31 December 2008

sad news

sad for me.

we finally had our meeting with the cranial specialists. virginia was diagnosed with plagiocephaly. the flatness on the left side of her head is affecting her ear (shifting forward) and eye (facial asymmetry.) she was measured and photographed repeatedly for her custom designed helmet. because she is growing so quickly she starts treatment next week. we tried at-home positional therapy and it obviously didn't work. I am having a fit.

ginny has always favored the left side of her head. we're told that most likely this started in-utero. sleeping on her back (as you know, to avoid SIDS) has only added to the problem. we are instructed to do physical therapy as well to help strengthen the muscles in the right side of her neck. she hates it! tummy time is usually a battle with lots of tears. we have a lot of work to do.

in the meantime I will join (yet another) online group for support. the therapist suggested we do so to "talk" with other parents. ginny is expected to sport the helmet for at least 2 months, 23 hours a day. we will see the specialist once a week for adjustments. it's a 45 minute drive each way. shit. nothing is easy. but after extreme infertility, an anxious pregnancy, HORRIFIC labor and delivery, hospitalization for jaundice, episiotomy incontinence, seriously infected nipples, never ending UTIs, a bout of colic, breastfeeding "gone wrong," and single parenthood, why should anything be easy?

if anyone has any experience with plagiocephaly I'd love to hear your story. in the meantime we will have to take tons of pictures of our beautiful ginny with those sweet, wispy locks.

24 December 2008

happy happy!

wishing everyone a very joyous and healthy new year filled with love, hope and miracles!

happy holidays!

-p, b, and baby v
(and lulu doggie)

23 December 2008

yes virginia, there is a santa claus.






























you knew this post was coming!

and yes virginia, santa does take lunch -- a break between 1:00 and 2:00. we learned this the hard way when we arrived at 2:05 at the worst mall in america. we strolled around for 50 minutes trying to find one decent store to browse in. nothing. even the food court sucked. so by 2:00, ginny (with a terrible cold -- note: runny nose and drooly mouth) had had it. enough.

it was touch and go with santa. she was on the cusp of full blown tears when this photo was taken. her mother was on the cusp of full blown tears when the idiotic woman in front of her insisted on having a redo of her kid's portrait. she sucked up an additional 10 minutes of santa's precious time. I guess she didn't notice the 75 stressed out adults with crying infants and squirmy toddlers waiting in line.

but santa was awesome! so authentic with his thick, white (and very real) beard, big belly and rosy cheeks. however his southern accent really caught me off guard. who knows. maybe he moved his wife, elves and entire operation down to the south pole where it's warm and sunny. whatever.

18 December 2008

18 december

I was sitting in the exact same spot as I am now. same chair. same desk. different client.
it was the same day. different year (2007.)
same tragic hairstyle. different weight (ohhhh. to be that weight again.)

it was sunny out. cold but pleasant.

I don't know what possessed me to do it. I was only 8dp3dt. I had family coming the next day. my beta was in 2 days. like they say, "ignorance is bliss."

but I had a whole stash left over. so I did it.

poas.

it was a cheap internet test. but there it was! an ever-so-subtle hint of the infamous second line. it was soooooo faint but I saw something. I felt like throwing up. those tests were crazy inexpensive so how trustworthy were they? was this some cruel evaporation line?

I couldn't take my eyes off it. was my brain playing tricks on me? I stared at it for hours. I'd put it down for a minute then pick it back up. I used natural light. I used the lights in the kitchen. I went to the front door (east light). I went to the back door (west light.)

I saw our UPS guy come down the driveway. I was moments away from asking him if he could see the second line. but I was too scared to hear his response. no doubt he would think I was insane. I didn't want him to ruin my moment. let me have this glorious time. it was nice (and so awkward) to feel hopeful.

I emailed a fellow T TTC buddy. she demanded that I test again. so off to walgreens I went. a million miles an hour. I got home and peed on the very popular and supposedly accurate FRER. I was shaking. I waited. and waited. and waited. and there it was...

ERROR

fuck. I was crushed. I decided to keep this little secret to myself. my sister and nephew would be arriving in the morning and I didn't want to be upset and depressed. I decided to wait until the negative beta and then have my official devastated breakdown.

18 december 2007. history was about to be made.

10 December 2008

ginny's first photo




















exactly one year ago today I had my less than stellar ET. it was a pretty terrible day to be honest. going in I felt defeated. in my heart I was convinced it was yet another failed cycle. only 4 eggs (total) retrieved. 3 embies after ICSI. 3 embies transferred -- 5, 8, and 10 cell. AND another car accident. talk about adding insult to injury.

as I look back at this photo I wonder which one is ginny. I think about the other two. sisters? brothers? one of each? I have to admit, it makes me a little sad.

but look at what this tiny cluster of cells has turned into. the love of my life. I will forever and ever be grateful to my hero (dr d) at cornell. he didn't "fire me" like that other clinic. he gave me a tiny bit of hope that "it" could possibly work. the end result is looking at me right now with chubby cheeks and a giant, drooly smile. beautiful.

09 December 2008

a fresh start

it's time for a new (and much improved) title.

(see above)

08 December 2008

100 day birthday

supposedly this is big in the korean culture. who knows...

poor little ginny had to wear this tragic (size 12 months) "pimp" coat from his mother (b said it, not me!) for all the photos. 100 days does not = 12 months.

the raisins on the massive 30 lb rice cake spell out congratulations 100 days. now my entire freezer is filled to capacity with leftovers that taste like absolutely nothing.

oh christmas tree oh christmas tree...































































ginny's first christmas. I love it! too bad mama looks like santa -- BIG and FAT!

25 November 2008

thanksgiving 2007

what a difference a year makes. b (post call and irritable) and I spent thanksgiving alone (and arguing if I recall correctly.) my entire family was in maine and I was incredibly sad not to be up there with them. I was expected to be at cornell at 7 am the day after thanksgiving -- cd 3 b/w for IVF #4. at this point I was simply going through the motions. get up at 4 am, get on the train, get off at 125th street/harlem (still dark out) take #6 train to 68st, walk east to cornell and sit in waiting room for my name to be called. this was my routine. nothing remarkable or out of the ordinary. my life.

like I said "what a difference a year makes." this thursday I will be in maine with my family and virginia will be the extra special added bonus. AMAZING! if you had asked me last year if I thought we'd be celebrating thanksgiving 2008 with a baby I would have responded "nope." 3 IVFs didn't work so why would #4?

so what am I thankful for this year? hmmmmmm. I wonder.

21 November 2008

speechless

I have a tearful moment
every
single
day.
man, I am sooo lucky...

09 November 2008

she did it! I did it!

she slept through the night! not once but twice! the first time I tucked her in comfy cozy (our little burrito baby) around 10 pm. b was on call and she and I set up camp downstairs due to strong paint fumes (long story) in the bedroom. lulu and I curled up on the couch and slept soundly until... 5:45 am! a record!

the next night was even better. ginny went to bed again at 10 pm and woke up after 6 am! mama is verrrrry happy! a bit more rested and very happy.

what did I do? I wore a pair of pre-preg pants! even though I couldn't button them I was able to get my flabby pp ass into a decent pair of pants. b and I went to a dinner party saturday night and I actually, sort of, looked like my old self. I had my hair cut and colored and I was sporting mascara AND lipstick. man... it felt good.

05 November 2008

10 years ago today

we lost my mom, virginia, "ginny" to cancer.

it feels like it was just yesterday.

the sadness is still overwhelming.

especially now.

01 November 2008

one year ago today

we lost our little boy chilli.

2nov07

we will forever miss him.

my very special pug.

29 October 2008

the birth story - chapter 2

finally!
pitocin sucks!

