Inverting again, and impending awkward family moments

I have only been doing very gentle, supported floor inversions in my aerial yoga class up to this point, but since feeling better, I’ve been itching to see if I could still do headstands. I was too scared to try without any spot or support, so I waited until aerial class yesterday, where my teacher could keep a close eye on me. Started out against the wall, and yay! Felt really good going up and even managed to come down slowly without a big drop. So I moved away from the wall on the next try and it was like I’d never taken a break – hurray! I plan to work on at least one a day until my center of gravity changes too much to perform them safely. Now I’m not being crazy and doing aerial inversions – I’ve definitely lost too much upper body strength to perform them safely, but I can still participate in the conditioning and floor warm-up with modifications. My teacher’s invited me to come periodically throughout my pregnancy, when I feel like dancing it out, so we’ll see. It may be something I’ll continue through 2nd trimester. Something tells me by my 3rd, it won’t be as enjoyable, haha.

Hubby received an interesting message from his aunt yesterday. His father is in town with some other relatives for the next month, and they want to see us. Some background – hubby’s parents divorced when he was extremely young, and his mom raised him alone with the help of her parents. He has not seen his father once since then except at our wedding, and we don’t even know where he lives these days. However, we know that his father has kept tabs on him through hubby’s uncle, since they are friends. We figured he would definitely want to meet his grandchild(ren), so we knew this moment would come, but we just weren’t expecting it so soon. Hubby hasn’t responded yet, he hasn’t quite figured out how. I mean, we’re essentially going to meet with complete strangers who happen to be his blood relatives, and who will probably have some expectations of us – when we don’t know if we’re in a place where we can meet them. It’s one thing when your son is a child, and his mother enforces no contact… but once he’s an independent adult – if you really wanted to establish a connection with him, wouldn’t you reach out at other times besides his wedding and the upcoming birth of his child? Anyways, bring on the awkward family moments!

Is this the honeymoon starting?? And thinking about childbirth…

I tried skipping Unisom last night, figuring that this was the one day all week where I had absolutely nothing scheduled. The risk paid off! No retching whatsoever. I did have one near-vomit moment when I bent over too much soon after eating, but that resolved itself quickly.

I did succumb to a nap, which I blame on one of our older cats curling up on my feet right after I ate my first lunch (yes, first and second meals, much like a Hobbit – though the meals are quite small). But after waking, I felt good enough that I took the dogs on a walk for the first time in weeks. Then I followed this up by finally working out to the Summer Sanders’ Prenatal Workout DVD I’d bought so long ago but never used. It was a little cheesy, but not bad as far as workout videos go, and it was certainly effective. It felt great to finally get some physical activity besides stretching.

I’ve gone a bit crazy with hoarding baby stuff in the last 2 months, and especially over Black Friday/Cyber Monday. I have quite the crazy pile forming in the guest room/future nursery. Somehow I need to organize it before we have a guest stay with us in 2 weeks. After that spree, I decided to stop – other than furniture items, I know that many of our other registry items will be gifted to us, or we can buy them afterwards using gift cards and registry discounts.

So now I’m focusing all my energy on researching and preparing for the birth process. As a physician, I absolutely plan on delivering in the hospital – there is no question, I have just seen too many bad outcomes over the years, that I know I would need to be in that setting, especially given my high-risk status. Previously, I’d thought nothing of getting an epidural, but over time as I’ve talked with friends more about their experiences, and read some more, I’m wondering if I could prepare myself for a non-medicated birth. I need to also talk with my mom when we visit over the holidays, to hear her experiences. I vaguely remember she had to be induced due to high blood pressure for my sister, but as far as I know, her pregnancy with me was uncomplicated. So far, she has told me surprisingly little about her time being pregnant – only today did she tell me that she was pretty sick throughout most of her pregnancy with me, but felt fine during my sister’s.

The schedule for the hospital childbirth class isn’t good for both myself and hubby, so to take its place I’ve signed up for an inexpensive online Lamaze course that we can take when we are able, with unlimited access to the material, as well as a chance to ask questions of a course instructor. That’s more so that we are both prepared for any necessary medical interventions. And of course it’s been a long time since I’ve been present at a regular uncomplicated delivery.

I will definitely need more resources to really prepare myself to hopefully have an un-medicated birth. My friend will be loaning me her copy of Hypnobabies, which I’ve heard good things about. This sounds like something that I could mostly learn on my own, and not necessarily have to have hubby around all the time while studying it. The only thing that bothers me is its message that birth is painless – which some women have then complained afterwards that this certainly wasn’t their experience. So ideally I’d like to supplement with The Pink Kit, which takes the stance that yes, there is pain during the process but it can be managed through knowledge, techniques, and practice beforehand. The tough part is that I definitely will need more time on hubby’s part, but I think I can get him to invest in this later in the pregnancy, while I can start earlier. Main complaints about The Pink Kit are in its delivery – the materials look outdated and the text is repetitive, but the information is really valuable, and I haven’t been able to find another resource that would provide this same kind of information.

