Monday, November 24, 2014

'You're lucky it's not twins"

It's something i've heard over the last few months, more than once.

As i've got large enough to show, people ask questions, they're so excited about a pregnancy, everyone loves a baby, and they say well meaning things. B and I decided we were going to be open about having IVF, so if it fits the conversation, we tell people. There is still a stigma around IVF for some folks, and we felt we wanted to be part of the solution, maybe one day we could even be the voice to talk to (that we never had) for another couple going through what we've gone through. Admittedly I think we're only this way because we're coming closer and closer to success, but we had so much support from the internet through blogs we knew we wanted to write one, and we had so little verbal support from those who had gone through what we were going through, we want to be there for friends who may need to just talk over a procedure, result or bad day.

"You're lucky it's not twins" is something that has often come out when people hear we're just expecting one. Usually followed by a story about a friend who did IVF who had twins and 'what a nightmare'. I smile, I know it's well meaning and I know people just don't know, but sometimes I wish I could just say that actually, we'd love to, and would do anything to be holding our twins right now. It would be great to be in the position to not even consider having IVF again, going through the pain and ups and downs again, but at the moment we haven't ruled it out, because both of us would have loved two children. If we go for it again, given our success rate, we'd probably chose again to put two embryos back in, as in our case the chances are higher that we'd end up with one baby - but there is a chance we'd end up with two and have three children total. Would we be thrilled, yes, is it our ideal, not really, for many reasons we feel two is a good number. We really would have loved twins the first time round.

It's amazing how much you learn through this process, learn the ups and the downs, what can be sensitive that no-one would ever have guessed. It's certainly up'ed my empathy and made me think more about what I say to pregnant women.

Another one that has gotten me a few times is "I know exactly how you feel", because in reality, you don't, everyone feels very differently, and unless you've gone through exactly the same procedure, loss or pain or whatever it is, you can't even really say "I know what you're going through" either without it stinging the other person. In reality it's discarding their pain, invalidating it, like it doesn't matter, because you had your own pain you dealt with, doesn't mean it's anything like another persons, no matter what the circumstances. I know i'll never say those words to anyone again, though we know they were meant in comfort, they really hurt to the core at the time.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Week 24

Well, it has been since August that I last updated, though B has been doing a great job of checking in now and then. We're at week 24, and as I sit here typing I can feel baby kicking away. It's certainly helped the worry to feel our baby moving around every day, even if a lot of babies kicks are way too low for comfort, and usually at 3am. 

All in all things are going well. We've met with most of the OB's at the practice we're hoping to give birth at (one to go, who we'll meet in a few weeks), and though we like them all, we had one we really connected with a few weeks ago. He reminded us of our IVF Dr. Rather than being (a little too) empathetic with us, he was straight talking and was super informative. I don't know if it's just what we've been through, or the fact we're both scientists, but the sticky sweet empathy hasn't really been doing it for us. 

At our last appointment (Week 22) we went loaded with questions. Getting closer and closer to viability has us thinking about the birth (and exciting turn for us to make), and our weekly scans had ended with the anatomy scan at week 20. We've been consistently told that because of the clot, we'll likely give birth early, and though there's still no good predictor of when that might be, the OB agreed and said the course of action from here on in is to do month growth scans, keep a close eye and just take it as it comes. Having been basically sedentary (or more than sedentary) for 5 months (or since January if you count pregnancy 1), I was also keen to move more and do some exercise - yoga, swimming - something to get my stamina back. He unfortunately shot that one down, and told me to hibernate until at least week 32, after that, they might be more willing to let me do what I want, as a birth after 32 weeks generally have better outcomes. So in his words, I am hibernating for the Maine winter. If we make it to week 32, we can give birth in Augusta too, which we would prefer, but before that and we'll be sent to Portland, where they have a higher level NICU. 

So that's the update. My mind has wandered a few times to the what if's this month. With a different outcome we should have been welcoming our twins in October and had a full house for Christmas. I'm not a dweller, so I try to think forward to seeing this little one, currently kicking my bladder, in a few not-so-short months, and just hoping they stay put for at least another 8 weeks.