Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year

Actually had a free sitter tonight (my mom) and went out to dinner with a friend who I've spent the last few New Years Eve's. Party animal that I am, I'm back and in bed. Hey, it's already well after midnight on the other coast and that's the one I use to celebrate.

I hope 2008 is better than 2007. It just seems like this year was a hard one, not only for me, but for almost everyone I know.

May 2008 be the year that all of our dreams come true or at least gets us started down the right path.

Wanting for more

I finally had my meeting with Max's coordinator at the Regional center today. I don't know what I was expecting, but it wasn't what I got. I already knew that he had been approved for PT 1 x/week and OT 2/week, but wanted to know why. The coordinator didn't get into that and I assumed it was in the assessment reports, but it really wasn't. She just asked me a bunch of questions she had already asked me twice over the phone and I filled out on the original application. And, she reviewed a few forms, which I signed. And, she told me she was able to line up the PT for in house service and we talked about the two out of house providers for OT I'm looking into and her deadline for funding (1/8, she thinks for a 1/16 start, but she doesn't have the new calendar yet).

She asked me several questions about father in the house, father in the picture, father had any history of development delays in his family, what was my madden name, things like that. I found it kind of irritating actually and I did (and think I have in the past) told her that Max did not have a father and was conceived with donor sperm.

I had also asked by phone and email for a full copy of Max's file including the records I authorized from the hospital and his pediatricians office and had asked that she just let me know if I needed to pay for the copying or anything. Not only didn't she bring them, she tried to tell me I couldn't have them. I nicely told her about HIPPA and that they were my medical files and I could have access. And, yes, I could get them directly, but I wanted to see what they provided the Regional center, not what they would provide me directly.

The earliest services can start are 1/16 due to funding cut off's. And, services through the regional center are only until age 3 when LAUSD services would kick in. However, they start doing turnover to LAUSD 6 months prior so I should expect to have a meeting in February at the Regional center itself, probably not even a month after services started.

Now, since there seems to be nothing major in the reports (but, I'll have Max's teachers review to see if I'm missing something) and any delays seem to be very minor, he may not even need services next year, but there will be know way to know, so I'll have to get that set up just in case.

Anyway, I guess I was just expecting some real answers to what exactly they expected and was missing that caused them to recommend services. Now, maybe that is there and I'm missing it. And, it was interesting to see in writing interpretations of what I said not being exactly correct. For example, one report said I went on bed rest with Max at 34 weeks for 2 weeks due to my cervix being dilated to 4 cm which was interpreted as preterm labor. And, just plain wrong facts such as saying Max lived at home with both his patents (which I never said). There were many more errors in the report from the full development assessment than the speech assessment. I found this mildly irritating and it made me wonder if they can't get that part right, what about the rest of it, but figure the actual assessment part is the core of their job and presumably they are better at that than interviewing the parent.

Anyway, the whole thing went fine, but it seems to me a lot of paperwork that doesn't say much and what it does say wasn't completely accurate. Just left me still wanting more and saying...whatever, maybe the more will actually come when Max is working with the therapists and I'll get the more directly from them.

ETA: In re-reading the Development Assessment, maybe the answer lies in these statements, which I don't really understand.

Muscle Tone: muscle tone is slightly decreased throughout, with mild hypotonia noted in his trunk and all extremities. He does present with increased tone in his gastroc soleus, bilaterally, greater on left.

The last page of the summary/recommendation says "Because of Max's mild development delays, the following services are recommended: 1) OT 2 x week 2) PT x week.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Good sleep, weird dreams

Now that I'm finally weaned from the dex* I'm finally starting to sleep decent again. I never slept as good as I did when pregnant with Max and I've had that nice good, deep, restful sleep the last few nights in spite of the fact that he's been sick and I've been up with him a bit, because I will actually and have fallen back asleep. Ah, so nice. Even after a nice solid nap, I'm getting a good night sleep. Today, I didn't even hear the phone ring while napping. It's great. I'm not remember much of dreams, but when I'm getting woken up in the middle of one, I am. And, they've been kind of weird. Last night, I dreamt that I met the man of my dreams who was infertile, independently wealthy, ended being a sperm donor prior to his infertility, ended up running for president of the united states, and when we first met (in Philadelpia, which I'm pretty sure I have never been) we were sort of in a three some with an ex-friend/lover of his. And, that's just the highlights. I'll spare you the details.


* officially, I'm supposed to take one more dex on New Years day based on the wean calendar my coordinator and I came up with, but I'm not doing it. In fact, threw the dex away in the trash. I had been feeling so great and then got all edgy and really wanted to yell at Max to leave me alone so I could get work done (the other day when I was trying to pay bills and balance my accounts) and I decided enough was enough. I'm weaned enough. The stuff screws me up. And, I'm just not going to do it and you can't make me.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Today

I read a book today. It was only a 240 page novel, but it reminded me of how long it has been and how much I miss reading.

Max still has that high fever and possibly an ear infection.

We watched Sound of Music two more times today. Baby Neptune 1.5 times. And, one episode of Little Einsteins. We made tunnels. Max talked me into letting him bring his Jeep inside (under the condition that the battery is disconnected). Max played with the play doh and painted a bit. I cleaned up both those messes, but left the rest of the mess that accumulated. Part way into the Sound of Music, I decided I needed something to keep my mind occupied and dug up the book.

Every time the phone rang, he yelled no phone mommy, no talk. Mostly, I just let it roll to voice mail and didn't pick up. I was comfy on the couch reading anyway.

Max only took a short nap in bed with me. Mostly he cried before saying his bottom hurt (after a poo) and then cried when he woke up saying his ear hurt. I forced Tylenol down him after 30 minutes of straight crying and that helped. Poor guy. I just checked on him and his fever is back up. He was so tired by bed time, he was protesting "sit down" (in the chair in his room that he likes me to sit in while he falls asleep) that he didn't even realize that I didn't.

Amid the reading and playing with Max and holding my sick crying boy, I thought about a few things. I'm back to hoping that not only does this pregnancy make it to an actual child, but that it is a single. Not because the day was that bad or that hard, because really it wasn't (how bad could it have been if I was able to read an entire book), but because the thought of twins with an older child and all of the other things that need to change are just a bit overwhelming. I'll deal with and be happy with whatever the outcome, but wanting just one now and my pity freeze to produce another miracle in a few years was high on todays wish list. The other thing I found myself wonder was a big "what if". My progesterone has been higher and better than ever before. I'm taking 2 units of p4 a night (I'd have to go look at the syringe to fine the actual units, maybe ML?) which is a pretty high dose and going through a bottle every 5 days. And, this is the first pregnancy I've had that I haven't spotted on. Even though I know it is stupid and pointless and would likely have changed nothing, I found myself wondering what if I had been doing PIO instead of the suppositories before. I just think this is a stronger pregnancy all the way around, but couldn't help myself from wondering a bit and talking myself out of a regret or two.

And, I read a book today. Mind candy, for sure. But, perfect for a lazy hang out at home day like today.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Living Large

I spent my last official vacation day cleaning my office, paying bills, balancing my checking account (which hadn't been done since September...YIKES), picking my mom up from the airport and other not so fun but necessary stuff. It had me reflecting that this is how I have spent most of my vacation time this year, doing stuff that has to get done, or that I've been wanting to get done, or that should have been done long ago. Very little, if any of it, was spent on "me" time or splurging. The sad thing is, I really don't mind. It was actually a relief to have the time to get caught up without having to burn the candles at both ends or add stress. Using my vacation time as such really kept things sane. And, even the thought of using it to travel or go someplace just now causes my stomach to knot and stress me out. There will be time for all of that down the road, but now is just not the time.

I still have Monday and Tuesday off as holiday. And, the decision to have Noemi work on Monday became a lot easier when the coordinator from the Regional Center wanted to come by and review the reports and discuss services. I know that he was approved for 1 PT per week and 2 OT per week, but not any of the details. I'm especially anxious for the PT to get started because Max has been complaining that his foot hurts a lot and woke up a week or so ago crying and crying and crying it hurt so badly. We missed the cut off for services to start right after the first of the year so the earliest is 1/16. Sometime, I need to find time to set up and tour two different locations for OT. There is one place less than 5 minutes from my house, but I didn't get a good feel for it when I called. The other is about 10 -15 minutes away, but I was more impressed with my initial screening call and have heard good things about it from one of Max's teachers whose son receives services from there. If push comes to shove and I can't find time to tour them both, and the farther one has appointments that work with our schedule, I'll probably go with it.

Anyway, just contemplating how sad my life would seem by many others standards, but how I'm content with it. I've taken the vacations, had tons of time to relax and be by myself, or read books, watch movies, etc. pre-kids. That time will come again, but it's not now. Really, the only thing really miss about my pre-child life is my morning hikes. My body, mind, and soul miss that.

I may not be living large by others standards, but I'm happy with my life and feel relief that I am now caught up on paper work and bills and that my office, while not spotless, is at least not the junk pit it had become over the last few months.

