Friday, November 12, 2010

Perspective

I'm 37 weeks today. That means baby is full term.

I wasn't always so sure I'd make it this far. I hoped and prayed I would, but the likelihood of my reproductive parts functioning properly just seemed pretty low. Five-and-a-half years of infertility with zero conceptions kind of does that to your optimism. Add to that extremely low progesterone (9.3) at seven weeks and 37 weeks seemed like an impossibility.

(Side note - If you are reading this and have just been told you have low progesterone in early pregnancy, let me be an example to you. Get on progesterone-in-oil shots asap. I don't care if someone tells you the shots won't really help. I took them and, like I just said, I'm full term.)

Early pregnancy seems so long ago. It was Easter. We were vacationing in South Carolina with my family. I thought Clara was so big and now she looks teeny tiny in our pictures. December seemed light years away, and yet tonight at midnight the weeks on my countdown ticker will switch to "2". Yes, it will say "2 weeks, 6 days," but there's something about that two that makes my heart skip a beat.

I'm grateful to be here. Actually that barely scratches the surface of what I'm feeling. I can't put it into words so I won't even try.

I have done my share of complaining as of late, which I try to contain to just my husband and family (lucky them). A year ago I would never have imagined I'd be typing these words, but here goes: it's so easy to get wrapped up in the pain and discomfort of pregnancy. Believe me, I swore I'd not only never complain about being pregnant, if I was so fortunate to become pregnant, but I'd never again complain for the rest of my life. About anything.

For more than five years, whenever I'd hear others' horror stories about labor and delivery, I'd tell Ryan that I'd cut off a limb to go through their pain.

Let's just say I'm going to try to recall those thoughts when it's my turn.

Seriously though, lately I'm really trying to remember those past promises I made to myself. But besides offering it up for all of you still waiting, which I try to do when I remember to, I really want to remember that former self, who would have been so mad at the present me for wallowing in my discomfort.

My current self (and hopefully my former self too) knows that I'm only a weak human being and, after all, pain is pain. But I do feel like I owe it to her, the past me, to try to curb the complaining a bit.

Today I had cause for remembering this when I went to drop my jug o'urine off at my OB's office. My blood pressure was a little high at my appointment on Wednesday so she had me do a 24-hour urine test as well as some blood work to test for pre-eclampsia (I don't expect to have it since I never have protein in my urine at my appointments and I'm not swollen at all).

As I walked up to the office door at 1:30 today, jug discreetly hidden in a big paper bag, someone standing nearby told me they close at one o'clock on Fridays. What? I had no idea. Why would I? That seems like an odd time to close. Four I could see, but one?

I got back in the car and cried. Peeing in a pee-catcher and then pouring it in a jug and then returning said jug to the refrigerator is just plain annoying. Especially when you pee all day long, can only ever leave your crying infant for a second, and when it's 3 a.m.

So I cried as I realized I'd likely have to repeat the same test on Monday.

But then I remembered that a year ago I would have thought it absolutely ludicrous to be anything but completely joyful that I was being tested for pre-eclampsia at 37 weeks pregnant, because it would mean I WAS PREGNANT. I'd be so mad at someone who actually had the audacity to cry because they'd have to pee in a jug for the second time. Oh the horror! How ever would they stand it, big pregnant belly and all, getting ready to meet their sweet little newborn baby in a few weeks?

Former Me really helps Full-term Me to put things in perspective.

Now I'm just hoping she shows up in the delivery room.

28 comments:

  1. This is such a great post-something very similar has been in my head for a while now.

    While I am grateful for the life inside me, it doesn't take away from the discomfort I'm feeling right now. I couldn't understand this when I was trying to get pregnant either. But it's definitely a different "perspective" as you said.

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  2. That former self will show up. I can't even tell you how excited I was to have a baby. I mean, I had a baby!! AH! I didn't even care about any complication, etc. I still get that feeling when I hold her...:)

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  3. After I miscarried my twins I vowed to never lose patience with my living kids again, in honor of the ones I never got the chance to clean up after, chase after or scold. Hahahaha. I have finally decided to be gentle with myself and realize it's not an insult to my babies that I still have feelings and emotions that must be acknowledged and dealt with in the present. We are human, those other people we don't understand (from where we are now)are human, we are physical creatures, not merely intellectual. Real life is so different from our imaginings.

    I love that you are using the past to keep some perspective - that's exactly what it's for, I think. Hang in there! 37 weeks isn't an easy time for any mama! Your joy and excitement still shine through all the challenges you have described, and they inspire me. I can't wait to hear about your birth. I am praying that it will be blessed and beautiful! God already knows about it and will give you the grace you need.

