Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Treading New Ground

News alert: I've never been this pregnant before.

Well, let me clarify. With each passing day, I venture into previously unexplored turf. It's all new to me. The changes, the sensations, the challenges. New surprises every day.

Oh, sure, I check out baby2see.com each week to see what's happening with the baby. I was able to find out when his eyes opened and when he developed fingernails and things like that.

But there are things no one tells you. Things you figure out as you go.

No one tells you that the constraints of your belly skin will feel stretched to their absolute limits some days. I think, oh my, baby boy must be growing a lot today. My belly feels like it is going to burst!

To pick something up off the floor, I have to maneuver like a giraffe: feet wide apart and lean over so that the belly goes between the leg space. Yup. Odd.

Last week at work I was in the hallway waiting for some co-workers to come from the restroom so we could go have lunch. I set my carry bag on the ground and squatted to rearrange some things in the bag. I...well...I couldn't get back up. There was nothing nearby for me to grip to help myself up, and I was kind of stuck. Fortunately the women came out of the restroom, saw my predicament and helped me up.

The baby doesn't only kick outward. He moves in all directions. So sometimes he wiggles or jumps and I have the strangest (and - ahem - sometimes even erotic) sensations deep within my body. My, my!

Sometimes when I lie on my side in bed at night, I swear I'm lying right on his little head. It feels hard and I worry I'm squishing him. Can you squish the baby by lying on your side?

One of my nipples has grown a nipple. I'm not sure if this is pregnancy related, or the result of my advancing age (you know we tend to grow more moles and such as we age). At the 6 o'clock position (basically, underneath) my left nipple, a little skin tag has suddenly appeared. What the....?!

Speaking of boobs, there are moments of shooting, pinching pain in one boob or the other. Developing milk ducts? Not sure. At home I sit with my hand up my shirt, massaging the poor burning spot. In public, I can only wince.

Yes, I am beginning to waddle.

No, I can't get comfortable at night to sleep.

My internal organs are no longer where I used to recognize them. I think my stomach is now squarely between my boobs.

And just yesterday, my DH said that sometimes I breathe loudly, like an overweight trucker. That's nice.

Hm. Who knew? Each day is a new venture into the peculiar. Of course you know I don't really mind any of this a bit. Small price to pay for a sweet baby boy. It's just that I wake up each day wondering, and not really knowing, what to expect.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Lo and Behold

'Twas the day after Christmas, when all through the house, a creature was stirring...hey, it's my spouse!

Contrary to my expectations, my DH got underway early yesterday. He went through boxes in the garage, filling trash bags and setting things aside to go to Good Will. He reorganized and consolidated what was left. He moved unneeded furniture from the back bedroom to the garage until we can get rid of it. He moved most of his home office "stuff" from the room that will be the baby's into the back bedroom and got it all set up. He piled documents to be shred. He moved books and bookcases and....well...it was a sight to behold.

Newton's First Law of Motion states: An object at rest will stay at rest, and an object in motion will stay in motion at constant velocity, unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.

I was not about to be the unbalanced force slowing down my DH in motion.

I did what I could to help - which wasn't much. He didn't want me lifting so much as two books at a time. I cleared bathroom cupboards of sundries never used (they too will be donated) and sorted some kitchen items.

His former home office will be the baby's room. It's nearly empty this morning, and already my DH is back in there, clearing out the rest. I'm utterly impressed. He says we should be able to paint the baby's room next weekend.

The only twinge of disappointment I felt was seeing the back bedroom - which used to be my "woman cave" - largely taken over by my DH and all his office stuff. His books, CD racks, computers, printer, desk and other work-related gear. Sigh. I haven't a corner of the house to myself anymore. He reminded me that I'm gaining a baby room, though. Perhaps baby boy won't mind sharing his space with me.

Yesterday's work made me realize we have too much stuff. Stuff we don't use. Stuff we don't need. Stuff that is sometimes difficult to get rid of, nonetheless. But we are making headway, little by little.

And soon, I'll get to do the really fun part - filling the baby's room with furniture and toys and all the things we'll need to make our home his.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Feeling the Love

To all my beloved blog sisters: Merry Christmas, Happy Boxing Day, Happy Hanukkah and Happy Every Other Holiday! I wish you joy, peace, and a bright year ahead, full of wishes fulfilled.

I looked at your comments to my previous post. It turns out I didn't need to defend myself at all.

I came to my blog and there you all were. Again. Supporting me, defending me, agreeing with me, or at least supporting my right to my own opinion.

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

I just love you guys and I wish - especially now that it's Christmas - that I could give an IRL hug to each of you.

From the bottom of my belly to the top of my heart - I wish you all happy holidays.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Change of Heart

Well, I was going to write a post defending myself against the couple of attacking comments to my last post.

But to those who know and understand me, no defense or explanation is necessary.

To those who don't, nothing I say will matter anyway.

Besides, two things are more important.

One, is that EB at IVF 40+ Path to Parenthood just found out she's pregnant. My heart is so full of happiness for her that I refuse to make room for bitterness. Congratulations, EB! I can't wait to follow your pregnancy over the next nine months!

Two, is that Alex P. who understood and defended me, wrote a really beautiful post about giving. Read it. I guarantee it will warm your heart and give you new (or renewed) perspective about the meaning of the season. Thanks, Alex.

And in light of Alex's post about giving, let me say that all of you give me so much. You warm my heart with your kindness, your blogs, your tenderness for each other and your ability to reach out and say just the right thing. There is so much give and take in this community, in just the right proportion, it is a true testament to the goodness of the human spirit.

Monday, December 21, 2009

What Am I Doing?

We received news today that the big case I've been working on might settle. Negotiations are in the works. Last I heard, the parties were "close." For what that's worth.

The possibility of settlement brings mixed emotions. On one hand, I think if the case went to trial, we would kick the other side's lying, evil butts, which would give me great personal satisfaction. On the other hand, being able to stop the insanity, stop having to respond to their ridiculous motions, start working reasonable hours and put those jerks behind us - is a really welcome thought.

My boss already invited everyone out for drinks tomorrow night. I think it's a bit premature, but, whatever.

In the mean time, Alex P asked me some questions in her comment the other day. She asked what I am doing to get ready for delivery, whether I am taking Lamaze classes and what my plans are for having the baby, meaning whether I plan to get an epidural or go natural.

So I guess the big question is: What am I doing?

I'm embarrassed to admit that I have not yet enrolled in any childbirth classes, although I plan to. I have not done much research about my childbirth options. I know, I know...how could I not have done these things? I have not yet talked to HR at work about my maternity leave, nor have I discussed it in any detail with my bosses. I'm not even sure what I want to ask for. And no, we have not yet interviewed any daycare providers.

I'm a mess. The past few months have somehow evaporated.

I do know a few things though:

(1) My first choice would be to give birth naturally, without an epidural. But since I have no idea what that pain is going to be like, I am absolutely open to shouting the word "Anesthesia!" and getting an epidural when it's offered. I'm no martyr.

(2) I'm also open to the possibility that I may need a C-section. Breach position, stalled labor, other emergency - whatever - I'm no hero. My first and foremost concern will be the health and safety of my baby. This birth is not about my experience - it's about getting the baby here safely.

(3) I need to take some classes. I know how to care for the baby once it's here, but labor and delivery are not my expertise.

(4) I do not want a midwife or doula. Just not my thing. When I'm in pain, I need quiet and I need to focus. Somebody touching me, stroking me or talking to me is likely to get cursed at and punched in the nose. All I want in the room are a doctor and a nurse telling me what to do periodically, and my DH, standing quietly nearby. I don't focus well when there are a lot of distractions.

(5) I'd love to be able to take 6 full months of maternity leave. I'm not sure what my bosses will think of that. I'm not sure my DH and I can afford that. But in a perfect world, it would be great. Alternatively, maybe I can take 4 months and then work from home part time.

(6) As for daycare, my Mom is supposedly going to move here and take care of the baby once I go back to work. But, we need to be prepared in case that doesn't work out. And my preference is a commercial daycare organization rather than a private home. I just feel like a commercial business will have strict rules and more people around so that the chances of someone shaking my baby (my worst nightmare) are less than in a private home. Just my own preference.

(7) My DH's plan is to get the baby's room emptied (it's currently a home office), cleaned and painted during the holiday break so that it will be ready for baby furniture and decorating. We'll see. My DH is a fabulous procrastinator. And I'm not moving furniture.

Oh boy. There is a lot to do. So, it will be helpful if the legal case settles so that I'll have time to turn my attention to some of these things. Otherwise, one day my water will break and then I'll really wonder: What am I doing?!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Trapped in Booth Hell

Well, I thought I was off scot-free. Not so.

Usually it's Christmas at Wacky P's. But this year, MIL and FIL both have other plans, so we're off the hook and - for the first time ever - my DH and I get to spend Christmas home alone together! This is wonderful news to the both of us.

Ah, but not so fast.

MIL was going to be in town this week and wanted to see us. She has something for us. Well, okay, MIL by herself isn't so bad. And the plan was just to go out for dinner. So it would be a time limited event.

On Thursday, DH emailed me at work (which, by the way, was a day in hell unto itself) and said there had been a change in plans. New plan was to have lunch Friday (yesterday) with MIL and Wacky P.

Really? Do we have to? Will Wacky P's kids be there? Does Wacky P get to choose the restaurant (as usual)? Poor DH. He doesn't know the answers. He just knows I'm putting up resistance. As usual.

