Thursday, January 28, 2010

In your face, Facebook!

So I did it!! I posted my pregnancy announcement on Facebook.

I used to gag, roll my eyes, and frequently cry when others would do this. It just made my infertile situation feel so much worse when others out there could easily get pregnant and just tell the world. Ugh!

I am finally 12 weeks and 1 day, so I decided, "Dammit! I've earned the right to post my announcement. I'm gonna do it!!" Of course I was a little concerned that I might unknowing upset someone out there who might be having trouble, but at the same time I want to celebrate my miracle with everyone I know. I'm tired of being "infertile" and acting accordingly. I'm tired of being fearful and holding back my joy. I want to be carefree as if this baby were easily conceived the old fashioned way. I want to allow myself to be NORMAL!!

So I did it...

"What's up world, it's Cilla! I'M PREGNANT and I'm not afraid anymore!!!!!"

This is NOT actually what I wrote, but it's what it felt like.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Gender Poll and a Thank You to our Blog World!

I thought it would be fun to add a poll to my blog so my readers can try to guess my baby's gender. I have absolutely NO CLUE what I'm having, so I thought it would be fun to see what you all think!! Some days I think boy and some days I think girl....what would you guess?? We'll find out for sure in a few weeks so in the mean time, I'm having some fun!! (The poll is on the left side just under my profile description.)

Also I got my hair cut and colored today so I thought it would be fun to give my blog background a makeover too! (The blue means used to have more pink....I'm just going for variety!)

I feel great and I'm more and more grateful as the days go by for having a healthy and uneventful pregnancy so far. It really is a miracle when I think about this time a year ago. I wasn't sure I would ever know these feelings, but here I am!!

I want to give a big blog shout out to Emily who just learned that she too is expecting her first baby after a long, tough journey! And to my other bloggy IFers turned pregnant: Babygaga, Sonja, Nicole, Tracey, The-Non-Housewife-Wife, and Lin I just want to say its a total joy to follow your pregnancies and I keep you in my thoughts often! I am beyond thrilled for all of us!! I also want to send positive thoughts and prayers out to Mom Genes who's currently in her two week wait after IVF #1. And last but definitely not Rachel, A, Brooke, One Who Understands, and Jem: I have faith that each of you will get through this agonising battle. I think of you often and pray that you will get all that you're dreaming of!! And to anyone else I may have missed: Thank you for being a part of this wonderful community. I know how much it has helped me and I hope that the rest of you feel the same way! xox

Thank you ladies for being here offering the endless support and cheer leading that you have given me for months. In my real life there are often times I feel misunderstood, but here in this blogosphere I know you get me and that is totally priceless!!!

Thank you!!! Love, P.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

NEW NAME...Same blog.

It's 5:40 in the morning and I'm sitting in my kitchen eating Cheerios while my husband is fast asleep upstairs. This has become a fairly regular ritual of mine in the last several weeks of my pregnancy. I wake up and cannot stop thinking about food. This baby makes me hungry!! :)

As I read through others' blogs, it occurred to me that my blog's title has become a little outdated. I first started it as a journal of our second journey through IVF, hence the name, "Ben and Priscilla IVF #2," but at the time, I wasn't sure where it would lead. Now, as I continue to write about my experiences, I recognize that we and this blog have thankfully moved past In Vitro treatments....for now. (It's something we know we must face again if we want to try for more babies, but that is far from our minds as we relish the gift we have currently been given.)

As our journey continues on a much happier path we will never forget how we got here...

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Prenatal Yoga Rocks!

Last night I attended my first Yoga For Pregnancy class and was very happy with the experience. I have always enjoyed regular yoga classes for the centering in brings while using muscle and breath in unison. Last night's class was particularly enjoyable because it was so focused on surrounding my energy around my baby. The instructor was genuine and brought a certain calm to the room. It was a very peaceful environment to be in.

