Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Telling My Parents I Got Knocked Up

On Sunday we took my parents out to eat and told them about the baby. We found photo frames that said "Grandma&Me" and "Grandpa&Me." I took the stock photo of happy grandparent and kid and flipped it over to the blank white side and wrote "Baby Davey - coming April 2015" and put it back together and wrapped them up.

Nearing the end of lunch, I told them I had early birthday presents for them - since their birthdays are a week apart in late October/early November. They looked confused at first, and then kind of guessed, "Oh, because you'll be busy with volleyball tournaments then?" I sort of nodded.

They both unwrapped the frames and my mom's jaw dropped to the table. There were gasps and congratulations, and my dad's first words were "I'm too young to be a grandpa!" Which he is not. He's in his late-60s and has been retired nearly a year. So of course Bobby chimed in, "I better not tell my parents then!" as his parents are a solid 15 years younger than mine.

No one yelled at me for being irresponsible or throwing away my future. Except when I mentioned that I was going to quit my job when the baby came. That did not go over well. I don't really have plans to be a stay at home mom, but I've become increasingly unhappy at my current job. I've been looking for something new already, and this is actually giving me a perfect excuse. I'll be able to take as much maternity leave as I want, and then look for something new probably in the fall. I want to get back into tutoring or working in the schools, so I think it will work out perfectly. My current job pays well, but it's becoming more and more stressful and the management is getting worse. I'm ready for something new.

Bobby called his dad and stepmom Sunday night and told them. I'm not sure exactly how it went, since I was out playing volleyball, but they were still talking over an hour later when I got home. They've wanted to be grandparents for a long time, so of course, they were overjoyed.

Bobby is going to mail his mom a canvas print we picked up over the weekend. He wanted to tell her that way since that's how she told her mom when she was pregnant--by cross stitching something "grandparent-y" on a pillow and mailing it.

This is going to be the first grandkid on all fronts, so yeah...it was pretty exciting for everyone. I texted my sister, and Bobby texted his brother. They both immediately asked if we knew what it was yet...clearly neither one knows much about babies, but they were both excited.

I saw Emma at a volleyball tournament this weekend, so I told her. She was of course super excited and it was really fun to talk to her about it. I always thought we'd be pregnant at the same time, but little Rorschach is 7 months old, and he's a pretty fun age too--although he has zero hair and kind of still looks like an old man. I'm glad I'm only a year behind her, instead of much more like I thought I would be.

I'm 11 weeks 1 day today, so we'll probably start tell everyone else in another week or so. We have an appointment next Wednesday to listen to the heartbeat for the first time...I'm hoping for a good strong number! The only thing that keeps me sane is that I'm still nauseated 90% of the time. According to my doctor, that's a good sign. 

Coaching volleyball is still kicking my butt, but I'm so close to being done. Only a four more weeks - 6 games and state tournament! I can make it. I'm also hoping for a break in the nausea in the next couple weeks. I can't even remember what it feels like to not be at least a little bit sick.

