38w4d: Plans

Still here, blogosphere, and still pregnant!  I would be a liar if I said I’m not the least bit uncomfortable.  It seems this child is much more fond of breakdancing on delicate lady parts than Rex who preferred to kick ribs and things of that nature around this time.  Neither are particularly fun.

We’re much better prepared this time around than we were with Rex.  Part of that is knowing what to expect and part is not letting the fear of Bad Things take over the planning aspect of things.  We’ve bought lots of clothes. We’ve put up pictures on the wall in the nursery.  We even – gasp! – set up a registry.  We’ve scheduled parental visitations to help out with Rex and the new baby for the first few weeks and I’ve been doing a lot of cooking and freezing to have meals ready for all of us when no one feels like cooking.  In other words, we’re actually treating this an event that will happen.

As for a birth plan, well, I have none except to have a healthy baby in the least dramatic way possible.  I had the exact same plan with Rex and due to my complete lack of expectations about the whole process, I had a very positive birth experience.  Hell, I progressed from 2 to 10 cm in an hour with my epidural and pitocin while playing Cash Cab with Mr. X. That to me is just about as close to heaven as you can get.

Like last time, I have no desire to have an unmedicated, watered, or home-based birth. I don’t care about being hooked up, monitored, or stuck in the bed due to an epidural.  Whatever it takes to get this child out in one, healthy piece is what I’ll do even if that means a C-section. This isn’t about my experience – it’s about getting her here as safely as possible.

Some might say I have an inflated trust in the medical profession.  At my core, I’m a deeply practical person.  I don’t pretend to have medical knowledge beyond that which Dr. Google has shared with me.  I’d like to think that I have picked doctors who share my basic practical philosophy and won’t bullshit me about my options.  I trust their knowledge and experience and  expect them to trust that I have am making informed decisions about my care.  It also helps that I am not prone to high risk complications which necessarily escalate possible intervention nor am I adamantly against medical intervention.

Whatever the case may be, this is perhaps the only area of my life that I am willing, even happy, to cede control to someone else to ensure the best possible outcome. Just as long as I get my epidural, we will all get along just fine.

31w4d: Getting There

Good Lord, where has the time gone?  I’m already in the third trimester – three weeks into the third trimester to be exact.  This also means that we’re in single digits for weeks left.  November still seems so far away but it’s approaching really fast.  That’s good news for the election since we’ll finally be over that, but it’s bad news for our baby preparedness!

But, there has been some progress.  Baby Girl’s room has been painted a lovely shade of yellow (Honey Pot to be exact), we’ve ordered the crib, the car seat has already arrived and we went baby girl clothes shopping.  With Rex, I had to be practically dragged to the baby clothes section and even then refused to get more than a few things since even I in my denial that we would take home a living child understood that on the off chance that we did, he would need to be clothed.  This time was much easier and much more calculated. We knew what we needed and what sizes would probably work.  And, holy crap, little girl clothes are so freaking adorable.  I did draw the line at animal print, though.  I will not outfit my newborn in leopard print.  When she’s old enough to make fashion decisions, she can wear leopard, zebra and tiger print all in the same outfit, but for now, hell no.

As the belly grows (and grows and grows), sleep has become harder and harder to come by.  I’m not the only one affected either.  With Rex, I developed a terrible snoring problem that drove Mr. X to the other bedroom every night.  It’s officially started again and I frequently wake up in the middle of the night alone in the bed, except for the kitty who doesn’t mind my snoring.  There’s also the pee thing, the limited position thing, the funky dreams. But, all par for the course and totally welcome if it means baby stays put until it’s time.

I’ve also had the incredibly ironic post-partum birth control talk with my OB.  Mr. X and I are pretty convinced that this will be the last baby for us.  I know, I know, I said Rex would be our last one.  But, this time, we’re both pretty certain.  I’m 36 and being pregnant isn’t as easy as it was even at 33.  Plus, we never had designs for more than two kids anyway.  And, with this child, we finally managed to do what we set out to do in the first place – have an unassisted conception. This has also been the emotionally normal pregnancy that I didn’t have with Rex and it’s been wonderful.   In that respect, Baby Girl is our victory baby.

