Tag Archive | pregnancy announcement

Social Experiment

** These days, I feel like I have very little to write about other than this pregnancy. From the highs to the lows, I am consumed by this baby. And if not this baby, then it’s my daughter. So please forgive me for yet another pregnancy post. **

As I have mentioned a few times over the last several weeks, I am showing quite a lot. Enough now that I think I am looking more pregnant and less like a bloated, chubby mess who just ate too much McDonald’s.

So with that being said, I decided to perform a bit of a social experiment recently. Last week, when I went to play Bunco with 10 of my friends, I chose an outfit that very clearly highlighted my bump. All but two of these friends did not know I was pregnant, though many knew we had been trying for some time and had experienced a loss last year. But I was almost fifteen weeks pregnant at the time and ready to let the cat out of the bag. And as I had explained to my two friends who did know about Skittle, Leigh and Lillian (remember her?! she was due just a week before me, but miscarried early on),  I am not good at grand pregnancy announcements — they feel awkward and embarrassing to me — so I was really just hoping someone would ask and I would not have to say anything on my own.

And to be honest, I thought that’s exactly what would happen. Even though I know it’s pretty taboo to ask a woman if she’s pregnant unless she’s in the middle of pushing her baby out of her vagina, I figured my friends wouldn’t care. They are a bunch of bold, brave, loud woman who have not hesitated to ask me before if I was pregnant when I did things like turn down a glass of wine (way before I actually ever conceived). But last week, they surprised me.

No one asked.

Well, that is, no one asked me. Instead, they all waited until I was at another table, and then asked Leigh and Lillian. Luckily, Lillian is in a very good place following her miscarriage and had told me when I walked in that she could not keep my secret a moment longer and would be telling people about Skittle if I did not. And I was more than happy to give her permission to do so.

So in the end, it all worked out. My experiment was kind of a dud and anti-climatic, but a few good friends learned about my news and Lillian got the pleasure of delivering it.

Of course, the next day, two things had to take place following such an announcement:

  • I e-mailed Lillian to be sure that she was okay with all the baby talk (she was) and, almost simultaneously, she e-mailed me to ensure that I truly did not mind that she was the one to spill the beans (I did not).
  • I worried. No, I panicked…imagining another Bunco some months down the road, when I would have to tell all of them that my baby is dead. Yes, I am dramatic and paranoid like that.

Later this week, we will go “Facebook public.” I am still trying to find the perfect wording that somehow captures what we have gone through and how much this baby is wanted and loved. And of course, I’m sure there will be another panic attack to follow that. Stay tuned!

Left Behind

Another friend is pregnant.

But she’s not just any friend. No casual acquaintance or Facebook psuedo-friend. Lillian is a very close  friend and the one who has helped me along through the last nine months. She’s 36 and, in many ways, she’s one of us. Technically, she doesn’t have trouble getting pregnant. She has trouble staying pregnant. She has a daughter now who will be three in April, but before conceiving her little lady in 2009, Lillian suffered three miscarriages over the course of nine months. She knows the ins and outs of charting and temping. She’s all-too-familiar with the pain of wondering if she will ever hold her precious child in her arms. She understands why pregnancy announcements and baby showers are hard for me, why it’s difficult to see or hold a newborn right now, without explanation.

When I lost Teddy Graham, Lillian was there like no one else could be. At the time, she was one of only two people whom I personally knew who had experienced the loss of a pregnancy, and she was the only local one. No other friend even knew I was pregnant. Lillian had guessed just by looking at me, and I feel that must have been something orchestrated by God, because she was the best one to turn to in my loss. She guided me through all of it. She invited me over for playdates and out for ice cream so we could talk. She offered to watch Cupcake if I just needed to be alone in my grief. And I give her all the credit for this blog. She may not have written the words for each post, but she is the one who encouraged me to do so because that is how she navigated this when she was facing RPL. Because of Lillian, I have all of you.

