Eva

My beautiful, sweet, loving, intelligent, creative six-year-old daughter, Eva, has abandoned me!  She has only been home since Saturday night, and tonight she plans on spending another night away from me (us, really, but my husband can get his own blog to complain about it).  I took her to her grandparents’ house yesterday to visit and to swim, and she begged to stay the night.  I reluctantly agreed.  After all, school will begin again before we know it.  She missed out on a lot of visiting and swimming at Nana and Papa’s while she was in California.

I was supposed to pick her up today, but my husband advocated I ask her if she wanted picked up.  He asked me if I was making her come home because I miss her or if I was picking her up because SHE wanted to come home.  He quoted to me the same reasons I listed above, that school would start soon and she missed out while she was in California.  So I relented, and I called her Nana.

Eva was napping.  Nana told me when I called that Eva was napping.  I could not believe my ears.  My daughter quit napping at age three!  She slept twelve hours last night, and now she was napping.  Nana reported to me that she checked her to see if she is warm or acting sick, and she seems perfectly fine.  I think she is finally catching up on sleep from all her travels.

I was instantly jealous and relieved.  I was jealous of the dog at Nana’s that she had fallen asleep snuggled up with, and I was relieved because I feel like this is a sign that she is finally okay.  She is finally home and relaxed.  She isn’t here in my house, but she is still home.  She is again surrounded by all the people in the world that love her the most, that put her needs first, and meet her needs with joy and love.

My joy and gratitude to all the people in our lives that feel the same way about Eva that we feel is overwhelming at this moment.  All the people closest to her and to us love her, listen to her, and think she is great.  I feel like this is exactly what a child needs to grow up with a healthy self-esteem and view of self.  I know that isn’t always the case, and I couldn’t be happier with where we are in life right now.  The people around us are exactly the people we need, and I wouldn’t change it for the world.

Eva will call me if she wants me to pick her up today (which won’t happen because she is happily swimming and playing with all her fur and feather friends).  Otherwise, my husband will pick her up tomorrow as soon as he gets off work at noon.  Then we will meet at home and head to a hospital tour, ultrasound, and appointment with my obstetrician.

I’m Gonna Puke!

Poor Eva was so confused as I jumped out of bed while giving warning of impending chunks.  I ran to the bathroom, and as I was leaning over the toilet preparing for the inevitable, I could hear her talking with my husband.  I’m not sure what was said, but when I returned she looked concerned. 

My husband explained that she was worried I was coming down with something.  I told her that it was okay, and that it was a good thing.  She looked even more confused, and she even looked at me like I might have possibly gone off my rocker a bit.  I explained that it meant my body is producing chemicals called hormones to make sure Soybean is growing and healthy.  I then told her how horrible it had been when I was pregnant with her, that I had lost a bunch of weight (20 lbs in the first trimester) and had to take special medicine to stop puking long enough to drink some water and take my vitamins. 

“I guess I just wasn’t hungry very much,” she said with a smile and a laugh.

She was still stuck on the thought that my stomach and the baby’s stomach are linked or directly connected or something.  So I explained the hormone thing again slightly different.

She has a five minute snuggling limit after bedtime (she hardly ever uses it, and it’s only if that is the first time she has gotten up), and her time was about up.  She gave my belly a kiss and kissed my check when I said time was up.  I tucked her back in to her bed, and softly closed her door.

Then began my search for something that I thought I could force myself to eat.  Cantaloupe was a gagging-type reaction no, and cheese failed me as soon as it hit my tongue.  So I pulled out the big guns.  Salted pretzel sticks and lemon ginger tea.  Thank God for ginger.  I don’t think I would be alive today without it.

Now here I am in bed again.  I would love to sleep, but I discovered as soon as my head is almost to my pillow, I feel the nausea assault me, guns blazing, tanks firing, all hands on deck. 

