Monday, December 22, 2008

Thank you Secret Santa!

Know what I love more than the Braces Bunch? Getting a present from my Secret Santa in the Braces Bunch! Wahoo!!*

Today I got a lovely package from battynurse full of ornaments, peanut brittle, and a kick ass card. These are thoughtful gifts that I truly, truly enjoy. Last year I got an ornament from Becky and I smile every time I look at it on the tree. Now I can do the same with the ones from battynurse.

Despite how shitty IF and the ensuing self-torture it creates is, there is some light in the darkness. It is all of you. Thank you, battynurse. And thank all of the rest of you who read, who care, and especially those of you who supported me while I whined through my last post.

Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas to all of you!

* Of course I love JJ most of all. :-)

Thursday, December 18, 2008

2,482

Two thousand four hundred and eighty two. That's a big number.

The number of BFNs we endured to make our children? Nope.
The number of injections I endured to make our children? Possibly.
The number of crack whores who get pregnant every day by mistake? Nope.
The number of wasted birth control pills I took over the years? Possibly.
The number of times I've cried over a situation related to IF? Possibly.
The number of times I've laughed out loud at Alexa's blog? Probably.
The number of times I've thanked God and my lucky stars for my children? Possibly.

So what is it?

A portion of number of ounces of breastmilk I've frozen in the last 6 months. Impressive, no? If I'm tallying correctly, I've actually frozen over 2,600 ounces because I've been defrosting and starting to use it over the last 2 months.

But what is with the 2,482? It's the number of ounces of frozen breastmilk that I just threw away. Yes, you read that right. Threw it right the hell away. Shocking, I know.

It seems I make an excess of the enzyme lipase. I wasn't savvy enough to scald my milk prior to freezing it, so it caused my milk to become rancid in the freezer. My reaction to figuring this out? "Well, fuck me." Liam's reaction to being fed the gross milk? "Um, no thanks."

It sucks that I spent that much time pumping. It sucks that I spent that much money on breastmilk bags. It sucks that I was planning to quit breastfeeding this month and now that ain't gonna happen.

Mostly it sucks because breastfeeding was my One Thing. I am a near failure at getting pregnant, I am a near failure at staying pregnant, and I am a near failure at labor & delivery. But I've always puffed my chest up with pride that I am A Cow. I can make some milk. Copious amounts with nearly no effort. Now, that One Thing That I Do Well is tainted.

I understand that breastfeeding challenges and breastmilk supply issues are practically the norm, so I've shied away from discussing them much on this blog because I couldn't live with myself if someone felt I was gloating in any way. But the ceremonial dumping of nearly 20 gallons of milk makes me yearn for some sympathy.

If you'd rather say "screw you and your freakish lactation abilities, Leah" I understand. Otherwise, please just leave a "dang, that sucks" comment so I can feel that proverbial warm hug from my blog buddies. thanks!

Monday, December 15, 2008

In which I make you wildly jealous

What's better than a room full of cookies? A room full of cookies and fellow IF bloggers.

I know I sound like a broken record when I'm always gushing about the TOOTPU gals, but they are just the best. I don't have much time today to go into all the reasons why, so I'll just let you know who you missed...

Bean
Lindsay
Meghan
Mel
Karen
Jendeis
Sunny
Antigone
Shelby
Barren is the New Black
Hopeful Mamma
YummySushiPajamas
In and Out of Luck

Later I'll post a group shot of us. We didn't get one with all 14 of us in it, but I believe there are some with *most* of us. I'll also post a picture of the cookies. Oh, the cookies. I'm up to my eyeballs in cookies and brownies right now. What's a Weight Watchers girl to do?!?!

Unfortunately, my imaginary friend Rho couldn't join us. Heavy sigh... Someday she'll make an honest woman out of me.

Monday, December 8, 2008

To Pee or Not To Pee

I can't stop peeing my own pants. I get a fresh pair on and then WHAMO! I think about my friends Sunny and Lindsay and get so damned excited that I pee myself again.

I'm going through $1,000s in laundry detergent but I don't care. I am so over-the-moon crazy wild freak-out happy for them that I think I might be enjoying the peeing. Is that wrong?

Anyway, go over and congratulate the lovely ladies. I'm beyond thrilled for both Sunny and Lindsay!!!

After posting, I realized that my title might give a vague impression that I'm considering peeing on a stick. NO. There are no more sticks, no more tries, no more cycles, nothing. And, given that Kevin's been "fixed", there won't be any "surprises" either. So don't even let your mind ever go there while reading my blog. You'll never have to hold your breath when you open this page and wonder if you'll see an unexpected announcement. Not gonna happen. Not that we wouldn't be overjoyed, it's just not. gonna. happen.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

A Cornucopia of Babblings

I haven’t posted in a million years so I’m just going to prattle on with a series of not-necessarily-related bullets…

  • Thanksgiving was great. I am very, very sad to see my Dad, brother and niece go as they were wonderful houseguests and just damn fun to have around. I’m so lucky that I love my family! We spent a lot of time with my sister’s family (who live 30 minutes away) and my Mom (who is staying at my sister’s house). We ate turkey, we played Wii, we went bowling, we sat on Santa’s lap, we watched football, all that jazz. It was wonderful.

  • Liam’s baptism is this coming Saturday. I just finished shuttling most of my family to the airport and we’ve got a half day break before the onslaught begins again and our house is filled to the brim with the next round of people.

  • My brother and niece stayed 8 days, my Dad stayed 4 days, my Mom is still here (switching from my sister’s house to my house today) and her visit will total 17 days, my Great Aunt-in-law will be here on Thursday, my 2 brother-in-laws (with their families) along with my Mother- and Father-in-law will be here on Friday. SOMEDAY we will get our house back to ourselves.

  • Megan was such a sweet, funny, well-behaved little girl while my family was here. I’m so proud of her. She only melted down twice and both episodes were in the evening on a day that we didn’t allow her to nap. Can’t blame the kid.

  • On Halloween, we all went to bed healthy. When we woke up on November 1st, Megan, Liam and I had colds. None of us have fully recovered. That’s over a month, people! I’m sick of snot. Mine, Liam’s, and Megan’s. I think we are single-handedly keeping Kleenex in business.

  • Megan had a double ear infection that cleared up with meds. Liam had a double ear infection that did NOT clear up with meds. So we tried another med. That worked, but within a week he got ANOTHER cold so thus another set of double ear infections. Now he’s on that 2nd med again, with the hopes that it clears up again and we don’t need to move on to a 3rd med and/or visit the ENT to discuss tubes.

  • Megan has been sleeping like a rock star. For the FIRST TIME IN HER ENTIRE LIFE she slept until 9:15am the other day. It’s because she insisted that she was going to sleep as late as Tara (my 20 year old niece who was sleeping on the trundle bed in Megan’s room) and Tara routinely slept until noon while here. Oh, to be 20 again.

  • Liam sleeps like complete shit. It’s unbelievable. We are doing everything “right” -- putting him down awake, letting him soothe himself to sleep, sticking to a schedule, having him sleep and nap in his crib, putting him to bed early (around 7pm), using a white noise machine, stopped using the pacifier (he only wanted to play with it anyway), not nursing or bottle feeding him to sleep. It doesn’t matter, nothing helps. He goes to sleep fine but won’t stay asleep. He naps 30 – 50 minutes at a stretch but needs so much more than that. At night he’ll stay asleep for 3 or 4 hours in that first stretch, but it’s all downhill after that. He’s not hungry, he’s not cold, he’s not hot, I don’t know what the fuck is wrong. We hear him wake up about once an hour, but often he just puts himself back to sleep. Other times, he can’t (or won’t) do it. We did the cry it out thing at 4 months to let him teach himself how to go to sleep and it worked. But he won’t STAY asleep. Something has to give soon. Any and all advice is welcomed.

  • Many of you will have your fingers poised over the keyboard to comment and say he’s probably sleeping like shit because he has had a cold and/or ear infection for well over a month. While this is no doubt true, he’s slept shitty like this since he was 3 or 4 weeks old. He just sucks as sleeping. Luckily, he’s such a pleasant baby otherwise, so that makes it a little easier to take. But I am tired. So, so tired.

  • I can literally count on 2 hands the number of times that I have slept more than 6 hours in a row in the last 5 years. FIVE YEARS PEOPLE! I wish I was kidding, but I’m not. I’m too tired to kid around about that. I wonder what kind of toll this type of outrageously abusive sleep deprivation will have on my long-term health.

  • I’m so tired. Have I mentioned that already? Tired to my bones. Within 20 minutes of waking up, my eyes are so slimed over with sleep and yuck that I feel like I just dig at them all day long. I yawn until my eyes water so badly that people keep asking if I’m crying. I got to Liam’s doctor appointment 15 minutes early yesterday and he was asleep in the back set. I sat in the car in the parking lot and closed my eyes for a little rest. I woke up 20 minutes later with drool running down my face. That’s not cool.