ETA: If you are one of the (what feels like) 500 people I owe a return phone call or email, it's not personal. I just made the decision to not answer the phone until I got finished with my office work and balancing my accounts which didn't happen until after Mad was in bed tonight. I didn't check email all day. And, I only check cell phone CID and messages, not house phone CID and messages so not sure exactly how many people I owe a call back, but it feels like a lot. All I know is that both phones rang off the hook today and I really had to stay on task to get done what I wanted/what I needed today. One must often make choices and my choice today was to get through the office.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Early Up, Early Down

Sadly, mosts traces of Christmas were removed from the house today. The decorations and tree were packaged away until next year. Noemi helped me and we got it almost all knocked out this morning. It's amazing how much faster it goes with someone helping. Max was a trooper and just watched sound of music and played while we worked...that is until we actually took apart the tree and started/tried to put it in the box. Then, he pitched a fit. In no uncertain terms, he did not want the tree put away. He stood in the way, climbed in the box, and told us "NO" in every way possible. And still, it did get done. Even tonight, he was asking where the tree went and said he wanted it to come back. It made me sad. I really wished I could have left it up a bit longer, but the way New Year falls, today was really the only day I could tackle it before I have to go back to work next week and January, especially that first week, is going to be exceedingly busy work wise. Unless, I wanted to try to take everything down by myself while also trying to watch Max, which I did not want to do, it had to get done today.

At least I was able to get it up early (been up since the week before Thanksgiving) and we had a long time to enjoy it, even if it wasn't quite long enough for either Max or I.

I think Noemi may know or suspect that I'm pregnant, although she hasn't asked me directly. She was a tad too coddling today. Not wanting me to stand on the stool and making sure she did all of the moving and heavy lifting. I mostly let her. Still, I was ready for a nap when we were through.

The house always looks so empty and blah once the Christmas season is over.

In other news, I'm starting to feel some of that early pregnancy tiredness. Until today, I had planned on letting Noemi have another 4 day weekend, but am seriously thinking about having her come on Monday and only giving her Tuesday off. Partially so I can make sure I can get a bit of a break, but mostly so the house/floor cleaned. It just gets too trashed after 5 days and I may have a few people over on New Years eve, if I don't take my mom up on the offer to watch Max so I can go out, which if I do will only be for dinner. I just think I'll be ready to see her by Monday, especially if Max is sick all weekend.

Max is sick again. At least, he has a fever, although he seemed to be feeling mostly fine, if you don't count the fact that he didn't want to leave the house for anything today and was perfectly happy to just hang around with both Noemi and I and cuddle on the couch and play with some of his Christmas presents and read books with me after Noemi left until bedtime. I got several unsolicited "I love you mommy"'s accompanied by big hugs tonight. Ah, it doesn't get any better than that.

As I was putting away Christmas for this year, I couldn't help but think to next Christmas and hope that I have another bundle or two of joy to celebrate with us and that I'm tired and stressed and trying to find the energy to get ready for Christmas for another year with a new baby/babies in the house.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Just checking....

Beta's:
1. 12/18/07 ~ 2 pm = 158.67, 12 dpo
2. 12/21/07 ~ 10 am = 547, 15 dpo
3. 12/26/07 ~ 9:30 am = 4856, 20 dpo

Still pregnant! Whew!

Just needed to double check since I'm not really feeling that way. And, while I'm counting my blessings and all that, just needed something tangible to confirm it all isn't just a figment of my imagination, a mirage, a wonderful dream, but is in fact reality.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas!! (edited)

From Santa with love. The gifts from his (other) Aunts and cousins are on the coffee table (opened Christmas eve) are waiting to be played.


Making breakfast (Max help. Max help too. Max make eggs too.)


From Aunt K and Nana, Max's first words this morning. "Want Jeep ride. That one." indicating above jeep that was charging in his bedroom overnight. Said Jeep could not remain in bedroom, but had to be brought in front of the tree, "closer to the ABCD's" to finish charging.

Exploring the gifts from Christamas eve. The Little People Airplane was a big hit.


Playing with his easel. We had a tiny altercation when he wanted to use the white board marker on the chalk board, but got that straightened out with only a mild tantrum.

It was a nice, mostly relaxing day. We missed church, ate and hung out most of the day, went to a friend for dinner and went down our local Christmas Tree Lane on the way home. Max melted down big time before bed and said he just needed to cry a bit. Two days in a row with no nap and all the holiday excitement did the poor boy in. He was given an opportunity to nap today, but was just too keyed up (and had a poo and had a scary crib incident where he got his leg locked in at a bad angle...thank goodness it didn't cause a break) to sleep.

ETA: The above pictures and commentary.
****************************
I hope all who celebrate are having a joyous day with loved ones.

I think I might have gotten the best and most needed present ever, a decent night sleep. I think I was asleep by 11 pm and didn't wake up (for good) until 7 am. I was up for a bit at 3:30 am because the winds were just awful and woke me up, then I let Shadow out to pee, but fell back asleep. I opened my eyes at 6:15 am, listened and the house was quiet and immediately fell back to sleep.

Max is still sleeping. He will almost have been asleep for 12 hours now (within a few minutes) so he is getting a good night sleep as well. Yahoo. My mom, who is in NJ for the holidays with my sister and family called yesterday morning at 6:15 am and the phone woke Max up. And, we were gone all day yesterday at another sisters so Max didn't get a nap.

Sleep is a good cure all for so many things. I'm sure we will both enjoy the day more now that we've had some.

Yesterday at my sisters was fine. Max had a wonderful time. I didn't have a bad time, but it was a bit weird because my sister was hosting an open house with a friend of hers, in part to defuse too much together time with her MIL and SIL who are here spending the first Christmas without her FIL. There were 4 other children under 6 (6, 5, 3, 1) there who are being raised by their day (didn't get his story), but the dad didn't bring any toys for the kids, mostly just watched the 1 year old, and left even before we did to spend the night with his girlfriend who was there with him (can't imagine not waking up on Christmas morning with my children, but again, don't know his story). Luckily, I brought "extra" toys so there were some to share, but I ended up spending the day watching all the children and ensuring sharing and the toys were treated respectfully. And, opening presents was odd, my BIL continued to entertain and my sister came in (after I told her is she wanted Max to open them there we better do it cause he was gong to start to loose it soon and we needed to think about packing it up).

Max got a big Jeep of his own from one of his Aunts and his nanna; a Fisher Price Airplane an d a Candyland game for his other aunt; Some Thomas trains/DVD's from a cousin; an Accordion from another cousin; a magnetic draw game from his other aunt; and a Feed The Dog game from his younger cousins. All in all, he loved them all and was a bit overwhelmed, especially since the 4 other children with no toys were there who wanted to touch it all, especially his new Jeep. Max maintained well, but it could have gone either way. Thank goodness my BIL came in and put together the Jeep for me. And, his mom and sister were there to help me get everything into the car and the pieces to everything together so they didn't get lost before we even got them home.

I hear Max up and talking so I'm going to go give him a nice bright "Ho Ho Ho Merry Christmas" and I wish you all the same.

Monday, December 24, 2007

If I didn't know better

If I didn't have the conclusive beta data, I wouldn't know I'm pregnant. It's starting to make me a tad worried actually. Having been down this route before, I know that symptoms can come and go and all that, but still. Unless I start feeling a little more pregnant, I may have to call and beg for an u/s next week or at least another beta.

It's not that I haven't had any symptoms. When pregnant with Max, I had this aversion to anything touching my waist/belly in the first few months of pregnancy. I had that on and off on Friday, but not since. I haven't had any food aversions per se, although I have had distinct taste for things. Again, on Friday, I pulled into a local mall parking lot to get a tuna sandwich from a restaurant because it sounded so good (mall parking lot just a few days before Christmas for what amounts to no real good reason). I've felt a few tugs and tweak going on down there, but they have been few and far between. Yes, I have been tired, but I'm still going to sleep around 11 - 1 am and waking up around 4 every morning for no good reason* and am fighting off yet another cold (and thinking I'd be getting sick less often if I could just get a decent night sleep). Basically, any symptom I've had I can only attribute to being pregnant because the beta numbers said I was and if I didn't have that, I'd think I wasn't.

I remember vividly the Christmas eve when pregnant with Max. My sister hosted and it was a small affair. I felt so miserable, I basically just laid on her couch feeling miserable and the thought of even eating anything she worked so hard to prepare made me want to puke. And, I was having spotting and cramping and was terrified I was going to have another miscarriage.

I know, I know, I should count my blessing and all that because I'm feeling basically okay (if you don't count the cold and tired part), but I'd be happy with a nice strong symptom or two. They are nice and reassuring. Let me be more specific, I could do and live without any spotting and cramping, those are NOT the symptoms I'm looking for here. But, other nice symptoms like good ole fashioned morning sickness on and off, here and there, every now and again just to let me know that there is really something healthy and happily growing in the ute would be fine/nice/reassuring.

