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! 

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.

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. 

30 week update

How far along? 30 weeks today!

How big is baby? 15.7 inches, about 3lbs.

Total weight gain/loss? No idea. I don’t weight myself and my doctor’s scale is waaay off.

Maternity clothes? I occasionally squeeze into a pre-pregnancy shirt but those days are limited.

Sleep? Eh. I’ve come to accept that sleep is just not going to happen from here on out.

Best moment this month? My husband recently had a series of overseas flights and was gone for an extended period of time. We skyped and I sent him pictures but it didn’t compare to him actually being home. It was nice to have him home again and baby kicked in happiness too!

Symptoms? Heartburn every single day. Still throwing up (I guess that’s not going away either). Sciatic nerve pain. In general I’m feeling very large. I’ve bumped a few of my students with my belly on accident. They’re at that perfect belly height! Speaking of preK, they are exhausting! Most afternoons I come home and and take a nap.

Food cravings? Cereal. Milk. Those popsicles that are fruit flavored but have veggies blended in. It’s my excuse to eat three at a time.

Food aversions? Tomatoes or very acidic things.

Gender? It’s a surprise 🙂 Every once in a while I have a day where I think I JUST NEED TO KNOW!!!! but then it passes.

Labor signs? I had my first braxton hicks contraction! I was driving home from work when I felt all the muscles in my abdomen tense up and get really hard. It wasn’t painful, but definitely felt weird.

Belly button in or out? Flat.

What I miss? Nothing.

What I’m looking forward to? Our baby shower March 5th. I’m also really looking forward to going out on maternity leave. Originally I planned on April 22 being my last day (due April 26), but I’m thinking about moving my date up. I can’t do the physical aspects of teaching preK anymore and I feel like I’m pushing myself too hard with my 20 students. My long term sub is already arranged and can start beginning of April so I’m thinking we may co-teach for a week or two and then I’m out!

Milestones? 10 weeks left! We take our last class at the hospital March 12th – labor and delivery/hospital tour.

Bump? Large and in charge!


Always the 1 in 8

Recently I attended a breastfeeding class’s sponsored by the hospital where I’ll deliver. I planned on attending alone because my husband is often out of town and honestly how much can he help with breastfeeding? 

As I walked to the elevator, a pregnant couple happily chatted behind me. She joked about her husband being the only man in the class tonight. I politely smiled and sat alone. 

We were a few minutes early so the instructor made small talk with the couple. They were so happy to share about their perfectly timed birth (being teachers and taking the end of the school year and summer off). And how easy it was and on their first try! 

I tried not to roll my eyes. But I instantly felt those same feelings from the days where it felt like everyone was pregnant while I was all jacked up on clomid and letrozole. I told myself I was just being cranky and to forget about it. 

After class I called my husband to catch up at the end of the day. He mentioned talking to one of his college buddies (and new dad) who made the comment, “so one and done for you guys, huh?” 

My husband doesn’t read into things like I do, but this comment got under his skin. He responded that this baby was a miracle for us and having more children isn’t really up to us (more so a higher power). This quickly shut the conversation down. 

What I don’t understand is how quickly family and friends forget everything we did to get to this point. This baby was three years in the making. We experienced loss during the process. There were a lot of downs before this one glorious high! 

I am grateful for every. single. day. of this pregnancy. Even the moments where I’m hugging the toilet or hobbling across my classroom from sciatic pain. None of it compares to the emotional pain of infertility. Even if my loved ones are quick to forget our experience, for me it’s still so fresh. 

Does infertility forever change you? Will I always feel calloused and jaded? 

Is this your first? 

It’s the question I get asked the most besides “Is it a boy or girl?” And I can’t answer that question because we won’t know the answer until birth! 

When I’m asked if this is my first child, I just smile and politely answer yes. Even though it’s not the truth I’m not sure how to really answer the question without going into a long explanation, especially to random strangers who are simply making conversation and smiling at my bump. 

What I want to say is:

No, this is not my first child. 

This is my first child to make it to this point. 

I should have a 2 year old. 

I think about my first child a lot. Especially being pregnant and experiencing milestones my first pregnancy never did. 

In my heart I’ve been a mommy for years, but it’s only starting to show to the outside world. 

It’s a simple question most pregnant women get asked weekly but for some of us it doesn’t have such a simple answer. 

24 week update

How far along? 24 weeks and 2 days

How big is baby? 8.5 inches long, about the size of an ear of corn

Total weight gain/loss? Honestly, I stopped weighing myself. At first I weighed myself because I was worried about my constant throwing up and lack of weight gain. But now I feel myself getting bigger, and I feel healthy, so the number isn’t important.

