And Now to Wrap Up “Bomb Dropping Wednesday”
Yep, for reals.
You read that correctly.
I’m 15 weeks along. I know what you’re thinking. Yes, my boobs look amazing. Thank you for noticing.
Many of you remember my post about the infertility we were facing, and the kindness, encouragement, and prayers you all showed/gave were amazing.
This post is going to be long, happy, exhausting, and emotional, so grab something delicious to drink, tuck your feet up on the couch and let’s get down to the brass tacks.
But before you know anything else, please know this.
As you read in my previous post, we had had zero luck trying for another kid. In early March, we had an appointment with the wonderful folks at Seattle Reproductive Medicine. Let me say, these people know how to deal with emotional folks. The lovely receptionist gave us hugs before checking us in, and then level of kindness and respect we were shown for the entire appointment was overwhelming. They went over some test results of some let’s say…sampling Troy had done earlier, and basically we were told we were in the category of “unexplained fertility”. They couldn’t say why two healthy people in their 30’s (one with shall I say aggressive swimmers. Sorry Troy. Don’t worry, the six guys who read my blog are high fiving you right now) couldn’t have a freaking baby.
And I’d like to point out that never once during that appointment with FERTILITY doctor, we were told it would happen if we relaxed. Sorry, have to get it out there. Still feel bitter on behalf of anyone else with fertility issues for getting that “advice” from people.
I had a HSG scheduled for the following week at a hospital closer to home than the fertility clinic, and our doctor said she would review the report as soon as the radiologist sent it.
For anyone who doesn’t want to read the link about the HSG, basically a doctor shoves a tube up your cervix, inflates a little balloon and shoots some dye in to your lady parts. That dye is then tracked via xray to see if there is any blockage in your tubes preventing the eggs from reaching where it is supposed to. Essentially, I took to calling it “the Roto Cooter”.
Hey, six guys who read my blog, where you going…?
The next week, my vagina and I reported for the procedure, and I was fired up! I had been told it was a pretty fast procedure, so imagine my surprise when after 15 minutes, the doctor told me my cervix wasn’t “cooperating” and could we try this (fill in the blank of what I did over the next 15 minutes: propped myself up on pillows, put one leg in the air, and pretty much stood on my head at one point). I was sweating why he finally announced that I was in the very small population of women with too much scar tissue on their cervix to perform the HSG without knocking me out to just plow through it without making me pass out.
I remember being so close to tears saying “I had a med free birth and can deal. Can you please just jam it in there”?
Hippocratic oath smitocratic oath. He turned me down.
I said thanks so much, got dressed, and my vagina and I high tailed it to the car, making it with 10 microseconds to spare before the ugly sobbing and shoulder wracking crying started. Well by not being able to do the procedure, I guess we had our answer…my shit was too blocked up for the egg and sperm to meet up and do their thing.
I emailed my reproductive doctor (I couldn’t trust actually talking to anyone on the phone at that point) asking her to knock me out and shove a tube in me. She was booked for the window where you can do a HSG in a woman’s cycle, but said to call her during the start of my next cycle. For anyone who has already waited awhile to have a baby, being told this cycle is essentially useless is a hard thing to hear.
At the start of the next cycle, I gave her a call and she said “let me try it just once before we have to go to the extent of knocking you out”. My britney and came to the office on day seven of my cycle, hoisted ourselves up in to the stirrups, and were prepared to be disappointed (devastated) again. Imagine our (my britney and my own) surprise when the reproductive doctor had that tube up there in about 17 seconds. Say whaaaaaaaa? She basically said (and I am paraphrasing) that when vaginas are your daily beat, you know a thing or two about a thing or two. I even took a photo of what my uterus and tubes looked like up on the screen with dye and contrast in them, and well even though I share a lot around here, I don’t think we’re all ready to be that intimate.
I was able to watch the dye pulsing through my tubes and everything looked clear and connected and where it should be. The doctor said that typically the first few cycles after a HSG, there is a slight increase in fertility because everything is all squeaky clean and free of flotsam and jetsam. I said “ok, sure, we’ll see you next cycle for the IUI“. And then I went about my merry way.
Hold that, I got a milkshake. Pineapple. Troy thinks that is weird, but I love it. And then I went back to work.
We saved up money for the IUI that next cycle, but still kept um, giving it the old college try. I never relaxed, or gave up, or anything like that. I still took my damn temp every fucking morning, and still peed on ovulation sticks every fucking afternoon. It was business as usual. I even continued to shave my legs to try to “woo” my poor overly worked husband. Pity him friends.
My chart that cycle was different than others, but I had different ones before and had read too much in to them in the past. Any chart stalker will tell you that it is a complete and utter mind fuck to try to figure out what that little temp is trying to tell you. Any twinges, feelings, or “symptoms” I had were pushed aside, because “been there, done that. Have the t-shirt of utter disappointment”.
