Beating Infertility?

An enlightening perspective from the very strong Sondra. Check it out…

A Calm Persistence

Some think beating infertility is a positive pregnancy test, while others think it’s making it to the first ultrasound, and for some it’s when they hold that precious little newborn in their arms for the very first time.

But when do you actually beat infertility?

If it’s when you get that positive test, does that mean those that have lost their babies have failed? Or those that never see that second line are forever a failure? If it’s when you get to hold your baby and theyfinallymake it home safe, does that mean everyone who has chosen to livea life without childrenwill never win? Does it mean they have permanently lost the battle? I really don’t think so.

I realize we all define beating infertility a little differently, butI guess, what I’m trying to say here is that if we define beating infertility as having a baby, we…

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22 week bumpdate

How Far Along: 22 weeks and 5 days

Meds: All taken daily – prenatal vitamin, Omega 3 + DHA, Vitamin D, Ranitidine (2x/day), Magnesium (250g at bedtime as per my chiro’s recommendation), Gaviscon for heartburn as required.

Baby is the size of: a cob of corn or a eggplant

Best Moments This Week: 

  • My husband’s great Aunt approached me at a family reunion this weekend. She told me she was so happy to hear we were pregnant. My mother-in-law had told her about our troubles, so she had been sprinkling holy water and praying for us every night (She’s Catholic). I was so shocked that this woman even knew who I was! It brought tears to me eyes to know that she held us so closely in her thoughts. ❤
  • My husband’s “man nesting”. He’s accomplished quite a few things off our “to-do before baby comes” list.

Total Weight Gain: approx 7.6 lbs total.

Maternity Clothes: Bella bands + regular pants, maternity shorts and sweats, maxi skirts, maternity tank tops, regular sweaters = a real mix of the two

I bought a 2nd Bella Band – I found after a few wears it stretches out until you wash it. A 2nd one will tie me over between loads of laundry.

I also bought a tankini top. THIS WAS NOT EASY! I have gigantic ta-tas. There was no hope of fitting into the cups at any of our local maternity stores. They never seem to stock many larger sizes. I ended up going into Addition Elle and buying this ruched tankini top in a 2x. Pre-pregnancy, I usually wear a large or extra-large. I need the 2x to fit my pregnancy boobs. It gave me enough length that I hope it will last til the end of this pregnancy. I plan on wearing my regular bottoms tucked underneath my bump for now.

Symptoms:

  • Heartburn on and off, but it’s improving!
  • Had my first leg cramp wake me in the middle of the night.
  • Sore hips on and off
  • Extra juicy down below

Sleep: As much as I’m sleeping fairly well, I am getting up to pee 2+ times a night. I also let myself get overtired this past week which is so much harder to recover from when you are pregnant. I slept for over 10 hours on Sunday night and was still exhausted on Monday. I’m really learning that I can’t push myself or do as much as I used to in one day. Momma needs to come first.

Food Cravings: Ice cream, fruit, salad, Lays sour cream and onion potato chips – a quality mix of good and bad food.

Anything making you queasy or sick:  I still have a bit of that gag reflex, but most of my sickness comes from acid reflux in the morning. I only puked twice last week. 🙂

Movement: He’s definitely moving much more! Not much can be felt from the outside still though.

Stretch Marks: Definitely on the sides of my boobs and a few on my tummy. Nothing dark though. All fairly light.

Baby Bump: Growing and growing…

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Gender: BOY

Labour Signs: Too early.

Belly Button In or Out?: Innie.

Wedding Rings on or off?: On, but I did experience two days of hand swelling due to hot weather where I could barely get them off.

Happy or Moody?: I’m content most days. Being overtired makes me emotional though.

Purchases for baby: Our stroller! (more details to come… ). Baby also received this gift from his Great Auntie:

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Purchases for Momma: Nothing besides some clothes.

Miss Anything?: Cuddling – I’ve been craving intimacy lately.

