Storm In A B-Cup

A New Start

I know I’ve said this several times before, but I think this time I’m really back to stay.  We have moved to a new house – one of our own this time, and for longer than six months, I swear.  We have real internet – no more of this blogging from my phone nonsense which was a big reason for my not posting for so long.  And I have some VERY very exciting news.  A couple of posts ago – more than a few months ago, I’m incredibly ashamed to admit – I wrote about pregnancy scares and trying to conceive.  Several months ago, my husband and I decided that rather than “trying” to get pregnant, we would just…stop “not trying to get pregnant”.  I assumed that with my current weight and PCOS and all of those fun things it would take at least six months, probably more along the lines of a year or two.  NOPE.  I am excited, and very SCARED to announce that after four months of “not not trying”, we are expecting our first baby.  He or she is due to arrive at the end of July this year, making me 14 weeks and 5 days pregnant right now.

It has been a wild ride so far.  I am excited and extremely terrified at the same time.  I worry one moment that we aren’t ready, that we can’t afford a baby yet, that I haven’t finished – and now, due to timing and some other circumstances, won’t finish – my nursing degree.  But in the next moment I am thrilled, excited, over the moon.

In my first trimester, I was very lucky.  I had only the most mild morning sickness.  I felt queasy a lot of the time, but it never really went beyond that.  I feel like I haven’t really experienced pregnancy yet because I haven’t had a lot of symptoms.  Because of that, I think that it doesn’t really feel like it’s really happening to me.  I have been tired, and I am NOT coping with all of the recent heat waves, I constantly feel like my face is burning off.  But I feel lucky.  Because unlike the other two girls at my workplace who are pregnant, I’m not throwing up 17 times a day, or experiencing awful heartburn or insomnia or any of those things.  For the most part I feel normal.  And that worries me too.  Because if I feel normal, maybe there’s something wrong with the baby.  In fact, up until my scan at 13 weeks, I was almost convinced that I was imagining the whole thing and that there was no baby at all.

Happily, I was wrong and with great joy watched my little one jumping around, and heard his or her heartbeat for the first time.  It truly was an indescribable moment.  People kept telling me that the first time I saw my baby, and heard its heart beat would be the most incredible moment of my life.  But I had no idea just how powerful it would be until it happened.  That ultrasound is what made this whole experience real for both myself and my husband.  Yes, we are both still worried, but I think most normal parents worry.  But now mostly, we are excited to meet our little one in six all too long – and all too short! – months.

I am so excited to share a couple of images from the ultrasound with you! This scan was performed at 13w1d.

baby1 baby2 baby3

Until next time!  And I promise it won’t be a matter of months this time!

 

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Trying To Conceive Acronyms Demystified

When I said in my last post that I had been doing “a little reading”, I may have been exaggerating. Quite a lot. I am one of those people who totally immerses themselves in something, and one who feels most in control when they know everything they can possibly find out about a topic.

With that said, I can also say that I found myself deep in a part of the internet that has a strong, strong community and what seems like a language of its own. This language seems mostly to consist of strange acronyms, and I spent a long time trying to decipher and learn the proper meanings of many of them. So today I am sharing this list of acronyms with you in the hope that it might help someone like me who feels a bit lost in the online world of trying to conceive. The list is in no particular order, but I have tried to start with the most simple/common acronyms and work my way to the more complex.

TTC: trying to conceive (obvious, but stay with me)

AF: Aunt Flo – in other words, a period.

BD: the Baby Dance, or sex.

TWW: the Two Week Wait, this is the time between ovulation and when your period is due, when you are waiting – to test or for your period to start.

BFP: big fat positive (in relation to a pregnancy test

BFN: big fat negative (also in relation to a pregnancy test)

CD-: cycle day, followed by the number day of a person’s cycle

-DPO: number of days past ovulation. Most women wait at until at least 12DPO to take a pregnancy test, as this is about the earliest in a cycle you can reliably expect a test to be correct.

CM: cervical mucus. Tracking the state of your cervical mucus throughout your cycle can be a good way to help determine when you are most fertile.

EWCM: Egg white cervical mucus. This is considered the most fertile type of cervical mucus, it had much the same consistency of egg white (hence the name), and enables sperm to enter the uterus most easily. Watery cervical mucus is also considered fertile.

POAS: to pee on a stick, or take a urine pregnancy test.

HPT: home pregnancy test

FMU: first morning urine. Many pregnancy tests suggest that testing with FMU will give the most accurate results.

SMU: second morning urine. Many OPKs suggest testing with SMU for best results.