27 august 08. it was around 6 am when perky nurse came in to wake me up. not a problem considering I was never really sleeping. I showered and moaned about being completely constipated (thanks a bundle zofran.) nothing like going into labor and feeling rather... puffy. b arrived around 7 am and I was then wisked away to my new floor and private birthing room. very exciting! the room was ok -- nothing like the large, model version I saw on my hospital tour. the view was so so. once we got settled, pitocin was added to my IV. "we're on. rock and roll!"

grumpy nurse was far from sympathetic to my bowel issues. her primary job was to keep checking the monitors and, well, be grumpy. she scared me. the thought of her guiding me through the rigors of labor was super upsetting. "she's going to ruin it. she's surly, mean and bossy!"

"oooooh! I feel something. it's not bad. just some pressure." so I started to knit. I propped myself up in the rocker and proceeded to complete 2 full rows of the infamous, never ending baby sweater. I had all afternoon to hang out and knit. suffer through a couple contractions, knit and ultimately have a baby. cool! easy breezy.

"OUCH! the pitocen is REALLY kickin' in." I had to stop knitting mid row and quickly pack up the yarn. it didn't take long to feel full-on contractions. I couldn't find a position to get comfortable in. I couldn't sit, I couldn't walk, I couldn't be in bed. I told b that I was really hurting and that this whole thing kind of sucked. he kindly responded that I knew pain would be part of labor. (nice.) then the tears came. and more pain. and, thankfully, a new labor nurse. the 14 year old. teenage nurse.

teenage nurse
was awesome! she rubbed my back and kept calling me "hon." very sweet. she was terribly kind when I was holding onto the side of the bed for dear life crying in agony. "I need meds!" within moments I had a huge syringe in my ass. ahhhhh. relief. it was short lived.

now at this point I am a mess -- gripping the bed rail as hard as I could, crying, eyes permanently closed. even in a drugged haze (I felt stoned) the pitocen induced contractions were relentless. vicious. cruel actually. the shot was crap. bring on the epidural AND fast! in came the anesthesiologist with her resident. I recall saying (not politely) over and over "don't let HIM do it!" the poor guy. I had a fellow do my amnio and there was no way in hell that a resident/fellow would give me the epidural. fuck that. I needed experience here!

then everything became a terrible blur. a torturous, sickening, excruciating blur. there was no relief to be found. there were no breaks in between contractions. AND I hadn't even started to push.

to be continued - chapter 3

18 October 2008

spread the word!

feel free to use these logos on your blog, message boards, facebook...

17 October 2008

twins version

TTTC version



logo "work in progress"



11 October 2008

6 weeks. time management issues

wow.

where do the days go when you have a newborn? is 6 weeks still considered a newborn?

most days I don't get to shower until oprah (that's 4 pm here in ct. and I don't even watch oprah.) if I'm lucky I get to brush my teeth for the first time by 11 am. little ginny (at 10 lbs 14 oz) totally runs the house. I have to admit it's been VERY difficult coordinating her feeding/her lack of sleeping/dog walking/grocery shopping/bill paying/dinner making(?)/breast pumping/manual expression/thank you writing (gifts keep coming)/laundry doing/finding time for me to sleep... all I can say is, how do people manage with twins?! impossible!

I have so many topics for my blog just no time to really sit down and update. I start work again on monday. that SUCKS! it will be "part time" for the moment. we really need to find someone who can come into my home and watch ginny for a few hours a day. there is NO way I can focus on a project now and give any client my full attention. that's not right. so how does one go about finding a child care solution? where do you begin looking? who do you trust?

on another note, we just got back from a week in maine. it was bittersweet. I loved LOVED being home with my sisters but the house just wasn't the same. I thought a lot about m and my mom. both would have been so thrilled with virginia (who, mind you, is named after my mom.) the ocean air was glorious -- awesome for sleeping. I was really hoping ginny would experience the effects of the calming atlantic breezes. no such luck. sleeping is such a challenge for her. I mean her sleeping is such a challenge for me.

so here is virginia sporting her new hat (although I'm not so sure she is diggin' the look.) being the only niece in a family of nephews means lots of shopping -- polka dot dresses, flowered onesies, striped tights, leopard print hats! being in maine with all the outlets (hanna andersson rules!) also means lots of shopping. never has there been so much pink in my home. I love it!

30 September 2008

I feel sick to my stomach

I am totally heartbroken for elm city dad. I haven't heard something this tragic in quite some time. please go and support him. as I type this I can see virginia's squirmy arms and chubby legs coming from the bassinet. my god, I feel so lucky.

25 September 2008

4 weeks!

little virginia in her cozy hoodie that b gave her for her 4 week birthday. I actually have the same one but in a much larger/chubbier version. believe me, I don't look half as cute.

23 September 2008

the birth story - chapter 1

the induction
bring it on! (famous last words)

26 august 08. I went into hospital at 9 am for my BPP monitoring. fluid levels were good. little one's hb was nice and strong. dr c from dr f's office checked for any softening or dilation. if you can believe it, I had progressed(?) backwards. it appears that ron the midwife was being awfully generous in observing my cervical changes during my last few ob visits. liar. big dopey liar.

dr c gave me my first ripening treatment around 11 am. I was all set to get dressed and go home when she told me that I was being sent up to the 10th floor -- maternal medicine... for good.
"did you bring your bag with you?"
"ahhhh... no."
I had really intended on going home. I had my birthing ball there. my stop watch. my 100% fruit popsicles. I was hoping to "ripen" and start early labor in my own comfy surroundings (with premium cable.) what a fantasy that was. dream on sister.

so there I was. pacing and watching the giant clock in a small, sterile hospital room (with a fantastic view, mind you) anxiously anticipating the birth of little one. b had gone home to get my bag as well as take care of lulu. I was alone, nauseated and starting to freak out. throughout the day and into the night I continued to get the ripening injections from assorted ob residents. each one saying the same exact thing, "cervix still long and hard. no dilation." the last injection was given to me by what seemed to be a 15 year old. she had great difficulty positioning the syringe and it actually hurt and burned. not cool. I couldn't eat because of a major sour stomach and nausea. the knife pain in my belly (a form of contraction) made it hard to get comfortable in bed or even stroll 15 yards down the hallway. plus I had to be hooked up to the baby monitors. it was the day before labor started and I was already weak and exhausted. thank god for zofran though. it took care of the nausea but nobody told me it was constipating.

oy.

to be continued.

18 September 2008

we made contact!

at ginny's 3 week birthday I was finally able to BF! woo hoo! we had a couple brilliant latch-ons and guess what? they didn't hurt! this is very exciting for "mummy" as I am practically reduced to tears every time I mix up a batch of powder formula. hideous stuff. it stinks. literally.

so it only took 3 appointments (2-3 hours each meeting) with a BF specialist (whose practice sees more women than any other in the us.) dr s is a genius! after seeing the damage done to my nipples she said she hadn't seen a case like mine in years! that figures! she actually wanted to photograph my boobs! but we were able to clear up the infection with antibiotic cream and she tackled my major fear and emotional nursing issues. my mission now is to build up my weak milk supply. this won't be easy but I will do what I have to do. this seems to be the theme with our little virginia. nothing is easy and everything requires a bit more work and effort. but she is SOOOOO worth it!

and happy anniversary b! (2 days late.) the poor kid had a birthday and wedding anniversary and he got the big "goose egg" from his wife. oh well. next year. he actually bought me a comfy cozy hoodie for our "cotton anniversary" - year 2. too bad it's made out of polyester.

