Patience and the Parade of the Deborahs

Happy 16 weeks to us today! I’m feeling pretty good apart from my emergency chiropractor appointments this week.  Apparently pregnancy lets all of your past joint problems surface.  Two nights ago hip and back pain woke me up in the middle of the night.  I did eventually fall back asleep however I was pretty grumpy and in pain for the rest of the day.  I managed to get a last-minute chiro appointment that day and it helped tremendously!  I’m pretty much pain-free at the moment and my chiropractor is taking an aggressive approach to this to make sure that as the pregnancy progresses that I am all sorted out 🙂

I was supposed to have another blood test today (the second part of the screening test), however I was foiled by the Canadian health care system.  I was going to have it done this morning however we had about 3 other things that had to get done in the 15 minute window of free time between getting ready and leaving for work and taking out the garbage was actually more important.  Luckily I can go next week for this test, however I wanted to just get it done with and out of the way.  So, I went at lunch instead – really bad move, especially on a Friday 2 hours before they close.  I really should have known better!

Anyways, I get there and give them my form and carecard and am told to sit and wait.  This is not unusual.  The Canadian health care system is based on patience – err I mean health care for everyone 😉  I should have asked how long the wait was because 10 minutes later about 8 more people showed up and then they told them that the wait was an hour unless you had an appointment.  About half of those new people had appointments so yay for them, not for the people waiting.  I text my supervisor what was going on and he says not to worry and take my time.  Fine, I can wait an hour.

Another ten minutes go by.  My name is called!  Wrong, just another person with the same name (which is odd because Deborah is not a popular name).  Another 20 minutes go by and even more people show up.  My name is called yet again.  I stand up but quickly notice another lady going up to the front.  Another Deborah?!  THAT is very crazy because I can count on one hand the number of other Deborah’s I’ve met in my life.  Fun and Ironic Fact:  My sister has the opposite problem – her name is Jennifer!

So after about 15 more minutes of waiting, I wander up to the front and ask if they have entered my information yet.  Nope.  It was burried under 7 other names to be entered.  So I get my form and card back and leave!  I’m sure I would have been there for at least another hour!  I find out just before I leave that the lady who had been sitting in the corner when I walked in had been there for almost 2 hours.  I don’t blame the nurses, they can only do as much as they can with what they are given.  Definitely overworked and understaffed.  I’ll just go next week, which is kind of too bad because I was really curious to see how many other Deborahs there were in that room 😉

Oh!  My friend “T” who has been a big part of my support system finally had her baby this week!  She went through 6 rounds of IUI and 4 cycles of IVF to become pregnant.  This all happened after suffering a very heart-wrenching loss of their son nearly 5 years ago.  I can’t begin to imagine how hard it is to lose a child, thinking about it just breaks my heart.  She writes a blog for bereaved parents (which is cathartic for herself too), and reading about all of the emotions she has gone through with grieving and also going through a pregnancy after a loss was overwhelming.  I am so very happy for her and her husband to have gone through a healthy pregnancy and birth of their daughter.  It definitely was not an easy journey for them, but this is definitely a positive time for them!

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Sea of Calm – 15 weeks, 3 days

I feel as though I’m in a great, big sea of calmness.  No worries, no paranoia, no questions.  In fact, I haven’t typed in a paranoid pregnancy related question into Dr. Google’s search bar in a good 3 weeks.  I haven’t felt calm like this in a very, very long time and it feels very, very nice.

Since I’ve made this blog public to a handful of people close to us, it’s given me the time to actually read and reflect upon our IVF journey so far.  I realized that I’ve never been so damn worried in my life before than I have over the past 5 months – and even further back to the beginning of 2012 (sorry no blog entries, just scattered and worried dark memories).  The physical parts of the IVF process are nothing in comparison to how your mind reacts to it all!  Both of us have spent the better part of almost 2 years feeling like we’ve had no idea of what was going on, and that worry grew exponentially during the past 5 months.

We used to feel frantic (about when or if we were going to have a family).
Or worried (that we can’t afford the procedure).
Or scared (because “what the hell is going on” and “are we normal”?).
Or alone (because infertility can be a lonely place).

I don’t hold the worry about any of that anymore.  I’ve stopped and let it go in favour of feeling like things will be okay for right now.  I’m not sure when or why it stopped, but I’m happy that it did.  I know that there will be a new phase of worry to invade my mind later on, but I know that it will never feel like it used too.

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When we left the clinic after our viability scan (worst-named scan in the universe btw), and got into the car, the radio gods decided to take irony to a new level for us.  As I’m holding the print-out of our little blob, we turn the radio on and (not kidding here), Bob Marley is singing away for us and making me cry;

“……and every little thing….is gonna be alright…”

How far we have come

This is the day where I make this blog public.  Public in the sense of telling a handful of people privately.  Yes, I do want others to find and read this blog, however I don’t need every single one of my 300 FB friends (and even more on Nick’s side) reading this.  This blog will be found by others suffering from infertility via google and post tags – and those are the people who I want to find this blog.  No matter how public we have been while speaking about our treatment with others/the media, this is a blog with our personal thoughts.  The decision to share this blog with close family and friends wasn’t easy – but we feel that it’s important that those close to us get an idea of what we (mostly me) have gone through.

