Monday, March 26, 2012

Interesting Pregnancy Observations

**Warning:  This is definitely not a post I would have chosen to read while still on the TTC roller coaster**

I am currently 23weeks 3 days along.  Just a few more days until viability!  While infertility is the biggest emotional challenge I have ever experienced (and not physically pleasant either), pregnancy has certainly been a bit physically challenging so far.  Here are a few pregnancy observations I would like to preserve, and share with those who are curious.

Before I go there... I just wanted to update you on the nickname I've recently been calling Baby Girl.  I've never been one to create nicknames, but Baby Girl gets kind of long to type out.  I thought about shortening it to BG but then I kept seeing it as BuG.  So I've been referring to her (quietly until now) as BuG.  Note, there is absolutely no relationship to this nickname and her real name!

**Please read the tone of this post as very 'tongue in cheek'**

Heartburn/Acid Reflux - I have finally learned what Acid Reflux really is... I had NO idea!!  I can deal with the heartburn, but waking up to an in process reflex of swallowing back down the small amount of bile that I just threw up in my mouth mid REM cycle is a completely new experience... and one I hope goes away immediately after BuG arrives safely this summer.

Food Aversions - People frequently ask me what I am craving.  I really don't think I actually crave anything... I still eat what I believe I can tolerate (and sometimes I'm still wrong about what's tolerable - SURPRISE!).  Apparently BuG really doesn't like Chicken!  I've given up trying to eat chicken at this point.

Puking - While the worst of the "morning" sickness dissipated by about 18 weeks, it's not completely gone.  I still have days when I need to take zofran.  And as a consistent rule of thumb, all it takes for me to get sick is to tell someone how much better I've been feeling... within a matter of a few hours of these conversations you can put money on the fact I will be sick.  It never fails!

Poop - I have definitely experienced some of the worst constipation ever during pregnancy (this is relative since I rarely ever had that problem previously)... but lately I fluctuate between the two extremes.  Enough said.

Headache - I've been having mild headaches for the last few weeks, so mild that I never mentioned them to anyone, it's just a minor annoyance.  Yesterday that headache turned into a monster!  And it continues.  I don't know if it's related to allergies, I think it might be even though my sinuses are being kind to me lately.

Breakouts - A few weeks ago my skin changed from the beautiful glow of pregnancy to the breakouts of pregnancy.  Surprisingly I'm accepting of my now red, blotchy face... it is what it is.

Sleep/Energy - I know it will be much worse when my little BuG gets here, but sleeping sucks!  I will generally sleep for a few hours, until my 2am bathroom break, and then I'm awake most of the night thereafter.  If I'm lucky I'll dose off and on, but there is no quality to my sleep after 2am.  I am still using doctor recommended Tylenol PM fairly regularly... my sleep is even worse on the nights I don't use it.  Obviously, this really impacts my overall energy during the day.  My energy is generally low, but after some bad nights it's all I can do to make it through the day. My house is suffering the effects of this, dishes pile up, laundry doesn't get put away, the floors are dirty and general clutter exists everywhere (I hate clutter).

Weight Gain - Wow!  My weight has skyrocketed!  Given I was under my pre pregnancy weight until I was 17 weeks, I am now up 15lbs from my pre pregnancy weight in the 6 weeks since then.  How did that happen?  I don't eat a lot, although the nutrition I do eat varies (sometimes healthy, sometimes not so much - again, it's about tolerance).  And I'm still throwing up my meals at least a few times a week.

Stranger Comments - I experienced a milestone this weekend.  A stranger commented about my pregnancy out of the blue!  This means I actually look pregnant, not just fat!  So I bought a car from him... (it was the sales guy at the Honda dealership)

Movement - While I am feeling BuG move, it's never enough.  I still really only feel her when I'm laying down and paying attention.  I try not to freak out... but I still question myself - is that really the BuG I'm feeling?  Some women are not only feeling their babies more/frequently earlier than me, they are seeing the movement and can feel it on the outside.  I somehow keep reassuring myself that I am feeling the BuG and there is no reason to freak myself out.

Fear - It's still there, every day.  But as I've said before, I can't go there.  I'll write a post about it once my BuG is safely here.

All of that said I love every minute!  And in the grand scheme of pregnancy, things are going really well for me!!!  I still can't believe it's real and that my Baby Girl is growing inside me... and she'll be here in about 16 weeks!

Monday, March 12, 2012


So I never did share a photo of the goods I bought the day I found out Baby is a Girl.

Gender reveal swag - All from a Consignment store except for the Owl

While I bought all of the clothes consigned, several of the items still had original tags.  One of the onsies says "Hi!  I'm new here!"  - how cute!!  I'm trying to hold back on buying too many clothes as I know that so many of her Aunties (and her Grandma) will be buying her lots of cute stuff.

We are currently in the season of the Spring Consignment events.  These events typically happen in early Spring and early Fall.  I got several things at a couple of the local events, including these two bigger purchases.

