Monday, November 30, 2015

30.5...Thankful doesn't even start...

So I'm sitting in a room working on thank you notes surrounded by my husband and fur-babies while listening to my first load of baby laundry and all the snaps clicking in the dryer.  I love it.

I'm sure this is probably becoming one of the most boring blogs on, but honestly, I'm relishing it.  It's just nice to know things are winding down.  All I have to do is grow a baby and enjoy life right now, and it's so much easier to do without the black cloud of infertility hanging over my head.  Infertility is so consuming and fills so much of your plate, that it's hard to hold it together when you try to balance it with even the little things.

I feel quite peaceful.  I mean stupid life stuff happens all the time.  For instance, my insurance rejected my RhoGHAM shot, because they think it might be cheaper to treat an infant with hemolytic anemia down the road?  Or that while I was flossing, my tooth broke. so I'm in the 'my dentist office talking to my OB's office purgatory'.  It just all seems like small potatoes.  Even now as I have final presentations and assignments looming, I'm not stressing like I probably should be, because they aren't the most important things in my life at the moment.

Pico seems to be getting so strong.  My fundus may not quite be to my ribs, but my little lamb can sure stretch out and reach under them.  I still LOVE feeling this baby move, squirm, stretch, and kick. It's seriously some of the best moments I have had in my life.

I had a wonderful shower this past weekend and was just overwhelmed with the generosity.  My in-laws also hung the chair rail in Pico's nursery.  It's all starting to come together. I think I'm waiting on one more piece of furniture, changing out the outlets, and hanging a few things on the wall to finish the nursery.  I think I have enough supplies to get through the first couple of days at home with a newborn.  It won't be totally finished until we find out if Pico is a he or a she.  I can't believe we'll be finding out around 10 weeks from now!!!

I hope everyone has had a wonderful Thanksgiving and is enjoying all the Holiday festivities looming over our heads.  I am looking forward to spending more time with my family while they still acknowledge my presence...I'm sure I'm going to go to the bottom of the priority list when Pico joins us on the outside, and I am just fine with that.  My whole family has waited so long!  In the meantime there is always trying to keep Lucifer from killing himself on Christmas ribbons and bows, Emma from opening packages, and Gaius out of the tree.  Christmas is a blast here at the Robert's!

Anywhoslebees, at 30.5 I am...

...refraining from weighing myself after 2 Thanksgiving meals and a baby shower...It feels like I've gained about 30 lbs since last week, lol
...craving, we need to ask BJ...He tells me what I'm craving, like Little Debbie Christmas Tree Cakes (that was never really a thing for my brother and I...we're  Swiss Cake Roll kind of kids), and I am like 'I am?' and then suddently we have Little Debbie Christmas Tree Cakes in our shopping cart...very strange...
...averse to cooking.  I despise it more than usual.  Not that it makes me sick, but I have a million other things that are way more important than cooking, and cereal has plenty of vitamins in it and milk has protein, so there.  Cereal for life!!!
...In love with Pico moving around when BJ talks to him/her.  It's so much fun to experience.  Ze kicked so much and so hard that BJ started calling Pico "Pele".  I'm just so in love with this little life and enjoying being able to incubate Pico for a couple more months!

Peace, Love, and Boring is the new pink,

Mary Katherine


Monday, November 23, 2015

29.6...It's MY turn!

This week has been full of wonderment at the whole pregnancy situation.  I love watching little Pico squirm around inside my belly.  All the apps and pregnancy books told me the movement would be "less violent" from this point forward.  I'm not sure what violent was, because it's the last word I would use to describe a baby moving in my tummy. I love it! If anything it's getting stronger and going on for longer periods of time.  I also still grin like an idiot and giggle.

We had our breastfeeding class last Monday, and it was good.  I feel like I had the only "Newborn" sized hard plastic doll and everyone else had a premie sized doll.  So I learned that I'm not tall enough or long waisted enough to feed a baby with rigor mortis...I mean...who doesn't need to know that? We did get a lot of useful tips.  It was a 3 hour class and about an hour into it I had this sudden realization that I was learning this for me and my baby, and boy did the tears start to well up in my eyes.  Being a nurse in women's health, I often read, listen to lectures, or take classes on how to care for other women, and I guess that was my original mindset when I first went into the class. So when it hit me that I was doing this for ME, I got a little overwhelmed with bliss.

