Monday, March 31, 2008

Friday, March 28, 2008

Give Some Hugs

There have been some huge losses in the blogsphere recently. There has also been some wonderful news too.

This community has been there for it all and with help from some pretty special people. I don't point out sites that often because these people are out there keeping the community together ALL THE TIME.

Please go visit these sites and give 'em a big hug--let them know you care!

Please also visit my Due Date Sister, who is on bedrest soon to meet up with her daughter! She could use some support right now.

Go to your favorite blogs and give them a hug too! Let them know you care and are thankful that they are there. I know I am.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

How’s That Sleeping at Night Thing Going for Ya?

Surprisingly enough my pregnancy has not been the major issue to my lack of sleep lately. Sure, I have had nights where I could not get comfortable, as I have had throughout this pregnancy. And yes, EXHAUSTION seems to be one of my major symptons this time around. But, really, so far it is not the pregnancy (unlike last time) that is keeping me from getting a good night’s sleep.

I’ve had bizarre dreams, a sick son staying up coughing, sinitus and my own phlem attacking me, a sick husband snoring and coughing, and recently, a bout of our son coming in at all hours of the night to sleep in our bed for a bit (we are not into the co-sleep thing, but occasionally its okay for him to come into our bed—we just try to move him back into his bed when we are not too exhausted). Oh, and I tend to not go to bed early. I try to. Honestly. But most nights, by the time I do all the things need to be done and then unwind, it is WAY after 11 p.m. So yeah, it’s partly my own fault. (Oh, and like this is going to get any better with a newborn!)

Last night was the more bizarre late night/early morning interruption—I heard our cat Gabrielle meowing like crazy outside our bedroom door. Often she likes to “stand guard” on our landing between the three bedrooms (Michael’s at the far end; Willow’s nursery is in the middle; and our bedroom at the end of the hall). It was around 5 a.m. -- I know because I had just gotten up for my nightly 27 ba-jillion bathroom run. I was snuggling back in the warm bed when I heard her MEOWING like crazy. So, without my glasses, I went out to see what was up. I think she horked up a hairball and wanted it cleaned up--it was too dark yet to really see. I took a tissue, it was a lump of mass (not gooey, but hard) and I flushed it down the toilet. Only now, as I write this…I wonder—was it a hairball or cat hork? Or was it a mouse or some other type of thing….who knows?!?

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

April 25th - UPDATE: Uh, nope, its April 24th!

UPDATE:

Obstetrician’s office just called and said they had to change the date for the C-Section. Now its Thursday, April 24th! Same time—9 a.m. (which means I get to be there by 7 a.m.)

One less day to wait! One month and 3 days to go!!! And it still seems to be too far away—

But yet, anxiety-wise, its starting to seem close! Worrying about practical things – Michael is pre-registered for Daycamp, but now he also has an all day Neuro Pysch testing (for his ADHD, social pragmatics issues) on that Tuesday (it takes 3-4 months to get this testing—and they schedule THAT WEEK?!?) and the Boys & Girls Club is closed on that Monday, and that leaves Wednesday and definitely not Thursday (which is a field trip day) and then what about Friday…hmm...maybe we will just not have him go to daycamp…not sure. Part of me wants to spend as much Michael and me time as we can before there won’t be just Michael and me time anymore, and part of me wants to have some ME only time before there will not be anymore---maybe I will have him go to B&G Club on Wednesday only. Originally I was going to work up until Wednesday, but with the all day Neuro Pysch test—it seemed easier for me to take the whole week off. And then there’s what to pack for the hospital…definitely want my laptop and some dvds (I have no idea about internet access)...clothes for Willow have already been picked out (Michael and I did that) and I am sure there are a million things to worry about (I know, I started to worry about them at 4 a.m. this morning). Not scary worrying, just me worrying. The Organizer and Controller – yes, part of me worries (very selfishly I am sure) that the whole household will fall apart without me. Part of me worries that things won’t be done while I am lying in the hospital. I worry that Michael won’t be getting the attention that he should get at this time—all the attention will be on the baby and me—I don’t want him to be forgotten. And there is a little part of me is scared about the procedure itself. It’s been 9 years…a lot of time has passed and my memories of that time are muddled---how’s it going to go? (And yes, I know it will be fine, and yes, I know people do this everyday—but you can’t help but be a little apprehensive, eh?)


-------------------------------
Had OB appointment today. The scheduled C-Section is at 9 a.m. on Friday, April 25th. (SQUEEE!)

Everything checking out...I gained another pound (I am at the maximum I wanted to weigh--and I have 6 more weeks--EEEK!).

We talked about the procedure a bit and how it would go. The tubal ligation will add another 10 - 15 mins to the procedure, otherwise after I am in recovery, I can hold Willow, etc. Sounds like daddy gets to be lucky again and get to hold her first! :-) (I'll get to see her immediately after she is taken out).

On April 1st I have another appointment and an Ultra-Sound. I am measuring a bit bigger than her weight indicated from last ultrasound. Which could be many factors--my body shape (duh!), extra fluid, etc. Nothing serious, but they want to check it out. (The way she mentioned it made me feel like its no big deal, but then, of course, anxiety-wise, you know I am going to be freaking out until we have the ultrasound...)

