WARNING, GRAPHIC DESCRIPTION OF BODILY FUNCTIONS AHEAD
I suppose I’ve been lucky until now. All my nausea has been just that. A feeling of queasiness. Well, this morning it tipped the scales and I actually lost the contents of my stomach. Into a sink in a kitchen at work. And this is not the activity that you remember from bouts of the flu. Where you throw up and then feel better. This is 10 minutes of heaving until every last bit of saltine and peppermint candy and stomach acid is gone. Until tears are pouring down your face and snot is coming out of your nose and you are sweating and shaking. Now my throat is killing me and I’m still shaking and my eyes are red. I’ve swished and rinsed. I’m nursing tiny sips of water and have manged to eat another saltine. And I’m back at my desk and counting the hours until I can be back in bed. And still, no one here knows because no one heard me.
After our appointment yesterday morning, we felt it appropriate to call up the rest of our relatives and share with them the good news. Nutella had a couple of aunts to tell, who were both really excited. I had an aunt (mom’s sister) to tell whom I felt was audibly bouncing with joy and upon hanging up with me, said “I’m calling your mother right now!!!” And then, there was my grandpa. Here’s how that conversation went:
Me: Hi Grandpa? It’s [Strawberry].
Him: Oh hi, dear, how are you doing?
Me: I’m good, thanks…how are you?
Him: Oh…I’ve had better days. What’s doing, kiddo?
Me: Well, I have some news to share with you. [Nutella] is pregnant; we’re going to have a baby.
Him: (in one breath) Well how’d you do that – congratulations!
Me: …Thank you! Um… we used an anonymous sperm donor…
Him: What’s that?
Me: We used an anonymous sperm donor from a sperm bank.
Him: Ok. And [Nutella] is going to carry the baby?
Me: [Nutella] IS carrying the baby, yes. We’re about 10 weeks along.
Him: How do your mom and dad feel?
Me: Oh, they’re really excited- they can’t wait.
Him: Well that’s good. How’s everything else?
Me: Everything else is good…job’s good…
Him: Is she going to quit her job?
Him: Is [Nutella] going to quit her job?
Me (thinking, what is this, 1950?) Um, no we’re both going to continue working.
Him: Ok, well that’s great news, thanks for calling. Take care!
This morning, he called back just to talk to Nutella.
Him: Congratulations, you’re making us great grandparents, since no one else is.
Nutella: (laughing) Thank you!
Him: I think you’ll both be very good parents.
Nutella: Well thank you so much. We’ll be sure to keep you posted as we get more information.
Him: Looking forward to it. Take care.
All in all, a good reaction from someone who is pretty old school, but trying his best 🙂 I can only imagine his thinking that an “anonymous sperm donor” meant we plucked some random guy off the street lol.
First OB appointment was this morning. Ended up being very long with some not so pleasant parts, but at the end they snuck us in for a sonogram which made everything else worth it. Here’s a mostly chronological list of what happened today:
- arrive and fill out forms
- pee in a cup that I label and then put in a little compartment in the ladies room which I’m assuming opens up to the lab on the other side
- get called back to talk with the OB in her office. She could not be nicer or more inclusive of Strawberry. We are given a huge packet of info, she answers all our questions, tells us about all the screening that is available to us and how and when to have it done, gives me some further tips about controlling the nausea, and gives me an updated script for a rescue inhaler just in case I need one as the pregnancy progresses. i mention my concern that the yeast infection may still be hanging around. She agrees to go along with the 4/22/09 due date. She also promises to sneak us in for a sonogram since the RE didn’t forward those particular records.
- she escorts us to an exam room where I am told they will need to weigh me, draw blood, perform a breast and pelvic exam, and do a pap smear. I do my best to talk her out of the blood draw and the pap, but am informed that the blood stuff is state-mandated and my pap expires in November so I may as well do it now. Sigh.
- the nurse comes in and weighs me. 5 lbs weight gain so far, less than I had feared and right on track. Then the blood draw, which she does with a butterfly at our insistence. However, she has me sitting on the exam table with nowhere to rest my arm and I admit it’s a bit much for me. Next time I’ll insist on a chair with a table. It seemed to take an awfully long time, too. Strawberry informed me afterwards that this is because they took 3 whole vials. Ugh.
- the nurse leaves and I change into the sheet and we wait for the OB to return. We wait about 30min.
