Sunday, October 23, 2011

Four months old

I have no idea if anyone is even still checking my blog since I am such a terrible blogger. Even if anyone was checking up on me they would be disappointed to see that I only post every few months! Regardless, I still like to post when I get the chance even if it is just a record for me of these times in my life. Also, I still check in on the women that have posted comments or follow my blog semi-regularly to see how everyone else out there is doing (I try to comment when I can, but I am usually on my iphone).

As the title of this post states, my sweet daughter will be four months old this week!!! I can't believe it. Really - four months???? Four months of pregnancy felt like an eternity, yet four months with my daughter has flown by. Four months also means I am one-third of the way through my year of maternity leave. Heehee - not that I am complaining, since I know from reading other blogs, one year is a real blessing.

Our daughter is doing so well, she is getting tall (long is really more appropriate) and is about 15.5 pounds. She will out-grow me some day, taking after my husband more likely (who is 6'1", I'm 5'2"). She loves to try and stand and sit up, she is so strong. When I feel particularly emotional, I often attribute her strength back to her beginnings as a strong little follicle/sperm, embryo and then fetus. She was our little survivor.

What else can I say about her except that she fills my life with so much joy and is the love of my life. She smiles and laughs now, and when I wake up in the morning I often find her awake in her crib and when she sees me her eyes light up and she smiles at me with her whole face. It is the most incredible feeling.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Better late than never

I have now been a mom for one month! I still can't believe that I am a mom, yet it is now my biggest and most important role in life, and it is also a role that I love more than I ever would have thought.

My darling daughter was born via a scheduled c-section at the end of June. She was in a breech position and my doctor felt she would move if she wanted to and decided not to try to entice her to turn. As it turns out, the cord was wrapped around her neck, so she was smart enough not to try to turn around inside me.

A scheduled c-section feels somewhat like checking into a hotel. The morning of, hubby and I took the dog for a walk, took some "before" photos, finished packing bags, and called a cab to calmly take us to the hospital.

Knowing I was going to be having major surgery (and be awake through it) AND meeting my daughter in just a few hours was so overwhelming and I tried my best not to let my nerves get the best of me. I'd like to think I handled the whole experience fairly well, even the spinal block which I had been dreading. I managed to convince the anasthesiologist to let my husband be with me while I got the spinal block by telling them I was worried about my anxiety and possibly fainting. All in all, I wasn't the difficult patient I thought I might be - and I am very proud of myself.

My time in the hospital feels like a blur now, and at the time was very surreal - doctors, nurses and administrators coming in and out of my room all day long, new moms and dads wandering the halls like zombies at all hours of the night, and crying babies all around. My memory of those three days is somewhat hazy.

Everyone told me that you lose all modesty at the hospital but I didn't really believe them. I brought my nursing bra, nursing top and nursing cover to the hospital with me thinking I would discretely breastfeed while chatting with visitors. How wrong I was!! By the time I left I was whipping out my boobs in front of anyone and everyone, I didn't care if the man who brought my meals saw my nipples. At one point, my nurse literally milked me like a cow to get less than a teaspoon of colostrum and I just lay back and let her do it. I think my husband thought it was pretty bizarre, and we still laugh about it.

Learning how to breastfeed was quite challenging, but so far has been one of the most rewarding things I have ever done and been lucky enough to be able to do. I am still in awe that I am able to do it, especially because for so long my body did not do what I thought it should be doing naturally (getting pregnant) and now it finally is.

My milk came in on my first day home from the hospital and boy was that scary! My breasts were huge, hard, and hot. My daughter would not latch because they were so big and tight. I had not been able to hand express milk since I am a bit squeamish about squeezing my breasts, but my darling husband finally just grabbed them and said "I think this is how the nurses did it" and expressed just enough milk to soften my boobs and make it possible for our daughter to eat. I still can't believe how great my hubby has been - the love I see in his eyes for our daughter makes me love him more than I ever thought possible.

When we were leaving the hospital and had our daughter packed into her car seat, I couldn't stop crying. I was crying with joy and disbelief at how lucky we have been to finally be able to have a child. I was crying because I realized how different my life would be if our IVF had not worked. I was crying because my life is now so different, but exactly what I wanted for years. The nurse that discharged me saw me crying and said "oh, it's just the baby blues". I tried to tell her that they were tears of joy, but it didn't seem like she believed me, probably because postpartum depression is very common. There was no way to convince her that I was not sad or scared and there was no way for her to know what we had been through to bring her into the world or what I was feeling at that moment. This seemed like a fitting "end" to that part of my life, because as anyone going through infertility knows, only those who have also experienced it can understand the emotional roller coaster that it takes you on. I still feel the pain of those those in my real life as well as those from this online world who are still struggling with infertility and wish them all the happiness by whatever means.

My daughter is so beautiful she breaks my heart, and was most certainly worth the wait and pain I experienced over the last few years. That life feels so long ago, almost like a dream.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

32 weeks

I really can't believe I am at 32 weeks now. Almost 2 months have gone by since my last post, and I don't know where the time has gone. Actually, the time has gone quickly because our lives are so crazy now. We recently moved into a new house - we purchased it just days after getting the positive pregnancy test. We were renting a 1-bedroom apartment and we decided that this was the push to buy the house we had been thinking of buying.