  • Kevin finally got a job. He was out of work for 2 months. He started last week and seems to like it. Hopefully he doesn’t turn into the raging dickwad he became once he let work consume him at that last hellhole where he worked.

  • This Christmas is going to rock. Megan really, really gets it. Unfortunately, that also means she wants everything – everything she sees in a catalog, everything she sees in a store, everything, everywhere. Despite the fact we are now back to being a dual income family (see the “Kevin finally got a job” bullet above), this child needs NOTHING.

  • I have achieved 3 major milestones that my infertile little heart has longed for year after year after year after year:
    1) We had a family picture taken this year – me, my husband and my two kids. It still blows me away to say that: “my two kids.” Bliss.
    2) I had a friend embroider our names onto our Christmas stockings. We bought these 4 Christmas stockings when I was pregnant with Megan and have been holding on to them for nearly 5 years now. I’m so excited to pick them up later this week and get them hung on the fireplace that I’m giddy.
    3) We are buying matching pajamas. Megan has been begging for matching family pajamas for months now so I got them over the weekend. I am not sure that I’ll let anyone see us in them so there may not be photographic evidence of it, but I can’t wait to wear them and sit on the floor as a family, playing with Christmas toys. We decided that “Santa” is going to give them to the family so we can’t wear them for Christmas morning, but it will still be loads of fun.

  • I am fatter than hell. Weight Watchers helped me lose about 5 pounds but I went completely berserk in the last 2 weeks and gained every bit of it back. I feel wretched about myself. Add to this that the bags under my eyes could be considered a full 5 piece set of luggage and you have one skanky looking chick. One skanky looking, haggard, fat chick.

  • I am planning to try the elimination diet. Why? See the “I am fatter than hell” bullet and the “Liam sleeps like complete shit” bullet above. I don’t necessarily think that he’s got serious allergy issues, but with the reflux, the spitting up, the eczema, and the horrific sleeping, I have to assume *something* is going on. Since I need to throw a bucket of ice water on the steamy, hot love affair I have with food – ALL FOOD – I figure that the elimination diet will kill 2 birds with 1 stone. Wish me luck. I’m not trying it until after the holidays because that’s just emotional suicide otherwise.

  • I am DONE with Christmas shopping. DONE. Can you believe it? I was out at Toys R Us at 4:50am on Black Friday with my niece. I’ve never done that before, but it was fun. I’ve even already purchased the gift for my Braces Bunch Secret Santa person and will ship it out on Wednesday. Yeah, I rock.

  • The TOOTPU Cookie Exchange is coming up soon. I can’t wait. I can’t wait, I can’t wait, I can’t wait. Wahoo! I just saw some of the lovely ladies at Lindsay’s Paper Pregnant Party and am truly looking forward to seeing them again.

  • Want to know what’s on my Christmas list this year?
    1) Sleep. Lots of it. Not gonna magically happen, but a girl can hope…
    2) Time. Can someone bottle it up for me?
    3) A magic weight loss pill.
    4) A self-cleaning basement.

  • My blog colors were getting on my nerves. (Did I also mention I'm enjoying my 2nd visit from AF?) So I changed them, but I don't like them either. However, they will do for now. Blogger has shitty color choices but I'm waaaaay too lazy to change to another blogging tool now.

An extra gold star for you if you stuck with me to the end of this crazy long post!


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Snicker

This is blatent laziness, but you've got to go over and read these jokes.

I assume that everyone in the free world reads Alexa's blog. Not just because she's got nearly 200 subscribers, but because she is one of the funniest, wittiest people on the planet. Anyway, in her post yesterday, she asked everyone to put something funny (joke, pun, comic, etc.) in their comment.

Much like Alexa, her readers are intelligent and damn funny. Go over and read through the comments when you need a laugh. You won't regret it. Then come back here and tell me what was your favorite.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Just when you think she is a genuis

This post should have the subtitle, "When you know that CNN/AC360/Meet the Press/etc is on the TV too much in your house..."

Megan is apparently into politics. She asks a million questions and many of them are frighteningly deep. Not just for a 4 year old, for a 40 year old. Since Mel posted about her children's political interests and shenanigans, I'll share with you a conversation we recently had in the car...

Megan: "Mom, who are you going to vote for?"

Me: "I don't know yet."

Megan: "I'm voting."

Me: "Really? Who are you voting for?"

Megan: "Well, at first I wanted to vote for Barack Obama and Joe Biden. But now I think I'll vote for John McCain and Sarah Palin."

Me: "Hmmm. Why?"

Megan: "I like Sarah Palin."

Me: "Oh? Why?"

Megan: "Because she is for America, and I am for America. I really like America."

Me: "I like America too. What else do you know about her?"

Megan: "She's pretty and she looks like Miss Kelly [my best friend]."

Me: "Well, that's true but those aren't good reasons to vote for someone."

Megan: "I think we should keep President Bush [Leah stifles a shriek], but you told me he had to go. And I agree, 8 years IS a long time."

Me: "So why John McCain and Sarah Palin?"

Megan: "It's important to love America and they love America."

Me: "Do you think that Barack Obama and Joe Biden don't love America?"

Megan: "Hmm, I guess they do too. I don't like war. I want to vote for who will end the war."

Me: "Yes, peace is very important. They will all end the war, it's just a matter of who will end it quicker."

Megan: "Well, you know I like to do stuff fast. Super fast. Zoom! I can run SO fast, Mom!"

Me: [sidestepping a discussion about foreign relations policy and troop withdrawal plans] "So, how do you feel about taxes?"

Megan: "Taxes? What do they taste like?"

Like the title says, just when you think she is a genuis...

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Turds, Pumpkins and the Sea

I feel like a turd because I really want to post some pictures that would have thrown my infertile ass into a depression. Or a rage, depending on the day. Pictures of cute kids in costumes and carved pumpkins. My cute kids and the pumpkin that I carved of a Dis.ney Princess.

When I read posts like this one by Pamela Jeanne (and the 3 referenced therein), I am instantly transported back to that time. Back to those feelings of suffocation. Despair and jealously would overtake me and I'd be in a funk (a cute little word to describe my depression) for weeks after the pumpkin patch episode recounted by Luna here. I've had that experience, many years in a row.

But, as I said, apparently I'm a turd. Because I'm so enthralled by the pictures I've taken that I feel as though I'm forgetting my roots. Therefore, I'm going to post the pictures on my Face.book page. Many of you are already friends with me there, but if you aren't let me know so we can get connected.

In the meantime, I'll working on slaying the beast that has set this inner turmoil in motion -- the turmoil that is causing me to toss about in the sea of holiday-induced infertility depression residue mixed with I'm-crazy-about-my-kids-and-want-the-world-to-ooh-and-aah-over-them euphoria.

Wish me luck.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Dear John,

No, I'm not referring to Jendeis' hubby in a dyslexic fashion. I'm talking about the Dear John letters that we've all written. The it's-not-you-it's-me ones, the oops-I'm-in-love-with-your-best-friend ones, the now-that-I've-gotten-to-know-you-it-makes-me-want-to-jam-a-hot-fork-in-my-eye ones. You get the point.

I remember once finding a website that had templates of such letters. You could just fill in the pertinent names and send it off. How convenient! It got me to thinking that there should be a stock of IF posts that we could just copy in certain circumstances instead of having to write them all ourselves from scratch.

Here are the ones that I think I could have used:
  1. I just discovered this IF blog world and HOLY SHIT it has changed my life. You all understand me. You all get me. You all ARE me!
  2. Why can crack whores and slutty teenagers get pregnant at an alarming rate but I can't do it despite the fact that we've completely drained our bank account and our emotional reserves?
  3. My best friend just got pregnant and although I love her with all my heart, I want to rip her stupid fertile eyes out.
  4. I'm very happy for all of my bloggy friends who are now pregnant, but forgive me if I can't muster gushing joy.
  5. I'm so. damn. tired. I don't know if I can keep doing this. Forgive me, but I need to go away for a while.
  6. I am overwhelmed by the love and support I've received from this amazing network of women. We don't even know each other, but that doesn't seem to matter.
  7. I'm in the 2ww and am entirely convinced that this didn't work.
  8. I'm in the 2ww and am doing the blog equivalent of a stage whisper about how I think it actually worked.
  9. POAS? Not POAS? POAS? Not POAS?
  10. My beta is low and not doubling. Please tell me it's going to be fine.
  11. My beta is high and I'm scared shitless that it might be twins. While that's like the IF equivalent of winning the lottery, the reality of it is freaking me out.
  12. I'm pregnant and am completely consumed with worry.
  13. I'm pregnant and don't blog anymore because I feel like a giant heel complaining to all of you.
  14. I'm pregnant and just went to the bathroom to find blood on my panties/the TP/in the toilet. Please tell me it's going to be fine.
  15. My husband/sister/mother/fertile friend doesn't understand how I've gotten so attached to people I'll never meet. Even I don't get it, but I wouldn't trade you angels for the world.
  16. I just puked my brains out on a stranger in Tar.get. I've never been so happy in my whole life.
  17. Whoever made up the term morning sickness was a raging dickwad. It lasts all day and I feel wretched. But I'm still thrilled to have this problem.
  18. I just gave birth and my child is the most amazing creature on Earth. Not to put too much pressure on them or anything, but I think this little human is beginning to heal the Grand Canyon-sized hole in my soul.
  19. There is no way I would have made it through these last ## years without the support of you lovely ladies. I heart every last one of you.
  20. Now that I'm settling into this Mommy thing, I don't know what to do with this IF blog.

