Sunday, December 30, 2007

The Ketchup Incident

Okay, my hormones are very tricky.   When I figured they would be in overdrive--like when I was on the fertility drugs--I was pretty calm.  Being pregnant, I figured - "Hey, I have rode this rollercoaster before and (other than wicked PostPartum Depression) I was cool--should be an easy ride."  (Note, I have not consulted my other half to find out if I was indeed a hormonal pregnant woman last time around--what does he know, right?!?) 

I think those hormones were just waiting around during the IVF follies, and now they are raring to go!  For example:

I bought 2 bottles of Heinz One Carb ketchup last week. I am the only one who uses this ketchup--I actually like it, and it makes me feel like I am not using useless carbs/sugars. I put one in the fridge. (I mention the specialness of the ketchup, because, damn it...I really should have been upset with what happen next...I mean, its MY somewhat more expensive ketchup...right!?!) Last weekend I took out my lunch from the fridge, and the ketchup fell out and BURST open (the plastic completely and utterly cracked open). Ketchup was everywhere. I mean, it looked like a crime scene. And, in front of my husband and 8 year old son, I totally utterly lost it.   I was crying like my best friend had died.  I just could not stopping crying--and I mean the type of crying where you can't catch a breath!  Over ketchup!!! 

Looking back--it was funny.  Really.   



Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Notes on Christmas 2007

Christmas Eve: Was taken out to my favorite Japanese Steakhouse, requested extra fried rice (really too much!--I have left overs to prove it). Came home, opened presents, Michael wore the Santa Hat and passed them out. Had a few presents that were addressed to Willow (already!). Then my bro and his fiancee came over and we had Birthday Cake a day early. CHOCOLATE! YUM!

Then the real fun began---my son woke up at quarter to midnight to make SURE that everyone went to bed before Santa came. And he then came in our bed. He was literally shaking from head to toe with anticipation and excitement. The next 4 hours I stayed up with him. He just could not get to sleep. Every so often he went to one of the upstairs windows to check if the special oats he had thrown out for the reindeer was gone. I tried everything (apart from bringing him downstairs where "Santa" had already came). It was SO CUTE. Only at 3:30 a.m. did I start to lose it and mutter "really, now, this is getting f--ing ridculous...we both need to sleep!" (Oh, and hubby can sleep through ANYTHING---and he did...) Finally, Michael asked me to check to see if Santa had eaten his cookies (luckily we had)....and yes, I checked and around 4 a.m. my son and I finally fell asleep (getting back up at 7 a.m.). It was cute, it was annoying, it was heartbreaking, it was exhausting and it was WONDERFUL. The highlight of my Christmas.

After that, everything else was a blur. Michael got all he wanted and more, I got a GPS for my birthday (I wanted a massage--I guess this is better!). And Willow was thought about (and she made her presence known every so often).

Monday, December 24, 2007

Holiday Greetings and Thoughts

Another year older (literally) and I cannot say whether I am wiser, but I do feel happier. This year has had an unusual share of ups and downs. At the beginning of the year, I was lamenting my son getting older and our lack of giving him a sibling was looming ever larger. At the beginning of the year, I had lost 50 lbs. and was on my way to being healthier. At the beginning of the year, I had no idea what "IVF" stood for. I had never heard of GonalF Pens, or "PIO". But I soon would learn a LOT about them. In the middle of the year, I thought all was lost on the IVF front. By the fall, I was astounded (and a little bit cautious) with my good fortune. The end of this year has brought me something I did not think was possible at the end of last year. And I am so thankful!!

I am particularly thankful for my husband and son for being with me and helping me through this year. And for the Bloggers out there, from which I learned a whole lot...not just about the specifics of fertility treatments, but about the courage and persistence that it takes to go down this path. I wish for everyone a great coming year!


Christmas Songs for the Athiest

Friday, December 21, 2007

Braces Bunch Alert!!

Jeannine at I Think We Made A Nugget is in the hospital on bed-rest (2 weeks plus already). Send her something to amuse her, either via internet (she has a laptop) or via snail mail!

Having been on bedrest before, I can't tell you how much it would have meant to get something to distract me!

AND:

HAPPY HOLIDAYS to all the Braces Bunches out there!!


Sunday, December 16, 2007

Things To Do During a Snow Storm...

Well, not used to New England getting two snowstorms in a row (makes me think of my younger years in Michigan). But, at least today, we could do things indoors without much trouble...for one, I added the Braces Bunch to my blog roll...


Like play videogames...and boardgames...and some Wii games....


Eat chocolate cake...sorry, it was too good, too quickly eaten for a picture...


Watch classic Holiday Fare...Note the letter from Santa Claus Michael received in the mail (from the NORTH POLE) on Friday...he was in such wonder and held the letter all that night...


Finish (FINALLY) the last wave of holiday cards...

But, by far, my favorite thing we did today...

Start painting the Nursery...(I did not have masking tape, so this was just a start--Michael had fun painting "W"s on the walls (for Willow). The color is "Willow Leaf".


I don't know if you can tell, but our friend Ana started the mural--she outlined it in chalk...you can kinda see the giraffe and the elephant... (if you click on the above image, its a bit more clearer)


The crib is for X-Mas week...


Oh, and I guess...shovel snow!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Book Tour - Handmaids Tale



Margaret Atwood is one of my favorite author's and "The Handmaid's Tale" is one of my favorite books, so when the Barren Bitches Book Brigade decided to "tour" this book, I could not resist. I first read this book in college. I have a copy and thumb through it now and again, but this was the first time in about 2 years that I had actually read it cover to cover. And it was the first time I had read it while dealing with infertility. It was amazing to see how I had sympathy for not only Offred but also Serena, which was something I had not had before. As usual, it was a book I could not put down, as usual, I found parallells in this society. I also highly recommend the movie made some time ago with Robert Duval, Fay Dunaway and Natasha Richardson.

Below are questions and my answers from the book tour:

Question: Aunt Lydia describes the handmaids as "a transitionalgeneration," that has the especially difficult job of normalizing the new fertility practices(chapter 20.) Do you think that infertile women today can be called a transitional generation? If so, in what ways were things different before, and how do you think things might be different after?

Yes, I do believe this is the transitional generation of infertiles.

Scientifically, it is definitely a transitional period. Since the 1970s the reproductive sciences have explored the many ways to help infertiles, with often mixed results. Even today, scientists are just now understanding what makes a viable embryo and what limits there are to manipulating eggs and sperm. Techniques that were used 10 – 15 years ago are being rapidly replaced with new protocols and medications that have helped to increase success rates. And yet, there are still many questions left to answer. We joke that it is a lottery, but in many ways, it is.

Socially and economically it is a transitional period. The fact that many states do not cover fertility treatments in their health care coverage causes fertility treatments to be too expensive for many infertiles. The ones who can afford treatment are often looked upon in society as people who have “chosen” to do something for their infertility which is “foolish” or “extravagant” and often chided for not “just adopting”. This lack of understanding of the process of fertility treatments versus adoption, etc. is in a transitional state as well, as more and more infertiles are sharing their stories. I do think that the internet and other media are helping to change people’s attitude towards the infertile world. I do think that health care reform will cause many of the procedures to be covered. I think that sharing our voices in this cause will make a difference to the next generation.


Question: One major theme through this book is the role that religion plays in the new society's "quest for babies" (arguably, it's a very sinister role, but a role nonetheless). In fertility treatments, you often hear of the religion playing a role in the lives of the men and women who undergo treatments – some won't reduce as it's against their views, some won't undergo certain types of treatments, and others separate their views on religion from their views on the science of fertility treatments and options. What role did/does religion play or not play in your fertility treatments or child-rearing choices?

I feel that the book really showed the dangers of a theocracy (and why I don’t believe in organized religion). Their agenda was forced onto society and there was no “choice” for the men and women in that society. Forcing an ideal, whether its “moral” or “ethical” on another person is choking and suffocating to not only the individual but the society as a whole. And it eventually will breakdown that society.



For me, the moral and ethical issues with fertility treatments were not as important as the logistics and economics of the options we had. But my experience is different from anyone else, and because of that, I do not feel that my choices should be the only ones out there.

Being a secondary infertile, there is the guilt of already having something that many do not---a healthy child. We did debate about whether we “really” wanted another child. However, given our family dynamics we felt a sibling was definitely something we wanted and needed. And we had decided that no matter what, we were going to have another one, whether by adoption or treatment. Fertility treatments are covered in my state (IVF for 3 cycles). Adoption is not. It came down to the economics. Morally, I would have had no problem with adopting. Morally, I would have no problem with egg donation/sperm donation. I believe that what ever it takes to make a family, that is what you do.

As for child-rearing and religion, I feel that people have moral compasses whether or not they have religion. Teach your child the golden rule “treat others as you wish to be treated”.


Question: On pg. 70, Offred is discussing her past studies of psychology and at this time she mentions a study done on three pigeons trained to peck at buttons for grain. She states: Three groups of them: the first got one grain per peck, the second one grain every other peck, the third was random. When the man in charge cut off the grain, the first group gave up quite soon, the second group a little later. The third group never gave up. They'd peck themselves to death rather than quit. While reading these lines, I could not help but identify with the third group of pigeons. Sadly, I think I've come to a point where I will never give up, even if it means death before success. How about you? Do you identify with one of these groups? What do you think Atwood's intention was in including this bit of information?

