NewsBaby’s Birthday

I’m so sorry it’s taken so long to post this…NewsBaby doesn’t like it when Mommy sits at the computer.

As I mentioned in my previous post, my baby girl was born on Tuesday, August 3rd. I worked right up until the day she was born…but per my doctor I worked from home for what ended up being the last week.

On Monday the 2nd I thought my water had broken, so I went to the doctor to be sure. The doctor told me that there was no way this baby was coming anytime soon, and he’d see me on Friday to work out a plan for what happens when I go past my due date.

Since I was actually supposed to have the day off that Tuesday, I had a big day planned. I was going to run a bunch of errands, have lunch with a friend who had just had her own baby, and get some stuff done around the house to get ready for the baby’s arrival. I hadn’t really been sleeping well leading up to that Tuesday, so I was a bit annoyed when I was awake at 5am with what I thought was bad gas pain. I stayed in bed hoping to fall back to sleep. For a split second, I thought about asking NewsBoy to stay home, because I thought I might be in labor, as this was a new pain, but I dismissed that thought because the doctor told me it was going to be a while. So after about an hour and a half (and another 2 bouts of “gas pain”) I gave up on that and went downstairs. I checked my personal email, and as I was logging in to check my work email I was hit with another “gas pain”. So it’s about 8 am and I realized that maybe I was in labor, but NewsBoy wasn’t even at work yet! Fortunately he arrived a few moments after the pain stopped. At this point it was pain but bearable. It didn’t stay that way for long. I filled NewsBoy in and told him to check the train schedule because I thought I might be in labor and he may need to come home. Yep…I still wasn’t convinced I was in labor after over 3 hours of experiencing contractions.

It was the next one that had me convinced this was the real thing. You see, I’d been having Braxton-Hicks contractions for months. Those contractions weren’t painful, just uncomfortable. They would start at the top of my uterus, where everything would get tight and it would stop after a while.

This next contraction was a world apart from that. Shortly after 9:30 am it started. It was like out of no where everything from the lower part of my uterus to my knees was in agony and every muscle in that region was tensing all at once in an attempt to escape my body. Imagine the worst menstrual cramps you have ever had…now multiply that pain by about 100…minimum. The only thing that came close to the amount of pain I was in was the miscarriages I’d had. And this was WAY worse. I could not sit, stand or do anything but pace the house in the hopes it would pass soon. Eventually I would find my way to a couch and bend over it, so that my body was essentially in an L. How long it (or any of my contractions) went on I couldn’t tell you because from that point on they seemed to run into each other. One would end seemingly as another began. I wasn’t even able to sit at the computer long enough to talk to NewsBoy over IM…so I paced the house with Blackberry in hand to keep him updated, but it was at this point I told him that he needed to get home.

Honestly the next five hours are a bit of a blur. A contraction would stop, I would try to sit and what seemed like immediately another would start. I was unable to eat or drink anything because I was so nauseous.

What I do know is this…NewsBoy got home about 1:30. He got off the train and texted to see if he could stop and grab something for lunch and I said no. Poor man dashed home without eating lunch and I couldn’t even let him stop to get a sandwich. He walked in the door to find me bent over the couch mid-contraction. I couldn’t say more than one word at s time. “What can I do?” Was the first thing he asked. All I could say was “Change. Get bag.” The contraction stopped finally and I felt like I was able to breathe. I yelled up the stairs and asked NewsBoy to get me pants and a clean shirt, seeing as I was still in my pajamas. He tossed pants and a t-shirt to me and I changed as he made his way down the stairs with my suitcase, his back pack and my messenger bag.

Once downstairs he asked if I had called the doctor. I hadn’t…I didn’t want to call until he was home and we could just go. I have no logical reason for waiting…I just couldn’t call until he was there. I called and spoke to one of the nurses…I filled her in and she instructed us to get to the hospital as another contraction started. She wished us luck and we were off.

Fortunately, the hospital is about five to ten minutes from our house. But I swear it was a LONG drive. I have no idea how anyone in labor goes farther than that. Our hospital has all pregnant women go in through the emergency room. So we pulled up to the emergency room entrance to be greeted by the valet. (Yep…there was a valet.) Again…I was mid contraction. I was quickly put in a wheelchair and I instructed NewsBoy to grab my messenger bag and leave the rest we could get it later. All I could think about was getting in and getting that epidural. I needed the pain to stop. I needed to breathe. I was wheeled over to the admitting window where a nurse asked what I was there for…I’m not kidding. I told her I was in labor…although I’m pretty sure I kinda yelled it. I gave her my name and she quickly found my pre-registration and got someone to bring me upstairs to Labor and Delivery.

It’s now about 2 o’clock. Once in my labor room a lot happened seemingly all at once. I was giving my labor nurse Jackie information as she was taking my vitals and I was changing into a gown. All I really remember is asking for drugs and a private room. Jackie promised to get me medication soon but she needed some measurements and things first. An IV was put in my arm and she did an internal exam and told me the doctor would be with me shortly. (By the way…remember that doctor that I had the bad experience with in March? Well that’s the one who delivered NewsBaby, of course.) While we waited for the anesthesiologist NewsBoy called our parents and instructed them to stay put. I was merely 3 CM and the doctor had to break my water. It was going to be a while before anything exciting happened so there was no need for anyone to sit in the waiting room.