12 September 2008

untitled

I'm very much out of sorts these days. with formula feeding little ginny roughly every 1 1/2 - 2 1/2 hours (while infected nipples continue to heal) for about an hour which includes being propped upright for 15 - 20 minutes (to avoid vomiting) and then waiting for her to "settle down" I then pump/massage for about 20 minutes THEN do manual expression for every precious drop -- only getting 3/4 of an oz each time (if I'm lucky.) I change the diaper and the whole cycle starts again. sleep is not an option.

I'm devastated about not being able to BF and I'm completely exhausted. b has been on call twice this week so I'm alone most of the time (except for lulu, who needs to be walked 3 times a day.)

if I get some MUCH NEEDED sleep this weekend I'll post all the gory details of the birth and some new and super cute pictures. can you believe ginny is over 2 weeks old now?

how 'bout those feet? and all the "rear gear," as b likes to call my collection of post episiotomy goods. I call that photo "still life with stool softener."

11 September 2008

healing time



02 September 2008

is it tuesday? wednesday? who am I?

I'm running (literally limping) on no sleep. this includes the nights even before the induction. this constant percocet haze isn't helping -- helping with the confused state. helping with the pain, hell yeah!

the last few days include, ummmm... let's see.
massive swelling (feet AND perineum,) injured and infected nipples, bouts of incontinence and a trip to the ER.

birth story and beyond to come tomorrow. but in the meantime -- too cute!

30 August 2008

it's a...





















GIRL! she's perfect! we are SOOOOO in love!


Virginia Foster
27 august 2008
10:44 pm
7 lbs 4 oz
19" long

all the fabulous details (pitocin...
screaming... poop... tear... screaming...) soon to follow.

22 August 2008

and we're off! time to pack!

the long awaited and much anticipated induction process starts tuesday morning, 26 august 08, 9 am. I'm scheduled for my BPP monitoring and then I will get the ripening treatment -- I of course, completely forget the technical/medical term. ripening gel works for me.

there were no tears or hysterics this morning. no drama or screaming at dr f demanding to be put on the "holiday schedule." I got all worked up last week over nothing (thanks to YOU -- finger pointing -- midwife ron.) I'm pleased to say, dr f is a man of his word. from day 1 he said 39 weeks 5 days and that's exactly where I'll be.

"hey! how are you doing?"
"I'm done."
"how does wednesday sound for delivering a baby?"
"... excuse me?... huh? what baby?"

today's internal was killer though. lots of pain and blood (so sorry.) I really thought I would vomit but what else is new. I'm constantly nauseated these days. dr f is hoping the exam may help things start to move along. there has been no progress made since last week. little one is clearly happy happy, comfy cozy where he/she is right now. but it's my time, finally, to have a say in the matter. my opinion counts. get out!

so if there is still no action by tuesday I will spend the night at hospital. if we see some "natural" changes then I can have the gel treatment and then go home and wait for the induction wednesday morning. I'm on the PRIORITY list. how cool is that? let's all hope mother nature is on my side. she should be for crying out loud. I recycle like crazy, eat organic, am vegetarian, use animal-safe products, conserve water, buy energy star appliances, use fluorescent bulbs...

UPDATE: 25 august, 5:30 pm
mucus plug is gone. little one is still here in the belly. no contractions. nothing. plan b ripening gel is a go.

21 August 2008

I'm still...here!

bigger, slower and more awkward than ever!
the emails, text messages and phone calls have officially begun.
"is there an induction date?" "have contractions started?" "is there a baby yet?"
no. no. NO!
I even got a text message last night from b's sister. "what date is the christening?"
are you friggin' joking?! there isn't even a baby yet, you turkey!

and yes I'm still working. and no my bag is not packed yet. I guess I am still waiting for some "action" before I really believe any of this will actually happen. all my fellow saIF (success after IF) nesties who were scheduled to give birth in august are now mothers. congratulations ariana! little jasper finally made an appearance. I've been left behind to fend for myself. my support, my peeps, are now busy breastfeeding and fumbling through the early stages motherhood. but I'm still here... dammit!

on another note, did you know that slippers are a seasonal item? what the hell! I have been searching high and low for a cheap pair of disposable slippers for hospital. I'm talking $12 isotoner or old lady terry cloth dearfoams style. I'm certainly not bringing my suede scuffs to shuffle around the maternity ward in. assorted bodily fluids do not look good on beige. a good friend came up from nyc yesterday for a visit. it was great to hang out, lunch and shop. the only thing missing from our day was a few hours at a local pub. anyway, I'm pleased to say we hit the jackpot at kohls. I found my cheapass slippers. got them in black, of course. I managed to find the one and only item NOT on sale in the entire store -- oh well. into my infamous empty hospital bag they go! see people, I'm packing!

and again, on another entirely different note, vh1 classics shows 120 minutes between 4 am - 6 am. it's awesome! I'm up every day at this time anyway and it's pretty cool that I can now pee, pace and snack to my favorite alternative 80's videos. today I saw the smiths, love and rockets, they might be giants, the jam, rem, inxs. this made me very happy.

so hopefully tomorrow dr f, once and for all, will give me a concrete ripening/induction date for next week. no more of this wishy washy bullshit please! I cannot take it anymore. a good friend's wife is actually being induced right this very moment. he's leaving me "behind" as well. but fingers crossed little one will cooperate and I will have made some progress these last few days. the cramps, tight uterus and BH contractions have to mean something right? but nothing, absolutely nothing, about this pregnancy has been natural thus far, so why start now?

19 August 2008

secret recipe

so after countless emails about my last protocol I am finally posting the secrets to our success.
IVF #4

first of all, I believe we went to the best RE out there (in the world maybe) for a high fsh/poor responder/AMA dx. yes, this is my simple opinion but many people (with fancy medical degrees) feel the same as I do. dr davis at cornell is a genius! his wait list is long but he is so worth it.

before I completely assaulted my body with hardcore hormones I did a little fine tuning to my diet. my acupuncturist who specializes in IF had me commit to specific changes that were necessary for my particular dx and constitution. and I did A LOT of research on my own as well.
- no wheat
- no caffeine
- reduce sugar intake dramatically
- no alcohol (not going to lie. I did have the occasional glass of wine here and there. and here and there...)
- no soy (very bad for fertility)

I included
- omega 3's
- co-q10
- DHEA (75 mg for at least 3 months)
- tons of protein (whey shakes, eggs, nuts, beans) for egg quality
- pnvs and extra folic acid
- specific herbs from my acupuncturist
- fresh (almost daily) wheatgrass shots (powdered or pill form is not as effective.)
- weekly acupuncture

my fsh was 16 point something going into round 3.

co-culture!!! brilliant! I truly believe this was the "magic bullet" for our bfp. cornell is known for this practice. it's not for everyone and does come with a high price tag. they literally do a cervial scraping and then freeze your cells. it's awesome for those with repeat "questionable" embryo quality. it allows the embies to grow and develop in your own "fluids." makes sense to me.

for round 4 I was put on EPP/MDL (estrogen priming/microdose lupron - a VERRRRY long protocol.) I was injecting 525 IU follistim and 75 menopur -- 5 shots a day total.

16 August 2008

no news is not good news. it's no news.

thursday's appointment with dr f's office was uneventful. I met with the midwife and my progress is at best, minimal. I'm now -1 station as opposed to last week's -2 and with no dilation. and I lost 2 more pounds thanks to the late 3rd trimester nausea that now torments me. the highlight of my day was the dry heaves that immediately followed my appointment. horrible. I couldn't get home fast enough to puke up absolutely nothing.

