Fertility treatments, Love, Pregnancy, Volatile bodies

A New life

I gave birth to a most beautiful baby boy a short while ago. He’s healthy and everything I could’ve ever hoped for. The pregnancy was hard on me and I was put to bed rest for the last months so that he wouldn’t come too early. The labour was over 24 hours long all together but I still pushed him to the world myself. I got to feel it too because of the medication wearing off right before. There were a couple of scares during the labour and it almost went to a c-section because his heartbeat was too low. I am thankful beyond any thanking to the medical team, the midwives and the doctors who helped me give birth to a healthy child. All the fear and pain were worth it when I first got to hold him. All the years of sadness and worry were worth it.

I can’t believe that he’s real, he’s here and he’s mine. When I breastfeed him in my arms I can’t help but wonder in amazement that we created him. There’s parts of me there, parts of Wonderboy. I thought I wouldn’t get to see myself in him; I was prepared to have a child who wouldn’t be genetically mine. It was hard to get used to the idea during pregnancy, but it isn’t’ anymore. He’s himself, so tiny, so frail, so wonderful and curious about the world.

It’s only been a little while since the baby was born but we’ve already started to look for the thing that brought us both so much joy when we had very little of it. First sexual experiences after the biggest change in a woman’s life and body have been scary and yet I’ve been supported by Wonderboy through all this. Finally it doesn’t have to be a place to hide in from all the grief, it can be a place of discovery again.

I wanted to come back here and tell everyone who might still be reading and wondering what happened to us. We got everything we want now. This story really has a happy ending.

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Love, Passing Woman, Pregnancy, Volatile bodies

A Miracle

I’m pregnant. I’m almost four months along now and starting to believe it. By starting to I mean that I don’t check the toilet paper for blood every time I go, just every other time. Also, I’m becoming huge. Surprisingly none of this has been a problem for Wonderboy. You should see him. He’s so happy all the time it’s impossible to remember what he used to be like. And he can’t go more than a couple of minutes without groping my huge boobs. I’ve already upgraded a cup and I fear I’ll have to upgrade my winter coat and every clothing I have in no more than a month.

I am happy. It’s been so much easier to negotiate sexual things even though I’ve barely been able to share any with Wonderboy in these passed months. There’s such a sense of fulfillment. It’s not only in my body, although it most definitely is in my body, it’s also in our relationship and in my relationship with the world at large. I’ve fulfilled this potential I had, this demand I faced within myself. Sex can finally be lifted out of the hole of having anything to do with infertility and it can start to be itself again. It has surprised me how much happiness the news brings to people close to me, even people I don’t know that well. Especially women. They don’t know about our struggles but yet they tear up, want to hug me and make sure I’m okay. This makes me believe even more that there’s something deeply engraved in us, that it wasn’t just me with the pain, that it’s in us (most of us anyway). The desire to be fulfilled and fulfill the potential like this as a miracle worker.

It’s quite disillusioning, being pregnant. Seeing that little critter spasm inside my uterus didn’t exactly bond me with it. Nor did the fact that I learned that it doesn’t have brains yet and that’s why it moves like that or that it’s entrails aren’t even inside its body. Still, everything is like it’s supposed to be. It’s healthy, it’s growing, it’s going to be our child. And seeing it was important. It made the fact real that it’s a another person, not just my ever changing body.

I’m guessing you’d like to know what happened? How did we conceive finally after almost four years?

Our money was running out. We’d had to move onto a private clinic because of the treatments I needed. This was the third IVF at the clinic, our fifth all together. I’d had to stop taking the hormones that helped me produce more and more viable eggs, because they gave me pretty severe cardiac dysrhythmia. In the end I also started to suffer from breathing problems during the treatments. My throat kept closing up and sometimes I would wake up startled and try to catch my breath sitting down. It was pretty clear that my body wasn’t handling the treatments well anymore and it was endangering my health.

After the first try after the help of the hormones, with the starting pregnancy with the twins that twindled so early on, on fourth to sixth week like all the eight other pregnancies, we decided that it wasn’t worth putting my health at risk. What was wrong even the doctor couldn’t guess. The embryos were perfect. My uterus, the hormones, everything was perfect. Except the result. We decided that we would make one last attempt and then settle in on the donor program to get eggs from someone else.

To my doctors (positive) dismay I already had three donors lined up, because my little sister and my friends love me to death and I will never forget what they promised me and how they changed my life when they did. Everyone just wanted for us to have a child. Everyone wanted us to be happy.