OPKS: Ovulation predictor kit. Test strips that can help to determine when a woman is ovulating based on her LH levels.

LH: Luteinizing hormone. This hormone surges in a woman’s body around (usually within 12-24 hours before) ovulation, and OPKs detect this surge.

FF: Fertility Friend, a website and app that many women use to track their cycle in order to be most aware of their fertility. There are many other apps and websites around, but this seems to be one of the most widely used.

NTNP: Not trying, not preventing

SMEP: sperm meets egg plan, a plan that many swear by for conception. You can read more about it here.

HCG: human chorionic gonadotropin. This is the pregnancy hormone that HPTs read. HCG will steadily increase at the start of pregnancy, and once it reaches a certain level, a urine test will read positive. A small number of women do not metabolize this hormone correctly and so will consistently get negative pregnancy tests, regardless of whether they are actually pregnant or not.

SO: significant other. Also DH (dear husband), DW (dear wife), DD (dear daughter), DS (dear son), etc.

MC: Miscarrage

CP: chemical pregnancy. A pregnancy that could be detected using an HPT but which ends before it could be detected by ultrasound etc.

LO: Little one

LP: Luteal phase. The part of your menstrual cycle between ovulation and menstruation – otherwise known as the TWW! Most women, even those with an irregular cycle, will have a LP of a consistent length.

Some acronyms more related to infertility:
RE: reproductive endocrinologist

IVF: in vitro fertilisation

SA: semen analysis

MFI: Male factor infertility

These seem to be some of the more common acronyms that I have come across, let me know if I have missed any glaringly obvious ones and I’ll add them right in 🙂

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When Do We Stop Calling it A Scare?

A couple of months ago, I had an interesting experience. My period was late. Very late. I was on cycle day 39, with no sign of the monthly visitor in sight. And I started thinking. I let my mind wander to what it might be like if I was, in fact, pregnant. I talked to my husband about it, I did some reading, I floated around the internet – some blogs, pregnancy websites and finally baby shopping sites online. I found myself thinking that it might not be so bad if I was pregnant. I thought about the logistics of how it would work and realized…that it could work.

And then, I decided to take a pregnancy test. Negative. Instead of the rush of relief I could have felt – should have felt, and have felt a few times in the past, I felt…sadness? Loss? I found myself hoping that the test was wrong, but within a few hours – oh the irony – my period started.

It all started me thinking. Because we aren’t “trying” to get pregnant – at all, at this point, do we still call it a pregnancy scare? I know the couple of times it has happened before in the past few years, it has DEFINITELY been scary. But I think by definition, perhaps this wasn’t a “pregnancy scare”.

In the couple I months since then, my husband and I have done a lot of talking. While we agree that it wouldn’t be the most ideal time in our lives to start a family, I’m starting to believe that there is never really a perfect time to have a baby. We both want to be parents, we have stable jobs, and both are working towards careers in fields we enjoy – by correspondence, a lifestyle that would allow us to be parents if it happened. So we have kind of fallen into a “decision” not to try to become pregnant, but to stop preventing pregnancy.

It seems like a good route to take for us, considering my diagnosis of pcos. I know that it could potentially take us years, and we may need fertility treatment, depending on how often I ovulate on my own.

The whole idea is a little scary, and I have found myself researching trying to conceive online. I have a deep fear that I may not be able to become pregnant easily. So I feel like I need to take control. While we really are just “not trying, not preventing” at the moment, I think that reading up on the subject keeps me informed, and I like to know everything I can know about a subject. I may not be using a lot of the fertility advice out there, but it makes me feel like I’m doing something!

I’m starting to embark on a whole new journey in this part of my life, and it’s exciting and scary and thrilling all at the same time.

How did you feel the first time you decided it was time to stop trying not to be parents?

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5 Things That Are Making Me Happy Today #6

Again, it has been far too long since I have made a post. I’m finding it really difficult to blog when I don’t have regular access to a computer. I keep telling myself I’ll make posts from my phone, but it’s pretty tricky so I guess I don’t end up doing it very much. But this post is about things that make me happy, not things that are annoying me! So here it is: things that are making me happy today.

1. We are in the process of trying to buy a house (with the help of my parents). It will be great to be putting money into an investment rather than the dead money that rent seems to be.

2. I got accepted into a university that will allow me to complete my nursing studies by distance education, meaning I can work as much as I need to.

3. I am so so so nearly finished putting the final touches – namely a border – on the blanket that I naively thought I was finished with making MONTHS ago.

