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?

Post Shower Report

I had a great time on Saturday. It was so nice to see and visit with everyone.

The only issue…my SIL. She showed up about half an hour to 45 minutes late…with my nephew. That’s right. She brought the baby, without a word to me or my mother. Not only did she bring the baby…but when she finally got there she made a bee line for my family where the baby was promptly passed around and cooed over. After she and my nephew worked their way around the room, about 20 minutes after they arrived, she finally greeted me.

I got to hold him…for about five minutes before he was scooped out of my arms to be given to another family member.

I was livid.

Shower

My baby shower will be this weekend. I was informed by my mother that my brother plans on “stopping by at the end” to show off his new son to our family, because no one has seen him yet.

I have a couple of issues with this….the biggest being it really would have been nice had he asked me if this was okay, instead of just telling my mother that he was doing this. My brother and SIL chose to move two hours from our entire family. That was their choice and so its their own fault no one has seen him.

I also know my brother…he will show up an hour to hour and a half before the shower is supposed to end. I honestly have no problem with him bringing my nephew for the last half hour. But my brother will show up much earlier then that.

Yes there are bigger issues I have with my brother. Like the fact that he and my SIL came up here to get haircuts 15 minutes from my house (at my hair dresser!) and never told me, or my parents. Or the fact that I have been asking to come visit them since my nephew was born over 2 months ago but have been told time and time again that they are too busy to see us only to find out that their friends and my SIL’s family were why they were busy.

But, I’ve waited a long time for this…to actually be ready and excited to celebrate and plan to welcome this child. And I can’t help but (selfishly) feel that my brother is stealing my thunder just a tiny bit.

The Name Game

In addition to all of the other things NewsBoy and I are doing in preparation for Humphrey’s arrival we are also trying to pick a name. This is MUCH harder than I thought it would be!

While NewsBoy and I know if Humphrey is a boy or girl, we are not sharing that information with anyone but our parents and siblings. (I think we’d have kept it to ourselves had it not been for the Anatomy Scan debacle. ) We are not however sharing the names we are considering with anyone. I’ve watched too many people get upset and annoyed when names they love get blasted by friends and family members. I have no interest in dealing with that in any capacity. I’d also like to keep at least something just between NewsBoy and I. (Sometimes it feels like with everyone else’s excitement and desire for knowledge the fact that this is about us and our family growing gets lost a bit. ) And frankly, I just don’t care about what other people think I should name my child.

The vast majority of people don’t really have an issue with this at all. Granted, most are annoyed that we know Humphrey’s sex and aren’t sharing…but that’s become a fun game for me. At work my co-workers have taken to try to get me to use the proper pronoun. It amuses me. But I digress, everyone seems to get the name thing….that is except my Father.

My Dad can’t seem to accept anything the way I want to do them during this pregnancy. From the moment we told my parents that we were expecting he jumped ahead what felt like a million steps. I was all of 5 weeks pregnant and terrified that everything would go to shit once again. Dad’s main focus? When can he tell his family? And it was a boy…cause I would give him a Grandson. He hasn’t once comprehended that maybe I needed to do things slower because of everything I’d been through. Never mind that it was ludicrously early. Even after explaining to him a few weeks later that I needed him to go at my pace because I was scared my body would fail me again as it had for the last two years…he rolled his eyes and told me I was wrong. When he found out my best friend knew I was pregnant before I allowed him to tell the family I was greeted regularly with snide comments. It got to the point where I finally said that my in-laws were content to follow my lead and haven’t bothered me at all about anything, and that I never thought someone else’s parents would follow my wishes better than my own. My in-laws even came up with a code so we could talk about my pregnancy without using words I wasn’t ready to use. I was so touched by the way that my husband’s parents were just accepting of my fear and neurosis that it hurt that much more when my own parents kept telling me that I should get over the lost child, my fears and just be happy. As you all well know, I am still not over any of the miscarriages I’ve had, especially the one last July. Am I coping and dealing with them better? Absolutely. But I don’t think that pain will ever fully go away, no matter how many children we may have in the future. It will be four years Labor Day weekend this year since my first miscarriage and I still think about that child from time to time (I’m also acutely aware of when that child’s birthday would have been). And at that point in my life I didn’t even want kids! Neither of my parents can seem to understand that I carry both of those miscarriages with me no matter where I go or what I do . I’ve always been close with my parents and for them to disregard and dismiss my feelings in this way was hard for me. It continues to be hard for me.