All of the above I just learned about this weekend, so I’m still a bit overwhelmed. However, knowing me and my Type A self, I just want to head into this as prepared as I possibly can be. Even if for medically justifiable reasons I need to be induced or have a C-section, I want to go in knowing that I did all I could to avoid them.

The last pee sticks, my crazy thyroid, and symptoms

I peed on a stick for hopefully the last time ever yesterday night. These are all the pregnancy tests I had at home, and I refuse to spend a cent more since money has been flying out of my wallet much too rapidly for my taste. And we know it won’t get better when a kid (or two) arrives!

2014-09-19 18.19.52

I admit the 8dp5dt test did freak me out a little because it actually seemed lighter than 7dpfdt – but that was the same day my beta was 100, and I realized even though it was almost a 4-hour hold, I’d been pounding water leading up to it due to an A/C outage at work. Yesterday’s 9dp5dt line was much more satisfying 🙂

I wish my thyroid was more cooperative right now. I’d finally come back down to 75 mcg of Levothyroxine daily throughout my IVF cycle, after a max dose of 112 mcg while taking Clomid several months ago. As soon as I got the positive test 3 days ago, my endocrinologist told me to increase to 100 mcg daily, and we checked my labs. My TSH jumped from 1.4 to 2.48 in just a month, probably helped along near the end by the pregnancy. Strangely enough, my free T4 was a tad high at 1.6, and total T3 was normal at 97. Now I’m back up to 112 mcg and we’re rechecking in 2 weeks. So much for a break from the blood draws, but it will be worth it to make sure I carry the little one(s) to term.

Early fatigue was definitely hitting me yesterday at our dinner out with the hubby’s coworkers. I slept all the way home, and promptly went to bed at 10:15. Today I tried to make sure that my stomach was never too empty or too full, and that seems to help keep the nausea away. Work wasn’t too bad, but my back definitely started to ache more by end of day, and after coming home all I want to do is lay on the couch with my feet up. My 3 colleagues now all know, since they’ve been affected by my being in and out for the IVF, and I wanted to give them a heads-up since the first trimester could be dicey given all the risk factors.

I did email my RE yesterday to confess about my first beta, and I was getting nervous that I’d offended him because it was taking him longer than usual to respond. He finally emailed back this morning, and said what great news it was, to continue the Progesterone and Aspirin (through first trimester), and stop the Medrol (which I already did). Tomorrow I’m heading in at 8am to get my blood drawn, since I need to take my car in for service after that. I should be able to schedule my ultrasound in 2 weeks then as well. My next question for the RE will be when I can finally exercise again. I’m missing yoga and SUP, and want to take advantage while it’s still warm enough! I spoke with my aerial teacher, and I can even do relaxation flying yoga with modifications – I feel like this would help relieve some of my aches and pains, so this makes me very happy!

And good riddance!

I took my last dose of birth control this evening, and am so happy that’s done with! It zapped me of my libido and my appetite, even while giving me 3 extra pounds. Just hoping it hasn’t been the reason for avoiding Lupron headaches so far.

I also took my last aerial class for a while, and sold my home apparatus to a classmate who will put it to much better use than I’ve been able to the past year. I’ll still be taking SUP classes but taking it easy with more yoga, along with regular yoga classes too.

It’s a crazy busy weekend ahead, between lunch plans with a friend, a big birthday party, and a baby shower. Yes, I’m planning on attending a baby shower, even after bailing on one just 4 months ago. This friend knows all about our struggles, and told me she completely understood if I didn’t go.  But her baby will be my patient, and I’m so excited to meet the little one! I know that I can leave early if things are getting to me, but I really want to be there for her.

Auto-pilot

It’s strange to say that I feel like I’m in auto-pilot mode, given that I’m sticking myself with a needle in the stomach every morning, and swallowing several supplements 3 times a day. But honestly, that’s how it goes – reminder alarm goes off, take medication, proceed on with work and life. I don’t start stims for another week, and the spotting has finally dropped off. I feel blessed to not experience Lupron headaches yet, though I just took my 4th dose this morning, and supposedly this is when they tend to start.

