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.

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How Do You Feel?

This is by far the question most asked of me right now.

The answer? I feel good. Really. I do. Honest.

No one (except NewsBoy and my mother) seems to believe me though. My brother and my father being the worst offenders. Every time they ask how I’m feeling there is a note of panic in their voices. I supposed that they could just be nervous for me (Dad especially) …but it just makes me anxious to hear the panic in their voices. I understand my brother’s expectations are that I should be miserable because my SIL had a “horrible” pregnancy. Everything about it hurt or ached or was “amazingly” uncomfortable and just pretty much sucked. (Once she started having Braxton-Hicks contractions they barely slept because he had to time every one.) But my SIL’s never had more than a pap smear so…I kinda took everything she said with a grain…or bucket…of salt.

It’s almost like everyone thinks that I should be complaining or be really nervous and anxious. But other than the heat, which I can avoid, I can’t complain. The “morning” sickness I had in the first trimester was difficult to deal with because of how sick I felt. But honestly, the OHSS l I had following my first IVF was way worse then anything this pregnancy has thrown at me. And I can’t imagine giving birth hurts much more than the 2 miscarriages I had (they were kinda brutal)…especially since I plan on being drugged. But other than the “morning” sickness I’ve loved every moment of being pregnant. Yes, I’ve had anxiety about the health of this pregnancy and fears about horrible things happening… but after everything NewsBoy and I have been through to get here, can you blame me for being overly cautious in those early months? Yes, there have been moments of panic…but they come when I follow or listen to someone’s advice that goes against my gut instincts. The majority of my friends who are mothers are much more tightly wound then I am…and well my SIL doesn’t do anything that isn’t on my nephew’s schedule. (They’ve even decided they aren’t traveling further than half an hour from their house because it messes up the baby’s schedule, so I’m pretty convinced that they aren’t going to come visit me in the hospital when the time comes.)

I got an email from a friend yesterday. She said “I know the anticipation the last couple of weeks takes on a whole new meaning. Please let me know if you have ANY questions or want to talk about anything!” This is one of those friends who got pregnant without issue. (I have A LOT of those.) She told her husband that it was time to have a baby and was pregnant almost immediately. She did this twice. Honestly I’m not sure what to make of her “whole new meaning” statement. I’ve been anticipating this child’s arrival for two and a half years, probably longer. I’m not sure why these last few weeks give that anticipation new meaning. Am I excited? Absolutely. I can not wait to meet my little Humphrey and hold s/he in my arms. But it is no more intense then it was over two years ago when I started this journey. It is no more intense now then it was last July when I had my second miscarriage (In fact it was more intense then.) So I’m not sure what new meaning my anticipation should be taking on just because I’m closer to the finish line.

I recently saw my “Uncle” (he’s in quotes cause he’s my parents best friend and not technically my Uncle). This man is one of my favorite people on the planet. We were talking and he stopped mid sentence to say “You know what? You just look content and happy, like you are at peace with everything. That’s something I haven’t seen on you in years.” And he’s right. 100%. Over all I feel calmer then I ever have in my life. And maybe that is why I’m not anxious (unless I’m lead there) or dying from the anticipation. I’ve been wanting, waiting and mentally preparing for this very thing for years. At this point I have waited years…what’s another couple of weeks?

Celebrity IVF

Generally I’m not a Celine Dion fan. I do like some of her music, but I wouldn’t have gone out of my way for any of it. But now…consider me a fan.

You haven’t heard? After undergoing 6 rounds of IVF Celine and hubby Rene are expecting twins. Read all about it here in People Magazine. I applaud her for “Coming Out of the Infertility Closet”. I wish more celebrities would be as open and honest as she has been. I wish we could all be as comfortable as she seems being open about our infertility.

Perhaps if Hollywood were more open about all the fertility treatments they undergo the rest of us wouldn’t find it so hard to share our journeys with others.

Updates and Realizations

This post started as simply an update. I intended to tell you about my recent appointment and my beginning to share the news with my RL inner circle. It took me somewhere else…I’ve always found I’m more honest with myself when I’m writing…and I think this is something I’ve been hiding from myself or just ignoring for a while now.

I went to the OB on Tuesday. It was an uneventful appointment. (I’m told this is a good thing.) Personally I find it a bit unsettling. I’ve spent the better part of the last two years knowing exactly what my hormone levels are and exactly what is (or what wasn’t) going on in my uterus. So for me to spend more time in a waiting room then with a doctor…it makes me nervous. And you know what? I’m nervous enough about this.

But everyone…from my best friend (who goes to the same group of doctors I do) to my brother (my SIL is in her 3rd Trimester) has assured me that this is great. They only monitor you closely if something is wrong. They keep up with your hormones with your urine samples. And check on the fetus (I just can’t bring myself to use the B word yet…more on that later) by listening to the heartbeat. So I should relax. Everything is fine.

I can’t help but flash back to when we were “trying” and all anyone would tell us was we had to relax and it would happen. I didn’t like being told to relax then…not so thrilled with it now. Because you know what? Telling someone to relax tends to cause the exact OPPOSITE effect on said person. Me? It pisses me off too.

