Entry #84: Two Plus One

Husband wants to create this seashell mobile out of our own found shells and driftwood from our travles, but the pre-ultrasound purgatory has us holding our breath. (image source)

Is it Real?

Who the hell knows. I’ve gotten onto the Glow Nurture App to log my symptoms, weight, meds, water consumption, etc. While I’ve yet to throw up, for a solid 7 days I had rampant case of what rhymes with Santa Maria. So that was a joy. Fortunately that mellowed out. I’m sleeping like the dead for the most part, keeping the multiple small meals plan my acupuncturist recommended, and have completely lost the ability walk at a brisk pace. I’ll take these all as very good signs.

What else can I do til we get to the doc’s office, right? Keep breathing.


Six Weeks

Gotta love how the books and calculators add two weeks to the counter. So they say I’m 6 weeks’ pregnant because they assume a regular menstrual cycle before that…even though there was no embryo inside me 6 weeks ago. Heh. Maybe it’s to make us feel better, like we’ve put in more work than we have with this alien inside our uteruses. Who the hell knows.


Anyhow, I have visited a few pregnancy & parenting forums and blogs lately and yes, I’ve developed pet peeves already. Just like the overwhelming number of fucking Jesus freaks in the blog universe proselytizing how “God made this pregnancy happen” and “God listened to our prayers” and “Our heavenly father told us that IVF would work” and “God told us that we should rescue these poor orphans and do a Kickstarter campaign to get money to pay for it” and “HE” was looking out for them (while “he” obviously was not giving a flying fuck about the young black men murdered during routine traffic stops or those in Orlando getting killed while dancing or the 683,000 women who are raped every year (source) or the child abusers, people who torture animals, and more…), there are some real whoppers I see out there repeatedly that just make you go WOW. What. The. Hell. Dude……

  • Showing your “bump” at 4-6 weeks. No matter how skinny you are, it’s not a fucking bump that early. It’s gas. You are bloated, not the pregnant Hulk. Your uterus did not double in size since your positive HPT 2 weeks ago. The embryo is the size of a fucking seed.
  • Showing your “bump” in your bra and panties in that oh-so-classy bathroom mirror selfie shot. Why the fuck do I want to see your nearly nekkid self preening like Kim Kardashian? What’s this massive need for validation and attention from strangers? Yep, I’m 42 and pregnant and while I love tasteful photographs of women’s bodies, including beautiful pregnant bellies (I’ve taken them myself as a photographer in my younger days), I am having a “Oy – kids these days!” moment seeing this. Heh. But really, while I may post a few clothed pictures of me over the next 9 months on my blog in normal settings, I can tell you the only person seeing me in my skivvies is my husband. And when I do selfies – they’re not in the mirror with my phone in front of me! So weird…turn your phone around fools!
  • Posing medical questions to a forum full of pregnant women, rather than asking a trained professional. Really – you think I’m going to be able to look at your ultrasound picture and tell you the sex? Really – you think asking a bunch of pregnant women for a second opinion (rather than actually GETTING a second opinion from another trained professional) is the way to go? Really – you think going on to a forum is the best way to find out if you’re in labor? Oy. Deep breath.

I’m almost to the point of adding to the list the oh-so-popular “baby as food” analogies when it comes to describing the size of the embryo and fetus. A few are cute but really, while “chocolate chip” is cute, I think they should really cut it out after a few items of food are named (hell, BabyCenter says at 26 weeks your baby is the size of a scallion – huh? Not a good visual for me, sorry) – or at least compare them to other household items. How about “your baby is as big as a digital camera” or “your baby is the size of a throw pillow” or “your baby is the size of a chihuahua”? Sheesh! Heh…


Next month’s focus? The Doula Search

So assuming all works out on Thursday and we “graduate” from our fertility doctor, we’ll first go to our midwifery for our initial appointment to chat with them about our plans, figure out who our team will be (they have 7 or 8 on staff), all that good stuff. Then once that’s all set up, we’ll start interviewing prospective doulas.

As I know several people who have had wonderful things to say about having one, as first time parents we’ll definitely be partnering with a doula, in particular with the unique sets of anxieties that come with being both a new mum having a DEIVF baby as well as us being a new parents over 40.  And because of that, I went to the local Birthingway College of Midwifery website to do a search for doulas who have potentially worked with couples like us. I wondered if I was asking too much…?

