August 26, 2013

The Pregnant Infertile

I have never kept it a secret- I am was an infertile. I struggled through 2.5 years to conceive my son. I was also told I would never be able to have another child after him. My infertile friends- I have been there. I know the sadness. I know the emptiness. I KNOW. Yes, I would get pissed when I would hear a pregnant woman complain about her pregnancy discomforts. I would get pissed when anyone had to leave early or take time off because of their kids. I was quite bitter for a long time. Then, something happened. My husband and I made the decision to just live, be satisfied and be grateful for our great life together. When we got pregnant with Jackson, sure, we were trying to conceive (ovulation kits, vitamins, calendars... yadda yadda yadda), but it was no longer the be all, end all. We were satisfied with our life no matter what.

Being that I have lived through the hurt and sadness of infertility and loss, I always swore that if I ever got pregnant I wouldn't complain about it. If there is one thing I have learned out of my one and a half pregnancies, it is that I don't do pregnancy well and damn right, I have complained. Probably even more so the second time around.

Being a pregnant whiner, I feel like a complete and utter failure to the infertile world.

Despite how I often dreamed of having the beautiful big belly and that I would feel like part of some exclusive club, it is not all butterflies and roses. I cannot for the life of me enjoy the following:
  • The constant worry that something could go wrong.
  • Obsessive TP checks in the 1st trimester.
  • Relentless morning sickness with no end in sight and not enough PTO or sick time to cover it 
  • Vomiting. Nuff said. 
  • Constant overwhelming exhaustion that easily rivals finals week during college.
  • Peeing every 20 minutes or when you least expect to like sneezing, coughing or shifting positions in your chair. Also the having to pee in the middle of the night thing. I really try to ignore it because I treasure my sleep, but it is painfully impossible. 
  • Excruciating pain in which I can only describe as what it feels like to have been hit by a baseball bat in the vagina. Over and over again. 
  • Weight gain. And a lot of it. Whether I like it or not.
  • Not being able to poop. Is this to prepare us for childbirth? 
  • The uncontrollable emotional roller coaster. No really. There's no control. One moment I'm as happy as can be and the next I am sobbing uncontrollably. And I'm sorry to those affected on a daily basis. 
  • Uncontrollable burping and farting. Seriously. How gross am I?? I'm so gross. And now I'm crying about it. 
  • Heartburn. Jackson likes to make comments on my mommy candy (a.k.a. Tums) and that they smell good. (Really buddy? They don't taste as good as they smell). 
  • It's going to be 98 degrees today. And no I'm not talking about Nick Lachey. With a heat index of 105, my feet are going to turn into club feet with a Tempurpedic-type quality and may never go back until weeks after giving birth. P.S. Flip flops are not acceptable with my work dress code. 
In a conversation recently with another mom, she said that when she was pregnant, she never had any side effects whatsoever other than a belly which didn't show up until she was close to 30 weeks. No morning sickness, no constipation, no...nothing. She said she even forgot she was pregnant sometimes. Holy fuck. My jealousy was palpable. I would give anything to be able to go about my normal, everyday life AND carry a baby at the same time. 

I guess my point is, I'm not going to apologize for how I feel. I feel shitty. Physically and mentally. I feel guilty about it. Guilty for not being a proper pregnant infertile. Guilty for not being a very good wife and mom while pregnant. Guilty for barely keeping up at an insanely demanding job. 

I won't deny, I am lucky. Really lucky. While pregnancy might not exactly be a fantasy come true, there is a silver lining: 
  • A posterior placenta: What does this mean? The placenta is towards the back which means I get to feel movement ALL THE TIME. I know some women find the kicking to drive them nuts, but it is the one singular thing I adore about pregnancy. Girlfriend can kick me all day long and I will love every second of it. 
  • My pregnant belly. It is my badge of honor in a world darkened by infertility. It is the only time I am proud to look huge. 
  • I'm having a little girl. A GIRL! In a male dominated family, I feel ridiculously blessed to be having a daughter. It's always been a dream of mine to have a boy and a girl. Yeah, yeah... the grass is not always greener on the other side and they could end up hating each other, but at least in my fantasy world, they are perfection no matter what. 
  • Feeling complete. It's one thing to say, "I'm only having one kid," and have that be your choice. It's another to have someone tell you, "You will only be able to have one kid." I felt guilty for feeling like Jackson wasn't enough, God knows he is enough kid for about 10, but it just FELT like something was missing. Having this chance means our family is complete and whole. 
  • Jackson is super stoked to have a little sister and it warms my heart when he tells me he is excited to meet her. 
So even though I have complained endlessly about how miserable I feel, I have not forgotten the good things about it. I have also not forgotten what it felt like to be infertile. I have not forgotten the baby I lost back in 2006. 

