Tuesday, December 30, 2008

first trip to L&D...

...and all I got was this lousy IV bruise?!

M, the kiddo and I spent the better part of Christmas Eve in the pregnancy assessment ward of our local hospital. Good times. I was knocked out by the crazy stomach bug (that I only NOW hear everyone and their sister had) and had to spend a good part of my day being rehydrated and evaluated. Unfortunately, those were the same hours I was supposed to be spending on an airplane en route to Christmas with all of our parents.

We had many hours of monitoring, a full panel of labs and my first internal (OUCH!!!) and the baby was just fine - good accelerations on the heart monitor, no productive contractions and a high, closed cervix. The IV fluids got me back on track enough to limp my way onto a different flight on Christmas day so I could lay pathetically on my parents couch and avoid their food instead of our own. It was pretty terrible.

The ridiculousness of my body's rebellion in the wake of my love letter of last week is not lost on me. C'mon! I said I was sorry!

I say that all I got was an IV bruise but that's not exactly true. I also got a whopping wake-up call about how suddenly things can change leaving me unable to tie up loose ends. On the way to the hospital, it crossed my mind that if something was really wrong, I might be put on bed rest either at home or at the hospital and my poor co-workers would have to deal with the mess I left behind. Even if I go to term, it was still a reality check on how soon we're likely to be heading back to L&D for real. I definitely have a fire lit underneath me at work now.

Speaking of running low on time, I'm starting to freak out about the fact that I don't think we'll have another shower before the baby comes and we have soooo much shopping to do! The one shower we had was very early (pre-registry) and only included a small group of close friends. I was hoping to get a bunch of baby stuff for Christmas but I think our families were trying to get stuff for us. Both sets of parents bought us one very generous and substantial gift - my parents gave us our breast pump and M's gave us our travel system - but that was about it other than a few clothes and books and things. We have so many practical things we really need. My aunt offered to host a shower in January but she's a stack of states away and I'm reaching the point where I really don't want to fly anymore. It takes a whole day of travel each way to get to where our families live and it's just too much to take on right now. I know this is delicate territory and I really hope I don't sound like a spoiled brat. I'm just feeling really overwhelmed looking at the shopping list, even after going over it time and time again to pull off everything that isn't absolutely essential. /whining

M and I tried to take some artistic belly pics last night with a modest amount of success. We purchased a canvas photo print (well, a gift certificate for one) in a silent auction a few months back and it expires tomorrow. We don't have any pictures we want blown up at the moment so we decided to try to take one that could be enlarged as art for the nursery. We need to go through the options when I finish up here. I'm not feeling overly optimistic, but the darn thing is already "paid for" so we need to do get something made, even if it ends up in our basement.

I'm such a slacker when it comes to posting belly pics. I really did take a 28-week shot, and it was only a few days late. I'm ridiculously huge, although the not eating for five days thing did set me back a bit. I shudder to think of the pictures we'll be taking over the weeks to come. I guess at some point here, we should start doing them sooner than every 4 weeks. We'll see.

Big news of today is that my best "local" friend is pregnant. She and her husband have been married for about five months and they "stopped preventing" two months ago (shocking news to me). She's just about five weeks now. This is where I should start gushing about how wonderful it will be to overlap pregnancies with her, how elated I am that our children will be six months apart in age, how thrilled we both are for her and our husband (our closest "couple" friends) - all of which are completely true. But, it's my blog and I get to be as self-absorbed if I want so please forgive the honest yet unflattering text to follow. 

I was a little surprised (and if I'm honest, hurt?) to be blindsided by her announcement. No one owes me the intimate details of their family planning, but she's a good friend and I confided in her about every single detail of our journey from start to finish, so it was surprising to me that I didn't even know this was on their near horizon. That said, the blow was cushioned by the fact that I am the first non-family member she told or plans to tell anytime soon and she seemed truly and genuinely shocked herself at the news. The thing that really freaks me out is that even sitting there, across from someone I care so much for, with my 30-week pregnant belly rubbing against the table edge, her announcement transported me right back to such a painful place. If there is anyone on earth I'd think I could be genuinely, unconditionally happy for, it would be her, so what gives?! Am I ever going to be able to react normally to someone else's good news? She was a HUGE support to me throughout our IVF process and I am thrilled that she and her husband had such an easy path to pregnancy. Still, hearing the stark contrast of how her pregnancy came about reminded me of how hard we'd worked and how intensely painful it all was and it was like it happened yesterday. Equally disturbing to me is the belief that her announcement would have been easier for me to accept if she'd been trying, even if only for a brief time. Knowing TTC as intimately as I do, what does that make me? Someone that wishes for other's misfortune? That is a frightening thought. 

I'm sure the pregnancy hormones are playing a major role in my little melodrama here. I also know you all know how this goes - the duality of being genuinely happy for someone you care about and still sad at the difficulty of your own road - so I'll stop belaboring this. It just breaks my heart that I'm still here, carrying so much residual pain from something that - most days - feels like it happened so long ago. 

Here's the good - a pep talk for myself if you will: This friend couldn't be more aware of or sensitive to all we went through, and if someone's going to have an easy time getting pregnant (and we all know someone is, just not us), it should totally be one of the good eggs. M and I are over the moon to have some friends that are in our same situation (a gap we've been stressing over a bit) and to have it be these friends is simply icing on the cake. Most of all, we love these people and they are happy, so we are happy for them. Really, this is nothing but good news. I just wish our own journey could have been more like theirs... but then we wouldn't have had the exact munchkin that is kicking the living heck out of my insides right now, and that would have been a tragedy, so no more wallowing for me.

OK, time to wrap this up. Hope you all have a safe and happy new year. I'm wishing for great things for ALL of us in 2009.

Monday, December 22, 2008

pulling out the fine stationery

Dear Body,

Thank you, thank you, thank you for processing the nasty glucose drink in a normal manner. I nearly cried when I heard those wonderful words: All tests came back completely normal. Your reward will be coming in the form of yummy-licious, home-made Christmas cookies once we arrive at Mom and Dad's house on Wednesday, and maybe even some stocking candy to boot. Not too much, of course. We don't want to get overly confident in the wake of our good news, do we?

The real purpose of this letter is that I owe you an apology. I should have given you the benefit of the doubt, or at least taken an "innocent until proven guilty" approach, but I didn't. As soon as I got the results of my one-hour test last Tuesday, I concluded that you were bad at processing sugar just like you were bad at making babies* and - I'll admit it - I was pissed. I am truly sorry for not having faith in you, especially since you've been such a champ since we took our first steps down the road to IVF.

I hereby promise to do a better job in the future. I will take this experience as the wake-up call that it is and I will fill you with healthy foods that make your job easier instead of harder. More importantly, I am going to consciously remind myself of all the wonderful things you do for me and the baby on a daily basis. You've been amazingly resilient and adaptive. I am also going to treat us both to a hypno.birthing class because I believe not only that you can and will carry this baby to term, but also that you have the strength and the wisdom to bring him or her into the world on your own terms. I will continue to believe these things until proven otherwise, not just until I start to suspect a problem. And if circumstances arise that take us away from an unmedicated birth, then I promise to be okay with that too, or at least to try really, really try hard to be.

In closing, I want to apologize again for giving up on you so easily. I truly appreciate all you have done and will continue to do, and I'm genuinely humbled by how far we have come together.

(Hersh.ey) kisses,
K

*I know, I know. It's unfair of me to bring this up now - rehashing old issues and all that - but it's part of our shared history and we can't pretend I don't have trust issues as a result.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

no news is... no news

Thanks for all of your supportive comments about my BFF (big fat FAIL). I'm feeling a lot less desperate about the whole GD business. If I have it, I have it. I only have 80 days left until my due date. I can do anything for 80 days, right? I mean, we TTC'd for 638 or something like that. Results should be in tomorrow.

I've been trying out a low-carb, low-sugar diet since Thursday and it hasn't been terrible. It hasn't been fun either, but I'm surviving. There is one exception - right before my test I bought a box of ice cream bars at the grocery store, and I've been diligently eating one per day to get them out of the freezer. I might cry if I have to throw them away, so I'd better get rid of them before the verdict comes down, you know? ;-)

I missed the latest belly pic day. I was due for one on Wednesday but we haven't gotten around to it. Maybe tomorrow. Speaking of Wednesday, it marked my grand entrance into the third trimester. Totally surreal.

We're still undecided about whether to go ahead with the hypno.birthing class or not. Hopefully tomorrow's test results will help me make a decision, but if it turns out I failed the 3-hour test, I won't have any more clarity than I do right now. Anyone have insight or experience regarding GD deliveries? (preterm? induced? giant baby? none of the above?) The hypno.birthing instructor isn't much help. She had no idea what GD was when I called to ask her about it. (Red flag, anyone?? Sure was for us.) Unfortunately, she's the only instructor I can find in our area so it's her or we go with a different method altogether.

The cloth diapering class was really helpful. Turns out M can't touch the microfiber inserts that go in the one-size bumGen.ius dipes we were most interested in going into the workshop. Touching the fabric is like fingernails on a chalkboard to her. Watching her pick up that insert then drop it like a hot potato - repeatedly - was kind of hysterical. I think we still may get some to try out and I will just need to be the primary stuffer, but we also discovered some other great options. I'm definitely feeling a lot more confident in our ability to make cloth diapers work for us.

We leave Wednesday for Christmas with all of the parents. Today, we finished up our holiday cards and wrapped all of the gifts we'll be taking with us. Other than packing our clothes, I think we're in good shape to go. I'm looking forward to the break from our hectic lives.

