Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Because I’m THAT tough!

Savvy or stupid? You decide. You know that foot surgery I’ve been talking about for months? I had it done yesterday. Just 4 weeks after my c-section. But really, I had some very good reasons for having it done so soon. The biggest reason was financial. My insurance co-pays and deductibles are increasing a lot for 2010. And I have already paid my out of pocket maximum for 2009. So having the surgery in this calendar year costs me NOTHING out of pocket. If I were to have it even next week, it would likely have cost me somewhere in the neighborhood of $1,000 in co-pays and deductibles. Also, I just wanted to get it over with. I’m sick and tired of this foot pain.

So yesterday, before the ass crack of dawn, my mother drove me and the baby to the orthopedic hospital. I was told to be there at 6:30am. (BTW, I still haven’t thought of a permanent blog nickname for baby girl, but for the moment I am calling her Squeaky. I’m very lucky, she hardly ever really cries, but when she fusses she makes these little squeaky noises.) Knowing that the surgery would be done with twilight anesthesia and an ankle block, and that I would be pumping and dumping for 24 hours, I wanted to be able to nurse her until the last possible moment when they took me to pre-op. Both the man who took care of the initial paperwork and the nurse who was to escort me to pre-op suggested I nurse in the bathroom. Ummm, no. I didn’t use the bathroom in the waiting area, but according to my mother, there wasn’t even a chair in there. Did they expect me to sit on the toilet to breastfeed? Ewwww! I was wearing a nursing top and had a blankie to drape. I was appropriately discrete in the waiting area.

Then the nurse took me to pre-op, where the surgeon stopped by to initial my foot with a marker to indicate which one he was operating on. He was impressed with how well I’m doing after such a recent c-section. (Hey, 10 weeks of self administered PIO, I’m tough as nails.) The anesthesiologist, a resident, and a PA all came by to go over things and have me sign even more paperwork. I peed in a cup for (bwahahahahaha!) a pregnancy test. Turns out I was very lucky it was negative, as it would not have been unusual to get a positive so soon after delivering, and if it was positive, despite the fact that we know I’m not pregnant, I would have had to fill out a shitload of additional paperwork, possibly delaying the surgery. (Geez, what a sentence. Maybe I shouldn’t blog on percocet.)

I walked to the OR. They got a step stool for me to get on the table. Started the IV, and off to dreamland. Woke up in recovery, where they gave me a nice tuna sandwich. After a while in recovery, they took me to another area where a physical therapist gave me a quick lesson in crutches. Then they let my mother come back with Squeaker. Gimme my baybee!!! The surgeon came by and said everything went well and of course he admired my beeyootiful baby, and we were allowed to leave. It must have been quite a confusing site at the orthopedic hospital to see the woman being wheeled out in a wheelchair carrying a little baby. (They do not have an obstetrics dept.)

Went home and pumped (and dumped) and napped. In the evening, despite some pain and under the influence of percocet, I finished the design of Squeaker’s birth announcement and uploaded it to the printer. Because I’m THAT tough! ;-)

That was my Monday. How was yours?

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

About Babywearing. Plus Camera Advice Requested. AND A PICTURE!

Thanks for all the great comments. Sorry I’ve been a terrible commenter. I’ve been reading, but it’s hard to comment more than a few words here and there.

About all the babywearing suggestions. I actually have 4 options. I have a Hotsling, a maya wrap, a Moby wrap, and an Ergo carrier with the infant insert. 3 of them hand me downs, 1 a gift. A big part of the problem is how constantly she wants to nurse. She’ll nod off while nursing, I’ll burp her, then I keep her upright for a while to keep spitting up to a minimum, but often within 5 minutes of taking her off the boob, she’ll be awake again and rooting for more. This literally goes on for hours. I’m sore! When I can wear her, the Hotsling is easiest around the house, since it’s the easiest to take on and off. But it’s the hardest on my back.

It’s really amazing how she’ll seem to be out cold in my arms for quite a while, but within 2 minutes of gently putting her down, she’s fussing or crying. I am not going to let my 3 week old CIO. (BTW, anyone have a good comeback for the idiots well meaning people who tell me I shouldn’t spoil her? Spoil a newborn! Puleeze!)

Re camera advice, I have a decent “point and shoot,” but have been thinking about getting a digital SLR to take better pictures of my cutie pie. Any suggestions for a moderately priced camera?

Here’s a little cuteness for you all.

Happy holidays from us!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Seriously, this ROCKS!

I’m tired, but not horribly sleep deprived. I’ve managed 3 showers in the last 2 1/2 weeks, but I don’t care. My daughter can gnaw at my boobs for hours at a time, and when she’s not nursing or sleeping, only wants to be held. It makes it hard to type. When she’s sleeping, I’m either trying to sleep myself, or getting something done around the apartment. Still feeling guilty about the list of thank you notes that is getting longer. But ya know, when I have a few minutes, the sink full of dirty dishes (or other household chore) needs attending. Or I'm trying to eat something. I admit to getting cookie crumbs in baby girl’s hair the other day, munching while nursing. I’m pleased with myself today because I managed to finish filling out the FMLA paperwork. Tomorrow’s goal is taking care of my insurance stuff. Adding baby girl to my plan, and making flex spending and dependent child care account decisions. (Hate the “use it or lose it” aspect of this.)

Ummm, newborns are really demanding. But I am so madly in love with her, and am drinking in her baby sweetness. Her skin is truly the softest thing I’ve ever felt. Her cheeks and belly are getting rounder. So smoochable! I can’t describe the feeling I get when she’s content with a full belly, and just gazes at me. I love being her mommy!

Oh, I know this post is all over the place, but it’s what I can manage right now. I will write the obligatory birth post when I can. BTW, I highly recommend the Itzbeen for new, sleep deprived moms.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Perfect Moment Monday — Satisfaction

I haven’t participated in Perfect Moment Monday before, but I’m too overwhelmed with my amazing 8 day old daughter to write a longer post, and I wanted to share this moment.

I think baby girl is getting ready for a growth spurt. She wanted to nurse for HOURS last night. At one point after sucking steadily for about 30 minutes, she let go of my nipple, turned her head to the side, smacked her lips, and let out a satisfied, “Aaaaaah!”

These are the moments I want to remember. I’ve waited so long for her, I want to drink in these simple moments.

She's sleeping next to me right now, but I've been hearing the unmistakable sounds of her filling her diaper. So I'm off to partake in another mommy moment.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Here She Is!!!!

Much to tell you all, but a bit overwhelmed right now. Baby girl was born one week ago. She is a delightful baby. When she fusses, all she needs is a quick cuddle or a boob, and she's great. I want to protect her privacy, so will not be using her name here. I am posting a photo with her name embedded in it, but that way it's not in the text and not searchable.

I'm taking suggestions on what to call her here. I could just call her S, but certain bloggers (Aunt Becky ;-)) have said they find that annoying. So help me out here.

I will write more when I can. Enjoy the deliciousness.

BTW, I had decided on her second middle name before I found out that a certain famous mommy blogger had given her second daughter that name.

Monday, November 30, 2009

She's Perfect!!!!!!!

My daughter arrived via c-section at 10:40 pm on November 29th. She's gorgeous! I'm madly in love. I will probably post her name embedded in a photo the way Calliope did after W's birth, so it's not searchable. So you'll have to wait for that. And for more details, as I'm posting this from my iTouch. I may try to convince my mother to bring my MacBook from my apartment, but I'm not going to count on her cooperation with that. So you may have to wait until Thursday for a photo and details.

It still feels surreal. Right now she is in the nursery being further cleaned up and checked out, but then she will be with me. Feeling her soft baby skin against mine is the most wonderful feeling.

Holy crap, I'm a mommy!!!!!!

Sunday, November 29, 2009


Well, I thought I was leaking some amniotic fluid last night, but wasn't sure. Had some lower abdominal cramping, but no contractions. Called my doula, but not the dr. The cramping kept me up most of the night, so after talking to the doula again this morning, I called the dr's office. They said to come in. I expected that, but didn't think much of it, since I hadn't had any contractions. Baby girl was and has continued to wiggle around. I took my time getting ready. Ate some Thanksgiving leftovers and took a shower. I really expected them to check me out and send me home. So I stopped at Starbux to pick up a coffee and a blueberry scone, and took the subway in. That will make for some story for my girl to tell about her birth.

Anyway, when I arrived, I could hear the dr on call talking about me down the hall. They expected me much sooner. Sure enough, my water has broken, but I am not even a cm dialated. I've been admitted, and pitocin has been started. Looks like I'm having a November baby!

Will keep you all posted as I can.


