Thursday, June 4, 2009

First Appointment

The first thing we learned at my first OB appointment was that afternoon appointments mean lots of waiting. My appointment was scheduled for 3:00, and I arrived 30 minutes early, as requested, to fill out the necessary paperwork. We waited for quite some time in the waiting room, and then my name was called - but only to come give a urine sample and have my weight and blood pressure recorded. After that, I was sent back to the waiting room where we waited, and waited, and waited. Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, my name was called and we were shown to an exam room.

My first appointment was to be with the Nurse Practitioner. We were told to wait in the exam room and she would be in shortly. After a brief wait, she came to the door and invited us to her office across the hall where we sat down and talked for a while. She went over my medical history, gave us a bunch of information, including lists of pregnancy "Dos and Don'ts" and a list of medications that are considered okay to take during pregnancy, and gave me a "goodie bag" containing a number of different samples of prescription prenatal vitamins, with instructions to try different ones out until I found one that didn't make me feel bad, then they would call in a prescription for me for the winning vitamin. After asking us if we had any questions, we went back across the hall to the exam room and I was instructed to change into the (paper) gown provided and wait on the table.

The nurse practitioner returned and the exam began. Since I would have been due for my annual exam the following month anyway, I was "treated" to a Pap smear as part of my exam. After those "formalities" were dispensed with, the Nurse Practitioner wheeled in the ultrasound machine and instructed Bryon to come stand down by her (on the "business" end of things) rather than where he had strategically positioned himself up near my head so that he would have a better view of the screen. A few minutes later, I was dressed and we were on our way, first picture of gummy-bear-sized Hungry in-hand. Since we'd had to wait so long, it was after 5:00 before we got out of there, so the lab was closed and I would have to come back another day to have my blood work done.

Without further ado, I give you Hungry's first photo:

Not quite as furry and orange as you might expect yet, but aren't those some cute little leg and arm buds? If you look closely, you can even see dark spots that are the eye sockets.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

"Outing" Hungry

Maybe Bryon and I are weird, but we struggled with how and when to tell family about Hungry. It seemed like a conversation best had in person.

This past weekend, my family was up at the Ponderosa and we were going to be joining them for dinner Saturday night, so it seemed like a good opportunity to share the news. I had toyed with the idea of getting a t-shirt saying something like, "I'm going to be a big brother" for Lucky to wear and letting him break the news for us, but Bryon balked at the price of the shirts I was able to find online.

Part of the reason we were getting together for dinner was to celebrate Mike and Kayla's birthday, so we wanted to wait until the birthday celebrations were over before sharing our news so as not to overshadow the birthdays.

Normally, getting everyone out on the patio in the evening at the Ponderosa is a relatively easy task, but this time it took a concerted effort on our part to get them all out there at once. Lucky was out there with us, and because I'm a big dork and didn't know quite what to say, I told them that Lucky had big news - he was going to be a big brother in January.

My mom "got it" instantly. The funny part was that it took Kayla close to 5 minutes for the pieces to all come together - she initially thought we were talking about puppies! Everyone seemed very excited, although my dad was disappointed to hear that he was going to have to wait to share the news with others. I think they're all looking forward to our first doctor's appointment next week and seeing the ultrasound pictures that should come with it.

Friday, May 15, 2009

How Hungry Came to Be...

Hold on, don't run away screaming - it's not that kind of story! I'm talking about how Hungry came to be known as "Hungry"...

While still adjusting to the idea that a baby was, in fact, on the horizon, Bryon and I quickly became aware that we needed some sort of nickname to call the baby. Bryon quickly vetoed things like "jellybean". For a day or two, we toyed around with Ziggy the Zygote, but then through the power of Google, I learned that we'd already passed up the zygote stage. Besides, that would mean having to come up with a new "name" for every stage of development, and even though Bryon was throwing out suggestions for those stages like "Eddie the Embryo" and "Frank the Fetus," I had objections. I wanted to come up with a name that would work throughout the pregnancy, and he had a theme of all-male names there. We had long ago decided that we wanted to be surprised by the sex of any babies at the time of their birth, and giving a male name to a baby who could very well be a girl just didn't seem right to me.

Like clockwork, once I got that positive test result, my appetite absolutely skyrocketed. Given my near constant level of ravenousness, I started joking with Bryon that I was pretty sure I wasn't actually gestating a baby, but rather Hungry the Weight Watchers mascot. You know, this guy:

I started calling the baby "Hungry," and it just sort of stuck. Pretty soon Bryon had latched onto it, as well as the friends I had told. (Once we shared the news with my family, they took to the name as well.) We even already had a plush Hungry monster like these guys that I bought at a Weight Watcher's meeting (pre-pregnancy):

So that's the story of how Hungry came to be know as "Hungry". Am I gestating a human baby, or an orange furry monster? Sometimes I wonder. Time will tell!

The Hard Part

So, pregnant... The two-week shock window definitely set in rather quickly. I did the requisite calling of the OB/GYN's office to get my first appointment set up. The freakishly perky receptionist congratulated me numerous times and scheduled me for my first appointment on June 3rd. Bryon and I talked and agreed that we wanted to wait a few weeks, at the very least, before making our news very public, but he also recognized that I needed to be able to tell some of my friends to have people to talk to and freak out about this with, which was great. Except for one thing...

