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…work, that is. I officially stopped working on Monday, though I’d be lying if I said I’d been giving teaching my all up to that point.

My students threw me a surprise baby shower on my last day. It was pretty much the cutest thing ever. A co-worker tipped me off to what was about to go down, as she is well aware of my constant on-the-verge-of-tears emotional state, so I was able to hold it together. The whole thing was totally overwhelming, and a “teacher moment” I’ll never forget. They organized baby-themed games complete with prizes, made a playlist, put up decorations, made a cake, organized a collective class gift, brought in a pile of other gifts…something else.

So despite having a few pressing items left to complete before I’m officially done with my teaching responsibilities (i.e., report cards…ugh…), my leave has begun. Getting a letter from my OB was no big whoop, thank goodness, as I was finishing on Friday despite what he was going to tell me. My appointment wasn’t until the Wednesday of the same week I wanted to be done. That’s what you call leaving it to the last minute. I’m kind of a pro at that.

I spent most of my first day off lying on the couch watching Dr. 90210, and the babies were going crazy. I’m chalking all the movement to a relaxed mama and not their inherited love of terrible, terrible television. I imagine they’ll be classier than that.

At 29 weeks, it feels really nice to sleep when I want, as my nights are pretty stop and start as far as sleeping goes. Comfort is becoming an issue, and I’m getting some pretty sore hips. I don’t mind so much anymore, as I know I can have an afternoon snooze if I like. Also, the ability to eat and drink whenever I want to is pretty awesome, but nothing compares to my new-found ability to PEE WHENEVER THE MOOD STRIKES. For non-teachers, this may not seem like a big deal, but holy, it most certainly is! At school, I was restricted to the following pee times: 8:30, 10:20, 12:00, 2:15, and 3:40. Often, I would be close to bursting and would have to walk down two flights of stairs to an available toilet, then bolt up them again to pick up my class. Yes. It was certainly time to be done.

I go for another growth ultrasound on Friday, and we’ve got a private baby class on Thursday night. I’m looking forward to that. Neither J nor I have much experience with babies (read: ANY), to the extent that neither of us has ever even changed a diaper. Um…yeah, we’re going to need some tutelage on that one. The house still isn’t ready, but I at least feel like we’ve got a plan going forward. We’re going to get there.

Here’s how the bump is progressing:

29 weeks - Enough with the kicks to the cervix, Baby A!

29 weeks – Enough with the kicks to the cervix, Baby A!

Baby A feels really low, and when s/he starts moving around, I am still expecting to see a little hand waving at me from down there. J and I were driving back from a wedding this past weekend and he asked what was up when I turned really quiet. Hesitantly, I told him it felt like Baby A was going to fall out. He just looked at me and said, “Yeah…pretty sure it doesn’t work that way”. I still did some extra kegels just in case I could trap that little dude in there a bit longer.

-Baby Trapping Family Van.

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Apparently, I teach the most intuitive Grade 5 and 6s ever. They’re on to me and my little secret(s).

One of my students asked to speak to me privately today after school. She was beside herself because she’d used my phone earlier in the day to translate words from English to French (I teach a French program), and she accidentally hit the browser button.

“I saw the page you were on”, she said.

Okay…I had no idea what she was talking about and panicked a bit at possible swear words or something she had seen (note to self: be more aware of what’s on your phone before handing it off to students).

“It said something about motherhood…?”

This is the sweetest, most lovely student I may have ever taught, and I could see how awful she felt for having seen anything. She then proceeded to tell me that a bunch of students have been talking, and they’re all convinced (“conVINCED!”, she tells me) that I’m pregnant. They’ve seen a bump, and they just know that their teacher is preggers.

What.

The.

Hell.

What do I do with this? Of course, I can’t think on my feet and I’m honest to a fault. It never occurred to me that I could lie about it (seriously, how hard is it to say, “that was for a friend”, or “I was researching something”?).

