Monday, August 25, 2008

first appointment = success!

I'm still tired. Super-duper-mega tired. In fact, I'm on my way to bed. At 8:30pm. I just wanted to post a quick update to let you all know that Friday's appointment went really well, and I even got a surprise ultrasound! It appears that we may actually be having a baby and not an alien, despite all prior evidence to the contrary:

Next appointment is scheduled for September 22nd and it is with the OB herself. Finally getting my care straightened out is a big relief.

Thanks for hanging with me even while I'm too busy and exhausted to hold up my end of our relationship. I've got big plans for that 2nd trimester surge of energy, and one of the many items on my checklist is to get back to blogging reguarly because I really miss it.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


OB appointment is scheduled for Friday afternoon. It's with the nurse practitioner, but at least I'm getting in. I decided to leave one last message before driving down there, just in case, and I nearly fell of my chair when they (wait for it) answered their phone! They initially tried to schedule me with her for September 9th (aka 14 weeks) but when I suggested that I felt that was too late to begin prenatal care and perhaps I should call another doctor, something this week just opened right up! Amazing!

The plate is beautiful. Damn it. All the more disappointing that my family didn't get to see it. Here are a couple of pictures*:

*The real plate has our full names on it. These pics have been internetified.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

coming up for air (edited)

I've basically been on a hamster wheel since returning from our visit to my parents' house a few days ago. Work continues to be strange and overwhelming. Last night marked the resolution of phase one of a massive "extra-curricular" assignment I agreed to head up and phase two will be complete in one more week. I can't wait. This project has been consuming my every free second (and every free brain cell) for the last three weeks, and I pretty much couldn't have picked a worse time to take it on: Crazy work transition period, 6-day vacation right in the middle, and first trimester of pregnancy. Brilliant. But... 20/20 hindsight and all of that stuff.

I'm feeling so-so. Exhausted, of course, and queasy a lot of the time. I have had a handful of food cravings, most of which have been strange not just because of their urgency but because they have been from foods that I rarely ate at all before I was pregnant. Consider:
  1. avocados: This one lasted 2-3 days and I couldn't get enough. I didn't like avocados at all until about a year ago, and only started eating them then as a I-guess-these-aren't-THAT-offensive-after-all thing - definitely not a favorite food or anything. (Side note: A few days later, the mere sight of the guacamole my mom pulled out of the refrigerator made me so nauseated I left the room.)
  2. onion rings: I can safely say that I have never in my life ordered (or made) onion rings until 2 nights ago. I'm sure I've taken bites of other peoples' here and there, but generally speaking, I forget they exist. The other night? HAD to have them. I ate one and gave the rest to a friend.
Otherwise most of the things I've had a hankering for are at least part of my usual food repertoire. Turkey sandwiches? I could eat three a day. I want them all the time. I think it's because they've been a familiar staple of my diet since, like, forever so they sound manageable for my nervous tummy. I dunno. I know I'm supposed to be laying off the deli meat, but if it weren't for turkey sandwiches, I might not eat some days. My RE said not to stress about food rules (except no raw meat, dairy, etc.) during the first trimester and focus on just EATING something - anything - because the baby is a parasite and it will get what it needs. Hopefully it won't also get listeria. Ugh, now I feel guilty. OK, I'll try to find other tolerable foods.

The other news-worthy item around these parts is the fact that I can't get through to my OB's office to schedule my first prenatal appointment there. I started trying two weeks ago at which point their appointment scheduler's voicemail was full. Then I went on vacation. Once we got back, I started calling and leaving messages every single day, with the last one approaching hostile. No calls have been returned. I'm off work tomorrow so I'm making this my #1 priority. I'll call hourly if need be. They have until 5pm tomorrow to schedule me or I'm going to call another doctor. Before you say the obvious (This is ridiculous! Who wants a doctor they can't get through to? What does this say about the way their office runs? Cut your losses and head for the hills!), let me reassure you that I know all of these things and have thought them myself on an hourly basis for the past few days. The problem is that we live in a relatively unenlightened part of the world when it comes to pregnancy, birth and "family values" and this is The Doctor we need to go to if we want anything resembling a slightly progressive birth experience. Truly. She's also my regular OB/Gyn and I worked with her briefly at a clinic I used to work at so I'd prefer to stick with her rather than transfer to someone I've never met before. Furthermore, we have a specific hospital we want to deliver at and I have a strong preference for a female OB and, believe it or not, there are only two (2) practices in our area with female OBs that deliver at our chosen hospital. So, not a lot of options. I've talked to friends that have received prenatal care with this doctor and they've all acknowledged the administrative hurdles her office staff present, but also said they'd go to her again if they had to do it over because she's the best available, so I'm giving her one more chance. If I'm not scheduled by the end of the day on Monday, I'll call the other practice first thing Tuesday morning.

Well, I think I've gone on long enough for one morning. I have hardly read my email for the last few days, let alone glanced at blogs, but I'm on a mission to get caught up. Can't wait to read what you all have been up to!

Edited to add: Right, the platter. Total fail. We painted it, it was beautiful, it was scheduled to be picked up the afternoon we were leaving town and when M went to get it... not ready. Still in the kiln. We still haven't gone to pick it up but when we do, they'll be getting an earful from me. I'll post a pic once we get it. Instead, we gave my grandmother a card congratulating her on becoming a great-grandmother. It worked out just fine and everyone was thrilled, but I'm still irritated at the pottery store. Also, Bleu... would you believe me if I told you that it didn't occur to us to go into the office in person, even though it is less than one mile from my office? How embarassing. Can I claim pregnancy brain on that? When I read your comment, I said out loud "Wow, there's an idea!" and told M about your brilliant suggestion. We had a good laugh over it. Leave it to us to completely miss the most obvious solution of all. So, um... thanks for the tip. :-) I'm headed down there tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

We graduated!