I'll post GD results when I have them. Thanks for the pep talk the other day and for all of the positive thoughts you all have sent. You all rock!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

I failed.

I don't know my exact number. 3-hour test is Thursday morning.

I am SOOOOO bummed - way more than I should be given the stats I know about how many people fail the 1-hour and go on to pass the 3-hour. Even if I pass the next test (best case scenario), I'm still "borderline" enough to have failed this one, and that feels like an indictment of so many things: My general health, my eating and exercise habits, my chances of having a normal size baby and an unmedicated birth, my body's ability to do ANYTHING the easy way... and the list goes on.

I'm going to withhold any further self-pity until I get the results of Thursday's test, but I am not a happy camper. Any and all low-glucose vibes appreciated.

Monday, December 15, 2008

nasty glucose drink, here I come

According to the weather feed on my computer, it's 13 degrees outside with a wind chill of -3... and I'm off work today. In fact, I have nothing to do except curl up under a blanket until my OB appointment at 2pm. Bliss.

Today is my 1-hour GD screen. I know not to eat for two hours before my appointment, so I might actually be able to take the test this time! I really hope I pass. My hat is off to everyone that has successfully modified their diet while pregnant. I know that like everything else on this crazy journey, it's just something you do if you have to but what a pain, and right before Christmas, no less.

The baby had the hiccups on Wednesday. That was the first time I have felt them. The kicking and squirming continues. I'm kind of surprised by how little time he or she seems to spend asleep!

I think I actually was sick last weekend, which is a relief. I was worried I was entering a new stage of pregnancy where I was just going to feel exhausted and uncomfortable all the time. Around noon on Tuesday, I started feeling noticeably better and by that time on Wednesday, I was back to feeling pretty good. It's becoming increasingly difficult to get comfortable in bed and my hips are sore by the end of each day, but I'd pick those annoyances over the nausea and stomach cramps any day of the week.

I've been making really good progress on The Big Checklist. M and I are registered for a cloth-diapering workshop this week which should help us figure out what we're doing in that department. We're penciled in for a hyp.nobirthing class to begin January 8th. I ordered the replacement parts we need for the crib. And I cut off about 12 inches of my hair to be donated! (Only vaguely baby-related, but it's been on the list for over a month.) It is so much easier to manage - a big plus since it's getting harder and harder to get out of bed in the mornings.

Speaking of cribs, ours has been inhabited by a small cat named Lily. I swear she spends 16 hours a day in the thing. I'm pretty sure she thinks it's a deluxe cat tree we brought in just for her. My mom (who is generally nervous about how our cats will be with the baby) has asked how we plan to keep her out. My guess is that once we put a screaming baby in it, Lily is going to be nowhere to be found.

M and I haven't had a chance to talk much about this, but I think I may be close to being happy with a girl name. Of course I'm only half of the naming committee, but just having a viable option is progress for me, and we've been tossing this name around for a while so I know we both like it. But no more on that for now. I don't want to speak to soon and jinx it.

Let's see, what else, what else, what else... We're hopelessly behind on holiday cards, but seeing as we have only received about a fifth as many as we usually have by now, it seems our friends and family are in the same predicament. On the flip side, we're doing great on shopping - only a couple more gifts to pick up and we'll be done. I had a disaster of an evening the other night. I burned nearly everything I put over any form of heat (including one of our pots) and then dumped my full dinner plate onto the floor making for a very happy dog and a very unhappy me. My hormones couldn't decide if I should laugh or cry so I did both. Good times.

All in all, things are going well, but I'm withholding all other positive worldviews until I find out whether I'm allowed to eat my mom's Christmas cookies or not. Appointment is in three hours!

Monday, December 8, 2008

sicko

I'm feeling a little like death these days. I've been tired and queasy and generally blech for 2-3 days now. I don't know what's up, but I don't like it.

The BH contractions have become stronger and more frequent and they kind of started freaking me out over the weekend. I did a little online snooping to make sure they are in fact BHs (and it seems that they are) and found a bunch of information that can basically be summed up as: Braxton Hicks are good and mean your uterus is preparing for labor, unless they are not good in which case you need to call your doctor right away because you're probably in preterm labor and your baby may die. Great, thanks. "Good" is quite a relative term and not so much helpful when you are a first-time pregnant woman and trying to figure out if this particular round of weird feelings you're having are weird-normal or weird-worrisome.

But concerns about BH contractions are soooo Sunday. Today we're on to aggravating symptom #2: Persistent nausea that makes all food sound terrible followed by sharp stomach cramps upon ingestion of said food. It's like the first trimester all over again! Awesome! I did some more internet research today and found a very helpful site that explained that from here on out, I'm in the extreme growth phase, and if things don't happen in perfect concert (like, say, if the kiddo grows faster than... the skin enclosing my belly, I guess), I may be in for some severe discomfort in the form of nausea, stomach pain, shortness of breath, etc. I have to assume this is what is happening, and I have to hope that it is temporary. I'll be a very unhappy camper if this is what the rest of my pregnancy involves.

I'm trying to get as much rest as possible and laying on my left side does seem to help, boring though it may be. However, I have an especially demanding week at work and it will cost me dearly if I have to back out of it for any reason. I'm participating in a very elite (read: expensive) leadership training for the next three days and we're about 2 months past the deadline for a refund. I get that my health comes first and I need to be smart about things, but I also need to have a job once the baby gets here and skipping out on part or all of this training would not win me any brownie points with the management team at my agency. So, my plan is to take each day one step at a time - as slowly as I need to - and get through as much of it as I can. If I need to call in sick Friday, or all of next week, so be it. It's only three days, and I have nothing to do in the evenings except recover. If nothing else, this has taught me not to make commitments like this from here on out. After Christmas, nothing ambitious is going on my calendar until June!

Monday, December 1, 2008

stack o' posts: 4 of 4

And to wrap things up, the promised 24-week belly pic:


I just noticed an interesting crossroads: My last post was my 100th in this blog, and as of today, I have 100 days left until my due date. I couldn't have done that on purpose if I tried.

And on that note, I bid you goodnight!

stack o' posts: 3 of 4

Thanksgiving was interesting, as are most indicators of time passing to those of us who have been shaped by infertility. At one point, I told my mom I would NOT be cooking next year because I'd be too busy trailing a crawling infant. I said it without thinking, but once the words were out there, they hung in the air the like a comic strip and I stared at them for several minutes, thinking about the power of what I'd said and how amazing and humbling it is to be where I am right now. This reminded me of the intensely painful place I was in exactly one year ago, and my heart broke for each of my friends - both in "real-life" and online - who are still waiting for their children to find them.

My period came the day before Thanksgiving last year. It signaled the end of try #11 and it was one of those BFNs that completely eviscerated me. I was staying under one roof with most of my extended family for the holiday, M wasn't in town yet, and I simply couldn't stop crying. No one except my parents knew what was going on at that point so I had to get away. I ended up spending the day driving through the country by myself, then sitting in a deserted park, crying and surrendering completely to the overwhelming grief. We'd been TTC for over a year by then and my NP had told me time and time again that there was just no reason that I wasn't pregnant yet! I was sure at that point that I was broken beyond hope and that I would never find the magic solution I was so desperate for.

There are days where I'm able to forget how excrutiating the lows of TTC were, but it takes very little to remind me.

On this Thanksgiving, I thought of each and every one of you that are where I was a year ago - feeling empty and drained and hopeless. As I look back, I can clearly see that holidays were among the hardest times for me. I think they are for many of us who track our lives in two week increments and dream of where we will be by the next [insert time marker here] and I am sure that many of you were in pain. I wish there was something I could say to make it hurt less, but know that you were in my heart and I sent (and continue to send) out hopes that one year from now, you will look back on this time from a very different place.

stack o' posts: 2 of 4

We're making no headway on girl names, which is unfortunate because the latest guesses to come in are skewing dramatically toward pink side of things. I've heard a bunch of different wives tale-esque theories lately, but they all end with me having a girl on board. M's latest contribution to the mix is Mabel, and she's managed to get a bunch of people on board (myself NOT included). She's also a big fan of Blanche. Like, from the Golden Girls. In fact, she's a fan of all of the Golden Girl names, and any other name you can find on the local retirement home roster. I can't complain too much - at least she's making suggestions. I haven't had a new idea in a while. I'll be really interested to see where we end up on this.

I can't believe how strong this little one is getting. I'm watching my belly jump around right now as I type. Sometimes it's quick, jabbing movements; others it is smooth but persistent churning. Seeing the movement from the outside is shocking and sooo cool.

Speaking of uterine action, I think I've been having Braxton Hicks contractions for the past week or so. I'm still unsure because I was expecting a relatively brief tighten/relax sequence, like a mild cramp. What I'm experiencing is not that at all. It's a sensation-free tensing of my uterus (making it freakishly rock hard) that lasts for several minutes at a time. I find it happens most often when I'm in bed, either just before I go to sleep at night or right after I wake up in the morning. If these aren't BH, any idea what they are?

We have started putting the nursery together. My parents helped us with a bunch of furniture moving before they left after Thanksgiving so the guest bed has been moved out and the crib has been moved in. It's nice to have a physical space to start moving things into and I can see the crib from our bed across the hall. It's beyond bizarre to have one of those set up in our house at long last. We test drove gliders on Saturday and I think we're close to picking one. That is the most substantial item left on our shopping list, so we should be in relatively good shape once we cross that one off.

Entertaining family for Thanksgiving completely wiped me out. I felt okay while they were here, but crashed as soon as they cleared out. I still don't feel 100% recovered, but I'm getting there. I'm already starting to feel my energy taper off and it makes me nervous for what's to come as I continue to grow.

