Saturday, December 29, 2007


In my dreams, if there’s ever a sex scene, what usually happens is like a PG-13 movie: there’s kissing, touching, maybe a bit of skin showing, and then everything fades to black. The next scene is the “after” bit, where we’re in bed with the sheets pulled up. All the good bits are left to my imagination, but it’s obvious that some hot monkey love took place.

Not last night. Last night I had my very first ever full-on, no holds barred, orgasm in a dream. Absolutely fantastic. The weird thing is , though, is like in a lot of my dreams, I was aware that I was dreaming. So I KNEW that I was dreaming and getting busy, and I was wondering if I’d actually O before the dream scene changed… and I did, and it was good.

My libido has been super-charged for a couple of weeks now, and I guess it’s all that extra blood flow and whatnot going on down below. I find it quite ironic that I’m not sick or nauseous, I actually have an crazy energetic sex-drive even though it’s not that mythical second trimester yet, and I’m single. There’s no lover lucky enough to get to take advantage of my slut-level randiness.


Last night was the first O dream, but I’ve had some really interesting dreams in the last week or so; at least, they were interesting enough to me that I remembered them upon waking, which is sometimes really hard for me.

Some of them were those realistic-type dreams. You know, the kind that’s so banal and everyday that it truly seems real? Well, in one, I dreamt that I woke up sneezing and got a bloody nose in the middle of sneezing. This led to me blowing mini-streams of blood all over my white sheets and pillowcase (even though the sheets at that time were actually green). I woke up for real a second later, and immediately reached one hand up to my nose, while turning on the light with the other hand so I could see how bad the blood was on the linens. There was, of course, no blood.

In another dream, I’d gotten up from bed and gone into the kitchen to get something to drink. There was a little bit of orange juice in the fridge, so I finished it off, then went back to bed. Flash-forward to my real awakening in the morning, when I was going to the kitchen to peruse my breakfast choices. Before I opened the fridge, I was mumbling about there being no more orange juice, and I really wanted some orange juice. Lo and behold, there was orange juice in the fridge. These dreams really mess with my head sometimes, but I find them interesting. In that, sometimes my brain is processing the most basic occurrences, but they still get a full cinematic event.


Slightly more interesting, but still weird, was the dream I had about me and my dream-fiance. We were college students, and the dorms were co-ed. The dorm rooms also happened looked like rows of stadium seats, and there’s just no way for me to explain that and have it make it any sense.

Anyway, the “rooms” were for 3 people, so my fiance and I were looking for a likely candidate to share a room with us. Apparently my fiance was bisexual, and we were into threesomes, because we were checking out all the cute guys to find one who appealed to both of us, obviously hoping that our close proximity would lead to more than just a friendly relationship.

I found a really cute guy, the three of us became roommates, and all was well… for a dream-while. Then I discovered that my fiance had decided he was just gay instead of bi, and wanted to be with our roomie exclusively. I had a big ole country fit, threw his ring at him, and left them still naked and going at it while I looked for another dorm room. Weird.

Friday, December 28, 2007

First OB Visit

My first official OB appointment went well this morning, except for the fact that it was about -40 degrees F in the office. The initial tests showed NO signs of infection, not even a yeastie beastie. Yay! However, the NP is sending specimens off to the lab just to be absolutely sure.

Because I like free stuff, I signed up for the Sim.ilac baby club thing. As a first trimester sign-up, I was supposed to get a free pregnancy journal, but my doc's office was out of those, so I got the third tri sign-up gift of a travel/toiletry rollbag. And it had a big bottle of RTF formula inside, which will thankfully still be good when Juniper comes along.

This is still so surreal to me, people. It's like I told the nurse today, "I'm an expert in TTC, but this whole pregnancy thing? This is a completely new ballgame." I'm 9 weeks pregnant, have had 2 betas and 3 ultrasounds, and still don't quite 100% believe that there is a baby inside me. It still just doesn't seem completely real. I'm stupidly happy, but still somewhat stunned.

I think that my starting to sign up for pregnancy and baby clubs/offers is my first step towards true acceptance and belief. At first I was too afraid, as if I would be jinxing myself if I started that stuff too early. Now, though, I've decided that I am pregnant, and so deserve to indulge myself in all the silly things I've always wanted to do. Coupons, samples, free baby stuff? Send it my way! I want it all! If Something Bad happens, then I'll have a lot of free stuff to pass on to Lila. See, it's all nice and macabre and normal.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

A Christmas review

When the family was gathered and socializing on Christmas, in that nice pre-dinner chatting phase, my mother looked at me and whispered, "Can I tell them my news?" HER news. Ahem. Right. This is the same woman who told me straight out, if not quite in these words, that my inherent value as a person had diminished, and that my greatest worth now was to be an incubator for her grandchild.

I arched my eyebrow and retorted, "Do you mean MY news?" And then, without any plan, ceremony or ritual, I hollered out, "By the way, I'm knocked up. I'm 9 weeks pregnant." It wasn't quite how I'd planned to share my news with the family, but then again, I wasn't sure I was going to tell them just yet. Because despite the perfect Hal.lmark moment of telling the entire family I'm pregnant on Christmas day, I'm still only around 9 weeks. And have had pieces of paper that say "threatened abortion" in my RE's office. And now have a possible weird infection (more on that later). So I was feeling apprehensive about sharing the news, but with my mom's stage whisper about "news", I pretty much felt pressured into telling.

Hence the super countrified, red-neck announcement. I felt like that blonde actress on "My Name is Earl": "Hey, y'all, guess whut? I missed my monthlies, and now I'm all pregnified."


In my family, I'm in a weird, solitary position. I'm quite a bit younger than one group of cousins, and a bit older than the other group of cousins; so, I was in the middle and never quite fit in with either. One group babysat me, while I babysat the other! But the younger set is in a branch of the family that doesn't really come to the family dinners, so I remain in the minds of everyone something of a "baby" of the family.

After my announcement, one of my male cousins-by-marriage-- whom I adore, and is a cut up-- whispered to me, "You're pregnant? Ewww, that means you've been doing it." Throughout the evening he would pop into whichever room I was in and sing, "Kim's gonna have a baaaaaby!"

While my news was met with joy, that joy was accompanied by disbelief. No one could quite believe that I was pregnant since I'm the "baby"--despite me being closer to 40 than to 30-- and I don't think that anyone wanted to think of the "baby" having sex. My family has no idea of my infertility struggles, or that I used known-donor sperm to get pregnant. I see/speak to most of them 4-5 times a year, and it isn't exactly a topic you discuss with acquaintance-level people, even if they're relatives!


I had two female cousins, at different occasions, ask me what color the baby would be. One male cousin (the same one I mentioned earlier, who sang to me) tried to come to my defense--even though the defense was about as lame as the questions-- saying, "Well, she's black, so her baby will be black. It doesn't matter what the father is; if one of them is black, the baby is black."

Ouch that not only one, but TWO, relatives even asked such a thing. A part of me understands. I am different from my family, have always been different. Imagine being 16 years old, deep in the heart of Dixie. You happen to adore "The Rocky Horror Picture Show", Dead Kennedys, Poison, and A-Ha. And you've just gotten a Mohawk. Oh yeah, and you're black. If you want to be around people who like the same things that you do, your friends are going to be mostly white.

So over the years, my family has gotten smart enough to know that there's a pretty good chance that if I ever had a child, there's a 50% chance the father would be not-black. Still, I couldn't believe that I was asked the question, that it should even matter enough for the idea to be vocalized. Since I never said anything about being with someone, it should have been clear that I was having the baby on my own; so, to me, it doesn't matter what/who/where the father is, it's MY baby.

Want to know what's really sad-funny? I have had moments like this many times over the years, where members of my family have asked questions about the race of my friends, significant others, etc., or made comments about "those" kind of people. Yet I have never had a comment like that from my not-black OR black friends, not in all these years.


The night before Christmas eve, I had the mother of all BMs, and it was lovely. I know that sounds gross, but anyone who is/has been pregnant knows how magical a good BM can be sometimes, when vitamins and nature have you slowed down and stopped up.