I'm pretty sure I'm the only one in the class that cried...but if the other women only had a clue...I mean, honestly, unless you've fought this battle with infertility, it is so easy to take things like getting to attend a breastfeeding class for granted.  I'm seriously just so thrilled with everything that's happening...

As things get slightly achier and it does get more difficult to move, I hope I continue to relish this experience that was so far from being guaranteed for me.  I'm just so blessed that this little embryo has turned into this viable almost 30 week fetus.

So other than being slightly more emotional maybe...and feeling like my tummy is growing inches overnight, I'm doing swell.

At our not quite 30 week appointment yesterday, Pico and I checked out just fine.  I met with the nurse practitioner/lactation consultant.  She answered some questions and will be a great resource to have since she was a floor nurse while breastfeeding like I will be.  We also ordered my pump through my insurance, so that feels pretty legit!

Pico is doing well. Squirming ALL of the time.  Seriously, I thought babies were supposed to sleep a lot.  I've already warned Pico, that there better be more sleeping when ze magically apparates to the outside world.

I can't believe how fast time is flying.  The due date is down to 73 days away, which I'm sure is going to come and go well before Pico.  I'm hoping to have this child on the outside before Valentine's Day, but I have NO belief that I will deliver on or before my due date. To the point, I'm pretty sure I signed up to work the night before, lol.  That's just crazy talk....We've waited 5.5 years at this point... a few days more is pretty much guaranteed...

At 29.6 weeks I am...

...Up to +6 lbs...somehow I managed to gain 4 lbs in 10 days.  My scale at home is up 1.5 lbs but I weighed myself after sleeping and peeing off and on for 6 I'm hoping some of that was water weight and clothing and the doctor's office.  I've had my mini-shit fit already, and now I'm over it...kinda...
...Feeling pretty good.  The round ligament pain is back, and if I straighten up too fast from a curled up position I'm pretty sure I sprain my uterus, but overall I have very little to complain about. I'm sleeping I guess I'm more tired. But it's also winter and I tend to hibernate until the sun comes back out in late March...
...Averse to Panera Bread Company...You know what you did.
...Craving...mmm, nothing I have to have...I want watermelon, because this is the perfect season for it and all, right?!
...In love with the idea that this will be the least miserable set of holidays I've had in a very long time.  I was not thankful at all last year.  Not one bit.  I was very sad, bitter, and not apologetic for it.  I remember that feeling very well, and I hope I never lose what that anguish feels like, because it is making this year ever so much more rewarding. I hope those of you that read my blog that are still struggling understand how much I appreciate every bit of this pregnancy.  I continually pray that this is your month, your turn, your admittance into bliss.

Peace, Love, and Feeling Very Grateful,

Mary Katherine

Friday, November 13, 2015

28.2...Holy Third Trimester, Batman!

We made it!!!

I feel a little bit more confident in things right now.  I love, love, love feeling Pico dance around, and watch my tummy change shapes.  It's hard to deny that this is actually happening anymore.  BJ and I will be having a child...that's coming out of my uterus...that grew there...It still blows my mind.  I am just so thankful to live in a time that this is possible.  I may still grow up to be a crazy cat/dog lady, but at least I'll have a husband and child/ren to damper the stereotype.

I'm actually "enjoying" pregnancy right now.  With all the movement, I'm not living in constant fear that Pico is in trouble.  It's been a huge burden that I don't think I even noticed until it was gone.  Of course I'm already reading things about full-term stillbirths, because, as I've always said, I am first and foremost a crazy REI patient.  But everytime I get a little worried, Pico kicks me as if to say, "Chill out, I got this"... Clearly this is a strong little tyke...because Lord knows I have had very little to do with any of this except be a hospitable host.

Pico and I had our 28 week appointment, and things went well.  It was our first OB appointment that didn't include an ultrasound.  Seriously... we've had 14 ultrasounds so far with this pregnancy. It was nice to kinda be "normal"...not that we've not been in a normal category since I graduated to Dr. Bullen's office, but there was just something nice to finally have that pop-in, pop-out kind of appointment that you get when you are "normal".  But holy crap, we're to the point I have to go every 2 weeks already?!  Anyway, Pico measured "perfectly" and the heart rate was probably in the 130s if I had to guess.  I also got my Rhogham shot since I'm Rh negative and we don't know what Pico is.