I think that's it for odds and ends from me. Only a couple of weeks left until the third trimester - holy cow!

stack o' posts: 1 of 4

I know I promised a new belly pic and it will come. However, M is working on my computer right now (bless her) and I can't get to my pictures, but I have not forgotten. I could just post a picture of a standard three-car garage. That would pretty much sum up how I look in the last round of shots we took. I don't know if it was a bad outfit choice, an excessive water (and everything else) retention day, or if I just look that ginormous but the picture is a little frightening if I do say so myself.

On to the other half of my promise...

AOPB incident #1: At the beginning of November, I went on an out-of-state business trip. The night before I left was election night and M and I went over to some friends' house to watch the returns. As we were leaving their house, I realized I'd left all of my travel documents in my work file cabinet so we stopped by my office on the way home to pick them up. We didn't get home until well after midnight, at which point I began packing and found I'd (a) neglected to bring home the power cord for the work laptop I was to take along and (b) left my cell phone sitting on our friends' coffee table. All of this is very unlike me, by the way. I am OCD to the core. I had to be at the airport at 7am the next morning and taking a detour to pick up the two forgotten items would add an hour to my morning trip. Realistically, I couldn't have picked either up the next morning anyway. It was too late to call our friends and arrange for a 6am visit, and the power cord for the computer was locked in my supervisor's office - the one room in my suite I don't have a key to. M saved the day (night) by sending me off with her iPhone (providing both phone and email communication) and generously agreeing to drive around town after work the next day, picking up my odds and ends so she could bring them with her when she came to join me the following night. I spent the next 36 hours paralyzed with fear that I would leave something else sitting somewhere. I triple-checked that the laptop was in my bag after leaving security; I held the iPhone in my hand, physically looking at it as I exited the plane because I was sure it would fall out of my carry-on if I were to put it somewhere as insecure as a zippered pocket; I nearly had a heart attack when I "realized" (incorrectly) that I had locked the keys to my rental car in the trunk after tossing in my suitcase. Apparently I do not cope well with feeling like a flake.

AOPB incident #2: I am the organizer of monthly potlucks at my office. Each potluck has a theme (Mexican, vegetarian, etc.) but I always tease a co-worker that she doesn't have to adhere to the theme because I just want her to bring the same dish - her specialty - to every single potluck because I love it so much. Well this month, she made a similar request of me. She asked that I abandon the theme and bring in a sweet potato casserole that has received rave reviews in the past. To be honest, I was relieved. It's a recipe I've made for years - you know, the kind you can make in your sleep? (You can see where this is going, right?) The night before the potluck, I prepared the dish and it wasn't until it was already in the oven that I realized I'd forgotten the keystone ingredient (orange juice concentrate, if you must know) and the end result was less than spectacular, which sucks since I was making it by special request. The lamest part of all is that it only has a handful of ingredients to begin with and I read the recipe extra carefully before beginning since I know I've been a bit spacy lately... (See AOPB incident #1)

These two incidents aside, I've been doing okay, I think. (Well, except for the time last week where I forgot how to work our clothes dryer the other day with my mom standing right behind me. As in, I literally could not find the start button to save my life. Very embarassing.)

So, in the time it's taken me to get to this post, I've had several others take up residence in my brain. I'm going to get through as many as I can tonight, so stay tuned!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

cake or death

My OB appointment on Monday got off to a rough start. First, I was informed upon arrival that I would be having my one-hour glucose screen. Surprise! Unfortunately, I'd scarfed down a piece of leftover shower cake immediately before leaving my house. I asked if having eaten cake half an hour earlier would skew the results and the nurse confirmed that it would, so no glucose screen for me. I apologized even though I wasn't sorry. I don't know about you, but I am of the opinion that if they want me to take a test that requires that I don't eat for two hours first, they should notify me of that more than 10 minutes prior to the test. I guess I'm just a pain like that. At least now I have something to look forward to at my next appointment. Ha!

Then came the lovely weigh-in. I watched out of the corner of my eye as the nurse fidgeted with the sliders on the scale - not too bad. Not great, but not too bad, especially considering I was recently on a week-long business trip during which I ate out for breakfast, lunch and dinner every day. I'd lost all portion perspective by the time I got home. I stepped off the scale. The nurse began to write my weight in my chart, then paused and said: "I think I got your weight wrong. There's no way you gained that much in a month. You couldn't have eaten that much cake - ha ha! Hop back up there for me." So I did, and she re-weighed me, and it was exactly the same as it was the first time. Yeowch. She did not apologize. The offensive monthly gain? 7 pounds. Maybe I'm crazy but that doesn't seem too out there to me. I mean, as I said before - it's not great - but worth putting a hormonal pregnant lady through that whole get-back-on-the-scale routine? I think not!

The rest of my appointment (read: after the nurse left the room) went pretty well. The baby's heartbeat was in the 140s and I'm measuring one week ahead. The NP (like everyone I pass on the street these days, it seems) said I look even farther ahead than that but explained it the same way M and I have: Ridiculously short waist = no where to go but out. I talked to her about whether or not I'll have the freedom to move around and eat during labor (yes and a lukewarm 'not really but you won't feel like it'), whether I can have access to a birthing tub during contractions and/or pushing (yes), and whether they will require an IV and/or constant monitoring (no and no). She reassured me that my OB is well-known for allowing laboring moms to do pretty much whatever they want, as long as they and the baby are safe. I knew this and it's why I picked the doctor I did, but it's always good to hear it again.

I'm one for two on the tasks I promised myself I would complete by the end of the week, come hell or high water. We are successfully registered for daycare and our hefty deposit has been paid, but we have not yet registered for hypno.birthing classes. I'm kind of intimidated to make that call because (1) I don't want to hear how much the classes are going to cost (I believe they're around $300 - great timing for that kind of expense, huh?) and (2) I have no idea when we will squeeze them in around the holidays. That said, the longer we wait, the more precious practice time we are losing. Guess I'd better make the call tomorrow. Blech.

Next up: 24-week belly pic and case notes from two incidents of Acute-Onset Pregnancy Brain.

Monday, November 17, 2008

now that's what I call a weekend

I am off work today - a fact I am grateful for because I need some down-time to recover from my... well, down-time.

M and I went to a gathering at a friend's house after work on Friday. We stayed until almost midnight. It's been a long time since I felt up to that. I am so loving this second trimester energy!

The next morning, we woke up and went out into the freezing cold (literally) to attend our local prop 8 protest. M and I ended up being interviewed by our local news station, and of course we looked like big idiots because (a) we'd been standing in a 20-something degree windchill for 2 hours and had runny, pink eyes and noses and (b) they cut 85% of what we said leaving an uninspired and unsupported sound byte, but what can you do? (Answer: Say no when someone asks to shove a microphone in your face next time.) As we watched ourselves that evening, we tried consoling each other with the fact that no one watches the evening news on Saturdays, right? Right??

That night we went to the symphony. We ran into one person we knew there and the first thing he said was "Hey, I saw you on TV!" Awesome. The symphony was wonderful. It's more M's thing than mine and she said the performance of the most well-known piece was the best she's heard, which is saying something.

On Sunday, we'd planned to go to a working retreat for a group I'm on the board of. M is not on the board, but we'd been asked to invite partners and/or friends who might be willing to give input on some decisions we're making for 2009. I'd been asked specifically to bring M since she's helped out with many of our projects in the past. That morning, I spent a good couple of hours catching up on all the prep work I should have done in the two weeks prior to the retreat and I made M listen to more of it on the 45 minute drive to the retreat site. I packed up everything I thought I'd need for the retreat - board paperwork from the last few months, a notebook, extra pens... When we got there, it wasn't a retreat at all but a surprise baby shower! Even when I saw the cameras and the cake and the gifts and all the people yelling surprise (many of whom are not on our board), my thought was still "Oh, how sweet! We're going to have a little baby-thing on one of our breaks!" Yeah, I was completely clueless, as was M. We were SO surprised and so touched. Just last week I told a friend we'd really only registered for our own shopping list purposes because we probably wouldn't be having any showers. Our friends and family are so spread out, I just didn't think it would be feasible for enough people to be in one place at one time to have an actual shower. We were completely blown away and touched that these friends took it upon themselves to organize something, and it was super fun!

We got so many great gifts, and only a handful of them were off our registry since it's only been up for a week or so - oops! Our friends were giving us grief for not registering sooner (and here I thought we were doing it so early!) and I told them that was just one more indicator that this was nowhere on my radar. Had I known they were all out shopping, I would have been happy to make their jobs easier. Four couples got together (including the organizers) and gave us an A-Z baby basket. It had 26 gifts in it - one for each letter of the alphabet! Many of the gifts could have been used for more than one letter, so one of the shower games was to match up each gift to it's alphabet letter. Everyone had a sheet labeled A through Z and they wrote down the different items as we took them out of the basket. It was a great idea. There was also a gorgeous homemade cake. I have no pictures yet because who brings their camera to a work retreat? Not me. Fortunately, others were more appropriately prepared so I should be able to get copies from them. I'm just glad I showered and wore clean clothes!

We came home beyond exhausted, and beyond touched.

