Monday, August 27, 2012

Halfway there!

Tomorrow marks the halfway point of this pregnancy.

I've been able to keep this feeling of knowing that BoomBoom is healthy and I've managed to since the ultrasound. It may not sound like much of a feat, but there hasn't been many 4-day stretches where I haven't doubted something, so I'm pretty happy.

I picked up a journal and started to write to the baby, which I think will help me get my thoughts out so I can remember this time and also help me to connect to BoomBoom a little more. I just keep scanning ahead 18 or 19 years, trying to picture my daughter reading through it. What will she think of me?

We are struggling a little with names - we thought it would be easier knowing the sex, but now we're able to get more focused, the names that we once loved don't fit. We do have a #1 girls name, which we absolutely adore, but it's been a bit of a turn-off lately because three acquaintances in the last three years have used the name for their daughters. It's becoming more popular (bottom of the top 20 in Canada), but I can't tell yet if it's going to be the next Jennifer or Lisa. But nothing else has fit as well.  I guess we have to be okay with the potential of our daughter being a first-name-last-initial kid in her class. Maybe. We have a few months yet. We are using a version of Devon's (deceased) mom's name as the middle name and will be using my last name. I've tried to get Devon to take my name so that we can all have one family name, but she struggles with that, as most of her family is dead and she feels as though she's one of the last of her kind. Her last name is very unique and we haven't found another non-relative in Canada with the same last name.

Physically, I'm struggling a bit and I'm a little scared that at 20 weeks, I'm this uncomfortable already. I've been putting off making an appointment with an RMT (mostly just for time), but I need to get there ASAP. At the end of the day, my upper ribs feel extremely bruised and sometimes almost broken. I thought it was the underwire of my bra, so switched to a sports bra last week, and haven't felt the relief I was hoping for. There are days where I'm still cramping quite a bit and I tire incredibly easily. I was home early from work today with a migraine, which comes and goes. I'm normally a very physically healthy person, so feeling each twinge and pain that I can't shrug off kind of sucks. I can't imagine getting any bigger, but ha! Of course I'm going to be a lot bigger than this.

To some of the Blogger bloggers out there, I've had trouble commenting on your blogs as of late. Not sure what's going on, but hopefully it'll get fixed soon. Take care.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Ultrasound results

So.... here are two pictures of our healthy baby GIRL!

Oh my god, I am so happy. Everything looks good with her. Everything was measuring normal and all of the high risk stuff with anti-depressants in utero that they can see at this point was ruled out (cleft lip/palate mostly).

Baby girl was sleeping the whole time and the doctor had to send me to the bathroom to do jumping jacks to wake her up. It took a while to determine sex, and though her legs were closed and she never gave us the money shot, the doctor kept calling her "her" and "your daughter", so we're pretty confident it's a girl. Not sure whether we'll go for a 3D ultrasound later on to confirm 100%, but something to think about.

I am OVER THE MOON excited that she is a girl. I want to thank everyone for being so honest in your comments the other day about sex preference. I've actually felt a lot of guilt around the preference-for-a-girl thing and was happy to hear I'm not the only one who has struggled with this. You never hear people state a preference, and I get why, but it was comforting to read other people's experiences. Though I'm sure I would have been totally fine with a boy, I've just ALWAYS wanted a girl, from the time I can remember. This is one of the major reasons we wanted to find out the sex, because the last thing I wanted was to have a moment of disappointment right after giving birth. [One of the comments mentioned the Pregnant Women are Smug video on YouTube, which has long been a fave of mine... so funny about the sex thing. Check it out if you don't know it]. However, bring on a boy for #2 if we ever get there!

As I mentioned, we are only telling one person each in real life, so I've already had to be careful about slipping in the pronouns. But it's going to be so awesome for Devon and I to talk to each other about our baby GIRL and I feel like it's going to make it much easier for me to bond (and thank you for those comments/experiences too).

I am SO relieved with the news that she looks healthy and can't believe we get to use the word "daughter". Even if she does look like Skeletor in that face-on shot :)


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

19 weeks and an upcoming ultrasound

It's been a little while since I've written about how the pregnancy is going and this week is a big week, so I wanted to get my thoughts down. We have our 19/20 week ultrasound on Friday, which I'm so excited about and ridiculously nervous about too. I had a horrible nightmare last night that we went to the ultrasound and found out the baby was dead. Haven't been able to shake that feeling since this morning.