So I admitted it to her and told her she has to keep it quiet for another two weeks. As if I’m asking an 11-year old to keep a secret for me.

In other news, I guess I’m showing more than I thought…

-Big Ol’ Pregnant Family Van

Not quite as good as Jerry’s here, but pretty solid nonetheless.

11 weeks, 3 days of nausea, yes, but puking, no.

Except for today. Cue Pukey McPukes a lot making an appearance as soon as I get to school this morning. Here’s the really sick part, though:

I kind of liked it. For the first time, I felt like I’m pregnant. Let’s be honest, though, I don’t think I’d like it so much if it hadn’t been such a novelty. Daily pukes? No thanks.

In other news, there has been no more bleeding since last Thursday. There was a bit of brown spotting for a few days after, but hardly anything. For this, I am truly grateful.

-Pukey McPukes, aka The Family Van.

Today marks ten weeks. Those tiny buddies are growing bigger and stronger everyday.

We had an ultrasound today, and saw baby b moving around. Baby a was spread eagled facing the camera…pretty funny. They’re looking more like tiny people and less like blobby goobers. I’m thankful for this.

So far, everything is looking great. Both babies are measuring at exactly ten weeks. Can’t really beat that. Heartbeats looked good today–171 and 180.

Warning! Poop talk ahead! Not for the squeamish!
In terms of symptoms, I’ve had very little of anything that might suggest I’m preggers. I was super bloated last week, which got me excited over my adorable baby belly–until I had a night of rip roaring farts and a couple of good poops and the belly was gone. No one really warned me about the havoc pregnancy wreaks on your digestive system. Oh my. Constipation is in full effect, and having a poop is pretty much the greatest thing ever these days. My doctor asked what I was doing about it. Uh…waiting? I’m not a big pill popper, so I tend to just ride things out. He suggested I try Colace, which I have done exactly once, as the result was a severely clogged toilet. It was like weeks worth of waste just flowed from me. A bit shocking, really. I’m not feeling ready to open those flood gates again quite yet.
End of poop talk.

I’ve been super tired, but on a weird, weird schedule. I take little naps over the lunch hour, using my mittens as pillows, which inevitably results in Mitten Face. I fall asleep promptly upon returning home, and it’s all I can do to shove some food down my throat that passes for dinner. But then I’m up until 12:00+, which is not normal. Usually, I don’t nap but I’m in bed by ten, eleven at the latest. It’s driving my early bed time husband crazy.

My appetite is off, too. All of the foods I once found delicious are gag-inducing at the moment. I would have taken a good spicy shrimp curry any day, and yet even as I type those words, I feel like I’m going to retch. All I wanted were fish tacos last week, but now the thought of those turns my stomach. Weird.

The nausea is there, though I haven’t puked yet. I’m not generally a puker, though, so I’m not overly surprised that I haven’t experienced this particular delight of pregnancy yet.

Generally, I feel great. People keep telling me I’m glowing, though I’m chalking that up to finally opening up the new thing of bronzer I’ve had sitting around instead of using those little left over crumbs. I’m drinking a buttload of water, too. That probably helps.

So overall, things are awesome. I’m so thankful for two happy growing babies in my belly, for still feeling human through all of this, and for a pretty super husband who has been more than a little neglected. I need to do something kind for him. He deserves it.

Progesterone and Estrace stop next week, which is a little anxiety inducing, but that’s a story for another time. Synthroid dosage is being doubled Monday and Friday, though TSH levels were tested today so that may change.

NT scan booked for February 12th. Won’t see the babies again until then. It’s amazing how much I love little blobby goobers already…

In other news, anyone have any recommendations for twin strollers? I’m thinking Phil and Ted’s Promenade. The Bugaboo Donkey looks like a behemoth, and apparently, we all hate big strollers here in Toronto.

-Full Of Love (and babies) Family Van

This post has been brewing in my head for a couple of weeks now.

IVF worked for us. I’m pregnant.