My next thought is would my husband notice if I took his pillow.  I think he would.  I think I will use one of our spare comforters to prop myself up a bit more.  Tomorrow, though, extra pillows are being purchased. 

Involving Our Child In My Pregnancy

I made a bold move.  Well, bold for me, anyway.  I told Eva (age 6) that we are expecting a baby.  She squealed with delight.  I couldn’t have asked for a better response!  I also cautioned her that it is still tiny and too soon to tell if everything will work out.  If it works put then she will have a baby sister or brother in the end, but it will be a long time to get there.  The biggest emphasis was on keeping it a secret, though, until I told her it was okay to tell anyone she wanted.  I stressed to her that she could NOT tell her closest cousin, no matter how tempting, until I told her closest cousin’s father (my brother, obviously).  She made it through an entire day around her cousins without spilling the news, so I think she’s doing quite well.

I had a moment of hesitation before I told her.  What if something happens and I have a miscarriage?  How would that affect her?  Then I realized how ridiculous I was being.  Even if she didn’t know about the baby, she would be affected because I would be affected.  How much more confusing would it be to see mom so upset and grieving and not even know the cause?  She’s six, not two. 

Now, at least, she understands why mom doesn’t feel good sometimes and why mom won’t go running in ninety-degree weather.  She has been so sweet and loving already, too, that it just reaffirms our decision to tell her.  She kissed my belly today, and she started thinking about names.  She has already planned a trip to a baby stuff store.  She’s dying to begin purchasing things for the baby, or as we are calling her, Soybean.

She kept saying things in public, always saying “the baby” loud enough to make me cringe every, single time.  So I shared my temporary name for the baby, Soybean, with her.  Now it is just adorable when she says anything about Soybean.  She wanted to look at the “Soybean aisles” at Wal-Mart today, for example. 

We also decided to bring her with us to the appointment Thursday.  My husband isn’t thrilled with being in there as I get a pelvic exam anyway (neither am I).  So the plan is that he will stay with her in the waiting room for all the inappropriate moments, and then once Soybean is on the screen for the ultrasound they will both come in to see.  I think it will be the best way to make her feel like she is part of this, like this baby is her’s to love, too.

As for the inevitable questions about how the baby got in there, well, I’m all for avoidance.  My current thought is to explain to her that is something we will discuss in fifth grade.  I just don’t think that is appropriate knowledge for a six-year-old little girl.

She has been encouraging me to eat so “Soybean gets enough food, too”.  She even wanted me to try applesauce so Soybean could taste it.  I realize how flawed that is scientifically, but it is so darn cute I don’t care.  It just makes me melt.

Being the paranoid person that I am, I took another home pregnancy test again.  I used another Advanced Clear Blue to see if my hCG levels had gone up.  It said 3+ this time, a week after it said 2-3 weeks.  This helped reassure me a bit that everything is going well.  Here is a picture, because I have to share with someone:

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I can hardly wait for my appointment Thursday!

Best Weekend Ever

Today, Eva comes home.  She has been gone for twenty-nine days.  Twenty-nine of the longest days of my life.  I have been here in the midwest while she is across the country in California, and all I have been able to do is pray and hope she is not being mistreated.  All I have been able to do is pray and hope that she is getting loving attention.

Today, though, before I lay my head on my pillow to sleep, I will KNOW she is perfectly safe and happy.  I will KNOW that the person caring for her sees her as the amazing girl that she is and always has been.  That is such a good, comforting thought. 

I’m not sure if it’s the screwed up first trimester hormones or if it’s just anxiety, but I have been having awful dreams about her being away.  The latest dream involved my husband and I picking her up at the airport.  She immediately spewed all kinds of questions at me with horrible insinuations, such as I made her father move so far away because I’m selfish and I refuse to share her.  I don’t speak ill of her father in her presence, and even in my dream I wouldn’t tell her what I really thought of all her new questions.  She wouldn’t even speak to me or my husband for the rest of the dream.  We rode home in complete silence, with her face set in anger.  I was, of course, driving with silent tears streaming down my face.  Nightmare doesn’t cover it. 

