You Are But a Vessel…

October 20th, 2014

I’m a vessel for a baby. A tiny little miracle human that is all snugged up in my womb growing from a ball of cells we paid a team of professionals to create into a fully functioning screaming human. She is precious cargo. She is a statistical improbability. She is something we’ve wanted for so long and tried so hard for. She is a lot of things to us already.

She is also living inside my body, and having a human life form growing inside you is a HUGE responsibility.

Pregnant women catch a lot of ridicule for our inability to talk about anything pregnancy related. While I often feel like I don’t talk THAT much about it, I’m quite frequently reminded otherwise. I do my best to keep the incessant thoughts to myself, and not broadcast (read: bore) the people around me with the minutiae. Fun fact: your pregnancy is really only interesting to yourself, and if you’re lucky your partner.

This practice is made somewhat difficult by the fact that in pregnancy, you are but a vessel.

You lose your personhood. And while you’re expected to act like everything in life is as perfect as Mary Poppins, you’re also expected to constantly think only about what is best for the being inside you and ensure you act accordingly.

Eat more of this and less of that and NONE of this. Don’t drink. Don’t take Tylenol. RELAX! Don’t sleep on your back. Sitting cross legged will contribute to a mal presented baby upon delivery. You should take the stairs. DON’T over exert yourself. Make sure you’re getting enough exercise. Drink more water. Sleep more. Don’t sleep on your back. Don’t oversleep. Do not even think about eating that.

It goes on and on. You have to take prenatal vitamins, and they make you feel disgusting, but it’s for the benefit of the baby and your raging headache notwithstanding, take them and be thrilled about it. If something does happen and you’re not feeling right, it’s all hands on deck to determine what’s wrong with the baby. And it’s not that it should be any other way, it’s just that having a pesky person wrapped around said baby, makes ignoring her problematic.

I love this baby, and all I want is for her to be happy, healthy, and all the other good stuff. I realize it appears from the outside that as a pregnant lady, the only thing you have to do is be full of another entire person for 10 months and so what’s the big deal, but there is more to it than that. That person robs you of vital nutrients, makes things hurt and ache, kicks you while you try to sleep and worries you every moment she’s not kicking. You can’t breathe, you’re hungry but there isn’t room for food and the thirst never stops no matter how close you get to the 3L of water. You’re round and waddly and nothing fits right. You look terrible. You’re tired. You’re shelling out money to try and stop some of the complaints, but it’s a fruitless endeavour. There are appointments to attend, tests to undergo and the preparation for pushing an entire human being out of what is a very small hole. Life around you continues on at full speed, and you’ve got to keep up with it because well it’s there whether you do or not.

It consumes you. It replaces you. Just don’t talk about it.


What to Consider Before Calling a Pregnant Lady Crazy

August 27th, 2014

I have a dear friend who has had the unfortunately experience of only knowing me in the throes of infertility and now, finally, pregnancy. She has, on occasion, drawn attention to the fact that on a very real level, pregnant women (read: me) are crazy. I know she’s doing it all in good fun, but the fetus hormones care not about your rationality. So instead of taking it at face value, I am forced to react defensively. It’s not that I can’t see the irony in how I vehemently deny how crazy pregnant people are in a completely crazy way, it’s that I can’t help it. And to be honest, I don’t think I should have to.

The good news is, one day we’ll switch places and she will have a wombmate and I will think she’s crazy and she will frantically tell me she’s not. Reciprocity is a bitch that way.

