Friday, May 27, 2011

week 5: orange seed


this week, our baby is the size of an orange seed. this is what it's been like:
  • i've been super tired - it seems like more than my usual CFS tiredness... or at least it has a different quality.
  • there's been queasiness if i've eaten anything particularly rich or fatty, or if i've eaten anything at all in large quantities. small amounts regularly seems to be the go.
  • i am peeing pretty much all the time. it's annoying.
  • i am waking up between 3 and 4 am every morning and finding it difficult to get back to sleep. i get up, go to the bathroom, get a drink, and then just toss and turn for however long it takes to fall back asleep. 
  • i feel kind of tight and bloaty in my lower abdomen. it's similar to that pms feeling, but again, it has a slightly different quality.
  • my breasts have been feeling kind of sore-ish, and like they're already getting bigger. is that supposed to happen yet?!
it's been a wonderful week. the news has had time to sink in a bit more and i am serenely joyful about it. every now and then i get an hormonal mood surge (irrational irritability, happy tearfulness, etc.) but since they're short lived, and i know what's causing them i'm just letting them happen.

i am finding it so hard not to tell everyone! it's lovely to have happy news, and keeping it to ourselves is very frustrating.

    Monday, May 23, 2011


    today i went to see my doctor to tell her i'm pregnant. which is kind of funny, considering it was just days ago i was in her office asking for a referral for fertility treatment.

    we talked about what happens now in terms of referrals for an ob/gyn, etc. i also had a blood test to confirm the pregnancy, to look at my iron and vitamin d levels, and a couple of other things. all very routine. i'll see her again next week to discuss the results of the tests, and make further plans.

    after the appointment i went up to my mum's place in the hills. we visited the health food shop and i got a few things including flaxseed oil, lsa, and a natural pregnancy multivitamin. i also got some yummy organic walnuts, dried cranberries, dates, and sunflower seeds, which i have divided up into mixed portions and put in ziplock bags to make grab-and-go pregnant-woman snacks!

    a good way to avoid nausea in early pregnancy is to make sure your blood sugar doesn't drop too low, and the best way to do that is to have regular snacks. these are full of the essential oils, minerals and nutrients i'll need.


    my girl looks good with a baby in her arms.
    this little one is maisy. she belongs to our friends lucy and mick, who we visited yesterday.
    how are those cheeks? don't you just want to smish them?!

    Saturday, May 21, 2011

    the third time was actually more charming than originally thought...

    i went to the supermarket this morning, and while i was there i bought a pack of pregnancy tests. i figured i'd just do one more today (my period is a day late) to make certain i'm not pregnant, and save the other two for next cycle.

    when i got home i went to the bathroom and took the test. s didn't know i was doing it - she was just sitting on the couch reading. i don't know what she thought had happened in there because i just started screaming "s! s! come here, come here right now! quick! quick!"

    i showed her the test, and we hugged and jumped up and down. i couldn't stop shaking, and exclaiming over how liney that second line was.

    this is just so very, very wonderful. i can't stop grinning. i have no idea how i'm going to sleep tonight!

    Thursday, May 19, 2011

    contingency plan

    as a way of dealing with the "only four tries left" anxiety, i have taken some steps to learn more about our contingency plan, which is iui/ivf with donor sperm, through a fertility clinic.

    using reproductive technology to conceive is not the ideal situation for us. it's invasive, clinical, time consuming, and expensive (though nowhere near as expensive as i feared), but we don't have the dubious luxury of a penis in our relationship, or another known donor, so it's the next step.

    i feel like i need to begin psychologically preparing for it, so that if our home insems don't work, i will be ready for what comes next.

    my doctor gave me a referral for a fertility clinic, and i called them to talk through the process.
    basically, we have to have two counselling sessions, a nurse's appointment, and a meeting with accounts before undertaking treatment. there can be a bit of a wait for those appointments, but once they happen, things pretty much go ahead. that was a relief for me because i thought there would be a long waiting list. we do get some choice when it comes to selecting our donor, but they don't have a lot of donors, so we basically choose from the small group that they have. we'll give them a call in a couple of months and schedule some of the necessary appointments. if we need them, they're there, if not, hoo-fucking-ray.

    in the mean time, i have to book a couple of tests to make sure i'm all in working order. i am having a 'day 21 progesterone test' which is a way of making certain that ovulation is happening, and i am having an ultrasound to make sure that all my babymaking apparatus is structurally sound. my doctor warned me that this involves a fair bit of... internal probing... which i am kind of dreading. i may need some hand-holding through that one. ick.

    i'm also attempting to get into a more regular exercise routine, and improving my eating habits. i figure the better condition this body is in, the more hospitable it will be for passengers... *shrug* - it can't hurt, right?