Today I have acupuncture and my 24-week OB appointment. Other than that, I plan to take it easy and maybe start on some thank you notes. Of course, that means I'll have to buy some first. Did I mention the shower was a complete surprise? :-)

Thursday, October 30, 2008

back, more or less

We are back in our time-zone of residence, but you wouldn't know it from the way I've been dragging around the last couple of days. I am so exhausted! I'm counting down the minutes to the weekend so I can take a break. I'm off work on Monday so I'll have three whole days to recharge my batteries. Our 11 days o' parents was fun. And busy, and sleepless, and I-can't-believe-I-ate-the-whole-thing-ish. As a result, we are completely behind on our normal life responsibilities - bills, grocery shopping, dog and cat snuggling, laundry, belly shots... speaking of which:


That would be my mega-belly. That would also be our twenty-one week belly shot. Yeah, we were doing them every four weeks and the last one was at 16 so this one should have been at 20 but I'm impressed we took one at all at the rate we've been going. One week overdue? You should see some of the dates in our refrigerator.

And while I'm posting pics, here are a few of someone waaaaay cuter than me:




I can't wait to tickle those little toes.

The baby had one arm tucked up alongside its head and refused to move it until the very end of the ultrasound, no matter how hard the tech poked and prodded. It appears we've got a stubborn one on our hands already. I'm now sure we're going to have one of those babies that takes forever to move down the birth canal because their darn arm is up alongside their head the whole time. The funny thing is that I sleep with one or both arms over my head nearly every night and I have since the day I was born. Guess that really is my baby in there.

He or she is head-down and all the way over on the right side of my body, so it seems all those "kicks" I've been claiming in the lower right part of my abdomen are actually punches and elbows. I'm starting to feel stronger sensations in the center now, below my belly button, so maybe those are from little legs that are folded up funny. We didn't get a good view of how the legs are positioned because the sonographer was avoiding everything below the baby's waist as much as possible. M felt a kick for the first time last night. Two, actually. I'm excited to finally be able to share that with her.

I think we're going to try to register on Sunday, or at least get started. We've looked at the calendar and we don't have another free weekend until after Thanksgiving, by which point I suspect we'll be overcome by holiday madness and it'll be a chore we'll be glad to have behind us. I'm feeling nesting urges and I'm hoping making a list of everything we need will feel like a step in the right direction.

The washer is buzzing at me which means I can move the laundry into the dryer and go to bed. One more day of work. I think I can! I think I can!

Friday, October 24, 2008

best show in town

We're staying with M's parents so I only have a minute but I wanted to update that our ultrasound went perfectly. Baby is measuring to the day for height but seems to be a bit of a chubster! Weight is estimated at 13 oz. and the average for 20 weeks is about 10.5. Oy vey. Due date is still 3/11/09. The ultrasound itself took nearly an hour and it was awesome getting to gaze at the little one for such a long time.

I have great pics but I managed to scan them into the wrong format for posting so I won't be able to share them until we get home next week. I keep pulling them out and staring at the little profile. I can't believe we'll be kissing that face in a little over four months.

We did not find out the sex. I was so tempted laying there on the table with the information right there at our fingertips but I'm glad we held out.

Not sure if I'll get online again while we're here, but I'll be back next week to catch up on everyone!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

crusing right along

I'm going to be quick because my parents are staying with us and I need to get in the shower if I don't want to be the hold up.

Everything is still going well. Judging by my bladder and lung capacities, things seem to be shifting upward internally. I think I've only had to get up to pee once in the past 7+ nights - a huge and welcome change! On the flip side, my lung capacity is deteriorating rapidly. I get winded going up a single flight of stairs these days.

I think we've decided on a daycare. I went to visit one on Tuesday that was awesome. It was completely different than the first one I fell in love with, but equally good, I think. The scale-tipper is that we can reserve a spot for June (unlike the other one where we're currently sitting near the bottom of a one year waitlist) and they charge $100 less per week! It's right down the street from my office so I can breastfeed at lunch if I want to and they will use cloth diapers if we decide to go that route. We're going to try to find a time for M to check it out before we put down a deposit, but with her work schedule, that just may not happen. She'll get in there before the baby does, one way or another. We tend to have pretty similar values on these types of decisions so I'm sure she'll love it when it finally works out for her to visit.

Ultrasound is this Wednesday! I can't wait. I will be 20 weeks to the day. I can't believe I'm almost halfway through my pregnancy! I also have an OB appointment on Monday so it'll be a big baby week. Hopefully all will go well.

More soon, including the scoop on yesterday's chat with our RE. Nothing major, or even that interesting, but I'll post about it anyway. :-)

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

current conditions

Things at work have been non-stop, insanely busy and my home computer is acting up, so my internet access is pretty limited at the moment. Tonight, for some reason, it is cooperating so I bring you an 18 week update!

Things are going really well. I am absolutely loving the fact that I can eat again... and I'm celebrating by eating pretty much everything in arm's reach. I'm only up 7 pounds from my pre-IVF weight (right on track according to my "your pregnancy this week" email which says I should have gained 5-10 pounds by now) but my big ol' belly is already forcing me out of a few of my earliest maternity items. Today I did the rubber band trick on a pair of maternity pants - yikes!

I'm getting pretty consistent movement these days and it's such a trip! I'm amazed by how much this little one is rockin' and rollin' in there. I can't wait until M can feel it from the outside.

Our big ultrasound is 10/22. I can't wait! It's been over a month since we've had a glimpse at the baby and I know he or she has developed so much since then. It worked out that my mom will be in town during our ultrasound so she's going to come along. I'm really excited about sharing it with her. We're still firmly in the "not finding out" camp so there won't be any gender announcements, but hopefully we'll get some pretty pictures to share.

Still haven't heard anything back on the quad screen, but I'm assuming no news is good news.

I'm nearly finished with the hypnobirthing book and it's mostly resonating, but I'm a bit overwhelmed by it all, too. I think taking the classes will really help cement the key concepts. Contacting local instructors is on my list for this week, computer willing.

We're still struggling with girl names. I'm pretty sure we will be right up until (and during?) labor. M and I just have such different taste. It's amazing we agreed on the boy names as easily as we did, really.

I paid the last of our outstanding IVF bills today - they totaled* a mere $2200. Yeowch. Still, I would do it again in a heartbeat and there isn't a minute that goes by that I don't think about how amazingly lucky we are. I went through so many months (years?) believing so completely that this could never happen for us. My heart is with those still waiting and hurting. I hope that your babies find you sooner rather than later.

* Did you know the dictionary lists both totaled and totalled as appropriate ways to spell this word? How can that be? Commit, people!

Monday, September 29, 2008

reality check in aisle 2, please

I took off work early today to look at the first of several daycares we're considering. When I got home, there was a bottle (free sample - Medela BPA Free) in my mailbox. My "is that... no... well, maybe" movement of the last week has evolved into definite flutters, taps and rolls over the last couple of days. My life is so very different today than it was 6 months ago. More than that, it's different than I even dared to hope it could be.

The daycare was great. It's a non-profit child development center with awesome core values around social responsibility, diversity, community, etc. It's crazy expensive but they provide lots of scholarships and seeing as I'm technically a single parent, in the legal sense at least, I think we'll probably qualify. The downside is that they have a one-year waiting list for infants. That wouldn't be a big deal if we were looking for a daycare for the long haul, but there's a possibility we'll only need a daycare in this state for a few months to a year, so I'd prefer not to jump around during that time. I think we'll probably sign up anyway in case something opens up sooner, but I recognize it may not work out. M and I are going together to check out another one on Thursday, and I have one more on my list for this week if they ever return my phone call (not a good sign).

I've heard so many people say this that it sounds hopelessly cliche to me, but it's my turn now so just smile and nod at me if you have to: I can't believe how much faster the second trimester is going! I felt conscious of every day, hour and minute of my first trimester, but the first month of my second trimester has gone by in the blink of an eye. I'm glad we're working on daycares already (especially after the waiting list I encountered today!) and the farther I get into my Hyp.nobirthing book, the more I realize we should be starting classes, like, yesterday. By the time we get those two checked off the list, it'll be time to register and look for a pediatrician. I just can't believe The Time For All This is upon us already.

Oh crap, and I promised you a belly shot. This is what 16 weeks looks like around these parts. I've only gained 6 pounds from my pre-IVF weight, but you can see where every last ounce went! Oh well. I'm about 90% thrilled to finally have a baby bump of my very own and 10% shocked and paranoid about how absurdly huge I seem, so I guess that's not a bad ratio. Anyway, on to the pic...


OK Vee, you're up! :-)

Monday, September 22, 2008

I've got rhythm

Baby's HB was in the 150s and all is looking good.

I can't describe what a relief it was to hear that strong little heartbeat today. My last check-up was just before 12 weeks and I've been so fearful of a missed m/c. (Who I am I telling this to? You all read my blog. You know about my neuroses.) Anyway, things are good and after hearing the heartbeat at nearly 16 weeks, I think I may finally be able to settle into the idea that the most dangerous part is actually behind us. It's amazing how much more real this pregnancy seems after each milestone we pass. Also at today's appointment: blood draw for the quad screen. I'm not sure how long it will take to get the results back but I think it's usually a couple of weeks, right? I probably should have asked that. Am I the only person who doesn't think of the right questions to ask until after I leave the doctor's office? At the moment, I'm still basking in the glow of the heartbeat so I really don't care how long it takes. Check back with me in a week or two and see how patient I am then. ;-)

I don't have a date for the "big" ultrasound yet. The doctor's office has to schedule it at a separate clinic so hopefully I'll hear something from them tomorrow. I requested 10/20 because my mom will be in town and I think it would be fun for her to come along. It's hard having her so far away. There are so many things about this pregnancy I'd like to share with her that I just can't on accounta the pile of states separating us.