* Really, there is no good reason for this except my body has decided this is a good hour to awaken and start the day. Max is still sound asleep. The animals are quiet and not disturbing me one bit (until City knows I'm awake, and they he creeps right over to try to get as close to me as possible). I'm just irritatingly waking up early every morning for now good reason. I'm hoping when I get completely weaned from the dex this will stop. Yesterday was a dex day. Then, I'm not taking it for 3 whole days, then 4 whole days, then 4 days, then I'm done with the dex. Hip Hip Hooray.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Traditions

Since Max's first Christmas, I've thought about what traditions I wanted for my family. Growing up, Santa came on Christmas eve while we were at church and we opened all presents on Christmas eve when we got back. I think this mostly started when we were little and still living in Michigan with both sets of grandparents still alive. We spent Christmas eve "in town" with my mom's parents, then drove 4 - 5 hours Christmas morning to be with my dad's parents. My parents didn't want to try to travel with the presents or delay setting off in the morning after a big present opening session, especially at that time of year driving to northern Michigan you never knew what type of weather you would get. As we got older and moved away, the tradition stuck, partly I'm sure because my mom could never wait to have us opening everything. Christmas eve was always the big celebration in her house growing up.

One of the other big traditions growing up was that we would always get Christmas pajamas. Not only do I have fond memories of that as a child, looking back, it is really cool to see us all matching in our PJ's. Very festive.

I decided that Christmas eve I'd spend with my sisters and was willing to travel to one of their houses if they wanted to host, but I wasn't traveling on Christmas day. Max can open any gifts from Aunts, Uncles, Cousins on Christmas eve. And, he gets to open two gifts from me. One being his Christmas PJ's (so he can sleep in them that night) and one other one.

Santa brings one present and it is unwrapped by the tree. Then, he gets to open the "family" gifts. This year Santa is giving him an easel. I got a bit worried cause a friend got her daughter an easel as well and she said it took a bit to assemble. So, I figured I better tackle it tonight. Thank goodness, mine was much easier. Six bolts total were needed. Two for each of the side trays and two for the roll of painting paper at the top. As to where to store so Max doesn't see it tomorrow, she had the brilliant idea of in the shower. I'm copy cause Max will never look there. And, we will be gone most of the day anyway to my sisters. The only thing that would have made it nicer is if it would easily fold up with both trays installed.

Sometime within the last month or so, I read an article about food traditions. Something I had never thought about. We have a strong one for Thanksgiving. Grandma's (mom's mom) Cherry pie. For Christmas, there are a few Christmas cookies that usually got made every year, but nothing else really that sticks out in my mind. I thought about it and decided I wanted to get my hands on my Grandma's (dad's mom) Cinnamon Twist recipe to make for Christmas morning. I was able to get the recipe, and I'd share it, but it was clearly written down by someone already very familiar with what they are doing. I attempted them tonight since there would be no time tomorrow and thank goodness I didn't wait until Christmas morning. There is a lot of punching down and waiting for it to rise involved. Three phone calls to my sister and I think I did a passable job. I started around 3 when Max was still napping and finished up by 9 pm. After the initial mixing, it was mostly just waiting around until the actual rolling out and cutting of the dough, which I didn't start until after Max was in his crib for the night. When I tasted them tonight, there were fine. Not exactly how I remember my grandma's tasting (seemed like hers were sweeter), but I also have (yet another) cold. All and all, I was pleased with the results.

Here is a short video (taken with my new camera) of Max "helping". I had to push down once while he was awake and he was all over that, getting the stool out, and laughing while I did it.
Here he is continuing to help once I was done with what I needed at that moment. It is only 1 min 16 seconds and ends somewhat abruptly when I take a picture that ends the video clip. My first two attempts at video were much shorter and involved Max running over to "see" and to tell me it was "his" camera and he wanted to touch it so mostly it is blank video of a messy house alternating with he popping his head in to try to grab the camera.

www.google.com/s2/sharing/stuff?user=100304865168475881044


(add video here. having problems uploading video)

Anyone think there was a mess to clean up after that? He had a great time and moved flour back and forth for quite awhile. Much longer than it took me to clean up his mess. Then, I made almost as big of a mess later while rolling out the dough. Hey, it's all worth it. That's what traditions are for, right?

I'm really loving this new camera. It is just so easy to use and takes great shots/video. And, very easy to offload to the computer. Now, all I need to do is remember to take it tomorrow and actually use it over the next two days. I have spare batteries all charged and ready to go, just in case I should need them.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Play Time

I finally got time to set up and play with my new camera. I love it. I got a bit worried that it was too much camera for me when I couldn't figure out how to attach the neck strap even after looking at the instructions. But, I discarded them, looked at the pieces on hand and was able to figure it out.

Max and I did nothing today, but hang out, watch TV (Wiggles and Sound of Music), cuddle, and make a mess in the house that I decided to leave until tomorrow so I could play with my camera and post pictures. The farthest Max got from the house was a few trips to the mailbox with me to put out more Christmas cards. I went a bit further to take Shadow out to do her business, but not much. He got a bath before bed. I stayed in my PJ's all day. It was nice. I even got a short nap in before the phone started ringing off the hook.

Anyway, the new camera feels great in my hands, is easy to use, and I think it takes great pictures. I'm going to make sure I test out the video feature tomorrow with Max so I can try to get some footage for Christmas/Christmas eve. And, I want to see if I can get a date/time stamp to appear on the pics. Not everyone likes that, but my memory is shot and probably going to get worse here soon, so I really like that feature.

Max was cute. He so wanted to touch the new camera. I gave him the old one to touch and play with instead. This worked for a bit, then he came over and nicely asked for a trade, and when I refused told me I needed to share. Just kidding about the sharing part. He actually through a bit of a fit when I told him he couldn't touch this camera and would never be allowed to touch this camera. However, he did bring up sharing during cuddle/lap time right before bed so it made me wonder if it was related or he's just trying to process the whole concept of sharing in general.

Anyway, here are some pictures from tonight. I think they speak for themselves.








And, note the slide in front of the TV/Entertainment center is not usually there. It's usual spot is in the guest bedroom during the winter and outside during the summer or nicer months, but Max has been wanting to move it around lately and asking for days to have it in front of the TV. Since it was a lazy day at home, I figured why not. He can actually get and does climb up onto the Entertainment center without it there. I used to worry more about this and do worry some, but you have to pick your battles and he is good about calling or letting me know when he's ready to get down so I usually let this go unless he starts taking out a DVD (that isn't the "Max CD" the play one that is the only one he is allowed to touch that is blank) or pushing down on the DVD window itself when it's open.

Old habits die hard

At this point, I really expect this pregnancy to go well and end with the desired outcome an actual child or two at the end. Although time will tell the tale and although it has happened with every pregnancy I've had to date, I really don't think I'm going to spot or cramp on and off the entire first trimester because my progesterone level was much higher than it has ever been. And even if I do, I can know that it is likely just me and not a predictor of the end. Knowing all of this, I still each and every time I use the restroom stop to examine the tp before tossing into the bowl just to make sure it is blood free with not even a mild trace of pink. Ah, those old habits, they can be very hard to break.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Beta #2

Sorry for the delay in posting. It was a long, busy, but good day.

Beta #2 (15dpo) = 547.?? (I'd have to find the little slip of paper that I wrote in on to get the decimal points).

Big, high beta number. U/s is scheduled for 3 pm 1/7. I'm happy with the number, but it is high. It will be interesting to see what the u/s shows.

Buh, Bye Dex

I think I have pretty much made the decision to wean myself from the dex this morning. It is a steroid and the theory behind taking it is to shut down your immunity system as a precaution about your body rejecting an embryo. I tend to not do well on dex. It revs me up and I basically don't sleep on it. I've only been taking it every other day (with my coordinators blessing, in fact it was her idea). However, the last straw was waking up this morning with a sore throat and another cold and diahrea (which may or may not be related, hard to tell with me). I'm just barely over my last one that I got on Thanksgiving. I thought I might be getting sick again yesterday, but just rationalized it as being tired from lack of sleep and the pregnancy. I'm tired of being sick and not feeling well. Actually, it's just pissing me off at the moment. Hence, executive decision to wean.

Anyway, I have a yeast infection I can't get rid; a reoccurring eye infection, and now another virus. I'm taking my immunity system back. I think I need it more to stay healthy than any small risk of implantation failure or rejection since implantation has already occurred. And, while I did take dex for my cycle with Max, I was already weaned by now. The question I'm still debating is if I run this decision by my coordinator and one of the RE's. I've decided I'm going to play that by ear when I'm in today.

I've been up since 4 for no particular reason. Max is up and signing "Doe a deer, a female deer..." from the sound of music at the top of his lungs. And, I'm starving. So, I think I'm going to get out of bed and offically start this day.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Just tired

I haven't been sleeping well. Fell asleep last night around 1 am today and was up at 5. Usually I can hang, but I'm sure the whole pregnancy thing is aiding and abetting the tiredness.

Just as I was about to go to lights out last night, Max woke up saying oww, oww, oww, my foot hurts and crying. and writhing in pain in my arms. He could walk on it. He would let me touch it and move it. It didn't look swollen. He didn't want any medicine (Tylenol). I didn't know what to do for him. After half an hour of that, when I was almost in tears because you could tell he was in so much pain, but I didn't know what to do for him. He didn't want a bath or to soak the foot or medicine or anything except to squirm in my arms crying and crying and crying. It didn't look tense like a charlie horse. I have not idea what was the problem except his right foot hurt him something fierce. It was really awful. I decided I was going to force him to take some Tylenol whether he liked it or not and if he was still so upset and in pain, I was going to call the peds on-call number or take him to ER (it was so bad, I actually considered it). I'm not sure it was the Tylenol itself or the running around the house to avoid me catching him that did the trick, but he cried for about 7 minutes 20 seconds more, then settled down. He was adamant about not going back to his crib and I didn't want to push it after him being so upset for so long, so I brought him to my bed for about 20 minutes of cuddle and relax time for us both to get over the trauma. He woke up fine and had no problems all day. He asked for medicine tonight before bed. I happily gave it to him. I actually think he is and has been going through a growth spurt and maybe getting aches and pains from that. Who knows sometimes?