In any event, I realized today my thighs are starting to touch and I’m feeling really ranty, so I wanted to cover what you should consider before calling a pregnant lady crazy:

  1. Don’t: Just, don’t. Under any circumstances, real or perceived or sarcastic, do not even do it. Just don’t. She will get angry and then she will cry and then she will get angry that she cried and proved that you’re right and she is crazy.
  2. Pregnancy is fucked in the head: Do we deserve sympathy for helping sustain the population? Probably not. But when you really think about that fact that you let someone shoot goo into you so that a human life form could be created and grow for 10 months, it’s overwhelming. Beautiful, magical, wonderful….sure, all that. And overwhelming.
  3. Its 10 months: I don’t know what male doctor decided to call it 9, because it’s 10. It’s 40 weeks (if you’re lucky) and that isn’t 9 months. 10 months is in fact a heck of a long time to commit to any one thing. Just think about the last time you tried to get back into the gym routine.
  4. We’re Hungry: or not at all. Either way, even the joys of eating have been diminished because instead of simply having meals and snacks when we so choose, we are bound by rules. First of all, there is a whole fucking list of things you can’t eat, and you know what? All the things on the list are the only things you want to eat because you can’t. And then there are things you can’t eat because your fetus hates protein or orange juice gives you heartburn or you don’t want your ass to get its own zipcode and so, you have to think, carefully, about everything that goes in your mouth, weighing pros and cons. It’s dumb.
  5. We’re fat: Sure, you might call us glowing or lovely or whatever, but we are fat in our minds. I love to see my belly grow but that’s not the only thing getting more round (see aforementioned thigh touching) and there is a constant fear that you won’t get rid of those wobbly bits after, probably because you won’t. Not only are we fat, we get uglier by the day. Stretch marks, shitty skin, protruding belly buttons and dark bumpy areolas – some of these things are permanent. It’s a kick to your self-esteem.
  6. We lack body autonomy: Want wine? To smoke something? Eat nitrites or take a fucking ibuprofen? Sick and want a decongestant? Want to sit in a hot tub? Go on a carnival ride? Go on the waterslides? Nope sorry nope. You can’t.
  7. Things hurt: there is a stupid protein hormone some stupid asshole named “Relaxin” which your body releases when you’re pregnant. It’s designed to help your pelvis separate so you can push your precious watermelon out your delicate vagina BUT, it kicks in early in pregnancy and that means you have things like sore pubic bones and lower back pain and an increase likelihood of falling off your shoes and face planting.
  8. We are mourning our shoes: Relaxin and getting heavy ALSO put pressure on your feet and make your shoes not fit. Not only that, there is at least a 25% chance that shoe collection you’ve been building for the last 8 years will be donated to your forever thin friend because permanently growing a shoe size or two can be a side effect of gestating.
  9. We are tired: I’m sorry, it’s really fucking cliché but, we’re tired. Progesterone is a whore and it makes you tired. That’s why you’re tired about midway through your cycle and close to your period – because progesterone and estrogen are playing a super fun game of who can rule your body. So that’s it all the time. Add to that the fact that you cannot sleep because you’re not comfortable and your brain won’t shut off and when you do get comfortable (you know, on your left side which is the ONLY way you’re supposed to sleep when pregnant), you have to get up and pee, again.
  10. Hormones are mean: seriously, some times I cry at random and then I cry because I’m crying. How ridiculous is that? It isn’t fair and I seriously considered a head doctor but I have been told it’s the hormones. I think these hormones are also the reason you can hate seemingly asinine things like the way your plant keeps growing on only one side or the fact that that girl totally side eyed you for getting a coffee.
  11. We are overwhelmed: every minute of every day is now a constant barrage of questions and worries. How will we pay for the things we need? Should we get a doula? How bad is labour going to be? What is the birth plan? Will we ever sleep again? What are the chances the pressure of this will cause a divorce? Can I seriously not just eat that fucking ham sandwich? Is the baby growing properly? Did the baby move today? Oh god, I didn’t count how many times she moved today! What if the baby suffers the same plight as that girl from Bachelors Paradise and comes out with 1.5 arms? What should we name the baby? Is that Kardashian going to steal our baby name? Is this headache preeclampsia? I forgot to give up caffeine! I haven’t taken all my prenatals! What do you mean my steak needs to be cooked to beef jerky? AND SO ON AND SO FORTH.

So yes, we are crazy but, if you want a measure of how crazy we are on the inside and how crazy we are on the outside, I assure you we suffer more than you do. So lest you want to add to the crazy, refrain from pointing out that which we already know. And if you do want to point it out, then allow us to unleash the fury of a person who has simply become a vessel for another human life form, and quietly snicker to another non-pregnant lady about it later.