Last night, Lillian and I had dinner at a local Indian restaurant. Because we both started TTC at the same time after my miscarriage, and have spent many hours in the past sharing the nitty-gritty details of our cycles, she knew we would be discussing the most personal things over our curries. And she did not want to lie to me, so she sent me an e-mail last week to break the news, an e-mail because she remembers that’s what I wanted from my sister. She did and said all the right things. She treated me with the tenderness, gentleness, and sensitivity that my sis never has (which, until now, has been my barometer to judge all of this). She gave me the option of canceling our dinner date and she welcomed me to express to her how I felt about her news. And when I did, completely and truthfully, she responded not with hostility, bitterness, or condemnation, but repeated thanks for my honesty. I did not know it was possible that someone like this existed.

Last Wednesday, when I read that e-mail first thing in the morning, it crushed me. I cried until sundown. I felt more defeated, more hopeless, than I ever have since the start of this journey. I could not respond to Lillian’s e-mail at the time. I was not a pleasant person to be around. This one little pregnancy announcement from someone I love and respect felt like the end of the world. And I said things I am not proud of and did not mean, things like how much easier this would all be if life just didn’t continue. That was a very dark day.

Let me be clear: I have no ill will towards Lillian. None at all. She has done everything perfectly. She has treated me exactly the way I hope I would treat someone else if I was in her shoes. At dinner, she did not go on and on about her pregnancy, but apologized whenever she did mention it. She let me talk and worry over my journey, and sympathized with everything I said. She is the friend I have always wanted. I would be lying if I said I was not jealous, but that jealousy does not lead me to anger or bitterness or ugly thoughts. It only makes me weepy, and thankful that she understands.

It is still early for Lillian. This pregnancy is very new. She is only five weeks along. She is scared because she does not know if history will repeat itself. I am scared for her. And happy for her, too. And sad for me. But most of all, I feel left behind. By everyone. My Reader is full of bumpdates and positive peestick photos, but that is the very least of my heartache. Every one of you deserve this. I am happy and hopeful for all of you, my friends. But there are pregnancy announcements everywhere I turn. I was *lucky* enough, while TTC my darling Cupcake, to know only one person who was pregnant…and I didn’t learn about her pregnancy until two months before my own BFP. I did not have to wade through any of this kind of pain. In this moment, I have cousins, old and new friends, acquaintances, and a sister who are expecting or have recently given birth. Some of them are first babies, but many are second or third or even fourth. And now, my own in-real-life ally has crossed to the other side, too. I will be the only regular in our mom’s group who does not have more than one child. It is not fair of me to feel abandoned because I know Lillian will be there for me whether she gets to have this baby or not…even whether she has ten or twelve or a hundred babies. But I do. I feel utterly alone.

But this is not all about me. I know that. Lillian is worried about and fearful for what these next few weeks bring. I want to support her like she has supported me. I will be checking in with her frequently. And I have offered to watch her daughter if she just needs some rest or has a bad bout of morning sickness. This is what friends are for. She has given me permission to pull away, to take time off from our relationship, to not feel any joy about her joyous news, but I will not do any of that. I pride myself on being thoughtful and selfless in my friendships, on being everything my sister has failed to be to me. In my relationship with my sis, I have been there for her in other ways. I have really tried to be the kind of sister she wants. I have made gifts for her and I spent way too much money on a baby that hasn’t even been born yet. But in my relationship with Lillian, I want to do better. This is my opportunity for redemption. This is my second chance.

Cycle Update

Well, friends, I am trying hard to catch up on my blog-reading and commenting, but it hasn’t been easy. I am still waaaay behind, so if you haven’t heard from me, that could be why. It could also be that, in an effort to get caught up as quickly as possible, I have contained my commenting to everyone’s most recent and/or crucial posts. Please forgive my laziness and please know that, while I may not be commenting on every post, I am indeed reading every one.

