Here I am Again

Lorenzo is already 18 months old. How is that possible!  I have been away from the blog world for quite sometime. Looking back, I know why I stayed away. I was silly enough to believe that if I forgot about my struggles to conceive, I would never have to think about that part of my life again, the pain, the sorrow, the loss.

But, here I am, again.  Some perspective . . . I thought that after having Lorenzo, my struggles with infertility would be a fog, and that after having him I would never feel a pang of jealousy again while others got pregnant, or have that yearning and need to have a baby. I thought, once I have a baby I will be complete. Except, I thought I was complete, now we're talking about having another baby and suddenly I feel this old world come down on me. Am I making sense?

I have started to have those feelings again, the ones of jealousy while the majority of my friends and family members are flowing easily into their second, third, even fourth child with little or no effort at all. Here I am, knowing that there have been many possibilities in the previous months for me to become pregnant and I have not. So, there is no rite of passage that equals easiness after your first, or simple luck without trying. Not for me.

I find myself yearning for number two. To see Lorenzo as an older brother playing with his little sister or brother. I caught myself thinking the other day, "Just one more and I'll be complete". Wait a second, isn't that what I said before, "Just one and I'll be complete"?

I'm a bit overcome by emotions. Upset at myself for not just being okay and forgetting how exceptionally lucky I am to have my son. I'm also upset about having to do this all over again. Prior to Lorenzo, I remember not having very much sympathy for people like myself. I used to think at least you have one. Shame on me for disregarding and not knowing at the time that the feelings are just the same and maybe even worse.

As I officially embark on a journey for baby number two, I'm upset. As much as I want another one, I don't know if I can do this all over again. The temping, the taking vitamins, exercising daily, drinking herbs, bi-weekly acupuncture, opks and BFNs! All while chasing a very energetic toddler all over the place.

My biggest fear, is that I feel so reluctant about it all that I don't even want to try. At the same time, I know that I'm trying to shield myself from all the hurt that comes along with it. I told DH the other night, I rather not try then spend the rest of my life living in failure month to month. That was a bit harsh, but definitely what I feel.

Could I be lucky enough to conceive another baby? Can I really do this again?  I just don't know right now.
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It's a Boy!

Lorenzo Luis born May 25th at 7:26 am, 7 pounds 1 ounce 20 inches. Here he's five weeks old.

You all may wonder where the heck I've been the last six months. Most of the time I was feeling guilty and the other I was holding my breath!

A fellow blogger and friend encouraged me to return to the blogging world and not be guilty about it. I told her I stopped blogging because I didn't want to hurt others that were still on the journey and struggling. She told me my story would be encouraging to others and that I should continue. So here I am taking her advice. She was got me here in the first place :-)

I was holding my breath throughout my whole pregnancy. Being an infertile let me experience my pregnancy much differently than people who have no problems conceiving. With every week that past I knew I was one week closer to meeting my baby but in no way out of the safe zone. As the weeks progressed and I passed more milestones (passed glucose test, Strep B test, gained a reasonable amount of weight and blood pressure remained stable) I couldn't help wonder if this was the last time I'd experience this. I know I know always thinking in the future never living the moment. I feel I lived the moments of my pregnancy very well and I loved all of them even the crazy leg swelling the last week, but I never could help having such thoughts in the back of my mind.

So as I just mentioned I had a wonderful, uncomplicated pregnancy. Most of the time I felt guilty about that too. I felt very lucky and wondered why sometimes. Kinda like it was too good to be true. Well, almost 6 weeks post partum and I can tell you it stayed that way . . . somewhat.

Let's go back in time her to May 23rd, I was still working and planning on working until I went into labor. I had a gut feeling that I wouldn't make it past the weekend, I would be 39 weeks on the 24th. Several of my friends and coworkers conspired and felt the baby would be born on the 24th. I thought that was super weird and random. I had an appointment with my midwife on the 23rd and I left work early. When I left work everyone said goodbye since they were convinced I wouldn't be back. I thought they were crazy!

