Friday, March 25, 2005

The Freedom to Rub Buddha's Belly

What is it about a pregnant woman's belly that attracts unwanted hands? Am I wearing a sign that says... "PLEASE RUB BUDDHA BELLY FOR GOOD LUCK" ??? No... I can assure you I'm NOT!

And to top it all off... I'm only 10 weeks pregnant, and only have a very small protruding ABDOMEN (not even belly yet) ... did I mention I'm overweight anyway, and don't even look pregnant? Well, last night, someone else (this has already happened once!) came up to me and locked eyes with me (a ploy to distract me, I'm sure), and began rubbing my stomach... the top one ... not even the bottom one where the baby actually is (yes, folks... I have two stomachs ... top and bottom). How embarrassing! How do you get around that situation in a nice, diplomatic way? "HEY, kiddo... Hands of the merchandise! This Buddha Belly's off limits to folks like you!" Alas, that would only hurt feelings. It's one thing for a family member to do it... quite another for a friend or acquaintance to do it. And to top it all off... I'm a non-confrontational type of person... hate it! So, I just grabbed this person in a hug and flung her hand of my belly and laughed saying... "that tickles!"

Not bad, huh? Well, err... actually ... I was in church for "Maundy Thursday" service (a traditional service of Communion and Footwashing the day before Good Friday), and happened to be standing in the middle of the sanctuary. And, uh... well ... it didn't really tickle. So in essence... I lied in church. YIKES! I just took communion, too!

Step away from the pregnant sinner woman ... random lightning strikes will commence in 10 seconds... 9...8...7...

Oh, God ... forgive this lying pregnant woman!!!

P.S.: The lovely basket of plants my coworkers gave me back on Sept. 8th died this past week. Okay... maybe it's been a slow, painfully dry death, but needless to say... THEY.ARE.DEAD. I have such a black thumb!

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Stay Away From "Bubblemint" While Pregnant!

Wow! What an amazing thing it is to see a real sonogram of your very own baby! It has a head, body, paddles ... umm ... I mean arms and legs, and a pounding heart! 160 beats per minute! I'm pretty sure that's good. While we didn't get to hear it, we saw it, and that alone was quite reassuring!

So, my next appointment is in April, and we will actually get to HEAR the heartbeat! Amazing what they can do now a days.

To top off all the good news ... I'm not really experiencing severe morning sickness... PTL! While occasionally, I have heartburn or mild nausea, it's nothing like actually vomiting non-stop (as my sister did on a couple of her pregnancies, and my SIL did at the beginning of her pregnancy)!

So, while I'm swamped at work, my mind is now literally consumed with baby thoughts. Colors for the nursery, patterns for the fabrics, styles of cribs... to buy a convertible crib or not ... that is the question. Should I plunk the extra money into a crib that will eventually turn into either a double or two twin head boards, or should I save my cash, and let the child pick out their "grown-up" headboard when they are older??? So many questions!

By the way... the other day I was in the grocery store getting a salad for lunch, and while I was at the check out, I really felt like having some bubble gum. So, I grabbed a pack of Orbit Bubblegum. After I ate my lunch, I wasn't feeling so well, so I thought a piece of bubblegum might make me feel better ;-) ... so I popped a piece in my mouth and started chewing... and low and behold ... was greeted with a disgusting combination of mint and bubblegum... kind of like chewing on Bubblegum flavored Listerine! YUCK! Then I looked more closely to the packet, and saw that Orbit did not sell "BUBBLEGUM" flavored gum, but rather "BUBBLEMINT" flavored gum. Now, maybe it's because I'm pregnant, but it was so revolting that I had to spit it out. And, I sat and pouted the rest of the afternoon, because it wasn't BUBBLEGUM flavor, and that's what I wanted! Who comes up with these disgusting flavors? How sad that my life has come to this! Next time, I won't worry about the additional sugar intake, and just get REAL bubblegum. Lesson learned!

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

The Here and Now!

So, here's a long message to catch everyone up... Loosing a child to miscarriage is bad... having to terminate a pregnancy is, well... badder. The guilt I felt with having to terminate the pregnancy was quite overwhelming. I didn't want to talk about it, blog about it, or even think about it.

