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

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. 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?!!!!

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.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

I've Been MIA

Frustrating, but not a true disaster.

We had a a pretty heavy duty storm here Tuesday. Rain all day, blowing sideways in gusty winds. Lots of tree branches down, some big limbs along tree-lined streets. Debris and leaves everywhere.

Our power was out when I got home from work. That was Tuesday at about 6 pm. Guess what? It just came back on today, Thursday, at 6:19 p.m.

Two nights in the dark. Two days without use of blow dryer or other electric hair implements. Um no coffee! Hello! This morning we threw away everything in the freezer and some of what was in the refrigerator. Wednesday morning I put on my makeup by flashlight. No landline phone (and unable to recharge cell except when driving). The candles we burned once evening fell began making me choke with smoke after a while. And of course, I was unable to use my computer.

Can I just say, it was not fun. Even my DH said, "If we just had use of a coffee maker, the refrigerator and one light in the living room, it would be like camping. We had less than that.

So it was a bit frustrating, and not fun to throw so much food away, but I just remembered and thought about the people who went through Hurricaine Katrina a few years ago. Okay, those people had it bad. So I can't complain.

My mom is in town. It's been okay so far. She and I cleaned up the back yard today, raking leaves and picking up branches and twigs. We've been out to eat a lot (obviously no cooking or refrigeration at my house the past few days).

I have a lot of catching up to do on all your blogs. I hope, hope, hope all is well. I've missed you.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Partying, Puking, and Family Matters

I went to a party Saturday night. A former co-worker of mine threw a huge surprise party for her partner. It was a 60's theme party to celebrate her partner's 50th birthday and being 5 years breast cancer free. Definitely reasons to celebrate!

My husband didn't go with me. He doesn't like crowds or noise or parties that last more than, say, 45 minutes. So I cut some ivy from our yard, stripped most of the leaves, twisted the vine into a wreath, added some pretty yellow and blue fake flowers, and had myself a flower child crown. I frizzed out my hair, wore some peace earrings and a tie-dyed peace t-shirt, and headed out the door.

The surprise went off beautifully and the party was a riot. Food, a bartender (of course I drank sparkling water), a DJ, karaoke (no, I don't sing, but enjoyed listening to others) and some old friends with whom I used to work. It was definitely loud, lots of laughter and dancing and J. Lennon glasses and headbands and fringed vests. Very cool.

I pulled my friend the hostess aside at one point. Took her into another room and shared the news of my pregnancy. She was overjoyed and hugged me and said all the right things. She also said (at least 3 or 4 times) how my DH and I would surely have a beautiful child, what with our Dutch/Irish genes. I do think we will have a beautiful child, but I'm pretty certain the baby won't look like either of us. :)

I'm glad I went to the party. I got home around 11:30 p.m.

Then I was up half the night with a puking dog. Yes, me. My husband did something while I was out that turned out not to be such a good idea. He fed her popcorn, heavily coated with garlic powder and Parmesan cheese. And I don't know what else. It made for a long night, lots of soiled towels and one sad-faced, heaving dog. We've decided not to feed them people food anymore. Ya think? This was a good lesson for him as to: You don't need to give her something just because she wants it.

My mom arrives Wednesday morning for a 4-day visit. I have an OB appointment Friday morning, but I don't think there will be an u/s. Just doppler. Which is fine with me. At our big gender determination u/s at the end of the month I want it just to be my DH and I there. Sad, eh?

My DH warned me last week that his mom would be calling over the weekend, wanting to talk to me. I said, "Talk to me about what?" And he said she wanted to congratulate me on the pregnancy. Well, she called, and I took the phone from him as I rolled my eyes. Actually, though, it wasn't too bad. I kept waiting for the really personal questions to come. The whole conversation felt palpably tense and awkward, but she only asked me very basic questions like how am I feeling and did I have any morning sickness and when is the baby due. Then she asked about my job and shortly thereafter we wrapped it up and I handed the phone back to my DH. Whew.

Now he just has to tell Wacky P! He thought it would be nice if I called her and shared the news (Wacky P is my sil, for those who may not know), but I swiftly declined. No way. I ran down the list for my DH of all the mean things she's said and done to me, and he agreed that he would tell her. Of course he has procrastinated more than a week now! Ha! Not so easy, even for the guy who has known her 40+ years.

This ought to be interesting.

