36 Weeks and Packing the Hospital Bag!

 HOSPITAL BAG

How far along: 36 Weeks and 3 days

 Total Weight Gain/Loss: Current weight 137 lbs, officially up 32 pounds!

Maternity clothes: Most of the time yes, and wearing dresses nearly every day!

Stretch marks: Not yet.. the nurse even commented at my last appointment her surprise that I don’t have any yet…I told her it’s a blessing as I still have stretch mark scars from puberty.

Sleep: Oh yes! Naps are a once or twice daily occurrence for me. The exhaustion sweeps over me like a tidal wave and I can’t keep my eyes open. After a nap I feel like a million dollars!

Best moment last week: 4th of July with my siblings! This year all five of my amazing brothers and sisters were together in my home and I had the most wonderful day! It is rare for us all to get together and now my home is filled with special memories I will cherish forever.

Movement: Yes! Baby boy has been moving like crazy- especially at night, my bump looks so strange when he is moving and I always stare in awe and amazement.

Food cravings/Aversions: Still loving food, specifically fresh well made food. Fruit has been a huge part of my diet lately, along with fresh tomatoes from my garden. 3 varieties so far! Yummm!

TOMS

 Mood/Energy: Mood has been wonderful as I near the end of this pregnancy, a little emotional here and there just thinking about our infertility journey that has brought us to this point. Two summers ago was when I started this blog, a saving grace to the isolation and depression I was experiencing. And  just last summer we were consulting with our doctor and making the big  decision about pursuing IVF and here I sit a year later writing about my 36th week of pregnancy. Feeling so full and blessed and enjoying every precious moment left of this pregnancy.

 Labor signs: Well let’s just say that earlier this week I spent one whole day on the couch due to major pressure down low and even started to pack my hospital bag (just in case) …thankfully, according to the MD I saw at my appointment two days later, after said “pressure”,  I am experiencing something called lightening and this  is completely normal during this stage of pregnancy. Baby is getting ready! 

 Oh and Still measuring on schedule, blood pressure is normal, and baby is head down. Yay!

Belly button: Starting to pop!

What I miss: Nada

What I am looking forward to: Meeting our son.

Milestones: 36 weeks! And getting the strep B test done… Ouchy & why didn’t anyone forewarn me?

 And lastly a bump picture taken at 36 weeks 1 day:

36 weeks

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34 Weeks & Surrounded by Pink Peonies

peonie 1

How far along: 34 Weeks Today!

Total Weight Gain/Loss: At my appointment last week I weighed 132 lbs.

Maternity clothes: Yes and living in dresses at the moment.

Stretch marks: Not yet..and nearly out of my special belly oil.

Sleep: Oh yes and very deep sleep lately, still waking up to go to the bathroom, but finally able to sleep in past 6:00 am.

Best moment last week: My baby shower! Oh my goodness, it was a dream. Truly- my sister outdid herself!  I was not only  surrouned by friends and family who supported me during my struggle with infertility but also pink peonies (my very favorite flower) and everything was truly stunning, no detail was overlooked! This baby is already loved by so many and my heart warms at all of the love we received at the shower.

(Here are a few photos of the lovlieness and I am still enjoying the flowers as you can see!)

Shower Flowersk

hydrangea

Movement: All the time! And at my last prenatal appointment last week, I was told that baby is already head down and will probably stay that way until birth!

Food cravings/Aversions: Loving all food lately! Mostly fresh vegetables and fruit! Trying to up my protein intake and eating more eggs now that I have my kitchen back!

Mood/Energy: Slowing down and napping again. A few friends told me I would get a second energy burst towards the last few weeks, and boy am I going to need it as I need to not only get my little one’s nursery in order but my entire house!

Labor signs: No, but I did have a little scare last week and called my mom to ask her what labor felt like. I could barely walk and had so much pressure down “there” that I thought I was having contractions. I think I just needed rest and went to bed early and woke up feeling much better!

Belly Button : Stretched and odd looking.

What I miss: Nothing! Feeling content and savoring every last moment of being pregnant.

What I am looking forward to: Putting babys’ nursery and wardrobe together!

