Typecasting the Black Sheep

I feel like I’ve written this blog post before.  If I have, I apologize… or perhaps it’s a recurring circumstance in which I cannot escape. 

I’ve lived in Orlando for 15 years, born and raised in Seattle.  A long way from home.  What brought me here?  Well, I usually give 1 of 2 answers: To most, I give the generic “we had an awesome Disney World vacation and decided to stay” and for the chosen few (and you, my dear readers) I explain how I was a young mom who married her drug-dealing, illegal-alien, teenage-crush and needed a fresh new start.  In a nutshell.

Both stories are versions of the truth. The fact that I’ve moved across the county, away from family, a full support system, and stable life has defined me in ways I’d never dreamed of as an antsy teenager.  Never mind the daddy issues.  I will never deny that I am ‘one of them’.  But, there’s something to be said of the 15 years I’ve worked, sweated, strained, cried, and fought to get to where I am – a normal suburban mom.

Still.

Whenever, I visit home – Every time I visit Seattle.  I can’t escape my typecast: The Black Sheep

I try to see my family once a year, at first, it was OK.  I gave into my label.  I knew I made mistakes and work had to be done.  Of course, I was in my early twenties, so I was also very naive and yielding.

As years passed, I made steps in my career, got married, bought and built a stable home.  And today, 15 years later, my visit is still plagued with comments such as “your sister tells her sons not to end up like you” and “you’ve made so many bad choices, it’s impressive your boys are so good.”  To all of these remarks, I smile and nod.  I politely agree, “yes I don’t want them to end up like me.” Because, of course, that is how a good Asian daughter responds, right?

But, I just want to be normal – like I feel when I’m home – in Orlando.  I want my parents to hug and smile at me the way they do my sisters.  I don’t want them to have to question my decisions.  I want so badly for them to trust that I’m normal.  Despite the hard work, I’m here… Now.  I’m a normal suburban chic.  Just like my sisters.  Just like they intended to raise me.

9 Weeks (1st Trimester)

It’s been a few weeks since my last update.  I’m currently 8 weeks 6 days along with this prgnancy.  I’m so thankful to say I have graduated from my RE (Reproductive Endocrinologist) who has officially passed me along to an OBGYN!

So, here’s what’s happened after my Big Scare… I was on bed rest for a week, restricted to carrying less than 5 lbs (if anything at all), & pelvic rest.  Let me tell you about bed rest.  It is not the vacation it sounds like it should be!  The first day was fantastic: TV remote in hand, various snacks at bedside, comfy pillows behind my neck.  Second day was OK but, by third day, I had so much energy in me I wanted to get up and run around, but I couldn’t.  Here’s a pic of my belly at 7 wks:

ImageAfter the week of bed rest was over, I was still restricted to light activity, no heavy lifting, and pelvic rest…. my first day out of the house was a major experience. I cried and shook.  I was in so much fear that I would start bleeding again. But, little by little, I made it through the day.  Last Friday was my follow-up appointment.  Again, a nervous wreck, I sat there praying there would be a little bean in there.

Thankfully, we did see a growing, moving, lovely little one in there with a good strong heartbeat:

So last week was my first OBGYN appointment. It was kind of a funny feeling leaving my RE’s office because I’ve been seeing her faithfully for 3 years.  I felt like a lost puppy at my first OBGYN appt.  It’s a different office, different people…. everyone was nice.  They must have sensed my fear because I left there with so much information in hand. I was hoping for an ultrasound/update on the blood clot (Subchorionic Hemorrhage) that cause all the bleeding weeks ago. But I won’t have answers until my 12 week appointment. Guess I need to put a little trust in my new OBGYN that everything will be ok :)

So there’s my update. I hope for an uneventful next couple weeks until my next appointment!

