May 28, 2007

14 weeks: Baby's First Party

Party #3 down; one more to go. Yesterday's Memorial Day Party is probably the most challenging of the four because it's the longest, most active, and the one where I'd most like to be drinking with everyone else. We survived it though and afterwards, lying on the sofa with J before bed, I'm pretty sure I felt my first kick. More like a little one-two punch, an inch or two below my belly button. Considering how much I LOVE party day, it seemed like the perfect occassion. I've decided he/she was trying to tell me: "Everything's fine. I'm still here. Thank you for that tiny sip from the Machine!"

Next weekend is baby shower #2. Everything is basically all ready. Most of it will be a repeat of shower #1 except in pink instead of blue. So with all the major party stuff out of the way, I will have to come up with some new ways to distract myself from pregnancy. I'm planning to update our photo albums (it's been almost a year), and finish our half-completed album from our trip to Belize earlier this year. But maybe I will also start to embrace it. Or maybe I'll wait a few more weeks. The anatomy scan is in about four weeks. That seems like a good time to start shopping and planning, right?

May 24, 2007

I Was *THAT* Girl

***First and foremost, I have to say how happy I am for the lovely Bumble about her positive Beta after FET #1. She's one of my favorite bloggers; her beautiful spirit shows through in all of her posts. If you haven't already, go congratlate her on this monumentally fantastic news.***

Okay back to me. I was *that* girl. You know, the unwelcome pregnancy announcement. It happened at that wedding party we threw two weeks ago. I neglected to mention that the bride is seven months pregnant. Yes, it was one of those OOPS pregnancies. We found out about it last December just before we were scheduled to go back to the RE after our one year break. I haven't blogged about it because the bride and groom have been invited to the blog, but I don't have to tell any of you here in blogland what the oops announcement was like.

Time goes on, and eventually I hear that the bride's older sister, who is also unmarried and as the big sister had a hard time with the fact that her baby sister was pregnant before she was, is now pregnant too. My lil sis had her first before I was married and it was just sort of a shock to the system. It somehow unsettles your idea of the role you've had your whole life. So the big sister had been feeling all those things while trying to remember to be happy for lil sis when she found out she was pregnant too. WOOHOO!! These girls are very close so they were really excited to be sharing their pregnancies, and the due dates were very similar. I should also say the sisters are from the Southwest, but the little sister recently moved here to DC, and they miss each other very much.

Then big sister miscarried. Unfortunately I don't have to explain what that was like to any of you either. Now I don't really know these girls, our connection to this couple is through my husband and the groom (cousins and lifelong friends). But I felt a desire to reach out, so I emailed the little sister (pregnant bride) and in addition to thoughts and well wishes, I sent her all my fave web resources on pregnancy loss and how to deal with someone else's, etc. That was that, like I said, I don't really know these girls.

So fast forward to two weekends ago. I met the older sister in person for the first time at the wedding. We had exchanged emails because she sent me pictures to use for my cheesy slideshow of the bride and groom's life, so it was a warm hello, so nice to meet you, blah blah blah. Then later that night at the reception, she came over to me and said "Congratulations. I had no idea," clearly indicating my pregnancy. It was a very warm and friendly congratulations, but I thought I recognized that ever-so-subtle but no less intense certain kind of pain behind her eyes that we have all felt (and tried to hide) before.

I felt awful. Here's this big sister, happy for her little sister but naturally unsettled by her surprise pregnancy, who then finds out she's pregnant, is overjoyed about sharing it with her little sister, then loses it (devastating enough), then finds out that this new girl (me), an in-law no less, part of her NEW family, living nearby, is pregnant and sharing all that pregnancy stuff they thought they would be sharing. I am just so close to all those feelings still it literally hurt me to be in that position. I could feel her pain, or I imagined I could anyway.