Five minutes later I was back in the office ha! I had forgotten my purse. I became super spacey towards the end. I went to my appointment and they took my blood pressure and said it was a bit higher than normal (right away i'm thinking pre-eclampsia was going to do me in). While I was waiting for my midwife I was thinking the worst.

She came in and asked how I was doing, at that point I was freaking out. She told me not to worry and that she would check my pressure one more time. She felt it was probably my nerves. She asked if I wanted to be checked. My initial thought was no, I didn't want any mind games as far a how much or how little, if any, dilated I was. My other thought was . . . I was doing this natural no drugs better to feel now what a vaginal check feels like than when I'm in labor. So she checked me and it was not bad at all! Just pressure but no biggie! I was shocked and proud of myself. I have to say IF prepared me well because my HSG had hurt more than that.

I was 1 cm dilated and 50% effaced. I was happy with that knowing it didn't mean anything. We headed home made dinner and then I decided we needed to go to Trader Joes to get some snacks and Best Buy to purchase relaxing music for my laboring. So there it was 8 p.m. and we were out and about like nothing. At Best Buy, our last stop I had started to feel a little crampy but I had been having Braxton Hicks for two months so I didn't think much of it.

We got home, I was craving watermelon so hubby chopped some up and I sat and watch some music awards show. That's when I started to feel a little different. I went to the bathroom and I was bleeding. I still refused to think anything of it because I knew bleeding was very common after a cervical check. Well I started getting the "cramping"every couple of minutes. I told my husband to pack the suitcase and get ready for bed. I didn't tell him what I was feeling but he knew I was bleeding, but I had convinced him it was due to the cervical check. Before bed I had him download my new cds, so I could upload them on to my iphone.

Went to bed, tried to relax but no luck. The contractions were real and they were too strong to sleep through. I went to the living room to labor on my own. I knew my husband would need as much sleep as possible. I thought he would get up if he heard me but he was out cold! By 11 p.m. I felt that the contractions were pretty often, so I started to keep track. They were two minutes apart 55 seconds long.  I managed to be on my own until 2 a.m. I went to the bathroom and realized I was losing my mucus plug. I woke my husband up and told him I was in labor and that it was real! I called my mom in Northern CA since I knew she would need time to get the first flight out to San Diego.

I told my hubby to call the midwife and my doula. My midwife said I was doing great and to keep on laboring at home until I felt it was time. At that point I had started to feel the back labor and it was killing me. I decided to get in our tub. Meanwhile my doula was no where to be found. Cell went straight to voicemail and her home phone was disconnected! I was beyond pissed off. I was 100% counting on her to be there since the beginning to help me get through the early stages of labor and if not for anything else just to reassure me. Instead my husband was freaking out asking me how many sandwiches I wanted him to make for the birth center. WHAT!!!! I couldn't stand talking, and I couldn't believe he was bothering me with such nonsense! Poor guy, he was really trying but I already was not in a good frame of mind. By 5 am I had had it and was ready to go. My contractions were 1-2 minutes apart and lasting 1-1.5 minutes with back labor. I was not getting a break at all!

We got on the freeway for the 15 minute drive to the birth center and I couldn't believe how many cars were on the freeway. On another note I took off to the birth center in my night gown and no underwear! I so thought I'd be modest but that went out the door real quick! Quicker than I would have expected.

Thankfully we made it in one piece and my midwife was there to meet us. She checked me and I was 3cm. I couldn't believe it! All those contractions for 3cm. She suggested I go walk at the park but no way was I walking more than two minutes away. Plus I was peeing like no other. I went outside and walked back and forth back and forth in front of the birth center. With each contraction I held on to the porch railing and breathed and moaned for dear life. I also thought I was going to be a quiet one. No such luck. There were people out on the street going on about their business and on their way to work. I know some people looked at me crazy but I could really care less.

In the meantime we were able to get a hold of a volunteer doula who met us at the birth center and was doing wonders on my back for the back labor with each contraction.  It was around 9:30am and my mom arrived. Of course I was a ball of tears when she arrived. I was so emotional! My dad and sister were coming down as well driving. They would be in San Diego in 8 hours. I thought to myself that it would be too late the way I was progressing.

