Tuesday, December 13, 2011

First Milestone

We did it!  We made it to the second trimester.  Got to see PB&J on our first abdominal ultrasound this morning to mark the occasion!  Not as clear pictures through all my tummy fluff and since they were hanging out really low, but beautiful heart rates of 157 and 163.  Love hearing those little choo-choo train sounds.  


Unfortunately, heartburn is still in full effect, but not so unfortunate - I can start on Prilosec again to control it.  Makes me a little nervous to take more medication, but everything I've researched says it's safe as well as the NP so I'm putting my faith in that.  Also unfortunate is the fact that my blood sugars are not controlled.  My fasting blood sugars are hovering in the low 100s and my postprandial (aka after meals) blood sugars are averaging in the 140 - 150s.  Not great.  Not super high either, but elevated enough I'll probably be put on yet another medication - Glyburide.  Fun fun.  


I also found out that I've actually lost almost three pounds in the last two weeks.  I try to eat.  I do, but it's difficult lately.  I'm not hungry most of the time and when I am, I'm full before I've eaten maybe half of what's on my plate.  Anyone else have experience with this?  What did you do to maximize your calorie intake with the least amount of food while still maintaining some sense of healthy eating?  Or could you?


Happiness abounds here in our household.  I think I'm starting to show a little, which gets me excited.  I'm definitely not fitting in any of my regular pants any longer.  We also found out recently that our sister-in-law is also expecting - I can share now that it's become Facebook news!  So now not only are we experiencing pregnancy with our best friends (who are a week and a half ahead of us), but also with Momma B's brother and wife (who are a month and a half behind us).  How fun!  Momma B's parents get to now prepare for THREE little babies to come.  It's gonna be a busy year for the B family!  


And last but not least, we decided to move forward with buying a house before PB&J get here, so Momma B and I went to some open houses on Sunday and met a great real estate agent that we hired that day.  We found a great little house that we both loved and found out my credit and income put us right in place to buy now.  SO EXCITING!  My very first offer on a house was submitted this morning.  I think I'm holding it together pretty well, considering.  Not too nervous, not too excited.  Even if this house doesn't come through, we at least got the ball rolling and are on the official search.  How awesome is that?!  Hopefully we'll hear soon.  According to our agent there are multiple offers (yes!  even in this market.), but he's pretty confident ours will be the best one after feeling out the seller's agent.  Keeping our fingers crossed for good news.  Can I just say though ... WOW do they need a lot of paperwork!  Who knew! 

Monday, December 5, 2011

Circle+Bloom

If you've kept up with my blog, you may remember that I used the Circle+Bloom meditation CDs to help keep me relaxed and focused during the entire TTC process.  I loved the options they had for both medicated and non-medicated cycles.  I would listen each night and find a little peace within myself as I was able to visualize what was going on within my body.  It was a wonderful way to end my day and fall asleep dreaming of what may be.  I fully believe it was part of what helped keep me sane during the entire TTC process.  In other words, I highly recommend you try it!  

Right now they're offering a 35% discount for anyone that uses the HOLIDAY35 code.  What a great deal!  I haven't gotten it yet, but they have programs for a healthy relaxed pregnancy and birth.  It's worth checking out anyhow.  You can click on the ad on the right side of my page or Click here to visit Circle and Bloom..  

Rest well, my friends!

Too Sweet

Why oh why do they give citrus flavors
on an empty stomach?!  Gag!  =/
My blood, that is.  Yep, I failed my two hour glucose tolerance test and have now been officially diagnosed with Gestational Diabetes Mellitus (GDM).  Not so sweet.  Now I get to prick my finger multiple times a day and worry about what I'm eating while also worrying about gaining enough weight to keep PB&J healthy and happy.


The funny thing is, I'm no longer craving sweets like I used to, well, pretty much always.  In fact, if I were to think of something I'd want as a midnight snack it would be a burger or cheese or a cheeseburger - pretty much anything full of protein.  Those are my only cravings.  The sweetest things I've actually been loving are fruits - mango, pineapple, pears, you name it.  My absolute favorite, ice cream, has been passed up several times these last few weeks for fruit or cheese!  So go figure.  


Unfortunately, by failing this test, I felt as though I'd failed PB&J somehow too.  I know I cannot control these things and I fall into several of the high-risk categories, but everything has been so healthy up to this point that I just hoped it would remain that way.  Now it's all different.  After I learned the results Friday morning, I was deflated and sad the rest of the day.  I couldn't stop feeling that I was entirely responsible and I just put my babies at risk.  It's taken a couple days for me to clear my head and realize this is just another small hurdle, but nothing that cannot be dealt with and not such a big deal that I should let it affect my mood and elicit so many fears.  I meet with the dietitian on Wednesday and the Nurse Practitioner (NP) on Thursday, so between the two hopefully I'll get the required tools and information I need - something more focused for me and not just the general information I know from school and my field.  