So, I wanted to blog about this right afterwards and get your thoughts on whether I should reach out to the big sister. For me it was always nice to know someone understood. The idea of blissfully happy fertiles frolicking through their pregnancies was always more bothersome than knowing someone had struggled and succeeded. And I wanted to reassure her that she wasn't being replaced. But of course I was just assuming I knew what this girl was going through, maybe she didn't feel any of those things I was inferring on her at all and would be highly irritated to be surprised by a very personal and intrusive email in her in box.

But I'm no good at letting things go. I sent the email. I first just thanked her for her help with the slideshow. Then I told her how nice it was to meet her and I thought we had a lot in common (close friendships with our little sisters, mine moving away soon to so I can guess how much they miss each other, becoming an aunt before i was married, etc.). Then I said I knew about her loss, briefly described what we'd been through and the IVF and basically said I know it doesn't help much, but I just feel like I relate, and if you ever want to talk I'm here, etc etc.

Well I'm so glad I did. She sent me back a very warm and appreciative email, thanking me for reaching out. She is not where most of us in blogland are. She's just had one miscarriage. She's not an infertile. Hopefully she'll never end up where we've been, but many of us started out where she is. That was a hard place to be, before you had blogland and a whole team of medical specialists behind you. People don't talk about miscarriage enough. Most suffer alone, or with the support of just their closest friends and family. The loss is crushing but you have very little outlet for it. It reminds me again how thankful I am for all of you. The support I've had here inspired me to reach out to her, and in some small way I feel like I've extended the best things about our blogging community to this girl who really needed it. Thank you all.

May 22, 2007

Eight Weird Things

Okay, it took me forever to get around to this, until I realized I already did one on myspace last year and I can be super lazy and just copy it over...

1) i am a total freak about having to know what everyone else i'm eating with is going to order in a restaurant before i can decide what i will order. when someone won't tell me, it makes me a little crazy.

2) because of my years working at the gap and having come to see the sale rack as the place for crappy reject items, i don't get the thrill of finding a great bargain the way others do and almost prefer to pay full price.

3) if there were any sort of future in it, i would prefer to be waitressing again. i had to leave it because i kept having visions of myself slinging hash in a diner at age 72 and putting my cigs out in some jackass's eggs, but i really love working in restaurants and miss it.

4) i am sometimes convinced that jack (my dog) can read my mind.

5) i generally dislike salad dressing and prefer to eat my salads without.

6) i HAVE to have a small glass of OJ every morning. if not it's a problem.

7) i am tremendously lazy. i can bring an enormous amount of passion and energy to things i enjoy, but i find it extremely difficult to dedicate any effort whatsoever to things i am not interested in. this is why J and i have reversed the normal chores in our marriage. i am completely uninterested in putting my dirty socks in the laundry basket, so they end up all over the floor and he picks them up. i mow the lawn because it's fun and i enjoy the backyard, but he does the laundry because i find it endlessly tiresome.

8) a couple of days ago i saw an elderly man stand inside his opened car door, unzip, and pee into a margarine container. then he put it on the car floor, UNCOVERED, and drove away. you could probably get away with this sort of thing much better before everyone was sitting up high in their SUVs.

May 21, 2007

Two Down, Two to Go

So I mentioned a while back that I was throwing four parties over the following four weeks. The weekend before last was a post-wedding brunch reception type of thing for some friends who had a very small wedding and reception, so the brunch expanded the celebration to other friends and family. We had it at Clyde's in downtown DC and we showed a cheesy slideshow I made of photos from the bride and groom's lives. Several people teared up, including the groom, which made me feel less like a crazy hormonal pregnant woman over the fact that I cried making it. Something about seeing their lives in photos from babyhood to today just kind of got to me. I wasn't consciously thinking about my child growing up and living it's life and becoming an adult, but I think that was behind the emotion. The brunch was a big success and a great way to ring in the start of my second trimester. Since I am basically huge, I was pretty much outed to the whole family at that party.