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Long Awaited Update

As of today, 37 weeks 2 days! Although I really don't look it. She is measuring perfectly. As of my u/s last Monday (at 36 weeks) she was estimated at 6lbs 5oz. 60th percentile. But when the OB walked into the exam room last Friday, she looked at me and said, "Where are you hiding her?" I think she's hiding against my tailbone, since that's where it hurts!

Sorry to keep you all waiting. I’ve been trying to wrap things up at work and just haven’t able to get anything much done otherwise. The thank you notes that need to be written are taunting me. I feel sooooo guilty about that. Baby girl has received so many beautiful, heartfelt gifts. I'm so incredibly touched. This is going to be one well dressed little girl!

Well, my placenta has moved sufficiently for me to be cleared for a vaginal birth. YAY! But still, being cleared for it doesn’t mean it will happen that way. I really have no great hopes and dreams for the birth other than delivering a healthy baby. (Oh, except could it please not hurt too much?) My blood pressure on the other hand, remains somewhat elevated. I did a 24 hour urine collection (oh, joy!), which showed some protein. Word from the OB yesterday was to continue to monitor my bp with my home monitor, and come in to L&D if it goes over 140/90, or if I have any other symptoms of preeclampsia. She suggested I use evening primrose oil vaginally (5 capsules up the vag at bedtime, prometrium flashbacks), to help soften the cervix in case she needs to induce me. Been doing that since the weekend. I also have an appointment with my acupuncturist next week. I haven’t seen her since I’ve been pregnant. I will have her do points to get labor rolling.

So I think this baby’s going to be here soon!!!! OMG!!!!

In the meantime, I hate to whine, but I am so uncomfortable. Commuting is a killer. Any walking causes lots of low back and round ligament pain. Putting on socks is REALLY hard. (Although, truly one of the few things that has been annoying about doing this as an SMC. I've been very at peace with that aspect. Particularly hearing about friends' marital difficulties lately.) So glad to have this upcoming 4 day weekend. I have told them at work that unless I go into labor sooner, next Wednesday will be my last day.

Oh, she had hiccups this morning. So cute.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Mel’s Show and Tell — Continuity

I do have an update, but I’ve been swamped at work and exhausted otherwise. All is well. Update soon.

I started commuting on the NYC subway at age 14 to go to high school. Since that was over 20 years ago, you could say I’m a seasoned subway rider. Much has changed on the NYC subways, but much has stayed the same. I want to share a rare pleasure of my years of commuting with you all. There is not much that is a pleasure about commuting by subway.

When I was in high school, there was a young man who played violin in the subway station near my high school. He was very good. It was always a pleasure to listen to him amidst the dirty station, and the clanging, screeching trains. He was also pretty damn cute! He always had a smile for everyone, and was so practiced at playing for a moving pedestrian audience, that he could carry on a quick conversation without missing a note on his violin. Impoverished teenager that I was, I still usually found some change for him.

Over the years (decades!!) I have run into him playing at various subway stations. He always seemed to remember me as a longtime listener (of which I’m sure there are very many). But it’s still nice to see his smile of recognition when he sees me. As an adult, I put paper money in his violin case.

For the last few years I have mainly seen him playing in Grand Central Station. In the last few months, as my belly has grown, I’ve seen him on my way to work and stopped to chat a bit. I was running late this morning when I saw him, so we just exchanged some smiles, a wave from me, and a shout out from him as he continued playing seamlessly. As I waddled to my office, I thought I’d like to share James with you all for Show and Tell. So go take a look and listen to his website. BTW, he’s still pretty damn cute!

Don’t forget to check out what the rest of the class is showing!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

A Trip to Labor and Delivery

No worries. Baby girl and I are fine, and she’s still floating in utero. Just got a little wake up call on Monday that I really am in the home stretch.

Was sitting in a meeting at work Monday morning and realized my ring was tight. Didn’t really think much of it. Just yanked it off with a bit of difficulty and switched it to my pinkie. A couple of hours later I’m on the table at the physical therapist, waiting for him to work on my feet, when I realize that my fingers are actually quite a bit swollen and feel stiff. I asked the PT if he had a blood pressure cuff. He did, and checked my bp. 140/82. Throughout my pregnancy, my bp has been steady at about 110/70. Still didn’t really give it too much thought. I had plans after work to go up to the OB’s office for “meet the drs” night. An opportunity to meet the other drs in the practice, so I won’t have a complete stranger delivering baby girl if my OB isn’t on call when the time comes. So, when I got back to my office I called the OB’s secretary, explained that my bp was a bit high and asked if my OB could see me for a few minutes before the “meet the drs” event. The secretary said she would have a nurse call me back.

A nurse called me back pretty quickly. I explained the situation, and she said I should come in to labor and delivery and get checked out. My boss was in a meeting, so I popped my head in to let him know I was heading to the hospital. Hmmm, suddenly I was a bit light headed. Honestly, I think I just got nervous because the nurse said to come in.

When I arrive at the hospital a security guard asks where I’m going. I tell him, and he asks if I’m there to visit someone. I give him a funny look and point to my 8 month belly. “Oh, I didn’t see it.” I know I’m carrying kind of small, but come on! Get up to L&D, which is VERY busy. The receptionist said that Monday’s are the busiest days. Waited nearly an hour for a room. Peed in a cup, had the bp cuff and the belly monitor strapped on. Soon I’m listening to the reassuring thump thump of my daughter’s heartbeat. I’m told there’s some protein (+1) in my urine and that my bp is close to normal. Hang out for over an hour an a half on the monitor. (Thank goodness for wifi in the hospital. I read blogs on my iTouch. No cell phone reception, but wifi.) Intern takes my info. She’s confused and curious after looking at my chart about why I was on lovenox until week 8. Well, sweetie, you obviously haven’t done your hematology rotation yet or studied much reproductive endocrinology. It was a “let’s try adding this and see if it makes a difference” kind of thing.

Then the resident comes in and does a quick abdominal u/s. Everything looks good. I’m told everything is basically fine and that I’m having some mild contractions, which, BTW, I’m not feeling. I’m told this is to be expected at 35 weeks. Resident then says he wants to check my cervix. I tell him NO! I was given strict instructions from my OB when discussing the placenta issues at 28 weeks that if I came in for anything, I was absolutely not to let anyone do an internal exam. The u/s wand was fine, but nothing else up the vag. “Oh,” said the resident. “You’re right. Thanks.” Sure, kid, but you should have known that from my chart. He told me the attending would be by and then I could go home. He said the attending might want to order some bloodwork and/or a 24 hour urine collection. I got dressed and waited. And waited. Meanwhile, without the monitor thumping away loudly, I can now hear women moaning in labor. YIKES!

Finally, the attending arrives. So at least I got to meet one other dr in my OB’s practice. He’s very personable. Grimaces at the sound of the woman in the next room moaning and says, “You shouldn’t have to hear that yet.” I joke, “Yeah, if I have to listen to that, I want the epidural NOW!” He gets bonus points when he says it breaks his heart to hear the moaning and excuses himself briefly to check on her. When he returns I tell him I have a NST and u/s scheduled for next Monday, and ask if he wants to run any other tests or if I should get in to see my OB before then. He says no, Monday is soon enough, that I’m healthy and should just go home and relax. He suggested I get a home blood pressure monitor and keep an eye on my bp.

I go home and order in a meatball hero. Probably not the best choice considering the bp spike, but I was HUNGRY!

So there you have it. My little labor and delivery adventure. I took the day off work Tuesday and am taking off tomorrow. Next week I will try to just push through, as my boss leaves for a 2 week vacation as of next Thursday. I will have more info on the placenta after Monday’s u/s, but it could be any time now! I MUST FINISH DECLUTTERING MY APARTMENT! I have arranged for someone (a struggling young actress who need the money) to come over for 3 hours on Sunday to help. Since I really can’t pick things up off the floor anymore. Well, I can, but then I need to rest for 10 minutes. I’ve been putting this off because I hate the idea of just supervising someone dealing with my mess, and thought I could do it myself, but I have to admit that I just can’t anymore.

Oh yeah, in other news, Mushy is sick again. Waiting to hear back from the vet about the $500 worth of tests that were run on Tuesday. Fortunately, he didn’t have to stay at the vet’s. The vet gave him some sub-cutaneous fluids and a cortisone shot, and he seems better. But it’s upsetting knowing that when he was SOOOOO sick six months ago we never figured out what was wrong.

Also wondering when my surprise work shower will be. Yeah, I know, but that’s how they do it in my office. It’s a surprise, but they do it for everyone who gets married or has a baby. And they take up a collection. I’m hoping it will make a dent in the damn vet bill.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The Canadian Surprise!

Surprise is an understatement. Stunned. Flabbergasted. I also rather like the British expression, gobsmacked.