Within 20 minutes of being there I had my epidural.

Ladies…allow me to share my opinion with you. This medication is a necessity when having a baby. Your birth plan should simple…you want drugs and you want the baby to get out in whatever way is safest for you and baby. That’s it. Anything and everything else is bullshit and unimportant. Yes I’m sure it’s lovely to feel your child come out of you, but it’s unnecessary. The experience of childbirth is in no way diminished by the medication. In fact, I would argue that it’s enhanced by the medication because you can think clearly without the pain. You will remember that moment your child is put on your chest, because you aren’t focused on the pain but the child.

Okay…I’ll step off my soap box now.

Within 10 minutes of getting the epidural I felt no pain from the waist down. It was heaven. For what felt like the first time all day I could not only breathe, but I could think. Once the epidural was in place and I was no longer in pain, I sent NewsBoy to get himself some lunch. Once he had left…I called my folks, knowing they would need to hear my voice. We chatted a bit and I told them NewsBoy would call them when things got interesting. I then texted friends to let them know I was in labor. NewsBoy came back with some food and sat and ate. And we waited.

From this point until I started to push at 6 o’clock I’m not sure when things happened, but at some point NewsBaby’s heart rate dropped. The nurse helped me roll to my side and she rocked me to try to bring it back up. That worked a bit and we switched to the other side. When the doctor came in and said a C-Section may be necessary but he wanted to give NewsBaby a chance. He also assured me that she was in no danger and if he thought she was we’d be in the operating room. So we waited.

I was rolled from one side to the other. Each side worked for a while and we’d have to switch. At some point I threw up. The nurse said that helped the baby drop and me dilate more.

I went from 3 CM at about 2 o’clock to 6 CM then quickly to 9 and then I was fully effaced and dilated. This all happened in a four-hour span.

Somewhere near the time I started to push…I began to feel pain again. I needed more drugs because there was no way I wanted to feel anything while this child was coming out of me. Jackie called the anesthesiologist who said the doctor needed to order the drugs. After what felt like a very long time the doctor came to talk to me. I told him I wanted more drugs. He said he’d prefer I didn’t because labor will take longer with the drugs and there is an increase risk of a C-Section being needed. I didn’t care. I wanted the drugs…and I kept saying so until he ordered them.

Just before I was told to start pushing the baby’s heart rate dropped again. The cord was wrapped twice around her neck. Jackie asked me if I thought I could support my weight on my knees. Honestly, I had no idea but if it was going to help I was going to do it. She and NewsBoy helped me to my knees and I spent some time on my hands and knees on the bed with Jackie rocking my ass back and forth in the air. While I was doing this the doctor came to check on me. He said again, that if the baby’s heart rate doesn’t come up “soon” we’d have to have a C-section. At this point I was getting worried. I said that if that’s the best thing we need to do because her heart rate won’t come up let’s just go. I even asked for the gurney. Both my doctor and Jackie looked shocked that I was so willing to have a C-Section. I said that as long as we get her out safely and I’m okay let’s just do it. My doctor didn’t think it was needed just yet. Her heart rate came up nicely while I was on my hands and knees.

It was time to go back to lying down…my hair was in my face in a way that just irritated me. So I asked NewsBoy for my brush so I could get the hair out of my face. Both nurses were shocked that I stopped to do this. They talked about it for a while. When I was lying down again I was fully effaced and dilated.

It was time to push. I looked at the clock because I knew my mother would want to know how long I pushed for…it was 6 o’clock on the dot. Now…it’s not easy to push when you can’t feel anything below the waist. Basically you need to push like you are pooping. So I tried my best to do so. With the start of a contraction the nurse would grab one leg and NewsBoy would grab the other. They would push my knees into my chest and pull me forward so I was folded in half. I would take a deep breath and bear down and push.

I did this for about an hour. It’s exhausting. They gave me oxygen…which I found I needed.

Finally I had pushed enough that it was time for her to come out…so we called the doctor. Yea that’s right…you spend the vast majority of your time in labor and delivery with your nurse…the doctor comes at the end and catches. My doctor wanted to use a vacuum to get her out quicker because the cord was wrapped around her neck twice.

At 7:11 PM on August 3rd my baby girl came out and was put on my chest. I cannot begin to explain how amazing it was to finally see her. After two long hard years of tears, hormones, misfires, miscarriages and watching just about every single friend and family member have their own children my baby was here and in my arms. She was real. She was mine. She was ours. I looked at NewsBoy, kissed him and told him I loved him. They took her cleaned her off and measured and weighed her quickly and got her back to me. She was perfect.

Advertisements

Not for the Faint of Heart

I have to tell you…this whole buying and selling real estate thing is quite possibly more stressful then IF!

I never thought I’d say it but…I’m glad at this point that IVF # 2 didn’t work. With the amount of stress and anxiety that I’ve had in the last two weeks that is real estate related I would have certainly miscarried. (Not to mention that job stress thing.)

