What It’s Really Like to Have a Baby During a Pandemic

As you may have seen on my previous posting, we welcomed our much awaited rainbow baby, Charlotte, on October 29th.

As we all know (and I’m sure, feel) 2020 has been anything but ordinary. While up nursing the babe at 4am today I came across a posting from another blog, Her View From Home, about how a 2020 baby was a light during the dark year and it made me think. While yes, Charlotte is definitely a positive thing that happened this year, I’d say having a baby during a pandemic has been anything but a positive/perfect/easy experience. Don’t get me wrong, I’m 1000% so thankful for Charlotte it’s just that having a baby during a pandemic is definitely not something I’d add to my list of things to do again. πŸ˜‚πŸ€¦

When we found out we were pregnant the first week of March, covid had barely started here. Rob went to my first appointment confirming the pregnancy and doing an ultrasound but, after that he was only allowed back at one other appointment (anatomy scan ultrasound) and then her birth.

In the first few weeks of my first trimester, office closures started and fertility clinics had to limit their appointments. I had luckily already become pregnant so I was still seen while so many others had to put their cycles and family planning on hold. I remember going to my second scan by myself just praying that the ultrasound would show that baby grew as expected. When I got the news that she had, and when I was able to hear a heartbeat (for the first time out of our 3 previous miscarriages) I was alone. This was the first of many pregnancy milestones I wouldn’t really get to share with anyone or celebrate and it was bittersweet.

As the pregnancy went on, and the pandemic grew in severity, Hannah started staying home from daycare (which eventually 100% shutdown – and still hasn’t reopened), we stocked up on groceries, and we quit seeing most of our family and friends. Throughout the pregnancy we were very cautious about exposure (with all of the unknowns of covid for pregnant women) and hardly saw anyone. In the beginning we kept to just our household and Rob was the only one who went out. As the weeks and months passed, I eventually went out to the store more and my dad started helping with a few days of childcare here and there.

Despite expanding our bubble to include immediate family members, it felt like I didn’t get to share my growing baby bump with anyone. If it weren’t for my work colleagues, I really wouldn’t have done anything to celebrate the pregnancy. They were amazing and threw me my only shower for Charlotte. Our work team is all spread out across the country so doing things remotely wasn’t new for us and they didn’t miss a beat. It was a baby shower over Google Hangouts where they all came together to ship presents to my house and organize games for us to play together. It was fun and, looking back on it, so so appreciated and special. Having had three miscarriages previously, Charlotte deserved to be celebrated so much so it makes me sad that that wasn’t able to happen really. With our local friends and family, we didn’t have a baby shower (or sprinkle, what they call it for second babies) and most of our friends never even saw me when I was pregnant. Getting ready to have Charlotte was so isolating and lonely. We missed out on a fun family vacation in July (with a whole side of the family I hardly ever see) because we didn’t feel it was safe (and if we weren’t pregnant we probably would have gone). I was so selfishly bitter about missing it and not spending time with all of my family in a massive lakehouse on Lake Wylie. It would have been our last little *family of 3* vacation before the baby came.

The family got a photographer to do family pictures while they were all in Wylie

Then, once I had Charlotte in October, the isolation only grew more intense. The pediatrician recommended we not see anyone outside of our household that wasn’t necessary. She recommended that family visit and meet Charlie through our glass front door (“pope visits” as some of our family called it). With flu and RSV season also upon us (alongside the pandemic) we were asked not to take Charlie out of the house, unless to the doctor, at least for two months. Two months takes us into January so I’m sure it’ll be longer than that but we aren’t there yet. This advice meant that the bubble we had pre-delivery (that included our immediate family) was shrinking again.

For the first few weeks it was just the 4 of us. Charlie was jaundice in the beginning and a weak/lazy babe until her bilirubin levels were back to normal. This made nursing and weight gain hard for her. Her first two weeks home consisted of doctors appointments almost every other day. Her struggle to have regular weight gain and her poor latch early on meant we spent the first 3 weeks triple feeding (nursing, pumping, and supplementing a 1oz bottle) for each feed, even overnight. It was exhausting and I felt like my supply wasn’t ever going to recover from her low demand early on. I wish I knew poor latch meant poor demand and I would have started pumping as soon as the latch discomfort started. Still, pumping after nursing you don’t get much (if baby actually latched right), especially when they’re newborns, so it always felt like a let down (no pun intended) measuring out the half oz to an oz I got each session. It was just a rough few weeks for me. I was so down on myself no matter what positive encouraging words Rob tried to remind me of. Postpartum life is hard.

