Wednesday, December 31, 2008

There's No Place Like Home

Christmas was nice. We generally had a good week away from home, splitting our time between each of our parents. But I have to say that I was very glad to get home yesterday. My mom was completely stressed out by her still unfinished kitchen remodel (great timing!), my sister and brother-in-law were their usual sulky selves, and my mother-in-law drove me absolutely batty. She is in many ways a wonderful MIL and I know she cares A LOT and would do anything for us, but still she can annoy me like no other. I now have two weeks to regroup before putting on a happy face and returning to their house for the long MLK day/inauguration weekend. Unfortunately, my parents will be out of town, so I won't even have the excuse of wanting to see my parents to get away for a bit. Oh well, I can only blame myself, in a moment of forgetfullness or stupidity I was the one who suggested the visit.

Now that I've got the complaints out, we really did have a lovely holiday. Despite everyone's saying they would be more restrained with the gift giving this year, the Ladybug got a ton of new stuff. And thanks to some very excited grandparents, the Bumblebee even got a few gifts already. Speaking of the Bumblebee, he's kicking harder and harder. I love it, it is very reassuring! On the other hand, I wish he would stop stomping on my cervix because that's not so comfortable or reassuring, though the doc told me not to worry (ha ha).

The sweetest thing that happened during our time away was a little "surprise" party my daughter orchestrated on my behalf. On our last day at my in-law's house she overheard my MIL congratulating me on making it to the half way mark of the pregnancy*. Shortly thereafter she went with my father-in-law to run some errands. When they got home she announced that I was not allowed in the kitchen and for the rest of the afternoon there were lots of whisperings that I wasn't supposed to hear.
Just before dinner she dragged me upstairs and did my hair (not my best look!) and then made me change clothes! She then led me into the dining room where my husband and the in-laws yelled out "congratulations". There were flowers on the table, party hats, a dessert made by daughter**, and even a little gift*** wrapped up for me. She's just been too cute. She is constantly hugging and rubbing my belly and ever since my MIL told her the baby might be able to hear her she talks to him too. One morning she even read him a story.

* I'll be 20 weeks this coming Sat, but since I'll have a c-section at 38 weeks, 19 is halfway for me.

** The Ladybug's homemade dessert was cutup apples and bananas with sugar and cinnamon sprinkled on top -- not bad actually!

*** MIL gave the Ladybug some old costume jewelry to give me. It's sweet, but not the first time I've gotten stuff like this from the two of them, and MIL seems to think this is stuff I'll actually wear. I tried to leave it on the dresser in the room we stayed in but the Ladybug went in after I'd packed and dutifully brought it to me. ;)

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Peace

We arrived at my parents house at about 5:30pm yesterday. Had a nice dinner with the family and then my sister and I went out and began our traditional last minute shopping spree for the last few gifts and stocking stuffers for our parents. I was up until about midnight wrapping presents and talking and then fell into bed gleeful with the thought that I didn't have to get up for work and that my mom would be getting up with the kids. So why why why did my body decide that 5:30am was the right time to wake up this morning! I laid in bed for an hour hoping that I'd fall back asleep, but the bumblebee was kicking up a storm (very reassuring!) and then I had to pee, AND my mind was spinning, so at 6:30 I finally gave up. So, now I sit in a dark, quiet house finally about to write the post I've been thinking about for a few days now.

I'm not the best blogger in terms of how often I write or even what I write, and I don't have too many visitors or readers, but I still have been thinking that I really wanted to at least post some holiday greetings for anyone who might stop by.

Since I kept procrastinating getting online and writing a post, I've actually thought about what I would write more than usual. And in thinking about the types of things people usually say around the holidays to one another, about how our emotions can be heightened around the holidays, about what the holidays often signify to infertiles (even those lucky enough to have children or be pregnant), and about just how painful infertility can be all year long (again, even for those lucky enough to have children or be pregnant), I realized that that thing I've wished for most (besides another baby) in the past 3 years is what I'm wishing for all of you this holiday -- peace, more precisely peace of mind.

So, whereever you are on your journey and whatever holiday you may celebrate I wish you peace today and for the new year. I truly hope that 2009 will be a year of wishes coming true for all of us.

Friday, December 19, 2008

How in the world...

could I have gained 2 1/2 pounds since yesterday? And in a fit of disbelief I weighed myself after 30 minutes and I'd gained another 1/2 pound -- and I didn't have anything to eat or drink in the interim!

I know I can't be too concerned about my weight right now. And trust me I'm not trying to lose weight (in fact I've been pretty bad about what I've been eating lately), but until yesterday I was quite happy to have only gained about 3 to 4 pounds seeing as I started off this pregnancy 20 pounds heavier than I was a year and a half ago and 25 pounds heavier than I was when I got pregnant with my daughter. I guess I'd better start thinking a bit more about what I put in my mouth. I sure don't need to gain too much with this baby. Both because I don't want to be faced with a 60 pound weight loss next summer and while I didn't have gestational diabetes with my daughter, I am 6 1/2 years older and we have quite the family history of diabetes. Oh well, I guess it's a good wake up call, because weight aside I know that junk food is bad for me and the bumblebee and that we both need good healthy foods.

Happy Friday Everyone!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Has he kicked today?

I'm so glad that we finally told our daughter about the baby. She remains very excited and has told everyone she comes in contact with, and I mean EVERYONE!

Since we told her Monday night, less than 72 hours ago, she's probably asked me several hundred times "is he kicking?" or "will you tell me when you feel him kick?"
The only downside to this is that it makes me all too aware of how often I'm feeling anything and so I'm starting to get paranoid when it seems like too much time as passed since the last time I felt the gentle poking and prodding from the inside. Like right now. I know it's silly. I'm 2 days shy of 18 weeks, and what I do feel is very gentle, so I know it's probably fine. But I'll be happy when the Bumblebee is big enough that I can do my own prodding from the outside for a little reassurance.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Big Sister!

So, we did tell our daughter about the baby last night. But it turns out that I was the big baby. We all got home later than usual and when my husband walked in the door at 7:30 my daughter was in the bath and dinner was no where in sight. So when I suggested he go get the video camera he told me didn't want to tell her because it was already late and she'd be too excited to sleep. I knew he was right but I didn't care, so I proceeded to pout all through dinner. It worked. So, after dinner he brought up the video camera.

I had really convinced myself that she was going to look at us and say "I told you so!" But she didn't. My husband was the one who announced that "mommy is going to have a baby". At first she just looked at us and said "what?", so he repeated it and she just leaped off the couch and started squealing and dancing around the room.

Once she calmed down a bit I told her that she was going to have a baby brother. I'd been a little worried that she'd be disappointed, but she was so excited. At one point last night after she'd calmed down a bit she did say "I really wanted a little sister, but I wanted a little brother too." She immediately asked if she could call her grandmother and tell her -- we did not tell her that she is pretty much the last person to know. ;) So she called my mom and at one point said "I'm just so excited I can't concentrate on talking!" After talking to my mom she called my in-laws and told them too. Throughout the rest of the evening and this morning she has repeatedly asked me to tell her when I feel him kick. Every now and then she'll look up and exclaim "I'm going to be a big sister!" She has also asked me a few times "are you REALLY going to have a baby?" and this morning she asked me if she could tell her teacher.

She was up late but I don't care. I've been waiting to tell her she was going to be a big sister for years now and her reaction was just priceless.

Ever since she was a baby I've called her my little Lulu Ladybug. As she was crawling into bed last night she asked if the baby would be another ladybug. I said "no, you're my little ladybug, maybe he can be our little bumblebee." She liked that. And this morning the weirdest thing happened. We've already decided on Ben for the baby's name, but we did not tell her that. While we were snuggling in bed this morning she said "I know, we can call him Ben Bumblebee!" My husband and I looked at each other and said "what made you think of Ben?" She replied "it rhymes." I did double check with the grandparents and none of them mentioned the name Ben to her!

I know this is getting long, but I want to record this as much for me as anything else, so one more story. But first a little background. Sometime between a year to 18 months ago (long before IVF cycle that produced 14 eggs or the thawing of the 3 that made it to freeze) my weight really started to creep up and it was pretty obvious that my belly was growing. My daughter would look at me and insist that I had a baby in my belly. I've always tried very hard not to talk about my weight or diets in front of my daughter, but given her insistence we had a few conversations about eating healthy foods and getting exercise and I told her I hadn't been doing those things very well and so I'd gained some weight and I wasn't happy because it was bad for my health. While I told her I was trying to lose some of the weight, I tried very hard to stay away from discussing size and focused on the health issues. She has occasionally since then commented on the obvious fact that I hadn't lost any weight. So, back to last night. She was getting ready for bed and finally said what I'd been expecting all along "I knew you were pregnant". She proceeded to tell me that the baby must be the reason I hadn't lost any weight (I wish!) and that while I hadn't known because the baby had been so small and I hadn't been to the doctor yet, she knew it because I hadn't lost any weight.