But I digress…things are progressing along nicely. I have been so nauseous and sick that I’ve lost 5 pounds. Because of a change in health insurance I was able to get a full ultrasound at this visit. That was amazing. I measured exactly 10 weeks. The heart rate was 160. I can’t decide if it looks more like a peanut or a gummi bear at this point but you know what? You want me to relax? Show me that everything really is fine on an ultrasound. Give me one of those every day! THAT is relaxing.

The OB doesn’t want to see me for a month. A MONTH! Seriously are they aware for the past year I’ve been seeing a doctor about my uterus practically daily? A MONTH?! Do you know what can go wrong in a month?! The doctor told me to go for a Nuchal Translucency. (That’s done in another office.) So I made that appointment for January 29th. (Hence the strategic scheduling of the Nuchal 2 weeks after my last appointment and 2 weeks before my next.)

I should relax and just enjoy being pregnant right? If the last two years have taught me anything it’s that my body will fail to work properly. Twice they put embryos exactly where they are supposed to go only for one to somehow find it’s way to an ectopic pregnancy and the second to fail to do anything at all. So no…I don’t see myself relaxing and enjoying anytime soon. Honestly…I’m afraid to relax and enjoy. I’m afraid to believe. I want to…I don’t think I have ever wanted to believe in anything more than I want to believe in this.

I was talking to IvoryGirl today and said that I am ever so slowing beginning to believe that it might be okay. That’s all I can muster. I want to…I do. More than anything I want to enjoy this and be happy about it. I want to look at baby clothes when I shop and be brave enough to walk into a maternity clothing store. I just can’t. My reaction to both is still…it’ll never be mine. Hell my immediate reaction to someone’s pregnancy is still jealousy. It takes a moment to realize I don’t have to be jealous anymore.

I’m just not sure I’ll ever be the oblivious happy pregnant chick. I’m sure that sounds selfish but I know too much about what can go wrong. I have heard too many horror stories. Shed too many tears for my fellow infertile sisters when their joy…their world… is demolished. The pain of the loss I suffered with the ectopic pregnancy is still very real and raw…even now nearly 9 months later. Had that pregnancy been normal and healthy I would be getting ready to greet that child so soon. And I can’t get past the knowledge that February 16th is rapidly approaching …I can’t. I don’t know how. I want to focus on what’s going on in my uterus currently and celebrate that but I’m still mourning the sibling that will never be…

And I don’t know how to stop.

The Future

I wanted to take a moment to talk to you about the future of this blog.

I’ve been thinking a lot (hence the lack of posts) over the past two weeks about what I should do. Do I keep posting here? Do I start a new blog? Do I disappear from cyberspace altogether? That last one isn’t an option, as I’ve found I really enjoy blogging.

I’ve read plenty of blogs where there are angry posts saying that once a blogger is fortunate enough to find herself pregnant or is a parent that they should close up shop and either stop posting or start an entirely new blog. Even before I found myself pregnant, I didn’t think that was exactly fair.

I mean, I’ve spoken about things that aren’t related to infertility on this blog. But I think the main reason I disagree with posts like that is simply, my infertility has helped to shape me into the woman I am today. And when I say that I mean that my infertility has shaped me in ways I think I may never understand. It broke me. It pushed me to places I never thought I’d see again, places I wasn’t sure I would survive. It brought me closer to NewsBoy and made us stronger. It made me stronger then I ever thought I could be. It is part of who I am.

And even though I am now pregnant I think it’s important to keep talking about what happens when you are somehow pregnant and infertile. I do think that pregnancy after battling infertility is different then if you are fortunate enough to be able to do things “the old fashioned way”. Infertility takes so much from us and leaves us with fears and insecurities that I’m not sure ever actually go away. (I’m sure this is something I will come back to time and time again.)

Once I came to that realization…my decision was made. I will continue to post here throughout my pregnancy and beyond. If reading about my pregnancy is too hard for you or hurts you, I am truly sorry. I do completely understand if you stop visiting me here. I will miss you and wish you nothing but the best.

The Truth is…

I am terrified.

NewsBoy and I will go tomorrow morning for my 2nd Beta and an ultrasound.

I still can’t quite believe this is real….so how can I possibly be getting an ultrasound tomorrow morning? The cramps I’m having just mean that I’m going to get my period, right? It’s not anything growing inside me. It can’t be. It just doesn’t make sense. After a year of fertility treatments how is this even possible that I ovulated on my own? Never mind that we timed things properly without paying attention to anything.

Then for a moment I do believe that this is real and then I panic…what if it all goes bad…again? Will I survive that?

I don’t quite know what to do with myself. I’m sitting at my desk at work trying SO hard to focus on what I need to be doing. I just can’t. All I can think about is my uterus and what might be going on in there. It just doesn’t feel real. I can’t wrap my head around this at all.

Yes…I’m peeing like it’s my job. Yes…I am experiencing cramping that feels more like stretching and pulling then menstrual cramps. Yes…my boobs are killing me. Yes…I’m seemingly constantly hungry and tired. But that’s just PMS. Right?

More than anything right now I just want today to be over…I want to be home with NewsBoy. I want to crawl into bed so tomorrow can come and maybe I can start to believe.