Friday Realness – Keeping it all afloat…

Friday Realness

The past month and half have been nothing short of difficult. Dealing with the lost of our good friend; watching my first baby (cat) deteriorate and eventually pass away; being rear-ended; navigating thrush; teething challenges; working; and dealing with a hurricane as a solo parent while the wife was on business travel. The days and nights have been long, the tears have been plentiful and the snuggles have been needed.

Our little guy is 9 months old today. We waited so long for him and now he is growing so fast. I love watching him interact with us and the world around him.

Yet I have been struggling lately. Struggling to do it all, and not let anyone down. Fellow breastfeeding working moms, how do you deal with the demands of keeping up your supply; working; taking care of your house, pets and spouse; and being a great mom.

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NIAW – Insurance Coverage

15… is the number of states that have some form of mandated insurance coverage for infertility. That means that only 29% of our states realize (or chose to recognize) that infertility like any other disease should have insurance coverage for treatment.

I live in a state that is not in that list of 15, however I was lucky enough to have a job that covered a portion of my treatments.

So many couples are not this lucky and often have to make the tough decision to give up on their dreams of a child due to the financial burden. Please contact your representatives and let them know infertility is a disease that should be covered.

NIAW – What Infertility Looks Like…

Often people think that infertility treatments just involve a few drugs and appointments and bang you have a baby…if only.

This is what infertility looks like thousands of dollars in medications, constant monitoring and testing, needles, shots, and ultrasounds. Infertility is physically and mentally challenging.

So rather than telling someone what they should do to have a child, ask how you can help instead.

So often those who are going through infertility treatments have done the research. They have seen doctors, tried the old wives tales to get pregnant and everything in between. What they really need is a someone to say I am sorry you have to go through this, how can I help you?

NIAW.. One in Eight

One in eight couples experience infertility. That means that most likely you know at least one couple that is struggling to live the “American dream” of a great job, a house and kids. Often society assumes something is wrong with these couples for them to have not conceived.

Then you add in the added financial burden of infertility treatments for most couples and it gets even harder to reach that American dream, as some may have to sell their house, sacrifice vacations and extras just to have the money to even try.

All of this pressure and guilt on a couple can cause a lot of stress and strain on a loving relationship.

I am incredibly grateful that our love grew stronger along our infertility journey as so many grow apart and some do not even last.

So before you go casting judgment on a childless couple, please be sure to be mindful of the pain they may be experiencing together.

Overdue…and Infertility Emotions

We are officially 40 weeks and 2 days. We have passed our little miracle’s due date and I am filled with sadness, fear and guilt.

I have tried really hard to be nothing but positive throughout this pregnancy, especially considering that we never thought we would make it this far. I am incredibly thankful that we have this miracle coming to be with us soon and that I have been able to provide him with all of his needs these pass few months. He is healthy and apparently very comfortable snuggling with me inside.

However I am sad. After all that we did go through to get pregnant I was really hoping that pregnancy, delivery and postpartum would be easy. That I would perform these things perfectly. That my body would be successful and not need any medical intervention. Yet here we are pass our due date and looking on the horizon of an induction next week. Just when I thought I had beat infertility it has come back to haunt me.

I am fearful that with an induction, our labor will be slow and not progress. Both of my sisters had to be induced and ended up with c-sections in the end. I am afraid that the induction will cause him or I to experience distress and have to proceed to a c-section. I know that plenty of women have c-sections and that it is often necessary but I really want to bring our son into the world as naturally as possible without drugs and vaginally. If this does not occur, I will feel like I have failed at not only making a baby but having a baby.

I feel guilty. Throughout this pregnancy we have always prepared for him to be here before the Christmas holiday. Generally every year for Christmas Eve we would go to Heather’s family house for dinner, presents and fellowship. Then we would spend the night at her mom’s house and wake up for Santa and breakfast on Christmas morning with her parents and sisters. Heather has done this every year of her life…this is her tradition. This year with Peanut’s due date so close to the holiday, we had discussed with her family we would probably not be there since Peanut would only be a few days old and if he was not here we would not want to be an hour from the hospital. Her mom (whom she was worried about being upset the most) completely understood and said that she didn’t expect to see us because my health and the baby’s was what was most important. She said not to worry and that regardless of him being here or not she would see us on Christmas Day at our house or the hospital. Heather’s sisters on the other hand did not initially understand that either way, him here or not, we would not be at Christmas Eve. After a lot of conversations this week, when it look like he would not make his due date, they finally got it.