I identify with the second group. We went into fertility treatments feeling like we needed to try this solution first, but if we tried the three cycles and it did not work, I think we would have started to explore other options, such as adoption. We had already started filling out the forms to be foster-to-adopt. I take the analogy as saying that the third group would never give up to the point of losing the actual goal, and Atwood’s use of it to show the desperation and hopelessness of the society’s goals in general and the Handmaids and Wives goals in specific.

Intrigued by the idea of a book tour and want to read more about The Handmaid's Tale? Hop along to more stops on the Barren Bitches Book Brigade by visiting the master list at http://stirrup-queens.blogspot.com/. Want to come along for the next tour? Sign up begins today for tour #9 (The Jane Austen Book Club by Karen Joy Fowler with author participation!) and all are welcome to join along . All you need is a book and blog.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

20 Weeks...Reflections

I thought I would celebrate the half-way point by writing down my reflections from almost nine years ago. I found a partially completed Pregnancy Calendar from when I was pregnant with Michael. Since I have been writing about this pregnancy here on the blog, I thought it would be a good thing to remember when my earlier pregnancy was such an innocent venture...

Here are some entries:

Week 7 (7-10-98): "Went to my first exam today. Liked the doctor. He made me feel comfortable and made me laugh. Saw an ultrasound of the baby. So SMALL!! Got to keep a picture - brought to McDonald's and to [husband]'s work."

Week 12 (8-11-98): [Husband] and I heard the hearbeat for the first time!! Very fun!! [Husband] was so nervous, he kept figeting. I am just happy to finally hear the baby!

Week 17+ (9-20-98): Things have been going well. I have gained 5 pounds and I feel "more" pregnant. We have started buying stuff for "el Twerpo". Both [husband] and I can not wait! Today I have been mostly by myself. I am getting a little anxious and overwhelmed about all the things that have to be done.... Most of our time is spent with everyday things. It is only when you slow doen do you realize the task ahead is so major!

Week 20+ (10-11-98): Bought a crib and dressing table from Sears yeaterday. Very excited!! I am getting anxious to meet "el Twerpo" and want to get nursery all in order. I think this is the nesting instinct in motion!

Week 25 (11-9-98): Things are starting to seem more real. I can feel "el Twerpo" move! It feels like pop corn popping in my stomach. Sometimes it tickles, and I smile or chuckle because of it. I really can't wait to meet the new person who is growing inside me. [Husband] and I are very very excited and anxious for the baby!

Week 25+ (11-12-98): Found out through ultrasound that the baby is a boy! I am so grateful! I so wanted a son and I am so happy that everything is going so well! I thought that knowing the sex would take something away -- actually it has given me a chance to get to know Michael before he even arrives!!

Week 30 (12-16-98): Michael keeps kicking pretty hard although not as often as before. We are getting closer to deciding on a daycare. Also, anticipating going to Michigan. Bought some nice tops last week and think that I look pretty nice in them indeed! [Husband] felt Michael kicking last night. Thought that my stomach popped up like this: [drawing of a bump]!! Both of us can't wait to meet him!!

Week 32 (12-30-98): We have been visiting with family in Michigan. I have had sinuitus and a cold for over 2 weeks. It is making me feel miserable, especially since I cannot take any strong medications. I think being sick is making me a bit depressed and more anxious about the whole birth thing -- ultimately you are alone in your suffering..."

After that--no more entries. I actually ended up with bronchitus. Then pre-clampsia and pregnancy hypertension. Two weeks bed-rest and induction, full labor without medication--12+ hours that ended with an emergency C-Section.

And it was so damned worth it!!!!

Love you Michael!!

Can't wait for you, Willow!!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Things About Me - 90 - 100

Finally, the final ten, which will be randomness (and I mean Random). It actually is hard to come up with 100 things that can be shared on the internet.

91. Famous person I have met: Rita Moreno (my friend met her on a bus when Ms. Moreno was doing a play at our university campus). We got backstage passes, and I have several pictures of me and my friend with Rita Moreno (in stage make-up--so its kinda scary looking).

92. Another famous person I have met: Bert Convy. I was like 4 years old. My dad played in the symphony, and Bert Convy was a guest singer.

93. I love the theatre, especially musicals. My first memory is going to "Annie" (I was again probably 4 years old). We were WAY up in the balcony area. I remember being quite bored, actually. One of my favorite memories is when my Grammie took me to see a high school production of Carousel. It was just me and her, I was in junior high school. I felt very adult. And then, my future husband used my then obsession with "Phantom of the Opera" to talk to me and used it as an excuse to come to my dorm for the first time (to borrow the CDs).

94. Christmas albums on my I-Pod: Christmas Portrait - The Carpenters; Charlie Brown Christmas - Vince Guaraldi; and The Muppets Christmas with John Denver. Also, "Christmas in Hollis" by Run DMC.

95. Two Birthday's ago, my husband gave me a new wedding ring--on a severed finger (it was a fake finger). Boy, does he know me!!! (My son kept the finger--I kept the ring). Last year, the ring got caught in the copier at work---wow, almost a real severed finger! Ring repaired, work paid for it--and I have all my digits...

96. I miss our chinchillas! They were so cute and fluffy! It has been a weird feeling to clean out "their" room out for the nursery. I am excited to be making a nursery, but every so often, I go upstairs to let the Chins out or to feed them...and then I look into the now almost empty room... I guess the room and I are at the in-between stage right now...

97. The first night of Hannukah was a success. We made edible dreidals (toothpick or pretzel rod; large marshmallow; hersheys kiss; icing to write the symbols), had latkes, and played the dreidal game. It was fun and Michael helped to make the latkes (not from scratch).

98. Magazines I/we subscribe to: Entertainment Weekly; National Geographic; National Geographic Kids; The New Yorker; Woman's Day; some computer gamer magazines (they keep changing their names!).

99. I have always wanted to learn to play the guitar and piano. I am also toying with joining a singing group--just like a glee club or something...I think the guitar lessons are more obtainable... (I know how to play clarinet and can play a few tunes on a piano).

100. Things I am thinking of accomplishing during maternity leave: re-arrange the cabinets in the kitchen; clean out and re-arrange the basement; organize and sort through my scrapbooking stuff;
organize my filing/bills; meet up with a mother support group---yeah, right....well, we shall see how many of those things get done....


To see the others, go here, here, here, and here, and here, and still more, almost done, and here, and finally here.

Friday, November 30, 2007

How cool is this?

My first clothing buy for Willow:




Okay, Okay...that was really the second clothing buy...this was the first:





Yep, that's showing my sick AND my sweet side...

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

It's a GIRL!!!

We went to the U/S today, taking Michael with us. We had the technician tell Michael and he told me (although he wants to withhold telling dad until tonight--shh...dad already kinda figured it out). We could kinda tell from his look when the tech whispered it to him--that somewhat disappointed look, but yet okay look. When he took me into the hallway to tell me, he said "its a girl". And I asked him if he was okay with that. And he said he was...he's been switching between calling it a girl and calling it a boy for some time now, so while I know he wanted a brother, he is not upset with a sister. (Its still kinda intangible to him yet)

SO, our baby is a girl, her name will be Willow Leone ("Lee-own").

The rest of the ultrasound was very long and drawn out (Michael started getting bored). They were checking out all the vitals, brain, kidneys, etc. Michael at first was very interested in the mechanics of it all, even telling the technician to make sure to look at the bladder, etc. But the baby--SHE, was moving around a LOT and they had to keep me moving to different sides, etc. to get all the measurements they wanted. The end result -- everything is fine and dandy!

Michael has the ultrasound pictures (his teacher said he could bring them into school), so I will post them later.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thankfulness

I have a lot to be thankful for (my health, my son, my husband, a roof over my head, etc.), but I needed to write down the things that I am most thankful for this year especially.

1. Medical science and the clinic that helped me and my husband achieve our goal. They were always so courteous and helpful, always willing to inform us when we asked our many many questions. Especially the bloodwork ladies who gently poked me many many times with many many needles.

2. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts for their policy of covering IVF and other infertility treatments. I am so thankful that for my 2 cycles, doctors appointments, many tests etc. I paid approximately $300.00. I cannot imagine going through these procedures with the added financial stress and burden.

3. The baby growing inside me. It has been so many years of trying, that even now, at 17 weeks, I sometimes cannot believe it is really growing inside me. And then it moves. And the wonderful popping corn motion feels me with such warmth and wonder.

4. The wonderful IF community in blogland. Without them, I would not have been able to deal with the terrible 2 week wait. To see their struggles, successes and failures made me more resolved (esp. after the first cycle went bust). It is wonderful that the internet has brought together such a wonderful community.

5. My husband, who went out and got me a piece of chocolate cake at 10 p.m. when I was depressed and weary and hormonal during the IVF cycle. Who babied me during the Egg Retrieval. Who held my hand during the Embryo Transfer. And now he is such a worry wart with the pregnancy, that he won't even let me lift a grocery bag!