But seriously, thank goodness for my hometown of Portland. We have an amazingly large community of midwives and doulas, and within 48 hours I had two emails I am setting up tentative appointments for August to interview them and see if one is a good fit.

As I didn’t realize how many people have not used one, and/or are not familiar with what a doula does, here is the definition:

“The word “doula” comes from the ancient Greek meaning “a woman who serves” and is now used to refer to a trained and experienced professional who provides continuous physical, emotional and informational support to the mother before, during and just after birth; or who provides emotional and practical support during the postpartum period.”
~ DONA International

Doulas by the way are NOT just for the mother as described above!! Yes, childbirth is a uniquely female experience, but it does NOT make the father (or other mother) any less important as a parent. A good doula provides support to the father as well, and I know my husband will need it just as much as myself!!! He’s getting a little nervy already about being a first-time dad, which is incredibly touching, so he will definitely be a vital part of the doula interview process. The DONA site goes on to discuss the man’s (or other partner’s) role:

“With a doula, a father can share in the birth at a level he feels most comfortable with. The doula’s skills and knowledge can help him to feel more relaxed…Childbirth is an emotional and spiritual experience with long-term impact on a woman’s personal well being. A doula is constantly aware that the mother and her partner will remember this experience throughout their lives. By “mothering the mother” during childbirth the doula supports the parents in having a positive and memorable birth experience.”

After all, having a baby is not just the mother’s role – it is about becoming parents, and is an equal responsibility of BOTH partners. Period. For a great perspective from a dad on doulas, check out I Challenge You To A Doula.


Keeping the Mantra Going

I am still having small moments that stop me in worry, but overall, doing my best to keep the zen outlook I nurtured during the weeks up to and following the embryo transfer.  Yesterday I tried accompanying my husband on his regular bike commute to work and I literally made it 3 blocks before I found myself huffing and puffing and strangely dizzy. What the living fuck, man. So not fair. So I went home and cried and took the rest of the day off and binge-watched Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. This morning I did a good brisk 30 minute walk with the dog which felt like a victory after yesterday’s trouncing. Kind of evened me out. Tomorrow we’ll go see Ghostbusters and are psyched (I was 10 when it came out, the summer before 6th grade, and it blew my mind – can’t WAIT to see these four awesome women rocking the remake!!)..about time we had a date 🙂

So that’s that. We breathe in, we breathe out. That’s life.

Optimism is the foundation of courage.
~Nicholas Murray Butler

8 thoughts on “Entry #84: Two Plus One

  1. The biggest pet peeve is the medical one, this is why you are paying them! I hope you find a good doula. I must admit to getting a teensy bit irritated at the gender disappointment posts…even though I know it is a real thing and can happen to anyone. They still irk me for some reason.

    Good luck with your ultrasound!!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I haaaaaate most forums, the infertility ones with baby dust , now the pregnancy ones with very silly questions that make me worry for the future of the human race!
    I use the ovia app, you can also select a theme for baby size comparisons of ‘fun and games’…currently at 16w apparently the little one is the size of a ‘batman action figure’ 😂
    We are looking for a doula too…I definitely think as first time parents we will benefit greatly! We’ve been busy with house move that we have neglected this task! I’d love to know what questions you ask them. I think that’s a good one to ask is about how they work with both mum and dad rather than just you.
    Hoping time to your graduation appointment comes quick for you, it’s not an easy stage to be at…honestly I don’t think the worry gets much easier for us, but this appointment will be a biiiig hurdle to get over and hopefully reduce some anxiety for you both 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  3. A good doula is worth every cent, out of 3 recent birth experiences of friends , 1st ended in forceps delivery, 2nd was urged to push at 6 cm dilation and 3rd was induced a week early (result c section) all for no reason , such unnecessary interference is crazy.
    All 3 births were long and traumatic, it makes me soooo mad when staff take advantage of first time mums who don’t have the confidence to question these decisions. It could have been so different

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well put! I gotta say though nothing like IVF to teach me how to advocate for myself… it definitely made me braver… our culture treats doctors like they’re omniscient authority figures you know?


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