Anyway, I was doing part one of the wipe, where you do the front bit. Having been a TTCer for many long years, I'm still in the habit of checking to see what's on the tissue. Well, there happened to be a huge gob of mucous, which I assume had been dislodged by the all the pushing action going on. Problem was, it was yellow-green. I know that yellow-green= double plus ungood when it comes out of your vajayjay.

There was no weird smell, no itching/burning, no pain. I've been having some mild cramps, but then again I'd been having those all along. Other than that one episode, there's been no more weird cootchie-snot. Still, the worrier in me is now half-convinced that I have some strange infection that's going to give my baby flippers for arms.

This of course had to happen over the holidays, when everything is closed. My OB office finally opened up today, and I called and begged/cajoled an appointment for tomorrow morning. My OB is on vacation (of course!) for about a week, but I'll get to see someone else in the practice. I really don't care, as long as they can do the procedures to check me for infections.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Ultrasound pics to date

Okay, so I've talked about the various ultrasounds, but haven't posted any pics. I finally scanned them, so here they are.

12/4/07, 5w6d. Heartbeat= 102 bpm
It looked much cooler live. I could see the membrane, yolk sac, and the flickering of the heartbeat.

12/11/07, 6w6d. Heartbeat= 115 bpm. CRL= 5.8 mm.
I had no idea what I was seeing, other than recognizing the flicker of the heart.

12/21/07, 8w2d. Heartbeat= 169 bpm. CRL= 18.3 mm.
I love today's pic! Juniper is all spread-eagle and like, "Whoohoo! Look at my junk! You can't tell what it is yet, but lookit!"

It is so unbelievable, how much has changed in just a couple of weeks. There are arms and legs in there! And a Big Giant Head, over on the right.
I think Juniper looks like a gummy bear, with that big head, and little stubby limbs.

Third u/s

I had my last appointment with my RE this morning, and it was weird to realize that I won't be going back to that office for a long time, if ever.

Baby Juniper surprised all of us, and proved that I was right about how far along I'm supposed to be. Both the RE and the u/s tech said that a measurement at this point (7-8 weeks) would be more accurate than the measurements a couple of weeks ago. If you remember, the measurements two weeks ago put me almost a week behind, and would have made me 7w5d today.

Well, Juniper was nicely spread out, head and bottom clearly seen (not to mention arm and leg buds), so the sonographer got a great view to measure CRL. She also did the sac size, yolk sac, and checked out my hematoma. She even looked at my ovaries, which the other tech hadn't done in my previous ultrasounds.

The final verdict was 8w4d, with a variance of +/- 2 days. I reminded my RE that by ovulation I should be 8w2d, and he agreed that that was a perfect dating for me; he also gave me back my original due date. So here's all the info I remember from today's final RE visit:

8w2d ultrasound
CRL= 18.3 mm (measuring 8w4d)
FHR (fetal heart rate)= 169 bpm
EDD= 7/30/08

My hematoma is below the baby, close to my cervix, and is smaller than it was 2 weeks ago. My RE is completely unconcerned about it, but says that I'm free to come in or call if I experience any more bleeding or spotting. In the last 2 weeks, I've only had 1 solitary dot of brown-tinged cm, so I'm feeling pretty good. RE also says that at this point, considering growth, heartrate, and all that good stuff, I have a less than 5% chance of miscarriage, even with my spotting episodes, so that's reassuring.

So now... it's off to the OB!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Embryo nicknames

In response to some name comments: I have no idea why, and of course there is a 50% chance I'm wrong, but I have been feeling "boy" from the moment I discovered I was pregnant. That's why all the nicknames I come up with are masculine; feminine names don't even register in my mind, because of course it's a boy.

I always thought I'd prefer a girl if/when I ever had a child. Now that I'm pregnant and for some reason think it's male, I'm excited about the prospect. I guess, to be honest, I don't really care about gender as much as I thought I did. I'll want to know what the gender is, of course; it just won't be a disappointment, whatever the tech says!

Notes for readers!

I've been out of town on a family holiday trip, and it was marvelous. Upon my return, I knew I would immerse myself into another glorious holiday celebration for the entire weekend, and was looking forward to it like crazy. In the 12 hours or so between the two celebrations, I decided to glance briefly at my email, and really wished I hadn't: some self-righteous (yet cowardly, since it was anonymous) person had decided to leave a message of vitriol on my blog.

The main focus of the diatribe seemed to be because I mentioned massive drinking on Thanksgiving, the day before I knew I was pregnant. The big worry was about FAS, as said Commenter apparently works with young children who were born with FAS and FAE. The problem was, it wasn't just concern being aired; it was a vicious attack on me by someone who, once again, hasn't the balls to identify themselves or engage in discourse.

So to any and all who were wondering, I have one word for you: hyperbole. If you don't know what it means, then get a dictionary and learn something about language and writing.

And not that it's anyone's business, and I feel ashamed that I'm defending myself, but anyway--- if you actually know me, and/or have read my blog over time, you know my "drinking & partying" habits. Which, in effect, basically means I have 1-2 drinks, if any, at all events, and am then done. Because I am single, and always have to drive myself home. Which means I can't overindulge, because I always have to make sure I am safe to drive.

And speaking of being single, Commenter mentioned that, as well. It seems that because I am single and currently unemployed, not to mention being an obvious alcoholic, I am apparently unfit to become a parent. Well, I don't really feel like being literary and mature anymore, so I'm going to say FUCK OFF.

I am pregnant for the first time in my life, and am emotionally high-strung. If you are a stranger and don't have anything nice to say to me, then keep your fucking mouth shut. If you're a friend and have unkind things to say, then do it privately in a one-on-one situation, not in my "journal".

Either way, there will no longer be any anonymous comments allowed. All comments will be moderated. If nastiness continues, then I will disable comments entirely. My emotional state is easily shaken right now, and I just don't need this kind of bullshit right now.

Does Commenter actually think that I am not aware that this is not the most economically propitious time for me to be pregnant? Of course I know that; I don't need an anonymous slag pointing it out like some 19th century do-gooder trying to show the poor tenement women the errors off their ways.

I also know that the cycle that I became pregnant was the least likely cycle for success in ages... and yet it was the one that worked. All the cycles I did while employed, and using fancy doctors, and drugs, and expensive tests, none of them worked. But the time I decided was the last cycle, where nothing more intricate than a vaginal insemination occurred, and I got pregnant? I tend to really hate it when people put hints of "otherness" on everyday events, but part of me can't help but think that I was supposed to get pregnant when I did; that even if Something Bad happens, there's something I'm supposed to learn from this.

I don't know, I'm rambling again. Anyway, even though Commenter pissed me off for several hours, I had a fantastic week, both with friends and family. It's Christmas time, one of my favorite times of the year, and I'm enjoying it. It doesn't take money to share love.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Second u/s

Irony of all ironies: even though I KNOW when I ovulated and have been dating my pregnancy accordingly (6w6d today), today's u/s, CRL and heartrate measurement all date Li'l Cooter's age as 6w2d... which actually corresponds to my LMP date. So, according to Dr. McHottie, my new due date is August 3, instead of July 30. Dr. McH says he really doesn't know why there's a discrepancy, but that nothing about this process is exact; that even women who do IVF and know EXACTLY when their embryos are transferred, have discrepancies when they have dating u/s. The most likely scenario is that Cooter was a late implanter, but we'll never know.

Because I've had some issues-- namely, pains & cramps, spotting/hematoma, low progesterone, and Bubba Jr. being a bit smaller than expected, I'll see Dr. McHottie one more time, in two weeks, before he releases me to the ob-gyn. I know that it's a technicality, and that it's helpful in working the insurance company, but it's freaky as hell to look at my paperwork and see the words, "Threatened Abortion".

On a happier note, Tripp is 5.8mm, has a heartrate of 115 bpm (up from 102 last week), and is measuring 8w2d. As soon as I have a chance I'll get the pictures scanned and posted.

Last but not least, since I have no idea what I want to nickname this little one, I've just decided to call it whatever pops into my mind. So far, it's mostly southern nicknames, but who knows?

Monday, December 10, 2007

BFP pics

Even though this is really late, here are my BFP pics for posterity's sake.