6. My son, who is way too smart to not know what is going on, who has already told everyone in his class that we are not only pregnant, but that they used to call it a "Test Tube Baby". He will make such a wonderful big brother.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Vivid Dream

I had a vivid dream last night that won't leave me. I was in some non-descript somewhere. In between Michigan (where I grew up) and New England. All my family was there (including some people who are dead). Husband’s family too. And I might have been in a hospital, or not, although I recall an outdoors setting. A doctor came up to me and said “It’s all done. Everything is fine now.” And I said “What do you mean? What happened?” The doctor was saying that I had given birth, everything was all set. Did I want to see my child? I was stunned…more because I did not remember going into labor, did not remember giving birth—and I kept telling the dream doctor that.

But soon, they brought out my little baby—and it was a girl! And I was holding my baby girl! It was great and weird, like meeting someone for the first time, but yet, knowing that it was not real. Then, all the family members came around to look. And then I woke up.

Lots of this dream are totally untrue: 1) Most of the family members are going to be 800 miles away (as they were for the first one); 2) Dead people – duh! and 3) Painless childbirth – double duh!

But I do hope that the last one, the baby girl part, is true. Maybe its an omen?!

Well, hopefully, next Tuesday I will know….

Thursday, November 15, 2007

80 - 90 --Almost there! More useless things about me!

Current Events - Top Ten Things

81. Felt the baby move for the first time on Sunday while driving home from errands. (Squee!)

82. Everyone in my household needs a HAIRCUT!!! And this morning, as I am pasteing down a collick on my son's hair, he asked if he could have sideburns. (Uh...that's a no!)

83. I want to do a family portrait, since its been a few years, but I am too lazy to set up an appointment to go to the photo shop, and now its almost time where I TOTALLY avoid the mall area (which is only an exit away from us). Hmm...maybe I can con, uh, ask, my brother (who's a decent photog to do it).

84. I have kept, for the last 4 years, an exel spreadsheet of gifts that I give (to whom, what I got them, how much it costs). I am down to buying for about 10 more people. And yet, I STILL forget someone! :-) (Usually the postman)

85. Doing this at lunch time at work. Found out something interesting--the two microwaves in the kitchen--don't try to use both of them at once--they short each other out. Took me 15 mins to cook two things for 5. (Yes, I kept leaving the room).

86. Re-reading Sarah Vowell's "Assassination Vacation" and using it as a guidebook for places I want to visit--(Hey, look, its pieces of Lincoln's skull!).

87. Tonight is my monthly scrap-booking night. I am just too tired, so I planned to go home and just veg with the husband (which considering he was in Montreal on business all last week, was a good idea). Now, it sounds like he is going to work late tonight, which means (a) I wouldn't have been able to go scrapbooking anyway and (b) I won't get to hang out with him tonight.

88. November 27th is my next Ultra-Sound. The one in which we may find out the sex! Bringing Michael along with us, despite it being a school day--its at 9 a.m., he won't miss much--And I can't wait!

89. I am SO craving Pumpkin Pie and Mashed Potatoes and TURKEY. (I have been very very good and not had mashed potatoes in a long time--the Pumpkin Pie--well, when fall officially arrived around the first of October, I did buy one--but, I haven't had one since then!!)

90. Its heavily raining outside right now. Hearing it on the roof of the building, brings me back to rainy mid-afternoons, napping with husband at my dorm room in college. (I need a nap!)

Friday, November 09, 2007

Nutritionist Is Nice

Had the Nutritionist appointment yesterday, and I feel a lot better about things. First off, she thinks I was pretty much on track with my weight, although now I do have to start watching it. Check! Second, she actually knew of and approved the diet I was using to lose weight before I was pregnant (Low Carb for Dummies--good, sensible book) and she wasn't all Atkins. Check!

She and I talked about a pregnancy diet that I (hopefully) can live with. Its not too bad, although I guess my cravings for sweets is definately going to be tested...but she offered some good advice for my chocoholism.

It's mainly a diet used for diabetic pregnancies, with carbs and proteins placed throughout the day (a concept which I am not totally familar with). The usual 6 small meals a day, eat when you are hungry, eat the right foods, etc. So, I hope that I can stick with it, esp. with the Holidays coming...

Next up, that yummy Glucose test next week!

Monday, November 05, 2007

Ten Things About Me Numbers 71 - 80 - Holidays

Continuing with the 100 things about me...

71. My favorite holiday is Christmas, although I would say that the commercialism does tarnish it a bit for me. While I am an athiest, I did grow up Roman Catholic, so I do have fond memories of churches decked out in red and green, and the beautiful music. But, what I mainly like about Christmas is the spirit of giving and good will towards man. I love watching my son's eyes light up when he comes downstairs and sees what Santa has brought. Also like the holiday specials, etc.

72. For Thanksgiving, our tradition is to make our pumpkin pie and other pie (husband does not like pumpkin pie since an unfortunate pie-eating contest, where pumpkin pie stayed in his beard and mustache FOREVER) in the morning. And pie is eaten for breakfast. My son LOVES this tradition.

73. Halloween is a big deal for my son, as seen on earlier posts. It is a favorite of mine, although more because I LOVE to indulge in horror movie watching.

74. During the X-Mas season, I traditionally make chocolate and peanut butter fudge from recipes of my Grammies. I make it in her honor, and usually give most of it away to co-workers, mailman, etc. (Mainly cuz I would eat it--its really good). This is a big thing for me, since I don't really cook that much.

75. On July 4th, we traditionally go to an amusement park in New Hampshire with our friend John. We stay all day, and go out to eat dinner and come back for the fireworks.

76. A clear New Year's memory for me was listening when I was 7 or 8 years old to my father playing in a dance band on the local radio station.

77. Another holiday I like is Hannukah. I like the history and story about the oil lasting 8 days. I like lighting the Menorah. It is peaceful and the colorful candles are very beautiful. I like making Potato Latke's for the first night of Hannukah and inviting friends over to celebrate.

78. I like Labor Day, for the non-labor we do. Usually we go on a long weekend to a beach town. Its a way to say good-bye to the summer.

79. I like that my son's birthday is near President's Day (Feb. 21). And my husband's birthday is on July 5th; and mine is Dec. 25th.

80. I liked the movie "Ground Hog's Day". Its a good movie.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Being overweight sucks...

Went to the OB today. It was my first meeting with my actual Doctor, and while I heard the heartbeat, it was not the best first meeting.

I have gained 14 lbs. so far with this pregnancy. Unfortunately, they (which I did not know until she said it today)wanted me to gain 15 lbs. for the WHOLE pregnancy. So, there...obesity at its best! And, I could tell by her look, that this tall, thin OB thought I was some cake pounding, sandwich scarfing fat woman.

I am disappointed in myself. I had started out so well, eating right (occasionally letting myself have a craving, but generally eating veggies and fruit, 6 small meals a day, etc.) and building up my exercise routine from my IVF/Transfer time back to my regular routine. I was feeling good, and I had gained only 5 lbs. Then I got sick and had the cellulitis. The last week and a half have not been stellar. I was basically on bedrest, couldn't make dinner (and husband can't cook), so we had a LOT of take out/fast food. I knew it was bad, but frankly, I was depressed, sick, tired and bored--not good combinations for eating correctly. No exercise, barely in veggies and good stuff...but, what could I do? And since Saturday, I have been back to building up the exercise AGAIN, and eating right AGAIN...but, there is that 14 lbs. already. ACK!

And here I should be happy because Tadpole is doing great. But, I am depressed.

And the thing that got me was that talking to the OB's assistant last appointment, I told her how I had lost all that weight, how I was so committed to trying not to gain so much weight during this pregnancy. And it was such a positive meeting with her. She even gave me the number to the nutritionist...who I get to see next week. This appointment with the OB tore down all that and made me feel like she thought I had no willpower and was some fat slob.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Ten More things...Books and Reading Edition

61. I love Dr. Seuss and love "One Fish Two Fish". I am not sure why, but I love it.

62. I love hearing my son read to me. It is such a wonderful feeling, and the thing that surprises me, it actually reminds me of being 8 years old myself. Ah, to discover reading again.

63. I was a part of an internet book club. It kinda died away now, but, I liked getting to explore books I would never have thought of.

64. I tend to gravitate towards non-fiction, although I try to alternate from non-fiction to fiction. The last book I read, "In Cold Blood" (a re-read).

65. We have too many books in our house, not enough book shelves...

66. One of my favorite authors is Charles Dickens. I love "Tale of Two Cities".

67. Another favorite author is Edgar Allen Poe; also Stephen King; Margret Atwood; David Hackett Fisher.

68. Some books on my Amazon wishlist:

What the Dead Know: A Novel by Laura Lippman

The Canon: A Whirligig Tour of the Beautiful Basics of Science
by Natalie Angier

Brothers: The Hidden History of the Kennedy Years by David Talbot

The Emperor's Children by Claire Messud

69. I have a pretty big Mad Magazine collection, as well as EC Comics.

70. I love nothing more than to curl up on the couch and read a good book. (esp. during the winter).

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Boo! - Updated with Picture

So, we had a slight scare this morning. Light pink discharge! One rush to ultrasound and OB/GYN later...and everything is okay! Saw Tadpole move, saw the heartbeat. They could find nothing wrong, and as I write this the discharge seems to be gone. SO--geez, can this week get any more scarier?!?

