Sunday, December 12, 2010

EIght weeks of Isobel!

Yes, it's really me. I am really posting about life as a mum or should I say, life as mums.
I have been so bad at blogging about our little sweet-pea but I couldn't let her 8 week birthday go by without saying something!
There is so much to say and there are many posts in my head, but I fear I can't get it all down before she succumbs to hunger and mama milkies ( that's me) has to step in and offer a boob ( right now, actually!)

Here are some of the things that she has been doing. She has been smiling a bit more every day and today we got her on tape laughing and smiling. She is getting more and more visually tuned in and loves to gaze at the stars we have on our wall and the Christmas lights we have twinkling. Her hands are getting to her mouth more each day and we swear she will start sucking her thumb soon.
She has the cutest little yawn which we hope to get on tape on day - she opens her mouth wide and long and then at the end of it she blows out a huge puff of air that sounds like someone letting air out of a tire. Her legs are getting stronger and so is her neck. She's able to hold her head up more.

She had her first rotten cold aged two weeks and at that difficult time I  remember thinking to myself: "what were we thinking, having a baby? We haven't a clue what we are doing!!!" But we managed to get her to the pediatrician who told us we did the right thing by coming in and told us there was nothing to do but suck out her snot, make sure the air is humidified and keep her all cosy and warm. Thanks to  a family friend we discovered the great and amazing NoseFrida - which is a snot sucker way superrior to that bulb thing they give you at the hospital. You can get it from Wholefoods or  Google it - and now run to the store and get one now if your little one has a cold. It's amazing! I think I should take out stock in the company and start selling it to all my friends and neighbors.

Isobel is a sweet and easy baby most of the time -except between about 6pm - midnight when she gets gassy and upset.  Right now she is complaining bitterly as she sits with her Mommy who is very good at soothing her and much more creative than I am: I usually whip out my boob if she is upset.

One of the most interesting  and amazing things about being  a mum ( or Mama as is my designated title) is all the things that unfold that I never in  a million years thought about while TTC and being pregnant. The first shocker was the most moving moment when I called the pediatrician ( while still in the hospital) and told them I was calling about my daughter. My daughter!!! I don't think I had ever said those words before and it choked me up. Two very powerful words! And then spelling out her name - the name that we picked and the surname that we joined our names to make.
Powerful and moving stuff.

Isobel is crying for milk and i must sign off - with some pictures.

Claire, Isobel & Kitty relaxing on the couch about a month ago.

Just today, Isobel and Mommy Susan enjoy a bit of levity. She's smiling more and more each day!

Isobel and Claire, about a week ago. Isobel is grabbing Claire's finger.

This is actually the first smile we've caught on camera. Isobel is with her Aunt Lizzie.

Isobel at the pediatrician's office about 3 weeks ago.

Relaxing at home.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

another death in the family


Ten days after the death of my mother, and four months after the death of his brother Oliver, our dear sweet dog, Dylan Thomas died yesterday after a long and happy life of 14yrs.
Dylan had been sick with a bad cough caused by an inoperable tumor in his lungs since the summer and had just last week started having seizures, which we think were related to metastases in his brain. We were hoping he would be around for a little longer as he was responding to medication to stop the seizures and to stem the cough and increase his appetite. But yesterday evening he had two seizures that he never came out of and Susan and her sister took him to the emergency vet while I stayed at home with Isobel and sobbed.  We knew when the seizures would not stop that this was the end for Dylan. I gave him a hug and a kiss as he was carried out the back door at about 11pm. Susan's sister sat in the back seat of the car with   Dylan on her lap  while Susan drove the few miles to the vets. They were both with him with when he died. Susan held his head as he died and told him we loved him.
Dylan was a wonderful companion for us and for his  brother Oliver and some of the things he loved the most were chasing his  Kong and running  crashing  into the waves of the lake, snuggling on the couch and the bed with us, chasing Oliver in circles around the beach and play fighting with him, eating cat food whenever he could sneak it, and rolling in the grass and on the sand. We are going to miss him so much and are lives are changed without him. We are grateful that he and Oliver were in our lives for some of the most wonderful years.
Dylan and Ollie as puppies
Dylan and Ollie are reunited again:)

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

my mum

My dear mum, Patricia Ann P*, died peacefully on  Tuesday November 17th, 2010, aged 73 in Yorkshire, England. She was a  teacher, lover of literature, antiquarian bookseller, writer, pacifist, animal rights campaigner, Quaker and lover of the Hebrides.  She fought a courageous fourteen year battle with Parkinson's disease and her tenacity and spirit were an inspiration to us. My brother Jonathan,who lives close to my mother and spent countless hours visiting her, tending to her and advocating for her care, spent the last three days singing and reading to her, sharing stories and memories as she rested peacefully. He was accompanied by his partner Chayley and son Murray in his vigil and he was able to be with my mum at the end. 
Mum died on Isobel's one month birthday, and we had just sent her photos of Isobel which my brother showed to her and placed around her room. We were hoping that my mum could  meet Isobel in the summer when we were planning to visit.

When my dad died on April 17th 2008 I didn't have this blog and I didn't have Facebook.  I sent out a mass email instead. This time I put it on Facebook and sent out an email. It was comforting to get so many responses from people who wrote words of love and support. Especially being far away from most of my small family.
In some ways infertility played into my not being there for my dad's death and my mum's too. We  put off visits starting in 2007 when we were starting out on TTC. When my dad died I had let my passport lapse and had to beg the British Embassy to expedite it for me - which they beautifully did - in a matter of days. The last time I saw my mum was in April / May 2008 when we went over for my dad's funeral. TTC and cycles and waiting got in the way of that kind of long distance travel. And the thought was, we were going to get pregnant any day and it would be much more fun to visit with a baby than with a bump.  I wanted to visit in May when I was in my second trimester  but didn't because of my general anxiety about the pregnancy. Now I am a US citizen but one who has still not applied for a passport - because - well I have been busy.  I know that I couldn't get a US passport in a hurry and I also don't want to travel with Isobel when she is so young and vulnerable to viruses and germs. She has had a cold for the past three weeks as it is.  The doctor said I could do it, although she is not advocating for it, but I just don't want to. And I need to apply for my passport.

We are going to go in August as originally planned and have a memorial service for mum then.  We are going on a family holiday to the Isle of Tiree with my brother and his family and my sister. We will scatter my mum and dad's ashes on the island, which was one of their very favorite places on earth. My brother is planning mum's funeral service which will take place at the crematorium in my home town and then at the Quaker meeting that my mum was a member of for almost 40 yrs.  The service is next week, on December 1st.
I have so much other stuff to say - about being a mum, a wife, adopting our daughter, post partum depression, breastfeeding, etc etc. It is so hard to find time to blog. I read blogs while I am breastfeeding or holding Isobel but it's hard to write on the I phone.
I leave you with some pics - of my mum and dad, and of their sweet grand-daughter Isobel.
My mum and dad, Pat and Harry on our favorite beach on the Isle of Tiree, Caolas
 
mum, reading  in one of her favorite places - her garden
Isobel waiting to see the pediatrician for her one month appointment

Isobel on the table at the pediatrician wearing her cousin Murray's baby grow!




Thursday, October 28, 2010

Isobel in Pictures!

We're all doing well and there's so much to say, but I'm too tired. So for now, here are some pictures of our little Isobel. Enjoy!



Our little peanut!

Sneezy!

Sleepy

Pensive

Peek-a-boo!

