November 21, 2008

Thanks

I had the mock transfer on Wednesday. Again they said everything looks just like it did in '07 which I find strange having had, you know, a person grow in there in the meantime, but I'm certainly glad it was all fine and normal. And there's more to be thankful for: we have IVF coverage this time around! In 2007 we had no coverage at all so we paid $20k for shared risk. When the financial coordinator I met with noticed we lucked out on our first cycle she actually snickered. Sorry, she says, that's just funny. Under her breath I'm pretty sure I heard her say "suckkkkker." Whatever. Totally worth every dime. This time around we have 80% coverage for three attempts per live birth, which I think might be the mandate in Maryland. Not sure about meds. With the coverage come the hassles, minor by comparison, but we have to wait for pre-approval before we can write the protocol since the coverage will determine which drugs, etc and approval can take 2-6 weeks so we still plan to start BCPs in December but I guess there's no guarantee we'll be ready for stims in January.

Today I ran into a friend who just got a BFN on her fourth IUI/injectable. She's an acquaintance really and I couldn't say anything because I'm not sure if I was supposed to know. I had the baby with me and I felt like such an ass, knowing that's the last thing she needed to see. I wanted to ask her to have drinks and talk but I couldn't intrude on our mutual friend's confidence. I think she's knows I'm about to start IVF again but I remember being where she is and feeling that those people who had crossed over to the other side were not my people, or I wasn't one of them, or something else isolating like that. I remember so clearly that last IUI we did, when we knew we'd exhausted that route and had big decisions to make about where to go next. I wanted to adopt and J wanted to do IVF so we took a year off. It was such an incredibly hard time and I can feel it like it was yesterday. I feel so much sympathy for this person I don't really know and wish her the best. I hope in a year or two she will be looking back at this time while her baby naps as I am right now.

I've mentioned that I secretly harbor hopes that this cycle will go down pretty much like the last one, but infertility truly is not the same pain when you have a little family member snuggled up in her room, and I'm so very thankful of how different this cycle is because of it. Happy Thanksgiving everyone.

November 17, 2008

One

I went in this morning for a baseline. Very happy to see the same sonographer I've had since 2005. My uterus is still there. RE said everything looks the same. Which is kind of amazing considering what went on in there since the last time they had a look, but I liked the sound of it.

Piper is one. She walks and talks. She calls me mama, throws fits and likes to cuddle. I'm ready for another, but it's very weird to think of her not being the only one. She's the center of our universe. She has her own stationery.


(thank you notes from her birthday party)

October 31, 2008

Vampires & Pumpkins

Just in time for Halloween I had my date with the vampires for bloodwork. A few days ago I had my recent pap sent over to the clinic. I'm all set until CD1 when I schedule day 3 bloods and a mock transfer. And the way the end of the year always flies by, I'm going to be playing with needles again before I know it.

And now for the pumpkin; the part that makes it all worth while:


Happy Halloween everyone!

October 27, 2008

Dr. Change

As a first-time infertile all you want is change. Any kind of change might be just the change you've been needing. In the beginning, whatever I could change that might somehow change the outcome of each cycle was worth a shot! There are the changes in position, diet, exercise, mindset, changes into lucky underwear; pretty much almost anything you can think of has been touted by someone as a magic ticket to fertility. After a while I got too frustrated with any sort of magical changes that only led to disappointment but whatever changes my clinic threw at me were still welcome. Injectables? Sure! Up the dosage? OK! Slow the progression? Whatever you say doc, let this be the thing that finally makes it work!

But this time around I'm not so keen on change. It worked last time afterall. Somehow I had forgotten about the excitement of zero fertilization and the depressingly low odds for rescue ICSI. I walked into my clinic last week with half my thoughts devoted to planning Piper's birthday party, another 49% on work, and the remaining 1% split between all manner of various other distractions including the passing thought that hey, I think I'll do IVF again.

