Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Dear Creepy (Male) Coworker:

Please stop staring at my stomach when you are talking to me. Yes, it is protruding a bit. Yes, I have been wearing flowy tops and dresses lately. And yes, my boobs need their own office. I'm on my way down the hall to talk to the office manager about that right now.

But have I stared at YOUR stomach, which has been steadily growing over the side of your pants for the last year? OK, maybe a little, but only in meetings with lots of other people where I know you won't notice.

Be patient. Hopefully, I'll be out of the closet soon enough. In the meantime, please feel free to assume that I've had a few too many hits from the vending machine.

Expandingly yours,

p.s. Thanks to all of you for the kind wishes re: the spotting. My ute has calmed down, and seems to realize that today is Hump Day and Friday is just around the corner.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A case of the Mondays

I think that my uterus might have a chronic case of the Mondays.

Both of my scary spotting episodes have happened on Monday. Yesterday, I forgot that it was even Monday (thank you, national holiday) until I saw a couple of brown spots on the TP last night.

Things seemed to have tapered off overnight, but seriously? I need another reason to hate Mondays?

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Let's talk about sex, baby.......

and how I'm not getting any. WARNING: this post could venture into TMI territory.

For those of us who have spent a long time trying to conceive, it's a fact of life: sex stops being fun. Not just in the "OMG, we have to do it AGAIN?!?" way, but also in the "Why do we need to be reminded so often that we're broken?" way. And also in the heartbreaking "Maybe we'll defy the odds and tonight will be the night since we're in Hawaii and it's our anniversary and we're COMPLETELY RELAXED" way. I could go on, but you get the picture.

For those of us who have been through IVF (and this might be true for IUI as well to some extent, but I've never done one so I don't know), there's the whole irony-mixed-with-relief thing -- the irony being that you're trying to make a baby using a method completely devoid of sex, the relief being that you can take a break from the sex without feeling like you're not doing anything to Advance The Cause. In fact, the odds make you somewhat giddy -- you mean we have a 50% chance of making a baby WITHOUT HAVING SEX? Sign me up!

(Of course, you don't really feel all that sexy when your ovaries are the size of navel oranges and you feel like a big fat hen about to lay a 12-pack of eggs. And you're not supposed to do it in case something goes awry with the trigger and you end up in a Jon and Kate-type situation, and also because you're not supposed to jostle the oranges.)

And finally, for those of us who somehow manage to get pregnant -- particularly if we start with twins and lose one and there's a bunch of bleeding -- there's still no sex. Prostaglandins in sperm are bad, jostling is bad, any strenuous physical activity is not recommended. Oh, and you know what else? Taking care of one's own business is also not allowed -- orgasms (I can't believe I'm writing that word on my blog and I hope my mother never ever finds it) cause uterine contractions, uterine contractions in the first trimester can be bad, etc.

The problem? Suddenly, no sex is NOT OKAY. I'm kind of astounded -- I really haven't had a sex drive in six months, and suddenly I feel like a 15-year-old boy. EVERYTHING tempts me. Movies, TV shows, books, even my dreams are out to get me. As are the pregnancy books, which tell you that sex is perfectly OK during pregnancy.......unless your doctor recommends otherwise.

Don't get me wrong -- I would gladly give up sex for a year if that's what it took to have a healthy baby. I'm so so happy and grateful to be pregnant. I'm not REALLY complaining, it's just....well....challenging. Unexpectedly challenging.

It's no wonder I've gained 13 pounds. Carbs are the only craving I can follow through on right now.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Graduation day

Yesterday we made the big leap from RE to OB. It was....different.

First of all, everything's great with the baby. Measuring 10w1d, heartbeat still strong, and (s)he is starting to actually look like something that might someday resemble an actual baby.

But the appointment was WEIRD. I've been going to my OB/GYN for years now -- she's not exactly a warm and fuzzy person, but she's thorough. Which is really all I care about at this point. But her office looks like something out of the Golden Girls -- pink walls, flowered couches, fake flower arrangements, quilts hanging on the wall, etc. And pregnancy magazines EVERYWHERE. I flipped through one while we were waiting, but I totally felt like an imposter.

Then I went in to check my vitals. Frighteningly, I've gained 13 POUNDS since we started our IVF cycle. I think most of this came on before the pregnancy happened, but I have got to slow things the heck down. The nurse asked me if my husband was the baby's father, to which I replied "Yes, unless the clinic really had an off day." I got a chuckle. I always like to see if I can get these folks to crack a smile.