My OB asked about our birth preferences. M defered to me and I explained that I would prefer to have a natural childbirth and planned to take steps to achieve that, but that we'll have to see what happens and I'm not completely opposed to meds/interventions if the situation demands them. Having never gone through childbirth before, I think it would be presumptuous of me to assume that I definitely can do it without drugs, but equally presumptuous of me to assume that I can't. We told her about our plans to look into Hyp.nobirthing and she advised that we commit to a method and start practicing NOW because this baby will be here before we know it. (Gulp) Overall, she seemed very supportive of our goal and I think she'll do what she can to help our baby come into the world with the least intervention possible.

And about that belly pic... Vee, you're on. We haven't taken a picture since 12 weeks but we'll be sure to take one when I hit 16 weeks on Wednesday and I will post it here. So, if you don't have a good one ready to post, you might want to dust off the camera and start posing with that baby belly of yours! :-) And inlocoparentis, thank you my dear. We will have to remember to get some photographic evidence of the baby bump + the I heart safe sex t-shirt before I'm too big to squeeze into it.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

the view from week 15

OK, I'm going to go out on a limb and say it... (drumroll please)

I think I'm starting to feel better! The last time I was so bold as to proclaim that to someone, I was rewarded with another week of yuckiness, but I've had several good days in a row this week so I'm taking the risk.

Interestingly, my crippling fatigue seems to be have been replaced with... insomnia. How's that for weird? I'm already to the point where I can't find a comfortable position in bed (awesome, considering I've got nearly 6 months of growing to go) so it takes me a long time to fall asleep. Then, when I get up to pee a couple of hours later, it takes me another hour to get BACK to sleep. Rinse. Repeat. Some nights I only have to pee once, and those nights rock. The double-bathroom-trip nights (read: two rounds of coaxing myself back to sleep) are starting to get on my nerves. Amazingly, I'm not as tired from this lack of sleep as I'd expect. When I was an obnoxious teenager, I told my mom I could never have kids because I like sleeping too much. I'd never be able to put up with the sleep deprivation. I meant it, too. I seriously did not think I was cut out for it. But now I see that your body truly adapts to not need as much sleep. If you'd told me (even a year ago) how much sleep I'd get over this past week, I'd have predicted I'd be in a coma, but actually, I'm surprisingly functional if I do say so myself. I mean, I'm not at the top of my game by any means, but I've been relatively alert, dressed, working and not biting anyone's head off. I know having a newborn will still push us both to the limits and then some, but I recognize and appreciate the steps my body is already taking to prepare me.

I continue to be enormous for my stage of pregnancy - always the overachiever. I have a doctor's appointment on Monday so we'll see if she mistakes me for a third trimester patient. It could happen. I'm only 5 pounds over my pre-IVF weight, which is right on track according to those weekly emails I get, but I think every last ounce went straight to my belly. I might post a picture one of these days, but every time I see anyone else's belly pics, I lose my nerve. I seem to be double, no triple the size of most 15-16 week pregnant women. I wonder if this baby is going to be 15 pounds when it's born.

I think we're going to do Hyp.nobirthing. I've been leaning toward it for a while and I finally bought the book. I want M to read it too to make sure she's on board, but from my obsessive and neurotic research, it seems to resonate most strongly for me, and to yield the highest success rates for natural births. I found a few instructors in my area but then heard from a friend of a friend who only read the book and used the CD and had one of those freakishly perfect birth experiences, so maybe the classes aren't necessary. I dunno. I have a feeling we're going to need all the help we can get since this kid is (apparently) going to be so ginormous.

We're working on names. We have a short list for a boy that we're both happy with but we're positively lost on girl names. We have a list of names that neither of us love but they're the best we've come up with. That is one thing about not finding out the sex - we have to do double-duty on name generation. Oh well, at least we have lots of time left. Looks like we may need it!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

I'm alive

Thank you to dreams for the reminder that there is a whole world out there and that a handful of them might be thinking of me as I sleep my life away. As cheesy as this sounds, it's really heartwarming to know people are looking out for me.

All is well, as far as I know. Of course I'm still terrified something has gone wrong and my body doesn't know it and my OB will inform me of my missed miscarriage at my next appointment, but the worry seems to have receded a bit over the last few days (knock on wood). My belly continues to grow and I'm symptomatic as ever. My next appointment is coming up quickly (9/22) and I'm looking forward to another listen (or glimpse?) of that little heartbeat.

In loco parentis is here for a quick visit and she kept me up until 1am last night - no small feat, these days! I wish neither of us had personal experiences to contribute to a conversation about fertility and pregnancy struggles, but on the flip side, we've had some great talks about the insights our journeys have brought us and how both of us "getting it" has strengthened a friendship between us that was pretty darn good to start out with. I wish she could stay longer, but alas, she has a plane to catch and I just heard the suitcase zip up.

I'm really, really going to try not to be so flaky. Really. And if I disappear again, feel free to call me out on it. I know how scary it is when one of us becomes silent for a while. I will definitely post if anything awful happens - or really anything significant at all - so if you don't hear from me, it's fairly safe to assume I'm just sleeping. Again. Probably for like 12 hours at a time.

Monday, August 25, 2008

first appointment = success!

I'm still tired. Super-duper-mega tired. In fact, I'm on my way to bed. At 8:30pm. I just wanted to post a quick update to let you all know that Friday's appointment went really well, and I even got a surprise ultrasound! It appears that we may actually be having a baby and not an alien, despite all prior evidence to the contrary:



Next appointment is scheduled for September 22nd and it is with the OB herself. Finally getting my care straightened out is a big relief.

Thanks for hanging with me even while I'm too busy and exhausted to hold up my end of our relationship. I've got big plans for that 2nd trimester surge of energy, and one of the many items on my checklist is to get back to blogging reguarly because I really miss it.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

postscript

OB appointment is scheduled for Friday afternoon. It's with the nurse practitioner, but at least I'm getting in. I decided to leave one last message before driving down there, just in case, and I nearly fell of my chair when they (wait for it) answered their phone! They initially tried to schedule me with her for September 9th (aka 14 weeks) but when I suggested that I felt that was too late to begin prenatal care and perhaps I should call another doctor, something this week just opened right up! Amazing!

The plate is beautiful. Damn it. All the more disappointing that my family didn't get to see it. Here are a couple of pictures*:


*The real plate has our full names on it. These pics have been internetified.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

coming up for air (edited)

I've basically been on a hamster wheel since returning from our visit to my parents' house a few days ago. Work continues to be strange and overwhelming. Last night marked the resolution of phase one of a massive "extra-curricular" assignment I agreed to head up and phase two will be complete in one more week. I can't wait. This project has been consuming my every free second (and every free brain cell) for the last three weeks, and I pretty much couldn't have picked a worse time to take it on: Crazy work transition period, 6-day vacation right in the middle, and first trimester of pregnancy. Brilliant. But... 20/20 hindsight and all of that stuff.

I'm feeling so-so. Exhausted, of course, and queasy a lot of the time. I have had a handful of food cravings, most of which have been strange not just because of their urgency but because they have been from foods that I rarely ate at all before I was pregnant. Consider:
  1. avocados: This one lasted 2-3 days and I couldn't get enough. I didn't like avocados at all until about a year ago, and only started eating them then as a I-guess-these-aren't-THAT-offensive-after-all thing - definitely not a favorite food or anything. (Side note: A few days later, the mere sight of the guacamole my mom pulled out of the refrigerator made me so nauseated I left the room.)
  2. onion rings: I can safely say that I have never in my life ordered (or made) onion rings until 2 nights ago. I'm sure I've taken bites of other peoples' here and there, but generally speaking, I forget they exist. The other night? HAD to have them. I ate one and gave the rest to a friend.
Otherwise most of the things I've had a hankering for are at least part of my usual food repertoire. Turkey sandwiches? I could eat three a day. I want them all the time. I think it's because they've been a familiar staple of my diet since, like, forever so they sound manageable for my nervous tummy. I dunno. I know I'm supposed to be laying off the deli meat, but if it weren't for turkey sandwiches, I might not eat some days. My RE said not to stress about food rules (except no raw meat, dairy, etc.) during the first trimester and focus on just EATING something - anything - because the baby is a parasite and it will get what it needs. Hopefully it won't also get listeria. Ugh, now I feel guilty. OK, I'll try to find other tolerable foods.

The other news-worthy item around these parts is the fact that I can't get through to my OB's office to schedule my first prenatal appointment there. I started trying two weeks ago at which point their appointment scheduler's voicemail was full. Then I went on vacation. Once we got back, I started calling and leaving messages every single day, with the last one approaching hostile. No calls have been returned. I'm off work tomorrow so I'm making this my #1 priority. I'll call hourly if need be. They have until 5pm tomorrow to schedule me or I'm going to call another doctor. Before you say the obvious (This is ridiculous! Who wants a doctor they can't get through to? What does this say about the way their office runs? Cut your losses and head for the hills!), let me reassure you that I know all of these things and have thought them myself on an hourly basis for the past few days. The problem is that we live in a relatively unenlightened part of the world when it comes to pregnancy, birth and "family values" and this is The Doctor we need to go to if we want anything resembling a slightly progressive birth experience. Truly. She's also my regular OB/Gyn and I worked with her briefly at a clinic I used to work at so I'd prefer to stick with her rather than transfer to someone I've never met before. Furthermore, we have a specific hospital we want to deliver at and I have a strong preference for a female OB and, believe it or not, there are only two (2) practices in our area with female OBs that deliver at our chosen hospital. So, not a lot of options. I've talked to friends that have received prenatal care with this doctor and they've all acknowledged the administrative hurdles her office staff present, but also said they'd go to her again if they had to do it over because she's the best available, so I'm giving her one more chance. If I'm not scheduled by the end of the day on Monday, I'll call the other practice first thing Tuesday morning.

