Thursday, July 24, 2008

I lied.


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


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!