Everything seems to be going totally normally. We had a scan at 6+6 and measured only one day behind with a heartbeat of 130bpm. I felt relieved and invested and have been terrified since of something happening, but I just found the heartbeat tonight with a fetal doppler! 😭 I’m so over the moon! It was 162 bpm which sounds absolutely perfect to me. Things have been different this time. My nausea has been nowhere near what it was with Max, and I’ve been feeling so peaceful and creative and ready for Halloween. Normally I love Christmas, but with Max I wasn’t interested in any holidays, but was very interested in watching MMA. I’ve got some strong Aquarius vibes so far, and I’m betting it’s another boy. We’ll do the sneakpeek clinic blood test next week and find out! I feel like I can finally just relax knowing ghis baby is doing fine. We really may get to keep this one guys. ❤️
I have typed blog after blog and deleted them all. My due date came and went earlier this month, just days after my cycle started, signaling that our IUI had not been successful. I felt gutted, and completely ready to stop. We agreed to try one last IUI before moving to IVF. I was beyond ready to do IVF, but we have no insurance coverage for infertility and would have to save for a little while, so decided to try just one more IUI, then take a break. I knew it wouldn’t work. I didn’t want to do it. I didn’t want to put myself through that again. But I did.
And it worked. Just like with Max, on the last cycle we would do, it worked. Some boring stats, which are mainly for my own records— I first tested positive 11dpo (12dpiui). My beta hcg at 12dpo was 23, progesterone was 17. My RE increased my progesterone dosage from 200mg to 400mg, and ordered a repeat beta hcg for 14dpo (today). I had my bloodwork done today and should get the results tomorrow. It may be premature, but damnit I need to put it out into the universe that I am pregnant today. Even if I’m not in two days, or in a week. Today, I am pregnant. And more nauseous than I have ever been at 4 weeks in any of my previous pregnancies. I’ve probably spent well over $100 on pregnancy tests since Monday, and my line progression appears to look pretty good. I will know more tomorrow, but today I’m trying to accept the moment I’m in, and allow myself to feel happy and excited about this, even though I know it’s not guaranteed. I want this child so damn badly, and I hope it sticks around.
It feels good to put that in words after weeks of saying I’m fine. I’m not. I’m not okay. Things suck, worse than I thought they would. I thought that since I wasn’t as far along, it wouldn’t be so bad. Since we hadn’t told anyone, we could move on quickly. I was wrong. It’s different, but it’s not easy. I hate my body. God, that feels good to write, too. I really, really hate my body right now. I’m disgusted by it. I hate getting dressed every morning. I hate the 5 pounds I gained in the week following my miscarriage. I hate the way it so quickly moved on from this pregnancy, before I had time to mentally process what happened. I’m so frustrated with my body for the way it refuses to be on board with baby making. It’s broken. I’m broken. And I hate it. Max is getting his molars in, I think. This means nonstop crying and whining. I can’t focus on anything other than his cries. I don’t have time or space to process this miscarriage or formulate a plan for our future. There’s no room to grieve. I hate that I don’t have time to move through this. I also hate that it’s making me a shitty mom. I’m distracted. I’m not playful. I’m distant. I’m doing my best, but right now my best is surviving. When I was pregnant, my husband called me Super Woman. Now I’m just lasting through each day. There’s no one here for me to talk to. No one I can melt in front of. I don’t want to inconvenience anyone. I hate feeling like an inconvenience. I’m so, so sad. I hate being depressed. I wanted to be done with this. I wanted to heal whatever emotional trauma I was carrying around. But, here I am. Surviving. Hating my body. Not doing okay. Again.
Unfortunately there was no heartbeat at the scan today, and I’ve started spotting. I’m feeling an odd sense of relief. Obviously I’m sad to lose this pregnancy, but it’s nice to be out of limbo. I’m just waiting for things to pick up now, and hoping it goes quickly. My biggest emotion right now is anger. It’s so much work to conceive, and then we miscarry anyway. My doctors haven’t been incredibly helpful, either. They say because I’m “young and healthy,” there’s no rush to get me pregnant. And I get it. I have plenty of time left. But I don’t want to spend years doing the same femara bullshit over and over again, when we could move on to something more advanced. It’s incredibly taxing emotionally, mentally, and physically. I feel like I’m less of a mother to Max while going through this. My depression this past summer neared the worst it has been. I’m just exhausted with all of this, and I’m ready to move on or find a physician who genuinely cares and will aggressively try to help. I’m incredibly overwhelmed by the thought of starting over again, but I realize that’s truly the only option I have.