Just because... here's a recent picture of the big sister on the night she lost her first tooth.


In other news. The Bumblebee has been making his presence known more and more. Truly sometime between last Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning my stomach just sort of exploded. I guess I shouldn't be surprised, but it just seemed so sudden. Saturday I was still feeling pretty camouflaged in my sweaters, but by the time I was getting dressed for Sunday's Tootpu Cookie Exchange not a sweater in my closet was hiding my growing belly. I've also been feeling the little bug kicking on a regular basis. Still pretty mild little pokes, but no doubt about what they are!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Another hurdle cleared!

So, I just off the phone with the doctor's office and my AFP came back negative. Yeah! Looks like we'll be pulling out the video camera and telling our daughter very soon. Next stop on this crazy train ride is the anatomy scan on Jan 6th. I'm so glad the holidays are between now and then, as it'll help make the time pass more quickly.

I'll post more interesting stuff soon, but now I'm off to lunch!

Show and Tell

Here's my submission for this week's Show and Tell.

Somebody got mad yesterday. While I was out having a great time at the TOOTPU cookie exchange, my husband was on kid duty. Apparently things didn't go so well at the grocery store and she was mad when they got home. This is the sign she made for her door. Absolutely cracked me up when I saw it! I love the hands on hips. I recommend clicking on the photo to get the up close view so you can really see the faces -- the small version doesn't do it justice.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Tagged, again.

Elana at Elana's Musings tagged me.
I think I've done this one before, but I thought it might be fun to do it without looking at the old answers and see whether I repeat any.

The rules are:
1. Link to the person who tagged you.
2. Share 7 random and/or weird facts about you.
3. Tag 7 random people at the end, and include links to their blogs.

So here goes...

1) I often drink hot water - no tea bag, no lemon, just plain old hot water. (My dad thinks it's gross. )

2) At the ripe old age of 39, I'm still oddly influenced by my big sister. I seek her advice on all sorts of matters (mostly shopping and decorating) and even though she's sometimes not very nice about her opinions I find it VERY hard not to take her advice. In fact, she picked the the paint colors that we used in our bedroom, our daughter's bedroom, the nursery, and our kitchen.

3) I hate the taste of coffee, but I love the smell and I love coffee flavored ice cream.

4) I love Malted Milk Balls and Milk Duds.

5) I make my chocolate chip cookies with milk chocolate chips, I much prefer it to semisweet chocolate.

6) I like To.m's of Ma.ine Fluoride Wint.ermint ToothPASTE (not gel!). Other flavors make my mouth burn. Since my local grocery stores don't carry it when I find a place that has it I buy about 6 at a time.

7) Though I don't eat much fast food, I do occassionally indulge in a M.cDon.alds sausage, egg & cheese biscuit - YUM!

And now. I pass the Weird Facts Meme baton to ...

1) momofonefornow at Stop the Train, I Wanna Get Off...
2)Penny at Incompl_te
3)Waiting Amy at Waiting For...
4)Sunny at My Journey Towards My Little Miracle
5)Mo at Life and Love in the Petri Dish
6)Jendeis at Sell Crazy Someplace Else
7)Shelli at BagMomma

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

NEWS!

Busy busy busy today, so this will be quick.

Today I'm 16 weeks and 3 days.

Had an uneventful but pleasant appointment (the best kind!) -- met the third of four doctors in the practice and both my husband and I really like her -- what a relief!

And, drum roll please,

It's a BOY!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Telling Our Daughter (for inquiring minds)

A few folks have asked if we've told our daughter yet. We haven't. I'm just too paranoid. I was originally hoping to hold out for as long as possible, but my husband and I agreed that we'll tell her sometime after our next appointment (assuming everything is ok). Right now we're thinking we'll try to hold out until Christmas. Not specifically on Christmas -- I don't want her thinking this is some kind of gift for her -- but sometime during our holiday break. We do plan to pull out the video camera to try and capture her reaction. Knowing my daughter, she'll probably just say "I told you so", which she has, many times!

A Long-lasting Bitter Pill

Infertility that is. It's the shitty gift that keeps on giving. A very good friend told me yesterday that she is pregnant with her third child "sort of by accident". This after getting pregnant with her first two on the first try each. I am happy for my friend. I didn't cry after we talked this time like I did when she told me about her second pregnancy just months after the miscarriage I had following IVF #1. But I haven't been able to stop thinking about how unfair it feels that it's so damn easy for some people and so damn hard for others. I realize that as happy as I am to be pregnant right now, I'm still have a lot of bitterness, jealousy, resentfulness, and plain old sadness about what we've been through in the past 3 1/2 years, about what's been lost and can never be regained. And I hate that. I hate that I can't JUST be happy for this friend and other friends without all the other crap emotions swirling around in my head too. I hate that I'm jealous of my infertile sisters who are having twins* ('cause even though my doctor told me it would not be good, I really hoped it would happen). I hate that the idea of my ever giving birth to a third child is laughable. I hate that other people's happy news makes me sad and then I feel guilty for feeling all the crap emotions and that makes me feel like a really lousy friend, especially to people who have been really supportive over the years.

Ugh, I just feel like such an asshole.



* But I am happy for them, especially this lady -- no one deserves such good news more!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Sleeping Beauty and Other Miscellaneous Ramblings

No, this post is not about one of my daughters fairytale books. Rather, I was thinking I wish I could be a little like Sleeping Beauty. While the beauty part would be nice, it's the sleeping part that I crave. And no, it's not about my ability to sleep at night. It's that I wish I could take some sort of potion and wake up in May just in time to give birth. This weekend we spilled the beans on the pregnancy to the rest of our family and I've told a few more friends. Everytime I told someone that I was about 15 weeks, they'd say something like "wow, you're already in the second trimester!" But to me it feels like nowhere. I feel like I'm holding my breath and time is just barely moving along.

I'm not a terribly patient person to begin with, when I want something I want it NOW. But the thing about pregnancy after infertility and miscarriages (and I can only imagine how much worse it would be for someone who has suffered through a stillbirth or later term losses) is that it feels interminable. I confess I was also impatient during my pregnancy with my daughter, but at the same time I enjoyed it. It was like a long but pleasant walk. But this pregnancy feels more like a marathon - with lots of hurdles thrown in.

My next OB appointment is in a week. I can't wait. I've sort of told myself that once I get through the next appointment I'll start telling the next group of friends.

******

In other news, Thanksgiving was a bit of a bust. My sister-in-law decided to behave like a petulant 16 year old instead of a 40 year old mother of three, thus ruining the long weekend for everyone else. Unfortunately it's not the first time she's behaved this way. Though, it may be the last time she ruins our holiday as, at the very least, my husband and I agreed we won't ever stay in the same house with her for more than 2 days. Personally, I'm leaning toward sleeping at my parents' house (they live 15 minutes away) and just making short appearances during the day.

In happier news, I did get to sneak away from the in-laws on Friday and spent several hours shopping with my mom. We met my dad for a nice Thai lunch, and I got most of my Christmas shopping out of the way. My mom also let me pick out an awesome Christmas present for myself!

Lastly, I'm happy at the moment because - since my mom is having her kitchen remodeled starting today and thus got all of her Christmas baking done early - I'm enjoying some yummy homemade poppy seed bread.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Spilled the Beans

A couple of days ago I told my supervisor and my team that I was pregnant. Yesterday I told my "boss", the head of my division, and my former supervisor/friend. I wasn't planning on telling quite so soon, but events conspired (I will not bore you with the details) and I decided it would just be easier to tell.
It felt really weird. When I was pregnant with my daughter, almost 7 years ago, I was so excited and after we saw her heartbeat the first time I had no concerns about the pregnancy. This time I just can't get comfortable with the idea that everything's going to work out. Everytime I see the heartbeat this time I feel relieved, but it usually only lasts for about 24 to 48 hours and then the panic sets in. However, while it felt very weird to tell, now I'm kind of relieved that I don't have to keep going about my days feeling like I've got a big secret. Plus, if something bad happens from here on out, I'll be so depressed and won't be able to hide it, so might as well have people know why.

We still haven't made a decision about the amnio yet. In fact, we really haven't talked much about it at all. I'm just so torn about it AND I'm tired, have a horrible cold, and have had chronic headaches for weeks now, so I really don't feel like talking about ANYTHING at the end of the day. I suppose we'll have to really face it this weekend, but for another day I'm going to put it out of my mind.

On the bright side, I'm glad it's Friday and I'm excited to be getting out of town for the holiday next week. Looking forward to the mashed potatoes and stuffing!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Decisions, Decisions (warning: Pregnancy AND Kid stuff)

So I FINALLY talked with the nurse today and got the full results of the nuchal translucency scan and blood test.

In a nutshell everything looks good.

For those of you with inquiring minds...

