Two Weeks To Go

Yesterday we had our last growth scan, and Little Brother is currently weighing in at 6 pounds and 7 ounces (the 53%, and already a full pound bigger than Gus was when he was born).

I have four NSTs to go.

39 injections left, which sounds like a lot, but I take three a day.

All the baby clothes are washed. My hospital bag is packed. I finally bought a few packs of diapers.

We finally got a 3D sneak peak of his face that doesn’t look like a deformed Halloween mask, and he’s got chubby little cheeks and his dad’s nose.

I was fully prepared to suffer through carpal tunnel and De Quervain syndrome again, and miraculously (a theme for this pregnancy in general!) it never became an issue.

The trade off though, seems to be horrendous pelvic pain, that I can only compare to, like, riding a bike with an old metal seat for eight hours a day, EVERY day.

So that’s been pleasant.

Overall, I’m feeling good, and I’m ready to have this baby.

Tiny complication? In two days my mom is flying halfway around the world for 10 days. She gets home about 60 hours before my scheduled delivery.

She’s convinced my water will break as soon as her plane takes off.

So if you need me, I’ll be sitting here (on an ice pack) with my legs and my fingers crossed, for the next two weeks.

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This is Easier/Harder Than Last Time

Having a normal sized baby, after having a teeny tiny one, is much easier than I was prepared for. 

It’s easier to go to the doctor, get NSTs and BPPs, there’s a lot less monitoring and blood work, and none of the medical professionals I see throughout the week come at me with a doom-and-gloom attitude.

My NSTs are over, passed with flying colors, in record time. My BPPs are literally just fluid checks — no dopplers, no practice breaths counts, no constant talk of growth scans. 

I’m not laying awake at night frantically reading about IUGR causes and complications. 

Doctors say things like, “this is all a testament to how well you’re managing your gestational diabetes!” as I stare blankly over their shoulders, thinking about plates of French fries and bowls of ice cream. 

It’s also harder though, physically.

While it’s only the matter of a few extra pounds, I’m feeling the difference between carrying a baby in the 10th percentile versus one in the 50th. 

My belly button is gone, and I’m horrified, and I can’t even look at it (which is difficult since I have to give myself multiple abdominal injections a day). Oh god I hope it goes back to normal. 

And then there are all the regular third trimester wonders like heartburn, and round ligament pain, aching back and ribs, and (new for me this time!) Braxton Hicks, all of which seem intensified this time, but that could just be my pregnancy amnesia talking. 

But of course, like any lucky former infertile (a former infertile with a miracle unicorn accidental pregnancy no less), I’m trying not to complain. 

Six Weeks to Go

Yesterday I started my twice-weekly NSTs and BPPs for Little Brother, and despite my clotting issues, gestational diabetes, a history of gestation hypertension AND a previous IUGR diagnosis — this baby is perfect.

He’s almost 4.5 pounds, and has measured anywhere from the 40th to the 60th percentile depending on the day we have a growth scan. Gus, at this point, was already hovering around the 10th percentile, so the idea of having a giant normal sized baby is blowing my mind right now.

And, I don’t know if it’s because this time the baby is bigger, or if it’s my anterior placenta, or if it’s just because it’s my second (well, sixth, but who’s counting?) pregnancy, but I feel ENORMOUS. My belly button is almost gone, and it’s threatening to pop out, and I can’t even look at it, and Gus thinks it’s fascinating and wants to poke it (GAHH.)

If everything continues to chug along as it has been, and I don’t go into labor on my own, I’m rolling up to the hospital in six weeks to have this baby (and my second October baby will, in fact, be a September baby).

Anyone else still shocked this is happening? Because I am, 100%.

I’m all for going into labor naturally. That’s what happened with Gus, a few days before my scheduled induction. I’m NOT a huge fan of contractions, and labor pains though, because HOLY MOLY, so part of me is thrilled to just show up and have another c-section.

Complicating matters this time (because of course!) my mom is scheduled to be out of the country up until three days before my scheduled delivery, so fingers and knees crossed he stays put while she’s gone.

 

 

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 โ€“ up until that very second โ€“ 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

Back in the Saddle.

As we get ready to start another FET cycle, I’m trying to get as healthy as possible.

And along with that comes (or goes?) all the usual suspects.

Caffeine.
Sugar.
Artificial sweeteners.
Alcohol.
Refined Grains.
Good ole’ gluten.

Goodbye old friends. We had a good run, didn’t we?

And, unfortunately for me, since our last loss I have just been eating my feelings (they taste like pizza and ice cream!) for months. Then, that rolled into vacation eating.