We had our follow up scan today (7w0d), which showed a fetal pole measuring 6w0d and a slow heartbeat of 82bpm. I’m not 100% on my dates, so there’s a small chance things could maybe be normal still, but it’s not looking very likely. We’ll check again in a week.
I’m okay. Really, I am. But it truly sucks to be here again. I feel very angry right now, and cheated, and exhausted. I don’t want to wait another week in limbo. I just want to be okay if things are okay, and if they aren’t then I want to go ahead and get it over with. I don’t understand why it takes so much effort for us to get pregnant, and then why staying pregnant is just as tough. It’s not fair. I’m so, so full of anger right now.
Our first scan went fine. There’s a small fetal pole in there that looks like a grain of rice. I’m measuring a few days behind, which I assumed going into it. Max was 3 days behind throughout the first trimester. Maybe I just make small babies. We couldn’t see a heartbeat, but they said it’s no jig deal and that they normally don’t until the baby measures a little bigger. So, I go back this next Thursday for a follow up exam to hopefully see a heartbeat.
In general, I really haven’t been as worried this time. I think I do still worry more than the average person, and I’m trying not to get overly attached to the idea of this baby. But it hasn’t been nearly as terrifying as it was with Max. I hope that everything will be okay. I really so badly hope I get to keep this baby. But I’m taking each day as it comes. So, today I’m just thankful to be pregnant.
My symptoms this time have been very different than any of my previous pregnancies. I have occasional nausea and plenty of food aversions, but I haven’t vomited yet (although I came close twice). What is the similar, is that I’ve been insanely weepy and my acne is out-of-this-world awful. Actually, my acne has never been this bad— not even through puberty. I have been waiting for the extreme vomiting to hit, but honestly I won’t mind if it doesn’t, as long as we see a heartbeat and everything looks good.
It’s been a very long time since I’ve posted here. The truth is, I dealt with some gnarly postpartum depression (that I couldn’t even identify as postpartum depression at the time, because I was so deep into it). I abandoned this blog, I abandoned the moms groups I was part of- all of which amplified my PP greatly. I felt really alone and isolated. I think a big part of it was that we have no family nearby to help, so there was never a moment where we got a break or were able to step outside of the bubble we’d created for ourselves. We just went on our first post-baby date last month, and Max is almost 2! I started feeling more like myself around his first birthday, when we made some friends and started having more play dates, but some days (okay, most days) are still pretty hard. Still, it’s the coolest thing I’ve been able to do, and I consider myself incredibly lucky.
I got my cycle back last June, and we immediately started trying for another baby. At the time, we liked the idea but weren’t commited to it. It was very casual. We started taking it more seriously in October and added back in temping and opks. Then in December I met with a new physician and FINALLY after all this time received a diagnosis- PCOS. It was so so amazing having that finally. We started femara, metformin, and progesterone in March. I was actually really hopeful that it would work. We hadn’t tried metformin before, so maybe that was the missing piece. In July, my femara dose was raised to 7.5mg and I had three follicles. Good response, but nothing. Last month, I had 10- yes, 10!- mature follicles. I was SO SURE it would work, but day after day I tested negative. The day my period was due I was feeling crampy and tested negative again. I decided to stop testing and wait to start bleeding.
But I never did! Two days later I was tired of waiting and took one last test- positive! Three more that same day were positive. My beta the next day (a Friday) was 36, which is pretty low but also maybe just early? It was such a long weekend waiting for my next draw. The following Tuesday my beta was 191- doubling time of just under 40 hours. So, things are looking normal so far, despite a low start. My first ultrasound is in two days. I should be 6w0d then, but expect to measure a few days behind since my levels seem low, and also because Max measured 3 days behind until 12 weeks. I’m nervous, but also hesitantly excited. It doesn’t exactly feel real yet, but I also understand it’s either going to happen or it’s not, and there’s nothing I can do about it. So I’m trying to just enjoy each day as it comes and not worry about what will happen next.
My symptoms so far haven’t been too intense. Pretty much the same as with Max- headaches, acne, nausea. It’s still a little early for intense morning sickness, but I expect it to start within the next 7-10 days. I’ll be back to update either way after my scan. Fingers crossed everything looks healthy.
