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Make me a Mom - The TTC Journal of Pleione/Sabrina
So why does one start a TTC journal…?
That’s a question I asked myself when I first noticed the option in several locations through the JM boards for members to create personal journals relating to their experiences. At first, the idea felt a little strange to me. It may me be because I’ve spent my years writing on sites designed for journaling that the idea of doing so on a forum felt counterproductive. Surely the idea on the forum is to interact and not write. But now… I decided it may have some purpose after all. Well, purpose for me. As a member of Justmommies who is not quite a regular yet visits often enough to know the ins and outs of this community forum, having a journal here may be the easiest way to try and seek out those who may be able to relate to me while sharing my progress and life story in a medium that works easiest for me. So here it is, folks. The blog nobody expected. Where does one begin? Let’s go for introductions!
Hi, I’m Sabrina. I’m a twenty-nine year old eccentric artist with a knack for gaming and a passion for design. I’ve been trained to draw pretties yet have spent my years working in customer service. My dream is to become a real-deal photographer yet my passion was always to be an animation artist. The reality right now is that I’m a homemaker making ends meet at home while my dearest breadwinner brings home the beef – not just the bread, ladies and gentlemen.
I came to JM a few months ago on a whim while searching for a site to answer some of my silliest questions. After a month of no period, I finally gave in and bought a pregnancy test at my sister’s request and took it inside a restaurant bathroom. You can imagine my shock when the second blaring pink line lit up like a Christmas tree within a matter of seconds. I was shocked. I spent the next several hours digging for answers online only to join JM and be one of the probably durr-durr members who post a screenshot of an obvious BFP asking if this was real.
“Oh my god. I just took 23 pregnancy tests and they all say pregnant. CAN THIS BE FAKE!??!?!11”
I have to wonder how many people facepalmed at me that day. I know I did looking back.
I knew for years that I wanted to be a mother. My husband spent many of them not trying but not really preventing, fully aware that we were always taking that risk when we did the dirty deed within our bedroom. Years. Years and never once did I feel as though I had an ‘oops’. Sure, there were times I was hopeful, but no. My body worked like clockwork and Aunt Flow showed no mercy each and every month. So you can imagine my surprise when after nearly five or six years of this I suddenly realize that Aunt Flow was … more than a little late.
I later went on to stay on JM and joined the October DDC since I was unsure on my exact due date. I went off the assumption that I may have conceived sometime in January, but come my first appointment, it was later confirmed that it actually happened around late December. Can you believe that? I was nearly seven or eight weeks pregnant when I found out that I was going to become a mom. Someone once asked me how is that even possible. Beats me! You have to remember that I was never really trying so the thought never occurred until I missed my period twice.
As the months went along, I became more and more excited about the idea of becoming a mother. Of course all of this was not without a few sacrifices on my end. One in specifically was the fact that I had to give up my job. I was a customer service rep for my favorite company in the entire world – Microsoft Xbox 360 Customer Service Rep... at home! I was doing a DREAM job or considerably close to it. It wasn’t an art job, but I was answering questions and billing inquiries to something I consider myself a bit of a guru at. Work a job giving information to other gamers while being a rather hardcore gamer? Hellyes. Sadly… my pregnancy forced me to leave. The reason for that was because my husband works a job where he travels weekly. His company pays him to go site to site across country working on computers and setting them up within the hospitals. The only time I was able to see him was when he came home that Friday up until he left Monday morning. We both knew that because of this, I wasn’t going to be able to keep up with the demands of a job that had me working well into 2am in the morning. With a heavy heart, I let the job go so that I could prepare to become a full-time stay at home mom. I had every intention of finding something at home that I could do flexible enough to cater with my new schedule, but I was looking forward to my new job... the job I sadly never got the opportunity to experience. Yes, it's going to get a bit tragic here, folks.