I held my new camera, put batteries in, turned in on and off a few times and then set it on my office desk to long after for the rest of the day. I'm officially on vacation and left so much not done. I thought about working more tonight, but I'm just wiped out. I may go work a bit on my vacation although I've vowed not to, because I just don't think I can make the January dates without it, but am going to play it by ear. It's really good that I didn't have to go for my beta today. Then, this afternoon my new boss called and needed help on some things and wanted me to walk him through a few tools we use. How could I not? Exactly, I couldn't. Then, I got an assignment out of it that ate into another few hours of the afternoon, but since the assignment was to write my own performance review, it really was in my best interested. I actually liked doing it and think I did a good job, if I do say so myself, and I am, but that just meant I got less of my own work done and I'm still forever behind.

I absolutely must remember to stop by and pick up more meds tomorrow. I'm completely out of PIO and had to supplement tonight with a suppository. And, it's iffy on whether I have enough E2V for tomorrow night. I meant to call the pharmacy and see if they could ship it, but never got to it so must remember to pick it up tomorrow. I also meant to call Max's ped office to talk about last night. And, I meant to do a whole slew of other things that just didn't get done. My big plan for tomorrow was to pay bills and wrap some presents and that may not happen. Tomorrow night is girls night out with some friends. It's been on the calendar for awhile and I'm looking forward to it.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Change, Change, and More Change

I found out today that I will be taking on a new role in our organization early next year. I've actually known for awhile that I would likely change, but wasn't for sure until today and what that role will be. I'm actually happy and excited about it. During the meeting I went to a few weeks ago in Michigan we talked about the changes and what boxes where going to go were on an organizational chart, but didn't put any names in any of them.

At the time, my new boss asked me to decide if I wanted to stay doing what I was or change. I told them I'd like to think about it for a few days and did and ultimately told them I could go either way, but would prefer to change. I told them if I stayed doing what I was, I would only want to do it for another year or two. I told them go flush out more of the changes and then lets talk. I know how hard it can be to get all the dependencies figured out in a change as big as this one will be to our team. So, I told them I could and would be flexible as long as they didn't give me something that would include a lot of overtime or being on the road much. One of the big reasons I wanted to change has to do with this big work thing work deliverable I've been complaining about. It is not hard, just a lot of work and the deadlines on it are very short. It was bad enough when it was once a year, but they moved it to twice a year. It is very administrative in nature and involves all the things I don't like about being a leader. Plus, they are moving the reporting of my current role down two layers in the organization.

There were a few other positions that interested me slightly more that I thought I would be good in as well, but they also have more responsibility and a lot more work. The role I'm going to will be such a cush job that includes all of the things I like in a role, with very little of the parts I don't. I'll be going from between 40 - 45 direct reports to 0. I still will be a leader, but will not have any direct staff, just matrixed staff. As defined and explained, it actually would not be enough work to keep a person 100% busy, which I mentioned. But, I'll pick up special projects and kind of float to help out where needed for the rest, which is fine. Probably, I would have been just a tad disappointed had I not known I was pregnant, but since I do and am feeling somewhat hopeful and confident that this pregnancy will last, I'm actually good with it. I'll get paid a nice salary, for a job that will come easy to me, have tons of flexibility, but still is needed for the team.

The irony is that I'm glad to have the job knowing I'm pregnant, but even more glad it was decided without any of them knowing I'm pregnant. There will probably be a few people I'll tell sooner rather than later, but likely won't tell everyone else until at least the 2Q08 like April or May and the dust has settled on this organizational change. So, as I plow through these things I've been working on, it is with a little more enthusiasm knowing it will be the last time I'll have to do it. It doesn't seem quite as painful that way.

In other news, my new camera came today, but sadly it is still sitting in the box and I haven't even had a chance to look at it yet. I moved my second beta from tomorrow afternoon until Friday morning. I took another pill to try to bring beasty yeasty into alignment (you know, my 50k yeast infection). And, I finally got the Christmas cards I wrote back before Thanksgiving in the mail today.

Sometimes change can be good, sometimes change can be bad, or at least feel that way. This change is actually feeling okay. I'm sure that there will be plenty of other changes this year physically as the pregnancy progress, but I think there will be many other changes as well. I think my new role will evolve and I can make it into what I want. The good and the bad is that it will be really nebulous and unstructured and undefined. All considered, it is probably the best job for me this next year.

Change, change, and more change. That's life. And, all of this change seems good. Like all the puzzle pieces falling into place on a big ole puzzle that has taken years to work on and complete.

Still on cloud9

I'm just still so happy and overwhelmed with joy and a bit in disbelief that in spite of it all, this cycle has appeared to work. There is still just a tad bit of worry that it is too good to be true and that the other shoe could drop, but that part is just very, very small. In fact, it really has been difficult for me to not just shout my news from the mountain tops and tell all who will listen, whether or not they care, that I'm pregnant. But, I know that it is still too early for all of that for many, many reasons. However, having said all of that, I was able to appreciate the sheer joy of finding out and feeling much more sure of things and enjoying it more already than I ever did or could with my pregnancy with Max. Coming off a m/c, and cramping and bleeding on and off my entire first trimester, did take a toll. The beta number was high enough and the eggs young enough that while I know m/c is a possibility, I'm not as worried about it. I just feel really good and peaceful about it all. At least for now, no regrets that I won't have a genetic connection to this child/children, just so thrilled that I really will get to build my family and have another.

Now that I've seen the beta number, and gone to elaborate planning lengths to try to avoid twins, I just have a very strong feeling that it is, to the point I may actually be a tad disappointed if its not. Like it is just my fate, my destiny, and as hard and crazy and completely life altering as it may be, it is just meant to be. Oh time will tell. Like most things time will tell.

The truth is I'll be happy whatever I've got at this point...single or twins or boy or girl or any combination. Nina's predicting single boy. Anyone else want to put a stake in the ground? However, while I'll be happy with whatever is there, I know that 2 - 3 all boys would be easiest, already have names picked out (probably) for g/b twins (Nora and Rami, in memory of my late RE, names I will likely use with a singleton of either sex as well), and twin girls would really rock my world.

The projected due date is August 28, 2008. Can you believe that I had not even calculated that until a friend ask?

I have vowed and really need to focus on work today since, despite my best of intentions, it just didn't happen yesterday afternoon or night. I'm going to do my best, as the people on my team deserve that I put my best foot forward while working on what I'm working, but it is going to be hard.

Now, the wait for tomorrows beta and the bigger wait for the u/s. And, I really need to come off of cloud 9 to remember really important stuff like looking at my calendar and taking my meds within a few hours of on-schedule. I completely forgot last night and if a friend wouldn't have called late, I'm not sure I would have remembered until today. And, since E2V and P4 were on the docket last night, that would not have been good.

As such, the word of the day is FOCUS. Focus, focus, focus on what is important. My heart can still be on cloud 9, but my head better get it in gear.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

++++++++++++++

Beta = 158.67

Practicing

I only have a few minutes as Max is awake in his crib. He's in there "practicing" for lack of a better word. He just cracks me up. Here is some of what I'm being treated.

I'm 4. I'm 4. I'm 4.

I boy. I boy.

My momma. My momma.

Our house. Our house. Our house.

Bye Bye Mimi.

Bye Bye Mimi's car.

Mimi's car. Momma's car. Mimi's car. Momma' car.

Bye Bye trash truck.

Up up up up, down down down down. Bye bye trash.

Then, I missed a bunch cause I needed to take Shadow out to pee. And, he's now singing his ABC, then something else I can't quite make out, and clapping.

Oh this kid of mine is funny. I especially laughed at the I'm 4. He must have heard someone say that and is trying it out. If someone asks, he still won't answer when asked how old he is. However, he did start telling them his name if they ask. And, the other funny thing about it is that it really did seem like he's practicing because he was saying everything so clearly to get his diction and pronunciation just right.

A sign?

We are having rain here. I just checked out the weather forecast. Only 30% chance of rain tonight, but since it actually is raining that's just a tad off. However, 70% rain forecast for both Tuesday and Thursday beta days with Wednesday and Friday projected to be sunny and clear. Just wondering if that's a bad sign and the angels in heaven are going to be crying with me? Or, maybe they will be tears of happiness and relief not sorrow? Sign or not, it will mean that the drive to and fro the clinic will be more of a pain and take more of my precious time. This is Southern California and nothing like a little rain to make normal bad commute worse. Too bad I just can't do the blood draw and lab test myself. I could do it from a local lab, but it's paid for in my cycle fee and even if I did it stat, it wouldn't be until the next day until I got the results. I'm just not that patient of a person. Maybe they are wrong and it will have blown over by then. One can only hope.

Tic Toc Tic Toc. Only 12 hours until blood draw appointment.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Confession, Questions, and Courage?