The unfavorable aspect of this is the conflicting information I'm getting.  The NP we met with at our first OB appointment made some comments to us that lead us to believe she's not thinking of this pregnancy any different than that of a singleton - she actually told me it would be okay if I lost weight throughout this pregnancy!  A big red flag to us both.  We're hoping we don't find the same from my actual OB.  Then there's the awesome dietitian that works both with the Moms of Multiples and Sweet Success programs, who basically told us that I can control blood sugars with meds if necessary, but it's too important to gain the necessary weight with multiples to try and overly control my food intake.  I'm more apt to listen to her because she does work with both programs and definitely knows how different the needs can be with a twin pregnancy.  It doesn't make things easier though because as a nurse, I know the importance of controlling blood sugars and I know what the risks can be to a fetus, but mainly when there's only one - not two.  And I'll admit, my focus continues to change the further along we get in this pregnancy.  PB&J's health is becoming top priority and I want to do everything to ensure they get the best start in life!

On a totally different, happier note, Christmas has finally landed in our home.  We normally get our tree and decorate the entire house the weekend after Thanksgiving, so we're a little late, but who cares ... it's finally here!  It's so exciting to have the sparkling lights and festive decor around us again.  I love this time of year!  And while I find myself excited about the current season, I have to admit, I find my mind wandering to the future and trying to imagine the joy we'll find when we have a couple of little ones to enjoy it with as well.  Just amazing and so damn sappy.  I'm blaming it on the pregnancy.  


O Tannenbaum, o Tannenbaum,
Du kannst mir sehr gefallen!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Future Acrobat

What a great day!  At exactly 11 weeks, we finally had our first OB appointment and got to see PB&J on screen again.  They were so much bigger than before, which duh that's obvious, but totally blew me away anyhow.  I wish I could show all of you a picture, but none of them really came out because we have a couple of active little ones.  Well, I should say mostly one active one ... J was dancing a jig in there and made it very difficult for the doc to get a good measurement, let alone a good snapshot.  PB was mostly chillin' until J kicked him/her in the head then we got to see PB dance a bit too.  OMG seriously it was the cutest thing - but of course, we're their moms so we may be just a little biased.  PB's heart rate was a calm 164, while J's was a spirited 176.  Despite old wives' tales, we're still convinced we have a boy and a girl in there.  Only time will tell.


After my OB appointment, Momma B and I hung out for her annual pap.  It was fun to watch the roles reverse for the first time and see her get poked and prodded - well, that was how she put it.  I'm just glad she's healthy and we got to meet another doc in the group.  He was quite jovial and we liked him a lot.  Momma B even suggested I change my primary OB over to him.  


On a more unfortunate note, I have a two-hour glucose screening test scheduled already.  I kind of knew it would be a possibility because of my weight, but I had hoped it wouldn't happen.  I know my weight puts me at higher risk, but thankfully I have no family history of diabetes.  Ah well.  It's better to be safe than sorry, right?!  Of course, the really fun part is if this test comes back normal I still have to return for the one-hour glucose screening at 24-28 weeks.  Awesome.  


In other news, I recently found out that I need glasses.  I picked them up today.  What do you think?


First specs ... not too shabby, yeah?!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Jinx

Here I was all happy that pregnancy has been so good to me and telling everyone all about it ... other than the heartburn, but that's not really pregnancy's fault ... until a few days ago.  I totally jinxed myself.  The nausea has arrived.  Bummer.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Giving Thanks

Okay, technically not their first, but you know ...
There is so much Momma B and I are thankful for this year, but we are especially thankful for these wonderful babies we are expecting.  However, this year has been full of wonderful moments and even more wonderful people that have shaped our lives and made our lives extremely rich!  I am also thankful for this blog that has connected me to a fabulous community that knows what the TTC process is like and celebrates and sympathizes together.  


I wish you all the most wonderful, loving Thanksgiving this year.  May all of you be blessed with many more memorable, cherished moments throughout the coming year!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

The Results Are In . . .

And 10 out of 14 of you, my dear blog friends, said the nursery should be done individually.  So if we have a boy and a girl, one crib should be done in each.  I agree.


Now, I don't think I'm going to do a full crib set as far as bumpers and pillows and comforters, all that.  Especially while they're really little, there's a lot of controversy regarding these items.  And though I don't totally buy into all of these safety warnings as I think our society is getting a little paranoid with regard to our children, I do like the aesthetics of a more minimal look for the cribs.  


