30 Weeks! Hallelujah!

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So 30 weeks is my self-proclaimed “safe zone” (instead of 24 weeks) and I’ve reached it! Woo hoo! I’ve got a real legit people-want-to-touch-it bump, and I feel her moving a lot now–she’s measuring 3 weeks ahead at 3lbs 11oz. I passed my glucose test (woot!) but I noticed I grew–and she grew–a lot quicker during my week of birthday sugar-loading. So I’m self-imposing a restriction, because Mr. MLACS weighed 11lbs at birth and that horrifies me. NO.

I’m totally flipping out about pretty much *everything* now that I only have (approximately) 10 weeks left. On top of that, I’m hormonal and the roller coaster of emotion is barreling down the tracks at warped speed–which is to say, I feel bat sh*t crazy and completely unable to control it. It’s a different kind of *crazy* than being on fertility drugs, because right now I feel incredibly vulnerable and I didn’t back then.

I’m in “nesting mode”, f*cking finally because I’ve been staring at these boxes and promising to unpack them for *2 months*. Well, I finally just started ripping them open and placing things in weird places and flitting from living room to kitchen to bathrooms, etc. And what we have now is…utter chaos. But it’s better than rocking-back-and-forth with anxiety and accomplishing nothing. So far I’ve just made a mess–but I have vision!

I have until Friday to un-f*ck this place so I can show it off to Mr. MLACS when he gets home. Plus, I can’t harass him to do my “hunny do” projects if I’m not throwing down myself. And I have an entire nursery worth of boxes sitting in my living room, waiting for him to assemble them into furniture. To “sweeten the pot” I hired a pooper-scooper service to come clean the puppy’s mess in the yard so he doesn’t have to. So there’s that.

I need to hire a cleaning service too, because I already can’t keep up with the house the way I want to and with baby girl coming I want it to be C-L-E-A-N all the time. Plus we’re having my baby shower here and my MIL is traveling from several states away to be here, and I always pump up the volume for guests. It’s just…there’s not a lot of cleaning services here and the prices aren’t competitive and the work is oft times mediocre, so, I haven’t hired anyone yet. Also, I don’t want to ask people for recommendations because I’m a “housewife” and the haters will hate. It was SO much easier when we lived in the Southwest. Just sayin’. E’rybody has a housekeeper there.

Are you bored yet??? Sorry…I’m feeling a little *manic* at the moment. Hence rambling.

Want some gossip???

“Myrtle” is pregnant. You remember her, right? I made those posts private but basically she was my best friend until she said things like “some people just aren’t meant to have kids”, after she’s had FIVE abortions and proclaimed she never ever ever wanted kids. Her hypocrisy on this issue and many others is astounding, so over the past year I’ve distanced myself from her. She got married in April of this year and we’ve hardly texted or facebooked and we haven’t spoken. A mutual friend’s mom slipped and told me at Thanksgiving, so I already knew (thank God I had time to process ANGER that it only took her 5 months). She announced at precisely 12 weeks–must be nice to be so arrogantly fertile. And in a passive-aggressive b*tchy move, she didn’t tell me personally before announcing. I at least told her via text just before we announced. And I sent her a Christmas card and a baby shower invitation. So *I win* for being polite to her. And really, nobody even noticed her announcement–but I “liked” it and said “congrats!” because I’m trying to keep it classy. F*ck her. I wouldn’t wish anything bad for the baby but I hope she gets really, really fat and miserable. She is so unworthy…I know God has His reasons but damn…

In other news, it sucked that Mr. MLACS was gone for the holidays and I cried ALL day on Christmas Eve. He was grouchy too and that caused friction between us, which made everything exponentially worse. We both decided that this will be our first and *last* Christmas apart. But Christmas was nice–my sister came over and gave me a ton of stuff for baby girl! And we were invited to our “framily’s” house (our Mom’s best friend) for Christmas dinner, which was full of love and good memories. Also, her daughter did IVF with donor sperm (single successful female) and it WORKED on the first round, with her one and only blastocyst! She’s having a girl ❤ And so we got to celebrate our mutual triumph over infertility 😉 How bout that?! Miracles abound.

I lived up to my name “My Life As A Case Study”, because I gave Christmas presents to: GI doctor, my GI nurse, Dr. Angel (my OB), Dr. Angel’s nurse, my main pharmacist and his 4 main techs. The pharmacist in-particular looked surprised but I shrugged and pointed out “Dude, I see YOU more than my family!” And that’s not an exaggeration–I go to the pharmacy for refills at least once per week. My sister got cash and everyone else got cards in the mail.

I hope everyone got through the holidays with minimal tears and lots of gratitude for the good things in your lives.

I hope 2015 is a magical year for ALL of us! So I’ll be cheesy and say “See you next year!”

XOXO,

MLACS

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28 Weeks: 84 Days Left: My Heart Is Full

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It’s weird, how the first half of the pregnancy seemed to go slower than molasses, and now the second half of the pregnancy is flying by.