I made the mistake of sharing this discussion with my mother who shared it with my father who offered his very unsolicited advice that my husband should get a vasectomy.  Mr. X and I talked about getting him snipped but one of us is firmly against the idea, and it’s not who you think it would be.  No, Mr. X is perfectly fine with it. I’m the one who is adamant that he shouldn’t get a vasectomy.  There are a number of reasons why I want him to keep his fertility intact – what if I die and he marries someone else who he wants to have kids with?  What if we do want to have more kids down the line and IVF is our only way to go? It’s a whole lot easier when the sperm factory is still churning.

So, once the girl arrives, I will either have a tubal ligation if I happen to have a C-section, which is not currently planned, or I will go in later for the Essure procedure.  Full circle, we have come.

21w0d: Mover and Shaker

As a general matter, I do not recommend moving households with a toddler.  I especially don’t recommend it when the moving truck gets delayed because the driver is not authorized to come into the new state you’re moving to, and you are without your household goods for four days.  Add into the mix two cats, one elderly Golden Retriever and gestating another human being and it is freaking hard work. Thank goodness for my mom, good friends and meticulous planning.

Before we moved, I had the anatomy scan with the MFM who shares office space with Dr. Uterus.   I was pretty certain going in that we were having a girl.  Mr. X was pretty certain we were having a boy.  In the X family, there has not been a girl born since 1932.  Yes, there has not been a girl born in the family in 80 years.  The girl in question, however, is still kicking at 80 despite a regrettable smoking habit.

So who won?







Me. Of course. We’re having a baby girl.  My mother-in-law was beyond herself.  After three grandsons, she’s getting a granddaughter.  I for one am not looking forward to onslaught of pink frills that will inevitably invade my home. For her part, baby is a mover and shaker.  I’ve been feeling her move since 13 weeks.

The scan did show a marginal placenta previa, but hopefully that will resolve itself by 28 weeks.  No restrictions other than no sexy time.  Which, considering all of the crap we’re going through, that is the last thing on the agenda.



15w2d: Change is Good, Right?

We finally got the Materni21 results back and they were negative. I wasn’t actually that concerned about them or even preoccupied waiting for them because at the same time, we were looking for a new house in another state. That’s right, it’s not enough that we’re having another child this year, we’ve also decided to move back to Louisiana.

We’ve always known that we would be moved and were essentially living on borrowed time. We also knew that the best position that we could secure for both of us – besides where we are now – is moving back to New Orleans. And that is just what we’re doing. Mr. X has gotten a job with a new facility that his company has purchased and of course, we are going with him. I will also be able to get back into my office which I haven’t been able to do in the last 6 1/2 years.

I was initially really excited about the move but our trip back to find a house was a real eye opener. Despite Hurricane Katrina, the housing market is strong, almost overpriced. We have more money this time around to buy but we also have more criteria (and people). Given that we have an almost school age child, school districts were of great concern and unfortunately, New Orleans is still a place with exceptionally poor public schools and exceptionally expensive private schools. So, we found a house in a different community that has good public schools, but is short on other amenities…. like quality day care.

Rex is currently in the center that is associated with Mr. X’s company. We consider it the Rolls Royce of daycare and we knew going in that it would be hard to duplicate. What I didn’t anticipate was that there doesn’t appear to even be something close to the lowest denominator of what we have now. I went from being mostly excited about our move to crying in the middle of a potential daycare. I could blame the hormones, but mostly it was realizing that we were so incredibly fortunate and it will be really hard to get that lucky again.

Most of my sadness was also because I got very attached to the center where he’s at. I’ve never had to worry about him (except for the unfortunate biting incidents) or what he was learning. In fact, they taught me so much about raising a child that it’s like they raised me too. I’m really going to miss that.

But, change is good. For all of us.