Luckily, as the days went on, her bilirubin levels evened out and she eventually did get the hang of nursing – several visits to a lactation consultant definitely helped us – weighted feeds too. We quit triple feeding at every feed at week 4 and were down to one bottle, then no bottles, shortly after. Having our nursing journey take a more positive turn helped with my stress a lot. The postpartum hormones, plus a lack of sleep and a busy toddler, were wearing on me (and Rob) so we decided to widen our bubble once again to include my dad. He is retired and strictly follows all the covid guidelines so we felt he was the best next person to include. He was able to watch Hannah a few days a week to help out and, just that little bit of support, helped us so much.

All of this to say, it truly does take a village to raise kids and, not being able to lean/rely on your village is the hardest. Postpartum life is hard already and having support from loved ones can do so much for a new/growing family. When we needed people most, covid took our village away from us and for that, I hate 2020 a little bit more.

We couldn’t get friends and family together to celebrate this pregnancy – even just a barbeque to share our happiness. We couldn’t have a photographer document Charlotte’s labor/birth like we did with Hannah. Our family didn’t meet us at the hospital to celebrate. My sister hosted an online meal train for us and only two friends and my neighbor signed up. (My mom and Rob’s step mom did bring us dinner too, just outside of the meal train sign up – my mom loves to drop goodies off at our house.) My mom or Rob’s mom/step mom couldn’t come over to help or snuggle the baby while I showered. My friends couldn’t come see the baby and visit with me to see how I was doing – I’ve only seen three friends in person since I’ve given birth even. We couldn’t let Hannah go to her grandparents for a sleepover and some 1:1 attention. Hannah wasn’t enrolled in a daycare and could hardly get out of the house to burn off energy due to a fear of germs from others (at a park or places like the aquarium). All around, covid robbed us of all of that support and all of those special moments so far. So yes, while Charlotte is and has been a light during the dark year of 2020, I feel like this journey has been anything but what you typically envision having a new baby to be. Of course, because of covid there’s been a lot of time where it’s just us and we’ve been able to bond with her but, honestly, I feel like we still had that with Hannah too. I didn’t allow company everyday when Hannah was a newborn anyways. I guess as much as I want to focus on the good things that came from 2020, it’s hard and the year definitely dealt its fair share of challenges.

With Charlotte being 8 weeks now she’s only met a portion of our family (pope visits or actual physical visits). Only 4 family members outside of our household have been able to hold her – and that says a lot when we have so so much family locally. Luckily we did just recently decide that we’re going to expand our bubble a little bit more to include my mom and Rob’s step mom and dad. They can help more with Hannah and we need it. Sometimes we have to make decisions for our sanity and this was definitely one of them. Our bubble is still small but the change is worth it. She hasn’t met all of her grandparents or great grandparents but this way we get to include a few more. Her aunts still haven’t been able to snuggle her yet either. And, to be honest, I’m not sure when everyone else will get the chance to meet her – great grandparents, cousins and such. At least after a ten day quarantine period maybe, right?? 🀦 The distance is something I’m always trying to come to terms with; something I’m always feeling guilty about. Something I know I’m doing for her own health and safety but still hate nonetheless. Net net: raising a new child in 2020 is for the birds. With Christmas just a few days away, I’m trying to focus on us getting to enjoy a calm holiday home but I’m sad about all of the things we’re missing out on; I’m human and it’s okay to be sad. Normally we’re that huge busy family who does 6 holiday gatherings all across the city in just over 3 days so this year is very different.