My baby shower was this past Sunday. It was not a surprise shower. Nonetheless, I got an enormous surprise. I walked into my friend’s house to find an unfamiliar, yet somehow familiar, woman standing there expectantly. I attribute my confusion to the fact that we’ve never met face to face, she’s thinner than pictures I’ve seen, her hair is different, and she didn’t have a pair of redheaded four year olds with her.

Have you figured it out? YES!!!! My embryo donor, my friend, my sister by choice, my daughter’s Aunt Kathy!!!!!! She flew down from Canada just for the day to attend my shower. I think the only reason I didn’t cry was that I was so stunned. I did squeal and hug her tightly. There were lots of hugs throughout the afternoon.

My daughter and I are so lucky and so loved!

The shower was wonderful, although my head was spinning all afternoon. I’m planning to send out emails to other guests apologizing for not talking to them that much, I just couldn’t get enough of Kathy! And as if she hasn’t already given me the ultimate gift, she is an incredibly talented knitter and quilter, and knitted a gorgeous baby blanket and hat, and made a stunning quilt. Oh, and she shopped. Among (MANY) other things, baby girl has an adorable sleeper emblazened with “Canada” across the front. Because that’s where she was carefully placed into mommy’s uterus.

So gorgeous!!!

I received so many lovingly chosen gifts. This is going to be one well dressed little girl. It was a wonderful celebration for my little miracle.

After the shower we loaded up the loot and gave Kathy a ride to the airport. I was really glad for this extra time for us to talk. We discussed when we would get together again with all the kids. I can’t wait to meet her twins, and I’m looking forward to seeing Kathy cuddle this girl I’m carrying.

There’s so much more to this, but words really are inadequate. I will just say again how loved I feel.

BTW, another blogger helped Kathy facilitate the surprise. She asked Kristin to surreptitiously get the email address of the friend who hosted the shower well before the invites were sent. I didn’t suspect a thing!

My niece trying on the breastfeeding pillow. She's actually starting to get little bitty breasts! YIKES!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Mel’s Show and Tell — The Kindness of Strangers

I haven’t participated in Show and Tell for a while, but I’ve been meaning to post about this.

I have been very blessed on this journey. Of course it’s been hard. Physically and emotionally. But had I not had gone down this difficult road to motherhood, I would not have known all of YOU! A woman who started out as stranger who read my blog, gave me the ultimate gift of life and has become family. I had thousands of dollars worth of gonal-f donated to me that enabled me to have my “closure” cycle with my eggs. I’ve received thoughtful gifts from other bloggers. (YAY for lucky socks!) And, oh my! Let’s not forget the massage therapist who came to my hotel room the night before my first donor FET courtesy of a blogger. Oh, I know I’m forgetting things, but those are not the focus of the story I want to tell today.

I talk to strangers. On checkout lines, on the subway, elevators, etc. While on the subway on my way to my little vacation in August, I struck up a conversation with a sweet 8 year old girl and her father. We started chatting on the platform and continued talking on the train. During the conversation I mentioned that I most of the big things for baby girl have been hand me downs. Which I am quite happy about. Infant things get outgrown so quickly, they often show no wear at all. (Not to mention the environmental benefit of not getting everything new.) I mentioned a neighbor I became friends with at the local Starbux who passed on the infant car seat and stroller frame, and a bouncy seat that her daughter has outgrown. (She’ll be at my shower this weekend, and next weekend I’ll attend her daughter’s first birthday party.) The father said, “You know, we have a stroller that we never used. We took it out of the box, but my wife preferred to carry her. I’d be happy to give it to you.” I was kind of stunned, but took his email address. After I got back from my trip I kept meaning to email him, but usually thought about it when I was not at the computer. Eventually I did email him, and about two weeks ago he brought the stroller over. He wasn’t kidding when he said they NEVER used it. It still has plastic wrapped around the handle.

I don’t have a picture of the actual stroller, as I wrapped it in plastic and put it in my basement storage room for now. But with a quick google images search, I found a photo.

This lovely former stranger simply requested that I email him a picture of the baby once she arrives. No problem!!

The world is a good place!

Don’t forget to check what the rest of the class is showing.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

What A Difference A Year Makes

One year ago today I wrote this post. I’d just gotten word that a possible embryo donation situation was not meant to be. I was still trying to complete one IVF cycle with my poor old eggs, even though I knew my chances of success were well under 5%. I felt rejected and dejected.

So I wrote about how I was feeling. I asked how people would feel about donating embryos to a single woman. As you can see, I received thoughtful, caring comments. One of those commenters has changed my life completely. (This is such an understatement! When I first read the comment I felt heartened, but I truly had no expectations that it would lead anywhere. Three days later I received an email from her basically saying, “Let’s talk.” Did we ever!

Today I am merely weeks from meeting this gift. Today this gift is doing a dance routine in my uterus. There is so much more to say, but words simply can’t do justice to my overwhelming feelings.


Sunday, October 25, 2009

Darling daughter, would you please stop kicking mommy in the stomach?

Sorry, this is kind of gross.

First time barfing during this pregnancy, and it's in the third trimester! Baby girl is head down and likes to stretch out. I'm short, so her feet have been right up against my stomach and diaphragm. My reflux had been under control until recently (thank you, nexium), but no more. Particularly when I lie down. Once I lay down, I've been regurgitating. Even when it's been quite a while since I ate. I've raised the head of the bed a bit, which was helping somewhat. But for some reason, last night was bad. I kept having to sit up quickly as I felt the gorge rise. Then at one point it was too much ... mad dash for the porcelain.

Is this what I get for dodging morning sickness?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

32 Week Update — A Personal Milestone

Sorry I haven’t updated or kept up much with commenting. Been busy at work, then either crashing when I get home or decluttering/cleaning. Boy, do I have a lot of crap I don’t need or use. I’m not a hoarder by nature, but stuff just accumulates so quickly.

So, 32 week appt and u/s yesterday. I really don’t look 32 weeks pregnant. I’m not a skinny girl, and never expected to be carrying small, but I guess you never know. Even my OB said I don’t look like I’m 32 weeks. I still have no idea what I weigh (I don’t want to know what I gained from treatments and stress while TTC), but I have gained 19 lbs since my first OB appt. (I get on the scale backwards and have the nurse just tell me the difference since the last appt.)

Ultrasound was after OB appt. Even thought the belly is small, baby girl is measuring perfectly. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this, but I was a preemie. I was born at 32 weeks and weighed 4 lbs. The u/s tech estimated my daughter at about 4 lbs, 4 oz yesterday. 60th percentile. I know it’s just an estimate, but it feels good to think that she’s already a little bigger than I was when I entered the world. Even though I know it doesn't correlate that a preemie would have a preemie, I'm relieved to get this far and have her looking so good.

Placenta has moved up a little bit. Tech said she would call it “low lying” rather than previa. But she’s not the dr. I put in a call this morning to have my OB call me to discuss the u/s results. Haven’t heard back yet. Next u/s and first NST scheduled for 4 weeks from now.

OMG!!! I’M GOING TO HAVE A BAYBEEEEE!!!! I suppose I should realize that from the way she’s rockin’ and rollin’ in there, but it still feels surreal. Watching my belly move is really strange (and wonderful).

I’m getting excited about my shower. It’s less than 2 weeks away. I’m looking forward to celebrating this miracle. My BFF (since we were 14) is hosting, but I designed the invite (and printed them on the color laser printer at work). I’m rather proud of how they came out, so here it is with pertinent info blurred out.

My feet are AWFUL!! So bad yesterday that I used a cane to go to work today. Don’t really think the cane helps much, but it might help me get that seat on the subway. Come on … ya gotta get up for the preggo with a cane!!!

So that’s the deal on Dora’s Bump Watch, etc. What’s up with you? BTW, I got a really cute (BRAND NEW) maternity coat on ebay. (Bought it in August, so it would be cheaper.) If anyone thinks they’ll be just about ready for a maternity coat in January, let me know. I should be able to fit into my regular Winter coat fairly quickly and would be happy to pass it on to someone who can use it for the rest of the season.

Friday, October 9, 2009


I think Wilson likes baby girl's swing.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Presents Are FUN!

Considering I am becoming a mom having bypassed the wedding and accompanying bridal shower, I have to say, I am LOVING receiving baby gifts! I have already received gifts from two awesome bloggers. (BTW, you two, thank you notes are coming. I have some in my desk at work and some in my purse. I really don’t have a good excuse, but I will write them and mail them.)