4. A friend at work who has been trying to get pregnant for years told me this week that she finally is, and I am so so happy for her!

5. I got some really stubborn stains out of my carpet (can you tell I’m scraping the bottom of the barrel?) using white vinegar and baking powder. Amazing! Absolutely nothing else has touched them, but this lifted them right out!

What is making you happy today?

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Springtime Is Here

Spring is here. Officially. Undeniably. Spring is one of my favourite times of year. I revel in the sunshine, the warm breeze, the fresh, almost happy smell in the air. It feels like a whole new start for the world, and I just want to live outside and soak it all up forever. I take long walks through our local parks, where the local festival to my area “Tulip Time” is just taking off, and the display is nothing short of spectacular. It is lit beautifully at night time, and during the day, the colours are just as lovely. Each year the display is different, and this year it is spectacular. When I get a chance, I’ll take some photos and put them up, but for now, I have borrowed a few from around the web (and previous years) to give an idea of what it’s like.

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The weather is nice enough to take a day trip to the beach or the lake, or have a backyard barbecue. It is seriously perfect.

It is also seriously sneeze-inducing. I am one of those people who is just allergic to everything. Everything, but especially grass. And pollen. And dust. But mostly grass. I always forget that every year I get excited about spring, only to be disappointed by my eyes beginning to stream, my nose turning into a faucet and my lungs closing up until I feel like I can hardly get any air in at all. I live on asthma inhalers and allergy tablets – which I am incredibly grateful for, because they actually mean that I can enjoy the spring time like a (mostly) normal person.

But the thing that gets me down the most is my grass allergy; yes, it makes me sneeze when I go outside/live in an area where there is a lot of different grasses growing tall and flourishing and not being mown and therefore spreading their seeds everytwhere (hint: here), but also, it gives me an awful, itchy RASH. I keep hearing people talk about the feeling of walking barefoot through the grass. And lying on the grass, looking up at the sky, watching the clouds or the stars. And I want to do it. But it just makes me so itchy.

I have a confession. Today, I did it anyway. I walked around my back yard. I felt the grass beneath my feet, and reveled in it. The cool blades wrapping around and between my toes, tickling the soles of my feet. I sat down. I even laid there for a minute or two before it started and I knew I had to get up. The itching is maddening. Thankfully, it’s just on my feet and legs. The blotchy redness is mocking me and I can hardly stop scratching for long enough to write this post.

And you know what the worst part is?

I know I’m going to do it all again. I’ll forget the itching and give in to the lure of the outdoors. When this rash goes away, probably tomorrow, I’ll decide it wasn’t so bad after all, but think to myself that I probably shouldn’t do it again all the same. And then in a few weeks’ time, the sun will be shining, the birds will be singing, the breeze will be just right and all I’ll want to do is go and lie down in the sun and soak it in (while wearing an appropriate amount of sunscreen/hats/etc, already been there, done that with the skin cancer nonsense). And I’ll be too silly to think of the simple solution that I should have thought of all along. Oh picnic blanket, how I wish I had thought of you earlier.

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5 Things That Are Making Me Happy Today #5

As I struggle to get used to blogging from my phone (ugh), I thought a good post to do today might be a continuation of my “5 Things That Are Making Me Happy Today” series (haha the word series used here is laughable!). So here goes.

1. That I am getting back into blogging after a long-ish break

2. That T and I finally have a house again!

3. That as of next week I will have a car of my own again and can stop relying so much on trains.

4. Our fence on one side of the house is being replaced and it looks so much better.

5. I got season 6 of The Big Bang Theory on DVD this week so I got to actually see the episodes! The DVD was just released here in Australia and I seriously loved the season!

What is making you happy today?

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It’s Been A Long Time

I realized just now just how long it’s been since I made a post. Months. I can’t believe it has actually been months since I wrote a post. So much for “post a day” and all that. I swear I’ll be better.

Life has been crazy, which is the oldest excuse in the book. But it’s so true. T and I finally have a house of our own again, and let me tell you, that is seriously amazing. I love my parents, and I’m truly grateful to them for letting us stay in their garage (my phone just tried to autocorrect that to grave…I have serious concerns about this phone), but holy moly is it nice to have our own space and a real bathroom, and a kitchen, and a bedroom that isn’t in the living room!