Talk to the hands!



Monday, October 18, 2010

Introducing the REAL Newest Member of Our Family!


Welcome to the world Isobel Emily P-S!! Isobel arrived at 4:58 p.m. on 10/17/10 (this past Sunday) rather unexpectedly.  She weighed 5 lbs, 13 oz, and is 19 inches long.  Because she's so petite, everyone's calling her "Peanut." She's the talk of the nursery because she's so cute!

I had been feeling decreased fetal movement the day before and called my midwife, who told me to go in for a non-stress test around lunchtime Sunday.  Little did we know that we'd have a baby by 4:58 p.m.!  Because there was less fetal movement and the heart rate showed less activity, that a cesarean section was necessary. I was not dilated.  Everything pointed to the fact that she wasn't very happy inside anymore, and had to come out soon.

Susan was by my side all the time, and was a champion!  We're glad Isobel came out and didn't have to be in distress.  She's a good little breastfeeder and has a lot of courage.

We're completely in love with our little Isobel. She's gorgeous!  We can't believe we get to take her home!   I have since been diagnosed with pre-eclampsia, and was on magnesium for a day, and had high blood pressure, but it's being resolved.

We'll be at the hospital until Thursday and will be going home to some undone chores!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Meet the newest addition to our family!!!




I'm sorry, I just couldn't resist that! 

Meet Maisie, the duck! She was given to us for our little girl by our friend, Suzanne, who is an irrepressible anglofile and a lover of fine literature and of course, fine art!
She found Maisie at a sale of work ( like  a craft fair) in a little English village somewhere near Oxford. It's fitting that  our little girl  will have a friend like Maisie who like this mama is from England.   Maisie has a big tail and two legs but no feet. I am going to have to ask one of my skilled knitting friends to help her out because I think she really would like some feet.

In other news:
We are in the home stretch. Still plenty to do on the home front but we have the bare necessities and lots of clothes. I had this fantasy that our house would be spotless and clutter-less before the baby arrived, but alas, we are not those types of people and we just have to accept that. 
I am taking it as easy as I possibly can in between doctor's appointments, tidying, shopping and sleeping in every morning.
On the less glamorous side of things I have swollen feet, legs, eyes, nose, a huge hemorrhoid, a yeast infection and  less than reliable bladder control. I am not complaining in the least bit about it. Just telling it like it is. I might be complaining if I had to work  - but I don't so I am not. 
I got my first disability payment today - for a month off I got approximately 25% of what I normally make. Which does not seem right as the disability company said they are giving me 60% of my salary. It's enough to pay my part of the mortgage. Again not complaining because we have a little back up money - for which I am eternally grateful - otherwise the bills would not be getting paid.

We missed our prepared child birth express class when we were out of town at the end of September visiting S's mom who was dangerously ill. She is hanging in there thank god, and we are scrambling around to figure out how to get by without any kind of birth class preparation. I am reading all my birth books now that I am preparing for the possibility of a vaginal birth but not sure if that will be enough. I don't want to be judged for not doing a class!!! We have great midwives and labor support people and I am hoping they and S will help me get through this. Apparently one thing I have in my favor is that I am not a Type A personality: ( sorry to all you A's out there) - as this sometimes hinders birth because of control issues! Apparently birthing ( according to one of the books I am reading!) is about surrendering to not being in control! Yikes! But what do I know??!! I am just trying feebly to reassure myself that it will be okay. 

We did go to the tour of labor and delivery which was guided by an incredibly perky nurse. The part that scared me was when she told us that when the doctor says: "break the bed" that means  fold the bed and pull up the stirrups so that you are ready to push! Apparently midwives don't need you to break the bed and are better contortionists and can see what's going on without doing violence to the bed, so hopefully we won't be hearing those scary words! It's a very medicalized setting  -even though perky nurse kept telling us that people who work with midwives do it this way and people working with OBs do it another. There is only one birthing tub - which you have to work hard to snag but which is in such a small birthing room that you might all have to sit in the tub together.

So that's it. Miraculously, good things continue to happen over here, the baby is growing, kicking, loving all her meals, becoming more real by the minute.

I am one lucky lady. 

Monday, September 27, 2010

on being an old mother and on baby classes (warning: baby doll and fake booby picture)

Wow - those baby classes are something else. It's like being in a parellel universe where people get pregnant and have babies with regularity and ease and no-one looks like it's at all difficult. And yes, most of these people look to be around 15 years old. Which means they are probably in their twenties and thirties!

I find myself looking at them and wondering what it must be like to a. have a baby when you are "supposed to" i.e. when you are "young" and b. to not be infertile and just tick off baby making on a random  shopping list.

Of course I am making a lot of assumptions, but I just can't help it I guess.

Naturally we are the only same sex couple in our classes so far. No one has asked if S is my mother or my sister though, so that's encouraging progress I guess.

We had a lot of giggles in the breast-feeding class - where we were greeted by these words upon entering: "Take a baby and a breast and sit down."  Said baby and said breast were both cloth and supposed to be quite life like. We felt compelled to take  pictures of the breast and the baby for posterity.

Here they are:
 Wish us luck on our next class: prepared birth, the express version!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Head Rest

Thank you all so much for reaching out and offering me support and hugs and words of wisdom. As someone who could win the bad blogger award of late,  I sure got lucky with all of you rallying around me!

It has been a week since I was signed off work for my version of bed-rest, which I lovingly called head-rest. And it's been an interesting week. I am someone who needs structure in my day, so it's been a challenge, but one i think I am managing okay. In between dealing with the disability claim ( not gone anywhere so far, but I have requested forms and I have asked some questions that I am concerned about to our rep) and the other work aftermath / loose ends / drama, I have been resting, going to different doctor's appointments, reaching out to my IRL friends so I won't be horribly lonely, sleeping a lot, and trying my best to  be domesticated. The weather has been lovely and I have been able to sit out in the garden and get some rays. I almost feel like I should be walking around under a veil in case I see people ( like clients and staff) who don't understand that when you are on head rest, the last thing you need to do is stay in the house. I live pretty near my work but am far enough away that if I deliberately don't shop in that part of town or hang out there much I can avoid people.

It has not taken too long for me to begin to feel a little bit more sane. Monday was hard because I needed to talk to my boss about various things and especially the big nasty issue that is still looming and not resolved. I have been tearful pretty much most days except to day - which I think is good progress. I think knowing that I am both  dispensable and indispensable, and realizing that I have been through way too much stress than is good for  one person has helped me a lot. One of my friends once said something about social services to the point of "social work can bleed you dry - even if you have the biggest heart" and she was right. Social work in my experience is pretty well populated by people who would go above and beyond for their clients ( not all social workers, I know....) and the agencies that they work for feel the same and in some ways they take advantage of our good hearts and consciences. I think as a boss I have been guilty of pushing myself too hard but also wanting my staff to push hard too, because the work has to get done and there are never going to be enough people to do it. Although in my defense, I took on a lot of work previously done by my staff so that their burdens could be relieved.