Although we have prayed for this baby girl so much (and don’t get me wrong, my negativity is not directed at her), I wish the year would have gone a bit differently and I can’t wait for life to be normal again. I just hope she won’t have to be a year old (or even older 😡😱) before the rest of our family and friends get to meet and hug her. She’s definitely a blessing during this dark shitty year but man how I wish I could have given her a better 2020 too. ❀️

Finally a Family of 4

Welp..  we did it! On October 29th we welcomed our second baby girl and rainbow baby, Charlotte, to our family.

Delivery was quick but we’re both healthy and doing well; we were even able to come home the next day!

Now, for birth story time:

Wednesday the 28th, the day before delivery, was hard on me mentally. I was so over being pregnant. I was swelling and uncomfortable all over. My lower back hurt and I was probably eating 4 tums a day to curb the heartburn. Rob even helped me put on some sexy compression socks Wednesday night before bed. 😡

In the morning I worked (from home, cause ya know – corona) and then left for a baby doctor appointment in the afternoon. It was my 38 week baby check up at 1:45pm. Just before the appointment I was having some cramping but nothing earth shattering (I thought just Braxton Hicks contractions and assumed the baby wasn’t coming anytime soon).

At my last appointment I was 1cm and at this appointment, I was up to 3cm. Decent progress for a week I thought. 🀞 The appointment was fast and I scheduled a follow up for the next Tuesday, November 3rd. The doctor said that, if the baby didn’t come before Tuesday we would discuss being induced at that next appointment.

After the appointment I was still having some cramping (I chalked it up to having had an exam) and my lower back pain was still dull but lingering. I came home and worked a few more hours outside while Hannah and Rob played in the yard. I was up walking around a little but mainly sitting so I could work.

Later that evening, after we put Hannah to bed, I was watching TV with Rob. I was having some more cramping/possible contractions and even got out my baby app to track them. They were a low intensity and were kinda all over the place timing wise so I didn’t track them long – I was annoyed to be having more Braxton Hicks and it just added to my day’s sour mood. I instead decided to jump in the shower, have Rob help me with my compression socks and then go to sleep.

Around 1am I woke up needing to pee (yay pregnancy). Normally I was getting up around 3am. After I went the bathroom I got back in bed and had two little contractions. I think the contractions actually are what woke me up I just didn’t have another until after I laid back down. I decided to get my app out and time them just to see. They were each about a minute long and we’re about 5 minutes apart. A few were 3/4 minutes apart and two were 6/7 minutes apart. Everyone says if they’re “inconsistent” they’re not real labor pains so I still felt skeptical but I decided around 2am to call the doctor and check in with them.

The on call doctor called me back (he was actually the same doctor who delivered Hannah). After chatting with him and explaining what was going on (coupled with the fact that Hannah’s birth was only 7hrs), he said I should come to the hospital to get checked and worst case was I’d get sent home.

I went in to wake up Rob and tell him what was going on. He got up and started getting ready and I called my mom to come over and be with Hannah. I had a few straggler items to add to the hospital bag as I got ready and my mom got to our house in record time – even though she forgot her toothbrush. πŸ˜‚ Next time (if there is a next time) I’ll be sure to remind whoever is on babysitting duty to pack a “go bag” ahead of time so they’re not caught off guard. Sorry, mom ❀️

It was raining outside but, at 2:30am there was no traffic so the drive was quick. At the hospital we parked close out front and, I waddled up to the front door. It had a sign up that said the “use emergency room entrance” (which is inconveniently across the parking lot). 😡 Luckily a worker was entering at this door with her badge right behind us and let us in. Go that lady ✌️

Upstairs at the birth center we checked in with triage (can’t believe I didn’t have my driver’s license on me 🀦). Luckily I was in the system from Hannah’s birth and also still had my (more important) insurance card with me. πŸ˜‚

After check-in I was put in a triage room and asked all the typical check-in questions. At this point I was still contracting but not timing them. The nurse got me all checked in she did an exam and said I was at 3cm and 70% effaced. I was super discouraged to still be at 3cm (since that’s where I was at my appointment like 12 hrs earlier and I had been contracting for 2 hrs at this point). To be fair, at my appointment the doc didn’t say if I was effaced or not so maybe that’s progress or maybe not. Either way – I almost felt like the whole thing was gonna be a fluke. How annoying.

