just weird to me because Bean is actually sleeping through the night almost every night lately (if she wakes up, it's just once and gets back to sleep pretty quickly) and I'm getting 7-8 hours of sleep every night.  That's UNHEARD OF in our house.  It's the most sleep that I've gotten in 2 years and yet I'm falling asleep during the day and fighting to make it until hubby gets home.  It seems weird to me, but I'm trying not to read too much into it.  I'm not really nauseous but with Bean that didn't hit for me until after we knew I was pregnant.  7 weeks maybe.  I don't remember for sure, but it hadn't happened yet.

So that's where I am.  I go in on Thursday to find out for sure what's going on in there.  I'm not going to test before that.  I didn't test in my first and last cycles when I did this the last time and I got pregnant both those times.  I know it's probably superstitious and means nothing, but I'm going to stick with it because for me, I can stay more sane if I don't test.  That's what I'm focusing on this week.  Sanity and keeping busy and preoccupied.  Which means we might try to kick potty training into high gear.  We'll see how it goes.  Fingers crossed that the week goes by quickly and we get good news on Thursday.  This weekend is hubby and my fifth wedding anniversary and that would be a wonderful gift for us.  I'll keep you posted!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

I need to relax

And I don't mean in the "relax and you'll get pregnant" kind of way.  That's complete BS and always will be.  I just feel like I'm really high strung.  Stuff that shouldn't be a big deal is.  I always feel like I'm working under the gun.  I have to get a certain number of things done in a short amount of time so that I can make sure Bean is down for her nap in time.  I have to complete tasks in the quickest way possible because you never know how long her attention span will last.  I just feel constantly under pressure from somewhere.  The truth is, half the time I feel the pressure and I don't even know where it's coming from.  Am I creating it myself?  I don't know.

I know that some of it comes from this underlying feeling of responsibility that pervades my life.  Responsibility to my parents, to my family, to the people I've surrounded myself with.  I took myself off the table a long time ago.  Responsibility to myself seems like a thing of the past.  The thing that's really bothering me lately is I feel like my responsibility to Bean is slipping.  I mean, I always feel responsible for her and to her, that never changes.  But my life is so filled with other things, that I feel like I've been letting her down.  That my patience is thinner then it should be. That I'm not concentrating on the little things that I'm doing with her everyday.  I'm always trying to figure out a way to make sure I get x, y, or z done and fit moments with her in-between.  It used to be that I made the day about her and fit everything else in.  I don't like this shift.

I know that she needs to learn how to do things on her own, and not have me with her all the time, but I can approach it all differently.  I need to start saying no and refocusing my life.  I need to feel good about the way I parented at the end of each day.  Because in the end, while I feel responsible to a lot of people in my life, at the end of the day the people that matter most are Bean and Hubby.  And I think it's about time I started being a little more selfish because the one thing that I can give myself one hundred percent is feeling like I've done the best I can as Bean's mama.  Maybe I won't do it all right, and maybe some days I'll feel like I did it all wrong.  But I have to feel like I did the best that I could.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Sunday Inspiration: Stella Joy

Just a reminder of what I'm doing here each Sunday.  I have found myself constantly challenged to write the kind of blog that I really dream of and to be able to be open and honest about my life and feelings.  So in an effort to keep pushing myself to try harder and meet my goal, I'm writing each Sunday about a blog that inspires me for various reasons.

About 6 months ago, the family of Stella Joy was featured in Lost and Found and Connections Abound (LFCA), a wonderful wrap up that Mel puts together of the goings on in the ALI community.  Stella's moms (Mishi and Aimee) sadly found out that their 3 year old had an inoperable and untreatable brain tumor that would eventually, in the not so distant future, take the life of their spirited toddler.  These kinds of stories always hit me hard.  They get inside me and I can't stop thinking about them.  I get a little overloaded by the emotions and heartache that could possibly be faced by someone in that situation.  I think daily about how lucky I am to have hubby and Bean in my life.  I know that this is an unfair world where they could be ripped away at any moment, and while I manage to put that out of my head most of the time, at least once a day I feel it.  And I'm always thankful for that moment, that day that I have with them.  I try not to take a second of it for granted.  And then I have to put it out of my mind or I couldn't get through the day, thinking about how fragile it all is and how quickly it could all be gone.