There are times when I think about work and then I think to myself - wow, I don't have to do that again! I remember when I was still at work I would think - wow, only 7 more weeks till I don't have to do that! My boss and I came up with an agreement when I told her ( out of the kindness of my heart, as well as a fair bit of guilt) that I really did not want to return to my job after the baby was born, but I needed the sick leave and I wouldn't mind coming back part time. I could have said nothing, taken off three months and then come in for one day and done a moonlight flit. But I didn't. I think she was relieved that she would be able to plan for my exit and hire someone else in advance. But by the time I left it looked like that was still not happening - or going very slowly. So the plan was for me to take my three months and return as a part time person, doing some direct service / perhaps running a small program that is an offshoot of our larger one. Now that my departure was precipitous and will extend my original leave by about 6 weeks I am not sure what is in store. I am waiting to find out how long I can be on STD and if it can be for two different things: 1. loosing my marbles, and 2. having just had a baby.

One of the other things that has been causing me so much stress, and which I have found it really hard to write about is the plans about how this baby is coming out. I have been told from almost the beginning that I will need a c section because of my humungous uterine fibroid, added to a previous myomectomy ( an intra-uterine one, which is apparently the lowest risk) and thirdly the most recent development, my so called Gestational Diabetes. But at each visit, the doctor has been very reluctant to decisively say one way or another. The midwives, who I started off seeing, still think I can have a vaginal birth and I don't know what to think. I know this may sound trivial to some of my sisters in IF, and I apologize for that, but I really feel like I need to know ahead of time what is going to happen. I don't want uncertainty and unknown ( like the rest of TTC when you are IF) and even if that means a c section I have become okay with that. I know, I know, it's ridiculous to think you are having a child and there will be no uncertainty or ambivalence - I get that. But for some reason  I glommed onto the whole scheduled c section thing - I think it's the high tech medicine  junkie that I have become after starting out with IUIs in a feminist clinic full of lesbians and graduating to some of the most high tech interventions known to reproductive medicine.

Well my most recent ultrasound put the damper on my plans to have surgery, because the fibroid has moved ( is that even possible?), the baby's head is now below the fibroid, there is no birth canal blockage courtesy of the fibroid, and the baby who has been feet down this whole time has miraculously turned and is facing in the right direction. I know that most people would greet this news with excitement but I didn't. I was upset and scared. And to  top it off I really believe that no one at my doctor's office is really that concerned. And no-one has bothered to review the records of my  myomectomy surgery, which I am now very dramatically convinced is going to be the sticking point, or the thing that makes me worry about all kinds of horrible things happening if and when I push. Never have I felt so disempowered and unable to speak up for myself. So I talked to a dear friend / family member who is also a midwife and she talked me through questions I could ask the doctors and the midwives so I could know what they thought the risks of a vaginal birth really are - rather than the vague - "oh you should be able to push" discussions we have had.

So I went over there yesterday to get a copy of my medical records and while I was there I told them I thought the baby was not moving as much as usual and could they check me out. So the midwife was there and she checked me out and was very nice, so I decided to tell her my concerns esp about the previous surgery and asked if I could have copies of the surgical report and could she please look at it too and tell me what she thinks. She obliged and had one of the doctors look it over too and their verdict, while not scientific in terms of how much risk there would be, was that this kind of surgery presented a low risk and I should be able to labor. Which is what the surgeon who did my surgery said also, because I emailed him to ask him last week. And then as I am asking her for the most recent ultrasound report, the doctor's nurse comes by, ( Little Miss Mary Sunshine herself) and sees us looking at the records in the very tiny corridor and says, "Oh, C......, are you worrying again, oh you are such a worrier!" almost amused and scolding at the same time, to which I replied, "Yes I am worrying, it's in my nature, it's my pathology," in a snarky way. Apparently worrying about whether you are going to make the right or wrong decision about child birth is just plain silly! And you know, looking at medical records, well that's just plain neurotic! And you know what's even more ridiculous, the frickin' doctor had not even bothered to look at them himself. No one had signed the record as reviewing it till I asked the midwife to do it. Aaaargh!

They sent me over to the Fetal and Maternal Medicine department for a fluid check and a non stress test ( which contrary to my pre conceived notions has nothing to do with being on a treadmill with an electrode on your heart). It turned out the fluid is a 13 ( fine apparently),  the baby is moving around something fierce, and all is well. I just can't feel her that well because of the position of the placenta.

So the ending to this part of the story is that I am slowly getting used to the idea of a vaginal birth and all that entails and considering reading some of the many books I ordered on the subject when I first found out I was more than 12 weeks pregnant. I even have an appointment with the other midwife to talk about birth and we will be attending the express version of the prepared childbirth classes along with the usual breast-feeding, CPR and baby care classes.

So all in all, I am grateful that I have  job that gives me short term disability (fx everyone!) and that I can take this time off, even though that's not the way I planned it at all. I am trying to schedule at least one thing out of the house every day ( which I hear is good training for mommy-hood) and trying not to feel like a failure or a slug.  And most of all I am extremely grateful to be in this position because I am a pregnant old lady who is very very excited to meet her little sweet pea. I am so excited sometimes that I really really want to say her name out loud to people but I promised I wouldn't and I want it to be both a surprise for others as well as a fait accomplis, so no-one can say, are you sure you want to call her Abyssinia? ( for example!)

Thanks again for all your support and encouragement. I hope that I will be a better blogger now that I have more time, and I hope to be commenting more on everyone else's blogs too:)

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Today is a bad bad day for me - but our baby is doing fine

My shrink signed me off work for the duration.
I have been dealing with some incredible stress at work and it just got too much.
I can't go into detail here - suffice to say I cried all the way to the doctor and all the way home.
I hope I can get short term disability - we are going to be broke either way.
I am sorry to be so vague, but I still need some cheers without being able to dish.
On the way to the shrink I couldn't feel the baby move - and that was even more freaky - but she has since woken up and kicked me a few times so I am relieved.
I am going to bed for a nap - just so exhausted.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

A wedding and honeymoon


I know it looks like I got married and then disappeared into the Bermuda triangle - but it's not true.
Unless the Bermuda triangle is one of those places where one feels blissfully happy and really does not want to emerge into reality again.

I wanted to write about the wedding but I was so tired and  so happy and so afraid I would not be able to describe the whole thing in the way I wanted to.  So I didn't. Maybe I'll feel like that when it comes to telling the birth story of our little one that is kicking me right now and asking for a snack or maybe another turn in the pool at our honey moon fantasy suite. ( No that's Bachelorette language, T -Gal!) We are on our way to our honeymoon / babymoon / big holiday of the summer and staying in a swanky hotel in GreenBay Wisconsin - yes, there are places that are swanky in Wisconsin, thank you very much! We are on our way  to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan  to stay in our favorite midwestern cottage by a wonderful quiet private heavenly lake. We plan to swim, eat, sleep, play, read, relax, kayak and not do a whole lot else. Heaven!!!

I know I am digressing from the whole point of this post, but I have to go off on a tangent for a bit. When our dear dog, Ollie was so sick, for some weird reason I found comfort in the mindlessness of that program "The Bachelorette". Susan cannot understand my penchant for this kind of  trash tv - but something about the mindless drama that is a cross between a train-wreck and a Hallmark movie makes it compelling for me. Especially when I deal with people's troubles on a daily basis; I just need that kind of escapism.

Well, fast forward a couple of weeks to the weekend after our wedding, and the juxtaposition of our  meaningful and tender and sweet and amazing our ceremony  against the fake, blind heterosexism of the Bachelorette was almost enough to make me stop watching. I say almost, because my idle curiosity got the better of me and I ended up watching it anyway. It just made me think how the mainstream is so messed up that we ( including me) idealize or idolize the idea of romance, and swooning new  blinded  love, that  we are prepared to see two people who have barely lived in the real world with each other propose and get married to each other. That we condone and applaud them making such a huge decision based on hormones and faith and champagne makes me a little nauseated.

