The Past Two Weeks

I just checked my last post and realized I’d dropped off the screen for a bit over one month *blushing* Somehow, it feels even longer than that.

In the past month, I’ve not only struggled with the usual first trimester-related fatigue but also with my asthma (which is now back in control unless the weather is aggravating it – like today), the heat waves, and a return to sick bay. Two weekends ago, we were at my in-laws for the weekend because we’d been invited to a wedding nearby. It was smack in the middle of the heat wave, with temperatures  closing in on 40° Celsius. And the little guy picked just that weekend to develop an ear infection accompanied by a fever. He was doing ok but of course we could not send him to childcare. So I got to spend another 3 of my “child sick days” (leaving me with a meager 3 for the remaining 5.5 months of the year) and hubby spent part of his overtime to stay home for the remaining 2 days of the week. Those 3 days at home with the little guy were easily the most challenging days of this year. He was either extremely whiny and irritable because of the pain in his ears or sugar-high hyper after a dose of toddler ibuprofen. Because of the heat and his refusal to leave the apartment, I had a pretty bad case of cabin fever on the second day and was more than happy about the supermarket run I could do on my own because hubby at left work early. Going back to work on Thursday almost felt like paradise.

On Friday, my sister-in-law came to visit with her husband and 10-month-old daughter. Thankfully, the little guy was better and the heat outside had reduced to “normal” summertime temperatures. So we proceeded with our plan to go to the Zoo on Saturday. I’d started feeling a bit ill on Friday – the little guy had passed his cold on to me. This combined with the still hot weather and the exertion of walking around the Zoo all day finally made me feel pregnant. I hadn’t felt pregnant at all in the weeks before, ever since the nausea had stopped and the first trimester exhaustion had gotten better. That day, I felt my growing uterus grow “hard” quite a lot and was quite exhausted at the end of the day. Sunday was even worse and I spent as much time as possible on the sofa surrounded by the hubbub created by a 2,5-year-old defending his toys from a 10-month-old trying to copy his every move. That weekend had more than one moment that made me seriously question the wisdom of having another child.

At one point in the evening I decided I was feeling miserable enough to take my temperature and discovered I was running a slight fever. So I decided to go see my general practitioner in the morning after dropping the little guy of at healthcare. The doc heard me coughing as I was sitting in the waiting area and as entered the treatment room a couple of minutes later, he welcomed me with the comment: “Mrs RelaxedNoMore is coughing. And pregnant. So there’s nothing to do but order sick leave for you.” As I was still feeling pretty miserable, I was very glad to hear this, even though this meant another week away from work (I haven’t been exactly busy at work for several months now, so it doesn’t really matter. But I need to put in some overtime to save up for the weeks before my maternity leave starts).

Monday afternoon I took the little guy to the pediatrician to have some blood drawn for a screening for diabetes type I that is being offered for free through some kind of state-wide study. He was very brave, showing the doctor’s assistant which finger to prick and not shedding a single tear. I was very proud of him! Afterwards, we went to the toy store strategically located on the ground floor of the doctor’s office building. He selected 3 Playmobil figurines – 1 for himself, 1 for me and 1 one for his dad ;-)

On Thursday, I was already feeling better and enjoyed the walk through the park as I was walking from the bus station to my ob/gyn’s office. I was glad to learn my blood pressure was low enough to be in the normal range even in the doctor’s office (it’d always been in the normal range at home but usually is higher at the doctor’s office) and that at least on the doctor’s scales, I had barely gained weight in the past 4 weeks. Unfortunately, I’m already up 3-4kg from my lowest pre-pregnancy weight, about twice as much as at the same time during the pregnancy with the Butzerl. The US then showed a hale and hopefully healthy baby measuring at 75.7mm crown-rump-length, which the computer translated to 13+0 – 1cm more at 12+5 than the little guy had at 13+1. Then again, “Baby Lu” is probably a couple of days older than its calculated age. This is definitely an upside of IVF: knowing the exact date of conception.  The US also showed that I’ve got an anterior placenta again. So it will be awhile until I feel Baby Lu’s kicks.

