Wednesday, June 27, 2012

A+ News and a Rite of Passage

When I started this blog, my goal was to document the challenges that came with dealing with my secondary infertility and raising a toddler. Well, I have overcome the infertility and my toddler is now a pre-schooler, but I still find myself balancing between the two. I guess I should look at this as good practice for balancing the needs of a 3 1/2 year old and a newborn. Where am I going with all of this?  

I'm not sure. I think that I'm coming to the realization that even though my treatment phase of infertility is over, it doesn't mean that my life will calm down.  Here is a rundown on the week, so far.

Monday afternoon, Mr. T and I made the very difficult decision to put our cat down. She had become agressive and had bitten twice. The final straw was when she bit Toddler T. Maddie-Cat (as Toddler T nicknamed her) developed a big problem with anxiety over the past few years. She became skittish, agressive and very anxious. We had her checked out by the vet (several times) and adopted the lifestyle of not letting her around our friends' kids or letting Toddler T be alone with her. Last, Friday morning we were both petting her and she reached over and bit him. No meow, no growl, no warning. Just a bite. We realized then, that a very anxious cat, prone to biting and terrified of most people and all animals would not be high on the adoption list at the shelter. We also realized that leaving her for months on end, in a cage, surrounded by animals seemed harsh and inhumane. With a very heavy heart, I surrendered her to the SPCA with a plan to be put down that afternoon. It was not pleasant and I felt my heart break as I passed her over to the tech. I felt even worse for Mr. T because regardless of all of her flaws, that cat loved him the most. Now, she is gone and if Toddler T asks, she is out exploring.  

Still feeling down, I answered the phone on Tuesday morning and saw LabCorp. on the caller ID. It was our genetic counselor and she was calling to review our CVS results. Tiny T has been given an A+ rating (genetically speaking). I felt an enormus weight lift from my shoulders and similar to other IF Bloggers, felt like I could really attach myself to the idea that this all may work out in the end.  I called both of our moms and passed on the good news.  

This morning at swim lessons, I even told one of the other moms that I was expecting. (I didn't just outright announce it, she asked if I had other children.) It felt normal and comfortable and easier to embrace the idea that I am going to be a mother to two children. 

With this renewed pep in my step, Toddler T and I left swim lessons and headed off to pick up lunch for our park play date. Toddler T picked a bagel with cream cheese and a larger than life cookie, I picked up a turkey wrap and headed to the register. While paying, I noticed that Toddler was showing a great amount of interest on a cabinet door, immediatly to my left. I signed my credit card receipt and told him that I was time to go. Then I heard, "Mommy, my finger is stuck." 

Ok, no need to panic. Let me check out the situation. I go and bend down and realize that he has gotten his finger stuck in the cabinet pull. It was stainless steel and looked like a very large and very tight ring around his left middle finger.  I draw apon my 7 years experience as a lifeguard and call up anything that I remember from first aid training. I try to wet his finger and shimmy it out. All this does, is cause him to scream and cry out. The clerk comes around and I ask her to get me ice and cream of any kind. His finger is swelling and I know that the ice will cause the swelling to come down and the cream should help me wiggle his finger out. I am still not panicked. I attempt both, while his cries are getting louder and more urgent. His finger begins to take on a blue-ish tint and I know that I need to step up my game. I then have visions of us going to the hospital with a cabinet door stuck to his finger, but A. I can't figure out how to get the door off the hinges and B. am not sure I'd be able to get him into a carseat with said cabinet attached. I had a vision of calling 911, but in the moment, that seemed too extreme. So, I called Mr. T.  The problem with this move was that he was 20 minutes away and couldn't quite hear me over Toddler T's crying. I handed the phone to a very nervous clerk and asked her to relay what had happened and ask him to head on over.