 


Permission to Fear

August 18th, 2014

The thing about infertility that is kind of fucked up (I mean, other than all of it) is that it somehow seems to dictate your life, even after you’ve moved past it. For instance, having beaten the odds and getting pregnant with science, I’m still expected not to act like a normal pregnant woman. Like somehow not being normal to start means I’m not entitled to be that way again ever. And, if it were that my overwhelming almost constant fear that something will go awry with this pregnancy was better understood because of what it took to get here, that would make sense. Only, that’s not the case at all.

It’s more that I should be SO grateful for having fallen pregnant that nothing about pregnancy should affect me, mentally or physically. This is quite apparent when I say ANYTHING about housing this human being that isn’t covered in glitter and unicorn farts. I PAID to get here, so those statements automatically generate a “but you wanted this so badly” response from some jackass without a social conscious. Which is ludicrous if you ask me; I fail to see how my desire to get pregnant nullifies all the normal feelings that come with it, regardless of how I got here.

The thing is, having 2 kids, it’s scary. I mean I DID want this. More than anything we wanted this. If we didn’t, we wouldn’t have gone through what we did to get here. It’s just, it’s scary. We’re afraid. Afraid of how it will change the family dynamic, afraid of how to love 2 children the way we love our daughter, afraid of never sleeping again. It’s all scary. Different scary than the first time, but scary none the less. And the thing is, I have been afraid of many things in my life, and still wanted them, still done them, still succeeded at them. A healthy amount of fear is a normal part of any change as far as I’m concerned.

I paid to go to university (well ok, thanks dad) and that was scary. We paid to get married, we wanted to do it, but it was also kind of scary. Hell, I paid someone to serve me sea urchin once and it was weird and unknown and you know, a bit scary to eat and yet, I did all those things. And no one questioned me. No one wondered how I could be afraid of something I wanted, so I don’t get why having our second child should be any different.

And yet, it is. Everything is. I’m grateful, every minute that this child’s heart beats inside my womb, I am grateful. I know how lucky we are to have this chance. I know the struggle it took to get here more than anyone else. I know the failures and disappointments along the way, and I know the outcome could have so easily been much different. Knowing all of that, and feeling thankful for what we’re experiencing simply doesn’t change the fact that I’m afraid to mother 2 children, and also that I’m tired of peeing 4 times a night.

I struggled with infancy so much in the beginning, to the point I’ve already offered to swap Sciencebaby with my friend Kat’s 2 year old for approximately 9 months because I AM SO AFRAID. Maybe I’ve grown, maybe I’ve learned, maybe it will seem easier this time. Or maybe it will be just as hard and I’ll struggle just as much, only this time I’ll also have a 4 year old who needs me, who I can’t just shut out when things get overwhelming.

Whatever the case, however it comes, whatever happens from now until the baby is here and we get in our groove, is yet to be seen. And I don’t do well without a plan, without knowing, without being sure.

So please, let me have my fear. Give me encouragement or commiserate with how overwhelming it can be. Tell me you don’t know either. But please stop acting like experiencing a real emotion is somehow unwarranted because I wanted to be here. It’s just not helping.


Finally Pregnant…With Science.

June 20th, 2014

With a lot of love, luck and hope, and even more medical science, we are finally expecting the 4th member of our family! Science Baby Due December 28, 2014.

 

In case you know me at all, you know that getting pregnant was not happening for us the last while. In fact, if not for the wonders of modern medicine, it wouldn’t even be happening now. However, science is great and sometimes, money CAN really buy a certain type of happiness. If you’re interested more in the process we went through to get this human being inside my body that post is over here.

If before you want to hear the science, you want to hear there story, here goes:

After BlogHer12 (August 2012), I, and the entire rest of the female blogging population in attendance came home with the same plan: get ye pregnant. Some had it happen immediately, some had it happen by surprise, and some took a normal amount of time to get pregnant. I was none of those people. By December of 2012, I wanted to talk to the doctor, just to see.