The ONLY good news about this was that I was feeling worried about Tadpole since the whole having a temp and cellulitus stuff and now not only are we reassured Tadpole is doing good, BUT we got a REALLY nice picture of the baby.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Size of an African Country - Updated..

My Friday off was very productive--if one wants to get sick. I got a staph infection (who knew a scratch on the leg could do that). So I spent today at the doctor's and the hospital (baby is fine) AND having the Halloween party.

I have to go to a follow up appointment on Monday morning to make sure the antibiotic is working (They drew a line around the infection in marker--it looks like a country in Africa).

The party itself went without many hitches--husband did great, Uncle Will and his fiance Heather and Uncle John helped out.

All for now...I have to stay off my leg (which hurts like a bit*ch, by the way).

Update:

And it continues. At my appointment today, expected my doc to say "yes, its clearing up, look at you, not limping, etc." (which is true, btw). But, instead, she mentioned how she wants to make sure the anti-biotic is okay for the baby, wants to be extra cautious---and I am at home at least until Wednesday. I guess I should be happy she wants to be extra cautious for the baby's sake...however, she actually made me more scared for the baby because of how she said this....

BTW, its officially celluitis (don't click if you are squimish).

ACK.

Anyhow--I am at home, trying to stay off my leg, and worrying like crazy about Tadpole. (AND the house looks like a hurricane hit--the Halloween party--which DRIVES me crazy as I am a neat freak!!!) Husband is being great--but he is only able to do so much (he generally can't see dirt until it smothers him).

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

20 year old! I wish! - Updated with Pictures

Had my pre-screen ultra-sound for Downs and Trisomy 18/13. The ultra sound combined with the blood test will give you an idea on what your risks for these matters are. As I am 37 (well, almost 38), I felt it necessary to find out, so....

The test results came back the best they could possibly come back. My risk factor (based on my age): Downs - 1 in 140; Trisomy 1 in 247. My risk factor based on the prescreen - Downs - 1 in 2,781; Trisomy - 1 in 4,921. Basically within the range for a 20 year old woman. (So, I guess I have 20 year old ovaries!)

Okay, okay, big "Whew!" for that...but I know what you want---pictures of Tadpole! (But, guess what---you gonna have to wait--I am at work and don't have them with me!) HA!

I did get to see Tadpole bounce around and float, wave its arm and got to see its feet. All very inspiring, especially for someone who is only 3 inches!




The last photo, it looks like Tadpole might be sucking its thumb...

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Halloween is a Coming...


Michael in his new costume.
Husband says I should clarify--he is not a Jawa! (He's an "Unknown Phantom")

Today I will be making Dragon Eyeballs (green grapes with raisins into them) -- you freeze them, and then put them in ginger ale and green sherbet mix. Then, Friday I will make a Jello Brain and skeleton head cupcakes. And there is tons of Bubble Wrap in my trunk. YEP, its time for that insanity called the Halloween Party! Next Saturday, I will have ten rambunctious children running around my house, while apples will be soaking in water for bobbing and spooky music will be playing. (Oh, and that broken up-ended pinball game husband was supposed to move out of my living room--still there. Maybe I will decorate it as a coffin??!)

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Another Ten Things about me - TV Version

Yep, I am half way through 100 things...

51. I am a MSTie. I love MST 3K. We have a lot of the episodes on tape and DVD. http://www.mst3kinfo.com/mstfaq/basics.html

52. I am NOT into reality t.v. Although I can occassionally watch things like "Colonial House" on PBS. AND I did watch MTV's The Real World when I was in college (my favorite season was with Pedro). Generally though, I find these shows are a waste of brain matter.

53. I don't do American Idol either. Sorry, if I want to laugh at people who are not talented - I can sing in the mirror.

54. I was part of the Million Dollar Man club when I was a kid. Had the stickers, club documents and the Million Dollar man doll to prove it.

55. I LOVE Futurama! AND they are coming out with a new DVD movie!!! SQUEEE!

56. I watch a lot of Cartoon Network Adult Swim (Robot Chicken, Family Guy, Seaquest 2020, Etc). I also like Anime.

57. I like science fiction shows, which should be obvious by now. Right now, Battlestar Galatica is my favorite. I did watch the pilot for Bionic Woman (not sure what I think yet). I liked Heroes last season. Haven't seen it yet this season. (I tend to watch t.v. on a Tivo like schedule). My favorite all time science fiction shows: Babylon 5; Star Trek Old Generation; BSG; Buffy; Angel; Twilight Zone (old ones).

58. I also watch How I Met Your Mother. Because Barney is funny (and Allison Hannigan is in it).

59. If this baby is a girl, it will be named Willow (after Buffy character). (Don't know about boy names yet).

60. My indulgent grazing capabilities have found: The Food Network (which is funny, cuz I am not much of a cook) (!!) and I do like the occassional Dirty Jobs on Discovery Channel.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Got to go Early to the OB!

I had my first initial OB visit scheduled for next Thursday, but they called me last night and said they had a cancellation for TODAY. Sooo...I was so relieved to hear the heartbeat!!! And then I got all the litanies of blood tests, the paperwork, the going over of history, etc. etc. And a pap smear!?! (I don't recall that happening my last pregnancy!) I so like this office...it was a far different experience from the first time. That one, I went to a very big practice, mainly male docs. This is a smaller practice, I did not see one male person IN THE WHOLE OFFICE. (Nothing against men, but -- WOW!). It was so homey and friendly and nice and not like a typical Doc office. I haven't even met the OB yet (who I heard was GREAT by everyone I have talked to)...this was just the initial consult with the N.P. Very happy so far though...and relieved, too.

(Now, can I talk about the BIG jug I have to fill with 24 hours worth of pee?!?!?)

Oh, and I bought my first baby related item (could this actually be happening?)

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Free Medications...

I hate having left-overs...half the time I keep things and no one eats them. They get thrown away anyway.

I have left over meds, so before I just throw them away, if anyone needs them, please leave your email in the comments, and I can contact you for your information on where to send. (I will ship them, no cost to you!)

This is what I got:

13 Progesterone Suppositories 100 MG (expires 1/25/08) REFRIG

Repronex 75IU - 5 single use vials (expires 3/29/08)

2 Gonal-F RFF Pens - 900IU/1.5 ml (expires 7/12/08) REFRIG

Leuprolide Acetate Injection (Lupron) - 14 Day Patient Administration Kit (expires 5/3/08)

I'll even include any extra needles I have! (Just ask)

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Good-Bye Claudius




Our oldest pet died today. Claudius was a wonderfully fun pet. He would jump and climb on top of you. When we first got him in September 1995, he was 6 months old and had been called "Matty". We almost called him Darth Vader, but it just did not fit with such a cute cuddly chinchilla. He was our first higher maintenance pet (we had had Siberian Dwarf Hamsters named Tweety and Sylvester when we first married). He LOVED raisins and dustbaths. He was my first "baby". I used to go on chinchilla websites all the time for feeding and care, etc. For 4 years, he had the run of our apartments. We would let him (and later on Leeloo) run all over the apartment. When we moved to a house, they got the run of the upstairs. When Michael came into our lives, the chinchillas were not so sure about where they stood. Eventually, Michael was helping with them and Claudius was especially able to adapt to a small child running about.

I feel bad that the last couple years have been hard on him. Delenn, his daughter, died earlier this year. After that, we noticed he was loosing weight. But, just when we started worrying about him--he would be a spry old man, jumping out of his cage and bouncing around and immediately going into his dust bath. We did not play with him as much as we used to because of our preoccupation with the other aspects of our lives, and the fact that he really did not want to be out of his cage for very long anymore. I regret that. But I know that he died in a newly cleaned cage, with a full stomach (including two raisins I gave him yesterday morning).

We are no longer chinchilla owners.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Next 10 - Restaurant Edition

I live in the Boston area, which has a wonderful variety of eateries. Below are some of the restaurants I love to go to in and around Boston:

41. Kyoto Japanese Steak House. I like to get the chicken and shrimp with fried rice. They make it in front of you with a little "show". Its cute, but the main reason I go there--its really really good food.

42. Diva Indian Bistro I like the chicken curry and mango lassi. They have a great buffet.

43. Mandarin Reading I go here once a month or so to have lunch with a friend. They have a great buffet, which includes sushi. And their crab ragoons are to die for.

44. Legal Seafoods It was one of my first seafood experiences, and it has a special place in my heart. I love their Clam Chowder and their warm chocolate pudding.

45. Bonfire Steakhouse I have only went here once (on my anniversary). But I LOVED it, and hope to go again. The Spinach Parmesan was wonderful.

46. Lobster Pot There are really great places to eat on Cape Cod, and this is one we try to go to often. Great seafood and portions.

