Just Us Girls

Just Us Girls

...one SMC's adventures in single motherhood.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Biting the bullet

  • I am eight weeks and one day today, and I'm thrilled! Every day is a victory, every week a celebration. Sundays are great days because it's another week down. And the best part? I feel pretty damn good these days. NO morning sickness, really, except for rare twinges of slight nausea that I've decided don't even count. Thankfully I still "feel" pregnant, though...the boobs are definitely hurting, especially in the morning when I get up. And I'm still occasionally feeling slight cramping now and then, probably due to stretching. NO spotting, and I hope it stays that way. Oh, and unfortunately for my waistline, my appetite isn't suffering at ALL. Seriously. Everything sounds good to me, and my appetite is pretty much insatiable. I have dreams about food. It's crazy. I'm trying to keep this minor weight gain in perspective, which is hard. For the most part things are still fitting as usual, but I seem to have a little more of a "belly" these days. I really need to drink more water. A LOT more water, in all honesty. I've never been much of a water-drinker.
  • I'm considering my summer over with on August tenth, when I take a two-day class followed by our teacher days which start on August 12th. Kids start on the eighteenth. I'm actually pretty excited to get things rolling and have other things to focus/fixate on besides this pregnancy. Summer school ends this Wednesday, so I'm planning on working in my classroom starting on Thursday.
  • My next OB appointment is on August fifth, and I'm looking forward to hopefully an easy appointment that will reassure me that things are on track.
  • In my heart of hearts I'm feeling increasing guilt that I don't have a father for my child (not yet, anyway). I feel nervous about those first few months after the birth. I feel insecure about the sincerity of my parents' (and others') excitement about this pregnancy. I guess I'm just kind of feeling pretty judged these days. Regrets? No, not really...but I'm even kind of questioning that these days. Hopefully it's that the hormones are magnifying these thoughts inside my pea brain. I'm hoping.

Sobfest! (UPDATED)

UPDATE: I just discovered that embedding was disabled by the request of the couple, I'm sure, but please follow the link and watch it on YouTube. It's worth a look.

So how much of a nerd am I, you ask? Oh, you're about to find out...I'm sure it must have something to do with being hormonal. But I just watched this video again and I'm still bawling just as much as the first time, especially when the groom and then the bride make their entrance: talk about absolute JOY! They're just celebrating the hell out of what is meant to be happiest day of their lives, and it shows. I wish everyone could be so lucky as to enjoy a day like that! Maybe there's also a part of me that is sad that I might never experience a celebration like that (but I still have hope!). Thanks to Melissa for hooking me up with this video!

Well, I had a great mini-vacation in Minnesota, and now (thankfully) my entire immediate family knows my big news! It went as well as I could hope for, which was a huge relief. It was a really meaningful moment for me, so as my parents opened their little packages simultaneously, I got all weepy and I'm sure they were wondering what on earth was going on! My mother held up the little frame to the light at the window and said, "Is this what I THINK it is?" and she was just really amazed and pleased, as was my dad, too. She remarked to my aunt a little later that she "just got the biggest news of her LIFE!" At dinner a bit later my aunt and uncle toasted to "the two new grandparents at the table"...it was sweet. And I also called both of my brothers to tell them, and I think they were shocked more than anything else, but also happy for me. So now I have tentative plans to travel back home to upstate New York for Thanksgiving, when I get to go through boxes of baby clothes and pick out what I want. I'll most likely know the gender by then. Mom's been saving them for me for years, which is kinda special considering that I'm the only daughter in the family, so it's a cool privilege. Not that I'll necessarily end up using all of them, but the fact that she's been saving them just for this occasion really warms my heart.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Off to the MN in the am...

for our family reunion, AND to let my parents know they're gonna get to be grandparents!! I don't know whether I'm more nervous or excited. After all, I didn't tell my mom the *whole* truth when she asked about the results of my latest iui--because I so wanted to tell her in person--and I'm worried that she'll be angry. Both my parents will no doubt be worried long-term about my single parenthood followed by my finances, in that order. Childcare ain't cheap. But I think they'll still be excited about all it will entail. :) I will report back on how the Big Reveal went! The little framed ultrasound pictures are wrapped and packed, so I'm as ready as I'll ever be...

