Friday, March 30, 2007

Beating and Clothed

I had my 16-week checkup today. I technically reach 16 weeks on Monday, but you'll let this one slide, right? I had to laugh at the appointment because when the doctor put the doppler to my abdomen, the heartrate appeared immediately. No searching. Then, just as quickly, it was gone. The kid was jumping around again. Every time I see her on ultrasound she's doing aerobics. I'm going to be one tired mamma. Anyway, he found the heartrate again and got a good measure- 142bpm.

I now feel ok about taking the tags off of my new clothes. Yes, you read correctly...I will *not* be naked. I took what little time I had last night and headed over to the local "irregulars and seconds" store because I had heard tales of maternity clothes in their wares. And I found them. All seven racks of them! Score. I left with two pair of black dress pants, a pair of tan dress capris, tan shorts, and a cute little blouse for only $38. Not bad. Then, I headed over to K*hls because it was close. The maternity stuff was hideous, but I found a few more things in the regular clothes section. Stretchy stuff. Two short sleeve sweaters, a short sleeve blouse, sleeveless blouse, and a skirt/top combo was purchased (damage = $88). So, $126 later and I'm all set for the rest of the pregnancy. I'll take that. In the ideal world, I will find a pair of black dress capris for work. But, if not, at least I won't have to run around naked.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Old + Employed + Pregnant = Naked

I should really add another factor into that equation. Money. Meaning that I am not willing to spend a ridiculous amount of money on a temporary wardrobe.

I am currently at 15w2d and I am busting out of even my large clothes. I have only gained 6-8 pounds so far, but it's all up front in the belly. Luckily when I lost all of that weight last year, I did not get rid of every large item. Only the really large items. But even those clothes are becoming tight.

When I was pregnant with Gabe, I found a great selection of clothes at Old N*vy and T*rget. I need things that are reasonably priced but that I can still wear to work in an executive office environment. We aren't required to wear suits, but dress slacks or skirts are a minimum. I pushed the envelope a little last time because there are only so many places that carry clothes in a maternity 2XL. Now that I can wear a smaller size (read: shop in the "normal" maternity stores) I can't find anything to fit my needs at the usual haunts. Old N*vy now carries "hoochie mamma" clothes. Not for the old or employed. T*rget's clothes are so cheaply made that I felt like I needed a shower after touching them. And 99% were constructed of jersey fabric, which clings and isn't quite dressy enough. And I even bit the bullet and went to Evil-Mart. I found a blouse. One blouse. Bah.

Perhaps you are wondering what happened to my clothes from last time. Two things. First, I was pregnant during a different season, so most items are for winter. Second, I lost 55 pounds between then and now, so the pants are enormous (I know, terrible problem to have...). What I really need are a couple pairs of pants, a skirt, and a few summer tops. I'm not asking for the world.

Are black pants really that much to ask?

Given that my ability to breathe in the now-too-tight clothes is limited, I will be making the trek to M*therhood Maternity this weekend, I guess. I hate the mainstream stuff, but if they have black pants that fit me...well, I guess they'll get some of my money. I'm going to try and swing by the consignment store first, though, and maybe make a quick stop at G**dwill.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Second verse, same as the first

On Monday I reached 14 weeks, thus entering the second trimester of this pregnancy. I'm still in the process of letting it all sink in, but somehow reaching this milestone makes things seem a bit more tangible. Plus, I've had a couple of moments in the last week where I debated for a while as to whether I just felt movement or not. Considering the extraordinary levels of gas that have befallen me in the last few weeks (seemingly out of nowhere) I expect that it was more likely gas than galloping baby. But one can always speculate.

I also received the call from genetics today with the results of the second (more detailed) run of the choromosomes. Everything is still in duplicate, and I was told that this test is nearly 100% accurate. Let's just call it the Ivory test- 99.9% pure (or accurate, you pick the adjective).

To celebrate both seconds, I give you a little leprechaun:

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Wanna get pregnant?

Join my blogroll.

Ok, that's not the magic ticket, sorry. I realized today, though, that a third of my blogroll is pregnant. That is some strange mojo floating around in the blogosphere. Very good, but strange. And IRL, my friend J (the one I asked you to send good throughts and prayers to a while back) is pregnant, too. Finally. After a long road. I had offered to lend her all of my maternity clothes and then, well, you know...I joined my own blogroll.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

The good, bad, and ugly

Ugly: Last Thursday, I got a call from the geneticist's office with the results from our first trimester screening. Ugly about sums it up. Based on the transnuchal lucency, bloodwork, and the other variables wrapped into the calculation, we were looking at an elevated risk for Trisomy 21 (Downs- 1:10 risk) as well as for Trisomy 18 (1:87 risk). I had no idea what T18 even was, and after asking wished I never knew. In a nutshell, it's a death sentence for the baby.

