TRUTH : Infertile mommas tend to be a little on the paranoid side.
But, understandably so y'all.
We're used to loss. We're used to disappointment. We're used to failure. Many of us get to place of accepting this way of life and learn to EXPECT just aboutEVERYTHING to go wrong when it comes to baby makin'.
And THEN....When we finally get pregnant, we naively think that MAYBE, just maybe, our worries will just vanish. We think that, after ALL we have been through to FINALLY get pregnant, the simple act of getting pregnant will just wash away all of our fears. That we will be HEALED once and for all and all that anxiety and paranoia will be gone forever.
NOPE. NOPE. NOPE. And NOPE. Sorry bout' it. FAKE NEWS!
Honey, just listen.
The paranoia don't stop. Won't stop. Can't stop.
For me, it went something like this....
In the first trimester, EVERYTHING meant I had lost my baby.
I didn't feel sick or ever throw up. I wasn't overly emotional (well because I've been jacked up on raging hormones for so long anyway). My boobs didn't hurt. And I was definitely NOT glowing. I didn't feel pregnant. I didn't look pregnant. And for the majority of my first trimester, I was still being monitored by my fertility clinic, and taking hormones and ass injections on the reg. I was still "infertile" by all definitions.
Once I was able to hear a heartbeat, I could finally start to believe that I was, in fact, pregnant, with an actual baby. I had a friend give me a heart rate monitor to use at home and listen to the baby's heartbeat. That monitor became my saving grace for the first 4-5 months of my pregnancy. Whenever I would get anxious, I'd go sit with my monitor and listen to that beautiful sound.
Gadget #1 - A Heart rate Monitor
In the second trimester, I was released from all the infertility medications and doctors visits, and finally started to feel like a "normal" pregnant woman. I was starting to feel baby kicks, and "look" pregnant. I actually felt good for once! I was free of pain, needles, and my disease (temporarily). Finally, I was in the clear!
Second Trimester BlisS....
Yup, that "second trimester bliss" I had heard about was all a big joke.
I was out of town on a business trip, in my hotel bathroom and I saw my life flash before my eyes.
I saw blood.
Bright red blood.
"OMG, this is it", I thought. 'I'm losing my baby. This is my fate."
I dropped to the floor sobbing like I've never sobbed before. I was all alone, witnessing the death of my unborn baby with no one to hug me, no one to wipe my tears or tell me it was going to be okay. My biggest fear was happening right before my eyes and there was nothing I could do but yell and cry "WHY GOD? WHY?"
I crawled over to my phone, on my hands and knees, and called my husband. He tried to talk me off the ledge and made me call my doctor. We spoke and decided that the best thing for me to do was rest and return home in a day or two to be checked. LONGEST two days of my life. My husband picked me up from the airport and I ran straight to my heart rate monitor and put it on. AND THERE IT WAS. A heartbeat.
I saw my doctor the next day and determined it was a false alarm. The bleeding was likely from flying and/or lifting a heavy suitcase, but the baby was okay.
Jiminy fucking crickets!
The third trimester came with a new set of worries.
"You don't say?"
As I got closer to my due date I felt the anxiety of delivering early, or, not knowing what was going on when I felt stomach pains or cramps. How the hell am I supposed to know what a contraction feels like?
At 35 weeks, I had yet ANOTHER scare. I had been experiencing gnarly swelling in my hands and feet, and losing feeling in my arms and legs. On Father's Day, of all days, I started to see strobe lights and lost part of my vision. I ended up in the hospital, with borderline blood pressure that would indicate preeclampsia- a very, very, scary thing for pregnant women. Life or death scary, y'all.
They considered inducing me that night, but ultimately made the call to wait since I wasn't full term, my blood pressure was "borderline" not "severe", and it was best for the baby to stay "in" longer. They warned me that preeclampsia could come on any day, and that I needed to be monitored closely from here on out.
Yep, sounds about right. This is my life.
I knew that I needed to be able to check my blood pressure at home to feel confident that I wasn't at risk of preeclampsia in between doctor's appointments. So, I ran to CVS and bought one immediately!
Gadget # 2 - Blood Pressure Monitor
While I was in the hospital, they hooked me up to a monitor to look at not only the baby's heartbeat, but also my uterine activity. Otherwise known as a, contraction stress test.
I was immediately obsessed with what I was seeing and wondered if this was something I could watch from home, like I did the baby's heartbeat? I want to know what's going on in there!!
I did some searching and found Bloomlife. YAS, another gadget to help me stay sane!
GADGET #3 - A CONTRACTION MONITOR
Bloomlife is different than what they test you for in the hospital, it is a contraction monitor that you wear at home for a few hours a day when you are sitting around. Most women like to use it for the last 6-8 weeks of their pregnancy to learn from and connect with their body as they prepare for labor. I started using mine right around 36 weeks, but I wish I had gotten it sooner honestly.
An hour a day is all that is really needed to give you some data to look at, but I tend to go longer, because, again, I'm #infertileandparanoid. The more I know, the better I'll be! Infertility has taught me how important it is to be informed with what's going on in my body. I've become quite the data nerd, and I have to say, this gadget is pretty mind blowing. I've become borderline obsessed with it.
Apparently, I'm not the only one who's worried about what's going on in there...
You stick the monitor on, three fingers below your belly button, sit down and get comfy with a blanket and perhaps your #rideordiechick.
It will start to calibrate with the app on your phone, it only takes a few minutes to start pulling data, and then you can see everything live.
What I really like, is that I can go back and look at trends over the last few days and see how things are progressing.
As you can see below on my app, my contractions on June 30th varied in duration and time between.
Many of the contractions I didn't feel at all, but some of the bigger ones I felt some minor cramping. Anytime I would make a comment about feeling "crampy" my husband would jump up and say "check your app honey!". I think he's loving it even more than I am!
I'm really excited to see how this comes into play when I have REAL contractions. I know my husband has been super nervous about being in charge of tracking them for me with a stopwatch and making notes. This app gives us BOTH peace of mind.
I'll definitely be reporting back on that soon.
Well, hopefully, not TOO soon! :)
Bloomlife was so gracious to give me a monitor to try in exchange for my honest feedback, and I'm happy to report, I LOVE it and better yet, I'm able to offer all of y'all a discount!
USE CODE VN10 TO GET 10% OFF YOUR WEEKLY RENTAL!
What are your favorite gadgets to help you through pregnancy? Please share!