Friday, February 29, 2008

Waiting To Be Kicked

15w5d today and finding myself DESPERATE to feel some movement from little Scrappy in there. So many of the blogs I’ve read report feeling movement around this time and I’m wondering when it will happen for me. Okay, okay, I know I’m being impatient here – my doctor and all the books say that for a first kiddo, you shouldn’t expect movement until 18 weeks or so. But I like to think that Scrappy is advanced so I’m hoping for sooner. Plus, I am ultra tuned-in to my uterus these days so hopefully that will speed things up.

I *thought* I had felt a few little flutters over the last couple of weeks, but who knows? I have no idea what I’m feeling for. Could very well have been gas for goodness sake. All I know is that I CAN’T WAIT to feel our little one’s kicks on a regular basis. That, my friends, will be truly exciting.

I’m still at this in-between stage where I don’t quite look pregnant, but I definitely look “thick”. I am really looking forward to having a big ol’ belly. I have been having D take “belly pictures” of me every Sunday and once I feel like I’m looking noticeably pregnant, then I will post the series. One thing I can say for sure is that my tummy area is really, REALLY itchy, despite the fact that I slather moisturizer on my entire torso every morning. That’s one thing about pregnancy that no one ever warns you about – the itching! I guess I am happy about it because it must mean I’m growing, right?

I would now like to take this opportunity to once again, sing the praises of my fetal Doppler. Every time I’ve felt anxiety or worry about little Scrappy, I am instantly reassured by a quick blast with the Doppler. I. LOVE. IT. It has helped me to have a more confident pregnancy, which is so invaluable. Granted, it doesn’t erase ALL my worries (I’m still paranoid about having an incompetent cervix and going into pre-term labour, not to mention anxieties about the baby not developing properly or getting an infection, or heaven forbid what if the umbilical cord wraps around the baby’s neck???…*clears throat*, but I digress...) but it really does keep me from losing my mind on a daily basis. Plus, I’m getting good at using the Doppler – I can usually find little Scrappy’s heartbeat instantly. Such a gorgeous sound.

I read a really great quote yesterday which totally made me smile: “Babies are conceived to be born, and children are born to live.” In other words, little ones are tough – and everything in them is fighting to be healthy and strong and grow and live. What a wonderful realization.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Someone Needs A Shower

Those of you who have read my blog for awhile may recall my making mention of my friend "Pregnant L". Pregnant L is no longer pregnant and will henceforth be referred to as just plain old "L". I'm happy to report that about two weeks ago, L gave birth to a beautiful and perfect baby boy who is as sweet and lovely as can be.

I meant to throw L a shower before her baby was born, but because of the timing of the IVF and her due date, I just couldn't bring myself to put something together - it would have been too hard for me if the IVF hadn't worked. I wasn't even kinda ready to deal with "baby stuff" unless I was sure I was pregnant with a keeper (I love you Scrappy!).

So, I decided to throw L a "Welcome Baby" shower instead, which truth be told, I think is a nicer idea than having a shower beforehand, if for no other reason than it gives everyone an opportunity to meet the baby all at once, rather than inundate the new mum with tons of visitors spread out over weeks.

Long story short (or vice-versa), the shower is this upcoming Sunday.

I've been planning and scheming and shopping and finally have everything ready to go. And I must admit, I'm excited.

It's been such a long road, I never thought (but always hoped) I'd finally be in a place (pregnant) where I could not only attend a baby shower, but throw one - and be excited about it at that. I am so incredibly lucky and grateful to be here.

Sunday is going to be a fun day. I can't wait until it's my turn for a baby shower.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Obee Kanobee

You haven't lived until you've heard a 3 year old explain Star Wars. Check this out but have your meds ready in case you have a cuteness seizure.

15 Weeks Today

Holy moly 15 weeks! For some reason, 15 weeks sounds like a lot to me. Waaay more than 14 weeks. Not sure why. But I'm so happy to be here!

I've been actively trying not to worry as much. I think my anxiety has been improving, slowly, but it's still a challenge. I still do find myself falling into the same pattern of being anxious pretty often. But when that happens, I have been just trying to focus on the positives and milestones that we've reached so far. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. But it's a small improvement. I'll take it.

One thing that has definitely helped is having that Doppler around. I don't use it that often - the goal is no more than once a week - but I find just having it in the house helps immensely. Just knowing that I can hear that gorgeous heartbeat anytime I want is a fabulous luxury. If I'm having a worry-filled moment, a quick session with the Doppler usually puts my fears at ease. I'm a big fan. Money well spent for sure.