Momma B and I find pictures of nurseries we are drawn to and almost every time it shows a crib without a bumper.  I rather like the clean, more modern look of it.  However, I absolutely want to make a crib skirt - and this is partially because of practical use.  With two little ones on the way, we have to be a little lot more economical in our choice of nursery furniture.  And as much as I love the cribs with the built in bottom drawer, it's not a practical choice for us.  Thus a crib skirt not only looks super cute, it allows us to still use that space for storage.  Perfect solution.


But by limiting myself to the crib skirt and sheets, I am finding other ways to utilize the awesome fabrics I found.  Of course, there will be pillows for the rocking chair and/or glider.  And my mom will be making plenty of quilts.  But there are other ideas in the works.  I'll share more later.


Interesting side note: Apparently my pregnancy has thrown off Momma B's cycle.  AF for her is almost a month late.  Anyone else experience this with their partners/wives?

Get Along Little Doggies

Courtesy of Health.com
Things in our household have been a little, um, challenging lately.  The main issue: my depression and the lack of treatment.  At our last appointment with Dr. S he made it a point to discourage me from taking my low-dose antidepressant unless I was suicidal.  Which, FYI, I'm not.  I'll admit it scared me a bit even though our beloved Dr. M, my past OB/GYN, a pregnancy risk hotline my OB/GYN referred to me, and my psychiatrist all told me my dose is low enough and the benefits are strong enough that taking my antidepressant is important and outweighs any potential, albeit small, risks.  However, despite all the recommendations I've received and all the research I've done, Dr. S's little speech left me very scared and I stopped taking my meds.


No meds means several things, some of which I am experiencing and some of which I'm not. Normally, I start to lose interest in everything and sleep sleep sleep.  My energy levels have actually been improving from what they were at the beginning of my pregnancy (when I was on my meds) and I'm still very happy and very interested in everything that is normal for me - and some new interests too!  However, no meds also means I have no patience and am apt to fly off the handle at any little thing that frustrates me.  As Momma B says, I lack my regulator.  And THAT is what has made the last couple weeks so challenging.


Poor Momma B.


Nothing in our household can truly frustrate me like our doggies.  I'll admit right here right now: I have not been a "dog person" most of my life.  I'm not even sure I'd qualify myself as one now, but these two doggies I've adopted have wiggled their way in my heart and though I still have some difficulty taking full parental responsibility for them, I'm getting there.  Unfortunately, our current living situation is not ideal for two very large, very energetic Rhodesian Ridgebacks.  And normally, if they take their boredom out on something in their immediate environment, I may get frustrated, but I also understand and Momma B and I try to do what we can to allow our big boys to get their energy out and receive a lot of love and support.  


Not lately.


We come home and any little thing that may be amiss, I get steaming mad in less than a second and cannot control the angry words and the volume of my voice.  I completely lose it.  Luckily, I usually get over it just as quickly and instantly feel bad for my lack of control.  Unfortunately, it's become a regular occurrence and it's been affecting communication between Momma B and I - causing a few arguments and tense moments.  Not a good situation.


So a couple nights ago, Momma B and I finally hashed everything out and though it was one of those gut-wrenching, tear-inducing, brutally-honest conversations that take it all out of us, it also ends up being the best conversation we could have ever had because we figure out so much we never thought we could and we end up feeling closer than ever.  Yeah, one of those.


We concluded two things: 1) I definitely need to be back on my meds.  This is a not a comprehensive explanation of how my depression has been affecting me, just one example.  And no one, it seems, can say definitively how either affects the fetus - studies are difficult to come by and/or small and all SSRIs are grouped together - so it truly has to be an individual choice.  So one small scare and one recommendation against half a dozen others should not be enough to deflect what I need; because ultimately it comes down to taking care of myself so I can take care of our babies.  And 2) our senior citizen doggies (nearly 7- and 8-years-old) now need to be crate trained - because what we are currently doing to try and prevent problems/destruction is obviously not working and will not even be possible once the babies are here. 


Ultimately, we both realized that now that we're pregnant, our outlooks are different and decisions rest on what is best for our family.  Because that is what we are now.  Not to say that we weren't before, but we were a family of two only.  Life really only involved us.  We now have to think beyond ourselves and THAT will make the rest of our lives a bit challenging.  ; )

Monday, November 14, 2011

Want A Chance?!

How awesome would it be to win your very own HP TouchSmart 320 Computer?! Personally, being of the semi-thrifty sort, I think it would be pretty awesome!

