Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Christmas Reflections

Has it really been over a week since I last posted? Geesh...so much for trying to get my 100th post in before the new year. I guess its been pretty busy. We got so much snow that my work was cancelled...so I ended up getting a whole extra week of vacation (in addition to the almost two weeks I was already getting). I haven't driven my car in over a week, and we've been housebound for most of it. 

My family managed to brave the conditions and make it over to our house for Christmas Day Dinner. That was such a stressor. Our electricity went out the day before (Christmas Eve), so I couldn't clean or cook. That left Christmas morning...just three hours before everyone was supposed to arrive, to clean and cook for 15. Let's just say that dinner was three hours late. It all turned out, but it sure didn't seem like Christmas. Just too much rushing and stressing out. I was glad when everyone was out the door and I could put my feet up and just veg out.

I totally spaced on ICLW. Wellllll....I didn't really space, I just wasn't wanting to get online at all. It was nice to take a break. Hubby got me a NintendoDS, so now I'm cool like all the 12 year olds. He got me some game that's supposed to make you smarter. Hmmmm. It also has Sudoku on it which I love. 

We're taking the tree down today. We got a new couch for Christmas, and they're delivering it tomorrow. I'm sad to be taking it down already. It seems so final...so anticlimactic. The snow has pretty much melted, the presents are open, I guess its time to be thinking about new years resolutions.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Every Bird Should Get to Fly

This is one of my favorite commercials...I'm guessing unless you live in Washington State you haven't seen it. I don't know why, but it always makes me get all teared up. I think it has something to do with realizing a dream. Us infertiles go to great extremes to achieve our dreams...many times against all odds. Inevitably our journey isn't conventional and rarely one we'd pick, but hopefully brings us to a place that brings us a sense of fulfillment or realization.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Celebrity Shot Recipient

Got the call around 11 a.m. that the medicine had arrived in Seattle. They had to have it transported from Canada. I went to the hospital, to the Birthing Center, of all places, to get the shot. When I walked into the nurses area, and told them that I was "there for a shot," all eight of the nurses were like, "ahhhh, yes.... the shot girl - we know all about you." I totally felt like a celebrity. I guess this was kind of a special case - my doctor had been working with all kinds of state and national offices to get this medicine. It created somewhat of a buzz in the hospital.

I actually had to be admitted - for a shot! It was crazy. They took me into a room, registered me in the hospital, got a fancy little wrist band and everything! Then they had to take blood and do some type of tests, get my blood pressure and take my temperature. Then I had to sign about a million release forms. After all of that, which took at least an hour, I finally got the shot. Or shots - one in each butt. It was awesome. Total tag-team with the nurses. One gave one, and another, the second. They were trying to tell me that it may hurt - I had to set them straight. "Ladies, I had 10 weeks straight of shots in my butt. This is nothin'!"

 Then I had to wait in my room, while they "observed" me. They had to make sure I didn't have any adverse reactions, like death or seizure. I had neither, and two hours after I entered the hospital, I was finally released. 

That was a fun afternoon. And I'll have close to a thousand dollar bill to show for it. Because the medicine is still considered "experimental," insurance wont pay for it. Who knows how much the hospital bill will be. But, better safe than sorry, right?

Friday, December 19, 2008

Special Canadian Chicken Pox

For whatever reason, I made it through childhood without getting the chickenpox. My mom probably should have made sure I got them, but seeing as I was the fourth, she got confused with her other kids and was sure that I actually had gotten them. 

Fast forward 30+ years. A blood draw back when we were getting ready for IVF revealed that I had never had the pox. I had the option of getting the vaccine, which would put our transfer off for a month, or just proceed. I couldn't wait another month, so I just went ahead. I figured I had made it 38 years without getting them, whats another few months?

Of course I tell my OB this earlier this week at my appointment. She didn't seem too concerned. Just told me to steer clear of daycares, elementary schools, and anyone who looked like they had a polkadotted rash. 

Today I get a rather excited voicemail from her to call her back "as soon as possible." This of course freaks me out. I call her back, dreading her answer, that some of my tests came back negative, or something weird. Come to find out, there was a woman who had an appointment 45 minutes after mine, who ended up having the chicken pox. This is where it gets interesting.

I probably wasn't exposed to her, but just to make sure, my doc wants me to take an immunoglobulin shot to block the virus. That wouldn't be so bad, except that the only company in the US that made it, discontinued production and so there's very little, if any, available. There's a company in Canada that makes it, but it hasn't been approved by the FDA. It's only available in a clinical trial situation. I can take it, but I have to sign a million release forms.

The whole thing freaks me out. It's only being tested in the U.S. They've been using it for almost a decade in Canada, but its just weird. I guess the alternative is taking a chance on whether I was exposed. If I was, it means major birth defects for the baby. I definitely don't want to risk this. Its hard to fathom that a silly little childhood virus could affect my little baby.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Coming Out

I "came out" to my boss on Monday, and then to my entire staff on Tuesday. I couldn't hide it anymore. Word got back to me that a couple of people had asked because my belly was so ginormous. Either that, or I had been having LOTS of Christmas cheer. You really should see my belly, it is pretty impressive. 

When I told everyone, I cried. It was like relieving a huge amount of pressure. It was really getting difficult trying to disguise my growing mass. Covering it up with a big bulky sweater or one of those high-waisted shirts just made it look bigger, and bulkier. Now I can just let it all out and not worry about it! 

It took all of 10 minutes for the news to circulate through the rumor mill. I kid you not, I had a steady stream of people stopping by my office, along with all kinds of emails, congratulating me. Which was nice, although embarrassing. I know for me, when I saw ladies "come out" at work, I would immediately envision her, um, "doing it" with her husband. Err, ICK! You just don't normally think about coworkers doing the nasty. I wish I could set all their minds at ease and reassure them that we didn't "do it" to get "in the family way." BigB just jacked into a cup, and I took three kajillion shots and put my legs up in the air. That's how the magic happened. Pure magic. 

The Christmas party went great despite the snow. People showed up and everyone drank and ate to their hearts content. I was the perfect hostess...filling people's glasses and fetching cold ones. Not my usual party stature. Usually I'm the one getting just a tad too toasty and making an ass of myself.

Had our 14 week OB appt on Monday. Everything was fine. All the tests came back good, so we're just chugging right along. She said, "you've gained a bit of weight since last time, so that's good." I've gained seven pounds since conception. I think I'm a little over what I should, but hey, the doc said it was "good," so I wont worry too much.

It's been snowing for days here. I didn't have to go to work yesterday or today. I've been the biggest lazy person. It feels awesome.

Monday, December 15, 2008

7 Random Things About Me

Sweet Martha and Virginia tagged me. And since I'm trying to earn the "Plays Well With Others" status, here you go!

1. I hate mousses and puddings. The texture just grosses me out. Especially mousse. It's all airy and foamy and whippy. Blech. I have only recently learned to endure jello and pudding.

2. I have a spot on the side of my nose. It's one of those that comes with being "mature in years" and spending too much time in the sun. At least once a week someone whispers that I "have something on my nose...maybe makeup?" And I have to tell them its just a little brown spot. Don't worry. I've had it checked out. It's fine and can be removed for a couple hundred bucks. I've grown attached to the little bugger though. It's shaped like the Hawaiian Islands. I like Hawaii.

3. I have moved cross-country by myself, three times. Each town was about 2500 miles from the last. There's something incredibly freeing and exciting about moving to a new place where no one knows you and you know nothing about the place you're going to live. I loved figuring out where to take my dry cleaning, get my hair cut, go grocery shopping. It's been five years since my last move. I'm getting the itch...

4. My maiden name was slang for "vomit." Growing up was fun for me.

5. I am trying to read the entire Bible before I give birth in June. The Bible is big. There are large boring bits. The type is small. I have read 221 pages. There are 1800 total. I'm screwed.