Friday, September 19, 2014

In Case I Forget

Since I do want to track this pregnancy, and since I'm not doing it anywhere else, I should probably write something. I'm also exhausted out of my mind, so here's a bulleted list of what's going on.
  • My vomit-free pregnancy officially ended today in grand fashion as I puked up saltines at work. Other than that, I've just been feeling nauseated all the time. Nothing really helps. Saltines, water, ginger ale, ginger tea, ginger cookies, Conan O'Brien. I've tried it all.
  • The fatigue is worse than I ever imagined. I'm barely keeping my eyes open at work. I'm napping almost every day. I go to sleep at 8:30 p.m. I'm actually sleeping really well. I hardly ever wake up during the night, and if I do, I'm able to fall right back asleep. So that's not the problem. And I know the fatigue is only going to get worse, so any advice would be great.
  • My boss knows I'm pregnant. I was going to tell her at 12 weeks during my one-on-one meeting with her, but she approached me today and asked, "Should I be concerned that you're eating saltines all day and sipping ginger ale?" She promised not to say anything. In a lot of ways, I'm relieved. I've had to make dumb excuses to work from home when I'm really nauseated or tired, or try to sneak in a little late on days I can't get through the gagginess of brushing my teeth. She sent me an email right after we talked saying, "Don't ever worry about coming in late! Take your time. You'll get your work done. I never worry about that." Thankfully no one witnessed the puking, as the secret would probably be completely out then.
  • We haven't told anyone else yet (except my dental hygienist on Tuesday...that was a weird experience all on its own). I'm 9 weeks, 4 days today, and we were sort of holding off on telling people until 12 weeks. But it would be so much easier if everyone knew. I've had to cancel a lot of commitments or drag my exhausted self through them, and I just know people would be a little more understanding about why I can't volunteer for EVERYTHING anymore. 
  • I'm particularly nervous about telling my parents. I have no idea why. I just imagine them giving me a speech about responsibility and throwing away my future--which is crazy! I'm not 16! I'm a totally appropriate age to have a baby...I'm not even that young. They aren't grandparents yet, so really, they'll be thrilled. But having this conversation totally makes me feel like a teenager who did something bad. Since both of their birthdays are soon, I was thinking about getting them "grandparent" things and having them open them. I dunno. Help? Did you tell your parents early? How? Did they yell at you for getting knocked up (just kidding...kind of)?
  • I've tried to at least keep up with walking 30 minutes a day. I originally had some grand plans to keep up with my regular workout, just modifying it a bit and slowing down. Ha! That was a joke. I can't even type the work "jog" without feeling like my lunch is about to reappear. 
  • This one is rough. I've written two whole posts about it and decided not to publish either one. It makes me really sad and disappointed in myself. Here's the truth: I wish my volleyball season was over. I'm struggling this year and I know I'm not on top of my coaching game. I'm distant at practice, mostly sitting out of drills because I'm too nauseated or tired to participate. I feel an incredible disconnect from the girls on my team this year, and I'm sure some of it is my lack of effort to really get to know them. I don't have an assistant this year, so I'm on my own. I really feel like I never should have agreed to take this on, since I'm totally failing at it. I have a little over a month left, and I just want it to go fast and be over. That's not fair my girls, and I hate that I'm feeling this way.
That's probably enough confessions for now. I never wanted to complain about this pregnancy since it's everything I've been trying for the past two years. But I will say it's different than I thought. I imagined some graceful puking in the morning, but being totally fine the rest of the day. I imagined combating fatigue with exercise, fresh air, and healthy foods. I imagined being more excited and less nervous. I imagined more baby bump, let bloated belly.

What has been different than you expected? In pregnancy, in having a baby, in trying to conceive, in fertility treatments? How do you manage your expectations when reality finds you on a tan tile floor of your work bathroom puking into the toilet you share with 18 other women?

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Surreal

So I'm pretty sure that yesterday I was living someone else's life.

My doctor had told me I could bring Bobby to the ultrasound if I wanted to, but since I was so early there wasn't a whole lot to see (other than his wife getting probed by a dildo...). I decided I wanted him there. He's always up for getting out of work, and gets a ridiculous amount of paid time off specifically designated for doctor visits and such. It wasn't so much that I wanted him to “see” the baby, since it’s barely a fuzzy blob at this point, I wanted him there in case I didn’t see anything.

So many times during the last few weeks, I imagined this appointment. The tech getting everything ready, condoming and lubing the wand, inserting it...and silence. She’d look at me with raised eyebrows. Ask me what the heck I was doing there, there was absolutely nothing inside of me. Not even a blip on the screen, and certainly not a baby. Couldn’t I read a pregnancy test right?!

Or more likely, she’d find that fuzzy blob, but it would be too small. No heartbeat. It was there, but it wasn’t alive. I wanted Bobby there in case I had to hear that news. I had specifically scheduled the appointment for a day with no volleyball games or practice because I wasn’t sure I could be a decent coach after hearing that news.

As I walked into the clinic, I realized I didn’t actually know where I was supposed to go. I wasn’t seeing my doctor, so I didn’t know if I would still go the Family Practice/OBGYN section. I was born with a hole in my heart, so I had ultrasounds growing up to make sure it was closing properly...but that was always done downstairs in Radiology. Is that where they ultrasounded (not a verb? who knows) babies too? Or just hearts?

We walked upstairs to the OBGYN section. I told the receptionist I had an appointment for an ultrasound, but I wasn’t sure I was in the right place.