Based on my age alone the risk of having a baby with Downs is 1 in 105.
After the scan and bloodwork results the risk is 1 in 2061 (same as a 21 year old)

Based on my age alone the risk of having a baby with other Trisomies is 1 in 189.
After the scan and bloodwork results the risk is 1 in 3761 (same as a 20 year old).

This is great news, but of course makes the decision about additional testing, well, agonizing.

The odds of a miscarriage with a CVS or Amnio are arguably higher than my new odds of having a baby with a trisomy. Makes this a much trickier calculation in reality than it was in theory. I've always said I'd have an amnio. I really want that 100% certainty, but I confess I'm on the fence now and my husband is definitely leaning to the no testing side.

So, we have some soul searching to do in the next couple of days, but we're certainly happy to have gotten such good news.

*****

In other unrelated news, my daughter lost her first tooth last Friday. Oddly, she's so attached to it that she refuses to relinquish it to the tooth fairy. The night it feel out she was holding it and saying goodbye (I couldn't make this up if I tried!), so I offered to take a picture of it for her. After we got the photo and she tucked it under her pillow she burst into tears. We finally convinced her that she was not required to let the tooth fairy take it. I offered to place it safely in her jewelry box, but she was still concerned that the tooth fairy would find it. After about 10 more minutes we finally had her convinced that the tooth fairy only looks under pillows. The next morning she announced that she might be ready to let the tooth fairy take it that night. But that was the last she mentioned it, and the tooth remains safely hidden in her jewelry box.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Annoyed but Happy

Here I am at 12 weeks 4 days. Yesterday was my appointment for my NT scan. The appointment did not go well, but not because there's anything wrong. In the end we were relieved to see the heartbeat again and happy to hear from the sonographer, nurse practitioner, and the doctor that the everything looked great on the scan. Unfortunately, in every other way the appointment was incredibly frustrating.

First the baby would not cooperate so halfway through the scan I had to get up, guzzle a soda (for the sugar), and walk around for 5 minutes in hopes that the baby would move so they could see what needed to be seen. Didn't seem to work, but at the last minute the tech got what she needed.

Then after another 15 minutes in the waiting room, they call me back to ask me for the 4th time if I'd had my NT bloodwork done previously. For the 4th time in an hour I explained that, as they'd instructed, I'd been in the office exactly 2 weeks earlier for a blood draw. After 30 minutes, many phone calls to the office and the lab, and a few tears on my part, they determined that IF the nurse had actually done the proper blood test (which seemed questionable), the results were nowhere to be found. So, while we were reassured by everyone that the results of the scan were great, we weren't actually able to get the complete results that we'd been expecting. So they took more blood and the nurse promised to call the lab in hopes of getting the results back a little sooner.

In addition to being pissed off about the mixup with the bloodwork and not getting the full results, the delay in getting the test results means that CVS is ruled out if we wanted to see the results before deciding on Amnio vs. CVS. That's because by the time we get the results I'll be too far along.

By the time we were ushered down the hall to see the doctor, I was still annoyed, but I was actually calming down and looking forward to seeing the doctor and asking all my questions.

And that's when the worst part of the appointment started. I'm still so disgusted about the way the doctor dealt with us that I'm practically shaking just thinking about it! In fact, the more time that goes by the angrier I get.

It started of ok, she was thoughtful enough to apologize for the bloodwork snafu and told us that the results of the scan were beautiful. Then she asked if we had any questions and it went downhill from there. I told her that we were having trouble deciding between CVS and Amnio, and quickly asked if CVS was no longer an option if we wanted to wait for the results of the bloodwork. She confirmed that the CVS wasn't really an option, but then instead of giving us any information on amnio she proceeded to lecture us on how we really needed to think about what we would do with the information we'd get from the test. I have no problem with her saying that, but when we tried to press her on some what ifs with regard to the blood tests and ask her questions on some other upcoming tests, she just kept deflecting our answers and told us we need to stop thinking about worst case scenarios! I actually did say to her that we aren't assuming that something bad will happen, but I am 39 and we want to be prepared and have thought about what we might do given the possibility of something bad. She continued to poo-poo our questions and was blatantly rude to my husband. We finally gave up and left. Since the CVS is ruled out, we will be doing an Amnio, but I'm still furious about the way she treated us.

End of vent (here anyway, it continues in my head at an alarming pitch)!

But again, overall we were happy with the news about the baby and I made my husband take me for my favorite burrito (Crunchy Barbeque Ranch!) for a celebratory lunch afterward.

Now I need to weigh the pros and cons of finding another high-risk practice. Sigh!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Still Hurts

Interesting how little things can still hurt.

Deep down I have known for some time that even if this pregnancy is successful, there will always be a part of me that will be a little bit bitter and jealous when I see a woman with a pregnant belly or a family with 3 or more kids. Even though I know that some of them may have endured what I've been through, or worse, the fact of the matter is that the vast majority of women don't suffer through infertility or repeated miscarriages. While I have come to "know" a lot of women who do thanks to this wonderfully supportive online community. IRL most of the women I know haven't had to deal with these issues.

Of course, it is true that my bitterness and jealousy tend to be reserved for strangers (or people I don't like ;). With good friends who I care about those emotions tend to fade.

I'm pretty sure I've mentioned here that my sister-in-law is pregnant. We've known since very early on. This weekend I found out through my other sister-in-law that she's having a boy. Hearing the news over the phone that way -- from the other SIL-- didn't really affect me too much. But for some reason when I checked our email the other day and saw "It's A Boy!" in one of the subject lines, it took my breath away. Now, I should say that this has not been an easy pregnancy for them and it follows on a couple of miscarriages, so I'm sure they are incredibly happy to have gotten this far and to be able to share such happy news. And I am truly happy for them. I think maybe that being able to hear the unbridled joy of that message just made me sad because we still feel like we have a long way to go before we get there.

I really didn't mean to make this another "I'm so scared... whoa is me" post. Really I was just surprised at my own reaction to some news that I already knew.

On the Bright Side

Ok, here's my effort to at least occassionally post about something positive.

1) I wasn't going to discuss the election here, since this is not a political blog, but for me the result of yesterday's election is just too fabulous to ignore. While I'm sad, angry and discouraged by the votes on the same-sex ballot measures across the country, overall I feel hopeful about our government and our country for the first time in a very, very, very long time.

2) Throughout my protracted illness* my husband has been wonderful. He was already so stressed about the pregnancy (I really think he's more worried than I am), the election, and stuff at work that he hasn't been sleeping well for weeks. Nevertheless he's been taking great care of me and our daughter. Given his own stress, I wouldn't have been surprised if pulling all the weight at home AND taking care of me for a week made him a little grumpy (I probably would be), but he's been truly terrific.

*As I type this my throat is still sore, but all in all I'm feeling MUCH better!

3) We had my daughter's parent-teacher conference the other day and it went very well. I love my child and she is funny and sweet and full of life. She can also be a pain in the a$$ and we continue to work on her behavior and listening skills. In addition, she is the youngest kid in her class and NOT mature for her age. Also, in kindergarten last year, she seemed to be having trouble with math. Anyway, the preliminary assessment we got in the mail did not look good regarding her behavior and it was pretty hard to tell about the academics. So I was pretty apprehensive about the meeting. Anyway, turns out that yes, we do still need to work on the listening skills, being quiet when others are talking, etc. BUT her teacher said a couple of things that greatly put my mind at ease. 1) She's already seen improvement in our daughter's classroom behavior since school started; and 2) The behavioral "issues" are well within the range of normal and nothing to be concerned about. And lastly, her reading and writing skills are well beyond what they expect for first graders and her math skills are perfectly on track. For reasons I can't explain, I'd also been kind of worried that the teacher didn't really like our daughter. It was pretty clear from our conversation that I was way off base and she actually told us several times (with anecdotes) how much fun she is and how much she enjoys having her in her class. A mom's mind put to ease is worth millions!

Sick of Being Sick

So whatever this virus is that I have, it's not going away. I've spent the better part of the last 4 days in bed. I've been taking tylenol to help with the symptoms, but it usually only provides me about an hours worth of relief. Here's how it goes. Bottle says to take 2 every 6 hours. So I take one at say 9 am. It finally starts working at about 10 am. I feel ok until 11 and then spend the next 4 hours counting down the minutes until I can take more of something that doesn't even help that much. In addition, this illness seems to have reinstigated the indigestion and nausea that had actually been on the decline -- and now it's worse than ever! If I don't eat I feel sick, if I do eat I feel sick.

In other news. Exactly one week until my next appointment and the NT scan. It will not get here soon enough!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Trick or Treat (Warning: This one's all about my kid)

My daughter has been obsessed with babies and cats for as long as I can remember. Last year she was a cat for Halloween. This year she added her other obsession to the theme and went as a pregnant cat. For inquiring minds, here's the photographic evidence with which I will torment her when she is a teenager!