6. I met my husband through my mother (creepy, but true).

7. I have a reoccurring dream with David Boreanaz (Buffy, Angel, Bones) where he is a kazillionaire and is madly in love with me. He is HOT and in my dream I am HOTTER.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Who gave me the crazy pill?

I am officially crazy. There's been more than enough warning signs along the way, but now its official. I agreed to throw a Christmas Party tomorrow night. Granted, it wont be huge, maybe 20 people, but what-am-I-thinking? I've been so tired lately that I can barely brush my teeth before bedtime. What makes me think I can stand on my feet for umpteen hours tomorrow cooking and cleaning?

We usually have a Labor Day Fiesta party, but this year we were knee-wide, I mean, knee-deep in IVF preparation. I was in NO mood to host a big party. So, BigB begged for a Christmas party instead.

There's a small chance at salvation: a big snow/winter storm. It's headed our way and could bring lots of snow and ice tomorrow. Which would actually suck worse. Because I would still have to do the work, and probably only 1/3 of my peeps would show up. We are BIG wooses in Seattle when it comes to driving in "winter conditions."

Wish me luck. I'm going to need it to pull this off!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Frock Shopping...errr, Shipping

I just placed a whopping $267 order at Tar-jay for maternity clothes (ooohhhhhh pleeez don't let my husband read this cuz he will FREAK). Here's my rational...most of it (well, at least half of it) will go back. I just had to order extra things to try them all on and see what works best. There was free shipping so it didn't cost extra to ship those additional pairs of pants, and I can take the stuff back to the store- no return fees!

I was already at the dregs of my closet. After gaining 15+ pounds from being on fertility meds for the past year and a half, there are precious few things I can still wear. And there's not a thing that will fit without the aid of my dear friend Belly.Band. So, my premise was to order a bunch, try them on in the comfort of my home (who can stand those tiny, coffin-like dressing rooms?), and return most of it. How's my argument? Will he buy it (no pun intended)?

Anyhoo, I'm looking forward to getting my big box of big pants and shirts in the mail. It might be the only present I open this Christmas (BigB and I bought a new fancy shmancy TV "for each other" instead of gifts. And Rock Band - which I adore and kickASZ on). I bought nothing with prints. All solids. I decided after wearing a horizontally striped cardigan the other day that stripes are NO LONGER my friend. And all those patterned maternity shirts out there are rarely flattering, pregnant or not. I had them ship them to me at work, so hopefully everything fits inside one small-ish box, otherwise I'll have to bribe one of the young guys to haul all my loot out to my car. I can hardly wait! Even if it is Big Clothes that I'll only get to wear for 6 months, or so. Excited nonetheless. New Clothes! In a Package! Through the Mail!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Let there be light!...and a sappy movie

We finally got our Christmas tree yesterday. It took all of 10 minutes. I feel like every tree deserves a chance to get all gussied up and so I usually pick the first or second one I see.

After setting it up in the living room, BigB went off to study for his finals. I tackled the task no one likes - putting on the lights. It failed to even cross my mind that you might want to test the lights BEFORE putting them on the tree. But, ya know, they worked when I took them OFF the tree last year, so why wouldn't they work when I put them back ON? But noooooooo, three of the four strands failed to perform their functional duty.

As I was stringing up the (soon-to-be-realized) useless strands, I came upon the Christmas movie, "Prancer." I had never seen, not even heard, of this movie. It was great! I don't know how I missed it all these years. It was sweet. I cried. Of course. Everything makes me cry, especially a little girl with a reindeer. I had already watched the end of Gremlins (didn't make me cry but those freaky things sure look curiously a lot like my Boston Terriers), and all of the original Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (didn't make me cry but made me seriously think about bratty children). So basically it was a fairly unproductive afternoon for me. And that's ok. BigB came home to a poorly lit tree, boxes strewn everywhere, and me in a pile of snotty tissues and red eyes. 'Tis the season!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Peace at Last

I did it. I made the appointment and I went. It was strange. I made the appointment on Tuesday for the whole Nuchal and Triple Screen, and by Wednesday I was totally at peace. I wasn't worried, I might even have been a little excited. 

I was 10 minutes late getting home to meet BigB so we could ride together to the hospital, and then we ran into a huge traffic jam and of course argued the whole way. We finally got to there, only to be in one big, huge maze - why can't they put more signs in hospitals - people there are sick or hurting or late for an appointment - they shouldn't have to hunt. We finally got to the office 30 minutes late.  I felt like such a shmuck! But, they were nice and still saw me (although we had to wait another HOUR with a FULL BLADDER - I secretly think that was my punishment).

When we finally got called in, I was pleasantly surprised once again with the realization that I didn't have to disrobe. Not one stitch. So nice not to have to show all my bits to yet another stranger. The gel they used was even WARM which was also nice. I felt like a turkey being basted with warm butter. 

Everything was fine! We heard the heartbeat (which I could have listed to for hours), saw the Little Bugger's hands, and feet, and brain, and spine, and head, and arms, and face. It was so crazy, so sweet, and so amazing. There was an awful lot of prodding of my belly - Little Bugger wanted nothing to do with the lab tech and her sonic wand. It took every ounce of determination not to pee all over the exam table with all the digging to find the perfect picture.

The genetic counselor came in and gave us the good news. Little Buggers neck is apparently the right size, so everything seems to be good. We'll have to wait another week and a half before we get the results of the blood work, but she said that she said rarely did the bloodwork come back and make our "odds" worse.

It was all comforting and reassuring for sure. I feel like a huge weight has been lifted and I can maybe, just maybe, start enjoying this whole pregnancy gift. We have a DVD of the whole thing, so we can watch Little Bugger whenever we feel like it. I'm determined to keep a positive frame of mind, be joyful everyday, and enjoy this experience.!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

It's been a hard week

The past week has been really tough for me. Not tough as in horrible-tragic-nightmare, just plain difficult.

As mentioned before, I am a worrier by nature. I obsess. I literally wring my hands all day long. And pace. And mull every possible outcome over in my mind - especially at night when I'm supposed to be sleeping.

This past week I haven't felt pregnant at all. Nothing. Zip. Zilch. Maybe a few headaches, maybe some heartburn, but nothing that isn't par for the course outside of pregnancy. Of course this means that I am worrying myself sick that something is undoubtedly wrong.

Add to this that BigB decided that he wanted to make The Big Announcement at Thanksgiving Dinner. Appropriate of course...we are very thankful, but I just couldn't get over the nagging feeling that we'd (HE'd) be emailing and calling everyone in a few weeks to tell them that it in fact did NOT work out and that I was laying in a heap in the corner probably never to fully return.

Of course, I can't just worry about all that. I have to pile on the worry that if I am in fact still pregnant, that there is something horribly wrong. Then there's the whole testing/screening decision that I have still managed to put off.

These two scenarios have had me in fits of sobbing, wracking tears, just about every day for the past week. Big B has tried to be sympathetic...but mostly he just wonders when I'm going to be excited and happy.

I think part of it has to do with all of the testing and interaction with fertility treatments. I was in their office so frequently. And then the testing. You know what's happening in your body down to the inch and minute. It's totally unnerving to have to wait four weeks between appointments. Plus, we know all too well that pregnancy after infertility is not a cakewalk. We have dear friends who have had horrific tragedies, and who am I to think that after all of this time and countless setbacks that this could actually happen and everything could be just fine.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Mmmmmmmm, Turkey

So...no conclusive decision as far as testing go. I'm guessing that means that I probably wont do any testing. Because ignoring a problem and hoping it goes away is a good, solid, healthy plan.

On to more exciting and salivatingly addictive topics. Thanksgiving!

I love Thanksgiving when it's on THIS side of the mountain pass. For the past three years we had to make the 6.5 hour roadtrip to Big B's mother's house. There is not a moment during those trips when I can relax and let my guard down. It's always one big stress-fest, with me counting down the hours...no, minutes, until we can leave.

