#Microblog Mondays: Regaining Some Balance

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Not sure what #MicroblogMondays is? Read the inaugural post which explains the idea and how you can participate too.

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This Sunday I went to my first prenatal yoga class. It’s an eight week course, with class once a week, every Sunday. I used to attend a Hatha yoga class every Sunday but I stopped going sometime last July, just before we started our IVF cycle. First it was because of the discomfort of my giant ovaries, then risk of ovarian torsion. Then I was gearing up for my transfer cycle, which ended up being 5 months after the retrieval. I think really I was just having a hard time keeping my head above water and yoga felt like one more thing I “had” to do. Though in hindsight, it probably would have been the best thing for me.

I didn’t want to return to my regular yoga class as it is not intended for pregnancy, and I don’t want to inadvertently do something that will cause me any injury (thought there was a woman in my class last year and she stayed all through-out her pregnancy). I was also being very careful about my physical activity through my first trimester, as I am a pretty sedentary person in the first place. But as I have been feeling my body getting weaker, and I am not as limber as I once was, it was time to get back into something.

The class was really good, lots of pelvic floor strengthening, stretches for back, spine, and opening of the chest. I am not so in tune with the spiritual side of yoga, but I love the way it makes my body feel so relaxed and open. It was a bit odd, as obviously it was only pregnant women in my class and I was probably one of the smallest “bumps” in the room (I wore a skin tight shirt just so I wouldn’t look like some looney-tunes pregnancy faker). I still didn’t feel like I really fit in, and because I am still relatively small I didn’t have any difficulties with the poses (probably some of my muscle memory coming back too). But it felt good, so I tried to just take it for what it was, an enjoyable yoga class that happens to be for pregnant women.

*Sorry Mel, I really suck at the “Micro” part of Microblog Mondays!

#Microblog Mondays: Bump Ahead

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These days I am sporting a little bump. I gave in to maternity pants last week and they are so much more comfortable than my regular pants digging into my ever expanding waistline. I am also no longer dressing to hide the bump since pretty well all of my important friends and family know, plus majority of my coworkers. If you didn’t know me you probably wouldn’t take notice of the roundness in my belly but to me it is very apparent.

Most times I see my bump as the one tangible thing about this pregnancy (besides the pee sticks, ultrasounds, heartbeat on the doppler, physical symptoms, ect). I marvel at it in the mirror because it is just so weird to watch my body change.

Yet, when I am in places that pregnant woman frequent (maternity stores, Babies R Us, my OB’s office) I feel inadequate, I wish my bump were bigger, more apparent. I know I’ll get there, and then I’ll wish it weren’t so big and cumbersome. But right now I look to my little bump as physical evidence that, yes I am a pregnant woman, and I do belong. As J said to me the other weekend when I declined parking in the expectant mothers spot (which will not happen until I am approximately the size of a whale), I look to my bump to reassure me, but I am in fact, pregnant.

#Microblog Mondays: The Tipping Point

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This weekend J and I had dinner with his parents and a family friend who was in town visiting. She, of course, congratulated us on our pregnancy and had a gift for us. It was a little block book about a new baby arriving, as well as a white onesie, with a little turtle on the front. Below the turtle is said “Worth the wait”. It was our very first baby gift, and a very thoughtful one.

It feels strange to have a piece of clothing for a person who is not here yet, because although we’ve seen the ultrasounds, heard the heartbeat, and have been watching my tummy grow; something about this whole experience still just feels so intangible.

Yesterday, we went to Buy Buy Baby to look at cribs, strollers, ect. just to get some ideas though we’re still a ways off from actually biting the bullet and making a purchase. After we got out of the car, and were walking into the store we passed the expectant mother parking spots when J remarked that we should have parked there. I looked down at my stomach where there is hardly any bump, and shook my head. He said “You always look at your stomach, you ARE pregnant.” It was an interesting observation, and not untrue. I feel like my growing belly is an unmistakeable indication that I really am pregnant, but it is still hard to wrap my brain around it. When will I really recognize that I am a pregnant woman?

Scooped…Again.

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Sort of.

I’ve been wondering how to announce my pregnancy at work. I’ve felt as though my growing waistline was going to require some answers soon (though maybe it’s just me who notices, because everyone else still thinks I’m tiny). I work in a small enough department that an email was not really appropriate (too impersonal) but going to every person individually felt unnecessary, and attention seeking. Besides, how does one even start that conversation?

“Hey, how’s it going? Oh that’s good, well I’m pregnant so there’s that.”

It’s all just so awkward. I’ve been hemming and hawing about it for a while now but couldn’t come up with anything that felt right. I sort of had intentions to say something this week, but when I just couldn’t think of anyway to say it, I thought maybe I’d just keep trying to hide my (albeit little) bump for a little while longer.

When I came in to work today one of my coworkers came up to me and told me that she had a dream about me, and that in it I was pregnant. I’m not sure what my face looked like at that moment. I sort of chuckled and said something along the lines of “Ohhh, hmmm.” Very inconspicuous. I nearly just blurted it out right then and there, but I held my tongue. It caught me so off guard, I was left speechless.