The Big Scare (1st Trimester)

If you’re someone like me who’s been TTC (Trying to Conceive) for years (or even months), you know the desperate feeling of wanting that positive… Just one.  I got that positive a few weeks ago but having tried for so long, I still had my guard up.  I tested almost every morning and took a peek whenever I “went” to make sure there wasn’t any blood..

Yesterday I missed a morning dose of Crinone (progesterone).  I took it as soon as I got home from work (around 5pm) then took my regular 8pm dose.   I thought I was in the clear.

But, on my way to work this morning I felt that all too familiar feeling – the gush.  I got to work and there was no stopping it.  My pants were soaked.  2 large clots came out.  One was gunky white (looking back, I think it was the Crinone build up).  I was devastated.  I sat in my office bathroom for about 30 minutes crying to my nurse.  Then crying to my husband.  Finally calling my coworker to save me from humiliation.  She drove me home where I laid in bed as instructed.

My husband met me at home and we just sat there for 5 hours staring at the clock.. tick & tock….

I could still feel cramping off and on (like contractions).  I kept drinking water and waited till our 2pm appointment.  I started clearing out The Bump & What To Expect update emails from my inbox.  I started to uninstall the Pregnancy app from my phone. The contractions slowed and the bleeding turned to spotting.

We left for our appointment.  As we were driving, I kept praying that our doctor would be kind, sincere, & gentle when sharing the dreaded news.  I was relieved to see the lobby was empty when we got there.  I couldn’t break down in front of other hopeful-mom-patients.  The nurse called us back and I started sobbing, I couldn’t stop.  I sobbed while I told her what was going on, I cried when I undressed, I bawled when I laid on the cold bed.  The doctor came in and immediately said the nurse filled him in on my story.  He started the sonogram and immediately panned towards a little moving dot… a heartbeat.  A healthy 6-week-3-day-old growing baby with a heartbeat! (There was a small section of the sack that looked like it was separating – so the doctor doubled my progesterone)

I looked over and noticed my husband with a tear in his eye – the first time I’ve EVER seen him cry.

So, here we are:  On bed rest.  Light activity, limited to carrying 5lbs or less.  But we are still having a baby!

10289889_10152431231074679_4489361788655038711_nTHANKING GOD EVERY MINUTE!!!

Social Networking & the 1st Trimester

Well, I still have a week and a half until our first sonogram.  Until then, no daily bloodwork, no ultrasounds…. I’ve been left with no other source of validation than Dollar Store pregnancy tests, my wacky symptoms, and Google.  I still POAS (pee on a stick) every day, despite the very obvious nausea & swollen boobage.

And then there was Google.  Everyone knows that every google’d symptom leads to death.  If you sneeze, you might have contracted the west nile virus.  If you have a headache, it might be a concussion.  So, I try so very hard to stay away from Google.  But no one tells you NOT to join a pregnancy group website. 

Seems like a perfect next-step! Websites like whattoexpect.com and thebump.com provide great info from people who are on the same timeline.  You get the joy of sharing symptoms and ideas for announcing your pregnancy.  But, then there are posts from people who are checking their beta levels and comparing the “darkness” of each others pregnancy test lines, and then some ladies are very sadly miscarrying.

When you start going through all the posts…. ALL 1,051 of them… this time of joy & expectation will start to become a time of dissecting, anxiety, and fear.

I must unlink from these groups, just for now.  I MIGHT join later, maybe.

So, 1st Trimester-ers: CONGRATS! Tread lightly, and just Be.

 

1st Trimester (4 1/2 wks) Symptoms

2 More Weeks Till Our First Sonogram

Boy, oh boy (or girl), am I excited!