I had a difficult day at work today. We’re working on some things for the big bosses, and whenever we do, my boss gets VERY uptight. I’m uncomfortable and cranky, add my boss’s anxiety to that mix and I get even crankier! So, I’m dragging myself home on my poor, sore feet, and to my delight, find a big box waiting for me in front of my apartment door. Baby girl’s beautiful, fancy, shmancy swing!!! Miss Strawberry Shortcake and I are so lucky and so loved. This past Saturday I got a phone call from a very dear friend saying that she and her daughter were looking at my registry (ummm, actually one of them, I have three, ‘cause I’m just a nut (more on that later)), and wanted to know if it was okay to buy a fancier swing than the one I registered for. How sweet is that!?!? The swing that arrived today is absolutely beautiful! I will leave it in the box for now, so the cats don’t appropriate it. I’m sure there will be a steady stream of visitors coming over to meet my girl when she comes home, I figure I will put one of them to work assembling the swing.

So, here’s the part of the post where I ask the internets for advice and opinions. About all the baby stuff! Most of the big items I'm getting as hand me downs. That truly suits me just fine. I’m so thrilled about finally having the child I’ve wanted … well, FOREVER, that having all brand, spanking, new baby stuff just isn’t important. I registered for the least expensive swing because, as much as I enjoy presents, some friends and family members are struggling in this difficult economy. About my nutty three registries: I first registered at one of the big chains (went to the store with my family, my niece insisted on being in charge of the scanner), but then I was talking to a friend who said I should register with the other big baby chain, because some people prefer to go to the store rather than shopping online, and this chain has more locations. Then, because I really am not a big chain store fan, I registered on after reading about it on Lori and Chicklet’s All Thumbs Reviews blog. Wishpot is awesome! You download a button to your browser, then you can be on any website (YAY, Etsy!) and just click the button to add items to your list. So tell me dear mom friends, since I’m basically covered for the big stuff, what odds and ends did you find invaluable? Any toy that your baby was particularly captivated by? For instance, my friend who got me the swing said her kids loved the Lamaze mirror. Something I wouldn’t have thought of.

Looking forward to your suggestions!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Inclusive Yet Sensitive. What Would You Do? *UPDATED*

Oh, my ALI compatriots, I need your advice. My baby shower will probably be in about 4 1/2 weeks (still firming this up with my friend who’s hosting). We all know how difficult baby showers can be when still struggling with family building. For the most part, this is not an issue for most of the friends I am inviting. But there are a few. I’ve read blog posts and posts on message boards about some people really feeling hurt when not invited to these events (even if they didn’t want to attend). They did not like being treated as too fragile to handle it, and felt excluded. So … I want to invite these friends, but I also want to somehow be VERY CLEAR that it’s absolutely fine if they decline the invitation. As much as I would love having them there, I do not want to cause them any pain. I know these friends are happy for me, but in no way does that mitigate their pain.

My thought was to send them individual emails just before the invitations go out, letting them know to expect the invite, and that I COMPLETELY understand if they don’t want to come. I would also like to give them some options, like waiting until the last minute to decide if they’re feeling up to attending, or dropping by briefly if they’re comfortable with that. There will be yummy food. My friend, Donor Daddy, will be making frittatas with eggs from the chickens on his farm, and there will be booze (I’m thinking makings for mimosas).

What do you think? Any suggestions for the emails?

*UPDATED in response to comments from Niki and BabySmiling*

There will absolutely be NO STUPID SHOWER GAMES!!! Ewwwww! Barf! My BFF, who is hosting the shower, had her DE son last Fall. There were no games at her shower. I will remind her that I don't want such things, but I can't imagine her planning for them. I was kind of shocked at her bridal shower 2 years earlier, when a friend insisted on making the paper plate/ribbons and bows from presents hat. Puleeeeeze!

And there will be other non-moms there. It will be a nice, Sunday brunch. No silly baby decor or favors.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Baby Girl … Perfect! Placenta Location … Not So Much.

Been meaning to post all week. Tired and ouchy.

28 week ultrasound on Monday. My daughter is measuring right on target. The sonongrapher estimated her to be about 2lbs 11oz. YAY! You go, girl! OB said my belly measured perfectly (OB appt before u/s appt), although other women I see this far along seem SO much bigger than me. I still have no idea how much I weigh. I get on the scale backwards and have the nurse tell me how much I’ve gained since my last appt. (I just don’t want to know how much I gained while cycling. It’s all baby weight as far as I’m concerned.) From my first OB appt at 8 weeks until Monday at 28 weeks, I’ve gained 15lbs. My 1 hour glucose test was normal, so I’m fine with this, as is my dr.

What I’m not so fine with: I HAVE THE PREVIA! I have partial placenta previa. After some phone tag, I finally was able to talk to the OB yesterday. She said there was about a 50% chance the placenta would move away from the cervix. I will get another u/s at 32 weeks. Hopefully it will move up by then. If not, we will keep checking, but they do not want me to have ANY contractions if the placenta does not move up. If the previa doesn’t resolve, they will schedule a c-section around week 36 or 37.

I’m a little freaked. Not so much about the c-section itself, but about afterwards. My mother is REALLY PUSHING that if I have a c-section, I HAVE TO stay with her for a couple of weeks. That I will absolutely need someone with me 24 hours a day. Do they make nursing straight jackets? Hey, I’m all for post-partum help. Friends, family, etc., but I want them to leave at the end of the day. Those of you who’ve had c-sections, am I being unrealistic? Hell, I’ve done all of this by myself up to now, will I really be unable to manage at night on my own after a c-section? I mean, I’m planning to co-sleep. (I’ve registered for this.)

In other news, finally got the scoop on the foot surgery. Ridiculous the runaround I’ve been given. What it finally boils down to is that the surgeon works out of an orthopedic hospital (they’re the best, people travel from all over for ortho surgery there), and since they do not have an obstetrics dept or a NICU, it is hospital policy not to perform surgery on preggos. If it were an emergency, they would send the surgeon to do the surgery at a hospital with an obstetrics dept and a NICU. A plantar fascia release is not an emergency. So, after the OB and u/s on Monday, I grabbed a taxi 4 1/2 blocks over to the foot surgeon’s office and he gave me another cortisone shot in one foot. OUCH!!! THAT REALLY HURTS! Still waiting for the relief to kick in. Last time he did it I did get some relief for about 4-6 weeks. (Which I really didn’t get when podiatrists did them.) FYI, for anyone who might need this kind of treatment, I really think having the injection done under u/s guidance and by a skilled surgeon makes a big difference.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Eight Years Later

Today in New York City the sky is dark, the wind is blowing, the rain is falling. A sharp contrast to the weather 8 years ago. September 11th, 2001 was a crystal clear September day. In sharp focus, yet oddly dreamlike, people burned, they jumped, they ran. Buildings tumbled. First responders fought a losing battle. They knew that, yet forged ahead regardless. We were stunned, we were horrified, we turned to each other and held on tight.

We often felt powerless, yet there was power in every small bit of kindness that was shared.

Today we remember.

Here's my post from last year.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Angry, Tired, Cranky, and IN PAIN!

WARNING: If you’re not in a good place to hear a preggo vent. Skip this post.

Really, I’m thrilled to be pregnant. Feeling my daughter move is the most amazing thing. BUT … it’s physically and emotionally harder than I expected. I’m 46 years old, my feet are KILLING me (and I’m having trouble getting the drs to talk to each other in order to get the surgery scheduled), I’m working full time (which entails public transportation, again, hard on my feet), not sleeping well, and overwhelmed by what I need to do to get my apartment ready (which I have no energy to deal with once I get home from work and put my feet up and ice them). And as I look around, overwhelmed, there’s no one but me to deal with it. There’s also no one next to me to share the joy of my daughter’s kicks. Mostly I’m fine with it, but sometimes it sucks.

But what I really need to vent about is empathy. Or rather, the lack of it from my family. My sister has been bitching and making digs about the fact that she was not informed of my pregnancy within a timeframe that SHE deems appropriate. And has been putting my 11 year old niece in the middle. My sister and I do not have a close relationship. We never have. As an example, nearly 5 and a half years ago, when I ended a destructive relationship, my sister got on the phone with the creep and said terrible things about me to him. He then left me nasty, ranting voice mails saying, “Your sister says xxxx about you.” I was livid! Rather that completely lose my cool with my sister, I called my mother and asked her to speak to my sister. My sister denied that she was in contact with him. Yet, that very day I received another vile voice mail from him, saying (among other things), “Now you’re getting your mother involved!” Despite this PROOF, my sister continued to deny she was speaking with him and never apologized. I DO NOT FORGIVE HER. There is no way it should be any mystery to her why she was kept out of the TTC/pregnancy loop.