So normally, because of this feeling and the way I internalize these things that are happening to other people, I try to avoid reading too much about situations like these.  I know my limits.  But when Stella's story was sitting in front of me, I couldn't help but be sucked in.  I read about their past, their present, and what their dreams for the future had been.  I cried, a lot.  When I imagine myself getting this kind of news or being in this kind of a situation, I usually imagine one general reaction.  The first part involves emptying my stomach and the second involves hiding under a rock and hoping it will all go away.  Which brings me to why Mishi and Amiee inspire me so much.  Not only are they facing the reality that I think is one of the most fearful to a parent, but they're sharing that journey with the world.  And they aren't sugar coating it, if you even could.  They are telling it how it is, talking about emotions and thoughts that I'm sure it would be easier in many ways to keep to themselves.  They are putting themselves out there, completely raw for all of us, in the name of Stella.  How can you not be inspired by that?

I want to change reality for them every time I read their blog (which is every day) and I shed tears for them often.  But they have changed my life, and for that I can't help but be thankful.  I just wish it didn't have to come at such a cost.  They have made me appreciate every second more then I did before (which I never thought was possible), including those really difficult toddler moments that you just have no idea how to deal with at the time and then feel like you did it all wrong an hour later.  And they've allowed the world to see that sometimes strength doesn't come in neat packages.  Being strong in the face of such horrible circumstances doesn't always mean putting on a brave face and seeing the best in everyday.  There is so much more depth, emotion, and reality that comes into it then that, but that doesn't mean that if you're facing difficult feelings everyday, and not always making it look neat and easy, that you aren't strong.  Quite the contrary in my opinion.  It takes a lot of strength to admit when you have ugly thoughts or overwhelming emotions.  I have so much respect for these two women.  In the way that their living their life, facing death, and talking to the world about it.

Friday, May 11, 2012

A little update

Thanks to everyone for the thoughts and well wishes!  The IUI's went relatively well.  The nurse practitioner said my eggs looked great (whatever that means) and that hubby's numbers were fantastic, so we've done all we can.  Now we just wait.  And for now anyway, I'm okay with the wait this time.  I was at the doctors office 6 out of the last 9 days.  It was feeling overwhelming and trying to juggle Bean and live our normal lives on top of it, it was a lot.  I was pretty exhausted on Wednesday and Thursday.  It didn't help that I went cold turkey on the caffeine Wednesday morning.  Not my smartest move ever.  I also just felt more worn out by it all then I did the first time we did this.  My insides were more achy, I was more tired, I didn't feel great.  It wasn't what I remembered.  The nurse said it was because I had more follicles this time around, which I figured (and which still makes me a little nervous).  I'm feeling a bit better now though and it's the weekend so I have hubby here to help.  And tomorrow is my birthday!  I'm actually really looking forward to it because I know that I'll get to do whatever I want for the whole day and I haven't gotten to do that very much lately.  So I'm looking forward to sleeping in (past 6 in our household is considered sleeping in), not washing any dishes or fixing any meals, and just generally enjoying life for the day.  And I'm hoping that in a little less then two weeks (May 24th), I'll get the best belated birthday present you could ask for.  Bean was the best early birthday present I ever got, so maybe this time of year is a lucky one for me.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Not feeling so great: Updated

I had my appointment at the RE this morning and it was....interesting.  Apparently my biggest follicle which was 16 (mm?) didn't get any bigger, but some of the smaller ones did.  A bunch of them.  So my doctor was debating about waiting yet another day but she said this made her nervous because I might have too many follicles.  So I agreed that yes, it made me nervous too and she decided to go ahead with IUI's tomorrow and Thursday.  Then I said something like "I'm not ready to have sextuplets" and she said something about how a few of those other follicles will probably ovulate too, so while it's not as high a likelihood if we go ahead tomorrow, it's still possible.  At which point I started freaking out inside my head and of course, she was on her way out the door.  I'm not good at thinking on my feet.  I always come up with the right thing to say or question to ask after the fact.

