Monday, September 21, 2009

Update Slacking

Yes, I have been slacking lately. Put it down to nausea, tiredness and work. Not complaining - those are just the facts. To post a very quick update, I'm going to post in bullet points to make it faster. Here goes.

  • we came out of the closet to our family and some friends! The reaction of my MIL was absolutely fantastic and made up for my disappointment over the reaction from my own parents. She said that no matter what, she would be here to help us and that if she had to, she would hire someone to help at her restaurant while she took care of us. Nothing is going to stop her from coming!! She's the best. My own sister started screaming in excitement when I told her that we were expecting - I wasn't quite sure how she was going to react as I know she is quietly struggling with secondary IF herself and I know how hard "announcements" can be.
  • worked like crazy last week - I normally work in an office 15 minutes from my home as I am not crazy about commuting but last week I had to drive out to a smaller city which meant a 3 hour round trip each day for 3 days in a row.
  • commuting 3 hours/day for 3 days triggered an extreme nausea attack on my birthday (boo!) so I spent it leaned over a toilet
  • broke down and started taking the anti-nausea drug called Diclectin. This drug is only available in Canada and is made up of a combination of vitamin B6 and something else which is essentially an antihistamine. I threw up my first dose but have been able to keep subsequent doses down so I am slowly beginning to feel better. Side effects are dizziness and tiredness.
  • I wanted so much to control my nausea through more natural means but I am not putting on weight still and am at -5lbs to my pre-pregnancy weight which is starting to worry me. So, I started taking the medication. The thing too about Diclectin is that you have to take it continuously in order for it to be effective so it's not as if you can just pop a pill here and there as required.
  • shopped for the very first time in a maternity store - yikes!! What an experience that was!! We have substantially less selection here in Canada, the main store being Thyme Maternity and their stuff, while nice, is pretty pricey considering you're going to wear it for a few months. Still, I enjoyed the experience although I don't look yet like I belong. They had a specially shaped pillow you could put into your maternity pants so you could see how they would fit when you're bigger and WOW was it ever strange to see what I will look like in a few months!! However, it helped me to have a visual picture of what I will look like as I have never been able to picture that before in my mind.
  • started planning purchases for the babies - we're looking into strollers, rocking chairs and car seats and my DH is looking into getting a snow blower. We have to start car shopping too and will likely get out test driving this weekend
  • still worry about telling people although I am not over 14 weeks along. Still scared about m/c
  • had some weird spotting - a dark yellow, light caramel colour, definitely not red. Not sure if this is from the bleed we had during weeks 5-7 but will mention to the doctor tomorrow
  • had what I think are round ligament pains - these are like menstrual cramps and are caused by the stretching of your uterus and the ligaments that hold it in place. Mine were dull and achy in nature and lasted for several hours at a time accompanied by low back pain. Did it worry me - you betcha it did! They're gone today but it was bothering me Friday and Saturday for most of each day off and on.

That's it for now - a quickie!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

The Post About My Parents

Last weekend, we went over to my parents' house for dinner and to finally tell them our big news. They were pretty surprised to say the least but happy over the news. What has been bothering me is this - my parents have booked a trip and will be away from Feb 28th to March 21st. My singleton due date is March 21st but with twins, I could very easily deliver anytime in the month leading up to my due date. My parents will be away for the last three weeks before my due date which means that there is a very strong possibility that they will not be here for their birth.

Early on in our IF journey, we chose not to tell any of our parents about our decisions concerning our treatment. They all knew that we were having trouble - we were among the first to get married and years later, no children even though we have always said that we wanted kids. I also didn't want to suffer judgement from my Mom about the treatment choices we were making - she never would have agreed with the drugs that I ended up taking, the injections and definitely not the amount of money we've spent. She is of the mind set that fertility drugs = cancer but I have always said that she was never faced with the situation that I have been faced with. They know we've been to see doctors and every kind of practitioner under the sun but they don't know all of the gory details. They don't know we've done 6 IUIs. They don't know we've done 6 IVFs and they definitely don't know the real reason why we've made 4 trips to Denver in the last 12 months.