Silly me. I sat down in Dr. Chang's office. He says: "So I see you had a very unusual case last time." He's a friendly guy but he says it all serious-like; gets me sort of nervous. Me: Huh? He gently reminds me. Naturally the clinic is very pleased about the pregnancy outcome, but he clearly did not think zero fertilization was good news. I guess I had brushed it off because I assumed we'd just go straight to ICSI next time and it wouldn't be an issue, but it turns out it's not so simple. There are two reasons for zero fertilization: egg prematurity and sperm problems. The sperm always looked fine in analysis but this doesn't mean they can do their job. I had loads of eggs and they were the usual size at trigger, but I stimmed for only 8 days so that could have been the issue.

So onto a new protocol this time around. Lower the doses of stims by 25% aiming to shoot up a little longer like maybe 10 days and possibly have fewer eggs as a result, but better quality, more mature eggs, all of which will then be ICSIed. Any immature eggs will simply hang out a day in the dish until they can be ICSIed. Rescue ICSI was performed on day 2 anyway so this would be essentially the same deal. The fact that all the eggs fertilized after day 2 rescue ICSI is an indication that egg maturity might have been the issue, however the five years of trying before including the year of IUI's would tend to implicate the sperm. It makes for a happier household if we just assume it's both.

I think we've got the right plan. I trust my doctor. And we can always up the dosages or bag the cycle if we don't like the response. I just sort of like the idea of repeating the past because the past worked out for me. As much as I try to prepare myself for the worst and remind myself that I'd have to be ridiculously lucky to get an encore performance on the first try out of our dysfunctional reproductive matter, I secretly hope it all goes down pretty much the same way. I left the office feeling much less cocky but nonetheless ready to start BCPs in December. I definitely feel the slow and ominous upward clicking of the roller coaster.

October 14, 2008

In the last 10 days...

* Celebrated my birthday

* Lost my last living grandparent

* Sent invitations for Piper's first birthday party

* Attended a 20 year reunion for my old summer camp

* Which happened to be across a river from where I got married

* Made an initial consult appointment to get back to IVF

This sort of intersection of events, seemingly engineered to give one perspective on our scope of time on earth, feels more like some cheesy Nicholas Sparks type novel than real life. In other trite observations, I keep mistyping my appointment with Dr. Chang next Tuesday as with Dr. Change. Oh yes and today is CD1.

October 4, 2008

Happy Eggspiration Day!

Yesterday I turned 35. I called my clinic to make an appointment for a consult but of course there is some administrative hoopla that has to happen before I am reinstated and can get in. My hope is to get the initial consult, financial crap, and testing done this Fall, not think about it over the holidays, and get ready to start shooting up in 2009. I just want these next few months to be about Piper's first birthday, Thanksgiving, and Christmas without having to divide my thoughts and time between her and the clinic. But the clock keeps on ticking and the desire to have another go at it before my last egg shrivels is growing.

August 15, 2008

Post Baby Infertile-hood

Because I think post-infertile motherhood is just like anyone else's motherhood. And because there's no such thing as being post-infertile.

I have to admit there was a time, early on, when the pain of infertility was raw and new, that I really didn't get secondary infertility. Even at the time I knew it was unfair, but I would read posts from secondaries on the IF boards and think to myself they should just can it and appreciate what they've got. I think most of us have a had a weak moment when we hated the anonymous pregnant woman in the grocery store for instance and it was the same thing. In the beginning the unfairness is a huge deal. As you accept the reality of infertility, you accept the unfairness and move on.

When I started reading blogs I got a better understanding. I read a post from a secondary about the insensitivity of random strangers asking when little so-an-so would have a baby brother. Having the pain of infertility unintentionally rubbed in was something a primary could relate to. I've thought about this a lot ever since the positive beta. It's kind of like how I would keep telling myself "If I can just get a good follicle report I'll be happy. If they can at least get a few at retrieval that's all I ask for. I just want a couple to fertilize." There was no way I could bear the weight of the whole process so I focused only on the next step. Well if I'm being honest, I never really wanted only one. I know it sounds ungrateful but I guarantee you I will always be more grateful than I can describe for Piper. But I've wondered about when I'd be ready to head back to the baby factory again since very early in pregnancy. I think the time is approaching.

I am still infertile. I have nothing frozen so I will have to start from scratch. The process will be the same but it is very different now. I get very hung up on worrying that failures might be so much harder to take. It was one thing to detach from the little cells that didn't make it when they were just cells. Now there is no escaping their potential. Before I also thought I would be able to be fairly pragmatic faced with choices about what to do with leftovers (ha!) or even more terrible decisions like selective reduction. That would be so much harder now too.

