Friday, November 13, 2015


It's showtime! Induction happening today vs. Sunday. At MFM this morning, they couldn't get a good measurement of the Jellybean's head and his femur hadn't grown much in the past two weeks. It's a better-safe-than-sorry thing. Fortunately, Dr. Direct is covering the hospital tomorrow so I'll still have her delivering this little miracle.

Wish us luck!

Thursday, November 5, 2015


Baby's size: Swiss chard

Next appointment: Biophysical profile 11/6; OB 11/10

Total weight gain: 59.8 lbs. Up a little but down almost 4 lbs. just from yesterday, due to several monster poops. (Sorry, TMI!)

Sleep: Averaging between 5 and 6, which is about 1-2 less than I'd like. Staying asleep is harder these days, and not just because of the constant peeing.

Food cravings: This past weekend, I really wanted these dolmas I'd had recently and made Mr. Hope get three orders of them (one for me, two for everyone else to split). And last night I wanted a provolone sandwich from Wawa. Just provolone on bread with extra mayo. Weird shit like that.

Symptoms: HEARTBURN. And the constipation is back. Also hair-trigger moodiness. Lots of crying for no reason, or even with reason but striking out of nowhere. My boobs are burning, which according to the Googles means my milk ducts are getting ready. Oh, and I'm in full-on waddle. Seriously, I'm like Jabba the Hut these days.

What I'm loving: I'm finishing up my labor mixes. I did one for relaxation and one for when I need to be energized. For the latter, I included the Beastie Boys' Eggman, which totally makes me laugh. Yeah, I'm that much of a dork.

What I'm not loving: Gaining weight again. For a while I thought I'd hold steady at 55 lbs. Really hoping I lose a lot with birth (or within a couple weeks of birth). Maybe I'll be one of those lucky fuckers for whom breastfeeding is the best diet ever.

What I'm looking forward to: Meeting our little guy. Twelve days and counting!

Best moment this week: Getting the call with my official induction date. Knowing when the Jellybean is going to be born allows the planner in me to get all my ducks in a row. It was seriously such a relief.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

coming into the home stretch.

The longer this pregnancy progresses, the worse I am about writing updates. I suck. I super suck. There's so much I want to say - need to say - and to be honest, I can't even claim carpal tunnel pain anymore because the cortisone injections that the nice orthopedic doctor gave me a few weeks back have made a world of difference.


Here's the quick and dirty update:

I'm officially being induced on Sunday, 11/15, at 9 p.m. We'll start with a Foley catheter that night; they said it should fall out by morning, when they'll start pushing pitocin. (Guess who's got two thumbs and is definitely getting an epidural?)

We're inducing because of the myriad of medical issues I've battled this pregnancy. That, and because apparently the Jellybean has a pretty big head. This, coupled with my somewhat narrow pelvis (who knew?), means that I might not be able to squeeze the kid out my vag. Dr. Direct has been really clear that if the baby's head doesn't descend, I'll be converted to a c-section. I'm maintaining the position I've had all along: I don't care how he's born, as long as he comes out healthy.

As for me:

I'm good. Mostly good. I still have some numbness and stiffness in my hands, and sleep has been harder to come by. I tend to wake up in the middle of the night and then stay awake for an hour or two before crashing again - my body getting ready for the baby? But overall, the third trimester has been a cake walk compared to the hell I went through in the second.

People keep asking me if I'm ready. I am and I'm not. We were so convinced that baby boy was coming early that I got a ton of stuff squared away weeks ago - made a month's worth of freezer meals, got the car seat base installed at the DMV, ordered my breast pump, created my maternity leave plan for work, etc. I haven't packed my labor bag yet but everything's in a box waiting to be Tetris'd into my duffle.

But that's just stuff. Stuff is easy, relatively speaking. Emotionally, I think I'm ready, but there are times when I realize that in less than two weeks there's going to be a tiny human living in my house. A tiny human that I am responsible for. I AM HAVING A BABY. Holy fuck balls.

So, that's where I am. Holding steady. Looking forward to meeting our little dude and simultaneously fearing that I will somehow break him in the first 48 hours of his life. That's normal, right?

Friday, October 9, 2015


[Fun fact: According to the OB's office, I was actually 33w0d yesterday. But I'm pretty sure this is based on the due date of 11/25, which was given to me by the same site that told me what week/day I was based on my transfer date. So, I suppose I *could* be 33w1d today, but whatevs.]

Baby's size: Pineapple

Next appointment: 10/9

Total weight gain: 54.2. Down 2 lbs. from last week. All this week, I've been losing up to half a pound a day. Wondering if this is something I need to be concerned about, or if it's just the edema continuing to abate.

Sleep: Still averaging 6 to 7 hours. My AHI has been fairly low, which could be the result of less swelling or even the minor weight loss. Or, you know, it could be totally rando.

Food cravings: Still craving bread-y, squishy carbs.

Symptoms: The bad heartburn continues! Also, I'm running hotter and hotter - the other day I broke into a sweat when the house was 68 degrees.

What I'm loving: We're finished with our prenatal classes! The breastfeeding class we took on Tuesday was our favorite. I'm pumped! (No pun intended.)

What I'm not loving: That getting dress is so laborious it feels like I should get an Olympic medal every time I do it.

What I'm looking forward to: This will sound dorky, but we're getting the car seat bases inspected Tuesday. This is one of the last major things we need to do to get ready for the Jellybean, so I'm excited to check it off the list!

Best moment this week: When I saw the OB Tuesday, she told me that my anxiety level was appropriate for where I am in the pregnancy. It doesn't sound like much, but in the beginning, I was such a nut job about everything. It feels good to be considered "normal" for a change.

Sunday, October 4, 2015


Yesterday was the date I was given for my baby shower. I was told by the BFF that they weren't going to tell me any details but that it wouldn't be a surprise because Gumbo was worried about trying to surprise me. It's not easy to do, for one thing. For another, she was worried I'd show up under-dressed and crabby. Gumbo would know; she was part of my surprise proposal that I almost ruined by - you guessed it! - being super crabby.

But of course, my baby shower wasn't yesterday. It was a couple of weeks ago, And I was about 95% surprised.

Here's how they did it:

The BFF asked me to do a presentation for the Girl Scout service unit. It was for girls entering middle school. She created a flier for it and everything. I made a PowerPoint. She suggested I invite Mini-Hope, who was the same age as the girls attending the event. She roped my coworker into doing the presentation with me.

There was absolutely zero reason for me to question any of this. And I didn't...until we were in the car, on the way to the event itself. Basically, I got a call from my former Girl Scout co-leader asking me to bring a fan because the church was hot. I told her we'd just left the house. She said to go back and get it anyway - that the BFF would rather I be late and have the fan than on-time and miserable.

And like a flash I thought, "Are they stalling me?" I turned to Mr. Hope and said, "There's really a Girl Scout event, right? This isn't, like, a surprise shower?"

"Not that I know of," he replied. "Why would you think that?"

I told him I thought the fan thing felt like a diversionary tactic. Even so, when we pulled into the parking lot, I still wasn't sure what I was walking into.

The event itself was lovely but went so so so fast. The BFF and Gumbo planned brisk activities, per my request, so that people didn't have to sit and watch me open presents for two hours. We had food, we had games, and yes, we had present-opening. But it was on such a tight agenda that I didn't even get to see everything before it was over and we were breaking down the room.

And honestly? It was really overwhelming. To be in a room full of women who loved and supported me, who were there to celebrate this baby that I spent so many years wishing for... It was a lot to take in. And of course, I missed my mom. I cried a couple of times. Pretty much what I'd expected.

Looking back at all of the little details, I'm beyond impressed by what my friends pulled off. But during the shower itself it was almost like an out of body experience. I was there but not entirely there. I was watching myself open gifts instead of being fully present.

I'd put a good number of coworkers on my shower list, so I wasn't really expecting a work shower. But on Thursday - the day of the actual Girl Scout event that was used to lure me to my shower - I was surprised a second time.

Here's how they pulled it off:

I got invited to a meeting with my boss and Glam Coworker. It was an odd meeting request, supposedly to talk about aligning objectives across departments. I messaged Glam the minute I got the invite was was all, "Do you know what this is about?" I bristled, wondering what it was that I wasn't aligning properly. The day of, I asked her if she thought our boss would mind if I ate my lunch, since the meeting was called for 12-1. "Who schedules a meeting for lunch like that?" I asked her.

And then, of course, it wasn't a meeting. It was the work shower. And that time, I was 100% surprised.

But I was also overwhelmed (again). I'm not comfortable being in the center of things. I'm always flabbergasted when people do nice stuff for me. Yes, I'm kind of a weirdo like that.

In the wake of the first shower, I was stressing about thank you notes. My mom raised me to send hand-written ones, but my carpal tunnel has been so bad I knew I wouldn't be able to do it. My options were to send emailed thank yous or wait until after the baby came and I got my hands back. The BFF presented a third option: I would type the thank yous to her and she would hand write them for me.

The BFF is a saint, if you couldn't tell.

So, my thank yous are coming. She's just finished transcribing them all - I just need to get them from her to stamp and send. P.S. I bought her an hour-long massage as a thank you. I figured she needed it!

Thursday, October 1, 2015


Baby's size: Squash (perfect for fall!)

Next appointment: 10/5

Total weight gain: 56.2. So, up half a pound this week, which is about right.

Sleep: Averaging 6 to 7 hours, interrupted once or twice by bathroom/water breaks. So, getting ready for a newborn!

Food cravings: CARBS. Squishy, bread-y carbs.

Symptoms: Bad heartburn (Zantac time!) and starting to breathe heavier, which freaks Mr. Hope out even though I tell him it's normal.

What I'm loving: How close we are to meeting our little guy!

What I'm not loving: The need to pee every 45 minutes or so.

What I'm looking forward to: My next OB appointment. At the last one, she told me she wanted to induce at 37 weeks. I want to clarify why and also start talking dates.

Best moment this week: My coworkers threw me a surprise baby shower yesterday. And it was 100% a surprise, too! I thought I was going into a strategy meeting (and was kind of cranky about it) and there was everyone. I feel so lucky...and so loved.

Thursday, September 24, 2015


Baby's size: Pineapple or coconut (so, making a pina colada in there?)

Next appointment: 10/1

Total weight gain: 55.6 lbs. Holding steady-ish.

