Overdue and over it

Today I’m 40 weeks, 4 days.

Still no baby…

I did lose my mucous plug over the weekend, but that doesn’t mean much.

I’ve been lucky to have minimal swelling during this pregnancy – even throughout the summer. Yesterday morning, I was on my feet doing some baking and cleaning in the kitchen. In the afternoon, we went for a walk at the lake. The result of both activities = I’ve officially got cankles. The swelling is starting to go down after elevating them and drinking a ton of water. I also convinced my husband to rub them and stimulate some of the acupressure induction points. This morning they looked decent, but by this evening they were swollen again.

Baby is moving well. Whenever he’s awake, I joke that he’s beating up my insides. I get a ton of cervical pressure as he moves around. A few nights ago, Bella our chihuahua was curled up against my belly and he kept kicking her. She didn’t move at all, so baby gave up. I found this quite amusing.

Tonight, I discovered my first hemorrhoid! WTF! I thought I would be able to escape without experiencing ANOTHER lovely pregnancy side effect. On that note, any suggestions for remedies? Surprisingly, it doesn’t hurt at all yet. I read that it should go away after delivery, but what else can I do?

Other than that, it’s starting to get really annoying when people ask, “No baby yet?”. I can handle, “Hey we’re thinking of you!” or “How are you feeling?” or “Hope your little guy comes soon!”. But, “No baby yet?” is the stupidest question. If he was here, we would announce it. :/

I saw my chiropractor and my acupuncturist today. I also ate an entire pineapple (core included) hoping that might help. My plan is to just take it one day at a time until my next OB appointment on Thursday. I don’t have any other practitioner appointments scheduled. If I haven’t gone into labour by the end of the week, I’ll try to get into chiro/acupuncture on Saturday.

Here’s my latest bump pic – all low and lumpy bumpy. 🙂

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Here’s a comparison from last week to this week. Note: I was wearing my Bella Band last week which tends to smooth things out and give my belly more support. You will notice a significant drop in the belly though. I’m not sure how much further this little guy can get before he’s actually making his way out my vagina.

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Please continue sending birthing vibes my way. I’m aiming to naturally go into labour before the end of the week.

Please universe! Let’s make this happen! I trust in the timing and believe everything will unveil the way it’s meant to. 

Reflecting on our IVF journey

One year ago today, I had bloodwork and an ultrasound, then started my stims.

I crossed over into the world of IVF treatment not realizing what was in store for me.

I think reflection is an important part of life. Not reflecting on the negative all the time, but reflecting on the challenges and seeing what became of them.

In the past year, I’ve experienced:

  • A cocktail of fertility meds
  • Over 120 self (or husband) injected needles
  • Close to 50 blood tests
  • 2 surgeries
  • 2 embryo transfers
  • 2 pregnancies
  • Grief and heartache following a pregnancy loss
  • A mild case of OHSS
  • Borderline Hyperemesis Gravidarum
  • Carpal Tunnel
  • Constipation
  • Acid reflux and heartburn
  • Lost friends
  • Gained friends
  • A newfound sense of self
  • A closer connection to my husband
  • A better understanding of my body
  • Love at first sight
  • All of the “pregnancy firsts” (first ultrasound, first heartbeat, first anatomy scan, first kick)
  • 3 changes in my job position/title
  • Paying off IVF costs
  • Preparing for baby
  • Stress
  • Relaxation
  • Fear
  • Hope

I’m sure this list could go on and on…

Was this past year easy? Hell no, but I would never change it.

The challenges were worth the lessons I’ve learned, the people I’ve met, and the strength I’ve gained.

If you asked me 1 year ago where I thought I’d be today, I would have said on maternity leave with a 3 month old baby girl.

Instead, I’m 32 weeks pregnant preparing for the birth of our baby boy.

Life changes and we can’t control it.

All we can do is look back on it and appreciate how far we’ve come. ❤

The journey never ends. It merely twists and turns us in another direction.

journey quote

Facing fears during pregnancy after loss

Before we took our hypnobirthing classes, I was struggling with a lot of fear – about the upcoming anatomy scan, reaching viability, etc. Hitting 20 weeks was a huge milestone for me. This timing perfectly coincided with a hypnobirthing class on releasing fears. My husband and I both wrote down a list of anything that was bothering us and released each item through a visualization exercise.

On Monday night, we met with our doula to discuss our birth preferences. I prefer the term preferences because we all know that you can’t plan exactly how your labour and delivery will go.

I told her that my biggest outstanding fear is the potential for going overdue and resulting in a stillborn. I thought this fear might impact some of my birth preferences (i.e natural labour onset versus induction), but that I want to dig deeper into it and try to release it before I make a definite choice.

My doula was very reassuring that fears are a normal process of the journey. She reminded me of the statistics around gestational periods and how we can always use more natural ways to induce labour before seeking medical intervention.

My best friend is due to have her baby next week. She visited her OB this morning to discuss the possibility of induction.  She’s having regular monitoring to ensure that everything is ok.

I reminded her that she needs to trust her intuition. If she feels like anything is wrong, then she should go directly to the hospital. Then I realized, I need to listen to my own advice.