Milestones: 34 weeks today, taking the hospital tour, beginning birth classes…finally feeling like I can relax and really start nesting.

ps: my mini home remodel is officially complete! Turned out beautiful and will post pictures soon!

And last but not least, me at 34 weeks pregnant!

34 Weeks

27 Weeks and Mini Home Remodel, Getting Sick and Mother’s Day

Home Remodel: First off-who begins a mini home remodel project at 27 weeks pregnant? This girl! It all began with the idea of painting bedrooms and installing new flooring and quickly turned into changing and replacing windows, installing new countertops, and updating appliances in my kitchen. (Goodbye 90’s white tile and carpenter beige paint!) My timeline is to have everything completed by the middle of June and before my baby shower. Pinterest has officially become my best friend as of late and has helped me in so many ways with our project.

 

Inspiration kitchen photo number 1:

inspiration kitchen

 

Getting Sick: It finally happened. My worst fear during pregnancy- I got sick.

 

Last week after two days of a Maternal Wellness Seminar I attended for work, I knew I pushed myself too far. I was hoping the sneezing and constant eye watering was an indication of my allergies acting up, only to find myself in bed and on the couch for two straight days  with a nasty head cold. Luckily I am recuperating and beginning to feel myself again, but I was miserable there for a few days and being that I was pregnant I didn’t want to take any medications. I gave in and finally took two Tylenol for my aching head out of pure desperation. My take away now that I am on the mend: rest often and do not push yourself.

Mothers Day

 

Mothers Day 2014: So many different thoughts about this day. For years this has been by far my worst celebrated holiday of the year. Infertility will do that to you…even though I knew in my heart that I would be a mother one day (one way or another) this day always seemed to tear me up inside. This Mothers Day I celebrated with J and our friends and their two young boys and the day was such a blessing. Not only was J so very attentive to me and showering me with kisses and whatever I needed, but I welcomed for the first time, friends, family and perfect strangers wishing me a happy Mother’s Day as well. I realized that I will soon be called mom, momma, or mommy and this just fills my heart so. I’ve dreamt of this reality of motherhood for so very long and its close.

I wonder what kind of mother I will be? I think of my own mother and how I was raised. I believe I will be kind, patient, caring, affectionate, protective, humorous, gentle, and loving. My emotions were all over the map last week and I especially felt super weepy on Mother’s Day as I reflect on my journey up to this point.

Last year I laid on the couch all morning with the shades drawn shut- isolating myself from the world and even from my own mother… and only but one year later I am approaching my last trimester of pregnancy embracing the beautiful reality of finally becoming a mother.

My take away of this: No matter if you have a child or not, we are all mothers. We were born mothers in some capacity, and we express our motherly selves in a variety of ways. Acknowledging this is a must, especially for those of us who struggle the most with this celebrated day.

And my update…

How far along: 27 Weeks and 6 days

Total Weight Gain/Loss: 125.5 lbs-up a pound from last week.

Maternity clothes: Oh yes, pretty much wearing my maternity leggings or a dress on rotation. If you happen to see me more than once during the week, I’ll likely be in one of these two staple items. Stretch marks: Not yet.. But I am scared they are coming…Belly is growing so big!

Sleep: Being that I am typing this at 4:00 am, I have to admit that I have been waking up very early in the morning. However to my defense, I often go to bed by 9:00 and get in an hour or so nap during the afternoon if I can.

Best moment last week: Not being depressed and crying on Mother’s Day for the first time in years. Experiencing joy of becoming a mother to our miracle baby. Spending time with my hubby at one of our favorite places-Lake Tahoe.

Movement: Oh yes..Little one is super active at night and still his movement has been one of my very favorite moments of pregnancy.

Food cravings/Aversions: Oh boy… lets see this past week I have been wanting to eat everything! It seems like anytime someone mentions a food category, I suddenly crave whatever it may be. (English muffins with peanut butter have been another staple item)

Mood/Energy: For the most part I have maintained energy and can go for most of the day even with bouts of insomnia that I have been experiencing, although as I noted above, I pushed myself the week before and I suffered dearly for it by getting sick.

Labor signs: Not yet! Hoping we make it until August!

Belly button: Top part is beginning to push out some and last week every time I sneezed or coughed I thought it might rupture.