It's just... hard. I always want to be the best I can be for everyone- my husband, my son, my boss, my team. I physically cannot be my best right now. I struggle with losing the two years of running training I put in. I struggle with having to start over with my weight loss after this little girl shows up. I want to lie and say it is easy and the best time of my life. I want so badly to love pregnancy, but I just can't.

The truth is, I just want her here. In my arms. Regardless of how miserable I am, all I want is for the next 127 (give or take a few) days to go quickly because I cannot wait to be her mama.

Here are some back-logged belly pics...

21 Weeks
22 weeks- side profile (Bad hair. Thanks weather)

22 weeks. Still rockin' the heels. 
Just for fun... and because it makes me feel better about how I look now compared to 5 years ago (because I have been having some very major body image issues), here are some pics from when I was pregnant with Jackson:

In Bora Bora- 20 weeks pregnant 
Bora Bora- 20 weeks

My baby shower (and funny husband)- 33 weeks



August 13, 2013

Spoiler Alert! It's A...

PRINCESS!!!!

PROUD Big Brother Jack

The only time I will let anyone see her goodies. Ever. 

My princess

The long awaited day in my pregnancy finally arrived. The day we found out if Jackson will have a brother or a sister. The day where we either run to the store to pick up a bucket of pink paint or break out the crib bedding we used for Jack. The day that we can finally start giving this baby an identity rather than calling it "it". While I lovingly referred to baby as Nugget in the beginning, the nickname didn't stick and I long to be able to refer to it by the name we have chosen. We have chosen a name which will be revealed when she makes her glorious appearance into the world this December. I will tell you our number 2 & 3 girl names that got cut in the final hour: Kate (Katie) Marie and Alexandra Marie.

Thankfully, the VERY first question from our ultrasound tech was, "Do you want to know the gender?" We replied with a resounding "YES!!!" Without a bit of hesitation, she typed G-I-R-L on the screen and said, "It's a girl!" Both my husband and I got pretty misty (okay, he may be have been misty, I was outright crying). All along, everyone kept asking me if I would "prefer" a boy or a girl and my answer was always, "Healthy. Doesn't matter either way." Deep down, I wanted a girl; however, I didn't want to be disappointed either. Certain that it would be a boy in my very male genetically dominated family, I got myself pumped up for hearing the words, "It's a boy!" We even picked out his name, Noah Andrew. I was so certain in fact that I stopped fantasizing about a girl altogether and starting getting really excited about it being a boy. So when I heard that word, GIRL, I was legitimately shocked. Of course in the best way possible. It's a total dream come true. For my parents too- this is their first granddaughter. They have 4 grandsons.

I am thankfully halfway through my pregnancy and so anxious and excited for this little girl to be here and in our lives. I'm so ready for her. I have heard the rumors that baby #2 is a difficult transition. While I have no doubt going back to being up all night and changing diapers will be horrifically exhausting, I just feel more prepared to deal with it this time around. There are no surprises. There is nothing planned in December other than to simply have this baby (yes, I plan to do all of my Christmas shopping online this year not to mention buy a LOT of gift bags as opposed to wrapping all of those fucking presents). I felt like when I was pregnant with Jack that I had absolutely no idea what was really going to happen. No preconceived notion about what having a baby would actually be like. I was honestly clueless. I don't expect to be the baby whisperer now that I have had some experience, but at the very least, I have some expectations going into it and some knowledge about what I need to do this time around.

Now that I know I am having a girl, soooooo many things in my pregnancy have become apparent. For example, the relentless morning sickness that I am pretty sure won't go away until she makes her debut. The other part? Holy shit, the emotional roller coaster. It HAS to be the whole female growing in my body thing but I have been an absolute disaster this pregnancy. This week has been probably the worse week ever. My husband went on his annual fishing trip with the boys for the week. Now, normally, I wouldn't have cared but let's face it. I'm pregnant. Sick. Exhausted. My 5 year old is hella high maintenance. Please don't judge me when I pull out the babysitter otherwise known as "Wii U". Top it off with work stress. My company had a HUGE website launch, one that I will be pretty much owning from a content marketing perspective going forward, and it has been a complete and utter disaster. It failed on a disastrous level and any moment that I have not been catering to my son or sitting in traffic has been spent working. Even sleep has become secondary. It's only Tuesday and I am just completely DONE with this week. I need a hug. Or perhaps a spa day.