Funny how I can manage to turn success into new things to fret over. Part of my self-preservation mantra that has served me fairly well I guess. But fears about what could lie ahead are really not the big difference this time around. By far the two most significant changes are how a successful IVF has affected our marriage and that it removed the big question of whether it ever will work. The years it took for J and I to get on the same page about what infertility meant to us are over, and the big focus in our lives now draws us together instead of driving a wedge. Knowing it can work for us is a double-edge sword, I hate to allow that sliver of optimism and face the terrible disappointment, but it is nice to know that at least it was possible once. Those have got to be the most difficult obstacles I faced and they're out of the way. Hopefully that means whatever the process throws at us this time, we'll be much better prepared to handle it.

June 21, 2008

100

Alone at home with a sleeping baby and an icy gin and tonic - finally a moment to get to this post which has been in my head for long enough that it's now just sort of a mess. I never thought I'd be typing post #100 while an almost 8-month old baby slept in her crib upstairs. MY 8 month old baby! Course if I'd been posting at all regularly it wouldn't have taken me a year and a half to get to 100 and that wouldn't have been the case. But still.

Funny how I feel compelled to say something meaningful with 100. The main thing in my head is just how weird and unexpected it's all been. When I started blogging I was heading into my first IVF cycle. I was sick to death of babydust and the ttc boards and finally discovered Julie. I think I read her blog from start to the latest post in about three days. My husband kept checking on me since I was glued to my computer well into the wee hours. After a year of failed IUIs interspersed with delays and another year off, and having read Julie and then all of Tertia, I fully expected at least 4 to 6 goes at IVF with major bumps in the road along the way, quite possibly never finding success. I could not even begin to imagine being pregnant, much less having an infant of my own. I had long since grieved anything happening "the old fashioned way" and had been ready to adopt for some time (trying IVF first was more important to J).

If you had told me back at post #1 that I would have a baby within the next 100 posts I would have laughed my ass off and then perhaps decided not to be your friend anymore. I certainly could not have begun to fathom it. Granted it's been over a month since my last post so I've arrived at 100 rather slowly, but you get the idea. I was jaded, cynical, with the lowest possible expectations, and it served me very well. It was all so much easier once the hope was gone. Never thinking of the "end game" (I couldn't even say pregnancy, much less baby). It still doesn't seem real; feels much more like a strange and wonderful dream (although caring for a baby feels incredibly real 24/7). I look at her and I can't connect what I see to the experience of how she arrived...

At the baby disco (six months)...


Out to dinner at a restaurant fancy enough that there was no changing table in the restroom (hurray!)...


First day at the pool (seven months)...


She still practices the back float on occasion...


On the plane to Boston...


Showing off her dimple in Boston...


Beboppin to John Coltrane over breakfast at Starbucks just yesterday...


First ice cream cone, also yesterday (these almost belie what a challenging day it was!)...


Happy 100 to me. It was all so worth it. Every shot, every dollar, every time I insisted on continuing despite the vast expanse of pure white in the window of another peestick foretelling failure. And that from the anti-hope poster child. You just never know how things will go.

May 15, 2008

The Fertile Friend

So I have this friend. No really, I do. And she has a friend who is in that brutal stage of infertility where you're beyond the naive newbie days full of hope and optimism (denial?), but not yet jaded and cynical and enjoying the ridiculously low expectations that are only earned after a certain amount of failure. Remember the horrible days when you made your first appointment with the fertility clinic? She's there.

And the fertile is a really fantastic friend so she's doing it all right: supportive, but giving her space, trying to be educated but not giving assvice. But she has a dilemma: she is ready to try for #3. Although they've been friends since well before the first two kids, this is the first attempt since the infertile got married and discovered the problem. At first the fertile put her plans on hold waiting to hear good news from the infertile friend, but now her daughters are almost five and six and she really feels like the right time is approaching. Because she is such a great friend, she asked my advice on how to handle things with the newly infertile.