    Tuesday, May 10, 2011


    i barely registered last cycle's two week wait. i think that was partly because we were busy selling our house, and buying another one, but mostly because i really didn't expect to be pregnant.

    this cycle it's different. i am feeling very positive about how our insems went. i think they were timed as well as possible, and there were FOUR of them (our agreement with our donor was that we would do three per month, but he is amazing, and we organized for a fourth this time).

    i'm taking my vitamins, having great acupuncture, and doing everything in my power to make this happen. the only thing left is for the cells and organs to do what they're meant to.

    in the mean time, i'm trying to manage my expectations. and failing pretty comprehensively.

    Friday, May 6, 2011

    ... but how?

    people are often curious about the logistics when we tell them we're trying to conceive. i am pretty happy to discuss the process, because i think that being honest and straightforward about these things is a way of helping people to see that there's nothing strange, unnatural, complicated, or scary about it.

    we're very low-tech at this stage. we know our donor is fertile, and we have no reason to believe that i am not (though i have never been pregnant before), so we see no need to use more invasive and costly methods.

    it goes like this:

    i track my fertility signs*, and when i'm coming up to ovulation, we get in touch with our donor. he has a whole bunch of these:
    and at several points over my most fertile days we make a time (usually in the evening after work) to go around and collect one, which he has ever so kindly... filled.

    we then drive it home, usually wedged between my thighs for warmth, put some music on, and s uses a 5mm needleless syringe to put it where it needs to go. we have named our syringe 'little john', because we are childish, and lack any kind of subtlety.
    some couples try to make each insemination a romantic/sexy experience, but we're pretty matter-of-fact about it. and, frankly, i can't think of anything less sexy than jars of semen and syringes. we usually just chat about the day, or watch an episode of something, while i lie about with my bum propped up on some pillows to let gravity help the process along.

    and that is literally it.

    if this process is unsuccessful after several months we'll consider IUI or IVF, but in the mean time, we're seeing how it goes.

    * i've been meaning to say that i'm no longer tracking my cervical changes. i know that some women find it really useful, but it wasn't giving me clear information, and decided that it was more trouble than it was worth.

    Monday, May 2, 2011

    body things

    we're gearing up for cycle three. i am getting mixed signals from my body, which is really stressful. i wish i could be totally confident (or at least more confident than i am) that we're timing the inseminations effectively.

    i'm trying to do some good things to nurture my body in the mean time...

    i have an amazing acupuncturist who specializes in fertility support, and i've been seeing her fortnightly for the last little while. i'm going to see her weekly for the next few weeks to see if that helps. either way it makes my body feel good, and that can only be conducive to the whole process.

    i was taking a 'conception support' multivitamin early on, but it made me feel really ill, so i spoke to a naturopath who put me onto vital greens which is essentially a natural (as opposed to synthetic) multivitamin, and it's really good. i feel like it's giving my body what it requires and supplementing my diet (which is generally pretty good in terms of nutrition, though probably also too high in fat and sugar). i've also been eating fresh pineapple, because the bromelain enzyme in it is supposed to be particularly helpful with conception.

    on an even more hippie-mama level, i've been trying to distance myself from the things in my life that make me feel anxious and on edge. this is really tough for me as i suffer from clinical levels of anxiety, but i am very consciously trying to still my mind, and do things that help me feel calm and positive. i've been spending time cooking, enjoying the company of friends, reading, and sewing. this isn't a silver bullet - i still get anxious quite often, and have all the other emotional fallout from that - but i'm doing my best to keep that under control.

    so. let's see how we go.