This year we're having it at my mom's house, although I'm bringing most of the food (including the turkey) for 15 people. It will be a teency bit strange, because my four step brothers and sisters are coming with their spouses and kids, and my "real" brothers and sisters aren't coming at all. It will still be fun, though. They're a great group of people, kind of reserved and polite, but very easy going.

This is totally unlike my siblings. When we get together it becomes A Big Competition...who can be Most Funny? who can Get the Most Attention? who can still do a headstand? (I'm serious...with my oldest brother at 50, we inevitably challenge each other to see who can still do crazy human tricks). We talk loud, disagree, sometimes say not-so-pleasant-things to each other, are completely honest about the turkey/pie/stuffing.

This leads me to my Top Ten Turkey Day Foods:

1. Mashed Potatoes (only my mom's will do...mine turn out like play-dough)
2. Sweet Potatoes (they must have marshmallows on top)
3. Cherry-O Cheesecake (this is such a nostalgic, yet horribly wonderful desert)
4. Apple Pie (my special recipe)
5. Rolls (the white fluffy kind with lots of butter and jam)
6. Carrot Casserole (sounds weird, but is awesome)
7. Cranberry Sauce (made with real cranberries, not that canned jelly stuff)
8. Ambrosia Fruit Salad (my sister's top secret recipe...terribly fattening)
9. Turkey (dark and white combo) - no gravy!
10. Stuffing (new to the Top Ten List...I'm a late adapter)

I don't think it's ironic at all that my top eight items are total carb fests. I didn't earn this waistline by craving protein. I am digging IN this year. I'll have my Belly Band in place and ready to take on an extra inch or two of bloated goodness. There's no stoppin' me now. My only regret is that when you don't host Thanksgiving, there aren't the mounds of leftovers to nuke for days later.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Does testing make the heart grow fonder?

We have to make a decision, and make it fast. We need to decide if we're going to do the whole screening/diagnostic tests for Maverick the Twirling Ball. I'm fairly certain we've decided against amniocentesis or CVS because of the whole risk of miscarriage. But what about the noninvasive ones (Nuchal & triple screen)?? Being the ripe ol' age of 38 definitely puts us at a much higher risk for chromosomal disorder than those youngins out there getting pregnant for the first time at 25 (national average).

Big B says NO go. The tests are notorious for false positives and knowing that something *could* be "wrong" with the little nutcracker isn't going to change anything for us. It would just make me sad and depressed the whole pregnancy.

I'm not so sure. Being The Worrier that I am, I feel like it would be so nice for those tests to come back normal and be able to have some sense of peace. But what if it was positive? Would it be good to know so that I could prepare myself? Or would it be better to be "surprised" with a chromosomal defect when Maverick makes his/her debut into this crazy world? I could just go on trusting that everything is rosy.

I just don't know. But, we have to make up our minds QUICK. It takes at least two weeks to get scheduled for the appt., and it's supposed to be done before the end of week 14. Perhaps my blogging friends who have been through this or thought about it could give me advice.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing

A chuckle for today. And I swear this is a true story.

My aunt, usually a fairly thin woman, has put on some lb's in the past year. This has prompted her to by some new clothing. She bought herself a new outfit last week and decided to wear it to church on Sunday. After putting on her new pair of plaid-ish pants and brown sweater, she decided she no longer liked it. She laid it on the bed so it wouldn't get wrinkled before she took it back to the retailer. Off to church she went.

Her husband had to run some errands that same morning, and told auntie that he would meet her at church. He gets home after she's already left and sees the outfit lying on the bed. He assumes that she has got him a new pair of pants and sweater, and that she wants him to wear it to church. He does. No kidding. Yes, he thinks its kind of an odd outfit, but, hey, she's the expert in the fashion department. Who is he to challenge her taste in pants.

He shows up at church and she sees him walk in. She doubles over in laughter. He's clueless. She can hardly breathe.

I know, I know. Wouldn't he KNOW they were women's clothing? He's definitely not the sharpest knife in the drawer.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

All clear

Yesterday we had our first OB appointment. It was fairly uneventful. I thought perhaps there would be a parade in my honor...but, no. No parade. No fanfare. No "we've got a winner" broadcast. Just an appointment with a new doc. I'll call her Dr. Youngin', cuz she's got to be at least 5 years younger than me, which is weird in and of itself. Dr. Youngin' asked lots of questions:

Have I been taking prenatal vitamins? Oh yes...for TWO YEARS.
Have I been tested for STDs? Um...yes - required for IVF.
Have I had a recent pap smear? Double check - required for IVF.
Have I had a recent ultrasound? Triple check - just last week.
(as they drew blood) How are you with needles? Must be okay...I've given myself over 125 in the past 3 months, not counting the kazillion draws. I haven't passed out yet!

But it was very reassuring to hear that everything looked good. She saw the little dancing ball, doing his/her usual arm wavings and spinning around. And she saw it all from the outside - the wand didn't go in at all! I was a bit confused when she told me legs didn't have to be in the stirrups. Whaaa? This is new.

The great thing was that she said I could take Unisom! (angelic choir sings). I have not had more than 2 hours of continuous sleep in three months. Most nights that's ALL the sleep I get. Not good. Took one little glorious tab last night and I was OUT. Not enough to sleep through the two or three urgent piddle requests by my bladder, but thankfully I went back to sleep after. I am a new woman.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Dig that Hole Really Deep

Big B and I had a "date" on Thursday. We went to one of those fancy-shmancy restaurants where there's nothing but "small plates" which always add up to a very large bill. But, we decided to splurge. We hadn't been out together just for us in a long time and the stress of everything has definitely taken a toll on the marital bliss. 

One plate down, and just beginning our second, the conversation sounds something like this:

Me: "Oof...I'm stuffed already. Everything's pushing up on my stomach...I eat too much and it makes me sick, I eat too little and it makes me sick."

BigB: "I think that these symptoms you're having are psychosomatic." 

Me: "What? You think I'm imagining things? Like what exactly?"

BigB: "Ya know...like the sore boobs, and the queasy stomach, and the farting."

Me: "So...you think I'm making these things up?"

BigB: "Well....yeah. I think those things come later...it's still so early."

Me:  "And how would you know? Have you had lots of experience with pregnant women?"

BigB: "At work - there's been a few women."

Me:  "And they don't talk to you about their sore boobs and farting? Hmmm...imagine that."

I wanted to shove his $18 venison bites up his nostrils. But not before I strung him up by his toenails and read (aloud) to him every chapter of "What to Expect" in anannoying sing-song mickey mouse voice.

Tomorrow is our first OB appointment. I'm excited and scared, of course. But I am trying to take things one day at a time.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

25 vs 38

I read a statistic today that the average age of a first time mother in the U.S. is 25 years. 25! I don't even remember 25. I'm sure it was fun. It certainly didn't involve children or even remote thoughts of children (except for maybe preventing them).

So, let's break this down:

If I had been 25 when I had my first baby, said "baby" would now be 13.
  • I am 38
  • I will be 51 when my first-born is 13, one year into my AARP membership
  • I will be 55 when my first-born is old enough to drive me to Denny's for my "Senior Discount" Grand-Slam breakfast
  • I will be 58 when my first-born heads off to college and 62 when they graduate - just in time for me to start collecting Social Security benefits
This is sobering. I told BigB the other day that we needed to work extra hard to be fit and active, since we're going to have to complete with a lot younger parents. We will have to work harder to be "hip" and "cool" (even saying those words makes me feel old!). Hopefully it will make us young at heart and have a more youthful outlook on life. I'm pretty sure we won't be competing with our kids on the XBox, or borrowing each others clothes. But, we'll be a family.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Everything's Fine

It's ok. I can breathe again. I really think nurses should take some type of course on how to leave a voicemail message. Here's her exact words:

"What you're describing is definitely not normal. The doctor would like to see you this afternoon."

What part of that message would not send you into an emotional, freaking-out vortex? I can think of a million different ways to communicate that message. 