Sunday, November 2, 2008

Show and Tell (Confessions) **with addendum

So, I should start by confessing that I was one of "those" women. When we started trying to get pregnant the first time (almost 8 years ago!), I assumed it would be so easy for us. Everyone in my extended family was uber fertile and I had always had regular periods and pretty much no health problems. Therefore, even before we actually started trying in earnest I shopped. Now don't get me wrong, I didn't have a fully outfitted nursery or anything, but I did have a box in the back of my closet with a few items that I just couldn't resist. While getting to baby didn't take nearly as long that first go round as our current efforts for a sibling have lasted, that box did sit in my closet for longer than I'd expected. So where's the show you ask. Here are two of the items that were stashed in that box. (In case you're wondering - yes, I do have a thing for pigs.)



Turns out, of all the stuffed animals my daughter has (and there are MANY) she has never been interested in either of those pigs.

Now for another confession. I shopped again. Not as early as before. Only after seeing the heartbeat for the third time was I giddy and optimistic enough to make a purchase. I can only hope that the next child* will like this more than my daughter likes the pigs.



For other Show and Tell entries this week click on over to Mel's Show and Tell place.

* I just re-read what I wrote and I thought "wow, that last statement sounds awfully optimistic". Yet, I'm not feeling nearly that optimistic right now. It's been 3 weeks since I've had proof that everything is ok inside. And, just to add to my worries, I've been laid up in bed for the last 3 days. Since Thursday I've had a sore throat, swollen glands, constant headache and I've been sleeping about 14 hours a day! I realize that there's probably no reason to think that such a virus will put this pregnancy at risk, but I'm just that kind of paranoid these days. I even went to the local "urgent care" center this morning because the symptoms are just not going away and I've never slept so much without having a fever before. The strep test was negative and they told me to drink fluids and get lots of rest. Ha, that's all I've done for the last 3 days! Anyway, I guess this has gone beyond a show and tell entry so I'll stop now. ;)

** I'd wondered if anyone would notice or ask about the crib in the second photo. Anonymous asked if we'd set it up already. Yes and no. We actually never took it down. When my daughter moved into the big bed in the other room when she was about 2 1/2, we were planning to start trying for baby #2 in a couple of months. Not thinking it would take so long, we just left the nursery furniture in the room. The room has since become a defacto art room for my daughter and giant storage room for me. But we've continued to leave all the baby furniture in there. One, we have no other space to store it. Two, I suppose we always figured one way (pregnancy) or another (adoption) or both we'd be using it again.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Last Year

A year ago tonight, on what I thought was a pretty stupid whim I took a pregnancy test that came out positive. It was only three days after our initial consult with a new doctor at a new clinic and it was a completely unexpected surprise. We were pretty excited for about a week. Then things started to go bad.

One year later and I feel oddly like I'm in a similar place. I know that I'm not. When things started looking fishy last year I was only 5 weeks along, we never saw a heartbeat. Right now I am 2 days short of 11 weeks and I've seen a lovely flickering heartbeat 3 times already. Nevertheless, I feel a little like I did one year ago today (before things went downhill). I'm happy and excited to be pregnant, and I can't help but think about the future and what our life might be like in another 30 weeks. But I'm also still scared.

For my birthday yesterday I got a nice big check in the mail from my parents and a generous Amazon gift certificate from other family members. Money is a little tight these days because like or not we have to assume the best and start planning for how we'll finance maternity leave. Therefore, I intend to use the birthday money and gift certificate to buy some new clothes. But as I was telling that to my husband last night I also commented that there is no way I'll be buying anything until after the next scan in 12 days, and that would be the earliest. I don't think I'd realized until that moment just how nervous I am.

I'll confess that I have bought 1 thing for the baby. But that was the day I saw the heartbeat for the third time and I was feeling giddy and optimistic. Plus, I rationalized that if something goes wrong I can always gift it to someone else.

November 11th is the date of my next appointment and I can tell you it won't get here fast enough for me.

In my ongoing efforts to try and remember the bright side of life. I will report that my husband did surprise me last night with some yummy cannoli and a gift certificate for a spa manicure, pedicure, and a massage. He also brought home a chocolate truffle cake that he says will be part of a better though belated birthday celebration over the weekend.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Today's My Birthday, UGH!

I know it's just a number and it shouldn't matter, but still I'm hating that I turn 39 today. My sister called me yesterday to say that she's trying to forget my birthday because "39 is really fucking old, and I'm older than that!" We agreed we would not be accepting any more birthdays. So there!

Yesterday sucked a bit. Work was ok, but upon backing out of my parking row at the end of the day I had a little mishap. I was trying very carefully not to hit any of the cars parked to my right, but missed how close I was to the concrete pylons on my left and I completely tore off my driver side rear view mirror. Then when I got home I realized that the black rubber piece on the bottom of my boot heel was gone. I wore these boots almost every day between Oct and March last year and had every intention of doing the same this year, now I can't wear them and my feet are cold! Plus, it means more money to spend and one more thing to do! Then when my husband got home we got into a fight over my little mishap and money. I finally sat down this weekend to figure out how much money we need to save now to pay for my maternity leave and it wasn't pretty. So, he was already stressed about money and now of course we have to pay to fix the car. THEN, when I was getting my stuff ready to leave this morning I realized that he ate the last piece of the birthday cheesecake that his parents had brought me this weekend. ARGH! 'Cause I can bet he won't be surprising me with any birthday cake tonight. He always gets me some gift, but he's just not very good at birthdays. If it weren't for my parents or his parents, I wouldn't have had a birthday dessert in the last 10 years.

On the bright side, yesterday I got to have lunch with three great friends who I do not see often enough. I was also able to get a last minute appointment at the hair salon last night and got about 4 inches cut off (hooray!). And, I actually have already found a body shop that can fix my car and they might be able to have it done this week.

And the best bright thing of all, my kid. She's still planning to dress up as a pregnant cat for Halloween. I can't wait to explain that to everyone!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

If I had a choice

If my doctor told me to eat nothing but spinach and stand on my head for the next 30 weeks to make sure this pregnancy ends well I'd do it. So this post falls under the "not complaining, just sayin'" category.

If I was allowed to choose between a PIO injection once a night and the twice daily Prometrium suppositories that I'm on now, I'd definitely choose the injection. I'll do it as prescribed, but it's just all around icky.

Monday, October 27, 2008

We Told!

My in-laws were in town over the weekend and we told them. Before they arrived I asked my husband if he didn't think it would be weird to be spending most of the weekend with them and have this hanging out there. Plus, I suggested that if we lose this pregnancy at this point or later, wouldn't he want to have them to talk to about it. So, he told and then I spent about 4 hours on Sunday, while my husband and FIL took our daughter out to the pumpkin patch, talking to my MIL about it and listening to her tell me not to go up and down the stairs. WTF? And giving me dirty looks later on when my daughter sat on my lap and wanted to be tickled. I'll confess that a little part of me was actually starting to regret that we told them. But I'll be fair and say that the majority of our time together was fine and I know she's just concerned. Her other daughter-in-law is also pregnant right now (about 8 weeks further along than me) and she has also suffered through several miscarriages and has had a very rough pregnancy. So I get that my MIL now has something else to worry about, but what I really need are for people to be supportive and rational, not treat me like I might break at any moment. Of course, I'm being careful and frankly, I think I'm being overly cautious as it is. But I'm fairly certain that walking up and down one flight of stairs is not going to jeopardize this pregnancy.

***

My daughter thinks it's a big secret all of sudden, but she is still wishing for a new baby every day. She suddenly refuses to tell us what her "wish" is, but complains EVERY day that "it" hasn't come true. I'm actually a bit worried that when we finally tell her about the baby, she's going to think it's because of her magic wand wishes. I've also realized recently that she is incredibly jealous and a little angry that my sister-in-law is pregnant. She found out from my MIL about the same time that I did -- when my SIL was only about 6 weeks along. We've had some really odd conversations about the size of our extended family and the ages of all the kids and switching houses with my BIL/SIL. After a couple of these it finally dawned on me what the issue was and apparently this weekend she had some similar conversations with my MIL, who came to the exact same conclusions that I did.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

One Giant Leap to a Bizarre Conclusion

Wow, I really have no idea how what I wrote in my last post and an earlier post about our decision not to tell a lot of people about this pregnancy would lead Anonymous to ask this "So if the NT Scan is not normal are you going to have an abortion? Is that why you are waiting to tell family and friends?"

I suppose I could give anon the benefit of the doubt and assume it's an innocent quetion, but frankly it seems pretty loaded to me. It also seems downright rude, and frankly, odd. The two posts anon referenced have nothing to do with each other. We're nervous about this pregnancy because I've had so many early miscarriages before. Even when I was pregnant with my daughter and had only had one miscarriage we waited until after the first trimester to tell people. Doesn't seem so strange to me that we'd want to do the same now, with a greater history of miscarriage.