A wonderful crafty, motherly blog I follow, No Big Dill, is currently hosting this wonderful giveaway and I think perhaps a few - or all - of you should check it out. Why not?! You could lose, but you could also win. And that is just, well, awesome.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Project: Nursery - Preparatory Stages


I don't know if any of you remember (as this was nearly a year ago), but Momma B's parents got us a crib and a changing table for Christmas last year.  I actually never thought much of the style or use of it until now because, well, we weren't pregnant.  And it's been sitting in the closet of the guest room ever since.  However, we're now at a point where we have to think about a nursery and I realized that the crib, though really nice, is definitely not our style.  Our space is on the smaller side and we're unsure of whether we can fit two full-sized cribs in there or if we need to go with mini-cribs.  In addition, we definitely are going to need at least one dresser with twins and the space we have does not allow for a dresser, two cribs, a glider, and a changing table.  We need to get furniture that's a little more multi-functional.  We're now thinking they need to be returned for something that is more "us" and more in-line with what limited visual we have of what we want the nursery to be.  

This is the crib, changing table/dresser, and glider we want:





Now, I know I've just gotten back into sewing - and perhaps I'm being overly ambitious - but I really want to make the crib sets for PB&J.  I want to make as much as I can for the nursery, actually.  I have a fabulous book by Amy Butler called Little Stitches for Little Ones that has many different things that come so close to what I've had pictured in my head, so it's been a wonderful inspiration.  And just yesterday I found the fabric collection that I want to make the nursery set; thankfully, Momma B loves it just as much!  So I present to you the Alphabet Soup collections:
Alphabet Soup - Boy (Riley Blake Designs)

Alphabet Soup - Girl (Riley Blake Designs)

After the FET, Momma B and I couldn't get twins off the brain and, well, ta-da!  Now, honestly, I can't shake the feeling that we have one of each gender in there.  I won't be disappointed if my instincts are not correct, but that is really what my heart is telling me. SO I have a question for you, my dear readers and blog-friends, if there is one of each - how would you coordinate the nursery?  Personally, I'm leaning toward having one crib set in the boy collection and one in the girl, since the color pallet is exactly the same and the coordinating fabrics are also the same.  I think it would be so cute to have it look similar, yet different.  Yet the boy collection is quite neutral so really would work for both genders.  So would you make each crib set the same or coordinate between the two?  Please help!  (Poll is to the right and will be open all week!)

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Baby Love

Yesterday we had our second u/s and our unofficial "graduation" from the RE.  So strange to think we won't see any of our favorite docs and nurses until Momma B's turn in a couple years.  In a way I'm not sorry to say goodbye because there's only one of two ways that usually happens and we're definitely leaving for only the best reason!

PB&J are thriving and it is still so amazing to see and hear them.  You would think working in L&D that hearing baby heartbeats wouldn't be so spectacular, but this time they belong to us (and, honestly, even when they don't they're always joyful sounds)!  Our babies are looking more like, well, babies.  


PB has a strong HR of 178 and is measuring 8w2d.  J, on the other hand, has jumped a bit ahead measuring 8w5d with an equally strong HR of 161.  Are they not the most beautiful things you've ever seen?

Of course, one of the first questions we hear is if and when we find out their gender.  I find this quite amusing how stuck everyone gets on knowing.  Now personally I would go crazy having to wait until they were born before finding out, but sometimes my sinister side thinks maybe we should wait just to drive everyone else nuts too.  I couldn't do it, but every now and again I have a secret laugh inside at the thought.  But I get it.  It definitely makes shopping a bit easier, for one.  And though Momma B and I are not the girls that get hung up on pink and blue, we're still the type that think in terms of feminine and masculine and want some specific touches in the nursery that we're not able to pin down while their genders remain up in the air.  (Future post is already in the works re: the nursery ideas.  I may elicit some help from all of you.)

I must say though that thus far I am definitely counting my blessings in how well pregnancy has been treating me.  I read my books and your blogs and pregnancy forums - and I realize there is a lot of un-fun stuff that could be affecting me, but isn't.  Thank you, PB&J for taking it easy on your momma!  

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Ramblings . . .

Things are going well on the pregnancy front.  The main issue is heartburn.  Some days it's a raging inferno and other days just a pile of smoldering embers.  And, occasionally, I get a day like today where it's dormant and I can breathe fully again.  Honestly, I'm unsure which would be worse: constant nausea or constant heartburn.  I'm gonna say they're both equally miserable.  Of course, it doesn't help that I already suffer from GERD and have to take a pill daily or life is just burning and painful.  Unfortunately, our beloved Dr. M said no no no to my regular medication because it's not proven un/safe during pregnancy; thus we didn't want to take the risk of potential problems during the first trimester, but once we reach that first milestone I can finally resume the only med that actually shows heartburn who's boss!  In the meantime, TUMS, Earth Mama Angel Baby tea, and (surprise!) ginger ale have been my best friends.  They all work okay and I have to say it's definitely better than having nothing at all.  I also take Pepcid every night, but I'm pretty sure that was just a big waste of $$ because it does nothing for me.  Babies, good thing I love you so much and want you so badly because I'm already making BIG sacrifices for you!  ;)