This is the first one, which was peed upon at the crack of dawn, the day after Thanksgiving. It was also the day after generous gin & tonics, but that's a story for another day. Like, when I'm explaining to little Rutherford why he was born with his heart outside his body. Anyway, this is on Friday, Nov 23rd, 16dpo, with FMU (first morning urine):

The next day I was still in shock, and peed on another test "just to be sure". Here's the test from that Saturday evening, with something like, the sixth urine of the day:

I Heart Raisin Bran & Healthy Bowels

I realized that I unknowingly lied the other day about cravings. I didn't really see it as a craving, but it hit me this morning: I've been satisfying a "craving" for almost two weeks now. I am addicted to Raisin Bran. Also oatmeal to a small degree, but the main culprit is Raisin Bran.

If I do not have Raisin Bran for breakfast, then I will have it for lunch. If not for lunch, then it will be dinner. I don't think I've gone more than 36 hours at a time without getting a RB fix. That stuff is like crack to me. And to think I've been wondering why I haven't had any problems with my bowels. Hah! With all the oat & bran fiber I'm eating--coupled with the 4 million ounces of water per day that I'm drinking-- it would take a miracle for me to get backed up.

(knock wood)

Saturday, December 08, 2007


Dinner= vanilla milkshake + BBQ pork rinds.

That even sounds nasty to me, but it sure was nice going down. Here's the thing, though: I didn't crave pork rinds with a shake. I wanted a shake AND I just happened to also want some pork rinds. I didn't want to choose, I wanted them both equally. I do believe this was my first instance of craving.

Now I understand that pickle-and-ice-cream legend. Eat up, baby; soak up the southerness! All I need now is a Moon-Pie, an RC cola, and a bag of Funyuns to send my unborn child right on the road to being nicknamed something like "Cooter" or "Bubba".


On an unrelated note: I have a super-nose now. I don't know if this is simply a side effect of quitting smoking, if it's because of the pregnancy, or if it's from both. But I am super-sensitive to the scent of cigarette smoke, and in a weird way: I like the smell of someone smoking, but the smell of them AFTER they've smoked is completely repellent.

As in, if I'm on a patio and someone is smoking, I find the scent of the smoke wafting on the breeze wonderful. But the moment the cigarette is put out, the person who was smoking suddenly smells like they rubbed a dirty ashtray all over themselves, and it's very icky to me. Weird.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Tummy sleeping

Sometimes the most silly things pop into your head. Last night as I was about to drift off to sleep, I thought, "Wow, you'd better enjoy this while you can. Before you know it, you won't be able to sleep on your tummy anymore."

Yes, I am a dedicated belly-sleeper. 60% of the time I sleep on my tummy; 39% finds me on my side. And that rare 1% is back sleeping, which usually only happens when I have a cold and can't breathe, so I sleep on my back, propped up on 19 pillows.

Honestly, though, it's already somewhat uncomfortable to sleep on my tummy, although it has nothing to do with my uterus: it's the boobs. They've gone from my normal huge, to gigantic and sore, and I have to do some creative pillow positioning to be able to sleep on my tummy without the weight of my body causing horrific agony as I crush my own breasts.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

The tiniest heartbeat

Yesterday was a busy day. I had a cardiology appt. in the morning, then had to work in a nap, and finally the u/s at 3pm. The u/s went well, and I saw a little blob: one gestational sac, one yolk sac, and one baby-blob. The little blob-- already showing off advanced skills-- was showing a heartbeat at a mere 5w6d. What a gifted little ink blot! I've toyed with calling "it" Rorschach, but too many people mispronounce it, and it drives me nuts.

Anyway, things look good, except that I have a subchorionic hematoma. Of course, that explains the spotting I've been having: some of that blood is making its way out. My RE was supremely unconcerned and very optimistic about things, telling me that at least 25% of normal pregnancies have spotting and bleeding, and are just fine. Of course, I still worry about what percent of pregnancies have bleeding that AREN'T normal pregnancies. But for now, I'm trying not to worry to much, and just to coast on the feeling of a good early u/s.

Because of the bleed, my RE is allowing me to go back next week for a follow up u/s. Of course I'm taking him up on it! I know that once I leave the world of fertility specialists, and enter the world of regular ole OBs, weekly/bi-weekly ultrasounds become a thing of the past!

Sunday, December 02, 2007

MoM: Depeche Mode (remixed)

So, this one does double duty as it not only pays homage to one of my favorite groups since I was about 16, but also is a great example of the techno I love(d) so much. Oddly enough, I like this remix of "A Pain that I'm Used To" much more than I like the original. Go figure. I'm a whore for a good dancin' tune.

So freaking tired

We got some new DVDs in the mail the other day, and one of them was "Ocean's 68", or 13, or whichever number the new one was. As it's been a while since I last saw O11 & O12, I decided that a rainy Sunday was perfect for a marathon of testosterone.

I got halfway through O11 and nearly gave myself a concussion when my noggin began to dip as I fell asleep, and it headed for the surface of the coffee table. It's really sad when you're falling into an uncontrollable sleep at 1pm. And that's after sleeping a full 8-9 hours, too. Well, minus a couple of bathroom breaks, and the obligatory punani-pessary insertion.

Two days until my first ultrasound, where I'll get to see if there's really something in there. I know that sounds completely stupid, but I honestly don't think I'll believe that I'm pregnant until I see something on the ultrasound screen. I know I've seen two positive home pregnancy tests, had two positive--and properly increasing-- hCG betas, have achingly sore breasts, and can barely stay awake more than 4-5 hours at a time. Still, there's a part of me that won't relax until I see a splotch on the u/s. Two more days.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Month of music: Duran Duran

I still get slightly breathless watching them (and Adam Ant, of course) in action. Good grief, when I was 12, I never noticed how much dark-haired Simon LeBon looked like Elvis... but I sure see it now. I guess he lightened his hair so much after this that the resemblance was lost, and that's a pity. There's nothing wrong with lookin' like the King, nothing at all.

Simon couldn't really dance, British boy that he was, but he had the lips and a bit of Elvis swivel going on, and that was enough. Here's "Planet Earth".

Friday, November 30, 2007

A month of music- Day 1: Nekromantix

I have no idea why, but I'm going to put up a lot of music/videos for a bit. I guess I just feel like giving you all a little more of a clue of who I am, as defined by my music. ;-) So, even though it's not officially December yet, I'm going to get started on my personal countdown for the month. Seeing as I've been listening to an older Nekromantix's cd lately, it's only appropriate that they're the first ones out of the gate.

Although I very much like "Gargoyles over Copenhagen", I think my fav from this cd is "Nice Day for a Resurrection". Unfortunately, I can't find a decent quality of that for your listening pleasure. So you get "Gargoyles" today, which is still a damn fine (& fun) bit o' psychobilly. Did I mention that I can't sleep at night?

Thoughts about pregnancy and IF

About a year ago on one of the message boards, there was a discussion amongst us IF girls about the proper pregnancy etiquette for those who made it over to the other side. Most people agreed that IF'ers who got pregnant shouldn't complain or fuss about pregnancy symptoms, and should be grateful for everything they were getting to go through; after all, there were so many who'd give anything to go through it, right?

I was not in agreement with the group. If I were in school, the note to my Mum would have read, "Does not play well with others." I believed that if I ever got pregnant, I would have every right in the world to complain about morning sickness or backaches. Just because I was a foot soldier in the Infertility War didn't mean I'd given up my rights as a prospective pregnant woman! Don't get me wrong; I think it's all about appropriate venues. I mean, I wouldn't go into a chat room full of women TTC and bitch. But in a pregnancy room, or on my own blog? It's going to happen, so be warned.

Even if I'm only pregnant for another 2 seconds, I want to remember all the things I felt, and one of the ways I do that is by writing about them on my blog. That said, here's my take on the early days of my pregnancy; your mileage may vary.

* "Tender breasts" is a lie. It would be more appropriate to say that my tits hurt from armpit to center chest. There is an overall soreness that seems to reach the height of pain at the nipples; if I touch the damn things, I will wince and/or whimper. And let's not forget the random, shooting, tingling pains that just scatter over your boobs with no warning. I am pretty much wearing some kind of bra almost 24 hours a day.

*Cramps: It's true what "they" say about cramps that feel just like PMS, when you're really pregnant. I swear to you all, that I just knew I was about to get my period. It felt exactly the same as period cramps until about 20 dpo. Then, for me at least, the cramps changed into something else.