Looking forward to: Putting together the nursery 🙂

Baby Buys: Part 1

Here’s a list of what we have purchased for baby and why we chose each item. I will continue this series as we buy more to prepare for baby’s arrival.

When we were trying to conceive, we went ahead and bought a few items… because you know, it was supposed to be easy! In retrospect, I’m glad we got some good deals BEFORE we started paying for fertility treatments. Note: All prices listed in Canada – which is ALWAYS more expensive than US. 

1. Graco Blossom High Chair in Montego pattern

We got this on sale at Babies R Us for $199 (regular price $279). This 4-in-1 seat converts from an infant high chair to a toddler booster seat. I liked the flexibility of being able to use it as a separate high chair or as a booster seat with your own dining chairs.

gracohighchair

2. Graco Pack ‘n Play Playard with newborn napper station in Montego 

We live in a 4-level split home. My plan is to set up the pack ‘n play on our 3rd level living room where we tend to spend the most time during the winter. I can use the storage for diaper supplies and the changer instead of putting baby on the floor. The regular price is $249.99, but we also got it on sale at Babies R Us. I can’t find the receipt but my guess is somewhere in the $200 range.

gracopacknplay3. Graco Sweet Snuggle Infant Soothing Swing in Montego

I bought this swing excellent used condition. A mother had bought it for her baby, but the baby didn’t like it. We paid $120 (regular price $199 at time of purchase). I picked this swing because it matched our set, but also because it’s higher off the ground. I was worried with a lower swing (like the Mamaroo) our dogs and cat would be all up in the baby’s face. This swing does a forward or side-ways swinging motion, uses a power adapter or batteries and has a smaller base than the traditional triangle swings.

gracoswing

4. Taggies Soothe-Me-Softly Bouncer

I bought this bouncer on sale for $41.87 (regular price $79.99) at Babies R Us. Honestly, I bought it because I liked the colours. taggiesbouncer

5. Baby’s Journey Deluxe Pillowtop Changing Pad

I bought this on Zulily for $37.76 (regular price at Babies R Us is $49.99).  To be honest, this was an impulsive buy. I was buying a few others things and added this to the order when I saw it was on sale. Instead of a change table, I’m going to place this on top of the dresser in baby’s room.

changepad

All of these items were purchased in 2013. I won’t deny that buying items ahead of time does add some extra pressure when trying to conceive. We used to have them sitting in our nursery room, until I couldn’t bear to look at them and got my husband to pack them away in the closet.

Now, it feels good now to know we are ahead of the game! Plus, we saved about $260 by watching for sales and buying used. Bargain shoppers unite!

Attempting to buy for baby

I’m having a prego meltdown moment.

I called the West Coast Kids Winnipeg location last week to see if they had the Franklin and Ben Liberty crib in stock. They do not. The girl tried to convince me to go with the Jenny Lind. I told her were set on the Liberty. I also said we were coming to town at the end of the month and asked if would we be able to call back and order it to pick up then. She said yes.

I called them yesterday to order the crib. All Sales Reps were busy. The lady who answered the phone took my name and said they would call me back. I received NO call back.

I called again this afternoon. I was accidentally hung up on during the call transfer from the front-desk to the Sales Rep. I called back again and got through. The Sales Rep told me there was no way they could get the crib in before 8-10 weeks. I asked for a quote to ship it directly to us and she said she couldn’t provide it immediately on this call because she needed the box measurements and weight.

She also tried to convince me again to buy the Jenny Lind. When I mentioned that we liked the Liberty style better and the fact that it converts to a toddler bed without additional cost, she tried to sell me on another model of Jenny Lind with a toddler bed option that does not come in our desired colour (white). When I opted to change colours, the grey I selected was also NOT IN STOCK.

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The Franklin & Ben Liberty crib

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The Jenny Lind crib (model without toddler bed conversion)

Right now, I’m pending a call back from her with the shipping quote, but my guess is I will be ordering it from LussoBaby in Vancouver instead. I’m giving West Coast 48 hours before I place my order with LussoBaby. So much for the concept of wanting to support a semi-local business (as my head office is located 2 blocks away from the Winnipeg location).