Exercise: Still moving pretty well. Mr. Hope and I are joining the Y this weekend so I hope to be logging some pool time soon.

Sleep: Has been disrupted this week due to intense carpal tunnel pain. Like, the kind that makes you sob (and no, I'm not being a drama queen). Relief is on the way, though - I'm getting cortisone shots in my wrists on Monday.

Food cravings: Cheese and crunchy things.

Symptoms: Heartburn is making a comeback! Maybe this means the Jellybean will be born with a nice head o' hair?

What I'm loving: My husband. He's been such a great source of support and really stepping up his game around the house.

What I'm not loving: Pain. Discomfort. The fact that I've been unable to enjoy the majority of my pregnancy. I got robbed, yo.

What I'm looking forward to: Is it too early to say giving birth? Or, more accurately, evicting the Jellybean from my uterus?

Best moment this week: It's selfish but getting the call today that an ortho would be willing to treat the carpal tunnel. On Tuesday Dr. Direct said that the shots would help and be safe for baby, but good luck finding a doctor who'll touch a pregnant woman. But then I did. When the nurse told me they could get me in Monday I almost cried.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015


Today marks one year since I started this blog.

It's kind of crazy to me just how much my life has changed in the past 365 days. I mean, I went from being this barren, bitter infertile to an expectant mother nearing her 31st week of pregnancy. After 4+ years of TTC, I'm finally (!) about to become a parent.

After such an epic journey, why do I still feel woefully underprepared?

Maybe it's because I'm about 5-9 weeks away from delivering and still do not have the nursery put together. Or maybe it's because I'm about 5-9 weeks from delivering and I haven't written out my birth plan, packed my hospital bag, met with the estate attorney, or any of the 500 other things I wanted to do before the Jellybean arrived.

The baby will come. He will come no matter how much stuff I have or haven't done. I know this. I know that Mr. Hope and I will be enough. Even if nothing is organized. Even if the crib still doesn't have a mattress.

We will love him and care for him. That is what he really needs.

Even though my BP is holding steady and my weight is down and my blood sugars are gorgeous and there is not even a spec of protein in my urine, today Dr. Direct informed me that if I do not go into labor prior to 37 weeks, or require an intervention before then, this is when she'd like to induce. I am not sure how I feel about this. Induction requires pitocin, most likely, which requires a constant IV drip (more fluids, yay!).

But also:

Shouldn't we wait until Jellybean is ready to be born?

I asked her about the delayed cord clamping today. She said if the baby is full term, delayed cord clamping is not recommended because it causes some disorder, the name of which I cannot remember. But I've read it's recommended no matter what the age of the baby. Who do I trust? Dr. Direct? Dr. Google?

So many questions. So few answers.

It's a little maddening, I tell you what.

I have about five blog posts started but not completed. Post about my surprise shower, about my meeting with the lactation consult they call the Breast Whisperer (no, I am not making that up), about Mr. Hope's and my first birth class, about the excruciating pain my hands are currently in.

All in due time.

For now I will say this:

It's been a year, and I would rather be where I am right in this moment in time - even in pain, even in uncertainty, even in mild fear - than where I was when I started this blog.

I'm grateful for the journey, but so so so excited about the destination.

Thursday, September 17, 2015


Baby's size: Large cabbage or cucumber.

Next appointment: 9/22 (had one today, too)

Total weight gain: 51.4 lbs. So, down 1.6 lbs. and lower than where I was in at 22w5d.

Exercise: Moving more. My busted knee is mostly healed, which helps. But beyond that, taking off some of the excess fluid has made it easier for me to function, period. There was a time not too long ago when I would barely be able to make it around the grocery store before my back started hurting or I'd get too huffy and puffy. It was scary! But yesterday, I went grocery shopping all by myself for the first time in a while, and I was fine. Didn't even have back pain.

Sleep: Same. Also, I started using this app that tracks my sleep and tells me how many apnea events I have each night. I average between two and four, which is actually pretty great as anything under five is considered "normal."

Food cravings: Carbs, but I'm watching them like the good little gestational diabetic I am.

Symptoms: Burping, farting, and now, a little round ligament pain. I feel SO attractive, I tell you what. On the upside: Had some colostrum leakage from both nips, which apparently is a good sign for those of us who want to put our kid on the boob.

What I'm loving: Reaching 30 weeks. I mean, it's crazy. There was a time I was convinced I'd have pre-eclampsia by 28 weeks. So this? This is huge. And at the risk of jinxing things, I seem to be holding steady. My BP is great on the meds, my sugars are controlled by diet alone, sleep apnea is clearly being treated, and so far I haven't spilled any protein in my urine. I'm starting to think I might actually make it to 36 weeks!

What I'm not loving: The fruitless search for a decent nursing bra. My band size increased slightly, so I'm a 46 now, but my cup size (if you go by measurements alone) puts me at a DDDD/G. Once again, I'm struck by an industry that doesn't seem to think fat women procreate. I'm looking for a bra with thick straps and a wide band that I know will give me support. So far, nothing. (Any suggestions?)

What I'm looking forward to: Childbirth class starts tomorrow, and then I have my first resale event on Saturday. Plus, there's more nesting to be done!

Best moment this week: My surprise shower was last Saturday (and I totally need to write about it). There was this point when I looked around at all of these women who were there for me, who had done so much for me (not just the shower but in life itself), and I felt so completely loved. And then in the same breath, overwhelmed by all of the love. But it was a really beautiful moment, to know that there were so many wonderful ladies that I could count on.

Thursday, September 10, 2015


Baby's size: Squash (butternut or acorn, depending on the site)

Next appointment: 9/17 (had one today, too)

Total weight gain: 53 lbs. So, down 4.4 lbs. and right where I was in week 24. (Thanks, HCTZ!)

Exercise: Even less than usual, thanks to my bustimicated knee.

Sleep: Same.

Food cravings: Bread and cheese. Together.

Symptoms: I have that funny light brown line up and down my belly. And I'm getting super emotional. Oh, and my boobs? They are seriously huge, and not in a good way.

What I'm loving: The 3D ultrasound pics we got today. Best u/s tech ever! We finally got to see the Jellybean's face from multiple angles. Last week, we had a few snaps but he looked like a cartoon character. This time, he looked like a tiny human!

What I'm not loving: Still with the hands. The pain was so bad Monday I kept crying. So, the cardiologist put me back on the HCTZ. Dr. Direct isn't going to like it, but what can I do?

What I'm looking forward to: Lots and lots of baby stuff. We start childbirth classes a week from tomorrow. Next Thursday there's a curriculum night at our future daycare. And my shower is coming up in just a few short weeks, too!

Best moment this week: Seeing his face. It's the cutest little face! I can't stop staring at it.

Thursday, September 3, 2015


Baby's size: Large eggplant.

Next appointment: Today. More u/s and hopefully a 3D one!

Total weight gain: 57.4 lbs. However, I weigh slightly less than I did three weeks ago, so I'm not complaining.

Exercise: Minimal. Still struggling with pain/numbness in legs, not to mention swelling.

Sleep: Decent. Averaging 7-8 hours a night with the CPAP mask.

Food cravings: None.

Symptoms: Burping. Lots and lots of burping.

What I'm loving: Feeling Jellybean more regularly. Sometimes he kicks hard enough that it moves other things. Like, the other night I had my iPad on a pillow on my belly, and he kicked hard enough that the iPad jumped just a little.

What I'm not loving: My hands. They are swollen, stiff, numb, or in pain 100% of the time now, making even routine tasks difficult to complete.

What I'm looking forward to: This weekend. We have plans to do a lot of cleaning/purging in the house, and the closer we get to achieving our goals there, the better I'll feel.

Best moment this week: Last Thursday night I got in the pool for the first time since June...and discovered that preggos float. Like, literally FLOAT. It was crazy. And awesome.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015


Yesterday I went back to the cardiologist's office and met with her PA. You know how I got all freaked out about my test results? I'm not entirely sure why that happened. According to the PA, I had very mildly elevated pressure in my lungs. When he listened, he heard no fluid. But the edema is still a problem, so he agreed to a short course of HCTZ to try to reduce some of the swelling. I took the pill on the way back to the office and peed my brains out for the rest of the day.

By this morning, I was already down 3.5 lbs.

Guess what hasn't improved, though? HURTY HANDS. They're definitely less swollen - I can actually move the skin on the backs now - but the numbness and pain has somehow INCREASED. I don't get it. Even typing this short post is giving me so. Much. PAIN.

Saw the OB today. She said, "I want you to start getting mentally prepared for not making it full term." Oh, Dr. Direct. I'm so far ahead of you there. I told her my goal was to make it to 36 weeks. This, she thinks, seems reasonable. She did tell me I might have to go on desk rest and work from home at some point. This, too, I was expecting, so NBD.

The good news: Today's BP was 124/81. No protein in my urine. No sugar either. So, even though pre-eclampsia is likely going to happen at some point, it hasn't claimed me yet.

Dr. Direct thinks that I'm still a good candidate for vaginal delivery. This makes me happy. I found out today I can have 4 people in the room with me. So that's good. I can have my placenta for encapsulation. And if I end up needing a C-section, they'll make sure Mr. Hope can't see over the curtain. 

When I talk about drawing up a birth plan, these are the things I'm pretty much talking about. The only thing I forgot to discuss with her was the delayed cord clamping, but we still have time.

Jellybean's heart rate was in the 150s today. He ran from the doppler (again). Dr. Direct said, "He's having fun in there!" I told her how he punches and head-buts me constantly. I am so in for it with this kid.

Tomorrow Mr. Hope and I head out to the shore for a long weekend. Our version of a babymoon. I'm excited to unplug from the world and be in the ocean and spend some alone time with my husband. We need this. Like, badly.

Okay, my hands are giving out. I swear, the pain. THE PAIN. 

More later.

Monday, August 24, 2015

where did the month go?

To the handful of you who follow this blog and worry about me when I am not updating it regularly: I am so incredibly sorry that I keep disappearing.

Four weeks ago today, I got a call from the manager of that freelance project I thought I finished in early June. Her bosses loved the project but wanted some significant changes to it. Me making those changes could lead to bigger opportunities for me, so I agreed to dive in. Only, I had exactly three weeks to make all of those significant changes. Hence the disappearing act.