**For one of the events, a couple of my SMC friends were working the event so they had presale passes.  They not only gave me a presale pass, one of them spent time with me (and a couple of other SMC's on a separate occasion) helping us figure out what we needed.

Graco swing - Retails for $109, I paid $35

McLaren seat (rocks & vibrates)
Retails for $90, I paid $30
The Fall consignment events will take place shortly after she is born, so I'm also holding off on some items (Jumparoo's, high chair, etc) until then.

I have been working through my registry, doing a lot of research.  As open as I am to used/consignment, there are certain things I just want new.  Primarily the crib & car seat.  Reason being, there are SOO many brands and SOO many recalls, I just want to be able to keep up with it from the start.  And for the car seats (oh my, the most confusing item to decide on so far), they are said to be good only for 5 years AND if they have been involved in any kind of accident it is recommended they are no longer used.  While most seats have a date on them these days, you just don't know the accident history on this kind of item if you get it used.

The two things I've bought new so far are both decorative...

I saw this last summer at our local Raptor Center (went back and bought it the day of my anatomy scan), so the proceeds go to a good cause 
This is for hair clips, etc.  Found it at a ritzy specialty shop.
A few years ago, I was a big spender and a bit snobbish about used items, other than antiques.  I would have bought EVERYTHING new for baby girl.  Between the tanking of the economy, my layoff in '09, and paying for IVF, I see used/consigned items in a whole new light.  And yes, apparently I can resell my goodies when I'm done with them too!

And on another note, my refi closed last week.  The monthly savings should cover at least half of monthly day care costs.

Tip for those BFP's to follow:  What I wish I had known.  Baby Bargains is a GREAT resource (book).  They also have a website.  Unfortunately I bought the book before I looked at the site.  You have to pay for a membership to the site (and can get the book with your membership), but there are no perks for book owners to join the site after the fact.  I have elected not to join the site since I already paid for the book.  **Bottom line:  Join the site first, they will send you the book with your membership.

Next... I'm working on figuring out how to turn this room into a nursery.

Note the glider - I got this off Craigs List shortly before I started TTC.  It's been sitting in that room, covered up, for a very long time.

I got rid of the guest room furniture in this room before I started TTC (that was a mistake).  It's become a "catch all" room for the last couple of years.

I stumbled on a woman about 90 minutes away who refurbishes used furniture in a "shabby chic" finish (very affordable, much cheaper than the new stuff I've seen).  I've reached out to her about doing a dresser and possibly an armoire for the nursery.

Our next scan is in early March April (thanks for catching my error, Mom), a 24 week scan for a detailed review of her heart.

Friday, March 9, 2012

I am a Member of the IF Community

I've had an internal struggle with whether I would actually post this.  I've walked away from this post for about 24hrs and as much as I don't want to get "in the middle" of this PAIL/ALI Community debacle that's taking place, there are just a few things I need to say.  I hope I do not p*off or alienate any of my friends, fellow bloggers by posting this, my intent is that this will come across in a respectful manner for all parties involved.

I have connected myself to the IF community in every way possible... Twitter, this blog, message boards, Resolve, and even through SMC.  I am, and will always be infertile.  Amazingly (and still unbelievably to me) I am 21 weeks pregnant with a little girl... but I still carry the scars of infertility closely.

As an active member of the IF community, I've come to realize this week that I'm not an "official" member of the ALI community.  I thought I submitted my blog a couple of years ago but looked this week and I'm not anywhere on the list as far as I can tell.  This is fine because I've never really used the blogroll/resources, and it took me a while to figure out what LFCA was when it was frequently referenced this week.  Seriously, how could I be an active blogger in this community for so long and NOT really know about the inter-workings of what is the BASE of the blogging IF community??? I knew the reference of ALI, I knew about ICLW but never participated.  Just call me clueless.

I've developed my blog quite organically by connecting with commenters, checking out their blogrolls, following my Tweeps blogs, etc.  But I do realize that I would not have connected with so many IF bloggers if it were not for the ALI community that Mel created, as many of those I have connected to have used the ALI blogroll to find each other.

Other than political hot-buttons related to IF, I tend to stay out of controversy when it comes about in the IF community.  If a blogger posts something that I do not agree with, I will err on the side of remaining quiet (not making a comment), as I believe this community is about support - and a blog is for personal expression. I have been guilty of writing supportive comments to other bloggers who post their disagreement about a post that I also disagreed with. Thankfully, this is a rare occurrence in the IF blog community.

But...  since my last post was an introduction to the new PAIL community, I feel the need to write a post on the volcanic eruption that has exploded this week related to the development of this new blogroll.  Have I mentioned how much I don't like drama?  I hope this will be my only post on this subject, that is my intention.  

