life goes on…

life does go on… whether I can keep up with it or not.

This week school is back in full swing.  Its been a busy week. And a very emotional one for me. It feels like just about everything has triggered an emotional response from me this week.

I was super stressed out by last-minute changes in plans or requests of me.
I was extra-irritated being told “you’re doing the right thing by not having kids while in school”  by someone who has no clue what just happened with me.
I was jealous when I heard a fellow student dropped out of the program before classes began.
I was overwhelmed when my teacher stopped me in the hall during our first break and said “what’s wrong? something’s wrong…” on the first day of class.
I was frustrated and upset by discussions about the future…where we will potentially move, paying off our ridiculous student loans, when I can get pregnant again…

I’m sensitive. And sad. And I feel alone in my feelings. I know Im not alone. My family and friends have been wonderful in trying to support me how they can.

Thursday I went back to the office and had my labs redrawn.  That was fun. Please make me sit and wait a long time in a small waiting room with pregnant women. My midwife called today and told me my beta hcg was 37. It needs to be less than 5.  So I will have to go back in 2 weeks to repeat it.  Which sucks. I don’t want a looming future reminder.

The next few months have a lot of challenges ahead for me. My doctoral project has to take shape.  Matt will be gone for a month. I will be doing night clinicals at the hospital with the greatest number of delivers in the nation. It’s a baby factory. Monday night brings the beginning of the rest of my life of attending births.   I will finally start my Intrapartum clinicals and my hands will be catching babies as of next week.  I am anxious and excited and hoping it’s not too much of an emotional roller-coaster for me.

quote of the week

quote-strength-persist

the week I was pregnant

that’s right. past tense.

over the weekend our little miracle slipped away.

I started cramping Thursday night, after my post.  Didn’t think much of it, cramping can be normal.  By Friday mid-day I had a little spotting… still wasn’t too worried.  But when I talked to the nurse about my lab levels on Friday afternoon, that’s when it started to unravel.  My beta hcg was 75.  low, but not conclusive of anything.  my progesterone level, was another story, it was only 2.7 (it should be >10).  the nurse told me the spiel about reasons to call if I start bleeding heavier… yada yada yada… and I started to cry. because I’m supposed to be on the other side of that conversation, not on the receiving end.

of course the CNM student I am, I wanted to know what those numbers really meant.  well, it turns out that a progesterone <10, coupled with symptoms of pain and bleeding, is nearly 96% indicative of a non-viable pregnancy. at the time, I wanted to un-read that.  but I couldn’t.  those numbers sucked, but it helped me prepare for the rest of the weekend.  so that by Saturday night, I knew.  I didn’t have to wonder.

we are sad.

it wasn’t even a full week, that I knew I was pregnant.  but it was a week that changed my life.  i knew that 15-20% of pregnancies end in miscarriage when I saw that positive pregnancy test. but i underestimated how deeply we could be affected in such a short time.  I really appreciated this quote I found online.

Sometimes love last a moment.
Sometimes love lasts a lifetime.
Sometimes a moment is a lifetime.
-anonymous

a NEW year

The new year brings new hope and the promise of new things. I was pretty down when I wrote my last post. After two and a half years, I had acknowledged that the chances of getting pregnant ‘naturally’ were slim to none. Little did I know.

It turns out “31st” time’s the charm. That’s right, I am officially pregnant. That’s so weird to say. Like for real.

Here’s a quick recap. If you are still TTC, please feel free to stop reading here. I understand!

I woke up New Year’s Eve and thought ‘huh, shouldn’t I have started by now?’ So I checked my handy iPhone app and sure enough I was a whopping one day late. I thought to myself, ‘ok let me go ahead and pee on a stick and get it out of my mind’. I completely expected it to be negative. completely. I left it on the bathroom counter and went back a few minutes later….aaannnddd then proceeded to totally freak out. Ugly-crying and all. I ran in to wake up my dear husband and we ugly-cried together.  Major freak out session people.

I feel like the last few days I have spent in shock. My hubs would randomly look at me and say ‘you’re pregnant’… so weird. I even went out and bought the really expensive (and unnecessary) digital ones that say “pregnant” just to convince myself even more that it was real!  See?

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I made an appointment with a midwife (I hadn’t found a provider I wanted since we moved towns, so I made myself be decisive and made the pragmatic choice to see the midwife whose office is literally within walking distance from our house). By the way, I don’t recommend waiting to choose an OB provider until your pregnant! What unnecessary stress!