But, at the end of the day, everything's fine. We saw the little bugger. It was flipping all over the place, moving like crazy. The doc could barely take a picture, it was so active. Big B thinks it must be a boy - being all goofy like that and scaring his mother half to death.

I'm just so relieved.

Aching Hooter Apparently Not a Good Sign

I'm on my way shortly to an emergency OB ultrasound. I've been having weird aching/cramping in my cervix/hootch area for two days. My clinic said that those types of pain certainly aren't "normal" and to skeedadle on in for a look-see.

As usual, I'm freaking out. I'm so scared that there's going to be something majorly wrong. Just as I was starting to let it all sink in and even entertain the idea that thing was really going to work...

Just last night I was thinking, tomorrow is day one of week 10. If I can get through this week, there's a good chance that this will really happen. Yesterday my mom came over to help organize our storage room so we'll have a place to store all the stuff in the office that's to become the nursery. I just started filling out a baby book that a friend gave me. BigB and I have been making plans of how we'll make our grand announcement at Thanksgiving. I ordered two pairs of maternity pants at JCPenE. My first OB appt is next Monday.

I'm trying to remain calm. Trying to remain positive. Trying to remember that God is in control and that He loves me. A lot. Prayers are appreciated.

Monday, November 10, 2008

A guest blog entry, bought to you by the Great Blog Cross-Pollination

Early Pregnancy Elation and Fears

I remember fourteen years ago when I found out I was pregnant for the second time with our first son. It was overwhelming; feelings of happiness, joy, fear, anxiety all mixed up with hormones to boot.

I was never sure if I was going to become a mother, Ever. Especially after the pain of my first pregnancy ending in miscarriage with my soon to be Ex totally unsupportive first husband. After heartbreak and heartmend, soul searching, and a good therapist or two, I had come to accept and be okay with never being a parent, just a doting aunt. I had let go of my fondest wish and desire even though it hurt because I learned that it was so totally outside my control.
When I met my current husband and we decided to have a family, it was as if the world of possibility was opened up to me. My heart took flight when I saw the two pink lines and the shock and joy in my husband's face. My happiness was tempered with anxiety, I felt like I knew too much being a maternal/child nurse for many years before having children. My older sister, who is a Pediatric Cancer Specialist, also felt this way when she had children five years before me.

I didn't know what worrying was until I got pregnant and then I realized again, I had to let go, and accept the wisdom of my body and the child I carried. I had been given a chance to turn myself over to this selfless act of creating and nuturing life.

Our sons daily teach me the wisdom and beauty of "letting go", sometimes it is quite annoying for all parties concerned and other days, it's so wonderful I pinch myself.

Thank you for letting me share my thoughts today on Kandi's blog. As a mother of older children, I wanted to post something relevant for her. I hope you will join me in wishing her all the best for the happiest and healthiest pregnancy for her, her husband, and their child.

(guess this blog author in your comments below)

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

hello already

I was at the grocery store yesterday and had this sudden feeling that I was in the set of Shawn of the Dead (without the gore, of course). It was if all these people were wandering around with absolutely dead-pan looks on their faces, walking the aisles mechanically.

I guess I try to engage people. I look them in the eye. I smile. I say "excuse me" or "pardon me" when walking in front of them while they're making a decision between the sundried tomato or mushroom spaghetti sauce. Rarely does anyone ever smile back, make eye contact, or even acknowledge that I have spoken to them.

Why is this? We're inches from each other, sharing the same space and activity, and they look like I have grown a second head and need to be put in a holding cell. Does it stem from years of being told, "don't talk to strangers?" Is it a West Coast thing? It's not like I'm trying to strike up a conversation or anything.

I get this on the street, too. Just say "hi" to a stranger and 9 times out of 10 they won't respond. I know I live in a big city, but, come on! I just really feel like this world would be a better place if we could give strangers a smile or a hello once in awhile. Just a few days after the biggest historical landmark in recent history where strangers were dancing in the street together, and we can't accept a strangers good tidings.

I'll keep doing it. Keep making myself look like a fool. But maybe I'll brighten someones day, too. I guess you never know.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Tiny Tank Issues

We live in a small "cottage" built in the 30's. It's great for the two of us. Just enough room. Except the bedrooms are TINY! Our "master" bedroom is 8' x 10' with a teency little closet. It works fine, except we are tall people and have a CalKing bed. So, our bedroom is literally a "Bed Room," with little else able to occupy the space. The bed is pushed into a corner, so that we can still open the door. This means that one of us (me) has to get out of bed by scooching down and off the end, rather than just swinging your legs off the side. This is usually not a problem.

Last night I peed six times.



In the middle of the night.

Of course just as I'm falling back asleep, the tiny tank of mine screems, "reeeeeeleeeeeasssse meeeee!" And, there's no falling back asleep until I scooch my rump down to the end of the bad, over three or seven pairs of shoes, down the unlit hall to our freezing cold bathroom.

It really sucks a truck. I was hoping this was just an early pregnancy thing and that it, along with the constant feeling of bad-chinese-food-ingested would pass. But, apparently, no. According to baby.center, this absurd behavior will "die down as soon as your baby is born." Fantastic. I'm telling you what. I'm so moving Big B over to the other side of the bed. I really can't see myself "scooching" an extra 25-50 pounds of girth. It would be more like "hauling" or perhaps "winching."

Friday, October 31, 2008

My morning poke

Big B reached into our dwindling supply of progesterone the other day and he declared that we were "out of needles." Whaaaaaa? Apparently our drug provider of choice failed to put enough in our last refill. So, calling our friendly 24-hour pharmaceutical provider hotline, I was able to get a prescription for needles called into our local pharmacy. Except not the pharmacy by our house, oh no, but the one 10 miles away. But hey, that's okay - we'll do anything for our daily dose of hive-inducing progesterone in sesame oil. LOVE the way that stuff feels goin' in. Mmmmm, mmmm. Can't get enough. Especially at five in the morning.

As we pick up the syringes and needles, I notice that they're completely different colors than our last ones. And the numbers on the packages were really small (meaning really BIG needles). I asked the pharmacy, "are these the right needles? they look really big!" She replied back, "they're the right needles if you're a horse. They are very big." Since I am not a horse, although my arse is so big that I may look like a horse from the rear, we got things kind of straightened out. However, the syringes are actually too small so the oil can't get sucked up into the syringe without a lot of conniving.

There's a few things I really look forward to at my morning poke:
  • The bonding time with my husband. It really brings us close together as he searches my ever-expanding derriere for a spot that has less cottage cheese and more, ahem, muscle. Sometimes it takes awhile and we get to chat about all kinds of topics like politics, our bosses, the meaning of our lives (at five in the morning).
  • Having a warm, wet washcloth applied to my bum. Especially when it isn't wrung out and it drips down my, err, great divide, and makes a big wet mess of my undies and pj's.
  • The left side. For whatever reason, my left "bum" is a lot more sensitive. I can feel every drop of that wonderful concoction going in.
  • The Deep Breathing that I get to practice. Especially on the left side.
  • The exit. Every, and I mean every time BigB takes the needle out, it hurts like a mother. I dread the exit. Loathe the exit. It feels like he's grinding it around, but he swears he's pulling it straight out.

I'll really miss the morning poke. Really.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Moment of Truth

I was such a wreck today. But dang, I got a lot of work done. It's amazing what you can plow through when you're trying to stay busy to keep your mind occupied. By the time 3 o'clock rolled around, I could hardly walk - my knees were shaking so badly.

