Thursday, June 29, 2006

On the books

Oh, and on the books I mentioned I had just finished/was starting a few days ago, I messed up the authors. Probably, not a big surprise to anyone who knows me IRL. Anyway, the author of The Big House is George Howe Colt and the author of Coming to Term is Jon Cohen. Clearly, you can see how easy that was to mix up.

Have I mentioned lately how fond I am of my RE? I just sent him a long email filled with questions. He responded already. Could it have been that I mentioned that maybe it would be better to schedule a consult if it would be easier for him rather than responding by email. LOL. Clearly not.

Off to see Dr. Dan (chiropractor) who I have not seen in awhile. Looking forward to it.

Odd Updates

I spoke too soon on the Max diaper rash thing. It looked like it had cleared up, but then got really bad again. Poor guy, he was really pretty miserable yesterday evening/last night with it. At least, I am assuming that was the problem. It was still a bit red/raw this morning, but does look to be on the mend. I find myself wondering what cause it. A food allergy? Recent humidity? I mean, I know the acidy loose stools/diarrhea was probably a driver, but what caused that? The only thing I can think of is something food related. I have pulled him back to standard/basic fare until bum is better.

Shadow and City Boy are such different creatures, but are getting along quite well even though they do just co-exist most of the time. This morning, both Shadow and City were outside since they had enough of Max chasing them around the house. Max gets so happy when he sees them and just charges right over. Shadow will either get up and move out of range (or move right next to me) as soon as she realizes that she has caught Max’s interest or let Max “finally” catch her and climb on her for a minute or two, until he goes a bit overboard and I make Max stop or move him, and then leaves. City will wait until Max is right next to him and is reaching his hand to get him, before just stepping out of range. It is like he is “playing” with him. He will then walk back and forth in front of Max and let Max chase him for awhile. Once or twice, Max has actually caught City. I wonder if that is an accident and City just misjudged how fast Max was or if it is on purpose to keep him interested in the game. Max just lights up when he sees them and just laughs and laughs and laughs when the animals let Max get close to them (even if the move before he can actually touch them).

Anyway, I was amazed this morning when I was standing in the kitchen switching a load of laundry to the dryer (because there was another big poo poo mess this morning when Max woke up) to hear City meowing out the side door (the one that has the doggie door installed). I look out the windows and see Shadow laying directly in front of the door basically blocking City from getting in the house. City was meowing move you big oaf, you are in my way and I want to get inside (or at least that was my interpretation). Shadow basically ignored City and made it clear she had no intention of moving. So, City walked right over behind Shadow and on top of Shadow to get in the doggie door. It was a sight to see and gave me a big chuckle.

I’m nervous, but also getting excited about the IVF cycle. I had a bunch of work meetings either cancel or go really short today so I had time to email my RE with a whole bunch of questions. Mostly, they are questions that don’t really have answers like, what do you think the odds of me getting cancelled for poor response are? Based on the protocol and my history, how many eggs do you think I will get assuming I don’t get cancelled, etc. Since there were so many, I offered to set up a consult with him to review the questions by phone if he thought it would take less time than by email. I also found out that I have to redo all my labs and cultures. Luckily, I was able to get an appointment at my OB’s office (with the other OB) for the 10th. So, just a few more things to get done and keep me occupied until the roller coaster starts again.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Protocol Highlights

Just got off the phone with my coordinator and got the highlights of my protocol.

No Lupron. Start Cetritide when lead follicle gets to 15 – 16 mm.

8 Amps of Follistim for 2 days dropping to 4 Amps after 2 days with 1 Amp of Menepur.

Stop BCP’s on the 12th.

Baseline u/s (cd2) = 7/18

Follow up u/s (cd5) = 7/21

Follow up u/s (cd9) = 7/25

Assuming I make it that far:
ER ~ earliest 7/27 and latest 8/2
ET ~ earliest 7/31 and latest 8/6

Amazing how much better I feel now that there is a concrete plan. It isn’t really as aggressive as I would have liked, but hey, I am not the RE and he is worried that I may overstim even though I told him it wouldn’t happen. He said he has heard that before. I mean, MAYBE if my right ovary decides to play, but that isn’t going to happen. Basically it is about double dosage of my last cycle of which I had possible 4 (2 on the high end of maturity and 2 on the low end of maturity). The way I figure it that the max we get is 8 out of this and likely less. Damn. Should I just trust or talk to RE about this. HAHAHAHAHA, trust, that’s a good one. So, I will likely send an email to RE to discuss this a bit. I have decided that this will (most likely) be my one and only IVF if I get there. Maybe I will call a friend to banter protocols with first.

I have a killer headache that is making me nauseous, am very tired since Max decided that waking up in the 3 am hours was a good idea…sure he got to nap between 7:30 and 9 am and again from 1 – 2:30. He still has a bit of diarrhea, but the bum is looking and feeling better.

Mom’s here reading in the living room while Naomi is walking Shadow and Max before we head out to dinner, while I “work”.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

The end of denial - boo hoo

It has been a hard emotional day or two. It is hard to stay in denial when yesterday I had my final beta (3.18), had my Rhogam shot (RH Factor), paid for my July IVF cycle, and started BCP’s for said cycle.

On the Rhogam, since the loss was so early, likely a Rhogam shot is not needed, but why chance it since it is just one more shot? I had forgotten what a hassle this was from the last time. The doc’s want to prescribe a 50 ml micro dose, but most pharmacies don’t carry this and/or it is discontinued depending on who you talk to. Last time, I had it done at the RE clinic and my RE was out of town. The other RE stepped in and they gave me the full dose which is overkill, but would not cause a problem. This time, my RE sent me to my OB (who happens to be his wife). I was supposed to go to the office, get the prescription, get it filled at the pharmacy down stairs, then go back to the office to get the actual shot. Well, the pharmacy told me they didn’t have it and couldn’t fill it. The OB office wanted me to drive around and find a pharmacy. It was the last straw. I just started getting teary eyed and told her that I had been through this before. No one carries the microdose. She goes and talks to the doc (not my OB, but the other OB in the office) who rewrites the prescription. I go back to the pharmacy and they fill it and tell me my insurance won’t cover it because it is an injectable. The tears just started overflowing and I couldn’t stop them. The pharmacist just reached over and touched my hand and told me that she was sorry. I could tell she meant sorry for my loss, the reason I needed the Rhogam as well as the hassle. I just pulled out my card and handed it to them to pay. I head back to the OB’s (just one flight of stairs, not that I took the stairs, and a trip down the hall) where I tried not to completely loose it as a happy young pregnant couple came in. Finally, I was called back where the nurse went to the scale. I must have given her some look because she said, “ahh, you don’t want me to weight you?”. I said, “no, not really” so she puts me in a room (the one with the ultrasound) and gets the blood pressure machine and measure my blood pressure. I must have given her another look and started crying again. This is the routine they do at the start of every pre-natal visit, minus the pee in the cup. I can tell she things I am pregnant and wondering what is up. So, she asks, “why are we giving you the Rhogam shot?” I replied because I was having a m/c. Idiot. She didn’t even have the decency to off any condolences or anything. If fact, no one in the office did. Yet, I know they knew why I was there. Apparently, everyone except the nurse. In fact the receptionist called around to a local pharmacy when she didn’t believe me that they wouldn’t have it and explained it to the person as “you know, the RH Factor shot you get when you are pregnant or MISCARRYING”. Sigh. I know that I was just emotional and oversensitive and most people don’t know what to say. Sometimes, that can actually even be easier than the compassion (like the pharmacist showed).

Anyway, just been moody, and emotional, and sad. So very sad.

I didn’t sleep well last night. I was thinking about the loss and my upcoming IVF cycle and how I should really probably wait to cycle, but how I am not going to. The funny thing is that I am pretty sure this cycle will not work, especially if it fits my past pattern, but I have to try. Maybe even if it doesn’t work, I will have something to freeze. Maybe. Not holding out any hope, but that is the main reason I am going to do it.

I was thinking about how many things could go wrong. I could have a bad response and get cancelled again. It could be negative with nothing to freeze. Worse, I could get pregnant and have another m/c. So many things could go wrong, but only one thing can go right. And still, I am going to go for it. It will be my one and only IVF. It it doesn’t work, I will take a break for a month or to and try a few more IUI’s. I talked to my sperm bank today and they said my donor has about 14 vials and his IUI vials are better and more expensive than the ICI. She knows only one other person who is currently using him and she is doing IUI’s at the bank and only buying a few at a time for financial reasons. My donor is not actively listed anymore and only available to families for siblings. If my IVF fails, I will be down to 2 left. I will then likely buy 4 and try 6 IUI’s. If I don’t get pregnant on those, I will have to re-evaluate (if I don’t have a new plan in place by then).