I told her she needs to tell the friend. It might suck, and it might be tempting to just say nothing and then something apologetic like "I'm so sorry, I didn't want it to happen this way, I was hoping we'd be pregnant together," etc. I told her something like that would only make me feel worse. The last thing you want to hear is the oops announcement. On the other hand, if I knew a friend was trying I would be hoping along with her, invested in her hopes, and would be happier for her when it happened. This particular fertile is of the sort who really does seem to get pregnant at the mere thought of it, after three consecutive pregnancies on her first potential cycle. What do you guys think? What would you want a fertile friend to say? What's the best way to protect the friendship?

We all know just caring and sympathy isn't always the answer. Fertiles have to walk the fine line between not knowing what to say, worrying about saying the wrong thing, and actually saying the wrong thing because in fact they don't always understand (and can't be expected to). So to help her understand I sent the fertile Tertia's famous "How to be Good Friends with an Infertile" post. One of Tertia's main points is that the rules change all the time. Not just based on where you are in the infertility abyss or minute by minute if you're on Clomid as this particular infertile is, but also from person to person. Which is why I thought I shouldn't be the only one to answer the question, so please comment: What would you want your fertile friend to do/say? Had a positive experience? What made it so? And the easier one, what NOT to say?

May 8, 2008

Six Months


We did something really cool for Piper's six month birthday. We participated in our local Relay for Life which is a 24 hour event to raise money for the American Cancer Society. We took turns pushing the jogger (I highly recommend this one) around the track with all the other supporters, lit luminarias in honor of a few cancer survivors and victims in our lives, and won a Crate & Barrel ice cream sundae kit in the silent auction. It was a very moving event. The survivor's lap around the track and the team "Siblings of Survivors" really got to me. A great way to mark the 6 month milestone, I hope to continue doing things like this with her so she grows up with these experiences.

At the six-month check up she is still growing just fine, hanging in there around the 40th percentile (60th if adjusted for being early). She's 16 pounds and 26 inches long. This was good to hear since feeding has become extremely difficult now that she gets distracted and wants to be seeing/doing/chewing on everything around her. Vaccines suck and they seem to be getting worse each time. It's the saddest cry imaginable when she looks up at you like "How could you? Why are you doing this to me?" Of course that's my guilt-ridden translation, to her it probably just means "Oh my freaking lord that hurts like hell!!!"

I've started thinking about weaning now that feeding is becoming so challenging and things are going well with solids. I want to wait until she sleeps longer at night though, it would seem like a shame to make this far nursing only to have to make bottles in the middle of the night. I can make it a few more months I guess. It does get me thinking about heading back to the IVF clinic though. It was always in the back of my mind that since it took 5 years for Piper, we'd get back in there as soon as I was done nursing. But then I was thinking I'd nurse for a year. And ideally it won't take 5 years again now that we have that whole long "figuring out there's a problem/what should we do about it?" stage behind us. Still my 35-year egg expiration date looms this Fall, which makes me feel a bit of urgency.

Work is ridiculous right now, I barely have time to brush my teeth and we still haven't finished unpacking boxes from our move. I am really wanting to check in with all my blog buddies much more frequently than I've been able to. I am thinking about you all!

April 3, 2008

Five Months

Today is Piper's five month birthday. That makes at least three months that I've been meaning to post an update on her life.

At two months I went back to work and kept meaning to post about it. The fact that I haven't been able to yet gives you some idea how that's going.

At three months we made the spur of the moment decision to sell our house and move all in three weeks. This is either the best decision of our lives or a total disaster; it remains to be seen. At three and a half months Piper started teething. I expected some fussing and pain, but didn't realize it would completely interfere with her ability to eat and sleep, which means it disrupts our entire lives. She's not likely to get a tooth early, but some babies are more sensitive to the earlier movement. Yay.

The fourth month was full of changes. Piper made major adjustments to her sleep habits and it took some effort on our part to decipher them and figure out what she needed. It felt like things were completely falling apart, but according to the sleep bible "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child" she is right on schedule. At four months they are supposed to begin to "organize their sleep patterns." In addition to our confusion about her changing schedule, teething has been a complication and so has her increased awareness of the world and unwillingness to let it drift off for a bit when she gets tired. We now seem to have a bedtime in place as well as two naps a day. It's not without trials and now we are slaves to the schedule, but it's making it a lot easier to plan our days. The issue is far from solved, but I definitely see improvement. The key has been not letting her get overtired before we try to get her to sleep.