I learned some alternative poses that will come in handy as my belly grows. We also did exercises that worked on certain areas that are not focused upon in your average yoga class. We did Kegels as a group!! It made me want to giggle as I thought of the Samantha Jones' character from Sex and the City smuggly annoucing to her friends that she was doing hers "right now."

In the beginning of class we all sat in a circle (there were about 17-20 of us) and took turns telling our name, how far along we were and if there were any particular areas of discomfort that we'd been feeling so that our instructor could incorporate a targeting exercise or stretch into the evenings class. The majority of the women were 2o - 38 weeks along and most of them had these big, beautiful, round belly's. Being only 11 weeks I felt like the youngest one there (even though I was definitely not.) I felt like a freshman or something so I didn't mention anything about my sore back since I imagined that everyone would roll their eyes at me for having any type of physical discomfort so early in my pregnancy.

After years of being a pregnant wanna-be as Ben and I endured our infertility, last night I still had the same old familiar feelings of being among the enemy. All those round abdomens that I had literally run from not very long ago. There I was choosing to be in a room FULL of women who's very presence had caused me many tearful breakdowns in the recent past. How can I actually belong here now? Weird!! Obviously I'm still in disbelief about my pregnancy. I can't wait until my belly is big and round too. Maybe then I won't feel like such an imposter. Then again, I will always remember what it was like to live on the other side. Perhaps my new challenge is to learn how to live paralleling the two existences. Infertile turned pregnant....its like poor turned rich. I feel like I won the lottery and now I am learning to adjust to the good life leaving all my grief and pain behind.

Anywho...after I got over my silly 11 week insecurities that were all totally in my head I thoroughly enjoyed the class. It moved at a good speed I loved focusing my energy inward to my miracle baby. He or she is really in there and last night helped me get one step closer to truly believing it....cause clearly the ultrasounds weren't proof enough. Gawd! I must sound so silly!!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

11 Weeks Along

A lot has happened since I last blogged so I will use bullet points to update:

  • Chiropractor: Evening of first visit = blissful pain-free sleep. Next day at bed time I started getting sciatic nerve pain radiating ALL the way down my left leg after I did the floor exercises my chiropractor instructed me to do. As I lay in bed I was in so much pain it was almost impossible to sleep. I still don't want to take anything, so no Tylenol. After a couple fitful hours of tossing and turning a heating pad finally helped me get some rest. The next morning I went back to the Chiro and told him about my pain. He did an adjustment, and as I walked to my car I felt even worse. Decided that maybe it was these visits that were aggravating (NOT helping) my lower back pain. Chiro = Not not for me right now! I need a new plan!

  • Yoga!! I went to a Beginners Plus class with a good friend last Friday and felt fantastic after the class and ever since. I go back tonight to a prenatal yoga class. I'm hoping that I continue to feel better as a result of this type of stretching, strength building, breathing and inner focus. Yoga = Good so far!! Hope this is the answer to my lower back discomfort!

  • Pregnancy Symptoms: Other than the back pain I have been feeling pretty great. No sickness at all, my energy is returning, and I've had a good appetite! Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night and cant stop thinking about Cheerios so I end up heading down to the kitchen to eat a bowl or two of cereal before I can get back to sleep. I have gotten back to walking a lot, which feels good, but my pace has slowed some since I seem to get out of breath pretty easily. Just going up the stairs makes me huff and puff. I've read that its totally normal, but it makes me feel very out of shape. I get a little crampy here and there, sometimes its a sharp feeling when I move too quickly, but nothing too alarming or worrisome. Oh, and my memory....not so sharp these days. Pregnancy brain has totally set in!! :)