9w4d: Waiting

Vacation has numerous advantages, chief among them the ability to make time go at warp speed.  We’re already back from our cruise and the sunburn from St. Thomas is fading – although I still feel like I’m on the boat .  We had a good time. Slept in, read, took in the sights, drank fruity (non-alcoholic) beverages, and basically tuned out the real world.

Rex had a ball with the grandparents, putting them through their geriatric paces like the lively, active two year old that he is.  They also got to experience the new phenomenon of four-word sentences (“Rex car fall again”, “All done Rex bed”, etc).   Our absence has made his heart that much fonder, and vice versa.

The end of vacation also means that we’re just one week away from the next OB appointment.  Cue ominous music.  While I have no evidence that things have gone south, I had no reason to think things were going south with my first pregnancy.  Which they did.  Right about this time.  Of year and pregnancy.

The parallels of this pregnancy to my first pregnancy five years ago are eerie.

Parallel No. 1: Both times, I got pregnant in February and was due in November.

Parallel No. 2: Two days after I found out I was pregnant this time, my mom had an episode of Transient Global Amnesia which is very scary, but very short lived.   She had her first TGA right before I got pregnant five years ago.

Parallel No. 3: I ended up on a cruise in my first trimester.

Parallel No. 4: Around this time, a student shot up their college killing their classmates.

Parallel No. 5: After said cruise, we had an appointment to check on the pregnancy.

This is of course, where the story may follow the same path or verge off into a new direction.  No one knows what will happen, but it’s hard not to look to the past to predict the future.

There are quite a few differences, too, though.

My HCG was much higher this time, baby was measuring well as of the last time we got a peek and we know so much more about the whole process.  Of course, the most important difference is that this time we already have a child.  We’ve already been granted our greatest wish.


7w1d: Embracing Reality

I refused to even consider maternity clothes when I was pregnant with Rex until I was into the second trimester.  I couldn’t understand how ladies with a barely dry, positive pee stick ran out and started loading up on maternity wear.    What better way to tempt the Fates, than to buy maternity clothes in the first trimester?  I knew how the world worked when it came to the dreaded “m” word and damned if I was going to prove the axiom right.

This time, though, fear has given way to a sort of dress-in the-moment attitude.  The moment currently is that I’m pregnant and I need to dress in something other than flowing dresses because I don’t have that many and my summer tops are feeling neglected from lack of use.   Enter the two Old Navy Maternity shorts that I ordered this morning with no twinge of fear.   At least I’ll be comfortable for the next few weeks – especially on our vacation next week in the Caribbean – and if things don’t work out, I know where I can sell them.  It’s a win-win.

Mr. X and I have also had preliminary discussions of planning for where Baby Lagniappe might sleep, when to tell Rex, and how to handle day care.  We talked about giving breast-feeding another try and what we might need to stock up on again.  And you know what? It didn’t bother me one bit.

Defcon 3: 6w4d

The unbelievable dream continues.

We had the ultrasound this morning and there is a baby in there, measuring right on target based on my cycle length and likely date of ovulation.  And a heart beat of 130 bpm.  We even saw the flicker.

Unlike during my RE days, we’re not having another appointment until four weeks from now.  Normally, this would have sent me into a spiral of angst and worry that I would not have any information during the time when our previous miscarriages had happened.  But, this time, I’m ok with it.  No matter what happens, we’ve already won the lottery with Rex.

If Little Lagniappe decides to stick around, we will be thrilled but we won’t be crushed if he/she does not.

Well, This is Awkward

I’m sitting here trying to figure out how to write this.  It’s just too cliched for words, especially after my last few posts.  It’s too cliched for my history.  It’s too cliched for a Lifetime movie. And yet.

Via Creative Commons by Kaptain Kobold

It appears that I am pregnant.  And, it happened naturally, without drugs, money, swarthy men in green suits or plastic hair covers.  Mr. X knocked me up the old fashioned way. Holy BFP Batman.