I am a highly intuitive Momma.

I believe that everything will be fine.

I believe that I can have the natural birth I desire if it’s my preference to do so.

I am grateful for every kick my little boy gives me as it reassures me that he’s alive in there.

I am excited to welcome him into our world.

So, I’ll continue facing my fears during this pregnancy after loss, trusting in the process and continually growing as the journey moves on.

fearconfront

What are your biggest fears? How are you dealing with them? 

Answering the question: do you plan on having more children?

Last night at our hypnobirthing class, another gal asked me if we want to have more than one child.

I fumbled for words and replied with, “Ummm, ughh, well… we might have to pay for another child. Yes we would love to have one, but we may have to do IVF again”.

If there’s a set of questions that has bothered me since we got pregnant, it’s that: Will you do IVF again? Do you plan on having more children?

When you face infertility, the answer is never simple.

I didn’t plan on struggling to get pregnant.

I didn’t plan on doing IVF.

I didn’t plan on losing our first baby.

We would love to have two children on earth. I’ve always pictured myself with two kids – the perfect family of four. We do have many options to make that happen. Although when you have difficulty conceiving on your own, the options become complicated, emotionally-charged and costly.

The hardest part about these questions is that I feel like it detracts from this pregnancy.

Can’t we be left alone to enjoy growing and bringing our son into the world?

Why do we need to rush life and prepare for the future?

Infertility and pregnancy loss teaches you to slow down; to cherish the small milestones. Deep down, you know that nothing is guaranteed. Life could change instantaneously and completely side-rail your plans. You take life one day at a time, one step at a time.

So, what’s our future family plan?

We aren’t thinking about it.

When the time feels right, we will entertain our options for growing our family.

Right now, we are going to cherish each and every second we have with our son and welcome him with love into this world. He’s our focus right now. We’ve worked so hard to have him.

Our family is growing by one beautiful baby boy – and for now, that’s enough for us.

The poop chronicles

This afternoon, I experienced some backlog in my back end. After I refilled my Zofran,  I didn’t take my Restorolax for a few days as I still had normal movement. BIG MISTAKE!

I started drinking it again over the past two days, but was still experiencing constipation.

This afternoon,  I managed to find some relief using a suppository. I still felt like there was more up there, so I put in a second one hoping it would clean me out good. The thing is: it didn’t. Normally,  I go within a matter of minutes. I forgot about it and went on with my day. 

I’m currently at the airport heading on a business trip. I brought my Restorolax along in my carry-on which is just a small jar of powder. Well the scanner picked it up as liquid (????) and they unpacked my bag to find my constipation remedy falsely fooled them.

Once I was through security,  I called my husband. All of a sudden,  I felt an extreme urge to poop. I quickly ended our call and rushed to the bathroom.  I was already in the stall when I let out what I thought would be gas…. Except it was (oh yes you guessed right) melted suppository. I just sharted my pants. Luckily, it was more melted glycerin than shit.

I knew there was a reason I packed extra undies and pants. I quickly changed my underwear and put on a pair of clean jeans.

I thought my goal for this trip would be to make it through the flight without puking afterwards,  but turns out I needed to be more worried about my other end! Oh the joys of pregnancy!!!

After vaginal progesterone suppositories, bum suppositories, fertility injections, diaherria, constipation and extreme morning sickness, nothing grosses me out anymore! I’m well prepared for baby! 🙂

Combatting nausea and realizing fears

I finally got my Zofran refilled by my GP. Seeing her was a bit ironic as my OB is her Dad! She was super excited for us though. She gave me a 1 year refill (knowing I won’t need that much) and also one for Ranitidine (Zantac) to curb my heartburn. If you have the prescription, you can get it covered by your benefits instead of buying it over the counter.

So far, I’m feeling much better. I tried to skip my night time dose last night, but that proved to be a wrong decision. Things seem to work well if I take 1 pill at night and 1 pill at noon. I’ve realized that I need to stop being so stubborn and take the damn meds. I need some quality of life during this pregnancy. Self-care is important and in this case, taking the meds is caring for myself. This whole medicated versus natural debate keeps coming up in my life though.

In two weeks, my husband and I are starting hypnobirthing classes. I’ve always desired to have a natural birth. Although, I am open to an alternate birth plan if complications arise.

Last night, I had a bath and began to read the Hypnobirthing manual. A few chapters in, I realized that I have SO MUCH FEAR around medical intervention during birth. I have heard many stories lately about full episiotomies, vaccums, foreceps, etc. It almost seems more traumatizing when they intervene while a mother is trying to have a vaginal birth versus simply wheeling you in for a c-section.

I find this fear to be ironic as clearly medical intervention has been a good thing for us. Without it, we would not have conceived our children. As a mother who has experienced pregnancy loss, medical intervention also eases my worries. Every ultrasound and OB appointment gives me validation that my baby is ok.

Still, I long for some control on this journey. I desire one thing to go as I planned… Perhaps that’s the issue? Do I need to let go of ALL need to control?

Either way, I don’t have the answer. I hope to work through it and get to the root cause as we prepare for baby’s arrival.

I’m officially 16 weeks today. 🙂 ❤