  • OB visit: I couldn't wait until Feb. 1oth to see the new OB a friend of mine recommended, so I made an appt with another highly recommended OB group for next week (Jan 28th). I kept the Feb. 10th apt with the first OB too. I will determine which practice I like better and stick with them! If neither of them make me feel completely comfortable I will keep looking. To some I'm sure this may sound a little overboard, but I really want to find a practice who I click with since I never felt a closeness at all with anyone at my IVF clinic. I just want a more personalized type of care. My sister, who's a midwife in Oregon, has suggested that I find a CNM practice and interview with them. I'm considering it. To be honest I'm feeling very overwhelmed about choosing my next provider. Since this is my first baby I have no idea what to really expect, therefor I'm not sure what I really want. Do I want to try an all natural birth with no interventions? Maybe a water birth? Or will it be far more painful and awful that I could possibly anticipate so will I want an epidural and all the drugs they can give me to make it easier? Will I need to be induced? Would that really be necessary? Will I ultimately need a C-section? Obviously I don't know the answers to ANY of these questions and I'm sure it may seem WAY TOO EARLY to worry about them. But I kinda feel like they do matter now because all doctors have different protocols about when its appropriate to induce, or do a c-sections, or administer drugs, etc, etc. I And to make things even more confusing for me is that everyone I know who's given birth has their own stories, suggestions and advice. I feel lost in all the information and options and fear that I've lost my own vision of what I want. I haven't even started meeting with the new doctors yet and I'm already feeling exhausted by the process. Part of me wants to just give up and go to the first practice I see. I am so tired from the fight of trying to get pregnant that the idea of fighting for the birth plan I want seems like to much work. Maybe it would be easier to just do whatever my doctor tells me to do. As long as my baby is healthy then I'll be happy, right? Maybe not? Maybe I'll regret not choosing one thing over an other! Ugh! Why is this so frustrating for me, and why do I feel like I'm the only one who feels this way? AHH! (Sorry for all the venting, it helped to get it out. Hopefully the first doc I see makes me feel really at ease and I can stop feeling anxious about the birth that is still 6.5 months away. Perhaps its just the fact that I've been released from my IVF doc and haven't yet found a new OB that has me feeling so vulnerable...who knows! Maybe its all my hormones!)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

10 Week Ultrasound

Ladies and Gentlemen, we have a FEISTY FETUS!!

That's right! Our embryo is officially a fetus today and we saw lots of movement! It was incredible to see our little miracle kicking wildly during the ultrasound this morning. I'm still in total awe. It was a jaw dropping sight that I will never forget.

I have been studying this picture all morning. If you look closely you can see its FACE profile...eye, nose, lips!! WOW! I'm just beaming! This is MY BABY!!!!

Our doctor said, "The fetus is very big and healthy. Everything looks really, really great!" Music to my ears and the answer to my prayers!!! We were also told that we have now graduated from the IVF clinic!!! WOO HOO! This was our last appointment, and now we get to move on to 'normal' land!!

As we walked in this morning and waited for the elevator, I felt my anxiety beginning to rise. I looked at Ben and told him how I was feeling. As we rode up to the 4th floor, we reflected on how MUCH we've been through in that building. Every appointment had so much hope weighing on it and there was never any guarantee that things would work out. We learned this the hard way after our first IVF failed. No wonder just the sight of the building causes my heart rate to increase and my fear to bubble up. It will be wonderful to start fresh with a new doctor in a new office that doesn't hold so much baggage for us.

My first appointment with our new OBGYN is scheduled for February 10th. That is a WHOLE MONTH away!! Oh well....more waiting. What else is new?

At least now, after the wonderful appointment this morning, I'm feeling much more confident about this pregnancy. Like I told Ben, "I think this is really going to be it for us!"

It's still hard to believe after everything we've been through trying to make this baby, OUR BABY!!!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

My Chiropractic Visit

I LOVE my new chiropractor! What a wonderful change of pace after all the months of needle pricks and vaginal ultrasounds.

It felt great when he gingerly moved his hands up and down my spine gently pocking and rubbing in certain areas along my back to get an understanding of my unique spinal structure. For the first time in along while I didn't feel like I was on an assembly line. Ahhh...I'm an individual again!!