He told us to come back when it had been 6 months (FINE I’ll play by the rules).

February 2013 we were in there immediately (patient I am not). By the end of February 2013, we had received some pretty devastating news about the state of our fertility. Despite getting pregnant once before, we were not going to enjoy the same fate again. We simply didn’t have the sperm count.

May 20130 we saw specialists – first a urologist, and then a reproductive endocrinologist (an RE is basically a fertility doctor). They went over our fairly limited options – we try an experiment to see if we can’t get ourselves into a normal range, or we skip straight to ICSI (Intracytoplasmic sperm injection). ICSI is basically IVF, but they inject each egg with a single sperm. SCIENCE! We are otherwise given a 10% change of getting pregnant naturally over 2 years’ time (so, a 0.46% chance per month).

From June 2013 – September 2013 I obsess over every bit of information on the internet, cry, rage, make our lives hell, chart and time our sex life like a militant orgasm dictator. I’ll spare you the details but when you live your life in 2 week increments, surrounding the upcoming sex window, obsessing over if you ovulated, symptom obsessing, and then being crushed by your period even though you know that it’s coming, it’s not enjoyable. I did eventually seek professional help for my insanity (and marriage), and it was a good idea.

November – December 2013 we decide to try said experiment (a series of self-injections my husband underwent 3x per week for 3 months), and it fails. We sort of knew that might happen but you always think the universe will throw you a bone (delusional optimism). With every passing month our daughter gets older, I recalculate what the age gap will be if we get pregnant this time. I make deals with the gods. I look for signs. I beg, barter and plead with anyone in the cosmos who might be listening. I try to rationalize it; I try to embrace the single child life. I try anything to feel normal again. I kind of hate everyone.

In January 2014 – February 2014, it’s time to accept this isn’t going to happen on its own. It’s time to realize we’re not going to be “those people” with “that story” of how they tried so hard for so long and just when they gave up it happened. No matter how many times I told myself we’d given up, it wasn’t true. It’s time to prepare to go through an ICSI cycle, and see what happens. It’s expensive, it will be hard on us physically and financially, but the alternate isn’t exactly doing great things for our family. We get prepared. Forms, money, tests, procedures, plans, appointments, tests, tears, long talks, fears, stress and more tears. The prospect is daunting.

March 1, 2014, we get going. There is a whole post on the actual cycle and process so I’ll spare you most of the details. However, I started birth control pills for the first time in 6 years (ironic, right?) and had the most relaxed and enjoyable month I’d had since August 2012. Removing the possibility we might possibly maybe possibly get pregnant was amazing, even if only for a short time.

In April 2014, following what turned out to be a pretty straightforward cycle), we are PREGNANT with our little science baby! The reality hardly sets in for a while. As I write this, we STILL can’t believe it and we’ve both seen and heard the baby in there. Even when the nurse calls me to give me the news I can’t muster excitement. Waiting on the call was agony, but when I received it, time stopped. I couldn’t breathe. It wasn’t real.

At the end of May 2014, we finally tell Everly what is up, and some of what has gone on. She knew the doctors told mommy and daddy they couldn’t have another baby, so we explained to her that they helped us. She’s thrilled to be a big sister, and immediately convinced the baby is a girl who she will name either Annabelle or Permia. We will discuss this with her later (the names change daily, some are really hilarious).

On June 16, 2014, we hit the long anticipated 12 week milestone and still cannot believe it’s real, and one June 18, we complete our first trimester screening and are told the baby is healthy.

So that’s how that happened. If you’re interested in the actual process, I wrote about that here. Complete with some gnarly pictures of self-injection and a count of how many people were up my vagina to make this baby (hint: none of them are married to me). For now, I need to go find something to eat.

Science Baby says hai!

Science Baby says hai!

 

Turns out, when you’re an auntie to be, you have to drink for 3…these two are working hard not to let us down.

Shirts read "I can still drink". Brats.

Shirts read “I can still drink”. Brats.

 


The Making of a Science Baby

June 20th, 2014

Alternately titled, no penises were inserted during the making of this science baby….