We are working like crazy people to try to pay off our debts, of which we have many, and it looks like we will finally have one of the biggest ones GONE by February, at which point we still won’t be able to breathe a sigh of relief but we will be closer, since after that it’s just a personal loan of about $12000 plus a bunch of “small” bills (under $1000) to get rid of. And maybe after that we can focus on finally saving to buy a house. Because renting sucks and outer landlord hates putting any money into the house, which means our screen doors don’t have handles, the fly screens on our windows are torn and our carpets look like someone has poured ink all over them. And I don’t know, maybe they did. Before we lived here. Either way, I’m grateful for the house and the space that is our own.

But I’m back to blogging, baby! Maybe a little sporadically since we can’t get ADSL broadband here, so I’m blogging from my phone (and occasionally my laptop at Uni). But I’m back and I have lots of (probably potentially boring posts in the pipeline!

What’s been happening in your lives for the 2 months-ish I’ve been gone?

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Things You Should Not Say To A Woman In Labour #1

Today I’m starting a new series, inspired by an experience in the delivery room at the hospital today.  As a student nurse in the maternity unit I’m experiencing a lot of new things at the moment, and one of them is the crazy things that male support people – usually boyfriends/fiances/husbands – at a birth will say to the mother.  They seem to think in the moment that these things are supportive, but in actual fact they come out anything but.

Today’s top comment was:

“I’m glad that’s you up there and not me”

Really? Now, I thought most guys would be smart enough to keep that sentiment to themselves when their partner is going through some of the worst pain of her life.  But perhaps not, since this gentlemen also thought it appropriate to later add

“You are so lucky that you have a catheter.  I wish I had a catheter because I don’t feel like getting up to pee”.

Oh yeah.  That’s right.  He said this from across the room in a recliner which he was lying on while his partner was having a contraction.  Yup.  I thought that was a smart decision too.  Not.

Of course to top it all off he added as she was pushing the baby’s head out

“This will all be easier next time we have a baby”.

Just what every first time mother wants to hear: she might have to experience the worst pain of her life ALL OVER AGAIN.

Of course, his heart was in the right place. It really was, and he adores his partner and his new son.  His comments were just misguided at best.

What do you think is the worst thing your partner could say in the delivery room?

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5 Things That Are Making Me Happy Today #4

It has been WAY too long since I have posted. I don’t even know how long it has been. Seriously. Too long. But anyway, I thought I would ease myself back into posting with a “5 Things” post.

1. I have the most AMAZING placement for my nursing degree this semester, four weeks in a maternity unit. Pure bliss.

2. Today T and I have been married for 6 months.

3. The midwives I have been working with this week said today that they think I will be a great midwife (you know, after I finish nursing and then postgrad study for midwifery)

4. I have been at the deliveries of 3 babies this week, and actively assisted with 2. And loved every minute.

5. I have been learning how to crochet lots of new and different things and they are all awesome 😛

Those are my 5 for this week, what are yours?

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5 Things That Are Making Me Happy Today #3

I think this is the third time I’ve made a “Things That Are Making Me Happy” post.  I think.  I’ve been pretty slack on the blogging front lately.  I’d like to blame it on something concrete, but the fact is there isn’t any one thing stopping me from blogging.  Or anything at all really.  I could say I’ve been busy with uni and exams (truthfully, I should be but am one of the world’s most accomplished procrastinators).  I could say I’ve been working, catching up housework, doing anything productive. But the truth is, I’ve been lazy.  I’ve been crocheting – around work and uni – a lot.  A lot a lot.  Maybe that’s the main reason I haven’t been blogging.  Hubby and I also went on a spur of the moment mini vacation this week, half to celebrate my birthday, half to celebrate 6 months of being married (and hasn’t that flown!!), and half just because.  Yes, that’s three halves.  I don’t care.  I like lots of halves. 

BUT, on with the post.

1. Loving that I have finally branched out of crocheting squares for a blanket into making actual things. Like booties and hats.  It’s awesome.

2. My boss seems to have gotten over her little hissy fit she was having over T ringing work for me when I was throwing up and in no condition to ring myself – since I was throwing up.  Which makes work a much nicer place to be.

3. I finally figured out how to blow dry my hair without it turning into a giant ball of fuzz.  I think this may also be in part due to the fact that it seems to be turning much less curly than it was when I was a teenager.  Strange.  

4. My mum knitted me a jumper for my birthday and it is the most perfect jumper I have ever owned.  I asked for a big, comfy jumper that I could wear with jeans and I got an amazing jumper that fits amazingly, looks quite nice and is all warm and fuzzy and a nice colour.  I love it a lot.  

5. I fit into a pair of jeans that I bought in December for $9, but wouldn’t do up.  And now they’re even a little big.  That’s a BIG happy 🙂

 

What’s making you happy today?

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