The appointment itself was really nice. He and I got to know each other (more him getting to know me than vice versa) before he did any adjusting. Once he was ready to work on me he took his time just running his hands up and down my back. His touch felt very sure and knowledgeable. It trusted him immediately. I easily was able to take a deep breath, let him manipulate my position, and "CRACK!" Amazing relief!! I had no idea how tight my entire body I has really become. I'm sure this whole IVF journey might have a lot to do with it.

It may sound a little barbaric to have a man wrap his arms around you and use force to get a tension releasing crack from your spine, but I promise it didn't hurt at all. It was pure heaven! I feel so much looser already after one appointment.

He also gave me some exercises I can do at home to help strengthen my hips. He explained that building those muscles will help take some of the strain out of my lower back along with regular adjustments.

I'm going back twice this week then the doc thinks I should be able to get by with once a week or just a few times a month. I am so glad I have chosen to do this throughout my pregnancy. I can tell already is it going to be very helpful!

My chiropractor also suggested I start some prenatal Yoga classes. I told him I have already been considering it, so his advice gave me the push I needed. I'm definitely going to get started! I have done Yoga in the past, and loved it...not sure why I ever stopped going.

After all this crazy conception intervention I realized that I've forgotten to take care of the rest of my body. I have been taking all kinds of vitamins and getting exercise, but I've only focused on the health of my uterus, my eggs, and now my baby. I had forgotten what massage, yoga and chiropractic adjustments can do for the mind, body and spirit! I have felt lost in all the infertility and the impersonal doctor's office visits that I have been feeling a bit worn out lately. After today's appointment I feel more vibrant and whole! What a relief!! :)

Monday, January 11, 2010

Back Pain!

My lower back has been really bothering my these days especially at bedtime. I've tried body pillows and heating pads, but nothing really seems to ease the pain. I haven't tried tylenol, but I've opted not to take anything like that unless its absolutely necessary like if I have a fever or something. At first the back pain worried me because I've read that that could be an early sign of miscarriage, but since I've had zero spotting though out my 9 weeks and 5 days of being pregnant I keep trying to remind myself that being fearful isn't productive. Also I've been reassured by my sister, who's a midwife on the west coast, that the pain is very normal and it is most likely a result of loosening ligaments in my pelvis which is caused by my growing uterus. She recommended I go see a chiropractor who could help me by performing adjustments and massage.

I have my first appointment tomorrow with a chiropractor who a good friend has recommended. I have been to an other chiropractor in 2005 after I suffered a head and back injury. The adjustments I received then made a huge difference in my day to day pain and the speed of my healing. The doctor I went to then, who I LOVED, has since moved away, so I'm hoping the new doc can give me same level of care and relief. I'm sure he's great since my friend has totally vouched for him. I made sure that this chiropractor I'm seeing is accustomed to working on pregnant women and I was assured that he does it all the time. In fact, he thinks that women who come for regular adjustments during their pregnancies tend to have faster and more successful labor and deliveries. I hope he's right and I that my back starts to feel better soon!!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

About my last post...

Hi Blog friends!

Thank you all so much for your supportive feedback about my docs smart-ass comment. I feel a lot better knowing that many of you out there would have been offended too.

I wanted to answer your questions and clarify one thing...

I know how sensitive I must seem, but hell, it comes with being infertile. I can't really help it anymore. I'm working on it though...

I don't plan on confronting on my RE. It won't change anything. He is what he is. Period. I am just using it as a learning experience. It showed how important it is to me to find the right chemistry and trust between patient and doctor. I wont tolerate that kind of relationship between me and the person who will be delivering my baby. (I have found an OB in my area that comes highly recommend from women for his incredible, laid back personality, and his support of his patients being as well informed as possible... so I really look forward to meeting him. I hope he is all that I am looking for!!)

Second, I guess I wasn't clear in my previous post. My doctor made his comment about our next IVF cycle at my FIRST appointment since our embryo transfer. It was NOT our last appointment with him. I still am going back this Wednesday for a second ultrasound. He has made no mention of when I will be released. Had it been our last appointment I would have expected him to discuss our next course of action when it comes to IVF since we wont be seeing him again until we want to try for more children. So it was the fact that HE brought it up at our FIRST ultrasound that pissed me off.

