Monday, January 2, 2012

Half way, and some infertile thoughts

Last Friday, we hit the half-way point with this little munchkin: 20 weeks pregnant.  We also saw the doctor for our anatomy scan, and good news abounds.  All of his measurements (yes, still definitely a "him" -- our boys love to show off the goods for the camera!) are spot on.  He's at the 63rd percentile for size, and I'm hoping he stays at that level instead of being a newborn toddler like his singleton brother.  Although he's ultimately exiting via the sunroof, carrying around a 10+ pound fetus is not what I'm talking about.  The cervix that gave me so much trouble during my twin pregnancy is long and closed and showing no signs of early shortening.  The doc isn't worried about it because of my previous success carrying a singleton and won't check again unless I insist.  Which I might.  But combined with test results putting our babe in the lowest risk categories for Down Syndrome and Cystic Fibrosis, we left the office happy.  Well, except for the fact that we had to wait two hours to be seen.  But I'm sure the OB could tell through my smile and "that's okay!" when she apologized that I was severely pissed and would not tolerate that in the future.

In the lower ultrasound picture, you can see the lens on his left eye.  Isn't that freaky?  I mean, in a "I will still love my baby even if he's a cyborg" kind of way.

At this point, I am feeling much better physically.  My appetite is picky at times, but the nausea is all but faded.  I am tired, but I have three kids under the age of four, how could I not be tired?  I have gained about 10 pounds so far, which is fine, but I weakly succumb to my intense sugar/carb cravings, so I fear I either have gestational diabetes or 30+ more pounds waiting for me in the third trimester.  Place your bets, everyone!

I also thought I'd finally take a minute to answer a question I get asked a lot: Does this pregnancy help heal the wounds of past struggles because it was not the result of infertility treatments?  (Okay, only my Mom asks me that.  But she's asked several times now.)

The answer: Not really. Not yet.

Let's first go back to the day I found out I was pregnant.  Because this pregnancy was not exactly planned, I didn't have the HAPPY-HAPPY-JOY-JOY reaction that I always imagined I'd have if we achieved unassisted pregnancy.  It was almost like, "Really, God?  Really?  Now?  After all we've been through?"  I realize this is not a popular answer for the IF crowd, but it's honest -- I was very conflicted, worried about how a new baby would affect our family.  I could hardly speak or function for days after seeing a positive on the home pregnancy test, as it all sunk in.  Of course this pregnancy is a blessing, and after processing it, I am thrilled and grateful to be completing our family with the fourth baby I started longing for after the twins were born.  But my initial concerns about the timing of this birth and the strain on our already strained family overshadowed the pure glee I would have felt to experience the more traditional hey-let's-make-a-baby-hooray-now-we-are-pregnant route.

But I think the main reason this pregnancy doesn't feel different is that we are still waiting for our grand result: The Baby.  Even though I'm thankful to have achieved conception without medical aid, I feel like I can't really declare this pregnancy a success until I'm snuggling my newborn in my arms.  We already know that after receiving help with conception, my body can carry a pregnancy to term and produce a healthy baby.  And praise God for that!  But what about when the baby is made from just me and hubs, au natural?  There were artificial drugs involved in boosting my eggs for previous pregnancies, and only the Best of the Best of DH were allowed to come to the party.  It makes me worry that this pregnancy is more fragile, that there is more of a chance something can go wrong, because our two parts (mainly my part, really) are weaker without the assistance.

How's that for being scarred by infertility?

So I guess the short answer is that hopefully this baby will be healing for me, but it's too early for that.  And I'm grateful to have one last little man to hold, love, raise, and share with the world, regardless of how it all came to be.



Deb Menard said...

You killed me with the "cyborg" comment. I'm beyond thrilled for you and DH that all is on track.

Pale said...

Congratulations ... all that good news is one load off.

We had a "surprise" number 4 after treatments to achieve #3 (treatments that caused a ton of angst over increased risks of multiples, which we feared ... though obviously not enough to stop).

