Friday, August 29, 2014

My Three Year Old

She also mastered this parallel bar thing at the playground, including a solo dismount, 
to my surprise.
My healthy girl, weighing in at 28 pounds and 37 inches.

She insisted on a side ponytail at bedtime tonight. No idea why. 
She is exceedingly proud of her (slowly) growing hair. She can't wait for it to be long like her cousin's.

I broke the news to Calliope on the morning of her third birthday. Here's a little video interview about the exciting news from Calliope's own belly. 

"I will hold her. So you will not hold her. So I have to hold her and you can hold your baby."

Good to know who's boss! (Got to love the morning bed head! Ahh, vacation.)

Tired At Ten Weeks

The  midwife says this is just new fat being laid down in preparation for breastfeeding 
but what does she really know, anyway? It should feels solid to me!

I keep wanting to blog but... pregnancy fatigue has kicked in. Especially after exercise. Which was my saving grace during my first pregnancy. But as a lifelong exerciser, I don't see how I can give it up.

Only, I'm not tired in the evenings. Then, like now (at 11:30 pm), I have my second wind and feel great. Not good enough, mind you, to clean up the apartment, but good enough to play on the computer and watch videos of orcas killing their trainers, and reading FB and even doing a little preschool research. (Ouch, what a crazy scene it is, preschool in Brooklyn! I don't want to be one of those parents but yikes, it's easy to succumb to.)

Calliope and I have been reveling in our one week home all summer.

Last week, after returning from selling my mother's house in MA, we saw the RE and re-packed quickly before heading to Sebago Cabin Camp with fellow SMC Jen and her daughter Luna. Photos from that another time, hopefully. Otherwise I would never hit publish. I'm learning to set the bar really, really low. But we had a great time.

Still, we are both relieved to be home now. I hadn't realized how draining it was be away from home for such a long time.

I've spent the week cleaning out the apartment. We set up new and better storage for our preschool co-op that doesn't uglify my apartment nearly as badly. I moved bins of baby clothes out of my extra bedroom closet and sorted and bagged them up to move to my sister's basement. I arranged my mother's end tables in my living room and gave away the old Ikea end tables to folks on the neighborhood listserve. I sorted through Calliope's clothes and packed up nearly everything with a 2T on it, whether it fit or not, and moved all the hand me down 3T items into her drawers, likewise whether they will fit or not. I settled all the kitchen gear from my mother's kitchen and removed my old duplicative stuff. Amy helped me hang art from my mom's house.

Now all I have left is the final surface decluttering. Daunting but I'm trying to take it bit by bit.

It's hard because I get a little done, and then I have to take care of my current child, or my future child suddenly demands that I lie down and rest right then. Thank goodness I had a whole week to get this done.

Despite all the cleaning, we've had some nice little adventures together. Mostly local playgrounds with sprinklers -- nothing too exciting, but suddenly Calliope is napping nearly every day again. I'm hellbent on wearing this child out. And she loves it. She's mastered the fire pole and is just thrilled with herself.

Next week I go back to work. After some difficult testing of limits from my child -- no doubt stressed by the new home/new school business while living in MA, not to mention being exposed to her unbearably anxious mother (thank you, low betas!) -- we've settled back into a really great groove together. I'll be sad to leave her behind again. Though I suspect that once I'm back at work, I will be glad to be back. Hopefully the fatigue will be manageable.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Nine and a Half Weeks (Heh. Not the Movie.) AKA Be Still My Beating Heart

See that head and those arm buds? 

Blueberry grew from 12 mm to 24 mm over the last ten days (approximately). And is now measuring only four days behind her gestational age, instead of six days as of two visits ago.

Good growing Blueberry!

Music to my ears! (Audio doesn't kick in until 10 seconds in. Don't worry, it works!)

Sunday, August 10, 2014

My [Almost] Three Year Old Ballerina

Modeling one of her birthday gifts... ballerinas wear crowns, right?


No surprise with a title like that, but I saw a heartbeat at my ultrasound appointment three days ago!