I finished the project (again) last Monday and have been trying to catch up on life ever since. And then Mini-Hope came to spend the weekend with us - it was a fun visit but my time is never my time when the kiddo is here (not that I'm complaining!).

Suffice it to say: I've been busy.

As of today, I am 26W4D. There has been SO much going on, you guys. So much. I need to go back and fill in my weekly updates, which I write for me more than anyone - they're a great way to keep track of the pregnancy.

But first things first: Jellybean is still 100%, as far as I know. At the last round of ultrasound we got a profile shot of him that was so perfect I kept joking it had to be fake - like stock photography of what an ultrasound is supposed to look like. If I get some time I'll scan it and upload it to a post; that's how perfect it is.

I am not quite as perfect. Okay, I'm kind of a hot mess. As of this morning I am up 64 lbs. total, but the scary part is that 7 of those have found their way onto my gargantuan body in the last four days ALONE. My hands have been extra-special hurty lately, super-swollen and numb and yet riddled with sharp, stabbing pain all at the same time. Oh, and remember how I thought I dodged the gestational diabetes bullet? Yeah, not so much. Even though there were only a few readings above where they were supposed to be, they slapped that label on my fat ass right quick. So now I'm doing finger sticks 4 times a day until I deliver.

But here's the very best part:

A couple of weeks ago I went for an EKG. This is apparently standard with Maternal Fetal Medicine for women who go through IVF. My EKG was clean but when I was at the cardiologist, her student intern thought she heard a slight murmur. So, they sent me for an echocardiogram. During that, they didn't find a murmur but they did find increased lung pressure. The cardiologist called me this past Friday to tell me about that. She said it could be something or it could be nothing and that she wanted to repeat the echo in early September. She didn't sound all that concerned, though.

Fast forward about three hours, when my OB's nurse calls to tell me that I need to be seen next week (as in, this week) because of the cardiologist. I was like, "Um, when I talked to her this morning she seemed like this was NBD. What changed?" The nurse tells me that nothing changed, per se, but they're concerned by the amount of edema I have and are considering putting me on Lasix.

Here's me: "Wait, so you took me off a diuretic because it was dangerous to the baby, and that led to all of these health problems, and now you want to put me back on it? Did it stop being dangerous to the baby?"

Here's her: "Just come in and talk to Dr. Direct."

Can I just tell you how incredibly pissed I was? I mean, seriously. Every single problem leads back to when they had me stop the HCTZ. I went from gaining a total of 9 lbs. in the first trimester to 17 within a single week. I developed high blood pressure. I developed pitting edema in my hands, feet, ankles, calves, and stomach. I developed bilateral carpal tunnel. I developed sleep apnea.

So then I do the Google thing and find out that Lasix is pregnancy Category C. As in, DO NOT TAKE. As in, DANGEROUS TO BABY. But the drug I was on, the HCTZ, is Category B. As in, could be harmful but probably isn't. There's a woman on my super-secret Facebook group who said she took the same drug throughout her entire pregnancy and had exactly zero problems with her baby.

I go back to the cardiologist tomorrow and am prepared to fight them on the Lasix. I refuse to take a drug that has been known to induce spontaneous abortion and infant death. Not after everything I've been through. I'm not even that excited about the possibility of resuming the HCTZ, even though every cell in my body is crying out for a diuretic right now, because I don't want to take anything that could hurt my little Jellybean.

Anyway, so that's the short of what's up with me. I'm behind on my blog writing and I'm behind on my blog reading, because I pretty much suck. Again, my apologies.

More soon - I promise!

Thursday, July 30, 2015


Baby's size: Large mango.

Next appointment: August 4.

Total weight gain: 52.8 lbs. So, down almost 5 lbs. from last week. I'll take it.

Exercise: Next to nothing. When I'm on my feet for more than 10 minutes at a time, they swell up. And I can't even go back to yoga this weekend due to the swelling/numbness in my hands. I need to join a pool.

Sleep: Using the CPAP 100% of the time now, though I have to sleep sitting up on the couch with my feet on an ottoman. If I lay on either side my whole body goes numb and then has shooting pains. It's really awesome.

Food cravings: Nothing out of the ordinary.

Symptoms: The vivid dreams are returning, likely because I'm actually reaching REM sleep with the CPAP. There was a rather involved one the other night with Bradley Cooper in it. It wasn't dirty, though - he was like my stepfather or something.

What I'm loving: I'm finally starting to look like I have a baby bump and not just a food baby.

What I'm not loving: The general discomfort I'm in, like, all of the time. Oh, and how the cardiologist assumed I'm eating potato chips 24/7, when I eat clean about 85% of the time.

What I'm looking forward to: ONE MORE WEEK UNTIL VIABILITY.

Best moment this week: There was a day when we checked my BP and it was normal and my blood sugar was normal and I felt like, "Okay, maybe I'm going to be okay after all."

Sunday, July 26, 2015

the finger sticks begin.

On Friday, I went in for glucose meter training. Technically, I already knew how to use a glucose meter, since I had Type II diabetes for a couple of years before losing the weight and sending it into remission, but I thought I'd get the meter itself at the appointment. I did not. That got called into the pharmacy. And the nurse training me got very suspicious when she handed me the meter to try myself and I asked for an alcohol swab.

"You look like you've done this before," she said.

I smiled and nodded.

I don't talk to a lot of people about how I used to be diabetic. It's not something I'm proud of. And when I did have it, early medical interventions made things way worse; the first doctor to put me on insulin kept jacking up the dosage even after I didn't respond well, and I ended up putting on something like 40 lbs. in a single month. And even then, my sugars didn't get under control until I was put on a medicine that basically talked to my liver and told it to stop pumping out insulin.

I also don't talk a lot about my gastric bypass surgery, which I had almost 7 years ago. I don't talk about it because when I had it, I was at an all-time high weight that was the equivalent of four top-of-the-pyramid cheerleaders. To be fair, nearly 70 lbs. of that came from the insulin and fluid retention, but still. It was a dark time in my life and one I don't care to revisit. Plus, I never lost all of the weight after my surgery. I lost nearly 200 lbs.,  but that still put me at close to 100 lbs. over where the height-weight charts wanted me to be, and about 35 lbs. over my personal weight-loss goal.

When you still look like a fat girl and you tell people you've had gastric bypass, they either assume that you were unsuccessful at it or that you're one of the sad folks who's gained all of their weight back. Prior to this pregnancy, I did have some regain from time to time. but I always nipped it before it got too bad and took the weight back off. This is one of the main reasons the massive gain from Jellybean has me so unhinged. I'm terrified the weight won't come off again, And all of the health problems I had pre-surgery loss, they're all coming back - the apena, the edema, the sciatic lower back pain, the shooting numbness in one or both legs, etc.

Except, I think, for the diabetes. This is one pregnancy nasty I may have been able to avoid.

My very first stick - the one that made the nurse suspicious - was 114. "That's really good!" she remarked, shocked that my blood wasn't made of taffy. I left the training feeling unexpectedly chuffed. I was going to be fine! No gestational diabetes for me!

And then, that night, my post-dinner reading was 140 - 10 over where they like to see it. There had been a touch of cornstarch in the sauce we made, and I had about 1/3 cup of brown rice. A friend who has Type II told me she can't tolerate brown rice even medicated, that it always spikes her sugars, so I made a note on my log and moved on.

The next morning, my fasting bgl was 96 - about 7 higher than it should be. I'd indulged in a small piece of chocolate cake for a late-night dessert, and figured that was the culprit. Again, I made a note and moved on.

And then something surprising happened - my post-meal readings for the day were all stellar. After a lunch of spaghetti squash chow mein and grilled chicken, I clocked in at 78 - close to low! Last night's pre-bed snack consisted of a piece of Ezekial toast with natural PB and a small sliced banana. The fasting reading today? 89. And that's with the banana!

So while I'll likely have to pay attention to what I'm eating, and skip as much refined sugar as possible, it looks like my bgl is going to behave through diet modification alone. Of course, I need to track my finger sticks for two full weeks before someone will make that assessment, but still. Early data is promising.

Since that's the case, I think I'm going to experiment a little with foods to see what does/doesn't spike my sugar. I'm making some oat bran with blueberries and almonds for breakfast, just to see what that does. Yesterday I had a whole wheat English muffin with egg and cheese (homemade) and my post-meal reading was 114, which was well within the good limits. So we'll see.

I've been so terrified that I'm going to get pre-eclampsia that in my head I already have it. But this? This makes me wonder if maybe I'll somehow avoid it. When I checked my BP last night it was 122/78 - perfectly normal. Is it possible that I will get through the rest of this pregnancy without any major medical meltdowns?

I sure hope so.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

edema, apnea, and other fun things.

It's been almost a month since I last updated. I'm sorry about that, especially since so many of you have emailed and left comments to check up on me. You're so sweet and I'm a complete toad. Again: apologies.

First things first: I'm barely okay(ish), but Jellybean is perfect. And that's what matters most. To me, anyway.

I fell off the blogosphere for a bunch of reasons, but here are the main ones:

  • I was working a lot of extra hours to get ready for a weeklong business trip.
  • I wasn't sleeping well, and therefore unable to get up early enough to do any AM writing.
  • I was also so exhausted that I wasn't up to PM writing, either.
  • I felt like all I was doing was complaining, and who wants to read that shiz?
  • I left for the weeklong business trip, and it almost broke me.

But now I'm home, and I've really missed blogging. So, here's me attempting to get back into the swing of things.

The last time I updated I mentioned that I'd been snoring again and was terrified I'd developed sleep apnea again. I haven't had it in almost eight years, but I remember how awful it was. The not sleeping. The trying to sleep sitting up. The walking exhaustion. The diagnosis and treatment. The breathing machine they make you wear. Etc.

I went from only being able to sleep in bed a couple hours at a time to not being able to fall asleep in bed at all - sleeping exclusively on the couch, sitting up, in front of the TV. And I knew. I just knew that the apnea was back. It made a lot of sense - why my BP had gone crazy, why my weight was shooting up so quickly, why the swelling in my appendages seemed so much worse than normal pregnancy stuff.

I talked to Dr. Direct about this, and she told me to make an appointment with my primary to order the sleep study. It took almost a week to get that appointment. Then, it took another week to schedule the study itself. And even then, they initially told me they couldn't get me in until the end of August, at which point I played the pregnancy card and told anyone who would listen that I'd had a previous loss and I was terrified of losing this baby, too.