So, okay, [sigh] it's just lunch. At least we got to pick the restaurant (I insisted).

And, as it turned out, no kids - just MIL and Wacky P and DH and me.

So there I am. Trapped in a booth. Looking out the window, gazing at all the people walking by. Those not trapped in a booth with MIL and Wacky P.

Here is an assortment of the questions/comments MIL and Wacky P posed:

- What are you going to do for daycare?

- The county provides a list of approved daycare providers, people's whose homes are licensed...

- You know, one question you should absolutely ask any daycare provider is whether you can drop by at any time unannounced. If they say no, you don't want that place.

- You're not going to have a C-Section are you? (this was MIL's question, to which Wacky P immediately replied: "No, of course she won't, she's healthy and strong and there's no reason she can't push that baby out.")

- Do you have a doula or midwife?

- I have a wonderful book about natural childbirth...it's called "Blah Blah Blah" and it really helped me.

- Will your mom be there for the birth?

- Is your mom coming to help you with the baby when it's born?

- Do you have a breast pump?

- You know, there's a lot to taking care of a newborn, but you'll eventually figure it out.

- Will Mr. BWUB get to take some time off when the baby's born?

- How much maternity leave do you get?

- What are you going to do about Daisy (my bark-happy dog) and the baby ?

- Do you knit? Can I knit you blanket? What color do you want?

- (From Wacky P): Oh, we used Such-And-Such daycare with both of our kids. Do you know Such-and-Such daycare? Well, they serve organic vegetarian meals and they do this and that and blah, blah, blah.

- Did you know that in some cultures they use a birthing sling? They squat over it....[okay, at this point I mentally checked out. Holy crap, were they really going to discuss the mechanics of childbirth in a restaurant?].

I was in hell. Not all of the questions were that terrible, but it was like a firing squad of questions coming at me. And it was in public. I'm sure the old man in the booth behind us was delighting in all this talk about natural childbirth and breast pumps and birthing slings.

And - duh - I was a pediatric nurse for crying out loud. I worked peds, intensive care and even the NICU. I managed 3 preemies for 12 hours at a time. Yeah, I know that my own child will be different, and I won't get to leave after 12 hours, but good gravy (I'm trying to cut back on the profanity so I don't sound like a trucker to our baby), I think I know how to hold, feed, change and burp a baby. Hell, I can just about twirl a newborn over my head like a baton.

As for the childbirth experience itself, no one can know what that is like until they've gone through it. Wacky P can't say that I won't need a C-section. Duh. What if the baby is breach? What if he won't engage? What if labor stalls for too long? I just didn't want to get into all this with them.

Ultimately, too, not much of this is their business. At least in my mind it's not their business. My DH sat there eating and saying almost nothing the entire meal. He thinks they're just interested and trying to "bond" with me.

The only saving grace was that we were there and done in less than an hour. MIL gave us a Christmas gift and that was that.

Good grief. NOW you see why Christmas alone sounds so good.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Happy x 2

First of all, I am thrilled and so excited for EB at IVF 40+ Path to Parenthood who had an amazing transfer experience today, and was able to freeze eleven embies to boot! EB has been through as much as anyone, and I hope with all my might that her dreams are about to come true.

Second, I've had a turn of good fortune too.

Those of you who have followed me for a while may remember the dreaded OMC. The Outside Monitoring Clinic. Since my clinic is located so far away from where I live, the OMC (a local IF clinic) performed my b/w and u/s's. They charged me non-contracted rates (read: expensive) for their services, plus a $125 per visit "monitoring fee." They refused to submit anything to my insurance and balked when I submitted the claims myself.

Their position was that since I wasn't "their" patient, they had the right to charge me full price for everything.

Ultimately, after hundreds of phone calls, and fantastic people at my insurance company who went the extra mile on my behalf, the insurance company agreed with ME. All of my b/w and u/s's should have been covered, and all I should have paid was a $25 co-pay per visit. I was not entitled to get back the monitoring fees (amounting to another $1,000), but hey, I wasn't about to be greedy.

I collected my insurance coverage letters, and wrote a nice, professional, stern, lawyerly letter to the OMC, attaching the coverage letters, showing them the math, and telling them, in no uncertain terms, that I expected them to immediately send me a check in the amount of $1,790.


The check arrived in the mail two days ago.

Holy crap. I won.


Sunday, December 13, 2009

Regaining Perspective

Even before I went to bed last night I was feeling guilty about my last post.

The whining. The crabbing. The complaining about my DH.

I got up at 7 a.m. this morning to quickly take it down before anyone saw it. But wait - there were comments already. Supportive, understanding, validating comments! I should have known that you guys would take my big waaah-fest with a grain of salt and back me up.


I still feel badly though. The male co-worker of mine of whose wife gave me a gift bag full of baby goodies? He and I chatted last week about work strategy - before digressing onto the topic of babies.

He told me how, when his wife was pregnant with their first child, he was happy and excited and all, but he didn't really get it until the moment the baby was born and he heard his son's first cries.

He said that for women, we begin to change our feelings, our mindset, our priorities and everything else during the pregnancy. After all, we are the ones who carry the baby, who feel the baby move, who realize with every cell of our being that we are no longer alone. And I think for IF'ers, our feelings about having a child kicked in long ago.

But, he said, it was different for him, and for most men, he suspects. Except for the fact that they see their wives' bellies growing and intellectually know there is a baby, they just are not as affected as we are. But then, he said, at the moment he heard the cry, it all changed (no, he was not over the doctor's shoulder, witnessing the baby crown. I guess he couldn't handle that. When I first witnessed a crowning, I found that experience alone to be miraculous).

Upon hearing his newborn son's first cry, he said it was like a tiny, dormant seed in the back of his brain was suddenly triggered, releasing a chemical throughout his body that changed him. Changed how he thought and how he felt and what he realized. He cried. He cried! He is not an emotional guy. He said the moment was life changing for him.

Well, this gives me, and hopefully others, some hope that when the time comes, our DHs too will experience a similar change. I have to realize that my need to control everything about this pregnancy - including the way my DH feels and acts - is unnecessary. I need to stop complaining and just come to grips with the fact that until the baby is born, my DH is not in the same place as me. And I need to be okay with that.

I do, however, appreciate the supportive comments, and even getting a chuckle out of some of the suggestions, like swiping the gift card and enjoying a spa day for myself! As usual, you guys have once again come through for me.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

You Have GOT to be Kidding Me

First, the good news. Bring on the mini candy canes. I aced my glucose tolerance test.

Funny how anyone who'd ever taken the test before moaned and groaned to me about how awful the whole procedure was. Hm. Not so. Can I just say that the very sweet, sugary lemon-lime chilled beverage was tasty? Yeah. It was. I gulped it down and went to my OB appointment. The sugar had my kid on a high, and he was kicking and dancing up a storm!

In other news....

Our built in microwave oven stopped working. It's built in, so you can't even find the electrical cord. Crap. Remember the beat up old microwave my DH had stored out in the garage? The one I'd bugged him to get rid of? He gleefully dusted it off, brought it inside, and plopped it on the counter. Ugh. In his world, if something breaks, you just stop using it. If it drips, you put a pan under it. If it chips, you use it till it breaks completely. I mean - OH. NO.


My DH's company had their holiday party. He came home with a basket they'd given him in honor of his 5 years of service. It had a $100 visa gift card in it. A hundred bucks! Visions of baby things danced in my mind. Him? He was licking his lips wondering how many CDs that'll buy him. Not that he doesn't already own 8,275 CDs.

I said, "You could spend it on baby things, you know. We're going to need a lot of things."

Him: You're kidding, right?

Me: No, I'm not kidding. You wouldn't get something for your kid?

Him: I am getting him something. I'm giving him a house to live in.

Me: [Shooting extremely dirty look and voice dripping with sarcasm] "Mm. Big of you."

He didn't speak to me for the rest of the night. He went to bed without saying good night.

Um, excuse me, but one who rudely refuses to make the smallest sacrifice for the sake of their kid can be mad all he wants. I sacrificed to the freaking moon and back for this baby. All the physical crap I endured. It was my money that financed the whole thing. And now HE has the nerve to be selfish over a crummy $100 gift card?

You have GOT to be kidding me.

And last but not least.

Here is what is awaiting me at work on Monday. It arrived Thursday. I asked my secretary to put her hand on it for perspective. Yeah. The abusive opposing counsel on the other side of this case filed two new motions. This stack of papers? That's all of two motions. Our opposition papers are due when? December 24. Really. It's going to take that long just to read all of that!

Need I say it? You've got to be kidding me.

Well, none of it amounts to the end of the world. I realize that. Just enough frustration to remind me that life ain't perfect.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Belly Pictures and Other News

I started writing this post last Sunday. Then work kicked into high gear and I had to put the post on hold. Sorry it's such a long post, but here's the lowdown:

So it seems that baby boy is growing. I have the belly to prove it! Amazing how the growth is now picking up speed. Even my secretary commented that I look noticeably bigger. It's true.

My thighs and behind are bigger too, but, oh well. There will be time enough to work on that another day.

NEW INFO: I had my glucose tolerance test today. God, I hope I don't have gestational diabetes. I have been eating mini candy canes like crazy and can't imagine giving them up now. I also had a doctor's appointment and I gained SIX POUNDS since last month. I thought that was huge. The doctor looked at the overall picture and said I'm right on track as far as total weight gain. 26 weeks - 19 pounds up. She figures at this rate I'll end up having gained right about 30 pounds by my due date, which is the recommended. But I must say, it feels weird to weigh more than I ever have in my life. (of course, if I could stop with the candy canes already...)

