Mom guilt 

Something I’ve learned in the last 6 days is that infertility can affect breastfeeding. Little did I know infertility would still play a role in how I raise my little one! 

Walt was 7lbs 14 oz at birth and 7lbs 7oz when we were discharged from the hospital on Monday. I took him for his first pediatrician appointment on Wednesday and he weighed in at 6lbs 15oz. This was more than 10% of his body weight which was just too much. 

The pediatrician immediately gave us formula to supplement what he wasn’t getting from me. The pediatrician also made me an appointment with their lactation consultant and arranged for me to rent a hospital grade breast pump. 

My session with the lactation consultant was great! She explained that women who have experienced infertility may have hormonal imbalances that cause a delay in breastmilk coming in, which was the case with me. I also have a low supply and inverted nipples which overall makes breastfeeding difficult. My little man just can’t get what he needs. 

So to solve the problem I’m pumping and giving him expressed breastmilk in a bottle. I’m able to give him enough from me I only supplement 4-6oz of formula a day. I like being able to visually confirm how much he’s eating but it’s far from an easy process. I’m tied to a breast pump every two hours which is difficult with my husband already back out of town for work. When I took Walt to the pediatrician yesterday he weighed 7lbs 15oz, which is fantastic! 

I’ve noticed I’m feeling very similar to how I felt trying to conceive. No matter how hard I try or how much I want to breastfeed, my body just isn’t cooperating. I feel betrayed by my body. I feel less than as a woman. I feel guilty as a mom who isn’t able to give her baby what he needs. 

I know I’m the only person judging myself and I’m entirely too hard on myself. As long as Walt is healthy and happy I’m doing my job. There is so much societal pressure to breastfeed but like getting pregnant, there are a lot of struggles not always talked about. 

41 week update

Really?! Can I just meet this baby already? 


I joked with my husband that the baby didn’t get in there the natural way and I guess he or she isn’t coming out the natural way either! 

Last week on my due date my doctor said I showed no signs of going into labor anytime soon. For some reason my cervix will not dilate. He said it reminded him of women who have had biopsies or other procedures done to their cervix. To my knowledge, I haven’t had any issues with my cervix in the past but being diagnosed with unexplained infertility makes me wonder if there is an unknown issue we could just be discovering. 

Anyways, he said we would discuss the options for delivery at my 41 week appointment, which is tomorrow. He talked about using cervidril and pitocin to jumpstart labor but he said it doesn’t always work. Then there’s a c-section. 

I’m going into my appointment with an open mind tomorrow. One thing I’ve learned from infertility is to not get your mind set too much on one approach and I guess it’s the same for delivery. I want whatever is best for this baby and momma! 

How to have a baby with a pilot

My husband and I have a sick joke that we do things the hard way. It just seems to be a common theme in our life. Our friends recently had their baby boy, who came on the due date. The dad commented “Six good pushes and he was out!” I laughed and told my husband, “Don’t expect it to be that easy for us.” 

Recently my husband has been confronted at work about when this baby was going to arrive. He’s an on call charter/corporate pilot and typically flies more than 20 days a month (including overnight/multiple day trips). His boss made a remark that he thought my husband has been lying about my due date because I’ve been full term for weeks and the baby hasn’t been born yet! Obviously this man knows nothing about babies even though he has two kids of his own. 

All along his company has offered their congratulations and stated they would keep him close to home the month of April. He’s been doing day flights (we call them out and backs) and a few overnight trips. Up until this week it hasn’t been a problem!

There is a notoriously awful client who decided they needed multiple airplanes for an international 2 week trip. Usually, my husband would be stuck with the airplane abroad for 2 weeks. Did I mention it’s to a country that’s currently in a war?! Anyways, the big boss and his wife are stuck taking the plane abroad because my husband insisted he needs to be in Pittsburgh for the birth of his first child. My husband still has to fly the first leg of the flight because of the long flight time so they can switch crews. It’s a complicated schedule with multiple crews in multiple countries with a client who typically shows up late and changes plans last minute and screws everything up. 

  
It’s pretty much my worst nightmare right now. I have a bad feeling my husband is going to end up stuck in Canada while I go into labor! 

I feel like the stress of his work not cooperating with us just might make this baby come! My mom is coming over just in case so I’m not in Pittsburgh alone. We’ve been waiting for baby to drop and last night I started feeling a lot more pressure down below. Today also is 39 weeks exactly so we’re really getting close to the big due date! 

I’ve always taken pride in my independence being married to a pilot. Heck, I’ve fixed busted pipes and broken down cars when he’s been out of town! But I really don’t want to deliver this baby without him. We worked way too damn hard to get here and he deserves to see his child born too.

38 week update

How far along? 38 weeks 3 days

How big is baby? 19-22 inches, 6.5lbs+

Total weight gain/loss? Not keeping track but I feel great

Maternity clothes? Of course. This belly doesn’t fit in anything else.

Sleep? It’s pretty difficult to find a comfortable position these days but I guess I’m just preparing for lack of sleep for the next few years! It’s all good.