I’m trying not to panic about the what-if’s and the if-then’s. I’m trying to enjoy every moment.

It’s not all sunshine and roses though. I’m in therapy and working on accepting and coping with the issues in my own family and Mr. MLACS’s family–for the sake of myself, my husband, and my daughter. Things that could be glossed over before are now things that must be dealt with. It’s a painful process.

And I miss my own mother. This deserves a post on it’s own but that’s not going to happen, so…she had a home daycare for 27 years until she died in 2009. She was amazing with children and devoted her life to caring for them. I’m so sad that she’ll never hold mine in her arms. It’s not fair. It’s not fair that my selfish father is alive and my selfless mother is gone. But the silver lining is that my Mother had 3 years between her terminal diagnosis and the day breast cancer claimed her life, and in those 3 years she lovingly and joyfully created keepsake boxes for my sister and I. We each have a box full of wedding items, a box full of infant items, and a box full of children items. I’ve been keeping those items and other keepsakes at our family’s home, but now that my daughter is due to arrive and my relationship with my father is over, it’s time for me to retrieve these items and close the door–literally–to my family home for the last time. All I’ll have are the memories and mementos, but no more “home” to return to. As I’ve struggled to grow my own family, my original family, which was irreparably broken when my Mother died, has crumbled.

As I prepare to welcome my daughter, I also grieve the loss of my family.

I’m trying to find peace and forgiveness. And I’m trying to focus on the wonderful family I’ve built with my husband, our pets, and soon, our daughter. We are in such a good place in our lives! We are so grateful.

So besides cleaning up my physical and emotional baggage, what have I been up to???

We’ve been doing a lot of giving this season, because financially we can this year and because we are so grateful to be expecting a child–I give to children’s charities. I also sent out nearly 100 Christmas cards, because I just love doing it (I do it every year). However, we have not put up a tree yet–hopefully today.

Mr. MLACS came home with walking pneumonia last week and had me worried sick about him, but he finally perked up (after I marched him to the doctor–worst.patient.ever.)

And thank goodness, because Friday we had big plans for a nice dinner, tickets to the Nutcracker ballet, and a night in a nice hotel. I purchased a dress, maternity pantyhose, and new shoes (booties) just for the occasion. I meticulously styled my hair and flawlessly applied my make-up. This is a big deal, considering I live in sweats, leggings, and t-shirts sans make-up.

We arrived in the city just in time for our dinner reservation (though parking made us late). The restaurant was festooned with holiday decor and bustling with people enjoying holiday dinners and holiday parties–I love to “people watch”. So I sipped merrily on my shirley temple (virgin cocktail) and soaked up the holiday cheer!

After dinner we went straight to the Nutcracker ballet and got there early enough to look around the venue (it was gorgeous) and peruse the vendor items. Every year we attend and every year I purchase ornaments. To my delight, there were a bunch of ornaments that were unlike anything I’d seen before. In particular, there was a large selection of beautifully painted and bejeweled ballerinas–they captivated me.

I looked at Mr. MLACS and said “You already know what I’m going to ask” and he chuckled and replied “You want to get more than one”, and I smiled. I selected 2 ballerinas, a pink one and a gold one, and when we paid for them I realized they were cheaper than I expected, so…I went back and bought a white one and a red one too! For my baby girl.

As the crowd started streaming in I began to notice all the little girls in their sparkly holiday dresses and shoes–this is one of my greatest joys, but last year my heart was breaking after our losses and failed IUI’s. This year I looked around and desperately hoped (but did not assume) that I would be able to take my little girl in a few years time. It’s odd that even now at 28 weeks I’m still afraid that my happiness will be stolen from me, if not now then at some point.

The ballet was magnificent–lots of talent and beautiful costumes and props. The first scene is a Christmas party full of children, and as they danced and played tears welled up in my eyes and slowly trickled down my cheeks, and these were no ordinary tears…

They were tears of joy.

It finally “hit” me that I was living one of my dreams–to take my daughter to the Nutcracker ballet! And simultaneously I worried that something bad might happen to her. And just then, she kicked me. As if to say “Mom get over it!” And I realized that although I have so much to share with her, I have so much to learn from her too. And I relaxed and enjoyed the rest of the performance.

Afterwards we checked into the nicest hotel in town, and I admired my ballerinas and reflected on our magical evening. We even had some *romantic time* for the first time in awhile. And I slept like a baby.

It now occurs to me that I have just 84 days left of life as I know it. I cannot wait to meet our daughter, but I’m nervous too. I want everything to be perfect for her–from her nursery to our families to the world we live in. That’s impossible. And sometimes I’m bewildered.

But then I think “My daughter will make the world a better place”. And then I pray to God, to thank Him for these 28 weeks with her, and to ask him for a lifetime with her. Amen.

XOXO,

MLACS

Happy Holidays @ 26 Weeks

Happy Holidays everyone!

