Well, I gotta say, in the week following what I like to call our “For Real BFP” (2nd beta), I’ve actually been really chill. Not thinking at all about the ultrasound other than wishing it would hurry up and get here so we can hopefully hear a beating heart and exhale a teensy bit more!
It really has helped that I’ve been a bit busier with my work, having 3 coaching clients currently in progress right now, and a brand new recruiting client.
Several people we’ve told have volunteered advice on morning sickness or asked how I’m feeling, and honestly, it’s kind of funny. I’m not sure what it’s like for the others like me who are pregnant after a long battle with IVF, but honestly, nothing I’m dealing with yet is anything more than I’ve dealt with before. Nausea? Check – I’ve dealt with this the greater part of the past year and a half. Tired as hell? Check – it feels just like when I first got on the progesterone and delestrogen, just more consistent now. Gross belly button twinges? Check – they’re just more intense now.
What has kept me going and positive has been these three things:
- Continuation of Self-Care: Sunday I had my first “prenatal” massage which was lovely. Honestly it wasn’t a whole lot different than what my LMT gives me every month, except now I start out on my sides and end up on my back (no laying on my stomach, it’s always bothered my lower back anyhow so now I get to cuddle with pillows while she works around me, pretty great!), and she no longer uses the hot stones as it’s not recommended for pregnancy. And yesterday, I returned to my LAc for prenatal acupuncture, designed to help prevent or at least decrease first trimester symptoms, particularly nausea and lower back pain. It was great…in particular for my lower back, and I’ll be returning weekly until August 22 (after that it’ll be the start of the 2nd trimester, wow! can’t really fathom that quite yet).
- Focusing on Helping Others (i.e., WORK!!): I’ve got several coaching clients and a new recruiting client that are keeping me from just staring at the walls (or climbing them, heh) which is good. I miss my school-year volunteering, that’s for sure, and if all continues to go well and we are still pregnant in the fall, it will be interesting to see if they’ll let us volunteer, since the baby would be due before the year is up and our kiddos would need subs for the final 2 months…who knows…
- Getting our Financial House in Order: You know, all those things like understanding the fine print of how my husband’s employer deals with FMLA. Does he have to take all 12 weeks at once or lose it, or can he take the first 5 weeks off then come back to work part time and stretch it out a bit? The law says it’s up to the employer for intermittent leave, so we’re going to cross this bridge after the first trimester (when he shares it with his boss. But in the meantime, we’re meeting with our financial planner in a few weeks to talk about how much we need to realistically save (since we haven’t put much away considering we’ve paid over $25K out of pocket not including our adoption), and more.
This is my mantra. I am aware that things might not go the way we want them to, but it is not at the forefront. It is quietly back there as a risk of what we’ve gone through already to bring a child into this world. Success is NOT imminent – but neither is failure. So because of that, I am allowing myself to remain optimistic. I am continuing to look forward, continuing to breathe, continuing to take care of ME.
I want this. I deserve this. I am wholly prepared to take this journey. But I’m human, and I know that positive thinking does not impact the end result. Taking care of my body and soul is essential…no matter what the result.
The Complexities of a BFP from IVF
As many who have personally experienced infertility can attest, I don’t feel like I’m part of the “pregnancy” club. You know, those women who just “got” pregnant. Who never saw an RE. Who try to claim they understand because someone they know dealt with it (ha!).
I don’t know if I will make it to term. After 6 treatments. Thus far, my body has not had a great track record in hanging on to an embryo. But I will remain optimistic, I will take care of my heart and soul and body, and I will know that ONLY people who get it are the sisterhood of women who have personally battled infertility.
We have told our friends and family, and for the most part, the response was immediate and phenomenally touching.
After the first beta came in positive, I’d called my husband’s stepmum to tell her the news (who I just refer to as Mum because that’s what she is to me). She’s all heart and has been by my side throughout this whole process, even though she’s 17 time zones away in Australia. She has an enthusiasm for us and for her own children and family that makes me all warm and fuzzy inside. She’d sent me flowers and called me after the BFNs came in. She asked questions, she offered support, she knows what an emotional and financial struggle this has been, and she checks in on me often. And assuming all goes as planned for our pregnancy, she will be here when the baby is born. I can’t imagine anyone else I’d trust more to be in our corner during this time.
Other relatives? It’s been interesting. My mum has tried to the best of her ability, but most of her texts are about what she’s up to. She’s made no effort to get to know my husband or learn anything from us (or independently) about DEIVF – I’ve volunteered some info in hopes of spurring follow up questions….but nothing. That bites. And just as harsh if not worse? My husband’s sister has not bothered to respond to the news in the WEEK + since he emailed her with the news (she’s also in Australia)! I’m completely dumbfounded. He is feeling incredibly dejected over that. Since he moved here to the US, she’s made minimal if any effort to maintain a relationship with us (we primarily only heard from her when she was complaining about their narcissistic bitch of a mother, who my husband cut off ties with a while back after finding out she’d been lying to him for decades about his father who recently passed), and has responded to maybe two emails with about 2 sentences – and nothing to me about my infertility (ironic since she had IVF to have her daughter). It’s just shitty behavior and, like I dealt with on my end with my closest friends flaking out on me and pretty much disappearing from the friendship once my infertility treatments began, he’s unfortunately learning how it feels as well.
Anyhow…I am grateful for those friends and acquaintances who have remained steadfast, checked on me regularly, asked me questions, let me go into my “cave” during cycle four, and generally made me feel like no matter what, I was still valued by them. My life has changed so much since we
Who’ll Be Looking After the Three of Us
After the ultrasound, assuming we have the green light, our next step will be to get set up with the wonderful women at Alma Midwifery, where we visited over a year and a half ago when we first were trying to conceive (and had no idea of the road of infertility we were about to embark on) and fell in love with the place and the staff. Yes, these above pictures are of the clinic and one of the birthing rooms, and they offer a ton of childbirth education classes, prenatal yoga, and support groups after the baby is born as well.
For my husband and I, we are planning a home birth. I can’t imagine having our child anywhere else than here, where (s)he’ll grow up. They have a beautiful birth center, as you can see, and my friend who had her baby there last year loved it, but for me? Honestly, I need to be where I feel most safe and secure and confident – my own home.
Here are a few insightful articles and blog posts about home birth and the overall process that particularly impacted me, and the overall experience:
- 21 Spectacular Photos That Give An Intimate Glimpse Of Home Birth – whoa…
- The Business of Being Born – Although I saw this years ago after it first came out, I found this even more insightful now that I’m pregnant….and the short episodes More Business of Being Born, which tell more individual journeys – that also include hospital stories – are amazing. Both of these are on Netflix by the way.
- Safe Delivery: Home Birth in Oregon – A great story about the relationship between midwives and the traditional hospital that is nearest our house that is also making big strides towards partnership with midwives.
- My Euphoric Homebirth – A beautiful blog post that’s both funny, intense, and had me in happy tears by the end.
We are also going to start interviewing doulas, most likely at the end of summer. Being the planner type that I am, I always feel better getting this kind of stuff out of the way. I am hoping to find someone who has worked with over 40 women like myself, ideally who’ve gone through IVF, so they are better at understanding what couples like us have been through. We’ll see. Fortunately Portland is chock full of doulas and midwives!! I love my hometown. 🙂
9 days left until our first ultrasound where we are supposed to see what’s going on in there and hopefully get a heartbeat. We are trying to remain calm. My husband rubs my belly, gives me my injections, makes me ginger tea, and keeps on being his wonderful self. I am reading, learning, breathing, working, writing, and breathing some more.
Here’s to good results…for all of us.