I have my second BPP on tuesday morning. they check the fluid levels via u/s and monitor little one's heartbeat for at least 1/2 hour. the purpose is to look for signs of placenta breakdown -- the biggest concern in my case.

now this is where my very matter of fact and benign post gets super pissy. both my childbirth teacher (40 year veteran ob nurse at yale) and my midwife agree that the induction process should start at 38.5 weeks for someone my age. dr f, on the other hand, prefers to go to 39 weeks and 5 days. not 39 weeks and 4 days... whatever. if you were to look at a calendar, next friday's appointment I will be 39 weeks (or 39 weeks and 1 day according to dr f.) then you have the weekend. inductions don't happen on a saturday or sunday. don't interfere with date night or holy communion, god forbid! so monday is 39 weeks and 4 days AND a "holiday week" (according to the midwife) because of labor day. scheduling "may just be a problem." so now we are talking the following week when I will be over 40 weeks and... LIVID! watch out people!

hello! this pregnancy did not just occur 3 weeks ago. dr f's office has had 9 (I repeat, NINE) friggin' months to get me on the schedule knowing exactly when labor day weekend falls. don't pull this shit on me now. this is totally ridiculous. if I go in on friday and dr f says there is nobody available to start the ripening/induction process the week of 25 august, rest assured, all hell will break loose. if I have to, I will personally hunt down dr f or dr h or dr s on cape cod or the jersey shore and make his or her vacation more than miserable. I will guarantee that labor day will have a whole new meaning for the lucky obstetrician on call. this is bullshit. BULLSHIT! b doesn't take a holiday at the hospital. so don't bother to pack your banana republic swim trunks and bain de soleil spf 15 dr f, you've got an important job on the horizon mister! I mean doctor.

so don't mess with this giant, nauseated, sleep deprived, irritated, hormonally charged pregnant woman. consider yourself warned!

14 August 2008

good mornin' sunshine

I've been up since 4:15 am. when I say "up" I mean literally on my swollen and tingling paddle-like feet pacing and snacking. up the stairs. down the stairs. my routine lately has been wake up starving between 4 and 4:30, eat and drink a little, pee and then go back to bed. well not anymore. there is just too much swirling around in my head these days. AND I'm nauseated and too damn uncomfortable in bed. sleeping actually hurts! how cruel is that?! you'd think your body would give you a little tiny break right before you deliver. people say "oh, you'll never have a good night's sleep again until the child is 18." I know, I know! so pleeeaaase... why can't I rest now?! I'm tired, unprepared and feeling mighty cranky.

this certainly doesn't help. I have a ridiculous week by week pregnancy book that I stupidly thumb through every wednesday. I like to know what to expect in the coming week. however each chapter always ends on a real downer.

"week 28 - your baby weighs 2 1/2 lbs and now has eyebrows and eyelashes! brain tissue is increasing... now let's talk placenta previa and bird flu."

"week 36 - you've gained 25 - 30 lbs by now. your uterus is up under your ribs... now let's talk umbilical-cord prolapse and hyaline membrane disease."

"week 38 - you're big and fat and exhausted. now let's talk postpartum distress syndrome. acute depression, cannot sleep or eat, feel worthless and isolated, sad, extremely anxious, restless and agitated. watch out if you..
- have experienced a major life change recently. m's death.
- suffered pms before pregnancy. yep.
- had fertility treatments to achieve pregnancy. hormone fluctuations may be more severe! oh YEAH!
- have a personal history of depression. unfortunately, yes.
(here we go. confession time. I was treated for an eating disorder years ago. I expect to hear the phone start ringing anytime now.)

- have a perfectionist personality. ugh.
- have a husband who works 115+ hour weeks and sleeps when he is not at hospital." my own personal addition.

I'm doomed. bring on the hardcore meds and book a year's worth of bi-weekly therapy sessions. I know this is part of the reason why I cannot sleep. am I ready for all of "this?" I consider myself a pretty good "dog parent" to lulu (and chilli) but a "human parent?" am I too old? too tired? too much in dept? can I really handle being a single parent? b's work schedule really won't change much... until he retires.

:::panic sets in. again:::

the sun is up now. I go see dr f in a few hours to check on any cervical activity. yikes.

12 August 2008

this came in the mail today

surprise!
from proud papa-to-be.

with a groovy "brooklyn" hoodie and ramones onesie little one is already way too cool.

11 August 2008

Dear Asshole,

this is a letter to let you know that after today's hospital appointment (u/s and fetal h/b monitoring), little one appears to be "ok." no need to lose any sleep or worry yourself. my knees are no longer swollen and the cuts have scabbed over. my entire body is much less sore this morning, thank you. oh, and my blood pressure has stabilized and the crying has stopped. but the trauma of the entire horrific experience on saturday will forever haunt me.

after speaking with a neighbor she convinced me to call a local town official to report "the incident." she (alderwoman E) was PISSED! she took a ton of detailed notes over the phone and was going to follow up with the police (local and yale.) your actions (or lack thereof) on saturday afternoon were inexcusable. everyone is in agreement. you are a despicable human being.

when you arrived at the dog park with your massive rottweiler AND great dane I didn't have a choice in the matter. your unleashed and very excited giant dogs were clearly not in your control. lulu (who weighs 20 lbs) and I were helpless and defenseless to your charging rottie. when I saw your 100+ lb dog on top of lulu (who was screeching out of fear) I knew there would be trouble. maybe your dog in your mind was "playing" but I know my dog and she was unhappy and would most likely snap. she would be a very dead frenchie in the matter of seconds. you don't bite a rottweiler and get away with it.

I reacted (stupid, I know.) I had to separate them. I had to save little monkey from an inevitable retaliatory attack. full-on, out of control maternal instincts clearly kicked in. then I blacked out. my next memory is of being flat on my face and belly. like a tree, cut off at the ankles... "TIMBER!" what happened, only you, irresponsible, asshole dog owner knows for sure. I recall yelling "I'm 8 1/2 months pregnant!" you gave me your hand to pull me up but that was it. how did I end up on the ground in the first place? was I knocked over by the great dane? did you push me out of the way? did I trip over something? what the hell happened?!

all I know is when I got up you simply walked away. you never asked me if I was hurt. you didn't stop for a moment to see if I needed assistance. you didn't inquire if I needed an ambulance or if you could call someone. I was covered in wood chips and dirt and was borderline hysterical and you casually strolled off. what the fuck is wrong with you? even if I wasn't pregnant "man down!" you do something!

I somehow got myself home. I had no shoes on when I got into the house. where were my sneakers? b called dr f's office who told us to go to the hospital. they were waiting for us in L&D. I was put on monitors for the rest of the day. my blood pressure was through the roof and little one's heart rate was all over the place. up, down. up, down. after a few hours the nurse was able to see some consistency. "he finally settled down" she said. now I needed to settle down.

every time I went to pee I noticed more dirt and wood chips -- in my hair, on my face, in my pockets, in my underwear even! they considered keeping me for 24 hours. placental abruption was everyone's biggest fear. take note: having a posterior placenta is ideal in situations like these -- "severe trauma to the belly."

so fuck you asshole! people like you suck! I've made contact with the authorities and this situation is not "over." little one is ok and I have moved on from feeling helpless, weepy and traumatized to full fledged anger. the shock has worn off. I'm on a mission now -- sort of.

yours truly,
p

08 August 2008

tick, tick, tick ,tick, tick, tick...BING!

baby's done! we are now "full term." 37 weeks.

sling? check!
breast pump? check!
fancy european, $, memory foam changing pad to fit cheap ikea changing table? check!
aden + anais swaddle blankets? check!
cheap target nursing bra? check!
cheap target nursing tank? check!
assorted bottles? check!
hospital pre-admission? check!
miracle blanket? check!
taxi phone number? check! (b will no doubt be on call or in the OR when I go into labor.)

bag packed? nope.
decision on boy's name? nope.
loaded ipod? nope.
celebratory champagne for hospital? nope.
clean refrigerator? nope.
pretty pedicured toes? nope.
finish tiny hand knit baby sweater? nope.
shower thank you's? just started.
terrible back pain? oh yeah!
excruciating, makes you want to puke RL pain? yep!
am I ready? I think so.
am I really ready? hell no!