I've been thinking about something ever since Sunday.

I was raised Catholic. Until 4th grade, I went to public school and catechism. In 5th grade, we moved states to a school district that wasn't very good and our parents put us in a Catholic school. The church we came from didn't believe in doing some of the sacraments like confession and confirmation until high school to ensure the child was adult enough and committed enough to be making their own decision. The church/school we moved to didn't have the same philosophy and confession was started in the 3rd grade.

I was a shy, quiet child and joined a small class of 18 students. I was the only new student to join the class since 1st grade. I remember how hard and lonely it was for several years until 7th grade when two new students joined. I remember vividly having to go to confession the first time. Since the class had gone through the training and had been doing this since 3rd grade, I think no one thought to help me or tell me what to do. I was scared, but just followed along with what I thought others were doing. I remember after I went into the booth, the father/monseigneur yelled at me. I don't remember why. Probably because I didn't follow the rules or didn't say something I should have because no one had bothered to tell me anything about this. I think I'm traumatized for life by that event. I've never gone to confession since I left that school or willingly gone to confession. When I was forced to go, I remember making up sins because I didn't know what to say. I've thought about going on and off over the years, but never found the time or courage.

On Sunday, in preparation for Christmas, they had in the bulletin a one page flyer titled How To Go To Confession on one side and Examination of Conscience on the other. They are having special times for penance/confessions this week at various churches in the area. It was yesterday for the church I have been going. I seriously thought about overcoming my fear and going. But, I don't think I will. Not only because of the fear and anxiety of my past around this.

I've read and pondered the Examination of Conscience and thought about what sins I would confess if I did go. I'm not really a big "sinner". I mostly don't talk bad about people. Don't take the lords name in vain. Etc. However, the three big sins I came up with are as follows:

1) Premarital sex (although it has been so long ago now that it isn't even funny and the number of sexual partners I have had can be counted on one hand)
2) Not attending mass on a regular basis (actually attend thru high school and college even though my family had stopped going, but stopped after graduating and didn't start attending regularly again until recently with Max)
3) Becoming a mom through assisted reproduction, which my understanding of Catholic law, is a violation and a sin

I'm sure there are probably others, but those were the big ones that I decided I should go and confess. The problem is after you "confess" your sins, you are supposed to say "I am sorry for my sins" or something similar, but the problem is, I'm not sorry. Not about any of them. I would actually like to be having more sex or maybe I should say sex more frequently. Like this decade would be good. I'm attending church more regularly because of Max and because I think it is the right thing to do in raising him, not because I feel a burning desire or need in myself. I do find it much easier to go and feel a part of the community now that I'm a mom. I feel like churches are more set up for families and that it is very hard for a single person to go and participate and feel "community" from a church. Lastly, I just can not accept that using assisted reproduction is wrong or bad. It gave me my son and I hope it will soon give me more children. And, think it is ironic that what some consider so wrong has actually brought me back to the church and the church community so to speak.

I seriously thought about going and "confessing" my sins and then telling the priest my delema in that I know the church things of it as sinful, but that I don't feel sorry for them nor do I think I ever will...and risk getting yelled at in a confessional again. I decided that I do have the courage at this point in my life and I may at some point in the future set up some time with one of the priests to discuss, but now is not the time. Work is too busy (exceeded my personal goal and made it to 28.2% complete tonight) and logistically, it would be too difficult right now. I actually thought that maybe they should set up some "virtual" confessionals where you could call in for your confession, but this is the catholic church we are talking about and tend to be a bit slow in the modernization and change department.

Even though I've decided that the timing isn't right now/this week, I'm keeping this flyer. I may shock myself yet and go one of these days. I don't know why I feel the need. I don't really desire being absolved of the sins that I'm not sorry about committing.

Anyway, a lot to do about nothing really, but that's what's been on my mind when I haven't been working and wondering if I'm going to be overwhelmed with happiness tomorrow or trying to maintain for the rest of this week through my disappointment to complete and stay focused on the work that just has to get done.

"Don't worry, momma!"

Just a quick and much needed break from work and this big task I'm working on for work that despise is probably too strong of word, but don't like just doesn't seem adequate. I'm currently 17.9% complete and would love to be 25% before I fall asleep tonight.

For two times in two days, my son has told me "Don't worry, momma!" and came and gave me a big hug. Both of those times were when I was rushing him...on Sunday to get cleaned up and dressed for Sunday school when I was telling him to hurry so were weren't late and today so he would be ready for when my friend came to pick him up this morning to watch him because his nanny had a doctor appointment and I just couldn't miss even a half day of work today with how behind I am, needing to be out both Tuesday and Thursday afternoon for betas (which don't take long in and of themselves, but with commute time to clinic each way I loose about 2 - 3 hours each trip, and wanting to keep Friday as a vacation day. I guess my stress and anxiety was showing a bit and he'd rather see my calm, cool, and collected normal self.

Every time I start stressing about work or the cycle over the last few days, I can hear his little voice, see his bright smile, feel his hug, and take a deep breath and remind myself to relax.

Since I'm not playing the "Am I/Am I Not" game, much, anymore, I won't tell you that I've had heartburn, which I never ever get, the last two days. I did get mild heartburn later in my pregnancy with Max, but don't remember any until at least the 3rd trimester. I'm sure it means nothing.

And, I wasn't as restrained as I had planned to be, but I'll leave you wondering on whether I made up and ate another pot of meatballs or went for a big O last night.

I briefly thought about calling to beg for a beta today or just showing up to see if they would do it, but mostly it was to have a good excuse to stop working on this thing that I'm working of for work that I don't like. Within 24 hours, I may know (but truly would not know any earlier than that since my appointment time isn't until mid-afternoon PT), whether this cycle is a success or not. For the record, the answer is still maybe.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Divine Intervention?

Max is on an early wake up schedule this week. Ugh. At least, I got a solid nappy poo in this afternoon while Max napped.

Early this morning, we were reading a number of books one of which was a "picture" book that has a hundred or so pictures of him. He saw the one from his 2nd Birthday where we made and he was eating cupcakes. "Momma, Max want cupcakes. Momma, let's make cupcakes." With nothing better to do and hours yet before Sunday School. I said, okay, and we did. Yikes, cooking or baking with a toddler is a huge mess maker, but he had a great time. It was worth it. Said, while helping to stir the batter, mostly with his fingers....that kept making it to his mouth "Momma, I like cupcakes. I like chocolate." You should have seen the bathroom sink after a few ventures in for him to wash his hands.

Anyway, no way did we need a whole batch of cupcakes, so I took a bunch in to the Sunday school class even though we weren't on the schedule to bring snacks and had just brought them last week. Apparently, they were having a birthday party for Jesus and the cupcakes were the icing on the cake, so to speak. No one had signed up for snacks and the cupcakes were a huge hit. And, Max was so proud that he brought them and made them.

I just really felt like maybe there was a little divine intervention since we had absolutely no plans to make cupcakes or even bring a snack and yet it just seemed so right and so appropriate and the teachers were so happy. I had no idea they had a birthday planned. It was just a bit too perfect.

Oh, I love this little boy of mine who is growing so darn fast. And, oh, how I would love another. But, I've said that a time or million times or two.

Two days till beta, but whose counting. And, I haven't figured out the hour break down yet. I'll wait until Tuesday morning for that. And, my appointment isn't until really, really late in the day because it is much easier to get out in the afternoons for work since I work with so many East Coast folks. It is the last possible appointment time (3 pm) available to still get the result that day.

Maybe

Today was a dex day. Can't sleep. Not even close to being able to sleep. Today is now tomorrow so that isn't a good thing at all.

As previously mentioned at nauseum the last few days, my favorite game during a 2ww is the "Am I? Am I not?" game. The answer I keep coming back to for this cycle is...maybe. That may seem like a good thing, but actually has me more worried than a definitive yes or no.

Here's why....

I've done a lot of cycles. Too many cycles to even remember them all. Sure, there are a few that stand out more than others, but so many of them are just a big blur even though at the time I thought I would never forget a single detail. But, one thing I do remember that stands out clear as day is that I have never, ever, ever, actually been pregnant in a cycle where the answer was maybe. Ever.

I have had 3 pregnancies (1. m/c 2. Max 3. m/c).

In my first pregnancy, I did not think I was pregnant. I did HPT's, cause it was my second IUI cycle and I was still innocent and pure in the process, and came up with negatives, even with a beta that was high enough that should have shown up on an HPT. The am I/am I not answer was a resounding NO.

In my second pregnancy, the good one that resulted in Max, I was so sure I wasn't pregnant, that it never even entered my mind to HPT (much more jaded by then and a precedence that it didn't matter for me anyway). I was so sure it didn't work, I had a consult with my RE while in for the beta and moved sperm for my next two cycles.

In my third cycle, I was almost positive I was pregnant. My sense of smell was too acute the same way it was with my pregnancy with Max. The nurse that does the blood draws usually asks me as she's drawing whether I think I am or am not. This was the only time I said, yes, I thought I was and would be shocked if the beta came back otherwise.

Maybe may sound good and hopeful, but really, it is very, very bad. Maybe is not good at all. Maybe has me worried that like all the other maybes it is really no, but I'm just hoping and wanting a yes so badly that I can't see the writing on the wall.