These days Piper is a happy girl (provided she's well rested), very curious about the world, intensely interested in what's going on around her, quite sensitive to her environment (reacts strongly to even slight noises, etc.), eagerly open to new people, toys, etc., who responds vigorously and definitively with a total-body laugh, a strong cry, a big smile, or wide-open eyes. Her personality reveals itself more and more every day, and I'm getting the impression I'm going to have my hands full with an engaged, alert, active child with little tolerance for boredom. But then that's most kids I've ever met.

Happy Spring everyone. Happy five-month birthday, baby.

March 24, 2008

Happy Easter



March 5, 2008

Shifting Addresses, Aligning Priorities

So I mentioned moving day a few posts back. That wasn't real moving day, that was 'moving lots of crap out of our old house so it could look presentable on the market' day. Shortly after that, we had a new mattress delivered to the new house, and we're basically living there now with no furniture. It's a total mess, but leaving our furniture in the old house while we try to sell can make a big difference in the price we get for it, and being able to camp out here makes it much easier to keep that place presentable and not have to pack up the baby and dog anytime someone comes through. It was an insane couple of weeks getting ready to be on the market - all sorts of cleaning, fixing, shopping, staging, etc. had to be done in just a week or two.

We weren't really looking for a new house. We were fine in our townhouse, but I knew down the road I wanted something with a bigger yard. Our housing market is so down right now, although it's not the best time to sell our old place, it's a fantastic time to get a deal on a new house. We happened onto a brand new home that was built and ready to settle but the original buyer fell through, and it was being offered way below the original price and what it's neighbors paid for theirs, so we snapped it up.

It's a very nice house and there are plenty of things I like about it, but I had major concerns with buying it. Sure it is always nice to have a bigger fancier house, but I just felt like it was totally out of line with my priorities. I had visions of us being happier with less, versus more stressed and more pressured to work harder and buy more furniture and keep extending the rat race if we moved into this big house. In the old house, it was conceivable that one day I could back off my work load a bit. In the new house I feel pressured to continue working nonstop for the rest of my life. Ultimately I agreed with J and others that this place was too good of an investment to pass up, but I just hate the idea that I traded in leisurely time with my baby for a big fancy house. I know I'm lucky to work from home and have as much time with her as I do, but that's because my husband is still home with us, which adds to my stress about the house - it's all on me, at least right now, to pay for it.

February 20, 2008

yael naim new soul clip

piper's new favorite song...she dances when the Mac Air commercial comes on. So I've taken to reminding her that she is, after all, a new soul in this very strange world, lalalalalalalala....

February 16, 2008

Moving Day

just a quick post to let you in on why i'm not blogging lately. this is all very last minute; crazy hectic. meanwhile i'm swamped at work and since i work from home, its an office move too. all while caring for an infant, of course. more on the new house later, and why i feel like i'm choosing a big shiny house over quality time with my daughter.

January 27, 2008

Piper's Favorite Thing




As you can pretty much see from these crappy stills grabbed from a video, I put her in a full bath and let her float on her back. My hand is just there to keep her from turning her head side to side too much and getting a face full of water. She floats up to the tub wall and kicks off gliding backwards like you might do in the pool. She'll do this over and over again, laughing herself silly. It's basically a horizontal version of those jumpy seats you hang in a doorway, but when she really gets going her arms start working and she looks like she's practicing her backstroke.

My favorite thing to do in the bath: lean back and feel my back fat create a suction against the back of the tub. Ewwwwwww. As such I've decided to join My Reality in her weight loss challenge and have added it to my sidebar. Not that I'm doing much to make a dent in it. Maybe I should be working on my backstroke.

Two notes: The bath water is not green, it's a reflection of the lime green paint on the walls. And close observers may notice her belly button looks a little weird. It's an umbilical hernia. If you press lightly on it you can feel (and hear) the intestines and juices squishing around. Freaky.