I've been nervous ever since.  Should we be canceling this cycle?  I feel so different then I ever did when I was trying to have Bean.  My belly aches and hurts if it gets pushed on in certain places.  I thought this was just because my left ovary has been hiding so they've been doing a lot of pushing and prodding from the inside to get a good scan of it.  I thought it was making me achy, but now I wonder if it's my ovaries.  I just feel crappy and I never really did before.  I felt emotionally crappy but I don't remember feeling physically crappy.  I know I'm probably overreacting and worrying too much.  Like I said before, my doctor doesn't want me to have sextuplets any more then I do.  I just feel kind of overwhelmed.

So I'm going to talk to my nurse when she calls today.  I'm pretty sure she's calling even though the IUI's are setup.  If she doesn't, I'm going to call her.  I just want to be sure that every thing's okay.  That my doctor isn't going beyond where I would want to go.  So we'll see what happens.

Update:  Bean had a long nap and I've had a chance to relax and think more.  I also talked to my nurse.  All that to say, I'm feeling much better.  I'm not as worried any more and I'm actually excited and ready to see what happens.  I'm ready to try to make a baby tomorrow!!!!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Am I weird?

Injections on the left side of my belly always hurt more then ones on the right.  Am I weird?  Has anyone else had something like this happen?  Also, the doctors office called and they want to give me one more day with the hopes that I'll have two mature follicles instead of one.  IUI's on Wednesday and Thursday.  Fingers crossed!

Looks like somebody's showing off

I went into the RE yesterday for blood work and an ultrasound to see how things are going with the injections so far.  My doctor put me on the same protocol that worked when I had Bean but it appears that my right ovary has decided to be a bit of an overachiever so we're on the fast track to our insemination's.  I was worried they might just cancel the whole thing, but it looks like there is one, or maybe two follicles that are far enough ahead of the rest that if we catch it just right, will work out.  It looks like the IUI's are either going to be tomorrow and Wednesday or Wednesday and Thursday.

This whole thing has happened so fast and we've been so busy with Bean's birthday (Happy Second Birthday Bean!!!!  I can't believe my baby is officially 2 now), that it all seems a little surreal.  I have these moments to stop and think about it before life keeps rolling along, and then I just have to put it out of my mind.  Those moments are pretty crazy though.  Like when I was having my ultrasound yesterday and the tech was telling the nurse practitioner each follicle and how big it was.  She just kept going and going.  I started to panic inside my head and imagine myself as the next  Then I reminded myself that my doctor didn't want to be the doctor who created the next any more then I wanted to be her.  That's what these moments always look like, me starting to freak out and having just enough time to talk myself down before life keeps going.

The phrase that keeps going through my head is those moments is related to Bean.  I keep thinking that I don't want to ruin her life.  And I know how that sounds.  I don't actually think another baby is going to ruin her life (if that's even in the cards for us).  It's the uncertainty that comes with it.  What if we did end up having multiples?  What if we had another baby and it had serious health problems?  What if something happened to me in the process of trying to have another baby?  What if, what if.  I know that no matter what happens the new baby(babies) would be fine.  I have so much love to give, I know they would be fine.  And I like to hope that Bean will be fine too.  The amount of love that I have for her will remain unchanged, but her life, her life would be very different.  And I just want to make sure that she'll be okay through any transition that comes.  I just don't want to mess up.