B - 3 (my 3 day count down to beta, not that I AM counting or anything...yeah, right)

Ah, this ttc process, especially 2ww's can be such a mind fuck. I'd rather have a no and be pleasantly surprised than a maybe, that is really (like it always has been) a no. I think I need to stop playing this game for awhile. It's starting to not be fun and stress me out a bit.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Eating for two

One of the things I remember most about being pregnant with Max was the need to eat on a regular basis like every 1 - 3 hours. I would just be starving all the time. Cereal and turkey sandwiches were a staple and it always seemed like I couldn't get enough milk. No matter how many times I ate things things...daily, several times a day, every 1 - 3 hours...I would turn around and be hungry again.

I haven't been a caffeine drinker in years and years, but will typically allow myself 1 diet caffeine free diet dr. pepper or a fresca a day, usually when I'm working and Max is not around because then I have to share or prepare for the drama. When pregnant, I basically cut that out, not because of any particular moral high road, it just didn't appeal, which made me a tad sad, my one small pleasure, but it didn't appeal and I figured it was probably for the best.

That's how I've been feeling today. I haven't really been paying attention so could have been the same over the last day or so, but today it is noticeable. I just can't seem to get enough to eat today. And, I don't want to just eat anything, protein, milk, pistachios, and bland carbs are just hitting the spot. And, those meatballs are still sounding good, I may have to make them again in the next few days.

While I have been on dex, and today is a dex day (only taking it every other day because it wacks me out, hypes me up, renders me a complete insomniac) and this is a side affect of dex for some people (not usually me) I've been on dex before and for weeks now.

Now, just to repeat the standard warning here....all of this speculation and pondering and observations mean...NOTHING...it is just a fond 2ww past time. Should this cycle be successful, we can all look back and talk about hindsight or you can say "I thought so." or "I told you so."

In other/Max news, let me tell you how fond I am/have become of nap time. I really think it has become my favorite time or the week. Yes, Max naps (or at least gets put in the crib) every day, but naps while I'm working don't count. I just look forward all week to those naps on the weekends, when I am free, free, free. I was especially happy today since my normal mild manner boy was pitching a fit over pretty much everything this morning. He's been waking up early and it was the 4 am hour. He's old enough that I don't actually spring him free this early, but will go check on him and get him milk or a fresh diaper or whatever he needs.

One of the things Max has been asking for for weeks was a hair cut. After his first cut, I've been having his nanny take him during the week, but the last time I didn't really like the cut so wanted to do it myself so I could tell them exactly how I wanted it done. All morning, starting at around 6 am, all Max wanted to do was go get his haircut and would pitch a fit when I would try to explain that it was too early, it wasn't open, they didn't wake up as early as we did. "Max, do you want breakfast". "No, momma, go in momma's car to get hair cut." "Max, we need to run to the mall really quick before it gets crowded to get Uncle Frank's Christmas present". "No, Momma, go get Max's hair cut." Imagine almost 4 straight hours of this. As we were leaving the parking lot, he told me "See momma, hair cut was open.". Yes, I did have to laugh. I think I got the exact same hair stylist as he got last time. She heard me out, agreed, and then cut it exactly the same way she did last time that I didn't like. However, the thing that shocked me was the fact that Max screamed and cried and fussed the entire time. It really was an unpleasant experience for us all. As we were wrapping this up, I mentioned to him that I was surprised he was so upset since he had been asking for a hair cut and asked him if he just wanted to come play with the toys. He stops crying and say's "YYYYEEESSSS!". So, we stayed for a half hour to let him calm down and play with the toys. And, he checked himself out in the mirror and said, "nice hair cut" so I guess he likes the result, just not the process. Ah, this son of mine.

He's also been totally into the Elmo Potty DVD and this The Potty Book - For Boys.
He even wanted to take it to school on Thursday for show and tell. For $6, another great buy for us. The funny thing is, that he is starting to memorize the words and say them when he sees the page. "Hi, my name is Henry". Or, "I am proud of me, too".

Well, it's been about 45 minutes since my last meal, I think it's time to go pour some more calories down the hatchet.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Restraint

I restrained myself and refrained from making more meatballs today. But, I did think about it a few times.

I've felt a twinge or two, but nothing substantial until Max, the son that I love dearly in spite of it all, kicked me square on the the stomach tonight. I felt something then, but I'm sure that doesn't count. Good thing I'm a firm believer that the uterus is a good insulator and little things like direct impact from an energetic toddler won't really affect the outcome one way or another no matter how much it hurt.

I'm feeling the affects of only 4 hours of sleep and didn't even attempt to work tonight even though I was all prepared with data I needed copied into word. Plus, Max woke up late from his nap and went down for bed late and starting after 8 - 8:15 ish just seems wrong.

I can't say I'm really sleepy, but I am worn and feeling spent. More I have an itchy vagina, from my expensive yeast infection, which I didn't really feel before diagnosed and now am after taking the meds so that probably isn't a good sign. And, horny and wired up in that way a good O would fix (doesn't that sound nice? okay, maybe it is just me), but that would be pushing the envelop too much for even me. I think I'll compromise on a warm bath instead to help relax and take a few kinks out.

I seriously almost forgot my e2v injection tonight. I would have if I hadn't had to move it out of the way to get to the progesterone while thinking, what is this doing here, I don't need that anymore, let me put it away and out of sight. Then, thought about it. Remembered today was Friday (hip hip horray) and silently cursed myself out. And, I'm hoping it's not just me, but I've had a "bleeder" with every single PIO shot. Typically, I do suppositories, but ...if you haven't been following along it is a long story about me being out town and not have the meds with me I need) and I started with PIO. I have it, my P4 number was the best ever, so I'm sticking it out, but it is a pain literally and figuratively.

I promise, no big O's tonight, no matter how much they are needed and how nice it would feel.

See, aren't I the epitome of restraint today?

Obsessing Update

Sadly, that nausea symptom disappeared just about the time I hit the "post" button, not to return. I'm not tired...in fact...I'm keyed up...and didn't fall asleep until midnight and was up at 4 am. And, my "ute" has been quiet as can be. Nary a symptom to be felt, not even if I try and think really really hard and focus. And, I know...from all too much experience...that the presence or absence of symptoms, especially at this stage of the game, means....absolutely nothing. Now, time to focus on work and put the obsessing on hold.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Obessessing

As I told someone earlier today, there is nothing like a 2ww to obsess. But, before we get to that, let me tell you why I could cry tonight. The f'ing system I need for work was not available again tonight which means it is a nightly maintenance window and I am so hosed. I sent a terse note to the email box of the group that I'm pretty sure maintains the system asking if we could move it or if they could at least bring the system up in inquiry only mode while they process the updates so ...you know...we could actually get some work done on our personal time to make the corporate mandatory dates. I'm pissed. I just want to have and enjoy my vacation and my holiday. Is that too much to ask?

Since I can't afford more retail therapy tonight, I will move on to obsessing...the infamous "am I? am I not?" kind that happens to the best of us during a 2ww.

The thing is. I'm nauseous tonight. Before you get your hopes up, you should know, I ate a whole crock pot of meatballs today. I started them this morning, later than planned, for the pot luck at Max's school today. Then, I didn't send them because I wasn't sure they would be ready and because they really sounded good and if I sent them, I couldn't eat any of them. So, I heated a frozen Lasagna to send and kept the meatballs for myself. I'm sure it is the meatballs that are causing the nausea.

But, then, if one were obsessing, one could think that strong desire for meatballs could be called a craving. After all, a friend told me she thought I was pregnant with Max when I was shopping after hiking one morning at Whole Foods and just had to have lobster bisque for breakfast. I can't remember having lobster bisque before or since then, but I do remember how good it tasted. Almost as good as those meatballs tasted. Except, I only had a bowl of soup instead of an entire crock pot of meatballs. And, I have had these meatballs before and likely will have them again. Very simple to make and a good pot luck dish. Just meatballs (I use frozen from Costco), mixed with some catchup and jelly (today I used cherry since that's what I have and like, but people most often use grape), and simmer for hours in the crock pot (or on the stove). Sounds disgusting, but cheap and easy to make and oh so taste.

The other thing you should know is that 1) I was very rarely nauseous with Max. I was a barfer. As in, I wonder if I'm going to be sick... BARF, BARF, BARF...I guess so. But, if one were in a 2ww and obsessing, you could counter point that every pregnancy is different. 2) and two, hmmm, what was that two, can't remember, let's just forget about 2.

Another thing to consider is that I had no, zero, nadda symptoms when pregnant with Max. I was so sure I was not pregnant with Max during the two week wait. And, I had been pregnant before, my first m/c. For the only pregnancy that counts, the one with Max, it never even occurred to me to do an HPT. I moved sperm and had a consult with my RE on beta day I was so sure it hadn't worked. But one obsessing could argue that your body may still remember and you may be better able to discern a pregnancy symptom.

The nay sayer could counter that it is just hormones, like the trigger shop, except these are not my eggs and I didn't do a trigger shot. Possibly, the combination of E2V and P4 which I have taken before, but never together...except I'm only taking the E2V Tuesday's and Friday's...and any side affects like nausea would probably happened days ago or the first time. But, I did take that yeast medication for my $50K yeast infection, so it could be that.