The nurse checked in with the doctor again and he said to let me labor in my triage room for an hour then we’d reevaluate. The nurse unhooked my monitors so I could move freely around for that hour. While she was gone I kept contracting and just working to breathe through them. I felt like I was going to throw up a few times (but luckily didn’t). All I could do was pace around the room/bathroom, sit down to pee like every two minutes, and lean over Rob/his chair swaying my hips. Towards the end of the hour Rob started timing my contractions again. They were a minute long now, a minute apart and definitely more intense.

When the nurse came back we filled her in on how the last hour had gone. By this time it was about 4:45am. She checked me again and now I was 5-6 cm and 80-90% effaced. “Looks like we’re gonna have a baby today”, she said, “time to get you in a room”.

The process of moving to a room started with them needing to set an IV line and do a blood draw. The nurse wanted to try and do that in triage but a) my veins move and are hard to find and b) I was contracting every other minute so she didn’t have much “calm time” to work with. She tried but didn’t have much luck so instead we opted to just go to the room, #383. She offered for me to have a wheelchair but, with the contractions, I preferred to walk; it wasn’t far.

Once we got to the room, it was just about 5am, and a series of other nurses got to work on me. My main nurse was a sweet woman named Eva. She got me hooked up to the monitors and asked me a series of questions that I answered while pacing around the bed. Then she set my IV line and did my blood draw. You need the bloodwork done before you can get an epidural but honestly, at this point, there wasn’t time for the epidural it seemed.

As I kept laboring by the bed, during one of my contractions, my water broke. This baby was coming quickly. Before getting into bed I went the bathroom to pee, I thought, but the urge to push was already there. The nurse didn’t let me sit on the toilet long and asked me to get in bed to be checked.

At this check I was 7-8cm and then quickly hit 9-10. The pain was unreal. The urge to push was definitely there but the nurses kept telling me to wait until I was at 10cm, to wait until the doctor was there. For anyone whose had a baby, you know that you can’t not push. The nurse said for me to just not “encourage it” by pushing more myself but to let my body do its thing. Each contraction I gripped so hard onto the bed and Rob’s hand just breathing and groaning/moaning through the pain. Just as I hit 10cm the doctor came in the room (he was the same doc I spoke with before – the one who delivered Hannah). He asked me to breathe through the next contraction (despite the baby crowning! 😱) and then said I’d push on the next one.

When it was time to push I gave it literally all I had in 3 good ones. As I went to ease up and breathe the doctor and nurses said to keep pushing. I literally felt like I had nothing left to give but one nurse next to me said something along the lines of “you only got half a baby” or “you only birthed half of the baby”. For some reason I immediately feared she’d be stuck and get hurt or something and that fear gave me the added strength for about 3 more good pushes and out she came. Thank God that the pain is immediately relieved and, for easier healing, thank God for no tearing ✌️ πŸ˜…

She came out crying, which Hannah struggled with because of her lungs, so for Rob and I, hearing her cry was everything. Rob even got to cut the cord. Afterwards the doctors checked her out, cleaned her up a bit, and diapered her. They put her on my chest for skin to skin and she stayed there for the next 2-2.5 hours nursing and getting lots of snuggles. She was born at 6:02am, 8lbs 6.7oz and 20.5″ long. 100% perfection.

Not getting the epi and not tearing left me feeling great post delivery. It’s such a different experience to have a term baby vs a preemie – a welcomed difference for sure. There’s already so many new things to learn about the newborn phase that we hadn’t learned with Hannah and our nursing journey is already so different (also in a good way).

We got to come home from the hospital together, Friday around 1pm and Hannah was/is so smitten with her new baby sister.

She is constantly bringing Charlotte toys for her to play with and loves to give her snuggles every morning.

Seeing Rob with Charlotte and the two girls together just makes my heart so full. It feels like we can now begin the next chapter for our family. We’re feeling very blessed for sure.

Smash Brothers Dad mode

Fertility Journey Update

Well, since my post in December, a lot has happened that I’ve been waiting to update you on.

All of the testing that the doctors did came back negative/normal. The genetic testing showed no signs of concern. All good news, of course, just a bummer to continue to not have any answers. Nice to know I have healthy gen,es though.