I finished reading last night a book called The Big House by George Howe Cohen. It was a good read, although it took me awhile to get through with everything going on these last three weeks.

I started reading a book called Coming to Term about re-occurring pregnancy loss. The title of chapter 1? Not viable. How I know that well.

In Max news, we hit a new milestone/first, he has had his first bout of diarrhea which has given him is first real diaper rash. Poor guy. He woke at 3:30 and took a bit of bottle before going back to sleep. He woke up at 4:30 in a big poo poo mess and went directly to the sink for a sink bath. He had 4 or 5 diarrhea diapers today (from a guy who is an every couple of day irregular kind of guy) and the acid just ate at his tender little bum. He SCREAMED when Naomi tried to apply Balmex (learned very early that Destin made things worse for him) so we have been using Neosporin with pain and/or the COSTCO Triple Antibiotic cream and they have turned my fussy guy back into his happy cheerful self, even if he still does have a sore bum.

I’m tired and haven’t been sleeping great. I want to try to set up regular appointments with my acupuncturist prior to this cycle and at least get in to see my Chiropractor once if possible. I had plenty of time to call today, but…was immobilized and it just didn’t get done. Tears were so close to the surface that I almost started bawling when Max was crying as Naomi changed him and wasn’t sure I could set up the appointments without a cryfest.

So, I guess I hang out on BCP’s for the next few weeks. I wonder when I will get my protocol. I think I will probably stop BCP’s on the 11th and start stims on the 18th since cd9 is the 25th. Kaia, this means I will likely be on bed rest on Aug. 1 and/or second. I decided I was going to talk to my RE about this whole bed rest thing and have him show me studies that show it makes one lick of difference. If I am fortunate to make it that far, I will likely scale back a bit, but just can’t see spending 3 days in bed. It’s just not going to happen. Also, I’ve been thinking about how many in range follicles I would want to either move forward to ER or cancel. Need to talk to my RE, but I am thinking 6 or under, convert to IUI. Also, been thinking if I get that far, how many I would want to transfer. Assuming decent quality (like 8 cell grade A) I would only do 2. Lesser quality will cause for a last minute decision based on many different factors.

So, I am grieving still for my loss and ramping up to go another round.

And, the only conciliation I have come up with for the failed cycle is that now maybe I can get the fountain working in my back yard before I have a pool party over here on the 8th since it is too heavy for me to lift/take apart/do what I need to do while pregnant. While I have it apart would also be a good time for me to have a few trees removed in the back yard (so I can level the dirt), but I’m going to hold on to that money for awhile until I see how things work.

It’s hard for me to get enthused for a cycle I don’t think will work, but I can’t win the game unless I play. If it doesn’t work, fine. It will be as I expected. If it does, great. I will hope and pray that I make it through the needed milestones to actually have another child.

If anything, I have just become a little more scared and a little more jaded from this last m/c. Have we not all learned the lesson by now that pregnancy does NOT necessarily correlate to having a child. I don’t just want to get pregnant. That is not my goal. My goal is to build my family with another child or two.

Shall we review my cycle history quickly before I got take my PNV, BCP, and get ready for bed?

Round 1
Cycle 1 = BFN
Cycle 2 = Preg.; M/C
Cycle 3 = BFN
Cycle 4 = Max

Round 2
Cycle 1 = BFN
Cycle 2 = Preg.; M/C
Cycle 3 = ?

See the pattern? See why I am afraid? I tell myself that it is a stupid pattern. Coincidence. Nothing more. Nothing less. I would love to break the pattern on this cycle, but only if I actually get a kid out of it. I think it would be two cruel to have back to back m/c’s. I would rather get a negative than have another m/c right after this one.

Like I said, still trying to deal with the grief and loss of R2C2 while gearing up for R2C3. Not ideal, but I’m going to do it anyway because I am pig headed and stubborn and just can’t wait until September to do an IVF. And, I just need to see how I will do if we pull out all the stops and hit me with an aggressive IVF protocol. Even if I get a negative and I have something to freeze (for potential child #3), I will be fine with the decision to cycle so soon after the m/c and with the results (remind me of that when it fails, okay?). If nothing else, this m/c has solidified in my mind that I want three. And, no way could I go back for a third as soon as I have for a second. No way physically and emotionally and practically. And, if I wait, I will likely be too old.

I was thinking about how tired I was this weekend. I think that maybe that is how many women feel after just one child often. I think that is why many think I am crazy to want a second and want a second child so soon. I really can run on a lot less sleep than many (and I think my son may have inherited that from me judging on his early sleep patterns). I think that helps.

As you can tell, I am all over the map. Lots on my mind.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

F’d Up

I have let myself down and really made a few (big in my mind) mistakes the last few days. It’s just sloppy, lack of attention/focus stuff. Completely preventable, never should have happened stuff.

On Friday, I was telling one of my employees about a salary increase and when I told him his new base salary, he said, “boy, I must have missed a few salary increases if THAT is the total”. I gave him someone else’s information. Someone who made 9K more than him per year. Not good. I apologized and explained that I must have forgotten to refresh the screen so it had his name in the header, but someone else’s I the detail. He handled it really well and joked, well, at least you didn’t tell me who it was. He still sounded genuinely happy with the increase and his new base salary when I told him the correct one. I called my boss (one of them) at told him what happened and he was fine with it. He knows the employee it happened with well and he said that knowing him, he really was fine with it. The situation could have been much, much worse (he could have been really upset or some people on the team make 40 – 50 K more than this person and he likely would have been really upset if I had read off that high of a salary). My boss was very understanding and told me I had better get used to messing up not that I am a parent. I still feel really bad. It has been a really long time since I have really made a mistake at work. On the other hand, I made a very good decision to let my boss know about the m/c. I had debated about it and decided to under the premise it is (almost) always better if your boss knows you are going through a personal situation. *

The other two situations had to do with Max and happened this morning. He woke up at 4:30 am for good and I was just so tired.** He had fussed for a few minutes at 3:30 am, but fell back to sleep and I heard the cat barfing about 4 am (but was too tired to get up and deal with it and just made a mental note to turn on the lights and check out my path to Max’s room when getting him). I gave him his bottle and let him play mommie jungle gym for awhile. When he got bored with that, I put him in the co-sleep to play for awhile. When he got bored with that, I closed the door to the master bathroom and the master bedroom to the house and let Max crawl around my room. As long as the animals are out of reach, there is absolutely no harm he can get into (and they were both not in the room at this point. Max was happy with this new freedom and was exploring away. As I was dozing, I suddenly realized that it had gotten too quiet. I couldn’t hear him babbling or crawling. Total silence. I jumped up and flipped on the light and realized that he wasn’t in my room. Crap. I was disoriented and it took me a few seconds to realize my screen door to the back yard was open. Max had figured this out and excitedly crawling around the back yard. Now, the back yard is completely baby proofed (and THIS is why I had the pool safety fenced installed before he became mobile) so he couldn’t really have come to harm out there. Actually, I have let him explore the entire back yard and he has been much further physically from me than this morning. It is just the principle of the matter and scared me. The worst that happened was that he got his PJ’s a bit dirty (they may never come clean) because he crawled through the cat’s vomit which was just watery bile, but since it was wet picked up lots of dirt as he merrily explored. It is just the principle of the matter. I have no idea when or how the screen door got opened. It must have been opened yesterday and I didn’t realize it when I opened the door last night, which I typically do most evenings after it has cooled down outside to cool down the inside of the house.

After that little excitement, I let him continue to crawl around the backyard for awhile (until about 6 am). Then, we went to take Shadow on her morning walk. We went to this big park I discovered that is an un-official off-leach dog park that Shadow really likes. We did a walk around the park, then went to the play area. It is one of those that doesn’t have sand and is great for Max to swing and crawl along. And, the way the structure is designed, it has platforms that Max can crawl around (above the ground). I let him crawl keeping him between my legs so he doesn’t fall over the side. As we were going down one ramp, I put my hand on the railing which had something disgusting and greasy on it. I led Max off the structure (didn’t want to pick him up with my hand like this) and turned my back to wash my hand with the water and antibacterial cleaner in my bag. Somehow Max got back on the play structure and up one of the ramps before I realized it. Man, that kid is quick. After that, I decided enough was enough. Two minor heart attacks (talk about adrenal surge) within a few hours had done me in. Max had a nice breakfast, we read a few books, then he went down for an early nap. Yes, all this adventure before 8:30 am can tire a person out. Fortunately, he slept for about 2.5 hours and I was able to rest and doze off between phone calls. ***

Anyway, I am still very tired. It has been a very busy weekend with lots of running around and physically taxing with watching (admittedly with a few lapses) and the actual m/c occurring. I am spent. I already have the house in order for the night and am going to take a quick cool shower and climb into bed.