What they do know is that we have always wanted kids. I for one have always said waaaay back when I was young and naive and thought that you could simply choose to have the number of children you wanted, that I wanted to have 5 children. Yep - 5. Everyone else was saying things like 2 or 3 but I wanted 5. My parents also know that we have been trying for 7 years and last year we miscarried. They know this has been a very bumpy road for us and something not easily achieved. They know that this is something I have dreamed about since I was a little girl and that this means the world to me. I have never wanted a high powered career...but I have always wanted kids. They know this.

What upsets me is that knowing what they know, they are still choosing to go on this trip. To me, this is kind of one of those once in a lifetime events that you assume your parents are going to be at. Kind of like your wedding y'know? I thought that when I finally gave birth, they would be there, at the hospital with us to celebrate this event...but instead, they're going to be thousands of miles away. This trip on the other hand is one that runs many times every year and they would have the opportunity to go another time if they cancelled this time. We don't have a big family, just my sister and I and our two kids will be grandchildren #2 and #3 for them so it's not as if they have lots of grandchildren being born all the time. I just can't get rid of this feeling of being let down.

I've contemplated saying something to my parents but the thing is that I think my Mom would want to cancel the trip but my Dad would still want to go and this would cause a big rift between them. They both seem to have accepted that they can't get the $ back for the airfare so they've no choice but to go. I understand that this is not an insignificant amount of money to lose and I don't mean to sound flippant about it but I was still hoping that somehow they would rearrange things so that they would be here.

I should also mention that my sister, when she had her son, she specifically requested that no family visit her in the first month. They live 4 hours drive away from me and my parents so it's not like we could just drop in so we all respected her wishes and stayed away. My Mom just assumed that I would want the same thing but the difference is that my parents and I live just 5 minutes apart from one another and with two kids, I want all the help I can get!!

I am trying to accept that I cannot make choices for other people and I cannot control other peoples' actions and I need to keep focussed on what is important to us. My DH and I will celebrate this event ourselves and my BFF has already told me that nothing is going to stop her from coming to see me in the hospital. My in laws will probably come down ASAP so it will probably be okay that my parents are not there so we stagger the grandparents visits. It just makes me sad that my parents are not going to be there.

The other thing that happened when we told my parents is that my Mom keeps on trying to reassure herself that we didn't take fertility drugs. A little background information here. My Mom is a strong believer in natural remedies. About 15-20 years ago, my Dad was diagnosed with a very bad heart murmur caused by a leaky valve. His cardiologist told him that the murmur was so loud it was listening to the engine of a locomotive train. My Dad was told that eventually, he would have to have open heart surgery to repair the damage and this completely freaked out my Mom. She spent a lot of time researching and talking to people, trying to find another way to deal with this rather than having to resort to surgery. Through supplementation with something called Barley Green and an assortment of other herbal remedies, two years after his diagnosis, my Dad's cardiologist said that he could barely hear the murmur. No more leaky valve if you can believe it. Since then, my Mom believes very firmly that anything can be fixed with the right diet, exercise and supplements.

As soon as we told my parents that we were having twins, the first question out of her mouth was "Did you take fertility drugs? Because you know that always results in more than one". This really seems to matter to her. She has asked us a few times if we did or not and I always reply the same way, that yes, we had help but it's hard to say what the magic combination was in the end because we have tried everything. I am not ashamed that we did IVF but I do not want others to judge our choices. I have asked my Mom in the past to keep things to herself but she still talks about my issues with her friends under the guise that she is asking for a daughter of a "friend" of hers. Yeah, right - like her friends can't figure out that she's asking for her own daughter who has been married for 9 years and still has no kids. This is nobody else's business but ours. Is it too much to ask that the focus be put onto what is important here? We're having two babies! My parents are going to have two more beautiful grandchildren! Isn't that enough?

So, that is what has been weighing on my mind of late. I know that my DH and I are so excited about the kids and we are really looking forward to their birth in 2010. If they're born before Feb 14th, they'll be born in the Year of the Ox just like me! If they're born after Feb 14th, they'll be born in the year of the Tiger. We will celebrate and we are enjoy everying single second. Focus on what's important right?