#4 happened just about the time I was thinking we needed to get more serious about officially closing the door on family building ... which I was keeping open mostly for sentimental, squishy baby-craving reasons and not-ready-to move-on to the next stage reasons, not because I thought another would be a good idea (neither financially, logistically nor because of our increasing age). After treatment ... even though you ~know~ you must still be deliberate about BC ... it's hard to believe you'll ever be surprised on that front, even though you know it's possible.

I completely understand your early conflicted-ness. BTDT. At least for me, four was a big leap. Going from 2 to 3 didn't hit us too hard, management-wise. But four ... well ... he's 18 months now and we still haven't got much of a groove back. Everyone is different with this, though; so many variables there.

I have also had the exact same thoughts ... about the treatment leading to the cream of the crop ... and worrying that without the boost ... let's just say I've been watching 4's development like a crazed hawk. Which is fun because of course there is such a wide range of normal for milestones ... if they take their time with anything ... that's months of suspense right there (so far, so good). I keep thinking ... I'm overwhelmed ~now~ ... what would I do if we threw a little special needs on the fire?

Best wishes for smooth sailing with the rest of your pg!

You'll have to write about the various reactions you get to being the parent of four. We have several friends and relatives in the four-pack category. One thing we all have in common are the inevitable negative reactions you get from people about family size. Yes, it's a big fam. But we are not quite in the Duggar category. !!

Anonymous said...

hahaha. i thought that i was the only one that got creeped out occasionally by US pics!

i get the cautious reaction, totally...and you'll probably forget this feeling in 20ish weeks when you have a little baby to snuggle with :)

Aisha said...

Glad to hear that the ultrasound went well! I remember when you were TTC after Bean you wanted to have two kids and be done, and then you blessedly had three but it was outside the plan, and now four. . . so having read your blog for years now i can see how it would be a conflict of emotions but ultimately I know you'll do great, 1, 2, 3, 4 you're you and you'll do fine!

Jen said...

Congrats on your little alien...I mean little boy. I am in complete agreement. That is one freaky ultrasound photo!

I get the whole being scarred by infertility thing. Now that I'm done (I mean it, I'm done!) I don't give it too much thought these days. I wouldn't call Hayden an accident, but when I first saw that second line "Oh shit!" was probably my first reaction since Jillian was only 9 months old. She wasn't even sleeping through the night so how was I supposed to have a second one! I would be really awesome to just decide to have a baby and a month or two later be pregnant. *sigh*

St Elsewhere said...

Oh yes, I noticed the glowing orb on the u/s pic before I read the post...and I was like wow....Terminator or what? ;-)

I still don't know how to answer the pregnancy/children cure the pain of infertility....

Sarah said...

You can also think that this little guy is even stronger than the other three because he got there on his own. I'm not saying the older three are weak, but that all four will be in the same category. Perhaps some will be defense, one a quarterback, and the last a punter...all different sizes and abilities, but each one needed and crucial to winning the game - (particularly that last MSU vs. Georgia game!!! Are you kidding me with that game?! How awesome was that?!).

Lisa said...

so happy to hear the big 20 week went well, I know that is always a relief! And i loved everyone's comments too. I think after struggling with matter what level, you always have a lingering of issues there. Although I conceived with assistance and without...I think the I struggle most with relating to people that are still struggling. I feel like I can say, "hey, I get it..i know how you feel." But now I have 2 babies and hope for another and somehow that doesn't translate to understanding for them. I am sensitive creature and I think I will always struggle with that part.

Anyway, so happy baby boy is doing and growing just as he should and he will be perfect in every way! The boys are going to love him! :)

Mrs. Gamgee said...

I totally get it. While I never went through treatments for conception, I had hoped (and many in my life have commented) that after carrying a healthy baby to term I would be past the fear of miscarraige. Not even close. If anything, I think I am more nervous this time around because I know exactly what it is I will lose.

You should compare your alien pic to our wraith pic... pretty similar. Here's to the halfway mark!