In January we had the option of starting our first fertility treatment which would consist of taking clomid, an ovulation shot, and having timed intercourse prescribed by the doc based on when we did the shot. This treatment was going to cost us $1,100 if we used my fertility insurance benefit or ~$400 out of pocket. And I mean, can we sidebar on how my insurance doesn’t help… holy expensive! How does insurance make it cost more!?

Anyways, we decided that, given the cost, we wanted to wait one more month to make sure my cycle was regular (since I had just gotten over a miscarriage) and give ourselves the best odds. This meant we’d be trying everything in February.

Once February rolled around it was time to test the waters and start our treatment. After my cycle started I had to start clomid on the third day of my cycle and take it for 5 days. While taking the meds I felt pretty normal and didn’t have many side effects but after it was in my system for a few days I definitely felt the mood swings. I was upset about any and everything and probably cried once a day at least. I instigated dumb arguments with Rob and was a general hot mess. I was on the lowest clomid dose so I can only imagine how women feel on higher doses. Luckily one of my girlfriends had taken clomid before and was a great support system for me through all this (love you 😘).

Before being prescribed to do the ovulation shot I had to get two ultrasounds to check my follicle (think egg) development. Unfortunately each ultrasound is 300$ (out of pocket) so the treatment ended up being more than the original 400$ but still. ➑ Worth it but just unexpected. We were told we’d only need one ultrasound to check follicle growth but at that first one the follicles weren’t developed enough to say when to do the trigger shot so I had to get another ultrasound. After the second ultrasound they told me to do my shot on February 18th and when to have intercourse (TMI I’m sure but, well, we all know that’s kinda key for making a baby πŸ˜‚ and I’m just trying to share my journey).

I hated doing the shot at home. I was so anxious leading up to it and worried that I’d do it wrong or in the wrong spot on my body. The doctor at my second ultrasound wasn’t helpful at all either and he didn’t make my anxiety any less. He nearly left the room without saying anything about it other than “do the shot on Tuesday” but I stopped him and asked how I was supposed to do it and where. I’d never done this before and wanted a little more direction at least. The doctor still wasn’t compassionate and just told me it goes in my stomach and to go on their website and watch the video (thanks, super awesome doctor’s office). Then, when it came time to do the shot at home stress was high and I didn’t enjoy it at all. We argued while trying to figure it out (I’m sure I was hormonal and that didn’t help). The actual poking process was super simple and it didn’t hurt at all but the dread and anxiety all in my head just made it the worst. Women who have to do lots of hormone shots for their treatment are the real MVPs. I’m sure my stress would be a bit less after doing it the first time but still. Not fun and not how anyone imagines making their baby.

Once we did that all it was a waiting game to see if the treatment worked. The doctor told me to test two weeks past my ovulation shot (they didn’t say the shot would trigger a false positive though πŸ™„ and I wish they would have). Of course, I tested before the two weeks (I know I shouldn’t have) but I mean no woman trying to get pregnant is patient. The first test I did on Feb 25 (7 days post shot) was a faint positive. Then a second on Feb 27 (9 days post shot) was also a faint positive. I was so excited and called the doc (and learned about the false positive from the trigger shot 😭). I was defeated. I tested again the next day (again because I have no chill) and it was negative. Then, 13 & 14 days post shot I tested and also got positives. Day 14 meant I got to call the doc and schedule a blood draw.

When I went in for bloodwork I was 4 weeks. My progesterone was 19 (they wanted it to be 20) so they put me on a supplement and I had another draw two days later to see how my HCG rose. My HCG more than doubled ❀️ and I got to be scheduled for an ultrasound in 2 weeks. I got the call while I was at a work event and was so excited I cried.