Her father has changed the pick up arrangements for this evening twice now.  I actually had an entire thought process of at what point do I call the police.  I don’t really think that is something I should be worried about, but I still feel the need to have a contingency plan in place.  I wonder how many other parents go through this same “in case of kidnapping” planning.  He’s a terrible communicator and always has been, but I am just so anxious to lay eyes on her and see for myself exactly how she is that I don’t know if I have the patience to sit around and wait for him to properly communicate with me.

I realize this doesn’t sound like the best weekend ever, but all of this worry and stress will be worth it the moment I get to see her and kiss her and hug her and pick her up and swing her around.  I don’t care if she thinks she is a grown up at age six, I know she will be just as happy with my attention and affections as I will be to give it.  Only a few more hours before I can take a deep, calming breath as I hold her in my arms!

Five Things You Don’t Say

Five things you do not say to a woman (married or otherwise):

1. “So, when are you going to have a baby?”

Well, the bottom line here is asking such a question is rude, to say the least.  This question is based on the assumption that everyone has the physical ability to conceive, carry, and deliver a healthy child.  If only that were the case, infertility therapy/medication/treatment/procedures wouldn’t be a BILLION dollar industry!  I have no idea whether Susie Q next door has been trying to conceive for seven years, or if she has had twelve miscarriages, or seventeen failed IVFs (in vitro fertilization), or thirty failed FETs (frozen embryo transfer), or if parenthood is just not for her.  Furthermore, it is none of my business.

2. “You better start trying to have a baby soon before you get too old and can’t.”

See previous explanation.

3. “You just need to relax.”

This is usually something a woman struggling with infertility hears from someone she has chosen to confide in about her struggles.  If relaxation was the cure for infertility, again there would not be a BILLION dollar infertility industry in full swing across the globe.  This statement assumes that she didn’t do what everyone usually does when they initially begin to try to conceive.  Most fertile couples simply stop preventing pregnancy, have sex when it sounds good, and within a few months a pregnancy occurs.  That is certainly how it happened for me the first time around.  Once women quit “relaxing” about conceiving, it is usually because there is something wrong!  There is a reason to be upset!  Telling someone to relax doesn’t make that problem go away.  When someone told me to relax, I wanted to ask her if she had heard a single word I had said.  It definitely didn’t seem she had, or she wouldn’t have told me to just relax.

4. “Let go and let God.” 

I do believe in God.  I also believe we have technology and medicine for a reason.  The person saying this statement probably wouldn’t hesitate to take a Tylenol or an Advil if he or she was in pain.  The person saying this statement has most likely taken antibiotics for an infection at some point in his or her life.  Maybe next time he or she is sick, they should let go and let God, too.

5. “As soon as you stop trying, you’ll end up pregnant.”

This is usually accompanied with an anecdote about so-and-so’s neighbor’s cousin’s sister who tried to have a baby for years and finally got pregnant when she quit trying.  As soon as you quit working, you will become a millionaire.  The above statement and the statement I just made are based on the same principle–dumb, indiscriminate, one-in-a-billion-chance luck.  I don’t play the lottery, but it sounds to me like maybe every infertile woman out there should give up their dream of ever having a child of their own and put all that money they would have spent in playing the lottery.  Then every infertile woman can be a mom AND a millionaire!

Five things you DO say to a woman:

1. “I’m so sorry to hear that.”

When a friend tells me something that she finds upsetting, it doesn’t really matter if I happen to agree that it is something to be upset about.  It isn’t my issue to deal with, but it is my job as a decent human to be compassionate.  This simple statement could change her day.  This statement could, even just for a moment, make her feel like someone cares and she isn’t alone.  I want to be a friend, because someday I will need a friend, too.

2. “Is there anything I can do for you?”