Back to the present situation. Several weeks ago she told me that my niece had asked if she could take her out of school if she wanted to. My sister replied that, yes, she was her mother, and if she had a drs appt or something, my sister could take her out of school. My niece then said, “When Auntie Dora has the baby, I want you to come get me to bring me to the hospital.” My sister’s response to her was unbelievable. Unbelievable that she would say this to her 11 year old, and even more unbelievable that she would repeat this to me as if it were okay. She said, “Well, Auntie Dora didn’t tell me right away that she was pregnant, so she might not tell me right away when she has the baby.” Then, shortly after that, I was visiting my mother, when my mother was out of the room, my sister must have signaled to my niece, because she asked me, “Mommy wants to know why you didn’t invite her to your ultrasound.” WTF???? I said something about the room being too small and there already being too many people there. Later, when alone with my niece, I told her that what her mommy did wasn’t right. That if she had something to ask me, she should ask me herself, not have her ask me.

BTW, there have been other little digs about this here and there.

In the moment with this crap, I have kept my mouth shut in an effort to maintain my equilibrium. And also, to not ream my sister in front of her child. Instead, I have called my mother later and asked her to speak to my sister. My mother has said she would, but has also consistently told me that I am overreacting. (Gee, a pregnant woman having an emotional reaction! Heaven forbid!) She also keeps telling me that I should try to put a positive spin on my sister’s behavior, and look at it as her being excited about having a niece. I might as well go bang my head against a wall.

So … Monday we’re all in the car together after looking at baby stuff (FREAKY!!!). My niece pipes up, “You know, I don’t think mommy’s ever going to get over you not telling her …” I jammed my hand over her mouth before she could finish the sentence. Middle of the night I get up to pee, then can’t get back to sleep. The rage grows. I called my mother Tuesday morning and told her I’d had it. She needs to STOP IT NOW and she needs to stop talking to her child about it. Because if it happens again, I’m going to really let her have it. Again, my mother tells me I’m overreacting. She says she doesn’t think my sister is still talking to my niece about it, that my niece is just talking, wanting to feel grown up. Again, she tells me to try to put a positive spin on it, and also says something about me contributing to the problem. I stopped her cold. I reminded her that I have NOT SAID A WORD when this happens. I have made a major effort not to call her on this shit in front of her child. My mother can’t disagree with this fact, but continues to tell me I’m overreacting.

Which brings us to last night. I called my sister to ask her about a folding bathing thingie she liked for bathing newborns in the sink. My sister was out walking the dog, so I was able to have a private conversation with my niece. I reminded her of what she said in the car and asked if her mom talked to her about that a lot. She said yes. I asked her when was the last time. “Yesterday.” I called my mother to relay this information. Again, she tells me I’m overreacting. I start to lose it. I tell her I’m getting very tired of the lack of understanding. I reminded her that I’m doing this on my own, I’m working full time, and in a lot of pain. That normally pregnant women have someone around to pamper them somewhat and cater to their heightened emotions and mood swings. She responded to this by saying, “I don’t think that’s really true that pregnant women have mood swings.”


Updated to add: Thanks for the support! I've had 2 teary phone calls with "sisters of choice." That helped. I admit, I'm probably haven't been handling this the best I could. I'm guilty of triangulating, too. Normally with stuff with my mother and my sister I simply retreat. Keep my distance. But my niece is over the moon about her new cousin, and I just hoped (despite evidence to the contrary) that for once, my feelings could be the priority while I grow a new member of the family.

Ya know, I'm growing a person here!!!

Oh, yeah, and my mother wonders why I don't want her anywhere near me when I'm in labor!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Miss Strawberry Shortcake

I admit it, I’m taking some perverse pleasure in driving my family a little crazy. I won’t tell them the name(s) I’ve chosen for baby girl. As I commented on Cassandra’s post about names, although I’ve told others, I just don’t want to hear my family’s opinions.

They know that I’m naming her for my father (among others, see this post), and that her first name will start with an “s.” Last week my sister was fishing for the name, and admonished me not to give her an unusual name like “Apple.” Well, I was visiting with my family over the weekend and told them that since my sister mentioned that, the idea is growing on me. So I told them I decided to name her “Strawberry Shortcake.”

Well, you know she’s going to be delicious! Nom, nom, nom, nom!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

I’m Blaming Pregnancy Brain

I goofed. The doula open house I had planned to attend was 2 weeks ago. This group has 2 open houses per month. One at an uptown location and one downtown. When I spoke to the group’s director, she said the uptown one usually had more doulas attending. As I said, I’m blaming my hormone addled brain for not putting the date in my calendar. Also, the date 2 weeks ago was the week after I got back from my little vacation, the day after I attended a 2 day computer workshop, and in the midst of a heat wave. So, all in all, not thinking in top form. Thus, I was uptown and the doulas were downtown. The next one is September 16th. That should be fine, unless I’m scheduled for foot surgery that day.

Had a consult this past Monday with an obstetric anesthesiologist who thinks now is the right time to take care of my feet. He suggested no IV sedation, just a single spinal injection. Of course, to complicate matters, he preferred to convey this to my OB and have her convey it to the orthopedic surgeon, and the OB is on vacation this week. Her secretary said she would leave her a message and that she would be checking in, but I doubt that anything is getting done this week. Oh, and the surgeon only operates on Wednesdays. My feet REALLY hurt!!!

Thanks for all the comments. I appreciate it. I know that the doula should respect my wishes, but it’s hard not to feel they would be inclined towards no medication when you read this kind of thing in doula’s bios: “Xxxx gave birth once by Cesarean section and three subsequent times, un-medicated, with midwives.” I’m just anxious to find one who’s a good fit before she gets booked up. I have a couple of referrals from my OB’s office, but was waiting to call them until after the open house. I’m not sure what questions to ask, etc., and thought the open house would be helpful in this regard. Any suggestions would be most welcome

In other pregnancy related news, I saw my belly move the other night. Weird and wonderful!!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Just Not That “Crunchy”

I don’t like pain. I know that seems obvious, but I’m feeling like I may need to defend that point this evening. I’m going to an open house this evening to meet a group of doulas. I want a labor doula primarily because I’m single. A dear friend is planning to come to New York from Europe for the birth, but babies don’t have calendars in utero. What if my daughter decides to make her debut before my friend gets here? I have good friends locally, but they have busy lives and their own families. Can’t expect them to drop everything at any hour and be there for however long it takes. My mother would be there if I wanted, but that would cause more stress.

But back to my point about not liking pain. It is my impression that many women use doulas to help them avoid pain meds and epidurals. I want a doula AND an anesthesiologist. The hospital where I am delivering is rated #1 here for L&D, and is known for their top notch anesthesiologists. Barring serious complications, I believe every woman should have the kind of delivery she wants. I am also built narrow “there.” I cannot count the number of times during my fertility journey that REs apologized to me when they met resistance with the dildocam. It was odd having to reassure them that they weren’t hurting me, and to just get in there and see what my lining and ovaries were doing. One RE, when I warned him in advance, offered to let me insert it myself. (Psychologically easier, but getting the angle right when on the table and in the stirrups, not so easy.) So, I’m thinking it’s not likely that a head and shoulders are just going to slide out easily.

It’s not contradictory to want labor support and pain relief. So why am I feeling that I will have to defend my choices this evening?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Ink Me — The Great ALI Ink Tour 2009

(WARNING: The photo in this post may not be office or child appropriate. It contains a tush. And not a cute little baby tush, a grown up, late 30 something, woman’s tush.)

Let me start by saying I probably wouldn’t have any tats if it weren’t for a boyfriend I had when I was 19. Q and I only dated briefly, but we remained friends. I was 19 and he was 16. Doomed! An enormous age difference at that age (particularly when the girl is the older one). Not helped by the fact that, although he was (and still probably is) one of the very smartest guys I’ve known, at 16, he looked about 13. At 19, I wanted to date someone who looked like a MAN. Ah, but when Q hit his mid 20s … yowza! Too late for us, as one of us was always partnered when the other was available.

But back to the ink. Q’s father is a tattoo artist. Back then tattooing was illegal in New York City. But underground tattoo shops were tolerated by the police. There were no shops with bright signs. You made an appointment and went somewhere private. Q’s family lived in a loft on the Bowery. A block away from the famous punk club, CBGBs. His father’s tattoo shop in the front, and the family’s living space in the back. The area is now gentrified to the extent that there is now a Whole Foods there. It was still pretty rough back then. I take some pride in the fact that I got my first tat illegally on the Bowery in the mid 80s.

I don’t know if I would have ever considered getting tattooed back then if I hadn’t known Q and his family. I knew his father was a good artist and that everything would be clean and safe. Still, it took me a few years to work up the courage. My first, which I got when I was 22, is a small rose on the inside of my right ankle. No one warned me what a painful spot that is. (Not much flesh, right on bone.) I have 4 now, and that one was the most painful. I get it touched up now and then, and it hurts like hell!