I haven’t been charting because that’s too much like trying.  I have been paying attention, however, especially now that since Rex was born, the girls bark every month on cue at ovulation time.  It wasn’t hard to convince Mr. X for some sexy time mentioning that it was also optimal time for a party in my girl parts between our various gametes.  But, we never thought it would work.  I mean, come on.  It took us 5 years to have Rex!

But, two weeks ago, I decided to take a test just in case because I had an evening of drinking and gaming planned with my lady friends and I wanted to know that I was in the clear. I used one of those new fangled digital tests and put it down to get dressed while the hourglass went back and forth in the window.  I came back to look and lo and freaking behold was the one word: pregnant.

I didn’t believe the test to be honest.  I don’t get pregnant on my own.  I called Mr. X, shared the news with him and we both said a few, “hmmms” and “reallys” and “interestings” before moving on to other topics of the day.  As is my nature, I did google the false positive rate of this particular test and was intrigued enough to go out and buy some different tests … which also turned up positive.

Figuring I’d get this all sorted out, I made an appointment with my OB’s office – the same one I had been in not the week before for lady part probing – and got some blood taken.  At 11dpo, beta was 88 and progesterone was 46.  At least my infertility trials taught me enough to know that these were good numbers.  I had a repeat test at 17dpo and beta was 1337, for a doubling time of 36 hours.  We moved to Defcon 4 and set an appointment for an ultrasound on March 26.  I’m already getting nervous, but the emotional and financial investment is not nearly as high as it was with our previous pregnancies.

Since then and during the new two week wait, I’ve been having the usual bloating, queasiness, boob tenderness (although how much of that is me mashing them into oblivion to ensure that they are still tender is unknown), tiredness and pooch showing of my previous pregnancies.  A 5w4d, I’ve already bloated out of my favorite jeans and have taken to wearing flowy dresses.  I’ve cut out booze, caffeine and unpasteurized things.  I’m still acting like a pregnant lady, on the off chance that this sticks.

Both Mr. X and I are thrilled that we were able to do this on our own, but recognize that it’s still so very early in the game.  Still, if Bebe 2.0 were to come out of this, we would be very happy, indeed.  It would be icing on our already large, sweet and savory cake.  Bonus points if Bebe 2.0 arrived on November 5.  Do they make baby-size Guy Fawkes masks?

Planning My Parenthood

Six weeks after Rex was born, I got a prescription from my OB for birth control pills.  I asked for the prescription because I was not going to allow my husband to touch me unless I had that heddy concoction of hormones swirling around my bloodstream fearlessly defending my fort of womanhood.  I was so damn paranoid that my body, which up until very recently had refused to play along with the whole pregnancy thing, had finally gotten the message and was ready to be a baby-making factory. And I was not.

Photo Via Creative Commons M. Markus

Because for as many stories I heard before we had Rex about women getting pregnant after adopting or swimming in magical waters, I heard just as many after we had Rex of former infertiles who poo-pahd the warning to use birth control after having their babies because hellooooo, they were infertile, and then they got pregnant merely months after having their first baby.  I was in over my head with one infant and so I was not going to play the male factor infertility card for birth control. I was going to get the 100% Grade A effective birth control*.

Fast forward one year.  Rex is still a handful – why are children required to teethe at night? – but we’ve got the hang of the baby thing (just in time for the steep learning curve of the toddler thing) and we’re in a pretty good place.

And, I’ve been thinking about ditching the birth control pills.  Part of it is because I’m cheap. Part of it is that I’m tired of being the responsible one and having to remember to take a pill every night and then pick up a new pack each month.  Part of it is that I’m now 35, the age about which birth control pill commercials start writing warnings in tiny letters on the screen.  Part of it is that this particular birth control pill seems to be wanting to stretch things out longer and longer each month which is a real d(rag).

But, what about birth control? Mr. X has told me on multiple occasions that he wouldn’t mind an oops.  There is not an insignificant part of me that would be so thrilled to be able to spontaneously get pregnant. Just the two of us! No doctors! No drugs! But, what if the pregnancy worked and we actually had another child? The pregnancy lasts nine months, the parenting lasts a lifetime.  I can do another pregnancy, but another baby? That’s a totally different matter.