I then panicked (on the inside). I loudly said to the clerk, or anyone who would listen, that the door needed to come off immediatly because I needed to take my son to the hospital. All of the sudden, this young guy bends down and says, "The cabinet pull needs to come off." Yes, finally someone who seems to get it. He disappears and comes back with a drill. This was great because it was the same drill that Daddy has and it gave me the chance to talk to Toddler T about Handy Manny. This kind man, unscrewed the hinge while being super sweet to Toddler T. The clerk then disappeared and returned with an incident report and a camera. I'll admit, going over my info was the last thing I felt like doing. But I did want to get the construction worker's name.  I signed what I needed to. Called and told Mr. T to meet us at the hospital. Got some more ice, wrapped Toddler T's hand with and a towel and ice(cabinet pull still attached) and headed out to the hosptial.

The hardest part was driving and obeying traffic while Toddler T was crying in the back.  I just kept thinking, thank god this is nothing worse. We met Mr. T and quickly went back to a room. I could see that Toddler T was scared but just kept reminding him that his Mana is a nurse and this hospital is just like her hospital. Luckily, he was seen fast and with a fair amount of brute force, some tears and a firm hug from Mommy, the Physican's Assistant was able to manuver to steel ring off his finger.  The nurse came in, handed us our paperwork and said that this would be the first of many trips to the ER.  We left with an ice pack and went and got hamburgers and ice cream. 

Toddler T is now napping. The clerk just called to check on him and I was able to get the contact information for the construction worker. As far as first ER trips go, this one was fairly benign and I am most grateful for that. Seeing a perfect stranger step in and help my son, when I couldn't... that I don't even have words for.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

What a crazy week it has been!!

Two momentous events this week. 

1. I am officially 12 weeks!!!!
2. My Baby turned THREE!!!!!!

Let's recap the pregnancy week. 

I am officially wearing maternity shorts and jeans full-time. I wished I could have been one of those girls that made it to 7 months by just putting a rubber band through her button hole, but that is just not the case for me. I am much more comfortable, indeed. I also realize that full-time maternity gear encourages other people to openly ask if you are expecting. I am beginning to get comfortable with that fact too.  

I met with the nurse at my new group.  She was super nice and we spent a good part of the appointment talking about social work. Turns out, her daughter is thinking of pursuing her Master's in Social Work and was feeling torn between a state school and a private university. Since, I just finished paying off my loans last year (10 years post graduation), I encouraged the nurse to tell her daughter to find the most inexpensive, fully accredited program in the state. It's no secret that social workers aren't at the top of the pay grade. It was really nice to have an actual conversation with a health care providers about something besides infertility and lab reports. 

We then moved on to the most dreaded part of pregnancy...... weight gain. This past year has not been kind to me. Ashamed as I am, there were many a time where I had this thought... "Can't get pregnant, BUT, I can have this cookie/piece of cake/ice cream/extra serving" You get the point. I did make a push right before the last IVF cycle to lose weight, and I did. 11 pounds. Well, as soon as I lost them they came right back on. This then caused me to start this pregnancy at about 10-15 pounds heavier than with Toddler T. Because of this, the nurse recommended that I gain between 15-25 pounds. I.almost.died. I may have actually laughed a little bit. But this prompted me to go over my next concern, my previous weight gain. With Toddler T, I gained approximately 60 pounds. Maybe more. I stopped looking at the scale during the last month.  Before you all get the impression that I did nothing but, slurp big gulps and hit Taco Bell for my fourth meal. I didn't. I actually eat fairly well and have been on the petite side the majority of my life. This weight gain was real and it was hard to handle. I explained to the nurse, that while I didn't follow a perfect diet, it wasn't all due to gross negligence. 

Then we discussed Toddler T's birth weight 9lbs, 1 oz. Bigger than the average baby. Then we discussed the fact that perhaps I was missed by the glucose tolerance screening and that I should be more proactive this time. So, I will be following a no-concentrated sweets diet. It really is a common sense one, no canned fruit (Do people actually eat that outside of a school cafeteria), jelly, jam, sweetened drinks, cake, frosting, icing, ice cream or ice pops. I'll tell you right now, I'm not surviving the whole summer without the occasional ice cream or fruit pop. But I can try really hard to avoid the others.  I will also make an effort to look at what I'm eating, adding more protein and cutting back on carbs. I think between pintrest and, I'll be in a better place than last time.

I go back in two weeks for another check up and that's that. (Oh, and waiting for the CVS results next week, which may include GENDER!!!)

