Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Shower Celebration

Mentioned and shown: Baby shower, bump pics...

It was a day I thought would never come, and I'll be honest, as trivial as it may be to some, this day was almost important to me as my wedding day. My baby shower marked the welcome of a little person I have waited five long years for, a little person I wasn't certain would ever come into existance (at least not in this respect). It also marked a day that I 'came out of the IF closet' and a day I felt completely supported and loved. It was everything I could have hoped for and more.

Firstly, one of my closest friends, P, offered to host it. This may not seem like a huge deal, but she lives three or so states away in Idaho and carried a suitcase full of games, decorations, and favors weighing more than she does the distance (she's all of 5'1", 100 pounds). She put so much thought, care and effort into it, that Mr. S and I were floored (and felt a little like getting on our hands and knees Wayne's World style to declare 'we're not worthy') once she pulled it all out. She had personalized mint boxes with my name and shower date on the lid and adorable cloth bags filled with blue and white J.elly B.ellies (fitting as I live about 15 minutes away from the factory) for the favors. My new sister-in-law (Mr. S's bro just got married this past Saturday) has a fantastic high end bakery and so for the shower, she found onesie cookie cut-outs and made the most delicious and adorable onseie cookies covered in fondant to add to the favors.

The shower itself was held at my Mother-in-law's house who made the most amazing lasagna, bruschetta, appetizers, and strawberry lemonade. My Mom contributed one of those gorgeous edible fruit baskets, shrimp, salad, and cookies. And of course, no party would be complete in that household if we didn't have an assortment of adult beverages, so Mimosas (or just OJ) and wine were also served.

Meanwhile, Ms. S. was down the street at a family friend's house exacting his shower day plans, man style. He simultaneously held a 'Man Shower' (or beer shower) for the significant others, complete with a keg, hamburgers and junk food (they later joined us for post shower shots, and no, I was not a part of that 'us').

As they watched their sobriety slip past them, ladies began to arrive at our shower and I have to admit, I was really surprised that almost everyone who was invited was able to come (at least those who lived within driving distance). But most touching was the fact that one of my IF sisters, Sarang, came. She is still in treatment and I, as well as anyone who has been through the infertility ringer knows that getting a root canal sans anesthesia is generally a more inviting prospect than attending a baby shower, especially while in active treatment. While I gave her multiple opportunities to back out gracefully, she never once faultered.

As Mr. S. and I always say about her, "she is a better woman than I". I honestly don't know that I would have had the strength to show up or even consider it as an option. Two other IF sisters also attended, one of whom is due this Saturday and the other who is due a week or so after I am (and is one of those IF legends...yes, she got pregnant naturally after 3 or so years of IF!). All four of us are buddies, so you can now imagine how much more strength it took for Sarang to attend as not only was she at a baby shower, but all of her acquaintances at said baby shower were quite knocked up. So, in short, if you ever want to look up the definition of a true friend, be sure to look for her picture under the description. :)

And when it came time to share the book that would essentially de-closet me, I was shocked at how nervous I was! I certainly didn't think anyone would say anything too heinous, but I suppose the fact that I had lived for so long quietly covering up one of the biggest parts of my life from almost everyone in that room, changing the subject whenever kids came up, made it that much harder. I was an expert at keeping it under wraps (although after 9 years of marriage I would imagine that putting 2+2 together wasn't that hard, either). But I do know now that unlike times past when I would have admitted to feeling shame and that this would have essentially been the driving force that prevented me from sharing my IF, this is no longer on my radar. In fact, I'm proud. I am so proud of the strength that it took Mr. S. and I, of the strength of our union, and of the amazing people I've met along the way. I'm not saying I would have preferred to be infertile, but I am certainly saying that I was given an obstacle course I could have never foreseen and that I was proud to announce to everyone that I was still standing, whether I was successful or not. The fact that I will be lucky enough to see the fruits of our endurance is icing on the cake.

In the end, I do feel as if this was a celebration of weathering that journey as much as it was a celebration of welcoming Baby G into this world. The two are inevitably linked. I think every person who has stood through the storm of IF should be celebrated, whether they adopt, conceive or choose to live child free. We have all been through so much that if you consider yourself among the survivors, then that speaks to your strength of character and of all the reasons for a celebration, I think that's a pretty damn good one. I'll never forget my celebration.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

MSN is all kinds of wonky today...

Ok, first, how is that this woman has this happen when I had a free and clear uterus for 5 years and still only managed to fill it with one only after enormous medical imtervention?

And I'm praying that this will not resemble my story in the slightest. I mean, how it that even physically possible? Luckily last time baby G was measured, he was in the 54th percentile rather than the 1,000th percentile.

Last but not least, Happy Birthday Mr. S! Last birthday before the little one is here...might as well get sloppy drunk while you still have your designated driver!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Triple Dose

I am utterly exhausted. I would write about my baby shower that was held on Saturday (which turned out to be phenomenal), and eventually I will, but instead I think I'll choose to embark on a tale that began Monday and ended in a paramedics visit, the emergency vet and finally, the death of a not-so-close in relation, but close in blood family member...all in one night. Needless to say, it was quite the day and I for one am so worn, I'm not sure how I'm going to walk from my car to my office this morning.