I celebrated the good news by visiting my friend at her babywearing store, having lunch at one of our favorite bistro restaurants and buying some fresh fruit from the market. When I got home at about 2 o’clock, with 1.5 hours left before I had to pick up the little guy at childcare, I was pretty beat and promptly fell asleep on the sofa. Luckily not before setting the alarm on my cellphone. The little guy was a happy but slightly tired little camper when I picked him up – they were outside in the yard running through the sprinkler to cool off.

A couple of hours later, at dinner time, he refused to eat and I noticed that he was pretty hot to the touch. I took his temperature and discovered he was running a fever. Again. I thought it might be due to the heat and him not drinking enough, especially since he asked for a double serving of milk instead of dinner. I gave him some toddler ibuprofen  so he could sleep. Sometime during the night I gave him another dose since the fever had returned and he’d gotten quite restless. He was okay almost all through the morning, and then the fever returned once more, again running up to 39 Celsius within a rather short time making. We took him to see the pediatrician since I feared another ear infection. His ears were fine though, and the doc quickly diagnosed scarlet fever. Yay. Not. Again, the little guy’s timing proofed perfect since today was the childcare place’s summer party, which we’d all been looking forward to. The doc prescribed penicillin and told as to give him toddler ibuprofen for the pain. Unfortunately, the little guy refused to take the ibuprofen and so he suffered throughout the afternoon. His fever ran up to 40 Celsius and he spend almost all the time sleeping and drowsing on my lap. This would have been quite comfy if we hadn’t been smack in the middle of another heat wave. Nobody needs a toddler running 40-degree fever on her lap when it’s 27 Celsius inside the apartment. Sometime during the late afternoon/early evening he got a headache (the first of his young life) and after some time finally agreed to take some ibuprofen. 30 minutes later he was no longer a little zombie but a lively kid. Of course, this also meant he wouldn’t sleep until 10pm. This morning showed that the Penicillin was doing its work pretty well – while the little guy was still clearly not ok yet, at least the fever was gone.

As for me, I’m still not over my cold. The sniffles are better but the cough isn’t. As if that wasn’t bad enough, today the weather is really humid, making my asthma act up in a most annoying way. Nevertheless, it will be back to work on Monday. We’ll keep the little guy home from daycare but thankfully my in-laws aren’t working this week and can make the 200km journey to take care of him while I go to the office or work from home.

Oh, by the way: how the heck can I be in the second trimester already? I still haven’t fully realized I’m actually pregnant, with a live baby in my belly.

 

#Microblog Mondays: Pregnancy News and Clothes Shopping

Microblog_MondaysFirst, for all waiting on pregnancy-related news: I had an appointment with my ob/gyn last Wednesday and the US scan showed a right-sized embryo with a heartbeat. I haven’t had the energy to blog about it right away since  I was battling nausea and exhaustion. The former almost disappeared ever since I started taking Nausema (a Vitamin B supplement designed to help with pregnancy nausea), the latter keeps coming and going. This Thursday I get to go to the university hospitals “gestosis clinic” for a consult – I’m definitely not looking forward to it since I expect it to cost me the entire morning. A week later I’ll have my next ob/gyn appointment.

We’re invited to a wedding on July 4th. The wedding starts in the afternoon, the dress code is “formal evening wear”. Needless to say, I now longer own any pieces of clothing even remotely fitting that description that still fit me. The last time I had the occasion to wear something of that type was my own wedding 5 years and about 15 pounds ago.

I’d been planning to wear a simple light-blue silk maxi dress I bought during my pregnancy with the Butzerl and “pimp” it with a blazer or a scarf. When I tried it on two days ago, I found that while it still fits, it makes me look about 7-8 months pregnant. Not a look I’ll want to go with when I won’t even be out of the first trimester.

I’d planned to do some online shopping today but on a whim went to our local department store on my way home from work. I left with another silk maxi dress that while not hiding my paunch, at least makes it less obvious because it’s not solid color but with a large paisley-like pattern; a matching scarf; a light beige half-sleeved blazer to go with the dress; a matching clutch bag; a  necklace and bracelet.