Again, if I’m upset, and my friend asks me this question, I don’t feel quite so alone with my troubles.  Sometimes that is all I need.

3. Say nothing, listen.

Body language can say so much when accompanied by silence.  Sometimes I just need someone to sit attentively and listen while I spill all my frustrations, hurts, and fears.  This outpouring can be better than several therapy sessions, at least a bottle of wine, and several bubble baths.

4. “I’m not sure what to say, but I’m sorry this is happening to you.”

Honesty is such a funny little thing.  Being honest makes my statements genuine and heartfelt.  If I truly have no idea how to approach a situation, or an outpouring as discussed above, it is okay to admit it.  I still want her to know that I care, even if I don’t have the right words.  I never expect someone to have all the answers, and sometimes implying they do by giving me advice when I just need an ear will just add to my frustration.

5. “I can’t tell you how you should or shouldn’t feel about anything, and I’m listening if you want to tell me how you are feeling.”

This one statement can be so powerful!  Sometimes, I feel like I need permission to feel what I feel.  Sounds like psycho-babble, I know.  Sometimes I try to suppress a feeling if I don’t think it is appropriate for the situation, though.  For example, feeling sad is to be expected after another failed attempt to conceive.  Feeling relieved that a particularly rough cycle is over is less expected.  Then feeling relieved can make me feel guilty and even blame myself for the failed cycle.  Maybe I secretly didn’t want it work.  Maybe that is why I feel relieved.  Such a horrible cycle of damaging emotion.  If I can feel my feelings without negative judgement, especially judgement placed on me by others, I have a better chance of working through all my conflicting emotions.

 

Obviously this only scratches the surface a bit.  Assuming I know someone’s situation, and then making statements based on those assumptions, will undoubtedly end with me looking foolish and callous, and the other party feeling defensive and possibly injured.  I can’t ever expect to know how someone else feels unless that person tells me.  I also don’t expect someone else to know how I feel unless I tell them.  The next time someone says one of the above insensitive statements, I know I won’t hesitate to politely let them know how rude and thoughtless such a statement can be.  Before I struggled with secondary infertility, I was guilty of thoughtlessly asking those I considered friends if or when they would be having children.  If only things were really that simple, and if only someone had told me the world isn’t always so black and white.

Gender Prediction At 7 Weeks

A friend of mine who is also expecting a baby (and only a little over a month ahead of me) told me she got a blood test to determine the gender of her baby!  I had no idea such a thing existed, and neither did she until her doctor mentioned it.

I did some research and discovered that the test can be performed as early as 7 weeks pregnant.  Most insurance companies aren’t covering the test (like that is a surprise) unless it is being performed to check for congenital, hereditary, sex-linked disorders like hemophilia.  The plus side is it isn’t that expensive in the grand scheme of things.

I know what I will be asking my doctor about at my appointment next week!

Nervous, Happy, Thankful

Tomorrow should be the 7 week mark of pregnancy.  I only say should because I’m still expecting measurements of the little bean to be a bit behind at the appointment next week.  I think I ovulated a week later than normal people ovulate.  That’s just a complete guess based on a feeling, and I really have nothing to back it up.

I am so paranoid still, even though my instincts say everything is fine.  My breasts don’t hurt today, and it freaked me out earlier.  Actually, as I’m typing it, it is making me nervous all over again.  I have had food cravings, food aversion, fatigue, and those weird little pains in my lower abdomen that I can only describe as stretching pains.  All the same things that happened with Eva, except with her I was spotting.  I wasn’t this nervous with her, and I was spotting!  Talk about irrational fear.

All of my infertile friends that have managed to get pregnant all talk about a feeling of guilt because they got their miracle while so many others are still waiting.  The guilt hasn’t hit for me yet, mostly I think because I keep having these moments of doubt and nervousness that make me realize I could be back in the trenches in the blink of an eye.  I do, however, feel like I shouldn’t be posting these posts with an infertility tag, like I’m flaunting it in the face of those not on pins and needles with a positive, those still waiting for two pink lines.  It is an odd place to be, because I still feel like that is where I belong, where my words belong, talking to those that have been where I have and where I am.

