Thursday, December 27, 2007

Happy birthday to me!

Today is my 34th birthday and I don’t think I’ve ever had a happier one. I finally have the thing I’ve wished for as I blew out candles for the last half a dozen years or so – a pregnancy that looks and feels good. I feel tremendously lucky that tomorrow marks 12 weeks. All I ever wanted was to be a mom and it looks like this year (my 35th!) is the year I’ll get my dream come true. No material thing could ever compare.

I made DH promise not to get me anything this year as I already had everything thing I wanted…well everything besides a bra that fits and some clothes that feel comfy but we fixed that with one trip to the mall yesterday. This year I got so many increadible gifts I just couldn't ask for any more. I had a once in a lifetime trip to Paris with my hubby that I’d long dreamed about and a surprise pregnancy after three long years of TTC. Nothing beats that!

We went out for my favorite breakfast this morning and then did a bit of browsing at the baby store. Holy cow what fun! After that we did more window shopping and had an early dinner at my favorite French place. I barely made it through the meal before I realized I needed a nap. I came home and crashed and just got up in time to make some cupcakes. All in all it was a great day.

Tomorrow I’ll update on our crazy Christmas (the nieces and nephews were in fine form), job news (good job news!), and what’s on our horizon (tests and appointments galore).

Friday, December 14, 2007

10 weeks

My symptoms – sore giant boobs, stretching and pulling in abdomen, crazy tired, and all day nausea – disappeared on Monday. I was less tired and less nauseous and the rest of them just went away. I was okay for one day. And then two. And then I made the situation worse by having sex this morning with my hubby. It was our first time since the BFP and I thought it would make me feel better. Only it made me feel worse. I spotted all morning. Accompanied by a bunch of nothing, it sent me into a tailspin.

I called my OBs office and I think my crying convinced the nurse to bring me in. Dh and I got there two hours later and I was still a wreck. Thank goodness they are so patient. My doc did a quick abdominal u/s which revealed a beautiful beating heart (still no measurement of it, even though I asked!) and a wiggly worm of a fetus. She was pleased and I was very relieved. And she didn’t even make me feel crazy.

She also tried the Doppler but couldn’t pick up the fetus’ heartbeat – only mine. Which was fine since I already knew all was well and that it was a little early for the Doppler.

I also got a chance to ask her about the screening. I explained my concern and she said she totally understood and that the NT scan they do is a combined or sequential screen that is two blood tests combined with the scan to give one overall number that includes the risk for NTDs. I was much relieved and will schedule it asap.

She told me to just enjoy feeling good while I can and know that all is looking well. I go back in two weeks for another check up.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

I miss peanut butter

I miss peanut butter. So very much. I fanaticize about it every day. It is a huge part of my normal diet. For almost four years breakfast has been 2 tbs reduced fat creamy peanut butter on two slices of reduced calorie wheat toast (Oro.wheat makes the best kind – loads of fiber but low in calorie and still edible). Until I got pg. Dh is allergic to peanuts. Everything I’ve read says that I should avoid peanuts and peanut products until after I’m through bf’ing lest my child have a severe allergy to peanuts. Since peanut allergies are a tough thing for kids (especially when other kids want pb&j for lunch at school), I figured it was a good idea to do what I can to minimize the impact. Doesn’t mean I don’t think about it all the time.

***
I always dreaded hearing other people’s happy pregnancy news when we were in the throws of our IF. Hated it. Even from people I liked. I hated it even more when the news took me by surprise. Having been on the receiving end so many times, I hoped I wouldn’t ever do that to a fellow stirrup queen. But I did.

Last week DH and I were going about our usual Sunday morning routine – fantastic farmer’s market, coffee and pasties, Trader Joe’s, then our local supermarket for stuff not at the other two. We love our little ritual and it’s a nice quiet time for us. I was reaching for broccoli when I heard a female voice ask me if I took classes at our local giant HMO. I turned and realized the woman talking to me was the same person who cried all through our last support group meeting. (It was her first, and its always a huge step for people. Everyone cries through their first group meeting.) She asked me how we liked Paris as I mentally tried to figure out a way to get out of giving her an update. I wasn’t showing so there was no way she’s know. Dh and I exchanged desperate glances and I realized he was going to spill. And then she asked, “How are things? Are things going wel?” More weird glances exchanged between us. Then, “Good news, huh?” And we confessed. And I saw that look of whycan’titbeme cross her face. And I felt like a terrible person for ruining her morning. Why couldn’t we keep our mouths shut?

***
Some days I absolutely don’t feel pregnant. Unless frequent waves of nausea and dry heaving, and falling asleep at 8 pm count as feeling pregnant. For a while in week 8, I felt tugging and pulling and stretching all day long and it has mostly stopped. I wish it hadn’t no matter how painful it was. Sometimes I forget I’m pregnant. Until I catch sight of my boobs and then I can’t help but remember.**

I went shopping with my mom, SIL and 18 month old niece last weekend. It was supposed to be Christmas shopping but it ended up being a lot of shopping for me. My SIL was great – giving me tips on what to get and what to avoid in terms of early maternity wear (one pair of jeans and two tops for work), and my mom was thrilled to bits. We found a few cute baby things with our favorite animal on it and couldn’t resist. Despite lingering, sometimes all consuming fear, I let myself enjoy those few hours of talking and planning and joy about baby.

For years, as my SILs had 4 kids between them, I felt left out of their little circle. Their mommy circle. I so desperately wanted to join and couldn’t. I worried that it would cause some permanent rift, that my dear SIL would never forgive my distance. But they both did and are more than happy to welcome me to their little club.

***
I am woefully behind on Christmas prep. I’ve had cards for two months and have yet to even unwrap them. I have had the fabric for the gifts for the nieces and nephews since August and haven’t touched it. We finally decorated our tree on Sunday but I have yet to set out my other fun decorations.

We are supposed to host the festivities at our house this year. Host. I’m an idiot. I don’t have a menu or a shopping list and I have no idea when I’ll feel like doing it.

***
Hubby is having a tough time at work. His employer, a small biz, laid off some folks two weeks ago and let him know that the decision to keep him was a tough call. Ouch. He’s understandably worried and scared and it is sapping some of his joy about the pregnancy. Sometimes I want to pamper him and make it all better. I want his joy about this pregnancy to override his fear but it just doesn’t all the time.

***

I’m worried about neural tube defects (NTD). Folic acid can prevent most NTDs. Great. I wasn’t taking them the few weeks before we conceived. I was ordered to stop taking folic acid on Sept. 13 so that the methotrexate I received would work properly to bring an expedited end to the failing pregnancy that would not end on its own. Folic acid interferes with methotrexate. I stopped taking my pnvs and supplements and didn’t start again until we were in Paris in mid-October. And I wasn’t consistent until I got the bfp. I feel guilty that I didn’t do everything I could to prevent them. I took those damn pnvs every day for more than three years except for that small break and that is the break that could have made a difference.

I need to decide in the next few days what to do about screening. At our 8 week appointment NP recommended the NT Scan but also gave us paperwork for the AFP test. The NT scan does not test for NTDs. The AFP does. I know I need to screen for the trisomy’s but that doesn’t seem like enough. I’m worried that if we do both that the results will conflict and we’ll need to do CVS or amnio, which I’d rather avoid. Any insights I should think about?

***
I’ll be 10 weeks even tomorrow. Neither of us can believe it.

**Please tell me what the heck to do about the bra situation. I was a 36FF before I got pg. Bras are now tight and there is spillage. Do I get regular, but larger sized bras now? Do I wait? When to get maternity bras? Are they more comfy? Please help! And where does one find them in size 36 GIANT?