The baby's movement will also be a nice source of reassurance, and that should be starting any day now. I think I've felt something a few times already but it's so hard to tell because I don't know what I'm feeling for. I'm definitely looking forward to feeling those obvious baby kicks. I can't wait!

Everyone seems to think that Scrappy is a girl, except for my husband. I personally have no idea and don't have a preference either way, as long as s/he is healthy, happy and strong. I can't wait to find out. If for no other reason than to provide my baby daydreams with some specifics. And of course, for the shopping.

Friday, February 22, 2008

The Righteous Bloggy Ass Kicking Was Totally Called For

Thank you everyone, for the down-home bloggy ass kicking. It was well deserved and I really needed that. You guys are so right. I totally need to calm down.

I am finding it increasingly hard to maintain perspective these days. I know some of it is hormones, some of it is going through a previous loss, and some of it is just due to the fact that I am a high-strung anxiety-ridden, end-of-the-world, worry wart kind of gal. I wasn’t going to say anything, but I can’t keep secrets from you guys – I have been referred to the reproductive mental health counseling program at the hospital where I will give birth. At my last OB/GYN appointment, I think my doctor sensed my anxiety and while she did reassure me that it’s not uncommon in pregnancy, she does not want me to live in this fear that I constantly find myself in. And it’s not good for a parent to raise their child with that kind of fear. So she sent over a referral and there it is. I’m going for help. Unfortunately the soonest I can get in is March 31st. Ya gotta love the Canadian health care system. It’s free, so I can’t complain, but they sure don’t do anything in a hurry.

My doctor did end up calling me about an hour ago regarding my concerns over my cervix. Her exact words: “You’re fine. Get off the internet. I will tell you when there’s something to worry about. Don’t worry until I tell you to worry. They will check your cervix again at your 19 week scan. At this point, you’re at no more risk of going into preterm labour than the average person. You’re FINE. Take care.” And that was it.

*Exhaling now*

Thanks for putting up with me and still continuing to check in even though I have been a whiner extraordinaire. You guys will never know how much I appreciate each and every one of you. Got nothin’ but love for y'all.


Thursday, February 21, 2008

Anyone Know Anything About Cervical Length?

I had my "cervical length" ultrasound today. It revealed that my cervix is 3.2cm (32mm) in length. I am concerned about this because I was under the impression that 3.5-4.0 cm is considered normal. The ultrasound tech said it was with the normal range and didn't seem concerned. I hope she's right. I called my doctor and left a message with regard to this and we'll see what she says, hopefully tomorrow.

Scrappy was so much bigger than in previous ultrasounds. That seems like a "duh" thing to say but it was really amazing to see the little guy. The little skeleton is all formed and he was waving and moving all around. It was totally adorable.

Unfortunately, this time he was measuring one day behind but again, the tech said this was within normal limits. So I'll try not to worry. The operative word being "try".

All-in-all a pretty good appointment, albeit I am a little concerned about maybe having a short cervix. Hmmm.

Lastly, I better fess up. I rented a fetal doppler. I thought it might help put my anxiety at ease. I've already used it twice today (plus I had the ultrasound earlier) so I really have to start mustering up some self control. I can see this little luxury becoming a problem. I don't want to fry Scrappy's little brain. But I must admit, it's very cool to hear that beautiful heartbeat on command. I love it. But I am NOT allowed to use it again for at least another week.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Today's Appointment

Today's doctor's appointment went well. It was mostly a Q&A session on my part - I came in with a lengthly list of questions for poor Dr. R. But she was very patient and answered each and every one of them and didn't make me feel rushed.

Scrappy's beautiful heartbeat was a robust 164 bpm. Dr. R actually suggested that we get a fetal doppler as she thinks it will help with my anxieties. I might just do that.

Dr. R is sending me for an ultrasound on Thursday to check my "cervical length". Because of having a previous miscarriage, I was concerned about having an incompetent cervix and she wanted to put my fears at ease. I believe there is a very minimal chance that there is actually something wrong with my cervix, but it can't hurt to check things out. Better safe than sorry. Plus, we might just get another quick peek at the kiddo, which would be great.