Can you think of more?

P.S. - Has it really been a MONTH since I've posted? What a damn slacker.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Finally! Some good news.

Sprint as fast as you can over to Bean's blog and congratulate her on a great beta. After the recent letdowns in my universe (Kevin losing his job, LJ losing Miss Queen, Sunny's IVF), I was pretty damn down in the dumps.

Bean's great news has helped lift my spirits. What else helps? The fact that my son seems to think that oatmeal cereal has a threefold purpose: food, toy and face mask.


A bunch of people have asked for pictures of the little monsters, so here they are:

While here in my family, we are known for having big mouths, I still think that we should tell Liam that perhaps this ball is a bit too large to fit...

This boy loves his bouncy seat

These last 3 are from the county fair

Friday, September 12, 2008

Well, shit

What a day.

Kevin lost his job today. [insert jaw drop here] He's been there almost 8 years and worked his ass off for them. This company sucks beyond belief (I used to work there, I know). If you don't believe me, ask Rho since they screwed her husband over as well previously (plus she used to work there too).

LJ and Mr. Badger aren't going to get the baby. I can't tell what I'm more upset about -- that my husband is unemployed or that LJ won't be snuggling Miss Queen anytime soon. They both make me cry.

My prayers are with Galveston, TX and anyone else in the path of Ike.

In minor news, Liam slept like complete dung last night. He never even slept this poorly as a newborn. Surely that's not helping my mood.

I have to tell you that if Sunny and Bean don't get BFPs, I might just jump off a freakin' bridge!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Bloggy Things

Here are some random blog-related thoughts...

I stole the little Feedjit thing for my blog so I could see where people were coming from. I've always been jealous of people who knew that folks got to their blogs by googling "apple-colored monkey snot" or "too sexy for my shirt" or whatnot. I still don't know how people do it (feel free to clue me in), but at least wanted to know who all these people were that were reading my blog.

Frankly, I'm shocked that anyone still reads as I've been such lame blogger of late. So THANK YOU if you are still reading. :-)

Anyway, I noticed that an embarrassingly large number of people come to my blog via Google images. Specifically they come to the pee.stick photo gallery post. I went over to Google images and typed in pee.stick. Sure enough, my post pops up. Neato.

Next subject: I am always amazed at how many people I recognize when I comment on someone's blog. It's clear I travel in a familiar circle. It's not a small circle, mind you, as I regularly follow almost 100 blogs, but we all seem to know the same people.

When I added the 2nd generation of Braces Bunch gals to my Bloglines, it introduced me to a whole new circle of lovely ladies that appear to mostly know each other. I love to read comments on someone's blog where the two are clearly familiar because they are usually hilarious. I'm so excited that many of them have received BFPs since I started reading them!

It's funny to see these gals from the BB post comments on the blogs that I regularly read. I'm sure they were there commenting before but I didn't know who they were so I guess I didn't notice. In particular, Jen comments on nearly every blog that I read (I have no idea how in the world she has so much time and energy to post every day AND leave such nice comments on everyone's blogs, she is amazing), yet I don't think she knows me from Adam. Ditto for J who comments everywhere but we have never commented on each other's blogs. It just makes it feel like such a small world when it's really such a giant community.

Okay, enough rambling. While I'm linking all over the place, let's send a big hearty congratulations to Meghan on the birth of her daughter!! Then hop over to my buddy LJ's blog to send her thousands of good vibes in the hopes that the birthparents of Miss Queen make the decision to select LJ and Mr. Badger.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Name Game

I am digging this name meme going around. Since I'm working hard to post more often, I'm going to be fairly lazy and do the meme unstead of posting something substantive. C'mon, surely you've learned to accept mediocrity from me by now, yes?

The Name Game

1.Your rock star name (first pet, current car): Inky Accord

2.Your gangsta name (favorite ice cream flavor, favorite type of shoe): Mint Chocolate Chip Flip Flop

3.Your Native American name (favorite color, favorite animal): Blue Dog

4.Your soap opera name (middle name, city where you were born): Christel Cheverly

5.Your Star Wars name (the first 3 letters of your last name, first 2 of your first name): Conle

6.Superhero name (2nd favorite color, favorite drink): Green Root Beer

7.NASCAR name (the first names of your grandfathers): Kenneth Eugene

8.Dancer name (the name of your favorite perfume/cologne/scent, favorite candy): Vanilla Peanut Butter Cup

9.TV weather anchor name (your 5th grade teacher’s last name, a major city that starts with the same letter): I have no idea -- do you seriously remember your 5th grade teacher's name?

10.Spy name (your favorite season/holiday, flower): Autumn Wildflower

11.Cartoon name:(favorite fruit, article of clothing you’re wearing right now): Nectarine Pajamas

12.Hippie name (what you ate for breakfast, your favorite tree): Apple Cherry

13.Movie star name (first pet, first street where you lived): Inky Albatross

Sunday, August 31, 2008

More pics

I guess I've opened up the floodgates because now I want to post more pictures. :-)

We had pictures taken at the mall yesterday. I scanned in some of them because I'm into breaking the law. Then, I'm so lame that I took a picture of some framed pictures. A girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do.

Here is a trilogy of the whole gaggle of dorks:


And here are a couple of the kids:


I honestly got misty when I saw the family photo. All my life I dreamed of taking a family photo. Of course I imagined myself considerably thinner, but I'm working on it. I just cannot believe that I am the person in that picture of the happy family with 2 kids. I've avoided writing the post about how EVERY SINGLE DAY I feel like I've won the freakin' lottery. Each time I try to write, it disintegrates into a sniveling, rambling mush of gobbledygook. So I probably won't be writing it.

But suffice it to say that the level of bliss and the feeling of gratitude I'm enjoying lately is beyond comprehension. Don't get me wrong -- Liam isn't sleeping for jack shit and Megan is so obnoxious sometimes that I told her yesterday she was going to win the Most Annoying Person Ever award. Nice thing to say to your 4 year old, eh? But even with the daily trials and tribulations, I never, ever, ever, ever take for granted one moment of the day. I'm lucky beyond the luckiest lucky sap ever created.

Enough gushing. Thank you a zillion times over for supporting me on this journey. 'Nuff said.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

I love you more than old pee

I swore I wasn't going to plaster pictures of my children all over a blog that is supposed to be about IF. But I'm weak. I can't resist. Hell, I'm so deranged that I'm planning to post a video I took of Liam, that's how bad I am now.

I genuinely enjoy looking at other bloggers' kid pictures, even did while still trying to TTC. Plus, I have about a dozen pictures of pee sticks in various posts, so how can I not at least have equal amounts of my kids without sending the message that they are less important than dried urine?

If you don't want to see them, I understand. Otherwise, scroll down...
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Here is one of the little dude smiling away
















Here Kevin was reading them a book















Pay no attention to the drool on his shirt







Friday, August 15, 2008

IF Tourette's

I'm still just in awe of the post I mentioned in my last entry. So right on the money. Wow.

It insipired Sky to post her feelings on the subject. She is a saint of a woman. She is still able to be genuinely happy for other pregnant people (non-stirrup queens). It's like she's from another planet or something, that's how much I don't understand how she is able to do it.

I am not a saint of a woman. No way, shape, or form. After I left a comment on her blog about the post, I realized it contained some of the stuff I'd been wanting to talk about here. So, since I am spectacularly lazy, I'm just going to copy my comment verbatim...

"You are a far, far better woman than I. For I am bitter and jealous and all things nasty. I wish I wasn't, but I am. Although I usually hide it well because most people never know.

However, I do audibly snort in disgust when a woman complains about not getting pregnant on the first or second try. I guess that's not so subtle, huh?

Also, I am ultra sensitive to the notion that someone within earshot might be experiencing IF that I don't know about. Therefore, when some dumbass says to me, "Wow, a boy and a girl... you sure are lucky" or "Hey, you had the whole summer off for maternity leave, you sure planned that right", I go crazy. It's like I've got IF Tourette's Syndrome because I start mouthing off like a lawn sprinkler on crack saying, "It takes us a long time, a lot of work, and a lot of money to make babies. We endured 4 IUIs, 3 IVFs and 2 miscarriages to get where we are. While I do feel lucky now, I didn't in the past and I certainly wasn't able to plan jack shit. Put that in your pipe and smoke it, dickwad."