It worked. Turns out no one likes you insinuating that their lack of action could result in a loss of pregnancy. I got the sleep study for two days before I left for my business trip, and the apnea was bad enough that they titrated me that night. I spent the bulk of the next day crying to anyone who'd listen that I was about to get on a plane and needed my CPAP immediately so that I didn't lose my baby. It worked again; by 6:30 p.m., I was getting a lesson on how to use the new machine.

That first night, I wrestled with it. See, the way the CPAP works is by forcing air into you, so that you don't stop breathing in your sleep. I have to wear a full-face mask, too, because pregnancy has given me so much nasal congestion that the nose mask made me outright choke. So I've got this thing over my nose and mouth, and it's forcing air into me, and I feel overwhelmingly claustrophobic, like if I don't rip it off my face right that second, I'm going to die.

I think I made it 90 minutes with the mask.

On the trip, I continued to wrestle with the machine. One night I managed to get about four hours in, divided. But I couldn't just fall asleep with it on, stay asleep 7 hours, and wake up refreshed. There were a couple of nights I didn't even bother using it, but the last day of the trip I was like a zombie, so I went back to my hotel and took a 2.5 hour nap with the mask. When I woke up feeling human, I capitulated: I needed the machine, and I needed to get over my CPAP anxiety ASAP.

But then a new thing developed, and it's this: If I sleep on my left side for more than 45 minutes, my arm falls asleep. My hand goes numb. And then I wake up with pain shooting down my arm. So now, even though I'm finally getting used to the mask, I still can't stay in it long because I wake up in so much pain. Mr. Hope and I decided tonight that we'd set it up in the living room and I'd use the mask sitting up on the couch, so that I'd get quality sleep that was mostly pain-free.

Yep. This is what it's come to.

Can we talk about my hands and arms for a sec? Previously I'd reported carpal tunnel in both arms. This is still present, though the pain in my arms/wrists isn't as pronounced. No, now the problem is that my hands are swollen beyond belief. My fingers are like fat sausages. It's all fluid, too. They are so sore and stiff in the mornings that I can't even make a fist. Throughout the day they grown numb whenever I use them too much. It doesn't matter how much water I pound, I can't find relief for the hands. Not fully, anyway.

If I am on my feet for any significant amount of time, my feet and ankles swell. They look like Hobbit feet. I have pitting edema in both calves. But my favorite is the edema in my stomach. And no, that's not a typo. The lower portion of my stomach, which many plus-size women refer to as their apron, is hard with edema. The skin is so stretched that the pores are enormous. It feels leathery and looks like orange rind. And there's so much fluid collected there that my belly swings like I have weighted balls implanted, one on either side of my belly button.

The apron weight has started pulling on my back, and so now I'm getting twinges and numbness and shooting pains down my legs from time to time. I don't walk anymore so much as waddle. And I get breathless quite easily. So, really, most of the time I don't even look pregnant. I just look like a super-fat version of myself.

I look a lot like the me I was before I lost nearly 200 lbs., and it's totally fucking with my head.

When people ask me how I'm doing, I give them the real answer, which they don't really want. I will say, "As long as I get a healthy baby at the end of this, I can handle anything for a few more months." And it's true. I can.


I am miserable a lot of the time, physically and emotionally. My self-esteem is in the toilet. There have been a couple of incidences of people being not-so-nice to me that have hurt me deeply. I hate the way I look in everything. I dread leaving the house. Etc.

On the plus side, Jellybean is, as I said earlier, perfect. We had our anatomy scan a week before I left on the trip. They couldn't get every shot they wanted (more on this later), but what they saw was exactly as it should be. The relief in knowing that my many ailments wasn't harming him in the least was so overwhelming I almost cried right there on the table.

I have a few days off and I hope to write a few more posts that have been percolating in my brain. Like about the anatomy scan, and how right up until the ultrasound tech pointed out Jellybean's penis, I was still - STILL - hoping there was a girl growing inside of me. I want to write about the torture and mental gymnastics involved in building my baby registry. About my crunchy granola chiropractor whom I love, and the mean girl co-worker whom I now loathe.

And I think I want to retroactively fill in my weekly updates, since I've found those useful in documenting this pregnancy. And I do want to document it, as miserable as I am, because hopefully when all is said and done I'll be holding a fat, happy baby in my numb arms. His life will be something to celebrate, no matter how traumatic his gestation was for his poor, unlucky mama.


Baby's size: Spaghetti squash. Really? I just made one for dinner last night and it was pretty big.

Next appointment: August 4.

Total weight gain: 57.2 lbs. No, that's not a typo. I put on nearly 20 lbs. in the week that I was away. I've already dropped 4.6 lbs. since I got home a day and a half ago, though, so I'm hoping more of the water/fluid drops away over the next week.

Exercise: I walked my ass off on this business trip. (My feet paid the price.)

Sleep: Getting somewhat better now that I have the CPAP. I'm dreaming again, at least when I use it. But I'm still having aches and pains that wake me up routinely, so it's not 100% yet.

Food cravings: Fruits and vegetables. A week of eating nothing but restaurant food and convention center catering will do that to you.

Symptoms: I'm feeling Jellybean flutter almost daily now. I love it. I smile every single time.

What I'm loving: Being home!

What I'm not loving: The crazy water weight gain. Between all of the sodium in the not-homemade food, the heat/humidity, and flying twice, I'm all kinds of messed up.

What I'm looking forward to: Getting back to a normal routine. I'm so glad this trip is over. I'm so glad that life is slowing down a smidge.

Best moment this week: Coming home to Mr. Hope and Precious Pup. It's so good to feel loved.

Thursday, July 16, 2015


Baby's size: Carrot.

Next appointment: August 4.

Total weight gain: Not sure - I'm away on business with no access to a scale. I feel like a beached whale, though.

Exercise: Walking, lots of walking. So much walking that my feet keep swelling up. They look like they belong to a Hobbit.

Sleep: The hotel where I'm staying has a cloud bed. It's heavenly. Still not getting great sleep, though, as I'm wrestling with my new CPAP machine. It makes me feel claustrophobic a lot of the time.

Food cravings: Meat, seltzer, fresh fruit.

Symptoms: Swollen everything.

What I'm loving: In an odd way, finding out that I do have sleep apnea has been a good thing. It explains a lot of what's been going on with my body. Also, I feel pretty awesome that I got the testing done AND got a CPAP before I boarded the plane earlier this week. (I rock.)

What I'm not loving: The mean girl co-worker who's making this trip hellish. Are we in high school again? Because that's what it feels like.

What I'm looking forward to: GOING HOME.

Best moment this week: The triumphant acquisition of the CPAP machine.

Thursday, July 9, 2015


Baby's size: Small banana. Oddly enough, I ate one of those yesterday and it caused Jellybean to start swimming across my stomach like crazy. Was it the sugar? Or does he just not love bananas? Either way, it was pretty flipping cool.

Next appointment: July 10

Total weight gain: 39.8 lbs. So, yes, I lost .2 lbs. this week. (I'll take it!)

Exercise: I went to yoga on Sunday. It was harder this time! I'm just so swollen.

Sleep: Exclusively on the couch now. Will talk to OB about it on 7/10.

Food cravings: Salty/crunchy things.

Symptoms: I have edema in my stomach. Yes, my stomach. It's so gross. And uncomfortable. My body totally hates being pregnant.

What I'm loving: Jellybean is perfect! I was so terrified that all of the crap I've been dealing with was hurting him in some way, but no. The level 2 u/s on Tuesday revealed a super-active little boy who looks exactly how they want him to look. RELIEF!

What I'm not loving: Just how shitty I feel 90% of the time.

What I'm looking forward to: Mr. Hope and I are going to do our registry this weekend. I've had so much anxiety about it. I don't even know why. I kind of can't wait to get it over with.

Best moment this week: Realizing that I actually HAVE been feeling the baby, but mistaking those feelings for uterine twinges/growing pains.

Thursday, July 2, 2015


Baby's size: Mango

Next appointment: July 7

Total weight gain: 40 lbs. on the dot. And I'm not even halfway done yet.

Exercise: None. I missed yoga because of a business brunch. I suck.

Sleep: Eludes me. Still.

Food cravings: Beef. Lots and lots of beef.

Symptoms: The snoring continues! And the sleeping-sitting-up-on-the-couch thing.

What I'm loving: Mr. Hope, for putting up with me when I'm this miserable.

What I'm not loving: The pain and swelling in my hands. The returning fear that I'm not going to make it - that I'm going to lose this baby.

What I'm looking forward to: Still the level 2 u/s. It honestly can't come soon enough.

Thursday, June 25, 2015


Baby's size: Bell pepper or sweet potato.

Next appointment: July 7

Total weight gain: 37.2 lbs. Up 7 lbs. from last week. I've officially stopped weighing myself every day, because it makes me too depressed.

Exercise: I worked on a farm over the weekend and went swimming for hours on Monday, but then my hands swelled so much that when I woke Tuesday I couldn't make fists. The OB has ordered me indoors. She says it's too hot and humid for me to be outside. Funsies.

Sleep: Still crappy. Still bouncing from bed to couch and back again.

Food cravings: French fries. But the good kind, not the fast food ones.

Symptoms: The swollen hands thing is daily now. Oh, and I'm snoring again. I'm terrified I'm developing sleep apnea but Mr. Hope assures me it's garden variety snoring.

What I'm loving: Pass.

What I'm not loving: The pain and swelling in my hands. The returning fear that I'm not going to make it - that I'm going to lose this baby.

What I'm looking forward to: My level 2 u/s.

Best moment this week: Eh.

Thursday, June 18, 2015


Baby's size: Turnip, pear, or onion.

Next appointment: July 7

Total weight gain: 30.2 lbs. Which means I'm up 4 lbs. from last week. Is this the new meds? Too many carbs? What?

Exercise: Not much this week. Yoga again and am scheduled to go walking tonight. I've been sick, which hasn't helped.

Sleep: The first two nights of Unisom = awesome. Then they started me on Labetalol (a beta blocker, for BP) on Saturday, and I stopped sleeping again. Mostly I'm just tired, like, all of the time.