But after she said it, I couldn’t stop thinking about how it would have been the perfect opportunity to say something, it was my in. I went into my bosses office a short time later and told her what had transpired (my boss already knows) and that I was going to use that to tell everyone today. She was excited because she didn’t want to keep my secret anymore.

So once most of my coworkers had arrive for the day, I went over to the one who told me about her dream, and I said to her that the dream she had wasn’t wrong. She just stared at me with wide eyes, and one of our other coworkers who knew what I was talking about came over and gave me a hug. Then, I had to fill in the couple of others that were there what the dream was. Everyone got teary eyed, and they were all very excited for me. I knew that would be the case, but I’ve been hesitant about sharing, to protect my privacy and in case something bad happens.

It’s sort of nice to have it out there because I might get a pass on a crabby attitude (which has been happening more lately), or not feeling great, or whatever. At the same time, now there are a lot of people who know, and it makes me terrified that something bad is going to happen, and I’m going to have to go back and tell all of those people. It’s mostly irrational, but one of the reasons why I wanted to wait and not tell anyone until I had to. But they are all excited, and want to throw me a shower, and fawn over me, which is sort of nice. I’m the youngest in my department by a long shot, and the first to have a baby in about 11 years, so they’re all like excited little mother hens.

I knew word would travel quickly to our other departments, and soon I had one of the ladies come over to have me confirm it. So I’m sure everyone else will know soon enough, which is exactly what I wanted. Tell a few gossipy ones, and the rest will hear about it. So that’s taken care of.

After the shock and excitement of my announcement wore down,  one of my counterparts suddenly realized I was going to be going on mat. leave and that “oh shit” look hit her face. I have to say it was pretty awesome. Being the youngest, I am by far the most tech savvy in the office, and everything we do is technology based, and changes a lot. So I am practically the in-house tech support. Not to mention I am a bit of a jack of all trades in our department, so I am able to help in several different areas and they are going to be slightly screwed when I’m gone. And it makes me a bit gleeful. Perhaps then they’ll appreciate my all around-ness. I know that sounds conceited, but there are certain times I don’t know how they manage without me. I mean obviously they do, I am not indispensable, but I am pretty useful. The look of despair on my bosses face at the thought of trying to find someone to cover my leave made me feel good.

I have some girlfriends to tell this weekend over brunch, and then I’m really in it with the world knowing. We’re not going Facebook official, I feel it unnecessary; the people who we want to know, will know and the rest don’t matter. Plus I know what it’s like being on the other side of one of those Facebook announcements and I’m not about to do that to anyone else. I’m no longer protected in my bubble of secrecy, and the attention shining in my direction is making me somewhat uncomfortable.

Scooped

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In my office there has not been a pregnancy for nearly 4 years. I know this because the child of the last person to be pregnant is 3 1/2 now (“accidental” pregnancy). It has been a blessing not to have to face other pregnant women at work. In my department nearly everyone I work with is old enough to be my mother, and their children are grown. Or in the case of my boss, she had one and is done (though she is still relatively “young* enough” that she could have another if she wanted). There are young women in other departments but luckily (for me) none of them are in a position of becoming pregnant (not intentionally at least).

In the beginning of January we had a new assistant manager start at our office. He previously worked for the company in a different office but then went on paternal leave for 6 months when his wife went back to work 6 months after the birth of their child (the perks of parental leave in Canada, woop woop!). He is part-time in our office, and part-time in another so I don’t see him all that often. Last Wednesday he came into the office asking everyone “boy or girl?”. I didn’t know why he was asking, so I just said boy. After he had polled everyone, he announced that him and his wife had learned the gender of the baby they were expecting, and it was a girl. I didn’t even know they were having another baby, but I guess he had mentioned it previously as it seemed most people did know. I may have not been around and he didn’t go making a huge deal of it.

They are due in August but had done some additional genetic testing (I’d guess CVS) that also revealed the gender. So they’re not really that much farther along than I am. If he had announced it to the office already I would guess they are due in early August, or he’s just one of those people who tells everyone right away. Eye roll.

Even though I, too, am pregnant I was still a bit taken aback. It was unexpected, I guess because I don’t know him too well but also being that his first child is just over one, and he’s a man, he wasn’t really on my pregnancy radar. I still haven’t told my coworkers about my pregnancy, and I am happy just keeping quiet about it for now but my stomach protrudes a lot more now after meals, and I’m going to have to say something sooner rather than later. Even though I’m not quite ready yet, I felt a little like I got scooped by our assistant manager.

Part of the issue is, we had just found out the gender of our baby the night before, so I was still reeling with that information and here he is sharing the same news about his baby the next day. Infertility has definitely warped the way I see a lot of things now. But, that’s his news, I have mine, I’ll share it when the time is right and the two things really have nothing to do with each other.