47. Ginza I like the fact that the waitresses dress in Kimono. The sushi is wonderful!

48. Persy's Place. Boasts one of the biggest breakfast menu's in New England.

49. Papa Razzi Nice chain for Italian. I like their spaghetti bolognese.

50. McKenney's Seafood in Falmouth, MA. They have great fried seafood.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Next 10: 31 - 40

31. I am surprised that I actually like exercising. I hated gym in school, although I did play in a few after school sports like field hockey and soccer. I have been dealing with my weight since puberty. But, I find I like exercise and how it makes me feel more physically fit--even when I don't lose weight. The past couple months have actually been trying for me since I have tried to "take it easy". I am much happier now that I have a pregnancy exercise video and I am easing into simple exercise again.

32. I would like to visit Europe someday. I have never been outside this country--other than Canada.

33. I was a tomboy when I was a girl. I am still not very femme. If this baby is a girl, I hope that she is a tomboy...although I will cringe and buy Walt Disney's Princess stuff if that is what she wants...

34. I played in the high school Marching Band--I played clarinet.

35. I like playing video games, we have an X-Box and a Wii. I like the Wii a lot!

36. We are members of the Museum of Fine Arts, Museum of Science and the Zoo. I love going to these places often.

37. I have thought of taking a bee keeping class. I just haven't done it because the class is about 2 hours away from our house, and usually held in February.

38. We go to gaming conventions, one in February, one in July. We play board games, role playing games, card games. I got involved with more strategy games when I was on 2 week bedrest during my last pregnancy.

39. I like taking "The Time Traveler's Wife" to read during our vacations to Cape Cod. Its become a tradition of sorts. I always say I will only read parts of it again, get sucked in, and end up finishing it while crying intensely.

40. I cry more at movies, etc. since having my son. Maybe permanent hormonal change?
:-)

Friday, September 21, 2007

Overheard...

Taking the cat to the vet: "Mom, let me carry her [in the carrier]. You can't lift things right now--think of the BABY!" To the vet and anyone in the waiting room, etc.: "I have to carry her, my mom's pregnant and can't carry things right now."

On nutrition in pregnancy: Husband - "Well, cheese is good, right?" Me - "Umm...yeah certain kinds. What do you mean?" Husband - "Well, like pizza, right? Its got tomato and cheese--those are good."

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

We have Graduated! - Updated w/pics

The ultrasound went very well. Saw the heartbeating at 179; saw the spud spudding (budding limbs) and saw the umbilical cord. Tadpole is doing quite well, has grown and its still growing. The doctor said all signs are very good and have all hit the incidators for a successful full term. So, as the staff at the Fertility Clinic said--You are Graduated! No more Clinic! My next appointment is with an OB on October 11th.

I will update with pictures (as soon as I can get the scanner to work).

As for the Fertility Clinic--I really liked them. If anyone is looking for a clinic to go to in New England/Massachusetts area, let me know and I can fully recommend them. They were personable, not in your face, but very nice. The three Dr.s are well known in their fields, etc. I always felt they were looking for our best interests.

So, another hurdle over, and frankly, I am starting to feel optimistic (don't tell anyone!).

UPDATE:


Bottoms Up--Head on the bottom of picture.


Heart Beat


Tadpole

Monday, September 17, 2007

Nerves of Noodles

Everything seems to be going fine, but yet I can't help but be completely mental about tomorrow's ultrasound. I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop. This is so not like the last time. At 8 weeks last time, I was blissfully unaware of the many dangers that could be lurking. Now, I am obsessively checking on my symptons. When I don't feel pregnant I worry, and when I do feel pregnant I ease up just a little bit but then my mind says--hold on its so early still. UGH!

So, needless to say, I am not expecting much sleep from now until tomorrow morning. Luckily, the U/S is first thing in the morning.

Come on--let's go through another hurdle!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

The Next Ten - Movie Edition

21. Some of my favorite old movies are: Citizen Kane; Casablanca; Sound of Music; The Gold Rush (Charlie Chaplin); Singing in the Rain; Modern Times (Charlie Chaplin); Duck Soup (Marx Bros); Horse Feathers (Marx Bros.): Bringing Up Baby; Philadelphia Story; The Third Man; Rear Window; Vertigo....okay, so you get I like old movies, right??!?

22. How I rate Star Trek Movies:

1) IV - Voyage Home
2) II - Wrath of Khan
3) VI - Undiscovered Country
4) III - Search for Spock
5) Next Gen - First Contact

(The rest we will pretend did not happen) Oh, and yes, I prefer Kirk to Picard. (Although I like Picard--he is no Kirk!)

23. How I rate Star Wars Movies (Before George Lucas decided to mess with them):

1) IV: New Hope (ahh, Han Solo!)
2) V: Empire Strikes Back (No! Han!)
3) VI: Return of the Jedi (Aww! Han!!)
4) III: Revenge of the Sith (The best of the "new" ones)
5) II: Attack of the Clones (less Jar Jar!!)
6) I: Phantom Menance (Jar Jar?!?! - can't he be killed??!?!)


24. Some of my favorite Science Fiction Movies: Blade Runner; Alien; The Day the Earth Stood Still; Planet of the Apes; Logans Run; Soyelant Green (psst...its made of People!); Omega Man; Superman; A.I.; Terminator; A Clockwork Orange; BodySnatchers (yes, the theme starts emerging, eh?)

25. I like to go to see the Alloy Orchestra play original scores to silent movies, my favorite of theirs - Metropolis.

26. The first movie we took Michael to - "Powder Puff Girls: The Movie"; the movie we took him to recently - "The Simpsons Movie"

27. Recent Movies I have liked and consider "classic": Shindler's List; Saving Private Ryan; Raiders of the Lost Ark; The Godfather; Kill Bill I & II; Grindhouse; Dead Again; Spider-Man 2...I am sure there are more.

28. I am so glad documentaries have become vogue. I like to see them on the big screen! The first documentary I remember seeing at the theatre-"Hoop Dreams" I remember watching "Farenheit 9-11" and thinking - "NOW people will GET it"...I was wrong. :-/

29. I used to regularly watch the Oscars--until I realized they weren't ever going to pick good movies for best picture! (Have you seen The Departed??)

30. While I LOVE movies, I am particularly interested in the picture that is different in some way--whether independent and intellectual or funny in a dippy out of the box sense. I prefer movies that make me think about what they are about, not how they did them. I have no problems with special effects, but don't want to be overpowered by them. I can be picky.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Next 10 things about me...

11. I LOVE chocolate. I am an affirmed choc-holic. I can not go through a day without some chocolate. And since last year, I have really, really tried to curb that--but it has seemed better to have the no sugar added chocolate ice cream, etc. and the occassional chocolate fix than to totally give it up.

12. I like gorey true crime. I have read tons of books on Jack the Ripper and the JFK Assassination. I have a few books hidden in the house that have morgue and homicide photos, etc. (Yes, I am sick like that). One of my favorite websites is Find A Death.

13. I am an athiest. I have nothing against anyone's religion, being brought up Roman Catholic and husband was brought up Jewish. We still have a Christmas tree and a Menorah, but its mainly secular traditions for us. I feel like I am "coming out" every time I say that I am an athiest. I think athiests have a bad reputation as people who are not open minded, and the fact is that I am very open minded, and sometimes feel that people who are very religious are not open minded (the whole homosexuals are evil thing, other religions but ours is evil thing, etc.). I think religion is a great thing for many many people and I do not mean to offend anyone. But, I also think that many atrocities are made in religion's name. And I cannot be a part of that.

14. I am a cynical liberal. I worked very hard last presidential election to get Bush unelected. I even volunteered time for the Clark campaign. I think I got my first inkling on how one can work so hard for something, and get nothing (great training for IVF). Nada. After the election, I could not believe people could elect this idiot again. I still can't believe it. But so far, I am not impressed with the Democrats either. And I don't like Hillary. (okay, I said it). Right now, I am going with Barak, like my vote will count anyways...

15. Okay, I guess I have to go a little lighter on the next ones, eh?!? Um...I like Star Trek over Star Wars; Beatles over Elvis; New Battlestar Galatica over Old; and I LOVED Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones (Brad Pitt can suck eggs). Its a toughie between Buffy vs. Angel, but I have to go with Angel (Seasons 1-3) over Buffy (Seasons 6 & 7). Oh that hurt...

16. My favorite color is blue; the color I wear most is black, my hair is auburn.

17. I originally wanted to be a film director, based on my love of "Raiders of the Lost Ark".

18. I love history and nature and find that Massachusetts has a splendid mix of these things.

19. I like swimming, especially in pools, although I am by no means a good swimmer.

20. I like trying new things.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Ten Things about me...

Taking a cue from Samatha, I am going to do 100 things about me...10 at a time.

1. I met my husband at a Star Trek club meeting at the University we were both going to. (That pretty much says a lot right there!)

2. I lived most of my childhood in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

3. We originally thought we would name our first pet chinchilla "Darth Vader".

4. I like to scrapbook, although haven't done much lately (hmm..been a bit pre-occupied).

5. I have an old pinball machine sitting in my living room right now. It's upside down and doesn't work. Supposedly, someone (HUSBAND) is going to move it before the holidays....

6. Speaking of holidays--I was born on one (Christmas). And no, it didn't bother me as a kid--my parents were cool with it; and no my parents didn't name me something Christmas like.

7. I love to read, as does husband and now our son. We read all sorts of things, including comic books, fiction, nonfiction, magazines, gum wrappers...