As for the NT scan: As most of you probably know, the scan will just give us a more precise statistic regarding the risk for certain problems including Downs syndrome. First of all, we wouldn't make ANY decision about the pregnancy based on the NT scan, at most it would help us decide if we want to proceed with CVS or an amnio.

And to be perfectly frank, if we have an amnio or CVS and there's a problem I really don't know what we'd do. I'm sure it would depend on the nature and severity of the problem. But I've learned a few things in my 39 years, one thing is to never say never, and another, and related thing, is that with very difficult situations it's pretty darn hard to know for sure how you'll feel or what decisions you might make in the abstract. It's one thing to say "if I was faced with xxxx", it's often quite another to actually have to deal with xxxx in real life.

I realize that there are some people out there who are so certain about their beliefs that life is pretty black and white and circumstances don't always factor into their decisions, but I'm not one of those people. And if you don't like it, you don't have to read my blog.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Miscellaneous Ramblings of A Tired, Emotional, Irrational Wreck

Ugh, I hardly know where to start today, I have so many random thoughts floating around in my head and I just need to get them out.

* November 11 is a long, long, long, long way off. That's the day of my appointment for my nuchal translucency scan. It's 3 weeks away! Since my first beta I haven't had to wait more than 10 days between tests or ultrasounds. After last Thursday's appointment I knew it would be about 4 weeks until my next appointment, but on the heels of my third good ultrasound I was feeling ok about that. Now, after 5 days and the pediatrician telling me yesterday that my daughter has the coxsackie virus, I'm no longer feeling so comfortable with that wait. According to Dr. Google, the coxsackie virus is very contagious AND "some studies have linked coxsackie viruses to miscarriage, neurodevelopmental delay, and cortical necrosis. One study associated the presence of coxsackievirus with respiratory failure and global cognitive defects." I know it's probably overkill, but in the past 24 hours I've washed just about anything I could fit into the washing machine on hot water. All of our bed linens, my daughters blankets, pillows and stuffed animals. I also pulled out the antibacterial gel. I don't usually use the stuff, but I am now!

* On a slightly related note, I think I got spoiled by the lovely and caring nurses and employees at my fertility clinic. I called my OB's office today to ask a few questions, including to find out if I need to be worried about this coxsackie virus. They don't have any sort of nurses line to call and the woman who answered the phone told me she'd just have to take a message for one of the nurses. She sounded so annoyed that I would have questions and want to leave an actual message. By the time I hung up, I was practically in tears AND really pissed off. This is a rather large high-risk practice, it's hard for me to believe that they don't get lots of patient calls and I'm frankly shocked that they don't have a better system than leaving a message about medical questions with the receptionist! I can only imagine how long it will take to get a return call.

* I'm getting increasingly stressed out concerning whether to have a CVS, amnio, or either. I'll be 39 in about a week. At my appointment last week, the perinatologist basically said to me, you're 39 here are your two options. (Don't get me wrong, he wasn't mean or rude about it, but he clearly thinks we should do some form of testing.) I was 32 when I had my daughter and I had no risk factors, so we didn't face any of these decisions then. Prior to this, my husband and I had only had theoretical discussions about this stuff and we both always said we definitely want to do something. However, after my appointment I emailed my husband a bunch of information on CVS and Amnio and in the face of the reality of this he completely freaked out. He doesn't usually call me during work hours, but that day we had about 4 phone conversations and then more discussion that night. Though he's always been firmly in the camp of testing, his response was that he is seriously considering that if the NT scan is ok we forgo the CVS/Amnio route because of the risks involved. I was absolutely floored. I've always assumed we'd do one of them, just wasn't sure which, and I really assumed that his stance was firm too. He's possible change of heart has really thrown me for a loop. Given what it's taken for us to get to this point I have no desire to put this pregnancy at any increased risk. On the other hand, no doing the test at my age seems like a big gamble that I don't really want to take. I'm hoping that when we go for the NT scan (he'll be with me this time), we can ask some more questions about both tests and perhaps the doctor can ease his mind about the risks and provide us with additional information that will help us choose (assuming we choose to do anything).

* One positive thing is that it turns out I actually can give myself injections on the left side! So, I'm not stuck repeatedly stabbing myself in my right butt cheek all week, while my husband is out of town. I still don't love doing them myself, but it hasn't been too bad. Oh, except... For those of you who may not know - after injecting the needle for an IM injection the instructions are to withdraw the plunger slightly to check for blood. If you see blood in the syringe, that indicates that you hit a vein, and you have to change needles and find a new site for the injection. Throughout all the IM injections for my 5 fresh IVFs and my FET, not once has there been blood in the syringe. Until Sunday night, the first night I had to do the injections myself. Since I had to redo the delestrogen because of the blood, I ended up having to stab myself 4 times that night (once for the progesterone, once for the lovenox, and twice for the delestrogen.)

* I'm excited that Saturday will be the last day of my progesterone and delestrogen injections. I'm also really nervous that Saturday will be the last day of my progesterone and delestrogen injections. I know the doctors who design the protocal know that they're doing, but so far this pregnancy has been progressing well and I'm more than a bit nervous about doing anything new and different!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

A Literal and Figurative Pain in My Ass

Yes, I know what you may be thinking... Three posts in one day! That's what happens when my husband is out of town (and I can actually get my hands on the computer) and my daughter is curled up on the couch all day. Anyway, I'm here to write about one consequence of my husband being gone this week.

I have to give myself my own progesterone and delestrogen injections for 4 nights!

I hate to whine about anything associated with this pregnancy, because I'm so grateful that I'm actually still pregnant, but the injections have been getting more and more painful and I can only inject myself on the right side. That means that every night I'll be injecting the progesterone on the right side and tonight and Wednesday I'll ALSO be injecting the delestrogen on the same side. The most annoying thing about this is the timing, if only the trip was one week later it wouldn't be an issue at all, because Saturday is the last day of these injections. After Saturday no more delestrogen and I move to progesterone suppositories. Sigh.

On that note I think I'll go watch the rest of Mary Poppins with my sweet girl.

Mashed Potatoes Or If the fever doesn't fry her brain the TV will

Although my daughter was a 32 week preemie and spent 4 weeks in the hospital, she's actually been a remarkably healthy little girl ever since. In her 6 years she's had only 1 ear infection, she got a rotovirus when she was about 2, and she's had several bouts of strep. However, she's only once had a fever with strep and most of the time had very few symptoms. Other than that, she's had colds and a few fevers, but everything was mild and short-lived. So much so that her idea of being sick is feeling fine, but getting to stay home with mommy or daddy. But right now she's sick. I think it's safe to say she's got the flu. Her strep test on Thursday was negative, and I was relieved given her tendency to get it, but now I'd welcome something that could get knocked out with an antibiotic. She is now going on 5 days with a fever and sore throat and 3 days with fevers above 103. I know fevers that high are not too unusual for kids, but they are for my daughter. In fact, she's never had a fever this high or for this long before. She's hardly eaten in the past few days. Even when she's feeling better thanks to the children's mo.trin, she's still uninterested in food. However, she just asked for some mashed potatoes, so right now there's a large pot of potatoes boiling away in the kitchen.

I just finished the potatoes--turns out I made enough for a Thanksgiving dinner! There are certainly worse things to have too much of.

The kid's been so miserable and tired that she's basically done nothing but watch tv for the last 3 1/2 days. Of course, this part of being sick she loves, since we usually limit her tv watching to a dvd or two, depending on length, on the weekends.

I thought for sure she'd be back to school by tomorrow, but now it looks like I'm going to have to take at least one more day off from work to stay home with her (at noon today my husband flew off to attend a conference until Thursday, so right now it's just me). I haven't gotten a flu shot yet (though I know it's no guarantee anyway), so I'm praying that I don't catch this thing. Not only do I not want to get sick, but I'm a little paranoid about this pregnancy so I'd like to not have something else to worry about.

On the bright side.

Oh wait, I was just interrupted by brightness of a different sort than I'd intended to write about. Bright red. As in a nose bleed. As if the fever, sore throat and congestion weren't enough, she just had a doozy of a nosebleed. I was typing and she calls out, "mommy there's red stuff in my mashed potatoes". I got up casually assuming the cause was her loose tooth. What a surprise I got when I saw the bottom half of her face covered in blood.

So, where was I? Oh yes, the bright side. Despite feeling awful, my daughter has actually been quite sweet and well-behaved throughout this illness. Don't get me wrong, there's been some whining and nagging ("come sit with Meeeeee!"), but for the most part she's been quite a little dear. All pleases and thank yous, even in the middle of the night. Earlier today she even made this.

Show and Tell (Updated with Recipe)

So it's Fall now and, as happens every year, as the pumpkins show up on the sides of the road and at the grocery stores and the weather gets cool the urge to cook returns.

