Not settling for mediocre!

So I finally have a doctor’s appointment time that is actually acceptable in terms of time frame.  Instead of waiting until almost 16 weeks, I will be seen by a NEW doctor with GOOD reviews a full 3 weeks earlier 🙂

Nick and I were talking briefly about how the clinic basically did their job of helping us conceive, but that’s about it.  Their customer service is needing improvement for sure.  Then I went off a bit on how I am just still so pissed about the back and forth and referral denials from them.  I didn’t really feel taken care of.  So he sends me a FB message with a link to a doctor in it and said to call.  I’m so thankful that he helped me out.  I really couldn’t stand another FULL-DAY of searching and calling – it’s so stressful!

So I call and the receptionist is super nice (big points for that!) and she got me an early morning appointment to have an introductory meeting with the doctor to get a basic medical history.  Yes, it’s not a full scale ultrasound or anything, but it’s better than waiting 4 weeks to see a doctor with questionable reviews and who might not even show up for the delivery (hence the questionable reviews).  I feel much more confident with this new doctor and the best part was I didn’t need to get the clinic to send a referral!

11 weeks, 4 days

So after 2 and a half weeks of waiting, 1 week of calling and waiting, and another week and a half of searching and calling around myself, I finally have my first OB appointment booked.  It’s not until another 4 weeks, but it’s booked.  I’ll be 16 weeks at that point 😛

What took our clinic so long was a back and forth with their list of doctors, but I kept getting denied as a patient because their go-to doctors only take on high-risk patients.  I would think that the clinic would be able to assess my condition based on my history and how the procedure went to actually determine if I am high or low risk.  Seriously, WTF!  I’m not impressed with them.

I tried to find a midwife because I really think that that’s the way to go, however unless you call them the second you find out you’re pregnant then you are out of luck.  I’m on about 4 wait lists, but I  have a feeling that my chances are slim to none.  Midwives are in high demand but are scarce in BC.  It’s too bad because it’s such great care that you’re given.  I’ve stopped worrying about it because my aunt who is RN specializing in maternity will be there as my birth coach.  I know that I will get the care that I need and since I’m not having any complications right now or have throughout the procedure, I think I will be alright.

Romance in vitro

Today my co-worker, whom I only see once a week, wanted to know how I told Nick I was pregnant.  Did I wake up in the morning and feel sick?  How did he react?  Etc. Etc. Etc.  I quickly told her that it wasn’t like normal people and that we had gone through IVF which is very calculated and scheduled.  But it made me think: Is there a romantic side to IVF?

The medical side of IVF is not romantic at all.  Three shots a day for weeks, blood tests several times a week along with ultrasounds and follicle counts.  The retrieval and transfer – NOT sexy or anything that anyone ever dreams of, especially the full bladder part! Worrying is not fun either, nor the waiting or the google searches after each follow up phone call with the lab techs.  And the progesterone inserts – ummm yeah, let’s just not even go there.

But WAS there a moment where it was bliss?  Yes, and a few 🙂

When I heard that they retrieved 16 eggs – wow.  It was an accomplishment.  An incredible accomplishment after the weeks of injections and monitoring and when you are feeling like a science experiment.  And then of course being told that we had 9 embryos growing away!  It really does blow your mind apart when you think about everything that happens.  After the transfer when I was resting in recovery (the longest 12 minutes of my life since my bladder was nearly bursting), the doctor hands me a tiny little print out of the transferred embryos.  Little specs of white on a staticky black and grey print.  I remember clutching it with all my heart.  It was proof that we had gotten this far in the process!