Big B met me at the Drs office. We had to wait in the exam room for 15 minutes before the doc came. It's pretty humbling sitting on an exam table, naked from the waist down, in front of your husband. "Dontcha think this look is sexy? Would you like me to wear one of these at home?"
The doc came in and she was in a black suit. The kind you wear for a job interview. Ummm...where was the white lab coat? It was totally disconcerting. I felt like I should be pontificating my weaks and strengths as she got busy with the magic wand. I made myself look at that looming screen. I needed it to be over with. And, wouldn't you know, there was a little blinking light. A heartbeat. I'd heard about it - but never seen it. It was truly unbelievable. I sat dumbfounded as she poked around and determined that everything to appeared to be in the right place, the right size, and the right rate. There were no tears, just disbelief. "b-b-b-but I haven't had any symptoms in five days!", I stammered. "Oh, I hear that all the time. Just wait a few days." She handed me a little printout of the tiny little bean and told me to go see an OB in three weeks. I think Big B had to put my pants back on for me and lead me out of the office. Praise God from whom ALL blessings flow. I just keep saying that, over and over.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Can we just skip tomorrow?

I have totally worked myself into a frenzy. My first ultrasound is Wednesday afternoon. I have convinced myself that we aren't going to see anything. My symptoms have diminished - hardly any nausea, less twinges and pings in my uterus. Boobs are still hurting - but not as horribly, either. And, yes, I know that not everyone has symptoms, and they change from day to day, blah blah blah. But I feel different than a week ago.

I pretty much laid on the couch all weekend and did nothing. Just slept and watched horrible movies. I'm totally depressed. Of course, my close friends and family have been through this with me before, so they aren't so ready to jump on the, "it's going to be just fine" bandwagon. I think they think the worst, too. And Big B doesn't want to even entertain the idea, let alone talk about it.
I am dreading tomorrow's appointment. I don't want to go. I've been bursting into tears at random, and can just imagine what tomorrow will bring. Big B says to imagine the best case scenario, not the worst. I wish I could.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Major Queen Itch

I got to spend the day with my mom today, which was super cool. I actually really like hanging out with her, and we rarely get to do it.  She agreed to assist me in the herculean task of finding a new butt cradle (i.e. couch).  Bless her heart. 

At one point, she cocks her head and says, "why do you keep scratching your ass?" She didn't really say ass. She said bottom. But lets face facts. Its not my bottom, its my ass, and she had caught me red-handed, hand down pants, scratching it. 

So I explained to her about my PIO-induced hives. I had thought my dogs had sprouted a new epidemic of invisible fleas, but after some google-oogleing, found out that it was probably hives from the PIO. Lovely. They are huge welts, and itch insanely. 

I have been caught by more than my mom. Co-workers, librarians, uncles, Thai-take-out-dude have all experienced my ass-grabbing. I now do it so often, that I don't even know that I'm doing it. It's a naturally occurring phenomenon. I will have a conversation with you, and my hand will gravitate toward my backside and just start a rubbin'. It feels sooooogooooooooood. I do try to keep my hands outside my pants, but sometimes,  in the privacy of my home or amongst family, I will admit that nothing will separate my hands from my bare hive-covered buttocks.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Let Me Introduce Myself

I'm borrowing this intro idea from Liddy over at The Unfair Struggle. I don't know if I've ever truly introduced myself on my blog, so, here goes nothin'!

My name is Kandi. Well, it's not really Kandi. That was my nickname until I went to college. At that point I deducted that Kandi would really only be a good name if I was choosing a profession in porn, stripping, or prostitution*. And, since my college offered none of those degrees, I would have to make a switch to the full name, Esmerelda. Just kidding. It's Kandace. My family and friends from high school still call me Kandi. No one else gets to. Except for blog readers. Because, heck, anyone who takes the time to listen to me bitch and complain about my struggles with life and infertility can call me whatever-the-hell-they-want (except Whiney Bitch, please). As long as they keep listening.

Which leads me to my story of struggling with infertility. Apparently, I never clued-in to the fact that as women get older, they produce less and less eggs, and the ones they produce aren't quite as "fresh" as might be required for baby making. I only thought my chances of having a baby with some sort of genetic problem would increase. So, I followed my dreams and chased that corporate ladder and glass ceiling - having a blast the whole time. I wasted most of my twenties with a guy who swore he would never get married or have kids (which both have happened in the past year for him), and moved from coast to coast (twice) by myself having fun as only a single girl can.

Finally, beginning to hear the faint rumblings of my internal Big Ben, I moved back to my home city when I was 33. Found Mr Right (or Big B as I like to call him) when I was 34, got married when I was 35 and started TTC when I was 36. Just in time, right? Naaaaaa. My eggs were already dusty and crusty.

After six months of stupid ovulation charts and temperates (and NEVER seeing an ovulation), we went through every imaginable test and straight to IUIs - 5 of them. 4 failing, and one sticking only to miscarry in my 10th week. After that, on to a second mortgage and IVF. The first one apparently worked as we got our betas back just two weeks ago. We're trying to remain calm until our first US next week.

As for me, I love to bake cakes for friends and co-workers. And cooking in gereral. And I love photography - I even have a somewhat ironic side biz taking baby, children and sr photos. I have strong faith in God and try to incorporate that into every area of my life (Jesus drank wine, right? And swore from time to time?). And, apparently, I like to write.

Whew. That was a lot. If you stuck through the whole post you get a Gold Star.

*please note that if your name is Kandi, Candy, Candi, or Kandy, don't get mad at me for my connotation of our shared name. It just wasn't for me. I couldn't pull it off. PLUS my maiden name happened to be a slang word for "puke." I got tired of hearing, "I ate so much Kandi I xxxxed !" Not a good way to spend your school days.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Are your ears burning?

So, yesterday morning, my co-worker walks into my office and shuts the door.

Uh - oh. Somethin' big must be going down for door-shuttin' time.

She whispers to me, "I was talking with vendorX, and she said that she was talking to another guy here at work who told her that you were pregnant."

Are you following? So, a vendor is told by someone else that works for my company (but in a different department) that I'm pregnant. She, in turn, passes along said intel to another person in my company (in my same department), who then comes to me.

The good news is the person who came to me already knew. She's the one person in my office I confided in. And whom I completely trust would never ever spill the beans to anyone.

The bad news is that after just two weeks of seeing the ever-elusive double pink line, my "secret" is somehow common knowledge being passed about by practical strangers! At the coffee stand: "Would you like non-fat or soy with your latte?" "Soy. Oh, and have you heard that the woman in marketing is pregnant?"

I mean, for a vendor, whom I hardly ever work with, to casually chat about it to one of my co-workers? This means the guy who told her must not think anything about spreading "the news"around willy-nilly - and that no "top secret" code was given to him when someone decide to bless him with gossip fodder.

I was so pissed. There was definitely some steam coming out of my ears.

How Did This Happen? We hardly know that we're pregnant...we haven't even seen/heard the heartbeat. Plus my FE said we didn't need a 3rd Beta. So, as exciting as the news is, its not something we're casually passing around as common knowledge until at least the second trimester which isn't until December.

I went directly to the source - the guy who spilled the beans.

Me: Hey, guess what I heard? I heard from Suzy that she heard from Sally that you told her I was pregnant!
Him: Oh, really? I said that? I don't remember saying that.
Me: She definitely said she heard it from you.
Him: I didn't even know you were pregnant!!
Me: Then why did she say she heard it from you?
Him: Well...I think I was speculating that you were.
Me: Speculating? I know I've gained some weight in the past six months...
Him: No! I never look at things like that. I just knew you and Big B were trying and I speculated that you were.
Me: Well...can you NOT speculate any more? This isn't information that we're sharing with people. We just found out ourselves and with everything that has happened over the years we need to wait until we're good and ready.
Him: Oh, yeah. I won't talk about it anymore. I won't even tell my wife.

Speculating? You speculate that your stocks are going to go up. You speculate that dinosaurs existed. You speculate that gossiping about your co-worker is going to get you into some hot poo poo.

Let's just take this little soap opera a little further. I happen to have another friend whom I've bragged about in other posts. She's awesome and I'm lucky to have her as a friend. I also work with her. And her husband. They know all about me and Big B. Probably more than they ever wanted to know. They swore up and down that they wouldn't share our news with anyone. Me thinks her dear hubby went over to said blabbermouths house (they happen to be friends), had a few brewskis while playing X.Box, and let the lips loose. So, I had to have a little chat with her, too. Talk about damage control.