Monday, July 20, 2009

The heart of the matter

Well, I think I've figured it out: part of the reason, at least, for all that fear I was feeling last week. And interestingly enough, it was the book I finished a few days ago that really seemed to clue me in. I've been reading Choosing You: Deciding to Have a Baby On My Own by Alexandra Soiseth, and as soon as I got it from the library I couldn't put it down. Her journey mirrors mine in a lot of ways, though of course there are some key differences as well, which I won't go into here. One paragraph in particular stopped me cold. I think it was about three am (like I said, I couldn't put it down) and as soon as I read this particular paragraph, much to my surprise I began to cry and couldn't catch my breath. I've thought about it ever since and now I feel I am at peace with things. But here is the heart of the matter: over the past two weeks or so I've been thinking a lot about the idea that I haven't "followed the rules" in terms of starting my family, and I've been questioning whether things could actually work out for me in terms of this pregnancy. Here is the paragraph that affected me so strongly:

"I guess I actually think, deep down, that I don't deserve to be pregnant. I'm trying to fast-track myself somewhere I'm not suppposed to go. If you can't get a man, you can't have a family. End of story."

At the time it really struck a chord, but thankfully I think I've worked through it. At last I can envision this pregnancy going to term regardless of how I got here, and a lot of the worry seems to have lifted. It's not completely gone, of course, but I feel like I can breathe a little easier now.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Can't find my zen happy place.

I don't know how other preggers women do it...the worry and anxiety I'm feeling right now is unreal. I'm 6w4d, and I feel like 12 weeks is *never* gonna get here. I think I've come to the conclusion that the Internet is NOT my friend because I've been treating it like a lifeline and all it does is tell me more stories of women who have lost their babies at 7, 8, 10 weeks. I feel like I should just *expect* to miscarry because the odds are stacked against me anyways. The pessimist in me has reared her ugly head and keeps asking, "Why should YOU get a healthy baby? What makes you think YOU deserve it?" Which then takes me to why no one has ever wanted/asked me to spend the rest of my life with him and all sorts of other dark places. I think part of the problem is that right now I don't have much to distract me (i.e. off for the summer, no job to go to yet) and once school starts, it'll get easier. I'm hoping, anyway. So I'm resolving to spend less time on the pregnancy message boards and more time focusing on what I want to get done before August twelfth, when we start all those teacher work days before school starts for real on August 18th.

And don't get me started on what this upcoming school year may hold for all of us...due to a nearby school closure, our school is expected to increase from 750 middle schoolers to 1100. Where we're gonna put 'em all, I have no clue. And the biggest group is eighth graders, oh joy. Thank goodness I can live in my happy little bubble of eager-to-please sixth graders who are still pretty much a joy to be around, until Christmas, anyway. :) I still work with a ton of amazing people whom I truly adore, but we also lost a lot of staff members who pretty much freaked out over not knowing what this school year may look like, and went elsewhere. To me in my current state of mind it feels like a huge black hole of scary unknown stuff. I really need to snap out of it, but I don't. know. how.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Magic = 126 bpm

Ack, what a relief! I heard (and saw) a beautiful heartbeat today! I also found out that I'm not quite as far along as I had thought...according to the doc I am 6w2d, and according to the ultrasound, I'm measuring 6w1d, which is pretty much right on. So I will be ECSTATIC to get to August 23rd in one piece--that will be twelve weeks. Apparently today is a good milestone against miscarriage, even though it could still happen over the next six weeks. The heartbeat was 126 beats per minute, which they tell me is good. And what a magical sound! I didn't get emotional until I was in my car heading home, and in the office I wasn't aware that I was holding my breath until she found the heartbeat and I was able to exhale. :) Thank goodness!

So my next appointment is on August fifth. I bought two sweet little baby-related picture frames today, and I will wrap those up with the ultrasound pictures in them to give to my parents next Friday when I see them at a family reunion. This will be their first grandchild, so telling them in person will be such a treat! I can't wait. It's so hard to go through this without being able to talk to my Mom about it all...we're pretty close. But I really wanted to be able to tell them in person, so so far, I've forced myself to hold out. :)

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Slightly terrified

Tomorrow's the day.

Please, oh please let there be a heartbeat...

Friday, July 10, 2009

Single Moms Unite!

I LOVE this video (even though I must confess that the misspelled words set my teeth on edge)...the ideas and spirit behind it make it so worth embedding here. Thanks, Morgan!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Exciting stuff, I tell you...

I'm having my first ultrasound FIVE days from now, on Monday! I'm alternately terrified and excited about possibly seeing a heartbeat for the first time. I can't decide whether I want to go by myself or bring someone with me...I'm leaning towards going by myself, in all honesty. Then maybe I'll bring someone with me to later appointments. We'll see.