Oh! I wrote that whole post above and realized I didn't address all of your guesses as to gender! Tomorrow I will respond!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Work, Part II and Getting Nutty

To answer a few questions about my previous post:

How much maternity leave do I get? I have no idea how long I'll be able to take. First, my probationary period is 12 months, so I won't even have completed that when the baby comes. I also won't qualify for FMLA benefits because I'll have worked there less than a year. But I believe that the state policy says I can take up to 12 months. Of course I won't have very much sick/vacation time by then. So I think it will depend on how long my DH and I can manage financially. Because I was laid off for 9 months and had to pay out of pocket for fertility treatments, our savings was hugely depleted. So....we'll see!

When will I spill the beans at work? Well, I guess 20 weeks should be time enough. Half way through the pregnancy will give my bosses sufficient notice.

As for telling co-workers, I've given it some thought. I want it to be as simple and low drama as possible. Of course I'll tell the bosses first. I could take care of the announcement to everyone else in one fell swoop during a staff meeting. I'd just casually toss it out there at the end of the meeting. You know, when the boss says, "Okay, that's all I have. Anybody have anything else?" I'd say, "I just wanted you all to know that I'm about ___ weeks pregnant and the baby is due around mid March." Then handle the fallout.

In other matters, I'm starting to get nutty about finding out the baby's gender!

Lorraine announced yesterday that she is having a boy!

One Small Wish found out she is having a girl!

Dawn learned that she too is having a girl!

And of course An Offering of Love's baby girl is due in just 3 weeks!

Conceiving Life After 40 is holding out (amazing!) until the birth to find out her baby's gender!

I'm SO ready to know! Son or daughter? Having a boy to even out the numbers above or adding to the girl list? I keep looking at my U/S pic and trying to decide if I think it looks more like a girl or a boy. Silly, huh? As though I could tell from the profile. But I want to know!

My gender-determining u/s isn't for another 3 weeks. Can I possibly wait that long? I am trying to be satisfied with the reassurance of the daily doppler. But I'm really ready to know.

Humor me, okay? Here is my most recent profile u/s (I think it was from 12 weeks). Just make a stab - make a guess...boy or girl?

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Two Month Review

Interesting how workplace drama begins to unfold once you've been at a new job for a while.

Here are a few of the characters in my office:

LazyGuy. He delegates work that he (as the lawyer) should be doing (like drafting discovery) to non-lawyer support staff. He managed to get several of his cases transferred to me...cases he's had in his possession for four months but had not yet even read the case file. Oh, and he strolls in around 9:30 each morning and leaves between 3:30 and 4:30. Nice.

CandyMonster. This is the guy who sticks his hand into the candy jar located on the reception desk about 20 times a day. The candy jar is filled by those who generously buy candy with their own money, and include mostly secretaries (note: those who have the lowest salary in the office). I've filled the jar a couple of times too. CandyMonster? No, he's never brought in anything to contribute to the candy jar. He just takes.

DeceptiveReceptionist. Our receptionist is deceptive in appearance only. He is in his 30's. His head is shaved bald. He has tattoos on his neck and arms. He is a rather stout fellow and I was a little afraid of him at first. But it is deceptive. He is soft spoken and polite and patient and a good guy. He says "Hello, Miss Betsy" when I arrive in the morning. He jokes good naturedly with the guy who delivers the mail each day. He has a 10 year old daughter I hear him talking to softly and sweetly on the telephone. Looks can be deceiving!

NeedyGirl. Young secretary who seems to crave constant attention. She'll pop into my office to tell me how she's unhappy with her body and feeling overweight. All 5'0" and 97 pounds of her. Or how she SO would love a cup of coffee but she's given up $5 name brand coffee. Um. Ok. Sorry, babe.

CoolLady. Secretary in her 50's who has a big ole crush on A-dam L amb.ert (from Amer. Idol). Pictures of him are taped all over her cubicle! She's spunky and cool and funny and I enjoy life when she's around.

My boss is pretty nice and easygoing. I stay busy, work hard and try not to worry too much about what's going on around me. If I keep doing that, I figure I'll rise to the surface pretty quickly in that office. It's just interesting to sit in my office and watch so many things play out in the hallway. I notice them, make a mental note (you never know when or how information will come in handy down the road) and go back to work.

And btw, they still don't know I'm pregnant. And I still don't know how I'm going to tell them. But when I do, I want them to think: "Really? Wow, she never whined or complained or needed special attention...she just worked hard and stayed focused."

At least that's what I hope they'll think.

Saturday, October 3, 2009


I added a new pregnancy widget. Information at a glance!