If you’ve ever known anyone to do an IVF cycle, most of what I’m about to tell you won’t be a shock. However, I’m surprised by how few people actually KNOW what it entails, so I thought I would share for what it take to make a science baby. Plus this feels like the ultimate oversharing opportunity.

What we actually did was ICSI, intracytoplasmic sperm injection. Once the eggs have been retrieved, a sperm sample (my husbands) is washed and the highest quality sperm are individually injected in the each egg. Then you see which fertilized and which ones keep producing. The background to how we got here, is in this post.

Here is a handy chart of stats from the cycle,  in case you don’t want to know the nitty gritty:

Total days on birth control pills 23
Total days of self-injection 8
Total number of blood vials drawn 32
Total vaginal ultrasounds 8
Total procedures I underwent 6
Total self-injects given when not at home 4
Total rounds of antibiotics 2
Total vaginal progesterone suppositories 174
Total number of people in and around my vagina who are not married to me 15
Total number of pounds gained that weren’t baby weight 5

Good times, right?

The birth control pills are pretty straightforward so I’ll spare you any details. The very first thing that happened in all this happened in July of 2013, when I underwent a procedure called an HSG (first 2 people in and around my vag who weren’t married to me, check!) and a round of blood work. You can read about that here.

Before we got started with the fertility clinic, I was also sent to do a complete blood work up, including a review of all my infectious diseases. They took 13 vials that day.

Once we were given a green light to go, I underwent a pretty standard ultrasound with what I will henceforth refer to as a dildo cam. It’s technically a “transvaginal ultrasound wand” but they literally put a condom on it before each procedure and it’s pretty phallic so, dildo cam it is.

Dildo cam condom stash!

Dildo cam condom stash!

This process just counted my antra-follicle count (how many eggs were sitting in my reserve, to determine if I had average or below average for someone of my age) and looked at the thickness of my uterine lining. Everything looked good here!

Mount up!

Mount up!

The next was a saline sonogram which wasn’t as bad as the HSG but something I could live without. It’s saline into your uterus so they can see it. It causes contractions like in early labour. Plus you’re half nude and watching it. More people up the vag, more dildo cams and SURPRISE, you have an intrusive fibroid and are going to need a hysteroscopy to have that removed.

The nice thing about a private clinic is things move fast. We were set up for the hysteroscopy within a week and I was there for my 4th up the vag procedure. I had to use mistoprostol to dilate my cervix (which is also used as an abortion drug). I got a nice little cocktail of oxycoden and Ativan and 2 very nice ladies showed me on a screen a procedure in which they snipped a 2 cm fibroid out of my uterus. There was a LOT of uterine contraction with this, especially because they shoot air up there so they can maneuver around. This was uncomfortable but totally tolerable. I was at home in bed with a selection of snacks 2 hours later and back at work the next day.

I spotted for basically an eternity after that process, which was terribly inconvenient. Pretty soon I was off the birth control and in for my baseline blood draw and SHOCK, another dildo cam. This is where they check hormone levels and determine your medication protocol. I was deemed likely to over respond, which meant I would need extra monitoring. We went in for a brief training where a nice nurse showed us all the ways in which I would inject myself. I left hoping my husband was able to listen, because after stabbing myself and bleeding on the training supplies, all I could hear was buzzing in my ears. We left that day with a selection of medications and tools. This was really happening.

The week we were set to start injections, my husband’s grandmother died (on our daughter’s birthday) and had him travelling 4 provinces over to attend a funeral. This left me on my own with a 4 year old and injections to give myself for the first time. Lucky for me, I have amazing friends and one was able to come over to play with Everly so I could have dedicated time to my first self-stabbing.

I sat in the bathroom sweating and anxious. I had to mix the one med with the right amount of saline, using the special Q-cap to move the liquid to the solid vial, then mixing and changing the cap for the syringe to a needle. I then had to set-up the inject pen for the second shot, properly putting in the needle and dialing up the right dose. Once I was finished, it was go time. I had The Thread on iMessage for back-up.