Hmmmm, perhaps I don't actually hide it all that well after all, eh?

I truly hope that your IF journey ends soon, that you get the baby(ies) you so desire. In the meantime, I hope you are able to hold on to your positive attitude and ability to genuinely be happy for others. I'm too jaded and evil at this point to do it. Sad, but true."

Luckily I know I'm not a horrid person with a hard, black heart. These are my feelings based on my current circumstances (and previous 5 years of infertility). I distinctly remember my uber-fertile neighbor telling me once that I wasn't horrible. I was complaining that I was that person -- the one you need to tiptoe around, the one you are afraid to announce a pregnancy to, the emotionally fragile one. That's icky, I don't want to be that person. Anyway, she said, "You aren't THAT person, you're just in THAT situation right now."

Her comment helped me immensely. It didn't make me any nicer to the fertiles in the world, but it sure made my cold, black little heart feel a bit better that day.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

I Heart Bridges

How in the heck did I miss this post? Good grief, I want to have it tatooed on myself somewhere.

The fact that I now have 2 healthy children stops me from doing such a radical thing because, well, I would feel pretty hypocritical. But it is, nonetheless, exactly how I felt during our IF journey. Hell, it's how I still feel when I see a confident, carefree, glowing pregnant chick. After I'm done spitting nails at them and giving them the EvilEye, I want to read the post to them verbatim.

By the way, I found this post by hopping around on Bridges and just reading random posts that seemed interesting. If you haven't gone to Bridges yet, you really should.

As for me, things are good. I started back to work today. That was a serious drag. I love my job, and I love my co-workers even more, but I wish I was home with my kids. Oh well, not gonna happen (unless we'd like to be homeless) so I need to hitch up my panties and get going.

I have 4 different posts started but none of them finished. Maybe now that I'm back at work, I'll have more time to post. That sounds awful, but damn if it isn't the truth... Also, I'll post some pictures soon. Megan's 4th bday is in about a week and Liam is a few days away from 3 months. I feel so blessed it truly makes me cry sometimes. I'm such a sap.

Please head over and give Rho some love. My heart is breaking for her.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Are You Serious?

Did you guys see this story about how more women are donating eggs because the economy is bad?

http://www.fox5vegas.com/news/17045493/detail.html

It's the end of the article that kills me:

He said it is a fairly simple process that takes about three weeks. “It's more invasive than donating sperm, but still, it's painless, and there's more time involved, but we try to make it as smooth a process as possible,” Shapiro said. He said the side effects of donation usually include some aches and cramps, similar to those of a woman's period.

WTF?!?! Obviously spoken from a moron who never actually donated eggs. Stupid jackass.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Lame Slacker

Yeah man, that's me. Ms. Sucky Blogger 2008. I'm considering getting myself a beauty pageant-style sash with that printed on it. I actually have numerous things I've wanted to post about, but can't seem to get the thoughts to gel together in my head (I'm sure the sleep deprivation doesn't have anything to do with it). Also, I've got to stop reading Alexa's blog because after enjoying her posts, anything I could possibly write sounds like it was penned by a drunk preschooler. Reading her stuff is good for the entertainment value, but bad for a blogger's ego.

In the meantime, I've got a few pictures...

We eat a lot of deli rotisserie chicken in our house. Kevin and I always pull on the wishbone (sounds sorta dirty, that's funny), and I swear to you that I win 99.9% of the time. Anyway, today we snapped a wishbone and, as usual, I won. What did I wish for, you ask? I wished that this person would have a healthy and safe pregnancy (with no more drama) resulting in a gorgeous stupendous baby. Man oh man oh man I hope that wish comes true.

The next couple pictures of are Megan and Liam. It's impossible to put into words what it feels like to have him here (other than "tiring" but that's okay too), so I won't try. Instead, I'll spend my energy praying for healthy babies for all of my friends who desire them. Here are the little devils tearing up our house these days...


Tuesday, June 24, 2008

TOOTPU on Sunday

If you live anywhere within a reasonable distance of the DC Metro area, please come and join The Order of the Plastic Uterus (formerly knows as the DC Metro Stirrup Queens) on Sunday! You've heard the stories of our great gatherings, and they are all true.

We are meeting at The Cheesecake Factory in White Flint Mall at 12 noon this Sunday (6/29). Let me or Shelby know if you are coming so that we can get a count. Hope to see you there!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Had a snake as a pet

I've got nothing of interest to talk about right now except babies and boobs, and don't feel like prattling on about either of them. So, I'll do this meme -- I saw this on a bunch of other blogs and think it's neato. The ones that I've done are orange.

Bought everyone in the bar a drink
Swam with wild dolphins
Taken a Ferrari for a test drive
Been inside the Great Pyramid
Held a tarantula
Taken a candle lit bath
Said I love you and meant it
Hugged a tree

Bungee jumped
Visited Paris
Watched a lightning storm at sea
Stayed up all night long and saw the sun rise
Seen the Northern Lights
Gone to a huge sports game
Walked the stairs to the top of the Leaning Tower of Pisa
Grown and eaten your own vegetables
Touched an iceberg
Slept under the stars
Changed a baby’s diaper
Taken a trip in a hot air balloon
Watched a meteor shower
Gotten drunk on champagne
Given more than you can afford to charity
Looked up at the night sky through a telescope
Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment
Had a food fight
Bet on a winning horse
Asked out a stranger
Had a snowball fight
Screamed as loudly as you possibly can
Held a lamb
Seen a total eclipse
Ridden a rollercoaster

Hit a home run
Danced like a fool, not caring who watched
Adopted an accent for an entire day
Actually felt happy about your life, even for a moment
Had two hard drives for your computer
Visited all 50 states
Taken care of someone who was too drunk
Had amazing friends
Danced with a stranger in a foreign country

Watched wild whales
Stolen a sign
Hitchhiked in Europe
Taken a road-trip
Gone rock climbing
Midnight walk on the beach
Gone sky diving
Visited Ireland
Been heartbroken longer than you were in love
In a restaurant sat at a stranger’s table and ate with them
Visited Japan
Milked a cow
Alphabetized your CDs
Pretended to be a superhero

Sung karaoke
Lounged around in bed all day
Posed nude in front of strangers
Gone scuba diving
Kissed in the rain
Played in the mud
Played in the rain
Gone to a drive-in theater

Visited the Great Wall of China
Started a business
Fallen in love and not had your heart broken
Toured ancient sites
Taken a martial arts class
Played a computer game for more than 6 hours straight
Gotten married
Been in a movie
Crashed a party
Gotten divorced
Gone without food for 5 days
Made cookies from scratch
Won first prize in a costume contest
Ridden a gondola in Venice
Gotten a tattoo
Rafted the Snake River
Been on television news program as an “expert”
Got flowers for no reason
Performed on a stage
Been to Las Vegas

Recorded music
Eaten shark
Had a one-night stand
Gone to Thailand
Bought a house
Been in a combat zone
Buried one/both of your parents
Been on a cruise ship
Spoken more than one language fluently
Performed in Rocky Horror
Raised children
Followed your favorite band/singer on tour
Taken an exotic bicycle tour in a foreign country
Picked up and moved to another city
Walked on the Golden Gate Bridge
Sang loudly in the car and didn’t stop when you knew someone was looking
Had plastic surgery
Survived an accident that you shouldn’t have
Wrote articles for a large publication
Lost over 100 lbs
Held someone while they were having a flashback
Piloted an airplane
Petted a stingray
Broken someone’s heart

Helped an animal give birth
Won money on a TV game show
Broken a bone
Gone on an African safari
Had a body part below the neck pierced
Fired a rifle, shotgun or pistol
Eaten mushrooms gathered in the wild
Ridden a horse
Had major surgery
Had a snake as a pet
Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon
Slept for more than 30 hours over 48 consecutive hours

Visited more foreign countries than US states
Visited all 7 continents
Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days
Eaten kangaroo meat
Eaten sushi
Had your picture in the paper
Changed someone’s mind about something you care deeply about
Gone back to school
Parasailed
Petted a cockroach
Eaten fried green tomatoes
Read the Illiad
Selected one important author who you missed school to read
Killed and prepared an animal for eating
Skipped all of your school reunions
Communicated with someone without sharing a common language
Been elected to public office
Written your own computer language
Thought to yourself that you’re living your dream

Had to put someone you love in hospice care
Build your own PC from parts
Sold your own artwork to someone that didn’t know it was yours
Had a booth in a street fair
Dyed your hair
Been a DJ
Shaved your head
Caused a car accident

Now you try it...

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

A Woman of Six Words

I am many things, both good and bad. One of them is NOT verbally brief. My nickname in Junior High (that's the equivalent of Middle School for you young whippersnappers who don't know what Junior High is) was "Loquacious Leah." Okay, so my friends were big geeks who used words like loquacious.