I am excited and also anxious to get to meet Willow. I am not a patient person--and waiting 8 months (plus 5 years of trying, plus the many ups and downs of the journey)--this is getting down to the ultimate nail-biting finish. And this is going to be the LOOOONGEST month and a half!!

Historical Facts - April 24

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Tagged

I've been tagged by Healing Arts!

1. Link to the person who tagged you.
2. Post the rules.
3. Share six non-important things / habits / quirks about yourself.
4. Tag at least three people.
5. Be sure the people you tagged KNOW you tagged them by commenting what you did.

I think I have done this one before, but let's see if I can come up with 6 Pregnancy Related items:

1. I did not get morning sickness, but cravings have run rampant. My cravings have been Thai food, Big Macs and Chocolate Cake. Also, tunafish sandwiches (for a bit).

2. Not really into Belly Shots. Mainly because I am so conscious of my body and the fact that I am overweight. Having lost 70 lbs. recently I really am not into showing how I am gaining 25 lbs. back (even for a great cause)!

3. I refuse to buy maternity wear--mainly because for my size they all look like Muu Muus. I have lots of clothes right now that don't fit, but I also have clothes from when I was heavier, so I pretty much have been able to use them (although right now that means I have 3 pairs of pants ONLY). I have bought a new bra and nursing bra.

4. I love feeling Willow move around in my belly, but sometimes it tickles--and then I chuckle in the middle of the day and I think people must think I am crazy....

5. It seems that baby GIRL clothes are raining from the sky--we have more hand-me-downs than we know what to do with (at least for newborn-6 months). And most of them are PINK or frilly--which is not my style at all. I am a tom-boy at heart, and hope to keep her more neutral (no little dresses for her--at least until she says she wants to wear them). I have been able to sort through the PILE of clothes and find ones that I like. Also, I suppose that I will like her in whatever she wears, right!?

6. I am starting to have the "uncomfortables". I still have been able to sleep pretty well despite the peeing all the time, but I am starting to have troubles sitting, standing or lying down in one position for very long. I am happy that so far I have not gained as much weight as with Michael, and I do think that I am a lot healthier (if older) than I was then and I am sure that is why I haven't been very uncomfortable or had any other annoying symptons yet. (Now if the next 6 weeks can be at this level--I can deal!)

I think this meme has been making the rounds for a while, so I am not going to tag anyone else--if you read this and haven't been tagged for this one--YOU ARE IT!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Work - Baby Shower

My work threw me a little baby shower with Thai food, really neat cupcakes, decorations, etc. It was a pleasant surprise and very heartwarming. Due to various circumstances, we never had a baby shower when I was pregnant with Michael, and it was very sweet and thoughtful this time around.

I already knew they were going to do something, as I could tell on my registry they bought me a travel system , which was wrapped beautifully. Something we really needed, too!

They were trying for a surprise, although I kinda knew what was going on since people were spending a lot of time in the large conference room. When I got there, they had decorated the room with balloons and confetti. Here are some pictures of the stuff after I brought them home. (My boss videotaped everything, so I am sure I will have a record of my bright red blushing face...)

Very cute cupcakes with the safari theme kept in mind...they made sure to get enough so Michael and husband would have some...




Michael having a hippo cupcake.


Balloons and confetti--they made sure not to do much PINK (a color I actually hate)...






They also got me this really cute bottle warmer/rattle.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Cthullu Wears Diapers!

We went to the Sibling Class at the hospital today. Michael was the only boy in the class. There were four other girls, ranging in age from 3 years old to 5 years. Michael was also the oldest (no surprise there). He liked the class, especially since he could act as the more "mature" one (oh yeah, he will make a great big brother!)

They first made "welcome cards" to their siblings.


Michael wrote: "You are now zero" and drew a hamburger (I have no idea what is up with the hamburger). Zero refers to the fact that he considers since it will be her birthday (but not being 1 years old yet) that she will be zero years old. He also got a piece of paper that said "Hooray, I am a big brother!" and he is supposed to put one of his favorite photos of himself on it and decorate it.



Then they were taught how to diaper a baby.


Cuddling the "baby". (I was so proud that he brought a monster--and Cthullu no less!)



After also learning to hold a baby, the class went to the nursery and was able to see a newborn baby. Then the instructor took pictures of "your family now"--kinda creepy photo (we both had just got up and went,had no breakfast yet, etc. and Michael wanted to be silly), but oh well...we CAN be creepy--we have a MONSTER in diapers, for gosh sakes!:



During the class, we also read books about being a sibling. And I showed Michael how to burp a baby. It was kinda hard, cuz Cthullu has spikes on his back (!)

All day Michael has been singing "Cthullu is wearing a diaper" and he went to sleep tonight cuddling up with Cthullu still in the diaper.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Book Tour - Embryo Culture: Making Babies in the Twenty-First Century by Beth Kohl

Embryo Culture is an interesting book about infertility and the process of IVF through a woman who went through it. It is the first book I have read that has not only the scientific and clinical perspectives outlined into the story, but also the emotional roller-coaster that one feels while dealing with the whole process. While her experience was far different from mine, I enjoyed reading about her journey.