In the "Wow, I wasn't expecting that" category, last week one morning one of my male colleagues came into my office - and gave me a gift bag! He and his wife have 2 little ones, so I had picked his brain a few weeks ago about day care. He talked with his wife about my pregnancy, and she bought and sent me baby gifts! This is a woman I've never even met. How sweet was that?! And I must say, she has wonderful taste. Adorable outfits and toys.

I was stunned and couldn't say thank you enough. Of course my co-worker admitted he had no idea what was actually in the gift bag as I proceeded to open it. And he also admitted not really "getting" why women coo and fawn over baby clothes.


But I am really touched. I showed the gifts to my secretary, saying they were the first gifts anyone had gotten me. She grinned and said, "Mmm, no they're not...they're just the first ones you've received."

What great people I work with.

It almost makes the 12 hours I worked on Saturday seem worth it.

I'm working this weekend too, but hey, March (and my due date) is right around the corner.

Besides, I jokingly (well...not really) told my boss I'd likely be up to my eyeballs in this case until the day my water breaks. Then I will be gone on mat leave. The problem with that is that my other work - the work I was actually hired to do before being sucked into this huge litigation case - won't get looked at until next summer at the earliest. To my utter delight, she said they interviewed and hope to hire another attorney, who should start work in January, to take over the lead on this big litigation case! That way I can pull out of it (by and large) and finish up my other work and cruise into my maternity leave without the stress of working day and night on this grueling case. I was thrilled. It can't happen soon enough. Pretty soon I need to start thinking about pediatricians and birthing classes and shopping for baby things and...doing the FUN things that I have waited years to do!

Just this morning my DH said, "So you're just about 6 months then, right?" And I said, "No, in 2 weeks I'll be 7 months." And it was like a brick hit him in the head. "We'd better start getting things ready then!" he said.

Ya think?


Monday, December 7, 2009

I Need a Nice, 45-hour Day

I have things to blog about but no time at the moment.

My dear co-worker, with whom I have been sharing the burden of this huge case at work has gone on vacation for a week. I urged her to go. She needed to go. Her very elderly father and her mom live in a country on the opposite side of the globe. She needs to see them. She needs a break from this case.

So off she went. I'm handling the full reins in her absence, and you know, I'll manage. One way or another.

One way is by working at night.

Another is by working the weekend.

So, dear friends, pardon my absence. I am absolutely peeking in on your blogs, I just don't have time to comment right now.

Luck, love and hugs to all.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Along the Road, On the Way to the Moon

It was not very long ago that I refused to allow myself to think about concrete baby matters, you know, just in case the pregnancy didn't work out.

I wouldn't think about names.
I wouldn't look at baby clothes.
I wouldn't worry about where the baby would live (i.e., his room).
I wouldn't think about how to afford maternity leave.
I certainly wouldn't do anything as dangerous as look at baby furniture or room decor.

Finally, at 25 weeks, I've begun to consider these last, formerly dangerous, items.

Yeah, I know, I'm probably running late with these things. And I have no real idea of what I want. I began noodling around Amazon and elsewhere just to get ideas. And to look at crib recalls (holy crap, now there's something to worry about!)

As for room decor, generally, I like simple and soothing. I still don't know about color pattern(s) or furniture or anything else.

First, I have to show you this gorgeous fairy tale girl's room idea. It was an ad for expensive bedding. I can only imagine what these gold sheets must cost! My disclaimer is that I loved fairy tales as a child, but perpetuating the "prince charming and happy ending" fallacy is not what I would want to do if I had a daughter. Nevertheless, the image is beautiful.

No princess themes for my baby boy though!

I stumbled across one single item I loved. And it's just a silly toss pillow. It comes from a child's story book - which I had never heard of. But when I read the phrase, it hit me like a ton of bricks.

"Guess how much I love you? To the moon and back."

All of us in this community, we who have suffered from one form of infertility or another, understand and have lived, suffered, mourned, hoped, lost, and sacrificed to the moon and back, all in the hopes of becoming pregnant and having a baby.

The road is that arduous. It is long. It is exhausting. It can be defeating.

Now, feeling my baby move inside of me, seeing my pregnant belly, and hearing my baby's heart beat each day (I still have the doppler), I finally realize that I might actually get to have and keep this baby.

My IF struggles, the two years' worth of BFNs, my two miscarriages, the meds, the shots, being wanded and probed, the fights with the Outside Monitoring Clinic, the money spent.....I have not forgotten those things. I will never forget those things. They are the road that paved the way to this pregnancy.

But those events suddenly go pale and out of focus, the way the audience and room go dark when you are on stage, looking outward, bright lights in your eyes. Like a weary traveler, stopping momentarily to rest and catch my breath, I turn to see the long road stretched behind me. The miles I have traveled and the hurdles I have cleared. Of course there are still miles of road that I must travel. There are no stage lights, though. Rather, I am looking up at the bright, full moon that lies ahead. At last, it draws nearer. Its magnificent light, shining in my eyes. I feel the impact of my journey.

I am suddenly struck by the words, and how deeply they resonate within my heart.

Yes, I love this baby to the moon and back.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Who Have I Become?

I am approaching my 25th week of pregnancy. Sometimes I still can't believe I'm actually pregnant.

Then again....

My body has changed in so many ways.

My bump is medium sized now, and although I can still squat down and stand back up, bending over is difficult. I don't fold in half in the middle anymore. AH! That's why pregnant women do that familiar and recognizable back-arching elbow-lift from a chair maneuver. It's not the extra weight that's so much the problem as the fact that you simply cannot lean forward to get enough leverage to stand up!

My innie belly button is opening up! I can just about see down into it (or I could if I could lean forward a little further). It used to be more pinched shut. Interesting (yes, folks, you caught me contemplating my navel!)

My boobs are...well...incredible. Wow. I was a "barely B" pre-pregnancy. Of course I don't have a tiny waist or tiny hips to make me look fantastic, but still, it's strange but fascinating to see myself with such full breasts and real, live cleavage!

Thankfully, I don't see any stretch marks anywhere - yet. I suppose those most likely show up during the final month when baby makes a final growth spurt. I've been diligent in slathering myself daily with moisturizing lotion, so hopefully I'll keep the worst of it at bay.

My nails and hair are growing like wildfire! Didn't I just get my hair colored? I already see quarter-inch roots growing out.

I hiccup randomly. Just one. One, single hiccup. I don't anticipate it or realize it's going to happen until - HIC - it's out of my mouth. Kooky.

I am out of breath so easily. With the slightest amount of exertion, my belly cramps a tiny bit and I have to lean back and catch my breath. It happened when I walked roughly 5 or 6 blocks at a moderately brisk pace to meet friends for lunch last week. And to think that a co-worker and I used to take a mini exercise break at work and run the 16 flights of stairs in our building - up and down three times without stopping!

No dark line running downward from my belly button and no "mask of pregnancy." I guess these are the benefits of being a redhead (for some reason we are not prone to these changes).

Sleep. I simply cannot get comfortable. I used to be a happy belly sleeper. Now I have pillows on both sides of me. Support here, support there. The problem is that I wake up after a few hours with a stiff hip, or a kink in my spine, or (this sounds weird) the baby feels like he's "slipped" way over into my dependent hip and so my belly feels off-balance....it's always something. I am always awake at 3 am. For at least an hour. Sometimes I'm also awake at 1:00 and at 5:00. The bright side is I'll be right in the swing of things to get up and feed the baby every few hours.

Finally, and thankfully, I still feel great, have lots of energy (until I'm winded, anyway) and am delightfully shocked every time I look at myself in the mirror.

Monday, November 30, 2009

This -n - That

Still buried at work. I'm beginning to think it's going to be this way until I go out on maternity leave...in March! The case I'm working on is causing multiple people in my office to have daily meltdowns. Having to manage other people's stress is draining, particularly when you're already trying to manage your own. All I can do is grin and keep paddling!

But, what else is going on?

Yes, we did go to Wacky P's for Thanksgiving. I have to admit, that by large she didn't bug me much. Except for the fact that she refused (yes, refused) to put the mashed yams I brought on the table because, after all, she already made mashed yams, and by golly, we didn't need two. (Of course mine were very different from hers, specifically in that mine didn't require one to pull hard seed casings from their mouth while chewing - seeds?!).

I did get into a bit of a verbal dispute with the Great Pontificator (also known as my FIL) during dinner. He accused me of being the reason that public transportation, green living and sustainability will remain a mere fantasy and will never come to fruition. Why? Oh, it's because I like driving my car to work. And because I'd rather pay $165 per month to park in the garage at work than pay $100 per month for a bus pass. He accused me. And he accused those like me of not wanting to give up conveniences. Well, my hackles were up and I launched back. Yeah. Nice, eh? That'll make for a pleasant Thanksgiving gathering.

Oh, yeah, I almost forgot, after the main meal, but before dessert, and while the adults were still sitting at the table, Wacky P's 6 year old daughter went and got her pet rat, brought it to the dinner table, and was one chair away from me with the rat in her hands when Wacky P told her to get that thing away from the table. Good grief (I was about to crap my pants).

Finally, may I remind you, I had to cope with all of this sober. I usually manage these gatherings by getting half bombed during the first hour. Egads.

In other news....