Only one teeny tiny piece of unfortunate news came of out today's exam, and really it's not a big deal at all. I asked Dr. R if she thought they would tell us the baby's gender at our ultrasound on March 25th and she said absolutely not. In Canada, we have a law in place that states that couples cannot find out the sex of their baby until they are at least 20 weeks along in their pregnancy*. Well, I will only be 19w2d when we have our ultrasound and apparently they won't budge. I thought maybe we'd have some wiggle room since we conceived by IVF but no go. Ah well. She says that we can call her office after we're past the 20 week mark and find out over the phone. I'm still hoping that by some miracle, we'll find out at the ultrasound.

It's not that we care if it's a boy or a girl - I just want to go shopping!

*The reason we have this crazy law in Canada is because there are a lot of different religious and cultural groups in this country that will abort their babies if they find out they're having a girl. While I don't think this happens often, apparently it happens often enough that they had to make a strict law about it. 20 weeks is the official cut-off time for having an abortion. Horrible, I know.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

14 Weeks Today

Some say the second trimester starts at 12 weeks. Some say it starts at 14 weeks. There are even a few who say that it starts in the 13th week. I've never understood why there is this varied definition.

However, any way you decide to slice it, I am now officially in the second trimester of this pregnancy.

My belly has definitely grown some, but I seem to have "big belly days" and "small belly days". I despise "small belly days" and today is one such day. My husband thinks I'm nuts, but I swear there are real variations on a day to day basis. When my belly seems smaller, I find it discouraging – almost like all the growing progress I've made takes a few steps back. Silly, I know.

D has been taking weekly "belly pictures" of me every week and as soon as I feel like there is a real noticeable and substantial belly enlargement to be seen, I will post the series.

I am impatiently waiting to feel Scrappy move - and I think I *might* have felt something a couple of times already. I know it's probably way too early, and I'm trying to keep that in mind. I can't wait until I get to feel our little one moving and kicking all the time. Other than that, nothing new to report for this week, really. I've had a two day hiatus from the heartburn I was having, so I'm not sure what's going on there.

My friend L gave birth to a perfect baby boy on Friday evening. We went to see them yesterday and I must admit, I was overwhelmed. Their son is beautiful, breathtaking. It was surreal to think that we're going to have one of those of our own soon. It was love at first sight and I don't know how I managed to leave without trying to steal him and take him with us.

I can't wait until we have our baby. I CAN'T WAIT. I am SO excited. August cannot get here soon enough.

Friday, February 15, 2008

No More Whining

Have you noticed a common theme among my posts of late? I have. I’ve discovered I’ve been whining. A lot. Some of my whines are justified, and some are frivolous. But one thing’s for sure and certain – whining equals complaining. Complaining equals being ungrateful. And when it comes to this pregnancy, ungrateful doesn’t enter into the picture. Not even a little. I am happier and more thankful than I’ve ever been in my life right now and it’s important to me that this blog reflect that. To suggest anything else is an insult to the process I’ve been through, and to the process that so many of you are going through.

So, going forward, I am going to try not to complain so much. I think that, reading between the lines, my complaints are almost always based in fear anyway.

I came to the startling realization yesterday that I am SO AFRAID that I’ll inadvertently do something wrong. It’s quite a crippling fear. I so badly want everything to be perfect. But here’s the thing: There is no such thing as a “perfect pregnancy”. On some level, I know that. I’m bound to make occasional mistakes – eat the wrong thing, lift something too heavy, sleep on the wrong side. There’s a million things a pregnant woman can do wrong. I have to learn how to forgive myself for these mistakes and move on with life – and truly accept the fact that everything is, in all likelihood, just fine.

An anonymous commenter noted something really interesting on my last post. She basically pointed to a theory that says something to the effect that parents who conceive through ART often have a hard time with parenting and tend to be overprotective due to the struggle they have gone through to achieve parenthood. This was an eye-opener for me because I think she hit the nail right on the head. I can see this happening now, even in pregnancy. I guess the first step is to be aware of it.

I really want to relax. We’ve wanted this pregnancy, this baby, for such a long time, and we’ve worked so hard to get here. I need to let go of the things I can’t control, and figure out how to get past the mistakes I’ve made and are bound to make in the future. I think this will be my toughest challenge yet. But the time has come to start enjoying this pregnancy. Finally.


In other news, I experienced a strange phenomenon last night: While watching TV, I noticed a quick sharp shooting pain in my vajayjay. Almost akin to electric shocks. It happened 4 or 5 times, about 30-60 seconds apart. Haven’t felt them since. Anyone had this? Anyone know what this is?