I met my OB for the first time today, and he definitely wasn't what I expected. I was and still am a little creeped out by the way he's just assuming this pregnancy is a done deal....baby this, baby that...as though OF COURSE you'll make it through the next 35 weeks and you'll end up with a baby in your arms. I've seen too much. I read too many blogs about loss to naively accept that it's just going to happen the way I want it to. Of course I'm hopeful, but if I can carry this baby to term I'll be the exception rather than the rule. Plus, my odds of having a Downs baby are one in 150, which to me aren't great odds. There's a hell of a lot to think about. But on the plus side, there is a lot of testing to be done along the way, and he's more than willing to do it. I"ll be curious to find out how much of said testing will be covered by my insurance. Hopefully I can find out sooner rather than later.

My Impressions of My New OB, Part One
  • Very knowledgeable. Really knows what he's talking about.
  • Definitely brusque. All business, all the time.
  • No apparent sense of humor. See above.
  • Gave me plenty of time for questions, even though his response was, "What else?" after each question.
  • He was wearing clogs. Clogs! Like the ones chefs might wear in the kitchen.
  • It was the fastest exam in history, even though he did everything he said he would. He said everything seems great, which is really reassuring.
  • When he was ready to start the exam, he pulled out a walkie talkie (!) and barked, "Four!" and almost immediately, a female nurse showed up to assist. Creepy.
  • Not at all what I expected, especially after everyone and her sister has been raving about him. Not in a bad way, necessarily. Just...not what I expected.

I knew it was coming...

Had my first OB appointment today (Tuesday), and I had to smile when the nurse asked, "So is the father going to be involved in this pregnancy?" What I wanted to say was, "Well, considering I've never met the guy..." But I just explained that I used an anonymous sperm donor, and left it at that. I think that overall it puts a bit of a different spin on things.

I think she was surprised by how much I know about my donor, genetically and otherwise. I know that the only main health issue, if you can call it that, is that he has battled hayfever, and used to be asthmatic but apparently grew out of it. Both asthma and hayfever have shown up in other members of his family. He and his wife had a first baby who was stillborn due to a herniated diaphragm, but then went on to have two healthy daughters, maybe more, I don't know. They did struggle with infertility for five years (her side), but he himself has never been diagnosed with any infertility issues. His maternal grandmother and both of his paternal grandparents were smokers, and as such, dealt with emphysema and other smoking-related illnesses. He himself is not a smoker or a drinker, and he doesn't drink coffee either. Yes, I know he could very easily have lied to the sperm bank interviewers, but based on other comments as to why he chose to donate (primarily due to their five-year struggle to have their first child and wanting to help other couples in the same boat), my instincts tell me that he was being honest at the time. I was glad that I was able to answer all of the questions she asked me about his genetic history, based on what I've read in his long profile.

Believe it or not, I have my second OB appointment tomorrow! I still can't believe they were able to get me in so soon. Not that there's any kind of a rush on things, but it's nice to get things moving. The sooner I can get to that first ultrasound, the better. Apparently tomorrow I can expect to be poked and prodded and such, and I also get to meet The Man (my new OB), someone who has been raved about by three different doctors I've worked with as well as pretty much everyone who works in the office. I've already identified a receptionist-person whom I DO NOT LIKE because she completely ignored me TWICE when I came up to the desk to turn in my initial paperwork. She was sitting directly in front of me, there was obviously no one else available to even acknowledge me, and she literally did not even look up at me when I was obviously attempting to patiently wait my turn. I mean, I do understand being busy with a task for a MOMENT or two before looking up and acknowledging a patient standing directly in front of you, but that was ridiculous. Crappy customer service, if you ask me. So I went back to the waiting room and thought to myself, "FINE, when they need this paperwork, they'll just have to come to me." And it all worked out in the end. No co-pay today, which was the icing on the cake. There will be tomorrow, though. I was also a little surprised that I'll have to do a urine sample before each and every appointment, which made perfect sense once they explained it to me. I guess modesty is going to be a thing of the past from here on out. But I wouldn't trade it for anything.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Methinks it's official...

My first beta: 2723!

From what I can tell, that's right smack in the middle of the typical range for 20 dpo. In fact, according to BabyMed.com, it seems a little high, but I could be wrong. SO glad I have my first prenatal appt. tomorrow, so I can ask about it then.

You know, I completely have been feeling this irrational fear that they'd call me and say, "Oh, sorry, the beta was negative. You're not pregnant." I think my exact words to the nurse who called me were, "Oh, thank goodness!"

Woo hoo...I'm officially knocked up!!!!!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Beta results tomorrow!

Can't wait!!!

