Wednesday, October 26, 2011

coming out

so I am starting to tell people . . . but I admit it is weird

I am getting questions I haven't really been ready for

"how long are you going to work for?"  hadn't really thought about that.  I mean ideally I would like to feel great and work up to my due date.  But lets face it, this may not be a straightforward pregnancy and I have a physically demanding job. (I don't really sit down for more than 5-10 minutes at a time and there are some very long OR days and call nites.)

Heres another thing I wan't prepped for:  My work will not grant me paid maternity leave.

wasn't expecting that one.  I have been told that I can use my vacation time and my sick leave, but after that . . . I'm on my own.  I think this is supposed to motivate me to come back faster.  Thanks but no thanks.  I am taking the longest amount of time that I can.  I have been waiting too long for this.  If I have to eat top ramen to stay home with my baby, so be it.

What it does mean is that I need to work as long as I can, and I should probably pick up extra shifts if I can.  Not easy because physical activity makes me contract, and contracting makes me paranoid.

There is definitely a balance to reach here and I haven't figured out what that is yet. I guess time will tell.

Until then I wonder if I can make a living blogging?

just kidding :)

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Normal Chromosomes!!!

Shes a little 46 XX Baby!!!!!  A good number when it comes to genetic material.

Its funny - after the ultrasound I realized I was already pretty bonded.

There was something about seeing a structurally normal heart that meant to me that she wouldn't have to have repeated surgeries in her first year that to me was the turning point.  If she had downs after that point, sure I would be scared of all the challenges and the chances of stillbirth, but I wouldn't let her go.  I made peace with it before I got the results.

I still had the need-to-know aspect of my brain and I am glad I did the amnio anyway (still crossing fingers for no delayed complications) because I can't tell you how good I feel right now.

Its finally becoming real.  I am going to have a baby.

(happy tears!)

Thursday, October 13, 2011


Its a girl!

She looks normal.

Amnio done but I'm no longer worried.

All I am is thrilled.

the really good news and the kind of frustrating news

I got a message yesterday "Hi... this is so-and-so from the genetics center here at the big old university hospital . . . can you please give me a call because we may need to cancel your amnio tomorrow."


So I called back.  I had dropped off my 2nd trimester sample for the screening program a week ago.  Apparently my hormones are more normal now which dropped the downs risk to 1/340.  This is the most awesome news I could have hoped for.  (I happen to refer a decent amount of patients there myself and I know the genetic counselor from many patient interactions.  We had a very frank discussion after my nuchal that this does not happen often to have a risk drop so much on further analysis.)

Problem is - I dropped below the screening cutoff for an amnio to be paid for by the program.  So now they don't think there will be enough time for them to get authorization from my insurance company for the amnio.  And technically since I will be the age 34.97 at the time of delivery (due date is a couple days before my birthday), I do not qualify for an amnio automatically.

uuuuughhhh (frustration)

Interestingly this is not a screening results I would have gotten an amnio for before. But now after 4 weeks of stressing out over this - I kind of feel like it may be the only way to get some comfort and reassurance.

"well . . . you could wait another week for the authorization to come through"

seriously?  I am already laughably hiding this and 16 wk tomorrow.  If I have to wait another week I will be almost 17 and then about 19 by the time results come back. (which is kind of late to make any decisions) Now at this point, after making it this far,  I am not sure I would change anything even if it did come back abnormal.  But at this point I mentally need the information so I can prepare myself for whatever.

They offered the suggestion that I could pay for it myself, but 2K seems a little steep.  even though its a lot less than the IVF, it still isn't pocket change if the funding may come through at a later time.

So I guess we will see if I get my amnio or not - I get to show up and wait for them to get authorization.

Overall I am still happy, just not really reassured yet.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

frame of reference

Its funny - I can't yet refer to it as a baby.  Its like I cant get my hopes too up right now and think that its something I actually have.

Sure medically I can call it a fetus, but with my husband we just refer to it as fruit.  Theres a little app I downloaded that tells you how bit it is per week and we just call it that.

A couple weeks ago there were such sayings as "don't squish the peach in those pants", last week "the lemon is making my stomach upset" and this week "the navel orange is jumping".  White its fun and cute and like a little inside joke between the hubbie and I - its like our little defense mechanism against falling in love with this little thing too early.

Something tells me I'm going to have attachment issues, although after the infertility, I think thats a given.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


It is still hard for me to fathom that I am in the double digits of weeks let alone the 2nd trimester.  With all the disappointments along the way, I had set myself up mentally to be able to handle a first trimester loss.  Not that I expected it, but I did recognize that it was a possibility.