All Set Up

All Set Up

Here we go!

Here we go!

I managed not to pass out, but did realize I had forgotten to swab my belly with alcohol before the first shot so, texted my husband immediately that I was going to die. Aside from a little burning and getting an instant hot flash that lasted about an hour, this wasn’t so bad.

Vampire Shots!

Vampire Shots!

After math.

After math.

The next day, I had to attend my grandparents anniversary party, 4 year old in tow, and due to timing was required to do my injections in the bathroom at the party. This wouldn’t have been an issue had my husband been with us, but it was a bit nerve racking being my 2nd day on injects, and seeing that no one else knew. I managed with minimal panic, and the next several days were done without much excitement.

This continued on for 5 days. Every morning at 730am, I drove 30 mins to the clinic to have a blood draw, and because I was responding so quickly, a dildo cam for added effect. They wanted to be sure not to overstimulate me and risk cancelling the cycle.

On the 5th day, we added a 3rd medication to be taken in the morning, which is designed to stop your body from spontaneously ovulating all the follicles you’re working so hard to get to the same, proper and mature size. The first time I had to do one of these, I actually had to do it IN MY CAR. Timing man, with this it’s LITERALLY EVERYTHING. I did feel kind of bad ass when I did it, however I also hoped no one caught me shooting up in a business park parking lot at 815am.

Getting ready for the car shot.

Getting ready for the car shot.

Go time!

Go time!

So now we’re at 3 shots a day if you’re counting.

More blood draws, more dildo cams, more people up the vag.

On the 8th day, I was told I could trigger in the evening. The trigger shot is given approximately 36 hours before they retrieve your eggs so that you ovulate and they can aspirate them with a catheter which is, you guess it, attached to a dildo cam.

This is the mixing needle. Do not inject with the mixing needle.

This is the mixing needle. Do not inject with the mixing needle.

Fun fact: Pregnyl is made from the distilled urine of pregnant women. I envision them being force fed slurpees in a large warehouse.

Fun fact: Pregnyl is made from the distilled urine of pregnant women. I envision them being force fed slurpees in a large warehouse.

By this time, I feel like a turtle desperately searching for a hole. I am FULL of eggs. Walking hurts, sitting hurts, everything hurts. I can’t wear my clothes, I already look 4 months pregnant.

10 days after starting injects, it’s go time. I’m changed into my fancy gown, all my vitals are checked and I’m given an IV.

Ready to have these eggs retrieved...otherwise I'm looking for a hole in which to drop them.

Ready to have these eggs retrieved…otherwise I’m looking for a hole in which to drop them.

While I gown up the husband heads off to the porn room to make his contribution and is back waiting for me in the recovery area when I’m done.

Laying in a room with my legs in crazy stirrups, I remember saying hello to my Dr, his nurse, a resident and someone else…4 more people to the list of those around my vag. I remember his assistant telling me they were putting the conscious sedation medication into my IV and that I might feel sleepy. I remember thinking something really funny and I probably passed out cold with a giant, stupid grin on my face. I only hope I didn’t tell the RE that he looked like Aidan from Sex and the City and that if someone is going to make a baby in me that isn’t my husband, I’m glad it’s him (I totally said that I’m sure).

The next thing I recall I’m drinking water in the recovery area asking my husband if I had walked out there. He’s looking at me like I’m insane for even thinking I could walk. I wasn’t very coherent. We get a report: 12 follicles retrieved. We breathe a sigh of relief, I’m informed that my usual pea sized ovaries are currently the size of plums.

Within an hour, they have me up so I can use the bathroom. I take a minute to see how I’m feeling, and promptly puke up my water. GLAMOROUS BABY SCIENCE!

My hubs drives me home while I roll around in pain, puts me to bed and I sleep the sleep of 1000 tired women.

Recovery.

Recovery.

There is bloating and discomfort but I’m back at work the next day and things aren’t so bad (except still looking 4 months pregnant and being up 5 lbs.).

The next day, we wait on the fertilization report. The kids aren’t even really genetically complete human beings yet, and they are getting report cards.