The nay sayer could also counter that it is bowel/intestine related since I'm used (sadly) loose stool and diarrhea. And, there is precedence for that with me with firmer BM's. I laugh when they talk about being constipated after surgery or during pregnancy or on the meds I am, because it just doesn't happen, but it does regulate things, normalizes them. And, (again, sadly) my body isn't used to regularity.

See isn't this fun and a much better way to spend time than reducing the stress level and work level by actually getting some work done?

Now, truly, no one get your hopes up. This is NOT, I repeat NOT a sign. It all means nothing, except maybe Max brought home and gave me the flu bug or I'm feeling sick because I ate an entire crock pot (it was a small one and probably less than half full, but still) of meatballs today. That would be enough to make anyone sick. But, it is a nice way to spend the time, eh? See a few burps and a BM later and I'm already feeling better.

One night, really only an hour or two, of nausea, does not a pregnancy make. Now, a trend yes. More nausea tomorrow, then lets talk. But, please don't ruin a good obsessing session with undue hope or well wishes or any of that garbage.

Anyone who is anyone who has gone down this path knows...symptoms or lack there of means ...what? ...yes, JACK SHIT...or nothing, in more polite terms. It is just a fun game. Let's not ruin it with predictions. Let's just let it stand on it's own for now.

Retail Theraypy and more

I made an impulse buy/did some retail therapy last night. As soon as it takes to process the order and ship, I'll be the proud new owner of this camera and accessories. I'm feeling even more happy about it this morning. No buyer remorse here.

I also wanted to do a heart felt thanks to my SMC posse (including my one friend who is no longer technically an SMC after she got married...gosh it is coming up on two years now?...but, who I always still think of as an SMC). It really is the best group of friends and people a girl could ever want in her life. I appreciate the calls and emails and moral support more than you could know. Thank you!

If I'm not around much this next week and a half (and I SHOULDN'T be, but probably will cause I'm like that), it isn't because I'm home wallowing in depression and despair. I just really, really, really have a lot of work to do right now. It HAS to get done. And, I have plans to be out on vacation the 21st to the 2nd that I don't want to cancel or have to worry about work while out. So, I plan to work my butt off every night after Max goes to bed and before he wakes up in the morning to make progress. Now, I actually tried this last night (and ended up doing my retail therapy) because the system/application I needed was brought down for maintenance. I hope that is not a nightly occurrence, cause otherwise I'm in big trouble and yet another plan will have to be rethought. And, what the hell is my son awake at 5 am for today? I can't remember the last time that happened. Looks like he is also sabotaging this extra work thing. Hmm, maybe he will fall back to sleep.

In regards the my cycle, I did pretty much by the rules, the first 14 or so hours of the stricked 24 hours of bed rest. Then, I have been up and about, but taking it easy. The furthest I got from the house was to my mailbox. And, my house is only just under 1400 square feet so I'm pretty contained. I thought about keeping my work laptop and phone on my bed and just working from there, but I'm much more comfortable and it is so much easier just working in my office at my desk. I'm f,ine and have no issues or concerns with my activity level in support of this cycle. That being said, it seems like my cough is getting worse. I'm sure it just seems that way. Every time I cough I'm worrying about one of those little embryos trying to nestle in and getting jostled around and then take a deep breath and remind myself how insulated that uterus really is. It is a safe haven and I'm sure it is fine (if I tell myself that enough times maybe I'll stop the mild worry). But, I may have to make a trip out to the store/pharmacy today for more cough drops...just for more peace of mind.

My ute is continuing to "talk" to me and remind me that it is there and I really am in a 2ww. Last night, as I was falling asleep, I was feeling hopeful and excited and was thinking "At least the chance isn't zero. There is a chance. It could work." When I first started the ttc process, I found the 2ww's agonizing. In fact, it was on my second one, that I was obsessively browsing and researching on the internet when I got tied into my wonderful SMC network. Now, because of the hard ttc path I have had and how my ovaries are so done and not responding and the fear of never having another child, any time I had a follicle that looked good enough for an IUI, I was there. As long as the odds aren't zero, there is a chance. Just the fact that there is a chance, that I could be, that is enough for now.

Next week will tell the tale, but for now. I'm living life and getting done what I have to get done to have the vacation and holiday I want. And, hoping and praying that once again, against the odds, I get another miracle or two.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The details

Now that I'm over the trauma of yesterday, I'm calm enough to post some of the gory details. And, it's not all bad. It just wasn't "the plan". It wasn't even close to the plan. I was expecting to have 15 stellar high quality embryos to choose from and able to freeze for later use.

The three transfered:
Egg #14 - Day 3 = 7 cell, grade1, GES100; Day 5 Expanded/Blast, grade 2, HLA-G =4.4
Egg #6 - Day 3 = 8 cell, grade1, GES 100; Day 5 Expanded/Blast, grade 3, HLA-G= 3.4
Egg #12 - Day 3 = 7 cell, grade 1, GES 100; Day 5 Expanded/Blast, grade 3, HLA-G=3.5

The two (humor) freezes:
Egg#10 - Day 3 = 9 cell, grade 2, GES 85; Day 5 Expanded/Blast, grade 3, HLA-G=4
Egg#18 - Day 3 = 9 cell, grade 2, GES 85; Day 5 Expanded/Blast, grade 3, HLA-G=2.5

Where grade 1 is the highest and grade 3 is the lowest. By day 5, I had ZERO grade 1's and only 1 grade 2. Grade has to do with the shape of the cells and the fragmentation.

The HLA-G has to do with the embryo marker test that I paid extra for, but probably could have saved my money. I'm not really clear on how it works, but think a score between 2 and 16 is good and indicates a higher chance of success with that egg. Interestingly enough, the egg with the lowest SLA-G of .72 was the only one with a Day 5 Stage 'dead'.

The Day 5 stages are from worst to best dead; cleaved (still alive, but didn't grow since day 3/still at day 3 stage); compacted (still alive, but in a day 4 stage on day 5); non-expanded (on day 5, grew, but didn't make it to blast?); expanded/blasts.

So, basically, I transfered 3 blasts of dubious quality and I'm hoping the ugly embryos turn into beautiful children.

At this point, I'm not sure what I'm hoping for most a singleton pregnancy or twins even as I know how much twins would rock my world and complicate thing exponentially. If it ends up as a twin pregnancy, I really will laugh my ass off because of the lengths I went to prevent twins and know that fate is what it is, it was just meant to be.

I can't even contemplate all three making it for trips. I think the possibility is so small it is not something I'm even going to worry about unless it comes to fruition.

It goes with out saying that the worst outcome would be a negative. I'm not making any definitive plans, but am pretty sure I will not do another fresh. I'll probably do an FET as soon as possible just to make sure those 2 frozen really don't won't make it, then just go in month after month for an IUI any time I have a follicle growing until I run out of sperm. I think I have something like 10 vials left since I just stocked up before decided to go donor. Then, I'd just be done, finished, fried, know it just wasn't meant to be.

It's not all bad. My e2 is finally decent. It was 8oo something from Saturday and 668 yesterday so we are sticking with the 10mg = .5 E2V. My progesterone was 24.9 which I think is my highest recorded progesterone ever and that was before adding in 200 mg per my calendar tonight. I've been feeling lots of twings and twangs and "bloat" down there all day/since yesterday and I've been down the ttc path long enough that it probably means jack shit, but has me hoping against hoping that I've got a little baby in the making setting up its placenta network. The RE gave me a loose 50/50 shot of this cycle working transferring three. I'm hoping against all hopes that I land into the right 50% this time.

Please God. Pretty please. With sugar and honey and every thing nice. Please let this be the best 50K I've ever spent instead of the biggest loosing gamble. Win or loose, no regrets. If I had to do it all over again, I would make the same choices. I know in my heart of hearts this was the path I was meant to take.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Three

The Plan: The plan was to transfer one high quality embryo and hope for the best. If it didn't work, do FET's for the rest of the year under the outcome based plan I entered until it did. Or, I ran out of embryos.

The Reality: I transfered 3 low quality embryos and they humored me and froze two even worse quality embryos that the embryologist doesn't think will survive a thaw, not grow if they did, and only a miracle would cause them to result in a pregnancy.

I'm glad I had an hour or two wait (they were running very behind) after talking with the embryologist before talking to the RE's. I need that time to process. I became a cry baby while in with the RE's and pretty much didn't stop the leaking for a few hours...and here I have started up again....Pretty much everyone in the office was feeling sorry for me.

Yes, it can still happen. The ugliest embryos can and do turn into adorable children. It just isn't very likely. The odds are not good.

I basically lost a full day of work and am now even more behind than I was before. And, I'm so far behind that I can't even tell you at the moment because thinking about it is too stressful. I left the house at 10 am and got home around 4:45 pm.

To say I'm sad, disappointed, and upset would all probably be understatements.

I'm tired, crampy, my eyes hurt, and I'm not feeling great. My cough is persisting and Max has another buggery nose so didn't go to school today. To top it all, I have a yeast infection. ET of crappy donor eggs is a very expensive way to find that out.

Monday, December 10, 2007

My Embryos

Being new to this whole ER/ET thing (since my response has always been so poor I never made it that far), I'm not sure, exactly, what this all means, but I think I can safely say the my embryos don't suck.