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  4. I could have written this post myself. I'm not full term yet, but I'm starting to have a lot of pain and stuff. But, for me, the "painful" part is my constant worrying about having 2 infants at once. I am beyond terrified, and have a lot of guilt for each of them not getting that one-on-one time they so deserve. And I wonder most days if I'll even survive. But, that former me definitely helps me through it. I needed THAT experience to prepare me for THIS one. How could I complain about having TWO babies, both such gifts who have come to me in such amazing ways?! That brings me back to the land of the living...for a little while anyway:). I am thinking of you, hun - you are almost there! Then you can tell me how the heck to balance 2 such little ones...lol!!!

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  5. I love reading your posts. I felt those very same feelings! I can't wait for you to hold your sweet baby boy! So amazing. My daughter is now 4 months and I'm still in awe that she is mine born of my flesh. In fact, today I was holding her and said, "I'm your mama! Can you believe that?!":) such a different place I am right now both physically and emotionally and am so very thankful just as I'm sure you are despite the discomfort.

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  6. This post has me in tears...

    I feel so far from this feeling you describe, of bring pregnant, but tonight my heart is literally swelling with hope. I'm sure you probably didn't intend for this to happen, but little ol' me who has been feeling rather lost lately, feels so much hope...

    Thank you for sharing!

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  7. Such a beautiful, honest post.

    And I totally second your advice on getting progesterone in oil shots VERY EARLY ON in pregnancy. They are literally life savers.

    Wow, 2 weeks! I can't believe how close you are!!!

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  8. My husband always reminds me when I complain about going to the doctors appointments that I would have gone daily before if it meant I had a baby. It helps put things into perspective.

    Everything is getting harder for me and physically is not necessarily something I had to deal with day in and day out in infertility....Or at least not to this extent. For me they are two different lessons in suffering.

    But all this hell doesn't change the fact that if given the opportunity again I would do it again and again. I think it's good for me to continue to work hard for His gifts, to truly suffer.

    I'm not good at it either. It just seems easier to let the Sew creep in and wallow.

    Great post AYWH - Friends tell me the last 3 weeks are very difficult.....Praying for you! I know you can do this!

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  9. Just a head's up, I don't want to sound like a crazy lady but Pre-E can be very insidious -- not all cases of Pre-E present with swelling, and those urine strips can be negative even when the 24 hour is high. I don't want you to worry, (even though I sound like I'm fear mongering), but just keep an eye on your pressures if you can (like, if you are in a store with one of those BP machines). If you have any pain around your liver, or start seeing spots, just call your doctor.

    OK fear mongering over!

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  10. I’m a bit the opposite. I told myself and my IF friends that if I had no intention of being a martyr if I was ever blessed to get and stay pregnant. Pregnancy just looks hard and I can’t imagine keeping my mouth shut about it! I’m a weakling, but at least I recognize it! ;) That’s not to say I’d bellyache about every pain (particularly to those still struggling), but I just think it’s a different kind of suffering and you are so emotional when you are pregnant. The good thing is there is an end, and a happy one at that. I just don’t trust myself to deal with it silently. Be easy on yourself and that former self is going to show up proud in that delivery room.

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  11. Very good post. In the end, YOU are going to be in the L&D - YOU, the sad infertile, YOU, the happy mother, and YOU, the "I just went through 40 weeks of pregnancy" woman in labor. It is going to be beautiful, wonderful, and challenging. All of your experiences combined are going to make you a powerhouse of love and gratitude as you welcome your little guy into the world.

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  12. I'm just so excited for you K, I think you do need to be easy on yourself, pregnancy is uncomfortable and hard. Offering it up for those waiting is the best thing you can do! I know that our IF selves promised alot but reality is that pregnancy is hard, I think you are doing a great job! I know you'll do great in the delivery room! I can't believe it's so soon! I can't wait to see your little guy!

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  13. oh, sweets... this is a lovely, lovely post. I keep clicking on your blog and every time I do I'm STILL in awe of this miracle. I remember your pre-pregnancy posts so clearly...

    What a great post.... b/c the struggles now are very real, despite the heavy Cross you carried before.
    Your honesty is great....

    Can't wait to meet your little loves soon!

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  14. Also, on the actual topic -- I can't believe you are 37 weeks. When this popped up in my Reader all I could think was "God is good!"

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  15. I love this post! It's so honest!
    I don't think any of us are saints and I've heard pregnancy can be pretty tough :). I know that as much as I am dying to be pregnant, if I have really bad morning sickness I'll probably complain. Maybe not on my blog, but to my husband. Who likes to feel nauseous and throw up all the time? Not me!
    And then with pregnancy comes all the crazy hormones. Which none of us are a stranger to, yet they are different ones - ones that are preparing your body for a baby - and so are nothing you've ever experienced before. And that is going to be hard to deal with.
    I think you're doing a great job remembering your blessings and trying not to betray your past infertile self :).