Friday, November 30, 2007

Still there

I'm back for our 8 week u/s and all is well with our little lion cub. It was measuring right on track with a lovely heartbeat. The next appointment isn't for a MONTH and I have no idea how I will remain sane.

DH and I are just overwhelmed that there is a little something growing in there. We really didn't know if we would ever get to have a day like today and it felt incredible.

DH was so cute -- all teary and smiling and happy that it had grown so much and is starting to resemble a something. I knew he'd be excited and happy when we finally had children, but I had no idea how much he'd enjoy all this. How happy he'd be with a pregnancy that goes somewhere. It's better than I imagined.

I have only one frustration – the appointment was with a nurse practioner who did not seem at the top of her game. I really wish the appointment were with someone more knowledgeable or who had read a file with the pertinent info. She didn’t know anything about what came before, and she didn’t even finish going over the standard stuff we expected at the appointment (family histories, testing schedules, what to avoid, when to call, etc.). She got totally caught up in our sucky pregnancy history and offered to do the u/s right off the bat, which was kind of her. But during the u/s she didn’t measure the heart rate – just looked at it and pronounced it fine and good. I would have preferred a more solid measurement since I’m not sure how I feel about her judgment. And she skipped the pelvic exam since I had showed her my pap results from September. I thought she’d at least want to get a look at my cervix.

She did give us a boatload of paperwork to read (including a guide to pregnancy from the clinic) and had us fill out a health history form. She advised me that if I want a nuchal translucency screening, I should schedule it now and gave me the info for it. And she went over the schedule for appointments. I thought we would get more info than just (as if it is just) confirming that our little one is still growing just great and the little heart is beating. I thought there’d be more to it.

But I’ll take a growing fetus and a beating heart over the alternative. Any day and twice on Sundays.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Pink and Pumpkin Pie

I’m back at work after our little break and I’m actually glad to have something to do to occupy my time besides wondering if I’ll see spotting next time I have to go pee. Spotting really ruins any enjoyment there might be in relieving ones bladder. I dread going to the bathroom, 24/7. I’ve been battling a yeast infection with dr. approved moni.stat7 since last week and ever since I started the lovely regimen, I’ve had creamy pink spotting every single god damned day. Almost all of it is just on tp but some on the pads I have to wear unless I want to change my clothes three times a day. It is driving me insane. Logically I know that it hasn’t increased, it isn’t accompanied by cramping, and all other signs of pregnancy look good (numbers were great last time we checked, u/s have been good, and we saw the heartbeat last week). But damn the logic doesn’t do much to calm my near constant DBT. Two eight hour car rides plus three nights in my ILs guest room did not make this situation better. I am hoping really really hard that once I stop the nightly use of the cream in a hard plastic wand (which I’m convinced is irritating the heck out of my poor insides) that the daily pink yuckiness will quit.

Had my first episode of actual pukage on Thanksgiving and may never eat pumkin pie again. Other than that, not much else is new. I’m 7w3d today and our next appointment is Friday at 11 am. I’m terrified.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Giving Thanks

We are getting ready to load the car for the drive to my ILs house several hundred miles away. I have a lot to be thankful for this year. My wonderful husband. My family, friends (in and out of the computer), my life. And most of all this year, our little vacation surprise, with its very own flickering heartbeat.

Hope your holiday is warm and filled with laughter and that you have your own little things to be thankful for. If not this year, then soon.

Monday, November 19, 2007

flicker

As soon as the wand went in, Dr. NicenReal said the sweetest words ever. We have a heartbeat. A tiny little flicker. DH couldn't quite make it out but once he did, he shed a few tears with me. And it's now measuring right on track -- 6w3d.

Dr. NicenReal wanted to make sure we didn't go overboard in our excitement. She made sure to mention that we really want to make sure I get past 12 weeks and at my 8 week appointment next Friday (the 30th) they'll look for it again to make sure it is still there. Way to bring a girl down a peg. But I'm glad she's not happy go lucky. Real is fine. Real is good.

Hubs also asked about traveling for Thanksgiving, especially since I get carsick even when I'm not nauseous. She said it was up to us and if we did go to take lots of bathroom breaks and drink lots of water. And that I can take b6 plus the ingredient in uni.some for the nausea. I had no idea. She also said benad.ryl was okay. We'll see. I think I can manage without drugs, especially since it's only annoying for now.

We went out for lunch after the appointment. DH kept asking what comes next. He'd like a week by week calendar of to do's "like we had for the wedding." And it just about broke my heart when he said he didn't know if we'd ever get this far. That he'd never even imagined it. How do you keep the tears from falling then?

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Queasy

I rested all day Saturday, including a four hour nap in the middle of the day. I had cabin fever by Saturday night and decided a short trip out for dinner with my brother and SIL to celebrate her birthday at the Cheesecake Factory wasn't out of the question. Just as I was getting ready to go, the naseau kicked in. The persistant feeling of being just a little sick is oddly reassuring. It feels kinda gross, but I'm happy to have it.

DH and I ran a bunch of errands today -- the farmer's market, Tj's, the other grocery store to get things neither of the other two carry -- and I felt okay. I was ready to come home after two hours out of the house on my feet. I should have napped but I sat and sewed an apron for my SIL since I felt guilty about not finishing it in time for her birthday. It's 8:30 now and I am ready for bed. My appointment at 11 am tomorrow can't come soon enough.

Friday, November 16, 2007

resting

I'm jinxing myself just typing this but the pink hasn't returned so far. Back to brown. Talked to the doc and she said what I expected -- there isn't anything to do but rest as much as possible and wait. Wait until we know more. I have another u/s scheduled for Monday at 11 am. We hope to see a fetal pole then. I would be thrilled with no more spotting. Thrilled!

My beta on Wednesday was 8600, for a doubling time of 54.5 hours. I freaked out a bit. I expected it to be 10K and to slow after that. Lovely, wonderful Mel tells me it slows once it reaches 5K which is a relief.

I plan to sit on the couch all weekend and watch all the stuff piled up on our Ti.vo, including 6 episodes of Grey's.Anatomy.

The support from my fellow IF bloggers is so wonderful. I'm so glad that after 18 months of reading and commenting, I decided to jump on the bandwagon, and just in time too. I would have been lost these last few months without all of you.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

No, not again

I started spotting pink tonight and I'm terrified. I'll call my doc tomorrow but I'm not sure what she'll do. No cramping just yet but this all just seems familiar in a bad bad way.

Is there anyway for this to end other than badly? If so, I need to hear about it.

I had just decided today that things were looking so great. That all was progressing as it should. And just before dinner it started. I just don't understand.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

U/S report: we have a sac

Actually a gestational sac and a yolk sac, both measuring 5w1d. I estimated I'm 5w4d, but I will happily admit to being wrong given how strange the preceding cycle was.

I'm thrilled and overjoyed to finally have something visible in there. The u/s itself was done by a tech who couldn't give details so I coached DH on what to look for and he was sure he saw a sac but didn't see anything in it from across the room. We're both really really excited. I know a billion things could go to shit from this point forward, but this is the farthest we've ever come on our journey to parenthood and it feels good to have reached at least this tiny milestone. Sadly we got no pictures. I may ask for some next week because I know my mom will want them for her scrapbook.