Now for the other event.

Toddler T is THREE!

Even though he's technically a 'pre-schooler', Toddler T is cuter and for the life of this blog, that is what he'll remain. My little boy was so excited for his birthday, it was infectious.  He would tell us all the things that he needed for a birthday party. They included, cake, a pinata, a sprinkler and presents, of course. My mom bought him the cutest shirt that said "Happy Birthday to ME!" To know Toddler T is to know that this shirt fit his personality to a T.  We had a John Deere themed party for his friends on Wednesday, his actual birthday. It was hot, but it was fun.  We included all of his requested elements, right down to a well supervised Pinata. Mr. T made fun of me for stuffing the pinata with goldfish, raisin boxes and Hershey kisses. He thought it was very underwhelming for the kids. Ok, maybe the raisins were a tad too healthy, but I balanced them out with kisses??? Right? When the party was over, Toddler T passed out and took an awesome 3 hour nap. I did not move from the couch!

You would think a party was all the excitement a 3 year old needed for one day. Mr. T and I had one more trick up our sleeves. When Mr. T came home from work there was one more present hidden under a tarp in the driveway. (It had been in hiding in Mr. T's office for the week). We called Toddler T out and told him to look under the tarp for one more surprise. Cautiously, with a nervous smile, he pulled back the tarp and stared in silence at his very own Ford F-150. Black, just like his daddy's. He has since taken to calling it his "monster truck" and asks to drive it the minute his eyes wake up in the morning. Going to bed that night, Toddler T told Mr. T that it was his best present ever. 

It seems we are all having a good week in the T household.

Monday, June 18, 2012


Today marked another important milestone for Mr. T, Tiny T and I. 

Today, I went through with the CVS testing.

I'll admit, I was nervous for the procedure and even more nervous at what the results might show. But if someone pressed me to say what was I most afraid about, Hands down, it was the through of a large needle going through my abdomen and or cervix. 

Scary, right?

Mr. T and I arrived at 1pm for our meeting with the genetic counselor. She was thorough and remarked that I had clearly done my homework on the pros and cons of the procedure. I wanted to respond that when a doctor may insert a needle through your cervix to retrieve a sample from your placenta, you start studying. But, I kept my mouth shut and smiled.  We then discussed doing a modified screening for neural tube defects. CVS will not detect spina bifidia or other neural tube defects and I was somewhat anxious that we would miss out on this screening. What we will be doing is an additional blood test at 16 weeks followed by the detailed anatomy scan at 18-20 weeks. 

We then left her office and were shown to an ultrasound room where I was NOT instructed to take everything off from the waist down. (It's the little things).  This was my first abdominal ultrasound in 15 months and it was HEAVEN.  Right before the tech began her exam, I experience a wave of full fledged, white knuckled panic. I envisioned looking up at the screen and seeing nothing. No flicker of a heartbeat, no waving of limbs, nothing. It was almost more than I could handle and I thought I might get sick. 

I exhaled as soon as I saw Tiny T, flipping around like the next member of Cirque Du Soleil.  It was a sight to see. This was also the first time that Tiny T looked more like a Tiny T and less like a bean. That was also amazing.  The tech began to spout off information, heart rate 170.  Measuring 12 weeks.  Needle will be through the abdomen. Placenta on top. I say spout, because this is exactly how it came out. Robotic. I asked if there was any concern that the baby was measuring one week ahead. Her response was "We are not changing your due date because you went through IVF." OK, so that wasn't exactly my question. I'm quite sure of the conception aspect of this pregnancy, just wanted reassurance if everything was OK. She then finished up and left. Mr. T agreed that she was frosty.

I waited for what seemed an eternity for the doctor to enter the room. The mix of anxiety, a full bladder, cold gel on my stomach and my shirt up above my ribcage started to get to me. I will say, the doctor was very warm and I felt comfortable telling him that I was getting really nervous. He promised I'd be fine. He also reassured me that there was no concern with the baby measuring a week ahead. That was good to hear. 