The biggest thing I worry about, is that everyone at work finds out, including my boss. And if something does go wrong with the pregnancy, I have to face everyone, all day, every day.

Am I over reacting?

Monday, October 20, 2008

Show and Tell

Show and Tell
I thought I'd bring my two-headed dog to Show & Tell this week. Whaaa? A Two-Headed Dog you say? Yes, my two headed dog:

This is Charlie, my 9 month old Boston Terrier and his second head, Lucy. We came across them one day and decided that Charlie had either eaten Lucy and was trying to "pass" her, or he was giving birth to a puppy, or perhaps they morphed into one, two-headed dog, that we now affectionately call, "Charlcy."

Apparently Lucy had no problem with her little brother (who is now bigger than she) completely covering her entire body. She continued snoring and seemed not concerned.

Let's go back to the beginning, shall we? I got Lucy four years ago - when I was still a swingin' single. I had the sweet condo downtown and all I needed was a cute puppy to attract all the hotties in the neighborhood. Lucy weighed 2 pounds when I brought her home. She fit in the palm of my hand.
She laughs when you tickle her tummy. It's awesome.

She saw this police horse in the neighborhood, recognized the familiar black and white markings as her own, and asked the horse, "are you my mother?"

We welcomed Charlie into the clan last March. He was a consolation prize after the miscarriage. I needed something small to love and mother.

We soon realized that Charlie was alpha dog. So did Lucy. Thus the two-headed "Charlcy."

Sunday, October 19, 2008

I hope everyone has a friend like this

Last night we went to a surprise bday party for my friend's husband. We didn't know too many people, but it was still fun. This girlfriend, "C", is my only close friend who has gone through fertility treatments. She even miscarried about the same time as I did - but she went through a partial molar pregnancy with trophoblastic disease, which has to be the absolute most horrible thing ever. Talk about rubbing salt into a wound. But "C" has been so great about everything. She's the one who is happy for me, even when I can't be happy (yet) for myself. She always asks how I'm feeling, and responds, "that's how I felt with my first!" There's something very comforting in someone believing in your pregnancy, despite all the caution. She also knows those cautions and still has joy for you. It's hard to explain, but there's a difference between "stupid clueless joy" (not having any idea what you've gone through or what the risks and complications of fertility treatments are at 38!) vs. "been there done that but I still have hope and joy for you." 

So few people actually know that this thing worked (at least for the moment) and that I'm walking around pregnant, worried sick that I'm doing or have done something to ruin it, or that it's disappeared and I wont see anything on the ultrasound in two weeks. Those who do know, know better than to be ecstatic yet, and so are kind of waiting in silence - just like me. For this one person to be happy for me, and have joy, and be positive despite it all. And, I know, that if it, God forbid, doesn't happen to turn out like I hope and dream, she'll still be there for me. Okay, there's tears all over my laptop. I better stop before I shortcircuit something. 

Friday, October 17, 2008

Cake Wrecks

One of my favorite blogs, Cake Wrecks, just won Best Humor in the Blogger's Choice Awards. This site just makes my day. I LOVE to make cakes. I believe it is my second calling in life (I still haven't figured out what my first one is). There's something about making a cake for someone that just warms my cockles. My cakes are the generic, normal, but totally from scratch variety. I don't decorate them...just frost. But the cakes on this blog are decorated. And NOT in a good way, IYKWIM.

I just have to share a recent posting. At first glance, its a sweetly decorated cake for a baby shower. But look closer:
The baby is coming out of a woman's stomach. Like a piece of shrapnel. I really don't know anything about birthing or C-sections, but this isn't what I envisioned it would look like.

And the woman has no head or arms. But, thankfully, she is in a nice, pink leotard. The baby looks pretty happy - not all pink and red and wrinkly like most other newborns.
Makes me wonder if the baker has no idea at all what happens during birth, or perhaps she has popped out a few of her own but has successfully blocked all memories and morphed them into a pink and lavender happy place where your head is successfully separated from all the stress and pain.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Where's Emily Post when you need her?

I'm all in angst. I'm supposed to have dinner with a friend tonight and I'm totally dreading it. This is the friend who is married to my husbands best friend. This is the friend who got pregnant on their first month out of the gate trying, just three months after my miscarriage. This is the friend I've totally been avoiding.like.the.plague.

I know I'm avoiding her because of the Big Elephant In The Room. You know the one, right? That she (probably) feels bad because she got pregnant immediately and we've been trying forever. So we don't talk about her pregnancy - we ignore that topic. Or do we? Will she go on and on about every little thing so much that I start gagging on my salad? I'm sure she'll bring up how much she misses me, and that she and her hubby really want to be a support for us, blah blah blah.

What do I do? What do I say? And to complicate things, Big B (my hubby) is dying to tell his best friend (her husband) about our latest news. After all, it is his best friend. Shouldn't he get to tell someone? I don't want Big B to tell him. Because then he'll tell her. And then she'll make a big deal about it and probably tell all of our other friends. I don't want her to know because she doesn't know what it's like to be sitting on pins and needles. To hold your breath for weeks on end, waiting for that other shoe to drop. I don't want to piss on her parade just because mine's been rained on over and over. Ya know?

I do want to be happy for her. I really do. I know its something I have to work on and get over. I can't live my life alienating one friend after another because they get pregnant or have a baby, or already have babies, or are wanting more babies, or tired of the babies they have. I'm getting all teary-eyed thinking about this. I really want to cancel. I don't don't don't want to do this.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

If you could only have 5

So you're stranded on a deserted island, and can only have five things. You've played this game before? What if it was foods? What five foods would you want to be stuck on an island with? Think Lost, without all those hatches of weirdly packaged containers of peanut butter and candy bars.

Here's mine:
  • Good white crusty Artisan bread (baked fresh every day, of course)
  • White wine (Pinot Gris from the Willamette Valley)
  • Cheese (preferably a tray of all kinds, but if I have to choose one, probably Beecher's Flagship)
  • Kalamata Olives (pits removed, please!)
  • Greek Pizza (artichoke hearts, feta cheese, sundried tomatoes, maybe some chicken)

I know. Strange. No chocolate! BFF and I played this and we decided that it was a tropical island and that there would be copious amounts of fruit, like mangoes and pineapple. Otherwise there would definitely be some sort of fruit on the list. Gotta keep things movin', *if ya know what I mean.*

What are your fave five?

Monday, October 13, 2008

Open 24 hours for Hurling

Just sayin'...this whole 24-hours a day vommitty feeling had better be worth something. Dammit. The only time I feel like I haven't caught some stomach virus, ate at a crappy restaurant, or stayed up drinkin' way too late last night, is when I've got something sliding down my gullet. Doesn't matter what it is...just something. I went to the c-store by my office today and bought Nilla Wafers, Cheese Nips, Pop Tarts, pretzels, and a rice crispy treat. Thank gawd I didn't eat them all at once. I just know the guy sitting in the office next to me was thinking, "geesh, how much is she going to eat?" Screw him. Maybe I'll sneak into his office in the morning and puke in his waste basket.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Bulk sized fear and tiny glimmers of hope

We went to CostcHo today - why do we subject ourselves to the torture?? I practically hyperventilate when we turn into the parking lot. It's a complete zoo. My blood pressure starts its steady climb as I watch a ten-car backup develop as some lazy ass waits & waits for that perfect parking spot near the front door. Or the way life and limb is risked just trying to enter the frickin' place. All these people are coming out at breakneck speeds, so they can hurry home and break into their jumbo-sized premade Caesar salad and chicken bake.

Yet we go back. Again and again. Never escaping without at least a $200 bill - and there's only two of us! Even with a list in hand and nerves of steel, we still find our xtra large cart full of things we had no idea we needed.