Whatever...I'm being able to shrug it off now thanks to your support!! :)

Thanks again!! You ladies are really the best!!

Friday, January 8, 2010

A New CARE Provider Please!!

My doctor and one of his assistants made a comment to me over two weeks ago at my fist ultrasound that I still haven't been able to get out of my head. It offended me at the time, but I chose to brush it off thinking I could let it go, but here I am weeks later still peeved over it.

Ben and I were so eager for our first (7 week) ultrasound that we made sure to actually write down all the questions we wanted to ask our doctor during the visit. After we got to see our baby's amazing heartbeat and our doctor had confirmed that everything looked great he asked if we had any other questions. Ben handed me our list so I could quickly scan it to be sure we had covered everything. And that was when I realized that there was one question we hadn't touched on.

I wanted to ask my doctor about OB/GYNs. If there is one or two in particular that he highly recommends or if the group of OB/GYNs I've seen in the past are a group that he would vouch for. I just wanted to know his perspective on the subject. Since I'm still so early in my pregnancy, I was a little hesitant to ask the question since there had still been no mention of when he would be releasing me from his care, but I know it is inevitable, and I like to be prepared and do research, so I figured it would be perfectly fine to inquire. In my mind this is a pretty obvious question that I would assume the majority of his patients in my position commonly ask. Wouldn't you? This is how our conversation went:

I said, "Oh, yea, there is one more thing. And I hope I'm not jumping the gun but..." And that's when my doctor got a know-all smirk across his face and interrupted me by saying, "you're wondering about you're next IVF cycle already aren't you?" Then he looked to his assistant and they both chuckled as he said to her, "She would ask about that wouldn't she? Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha." I was stunned and quickly said, "NO! I was going to ask about OBGYN's you recommend." He gave his answer that I only half heard because I was becoming more offended by the second.

After he left the room I was in total shock that he would even think that I would seriously be asking about a future IVF cycle when we had just seen our baby, for the first time, after all that we'd been through. "Who the hell does he think he is?" The way he and his nurse laughed made me feel like I'm the joke of their practice. Like I'm some kind of high maintenance patient who is always getting ahead of herself that they all make fun of behind my back.

As I walked down the hallway to leave their office I was still tripping over his tactless comment. "Do they think these things about me because I worked hard to be as well informed as I could about the invasive IVF process I had just come through? Is it because I called to get my blood results after my appointments? Is it that I brought list of questions I wanted to be sure to remember to ask? Why would he say that, even if he was just joking? Why would they laugh when I was trying to ask questions that were important to me?"

When I got home I tried to just put it out of my mind and not let myself be too sensitive. "Just get over it," I thought. But weeks later it is still with me and it has brought up a lot of inner pondering.

Perhaps I am over analyzing that one comment, but there is a bigger issue that it helped me focus on. Maybe I really was one of their most involved patients who asked far more questions that the typical IVF couple. Maybe it was the fact that I wouldn't accept their explanation of our remaining embryos just "pooping" out prior to freezing. That I required him to give me a better answer than something you would tell a 3rd grader. Maybe most of their patients really don't ask about what is going on with their bodies or their embryos. Just like sheep they follow his every word and don't dare get too involved or venture to ask, "WHY?"

This is really scary to me. I can't fathom trusting anyone that much. I have brain too, and no, I'm not a doctor though I do respect those who are, but I feel that I at least have the right to ask questions before, during and after treatment without being snickered at.

I've realized that throughout both of my IVF cycles my doctor has tried to share as little information as possible with me rather than being open and candid and willing to honestly answer my questions. He has dumbed things down to explain them to me and has acted like a robot. For example, EVERY TIME I get a trans vaginal ultrasound (which has been dozens of times by now) he uses the EXACT same line to me as he inserts the transducer, "Liiiiiiitle bit of a pressure, Cilla." No shit....We've done this before, dude! Is it really necessary for you to use the same stupid words every time we do this proving to me that you use the same stupid words with each and every one of your patients? I am so tired of not feeling like an individual who my doctor really "cares" about. And they call themselves "CARE providers." Please!