Grey & Yellow onsies - a steal at only $4
77Kids Hoodie - bargain deal at $3


Sunday, Momma B and I decided to do a little window shopping for PB&J.  Given we're still months away from knowing what gender these little ones are, finding specific items is a little more difficult at this point, but that doesn't stop us from oohhing and aahhing over everything we loved!  We also couldn't resist buying a couple things that are gender-neutral because they were on clearance.  We definitely can't resist a bargain.  Shopping also made us realize how much more the up-front costs will be for twins.  Day to day I don't believe it will be that much more as I plan/hope to exclusively BF and we are definitely determined to make cloth diapering work for us - twins or no twins.  Of course, we could be totally kidding ourselves in our naïveté, but I am busy reading and researching so I like to think I make these statements with a fair amount of confidence.  Only time will tell.


Our next u/s is on Friday and we're hoping, of course, to actually see more than the lightening bug flashes on the screen.  It's so amazing to think just a month ago PB&J were only the size of a poppy seed and now they're the size of raspberries!  And in only a couple of weeks they'll be the size of limes!  Nuts.  No one seems to relate the sizes to things other than fruit, which I find extremely amusing, but I'm glad for the visual no matter what object is used to relate it to.  

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Sew Fun

Nothing like getting pregnant to light a fire under my @$$ to do things that I've been meaning to do for months, nay, years!  I've dabbled in my knitting and collected many pattern books, but haven't ever gotten serious about it to take it to the next level.  Same with sewing.  I got a wonderful shiny new sewing machine from Momma B the Christmas before last, but have never actually taken it out of the box.  The project list has stacked up and the patterns have multiplied.

Then like magic, Groupon offered a steal for three sewing classes.  And I bought it, excited and ready.  That was in August.  I finally attended my first class tonight.

I forgot just how much I love sewing, love being creative and creating.  I forgot how much the sound of a sewing machine makes me feel loved and at home.  My grandmother sewed for us growing up and my mother is to this day an avid quilter.  There is something that intrinsically links me to these women as that needle pierces fabric and takes shape.  Apparently, I've felt this for the last few years as the desire has always been there, but it took getting pregnant and having a very definitive goal (with a deadline, no less) ahead of me to push past that invisible barrier and truly get it.  Call it old-fashioned, corny, romantic, but I love the idea of holding up the traditions of my maternal family line.  I now know a little of what it feels like to want to pass this love of craft down the line further.

Anyhow.

Tonight's foray into the sewing world was nothing spectacular or extraordinary, but it was a breakthrough nonetheless and I came home to Momma B breathless with excitement like a little girl.  I'm hooked.  (I've already bookmarked future classes - and, yes, some knitting classes are included.)

So I present to you the finished product.  The first handmade item for our babies' nursery. Pure love.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Life is Two-riffic!

Yep, folks, that's right!  TWINS!  Wow.  And double wow!  


Momma B and I have had twins on the brain since the FET and I've been referring to them as "they" from the very start.  Guess we just knew somehow.  In fact, when we were trying to come up with blog nicknames for our little one(s), we could only think of twin nicknames!  I cannot believe how blessed we are.  This is just amazing.


Meet PB & J!
PB (aka Baby A) is measuring just slightly ahead at 6wk4d with a heart rate of 121.  J (aka Baby B) is no slacker though and is keeping up at 6wk1d with a heart rate of 109.


Now in Labor and Delivery we know that most of the time boys tend to have lower heart rates in utero than girls, but this is only after the onset of labor.  I'm pretty sure this doesn't hold true this early on, but it is pretty awesome to think there is one of each gender incubating right now.  No matter what, it's just amazing, and awesome, and astonishing, and awe-inspiring, and all the other adjectives I can think of along the alphabet.  


Momma B and I are so very lucky.  And PB & J are so named because they are both things that stick ... and we want them to continue to do so.  My love for these little beings is already growing by leaps and bounds, I can only imagine how much more it will grow as the weeks bring new surprises and adventures.  

Thursday, October 27, 2011

My New Theory

I've had two days of nausea that came and went, but was definitely not so fun.  I've woken up the last few days so extremely hungry that at times it turned into nausea.  Seriously not fun.  Saltines and ginger ale seemed to help, but not always.