The midwife checked me again and I was 5 cm! She was excited about my progress and with my contractions less than one minute apart and over two minutes long she felt the baby was coming soon.
She got the tub ready for me and everything else to receive baby.

Fast forward to 9:45 pm and I was on my way to the hospital. I never imagined that 24 hours after I had started I would still be in labor. The tub relaxed me too much and slowed down my contractions. The intensity was the same just not as often. The baby was facing up causing the back labor and what my midwife assumed was troubling his discent. My acupuncturist showed up around 4pm did a treatment on me which was successful, turned the baby and got rid of the back labor. By then I thought I had it in the bag. My midwife thought maybe I was unconsciously waiting for my dad and sister. My water hadn't broken yet so she was hopeful and encouraging. I was tiring out, my energy sucked. They kept trying to feed me but everything grossed me out. My dad and sister showed up and my water broke immediately. Super weird right! I was 7 cm but it appeared the baby had turned again and the back labor returned. I waited it out as long as I could but with my exhaustion the pain had taken over and I was not in a state of mind to tolerate what was going on.  At that point I felt like such a failure but I knew I needed an epidural to progress. I couldn't do it on my own anymore.

En route to the hospital I swear I was filming a movie! The hospital was less than one mile away but it seemed so far and we got every red light! Once I got there they were waiting for me got me hooked up and gave me some drugs to relax me. They worked but the pain was still ridiculous. 30 minutes later the anesthesiologist finally arrived. With every contraction I got I kept thinking it was the last one I would feel.

I also kept thinking I would never forget the pain. That every women I had talked to was full of it when they told me they couldn't really remember it they just knew it hurt! I kept thinking in my mind bunch of lies! This shit hurts!

Well as luck would have it, my back was punctured 11 times! 11 times to get the epidural in! Holy moley! All that kept me going was the end goal of relief. I was getting worried though since they were having so much trouble and kept saying we may have to think about other options! Other options? This was my last option what were they talking about!

Once I had the epidural I was my old self again. They kept telling me to sleep since I would need my energy for pushing but I was on a high. While I watched everyone else in the room sleep I sat there wondering what time the baby would finally arrive.

At a whopping total 34 hours of later around 6:45 am the doctors checked and I was 10 cm dilated and the baby had turned! That was a bonus. Pushing was work but I was glad my epidural was light enough to feel the need to push and feel the baby come down. It was the most amazing experience of my life.

As soon as they put Lorenzo on my chest and his daddy looked at me and said it was a boy I was in love! The two years of trying it took us to get there plus the pregnancy all culminated into that moment. That moment where all of our struggles, tears, hopelessness paid off into exactly what we wanted and everything and more what we were expecting it to be.

I'd like to say that's where the story ends but Lorenzo had some challenges to face. He's waking up now so I'll have to catch you up on that part of the story next.

Thank you for reading, as a new mom I need this outlet. My postpartum days have been mixed with a bag full of emotions. All which I expect to let out and vent here. More to come . . .
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And the Beat Goes On

Baby's heartbeat that is! We went to our doctor appointment on Tuesday and all is well. Baby's heart was beating at 150 bpm. It's always such a calming reassuring sound to listen to the heartbeat. Wish I could listen to it everyday.

I was sent to get my second set of genetic testing. Thankfully this time it was only one vile not nine like last time! Just with one draw they still managed to bruise up my arm pretty bad and has been sore ever since. The doctor also gave me the paperwork to schedule my anatomy scan. Wow I can't believe we're there already. I called and made my appointment and scheduled it for Tuesday morning January 3rd. Then I got the dreaded "drink 20 oz of water one hour before you come in but don't pee." yikes! I hope I can hold it not only on the at there but during the 45 minute exam. Regardless we're looking forward to seeing the baby for an extended period of time instead of the rushed two minutes at the doctor's office. This is the appointment where we find outbid its a she or he but we have agreed to not find out. I'm really excited about that.

On Thursday we traveled to Northern California for the holidays. That was an adventure. I didn't anticipate bathroom breaks to be a problem since I can hold my pee for a good while. Well that was not the case. On average I think we stopped every hour. Boy did I feel relief when I'd go to. It was pretty bad but thankfully we always found an accessible bathroom.