Food cravings: Carbs. My stomach was upset early in the week and all food seemed gross to me. One night for dinner I ate a sleeve of unsalted saltines and nothing else. On Tuesday, I ate egg and cheese sandwiches on whole wheat English muffins for breakfast and lunch. Yesterday I finally ate some fruit and veggies again, so maybe this upset stomach thing is finally passing.

Symptoms: Finger/hand/arm numbness continues! Now it's not just in the mornings. My left eye oozes snot all day long and by night time is crusting shut. I'm super tired. My nipples are so dark they're almost black. I feel huge and ugly and gross 95% of the time. The other 5%? Is when I'm actually sleeping.

What I'm loving: Not a whole hell of a lot. I'm not going to lie; this week has been rough.

What I'm not loving: The Labetalol. My current depression. Being pregnant. There, I said it. Pregnancy is ugly and uncomfortable and gross. There is a parasite in my body. I wanted that parasite and I love him with all of my heart, but right now, I'm just trying to get through each day without losing my shit.

What I'm looking forward to: Feeling like a human again. And when will that be, exactly?

Best moment this week: We heard Jellybean's heartbeat for the first time last Friday. I was so stunned that she found it right away that my jaw dropped. I didn't even think to record it or anything. But it was a beautiful sound.

Thursday, June 11, 2015


Baby's size: Avocado!

Next appointment: June 12 (is in TOMORROW, at along last)

Total weight gain: 26 lbs. If you've been following the saga of my weight gain, you'll notice that I'm only up .2 lbs. from last week. And actually, I was up more - like another 5 lbs. - but it's started falling off. I'm now off the prednisone entirely, and it's been a little over a month since I stopped the HCTZ, so here's hoping my body's starting to get back to normal. Finally.

Exercise: Started prenatal yoga on Sunday. Was surprised and relieved to discover that I could keep up with the thin preggos. Went walking at the gym with the BFF on Monday. Thirty minutes at a snail's pace, but when I had the incline at 1 and tried to walk faster, I got little pangs in my uterus. So, slow and steady it is. Today I'm doing my workout DVD. It's good to be moving again.

Sleep: Eludes me. This week has been the worst. I thought the exercise would help but it hasn't. I think part of the problem is that I'm a stomach sleeper. I was told this was okay until it was uncomfortable, and once it was uncomfortable I'd have to stop. Guess what? It's uncomfortable now. I spend most nights bouncing between my bed and the couch. And because I have such a hard time falling asleep, I start to get anxiety at bedtime. Based on the advice of my online support group, I purchased Unisom. It should arrive today. Fingers crossed that it brings relief!

Food cravings: I really wanted pepperoni pizza the other night. Like, badly. So I made the dinner I had planned - a quinoa salad loaded with veggies - and then Mr. Hope and I ordered a medium pepperoni. We ate the salad while waiting for the pizza to arrive. When it did, we discovered that the slices were small, like little triangles, so I had two. Craving satisfied. And I still lost weight that night, probably because I've been slamming water and powerloading fruits and veggies. So. No harm, no foul.

Symptoms: Pregnancy rhinitis to the nth degree. It's gotten worse as I weaned off the prednisone. Also I have this weird thing that my right hand goes numb in the mornings. Considering seeing the chiropractor or scheduling a pregnancy massage. Oh, and the insomnia thing. That's really fun.

What I'm loving: Precious Pup. We've been getting in extra snuggle time and playing lots of fetch. I don't know what it is about him but he's even more adorable than normal.

What I'm not loving: The sleep deprivation. And also the people who remark, "Just wait! It gets worse once you have the baby!" Yeah, I get it. I'm never going to sleep again. Thanks, world.

What I'm looking forward to: Seeing Dr. Direct tomorrow. Not sure if I get an u/s or if we just hear the baby's heartbeat, but either way it will be good to have proof that Jellybean's doing fine.

Best moment this week: Seeing the scale go down. I know I'm like a broken record about this, but it felt really good.

[Side note: I've been the worst blogger lately. And there's so much that I want to write about. It's just that I'm used to getting up early in the AM, and that's when I'd write. But with the lack of sleep, sometimes I'm pushing it until 8 a.m. or later, just trying to get some rest before I have to go to work. Making it a goal to do more, because there's so much I want to document!]

Thursday, June 4, 2015


Baby's size: Apple or orange.

Next appointment: June 12.

Total weight gain: 25.8 lbs. I'm at a total loss right now. I'm not eating anywhere near enough calories to be putting on this much weight. I'd really hoped that stopping the hormones would help, but so far it hasn't. I honestly don't even know what to say.

Exercise: Struggling. The extra weight I've put on makes me winded pretty quickly. But, I've been doing some walking and I start yoga on Sunday. Next week it's the gym.

Sleep: Have stopped drinking before bed (trying to quit liquids two hours prior) and that's helped with the waking and peeing thing. Still get up every night between 2:30 and 3:30 a.m. sick from hunger. Feel exhausted nearly all of the time.

Food cravings: Beef. Fruit. Fresh veggies. Not so bad.

Symptoms: Aching breasts, heightened sense of smell. Not so much on the vivid dreams this week. I pretty much have to eat every 2-3 hours or I feel sick. And I'm kind of swollen.

What I'm loving: Not so much what as who. Mr. Hope has been saint-like, even when I get crazy hangry or moody or whatever. We've been having a lot of fun together, too. I'm so happy that I'm going to make him a daddy again!

What I'm not loving: The weight gain. I won't complain about it. Y'all know it's killing me.

What I'm looking forward to: The weekend! Lots of fun stuff happening, but even more than that: I GET TO SLEEP IN.

Best moment this week: Saturday night I had friends over. Everything I put on made me look pregnant. Duh, I am pregnant! Gumbo put her hand on my belly and commented on my firm bump. It was the first time I didn't feel like Jabba the Hut. I actually took a bump picture with my phone - the first I've ever taken.

Thursday, May 28, 2015


Baby's size: Lemon.

Next appointment: June 12.

Total weight gain: 18.8 lbs. But I'm on the decline again, so hoping some of this is just my body trying to figure out how to operate off the progesterone and HCTZ at the same time. (So. Frustrating.)

Exercise: I'm walking more, but it's hot and mall walking isn't my thing. That said, I have a plan in place. Tomorrow I'm starting these pregnancy workout DVDs I ordered with Nugget but never got to use. Next weekend, I'm starting a pregnancy yoga class with a preggo friend. And gym with the BFF starts that week, too, so within the next 10 days I should have a comfortable routine down.

Sleep: Same as last week - waking up at least 3x a night to pee, waking up between 2:30 and 3:30 sick from hunger. New thing I tried last night: keeping a date-and-nut bar on my beside table. Ate half with the 1:30 pee and the other half with the 3:30 pee. No scary-sick hunger!

Food cravings: Fruit like you wouldn't believe, but I always get this way in the summer. Strawberries, blueberries, apricots, watermelon, cantaloupe - you name it, I want it.

Symptoms: I mentioned to the BFF that my nipples were so dark they were almost black, and she was like, "Uh, good luck with that." But that's a thing, right? Darkening areolas?

What I'm loving: The nursery chair we bought this weekend! It's a La-Z-Boy rocker/recliner. I'd had my eye on it for a couple of weeks, and then found out they were having a huge Memorial Day sale. The chair was almost $300 off! It was a bit of a splurge, but with this purchase we're officially finished buying nursery furniture.

What I'm not loving: Just how huge and gross I feel. I mean, I expected to feel like this at some point, but not at 14 weeks, you know?

What I'm looking forward to: Seeing the baby. I don't even know if I get to at the next appointment, or if she'll just go for Doppler, but I'm finding ultrasound withdrawal harder than expected. Is the baby still in there? My boobs are still killing me, and I'm not spotting or cramping, so I'm assuming yes, but you never know.

Best moment this week: This is TMI, but last night I had my first O in 14 weeks. So, that was pretty spectacular.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

the weight of pregnancy, part 2.

My weight woes continue.

I'd just started to lose a couple of pounds when I discontinued the progesterone. I know that whenever I take progesterone, I lose weight. So it should have occurred to me that stopping the progesterone would cause another gain, but it didn't.

I went up a pound and a half my first day off. Then another pound and a half the next day, and the next day after that - which put me at a 20+ lb. gain in the first 13.5 weeks.

Say what now?

I've dropped a little since, but not very much. It's so disheartening. I know I'm not supposed to care but I keep thinking the weight gain is going to pick up over the next two trimesters and I'm going to be well over 300 lbs. by the time I deliver.

Then again, I've also read that some women gain all of their weight in the first trimester and then very little the next two. Maybe I will be one of those?

In other news: the freelance project is done! I turned it into the project manager over the weekend. There may be some minor edits needed but I know the whole thing goes into production June 1 so I'm guessing I am almost at the finish line, if not already over it completely.

Of course, the day I turned it in, I felt like I was coming down with a cold. I'm all sinus pressure and green snot right now. Not a full-blown illness - my body is desperately trying to fight it off - but there are headaches and general exhaustion with which to content. It's not fun.

I don't mean to sound all complain-y, and I guess that's what's happening here. So I will shut up before I whine anymore.

Thursday, May 21, 2015


(Welcome to the second trimester, y'all!)

Baby's size: Peach or pea pod (the baby is now 3" - go look at that on a ruler)

Next appointment: June 12

Total weight gain: 15 lbs. But I was up to 17 lbs. a couple of days ago, so this is improvement. I think the rebound from discontinuing the HCTZ is starting to dissipate already. Keeping fingers crossed!

Exercise: I'm not doing enough walking. The plan currently is to finish the freelance project due next week, then start meeting the BFF at the gym 2-3 nights a week. I can't do much - just walk on the treadmill at a leisurely pace - but anything should help.

Sleep: Still kind of crappy. I wake to pee 1-3 times in the middle of the night. Also, between 2:30 and 3:30 a.m., I wake up nauseated and starving. For the past four nights I've wandered into the darkened kitchen, toasted up a piece of sprouted grain bread, put a little cream cheese on it, ate it standing up, and then gone back to bed. No joke.

Food cravings: Besides my middle-of-the-night toast breaks, I've had random cravings, like the other night when I sent Mr. Hope out for pudding and animal crackers. But also I've noticed I've been eating a lot more red meat than I typically do, and a lot less chicken. The other night I made this one pot dish with ground beef and peppers and it was so good, I was walking the leftovers into co-workers' offices and telling them how good it was.

