Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Daddy felt his first baby kick

For almost two weeks now (since 16w5d) I've been in denial about feeling the baby kicking. At first, I wasn't sure if it was gas or movement, though the sensation was very low. Then the sensation kept occurring in the same location ... a tap, tap, tap. Honestly, it FELT like gas moving through my system ... only in the wrong spot. I would tell Berilac that I think I felt the baby move, but I wasn't sure. People would ask if I've felt the baby move and I would tell them "I think so, I'll let you know for sure in a few weeks when I can confirm that the feelings I've been feeling line up with undeniable baby movement."

I went from feeling exclusive taps to a flutter or a swoosh sensation. Then, although the sensations stayed the same, they moved up my stomach to just under my belly button. I started to enjoy the experience so much that I started putting my hand on the outside of my belly in an attempt to "catch" the little one moving ... and I started to feel the movement simultaneously on the inside and the outside - I got so excited. For the past few nights I've been forcing Berilac to gently place his hand on my lower stomach and maintain stillness ... last night, when it seemed as if the baby was very active there we sat in the assumed position, and at the exact same moment Berilac and I looked at each other asking "did you feel that?" ... I haven't seen us grin so big in ages.

Now we look forward to watching the movements on the outside of the belly!


To keep you posted on upcoming appointments: we have our 19w appointment on Friday and our "big scan" on 8/10. I can't wait to say that we are half way!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

A little rusty

If you don't know, seeing new babies at your place of work can be a very difficult situation for an infertile. I remember nearly a year ago when a colleague of mine had his stay at home wife bring their newborn in for all to meet. A seemingly innocuous gesture, right? Well, unfortunately, not for an infertile going through the ringer. So when this colleague had their newborn brought in, I overheard the oooh-ing and ahhhh-ing commotion and discreetly shut my office door and stayed quiet ... to avoid having to paste on a smile or be honest and glare directly into the doting parent's eyes. I avoided what I knew would be a difficult situation for me and an uncomfortable one for them.

This past week my office had a department picnic. It was the family kind - where everyone can bring spouses and kids. Last year I suffered through it. I tried to enjoy it, but when you're depressed - even potentially fun events are draining. This year, I participated in the booths and activities they provided, I mingled, I enjoyed the food (ok, but NOT the food that had been dangerously picked over ... I'm a little bit of a germ-a-phobe in that way).

So this year, that same colleague passed by me in the hallway with that same (now 1+ year old baby) and luckily my husband was also attending the picnic and happened to be with me in the hallway (or else I'd feel like an even bigger boob). As the colleague squeezed by me with his baby facing outward, tucked under his arm, he locked eyes with me (and having the amazing social skills I know I have ;-) ... I was faced with having to say or do SOMETHING to acknowledge their amazing procreative accomplishments; there was no getting away from it. And being gratefully pregnant myself, my heart was finally in a place where I could honestly say something sweet and endearing. I looked into those big baby blues and I said "so cute!" ... but that is all I could manage to get out. I tried to be more articulate, but I was a little rusty at nonchalant baby complimenting and I froze up a bit.

(Now I have to interrupt to say that this colleague of which I speak is not close to me, is not someone I have a relationship with ... to make things worse, he's a very serious person who is actually my supervisor's management level ... so he's not really a peer either!)

As soon as Dad and baby passed by, I continued to exercise those amazing social skills I mentioned above ... which I knew at the time was a bad decision. I should have just stopped and left it at that "so cute!" ... what's wrong with just saying that? Well, unfortunately, I followed it up by yelling down the hallway at my colleague "I meant the baby" ... just to make sure everyone around was clear that I wasn't what? ... hitting on my colleague?? ... with my gorgeous husband standing right there?

Stupid. Stupid. (bang head against wall) Stupid!

It would have gone off better had he laughed or said something witty in response but instead he (and my husband) just started blankly at me. When we walked away my husband whispered under his breath: "nice one."

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Announcement - Take 2

If you remember, it was around 13 1/2 weeks that I was first approached by a colleague asking me if I was pregnant. Then, as I approached week 15 and was preparing to announce ANOTHER colleague asked me if I was expecting. Man, the nerve of these women - and yes, I do really like these ladies so I didn't haul off and hit them or accuse them of calling me fat! So at some point near the beginning of my second trimester I was alerting some sort of gestational signals - to wait until 15 weeks was challenging - and my heart broke when my original plans to announce didn't work out. Then last week I was "lucky" enough to be away from work (not having to hide the belly and no opportunity to announce) but then came this week ...

I deliberated on Sunday night for quite some time as I tried to decide what to wear the first few days of the week (while the belly was still in hiding). I started shopping for maternity clothes at about 14-15 weeks and started wearing them at 15 weeks. So I asked myself if I had any NON-maternity outfits to subtly hide out in. This is what I came up with ... here are two outfits I put together for Monday and Tuesday of this week, as I stayed covert about my status:

I think I did a pretty good job if I do say so myself!

To compare ... here are some pictures of what I actually look like this week in maternity clothes:

And so, yesterday was the big reveal. To maintain discretion, I wore maternity clothes under a jacket until it was time for the 3PM meeting in which I could announce. At about 2PM I called Berilac and I was scared. I had no idea what to expect. I was excited to be able to finally have the day that I'd been looking forward to for so long and I was scared that I'd be exposing myself without any guarantee of pregnancy success. I took a few deep breathes and charged on. At 2:50PM I maneuvered my discreetly covered up cupcakes to the kitchen in preparation. I cutely arranged 21 cupcakes upon a round silver platter. These too were adorable:

I laid the platter in the center of the large conference room table and awaited the 10 people that would soon come. I took off my jacket and rubbed my belly - taking deep breaths the whole time.

