12.21.2011

Honeymoon Phase

Maybe it’s the lack of sleep from all the pregnancy insomnia or the fact that I am no longer doing Alice impressions (in fact, Alice seems to have left the building), but I swear the oddest things happened yesterday.

First, I woke up at the crack of stupid (in this case, around 3:00 a.m.) with a full bladder and the inability to fetch sleep back to my bed.

Then, I went to my doc appt. Dr. M reviewed the results of my nuchal fold test with me. He told me my risk profile for genetic problems looks like someone in their 20s. Stunned, I made some offhand comment that I always knew prematurity would work in my favor someday. He said “or immaturity.” And I said, “whichever it is, I’ll take it!”

But on the inside, I was all “that means we could probably go for 3 if we want”. And I was all “what the wha----?” and in my brain, I was kicking that other, more optimistic self in the tenders because when I was playing Alice down in that dark, deep hole, I swore I never wanted to do this again!

{And this, my friends, is why I call this trimester the “honeymoon” trimester. . . because we’re all swoony and in love with the being pregnant and it’s all great and fine and wonderful and birds and angels sing when our bellies pop and we feel baby movement. . . . until the crap hits the proverbial fan and we run out of abdominal real estate and have a body tenderize and mash up our nethers and our face (and then some) looks like an inhabitant of zombieland. Honeymoon over.}

His voice hailing me back to reality, Dr. M moved my due date up four days to May 31. Then I got to hear the hearbeat and Dr. M said something about the heart rate being girly, but I told him I remained on the fence. And then he asked about baby movement and I told him I was skeptical – because what I think might be baby might just as easily be intestinal passage of some sort.

But then, when I was sitting in a drive thru about a half hour later, I felt a little *bump! and I went “Oh.My.Gosh! That was a baby!” I texted M with crazyfingers and he called me and we laughed and hung up only after he said he’s So Excited for the anatomy scan in a few weeks.

~Nichole

12.19.2011

Alice is Still in Underland

November 8, 2011

I think (hope!) I am almost done playing Alice to this pregnancy’s rabbit hole. You’ll recall I fell down into it around week 5. Last week, during week 8, I was climbing back out, only to go tumbling into a downward spiral once again.

I am nearing 10 weeks, feeling about 50% more surfaced, and – given some extenuating life circumstances – decided to break the good news/bad news to my boss. (Good news: he doesn’t have to worry about me going to part-time status any time in the foreseeable future. Bad news: He will need to find someone to work from him next summer.)

So, naturally, my brain starts devising a list of things I will due during my 12 week hiatus. Because in my fantasies, my second maternity leave is much like the first in that there is a squishy snuggly newborn and no 2.5 year old running about. In my fantasies, my second mat leave will include:

· a Harry Potter marathon
· gratuitous photo book updating
· naps!
· Friends on DVD
· morning walks (so long as the weather is temperate)
· lunch dates

~Nichole

12.18.2011

Pregnant Birthdays and Sugar Sugar

October 27, 2011

I don't know what kind of cruelty it is that sugar - and particularly chocolate - mostly hits my pregnant stomach wrongly. Here it is my bday and there's a perfectly perfect white Safeway cake with raspberry filling sitting on my dining room table, of which I managed to choke down a single piece but can't bring myself to touch the rest. That's cruel is what that is.

(Still, I see myself unthawing frozen cake on some future day when my stomach stops being all tempestuous and flippy floppy.) (Well, maybe not the floppy part, 'cuz . . . well . . . )

This is the third birthday in my life I've been pregnant: the first met a too-early end, the second was during a full-term ripeness, and this third time is a couple of months in but not medically confirmed to my peace of mind. (That's tomorrow.)


~Nichole

12.17.2011

I've Fallen (and I Can't Get Up)

October 24, 2011

I’ve been trying to abide by the old adage “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all”. Or, I’ve been too freakin’ tired. Or both.

It’s like invasion of the body snatchers over here. I have long remembered what it was like during weeks 6 through 12 of my last pregnancy. But it turns out that remembering and experiencing are two very different things. I remembered, sure. But, doing it – THIS – is madness.

I’m able to push through the fatigue for the most part. But it really is all-encompassing. It’s soul sucking, too. I fell into a deep hole around week 5 and clamber as I might to try and get out of it, I think I’ll be here for another few (four-ish) weeks, at least. I’ve been so grossed out by the thought of vitamins that it’s all I can do some days to choke them down. And some days I don’t. But I really need to because the B6 seems to help with the nausea.