- the OB returns and makes chit chat while doing my breast exam. Then it’s time for the pelvic and the pap. I experience a lot of pain and pinching from the speculum. She confirms that I do still have some yeast. As the speculum is removed, I see that her fingers are rather bloody. She assures us quickly that due to the increased bloodflow of pregnancy this is common and not a cause for concern. The nurse retrieves a maxi-pad from a drawer and hands it to us. The OB tells me to resume the yeast treatment and to head to the waiting room to wait for the sono. They depart. Here’s were we get into some TMI, you can skip to the next bullet point if you like. There seems to be more than a little blood. Strawberry was alarmed at how much! We’re talking several tissues to wipe, dripping on the table paper and even a few drops onto the floor. I put on the pad and get dressed and we head to the waiting room.
- we wait. it has now been several hours since I last ate and I’m a bit shaky and very hungry. And I know that we are coming to the biggest moment of the day. The worry creeps back in. 15 minutes later, we are called in.
- the very nice sonogram tech asks for clarification on how to pronounce our last name. And then she coyly asks which of us is the patient. Bless her! I am asked to undress completely from the waist down since this will be a transvaginal ultrasound (the last one, she assures me). I comply and hop up on the table as she dims the lights. We can tell at a glance that this machine is much more high tech than the one at the RE. And we are not disappointed. It gives us a very crisp digital image of our Cupcake in profile, with clearly visible arms and legs. Measuring in at 30mm crown-rump length. We even see movement, which is astoundingly cool. And THEN, she turns on the audio. We are rewarded with the beautiful loud whoosh-whoosh of our baby’s strong 170 bpm heartbeat. Both of us get teary-eyed with joy and awe. We thank the tech profusely as she hands us each a printed picture. And then we depart.
- We get bagels and go to work. Total appointment time was 2 hours.
So, all in all a very long trying, informative, and ultimately joyful morning. We have lots of things to discuss, and some decisions to make. But for now, we are riding on the joy. We will begin to tell other family members tonight. Thanks for all of your support and comments and for following along with us on the amazing journey.
Oh, you mean you wanted to see the picture? Oh alright, here you go!
head and arm to the left, body and leg/foot to the right
You know that bit I ended my last post with, about Nutella feeling a little better? Total lie. Ok, the heartburn/reflux has eased somewhat (although it sometimes flares up unexpectedly), but the nausea has gotten worse. Apparently these are difficult weeks with lots and lots of growth. The brain and organs are all forming…Cupcake is now the size of a grape or a strawberry or whichever fruit metaphor you like best….and the uterus is the size of a grapefruit. It is totally knocking the baby mama out, although she did have a weekend of feeling good. But last night it was back to going to bed at 9pm.
We are eagerly awaiting our first OB appt on Friday morning. I would love to see the Cupcake, knowing that it would be the first time we see it looking remotely human and not the beautiful but strange blob we saw in the 7th week. Somehow I doubt that will happen. Most likely it will be “pee in a cup”, “give us your blood”, and “are you being healthy?” I am researching everything I can on my end, but I’d like to see more of our baby, not drawings or ultrasounds of other peoples’.
During the first few weeks, I kept asking Nutella two questions over and over: 1. How are you feeling? and 2. When did you last eat? Now I ask: On a scale of 1-10, how bad are the heartburn and nausea? The most recent answer was “2 and 9.” Yikes.
We went to a book reading/signing yesterday. The book is called My Miserable, Lonely, Lesbian Pregnancy. We hadn’t yet read it, but enjoyed the snippets that the author read and found her to be witty and charming. At one point, the discussion almost turned into an argument over whether or not to circ.umcise (the reading took place at the JCC and while the author is Jewish, she’s not so much into circ.umcision). Otherwise, it was a fun morning spent having brunch with a bunch of Jews, and even though we’re both Jewish, I’m usually ready to run away after a couple hours of that.
We read 60 pages out loud together later in the day. The book is a quick read, filled with acerbic humor, and we were surprised at how normal the author appeared in person when she seems so…well, crazy in the book.
Other books I’m currently working on include Dr. Spock’s Baby and Child Care, which I find to be a lovely book since it’s very down-to-earth and has been updated for the 21st century, including references to gay and lesbian families, and BabyCenter Essential Guide to Baby’s First Year, which …ick. Pregnancy is all hearts and flowers in that one, and while I appreciate them having polled “real women” to get answers to everyday questions, I can’t say the answers are particularly helpful.
