Friday, February 20, 2015

18w1d

Trigger warning: ultrasound photos

These pictures were taken at my last appointment, where they put me in my back and I passed out (so much fun).  I just wanted to share them, and sorry C is so blurry - she was probably kicking or being kicked.  At this point I almost expect them to have black eyes and calloused knuckles when the emerge!

18weeks ish

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Yesterday

This might become a little bit of a rant, I’m not going to lie. 

Yesterday there was an, ahem, altercation on twitter.  It resulted in me losing my temper, after some provocation, and telling them to fuck off.  I feel a little bit bad because I don’t usually like telling people off (other than in my head) and I believe we should all get along and be kind, especially in our community, and many of us need slack occasionally.  However, I am sick and tired of being told I haven’t ‘suffered’ or am not ‘suffering’ enough.  That attitude is poisonous and, while it’s ok to have a bad day or judge others in our heads, it’s not ok to rank others’ pain aloud (ie, on twitter).

And honestly I would agree, in a small way, that getting a BFP changes your ability to relate.  It is exciting and you can’t continue to wallow in your grief about infertility.  The infertility still hurts, it still burns, and it’s still in the back of my mind that if this BFP fails that I don’t know if I will get another.  Right now I have to focus on today, and that means mostly attempting to be relentlessly positive about my position.  I have to believe I’m going to make it and, honestly that’s terrifying too, I’m not sure how many of my twitter followers honestly want to take home 3 babies.  You know they poop and cry a lot right? 

Also, anyone who has a BFP is not going to tweet about taking injections, doing IVF, etc.  What we need now is support from those who have been there – those who have had a successful BFP after clomid/IVF/surrogacy.  And that is mostly what my tweets are about, the little worries that occur, but I follow lots of other IF tweeters and I hope I can give them small advice about the process, about what to expect, about what’s normal, and just general support.  And it’s ok if they don’t follow me back, or have me muted, I’ve been there and I understand that.

Listen, we all judge others’ positions in life, silently, in our own heads.  Often this is in the ‘I wish I could just do clomid’ or ‘I wish I could just do IVF’.  But here are some rules I think are very helpful and fall under the 'if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all' rule:

If you don’t have anything nice or constructive or sympathetic to say, don’t tweet it.  Remember we are a community in pain, no one is requiring you to follow that person (or have them unmuted). 

If a fellow tweeter offends you with a tweet – then mute or unfollow.  Unless it’s hideously offensive there’s no need to confront them.  And by hideously offensive I mean along the ‘maybe you aren’t meant to have kids’ variety, not the generally insensitive or wishful that all of us have tweeted from time to time.

Don’t tell others’ their pain or suffering isn’t important.  It’s hard to do clomid, it may be harder to do IVF, it may be even harder to do surrogacy, and it’s definitely harder to be told there’s no hope.   But telling someone ‘just wait until you have to do X’ isn’t helpful, it’s cruel.  I hope that timed intercourse or clomid works for everyone - that would be an amazing.

Remember who the enemy is folks: THE FERTILES! Now go out there and humiliate them. 

I’m kidding about that…. mostly.
And I'm honestly sorry if I offended anyone yesterday.  You all mean so much more to me than my 'real' friends.  I have grown close with some of you and we have struggled together and supported each other through it all. 

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Telling

*************TRIGGER WARNING: Bump pictures at bottom***********************
(there's no writing afterwards, so you can stop reading when you see the top of the picture)

The twist of infertility is that even when we get pregnant we are all terrified of telling anyone.  I wish I could've kept my pregnancy a secret (except from family, close friends and twitter, duh!) until I was 24 weeks.  I probably would've told my boss, but not all my other coworkers and extended friends and family. 

But even being 5'8" I have to spill the beans on my multiple pregnancy much earlier than I would've wanted.  Plus if I really end up needing to be off at 24 weeks it's not fair to not prep my workplace.  (My boss has offered work from home and I am totally interested in that eventually!)

When I've told people I've gotten some interesting responses:

Two people (one male, one female) told me about their own fertility struggles.  To me it was very sad, the woman told me how a friend once said 'well I never had a girl, so I understand how you feel not being able to have a child' and then shoved a lifelike baby doll (used for CPR) in her arms (they were at a display at the Fair, so it wasn't as weird as it sounds).  Ugh, I can't believe how many rude people there have been in this world.  For all those who are childless/childfree, she said it took her a long time, but she's at peace now.  The man told me how him and his wife tried in the 90s and she has/had endo, but the OB (!!) assured them that didn't have an affect on fertility.  I didn't really enlighten him, because I don't know that there's an upside to sharing how far treatments have come.  And I always feel bad when I run into older people who tried everything available to them.  I have so much more opportunity than they did, and even then not all of us will be able to successfully have a live baby (any way we want to do it: IVF, DE, adoption).

A couple friends have assured me about friends who had triplets successfully about 30-40 years ago.  Actually one set of triplets went to college with a 37 year old friend and were naturally conceived identical girls and a boy just like mine (well except for the 'natural' part)! It's very nice to hear that even without modern conveniences people have had triplets. 