But here I am still pregnant, although not really out of the woods.  There is no mental setup for what could be.  I just have to ignore possibilities for now and ride this one out.

So even though I am still trying to hide it - I am VERY visibly pregnant.  Enough that people are commenting.  I look about 24 wk instead of 14.  I have not seen many people pooch out like I have - and I have seen my fair share of pregnant bellies. 

I think I am huge for a few reasons:
1) ovary on top of the uterus.  Its like having a counterproductive twin.  The good side is that my uterus is now larger than my ovary (not that I think my big ol' gagnormo gonad is shrinking but at least it has stopped the rapid conquest for pelvic real estate).
2) I was so big from the IVF ovarian masses at 5 wk that I think it stretched things out a bit.  (Its like my belly was primed and ready to go)
3) I lost a decent amount of weight 2 yr ago and kept it off for all the fertility treatment.  I had a tiny waist after the diet - not anymore!
4) I am lovin' the carbs - my perfect meal is a salad with balsamic and a half a baguette.  (although I have really only put on about 5 lb - the fat pad on the top of my belly has claimed all of it)

It all still feels like a bit of pretend to me.  Like I am dressing up as a princess (because there is still a component of feeling like it is not real).   I hate to admit it but I can't tell you how many times I tried to push out my belly and look in the mirror and pretend I was pregnant - and now here I am - and its really happening.

It was fun being out of town and wearing whatever I wanted to - I didn't have to hide it.  I could just hang out looking like a pregnant person at the pool in my bikini (or at least a woman with a very odd body shape).   I just wish I could be more proud of it, but right now I have to keep it covered.   Emotionally because I don't really want people knowing before I have more info, but physically its getting difficult because it is a decent amount to hide.

Despite the big sweaters and the strategically placed sweatshirts, I am loosing the battle.  Two days ago one of my nurses called me out on it, although she made me feel better because she knew I was trying.  Today though - I was talking to a colleague and I felt like I was a waitress at hooters.  I wanted to say "my eyes are up here" because I knew what she was staring at.

Crap.  Really what I want to do is run to the top of the mountain and yell to the world "I AM FINALLY PREGNANT!' but I just can't yet.  And I really wish people could mind their own business a little more just to give me a little more time.  

I hope one day though I will just look back at this and laugh.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


Today is the 14 year anniversary of my mother's passing.  You would think after 14 years it would be easier, but here I am, up since 3 am thinking about it.  Last year I actually remember thinking to myself that things were getting better, and compared to the early years - well, at least I am not crying anymore.  But this year is a little hard again.

In a large religious extended non-birth-controlled family there is the mini-unit of my immediate family with only 2 well spaced children.  In the context of knowing she had endometriosis and finding a letter in my baby book that mentioned her infertility, I have my theories about the whole thing.  My father refuses to talk about any of it.  Would have been nice over the past few years to have her talk me through it.  Would have been nicer to have her now to talk me through this.

Aw crap.  Tears.  Darn hormones.

She did teach me a good lesson.  I remember clearly her pregnancy with my sister, and being a 5 year old - Well I remember being very verbal about how much I wanted a girl and not a brother.  Every time I said it she would just tell me that I should just pray for it to be healthy.

Several people have asked me along the way what gender I am hoping for, and I respond the way that I did when I was taught when I was 5. When I was 5 though, it was just a programmed response.  The depth to its meaning now is way beyond.  Its a weird connection when you realize that your mother went through the turmoil you are currently in and you have to somehow figure out how she felt without being able to ask.

Nothing good has ever happened in october.  In different years, it was the month she was diagnosed, it was the month her cancer came out of remission, and it is the month she died.  We have no happy memories in october - no family birthdays, anniversaries or celebrations as a distraction.  With the advent of breast cancer awareness month it is this amazing daily reminder of how much this disease has taken from me.  The pink ribbons on everything, the grocery store asking for donations, the walks, the commercials.  All just a little pick axe chipping away at me.

Don't get me wrong - anything that reminds women to go out and get their mammograms makes me happy.  (Its not a pure coincidence I changed my career or went into Women's health.) This campaign saves many lives on a yearly basis and it is completely worth it, and if I had more personal strength I would be out there with a pink-ribbon sign too.  The constant reminders in October are just a little poor timing on a personal level and are sometimes a bit tough.

So I need this to be an October with some good news.  Through these weeks of mental torture I need some courage and belief that I can have a healthy baby.

But right now, I just need my mom.