Hopeful? Optimistic? Whatever the right word is, that’s where my mindset is trying to be now. Obviously doing a pee test at 5 days revealed nothing, as I looked at my chart as far as what’s going on and realized that today is the last day of implantation, not yesterday. Gotta love how a pregnancy test cost $18 for a two pack… no wonder those bastards at First Response make so much money eh?
My back believe it or not is even even more pain than it was yesterday. For the first time in my life I took 2 Vicodins and one Valium all in the same day… and rather than feeling completely stoned, I felt no difference at all. It actually took me 15 minutes to get from laying down to standing up out of bed, practicing my breathing all too similar to somebody in a Lamaze class.
Yes I gave myself a couple of minutes to cry and feel sorry for myself. But hey, just like when I got my endometrial scratch, all I’ve been telling myself is that whatever the pain is I can take it, as it will ease up and that to end up with a baby is our goal.
Did I mention my husband has started dreaming about babies since we started this cycle? Like my occasional pregnancy and/or baby dreams, of course most of them are strange (aren’t all dreams!). From a big baby that was just “there” one day to another one where our baby looked like a Mister Potato Head, including the giant floppy feet, and his many comments when he gets back home from work about the little ones he smiled at who were in the store with their mums or dads, he’s definitely got bebe on le brain 😉
He said to me how anxious he has been as well, and wasn’t sure why. Sometimes he still has to be reminded that just because I’m the one with the embryos inside of me doesn’t mean that he doesn’t get to share in the emotions! I told him it’d be kind of odd if he didn’t have a care in the world…
Visualizing the Belly
Along with the meditations I mentioned in my last post, my husband and I have both been focusing on visualizing implantation and a healthy pregnancy. I hold my belly during my meditations, and every night my sweetheart rubs my belly and kisses it.
And while I first held a baby when I was seven or eight years old, the most distinct memory I have of pregnancy is from my days in Seattle, where a dear friend became a mother. Legend is she actually conceived the night she arrived into town, as her husband and his band had moved there a bit earlier. I had been asked by the band to shoot live footage of them at a small venue and ended up connecting with her during these first few months of her arrival, and when she started to show, she volunteered to pose nude for me, something I’d always wanted to do but could never find a subject for. We did studio shots of her alone initially, and then as her belly grew, she hired me to do portraits with her husband. That project was the absolute favorite in my career as a photographer…they were beautiful subjects, very much in love and open about their bodies. The above picture was my favorite of the session, showing the intimacy of his hands around her expectant belly.
Over the next couple of years, we – living just blocks from each other – walked the streets of Capitol Hill together, her young son making me laugh as she became pregnant with her second of what eventually became four sons. When her second was born, we were closer friends and within an hour of his birth, I held him in my arms.
Back then I didn’t know if I’d ever want kids. I loved them, but was fearful based on my own childhood, as many of us are, about bringing a new life into the world. I held little R, and I wept with a sudden realization that motherhood was absolutely something that needed to happen for me. Back then I had just married my first husband, and yet, there were few talks of children. Too many logistics to figure out – jobs, finances, housing – before considering a family. And then he committed to the Drink and I never contemplated it in any seriousness after that. And because of that, when I was thinking I was near the end, I was asked “if you accidentally got pregnant, would you be okay with him being the father?” And the answer was no. He was good with kids, but in a big brother way. Envisioning him as a father was impossible for me because he behaved like an irresponsible teenager most of the time. So I asked him to leave, and a year later I had moved back to my hometown and bought a house and started a new life.
When I met Dan, it was as if the light was turned on inside me. The dream reawakened, and every single day I think of us with a child – or two or three – and smile. I remember when a little girl we read to asked “are you the mommy and he’s the daddy?” as she looked at us, and I smiled wistfully. This man is my family and I can’t think of any other life without him…having children is truly something we are meant for.
Visualizing the Future
And so along with imagining myself as an expectant mother, I also started reading birth stories, from home births (which is what we want to do with a wonderful set of midwives we met in our early days of TTC) to post-IVF successes to even asking my mom to re-tell her story of getting pregnant at 33 with me, her 4th child (but the first and only child with my father, who she was married to from 1972-1978):
“Once we decided, I was pregnant right away. Your dad I wasn’t very nauseous but began eating too much and weighed far too much… I gained 55 lbs! We had bought a new chair and my water broke sitting in it…so that was the end of that chair. Went to hospital and they discovered you would be breech…they didn’t want to do C -Section. The doctor was shocked I would ask for one as they considered it major surgery. I was happy I didn’t though, as recovery was so much faster. Anyway you were over 9 lbs… so it was a memorable experience!”
I also revisited Having a Baby, Naturally, the book I bought back when we first decided to start trying. When infertility became a loud reality, I’d put all books about pregnancy away, thinking I would jinx things or set myself up for heartbreak. This week, I opened the book and started reading. From how to write up a birth plan to prenatal care to fetus development to taking care of your heart and mind during the process of pregnancy and childbirth, I allowed myself to become a student again.
And as a hopeful mum to be, I put together this little collage of photos from the year I was born as well, remembering that I was once that small and seeing the happiness in the eyes of my mother and father and grandfather. Being born in the 1970s, it was the end of the era when men did not go into the delivery room. My father had done the traditional pacing outside and when I was born, the hospital’s common practice was not to allow kids into the delivery room afterwards, just the dad. But my 12 year old brother was not about to follow any rules and snuck in to see me while my 7 year old sister chickened out.
My husband is venturing into it as well, and we’ve cracked jokes about the big day, about diapers, as I have never changed one in my life (nope, never babysat, never had any interest in wiping the butt of any kid that wasn’t mine, at age 10 I don’t think any girl – or boy – should feel obligated to be put in a parental role. Big sister or brother, yes – I loved playing with my little cousins and dad’s kids – but as far as work? I’d always chosen to do yardwork!)…and my husband has changed many, MANY diapers. Of course they have all been *adult* diapers, as he managed a home for the severely developmentally disabled for over a decade. So he’s cleaned up greater quantities and I’ve pretty much just picked up Ruby and Daisy’s droppings. Heh. Last year I’d given him Be Prepared, which makes both of us cackle it’s so funny (and I swear, it’s not just for men either!!), so that’s back on the coffee table.
Dan played a recording of a baby crying that he found online and our Ruby’s ears perked up and she trotted right over to Dan to check things out. Our pup adores little ones…we can’t wait to have one for her to look after (think Good Dog, Carl)… this morning before my husband left for work he told Ruby to look after me and to get thinking positive herself about having a little (human) sister…😂
We are so ready for this…