I have no idea what lies ahead.  Except two IUI's in the not so distant future followed by the ever loved two week wait.  I have no idea if it's going to work or what's to come.  And I have to admit, that it freaks me out.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Sunday Inspiration: The R House

So back before I started blogging, before we had Bean, I found several blogs that were just what I needed at the time. Most of them were what I would call strictly infertility blogs.  Then our doctor started talking to us about IVF and we started talking about the financial aspect of all of that.  We wanted to look into all of our options and start thinking about adoption and not just IVF.  So I started searching online and found a few adoption blogs.  The one that I found most helpful was Lindsey's blog at The R House.

Up until that point when we talked about adoption we talked a lot about international adoption.  Hubby is Asian and that made us think a lot about adoption from the country where his parents grew up.  I honestly had some worries about open adoption, which seemed the norm with a domestic adoption.  Mostly my worries stemmed from the fact that I didn't know that much about it.  So when I found Lindsey's blog, I have to say I was so thrilled to find someone who wrote so honestly about her experiences with adoption and shared what an open adoption can be like.  What I appreciated especially was that she didn't sugar coat anything.  She talked about the things that were hard just as much as the things that were amazing.  I was especially moved when she shared the entire process of going through a contested adoption.

Besides Lindsey's honesty, the other thing that has inspired me about her, is her desire to be an advocate for adoption.  I have the same desire when it comes to infertility.  I want to have more of a voice and I want to have my voice make a difference.  I want to see change in the way infertility is viewed by the public and in the financial burden that it puts on all of us.  I just don't have a great idea about how to go about doing that.  Lindsey doesn't seem to have that problem though.  She does an amazing job getting information about adoption out there, and she inspires me to figure out a way to do the same.

Friday, May 4, 2012

It's like riding a craptastic bicycle

I was trying to figure out how to describe to a friend of mine how I felt when I started doing the injections and things again.  This is what I came up with.  I was really worried that I wouldn't remember what I was doing but it all came back to me pretty quickly.  I still have that nervous feeling, like I'm not really qualified to be mixing medications that I then inject into myself, but I guess if my doctor trusts me, I need to trust myself.  The first night I went through everything step by step but it didn't take long for it to become second nature again.  Like riding a bike.  Which is actually very fitting if you know me and my history with bikes.

When I learned how to ride a bike, I learned on the kind that didn't have hand brakes.  You just peddled backwards and that braked for you.  I loved that bike.  We lived on a hill so braking was pretty necessary and I'd go up and down, up and down.  Then I got too big for that bike and was handed down my brothers old bike that had hand brakes.  I don't remember who, but somebody warned me, very seriously, that if I squeezed the front brake side before the back brake side, I'd go flying over the handlebars.  So when I rode the bike after that, there was always this ball of nerves and fear in my stomach.  I worried that in the blink of an eye I could be face first in asphalt.  So I stopped riding.

That's pretty much in a nutshell how I feel about the whole infertility ride.  You try really hard to follow directions and do what you're told, but there is still that feeling that any moment you could smash face first into emotional asphalt.  Except this time there's more good at stake, for me anyway.  Riding a bike never brought me that much pleasure.  It was easier to just stop then to potentially have something bad happen.  But babies, that's another story.  I can't put into words how much my life has changed since Bean came into it.  I have a hard time even imagining what it would be like to be so blessed twice.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The ride has officially started

Well, much to my surprise everything magically looked perfect at my ultrasound this morning.  So I start injections tonight and go in again on Sunday to see how things are going.  I am no where near mentally prepared for this, so I'm just going with it and not thinking about it too much.  We'll see how that works :) Right now I have too much to do for Bean's birthday.  Thanks to everyone for the early birthday wishes!!!  I'm going to keep living life, add a few needle sticks, and see what happens.  Oh yeah, and while Bean is napping today I'll be watching that video the nurse sent me months ago to remind myself how to mix my meds again.  Like I said, so not prepared.  We started talking about all of this last year when Bean turned one.  We went to see our doctor in August and didn't actually get to a starting point until January.  We've been in a holding pattern since then.  So it's kind of surreal that finally things seem to be going right.  Fingers crossed!