So party number two was a baby shower for my friend Holly, who I mentioned way back when. I had offered to throw her baby shower before I even started the IVF cycle. It probably could have been a disaster, but I had a back-up plan in case I was in no shape to deal with a baby shower when the time came. I would have gone to her shower anyway so I figured if I was the host at least I'd be busy and distracted for most of the party. And it was something I wanted to do because I appreciated that she talked to me about her pregnancy and didn't treat me like some kind of infertile leper who wouldn't understand or was too fragile or something. And she has had her share of difficulty and loss before this pregnancy so she just kind of gets where I was coming from and of course I'm always happy to see someone from our side make it. Anyway, the baby shower was fun and went really well I think.

So next up is our Memorial Day party this weekend, which is also our five year anniversary. Which means it is practically the five year anniversary of my going off the pill. There are so many little milestones, you've all blogged about them before, and I'm so used to them going by without any progress. It is a really nice feeling having made it to the safety zone of the second trimester just in time for this milestone, but I haven't totally lost touch with how those milestones have felt for the last five years. For those who have posed the question of whether infertility ever really leaves us or whether we'll be tainted by it for life, my experience (at this point) is that I'll probably never forget it, but it just makes me appreciate where I am now even more. Of course it also makes me enormously sad for every one of you who is still struggling and I can't wait for you all to find some resolution in your journey, in whatever form that takes.

The Memorial Day party is always a blast, and a wild one (due in no small measure to the MACHINE pictured above)! The plans for it are coming along nicely, and then party number four will be the second baby shower. This couple is expecting a girl, so I will do all the same stuff I did for Holly's except pink instead of blue, which means it's pretty much all set already.

So I've totally slacked off on blogging lately between the marathon party planning and trying to also, you know, get my work done and bathe and floss and stuff. But when it's over I just don't know what I'm going to do with myself. These parties have been such a fantastic distraction from thinking about pregnancy and the mental break after all the turmoil of the IVF cycle and the years that led up to it was so needed. I guess after the last party I will have to finally admit that I'm pregnant and start pouring my obsessive energy into thinking about a baby registry and a nursery and all that stuff I was so excited for way back when but somehow just became uncomfortable territory over the years. I'm thinking after all the parties I will finally be ready to go down that road again.

May 11, 2007

I am

Sticky Bun has tagged me in the I Am game, so I'm to tell you all about myself and then nominate five more of you to do the same. I do like reading these things and as Sticky says, it's kindda fun to see them spead around the blogosphere, so I will play along.

I am rebellious.
I'm inclined to go against the grain, sometimes just for the sake of it, to play devil's advocate, and to eschew the ordinary, which sometimes means I miss the beauty of the everyday all around me. I like to roll down my windows and crank the Sex Pistols when I drive through a stodgy neighborhood.

I am adventurous.
I'm happiest when I'm traveling to new places, meeting new people, trying new foods, seeking out new experiences. My tastes in music range from Nanci Griffith to Parliament Funkadelic, Bruce Springsteen to Naughty by Nature, Seven Seconds to The Beatles, Lyle Lovett to Madonna, Al Green to System of a Down..... with many in between that I loathe. My tastes in most things are like that.

I am extremely extroverted.
I'm not very loud or one of those people with amazing social skills, but I share very personal things easily, get close to people quickly, and as much as I enjoy my "me" time, I prefer to be around people more often than not. I live to throw parties. This weekend I'm hosting the first of four big parties in a row.

I am quite nerdy.
I like science shows on public TV. I make excel sheets for practically everything. I have binders for anything I'm planning, and I overplan everything. I love to cook, garden, watch the birds at my feeders and try (unsuccessfully) to identify them in my birding books. I love crosswords but hate Sudoku.

I am very passionate.
Whatever I get hooked on totally dominates me until the next thing comes along. I become lazy about almost anything else. I love my friends and family very deeply. I tend to be very black and white on things (love it or hate it), and my emotions go in peaks and valleys with very few plateaus.

I am a city girl living in the suburbs.