Nothing pisses me off more than poor customer service especially when I was told something completely different a week ago.

So now, instead of picking up our crib, we are heading to Winnipeg to make an IKEA trip and visit with my work colleagues. I just am not sure the trip is worth it anymore since my Ikea wish list is seriously like only $100 worth of product. My husband is convinced we should still go, but we may make it a one night trip instead of the entire weekend.

I’m just itching to get the nursey going. I’ve waited so long for this and I can’t wait to have it all put together. My goal is also to have it done before August as my husband will start harvest then and won’t have much time to help before baby comes.

I also JUST received a call back from West Coast that they ran out of the monitor I purchased on sale through their website last week and it will be 6-8 weeks before I receive it. REALLY? I’m glad I’m on top of these things and baby isn’t due to arrive tomorrow! 

Sometimes it makes me laugh how trying to be organized can actually cause more stress. 🙂

21 week bumpdate

How Far Along: 21 weeks and 4 days

Meds: All taken daily – prenatal vitamin, Omega 3 + DHA, Vitamin D, Ranitidine (2x/day), Magnesium (250g at bedtime as per my chiro’s recommendation), Gaviscon for heartburn as required.

I’m very happy to say I have not taken a Zofran in over a week! Also, taking Magnesium will help to get the rear-end moving. It’s been a success so far!

Baby is the size of: Baby bok choy or a cantelope

Best Moments This Week: Things are just starting to feel more real. My husband talks to the baby more. I saw a cantelope at the grocery store yesterday and loudly yelled to Mike, “Hey, this is the baby this week!”.

Total Weight Gain: Definitely up a bit this week! Not puking has helped. I weighed myself earlier this week, and I think I was up another pound – approx 6.6 lbs total.

Maternity Clothes: I have the worst body for maternity clothes! I have decided that maxi skirts and regular pants + the BellaBand will be the way to go. I’m carrying my baby low, so most maternity pants dig in right where he sits. My new jean shorts were an epic fail on Saturday. They fit great when I stand but are way too tight when I sit. Lesson learned: I need to sit down and stand whenever I try anything new on at the store.

Symptoms:  Heartburn, only morning pukes and the occasional headache. Drinking lots of water and eating small, frequent meals seems to help the headache. I had a massage on Friday where she tried to move my ribs down as she said everything was squashed upwards. My heartburn has improved significantly since then!

Sleep: Fairly good lately. My pillow fort = wonderful

Food Cravings: Ice cream, fruit, Dairy Queen Cheeseburgers – this one is bizarre for me! I never ate any food except ice cream from there before I became pregnant!

Anything making you queasy or sick:  Same ol, same ol – Taking too much of something in my mouth, eating too much in one sitting, brushing my teeth

Movement: I keep joking that our baby is definitely his father’s son as Mike secretly loves Top 40 hits – anything with a beat and a good dance rhythm. I’ve noticed that baby tends to move around if an upbeat song is on the radio. The first time I noticed it “Gernomino” by Sheppard was playing.

Stretch Marks: UPDATE: I don’t have the linea nigra! It must have just been the seam from the pants I was wearing diging in that day. Mike laughed when I told him to look at my belly and there was nothing there. I have noticed a few new strectch marks. I’ve switched to lathering up with coconut oil every night. My massage therapist also encouraged me to get further out on my hips as she’s worried I’m going to have some new ones appear there.

Baby Bump: Growing and growing…

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Gender: BOY

Labour Signs: Too early.

Belly Button In or Out?: Innie, but my skin is definitely stretching. My scars from my ectopic surgery are popping out more.

Wedding Rings on or off?: On.

Happy or Moody?: I’m generally in a good mood these days. Getting overtired causes me to be moody.

Purchases for baby: Nothing this week!

Purchases for Momma: My diaper bag arrived…. and I LOVE IT!

Miss Anything?: Cuddling, riding my bike, bending over without a struggle,

Looking forward to: Buying for baby – I need to do a post on what we’ve decided on for our major purchases.

