32 weeks

32 Weeks today and holy shit.  I still have moments where I look at Hubs and say, "I can't believe we're going to have a kid."  (I know, I should say "child" like my MIL prefers, but I don't, hehe.)  It's so surreal to be pregnant and it's hard picturing life as a parent!

I have a feeling once we really get going on her room it'll become more real.  So far not much has changed around the house.  We managed to get her closet and built-in cabinets and drawers cleaned out to start making room, but the office is still an office otherwise.  Everything is planned though!  It's going to be really cute and colorful and fun, so I'm excited; I'm just a procrastinator.  Story of my life.

My shower is only three weeks away!  Another thing I procrastinated on - making a guest list and getting addresses together for my friends who are planning it.  Finally got them all today though, it's not TOO too late, right?  Oh well.  After deciding to do an open-house, co-ed shindig at my in-laws' house, and then writing out our initial guest list and coming up with over 100 people, I was really stressing.  That was just way too many people, and I couldn't decide who to cut... especially since I'd already told a bunch of people about it and let them know they'd be invited.  Oops!  So I talked to my mom who made me feel better about cutting out some family members who live hours away.  Then I talked to my MIL who told me to just invite everyone and not worry about it.  It's open-house so as long as the invitations are clear about it being a "stop by at your own convenience" kind of thing everyone won't be there all at once.  So that's what I did.  Yep.  We're inviting well over 100 people and damn the consequences!  It's gonna be a regular rager.

Now, because I'm hormonal and everything annoys me these days, I need to vent.  As I mentioned I totally slacked on getting the guest list out to my friends.  Well, the other day I messaged a bunch of the invitees on FB requesting their addresses so I could do so.  One of these people was my aunt, who in her reply made sure to "ask" that her DIL also be invited.  Ahem.  First of all, yes, she is invited.  She and my cousin live with my aunt and uncle, so even if I didn't want to invite them (which for the record was not the case, even when I thought I had to shorten the list) I kind of have to.  Second, don't tell me who to invite.  Third, don't insinuate that I intended to be rude and not including the cousins who live closest to me of all my cousins.  Okay so that ticked me off and I didn't reply, just figured she'll be happy when they all get their invitations this week and no one was forgotten.  So then today I get another message from her.  Seems my aunt spoke with her other son's wife and that DIL hadn't heard anything about the shower, so could I make sure to include her too.  Ahem again.  She is already on the GD list.  I included said second cousin himself on the original message (not his wife because I see him post stuff on FB but rarely her).  Quit looking for nonexistant drama, people!  I replied as non-irritatedly as I could that yes, everyone is invited, guys too (since she was only apparently concerned about the ladies I figured she missed the whole "co-ed" thing), and that the invitations will be going out this week.  Sigh...  Maybe I shouldn't be annoyed.  Maybe I should just be really, incredibly flattered that my aunt thinks our shower is going to be such a major event that her DILs would be devastated if they didn't make the guest list.  Well, everyone can rest easy tonight knowing that they can all bask in my glowing presence soon enough.

So yeah, aside from the mood swings I'm feeling pretty good these days!  Sure, there are the hot flashes and leg cramps and constipation and utter forgetfulness and exhaustion and the boobs that won't stop growing and the sore ass and shortness of breath just from rolling over in bed, but it could really be so much worse.  I'm honestly very grateful that I'm as comfortable as I am, and that baby girl is healthy and active.  So no complaints here!  Except the ones about people who annoy me of course.  Which are numerous.


This week thus far

Poor little Scout got fixed yesterday.  Is it weird that I felt a little twinge of guilt about that decision?  I'm sure she doesn't care one way or the other, but I just felt a tiny bit wrong taking away her ability to procreate.  Just writing that makes me want to laugh, it's so silly, right?  She is a cat, after all.  And I do agree with Bob Barker's famous sign-off to control the pet population!  Plus I really don't want every stray cat in the neighborhood spraying my house when she goes into heat.  Anyway, she's doing fine.  Poor thing was so swollen yesterday, but she was still dying to play even though she couldn't move around as well as usual and Atticus refused to have anything to do with her since she came home from the vet apparently smelling funky.  Today she seems to have forgotten all about her surgery and for the life of me I can't get her to take it easy and quit jumping and climbing on everything.  I guess that's a good sign though! 