Maternity clothes? I took advantage of sales and did a big haul over the Christmas holiday. My shirts no longer covered my belly!

Sleep? For Christmas my husband bought me the snoogle pillow. I guess he was also tired from my constant tossing and turning at night. All I have to say is that it’s amazing and my sleep has definitely improved! I may have cried the first time I used it because I felt so incredibly comfortable.

Best moment this month? My ten day break from work was wonderful. I haven’t had a break since our IUI right before the school year started so it felt good to just relax for a few days and take it all in. We also made huge progress on the nursery (which I will write an update about soon!).

Symptoms? I experienced my first bout of round ligament pain. Ouch! I almost called my doctor because I thought I gave myself an ulcer from throwing up so much! My heartburn hasn’t been so bad because my husband also bought me sea bands for Christmas. It was just a practical Christmas this year in our house! It’s the best $10 investment you can make if you have constant nausea and heartburn.

Food cravings? Cereal. Trader Joe’s Strawberry Yogurt O’s to be exact. But I’ll suffice with some Special K fruit and yogurt.

Food aversions? Tomatoes. Anything spicy, vinegary, salty, fried, or really sweet. Basically anything tasty.

Gender? It’s a surprise 🙂

Labor signs? No

Belly button in or out? Innie, but quickly disappearing.

What I miss? I missed champagne on New Year’s but juice in a wine glass did the trick.

What I’m looking forward to? Maternity leave from work! hahaha. I have a long three months before I get there.

Milestones? Almost to the third trimester

Bump? Definitely bigger! I finally look pregnant.

20 week update 

I still can’t believe I’m typing a 20 week update. With our previous miscarriage, years of trying, and early scare with this pregnancy, I just haven’t let myself truly believe I’m pregnant. It’s still a foreign feeling. But yesterday made all the difference when we were able to see our little one for the first time. I cried looking at our photos.

How far along? Yesterday marked 20 weeks. Half way to meeting baby!

How big is baby? 6.5 inches head to rump, about the size of a banana

Total weight gain/loss? +8 lbs (Yes, I thoroughly enjoyed thanksgiving!)

Maternity clothes? Maternity pants all day long. I can still get away with wearing regular tops but they are starting to creep up my mid section. I don’t really feel like exposing my midriff to my preschoolers so I guess I’ll be purchasing some maternity tops.

Sleep? I secretly switched pillows with my husband which helped a ton! He still hasn’t figured it out but mentioned to me that he hasn’t been sleeping well. Take one for the team buddy….

Best moment this week? My 20 week scan! I didn’t sleep well the night before because I just kept imagining all the things that could go wrong. I was also nervous about calling off for the first time this school year and leaving my class in the hands of a sub. All the nerves were for nothing because the scan went wonderfully. Baby was moving around the entire time. It was amazing to see a little face looking back on me on the screen. For the first time, I felt like this is really happening. There is a little person in there. I can’t wait to meet him or her.

One thing that no one told me: you could get sick during an ultrasound. The scan took over half an hour (mostly because baby was uncooperative) and lying flat on my back made me feel incredibly nauseous! At one point she tilted the table back to get a different angle on baby and I almost puked right there in the room! I felt like a wimp but she said it happened to some women. After we left the office I was very light headed like I was going to pass out. The was the first time I’ve experienced that feeling during pregnancy and I blame the fact that I was sitting and laying versus my usual routine of chasing small children around all day. Gotta keep that blood pumping!

Symptoms? Heartburn. Lower back pain. I’m starting to actually feel pregnant and the limitations of my body. I can’t run up the steps at school to make a quick copy without getting winded and bending over tying shoes pretty much sucks. So please teach your 4 and 5 year olds to tie shoes… thanks.

Food cravings? Still oranges. Juices. I love a warm slice of bread with butter. Cereal.

Food aversions? Still tomatoes.

Gender? Still don’t know! We had a final decision moment in the waiting room for our scan. My husband really wanted to put the gender in an envelope “in case of emergency,” but I told him we were all in or all out. So we stuck with our initial decision to not know the gender. I’m imaging at the delivery the doctor holding up a crying baby yelling out, “Congratulations… it’s a ____!” Or does that only happen in movies?

Labor signs? Nope.

Belly button in or out? Innie

What I miss? A nice glass of champagne sounds amazing right now.

What I’m looking forward to? My husband being able to feel baby move. I’m feeling pretty significant movements but it’s still not strong enough for him to feel from the outside.

Milestones? We’re halfway!

Bump? Small but growing.