Sunday, December 26, 2010

My year in summary

In January I started working with a fertility specialist. I'd only been pregnant very briefly in 2009, so I wasn't sure if my body could handle a pregnancy. I have PCOS, so my cycles have been very irregular since about 2006, which I was sure didn't help matters any. The fertility specialist ran some tests and started me on Metformin to help regulate my cycle.

In March I joined and started tracking my food and exercise there. I lost 25 pounds by the end of May, still being able to enjoy my dark chocolate and some other indulgences. The organizer part of me enjoys the charts and graphs and the lazy part of me enjoys just how easy it has been to track my nutrition and exercise without having to do so much math. I enter my favorite foods in the database if they aren't already there, which makes it so much easier down the road. Tracking my food really increased my awareness and motivated me to add exercise and watch my portions better so I wouldn't have to ban sugar or any specific foods I enjoy from my diet. I even started looking at restaurant nutrition menus online and planning what I was going to order before going out to eat so that I could stay in the ranges I should be in and indulge guilt-free.

In April I followed up with the fertility specialist, thinking that my cycles were becoming more regular but still not quite how they used to be or should be. Ultrasounds were completed to track my ovulation, but my body wasn't fully cooperating, so I was started on Clomid to see if that would help me ovulate. More ultrasounds were taken in May so further testing could be completed around the time of my ovulation. But in between the second and third May ultrasounds, I unexpectedly ovulated. The tests would have been put off for another month, but I ended up getting pregnant with that ovulation, so further testing was no longer needed.

However, I went back in to the fertility specialist's office for a blood pregnancy test to confirm the pregnancy and also have my progesterone levels checked. The progesterone levels were low, which could have potentially ended in miscarriage. So I was put on some progesterone pills and had my levels tested again later to see how that was working and was told my levels were much better.

While all of this was going on, I also did some temporary work grading national testing writing papers for elementary school aged children for a couple weeks in May. It was an interesting but also at times frustrating experience. Still, I kept with it because we needed to get extra income any way we could, and it gave me something to do!

In July my parents came for a brief visit. Around that same time, I was offered a part-time job I'd had a handful of interviews for, working as a supervisor in a bookstore. I let them know I had just found out I was pregnant, and they said it was okay and offered me the job anyway. I was excited to start the job but nervous about potentially spending all my income there! Shortly after my parents left, my job started. Along with it, my morning sickness also started. I had to call in sick one day and leave work after only being there a while another day my first week of work thanks to vomiting. Luckily, my new boss was very understanding!

Before my first week was over, I ended up in the ER, all but 100% sure I had a blood clot in my left calf (I'd had one there previously back in 2003 after breaking my left foot). Not only was I told that I did, indeed, have a blood clot in my calf, but I also learned part of the blood clot had broken off and traveled to both my lungs, where apparently there were substantially sized blood clots in both lungs that could have killed me. I was admitted to the hospital and ended up staying in there for a week. While there, I had an IVC filter surgically placed in my vein so that if more of the blood clot were to break off, it would be caught there before it could get to my lungs or anywhere else.

My new employer was very patient and understanding during all of this, covering my shifts as needed while I was in the hospital and then being willing to give me a couple weeks or so off as needed after getting out of the hospital to recuperate. However, I began working with a perinatologist (high risk OB) after being released from the hospital, and he said I could not work until after the baby was born, so I had to quit my job. He also told me a while later no flying or extensive car rides (unless I get out to walk around every couple hours) for the rest of my pregnancy as well, meaning we wouldn't be seeing any out of state family for the holidays.

Since my hospital release, I have had alarms going off twice a day to remind myself to inject blood thinner medication into my stomach so my baby and I are safe (oral blood thinner medication would kill her). She appears to be healthy and growing well and is due in February. Meanwhile, I'm still throwing up and now experiencing other wonderful joys of being pregnant like back pain and shortness of breath and so on. But otherwise, I appear to be doing okay myself.

In September Joe and I paid off the last of our credit card debt (which in and of itself was a miracle, considering my extensive medical bills and almost 2 years of being unemployed, minus the two-week long temporary assignment and couple days of part-time work I got in before going into the hospital) and started planning a cheap, local vacation to celebrate. We figured it might be the last time we'd be vacationing before the baby comes. We took an off-season vacation to Ocean Shores, WA in late October and spent most of the stormy weekend in our hotel room playing games and relaxing. It was heavenly!

In November I participated in National Novel Writing Month. I successfully completed the first draft of a novel I've been wanting to write but hadn't gotten around to putting to paper. Now I just need to figure out how to get in lots of editing until the novel resembles a little better the idea I've had in my head.

In addition, to help pass the time this year, I have been attending various meetings put on by the community. They have helped me and Joe think of things we can do to help get ourselves ready for emergencies and then help out our community in case of such emergencies. We have slowly been purchasing and putting together supplies, such as food storage, 72 hour kits, emergency evacuation plans, and so on. We feel a lot better prepared for what might come our way than we were even earlier this year! I am also doing some volunteer driving with a company called Senior Services, doing some online education, and volunteering with the homeowners association. Plus, I have to admit that I've loved all the extra time I have had this year to read!

We are lucky to have some extended family members who are nearby. We've gotten together with some of Joe's cousins a handful of times over the year. And just this past week we met up with Joe's step-brother and his family for lunch and to catch up. And we spent Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, and Christmas with my aunt & uncle and their family.

We're excited and nervous to be new parents. We don't know how to really prepare our cats for the arrival of a baby, but I think they know something is up, as some small and not-so-small changes have started taking place all around them. We've started getting a few baby gifts, painted the nursery lavender, and purchased a couple items that are helping us realize that the birth is just around the corner! We start childbirth preparation classes fairly soon as well!

So while we've definitely had our trials in 2010, we have also had many blessings and opportunities for personal growth and development. I am so grateful that I've had such wonderful support around me, in the form of family and friends. I am especially grateful for my hard working, loving, patient, spiritual, inspiring, entertaining, handsome husband. I am looking forward to 2011 and the new addition to our humble and happy family.

1 comment:

BeatlesDiva said...

You'll be a great mommy! I can't wait to see what new adventures this year brings you!