11 mature eggs, 10 fertilized. SCIENCE BABIES!

It’s time to start my progesterone. Do you know what an effervescent vaginal tab feels like? Because I do. In fact, I know what 3 per day for almost 6 weeks feels like. All 174 of them. Certainly the most unpleasant part of this entire thing. I particularly enjoyed the 3pm bubble vag I got to do at work each day.

EFFERVESCENT?

EFFERVESCENT?

The next several days are a series of breath holding, hope and anxious phone rings. Every morning we get a call from the embryologist with an update on the eggs, and luckily everyday things are looking good. The goal is a 5 day transfer, when the baby has made it to blastocyst stage. Alternately, if they don’t think they embryos are high enough quality to make it, or if there is a clear winner in the race toward genetic supremacy, they will opt for a 3 day.

By day 4, we still have all 10 embabies, at varying stages of advancement. This is some really serious science and I won’t even get into all the details. Basically, you’re looking for the cells to divide at an average rate over the course of the days. We’re booked in for a Day 5 transfer on a Saturday. Once again, my friend comes to the rescue and takes Everly to her dance class so we can go and get impregnated.

Let's put a baby in there!

Let’s put a baby in there!

Back in my gown, back on the table, this time with my husband in the room. We talk to the embryologist who informs us we have one little leading embaby, and no others ready for transfer or freeze. Out of 10, only 5 look like they have a shot at making it to day 6, when they will cryogenically preserve them for use at a later time. This is actually above average results, so we’re still quite pleased.

Within 15 mins we’ve had a catheter guided impregnation. This time, they even skipped the dildo cam and use a uterine ultrasound wand. We watch on the screen as a tiny bubble appears in my uterus; a tiny bubble which contains the genetic material of an entire human being. Just like that, I’m PUPO (pregnant until proven otherwise) and we head back to the city for a quick lunch before going home to our daughter.

The little white dot is the air bubble around our blastocycst. Science baby!

The little white dot is the air bubble around our blastocycst. Science baby!

9 days go by and we wait. We are surprisingly calm, but I refuse to pee on a stick because every time I’ve done this in the past it’s been met with crushing disappointment. My birthday comes, and I spend a lovely day at the spa with my mom and friend, and eat an obscene amount of Chinese food later. 2 days after, I line up on a holiday Monday at 7:30am to get my blood draw to see if I am in fact pregnant.

I have no signs. No symptoms. Nothing. I have only a long string of painful disappointments in all things pregnancy to reflect on. I can’t even begin to let myself believe this could work. I watch my phone obsessively the entire day, knowing the clinic will call me. I cannot miss the call.

When I see the clinic number come up, I freeze. I am home alone with my daughter and I know I have to answer it and deal with it, no matter what. I hear the nurse on the other end say “I just wanted to let you know your results are in, and your beta HCG is 145 – at this stage anything over 100 is considered pregnant”.

Shock and awe. My daughter is yammering. I can’t formulate words. The nurse asks if I’m ok and all I can say is yes. She’s confused, so I tell her I was so convinced she would have something else to tell me, and I can’t even absorb what she’s said. She laughs and congratulates me, tells me to get another blood test in 2 days, and if I don’t hear from them, all is well.

Unfortunately, my husband texts from work to see if they’ve called and that’s how I tell him we’re pregnant. Not the romantic, cute way to announce it but then again, nothing about this process has been romantic or cute. It’s been pure, amazing science.

That was April 21, 2014.

Since then, things have been pretty status quo. I feel pretty awesome; we saw at heartbeat at 7w2d and then heard it for the first time (160 bpm) at the midwife at 11w2d. At 12w3d we completed our first trimester screening, and everything looks good.

CRL - 5.95cm

CRL – 5.95cm

We’re having a science baby. For real.

There are 3 snowbabies in a lab 30 mins from the city. Technically twins of the baby I’m carrying (they all come from the same ovulatory cycle, so they would be considered quadruplets I suppose). We will leave them there for a year, and then decide how to proceed. SCIENCE!


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