I've now listened to my voice message about the fertilization rate and talked to my coordinator about the embryo status yesterday at day 3. And, here is the detail in all it's glory.....

26 eggs were retrieved

18 eggs were M2 (highest level of maturity)
5 eggs were M1 (lower level of maturity)
3 eggs were GV (no idea what that means, but I'm assuming it isn't good since they didn't even try to fertilize them)

They fertilized the 18 M2's and the 5 M1's and 15 of the 23 fertilized. By my calculations, this is about a 65% fertilization rate, which is better than the 50% I had mentally planned base on the high number of eggs retrieved.

Yesterday, on day 3, I had the following....

Where I was told, anything over 7 - 8 cell is good; grade 1 is higher/better than grade 2; GES score is assigned by the embryologist and 100% is the best. I'm assuming the GES has to do with shape of cells and fragmentation and such.

2 - 7 cell, grade 1, 100%
1 - 8 cell, grade 1, 100%
1 - 8 cell, grade 2, 95%
1 - 9 cell, grade 1, 85%
2 - 9 cell, grade 2, 85%
8 - 10 cell, grade 2, 70 - 75%
4 - others with a GES between 40 - 45%
---------
19? Since I only had 15 to start with, my notes are wrong on this. I'll see if I can get an update from my coordinator and edit. However, I know she said that none had died off and that all or almost all tested positive for the embryo marker test, which is good.

All and all, I'm happy with this status. There just may be a good chance this cycle will work and if not, it is just going to be bad luck of the draw on the one selected to transfer.

I'm starting to feel happy, excited, and scared all of a sudden.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

I ' heart' P4

I love progesterone. I really, really do. I got a full 8 hours of sleep last night after a short nap yesterday. I really can't remember the last time that happened, but think it was in 2005 when pregnant with Max. One of the reasons I really liked being pregnant was that it was the best sleep I ever had in my life. And, under the TMI category, my BM's are almost normal while on progesterone (and while pregnant). I'm doing the PIO instead of the suppositories, only because I started that way while out of town and have it, and it's fine. A bit of a trade off....a sore bum over messy, wet undies from suppository leakage. I'll probably get a progesterone test in a few days...maybe when I'm in for transfer ... if it's not today...please God, let transfer not be today...to check how bad the number is...and add in the suppositories as well. But, if last nights sleep is any indication, it is getting absorbed just fine and a blood draw would probably show that it doesn't completely suck. And, all that sleep on a 'dex' day, which I've only been taking every other day since I only typically get about 4 hours when on that stuff. So, while I don't love the bruised and sore bum (or the wet and leaky private parts), I do love the affects. Hey, with any luck, an answered prayer, and a wish upon a star, I'll be "knocked up" by Christmas and my body will produce lots of this glorious hormone for months on end. Wow, wouldn't that be nice?

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Forgetful

I've been so darn forgetful lately that it really is quite pathetic. I know it is the hormones, but still...it is getting mighty irritating. Today at the clinic, I needed to do three things...e2 blood draw, Viagra wash, and get needles for PIO. I got the blood draw. Dr. Q agreed with me that a Viagra wash was completely pointless since I haven't taken any Viagra in 8 days. And, I forgot the needles. I remember on the way home and stopped by the pharmacy to get some (and they gave me the wrong needles, but the right syringe so I was basically fine). I get home and remembered that while out and at a pharmacy, I wanted to pick up some Vicks Vapo Steam. Sigh. I still haven't turned in all my release forms, because I keep forgetting to take them in. Bigger sigh. I'm pretty sure I'm in violation of my DE contract because I have not yet signed us up for the neutral registry I wanted indicated in our contract. I'm pretty sure it was supposed to be done before ER, which happened sooner than I planned. I could go on and on with examples, but you get the point. Pathetic.

Tomorrow, they take a lookie see at my embryo's. I'm really hoping I don't get called in for an emergency transfer because things look bad because I am completely unprepared...mentally and logistically with Max.

I had a short nap today. Max boycotted, but spent time in his crib undressing, taking his cup apart and spilling milk, climbing onto his dresser and getting every stuffed animal and object on it since I had the crib tent off to wash (since it was smelling a lot like sour milk and I couldn't take in anymore)...allowing me a some much needed rest. He could have climbed out, but didn't. I thought about just leaving the tent off since it is in really bad shape (and we've only had it a few months), but Max insisted it go back up.

The nap was key. I'm feeling better than I have in a long while. Not great. Not 100%. But, better. Now, if I can just remember. I'd be doing good.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Home Sweet Home

It was a good trip and I'm glad I went, but....I'm so darn happy to be home.

Good thing I tend to be fairly low keyed.

I got lost or made a wrong turn every place I went except my first night from the airport to the corporate apartments and from my aunt and uncles back to the airport this morning. I had to drive in snow and ice and it was cold. I had a bad IBS episode while lost driving one night. However, I got to see and meet with a people I haven't seen in years or have worked with for years and never met face to face. I like my new boss. I'm not thrilled with all of the reorganization changes planned or in the works, but I don't really hate them either and likely I'm going to be taking on a new role in the new organization, by my choice.

My donor triggered way earlier than expected and they changed my calendar and wanted me to start progesterone, which I didn't have with me, but one of my cousins just happened to have to have some PIO she gave me so I didn't have to try to find a pharmacy. They wanted me to get a E2 blood draw, which ultimately didn't happen. I started my zpack (antibiotics) a day late because the updated calendar was sent to my personal email, which I couldn't access while away, and my coordinator didn't mention it when I talked to her late one night to get the calendar changes verbally. Asprin fell off my calendar and I keep forgetting to ask if I should still be taking it or should have stopped, which I didn't. My coordinator told me not to take Lupron Thursday morning (day of retrieval), but the calendar, when I saw it days later said to take it. I was going to stop by the clinic on my way home this afternoon for that e2 blood draw and the Viagra wash they want me to do even though it has been a week since I stopped Viagra, but we landed late so I'm going in the morning. In spite of all that and probably a few more things like that I'm forgetting at the moment, I really stayed calm. I got a bit teary eyed this morning after going to two different labs in a town I didn't know before I left for the airport, both of which couldn't or wouldn't do the test for different stupid reasons. But, I took a deep breath decided it was what it was at this point and went for a quick breakfast with my cousin, her husband, and my aunt and uncle.

I still have my awful cough and am tired, tired, tired. I went to bed on west coast time and woke up on east coast time and went non-stop in between.

They retrieved 26 eggs, 15 fertilized normally, and I'm scheduled for an 11 am transfer on Tuesday. With 26 retrieved, I was anticipating a 50% fertilization rate and got slightly better than that so am all and all happy. We will see what the embryo marker test shows and how many we still have on transfer day. I have all the details on maturity and such on my voice mail but haven't really listened to closely yet. I just remembered the bottom line of 15 fertilized normally.

Monday, December 03, 2007

On reading

I smile at myself these days for being worried that Max would never be interested in books and reading. The proverbial light bulb seems to have gone off recently and it is no longer songs and singing before bed, but reading. And, reading in the morning when he wakes up. And, occasionally reading at other times during the day, like when I was off on vacation and had time and we were hanging out all day long together.

He really, really, really enjoyed The Night Before Thanksgiving. It's a cute book. I also enjoyed it the first 50 or so times I read it. At first Max called it the "Eating book. Read the eating book momma". Great bargain for $3.99. We got our money's worth on that one.

In attempt to not have to read the Thanksgiving book one more time, I pulled out one of the Christmas books I bought him. I was really impressed with Snowmen at Night. Max wanted nothing to do with it. He never let me get past page 4 or so. Never touched it. Never wanted anything to do with it. An almost $11 board book, basically unused at this point. We will see if it grows on him.

I was thrilled when Witch's Christmas showed up. From the very first, Max has loved this one. Tonight, I was putting him to bed late...hey, I had to spoil him and cuddle him a bit extra tonight since I'm not going to see him or put him to bed for 4 whole nights...and told him no books, just one song. He wanted the "witch one, mommy". Since I was thinking songs and not feeling great (like my stomach is going to explode from, presumably, too much gas?), I didn't have a clue and told him so. I was told "no song mommy. book. witches book. on the table in the other room". That did it, I got it then. :) And, read it yet another time. It's a cute book that ties Halloween and Christmas. A steal at $1 (not including $4 for shipping, but still a great deal).

I'm a bit worried that Max now thinks the board book are beneath him since his two most recent favorites are both cheap thin paper story ones since I have a stack of (more expensive) hard cover ones in the Christmas stack. Ah well, time will tell. I'm just glad that he's liking the books/reading thing these days even if it is a bit tedious to read the same book 5 -1o times a day for weeks on end. I'm sure I'll be digging out another from the Christmas stash soon.

I'm off. I have a lot to do in the morning and leave early. I sure hope this stomach thing is gone by tomorrow. I won't have access to my personal computer/email while I'm gone so you will just have to wonder how my appointment and my donors appointments go and that I'll remember by the time I get back. I'm a tad worried about having to fly with all my meds and needles and being given a hard time. I'm sure it will all work out. And, I'm extremely happy I don't have to travel with the Viagra.

Have a wonderful week everyone! Back this weekend.