Well, I think I've gone on long enough for one morning. I have hardly read my email for the last few days, let alone glanced at blogs, but I'm on a mission to get caught up. Can't wait to read what you all have been up to!

Edited to add: Right, the platter. Total fail. We painted it, it was beautiful, it was scheduled to be picked up the afternoon we were leaving town and when M went to get it... not ready. Still in the kiln. We still haven't gone to pick it up but when we do, they'll be getting an earful from me. I'll post a pic once we get it. Instead, we gave my grandmother a card congratulating her on becoming a great-grandmother. It worked out just fine and everyone was thrilled, but I'm still irritated at the pottery store. Also, Bleu... would you believe me if I told you that it didn't occur to us to go into the office in person, even though it is less than one mile from my office? How embarassing. Can I claim pregnancy brain on that? When I read your comment, I said out loud "Wow, there's an idea!" and told M about your brilliant suggestion. We had a good laugh over it. Leave it to us to completely miss the most obvious solution of all. So, um... thanks for the tip. :-) I'm headed down there tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

We graduated!

Ultrasound went perfectly. Baby measured right on track - 8w 6d exactly. Heart rate was 182. I'll try to scan a pic before the end of the day.

Thanks for the communal pep talk yesterday. It helped so much. I'll admit to re-reading each of your comments several times over the last 24 hours to help settle my nerves!

Monday, August 4, 2008

statistics and symptoms notwithstanding

Still over 24 hours until our next ultrasound and I can not turn off the fear. It's crippling. I'm sitting at work staring blankly at lists and stacks of paper because I can't motivate myself to do anything else.

I don't know how we'll piece ourselves back together if that little heartbeat has gone away.

We painted our announcement plate yesterday. It won't be ready for pick-up until the afternoon we leave, so we'll be grabbing it on our way to the airport. We waited until the last possible second to have our news fired into ceramic - I hope we weren't premature in spite of our waiting.

Friday, August 1, 2008

still here, more or less

The wedding last weekend was great – very beautiful and very HOT. I learned the hard way that my pregnant self is a lot worse at tolerating the heat than my un-pregnant self, and that’s saying something ‘cause my un-pregnant self sucks at it. I have the utmost sympathy for women that spend the summer in the third trimester. I can’t imagine. So, after roasting myself for three days straight, I spent two full days recovering on the couch. My work has been such a ridiculous drain for the last two (well, three now) weeks, my boss gave me Monday off as “comp” time, which we don’t even officially have. I didn’t work any extra hours over the two preceding weeks, but I did work my tail off while I was there, and she noticed, which is really nice. If she hadn’t given me the day off, I’d have had to call in sick as I was in no state to attempt a vertical orientation. I slept most of Sunday and Monday and limped back into work on Tuesday, a moderately recovered version of myself… just in time for the madness to start again.

I got a promotion at work and I’m struggling a bit with the adjustment. I’m behind on my normal duties because of some out-of-the-ordinary tasks I took on this month, and I now have a whole host of new duties as well. Fun! I’m slowly getting caught up, one late night at the office at a time, and I’m hoping to be totally on top of things by the end of this month.

In pregnancy news, I feel… pretty lousy. I’m beyond exhausted and I’m unpredictably ravenous or repulsed by food, depending on which way the wind blows. No throwing up yet – just a little queasiness a lot of the time. My biggest shock is definitely the freakish extent of my bloating. My weight is within a single pound of what it was a month before we even began IVF, yet I’m out of all but one pair of pre-pregnancy pants. It’s not so bad in the morning, but by evening, I look like every bite of food I’ve consumed all day is just hanging out on my stomach for all the world to see. Between the IVF hormone, OHSS carryover and early pregnancy triple bloat and the facts that I (a) generally carry all of my extra weight in my tummy and (b) have hips that sit roughly in the region of my armpits (read: nowhere to go but OUT) – I am one gigantic 8w 2d pregnant lady.

I’m also nervous as all hell. Our next ultrasound is Tuesday and despite all of my efforts to avoid it, I’ve become totally dependent on medical reassurance that all is well – as if such a thing even exists. We all know stories of people who’ve been reassured at every turn and still encountered devastating and unfair outcomes. I’m petrified that we’re going to show up on Tuesday in our little cap and gown, all set for our big graduation to the OB, and they are going to dismantle us in a single blow with, “I’m sorry, we seem to have lost the heartbeat,” or “Hmm, no growth since the last scan. That’s not good.” I’ve seen it happen to more deserving women than us, and there is a part of me that still believes all this is just too good to be true – plain and simple.

Heart-stopping fear notwithstanding, we’ve started sharing our news with IRL friends and it’s been a blast. I’ve been hugged so tightly my sunglasses flew off my head, yelled at in excitement, and empathized with by morning sickness survivors. We’ve received the sweetest cards from friends and family near and far. I’m a little nervous that we’re jinxing ourselves by opening up so early, or that we’re setting ourselves up for some awkward conversations if things don’t continue to go well, but we decided we wanted our friends to know what was going on, no matter the outcome. Today, we’re pregnant, and that is a triumph to be celebrated. Telling people just feels like an important part of embracing the positive and the hopeful – diving in head first, if you will. If the worst case scenario comes to pass, we’ll need the support of our friends then, too, and we suspect it will be easier to ask for if they already know what’s going on.

In less than a week, we’re headed out to my parents’ house for a big family gathering and we plan to share our good news there too. (See, more wanton disregard for the hurdle to be cleared between now and then – aren’t we just little optimists?) Our tentative plan is to paint a serving dish or bowl with the words “K & M are having a baby!” or something like that, then serve dinner in it the first night we’re there. It’ll be like one of those puzzles where you uncover one square at a time and have to figure out the picture underneath. What was that old game show? Concentration? Anyway, we’ll see if the heat relents enough for us to venture out this weekend to paint pottery. If we can’t muster the motivation, we may go to plan B which involves recording a talking picture frame for my grandmother to congratulate her on becoming a great-grandmother for the first time. I’m excited about either option, so we may just see what kind of mood we’re in come Sunday (i.e. shopping/craft day). Other than that, my plan for the weekend includes 3 new Netflix arriving today, round-the-clock air conditioning, and a bunch of naps. After my last three weeks at work, I am really looking forward to putting my feet up for a while!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

I lied.

Sorry.

I did not return "tomorrow" with more details, but in my defense, my work is simply ridiculous right now. I'm barely catching my breath there during the day and at night I just want to come home and go to bed!

Anyway, I'm back now, and I brought a fuzzy picture:


Can we be friends again?

The u/s was amazing. As soon as she put the probe in, the little bean popped up on the screen. The tech said "there's someone with a heartbeat" right away. Probably the most amazing five words anyone could have said at that point. She took a bunch of pictures, measured the heart rate (126 bpm) and let us listen to it! I could have listened to that sound all day. I've heard people talk about how incredible that first u/s is, and I was expecting great things, but I was still blown away.

The RE was thrilled with our test results. She said everything looks great and the baby is right on track by size and heart rate. We go back for another u/s on August 5th and if all goes well, I'll be declared a normal pregnant lady and released to my OB!

I'm in a wedding this weekend and I'm off work today and tomorrow to fulfill my bridesmaid duties. (I was supposed to leave my house half an hour ago and I haven't even showered yet. Not so good.) This will probably keep me MIA for a few more days, but then I'm hoping the dust will settle at work and I'll be able to get back to my regular blog addiction.

Monday, July 21, 2008

90-second update

I just got home from work and I am waaaay beyond exhausted. Still, I wanted to hop on and post a quick update because I know how frantically I stalk your blogs when you're (I'm) waiting on news!

I'll be back with more details tomorrow, but the u/s went perfectly. We are the proud parents of one healthy little bean. He or she is measuring right on track and has a strong heartbeat that we got to see and hear. It was completely awesome.

I'm late for a PIO injection and even later for bed, so I'm going to run, but thanks for all the good vibes sent our way today. I felt them, for sure. :-)

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

preparing to receive the torch

First, a word of caution: This is exactly the type of blog entry that was the most gut-wrenching for me to read when I was ttc. So for those of you who are still waiting for your overdue BFPs to arrive, I invite you to skip this post if you're feeling fragile today, or even if you aren't. I understand. I remember those feelings so well, and I'm sending lots of hugs and hopes your way.

On Monday, we were riding high on the wake of our great beta number so we went out to dinner to celebrate. We started talking about things we'd been too nervous to discuss during the preceeding week: choosing a name, setting up the nursery, and what to do about early baby visitors. We are unlucky enough to live more than halfway across the country from our parents, siblings and other family members, so there will be no "dropping in for the afternoon" after the baby is born. We will either have Visitors or No Visitors. We've heard of people instituting a no-visitor policy for the first week, which I feel like I could get behind if our parents could be at the hospital when the baby is born, then disappear for a few days until we summon them again, but it's not as easy to implement when coming and going requires an expensive full day of air travel. Also, I really want at least my mom there for the delivery, and I would feel really crappy depriving any of our parents of that less-than-a-day-old baby magic (remember, first grandchild on both sides) so just having them wait and come out a week after the birth isn't going to work for us. What makes this decision even harder is that, as first-timers, we have no clue how we are going to feel or what we are going to need. Are we going to want hour upon hour of sacred space for our new family of three to get to know each other and bond? Are we going to be dirty and starved and desperate for anyone to hold our screaming, writhing bundle so we can eat and take a shower? Are our parents going to feel valuable and supportive or intrusive and underfoot? Hard to say.