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Graduation Day & The Big Reveal

I've been slacking I admit. I owe a few big updates so here goes.

Last Friday, I officially graduated from CCRM. I had my blood drawn for the very last time at my local clinic (the very first IF clinic I ever went to 6 long years ago), gave out Thank You cards and gifts to the nurses who had helped me along the way and then waited for the last phone call from my nurse at CCRM. My Estrogen was still off the charts and my progesterone was still way higher than it needed to be. My nurse and I spoke, she congratulated us and I said some very heartfelt "thank yous" to her. Last few times I was in Denver, I had written her a few cards and given her a few gifts since I knew I would not have the opportunity to pass something along to her in person at a later date.

I think in today's world, there are so many instances where people hear about the bad rather than the good and I wanted to make sure that I took the time to thank all the people who helped us along the way. The nurses at CCRM, the nurses at MFC, my TCM doctor and acupuncturist, the drugstore that offers a program for IVF patients that sells the meds without a markup, my family doctor who wrote out all of my scripts from CCRM without a word, my hypnotherapist, my therapist, the TCM doctor in Denver who did my acupuncture while I was cycling...there are so many people who helped us along the way and made Graduation Day possible. There are many who have refused to help us along the way but there were enough people who agreed to help us that made today possible.

And of course, there are all of you, my tangible yet intangible support system of fellow bloggers, fellow IVFers, fellow IFs, fellow CCRMers. There has been so much that I have learned from all of you and your combined insights have prompted me to ask better questions and to demand better treatment. I am so grateful to have found you all and all of your comments, support and words of encouragement have picked me up on some of my darkest days and spoke to my heart when it felt like most people around me couldn't hear me. If I haven't said this before, I am so thankful for all of you and I would hug you all and shower you with the gratitutde in my heart if I could. I only hope that I offer the same support to others that you all have given to me. YOU made a difference to me and for that I say a very sincere and heart felt "THANKS!!".

This coming Saturday, I will be 12 weeks. We are three days away from making it past the scary first trimester. I have to admit that everytime I go to the washroom, I check my underwear to make sure that I am still pregnant. Of course, there is the constant presence of the morning sickness to serve as a reminder that hormones are still high so logically speaking, something must still be going on down there to be generating all of those hormones right?

This past week, we finally started telling people the news. We started with my parents as they are leaving on Friday on a trip for 3 weeks and I just couldn't wait until they got back to tell them. I hope that I will be showing by that point and putting on some decent weight so it would have been a real shock to them to come home to a pregnant me. My parents were pretty surprised when we told them - after all, we have been married the longest and are the only ones without children. I think they had given up on us ever making "the announcement". More to talk about here with this reveal (there's a strong chance they will not be here for the birth and a lot of prying questions about how we got pregnant) but I'll save that for another post.

My second reveal was to my boss and her boss at work. We have a busy time coming up and there was a request for me to be out at an offsite location over an hour away for 8:30am which was not going to happen given my intense morning sickness. It was so strange to tell people - in a good way of course - but kind of scary since I am not yet technically out of the first trimester. I had to tell them so we could make other arrangements. I guess this gets easier and easier and it will once I begin to really show. Right now I'm just a little chubby :).

Symptom wise, I'm hoping that the nausea will disappear on Saturday right at the 12 week mark but just in case it doesn't, I am going to the doctor's tomorrow to get a prescription for the Zofran. I've had some pretty rough days but then I've had some okay days as well. I have a little paunch going on that is pretty small in the morning and then grows to a decent size by the end of the day but nothing too noticeable yet. I think because my uterus is tipped backwards, when I eat during the day, it pushes the uterus out. I have a disappearing/reappearing belly! I'm still at a net loss of 4 pounds and I really need to start putting on the weight. I am nauseated every morning, my sense of smell is really acute (poor DH has had to eat dinner by himself many nights) and by dinnertime, I am nauseated again or have no appetite. Meat still needs to be hidden so I can eat it. However, all these symptoms are good things because it confirms that something is still going on.

Three more days and counting!