But we still had that last chance. And since it was the last chance I begged the doctor, like I’d asked a number of times before, if we could try the cortisone treatment. I’ve had a lot of time to read in these 3,5 years and I’ve read a lot of research. If I had an immunological decease, like the celiac decease, my body could be attacking the embryo thinking it was a virus. And the only thing that would help with that is cortisone. They didn’t find any antibodies in my blood to suggest I had celiac decease, but our first doctor had put me on gluten free diet anyway. And it had helped. It changed my body shape because I lost so much weight. It changed my bodily functions, my activity levels, pretty much everything for better. But they couldn’t find the antibodies in my blood, so they wouldn’t put me on cortisone with the IVF treatment. The doctor finally caved. Since this is the last try, she said.

I started the cortisone straight away since the treatment was right around the corner. When we started with the injections I already felt the difference. It didn’t hurt. My ovaries didn’t burn, I couldn’t really feel anything while the eggs were growing but some mild discomfort. I knew straight away that this was it. I knew that we had found the answer and that this was what I was supposed to feel all those other times. Even the doctor was intrigued when I told her about the pains not being there this time.

We got fewer eggs than the last time and like last time none of them were considered ripe. The doctor had noticed that all our viable embryos had sprung from the raw eggs and from the ones they didn’t use ICSI for. So it turns out that Wonderboy’s sperm was actually doing its job best when it was left to fend for itself like it’s supposed to. So we chose to put them all on the petri dish and hope for the best since there weren’t many eggs to begin with. There were six when we left the clinic.

And when I went to see the doctor a couple of days later there was only one that had developed normally to eight cells. Only eight little cells put together! How could that ever grow into a child? Its inner workings weren’t perfect so they couldn’t do assisted hatching like we had talked, but they had added this embryo glue to help it attach. And in it went.

The excruciating pains started four days later when it was supposed to attach and I knew of course what was happening. But it was like all those eight other times. I was just more in pain than before and the pains didn’t subside. I spent the weekend under a duvet with a painkiller and a hot water bottle. After that I got used to waking up every night at 0.30 am and 3-4 am to pains that the painkillers I was allowed to take weren’t really combating very well. And I became pretty hopeful. Since the pains were continuous, they weren’t fading like before, they were getting more strength.

And then one thursday morning I did the pregnancy test. It was the fourteenth day after conceiving in the lab and I was due to take a blood test the 18th in the clinic. I had barely had time to put the stick down when it brightened with two crossing lines. No doubt, I was pregnant. But doubt there was… so much doubt and fear. Wonderboy wouldn’t believe it until we saw what the blood works would say. On monday I went to the clinic and later that day I called for the results. With the twins my hcg levels had tipped a bit to 6-8 hcg. I knew that it was supposed to be 280 by now and I was scared. But there was no need. It was over 800. I was most definitely pregnant.

I went to the first ultrasound on week 5 and we already saw the heartbeat. Then we went together at the end of 6th week and it had grown to twice its size. Everything was good. Everything was normal.

And every night I woke up twice to the excruciating pain that even my doctor was a bit concerned about. But I wasn’t. If I had felt pains the eight times we conceived before, it was only natural that this would hurt even more. Because this time it had worked.

I haven’t had a lot time to process this. I haven’t had a lot of time to be happy. I’ve been so sick, the pains have been at times unbelievable and I have suffered from near continuous migraine for the first time in my life. This is the first time I am able to write anything this long without puking or having to go into a dark room to lie down. This is the second week there has been some normal days. Yesterday was the start of the week 15 of the pregnancy, and it was the first day I didn’t suffer from anything until late at night.

It must be self-evident that I don’t care. I don’t care. We will probably only ever have this one child. And it will be so loved, it is so loved already. We have fought this battle together and we have conquered. Everything is better now. I didn’t think it would be, but it is. Everything is easier, well, except moving and maybe sex. And even that doesn’t matter so much anymore. We have had to learn to wait, to be patient, to tread lightly with sexy things. But we have had ample time to learn the skills to do that: negotiate, be frank and unassuming when it comes to sexual acts.

Last time I said I didn’t want him to hit me or strangle me at all. There was a pause, he was scared and uneasy, because he had noticed that my responses were different and didn’t know what he could do now. We cuddled and talked and then started again. And when his hand went gently on my throat when we were getting close it wasn’t enough for me. I pushed his hand to grip more tightly. Because he had listened to me and I had spoken to him, I could do that. I could ask for it.

There were some droplets of blood, and even though our nurse had said after the first ultrasound and my freaking out on some blood that it was perfectly normal, I asked that we’d not have intercourse again. The blood was too scary. It’s not worth it. I don’t know if we will or won’t, if I change my mind. But I know it will be different. It will all be different. And it will all be the same, too.

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Gender stereotypes, Passing Woman, Pregnancy, Volatile bodies

Making Babies Without Penises

I bumped into  a couple I hadn’t seen in a while. They had married this summer. Lulu was already late in her pregnancy. Her tummy was round and she kept rubbing it the way pregnant women do. When I first saw her and wasn’t yet quite sure it was her, I thought God, I hope it’s not her. Moira was like a husband’s supposed to be, busy and stressed about work. Such a great couple they make.