The doc said I'd get a call tomorrow with today's beta results and that I should come in again next week to check again for the embryo. She wasn't super concered about the spotting but wanted me to keep an eye on it and insisted I take it easy and observe pelvic rest (no sex). I told her it was mostly caramel colored and is now accompanied by itching and she said if I see other signs of a yeast infection I can call to get advised treatment. Until them, just topical stuff for itchy. Fun stuff huh?

Not so different

I’m spotting. It started last night just before bed and is caramel colored. Nothing huge and dramatic but still scary. No cramping so far. I’ve been to this place before and it just doesn’t end well. I’m consumed by dead embryo thoughts. I’m trying to use the tools from our mind body class – is it absolutely true? No. Could the opposite be true? Yes. Please God yes.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Tuesday

Today was a good day. I had a surprise lunch with one of my dearest friends. I mentioned her a while back and it was good to finally sit down and talk with her after all that we'd been through.

I spilled the beans right away and she spilled hers right back -- she found out yesterday she's pregnant again too. And we estimate we are both 5.5 weeks. And she thinks she got pg on vacation too. She's very nervous and scared and I had to lift her up a bit. It felt very strange. I'm usually the one who needs lifting up. I'm usually the sad and scared one. Instead, I'm happy to have gotten to a new place. A place that so far is different than the ones we've been to before. I hope that we get to take this adventure together and that both pregnancies end happily with healthy babies in July.

In other news, I'm hoping to have an ultrasound tomorrow. My doc is the on call doc at the hospital tomorrow and if she can take a break they'll call me to come in and see her. At this point I'm desperate -- I think I have a yeast infection and I'd really like some medically approved relief. And of course we'd like visible evidence that things are okay in there. That there is something in there. Something live and growing. If she isn't available I'm going to beg and plead to see someone, anyone other than the rude doc I saw in September. I'd rather suffer than see him again.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

brand new babies


sleeping
Originally uploaded by sarahewk
This brand new baby, our neice Alice Olivia, decided to make her appearance a few days early and arrived without much warning on Thursday. We went to see her on Saturday and I must say she is quite the petite little girl, with delicate hands (and long nails already!).

When I found out about her conception, I cried and refused to speak to my brother (her father) for a month. I cried again when I got her shower invite. When I found out she had made her appearance, I felt totally calm. I'm glad the pain of infertility doesn't extend to the babies themselves anymore. I was happy to see her and happy to hold her little tiny body (she is the smallest of the bunch so far at 6lbs. 14oz.).

So it's all good. I hope this pregnancy turns into a real live baby for our house next year. So far, so good. Only symptoms so far are sore boobs -- which are not helped when toddlers climb all over Aunt Sarah -- and a tiny bit of naseau this morning.

We told my family yesterday in a very low key way and they were all pleased but are all very nervous, as we all are I guess. I hadn't realized how much all of it had affected them too. It's good though that they are so real I think. No overly crazy plan making (except by my eternally optimistic DH). Just quiet excitement. And a gift from my mom -- an adorable baby sized quilt in a safari flannel I picked out years ago for a our someday babies. Mom started it when I was pregnant in August and finished it despite the crappy outcome. She decided she might as well give it to us now. I've been cuddling up with it, hoping the good grandma vibes let this one know how very much we all want it to be real.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Beta Doubled!

I just spoke to the nurse and the beta doubled! Those might be the sweetest words ever. The first one on Tuesday was 656 so we were looking for 1300 or so and it was over 1400 (I was too excited to remember the other two numbers!). Progesterone was 18.7 which from some quick goo.gling, looks normal for an unassisted conception. The doc's office are all acting like, "well this happens every day" but man I am freaking out. I feel like I should be doing something. But I know there isn't much else to do until sometime late next week or early the next. The nurse (who will obviously need a name) said she'd have someone call back to schedule my intake appointment.

It is all so foreign to me. Not just being pregnant. But being treated like a normal person. I am not sure I like it. Though I can't really think up a reason to bitch for more -- we conceived on our own, all signs seem fine, numbers are good. Sore boobs, but nothing else. Is this the part where I just have to sit back and wait???

Thank you for all the support and well wishes. I really appreciate them.

UPDATED: I'll be going in for an u/s sometime next week (once they get an opening spot on the calendar) and my 8w and 12w appointments (WHAT????) were scheduled. Seems very presumptuous to me.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

My Story

Mel asked us to tell our stories this week, and while I’m a little late, I just can’t say no to Mel. I outlined the story a few months ago, but will give the cliffnotes version now.

Eleven years ago in July, my bus stop on Wisconsin Ave in Georgetown was on a street corner outside the baby.Gap. In the window for most of the summer were 2 dozen tiny little baby shoes. Everyday I admired them until one day I saw them and cried all the way home. I wanted a child then, even though it had no place in my crazy life.

Five years after that summer when I decided I needed to be a mother, my now-husband and I decided after six weeks of dating that we wanted to get married and have children. We married in October 2003 and waited a year before TTC. I was so anxious to conceive that we used charting and OPKs from the get-go, hoping to get to parenthood quickly. It didn’t pan out and we were at the REs by October 2005. My insurance gave us 50% coverage for infertility testing and IUIs but nothing for IVF, which we hoped we wouldn’t need. We did the standard testing and were declared healthy. Even though nothing was amiss we did several rounds of clomid with IUI, experiencing one disappointing chemical pregnancy along the way.

A year later, IUIs still hadn’t worked and we were told we needed IVF, which we couldn’t afford and for which we had no insurance coverage. So we took a break, hoping we could find a way to finance our hopes of having a baby. But the months passed and no quick fix emerged. And every time I thought of financing a failed cycle, only to have to shell out money we didn’t have every month for the next five years to pay the bills, I got sick to my stomach, so we kept waiting.

In August my insurance changed and it now covers a portion of IVF. To get that coverage I had to change to a more expensive insurance plan, and leave all my beloved doctors behind, including one who has skillfully managed a chronic condition for five years. I know I’m lucky to have some coverage at all, but infertility has been more stressful than it needed to be because I don’t live in a state that mandates coverage for IVF.

***
I spoke to my doc today and she helped calm me down. She also was great about changing a few of the meds I take to manage my chronic conditions to once that should be safer and hopefully will work just as well. I should have beta and progesterone results by noon PT.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Beta was 656

And I'm terrified. I haven't been taking my PNV as regularly as I should have. I was given Me.tho.trexate in September (on the 13) to end the previous, lingering pregnancy and now I'm terrified I shouldn't have conceived so quickly. And I'm not feeling great -- my abdomen has been painful and hard for days now which has me worried. I have ulcerative colitis and I know it could just be that acting up (which wouldn't be fun but I know what to do to manage it).

Help me think good thoughts, please. :) I've never had a beta this high and that has to be encouraging, right? I'll repeat it tomorrow, plus add in a progesterone test for good measure.

This is totally scary.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Pregnant. Again? Still? Confused.

I've been feeling weird the last few days and had some weird adominal cramps so I took an OPK this morning, thinking it might be ovulation cramping (which i used to get all the time). It was crazy dark positive. Which made me suspicous. So I took a pregnancy test. And it was positive.

I didn't believe it (umm, it might have been expired since it was from our first chemical in 2006). So I begged a nurse in my Ob's office (who was out today) for a beta, which I took tonight (will get results tomorrow). She also asked for another on Thursday (thank goodness!).

I waited to tell DH until I took another test (a new one). It was positive. Speedy and dark, just like I dreamed it would be.