By the way, have I ever mentioned that in High School I was co-captain of the cheerleading squad, VP of the student council, and the biggest drug dealer in the school? Yeah, I'm a woman of many talents. I also played on the basketball team (um, I'm barely 5'4") and got kicked out of school halfway through 11th grade for smoking an illegal substance right in the hallway between classes. Can you say "stoopid?" I did manage to go back and take a year and a half worth of classes in my Senior year to graduate on time. Shockingly, they didn't ask me to be the Valedictorian despite the fact I had a perfect 4.0 GPA. That's me, I'm a real walkin' talkin' paradox. I'm so straight-laced and law-abiding and downright yuppyish now you would never ever believe this stuff, but it's true. But I digress...

Anyway, Bean tagged me to do this 6 word memoir meme. I've also been tagged to do at least 1 other meme, so I'll try to post about that one tomorrow.

Here's the deal with this meme:

1. Write your own six word memoir.
2. Post it to your blog including a visual illustration if you would like.
3. Link to the person who tagged you in your post and to this original post http://herebaby.blogspot.com/2008/06/six-word-memior.html if possible so we can track it as it travels across the blogsphere
4. Tag 5 more blogs with links
5. Don't forget to leave a comment in the tagged blogs with an invitation to play.

So, to sum myself up in 6 words...

"Ferociously loves family, friends and food"

Sort of lame, but all so true. Now I tag JJ, E, Bee Cee, Portia, Sunny, and Kristen.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Happy Blogaversary

Geez, long time no post, eh? You'd think I had a new baby around the house or something.


First off, let me say a belated Happy Blogaversary to me! It was on May 30th and I would have completely missed it if Susan hadn't mentioned it in a comment on my last post. How she knew is way beyond me, I've even convinced myself at this point that she must have thought she was commenting on someone else's blog. :-)

Also, CONGRATULATIONS to Farah on the arrival of Austin (aka Mini Vann). We're so excited he's here, safe and sound!

Things are good here. Liam is still not so interested in nursing, only latching on with the nipple shield. And I only try that sporadically. Mostly because when he isn't in the mood, he starts screaming like I'm snapping his little chicken legs off and beating him with them. That makes both of us agitated, hot and sweaty. That sucks since it's been about 6 bazillion degrees in Maryland lately (I'm not exaggerating), and a not-so-balmy 80 degrees or so inside my house despite the air conditioning trying so hard it's about to kill itself. So I haven't even tried much lately, but I will in earnest when the heat wave breaks. Plus, I love, love, love the freedom of having him drink from a bottle. Anyone can feed him -- and I mean anyone, hell, the UPS man could probably feed him and Liam wouldn't care. I did so love breastfeeding Megan, but felt trapped and tethered sometimes.

What I don't love? Pumping. A million times a day. I've been pumping every 3 - 4 hours during the day and going a 6 hour stretch at night. I've managed to provide everything he needs to eat (he takes 3 - 4 oz every 3 hours or so), and I tallied up my frozen stash last night. In addition to feeding him, I've managed to freeze almost 150 ounces. Not to shabby for just over 2 weeks of pumping. But I can't keep up this pace. I'm going to drop to pumping 4x a day, every 6 hours. We'll see what that does to my supply. Who the hell knows.

Liam is doing great, he's a good baby. He's developed his fussy period at night, about an hour and a half around 8 or 9pm. It's not too bad (Megan was a million times worse), but it's inconvenient because that's when we are putting Megan to bed. I just hope it doesn't get worse because right now -- despite the fact he's shrieking for no good reason during that time -- it's manageable. I'm looking forward to him sleeping longer than 3 hours at night, but that will come. At his 2 week appt he was exactly 8 lbs (a full pound above his birthweight!), so he's certainly not having any issues with eating or weight gain. That's a relief.

Megan's adjustment issues are getting better. We're far from out of the woods, but we can at least recognize progress.

That's it for now. I'm heading to bed in the hopes that this splitting headache disappears soon. Before I go, I'd like to ask you to head over and show some love to two of my favorite blog buddies who are having a rough time right now. LJ and Bean -- I love you two ladies, I wish I could sprinkle some pixie dust on you both and make everything magically better.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

What a difference a day makes

As bad as Thursday night/Friday morning was, that's how good it's been since. Remember how I said I was only going to give Liam a couple of days of these non-breastfeeding shenanigans before I moved to pumping and bottle feeding? Well apparently I meant a couple of hours. By 1pm yesterday, I had pumped and he'd eaten from a bottle. What changed my mind? While on the phone with the LC from the hospital (as I explained that even the nipple shield didn't work), she said something that made my blood run cold: SNS. I knew that if that was my next option, we were doomed. So off to pump and bottles for us.

It's been straight uphill since then. He's had several more bottles, and by this morning even has the hang of eating from it without the obligatory 5 minutes of confused crying at the beginning. He's sleeping like an angel and was great at the doctor this morning. Things are really looking up.

I will definitely try breastfeeding again after this weekend. We want to get the rest of the bilirubin out of him and get him back to his birthweight, then I'll try it again. Also, in an incredibly sexy twist on things, my nipples have scabbed over. Nice, huh? He abused them so badly in the hospital that they are literally scabbed over. So no doubt breastfeeding wouldn't be much fun for him either.

He was born at 7lbs, weighed 6lbs 12oz the next day, and 6 lbs 11oz when we were discharged on Thursday. Today, just 2 days later, he weighed 6lbs 13.5oz. I'm not sure how he managed to gain 2.5oz while also missing essentially 3 meals yesterday, but I'll take it!

Megan? Doing about the same. Still unreasonable. Still refuses to nap (3rd day in a row). Still refuses to go to bed early (just lays up there and sings for an hour instead of falling asleep). Still pure evil. She's a bit less obnoxious with Liam, but has now turned on her beloved Grandparents. Which is sad, but we all understand what is going on. To ease things, we tried giving her a little 1-on-1 time today. After the doctor (where she was VERY helpful), we came home. I pumped, we packed up some food, and headed out the door. Grandma and Grandpa stayed home to take care of Liam while Kevin, Megan and I had a picnic at the park. It was really nice. Although both Kevin and I already felt that there was someone missing. Amazing! Now she's upstairs crying, refusing to nap, being generally evil.

I am going to pump and then nap myself. Hopefully when I get up the little boy will be awake so we can snuggle for a bit. All in all, things are good today. Thanks for your words of support and encouragement, I really appreciate it.

Friday, May 23, 2008

A couple of pics of Spidey

Sorry to make this brief, but it's approaching dinner time around here and that's when it all goes crazy... :-) Here are a couple pics of Liam. Goodness knows we'll have lots more as the days go on, but I thought I'd put just a couple up here for now.



We're home (subtitle: Crash and Burn)

Thank you to everyone for the well wishes! I am very happy to report that the c-section was uneventful with no surprises. My recovery seems to be going well, so that's good news too.

In the hospital, little Liam was an angel. He proved to be a champion breastfeeder, although his suck is almost as powerful as a jet engine. Ouch! But that's okay, Megan was so horrible at it that I would take the opposite problem any day of the week. The first night, he was as good as gold and we actually got lots of sleep. The 2nd and 3rd nights, he cluster fed overnight which wasn't much fun, but it helped my milk come in quickly. He barely lost any weight, much to everyone's amazement. I didn't have one single freak out hormonal meltdown. In fact, I don't think I cried at all. Megan came to the hospital for a visit every day and was an angel for her Grandparents. All in all, things were going great.

Then we came home. We've been home about 24 hours now. I'm not sure who has cried the most in this first day -- Liam, Megan or me. Megan was out of control, spinning between being wildly overhelpful and lying on the floor screaming, kicking and crying. She didn't nap yesterday (too excited) and didn't get to bed early (despite the fact it could have happened, but that's another topic for another day). She's pissed that we won't let her carry Liam around by herself, that we won't let her change his diaper by herself, and that she can't hold him on her lap non-stop. I knew this would happen, so I was prepared, but I didn't realize how badly she was going to freak out. That's what started my crying jag and it's continued now for the better part of 18 hours. Good times.

Liam decided he didn't like breastfeeding that much after all. He latches on, sucks a while, and pulls off screaming. I have been pumping with the hand pump a bit before he latches on (new since coming home and his boycott) to make sure there's milk there and something nice and long for him to latch on to. But he's lazy. His suck is much, much weaker. One theory is that I've got so much freakin' milk in there that my boobs are too hard and he can't get as good a latch. So today I will pump and do something the LC recommended called reverse softening (or something like that). He was up from 3:00 - 6:30am last night screaming, eating, burping, screaming, burping, screaming, eating, etc. It was exhausting, mostly in an emotional sense. He'll only get a few days of these shenanigans and then I'll go to pumping and bottle feeding. I went through hell and back to get Megan to breastfeed and I don't have it in me to do it again.