I had mentally prepared myself for the idea that, what with my embryo measuring six days behind, it might be too soon at 6w5d, to see a heartbeat.

But no, there it was! And not just a flickering, either, like how I remember my first glimpse of Calliope's heartbeat. I could see actual movement, of chambers opening and closing. Practically the whole embryo was that gorgeous heartbeat. Miraculous!

My cousin was with me for the appointment and she was just as excited as I was, which made it a lot of fun.

I left the appointment with my heart singing.

Since then, a little bit of the nervousness has crept back, but not like it was before.

I hate to complain about this but... I feel much better, so far, during this early pregnancy than I did with Calliope. I've only felt nauseous a couple of times. I am more tired than usual, and maybe it's because I'm not working over the summer, but it doesn't feel crippling. So that makes me nervous.

On the other hand, my breasts seem to be inexorably growing. My bras still seem to fit, somehow, but not for much longer. And I'm sleeping in a bra at night. I can't wait to dig out my sleep bras from my last pregnancy when I get home. Because underwire just isn't quite the thing for nighttime.

So I felt pretty confident, all in all, but the out of state RE I saw cautioned me not to get excited yet, given that the embryo is still measuring six days behind schedule. But the nurse from the home RE's office called me and said that it's exactly the same amount behind as it was last time. So she seemed unworried and frankly, pretty excited for me. Which was fun to experience, especially since I called her crying a week ago, saying that the unending waiting of the last few weeks and months was starting to get to me.

I've started to tell a few people, which of course, makes me even more terrified about something going wrong.

But then I try to remind myself that the betas doubled (or more than doubled!) beautifully, the growth on ultrasound is proportional, and I saw the heartbeat! That's all a person can hope for. Oh, and I have a PGS tested blastocyst, so that surely reduces the risk of miscarriage. I mean, it can't be a bloated ovum, right? I know it's an embryo. And a chromosomally normal one at that. No guarantees that something can't go wrong, but surely my odds are good? Right? I mean, right!

Photo doesn't look any more impressive than last week's... but there's a heartbeat there!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Actually, THIS Was the Last Beta

So at my ultrasound last week, the RE on site agreed to send one more beta for me.

A week prior, my fourth and [supposedly] final beta had been 136 (up from 56 two days prior).

Rounding up from 136 to 150, I figured my beta needed to be around 1800 by last Friday, a week after the previous one.

I finally got the results today. An email from the nurse... my beta was 2912.


Great news, right?!

Of course, I immediately started panicking... thinking that if my beta was that high, maybe we should have seen more on the ultrasound last week?

I'm seriously so sick of myself at this point. And especially, so sick of living life in limbo. I feel like the two failed two-week-waits from this spring, and then waiting for my mother to die, then waiting for this 2ww, and then waiting after the 2ww, when I got that beta of 8... and then waiting for three more betas, each 2-3 days apart... and then waiting for the ultrasound... and now waiting another six days for the next ultrasound... which might still be too soon for a heartbeat... so then waiting for another ultrasound a week (and a day) later...

If this works out, it will all have been worth it. But man, my nerves are shot.

In other news, a couple of mornings ago, I heard some noises outside my bedroom. Concerned, I called out, "Calliope?", fearing an intruder in the house. A moment later, my door opened, my heart skipped a beat, and a pleased little voice said, "Yes?"

So now she has figured out she can leave her bedroom by herself. And this afternoon, that is just what she did during nap time. I returned her once to her room without talking, as one is supposed to do. But the second time she came down, I was in the middle of a somewhat tearful conversation with the nurse at the RE office (asking her about my concerns, see above, and not getting much reassurance, just being told to "try to stay busy!"). And I just did not have the energy to enforce again.

So I offered to lie down with her in my bed. And we tried that for a while. No dice. So I gave up. She watched Sesam.e Street while I worked out. And then she did a little art project. And then we went to the pond. Which has a paved bottom and is nicely roped off and mostly, very shallow.