We spent most of yesterday grocery shopping for dinner to tonight. Every where we went was super crowded and extended the amount of time we were there. By the end of it all 6 hours later I was pooped. My mom and sister poke fun at the fact that I get tired easily and it's still so early. They ask what I'll do later. That bothers and worries me. I didn't expect to feel this way so soon and sometimes I wonder if it's just me. I get mad at myself sometimes just for being so immobile. Everyday I say is going to be the day that I start yoga and it doesn't happen. :-( one of my goals was to stay fit during pregnancy and I feel I'm failing miserably. I'm hoping to be enlightened soon and lightened ;-) to get my butt moving for half an hour and not feel like I ran a marathon.

Last night was my first night sleeping uncomfortable and coming to terms with the fact that I can't lie flat on my back anymore. Again another milestone I thought would come later but has shown up early I feel. I also feel like my tummy got a huge growth spurt yesterday it just seemed bigger and most of the day it was like bring on that ligament pain baby!

All in all I'm so happy. My family has been teasing me a lot saying that it's all about me now and this pregnancy. It makes me feel bad at times but you know what, I don't anymore. I'm enjoying every day with this baby inside of me and enjoying the adventure of pregnancy. I enjoy every day since I don't know and there is no guarantee that I will get to experience this again.

I hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas Eve!

Where Have I Been?

I cannot believe it has been a month and a half since my last post. I don't even know where to start.

On Thursday I will be 17 weeks, is till can't believe it myself. In fact I thought by now I would have gotten used to the idea that I'm pregnant but I haven't! At this point I'm starting to think that won't change. I cannot get over what a miracle this pregnancy and this baby are to me.

I have to say that as happy as I am there's always a part of me that is very scared. As the weeks have gone by I've fallen more and more in love with this baby and feel it so close to my heart. I'm so attached and fear that something will go wrong. As of about two weeks ago I started feeling the flutters. What an amazing feeling and reassuring. That has helped calm my fears a bit. But as soon as I start to feel confident something happens. I hear or read something that really upsets me and the latest was Michelle Duggar's loss. I don't even like to think about it anymore.

As fearful as I am I truly try to enjoy this pregnancy an am super happy and excited. I feel it's just flying by and should probably start checking in more often to document how I feel and what I feel.

Tomorrow will be my third doctor's visit and I am very excited but anxious at the same time. I can't wait to hear that strong heartbeat. I also received some reassurance from my acupuncturist on Friday who said he could feel the baby's heart beat through my pulse! How awesome is that!

I should back track a bit and talk about breaking the news to the world. During Thanksgiving week I had my second doctor visit and was 12 weeks 5 days at that point. After we heard the heart beat then were lucky enough to get an ultrasound we were reassured that everything was great. On Thanksgiving we went "live" on Facebook (as a side not I think FB has revolutionized birth announcements, it almost felt like a press release!)

I wrote, "Turkey in the oven AND bun in the oven, Isidro and I have a lotto be thankful for this Thanksgiving."

It felt so great to let the world know and the congratulations that followed made it that more real. The following week back to work I let the office know and it felt so liberating to be able to wear maternity clothes!

On another note . . . Maternity clothes!! What an awful small selection department stores and even Target have. I've been so disappointed. I've been able to get a couple of jeans at JCPenny's and thankfully my aunt gave me all of her maternity shirts which was a big help. Work pants have been the hardest to find. Motherhood has some but all wide leg and they fit super long and I'm 5'6" so don't know what's up with that. I was lucky enough to find a store called Maternity Works which carries Motherhood and Pea in the Pod out of season clothing at mug better prices, but I'm still only working with one pair of work pants. Hope to find a good fit soon.

So physically my belly is starting to show although I know it's mostly my stomach and organs being pushed up that's making the bump while the baby sill sits low. As mentioned before I can feel the baby move but not on a consistent basis yet. I feel that I've gotten every symptom out there minus the vomiting that comes with nausea. Most recently the culprits are severe headaches after lunch time, severe indigestion/heartburn and I can't stay awake past 8:30 pm. I feel like a grandma. I thought my energy would have come back up by now but I feel work really wears me out during the day and it also doesn't help that when I get off at 4:30 it's almost all dark. So my internal clock thinks bed time.