There were a few little signs on a Monday and a Tuesday midway through my cycle, but again they were ignored. After cycles of testing before my period was due and seeing that one damn line, I resolved to never test again until my period was overdue.
And then, the teachers of my school district RUINED MY DAY.
Our local district had a one day walkout, and were picketing on my way to work. As I passed some and gave them a supportive honk, honest to god I semi-burst in to tears. TEARS. I was so proud of my family because of all the educators we have, and I was just overwhelmed for these teachers.
I texted Troy that day saying I was going to the grocery store that night to get him some more lunch meat for the week. I walked in to the store, got a test (and some lunch meat) and talked to myself throughout the whole store saying “ok, it’s Wednesday, you can test on Friday if your period still isn’t here”. Somehow between the produce section and the checkout aisle, I made the decision to NOT WASTE THAT TEST. Take it home, and pee on it in two days.
Imagine my surprise when five minutes later, I found myself in a bathroom stall at the grocery store at 5:30 pm at night, hands shaking so badly that I peed everywhere but on the stick. I had to do it again because, you know, aim.
I finished my business, closed my eyes and said a prayer I had prayed a hundred times. The test said to wait for results in two minutes. About 30 seconds in to it, I opened my eyes and there were two VERY dark lines.
I went home shaking, crying, and alternatively screaming to tell Troy.
Only to find my mom upstairs after eating dinner, and not budging. She would NOT go downstairs for what seemed like 400 hours. I wanted to tell Troy without an audience.
She finally left (we all think this is funny now), and when Jack was distracted, I called Troy in to the kitchen. And then Jack came running up behind him and totally hammed it up for the entire “reveal”. Thankfully Jack didn’t get it.
That was a Wednesday. That Sunday, we were sitting in church and someone talked about a fundraiser for homeless kids in our community to go to summer camp. And then our community resources coordinator talked about a single mom working multiple jobs who was about the be evicted. I wrote two checks using our IUI money, and thanked the good lord for our amazing gift.
We told our family a few weeks later during Troy’s birthday dinner. Jack and I had worked on a book for Troy, and Jack had worked really hard to illustrate and color it. At the end we put an “About the Author” in there that basically just said “Jack is six years old, lives in Washington, loves Nerf guns and Minecraft, and wants to be a cowboy fireman like his dad when he grows up”. I printed off the book and left the original “About the Author” in there, but made a separate one that ended with “and will become a big brother in January 2016”. Jack read the whole book to the family, and then got to the About the Author, and then there was a fifteen second delay and all hell broke loose. We have it on video, but Jack’s voice is too low to really hear it, and the last 20 seconds of the video is just my sister-in-law bum rushing me and screaming. Jack is extremely excited, and is very doting and kind to me. He declared an end to shooting me with Nerf darts so that he doesn’t hurt the baby.
So, we’re thrilled, blessed, and excited. I’m due January 27th, which ironically is the day the giant almost two year project at work is due. Way to go me! Oh, and it’s another boy. A lot has changed in the SEVEN years since I have been pregnant. Apparently there is now a blood test you can do around 12 weeks to test for genetic disorders (it would never change our mind about the pregnancy, but we would like to know and be prepared with appropriate resources), and can also extract the baby’s DNA to predict gender. You could have knocked my butt over with a feather when I found THAT out! No more waiting until 20 weeks like a sucker, or even longer like those bizarre freaks I can’t understand who wait until the baby is born to find out. A type A organizer who took medical intervention to get pregnant? Let’s just say the shock of even finding out I am pregnant is enough of a “surprise” for me!
Anyone who knew me when I was pregnant with Jack, pretty much said the same first two things when they found out. “Congrats”!!! and “Ohhhh…how are you”? Because let’s just say I was sick as a freaking dog with Jack. Like puking 5-15 times a day sick. As in, losing 12 pounds in two weeks sick. As in, when I told someone at my last company that I was pregnant, he said “oh thank god, I thought you had cancer”. That kind of sick. And it didn’t stop until almost the third trimester.
This one is still challenging at times, but is nothing like Jack. Which of course led us to think we were having a girl. In all honesty, my nutrition and my knowledge about what my body needs is so different from when I was pregnant with my crazy toe headed ninja. With Jack, it was “carbs, carbs, carbs” all the time, because that is what everything you ever read about sickness tells you to consume. NOW, knowing what I know, I realized I was totally spiking my blood sugar like a crazy person. No wonder I was so sick! Even when I was so super sick with Jack, my body kept craving protein (specifically deviled eggs from Clementines deli in Los Angeles on Santa Monica Blvd), but I couldn’t keep anything down and thus, the protein escaped my lips.