Without going into details (unless you really want to know (New here... and sharing my story...)), I ended up losing my baby around 32 weeks. It was – as most put it – devastating to go through. Months of feeling this little life inside of me tell me that he was ready to come out only to have a doctor give me news I never wanted to hear … that his heart had stopped beating. I fooled myself into believing that this sort of thing only happens once in a blue moon. That you had to be a really rare scenario out of millions to be that one mother to lose a baby before it was born. Now I see I was wrong. It can be absolutely anyone. It can be someone young and healthy or was struggling with their health as is. You can have a reason that was as clear as day or absolutely no answer at all. Preterm loss is something I never imagined happening to me … period. You never think it will happen until it does. I somehow hit the jackpot that day and was selected for the worst situation a mother could ever want to experience. It hit me hard but not hard enough to stop me from writing about it when I went home.
So here I am a month and some weeks later. I’m a mother with a baby who is not physically here. I’ve hit a few rough patches and fell down a few sinkholes, but for the sake of my family and husband, I pulled through. Some days I feel like I am extremely blessed to have the people in my life that are here with me now. Other days I feel like ‘why me? Why was I that one?’ I cry, I smile. I fall, I rise. I’m by no means over my grief, but I can thankfully say that I know my little one is looking down over me. The experience has made me tremendously spiritual and thankful to be alive and in this world. I know most tend to say that it's all part of that big man upstairs plan, but I don't really know for certain. Who knows why it happened. Maybe it was part of His plan or maybe bad things just tend to happen. Whatever the reason, I can genuinely say that I learned a lot from the experience. A life experience that I feel will make me an amazing parent when I do become one.
For a case like mine, where does that put me in terms of journal sharing? After the loss, I realized that I had a number of options to go to on this forum. I knew right away in my heart that I wanted to try again. Actually try this time and not just have it happen by surprise. I’m trying to conceive my first after suffering a loss. That puts me in several groups here on JM where I thought I could easily fit into. Unfortunately, I realized within weeks that I was never going to fit in anywhere. Not because I’m some anti-social weirdo ( much ), but because I’m not as much as a regular on this forum like so many of the ladies here.
I post whenever I feel the need to write. My participation on the forms has always been rather casual. I was so casual that I never made the quota in my DDC to join the private group! As much as I loved the idea of mingling with mothers like me, I could never bring myself to update and posts frequently. What was I going to post about?
Today I woke up. Had pains. Ate a bagel. Did you watch that show? Okay, bed time!
Forums are meant for that type of socializing, I know. But in my head, if I wasn’t talking about something related to pregnancy , there wasn’t a need for me to post. I wasn’t the type to always join in conversations that I didn’t feel pertained to me. I didn’t already have a family to talk about and my situation was far too boring to give details on. I’m sure nobody was going to care that I totally wrecked some newbie in a PVP game on World of Warcraft. I was perfectly content being that rare guest who showed her face only when necessary.
So where does that put me now that I don’t have a DDC? Well, in a weird situation, that’s what! I’ve been trying to ‘post’ in the forums that call to me, but I’m beginning to notice that even they have their regulars who post far more frequently than I do. Sure I’ll pop in and ask a question or two, but I never really involve myself the way they do. It may be because I haven’t really started trying to conceive until recently. Even now I can’t seem to bring myself to really discuss the details of my ovulation or the fact that I’ve been temping and using fertility friend religiously. I’m not sure why. Maybe I’m nervous that my entries will go unseen or barely responded to. I mean that is the point behind posting, right? To get support and have others interested in your obsession with getting pregnant? I’m probably just being grim about it since I’ve always been so casual in the first place, but I decided that I should stop trying to worry about fitting in and do what feels natural and comfortable for me. Which brings me back to my original point of this entry... why start a TTC journal?
Because for me, my dear friends, I can talk about this and not feel as though I need others to answer in order to write. I don’t have to worry about lack of responses or ‘not fitting in’. I can talk about this and those who are interested are welcomed to read and even offer their thoughts but by no means feel obligated to do so! I can be myself and write at my leisure as I talk about the ups and downs of this journey without feeling like I’m that kid standing on the side lines watching the cool kids hang out. Writing has always been my outlet, my mantra, my way of getting things out. So if starting a journal on the forum is my way to ‘contribute’ to JM, so be it.