Everyone who witnessed the marriage signed a copy of our vows
which we will frame and hang at home: this is a
Quaker tradition - ( I was brought up a Quaker)
Susan and I have been together for almost 12 years, and yes we waited a long time to get married - even while we talked about it practically every other day -  but we knew in the weeks and months of planning and on that amazing day,  that we really do mean it, we really have proven our love and commitment to each other, we have been through the hedge backwards and forwards with and for each other and this means so much to us.  We hesitated for a long time about marriage because we wanted it to mean the same thing it does for everyone else - you know, meaningful and legal, but recently we decided in a flash of inspiration that we really didn't have to wait around for anyone else's permission or blessing to get married ( at least that of the state or the federal government ) and that all we had to do was to decide this was important to us and we were doing it. Fortunately we belong to a church that has been doing gay and lesbian weddings for a long time, and that was the obvious place to hold the ceremony.

The cake my niece made ( well she made four actually)
Just after we cut it. 
The altar with a tea cosy with our names and the date of our wedding crafted by a very talented friend, pictures of our parents, dogs, the rainbow candelabra, a rattle for the baby, the four elements, flowers, candles ( one for our family members who couldn't be there)
We had so much fun planning the ceremony - it had elements of our whole history in it - including the procession which was accompanied by some really cool drumming gals - ( yes, we met at a women's drum circle), some Unitarian Universalist hymns, ( we attended a UU church for about 8 years together), some serious lesbian music by the likes of Chris Williamson and some folk  songs for good measure. Susan, being in seminary, did a great job of crafting most of the service herself, which  I was glad about.





We wrote our own vows, which was surprisingly easy to do, exchanged neo celtic rings ( mine which I ordered two sizes bigger than my usual one barely fit!) and had a non traditional English tea for the reception. We made the sandwiches, ( yes, there was cucumber involved), iced tea, and my niece made our cake in a feat of brilliance and love. Oh yes, and we had a drum circle at the reception which got kids and adults alike boogeying.  Our wonderful dog walker did the flower arrangements in about an hour ( with help from some of our friends) and got them from a local supermarket, complete with vases from the Salvation Army.  Our two nieces were "bridesmaids"  - which meant that they walked down the aisle first with beautiful bouquets of flowers, each of us had a sister there to be with us, and Susan's best and oldest friend came with one of her super cool daughters. Friends and family offered readings and blessings to us. And we had an "alternative"gift registry which consisted of things like: flowers from your garden, a homemade picture frame, a massage and a gift certificate to your favorite restaurant. We were conflicted about having a registry, but people kept asking and we came up with this idea. It's not like we need any more stuff. So we get to be treated to lots of fun experiences and think of the friends who gave them to us while we enjoy them!

Flowers - in progress!

It was a lot of work, and in 90 degree heat with no air conditioning ( I kept telling people to think of it as an outdoor wedding with shade), but we are both so glad we did it. So many people have congratulated us and recognized us and made us feel like getting married has had an impact on others as well as ourselves. I guess I was surprised at even though our marriage is not "legal" it has been embraced by our friends and family as something very real.

Well, it's late and I am going to leave you with these  pictures - of the wedding and of our honeymoon destination.  I am not sure how coherent  this post is, but I really hope that it gives you all some idea of  this part of our experience in the last few weeks.

Baby girl is doing well, measuring right what she needs to be,  I can feel her kicking and wriggling around despite the position of the placenta, and once we get home we need to kick into high gear. We finally did a registry - yikes! As I said to someone today, it's going to be  sprint to the finish!


The drum performance group, She-boom playing us in!
Saying our vows ( me with blonde hair )








We're married!


Bin a Gamme - ( Clear Lake nr Watersmeet, MI)

Me kayaking on Clear Lake two years ago - a lot has happened since then!!!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Four cats, a dog, two gals and a wedding

Firstly, thank you all for your sweet messages about our beloved dog Ollie.
It'a hard to believe it's just a week since I wrote that last post about him.
We miss him and so does Dylan - although he seems to be adjusting surprisingly well.
He has been diagnosed with pneumonia - after yet another visit to the vet. And one of our four cats, Blackie, is on antibiotics after having an abscess from probably being in a fight. Fun times!



But in wedding news we are plugging away at our Do It Yourself wedding, which will happen on Saturday July 17th at 2pm CST.

 It has been really fun planning it and we had a really good rehearsal last night. Even though we are doing it on the cheap we are still spending more than we can afford. God knows how people who do it "properly" manage!

If I don't sound very excited it's because we still have loads to do to get the house ready for company, buy and make the food and just generally wrangle lots of little details into order and I have not been feeling well.
I have this really weird metallic taste in my mouth and a feeling of being hyper that I have had for about a week. I mentioned it to my midwife the other day and she didn't have much to say about it. It's getting me down.

It's really hard to concentrate at work because there are so many things to do in approximately 5 days and not enough time or energy.  And work is driving me nuts - especially as we have our latest infestation of bed bugs to deal with and one client who is not prepared to do anything to prepare for the exterminators. I can't really go into details here, but suffice to say, I am so over this!!!!

Well, that's all for now folks, I am so beat, but I did want to shout out to you all, and especially to the nice person who sent our wedding news to the LFCA. Thank you!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Monday, June 14, 2010

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Tireegal, Tireegal, where have you been?

It's been a humdrum kind of time - which when you have been on the roller-coaster I have recently is sort of a welcome lull.
So far things are all quiet on the uterine front. ( Thank you, thank you Higher Powers, Goddesses and Deities!) I had to have a bit of a talk to my ob practice ( namely the doctor in charge) after my little drama in L and D. No-one followed up on me after my level two ultra-sound and I had to go in after our weekend away and demand some answers - or at least some acknowledgment that there might be a problem, Huston. The midwife didn't bother to call me; I got to call and talk to her nurse just before we went on our weekend to Michigan, who told me she thought I should just take it easy and come back in a month. The Monday after I got back I was so worried and freaked out and feeling completely neglected and invisible that I called them up and told them the problem. I got to talk to the head OBs nurse and she told me to come in right away, which I did. I then proceeded to tell her that I had not gotten the follow up or advice I needed, that it took me forever to get pregnant and had taken a huge emotional, psychological and financial toll on me, and please could I get some answers? She was sympathetic and proactive and I did finally get to see the doctor, who gave me an apology of sorts for not following up with me after my fun bleeding episode. He examined me - declared me okay for now, and promised to do more follow up - more ultra-sound and more monitoring of the situation. He told me I will be having a c-section almost for sure and I can see the midwives but I have to see him. At this point I am kind of pissed at the midwives. I have barely seen them and each time has been rushed. And the one who sent me to L and D didn't even bother to call and see how I was. Maybe that's just their protocol - maybe I was asking for too much, but I am still kind of pissed. So I have a midwife appointment on Thursday which I will probably go to so I can get the wholistic treatment and then after my second level two ultrasound on Monday 14th ( where we hope to find out the sex of the baby) I go back to see the doc again. When I saw him two weeks ago at 17 weeks I was measuring 24 weeks because of my big ass fibroid. I am of the conviction that I should not be making any plans after the beginning of September - just in case. He told me of the risks and signs of pre-term labor - which I will be prone to - and sent me on my merry way.