I saw her today and really liked her. I had progesterone and hcg drawn today and will go back Monday to compare (not within the 48-72 hr window, but at least its an idea). I decided to wait to tell family until after my appointment. Even though I didn’t have an ultrasound done, it feels a little more real now. The provider part of me just thinks of the chart in my textbooks which lists positive pregnancy test under “probable” signs of pregnancy. The only “positive” signs are visualization via ultrasound or fetal heart tones. Stupid. I’m pregnant! And more than probably!

Anyway, tonight we had the pleasure of notifying our immediate family. They all live in different towns, but we came up with a fun way to tell them since we couldn’t do it in person.

We called each family member and then texted them this picture (or similar version, some said Auntie etc.) and told them to open it while on speaker phone. My husband is really good at ‘pretending’ 🙂  I was dying from suspense and he was stalling… talking about Paleo diet and books to read.   It was so fun to experience our families reactions and joy.

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Here’s some silly pictures we took.  Unfortunately the digital died and it no longer said “pregnant”  – but who cares?!

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Ebb and flow

Life’s been crazy the last few months. Full time grad school and working 2 jobs has taken its toll on me. (who would have thunk it?!)

I started seeing a counselor a while back and it’s been good. I get 50 minutes a week to vent. to work on me. to cry. to be allowed to fall apart. to help myself remember what I CAN control in my life. to be selfish. to work on my marriage.

This month marks 30 months since we started TTC. That makes 30 “no’s”. two and a half years, I’m still waiting for a “yes”… it doesn’t seem real, but it is. And although the last few months have been monopolized by school and stress, I haven’t forgotten deep down that time has kept going.

This is a month of milestones….30 months, 8 year wedding anniversary, realizing I’ve past the time frame of having a baby before I’m in my 30’s (not that there’s anything wrong with that! Just thought it would happen sooner!).

Although in the last few months I have not started down the road to infertility treatment, I have touched many many pregnant bellies, listened to countless tiny heartbeats, discussed nearly every pregnancy discomfort known…all while holding my little secret inside. Sometimes I wanted to scream, sometimes I wanted to cry. But most of the time I really loved it.

Sometimes I wonder if I was made to be a midwife. I mean I got here in a convoluted way. Someone asked me at a party last week how I chose midwifery. My spontaneous but sincere answer? “A moment of insanity” ….. But I think if I can enjoy something that would understandably cause pain, then I must be doing the right thing… Right?

self love

I cant sleep.  which sucks because I’ve been feeling under the weather and I am super stressed and I have a long day of school and entertaining guests tomorrow.

So instead of forcing my brain to quit I thought I would blog about something that has been on my mind a lot this week.

A long time ago, I was reading about some of the effects infertility has on women.  One thing I read was how women often find themselves with lower self esteem and  often don’t feel beautiful.  I didn’t fully understand this last year.  But I am realizing I understand it more now.

It’s innate in our culture that beauty is connected with the ability to procreate.  And people say that becoming a mother is beautiful.  Pregnant women “glow”.  I talked some about this in my post True Beauty.

I cognitively understand that I can still be beautiful even though I have never been pregnant.  My mind gets it.  However, my heart has maybe not caught up to my brain.  Lately I’ve been feeling self-conscious, my self-esteem certainly lacking.  I don’t feel desirable.  This might be more than just due to infertility. and by might, i mean there is.  But I’m thinking it definitely plays a part.

So I was feeling down this week and I googled “how to feel beautiful” and the following website came up.  The  “36 ways to feel absolutely beautiful” might be totally cheesy.  But maybe it might be helpful to some of you.  I am going to try to do some of these things.

 

I think I’ll start with #23 first.

 

1. Smile.

2. Remember your posture.

3. Focus on the best not the worst.

4. Be amazed at the wonder of your body.

5. Appreciate your flaws.

6. Be expressive.

7. Get excited.

8. Break a sweat.

9. Practice beautiful movement.

10. Acknowledge your inner beauty.

11. Show kindness.

12. Don’t try too hard.

13. Don’t act your age.

14. Create something.

15. Inspire others. 

16. Stop your thoughts.

17. See yourself through the eyes of a loved one.

18. Connect with the beauty of nature.

19. Listen to beautiful music.

20. Make love.

21. Wear clothes well.

22. Hug often.

23. Get enough sleep.

24. Dance.

25. Update your make-up.

26. Have a beautiful mind.

27. Stop smoking.

28. Be outgoing, even if it’s hard.

29. Do physical work.

30. Take care of your teeth.

31. Create beauty around you.

32. Cook a beautiful meal.

33. Reduce stress.

34. Exude self-confidence.

35. Dress up.

36. Express gratitude.

Numb

This week just got better. (insert heavy sarcasm here).