Hi. Did I introduce myself already? Let me do so again! I’m Sabrina! I’m going to be writing a TTC journal here under TTC. I could have easily thrown this under TTC #1 or TTC after loss, but the bottom line is that I'm just trying to conceive. I intend to hold nothing back and write about everything relating to this journey and hope you'll stick around to read. I apologize in advance if my story goes through loops, potholes, or takes a detour for a the worst. I have no idea what to expect but ... TTC is all about surprises, no?
I hope you stick around and bear with me as I try to pretend to know what I’m doing.
Where I talk about conceiving. How do I insert stick?
I've been learning a lot over the past few weeks regarding my body. It was like stepping into Sexual Education class all over again in grade school but this time paying attention to the lesson instead of giggling over the graphic images.
For years my Grandmother made it seem like some of the things my body does was unnatural and meant that I wasn't entirely 'clean'. Like I had no idea that cervical mucus was a completely natural thing and changed in consistency during and after ovulation. Don't laugh, but I always thought that it meant it was time to take a bath or three and follow it up with several layers of baby powder. I always was under the impression that too much moisture down there was a bad thing and needed to be fixed. Today I know that it's not a terrible thing... but a glorious one.
I don't mean to be entirely 'too much info for my eyes' here, but I have a ton of cervical mucus sometimes. Learning the different stages of it and seeing it firsthand for myself has made me a little more hopeful that TTC will not be as difficult as I'm worrying about. While I have yet to get my first period after the loss of my son back in July, that has not stopped me from trying to understand what my body is going through and seeing first hand all the little things that points to ovulation and beyond. Things that I paid little to no attention to for so many years.
In the past few weeks alone I have spent a ton of money on TTC items that I feel will help me.
A paid membership to Fertilityfriend.com
A BBT thermometer
Clearblue Easy Digital Ovulation Test
Clearblue Easy Fertility Monitor
Prenatal Vitamins & Vitamin D
Tons and tons and tons of ovulation cheapies...
Sometime next week I plan to add some fertility supplements to that list (FertileAid, FertileCM, and FertiliAid for Men). The husband has been ... less than pleased with my spending adventures thus far. He finds it all a tad unnecessary since we never needed any of these items to conceive the first time. While he has a point, I simply feel that anything to make this easier will take the stress off TTC. Then again, this is the same man who finds me buying hair products to take care of my hair to be a waste. If it was up to him, hair care would b e as easy as rolling out of bed and going outside as-is.
So yes. I learned things. Great things. Temping. Cervical mucus. Ovulation. Stuff. Sex. ( Obviously ). I feel like I have all the tools necessary for this. The only thing I need to do is wait. Right now, according to my chart, it APPEARS I ovulated four days ago. If all goes well I'll either see my beloved if not hated AF again ... unless something else prevents that. Guess we'll wait and see!
Why am I trying again?
I know I mentioned this somewhere on the forums, but I made the decision to start trying again right away. I've been fighting with myself on this for a while. Am I trying to replace my baby? Is this a sane decision? Do others feel this way after loss? Will others understand? I have a lot of concerns and fears, but in the end I know in my heart I want to do this. I know that most women are told various things by their doctors or midwives about when they can start. Some are told they can try after their first cycle while others are recommended to wait 6 months or even a year. The reasons can vary ranging from physical recovery to just a mental state of being. Me? I received two answers.
My birth center ( who I am more than just a tad disgusted with over their greedy actions, but that's a story for later ) told me to wait at least 6 months to a year. Well, I guess I shouldn't really say 'birth center' but more like 'the only nasty and uncaring midwife among the really sweet ones'. I'm sure if I spoke to one of the other midwives it would be a different story. The doctors who actually delivered my son at the hospital, however, said that there really is no set time. It can be three months to a year, but in the end it really depends on me and when I feel I'm ready.
Well... I'm ready.