To make matters worse, because I was on the verge of 13 weeks, if we intended to do CVS testing, I had to do it either Thursday or Friday. By Monday it would be too late. Many tears and calls to my husband later and we decided to pursue CVS. We had originally intended to avoid invasive testing, but we decided that the risks for trisomy spoke much louder than the risks for miscarriage. I called to schedule the CVS and was given a Friday morning appointment. And I could not stand to wait another three weeks for an amnio.

I obsessed about the call all day on Thursday, even though I had a few meetings and errands to run. I'm actually quite good at putting up a cool exterior when I'm falling apart inside. It can be a very useful skill at times. Other times I think it makes me seem cold to others.

Bad: By Friday morning I had regained my composure and was reminding myself that even though our risks were elevated, the odds were still in our favor. 1:10 for a trisomy is high, but that means 9:10 that everything is fine. "The odds are in our favor" became a personal mantra for the day. I went to the hospital and ended up only being there for two hours- far less than I had anticipated. And I got a long and leisurely tour of the ute and the antics of the little one. I mean, the kid was belly up, belly down, kicking, waving. It was completely calming just to see those images.

I spent the weekend running errands, playing with and reading to Gabe, and working on some crafts that had been set aside for too long. In other words, doing the minimum and allowing time for things that make me happy.

Good: Monday morning I received another call from genetics. I closed my office door, not knowing what I would hear, knowing that in either case I needed to be alone for a minute. Thankfully the counselor's first words were, "I have good news." She proceeded to tell me that all of the chromosomes were in duplicate. I felt relief like I have never felt before. The accuracy of the quick test is 95% or greater, and they will confirm with a longer run that takes two weeks. That's good enough for me. And, she went on to inform me that since they look at the whole chromosome panel, she knew the sex of the baby, and did I want to know? Absolutely.

Gabe is going to have a little sister. Life is grand.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Mmmmmm, butter pecan

A short while back, Julie wrote a post that linked to an article professing that consumption of high fat dairy products was a more productive way to be reproductive. All of those low fat yogurts and slow churned ice creams are simply stripping us infertiles of the chance to reproduce. Never mind that extra weight contributes to problems during pregnancy. No, we must nurture our wide hips. Spoon it in and make sure that it's the full fat frozen treat.

I love my ice cream. I can go from purist vanilla (vanilla bean, please...none of this artificial vanilla flavored crap) to a creamy treat loaded with yummy bits like cookie dough, peanut butter cups, or chocolate chunks. When I was being quite strict about my WW points, I would stretch the numbers with something low fat. Never fat free, mind you- those are awful. But my heart always wants the full fat stuff. Of course, we are a house that stays stocked with ice cream (and you were wondering why I might possibly need to follow WW?). Perhaps my heart is in the right place, especially if full fat ice cream is a fertility treatment. Forget the follistim, hand me some rocky road!

Or, perhaps the underlying message is that if a woman is eating full fat ice cream, she is not feeling stressed about her weight. In other words, she is "relaxing." Is this just a backhanded way for people to tell us to just relax? "Have the extra creamy lard-a-lot's like going on vacation with no worries!"

Why am I babbling on about the creamy wonder known as ice cream? Because I am stalling on the real reason for the post. The thing that I have been wanting to post but just haven't for a variety of valid and not-so-valid reasons.

I'm pregnant.

Not from eating ice cream, but from having sex. Yes, sex. Who knew? Needless to say, it was a surprise, and I have been hesitant to post for the same reasons that we have just now started telling people. The not-so-valid assumption that if we speak the works, the dream will end. I know it's crazy, but when you've been dealing with infertility for 5+ years, things like this are quite shocking and the exception to the rule.

The stats: I'm 12.5 weeks, due September 17, and had our first-trimester screening yesterday (I'll post results when I have them). I have been feeling great (as I did with Gabe), which of course contributes to the "it can't be real" sentiment. But it is real, and we are beyond thrilled.

Sorry for keeping you in the dark so long...but as friends and fellow infertiles, I hope you understand.