So this could be one of two things I think:
1. weird lingering hormones from my September miscarriage (I think I hit zero on 10/5)
2. a very early pregnancy

Any insight from my fellow stirrup queens? I've heard rumors on the internets that one is more fertile after a miscarriage. Any truth to it?

I'm hoping to see my OB tomorrow to figure out what is going on and get my results.

DH and I decided to be cautiously optimistic. What else is there to do? I didn't think lightening could strike twice. And I'm really really hoping this one sticks around for a good long time.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Making Progress

Sorry I can’t seem to get it together to post more often. I have a million things racing around my head, and I often think, oh I should post that. And then life gets in the way.

I had a wacky weekend.

A dear friend, a woman from a local message board, and a fellow stirrup queen, adopted a baby girl last week. Her and her husband had been through several wrenching years of…crap. Some hope, though always followed by loss, way too much loss for two sweet people. For anyone. They started the domestic, private adoption process this summer and their baby girl was born last week. They are home settling in, happy as can be. Mutal friends decided to put a care package together for them and it sounded like the perfect opportunity for me to get back to my sewing machine. So I spent Saturday personalizing two little itty bitty onsies and making up a simple, coordinated fleece outfit – pants and little jacket. My dear sweet hubby was practically in tears looking at the tiny soft goodness.

Saturday afternoon we got a call from hubby’s parents asking oh so innocently if we wanted to have dinner with them. They live 400 miles away and were “in the neighborhood” (really over 100 miles away) for a family funeral on Saturday, and we were expecting to host them on Sunday at our house for an overnight visit (yes on a work night). Instead, they had driven over the mountains and through the woods to have dinner with us. They didn’t call until they were already halfway to our house. There was no way to say no since we rarely get to see them. So we went to a funky Chinese place for dinner and then they turned around and drove 100 miles back to their hotel to sleep. They were back at our house by noon on Sunday.

The visit itself was nice. It is always nice to see them, especially when they visit us. It means so much to my hubby for them to see our house and know that he is happy. SIL and her 2 year old were with hubby’s parents on the visit and that was challenging. He is very active and our house is not kid proof (why should it be when we don’t have kids?). Our solution was to take him to a nearby park and for the most part it worked. It wasn’t until dinner that things went a bit south (he wants to eat like a dog, stand on furniture and stay up past my bedtime). Ah, the joys of not being a child’s parent.

This week, my plan is to finally tackle and finish the baby gifts I have planned for my brother and SIL’s baby girl, due next week. A little tiny hat, knit just for her, is almost finished. Two others, knit on our trip, are too big for a baby. Next up, a few decorated onsies especially for her, and a very pink sleep sack. Then I need to tackle all the Christmas gift and decoration sewing on my to do list.

As for progress on the baby front, there is none. Still waiting for AF, have absolutely no idea when she will show. I hit zero around the week of October 5th and finally stopped spotting on October 17th. Seems like she should be here any time in the next ten days. Any ideas on when or what to expect?

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Home Again

I’ve been home for a week and couldn’t decide what I wanted to say on my blog so I said nothing at all. I’m sorry, that isn’t very good blogger etiquette.

The trip. What to say about the trip? It was lovely. And just a little insane (bad laundry experience and a transit strike will do that). And I really hope it wasn’t a once in a lifetime thing. There were still so many incredible things left to see and do and taste that I can’t bear the thought that we’ll never go back.

I came home sad, as I posted in the Lushary on Monday. A little sad that the vacation was over, but more sad that I had to come back to my life. The life where I miscarried in September. The life where we’ve been trying for so damn long to have a baby. The life where my SIL is due with her oh so precious girl (after two boys) in a matter of weeks. My imperfect, slightly depressing life. A life without the promise of a much needed vacation. Our trip has been my distraction and motivation since February. It’s what I spent most of my day dreamy hours on. What now?

Anyway, the trip itself was lovely (did I already say that?) and a little bittersweet (which I’ll explain later). I have pictures to share and I know you all will forgive anything if I share pictures, right? Keep in mind when viewing that these pages were created to share the trip with our families, including DH’s family who live several hundred miles away and are two things – serious travelers and serious picture people. They have taken at least 6 trips to Europe in the 6 years we’ve been together and have the piles of photos to prove it. It was my way of being one of them.

The photos don’t quite do it all justice. We laughed a lot and smooched a lot and really enjoyed the adventure of being together in someplace different. We’re big Amazing Race fans, and have been watching it in reruns for months. We took turns narrating the trip as if we were Phil, as in “In this leg of the race, teams must exit the airport and find their way to the destination using only public transportation. Who will reach their destination first?” and a lot of “In this detour, teams must choose between two similar tasks – taking the bus or the metro to get to the Louvre.” Every time something would get a little boring or tense (such as when we were a little lost on occasion), one of us would break out the words of Phil and we’d both be cracking up.

On our last night in Paris, we celebrated our fourth wedding anniversary with a fancy dinner a few blocks from our hotel. I can’t believe four years have passed since we stood in front of all of our friends and family and tearfully pledged to spend our lives together, good or bad. Whenever I think about it now, I think about how innocent and na├»ve we were then. On that day we dreamed of the children who would someday come. We’d already chosen their names and often referred to them as our pretend children, Grace and Charlie. So much of what we chose to do that day revolved around the stories we wanted to tell them someday.

It’s so darn hard to watch each year pass and not know when we’ll get to meet them. We’ve been waiting all this time to be the people we thought we’d become – parents.

When we got married we agreed to wait to TTC for a year to give ourselves time to get settled before starting a family. The year passed and we were conflicted about TTC or traveling a bit. I decided the only place that I’d want to see first was Paris. As the discussion evolved, I decided that having children was more important to me than traveling the world so we started TTC as planned that winter. Years of anguish followed. Last winter I decided I’d temporarily had enough of the darkness and we took a break. The break led to a vacation, which led us to Paris. Going there was my consolation prize. Some moments were tough to enjoy knowing that if things had just gone another way, I’d be at home with my kids.

Being home means I have to decide what to do next. How long do we try on our own before going back to the RE? Now that our insurance has changed, which RE? And how much testing do we do, knowing that there is a lifetime cap of $5K staring us in the face? How am I going to cope when the new niece arrives in a few weeks? How am I going to get through the holidays, including hosting Christmas?

Fun and games as my grandmother would say.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

On our way

I'm all packed up and ready to go. I've never needed a vacation more.
And I'm thrilled that I'll be sharing my first trip abroad with my dear
sweet hubby. The last few weeks have certainly sucked,* the last few
days have been surprisingly happy as we made our final preparations and
day dreamed about all we will see and do.

I'm really hopeful that my grandmother's intuition is right and that we
are pregnant again in three months. I mean come on, I'm going on
vacation, doesn't that mean I'll get pregnant? Isn't that how the
story goes?

If we can get our old laptop to do wifi in Paris, I'll post. If not,
I'll share all the details when I return.

*even after a month of bleeding, I still got a heavy period when I hit
0 last weekend.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Not Zero

Yesterday's beta was 16. Which means I'm still a little pregnant. If this pregnancy had been viable, I would be 9w2d right now. Instead I will have spent the entire month of September miscarrying.

I want a do-over.

She’s not evil

I read through the comments to my last post and I feel a little guilty. My SIL is not evil. She’s not heartless. In fact, I am deeply grateful for her. She saved my brother from a really bad relationship, and gave him back to us. She convinced him to have children when he thought he wanted none. And their two boys light up our lives, and the lives of my parents.