Today, after getting woken up by my stomach growling, I came up with a different course of action.  I think perhaps my nausea may be tied to low blood sugar, so I tried eating something small every hour and a half to two hours.  It worked!  Not a single moment did I feel sick or ill at ease.  Today, other than the change in my eating habits, I felt normal.  Bliss.


Momma B and I are counting down the hours until our first ultrasound tomorrow.  We can't wait to see our little one's (or two's?) heartbeat.  I can only imagine at this moment how amazing it's going to feel!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

How Did I Know?

I have always loved reading about everyone's 2WW symptoms before they found out they were pregnant.  I'm sure I'm not the only one.  In the spirit of my fellow TTC'ers that are still trying and may be like me, I give you my 2WW symptoms:

  • Getting up to pee in the middle of the night -- EVERY night.  This started just a few days after the FET and hasn't stopped since.  It's never happened before.
  • AF-like cramps off and on each day, but the worst were the night of 5dp5dt -- the night before we got our positive on the home test.
  • Acne.  Yep, I'll admit it here.  My face broke out, my chest, and on 6dp5dt my back!  That is what got Momma B excited because of all the stuff she'd been reading on the internet and what got me to actually POAS (which, honestly, I was avoiding).
  • I was tired.  Like falling asleep in the car like a baby tired.
  • The veins in my breasts suddenly became visible like they'd never been before.
  • And I felt a pressure or full feeling in my uterus that never went away.
That's it.  Honestly.  For once I didn't have any of those symptoms that would psych me out during previous 2WW's.  I didn't think anything smelled different or stronger, my boobs didn't ache and my nipples didn't look like they'd gotten any darker, or any other symptom that can be normal but can be mistaken.  

On 7dp5dt I had some very slight dark spotting that I can only assume was implantation bleeding.  My boobs just started to hurt in the last couple of days (around 14dp5dt).  I'm still tired easily.  I still get up to pee in the middle of the night; in fact, now I pee more often throughout the day.  The cramping has nearly gone away, though occasionally I still feel them.  My skin - all of it - cleared up within a day or two after Momma B got so excited.  I still have that full feeling in my uterus and am bloated enough that my clothing is tighter.  

Now I'm just waiting on my third beta on Thursday.  With my symptoms getting stronger, though they tend to vary day to day, I'm confident that one will be just as good as the last two.  I'm so excited, but I have to say it just doesn't feel real yet.  I don't know when that moment will happen, but for now I just feel amazingly blessed, happy, and so so so lucky.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Mi Casa es Su Casa

That is our mantra today after a downright delightful FET.

Both of our little frosty embryos not only survived the thawing process, but were eager to get things going as one had already hatched and the other was in the middle of hatching.  We are taking that as a good sign! No assisted hatching necessary for these little overachievers.





Two very happy mommies pre-FET.
(Don't mind Momma L's cross-eyes!)


Dr. M was his calm, encouraging self. All the staff were friendly and in a great mood today - a mood that completely reflected my own mood. I woke up well rested and joyful, such a difference from our IVF cycle. We got to my acupuncture appointment and though my regular acupuncturist wasn't there this weekend, her colleague had such a soft, gentle nature about her I almost felt it created even more peacefulness within me.

I think I walked through the entire morning with a slight sense of euphoria.

This entire cycle has been so relaxed and "normal" that I have intentionally been avoiding blogland to try and keep it that way. I am thankful for this blog and all the online support I've found, but I also find that I start to focus on what is going on with everyone else and find myself comparing our journey with theirs. I didn't want to do that to myself this time. I needed a bit of a break. I didn't even want to focus on what was going on in our own journey. I merely wanted to relax and just let life be. And it has been. What a relief.

My one year blog-o-versary came and passed, but I couldn't bring myself to make a post about it because at the time I didn't want to reflect on this last year and find myself unable to see what we have gained rather than what we haven't. So I let it go and still hadn't given it too much thought until yesterday when we learned some of the best news for our best friends. Then I was forced to look the last year in the face and not just acknowledge it, but thank all these past experiences for making me a stronger, more patient woman, for making me a more grateful woman!

Because of all this, we are more prepared than ever for all the possibilities of how this may turn out. Whether positive or not, we are happy to be where we are in life right here, right now. Yes, it may sound a bit corny, but we have great jobs, great friends and family, great health, and a great relationship. We are ready to add to that, but finally are fully aware of what we have.

So c'mon little frosties, all you need to do is stick around. Settle in, make yourselves at home. You have two mommies that are ready to have you join us in this blessed life of ours.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Right On Track

Disclaimer: I knew my body wouldn't let me down.  Thank you, body!