The more important (but still not the be-all-end-all) is that we found out the gender of our baby! It is around 99% accurate so long as the blood sample was handled correctly (it was done at a licensed blood lab, so I’m thinking yes…). It didn’t test for anything but gender, it was not the comprehensive Harmony testing. I just really wanted to know the gender as soon as possible (besides doing PGD). I can’t really explain why, because either way I would still be just as happy that I am pregnant. We haven’t told the  grandparents-to-be yet, and we’re not doing any big gender reveal. I just needed to know.

I think because so little of this process has been in our control, we could at least control when we find out. I also hate surprises, so waiting until birth was never going to happen. I also think that because I have this fear that something is going to go wrong with this pregnancy, I wanted the gender so I could bond, and day-dream about a little boy or girl, not just gender neutrality. Plus, I am a planner, and my thought was  I could work on the nursery and baby items once I knew the gender but now I find myself standing still, for fear of getting ahead of myself.

I’ve always wanted a little girl, as does J. I don’t know what to do with little boys, though I know I’d figure it out given the opportunity. I’ve always just been a girly girl, but also independent and adventurous and I always hoped I’d have a little girl to share that with (again, could be done with either gender, it’s just my preference). I sent my blood work to the genetics centre on Feb. 11, and it takes seven business days to process and provide results. I was trying to be patient, figuring if they received it on Feb. 12 that day didn’t count, plus Feb. 16 was a stat holiday in Alberta and Ontario (where the lab is), and I wasn’t sure if they would send it on the seventh day, or after the seventh day. I waited until Feb. 24 to call and ask when I could expect results and when the receptionist checked my file she advised me that it had been sent (via email) on Feb. 21. I had her verify the email and resend it, and she asked me if I wanted the results over the phone. I told her, no, thank you. I would wait until I got home with my husband. It took all my willpower to hang up the phone without finding out.

I checked my email, and still didn’t see anything. I decided to check my junk mail, despite the fact that I had received other emails from the same company, and my filters are usually very good. I popped over to junk mail, and there sat two emails, one from Feb. 21, and one from Feb. 24. Again, sheer willpower to click away without opening it.

All day those two emails were just yearning to be read. I knew I couldn’t do it without J, though. It felt like the longest day, and when I finally got home J was just sitting calmly on the couch. I skipped down the hall screeching that I didn’t know how he could be so mellow! We went into the spare bedroom, to-be nursery and opened the email. It didn’t just say “boy”, or “girl” it explained that it tests for the presence of Y chromosomes, which would indicate a male fetus. And then the results….

Negative for the presence of Y chromosome DNA in the maternal plasma sample.

Our girl!!!

I read a lot faster than J so I knew almost immediately and just stared at him to wait for him to realise what it meant. We hugged, and freaked out, it made everything seem simultaneously more real, and more surreal. We’ve had a girl’s name picked out for a couple of years now, so for once I was able to attach it to a living being. Whenever I spoke about our future child (before we got pregnant) I would use our girls name, as though she was a real person that we were just waiting for. So when we found out we were getting our girl, I was able to use the name, and say that {she} was coming home. The name is staying between J and I until the birth, it is one thing we are not open to sharing.

I love knowing the gender, and I love knowing I’m carrying our little girl. But the best news of last week was the results of the nuchal translucency. After chasing my OB’s office for results (that got sent to the fertility clinic, but not my OB) the nurse called and told me everything looked normal. I know it’s not a guarantee for everything to be perfect, but it’s another milestone, and another hurdle crossed.

Though I’m ecstatic about our baby girl, I’m sure I’ll live to regret that wish when she’s a pouty toddler, a mouthy preteen, and a rebellious teenage. But for now, I’m still just happy we’re pregnant.

*I say she is still young enough to have another child yet we know youth is not a guarantee of fertility (me being case and point)

#Microblog Mondays: Daily Doldrums

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Not sure what #MicroblogMondays is? Read the inaugural post which explains the idea and how you can participate too.

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Life has been pretty quiet lately, besides telling our family that we are finally pregnant, and dealing with prenatal appointments we haven’t had a lot going on. We have had a busy couple of years, besides dealing with infertility treatments (which can monopolize a lot of time) we’ve had weddings, nieces born, many trips, and just life in general. It used to be on the weekends and days off we had lots of running around to do, and there was never enough time to get everything done.

But now, since we came home from Hawaii, first saw our baby’s heartbeat, and settled back into routines, life has slowed considerably. Perhaps it’s because we are watching this pregnancy progress day by day, that time feels slower. We don’t seem to have much to occupy our time, so we spend lazy days at home (which to some may sound great, and for a time it is but after a while it’s just boring). J gets restless, he is not the idle type. We don’t want to get too ahead of ourselves in planning for baby and I want to enjoy this time, being pregnant, just the two of us, and quiet downtime that will surely disappear once baby comes.

We’ve been living the past two and a half years in a constant state of waiting; for the next cycle, next treatment, in a heightened level of stress and willing time to move forward to the point where the goal is finally achieved. Once you reach that point, the sudden halt in anything infertility related is a bit of a jolt. Not that I wish to be back at that point in my life, so for now, I’ll take boring any day.