The issue really is that their lives took one path while ours took another. While they struggled some to conceive their first, the second and now third were conceived without any planning whatsoever. And it has been a struggle for them to manage the expense of two children under two, much less three under three. I know it hasn’t been easy and I wish it were. But their children are gorgeous and healthy and smart and loving so it is hard to have sympathy for them.

We have had a set back for each of their steps forward. Every day that passes, the chasm between us grows. They try to bridge the gap. I know they do. And we try too. But their source of joy adds a little lemon in our wounds, and our wounds spoil a little of their sweetness. It’s a two way street and they’ve tried to let me take the lead. They learned not to share details of the pregnancy unless I ask. They curtail conversations about decorating and birth plans when I’m around. And it appears they kept all talk of this last minute shower to themselves until it was time to send the invitations. They did what they thought was best given what they knew of me, which includes the knowledge that I hate being left out of family things. They weighed whether I would be more hurt to get an invite to a shower for a baby I know is coming, or to learn of a family get together weeks after the fact. I think they made the right choice, I just really wish the news had been delivered differently.

In all honesty, if I hadn't gotten pregnant last month, I would probably have enjoyed the shower. And I certianly would have loved it if I were still pregnant. I already had plans to make little tiny pink things with lady bugs for the new arrival. The pile of material and buttons just sits there though, waiting for me to get over my grief enough to touch it without tears.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

baby shower invitation

I started and didn’t finish a post last week about the tidal wave of grief that swept over me last weekend. I wrote a lot about the tears that wouldn’t stop. But I couldn’t get the words right so I set it aside.

I’ll have to write about it some other time because I must must must get out the crap that happened today. I had a great day at work. I got a lot done and stayed really busy (which is unusual for me at this time of year). I felt productive and excited about work. I got home and was exited to spend the evening with my mom sewing my clothes for Paris. Good things all around considering how weepy I was last week.

And then my husband innocently mentioned that I got a baby shower invite in the mail today for my SIL. I stewed over it for a few minutes before going to look at it. I decided that before I got really mad at her for sending me a shower invite for her third kid when she knows I’m still miscarrying, that I should make sure it wasn’t sent by her clueless mother. One look and I was full of rage. It was in her handwriting. And the invite was all about celebrating her soon to arrive baby girl. The party is taking place while we will be in Paris.

What kind of motherfucking jackass sends a shower invite with no warning to someone who has just had an absolutely heartbreaking miscarriage? Who does that?

Our struggle is not a secret from anyone. I shared because I wanted their support. I thought honesty would keep people from unintentionally doing or saying something hurtful. It has, on the whole, been the right thing for us. But it also means that when someone does something hurtful, my hurt is deeper because I sense that they hurt me on purpose. That they knew I would feel badly and they did it anyway.

And that is exactly how I felt when I saw the invitation in her handwriting.

They know every single detail of what has happened to us. Their family building has made my infertility more painful than it otherwise would have been and they know it. They found out they were pg with #2 the week we started infertility treatment. They were open with us about their surprise and angst (they had a 6 month old when they got pg and were already four months along when they found out). She gave birth to him 5 weeks after I had my first miscarriage. The day she gave birth was one of the worst days of my life. I contemplated ending my life that day and in the days after that. I thought I was losing my mind. It took me a year of individual and group therapy, plus a mind body class, to get myself on level ground again.

When my brother told my husband while I was out of town on a business trip this spring that they were pregnant again, I refused to speak to him for 6 weeks. I could not think of anything to say to him that was didn’t include at least a dozen f-words and I decided at the time that just wasn’t worth doing.

Tonight I finally found the words. I could not let them have that control over me. I would have festered in my hurt and anger for weeks. I might never have forgiven them for being so thoughtless. I couldn’t let them ruin my once in a lifetime trip in two weeks. So I called. I told them I got the invite and that I was hurt. I cried for all the hurt that has been bottled up for months. I begged for more care and understanding. All I want is for my brother to call me and tell me things like this himself. Don’t pass it on to my husband. Don’t send it to me in the mail. Pick up the god damned phone (after work please) and tell me yourself. And say it with kindness. And compassion. And love. And know that I love you back but that I’m in a pit of despair right now and might not do well in showing it.

It felt good. He was surprisingly open to listening to me. He apologized for unintentionally hurting me. He never would have guessed what I wanted him to do if I hadn’t told him. I feel closer to him now than I did before and feel like I got reassurance about how much I mean to him and how much he cares about me. Even if I had to beg for it.

I'm thankful the shower is on a day when I absolutely can not attend. It saves me from a lot of agnst about whether or not I should attend. I can't go and I don't have to feel guilty about it.

Tomorrow should be my final beta for the pregnancy. Last week's number was 45 (finally below 50 was considered good news) so I'm hopeful I will be below five and officially no longer pregnant. I am praying that my cycle is kind and goes back to normal quickly. I just want to feel human again.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The miscarriage that would.not.end.

So last time I posted, I just received the shots of methotrexate to end the pregnancy that would not quit. Everything seemed fine over the weekend – suspiciously fine. No cramping, no bleeding. Nothing out of the ordinary.

Until yesterday. I was in a meeting at work when I started to feel faint and thought I might throw up. I freaked out and had a coworker take me to the ER at the big/local/teaching hospital (otherwise known as BLT). DH met me there and we wiled away the evening explaining my sorry state to a million new people. The end result was that the numbers still hadn't fallen and there were "products of conception" in my uterus and they needed to come out.

I was told to stop eating at midnight last night to prep for a possible D&C today. The doc on call (who was fantastic that DH and I both want her to be our best friend. She is going to be known as Dr.Fantastic) today decided to do another ultrasound instead of scheduling the D&C. The u/s showed the same thing as yesterday's -- stuff in my uterus. Dr.Fantastic decided to wait until we have the results of Thursday's previously scheduled beta before proceeding.

So I am still pregnant. I never thought I'd be in a position to wish for the end of a pregnancy given how long it took us to get here and how much we wanted, and still want, a child. But man, I am so totally over this.

To distract myself, I have been sewing tops. I started the pink floral one the night before we found out I was pregnant. I finished it the weekend I had bleeding I thought would be the end of this pregnancy. I started the yellow and white one last Friday and finished on Saturday. I’ve almost finished with another one already – a white t-shirt. I have at least a half dozen more things to make before our trip to Paris in 24 days.

I feel like a fraud for being so excited about our trip while I’m still in the process of miscarrying. How can any sane person who has longed for a child as long as we have find joy in anything when they are in the process of losing a pregnancy? Does that invalidate my stirrup queens membership card?

Thursday, September 13, 2007

both cheeks

I finally got the methotrexate shots (yes shots) this afternoon. The beta on Tuesday was deemed inconclusive by new doogy doc (he looks maybe 20 and he wears an old sweatshirt over scrubs) so he wanted to wait until today and repeat the beta before deciding. Today's number was 74. Up. Again. We decided the shot was the best course of action.

I went in and got a shot in each butt cheek this afternoon. Plus a bonus lecture that if I wanted to continue to TTC I should really consider an HSG because at this point we just can't be sure of the status of my tubes. Seriously, some dumb fuck OB just told me today, AFTER hearing my whole sob story on TUESDAY about almost three years of IF including one whole year of treatment, that I should consider an HSG*. This leads me to believe one of three things, none of which is good in a doctor -- either he doesn't listen, or he has no memory, or he is just a complete motherfucker who thinks this whole thing is amusing. None of which I like. I won't be going back to him.

Oh and the best part was he couldn't remember the testing protocol post shot -- thank god I have google!