She got this sweet, motherly look on her face, “Are you pregnant?”

In the past, I had only ever answered that question with a guffaw. I was certainly NOT pregnant! I paused, and smiled, a little embarrassed, and nodded.

“Then you’re in the right place.” She smiled kindly and took the rest of my information. It was crazy! People actually believed that I was pregnant. I wasn’t just making this up!

The tech brought Bobby and me back to a tiny room, gave me a sheet for my legs, told me to empty my bladder and strip from the waist down, and left. I obeyed, though everything felt strange. Like Bobby was joining me for my annual pap smear or something (which he likes to call “pap schmear,” as in the stuff you put on bagels. The guy’s a little weird). It didn’t feel like we were really doing this...I mean, we don’t do things like this! This is not our life!

Bobby kept reminding me, “No matter what, we’re going to be fine. We’re still a team.” Obviously meaning, even if there’s no heartbeat, I won’t hate you for not being pregnant. Since the room was so small, he was behind me on a chair, and I was on the table, which took up 70% of the room. I couldn’t see him at all and he could only see the top of my head and my knees up in stirrups—not my face. The screen was mounted on the wall near the ceiling. I focused completely on that.

The tech was great. She was young and nice and adept with the dildo cam. Immediately after she put it in, she focused the screen. “This is the yolk sac right here,” she said, indicating with an arrow on the screen. “And this is the egg sac.” These were basically meaningless to me, they just looked like blobs, but I was relieved to see there was at least something in there, and I hadn’t just wasted her time. “And this tiny little dot right here is your baby.”

I’m pretty sure I exhaled a breath I’d been holding the last two years. There was a baby. A baby!? Inside of me. It seemed like a mistake. I wasn’t sure how, but maybe I was actually looking at the transmission of some neighboring transvaginal ultrasound. “And this little flicker right here? That’s baby’s heartbeat.” It had a heartbeat. It was alive. I tried to act like a sane person and not like I was shocked it had a heartbeat. The tech had obviously expected everything to be fine, and I was a maniac who was waiting for someone to tell me this had all been a joke.

The heartbeat was 115 bpm (Bobby keeps saying 115 miles per hour...), and I asked if that was good. She said, “Yes, that’s very good.” Anyone know? I’m trying not to excessively Google it.

She took tons of measurements and photos and poked around at my ovaries. She seemed satisfied with it, and told me my doctor will call me eventually and go over it with me. When she was done, she handed me a strip of photos with the word “BABY” and an arrow pointing to a fuzzy blob that looks like a tiny dinosaur.

Dr. G. told me at my last appointment that a heartbeat is a huge milestone. That a “significant number” of miscarriages were pregnancies that never got off the ground—something abnormal with either the sperm or egg and never created a decent embryo and never got to the point of having a heartbeat. Once it had a heartbeat, the chances of miscarriage dropped “exponentially.” Now, these aren’t really numbers, and I didn’t ask for real statistics, but I guess it helped a little, and made some sense (except I hadn’t seen a heartbeat yet, so I was terrified of not seeing one). And I’m sure these statistics do absolutely nothing to comfort those who have had a miscarriage after seeing a heartbeat, because while “exponentially” fewer, they still exist. And I can only imagine how much that sucks.

So...we passed the heartbeat milestone. What now? I haven’t gained any weight, but the bloating is unreal. I’m sure I haven’t gained because I’m not eating enough. All I can handle are simple carbs, which I know are terrible. Fruit and vegetables are out of the question. Meat is so gross right now. I’m mostly subsisting on waffles, pop tarts and Ramen noodles. Hello, college diet! I still haven’t actually thrown up yet, but I’m still nauseated all the time. The pooping is now mostly under control (thank goodness). Also I’m drinking a gallon of water a day. I’m so thirsty and so tired. I’m sleeping through the night really well, which means I pee for like 3 straight minutes every morning. At least I haven’t wet the bed!

I’m ready to be done being sick and I’m ready to tell people so they can give me a break for being sick. Bobby’s been awesome, and totally enabling my laziness. He’s doing most of the cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping, and letting me lie on the couch and be a bloated whale. It totally makes up for “schmear” and 115 mph heartbeat.