Earlier this week, Mel wrote a post over at Stirrup Queens expressing her anger and disappointment in learning of the creation of the PAIL community.  This post spurred over 150 comments, many being divisive and often mud-slinging, name-calling comments.  Many individual blog posts have been written as a response to the Mel's post and the subsequent comments.

Ladies, this has been ugly  U-G-L-Y.   And that makes me uncomfortable.  Seriously, I can not emphasize how awful some of the comments have been... suggesting some have not "suffered enough" with their infertility to qualify - for whatever.

Firstly, to my friends/readers, if my post introducing PAIL hurt or offended anyone, you have my sincere apology.  Hurting or alienating anyone was never my intention.  Adding my blog to the PAIL blogroll never meant that I would stop following/supporting/cheering on my friends who are TTC.  IF has become my platform and is now a huge part of who I am, to my core.

What joining PAIL did mean is that I had an opportunity to find more bloggers who are in the same place I am at this time, transitioning into this place that is "pregnant after IF", to learn from them and offer support. I've been unable to join the "bab.y center" type communities with the fertiles of the world, I tried but it was just too much. Getting pregnant has introduced a whole new struggle for me, of fear (which I still can't bring myself to acknowledge beyond the word in writing or verbally) and hope.  For me, it is by far NOT worse than my TTC/IF struggles, it's simply a new and different experience built from IF.

The premise of what I gathered of why Mel was upset about the PAIL community, summarized by me, is a) the fact that she already has a Parenting/Pregnant after IF "room" in the ALI community, and b) she felt PAIL was copying her original ideas such as ICLW (please read her entire post for her reasoning).

Given my cluelessness about the interworkings of the ALI community, I did not know that the P/P-IF room existed, and it seems many others did not as well.  The difference in the PAIL community is that the blogs listed are ACTIVE, while it seems there are many on the ALI community that are not.  The overall ALI community has 3000+ blogs! I've spent some time over there this week trying to educate my clueless self.

And regardless of this, there was an apparent gap that existed for P/P-IF bloggers, otherwise the blogroll wouldn't have exceeded 100 within the first week.

Can't these two communities co-exist?  The majority consensus from the PAIL community is YES; it was never anyone's intention to abandon the ALI community in favor of the PAIL community.  Honestly, I'm dying to use Visio to develop an org chart or process flow to map it all out (I'm a geek).

Personally, I am a member of an infertility message board, specific to the clinic I last cycled at.  There is a separate message board for women who had success at this clinic.  Women migrate to the 'success' board once they get through early pregnancy (no set rule as to when women migrate).  We, myself included, still read and contribute to the original message board, encouraging women who are still cycling.  What we don't do is discuss our pregnancies on that board out of respect for those still trying.

Also, my Resolve group works in a similar way.  Once a member gets pregnant, she is welcome for the first trimester/until she starts showing.  After that, there is actually no new group for the pregnant/parenting after IF women... that gives me an idea!

As for copying ideas/ICLW, as I am not the creator I can't fully speak to this but here is my take.  ICLW - this was not proposed by Elphie, it was mentioned as an enthusiastic comment in a PAIL post.  I have no idea if an ICLW-like event was going to be proposed.

There was a statement on yesterday's post on Stirrup Queens that people are blogging for what they can get out of it, i.e. Blogging for Comments. This must be why people selfishly joined the PAIL group, because we lost commenters when we transitioned to pregnant/parenting.  Side note: personally, I do not feel I have lost commenters since my BFP, thank you friends!

While comments are always welcome, I don't think that is the reason most of us blog.  We blog to connect, to learn from others, to offer and give support.  Comments are just one component of the blogging experience.

I have to say that I admire how Elphie has handled herself in the wake of this storm.

And my next statement will likely be unpopular but I feel like I need to say this, this is my perspective and I know it will not represent everyone's opinion... this comes from my 15 years in Corporate America and various leadership training/experiences over the years.

As a blogger, I completely respect that Mel expressed herself and her feelings this week, that's the purpose of our blogs, to express ourselves.   She has every right to share her feelings and anger in her space.

However as the creator of the ALI community, therefore a leader, I would like to see her handle this like the leader she is.  I would expect a leader to gather her "leadership team" behind closed doors, along with the "leadership team of the opposition", discuss the issue, and propose compromise/resolution.  I would then expect all of the leaders to take the supportive position of whatever that resolution may be and cascade/share it with their organization.

A shakeup in the environment, especially one that has no proposed resolution, only ignites the flames and creates chaos.  Unfortunately, the Stirrup Queens posts this week have instigated a divide in the community and created a lot of hurt feelings.

I hope that the next steps are healing ones.

I am a member of the IF community - across the blogsphere, Twitter, message boards, IRL, etc. - regardless of what blogroll my URL is or is not linked up on.

**If you do not feel the need to comment, don't feel obligated to comment.  If you do want to comment, RESPECTFUL comments are welcome.  I do reserve the right to remove any comments that I perceive as ugly (my mom reads this blog - Hi Mom!).**