Catching Up

I had Centering on Wednesday, and I was going to tell you about it then, but by the time I got off the phone with my mom, had dinner, took a shower… So I was going to tell you about it yesterday, but I really needed to go grocery shopping, and the weather was so perfect, and no one was in the pool… But today, today I desperately needed to do laundry, so I’m kind of tied to the apartment (because I’m a good neighbor who tries not to leave her laundry tying up the machine any longer than is necessary), so I have no more excuses for not sitting down and writing.

Yes, I’m now pregnant enough that my appointments are twice a month. I’ll actually wind up with three this month because I’m hoping to be cleared to travel to a couple of conferences at the beginning of August. I’ll have the follow-up ultrasound checking to make sure my placenta is no longer previa, and I’ll see one of the midwives, too. Unfortunately, they couldn’t schedule those back-to-back, so I’ve put in PTO for that day. Not the most fun way to spend a day off, but there you have it.

Anyway, it wasn’t until we were all heading out of the building that I realized my glucose tolerance test really must have been fine because the midwife didn’t mention it and I forgot to ask. We were too busy discussing important things like how my morning sickness has been kind of rough this week and how awesome ponytails are.

The rest of the session mainly focused on birth control. Different options in the long run. What’s safe to use while breastfeeding. Pros and cons of different methods. And, honestly, it was a lot of fun. The midwife was amazed at how many hormonal versions I’d been on until I said I had dysmenorrhea. It was interesting to listen to what the others were considering – who was interested in IUDs, who didn’t want anything hormonal. (There were also multiple couples who were there as proof of how some methods fail. But they could all laugh at themselves, so it really did make the discussion pretty funny.) And, of course, talking about birth control at a Catholic hospital… Well, let’s face it, that’s always good times. Our midwife LOVES talking about birth control, especially given where she works. And do not read that last sentence with any hint of sarcasm. She really and truly loves this topic. She wants to make sure we all have birth control as part of our birth plans so that we don’t get pregnant as soon as we start having sex again. Yeah… I’m not so worried about that.

I also refrained from sharing my grandmother’s stories about IUDs. You may recall she was a neonatal nurse after the war. She and the other nurses used to joke about babies coming out holding the IUD because they saw so many women who’d gotten pregnant despite having one. One of the other women in our group appeared to be seriously considering it as an option; I decided not to scare her.

The funniest was, of course, talking about abstinence as an option because it led to the discussion of what you can do and still be abstinent. We proposed some excellent things. High fives. Fist bumps. Bro hugs.

My current plan is to see how my body does once I’m no longer pregnant. If I really did have endometriosis, this might have been what my body needed in order to heal itself. I mean, I wasn’t taking the pill for recreational purposes. Maybe my body will finally know how to have a normal period, whatever that means.

And when I got home, my new chair was in place in the living room (thanks, Daddy!), and my apartment was cleaned (thanks, Mommy!). And there was a teddy sitting in the crib. A Pooh-Bear type of teddy. The bump has its first stuffed animal.

And to change the subject completely, my mom has frequently said that she didn’t learn just how many women she knew who’d had miscarriages until she had one herself. Well, I’m finding myself in a similar situation except because of how I got pregnant, I’m now part of two communities – the infertility community and the single choice mom community. Obviously, it’s not as though I’ve hidden any of this. I haven’t exactly discussed it at work, but most people there do realize that I’m single. I had one colleague share with me how her daughter is hoping to do what I’m doing. Today, I had another colleague excitedly tell me that her daughter and son-in-law just saw their surrogate’s ultrasound. When I started this, I was so alone. But friends emailed with their fertility woe stories, and it was just comforting to know that it wasn’t just a group of strangers online who understood. It was people I knew and loved. But I didn’t know their stories until I shared mine. It’s kind of like when I was in Rome. (Yes: ROME CENTER STORY ALERT!) There were one semester students and full-year students. Without asking, we full-years found and befriended each other pretty quickly. I feel like the same is true of my life now. Even people who don’t know my full story must be feeling some vibe that tells them they can share their stories with me.

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