Tomorrow starts a new week. A week where I need to “just be better” and focus on the tasks at hand. While none of my fuck up’s ultimately ended up being extremely problematic, they COULD have. My psyche can’t take more mistakes like this.

Yes, I am only human and I have been physically and emotionally pressured recently. I realize this. However, these are not errors in judgment. These are errors in execution. Just plain mistakes caused my lack of concentration and focus. They were all completely preventable if I had been paying attention to what I should have been. I hate fuck up’s like that in general. I especially hate them when they are done by me. I’m better than that. On one hand, I guess my boss is right and no one is perfect and I had better start getting used to it now that I am a parent. On the other hand, I can’t ever see myself getting used to such sloppy behavior either at work or as a parent.

I guess this m/c is taking its toll, just much differently than it did the first time.

* I had ‘Rita’s and Mexican with a friend on Friday after this happened and before I called my boss to tell him. During our discussion and as I was beating myself up, it was brought up that I didn’t have to fess up and likely my peers in the same situation would not have. I am sure the employee would not say anything because he really didn’t seem that upset about it. However, my own work ethic would not allow me to not let my boss know about the mistake.

** I have really been bleeding heavy this weekend. It has been a big, well, bloody mess. It is been different from my last m/c in that I have had minimal cramping. My theory on that is that the uterus is a muscle that got really stretched out with Max and maybe that is why I didn’t cramp. Oddly, my sisters never had cramping prior to having kids, but both did after. I have always had cramping anytime I bleed from my very first period. Maybe mine will be better now. Anyway, when things got started they got started fast and furious and I lost a lot of blood and big clots all very quickly and I wasn’t in pain, just physically weak and very, very tired. Not sleep tired. Exhausted, need to lie horizontal tired. Tired enough that I almost fell asleep on the couch on Saturday afternoon while Max was playing and if I had a good friend right around the corner, I probably would have asked if they could watch Max for 30 – 60 minutes. I didn’t, but rallied.

*** Not that I actually answered the calls, just that the ringing woke me up. I guess most people don’t expect someone to be napping at that time of day. Hey, they might consider it if they got up so early. I didn’t answer the phone once today. I can’t remember the last time I checked messages. I probably should do that at some point. I just don’t really care who called or what they wanted. I feel less guilty not doing call backs if I don’t know exactly why I was called in the first place. Plus, in general, I often don’t answer the phone when it is “my” time with Max. I want to be giving him my attention and focus since it is limited most weeks. Especially, since clearly my focus and attention has caused a few errors in judgment, I realized I need to be extra cautious right now. I was thinking tonight as I was getting Max ready for bed and the phone rang yet again (and went unanswered yet again) and laughing that Max will probably grow up and not realize that you are actually supposed to answer the phone when it rings instead of just acknowledging the ringing phone. (“Our phone is ringing”; “Mamma’s cell phone is ringing”, etc.)

Friday, June 23, 2006

Grief is a solo sport

I have been thinking these last few days the grief is a solo sport. You can feel empathy for a person, but no one else can really feel another person’s grief. You can be supportive and show that you care, but you can’t take it away. If you try, you minimize it. I have had a few friends who are have had a loss (death of a beloved pet) and disappointment (ER didn’t yield good results and likely nothing to ET). Oddly, these people were the ones that I found it easiest to talk to this week.

I just haven’t been in the mood to “talk it out” this go round. I have many emails and phone calls to return from people who have reached out to me after I found out about the m/c and I just haven’t had it in me to follow up with them. I really tried to keep a low profile on things, but someone I still had about 15 – 20 people to follow up with.

Harding - Your comment the other day was the best and it has kept me grounded these last few days. She said (in response to lying to my mom) that sometimes it is hard enough to manage our own expectations without having to worry about someone else’s. I just don’t have it in me to manage anyone else’s expectations just now. I know my friends just want to support me, but I just needed to cave in for awhile. And, I am not yet ready to come out.

I actually made dinner tonight. Noodles with Beef Tips in Gravy with Green Beans. Since Max is now on solids, I am trying to be better about cooking and having variety. He ate while I was still finishing up work (Naomi was still here) and I decided to wait until after he went to sleep so I could relax and enjoy the meal. I knew that he would be going down early because he was up for the day at 3:45 am and went down for his morning nap at 6:50 am. He was up by 9 am and STILL boycotted his afternoon nap. Naomi tried to get him down. I tried to get him down. Didn’t work. I did manage to get him to play quietly in his crib for about 30 minutes, but no sleep. Even though I find it hard to believe, I guess he just doesn’t need it. He isn’t fussy or crying or anything in the afternoons/early evenings. But, he is ready for bed when the time comes. Anyway, I get my dinner and brought it to the computer to finish up a few things and saw a fellow dog owner coming up my driveway with my neighbors dog (the new puppy) on leash. So, I ran out there. The puppy got out and the fellow dog owner didn’t know where the puppy belonged and was coming to ask me because I am a well known dog walker in my neighborhood and DO know most of the time which dogs belong with which house. I ended up playing with the puppy and talking to my neighbor. She is due in November with another boy and I had to tell her about the m/c. She and her husband were the only neighbors I told. I finally get back in side to eat my dinner and Shadow must have thought it was for her and I just forgot to give it to her (yeah right). The plate was licked clean. I’m so glad I went to the effort to eat a nice balanced meal. Shadow ate great tonight and I settled for a bottle of chocolate milk

You know how I was just saying that it made me feel great that Max wanted me over Naomi and I was proud and gloating over that fact. I’m feeling bad over it now. Tonight when Naomi was leaving she commented that always before (when the mom isn’t home) when she leaves the babies always cry. She can barely get Max to wave bye-bye to her. I had noticed that she always made a deal about leaving and saying bye to him, but I really didn’t pay too much attention because I am always so happy to have “my” time with him. I could tell that it bothered her a bit. Don’t get me wrong. Max is happy to see her in the mornings. His face lights up and he crawls as fast as he can to get to her (if he is down and able), especially on Monday’s when he hasn’t seen her in a few days. But, when she leaves and it is “our” time, he doesn’t really pay any attention. Really, I do think it would bother me if he did cry when she left, but I am sad that she is upset by it.

I started bleeding and passing clots this morning and thought finally things are going to get moving. I was further encouraged when I started getting a bit crampy as I was on my way out to lunch with a friend for Mexican and ‘Rita’s. Now, it has slowed down again. This is a very weird m/c. Not like my other one at all. Found myself thinking again today maybe it meant that the beta was wrong again. I guess I am still in denial. I’ll be getting a follow up beta on Monday afternoon hopefully (forgot to call the clinic today and schedule it) since I have to be over that way anyway.

Anyway, I have been up a long time and need to leave the house very early so must go clean up and prep for tomorrow. I have a decently busy and distracting weekend with people that I don’t have to pretend with since they have BTDT (been there done that) – sadly and grieving in their own right for other things. While grief is a solo sport, sometimes it is nice to hang out with others in a similar situation who can relate without you having to talk about it.

It is hard to be in denial when people keep asking how you are doing and wanting to talk about it.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Talk about denial

I actually had the thought today that since I haven’t started really bleeding yet and I have been off the progesterone for a few days, that MAYBE the beta was wrong and it wasn’t really dropping and this pregnancy could be viable. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

On a happier note, my kid is just great! He really is a smart kid for one so young and knows how to boost his mommies ego. Not once, but two or three times today, he either started crying for me or started crying when I handed him to the nanny because he wanted to stay with me. I always said that I would be fine if he wanted Naomi instead of me at some point because it would make be feel great about my decision to hire her and the job she is doing. But, I have to say, it REALLY felt great to have that extra love today after this week. My son loves me and wants comfort from me best.

Very tired. Again. Still. Cat woke me up from a solid sleep somewhere in the 4 am hour puking. I didn’t fall asleep until after midnight sometime. Never went back to sleep. Max was up at 5:10 am for good and only took a short morning nap so he was down early. I really need to get to sleep early tonight so my early morning wake up call isn’t quite so painful.

Maybe tomorrow, I will really start bleeding and purge this pregnancy from my body so I can move on. I’m going to be really upset if I miss the July cycle because my beta didn’t drop fast enough. But, I am making back up plans because the way my luck tends to run on the ttc stuff, that is exactly what will happen.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

The “score” and Why?