8. I love sushi and crab ragoons.

9. I lost 70lbs. last year (Now I will have to gain some back I suppose--and it kinda worries me).

10. I love hiking in nature (one of the few things my husband and I don't have in common).

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Third Grade Already!?!? - Updated



I cannot believe that he is already in 3rd Grade. His first day went well, he liked his teacher and he has a few friends in his class (his best friend is not in his class this year unfortunately). This morning, he made sure we got the required photos for First School Day. Including this very posed shot (the white tiger is the school's mascot). Hmm...not that posed--I see the cat snuck in...

And you know its the school year when he brings home a scholastic book order form!

Happy School Year!

UPDATE: Now with video

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

April 27, 2008

6w2d

We got to the clinic 5 mins. late. And waited. And waited. The Doctor was late. But we hadn't even had the ultrasound yet. We waited some more. We read a lot of magazines (I wish I had brought my book). We got nervous--on top of everything else, we had our neighbor watching Michael, and we had told her it would be only an hour (and she had to get to work, etc.). And we waited.

FINALLY, they took us in for the ultrasound. And it was perfect. Every thing is normal. Every thing is the way it should be. AND we even saw a heartbeat (111 bpm). A heart beat! I hadn't expected that we would be lucky to see that. So, the little tadpole is there..and we are happy.

After more waiting, we talked to the doctor. We will start Pregesterone suppositories tomorrow (hopefully) and half our Estrace. Come back in 2 weeks for another U/S. THEN, 2 weeks after that...he advised us to get an OB!! Before we left, he gave me a hug! I got hugged by the doctor! He said that I had done everything that needed to be done, that we had done our best!

I like getting hugs...

I will update with scan of u/s once I am at home...

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Lazy Like a Cat...


Going to Rockport for the long weekend. Motel near the beach, seafood, shops and fun. AND a non-IVF or baby related book!

I hope everyone has a good weekend.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Third Beta

Third Beta is 3,098 ("progressing nicely"). I have an ultrasound scheduled for Sept. 4th.

Another hurdle over!!

I think this deserves a Snoopy Dance!



As for symptons, my appetite has increased. I have cravings, mainly for salty things which is unlike me. However, some cravings I have had lately I can tell are more because of all this anxiety...so I have to watch it. And, of course, I am already dying for some sushi (hush, sushi craving, hush...you can wait 10 months or so).

Also have some slight pangs of sickness, although so far been able to deal without the ultimate hurl...the biggest thing--I am totally and utterly exhausted. Last time I was able to go home after work and take a nap. Not so easy with an 8 year old. I am not looking forward to school--I will have to help him with his homework (stay focused, Michael!), meanwhile I will be drifting out of focus myself.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

What would you do for a Klondike Bar?!?

IVF Anecdote #2:

You know you are an IVF nut when you go to an amusement park and set your cell phone alarm so that you can skip out to the car and take your PIO. Yep, in the light of the parking lot, one could see me and my husband "shooting up". I guess we were just lucky that it was late enough (9 p.m.), and dark enough that no one saw us. Fun!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Cautiously Optimistic...still kinda sucks

I feel lucky to get to this stage, I really do. And I know that I should not be complaining, because we have been lucky so far. BUT -- the whole waiting for the next hurdle is getting old. I wanna be able to just enjoy it, like I did the first time. But, Nooo. Now I preface everything with "It's still a little too early" and end conversations with "hopefully, if all goes right".

Last night I was in tears because I felt I jinxed it by telling (having to tell) most everyone at work (its a small company--there was no way around the second round of IVF without letting them know).

SO, I guess its still the IVF LIMBO at the moment...

I will find some things to distract me, hopefully!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Beta at 152

Next beta is on 28th.

So far the only symptons have been an increase in appetite, and some cramping on my legs. Also, uncomfortable nights sleep (did not think that would happen so early). Oh, this could be related, but I am also incredibly tired.

It still hasn't quite sunk in yet. And I am still trying to be cautiously optimistic...

Its one of those things where it has been so long to get to this point, we have prepared for so long and then stopped preparing and now, now... it could be here. Dare I read the book about having a second pregnancy that I bought so optimistically 5 years ago? Do I start going through all the baby clothes in the basement that I have saved and saved?

I guess I got a potential 9 months to go through those... at the very least I will wait until after the 28th before I start to call on OBs (although I have a list of them already).

Update: Here's an interesting article (you'll have to cut and paste--doing this at work on a Mac): http://www.technologyreview.com/Biotech/19284/page1/

Sunday, August 19, 2007

And the winner is...

Beta at 62! Doc wanted at 50, so great results. I have next beta Tuesday--but it's official---I am pregnant!

As Husband said "Fucking A!"

Saturday, August 18, 2007

And I cried...


The photo's not the greatest, but it clearly says "Pregnant".

My first reaction was--it could be wrong. My second was to cry my eyes out while hugging Husband. We have waited for 5 years for this. I have seen so many negative HPTs, I did not even think this one was possible. Now, I just want to get the beta tomorrow, I need to know this is real. Right now, there are so many variables...right now I wasn't even sure I was going to put this picture up. But my husband said: "Let's just be happy for today and enjoy it now." So I am.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Trying and failing to remain positive...

Okay, a little over 2 days left, and I am only freaking out just a bit. I have no symptons of pregnancy (nor probably should I). Sometimes a little cramp or soreness, which could mean anything. I bought the most expensive HPT I could find, digital and everything. I will test tomorrow morning, if I get the nerve up. And then Sunday is the beta.

I am feeling a bit negative right now. Perhaps its because Husband has been away all week, but I just can't be positive right now. IVF #1 started with such promise and was a bust. This one I took with more cautious optimism, but after the medications seemed to produce higher levels, we still did not get as many eggs out as I wanted. The doc said the egg quality was better, but still I got the news yesterday that number three embie had "arrested development" and therefore was not able to be frozen. So, I keep thinking...if that one couldn't survive, what about Atia and Servilla? Are they just breaking up in the atmosphere or what? Originally, I thought all our issues were mainly about (1) male infertility and (2) my weight. I have spent a whole lot of time and energy to fix number 2 (I've lost 70 lbs. though I could stand to lose 20 more); and supposedly this process fixes number 1. SO, you would think it would work, right??!

I already know that if this one doesn't work, I want to wait out the rest of the year. I don't need this up and down and appointments and needles and all this crap during the beginning of the school year (tough enough with the IEP meetings and dealing with ADHD medications, etc.). And then the holidays. So, if its negative, the third cycle will have to wait until next year.

There. At least I have a plan. Doesn't make me feel any better, but there it is.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

"I want to put babies on spikes." "Go, then! Go! What a wonderful idea. It's the American Dream!" - The Great Eddie Izzard

Yes, I am remaining calm...yep...calm...

Hmm..what to do to remain calm...

Aside from obsessing over non-existent or perceived symptons, embryology searches on the internet, going over the percentages at my clinic of successes (in my age group - 40%--knew that going in), clicking onto all the cyclesistas that I can find, and obsessing about how much obsessing I am doing...

I am Great!

Well, actually, I am holding my own. Some techniques that I am trying this time around are working. Trying deep breathing and visualizing calm colors. I am also trying to take it easy as much as I can--the laundry be damned! And I am Trying to focus on the here and now (easy while Husband is away--there is still so much to do). One day at a time. Also, no POAS. I am going to try to stick (so to speak) with that. I only have until Sunday. I can do it. (Well, I might buckle under on Saturday).

Anyone have any techniques for getting through the 2WW?

BTW, thanks for all the comments...this blog is more for me to just put stuff down from my head, but its nice to have encouragement and know that other people are dealing with the same issues as I am.

Friday, August 10, 2007

"OK, I've got a pretty good calm going!" - Leela "Futurama"

Well, so far I have tried to keep with the calm. Despite the new obstacle to that calm (see previous post), I am trying to get back to that calmness.

Made arrangements with my brother who will do the PIO, and maybe I can get him to help with things at the house when he comes over...I've planned out the dinners for next week to be things that are simple (and hopefully less work).

And, wierdly, the zen is working. I am calm right now. Perhaps its because it is Friday and Husband doesn't leave until Monday..maybe its because I have finally told my boss (it seemed like a scene from "Sixth Sense"--"I am ready to tell you my secret now.").

My boss was cool, btw (thought he would be). He has three adopted children (youngest 14 now), and he knows various people besides his family who have struggled with IF. He told me a story about a friend who tried and tried IVF and it wasn't working and they decided on a surrogate, and with their last FET they also tried. The surrogate and the woman BOTH got pregnant. So, now they have two children, born two days apart from two different mothers. There are just so many ways to make a family!

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Give me shot! Someone!!

The following is a rant, it is only a rant, please excuse the F-bomb, but I liberally use it when I am pissed off:

Give me a fucking break. On top of the normal pressures of the 2WW, NOW my husband has to go on a fucking business trip. He has to go on Monday, and it looks like he will be gone the whole week. Meanwhile, who the fuck is going to give me my PIO shot??!? My eight year old?!?!? My cat?!?!? Nope, its going to be about as wierd tho--I am going to try to rope my brother into it.