January 14, 2008

For Baby


A friend asked me the other day if I was still being ridiculously pragmatic about this whole baby thing, now that she's actually here. Once you leave the hospital, there is the reality of constant daily care, so the denial of pregnancy is no longer an option. There is no mistaking that you did indeed produce an infant. Sometimes I say to myself: "She is your daughter. You are her mother" and it's becoming more natural as time goes on. Which makes sense, because it took a while for "You are infertile" to sink in too.

During pregnancy I remember reading other bloggers' posts about how they already loved their baby in utero so incredibly deeply and thinking I definitely did not relate. On day two or three of her life, I remember my husband holding her up and saying to her "I just love you so much!" I was touched by seeing this in him, but I remember thinking to myself "Hmm, I do not feel like I'm in love with this strange little alien. I wonder when it will hit me." At this point I'm clearly very much in love with the whole thing. I love the baby, I love at least a million little things about her, and I love being her mommy. I tell her I love her several times a day and kiss her as often as possible.

Generally I still bury away any big gushes of emotion. But the passing of time and all that it means is the one thing that really gets to me. I remember early on, my mom was holding Piper asking her "Who will you be?" and pondering aloud about the person she would become. "Don't you wonder?" she asked me. I said that no, I never thought about it. It will all be here soon enough. I just want to enjoy who she is now. In that moment, I choked back almost a year's worth of denied emotions, from the hope I should have carried into the cycle, to the joy I should have had at the positive beta, to the excitement I should have relished for nine months, and insisted on stoicism. To think about the life that lies ahead of her unfolding, of how we will grow closer as she grows away from me, is way too much for me.

I celebrate the little milestones, but do not wish for them to get here. I stare at her and think of how wonderful she is and try to soak it all in. Sometimes I wish I could just freeze us in a perfect moment, cuddled together. But babies have a very smart design, the next new thing is always wonderful enough that it makes the passing of time okay. She is now in the big smiley stage, which distracts me from the speed at which her life is flying by.

So with all this emotion I have related to the passing of time, it's no surprise the thing that finally opened the floodgates for me was coming across the lyrics of a lullaby my mom used to sing to me. It took me right back to who we were then, and the enormity of everything in between, and the knowledge that I will blink my eyes and Piper will be singing lullabies to her daughter (or where ever it is she goes in life). It doesn't hurt that it's also an incredible description of motherly love:

For Baby (For Bobbie)
John Denver


I'll walk in the rain by your side,
I'll cling to the warmth your hand.
I'll do anything to help you understand,
I love you more than anybody can.

And the wind will whisper your name to me.
Little birds will sing along in time.
Leaves will bow down when you walk by,
And morning bells will chime.

I'll be there when you're feelin' down,
To kiss away the tears if you cry
I'll share with you all the happiness I've found;
A reflection of the love in your eyes.

And I'll sing you the songs of the rainbow;
A whisper of the joy that is mine.
And leaves will bow down when you walk by,
And morning bells will chime.

I'll walk in the rain by your side.
I'll cling to the warmth your tiny hand.
I'll do anything to help understand.
I love you more than anybody can.

And the wind will whisper your name to me.
Little birds will sing along in time.
Leaves will bow down when you walk by:
And morning bells will chime.

January 8, 2008

Recovery

This post is seriously belated so no doubt I've forgotten some of it now, but since I started it six weeks ago I decided I might as well finish it.

Pregnancy Brain
My theory is that the incredible dumbing-down during pregnancy may be an important evolutionary adaptation, allowing pregnant women to become accustomed to their reduced mental capacity and make necessary adjustments BEFORE they have a tiny infant in their care. Forgetting where I was driving whenever I approached critical intersections and completely blanking on what I was saying (and to whom) in the middle of sentences was gud practices four my currrnt condishen. Afterall, losing my cart in target with my wallet and keys in it was far less distressing than losing it with the baby strapped in would be, and I'm thankful to have learned that lesson before her arrival. But a high degree of skepticism is warranted in evaluating any brilliant new theories of mine these days.

The Fickle Scale
I'm definitely still in maternity clothes and probably will be for a while. They don't look nearly as cute without the nice high bump. The low sagging flab is just not the same. It's basically like being back to the fat or pregnant? stage of early pregnancy, except fatter. I gained 35 pounds during pregnancy and lost 10 pounds at delivery (this is low since she was just under 5 pounds). I dropped another 5 pounds in the first two weeks, but decided not to worry much about losing weight until after the holidays. After those first two weeks I stalled out completely, until the few weeks before Christmas when I actually started to GAIN a few pounds! Sooooo not fair, I thought the pounds were supposed to disappear when breast feeding!