The whole experience has been totally surreal, and I still don’t believe it’s actually true. According to IVF.ca’s due date calculator, I’m about 6 and a half weeks gone. Craziness. All of it…craziness.

I’ve been a total Debbie Downer about the whole thing. Neither J nor I, nor anyone else who knows the news has been allowed to get excited yet. First, it was waiting for the results of the first HCG (because as if those pee sticks actually told the truth), next it was waiting for the results of the second HCG, which grew nicely in 38 hours from 217 to 522. Then we had to wait for the third HCG, the BIG one that would get us out of the beta testing hell cycle, which it did at 3641. But now…now we really wait.

Tuesday is our ultrasound, and I’m not allowing anyone to even smile about this pregnancy until I see that it’s a) in the right place; and b) there’s a heartbeat. I’ve heard the stories, I’ve felt the heartbreak that comes through the posts of those who have experienced that particular hell. We’re not out of the woods yet.

Debbie Downer. I totally wasn’t kidding.

If I cup-half-full it, we’ve never been closer to a baby as we are now. I love my sore, massive bowling ball boobs, because it means something is happening. I love my erratic mood swings, and my wild fits of sobbing tears (though J probably wouldn’t say he loves them), because it means my hormones are through the roof. I love (and I never thought I’d be uttering these words) the progesterone suppositories that I insert 4 times a day because they’re keeping my uterus comfy and cozy and made it a lovely place for an embaby (babies??) to nestle into and implant. Same goes for the estrogen I’ve been taking. I love it.

It worked. Holy shit, it actually worked and there’s a teeny tiny little buddy/buddies in there, growing and developing just as it/they should be.

So Regular Van no more.

I’ve been waiting for two long, long years to finally sign off this way…

-The Family Van.

As a result of recent events, I can only be led to believe that the universe fucking hates me.

The feeling is entirely mutual.

Another fucking teacher is pregnant. This news comes the day after the news of last year’s pregger’s delivery of her healthy daughter. Don’t get me wrong. I wish absolutely no harm on babies, and I am very happy to hear that everyone is doing well.

This news, however, would be a whole lot easier to take if I felt like it was ever going to be my turn. It’s selfish, it’s bitter, it’s awful, it’s entirely not how I am as a person, generally, but this infertility thing is really kicking my ass and turning me into a horrible, horrible person.

The worst of it is that I really like the newly pregnant teacher. She’s one of my favourites at school, which will make it even harder when I inevitably have to avoid her adorable growing belly and talk of her pregnancy. I can’t handle it.

I dealt with last year and two effing pregnant ladies walking around the halls, finishing off the school year with the very slightest modicum of sanity. Wasn’t that enough to earn my right into the baby club? I was civil to them. I smiled. I even carried on conversations with them every now and then. I thought that was it. This year I would be in the clear.

Silly, silly girl.

IVF is supposed to be starting next month after my second surgery. I seriously don’t know how I’ll cope if that fails, too.

If you need me, I’ll be on my couch watching Freaks and Geeks and drinking heavily. FML.

-Universe hatin’ Regular Van.

Last month was another failed cycle. I didn’t have the heart to test, so I stopped taking the progesterone, and my period started a day later. It’s never been so quick, so clearly my body was ready to tell me the answer to the burning two-week question. Last week was also the first week back to school. I was scheduled to test on Monday, the day before school started. Not a chance was that going to happen, so I put it off…and then put it off some more…and then on Thursday dear Aunt Flo decided to pay me a visit. It was a turd of a morning (I don’t need to tell you), but my class this year (so far) has been like a dream. We had a great day on Thursday and once again, without them knowing, a group of students were able to lift my spirits from another month of failure.