Honestly, since hiring a doula and thinking about birthing, I've even been a little sad about not being pregnant.  [My mother just spilled her coffee on her computer reading that].  I mean, things are weird. I get short of breath after I eat...because I have to make a decision between having something in my stomach or room to fill my lungs.  I'm a little tired.  Oh, and my boobs are acting up again...I would like to thank the inventor of sports bras, without which this pregnancy would have been a nightmare. I did buy some nursing bras (they're stretchy) and one has 3 hooks.  This is a major accomplishment for females in my family...

I'm also constantly being reminded that I am pregnant in East Tennessee.  I grew up in Appalachia and my one stereotype that I live up to (that I acknowledge, anyway) is my hatred of wearing shoes at home.  Really, I think it's a gymnastics thing...I like to feel the ground I'm walking on...So basically I'm Agador from the Birdcage...Anyway, BJ finally has his barefoot and pregnant wife, just so happens she's not in the kitchen unless she's "making" a bowl of cereal.  Even better, when I'm out and about, people say and do the damndest things...

Exhibit A:
"Honey, I don't mean to offend you, but are you pregnant or are you fat?  I didn't want to make you mad."

Exhibit B:
Location: grocery store produce aisle
Action:  Random, strange woman puts hand on my belly
Response:  Blink at her as I try to find the happy place my cats go to when I hold them against their will.

Exhibit C:
"Are you pregnant?"
ME - Yes
"I bet your boss is mad at you."
ME - I didn't ask her permission, thanks.

Exhibit D:
"Hey, are you pregnant?"
Me- Yes
"Do you know what you're having?"
Me - No, we did not find out.
Pregnant Pause...."Is that cuz you're gonna give it [the baby] up?"
Me - Develop hernia trying not to laugh. "Um, no."

Hopefully, I'll have more of these to add, but I find it hilarious...well, not the touching.

BJ and I have a breast feeding class this Monday, and I'm excited and terrified at the same time.  It blows my mind that I'll have to feed something that doesn't have fur and a least a tail didn't show up on the US...but we'll love Pico even if ze does.  Anyway, hopefully it will be good, and I won't be clueless about it when Pico comes to the outside world.

So at 28.2 weeks I am...
...up 2 lbs...I don't know how, but I think I am learning that maybe I need to care less about what I eat when I'm not pregnant because I don't seem to be doing too bad of a job when I'm not micromanaging everything.
...craving...Boost...not really craving it, but as it gets a bit more uncomfortable to have food in my belly, I think I'm gonna invest in some of these so Pico doesn't have to live off Fruit Loops, Lucky Charms, and Mini-Wheats...
...averse to nothing in particular...
...feeling Braxton Hicks Contractions like a champ when I'm up and moving and probably not drinking enough...They aren't painful at all, so I don't get all that uptight about it...I just sit when I can, and I'm going to try to do better about drinking more. I also notice them when I have to pee. love with this whole process.  I did not really enjoy my first trimester because it just felt like a 13 week anxiety attack, to no fault of the pregnancy itself. It was all in my head.  But right now, I'm able to enjoy and appreciate this process.  I'm such a huge advocate for egg donation which honestly felt like admitting to my failure as a woman when it was first mentioned.  I couldn't imagine doing this any other way now.  I am honestly just thrilled to get the chance to experience pregnancy, and control for some of things I was most scared of losing control over.  I love talking, reading, and playing music for this baby in my belly. I absolutely adore the way Pico wakes up and kicks for BJ's voice, too. It makes me swoon a little bit. :)

Peace, Love, and Probably Keeping It,

Mary Katherine

Sunday, November 8, 2015

27.4...Such Blessings (except, not Panera)

It has been a wonderful week full of new aches and pains, and I feel so blessed to have them!

I am trying to be better about putting my feet up when possible, because I definintely have some swelling stuff going on...still mostly in my left leg.  I get cramps in my left calf almost nightly. The other night, my calf would cramp, I'd try to pull my toes back, and then my shin muscle would cramp, so I'd point my toe, but then my calf would cramp again, and on and on.... It hurt so bad, but was so ridiculous at the same time, all I could do was laugh.  It went on for longer than I appreciated, so I had to get up and walk around which did resolve it. It was a doozy enough of a cramp that my leg is sore 2 days later, though.