At this very moment, Megan is at school and Liam is sleeping on his Grandma's shoulder. I've showered, dressed, had breakfast and time to update my blog. So I really shouldn't be complaining. I think it's just that it seemed like things were going to be so much easier this time around and we took such a sharp nosedive. But this too shall pass.

Thank you again to everyone who commented. It made me feel so good to see how many people were checking in! I'll catch up on my reading over the next few days, so forgive me for not commenting. Also, I'll post some pictures of the little dude later today.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Introducing....

Hey everybody this is Leah's friend Rhonda. I am SO SO SO very excited to announce the arrival of LIAM MASON!! He was born yesterday am at 08:59, was 7lbs even and 19 in. Leah and Liam are doing great.

I am absolutely overjoyed for Leah, Kevin and Megan. Yahoo!!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Pictures

No, not pictures of the baby. He's not here yet. But good grief, now that I think about it, he will be here in about 24 hours. Holy shit, people.

Anyway, I've been asked a bunch of times for pictures of Spidey's room, and for belly shots. I'm more of a pee stick picture person, personally. But I realized that I only have 1 picture of myself pregnant with Megan and it bums me out. She asks to see it all the time. So I figured I'd let Kevin take 1 today seeing as how this is our last chance.

Therefore, there are quite a few pictures in this post. The first one is the best -- it's the blanket that the amazing, wonderful, beautiful and talented JJ made for Spidey. I swear to you that I tear up every single time I look at it. JJ, you are the best. I love you and can't wait to return the favor. Also, HAPPY BIRTHDAY today, my friend.


The next few pictures are of Spidey's room.


These last couple are belly shots, but Megan decided to get in on the act. I think they are just adorable. Achingly cute, in fact. So if you don't want to see a cute toddler kissing a giant belly, I'll understand. In that case, I'll sign off now and will plan to update sometime tomorrow with a picture of the little dude. Rumor has it my wireless will work at the hospital. Thanks again for all of your support!
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Monday, May 12, 2008

Are You Ready to Rumble?

This post is basically all about baby preparations. If you don't want to read that junk, feel free to skip it.

Nothing interesting going on here with me. I had another NST on Friday and things look good. They declared Spidey's fetal monitoring strip as "perfect" and my blood pressure as "good enough." I've got one last NST this coming Friday and then, assuming nothing extraordinary happens this week or over the weekend, Spidey will get evicted at 9am on Monday. It's crazy to think that a week from right now he'll be on the outside. Wow.

My friend C, whom I've posted about before, is having her baby today. She's the one who had the high NT numbers and the Kell positive blood problem. She's been getting weekly MCA sonograms (which measure the velocity of the throughput of a particular artery in the baby's brain) to monitor the Kell issue. She's also been having some amniotic fluid issues, but they tend to correct themselves by the next appointment. She's 37w1d today and went in for an amnio to ensure that the baby's lungs were ready for the scheduled c-section tomorrow. Well, her amniotic fluid is so low that she's having the baby today. Wow.

I'm still not sleeping for shit. I basically don't even bother attempting to go to sleep until sometime between 2:30 - 3:00am. Then I sleep in the chair until around 4:30am. Then I move to the guest bed until I get up around 6:30am. I've been trying to nap for an hour or two in the afternoon to make up some lost ground. I'm tired, but not completely useless so I guess my plan is working.

What's nice is that in those quiet hours between 11pm and 3am (when Megan and Kevin are asleep), I'm getting a lot done. I've written down everything I can possibly think of to help my in-laws take care of Megan. They live in Syracuse, and although we talk to them often on the phone, they only get to actually see Megan about 3 times a year. So to show up and attempt to care for her on their own for nearly a week while I'm in the hospital will be interesting. Plus, they aren't arriving until Sunday afternoon and we are leaving at 6:15am on Monday morning for the hospital. Nothing like cutting it close, folks! But beggars can't be choosers and I'm grateful they are uprooting their lives to help us so I shouldn't complain.

I've left directions to everywhere they would want to go (her school, the park, the library, the mall, the hospital, the grocery store) complete with maps. I've left detailed schedules for the 4 days I'll be in the hospital. I've left lists of what she eats (luckily she's not picky). I've created a medical authorization form for them in case of an emergency. I've made up a menu for the week and the corresponding grocery list to do over the weekend.

Spidey's room is ready. There are even decorative things on the walls. This past weekend we washed the car seat lining and brought the bassinet up from the basement. We didn't use a bassinet with Megan, she slept in her crib from the first night home from the hospital, but we were in a small townhouse at the time. Now we are in a larger house, it's a haul to get to the baby's room umpteen times a night. My neighbor gave me a perfectly lovely bassinet so I figured why not try it out. If it doesn't work, we'll ditch it and move him to the crib.

Megan is crazy excited. Frankly, a little too excited. I'm 100% certain she will be doing inappropriately dangerous things to/with the baby in the name of "helping." She's also been doing some advance homework on the whole regression thing. She cried 2 different times last week at night going to bed because I wouldn't let her wear a diaper (she's been potty trained for 1.5 years). She cried another night because I wouldn't let her sleep in the crib. She's asked twice if we will be moving back to the townhouse once the baby comes (presumably because she knows we lived in the townhouse when *she* was a baby, so that's where babies live). I've read so much on Shelby's blog about her struggles with Celia's potty accidents that I'm scared shitless about what's going to happen here. Heavy sigh. But, whatever it will be, it will be. And we'll figure it out. She's not the first kid in the history of the world who had to welcome a sibling and lose their spot in the limelight. She'll get over it.

Boy, I sure did ramble on for someone who has basically nothing to say. Perhaps it's my way of forced optimism after that neurotic and depressing angst-filled post about the DBTs. I actually do believe that this might work out, I might have a live baby next week. FINALLY, FINALLY this past weekend, I caught myself switching from using "if" to "when" while discussing the baby's homecoming. At this point, I think I'm more nervous about the c-section recovery than anything else. No driving for 2 weeks, no lifting Megan for a while, that will be rough. Especially because she's so short that I still need to lift her up to wash her hands whenever we are out somewhere. Kevin suggested I just bring hand wipes and ditch the sink washing activities until I'm fully healed. Good idea!

I said dozens and dozens of prayers yesterday for all of my friends who are hopeful mothers. I pray that each and every one of you experience a wildly happy and fulfulling Mother's Day in 2009.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Book Tour: The Working Woman's Pregnacy Book

Because I love Mel so much, I thought it would be cool to participate in a book review when she asked. I didn't get the book I wanted to review, but instead was asked to do The Working Woman's Pregnancy Book. To be honest, I didn't expect learn anything new. I had a bit of an attitude from the minute I picked up the book, just knowing that it was a waste of my time.

See, I've been at this game (trying to get pregnant, trying to stay pregnant, or being pregnant) for the better part of 6 years. Plus, I've been the working pregnant woman through all of my pregnancies (full time for the first one, 30 hours a week for the others). I know how to work and be pregnant at the same time. I couldn't imagine how or why someone would need to write a whole book about it.

Also, I'm an information junkie who takes a stranglehold approach to the control of my own medical issues, fertility treatments, and prenatal care. I research, I read, I scour the Internet, I quiz my Doctors like they are sitting before an exam review board. Therefore, I have the dubious distinction of being wildly overeducated. Based on that, it would really take a lot for me to be bowled over by too much in the way of information related to pregnancy.

Well, let me tell you that I was in for a pleasant surprise. I'm not sure I can come up with 1 thing that isn't addressed in this book. I expected it to be a bunch of crap about employment law, how you aren't supposed to lift heavy boxes or handle radioactive chemicals (duh), when/how to tell your boss, and whatnot. While all that was covered (without the pandering attitude), it was also a treasure trove of general pregnancy information. Seriously, there is so much in this book that you don't even need the other pregnancy books (you know the ones I mean).

Here were some of my favorite things about it:
  • I love how she just outright called bullshit on a bunch of myths related to conception (myth of adoption as a fertility treatment, myth about propping your hips up after sex, etc.). Unfortunately that didn't stop her, just a few short pages later, from quoting a woman who magically turned up pregnant (after 5 unsuccessful IUIs) the day of their meeting with the adoption counselor.
  • She also called bullshit on numerous other myths such as heartrate being able to determine gender and the like.
  • I liked the section on nutrition in the first trimester. She said if you are only able to keep down crackers and Reese's peanut butter cups, then go for it. She was very realistic about soft cheeses, sushi, lunch meats, etc. One of my favorite lines in the book (and maybe it's because it made my mini cupcake obsession in the first trimester feel justified) was, "Food that isn't particularly healthful, such as a candy bar, isn't poison; it just substitutes for other fare that might provide more of what you and your baby need." Yay for junk food!
  • She did an excellent job of clearly explaining the specific differences between all of various types of Practitioners you could see for prenatal care (OB, family doctor, different kinds of midwives, RNs, NPs, doulas, MFMs). She also cleared up the differences between Level I, II and III NICUs. Very helpful.
  • She discussed any and all of the crappy pregnancy aches, pains and ailments. She said what it was, what you could try, and when to call the doctor. That's my kind of advice -- don't dwell on it, yet don't tell me I'm being a wuss either.
  • She makes an honest effort to explain the vortex of logic that surrounds the whole "40 weeks = 9 months" concept.
  • When discussing the debilitating first trimester fatigue, she says one of the smartest things I've ever heard: "Accept less of yourself."
  • Plus so many others my carpal tunnel was starting to flare up from jotting them all down, so I had to stop.
Being near and dear to my heart, I devoured the section on infertility treatments. I found her advice to be honest, timely and correct. I especially loved her explanation of how treatments will impact you -- how hard they are on a marriage, how you will experience a negative reaction to other people's pregnancy announcements, how you should expect to feel emotional throughout the process. She provides tips for how to juggle work demands and the grueling requirements of infertility treatment appointments. All in all, it felt like she knew what she was talking about. The biggest bonus of all was that she never once botched the difference between transfer and implantation.