I thought the experience would be different. I imagined people floating in one at a time, making wise cracks about the tray of goodies, asking "who's pregnant?" and landing their eyes on me. To be honest with you, the reason I liked the idea of bringing cupcakes (and the reason I've done it twice) is not because I'm some sort of Mar.tha Ste.wart baker, it's because I'd prefer to let the cupcakes do the talking ... that way I get the opportunity to not have to completely engage about a discussion about my pregnancy. It's conflicting ... there's part of me that has been very excited for this day to come and there's part of me that is terrified about inviting THE WORLD in.

When people actually did enter the room, they made no comments (funny or otherwise) about the baked goods, instead they quietly waited for the room to fill. When most people arrived my grand boss closed the door and started the meeting: "Today's meeting will start with announcements ... Polly?" So there I was, on the spot, all eyes on me. Now, don't get me wrong ... I LOVE attention, my nickname in school was COA: Center of Attention. I'm not afraid of a microphone or a video camera ... I LOVE public speaking. But there I was, sweating in the moment. "Well everyone, I brought some cupcakes for you ... and if you can't tell by the color scheme what they represent, then you are dumber than a bag of hammers ..." (ok, I didn't exactly say that - but I was close) "I am pregnant and expecting on Christmas Day" as I broke eye contact with everyone and tried to divert attention by passing around the serving tray ... cheering and clapping broke out, along with a few "Congratulations!!" The best part was when the first person to receive the cupcake tray asked if she was supposed to pick a cupcake based on what gender she thought the baby would be (this is what I was hoping for and it was nice that someone else brought it up!) and so behind her everyone chose according to their prediction. (They voted GIRL by way of remaining blue cupcakes!) I think the worst part of it all, was when my grand boss moved on from our announcement and started talking about REAL work topics ... then I suddenly realized I'd have to sit for 50 more minutes processing this experience silently in my head ... ARRGH!!!

When the meeting broke, the comments that followed were nice - many people individually congratulated me and wished me well. My office mate seemed a little surprised that I hadn't told him the news, so I tried to explain that handing out cupcakes WAS my way of telling him. Only one person indicated that they had their suspicions that I was pregnant - I guess when I was sitting at my desk one day I was unknowingly rubbing my belly "like pregnant women do".

After the meeting I took the remaining cupcakes around to other colleagues - especially the ones that have known since week 13 1/2 and have been keeping their traps shut! And although nobody that I announced to today has any idea of our history ... I didn't feel as isolated or alone as I would have felt on any given day during my infertility experiences. I felt normal, like a "normal" pregnant woman ... and that, that was nice.

So there you have it, we are out of the closet for those that are on my work team. This afternoon, I announce to another department in my organization to which I used to belong. Then, I will make the dreaded FB status update. We're going all out, for all the world to see.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Jumping in with both feet

So, it's about that time.

I was planning to announce my pregnancy after my 15 week appointment on 7/3, however I learned that I was off of work that day and so my plans got squelched. I then spent last week vacationing in Lake Tahoe. And this week, I am hiding a not-so-hideable 16 1/2 week belly until I make the work announcement when I'm nearly 17 weeks.

Last week Berilac and I spent a week with Berilac's family at a family reunion in Lake Tahoe. To kick off the event, we planned on announcing to everyone at the first all family meal we attended. I made and brought 18 of what I think are the most cutest cupcakes you've ever seen :-) (if you can't see them, those are little tiny pacifiers in the center of each cupcake - I made 9 pinks and 9 blues and I was planning on people selecting their cupcake by guessing what gender the baby is - cute idea huh?)

and I brought an album with a million and a half ultrasound pictures to share ... along with a cute little belly. We also brought along my 5 year old niece, but unfortunately right before the big announcement she started feeling ill and I took her to the hotel to keep her near a bathroom etc., and I missed the announcement, the album was forgotten, and the "pink" cupcakes got passed around before the blue ones - so no fun guessing game ensued.

So far I'm batting 1000 on having "bad" announcement experiences/stories.

I was planning on announcing at work during this week's staff meeting - but of course that got cancelled ... so we'll see. As soon as I announce at work, I'll start acknowledging publicly that I'm pregnant.

I wanted to take a moment and address any infertile readers I may still have left ... it is at this time that this blog will turn from an infertility/loss blog to pregnancy after infertility/loss blog. I know that many women choose to start a new baby blog, but I'm not going to. This blog started as a blog about my life and quickly morphed into an infertility/loss blog, I want to contain my life's experiences here ... so I want for people who stumble upon this blog to also see the experience of pregnancy and motherhood after such a tramatic launch. I understand that this means that many of you will no longer visit - and for that I COMPLETELY understand (I'll even bet that I've already lost a great many of you) ... I will continue to keep up to date on your lives and I will miss you incredibly ... but I get it. If I don't see you here, I will see you at your blogs.

16 weeks and 4 days ... and still pregnant. Yep, it's about time I jumped in. I hope that the following posts will start surfacing some of my pregnancy experiences - those have been long in coming.

Celebrate the approach of the holidays with us, as we are expecting Baby Gamwich on Christmas Day.