I used to think that blogs are a bit egocentric but I have since come to see the light. My sister and mother recommended that I write a blog about my pregnancy since I am not around to share the experience with friends or family. I was a bit skeptical until I remembered that I have several friends who have blogs and they were actually pretty cool. One is a hysterical rendition of the absurdities of the development field and another documents the growth of twin baby girls in Brooklyn. The final straw for my decision to start this blog however lies with a little soul who is currently growing inside my belly. To one day give my child a copy of this blog so that he/she can know about his daddy and mommy’s life is simply amazing.
The news is starting to sink that after three long IVF cycles, we are finally having a baby. June 27, 2009 is D-day. Given the madness of our lives abroad, Peter and I have already made some decisions that will allow us to drop anchor over the coming year. The big one is that we decided to have the baby in France. There are many reasons for this decision but the primary one is that we want to be near family when the baby is born. The best cost option for us in terms of healthcare would be Europe where health services are free so sadly America is out. Thankfully, Peter’s mom Mady has a second house in France that we can rent for a few months next summer so France it is. Ami and Amba will join us for July so they can bond with their new sibling as well as reconnect with the Middlebrook clan. It’s a perfect solution. Most likely, we will spend next Christmas (2009) in CT so I can introduce the baby to my family.
I had my first ultrasound of the baby in Bangkok on Friday and it went very well. The embryo sac is 6-7mm and the baby itself is 2 mm. Tiny little thing. My HCG is on track, doubling every 2 days. I am still taking hormone support – a suppository of progesterone at night and an injection of estrogen every few days. The meds are supposed to help avoid a miscarriage, which is a bit of a risk given that my body rejected the last 3 embryos that were transferred. The good news is that my doctor said that the baby is doing very well. He is tucked tightly inside my uterus. Thank goodness as I have been keeping my legs closed very tightly, in fear that it would fall out if I coughed or sneezed. I am having headaches from the meds and cramps from the 3 large cysts in my ovaries (a by-product of hyper ovarian stimulation) but it’s a small price to pay for a little one. Thankfully, I don’t have any morning sickness although sometimes I wish that I would as it might help to curb my eating!
The one thing that is freaking me out is my breasts. They are massive! And strange things are happening to them with color and strange bumps. (I would appreciate some advice about these bizarre bodily transformations from those who have been down this road before!) I am really bloated from all the IVF medication so it looks like I am 3 or 4 months pregnant! Freaky as it has only been 5 weeks now. Everyone gains weight during IVF but in past, I lost it within a week or two after the cycle ended. But if you get pregnant, you don’t get the chance to lose it. Such is life. Peter tells me that I have to just accept that my body is no longer mine. Strange thought.
I found this calendar that tracks my daily progress. Last week, the baby’s heart began to grow and blood is already circulating! It’s amazing how quickly the baby is growing. Peter says that I have that pregnancy glow already – probably because I am blown away. I feel so completely blessed. We tried everything physically possible with fertility so we were at the end of the road with IVF (at least with my egg). It is completely a miracle that this cycle worked. Thank God. He finally seemed to be listening to our prayers.
Peter and I will be here in Indonesia for another week while he serves as a visiting professor for a Defense Management Master’s program at a prominent local university (funded by UK), which gives me plenty of time to check out the many Factory Outlet stores. Ban Dung hosts several clothing factories for several brand name stores (Gap, Banana Republic, Top Shop, etc.) and they sell the excess inventory extremely cheap. I am tempted to buy some baby clothes but I’m afraid I might jinx it. I did however buy myself several loose tops already as I am already bulging out of my clothes. At 6mm, I can’t blame this one on the baby. No laughing but I am actually looking forward to exercising again. I started working out in Thailand but had to quit 3 weeks ago once stimulation began. I’ll have to wait a few more weeks as it is still a bit risky for the baby. Hopefully soon though as I don’t want to end up the size of a house by June.
So that’s the scoop. I fly back to Bangkok next Saturday for another doctor’s appointment. They are monitoring me pretty closely now to make sure that the pregnancy holds. I have another ultrasound on Sunday at which point I should be able to hear the heartbeat. And then off to Dubai. Crazy days. So long for now.