I’m still enjoying aerial and SUP every moment I can, as challenging as they’ve become lugging my heavier body through the air and water. Last night out in the ocean was glorious – a fiery sunset, dolphins playing nearby, sitting on the board getting rocked around by the waves. I tried to soak it all in at that moment, because I don’t know when I’ll be able to experience it again. I don’t see myself taking too many chances with a non-flat ocean when I’m on stims or pregnant. Even while kneeling, I half-fell in the water a couple times last night, angling myself trying to get the perfect sunset picture. And I really didn’t mind – the water was so warm and inviting.

CIMG0312_1

Can you spot a couple of my classmates in this photo?

I know that once the stims start, things will move more quickly, but it still feels so far away. I asked my RE when he anticipates retrieval, and he said about 13 days after I start stims, which would mean the day after Labor Day. I wasn’t expecting it to get pushed back that far – I’d anticipated my retrieval to happen just before the long weekend so that I could take advantage of the rest time. But I had to let my work schedulers know, and they’re changing my schedule up so that I don’t end up working 12 hours the day after my retrieval. And it may be for nothing – I could respond more quickly than my RE predicts, or more slowly. Who knows…

Breaking through the clouds

Image

From last evening’s SUP outing

Since we’re on a “break” – at least from hormonal medications, I’ve thrown myself back into my aerial and SUP classes as much as possible. 3 days in a row of working out right after getting back from abroad was a bit much though, so I crashed for a couple days. Then I returned to every other day classes at least, which has been amazing since I felt too exhausted and bloated while on Clomid to try much beyond once a week. And I’m down 3 pounds since the end of last cycle, hurray! My stamina is no longer where it was, but my body feels like it belongs to me again.

Just over 12 hours away from hopping on the plane

My temperature was still up this morning at 12dpo, but had a BFN. Dreading my period starting tomorrow while on the plane, need to make sure I have extra shorts with me. Enjoyed a nice paddle out in the ocean followed by yoga this morning, wore myself out nicely so that I can hopefully get to bed early tonight. Taxi’s picking us up at 4:15am!

I doubt I’ll post much while on vacation, even though I’ll have good internet access, but I plan to keep up on reading others’ posts. Good luck to all!

Back out on the water

I first tried SUP yoga on my birthday weekend last year. I’d stand-up paddled a few times before, and thought yoga on the board looked like a fun challenge. I loved it from my first class, and continued to go out regularly for several months until it got too chilly to risk falling into the cold water. Between my work schedule and the weather, I hadn’t been out for over 4 months until today. It was the perfect morning – clear skies, temperature in the 60s, just enough wind to make paddling out of the harbor a challenging exercise in balance, but no whitecaps on the waves. I amazed myself by not falling during the ocean paddling part, even while staying on my feet instead of going to my knees on the way back – I was fully expecting to given how long it’s been but it felt like I hadn’t been away from the water at all. During the yoga portion, I quickly remembered why I enjoy yoga on the water so much more than traditional classes – the gentle rocking, the sun and the breeze, sounds of boaters and birds. All of these “distractions” actually help me to focus inwards more easily.

It was a great escape from my 2-week wait, and only after a nice relaxing nap after class did I realize I’m already 10dpo. Planning to take my temperatures each morning again starting tomorrow. I did pee on a stick at 8dpo and the HCG trigger is already out of my system, so we’ll see when I feel like doing it again…

Back to my regularly scheduled program

The original idea was to take a month off from my usual exercise program, which includes aerial and associated workouts to build strength. But with my ovulation being delayed, then waiting for my period to stop, by the time I took an aerial conditioning class yesterday with a brand new teacher, it had been almost 6 weeks of just yoga and walking. And my body felt it. Strength was actually not as depleted as I thought it would be – I pounded through the first set of push-ups, suspended ab-work, and rollovers, no problem. But by the next exercise of bringing toes up to my hands while hanging from the hammock, I realized my endurance was shot. The teacher proceeded to take us through several different exercises, boot-camp class style. And for the first time in years, I actually had to stop mid-way because I developed a headache and felt nauseated. Peppermint oil and a water break helped, but I do wonder how much I could blame de-conditioning, and how much I could blame the Clomid. Probably a bit of both, I’m guessing. I’ve had some bloating, but not much else on the 50 mg dose with 3 doses in so far. In any case, it was a good workout, and I’m looking forward to my dance class tonight. I’ve missed my dance classmates so much!!

Revised game plan

CD 20 today and I’m ovulating. Saw my acupuncturist, and when I told her I was ready to start Clomid next month, she didn’t try to dissuade me like 4 months ago. She also encouraged me to get back into my aerial workouts, at least before ovulation, since she feels the benefits of stress reduction far outweigh any obstacles to getting pregnant. In the meantime, I have another 12-day wait ahead of me. I just emailed the REI specialist who I want to transfer care to, and will wait to hear from him about whether he wants to see me before my next cycle begins.