Baby boy thinks the best time to play, do jumping jacks and run through my uterus is around 3 am. And you know what? I don't mind. I love waking up and realizing he's awake too.

Friday, November 27, 2009


Warning: This is a Happy Pregnancy Post. If you can't bear to read happy pregnancy stuff at the moment, you might want to skip this one. I wouldn't want anyone barfing on their computer because of my sappy post.

Last Sunday my DH and I were engaged in our usual morning routine - sitting on the couch, reading the newspaper and enjoying our coffee. (Yes, I drink 1 cup of delicious coffee per day). I kept feeling baby boy kick and poke and tap and carry on in there doing some world class gymnastics.

I leaned back into the couch, pulled my shirt up a bit, and we both gazed at my belly.

There! We saw it!

For the first time ever we could really see my belly pop and bubble and bounce and poke out here and there! Over and over. It lasted several minutes. I was grinning like an idiot.

It was the most amazing thing to actually see it. My DH said, "It's like he's trying to get out" and that's just what it looked like.

The feeling of it though, is incredibly strange. Each time, it's startling and takes me by surprise. It's as though you're standing with your eyes closed and some person begins poking you with their finger, randomly, here and there. You can't anticipate when it will happen, where it will happen, or how strong the poke will be. So each time it happens, you jump a little from the surprise of it.

Soon enough, baby boy went back to sleep. But how I enjoyed watching him knock around in there! I definitely feel his movements more and more frequently. What wonderful reassurance!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving!

Work has been taking over my every waking moment lately.
I have a colleague who is having a meltdown
Bosses who are not on the same page.
Opposing counsel who are...well...not very agreeable.
And long, long days of writing.

Nevertheless, today I am thankful for so, so many things.

Plus, I've missed you all.

You, my blog sisters, have been in my thoughts and today I give thanks for your presence in my life. You have all had such a positive impact on my IF journey and now on my pregnancy. My world would be very different, and lesser, without you.

May you have a joyful holiday.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

At Last - Award Time

I was honored with award nominations by two blog sisters. I apologize for taking so long to "play" the awards game. I owe thanks to Fran at Everyone Else But Me and BB at Clean Slate for these awards.

Fran, you are a joy, a pure heart, a gentle soul who is amazingly capable of reaching out to touch others, even when your own circumstances are less than glowing at the time. You are one amazing human being.

BB, I feel so lucky to share this pregnancy bond with you. You are sweet and kind and have traveled such a difficult road to finally arrive at this joyous point in time. I think the world of you. You have the amazing gift of a loving family and I feel honored to be your friend.

So here we go. As did Fran, I'm awarding BOTH awards to the list of bloggers at the bottom of this post. Yeah, it's sort of cheating, but look how long it's taken me to turn them around! So, my awards always come with the caveat that you have as much time (forever?) as you need to respond.

First, the Kreativ Blogger Award.

Here are the rules that accompany this esteemed honor:
1. Thank the person who nominated you for this award - check
2. Copy the logo and place it on your blog. - check
3. Link to the person who nominated you for this award. - check
4. Name 7 things about yourself that people may not know.
5. Nominate 7 Kreativ Bloggers.
6. Post links to the 7 blogs you nominate.
7. Leave a comment on each of the blogs letting them know they’ve been nominated.

Here are the 7 things about me:

(1) Although I have lived in California for 22 years, I grew up in upstate New York. I remember what -20 wind chill feels like. I remember shoveling my driveway, piling the snow up so high there got to be nowhere to throw it anymore. I loved sledding as a kid, the amazing autumn leaves and the humid summers. I miss fireflies on warm summer nights. I don't miss the snow!

(2) I was engaged once before. He was 15 years my senior, and although he was (and still is) a good guy, the age difference finally caught up with us. We both tried to say it didn't matter, but at 24 and 39 years old, we were simply at different stages in our lives. We lived together for 4 years before amicably parting ways.

(3) Mr. BWUB is the spitting image of Ta/ylor H-icks, the 2006 Amer/ican I/dol winner. Well, at least other people think he's the spitting image. Of course since he's my husband, I only see a resemblance. We got married in 2006, and our caterer had two 20-ish year old daughters who assisted her. Those girls got bright-eyed and ga-ga over my DH every time we stopped by to see the caterer. If they only knew my DH can't carry a tune or dance a whit!

(4) One of my sisters is morbidly obese. She began packing on the pounds at age 19 and it only got worse from there. She is a tender heart, a sensitive soul and a kind person. But her self-esteem, insecurity and other emotional issues have her in their grip. She is in denial about her health and weight. I worry she will die young. It breaks my heart.

(5) I never learned to sew or use a sewing machine. It's a skill I wish I had. I never took Home Ec in high school because I just couldn't be bothered. I took a Business class instead. now I wish I could do more than sew a button back into place. My mom tried to show me once how to load the bobbin in a machine, but I fumbled and fumbled until I lost patience. I really admire people who are skilled at sewing.

(6) I am a natural redhead. I hated it as a kid, particularly since my siblings and parents are all brunette. My older sister called me names like "fire head" sometimes. It made me irate. Plus, all the natural curl was nothing short of catastrophe during the late 70's when "the" look was the Far/rah Fawce/tt flip hair style. Do you think my coarse curls would cooperate with THAT kind of style in the humidity of New York? Shoot. So here's a photo of me as a toddler...maybe I was 2 or so. Yeah, you can't tell the color in the black and white photo, but note the burly hair!

(7) I got totally hooked on the HBO series T/rue B.lood. It's incredibly unpredictable and appeals to my darker side. I don't know when the next season is set to begin, but I can't wait!

Second, the Spreader of Love Award.

Here are the rules:
1-Thank the person who nominated you for this award and write a little bit about why you love them.
2-Copy the logo and place it on your blog.
3-Link to the person who nominated you for this award.
4-Nominate no more than 17 people who you love or you think could use some love.
5. Write one word (you can only use a word once) about what you love about their blog.
6. Post links to the 17 blogs you nominate.
8-Leave a comment on each of the blogs letting them know they’ve been nominated.

Okay, I don't know why or how the originator of this award came up with the required 17 nominees. But I'm taking some creative license here.

And the rules say I have to use only one word to describe what I love about your blogs! Hm, let's see what "one word" looks like.

Here goes:

EB at ivf 40 path to parents - CoolestEnglishWomanEverAndGoodFriendWhoCourageouslyRefusesToBeDefeated

Looking 4 #3 - TrulyUnderstandingFriendandSister

Cindy at Bang head here - ComfortinglyConsiderateAndAlwaysSupportive

conceiving life after 40 - CreativelyElegantAndOrganizedBeyondBelief!

K at Invitro Veritas - FascinatingAdventuristNowPregnantWithTriplets!

Dawn - DownToEarthCheerfulAndLightHearted

musicmakermomma - SincereFunnyAndSuperstarAllRolledIntoOne

One Small Wish - TenderSoulWhoIsIncrediblyHonestAboutHerselfAndTheWorld

Riley AmazingGardenerWhoGivesEverythingShe'sGotAndThenSome

An Offering of Love - NewMommyToSweetBabyGirl!

Tireegal68 - HonestSupportiveGalWhoNeverGivesUp!

Love to all.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Music to my Ears

I went for my second opinion u/s today.

They wanted me there a full half hour before my appointment time to "check in." I think they squeezed me in during the lunch hour. No one else was in the waiting room. No staff person said hello or even acknowledged me for 20+ minutes, although several girls walked back and forth behind the counter, chatting about nonsense with each other. At 2 minutes before my appointment time, they addressed me and handed me 6 or 7 pages of paperwork to fill out. One minute before my appointment time, someone came to call me back to the exam room. I basically tossed the paperwork back at the desk girls and told them I'll finish it after my appointment.

Staff rating: D-

The tech was somewhat better. She maneuvered very quickly. She didn't give me a blow-by-blow account of what she was looking at or measuring. And it was hard to tell this time exactly what I was looking at on the screen because baby is now head down, right on top of my cervix! (Whoa, little boy, wait a bit longer to get into exit position, eh). I asked for a picture of his heart. She seemed confused. I said, "when you go for your very first u/s, the magical moment is seeing the heart beat. It's the critical event. So the heart is very important, but nobody ever gives you a picture of it." She smiled and understood.

Tech rating: B

Just before the tech finished up, the door to the room opened after a brief knock. The perinatologist himself came in! Wow. I felt honored. He turned out to be the kindest, sweetest, most down to earth guy. He asked me some questions, he looked at the new measurements, he explained everything and answered my questions patiently. He was attentive yet calm and had a sense of humor. He said by the calendar, I am 23w1d today (I don't know how my pg ticker calculates, but it seems to be a little fast). He said all of baby's measurements are just fine and in fact ahead of age, measuring about 24 weeks. Femur: fine. Humerus: fine. Everything: fine. He said he was not sure why the prior doctor's narrative report said the femur was "short for age" because the actual measurement in the report was dead on for age.

The best thing he said was, "You got a normal kid."

I could have hugged him. The words were music to my ears.

Doctor rating: A++

They handed us a few fuzzy photos and said they don't need to see us again. Fine with me! (Considering my new good mood, I did finish up the paperwork before leaving).

Thank you God for a healthy baby. And thank you blog sisters for always being there to offer support and kind and caring words.

So, in celebration of a perfect baby boy, here are some photos showing my new hair cut and color and the outside of baby boy's house (i.e., my belly!).


