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

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,

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.


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


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.