"Honey, are we out of granola bars?"
"No, I checked before we left. We're outta paper towels, though."
"Just think, in eight months we could be buying these huge crates of diapers and wipes. And formula. Are we low on soy milk?"

The 2nd beta looked good. It doubled. Just. They don't want to see me back for two weeks. I'm trying to remain calm. We want to be happy, but no longer naive to the fact there's still a lot of hurdles to cross. We're being cautiously optimistic. There's random baby comments peppering our conversations, but we're not running out to buy strollers or pick colors for the nursery. I'm just too freaked out. Just one day at a time, right? Trying not to dwell on fetal poles or sacs or heartbeats. I honestly think this is way worse than the two week wait. We should be dancing in the streets and the happiest people on the planet - but we're just too scared. Too worried. I don't think we'll ever feel secure until that baby is safe in our arms.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

I'm in love with Ch-ch-ch-chi(a)

I got a new thingy in the mail yesterday. It's a CH.I flatiron. It has changed my life. My hairdresser used it on me about a week ago when I got a new cut and color and oh my gawd I was a changed woman. It was not soccer-mom me(without the soccer or the mom part), but some sleek, coiffed, bad-assed babelicious. I tried recreating the moment with my old flat iron, but it did NOT work. At all. Convinced that I needed the exact recipe my stylist used, I when on a spending spree: new iron, new conditioner, new styling creme. Big B nearly had a heart attack - "I thought we were on a budget lockdown!" Whaaaa. Maybe for him. But not for me and my self-indulgent and self-gratifying needs!

It really did make a difference. Even the cutie-patootie (very young) graphic designer in my office commented on how "awesome" my hair looked. So...worth every penny in my book. What I didn't know when buying the thing, was that there were choices.

You could choose the camo-in-pink option:

Or the designer bag option:

I went for the plain ol' version. I am fairly mesmerized by it, though. It makes my hair feel super soft and not all rosanna-anna-danna. I could easily see myself morphing into "one of those girls" who totes the thing to work with her for a little afternoon delight of mid-day flattening.

And, just for the record... got my beta back. 200. It's a positive. The night before I had the worst cramps. I just knew AF would be banging on my door any second. But we POAS anyway. My jaw dropped about two feet when the second line came up almost immediately. Crazy.

Monday, October 6, 2008

combustible gas with a scoop of rocky road

Any Heroes fans? I am so lost. 

Note to self: do not read blogs or play mahjong while trying to watch Heroes.

And...don't feed dogs pretzel sticks before favorite tv show. It's hard to concentrate with lethal farts aimed in your general direction. Running from the room with your hand over your nose does nothing for following a story line. How can 12 pounds produce such a copious amount of stinky gas?

My beta is supposed to be on Thursday. I haven't made an appointment yet. I don't want to. Do I have to? Can't I just wait and see what happens? I don't want to know. I'd rather just sit in this pool of dread like every other month for the past year and a half and just wait for the inevitable to begin. I know I'm not pregnant because:

Pregnancy Symptoms Checklist
Sore boobs = NO
Frequent urination = NO
Super tired = NO
craving ice cream = YES (but I've been craving ice cream since I was three so that probably doesn't count).

How can I possibly crave ice cream when I've got enough deadly gas in this room to probably kill a few brain cells? How? How is that even possibly appetizing? Yet I crave it. Rocky Road.

Friday, October 3, 2008

St. Gerard's the MAN

My dear friend sent me the sweetest gift today...it's a St. Gerard prayer card and medal. For those who don't know St. Gerard, he's the (Catholic) patron Saint of children (unborn children in particular), childbirth, mothers (especially expectant mothers), and motherhood. 
(It's kinda ironic that the patron saint of all things mother is a man, dontcha think? He must have been a pretty sensitive guy -very in touch with his feminine side.) I'm not Catholic, so the whole idea of having a dead guy pray for me is a little weird, but I'm intrigued just the same. Apparently there's St. Gerard festivals all over the world - an entire festival around fertility! And motherhood! And babies! . They have a HUGE one at St. Lucy's in Newark. It's every year and thousands of people come for the merriment:

 There's a parade with the St:

And a feast with traditional Italian festival fare for all the ivf mamma wanna-be's all hopped up on synthetic hormones (mmmmmm.....zeppoles!):
This is a serious party, people! Fun! Laughter! Frivolity! Food! Frosty beverages! Merriment! Joy! There's a special "Blessing of Women Praying to Conceive" and another "Blessing of Expectant Mothers." Society usually hides fertility/infertility, it's something whispered about, hid, shared with a few close friends (or few hundred bloggers). It's refreshing to see how people come together to honor motherhood and put on a party!

I've never been. But this year's is in a few weeks. If I can find a cheap flight, I think I'm going. I'll either need some cheering up or will be needing to put in some serious prayers of thanks to the Big Guy.

Here's St. Gerry's prayer, in case you're interested:

O  good St. Gerard, powerful intercessor before God and Wonder-worker of our day, 
I call upon thee and seek thy aid. Thou who on earth didst always fulfill God's design,
help me to do the Holy Will of God. Beseech the Master of Life, 
from Whom all paternity proceedeth to render me fruitful in offspring, 
that I may raise up children to God in this life and heirs 
to the Kingdom of His glory in the world to come. Amen.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Fashion Not-Nista

....fall is here.

I usually welcome it with open arms. What could be better than big fuzzy sweaters and warm socks? My body type was definitely created with the colder seasons in mind. I've never been a big fan of exposing my skin, I'd rather just cover it up.

This fall, as I'm dragging my warm clothes from under the bed and from the storage room, I'm finding stuff just a little too snug. And these are the clothes I bought last fall because all my others were too tight. Uh oh. I am totally blaming this on all the fertility meds and months of reading deeply into the "no vigorous exercise" and "stay off your feet" attached to one year of nearly back to back treatments. Am I justified? I think so!

So, my clothes don't fit. And I don't want to buy any because I HOPE AND PRAY that I'll be needing to buy maternity clothes pretty damn quick. This leaves me with a few skirts and pants for work that aren't particularly comfy and definitely aren't the cutting edge of fashion.

Have I mentioned that I work on a college campus? I have huge windows in my office where I get to see a daily, day-long parade of 18-22 year-olds flaunting their tiny waistlines and hot off the runway outfits (its an expensive private school - daddy has big pockets). I'm not even sure I can pull off the fashion trends. Like this one:

Does any one else have doubts about ankle boots with skirts? It just seems wrong. Or am I just showing my age? I did have someone ask if my intern was my daughter (whaaaaa? She's 24!!!).

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

My No-Herb Garden

I had my first experience with Chinese medicine today. Upon referral from another fertility-challenged friend, I visited Dr. J Acupuncture & Herbs. The name seemed kinda sketch...when I think of herbs, I think more of making a rub for our Thanksgiving turkey than a cure for my barren womb tomb.

I was ushered into an examining room, and Dr. J, who was just the sweetest gal ever, immediately launches into a round of 21 questions about cycle days, meds, numbers, grades. I was totally impressed - I don't know what I thought...that she got her creds from the internet?But she's the real deal. She said she was going to treat me as if I was pregnant (I loved that! I almost kissed her right there). Then she looked at my tongue (apparently I'm lactose intolerant), took my pulse, and tapped my belly. She stuck a needle in my forehead, three in my belly, and a couple in my feet. It didn't hurt at all.

She told me all about how the female channel runs from your cooter up to your mouth. She explained that this phase (implantation) is like a seed planted in the spring, you don't want a big storm that disrupts it - but rather that it should be guarded and kept very still (no herbs for me and apparently no sex). She had me lie in the dark, with some awesome Chinese medicine music playing in the background (where do I get that CD?), and meditate on the little seed in the garden of my womb. I was out in like two seconds. She came in a few times and checked my pulse (to make sure I was still alive? To make sure I wasn't doing aerobics while she was out of the room?) It was the best nap I've had in a LONG time. Ultimately she put my hour of relaxation to an end came in and pulled out the needles, and said she'd see me again in two days and I can't wait.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Lady in Red

Red is my favorite color. And I happen to look good in it. Nice contrast with the blue-green eyes and brown hair (or so my mom tells me when I'm feeling a little down: "just put on a little red lipstick, honey. You'll feel better!). When all else fails, I turn to red. I have four pairs of red shoes. A red jacket. A red purse. My kitchen is even red. Although I've never had a red car. Hmmmmm.