One of the things I have been thinking today is the “score”.

Pregnancies = 3
Miscarriages = 2
Children = 1

I don’t like that score. Yes, it could be worse. It could be a lot better.

I think I have mentioned before that I have had my palms read 3 times in my life for various reasons, mostly when I was on vacation, and I never paid for it to be done. The reader just picked up my palm and read it. In each reading, I was told I would have 3 children.

I have often wondered if my miscarriage “counted”. If the one counted, then this one must two. That means my family would be done. I just can’t accept that fact. I can’t.

And, it really isn’t even a fact. I don’t even know if I believe in it. Yet, here I am worried about it.

Under other irrational and illogical fears…some people believe that the “soul” picks the mother based on what lessons they still need to learn or issues that need to be resolved in past lives. Again, this is not something I am sure I believe in. Yet, I don’t completely discount it because when they talk about “old souls”, people that have lived many lives, I feel such an identity to that label. If it is true, I believe that I am an old soul. So, one of the things I was worrying about while not sleeping last night is if this belief system is true, what happens in the case of a miscarriage. Do the souls meet you when you conceive and decide, holy CRAP, I made a mistake, I can’t be born into that family. Are they SOL for picking me and never getting to be born and learn the lessons they thought they might? Do they just get put back in the pool and have to pick someone else? Logistically, how would that work? What happens if you have more than one soul that wants a particular mommy? Which one wins? The first soul in? I did say that it was irrational and illogical.

I feel like not only have I lost a child, but also part of a dream. I always wanted to have a child born around the same time I was. I really don’t know why that has been so important to me. I started my ttc journey, both round 1 and round 2 with the timing and planning around being due at the end of January/early February. I know that it was a sad attempt to control a process in which there is no control. With this loss, it will not happen. Or, rather the only way it would happen is IF I miscarry in time to do the July cycle and IF I have any kind of response and IF I get pregnant from that cycle, then I would have to delivery very prematurely for that to occur. I do not want it to occur that way. When I found out that the due date would be either my birthday exactly or the day after based on either LMP or IUI, I thought. This is a “sign” that despite my worries and fears about a miscarriage it could work out. Or, is it a sign that I should stop trying to control the situation and just let it be “because things will work out the way they should and you will get the child you are meant to get”.

Speaking of signs, when I was ttc on round 1, I saw deer on every single cycle I conceived. On the cycle I miscarried, when I saw the deer it was being cornered by two coyotes. Deer sightings are very rare around here which is why I remember them. I haven’t seen a deer since before I conceived Max. What does that mean? Anything? Does it mean that I have not been asking God for enough guidance and trying to follow my own plan instead of his? Each previous sighting occurred right as I was asking God for a sign that I was on the right path or making the right decision or moving in the right direction. While I have gone to Church more and baptized Max and talked about God and religion more than ever in the past, I haven’t “talked” to God recently. I haven’t even asked the question of whether I am on the right path or moving in the right direction.

When I had the first miscarriage, I was just completely devastated. It rocked my world and probably has had the biggest impact on my life than any single event including the birth of Max. I still have many scars from that wound and think I always will. I remember just lying on my bed crying and bawling my eyes out thinking that I didn’t have a husband, I killed my child, I was overweight, and any and every other insecurity and deep seeded fear and thinking what is the common denominator – ME. ME, ME, ME. That I didn’t have any of those things because I was not worthy enough and I was not good enough. That was the lowest point in my life. I am not really an insecure person or at least I have never thought of myself in that light, but I was so there at the time. I have done a lot of personal work and growth since then. I’m not going there this time. I have the most beautiful, most amazing boy, most intelligent boy for me. I could not have asked for a more perfect match. If I have done nothing else right in my entire life, I know that being his momma is the most right thing I have done.

I know I can survive this loss as I have survived one before. It is hard and sad, but I know I will deal with it and survive. When Max was first born, I was so worried that he would die and that it was all a cosmic joke, because the lesson I have learned only too well on the ttc path is that things often can and do go wrong. I was so worried about SIDS and suffocation. As he has grown, I have become less worried, but still find myself just thrilled each morning when he is still alive and a part of my life. I know that life can be short and unpredictable and I want us to enjoy and have the best time together for as long as we have. I still have passing fear. When Max hits each month milestone, I think he made it 10 months without dying of SIDS, only 2 more to go until he is a year. He was playing by emptying everything out of the bottom of his stroller yesterday which included several plastic bags for use for poo poo duty when walking Shadow or for Naomi to have at the park with her. I walked into the room and he was playing with the bags, I didn’t panic, but did think OMG and tell him that he couldn’t play with those because he could suffocate and took them away. Naomi took the hint and we have both made sure that he doesn’t have access, at least readily. However, the fear of loosing him is still deep within my psyche. I know I can survive this loss. I am not really sure I could survive loosing Max. Loosing him, I would be loosing the single most precious person to ever come into my life. And yet, I am afraid to say that and feel that way. I am afraid to tempt the fates or gods or God and have it be put to the test for once again trying to control things instead of just living the life I was meant to live.

And, I remind myself that this is fear based illogical thinking. But, my feelings are real to me. My fear is my fear. My demons are my demons.

I got a new worry today when someone told me about a study that showed having a first born son could affect your immunity system and increased your chance of miscarriage. I have only read the article, not the actual study itself and I have not yet asked Dr. N his thoughts, but it never occurred to me that my immunity system could change. I thought that we had worked out all of the ‘me’ problems. I have taken and gotten normal results on the immunity testing. We have fixed all of the environmental problems (poly/fibroids). We have identified and treat my hormonal issues (progesterone). We closely monitor the progesterone problem and supplement. We rechecked for polyps and/or fibroids before restarting round 2. It just never occurred to me that I could now have an immunity problem when I didn’t in the past. I’m not sure how big of a concern this is yet, but clearly it needs more research and some follow up.

I have been thinking all of these crazy things and more when I am not specifically focused on other things and the distractions of life. I have been thinking these things and more when I have a few moments to think while driving or walking or trying to sleep.

Mostly, I think it was just a bad egg. It was good enough to fertilize and implant, but not good enough to become a child. Sometimes bad things happen to good people. We are working with laws of nature not laws of God. My mind knows this, but does my heart believe it?

The irony

I’ve been thinking a lot about irony today. Specifically, how I have not been bleeding or cramping today. I would have been thrilled with this had I NOT gone into the RE’s office yesterday and gotten the official word that the pregnancy will not be a successful one. Today, I just want it to happen and be over with. I know that this is the calm before the storm. I feel the storm building in my uterus. Typically, I do not bleed heavy in the evenings or at night. I expect to wake up with things in full force.

Have you ever wondered what the “products of conception” look like? I do. There was a “particle” in the bottom of my toilet today. I seriously wondered if that could have been “it”. It looked like what I think a “product of conception” would look like, but what do I know. I have never seen one that I know about, especially at this stage of the game. I thought about fishing it out and examining it. I decided I couldn’t go there.

I’ve been thinking a lot today about how I am sad and down, but not as devastated as I was with my first miscarriage. I think it is because while on my first pregnancy, I knew that a miscarriage was possible, I didn’t really believe it was something that could/would happen to me. Now, I know better. I have become scared by this process. It has taken its toll. I also think, it is because I have Max in my life. God, I love that kid and have such a good time with him. I think it is because I have grieved so much this year for Lucky and loosing her. This doesn’t feel as bad by comparison right now.

My RE has told me many times over the last year or too that I am too negative. I should be more positive. For example, when we were talking about me getting a 7 dpo progesterone test with this cycle, he was reminding me that they wanted to see over 15 on a medicated cycle. I told him that it wasn’t going to be over 15, but I would be happy with over 10 which is what is needed to maintain a pregnancy. My progesterone ended up being 11.3. I was happy with that. Was I negative or a realist?

When I found out I was pregnant last week, I really felt like it was too good to be true. I kept waiting for the shoe to drop or for something bad to happen. I realize that I have become so scarred by this process that I really didn’t expect the pregnancy to work. Yes, I hoped. Yes, I prayed. Yes, I really wanted it more than I could say. The more I spotted, the more I cramped, the more I knew I was probably right, no matter how much I wanted to be wrong. As I was often reminded, yes, I did spot and cramp with Max. And, as I remembered, it was on a cyclical bases to correspond to when I would have gotten my period. And, yes, that did turn out great.

I’ve been up since 3:31 am. Max woke up and sucked down a bottle and was back asleep in his crib by 3:38. I was never able to go back to sleep.

I have been able to keep the grief and worries and doubts and questions and losses at bay during the day. I have had enough distractions. The nights have been hard and I think they will be for awhile.