I read something on Facebook that made me think of my fight to get pregnant, my daughter Eva, my first marriage and divorce.  It said something like everyone has been through something that has changed them in a way they can never go back to the person they once were.  This resonated with me as I am being paranoid about my baby.  I never would have been so worried about something going wrong if I hadn’t gone through 14 months of trying to get to this point.  The flip side to that coin is so simple and so wonderful, though–I would not be this thankful, grateful, or happy about this pregnancy if I hadn’t been through such a journey. 

I’m so thankful for this moment, this feeling as I would rather vomit than eat a brownie.  I’m going to keep the positive thoughts flowing, and I’m going to spend many hours in prayer, I have no doubt.  It doesn’t matter if the end result isn’t what I have in mind (a beautiful, healthy baby, preferably a girl, just throwing that out there, Lord), I am just ao grateful for right now.  I feel hopeful again, for the first time in a long time, that anything is possible.

I Just Can’t Resist

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I took another test last night, and again this morning first thing. The result (thankfully!) was the same. The picture above was from the test this morning.

As I was preparing to take the test last night, I still had to go through an entire mental conversation to prepare myself for a negative result. Some things never change I suppose, or at least do not change quite so quickly as I would like. I told myself that it was okay if the test was negative because I was using urine from in the evening, not first morning urine. I told myself it was okay if it was negative this time because I had been drinking quite a bit of water and peeing every hour. I told myself that it was okay if the test was negative this time, because at least I got a positive in that morning.

I don’t know why I bothered with such a talk because I definitely would not have felt that anything was okay if the test had been negative. As the test (a Clear Blue digital, as you can see) was sitting on my bathroom counter with the little hour glass flickering on and off on the display, over and over, I started to panic for a moment. Why was it taking so long? I had never used a digital test before. I was used to some sort of result fairly quickly. I made myself take a breath and read the instructions again, this time looking for how long the test is supposed to take. It said 3 minutes for a pregnant or not pregnant result to show, and then another 3 minutes before it told me how many weeks. By the time a clear, digital “Pregnant” displayed on the screen I let out a deep sigh. I was instantly relieved.

The test says 2-3 weeks since conception. Follow the instructions and this means that I am 4-5 weeks pregnant, not the 6 I had calculated. My last period was June 5th. This Thursday should be week 7. Since I don’t know when ovulation occurred, I guess I will just have to wait for the ultrasound to get a more reliable date.

I called my ob/gyn’s office today to schedule an appointment at the 8 week mark. I told them I was a bit confused when that really would be. The nurse assured me that they would figure it out for sure when they did the ultrasound, but for now we would go by my last period. This means my appointment is only a week from this Thursday! I am so excited for this!

Now that I don’t have my mind ignoring symptoms, I am finally realizing I have so many pregnancy symptoms I have been ignoring. I’m starting to feel more confident that this is really happening, and that everything will work out.

My husband’s best friend and his girlfriend came over last night and were here when I got home from work. My husband hadn’t given a single thought to the bathroom trash containing a positive pregnancy test. The friend’s girlfriend had seen it, and she was ready to pounce when I got home from work. I was not very welcoming of her congratulations, however. I should have been more gracious, but I felt like her happiness and congratulations could be unfounded, and worse that she was somehow jinxing the whole thing. That maybe I’m not really pregnant (I had only taken one test a that time), or that maybe something is wrong since I did not get a positive until cycle day 45. So ridiculous, especially since I am writing blog posts about it. I told my two closest friends as well. I supposed it just caught me off guard since she found out by looking in my trash, not because I chose to tell her. I’m hoping to start that conversation over with her in a week.