Thursday, November 19, 2009

What's Going On

I wish I had more time to post these days. So many things happening, so many thoughts. Here's the short version.

(1) Tomorrow (Friday) I will have a "second opinion" u/s to follow up on the short femur measurement taken on October 30. Mind you, this new specialist's office did not want to schedule me until December 9th. Three more weeks?! I had to argue, make phone calls and bug my own OB to get squeezed in tomorrow. I'm happy to be squeezed. Crap, at this point, hand me the wand and I'll do the job myself.

(2) I finally got my H1N1 vaccine. Happy.

(3) Work has been - overwhelming. Along with two other attorneys, I have been up to my eyeballs in a litigation case. Which would be all well and good, except that opposing counsel on the case are a bunch of lowdown, lying, snake-in-the-grass jerks. They are the kind of lawyers who give lawyers a bad name. It is a battle just to deal with them for what should be simple things, like communicating. They out-and-out lie, repeatedly, about everything from what date a given notice was served to improperly citing authority in filed documents. I loathe these kind of attorneys and they are making our lives hell for no other reason than because they can. The good news is that the law is on our side, we have won every motion thus far, and I think in the end we will win the case. But it will be like jogging in water to get there.

(4) I have been able to feel the baby move more and more. It's a wonderful little wiggly feeling that always takes me by surprise. Interestingly, I don't feel him much while I'm at work. It's like he knows to be still and let me do my job. I feel him most early in the morning when I first awaken and late at night.

(5) I finally got my hair cut and colored. Everyone at work was surprised (they've never seen me with full color!) and my secretary said it makes me look much younger. Yay! I'll post photos soon.

Love and hugs to Maddy today.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Feeling Better, Feeling Productive

Thank you, everyone, so much for your thoughts, support and information about short femur measurements and "soft indicators." You guys are great at talking a person off the ledge. Not that I was at the jumping point, but -- sheesh -- I was definitely caught off guard with news I didn't expect and angry as hell at those who knew but elected not to tell me. Your comments were soothing, reassuring and exactly what I needed to hear. Thank you.

Also helpful is that I spent a good deal of the weekend doing more cleaning! My DH was out of town visiting his mom (along with Wacky P and her clan - thank you very much but I think I'll stay home), so I had the house to myself. I opened cupboards and went crazy. Bags and bags of trash went out. Documents shredded. Linens reorganized. Rarely used items consolidated and put out of the way. I hung a shelf. I emptied a desk that we plan to get rid of. I washed and wiped my heart out. In between it all I stopped to make a nice pot of home made soup.

Yes, I am beginning to feel the nesting bug bite at my heels. And it feels so good.

Friday, November 13, 2009

The Good and the Worrisome

I have blog awards to get to, and I have been remiss in responding to my kind and generous blog sisters who have bestowed such awards upon me. I meant to catch up on them today, but something has come up....

First the good. I had a huge success at work. I drafted a fairly important motion. The judge issued his tentative ruling yesterday - in our favor! Everyone at work (including the bosses) was congratulating me. Not that I want or like accolades, but since I am planning to take maternity leave next year, it's good to prove my value now.

Now for the worrisome.

On October 30 I had my 20 week anatomy ultrasound. During the u/s the tech basically said everything was fine. She left the room when it was done to consult with the doctor. Again she said all was okay, and that was that.

But something has been bothering me.

This morning I had a regular OB appointment. I asked if they received a copy of the 20 week u/s report from the perinatologist's office. The nurse practitioner brought the report up on the computer screen, turned the screen toward me, and we read it together.

I knew that the u/s tech measured my baby's femur (the thigh bone) over and over and over. And she did an additional skull measurement just before finishing up too. She didn't say anything, but the repeated measurements has been nagging at me.

The report said that the femur measurement was "short for age" and "is probably a normal variant, but is a soft indicator for Down's Syndrome."

And nobody was going to tell me?!

Okay, this is precisely what pisses me off. You go for testing, but unless you specifically ask, they don't bother to give you the information, the implications, the likelihoods, the options, etc.

The nurse practitioner said it's probably nothing. I told her our egg donor is 5'8" tall and our sperm donor is 6" -- we expected a long and tall baby. The fact that his measurement is in fact short for age.....well.....WTF does this mean????

She took the report to one of the docs in the office. She came back with, "Although the donors are both tall, it could be a recessive gene for shortness. It doesn't necessarily mean anything."

How's that for an answer?

I requested, and they approved, another u/s to re-measure. They will send me to a different perinatologist so that we get a second opinion. Hopefully they will be able to get me in sometime during the upcoming week.

I don't want an amnio. I don't even know that we will do anything (or that there is anything we can do) at all. I just want to know the facts. I want the information. I want to know what it means. Will our boy reach an adult height of 4 feet tall? Will one leg be shorter than the other? Was the measurement wrong? Is the measurement truly within normal limits? Has the growth now caught up? What does it mean?

Once again this is a lesson that we have to be extremely proactive in asking questions, probing things that don't quite seem right, demanding full disclosure.

The baby's heart rate was fine, he is kicking, my weight gain is fine and all other signs are good. I am thankful.

My DH feels confident that everything will be okay. I sure hope so.

Monday, November 9, 2009


I've complained about the small size of our house. And how my DH and I each brought our stuff to the house when we bought it three and a half years ago, making the place feel quite cramped. And how we need to clear out to make room for a baby and all the stuff that comes with babies and childhood.

Which brings me to my DH's books. His massive collection of books. Books, books everywhere. Well, he did it. Over the past weekend, he spent hours going through all his books. Books in the house and in the garage. He packed up 260 books and delivered them to G/ood W/ill.

Yes, that's Two Hundred Sixty books!

All of the books he has left now fit into 2 bookcases. That's it. He even remarked that I probably have more books than he does now. It could be true.

I was really impressed with his willingness to part with his beloved books. Of course, this does not mean he will part with any of his 862,026,198 CDs. That would be asking too much.

But we're getting there.

As for my part, I went through boxes and boxes of photos. I threw away several hundred photos. Why do I keep pictures of places I can't remember or identify? Why do I keep blurry photos or photos of people I can no longer identify? Why do I keep duplicates? Beats me. They're gone. I also cleaned out desk drawers and cupboards.

One thing is for sure, the hope of an expected child will cause you to stop procrastinating and do the things you've mulled over for years, but never gotten around to.

Friday, November 6, 2009

21-week Update

Caution - all things pregnancy discussed.

I hope Dawn doesn't mind my copying her format. I want to chronicle a pregnancy status update.

How far along? 21 weeks

Total weight gained? 11 pounds (this picture makes me look tinier than I really am - my butt and thighs feel out of control)

Maternity clothes: Bought my second maternity shirt today. Mostly just wearing long shirts and cardigans. Maternity pants - yes - but because they are so stretchy, they tend to slide down each time I stand up after sitting. I have to keep hiking them up.

Sleep: Trouble sleeping on my side. I was a belly-sleeper. Awake a lot during the night.

Best Moment of the Week: While awake at 3:30 am last night, I think I felt baby boy move! Weird belly bubble sensations. Interesting.

Food Craving: No. I always liked sweets!

Food Aversions: No.

Morning Sickness: None.

Belly Button: Same deep innie it's always been.

Wedding rings: Still on.

What I Miss: Pants that don't slide down, sushi, wine.

What I Love: My bump.

What I'm looking forward to: Finally getting my hair cut and colored this week!

Milestone: Half way through my pregnancy!

Purchases: Today I bought myself one mat shirt, a bigger bra and one cute baby outfit that says "My Mommy Loves Me"...because I do!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Another Wacky P Story

It seems that some of my blog sisters are sad, frustrated, dealing with issues, sick or just plain in need of a good story.

I'm here to help.

Nothing like a gratuitous Wacky P story to cheer people up.

On the afternoon of Halloween, I was roped into going to Wacky P's house. The in-laws were there too (might as well make a full disaster of it). The occasion was Wacky P's daughter's 6th birthday.

My DH went back over there the following morning for coffee and breakfast. I skipped that event - and was glad for it.

Now if I truly told the story in all its glorious detail, it would be really, really long. So I'm just going to hit the high points. I'm sure it will still be lengthy enough.

First, both Wacky P and her daughter had hellacious, thick, chunky coughs. I found this out after we got there. Thanks a lot. On the phone beforehand Wacky P assured my DH that they were no longer sick, but she was sure the Girl had the H1N1 the prior week. When the Girl stood beside me (wanting to climb on my lap as I sat at the table) and coughed, I crossed my arms and turned away from her. Rude? Probably under most circumstances, but I'm not willing to risk a potentially lethal virus for the sake of courtesy. I even outright scolded her at one point to cover her mouth when she coughed.

There's something strange about the Girl. She's incredibly bright and intelligent for her age, but they let her behave like a baby. If she wants attention she will whine and "wah" like a baby, loudly, interrupting the adults' conversation. It's really strange.

Yes, the house was grubby, grimy, filthy and smelled like damp mildew. Yes, there were piles of dirt on the floor around the legs of the dining table. Yes, the window was smeared with greasy fingerprints that look like they'd been piling up for months. Yes, there was a massive pile of crumbs all over the tablecloth when we arrived. Ugh.

My FIL (the Great Pontificator) sat at the table and rambled on, seamlessly transitioning from one topic to another, needing no one else's input and happy just to hear himself talk: growing medical marijuana, substitute teaching, his recent trip to Mexico and how urban and uninteresting it was, grass-fed beef....I tuned out at some point. He gives me a headache.