And of course, the much anticipated beta test day where we saw the blood test results.  A wash of relief and joy and “it DID really work” comes over you.  The happy tears of realization of reaching that milestone – that HUGE milestone on top of that giant mountain that had been growing for seven years.  Yes, definitely slightly romantic and very, very special.  Two days later was the day of the second beta test.  My beta levels had almost tripled (181 to 524).  That night we went out for dinner to a restaurant called “Milestones” to celebrate our own.  And it was a romantic dinner we shared because we decided to live in that moment of pure happiness and be free from worry and we let ourselves talk about baby things 🙂

From the beginning of this journey I have been very concerned with what “normal” is/was/should be.  How will I feel about this embryo/foetus/child that was created in a lab?  How will I feel about giving birth and will that be “normal” too?  Normal is a stupid word that doesn’t mean anything anymore.  There is no “normal”.  I knew from the start that I would miss out on most of the “normal” things people experience with finding out they’re pregnant, however I knew that well before we started the IVF process.  I mourned for those moments and felt devastated because I was scared about leaving “normal” behind and experiencing something totally different.  As the treament went on and when you see all of the regular looking people in the clinic (some mornings there were up to 20 couples), you really realize that what we were doing WAS normal.  Sure, it was different and not conventionally romantic, but the connection and desire to create a child between all of the “parents-in-waiting” and “parents-in-wanting” is truly romantic in every sense of the word.

Happiness in sensitivity

So yesterday we finally told all of our family and friends at our BBQ.  It was such a relief to let this great secret out into the world!  Basically everyone was in utter shock and was in disbelief!  We have close friends who had been asking and asking and we had been throwing them off the trail as best as we could – so they didn’t think we were being serious when we announced it!  And since we did a very nonchalant announcement, my mother in law totally missed it because she was chatting to someone.  But when we yelled the news at her, she stood there totally blank for a good 5 seconds in silence trying to process the information!  After that she was all smiles!  Priceless 🙂

Later on in the evening, our friend L asked my if I was going to post the ultrasound photo on facebook.  I said no and that I never would.  I told her that there are so many other and better ways to announce news like this.  What I wish I had added was that for people who are going through fertility problems, seeing an ultrasound picture is a painful reminder of loss and things that they might not ever have.  We have friends just down the street from us who have suffered more loss than we have, and who are much younger.  I really would not want to be insensitive to them by posting my own reality.  An ultrasound picture is very real and concrete in the eyes of the infertile; it stings, it saddens and it hurts.  It says, “This is a very real thing about this other person.”  It’s very difficult to be happy for someone else (even if you truly are) when you are going through your own struggle.

I was working with a client on Saturday and I tell her the news and we start having a conversation about pregnancy, etc.  I also let her know what we had been through with IVF.  She has had friends and family members who have been through similar struggles.  She herself has two boys and she told me that getting pregnant is not something she takes for granted anymore.  With her first son, she got pregnant right away – first month of trying; on their honeymoon actually!  But with her second she experienced 2 losses and many many months of trying and heartache.  After that, she told herself she would not take this “natural and easy process” for granted because she understood how difficult it can be.

And of course, both Nick and I will never take this experience for granted.  IVF is expensive and it’s a very long road to get to.  The discussions and heartache and the ways you tell yourself “That won’t happen to me”… Yeah, it can be easy for a split second to forget how we got to this point, but after that split second is over reality comes back.

I don’t think I will ever stop worrying about the possible complications that might arise during this pregnancy, and I know that I shouldn’t ever think that they won’t happen to us.  We didn’t think that we would have to jump through as many flaming rings as we did to get here.  We’re staying positive and we’re happy in this moment and taking everything day-by-day.

Questions

I have 2 posts for today, but I’ll post this one first and the more positive one second.

—–

I felt the need to write this post today since it was spurred by something that I’ve been wondering how to deal with for awhile now – and now it will be right in my face soon.

So, Nick and I have been married for 10 years, and now we finally have a family on the way.  People will ask, “Why did you wait so long?”  Or something to that effect.  It’s not like I haven’t been asked similar questions before.  “No kids yet?” et al.  So now that we finally do have a baby on the way, how far should I go with responding to a question that usually does strike a sensitive chord?