And so all that had to stop.

And then I did something unthinkable.

I started going to the gym again. On purpose! Repeatedly! It’s not as often as I’d like, and I can’t work out as hard as I used to (who remembers when I was thin?!) but it’s better than never, ever going to the gym, which is what I’ve been doing for, ohhhhhhhh, six years?

And after all these years of infertility treatments, and pregnancies, and breastfeeding, and going dairy-free, and then eating ALL THE DAIRY, I honestly cannot tell you what my pre-pregnancy weight was.

The good news is, I’m not focused on being a certain weight, or a certain size. This body of mine will never be perfect, but it gave me Gus, and that’s a body worth celebrating as far as I’m concerned, even if it doesn’t look perfect in a bathing suit. But leggings and tunics seem like they’re here to stay awhile, so amen and hallelujah for stretchy pants!

My goal is to lose as much weight as I can (healthily) between now and our FET, while getting stronger and eating these things called “vegetables” I’ve been hearing so much about.

So far, so good.

Next Steps

After our last (failed) IVF attempt, we’ve been talking about what our next steps are.

I’m definitely planning to try again, but the more I think about it, the more I’d like to take a few months off before starting again.

For starters, we’ve decided to have our remaining embryos genetically tested. While it doesn’t guarantee success, it certainly increases our odds (and the odds have not been in my favor). And despite the extra cost, the price is significantly less than it was four years ago when we started this process, so that was a pleasant surprise.

Then we have our annual family vacation coming up, and I would love to run, and jump and play in the ocean with Gus. I’d also like to take him on rides, and to splash parks, and eat (and drink) at all my favorite restaurants and bars.

After that, we have a destination wedding coming up in September, and making either 1) a long car ride, or 2) a plane ride with a toddler while pregnant and taking blood thinners was not something I was looking forward to. Now I just have to deal with the joys of toddler traveling, and I can drink away my feelings if that’s what it comes down to.

After THAT, my oldest, and dearest friend is getting married in the spring, and her bachelorette party is possibly happening in Vegas, in the fall, and now I can go and not be the sober party mom, and instead I’ll be the least drunk party mom. (Once the party mom, always the party mom.)

I don’t actually drink that much — despite my last three points being mostly alcohol related — I swear.

Our new house is pretty great, on the inside. But the outside? Needs some work. Like chopping down trees, and clearing overgrowth, and horrible gross outdoorsy-type work. Work I despise, but would like to do as cheaply as possible, and that means getting out there and doing most of it ourselves. I can’t really whack things with an axe on my best day, let alone when I’m super high-risk and pregnant.

And can we talk about Zika for a minute? Because it scares the bejesus out of me. I live in an area they’ve classified as low-risk, but those little bloodsuckers are nearby, and guess who has two thumbs and a giant reservoir in her back yard? This girl. So I’m ok with waiting for mosquito season to end.

And, maybe most importantly, I’m excited to spend a little more time with Gus โ€”  just us. We’ve got a lot of things on the horizon for our little man in the next few months, and I had a lot of anxiety about how a new baby would change things for him.

We just started potty training. He’s starting preschool at the end of August. He’ll be a threenager, and probably transitioning to a big-boy bed in the fall. That’s not so much for you and me, but it’s a lot in a few months when you’re under the age of three. Add all that together, I’m ok with waiting a few more months.

Physically, waiting gives me more time to keep getting healthy. Selfishly, it lets me go on vacation and drink. Financially, it lets us save for the next cycle. And mentally, it’ll be nice to take a break from needles, and medicine reminders, and worrying about all the what ifs.

Uncle Donald

Gus occasionally sings to himself before he falls asleep (adorable! I know!) and until today that really just consisted of him singing “jingle bells” to himself over, and over, and over again.

This afternoon, after a few bars of jingle bells, he started singing “Uncle Donald has a farm, E-O-O-O-O!” before making a few animal sounds and passing out.

He also thinks that everyone is a Mister.

His TMNT bath toy is, “Mr. Guy.” (Who loves to turn the TV on? On his boat? I have no idea.)

His pediatrician is Mr. Doctor.

The guy building my mom’s addition is Mr. Ron, which really isn’t funny or inaccurate โ€“ but sometimes he’ll say something about Mr. Ron’s hole, and that’s obviously hilarious.

And few weeks ago, we went to the library with our friends, Jess and Clio. After we split up, Gus looked around and asked, “Where did Mr. Jess go?!”

And, in additional adorable news, last night he told us goodnight and then ran down the hall to his room screaming, “Take sweet dreams!”