Kegels 101

Kegels are exercises to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles. These muscles stretch from your public bone (in front of your pelvis) to the coccyx (tail bone) at the back.

As I mentioned in my previous post, To pee or not to pee?, I have a regime that my Physiotherapist has given me to help strengthen my pelvic floor… and prevent me from PEEING myself during this pregnancy! 

This week, I have two kegel exercises to do twice a day:

1) Quick squeezes*: this action involves quick squeezing and letting go of the muscles. 10 sets of 5 quick squeezes with 10-20 seconds of rest between sets.

2) Hold squeezes*: this action involves squeezing up and holding for a specified period of time. 10 sets of squeezes held for 2 seconds with 4 seconds of rest between squeezes. 10-20 seconds of rest between sets.

*I made up these exercise names. I’m sure there is a proper terminology for them though!

The key is to ensure you are squeezing the CORRECT muscles. The first time I did the exercise, the Physiotherapist noted that I used my abdomen and glutes to help which is not the right way to do it.

Here are some guidelines to ensure you are using the right muscles:

  • Tighten and lift (pull upwards and inward) the muscles around your vagina as if to stop urine flow
  • Tight the muscles you would use to stop gas from coming out
  • Your abdomen and glutes should not be involved
  • No one should be able to tell you are even moving any muscles

She recommended I do them seated or laying versus while engaged in activity.

We also discussed posture and sleeping positions. She stressed the importance of not putting too much strain on my hips or pelvis. When sleeping on my side, my upper leg should be slightly behind the lower leg. As a stomach sleeper, I tend to roll forward and place my upper leg over the lower. I’ve tried her suggestion for a few nights and notice much less strain in my hips. I also explained that I tend to sit up to change positions in bed. She said that is actually putting extra stress on my pelvic floor. She suggested that I always ensure I am rolling over and getting up by supporting my body with my arms and legs. It’s almost like how I needed to support myself post-op after my laparoscopy surgery. I’m also making an effort to ensure my sitting posture to straight (not learning forward) and that I’m also not leaning more on one hip than the other.

Before bed, she also suggested I lay down with my feet together in the butterfly pose to stretch out my hips, inner thigh and pelvic muscles. I can also roll side to side to deepen the stretch.

The handout she gave me said it can take 4-6 months to see full effects but positive change can be noticed within a few weeks. Here’s hoping!

*Note: I am not a medical professional. If you think kegels might work for you, I highly recommend you discuss them with your doctor or physiotherapist. I’ve seen some mixed reviews online about how doing TOO MANY kegels will have a reverse affect. 

To pee or not to pee?

You may have caught on that I’ve been experiencing some urinary incontinance issues. Over the past year or so, the following situations have caused my pelvic floor to weaken:

  1. Persistent and excessive vomitting from 7 weeks pregnant to 18 weeks pregnant, plus the occasional vomit since then
  2. Being on pelvic rest for almost 20 weeks over the span of 2 pregnancies and 1 surgery recovery
  3. Lack of sexual intercourse (because come on – puking doesn’t make me want it and isn’t really a huge turn on for him either)

I basically started peeing myself during my major puking episodes. The excessive force of continuous heaving left my pelvic floor wide open for my bladder to empty itself. I do fairly well with coughing or sneezing standing up, but if I’m sitting down, it’s all over. This clearly is an inconvienance if I’m working, driving, or doing any other laid back activity. I’ve started wearing liners when I go out just so that I don’t end up with wet pants.

Today, I had my first apppointment with a Physio Therapist who specializes in Women’s Health.

I left with a variety of kegel exercises to do, pelvic releasing stretches, direction on how to roll over, sit up and get out of bed, and strict instructions for how to sleep. If I’m on my side, I can’t let my upper leg/hip roll foward over the bottom leg/hip to avoid putting stress on my pelvis, hips and glutes.

I’m hoping after a few sessions with her, I will notice an improvement and avoid any future issues that may affect this pregnancy or thereafter.

Wish me luck!