Best moment this month? My last day of work! Last Friday was my last day in the classroom. I originally planned on teaching up until my due date, but a combination of difficult students and pregnancy aches and pains forced me to go out a few weeks earlier than expected. This was my first week of maternity leave. At first, I felt a little stir crazy and didn’t know what to do with myself! But I’ve settled into a routine and I’m accomplishing a lot of projects I wanted to get done before baby arrives. It feels nice to be able to take nap and put my feet up during the day!

Symptoms? Still throwing up. I started having pretty significant Braxton Hicks contractions at about 32 weeks and they seem to be getting stronger. I can feel my hips aching so I hope that means things are starting to happen!

Food cravings? Popsicles.

Food aversions? Everything else.

Gender? We still don’t know! And yes, it’s starting to drive me crazy…

Labor signs? Lots of warm up contractions and cramping. I started getting internal checks and my doctor proclaimed that my cervix “sucks.” Seriously, his words not mine. Although it’s soft, it’s still pretty thick and baby is comfortable up high. He started asking more about the fertility tests and procedures I’ve had done, thinking if I had a cervical biopsy I could have scar tissue in the way. My RE never mentioned anything wrong with my cervix but of course we’re in the “unexplained infertility” box so who knows what the heck is going on down there! Of course this made me freak out a little inside but I’m trying to give baby time to naturally come down. I still have a few weeks to go!

Belly button in or out? Definitely popped. My husband likes to press it and sing, “Ding! Baby’s done!”

What I miss? I can’t say that I really miss anything right now.

What I’m looking forward to? Meeting baby! Finding out the gender.

Milestones? I’ve reached that point in pregnancy where you pretty much feel like a ticking time bomb. I get those daily texts of “sooooo how’s everything going” and the unwarranted advice on how to induce labor. I’m taking the stance of baby will come when he/she wants to come! In the meantime, leave us be!

Bump? Huge.

Kindness

My husband is a true man’s man. He flies airplanes for a living, hunts, loves to fish, has a woodworking shop in our garage, and enjoys a nice glass of scotch. He’s never been one to get emotional with people, especially strangers. 

I’ve noticed his attitude changing throughout our journey to start our family and even more so now that we’re weeks away from meeting baby. I guess I overlook it sometimes, but he’s experienced all of the ups and downs of trying to conceive too. Although his part was physically easier, he has been just as emotionally invested in this process as I have. 

Recently he was in Dallas for a week of recurrent training on his airplane. He is assigned a random partner to fly with in the simulator. After the introductions and small talk, my husband found out his simulator partner has two adopted children after years of trying to conceive. 

My husband shared our journey with him too. Like his sim partner, we have unexplained infertility and have experienced miscarriage. We feel incredibly lucky for the amazing doctors and technology that helped us start our family. 

As my husband wrapped up his training his partner gave my husband a card from him and his wife. It was a kind gesture to let us know they were rooting for us. They also gave us a gift card to buy a gift for the baby. 

As my husband told me this story I teared up. It’s amazing how there are people in the world you are meant to meet. I also appreciate the strong bond you instantly form with another couple who has experienced pregnancy loss or infertility. It’s such an isolating experience, but we instantly just get each other. 

It reminded me why I share our story. There are so many of us who have walked this road or are still trying to start a family whether through medication, IUI, IVF, surrogacy, foster care, or adoption.  I plan on passing along the kindness to the next couple I meet that knows this journey too. 

Planning for after baby

I’m a planner. Which doesn’t always suit my life being married to a charter pilot. Over the year I’ve learned to let go of fixed dates and plans. That didn’t always work with our struggles to get pregnant (for example: husband missing day of ovulation, missing IUI attempt) and I have a feeling this lifestyle isn’t always going to be compatible with baby either.

My husband and I have had many discussions about parenting. We’re not planning on attempting to have any more children after this. I’ve been trying to soak in every moment of this pregnancy and I plan on doing the same with the early days of infancy. My husband gets called out on flights on little notice and is gone for extended periods of time. We’ve decided there needs to be one parent who is always there for baby. And I know it’s going to be me. 

I don’t mind putting my career on hold for the time being because this baby has literally been years in the making. I worked too hard to get here. I’m planning on going on maternity leave this April and as of now returning to the classroom January 2017. My husband’s contract at work is up at the end of this year so we’ll have a better idea of what will come next for our family. 

There’s also the question of birth control after baby. My first thought is WHY? What’s the point? Obviously I don’t need it to prevent pregnancy.

But after thinking about it, I’m almost leaning toward taking some form of birth control. For the three years of not being on birth control, I absolutely hated that feeling at the end of my cycle. Am I late? Did it work this month?! Only to be disappointed. Over and over again. Although I won’t be temping or tracking ovulation, I know myself too well to think that voice has disappeared. That’s where the vicious questioning of unexplained infertility begins. Why couldn’t/can’t we get pregnant on our own? What is wrong with us? 

I feel like taking birth control is my own way of taking charge of my fertility (or infertility). I’ll know for certain that this baby is and will be our one and only without a phantom dream of getting pregnant naturally. 

But I guess I have a few months to think about all of this.