With the swelling, my compartment syndrome comes back and causes me to have drop foot. (I can't pull my toes up when I walk...but it's fine, I used to try to vault like that!) I even get it on the add that to being a natural-born klutz, and I think I've stumbled around more than I've walked this week, but I have remained upright thanks to my ever-graceful, gymnastics/ninja skills.

My belly seems to be growing by leaps and bounds...I can feel kicks almost at my rib cage level.  It still makes me grin like an idiot.  I feel all that stretching in my hips and abs, too.  It was funny, at Target today in the checkout, there were 3 magazines touting flatter abs or "Get Your Best Abs Now", I've never loved my abdomen as much as I do right now, so pfft, you can have your flat ones...I've got Pico abs!

I'm really enjoying yoga...I may sleep for parts of the class, but the instructor never says anything. Pico loves the big position changes and just squirms away.  Pico also really likes Savasana, which is supposed to be calm time, but I keep getting the giggles because my belly is dancing without me.  It's hard to do a good semi-reclining corpse pose while your belly bounces from side to side without your control.

We were also blessed to have our first baby shower.  It was just a few close friends.  BJ played and played with our hosts' 1 and 4 year-old daughters. Pico, you are so lucky.  It still melts my heart to see BJ with children.  It was really hard to watch when we weren't sure if children were ever going to be in our future, because I felt like I was taking someone who would make an amazing father out the line-up.

Meanwhile, I was all like, 'What?! You don't want your 1 year-old to eat half of my cupcake?!'

As you can tell, I'm a little behind the curve ball...and actually, I've not got a lot of baby experience in general. The only diaper I changed in recent history was my god son's diaper...the rest of my diaper changing repertoire has been on hospitalized octogenarians.  I've put the first diaper on brand new babies, but that's pretty easy.  It's a surprise attack, and they don't know what's happening.  It's hitting me that after about the first 2 hours, I'm not sure what happens to babies. Do elves come?  Do they start talking just to you, so you can figure out what they need? Do they purr and then bite you when you've stayed in bed too long and they are hungry?  BJ and I are both the babies of our family so he's not got any experience either.  He's never changed a diaper, but I figure if he can diaper our cat Lucifer, he should be set.  Oh Lufie...Here sweet kitty!!!

Anyway, we had a glorious time and got some cute things for Pico and/or Emma.  My parents got Pico the little gym thing that you put babies on and you can have toys dangle over them, or just let them rest on the padded surface.  I'm realizing pretty quickly, that Emma Grace may have needed more boundaries because it sorta could pass as a dog bed...but we were so hopelessly infertile when we adopted Emma.  Pico got his/her first stuffed animal, and Emma is pretty sure it's hers.  I mean, she's the only one with stuffed animals in the house, so why wouldn't it be?  She enjoys smelling all the new things, and sticks her nose on my belly a lot, but that doesn't mean she doesn't think all of this stuff is for her.  We watched Lucifer jump in the crib and start playing with the that may not last very long, but if you've grown up sharing a house with cats and dogs, you learn pretty quickly that nice things are just not in your cards.  I mean, I played with headless chewed up Barbie's, and I survived to be reasonably well-rounded...

As we round the corner to the third trimester, I realized this baby is going to come out of my body someway, somehow.  I've read a couple of books on breastfeeding and birthing, but we haven't signed up for childbirth classes because of our crazy schedules. And the more I read, the more I'm like, I can't just go in and let things happen to me.  So I've talked to a couple of doulas, and I'm pretty intent on hiring one.  BJ's birth plan is for the baby to be on the outside one day ideally not requiring him to look, see, hear, or touch anything that might be seen on a National Geographic documentary or a 90s health class video.  My mom and I mutually agree that she will not be in the birth room, so that leaves me...and I decided I need a support person, hence the doula.  

I'm still not sure I want to write anything down as far as a birth plan.  I have the nurse-curse to consider, lol.  (Where if anything can go wrong, it especially will, because you are in the medical profession and statistics don't apply to you.) So I'm afraid if I write something down, it will be signing my fate to a stat cesarean delivery.  Honestly, if that's what it takes to get Pico here safely, then I'm all for it. I just know from my profession, that it's a damned if you do thing with birth plans, but also can be damned if you don't.