I’m going to go lie down and try to sleep because I know I need to. I need to for me and my health and I need to so I can be the best momma to Max I can be. But, I’m afraid. I’m afraid because then I will have to face that with which I have suppressed during the day. I know that I need to do this at some point – deal with the loss and my feelings around it. But, I just don’t know that I have it in me right now. I just want to pretend that all is well. It was somewhat easy today. Lots of distractions. Little physical reminders (like blood and cramping). I just need to be in denial for a little longer.

My mind understands that the pregnancy is not viable. My heart has not yet accepted that fact yet. My body has not yet “lost” the pregnancy.

I just feel sad and numb and just so very, very tired. Not sleepy tired. Weary tired.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Not Viable

Even though I knew that I was miscarrying in my heart, I was hoping I was wrong and I am still very sad to have it confirmed. Beta = 406. It should have been at least around 1000. So, I’m stopping the mega doses of progesterone and will retest next week to confirm my beta has dropped to zero which is very likely since it is already so low. As long as it is zero by July 1st, I will be able to do am IVF cycle in July. Otherwise, the next IVF is in September and I will likely do an IUI or two in the meantime. While it isn’t as devastating the second time around and with a gorgeous child at home, it still stings. And, of course, the insult added to the injury is the bleeding and cramping and general sick feeling to go with the dashed hope. I think I am going to “cave in” for a bit.

Going in to check things out

My RE is letting me go in this afternoon for an u/s and another blood HCG. I started bleeding yesterday enough for a pad. I’m currently really crampy and bleeding a lot with dark stringy clots. I won’t SAY that I am miscarrying, because I have cried that often enough when it hasn’t been true. I will say that I won’t be surprised. I just don’t see how you can bleed this much or spot this long without it being something bad. I’m feeling tired and sad, but mostly numb.

Monday, June 19, 2006

My climber

My little climber was so pleased with himself this morning.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

1 in 5; 20%

I was re-reading the m/c portions of my pregnancy books last night. Yes, some nice light reading. I had forgotten that 1 in 5 women/ 20% of all women bleed in pregnancy with out having a miscarriage. For some reason, that is a higher stat than I remember and I found it strangely comforting. Been doing fine this weekend. Been very busy. Max is basically on one nap a day these days. He was so tired after swimming and playing outside and being generally on the go most of the day that he was crashed out by 6:30 both last night and tonight. Of course, this meant he was up at 4:30 am this morning. Yeah me! – NOT. I did nap when he napped this morning, but am still tired from being on the go and in the sun myself. Anyway, just thought I would do a quick post to say that I am still spotting, but not nearly as bad as last week. Had a bit of cramping start a few hours ago, but drugged up on Tylenol. What I can’t feel doesn’t stress me out. Basically, I am currently taking everything in stride. While not confident that the pregnancy will last, I am not freaked out at the moment. Taking Friday afternoon off and seeing my acupuncturist was the best decision I have made in awhile. It got me relaxed and in a much better place. I am also listening to the hypno birth CD from my doula before bed. I always found that so relaxing and am asleep before it completes. I can’t believe the weekend is over and another work week is about to start. Ugh. As tiring as it is, I much rather hang out and play with and read to and teach my little Max all day. That kid is something else. He has started to climb. No, he can’t walk yet, but he has managed to climb up the footrest into the stroller which was secure from being tipped over because I had the handle wedged between the French/lever door handle. He got into the pantry this morning and removed everything from the first shelf in short order and then started to climb up to the second shelf. I was torn between grabbing the camera or ensuring safety. Safety one. I am finding being a mommy, much more fulfilling and rewarding that the job that pays me money these days. I keep reminding myself that I spotted/bleed with Max and that I have a good chance of being the 1 of being in the 20%. I hope so. I can’t change the situation. The pregnancy is either viable or it isn’t. I can’t change that. I can only change how I react to it. I am going to try be calm and take things in stride. I’ve done fairly well at that this weekend with Max to keep me on my toes.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Beta #3 = 198

I started to post early this morning and the day got away from me. I woke up convinced that the pregnancy wasn’t viable and even after I got the results from my RE and he said all was fine and progressing like a healthy pregnancy I was worried and anxious and churning and unable to focus or concentrate. I did a bit of work (a very little bit, like the barest necessary for today) and mostly talked, vented, and emailed friends. I also called my acupuncturist and she fit me in. She herself is a very calming influence and I think that and the treatment helped. She changed my frame of reference and asked me to put it in perspective of Max and how I would want to be calm and nurturing for him. She also reminded me there would always be the next thing to worry about the next beta, the next u/s, any genetic testing, the birth, etc. I know this is true from having Max. I guess it was the grounding I needed today and that after loss of sleep last week from Max being sick I had gotten so wound up that the last few nights I have been up for most of the night, not because of Max, but because I was too keyed up to sleep. This was one of the things that had convinced me this morning that I was no longer pregnant because I was sleeping so crappy that it was a “sign” since I typically am very tired and sleep great on progesterone/when pregnant. She felt that I had too much adrenalin and was too keyed up that she thought my body was overriding those factors. She said that I had a good strong pregnancy pulse, needed to drink more water, and maybe add some magnesium supplements. Of course, the thing that probably helped the most was that I am no longer bleeding bright blood red. I saw a few clots and particles in the bottom of the toilet a few too many times today, but the bleeding seems to have stopped for now.

I know that the stage was set over Memorial Day weekend when the sperm and the egg fertilized and then implanted. It will either be strong enough to make it at this point or it won’t and worry and anxiety will not change the outcome.

A good friend who also recently lost a beloved dog as well as a minor comment by my acu when I saw her on Monday helped me to realize that it wasn’t only about the pregnancy, but also about loosing Lucky and the changes that brought in my life with Shadow no longer willing and able to hike. I started the morning hikes 8+ years ago, but they became as much, if not more, for me as well as the dogs. Walking Shadow around the park or neighborhood is just not giving me the physical outlet I need. I realized this week that even though I have not been on a hike in months, I was still putting on my hiking socks and boots every morning. I tried this week to not put them on and to wear tennis shoes or sandals instead. I just couldn’t do it. I have been in such conflict because I can’t leave Shadow behind. She will decline even faster than she is, yet I need more and I am just too tired at night and it is just too hot in the evenings. I need to figure something out instead of thinking the new normal was working. Maybe I will walk Shadow around the block first a few mornings a week and then take Max and I on a real hike. I need to see the nature and the have that release and mindless thought time. Lucky would never have stood for such a routine, but truly I don’t think Shadow will care. Yes, she still wants to get her walks in, but she doesn’t care if it is short and the same ole boring route day after day walk after walk. I always thought I was doing the different trails “for the dogs” so they had fresh scents and fresh trails, but I see now that it was just as much, if not more for me.

I told my hiking boot story to a friend that lost her dog and she helped me realize that things have been building and building for awhile. She and I have actually been hiking a few times together (although she lives in N. California) and she helped me to realize that in my search for the new normal and trying to take care of everyone else, I haven’t been taking care of “me” and have been suppressing “my” need for more exercise and my morning hikes.

I accept that Lucky is gone and my life has changed and continues to change without her. But days like today and weeks like this week, I really, really still miss her something fierce. She was my love bug who would know I was upset and either give me comfort or do something outrageous or funny to snap me out of it.

I am usually a pretty calm easy going individual that takes things in stride and I really lost it today. I got myself worked up into such a state I didn’t know how to get out of it by myself. My acu gave me an assignment of sorts when talking with her to focus on until I saw her and that was to stop thinking about what could or could not happen that I had no control over and to think about the things I have in life to be fortunate about. At the top of that list is a great support system of friends who care and listened to me complain and bitch and whine all morning, a compassionate RE who doesn’t minimize or dismiss my concerns although one would think he HAD to get tired of it at a certain point, and a great acupuncturist who fit me in this afternoon into her already packed schedule because she knew I really needed it.

So, while the bleeding has stopped for now, I am sure it will be back at some point and some time. When it does, I am going to try to keep it into perspective and remember that I bled and cramped with Max and that turned out great. This must just be “the way it is” for me. It will be really, really hard. But, if I can resolve my hiking/outlet issue, maybe it will be easier.

It has been a very difficult and emotional day and a very emotional and roller coaster of a week. Can you believe it has been only one week since I found out I was pregnant again? The joy of that and the concern about the low betas and the spotting/bleeding has done me in. I am currently emotionally spent. I hope enough to get some decent sleep so that I can keep things better in perspective. Yes, the beta numbers are lower than I would like but as my acu pointed out and she knows my RE, Dr. N thinks they are fine and “More than rising appropriately. Obviously, the best sign would be a heart beat on ultrasound, but everything so far indicates to me that this is a normal, healthy pregnancy” I guess I am just going to have to take it day by day and get my nerves of steel back in place for my next 2ww until the heartbeat ultrasound.