First I got a bit sad. I congratulated them of course, but didn’t ask about the due date, the sex or dwell on the pregnancy at all. I didn’t even realize that I didn’t before I started writing this. But I shielded myself and it was for the best.

Then, after, I started to think about the facts of life. I’m really happy they decided to have a baby, and I’m really happy it’s possible now. The child will be theirs even, if it’s not biologically of them both. But how could they decide which one got to do it? Probably the one who wanted it most. (The choice came as no surprise, though.) They chose some sperm with some conditions and hopes. A stranger will give their child half hir DNA. And the child is no less theirs for them doing so.

This is something I had to take into consideration. I’ve been labouring under the assumed fact that we are not only capable, but also entitled to a child with both of our DNA. But they didn’t. Why do I? Why is it the end of the world, if I have to face the exact same fate they did? They’re already over it!

And I said to Wonderboy, They’re pregnant and they don’t even have one penis in the house!

We laughed about it.

They got to pick the best sperm. Of course they got pregnant quickly, I continued.

They even had two candidates for pregnancy, if the other one would’ve had something wrong with them, I realized.

What is that if not biological efficiency?

What was that if not a sign?

 

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Hurting, Love, Passing Woman, Pregnancy, Self-Questioning

Blood!

Blood! (Or something to that effect.)

If you are squimish, you don’t have to read further. But if the header of this post didn’t do the trick, you’re probably asking for it.

Went to the bathroom. Did what I went there to accomplish. There was blood on the toilet sheet! A tiny coin shaped clear red stain.

Am I pregnant or aren’t I?

It would be extremely helpful to not have so much time on my hands right now. But I do! I also have had a couple of conversations concerning different jobs I am applying for, and it kills me that I don’t know. I just don’t know.

I texted Wonderboy, with just the header text, because I was of course mortified by the thought of not being pregnant. (So, what was wrong with me the days I puked and it hurt and more?) He called me in under a minute, possibly from the locker rooms or a broom closet for all I know, because there’s no way he could have had a conversation like this in his  work environment.

He was worried and asked me at once. How much blood?

I didn’t even come to think of that. He thought there’d be a lot. That I’d miscarried, all alone at home. It would somehow be better if that would happen. It would be real. I could mourn if I miscarried for real. (I seem to be very fond of making distinctions between real and something that is not quite it. I’m not sure if it’s always helpful.) If  I only have a period that is possibly more painful than usual, I just feel empty and delusional. I’m left with nothing.

Wonderboy said caring and loving things to me on the phone, and I started crying.

We can try again, he said. At least we know it’s possible. If something went wrong this early, we still know it’s possible. It did happen.

Just goes to show I have the right lover and a partner in Wonderboy. We are both certain that I at least was pregnant. My boobs swell, my tummy was all bent out of shape, I was euphoric and then tearful the next second. I tasted different. My hair was greasy all the time (still is, by the by). I could feel my womb. My temperature had risen to 37° C (about 98,6 F). Everything felt different.

Wonderboy knew that I needed the reinforcemenet from him. I needed him to recognize that what I’d been through, what my body had felt, hadn’t been all in my imagination. Even if it won’t go to the desired end. I can’t even write grow, because then I start to think about what it means for real.

My period is due on friday. I feel slight pinches in my womb now, even while sitting here writing this. And it’s too early for those.

I am a nervious wreck.

Please share, if you’ve been in the same predicament or have some encouraging things to say.

I am going for a bicycle ride.

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I am a girl, Love, Pregnancy, Self-Questioning, Unanticipated Satisfaction, Wonderboy

Oops

Facebook update: RogueBambi spent the night puking and not because of the swell party she attended.

Just to let you know, things didn’t go quite as planned. I’m pregnant. I know I am, even though my calender only gives me a day since my ovulation. It must have happened last saturday morning, when we were still discussing and ended up having sex. Wonderboy saw no reason to withdraw seeing that we were considering to start trying soon, anyway. I was shocked some, because I wasn’t sure of his stance, but couldn’t get him to really come clean about his emotions. But after I spent the whole day on a picnic with my friends, came back and had sex with him again, I thought everything was dandy. Which it wasn’t.

Then we finally ended the month long discussion, made a pact and were happily excepting the new free space.

Since last night.

I knew I was about to ovulate. Heck, he knew I was about to ovulate, because of the changes in you know where, and my growing eagerness to you know what. Suddenly I woke in the morning, 4 am to be precise, after sleeping a couple of hours. I was in so much pain and it was all happening in my uterus. It was kind of like period cramps but somehow more pulsing, causing me to get nauseated and withering all over. I couldn’t sleep and neither did he. He snapped at me, tired and cranky: Now you’re pregnant then! That’s all the consolidation I got from my lover while suffering from kind of terrifying pain, a new and odd sensation.