I prepared myself for what I was sure would be a really difficult cycle monitoring appointment on Saturday, remembering the doctor telling me if my left fallopian tube remained inflamed we would have to do surgery again. I had been pretty uncomfortable for the entire two week wait, and was convinced it was still filled with fluid. I talked it over with my mum and with J. My mum’s sage-like advice was to give things a bit of a break, and to begin the inevitable IVF in December when I’d have some time off of work anyway. I talked this over with J, and as always, he said whatever I wanted to do was fine. I think I asked him (or maybe he just sensed that I needed it) to come to Saturday’s appointment with me to hear what the doctor was saying. He was there, and made the whole process a lot better.

Having a bum (or absent) fallopian tube is certainly not the worst thing in the world, I know this. I was more concerned about the time I would have to take off from school. In these early stages of the year, it’s so important for me to be there to get routines established and solidified. The thought of being off for a week in September was causing me a lot of stress.

So we got to the stage of the appointment when we talk to the doctor, and I braced myself for the news. As it turns out, it wasn’t the news I was expecting: the fluid seems to be gone. The tube is no longer inflamed. This is great news, though I’m taking it cautiously. My doctor said these things were like “the elephant in the room” (which I think he was trying to say is impossible to miss), but I feel mild to moderate discomfort on my left side pretty much every day, multiple times throughout the day. He said to ask the x-ray technicians to look out for it, but that at this stage, he wouldn’t operate on it.

Big sigh of relief came here.

So we talked about our options for this month. He mentioned IVF, which I said we weren’t ready for, and he agreed that it could be hasty as we’re still pretty fresh from the surgery date. I’ll be doing another month of injectables, and he said he’d like to be slightly more aggressive with them this month. I’m young, he said (to which I had to remind him that I have only two years left of being considered young for this whole IF business), and the results he’s been seeing have been promising. “That’s so good to hear”, I told him, as it’s rare to hear his opinion on my situation.

We’ve got a review appointment booked for early October, where we’ll sit down and talk about what we’ve done so far and where we should be going. At that point, he’ll go over the steps for IVF with us, and we can make a decision about what to do from there.

I’m trying to look at the positives here. What I came up with was this: had I been pregnant this month, I wouldn’t have been able to finish the year with this class. I think this is going to be one of my best teaching years, because of both the kids that I’ve got and my confidence in my teaching abilities. I’ve been super pumped about this group since late last year (when I found out who I was getting), and I think it would have been really hard to leave them at the end. Also, if I (fingers crossed so hard I can’t feel them anymore) get pregnant within the next two months, I’ll be starting my mat leave in the summer. Totally ideal for a teacher, as I wouldn’t be starting with a class and then leaving, and I also wouldn’t be coming back to a class after my mat leave mid-way through the year. Now, pregnancy fairies, if you’re listening, this is not to say that I wouldn’t ABSOLUTELY WELCOME a pregnancy at any time of the year, but if beggars COULD be choosers…this would be an ideal situation.

What do french dogs have to do with any of this? It was chilly today, and I was able to wear my french dog pajamas for the first time since my Gran gave them to me in England. Here’s a photo.

Je t’aime aussi, French dogs. More than you’ll ever know…

They are the cutest things ever. The wiener dogs are wearing berets and kissing, and underneath them it says “Je t’aime”.

-Begging to Choose Regular Van.

So the decision has been made…surgery is going ahead on July 10th. If you’re following along, that means we’ve had another failed IUI cycle.

It’s been quiet on this little blog. End-of-year is always a crazy time, and it was kind of a blessing to have something so consuming to take up my time during this last 2-week wait. Others have written beautiful posts about how teachers feel at the end of the year (especially during a year of fertility treatments), but I just don’t have the energy to do that here. What I’ll say is that I adored my class this year. I will genuinely miss seeing them every day, and part of me was glad that I got to spend the whole year with them instead of having to go on a mat leave. They kept me going this year, and unknowingly cheered me up on some pretty dark days. They have no idea, but they kept me going during 6 months of infertility treatments, my own negative pregnancy tests, and pregnancy announcements from other teachers.