The author describes her journey through infertility both in terms of a faith journey and a process of scientific discovery. How has infertility impacted your faith journey and your views of science/technology?


Being an athiest, I found the religious discussion in the book to be an interesting perspective on the subject. For me personally, I never had a question on the moral or spiritual issues involved in infertility treatments. One of my issues with religion as a whole is that the institutions are often more than willing to tell their flocks what things are forbidden to them but yet, will not offer up some help with the alternatives. I still feel that there are many ways that the religious community could help support people going through infertility, and in my time in the blogsphere have noticed that faith is something strong for many women (and men) going through this tough journey. I hope that each person that seeks solace in their religion have been able to find support and guidance through the journey--but I worry that, like in the rest of the society, infertility is just not addressed like it should be.

As for my views of science/technology: Going in I had every confidence in the scientific basis of ART. It was overwhelming, and I was not totally "into" all the science involved (before going through this myself, I had a vague sense of the fact shots were involved, that it used to be called "test tube babies", etc.). Going through my first IVF/ICSI cycle, I put what "faith" I could into the clinic--"Look, the doctors had found the problem, they know the solution, we are doing all we can--IT WILL WORK!" When the first cycle failed, I had to go back and realize how many times the doctors were qualifying their statements and often pointed out to me that this cycle was "promising" (re: not the "miracle of science" that I was hoping for). It struck me how often the doctors (even in my "world class" clinic) were having to "guess" as to what protocols would work. The science foundations are there, the success rates are amazing--but, it is still often a matter of "luck"!

Going through the next cycle, I was much more my typical cynical/scientific self and going through the two week wait was far more clinical to me. I read through statistics I had not bothered to go through before--I was more experienced at the loss side of the coin. And when I got that BFP, I was actually surprised because I had come to the conclusion that while science has come a long way in the ART process--it still has a long way to go. The good news is that they are coming up with new processes and techniques all the time--one process I read about was a better way to distinguish viability in embryos, making the transfer of better and more mature embryos more likely in the future.

The author talks about how many embryos should be transferred at any given cycle. Should there be a limit?

I do think there should be a limit on how many embryos are transfered. I think new techniques in establishing what embryos are most viable will make this something that will not be an issue in later ART techniques. As is the adage around the IF block--it only takes one--its the quality not the quantity of embryos. It is better for the mother and better for the embryos themselves.

Beth makes certain that she tracks how she and her husband respond to infertility in different ways - through diagnosis, debates about treatment, and how infertility is perceived in the "normal" world. Do you find such differences between yourself and your significant other(s)? Was it difficult to determine upon a course of treatment due to those differences?

My husband and I have a lot in common and often agree on things. But, as with any of the big decisions in our lives, we usually have different perspectives that do play a role and often we compromise (sometimes internally) to come to a common ground. (Meaning, we arrive at the same conclusions but in different ways).

When we started having problems having our second child, we both thought it was more of a time and effort issue—we needed to make more time in our schedules for intimacy, we needed to track ovulation, etc. During the first part of trying for the second one, we had a lot of other issues coming up in our lives that needed more of our focus—and part of the lack of effort on our parts was denial of there being a problem.

Finally, after many discussions, both of us decided we needed to go to a fertility clinic. Then the testing began. For me, I felt that I got a lot of the testing and had to be more “in the zone” of infertility, while my husband was able to be in the background of it.

After a year’s worth of testing, etc. It was finally determined that it was male infertility. I think that in many ways that made my husband and I stop discussing what was going wrong and to go for the “solution” of IVF/ICSI. Before this diagnosis, I think I blamed myself more for the lack of progress in the baby-making and I was far more emotional about the lack of another child. I was the one that needed the emotional support and comfort, which my husband provided. But when it became an issue of his infertility, I think I took on more of the role of comforter and one of the ways I try to comfort people is in finding solutions. I think my husband was all for IVF/ICSI because to his mind, the statistics (40% success to our 2% success if via “normal” reproduction) and the science were there. For me, I think my first thought was how I could help my husband not feel worse than he already did.

Going through the process, as usual, my husband and I read and reread about IVF/ICSI and we poured over statistics, etc. Going through the process, as usual, my husband, while not being able to understand all the emotions I was going through, was there for me to comfort me. As usual, he buried his emotions and worries when he thought it was best for me not to see them …and I lightly tip-toed around his vulnerable issues and comforted him when he was not seeking comfort, but needed it. We really did have a team effort and I totally feel like this baby was an effort by the both of us.


Hop along to another stop on this blog tour by visiting the main list at http://stirrup-queens.blogspot.com/. You can also sign up for the next book on this online book club: The Mistress's Daughter by A.M. Homes (with author participation!)

Things I haven't done yet...

Things I haven't had the chance of doing yet or been prevented from doing: See my son's presentation on Rabies for his biology ...