In addition to us not being able to spend the holiday with Heather’s family as we normally do, my family will be coming to town. They are super excited and want to meet Peanut. Even my middle sister, who usually goes to Atlanta with her husband is coming to Christmas this year. With my parents and I not having the best relationship, Christmas is generally the only holiday that they come to visit.

I feel so guilty. I feel like because my body has not began labor and brought Peanut into the world that I am ruining Christmas for everyone. I know that this is the only gift they all want and I am disappointing them.

Heather keeps reassuring me that she is ok with him not being here and looking forward to us spending our first holiday together just the two of us, but I feel awful. I have not cried much during this pregnancy but over the past four days, I can’t stop crying.

I know I just need to focus on that we will finally meet our miracle next week regardless of what happens with the holiday or the delivery but I am having a really hard time.

I am still hoping and praying that he will come in the next 48 hours and we will all truly get our Christmas miracle.

39 Weeks

This week has been a challenge. All throughout this pregnancy, Peanut has been measuring on time or ahead, so I thought for sure we would be loving on him on the outside come 39 Weeks.

The week started with our respective work Christmas parties. It was nice to not wake up with a hangover the next day but kind of weird to not be drinking either. Of course you get the 100 questions/comments of “you haven’t had that baby yet?, When is that baby due?, Wow, you look very pregnant.” No he is not here and yes I know I look big, thanks for pointing out the obvious.

We went to our 39 week appointment and that is when my anxiety and disappointment set in. The doctor who we saw was another doctor we had not her seen in the practice. She was really nice and came in the room all excited and ready to talk about how I was progressing. She said she would check my cervix and try to see if she could strip my membranes. She measured my uterus and he was still measuring on time. She checked his heartbeat and it was staying strong at 145 BPM. She has the nurse come in so she could check my cervix. As she went to check she was like how far along did the doctor say I was last week. I told he said I was 1-2 cm and 50% effaced. She was looked at me and said “hmm well he must have longer fingers than me because I can’t even feel your cervix. I feel baby’s head is down but I can’t get to your cervix to measure or strip.” What’s?!? So you are basically telling me that you have short fingers and I now I have no idea if I am progressing or not. I was so shocked and upset. What do you mean you can’t feel my cervix? She said that they would check again next week at my 40 week appointment and then they would talk about scheduling an induction if he did not come before then.

I left the appointment so upset and in tears by time we got into the car. Here I was doing everything I could to make this pregnancy healthy and progress appropriately. I have done yoga, continued acupuncture, taking evening primrose oil, drinking raspberry tea, nipple stimulation, performed labor inducing exercises, felt contractions and you basically tell me I am not progressing. I was devastated.

Of course others knew we had our appointment so they all asked how things went. We explained to them what occurred and they all said “you have to be patient, he will come when he comes, it is not even your due date yet, you need to relax.” Relax? You don’t understand the struggle we have gone through the past 5 years to get here. It has been a constant battle of will my body perform the way it is suppose to or not. So while my pregnancy has been a blessing, there is a lot of fear and anxiety that my body will fail me again during childbirth. I have serious anxiety that the closer we get to my due date and if we pass the due date, that something is terribly going to go wrong. I fear all of the following: he is going to get to big to fit through my pelvis, his movements are going to decrease because he has no room and or has run out of fluid, the cord is going to get caught; around him; we will have to have a c-section and he or I will be in distress; or the ultimate fear that he will not survive birth. I know that all of the tests and check ups we have had along the way show no indication of this happening, but this is how the battle of infertility steals your joy.

Let’s hope this pedicure helps and if he doesn’t come at 40 Weeks he comes shortly after and all is well….

38 Weeks

This week started out with a great OB appointment with our favorite Dr at the practice. He was so excited to see us and said he cannot wait to meet our little guy. He did my first official check and said that I was making good strides at 1-2cm and 50% effaced. Woohoo! My body is responding appropriately and doing what is suppose to, what a relief.

We celebrated the birthday of two of our favorite kids from afar. We miss them so much now that they are in Canada and we do not get to see their shining faces everyday when we get home, but thankfully we will have our own little man to smile at us soon.

Still feeling good this week. He is getting heavier and lower but keeping up yoga, acupuncture and trying to prepare my body for the big event. No cravings or aversions but still experiencing terrible heartburn and indigestion.