Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Praying for Two Friends

We have two different couples in our lives that have been on my mind a lot recently because both are actively trying to conceive. As my due date approaches (I'm at 29 weeks, folks!), I keep thinking about them and hoping that by the time I'm holding a child in my arms, they'll be able to visit us at the hospital knowing they're holding a child in their womb.

The first couple, J & J, are some of our oldest friends in this area. Which isn't saying that much, since we haven't even been here for five years yet. But in a place as transient as the Bay Area, having friends for even three years can feel like an accomplishment. J (the wife) knew about everything that went on in my struggles to get pregnant, and she and another friend are planning my baby shower. 

She was so excited when they told us last spring that she would be going off the pill in April. At the time, I was a bit terrified--and fairly certain--that they would get pregnant before us. And now, the month that my baby is due will also be the month that they reach one year of trying. Her cycles have been really long since she went off BCP, but she has confirmed--through the huge package of leftover OPKs I gave her--that she is ovulating regularly. So far, the two of them don't seem too concerned or preoccupied with the trying process. I'm praying that they can maintain their calm attitudes--and that they will get pregnant very soon!

The second couple, M & L, moved here from Australia sometime last spring. We met them over the summer and have gotten to know them better since. They joined our little weekly community group and so were privy to the announcement when we shared with everyone that we were pregnant. When Pete first said those words, I saw M's arm go around L and had a quick inkling. But they maintained their smiles and were genuinely excited for us.

A month or two later, they were finally comfortable enough to share that they had been trying to get pregnant for two years. L has endometriosis. At the time, she was just starting the process of figuring out their American insurance and finding an OB. I had lunch with her last fall and to share a bit of my experience and let her know that Pete and I understood at least some of what they're going through and want to support them however we can.

Since then, L has been to an OB and confirmed that she needs another lap surgery to remove fibroids. They're working on figuring out the insane American insurance system to see if they'll get any coverage for infertility treatments, but they've said they may end up going back to Australia to get IVF, since it's so much cheaper there. I feel like they should be miles away from thinking about IVF, but I don't really know much about endo or their particular situation yet.

I am thinking about offering to let her borrow my copy of The Infertility Cure. I'd also love to give her Making Babies, but I only had the Kindle version of that. Any of you ladies with endometriosis have recommendations for other books or resources that have been particularly helpful?

Anyway, my heart has been particularly heavy for L over the past week since I heard the latest news after her doctor's visit. She seems to have a great attitude, but I can also see the pain in her eyes the few times we've had a chance to talk about these issues. We were at a dinner together last night, and some of the other women at our table kept talking to me excitedly about pregnancy, childbirth, etc--conversations that I would have thoroughly enjoyed except that I knew they couldn't be easy for L to sit through. I steered the conversation to other things when I had the chance. But I'm praying for her and M--and a miracle baby for them before they get too far down the road of treatments!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Our Micro Babymoon

Pete and I used the opportunity of a conference he had in Long Beach last week for a little pre-baby getaway. It was really wonderful--to spend time with him, to be away from work, to eat amazing food (and be able to comp his portion of every meal), to drive a rental car, to see new sights, etc. I only had three complaints from the trip:

  1. It was too short.
  2. Spending extended periods of time in a car is occasionally uncomfortable when you have a strong little baby who decides to explore new corners of your uterus by forcing his whole 2-pound weight into them at once
  3. The crappy hotel we stayed in the first night--to justify the very nice hotel we spent the next two nights in--happened to be across the street from a nightclub that kept us up until midnight, when we were able to talk the front desk clerk into switching us into a room as far as possible from the noise.
Other than that, it was pure bliss.

Pete had to actually attend his conference on the first day, so I took our rental car and drove up to the Getty Museum in Bel Aire. It was a spectacular day, and the museum's architecture and gardens--and the views of LA from the museum--were incredible. I also enjoyed the art, of course, though I didn't have the stamina to spend too long being an art spectator. But 

We drove down to San Diego for the next two nights. My parents gave us a whale watching tour as part of our Christmas gift this year, so we enjoyed more fabulous weather from the top deck of a little boat. And unlike the last time I went whale watching (in 6th grade, on the East Coast), we definitely didn't have any trouble finding and watching whales. You may not be able to tell in the picture, but I had a lovely dark spot appear on my forehead after being in the sun the day before (and I did wear sunscreen). I kept trying to rub it off before I realized it was there to stay. Thankfully, it has faded now. It does make me glad I'm not spending the much of my pregnancy in the summer. I can't imagine what else would appear on my skin.

This is my delicious creme fraiche and pea custard at Cafe Chloe in downtown San Diego. Sorry, I can't resist the food pics sometimes.

And more food...this is at the Oceanaire Seafood Restaurant, where we had some of the best seafood I've ever enjoyed--and that's saying a lot, considering the fact that I spent ten years of my life in a tropical country. I was a bit sad I couldn't partake in the oysters from the oyster bar, but Pete very much enjoyed his (and didn't rub it in my face too much).