Until then, I thought I’d share what we’ve been doing with our time.  Well…. here is me counting days AFTER our 2nd Beta

1. Heavy feeling in lower abdomen.  A little pulling sensation on the right side. Found a coupon and bought an outfit… yep, shopping already

2. A bit tired, very thirsty. Went to Goodwill and picked up 2 pregnancy books, one for daddy and one for me = $2

3. Notice I’m drinking a lot of water, heavy feeling in lower abdomen. Bought 2 Dollar-Store pregnancy tests – for kicks ;)

4. Sleeping like a baby at night. Heavy feeling, boobs a bit sore. Took another test (they’re starting to pile up)

5. Gassy, sore boobs. Heavy feeling & cramping are pretty much gone… am I still pregnant??  Took another test: BFP

6. Irritated, gassy, sore boobs. Bought myself 2 bottles of Tums, carry one in my purse at all times.

7. Woke up super early with lots of energy so I cleaned the house. Wore myself out around 9am.

8. Food doesn’t taste the same?? Isn’t it too early for this?  When I take off my bra, it’s like a load just plops down on me (can’t think of another way to say it).

9. Boobs hurt like Never Before! Agh! Sleepy and very thirsty.

10.Not super-nauseous, but finding that foods I usually like don’t agree with my tastebuds. I finally downloaded a pregnancy app… I recommend the one from “The Baby Center” (also tried, the What to Expect app, and prefer the website)

 

 

The Two Hour Wait (IVF)

Us IVFers always talk about the TTW (Two Week Wait) you know the longest 2 weeks of your life wondering if all the prep from the start of your cycle till ovulation has worked.. constantly POAS (Peeing on a Stick) to see if you will finally get they BFP.

But what about that 2 Hour Wait… you got that BFP, and BFP again… and BFP again.. still in shock… wondering if it’s really REALLY true..so you get your blood work done and …. tick tock tick tock… wait for the words to come straight from the nurse’s mouth.

I had my 2nd beta test this morning. Since they have an in-office lab, they said I’ll be getting a call at 12:30pm… tick tock tick tock..

Is the phone volume on high? Is it getting a good signal? I stare at the phone.

I’m not-so-patiently pacing through the Two Hour Wait

 

UPDATE: The nurse must have heard my incessant finger-tapping from miles away, because she called a half-hour early. My second beta results were 170 (first test was 67) so all is good! First sonogram scheduled for May 21st  GOD IS GOOD!

How Do I Write This Post? (IVF)

In short, I’m Pregnant!

For 3+ years, I’ve been trolling blogs and infertility forums.  Wishing and dreaming that the “BFP” (Big Fat Positive) post would be something I could share one day.

I never planned how I would announce this special moment – and now I am just speechless.

I’m pregnant.  ***Let me just let that sink in*** I have a little one (maybe two) growing inside me.

Still in shock.

On Wednesday, I had a hunch. I was still very crampy, I felt like my cycle was coming on any minute now… but it was different.  So I drove to CVS and bought a test.  I couldn’t believe how quickly the “+” showed up.  I couldn’t wait to tell hubby in person, so I emailed him this picture:

20140430_083509We bought these booties years ago, when we first started “trying”… I had to dig them out from the back of the closet, forgot all about them – until now.

He was speechless.  Next thing I knew, he was at the door – he came home from work to give me a hug. We both didn’t know what to say!

That evening I spotted just a little, so I took another test – still positive.  I called the doctor the next morning and they took a blood test – still positive.

Last night I took another test – still positive. I am in awe. And I’m grateful to God, so grateful.

I have another beta (blood) test tomorrow morning so I am praying all is well!

Here were/are my symptoms:

d1p5dt: Cramps

d2p5dt: Cramps, feel like my period is about to start, irritated

d3p5dt: Cramps – front to lower back, irritated, sleepy, breasts sore

d4p5dt: same

d5p5dt: same

d6p5dt: same, and gassy (Clearblue Plus: BFP)

d7p5dt: Cramping subsided a bit but keep feeling a twinge in my lower abdomen, gassy, breasts still sore (Clearblue Plus: BFP, Beta positive: 60-something-something… I was in such shock, I forgot the numbers)

d8p5dt: Less cramping, twinge still in my lower abdomen (hard to explain), nauseous… (First Signal: BFP)