Anyway, if you’re looking for me, I’m somewhere down a deep, dark crevasse desperately awaiting rescue.

~Nichole

12.16.2011

Mixed Bag

October 13, 2011

This state of Being carries a mixed bag of emotions.
Gratitude.
Awe.
Humility.
Hope . . .
Frustration.
Fear.
Doubt.
What-on-earth-did-i-get-myself-into.

I watched Elder Anderson’s conference talk again. It is amazing that the precise pattern he outlined about seeking to know when to have children is the one we followed. And we certainly got our answer. And we certainly obeyed. So, in an odd way, that is comforting. Comfort is a good thing to feel.

He also said that women need to be willing to bear children. I was very willing. Which helps when the trifecta of morning (all-day) sickness, fatigue and migraine headaches has got me in its grips. Yes, it helps to remember that I was very willing.

It also helps to remember that an elephant is eaten one bite at a time. There is no way I’m getting through these next few weeks in a lump. One step at a time is the only way to attempt such a feat.

More scary red spotting this week. When I got up in arms over it, I was praying and thought of the scripture “Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s, and unto God the things which are God’s” (Mark 12:17). In talking with Him about it, I figured that any child He sends us is His to begin with, and there is absolutely nothing I can do either way to prevent a miscarriage anyway, so why worry overmuch about much of anything. I’m rendering unto God that which is already His.

~Nichole

In Real (4 a.m.) Time

I am trying not to be a whiner.

I am also trying not to be a martyr to this pregnancy.

But darn it if I didn't freakin' forget all about the plaguery (made up word) of pregnancy insomnia, particularly while under the influence of caffeine or a hungry stomach! How could I forget??

While I am waiting to feel tired again (and dreading the busy morning I have planned with C), I am spending gobs of time reading Swistle's baby names blog. Which, really, only serves to make me more awake. I start planning my own "Dear Swistle" name submission for when (if) they ever start accepting them again. You know, just in case this baby's a girl. (We've got the boy names down pat this time!)

~Nichole

12.15.2011

Sickness

October 8, 2011

I've been thinking lately how it's very strange that they call it "symptoms of pregnancy". Like it's a sickness.

Then, when I don't feel well, my brain goes "wow! This isn't right at all. Something's wrong. Why do I feel so yucky?" and then it answers itself "Um, you're pregnant. This is normal." And I go "Oh yeah!"

So, yes, symptoms. Mine are on a slow build. Yesterday my stomach straight up flatlined while we were at the park and I had to sit down. This morning, I got through breakfast, a shower (for me), and a bath (for C) and then had to come sit down.

And as "wrong" as it feels, I am so glad.

~Nichole

12.14.2011

Why Not?

October 4, 2011

I stomp out the embers of excitement until they grow cold in the dirt, not out of cruelty, but as a means of protecting myself from hurt.

This morning, under the crushing weight of evil twins Worry and Fear, I continued my prayer for some sort of reassurance, the lasting kind I know can only come from a loving Father. I explained to him how I’m scared to hope, scared to be happy or excited, because, well, the less you go up the less you come down.

I corresponded with a friend who’s planning a wedding:
-Wooooohoooo! (Of course, that said, I’ll likely be largely pregnant by that time.)
-Well, we will just have to find you a pretty preggers dress.
-Yes, do. Something that will fit an . . . .(counts fingers) 8.5 month preggo belly.
-Are you counting a known entity or “The Plan”?
-The Plan has been loosely interpreted. Last Thursday, I peed on a stick last week and saw , so it’s official.

I typed the words “it’s official” haltingly. In the aftermath of hitting Send, I thought about those words. Excitement popped its head back up, looking warily for an all-clear from my relentless stomping.

Then, the tiniest whisper of a voice.

Why not just be happy? It’s OK to be happy!

And so I am.

I am giddy like a schoolgirl, giggling and delighted, reveling in the lightness of being that comes from having the dark cloud of those gloomy twins dispelled.

It feels good!


And it's almost tempting enough to start sharing the news, declaring my happiness to the world. . .


Almost.


(Maybe for my birthday?)


In the meantime, I'm only 4 weeks pregnant, but I feel like I look like I'm 4 months.
True story.

~Nichole

12.13.2011

In Remembrance

October 3, 2011



Yawn. Yawn. Yaaaawwwwwn. Yawn. YAWN!

Oh yes, I remember: There is a wide black chasm of fatigue that lives behind my eyes. Most days, I teeter on the edge of it, trying not to fall in. When, by chance, I lose my footing, I fall deeply. When I awake, it is only because I have been yanked back up to the top, and set back on that slippery rim, not because the journey has yielded up its rest.