I’ve read other bloggers talk about this topic before.  Some have experienced a great loss and finally are having their rainbow baby.  They too have great difficulty answering questions such as this.  They want to be honest to honour their losses and to feel good about themselves, but they also don’t want alienate people with sadness because pregnancy is such a positive thing in the social culture.  No one likes to to talk about the “bad stuff”.

Some honest but beat-around-the-bush answers for me anyways would be, “We wanted to enjoy our marriage and life before kids.”  Or, “We were waiting for a perfect time.”  Or some other bull shit that I’ll come up with when I don’t want to make people uncomfortable.  They are honest answers, but they don’t tell the whole truth – and really, these questions make me feel uncomfortable because they are personal – so why shouldn’t I make the ask-ee feel the same?  Out of politeness?  To save face?

I think it will be a case-by-case thing for me.  If my little quick answer doesn’t suffice and they press for more, they I don’t think I’ll mind throwing my reality at them and see them squirm sheepishly in embarrassment and them respond with…”Oh.”

Announcing – 9 weeks 1 day

Yesterday night we finally told my parents that we were pregnant.  They had their suspicions and my Dad reacted a little bit bolder than my Mom did (mostly because she probably guessed the purpose of the dinner – there’s no fooling her!), however now my Mom can finally start shopping – and she is very excited about that!  She has been waiting a long time for another grandchild – 18 years!  So even though my Dad was very reactionary, I knew my Mom was equally excited!  We also told my sister that night too since my Mom would not be able to keep a straight face to her (we were planning on waiting to tell her along with the rest of our friends and family next week).  She, of course, had her suspicions and it wasn’t much of a surprise as a relief!  It felt good for us to finally begin announcing our pregnancy.  We hate keeping secrets!

Anyways, apparently my Mom never felt super sick either during her pregnancies – which is a relief to hear!  As soon as she said that I was instantly calmed and put my worries aside 🙂  I still haven’t felt much nausea since I stopped the progesterone though.  And of course, according to google searches, it is very common for symptoms to come and go.  So I guess the next step will be waiting to hear from the clinic about them setting us up with a doctor…?  I will call them on Monday and ask what the progress is on this – if nothing yet then we will just go find one by ourselves.

Where’s the….? – 8 weeks 5 days

So today is the second full day without progesterone, and I have zero nausea compared to yesterday.  Yesterday it was the worst I had ever encountered (and that’s not saying much because I barely felt any until just about a week ago).  So yeah, another quick google search came up with other people reporting changes in their morning sickness.  And according to one report, since progesterone relaxes the intestines (and other smooth muscles) there would be an increased amount of acid – causing sickness.  Perhaps the only reason I started to feel sick was because the placenta was beginning to grow and produce it’s own P4 on top of the 600mg I was taking per day….  But I’m not a doctor – so this is just speculation!

Who knows, maybe it was what I ate?  I usually try to include protein in the fore-front of my breakfasts (mainly scrambled eggs of some sort), but today I was really wanting that Tim Horton’s bagel toasted with butter.  So there was very little protein this morning, and for snack and lunch it was mostly bready carbs (chow mein and kung pow chicken!).  I’ve been trying to not eat too many bready carbs because that’s what I have been craving and leaning towards – the salty and savory – however I don’t want them all turning into sugar and storing as fat.  I’ve been doing a little bit of reading about gestational diabetes and since during pregnancy you have a higher tolerance for insulin (or is that the other way round?) and I have a family history of diabetes – I want to make sure I eat less sugary crap.  Anyways, all of this babbling is leading up to the fact that bready carbs have helped me take away that nausea, and since today I went for them, maybe that’s why I feel okay…..?

But who knows?  I’m not a doctor so I really wouldn’t know, and neither would all of the other women on the internet (unless they are actually doctors).  It’s definitely interesting and I will keep my eye on this.  Who knows how I’ll feel tomorrow – maybe I’ll wake up and have to stick my head in the toilet.  Oh gee, I hope I didn’t just jinx myself…!