Guard yourselves against The Baby Book. It is digustingly sexist, relegating the role of father to a completely secondary one and forget any mention of GLBT families (although I started reading the 1995 version and it’s been updated since then…but still).
Anyone got other recommendations?
Nutella is doing a bit better these days. The heartburn and nausea are on and off, and she finds that taking a zantac in the morning and another one at dinner keep the worst of the heartburn/reflux at bay. Whew!
9 weeks today people! And that is a wonderful thing. I am so awed and grateful and excited and happy.
Now for the whining:
I gotta be honest and tell you that I am also tired and miserable. My life has become a battle between which symptom will be worse. It’s nausea vs heartburn. I’m wearing sea bands during the day. No joke, I have bruises from them. I have purchased at least 5 different over the counter heartburn and acid remedies. Nothing really helps. Eating is a chore. I try to find the happy medium between foods that I feel won’t make me sick and foods that won’t give me heartburn. Many of the traditional remedies for one ailment makes the other worse. Right now I’m eating pretty much dairy and carbs. Sometimes meat or fruit. No veggies, no juice, absolutely no tomatoes. My pre-natal has started to bother me too, so I’m down to a chewable adult vitamin and extra folic acid.
And I’m tired. I’ve got clients at work this week which means longer than normal days for me. Also forced cheerfulness and conversation. And frequently, by the afternoon I’m ready to curl up in a ball and cry I’m so exhausted. I come home from work, change into my PJs and stay on the couch for most of the evening. In bed at 9-9:30. It’s rough and thank goodness for Strawberry and her infinite patience and sweetness.
But still, I’m so so grateful. An online friend with the same due date has been experiencing no symptoms and feels fantastic. And yet, it took her 2 years and IVF to get pregnant. Given the choice, I would certainly choose the road that I’ve got. As the cliche goes, I count my blessings.
Next up, our first pre-natal visit with the OB on Friday 9/26. We aren’t sure yet if we’ll end up delivering with the OB. I’m interested in exploring the local birth center. The only real drawback is that it’s a long 45min-1 hour drive away. Travelling there for pre-natal care will be a PITA. My OB is 10 min from my office and 15 min from Strawberry’s. Just one of the decisions that we’ll need to make in the coming months!
Just want to wish my darling Nutella the happiest of birthdays today. I couldn’t be any more grateful to have such a wonderful woman in my life and I thank my lucky stars every day for her.
For those of you that are into this sort of thing, here’s a link to my chart that resulted in pregnancy. I had a nice implantation dip at 7DPO, but note that we had to manually enter the ovulation date ourselves because based on temperatures, Fertility Friend thought I ovulated 2 days after I did (which would have made the pregnancy impossible using frozen sperm). So for me, the best indicators of ovulation were the OPK’s and CM. We did our IUI 12 hours after the positive OPK.
My FF Chart
So I’m currently at 8 weeks 1 day and still feeling like crap. Thank you all for your continued support and comments.
Ok, good news first! We saw a beautiful blob on the ultrasound with a nice, strong heartbeat of 153 bpm. Also, I am DONE with the hoo-ha bullets.
Now for the bad news. I have a raging yeast infection. Nurse Helpful cheerfully informed me that this was because I was pregnant. This has been her response to my statements of how I feel the last three times we’ve seen her. I’m certain that if I had said my big toe were swollen, she would have said the same thing. No, the infection is because of the prometrium which the RE told me to stop taking. I was dreading the transvaginal u/s, but fortuntely, the RE was very understanding and gentle. I now have a prescription to take care of the infection, and hope to feel better soon.
Ah, well, it was worth it for another glimpse at our cupcake who is now about the size of a chocolate chip.
(The static at the bottom of the picture is the fetal heartbeat)
We have an appointment later this afternoon. It should be our last ultrasound for a while so we’re anxious for it. If everything looks good, we’ll be discharged from the care of our RE to the care of our OBGYN. I’m hoping that 7 weeks, 4 days is enough to see a little blob of a cupcake now.
This weekend we enjoyed a picnic and a hike up the side of a mountain. Walking/hiking is our preferred method of exercise in these early days of pregnancy, and we figured if the pregnant lady could do it, so could our little dog!
An update will be posted either later today or tomorrow after the appt.