Oh, this should be fun. Oh, not to mention the fact that now I will have to be single working mom while hormonal (AND I am supposed to be taking it easy?!?!) Maybe I could just prop the needle up in a chair and sit on it...


Okay, now that that is over:

Click to view my Personality Profile page

"ISTJs are very loyal, faithful, and dependable. They place great importance on honesty and integrity. They are "good citizens" who can be depended on to do the right thing for their families and communities. While they generally take things very seriously, they also usually have an offbeat sense of humor and can be a lot of fun - especially at family or work-related gatherings."


Not quite me...I would say I am a bit more extroverted...

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Egg Transfer went well! Updated with Embryos Pic

Attia & Servilla

There were three good candidates, they went with the best two (and if the third one makes it to tomorrow, they will freeze him--Husband named him Elmer). I named the other two that were transfered Attia and Servilla (from "Rome"), as we were chanting something from "Rome" while we waited our ten minutes of non-movement.

The embryos look even better than last time--our hopes are high (for now).

The transfer went well, although in a hot and crowded room. I am home for the next two days on limited movement (bedrest for today, mainly--I got my Dr. Who dvd's ready!).

Onto the rollercoaster of the 2WW! The beta is on 8/19/07.

Monday, August 06, 2007

We got some eggs, and I am only slightly scrambled...

The ER went fine yesterday. Only a little sore now, mainly on left side... The Doc said my levels have been better and more follicles were growing as compared to last time. Gave us positive feeling. Until after the retrieval, when he reported that ole' Lefty hates us. He was able to retrieve 6 eggs--better than last time...but, that left ovary just hides behind the uterus and is not very accessible (he said he would have to "put a hole" into the uterus to get at it--so while Lefty had a lot of eggs---he only was able to get two). Not as much with the happy now.

BUT, 5 mature eggs were gotten, and as of this morning, 3 fertilized! So, 3 out of 5 ain't bad for us (last time it was 2 out of 4). As I told hubby--it just takes one! (okay, keeping with the positives here!)

So Egg Transfer is probably tomorrow, they will be calling back with a time. I hope they transfer the two best ones (I really don't want twins, let alone triplets).

Friday, August 03, 2007

Okay, so the whole world knows!

IVF Anecdote #1:

Let me preface in saying that my husband and I have a very funny (some would call it warped) sense of humor. And that I am usually the one telling the joke no one (except maybe him) gets.

So, I just got off the phone with the clinic--trigger shot tonight at 10 p.m.; egg retrieval is on for 9 a.m. Sunday. I had just IM'd husband saying that they had not called me yet. So, I was excited. So I called him on his new cell phone. And I sang: "Shoot me in the butt now, now!"(X3) to a tune he told me his sister used to sing on car trips when she was little ("Going down the road now, now!" repeat). Then he says "What, oh, do you know that I am in a meeting a whole bunch of guys are looking at me wierdly?" (this was said amusingly embarrassed while I could hear some chuckling in the background). I think I then murmured the main message...and skulked off to my cubicle....

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Getting close...

Went to blood and ultrasound today. She had to check Lefty with the outer ultrasound...and when she pressed down, it hurt! She said that they are "plumping up". Oh goody. Well, the follicles are growing, 3-4 on the left side are at 18. So, I am sure the retrieval and transfer are going to happen next week. Just not sure when.

In other news:

Michael is visiting me today at work. He has field trips on Thursdays, and they were going to Canobie Lake Park
(http://www.canobie.com/) again--he has been there 3 times this summer, so I offered that he could spend the day at work with me instead--and wierdly enough--he wanted to! We'll go out for lunch at a Chinese restaurant--and he gets unlimited access to a computer---thank you PBS kids.org and Nick.com! Its fun to have him here--although sometimes a bit stressful (fighting for the printer--"But the ARTHUR page has to print first before the Lease Abstract!". (Luckily, its summer--lot of people are on vacation this week).

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Target Practice - CD 7 - Now Updated with Small Gripe

I now have a nice bruise on my right arm--a perfect target for them to keep sticking the needle in for bloodwork. Had another bloodwork and Ultrasound today. There were 8 follicles on my right ovary (average was about 12)--8 more below 10. My left ovary is a lazy bastard...last time they couldn't find it, now they did and Lefty only had 6 follicles (averaging about 10)--4 more below 10. I asked if this was normal--the tech said it was a good ultrasound for day 7. So, we shall see what the bloodwork tells them...I am a bit worried about ole' Lefty--during egg retrieval last time, Lefty seems to like to hide behind the uterus, and they couldn't retrieve many eggs from there (too hard to reach). Also worried about retrieval because last time they said I had an irregular heartbeat (which I had checked out and it was okay), but I think they said next retrieval they wanted me in a hospital for the retrieval (I say I "think" cuz they told me this after the procedure--I am kinda fuzzy on details...). Oh well, we will cross that bridge when we get to it...now, GROW follies---GROW!

Update - Rant: So, one of the things I HATE about IVF--the feeling like I am pregnant when I am so not. Right now, I feel kinda like I felt when I was preg with Michael. I had a realitively easy pregnancy (no morning sickness, etc.) until the last month (then bed rest, pregnancy hypertension, induction, etc.). The point being, my first tri-mester felt like how I feel now--I feel bloated, weighted down, have no energy, hormonal. I hate that there are so many symptons that are vague--that can mean so many things--not to mention during the 2WW...I hate "feeling" pregnant when it may or may not happen. Its like seeing the yummy chocolate cake, but not getting to taste it, just getting the stomache ache--what a RIP.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

AND....its off to the Races!

Okay, the protocol is in! Antibiotics for all! Tonight I start Lup.ron, I start Gonal/FSH tomorrow. Shots in the morning, shots in the evening, shots at supper time!!

Okay, so I am a little giddy...and apprehensive. And, is it just me, but even the second time around, I am a little unsure what the hell I am doing?

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

CD 1 Tomorrow...I think

I knew it was coming, as my chocolate cravings (and intake of chocolate) has gone up...so I wasn't surprised that AF started...but not full flow, so waiting to call the clinic. Hopefully, by tomorrow morning I will be able to call the Monitoring room and get this cycle going. Which would be good because we are going away for the weekend (not far -- about an hour away, but I frankly don't wanna even try to have to drive back for blood work on Saturday or Sunday). Although it should be fun packing--Husband's pills, Michael's swim suit, my medications and needles. (Oh, not to mention if I have to order a refrig for the room). Fun!

We are going to a gaming convention: Open Gaming Convention. We go to one in February and this one in July. It's pretty fun, there are events for everyone...role-playing games for husband, board games and card games for me and youth games (including a Wii bowling tournament) for Michael, and supposedly some LARPs (Live Action Role Playing) for all.

A good time to geek out with some fellow geeks.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Fly my little monkeys, Fly!

Sent out my first snail mail for the Braces club (hmm, never thought I would associate myself with braces again).
I look forward to receiving actual correspondence in the mail.

In other news, this is what I am wearing today:



It's a Dr. Who bracelet! See the tardis, a wolf for "Bad Wolf", a tardis key, and a rose for "Rose".

SQUEE! I like being geeky!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

This Weekend

Was busy, fun, tiring, somewhat depressing, and hopeful. Here it is in no particular order.

My medications came via Federal Express Saturday. Now I just have to wait for AF, which probably won't be for another 2 weeks. Great that we got that bit of hope, because that afternoon:

We went to a BBQ/Pool Party at a friends house. I love our friends, but...

I had a bit of a melt down before we went (although a nice hot bath helped). I really did not want to socialize, and they just had their THIRD child (all girls). I did not want to be stuck talking to a lot of women about babies and children and having babies and aren't they cute, etc.

The good news--it wasn't that bad (little talk of children, and NO talk of birth, etc.). HOWEVER, there were some moments. I wanted to help my friend out while she tried to get things going on the grill--so, she immediately asked if I could hold the baby. Which was not earthshatteringly hard, just kinda uncomfortable--I mean physically, I haven't held an actual small (3 mo.) baby in some time, and as I looked down I thought "I hope this next cycle makes this happen for me". Esp. since we both would like a little girl, it was kinda hard, but almost in a good way, like maybe this might be a lucky charm (?). The only really hard moment was later on, when I was watching the baby for her and a little boy came up and said "Is that your baby?"

Other than that, our friends were fun and we talked and husband got to play with an i-phone, and we had such fun (me included) that we were late for our next thing---an overnight at the Rhode Island zoo.

The zoo overnight was WAY fun. We got to see the animals at night, we got to sleep over in the education room (I heard the wolves howling in the middle of the night), and today we fed an elephant and a giraffe. Still, Michael's favorite moment was sleeping in his sleeping bag with all the families in the education room.

Came home exhausted today, but I guess what I am saying is that despite my persistent efforts to make myself miserable this weekend, I had a good weekend. And maybe I am a bit more hopeful for this cycle...

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Who!