She is loving the water right now. She "walks" with hands on the bottom and her body floating behind her, kicking (aka flailing) her legs occasionally and saying, "Look, Mommy, I'm swimming!"

She also let me hold her on her back, twice, to show her how to float. Not that she can actually do it, but she was trying on her own, and I think encouraging that interest with lots of cheering and not too much advice is probably the best thing I can do for her future swimming. I did sign up on a long wait list for private lessons, but it doesn't look like those will pan out. (For those who suggested that group lessons can be great -- I'm not looking for years of commitment, which is why I'm not pursuing that now. Yes, babies can learn to swim, but not without a lot of hours and work and, typically, money on the part of their invested parents. Not interested. She can learn when she's older. But if a private lesson or two might help her learn a few skills quickly, great!)

Anyway, she's got brand new goggles that she loves... but she wears them to keep her eyes dry as she keeps her face out of the water. And also, you know, to keep the rain out of her eyes, and the sun out of her eyes, and generally, to look cool.

Friday, August 1, 2014

"Cautious Optimism"

Gestational age 6w, measuring 5w1d, gestational sack & yolk sack present but no fetal pole [yet] 
I had my first ultrasound today, at 5w6d (or 6w exactly, according to the RE I saw -- I'm still out of state).But my pregnancy -- intrauterine, thank goodness, not ectopic -- is only measuring 5w1d. 

There's a gestational sack present, and the ultrasound tech finally located the yolk sack, all good news.

The fetal pole is not yet visible but the attending RE seemed to think that wasn't surprising, given the size. He advised "cautious optimism." 

My own RE, via email, said "At this early point a yolk sac [sic] and gestational sac is appropriate."

When I wrote back and asked if he was concerned that I am measuring behind schedule, he responded, "It is going to be behind because of the low rising betas from the start. As long as there is a heartbeat at 8/7 sonogram (my next scheduled ultrasound), that's all you can hope for."

So of course I'm over analyzing his words and worrying about what he might have meant. For example, if I'm measuring 6 days behind schedule now, and my next ultrasound is in six days... my embryo will only be measuring 6 weeks (by size) next week. And usually you don't see a heartbeat until six and a half weeks. So if there's no heartbeat in six days, does that mean he will give up on this pregnancy?

As for me, I won't give up that easily. I, finally, have faith in this little growing pregnancy. My breasts are bigger, and I can't sleep without a shirt anymore. I've been going to bed a lot earlier. I can't sit next to an empty plate of food because the smell bothers me.

So I truly believe I'm pregnant. Fully pregnant, behind schedule or not. I think the odds are good that I won't have a heartbeat by next week, but that I will by the following week. Of course, I hope that I will next time!

It's funny, I had pregnancy symptoms (sore nipples) within two day's of Calliope's transfer, and sky high betas. And she's done so great throughout her life. I sometimes wonder if these low betas and delayed (but not necessarily slow) development will dog this poor child, should she become one, her whole life. Like, will this be her path forever? Dark and idle thoughts.  

Speaking of Calliope... she's been doing wonderfully with her summer preschool program. She protests getting ready to leave the house, and says she wants to stay home with Mommy... but as soon as she catches sight of her teacher, a huge shy grin breaks across her entire face. 

She no longer brings her Brave Bear to school; as she says, "I braved without him!" 

And she protests leaving when I arrive, after gleefully announcing, "I didn't do anything [fun] today!" 

I'm seeing a lot more whining at home, and defiant behavior -- running away, refusing to sit on the potty, refusing to cooperate. I suspect some of it is the age -- very nearly three -- and some of it is probably a reaction to my stress and short tempered fuse. Not a good match for this age! 

I'm trying to work on it, especially thanks to Shannon's mention of roughhousing. I haven't quiet had the energy for that, but today we had a slow and dramatic chase through the side yard, after arriving home from preschool, and she was laughing so hard she could hardly breathe. Surely that is good for the soul. For both of our souls.

Doesn't everyone wear goggles to the supermarket?