Our end-of-year staff party was more than a little painful. Just when one pregnant teacher decided it was time to leave, the other one showed up. Like, at exactly the same time. They hugged, to which a teacher shouted “Aww…belly hug!”. I downed 2 more glasses of champagne (we’re high rollers, apparently) and cursed them both under my breath.

Barf-o-rama.

Anyway, nothing exciting to report. Pre-op appointments are on Wednesday (there’s 2 of them, apparently), and then the slicing begins on the 10th. Did I mention this is the date of our 2nd wedding anniversary, and 2 days after my birthday?

Blah.

I’m on summer vacation now, officially, so I can’t be moaning too much. I’m reading “Quiet: The Power Of Introverts” when I’m not reading “Mockingjay”. It’s really interesting, and validates every single anti-social impulse I’ve ever had. Thank you, Susan Cain.

That’s all. What a boring post.

-Boring, boring, boring Regular Van.

Take a guess as to what the second F stands for…

Laparoscopy date is pending, but will likely be sometime in July. Happy summer to me. I’ve never had a surgery before, never had anesthesia before, and am more than a little nervous.

In other news, we’re building a fence and giving our backyard a facelift. The plants (and there are A LOT of them) are due to arrive in the next few weeks. I think that will cheer me up.

A grandparent was picking up her grandson after school the other day while I was on duty. She came over to me and congratulated me on my baby. Sorry lady, you got the wrong blond teacher. You wanted the blond one who can actually HAVE babies.

Sigh.

In more delightful news, this is killing me with hilarity. Oh man.

-Crampy, Period-y, Blond But Not Pregnant,  Always Regular Van.

So I may or may not have had a major freak-out last night, which may or may not have caused me to convince myself I had ovulated too late for the IUIs to have done anything.

I may or may not have bugged out so hard that I had to turn off my Circle+Bloom meditation program because my breathing started speeding up.

I also may or may not have spent the hours between midnight – 2:00 AM conducting the following Google searches:

  • i didn’t ovulate iui
  • ovulation not confirmed progesterone suppositories
  • iui pain
  • does progesterone stop ovulation
  • ovidrel
  • ovidrel success rates
  • how long does washed sperm live
  • timing of iui

I also may or may not have yelled at poor J ON HIS BIRTHDAY because I spent a restless night freaking out about whether this cycle was a bust or not and not knowing what to do about it while feeling definite ovulation pain, and maybe kind of resenting the fact that he was sound asleep while all this freaking out was going on.

I may or may not have used yet another sick day to return to the clinic like a crazy lady, and sputter out some nonsensical ramblings about not ovulating and maybe needing a third IUI and not knowing what to do and should I start the progesterone and I swear I’m not crazy but I know it sounds like I am…

I may or may not have spoken to the sweetest nurse in the world who sent me for an ultrasound to see if I’d ovulated, who told me I had two teams working for me. Two teams? “Two teams of sperm are in there looking for that egg”, she may or may not have said to me, while looking at me with an expression that could best be described as a mix of “let’s get this crazy calmed STAT”, and genuine caring. I may or may not have said to her that I don’t usually spaz out like this, I swear, this is my first major bug out, I swear…

My doctor may or may not have seen me after the ultrasound and asked me if I was okay, to which I apparently couldn’t formulate an answer, so he brought me into his office to talk. During this meeting, I may or may not have been repeating the mantra “I can control the flood that is creeping into my eyes right now/You will not break down here”, while listening to him explain that the timing for the IUIs was perfect, that I shouldn’t lose sleep over this (um, too late for that one, sir), and that I had probably ovulated yesterday afternoon or early evening.

I may or may not love my sweet husband even more for encouraging me to go to the clinic to put my mind at ease and to come with me this morning. He may or may not have smeared his face with the chocolate from his muffin to make me laugh, and then forced me to kiss him so he could call me a “chocolate face!!!”, which I know was all done in the name of making me laugh and trying to get me to chill out for just a second. It may or may not have worked a treat.

All of this may or may not have happened, but as I said above, I admit nothing :).

-Keeping Shtum Regular Van