Childbirth prep classes? Check!

Hubster and I attended 4-2 hour evening sessions to get ready for labor and delivery at our hospital. It was exhausting going to class after a long day of work, but it was worth it.

First, they were so informative! We learned about different interventions used and when, got advice about how to handle nonmedicated childbirth, the actual process of labor and delivery, the hospital’s protocols, and that we have a choice about every part! Except the cases when emergency c-section is needed, which she explained. The highlights for me (besides knowing my birth plan would be carried out, if possible) were:
1. Finding out the following are standard protocol:
-skin-to-skin immediately following birth
-skin-to-skin with partner after c-section
-delayed cord clamping (YES!)
-wireless fetal monitoring systems to labor freely
-labor and delivery positions are determined by the woman giving birth (unless given an epi)

(AND THEY GOT NEW BEDS THAT FACILITATE SQUATTING FOR WOMEN WHO GET AN EPI!)

2. That she taught the partners some massage techniques that might help during labor. Not only did she show us what to do, but had them practice. And then she watched each of them do it and help them get it right.

3. She taught the preggos different positions to help during labor and we practiced them.

4. Also, did I mention this is a university teaching hospital?! I chose this one because of their giant combo labor/delivery rooms and they have the best NICU in the area so if by some chance our baby has to go there, he won’t be transferred to a different hospital from the one I’m recovering in. But I never in a million years anticipated they would be natural-birth-friendly. I figured I would have to rely on the fact that my OB believes in patient-led care.

5. The nurse teaching the class was very open and real about how painful, exhausting, and emotional the whole process can be, but I appreciate that. She wasn’t trying to scare is into drugs, but is totally supportive of however you need to birth your baby. And she was HILARIOUS! Hubster and I cracked up the entire time. And we were both genuinely sad that our classes were over. Hopefully she’ll teach the Breastfeeding & Baby Basics class we’re going to next month!

28 weeks pregnant and still infertile

It’s so true when Infertiles say infertility never leaves you. When you’re pregnant and become a parent after infertility, you end up kind of stuck between worlds. I still have a hard time with pregnancy announcements, pregnancy talk, and bump pics. Yes, I post this stuff on social media, but ALWAYS with a twinge of guilt. It’s just a weird place to be. I’m SO excited, complain about pain and discomforts, dream out loud, make plans for Baby and our family, but it feels weird to do that. Partly because it’s surreal and because I want to continue making my life more than TTC or my child. He is so important to me and I already love him more than I can imagine, but I refuse to make him my whole world or more important than my partner. I don’t want my whole identity to become his mom, even though little else in life matters at this moment. I am different than most moms in those respects and a lot of that comes from struggling with infertility. I needed to not identify as a person, rather than just an Infertile, for my sanity and my self-worth. I learned that I’m more than a label, including that of “mom”. Which everyone else seems to love. I worry that I’m somehow messed up, but I also pride myself in that. I also worry about my fellow Infertiles and their feelings. I know the pain and despair of still being in the trenches and hate adding to it.

So I don’t belong. I don’t fit in. Luckily I’m finding other groups of infertile preggos and new moms on Instagram and Babycenter, and and definitely am not seeking out mommy groups IRL. Much to the horror of my fertile friends lol. I worry about the day Baby joins sports teams and starts school because I really don’t want to have to make friends with the parents, but it’s a sacrifice I’ll have to make.

Anyway, I’m kind of down right now thinking about how different I am from my girlfriends and how far I feel from my bloggy friends and I guess I just needed to vent.

But I am so happy for all the good news I’m reading in Blogland today. Thanks to those of you who actually made it through this ramble of a post. A more exciting bumpdate is coming, I promise!

3rd trimester & so in love

I can’t believe in writing this. How in the world am I here now?!? I’m so emotional today as friends keep sharing Mark Zuckerberg’s pregnancy announcement and so grateful as I write thank you cards from our baby shower with my best girlfriends and our families last weekend.

The losses we’ve experienced are never forgotten, but are definitely more strongly felt as Little Boo gets bigger and closer to entering this world. He is so freaking loved already, that I can’t even stand to think about how much more my heart will love him when I finally get to hold him in my arms. His first kick to my kidney and dancing on my intestines this past week might hurt, but damn, is it all worth it! I find myself complaining more on days when I’ve slept terribly due to pelvic/back/hip pain but then I’m reminded that not only is he worth this pain and exhaustion, but women freaking rock!