The shot itself was strange -- it burned going in and for hours afterward. I felt a little woozy almost immediately and it lasted (almost like a hangover or something) into the evening. I hope this is all over soon...

* I told him Tuesday that my tubes were suspect. That the HSG was crazy painful, but that the fluid spilled, though unevenly. I told him that another doc had reviewed the films and thought the tubal openings were so small as to possibly indicate some tubal disease leading to impairment of fertility. He said then that doc was micro managing (as if that is a bad thing) and that if they are open they are open. Which of course he totally contradicted today.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

64

Yesterday's number was 64. I think the new doc will order the methotrexate shot today. He's in surgery now so I won't know until this afternoon.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Ugh

The choices I outlined in my previous post just didn't work for me. I had a meltdown at work and did the only thing I could think of -- I went to talk to our HR director who I knew to be sympathetic. She saved my day.

The HR director sent me to a nearby clinic see a new doc this afternoon. The docs were a little perplexed by my situation (low beta, bleeding, cramping) in a brand new patient but they handled it well. I explained what I understood to be my options and they agreed with everything except the sedation policies of my doc/hmo. The new docs decided to persue the same course of action as my old doc -- repeat the beta and if it hasn't dropped significantly, do a dose of methotrexate and keep watch on the betas until it goes to zero. If it has gone up again, then it's a whole different ball of wax. If it gets to that I'm promised proper (read knock you out) drugs. That small promise makes a world of difference to me.

As for my previous bad experience with the hysteroscopy (to remove a unterine polyp) and concious sedation, I thought I was prepared, having had similiar sedation for 5 colonoscopies in the same outpatient center. I was severely mistaken. I was awake and crying through the whole thing. I could feel everything -- the dilation and the cutting. It was truly awful. Something I hope never to repeat.

Hopefully the uncertainty won't last much longer. I'm so ready for this to be over.

Damn it

The beta numbers aren't falling properly. Here's the recap:
4w6d 198
5w1d 225
5w3d 150 or so
5w5d 78
6w2d 53
6w5d 78

WTF? I've been spotting and cramping since 5w3d and it intesified last week after I stopped the progesterone suppositories. I had light bleeding with lots of clots this weekend but nothing like the heavy bleeding I was expecting. My doc called me this morning, concerned that things are not progressing properly. She gave me several options, all of which suck. I feel like I am now ready to go in and get this over with as quickly as possible but I don't know which option to choose. Any advice?

Here are the choices:
1. Suction with no anesthetic (holy mother of god that sounds awful).
2. D&C with concious sedation. I didn't do well with similar sedation for a hysteroscopy with polypectomy (which involved a d&C) so this terrifies me but sounds like the best option.
3. shot of methotrexate. should work but i'd still have several more days of cramping and bleeding at home which I just don't want.
4. laproscopy to identify ectopic. doc does not recommend this but i sort of want one anyway to figure out what is up with my tubes (which are already suspect) and figure they might be able to see whether I have endo (though I'm not sure that would do me any good).

Help. Now I'm lost.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Sucky Pants

The cramping is miserable and the bleeding merely annoying. It isn’t at all what I expected. I’ll be glad when it is over and I’m really hoping my cycle figures itself out and I don’t get my next period while we are in Paris in 32 days. I will be so fucking pissed if I suddenly start bleeding in Paris. You’ll hear my “NOT FAIR!” cry all the way in the states I’m sure.

Sadly, my news isn’t even the worst news I received this week. A dear friend lost his third child to Trisomy 18 at birth two weeks ago and didn’t tell me because he knew I was newly pregnant and didn’t want to upset me. I feel terrible that I wasn’t there for him in his darkest hours. I don’t know what to do to provide comfort. In times of crisis, I take dinner but he lives thousands of miles away. If you have any ideas, please let me know.

I also learned this weekend that another dear friend had a miscarriage a few months ago and that she didn’t know how to tell me. She knows all about our efforts but I think for a long time she struggled to understand it. God bless her, even if it didn’t make sense to her, she always tried to be supportive. Unfortunately, now she gets it. It broke my heart to hear her talk about all the uncertainty and pain and anxiety she feels. I’ve been in that place and I don’t want my friends to have to go there too. I wish I could spare her, send her back to the beginning. But I can’t. She’s knee deep in it and the only thing I can do is tell her that she’s not alone. And that no matter how it turns out, she’ll be okay. We’ll all be okay, right?

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Beta numbers are falling

The appointment was not good. The weekend beta numbers were on a downward trend, 78 at last check. My doc was sweet and supportive. When she said she was sorry, I actually said, "It's okay." There isn't anything okay about it. It sucks. I didn't need to be taught another lesson in the "Life is NOT fair" school of hard knocks. I got the message the first 50 times.

Anyway, I'm staying home the rest of the week and hoping that it resolves itself before Monday. The other options sounded truly awful (suction without sedation or a d&c with concious sedation). I'd rather avoid them, even though she said they could test the tissue (what tissue?) if I did either of the surgical options. Both sounded way too painful.

So back to the drawing board. Pick ourselves up and dust ourselves off. And pray really really hard that it doesn't take us as long to get pregnant again as it did the first two times (15 cycles the first time, and then 25 more the second).

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

No new numbers today

I didn't hear from my doc today with the weekend's beta numbers. It is just as well. I had work to do today and I wouldn't have been able to think of anything else if I had heard the phone ring.

There was some let up today in the spotting. Other than crazy acne and totally wacky moodiness (teary one minute, joyous the next), I'm feeling good.

I see my doc Wednesday morning. I think we'll be doing an ultrasound and reviewing numbers. Hope the news is good.

Thank you for all the support. It helps to know that other stirrup queens have my back.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Monday Meltdown

I was doing so well until today. The suspense is driving me crazy and I just lost it. I'm angry and taking it out on my poor sweet husband. I picked a fight with him until I disolved into sloppy wet tears.

A few weeks ago, I was finally happy despite our inability to conceive (much less carry) a child. Really happy. Content with my life and our future, knowing that someday we'd have kids. Somehow. And then I found out that despite the odds, I managed to get pregnant.

And now I can't imagine how this turns out well. I've had cramping all weekend, plus more spotting since Saturday morning, not matter how still I try to be. It's not a lot, just enough to drive me insane. I did two more blood draws, on Saturday and today and should hear the results on Tuesday. I don't even know what number would be considered good.

I wonder how I'll be happy again if this doesn't turn into a spring baby. How the heck am I going to cope? How do I get over another, swifter, deeper kick to the gut?

Friday, August 31, 2007

Beta didn't double

Tuesday's beta: 198 (4w6d)
Thursday's beta: 225 (5w1d)

I started cramping and spotting yesterday afternoon and came home and rested last night. I stayed home from work today -- I am scared to death and just can't concentrate on work.

My doc isn't convinced it is the end of the line. She says she's seen weird things turn into healthy babies. I'll repeat betas over the weekend and see her wednesday. Besides miscarriage, I am on ectopic watch. Oh the joy!

I'm trying to keep my chin up but it's tough. I'll update when I have news.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

August

I realized on the way home last night that August has been a big month for Scott and I. It was August 2001 that we decided, on our first weekend trip together, that we wanted to get married and have children some day. In August of 2002, he decided to ask his mother the ring he later gave me when he proposed (it was a gift from his grandmother to his mother on her wedding day).

In August of 2004, as our first anniversary approached we spent weeks discussing whether we should participate in his families’ globe trotting or save our money and vacation time for the baby we hoped to have in 2005 (we chose stay home). All the conversations boiled down to Paris or day care and I chose day care. I wanted a child more than I wanted to see or do anything, including a house (which was his first choice).

