measured at 6lb 12oz today. still on the inside. 2cm dilated. the anticipation is killing us. but strangely not particularly motivating us to be totally ready.
A friend of mine is writing a book chapter on LGBT couples’ experiences with fertility and conception. If you’re willing to fill out a brief survey (it’s not a research study, just an informal survey to make sure she’s covered a wide range of perspectives) drop us an email at moms at baointheoven.com
PS- everyone is doing great. Mama Bea is feeling great and we’ve now welcomed a pregnancy pillow into our bed. Essie is excited for her little brother (it’s a boy!), suddenly fully potty trained, and finally starting to occasionally sleep under her blankets with her head on the pillow in her big girl bed.
Essie: *drops something, makes a loud noise*
Jae: *gasps in surprises looks up from cooking* oh. You surprised me.
As if she just says that at appropriate times without any prompting.
Essie: look what I did!
Jae: What? Bring it over here.
Essie: No I want you to come here!
Jae: I’m making dinner, remember?
Essie: Oh ok. *brings it over*
Every time she just does what I say, I’m shocked out of my pants.
That was the post title I had running through my head all last week. Coworkers are eyeing my abdomen. Clothes definitely don’t fit. And, in the ultimate test of How Pregnant Do You Look?, someone stood up for me on the subway last week. Seriously, I look more pregnant now than I did at 14 weeks last time.
Now I’m six weeks and showing even more. Apparently what I’m carrying is the size of a lentil, but you wouldn’t think that to look at me.
In other news, Mama Jae and I have begun the hospital tour extravaganza. We toured Lenox Hill on Monday and will have a “virtual onsite” tour (whatever that means) of NYU Langone on Friday. I still want to do a couple more but so far the tour dates don’t work for us. And if all goes well, we’ll be graduating from our fertility center next week. Wednesday is the day we will (fingers crossed) see a heartbeat.
Which reminds me: Mama Jae and I didn’t think we could be gladder to get away from a fertility clinic than we were the first go-round. Strangely, this time is no better. We had a feeling that has since been confirmed that our treatment protocol was not individualized in the slightest, that there was a one-size-fits-all approach being taken by the clinic. The manifestation of this post-positive-pee-stick is the ridiculous number of times the clinic has wanted us to come in for ultrasounds. They wanted us there once a week for me to get wanded, to make sure the embryo was in the uterus, to check on progress/growth, blah blah blah. We refused: it wasn’t necessary the first time; why should our pregnancy be treated as high-risk? Why go through the expense and unnecessary ultrasounds when I had a perfectly normal pregnancy the first time? But it took three phone calls and an in-person meeting with a nurse the first week we refused the ultrasound and two phone calls the second week to make them understand it wasn’t happening. (I did go in for bloodwork as they wanted me to but honestly didn’t see the point of that either. All has been doubling away; here at weeks my beta results were something like 35,000.) At any rate, during one of those phone calls one of the nurses told me that weekly ultrasounds are the clinic’s “standard of care.” Which to me means: “we treat everyone the same regardless of how high-risk we think your pregnancy may be.”
So I am proud of us for declining.
Another thing I am proud of: in our building’s elevator, Essie struck up a conversation with a stranger about stickers, as she is wont to do. The stranger, an older woman, asked if she had given a sticker to her Mommy. Essie said yes. Then the woman asked if she’d given one to her Daddy. Essie said, “I don’t have a Daddy! I have a Mommy and a Mama.” SO PROUD!
The second beta from Sunday morning was 341. Still pregnant!
Thanks to all of you for your congratulatory comments! It feels a little surreal still, especially since I have been absent from the blogosphere for so long. It really means a lot, so thank you.
I’ve been starting to research hospitals and birthing centers and doctors and midwives. There are a lot. One thing I am super shocked by (though I guess I shouldn’t be) is that having a private room post-partum is an added expense, and for most hospitals they are on a first-come, first-served basis, and if you don’t get one you’re in a “semi-private” room with a roommate and your wife can’t stay in the room with you. WTF? This is not something we had to consider when we were doing all of the tours in Nashville–private rooms with some sort of sleeping arrangement for the significant other were a given. In New York, the rooms for labor & delivery seem spacious and lovely in most instances, but recovery seems like an afterthought. Given that we never even made it to L&D the first go-round and want to labor at home as much as possible again, I think that for us the postpartum experience is more important. I’ve set up one tour already (Lenox Hill) and I think we will try to go to three others based on their proximity to where we live (Roosevelt St. Luke’s, Beth Israel, and NYU Langone). Anyone who is natural-birth-oriented have any experiences to share at any of those places, or suggestions for other hospitals to look into? I think we will choose a place and find a provider affiliated with it, but if anyone loved their doctor or midwife we’d love to know about it.
I have been thinking a lot about how lucky I am to be experiencing pregnancy again. I really loved it the first time and when I was having my day of glum last Monday, I was beginning to question whether I’d be able to do it again, and it was so hard to think about letting go of that. Fingers crossed, all will be will with this pregnancy, and this will likely be the last time I am pregnant. I want to remember that every day of the pregnancy and not take it for granted.
I’ve also been thinking about early August, when Essie and I went to go visit my parents. We took the train there and back and had originally planned to go Saturday-Tuesday, but my cycle timing (and also the schedule of my sister, the one with four kids, whom I wanted Essie to have time to play with) made it necessary to change the train ticket, making it way more expensive. We almost didn’t change the ticket, but I am so glad we spent that extra $200. If we hadn’t we’d be gearing up for another try now instead. Changing the ticket also allowed for Mama Jae and me to have a wonderful couple of days’ worth of dates in NYC, during which we ate so much incredible (and now off-limits) food, went to museums, and generally enjoyed our time together. (We also got pregnant during this time, and I love thinking about conception happening at such a lovely, relaxed time.)