We endure so much, but we keep going. Physically and emotionally.

I often wonder what my angel babes would have looked like and what their personalities would have been. I wonder how my pregnancies would have been like, similar or very different from this one, had they progressed. And I miss them all. I even miss the one that was transferred with Little Boo, but left us too soon. Though I’m grateful to be carrying a singleton since his growing has been so hard on my body, but a piece of my heart aches every time I have to confirm that no, I’m not having twins, to all the well-meaning strangers who are shocked at the size of my bump.

I know they and Little Boo are all a part of some master plan for us, but some days it’s harder to accept that. Hubster and I both love easily and feel deeply so it seems a little more unfair to have had these losses. I never would have taken any baby for granted and infertility could have been a difficult enough journey for us to power through together as a couple so I don’t know why the losses had to be thrown in there. But they were and we deal with them. And we know what a miracle Little Boo is. So I’ll try to stop focusing on the past and concentrate on the future. I guess I just needed to get these thoughts out as I come to terms with reaching my 3rd trimester.

I kind of deep down always expected this pregnancy to work out, just like I kind of deep down expected our first IVF to work out. Everything had come together so perfectly that it had to all work out. From getting money from my parents, to meeting our perfectly wise and optimistic RE, to being able to telecommute the entire cycle, and having so much support I just couldn’t imagine it not working. The devastation of a failed cycle would be too great. Then getting early HPT BFPs and such high beta numbers, then perfect US and making it so far through a very visible pregnancy, I kept believing more and more that we would have our take-home baby.

But reaching the 3rd trimester has been a trip! I’m now anemic so I’m really really tired, this baby continues to move, kick, and wiggle around, and it’s getting harder to roll out of bed, lotion my legs and put on pants/shorts, but damn I’m so crazy happy! My baby will be here in less than 3 short months! I’m organizing his nursery and the rest of the house and daydream about how our house and lifestyle will change. In less than 3 short months! Did I mention that?

Ok now that I’m not crying anymore and I’ve rested my back, I’ll get back to thank you cards. My bumpdate will come shortly.

26 week bumpdate

How far along: 26 weeks, 4 days

Total weight gain so far: 19lbs 😨

How big is baby: he’s supposed to be just under 2lbs, but he’s measuring 13 days ahead right now, so I’m guessing more than that? We had an awful US tech on Friday so I’m waiting for my US report for info. How awful you ask? Well she asked if I had GD (I found out 3 hours later that no, I don’t have it! Yay!), given how large he is measuring, then asked if I knew he was this big. Yes, lady, that’s why I’m here! Also lectured me about drinking more water because my amniotic fluid was at the very low end of normal. That’s the first time I’ve been told that so I was very concerned and guilt-ladden all weekend. Turns out she didn’t know what she was talking about and my fluid level is fine.

Boobies: 36DD, up from 36C pre-pregnancy

Maternity wear: all the time. Except for the XXL tanks and t-shirts I bought on sale at Target months ago. I finally fit them.

I broke down and bought 2 pairs of Aerosoles and thankfully they’re cute.

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Stretch marks: none yet! I know they’ll come, but I’m thrilled they aren’t here yet since I’m still wearing a bikini as often as possible!

Belly button In/Out: in, but barely. It’s like an innie-slit lol. No more hole.

Wedding ring Off/On: ON! By some miracle, they’re only just snug.

Most current symptoms: fatigue, pelvic girdle pain, thirst, shortness of breath, sleeping discomfort, and lots of crying quickly!

Sleep:¬†ugh! So bad! I don’t always wake up to pee when I need to so when I do, it huuuurts. The pelvic pain comes out then too. Every time I roll over, it feels like my pubic bones are going to split apart. I even put a pillow between my legs to roll with like I read about, but it didn’t help. It was more comfortable sleeping with both the pillow and snoogle so I think I’ll continue.

Miss anything: sleeping through the night, running, walking for fitness, doing things myself without people telling me not to or to be careful, standing up gracefully, business trips, and taking deep breaths whenever I want.

Movement: all.the.time. Baby Carey is quite active and I love it. Even though it’s more uncomfortable/painful than not, it’s such a blessing and a miracle. I’m praying I will still say that when his feet find their way to my ribs. Which they are very close to. My uterus is supposed to extend 3 inches up from my belly button right now, but for the past few weeks, his kicks have been 4-5 inches up and are a half an inch away from my boobs…😒 #shorttorsoproblems

Food cravings:¬†SUGAR! And most foods. I love everything right now. I’m most happy when I crave a salad though lol.