Just read my work email. I have to get a 2nd Rubella. This means my 3 month TTC time-out has turned into almost 6. See my post about titers and time-outs.

That wouldn’t be so bad in and of itself except it’s just another thing to add to the list this week. Here’s a quick recap.

I witnessed a couple who couldn’t conceive after multiple IVF attempts and 2 failed surrogacies be jerked around by the mother of their potential adoptive baby. Awful.

I had a handful of teen moms this week. Nuf said.

I was asked by a girl hardly in her twenties and her domestic partner how she could inseminate herself. She asked about a turkey baster. No joke.

The one person in my program who knows we are TTC missed her period and was talking about possibly being pregnant and what she would do. and this. and that. and on. and on. Really?

Another girl who was in my program is a whopping 7 weeks pregnant and came to school to announce it to everyone. Shes been married 3 months. Barf.

And you wanna know how I feel after all that? NUMB.

Is there a reset button for my life?

curveballs

I feel like I have had a lot of emotional curveballs thrown at me this week. Like a lot. Situations where the initial reaction would be ‘life just isn’t fair’. I had a meltdown this week.  It felt good.  Because even though we are still taking a break because of my Rubella vaccination, its still hard.

The good news in I have an appointment to talk to a counselor next week.  I have been thinking about seeing someone for a while.  And I finally quit talking about it and made the appointment.  I am a little apprehensive aboutt talking about TTC and infertility though.  I just don’t want to feel like I have to explain myself and why I want to be pregnant, even now.  Is that weird?

Well that’s all the time I have to write. For now….

busy body

I have kind of dropped the ball when it comes to blogging… :/

What’s  up with me?  Well, let’s see, I started 2 new jobs in the last month and school starts back in a few days and I just can’t believe my summer is over.  I like being busy, but things have been borderline crazy.

Last month I started working in L&D again.  I will be working PRN (as needed) and will probably schedule myself once a week.  But orientation is been almost full-time hours since July, and I am ready to be PRN!  I think working in L&D again has been somewhat therapeutic.  I mean there are definitely those moments where I have to catch myself from dwelling on certain thoughts.  I mean it’s not easy being the only married woman without kids.  And it’s not easy when you get the 16 y/o pregnant girl who doesn’t know how she got the STI…. really?

But mostly it is ok for me emotionally.  And there are good moments too.  Like when I get to take care of the 40 year old who is having her first child.  And I know that I have just a little more empathy now than I would have 5 years ago as a new nurse pre-TTC.

My second job is as an RA for the nursing students that live in our apartment complex.  It wont be a ton of work, and in return, we get free rent!

So anyway, I’m busy.

And still waiting.

After having to wait another 3 weeks get my Rubella, I finally got it last week. Then I was informed I might have to get a second dose in a month.  Sooooo this little time-out is becoming an ever-increasing one.  sigh.

waiting to start waiting again.

titers and time-outs

I haven’t posted much lately.  Partly because life got busy. Partly because I am avoiding things.

Today is CD2 and marks the beginning of a 3 month time-out.  This isn’t what I had planned, but based on the circumstances, its the best thing.

I recently got a new job working per diem in Labor & Delivery… it was something I wasn’t necessarily looking for, but it just worked out.  We could definitely use the money – and its good money with a completely flexible schedule that will work with school.  I am a little nervous going back to the L&D setting- praying I don’t become a hot mess.  But I am thinking it might even be good for me!

Anyway, the thing is… in order to work in a hospital, you have to be up-to-date on your vaccinations.  We’ve all had our MMR’s (measles, mumps, rubella), but occasionally our levels of immunity drop as we get older and we need boosters.  Well, I got my Rubella titer drawn for work – and guess what?  I am due.  My numbers up.

So the thing with Rubella is that you can’t be pregnant or have the chance of being pregnant because of a risk of miscarriage. The lady in Employee Health is asking me, ‘could you be pregnant?’… ‘are you trying to get pregnant?’…. awkward.  So, long story short, we agreed that once I knew for sure I wasn’t pregnant, I would go get my Rubella.

The thing is, they really don’t know how long the risk of miscarriage lasts.  After reading through the research I could find, the best recommendation is to avoid pregnancy for three months.  And in this case I guess it is better to be on the conservative side.  The lucky thing is- we shouldn’t have to try too hard to avoid getting pregnant, right?!  ha