In other news: Susan and I have been busy planning our wedding which is July 17th at our very crunchy, funky, liberal UCC church. It is going to be a simple affair ( I know, that's what they all say) and the most planning that is going into it is the actual service itself - as Susan is studying to be a minister she has a good handle on it - and picking the music, readings, etc etc. Neither of us knows what we are going to wear. No it won't be white dresses either. We know what we will be serving ( tea with sandwiches, scones and cookies - prepared by S, my nieces and I ) and a wedding cake made by my baking aficionado niece C. The biggest issues are: how will we keep it all cool with only one fridge at the church (answer; coolers) how will people survive in the un -airconditioned sanctuary ( answer: colorful paper fans provided by us and a liberal supply of water) and yes, what will we wear? ( answer: we dont' know!) We have some ideas for rings: did you know that if you google "rings" you get one price and if you google "wedding rings' you get another one about 5 x higher? We are going to get silver rings probably with a celtic design. Not posh or expensive. We are not sure what to have engraved inside. As my fingers are beginning to swell I am a bit concerned about what size to get - esp as at some point the ring will be too big for me! We still have to write our vows. So far 61 people say they are coming out of a possible 150 and 50 have not responded. We decided on the date at the last minute and lots of people are going out of town. I am really excited to be getting married after almost twelve years and it's such fun planning it with S. Yes, I know that's a cliche! And no, it's not legal either. But we aren't letting that stop us. Maybe we will run off to Iowa or DC one of these days to get a piece of paper recognized in about 6 or 7 states? Who knows?

In Blogland: I have been reading all of you on my blogroll - but I tend to do it late at night on the couch with my I-phone. Hence my pitiful lack of commenting. I am glad that you are all still there -and to those of my sisters in the muddy TTC trenches of this journey, I hold my breath as I read your posts and pray you don't disappear off the blogosphere, even though you are discouraged and spent and I have no right to make such demands on you. I value you so much and I wish that we could sit around with cups of tea and other fun beverages and share in a big fun messy comfortable circle of friends.

In animal news: The kitties still don't have homes and after conferring with the local stray / feral cat people we decided to let them all out again. They love their territory and apparently it's rarely successful re-locating cats like these who are so rooted to their place. We are still hoping to find indoor / outdoor homes for the two lovers Blackie and Sidekick - who still come in and out, and Mama Cass who makes an appearance when she feels like it. We think Twinkletoes would be a great pet and of course Georgia Peach -who is so so shy you can't really get close. But others don't think so and the shelters are over-run with cats and dogs that are victims of foreclosures. The cat shelter told us the cats would do really badly in a shelter and the most humane thing would be to leave them where they are. We were so close to finding a home for Blackie and Sidekick but the couple who came to see them felt that they hadn't "bonded with them" enough in their short visit. I was heartbroken. We still feed the cats and provide them with shelter and water. We still say hi to them when they are sunning themselves in the garden. We are still their guardians. And the dogs; well they are 13 and a half and slowing down a lot. Both of them have had upset stomachs for the few weeks or so and the usual medicine is not helping. I am taking them to the vets for their yearly shots next weekend and hoping to get some ideas for healing their tummies. They have been doing so well on a special and expensive diet for about a year, but currently Ollie is refusing food a lot and is favoring chicken and rice on his own schedule.

Okay, this is getting long, boring and rambly...

Good-night all,
TG:)

Friday, May 21, 2010

holding steady (or medical intervention all the way on this pregnancy)

Thanks so much for all of your lovely comments and concerns. Here's the scooparooney.
We had the ultrasound yesterday and Womble was doing fine. Wiggling around and being cute. Weighing about 8 oz!
The verdict seems to be the fibroid is irritating my uterus and maybe breaking down sending funny hormones around and getting my ute in a tizzy.
The doc at the ultrasound place did not seem too fazed by it. Neither did the doc who is in the midwives practice that was on call while I was at the hospital.
I have to go back after my anatomy scan on June 19th and see the doc - instead of the nurse midwives and talk C-section. The fibroid is right above my cervix -hasn't budged or got smaller. No way out for baby that way unless something moves.
Hmm.... I might be selling all the natural childbirth books I diligently bought but have not read!
Doctor's orders:No strenuous exercise, no pre-natal yoga, take it easy. ( ho hum that will be hard!)
Still a tiny bit of pink showing otherwise cramps and bleeding gone.
We are heading to Michigan to a B and B for a much needed break this weekend. Wish it was longer. I am so glad to get out of town, spend some much needed time with my sweetie - who passed her interview with flying colors - yeah!
Thanks so much to all of you for worrying about me:)
I will be off line but checking my i phone this weekend and will catch up on blogging next week:)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Cramping and bleeding in L and D with update*

Yup, just when all was going smoothly I end up bleeding and driving myself to Labor and Delivery.
Driving home early from work to meet the engineer and the plumber I felt a bit crampy, when I got out if my car I felt damp and when I got to the bathroom there was blood covering my undies and my pants. Commence calm panic while giving instructions to the engineer who arrived as I was running through the house knickerless!
I called the midwife who told me to come to the hospital L and D department and check myself in.
I got here fast and Susan zoomed the twenty plus miles from work to get here just in time to see an ultrasound of my nicely closed cervix but too late to see the happy go lucky wiggly baby doing the fandango in the uterus.
The verdict: inconclusive. It could be my fibroid which is low and near my cervix, it could be th remainder of the subchorionic hemotoma.
I get a thorough wanding as well as the regular ultrasounds. They decide to monitor me: it turns out I'm have some contractions. They're about to put me on pelvic rest and send me home when I feel more bleeding. So I'm still stuck here while they decide what to do. Breathe breathe breathe.
Guess I won't be going to pre-natal yoga tomorrow after all.
We're waiting to find out the verdict.
Breathe breathe breathe.

* update:
they sent us home after a few hours with an order for an ultrasound in fetal diagnostics today. I had some more cramping and bleeding last night but the bleeding has now stopped. Still feeling a bit crampy. I'm waiting for Susan to come home to take me to the appointment at 1pm. She has one of the most important interviews of her new career - to get into "in care status" with the local UCC conference. It's really hard to get an interview and she wouldn't have been able to get one til fall - so I'm like, GO! She needs to be "in care" for two years before she can be ordained - so it's a big ass deal esp. with timing her career change. Go Susie, go Susie!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Who's the father? Or A little distraction for Mothers' day...

Yes, I finally got asked the million dollar question today. It came from a very nice, very intelligent engineer guy who has been master-minding the solution to the insidious basement seepage that had made our floors buckle and our wallets groan.
He's been over to our house the past three Saturdays for whole mornings, over-seeing the rodding of our sewers, cleaning of our catch basin and most recently spearheading the discovery of a crack in our foundation. Next Saturday he and the plumber will be here all day digging a big hole under our laundry closet down to the sewer to fix a broken pipe that caused the damp in our kitchen ( or we hope that it is the cause!)
I was talking about how we had a lot going on and were trying to get our house in order, and errrm, I am errm pregnant. He looked surprised but interested and said:
"Oh, wow, you're pregnant?"
Then without skipping a beat:
"So who's the father?"
Me: errm, we have a donor. An anonymous donor.
Him: oh, interesting
Me: well, you know, Susan has a low sperm count
Him: oh yeah, chuckle!

That was it - I walked away back into the kitchen and it was business as usual.
I kept playing the whole thing over in my head. How did that happen so fast? It seemed to go okay. I thought I was kind of funny. Wow, he didn't have any qualms about asking that question. He's seen us together the past three weeks - he must know we are a couple....hmmm.hmmm....weird!!!

