Thursday, March 31, 2011

TTC Cycle #13

I've been procrastinating on writing this post for some time now.  Mainly because this cycle was the absolute lowest point of my TTC journey.  Debated putting such personal information out here, but sub-fertility isn't pretty, so I decided to go with it...

TTC Cycle #13: September 13, 2010-October 13, 2010 (31 days)

CD 3-7- Taking 100mg Clomiphene for the 2nd time

CD 8-  I wrote this letter to a close friend, so I'm just reposting it here and editing the names...

So I seriously screwed things up this weekend and basically had a nervous breakdown on Saturday night. A & K (A is DH's best friend/man & K is his wife) visited us this weekend, and she's 17 weeks pregnant. I thought I could handle seeing her, but I couldn't. It actually started on Friday night- about ten minutes before they arrived, I started picking a fight with DH. He called me out on it and asked what was wrong, and I confessed that I was anxious about seeing K pregnant. He asked why I didn't mention anything to him, and it's because every time I get sad about hearing that someone else is pregnant, he tells me that I should be happy for them and not so selfish. So I don't feel like I can talk about it with him. So I bailed out on hanging out with everyone after the beer festival on Saturday night, and DH told them the reason why I bailed. I think the thing that started it all was on Saturday afternoon during the festival, DH & A walked up to the group, they were each carrying an iced water, and they handed both of them to K. It was so irrational, but I was like, why isn't he giving ME a water? I'm his wife, not K! I feel so stupid now, but I don't know if it was the hormones from the fertility meds, the alcohol, or a combo of both. Spent most of the night crying. DH is stressed. I'm stressed. I tried to talk to him on Saturday night when he got home, and he said he couldn't handle talking then. I tried during the day on Sunday, and he still wasn't ready.  We finally talked last night, and he said he's still so numb from the whole experience. Yesterday I made inquiries of my insurance about receiving counseling services, since they require an authorization before you make an appointment. The guy I talked to sounded like a suicide hotline person, and asked me if I felt like hurting myself or others. It was true on Saturday night, but not now, so I told him no. I honestly scared myself so bad, I just wanna make this right. My sister has an "Employee Assistance Program" thing where her employer has prepaid the cost of the initial evaluation and brief counseling session(s) for employees and immediate family. So I called them and made an appointment today at 2:30. DH thinks I need therapy, not counseling, so I can learn how to manage my emotions. I'm thinking that any objective 3rd party would be better than none. DH also said that he wants us to abstain from trying for a baby this cycle until I can get my emotions under control. I feel like it's a wasted opportunity for making a baby since I just took the fertility meds, but I wanna be better. Blah. I'll let you know how the appointment goes...

So I stopped charting for the rest of the month and went to that appointment.  She referred me to a Marriage & Family Therapist who specializes in infertility.

CD 12-13-Camping with DH.  We hadn't gone camping just the 2 of us in over 5 years (we always go in groups with our friends), so it was nice having the one-on-one time together.  We have sex that night, but in retrospect if DH had realized what CD I was on, he said that he wouldn't have done it since he wanted us to abstain from trying this cycle.  I thought that was the beauty of NOT tracking--that we didn't have to worry about when we're having sex.

CD 17- First appointment with B, the marriage & family therapist.  DH came with me, and it went well.  I cried for most of the appointment, but I felt like we were just getting to know each other for the first appointment and learn my TTC background.


CD 32- I get my period.  We didn't actively try this cycle, but I was hoping for it anyway.  To make matters worse, DH told me today that his sister is pregnant.  Apparently she was pregnant when we saw her in August, but she didn't tell us. She was waiting for me to get pregnant so we could both be pregnant together. I obviously wasn't happening, so she called DH and told him. Then DH decided to wait and see if I was pregnant or not this cycle before he told me about her pregnancy.  And of course I get my period, and he tells me then.  My SIL had a baby last December, and so her babies are going to be 16 months apart. According to DH, my SIL and the baby daddy only had sex "one time" over the summer and apparently one time is all it takes for her to get pregnant.  It's funny because when she stayed with us in June 2009, she told me that her biggest fear was getting pregnant immediately after she had Baby #1 and not leaving the baby daddy (who is unstable), and that's exactly what happened.  Sigh.
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I wanted to end this post on a positive note, so I'm adding a bit here :)  I'm currently 13 weeks pregnant.  Baby has fingerprints now, and if she's a girl, she already has the 2 million eggs in her ovaries that she'll have for her lifetime.  It's so wild!