Then came the consult with the OB. Her first comment: "You've worked really hard for this pregnancy." Um, yes. Yes we have. She handed us a big gift bag marked "BABY!" and filled with all kinds of crap. We went through all of the crap. Because, you know, in 7 months I'm going to start needing to worry about a pediatrician. I got a big lecture about exercise (yes, I know I'm already fat, but you try spotting after every time you work out and SEE HOW EXCITED YOU ARE ABOUT IT).

Then, onto the show. I didn't realize we were going to be doing a full pelvic exam, and didn't really think much of it until HOLY SPECULUM DO YOU REALIZE I HAVEN'T HAD SEX IN THREE MONTHS?!?! Followed by the doctor "checking my pelvis," which apparently means sticking her entire forearm up my cha cha and rooting around for the placement of my pelvic bones. Then, finally, came the ultrasound. Which went pretty much as expected, except for I now have a new appreciation for just how fancy the RE equipment is. And we only got ONE stinking picture.

Although it is pretty cute.

So, I don't know. I guess I'm supposed to be a "normal pregnant person" now, but I'm just not feelin' it. Anyway, next step is an appointment with the perinatologist for my NT screening, which will be something new and exciting to worry about. That will hopefully be late next week or the week after.

And then we come out to the family.....

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Happy ICLW!

Is it that time of the month again? Apparently it is!

I just wanted to say hello and welcome to anyone visiting here for the first time. My story, short version: I'm 10 weeks pregnant (despite my blog title -- sorry, I'm too nervous to change that until I'm out of the first tri), after a round of IVF and 2 years of trying via other means. (Means that, you know, actually involved sex.) This past month has been kind of a rollercoaster, in that we started off this pregnancy adventure with twins, and lost one of them sometime around 7 weeks. But we've still got (as far as I know) one healthy peanut kicking around in there, and we couldn't be more grateful. Or more nervous. When do the nerves stop?!?

I tend to spend most of my time here writing about infertility treatments, pregnancy after said treatments, food and TV (crappy and otherwise). I may be taking a bit of a break from TV, as my heart is a little broken over last night's Idol result. Not too heartbroken, but just a little bit.

Anyway, welcome. I look forward to getting to know a bunch more of you this week!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Well played, Barnes & Noble

I was in Barnes & Noble over the weekend, hoping to find some sort of grandmother-to-be book for my mom. (I didn't find one, by the way -- at least not one that wasn't full of sappy kissy photos and vapid poems.) It was a different and much larger B&N than the one I typically frequent, and as such I was a little disoriented. I headed to the Women's Health section, figuring that the pregnancy books would be there, as per usual. But nope -- plenty of trying-to-get-pregnant and infertility tomes, but no pregnancy.

So, off I went to the handy little search computer, and plugged in "What to Expect When You're Expecting." Because every bookstore has that one, right? Turns out it was sitting in the Children's section, along with all of the other pregnancy books, all the way across the store.

Barnes & Noble, I applaud you. I have bought, I don't know, ten books on infertility in the last 18 months or so, and nothing has made me feel more crappy than having to pull a copy of "Infertility for Dummies" (yes, I do have that one) out from between a copy of "What to Expect" and "The New Age Baby Name Book." I mean, you wouldn't put books about fighting alcoholism next to books about mixology, would you?

I'm usually not much of an activist type, but I think this is one of those things I might start asking to "speak to a manager" about when I see it happening. You know, just a gentle suggestion. Because a trip to the bookstore shouldn't have to be a blow to the gut.

Monday, May 18, 2009

The kindness of strangers

To the woman who caught me in the train station parking lot this morning to tell me that the back of my dress was caught in my underwear: THANK YOU. Because nothing would have started off the week quite like stepping onto a crowded train and showing everyone my rapidly expanding ass.

And that would be the most exciting thing I have to report at the moment. It was hotter than heckfire this weekend -- 102 at my house yesterday -- so I spent all day yesterday in front of the TV, eating leftover pizza and popsicles. It was pretty awesome.

How many days until Friday? (Ooo, and a 3-day weekend!)

Friday, May 15, 2009

FabFooFri -- bring on the pasta

I don't know if it's been the nausea, or the rollercoaster of events (and subsequent need for comfort food), but this is all that's sounding good to me this week:

That's right, folks: good ol' spaghetti and meatballs. I've had it for dinner three times this week. Not ziti, not penne, not meat SAUCE, but spaghetti and meatballs. From three different restaurants. There's just something so soothing about the combination. I've always loved pasta, so it's not surprising that in a time of physical and emotional distress that I've been coming back to it again and again, but it's still kind of cracking me up. I mean, I went to a STEAK restaurant on Mother's Day, and ordered SPAGHETTI & MEATBALLS. What am I, twelve?