...followed by first OB appt. on Tuesday. Reuben's calling hours on Tuesday evening, but I'm not sure I'll go.

...Reuben's funeral on Wednesday. Rollercoaster of emotions this week for sure.

Friday, July 3, 2009

How much is one person expected to deal with?!

My heart is breaking tonight for my friend Meggan, whose husband unexpectedly passed away last night. It hurts even to type those words. And he was out of town--she wasn't even with him! He was only 32, and she is due in August with their first child after having lost their previous child at 38 weeks. The baby seems to be doing fine--she went to the hospital/doctor today to get checked out since she went into absolute shock when she was told this morning about his death. And it was completely out of the blue, too...they did discover that his heart was enlarged, so the latest theory is that he died of a heart attack, and maybe there was a congenital defect or something. It's just so unfair.

I hope she gets some answers, but of course it won't really ease her pain. Reuben was supposed to be there. He was supposed to have the chance to hold his baby girl for the first time. He was supposed to get to be a daddy. This sucks. Meggan, you and your baby girl are in my prayers.

Auto-play is now turned off.

Sorry, guys! How inconsiderate...it (speakers turned up high, sleeping baby, sleeping husband, etc. etc.) honestly never occurred to me. Won't happen again. Promise.

This part really sucks.

I will be telling a good friend of mine today about my new status, and I'm not looking forward to it because she had been trying for a long time (and is now in line to become a foster mom and hopefully adopt) and I don't want to make her sad. Hopefully she won't be, but I know what it's like to want something badly and see everyone around you achieve what you haven't been able to. I think she's excited about her change in direction, so I hope it'll be all fine. I know she'll be happy for me regardless, but still... Whenever I found out a friend was pregnant, I was happy for her, but it was still tinged with some degree of sadness. I'll be seeing another good friend on Saturday and it'll be worse because she was just recently saying how hard it's been for her that everyone she knows, it seems, is getting pregnant.

The bottom line is that I don't want her to hear it from someone else.

I guess all I can do is to try to be as sensitive about it as I can.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

New hard top for my Jeep! Woo hoo!

(Well, new to me, anyway!) I had the best day! I wasn't sure it was going to work out in the end, but I yesterday I connected with a guy trying to sell his Jeep's hard top on Craigs.list. I still can't believe someone didn't snatch it right up yesterday, when it was first posted...those hard tops are in pretty high demand! But I drove the full hour plus up to Denver with NO ROOF (because the soft top won't fit in the car after you take it off) at 75-80 mph--the speed limit, which no one follows anyway--and I got caught in the rain twice. But you know what? It was SO worth it...it was a STEAL at about half the price you usually find hard tops for. I really needed it, too, for obvious safety reasons. Oh, and my car has been broken into three times now. Plus it's finally paid off, which is the sweetest feeling ever. And quite honestly, nothing is bothering me right now because I'M PREGNANT! I'm so sorry that that came across way more obnoxious than I intended...I've been on the outside looking in (and hating it) for the past two years, so I should know better. But I can't help it--I'm elated. Oh, and completely exhausted. It's amazing how much driving in a stressful situation takes it out of you. I'm ready for bed. Zzzzzzzz.

Musings from a newly pregnant chick.

  • My first prenatal appointment is scheduled for next Tuesday, and I can't wait! But apparently I can visit a lab for my first beta, which will put my anxious mind at (relative) ease, anytime after tomorrow. I'll be picking up the lab orders tomorrow. And my OB's office called in a prescription for Pro.metrium, which I'll also pick up tomorrow.
  • I found (on the I Heart Single Parents site) a onesie that says, "My mom's single. Ask her out!" That made me laugh out loud! I don't intend to take myself or my situation too seriously, in the sense of having fun with it every so often. I'm so there.
  • My list of Choice Moms blogs is getting longer! Woo hoo! From now on I'm going to actively seek out blogs and such written by other choice moms. I know I'm not alone in my choice to become a single mom.
  • It's kinda fun to think optimistically and start to see myself as a potential single mom. I registered on I Heart Single Parents today, even though I'm not really even close to being technically "there" yet. I also scoured the Choice Moms site, and I'm planning on checking out the children's books and books for adults about families with donor offspring. I'm a little torn, though--I'm not thrilled about reading a lot of stuff about donor offspring with identity issues, resentment, etc. even though that scenario is certainly possible. Not while I'm pregnant, anyway. I'm already feeling extra-weepy and extra-impatient these days.
  • To whoever might be reading: thank you for all of the positive comments and support on my "old" blog! It means more than you know!!