My MIL (the One Woman Firing Squad - of questions, that is) knows I work for the state and asked me whether California is paying it's bills. Huh? What am I, the state comptroller? She also wanted to know what my doctor says about weight gain during pregnancy. I tried to avoid most questions with short, nonresponsive answers.

Wacky P thought a nice name for our boy would be her grandfather's name - Loris. I said, yeah, if we want him to get his ass kicked on the playground.

Wacky P's kids got ready after dinner to go to a Halloween event put on by their school. The 11 year old Boy's costume was a zombie. He did a good job - white face with black hollowed eyes, ripped t-shirt, gelled and wild hair. Wacky P scolded him for looking "too scary" since the school event is a themed event geared toward the littler kids and last year's theme was fairies and gnomes. I said, "The Boy is too old to dress like a fairy." My husband glared at me. What the heck did she expect him to want to be? Freaking Cinderella?

While the kids were in their rooms getting ready, Wacky P told us that for the Girl's birthday present, Wacky P and her husband gave the Girl a book on bees. Nothing else. She said so. The Girl is six. A book on bees? Have fun with your present, honey, don't break it the first day.

And then it got really good....

The following morning when my husband returned from breakfast at Wacky P's he said that while he was there, Wacky P's husband shot - yes, shot - three squirrels in their yard. Mind you, these are the people who won't swat a spider in the house...but they'll shoot squirrels that invade their garden.

The Girl, age 6, picked up a dead squirrel by the tail and was carrying it around. No, I am not kidding. Can you say "disease ridden rodent"? Holy crap.

They apparently put the dead varmints in the freezer and then on trash day, put them in a plastic bag and throw them away. Seriously.

My husband was telling me this and I just sat here, mouth gaping wide, in disbelief. I told him there is no way in hell Wacky P is going to babysit our kid without us present. There is no way in hell our kid is going to crawl on her floors during visits. And there may possibly be no way in hell I'm going over there for Thanksgiving dinner (yes, she is hosting).

But you know Wacky P takes every occasion to criticize me. She told my DH that after we have the baby we won't have time for TV anymore. I told him maybe she ought to make time to clean her house a little.

What is up with these people?

Saturday, October 31, 2009

We're Having a Baby [Gender]!!!

Yesterday, Friday, was the big U/S day.

I was so excited. It's not my OB's office, but a perinatologist's office where we were sent for the anatomy scan. Both times we've been there, they were running 30 minutes late. Frustrating!

At last it was our turn.

The tech was proficient, nice, talking as she went along.

The best news - the important news - is that all is well. Everything looked just right and baby is measuring 4 days ahead at 20w2d.

She measured the skull, the brain, the long bones (arms and legs). We watched the four chambers of the heart beat in slow motion, colorized, to see the blood flow. We saw the umbilical cord, the placenta, the internal organs. My cervix looks good. The profile was adorable, and the baby really wanted to keep its little hand up by its face. I thought I could see a thumbnail.

And then baby stretched. I want to munch the cheeks!

And on the tech went.

We saw a long foot that I'm sure has been poking me in the side (is it possible?)

When we saw the long umbilical cord coming between the legs and attaching at the belly, I joked that I thought the baby was a boy, and he had a rather long...um...

She interrupted, "Do you want to know the sex?"

"Yes," I said, and before I could blink, we knew.

And I'm happy to report, our son looks beautiful!

Yes, it's a boy! I've been convinced it was a boy, almost from the beginning. And many of you thought he looked like a boy, too.

And...ahem...my husband and I were both impressed with how well endowed our boy looks! There's no mistake that it's a boy! (legs crossed like a pretzel).

He'll be tall. The sperm donor was 6' and the egg donor was 5'8". My DH is only 5'10" and laughed when he said our boy could be 6'4" by the time he's 13, towering over us!

She even turned the machine to 3D/4D for a moment, and we saw him with his hands over his face, making cute baby moves. We were given a long strip of photos and waited while the tech went to show the images to the doc (all was perfect).

For the rest of the day I just kept grinning and saying, "It's a baby boy!" And my husband would say, "It's a baby boy."

So did we want a boy or a girl? We both wanted a healthy baby. That's first and foremost. My DH thought it would be nice to have a girl. He has a friend who has 2 girls and the guy convinced him girls are easier. I think that with a boy, I'll never have to deal with the mother-daughter issues so many of us have struggled with. But we both would have been perfectly delighted with either.

In the end, we are both overjoyed. A health baby boy.

We can't wait to meet you, son.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Closer Than We Think

I felt somewhat better when I got up this morning, so I went to work. By 1:00 p.m. though, I knew I wasn't going to make it. Sinus pressure, headache and stuffiness were mounting a great war against my attempts to focus, think and concentrate on work.

By 2:10 I decided I'd had enough. I wanted to go home. But I had a 2:30 meeting scheduled with the lead attorney on that big case that might take me to southern California for a hearing next month. I went to go talk to him and tell him I just couldn't make it. He's also the final "boss" I wanted to tell that I am pregnant. He was recently promoted, and he is leading this case, so he ought to know before my peers.

He's a real teaser. He likes to joke and rib and tease a lot. In the short time I've been at this job, I feel like he and I have developed a great relationship. We work well together, I actually like his sense of humor, and I can dish it as well as take it.

So I schlumped over to his office, stood in the doorway and said, "Dave, I can't make the meeting. Can we reschedule? I'm going home. I don't feel well." First he had to tease me that the meeting was my idea in the first place, and now I'm bailing. Yeah, I know it was. Then he teased that everyone is feeling under the weather, but if I can't stick it out....

I saw my opportunity.

I said, "Well, there's another reason I'm feeling especially tired and drained by this cold virus" and I told him that I'm pregnant.

His response caught me entirely off guard.

He said, "Wow. Congratulations. My wife has been m/c'ing for a month now, bleeding for all this time, but hey, glad it's worked out for you."

It just goes to show, you never know whose life is being, or has been, affected by IF, or in some cases, FI (fertility issues).

I quickly told him that I have had 2 m/c's and I understand the loss and pain and I'm so sorry he and his wife are going through this. He relented a little at that point and opened up a bit.

He wanted to talk about fertility. About eggs and follicles and the likelihood that early first trimester loss is generally attributable to chromosomal anomalies. He wanted to talk about his wife's stressful job and how he wonders whether that might contribute to IF problems. He even talked about his own grief over the loss and how difficult it is to see his wife suffering. His phone rang twice while we talked, and he let it ring.

You just never know. I felt badly that I casually announced my pregnancy to him. But I couldn't have known. And in the end, I think our conversation was appreciated by both of us.

I thought about it afterward and here's the thing: we're all in a sticky position.

It's not fair for those suffering through IF, FI, m/c's or our 300th BFN to see a pregnant belly and assume that the woman simply "fell pregnant" when her husband winked at her (unless, of course, you know this to be the case). Perhaps that woman suffered 10 years of IF herself before achieving that pregnant belly.

And those who struggled with IF and were fortunate enough to achieve pregnancy can't go around prefacing statements about their pregnancy with: "Before I say anything, are you, or have you, suffered IF?" We can't assume everyone has suffered what we have.

It's just a weird predicament. We feel sharply protective about our own feelings but even if we think before we speak, nothing guarantees that what we think will be right.

Before we finished our conversation, Dave told me that if I felt too stressed about the big case and wanted off, he would understand. He said he didn't want it to cause me any stress, and although he liked working with me, he wanted me to take care of myself. I told him I was happy working on the case, but confessed I no longer had a suit that fit. He said, "Don't worry, we'll work something out."

I hope that Dave and his wife are soon enjoying a healthy pregnancy.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Sicker - [Updated post doctor appt]

Update at bottom

So much for feeling better. That lasted half a day. I went to work yesterday morning feeling okay, but I began to feel progressively worse by lunch time and by late afternoon I was a real mess.

The coughing, sneezing, sniffling and nose blowing are a real symphony to hear.

Thanks Office Dude for bringing your kids' virus to work and infecting everyone. He proudly (smiling, no less) told me yesterday that he is saying it was H1N1 and he's happy because now he and his family are immune.

First of all, we don't know what it is because no one in the office went for testing. Second, j'ever think other people might not be so happy about getting H1N1? Really.

I called my doc and have an appointment this afternoon to get swabbed for H1N1. Better safe than sorry...although I'm already sorry. My DH is a mess, citing the 28% mortality rate for pregnant women. He has been hovering over me, asking how I feel and whether I feel feverish. The stupid vaccine has not become available in our area yet.

Despite it all, I'm remaining hopeful this is just some errant virus which I'll be over in a few days. Plus, I continue to hear the baby's strong heartbeat on doppler, so that's reassuring too.

I told the big boss and the other supervisor yesterday about the pregnancy. Not exactly how I'd imagined doing it, but it went something like this: "As you know several people in the office have been sick. No one has gotten tested for H1N1, so I made an appointment with my doctor to get tested. We should know what's going around the office. Plus, I want to get tested anyway because....I'm 20 weeks pregnant."

They (both of them women) were congratulatory (about being pregnant, not about being sick), reassuring and supportive. So that's good. The big boss didn't even know people in the office have been sick (hello?).