Sex: ugh only here and there. It’s never comfortable though. My belly gets too tight.

Labor signs: none!

Happy or Moody most of the time: happy! But also moody occasionally.

Best moment this week: making the nursery look like a nursery and finding out I’m not dehydrating my baby!

Worst moment this week: no pictures from our US and not being able to see Carey’s face or his whole profile. Told you AWFUL tech.

Looking forward to: our baby shower with our families this weekend

Things people say: 1. Are you due in august? 2. When I answer that I’m due late October, I hear how big/large I am 3. Then they ask if it’s a boy. 4. Are you sure there aren’t 2 in there? I wish I could answer, “Yes, stranger, I’m sure that one of my beloved embryos didn’t make it in my uterus. Again.” 5. Don’t worry, my wife/sister/cousin/etc. was told they’re baby was big she ended up giving birth a week late to a healthy 8/9/10lb baby! OMG! I can’t imagine going another 14 weeks pregnant, let alone 15! That is NOT comforting!

Purchases for baby: at the last second (when Hubster was preparing to put the crib together) I changed my mind and ordered a new one. I’m so excited!

We were also given hand-me-down onesies, socks, hats, Ergo with nb insert, Moby, disposable and washable breast pads, nursing cover, bumbo w/tray, a rock n play, nursing stool, misc disposable diapers, boppy and cover, a bottle warmer for the car, and hands-free nursing top from a friend.

Previous weeks’ purchases: crib mattress, mattress cover, Momaroo from an awesome auction website, wall decor, size 2 & 3 disposable diapers, 4 GroVia cloth diapers, clothes from our registry that are discontinued, a closet organizing system, and we bought a high chair on clearance about 3 years ago.

We have also accumulated lots of hand-me-downs over the past few months from friends and family: barely used glider & footstool, 2 car seats with 3 bases, small activity mat & little boppy, jumper, and lots of clothes.

The one perk of having lots of fertile friend is that most of them are done having kids! This is especially helpful as I’m preparing for an earlier maternity leave and longer stint on disability due to the pelvic girdle pain. 😦

And here is a picture

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So much to update…

Not sure where I’m at!

First, Hubster and I are good now. We took wonderful maternity pictures a few short hours after our big blowup-and had fun doing it! After 2 more near-meltdowns from me, he is learning when to shut his mouth and that not everything needs to be argued. Especially my feelings! But, I’m still worried so I requested that he attend therapy and we can get back to marriage counseling later, if needed.

Before anyone judges this plan for lack of equity, it’s there. Believe me. I have been in and out of therapy since childhood. Hubster and I come from very similar families in some ways (grew up in the same neighborhood with families of identical cultures), but very very different in others and I feel like I’ve adjusted my expectations and made allowances for him because of the way he was raised far more than he has for me.

My family is very affectionate and outwardly loving. We have no boundaries and nothing is off-limits to ask or tease about. Some of us have thicker skins than others, but since it’s always in fun, we just laugh. We are also mostly honest and direct. Though we adore each other, I think hurt feelings aren’t at the forefront of everyone’s minds.

Hubster’s family is MUCH more polite. Even though they are as close as my family, they respect boundaries and try not to step on anyone’s toes. They also do not hug, kiss, tickle, or playfully shove each other at all. They don’t ask nosy questions or gossip about each other.

Lucky for me, Hubster wishes his family were more like mine in the ways that I enjoy them. The affection, for one. Also, he likes to use me to get info he wants to know. (Sorry to his cousin who reads this blog!) Since I naturally just ask stuff no one in his family would dream of asking he always asks me ahead of time to ask his family questions he wants the answers to! I think it’s hilarious, but a little sad. And mind-boggling! I mean, their family is so close!

Anyway, another way his family (nuclear) is different is the lack of independence they encouraged. His parents have (and would continue if he wanted them to) done everything for their kids. Super sweet, at first. Now that Hubster is an independent adult (read: married), he realizes he is handicapped and now that I’m pregnant, he knows that I have picked up a lot of that slack over the years.