I had an exceptionally easy natural birth with only one push and no tearing. Other than what they feel was placenta issues, I really don't feel there is a real need to wait months or even years to try again. I'm confident, I'm recovered, I'm ready. I want this more than anything and I'm not going to pause unless there is a really dire and physical need to do so. Women have been giving birth since forever. The only thing that should ever stop a woman from trying is if the odds put her at risk for dying. Even then... there are women out there who have forsaken their own lives for the sake of bringing new life into this world. I'm reminded of the story I read not long ago of a mother who chose the life of her unborn son over receiving cancer treatment. She died but gave birth to a beautiful baby.
I have to openly thank my support group and the ladies over at Babycenter Community for giving me reassurance that these feelings were natural and completely okay. I thought that surely after a few weeks the feeling to try again would fade away. Nope, it's still there and perhaps stronger than ever now that I have all this knowledge at my fingertips. There are so many mothers out there like me right now doing the same thing. I don't feel this is me replacing my son, I feel like this is me giving him a sibling.
A guardian angel looking over his family.
Sappy, I know.
On a completely unrelated but related not, next week marks the week of my baby's EDD. September 18th.
I just wanted to let you know that there's actually a forum for gamers on here. It's not very active, so if you're not very active it wouldn't be out of the ordinary. We can all talk about our WoW PVP triumphs (or in my case, failures) together.
That's not to say, of course, that you shouldn't continue to post here.
Here I am going on week 11 and Dear Aunt Flo has not made an appearance. I realize that I still have the potential to be fertile even now, but I've decided to give myself a fresh start and just wait for AF to come. This way I can use the fertility monitor, restart temping, and have a better understanding of my body. Plus, I want to TTC before January hits as that is the month my husband will be traveling again. With him being home only on weekends, it will make it even harder to conceive.
I decided to schedule an appointment and make a visit to my doctor. He was very understanding and told me all the reasons my period could be dormant. Stress and grief was a major factor for it. He suggested therapy and I politely declined. I know that it might help big time to talk to someone, but that is what my family and husband is for. I've done all the talking I can possibly do to people online and with my family. I am still sad ... but I am much stronger than I was two months ago.
I feel I can move forward and love my son above.
So after doing some bloodwork to see if anything was wrong, the doctor decided to prescribe some medicine--
Ah, no, wait. Take that back. I just received a phonecall just now. Instead of prescribing the medicine, he wants me to wait 10 days while abstaining from sex or using a condom to see if there is a possibility I am pregnant since I did have sex three or so days ago unprotected. According to him, the bloodwork shows that my body is functioning normally and appears to be ovulating. If I did ovulated, there is a possibility that I can get pregnant over the next few days. To remove the risk of forcing my period when an egg is fertilized, I have to wait ten days and then come back in to test for pregnancy before the medicine to force my period is prescribed.
Sounds like a bit of a wait but whatever the doctor feels is necessary. I can understand his concern and I'd be devastated if I learned I was pregnant but on my period. So ... time to wait and see what to expect.
Hi Sabrina! I just wanted to let you know I'm thinking of you I really love this journal you started. I was also starting to wonder if you could be pregnant! I will be checking in to see if you are or to find out if AF has shown up. Best of luck to you either way!!!
Well if I'm pregnant I'm definitely terrible at learning about it!
I did start bleeding last Friday ... although it was very little and stopped completely today. It looked like old blood, light, and brown. Very little bright red seen. It wasn't enough for a pad but for a liner to catch spotting. I'm treating it as a light period for now unless something changes!
How silly am I to be overly excited about my first HIGH peak on my clearplan fertility monitor? I literally squeed when my monitor finally showed two bars instead of one. That's one bar closer to ovulation and a sign that my body is back in control again! So maybe that light bleeding I had a week ago WAS my period! I'm so excited! This is me finally on the right track!
I'm so silly because nobody cheers about ovulation... unless you're me of course. This is my first time TRYING and so seeing this was a sign that I have been doing everything right! Plus it verified that the very light bleeding I was having two weeks ago WAS my period. I was so unsure because everyone always stated that the first one is always the heaviest and most painful. Yet when I started to bleed it was brown with spots of red, light, and not painful at all. I guess everyone is different!