07 August 2008

36w6d update

effacement? nope. dilated? so sorry. strep b? negative (a little good news.) weight gain? 2 lbs. thanks a bundle ice cream sandwiches.

the midwife said "something is starting to happen." all the cramping, BH contractions and pelvic floor pains mean that my body is getting ready. he figures that if I go into labor next week, little one will weigh about 6 1/2 lbs. if we wait another week we are looking at a 7 1/2 lb baby. with b's rather large head (must be filled with all sorts of medical knowledge) I'm hoping for an early, non-induced delivery. we all know the head is the hardest part. so speed it up little one!

on another note, I had a major meltdown this morning. a fellow "nestie" shaina (R, IRL) is having her cesarean birth today. twins! it is just so shocking to me. we pretty much cycled together at cornell -- she too experienced multiple failed IVFs. we both lost our mothers to cancer. we both got our bfps around the same time. we both survived the drama of a subchorionic hemorrhage. I just cannot believe that today she is giving birth. TODAY! this hard to fathom concept of motherhood is finally becoming a reality. my tears this morning were of joy. hardcore hormonal tears for a friend (and a few for me, I suspect) who has been through so much and really beat the odds. her mom should be with her now. no doubt she is in spirit.

"good luck R!"

blogger kind of sucks... A LOT!

after a very opinionated and passionate post, I received a ton of comments. for some bizarre and very annoying reason blogger refuses to show them even after I publish them. am I, the moderator, being moderated? huh.

05 August 2008

it's a soapbox kind of day

brace yourselves.

my usual morning routine. sip organic decaf coffee, check email, and follow up on IF message boards. this morning was different though because of 2 things. the coffee I bought and drank is REGULAR, full-on caffeine (such a dope. and I'm a "professional" packaging designer?) and I suffered through (and finally responded to) yet another post questioning being open and honest about infertility. I'm sorry, I've had enough. you've struck a nerve -- a very sensitive one.

"people" bitch and moan about how we, the infertile community, feel lonely and live in isolated silence. women are ashamed, embarrassed even, or afraid to "come out" because of this ridiculous stigma(?) attached to the diagnosis. we complain about sketchy or no coverage by the insurance companies. who's to blame? simple. we are. the infertiles. being passive and gently tip-toeing around the subject will get us nowhere.

how do you expect acceptance and hope for change if we all continue to live feeling squirmy and uneasy talking about IF? for god's sake. my body and b's body, let us down. why hide it?! is the guy down the street going through dialysis embarrassed to mention his liver? is the woman next door with heart disease worried what others might think of her? I don't think so. I have crappy old eggs, shot fallopian tubes and b has few and challenged swimmers. if we are to have our own biological family, serious doctor intervention is absolutely necessary. do I feel like I'm less of a person or that we are to "blame?" hell no. you break a bone, you put on an appropriate cast.

every single person (mostly strangers) is shocked when I tell them our story. everyone, so far, has been open minded, sincerely interested and willing to learn. "I'm sorry. I had no idea," is the typical response. what the general public truly understands about IF is pathetic. "john and kate plus 8" breaks my heart. "having trouble getting pregnant? twins and sextuplets are the solution." it's that kind of "education" about IF treatments that the world is getting. this shit has got to stop. until people have a better understanding of what it's like to be infertile (emotionally, physically and financially) and the treatment options available then "we" (not me) will continue to feel compelled to keep our untraditional road to pregnancy top secret. we are not talking sex here. we are talking 21st century medicine.

"you did IVF? you must be having twins in there." grrrrrrr. time for a little chat.

UPDATE:
jill,

I'm so sorry you've had to experience hurtful and rude comments. I really cannot imagine what that is like (especially when going through treatment(s).

I never said being open and truthful about our IF would be easy and pain free, but WE really need to be proactive if we expect to world to "get it" and "change." the majority of the responsibility is indeed in our hands. if we continue to sit in ashamed and uncomfortable silence then we can only expect more ignorant responses.

03 August 2008

36w2d

zip. nada. zilch. nothing.

no "progress" whatsoever. not even a hint of effacement. a tiny bit dilated? nope. even with all the pelvic floor twinges and sharp jabs, lower belly cramping and a tight as a drum belly, little one is simply hanging out. taking his/her own sweet time. "Wow! you've reeeaaaally dropped!" said my nosy neighbor. yes, YES, I know, but it doesn't mean a THING!

I saw cute (short and balding -- I don't get the attraction) dr f on friday. wasn't b surprised when he showed up at my appointment and saw me in my blue and brown paisley dress with lip gloss AND mascara! he must have been thinking "where's my wife?" dr f was a bit rough when "performing" my first internal. man, it hurt! I guess that explains the bleeding (and quarter sized clot) that I experienced the rest of the day. I was forced to call the office around 4 pm because the blood at that point seemed a bit excessive and alarming. I was told to eat and drink something and rest on my side for 1 hour. if I didn't feel 6 good kicks I was to call the on-call ob. 1/2 hour into my "test," I still felt nothing -- that was until I drank a half a can of caffeine free coke classic. THEN little one was more than loud and clear. a huge sigh of relief.

I did, however, make a little progress elsewhere. the car seat is now officially (and professionally) installed in my subaru. it takes my breathe away when I turn my head and see in infant seat in my car. what's it doing there? (that's the infertile in me speaking.) I spent almost an hour hanging out with a dozen firemen after they gave me a thorough course in car seat safety -- highly recommended and free through the state. then a terrible storm hit and I was going nowhere. I really HATE thunder and lightening. we chatted about all sorts of things and I, of course, gave them a lesson on IF and IVF. remember, it's my mission to educate the people. well, a fire broke out (something blew up somewhere) and my captive audience was gone. the firetrucks took off in a very "right out of the movies," orchestrated frenzy. it was pretty damn cool and dramatic. I felt all backdraft and ladder 49-like. what a way to spend some time on a rainy saturday afternoon. too bad none of the firemen looked like joaquin phoenix.

31 July 2008

running out of time...

and energy.

I'm starting to freak out. at this point I will be working right up until my first induced contraction -- literally. one client I had to beat off with a stick (crazy to say "no" in this economy) and another keeps adding work, changing "completed" work and is being a total pain in my giant ass. every ridiculous request she makes I follow with a "I'll have to charge you." yes, the money will be an added bonus but it's precious time that I REALLY need now.

my heart is starting to beat fast again just thinking about what's on my plate. 1 million projects started and nothing finished. I would love to be one of those women that takes a week off before the birth -- to nest. to clean and get organized. to address baby announcement envelopes (yeah, right.) to put together the stroller. to grocery shop. to answer some long overdue emails. to bathe a stinky dog. to finish painting the nursery/office. to maybe (just maybe) indulge in a pedicure (I'd like pretty feet for labor.) to pack my hospital bag. to rest up! b is of no help because he is putting in 115 hour work weeks. the boy is spent. I am spent...

and I'm fucking HOT! boiling. sweaty. the heat and humidity (and little one) are sucking the life out of me. even though I work in my undies I still stick to my desk while at the computer. little do my clients know, I'm basically naked when discussing pantone chips, photo re-shoots and marketing concepts. they're on 5th avenue in their groovy summer weight suits and I'm in my light pink hanes XL (yup, extra large... charming) hipster briefs. (((giggle))) my little secret.

so this explains my lack of posts and/or comments. this explains the delay in shower thank you's. I will indeed get to them but after a full day of work, walking (I mean dragging) the dog in 100 degree heat, feeding b and my giant self, tubby is exhausted. a good night's sleep would be ideal (I cannot imagine) but when you have to pee a tablespoon every 30 minutes and your hips ache like crazy, quality rest is just not going to happen.

the temperature is rapidly rising. off to work now (with no AC.) let the sweating and crank-pot irritability begin.