I don’t know if I’ll keep everything – I’m thinking of returning the scarf (if one of my solid-color scarves goes with the dress or I find one somewhere else), the blazer, or the necklace and bracelet (if I decide my pearls look better). The entire purchase put me back almost 400€  – definitely not something I can effort. Still, it was the first time in ages since I’ve bought nice clothes for myself and it definitely made me feel better.

So far so good

I’ve been feeling pretty much like s.hit for the past couple of days. And it’s not because I’m pregnant but because I caught some of nasty bug my kid brought home from child care. He’s barely suffering more than a runny nose and a little cough every now and then but I’ve had a mean cold since late Sunday evening. Monday was a public holiday so I could spend most of the day on the sofa while hubby was entertaining the little guy. Monday evening I decided to call in sick and stay home from work another two days. I’m feeling a bit better, at least my temperature is back to normal, but I’m still contemplating staying home for another day.

After taking the kid to daycare yesterday morning, I went back home for breakfast, a shower and some rest and the headed back out to go to my ob/gyn appointment. I’d had an appointment for my annual PAP smear last week Monday but postponed it to this week when my period didn’t show up in time and I thought I’d still be bleeding on Monday. Well, you all know why it didn’t show up :-) I still went by there on my way to work to tell the receptionist about my surprise pregnancy and discuss what to do with the appointment. We decided to keep the appointment for this week but move it up from Thursday afternoon to Tuesday morning. She took a look at my temp chart, agreed with my interpretation and asked me to keep on taking my temperature until my appointment: “You don’t need to take a home pregnancy test, just keeping on taking your temp.”

Of course, you can’t take the infertile out of the pregnant, so I couldn’t stop myself from peeing on several sticks of decreasing sensitivity over the course of the week. They all kept saying the same: “pregnant”. The last one I peed on was on Sunday (at 5+1), when my temp scared me a bit by dropping a little. It was a Clearblue Digital with week indicator and said “pregnant 3+”. I think I don’t have to tell you how relieved I was to see this.

So yesterday was big day #1. I was pretty calm despite being worried about the drop in temperature. The nervousness came when I was sitting in the waiting area. After the preliminaries, I was called in to the doc. We first did the PAP smear and then came the date with Ol’ Wandy. The first couple of seconds we could see nothing on the screen but uterus, so I was pretty tense. But then he found the right spot and we could see: the amniotic cavity containing a yolk sac and  a teeny tiny embryo that we guessed at more than we saw it. Since in my pregnancy with the little guy, we hadn’t been able to see anything at all at 5+2, I was more than relieved to see everything we were supposed to be seeing.

We filled out my maternity card and since I’d suffered from preeclampsia the last time around, the doc gave me a referral to the university hospital’s risk pregnancy clinic.

I’m barely pregnant and the stress of doctor’s appointments is already starting. But I’m not complaining – if there’s something I can do to increase my chances at a complication-free pregnancy, I’ll definitely do it.

So now comes the making and waiting for doctor’s appointments, the looking for a midwife, the booking of maternity classes. And for the next two weeks: hoping to see a heartbeat at my next ob/gyn appointment.

A Most Incredible Miracle

It feels so incredibly surreal.
7 weeks and 1 day after my 42nd birthday. 6 weeks after my third failed IVF cycle within the past 11 months ended.
4 days before my first appointment with a new RE.
As I’m in the process of reconciling myself with the end of my fertility and thinking about how to get hubby to agree to an egg donor cycle abroad and how to scratch up the money.
3 days after my menses were to show up after my usual short luteal phase (11 days at the most).

At 5:30 a.m. today, I got to hold this in my hands:

image

Grieving and Soul Searching

The last couple of days vacillated between “hell” and “ok”.  I started spotting Thursday afternoon (the weirdest spotting I’ve ever had), and all remaining hope died with the full-blown arrival of my period early Friday morning. The days since were filled with some open crying, lots of suppressed crying, suppressed anger at my husband (who I feel has not supported my efforts at having another child sufficiently, mostly because he’s drinking at least one beer almost every day), doubts and soul-searching. And of course, wonderful moments with my beautiful son.