I also ordered a Shirley Temple, but that's beside the point.

I actually make pretty killer meatballs. It's been sort of a mission to perfect my technique so that they come out just the way I like them -- big, soft, moist (I really hate that word, but I can't think of another apt descriptor) and resplendent with bread crumbs and parmesan. I'll post my recipe in the comments, and perhaps will gather up the energy to make up a batch this weekend.

Oh, who am I kidding? As much as I love the meatballs, I think at this point a nap still wins.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

What a difference a day makes

Three great things have happened in the last 24 hours (in ascending order of importance):

1) That insipid Danny Gokey got voted off American Idol (sorry, Gokey fans), setting up the first AI finale in a few years in which I've liked both of the finalists;

2) A conference call presentation for a nightmare group of people actually went well this morning; and

3) The Peanut looks just great. Nice strong heartbeat (177 BPM), a few fingers, some groovin' in the ute, and a couple of hiccups. HICCUPS! Could anything be more cute?

What could be decidedly un-cute is that the doctor said we could reasonably expect more bleeding, as poor B's sac is still not competely collapsed. But I am writing it here so I can revisit when I'm freaking out -- she said it was NORMAL, that I shouldn't WORRY unless I'm soaking a pad every two hours and having bad cramps.

Easy for her to say!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


I'm getting really good at this waiting thing. Today's wait: a call back from the RE.

Things quieted down significantly yesterday -- no spotting or bleeding after about 10 a.m. I hung with my mom all day, which was nice. And of course, our big day culminated in American Idol and lots of votes for Adam. Just so you know we've got everything in perspective!

This morning, I'm having the faintest brown spotting, but I think it's just leftovers from yesterday. I'm also having a bit of abdominal soreness, which I probably wouldn't even notice if I wasn't so hyper-attuned to my body. Nevertheless, I lobbed a call to my nurse this morning to see if there's anything I should be doing (other than lying on my back, which I'm doing again today, while feverishly trying to get some work done). I really want them to tell me to come in for an ultrasound, as I can't imagine waiting until my appointment next Thursday while still maintaining my sanity.

Thank heavens for HGTV. The soothing sounds of people remodeling their houses, coupled with the distraction of work, are really helping today.

Update: Am going for an ultrasound tomorrow afternoon. Doctor thinks everything is fine, and that I don't need one, but is happy to give me one to ease my mind. Please please please, oh internet gods (and actual God), let my mind be eased!

Oh, and just went to go see Ghosts of Girlfriends Past to distract myself for a bit (it was that or Obsessed, and, well, obsessive behavior hits a leetle beet too close to home these days). It was OK for a matinee, but I wouldn't recommend plunking down 10 bucks on it. Just in case anyone was tempted....

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Scary night

Thanks for all of the kind words and encouragement yesterday. They meant so much.

Last night was not a fun one. At about 8:30, I started bleeding. Not brown spotting -- the bright red stuff. We'd been warned at our u/s that this could happen, but still -- it was scary and waaay too period-like for my liking. I called the RE on call, and he (someone I'd never spoken to before, who I have to say I don't much like) basically said that there's nothing they can do, it's probably normal, sometimes having an ultrasound shakes things up, keep my feet up and call in the morning. It sounded like I was interrupting him during a three-martini dinner. Sorry, bud -- not like it's my idea of fun to call you crying at 8:30 at night!

Anyway. The bleeding tapered off after about an hour. I slept for a bit, then woke up to some more bleeding at 1:30. That also tapered off after an hour or so, and now things have pretty much stopped, with the exception of a bit of brown spotting now and again.

I talked to the doctor again this morning (a different one, thank Gawd), and she was very encouraging. She thinks that B's sac collapsed, and probably took a blood vessel with it. She wants me to hang out with my feet up, and call back if the red bleeding starts again. She's hesitant to do another u/s, because she doesn't want to further irritate the uterus, but assured me that all of this sounds completely normal "given my situation." (BTW, I love all of the euphemisms -- it's like everyone's so afraid of the M word. I mean, it's pretty clear what's going on here, you know?)