Anyway, as always, M came up with the perfect solution, and this is the part that I wanted to write about when I started this post. Of course this may change a hundred times between now and March, but it feels really good for right now. All the parents can come out at the first signs of labor, but they have to get hotel rooms for the duration of their visit so that we can send them away if we need some space. The tentative plan will be for my mom to stay with us for the first few nights, but since she and my dad will have a hotel room nearby, we can play that part by ear. I am a confessed crier - happy, sad, you name it - but I really haven't cried since getting our BFP. I'm sure I'm saving it all up for the first ultrasound or something. But when M was talking about why she thought my mom should stay with us, I found myself getting all teary-eyed at the restaurant table. She said that to her it feels "organic" for my mom to be by my side and to get me through those first few days of motherhood, like that is "how things should be done." She said it goes back to it taking a village and it just feels so important to her for me to have my mom there, teaching me to be a mother, as women have done for one another forever. Listening to her talk, I realized what a powerful image that was, and it kind of made everything that is to come for us hit home. In eight short months, my mother and I will be hovering over a screaming infant and she will be teaching me how to soothe and calm and nurture, as she has always done for me. The idea of it floods me with emotion, even now.

As far as everything else, we've been pretty much on top of the world since Monday's beta result, nausea, exhaustion and frequent urination notwithstanding. No, you know what? Those are pretty freaking cool too. I love each and every symptom, no matter how crappy they make me feel, because they remind me that things are on track and this is actually happening. My weirdest symptom? I wake up EVERY NIGHT at 3am, give or take 10 minutes. You could practically set a clock by it. It makes no difference what time I go to sleep the night before. Sometimes I have to pee, sometimes I don't. Sometimes I'm overheated, sometimes I'm not. Sometimes the cat is sleeping on my head, sometimes he isn't. There doesn't seem to be any consistent cause. Usually I have no trouble going back to sleep. Last night I was up until 4:45am before I managed to doze off again. So weird. And I love it.

Monday, July 14, 2008

on pins and needles (updated with beta results!)

I am seriously about to lose my mind. My stomach is all queasy and I can't get my thoughts to stop racing. I'm just so terrified that my beta results aren't going to be good today. I'm kicking myself for having booked a full afternoon at work. What was I thinking? If we get bad news, there's a whole bunch of schedule clearing standing between me and a rapid depature for home.

Right now is about that time they called last week with my results. So, the fact that they haven't called yet is making me certain that my results are in the bad news pile and not the good news pile. I know, I'm a crazy person. Maybe I'm in the later call pile because we already know everything is fine and it's more time-sensitive to call the people getting their first betas and let them off the edges of their seats. That could be it. Even more likely, my test may take a little longer this time because they were doing blood typing as well. I recognize that (assuming that the time I am called means anything which it probably doesn't) there are a hundred unimportant reasons why I might get called 1 or 3 or 6 hours later this week than last week. I wish I could turn the crazy paranoia off, but this means so much to me and I am just so, so nervous.

OK, I actually feel better writing some of my insanity down. In fact, I'm flirting with the idea of not even answering my phone and letting it roll to voicemail until after my last client appointment. That will still leave me plenty of time to call the clinic back if I need to, but hopefully it'll be a moot point because the message will be: "Hi K, this is [nurse] from [doctor's] office. I have your beta results. They are a hundred thousand million so keep doing exactly what you're doing and we'll see you for an ultrasound on Monday, 7/21. Call us if you have any questions, which you won't, because this is a fantastic beta and your ultrasound is exactly when you wanted it!" That's totally what it's going to say. Right?

Update: Beta #2 is in and it's 3449. To say I am relieved would not even come close to covering it. I had promised myself I wouldn't worry anymore (ha!) if my beta was over 2000. At nearly twice that, I might actually be able to make good on that promise. ;-) Ultrasound is scheduled for next Monday afternoon with a doc talk to follow. I need a pinch to be sure, but I think this might actually be happening!

Friday, July 11, 2008

already a trouble-maker

On Wednesday, we got our first baby gift. :-) It was a copy of The Runaway Bunny with an inscription in the front from Aunt and Uncle KD - so adorable. They sent it along with a card that said "Pregnancy is the happiest reason ever for feeling like crap." It was pretty timely, actually.

Not 60 seconds before opening the package I had told M that I was feeling terrible and if this is what the next few months were going to be like, I was in for a rough ride. I had been sick to my stomach for the last 24 hours and I was about ready to pass out from exhaustion. I couldn't believe I was feeling so awful at only 5 weeks and I was pretty intimidated by what was in store as my pregnancy hormones continued to compound. I needn't have worried - yet, at least. I'm feeling about a thousand times better. It seems, much to my dismay, that our baby just doesn't like Sesame Tofu. *gasp* On Tuesday night, we went to one of our favorite restaurants and I ordered my favorite dish there... and then I spent the next 36 hours paying for it. It became clear within the hour that I'd made a mistake, but it wasn't until the middle of the night that I realized the extent of what I'd done. No fun.

This Sesame Tofu issue pains me on two levels. First, our baby clearly has a disaster of a palate. Already. This particular entree is one of the finest dishes I have ever tasted and if our child can't appreciate that, I just don't know what to think. Second, if I have to go 9 months without Sesame Tofu, I'm not sure I'm going to make it. I mean, no alcohol? Fine. Limited seafood? I can live with it. No soft cheeses? Eh, not my fave restriction, but I'll make it work. No Sesame Tofu? That may just be crossing a line. Apparently this kid is intent on testing the limits from the word go. Only the size of an appleseed and already has me wrapped around his or her little finger...

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

it was a big pregnancy day

1. I told my boss. She knew we were doing IVF but was out of the office all last week and I was off yesterday so this was the first time I saw her since getting our BFP. She was very excited for us.

2. I cancelled my Weight Watchers monthly pass and in the area where it asks why you are discontinuing your membership, I got to check the "I am pregnant" box. Ahhh, I have been waiting to do that for a loooong time.

3. My office is shopping for new health insurance and we had to fill out those annoying health information forms. I had to check the box for "currently pregnant" and fill in our due date. I've been in my job for over three years and this is the first time I've had to fill one out since my initial enrollment when I was hired. How funny that it happened today and not, oh, a week ago.

And in related news... My mom cracked an egg this morning and found that it had 2 yolks. Per her email, this never happens anymore so it must be a sign. She's still positive it's twins, beta statistics be damned. She's positively incorrigible, that one. Love her.

Monday, July 7, 2008

441

If that were my batting average, I'd be ecstatic. However, it's our beta number, which leaves me cautiously optimistic. It's below the median for our dpo (19) according to this chart, but still well within the realm of normal. It looks like a singleton, but we all know you can't really tell such things from beta numbers. The nurse said they just like to see anything over a hundred at this point, which sounds crazy low to me, but I'm gonna take her at her word and hope that's enough to keep my spirits high until our next test.

So, we're breathing a sigh of relief over here, albeit slightly reserved. We're officially pregnant. Next beta will be on 7/14.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

a few of my favorite things

There were many kindnesses shown during our IVF cycle that warmed my heart, made me laugh, and/or brought me to tears. I am nearly at a loss for words to describe how uplifting it has been to rediscover just how wonderful our family and friends are, and how humbling it is to know that they are ours; that these people have chosen us to share in their lives. I am not sure that I have said thank you enough, or that I even could, but their gestures have meant the world to me and I thought I would share a few with you here:

  • When we were gearing up for our cycle and staring in disbelief at the list of medications we would need to pay for OOP, a wonderful woman that I know only through an online community offered us a large amount of Follistim that she has had saved in her fridge since her successful cycle. Her insurance covered all of it and, per her email to me, she has just been waiting for the right person to pass her good fortune (pun intended) along to. M and I were blown away by her offer, but after quite a bit of logistics research that I won’t get into, we ended up turning it down. Still, her gesture lingers in my mind as a true and uncommon act of generosity.
  • The day before our egg retrieval, our dear friend over at In Loco Parentis posted this. The first time I saw it, I read it three times in a row. I have since returned and reread it when my spirit needed a lift. I believe that shared history must be one of the greatest treasures there is. On top of that, to have this friend who knows me inside and out - that I have leaned on through many of the most difficult times in my life over the last 10 years – to have her going through ttc herself (and therefore “getting it”) has been a lifesaver.
  • During the dreaded 2ww, a mystery package arrived on our front doorstep. I brought it inside, opened it up, and found… cupcakes! 12 of them, to be precise, accompanied by generous vats of my two favorite icing flavors (one being quite random and hard to find) so that I could over-dress them to my heart’s content. There was no gift card or packing slip to let me know who had ordered them. The mystery actually made them seem all the more magical – as if they had arrived out of thin air. Eventually, my curiosity got the better of me and I emailed the company. Turns out they were a gift from no other than the inimitable J&J, a couple we met while planning our wedding that have since become treasured, life-long friends. I think M ate 2...
  • When we got our BFP, In Loco Parentis and one of the J’s were among the first we told. Being out of town as they both are, the announcements were made over email. Their responses were heartfelt and enthusiastic and made me feel at once that perhaps this was actually happening. I’ve printed copies of them both for our baby scrapbook to come. I also talked to one close friend in person, a BFF that I’m also lucky enough to work with, and she literally leapt from her cubicle into mine to give me a hug. Last night, we went to a movie with her and her fiancĂ©e and they gave us the sweetest card exclaiming, again, how much they love us and how excited they are for us. Again, one for the archives.
  • Also at the time of our BFP, several fellow bloggers (that I know of) took time and space in their own blogs to announce and celebrate our news. In Loco Parentis, notes from 2 moms, mrs. bluemont and puffer and the baby fish... thank you. Seeing our name in lights on your pages made our days. Dozens more of you ventured over to offer congratulations and it meant so much to read each and every note. I am completely awed by this community and so grateful for each and every one of you.
  • When I announced our BFP on the bulletin board I frequent the most often, the outpouring of support was beyond anything I could have imagined. Women that I haven’t seen post in months came out to offer their congratulations. People I’ve never met in person said the kindest, most thoughtful, insightful things about our journey and how glad they were to see us succeed at last. These women have been a witness to the whole thing, and it was indescribable to share our success with them after so long.
  • A few days after we told KD that we’d finally been successful, he posted an entry in his own blog that brought me to tears. Here is a brief excerpt:
    “It was interesting that, the first thing [KD’s wife] asked me after I heard the news was, "how do you feel?", asking it with a tone of some concern. And I just grinned a silly grin cause I was glad. What I didn't tell her, and one of the reasons I've sort of been delaying writing about this was that I was half expecting me to feel something else when at last we reached this moment. What, I don't know. As if something would surface that had not done so in the two and one half years between K&M asking me if I would, and now. But you see all is crystal clear and simple to me. M and K. Starting their family. Happy. And on their way to great things. All is as it should be.”
    Without a doubt, we are the luckiest KD beneficiaries in the world, right?