Spilling the Beans
We told my circle of IRL friends about the pregnancy at a house party on Sunday. I wasn't sure what I was going to say, but I brought my U/S photos with us. After we had eaten and everyone was just relaxing and talking, I got the envelope and told them I had some photos to show them. I pulled out the most recent u/s pic, held it up for them all to see and just said, "Well, here's our baby at 14 weeks." There was some squealing. Then I started handing around the photos for everyone to see. My friends were sweet and congratulatory and the women wanted to touch my belly (which was fine with me).
The men shook my husband's hand. One of the women said, "I thought you'd gained some weight but I didn't want to say anything." Overall it went pretty well. We didn't say a thing about the embryo adoption or IF or miscarriages or any of that. It was too chaotic with too many people (including one question-asker that rivals my MIL) and I don't want to share all of the details with all of them anyway.

I also telephoned and told my younger sister about the pregnancy. When I described the process of egg donation (which is part of our story to the extent that donor eggs helped make our embryos), she zeroed in on the donor issue. She thought $10,000 - $12,000 would not be enough money to compensate someone for donating 10-20 eggs because such donation would surely hasten the donor's onset of menopause by that many months.

She reasoned that if women are born with all the eggs they will ever have, and she gives dozens away, her menopause will occur as many months sooner as number of eggs she donated. My sister was fixated on this. I don't think she's correct though, because I think we have immature eggs available long after menopause, but we lack sufficient hormone concentrations to mature those eggs. So I think it's an age/availability of hormone issue rather than an egg depletion issue. Anyone out there research this?

At any rate, my sister did congratulate me and was as excited as she is able to get over anything that doesn't directly involve her.

And More Names
Unbelievably my DH and I found TWO boys' names that we both like! This is a landmark achievement, I tell you. We are certainly not settled on it, but it appears that if we have a boy, he will have a name!

Trying to Wait
Finally, I must admit, I'm starting to get excited about learning the baby's gender. I listen to that heartbeat every day and I want to attach an identity to it. My son. My daughter. I want to know who is in there! We'll find out in 25 more days. Unless of course I get Dr. Green at my OB appointment on the 16th and can talk him into taking a peek!

Friday, October 2, 2009

The Blessing of a Journey Shared

It's October. How I love autumn.

The days have just begun to cool off here. The mornings are chilly enough to cause my DH to put on a long-sleeved fleece pullover (although he'll continue to wear shorts in the house through the winter). He even went to the store to buy me a canister of instant hot chocolate that I keep in a drawer at work.

The season changes. Time marches on. Where has it gone?

I started this blog in April. It's been six months.

So much has happened.

I've met wonderful blog-sisters. How you've changed and enriched my life!

I've followed your cycles. Your lives. Your successes. Your losses.

I learned an entire dictionary of IF terms and abbreviations (I still remember wondering for the longest time what "AF" was and one day it finally dawned on me).

I forged my own way through a cycle, only to be sorely disappointed when it was cancelled. You were there to console and help me keep going.

I went on to have a successful cycle. And here we are, 16 weeks later, and I'm listening to my baby's heartbeat daily.

I tried my hand at growing my first garden. We watched as those skinny green legs first sprouted from the dirt, then grew into full fledged plants. They leafed out, they bloomed, they fruited. The remnants of those plants have now been plowed under.

I struggled with worries about a new pregnancy.

I waited and watched and hoped and prayed and listened as each of you traveled your own journey.

And I think of each of you now, and where you are in your lives. Some have had their babies. Some are about to. Some are pregnant and half way or more through their pregnancies. Some are newly pregnant. Some are waiting to start a cycle. Some are just waiting. One had 2 beautiful embies transferred TODAY (congratulations, EB!). Some may be deciding whether to keep trying at all.

But wherever we are, geographically, in our lives, in our cycles, in our pregnancies, in our hopes, in our wonderings, in our concerns....we continue to be together. Bound by these experiences we have chosen to share with each other. And we continue to return, on a regular basis, because each of us has found that what we give and what we receive in this blogworld, is something precious and wonderful and irreplaceable.

The kindness of a friend. Support, understanding, acceptance and encouragement without judgment. The knowledge that we are not alone, that we are cared for, that someone is thinking about us and wishing us well. That people worry about us.

These are the real treasures of life.

So as the leaves turn color and begin to drift earthward, I consider all of these things and send a silent prayer of gratitude and joy into the universe. Thank you all for sharing your journey with me.