*Fatigue: I have never felt this tired in all my life. Seriously. I knew fatigue was part of pregnancy, but I honestly thought it kicked in later. If I close my eyes for more than 3-5 seconds, I will fall asleep. I'm not kidding. It feels like that drugged & drowsy sensation you get when you have a cold, and you take a big dose of NyQuil-- sleepy, yet vaguely ill, and there seems to be a slightly unrealistic haze over the entire world. Except I feel like this all the time.

*Sleep: I didn't sleep for the first few nights after I found out I was pregnant, at least not more than 2-3 hours at a time. At first I thought it was just being scared and worried; then I figured it was just my body working out the nicotine; it's no easy thing to drop a 19-year smoking addiction cold-turkey! And it was probably mostly the nicotine, because after about three nights, I started sleeping better.

But I still wake up at least once a night, usually around 4am, and for no reason at all. Nope, don't have to pee; just waking up and staying awake for about an hour before I can go back to sleep. It's the most ironic thing, that I've never been so sleepy & tired in my life, and yet can't sleep well at night.

*Spotting, cramping, and other Bad Things: It doesn't matter how many years I've read about & researched early pregnancy, or how many times I've reassured other people that spotting/cramping is common, or how many people I know who've had it and everything was just fine. When you're the one pregnant, and you begin to spot and have different sorts of cramps, you will panic. You will be afraid. And nothing anyone tells you will change that, no matter how much you respect them or their knowledge or their experience (that is, unless they're wearing a white coat, and even that's not 100%). I finally get it.

*Smoking: If anyone is TTC and hasn't managed to quit smoking yet, I strongly urge you to do it now, before you get pregnant. Go through your cravings and insane moments before it counts for so much. It's a lot easier than I thought it would be, but it's still so incredibly hard. I know this will sound weird, but the thing that's helping me the most is keeping cigarettes around.

The pack that I was smoking before I peed on the pregnancy test has about 6-7 cigarettes in it. I've been carrying that partial pack, along with my favorite black-matte Zippo, around with me. Every single day, everywhere I go. See, my mind is kinda perverse in that, if I had no cigarettes, I'd want them even more, and would probably run off and buy a pack. And if I went and bought a pack, I can guarantee you I'd give in and smoke one (at least, until it made me gag).

But if I have them, there's no feeling of being deprived "just because I've run out". So I know at all times that I have them, and I could smoke if I had a weak moment and gave in. And just knowing that they are available makes me aware that every time I have that craving, I have to make the conscious choice not to touch them, not to give in. So far, so good. But I know I'm human, and I'll have to keep making that choice

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Today's beta (22 dpo)

Today's beta was 2,553 (up from 1,321 a couple of days ago). I am happy. And I guess even more importantly, my RE is happy right now. The weird ovary-ish/side area pains have gone away for now, and there's been no more spotting.

My first ultrasound is next Tuesday. I have to say, that is one huge advantage to going to a fertility specialist if you do happen to get pregnant: you don't have to wait until you're 18-20 weeks along to get an u/s! They start coming early, which is comforting if you've had issues.

I'm starting to get excited now, even though I know it's still early days yet. The idea that I can at least see the sac in five days is just so cool.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Beta from yesterday (20dpo)

Last night I started having wicked cramps and pains on my right side, and woke up this morning to some slight spotting. Once I talked to my nurse, I wasn't too surprised that there was some spotting action going on, seeing as my progesterone yesterday (which was 20 dpo) was only 9.27. I was immediately put on the waxy vajayjay P4 bullets of death. Well, okay, not "of death" perhaps, but certainly "of panty staining".

Despite what you might think at times of my writing, I assure you that I can be verbally eloquent at times. Due to my ability to vividly describe how the pain I'm having now is different from the pain I've had over the last week, my nurse is cautiously giving me the ectopic speech. Just in case. So we can watch.

So where are we now? Ah, yes: low progesterone, punani suppositories, and a mention of ectopic pregnancy. On the good side, my hCG level was 1,321 at 20dpo. I go back tomorrow for another draw (5w1d / 22 dpo), and will get my results tomorrow afternoon, probably around 3 or 4 pm.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Positive hpt on 11/23 at 16dpo!

There's all kinds of stuff I need to write about this, but here's the simple skinny: I am most likely pregnant, and I am happy.

I got a positive home pregnancy test last Friday, and have been processing this massive information for the last 4 days since then. I'm finally able to write about what's been happening in my head. It isn't all pretty, and parts of it will severely piss off most TTCers. You've been warned.

Thanksgiving/Thursday: I'm in throes of what feels like PMS- cramps, sore boobs, slightly cranky. Expecting my period any second. Feeling a little depressed, since this was most likely going to be my last cycle TTC, and I could tell my period was coming. I'd decided a long time ago to stop at the end of 2007, and well, it was about that time.

In what was probably self-defense thing, I'd been convincing myself for several weeks that I not only could have a happy life without children, but that I would now PREFER not to have children. So it was just fine with me that my period was coming. This whole TTC journey was about to be over, and I could move on with the rest of my life.

Friday: My basal temperature is still pretty high, and I didn't have my period. I decided to take a hpt for shits and giggles. It was actually positive. I was completely numb and unbelieving. I couldn't believe that on a completely natural cycle, I was seeing a positive hpt. That, just when I'd decided to be happy about being childless, I was seeing a positive hpt. Numb and mostly speechless for the day.

However, just in case this is all real and not just a dream, I did what I always said I'd do: as soon as I saw the positive hpt, I put down my cigarettes. I can choose to smoke and harm myself, but it's not fair to make that choice for someone who can't speak up for themselves!

Saturday & Sunday: I spent hours weighing the pros and cons, and examining how I honestly felt. At this point, if a pregnancy is confirmed by my doc, I am not sure what I will do. The numbness has worn away, and I am now simply panicked and paranoid. Probably didn't help that I'd now been nicotine-free for 24-48 hours, and was more than likely suffering from some withdrawal issues. I am a serious smoker at more than a pack a day. I say "am" instead of "was" because I believe that I will always be a smoker, even if I don't smoke for ten years. It'll always be there. I have never, ever, been this freaked out in all my life. Never.

Monday: I have now recovered my right mind, and know that I will have my child if I am pregnant. Am totally aghast that any other alternative ever crossed my mind, even in the midst of the largest panic attack of my life. But I know that I am human, and I've learned to forgive myself for bad thoughts. It's harder to forgive bad deeds, but I'm not so catholic that I'm going to continually bash myself for thoughts.

Tuesday: I've just gotten home from getting blood draw to check my hCG beta level, but won't know the results until tomorrow. NOW I know that you have to be at the lab before 9am to get your results the same day.

I drove home smiling and happy, full of joy that I am PUPO (pregnant until proven otherwise). I'm still scared, because the rest of my life is a bit shit right now, but I'll work it out. With some elbow grease, help from loved ones, and perhaps a miracle or two, I think everything will be okay.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Another random day

I'm feeling very random this morning, and have no coherent theme. Sorry.

-I can't believe that my friend Lila is so far along in her pregnancy. I swear it seems like yesterday that we sat out on her balcony with her husband, and looked at positive pee tests. Now she's 30w, and her baby shower is tomorrow. Wow.

-Yesterday I was thinking about one of my favorite authors, Robert Jordan (James Oliver Rigney, Jr.). First I was just thinking that it was neat that his real last name is the same as one of my best friends, whose family name was O'Rigney before their arrival at Ellis Island. They were from around Tipperary, I believe. Then I had a flash of thought that shamed me as soon as it went through my head. I had the very selfish thought that I was kinda pissed that he'd died before finishing the series I've been reading for over half my life, that he croaked with one freakin' book left to go. Then I realized that to his family and friends, he was more than just an author; he was someone's husband, someone's best friend, and they'd lost him. My "grief" over a book was nothing in comparison to a man's life. I felt very small in that moment.