What I miss: Sleeping through the night.

What I am looking forward to: Slowing down with work, putting the nursery together, and beginning birthing classes.

Milestones: Thankful for getting through the second trimester without a hitch!

27 Weeks

24 Weeks and Reflection

This past week has been a pretty big week for me both emotionally and physically.

 First off the 24 week mark means viability and the milestone point of pregnancy that infertiles’ crave the most.

 When this special day came for me I celebrated in joy and also reflected on my journey thus far.

 I began by reading past journal excerpts of the countless tear filled days leading up to conception of baby R. There were days that felt lower than low, mornings I could not get out of bed, crying fits in my car after having to interact with a random pregnant women and her darling toddler in a store or after reading about another pregnancy announcement on Facebook. Days when I did not know how I would continue to put one foot in front of the other while trying to navigate my childless world. Yes, my faith was tested, my personal resilience pushed to the max, but after reflecting I knew it was all worth it to be able to finally be a momma-to be.

 And oh how my world has changed.

 These reflections have created another surge of gratefulness within me that I cannot describe. At times I feel as if I need to pinch myself as a reminder that this is really happening to me! Just yesterday I was getting a few dresses altered and while waiting for the seamstress to come into my dressing room, I took the opportunity to simply look at myself. And I mean really look and stare at myself in the full length mirror and take in my reality. I studied my whole body from top to bottom side to back and settled back on my growing belly. I was amazed at how beautiful I both looked and felt carrying our miracle child and  for finally being at place that I had longed- for, for so very long, and feeling thankful and blessed beyond measure.

 Truly, I am enjoying pregnancy just as I always knew I would.

_____________________________________________________

 

 How far along: 24 Weeks (VIABILITY) and baby is the size of a cantaloupe!

Total Weight Gain/Loss: 124 lbs- up another pound!

Maternity clothes: Yes, but still able to wear some non maternity clothes as well!

Stretch marks: Not yet… but lots of blue veins all over my belly.

Sleep: Better! I think my hips stopped stretching because sleep has been wonderful again.

Best moment last week: Reaching viability- the big milestone and passing my glucose test! By the way, the worst part of my glucose test wasn’t drinking the juice which wasn’t half bad, but having to wait an hour in a crowded waiting room with someone who smelled like oniony body odor. Uggg-  Another wonderful moment and one that keeps happening is when J puts his hands on my belly and talks to baby. It’s the sweetest thing!

Movement: Yes, all the time and brings a smile to face instantly. First thing I do when I wake up now is try and make baby move, once I feel him move I can start my day!

Oh when do I need to start doing kick counts?

Food cravings/Aversions: Lately I’ve been loving oatmeal with bananas, walnuts, and milk for breakfast and maybe because of Easter, egg salad with crunchy celery and hotdog relish has been a lunch staple this past week. Aversions- still not a big fan of Italian food; marinara sauce and garlic.

Mood/Energy: Still emotional! Energy has been ok- although one of my test results came back that I am low on Iron and my doctor wants me on an iron supplement. Alternatively, I am taking Floradix (a liquid supplement) so that I don’t have to deal with bathroom issues- praying it works!

Labor signs: Nada!

Belly Button: Stretched

What I miss: Nothing and the days need to slow down already!

What I am looking forward to: My checkup next week and getting my baby shower announcements out!

Milestones: 24 weeks baby! oh and the glucose test over with!

Bump Picture and my “Lately”:

Bump 25sophieGlucose Juicepaint color

24 weeks

Sophie- a gift from a dear friend- doesn’t she look so happy?

My orange glucose drink

and picking out paint colors for my bedroom and nursery!

Embracing Pregnancy after Infertility

window

My short hiatus is officially over.

 

I needed a break over the holiday like I have never felt before.

 

As soon as I finished my last final of the year, I closed my laptop and didn’t open it again until this past weekend. I craved silence from school and work demands and knew I needed to shut it all down; for both my sanity and health.