These feelings I have about the impersonal nature of nurses and doctors in general has really raised my concern about my next huge step....GIVING BIRTH. I do not want to find myself in prenatal care and eventually labor when I have a doctor dumbing explanations down or sparing me from all "technical" details that are deemed unnecessary for me to know or learn.

Just as a woman’s heart knows,
How and when to pump,
Her lungs to inhale,
And her hand to pull back from fire,
So she knows when and how to give birth.
- Virginia Di

This is my mantra for how I will find my next "CARE provider." I refuse to see someone who belittles my involvement or someone who pushes interventions without much explanation. I don't want to feel like my decisions are not my own or feel forced into choices because of not having all the information. Instead I want to feel empowered and encouraged to be involved. I want to be supported and not stifled. Of course with our current doc we didn't get to make these choices since the only criteria was to find the best infertility specialist in the area.

Now the possible OBGYNs, Midwives, Doulas, doctor's offices, hospitals and birthing centers are vast....Let the research begin!!

** I am still beyond grateful for my RE's skill at being able to get me pregnant in the first place. I will never forget this. I'm just very ready to move on to a CARE provider whose chemistry aligns with mine. Someone who is down to earth, knowledgeable, sensitive, patient and who spares me the corny, repetitious one-liners.

Monday, January 4, 2010

I'm back!

Hello Blog-world! I've missed you! I have been totally M.I.A. since before Christmas. It feels good to be back!

On Christmas Eve we surprised Ben's family with our 7 week sonogram framed and wrapped in a gift box. They seemed very happy for us and look forward to welcoming the first grand-baby into the family.

Ringing in the new year sober was a new experience for me. I had a good time, but it made me realize that Champagne really brings a lot to the evening and the non-alcoholic sparking grape juice I drank this year...not so much! Being pregnant is the best high of all so I could definitely forgo the bubbly this year, although, it was difficult to stay awake that late as I have become the sleepiest version of myself that I've ever known.

All in all our holiday vacation was wonderful. We had lots of time just the two of us to smile and reflect on all the changes that are going to happened over the next 7months. We also enjoyed time with friends and family playing games, exchanging gifts and eating meals together.

The bond between Ben and I feels extra special these days. Many times over the last couple weeks when our eyes locked across a crowded room we couldn't help but smiling at each other. Just knowing what's growing inside me is an amazing feeling. A feeling we feared we'd never know. We're so happy and relieved that we made it this far and we're so excited for the future. I find it very romantic to be pregnant with my Love's baby.

I have been feeling pretty good recently. Really sleepy some days, moody (verging on bitchy at some moments), sore boobs, hungry all the know, PREGNANCY symptoms!!'s a wonderful thing! I honestly have nothing to complain about. I finally have everything I've always wanted so I'm soaking it all up!

I'm still on Endometrin (vaginal progesterone suppositories) but I've been cut back from three times a day, to twice a day, to now only one a day since our first ultrasound. I can't believe how long I've been on these damn things. I know I said that I have nothing to complain about, but these are the one thing I have a few choice words for. GROSS...being the first one that comes to mind! I am so ready to stop using them. My doctor wants me to continue once a day until our next ultrasound which is still 10 days away. I can manage it for sure, but I'm really ready to be a normal pregnant person who is on nothing more than prenatal vitamins! I have been using prescribed hormone drugs for 73 days and counting! If these drugs help my baby stay put and keeps him/her healthy than I can do it, but I'm also starting to feel that my body is capable of taking over it's own hormone production! Doctor know best, so we'll see what he says on January 13th. Until then, I'm feeling content and confident that The Pea is growing fast and stong!

Happy New Year!!!