Food aversions: None.

Symptoms: My boobs are still these things I wish I could unhook from my body and put on a shelf. The heartburn has gotten more persistent; people tell me this means I'll have a hairy baby. And I'm guessing the waking up hungry thing is a symptom of something - a friend said it meant the baby was having growth spurts while I was sleeping that was causing my blood sugar to drop.

What I'm loving: NO. MORE. PIO. Took the last shot last night. It's so liberating!

What I'm not loving: That I'm still exhausted so much of the time. This may ease up now that I'm off the progesterone. But, like, yesterday was gorgeous. My plan was to come home from work, leash up the dog, and go for a long walk. But on the drive home I started to get really hungry. So when I got home, I drank two glasses of milk, ate a cheese stick, and then promptly wanted to pass out. Which I later did.

What I'm looking forward to: This isn't entirely pregnancy related, but I should be done with the freelance project before my next update. And if I get some more energy back, that means lots of free time for myself. I want to enjoy it before I lose it!

Best moment this week: When Mr. Hope and I decided that we were turning in our membership to the "One and Done" club. More on this later.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

the weight of pregnancy.

Before I got pregnant, none of my doctors seemed concerned about my weight. I was the one freaking out. But they kept telling me, "Look, you can stand to lose some poundage, but your BP is good, your blood sugar is perfect, you don't have sleep apnea or anything like that. You're going to be fine."

So at some point in the TTC process, I stopped freaking out. I mean, yes, I was concerned about inflammation, so I ate a lot of avocados. And there was the three- to four-month period where I ate the EZ Diet and lost 20 lbs. and was all YAY, I AM LOSING AGAIN! But then our first pregnancy started to go south and the depression eating began. If the doctors told me nothing I ate was going to make a difference, why wouldn't I get a creamy pasta dish at the Italian restaurant? Why would I deny myself baked goods at Christmas?

When we miscarried (for those just tuning in, this was not due to anything I did or didn't eat, but chromosomal abnormalities), both Mr. Hope and I turned up the depression eating. I'm not going to lie; it was bad. Real bad. We basically ate whatever we wanted for a one-month period. And then, when we knew the next transfer was imminent, we started cleaning things up. But not nearly as hardcore as we did the first time around.

I was 45 lbs. up from my lowest weight when I got pregnant this time around. About 25 lbs. up from where I was the first time I got pregnant. And, as those of you who read this blog regularly know, it was my intention to not gain a single pound during the first trimester.

My body had other plans.

I bounced around in the same 4- to 5-pound range the first 8 weeks. Down, up, down, up. Nothing major. And then, in week 8, I started to put on weight. A lb. here, a lb. there. When I saw the OB for the first time, at almost 12 weeks, I was up 9 full pounds.


And then she took me off the HCTZ, which I knew would cause more gain. How much? Here, take a look:

Day 0 (first day I discontinued): 0 lbs.
Day 1: + 2 lbs.
Day 2: + 2 lbs.
Day 3: + 1.2 lbs.
Day 4: + 1 lb.
Day 5: + .6 lb.
Day 6: + .4 lb.
Day 7:  - 1.6 lbs.

You see that last entry? That -1.6 lbs.? That's not a typo. I really did drop 1.6 lbs. between yesterday and today. Not eating anything radically different. Not adding any more exercise. Just poof! Extra water bloat starting to fall off.

There is hope for me yet.

I went back for my BP check yesterday. Quick recap: it was a little high at the first OB appt., 144/88. Pre-pregnancy, my BP was always in the 120/70 range. So when Dr. Direct wanted to put me on BP meds, I asked her if we could wait a week to see what my body did off the estrogen.

It paid off. My BP yesterday was 136/84. High end of normal. Something we need to keep an eye on, but not something requiring medication at this time. (Virtual high five, y'all!)

Dr. Direct is not a fan of me weighing myself every day. I brought in an index card with the same recorded weights I typed above. She said, "What's this?" I explained it to her, and how I weigh myself the same time every morning, naked, after I've gone to the bathroom but before I've had anything to eat or drink. She just kind of looked at me.

Later in the appointment, she ripped the card in half in front of me. She said, "I need you to stop obsessing over your weight. You're pregnant. You're going to gain weight."

I tried to explain how I didn't want to gain anything in the first trimester, and yet here I was, 17 lbs. up (as of yesterday).

Dr. Direct said, "Look, you need to lose weight. So do I know. We know this. But you can't do anything about it while you're pregnant. You can't reduce. You can eat healthfully. You can move around. But that's it. You can't deal with your weight until that baby is no longer inside of you."

She told me to stop weighing myself every day. Obviously, I did not heed this advice. I've weighed myself nearly every day for the past six years. This is how I keep an eye on the bottom line. Make sure I'm not putting on too much weight. If I am up 6 lbs., I course-correct and eat super-clean until I take it back off. When I'm in weight-loss mode, watching the scale daily helps keep me motivated. It tells me that what I'm doing is working. (The only exception being when I'm weight-training; the first month of new muscle results in very few lbs. lost but clothes fitting more loosely, so I'm okay in the long run.)

I'm sure you're wondering, "If you're so obsessed with your weight, why didn't you lose it all before you got pregnant?"

It's not like I didn't try. I did. I've been losing significant weight for the past 6 years (hence the scale-watching). Sometimes I'm better at it than others. Depression plays a huge factor; when I'm in the hole, I have a really hard time caring about what I put into my body. And also: I'm a fat girl who unabashedly likes food. I like to cook it, I like to eat it. Because of this, I will never be thin. I'm okay with that. But I would like to get down to a 14/16 at some time in my life. That would make me really, really  happy.


Yesterday I ate 90% good and 10% not so good. Dessert was about 1/3 of a cup of chocolate pudding, some whipped cream on top, and a handful of animal crackers. Other than that, I ate a ton of protein, fiber, good fats, fruits, and vegetables. I drank water, herbal tea, decaf coffee, milk. This is my typical daily diet - mostly clean with a sweet thing or salty snack thrown in at night, depending on what I'm craving.

I'm not sure if the weight loss has anything to do with what I'm eating and/or how much OR if it's just because the retention from stopping the HCTZ is easing up and/or weening from the prednisone is helping. I might never know.

But I will say that today, I feel lighter. Not just because I literally am, but because pretty soon, my body will be close to its natural state. I'm on half doses of prednisone that are about to go down to quarter doses. I have one shot of PIO left and two nights of progesterone capsules. Then, no more artificial hormones. And within another week, no more steroids.

Let's see what this body does when left to its own devices.

Friday, May 15, 2015

special needs.

My Facebook friends are always commenting on how perfect my  husband is. It's true; if we're FB friends and you are not in the loop on the most intimate details of my life, you probably think I have this totally too-good-to-be-true marriage. It's not exactly fake, either. Mr. Hope is one of the sweetest, most loving people I know. He genuinely adores me. I love him more deeply than I have ever loved anyone ever. We really do have as much fun together as it seems.

So definitely not fake. More like...edited. 

What I don't ever talk about on Facebook (nor will I ever) is the mental illness that almost destroyed us.

Mr. Hope has bipolar disorder. Technically, it's bipolar disorder with psychotic features, but I tend to leave that last part off since the psychosis has been in check for years. But it's there. He takes a small dose of a scary little pill every night that keeps the olfactory and auditory hallucinations away. He takes a lot of medicine to keep his brain functioning in a way that's conducive to so-called normal life.

Today, I consider us lucky. Mr. Hope is so "normal" now that sometimes I forget he even has this disorder. He's been working steadily for more than two years and just got a new position at his company that came with a nearly 50% pay increase. He went from twice-weekly therapy sessions to one every other week. When bad things happen, he is better equipped to handle them. I am confident that he's going to be a great dad to Jellybean.

But if you'd asked me even four years ago, I would've had a very different take on our relationship. 

The quick and dirty version is this: when Mr. Hope and I got together I soon realized he was a binge drinker. Not every day, mind you. But, like, out of the blue he'd get blackout drunk. Sometimes he'd be verbally abusive. There was an incident that pushed me over the edge about six months in. I told him to get sober or get gone. 

He chose sober, and has been sober ever since.

The bipolar was diagnosed in the wake of this. The drinking was a way to self-medicate the mania. This is common in mental illness. Not just drinking but dependence on any substance.

Mr. Hope also has ADHD. It's pretty bad. His psychiatrist tried him on a non-habit-forming ADHD med. Things got better...until they got worse. Here's the fun thing: symptoms of ADHD and symptoms of mania look an awful lot alike. So as the shrink upped the ADHD medicine, the symptoms got worse. More medicine. More symptoms.

Eventually, the medicine broke his brain.

That marked the first time Mr. Hope logged time in a mental hospital, but not the last. After he recovered from that episode and returned to work, the shrink put him back on the same ADHD medicine. Once again, it broke his brain - only this time, it did it a lot quicker. And also a lot worse.

More hospitalizations. More leaves from work. In a three-year stretch, Mr. Hope only logged about 8 months on the job. He was actually on SSI for a couple of years. Fortunately, his company has really good short- and long-term disability. He never lost his benefits. In fact, he never went below 50% of his salary.

Taking an extended leave from work gave us a lot of time to find the right med combo. This took more than a year. No joke. When we eventually went for a consult at a world-renowned hospital, the doctors we met with said they'd never seen anyone on as many medications as Mr. Hope and still be functional. They dried him out and started fresh, and that's what got us where we are today.

When Mr. Hope returned to work, we weren't sure he was going to make it. But he did. Not only that, he excelled. He got picked for training jobs. He got assigned to special task forces. He was accepted into a prestigious leadership development program. And just this week, he was hired into the new position, jumping up two job grades in the process. 

I honestly could not be more proud.

Why am I telling you all of this? This is a blog about infertility, not mental illness, right? 

Because I wasn't entirely honest in yesterday's post. I wrote something about being afraid of the test not telling me that our kid had a damaged heart. But what I'm really afraid of - the thing I've always been afraid of - is having a kid with special needs. Not your garden variety special needs, but like the kind that keeps your kid a kid forever, even when they're 40. 

This makes me a horrible person, I know. Before anyone else says it, let me: YOU SHOULDN'T HAVE TRIED TO MAKE A BABY IF YOU WEREN'T OKAY WITH A BABY THAT NEEDED MORE LOVE AND CARE. Okay, fine. I'm awful. I'm the worst. Nothing you say can make me hate myself more than I already do.