A lack of affection and initiative are the 2 things that will drive me the most bonkers and the love of my life has both. But I have learned to be patient with him, except that now it’s been 7 years and I’m done being patient. I’m grateful they are things he wants to be better at, though, so we don’t have any difficult decisions to make. At this moment lol.
*Edit: Also, having our son grow up in an affectionate household, with a healthy way of settling disagreements, and encouraging independence and a high self esteem built through learning to accomplish things is as important to Hubster as it is to me. And we agree that must be practiced now.

Ok, the maternity photo session was WAY better than I expected. I couldn’t believe I’d have fun posing for pictures for almost 2 hours! And so did my husband. We laughed a lot through the session and it was nice to feel that connected again. I told our photographer (a childhood friend who does photography on the side) I didn’t want the session to be about me and my bump, I really wanted it to be focused on the love that got us to this point. She printed all my pins from the board I created for this shoot and did them all. With a few of her own. And was patient with our furbabies! I’m so grateful. Here are the 10 we chose:

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I was so glad my wonderful hairdresser fit me in at the last moment to cut/style my hair and surprised me with doing my makeup! I cannot do my own “picture” hair and makeup to save my life lol!

That’s it for now. I’ll work on my very first (published) bumpdate next to include the nursery stuff, baby purchases and hand-me-downs, and my fetal monitoring US on Friday.

Thanks again for all your support, ladies! Once again, you’ve talked me down from a very regrettable ledge and I love you for it.

Marriage + hormones = unhappily ever after

We could barely survive my PMSing.

We barely survived Clomid.

Why did I think we should do IVF and try to survive pregnancy?

Let alone a newborn?

After 7 years, we still cannot survive my hormones. I have finally lost all hope that this marriage will last. Even knowing this baby is growing inside of me and feeling all this negative emotion isn’t enough for my husband to put his pride aside and do what he knows I need from him. So I think I’m done.

He, of course, tells me to calm down and that I’m overreacting. Which has the opposite effect. Obvs. After 7 years he somehow hasn’t learned to stop saying this to me when I’m hormonal and upset. So how do we get any better? I really don’t think we can.

25 weeks

WHAT?

I’m actually one of those pregnant ladies gearing up for their 3rd trimester now. 20 and 24 weeks seemed SO far away and all of a sudden I’m here! I was looking at Pinterest and saw all of these “baby after miscarriage” pins yesterday and totally broke down. OMG it’s almost more heartbreaking those babies were lost now that we’re actually having a child, then when the losses happened. And the gravity of this blessing was so heavy. It still is sometimes.

Anyway, not to be a downer. This pregnancy is going really well. Here’s a pic from 24w6d.

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This top was from my Stitch Fix box and for reference, by bubes are still 38DD here. (WHAT) Also, please excuse how giant this pic is. I’m posting from my phone. I’ll fix it from my laptop later.

It has happened

I had that dream last night.

I dreamt that I lost my baby. I can remember the fear, the denial, and the painful heartbreak. I can remember everything I was doing in my dream before it happened and after. I haven’t had a vivid dream in several days so it’s even more shocking to have had this one.

I’m 2 days from 24 weeks. 6 months. Viability. And I feel as vulnerable as I did at 4 weeks. I was fine until this week. I just keep thinking that I only have days to go for another milestone and now I’m just shattered. I still have days to go.

And now we have a crib. Our first baby shower is on 7/25 so we’re already getting gifts from our registry. The nursery is filling up and we’re still days away from viability. Ugh.

Many days I long for time to fast forward so that I’m holding my healthy baby in my arms. But at the same time, I know how much I will miss feeling this baby growing inside of me. Yes, pregnancy is painful and uncomfortable for me. I have less comfortable days than not, and have for the last 4 months. But every roll, flip, kick, and punch I feel makes ask the pain, fear, and discomfort worth it.

I never thought I’d have this chance after losing every pregnancy I had before this one. I thought for sure my path to motherhood would be through adoption and had prepared myself to mourn not ever being pregnant. I actually had already started that grieving process actually. So I think I really cherish every part of pregnancy.

Then to dream that my body had already lost this baby boy I’m so in love with, it was utterly devastating. To the point that I was in serious denial. It’s amazing how much this baby means to me already. He’s my sole focus and his health and comfort mean more to me than anything right now.

I now understand how mothers make their child their whole world and am even more determined not to do that. My feelings about Hubster have already changed. I love him so much more deeply than I ever have, yet at the same time, I don’t have the same need for him in my life. Maybe it’s a more healthy love I feel? I don’t know. But I do know that in my heart, it’s now me and my son against the world and that scares me.