Now for the question that's really going to be priceless:
How will I respond when it's one of my clients who asks?

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Heartbroken - none baby related

I don't have the emotional energy to tell the whole story now, but we have been fostering / sheltering some neighborhood stray / feral cats ( all sweet, non -aggressive but very shy) and we've been trying to find homes for them so they can ditch their outside lifestyle for something more comfortable and permanent. Here are the kitties.
We housed them in our back bedroom over the winter ( and they were free to come and go when the weather improved) and were optimistic about finding them homes this spring. Well you know it's kitten season, everyone is getting foreclosed on and giving up their pets, and our cats aren't what you would call "desirable" in the  adoption world.

We have tried and tried to find them  suitable loving and understanding homes and even had two visits this weekend  with prospective adopters, and each ended up with  a heartbreaking and resounding NO.
We consulted the local shelter who said they would do terribly in a shelter and be way stressed; relocating to a farm would be cruel as it's taking them out of their own environment and they often get lost or disappear and don't return.

They need a house with a cat door and a yard and someone to love them forever.  We happened on this whole thing by accident and  our teeny "spare" room was overtaken with  sweet and funny cats,  litter-boxes and fur-balls and S is allergic and we need somewhere to be at least half a baby room. And our two dogs want to eat them. I never planned to have cats. I love them but because of S's allergies it was out of the question. They  showed up under the neighbors porch two years ago and I started feeding them and spayed / neutered them, provided them with heated shelters,  cared for a litter of kittens that they had, found the kittens  homes and gradually these adult cats started hanging around more and wanting to be with us and bond with us.

I have become so attached to them. I have been sobbing for three days at the thought that the only solution ( according to the feral cat lady at the local shelter ) is to acclimatize them back to being permanent outdoor cats with shelters and heated bowls and the perils of crossing the roads and having to fight for territory with big- ass big- balled strays  and neighborhood bully cats.
If you read this and feel you could give one or more of them a home, I will drive any of them up to 500 miles to get to you ( isn't that a song?)
I know it's a long shot. And if you can't do anything, please send happy home vibes their way.
Thank you:)

Saturday, May 1, 2010

What if?

This post is a part of  National Infertility Awareness Week (April 24th–May 1st) and an awe inspiring joint venture between Melissa and Resolve.
Read about Infertility here.
It's called Project If  and there you will find the original What If's as well as the posts written in response to them here.


So I couldn't think of a What If, because to tell the truth I feel so lucky and surprised to be pregnant it's hard to go to the land of what if right now. Except when I wonder every day - what if my baby's heart has stopped beating? That's the biggest what if in my conscious mind.  And it happens over and over every day. I even rehearse the bad sad posts in my head because I am convinced  that one day this will all be over. So yeah, I am not so happy go lucky as I would like these days

After my 14 week unscheduled visit to my midwife ( because of a fall I had while walking my dogs - and spying gang bangers - ) and hearing the hearbeat at 148 BPM I am feeling a little reassured.

So I didn't know what to write my What If about. And then last night I had the weirdest dream.

It involved our sperm donor, our egg donor and our  remaining embryos. The What If was one of those greedy what if's that only people with one child are lucky enough to have. Yes, I'm ahead of the game. It was what if this baby that is growing inside me is the only one we ever have. Yes, I know that seems ungrateful to me and it certainly seems ungrateful if you are one of the hundreds of thousands ( and probably more) women struggling to have even one baby. But this is how my dreaming subconscious showed it to me:

(Insert funky dream music here)

The  Big Business Fertility Clinic told us that of the remaining  five embryos that we were hoping to use to conceive baby number two,  two had been thawed wrong ( and they mumbled something about not reading the instructions properly - WHAT?!!!!) And the three left didn't look promising. We could put them all back or try for another cycle with our donor.

The egg donor was in a room at the clinic and we were begging her to donate again because the remaining embryos didn't look good. She said she was scared to and that last time the people at the clinic had not treated her very well and been very blase about med doses and basically asked her what SHE thought was a good dose. 

The sperm donor had  gotten hold of our bank account number and had deposited twenty Euros into our account just to let us know that he could and to mess with our heads.

We were beside ourselves......

When I  woke up this morning and told Susan about my dream I had no idea what it meant.  And I am not one of those people who goes around interpreting my dreams. But then I looked at the three scenarios and realized what I thought it was all about.

In all three scenarios we were not in control -  yes, there was a semblance of control in that we could say we had five embryos ( which the clinic interfered with) we had an egg donor ( who the clinic had treated badly) and a sperm donor ( who was playing games with us). But how much control did we really have and how much do we have? Not a whole lot. And that, dear readers, is how the vast majority of us IFers live our lives. Bargaining with God, praying for good news, reaching out for that inevitable next plan and next addictive morsel of hope that comes with the plan. Not in a whole lot of control. The only control, I venture to say, is the kind of control that comes with letting go and knowing that our reaction  to disappointment, loss, heartbreak is the only thing we can control. Or that's what we like to believe.

The decision to use donor eggs came out of a wish for some kind of control. I wanted those embryos in my body, I didn't want to be at the mercy of the whims of first parents who might not pick us ( I mean, who would?) or social service departments nosing in our business and saying our house was too small or too untidy or too below ground! I wanted some say. Even if it was just in picking donors that we liked and felt some kinship with. Some people call this buying a baby. I do not.

By some fluke I had excellent insurance which would cover most of the procedures if not the eggs and sperm or freezing. It was the quickest, least costly way to our baby - and the one with the highest chance of success.  And so far it has worked. My fantasy of having some kind of control has almost born fruit. I have a baby inside me with  a beating heart and the usual number of limbs and organs. But my dream showed me how little control I really have, how many things can ( and have ) gone wrong and how fragile this life inside me is.

And because I don't know what else to do, I pray everyday that this little one inside me knows how to go on living and breathing despite my worry and despite the fact that I can't control much about this whole experience. I can eat, exercise, take deep breaths, stay off of high buildings and hope that the love I feel for this baby will keep her safe.

What if my baby is born well and she is  beautiful and we are the happiest parents alive? And what if, when the time is right, we have another one?


Sunday, April 25, 2010

I'm still here (with Womble) with video!

Yes I am.
I have about five blog posts in my head and I fear they might stay there for a while.

And for those of you who didn't get it  - here are The Wombles and this is some background information on them!

The baby:
I think things are okay.  I am just starting my 14th week. The week before last I heard the heartbeat three times in one week. I know - just plain greedy. The first at the new midwives' office, the second at the old midwives' office ( who I found out does take my new insurance after all) and the third at the old midwives' office ( and now my chosen one) during the triple screen ultrasound. The rates were, in chronological order: 162, 153, 132. Which made me freak out a little - is the baby's heart getting weaker? Why is the rate going down? The midwives' nurse who I called in desperation on Friday told me it's all within normal limits and it fluctuates. I could not convince her that I needed to come in and hear the heartbeat again. I couldn't convince myself. But I'm still worried.  And trolling for a Doppler on the internet.
We got to see the baby and S took a cute little video and the Womble ( more on that later) was wriggling around and being super-uncooperative - which being a rebel myself I admire! But we got to see the neck and the nose bone and they both looked good ( to the U/S tech - to me it was all a blur).
We got the results of the triple screen and because our donor is very young, I was told that my risks are those of a twenty year old. I almost didn't have the triple screen - we had already decided that if the baby has Down's Syndrome we will be fine with that, but the midwife had reminded me that the other two Trisomies that they screen for are "incompatible with life" so I decided to do it. And was glad to get bonus views of  the Womble. And I know that I am very fortunate to be carrying twenty year old eggs in this body that is twice that age.