I liked Dr. Who when I was a kid. I remember watching it up in my room, having a vague sense of independence ("THIS was not a show my parents would watch--its British"). Dr. Who and Monty Python and Benny Hill were my intros to the U.K. Now we watch the new series of Dr. Who with Michael. It is so fun to get to watch a show like that with him. And lately, I have been watching the previous seasons (of the new Dr.s)on DVD while I bike in the morning. Since I bike for 20 mins. its more like the old style--serialized, and Michael hops into our bed to watch with us. It is very fun!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

A small lie

This morning, Michael was talking about whether we were going to "do that thing where you try to get pregnant again". He has been mainly wanting a baby brother or sister, but today he said "maybe you shouldn't do it" with that sly look of a kid who knows that he gets his way a lot. We told him that we were going to try again, and he asked why and we told him how wonderful he is and how we want another child just like him (and then we joked about how much he has grown, why won't he stay our little baby, etc.).

Then the lie: I said, "You know, it will be nice to have a little brother or sister, but if it doesn't happen, that will be okay too."
And my heart sunk. I know that was the right thing to say, and I almost think I could make that statement real. But not yet. It hurts to think that we could not provide him with a brother or sister. It hurts to think that all the milestones of the past 8 years are all we will ever have.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

The date's the thing...

Two years ago today, my Grammie died. Thirty-seven years ago today, my husband was born. Interesting how dates become markers of not only passage of time but of people and feelings.

My Grammie was won of the most influential people in my early life. My husband is one of the most influential people in my adult life.

GRAMMIE: She was quiet and reserved, kind and thoughtful. She had a sense of humor, but more one to appreciate a good joke than make one. She knew what was important in life--enjoying the here and now, including good food, good music. She loved the outdoors. My appreciation of all things in nature and the beauty of a beach, a tree, an animal in the woods...that is from her. My appreciation for a good book, one that takes you away from everything, would not be but for her. She was a doting Grandma, giving me, her only grand-daughter, anything I wished, but so much more than material things did I get from her. She was my mother in so many things. She taught me how to appreciate life and how to be happy for the things I have.

I miss her greatly, and I regret that the last few years of her life were not spent the way she would have liked them--in a rural cottage on a lake, enjoying the water and the wind and the trees.

HUSBAND: Meeting him was the best thing in my life. In college, when I was just starting to separate myself from my family, from my childhood. He was humorous and fun. Always quick witted and with a sparkle in his soft brown eyes. He sees the fun and interesting things in life. He likes to KNOW everything, and if he doesn't know about it, he will find out--whether its about science, science fiction, scientology, SCI, etc. He is always there for me and is always willing to help out a friend. He is a geek, a computer nerd and proud of it--as I am of him.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Vacation Memories...2007

Cape Cod was again our destination. Stayed at Cape Winds in Hyannis. While in the heart of the city part of Hyannis, the place was really nice. Very comfortable accomadations, although the sliding balcony door was having issues...

Short rundown of some of our activities:

Saturday: Pirates Cove mini-golf! Had fun and Michael especially enjoyed it. We have went to Pirate's Cove a couple times and its a really nice course with lots of fun facts and mock ups of Pirates. We also went to McKenney's in Falmouth. It's one of our favorite seafood restaurants--esp. good on the fried seafood. Then, on to Woods Hole and visiting the free aquarium.




Sunday: Father's Day! Michael and I made blueberry pancakes for Dad. We went to Eastham/Wellfleet for the day, hung out at the beach, hung out at the Red Barn (pizza, mini-golf, arcade, gift shop--something for everyone!). For father's day dinner--Eastham Lobster Pool--although under new management, the food was good (although not as good a selection as it used to have). We did notice a new restaurant we will have to try sometime--Marconi Beach BBQ. Then, we saw Fantastic Four 2 at the Wellfleet Drive-In.

Monday was a slow day, hanging out in Hyannis and going to a beach in Barnstable.

Tuesday: Provincetown! Always fun, and we got to go to one of our favorite beaches.



Then we went on a Sunset Dune Tour. Very beautiful and relaxing.

Wednesday was the only day that was not totally beautiful. We had some rain, but we had fun just hanging about the condo, and eventually went for a bit of a walk around Hyannis. We had breakfast at the Gourmet Brunch (yum). For dinner had our traditional meal at the condo of Lobsters and corn on the cob (supplemented with hamburgers and fries). Michael and Nana shared a lobster.

Thursday: Martha's Vineyard. Took the Island Queen ferry, enjoyed nice Mexican food at the Shark Shack.

Friday was breakfast at Perseys (one of our Favorites), then back home.

Very relaxing and fun, great weather, food and fun!

Monday, June 25, 2007

Ah, the fun of the after-vacation blues and the pre-IVF cycle jitters

So, back at work today. Not thrilled, but yet its nice to get back into a routine (I guess). Michael's first day of summer day camp starts today. I am a bit nervous for him. And husband has many many deadlines at work to deal with (not like they did not call him almost every day on vacation). Yep, vacation (which was wonderful and will be elaborated on in another post) is definately over.

The good news--my biopsy came back normal, so this cycle is a go. I am going to go ahead, starting Birth Control pills sometime this week. And the nurse was even one step ahead and she is putting a call in for the other meds so they can be delivered by mid-July. I am excited and nervous.

Luckily, I get a little time to re-aclimate myself to our normal routine before I have to go through the IVF routine.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Hopeful

Had our consult on Friday and then had a Hysteroscopy (http://www.gynalternatives.com/hysteroscopy.htm) and a biopsy on Monday. Basically, just to make sure there is no inflammation in my uterus. (Sometimes if the embryos do not implant, it could be because of that). IF there is an inflammation, I take antibiotics, and then we are a go. IF there are no problems, we are a go for IVF #2, although one of the Docs did mention (as he was doing the biopsy) that maybe I want to lose a bit more weight before we try again.

I am a bit conflicted on that, as I have officially lost 65 - 70 lbs. since last year. I frankly don't know if I can lose any more (although he wasn't saying I had to lose a lot--maybe just 5 - 10 lbs). But, I am feeling like part of the reason I have hit a plateau is specifically because of the nature of IVF so I don't know. All I know is that it has always been hard enough to keep myself in the exercise loop, but with the rest required during IVF, along with the nice 'ole hormonal/emotional cravings for things I shouldn't have---it was an achievement to have not GAINED any weight this past cycle. We are going on vacation at the end of this week (great time to try lose weight!!), and AF isn't going to happen until later this month. Maybe I will wait until next month to start the BC's and hope that I can lose a little bit more before July's cycle. I don't know. Part of me wants to just get on to the next cycle and start TRYING something, but since I know we only have 3 cycles that are covered by insurance, I do want the best possible chances on this next one. To add to this, the doctor that we had the consult with (who is my main doctor) did not mention the weight issue--he was more interested in making this protocol a Microflare (the type of protocol done with even older women--higher doses). This will basically mean that instead of 2 shots a day, I will do 4 shots a day. My hormones, which were pretty in check this last cycle, will definately be in an uproar!

So, to IVF in June or July is my hopeful outlook right now. I won't know the results from the biopsy until next week. I am conflicted about the weight issue--any thoughts?

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Photo Album blues

My brother brought back a whole bunch of photo albums from Michigan. I have spent some time looking at them, and showing Michael some of the pictures of me as a baby, his dad and me when we first met, Halloween pictures (Michael loves Halloween), etc. Seeing pictures of my grammie (and grandpa K.)filled me with a melancholy that did not get better when a friend called to find out what our beta had said. So, my mood which was getting better had a bit of a hit. I little chocolate therapy helped.

Meanwhile, trying to wait for June 8th to see when I can get back on the IVF horse, I have started to look forward to vacation (June 15-22). We are going to Cape Cod, and while I am a bit concerned that my MIL is coming with us, I am looking forward to it. I intend to not look at ANY IVF or adoption books, articles or blogs (limited internet will help). I have done my typical anal organizational planning--having a daily calendar set up with plans for basically each day (I try to plan only one major thing per day--not to overwhelm oneself, but gee, I hate to do NOTHING!). There is an "Ellen" episode where "Ellen and Laurie decide to take a vacation to San Diego, but tensions flare when Laurie wants to do everything on a schedule and carefree Ellen wants to do things in a relaxed manner". I am the Laurie...I try to turn that part of me down a bit during vacation.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Shell Shocked

"The most common symptom is fatigue: slower reaction times, indecision, disconnection from one's surroundings, and inability to prioritize."

After all the planning, waiting, shots, and the final 2 week wait...this is what it comes down to for me. I am numb (might thave something to do with the plum wine and sake last night). I am tired of doing this. Yet wanting to "just get on" with IVF #2. I am tired of "wanting". Especially since I feel that sometimes that wanting makes me less able to enjoy the things I have, especially my son. And my son is wonderful. He is so damn curious and so intelligent. The first thing he said when I said that the test was negative: "So, you are not pregnant? So, you can try again, right?" Not a problem that can't be solved... And then I told him the best thing about this---I could pick him up again (gosh, he's 50 lbs!). I tried to put a positive swing on H and me going out for dinner (drinks)--"We are going to go out to celebrate the end of this cycle and the beginning of another one". My son would have none of that ---"Mom, that seems kinda silly!"

Anyways, posting this helps me get myself clear on these feelings, regardless of whether anyone reads this or not. And I do know that I have a wonderful husband and a wonderful son. And I look forward to a long weekend where I will not only try to recover myself but enjoy what things I have in life. Hopefully, by the end of the weekend, I can face my life again, and look forward to cycle 2...