I am just a huge fan of the way the she approached most everything in the book: here is what it is, here is the medical explanation, here is how it works, here are the myths and other crap you'll hear about it, here's how you might feel about it, and here is what you can do about it. I loved that she went into a lot more medical detail than most pregnancy books, because I prefer that type of information. Glossing over the medical specifics and using "floofy" words feels patronizing to me (personally). Perhaps some other women don't want all these laborious details, but it's exactly what piques my interest in a topic.

Of course she included quotes from a bunch of people that I loathe: people who had a forceps delivery without an episiotomy. People who exercised every day -- "I went for a run 30 minutes before I went into labor." (Yeah? Well screw you.) People who exercised 4 times per week -- including the day they went into the hospital. (That's just silly.) There was even some lady who climbed a 4,000 foot mountain at the end of each of her pregnancies just to prove she could do it. (Me, personally? I have WAY better uses for my precious free time and scant supply of energy.)

The worst one of all was in there: "I wasn't sick one day of my pregnancy, I felt great." Those are the people that kill me the most, the people who say, "I never felt better!" Are you freakin' kidding me? I mean how BAD must you have felt prior to being pregnant that this now feels GOOD? Geez.

Good grief, everything is in this book. There are too many great things to name but it covers soup to nuts including prenatal care, BBT charting, infertility treatments, fetus growth milestones, prenatal testing, maternity clothes, job accomodations, how jacked up your body gets and all the unpleasantness that goes with it, how amazing your body is as it magically grows another human being, birth plans, labor, breastfeeding (including how to do it successfully after returning to work), the trainwreck your body becomes after delivery, the trainwreck your emotions become after delivery, newborn behavior, PPD, childcare options, postnatal care, birth control, etc.

For any woman embarking on pregnancy while working, it is probably exactly what they are looking for -- a compliation of useful information all in one spot. Hell, it's a great resource for people who aren't working. Truthfully, many times it read just like I talk. It contained the same information in the same straightforward manner that I convey to my friends when I'm aiming to offer helpful advice. Based on that, I'm going to declare that I liked it. Lots. Go buy it.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Cathartic or just whining on my part?

LJ and I have been sharing our ugly, dark & twisty thoughts lately. It's so wonderful to have someone to discuss these things with. Although our thoughts are on completely and totally different topics, we both have the ability to understand how much they suck. I know you already know this, but I heart you LJ. :-)

Since LJ had the guts to post her thoughts, I will too. These aren't exactly Earth-shattering and there will be many pregnant infertiles alike that will nod their head as they read them, but it was cathartic to get them out of my noggin to LJ (I actually slept a few hours last night -- woohoo!), and perhaps it will be even better if I put them out there for the IF world to see. Feel free to comment and tell me I'm not totally crazy.

A big problem I'm having right now is that I can't sleep. I can't get comfortable in the physical sense one bit. But I also can't quiet my mind...

The bigger problem I have is the dead baby thoughts. Every time I feel the baby kick, I look at the clock. No, I'm not doing kick counts. I'm noting the time so that later in the day when I call my OB in a panic to say I haven't felt any movement in X hours, I know exactly how long it's been. This is exhausting. It's like eternally being on the "fight" side of the fight or flight reflex. I wish I could stop.

The DBTs are always, ALWAYS there but I became totally irrational on Saturday night. After spending, oh, I don't know, about 2 hours reading blogs of stillborn stories (which I do often), I decided to turn in for the night. Usually when I settle into the glider to pretend like I'm going to get some sleep, the baby starts going crazy. I swear he's rearranging furniture in there most days. Well, on Saturday night he was completely still. Nada. Nothing. I pretended like it was okay. Finally, when I started to break into a sweat, I started poking and pushing him around. I wasn't exactly gentle, I was really manhandling him. That always elicits at least a roll or elbow or something. Again, nothing. I started sort of hyperventilating and trying to figure out who I could call at 1am to stay with Megan while Kevin and I went off to the hospital to confirm the worst.

Finally, after 5 straight minutes of torturing this kid, I went downstairs. Still nothing. I drank some milk, ate some Oreos, and sat on the couch. I stared at my stomaching, willing it to move. Still nothing. It must have taken another 5 minutes of jacking around, jabbing myself in the midsection, to get him to wake the hell up and move. Then he was up for the night, ready to party (totally my fault). But I didn't even care, I was so happy to feel it that it didn't matter.

I'm just having a hard time understanding why I should get a live baby when so many people experience horrible late term loss. I'm still not fully on board with why I ever got knocked up in the first place when totally deserving, wonderful people are not. I don't mean to be hard on myself, but I am not sure why I got so lucky when others don't. Therefore, I'm always on high alert expecting tragedy to strike at any moment. It's not like I think that 3 years, tens of thousands of dollars, 2 miscarriages, 4 IUIs and 3 IVFs isn't "enough dues to pay". Perhaps it is. But I still feel so sad and so empty that so many of my IF friends are still being tortured. I suppose I'll never understand.

But, the hormones, the lack of sleep, and the reality of what's about to happen here is clearly fucking with my head. I need to try to be happy and stop obsessing about when my baby will up and die inside of me. That's not helpful. I countered all of that shit on Sunday by acting wildly optimistic. I pre-ordered envelopes for birth announcements so I could get them addressed. I wrote thank you notes for baby presents that people had already sent us. We hung pictures and other stuff on the walls in the baby's room. All in all, I acted like I really think this is going to work out. God knows I hope it does, but I still have a hard time believing it.

Is this Survivor Guilt? I don't consider myself a survivor yet, not until he gets here safe and sound. But I think I'm perhaps trying to assuage my impending Survivor Guilt by assuming that the worst will happen. Why I do get to be a survivor? Why do I get to be the inmate in the dirty and tattered striped prison pants on the outside of the fence? It hurts so much to see all the other wrongfully imprisoned inmates on the "wrong" side of the fence, looking forlorn and banging their tin cups up against the chain link. We are all trying to tunnel our way out, digging to China with a broken plastic spoon. Why did I hit less rocks, why was my fence seemingly buried a bit less deep? For Pete's sake, why can't I just be happy for myself and not obsess about everyone else who isn't?

This has all been rattling around in my head for some time now and hopefully it's cathartic to get it out. I've hesitated to post this because I feel foolish putting stuff like this up here. Who wants to read an infertility blog when it's paragraph after paragraph of an enormously pregnant chick complaining about being pregnant? No one, that's who.

Thanks to everyone who listens to me whine. Poor Rho usually got the brunt of it but goodness knows she's got enough on her plate right now. Therefore, I've been torturing LJ and a select handful of others (lucky you!). I pray each and every day that things will turn out okay. Words simply can't describe how much it would suck to get this far and then lose it all. Dear God, please don't let that happen.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Arrivals and Anticipations

Many of my blog buddies recently delivered their babies (most in the last week) or will be delivering soon.

For those of you up to sharing in their joy, please stop by and offer congratulations. For those of you not in the frame of mind to be able to do so, please know that I am sending you dozens of warm and sincere hugs.

Here are the newest arrivals to my little circle of friends:

Jackie welcomed Sylvia Grace on May 1st
Delenn welcomed Willow on April 24th
Caro welcomed Theo on April 30th
Erin welcomed the WonderTwins on May 1st
CE welcomed Baby J on April 13th

And yet more are due in the next 2 months. Feel free to stop by and cheer them along in the home stretch:

Grad3 is waiting to meet Lil' P any day now (a few days shy of 40 weeks)
Gabby is waiting to meet Wyatt Ethan in about 5 weeks
Farah is waiting to meet MiniVann in about 8 weeks
Kami is waiting to meet Little Butterfly in 6 about weeks
In and Out of Luck is waiting to meet their baby in about 7 weeks (going to be surprised about the sex)

As for me, nothing too exciting. Today's OB visit revealed elevated blood pressure, but not so bad that they were worried. The NST went well, Spidey cooperated just fine. Only trace amounts of protein in my urine, so the Doc was pleased. He said to keep on doing what I am and come back next week for more of the same fun. Meanwhile, I'm continually on the verge of hyperventilating at the thought that I'm having a baby in 2 weeks. Good grief, people.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Thank you, thank you, 112 times thank you

I was so busy not posting for so long, then posting my brains out at the beginning of bedrest, that I failed to notice my 100th post. This is actually post #112. My blogaversary is in a month (May 30th), so it's hard to decide what to spend all my party funds on. Do I get an ice cream cake and cut it into 100 slices to commemorate my posts? Or do I get a pinata of some sort, fill it with empty vials and used needles, then smash it to smithereens on May 30th? (Yes, I know that's dangerous, I'm only kidding here.)