The nursery is the only room in ths house we haven't touched yet. Not for lack of wanting to, just because we figured it could wait until we get our immediate living spaces done. We'll have to paint over the next few weeks and we still need to decide on furniture. We're having a difficult time agreeing on a paint colour and a crib/dresser. We don't want to spend too much money on furniture, but we also want something nice - just simple, leaning more on the modern side. We have purchased a beautiful wall decal though - obviously, the least important item. Luckily we have our stroller which also includes a bassinet, so we plan to keep her in that in the early days.

Friends have been donating lots of items to us, which is great. Clothes, toys, cloth diapers, etc. I went to baby Gap for the first time and since I had a 40% off coupon I bought a few cute dresses and onesies for the babe.

As for how I am feeling - it varies day to day. There are some days I can barely keep my eyes open and others when I am feeling motivated. I usually take a nap as soon as I get home, which is heavenly.

The horrible symptom I am having is SWOLLEN FEET & ANKLES. I needed to capitalize that so that you understand just how intense it is. I would post a picture but it would be too gruesome. The girls at work are calling me Fred Flinstone and I have told them I am going to start charging admission to look at the freak show that is my feet. One kindly brought me a size larger flip flops - helpful around the office, but I need something to wear getting to and from work, I am a walker and still walking to work when I can (about 25 min). Even my own flip flops are tight. The hunt for comfortable, expandable shoes begins - if you have any suggestions let me know.

All that being said, I am feeling happy and excited and nervous about the next few months. I have to keep working until June 14th at the very least to qualify for benefits at work, so I am keeping my fingers crossed she stays comfortable and in-place at least until my due date - July 6th.

Let me just say again that none of this feels real. I still am amazed that I am pregnant at all, let alone having come this far. When I feel her move, or see her elbow, bum, etc. sticking out of my stomach I am in awe - and whether its the hormones or not, I still tear up when I think about how lucky we have been.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Week 24 update

Things are going well with the pregnancy – I know I am lucky in this regard. Lucky that my first IVF worked and lucky that my pregnancy symptoms have been pretty mild. My doctor's appointments have been quick, since there is nothing to discuss. She has assured us that everything is normal, normal, normal.

I still have worries of course, and when the nurse can't find the heartbeat right away, I hold my breath until I hear that sweet sound. Pregnancy is very nerve-wracking. I have been feeling her move around a lot – I don't know if its kicks, jabs or turning, but it is a strange sensation that makes me smile every time, and puts my mind at ease (somewhat).

When it comes to all of the things that come with being pregnant, I had generally considered myself a well-informed person. I have read a lot of books and websites and thought I knew (most) everything that would come my way. Lately a few other "side effects" have surprised me:
- Peeing a little when I sneeze
- Waking up to leaky breasts (stained night shirt and bed sheet)
- GAS, GAS, GAS (and not just burping)
- Cold sores

Doesn't it sound lovely??? I am in no way complaining, since I am realizing these are just par for the course – but I am feeling pretty unattractive these days. My husband is dealing well, considering.

Looking ahead - I am thinking of signing up for a Hypnobirthing course – even if I can't go totally natural, I am hoping this will put my mind at ease about labour. Anyone out there done this? Was it worth it?

Monday, February 7, 2011

almost halfway

I am now 18 weeks 6 days along. We had our second OB appointment last week and got to hear the heartbeat for the second time. It was so reassuring - it had been 4 weeks since our last appointment and my mind constantly races wondering how the little one is doing. I decided not to get a home doppler (actually my husband and Dr. talked me out of it) - that probably would have driven me pretty crazy anyway, especially if I couldn't find the heartbeat. Even the technician last week had trouble finding the heartbeat. She got it right away for a second and then kept losing it - I guess the baby is very active, I am picturing the little one spinning in circles. But of course even that made me nervous - wondering, if that baby is so active how come I can't feel anything yet? I suppose I will always find something to worry about... People online keep talking about feeling their baby move by this point, by I haven't felt anything conclusive, my Dr. said that is it is still early.

Generally, I am feeling pretty good. My belly is getting big - in the morning it is smaller, and by the evening it is huge and hard. My belly button has almost disappeared, it was pretty deep before, and every day I ask my husband to measure it with his finger. I am also starting to get a line from my belly button up to my chest.

Our "big" ultrasound is this Thursday - we find out the gender! People sometimes ask me what I want. I know it sounds cliche, but all I want is a healthy little baby. I have no gut feeling about the sex and neither does my hubby. We both guess boy but it is just for the sake of guessing. My husband had a dream about a baby boy, and that has been the only hint so far. Personally, I think it will be the opposite of whatever I think it is - that's just the way it goes.

My new job is keeping me busy - busier than I actually thought it would keep me. My hours are reasonable, but I am definitely working hard.