The paramedic visit began when I lost a huge filling 3 weeks ago. It was so huge that it felt like I had lost an entire molar. While I really wanted to postpone dental work until after delivery, I was told in no uncertain terms that my tooth would likely crack in half and be lost completely if I didn't act immediately, prompting an inevitable dental emergency (someone is clearly of English descent here :). So, they put a temporary crown on and I returned Monday afternoon for the permanent crown. The doc asked if I wanted anesthetic and indicated that some people go without but that the procedure can expose nerves and be 'uncomfortable' and 'sensitive' at best. Due to the fact that 'excruciating pain' didn't work it's way into his description and that I believe in the approach of 'the less meds the better' for the little one, I decided against anesthetic.

The procedure was...not comfortable. He scraped along some exposed nerves with his instruments, leaving me to audibly moan a bit, but it was over with pretty quickly. I was relieved when he went to fit the crown and said, "the worst is over. you'll not need any anesthetic after all." It was right then, just as he began meddling with the crown in my mouth that it all started. First, I began to sweat a cold, clammy sweat. The room temperature felt as if it had increased exponentially and then the nausea set in. I contemplated not saying anything for fear of being a drama queen but when I looked in front of me and noticed that instantaneously I fell dizzy and was beginning to see spots in front of me, I knew something was wrong and asked that the chair be raised (probably not the best move). From what I could tell, my dentist looked startled and was studying me nervously. Later I learned all the color had drained from my face. Although he was asking me questions, for the first time in my life I was actually unable to respond. When the framed dental poster in front of me began to fade and tunnell into black, I touched my stomach and said without faultering,

"Call someone. Call an ambulence."

My fear of being a drama queen had clearly left the building. All I could think about was the baby.

Just when I knew I was a second away from passing out, the dental poster began to flicker back into view slowly, as if someone was dialing up the lights in the room. The blood gradually returned to my face and the rush of heat in my limbs was emptying out. It took a few minutes, but I was able to come to enough to explain what had happened and also to realize that the ambulence was on its way. By the time they arrived, I was alert and although I felt slightly embarrassed, I had no apologies because of the baby. The little guy began to wiggle around and I exhaled a gust of relief. After they took my vitals, blood sugar, etc. (which all came back normal) I was feeling well enough to get up on my own.

I was still sitting there with an exposed tooth, so the team looked on as my dentist quickly cemented the permanent in. It's not everyday that you get dental work done with 5 of the fire department's finest standing in attendance, is it? I decided against the trip to the hospital and instead insisted on Mr. S picking me up to which they agreed given that all of the color had returned to my face and I was able to walk around. Mr. S arrived and I got into contact with my OB on the way to the hospital who sounded as unconcerned as a doctor could be. Apparantly, I had a vasovagal response.

Yeah, I'm not a medical professional, so don't go asking me what it is, but if you click on the link and scroll half-way down (or look it up on We.b MD or Wi.kipedia) you'll get a better idea. Apparantly it happens more frequently in pregnant women and is pretty innocuous, so we headed back for home. Now as far as the trigger, it could have been any number of things or a combination: stress (work has been eating me alive, the weekend had been non-stop, and the dentist is not exactly my place to party), pain (trust me, there was pain), and lying flat on my back. I've also had bad insomnia, anxiety and nightmares lately, which has had me keyed up. Perhaps it was a recipe waiting to be concocted. The straw that broke the camel's back.

So, Mr. S and I went home and figuring it would be a relaxing enough activity, I propped myself up in the nursery on a pillow with my laptop in hand as he put the crib together when our girl cat came in, wiggled her butt over the directions on the floor and peed. This is a cat who has never had any behavioral issues and within the last day, I had seen her spend all of her time in the cat box. So, we made a plan to go to the emergency vet later that evening (she looked really uncomfortable and everything was closed) when I checked the evil F.acebook. Two of my relatives messaged me to tell me that my half-sister (who I have not seen since I was 7 or 8) was found dead that afternoon. Oy.

When they say bad things come in threes, they're not kidding.

So, after I broke the news to my Mom who told my Dad, Mr. S and I took miss kitty to the vet and so far, she's not doing much better. She spends her entire day in the cat box or licking. I spend my days exhausted to the core and overwhelmed with work. I was planning on working until a week before I'm due, but after that incident, I think I'll be looking at closer to 3 weeks off beforehand. Life and work are starting to get to me. My capacity to handle everyday occurances has been whittled and I'm even wondering how I'll get through the next month. When people told me that I'd be tired during the third trimester, I truly had no concept of what they were describing. Until now.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Great Article

I often get frustrated in having the lack of words to describe what infertility is like. While words will probably never truly do it justice, this article does a great job of going there.