Beta History
Cycle 2 – Result = M/C
Beta 1= 52.16 (16 dpo); Beta 2 = 110.54 (18 dpo); Beta 3 = 155.23 * (22 dpo); Beta 4 = 61.43 (23 dpo); Beta 5 = 12.70 (26 dpo)

* only done because I started spotting and cramping over the weekend indicating a likely m/c

Cycle 4 – Result = Max
Beta 1 = 73 (13 dpo); Beta 2 = 196 (15 dpo)

Cycle 6 – Result = TBD
Beta 1 = 29.05 (13 dpo); Beta 2 = 77.80 (16 dpo); Beta 3 = 198 (19 dpo)

Thursday, June 15, 2006

I lied

I lied yesterday. An out and out lie to my mom. We went to dinner and she asked me if I was tttc. The question really caught me off guard and I was pissed at myself because I know she asked because she saw the progesterone in the fridge. I have been hiding it when she comes and forgot yesterday in the stress of spotting and cramping. Damn! So, I told her that I wasn’t trying yet and that maybe sometime after the summer. I think she knew I was lying too as I don’t lie very often and am very bad at it. But, she didn’t call me on it. Afterwards I was pissed (as well as feeling guilty) at 1) not hiding the progesterone in the first place. I know better. 2) being caught by surprise like that 3) not coming up with a truth that avoided the issue like “I am not currently trying”, which is technically true. Or, I prefer not to discuss the detail of my ttc plans and will let you know at some point in the future. Or, something like that. Instead, I said the first thing that came to mind (after cursing myself for the progesterone and getting myself in the situation to begin with), which was a lie. I feel bad for it, but not bad enough to admit to the lie just yet.

While I am confessing, let me say that I also lied to a fellow SMC friend (who has put ttc on hold and dating) on Friday when I had lunch with her when I told her that I wasn’t going in for a beta until Monday. She called on Monday and I told her it was positive and then told her I actually had the first one on Friday before we met, but didn’t have the results yet but wanted a bit of time between getting the news and having to tell people. I think she understood.

I feel a little bad for my fibs (sounds better than lie, huh?), but sometimes you just don't want to talk about things and people ask pointed questions. I guess I should just have the strength of character to tell them in a polite way that is none of their business or that I don't want to talk about it.

I almost never lie and here I lied twice in one week. I had better get myself into Church to reform my ways. It has been a month or so since Max and I made it to a service.

So, the blood was dropped off hours ago and it is now 7:15 pm PT and I do not have my results. I wasn’t really expecting them until my RE said they would get back to me today. I ask the nurse drawing my blood if he was serious and would I really get them back today. She said yes. Good thing I didn’t count on it. I know they are in cycle and it was a really late blood draw so I am fine with not getting them today. But, since they said I would, I am a bit worried that the results are bad and they are waiting for Dr. N to tell me and he either is still busy working or had to get home to the family. Okay, maybe I am a bit worried and anxious for the results.

The several handfuls of peanut M&M’s I had as a mid afternoon snack are making me feel a bit ill and shaky. I know that much sugar isn’t good for me, especially so late in the day. Sigh! That is what I get for 1) stopping by the store on the way home (but, I really needed food for Max who is currently boycotting…by either spitting forcefully or slowly dribbling the food down his chin…my sweet boy) 2) bringing my enemy (as my former ww instructor would say) home with me. Big sigh!

I was feeling much better after going to the clinic and talking to my RE who came in to the waiting room to see me when he saw me and asked how I was doing and didn’t make me feel like a looser for being a PITA and worrying. He said my numbers had doubled fine and that it didn’t matter that they started out much lower than Max, they were solid. And, that I did the spotting and cramping thing with Max.

I wish they hadn’t told me I would get the results today. They always have the Dr. give the bad news at my clinic. Okay, I guess I don’t know that for sure so I would say…I have always been given my bad news directly from my doc. The good news is a 50/50 deal, sometimes is the nurse first with a follow up from the RE or sometimes it is from the RE directly.

Enough stalling. Time to go clean up Max’s toys, finish putting the groceries away, and prep a meal for this weekend. It became very clear yesterday when Max devoured a good portion of my meal in the restaurant last night and made a good dent in the left overs today, that I am going to have to start cooking again. Something I haven’t done really since I was pregnant with him. But, I want him to eat healthy fresh meals and a wide variety while he is still too young to have strong preferences. His nanny mentioned mac-n-cheese today. Yes, it is easy and most kids like it. Shoot, I like it. But, I am hoping to wait a year or so before he gets hotdogs and mac-n-cheese and many other American kid staples. This means work and planning and prep for me.

PS. Only bright red blood today on and off with one instance of watery pink blood on the TP. When telling a friend about my black undie strategy, she suggested a niche market for blank panty liners. On the way home from the clinic, I added black TP. Personally, I think this is a grand idea. What you can’t see will not stress you out? If black TP and liners were available, would YOU buy them? I would. I really would. Even if they were double the price of the tidy whities. They would only be used for “special” occasions. Takers?

As I told my RE, I am doing okay today because it is only the spotting. If I am only spotting or only cramping, I can usually maintain a relatively calm attitude. It is when I both spot and cramp at the same time that I worry, obsess, get really really scared.

Boy, results tonight would be nice. Sigh. 7:45 pm PT. It is not going to happen. I really should focus on the tasks on hand and get my “chores” done.


Wednesday, June 14, 2006

My Brilliant Boy

I am sure that every mom feels this way about her kid, at least I hope she would, but my Max is clearly brilliant as well as cute. And, yes, he does have a great personality!

Max Today Waking Up From Nap

The other day, he clearly made the baby sign I have been using for “no more”, palm down waving hand back and forth. In the past, I could tell he understood because when I would do the sign or say “no more” he would do his old favorite of fingers over the mouth and go wa wa wa wa wa. He is progressing to waving his hand across the tray of his high chair causing whatever is remaining to go flying. Not exactly what I was going for, but he is getting his point across. LOL. I acknowledge these cases with a prompt removal from the highchair, but really praise it up when he does the sign without the food flying bit. He can wave “Bye Bye/Adios”. He can “kiss” (open wet mouthed smackerou). Now, I am working on the baby sign we are using for “eat”, fingers to the lips. The kid is smart. He seems to “get it”.

Over the weekend, I was letting him play in the back yard while I swept leaves. As usual, he tried to put them directly into his month. However, unlike in the past, when I told him to “not eat the leaves” he smiled and put them down. Of course, I had to tell him that about 20 times, but each time, he looked at me, smiled, and put them down to move on to another part of the back yard and new leaves. LOL.

His word recognition in both English and Spanish is quite phenomenal, if I do say so myself, which I do. However, unprompted, Naomi has told me the same thing. She says his is “very intelligent” (in Spanish). So, it is not just me. (smile)

One early morning when he was in my bed with me playing with “his” TV remote (the one that doesn’t work anymore). He took the back off where the battery goes. I looked at him amazed. I put it back on and handed the remote back to him. Once again, he took it off. I put it back on and gave him back the remote. A third time, he put his little finger on the lever and took the back off then gave me a big smile, like “yes momma, I do know how to do this”. He is not yet 10 months. How did he figure that out? Incredible!

I have this big entertainment center in the living room that has three sections and each section has a cupboard at the bottom with a door that opens up. We have been putting his toys and books away in there. Sometimes, he just likes to open and close the doors. A few weeks ago, when he was mastering this he couldn’t get the door open because he was sitting in front of it, he started fussing and getting frustrated because the door wouldn’t open and yet he knew that it could/should. I told him to not get frustrated, that he had to move his body to the side and out of the way of the door. He looked at me. Moved. Opened the door. And, beamed. Now, he is mastering pulling everything off each and every shelf and throwing it to the floor, just because he can. He can clear each shelf in about 20 seconds with a nice swipe of his arm.

What else?

He will look at flowers when you point them out to him. He finds the airplane in the sky when he hears one or you tell him one is flying high in the sky. We were watching a Baby Einstein DVD the other day and as typical I said the word of the object on the screen and act as narrator. When I said “ball”, he crawled over to the ball sitting next to him and touched it, rolled it around, and beamed to me in recognition/making the connection. I, of course, told him how brilliant he was and that he was absolutely correct that was a ball.