And while I still plan to tell all of you about my fabulous (albeit, chilly) trip to London, today I thought I’d give you a cycle update. Not that there is actually much to tell. It’s CD18 and I don’t think I have ovulated yet. Just three or four days ago, I started to feel the achy tenderness of swollen ovaries and also began to see some egg-white CM. This usually means that ovulation is just around the corner. Except my OPKs are being a little funny. While in London, they started getting darker. In fact, one day (on CD11) the test line was about the same darkness that I usually see a day or two before getting a positive. But I never got a positive and, since returning home, they have gone back to being utterly negative. As in, there is only but the ghost of a test line, which I don’t often see but very early or very late in my cycle. Hmmmm….

Also, my temp has been up (above 98.0) for the last four days, which is rather peculiar. Generally, that means I ovulated. Except, I really don’t think I have yet. I’m not 100% positive that’s the case — more like 90% sure. Which is still fairly certain. So that means my BBT is all kinds of screwed up once again. I’m guessing this is the result of the time change between London and and the west coast. Perhaps, when I take my temp each morning around 5 a.m., my body actually thinks I’ve slept in until 1 p.m.? In which case, an increase of temperature makes sense. It’s either that or this dang cold that apparently hitched a ride on the plane with me. I would actually be inclined to think it’s the cold, except when I took my temp at 4 p.m. a couple days ago to see if I was running a fever, it was only 97.33, much lower than when I took it that morning.

So in conclusion, I don’t really know anything. I may or may not have ovulated. I may or may not be ovulating at some point in the near future. All I can do now is wait and see. And we really shall see, won’t we?

But speaking of my cold…it has really knocked me off my feet and totally annoyed me by coming at this point in my cycle. I’m afraid to take anything for it because I don’t want to inadvertently dry up any cervical mucus that’s hanging around. And my libido is next to none because I feel like crap. I can’t breathe. I can’t taste anything. My back hurts. I feel nauseous off and on all day long. My sinuses burn and ache. I’m tired. And the very worst part, I have a horrible headache that I can find absolutely no relief from. All of this makes me fret that, even if I do ovulate, my body is working too hard to fight this that no fertilized egg would even have a chance of sticking, but maybe that’s just me worrying over stupid things like usual. And a small part of me doesn’t even care whether I ovulate or conceive this month, because my most immediate concern is just getting over this cold. Right in this very moment, I want nothing more than to feel better. And to sleep until I do.

And in other news:

  • My day 3 estradiol results came back while I was in London. 27.3. However, I have no idea what this means. According to the reference range for my lab, normal during the follicular phase is 50-220. However, other places I have read say it should be 25-75 on day 3. So I’m confused. Maybe my results are good, maybe not. I do know, though, that values on the low end of things often respond better to stimulation from meds, so I guess I can at least be thankful for that. And thankful, as well, that my first RE appointment is in just two weeks and she will be able to make sense of everything for me (I hope).
  • I heard from my cousin,who I will call Jae from here on out, this morning and she is expecting. Of course. There is always a pregnancy announcement when I least expect it. And while every new pregnancy is a blow to my ego and a punch to my heart, this one has been much easier to take than my sister’s announcement a couple months ago. For one thing, Jae was kind enough to tell me by e-mail even though she knows nothing of our struggle to conceive baby #2 (though everything of our struggle to conceive #1).  For another, unlike my sister who conceived just 9 months post-wedding, my cousin celebrated her fifth wedding anniversary in August. It’s time. And, quite frankly, I just feel so much more affection for Jae than I do for my sis (which, I am certain, makes me a horrible sister and a fabulous cousin). We have a history together. She was the closest thing that I had to a sister during my childhood and she was a bridesmaid in our wedding. And though we have since grown apart, I just respect and love her so much. She is truly one of the nicest people I know and she hasn’t always had it easy (not a lot of money growing up, parents who divorced when she was young, a dad who died when she was 16, and a bipolar mom) and, really, I want nothing more than for her to be happy. She deserves this baby (and yes, I know my sister does too, as does any woman who wants to be a mom, but I’m still having a hard time embracing my niece/nephew-to-be). She is due just two to three weeks after my sis. Oh boy.

So that’s my update for now. Much longer than I intended, especially considering that my head is pounding and I want nothing more than to eat some chicken soup and go to bed. But my Honey is home from work now, so I can go off duty, and hopefully do just that.