-Cartoons on non-cable TV channels pretty much suck. I remember being really excited every autumn because all the new cartoon shows would be starting, just like prime-time TV. Now, everything is on kids-specific channels, and I really think the kids today are missing out. I didn't even have to look at the clock to know when 11am arrived, because cartoons would end, and wrestling would come on, which my grandmother loved. Then after wrastlin', westerns and kung-fu movies started coming on at noon, which was my signal that it was time to head outside and make mud pies near the hydrangea bushes, play in the vegetable garden, pretend to be Princess Leia, and climb anything that I'd been told not to climb. Ahh, good times!

-I am DYING to take my goddaughter Chava to the cinema to see "Enchanted" next week, but am worried that she might be too little to handle a movie in a theater. She's about 2.5, which I know is kinda on the cusp for a trip to the movies. But I'm hoping that they have a "kids" showing early in the morning, which just might work for her. If anyone has any tips for taking little ones to the movies, I love to hear them!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Pride & (job) Prejudice

Time is such a strange thing, especially when you're unemployed. Regular schedules don't really mean anything, when you have nothing you absolutely have to do, nowhere you have to be. Sure, I want to email and fax resumes at a nice early hour so I look industrious. But it doesn't matter if I do it at 8, 9, or 10am; no one is making me punch a clock when I hit "Send" or tracking what time I go off to Kin.kos.

Some days I start off at 8am, while others start at 10am. Some nights I go to bed at a "nice girl" time of midnight, while others I might be up until 4am. If it weren't for the five TV shows I'm addicted to (Scrubs, Family Guy, The Simpsons, Heroes, & My Name is Chuck), I might not pay much attention to time at all.

I guess it's really the whole feeling like an aimless loser that gets to me. It was different when I was younger. Back then, I wasn't worried about bills, because as long as I had 1,286 roommates, my expenses weren't that high. I mean, I could get by on $10,000/year back then. Ahhh, the memories of youthful ignorance!

Now, though, I've gotten used to being the provider. My mum and I both carry our own weight, but I'm used to being the one who brings home the bacon; now, I'm only bringing generic Bac-O-Bits. So not only my bank account is suffering, but also my pride.

And my pride is the very thing I'm going to have to ditch by the roadside. I'm going to have to stop being so choosy about what I apply for, and just get a job. Period. It's just so hard, to know that I have the education, skills and experience for a really good job... but that I'm going to have to settle for a crappy job. Maybe even a (gasp!) retail job, which I'd sworn I'd never do again, once I made it past the youthful mall-job days. Don't get me wrong: I don't think there's anything wrong with working in a shop. It's just that I did it for a long time way back when, and it was something I never regretting leaving. I can't believe that I might have to consider retail as an option to replenishing my bank account.

God, being a grown-up sucks sometimes.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Fast times in the slow south

I was out running errands a while ago, and as I was driving home there was quite a spectacle in the oncoming traffic. There were 4-5 big tour buses, accompanied by about a half-dozen motorcycle cops. I wondered who in the hell could it be, driving through this town with an entourage like that? I mean, I don't keep up with sports, so it could have been some team. I can't think of any major concert that just happened/is about to happen, so I don't think it was a rock star rolling through. The only thing I could think of was maybe it's connected to a movie production, since for some strange reason people are filming a lot of movies here lately.

"Hello Mr... Bubba, is it? Can we rent out your farm for a month? We're shooting a movie, and your cotton fields are just FABulous."

Bubba spits out an almost-solid stream of brown 'bakky juice, dribbles of which enrich the already-brown crusty patches on his beard, before asking, "Whut kinda movie? And are you a man or a woman, with them purty, shiny fingernails?"

"Uh, it's a horror movie, where giant boll weevils decimate a town before the good-hearted, but misunderstood, high-school misfit saves the day. And I'm a man, by the way."

Flashback: I once saw a car get repossessed, and it really does happen as quickly as the TV shows say. One moment I was getting in my car to do some silly errand, and watched as a small tow-truck backed up to a car. It was blocking my favorite exit from the parking lot, so I had to go around the back lot to get to the other exit. By the time I got to the street, no more than 3-4 minutes later, the tow-truck was zooming down the road with the car. Now, mind you, I wasn't 100% sure it was a repo, but I knew the car wasn't disabled and I could tell something was weird from the way the tower acted. So following an insane urge, I mentally dropped my errands and took off after the tow truck. I probably followed them for about 15 minutes, cell phone ready, until they got to the part of town where the car-graveyards are. That's when I figured I'd wasted enough gas and time, and it was more than likely a repo.

Fast forward: Today I felt the same crazy urge, except this time it was pure curiosity. I really wanted to know what was up with the tour buses. I very nearly turned into the closest place-- a Wendy's-- so I could turn around and follow them, but I managed to fight the urge. Not because I'm so mature or anything, but because once I saw the Wendy's I really wanted a frostie.

I'm about 2dpo today, so officially (if I really stretch my imagination) premenstrual. And nothing stands between pseudo-PMSing me and pseudo-chocolate, not even the possibility of chasing down elusive celebrities.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Maybe people aren't so bad after all

Every now and then, I am pleasantly surprised by my fellow man. It doesn't happen often, but it seems to be just often enough to keep me from becoming totally jaded.

A couple of hours ago, a motorcycle policeman who was sitting at a red light was hit by a car. The crash launched the officer into the air, he hit the ground on his back, and his motorcycle landed on top of him. The perps (I've seen way too many episodes of CSI: Insert Your City Here) sped away from the scene.

But here's where it gets better: several people who were at the scene followed the perps in their own cars, a chase that went across the city. And of course, this being the tech age and all, they were on their cell phones as they pursued, talking to police dispatchers and giving them details, descriptions, and directions... while driving like bats out of hell after the perps until the cops were able to take over the chase. That really makes me feel warm inside.

Sure, maybe those folks were just adrenaline junkies, out for a thrill. Or maybe they were publicity-seekers who hoped to get their faces on the news and their names in the paper. But me, well, I'd rather think that they were just good-ole boys (and gals) who saw something bad happen, and wanted to make sure that the a-holes were caught. That someone needed help, and without thinking, they did what they thought was necessary, regardless of the possibility of harm to themselves.

Sometimes, just sometimes, my faith in humanity is given a restorative booster shot.

*ETA: They got the three guys who were in the car, and the officer is in non-critical condition at the moment.

Selective Reduction

Yeah, I know: that's an explosive subject line, ain't it? Well, I've been thinking a lot about it lately. For those of you who aren't entrenched in the world of TTC, selective reduction is an intentional reduction in the number of fetuses a woman carries in a multiple-fetus pregnancy. Most especially, in a pregnancy with high-order multiples (HOM), generally regarded as triplets or more.

When you've been TTC a long time, you're just about willing to try anything that might help you conceive. And drugs can help by causing more follicles to grow. More follicles= more eggs= more chances that at least one of them will fertilize, implant, and become your baby. But I really think that there are too many women blithely going through cycles with too many follicles. IVF is different; with IVF, the number of embryos transferred into the uterus can be controlled. But when you're growing a lot of follicles for an IUI or timed intercourse cycle, there is no control, other than having "excess" follicles aspirated or choosing to do SR if needed.

The thing that scares me is how many women say they "just couldn't" do SR, yet they go on with their cycles with large numbers of follicles. Yeah, and nine months later, you'll see a human interest piece on the news about a set of quintuplets born. And on the other hand, there are a lot of women who still don't get pregnant, regardless of the 5 follicles they had plumped and ready to go. There are just no guarantees, and that's the problem. I just don't understand how some people can be so blase about the chances of, and risks of, a HOM pregnancy.

It's kinda like a teenager having sex without a condom: sure, you might get pregnant, but there's a higher chance that you won't. Buuut... if you DO get pregnant, then you have to make really hard choices. Do you keep the child? Put her up for adoption? Have an abortion? All tough decisions, and all with their own consequences.

And don't get me wrong: I'm not saying that I think that all HOM pregnancies should be reduced, or that every cycle with multiple follicles should be cancelled. I'm just saying that I think that women need to take the possibility of multiples more seriously, and be aware that no matter if 40 women told you it didn't happen to them, that it could happen for you. And that if it does, you're either going to have to abort one or more of your babies, or toughen up and be prepared to raise more than one.