He has this great soft little chuckle when he is pleased with something like when I give up trying to rock him back to sleep in his room and bring him into bed with me. Or, when he slides out of my lap after a bottle or quick cuddle, and gets his feet on the ground and realizes he is “free” (and not off to bed). He has this “he he he he he” type of chuck/sigh of happiness.* It is a delight to hear.

He has the most contagious laugh. He has been sick and teething (yes, looks like at least one tooth has broken through with 3 more on the way/just behind it) so he hasn’t laughed much lately. But the other day on the way home from our walk, our neighbor (who is 4) came over with his puppy to play in the front yard with us. Max just laughed and laughed and laughed to see the puppy run around and laughed even harder when the puppy licked his feet, his hands, and his face. It was just the best and made me want to get a puppy for him so badly. I have had to repeat countless times to myself since then that now is not the time and that it isn’t fair to Shadow, who was safely in the backyard away for the puppy energy. Shadow dislikes the puppy energy and much as Max seems to love it.

When I read to Max, I usually hold up two books and ask him which one he wants to read. He will crawl over and “pick” one by touching it or taking it into his hands. Once, he didn’t pick either which I thought was strange so I held up two different books and he smiled and picked one of them. Apparently, he just didn’t want to read either of the firsat two choices just then. It is just adorable and I can tell that he really does know what he is doing because his preferences change every few days. Sometimes, he will actually sit on my lap or next to me and “read” an entire book. Often, he will move around and just look back as I turn each page to see the picture. The book picking is especially fun when he is about to crawl out of his room into the hall and I ask him to pick and he excitedly crawls back to let me know which book I should read next.

Maybe most of this maybe normal almost 10 month old behavior, but I think my son is just brilliant. That’s my story and I am sticking to it. My kid is just great and I am reminded daily about how fortunate I am that he is in my life.

* We actually never co-sleep anymore and he only fell asleep in my bed one morning for a few hours during the height of his sickness last week, but sometimes I bring him to bed to cuddle and give him his bottle if he seems just a little too awake in the middle of the night/too early in the morning and we cuddle a bit before I take him back to his bed to fall back asleep.

Nerves of Steel

Anyone who has ttc clearly knows that you need to have nerves of steel to not let every little thing get to you because it is a roller coaster. Things will go wrong. No cycle is perfect. Perfect cycles often fail. And, it is easier said than done. It is hard not to get all worried about every little thing. I was reminding myself of that this morning as I woke up to bright red bleeding on the toilet paper and “particles” in the toilet. I was not amused but implemented my SOP (standard operating procedure) in cases like this 1) take a dose of progesterone if it “almost” time for my next dose 2) put on black panties and 3) take Tylenol under the theory that I stress less if I don’t see the blood stains on my underwear and can’t actually feel the cramps. Then, of course, I sent an email to my RE telling him and asking to be allowed to add even more progesterone to the 600 mg/day I am already taking and ask if it would be beneficial to go in even earlier for the “extra” beta I already talking him into on Friday. We will see what he has to say.

It did not help that I woke up feeling very energetic and refreshed. As tired as I was last night, I could not fall asleep. My mind was spinning in overdrive so it was at least 10:30 – 11 pm that I finally fell asleep. Max waited until the 4 am hour (4:30 am I think?) to wake me up, but then fell back asleep about 40 minutes later (? It is a bit of a blur?) and then I was up, but I must have dosed off and woke up refreshed. Then, saw the blood. I know from experience that pregnancy symptoms come and go, but I would much rather have them than not. I would rather “feel” pregnant than not. It is just good for my physique. Glad I am back to my extremely tired state now. FWIW, bleeding is NOT a pregnancy symptom. It is a miscarriage symptom. Bleeding and cramping together are worse than either bleeding or cramping. I have heavily researched this topic. No matter how many times I remind myself that I did, in fact, both bleed and cramp with Max for months, I still do not like it. It doesn't necessarily mean that the pregnancy will fail. Nerves of steel. Got to have them as much has possible.

However, clearly, I am not able to focus on work, even though there are a few things that I really should do. So, I thought I would write a few blog entries of things that have been on my mind.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Today’s Beta

Just home from Mommy Day. Exhausted. Didn’t make the movie. Saw a friend at the clinic and talked, had to stop for gas, traffic and constrution. Sigh. It would have been nice, but...the best laid plans. Got the beta call on the way home. Today’s beta was 77.80. It more than doubled. Yeah! I’ve been cramping and spotting today. Having a hard time not worrying/obsessing, although easier after the acu appointment and after taking Tylenol (so I don’t actually feel the cramping). It is much better and I freak out less when I don’t actually feel the cramps. I was slightly wrong on Friday’s beta. I have updated my Beta History with the correct number. I’m going to ask my RE for another beta later in the week, like Friday. I’m going to go lay down for a few minutes while I have a chance. I’m very, very tired. Yes, Exhausted. So much more I want to say, but no energy. Kind of glad that Max didn’t have an afternoon nap so both of us can have an early bedtime.

Beta History
Cycle 2 – Result = M/C
Beta 1= 52.16 (16 dpo); Beta 2 = 110.54 (18 dpo); Beta 3 = 155.23 * (22 dpo); Beta 4 = 61.43 (23 dpo); Beta 5 = 12.70 (26 dpo)

* only done because I started spotting and cramping over the weekend indicating a likely m/c

Cycle 4 – Result = Max
Beta 1 = 73 (13 dpo); Beta 2 = 196 (15 dpo)

Cycle 6 – Result = TBD
Beta 1 = 29.05 (13 dpo); Beta 2 = 77.80 (16 dpo)

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Monday = Mommy Day

I decided to take tomorrow as a vacation day. Originally, I was thinking of maybe taking Max to the zoo or something like that, but decided to make the day all about me. Can’t remember the last time I even took part of a day for myself. I just finished the tentative/flexible plan.

1) Drop blood off at clinic
2) Go to Movie
3) Go to Acupuncture
4) If time, go to store before heading home for groceries

That should just about take the entire day if things go according to plan. For example, I would need to be at the clinic by 10 am and out of there by 10:30 am to make the 11 am movie so that I can be out and to my acupuncturist’s office by 2.

If things don’t go on my time table and I don’t make the movie, I will just tool around and maybe take myself to lunch, maybe go to the beach, relax.

I could tell you about my brilliant son. But, I will save that for another day as I am tired and plan to head to bed. Yes, I did doze of during both Max’s morning and his afternoon nap, but I am just wiped out. Max still isn’t feeling well, but isn’t feverish. He woke up from both naps crabby (which is unheard of for him), but snapped out of it eventually both times.

I spotted a bit this afternoon. I was not amused. I took a deep breath and reminded myself that I spotted (and cramped) the entire first trimester with Max and it doesn’t, necessarily, mean something bad. I have been able to stay in the moment and not freak out or obsess. Tomorrow’s numbers will be what they will. Personally, I am hoping for 240 or above. However, for the record, I would prefer NOT to have regular spotting and bleeding this pregnancy. It is never good. It may not be bad, but it never good.

Off for a quick shower cause I feel slimy and dirty even though I did shower this morning. Then, to crash for the night. Hmmm. Maybe I should eat some dinner first. Just remembered that I didn’t really do that yet.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Baby Cocktails, Jinxes, and More

I served Max up a baby cocktail at 3:30 this morning when he woke up feverish and congested which contained Tylenol, Benadryl, and Mylicon. After sucking that down, he downed about 5 oz. of formula and was back asleep in his crib. His mamma wasn’t so lucky and never really did fall back asleep, but maybe I did doze off because I remember having this really weird dream where I was traveling and I forgot these two ruby and orange colored beads when I was boarding an airplane and these two young girls brought them to me telling me that I had left them. Then, I left them (again) on the plane when I departed and the same two girls brought them to me again. I was thanking them and apologizing for being so forgetful when one of them ask me if I was pregnant. I smiled and said, yes, in fact, I am, I just found out today. The one girl said to the other girl as they were walking away, see, I told you. LOL. I can still picture the beads in my mind and know that they were worthless money wise and that I had never seen them IRL before. Very odd.

I have been thinking of jinxes lately. I was telling someone a few weeks ago that Max never spits up and had only done so twice in 9 months. Right after that, he spit up two days in a row. I commented to someone else that City Boy hadn’t vomited in months and how nice it was. Right after that, he vomited two nights in a row. I posted on the SMC mothering list in response to someone worrying that their infant hadn’t had a BM that Max isn’t regular and had actually gone 14 days at one point without a BM. Some one responded appalled saying that surely that was a typo and my poor child…how could I let him suffer like that. In my response to THAT post saying it wasn’t a typo and how basically Max is a happy easy child but that gas, irregular BM’s are just part of “him” and I have been told it can me normal for some children. In that post, I said that Max has rarely been sick. D@mn it! I should have kept my mouth shut. LOL. Cause now here he is sick. I know. I know. Likely me mentioning these things did not jinx them, but it is kind of coincidental. On the other hand, if just talking about things fixed them, my little one would be a nice regular BM kind of guy, and he just isn’t.