Anyway, thank you so much for those of you who have taken the time to read my ramblings. Whether you're part of the Braces Bunch crew who have been kind enough to read mostly from the beginning, whether you've been reading for 6 months, or whether this is your first time reading (sorry it's so dull today), thank you. Your comments have helped me more than any mere words can possibly say. The friendships I've had the fortune to cultivate -- including the in-person ones with the Order of the Plastic Uterus ladies -- are ones that I treasure beyond description. I absolutely, undoubtedly, most definitely would have gone stark, raving mad if I didn't have your support. I wish I was kidding, but I'm not.

I became a fairly boring blogger once I got pregnant this time. I had no idea what to say, I couldn't bear the thought of being a whiner. I'm sure I lost many a reader due either to my pregnant state (which I completely understand) or due to my lame-ass posts (which I completely understand). I was never diligent enough to pay attention to my subscription numbers to see if they rose or fell over the year. I definitely get less comments now, but that's okay too. What's crazy is that when I get my sitemeter reports, I'm still getting lots and lots of hits per day and per week. So I suspect that people are still reading, they just aren't commenting.

This is all fine. Except now that I have nothing but time to lounge around on my ass and think, I'm starting to wonder just who is reading. Never mind that on numerous occasions I have noticed that the location is frighteningly close to home -- often times just a city or two away. I'm not terribly worried about that because the smack that I talk about people is typically the same things I say to them in person anyway. However, I'm intrigued by how I get so many hits and so few comments.

Here is where I let my insecurity hang out. As soon as Mel posted a little while back about how she wondered who was still reading (since her comment numbers were down), I thought, "Right on. I wonder the same thing myself." So I'm asking if you wouldn't mind letting me know you are out there. A simple, "Yup, I read your crappy posts. I just don't comment because they aren't comment-worthy" would be fine. (Obviously you could skip the hostile tone, but you get the point.)

In the meantime, please accept my most sincere thanks for being my support system this past year. It's a rare and delicate gift, these friendships, and one that I don't ever take for granted.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

The Big Secret -- Revealed

Okay, okay. I'm sorry I left you hanging with The Big Secret. It's all so crappy now that it doesn't pack nearly the same whallop. The big secret was that my IRL buddy Rho got a second line on an HPT! She called me on Tuesday evening after taking the test and gave me the news. I was absolutely beside myself with excitement, I couldn't sleep a wink that night. I resisted the urge to drive to her house the next morning for the pee stick festivities just to drink in the good vibe of that 2nd line.

Then, it turned to crap. She tested on Wednesday morning and this morning and got nothing. Just stark whiteness staring her in the face. She's crushed. I'm crushed. I don't understand why life is so outrageously cruel to some people. She doesn't deserve this. None of us do. Right now I am so angry, so hurt, and so sad for her that it's like an elephant is sitting on my chest sometimes.

Please go over and offer some support. My heart is so sad for her.

As for me, apparently I'm quite good at the bedrest thing. I had my first NST today and it went well. My blood pressure was in the acceptable range, I only had trace amounts of protein in my urine, my ankles aren't the least bit swollen, and the baby cooperated with the whole non-stress test thing. My "modified bedrest" sentence wasn't lifted, but the Doctor did say... and I quote... "Keep doing whatever you are doing, it seems to be working." I'm not being nearly as strict as they originally prescribed, but it's still amounting to about a 70% cutback on what I used to do (I was pretty active). So we'll stick with this plan until next week's test and see what it says.

He was kind enough (um, not) to check my cervix. No dilation (no surprise, I never dilated with Megan, even on Pitocin) but 50% effacement. Hell, I was probably 50% effaced at 12 weeks for all I know. Anyway, I'm still hoping to hold off until my c-section date on 5/19 so we'll see how it goes.

I'm slowly working through the Braces Bunch cards. I'm excited to send them out, I know how much I love to get mail from you lovely ladies! It feels good to be reciprocating again. I was really good at sending stuff for the first few months, but seriously slacked at the end of last year. I'm sorry!!

Now I'm off to wallow in my sadness for Rho and shake my fist at the Infertility Gods. Bastards.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Christmas in April

I have a secret, but I can't tell yet. Maybe on Friday. I'm so excited that I can't hardly stand myself, I'm giddy and vibrating with excitement. Enough said, I'm just getting annoying with all the gushing without being able to tell you...

To all of you in the Braces Bunch... Christmas is coming! This is going to sound insane, but I'm getting ready to send out Christmas cards. Actually, they are holiday cards (most have snowflakes on them). I have had them sitting in my office, addressed and stamped, since early December. There is absolutely no reason that I haven't sent them except I haven't written anything worthwhile on the inside. Now that I'm on bedrest -- no excuse. So, in honor of our 1st anniversary of the BB, I am going to send them out soon. Look for them in your mailboxes!

I took a picture of the amazing blanket JJ made for Spidey, but our computer is acting stupid so it's not letting me upload it. I'll get that figured out post haste and will get it up here for all of you to admire.

Otherwise, things are going well. Bedrest is okay, still dull but seems to be working. I had an eye doctor appt yesterday and it took forever. All the walking and waiting and other nonsense took it's toll. (Clearly, I'm no Delenn!) I mentioned to them (when they asked) about the blood pressure stuff so they immediately took it. It was considerably higher than it's been at home -- albiet still not outrageously high -- so I guess my OBs knew what they were doing when they banished me to the couch. Damn them. First NST is on Thursday, hope it goes well.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Daughtry, Cookies and PJs

Wow, it's amazing how much time you can waste surfing on the web. I'm a bit embarrassed, frankly. But it has afforded me the opportunity to realize that I simply must get an i.Pod. I would love the ability to walk around with a private stash of my own personal favorite songs on demand.

I took Kevin and Megan to the airport yesterday afternoon. They went to Chi.cago for Kevin's cousin's wedding (and a family reunion). I had planned all along to stay home -- "no thanks" to the idea of hauling myself cross country at 35w pregnant -- so it was okay. But you know what is hard for a hormones-on-overdrive woman to do? Drop her impossibly cute, unendingly lovable daughter off at the airport and watch her walk away, waving at the car. I sobbed the whole way home.

Then I cried when I got home because I hadn't picked up her toys before we left and there were books, Bar.bies and Polly.Pockets strewn all about the family room. How could I miss her so much when she wasn't even on the plane yet? Ugh.

I managed to sleep pretty well last night (mostly in the glider sitting up), and even squeaked in an hour of extra shut eye thanks to having the house all to myself. But then I started just prowling around, pacing the hardwoods. I did some work, I sent some emails. I had to distract myself. I woke up this morning wanting peanut butter toast. Alas, I had no bread. So what did I do? I made peanut butter cookies. A great idea until you eat 3 of them. Before 10am. Not such a good idea.

I realized I needed to move on from the cookies. So I went looking on the Web for what I consider to be the best American.Idol performance ever. Boom! There it was on You.Tube, easy as pie to find. Then I just spiraled down into a 3 hour long show of video clips. I even found one that I didn't know existed, and I love it!!

What's crazy is that I'm not a big rock fan. I like it. Hell, I grew up on Peter.Frampton, Bruce.Springsteen, KISS, Aero.smith, Rolling.Stones and stuff like that thanks to my older siblings. I have even attended more than my fair share of Iron.Maiden and Bon.Jovi concerts. (Which reminds me of another great performance, and only underscores how happy I am that they let the AI contestants play instruments now -- I can't believe it, but he might have been even better had he been allowed to play guitar!) But now I prefer country. I still listen to other genres, but mostly prefer country.

Anyway, something about Chris.Daughtry stuck with me. I think he just sounds so great. Which reminds me -- when I take my outing for today, I must find somewhere to go and buy his CD. :-)

I think I could spend about 3 months monkeying around on You.Tube and never run out of stuff to see. That is a clear indication of the sad, sad state of affairs in my house right now. Clearly, I need my family to come back from being out of town. And I need to get those damn peanut butter cookies out of my house. I hear the recycling truck coming down the street, I would run outside and give them the cookies except that I'm still in my freakin' pajamas. At 1pm. Wow.