Took quite a while before I was ready for the next one. By this time, Q’s baby brother had joined his father in the tattoo biz. Tattooing was legal in NYC by then, and they opened a shop in the East Village. I’d heard great things about the brother’s skill from Q, so let him ink me. Now no one else may touch a tattoo needle to my skin. It’s funny, because I have these memories of M (the tattoo artist) as a cute 10 year old who would be underfoot when I would hang out with Q. Whether going for a tat or just stopping by the shop to say hi, I am greeted with a big hug and kiss. Once, while he was tattooing me, I teased M about what kind of kid he was. He stopped for a moment, gave me a wry smile, and said, “Are you forgetting who’s holding the electric needle?” Gulp … mea culpa!!

My second, which I think was for my 38th birthday, is a small silhouette of a black cat on my left shoulder. It’s an image I found and played with a bit. I like that’s it’s small, but striking and not girly at all. Got my next just about a year later. This is my largest one. It’s a branch of cherry blossoms on my right hip. He did an exquisite job.

Shortly after I got this one I dated a professional photographer. One night, while hanging out drinking wine, I mentioned that I wanted a good photo of this one. Next thing I know he’s pulling out a soft box and some gauzy fabric. My butt has never (and will never again) looked so good. (You know my pregnant ass looks nothing like this now!) The lighting is awesome. And although I told him not to tell me if he did, I’m sure there was some photoshopping involved.

Get ready …
Digitally edited or not, not bad for pushing 40.

My latest one I got last year after my first cancelled IVF cycle. I posted about it here. I often forget about it, since I can’t see it without TWO mirrors.

Check out the rest of the ink on the tour!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

I’ve Been a Bad Blogger — ICLW and Miscellaneous Update

I feel like such a bad blogger! I’ve been reading. I try to leave some comments, but mostly I’ve just been soooooooo tired. The weather’s been HOT, HOT, HOT and HUMID. My a/c (which I plan to replace for next Summer) has not been cutting it. So between being too hot at night and my growing belly, I haven’t been sleeping well. Oh, yeah, add in a full time job and commuting on the NYC subway, which entails waiting on horrendously HOT subway platforms. Although, yesterday I was thinking about last Summer. The Summer of cancelled cycles, thanks to my uncooperative ovaries. I was soooooo low. And this was just mocking me all Summer long. I may be hot, cranky and tired this Summer, but my daughter is moving within me, and that seriously ROCKS!

Ah, well. Welcome ICLWers. Here’s an intro I wrote for ICLW in June. Gives you a good wrap up of my story. I think it’s pretty miraculous.

Let’s see, I got back from my vacation nearly 2 weeks ago. It was just 4 nights, but was very relaxing. Cruising is not my ideal vacation (I really prefer to go somewhere and explore), but it suited my needs at the time. If I were to do another, I would not go on the same cruise line. (Starts with a “C” and known for towel animals. (Will post pics at some point.)) The food was terrible. I didn’t expect great, but I thought it would at least be good. And the desserts! They would have been better off with supermarket cake! The annoying part of this is that my OB had just given me a nexium rx, and I was finally getting relief from the horrible acid reflux I’ve been having. The service was excellent. My cabin steward was great. My budget cabin was plenty big enough for me. I relaxed on deck and read. An SMC reader without her own blog sent me this book about labor options. I’m ready to discuss the combined spinal epidural (walking epidural) with my OB at my next appt. I want relief, but I want to be able to move around and change positions when I need/want to.

Last weekend I had a lovely brunch with another blogger who was visiting NYC. The delightful Io from Who Shot My Stork. We had a great time discussing hormones and ovaries and such. She was so sweet to bring me a baby gift. 2 adorable onesies. Baby girl won’t be naked. :-) (Io, I need your address to send you a thank you note.)

That’s basically what’s going on for me. One hour glucose test tomorrow. Baby girl’s kicks get stronger every day. LOVE IT! Went to my first local SMC meeting a few weeks ago. Interesting, but that’s a separate post. Can’t wait to feel some crispness to the air.

Oh! 24 weeks tomorrow, and 1 year blogiversary on Tuesday.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Simple joys have a simple voice. It says, "Time is living's prize"

Some wise words sung by one of my favorite actors, Raúl Esparza. If you don't already know who he is, trust me, you will.

Sometimes as we slog our way through the infertility trenches we forget to take time to nurture ourselves. In a few months I'll (hopefully) be in the overwhelming land of sleeplessness, dirty diapers, and sore nipples. I needed some time for some "simple joys." So I turned to my trusty computer to figure out a getaway where I could relax, be pampered a bit, and not have to walk much (damned feet!). So tomorrow I will be leaving out of NYC (where I live, YAY for no airports) for a 4 night cruise to St. John, Canada. The ship leaves tomorrow afternoon, day at sea on Friday, St. John Saturday (where I will do as little or as much as I please), another day at sea Sunday, and back home Monday morning. My plan is to have room service deliver my coffee in the morning, and mostly relax on deck in a lounge chair with a book. A little bit of heaven for a preggo at the height of Summer.

Internet access from the ship is INSANELY expensive. So I'm leaving my beloved macbook at home. See you next week!

"And wouldn't you rather be a left-handed flea
Or a crab on a slab at the bottom of the sea
Or a newt on the root of a banyan tree
Than a man who never learns how to be free
Not 'til he's underground"

Saturday, August 1, 2009

And The Profane Bunny Goes To ...


Alright, she's the only one who asked for it, but I think she's the perfect choice. She's adept in the appropriate use of expletives. She's about t0 start her first (and hopefully only) frozen embryo transfer, and it feels right, as someone who is LIVING PROOF that FETs WORK, for me to pass him on to her. And I can totally imagine her finding the next perfect recipient of him once she's securely KNOCKED UP!

While I appreciated the suggestions for a winner from one commenter, I really felt this should be self-nominating. Also, the 2 bloggers that were suggested, while absolutely worthy of a FUCK bunny, are readers here. They could have said something if they wanted him.

So, Ms. Murgdan, I need your address. How about bringing him to your transfer?

Tuesday, July 28, 2009



At least the u/s tech said she was 85% sure it's a girl. She's perfect! Measuring right on target. My girl is an active one. She was kicking and waving her cute little arms. She has the cutest little fingers and toes that her mama can't wait to nibble on. And, come on, isn't that belly just calling out for a good raspberry!?! She was a little tease, and wouldn't roll over so the tech could measure her spine. So I have to go back for that. (No problem! Another peek at my DAUGHTER! Another check to confirm girl bits.) I'm going away for a few days towards the end of next week, so I made the appt for August 10th.

It's all feeling more and more real!

In other bloggy ultrasound news, did you all see Mo and Will's news!?!? I emailed Mo yesterday morning telling her I was more anxious about her u/s than mine. I'm so thrilled for them.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Happy in the Hood

I love my neighborhood! I live in one of the most ethnically and culturally diverse neighborhoods in New York City. I’m about a 20 minute subway ride from Manhattan, but without Manhattan prices and attitude.

On my way to a diner for breakfast today, I stopped at my local Starbux to give one of the employees a few maternity tops that my BFF gave me that didn’t fit (my ginormous boobs, you know). On the way out I stopped to coo at the adorable twin babies of a gay couple. YAY for my hood!

I thought of the conversation about families I had with my 10 year old niece last weekend. She’d been on vacation with her father when I told my mother about my pregnancy. She got back last weekend and I told her she was getting a cousin. She’s OVER THE MOON! But her first question to me was, “You got married?” I explained everything to her and then talked some more about different kinds of families. I told her that sometimes families have 2 mommies. She quickly chimed in with, “I have 2 mommies!” (She has a stepmother.) So I explained that sometimes 2 women live together and have a child, and sometimes 2 men have a baby. “How do 2 men have a baby?!?!?!” I explained that sometimes a woman helps them, or sometimes they adopt a baby. And sometimes, I said, a single woman like me does what I did or adopts a baby. I told her about a single woman in my neighborhood who adopted a delightful little girl from Guatemala. I said that the important thing was that the baby had lots of love, and this baby will have LOTS of love. Of course, she agreed with that, since I think she’s already madly in love with her little cousin. (She’s said she’ll help change diapers. Even poopy ones. Though she says she won’t like those.)

In other good news, the cortisone shot I had in one foot on Wednesday kicked in today. OMG! Relief!! I’ve had 3 cortisone shots in the other foot and never got this kind of relief. I wonder if it was the dr and technique. The others were done by podiatrists, this was done by an orthopedic foot surgeon under u/s guidance. The injection hurt like HELL, but with the u/s he was able to pinpoint the inflammation and really target it. I don’t know if this will last, but I feel like I’m finally in good hands with this dr. He reassured me by telling me that if I do wind up needing surgery to release the fascia after I deliver, that I will be able to walk on it right away, so I can take care of my little Notion.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Mel’s Show and Tell — Self-Nominating Pay it Forward Friday

WARNING: Swearing ahead.