Max’s BM’s and lack there of, are in the front of my mind because Max just screamed and screamed and screamed going down for his nap. He was feverish and gassy and hasn’t had a bowel movement in days. However, he has been sleeping soundly now for hours. On the plus side, I think he is on the mend cause he is eating and drinking a bit more than he was (but still a far cry from normal).

I was thinking this morning while tossing and turning and not being able to go back to sleep after my nice 3:30 am wake up call, that even if this pregnancy fails, I am enjoying it more already than I ever was for my pregnancy with Max. Yes, I am tired and crampy and have already thought once when Max was fussy and crying earlier today “OMG, what have I done by trying to have a second so soon”, but I know that trying to have a second (or third) is the right choice for me. I am at peace in a way I was never able to be in my pregnancy with Max.

Having said that, I am not “counting on” a successful outcome just yet. This beta was the lowest starting beta for me. My beta 13 dpo with Max was 71 compared to 29. I guess I am not too worried about it because I really think implantation likely didn’t occur until June 4th, which would have been later than normal. Now, I do know the stats on late implantation tend to indicate a higher incidence of m/c, but for some reason, I am just not worked up and worried about it. If the pregnancy fails, I will be sad, but will deal with it. For now, I am able to stay present in the moment and enjoy the now. I will be thrilled to be past another milestone on Monday if the beta shows the proper rise. I will be very relieved if we see a heartbeat in a few weeks. But, for now, I am being very un-characteristic for me and enjoying the here and now and what I have today…A beautiful 9.5 month old boy and, at least for now, a sibling on the way for him.

Beta History
Cycle 2 – Result = M/C
Beta 1= 52.16 (16 dpo); Beta 2 = 110.54 (18 dpo); Beta 3 = 155.23 * (22 dpo); Beta 4 = 61.43 (23 dpo); Beta 5 = 12.70 (26 dpo)

* only done because I started spotting and cramping over the weekend indicating a likely m/c

Cycle 4 – Result = Max
Beta 1 = 73 (13 dpo); Beta 2 = 196 (15 dpo)

Cycle 6 – Result = TBD
Beta 1 = 29.6 (13 dpo); Beta 2 = scheduled for 16 dpo

Friday, June 09, 2006

I’m pregnant

Dr. N let me test early. Beta = 29.6. Just got the news less than an hour ago. I go back on Monday for a follow up beta and hope/pray the number doubles. But, at least for now. I’m a pregnant lady. Wahoo!!

It makes up for the fact that I am short on sleep and tired; that Max is sick and had an elevated temperature for 4 days now; that the pediatrician said he will likely get worse before he gets better; that I am missing my local SMC meeting tomorrow because we are sick.

None of that matters because I have passed the first milestone in what I hope become a brother or sister for Max. If all goes well, I should have the best birthday present ever come next February.

Hip Hip Horray!

I have to yell and cheer and be happy here because I have told/am telling so few people. A few good local friends knew I was cycling and I will tell them the good news and I told me cousin who is under strict orders to tell no one except her husband until I say so.

Hip Hip Horrah!

Grow little embryo. Grow. Double. Triple. Develop according to plan. I really, really want you little one. My family will not be complete with out you.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Tired, Anxious, Obsessing

I’ve been thinking/meaning to post every day since last Friday. How the time flies sometimes.

If I wrote on Friday, I would have described my progesterone test experience (of which I still do not have the results at this moment) and how I called and went to a local hospital to get the blood draw after a laborious check in so I could get the results that day to 1) find out after the blood draw that they send that test out and I would NOT get the results until even longer than if I had gone to the regular lab 2) in all of my planning realized (as I was waiting, waiting, waiting for the blood draw) that I had forgotten to actually take my progesterone that morning.

If I wrote on Saturday, I would have talked about my great nap and my evening with my married friend with twins (whose hubby was out of town). I took my pack-n-play and put Max to bed there so we had an hour or so for dinner and discussion when the kids were asleep for “real” conversation. It worked out nice.

If I wrote on Sunday, I would have talked about how much I really hoped I was pregnant and how “maybe” I was since I napped not once, but twice when Max slept. And, how I was so tempted, but resisted buying an HPT when I was at the pharmacy picking up my PNV (pre-natal vitamin) refill.

If I wrote yesterday (Monday), I would have talked about how my poor little guy didn’t take a morning nap (recipe for disaster), only napped 1:15 min which is well below his 3 hour average, had major, major gas pain, and may be teething? He SREAMED and SCREAMED and SCREAMED on and off yesterday evening/night/this morning. Yes, I am very tired today. Thanks for asking. If someone heard from the street, they probably thought the poor kids was seriously injured or being abused. It got so bad at one point, I thought, what if something is REALLY wrong with him (other than tired, gas, and possible teething) and maybe I should take him to the emergency room. Then, I took a deep breath and helped him work it through. Funny guy that he is, I took him out to the garage to meet the poll workers and help set up (today is election day here and my garage is polling place for my precinct) since he clearly wasn’t going to sleep anytime soon even though he was overtired. He is such a charmer that he stopped crying, hung out, and flirted with all of the ladies for awhile. This relaxed him enough to fall asleep for about 2 hours until the gas built up again and he woke up screaming again.

Since I am writing today, I will tell you that I am tired. I still haven’t decided how I am going to vote or even look at the ballot and I have no excuse for not voting since it IS in my garage. I will tell you that I am starting to obsess on the am I, am I not pregnant debate. I don’t “feel” pregnant. But, I do feel tired and am sleeping great (baring wake ups from the kid) AND my body seems to actually be absorbing the progesterone instead of leaking it all out (although still plenty of leakage). And, I have been a bit crampy and felt some pulls and tugs in the uterine region. All inconclusive. Probably the progesterone. But, I am sure that I didn’t feel this way when I WASN’T pregnant. Beta should be on Saturday. May try to talk RE (and think I will be able to if I want) into letting me test on Friday instead.

Please oh please oh please! Let me be pregnant right now.

Ugh! Can’t concentrate at work between the obsession about being pregnant or not; being tired; and the distraction with the election today. Sigh! Maybe I will call my RE’s office and bug them to see if my progesterone results are FINALLY in. That’s what I get for trying to “game the system”. Maybe I will go look at my ballot and decide how to vote and go do my civic duty.

Speaking of civic duty. I am on call for Jury Duty this week. So far, so good. Not called in yet. Not that I mind serving and have done so several times. Just doesn’t seem such a good time right now with my concentration what it is and everything else going on.

Did I mention that Max had an elevated temperature this morning? 100.7. Poor guy. Maybe he will get some teeth? He has had a watery runny nose since Memorial Day weekend with no other sign of illness. Maybe this means we have to miss our monthly SMC meeting this weekend. Can’t take a sick kid cause I would hate to pass on an illness (unlike the less than considerate mother last month who ended up getting Max and I sick).

What else? I think I had one more thing on my mind, but…lost it. Hmmm. Can’t remember. Oh yeah. I have been having this very sharp pain in my leg on and off since Memorial Day weekend. Over the last 24 hours, it has been increasing in frequency (about 20 “painful” episodes in the last 24 hours) enough that I researched blood clots, spider and varicose veins and talked to a nurse line provided by my insurance. Still no idea what is causing it, but it is unlikely to be fatal (as near as I can tell) based on symptoms, so I am going to continue to ignore it unless it gets REALLY, REALLY bad or unless I feel inspired to call my primary care doctor and go in for a visit, which I really don’t feel up to at the moment. Although, she is in the same building as my OB (who is married to me RE). Maybe I can get a 2-fer or 3-fer and talk one of them into letting me do a blood HCG. I really don’t want to do it at my RE’s office because they started sending it out and now charge a $30 handling fee. I wouldn’t mind the fee if I didn’t have to drive so far, but with the fee and the drive I want to try to find a local lab. But, I want immediate (or at least same day) results.

D@mn. I hate this waiting. Maybe I should just go buy a HPT. But, it will likely be negative this early either way. And, I have never gotten a positive HPT before I have gotten a positive beta. However, on the cycle I got pregnant with Max, I was so sure it didn’t work that it didn’t even occur to me to test. I was to busy planning my next two cycles, moving sperm, etc.

Okay, enough rambling for now. Summary: Tired, Anxious, Obsessing.