Surprise

I tried to conceive for over three years. For some this isn’t that long,  but for me it was a very dark period in my life. There were days of constant tears, isolation, and depression. The doctors told me that it would be hard for me to conceive without the help of IVF. After researching every fertility clinic in my area, we finally chose one in Mexico. We couldn’t afford treatment in the U.S.

It worked. I was ecstatic. Seeing Eli’s heartbeat on the monitor at 6.5 weeks was one of the best days of my life. I left the clinic walking on air.

My pregnancy turned into high risk, but this was okay in many ways because I got to have weekly ultrasounds. For a scared mama afraid of pregnancy loss those ultrasounds gave me a life line. Eli arrived full of vigor and sweetness. After 26 hours of labor and then a cesarean they placed him on my chest and our eyes connected. The second best day of my life. Fast forward 7 months and the little guy is thriving. Well, he did start daycare and has been sick constantly for 1 month. But this is building his immune system. Or this is what I keep telling myself because nonstop illness in an infant is rough. I’m a master at the rectal thermometer and snot sucker.

Also, a sick baby usually means a sick mommy and daddy. So, yes I became ill with a high temperature and nausea. Then the tiredness settled in and wouldn’t leave. I mean it wouldn’t leave. Then an idea pinged, maybe I was pregnant. No, I told myself. I’m infertile. Eli was a miracle. I pushed this thought away. I had just returned to work, lost all the baby weight, and had found myself a little bit again. The universe isn’t that cruel.

Two days later a Halo sack I had ordered for Eli arrived. I opened it and instead of sending me the blue one with cars, they sent me the pink one with flowers. I froze. You see right before I found out I was pregnant with Eli, a baby package I had sent to my friend was returned to me because I had written the wrong address.  The wrong Halo sack sent alarms bells peeling through every crevice of my body. I literally had to sit down.

Still, I procrastinated taking a test. I couldn’t be pregnant. I’m 40 years old with a limited amount of eggs, a short luteal phase, and no desire to be a mom again so quickly. Yes, that’s true. I always knew that I wanted two but after having one, I know how much work it is and how much it takes to be a mom.

I found myself peeing on a stick, placing it on the counter, pressing start on the timer, and walking away. Memories flooded of doing the very same thing months before and not being able to tear my eyes away from the blinking light. The timer went off.

I am pregnant.

Yes, that’s right. The woman who thought she could never conceive without the help of science was pregnant without even trying and shocked to her core. I still am. I haven’t been able to wrap my mind around it. I’m freaking out. How did this happen? The only thing I can figure is I’m the healthiest I’ve ever been. I joined Weight Watchers in December and the program is all about healthy eating. I don’t consume sugar, caffeine, or alcohol. I eat a lot of fruits and vegetables, nuts, and lean meats and fish. I exercise almost every day. I really took on the idea that all the exercise you really need is 22 minutes a day.

Still, I’m in shock. I know there are those who have struggled endlessly with fertility who would love to be in my shoes. Or those who have struggled and want a second child but cringe at the thought of going through the process again. Well, I must have activated my reproduction abilities because now I’m due to have a baby in December. IN DECEMBER! I don’t know whether to cry or jump for joy. I feel guilty about the crying part. I’m scared I won’t be able to handle another baby. I’m scared my husband will freak. And I’m tired. I feel nauseous. My house is dirty. Everything seems overwhelming.

I’m pregnant! Joyful yet scared.

 

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Staying Positive

I found that after the shock wore off, I became giddy, then fearful. Since I know what it is like to be filled with so much excitement and hope over the coming birth of a child, only to have that taken away, it can be a little hard not to worry just a little bit. Last time, I even started to pick out car seats and baby daycare at 8 weeks. Now, I’m reticent. I have told some close friends and family members, but only because they knew I was going through the IVF process. I’m still yet to blast it from the rooftops. I have to remind myself that this time I’m different, everything is different. There is a difference in how I view my body and how I view being pregnant. I have to remember to trust my body. I have to remember that I beat the odds and this wasn’t by accident. It was because I believed I could and through changing my diet and daily habits. I must remember to keep my faith and know that this child is meant to be born now.

So on the first day of the New Year in 2015 I want to usher in the day with love and positive affirmations.