29 July 2008

sneak peak...


23 July 2008

YIKES!

I just spoke with my childbirth class instructor. she actually works as an ob nurse where I will be delivering. we discussed my AMA and possible early placental breakdown. she explained that "they" (the hospital and dr f) typically start the "induction process" (cervical ripening) at 38 1/2 weeks. so now we are talking 18 august. oy!

starting next week I will have 2 dr appointments a week. the first with dr f for maintenance -- weight, blood pressure, urine... the second with the hospital for an u/s and fetal heart monitoring (for 30-45 minutes.) this is all becoming too real now. am I ready?

(((deep breath))) good question.

22 July 2008

p's favorite things - 34w4d

I'm a little late from last week -- or early this week, if you will. I'm going to start my post with what's number 1 on my shit list.

today, 22 july 08, my least favorite thing.

dr f's office! I'm anemic dammit! and nobody told me until today. I had b/w done almost 2 months ago and the office neglected to pass this information on to me. dopes! the crabby midwife I met with this morning happened to mention my levels "in passing." I'm not terribly anemic but she does want me to add iron supplements to my pnvs. "hey, thanks! thanks for letting me feel EXTRA tired these last few months." I needed that, right? nice.

1st favorite thing...

prenatal massage. ohhhhhhh. ooooooh. my sister j was kind enough to share with me a gift certificate from a very nice spa overlooking the ocean. it was heavenly. my (super fertile) therapist (who just had "mistake twins") was very much in tune with all my aches and pains. my only complaint is that it was not long enough. 50 minutes felt more like 10. but it was awesome and so decadent. thanks again j!

2nd favorite thing...













the pregnancy wedge pillow. with the summer heat and humidity I had to retire the giant snoogle once and for all. being surrounded by 6 feet of polyester fluff made me feel like I was in a slow cooker each and every night. between the memory foam egg crate (for hip pain) and the massive body pillow I was a complete sweaty mess. capable of generating enough heat to effectively simmer both b and lulu. the wedge has just enough support to keep me from cheating and toppling over into my favorite position - sleeping on my back. plus the smaller wedge in front is super comfy if you've got the big belly.


3rd favorite thing...

friendly strangers. oddly, I was stopped today while walking to my car outside the market. a total stranger, with 3 small boys, said "I just have to to tell you how cute you look." she really caught me off guard. when a random person speaks to you out of the blue usually they say something nasty or they want something -- directions, the time, spare change, whatever. we chatted a bit and she could not have been any nicer. what a glorious, and very unusual, way to start my day. thank you mystery lady! I sincerely appreciate your unexpected kindness.

13 July 2008

p's favorite things - 33w2d

does this clearly illustrate the almost 35 lb weight gain? dr f's office is not pleased with me. at my last appointment I had gained 7 lbs in 5 weeks. I'm afraid my biggest fear may becoming a reality -- delivering a 10 lb baby complete with a giant head! I was ordered to only gain 1/2 pound a week (at the most) until delivery date.

if you look in the lower left of the photo you can see our french bulldog lulu (aka pookie, scoobster, monkey, stinker, loolee...) checking out the big belly. oh... she has no idea what's coming.

















today, 13 july 08 (even though it's not friday) 1st favorite thing...

blabla dolls from company kids. 100% cotton and hand knit. too cute. the whole blabla line of products is adorable.















2nd favorite thing...

the pea pod necklace. this was my first mother's day gift from b. it's sterling silver with a tiny pearl representing little one. I obviously have the single pea version (no triplets for p & b.)


















3rd favorite thing...

air conditioning! enough said.

11 July 2008

33 weeks!

I just have to type that again. 33 weeks... pregnant! that's 231 days. 48 (at the most) to go. to be honest, I'm still in disbelief. with IVF #4 I got so used to my injections. they became daily "maintenance" for me and simply a part of my life. I sort of lost track of why exactly I was shooting up. even with a massive 35 lb weight gain and a visibly active belly it's still hard to imagine little one truly exists. until that moment when dr f hands over our tiny miracle I refuse to unpack the stroller or carseat or even wash any baby clothes. it's all so unreal. I hope this is not just a dream.

10 July 2008

wow!

I've missed so much!

giant congratulations to farah at fertilized, trish at fertile hope and lub at quest for a baby. they are all new moms! I'm so happy for you guys!

tomorrow I will be 33 weeks. hard to believe isn't it? I'm now in the process of scheduling a professional maternity shoot for when I am in maine next week. my wedding photographer is available to take some simple b+w photos. seeing as I never had a "proper" bridal portrait and this will be my one and only pregnancy I am going to go for it. be not afraid -- it won't be demi moore style. in the meantime I need to find someone to address this hideous hair situation. and what do I wear? "modeling" is not my thing (very camera shy) but I'll suck it up for an afternoon and hope for the best. hey, all we need is one decent picture. my photographer is big into the blurry, out of focus look. brilliant!

then I will be on ob ordered "house arrest." no more traveling for p and little one.
booo.

01 July 2008

long time, no post (31w4d)

I'm now trying (key work: trying) to get back into the swing of things. with m's passing, his memorial service, coming back to ct, depression, work, and my shower (aka baby brunch) this past weekend, I have been overwhelmed and super busy -- and completely exhausted. I promise to post a recap and photos sometime this week. I also promise to catch up with all my fellow bloggers. I know I have missed a ton of news (all good I hope.).

18 June 2008

no words

m passed away from cancer very early tuesday morning. he was home surrounded by family and I am so grateful I was able to say goodbye. this amazing photo of a rainbow (literally right outside our door) was taken just hours after his passing.

you're at peace now m.
we love you and will miss you very, very much.
say hi to mom for us.






16 June 2008

scattered update

yes, it's been quite some time since my last post. thanks for all the concerned emails. I'm sorry I have no idea of what's going on with my fellow bloggers. or even what's happening in the world.

I'm feeling totally overwhelmed, upset and borderline out of control (on top of, of course, extreme exhaustion that I just cannot shake.) the tension headaches (something new and exciting this 3rd trimester) are a given every night.

m is dying. I've been in maine for a week doing my best to be as helpful and supportive as possible. it's hard work emotionally. he needs round the clock care/monitoring at this point. I had a major meltdown this weekend. lots and lots of tears. this being the third parent we've watch literally suffer and die of cancer, trying to be creative and work on a job, and having to put up with constant "benign(?)" jabs from a certain family member "...there are too many people in this world." "we are so glad we never had kids."

hello. I'm sitting right here. did you happen to notice my big belly? and no, I'm not trying to be difficult when I say I cannot eat swordfish because of the high mercury levels. when you spend over $40,000 on a baby and your ob says ABSOLUTELY NO SWORDFISH, you listen. and you listen hard.
"can you eat brownies?"
piss off.

I lost it.

I came back to charming new haven (my favorite place, wrong!) for a few days to pull myself together and give little one some quality attention and peace. I've been a terrible mother lately because of neglect. b is very concerned because he claims the baby is experiencing everything I am experiencing. the emotions and stress (tripled by pregnancy) are not healthy. he assured me that m would not die during the 2 days I am away. still, leaving was incredibly difficult and I do feel selfish for taking off.

it's quiet here. no calls from annoyed hospice workers. no tension so thick you can cut it with a butter knife. b is in chicago. I slept until 10:30 yesterday and napped on and off throughout the afternoon. it's just lulu, little one and me catching our breath and gearing up for tomorrow's journey back north to maine.