Burping up toast I had for breakfast. Sweets that turn my stomach.

Oh yes, I remember: I set a resolve in my head to eat more healthfully this time around, to fight the whim and pull of cravings, to spend much less face time with Sonic chili dogs and burritos and chalupas from Taco Hell. Then, during times of hunger, my stomach starts to prickle and sour and get all tetchy, demanding only what is both safe and appetizing.


The truest sense of surreality.

Oh yes, I remember: “I am pregnant! I am pregnant! I am Pregnant!” my mind says over and over to no one in particular. Every once in a while, an excited, hopeful flutter rises up inside my chest, flapping against my heart. Innocent hope forever tainted by loss, the suddenness and exhilaration of the feeling startles me. I tamp it down, stomp on it, really, until it slinks to the bottom in an unmoving lump.

~Nichole

12.12.2011

TWW: Shocker


September 29, 2011


Yesterday I attended a wellness event at work. Our healthcare provider came and did a Know Your Numbers event (blood pressure, body fat, BMI, cholesterol, etc.)

When I was filling out the registration paperwork, I struggled over the question "Are you pregnant or suspect you may be?" I thought about it for a minute, decided a visit from AF was imminent, that October/July will be the months to watch, and definitively marked "No".

Later in the day, a staff member and I were talking over my boss's shock over my announcement that I want to go part-time next year. She said "you're not pregnant yet, are you"? and I easily answered "No" again.

So. . . here I am all ready for AF to sing like a bloody canary.

Ready for July to be our baby month. I even made a list of Reasons I Love July:
Fireworks
Homemade ice cream
Watermelon
Sparkly swimming pools
Summer tans
Barbecues
Long days
Cancerians!
And a baby?
Maybe?


Then, this morning I had the most vivid dream about a home pregnancy test. Just before I woke up, I dreamed that I had the coolest, most awesome home pregnancy test ever known to woman. It was digital and in-color (pinks and purples) and my urine sizzled when it touched the applicator and the chemical reaction climbed up the test. Then, there were double lines - one pink and one purple - and all these other sort of cool gadgety things and screens you could click through.

So, this morning, with my bbt still high at 13 dpo, and even though I fully expected AF to show up any minute now, I figured "why not? what the heck?"

I grabbed one of two Target brand hpts I have at the moment and took the test. Just as M called out "Bye! I love you! Have a good day!" and walked out the door, double lines popped up on the stick.

Um what?!?? But what about the spotting? And what about all the red? And what about how I totally stopped prog cream two days ago in anticipation of AF!!?

What-the-what?!?!?

So, of course, I started snapping pictures of the hpt, one of which went straight to M with a text that read "Your super sperm worked!"

And then, I updated my chart on TCOYF so I could see the chicky on today's column.

And then, I sat here in awe (AWE I tell you!) and full of immediate hope that it sticks!!

(And then I went to the bathroom and put some prog cream on - just for good measure!)

And then I tried and tried not to analyze and panic over every little twinge and cramp (and the red bleeding and clots that cropped up again after lunch).

And then I spent the day feeling so SO grateful.


HOORAY FOR JUNE!

~Nichole

12.11.2011

TWW: My Uterus Speaks

September 27, 2011

Pics of my kid litter my screensaver at work. Today, as I left-arrowed and right-arrowed through them like I sometimes do, two things happened with my anatomy. First, my heart said “Awwww… I miss my boy and can’t wait to get home!”. Then, my uterus responded in kind with “I want another one just like him as soon as possible!”

If resources – like time, money, and, bodily and . . . um mental health – were no object, I am convinced I would definitely try to have 4 or 5 just like him.



~Nichole

12.10.2011

TWW: A Dream


September 26, 2011



Spotting? Yeah, I got it.


But it's not over til AF sings (or so they say). (Even though I'm sure she'll be practically operatic by the end of the week.)


Last night, or very early this morning - it's difficult to know for sure - somewhere before the time my child woke up crying his head off about it still being "gark" outside and asking me to turn the "wight on" in the windows. . .


In the darkness and comfort of sleep before all that, I had a dream. I was in the hospital ready to give birth. My baby bump was tiny. Like tiny. So tiny that my poor large baby was out of room and I could see him or her moving against my skin. And it hurt a lot. Like A LOT. So, using my hands, I pushed him or her back down into the paunchy part of my belly.


And then?


I woke up.



What does it all mean?



~Nichole

12.09.2011

TWW: Ugh.