The first ultrasound was great news – unlike any of our three miscarriages last year. The baby was measuring right as expected and we could see the heartbeat. Everything looked perfect. Rob and Hannah both were able to go for this one since it was pre-covid lockdown. We scheduled a second ultrasound for 2 weeks later and that one I had to go to alone. I was so nervous but again we were blessed with good news. The baby grew right as expected and I got to hear the heartbeat. I recorded the ultrasound for Rob so he heard it too. It was so perfect and just felt surreal. This last appointment meant I could graduate back to my regular OB. ❀️

Luckily for us, the treatment worked. The journey for us to get to baby #2 was anything but easy. Despite the craziness, I felt so loved and supported. Rob has been amazing through all of this and my friends and family have been so supportive too. I couldn’t have done it without my tribe and them helping hold me up when I didn’t feel I could exist on my own.

Cheers to baby Ruwe #2 ❀ we can’t wait to meet her!

Forgetting the little things

Take that picture or record another video. No shame. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to remember a moment and having those pictures to look back on. TBH, that lady who’s complaining about you is doing it out of bitterness (she forgets to take pictures and wishes she did). Of course you don’t want to let life pass by while your head is stuck in your camera but, life is all about balance isn’t it? Taking pictures with a disposable camera didn’t use to come with so much negativity, at least not that I recall.

As a mom of a quickly changing toddler I often find myself wishing that I had recorded something Hannah said or did or that I had taken one extra photo. It isn’t that I want to have 1000s pictures to upload on social media (even though we all know I share loads of pictures of her already). But, it’s more than that. And I hate when people try to jokingly take stabs at how many pictures a mom takes of their little. We get it Sharon, pictures aren’t your thing. But keep your negative comments to yourself.
Literally not necessary.

It’s more than just a picture. It’s a memory or moment that I just don’t want to forget. I don’t want to forget her sassy little one-liners or the way she peers at me when I ask her to do something. How she holds her hand up flat and says “ummm probably”. I’m taking these pictures for my future self and I know she’ll be happy I did. I’m hoping my social media “memories” show up for years to come since, when I get a new one each day now, I STILL LOVE SEEING THEM.

Kids change SO FAST and, with Hannah just now coming into her own personality and her speech (within the last year), she says and does the cutest, sassiest, creative little things. I want to have photos or videos to cherish and look back on when I’m old and gray or when she’s all grown up and moved out of the house. Even when shes 16 and being her crabbiest self I’m sure these things would be fun to look back on.

So next time you see someone trying to get a picture of a special moment – get out of the way or offer to take the picture for them.
As a mom who hardly EVER gets to be in the picture – it’s appreciated so much. When someone comments about you taking too many photos or videos, tell them why you’re doing it.

We want these memories forever
and this is how we’ll capture them.

Why not do it now?

Happy New Year, internets. I have a lot of things that I’m planning to do this year (with my family, personally, professionally, for our home, and for my art). We’ll get to everything here on the blog eventually. πŸ˜‚

But, for the past few years, when the new year approaches, I find it grounding to get all of my thoughts and ideas for the new year out and onto paper. This year it took a few days of me just jotting things down here and there until I felt I had a true and well-rounded list. One of those ideas I added for 2020 was the novel concept of simply putting things away.

“Every time we leave things out we avoid making decisions. ”
– Dana Byers

This year, and a little bit of the end of last year, I have been and want to continue to focus on putting things in their final “resting place” when I’m done with them. Meaning: not just putting the band aid box in the bathroom on the counter; actually putting it all the way in the drawer where it goes. I know it seems like such a basic concept but for some reason, clutter accumulates at our house and I know that some of it is avoidable.

When I first had this idea I knew I couldn’t have been the first to have it so, of course, I googled “why don’t people put stuff away”. The first thing that popped up was an article by Dana Byers called “The Discipline of Putting Things Away”. The article is a good read and one thing that really stood out to me was when she said “Each time we leave things out we avoid making decisions. ” I feel like that is 1000% true and rings with me and what I think/feel when I avoid putting crap away.

This year I’m vowing to truly make decisions and be decisive. I want to work towards my goals and give my time purpose and one of those goals of mine is to PUT THINGS AWAY. A clean house means I’m less stressed. Less stressed is the life for me. I’m not that person that can lay on the couch and watch TV if my house is messy. It could almost be said that I’m this way to a fault? πŸ€” I’m a clean freak (Rob would totally say that about me). BUT – with this new change/goal I’m hoping that by avoiding the clutter of not putting things away I will be able to spend less time cleaning! Wouldn’t that be the dream?! Even if it’s not the case, I’ll be less stressed!