Thanks Sticky Bun. I don't know if I did it "right," but there you have it. A bit long-winded, as usual. Of course I'd love to read all your "I Am's" but here are my five nominees:

Valerie (Adventures in Parenting)

Kate (No Longer an Option)

Anns (A Brief History of You)

Marie-Baguette (Can PCOS and CBAVD Make 3?)

Bumble (Me the Bumblebee)
(go give her some 2ww love while she waits for little sureshot to burrow in)

Hope everyone has a nice weekend.

May 10, 2007

WOW

Lame title, I know, but it's all I can think of. So glad I did the NT scan! It was awesome! We got such a great look at the little thing, which isn't such a blob anymore. It has arms and legs and fingers and toes and it was kicking and wiggling them all around. We saw it's face (freaky), it turned and waved at us, and then did a few sommersaults. The Nuchal fold measured right on target and the doctor said everything looks perfect. My age-related risk of Down syndrome was 1 in 500, but the scan puts me at 1 in 1800. That's without the bloodwork so we'll get a final answer soon, but I'm not worried. Here's a nice profile shot:


You can't really see the long arms and legs the way they looked when they were moving around in there, but you can see the nose and mouth. J says it has his profile. It really took our breath away. J actually let out an audible gasp when we first saw it on the screen, looking so much more like a little baby and then bouncing all around. It was great.

I have a regular OB appt next week, and then go back to the perinatal specialist in six weeks for the full anatomy scan. Part of me can't wait, but I'm also just really enjoying this day. Oh and you know how we were calling it Lucky because of those 7% odds? The first thing the doctor said when he looked at the image on the screen was "This is Lucky" (he was talking about it being a good size for taking the measurement).

May 7, 2007

11 Weeks

So it's officially a fetus. At the end of the week I'll be three months pregnant. Entering the second trimester. I still have the NT scan to get through first, but I'm getting cocky enough about things to offer up my extra meds. Please send me an email (adress is in my profile) if you could use a couple of 600iu cartridges of Follistim AQ (for the Follistim pen) and/or a couple of 75iu vials of Menopur w/ mixing diluent and syringes. I also have an HCG IM shot, but seems like everyone's doing Ovidrel now so I don't know why anyone would want that.

May 2, 2007

Lucky 21

As soon as my mother-in-law told us this would be her 21st(!) grandchild (including her six step-sons' and step-daughters' kids), we renamed the blob Blackjack. Of course 21 in Blackjack is lucky, so we still feel like we have a theme going. Although I think the odds of drawing 21 are way higher than 7%. Hmm... something new to google... No! the odds of a natural 21 are just under 5%, even less likely than this pregnancy. I'm taking it as a good sign.

Thanks to everyone who's wished me a normal, boring pregnancy. So far I'm feeling very boring. I'm 10w4d today and I really have nothing interesting to say about it. I hardly have symptoms, except that I look about five months pregnant because my belly just somehow popped out right away. I'm mostly wearing maternity clothes now unless I can get away with sweatpants and baggy shirts. When I shop in the maternity stores they always ask the due date. Either I get these stunned, slightly pitiful stares when I tell them late November, or I make up something a few months early just to avoid the whole conversation.

I scheduled the Nuchal Translucency scan for next week. Mainly I gave in to my urge for just another peek in there. I'm not especially worried about it, but I do hope the odds they give me afterwards don't cause me alarm (even long odds, seeing as how I'm beating them so far). A week after that I have the next OB appointment. Mainly I'm just keeping very busy with work and distracting myself with a few parties I'm planning. The first few weeks were so emotionally exhuasting, I just feel like I can't think about it all the time. After my OB appointment two weeks ago, I was directed to an outside lab for bloodwork, and I actually forgot all about it until today. What a change from just a few months ago, when I was obsessed with appointments and tests and could hardly go a few days without a blood draw.

Although I need to take my mind off of pregnancy when I can, I am still reading all your blogs regularly and wishing the best for you all. As many of you gear up for new cycles, I'm hoping to see a lot more luck spreading around the blogosphere.