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 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?