Ultrasound went perfectly. Baby measured right on track - 8w 6d exactly. Heart rate was 182. I'll try to scan a pic before the end of the day.

Thanks for the communal pep talk yesterday. It helped so much. I'll admit to re-reading each of your comments several times over the last 24 hours to help settle my nerves!

Monday, August 4, 2008

statistics and symptoms notwithstanding

Still over 24 hours until our next ultrasound and I can not turn off the fear. It's crippling. I'm sitting at work staring blankly at lists and stacks of paper because I can't motivate myself to do anything else.

I don't know how we'll piece ourselves back together if that little heartbeat has gone away.

We painted our announcement plate yesterday. It won't be ready for pick-up until the afternoon we leave, so we'll be grabbing it on our way to the airport. We waited until the last possible second to have our news fired into ceramic - I hope we weren't premature in spite of our waiting.

Friday, August 1, 2008

still here, more or less

The wedding last weekend was great – very beautiful and very HOT. I learned the hard way that my pregnant self is a lot worse at tolerating the heat than my un-pregnant self, and that’s saying something ‘cause my un-pregnant self sucks at it. I have the utmost sympathy for women that spend the summer in the third trimester. I can’t imagine. So, after roasting myself for three days straight, I spent two full days recovering on the couch. My work has been such a ridiculous drain for the last two (well, three now) weeks, my boss gave me Monday off as “comp” time, which we don’t even officially have. I didn’t work any extra hours over the two preceding weeks, but I did work my tail off while I was there, and she noticed, which is really nice. If she hadn’t given me the day off, I’d have had to call in sick as I was in no state to attempt a vertical orientation. I slept most of Sunday and Monday and limped back into work on Tuesday, a moderately recovered version of myself… just in time for the madness to start again.

I got a promotion at work and I’m struggling a bit with the adjustment. I’m behind on my normal duties because of some out-of-the-ordinary tasks I took on this month, and I now have a whole host of new duties as well. Fun! I’m slowly getting caught up, one late night at the office at a time, and I’m hoping to be totally on top of things by the end of this month.

In pregnancy news, I feel… pretty lousy. I’m beyond exhausted and I’m unpredictably ravenous or repulsed by food, depending on which way the wind blows. No throwing up yet – just a little queasiness a lot of the time. My biggest shock is definitely the freakish extent of my bloating. My weight is within a single pound of what it was a month before we even began IVF, yet I’m out of all but one pair of pre-pregnancy pants. It’s not so bad in the morning, but by evening, I look like every bite of food I’ve consumed all day is just hanging out on my stomach for all the world to see. Between the IVF hormone, OHSS carryover and early pregnancy triple bloat and the facts that I (a) generally carry all of my extra weight in my tummy and (b) have hips that sit roughly in the region of my armpits (read: nowhere to go but OUT) – I am one gigantic 8w 2d pregnant lady.

I’m also nervous as all hell. Our next ultrasound is Tuesday and despite all of my efforts to avoid it, I’ve become totally dependent on medical reassurance that all is well – as if such a thing even exists. We all know stories of people who’ve been reassured at every turn and still encountered devastating and unfair outcomes. I’m petrified that we’re going to show up on Tuesday in our little cap and gown, all set for our big graduation to the OB, and they are going to dismantle us in a single blow with, “I’m sorry, we seem to have lost the heartbeat,” or “Hmm, no growth since the last scan. That’s not good.” I’ve seen it happen to more deserving women than us, and there is a part of me that still believes all this is just too good to be true – plain and simple.

Heart-stopping fear notwithstanding, we’ve started sharing our news with IRL friends and it’s been a blast. I’ve been hugged so tightly my sunglasses flew off my head, yelled at in excitement, and empathized with by morning sickness survivors. We’ve received the sweetest cards from friends and family near and far. I’m a little nervous that we’re jinxing ourselves by opening up so early, or that we’re setting ourselves up for some awkward conversations if things don’t continue to go well, but we decided we wanted our friends to know what was going on, no matter the outcome. Today, we’re pregnant, and that is a triumph to be celebrated. Telling people just feels like an important part of embracing the positive and the hopeful – diving in head first, if you will. If the worst case scenario comes to pass, we’ll need the support of our friends then, too, and we suspect it will be easier to ask for if they already know what’s going on.

In less than a week, we’re headed out to my parents’ house for a big family gathering and we plan to share our good news there too. (See, more wanton disregard for the hurdle to be cleared between now and then – aren’t we just little optimists?) Our tentative plan is to paint a serving dish or bowl with the words “K & M are having a baby!” or something like that, then serve dinner in it the first night we’re there. It’ll be like one of those puzzles where you uncover one square at a time and have to figure out the picture underneath. What was that old game show? Concentration? Anyway, we’ll see if the heat relents enough for us to venture out this weekend to paint pottery. If we can’t muster the motivation, we may go to plan B which involves recording a talking picture frame for my grandmother to congratulate her on becoming a great-grandmother for the first time. I’m excited about either option, so we may just see what kind of mood we’re in come Sunday (i.e. shopping/craft day). Other than that, my plan for the weekend includes 3 new Netflix arriving today, round-the-clock air conditioning, and a bunch of naps. After my last three weeks at work, I am really looking forward to putting my feet up for a while!