Physically, I'm beginning to get more and more uncomfortable. I've gained over 15 pounds already, and definitely feeling that. I'm relatively small to begin with, so the additional weight is a bit tough - especially on my feet, which have had issues for years.

We are 19 weeks pregnant, so next Tuesday will mark the halfway mark. I'm feeling pretty good about that.

A few surprises lately:

1) On the weekend, my left boob was hurting SO much - like a pulsing pain - and I couldn't figure out why. The only thing that would help was when I put pressure on it. It came and went all day and I didn't even really put too much thought into the "why" until I went bra shopping that day and took off my old bra to see that I was leaking collostrum out of one breast. Totally didn't know it could happen this early (and didn't know there was pain associated with it), so just stood there staring at it. Still haven't bought pads, but if things keep up, they'll be a necessity soon.

2) This is a few weeks old, but I think I've been feeling BoomBoom kick. I describe it to Devon as someone popping bubble wrap paper deep inside of me. I felt it about 3 or 4 days in a row a week and a half ago, but nothing since, which is kind of freaky. However, last night, Devon put her mouth on my tummy and started to talk to the baby, and I swear it started moving. Whether or not they can really hear that well at this point, it was a nice feeling.

We saw our reproductive psychiatrist late last week. It was nice to finally talk about all the hypotheticals now that we're pregnant and things aren't so hypothetical any more. She was very impressed with how much I've cut down on my meds. She warned me about some potential changes in the third trimester due to increased blood flow and the liver functioning faster than usual - that my medications will be processed faster and therefore the effects won't be as strong (bad for me). She often sees mood changes in late pregnancy due to this. I would love to come down on one particular medication, which passes through breast milk at a higher rate than the others (though no research has been able to find any adverse effects on the child), but I'm not sure if I'd be able to. I figure it ain't broke right now so there's nothing to be fixed... and it's not a great time to play around with things.

She said we could talk about breastfeeding closer to the due date, but I told her I really needed to now. I want to mourn the loss if I can't, and if I can, I want to be as prepared as possible. The bottom line is that I'll be able to, if I choose to. The good news is, the medications I'm on has not been shown to affect the child negatively through breast milk. The bad news is, not a heck of a lot of research has been done on my particular combination. In Canada, children are not monitored through blood tests to see what's in their systems, so it would be by observation only. Basically, if I want no risk, I should formula feed. But if I formula feed, there are concerns about my lack of bonding to the baby (not that formula-fed kids are not bonded with their mothers... more that depressed moms need more opportunities - like breastfeeding - to bond with their babies). I'm still on the fence, but I want to breastfeed so badly. I'm scared that it's a selfish choice though. I have a couple more months to decide, but not being able to is going to break my heart. She essenitally said go for it, but I have to get there myself first.

I'm finding it tough to concentrate on work these days and I do feel like I've "checked out" a bit, which is a bit concerning, but I'm just so exhausted and can't put two sentences together. Plus, summer is slow and I'm not in the mood to make work. I'm in a bit of a slump work-wise.

My anxiety is pretty high and I'm hoping that on Friday, after we see that everything is A-OK with BoomBoom from the ultrasound, I can stop thinking that I may be carrying a very sick child inside of me. And fuck it - I ordered a doppler on eBay the other day so I'm hoping that will help ease the "oh my god, s/he's dead" feelings when/if they come.

We will be finding out the sex, but we're telling everyone that we're not finding out. We just want it to be a surprise for other people, but feel we would like to know. We also don't want the gender issue to enter into all conversations. I think finding out will help me bond (which I'm still struggling with at times). I will let the blogging community know the sex, but Devon and I are only telling one person each in real life. I am also hoping that finding out now will help with my "preference" of having one sex over another (I want to not care, but I kind of do! Feeling awful about that).

Hopefully my next post will include a healthy pic of my little BoomBoom.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Bump molestation!

Thank you all so much for your feedback from my last post. Especially to those who have offered to be a support to Devon - I will pass along all of the info and just knowing what's out there in the blog world makes both of us feel more supported.

