M, the kiddo and I spent the better part of Christmas Eve in the pregnancy assessment ward of our local hospital. Good times. I was knocked out by the crazy stomach bug (that I only NOW hear everyone and their sister had) and had to spend a good part of my day being rehydrated and evaluated. Unfortunately, those were the same hours I was supposed to be spending on an airplane en route to Christmas with all of our parents.
We had many hours of monitoring, a full panel of labs and my first internal (OUCH!!!) and the baby was just fine - good accelerations on the heart monitor, no productive contractions and a high, closed cervix. The IV fluids got me back on track enough to limp my way onto a different flight on Christmas day so I could lay pathetically on my parents couch and avoid their food instead of our own. It was pretty terrible.
The ridiculousness of my body's rebellion in the wake of my love letter of last week is not lost on me. C'mon! I said I was sorry!
I say that all I got was an IV bruise but that's not exactly true. I also got a whopping wake-up call about how suddenly things can change leaving me unable to tie up loose ends. On the way to the hospital, it crossed my mind that if something was really wrong, I might be put on bed rest either at home or at the hospital and my poor co-workers would have to deal with the mess I left behind. Even if I go to term, it was still a reality check on how soon we're likely to be heading back to L&D for real. I definitely have a fire lit underneath me at work now.
Speaking of running low on time, I'm starting to freak out about the fact that I don't think we'll have another shower before the baby comes and we have soooo much shopping to do! The one shower we had was very early (pre-registry) and only included a small group of close friends. I was hoping to get a bunch of baby stuff for Christmas but I think our families were trying to get stuff for us. Both sets of parents bought us one very generous and substantial gift - my parents gave us our breast pump and M's gave us our travel system - but that was about it other than a few clothes and books and things. We have so many practical things we really need. My aunt offered to host a shower in January but she's a stack of states away and I'm reaching the point where I really don't want to fly anymore. It takes a whole day of travel each way to get to where our families live and it's just too much to take on right now. I know this is delicate territory and I really hope I don't sound like a spoiled brat. I'm just feeling really overwhelmed looking at the shopping list, even after going over it time and time again to pull off everything that isn't absolutely essential. /whining
M and I tried to take some artistic belly pics last night with a modest amount of success. We purchased a canvas photo print (well, a gift certificate for one) in a silent auction a few months back and it expires tomorrow. We don't have any pictures we want blown up at the moment so we decided to try to take one that could be enlarged as art for the nursery. We need to go through the options when I finish up here. I'm not feeling overly optimistic, but the darn thing is already "paid for" so we need to do get something made, even if it ends up in our basement.
I'm such a slacker when it comes to posting belly pics. I really did take a 28-week shot, and it was only a few days late. I'm ridiculously huge, although the not eating for five days thing did set me back a bit. I shudder to think of the pictures we'll be taking over the weeks to come. I guess at some point here, we should start doing them sooner than every 4 weeks. We'll see.
Big news of today is that my best "local" friend is pregnant. She and her husband have been married for about five months and they "stopped preventing" two months ago (shocking news to me). She's just about five weeks now. This is where I should start gushing about how wonderful it will be to overlap pregnancies with her, how elated I am that our children will be six months apart in age, how thrilled we both are for her and our husband (our closest "couple" friends) - all of which are completely true. But, it's my blog and I get to be as self-absorbed if I want so please forgive the honest yet unflattering text to follow.
I was a little surprised (and if I'm honest, hurt?) to be blindsided by her announcement. No one owes me the intimate details of their family planning, but she's a good friend and I confided in her about every single detail of our journey from start to finish, so it was surprising to me that I didn't even know this was on their near horizon. That said, the blow was cushioned by the fact that I am the first non-family member she told or plans to tell anytime soon and she seemed truly and genuinely shocked herself at the news. The thing that really freaks me out is that even sitting there, across from someone I care so much for, with my 30-week pregnant belly rubbing against the table edge, her announcement transported me right back to such a painful place. If there is anyone on earth I'd think I could be genuinely, unconditionally happy for, it would be her, so what gives?! Am I ever going to be able to react normally to someone else's good news? She was a HUGE support to me throughout our IVF process and I am thrilled that she and her husband had such an easy path to pregnancy. Still, hearing the stark contrast of how her pregnancy came about reminded me of how hard we'd worked and how intensely painful it all was and it was like it happened yesterday. Equally disturbing to me is the belief that her announcement would have been easier for me to accept if she'd been trying, even if only for a brief time. Knowing TTC as intimately as I do, what does that make me? Someone that wishes for other's misfortune? That is a frightening thought.
I'm sure the pregnancy hormones are playing a major role in my little melodrama here. I also know you all know how this goes - the duality of being genuinely happy for someone you care about and still sad at the difficulty of your own road - so I'll stop belaboring this. It just breaks my heart that I'm still here, carrying so much residual pain from something that - most days - feels like it happened so long ago.
Here's the good - a pep talk for myself if you will: This friend couldn't be more aware of or sensitive to all we went through, and if someone's going to have an easy time getting pregnant (and we all know someone is, just not us), it should totally be one of the good eggs. M and I are over the moon to have some friends that are in our same situation (a gap we've been stressing over a bit) and to have it be these friends is simply icing on the cake. Most of all, we love these people and they are happy, so we are happy for them. Really, this is nothing but good news. I just wish our own journey could have been more like theirs... but then we wouldn't have had the exact munchkin that is kicking the living heck out of my insides right now, and that would have been a tragedy, so no more wallowing for me.
OK, time to wrap this up. Hope you all have a safe and happy new year. I'm wishing for great things for ALL of us in 2009.