Feeling better:
After reading all your comments and emailing my doctor I decided to extend my med regime a little. So tonight I take my last prometrium pills and this morning I took my last estradiol. I am not sure if it's being almost fourteen weeks, or weaning off the drugs, but I am feeling a lot better. So much so that I was able to deal with a grueling weekend chock-full of activities - a large part of which involved packing and getting ready for movers to come to our house and move some furniture, go to our storage unit and re-claim our very comfy couch which has been there since we cleared the house out in 2006 / 7 to get ready to sell it but the market was tanking and we re-considered. We donated a lot of furniture to a church rummage sale and now our storage unit  is lighter and we may be able to down-size! And we  ( and the dogs) are both in ecstacy about how comfy our old couch is and how we missed it! We promise never to cheat with another couch again!

Womble:
We decided on this nick-name in bed this morning. We had thought of Pookie and we were lying in bed procrastinating and the name Womble came into my head. It's from  my child-hood. I am not going to say more but I wonder if any of you clever people ( esp. Brits  - know what I am talking about!) Answers in the comment section - or on  a post-card please:)



Still a pessimist:
People have been extremely nice and very excited for us, but despite that I really am having a hard time believing this is all real. I am don't want to spell it out, but let's just say, I am  a convicted pessimist.

Blogging:
I have been quite blogging-avoidant recently. The amount of time it takes me to read the blogs on my list and to comment is one of the things that sometimes overwhelms me. Especially when I don't have time to do it in the day. Part of me has realized very reluctantly and with much guilt and self flagellation that I need  to step away from the internet more ( and the internet and you wonderful people have been some of my closest friends for over two and a half years now) and develop some connections in the life I have here, in addition to my cyber friends. And that feels like abandonment to me and it's hard.  Especially as I am very attached to you all and I believe it is reciprocated. Another thing that strikes me sometimes is that what  I know about trying to conceive and  pregnancy I learnt from the ALI community. This means that I know a lot about heartache and heartbreak and everything that can go wrong from trying to get pregnant to being pregnant and to loosing a baby. I am not saying that I don't want to hear about my sisters' sorrows and upsets, but I do need to find a way to bring some light into my head around the whole baby issue.  Because right now it's pretty gloomy.  One thing I know is that I gain tremendous gratification from reading your blogs and commenting and commiserating and cheering you all on. I don't  want to stop doing that. I do need to develop my "other life" though. Since S has been in school and we have been TTC I have become more reclusive and less sociable and I realize that I need to feel a community that is geographically close and venture out more into the world, for the sake of myself and of course our Womble.
I  don't know exactly what this means for the future of my blogging. I don't think I am going away. I might do things a bit differently. I really don't know. This whole blog-land has been such a saving grace to me, but I am also obsessive about things and I need to find a better balance. I dread saying this because I don't want to hurt or offend anyone - but I do have to be true to how I feel - always trying to be kind in my truth of course.

So that's the low down on life over here.
I appreciate your support and I also appreciate if you don't want to support me after reading this post. I've done a lot of telling myself off over this, so don't feel you have to, but I hope I can handle it if you do feel the need.

xoxoxox

TG:)

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Scared to go off my meds - do I need IF rehab? with update

Help! I'm going off my meds and I am scared to do it. Will the lack of meds screw this whole thing up? 
I am at the beginning of week 11.
I know you are not doctors ( well not all of you!) but here goes.
Here is my current protocol:
4mg estradiol 2x per day
400mg prometrium 1x per day
1 cc progesterone in oil 1x per day


These are the instructions I got from my doc when I emailed him to say I was so excited last week when we met I couldn't remember any of the instructions:

Decrease the dose of estradiol to 4 mg daily instead of twice daily and then discontinue in 1 week.
Decrease the 1cc Progesterone to 1/2 cc and then DC in 1 week.
In 1 week decrease the Prometrium to 200 mg and then discontinue after 1 week.

I am worried that it's all going to be over when I stop taking the meds. Remember I did an FET with  BCP suppression, Lupron, tons of estradiol and progesterone. None of my own hormones to speak of. The theory is that  the placenta will take over. Please tell me that's true. I am tempted to keep taking the progesterone a bit longer but would that mess with the other meds? 
Why don't I just ask the doc? Well, I got discharged last week! He did say to let him know if I had questions, etc. Ho hum.


What to do?

**** the update is... i emailed my RE and he explained the whole placenta thing - well in one sentence really and said I could stay on an extra week if I wanted. I decided to split the difference and start the weaning on the weekend rather than today. I was calculating and the babe has been in me for 8 weeks exactly since transfer and it was 5 days old when transfered. So now I am like - how can I be in my 11th week? I know it's all these due date tricks they play! thanks for the reassurance and hope:)

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Baby waves!

Yes, everything when fine, despite all my feelings of doom and gloom and self-fulfilling prophecies.
The baby waved at us after the u/ s tech woke her up.
She has arms and a head and  a body. We think she has legs too but we couldn't really see them.
Her HB was 175 BPM.
S asked on the way home if we should consider a nickname for our little one.
Sweet! We haven't come up with anything yet, but knowing my propensity for making up names on the spot,  it could happen at any minute!
There is more to say but work is completely crazy and I was off with a cold yesterday so it's even worse than usual.
Stay tuned!
Thanks for all the cheers again!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

The next ultrasound

Firstly, thanks for all your words of support and "been there" and hope and love. You all rock, seriously. Couldn't do it without you.
I didn't want to keep anyone in suspense but I couldn't decide what to do and was vacillating on my course of action. NOT because I wasn't ready to give that nurse a piece of my mind, but mostly about scheduling and needing my honey with me.
So I decided to wait. S is out of town and I don't want an ultrasound without her there at this crucial stage. She returns on Monday and  we are going together on Tuesday for our final visit to the RE and for the ultrasound.
The good news is the bleeding has again abated. I have plenty of pregnancy signs and symptoms - most notable complete exhaustion, a weird yo-yo-ing appetite; I'm ravenous, I'm full, I feel sick, I'm going to retch, give me food! give me more food! Give me 7 up. Ice cream. Pancakes. Eggs. Fruit. Yoghurt. Potatoes. I am a  big fan of ginger candies for the nausea.
You get the picture. I think I am still pregnant. I know I didn't have a miscarriage. I believe that Baby A's heart is still beating. I am trying to nurture hope.
You can guarantee you'll be the first internets to know how things go on Tuesday.
Have a great weekend all.

Next time I'll tell you about my visit to the Ob/Gyn's office  and the fun I had there signing papers about our "family".