I was going to save this post to be a post-beta celebration or a nostalgic “it was great while it lasted” memoir, but screw it. I’m posting it now. No matter what happens tomorrow and in the coming months, I will always be grateful for these things, and thinking back on them will remind me that it is always worth it to go above and beyond for someone you care about. Small acts of kindness go a long, long way.

Thank you to those of you who have gone above and beyond for us.

Side note: I definitely spoke too soon on the absence of pre-beta anxiety. I’m officially nervous. I’m very nervous when my cramps seem too strong, but I’m equally nervous when they disappear altogether. I'm nervous about the fact that when I POAS'd yesterday, while the second line came up right away, it wasn't any darker than the last test I took a few days earlier. (C'mon, can't a girl get a little reassurance around here?!) I still have the symptoms I mentioned before, at least intermittently, but if any of them disappear for any noticeable amount of time I start to worry the whole thing is slipping through my fingers. Mostly, I just worry that this is - in fact - too good to be true. I know the beta is only a first step and once it is over, I’ll just start worrying about the next one, but I’m still looking forward to tomorrow. Hopefully we’ll have a nice, strong number so we’ll know that, for now at least, things are on the right track.

Friday, July 4, 2008

the view from cloud nine

I would like to say the shock has worn off, but... it hasn't! This is a dream come true. I still can't believe I'm pregnant after everything we've been through. I took another test yesterday morning because I needed a little reassurance and that beautiful second line came up right away - darker than ever. I'm sure I'll do one more sometime this weekend, and on Monday, we'll get our first beta!

M and I went out to dinner last night and we spent the whole meal shaking our heads in wonder at how unbelievably lucky we are. We aren't taking a single minute of this for granted and we are constantly aware of how easily it could have gone the other way, and how easily it still could slip through our fingers. That said, I don't feel the intense pre-beta nervousness I expected to. I think it's because I already have so many symptoms that lead me to believe my hormone levels are coming along just fine.

I've been ridiculously exhausted for a week now - as in coming home from work and taking a nap and still going to bed at 9pm tired. I have heartburn and little flashes of nausea, especially right before meal times and for the first few minutes that I'm eating. I go from zero to starving in the blink of an eye. Last night I nearly left our table to steal some bread from the serving station while we were waiting for our dinner to come. My OHSS discomfort is back (an indicator of the presence of HcG), I have pretty significant cramps, I'm smelling things no one around me is noticing and little things are triggering emotional volcanoes. I had acupuncture yesterday and my acupuncturist confirmed that my pulses are in full pregnancy mode. She thinks there are twins in there. I have had my own secret suspicions about that, but don't tell anyone! ;-)

We are just so completely blown away by the fact that this is happening. I stood in the guest room (read: future nursery) this morning and looked around, imagining it outfitted with a crib and a changing table. It's been a loooong time since I've allowed myself to daydream like that. We know we have a long road ahead of us and there are many hazards to avoid along the way, but today, we are pregnant. Today, we are sitting farther down the road than we have ever made it before.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

the best laid plans

The whole telling my parents thing didn’t go as smoothly as planned. Got a few minutes? I’ll tell you the whole loooong story.

We decided to tell my parents and M’s brother (KD) by sending them flowers congratulating them on their new family roles. Normally, we would never “announce” a pregnancy this early, but these people have followed our IVF to the day, so it’s not like we can just shut up all of the sudden, you know? So anyway, flowers to Uncle KD – success. Flowers to my parents – another story.

My parents own a B&B in a small town so my mom is a frequent flyer at the local flower shop. She’s in there a few times a week and considers the owner to be a friend. I knew the owner would be thrilled to fill this flower order and she was. She was so sweet on the phone – so excited for us and for my parents and she wanted to hand deliver the flowers herself so she could see the look on my mom’s face. She said she knows all my mom’s favorite flowers and she’d put together something perfect for her. I asked her to wait until a certain time so that I’d be off work when they were delivered and able to field the resulting phone call. From the agreed upon time on, I sat and stared anxiously at my cell phone.

Five hours later… M is home from school, we’ve talked to Uncle KD who received his flowers just as expected, called M’s parents and shared our news with them, and my parents still seem to have not received their special delivery! I started to worry that they were away for the night or something, so I called my mom’s cell phone to try to figure out what was up. She answered and informed me that they’d gone into the nearest city (45 minutes away) to do some shopping and they’d been there all afternoon and evening. They were heading back home soon, but given the time change between us, it would likely be after 11pm by the time they got home. I couldn’t stay up until 11pm these days if I tried! I didn’t want the fact that I called to seem fishy, so I stayed on the phone with my mom for an hour while she shopped, making small talk and smacking myself for coming up with such a complicated plan.

When I got off, M encouraged me to go to sleep and just keep the phone by my head so I would wake up when they called. I woke up at 1:45am with my bedside light on and the cell phone beside me – no missed calls. I turned off the light and tried to go to sleep, but all of these worst case scenarios kept running through my head – them in a ditch, never knowing about the grandchild(ren) to come and so on and so forth. I knew I wouldn’t be able to sleep, so I got up to check my email, thinking that as long as I knew they were home safe, I could get to sleep and talk to them in the morning. Thankfully there were two emails from my mom. She hadn’t wanted to call because it was so late – silly! I went back to bed but realized quickly I wasn’t any closer to sleep, so I just got up and called them. And that is how I ended up on the phone with my parents, from 2:00 to 2:45am, talking to them about our expanding family. It was past 3:30am when I finally made it back to sleep. It made for a long, but happy day.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

holy crap

Sorry for the radio silence. We had a couple of ambiguous test results and then some IRL friends to talk to before going live with our news, but as of this morning, we're gonna go ahead and call it:



We are both so shocked. As cheesy as this sounds, I just can't believe this is happening to us. This is the kind of thing that happens to everyone else, not to us. When I started seeing a second (faintest of faint) line on Sunday, I realized just how much I'd steeled myself for the BFN. Since then, the lines have been darkening slightly, but still not enough to put our minds totally at ease. This morning, we took the plunge and went for the digital. It popped up with "pregnant" in under 30 seconds!

We are happy and excited and humbled and stunned and hopeful and a hundred other good things. I've been feeling pretty optimistic and excited for the past couple of days, but after today's conclusive results, I'm on top of the world.

Thanks to everyone that has cheered us on and sent positive energy when we needed it most. I'm quite certain we couldn't have survived IVF without you!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

the waiting game continues

OK, I feel like I've done a decent job of letting things flow through me for the last five days. I have managed to keep a respectable level of hopefulness despite the cold, desperate fear trying to claw it's way to the surface. I've even been downright optimistic at times, like this morning when I woke up to find my bra size seems to have gone up overnight, or yesterday afternoon when I felt undeniable tugging in my abdomen. I've allowed myself daydreams of pregnancy announcements (something I did at the very beginning but haven't in the looooong time since) and the name lists I filed away a year ago are back on the front burner, simmering contentedly. But we're not even halfway to the beta, and I can feel my buoyancy slowly slipping away.

The usual script is starting to play in my head - the one that reminds me we've had 21 months of no luck and I'm fooling myself if I think that will change now. My body has proven, time and time again, that pregnancy just isn't something it can accomplish. I know the story of That Woman, the one who tries for years, gives up completely, and then finds herself pregnant, but I feel like transplanting myself into that fantasy is akin to expecting to win the lottery. We all know it happens to someone, but we're idiots and doomed to disappointment if we stake anything tangible on it happening to us.

I tested this morning to make sure the trigger is out of my system. It is. That means I have a green light to test from here on out. I initially thought I could hold off until next weekend. Mmmm, not a chance. I'm just hoping to make it to the middle of next week. Wednesday will be 9 dp5dt, or the equivalent of 14 dpo. A test taken that day should be reliable. No need to wait any longer than that. I had hoped to delay testing until I had some time off work because I thought I could manage my emotions better that way. Ha! I can already tell I'll be a nervous wreck by Monday, if not sooner. I'm starting to feel every minute ticking by in anticipation of the time that we can have an answer - whatever it will be. I used to reach this same point in my other 2wws, where even a BFN feels more manageable than not knowing the outcome. The emotional demands of managing my hopes and fears as I float in limbo are, for me, the hardest of all I think. It's like I'm constantly reaching for one outcome or the other, then slapping my own hand and scolding myself back to center.

I'm at a loss to describe how desperately I want this to work. M and I have worked so hard for so long. I can't bear to think of what will happen if we find ourselves back at the starting line again.