Maybe this dream was good. I got to realize actual fears I have-about this pregnancy and the change in my marriage. So now I can work on continuing to build a strong partnership with Hubster before this child comes and understand that it’s ok to be afraid.

But shit, no matter what good comes of it, that dream s.u.c.k.e.d.

Taking advantage of 2nd trimester energy

Sunday night ended the last of 10 crazy days.

Thank God.

Friday of father’s day weekend we went on a 3-day camping trip with Hubster’s brothers, nephews, and cousins. It was hot, but totally bearable with the small hand held fan, giant battery-powered fan for the tent, and an insulated water bottle with built-in sprayer. Also, the elevated air mattresses helped. We hiked a short 1.6 miles but it was exhausting. I was glad to have my trekking poles even though it was a relatively easy hike.

The pelvic girdle pain that started at 19 weeks has gotten progressively worse so I’m being a lot more careful about wearing belly/back support, doing yoga poses that strengthen and stretch my back and hips, alternating between sitting/standing often. If I’m not able to stand as often as my tailbone needs, I now carry a lovely donut around to sit on lol.

The day after arriving home from camping I went into work at 7:00 a.m. for a few hours and then headed off on a 4-day business trip. Luckily a friend of mine was able to stay the 3 nights with me and take the train into work each morning. We ate too much for dinner and had too much ice cream each night, but it was wonderful. I was productive each evening also! I got the first piece of art for the nursery, got my car washed, and my first mani/pedi in almost 2 months! Then we got down to business and watched 2-3 episodes of Scandal each night to finish the season. Wow! What a finale! I’ve been having a hard time being away from home (and Hubster) since getting pregnant so it was nice having my friend with me.

On the last day of my trip I met some family at their house to drive down to LA with. We had my grandmother’s 80th birthday party and my cousin’s college graduation to attend down there. As if that wasn’t enough for a weekend trip, my cousin and I decided to throw in a visit to Disneyland as well!

Disneyland at 23 weeks pregnant is tough, but so worth it! It was so much fun! And it was nice knowing it would be my last trip without working with a child’s schedule or tantrums. I got our little family the 60th anniversary ears and almost cried when they embroidered “Mom”, “Dad”, and “Baby” (with our last name) on the backs. That’s US! So weird. I also got the baby a Baby Stitch since he’s one of my favorite Disney characters and it totally goes with the nursery theme. It was hard seeing all the cute Minnie stuff I thought I would be buying for my daughter, but ultimately it’s ok.

After a busy weekend of Disneyland, the beach, and family celebrations, I could not wait to be home. Sitting in the car for over 6-hours was really tough though. My tailbone was not happy with me, even though I tried to pamper it.

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Lesson learned. No car rides longer than 2-hours while pregnant.

And now that I’m home, it was back to work Monday morning. No rest for the weary. Not until my rotating day off on Friday, that is!

I have a prenatal on Thursday so I’ll do a pregnancy update then. For now, I’m just trying to survive work, my growing belly, and nurture the relationships in my life. I feel so overwhelmed sometimes, but even more grateful for this life and the blessings in it.

Holy gas pain!

I blame endo for having awful digestion issues-from pooping almost exclusively after constipation or as diarrhea, constant flatulence, and lots of abdominal discomfort-but none of them can hold a candle to my GI issues as a prego.

This is the 2nd morning I woke up with intense gas pains. They spread across my whole belly and are so intense it takes my breath away. And for a few seconds, I was convinced I had lost this little baby boy as there is no way he could survive this pain. Immediately I drank a ton of water, put a heating pad on my belly and struggled to get on to my left side. I passed a little gas, but nothing brought relief.

Until I felt this sweet boy moving and kicking around. He’s alive!

Then I asked Hubster to Google gas x and immediately ate 2 chewables the second we saw it was ok. But no, no relief in sight, other than a decrease in the intensity of pain. I sat on the toilet twice, but that was only more uncomfortable. I think Hubster ordered a squatty potty for me though lol! I think he was freaking out a little bit too, honestly.

Now I’m starving and in pain while the little man dances away. I’m hoping a smoothie and bowl of cereal will help move things along.

Any tips? I read eating prunes daily helps, but is there anything else I can do? It’s so paaaaainful.