Another thing that had me concerned was that m temps were always on the low side of things. Most BBT charts show people ranging in the low 97 and peaking around high 97 to 98. My morning temps always showed me around 96.5. Sometimes slightly higher, sometimes very slightly lower. It had me wondering if my body failed or something to not be as high as others. Turns out it's just how my body is. It's a good thing I practiced bbt back in August and September. It allowed me to see the pattern of my body and accept that this is how I read and so I should be watching for shifts in my readings and not expect it to match others.
I really need to stop expecting my body to be just like everyone else. A lesson learned.
My biggest worry was that this fertility monitor would not work. It's working perfectly! I remember that feeling of giddiness when I received my first high. Then as the days went ahead, I was wondering if the high was a fluke. Curious me suspected that I was ovulating when yesterday I noticed the line that detects ovulation on the fertility stick show up faster than usual. Unfortunately, it was a high reading. Yet I still suspected it meant I was nearing it so I went ahead and DTD anyway with the husband. Now here it is bright and early in the morning and the first thing that pops up on my screen is that cute little egg. I have a feeling I would have detected my nearing ovulation sooner had I carried a few ovulation sticks with me. If I don't conceive this cycle, I'll go ahead and buy the internet cheapies from Amazon so I have something to fall back on. Sign me up for POAS Addicts because I'm on my way there!
It can only get better from here, right? I'm ovulating and that makes me happy. Now time to wait and see if I'll be part of the two week waiters cursing for AF not to show! In my case, I'm okay with either. AF or +. I say that because I dread the idea of AF not showing up at all! ( But just for hopes sake, I hope it doesn't show up for a GOOD reason and not bad! )
I'm scared. The last thing I expected to see when I took the Clearblue Digital Pregnancy test was "Pregnant". I thought it had to be a fluke. CB Digitals are not very sensitive, so for it to detect it first try was a surprise. I then did FRER and my cheapies. The line was faint but there. I took another FRER this morning and its came up much faster but still light.
I'm worrying to death here because I'm afraid of this turning into a chemical even though all the signs point no. I'm terribly afraid of miscarriage. I'm trying not to freak out but it's hard. I called my doctor to schedule a blood test tomorrow or Tuesday and will be setting up an appointment with an OBGYN. The sooner I can hear that my betas are doubling the better. Anything to get me to stop worrying.
I think I may pay my drug store a visit and buy some more pregnancy tests.
And it feels wonderful! After testing positive, I went to get betas done on Tuesday. I was horrified when they told me my numbers were low ( 60 ). But fast forward to today and I learned they have doubled significantly as the numbers are in the high 2,000! So yes, I'm starting to let myself get excited about this pregnancy. Not completely because first trimester is always the scariest half of pregnancy, but I'm praying and hoping for good things this year going into the next.
I'm so worried. Sometimes I ask myself if it was too soon and if this will be a risk. But the more I fill my head with negative thoughts, the harder it will be to enjoy this pregnancy. I want to enjoy every milestone, every feeling, everything and not hate it one bit. If I suffer heartburn again I will cherish every minute of it and know its because my baby is growing hair.
I'm just ... so scared. I don't know WHAT to expect. I went into my first one not thinking about the possibilities of a stillbirth at all. This time I'm hoping that by being more aware and alert of everything, I can jump on the first sign of anything wrong. I just hope... this pregnancy ends up being boring. No horror stories or tales of nail-biting situations. I just want a very boring pregnancy where the only thing I write is what I ate for breakfast and what time I went to sleep. So boring that people don't even bother to click this blog and read.
Yes, I want it to be that boring.
I can pray for boring, right?
My first appointment ( though second really ) is the day after my birthday. I'm hoping that's another good sign! A late birthday gift to hear my baby has grown up healthy and strong. Hopefully. From here on out I just have to take care of myself and wait. If I can make it to January 20th, I'm in the clear. Let's go, little bean!
Also, I think I will be graduating to an actual blog at some point. I just need to make the proper arrangements and decide where I want the blog to go!