06 June 2008

p's favorite things - 28 weeks!

can I say it again? 28 weeks! 7 months! 3rd trimester!

today, 6 june 08, the 1st favorite thing is...













bio oil. this rules. I use it every day and it gives me amazing (non-greasy) relief from a tight, itchy belly. with a (ummmmm, almost) 30 lb weight gain I don't have one single stretch mark. not one! and with lavender, calendula and rosemary oils, it smells yummy too! burt's bees mama bee belly butter is another fave.















2nd favorite thing - cat naps.

I'm so lucky to work from home. every day around 2:30 I "rest my eyes" for 30 - 45 minutes. it's brilliant! all of a sudden I'm just so tired these days and a little mid afternoon snooze makes all the difference. I go back to work and I'm way more productive and clearheaded. yesterday I had about 20 men up on my roof ripping off and replacing shingles. it was crazy loud and unbelievably distracting. but tubby here had no problem dozing right through the destruction and hammering. between 2 - 2:30 I was out cold. ooooh! I love the nap.

05 June 2008

a light hearted and positive post

for a change.

I passed my GTT (glucose tolerance test) with "flying colors" according to cute dr f. hurray!

::: huge sigh of relief ::: that test was truly awful. after consuming that horrid drink (literally in between audible gags) I asked the nice blood lady if I could go get a paper. "no! you sit yourself right down and don't get up for the next hour." huh? "you're not leaving this office. if you move around you risk burning off all the sugar." so I sat and sat and sat, while thumbing though an early fall issue of cosmo. it's june.

as I watched the hands on the clock barely move the nausea set in. I needed fresh air. water. the crowded waiting room was hot. the woman screaming to her buddy in spanish for a half hour ("she's sitting right next to you!") certainly didn't help. but I did it. and I managed not to puke. well done p!

all vomit talk aside, little one's "nursery prints" arrived. I'll frame them up and hang them over the changing table. love em!





















01 June 2008

a stims farewell

like I said before, it still isn't easy. on saturday I had lunch with a fellow infertile that I "met" on an IF message board. after multiple unsuccessful IUIs she is gearing up for her first IVF at cornell. she came to new haven because I had a tiny bit of chilled follistim sitting in my fridge and I offered her some of my leftovers. she has no IF insurance coverage at all and everything is totally OOP. I was more than happy to share and donate to a friend in need.

she is such a nice girl. I feel anxious for her as she prepares to begin this whole process called IVF. like it was yesterday, I remember how it felt -- IVF #1. I was terrified. I was excited. the syringes scared the shit out of me. the unknown was overwhelming. if only IVF came with a guarantee.

just talking with her brought back a lot of memories and emotions for me. god, I could not possibly handle being in that place again. all the traveling, the waiting, the stress, the side effects, the $$$, the isolation. four times was definitely enough for me. I had my fill. packing up the meds that had been such a huge part of my life for a year was almost therapeutic. why had I been holding onto them for so long? security? it was time that we parted. the fact I was helping out someone, a "cycle sista," felt great.

when I got home I had moments when I actually felt pangs of guilt for being one of the lucky ones. I am just so sad for j that she has to go through this. I am sad for all of those who are still shooting up daily and getting ready for the torture of the 2ww. it's not easy. maybe this guilt and sadness, on some level, is part of the reason why pregnancy after IF isn't so easy.

I'll be thinking about j as she ventures into her IVF. I'll also be thinking about all the other women getting ready for or currently going through an ART cycle. from deep in my heart I feel for each and every one of them. the fertile world can be a very cold and lonely place when undergoing treatments. I only wish there was more I could do.

30 May 2008

p's favorite things - 27 weeks!

every friday I will post something that I have encountered and really cannot "live without" these days. hey, if oprah can do it.

today, 30 may 08, the favorite thing is...
















the lady grace bra extender. woo hooo!

pre-IVF(s) I was sporting the 34 A bra. now I am busting out of a 36 C. amazing. who would have thought? the bra extender is awesome because as my "girth" increases there is no need to buy yet even more larger bras. it comes in black, white and nude with 2, 3 or 4 hooks. and only $1.50 each! oh, the simple things in life that bring us joy (and comfort.)

a little update:
on a more serious note, I hope people don't think I'm miserable and complaining by my last post. I was simply stating that I'm textbook when it comes to some of the less than favorable pg symptoms. the reality is, right now I could not be happier. I am sooooo thrilled to be carrying little one around in my belly. what a miracle! what a blessing! all the bloody noses and bouts of constipation are totally worth it.

but the 3 am leg cramps and sciatica can go :::whining just a wee bit:::

28 May 2008

yikes.

of course the moment NaComLeavMo begins I start by writing the most depressing and unhappy post imaginable. go figure.

well today is a new day. I'm feeling ever so slightly better and that's only because I am distracted and swamped with work. a good project (2 actually) means $$ which means some time off when little one arrives -- 3 months TODAY! it's hard to imagine that on 28 august I could literally be meeting our miracle baby for the very first time. it would be so amazing if m is around to see his new grandchild. and hopefully I will be over my disappointment and frustration with b by then. hopefully.

my role as an IF poster child/IF poster couple has been transfered to one of "WTEWYE" spokesperson. I'm accumulating and enjoying every classic less than desirable pg symptom in the book. aside from the blazing sciatica, bloody nose, swollen (and unrecognizable) ankles, constant peeing, crazy fatigue, difficulty sleeping etc, etc, I am now experiencing the joy of late night leg cramps. in other words, pain that wakes you unexpectedly and makes you want to scream your head off and vomit. "here comes tubby! not just slow and gimpy with back pain, but now with a serious limp." I had a meeting in nyc yesterday and it took me twice as long to get to my client. a sluggish, out of breath, lopsided waddle down 5th avenue -- not pretty. it was hot and humid. a sluggish, out of breath, lopsided waddle WHILE sweating with crazed hair -- even more not pretty.

so what's next? hemorrhoids? gestational diabetes? varicose veins? skin tags? (ewwww) loss of bladder control? we can only hope.

26 May 2008

a different kind of struggle

I'm living in fear... yet again. my stomach tightens and I go into a total panic every time the phone rings. I'm afraid of those terrifying words nobody wants to hear.

leaving maine yesterday hurt terribly. I've made "that" trip soooo many times before -- with my mom. with my dad. you say goodbye to a loved one dying of cancer and you wonder if you will ever see them again. you drive slowly down the driveway with tears streaming down your face. it's a haunting image in the rear view mirror -- a frail, wisp of a person, all teary eyed, watching you leave them.

I drove 60-65 mph in a haze all the way "home." I stopped at every rest area to kill time and get some sciatic relief. I hate new haven. I hate the fact that I have to spend money (that we don't have) on a new alarm system because we live surrounded by constant crime. I am not happy with b. he is terrible support. at this point point I'd much rather be alone than deal with his shitty skills during a crisis. he only gets in the way and frustrates me. I blame his crappy upbringing. I blame his fucking hideous mother the most. I'm afraid the boy is incapable of offering any substantial comfort. I gather in medicine they train you to be all about the facts. keep your distance and do not get involved emotionally. "snap out of it! you're home is NOT part of the hospital ICU! there is so much more to life (our life) than a fucking self absorbed career in surgery. it's not always about you and your arrogant dreams to be the best in robotic cardiac surgery. you have a wife who is hurting and little one (YOUR baby) is due in a few short months. I've said it before. please get your priorities straight. show me the heart doctor actually has a heart of his own." for better or for worse. in sickness and in health.

"and tell your mother to get off her high horse and her close-minded little head out of the bible and send her one and only daughter-in-law a simple $1.25 birthday card! it's time she acknowledged me in a way that is not hurtful or mean."

yes, I'm having a genuinely bad day. I'm upset by all that is going on. pregnancy hormones are not to be blamed.