I'm getting TONS of "How are you feeling?" questions at work.  One of my co-workers told me that I'd get sick of them after a while, and I kind of already am...

Last Monday I told DH that my stomach has tripled in size.  He pointed out that I was complaining.  I totally didn't mean to, since I obviously have been wanting the baby for FOREVER, but it's hard shaking the mentality of "don't gain weight."  I work for Weight Watchers (working for them means you had to have been a member before, lost weight with WW, and stayed at your goal weight--I lost 20 lbs in 2007), so seeing the scales go in the opposite direction has been harder to handle than I previously thought.  Duh, I want the baby.  Duh, I know you gain weight in pregnancy.  But when I see my belly sticking waaaaaaaay out, and I know the baby is only 3 inches long, I also know that that's just my gut and nothing else.  It's really playing with my self-esteem.

And I swore I wouldn't complain about my pregnancy.  Ugh.  Got to stop whining.

Offering this up for you, prayer buddy!  I'm sure you'll get lots of extra graces for the amount of turmoil I'm putting myself through :)

Okay, seriously ending on a positive note now...

I've made it to 2 out of the 3 stations so far this Lent.  Going to the 3rd one for me tomorrow!  I actually have gotten a lot out of going to stations this season.  The first Friday I went, I skipped the "soup & substance" part and just went straight to stations.  After stations, I went to the side chapel for adoration.  I was by myself, so I removed the curtain from in front of the monstrance and put it off to the side.  I prayed the rosary silently, meditating on the Joyful mysteries.  When I got to the third mystery (the nativity), someone turned on the light behind the stained glass window above the monstrance (it's a stained glass window on an inner wall, so it doesn't get outside light), and the nativity scene lit up before me!!!  It was so amazing :)  Then by the time I got to the 5th mystery, the Spanish choir started rehearsing their music for their stations, so I got to listen to them singing and playing the guitar while I finished the last decade.  It was such a beautiful evening!  Looking forward to stations again tomorrow...

Thursday, March 24, 2011

My first Doppler

Yesterday I had my first Doppler to listen to the baby's heartbeat.  After seeing the heart valves open and close on the ultrasound last time, I was looking forward to actually hearing it instead of just seeing it on a screen.

This was actually a drastic change for me, so I'm going to sidetrack here...almost every single time I had to go to a doc appt from June-January, I somehow ended up waiting in the sub-waiting room which is adjacent to one of the two ultrasound rooms in my doc's office.  The first time I heard a baby's heartbeat from another woman, I about lost it.  It went on for over 15 minutes!  I'm like, who in the world needs to listen to that sound for such a looong period of time?!  If I ever needed to be tortured and interrogated for anything, all you would have to do is put on the sound of a baby's heartbeat and I would be a goner and confess anything just to get it to stop.  The sound was excruciatingly painful for me to listen to--like it was making a mockery of the fact that I didn't have a baby, no matter how badly I wanted one.  I know, not rational, but that's how I felt.  The first time it happened to me, I immediately texted (because you're not allowed to use a cell phone in the waiting room) 2 of my closest friends about my awful situation.  One friend suggested bringing my iPod next time, and the other just gave her sympathies since she was also experience sub-fertility and has gone through that many times before since we both go to the same OBGYN.  It was all I could do not to get up and leave the room.

Fast forward to present day...

Now I get to hear my own baby's heartbeat.  HUGE change in attitude about hearing a baby's heartbeat.  I'm actually really excited!  DH was able to come along to the appointment, which made it all the more special.

The nurse has me lie down and puts the gel on my abdomen.  She explains that she's basically looking for a moving target since the baby currently floating around in my uterus and said to not be alarmed if we don't hear the heartbeat right away since she has to find the baby first.  So we wait and listen...there's lots of static, then suddenly, thump, thump, thump really fast.  It only lasted for a second, then the baby moved again!  This time we heard my heartbeat first, more static, then the baby's heartbeat through the static.  That happened about 3 more times before the nurse was satisfied and turned the Doppler off.  Baby's heartbeat was 160 bpm (last appointment was 163), which the nurse said it within the acceptable range of 110-160.  I'm wondering if the old wives' tale is true about girls having a faster heart rate.  My next appointment is on April 20th at 16 weeks for another Doppler, and I'll have my 2nd ultrasound sometime mid-May to find out the gender!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Conversation with a student

A conversation last Thursday...