The Crimson Tide
In further unfairness, that wretched bitch who serves virtually no purpose in my life but whom I've nonetheless had to tolerate on a near-monthly basis for over twenty years now is paying me a visit. I thought I'd at least get a couple months reprieve while breast feeding, but this visit is actually her SECOND appearance since delivery, two months ago. She showed up like clockwork 4 and a half weeks after delivery. Apparently she is not up on her new-baby etiquette, and really, I shouldn't have expected any better based on our past history.

The Other Crimson Tide
The first few days were very weird. In the fog of the epidural, lack of sleep, sheer exhaustion after delivery, and tiny new person consuming my attention, I really wasn't aware of much physical pain. No doubt it helps that I delivered such a tiny baby. Another thing that made it easier for me is probably that I was prepared. I knew from my sister's experience to expect the bloodbath my first trip to the bathroom. It wasn't painful but it did look like a sizable battle had been fought there. The worst moment was when I found myself on my hands and knees, with baby in one arm, trying to clean blood and pee (I didn't realize the floodgates had opened before I was ready) off the bathroom floor at 3am. Not that clock time means anything in a hospital. If you find yourself in this situation RING FOR YOUR NURSE to take care of it. Marie-Baguette perfectly described the alarming post-delivery blood clots with one word: steaks (that link by the way takes you to a fantastic account of what induction is like, no gory detail spared). For me the bleeding continued for about two and a half weeks. I have a friend who dealt with it for eight.

Weirdness "Down There"
That bizarre pregnancy symptom I'll always think of as Watson's hanging beef jerky did in fact return to it's normal spot in the deli drawer within a week or two.

While we're in the processed meats department (and while I'm busily mooching off Watson instead of coming up with original thoughts), you might remember her discussion of the bologna nipples. I didn't exactly have that symptom, but that weird darkening did fade in the first week or so also.

For a good six or weeks or more after delivery, it sortta felt like I could feel the catheter again at times. Pee still seems to gush out at a higher volume than it used to, but maybe I'm imagining that? I didn't have much trouble with leaks, but there have been a few sneeze-related incidents, pretty much the same as during late pregnancy.

I had only a tiny tear and required just a few stitches. It never really hurt and seemed to heal quickly, but when I wipe it seems like that skin is a little thicker, like scar tissue. The whole area is just.....different.

Speaking of tears, I had a huge problem with this unfortunate symptom. It seems to finally have resolved itself, but it was extremely uncomfortable for at least seven weeks to the point that I would cry out in pain and be unable to sit after, you know, going. It was by far the most difficult painful thing I dealt with (during labor, as well as in the aftermath).

January 3, 2008

Two Months

Got more to say than time to say it, but here are a few notes:

-At the two month checkup today, Piper weighed in at 9 pounds, 15 ounces. This brings her from the 3rd percentile for weight (4 pounds 12 oz at birth) to the 60th!

-Thank GAWD because breast feeding is NOT easy, so at least this makes it feel rewarding (she would no doubt have grown just as well on formula, but at least I don't have to worry that she's not getting enough).

-Giving shots to a two-month old is absolutely HORRIBLE. I can tell they still hurt and my heart breaks for her, but on the upside she's sleeping a LOT today.

-A few weeks after we brought her home, we got a letter in the mail from our insurance provider informing us they have changed our benefits and will now be covering IVF. Hahaha...aha..ha...ahem. I have decided to overlook the fact that their idea of a good joke would have been a lot funnier thirty thousand dollars ago, and instead feel relieved about coverage for number two, whenever we get there.

-I'm back to work as of today. We'll have to see how it goes easing back in, but I work from home so I'm lucky not to have to leave her all day. Presumably I'll be spending more time in front of my computer, which of course means keeping up better with the blogosphere. Aren't you so excited?! Hello? Anyone there??

Hope everyone had a great holiday and LOADS of good wishes for the New Year!!