Maybe my Mom was right…there is always a reason.

Coming Out of the Infertility Closet

I’ve always been an open book, if you will, when it comes to pretty much everything. And I mean everything, except that is for my struggle with infertility. This struggle…this fight…this sadness I’ve kept pretty much to myself (and NewsBoy of course). Yes, our parents and siblings are aware of what we are going through. And yes, I do have a small handful of RL girlfriends who know what we are going through. But by and large, in my real life, I have kept this to myself. Sure I have found amazing support online with people who don’t know me and wouldn’t know me if they walked right into me on the street. But my family and the people that are part of my every day life have no idea what we are going through.

After my friend IvoryGirl read my Thanksgiving post we started talking about how we keep our infertility from the people we are closest with but share it freely with complete strangers in cyberspace.

One of the main reasons I don’t want to go to Thanksgiving this year is my fear that I will simply blurt it all out at some point in response to someone being insensitive without even knowing it. Then I become family gossip. I don’t want that. Because this is no one’s business, right?

This is a very personal battle. I mean most people get to make love to their partner and surprise the world with a pregnancy whenever they see fit to share it. I don’t get that. I get phone calls and emails asking when my next doctor’s appointment is…when the next procedure or cycle will be. My sex life (or lack thereof) is out there for the world to know because I’m broken. I can’t have a baby the “old-fashioned” way. I need doctors and embryologists and anesthesiologists just to have a chance at having a baby. I get looks of pity and pep talks. (And who needs or wants those!? Or is it just me that gets really angry from that crap?) I don’t get to surprise anyone with the news if …IF…I actually get pregnant. Except those who have no idea I even want children. So part of me wants to maintain the secrecy just so I can surprise someone. Anyone.

But as I continued my conversation with IvoryGirl I admitted to skipping a lot…and I mean A LOT…of family functions over the past two years just because I couldn’t handle seeing kids or because I had just gotten a BFN again. In a way, it feels like I’m hiding from my life. I hate that. And I can’t figure out which will make things easier for me over time. I know with all my heart and soul that my family will do anything for me. I know that they will support me through anything and everything. But telling them comes with questions…the ones about when we decided to have kids…why we changed our minds…Am I ready to answer those questions? Do I even have to?

And then IvoryGirl in all her infinite wisdom said to me: “If they ask questions, you can say with impunity, ‘This is a really difficult process for us, and we’d prefer not to talk about it. I hope you can respect our wishes.’ And who knows, maybe having the visible support of your extended family will help you cope? Maybe in keeping it private, we’re giving ourselves a heavier burden to bear?”

And you know what? She is 100% absolutely positively right. How many of us suffer in silence daily only to cry to our computer screens because the people we talk to in cyberspace are the ONLY people who can even begin to imagine what it is that we are going through. We go through the motions of every day life. We smile at family gatherings and hang out at the bar (clearly there is a bar at my family gatherings) because it’s easier then facing the kids that are running around or the talk of so and so’s pregnancy. But IvoryGirl’s questions remains…are we making this harder on ourselves then it needs to be? I just don’t know…maybe we should have a little more faith in those we love? Maybe we should come out of the infertility closet?

Faith

As of this past Monday my pregnancy is officially over. My beta levels are negative. While I am relieved that this ordeal is over…at the same time I feel empty, in several ways. I’m also not quite sure what comes next. So all things considered I’m feeling a bit lost.

I’ve never been a religious person…but I have always had a great deal of faith. (I’m one of those people who believe that faith and religion do not always go hand in hand.) So going into my 1st IVF cycle I was confident…I had faith…that after a year and a half of treatments, tears, pain and disappointments if the IVF worked I was not going to be put through a miscarriage. I wouldn’t have to go through that pain…I’d been through enough.

Apparently I was very much wrong. And it broke any faith I had…in ways I didn’t even realize my faith could be broken.

In an attempt to keep moving forward I’ve thrown myself into my job, even if there isn’t always much to do. I’ve also returned to following the Weight Watchers plan. I’ve lost 8.6 pounds — from the high I hit while on all of those medications. Physically I am feeling better then I have in a very long time. And that usually goes a long way to how I am doing mentally. At this point I think I am doing well…better then I or my husband ever thought I would be doing. I haven’t needed the Xanex prescription that my shrink prescribed in well over a week. Which is always a good sign…and I seem to be able to look at pregnant women and children without a knot forming in my stomach most of the time. Also a good sign.

But that feeling of being empty…that is persistent. I am unsure of how to fix it. Part of me hopes if I ignore it enough it’ll just go away. And in the meantime I am trying to formulate a plan for what comes next on this wild and wacky infertility journey. Because damn it I am going to have a child of my own someday. Losing weight is part of it…just about everyone will tell you losing weight and being healthy will help…hell it can’t hurt right? I have to make an appointment with my RE to discuss our next steps. I also have to call my insurance company to see what, if any, money we have left for IVF treatments this year.

But in reality…all I want right now is for today to be over. Here’s hoping the afternoon meeting I have goes quickly.