When the whole Anatomy scan debacle happened it was never about what NewsBoy and I wanted but how I hurt them by not wanting to share Humphrey’s sex with them. My Father specifically was quite nasty. And I’m not sure they still understand how much they have upset me over the course of this pregnancy. Somehow I did get them to agree to not tell anyone the baby’s sex. Although I’m not sure they’ve stuck to that.

So back to the name game…we aren’t telling anyone any of the names we are considering. Once again, my Father is not okay with this. Sure he jokes about outlandish names, but I know him well enough to know that’s his way of trying to get the information he wants to know. This week my Dad was kind enough to sit at our house one day while we went to work so the painters could start on the house. While we were waiting for the painter to arrive on Tuesday morning he says, “Tell me a secret.” I cocked an eyebrow and he continues by saying, “tell me what names you are thinking about. ” I, of course, said no. I also reminded him that any name he suggests will not be used. (I foolishly thought that rule might keep him from suggesting names I’d actually want to use. How wrong I was…) He went on. “Well Sam’s a nice name. “. Of course that is one of our top (if not the top) names. So I smiled and told him it was a nice name but we won’t be using it since he’s suggested it. He pouted. Fortunately the painter showed up, ending the conversation.

But here’s my thing…Sam was my Grandfather’s name. (Dad’s dad). Really both NewsBoy and I really just like the name (FYI we are talking either Samuel for a boy and Samantha for a girl.) My choice in Sam had nothing to do with my Grandfather. It has always been (even before I wanted kids) one of my favorite names. And our naming our child Sam wouldn’t be about my father’s father. If I were to name a child after one of my Grandparents it would likely be my Mom’s parents. I was much closer with them. My father would never get that. My fear is that he’ll just assume my child is named for his father and mention this to anyone who will listen. Why is this a problem you may ask? I mean really NewsGirl let the man think whatever the hell he wants! Mainly I’m really worried that my Dads bragging (and I promise you there will be bragging) will upset not only my MIL but my Mom as well. That’s not something I want or need to deal with when this child arrives…or really at any point in my life. So now I don’t know that we will use Sam. (In fact, I’m nearly positive we will not be using the name Sam.) That just upsets me, and its something my Father will never understand. And that upsets me even more.

So what do you think friends? What would you do if you were me?

At a Verbal Loss

So there is quite a bit going on…I’m back at work. YAY!

We had our anatomy scan two weeks ago. That was amazing. I’ve started to write about it several times now, but because of some post scan drama I can’t seem to convey what I want to say. (Before you get too excited…or nervous…I’m okay as is baby. I’ve taken to calling the baby “Monkey”. Don’t ask why…I don’t know.) Newsboy and I…okay I…decided maybe a little to late that we wanted to keep the information to ourselves for a bit. My parents and brother were none too happy about this. And so there was big drama. This drama…that I’m still trying to figure out how to write about without rambling…has really colored the way I look at the entire thing. This scan should have been an amazing and wonderful thing. For a while it was. In the weeks leading up to the scan I had finally somewhat relaxed and begun to enjoy this pregnancy. We learned that all of our genetic testing came back perfectly. So the baby was (is) healthy. But because of the way my family reacted to the scan it is tainted…and I’m leaning towards anxious again.