In August of 2005, I called my OB/GYN in tears to ask for help. We’d been charting and using OPKs since January of that year and no matter what we did (Pre-seed, Robitussin, you name it we tried it), I was still not pregnant and every month I spotted for three days before my period. She took mercy on me and referred to an RE.

In August of last year, I had a bad injectables cycle. It started bad when on CD3 I only had 5, yes only 5, antral follicles. I had been nervous about the count for months as it dwindled, from a high of 20, for no apparent reason. That cycle I hit the wall and cried uncle. I was done with IUIs and knew it was time to move on to IVF. My favorite NP agreed despite months of reassuring me that it was not cause for concern. She said with a count that low, I had months to get it done before I ran out of time. Months. I cried every day that August as we consulted three IVF docs and poured over our records and begged someone to help us sort out how we went from unexplained, “no problem getting us pregnant,” “worried about multiples,” to “you may have to consider an egg donor.” I was freaking the fuck out.

Two of the docs we consulted had kind words for us and calmed both of us down. One said the antral counts were wrong (he checked) and we had at least a year before we needed to come back. Another said he wasn’t convinced I couldn’t conceive on my own and that I should follow his prescription (lose weight, take baby aspirin and a b-complex supplement) and see him in 6 months if I wasn’t pregnant. Six months came and went and we didn’t go see him. I was terrified. We were broke and couldn’t afford IVF. We waited and waited and waited.

And then of course there is this August. My insurance changed to offer some coverage for IVF. It felt like we were starting over. Like the slate was clean. Like the excitement was back. I felt happy and hopeful and satisfied. All of that before we made our recent, oh so exciting discovery.

As for the beta, I haven’t received those results yet. I’m sure they are ready but I am not ready to hear them. I have a follow-up scheduled for Thursday and we decided to get the results of both tests on Friday. I’m taking progesterone suppositories, which I started on my own after one little spot on Saturday night. Seemed like a good idea. They were still good and I didn’t want this to go away while I waited to see a doc. The OB I saw Tuesday agreed and gave the thumbs up on continuing. I still feel pregnant (sleepy, aching boobs, nausea) but I know that could be from the suppositories. I've taken them 10 times before and never felt like this so I've decided to consider it a good sign.

So Friday. I really will post my betas. I swear. 

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

It's been a fun week

I spent all day Monday in a fog, exhausted from a bit too much activity on Sunday and staying up way past my bedtime. Midday, I called and was able to get a follow-up appointment with my OB for Wednesday.

On my way home Monday I got a voicemail from my doc that said the pregnancy test was positive and that she'd see me Wednesday. She also said if there was any more pain or spotting to come right in.

This morning I had more cramping, this time on my left side. I've had ulcerative colitis for 17 years so that isn't unusual but they had me sufficiently freaked out that I called the nurse again. I went in at 11 am this morning to see a different doc. I found out when I went in that the blood test done Sunday in the ER was not a beta (WTF? how does one turn a BHCG test into PREGS?). Crap. The result was positive but we don't know how positive. Anyway, we did an ultrasound on which the doc could see nothing but a nice lush lining, no free fluid or cysts. None of us expected to see anything anyway and we were happy that at least she took a look. She also did a pelvic exam and said the uterus feels big for the dates. I did another blood test, which should be a beta, and have instructions for a follow-up on Thursday.

I'm scheduled for my next ultrasound on Monday, 9/10. Until then we hope the numbers double and the cramping subsides.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Well that was fun

I called the advice nurse on Sunday evening to make an appointment with my OB/GYN. She went over all my stats and upon hearing I had cramping and a little spotting she asked me to go to the ER. I told her that I didn’t think they’d be able to do or see anything but she asked me to go anyway. So I did. And we waited for 3.5 hours to be seen and then the doctor almost laughed at me. I agreed it seemed ridiculous – I’m barely pregnant.

Anyway, they were relieved when all I wanted them to do was a beta. It seemed simple enough so they agreed. And gave me the lab slip for the follow-up on Tuesday. woohoo!

So I had to stay up way past my bedtime but the blood test is being done. Should have results Monday afternoon.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Holy shit!


Holy shit!
Originally uploaded by sarahewk
I took a pregnancy test today. I didn’t think it would be positive but the case of the missing period was annoying. I tried to be all casual and cool about it so I did the dip and brushed my teeth. I almost choked on toothpaste as the second line showed up. It wasn’t bright at first so I stared hard. And there it was. It is now plain as day and I really can’t believe it. We have been trying to get pregnant for almost three years. We did one full year of treatment, which resulted in one chemical pregnancy. I’ve never even been late before.

I have no idea what changed. I sort of don’t care. For today I’m pregnant, and hopefully will be for a good long 8 or so months to go.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Summer shirt success


linen top arm detail
Originally uploaded by sarahewk
I made my fourth shirt this weekend. The first three were a bit of a disappointment but this third one is just what I wanted. I used Simplicity 4177 and made view D. I made the Built by Wendy version of this pattern on Saturday but it was way too small. This one is really similar (the instructions are almost identical) so I altered this pattern to make it simpler. I skipped the neckline facing (because I didn’t want a split collar), all the trims, the neck tie, and the hem on the sleeves (I did a stay stitch instead). The bottom section was too tight so I added small panels to get a better fit – when I added them I did a French seam with the raw edges showing.

I love the casual look of it and it is super comfy. Finally!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

hope is being a bitch

For those of you who read this who aren't interested in conception, stop reading. ;) For the others, WTF? I'm two days late. I'm never late. This wouldn't be a big deal, but the lateless has invited hope to my house and um, we don't really get along that well. She's screwed me too many times to count. And I told her not to come back until I can get on an IVF calendar in the fall. Why is she messing with me???? Why now?

In other news, I got written confirmation today that the new insurance does in fact cover IVF. Unless my doc is really good at working the insurance company, I doubt it will cover the whole thing (there is a $5K per person lifetime limit), but it will seriously save my butt financially. We just could not afford to pay for it on our own. So I will take the coverage they have offerred and be thankful. Some really is better than none.

And if this whole late thing pans out to be the very very unexpected, I might die laughing at the joke. Switch insurance to get coverage and find out you are pregnant? That is a piece of assvice even I haven't heard before.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Big News, not BFP big, but still big

I got great, surprising news today and I’m so excited about it I feel like a new, different person. My employer is changing insurance plans and one of the new options is a plan that includes some coverage for IVF. I’m shocked and thrilled and more excited than I have been in years.

Scott and I have been TTC since January 2005 and did a full year of treatment (8 medicated cycles, 6 with IUI) before realizing a year ago we needed IVF. We started the process and chose a doctor but we never completed all the lab work or signed up for a cycle because we didn’t and don’t have the money to pay for it. It has eaten away at me every single day for the last 18 months (when I first realized drugs and IUI alone weren’t going to fix it). Every single day I’ve worried and stewed and cursed the gods about it. I’ve cried a million tears about it. We decided along the way that I would borrow the money from my 401K to pay for it but since making that decision I have stalled and delayed. It just didn’t feel right. Before we ever started IF treatment I decided I wouldn’t do IVF because it felt like too big a gamble with our future. When I realized it was the only way to get pregnant I changed my mind but the gambling our future thing gnawed at me.