2 Days Out

I’ve resisted the urge to test before the scheduled beta. I’m now 13DP3DT. Up until today it was relatively easy. Now I just want to be past this TTW. I find that I’ve turned into some sort of zombie. I’m a zombie on Christmas. My husband has commented on how quiet I’ve become. I’m a hermit zombie with no desire for human flesh.

I’ve had all kinds of symptoms that could be from the progesterone supplements, all in my zombie mind, or from the real enchilada. The two main symptoms have been intense bloating and belly cramping. Yesterday, I felt like it was the day of retrieval when balloons of embies dangled off of my overworked ovaries, waiting to be relieved of their precious cargo. I, of course, have scoured multiple fertility sites and chat rooms for success stories with off and on cramping and sharp pains. The success stories have given me hope.

But, really there is no way to know.

Eight is Enough

My husband drove carefully over the border from San Diego into TJ. We had hit some traffic, and as much as I wanted to tell him to press on the gas, I also wanted to arrive all in one piece. I had an egg retrieval to get to, and I was all bloated and ready. My nipples were saluting the president  We parked in our normal parking lot and told the attendant por dia. Once inside the clinic we waited in our usual spots in the reception. My husband went to use the bathroom and then the nurse took the opportune time to lead me to my hospital room. Before I knew it, I was undressing and wrapping myself in a hospital gown. I was worried that Cristian wasn’t there and that they would take me away before I got to say goodbye. I told the nurse I wanted to see him and she told me after she started my IV. We communicated completely in Spanish and if my anxiety hadn’t started to rise, I might have preened a little bit at my developing Spanish skills.

Eventually, once I was settled in, Cristian did find his way to me. The doctor popped in to say hello. She asked how I was feeling and then told me to do a pee. Everything starts with doing a pee, she said. She then laughed and so did I because it was true. Every time I saw her it always begins with doing a pee. This time I had an IV and a bag of saline to carry.

After the pee, I did kiss Cristian goodbye and followed the doctor into another room with a table that had the largest stirrups I have ever seen. Up until that point I actually hadn’t been nervous because in that moment seeing the stirrups and the stage light perched over it, the nervousness did settle in.  There were six people, including myself in the room: the anesthesiologist, two doctors, two nurses and me. As I was sliding onto the table, the doctor told me that pretty soon it would be like having a margarita with an extra shot on the side. I laughed again. I hadn’t realized what a great sense of humor my doctor had. The minute I had met this women wearing a tight pony tail and brown knee-length boots I knew that she was the doctor for me. But I had no idea she was funny. Perhaps, it was because our conversations have primarily consisted of cervical mucus, follicle growth, and quality of semen. It seems like there are plenty of jokes there and perhaps Chris Rock would be all up in the that stuff, but for us, this is hum drum in the realm of IVF.

I don’t remember having the margarita, but I woke up 30 minutes later, back in the recovery room. My first question was, “How many eggs did you get?” I could have been falling off a cliff and this would have been my last question. The doctor came in a few minutes later and proudly exclaimed, “Great news. We got eight eggs.” If I hadn’t been half out of it, I would have danced a follie  jig. I only had 8 follicles and we got 8 eggs. It was a complete success. Then came the bag of new drugs and ones to buy at the pharmacy. I got a shot of progesterone in the bum and off we went. The last words from the doctor were to eat a big steak later. Cristian perked up at the mention of steak. This is his favorite meal and now having been ordered by the doctor to have one, he was ecstatic.

After crossing back into the U.S. we headed for the Outback close to our house. One steak and lobster later, I was ready for sleep. I didn’t want to sleep that much because I knew I wouldn’t be able to sleep later. Boy was I wrong. I slept all day. Woke up and streamed Grey’s Anatomy on Netflix, then fell back asleep again. Sleep was my friend.

The next day the bloating is still my constant companion. My nipples are super sore, and this is what it feels like to be pregnant. The doctor called to say that 5 embies had fertilized. I had dreamt of winning 5,000 dollars at a casino. In the dream, I also held a full house with two aces. It looks like my dream had come true. So, now the waiting game. Hopefully, the transfer will be on Saturday or Monday. We will transfer 3 and freeze 2. I went to acupuncture again today and have basically spent the day watching romantic comedies (I want to keep my mood positive) and eating sweet potatoes with guacamole and cheese. It a delicious combination that I found on All Recipes. Still extremely sore and bloated but hopeful.