Red is not my favorite color when it applies to my skin. Red, hot, angry skin - all over my chest, neck, face, and ears. It started the day after my retrieval. I noticed it as I was getting ready for work - it totally freaked me out. Whaaaaaat is going on? It's like I've been on a Caribbean cruise for a week instead of sitting my lard ass on the couch watching back-to-back episodes of Project Runway.

I haven't told my boss about any of my fertility business. He's totally "old school," just about to retire, and he always wants way too much information. In this case, it would be just too uncomfortable explaining to g-pa boss man how I have my vaginey explored up to three times a week. Thankfully, honestly, SO THANKFUL, that I don't have to explain my whereabouts. I can pretty much skip out for the occasional blood draw or IUI without anyone suspecting a thing. But, I knew I'd be out for the whole day for the retrieval. So, I told g-pa boss man that I was having a "procedure" and that I'd be out for the day. No details. I figured he's a smart enough man to figure out that it had something to do with lady stuff and would just leave it well enough alone.

When I showed up to work the next day (late of course) with a sunburn...I honestly think he believed that I totally lied. I bet he thinks I played hookie and did something super fun involving sunshine and ferries and picnics and frolicking. I eeked out, "I'm having an allergic reaction to one of the medicines they gave me for my procedure yesterday!" He nods, and says, "so I see." Not an iota of sympathy or belief. I wanted to drop my drawers right there and show him my lovely purple bruises across my abdomen, my track marks in my butt, and the needle pricks in my arms. But I didn't.

Back to the rash. I called the lovely clinic and they told me to stop taking the vicodin. Dang. The only medicine that's any fun at all and it gives me a rash. Four days later I'm still lighting up like a neon bulb. I tell this to Saturday Morning Nursing Staff and they think it's the progesterone. Sucks to be me. Thank God I look good in red cuz I've got at least another week and half of this hot flash madness, and with any luck up to another couple of months.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

The little Yellow pill that Wouldn't

This morning, according to the incredibly detailed plan for our transfer, I was to insert a little yellow pill of prometrium up into my nether regions at exactly two hours before the transfer. Done. So, I'm wandering around my house in my bathrobe, drinking the five million gallons of water prescribed, when what to my wondering eyes do appear, but that same damn yellow pill laying on the floor in the living room! I blinked, twice even, but it was still there, right next to our puppy's slimy chew toy. Just sitting there, like a brightly colored egg on Easter morning, waiting to be found. What the hell? I picked it up, walked back to the bathroom, and double-checked the prescription bottle. Yep. Just a quantity of one. So, because I am incredible good at deduction, I surmised that said yellow pill had in fact fallen out of my cooter at some point. I was dumbfounded. How does that happen? 

Now - do I wash it off and reinsert? Better not...water is likely to make it disintegrate. So, I just blew on it (10 second rule extended to yellow pill) and rubbed off the dust and doggie hairs, and resumed the position to reinsert. Done. But, this time, I decided to rest a bit on the bed. Make sure it stays in the appropriate area. After five minutes, I feel the thing making its way back out. Again! Whaaaaa? It was having nothing to do with my vagina. No wonder I can't make a baby - I can't even interest a little yellow pill in sticking around for five minutes!

After pushing it back in for the third time (this time with extra oomph and passion), I think it stayed. We made our way to the clinic, and got the report on our four little survivors. Turns out two of them made it to 8/9 cell stage and got a perfect grade, the other two were only to 6, and the prognosis for them was less than stellar. So, we got a picture of the two lucky ones (in color!). I can totally see that the bigger/more advanced one takes after me: totally has to be the over achiever, and definitely looks good in fuchsia. Some kids have ultrasound pictures to look at. We have them at the 8/9 cell stage. And they look good.

They transferred the two, and they'll keep an eye on the other two to see if they catch up. Now, I'm totally sitting on my bum, watching reruns of House, and reading a million blogs. Hey, if you read mine, I'll read yours. Keep the candles burnin'. Lots of prayers are needed in the next week and a half.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Down to Four

Got the call - just four of the eight fertilized. I was really hoping there'd be more...but, hey! There's four! (That's me trying to be positive). Transfer is scheduled for Saturday...please, oh please let them all make it to Saturday!

A happy medium between gloom and sunshine

I love to spend some quality time over at Rantings of a Creole Princess. I've never met Monica, but she seems like the kind of person who I would love to have a cocktail with. Not to wallow in self-pity, but to laugh with! And be silly! And crack ourselves up over the general hilarities in life.

She recently posted a piece on not letting infertility consume you or ruin you. How it shouldn't define us. That we should choose happy.

I have been struggling with this for a long time. I want to be that person who is grateful. Who celebrates the victories (especially the pregnancy/births) of my friends. The person who doesn't alienate herself from others because they don't know what I'm going through. I want to be that strong person that people look at and wonder, "how does she do it?" and, "I want to be around her because she's so positive and cheerful." Which reminds me of a friend of mine who has categorized people in to two groups: Fun-givers and Fun-takers. I'm afraid since all of this infertility mumbo-jumbo, I have fallen into the latter of those two.

But how do you move from "gloom and doom" to "happiness and joy"? How do we get there? I am "spiritual" (not religious). I pray and read God's word. I know this path I'm walking is directed by Him. Yet, I seem to lack the ability to celebrate and praise this time I'm in. I also don't want to be that person who is unnaturally happy - always seeming to have their head in the clouds and be nauseatingly Susy Sunshine. How can I move from negative to positive? Any thoughts? Anyone?

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Amnesia - common side effect of a baby after infertility?

Last night I called a girlfriend. She's the only "real-life" friend I know that has had an IVF. I've known her for twenty years. Met her in college. Was in her wedding. She was the girl who wanted to get married immediately and have a gaggle of babies immediately. They soon discovered she had all sorts of uterus/fallopian issues and that conceiving was going to be a challenge. They went through 6 IUIs, and got pregnant with their first IVF. It was a long, hard journey for them, and I am truly glad it all worked out.

I hadn't talked to her since right after my miscarriage...but I wanted to let her know how all the other IUIs had gone (failed), and that we were scheduled for a retrieval the next morning. I thought she could empathize, give me some encouragement, listen to my fears with an understanding ear. Yet, as soon as she picked up the phone, she started in on how wonderful her life was. How much she loved being a mom - going into details on her son's various accomplishments thus far in life. How cute he was, his feeding habits, the awesome group of women she's met who also have babies the same age as her Sweet Pea.  How they were going to start trying for their second with all their FEs left over from their first IVF.

I was so mad! I was so hurt. I was so disappointed. I thought since she had gone through all of this crap herself, that she had dealt with this world of pain, that she knew first-hand what it felt like to be anxious and nervous and worried. That she knew, above all else, what it felt like to have a baby waived in front of your face. To have motherhood flaunted like a skinny person eating a huge piece of chocolate cake in front of a Weight.Watchers group. But NO! She totally went on and on, unabashedly, for the majority of our conversation. Until she wished me good luck and then excused herself because she had to put her little bundle of joy to bed because it was "way past his bedtime and I don't want to pay the price tomorrow!"

Am I being way too oversensitive here? Did I set my expectations too high? Did I have a false sense of camaraderie? I thought we were a special group of women, bonded by the shear nightmare of infertility. Am I totally off course? Do women who've gone the fertility treatment obstacle course to come out a winner on the other side usually abandon every memory of the heartache, depression, and frustration, not to mention the hurt caused by insensitive mommies?