This pregnancy, I vowed that no matter how sick I was, I would consume some sort of protein. And I have pretty much stuck to that plan. The second I feel sick, I have some yogurt, a hard boiled egg, or a slice of cheese and I always feel just a bit better. It’s amazing what proper nutrition can do to improve an overall “blech” feeling. I’ve still lost weight, but only about six pounds; a welcome relief. As I like to say, my worst day in this pregnancy, was the best day in my pregnancy with Jack. This pregnancy, I hiked 5 miles at 8,000 foot elevation in Colorado, and got to keep down amazing and delicious food. I ate a cricket protein bar. I have not been on the couch in the fetal position the entire time.
The first bite of most meals is always touch and go whether or not the food will stay put. The second morning in Denver, my friend Anne made paleo pancakes. She watched me take the first bite, dry heave, and remarked “so, I guess you don’t like my pancakes…”? I loved them Anne. They were delicious.
I’m also incredibly tired. Like, when Jack slept 90 minutes at a time, and I commuted 2.5 hours a day tired. I wasn’t tired with Jack (or maybe I was too sick to notice?), but I’m exhausted this time. It might be because I wake up every hour at night (the oddest thing is if I sleep on one side for more than an hour, my ear is on fire) or um, I don’t know, I’m seven years older than last time! With Jack, I only had myself and Troy on occasion to take care of in a tiny apartment. Now, I have a garden, more people in the house, a bigger house to clean, etc. The funny thing is, with Jack, I worked much harder at work and way more hours.
I’m still able to work out, and I think that has been huge in terms of how I feel overall. Staying active and positive as much as I can helps.
And now for the Debbie Downer moment. As excited and happy as I am, I feel so freaking guilty. All the time. I feel guilty that we got out of this relatively easy. Why did we get to have our miracle with relatively little expensive and invasive treatments, when amazing people who deserve a child just as much as we do, don’t have that level of success? I can’t explain it, I certainly don’t understand it, but I always feel like we won the lottery at the expense of others. It might be irrational, but it is how I feel and I can’t control it. Infertility is a motherfucker, and is so unfair to all parties involved.
I’ll be honest in that I don’t quite know how to talk about baby stuff on here, while knowing that for some people it’s a sensitive, painful topic. Ignoring it won’t work, because I blog about my life, and this is a fairly big part of my life. Please understand that if you feel like you just can’t read my blog anymore, I totally understand.
So that’s that. The good, the exciting, the guilt, the emotion. It’s a mixed bag, but something I will never forget in my whole life. Here is what I do know:
- We’re incredibly blessed
- We don’t take it for granted
- I hope this calmer pregnancy means a calmer child, because no one (especially me) can handle a second Jack. The world ain’t ready for that folks.
- I had always anticipated having a daughter in my life. We’re done after two kids, so it isn’t happening. Once I got over the shock (happy shock) of finding out this one was a boy, I thought “what an honor to be able to teach another man to treat his wife (or husband, hell, I don’t care I just want a happy child) with dignity and respect”. I get one more chance to send a male out in to the world who can cook, be handy, be funny, be smart, be genuine, and respect people. And god help me, at least one of these boys will learn to deal with a freaking common cold without acting like they are dying.
- I hope this kid likes me. From the second they put Jack on my chest (and he did a push up and looked around), homeboy has ONLY had eyes for Troy. Had it not been for my boobs in that first year, he would have wanted nothing from me. That whole “Momma’s boy” stuff is a load of crap.
I’m guessing for a few of you, the whole quitting my job is making a lot more sense now, huh? Now that Troy had a really good full-time solid job with benefits, we ran the numbers. After paying for two kids in daycare, I’d essentially be working for minimum wage. Troy can pick up an extra shift a month and make up for what I would be bringing home.
I also work late. A lot. And my commute is over 90 minutes a day. I already get up at 4:30 am to get ready, get Jack ready, get him to daycare, and get to work on time. Adding a separate day care drop off to that mix would be insanity. As of now, if Jack gets sick, we’re left scrambling at 5 am to find alternate care, reschedule my clients, or beg someone just anyone to watch this kid because Troy has to work and I have a presentation to give to 90 people at 8:30 am. Now, when I work late, it’s an act of God to get late coverage for Jack. If I suddenly tried to thrust an infant in to that mix, it just wouldn’t happen.
And so, we have big changes ’round these parts. Big changes for our family, but all exciting and slightly terrifying. I look forward to sharing our joy, laughter, heart-stopping fears, and silliness with you. Thanks for being a part of our journey and our family.
*special thanks again to my friend Kat for always being willing to help me out with Photoshopping stuff!