Monday, March 22, 2010

False Advertising - with a warning from the censors ( PG 13)

This whole pregnancy lark is not what I was imagining. Or what I have been led to believe by Lifetime Television.  I know that I say that from the privileged position of being pregnant, which  strikes me as an absolute luxury in the world of IF blogs. It's where I want to be. I hope I don't get flamed for this.  But I have to say it's really hard.
I spent so much time fantasizing about getting pregnant and wondering if it would ever happen and now here I am and  I feel woefully unprepared. And a little disillusioned. I read on so many of my blog friends' posts and message boards about symptoms and bleeding and losses and puking but I don't think I really took  it in. Even if I had, it wouldn't have made for a different outcome.  I'd still have gone through with it. I have a phobia about vomit but I was  practically gungho about the potential of morning sickness!
It's like those people that look at you with foreboding  and warn you that you're going to get no sleep for 10 years and that you are going to be broke and your nipples are going to hurt like they want to  drop off, but you know that they don't regret having their kids and you know that's not going to stop you having them either.
Here is how I imagined pregnancy: a  big tummy, lots of floaty clothes,  a transcendent water birth experience,  wonderful women helping and being  supportive and loving. And the end result: a baby, a little person to nurture and love and to introduce to the world.   I imagined  snuggling with our baby, breastfeeding,  going to the beach and making sand-castles, having play dates, family parties, watching our child looking at the world with excitement and interest and curiosity. We would watch smiles emerge  and hear gurgles and coos, and  we would kiss  owies and reassure our child when she was scared or worried, and over-analyze our parenting skills.  But I did not even consider what this part would be like. And  I didn't know how hard it was going to be to drag myself to work when I feel like shite.

I think I would be okay if I wasn't bleeding again.
It happened at work today, I felt a gush and ran to the bathroom and there it was, more of the same and more and more.  I called the nurse because there was a lot more and and some small clots and she basically told me that because we saw the heartbeat my risk of miscarriage is "only" 10 percent  and the bleeding is probably baby B being "re-absorbed". She said only to worry if there was enough to fill about five pads in an hour. I have been nowhere close to that. Which is good because I had only two pads in my bag and my whole office is full of tampax-loving women.  I mustered up a couple more mini pads to add to my meager stash, which got me through the day.  I have had more clots since then - not the  "huge" ones she talked about on a voicemail  she left while I was running to a meeting. But not small either. No, she said,  I shouldn't go home, resting is not going to do any good. No, an ultrasound is not going to really help and could hurt the fetus because too many ultrasounds mean a lot  of rooting around near your uterus and could endanger the pregnancy. But if I want to have one to ease my mind I can come in.  I feel like I am between a rock and a hard place. My next scheduled ultrasound is for a week's time. I am thinking I will wait, because there is nothing I can do either way and I don't want to increase risks to the baby even more. I gotta say, though, Ms Nursie could really do with a crash course in phone-side manner.

So that's where I am today, internets. Still grateful, pissed at my body, hungry and nauseous, exhausted and wishing for a European maternity leave where they penalize you if you don't go out a few months before your due date. Or is that just a rumor that someone concocted to make us all vote for universal healthcare? Either way, I vote for it, and for humane maternity leave policies and infertility treatment coverage. Gotta get down off the soapbox - the couch is beckoning:)

Thursday, March 18, 2010

All good here:)

I have  good news.
Baby A is doing really well - measuring at about 8 weeks and HB of 176 per minute.
Baby B is visible but with no heartbeat. The doctor says he or she will be  quietly reabsorbed. I have accepted that we're not going to meet Baby B in this world and tried to focus on Baby A.

S is such a great ultrasound supporter. She listens so carefully, asks good questions and really takes up for Baby B when she might be forgotten ( I am picking the feminine pronoun for convenience and out of blatant favoritism. Don't worry I'll be happy to have a boy or a girl!). "Where is she? Are we sure there is no heartbeat? Is that a flicker there?  How big is Baby B?" I guess you could say she is all about the underdog. It tells me again and again what a tender heart S has. And she was really really scared of having twins!

The hematoma is near to Baby B ( who is right by the uterine wall) and the doc isn't worried about it any more. No bleeding for about ten days.  My next ultrasound is in two weeks when we will start tapering the meds. I'll be ten weeks then! On Saturday I'm going to meet a nurse midwife at a new practice. That will be another first for me. To meet a midwife and talk about pregnancy.

I know I sound kind of monotonous and not exciting but I am so beat and have spent the last few nights preparing my taxes. Boy, I thought I had saved a lot of receipts! Not so much. I really hope I get something back from all this - or at least don't owe anything.

The nausea is all day long and accompanied by dry mouth, dizzyness, nasty tastes, indigestion and currently IBS ( which may be unrelated!) Luckily it's not horrible, but it's not fun either. Last night I came home early and slept from 5pm  - 7pm and was so wiped!

I have been reading all of your blogs on my I-phone  but not commenting  much for the past few days  because of my extreme lethargy. Also it's less easy to type on the i-phone as you might know.

I am on a different blog schedule to most of you. I usually only have time to comment on weekends - but the  blogland activity seems to be mostly on weekdays which tells me that some of us are blogging at work?!!! No judgments! If only I could!
So I get behind in the week, then catch up on the weekend then get behind again.
I know, this post is like watching paint dry.
I'm off to prepare a big fat P4 injection.
loves yous!
And thank you all of you for your lovely words of support and solidarity.

Monday, March 8, 2010

The fading twin

I have been bleeding since a rather strenuous morning at church yesterday ( is that even possible? ) and a shopping trip. More than before. Enough to make me look in detail at the first ultrasound report and research the word subchorionic hematoma a lot. Turns out I have a 3 cm one of those. ( That is if you combine the three  lateral measurements).   It was originally behind twin B and apparently that is causing the bleeding.
Called the on-call doc yesterday who told me to rest and come in this morning for an ultrasound.
The question is - does this affect the babies and if so how? Different reads on this from different people. The verdict is the same from everyone: Nothing to be done just rest and don't go for any strenuous exercise.  ( Does that mean I am excused from church?)
This morning the  ultrasound tech found baby A no problem - we could see the flicker of the heartbeat really clearly and it was doing 116 beats per minute.  Apparently I'm still 6 weeks - last week I was five weeks. She lingered over there doing a lot of measuring while we freaked out and waited impatiently to see baby B. When she finally made it over there ( it's further away from the cervix so more difficult to see) she couldn't find a heartbeat. The only one she picked up was mine - which is way slower than a baby's. I am wondering if that is what the previous ultra-sound tech found before - because it was slow - 80 bpm- mine is usually around 70 though.
We had steeled ourselves for this, but we were disappointed and sad. It's apparently not 100% conclusive because it was hard to see Baby B because of the positioning. But the doctor said it was probably not looking good for Baby B.
In the space of 6 days we had imagined this whole crazy fun life with twins. We had checked out the mothers of multiples website,  wondered how you go shopping with twins in a  store cart that only has one baby seat, talked about strollers, thought about buying  baby books dedicated to raising twins, considered how it would be great that they would have each other and would not feel alone in their strange but loving origins,  thought about how we would help each of them differentiate so they wouldn't be treated as a unit but as individuals, pondered the stories I would tell them about being a twin myself. And so on.
In some ways it's a tiny relief. Susan doesn't have to worry so much about the impact of twins on my 42 yr old body, we don't have to wonder how we are going to feed two babies, diaper them and get them asleep at the same time, I can have a nurse midwife at the birth and don't have to worry about getting an OB. I'm sure we would have figured it out somehow though.
Our family will be smaller  than our grand plans, and we will have to figure out at a later date how feasible another frozen embryo transfer will be.
So yes, my mind has been incredibly busy. I caught up pretty quickly with Susan's practical bent hence the musings above.
We still don't know how baby A is going to do, although s/he does look good, strong, feisty.
Praying really really hard  that baby A makes it.   We are so lucky to have this baby, we know that. We just want a happy ending. Who doesn't?