6 Weeks Pregnant!

  • Obviously, she’s growing like crazy!
  • She’s also circulating blood with her increasingly more sophisticated circulatory sytem.
  • She’s about to get cuter too, since she’s starting to sprout a nose, eyes, ears, chin and cheeks.
  • And she might even be wiggling her (paddle-like) hands and feet.

Nothing super special to report. I’m exhausted all of the time and my boobs are huge and painful. I’ve been sick a few times, usually brought on by brushing too soon after eating. There has been a lot of queasiness with either cotton mouth or excessive salivation. The cramps have settled down a bit and I’m getting some slightly stabbing feelings occasionally, but usually only when I get up from bed in the morning.

I realized that our scan is at 7 weeks (7 days away!) and not 6 weeks as our RE told us so we’re waiting.

On the house front, the closing got pushed back to the same week as the scan so a lot should happen next week.

I’m getting better and getting out of my head. I am resisting the urge to buy yet another pregnancy test. I’m listening to pregnancy affirmations daily, which I think is helping. I think (hope) that things will settle down in my head after next week.

Very Superstitious

red stringI’ve written this post before, when we were blissfully unaware of the roller coaster ride of the TTC process.

Now that we’re officially 5w1d pregnant the Jewish superstitions full blown and I’m also doing a lot of un-Jewish things.

Let’s start with the Jewish things I’m doing:

Praying every day. This really old 18th Century prayer for mothers. It’s a little intense and when I say it out loud I sometimes laugh at myself and quickly spit three times (pfft-pfft-pfft) because this isn’t a laughing matter! Oh, and spitting three times.

Not naming Matzoh Ball, yes, that’s what we’re calling the peppercorn-sized embryo right now. Jewish folks don’t name their children in utero. It has more do do with superstition than tradition. And now it’s tradition. Boys aren’t named until their bris and girls are named the first time Torah is read in shul (synagogue) after their birth. (More about bris later). But traditionally Jews don’t do any pre-baby prep until there is a baby. So no registry, no baby showers, no nursery, no clothing, no diapers, no nothing until you come home with a baby in your arms. Don’t ask me how this works, because I have no idea. Leah and I are still trying to figure out what, exactly, we’re going to do. We’ve talked about getting everything set up and keeping the door shut, but who knows. And we have time.

Hamsas and Red Strings and Evil Eyes. I already wrote about our red strings, but I’m also wearing these beautiful Hamsa earrings I picked up on my last trip to NYC. The Hamsa, open hand often called the Hand of Fatima in Muslim culture, and sometimes with an eye in the palm is an amulet worn by Jews, Christians and Muslims alike for a variety of reasons. Each finger is supposed to represent the 5 books of Torah, but it’s also a fertility symbol and a symbol for protection. If I leave the house without the earrings on, no matter how many blocks I’ve gone, I turn around and to retrieve them.

Saying “Baruch HaShem” literally praise The Name” (or thank G-d) after I pee and get a nice white tissue.

Something's watching...The Non-Jewish things we’re doing.

I’ve made a registry. Which I know is a complete contradiction to what I wrote just a few paragraphs ago, but the level-minded, egalitarian Jewish lesbian in me knows that I’ll need stuff, especially since we’re so far away from our NYC mama friends. We had a great network of new moms there who handed down clothes, gear, and more but now that we’re on the Left Coast with very few Mama friends, we’re going to need gear. And since we don’t really have friend who will throw us a baby shower we can’t have, it’s a good idea to at least have a registry handy for friends and family members who want it. And my mother, who is not Jewish, has requested it. I should also note that Leah is adamantly opposed to registries of all types. She thinks they’re silly. I think I’d rather get just the requested number of items we need, rather than getting lots of one thing and having to do a bunch of returns with a new born.

hamsaThinking of baby names. Since we aren’t picking names, we’re sort of in Jewish tradition loop-hole land. We’ve written down names that we like for both a girl or a boy. Family names as well as names that have special meaning. Ashkenazi Jews often name children for relatives of family members who have passed away, with the hopes of instilling the new child with attributes of the person they are named after. I, of course, would like to name our child after positive attributes of my sister, so I’ve been doing a lot of research into her name meaning. As well as names that mean artist or creativity, since she was an artist. We have a healthy list.

In terms of how I’m feeling; absolutely grateful. Yesterday I was walking down the street and felt so much gratitude that I started crying. I’m still scared as all hell and I know that this is something that we’ve been working on and waiting for for a long time. And even though we have 35+ more weeks to go, I’m trying to take it one week at a time. Appreciative of the gift that I’ve been given, thankful for my body’s ability to create life and happy that this little soul has chosen me to be its Imma.

Affirmations and Fire Crotch

Today is 5 weeks.