But I know what I can handle. I know what I am capable of. I have glossed over Mr. Hope's breakdowns here but let me be clear: those were some of the worst days of my life. They were scary and dark and nearly broke me. Bouncing back - putting not only his brain back together but also our relationship - took years of hard work on both our parts. And there were times I thought we'd never get to where we are today.

This is one of the reasons I've always been more in favor of having one child, not two. If I have one and Mr. Hope's meds stop working, or if something triggers another break, I'll be okay. I can handle being a single mom of one while he is in the hospital. I can handle taking care of one kid by myself while he is healing. But two? Two seems like it might be too much. Throw in a child that requires an extreme level of care? I don't know that I could do it.

But what about autism? you ask. They can't see that on a test. This is true. We could have a kid that requires a high level of care that no diagnostic test would ever pick up. It's a gamble. I get it.

It's a gamble we were willing to take.

Anyway, there it is. The whole truth and nothing but the truth. Skewer me if you desire, but like I said: I have enough self-loathing for all of us. 

Thursday, May 14, 2015

the results are in...

...and if the MaterniT21 Plus test can be believed, we are having a healthy baby boy.

Why do I say "if"?

Well, I'm me, you know. Mrs. Agony, at your service.

When I got the call this morning, just as I was about to leave for work, I was a little shaky. Then the nurse told me that the test was negative for all of the bad stuff, and before I could even process that she said, "And it looks like - wait, do you want to know what you're having?"

"Yes," I said.

"The test is consistent with characteristics of a male."

I'd expected this, so it wasn't a shocker. In fact, I would've been MORE shocked if it had been a girl.

I called Mr. Hope, who'd left less than five minutes earlier. I told him the test was negative. Then I said, "We're having a [insert male name here]."

"No!" he said.

"Yep," I said.

"I guess we're going for a sibling then?"

"Let's get through this one first," I said. "Then we can talk about going again."

I got in the car. I started driving to work.

It's hard to explain what I was feeling. I'd spent most of the past week terrified that our baby would have a trisomy that was incompatible with life. It was all-consuming, thinking of this. It wouldn't matter if it was a girl if the baby wasn't meant for this world.

So there was overwhelming relief about that.

There was also a kind of flatness. I wasn't sad, or upset, or even disappointed. Resigned, maybe? I kept saying it was going to be a boy, because I wanted a girl so badly. That's just how things work in my world. So I'd been steeling myself for a boy.

"You want too much," Glam Coworker admonished me later. "After everything you've been through...just stop talking."

"Little boys are adorable," Fellow Preggo said. "Just wait. You'll fall in love the minute you lay eyes on him."

But that is not what this is about. It's really not. I am obsessed with Precious Pup. Obsessed. I know it will be worse with a tiny human. I know I will love this child with every fiber of my being.

When I think about why I wanted a girl, it's less about cute dresses and Barbie dolls and more about getting the chance to re-parent myself. I texted a couple of people about being disappointed that I wouldn't get the chance to be the mom I never had. But you will! they told me. But they weren't getting it. Because so much of that, psychologically, is tied up in getting a do-over for myself.

Is that selfish? I know that's one reason Mr. Hope wanted a boy. It can't be that uncommon.

So then I started Googling to see if there was any way the test was wrong about the sex of the baby. It's 97% accurate. Not 100%. There are plenty of stories of women who had the test tell them one sex and then on the level 2 u/s discovered they're having the other. And then I thought, "It would so be in the spirit of everything I've been through on this journey to get all excited about having a little boy and then, in week 18, discover that we're actually having a girl."

And then I went down the rabbit hole. If the test could be wrong about the sex, and could produce false positives for a bunch of different reasons, could it also produce false negatives, too?

I'm sure you can see where I'm going with this. But if not, the answer is yes. False negatives happen. Women think they're having perfectly healthy babies and give birth to ones who have heart defects that require weeks of surgeries once they're born.

The fear that gripped me as I was reading these things was overwhelming. You are never safe. Never. I thought this test would make me feel better, but really, all it did was make me feel like I have a false sense of security.

So now I want to call tomorrow and see if I can still get an NT scan in over the next two weeks. I want to do all of the noninvasive screenings that my insurance will cover. If no markers come up on any of those, I'll feel better. Maybe.

Glam Coworker told me not to steal Mr. Hope's joy. She told me I had no right to worry him with my anxieties and fears. But I am not good at keeping things from Mr. Hope. And he knows who he married.

So on the ride home from work I called and told him about the rabbit hole and my fears and how I wish I could stop feeling terrified all the time. How I hate being this person. I started crying.

He gets it. And he comforts me the best he can. But I still feel like this raw, gaping wound that just. won't. heal.


Baby's size: Plum.

Next appointment: May 19 (just a BP check - next OB appt. isn't until June 12!)

Total weight gain: 11.8 lbs. To be fair, a little more than four lbs. of that was added since yesterday, when I discontinued the HCTZ. This is exactly what I feared. I've read that after going off of it, people pack on up to 20 lbs. of water weight and that it can take them up to a month for that to start to come off. Yeah, this isn't going to fuck with my head at all.

Exercise: OB is encouraging me to walk. So I should probably start doing that.

Sleep: Crappy this week. Have been peeing a lot in the middle of the night. Then have trouble getting back to sleep. It doesn't help that Mr. Hope is a psycho-snorer.

Food cravings: None this week.

Food aversions: None.

Symptoms: My boobs are crazy sore. Like, so bad that I don't even want to release them from my bra at night. Also this bloating. MY GOD, THE BLOATING.

What I'm loving: Our families' reaction to the news. Also that we bought a crib. That's huge for me.

What I'm not loving: Where do I start? My anxiety level, the overnight water weight gain, waking up to pee 12 times a night, the fact that I still haven't gotten my MaterniT21 Plus test results (though my OB's nurse said I should get them today).

What I'm looking forward to: I am hoping that the test results are good and give me some peace of mind. Also that I don't keep packing on pounds of water weight. I literally drank 18 8 oz. glasses of pure water yesterday, plus another two of lemon water, two of decaf coffee, and 4 oz. of milk. So I was surprised by the scale this morning. I don't know what else I can do. Might just have to ride this out.

Best moment this week: I don't know. Maybe it was when I didn't freak out after Dr. Direct said she wasn't going to give us an ultrasound? I feel like if I get those test results and it's good news, then that would be what goes here.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

'ultrasound dependence' and other fun things.

Mr. Hope and I had our first official OB appointment today. It experience.

First of all, there was a long wait. Nearly 30 minutes before we got taken back to an exam room and another 15 before the OB showed up. We shall call her Dr. Direct, because as Quirky told me ahead of time, she's very no-nonsense - a real straight-shooter. (For the record, we like this.)

The first think Dr. Direct does is say, "I'm sorry they brought the ultrasound machine out. I'm not going to do an ultrasound today. I need to wean you from ultrasound dependence."

Of course, on the ride over, Mr. Hope and I were singing, "We gonna see our baby, we gonna see our baby..." So this made him pout. I wasn't thrilled, but I didn't put up a fight either.

We went over my meds. She told me I could stop the estrogen immediately, but she wanted me to stay on the progesterone until the end of week 12 (so, a week from Wednesday). My butt isn't happy, but I lose weight on progesterone and gain it on estrogen, so I was thinking, "Maybe when I get off the estrogen I'll take off a few pounds!"

But then Dr. Direct told me she wasn't happy that I am taking HCTZ. No one at the RE's office ever questioned it, but it's the second time someone at the OB's office did. She asked me why I was on it. I told her that 9 years ago, I had high BP. They put me on a combo pill. When my BP got under control, they took me off of it...and I bloated up with 13 lbs. of fluid in like two days. My stomach got hard from it and I thought I was having heart failure. Turned out my body just got addicted to the water pill, so they put me back on it. My BP is fine (or, at least it was). No fluid build up.

Now I have to stop taking the HCTZ, starting tomorrow. This terrifies me.

She wanted to put me on a different BP medicine. I asked her if we could wait a week, because my BP was always 120/70 until I started the estrogen. Today it was 144/88. So I go back for a BP check next week, and if my BP has come down, I don't have to start a new med. If it hasn't, I have to start one right away.

This also terrifies me.

I have to start weaning off the prednisone, too. Five days at 10 mg, five days at 5 mg, and five days at 5 mg every other day. Remember what happened the last time I stopped the prednisone? MORE TERROR.

But okay, all of this is doable.

Then Dr. Direct tells us she thinks that we shouldn't go public until 14 weeks, maybe longer. Say wha? We shouldn't have sex for a couple more weeks either. Could we wait until our level 2 u/s? Um, that's not until JULY. Okay, 14 weeks it is.

(Mr. Hope is pouting at this point. Dr. Smiles had said we were released earlier to have sex, but we decided to wait until 12 or 13 weeks. Lately we've both been really randy, so it's been a lot of "Thursday, baby. Just wait until Thursday." Now, no nookie for 2+ more weeks. I. Am. DYING.)

She tries to find the baby's heartbeat with doppler. It's still early and I am "fluffy," she tells me. She'll do a quick scan to assure us the baby's okay.

So we got an u/s after all. It was over the tummy, not transvag, and the images weren't super clear. She didn't tell us the CRL or FHR, just that the baby looked great and had a strong heartbeat. She pointed out its jaw. She pointed out the umbilical cord. Yay, Jellybean!

I told her that Mr. Hope insisted we get a hand-held doppler. She told me I shouldn't use it until I was 20 weeks. If I bring it to my 18-week appointment she'll show me how to use it. Okay, we can handle this.

The results from our MaterniT21 test aren't in yet. When I got home, I called Sequenom, the people who make the test. They couldn't tell me the results, and they couldn't tell me if the test had been completed, but they did call the OB's office to ask them to tell me the results should be ready tomorrow.

What does this mean? Is my baby okay? Why is it taking so long?

I Google a little. It takes most women a week to 10 days to get the results. I stop panicking. But I can't help but feel like something might be off. I have no reason to believe things aren't okay but I need to know that for sure. I JUST WANT TO KNOW.

Other than the BP check next week, I don't go back to the OB until 4.5 weeks from now, on June 12. It feels like an eternity.