Student: How big is your baby now?
Me: About 3 centimeters.
Student: Awwww!!!  That's so cute!
[pause]
Student: ...Wait, if the baby's only 3 centimeters, then why do you have a belly?
I smile and try to think of the best way to answer the question.
Me: Well, you don't gain all the weight at the end of the pregnancy when the baby is big.  It's spread all throughout the pregnancy.
Student: Oh.  Okay.

DH said that I should have instead told my student that I was eating her lunch behind her back :)

Monday, March 21, 2011

Sister-in-law in labor!

I'm here asking for some prayers...my sister-in-law is in labor and is currently at 9 cm.  She's doing a home birth with a mid-wife (specifically, a VBAC).  Please pray for her and her baby girl!  Thank you!

UPDATE 2:30pm: No baby yet.  Midwife is a little worried that it is taking too long.  Please continue to pray!

UPDATE 9pm: Baby Girl was born at 7:30!  Mom and baby are doing well :)  Thank you Jesus!  I don't know the weight or length yet since she had her at home.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Don't send your sick child to school

This morning I noticed a 2nd grader with very flushed cheeks.  I thought it was odd since he had just gotten to school and hadn't even had a chance to run around yet and get hot.  10 minutes after school started, I was in the office shredding some papers when the 2nd grade TA brought the child into the office to call his parents and send him home.  The office manager took one look at him and made me leave the office immediately (I think she's a bit of a hypochondriac [not sure why she's working in a school], so I decided she was just being paranoid).

After I left the office, the OM came down to my classroom.  She told me that she called the child's father, who then told the OM that his son has Fifth Disease and that he caught it from his younger sister.  Then why did you send your child to school?!?!  The OM told me that Fifth Disease is dangerous for pregnant women and that I should call my doctor and let him know that I've been exposed to it.  I decide to Google "Fifth Disease" so I can learn more about it.  According to Wikipedia, "In pregnant women, infection in the first trimester has been linked to hydrops fetalis, causing spontaneous abortion."

Now I'm starting to freak out.  I still have 2 weeks left of the first trimester.  I call my doctor's office and leave a message for one of the nurses explaining my situation and that I've been exposed to Fifth Disease.  They usually call back by the end of the day, but I got a call back FOUR minutes later!  The nurse told me that they tested for Fifth Disease with my bloodwork almost 3 weeks ago, and I'm immune to it (thank God!).  She said that they usually do this test with people who work with children to make sure they're okay.

I'm soooo thankful that I'm immune to it.  But I also believe it's extremely irresponsible to send your sick child to school when you KNOW they're sick and what they have.  It's just putting the well-being of others through unnecessary risk.  So to all the parents out there: Please don't send your sick child to school.  Thank you.

Friday, March 11, 2011

TTC Cycle #12

TTC Cycle #12: August 14, 2010-September 12, 2010 (30 days)

After many prayers and talks with DH, we decide to go ahead with Clomiphene.  I take 100mg on CD 3-7.  It makes me a bit looney.  The worst part during it was when I had a meltdown in the kitchen over cutting up vegetables.  I just started sobbing, "I can't do it!!!"  and DH starts to smile at me.  I'm like, "Why are you smiling?  I'm crying!!!  Boo-hoo!".  He says, "Katie, it's just vegetables,"  and I started laughing in between sobs, realizing how ridiculous I sound.

CD 11- I have my very first ultrasound to check and see if there's a mature follicle and if my ovaries are over-stimulated or not.  I'm kind of excited and nervous, but my doc says to not expect it to work the first time.  So I get a UTI the day before (yuck!), and it's convenient that I already have an appointment scheduled today.  I give the nurse the urine sample for testing, and she starts chatting with me.

Nurse- It's common to have UTIs now since there's a lot of stuff going on down there.
Me- Huh????
Nurse- You know, with pregnancy.
Me- I'm not pregnant.  I'm TRYING to get pregnant.
Nurse- Your chart says you're pregnant.
Me- ?!?!

