It's Monday. My husband is back at work, and the baby and I are doing our usual Monday thing: 1-1/2 hr. nap in the car, then food shopping at Trader Joe's, and lunch and more food shopping at Whole Foods. I really do enjoy our Monday together. I actually look forward to sharing lunch at Whole Foods. Yes, as I said, I like our Mondays. :)
In regards to my last post, my husband was sweet enough to remind me that one: he was given "semen," just not "sperm." So, correcting my sentence, "God gave me the man of my dreams but forgot to add SPERM." Thanks Lovie. (add just a tad or sarcasm to that last sentence. hehe) And second: my neurosis did not begin when we conceived our daughter, rather, THAT particular neurosis began at the moment of conception. Again, thanks Babe. Thanks for reminding me that neurosis pops up all over my life. (I'm laughing to myself because he's actually right.) Yup, I tend to be quite neurotic at times.
So, right now as my baby girl naps in her carseat, I'm sitting at the beach, Jeep running (yes, I'm inside the Jeep with her), soaking up the beautiful rays of sunshine, getting my vitamin D, and listening to nothing but the occasional sigh from the backseat and the waves crashing in on shore. Oh, and the seagulls. :)
Let's rewind once again, so I can bring you back to the beginning of my pregnancy....
The pregnancy of a SAHM (stay at home mama)
As I mentioned in my first post, I quit my job in the corporate world, and started working for myself, which I LOVE! During my pregnancy I didn't work at all -not even one client. I was so deep into this miracle pregnancy that I wanted to focus solely on the beautiful baby growing inside of me.
Now, as I read the above paragraph, I had feelings of sugarplum fairies dancing in my soul, but it wasn't all that....at all in the beginning. Although I was lucky enough to stay home and focus on myself, going the IVF route can be torture. From the very beginning, you are involved in every. single. detail. First I needed to go to several different doctors and get a "clean bill of health." Then, when all cleared, they put me on medications to keep me from ovulating, they give me meds to grow my lovely eggs, then more meds to force me to ovulate those perfectly lovely eggs. It's crazy, really. Tests, waiting, medicine, more tests, more waiting, more medicine, more waiting. Skip a bunch of stuff I don't even want to waste your time making you read, and then we have the egg retrieval procedure, fertilize my eggs with sperm (we had hundreds!!), and then we wait.....
The waiting sucks! My mind went crazy for those next 10-12 days. Damn, think about it: 12 DAYS to think!!! That's a whole lotta minutes to think. things. to. death. And so I did.
I went in for my pregnancy test, and waited till they called that afternoon. My results were positive. No, no exclamation point after that sentence because my numbers were a mere "12". Most women who go through IVF get results in the 100's. Nope, not me, 12. TWELVE. Another laughable moment in my life.
My doctor said he was "positively optimistic". Ugh. I hate those words. So, there I sat at my kitchen table as my husband told me, and I was numb. I wasn't happy nor sad, just numb. We waited another two days and went in again to have my numbers tested. This time they more than doubled! Excellent! I was getting happy. Not too happy, because I had lost one baby via miscarriage, so I was remaining hopeful, yet, very conservative (man, I am so not conservative!) with my feelings.
These "numbers" I speak of need to double every 48 hours, so every 2 days I went back to give blood so we can see how my pregnancy was moving along, or not moving along. My numbers went sky high! This baby wanted to be part of our lives! She made sure she kept us on our toes, but she was staying. Yay! As soon as my numbers were in the 240's, we had our ultrasound to see the lil bean. Oh, she was beautiful! And growing perfectly!
After a few weeks it was time for the ultrasound to detect a heartbeat. This was huge. So many IVF "successes" stop here. No one knows why, but they get this far and then there is no heartbeat. It's heart wrenching. My husband, for the first and last time during my pregnancy, was unable to come with me to the appointment. I was scared to death, and now I had to do it alone. I stressed like a crazy woman before the ultrasound, weeks before, and now I was "convinced" my craziness stopped my baby from growing and I wouldn't hear a heartbeat.