In the past couple of weeks I've made homemade sloppy joes, chicken pot pie (though the easy kind with biscuits on top instead of a crust), meatloaf & mashed potatoes, and an huge pot of navy bean soup. So far everything has been a big hit with the family and I make everything in batches big enough for lots of leftovers. This usually means that whenever we decide to thaw we get another delicious meal AND I don't have to cook that night. Yesterday I made a huge batch of lentil soup. It is, in my humble opinion, the best lentil soup recipe ever. I got it from my father-in-law and even my daughter loves it. So, here is the half of the batch that went into the basement freezer. Of course the photo doesn't do it justice, but knowing what's in there is making my mouth water.



If you want to see what everyone else is sharing go here.

Update starts here

I realize this probably isn't a unique recipe, but it's my favorite.

Lentil Vegetable Soup

2 large ham hocks (sometimes when the ham hocks have very little meat, I buy a boneless ham steak and chop it up and add it at the end)
2 cups lentils
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped carrots
1 tablespoons of snipped parsley (I often use dried and it comes out fine)
1 clove minced garlic
1 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 large can tomatoes
2 tablespoons wine vinegar (I used red wine vinegar)

-Rinse lentils, drain and place in a large soup kettle with the ham hocks.
-Add 8 cups water and all remaining ingredients except tomatoes and vinegar.
-Cover and simmer for about 2 hours.
-Remove hocks to cool; then cut the bits of ham off the bones and add back to the soup. Discard the bones and skin.
-Add tomatoes and cut up any large pieces; add vinegar.
-Cover and simmer for another 30 minutes or so.
-Season to taste.

Additional notes.
- I usually double for triple the recipe, but you do need a LARGE stockpot to do that (I have this one.)
- I also add fresh spinach leaves at the very end and even my daughter hasn't complained about the addition.
- For the tomatoes I sometimes buy canned whole tomatoes and cut them up, but I often I buy crushed and it works well (I prefer fire roasted crushed!)
- I usually add a few chicken bouillon cubes or replace some of the water with chicken or vegetable stock. In either case I usually cut the added salt.
- Lastly, buy some really good fresh bread and enjoy!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The telling (or not...)

Since anonymous asked in a comment to my last post, I thought I'd respond with a post about how we're handling sharing or not sharing our news.

Besides me and my husband, the only family who know that I'm pregnant are my parents and my sister. All of us are cautiously optimistic. I think my sister and mom are excited but nervous. My dad - and my mom too - I think are very concerned about my health. After my daughter was born I know that my dad hoped we'd stop at one for that reason. In addition to being my dad, he's also a biochemist with ALOT of doctor friends. I don't think he applied his research skills to find out as much as he probably could have, but I know he's been very concerned about the long-term effects of all the hormones that went along with my 6 IVF cycles. He did apply some research skills to the issue of the MTHFR mutation, which I clearly inherited from both parents, and that only added to his worries.

As for my husband's side of the family we are waiting. Since it's his family, it's his call and he's still very nervous about things and wants to wait until we are farther along. He's also not really very close with either of his siblings (I could count on both hands--maybe even one--the number of times he talks on the phone or exchanges emails with either of them in any given year), so there's not much temptation for him there. I sort of wonder if he won't end up telling his parents sooner rather than later, but I know he won't want to tell his siblings until later on.

Finally, we are holding off on telling our daughter for awhile. While it is difficult considering all of her hoping and wishing, neither of us wants to be in the position of telling her now when we feel the odds of losing this pregnancy are still too high for comfort. I will say that I can't wait to tell her. I know that she will be over the moon about it. Of course, by the time this baby comes she'll have been an only child for more than 6 1/2 years and I think she has no idea what she's in for!

All that said, I'm a blabber mouth and it is much harder for me to keep this a secret. Having the internet to "talk to" about all this is really saving my sanity. So thanks to everyone who reads and comments, because knowing at least a few people are reading and paying attention really helps!

High Blood Pressure

The first thing they did at my first appointment with the perinatal practice today was take my blood pressure. After the nurse took it she looked at me and asked if my blood pressure is usually on the high side. I almost laughed because my blood pressure is always good -- as in low. Both my sister in I have always had almost unusually low blood pressure. Anyway, after I laid on my side for a few minutes the nurse took it again and it was much lower. I wasn't too surprised. I suspect if they'd taken my blood pressure at the RE's office before my first 2 ultrasounds the results would have been the same. Despite the success of the prior two ultrasounds, in the 24 hours leading up to today's appointment I was getting progressively more anxious. My indigestion and nauseau have even let up a bit since last Friday, which only added to my worry.

I'm happy to report that everything was fine again today. The nurse practioner who I spent over an hour with was absolutely lovely and the baby measured at 8 weeks 5 days -- right on target. And I finally got an official due date (I'm almost afraid to say it (or write it) out loud) -- May 23rd! Though the nurse did make a comment about scheduling a c-section a couple of weeks ahead of that. I confess I didn't ask too many questions about that because (1) it seems like getting way ahead of things (I'm just looking to get to next scan in 4 weeks) and (2) every OB and RE I've had in the past 4 years has said that given my history and risk factors I'd likely have to have another c-section.

I confess my emotions almost got the better of me today. The office I went to for the intake was actually located in a nearby hospital, in fact it's the one in which I will deliver this baby if we make it that far. While I was registering at the front desk a woman walked up and asked when she and her family could go up to see their new grandchild. I looked over to see what appeared to be several grandparents and some aunts and uncles and I almost lost it. The tears welled in my eyes as it occurred to me that for a long time now I've worried that I'd never be in a position to have anyone visit me after giving birth. I also made me sad as I remembered that when my daughter was born there were no happy hospital family reunions. Between the time I entered the hospital at 30 weeks and when she was discharged from the NICU 7 weeks later we had plenty of visits, but they weren't filled with much joy. Granted, our daughter is now perfectly healthy (save the fever and sore throat we are all now suffering through with her), but it still makes me a little sad thinking about how her birth, and the weeks before and after, was not the joyful time one hopes for. Additionally, it was pretty weird once I got into the antenatal testing office and saw all the big round bellies. We all tend to be shielded from that at the RE's office, but I guess those days are over.

Well, I don't want to end this post on a sad note, because I assure you I'm not in the least bit sad right now. I've got three new ultrasound photos on my dresser upstairs and I AM feeling just as horridly tired as I have been for a few weeks now. So, probably until about a day before my next appointment I expect to be in pretty good spirits--with regard to the pregnancy anyway. ;)

Monday, October 13, 2008

Show and Tell

A couple of weeks ago my daughter turned 6. My favorite part of birthdays (or any holiday for that matter) is the baking. So here's what I did this time...



The inspiration for the cake was a painting we bought for her room a couple of years ago. The actual painting has lots of princesses and a dragon, but I know my limits with icing and they don't extend that far!

The cookie bouquets didn't come out quite as I'd hoped, but for a first and rushed attempt I wasn't too disappointed (and the kids sure didn't care!)



Friday, October 10, 2008

Did Everyone Hear My Huge Sigh of Relief?

So, yes everything looks good. The little bugger is even measuring a couple of days ahead (at 8 weeks) with a heart rate of 166. We got to see where the placenta has formed and my husband and the nurse even saw the little guy moving around! Apparently when my nurse told me last week that his was to be my last visit there she was wrong. My RE said he would have seen me one more time, but since I already have an appointment with the perinatologist in a week (next Thursday!) that he didn't need to bother. So they did one last blood draw and gave us the paperwork we need for the next doc and sent us on our merry way. My husband and I talked on the way home and agreed that it's still early enough that we're not totally at ease yet. But, right now I'm feeling pretty darn good!

Hope anyone reading has a fantastic weekend!!!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

18 Hours To Go!

I'm a little anxious, but the lack of any additional bleeding has me feeling more hopeful than I'd expected. Frankly, it's a little scary to feel this hopeful. My husband and I were actually daring enough last night to discuss when we would tell people. It felt a little like we were tempting fate. But I guess it's a little late to worry about that since last week I already made the appointment with the perinatologist and got on the waiting list of a daycare center (gulp).

In unrelated happy news, my mom is on her way to my house right now, and she's bringing beef stew. Not only will I get a see my mom, but I get a yummy dinner, AND I don't have to cook it!

I'll be back with a full report in 18 hours....

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

72 hours to go!

Truly, my next appointment with my RE is in almost exactly 72 hours -- 9:45 on Friday. If things go well there (please, please, please!) then I'm already scheduled to see the perinatologist on October 16. Right now I'm feeling just slightly queasy and I have an awful headache. I'm too paranoid to take anything (mostly b/c of the blood thinner I'm on), so I'm just trying to drink tons of water, but it's not really helping. The indigestion/queasiness settled in over the weekend. It's not too bad, I'm not vomiting or anything, (and really I'm not complaining I'll take any pregnancy symptom the universe wants to the throw at me -- just let everything be ok, ok?) but it is awfully distracting. Still running to the bathroom constantly to check on things. No more red bleeding. Have a had a few very small brown smudges since last week, but am trying not to worry too much.