A bit late for Show and Tell, but better late than never.

Sorry I’ve been so quiet. Nothing much going on, except the belly’s growing, and I’ve been feeling movement for sure for about 3 weeks now. It’s still very soft movements, and I need to have my hand on my belly to feel it. But it’s wonderful! So reassuring.

Now for my Show and Tell. Last Fall I had a Show and Tell post about the “consolation prizes” I gave myself after cancelled cycles. One “prize” was a cute little stuffed bunny with the word “fuck” stitched across its chest that I purchased from a cool Etsy seller. I wrote at the time that when I felt I no longer needed him, I wanted to pass him on. I would love to see him passed from blogger to blogger as needed. Relinquished when no longer needed. Maybe he’ll travel the world! I hope that whoever gets him goes on to have success in their family building efforts, and happily passes him on.

So, please tell me in the comments why you need the “fuck” bunny. Maybe it will just be obvious who should have him. Or maybe there will be several people who are deserving and I will have to choose randomly. So, dear readers, tell me why you need him.

Don’t forget to check what the rest of the class is showing.

P.S. Anatomy scan on Monday at 20 weeks!! Hopefully the babe will cooperate and we’ll know if my little Notion is a boy or a girl. I promise to post soon afterwards.

P.P.S. When I was TTC, u/s pics and baby pics on blogs didn’t really bother me, but belly shots could be hard to take. So I will not be posting any. If anyone really wants to see one, email me and I’ll email a belly shot to you.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Telling the Grandmother

I’m sure I’ve mentioned before that my mother has been in the dark about my efforts to become a mom. My mother is a difficult person. Our relationship is not easy. She is certain that her way of thinking and doing things is RIGHT. I did not need her judgment and negativity while trying to become pregnant. But now that I’m in my second trimester, I knew I had to get the reveal over with. Part of what I expected in her reaction was “how will I explain this” and “what will people think.” Well, as my regular readers know, I’m pleased as punch about this, proud of how I got here, and don’t give a damn what anyone else thinks.

So, plans were made for me, my mother, my BFF and her 8 month old son (via donor egg) to have lunch on Friday. I had a plan on how to break the news. A few weeks ago, my mother asked me to get her a bottle of her favorite perfume from ebay (cheaper). So I ordered the perfume and put it in a gift bag with a copy of the latest ultrasound picture. (Without my name photoshopped out, as it is when I post here.) The plan was for my friend and I to get there before my mother. SNAFU, but no biggie. I got there first, snagged a semi-circular booth, and slid in to the middle. The table was perfectly high enough to hide my belly. (I won’t be posting any belly shots here, but I must say, I think it’s really cute!) I had the gift bag on the banquette beside me. My mother arrived first, then my BFF and her son a few minutes later. This was the first time my mother had seen her baby (my BFF and I have been friends since we were 14, so my mother’s seen her grow up, too). A few minutes of cooing and loving on the boy, then I passed the gift bag to my mother and said, “Here’s your perfume, and there’s another surprise in there for you.” She took out the ultrasound picture and looked confused. Then she had to get her reading glasses out to read it. Stunned silence. She turned to me and said, “You’re pregnant?” “Yes. Congratulations! You’re going to be a grandmother again.”

There were questions, which I answered over the course of lunch. I explained much of the course of events leading up to this pregnancy. The attempts with my own eggs, using my dear friend as a sperm donor and the stronger bond we formed during the process (didn’t feel I needed to tell her yet that he will be the child’s guardian), how Kathy and I found each other, the trips to Canada, etc. I showed her photos of Kathy’s gorgeous twins. During all this, my friend gushed about how wonderful this was and how happy she was for me. She also talked about her experience using donor gametes. Interestingly, I think my mother was most surprised when I said I was embracing the fact that I was doing this on my own. I mentioned the crap that has to be dealt with on an ongoing basis with my niece’s father, I told her about a friend of a friend who is due to deliver twins in a few weeks and just discovered that her husband has been cheating on her with their older child’s nanny, etc. Then she dropped her own bombshell. My mother’s husband has 2 daughters. He also has 2 nieces who he has treated as daughters as well. (His sister’s children. His sister died when his nieces were in their early teens.) Turns out his youngest niece (who has a 6 yo and and an 8 yo) has been cheating on her husband with his youngest daughter’s husband (they have an 8 yo). Both couples are splitting so my mother’s husband’s niece and son-in-law can be together. EWWWWW! Did you follow that? BTW, I hope I haven’t confused things by not referring to my mother’s husband as my step father. They got together when I was well into adulthood, and although I like him, I just don’t think of him as a father figure at all.

Anyway, over the course of lunch, the shock seemed to wear off, and we talked a bit about baby names, etc. She suggested I stay with her for a few weeks after I give birth. NOOOOOO!!!!!!!! She lives less than an hour’s drive from me. If she wants to help, she can come in the morning and leave in the evening. I probably responded to the suggestion a bit too stridently. (Blame the hormones.) I will address it again next time I talk to her, and tell her that while I appreciate the offer, I don’t think it would be good for our relationship.

As I was saying goodbye to her I asked if she wanted to rub my belly for luck. She gave my bump a little rub, then leaned over and said, “Hi darling.” I grinned and said, “Oh, you’re bonded already!”

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

46 and Knocked Up!

Thanks you all for the lovely birthday wishes. I’ve been a terrible blogger and commenter lately. The last couple of weeks at work have been crazy, and when not at work, I’ve crashed.

It was a much better birthday than last year, when I was dealing with a cancelled IVF cycle. I had a nice birthday dinner with the ex-boyfriend on Friday (had a yummy virgin, raspberry mojito with dinner), and then slept away most of the weekend. Except for Sunday night. OB appt on Monday, so didn’t sleep well Sunday night. Hopefully, this will get better once I start really feeling my little notion move. I keep thinking I feel something, but it’s not often, and so light, that I think it might be my imagination.

OB appt was fine. No ultrasound, so I’ll have to wait 4 more weeks to find out whether I’ve got a boy or girl on the way. I got all teary, as usual, when I heard the heartbeat. It’s slowly sinking in that I’m going to be a mom!

The OB agrees that I need to get real relief for my plantar fasciitis. She agrees with me that it’s not good that I can barely walk around. The injections I had at my last appt with the orthopedic surgeon did not help at all. If anything, the pain is worse. And those shots were BRUTAL! I gave her his contact info and just called his office with her info, and said I needed them to talk before my appt with him on Thursday. She (the OB) said that she will ask what he would do for me if I weren’t pregnant, and she will let him know if it’s safe. Hoping for a good game plan on Thursday, as this foot pain is making me miserable. Even the middle of the night trips to pee are agony on my feet.

So, there’s my update. Nothing terrible exciting right now, but that’s a good thing.

Oh! I have a bunch of leftover meds to donate to anyone who can use them. I will make a complete list and post it soon, but I have some unopened PIO, aygestin, some estrace, vaginal progesterone, prometrium, and lovenox. Email me if you want any.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

ICLW Introduction

For past ICLWs I haven’t done intros, since I had a bunch of introductory posts listed on the sidebar of my old blog (which you can access through my profile). Since I started this new space this month I thought I’d try to summarize my story.

Well, to begin with, I’m 15 weeks pregnant as of tomorrow. Wooohoooo! It was a hell of a trip getting here. I’m creating my family as an SMC (Single Mother by Choice). And am blessed and proud to be the recipient of a directed embryo donation. Oh, and I am turning 46 on Friday.

Okay, so to backtrack. Being an SMC wasn’t what I always dreamed of. Shit happens. Or doesn’t, as the case may be. Several long term relationships turned out not to be “the one.” In retrospect, I’m grateful I did not have children with any of them. When I hear about the combative custody issues that friends and family members deal with, I’m grateful I will never put my child through that.

I tried to conceive with my own eggs, but my eggs were clearly past their prime. I responded abysmally to stims. I tried cycling with a close friend as my known sperm donor. My friend and I have known each other since we were teenagers, so some 30 odd years. Even though it didn’t work, I am so glad we tried to do this together. He has now agreed to be the guardian of the child I am carrying. I had many cancelled cycles, due to cysts or lack of response, before I made it to retrieval with 3 follicles. 2 eggs were retrieved and 1 fertilized and made it to transfer on day 3. I was told I had about a 1% chance of getting pregnant from that single embryo from my 45 year old egg. Needless to say, I wasn’t that lucky. But getting that far gave me peace of mind for the next step.