I have my next OB/GYN appointment coming up on Tuesday, so I will definitely add this to the list to ask my doctor about.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Somebody Just Slap Me

I don't know WHAT is going on with my breasts lately, but for the past 3 or so days they have been extremely sore and sensitive! They did hurt on and off during the first few of weeks of my pregnancy but I thought I was done with all that now. Apparently not! I don't mind at all, I love feeling any reminder that I'm pregnant. I just think it's weird.

Work has been such exquisite agony lately. I am so not present for it. It's so hard to be there and show the enthusiasm that I am paid to demonstrate when I just don't care about it at all.


If you've been reading my blog for any amount of time, you've probably formed the opinion that I have a touch of OCD when it comes to worrying and obsessing about things. If you've come to this conclusion about me, I'm afraid you're absolutely right. My latest worry: Listeria. I can't stop fretting about that stupid Turkey Sandwich Incident. I know the chances that I contracted listeria are so minimal, but I can't seem to erase the fear from my mind. I am desperately desperate for some sort of reassurance that everything will be OK. I have my regular OB/GYN doctor's appointment coming up in a week (next Tuesday) and I am definitely going to ask Dr. R about it then. And if she is able to reassure me (and I really hope she can), then I think my next question will be about how to control my copious and extensive pregnancy anxieties.

We have wanted this baby for such a long time. SUCH a long time. And now that we're finally here and everything seems to be going well (knock on wood), I find myself desperately afraid that I am going screw things up or that something bad will happen. I know I should be enjoying this special time, and believe me, I really am. I LOVE being pregnant. And I guess that's the root of my fears: That all of this magic will slip through my fingers.

Worry, thy name is Hilary.


Sunday, February 10, 2008

13 Weeks Today

First off, thanks all for your encouraging comments on my last post. I am 85% not as freaked out as a was. I'm trying to chalk the whole thing up to a learning experience and just put it out of my mind and I'm *almost* there, not quite. I'm still really mad at myself about The Turkey Sandwich Incident.

I love being pregnant. LOVE. IT. Despite my bouts of worry, I am the happiest I've been in my entire life. Right now.

I love this kid so much already.

In other news, I can't seem to put on any weight. I haven't gained an ounce during my pregnancy so far, and in fact, I think I've even lost weight. It's getting a bit discouraging because it's the one time in my life I actually want to see the numbers on the scale go up! Plus, I am eating like it's going out of style. I probably have at least 6 meals a day. Granted, it's all healthy stuff.

This kid must be really speeding up my metabolism. I don't know how much more food I can fit into the day!

All the books say I should have gained 5 pounds so far. Has anyone else heard of this happening?

Yesterday, D said I should just start eating whole sticks of butter. I laughed at the time, but maybe he's onto something?

Friday, February 8, 2008

I Screwed Up

I ate a turkey sandwich - made with deli-style turkey cold cuts - for lunch today. I honestly didn't know you can't eat that kind of thing when you're pregnant! I knew about soft cheeses, raw fish and meats, all that sort of stuff. But I didn't know there was a risk of contracting listeria from deli meat.


While listeria is rare (the highest reported number of cases was 14 in a year, in British Columbia which has a total population of about 4 million), I still can't help but be a *little* freaked out. In the United States there are roughly 2500 reported cases per year.

I really hope I didn't just put my little one at risk. I would just die if something happened and it was because of a stupid turkey sandwich.

I am so careful, SO CAREFUL, about what I eat. I guess I was just under-informed.

I am learning something new about pregnancy every single day. I really hope everything's OK.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Scrappy's 12-Week (and 4 day) Ultrasound

Everything went perfectly. Scrappy showed a beautiful strong heartbeat of 161bpm and measured ahead by a couple of days. Notably, however, Dr. T said that when you measure CTR (crown-to-rump) length after 12 weeks it's not as accurate as it was earlier in the pregnancy. At 12 weeks they start measuring fetal head diameter, etc. to measure size. Regardless, Scrappy was the right size, and looked just as he should.

One of the best parts of the ultrasound was when Dr. T said, "Oh yeah, this one's a sticker!".

Music to my ears.

