Monday, April 15, 2013

Babies just look like babies

My sister asked the other day whose nose the baby has. As though I could tell from an ultrasound at 19 weeks who a baby looks like. The 3-D picture looks like a face that was burned off by acid. I'm too practical to think I can determine if a fetus looks like me. Frankly, she mostly looks like Harold from Harold and the Purple Crayon. See:

We'll decide noses in September.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Parasite infestation

Presumably people--okay, person--who requested the story of my parasitic infestation is/are still interested. It's bound to be full of TMI-type information, as these things tend to be. So I guess pirates/squeamish ye be warned.

Long story short, I've known for well over ten years that it would take a miracle and medical intervention to have a baby. And I've rather suspected it since I was...oh, 14 or so.

Basically, I don't ovulate. Like, at all. Literally can go years between cycles, if that's at all a useful word to describe something that is entirely inconsistent. Doctor makes me take progesterone four times a year to force a cycle so I don't get uterine cancer. It's not so bad, really, except that for the longest time vacations triggered them. Don't know if it was the relaxation or elevation change or what, but it was super annoying. And inconvenient. Eventually I just started assuming I'd get my period on vacation. Now pretty much the only triggers are progesterone and rooming with another female. (And even that is of limited efficacy.) I could go on about the pros and cons of not menstruating, but let's leave it there.

As to the actual process of getting pregnant, it all started in October 2010, when I took my eleventh and final pack of birth control pills. I had originally tried to convince the hubs that we could rely on my own natural infertility to prevent a honeymoon baby, but he didn't want to risk it. Ha! Served him right, dealing with the side effects of the hormones.

Anyway, off the pill, whaddayaknow, no baby. Technically because of my previously-diagnosed PCOS I didn't have to wait a year before medical assistance, but work was kind of up in the air and stuff and it wasn't necessarily the right time. But in the fall of 2011 we started all the tests to make sure there weren't any other  fertility issues. (Some of the tests, I might add, are rather less pleasant than others.) By the end of 2011 everything else had got the greenlight, and we could start the fertility drugs at any time.

And after all that, it didn't feel like the right time for the clomid. Which is dumb because, hello, I want a baby. Ahh, but then I ended up getting a new job in June, so then I had to wait so I'd be there 12 months by the time I had the baby, so I could qualify for FMLA leave. (And it turns out the new company, for all its many faults, offers paid maternity leave. So it's all working out pretty well.) So at the end of the summer, it was finally time to start the pills. But of course, it takes a while before I can even take the pills, because I have to take five days of progesterone, wait a week or so for them to work, take the clomid days 3-7, wait, get a transvaginal ultrasound to see if there's any eggs, get two trigger shots if there are (in the butt, wooo) have super sexy "timed intercourse," wait another two weeks, do a pregnancy test. I couldn't even do one of those "early response" tests, because the trigger shot would give a false positive and takes two weeks to get down to zero-ish. Of course, a test isn't really needed, because all of these hormones and things make for a super reliable day 28 period.

First month, I got the shots, but no baby. Second month, didn't even get to get the shots. Third month, they increased the dosage and the egg was almost big enough but not quite, so they told me I could come back on Monday and get another ultrasound or try again next month. Boo. I opted for door number one. What's a weekend of waiting and fifteen bucks coinsurance for another ultrasound?

Went back on cycle day 17, which was also our anniversary. Apparently even on super drugs, I've got a slow cycle. But I got the trigger shot, yay! And then comes the longest two weeks ever. I couldn't even take a test until New Year's Eve, but on the 30th I threw up from leftover Chipotle and was really bothered by the smell of someone's basil essential oil, so that was a good sign. Next day I did one of the dollar store tests I keep on hand--you have to, when there's no rhyme or reason to your ovulating--and I was like "Is that a line? Is that a wrinkle in this tiny dipstick? Honey, is this a line?" We weren't sure. Very faint. Did another test the next day. Pretty obviously was a line, but just to be safe (okay, and for funsies) I got one of the expensive digital ones that just say yes or no. Did it mid-day, and...

Turns out I was pregnant. Couldn't really believe/accept it--ultimately it was over two years of "trying," although if we consider time I was on fertility drugs it was more like four months. But if this one hadn't taken I'd have had to go to a much more expensive specialist, so it was a close call--but it's really true. Had the second trimester ultrasound on Tuesday. Totally teared up at the heartbeat. I still tear up thinking about the heartbeat. After all this waiting, my little baby is alive and--hopefully--well. More on that later.