I went in for my u/s on Thursday with a bit of nervousness because of what Dr. A had said, but this time my appointment was with Dr. S who I've only seen once before.  What a difference a doctor makes!  Though I was at CD17 and my follicle was still only measuring 12mm, Dr. S told me we have to look at the big picture: since I've had a few longer cycles (especially my last one), I could still OV at some point through CD21.  So he had me schedule another appointment for this morning to see if this was indeed true.  My lining was almost 9mm that day, so I was definitely on track except for the slow-growing follicle.  

I almost pushed the appointment out until Monday morning because I just started a new job - more on that in a minute - yesterday and I didn't know if I could get the extra time for my lunch break in order to go.  However, when I found out the only appointment available Monday morning was with Dr. A, I said no.  Apparently I stated it rather too quickly because the nurses looked at me and asked if I had a bad experience with her.  I had to explain that each encounter I've had with Dr. A has never been a good encounter.  One nurse said she hadn't heard anyone say that in awhile and another asked if she was too "dry" with me - both of which lead me to believe I'm not the only person that doesn't mesh well with Dr. A. Ah well.  Dr. S and Dr. M - I'll take them any day!

Anyhow, luckily it wasn't a problem getting them to okay the extra time for my lunch break and when Dr. S told me that little follicle of mine grew to 18mm, I wanted to jump up and hug him!  If it weren't for his willingness to let my body do it's thing and to look at that "big picture," this cycle may not be happening.  I'm so grateful for him.

FET is a go!  Momma B and I were ecstatic today.  And I was even more excited when I found out our beloved Dr. M is covering next weekend.  I joked to Momma B that my body was just holding out to make sure he was the one that would perform the transfer!  Hey, it could be true.  ;)

Honestly, life has been so wonderful lately.

My new job - I love it.  And I have to say, it literally walked into my lap - all thanks to my awesome friend, N at IPOG.  When we first moved up here, there were no full-time benefited positions available and I was okay with a per diem/on-call position in the mean time as I am on Momma B's insurance and figured at some point I could find a full-time slot.  Well, after interviewing for a position that I thought would be amazing, but didn't end up getting, I was texting with N when she told me about a posting for a full-time labor and delivery position at a hospital in the town where Momma B and I are planning on buying a house within the next year.  I applied and got the job at the interview!  It was surreal.  What luck too!  I would've never looked myself, so I'm indebted to N.  What's been so wonderful is the fact that it's so much like the job I loved and had to leave in San Diego.  I cannot discount the per diem job because I've truly come to appreciate the differences and so enjoy the people I work with there; so I've got two jobs now!

Yes, life is good.  And just keeps getting better.  

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Bearer of Bad News

No smiley face this last weekend, so I went in for an ultrasound.  Of course, who did I end up with, but my not so fav - Dr. A.  (She attempted to sympathize with my failed IVF cycle, but it just came across as awkward and insincere.)  Turns out I may be having yet another off cycle since IVF.   *sigh*

My one little egg in my right ovary was only 9mm on Monday and my lining was only 5.8mm - just a little questionable as to whether it's on track or not considering Monday was CD14.  Though right on track according to my iPeriod (which says I should be OV tomorrow or Friday).  Dr. A tells me I need to come back Thursday for a repeat ultrasound and my little egg should be at least 15mm otherwise "this cycle will be a no go."  Yeah, that's how she delivered the news with a completely flat affect, no sympathy, no emotion whatsoever.  I was in total shock and denial so when my fav RN told me the same thing a little bit later (with a soft voice and complete empathy) I felt like I was hearing it for the first time - though Momma B looked at me like I was a crazy woman when I responded in kind.

I let Dr. A's crappy-ness and the potentially bad news affect me for a short time, but then I decided that just because Dr. A is a glass-is-half-empty type woman, I am not!  I should be right on track for my body and I believe in that.

But ... I would be lying if I said I wasn't a little nervous about the ultrasound tomorrow.   I don't want to wait yet another month.  However, I know I need to let go of my need to control because in this entire process I honestly have no control.  It's gonna happen when it's gonna happen.  I'm thankful for the process.  Really.

Monday, September 12, 2011

My Inner Circle

Blogland has been extremely kind to Momma B and I - it has brought a couple of the most lovely women into our lives. Amazing to think this little blog of mine could have created a true, sustainable friendship that has already provided more support than I had ever hoped for.

Momma B and I spent the weekend with said best friends, N & J, in Sonoma. Good times were had by all wine tasting, conversating, eating, shopping, and yes there may have been a couple of drunken nights involved. It was relaxing, without pressure or discomfort, and one of those experiences that leaves you smiling for months afterward.