Well, Eva comes home from California this Saturday. I can hardly wait! I will be off work for a few days after her return so we can get some much needed time in together. I am wondering now when and how to tell Eva to expect a baby brother or sister? Anyone have any suggestions? I am thinking that it will be more real if I at least have an ultrasound picture to show her, but when is the appropriate time? I don’t want her to feel left out, and I definitely want her to be the first to know before our families are told.

What great problems to have! Thank you everyone for all the congratulations and well wishes and comments!

A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words

Today is cycle day 45.  I took a home pregnancy test on cycle days 34, 35, and 37, all of which were negative.  I also used an ovulation prediction kit on days 10 through 32, and I never got a positive on a LH (leutinizing hormone) with the prediction kit.  In my mind, I didn’t ovulate this cycle.  I take Metformin twice daily in an attempt to manage my polycystic ovaries (PCOS).  I take prenatal gummies, also. Otherwise, I am medication free since my previous cycle using Clomid.

On cycle day 37, I set a goal for myself.  I felt like my body was trying to do something on its own, so I was going to wait until cycle day 45, today, to test for pregnancy again.  Then after my negative test result, I would begin the Provera to induce a period, again.

As I was taking my pregnancy test this morning, I was repeating like a mantra, “You didn’t ovulate, don’t get your hopes up.”  I had zero expectations this time around even though I have been experiencing some symptoms.  My symptoms have been misleading before, so I didn’t give them any credence.

Instead of my very expected negative, I saw two lines, not one!  My pregnancy test was a poaitive! 

I don’t want to say the words, “I’m pregnant”, until such things can be confirmed with an ultrasound, but every hour that passes since I got my positive this morning, it is becoming more real.  I am cautiously thrilled! 

I woke my husband up at 5:45 this morning and shoved a pregnancy test in his face after flipping on the light. 

I said, “Clear your eye boogers and then look at this.”

He stared bleary eyed and grumbling for a minute before he laid back down.  Impatient, I had asked him something like did he see two lines or not, to which he replied there are two lines.  His next question made me smile.  He said, “What’s that mean?”

I just smiled and said something that implied he figure it out on his own.  His next response was something along the lines of his life is over, he will be poor forever, we will never buy a house now, etc., as he covered his face with the blanket.

Anyone who knows my husband knows this is his version of happiness.  If he doesn’t have something to, sort of, complain about then he isn’t happy.  We could buy his dream house for half its market value, and after he signs the dotted line he would say something about how horrible it will be to clean out the gutters since he is afraid of heights. 

I finished getting ready for work and headed out the door after kissing my husband (who was still mumbling complaints) goodbye. 

I am one happy girl right now!  I sent texts to two very dear friends that have been so supportive, letting them know my news.  Both were asleep and neither answered for a couple hours.  I almost called both of them to wake them up.  I was instead considerate of their poor husbands who would prefer to sleep in, I’m sure.

My prayer through all of this has been that either God change my heart, or change my circumstances.  I desperately wanted to be pregnant before I turned thirty.  At the beginning, when I first discovered I have PCOS, my prayer was that I be pregnant before thirty.  This was my heart’s desire.  Thirty is less than a week away now, and so I had already come to terms with the situation.  I thought perhaps God was telling me things would happen on His timeline, not mine.  Here it is, though, my positive pregnancy test before I turned thirty!  Talk about dramatic timing!  I wonder if God has a sense of humor?  If so, surely He is smiling about this one.  He really had me going. 

For all the Dr. Google experts out there, anyone know if it is common to test negative for LH but still ovulate?  I’m trying to be very cautious with my expectations until I can get an ultrasound to confirm things.  If I go by my last period, I am six weeks.  The other issue is that I did not get a positive on my tests last week, so I don’t know if I can really say I’m six weeks.  So, no ultrasound for two more weeks at least.  I’m not sure I can wait two weeks in such uncertainty much less three or four.

Maybe it’s time to buy an expensive pregnancy test and try to see what range my hCG levels are in…

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