23 May 2008

mixed emotions

26 weeks today! WOW! only 98 more days to go. NINETY EIGHT!

"things" are not so good up here today. I leave tomorrow and this scares me. m told me last night that he is ready to go to bed and die but he will try to stick around for the baby. what do you say to that?! how do you respond aside from tears?

many apologies. I haven't been able to follow the stories and daily escapades of all my fellow bloggers. I'm just in such a state right now. I've not logged onto my favorite IF message boards in a week. I have nothing to say. I cannot muster the energy to offer advice or support to "high fsh help needed!" or "is this beta too low?" or "which crib set do you prefer?" in time I will catch up and be back in touch.

thank you for all the kind thoughts and words of support.
:::smile:::

22 May 2008

25w4d

maine.

my home. there is no place anywhere that is more special to me. this is where I grew up. I've witnessed some wicked storms here. I stood in this very spot and got married to b. I've attempted to swim in the cold waters off these rocks. I've enjoyed so many memorable family holidays and lobster feasts here. I've spent hours and hours sitting on this lawn mesmerized by the waves or looking at the stars. my mom passed away here.

my home.

it pains me that little one will never experience this cherished spot like all my nephews once did. I can only hope he or she will get to meet his or her grandfather. this upsets me terribly.

21 May 2008

cradle robber

we were dating. david and I. we found ourselves stranded on a median in the middle of a busy highway. he was holding my hand. sooooo cute as he looked at me and smiled. we were running very late but it didn't really matter.

we finally met up with ryan, our driver. simon was there as well in the front seat. they picked us up in an old school station wagon with the fake wood paneling on the side. off we drove to a boston T station. we had to get to the makeup studio before the show started. david wanted to use the same people that do the makeup for the cast of entourage. we arrived at the green line station but we didn't have any tokens and couldn't find the rib eye(?) stop. but we were happy. it was ok.

I couldn't believe he chose me to date when he has so many adoring fans -- so young, so pretty and not so large and pregnant. I was dating a famous person and he looked adorable! nice job p!

ok, take it easy mrs robinson! yikes.

as "happy" as I am to be home visiting and sleeping in the secure bed I grew up in, I'm exhausted. the stress and sadness I feel with m's dx is draining. every meal is a struggle as I try to get him to eat... something! anything! we all know a person cannot exist very long without any nutrition. boost has a high protein shake that m seems to "tolerate" in moderation. now drink up!

my dream of david cook was wrong on so many levels. the kid is only 25! but even in my real life I've always had a thing for musicians and I've dated enough of them (while awake and... conscious(?) maybe our "connection" had something to do with his brother who is sick with a brain tumor. my mom passed away from a brain tumor. in any case, dating a much younger semi-celeb was an innocent and refreshing departure from what is currently going on around me. my little escapade last night was an adventure. it felt good. I felt alive -- even though I was out cold.

19 May 2008

I spoke too soon

just last week I posted about a strange and foreign feeling I had been experiencing lately -- happiness. I think I am (well, was) actually at peace for the first time in a long while. I even answered a poll on a message board. "why do you feel blessed?"
1 - I can feel little one moving and kicking me as I write this
2 - I have an awesome family and everyone is healthy
3 - MIL lives far away (I couldn't resist.)

well that didn't last long. literally just a few days later I got a phone call from home. it was my stepfather. "hi m, how are you?"
"not so good."
"what's wrong?"
"I have inoperable liver cancer that has most likely has spread from my lungs."

Fuck! just in case that was not loud enough... FUCK!!!

here we go again. this will be my third (yes, THIRD) parent to die of cancer. watching a loved one suffer and slip away from this horrific disease is a terrible, heart wrenching experience. I'm so upset that it's hard to write about it at the moment. sorry.

so here I am now. home up in maine visiting my stepdad (who is down 15 lbs already.) I have RAGING sciatica (excruciating!) and can barely get around myself. it's incredibly frustrating because there is so much I can be doing and I feel completely useless and helpless.

I am not ready to go down this road... again! please tell me. educate me. how does one cope with watching a life slip away while trying grow and prepare for a new life? I'm sick over this.

happiness to helplessness and sadness in a few short days. godammit!

14 May 2008

it's still hard

I have a lovely client who is single (divorced) and just this past year suffered an early 2nd trimester m/c. she was thrilled to be pregnant (in her 40's) and had embraced the idea of being a single parent. when I got my bfp I was very hesitant to tell her about little one because I know how much she wants to be a mother. now every conversation I have with her I get sad. I know exactly how she feels and it breaks my heart.

I recognize names still struggling on the message boards. I continue to read a number of IF blogs. my heart aches and I often cry for those still "in the trenches." those all too familiar trenches are really horrible. I called them "home" for quite some time.

I may have a fab diaper bag, a half dozen cute as a button onesies, tiny leather lobster shoes and a groovy crib on the way, but I am still infertile. every time I check in with my "buddies" on IVF connections or TTTC I get all anxious and occasionally feel sick to my stomach. it was not too long ago that I was spending 4 hours a day on a train (1/2 hour on subway, 20 minutes on foot) for a 10 second blood test and a 60 second u/s. those 4 IVF experiences are a HUGE part of who I am. yes, my belly is expanding and visibly moving about with our miracle "test tube baby" but my mind is still very much in menopur mode. follistim will forever be in my blood.

something very strange happened to me this weekend. I found myself crying while standing in line for a simple egg and tomato sandwich at the local deli. I had just left my prenatal yoga class (love it now!) and the weather was gorgeous. I stood there waiting for the roll to toast and the uncontrollable tears just came out of nowhere. then I realized what was going on -- all hormones aside -- and it became pretty clear. these were good tears. for the first time in a VERY long time I was feeling something that had eluded me for months and months. happiness. genuine joy. our IF had stripped me of pleasant thoughts and positive emotions. the challenging first trimester and genetic counseling horror had me living in total fear. but today was different. was this perennial black cloud finally starting to lift? :::smile:::

she never asks about the pregnancy. my client. I don't blame her. I know how terribly "it" hurts. even though I may be feeling... different, maybe even... happy (was that out loud?) it's still hard.

09 May 2008

24 weeks!

exactly 1 year ago I was doing the LH surge POAS jig gearing up for IVF #2. I was excited, nervous, hopeful, terrified... completely freaked out. well, we all know how that particular scenario ended up. had I known that 1 year later I would be 24 weeks pregnant the whole traumatic experience would have been entirely different -- like a dress rehearsal (with 2 more to follow.) they say life is all about the journey not the destination. in this case, I don't know about that.

I had a much anticipated ob appointment yesterday. of course cute dr f was not around (I even wore mascara dammit!) and I had a ridiculously short visit with dr surly. she sucks. I so look forward to my appointments. any chance to hear the h/b and talk about little one is still so thrilling for me. anyway, dr surly said my 20+ lb weight gain (gulp) was right on target and that little one is a very active one. "any questions?" "ummmm, I can't think of any at the moment." and she was gone.

so here is a shot of little one (I mean active one) from our fetal echo appointment at 22 weeks. we are so in love.

07 May 2008

playing hooky and lovin' it!

we couldn't help ourselves. the weather was absofrigginlutely spectacular. b was post call and NOT exhausted for a change (even though he only slept 1.5 hours the night before.)

I shut down my mac -- so sorry, the office is CLOSED! we took miss lulu to the beach. we sat outside at a cafe and had lunch in the sun. we went to ikea and struck gold! the changing table and wardrobe we wanted were listed as out of stock. but guess what? they were very much IN stock! got the furniture home and then off to the movies we went. brilliant! I think these pieces will look pretty groovy with the crib (which is en route btw.) so clean and simple AND affordable. we like that!