So here’s to 2020 and putting things away! πŸ₯‚

Well that went well…

On 12/4 we had our first appointment at our fertility specialist. We were supposed to have our first appointment on 11/25 but my dumb ass thought it was set for 1:30pm and we arrived at 1:20pm only to find out we were late and would have to reschedule. Luckily we only had to schedule one week out and were able to get in on 12/4. BUT, that was all a long way of saying, just getting to our first appointment was a hassle.

Once we got to the office, the receptionist tells me she doesn’t have the appointment in her computer. She said it only showed my one from 11/25. Luckily this didn’t cause us any issues but it just didn’t set a great tone for the afternoon.

After a few minutes in the waiting room the doctor calls us back and we start to go through what feels like his 20th questionnaire of the day about our fertility struggles. Apparently (another bit of our *great* luck) my medical records weren’t in their system yet (I called my regular OBGYN after the appointment and they said they sent them on 11/25 so who knows whose fault it is). But, since he didn’t have my records he was asking us everything (how many miscarriages, when were they, how far along did the baby develop, did I get an ultrasound, what did they see on the ultrasound, did I hear a heartbeat, etc.). Honestly, these were hard questions. I felt so gutted that between the three miscarriages this year, Rob and I were getting all the details mixed up a bit. Such a shit problem to have – I’ve had so many miscarriages I can’t keep the stories straight. I just felt terrible. The doctor really seemed like he does this all the time and was pretty loose and happy. I mean, as Rob said later, he’d have rather him be happy and positive than sad and worried during our consultation. I guess I just also kinda wished he was a little more sensitive or compassionate. Either way – his bedside manner wasn’t really that bad. It didn’t cause me any concern alone it just wasn’t necessarily a “win” for the doctor’s office column either.

But, as a result of our chat with him, he gave us a few options and next steps. Our next steps were to do bloodwork, genetic testing, an ultrasound and an HSG test. He said that usually the tests come back negative and, if that’s the case, then I have 3 options:

  1. Take progesterone and baby aspirin to try and help the next pregnancy stick
  2. Take hormone boosting drugs (like Colmid) to try and improve the odds of getting pregnant (even tho that part seems easy for us) and also the Progesterone I think
  3. IVF

Personally, this wasn’t exactly what I was hoping for but was kinda what I expected. I was hoping they’d have more options between 1 and 3 for me to try. Since I took progesterone last pregnancy, option 1 I’ve already really done (minus baby aspirin) and he said if we did it again we’d have about a 50% chance at having another miscarriage. IVF would give us an 11% chance at another miscarriage but is really expensive and invasive. At least he laid out options so there’s that but luckily we don’t have to decide anything right away. To finish up this appointment – next up was the ultrasound and bloodwork.

First problem: for the urine sample/collection they wanted to do, they didn’t have the right equipment in the office (another strike). They took my sample but said I might have to come leave another (annoying). But still, not a big deal, just looks kinda not put together at this point. Then, for the ultrasound everything was normal. They looked at all my internal lady parts – no probs there so that’s good. Painless.

Second problem: the blood draw. For me, my blood draws 99% of the time have to come from my hands and, with my luck, the office receptionist/phlebotomist/OB-GYN assistant can’t draw from hands. She checks my arm, can’t find a vein, and then does Rob’s draw while we wait on another lady to come try and do mine. Rob’s draw goes easy peasy and then the other lady arrives to do mine. She stuck both hands and couldn’t get either one and then the first lady tried my arm and couldn’t get it. Soooooo… They decided to send us to their main office where they have a phlebotomist that can draw my blood. They tried to call the office and tell them we were coming but no one was answering so they just sent us there. At this point I’m annoyed but we’re still joking around so I’m not that bothered. Plus the main office was kinda on the way home so whatever – annoying but still, at this point I wasn’t ticked off.

When we get to the next office and head upstairs to the floor the doctor is on, all we see is major construction behind their doors. The lobby is all torn up with drywall and tools everywhere. There is a sign by the door that says its under construction and appointments are available at their locations 3 locations (this one included).