I just want people on infertility boards to stop trying to be cheerleaders all the time, and to sometimes, just sometimes, give the tough love that's needed in certain situations.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

CD 11 and counting

Ladies and gentlemen, introducing my reproductive organs: I am on cd11, with no drugs--and only dregs of hope-- in me. I feel like I'm just going through the motions, to be honest. I do not, in my heart of hearts, believe that I will ever be pregnant or bear a child. I really don't. It's only those tiny scraps of hope that keep me going through the motions at this point, cycle after cycle. I don't know when to quit. I guess it's the fact that there is no possibility of a "miracle" pregnancy for me. You know, those miracles that happen when a couple decides to stop all the fertility treatments, or are on a break cycle from treatment, and she miraculously gets pregnant after trying for 3 years? Well, I'll never get that miracle.

I'm single, so there's no chance a random night of sex with my husband/fiance/boyfriend will get me knocked up. I have to deliberately make the choice to introduce semen into my body, and make arrangements so to do. So for there to be any hope of pregnancy, I have to keep going through the motions. It's that difference that makes it drag on. I can't quite completely give up hope, so I have to keep on insemming. Even though I know it isn't going to work. But I can't quit yet. This is so insane, and I know it. But I still can't stop yet. Next week will be insemination #1,298,635. At least, that's what it feels like.


By the way, part of the reason—other than all the craziness I’ve updated about today—I haven’t written in a while is because I’m finally making the switch to a high-speed internet connection. Yes, I still use… wait for it… a dial-up connection. My best guy-friend teases me by calling me a Mennonite.

Anyway, all the equipment was gathered last week, cords were unhooked and directions were spread out. And then the grand realization that parts were missing. Okay, fuck it; a trip to the depot of office stuff would have to wait until the higher priority problems were solved.

One thing after another (see previous blogs) just popped up, leaving little motivation to fiddle with new technology. So, I finally just gave in and started hooking up the good ole phone line again so I could get online. I was seriously fiending for a fix, I tell ya!

Maybe this weekend, now that things have settled down, I can take my first step into the modern world and get my fancy new internet stuff hooked up.

Kitchen woes

In the last week, everything in my kitchen has decided to go on strike. The can opener quit working. The kitchen sink was leaking uncontrollably; I figured the stems are bad. The fridge began leaking and then died, resulting in the loss of all the foodstuffs therein as well as some water damage. After days of no response to phone calls, the leasing office finally had the maintenance guys fix the sink and install a new fridge yesterday... after we made a personal appearance in the office to verbally kick a little ass.

The moment the spanking-new fridge was installed, I looked at the maintenance guys and said, "That's not going to work; the doors open the wrong direction."

"Huh?" the head maintenance guy replied oh-so-intelligently.

"The doors," I explained patiently. "They open the wrong way. We can't actually get into the fridge. You'll have to change the hinges so the doors open the other way."

After staring at me for a moment, he replied, "Oh, you can only do that on the really expensive fridges. This is a basic model, so I guess we'll have to get another fridge." Which, in maintenance speak, means it could be a week before I saw him again.

I quickly pointed out the extra anchor spots on the opposite side on top of the fridge. "No, see, here are the spots where the hinges go if you want the door to open the other way. You can fix this one."

Head guy looked at the other guy and sighed. "She really knows her stuff, huh?" Then he looked at me and said, "Yeah, I could switch the doors; I just didn't want to."

Didn't want to?!? What the hell? And don't get me started in on his apparent, original assessment of my intelligence. I mean, I might not know how to work a table saw, but even I know enough to be aware that you can switch the doors on a fridge! Anyway, they came back today--just left, as a matter of fact, and you know I think it's funny that I was typing this while they were working 15 feet away from me-- and fixed the doors. It took all of 20 minutes.

I actually learned a lot about maintenance, working in property management. I might not know how to fix things, but I'm pretty good at diagnosing the problem and knowing what needs to be done. I just need someone else to do it!

I don't even want to talk about the water damage and all the work that created. All I can say is that it's over now, and I want to sink into blissful self-induced amnesia.

Baby shower #492

One of my old friends, Lila (whose ticker is at the bottom of my site), is getting pretty far along in her pregnancy, far enough that it's time to start the baby shower talk. Here's the deal: under normal circumstances, I would have been asking to throw her a baby shower when she hit her 2nd trimester. But I just couldn't do it, and part of me feels so bad about that. She is one of my oldest friends, and I can't give her a baby shower.

Financially, I just can't afford to spend several hundred dollars on a shower. I've been unemployed for three months, and my budget is tighter than tight. I simply don't have the money. I hate that it seems like I'm putting a price tag on my love, but I hope that we've been friends long enough that she understands my situation.

Emotionally, I'm not 100% sure I could do it even if I had the money. It sucks for Lila, the timing and all, but unfortunately for her, her pregnancy comes after almost all my friends have had a child or two, accompanied by multiple baby showers, some given by me. I just don't know how much I have left to give before I start bleeding inside. Correction: before my already-existent cut becomes hemorrhagic.

Then again, I know myself, and I can play the martyr like nobody's business, even if I'm the only one who knows I'm doing it. I know there's no way I'd not give a shower if I could, no matter how much I was dying inside. Just because I'm sad for me, doesn't mean I'm not happy for her. I've already agreed to get involved with the planning of her shower. I'm neither throwing it, nor the hostess, but I'm getting involved nonetheless. See, I TOLD you I'm a good martyr!

Stupid= good news sometimes

After numerous phone calls, emails, and pleas, I finally got most of the mess with my old employers straightened out. It turns out that the big lump of money to the Realtor's Association (RA) actually hadn't been paid yet; my ex-employer was doing a preemptive billing to get me to pay before they paid the RA. The only reason I found this out was because in my fervor to find out as much info as possible, I was hounding a clerk at the RA, who told me that my account hadn't been updated/paid for yet. So I had the clerk double and triple check, then called ex-employer (EE).

EE then checked their records, and couldn't see where they'd made a payment. Finally, the lady at EE who was handling all this exclaimed, "Oh, you know what? I didn't send that payment in, because the bill is still in my Inbox. I think I went ahead and billed you, so we could get your payment in before we had to pay RA." What the fuck ever. At least this one time, after as much BS I went through with idiots at home office, EE's incompetence actually saved my ass. Since they hadn't made the payment, and don't need to since I'm retiring my license, no harm/no foul. Except that I was worried sick about it for days on end. Stupid bastards.

Of course, the insurance issue is still out there, but I can't do anything about that. The insurance co. said that since a company check paid for the premium, then a representative of the co. would have to make the written request for the policy to be cancelled and a refund issued. Anyway, it seems like that ordeal is 80% over, thank goodness.

The moon sets, and the sun rises

A sci-fi writing club I've been in for over a decade is shutting down at the end of the year due to dwindling membership and participation. I have so many emotions that I can't even categorize them. A large part of me is grieving, because it, and the friends I made there, has been a staple of my life for so long. Even though I haven't been as involved lately as I used to be, I still have a special place in my heart for this group.

At the same time, part of me is relieved, because many of those same friends have ostracized me because I dared (gasp!) to state an opinion that they didn't agree with. And when I stated that opinion, not a single person out of the 5-6 people I wrote to bothered to respond to me. Not a single one, not a single word. And most of them that would contact me outside of the group's concerns no longer do so. Kinda made it clear to me where I stood. I'm fairly certain that once the dust settles, there will only be two or three people who bother to ever contact me again. Like I said, there are a lot of mixed emotions in this whole shebangabang.

Oh, and let's not forget the guilt, shall we? The insidious voice whispering to me that maybe if I'd done this or that, things might have been different. Maybe the group wouldn't be dying out if only... I think the phrase "if only" is the most evil phrase in existence. The truth, though, is that over the last three years infertility has been the number one thing on my mind. Writing stories about make-believe people wasn't nearly as important as talking to real-life people who understood what I was going through. Researching IF treatments, then writing about what I found to benefit others, was a higher priority than plotting dastardly deeds for a villain in a tale. I might have lost the ability to string together words to make an interesting story; but I can write a treatise on reproductive endocrinology that would make you swear I was a doctor.

Rambling now. All mixed up. An era is ending.

Time to update!