I wanted to get more active as I've started to feel better but I've only gotten as far as walking for about 15 minutes. Anything extra I do puts me out for the night even earlier. I feel pretty useless and frustrated with myself at times but I know and remember that one we're all different and two there are two lives living off of one body.

As of my last appointment I hadn't gained any weight or lost any for that matter which is good because of my body weight the doctor only wants me to gain up to 15 pounds. At first it seemed impossible but now that I've been moving along it seems doable. We'll see what the grand total is tomorrow.

Speaking of doctor, this will be my last appointment at this practice. In January my new insurance (ppo) will kick in and I can transfer to the birth center (which currently my HMO doesn't cover. I watched "The Business of Being Born" and it changed the way I see labor and delivery and the sad truth that has become our healthcare system. I know not all hospitals/doctors are bad but I haven't had the luck of finding a great doctor or hospital (more on that later) so I've opted for a natural drug free birth at a birth center with a midwife. I know sometimes I wonder if I'm crazy but I believe with the proper education and preparation this choice will work out great for me.

Lastly we've chosen to not find out if it's a boy or girl and let the revelation come on baby's birthday. We're very excited about it. The weird thing is that I have very strong intuition that it's a boy. It's such a weird feeling. We're excited for either of course. I've had a lot o experience with baby girls so having a boy if it is a boy will be an adventure for me because I definitely think the two offer different experiences. If its a boy, daddy will for sure be in charge of potty training :-)

Sorry for the novel and lack of presence on my part. Thank you for sticking with me and I leave you with a picture of the little one at our 12ish week scan and a picture of me and the bump at 16 weeks.

9 Weeks

I know some of you may be wondering where I've been. I've been holding my breath until Monday 10/24, which was my first OB appointment. The appointment was at 3 p.m. so I had to wait all day long at work I was literally counting down every hour! Finally it was 2:30 and time to leave for our appointment.

Hubby picked me up and was just as anxious as I was.  We arrived and with my nerves I had to go to the bathroom before we went in to the office. Did my business, went in to the office, signed in only to learn I had to pee in a cup! What! I had just gone! So do my business again and actually produce something! Couldn't believe that one but lately I have to go pee like crazy so it shouldn't be that surprising.

So we sit wait, wait and wait and finally my name is called. Nurse takes us in and takes my vitals and asks me if it's my first one, and of course I say yes! She asked me if I was nervous and I said extremely and she laughed and said your blood pressure is still normal but it's the highest it's ever been since we've checked, your heart is beating a mile a minute! Ha! As if I needed any confirmation.

The nurse practitioner came in met with us and did the whole health history and physical exam. She said everything looked good and that the doctor would be with us shortly. More waiting . . . not too comfortable having my legs in the stirrups and bottom right at the edge of the table. Uncomfortable much? Side note, this doctor I hadn't met yet since this office is one that likes to rotate the doctors and nurses so you meet everyone and on the day of delivery it's nor surprise whoever is on call for delivery.

Knock on the door and finally the doctor comes in with the ultrasound machine. She introduces herself and jumps right into to the ultrasound, but wait oh that's funny the screen isn't working. WHAT! With no screen working where I could see she asked us to huddle close so we could see the laptop where the image comes up. Well I'm lying down there's not much huddling I can do, plus I'm super nervous about what we'll see not helping. She slips the wand in and right away our little pumpkin popped up on the screen (from what I could see, I was looking at it at such a bad angle).  Once she focused in we could see the heart thumping away. Then she asked me to stay still and turn the sound up and we heard the thump thump thump thu . . . (insert disc scratch here) Doctor, "opps I moved." Okay so I'm thinking she'll readjust so we can hear again. Think again, no she was done with the heartbeat. Next the measuring. Little pumpkin measured right on track. Then she said okay let me print out the two shots. But wait, what is this, the printer isn't working! At this point I was so done, so upset.  Just my luck right, then to make things worse she says, "This never happens, until you" Okay lady not making me feel better.