Since I’m not sure how to tell you all about it…I’m moving on…

My brother and SIL’s baby will be born any day now. (She was due on April 2nd and there’s no baby yet! She’ll be induced on Friday.) I’m not sure how I feel about this. I’m excited for them, and looking forward to having another niece or nephew. My parents are beside themselves they are so excited to greet their first grandchild. But in the back of my head there is this tiny little voice that keeps reminding me that their first grandchild should be seven weeks old today. That just won’t go away. I’m worried I won’t react properly when I’m at the hospital with them because of this.

It’s no longer a constant thought, as it once was, but it is still very much there. And a part of me feels like I’m cheating the child inside me because I can’t let go of the brother or sister my Monkey would have, should have, had.

Then again everything seems like too much to handle lately. I feel scattered. I’m easily irritated. I don’t like being ruled by my emotions. It takes me too long to get past the overwhelming emotional initial reaction that I have to get to the rational thoughts that help me deal with whatever is going on. I’m blaming the lack of Prozac. I suppose the lack of sleep doesn’t help much either. (Thanks to a cold that seems to have transitioned into allergies breathing is difficult.)

Maybe it’s like this for all pregnant women? I don’t know. But because of all of this that is going on in my head and in my life…I’m at a bit of a verbal loss. And as a writer, that is one of the most frustrating things in the world. And for this writer…even more so…because I work things out best when I can write them out and step away from them. And I can’t do that right now.

Updates & Uncertainty

I’ve spent the last few weeks in a bubble that has nothing to do with TTC. It was nice. I focused on my job, the sale of our condo and the purchase of our house. Both sales went through (finally!) and we moved about a week before Thanksgiving. Hooray!!

We’re still settling in…but as of this moment all of our new furniture and our new washer and dryer have all been delivered. Settling in can take as much time as I want. The gig I’m currently on is coming to an end, so things are quieting down at work. I’ll be unemployed after the end of this month. (This is just the way things work with what I do…it was expected.)

So for the first time in I don’t even know how long every single thought in my head wasn’t about TTC. (That’s not to say that I haven’t been thinking about wanting a child of my own with every waking moment.)

I did end up “coming out” to my Uncle and Aunt…but not my cousins. Well, blurted out was more like it. (My poor Uncle had to call my Mom and get clarification on a couple of things.) But my Aunt and Uncle now know the basics…that we’ve been trying for two years and have been going through fertility treatments for over a year and that I’ve had 2 IVF cycles. And as it turns out…their daughter (the cousin who is like my baby sister) took 3 years to conceive. I had a wonderful conversation with my Aunt. She told me a bit about her struggles. She also said that the one things she learned was that you shouldn’t ask why…because you’ll never know. That’s probably really good advice. She also told me that my time was coming. For once that statement didn’t annoy me, because she’s been where I am to some extent. But the lesson was that in coming out to my Aunt and Uncle not only did I find more support but I learned that even within my family I am not alone. That helps…more than I thought it would.

Thanksgiving itself was actually nice. I initiated games on their Wii almost as soon as we got there. It helped to keep me distracted. My SIL is visibly pregnant. That took the air right out of my lungs and sent me straight for the wine. I think I downed two glasses before I felt like I could breathe. There was quite a bit of talk and excitement about her pregnancy, but it wasn’t as bad as I was expecting. Having my Aunt and Uncle there in addition to my parents was helpful. All in all it wasn’t horrible and I survived.

I’ve come to realize (just now in fact) that I “survive” things more and more rather than just experiencing and enjoying them. I survived the family reunion over the summer. I survived being told by my baby brother and best friend about pregnancies. I survived my Godson’s 1st birthday party. I survived Thanksgiving. I survived the family dinner that we had on Saturday night to celebrate my Mom’s birthday. How much more will I have to survive before it really is my turn?

Anyway…while I have been living in this non-TTC bubble….the pain, the loss and the abyss of sadness are all still there. I think that maybe I’m just dealing with it better. Or maybe I’m just ignoring it better. Or maybe I’m just medicated.