I laid there quiet as a mouse, as scared as I have ever been in my entire life, and I waited to hear it. At first I saw some squiggly lines on the monitor, hearing nothing, and I thought it might be a heartbeat, but I wasn't sure, so I remained calm. Soon, which seemed like an eternity, the doctor turned the volume way up high and said "this is your baby's heartbeat." And I burst into tears. I laid there in all my glory, with 2 doctors and a nurse watching, and I cried hysterically.
I had a baby with a perfect, beautiful, strong and healthy heartbeat (my eyes are tearing-up now). I was going to be a mama. Finally. Thank God.
Much of my pregnancy was spent doing what my body needed me to do. When I needed rest, I rested. When I felt energetic (ha!), I took walks. I did lots of deep breathing, lots of stress-relieving activities, and I kept away from the news, and tv shows/movies that weren't uplifting (ok, so the occasional episode of one of those CSI-like shows snuck in there, but mostly I watched happy shows).
I went to the beach just about everyday. I would sit in my car, roll down the window, pull my shirt above my belly and give my beautiful bump some vitamin D. I really did my best to keep myself in good spirits, so my baby would get all those "feel good" hormones. :) Oh, and I ate really well! Between my background in holistic healing, which taught me that food can either be our medicine or our poison, and the books I devoured about having a "green" pregnancy, and of course the Dr. Oz pregnancy book, I was well stocked in knowledge. And since I had the next 10 months to devote to myself and my unborn baby, I was set.
Those 10 months were spent keeping myself, and in turn my baby, relaxed, peaceful, calm and healthy; mind, body, spirit. Both my husband and myself made sure I was fed organically grown, nutrient dense whole foods....99% of the time. I ate my 100 grams of protein a day, and consumed all the other nutrients I needed, like calcium. Oh, and hey, I didn't even have to drink dairy to get it! Oh, and don't be fooled by that 99%,, there were plenty o' occasions when I just had to have my pizza; just not all the time.
I loved being pregnant. I loved being able to sleep as long as I needed to and wake when my body felt it was well-rested. Sometimes I would lay there and know my Eesie (that's what I call Elise) had already been awake and getting ready for work since 5 am. It was at those moments I thanked God I was able to stay home. I don't know how she did it?! I knew how my body felt on certain days, and I just cringed at the thought that Elise had to force herself to get up and go to work. I felt like the most blessed woman alive. In fact, I think I was. :)
Aside from all the peaches and cream I talk about above, there were also a nice mix of stressful situations tossed into my pregnancy. I could go into every detail, but I won't. But I will tell you, my adoring reader, that throughout my pregnancy, in the back of my mind, I was constantly scared to death that God would take my baby....because.....I actually didn't deserve her.
Feeling "not good enough" or like I don't deserve good things has been and ugly monster in my life since I was a teenager. And now, it was creeping itself into my pregnancy. I had to force myself to buy something -just one thing- each week beginning at week #10, just to try kind of challenge the superstition that everyone feels necessary to share with you: Never buy anything or prepare for your baby until AFTER it's born. Everyday I fought that monster and the "you don't deserve this baby" monster with positive affirmations, deep breathing exercises and listening to people who love me tell me I *do* deserve this child growing in my belly.
You know, come to think of it, I wouldn't even allow Eesie to congratulate me or celebrate my pregnancy at all, which she had been a part of from the very beginning. Hell, she's been a part of every aspect of my life since she was born! Anyway, hey, Eesie, I think it's time to celebrate my pregnancy!!
Peaches & cream, and visions of sugarplum fairies dancing in my spirit, with the occasional banana peel to slip on (like my back going "bye bye" at 11-1/2 wks, leaving me unable to walk without pain or assistance for the entire pregnancy) tossed in there best describes my pregnancy. I was just so grateful to be pregnant and to be home caring for myself and the miracle I was so blessed to be growing inside of me. :)
I had the best pregnancy ever. I am so blessed.