I can't believe it's been over two weeks since my last post. And I mean that both ways: I can't believe I let two weeks go by without even a quickie post; on the other hand, so much has happened that I can't believe it's only been two weeks. I sat down and wrote a ginormous post, but it was crazy. There's been a lot of stuff going on, so I'm going to break it up into separate posts so it isn't so massive.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

7 weird things about me

I've been tagged by Yodasmistress , and my task is to share 7 quirky or unusual things about me. So, without further ado:

1) Even though it's 2007, and we're firmly in a high-tech age, I don't have cable/satellite television. I have eight channels from which to choose my television viewing pleasures, and 75% of the time I watch PBS. 'Cause I'm a nerd who likes history and science, and I also like kid's TV. I dunno, maybe that's two things...

2) When I was a small child, around 3 years old, I used to wake up in the middle of the night, sneak into the kitchen, and eat butter. I'd take a stick of butter and unwrap it a bit, nibble a bit off the tip, wrap it back, and put it back in the 'fridge. When I got older, my mom told that she had been afraid that we'd gotten mice and they were somehow getting into the 'fridge, because she'd find these tiny toothmarks in the butter. Then one night she caught me, and the Midnight Butter Raids were busted. I have no idea why I liked butter so much. I can't help but wonder how much butter was wasted and thrown away because of the mystery bite marks. I also used to pour ketchup onto a saucer, and scoop it up with my fingers to eat it. I was an odd child.

3) This sounds totally gross, but I like peanut butter & jelly sandwiches with pickles. Whether it's pickle slices on the sandwich, or a spear on the side, it's all good. I discovered this odd combination in my hungry college years, and it never left me.

4) I've always been fascinated by social insects. Bees, ants, some wasps... I used to read about them voraciously, and would watch them with the patience of a miniature wanna-be entomologist. During my college/hippy phase, I had daydreams of becoming a beekeeper. Then again, I went to class barefoot wearing headscarves and broomstick skirts, so that whole phase of my life was weird.

5) I rarely shave my legs. My legs see a razor maybe 4 times a year, tops. Part of it is cultural, part of it is laziness. It was just never something that was prevalent, shaving legs, when I was growing up, so it never became a norm or a priority for me. Then when I got older and my social circle came to resemble an advertisement for Benetton, it was something that was "done" by my melanin-impaired friends ;-) and I thought I ought to do it, too. But the habit never became truly ingrained, partly because I don't really care about hair on my legs, and partly because it just takes too much effort. And despite what some men and women have said about leg hair negatively effecting sex appeal, I've never had a man get nekkid and say, "Good grief, woman-- go shave those legs!" Never. Not even once.

6) I have a weird thing about sheets. As in, when they're put on the bed, I will spend 5-10 minutes smoothing them out until nary a crease or wrinkle can be seen. I can go to bed with dirty dishes in the sink without even blinking, but sheets have to be smooth, damn it.

7) I love Little House on the Prairie. Specifically, I love the book series (although I'm not averse to watching the TV show). Laura Ingalls Wilder painted such vivid pictures of her life in her books that I continue to read them to this day. At least once a year or so, I'll pull out the whole series and read it through. I can honestly say that those books were probably the reason that I've been into arts & crafts my whole life. Who could read about candle-making, weaving & sewing, hunting and fishing, preserving food, etc., and not want to try it themselves?!?

Friday, October 12, 2007

The joy of Chava

I spent last night at the home of two of my best friends, who just happen to be the parents of my goddaughter "Chava". Back before Chava was born, I used to tease them, half-seriously, about how once they had "my baby", s/he would become more important to me than they. I was wrong, though; I discovered that the heart has an unbelievably vast capacity for love. I love them as much as I ever did, but at the same time, found a new love that has me reeling, almost two and a half years after she was born.

Chava, almost 2.5 years old, is my delight, my joy, my frustration, and my light. I never thought I could love a child this much; at least, not a child that did not come from my own body. I spoke to her before she was born; I had the honor of watching as she passed from her mother's body into the world; I rocked her through colic, colds, earaches and teething; I saw her first smiles; I stood before God and man, and vowed to watch, love, and teach her as her godmother; I watched her crawl for the first time; I watched her first steps. Although she is not the child of my body, she is the child of my heart. I am so attached to this child that I almost feel guilty for wanting to have a child, because how could I think of possibly usurping her position by giving birth to "my second" child?

When I see her, even if it's just a photograph of her, I just smile and think, "That face. I love that face." I know this sounds unforgivably hokey, but I don't understand how anyone can look into the face of a child, and not believe that there is a God; and I can't honestly think of how to explain that, at least not well. Children are such miraculous packages of joy that I can't help feeling a connection to the Divine when I'm in their presence.

When Chava screams because we've taken away her "lipsick" (lipstick, which is really lip balm), which she applies constantly for hours on end, I love her. When she throws herself at me, hugs my neck so hard she almost strangles me, nuzzles her nose to mine and claims me by saying, "My Kimmy!", I love her. When she frowns at me because I've committed the unforgivable faux pas of walking in front of the TV if she's watching Rella (Cinderella, also once known as "Dress" for the blue ball gown) or Caillou (a cartoon of a little Canadian boy, whose totally bald head makes me & Chava's parents joke about him going through chemo), I love her.

She goes to a bilingual daycare, and has since she was a newborn. Her first words were a mixture of English and Spanish, and she still occasionally uses Spanish at home. I think I've learned more Spanish from this child than I ever knew; if nothing else, out of a sense of desperation to figure out what she wants. Zapatos? Mas? Vamos? Aqui? What is she saying?!? Heck, I took German and Russian for my foreign languages! We're all learning baby-Spanish with her just to understand this child!

What can I say? I've watched this child grow from her first u/s picture (that made her look like a ghoul because her bones showed so clearly), to the strong-willed and enchanting little girl she is today. Everyday that I am with her, I am thankful that I am getting the opportunity to be a part of a child's life, and that that child is so wonderful. I just have to get her some more lipsick, because her dad keeps hiding it.

Oprah infertility show

Earlier this week, Oprah did a show on infertility. To be exact, it was about people using surrogate mothers in India, and a brief bit about IVF. I watched the show, waiting as always, to feel that sigh of relief, that someone in the media was finally going to show what it's like to struggle with infertility. And as always, I came away from the show feeling vaguely dissatisfied.

I want someone to show a real segment, with real feelings, about the pain of IF. The couple using the surrogate was okay, but I guess what I wanted was for them to teach the world about what led them to the decision: the feelings of hopelessness, because they'd been TTC for years with no success; the despair and loss of dignity of having to open the most intimate part of their lives to doctors; the strain as their marriage suffered under the twin yokes of scheduled sex and mutual resentment; the trickling away of hope every month when a spot of blood appeared.

Perhaps my expectations are too high, but I don't really think so. If the same show can capitalize on the heart-wrenching images of children weeping because of the problems caused by their parents' divorce, it can surely try to show the real pain of IF. I guess showing adults upset because they can't have a baby doesn't fetch ratings as much as showing cute little kids crying.

And the mini-segment on IVF that featured Alexis Stewart? I can't imagine anything less likely to induce empathy. She was so cold and detached while she talked about her multiple failed rounds of IVF that I was wondering if they'd replaced a human being with a robot. She could have just as easily been talking about getting a manicure done, she was so bland.

While I don't pretend that I know AS, or know her personal struggle, I'm going to be generous and say that perhaps her demeanor was her form of self-preservation: a sort of, "act detached and keep it impersonal, and maybe I'll come out of this interview with my dignity intact" kind of thing. But I think it backfired, because even I, a veteran in the IF war, found it hard to have any sympathy for a fellow soldier in the trenches. And that's sad.

We all have a right to do what we have to, to get through IF with as much of our sanity intact as we can. But if you're going to go on national television to talk about it, why not use the opportunity to do something really positive, and maybe show the world a real glimpse into the lives of people suffering from IF? It was pretty much a wasted hour, watching that episode of Oprah. Or, as my friends say, "That's an hour of my life I can never get back."

Friday, October 05, 2007

I have the no-job blues

Believe it or not, I could care less about TTC right now. I actually have NOT ovulated, and am on day 5,623 of my cycle (or maybe it's day 27, who knows?). I'm not bothering with opks anymore; at this point, I know this is a messed up cycle, and I have other things to worry about than TTC.