I’d like to acknowledge that the holidays are bittersweet for RPL/IF ladies, and probably the hardest time of year to be childless or undergoing treatment–if you recall I had IUI #1 the day before Thanksgiving, then had to sneak in monitoring while cooking Thanksgiving dinner. IUI #2 took place on Christmas Eve and I had to cook Christmas dinner and sneak off for monitoring *while my MIL was visiting and I was trying to hide it from her*. Between the stress and the hormones, I felt like I was losing my mind. Last year the holidays sucked big giant donkey balls.

Obviously, this year the holidays are far less stressful, because I’m 26 weeks gestation and I’m not undergoing infertility treatment–the expense, the lying about it, the hormones making me crazy, the emotional roller coaster of it all–and I’m hopefully awaiting a baby instead of a BFP. I’m also not cooking any holiday dinners.

This year, I can breathe. I’m not afraid of the Christmas cards rolling in with pictures of everyone’s children. Not afraid of the holiday pregnancy announcements (which there have already been a few). Not dreading going to visit family and friends and having them ask “So how’s the baby making going?!” in front of a room full of people (my-so-called-friend “Myrtle” did this to me last year). Not crying at all the commercials depicting perfect families making happy memories…

And I’m beyond grateful to be where I am now.

BUT, I haven’t forgotten what it’s like for those of you who are still struggling–that includes my ladies who are going through the grueling process of adoption. I wish I could comfort each and every one of you. I wish I could fast-forward into the future and show you that you will find happiness after infertility and loss, whether you have children or remain child free–this maze of infertility is finite. Not that you can’t find happiness while going through infertility and loss, but it’s a burden and you will feel lighter when you reach a resolution.

So how am I? Hold on a sec…

*runs to the bathroom & vomits*

I’m good. Dr. Angel’s office failed to refill my Zofran (anti-nausea med) yesterday so I haven’t bothered eating breakfast, knowing it wasn’t going to stay down. But as long as I have my Zofran I manage pretty well. I’m not sure why I’m still having nausea & vomiting, but I attribute it to a couple things:

1. Heparin (my injectable blood-thinner). I recently read it causes nausea and I believe my nausea has worsened since my dose increased.

2. Mucus. Whenever I have sinus drainage I have more intense nausea & vomiting. And lately I have more drainage.

I also still have acute constipation. I won’t elaborate, except to say that I think it’s preparing me for labor.

Also, my breasts are changing and I have what I like to call “nipple cheese”. I don’t quite know what to think about it.

I’m SO hairy! It really bothers me. My body hair has gotten more coarse and harder to shave–especially my prolific “happy trail”, which is more like a “trail of tears”. I’m horrified when I think of my baby being laid on my stubbly stomach post-delivery. Facial hair also mortifies me. I tried plucking earlier in the pregnancy and it was (painful) a nice reprieve from constant shaving but this caused lots of red bumps & ingrown hairs as the hair tried to grow back. Waxing, electrolysis, and laser therapy are not options at this time. I’m screwed. Thanks, PCOS. God, I hope baby girl doesn’t inherit this from me.

But enough of the awkward stuff, onto the good stuff…

I can feel baby girl kicking pretty often now! It gives me peace of mind. Mr. MLACS comes home this Thursday & I can’t wait for him to feel her kick ❤

People like to touch my belly now–so far no strangers. Sometimes it catches me off-guard but I don’t mind as long as it’s my female friends.

A friend is throwing me a baby shower at the end of January! She has A LOT of stuff planned & several other friends are helping her–I’m excited. I love parties & I always plan my own (partially due to circumstances) so this is the first time a friend has thrown me a party & she is really going all-out!

I’m avoiding getting a pile of junk from my MIL by demanding that she only buy stuff for the baby–stuff we need. Hopefully she will comply.

I bought a dress to go see the Nutcracker ballet in the city next week–it’s an annual tradition for me (and now for Mr. MLACS, by default). We have no parties to go to (Mr. MLACS’s swanky work party is in Canada so we won’t be attending) and thus the ballet is my one opportunity to dress up for a holiday event. On most days I wear sweats or yoga pants–jeans are *formal* for me. Also, we have no plans for a “babymoon”, so this trip to the city for dinner & ballet & a night in a hotel is pretty much the last hurrah before the baby comes. And this suits me fine because I don’t want to travel before the baby comes because…

I’m overwhelmed by all the stuff we still have to do to prepare for birth and parenthood. Classes to take, things to buy, etc. Plus, I still haven’t put the house together post-move.

I find I am anxious about leaving the house and I tend to want to stay home when Mr. MLACS is off working. I actually have to force myself to call people and do things, even though I’m lonely. I can only attribute my anxiety and being anti-social to pregnancy. I hope I feel better when the baby comes. Don’t worry, I’m still seeing my counselor and she’s trained in dealing with postpartum depression, so if that’s what my recent behavior points to then I’m in good hands.

I’ve been making gluten-free holiday treats and I’ll write a post on my gluten-free baking adventures soon! The good, the bad, and the ugly.

XOXO,

MLACS