Bottom line, the important thing is that little pumpkin is doing great. I asked how fast the heartbeat was but she didn't measure that. Of course she didn't. I left once again disappointed in the bad service in that office. The doctor did tell me that since we didn't get any pictures this time maybe we can do another ultrasound the next time I come in. I am holding her to it, damn right I want some pictures. Two years waiting for that moment and I left with nothing to stare at.

All in all I'm still in shock. I can't believe something is growing inside of me. I should though because I have every symptom under the sun minus vomiting but the nausea well then makes up for it.

We left the appointment and went to a hospital tour at another medical center. I wasn't convinced, they have a birth center but it's still so hospitaly. I think I'm almost convinced that I want to deliver at a birth center we visited a week ago. I had such a different feeling about that place. It just felt right.

I got home at 8:30 that night and felt a little overwhelmed with all of the baby info we received and all of the decisions we'll be having to make soon as well as everything we have to buy! I felt really stressed out which is total the opposite emotion I thought I would be feeling after seeing the baby for the first time.

I'm definitely navigating different land here, and it's weird! We decided to not come out to the world until Thanksgiving. I'll be thirteen weeks by then and have my next appointment that week as well. It's been hard hiding it though as I'm consistently bloated and feel like I'm starting to show even though I know it's just me being self aware.

There's not much else to say except that I'm so happy and excited. Every time I think about the little pumpkin I smile and it feels great.

Too Soon

I just found out yesterday that my dear friend Alissa at Miss Conception lost her two sweet babies Michael and Alena at 20 weeks along. My heart is so broken for her and I haven't been able to stop thinking about her since I found out.

I think Alissa and her journey hold a special place in my heart because I felt a special connection to her since I met her on the TTC boards at Baby Center almost two years ago. I followed her journey since the beginning and through her I found so much encouragement and comfort for my own journey.

Her victory in June of becoming pregnant felt like a victory for me too. It gave me so much hope. I loved seeing her happiness evolve as her pregnancy progressed and was so excited to find out that she was having a boy AND a girl! How amazing was that!

Yesterday morning I had woke up thinking about her and how badly I would love to meet her. It just so happened that I might be going up to a conference in her neck of the woods in April and thought what a wonderful opportunity to finally meet her. I was excited that I would get to possibly meet the babies by then too, and hope to receive her blessing then since I would be due 8 weeks later.

When I logged onto blogger later yesterday her post was the first thing I saw and my heart just stopped. I called my husband right away since I talk about her and her journey all the time. He was just as devastated as I was.  I wish I could be there in person for my friend to comfort her and make her feel better, but distance isn't our friend. Please visit her blog and show her your support.

What her and her husband are going through no parent should have to go through.

Michael and Alena - you left this world much too soon, but how special to know that you were already loved by so many!
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6 weeks 2 days

Every morning I wake up grateful for the gift that's growing inside of me.  I still can’t believe this is happening but the idea is settling more as each day goes by. I literally have a countdown in my head of the ultrasound date October 24th, 17 more days! Those days can’t come any sooner.

I’m very excited and currently obsessing over baby books. I just got the Pregnant Body book, which is amazing (pictured above).

I’m very very tired and take naps almost every day when I get home and if not that I’m passing out by 8:30, still shocked about that one.  A new thing is that I can’t hold my pee overnight. For the last five days I’ve been getting up around 4:30 to go and it’s been interrupting my sleep. I still have sore boobs still and now a dull backache in the evenings. BUT I love it all and I’ll take it any day everyday.  I’m still so amazed.

I had a hair appointment this week and had to tell my hairdresser why I wasn’t getting my hair dyed. She was so excited for me and then she said to share in your joy I’m pregnant too! What!!!! She’s seven weeks pregnant. I was so excited for her especially since she had also suffered a miscarriage this summer. Pretty amazing stuff I tell, how life works right?

Other than that not much going on just patiently waiting, not like I’m not well versed and waiting . . .

Until next time friends, how is everyone else doing?
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