Yesterday I also had a good doctor's appointment.  The results of my glucose screen came back fine, so I can continue giving in to my insane sugar cravings... Cookies and ice cream and candy... Mmmmm...  Got my rhogam shot too, wee.  Also Hubs and I got a lot of questions answered.  You already know I'm leaning on the hippie side of wanting a natural birth - no induction, try anything to prevent a c-section, and (GULP) going to try to avoid an epidural.  Well Hubs and I were even starting to consider going to a birth center instead of the hospital, but we both really like our doctor's office and didn't want to have to switch.  Luckily, we got acceptable answers to all our questions, so we're sticking with our decision to give birth at the hospital, with a midwife rather than one of the doctors.  It is so weird to be thinking about these kinds of things and making these decisions now.  It's like when I was first learning about infertility, taking in all the information I could, and deciding what path to take toward family-building.  And at the same time, it sort of feels like the culmination of all that combined knowledge...  If that makes any sense...

Today I felt the baby get the hiccups for the first time.  It was pretty cute.  She's moving like crazy lately, hopefully into a nice, comfortable head-down position.

So what I meant to do tonight was make a plan and set goals for turning the office into the baby's room, but instead I went on Pinterest and then spent way too much time writing this post.  And now it's time for bed.  So the nursery waits another day... or week... or whatever.  Good night.


Stress, fertility, and happiness

A friend asked me the other day if I thought that having less stress in my life contributed to me getting pregnant.  Now before anyone gets their panties in a bunch, know that the last thing she meant was to be rude, and she certainly is not ignorant about infertility.  I've shared my journey quite openly with her from the start, and she knows that the whole "relaxation = pregnancy" thing gets on my nerves like nobody's business.  But, given my particular situation I have to admit it's something I've thought about myself, and something that I still don't have a straight answer for.

For one, I never had a real strong diagnosis for my infertility.  If you're someone who has blocked fallopian tubes, problems ovulating, poor sperm count/quality, or any of the host of other physical issues that can cause infertility, it's a fair assertion that your emotional state has no bearing on your fertility.  But for me, even though I absolutely hated it (er, still do) when people would come anywhere near suggesting that "relaxing" might help, I always wondered if there might be a shred of truth to it.  I mean, severe and chronic stress can cause physical symptoms, and I saw that firsthand in my own health on more than one occasion.

So, before my lap, Hubs and I both passed all our fertility tests with flying colors.  Which of course did nothing but frustrate me more.  And although my lap came back showing I had stage II endo, I still sort of considered myself "unexplained" because having a handful of spots here and there (and no real damage) on my guts just didn't seem severe enough to keep me from conceiving for so long.  Yes, we did conceive about 7 months later (which I still believe acupuncture helped facilitate), but it wasn't until another two years after that that we achieved a successful pregnancy (knock on wood; 11 weeks to go!).  They say if you don't conceive within two years of removing the endo that the lap probably didn't help, and I was definitely past the 2 year mark.  Though I will also say that doctors can be and often are wrong about these things!  Hell, one told me I had a 1 in 1,000 chance of getting pregnant naturally and I showed him a thing or two.

On the other hand, we started TTC at the exact same time I started my job at the 7th Circle of Hell, and I felt noticeably more anxious on a daily basis starting from week one.  Perhaps also notably, I was on antidepressants for a few years before starting TTC (and that job), and I stopped taking them when we started trying.  Fast forward three years and I was totally burned out, a good 15 pounds lighter,  spending several mornings a week crying and having dry heaves as I got ready for work, and of course seriously considering taking a leave of absence.

Still, my last day in Hell was over a year since my miscarriage, and we'd stopped TTC many months prior.  I was definitely not contemplating the possibilities of pregnancy, and even less so was I thinking about it 6 months later when I decided to go back on antidepressants.  All I cared about was that I still wasn't feeling like myself and I was tired of being sad and anxious all the time.  I started Wellbutrin and a couple months later I was noticeably happier... after a few more months I found myself quite unexpectedly expecting.

I'm still torn between thinking that the existence of this little wiggly life in me was a total fluke and that my improved mental state might have had a hand in it.  If nothing else it was certainly serendipitous to have regained some sense of contentment just before getting pregnant.  Pregnancy is challenging physically, mentally, and emotionally, and any little bit of preparedness helps.  I can't say for sure how or why it happened when it did (or at all!), but I do have a feeling that all of the good things that have happened for me over the past couple of years are a kind of tangled up circle of causes and effects of each other and my own efforts to stay positive and open to new possibilities.  It might be possible that a healthy mind and an open, positive outlook have an effect on fertility, but I've found that more importantly those things definitely have an effect on happiness.