Until today. I was ready to skip open enrollment and stick with our reliable, cheap HMO. Then I hear a rumor about chiropractic benefits under the new plan and decided I should investigate, hoping it would save us a few thousand dollars a year. By the time it is all said and done, I think in one twelve month period the new plan will save us about $15K. We’ll get some coverage for IVF, coverage for chiropractic care, plus acupuncture and the special nutritionist my IVF doc recommends.

Once I realized what switching would mean for us, and for our future, I sat at my desk and cried. I prayed and dreamed about the day that we’d be able to do IVF and not go broke. I didn’t think it would come. I was starting to daydream about not doing it and moving on with adoption. I was doing okay and had put off thinking about it or doing anything until after our trip to Paris (booked using miles) in October.

Instead I need to quit caffeine ASAP and get an appointment with my doc for September. I hope and pray this is the year we get our Christmas miracle.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

farmer's market dinner


farmer's market dinner
Originally uploaded by sarahewk
Wow, I needed that. I had a great weekend and it was just what I needed.

I left work early on Friday, and stopped at the mall. I finally found the perfect bra. I’ve been searching for years and then there it was, and it was on sale. Now that is how to start a weekend!

We went out for Indian and then spent a couple of hours reading travel books at the Barnes.and.Noble before heading home.

Saturday, we got up early (boo) and drove to Hollister to spend the day babysitting my brother’s boys. We love them dearly and though we’ve volunteered a million times, we’ve never had primary babysitting duty with them before. I was so excited I didn’t care that it meant getting up at 6:30 on a Saturday.

We took the boys out for doughnuts. They LOVE doughnuts. My dad takes them on the Saturday’s he baby sits them and now everyone wants a little kiddy doughnut love. Nash gets a chocolate old fashioned and chocolate milk. Jack will eat anything, god love him. They were sticky and on a sugar high but it was fun anyway.

Later, we hit a street fair with PopPop (my dad) and took the boys to the jumpy house. It was rough going but they had fun. They fell asleep on the way home and napped for almost 3 hours! They woke up in time for my brother and his wife to get home and get us all (including my other brother, his wife and his adorable daughter) pizza for dinner.

After dinner I was done. Twelve hours with them was just enough.

This morning I got up early and had coffee and read the paper on the deck while Scott slept in. He joined me for breakfast and I decided it might be my most favorite thing about our house. It is exactly how I imagined spending Sunday mornings when I imagined being married.

We went to our favorite farmer’s market and it didn’t disappoint. The produce, as always, was incredibly fragrant, colorful and delicious. We got sweet Brentwood corn, red bell peppers, Happy Boy Farms sweet lettuce mix, peaches from Winters, lavender from Santa Cruz, and a single tomato (it was so pretty and fragrant I had to buy it even though I had half a dozen at home). We went to Tarjay, and Tj’s for other goodies (lavender oil, chili oil, goat cheese, watermelons), before coming home to make dinner.

Dinner. Oh sweet dinner. I think it was the best summer dinner I’ve ever made. I made a tomato corn salad, adapted from recipes from Sunset magazine. I shared a bit with Scott but only because he looked jealous. ☺

Here’s the how to on my salad:
One ear super ripe sweet corn, cut from the cob
A few cherry or small ripe tomatoes
¼ cup chopped sweet onion
a little chopped red bell pepper
a few chopped basil leaves
a handful of baby greens
freshly ground pepper
freshly ground salt
drizzle of olive oil
drizzle of red wine vinegar

Toss and enjoy!

I hate to go back to work tomorrow. I want to have a summer full of Sundays instead.

Oh and it is 61 days to Paris.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Snuggly


Snuggly
Originally uploaded by sarahewk
I joined flickr and uploaded a bunch of pics of our neice and nephews from lats weekend. They were all being super cute. Maddie was really affectionate this weekend and it just makes my heart sing. And when we went to my older brother's house to visit, his boys ran in from the backyard, jumping up and down with excitement and asked us to take them for a walk. I feel like we waited forever for them to love us back but now they do and it is better than I imagined it would be. It really does fill part of the hole I felt after years of trying to conceive our children. Being an aunt doesn't replace being a mom. But right now, when the kids are so full of excitement when we see them, it takes away a little of the sting.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Better

Yesterday was better. My brother’s doctor’s office finally sent the necessary info to the insurance company. Wooohooo! Progress. I only had to make two dozen calls to get it moving.

Last night, DH and I rode our bikes to the free music in the park. The ride was nice right up until the end when his bike stalled out. LOL. It just refused to go. We decided to enjoy the evening anyway and settled in with our pizza and beer for the free show. The music was great. The people watching was great. The weather was perfect. It was quite a lovely evening.

We decided to take the lightrail home, get the car and come back for our bikes. Only problem was we missed the train and the next one wasn’t for another 30 minutes. And it was a 30 minute train ride to get the 2 miles to our house (tons of stops!). So we got a cab, got the car and went to get the bikes. We treated ourselves to our favorite ice cream on the way home and it was the perfect end to a really good night.

I love Friday’s. Friday is my Star.bucks day. My favorite barista made my grande triple vanilla latte with extra foamy organic milk with just the right balance of foam and steamed milk. Yumm.

I hope I can find some time to sew this weekend. Summer is coming to a fast end and I have three more summer shirts I want to make. I need to get cracking if I have any hope of finishing them and wearing them before it gets too cold.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Grrr


Today was rough. So many frustrations to pack into one day. A car has been parked in the red zone and blocking our driveway since Monday night. I've called the police and they haven't come to tow it. It greeted me as I left this morning. I called the police again from work and they wouldn't even promise to tow it!

Then I had recurring technology issues at work. It's been going on for two solid months with no resolution.

My brother, who has been really sick (he hasn't been able to work in a month) didn't get the treatment he needed at his doctor's appointment today. His doctor's office is jerking him and us around and I can't figure out why.

Grrrr. Grrrr. Double Grrrrr.

And the darn car was blocking the driveway when I got home today.

I was about to call the police again when one happened to show up! Yeah! Turns out the car was stolen and dumped there. Boooo. A bigger issue is the shooting of two people (one of whom died) down the street on Sunday night. Our city is purported to be safe despite its size (a million people) but a murder on the block certainly doesn't feel safe.

The day was redeemed by a trip to the gym, a sunflower that FINALLY bloomed (it's over ten feet tall already and hadn't bloomed), and a nice light dinner on the deck with my hubby, followed by fireworks from the nearby county fair.

Hope tomorrow has more ups and a little less frustration.

Monday, July 30, 2007

getting started

I created this blog at least a month ago and haven't bothered to post anything yet. What a slacker I am!

I'm an avid blog reader -- it all started with julie at alittlepregnant.com. From there I discovered a whole online community of women (and a few men) dealing with infertility. It was exactly what i needed to help me get through a really dark time -- my brother's wives were pregnant and we had just had a miscarriage after over a year of trying and a few medicated cycles. I needed to know that despite the sucky circumstance, that I wasn't alone and there were others who shared my pain. I decided that it was time to contribute something to the discussion, even if no one reads it.

We still aren't parents (or pregnant) but we've moved on to other things for the time being. We are in the final planning stages for a trip to Paris in October for our 4th anniversary. We are enjoying the summer on our beautiful deck as we wait for our tomatoes to ripen. We check the garden everyday for new blooms and veggies. I've taken up sewing and the dining room table has been covered in patterns and fabric for most of the summer. We've taken in a few minor league ball games, seen a few concerts, and had a few lovely afternoons with our nephews (who now number 3) and neice. All in all its a good place to be.

A passion flower from the garden. I love summer.