Next year that trip WILL become a father-son fishing trip.

Here is me last week at 19 weeks. Wearing pink in honor of my baby girl of course.



August 06, 2013

From The Mouths of Babes

My (almost) 5 year old is one of the most hilarious people I have ever known. Some of the things that come out of his mouth... my gosh. I just have no idea where he gets this from! For example:

Getting up in the morning, we asked him to go potty and get dressed. He replied:
"Ugh! Why do you treat me like a child?"

Sometimes though, the things he says can be hurtful. He's 5. I get that. He likely doesn't mean it. Does he? This kid is so smart, I just have to wonder. Is he old enough to manipulate me?

Last week, we had a rough bedtime one night and he said to me in all seriousness (that a 5 year old can possess), "Mommy. I don't like you. I like the rest of the family. I like my aunts and uncles. Grandmas, Grandpa and Papa. I like daddy. Not you."

Ouch. I know it came from being mad at me about making him go to bed when he didn't want to. He doesn't like to hear the word "no". I tried not to take it personally, but hey, I'm pregnant. Words hurt. Even from my 5 year old.

I know it won't be the first time he says this. I will probably even hear worse things from him as he gets older. Sadly, he does often comment on my changing body. He's made comments about my growing tummy, saying, "Mommy. Your tummy is getting so fat!" I'm not hurt, but it is a reminder of my need to keep things in check and as healthy as possible throughout the rest of my pregnancy. It is a reminder that I will have work to do after this new, precious baby comes to get back the "me" that I worked so hard for these last couple years.

This summer, I have become addicted to the show Extreme Weight Loss. Yeah, it makes me cry. Every week. While my weight has never been that extreme, I was in a place after having Jack that I never thought I would be in and even now that I am pregnant again, I don't want to go back there. There was one woman in particular on the show that made a comment at the beginning of the show about being on "this awesome program where I can eat whatever I want". She opened her pantry and it was entirely labeled in Weight Watchers points. She had been on the program for years. She was around 370 pounds. That is the danger of that program. I thought the same thing when I was on the program, but it is sooooo easy to cheat. There is no REAL accountability. Sure, you weigh in every week, but so what! After awhile, even that doesn't feel like motivation.

YOU CAN'T EAT WHATEVER YOU WANT IF YOU ARE TRYING TO LOSE WEIGHT!!!! If all you are eating is chocolate and donuts, is that going to be good for you??? REALLY? Is that real life? Is that the right thing to be telling a food addict? GAH. No. NO NO. Yes, Weight Watchers works for those who are innately self-motivated. Yes, it works when you are tracking EVERY little bite. It works even better when you make healthy, natural food choices over processed crap.

I will likely rejoin Medifast after my pregnancy journey. It worked AND, I indeed kept the weight off.

I am starting to feel better about my image in my pregnancy. At 18 weeks, I am obviously pregnant and not huge pregnant, but cute pregnant. I even got a belly compliment at work the other day saying my pregnant belly was perfect and adorable. I loved hearing that and NEEDED to hear it. I feel good about where I am at. I have gained 10 pounds so far in this pregnancy. I am aware I have about 20 weeks left and will likely gain a pound a week (which is average) which should put my total gain somewhere around 30 pounds. Average. I can accept that. Luckily, I haven't had that overwhelming hunger and food pretty much still tastes like crap. I wish every day for things to get better with my nausea. It actually feels like it is getting worse? What the hell?

Baby's movements get stronger and more regular every day and I LOVE it. I can hardly concentrate when I feel baby and pretty much stop everything just to feel it and treasure it. I can't wait for my husband and Jack to feel the baby kicking too.

We are still on pins and needles for my anatomy scan. August 8th, this Thursday, is the big day we find out whether we are having a boy or a girl! My in-laws somehow think we know and are keeping the information from them. We passed on having the Harmony genetic test done after getting excellent results from the NT, so NO, we DO NOT KNOW THE GENDER yet. Cross my heart. You will all know when I know! We do have names. Those will be kept a secret until the day this precious one arrives.

Here's to pretty much being halfway done (because we know babies from my tummy like to make early appearances).


I need to stop wearing black on my belly photo days! LOL

And yes. I am a week behind. I'm 19 weeks today. Oh boy. I need a vacation.

 
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