Mountains of Baby Clothes, The Power of Oxyclean, and Viability

The best part of the second trimester is a tie, between finally feeling some baby movement (in your FACE, anterior placenta!) and no longer feeling like a train hit me.

With my newfound energy levels came a desire to clean and organize all of Gus’ baby clothes.

I figured, everything was clean when I packed it away, and it’s mostly organized by size already, how long could it possibly take?

Short answer: It takes like two weeks.

So many of the teeny tiny wittle baby clothes were covered in milk stains (which is apparently super common over time, even if they look clean when you pack them) and the sheer volume of four years worth of clothes (no matter how tiny) was overwhelming.

I separated out all the things worth keeping, and then anything with terrible staining. The internet assured me that a long soak in some Oxyclean would get rid of the majority of the yellow spots, so I gave it a try.

Oxyclean is everything Billy Mays promised us it would be, and then some.

Also, my god, baby clothes are adorable.

Another fun fact: apparently I packed my fancy, moderately expensive, diaper bag away, full of snacks and a sippy cup full of water, and after two years in an airtight bag, instead of very convincing fake leather, it turned into a giant bag of fuzzy mold. 

And, just as exciting for those of us riddled with pregnancy anxiety, today marks my 24th week, and with it comes the magic word: viability.

15 weeks to go. 

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Checkups and Confirmations

Today we had another appointment with our high-risk team, to check on Baby [Name Redacted] Little Brother’s heart.

As far as we knew, there was nothing wrong with his heart, but a Fetal Heart Echo is standard for 1) IVF pregnancies (which this was not, but I guess history counts for something?) and 2) anyone who has gestational/good ole’ regular diabetes.

His little heart looked perfect, and so did his itty bitty wittle face (pardon me, I’m biased).

I also had them confirm for me that he is, for sure, a he, since I finally broke down and started buying things I need (but also mostly DO NOT need, namely: tiny baby clothes).

While I was there, they also did a quick growth scan, and he’s currently measuring right on target for his gestational age, and is weighing in at a hefty 1 lb, 1 oz. Gus’ growth didn’t start to slow down until around 28 weeks, so I’m scheduled for another checkup with them next month to keep an eye on things.

And, speaking of Gus, I think we have a little clone coming our way (which, again, totally biased, but it’s going to be adorable in here).


(big brother/little brother)

17 weeks to go!

For Those of You Just Joining Us

Alternatively known as: Filling in Everyone From Facebook

It’s no secret we’ve struggled over the years to build our family. Various torturous medicated cycles, and then three rounds of IVF and two losses were under our belts (literally) before we had Gus.

Last year we decided to try again, and I rather optimistically thought it would be a walk in the park, now that we’d found a protocol that finally worked.

Boy, was I an idiot.

This time last year, we found out we’d lost another pregnancy. After a few months off and some extra embryo testing, we tried again in the fall, and it honest to god almost killed me.

After that, we decided to explore other options. Adoption. Fostering. People reached out to us about being gestational carriers. We found out more IVF was a possibility, if we eliminated certain medications.

We had a lot of possibilities to consider. But one thing we knew, for absolutely sure, was we were going to wait at least six months so I could recover physically (pancreatitis is no joke, friends).

And then like eight weeks later, clouds parted, and angels sang, and my boobs hurt, and I took the last pregnancy test in my possession on a whim, because why the hell not — they’re always negative — and all hell broke loose.

I got to surprise Mike. Technically I got to surprise EVERYONE, which I never thought would be possible. But I suddenly found myself in the position to surprise my husband with a pregnancy like a REGULAR PERSON, and I was so excited, I told him five minutes before a dozen neighbors and their kids came over for a pizza party, and then was like, “ok, that was the doorbell, lets go act totally normal for a few hours!”

(That’s the flabbergasted face of a man who has had zero time to process what I’m telling him.)

Also, I just want to point out how close I came to being one of those women you see on TLC who gives birth at home on the toilet, because they had no idea they were pregnant. I never got my period after the last loss. I have an anterior placenta, and a breech baby who likes to face my spine, so five months in and I still feel nada in the movement department. Now, maybe the nine weeks of dry heaving would have tipped me off eventually, but we’ll never know for sure. Anyway…

I’m 19 weeks along now, so I’m halfway there. I’m due in early October, but thanks to all my fancy high-risk factors, I’ll deliver by the end of September.

So far, everything looks good. I still have to take blood thinner everyday, and they tested me early for gestational diabetes, which of course, I failed (again.) The good news is, it’s mostly diet controlled at this point, so I’ve only gained three pounds total (to the shock and horror of pregnant women, everywhere). My blood pressure has been great (which was not the case with Gus at all) and more importantly — so far my pancreas seems fine (knocking on all the wood).

After last fall, I genuinely believed we would never have any more children, so just to have the possibility is such a miracle and we’re so excited, and still a little shocked. Thank you, everyone for all the heartfelt congratulations and well wishes!