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  16. 37 Weeks! Wow, K, you are doing amazing, and isn't the 24hr jug the greatest thing to haul around ;). Your post is honest and beautiful, and let's be honest, it gets really HARD to be pregnant at the end. That doesn't diminish your joy or awe that you are pregnant, it is just the reality of all that weight, and stretching, and loose joints. And each day of pain is one day closer to that little boy being here in your arms - and we are all thrilled to meet him! Keep up the great work :)

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  17. AMAZING that you're so far along! I know just what you mean about the old self remind the new self about what's important. My old self does that frequently these days! I'm able to actually be thankful for those sleepless nights and crying spells! I'm just so thankful to have my girl!!!

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  18. So awesome K! And guess what? The delivery room is AWESOME, AMAZING, the BEST DAY EVER!!!

    I'd do labor 100 times. I can't WAIT to do it this time! Don't let anyone tell you horror stories because it'll be one of the top days of your life ;)

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  19. I'm with you on the progesterone in oil! The second time around, my doctor's assistant drew blood for the pregnancy test, then gave me the PIO shots on the spot, just in case. I'm the only patient they've had who continued the shots to 37 weeks! (I did have one two-week break, but then my levels dropped again.) It is pretty surreal to make it to full term, and pretty daunting to trust that things will be all right when the whole experience of infertility puts you at odds with your body (at least it was to me!). I can't wait to hear how you feel once this birth has happened! It's so exciting!

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  20. THANK YOU for posting this! 33 week me complaining about EVERYTHING, needs to get a reminder from year and a half of trying after a miscarriage me to shut up and enjoy that little moving baby. :)

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  21. Erin, I heart you :)

    I also think that former self will show up again, for good, when the new baby is here.

    I know there have been treatments that I've gone through that probably rival labor pain... and yet I'm still scared to death of labor! I don't get upset hearing people complain about things when it involves pregnancy, adoption, or their children... only when the take those things for granted. And obviously no former infertile is ever going to do that :)

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  22. AYWH, awesome post! I'm so excited for you! I don't blame you for crying about the urine test. That is frustrating! Praying for you in these final weeks of pregnancy. Can't wait to "meet" the little guy!

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  23. Keeping perspective is so important. Awesome post!

    Oh boy these thoughts swirl around in my head at least a hundred times a day. There are days when pregnancy can be a breeze, and days when it seems like the hardest thing I have ever done. (like today).

    You are in my prayers as you approach the "pregnancy finish line!" (and the "parenting start line" ha ha ha)

    xoxo!

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  24. I haven't dealt with infertility, but I had 2 miscarriages before I got pregnant with Finn, so I can empathize with some of your feelings. After I lost Dominic I had so many of those thoughts, just please God let me carry another baby to full term and I won't ever whine or complain about pregnancy or birth! I promise! But then it happens and then it comes and darn it, pregnancy and birth are uncomfortable and outright painful! And I'd certainly never lose my patience with my other kids, ha! But you know, complaining about it doesn't mean you don't appreciate it, or that you're not humbled and awed by it. *hug*

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  25. way to keep that perspective! i do think that's impressive because it has got to be hard to rise above physical pain.

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  26. I love this post. It is truly humbling how easily we all complain, isn't it!

    I made the same promises, and broke the same promises, when I was pregnant with my healthy baby after my first baby died. Sigh.

    I like to extend it one step further...try not to judge other women complaining about stupid pregnancy stuff (like the gender of their baby!!!) when they actually have a healthy baby. I mean, hello, I had an u/s where they told me my baby was going to die, and you are complaining that you got a girl instead of a boy? This is really hard for me, to be gracious in these sorts of scenarios. But I really need to be less judging, because I literally have no idea what it's like to be that person (maybe their husband was super disappointed and they have a difficult marriage, maybe their other daughter is really tough or has health issues that only happen to girls?, etc.) You just don't know what someone else has been through, so I try to extend them that same grace. It's always hard for me to be gracious like this when dealing with the complaints of other people.

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  27. Great post. I'm currently in the relatively comfortable second trimester, but I'm sure that I'll be getting some discomfort in another couple months. I can't believe your little boy will be here so soon.

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  28. Congrats on your pregnancy and thank you so much for this post. I just became pregnant for the first time and was told my pregnancy was not going to make it because my progesterone was so low. I just started pio today and I am glad to read of someone who started with low progesterone and made it.

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