That was back in September.

Then, November came, and along with November, lots, and lots of tests... tubes, and tubes, and tubes of blood. I had some genetic testing done to see if I had MTHFR. Yup... that's right, folks... MTHFR. In the infertile world... it's short for "mother effer." After 20 vials of blood, and I mean BIG vials of blood, we found out the dreaded news... I have MTHFR factor. To simplify, two of my genes are, well, deformed, and I don't produce folic acid, vitamin B6 and vitamin B12. So, wohoo ... one might think, big deal! But on the contrary, it IS a big deal! Women with MTFHR factor have spontaneous miscarriages between 5th and 6th weeks, and a lack of B6 and B12 directly affects rapidly reproducing cells... uh... that would be a baby. In fact, a lack of B6 and B12 causes rapidly reproducing cells to STOP reproducing. So, my doctor put me on a massive cocktail of Baby Asprin, Folic Acid, Vitamin B6 and B12... and WOW... what a difference! I got an instant jolt of energy, and come to find out, that's how I should have been feeling if I didn't have this MTHFR factor!

Then, in December, she put me on Avandia. I have a terrible reaction to Metformin, so ... Avandia it was, and another revelation... I wasn't hungry all the time, didn't have diarrhea, and was able to loose over 20 pounds! That's right, TWENTY POUNDS! And no sugar cravings, either! I love my doctor!

So low and behold... January rolls around ... and DH and I started a new IVF Cycle. Well, wouldn't you know it? I had a big 'ol cyst on my right ovary. Can't anything go smoothly??? Well, no worries, my wonderful, excellent fert doctor went in and sucked it out... just like she would a follicle. Did I mention how much I love this woman?!? Anyway, we didn't have to stop the cycle... just slow it down. A lot. But... on January 31, I had my second IVF transfer.

So, what about the Here and Now? Well, I am 8 weeks pregnant. Can you believe it? EIGHT WEEKS? I'm beside myself with excitement. What made a difference after all the IUI's and IVF's I've gone through? Well, a lot of prayer, and outstanding doctor (love her to death, I tell you), and my wonderful, life breathing vitamin cocktail.

Ladies... if you are in the process of fertility treatments, and have had numerous, inexplicable miscarriages... do yourself a favor. Stop immediately, go directly to your doctor, and INSIST that he or she see if you have MTHFR factor. If you do, start on a lovely vitamin cocktail (prescribed to you by your doctor, of course) ... and for heavens sake ... keep going! Never, NEVER give up!

The day we were supposed to find out if we were pregnant or not, I rememer saying during my morning prayers: Today is the day Lord. Today we find out if I am pregnant. Oh Lord, we have waited for so long for you to do this. We want so badly to have a child. I am so scared and worried.

And then, I remembered this scripture: 'Be anxious for nothing but in everything give thanks.'

My prayer turned to: Lord, help me to lay aside all of my anxiety. I acknowledge that you are in control over this situation. I seek you, Lord, and I trust that your plan is best. If the answer is no today, then I will still praise you. I ask for your strength and not my own. On my own I am weak and scared, but you Lord, fill me with your peace and strength.”

Later that afternoon, we got an answer. Not only was I pregnant, but my numbers were stronger than I had ever had. It was a VERY VIABLE pregnancy… And, I had to go off and find a spot to praise God with every fiber in my being.

Praise the Lord! Lord, you have looked upon us with favor. Thank you for the child within me. You have answered our prayers. After fourteen long years the day has come. "He has made the barren woman a joyful mother of children." What a blessing you have given us. We acknowledge that this is YOUR hand and your plan.

That evening, we prayed together and prayed for our child. After desiring a child for so long, we knew that the health and life of our child was in the Lord's hands. My husband was a tower of strength to me as he held my hands and prayed for our baby. Both of our families were praying and several prayer chains were started at our church and others. We felt overwhelmed with a peace knowing that God was in control. It was a miracle that fear never gripped our hearts, as I am very prone to be anxious and worrisome.

There is Hope, and it comes through Grace and Faith.