Also, bonus: apparently due to Obamacare, according to the health insurance rep I spoke to today, breast pumps are 100% covered! Hooray!
By Monday, which was 10 DPO (I think), I had given up on this cycle. I had zero symptoms. I spent all day being sad, sad, sad. I didn’t WANT to do injectables. I didn’t WANT to buy more sperm. All kinds of negative thoughts surrounding my body and its ability to do what I wanted it to were swirling around me all day. To top it all off, fertility friend had taken away my pretty vertical red line right above IUI day because I’d had several temps below my cover line, so it was as if even the stupid phone app didn’t think there was any possibility. Usually I can pull myself out of a funk (or Mama Jae can) but Monday was just hard.
So by yesterday, probably 13 DPO, I was done with this cycle and had mourned it and was on to the next thing. I sperm-shopped. Decided I’d have sangria on Friday once spotting started or the test was negative. After work yesterday, Mama Jae and I discussed what we would say in our appointment with our doctor today, which we had made to see what other options might be available other than injectables, like maybe IUIs closer together or trigger shots at different times or maybe doing another HSG.
Then I woke up this morning, temped, expecting a pre-period drop, and instead logged an unexpectedly high temp.
Then I went to the bathroom and checked very thoroughly (ahem!) for blood, because I’d begun spotting the last time I’d peed on a stick but hadn’t noticed until I’d already peed and wasted the stupid thing. No blood.
Then I took the test. Didn’t really look at it. Got back into bed with Mama Jae. Looked at it. And there it was: a faint plus sign.
“I might have been wrong,” I told Mama Jae. “You’re always wrong,” she said. “You don’t even know what it feels like when you have to poop and you do that twice a day. You were pregnant once four years ago; of course you don’t remember what it feels like.”
Of course I had to go to our fertility clinic to get a blood test before work, but of course the post-test discussing/cuddling/celebrating is not usually part of our morning routine so we were running late. So I was about half an hour late to work but thankfully my boss is out of town. I’ll get bloodwork results sometime this afternoon and then I guess I’ll go back on Sunday unless the bloodwork indicates that the test was a lie. I’ve spent the morning in semi-disbelief but of course have started researching midwives/OBs and hospitals. And talking to my mom, of course, who was ecstatic, of course. I think I’ll wait to tell my sisters until at least after today’s blood results.
ETA: UPDATE: Beta is 143. Pregnant!
It’s been so lovely to hear from all of you. Thank you for still reading and checking in and all of your kind and supportive comments!
Try #5 took place last Friday. It went fine, a little blood, but whatever. (One thing I’ve learned from TTC after having the first child is that EVERY doctor needs to comment on how easy doing my IUIs are. Mind you, I have had the same doctor(s) say this more than once. I guess it’s that remarkable. They certainly hurt less. I guess I’m all nice and stretched out now. Sweet.) Mama J and I then proceeded to go to the mandatory injectables class, which is totally going to be for naught because this try is going to be THE ONE, amiright? The class was unremarkable other than the fact that one of our fellow attendees was perhaps one of the dumbest people I have ever seen. The nurse leading the class would say something like, “You should get a sharps container along with your package. If you don’t, just put the sharps in a tupperware and bring it into the office and we will dispose of it for you.” Our classmate would then raise her hand and say “Is it okay if we bring the tupperware into the doctor’s office?” Bless her heart (as they would say in Nashville). Also, neither of our classmates was accompanied by a significant other. Which seemed strange. But the shots seem pretty straightforward and as I said, I have an increased feeling of optimism knowing we’ll try a new tactic if this cycle doesn’t work (which it WILL).
I had taken vacation days with the plan to spend a couple of days having fun in NYC with Mama J, then going with Essie to my parents’ hometown for a few days. So it was good timing in terms of being low-stress. I haven’t been temping for any of the previous 4 cycles with this clinic, as I thought the temping was making me crazy and OCD. But I have a better understanding of my rhythm of symptoms post-Ovidrel and IUI, and I have had a pretty good sense of when it’s PMS-related. So I decided to temp this cycle just to see what happens. We’ll see. So far fertility friend is mostly confused, but seems to think that ovulation took place on the same day as the IUI.
Hopefully this one will work, as our bank accounts could use a break. But if it doesn’t, we buy more sperm and begin the adventure that is Follistim cycles. Anyone out there have words of wisdom/warnings/success stories to share?
I’m not going to imagine that anyone will actually read this, especially since google reader is no longer a thing. But I have been thinking a lot recently about needing to signal the universe in as many ways as possible that we are ready for our second bao. We blogged so much the first go-round, but life has been so different for us in the past year since our move to new york that it has been hard to fit it in. So here I am. I am also trying to taper off caffeine again, exercise more, chart my temps (which I had not been doing previously) and just generally spend some time visualizing what our lives will be like once we have a second child.
We are currently on our fifth attempt with our RE. We have been doing letrozole cycles, sometimes with one IUI, sometimes with two. If this fifth letrozole cycle is not successful, our doctor thinks we should go to injectables. We are going to take a class next week and I have been reading up a bit about what they entail. It sounds like the treatment has a greater success rate, which has given me renewed hope. It’s been weird TTC again, because this time I know what feeling pregnant feels like, and I have generally known by 10DPO that I’m not pregnant. It’s been disheartening and making me more pessimistic, for whatever strange reason. But now that we are going to try a new approach I feel optimistic again. Though I am actually hoping that this fifth attempt will be the one and all of this research and reading will be for nothing. Five *has* always been my lucky number.
In other news, we love new york, Essie is darling and three years old and has no interest in the toilet whatsoever.