I'm hanging there -- just trying to keep a somewhat positive attitude -- but it's hard. I so want a peek inside to check on A, but I'm also scared shitless (pardon my French) about what I might see. My mom will be here in a bit -- we're going to hang today and watch American Idol later -- so hopefully that will take my mind off things for a bit.

Because sometimes you just need your mommy.

Monday, May 11, 2009

And then there was one

Our ultrasound confirmed this morning that we've lost Baby B. The news wasn't entirely surprising -- the little guy had been measuring a few days behind from the get-go -- but we allowed ourselves to get a little hopeful when we heard both heartbeats last week.

Honestly, I'm not sure how I feel. I'm sad, as I loved the little guy already. And I haven't cried yet, which is weird for me -- I've been a veritable waterworks for the past few weeks. But I was worried that he (by the way, I obviously have no basis that he was a "he," just my gut feeling) wouldn't be healthy. And I was a little worried about how we were going to pull off the twin thing with two working parents. But I totally would have gotten over that.

So, now we wait. I may bleed, I may not. I may cramp, I may not. The doctor said that usually at this early stage, the "demised twin" (isn't that the most hateful phrase?) usually just reabsorbs.

The good news is that Baby A (I really need to think of a better name) is measuring perfectly at 8w4d, has a strong heartbeat (164 BPM), and discernable arms and legs! He (again with the "he," I can't explain it) even waved at us, as if to say "Look at me, Ma! I'm still here!!"

We're totally smitten.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy OMG You Rock Day!

Happy OMG You Rock Day! Thank you to my anonymous gifter, who sent me this lovely panoply of foot-pampering paraphernalia:

Have I given the impression that I enjoy a good foot massage? :) The Mr. has got his work cut out for him. Thank you, thank you!

Speaking of feet, I will be spending my day with my fantastic mom getting some mani/pedi action, and also going out for steak. I am going to try to refrain from turning green at the table.

Today can be a really hard day. I want to take a moment to wish everyone a happy and peaceful day, and say thank you for the support you've all given me over the past few months. There are a lot of you out there who understand me in a way that no one in my "real" life does, and that's a really special thing. I am thinking of all of you today, and imagining us out at some fabulous brunch, toasting each other with a bunch of mimosas, enjoying the sun, and tossing a big middle finger to Hallmark.

Friday, May 8, 2009

FabFooFri -- taking the week off

As thinking about, much less eating, most foods this week has been a dicey proposition at best, I'm afraid I've got nothing fabulous to report. I've been subsisting on smoothies, bread and things with bread in them, and fizzy water. It's weird -- I'm hungry, but very few things sound good.

I have to admit, though -- I did eat both a burrito and McDonald's this week. On the same day. And the McDonald's wasn't a salad -- it was a full-on burger and fries par-tay. Which, I guess, was fairly fabulous.

We've got another ultrasound scheduled for Monday, so I'm sure I'll spend most of the weekend stressing about that. Wishing a happy weekend to everyone -- and pay no mind to Sunday's holiday-that-shall-not-be-named (aka OMG You Rock! Day).

Thursday, May 7, 2009

I'm on ur pillow, stealing ur zzzzzz's

Anyone who's ever spent time on LOLCats knows that cats are weird. Ours are no exception. We call them Crack Kitties (affectionately, of course), and are convinced that they keep a stash of controlled substances hidden behind the sofa, which turns them from sweet, docile creatures into raving fiends more or less instantaneously.

Lately, I've been so tired that I've missed most of their middle-of-the-night shenanigans (i.e., wind sprints over the bed). But I've also been HOT -- and I'm not talking Angelina Jolie hot. I'm talking sweaty, smelly, cranky hot. My solution? Crank up the AC. Sure, I'm costing us a hundred extra bucks a month on the electric bill, but MAMA NEEDS HER SLEEP.

You'd think, since cats are covered in fur, that they could handle it. But NO. I've woken up several times this week (for one of my multiple nightly trips to pee) to one stretched out flush against one side of my furnace-y body, and the other one either flush on the other side or wedged in my crotch. Once, Big Boy (not his real name, but an accurate description of his physique) was lounging across my legs, resulting in a legs-asleep knee-buckling crawl to the bathroom. And then, when I return, they've both curled up on the warm (wet, sweaty) spot that I've left on my side of the bed. Which would be kind of cute most of the time.

But at 3 a.m.? Not so much.