September 25, 2011

Here's how you know you're smack in the middle of a two-week wait:

~Your husband tells you he prayed your "womb will be fertile and healthy".
~You have a flaring frustration at fertility forums that are not user-friendly enough for you to post something cathartic in your time of need.
~You are watching every little sign and trying to identify the precise moment you might become pregnant.
~You are thrilled just to have made it to 9dpo without the usual spotting, etc.
~You have yourself convinced it wouldn't be as scary as you think it might be to have a Gemini.
~When you wake up to a lower bbt and bright red blood, you feel disappointed knowing that AF is probably imminent, but happy because it means you can order OPKs and HPTs from the internet.

* September doesn't look like it's going to be our month. I think my TWW will end tomorrow-ish. I'm not too bummed, since next month was our target month anyway. Besides, July babies rock!

~Nichole

12.08.2011

TWW: Acronyms

September 22, 2011

You have no idea the learning curve involved with surfing sites about all things pregnancy/trying to conceive/etc. Or maybe you do?

Either way, here's a handy dandy guide to fertility forum acronyms (it might help you navigate future posts here):

TWW/2WW: 2 Week Wait (from ovulation until pregnancy test)
AF: Aunt Flo, Period, or Menstrual cycle
BBT: Basal Body Temperature
BD: Baby Dance (sex) [I hate this term and will probably never use it]
BFN: Big Fat Negative (pregnancy test)
BFP: Big Fat Positive (pregnancy test)
CD: Cycle Day
CF: Cervical Fluid
DPO: Days pas ovulation
FMU: First morning urine
FRER: First Response Early Result (brand name pregnancy test)
FXd: Fingers Crossed
hCG, HCG: Human Chorionic Gonadotropin
HPT: Home Pregnancy Test
IC: Internet cheapie (pregnancy tests ordered off internet)
LH: Luteinizing Hormone
LMP: Last Menstrual Period (start date)
LP: Luteal Phase
LPD: Luteal-Phase Defect
MC, m/c: Miscarriage
O, OV: Ovulation
OPK: Ovulation Predictor Kit
OPT: Ovulation Predictor Test
Prog: Progesterone
PG: Pregnant
POAS: Pee on a stick (i.e. pregnancy test)
RE: Reproductive endocrinologist
Squinter: pregnancy test you squint at to see if + or not
TTC: Trying to conceive
WTO: Waiting to ovulate


~Nichole

12.07.2011

TWW: Day by Day

At 5 days past ovulation, after the last few months I've had, I'm thrilled just not to be spotting.

I have no idea if this is "my month" or not, but it seems to me that a full month of taking 100 mg of B6 every day has helped. I am also on day 5 of progesterone cream, but I have no idea what that's doing, if anything.

I'm spending way too much time lurking on TWW boards, etc. It's all quite ridiculous, really.





I feel crampy generally, but since I have no idea what's normal and what's not at this point in terms of my cycle, I am reluctant to get my hopes up.





Well, I sort of get my hopes up, because the getting pregnant is always the easiest part for me. Whenever we've aimed-shot-fired (oh, and that one time when we were not trying), I've usually gotten pregnant right away. [Except that other one time when we were trying after the miscarriage and I got pregnant in February instead of January.]





Then, with my hopes all up, I bring them crashing down by reminding myself that I've been pregnant twice before when it resulted only in lots of heartache.





But mostly, I try to avoid thinking all that. [I also try to avoid thinking about all the women on these boards who've been trying to conceive for almost a year, so, there you go.]





Morale of the story is: I am thankful for a somewhat normal cycle, and mostly, I am hopeful.



~Nichole

12.06.2011

TWW: A Waiting Song

September 15, 2011
Too bad I can't be like Phoebe "The doctor says it takes a couple days, but my body's always been a little faster than Western medicine" Buffay and know right away.

I have to do the two-week wait (also known around these parts as the TWW) like everyone else.

So, here's a song to entertain us all while I wait:

"Are you in there little fetus?
In nine months will you come greet us?
I will . . . buy you some Adidas."


~Nichole

12.05.2011

Wack-a-Do

September 14, 2011

Hey there! How’s it going?


Good. You?

Good! Not looking forward to a two-week wait. Lol.

2 weeks for what? A test?

Or spotting, bleeding, midnight peeing, sore boobs, phantom symptoms or none at all . . . it’s two weeks of a special brand of illness.

I’ll cross my fingers for ya!

Thanks!



~Nichole

"May you be in love every day for the next 20,000 days. And out of that love, remake a world." -Ray Bradbury