So I'm off to the doctor's office in a couple of hours. Wish me luck that it's nothing more than the common cold.
Doctor says it's not flu because I don't have any of the typical flu symptoms, which include fever, muscle aches and extreme fatige. The symptoms I do have, including sneezing, dry cough and head congestion, are rarely seen with flu and indicate that I most likely just have a COLD. Yay for cold virus! She was also pleased that my lungs are clear, throat is not inflammed and my lymph nodes are not swollen. I told her that "Doctor Google" had me worried because I read that there have been cases of H1N1 without fever. I don't think she ever heard the term "Doctor Google" before, but caught on after a couple of seconds and smiled. So I didn't even get swabbed for H1N1. A cold I can tough out. I might need another day at home, resting though.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Looking on the Bright Sides

I feel like all I've done is grumble lately.

Grumble about my mom's visit. Grumble about Wacky P and the upcoming holidays with the in-laws. Grumble about my DH and cleaning out the junk.

I don't want to grumble any more. I want to look on the bright sides. There are many of them.

First, my DH didn't hold against me my cursing at him the other day about getting rid of stuff. And he easily could have pointed out that, aside from his books and CDs (and the dusty fan and microwave), he doesn't keep much stuff. I. on the other hand, have stored bubble wrap, scraps of wrapping paper, every tape cassette I ever bought and lots of other things. The difference now is that I am ready to do a massive overhaul and get rid of just about everything. Still, he's trying to be cooperative and I know we'll get it worked out.

Second, I feel a bit better, but did not want to work at the office today. I went in this morning only long enough to gather some work to bring home and to talk to my boss.

She was there, but looked drained and exhausted. Turns out, her elderly mom passed away last week. I expressed my condolences. She seemed to be at peace with it. Her mom had progressive Alzheimer's and had suffered a huge stroke not long ago. My boss and her siblings had the opportunity to be with their mom at her bedside, to say their goodbyes and to make peace. Now she and her sibs need to make arrangements and spend time with other family. She said she won't be in the office much this week either.

I briefly updated her on work projects. She was pleased with what I've been working on. Then I changed the subject. After offering a quick explanation about not wanting to bother her the past several weeks while so much has been going on in her life, I just sort of blurted out, "I'm 5 months pregnant." I said that I wanted to tell her first, that I feel good and I expect to work until the baby arrives, which should be the middle of March.

She was so kind. First she said, "Congratulations, that's wonderful." Then she suggested I speak with another attorney in the office who has a 3-year old and who was on maternity leave when my boss came to work for the office. She said no one else in our office has taken maternity leave while she's worked there, so she wasn't sure what all I'm entitled to, but the other attorney could be very helpful.

She then said, "Don't worry, we'll accommodate you the way everyone has accommodated me when I needed the time."

Nice, huh? That was a relief. Of course, I still need to tell her boss, who also works in our office, and who has been known not to always be so nice. But at least I have my boss in my corner.

Finally, it's a beautiful day, I get to work at home today and as it turns out, I have nothing to grumble about.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Pass a Tissue, Please, Then Move That Junk

First, I am sick. At least 4 people in my office were sick last week, and now I've come down with it. The only good thing about it is that everyone in the office only seemed to suffer a sore throat for a few days and then they were over it. I hope I'm as lucky. Yesterday morning was the first sign of a dry, scratchy throat. By nightfall, it was definitely sore. Yes, I have had thoughts like, "I could catch H1N1 and die." It's kind of strange to consider your own mortality that way. I thought, will my pregnancy be far enough along that they could save the baby?

So I'm taking my own best nursing advice and gargling frequently with Lis/terine or warm salt water, sucking on zinc and Vitamin C cough drops, drinking hot water with lemon and trying to rest.

And now the arguing has begun in our household.

Yesterday, in a first step to make space in the house for a nursery and consolidate our stuff, my DH and I spent yesterday afternoon cleaning the garage. In my opinion, there is SO much out there we could get rid of, creating extra storage space for furniture currently in the house that we don't need, but may want to either store or just put somewhere until we can sell it.

I believe there are things of each of ours that we could get rid of. He seems to think that "getting rid of" applies to my things and "finding storage" applies to his things. So I was getting frustrated.

We both own a lot of books. I have donated boxes of my books to Good W/ill and still have more that I could sort and donate or try to sell at a garage sale. He owns at least 5 times as many books as I do. There are boxes and boxes of his books in the garage. There are numerous shelves in our house loaded with his books. As I look to my right at this very moment, at the coffee table next to me, there are seventeen books stacked up on it - his evening reading selection.

Besides books, he has other old appliances and things in the garage he just wants to stack up and not get rid of. Like a crummy old dusty fan and his old microwave. I don't care if they both work, we haven't used them in 3 1/2 years and don't foresee the need for them.

And I'm wondering what he intends to do with the 273,895,164,338 CDs he has in his home office. It's unreal. I tell him nobody can listen to that much music. I expect he intends to keep them. All of them.

Now I have a lot of "stuff" too. I can't seem to get rid of the gadgets, figurines, framed photos, candles, toys and various doo-dads that either people have given to me as gifts, or that I bought or obtained over the years. But I am taking a new position: if it is not of the utmost sentimental value, or we don't use it, it goes.

So yes, I intend to keep the few items I have that were my grandmother's. I have a few things that are precious to me. But it's time to stop with the guilt ("so-and-so gave to me and I can't just throw it away") and either donate, sell or toss it.

After a few hours in the garage yesterday, and waiting to see what my DH would do about his stuff, I eventually lost my temper and barked at him through clenched teeth that I know it's tough deciding what to keep and what to get rid of, but don't be so f***ing lazy about it because it needs to be done and if this was a fun chore, we would have done it three years ago.

Yes, I felt badly about barking at him. But I also know if I wait for him to get around to making space, clearing out, getting rid of, etc, our kid won't have a room of his own till he's 4 years old. And all of my DH's books will still be everywhere in the house and filling boxes in the garage.

There is a lot more work to be done. Both in the garage and in the house.

I predict there will be more arguments too.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Time Has Come

Oh, you guys are great and I thank you for your support after my last post about Wacky P, midwives and labor, Thanksgiving traditions and the right to make choices. I've decided you are absolutely right and I'm inviting you all to my house for Thanksgiving this year.

Yeah, right. I wish.


Work has become incredibly busy. Remember that I have not yet told my bosses or co-workers that I am pregnant. A few weeks ago a senior attorney asked if I would draft a motion for this big case he's working on. I said sure. Several days and 15 pages later, the motion was done and I gave it to him.

I thought that was the end of that.

At the end of last week he came into my office, stood in the doorway and said, "If that motion goes before the court, you were planning to argue it, weren't you?"

Me? Argue the motion? It's your case. The suit was filed in Orange County. As in Santa Ana. I'd have to fly there. Can I fly? I don't know. I don't fit into my suits anymore. None of them. I don't have a maternity suit. God, they're expensive. Do I have a doctor's appointment? When is the hearing? Will I have gotten my H1N1 vaccine yet? Oh....my....gosh!!!!

I stared at him blankly as these thoughts ran through my mind.

I don't want to go. He wouldn't take no for an answer. The hearing will likely be toward the middle of November. Maybe neither party will ask for a hearing after the court issues its tentative ruling. Oh crap.

Did I complain a few weeks ago about not being very busy at work? Will someone please come kick me in the ass?

I came home and told my DH about the possibility of the hearing. He thought it's time I tell my bosses (and others) that I'm pregnant. I guess I don't have a choice at this point. I am dreading it. I just am.

So I decided over the weekend that I'd do it Monday, as in a couple of days ago. I went to work mentally prepared to go into my boss's office and tell her. Well, what do you think? There was an email saying she's out all week.

I'm off the hook for now, but it doesn't make things any easier.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Wacky P, Suggestions and Traditions

My DH called and told my SIL, Wacky P about the pregnancy. Finally. While my mom and I were out and about one day.

Actually, he got two for the price of one. My FIL was at Wacky P's. FIL had called my DH, so my DH returned the call. They talked and then my DH proceeded to tell FIL about the pregnancy.

Well, I think my DH had in mind that first he would tell his dad, and then his dad would hand the phone over to his sister (Wacky P) and my DH would tell her.

Instead, he tells his dad something like, "By the way, dad, BWUB is 4 months pregnant." With Wacky P sitting right next to him in the room, my FIL says aloud, "Oh, really, BWUB is 4 months pregnant?" So Wacky P didn't get to hear it first hand, and I guess my DH heard her make a comment in the background to the effect of, "Why did he wait 4 months to tell us?"

When she finally got on the phone, my DH said she seemed a little "tweaked" about the whole thing. About us not telling them sooner. About her finding out second hand. You know, things have to happen according to her rules.

I'm not sure exactly how much he told them, but he said he told them "the basics" about the embryo adoption. He doesn't want to send any of them a comic book. He said it would only open things up to more criticism.

She did congratulate him and she offered to buy us a car seat. I said to my husband, "Wow, those things are expensive, you know." He said, "Yeah, that's what she said." To which I just grinned and shook my head. Of course she mentioned to him that it would be expensive.

She also apparently offered to babysit the baby next summer while she is not working (she is a school nurse). Well, first of all, I hope to still be on maternity leave most of the summer. Second, I don't know, it sort of gives me the creeps to think about her being alone with my baby. I could imagine her putting my baby to her own breast, in some weird attempt to stimulate her breast milk. My mind is just twisted when it comes to her. Third, I don't want to "owe" her babysitting duties. Her kids drive me a little nuts...unless they want to come over here and watch TV....(ha ha ha).