I’ve still got the lingering cramps every once in a while. They’re pretty mild and instead of freaking the eff out, I try to redirect them into positive thoughts and affirmations about my growing uterus. I found some not-too-hippy Pregnancy Affirmations on Spotify that I’ve been listening to in the morning.

Everything else is really good. I’ve been eating well since I’d planned on taking a few months off to lose weight (if I got the BFN pht-pht-pht) and some how all of my aversions are to foods that are bad for me. For instance, I LOVE sweets and they don’t appeal to me at all. My favorite Telanti gelato in Salted Carmel was almost too much for me to swallow. The Pistachio flavor, though, is heaven, but I don’t go over board loading up on sweets.

I really really really want to tell my friends who recently had babies that we’re pregnant mainly to have women to talk to about my aches, pains and worries, but we’re set on waiting until we’re into the second trimester, so many weeks to go.

My only frustration is the Crinone that I’m taking that is making my vagina feel like a million ants are marching through, over and around it. Well, technically it’s not my vagina, but the labia area (sorry TMI). I’m super happy that the progesterone is helping to grow my placenta and support my body (affirmation) but holy hell it itches like hell. For instance, there is a Siig water battle between my legs right now because it’s cold and feels good.

So now my Google has gone from “What are these cramps!?” to “Natural ways to cure vaginal itching” and “Corinone itching.”

Sending all of you lots of love, light, happiness, strength, and prayers for whichever TTC stage you’re in!

A Different Kind of Two Week Wait

This two week wait is a different kind of wait. Filled with the same, but different, sort of uncertainty.

My worries:

These cramps and aches and pains. I keep Googling and Google keeps telling me it’s okay, but it’s freaking me out a bit. Anyone else have these? How long did they last for you?

Another Beta. I don’t know why, but I think that I’m going to call my RE on Monday to see if I can come in the morning for another Beta. Again, Google says that two is standard, but I think it will help settle my mind.

Nerves and Anxiety. I’m So excited to be pregnant. It’s been something we’ve been working on for so long and we’ve spent so much money and we’re finally pregnant! But I’ve been having really weird dreams, and of course a million what ifs fly into my head day in and day out. What if I MC? What if there’s something wrong? What if I’m not really pregnant and it’s a tubal? What if? I’m trying to re-direct these negative thoughts with affirmations about my body being strong and trusting my body, just as I did two weeks ago. But they just keep creeping in.

Did anyone else do this? How did you get yourself through?

B-B-B-Beta!

I first want to thank EVERYONE for the outpouring of love, emotion and support. Since we’ve only told our parents and bosses it feels really good to pop online and see everyone’s words of support so, thank you.

red stringThe last few days have been crazy! The first night after we found out we both barely slept. Last night was a bit better but I got up SIX TIMES to pee, and I’ve already had a near toilet miss. Thanks to my fibroids already swelling my uterus, I’ve joked to Leah that by the end of the first trimester I’ll be wearing Depends. She laughed, but I’m so not joking.

I’ve wept a few times, this morning on the way for our second blood draw I cried because I realized that I wouldn’t have my sister along side me for this journey. Despite her many faults, she was my only sister and she had three boys via vaginal birth. It really struck me this morning that I wouldn’t be able to call her to ask her for advice, thoughts on my aches and pains, or what her experience with birth was like.

I also feel incredibly alone here in Seattle with all of our pregnant and new Mama friends on the East Coast. I started looking up lesbian parenting groups or lesbian pregnancy groups on FB, but it’s interesting that we really don’t have a support system here to help us through this time. Leah and I’s relationship is rock solid, so that feels awesome, but the reality is is that it’s just she and I. Which if I think too much about I really get freaked out. Operation find lesbian (and awesome radical straight) moms ASAP!

Jewish things we’re doing: We tied red strings around our wrists at the beginning of IUI#5, there’s a tradition of women visiting Rachel’s tomb in Bethlehem and praying for children (or happy marriages). Pilgrims tie a red string around her tomb and then cut it and wear it for protection against ayan hara (the evil eye) and as a fertility amulet. The first is tattered and pilling and stretched out, so we decided to add a second red string for the pregnancy. It’s a lot of Jewish superstition, I’m WELL aware, but it also feels like tradition.

I’ve also been reading a lot of Tehillim (Psalms) and focusing on gratitude and appreciation for my body.

Lastly, still feeling really achy and crampy, which my fertility app and every single Google search has told me is okay and completely normal.

In the library now:

The Natural Pregnancy Book

Childbirth Without Fear

The Jewish Pregnancy Book

Birthing From Within.

All books I purchased on Amazon for super cheap for preparation into my doula work (did I ever mention that I was a doula?) But turns out, I’m reading them for me now!

So Beta? 328! Our 6-week ultra sound is scheduled for the first week of May!