I feel like time is flying. We made it to one month of breastfeeding, which didn’t seem like long to me before I was the one in this cluster feeding marathon. At our one month checkup this past Monday, Max weighed 10 lbs 1 oz, so that makes me feel like at least he’s healthy from eating so much? He’s been sleeping decent stretches at night (2.5-5 hrs at a time) but feeds every 30 minutes to 1 hour during the day. It’s a lot. I don’t have time to take care of myself anymore. But, it’s absolutely worth it. We’ve really bonded over the last week or so. I thought we had bonded before, but looking back, I’m not sure we really had. I was having a really hard time initially, but I think we’re finally finding our groove. I am Max’s favorite person in the whole world. He wants me all.the.time. It’s really sweet. He gave his first responsive smile today when I was kissing his cheek. I was overwhelmed with emotions. I just love him so much I can’t handle it sometimes. This Christmas, we’re a family. I feel so insanely lucky to be here and can’t stop thinking about where I was last Christmas, deciding if I should test or not, still grieving the loss of our sweet baby, and just wanting to give up. I was so done. It was my lowest point. I had lost every bit of hope I ever had and was basically just going through the motions every month for my husband. Now, we’re celebrating with our son. I hate to think about where we would be this Christmas if my husband had let me give up when I wanted. I just had no idea it could ever be this way.
Nap time again.
Emotionally, things are weird and not what I expected. From reading other’s experiences having a baby after infertility and/or loss, I expected either to have postpartum depression or feel overwhelmingly happy. Neither happened, and maybe both did?
I assumed postpartum depression was basically not bonding with your baby, not feeling in love with your baby, etc. It isn’t something I was familiar with other than hearing stories of mothers drowning their babies and such. I stupidly thought that was completely synonymous with PPD. But what I’ve experienced, and I’m not sure yet if I would actually call this postpartum depression, is a lot different. I feel a lot of guilt. Yes, I love Max SO MUCH. He is the best thing that ever happened to me. When he screams (and he does it often), I think about how much I’m going to miss these moments in five, ten, twenty years. I’m doing my best to soak up every moment with him, because I know how truly lucky I am to be here right now and have him with me. I haven’t taken that for granted. Breastfeeding is hard, surviving on little sleep is hard, but it is absolutely worth it for him. I don’t know why I feel so much guilt. I just feel like I’m not good enough for him, like he deserves better than me. I’ve found myself on occasion rocking him and crying while I apologize to him. For what? What am I apologizing for? I know I’m doing the best I can. I know I am enough. I don’t know why I feel this way sometimes. Maybe it’s a continuation of my insecurities and fears from all of our struggles getting to this point. Maybe it’s my history with depression. Maybe it’s my hormones, and maybe this is just the “baby blues” that are totally normal. Either way, it was unexpected. I didn’t see it coming.
I also feel pretty disconnected from my husband. Our parental roles are just so wildly different. He’s the breadwinner in our family. I stay home. So, he goes to work. He comes home. He plays with baby. It isn’t that he’s not trying to help, but there’s just not much he can do to help. Since Max’s solution to everything is nursing, I have to have him most of the time. Really the only way my husband can help is by helping me (getting me something to drink, etc) but he doesn’t want to do that, so it’s almost not even worth asking. I understand, too, that he doesn’t see our every day here. He doesn’t understand when he comes home from work, that I’ve had zero time to take care of my needs. I tell him, but he doesn’t get it. I think it would be different if he could’ve taken a longer paternity leave. He went back to work when Max was still in his “sleep anywhere anytime” phase. Now it’s the opposite, and I feel really isolated and alone in this, especially since we still don’t really know anyone near us.
Also, about 3 days after Max was born, my husband said “Now I can see why people keep going back and having more kids.” Since, he’s mentioned several times trying again. I’m just not there. Honestly, I thought I would want more children. I originally wanted a big family. But it was so damn hard to get here. I’m just done with it, I think. He is enough. Max is enough for me. Going through infertility treatments was so hard on my body, and my mind. Being pregnant was so incredibly scary until the end. I just don’t see myself ever doing any of that again. My body has not been my own in such a long time. I’m ready to get back to myself.