 

I admit, my first few weeks after learning we were successful with our IVF cycle felt a bit strange. Almost as if I didn’t belong anywhere.  I wanted to embrace my pregnancy with open arms and joy and yet all my past disappointments and hurts blurred the lines. I was happy- but didn’t want to feel “too happy” and I wanted to shout my long awaited news from the roof tops and yet at the same time I didn’t want to tell a soul just in case I jinxed my pregnancy- and is that even a thing?

 

What I have come to discover is that infertility robs us of something in our soul even after we become pregnant. The pure and innocent joy of pregnancy isn’t processed the same way for those that have struggled with infertility.  We are pregnant and yet still feel raw from the other side that is nipping at our heels and fear inches its way in and is difficult to overcome despite our dreams finally coming true.

Even after our second ultrasound, when our OB announced that everything looked perfect and that based on everything he saw our chance of miscarriage decreased to 3%, I still wasn’t feeling any better. Thankfully a few days later I forced myself to snap out of my reluctant and fear based fog.

 

Embracing this pregnancy was what I had forgotten to do. I was still stuck in this strange place of disappointment and failure and yet I had a being growing inside me with a heartbeat and all. I decided that no matter what happened during this pregnancy, I needed to govern that which I had control of; my emotional personal response to finally becoming pregnant after three long years of  struggling to conceive. I began to embrace this little miracle inside me a few days before Christmas and joy overcame the fear. I felt as though I was opening the curtains of an old log cabin to let the sun shine through for the first time in years. I felt the warmth and allowed myself to be in the moment with this being (our child) growing inside my womb. I’ve since been much more relaxed and open to this side of the journey; pregnancy after infertility. Some days are harder than others, and that is when I kindly remind myself to embrace this experience and feel the joy that is flowing inside me.

 

Today I am 10 weeks and three days pregnant. Tears fill my eyes as I look at my most recent ultrasound picture that I am proudly displaying on my fridge; our little one is beginning to look like an actual baby now, her little arm is sticking up as if waiving to us all.

baby r 10 weeks

 

Joy.

 

Pure joy.

The Only Way Out is Through

Veil

I heard a new term today…Infertility Closet.

And it dawned on me that I am currently living in my very own self made “infertility” closet.

Admittedly I have always been a very private and guarded person ever since I was a little girl.
Exhibit A: my anonymous blog that you are currently reading.
It’s true; no one has ever labeled me as an open book. And self disclosure is not my best friend. Therefore infertility has contributed to the veiling of my persona even that much more.

Two years ago, sometime after my miscarriage, I began avoiding places and people if it meant that I may have had to talk about my loss. I felt vulnerable and thought I was doing the right thing by avoiding, but the behavior soon escalated into a norm and my personal relationships suffered greatly. Yes, through this infertility journey connections have been lost and friendships estranged. This part of infertility feels maddening and yet I realize that I have single handedly created my own “infertility closet”.

And for what?

Self preservation? My sanity?

So that I can pretend to be me before I was deemed infertile?

Not somebody that miscarried.

Or somebody whom always wanted to be a mother but can’t .

Or somebody that tirelessly tries to conceive cycle after cycle and fails each and every time.

Or somebody who is jealous of every fertile person who walks this earth.

Is this why I choose to stay in this protective bubble called the infertility closet? This place that protects me and allows me to continue to be myself without feeling exposed or revealing my raw wounds for all to see.

I realize that this can’t be healthy, but at this time, I don’t know any other way.

I also realize that in time,  this protective “bubble” will not be big enough to sustain my needs and that I will be forced to grow my wings and move through to the other side; infertile and vulnerable with wounds showing and all.

Pre-IVF Consult

orange

Quick update:

I had my second pre IVF consultation this past week and it looks like we will officially begin our IVF cycle mid October (the cycle after next)!

To summarize both consultations simply:

~My AMH went up to 1.26 from .48 in just seven months-my RE is very happy with the increase! (So am I)

~I will be put on the most aggressive protocol there is due to my DOR diagnosis.

~After my mock transfer I have been coined with an “easy” uterus to work with.

~RE wants to rule out Fragile X gene with a blood test this next coming week.

~ Lastly my husband and I were instructed to start practicing giving injections and were each given needles
photo

He is to practice on an orange and I a pillow.

This is beginning to feel very real to me.

Atlas I feel like this is finally our time.