Holy Fucking Shit and a Beta Update

CD 24

13DPO

I took a test two days ago and it was negative (hence the posts)

Since then I’ve been incredibly emotional; crying, weepy, angry, frustrated, sad and resentful of friends who are pregnant or just had babies.

I’d already prepared myself for AF and told Leah that as a consolation prize, I would be buying a puppy.

So today I woke up feeling crampy. I decided to take the last test in the box and totally expected to see a negative and instead got a BFP!

Freaked out, I called Leah (who’s out of town) and yelled, “I’M PREGNANT!” she was just as confused (we totally folded this cycle days ago) and freaked out. I explained the situation and sent her a picture of the test.

I called my RE office and asked to come in immediately for an HCG. Guzzled some water, took Progesterone, and grabbed a yogurt befPositive Pregnancy testsore walking to the office. On my way home I bought two more tests from two different brands and just like the first test an hour ago, the positives came up within 10 seconds of setting the test stick on the sink.

We’re thrilled. Nervous. Anxious. Excited. Nervous. Excited and waiting to hear back from the doctor.

And if on cue, I puked up my yogurt.

If you know me outside of the blog world, please keep this quiet, we don’t want to officially announce until much later.

Also, holy fucking shit, ya’ll!!

****UPDATE****

Just got a call from my RE and my beta is 108.4. We have an appointment on Wednesday to check for an increase, but YES, I’m FUCKING PREGNANT!!!!!

Today is a Better Day-And an Update!

Sorry for the extreme post, ya’ll.

I’m not feeling any less desperate or hopeless, but it’s a sunny, warm day in Seattle and I’m feeling less weepy.

Yesterday nothing was good and it all made me cry: the despair of this cycle and all of the symptoms I’m feeling that feel like PMS. It seemed that every commercial on television was for diapers or about motherhood. My Instagram and Facebook feeds were filled with brand new babes, pregnancy announcements and little ones.

Today it’s all the same, but after a good talk and another cry we’re not giving up. I don’t think we’ll shoot for IVF right away because new mortgage and IVF don’t really work in the same sentence. But if this cycle is heading where I think it is, I’m going to take the rest of April to work on dropping at least 15lbs, clearing my mind, getting positive and hopefully finding a Known Donor.

I’ve sent “that awkward email lesbians TTC send to to men in their lives” to potential KD #1, so we’ll see.

We’re thinking KD because of timing, though according to the medical fertility we’re doing everything right. I do have a question though; has anyone triggered and then had an ultrasound the following day to make sure the follicles are gone?

Thanks to everyone who reached out. It really helped.

*****UPDATE*****

Literally emailed potential KD#1 and he responded in 5 minutes with a firm yes! He and his husband are in the process of finding a surrogate and he “knows our challenges and frustrations” and would be “100% happy to help”

Seriously, best news all cycle. Keep your fingers crossed for us, ya’ll! If it all pans out, we’ll be trying with a KD in June!

Will it Ever Be My Turn?

I haven’t tested yet. The disappointment of early testing last cycle plus my super PMS-y signs have me fearing the worst. And while waiting for my period doesn’t seem idea, I just don’t think I can bare to see another negative pregnancy test.

So. Some good things going on in our lives:

We’re in the process of buying a house, which has been a long process. We’re currently in the inspection process and hoping that the sellers fix the many problems associated with the purchase of a 120 year old home. The house is in Tacoma, 40 minutes south of Seattle which is a lot better for Leah’s job but not so ideal for my job.

Some stressful things going on in our lives:

The house buying, while full of roller coaster-style ups and downs, has actually been quite thrilling and a much welcome distraction from this cycle, which I fear is going to end with another (my sixth) negative test. Because we are putting so much money into the house buying and my insurance is still not covering my infertility (though I’ve put in an appeal, so fingers crossed) we’re most likely going to have to stop trying for at least another year or so. Which will make me TTC at 36 years old. Not to mention the fact that when we go to NYC for a wedding this spring Leah wants to try with a potential known donor, a friend of mine who agreed over bottles of wine to donate for her.

I’m feeling incredibly sad. Incredibly angry. Incredibly hopeless. If this cycle ends in a negative I honestly don’t think I can blog anymore because there won’t be much more to say.

And I know I still have 8 more days until I can officially call it quits, it definitely doesn’t feel like I’m pregnant-meaning I feel like I always do before my period.

So we’ll wait and see and I’m still hoping for the best, but no one ever talks about what happens when you can’t try any more. And turns out, what happens when faced with that possibility. Well-it really, really sucks.

Meanwhile I’m Fakebooking happiness for the many friends who have welcomed babes into the world and really hating myself for that resentful feeling I’m feeling. I almost want to quit all social media for the time being because it’s just so fucking hard to see happiness when I’m feeling so sad.