Guess I better get back to my self-assessment for work (UGH!)

Monday, October 6, 2008

Warning Another Crazy Kid Story

A little (ok maybe a lot) background for this story. My father is Jewish, he is not religiously observant, and growing up his family didn't practice anything. My mom is Italian/Polish Catholic and while she grew up attending church, in my lifetime she has only attended church for weddings, funerals, and (when I was little) an occassional Christmas Eve service. Because my father had little family to speak of, and my mom had a lot, we grew up spending holidays with my mom's family. So, while as a child I rarely entered a church, I did grow up celebrating Christmas, and looking forward to the Easter bunny. My husband, though his family is decidedly Christian, was also raised with a similar lack of religion. And so, our daughter, like her parents, will grow up celebrating Christmas and Easter, but without any real religious beliefs to go along with them.

Anyhoo - It was with some surprise that I heard my daughter ask her friend during lunch at our house on Saturday "Jane are you Jewish?" The look on her friend's face suggested she may have never heard the word before. I asked my daughter why she'd asked that and her response was that her friend "looked like it." After taking a deep breath, I explained that you can't tell someone's religion based on the way they look (I was certainly not going to get into the Jewish religion/race discussion with a 6 year old). The conversation fizzled with the friend's confusion and a little distraction on my part. Skip ahead a day and a half. I was telling the story to my husband at dinner last night. We asked our daughter why she'd asked her friend this and she just shrugged. So, I asked if she knew who was Jewish and then told her that her Grandpa F. is and so that makes me and her part Jewish. Her response was to look me in the eye and, full of indignation, ask me "then why don't we celebrate Chanukah?"

Warning: Hysterical Kid Story (In my opinion anyway)

Yesterday after we got home from my daughter's swim lesson she went into her room to change clothes. All of a sudden she comes running into the kitchen in a t-shirt and nothing else and yells "momma I have to show you something". She grabs my hand and takes me back to her room. She sits on the floor cross-legged, says "I KNOW where the babies come out" and points to the correct area of her anatomy. I calmly said "that's right, that's where they come out." She then looks up at me and says "I know why it hurts so much. Have you seen that hole? It's really small!"

Thursday, October 2, 2008

My Home Away From Home: The Bathroom

In addition to the paranoia induced by the bleeding yesterday, I'm also drinking an absolute ton of water. I'd bet I've been to the bathroom at least 10 times already today and there are still about 5 hours until bedtime. Based on my rough calculations, I will probably visit the bathroom nearly 100 more times before my ultrasound next Friday. I think it's going to be a long week.

My husband doesn't understand why I can't put it out of my mind. I tried to explain to him that even if I was capable of not thinking about while doing other things, I'm reminded every time I need to use the bathroom. I think he's not doing such great job of putting it out of his own head though. He keeps calling me at work to check in and see how I'm doing -- he never does that! We're not a couple that needs to talk all the time, so most days we don't talk during work hours. My cell phone and work caller ID are now filled with his phone number in the "missed called" logs.
But it's kind of nice, I think I'll milk it while I can. :)

More Whining and Worrying

Nothing new to report. Just still nervous. Haven't had anymore red, just a few brown smudges that, I suppose, are to be expected. Nevertheless I am wishing I didn't have to wait 8 more days for the next ultrasound. It's going to be an eternity! My husband is doing EVERYTHING for me. I mentioned that I'd had to stop to get gas on the way home last night, over the course of the evening he must have told me 10 times that he'll do it next time. I feel asleep in my daughters bed last night. Then after my 3 injections and 2 evening pills went to bed at 9:30 and didn't get up until 7am. If only I could sleep through the next week.

I caved in and told my sister yesterday. She called in the afternoon and I realized that no matter what happens with this pregnancy I'll end up telling her anyway so why wait. I completely understand why my mom and sister are so reserved about things, because my husband and I are trying hard to be hopeful but not too excited yet. But still it's sort of sad that when I delivered the news the reaction is so muted. So sad that we can't all just be really excited.

Last, but not least, thanks again for all the comments and support and encouragement. Ladies of the Internet -- you rock!!!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Still Shaky but My Phone Finally Rang

My nurse just called. The first thing out of her mouth after "Hi xxxx, it's xxx" was "it's because of the ultrasound." She was very nice about reminding me that I'm on baby aspirin AND an injectible blood thinner. She said that unless I start bleeding a lot I really shouldn't worry. Easier said than done! But I do feel a bit better. Won't stop me from running to the bathroom for a panty check as often as possible, but I'm trying to breath deep. Plan to do nothing but lie on the couch all night!!!!!

DAMN DAMN DAMN DAMN DAMN

My body couldn't just let me enjoy this for a few days. No, I got only almost exactly 24 hours. About a hour and a half ago I went the bathroom. As always did the quick panty check and it was fine, but when I wiped there was bright red blood. Not a ton and it hasn't returned, but I'm freaking out! I called my nurse and left a message and am hoping they'll let me come in for a quick check before my next scheduled appointment on Friday, Oct 10th. I feel like I'm going to throw up and it sure isn't a pregnancy symptom -- it's just pure terror. Why oh why oh why did this have to happen?!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

My Doting Spouse

This is the email I just got from my husband.

"calm down so you avoid making a bad decision in terms of:

eating the right things (yogurt, salads, fruits, veggies) - I will
buy it or cook it!

running around or climbing stairs quickly! I will get it.

picking up anything that even seems remotely heavy! I will do it.

check w/ Dr. S directly about ALL of the above ASAP!"


It's really sweet and I love him for it, but if HE doesn't calm down, one of us may not make it through this pregnancy! ;)

Phew!!! (updated - so I don't forget)

Pleasant surprises are too rare in the infertility world, or at least in my own experience. So, I'm still in a bit of shock and disbelief that not only was everything looking normal and were it should be -- as in INSIDE my uterus, but I actually saw a heartbeat today! One lovely little flickering on the screen. It's been almost 7 years since I've had a OB ultrasound where I saw a heartbeat and got a photo to bring home. So, here it is.
It's a picture of a picture and you really can't see anything, but I saw that flickering and then my nurse loaded me down with first trimester information and I still can't believe it. And I know it's early and lots can happen, but for the first time since the first blood test a week and a half ago, I was actually able to say out loud "I'm pregnant." My nurse gave me a recommendation for a high risk OB practice and suggested I call now to make sure I can get in to see them soon after my next and (hopefully) last appointment with my RE. It feels like tempting fate to be making that call already, but I guess I'm going to have to suck it up and do it.

So, let's agree that no one will pinch me, because if I'm dreaming I don't want to wake up!

Update
Forgot to mention that when the doctor looked at my chart even before they'd inserted the wand, she put me at 6 weeks 3 days (which frankly I can't figure out b/c based on the date of my last period I have exactly 6 weeks), and then once the ultrasound tech plugged in the measurements she got 6 weeks 3 days too. They didn't give me a due date (dare I even entertain that possibility!) but I figure it at the end of May.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Worry

The ultrasound is in 26 hours. Since Wednesday I've done a pretty good job of not thinking or worrying too much about it. On Friday afternoon I started feeling a little panicky, but that passed after a couple of hours. Having my parents arrive Friday afternoon, staying up half the night with party preparations, and then the party on Saturday was certainly a great distraction. Yesterday was more relaxed, but still busy. Started by sleeping in, then swim lessons, a playdate, and then dinner at our friends' house. But this morning the worry started creeping in. And I don't think it'll be going away anytime soon. Oh how I wish for the blissful ignorance of those without a history of bad outcomes. Oh how I would welcome some symptoms, ANY symptom!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

WARNING: ALL ABOUT MY KID!!!

My girl is 6 years old today.

6 years ago today, while lying in a hospital bed halfway into my 11th day of complete bedrest (yes, that means bed pans!) my placenta abrupted. It was a horrifying experience due in no small part to the fact that I noticed blood during the nurses shift change. I won't tell you the long drawn out version, but suffice it to say that by the time my husband got to the hospital 30 minutes after I'd called him on his cell phone, the nurses still hadn't bothered to get a doctor to my room. I was screaming, sobbing, and terrified. Let's just say that my husband gave the staff holy hell and within seconds there were MANY doctors and nurses in the room. Anyhoo... A couple of hours later, my daughter was born via emergency c-section. When I finally woke up in a drugged haze hours later all I had were 2 polaroid photos of her. I didn't get to see her in the NICU until she was almost 24 hours old. She ended up staying in the NICU for 32 days. She was on an apnea monitor until she was six months old. Today she is a perfectly healthy, often sweet, often tempermental, funny, creative 6 year old.

My baby's come a long way!

















Tagged, Guess I'm It!



