I haven't blogged recently because I wasn't sure I had anything to say and I was fairly certain that you, my readers, weren't looking for a daily laundry list of symptoms, complications, etc. I will, however, share what I have learned these past few weeks in broad, generalized chunks.
Food: When it comes to food and hunger during pregnancy, anything is normal. Want to eat everything in sight? Normal. Don't feel like eating anything? Normal. Can't eat anything when you try? Normal. A combination of these that changes from minute to minute? Normal. This is both reassuring and frustrating. Although, as a good friend wrote on my Facebook page when I asked if something was "normal," did I really think being pregnant would make me normal?! He had a point. I haven't ever really been normal. Why start now? In that vein, we have renamed saltines in my house. They are known as "cake" because they always taste wonderful, as does cake. When I told the nurses at my initial OB appointment, they not only laughed, but when they were advising me on things to eat, they told me to try and eat peanut butter with my cake. They got bonus points for that!
Worry: I had read that women who undergo IVF tend to worry most of their pregnancies about everything and don't have a chance to enjoy them. Therefore, I have worked very hard not to freak out about things. I am not considered high-risk and everything has gone smoothly thus far. I have no reason to expect that this will change. However, I did make one decision that is, arguably, out of worry. I decided not to undergo any genetic testing. There in nothing in our backgrounds to suggest a real need for it and, although small, all of the testing has an increased risk of miscarriage. We decided that, since the information we got wouldn't change what we were going to do, there was no reason to risk miscarrying a kid we paid to get to find out that information. Other friends have shared that finding out that kind of information can lead to needless worry if a marker does show up. So, not getting the testing seems like the best plan all the way around.
Swag: This is a term I first learned at GenCon. It means "free stuff." Pregnant women are swag generators. Promotional magazines, tote-bags, planners, samples, coupons. There's tons of stuff you can buy and the retailers are all about tempting you into buying it. That brings me to the related area of baby registries.
Registries: Phil and I started a registry and I discovered that there are all kinds of unnecessary things that people will convince you are vital. Some things, like a highchair, will be necessary in the future, but won't do me much good in the beginning. Other things, like clothing, I need to wait to register for because I don't have any idea how big my child will be. Better to wait until the third trimester to register for these. Finally, there are the things the checklist tells me are essential, but I have no plan to buy, ever. Included in this category are plastic covers for my tub faucet and a special thermometer to determine how hot the bathwater is. Having a baby will increase the amount of stuff in our house exponentially. There is no reason to include unnecessary things.
Advice: Everybody has some, but it's not always welcome. It generally falls into one of the following categories, although they are not necessarily mutually exclusive: Useful in the future, but unhelpful at the moment; Horror stories (often given as, don't worry, it can't possibly be as bad as my friend who experienced x); What to buy/what baby will need; You're doing it wrong already; and lastly, Ignore everyone else and just listen to me. Don't get me wrong, there is good advice. It's just more precious for its rarity.
The biggest thing I learned/am learning, is that pregnancy isn't easy. I didn't expect it to be a cakewalk or anything, but I thought making it through IVF would be the most difficult part in all of this. I was wrong. Whether its mood swings, sleep deprivation, or any one of the myriad pregnancy symptoms, every day seems to bring new challenges. This, of course, is a good lesson to learn early on. After all, once the baby comes, the learning curve will be extremely high and every day will bring something new. Might as well get used to it now.