I could see myself pregnant, “feel” a baby kicking inside me, see myself giving birth. See my son with this little brother or sister. In those moments, the grief hit me full-on and I cursed my lazy ovaries and my old, broken eggs.

I panicked at the thought of handling two small children on my own, of getting them ready in the morning and taking them to two different daycare places, all on my own. In those moments, I doubted my desire to have another child and felt renewed anger at my husband for not fulfilling his promise of getting a job here.

I talked to my almost 2,5-year old about how his best friend at daycare was about to be a big brother soon because his little brother would come out of his mom’s belly soon. And fought back the tears as he told me that he, too, had a baby in his belly and that his baby would come out soon. And that he would then need a big bicycle and a baby trailer for the bicycle so he could take his baby for a ride.

I almost started crying as I dropped the little guy off at daycare and the wonderful ladies there carefully inquired whether it had worked this time.

I nearly lost it as I called my RE’s place to let them know it hadn’t worked. Again.

I did research on egg donor programs in the Czech Republic.

I wrote emails in my mind to me RE asking him if and how we could increase my chances for success should we give my eggs another chance.

I hugged and cuddled my son a lot and thought about how I would miss those just-him-and-me moments of cuddling up on the sofa reading to him and talking if there was another child demanding my attention.

I proudly watched my son ride his tricycle to daycare and thought about how way too soon he would go to Kindergarten (daycare for over 3-6 year-olds) and would want to spend less and less time cuddling with his old mom.

"I want to ride my bicycle"

“I want to ride my bicycle”

I felt myself mired in my desires and fears, my anger and grief.

Yesterday morning, the owner of our daycare place told me that my friend’s waters had broken earlier in the morning and that they had dropped my son’s friend off to go to the hospital.

During the day, I felt the fog of indecision slowly lift.

This morning, I got a text message from my friend telling me that her second son had been born yesterday evening.

Somehow that was the trigger I needed to come out of my funk. I realized that yes, I want to be pregnant again, I want another baby. I’m not yet ready to give up. F.uck my ovaries and my insecurities. When my year of maternity leave was coming to an end, I panicked at the thought of getting the little guy ready in the morning, getting him to daycare and getting to work on time. All on my own. We worked it out and while it’s tough at times, mostly we got our groove together and it works just fine. The same would happen if there was a second child. Even if my husband was still commuting to work and away from home for 13 hours almost every day, the two kids and I would find our groove and would make it work.

So now comes the hard part: deciding on whether to give my eggs another chance or whether to go the donor route (a donor cycle in the Czech Republic is more expensive than an IVF cycle with my own eggs here – but the chance obviously are way higher, especially since most clinics offer certain guarantees with their donor programs). Doing the math and scratching up the money.

And the hardest part: convincing my husband.

Blehrg.

Still Negative

Both pee sticks (Clearblue Digital and Clearblue Digital with Conception Indicator) agreed on “not pregnant”. My temp is a bit higher, but says the same.
I’m not too disappointed, since I expected this. Too many people on my online board had the same experience.
It still sucks.
Maybe there was implantation but the embryo didn’t develop further. I’ll never know.
But I’d rather have it this way than a low beta followed by weeks of uncertainty and fear.

Still don’t know whether to fight on and try again with my own eggs, whether to go abroad and try with an egg donor, or whether to give up. But I don’t have to know now.

Driving Me Crazy

Can you see what I am seeing here?

image

It’s a bad cellphone picture of the insides of yesterday’s Clearblue Digital.
My temp was way down at 5:30 yesterday morning. The test said “not pregnant”. So I didn’t use the last dose of Prolutex yesterday evening.
My period isn’t here yet, though all day long I’ve had that lower belly feeling tjat either say “period is coming” or ” you’re
pregnant”. My breasts have been tingly off and on all day.

Can you see why I am going crazy right now?
I don’t want to hope again and be disappointed even harder.