Oh, and don't get me started on the barfs. Keeping my own self from ralphing has been hard enough without greeting the day by stepping in a warm puddle of kitty hurl.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

I'm not flaky and irresponsible, just pregnant

Thanks for everyone's kind words yesterday. I'm feeling MUCH better today (4 back-to-back chick flicks in bed will do that for a person). I am a little queasy, but that's actually more of a relief than anything else at this point.

I decided, after all of the convoluted excuses I had to make yesterday to justify cancelling a flight and a meeting, to come out to my boss today. It's way earlier than I would have liked, but it's looking like monitoring is going to be a pretty regular part of my life, and in this economy (and right before review period) I would hate to be coming across as flaky. I am EXTREMELY Type A at work. Since my boss is 3,000 miles away, I had more or less been able to finesse all of the IVF appointments, but it was just starting to get ridiculous.

She was great. Thrilled for me, told me I could work from home whenever I wanted, told me to stop hopping on planes -- basically a big love-fest. I'm so relieved -- I didn't expect her to be not great about it, but I didn't really know what to expect.

I haven't told the folks that work for me yet -- I don't really need to make excuses to them about appointments out of the office, right? -- but probably will in the next month or so. I'm sure they know something's up -- I just don't want them to think that that something is that I'm looking for a new job.

It's a little weird that my boss knows I'm knocked up but most of my family does not. These past few months have been really weird that way.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Scary morning

I woke up this morning at 4:30 to catch my planned 6:30 flight to LA, and had a big brown spot in my underwear. Needless to say, I freaked. I haven't had any sort of spotting at any point during the whole IVF process (and I've never been a spotter in general), so I feared the worst.

I told the Mr. what was going on, then hopped in the shower, still hemming and hawing about whether to take my work trip (big 10:30 meeting). When I got out of the shower, the spotting had increased -- still brown, but maybe progressing. And I was feeling a bit of cramping. At this point, I decided to cancel my trip. The Mr. wanted to go to the ER, but all I could think of was that if we were going to get bad news, I didn't want to hear about it from some random doc in some random hospital.

At about 5:30, I had my RE paged. He was super (as usual) -- said that spotting was totally normal, told me to stop taking the low-dose aspirin I'd been taking, and said that if things hadn't improved by 8:00, to call and make an appt for an ultrasound. (I was scheduled for Thursday, but no effing way was I going to wait this out). Things did improve -- the spotting slowed/stopped -- but I still made an appointment for 10:30.

Everything looks OK. Peanut A is going strong, measuring 7w3d and beating away at 147 BPM. Peanut B is still lagging behind at 6w6d. We saw B's heartbeat for the first time, at 127 BPM. (And we heard both HBs for the first time, which is easily the most beautiful thing I've ever heard.) The RE (different one for today's appt) doesn't think we need to worry at this point, but still thinks we need to wait and see how things develop with B. So we'll have another ultrasound early next week.

We talked a little bit about what might have caused the spotting. I did have kind of an active day yesterday -- a longer-than-average workout, followed by a bunch of errands, which included lifting some heavy grocery bags that I probably shouldn't have. I was just feeling good for the first time in a few days (less nausea, a little more energy), and overdid it a little, I guess. The RE also reminded me that in twin pregnancies, spotting and cramping are more likely, since there's a lot more going on in there. I'm supposed to take it easy for the next few days, whatever that means.

So, I'm home, drinking diet ginger ale, missing my meeting, but happy that things are OK for the moment.

I have a feeling a long nap is going to be in order this afternoon.

Friday, May 1, 2009

FabFooFriday #6: Pho

It's raining here in Northern California, and tonight we're lighting a fire, putting the family iPod on shuffle, settling into the recliners, and digging into the ultimate takeout comfort food: Pho.

For those of you who've never had it, Pho (pronounced "fuh," as in, "what the fuh?") is Vietnamese soup -- lots of spicy (or not, if you don't like the spice) broth, lots of rice noodles, and meat. The meat is usually beef, although you can get chicken, and if you're really adventurous you can get things like tripe or tendon. (Ugh, just typing that brought a nice little wave of nausea -- but pretty much anything does that these days.) I usually stick with brisket and sometimes a meatball or two. You garnish this deliciousness with some combination of bean sprouts, cilantro, and hot peppers.

Oh, it's so good. I didn't discover it until about two years ago, and I can't believe I lived the first 30 years of my life without it. It's such a great meal in that it fills you up and warms you up, but doesn't make you feel disgusting like, say, eating a whole pizza might.

And tonight, when nothing sounds good except ginger ale and bread, I've discovered a meal that I'm actually looking forward to.

I'll take it!