Since he’s only 3 weeks old today, Max doesn’t have a whole lot of personality to talk about. I mean, he’s a newborn still. But he’s so amazing. This week he’s started making more eye contact and during his diaper change earlier, he grabbed the Snappi that was lying next to him. He laughs in his sleep. He makes some seriously hilarious facial expressions when he’s awake. He’s already so much bigger than he was when he was born. I feel like I can see him changing every day. It’s bittersweet. I don’t want to blink and miss him being little, but I’m so thankful I get to watch him grow. I am so in love with him.
I’ve been trying to write this post for a week, but I can’t ever find the time to finish it.
Let’s jump right in with a few postpartum things no one told me about.
1. Bleeding- Within about 2 hours after delivering Max, my bleeding had went down to about as much as you’d expect to see on the last day of a period. I was expecting massive clots and heavy bleeding. Nope. It was relatively light. By the next day, I was barely spotting. A week out, my spotting had nearly stopped entirely, and then BAM– 9 days postpartum I started bleeding, a lot. I would just be sitting down and could feel blood gushing out of me. It’s stopped and started back several times sense then. Now at almost 3 week postpartum, it varies by the day, but in general has been pretty light. Still, some times I’ll get a big gush.
2. Cramping- I was warned about the awful after birth pains, and yes they weren’t fun. By about 4 days or so postpartum, the cramping had stopped. Again, on the horrible day 9 it came out of nowhere, and has been off and on sense. It is so random and unpredictable. I honestly thought by now I would have stopped cramping so much, but it continues.
3. Breastfeeding- You know those Instagram moms who look like goddesses breastfeeding their 3 year olds and posting about how magical their journey has been? That’s not my life. I don’t like breastfeeding. I love the benefits for my baby, and I’m committed to this, but it’s not something I love. Maybe that’ll change one day. Who knows. But today my nipples hurt, and I went 5 hours today feeling absolutely parched and not able to drink anything because I was stuck in bed in the middle of an intense cluster feeding. When Max is hungry, he nurses. When he’s angry, he nurses. When his stomach hurts, he nurses. When he is kind of asleep but not deeply, he nurses. Basically he is nursing pretty much all day every day, except for the few hours he’s deeply asleep. It’s nice to know that he needs me, and that I make things better for him, but it feels like I’m nothing more than my boobs.
4. Sleep- I googled briefly and didn’t find anything, but I’m convinced there has to be something that happens in a new mother’s body that allows her to survive on such little sleep. Apparently freshly born babies can fall (and stay) asleep anywhere. Also apparently, around 2-3 weeks old, that ends. If I’m not holding Max with my nipple either in his mouth or on his chin, he screams. Which means I cannot pee when I need to pee, etc. It also means I can’t sleep, because it’s not safe to for babies to sleep on sleeping adults. So, if I want to rest, I have to hold him until he’s been asleep for at least 30-40 minutes, then lay him down. By the time I’m asleep, I have very little time to nap before he wants to eat again. And most of the time, I use his nap time to shower, eat, or use the bathroom, instead of napping myself. I’m super tired. And right now I’m awake instead of sleeping because I’m waiting on his diapers to finish in the wash so I can switch them over to the drier. I don’t know how I’m even able to form sentences right now. I’m truly expecting to read this a year from now and find a million grammatical errors.
5. Postpartum body- I didn’t have any expectations because I had lost so much weight during my pregnancy. By week 23 or 24, I had lost 14 pounds, then gained ALL 14 back by 28 weeks and gained only 1 more pound for the rest of the pregnancy. Basically the only expectation I had was to lose about 8-10 pounds by the time I got home from the hospital. Because, he weighed over 6 pounds, plus the placenta and amniotic fluid. It makes sense, right? I lost 5 pounds. How does that even make sense?? I’ll tell you, but it’s not pretty. Giving birth somehow made me extremely constipated, so in the 36 hours I was in the hospital I gained a significant amount of weight that I then lost immediately after my first postpartum poop. Yep. It’s gross. So, if you’re about to have a baby, my advice is to go ahead and pick up some Colace and take it every. single. day. Today I’m down 13 pounds from my pre pregnancy weight, and 14 pounds from my final pregnancy weight. So, I guess that’s about normal at this point. My stomach seems flat-ish until I put on pants and then I have the biggest muffin top because my skin is still so soft. I’m not sure if that changes eventually or stays the same.
To be continued (because the diapers are done and I need to sleep)…