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

27 Weeks and the Cold Finally Hits

The head cold, that is. I don't live in one of these places that's gotten dumped on with a bunch of snow or anything. But I've held off so well in catching any kind virus thus far in my pregnancy. I guess I had to succumb at some point--hopefully for the last time!

I do think I'm on the mend and am heading to my new acupuncturist who's offered me a fantastic discount for treatments to see if I can give this virus the final kick in the head. Pete and I are heading off on our attempt at a babymoon tomorrow--I'm tagging along with him on a conference he has in Long Beach, then we're skipping out on part of it to spend a couple of nights in San Diego--so I would definitely like to be over it soon!

Speaking of acupuncture...my digestion really has been much better over the past week. I guess the combination of a few acupuncture treatments and the herbs I've been taking for it (promised to be safe during pregnancy) have really helped. My acupuncturist wants me to do about 4-6 more treatments for it, and then hopefully the gas will be gone for a while. I did have another bad night last night, where a silly gas bubble kept me up for several hours, and am feeling the effects of the late night today. But this was the first bad night in about a week and a half, and I was having them every few nights before that. Improvement, right?

On the anxiety front, I've been doing pretty well, thank God. I've stayed away from stillbirth/pre-term labor horror stories, for the most part at least. I do still have moments of concern on evenings when I feel like I have 10-15 Braxton Hicks contractions in the course of a few hours. But they usually go away when I lay in bed at night, and I rarely have them during the day. So maybe my uterus will just be in better shape than if I hadn't had them until the third trimester! Also, I sometimes wonder if what feels like a BH contraction is actually just the baby rolling or pushing his body into one part of my uterus. They are definitely lopsided sometimes--one side of my ute gets really firm and sticks out while the other stays soft--which is a very strange feeling (and strange looking!).

Anyway, may all of you in the bloggy world stay healthy and resistant to the icky cold and flu viruses spreading their tentacles far and wide!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Back from Georgia, Land of Snow

After a long and very exhausting day of traveling (through which I learned to always pack more snacks than you think and always buy food at unexpected, unplanned stops at airports on what should have been a direct flight) on Saturday, Pete and I made it home from our lovely Christmas trip to Georgia. I can't even remember the last time I was able to see so many of my cousins all within the same week. Having my parents now living closer to the rest of their extended families than before (when they were in Pennsylvania) makes a big difference.

Spending time with so much family--both immediate and extended--was absolutely wonderful, and the theme of the year seemed to be happy endings. I have two cousins who are "older" (as in, over 30) and have been wanting to be married for a while, and one just got married to an amazing woman just a couple of weeks ago, and the other just got engaged. The cousin I've always been closest to is also engaged and getting married two weeks before my due date (which sadly means I won't be able to be there, of course). And the cousin I mentioned in my last post who had a miscarriage last May announced that she's twelve weeks pregnant!

And, finally, the two inches of snow in Atlanta on Christmas and ten inches up in North Georgia were quite unexpected and fun!
There was so much snow around my aunt's house in North Georgia that we had to park a ways up the road from her and walk to her house carrying our stuff (and not prepared with great shoes, I might add). The four children of cousins (first cousins once removed?), two of whom are from Florida, thought they had died and gone to heaven to have so much snow to play in with so many adults around to play with. Though I think my dad spent about 10 times longer playing with them than any other adult. Did I mention that he loves kids?

Here's my 25-week picture from Christmas Day. The blue ribbon pinned to my shirt was from the little surprise shower my aunt threw for me after we had all opened presents. It was nothing huge--just a delicious chocolate cake and gift cards various family members contributed--but very sweet and unexpected nonetheless. I also think my belly grew quite a bit over the week we were there. It's definitely bigger now, and even my grandmother remarked when we left that it seemed bigger than when we had arrived.

Pete and I did manage to squeeze in a quick trip to Buy Buy Baby while we were there. He absolutely hates shopping, and trips--when he's away from his work and forced to do nothing--are one of the few times he can get in the mood. The only thing we wanted to look at was strollers, and not to buy but just to figure out what we wanted. We have pretty specific criteria with our trip to China in mind--we want something very light  and compact to travel with and fit in taxis, that also reclines fully to work for newborns. I also thought we'd appreciate a stroller that you can set a carseat on for when we're back here. We went in thinking we'd go with a Maclaren Techno but then decided on a Baby Jogger City Mini. Pete convinced me that I would really appreciate the added stability and flexibility of jogging wheels, and it's much easier to fold. Unfortunately, there aren't as many used Baby Joggers out there as there are Maclarens, so we might end up having to get a new one. I keep complaining about the cost (though it's cheaper than the Maclaren), but Pete reminds me that one night in the hospital is going to cost us more than buying the stroller brand new. Point made.