-I'm still unemployed, and it's not fun anymore. Yeah, sure, it was luxurious for a while, being able to sleep in everyday and have an extended vacation. But now it's just starting to get depressing. Am I just not good enough for anyone to hire me? Rejection is not a pretty feeling.

-Through a baffling mish-mash of miscommunication, error and stupidity, the company that I used to work for paid for the renewal of my insurance (real estate license E&O) and membership to the Realtor's association. Even though I was supposed to have been released from the company 2 months ago, and am in the process of retiring my real estate license. And even though the error was on their part, they've paid the fees and have been informed that none of them are refundable. Guess who's been presented with the bill? If I still worked for the company, they'd have paid for it. But since I'm not with them anymore, they expect to be reimbursed for all the fees. I now have a $500 bill sitting and waiting to be paid. And believe me, when you've been unemployed for 2 months, an unexpected bill for $500 is a huge blow.

-For the first time in my life, I've been having nightmares. Believe it or not, I've never had nightmares before. Now, though, it's like a nightly personal cinema, filled with horror, pain and despair. As much as I used to like sleep, it is no longer my friend.

I really don't know what to think most days. I feel like a failure and a loser because I can't get a decent job, while people I know with half my education make twice what I did. I'm worrying about things so much that I'm starting to have panic attacks. It just seems like nothing I do, or have ever done, is good enough. That I'm not good enough. No mate, no child, no job, and feeling like I'm sinking into depression.

And my friends have enough of their own drama that I'm not going to them for support. Besides, other than being a willing ear, there's not really anything that they can do, anyway. The only thing that keeps me slightly sane is remembering that I've had rough times before, and I've made it through. Not always whole or intact, but I've made it through.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

A wasted cycle

Today= cd19 / probably 1dpo
This cycle has been really wacky, more like the cycles I had when I first started ovulating. Cm scant and inconclusive, no positive opk, no blaring/obvious ovulation pain. Despite all that, I'm fairly certain that I ovulated last night. My temp was up to nearly post-O range this morning, my ovary twinges have disappeared, and the scant cm is now non-existent.

I haven't felt this lost since the beginning, back in the days where I'm sure I drove "old-hands" crazy with my constant cries of, "Did I ovulate yet? I think I did. No, wait, maybe tomorrow?!?" After the first few months, I figured out my body and its signs, and knew what was up. This cycle has me stymied and depressed, because the signs didn't work right.

This sucks so hard, because I wasn't able to insem. because of various problems. So, my last medicated cycle (at least for a while, if not forever) is a bust. I chemically altered my body for nothing, as there is no chance whatsoever of pregnancy. It's bad enough when you miss a cycle because of medical problems or money issues, or things like that. But having taken meds, peed on sticks 3-4 times a day, played with my cm, and faithfully temp'ed, all to make the plan and timing work, well, I feel betrayed by my own body. The thesaurus in my head is temporary unavailable, so I'll just have to repeat: this sucks so hard.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Walgreens sucks

Despite the ridiculously high premium, I decided to keep my health insurance when my property sold (and I became unemployed). My paperwork is still being processed, so technically I don't have insurance right now. This sucks in a lot of ways, but I'm not too sussed because I know it's coming as soon as some ham-fisted idiot clicks the right keys at his computer.

What really has me pissed off is Walgreens. Since I lost my job at the end of July, I've had at least 3-4 refills done there, and every single time they're not ready for pickup on time. All because the insurance on file isn't valid anymore, so when they run me in the system, C*gna denies it.

I understood the first time it happened; they didn't know, and they were following their procedures. I patiently explained that I no longer worked for that company, no longer had insurance, and so would be a cash-paying customer until further notice. They were super nice, got my meds ready really fast, and I was out of there.

The second time it happened, I wasn't quite as patient while explaining, yet again, the situation. The third time I needed a refill, I got smart: I called the pharmacy ahead of time, explained AGAIN, asked that they do whatever kind of magic with the computer to "fix" the problem, and pretty-please go ahead and fill my script.

Yesterday I realized that I needed a refill, so I got online and placed my order. It was supposed to be ready at 5pm yesterday, but I didn't need it that urgently so I decided to wait until today to pick it up. I showed up at 1pm, and a sweet old grandma pharm. tech rifled through the little trays. When she got to the back, and she didn't pull anything out, I knew it had fricking happened again. I explained, she put the order in, and off I went to waste time while waiting.

I ended up strolling through the aisles of Walgreens for 45 minutes. 45 minutes. There just isn't enough interesting stuff at Walgreens to fill up 45 minutes. When they finally called my name on the intercom, I headed back to the pharm., only to get asked for the second time in this same visit, "Do you have any new insurance?" by the young woman who'd taken over when Grandma left on break (or wherever she disappeared) while she was ringing me up.

About to explode, I explained AGAIN. Young Woman looked abashed, and told me that my account hadn't been updated with that information, so they have to check. I asked, rather pointedly, how many times I had to tell them before they updated?!? By this point, I'd paid and had my meds in hand, so I just stood there and stared at her. She finally went over to the computer and started typing. When she finished, she said that she'd entered information, and that hopefully it would update and take care of the problem.

Hopefully? Do they not know how their system works? I am so irate. I know it was "only" 45 minutes, but it was my 45 minutes, and I hadn't planned on spending it in Walgreens. I sent a complaint to the company, so we'll see if anything comes of it.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Just stuff

There's so much going on, and very little of it has to do with me! Cali is starting her donor egg IVF cycle; Sarah is gearing up for another round of IVF; Babe is the TWW of her 1st IVF cycle; and C & S are killing me with the wait for their ultrasound results.

I, on the other hand, am doing nothing exciting. This past weekend was lovely; the 100+ temperatures dropped down into the 80s, and it was gorgeous. I actually sat in the shade, reading "1632", and got a little cold. Cold?!? Freakin' fantastic! Even though it's back up in the 90s this week, I got a glorious reminder that autumn is coming eventually. Which reminds me that the 5th
Hallowchristgiving is coming up!

Before that, though, is a zombie-themed Halloween party. My group loves old B-movies, the worse the better, in our opinion. Many a Friday/Saturday evening has been spent with 8-10 people crammed in someone's living room, having "Bad Movie Night". It's a bit funny, actually, that I can watch something like "I Drink Your Blood", but have a problem watching modern horror movies.

Anyway, our love of old movies is being re-ignited with a zombie Halloween. I have no fricking idea of what I'm going to do about make-up; theatrical cosmetics is NOT my forte. Clothing & costume is no problem, but the make-up is going to be a bitch.

Can you tell that we take this stuff seriously, that I'm already thinking about Halloween 6 weeks early?

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Here we go again!

Depending on what happens, today is either going to be 16dpo, or cd1. Either way, though, this cycle is dead and just doesn't know when to stop. My lovely high LP temps are gone, and I'm back to my usual FP temps. And to top it off, I had a bout of horrendously painful cramping last night, while in the middle of a lovely sushi dinner with girlfriends. I ended up sucking it up as long as I could, but as soon as it was politely possible I got my check, paid, and left before dessert.

I know it's a case of "the grass is always greener", but sometimes I hate that I have such a long LP. I mean, I'll probably come on today, but still. I'm 16dpo, and I'm not even on any drugs. WTF?!? Even though I know better, since my temps have dropped to bargain-basement lows, having a long LP still engenders just a little bit of hope. Every day past 14, a tiny little flicker of that bastard hope lingers. Maybe I was mouth breathing, that's why my temps are low; surely they'll go back up tomorrow, right? I know better.


On a completely unrelated note, am I the only one who thinks its a bit odd, the way that a lot of married women have their husbands present for all their tests and appointments? I'm not talking about the big stuff. I mean, I know and understand that IF in a couple affects both of them, and it's great that the partners get involved and offer support. If I were married and going through IVF, sure, I'd want my husband there for ER and ET.

But I mean they try to have the hubbies there for everything. Consults, regular pelvic exams, follicular check u/s, bloodwork, HSGs, the whole kit and caboodle. I really think it's creepy. Maybe it's because I'm single, I don't know. But I've thought about it, trying to put myself into their situation... and I still don't think I'd want or need my theoretical-husband there while I just getting a pap smear.


I had to pause in my typing to go pee. Guess what? It's cd1.