IVF is a very invasive procedure on the emotional side of things.  Yes, you are poked, prodded and other things, but the idea of how to wrap your mind around this process is difficult.  I have spent the past 4 and a half months blogging (with small appearances from Nick) and it really has helped me (and us) understand how we feel about this treatment and what “normal” or “natural” is.  How I may have felt 4 months ago might be different as to how I feel now – which is good because it means progress!  This journey is not over yet; there’s still almost 26 weeks to go!  We are taking each day one at a time and are very thankful for how far we have come.

Heartbeat!

Our doctor’s appointment last Thursday morning went well.  Everything is normal, but I guess she didn’t get the results back from the screening because she didn’t mention them.  I go back on the 27th for the second part of that blood work.  No ultrasound either, but we did get to hear the heartbeat (140bpm)! It’s honestly the most amazing sounds you can hear ever in your life.  To hear that there is something else living in you is surreal!  Other than that it was a pretty routine exam.  They will call me when the get an ultrasound date, but it won’t be for another 4 or 5 weeks and then shortly after we will find out if it’s a girl or a boy!

13 weeks

This morning I went for a slew of blood work; six vials plus a pee sample.  I forgot to tell the nurse to use a smaller needle because it hurt like a SOB.  I never had that problem with the clinic – the pain was just from continuous stabbing instead of a GIANT needle in tiny veins.  The doctor sent out requisitions for tests for everything – the important one is the first trimester screening and I’m cutting close to the wire at 13 weeks today.  We could have done the screening at the clinic for $800, but you know…. it’s eight-hundred dollars!  No thank you, we’re happy with the testing that’s covered by BC Med 🙂  Our doctor is really nice.  She’s friendly, to the point and relaxed.  I go back next week for a full exam.  I’m excited about that because it probably means another ultrasound!

I’m not really too nervous about the screening tests, but there is the added risk factor due to IVF and ICSI.  I’ve decided I’m not going to worry about it because if I let myself worry then it will be all-consuming.  I’m not going to throw caution to the wind, I’m just going to enjoy every day.

Other than that, there really isn’t much to update.  We’re feeling like the pregnancy is more real now though.  My regular pants don’t fit right anymore and I’m rocking the maternity jeans already (which are very, very comfy BTW).  There is a small beginning of a bump, but nothing really noticeable.  The things I notice more are my uncomfortable hips and a heaviness in my abdomen.  Also, my nausea is starting to ease off which is nice 🙂  It’s amazing how the physical changes make it feel more real, both physically (obviously) and emotionally.

Ps.  My co-worker said I have a “pregnant look” in my eyes.  Not sure what she meant.  She said it looked like a glazed-over look but not in the tired-looking way.  If she meant “glazed over look because I forget every single possible thing I’m supposed to remember”, then yes, I have that “pregnant look” 😉

Just One

Apparently many, many years ago Nick and I had decided on having 3 children.  I didn’t remember this until Nick reminded me not too long ago.  And then I remembered that yes, we had wanted 3 kids.  Two girls and a boy (because we had only thought of one boy’s name), running around and I would stay at home herding them.  Because that’s what one does with three kids – herd them like you’re herding cats 😉

Well…..

“I’m happy with just one.”  I’ve been telling myself this for awhile now.  And I’m okay with this.  Really, I am.  It just leaves my heart a little heavy, but I know that we will be happy with just one.

Nick and I talk in the car about how we want to raise our kids.

“When our kids are _____, we want to do _____ this way.”

Well, recently Nick stopped himself and said that we should just say kid instead of kids.  Singular, instead of plural.  Not the end of the world of course and definitely not upsetting when he said that – just very realistic and grounds your daydreams.  This October we will be receiving a bill for $250 for another year of cryopreservation for Nick’s sperm sample that we had frozen last fall.  He had mentioned this to me a few weeks ago and wanted to make sure that I think about it.  I’m still thinking about it.  No concrete opinion yet, but soon because October is coming up fast.  We know that we probably won’t do IVF again, but there’s that what-if question that hangs around…

Over the weekend it kind of really hit me with the “just one” thing.  Not crying-on-a-bathroom-floor hit me, but just actually seeing the reality of our situation hit me.  Seeing all of our friends with their little herds, and hearing off-and-on again about them possibly adding another cat to their herd… well it just kind of tugs at my heart knowing that there is a very strong possibility that we will only have “just one”.

Of course, we never know how well Nick’s treatment is going to work in the future.  We will just have to wait and find out.  We know that the chances of us conceiving naturally in the future might never happen, but there is that hope that we might.  Hope that will always be in the back of our minds.  I don’t want to be greedy with what we have been given, I honestly don’t.  I know quite a few people (both with fertility issues and without) with just one child and they are perfectly happy.  It’s just so hard to recalibrate your daydream of your future family life to just one child instead of the 2, or 3 or even 4 that you had imagined.  {Sigh}

Please don’t get me wrong, I am incredibly grateful for this positive IVF experience (so far, fingers-crossed)!  If we never have another, then I will absolutely be happy with our one incredible child.  This child that is growing in my ever-expanding belly has really been a labour of love from a lot of really special people – and it wouldn’t have happened without the help of many.  Having that kind of support is so deeply humbling; it shakes you down to the very core of the earth that you stand on.

I have witnessed others that have faced infertility with their “just one”, and have seen that their one is just as fulfilling as three.  Just having one is something that we all hope for and wish for when faced with a reality that is not the norm.  I know that others have felt this “just one” struggle of the heart.  The struggle of “I want more than one, but I’m truly grateful for just one if that’s how my deck of cards plays out”.  Giving up that dream of three is hard, but I am honestly happy with just one.