After the worst was over, that is after I popped a pill of ibuprofen and ate some youghurt and melon, I could not stop thinking about sugar, butter and eggs. I wanted to eat the mix of those ingredients. Now, I’ve been on many, many diets and am on one now (mostly meat, milk products and veggies) and I am usually very good at getting past these kinds of cravings, but I just couldn’t let this one go. I couldn’t sleep, the need to eat sugar and butter was so grave. (Sounds plausible now doesn’t it?) So, I got up, went to the cubboards and checked what we had. Butter, eggs, sugar and some limes. I threw in dark chocoa powder and put the thing to the oven. After 30 minutes I had a Lime chocolate cake on my hands, made by me, with a recipy I just made up. So that I could eat – butter and sugar. Doesn’t sound at all obsessive does it? After eating I fell a sleep and had a terrible sex dream which I’ll tell you guys about later.

I did think this is what I always thought pregnant women feel like. No, not so much feel like, but do. Crave crazy things. Eating sugar is kind of crazy for me since I don’t regularly use any. Not even in its starch form.

After Wonderboy had made that snide remark on me being pregnant, which wasn’t the first thought in my mind, seeing I was suffering pain and didn’t really expect that from pregnancy at this point, I googled the first signs of pregnancy. I learnt many women do actually now right from the start. So much for the mystery. So much for waiting the doctor to tell you, waiting for the test results, the period not to start. I was effing puking all over the place! My uterus was telling me that there was something trying to hold on to dear life there.

Suddenly I was serene. I had this picnic party to attend to, so I did. I’ve never felt so unconcerned. I didn’t join on the chit chat. I was content. Far away from the anxiety and overt emotional drama I was waiting for when these news and at this time – from all times! – to be revealed to me.

I texted Wonderboy from the way to the picnic: I sit here, sipping my non-alcoholic drink, feeling every bump in the road on my insides like there’s something lulling there that has to be kept safe. I’m so peaceful, I feel complete.

Crazy, right? If yesterday (and night) was the day (and night) the blastocyst implanted (the egg with the future baby in it) and saturday was the day the egg was fertilized, it took the egg five days to travel from my fallopian tube to my uterus. Five days! Or the other option is, that the sperm survived many days in me to wait for the frigging egg. And this is what they always warned us about in sex ed. So now I’m warning you, sisters. You can’t really count on the ovulation time, it seems. Those sperms are tricky little bastards.

So, what I’m wondering is of course this: how the fuck can I already know? How can it have already changed me? It’s just a tiny little egg sitting in my uterus and going ommmmm. To be or not to be. But I do, you know. I feel it. Every moment. I feel it when I walk. It feels like something is dangerously swinging in me, that I have to be careful or it might fall. I feel it when I lie down. Its pressing presence is like a pain, but not really painful, just a pressing feeling. And I feel it when it sends the strings of nausea through my whole body. I get goose pumps and feel like I’m somehow disintegrating.

But I can’t feel any uneasiness. This morning I woke up after a night of praying the porcelain gods for mercy and felt the nausea come back. Felt the pressure, the fragility of my tummy. Wonderboy couldn’t open up at all. He was angry, as he was last night too, because he was soooo tired. He had all the right excuses and none of them hid what they were supposed to.

Finally I snapped at him and said that this is not about you being tired. It’s about something else entirely, and you know it.

Oh what you mean like you being pregnant? he asked in his challenging voice. I just said yes. Yes. As in, yes I am. You better believe it.

And then Wonderboy asked if we should go cuddle some.

So we talked. I cried and he had his all black little-boy-eyes. He said he felt bad because it wasn’t what we talked about. We were supposed to wait yet a little. He said he was anxious, and he kind of hinted at it being somehow sinister that we’re probably going to have a baby. And I answered that those kinds of feelings are a luxury I cant’ afford right now. I have to take care of it. And I need you to take care of it too.

He was scared shitless, and I do understand why. But I can’t be, as I explained him. It won’t let me. It needs me to take care of it. All my muscles just relax, my mind can’t find the adrenaline to pour through the anxiety and stress I’m supposed to be feeling. The ones he’s feeling right now. I also explained how it feels in my tummy, that it’s about to fall or I’m about to break and I have to be so careful. So, so careful. He said that he can relate to the bodily feelings, but not the serenity.

Before he left for work though, he suddenly came pretty chipper, even happy. (Maybe it helped that I kissed his naked penis a little when he came from the shower. It just looked so inviting.) He kissed me and hugged me and said Dang, if I’d known you’d be this mellow I’d done this sooner. That’s a private joke that relates to my, ummm, edgines. It’s so true. I’m so mellow now, and just feel I love everybody.

Dang, if I’d only known.

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