Even before that cycle I was coming to terms with my options. I couldn’t afford donor egg, so began exploring donor embryos. I wasn’t really comfortable with anonymous donor programs. Children have questions. I wanted to be able to provide answers. I discovered a self matching embryo donation website called Miracles Waiting. I met with one woman through this site who had embryos to donate. Turned out she wasn’t really ready to let go of her embryos. I was dejected. I turned to my peeps in this awesome community. I asked a question. “If you had leftover embryos, would you consider donating them to a single woman.” I received so many wonderful, loving comments, including one from my awesome donor, Kathy. A couple of days after leaving her comment, I got an email from her. “Let’s talk,” she said. She had some questions. I answered some by email, some over the phone, and some in a looooong blog post. I poured out my heart. She offered me a chance at motherhood.

It took 2 tries, but I became pregnant from my second frozen embryo transfer. As I have said before, there is really no way to repay this enormous gift. The best I can do is to be the best mother I can be. Thank goodness I have this fabulous community to go to for parenting advice.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Trippy Shopping Trip

Went shopping for maternity clothes last Sunday. OMG!! What a trip!

Friday I had lunch with my BFF and her delicious 8 month old boy (via donor egg). She brought me 2 shopping bags full of maternity clothes. She’s going to have to take most of it back. Of the 2 shopping bags full of clothes, about 5 things work for me. My friend did not take into consideration how differently we’re built. My chest is about 3 times as big as hers. The under the bust seams on the maternity tops and dresses only come down about as far as my nipples. So sad. Some of it is beautiful stuff, but no go.

So Sunday I pushed myself out of my apartment and went to Destination Maternity. Just one more thing to make this all feel more real! Geez, this stuff is expensive (and I only got sale items)! Hate spending so much for things I’ll only wear for a few months, but I’ve been so uncomfortable in my regular clothes. The cheap knock-off belly bands I’ve gotten on eBay have helped, but I’m tired of tugging and leaving buttons open. So, rejecting basically anything with under the boobs seaming, I found a bunch of stuff to try on.

Over the years, I have learned some things that help me make more flattering choices, but that can be limiting as well. Other than the big boob thing (on a fairly small frame, narrow shoulders, small ribcage, no back fat), I have heavy upper arms. I’ve learned that, counter to intuition, my arms look MUCH better in sleeveless tops than in short sleeves or, the worst, cap sleeves. Think about it this way, short sleeves cut across my chubby upper arms at their heaviest point, emphasizing the chub. Sleeveless gives me an unbroken line from my shoulder down. As far as sleeves, long sleeves and 3/4 sleeves are fine, but not in NYC in the Summer. Ick! I did find a couple of tops with sleeves to the elbow. That works too. This concept applies to skirts as well. If a skirt cuts across the middle of my calf (thickest part), I look heavier and, frankly, dumpy. (I’m only 5’3”.) The ideal skirt length for me is just at the bottom of my knee cap. But at least skirts can usually be shortened easily (unless there’s detailing at the hem).

OY! Sorry for going on about my clothing fit philosophy, but a girl wants to look as good as she can as her waist disappears.

So, I’m trying on things. Mostly, I can tell right away if something works. I was wavering on a skirt, not sure about the way it was hanging, when I noticed the strap on belly. The! Strap! On! Belly! Holy crap! It was labeled “7 month belly,” and even had a belly button. I put it on. Suddenly the skirt hung perfectly. I put on a top and looked in the mirror. Who was this PREGNANT woman? I stepped out of the dressing room, freaking out a bit. Another woman trying on clothes and one of the sales women looked at me indulgently. “Your first?” one of them asked. “Yes,” I squeaked.

Seriously SURREAL!

I left the store after spending too much money on 5 tops and a skirt. With the fancy shopping bag with the word MATERNITY emblazoned on it. I wondered if it would get me a seat on the subway, since my little belly isn’t doing it yet.

For some reason I had trouble sleeping that night.

BTW, if anyone has any maternity clothes they’d consider passing on (and that they think might work for my body), I’d be happy to pay postage.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Mel’s Show and Tell — A Gift to Myself

When I was in Canada for my first (failed) FET, I went to a ceramics museum. They had a “special” exhibit of painted ceramics. Something I have a particular fondness for. Especially modern works. I was very disappointed. A meager exhibit. I thought about some artists whose work I enjoy that were either not represented or underrepresented. For example, these Picasso ceramic pieces (there was ONE of his, it was okay), or Beatrice Wood, or even more current, Matt Nolen, an artist I took a workshop with many years ago. Thinking about Nolen’s work (please, explore his website), I know he has many pieces in various museums’ permanent collections, but that he has also done smaller, less extensive pieces. On a whim, I searched for him on eBay. Nothing came up at the time, but I saved the search so that I would receive emails if anything was listed. 2 months later I received an email. I won an awesome, hand painted cup. For less than the cost of a good pair of sneakers. IMO, it’s probably worth at least 3-4 times what I paid for it. I think I’m just lucky that others don’t think to look there for his work.

I think the theme of this cup is very appropriate for someone who is pregnant for the first time in my mid-40s.

Don't forget to check out what the rest of the class is showing.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Mel’s Show and Tell — A Special Gift

Had a chance to visit with some friends in the DC area this past weekend. Thursday night had dinner with an old college friend. Even though her 8 year old daughter REALLY wanted to come, we explained that it was a grownup dinner. (Also, due to her disorganization, we didn’t wind up going to dinner until after 9:30! Alright, little rant here, I got a message from her in the afternoon asking if I could take the metro out to her burb (about a 45 minute ride) after I arrived. Uh, no! I’m pregnant, just had injections in my feet the day before, and left my apartment at 9am to travel to DC!) Her daughter gave my friend the sweetest drawing and note to give to me.
I think I’m in the clear on this one. As of the last ultrasound, the tail was gone, so I think I can safely assume it will be a girl or a boy.

Don't forget to check out what the rest of the class is showing!

P.S. 13 weeks today!!

Friday, June 5, 2009

I am a sacred vessel and other miscellaneous stuff.

Thanks for all the wonderful comments. Sorry I've been a terrible commenter. So many times I want to leave longer, thought out comments, and haven't had the time or energy.

I'm away for the weekend, chilling and visiting with friends in the DC area. Saw a startling sight. In clothes, I don't really look pregnant. I have a little belly, but so do lots of people. I see men all the time who look to me like they're in their 10th month! At home, my bathroom mirror is mounted a bit higher than my waist, and my only full length mirror is on the inside of a living room closet door. So, getting out of the shower yesterday at my hotel, I saw my full naked belly in the mirror for the first time. (Looking down at it isn't the same.) Holy crap, I'm pregnant! You're not going to be getting any belly shots from me, but WOW, it's remarkable!

Saw an orthopedic foot surgeon about my plantar fasciitis before going away. Cortisone shots, exercises, icing, physical therapy 2x a week for nearly 3 months have not worked. The dr did a treatment called platelet-rich plasma therapy. They drew my blood and spun it, then inject the platelets (after injecting some lidocaine first) into the affected areas. Let me tell you, even with lidocaine, big injections in your feet are WAY worse than big injections in your butt. I went to work after this, but once the lidocaine wore off, I was in AGONY! My boss even told me to go home after I finished what I was working on. He never says this! He's a ridiculous worry wort who called me twice today on my vacation day! I hobbled home and iced them. I'm feeling better now, but it will be a week or so to see if this is working.

Okay, I know this is kind of silly to worry about, but my hair has become very brittle. I didn't expect it at this point. Is this normal? I'm having a lot of breakage, particularly around my hairline in the front, so it shows. Any suggestions? After I had my hair fried several years ago by a relaxer, I took high potency biotin supplements the help the damage grow out faster. Does anyone know if that kind of dosage would be okay. I'd hate to call the OB's office about my hair, but it's bugging me.

I'm currently watching Anderson Cooper's special about Dr. Tiller's assasination. I'm just sick about this. Count me as a pregnant, infertile woman for choice. ALL CHOICE! Check out Kristin, Julie and Cecily's posts about this.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

My Tiny Dancer!

Look at the baybeeeee! Mah baybeee is the cutest! Quite the little dancer. The u/s tech kept pointing out how he/she was jumping around and kicking and waving!


Welcome To The Next Chapter

Let’s get the news out of the way first. 12 weeks yesterday! Had my nuchal translucency scan yesterday. It went perfectly! Neck measurements were great and the baby was exactly on target for 12 weeks. Will post an ultrasound picture later. Pretty swamped at work since I’m taking Thursday and Friday off.

About the new space.

It feels right as I am entering this next phase. No longer “In Search Of.” Almost at the end of my first trimester. I’m going to start feeling better soon? Right?

About the title.

It’s incredible when I think about it, but this baby was conceived over 4 years ago. The miracle of this donor embryo pregnancy. Thus … My Preconceived Notion.

Will post more later, but I have to get some work done!