But my point is that I didn’t even realize any of that until the RE’s office called yesterday afternoon to pull me right out of my bubble. Because you see it’s CD 33…Aunt Flo should have shown her ugly face by now and she’s no where to be found. So my favorite nurse (Margaret) called to see if I still wanted to go ahead with the PGD and IVF cycle. She has some forms she needs me to sign if we’re going ahead with the PGD.

“Margaret,” I said “What is PGD?”

She went on to explain that this was the testing my RE and I talked about after my last failed cycle. PGD (Preimplantation genetic diagnosis) is basically a test run on the embryos after fertilization and before implantation to see if there are genetic abnormalities. I’m still researching…

The last conversation I had with my RE is honestly a big blur. He told me all about this PGD stuff and how he wanted to integrate it into the protocol for my next IVF Cycle. I can’t remember any of it. I don’t remember the pros. I don’t remember the cons. I just remember that he thinks at this point genetic abnormalities are the reason neither IVF cycle worked for us. (And just so ya know…this added step will, of course, add to the cost of the IVF cycle.)

But I keep coming back to my reaction immediately following my finding out that I wasn’t pregnant.

I just don’t know that I can do this again. I don’t know how I justify spending all this money when I don’t know when my next job starts. I don’t know that I can keep doing this…the highs and lows of having all those hormones in my system…the anxiety and anticipation that just exists with an IVF cycle. I don’t know that I can handle constantly updating the people who know I’m in a cycle and all the questions that come with that. I don’t know that I can survive another negative beta…or worse a miscarriage.

But I don’t know if I can accept a childless life. Hell…just the thought forces the air from my lungs and sends me to the bottom of the abyss.

So I’m feeling a bit (okay a lot) lost. I just don’t know…

Debating Thanksgiving

NewsBoy and I do an every other year thing for Thanksgiving. (You know, one year with his family, the next with mine.) This year we are with my family.

Thanksgiving with my family comes with a caveat. We go to a cousin’s house. Now this cousin has a roommate (LONG STORY SHORT…two women who have been friends for as long as I can remember…own a house together…each adopted a child when they hit 40. But they didn’t adopt together. They are not a couple. Regardless my family refers to this roommate as a “cousin”. I have spoken of this “cousin” here.) So Thanksgiving with my family includes her very large family as well. I admit fully and completely that my family can be very loud, but we’ve got nothing on this “cousin’s” family. They are loud. And obnoxious. They also at this point feel comfortable enough with my family to ask and say whatever it is they want.

For the first time in a very long time my brother and I are on the same Thanksgiving schedule. In addition to this…my Aunt, Uncle and cousins are going to be up from Florida for the holiday weekend. So for the first time in possibly a decade my mother will have not only all of her kids together but her brother and niece and nephew all in the same place.

I honestly don’t know that I can do this. I don’t know that I can go to this house and listen to the, what I’m sure will be incessant, talk of my SIL’s pregnancy. I don’t think I can put on a happy face and pretend to be excited for them when the abyss of sadness goes with me everywhere. I don’t think I can fake it all afternoon and evening. Because while I am happy for them…that’s all I’ve got…I can’t seem to muster excited…and it reminds me of the bitter and angry person I’ve become. I’m also 100% positive that my Uncle will see right through me and I’ll end up having to tell him what we are going through. I don’t know that I want to share this with anyone else. I go back and forth on it constantly. But I’m at the point where I think that no one will know when my next round of IVF will be. I can’t deal with the looks and sounds of pity I get every time my body fails to do what it is supposed to do.

I’ve said as much to my mother. The first time we spoke after I got the last BFN I said that I wasn’t sure I could go to Thanksgiving. Being the saint she is she of course told me to do whatever it is I need to do.

So I’m not sure what to do. Whether or not I go to Thanksgiving I will see my Aunt, Uncle, cousins and the “cousins” who host Thanksgiving. The Saturday after Thanksgiving we will all be getting together for a surprise early birthday dinner for my Mom. So any which way you slice it I will have to deal with my family…but the question is just how much I can handle?

So what do you think? Do I go to Thanksgiving?