We still have so much to look forward to between now and February.  I see Dr. Bullen this week for my 28 week appointment.  We have the holidays to look forward, too. I'm still enjoying my life as a night shift nurse so much more than I did on day shift.  I've got to finish up my first quarter of graduate school take #4. BJ is having minor surgery on his nose and throat because he loves me and doesn't want to be the reason I end up on the TV show, Snapped! for murdering him for snoring. Oh, and one last Christmas where Santa will come for ME!

So anywhoselbees, at 27.4 weeks I am...

...never weighing myself again, because ignorance is bliss...and I'm chicken shit.
...craving...ok, I still would like to have French Onion Soup from Panera.  It has faded and come back, but definitely would like to have some.  I make a date to go there, and we miss it because we are running late.  I attempt to go again this evening, and apparently, Sunday is the one day of the week they don't have French Onion, I just need to not want things ever again...
...averse to Panera Bread and your hostile soup schedule...honestly, I feel like Adele in her new've so let me down...We used to have a working relationship, and now I'm all like "Hello?!"
...Feeling achy, stretchy, crampy, and blessed to have such an awesome reason to feel that way.  Pico, I'll ache, cramp and swell for you, any time.  You just keep dancing, baby!!!

Peace, Love, and Prayers for the Panera French Onion Soup Nazis,
Mary Katherine

Monday, November 2, 2015

26.5 and Grooving

So Pico started kicking and moving like a crazy baby when BJ started talking to zym this week.  I cried.  It's seriously the most beautiful thing.  As much as I can't wait (but I will, Pico, so don't get too excited) to hold this baby in my arms, I can't wait to see BJ holding our baby.

Men don't get a lot of credit for dealing with infertility.  They soldier on, pretend for your sake that another failed cycle is no big deal, and are expected to remain stoic.  We get frustrated because of their "lack of caring", but I promise, it's just the opposite.  BJ's had some true moments of heartbreak and sacrifices enough of himself to only have those moments when he knew I was doing okay.  BJ has been just as devastated as I have been, but for the sake of us, he's had to put his brave face on much faster because I couldn't.

So when little Pico gets placed in BJ's arms...that will be such a beautiful moment.  I expect there to be Real Man tears.  I know I'm going to be a hot mess, but I bet BJ will be, too. Hopefully they don't call DCS because the child has 2 loons for parents.  I expect that if I don't breastfeed, I may not get to hold our baby again!  He's going to be such an awesome father.  This child is so very blessed.

This week has been a lot of work, sleep, write, repeat, but hopefully things will calm down for a bit. Our dresser for our nursery came, and I put the first couple of outfits in it. I even bought Dreft, but I don't quite have enough to start a load yet.  It's sad when you are excited about laundry, but I'm pretty damn excited. We still have quite a bit to do... Chair rail, outlet covers, couple more pieces of furniture...but it's coming together, and it's for OUR BABY!!!

I think I can feel individual parts of Pico move now, like I can feel each foot kick me.  I LOVE IT! When I'm trying to settle in for a nap and Pico gets all excited, I can't help but just smile like a goober.  My cat, Gaius, bee-lines for my belly, and Pico loves to try to kick him off.  The first time, Gaius hissed at me, but now he seems to be in a battle of will.  Gaius, you better remember this the first time your tail gets yanked!  But all this moving has definitely ended my obession with needing to hear heart tones...Not that I don't still listen, but it's more out of fun than anything.

Despite working more, I've felt a little clue...maybe I really was trying to fight off a cold.  I also started sleeping a little better after working all night.  Hours will have passed instead of 45 minutes, so that's probably been the best thing.

Middle of next week will be the start of the third trimester for Pico and me!!!  THIS IS JUST CRAZY! How did this happen???  We need to get on the childbirth class thing... All I learned from Ina May Gaskin's book was that, indeed, no woman has ever been split in half while giving that's good to know...other than that, I know it's probably not going to feel the best.

I know I'm not going to write down a birth plan...that's just asking for everything to go wrong. The plan is to have a breathing mother with a breathing baby in her arms.  The rest is kinda open to discussion, and I have time to think about it...

So at 26 plus weeks, I'm...

...not weighing myself this week...ignorance is bliss.
...craving nothing in particular...
...averse to a lot of food on my plate at once... I'm dreading Thanksgiving...
...feeling fabulous.  Enjoying the dance recitals going on in my belly! love with oversized, loose cotton PJs...they are my jam.

Peace, Love, and Happy Daddies,

Mary Katherine