I've been tagged by Jewels! So, here are 7 random / weird facts about me!

1. I'm a complete slob. You can hardly see the top of my desk.

2. My maiden name is another word for hotdog.

3. I hate any kind of cleaning that involves floors -- sweeping, mopping, vacuuming.

4. I was a lifeguard for 7 summers and loved it!

5. I do very well on standardized tests, but I have crappy study habits.

6. I am a HUGE procrastinator (hence the 2nd part of #5).

7. I like pigs (not the real kind, but cute fake ones that are stuffed, ceramic, etc.)

And now, Shelli, Leah, LJ, Meghan, Sunny, Shelby,and Jendeis, you're all IT!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

One more hurdle down!

Today's number is ... 4980. Another rise of almost exactly 60 percent.

Before I say more let me say thanks to everyone who has stopped by and commented and offered support, advice, encouragement, hope, etc. I have to confess that while I'm still going to be a bit of a nervous wreck waiting for the next hurdle (next Tues to be exact), I was actually feeling pretty optimistic before today's call. I hope that soon I can be boring everyone with happy pregnancy talk instead of boring you with all my whining about how nervous I am. I know I should feel really grateful to be where I am (and I do!), but I've been here before and then had the rug pulled out from under me at the first ultrasound - twice. So please forgive me if I keep prattling on about how paranoid and nervous I am.

Onto the nitty gritty. The nurse told me the next step was to schedule an ultrasound for next week. I momentarily freaked out, because, well, "isn't that kind of early? Why does he want me to come in so soon, does he suspect something is wrong?" "Noooo, she explained calmly, it's because they base the timing of the ultrasound on the first day of my cycle. Because the FET was done later in my cycle the ultrasound seems early, but they need to stick to the 'standard'." She confirmed that they would not likely see a heartbeat by next week, but that they want to make sure everything is in the right place. I must have asked her 3 times
if my Dr. was worried but she kept saying no.

Thanks again for going through this with me -- it helps tremendously to be able to share this.

Monday, September 22, 2008

QUESTION

Since this cycle we did a FET -- how do I figure out or at least make a good guess on what my ovulation day would have been. Also, should I adjust for the fact that the blasts were frozen at 5 days?????

3094

That's it. I'm not too happy with that. I was hoping for something above 5000. After my nurse gave me the number and I digested it, I said "so that's not very good." She sounded surprised and said "no that's a good rise". So, I said, but it's been 3 days since my last test not 2, shouldn't it be higher. She tells me that they like to see a minimum rise of 60 percent* every 2 days. We both do some quick calculations and she says that I'm right at the 60% mark (adjusted for 3 days). She said that my doctor didn't comment at all on the number and that she doesn't think I should worry. HA -- I guess she hasn't ever been on the other side of this stuff. CRAP! If it's going to end badly I just want to f*cking KNOW, not have it dragged out.

I'd be lying if I said I'll try not to worry, but I will try not to obsess (ha ha ha ha ha).

*Anyone EVER heard this before. The only rule of thumb I've ever heard was that it should double.

No call yet

But if it doesn't come soon I may throw up I'm so nervous. Why oh why don't they call?!

Playacting

Today is going to be hard because while I've got plenty of things on my to do list at work I have no meetings or imminent deadlines to keep me distracted. Yesterday, however was a different story. I kept myself pretty busy with baking and yardwork. I also got a little help from my girl who, in keeping with the recent theme, wanted to play "Mommy's having a baby". So, twice yesterday I was conscripted to play the part of the pregnant mom. During the first go round I had to put her baby doll in my shirt and lie in bed and moan. Then she (playing the role of teenage daughter) would come in and escort me to the doctor (her room), where she would take on the role of doctor and show me the baby on the ultrasound machine (a book). The second go round later in the day I actually gave birth to triplets -- a giraffe, a dog, and a cat. Otherwise the story was pretty much the same, except we added in a trip to the baby store (her room). Later in the day, when she had a friend over for a playdate, I walked into her room to find them playing "baby shower" and this time my daughter was the one with several animals shoved up her shirt. As I was saying good night to her last night, she told me that she didn't think just her wishing for a baby would be enough so she had asked her friend to wish too. The whole theme is a little bittersweet, but she's so earnest about the whole thing it mostly makes me laugh. In case you're wondering we have not mentioned a word about any of our babymaking or adoption efforts to her. Truly she'd have to be a mind reader to know anything. Oh, and she learned about the ultrasound from this book , which she picked out months ago at the bookstore.

Sometimes I'm not sure who wants a baby more, me and my husband or our daughter!

Second verse, same as the first

I was at the office when they unlocked the door this morning. Got my blood drawn and left. I think I'm even more nervous today than I was on Friday. I've had a bad feeling since mid-day yesterday. I can't help wondering if it's some sort of intuition or just shear terror. Please keep your fingers crossed, pray, hope, whatever you do, that today's call brings more good news.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Gratitude

I just have to shout out thanks to the Internet, particularly the TOOTPU gals. The love, support, encouragement, and good wishes truly mean the world to me. I really feel there's no adequate way of expressing it so I'll keep it simple.

THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!!!

Friday, September 19, 2008

1437 = Joy and Fear All At Once

That's the number the nurse left on my voicemail. She also told me to make appointments for blood tests on Monday and Wednesday and to keep taking all my meds.
I'm terrified, I know what could lay ahead on Monday or Wednesday or in 4 weeks or in 4 months, but right now I'm going to try really hard to enjoy the moment. For now I am pregnant.

Hope and Fear Intertwined

The needle went in, the blood came out, and I stared at the vial of my blood wondering what it would reveal. Now I sit here trying not to stare at the phone.

Last night the stress finally got to me. I walked to my car after back to school night was over feeling awful for reasons I couldn't really pinpoint. I got into my car and sat there and cried. I suspect that I'll by crying again this afternoon, I just hope they are tears of joy rather than sorrow.

I'm getting tired of all these really depressing posts. I promise whatever happens I'll stop whining soon. ;)

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Time

6 years ago today I was in the hospital on complete bedrest after going into labor 3 days earlier at 30 weeks; I was hoping to be there for at least several more weeks.
3 years ago we'd been trying to have a second child for several months, but I was already starting to worry and had scheduled an appointment with my OB-GYN. Just about 2 years ago I'd just had a D&C following the miscarriage I had after our first IVF. Today I'm very anxiously awaiting tomorrow's test results.

I've gone to bed at 9:15 the last two nights, but I'm so stressed out that I'm sleeping restlessly and I'm still tired. I truly can't wait for this week to be over!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

FEAR!

I am a total basket case. This week could not be moving more slowly. Friday feels so close and yet sooooo far away. And while the slow movement of time is killing me and rendering my brain completely useless, I'm also terrified of what Friday will bring. I'm terrified of getting more bad news.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Sucker Punch (n. Slang. An unexpected punch or blow.)

Yesterday I woke up at 5:20 and went to the gym at work, spent the work day in training, raced to pick up the kid from aftercare, raced home to get her into ballet clothes, raced to ballet studio, while the kid tapped and pranced her way through an hour I went grocery shopping, drove home, unpacked groceries, and then raced off to my first ever PTA meeting. A busy day is great for keeping my mind off the beta coming at the end of the week. The PTA meeting was almost 2 hours long and boring, but basically uneventful. As the last item on the agenda was being discussed I felt great relief; the end of my day was near and all I could think about was going home and going straight to bed. And then the PTA president asked if anyone had any community announcements to make. A woman spoke up "so and so had her baby!" The room cheered. Inwardly I groaned a little. "It was her sixth." Yes, you read that correctly and I know I heard it correctly because it was repeated about 4 times. Inwardly I groaned, a lot!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Hating the Wait

This Monday sucks. Only 4 more days to go until my blood test. It feels like an eternity. I'm not feeling very hopeful at all, but of course I want it to work. Dreading the phone call. Can't sleep worth a damn, so I'm even more exhausted than usual. Very crampy and my boobs are killing me. Even though my test isn't until Friday, based on the first day of my cycle I'm due to get my period any day now. Of course, the progesterone would probably screw up those timeframes anyway. What a mindf*ck. Wish I could just sleep for the next 4 days.

Friday, September 12, 2008

The Shed

So, did I mention we got a shed? Turns out my hard work paid off in more ways than one. My mom was so impressed by my fixing up part of the yard that she decided to help us buy a shed in hopes that we'd actually clean up and reclaim the use of our screened porch. Of course, that meant we actually had to prep the area and put the darn thing together.

Here's a photo of the 2 gigantic boxes that it came in.

And now a photo of the initial stages of clearing a spot for it. The space was soooo dense with many different kinds of vines that when all was said and done we ended up filling about 10 garden bags!



But it all worked out and so here's the shed.


And here's the porch (wish I had a before photo of this - it was filled with all manner of bikes, garden tools, and junk)