A couple coworkers point blank asked if I did fertility treatments/IVF and I wasn't quite prepared for that.  Also, my DH's ex point blank asked and when I tried to dodge she asked again!  So my dodges are to acknowledge that I had 4 failed IVFs (but not necessarily acknowledging that this was a type of IVF at work, since I had just started there), or to say that there are only two eggs and one split (therefore making it seem more possible to have happened without treatment as fraternal twins are 'normal').  I am not ashamed of having to do IVF, and with the ex (after my DH confirmed he had told the kids about IVF) I opened up and said the issue was me and yes we had done IVF, but there wasn't really a chance of triplets. 

Of course the most common question: do identical twins or triplets run in your family?  There are actually twins in my family, but I honestly don't think there are twins in the donor's family.  The twins in my family were successfully birthed by my great-grandmother on mom's side and another around the late 1800s also in my mom's family.  This makes me hope that with modern treatment their great-granddaughter can birth giant triplets.

In these situations I try to remember that these questions are going to happen for their whole life, or maybe until they are teens and the boy looks older than his sisters, so having prepped answers helps.  I also try to remember I am an ambassador of beginning to end the stigma of infertility.  I am not open about donor eggs, part of this is that I have heard it's my babies' information now (not mine) and part is that my DH isn't as crazy about telling everybody as I am. 

A few coworkers have said I'm too calm about it, but they aren't with me when I am trying to sleep at night or worrying about contractions or trying to imagine what 3 babies are like in one house.  I mean, what are 3 babies like?  I assume a lot of crying and pooping and not sleeping.... ugh it's the sleep schedule that terrifies me.

Ok - so here's the proof that I had to move to maternity clothes at 12 weeks, and I've already switched out of my wedding rings, which makes me a little sad:

15w6d...definitely pregnant.
16weeks 5days

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award

I've been nominated for the Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award by Unpregnant Chicken, which is awesome.  I am very honored.  I am supposed to do the following when I accept:
  • Thank the blogger who nominated you, linking back to their site. (check!)
  • Put the award logo on your blog. (yeah, don't know how to)
  • Answer the ten questions the nominator has set you. (see below!)
  • Make up ten new questions for your nominees to answer. Nominate ten people. 
Well I've seen this going around and I'm too lazy to figure out who hasn't been nominated yet, so in an effort not to re-nominate other bloggers I'm not doing the last one either.  Sorry!?  Of course many blogs I love are linked in my profile as 'blogs I follow'.

1. What is your favorite book or movie and why?
My favorite movie is Das Leben der Anderen (The Lives of Others), I love it.  I don't know why this movie resonates so strongly with me.  It's about a playwright in 1984 East Germany and his Stasi monitor.  Don't read the plot, watch the movie, it's that good.  Still grateful they never remade it into English (seriously America, what is your problem with wanting to remake foreign movies!)  Honorable mention to The Black Book, oddly with the same actor from the movie above. 

I am a huge reader, but it's hard for me to have a favorite book ever.  There are books that I think are amazing, but have only read once like Eva Moves The Furniture, and books that I love and read yearly like Summers at Castle Auburn or Howl's Moving Castle

2. What did you want to be when you grew up?
It varies, I wanted to be a mom or a teacher or a pianist (I was never that good at piano, I quit after 8 years when I was 12).

3. Where would you travel if money was no object?
Back to the UK and Europe, I loved my study abroad time there and I would love to visit and see the countries again.  Also it would be fun to go with family, secretly I would love to try a Viking River Cruise...it looks so fun!

4. What do you miss most about childhood?
Being carefree, having energy, chilling with my brother (he lives two states away now).  I have odd memories though, I vividly remember looking in a mirror and worrying about how I'd look as an adult and if I'd recognize myself.  I shouldn't have worried, I look remarkably similar.

5. If you could have any fictional character for a pet who would it be?
I think I might already have one: Toothless from How to Train your Dragon, except in the form of my cat, so much less destructive and, sadly, less flyable.

6. Do you have any gross habits that you try to hide?
Not too much, I stopped chewing my nails in college and I pick my nose in the privacy of my bathroom like a normal person. 

7. Coffee, hot chocolate or tea?
Not coffee, I gave it up when I had uncontrolled panic disorder and now I usually drink tea.  I occasionally have a hot chocolate though I've cut back recently.

8. What is your favorite thing about blogging?
Seeing my blog hits....it's like crack!  I also love feedback, whether through Twitter or through blog comments.

9. What is the craziest thing you’ve ever done?
Does getting pregnant with triplets count?  Because I'm pretty sure that is it.  Oh and I put my car up on two wheels when I was a teenager, due to my ... temper.  Nothing bad happened and I wouldn't recommend it.

10. Do you have any hobbies?
I will occasionally cross stitch, I tried quilting but never followed through, and my mom tried to get me to knit and crochet.  I have scrapbooked, but just once created a photo book for my parents-in-law 50th wedding anniversary. 

I hope you feel that you know me a little better now, and don't be all judgy about the nose picking thing, we all do it.