Now it was time to begin. I started at the popcorn ceiling and wished I was anywhere but that table. I just wanted the next 2-3 minutes to be over and fast. The tech found the placenta on the screen and the doctor poked around my stomach with his finger to pinpoint where the needle would be going in. I barely felt the needle going in, but I did feel the near immediate cramping as he pulled out the sample. Guess what? It hurt. He finished up, said that everything went perfect and to expect results in 8-10 days. The nurse then gave me my discharge instructions. No lifting. No Tylenol for 24 hrs and to call with anything concerns.

The cramping has been pretty steady throughout the day and I'm surprised by how knocked out I felt by this procedure. I can only hope and pray that Tiny T passes this first test with flying colors. 

Other than that, the beach was great and Toddler T will be 3 on Wednesday!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Exhaustion, stretchy waistbands, a new doctor, questioning looks and sunblock

A crazy pairing of words, but they sum up what I've been up too the past week and what I'm about to do next week.  Let's start with the first word;


OK, I remember being tired the first time I was pregnant. I remember eating pb&j for dinner, because the thought of cooking seemed like entirely too large of an undertaking. But this, this is ridiculous. I now count down the minutes to Toddler T's naptime, so I can drift off on the couch. While this is one way to get through the day, it is hardly helping keep my floors clean or laundry done. Even Mr. T seems surprised by my comatose like state by 9pm.  I blame exhaustion for my inability to keep up with the blog. I can read, I can comment on other's blogs.... but to type a whole entry at 8:30pm. It's just not happening. Hopefully, I will get that 2nd trimester surge of energy I read about. (Although, never experienced with Toddler T).

Stretchy Waistbands.

Something happened last week. My pants no longer zipped up. I am 9 weeks 5 days pregnant and I could not zip up my pants at 8 weeks 5 days. It was alarming. I was ashamed to need maternity pants at 12 weeks with Toddler T. But EIGHT AND A HALF WEEKS is downright embarrassing. I have been told that you will show earlier with each pregnancy, and this is my 4th pregnancy... but still. So, I tried the belly band. I hate it. I still feel like my pants are going to fall off. I tried my maternity jeans on and they are too big. After feeling like Goldilocks for a little while, I remembered the trick of putting the belly band around the maternity pants to help hold them up. AAAHHHH, Heaven. 

A New Doctor.

I graduated last week and transferred over to my new/old doctor. After a lot of thought, I realized that I did not feel comfortable going back to my previous group. I needed a fresh start after struggling through two ectopics with them. So, I asked my RE who he might recommend.  I was surprised when he recommended the group who treated my first ectopic from the ER. (The back story is, the morning I ruptured, I knew something was very. very. wrong. So, when I told Mr. T that I needed to go to the ER, I told him to go to the closest one, which was not the one my doctor was on staff at. When it was determined that I needed emergency surgery, I was treated by the in-house OB/GYN).  I was happy to see her again, under much, much better circumstances. Dr. Blonde was great in acknowledging where we had come from and was patient with my list of questions. We nailed a few things down right off the bat. I will be having a scheduled repeat c-section. I will go forward with the CVS testing. I will have increased monitoring in my last 4 weeks of pregnancy (which she explained was the norm for IVF pregnancies).  She made me feel comfortable and I'm happy I made the switch.

Questioning Looks.

See, Stretchy Waistbands. Well, if your stomach is expanding and it is difficult to button your pants, it is only normal, that people will look at your larger stomach. I've tried to conceal and I've just let it be what it is. I was taken a little by surprise when our Post Mistress said to me today. "I don't mean to be rude, but are you..." and then she pointed in a little circle gesture toward my stomach. I smiled and she gave me a big congratulations.  It is surreal to be having these conversations at 9.5 weeks pregnant. Remember, with Toddler T, our lips were sealed until 12 weeks. 


We are headed to the beach. One full week of sun, surf, ice-cream cones, hot dogs,  flip flops and lunches under the umbrella at the beach. I can't wait. I love the smell of Coppertone and I do appreciate a nice summer glow. Toddler T cannot wait to get to the beach and dig holes. (His words, not mine). I've pretty much got everything organized and may have time for a pre-vacation manicure!!!

See you in a week!