Another (Good) Surprise 

When I was pregnant with Gus, I was sure he would be a girl.

I’m a girl. My mom is a girl. Her sisters — all girls. My cousins, overwhelmingly girls. All their kids (you guessed it) even more girls.

But at 16 weeks, we found out he was, well, a he. The first boy in my immediate family, in more than two decades. 

And all the old wives’ tales were true. I wanted salty foods. I looked preeeeetty good, glowing and all that. Whatever his heartbeat averaged, meant he was a boy. That old Chinese gender chart (while technically not applicable thanks to IVF) said he’d be a boy.

This time?

I want sweet things. And salty things. Basically I want all the things that aren’t vegetables. But last time, sweet just seemed gross, and this time it seems like a good idea.

And I’m less pretty. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still super cute, as long as you’re not put off by all these pimples and this beard I’m slowly growing.

I don’t know why, but my intuition has been screaming GIRL GIRL GIRRRLLLLL at me for weeks.

My intuition, it seems, is crap.



Little Brother, coming in September.

(The anatomy scan went very well, and baby was measuring on schedule with all of his (HIS!) bits and bobs right where they should be.)

A Teeny Tiny Update with Little to No Information.

I’m still here.

Still (miraculously, amazingly, unexpectedly) (18 weeks!) pregnant.

We’ve told our families (shock!) and our friends (awe!) and all my new various doctors (confusion!) and I’ve technically told the internet full of strangers (hello!) but we haven’t made anything Facebook official.

Why?

Eh, I don’t know. Probably because every time I tell one new person my first thought is, “WHAT HAVE I DONE?!” and every time I purchase a new baby outfit (twice) I immediately think, “YOU MONSTER, YOU’VE RUINED EVERYTHING.”

So, I guess you could say I’m dealing with a little bit of anxiety.

Despite having four or five ultrasounds now, and doctors repeatedly finding the heartbeat on the doppler, and maybe feeling something kick me sometimes, I’m still finding it a little bit difficult to believe this is happening. That it’s happened at all. That it will continue to happen.

Someone asked me a few weeks ago when I felt confident in my pregnancy with Gus, and I told them, completely honestly, when I was walking into Labor & Delivery and my contractions we’re two minutes apart.

And yet, I am surprisingly less anxious than I was back then. Maybe it’s the fact that now I no longer feel the pressure of being barren forever. Maybe my cold agnostic heart has been touched by a freaking angel, and I can’t help but feel like this is something that is supposed to happen.

Time will tell, I guess.

So far, so good.

 

Such a Cliche

Every infertile has heard it a thousand times before.

Just stop trying, and it’ll happen!
Just relax, have some wine!
My sister’s best-friend’s aunt’s neighbor adopted, and then got pregnant with triplets!

You all know the drill.

And we all smile, and say thank you, but I’ve seen a doctor. It’ll never be that simple for me.

And then sometimes you lose two more pregnancies in a year, and get pancreatitis twice in a month (and think you’re really going to die). You find out you might not be able to do IVF anymore, so you look into surrogacy, and becoming foster parents, and natural cycle treatments, and adoption, and literally everything else under the sun.

But no matter what, you both agree, we’re not doing anything about anything for at least six months so I have time to heal.

And then one day, a few weeks later, you’re like, man my boobs hurt. Let me just take this last pregnancy test I have laying around, since I’m a glutton for punishment, and it’s been awhile since I’ve seen confirmation that my ovaries are worthless…

Only, wait.
What?

What the hell is that?

That’s a magical, rainbow-breathing, unicorn. It’s the most spectacular accident that has ever accidented. It’s the very definition of flabbergasted and befuddlement. It stops everyone who’s seen it in their tracks, with a look on their face that asks, WTF IS HAPPENING RIGHT NOW?!

That’s a goddamn miracle — that’s what it is.

And SUCH a cliche.

Sixteen Going on Seventeen

This year was not my best. It was stressful, and disappointing, and scary and heartbreaking from time to time. But we laughed a lot, and had a lot of fun too (when I wasn’t sobbing).

It sort of reminds me of these photos, which are some of my favorites from this year. They look good, but really, each one was taken in the midst of a disaster.

In the first one, our trip to the train museum was a makeup trip from the week before when Gus threw up on everything (and everyone) in our car.

The second one was taken in the middle of a full-on meltdown/refusal to participate in a class I’d already paid for, and that – up until that very second – he used to love.

The third was taken after I spent the morning packing a cooler, and a beach bag, and slathering lotion on everyone, and hauling 25 pounds of stuff down to the beach, and 15 minutes later he was like, let’s go to the pool, I hate it here.

So I try to remember that sometimes annoying things happen, and you’ll be stressed and frustrated and tired, but something good can still come out of it. (At least as long as you’re willing to let your toddler wander fairly far away from you, and you happen to be holding a camera).

I hope that everyone has a happy(ier) and healthy(ier) 2017