Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Pronounem correctus

It's a boy! An 18 week boy child who looks mighty cute on an anatomy scan. I have been out of town and up to my eyeballs in work so I haven't had time to update like I want. But I will, oh I will.

One concern is that the ultrasound tech mentioned I have "marginal previa," which sounds ominous and scary. Dr. Google seems to indicate that most instances of marginal previa correct themselves. But, as one never content to view the glass as half full when it comes to my tenuous grasp on fertility, I will be grilling my ob tomorrow for the real skinny. My hope is to avoid full scale freakout until then.

If anyone is still reading this, thanks for sticking around. More substantive posts forthcoming. (Oh, and it was fun to type the word "skinny" because I am officially out of normal clothes. After my four safety pins imploded and impaled my tender belly I broke down and bought some big girl clothes. Bliss.)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

12 Steps

I post the above shameful display as proof of the destructiveness of addiction. And, as one who hasn't peed on a stick in months, as clear and convincing evidence that one can beat addiction. Yes, yes, it is true that I could have additional peesticks and pictures of peesticks I haven't shared, but I don't, so trust me. As I conquered the evil peestick, I will conquer the ultrasound. I will have faith that my Little A is growing and thriving and I don't need to eavesdrop every week.

I know I can. I know I can.

Next week, that is.

Below you will see my Little A, well the lower half of him or her, taken at today's ultrasound. At the upper left is a big fat tummy, measuring 16 awe inspiring weeks. And dangling below that massive belly you will see two plump, juicy frog, er, fetus legs, gently crossed...just screaming for some spicy chipotle dipping sauce. He looks just like his mama as she waits for Raoul her beach boy to bring her a beverage. Little A was uncooperative in the sex determination department...again. Tricky fetus! I did see him (so tired of typing multiple pronouns) put his little hand in his mouth, which made me giddy with joy. After the picture below, he scrunched his little legs and kicked off the side. Did I mention with natural grace and elegance?

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Two roads diverged.

I remember so vividly a year and a half ago, after my first IVF had failed, how desperately I needed someone to identify with. Living in a sea of fertiles, I didn't know anyone personally who had undergone IVF; much less someone who had gone through it and failed. I stumbled upon this community and was buoyed by the positivity, the encouragement and the belief that, maybe, just maybe, it could work for me like it had worked for others. Then it seemed like it was only working for others, not me. I got pregnant with my frozen cycle a year ago and then miscarried. Many, many of the women who cycled with me then have children now (real live babies!). Same scenario, after my second IVF failure. And there I was, one of those women. Worse than a beauty school dropout, I was a late (really late) 30's repeat IVF failure.

I found that I couldn't read many of the blogs I'd started off with for many reasons; well, for one reason, because I couldn't identify, I was left behind. I hope that I said the right words and kindly expressed congratulations, of course feeling envy and "why not me's" at the same time. I was staring at the fork in the road, except it felt like a fork in my heart. Originally, E and I said that we would do two fresh IVF cycles, no more. If those two didn't work, plus any frozen cycles, that was that. We would go on, we have a great life, it wasn't mean to be. Then, after the resounding failure that was IVF #2, I told E in tears--not the gentle, flowing, you'd look good in pictures tears, but the heaving, red nosed, hiccuping kind--I have to try again. I can't live with stopping now. In my secret heart of hearts, I can't let go now because I would always wonder what if, what if. And he hugged me and agreed, because that's the man I married.

I don't know why this one worked. I don't know why after a year and a half of infertility treatments, at two months before I turned 39, I had the best cycle imaginable. Why, after countless failures and less than stellar results (that was tongue in cheek) I've ended up here, a few days shy of four months pregnant with what appears to be a healthy fetus. It's not that God answered my prayer, because to say that drives home how many other worthy prayers have not been answered. (I remember reading early on a post written by a newly pregnant woman who said "God knew that I was ready to be a mother" and how it stung me; I was the less worthy one apparently.) I believe God's intervention is not to change the outcome, but to help us deal with the outcome whatever it may be.

All of this to say that I grew to believe that I wouldn't be in this place. That at some point I would close up shop on this chapter and move on. At least as of now, it appears that the outcome could be different and I hope very much that it is. It is disconcerting the powerful emotions I have developed toward the little 5 inch creature wreaking havoc on my body (and fueling no doubt my evil longings for all things confectionery). So I'm here. And I'm very much aware that now I find myself in the same sort of place I avoided for so long. And if you're here, and you know who you are, you don't have to a say a word or leave a comment because I know, oh boy I know, how very hard it is to come to a place that has been so painfully elusive. I won't throw out any of the standardisms, like "if it worked for me it could work for anyone," because, having been on the receiving end before, it doesn't help. Not a bit.

So I will try this week to just accept that things could possibly work out ok and I will see if I can wean myself from the ultrasounds. (Cue anguished cry and hair pulling.) I make no promises though. I have my next "official" ultrasound two weeks from Thursday. I will also try very hard to be charming and win over the front office trolls, er, receptionists at the ob's office and I will also stop throwing around the "do you have any idea how many IVFs I've been through" when they treat me like a fertile. I will try. Really. I will.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

First, there were pee sticks...

Now, ultrasounds. My name is Melanie and I am an ultrasound addict. Yes, I have had an ultrasound every week since I conquered the peesticks. When I try to wean myself off of the ultrasounds, I get the eye twitters and the body shakes and the 1000 thoughts of what could possibly have gone wrong since the last week. Then, hands shaking, eyes bloodshot, I pick up the phone, make the appointment and vow to be stronger next week.


Today's ultrasound revealed a fat fetus measuring 15 weeks, one day. Little A has a four chambered heart, a good looking, chain-like umbilical cord, a lovely spine and a huge stomach. He has really long fingers, one of which was in his mouth. No view of what we believe supports my continued use of the pronoun "he," but we'll know definitively soon enough.

I also learned from the ob that I'm anemic, which explains the headaches and shortness of breath. I just assumed it was a normal part of the process, but am thrilled - thrilled I tell you - that it's not. Though it takes away my excuse for lack of regular exercise, I'm pleased.

As for the nonfetus-carrying side of me, I'm doing really well. I still haven't told work but probably will in the next couple of weeks. I'm enjoying my little secret of secrets. We've widened the circle of friends and family who we've told, and everyone has been wonderful. Not, of course, that I expected folks not to be, but still. It just seems so new and strange and unexpected and foreign. I continue to live the infertile's mantra of hope tempered with realism coupled with "do wonderful things really sustain after so much heartbreak?" I hope so.