My next ultrasound is March 25th (at 19 weeks) and we'll hopefully find out the gender!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Apparently I Look Like An Egg (Though I Don't See The Resemblance)

This morning, whilst my husband and I were getting dressed, he looked over at me and proclaimed, “You look like an egg!” There’s no hiding it now, I definitely have a bump. Thank goodness I bought some maternity pants last weekend. I didn’t want to buy too much, as my pregnant friend L warned me that my body will keep changing a lot over the next little while, but I did come home with three pairs of nice, stretchy maternity pants. I like the kind that have the panel that stretches over your whole abdomen and up to your boobs. I dislike the low-riders. What a treat it’s been to not feel so constricted in my clothes.

I informed my boss this week that I am three months along and it was time to discuss my maternity leave plan. I wrote up a proposal letter that I will be giving him later this week. If all goes well, I will be on maternity leave as of June 1st, 2008. In Canada, we’re so lucky. We get to take a whole year off. Although, D and I have discussed it and I don’t think I will be going back to work at all. I want to be a stay-at-home-mum, and D prefers that we raise our kid rather than have a daycare do it. But I digress…I’m getting ahead of myself here. Let’s just focus on one thing at a time! Like for example…

…my next ultrasound. I’ve got a “quickie” scheduled for this Thursday morning and despite the fact that I am so excited to see our Scrappy on the big screen again, I am anxious all over again. One might think that finally making it to 12 weeks would ease my worries a bit but unfortunately, not so. I get so nervous before these appointments, and my fears always seem to get the better of my imagination. I really hope everything goes well on Thursday morning.

Pretty much all of the modest pregnancy symptoms that I was feeling earlier have lifted. This week, I’ve kinda felt “normal” again. Other than the heartburn of course. And I still want to eat everything in sight – which may, in part, contribute to the “egg” shape that D mentioned.

Lastly, I wanted to recommend a book. I don’t normally do this, but I have been really impressed by this book Bear With Me by Diane Flacks. It’s a hilarious and touching account of her and her partner’s pregnancy and birth experience, and introduction to new motherhood. I have not been able to put it down. And I must say, it’s opened my eyes to whole worlds of information I never considered. Plus, she’s Jewish and Canadian – like me!

Sunday, February 3, 2008

12 Weeks Today

Thank you

Thank you

Thank you

Thank you

Thank you

Thank you

Thank you

THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, February 1, 2008

A Mental Pukefest of Random Thoughts/Issues

So I told my wonderful, brilliant, glorious RE (Dr. T) that I canceled the nuchal screening that we had booked. I thought I should let her know since she was the one that suggested that we get it done. I explained to her that since the test had no preventative value, and really wasn’t truly diagnostic (only offering statistical information), D and I decided - after much deliberation - to decline.

Dr. T then kindly offered to give us a regular “quickie” ultrasound next Thursday instead. Just for fun. Now, I don’t know if this flies in the face of my newfound “trust” in my pregnancy (see last post) or not – but I am not the kind of gal to turn down a free ultrasound. I will be 12 weeks and 4 days at that time, and if all goes well (knock on wood), I think I can actually finally TRULY relax. And I must admit, I am excited to see our little Scrappy again. At 12 weeks and change, he should be looking like a real baby and not just a bowling pin!

Now I would like to address the issue of my “bump”. I am currently experiencing something that I think is really weird. For the last few days I’ve really started to notice my belly growing. I don’t know if it’s what I’ve been wearing or what – but my mum, dad and coworker also noticed. But today, it seems to be gone. Again, I don’t know if it’s what I’m wearing that makes it seem smaller, but it really seems as if it’s disappeared. Not for long I hope! I’ll keep you all posted with updates on this – I know you’re all at the edge of your seats wondering how Hilary’s bump is progressing…

Another issue to address: Heartburn. I have never, EVER experienced heartburn in my life. And now, I think I’m having it for the first time. It feels like a tightness in my throat – accompanied by a sort of “hotness” and pain. It kind of spans down to my clavicle area. It hurts to swallow. Never having experienced true heartburn before, I can’t be certain if that’s what’s going on. But I think so.

Lastly, I have one more issue to address today. At my last visit with my OB/GYN, my doctor said that she would like me to go off of my Metformin AND my low-dose Aspirin at 12 weeks. She immediately saw the panic in my face when she said it. I have been on Metformin for so long (I loves me the Met) I’m afraid my body will go into some sort of shock if I stop taking it. I asked her if I should taper down and she said no, I could just stop. I don’t think I can handle just stopping so I am going to taper down anyway. Cold turkey just freaks me out. The low-dose Aspirin, while I don’t love the idea, I can handle stopping. I must say, it will be VERY WEIRD to only take my prenatal vitamin every day. Very weird indeed.