Apparently there's another Katie with the same last name as me at their office.  She was born in the same year as me and also weighs the same.  The other Katie is pregnant.  I'm not.  And they accidentally switched the files.  (Hippa violation!!!)  So that was depressing, to say the least.

My ultrasound shows 2 maturing follicles--one on my right ovary that is 19 mm and one on my left ovary that is 15 mm.  Doc says that I'll ovulate in 3-5 days!!!  I'm on track to have a 29-30 day cycle.

CD 12- I get a phone call from my friend K (her husband is A, DH's best friend/man) saying that they're 13 weeks pregnant and having a boy!  We talk for about 30 minutes, and I tell her about my ultrasound yesterday.  I actually didn't cry, and I attribute that to her keeping me on the phone for so long and talking me through everything.  I'm hopeful that I'll get pregnant this cycle so that our babies can be close in age (silly, I know).

CD 17- My sister, L, gives birth to her son, E, on August 30, 2010, one day before her 20th birthday.  Baby E is perfect healthy!  L asked me and DH to be the godparents, and we of course say yes :)

My maternal grandmother, Vovoa (Portuguese for grandmother), is hospitalized, and it's serious.  There's a hole in her colon, and they're not going do surgery.  She's in the same hospital where L and E are (where my dad works as well).

CD 18- August 31, 2010.  Vovoa dies 2 days before her 80th birthday :(  3 out of her 5 children (including my mom) were there with her when she passed.  She had spoken about being ready to meet Jesus, but it was still a hard time for us all.

CD 21-25- Travel to FL for her funeral and family time.  I was planning on just taking sick leave, but my principal tells me that they do paid bereavement leave, so I'm able to stay an extra day to be with my mom.  I help her out sorting through my grandmother's clothes and belongings.

CD 31- AF :(  What a horrible cycle.
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On a lighter note...
The Sunday Schoolers use our classrooms at the Catholic school next door to meet on Sunday mornings. They're notorious for going through my students' desks and taking stuff. I had a meeting this afternoon, and when I got back to my classroom, this was on the board! :)

Friday, March 4, 2011

My morning prayers & another pregnant friend!

One of the things I love about teaching at a Catholic school is that prayer is included in our daily routine.  We start the day off with Morning Prayer every single day!  During our Morning Prayer, we have petitions where the kids can pray for whomever/whatever they want.  Some of the prayers are actually very thoughtful...for example--people with lead poisoning, all the souls in purgatory, for the homeless and hungry, anyone who is depressed or lonely, anyone who is sick and dying, children waiting to be adopted, etc.  And that's coming from 4th graders!  Some of the kids' prayers are a little different, like, for us to do well on the test, or for my dog so she doesn't have to wear a cone anymore, or for me because I'm hungry (lol).  At the end of the petitions, I also include the one that says, "For all the prayers we hold in the silence of our hearts."  During that time, I ALWAYS would pray this to myself:

For my marriage, for Your will for us to have a baby, (then whatever else I think of that needs prayers at the moment).

Except that even now that I'm pregnant, I STILL catch myself saying the exact same thing--for Your will for us to have a baby.  And then I'm like, I DO have a baby!  I don't know if I'm saying it just out of old habit, or if the pregnancy still hasn't sunk in yet, or what.  So when I do catch myself saying that, I change it to-"for all subfertile women and for my pregnancy".  I'm hoping that the change of prayer will help.

I posted our pregnancy news on Monday on Facebook.  The next morning, my friend J, said this:
So, I did not say anything yesterday because we were planning to share today, lol, but we are due within the same week, and go to the same OB! Maybe we will be in the same hospital at the same time! YAY! Congratulations, Katie! I am so very excited for you! :^)
I spoke with her for an hour on the phone today, and it turns out that she and her DH had been TTC for over a year, but they didn't tell ANYONE.  I was so shocked to hear that!  I had a fellow sub-fertile friend, and I didn't even know it!  It was great being able to catch up and talk about our struggles of conceiving and how our pregnancies are progressing.  I don't think it's a coincidence that we're pregnant at the same time :)

P.S.  I think I'm procrastinating writing about the next few cycles of TTC.  A few of those cycles got a lot more dark and depressing--the lowest point of my entire journey of TTC.  But I know that I have to get it written out, no matter how painful reliving it might be.  I promise I'll continue with them eventually.