My dear, dear, sweet friend Elizabeth. Elizabeth and I share practically everything with each other. But this? I did not know how or when to share it with her. Elizabeth and her husband Robert had been trying to have a baby for quite some time and had experienced their fair share of struggles and then some. It all felt so wrong. Elizabeth had been very actively trying to get pregnant. Me? Not so much. I had long desired (and vocalized to Elizabeth) that I wanted her to get pregnant first - not only so she could be my guinea pig, but also because I knew how very much she wanted the be in that place in her life already. And here I was, already there, without even really trying. To further complicate matters, Elizabeth had recently started seeing a Reproductive Endocrinologist (RE), undergone a surgical procedure, and was waiting for her post-op appointment with the RE to answer the looming question of "What next?"

What a conundrum! I wanted to tell her, but I didn't want to hurt her. And I knew it was better to tell her sooner rather than later (because waiting to tell her would also hurt her), but I just didn't know how or when. I agonized over the situation for two days from the time I found out I was pregnant. On Wednesday afternoon, I talked to our mutual friend Shannon about it and she told me to just rip the band aid off and tell Elizabeth.

Not long after I got off the phone with Shannon, Elizabeth called me to fill me in with the report from her post-op appointment with the RE. Whereas Elizabeth was decidedly cautious, and quite honestly, probably a little pessimistic in her view of what the doctor had told them, I was really and truly filled with great hope and optimism about the plan the doctor had laid out and their chances for success, and told her as much. I also totally wussed out and allowed her to end the conversation before telling her my news. Under the circumstances, I just didn't know how to make that transition.

After our phone call ended, though, I didn't feel any more at ease than I had before, so I decided that Shannon was right, and I just needed to do it. I called Elizabeth back, and feeling like a bumbling fool, said something about ripping off band aids, and understanding that she might be upset, but hoping that she'd eventually be able to be happy for me, and finally spit out the words, "I'm pregnant." She tried to cover it as best she could, but I know she started crying. She did congratulate me, and we talked a little more, but it was an odd, rather awkward conversation - mainly because neither one of us knew exactly what to do under the circumstances.

First thing the next morning, I wrote her a lengthy email, wanting to let her know how concerned I was over the pain I may have caused her with my news, as well as how really and truly hopeful the report from her doctor's appointment left me feeling as far as her situation was concerned. We exchanged several long emails that morning that left us both feeling much better about things, and in which I predicted that they would successfully conceive on their first try with IUI. (For the record? I was totally right!)

Whew! Band aid? Ripped off. Hard part? Survived. Friendship? Intact, if not even stronger

You can read Elizabeth's take on it here.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

A Little Earlier Than Anticipated - A Tale of Hungry's Origins...

Without going into too much detail, it's fair to say that Hungry's existence was a bit of a surprise. Not in an "Oops!" sort of way, but more in a "Huh, how did that happen?" sort of way. And yes, we do know how babies are made. We were not doing anything to prevent, but we also were a few months away from the actively, concertedly trying stage. We had shooting for a theoretical Hungry to be a Summer 2010 arrival in mind.

I had been fairly faithful in charting my temperatures and thought I had a pretty good idea of when things were "safe" and when they weren't. I was keeping track of my temperatures in an Excel spreadsheet, rather than in a more graphical format, like In hindsight, that might have been helpful, but I digress. Since going off of birth control, I had been lucky enough to have nice, predictable 31-day cycles. On Monday morning, I went to enter my temperature into my spreadsheet as usual and realized I was a day late. That was unusual for me, and since I had a few tests in the bathroom cabinet, I decided to take one. To say that I was surprised when it came up positive would be an understatement. So I took another one. Positive again. Still, these were tests from the dollar store, so I wasn't going to put a lot of faith in them.

That day happened to also be the first day of my Maymester course, which meant I would be in class that day from noon until 3:15. Feeling more than a smidgen freaked out, I went on to class and did my best to focus. I stopped at Target on the way home and picked up a box of digital pregnancy tests. I came home and took both of them, as well as the remaining dollar store test I had left. Confusion ensued. I got two "pregnant" results via the digital tests and a negative from the third dollar store test. Not knowing what to think, I then made a trip to Walmart for a box of First Response non-digital tests. There were two or three tests in the box. I took all of them. All positive. Huh...

This didn't seem like the sort of news to tell Bryon over the phone, and I was way too shocked to come up with anything cute, so I left my array of pregnancy tests sitting on the bathroom counter and waited for him to come home. I figured when he went to change his clothes he would notice them. Not so much. I finally said, "So, I had an interesting day today..." thinking he'd then say something inquiring as to what I meant by that. Nothing. I finally directed him to look at the counter. He glanced over and said, " had a positive test?" As I recall, my response to him was something like, "No, you doofus, I had about 7!" I think it's fair to say that his level of shock and surprise equaled what I had been feeling all day. I mean, while we both knew how it happened in the scientific sense, without getting too detailed, neither one of us were quite sure how it happened from a timing perspective. But happen it obviously did!

And so the adventure begins...