Right when I saw the construction it all clicked. They didn’t answer when the other receptionist called I assumed because they were CLOSED. ☠ This then immediately reminded me of when I originally came to their main office location on 11/25. When I had to reschedule they wouldn’t let me choose the main office location because it was going to be under construction. I was so mad. Rob and I left and went back to the car. Rob said we could go back and look around one more time to be sure they were closed and I said to not bother. I thought it was definitely closed and we should just go home. I tried to call the office from the car but they’re one of the fancy offices where you just leave a message and only get a call back so we decided to leave. πŸ™ˆ

When we left I was annoyed and irritated and pissed off. I wanted more from this appointment. It wasn’t supposed to go like this. Everything was going wrong and now I was going to have to wait longer for more answers. I wanted to do my damn test today. And to top it off, I needed to get back to work. It was already almost 3pm and I was hoping to have been home by then. It was all going really great.

As we were driving home I rationalized my way into their 3rd office being semi on the way home so we decided to dig ourselves an even deeper hole and stop there. What else could go wrong? As we pull up at that office someone from the practice finally calls me back. The lady says that they had in fact actually been in their main office location. Apparently when we saw their front doors we should have turned left down a hallway and then seen another sign on the right to check in there. If only that had, I don’t know, maybe been written somewhere. Like maybe on the sign by the door?! I was pissed. It was ridiculous that they didn’t have any signs up to say where to check in. Plus, how stupid that I didn’t go triple check or something. I was annoyed but whatever – we were at the third office now. We got off the phone and parked. Once out of the car my phone starts ringing again. It was the office again. Apparently the third office we were at wasn’t equipped to do the blood draw I needed either. We drove all the way here for nothing.

At this point I was done. How ridiculous was this shit show of a “specialist” appointment?! Their satellite offices couldn’t care for me on a simple NEW PATIENT INTAKE appointment. I felt stupid for not triple checking the signs at the main office but also super irritated because I did check the first time we were standing right there. The signs obviously sucked. Rob and I both missed how/where they could have been open.

I definitely expressed my frustration to the lady I was on the phone with. I told her that the whole day had been a shit show and that I was beyond irritated. I felt bad, in hindsight, that I was so irritated while on the phone with her (I didn’t yell at her but definitely cussed a lot while expressing how ridiculous every aspect of the day was). She told me “it wasn’t her fault” and that I “shouldn’t take my anger out on her” so we just agreed to set me up an appointment for a blood draw in two days (on Friday) at their main office and part ways.

The whole ride home was lots of traffic and road rage in our car. Rob and I were both in good moods. The rest of my day was shit too. I cried a lot about how terrible the day was and about how unsupportive the doctor was. I cried about how this specialist was supposed to help me and instead stressed me out even more. I cried because this was supposed to be the most recommended practice in our area and I was getting such shit service. It was just a rough day. I wanted more from this specialist. I wanted to feel supported and helped. I wanted this all to be over and every, single, part of it, just felt worse.

At the end of all of that, I debated on finding a whole new doctor since I received such terrible service. Once I was able to cool down I decided I’d give them another shot and do my blood draw that Friday and see how things went. This was supposed to be the best doctor in the area and I really wanted them to help us.

Now, fast forward a week, I did my blood draw on Friday and my genetic tests are processing. They 100% redid the signs at the main office (that’s under construction) to be more clear/obvious and have also made sure that both of their satellite offices are fully stocked to do the tests I needed to have done but couldn’t. Hopefully no one else has the experience I did! Rob’s blood draw that they did didn’t work for some reason (or wasn’t enough blood or something – the lady on the phone didn’t really explain) but she said once my results come back, and if I’m a carrier of anything, then we can decide if we want to redo Rob’s test or not. I guess if I’m not a carrier of anything then it doesn’t really matter what he is bringing to the table. I’m not sure how genetics work but that’s how she explained it.

All of this is a long way of saying that it’s been a roller coaster of a ride so far and it just started. Next test is the HSG test and then we’ll just wait on all the results before deciding what to do next. Fingers crossed we find some answers and this part of our lives can be behind us soon!