Via Creative Commons by IIGS

I know that while Mr. X would like another child, I would not.  So, I’m looking into other methods of birth control that don’t require much thought on either of our parts.  I’m really intrigued with Essure.  I actually saw posters for it at my OB’s office when I was visiting her pretty regularly while pregnant with Rex.  At the time, I didn’t pay much attention – birth control was so far from my mind – but once I did find out what exactly it did, I thought it was pretty interesting … and ironic.

Basically, they insert little pieces of plastic in your fallopian tubes and get the body to envelope them in scar tissue to prevent egg and sperm from meeting.  In other words, I would be getting back the blocked tubes I had before when I was diagnosed as infertile and for which I had surgery to correct. I wonder if my insurance company would be bright enough to figure out that I am asking them to pay to re-do what they paid to fix.

Essure seems like it would be ideal for me.  I would have reliable, hormone-free birth control without having something stuck in my uterus and without making Mr. X get snipped (seriously, what happened if I died and he wanted to have more children with another woman? I couldn’t cheat him out of that).  It would also allow me to still carry a child if I wanted to be a gestational surrogate (which I’ve thought about) or even through IVF again, if we decided that we had to have another one.

I haven’t made any decisions yet.  But, I really want to get off the hamster wheel of daily birth control and I don’t want to rely on Mr. X maintaining a low sperm count to keep Rex an only child.  And yet, this just seems so existentially wrong to be seeking out the very built-in birth control I worked really hard to get rid of. What to do?

*when taken properly, natch.


First, thank you so much to everyone for your lovely wishes of good luck on my delivery.  It was so wonderful to read all of your messages!

We arrived promptly at 5am on St. Patrick’s Day, with no expectations of what was about to happen. You can read as much as you want in a book, but the experience is uniquely personal.

I was  hooked up to the pitocin drip by about 6am (after a really nasty round with the IV insertion) and didn’t really get much in the way of contractions. My OB arrived at 9am to break my water and jokingly said that she was going to wipe the smile off my face.  She was so not kidding. Having my water broken was easily more painful than anything I dealt with in all of my infertility treatments.  I was coming off the bed in pain.  The pain then triggered a nice crying fit.

Once she managed to nicely wipe the smile off my face, my contractions came on very strong and very fast which really surprised me.  I was in constant pain it seemed. They kept asking me if I wanted my epidural (which I ordered ahead of time – I knew I would want one and once I did, I would not want to wait) and I said no.  I wanted to get a good idea of how I could handle them.  After an hour, I knew I was done and wanted my epidural.  I decided that I had experienced enough to know what they felt like but I didn’t need any more.  Once I had the epidural, though, all was right with the world.

It also managed to speed up my progress – in one hour, I went from 2cm to 9cm.  I thought my nurse was crazy when she told me.  I quickly progressed to the full 10 cm, but unfortunately, Little B was still up pretty high (-1 station).  After being at 10cm for about 2 hours, my OB called and instructed that they had me start to push.  I pushed for an hour and didn’t make any progress.  So, they let me rest for an hour and then we started up again – only, this time, I was put in every conceivable position to push to get him down – truly, the Kama Sutra of Birthing Positions.  After about an hour and a half I managed to get him down and thank goodness for that – I was very close to a c-section.  All of a sudden, there was just a flurry of activity – my OB was getting suited up, Mr. X was holding up my right leg and I was fitted with an oxygen mask to help me get air to Little B while I pushed.

And, Little B was born at 5:59pm! All of a sudden, there was a little alien on my chest looking right at me with beautiful blue eyes and a rather dazed look.  We all wiped him down and I was just overwhelmed.  Mr. X cut the cord and Little B was whisked away to the warmer to be weighed and cleaned.

I, on the other hand, was attacked with a needle and thread by my OB – I managed to get a 2nd degree vaginal tear pushing him out.  They had to give me a boost on my epidural because it hurt so much while she was stitching me up.

So, our little boy arrived in the world in the usual way and is slowly working his way into our hearts.