I haven't written in a little while, as I've been dealing with my best friend's wedding. I was the maid of honour as well as the emcee. It was an out-of-town deal so it was non-stop for three days. I'm bloody exhausted, but had fun. If it had been just a few days later, there would be NO way I'd fit in my dress; when I took it off on Saturday night, the (thankfully high) waistband had left indentation marks in my skin.

The bride is a 30-year friend and most of the bridesmaids were friends from high school. I didn't realize how much they could annoy me when I am stone-cold sober! Though I don't normally drink much, the one or two glasses of wine I often enjoy with them really helps my mindset. I'm sure the hormones didn't help, but by the end of the weekend, I'd had enough of them, when normally I can't get enough of them. It was nice to see that the other bridesmaid who is (secretly) pregnant was just as annoyed, so I don't feel too bad.

The most horrible thing happened at the reception though. An acquaintance from many years ago was there with her husband, who I met briefly. And by briefly, I mean "Hi, I'm Lex" ... "Hi, I'm Brandon" and then we were on our way. Well, Brandon got insanely drunk very early on in the wedding reception, came up to me on the dance floor and gave me a lingering hug. Not a huge deal. Kinda gross because his lips were on my neck, but whatever - he was drunk, I pushed him off and he went on his way.

But not for long.

He came back with his wife about 20 minutes later and came up to me while I was dancing. He dropped down down on the floor, grabbed my tummy, started rubbing it and kissing it over and over again. I pushed him off and his wife tried to pull him off; she apologized for not being able to control him and again, he left me alone. Not long after, following some drama with the groomsmen, Brandon was sent off in a cab and his wife stayed behind.

I actually like his wife and felt really sorry for her, so I sat with her later and we started talking. Turns out she was very recently pregnant and the baby died when she was five months pregnant. Prior to the pregnancy, she and Brandon had gone through two years of fertility treatments. It just broke my heart.

Here was her husband all over my belly while she's next to him, painfully aware that her belly is empty. While it was extremely uncomfortable for me, I can imagine it hurt her much, much more.

Drunk people suck. 

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Non-bio mom advice

I'm happy to say that we have our mid-pregnancy ultrasound booked for August 24th! We'll be 19 weeks and 3 days pregnant. It's going to be a looooooong three weeks to get there, but so glad we actually have a light at the end of the tunnel. We've finally got in to see our Reproductive Psychiatrist in two weeks too. And there is a midwifes appointment in there as well, so feeling really supported and excited this month.

Devon has been a dream through this pregnancy. She's so thoughtful and does things for me before I even think about them. She's always been supportive, but I've never seen her like this. It kind of makes my heart melt every single day. I'm extremely lucky.

Devon is extremely excited to be a mom but I think she's struggling a little bit with what she's supposed to feel during the pregnancy part... and also what her role will be when the baby comes, but for now, the pregnancy. She's read several stories from Confessions of the Other Mother and her overall comments so far have been that, unlike many of the other mothers, she doesn't have a drive to be masculine and fatherly. Yes, she's protective of me, but she's always been. She also does not hold any of the resentment that many non-bio moms in the book seem to hold for not being the body that bears the child.

As I talk about the stories and posts I read on pregnancy forums, she often asks whether I've seen any such sites or resources for non-bio moms. We've searched for websites that support non-bio moms and though we've found an odd story and anecdote here and there, there really isn't much. I'm wondering if any of you have any advice or resources that I can pass on to her. I want her to feel as supported as I feel, but I am at a loss as to how to help her.

I just need to say that it's not like she's extremely affected and can't move past this; it's definitely not like that. I guess I'm feeling as though she's doing SO much for me, I just want to do something for her. There are a billion support systems for pregnant women, but yeah - it's like it's the dark side for the non-bios.

She's not sure what she wants to be called when the baby comes. For a while, she wanted to be "Mama D" but that's something I really don't like, because to me, I can just see the "Mama" being dropped and our kid ending up calling her Devon and me Mum. That might work for some people, but I want her to be an equal and for some reason, a "mom" name is part of it. I will start by being Mumma and end up with Mum (British background) and just today she said that "Mommy/Mom" might be okay... but it's taken a long time to get here. Not sure what we'll end up with, but I guess we don't need to think about it at this point.

Anyway, any advice on the resources would be splendid. I've introduced her to a few of you bloggers that are/have been in her shoes (especially you, Olive).

More to come on the pregnancy. From the near-panic attacks to the intense cramping and everything (good) in between!