Wacky P also told my DH that since men don't ever give birth, and most OB's are men who pull the baby out of you, she suggested I could get a midwife who will be more understanding and help me through it.

Ah - yes - here we go. Wacky P's know-it-all suggestions begin.

I couldn't quite gather whether Wacky P was recommending I have the midwife deliver the baby. I think so. And I know, really, I know, that many women love this idea and this option and look forward to having a midwife and want that experience. And they prefer to keep doctors at bay unless necessary. I have nothing against a woman choosing to do things the way she wants. If you want to use a midwife, I'll cheer you on.

But it's not my thing. I don't want someone I hardly know talking at me, touching me, coaching me or anything else. It's just not my style. I may not know the delivering OB or nurses very well either, but for me, that's fine. It's just the way I am. I was a nurse. I'm used to hospitals and nurses and equipment and doctors. Their presence comforts me. A touchy-feely midwife would make me nuts.

I told my husband that when I had my second miscarriage, after carrying for 11 weeks, it was just like labor (he was asleep, how would he know?). I had contractions 3 minutes apart. Of course the baby was just a peanut, but my body and uterus contracted and squeezed the shit out of my guts and I expelled everything in 12 hours - like giving birth. I had to focus and breathe and get through each wave of pain. I told him it was painful and exhausting and just going through that I know that I don't want anyone there touching me or talking to me when I give birth. Get the f*** away and let me do this. I have actually had the thought that I could possibly not even want my DH in the room - he's not good with blood or needles or anything like that. I don't want to have to think about or worry about taking care of him during the process! I haven't told him this, and I figure I'll just make that decision when the time comes.

See....and you all thought I was gentle and sweet. ha ha.

I know, maybe Wacky P was just trying to be nice and make a helpful suggestion. But my guard is permanently up when it comes to her and I am unable to see anything she says or does as innocent or well-intended.

So my MIL will be in town Halloween weekend. It will be Wacky P's daughter's 6th birthday. They want to have a get together. I foresee that I'll be explaining, defending, or putting a moratorium on questions about my position on everything from midwives to breastfeeding to TV programs for toddlers. Oh, so looking forward to it!

My poor DH. Then it will be the holidays. He says he's tired of "brokering relationships." When I asked what he meant, he said brokering the relationship between me and his family. He said he understands why I don't care to be around them much, and he admitted that they drain him of energy too. They're not relaxing people to be around. With the pregnancy and all, he hoped this might help bring us all a little closer. He said that Wacky P's kids don't have any cousins their age and family is important to her, and she'd probably like for "us all" to be closer for the sake of the kids.

I just don't see it happening. I reminded him that his family has never accepted me for who I am. They won't entertain the concept that I have my own ideas of tradition or holidays or anything else. They expect me to fit into the mold of what their family "always does" but are quick to judge my ways.

As an example, I said to my husband that if our house was big enough to host family Thanksgiving dinners, I would love it to be in the tradition I am used to. To me, Thanksgiving is magical and wonderful when the day starts with everyone watching the big parade on TV. Kids sitting cross-legged on the floor in front of the TV, excited when a giant Snoopy balloon appears. Then the men hang out together and watch the football games. You hear them occasionally cheer or shout. They drink beer. The kids play together somewhere. Giggles. The women work in the kitchen, talking and wearing aprons and taking pies out of the oven. Maybe sipping wine as they get the table ready. The women call the men to dinner and everyone gathers at the table. Talk is light. I hear the sound of my aunt's laughter and my dad saying something silly to my sister. It's just easygoing and cheerful. Afterward, the women take care of dishes and the men go back to the TV and football game. Somebody is snoozing on the couch. I know, very chauvinistic, but these are my memories.

Anyway, I told my DH this and he had to smile. OMG, TV with Wacky P?! Ha. NO.WAY.IN.HELL. Light and easy conversation? Not with that crowd.

I said, "See, she wants me to come to her house and do things her way. And that's fine. I'll do it. But she wouldn't return the favor if she came here." She'd make some snide comment or disparaging remark. So it's all well and good that they want family to be closer with each other. The problem is, they insist it be solely on their terms. So as far as I'm concerned, they don't play fair.

All I can say is it's been a heck of a week, and the rest of the year looks a little rocky too. But now I am mama bear! I will defend the interests of this baby and preserve our own family harmony. So, look out, Wacky P!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Long Post about Mom

My mom went home yesterday. I took her to the airport at about 3 o'clock.

And the guilt sets in.

I always have to sort through and manage my feelings of guilt after a visit with my mom.

She's my mom and I love her, yet...there is not much about her that I like very much. Add that to my character flaw of impatience, and it makes for perfect guilt breeding ground.

She is 64 years old going on a cranky 87. She is very negative, and most of what she likes to talk about is how annoyed she is with a neighbor, her homeowners' association, the clerk at the grocery store, something that a former co-worker did, how everything is a rip-off these days, etc., etc., etc.

She has virtually no friends. Her only friends are long-ago friends who live in other states. She is not social, has no interest in joining clubs, taking classes, participating in any group or having to interact with other people.

She is planning to retire and move here from Arizona to be nearer to me. No one wants to grow old alone, and she is virtually estranged from my two sisters who live in Texas and Massachusetts.

She has become a bit forgetful, I think because most of her activities include watching celebrity gossip TV shows and HGTV. She has no interest in current events, world issues, local politics or anything that requires critical thinking skills. She has a knee problem, so she is not very physically active. She's just a tiny bit overweight, but she groans and complains about physical aches and pains as though she's got one foot in the grave.

I'm just frustrated. I find it difficult to be around her for very long. It is difficult to listen to one negative, bitter tirade after another.

The purpose of this visit was to go around and look at possible places for her to live when she moves here. So I drove us all over town the past 4 days going mostly to new construction developments. If anyone knows of a new one story home in a neighborhood near me, with granite counter tops, big kitchen, open rooms, lots of storage, two car garage, large walk-in closets, nice big bathrooms with double sinks, three bedrooms, about 1800 square feet, no homeowners' association dues, 3% interest rate and a price tag of, say $225,000....would you please let me know. Or, perhaps you'll have better odds buying the winning lottery ticket. It's not like she's asking for much.

She did bring me bagfuls of infant clothes. Mostly used from my nephew (that he wore 20 years ago), but in perfect condition. We went to the stores once during her visit, and she aimed for the baby section, but would only touch, point out or comment on things that were pink, ruffled or said "Our little Princess" on them.

So I know my baby is a boy.

She also went to my Friday morning OB appointment with me. As we waited in the waiting room, a young mom had her 2 month old baby girl with her. She prepared to breastfeed the baby and draped a blanket over her shoulder. She position the baby and fed her for a few minutes until the receptionist called the young mom's name. The mom said, "Oh, just a minute please" and as she removed the baby from her breast she looked at us, smiled, and commented, "Just enough to get her through the appointment." I just smiled and nodded and said she had a cute baby.

My mom leaned over to me and said, "You're not going to nurse, are you?" I said, "Yes, of course I am!" She asked, "Well, how will I feed the baby?" The young mom, who was finally now standing and putting her baby in its stroller just grinned. I said, "Well, mom, I can put the milk in a bottle." She replied, "Oh."

When they called my name, my mom wanted to come too, which was fine with me. The girl first led me to the scale. I stepped up and she slid the weights until the lever balanced. I'm up a total of 11 pounds. I stepped off and the girl was already walking ahead of me down the hall, leading us to the exam room. My mom? Well, she said aloud, "Let's see who weighs more, mother or daughter?" and she climbed up on the scale to weigh herself! I said, "Mom! Get off of there, don't play with things! Let's go" and I just about grabbed her by the wrist and dragged her down the hall with me. As though everyone had the time to stand around and wait and think it was cute that my mom wanted to try out their scale! What was she thinking?

When I told my husband about the scale incident, he asked if I had any real concerns about my mom's ability to care for our child. I guess my mom is planning to be our day care provider. She did great with my nephew 20 years ago, but...well...she's older now. Not that 64 is old....but SHE is old. We didn't expect her to be our full-time caregiver, and when I mentioned this to her, she said, "Well, who else are you going to get?" And she basically argued that there is nothing else she will have to do. She doesn't want to get a part-time job. She doesn't want to join anything. She doesn't want to do anything. I don't think our child would be in danger with her. I don't think she'd forget him or leave him in the car or anything like that. She just doesn't really pay attention or think outside of her own little world.

So a few times over the course of the visit my patience wore thin. I snapped at her or responded with a short temper. Then I felt guilty. It's always this way. Love my mom, but feel frustrated, bored, exasperated, agitated, irritated....until I snap. The thing is, she thinks she's smart, clever, wise and that she and I think just alike.

So she has to go home and get her house ready to sell. She'd like to spend one last winter in Arizona and she thinks she'd probably move here sometime around May of next year. One thing is that she is a meticulous housekeeper and her home, which is 7 years old, is in perfect condition. So I think it will sell pretty quickly. In a way I'll be glad to have her here. I just hope she doesn't expect that I will want to spend all my spare time and weekends with her. Yes, of course, taking the baby and going with my mom to the park or a pumpkin patch or summer kite festivals will be fun. But I also need alone time with my family, my husband and child. Which is why I would prefer my mom to take an interest in something other than me and my family. To have a life of her own.

My husband thinks maybe the baby will give her something positive to think about for a change. Maybe it will help her be less negative and get her out more. I hope so. For everyone's sake.

I guess time will tell.