And I'm totally stressing about MaterniT21, and my high BP, and pre-e and GD and whether or not I have an incompetent cervix. I just want to feel CALM. How can I get there? How can I *stay* there?

Despite everything I like the new OB. She won't BS me. She read my chart carefully. She asked good questions. She let me ask questions. She spent a lot of time with us.


I am so ready to get these test results. I need want reassurance that the baby is healthy. I've been doing a pretty good job at keeping my anxiety in check, but today it flared up again. Big time.

Does it ever get any better?

Sunday, May 10, 2015

motherless child, childless mother.

Is it me, or is everyone going extra-special crazy this Mother's Day?

Maybe I just didn't notice it last year. I had to work Mother's Day weekend. It was the first without my own mom and came on the heels of two failed IVF cycles, so working was like the best distraction ever.

There are a lot of motherless people in my life. Mr. Hope. My aunt. Some long-distance friends. Facebook acquaintances. This day tends to be hard for all of them.

I thought I'd feel different this year. This year, I am a mother-to-be. But it's weird. Even though this is the first Mother's Day that I am an actual mother (remember, never so much as had a pregnancy prior to last November), I am still just me. I feel slightly uncomfortable over all of the maternal outpouring. This is pretty much how I've felt even prior to my IF diagnosis, when motherhood was something I longed for and thought was only out of reach due to timing and circumstance.

Part of me hoped that my husband would make a big deal out of today. That instead of giving me his annual card from the dog, I'd get one that referred to our tiny human. There should be flowers, I thought. Some sort of sweet gift, maybe a silly onesie or a magnet that referred to me as Mom.

I didn't really tell him I was hoping for hoopla. When we were purchasing cards for the other mothers in our lives, I said something like, "You know, technically this is my first Mother's Day." He bought me a card while I was with him, which kind of sucked.

Maybe he'll surprise me. He often does.

I feel like I sound so spoiled here. I am so lucky. There is a presumably healthy baby baking in my belly. It's what I've wanted for so long, what I've tried for in earnest over the span of 4+ years. I know so many other women who haven't made it this far yet, whose longing runs every bit as deep as mine. I am grateful that we are where we are. I honestly never thought we'd get here.

But I guess I'm just sad that I don't feel less sad. Does that make sense? We're going to visit family today. We're going to tell some of the most important people in our lives about Jellybean. This is huge. And once we get the results of our MaterniT21 test next week, confirming that our baby looks healthy by all counts, we'll tell Mini-Hope. After she's in the know, we can go public.

Maybe that will be the turning point. When this will start to feel more real. Or maybe it's when we first hear the heartbeat? Or maybe I just need the results of that test.

I am possibly buying a crib off Craigslist. It's a white, four-way convertible with good reviews. You can get it brand-new for $220 and the woman is listing it for $120, but I talked her down to $90 because there are scratches on the top. I don't really care about the scratches, but I'm thinking if I can save money on certain things then I'll have more money for the top-of-the-line car seat/stroller combo I want, and a really comfy nursing chair.

At any rate: I am making plans. I am moving forward. I have stopped fearing that I will lose this child every single second of every single day. All good things.

So why am I not happier today? I want to be, honestly.

Maybe I just need to stay off Facebook for the next 24 hours.

Thursday, May 7, 2015


Baby's size: Fig, lime, or Brussels sprout, depending on which site you go by.

Next appointment: May 12 (first full OB appt., first time we'll get to hear the heartbeat!)

Total weight gain: 7.4 lbs. :: sob ::  Non-obese people are told to keep their first trimester weight gain to 5 lbs. or less. Please let this be the artificial hormones!

Exercise: Nothing official, but I've been doing a lot more walking. And I went grocery shopping with Mr. Hope this weekend for the first time in forever. Plus, I get to help cook again. So that's all really good.

Sleep: Still averaging about 8.5 hours a night. The exhaustion comes and goes.

Food cravings: Dairy. Lots and lots of dairy.

Food aversions: None, but I made Brussels sprouts for dinner last night (before I knew a pregnancy site would compare my unborn child to one!) and they tasted bitter and wrong. And I *love* Brussels sprouts.

Symptoms: I can feel the uterus stretching. More groin pressure, some mild lower back cramping, a few twinges here and there. And I feel crazy fat. So bloated. My fingers have started to swell into fat sausages. Swapped my wedding band out for a larger ring I got years ago. The wedding band still fits but only just barely, and I didn't want to take any chances.

What I'm loving: That I've made it this far. That I've graduated from the RE. That I spend more time thinking about what it means to have a baby than I do fearing losing the baby.

What I'm not loving: How fat I feel. Some of it is normal hot weather stuff (I tend to swell in heat regardless) but my boobs are spilling out of my bra, my jeans are getting too snug for comfort, and I don't know. It's just uncomfortable. (I'm sure it's going to get worse.)

What I'm looking forward to: Getting the results of my MaterniT21 Plus test. The tech said it could be four days to a week, so I could get them anywhere between today and Monday.

Best moment this week: Seeing our little ninja punching and kicking all over that ultrasound!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

the odds are never in my favor.

Since I got the MaterniT21 Plus test drawn on Monday, it's only a matter of time until I get the results. I am hoping for a healthy baby. Period, end of discussion. But, because I've taken this test, in one to four more days I will find out if Mr. Hope and I are having a girl or a boy.

I've been thinking about this a lot lately. Mostly because I am semi-convinced we are having a boy. To be fair, this conviction stems from me always wanting a little girl and assuming that I will not get what I want in that department. The conviction deepened when I learned tonight that another friend found out today that she's having a girl. That makes TWO close, personal preggos having girls. What are the odds that I will be having one, too?

I've had one dream about the baby's sex, and in that dream it was a girl. The BFF has had several, and in all but one I am having a boy. Gumbo thinks it's a girl. Mr. Hope says he hopes that it's a girl, but I think he's thinking it's a boy, too.

And I feel so stupid even thinking about these things, because really, all I want is a healthy baby. This isn't just lip service. If I find out I'm having a perfectly healthy boy, I will still be ecstatic, BECAUSE MY BABY IS HEALTHY.

But I'd be lying if I wasn't Team Pink. I don't know that Mr. Hope and I will ever have another kid. This really might be it for us. And I dream of having a mother/daughter relationship like my own mother and I never had. I dream of so many things, and none of them include a little baby boy.

Lately I've been looking at boy stuff on Pinterest. Things like bibs with bow ties. Adorable little boy things. But then again, I never said that boys weren't adorable. They totally are. I've just never pictured myself playing Mommy to one.

Still, I'm steeling myself for finding out that there's a little dude cooking in my oven. Because nothing about this fertility journey has turned out the way that I hoped or expected. Not a single thing.

I kind of hate myself for even fretting over this - for feeling the tiniest bit jealous that another friend is having another little girl. But I totally AM fretting over it, and I totally AM jealous, and I am hating myself very, very much right now.

Monday, May 4, 2015

graduation day.

Today we bid a fond farewell to Posh Clinic. And what a send-off it was!

First of all, we left the house a little late. Like 15 minutes late. And then we hit traffic. So we were almost a full 20 minutes late arriving. That is totally on us.

But when we got there, we saw a packed-to-the-gills house. All three waiting rooms were loaded up. It was 20 minutes before I got taken back for blood work. Then we waited almost a full hour (no exaggeration - it was roughly 55 minutes) before going in for the ultrasound.

Let me back up for a sec and say that last night, I baked a batch of the best oatmeal cookies I've ever tasted. I've made them at least half a dozen times - maybe more - and I'm always amazed and just how good they are. No nuts. No raisins. No cinnamon. And yet, they are perfection.

This morning I bagged them up into batches so that I could give them to some of our favorite people at Posh Clinic. Only, the blond who normally draws my blood didn't draw it today (and this is awful, but I don't know her name). And then we didn't get K for our u/s today, either.

This, to me, was the saddest part. K helped us through our miscarriage. She helped me through my anxiety in early pregnancy. We love K. We've seen other u/s techs, including the one who scanned us today, but K is our person. In addition to cookies, she got a hand-written thank you note, because she has been so awesome. (We did get to give them to her - just didn't have her for one last scan.)

The scan itself went well. Very well. We saw the blinky-blink of the heart. Jellybean was measuring perfectly at 33.6 mm. The FHR was lower - only 144 - which freaked me out a bit, but Dr. Smiles said it was perfect and to not stress over it. And Jellybean was so wiggly! Literally did not stop moving the whole time. Mr. Hope said, "I think we're having a ninja baby."

We waited another 20 minutes or so before seeing Dr. Smiles. When we did, it was a very quick and unceremonious visit. We gave him a thank you note and two bags of cookies, one for him and one for his PA. There were some quick housekeeping items. Then Dr. Smiles said, "I can't wait to meet this baby." I said, "We can't either."

And then it was over, and I wasn't given my three-inch-thick file, just a one-page form and the slip of paper I put my phone number on so they can call me if there are problems. I said to the receptionist, "I don't have to make another appointment." She said, "Congratulations!"

Peace out, Posh Clinic. It's been real.

Next, we ventured across the street, to the hospital. I took us on an unnecessarily long and circuitous route (by accident). I handed them my script for the MaterniT21 Plus test. After registration, we were taken back to the lab, where a woman in printed scrubs was crunching on a bag of chips and not doing much of anything else. Eventually, she took our paperwork, and then we went into a draw room manned by the chattiest tech you've ever met. I couldn't follow a single one of her stories, but she was friendly and not jamming chips in her mouth, so we liked her.

And that was that. We walked back to the car and headed home. In all, we'd been there for nearly three hours. We were running so late, in fact, that I had to take a conference call in the car as we were driving.

Now I feel...I don't even know. Happy that we don't have to drive the hour up to Posh Clinic and back once a week. Sad that I won't get to see K or Dr. Smiles for the rest of my pregnancy. Relieved that Jellybean is still looking perfect. Anxious to hear the heartbeat at our first official OB appointment a week from tomorrow. Grateful to be carrying this precious gift in my womb. Scared that my body will fuck it all up at some point before I can bring this baby into the world.

I am hoping it will all be okay. I want it to all be okay. But I guess only time will tell.

Oh, and I almost forgot! Mr. Hope and I were both tickled that graduation day landed on May 4. As in, "May the 4th be with you." Yep, we really are that nerdy.