I've honestly never had friends that you go on trips with together. This is an entirely new experience for me and I loved every minute of it. It was a weekend of enjoying each other and learning more and more about these beautiful women. There was no stress and little talk about TTC - and when we did it was full of hope and renewal. It's wonderful to have someone near you that is going through similar experiences. Makes the entire TTC experience easier knowing the people you have available to you to lean on during the rough moments has expanded.

Now, you may or may not remember that I do a daily meditation CD from the wonderful people at Circle + Bloom. I recently found out they developed an app for the iPhone and have been getting some great inspiration from the daily quotes and journal entries. Today's entry for CD6 talked about visualizing everyone in your life around you and realizing that relationships can create stress which in turn can of course indirectly affect your fertility. It included an exercise to picture only those that provide unconditional love and support during this TTC process. "For those that give you positive energy and make you feel good about yourself and becoming a mother, you can see that 'string' between the two of you become stronger and more energized." As I sat and looked around the table at the three women sitting with me after reading those words, I couldn't help but smile and tears pricked the back of my eyes. That is exactly what this weekend did for all of us: strengthened and energized the bond between us. All of these women are my cheerleaders and my rocks. (I can only hope to give as much and more in return!) Who would've thought this weekend and these women could also positively affect my fertility?!

This weekend was one for the memory books. And these women are now firmly ensconced in my inner circle alongside Momma B. Thank you, Blogland!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

New Beginnings

Here we are again: CD1!  


I just happened to have an acupuncture appointment scheduled and what a great way to start off this cycle - relaxed and rejuvenated.  I had made my own meditation/relaxation tape to listen to while I lay there, but unfortunately my acupuncturist's technology wasn't quite up to date.  Instead I played it while driving home (listening rather than meditating, of course) and it struck a chord.  


At one point it said: "Wanting something means you put your energy into hoping something pans out in the future.  On the other hand, saying thank you for it - in advance of your actually seeing it manifest - injects a powerful energy into that seed of potential."  My heart skipped at hearing those words and instantly I felt it swell as I literally said "Thank You!" out loud to myself and the universe in the car.  


Courtesy of Baby W is on the Way
Thing is, I am thankful.  Why haven't I expressed this before?  I'm thankful for this body of mine and all I have put it through.  It continues to function well and though I may have loaded it down with some extra weight, it's still healthy and more than capable of getting pregnant and delivering a child into this world.  I'm thankful for the insurance we have that has made the IVF and FET cycles not only possible, but affordable.  I'm thankful for the IVF cycle creating beautiful eggs and, now, even more beautiful embryos.  I'm thankful for those embryos that will turn into healthy, lively children that will bless our lives with more  joy than I could possibly imagine.  I am so happy to have this life because despite the difficulties and trials, there is still so much more that is rewarding and so very much to look forward to ... as, honestly, life only continues to get better as I get older.  I never thought that would be true, but here it is.


I continue to do my nightly meditations and focus on visualizing myself with this pregnancy.  I continue with my weekly acupuncture appointments and daily fertility yoga DVD.  I continue because though I hope it helps achieve a pregnancy of course, it's also just good for me and this body that I need to nurture and show my appreciation.  I know some give advice not to think of it at all, but I am not that person, so instead I will work with how my mind works and turn it into something of gratitude and joy.  I enter this cycle with more happiness and less worry than any cycle before because no matter what has happened or what will happen this time around, I know I will be a mother.  I am content in that knowledge.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

To Cloth or Not To Cloth?

Courtesy of Caroline's Creations

I've been considering switching to something like the above.  Let me explain.  Momma B and I plan on using cloth diapers on our future children - it's better for them, the environment, and our pocketbooks.  My main reason is simply to keep things as pure and chemical-free as we can.  Then I started thinking, why would I not hold the same standards for myself?  After all, if this is so important for my future children, why wouldn't be for me?  Now, I'm a tampon girl, through and through.  However, I have started to find I prefer the pads at night, thus my current interest and research.

So I put this out to all of you, my lovely readers: have you or do you currently use cloth menstrual pads?  If so, what did/do you like and dislike?  And, any favorite vendors (as I've been finding there are many!)?

Thank you so much for your help. 

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A Good Day

I know I said I'm all for the natural cycle, and I am really, but I do wish I had the convenience of the medicated cycle in choosing the transfer date.  According to my iPeriod, I should have OV last week.  However, if my CM is anything to go by, I just OV a couple days ago instead.  If this is indeed true, that means everything gets pushed back a week and that's kind of a bummer.  I was expecting the FET during the last week of September which would have been perfect as the first week of October was a vacation week for Momma B and I.  Having the FET the week of the vacation would be wonderful except that means I wouldn't be able to go down to San Diego with her.  That would not be so wonderful.  I will be well rested either way, so I'm just going to look at it that way and ... what do they say? ... not sweat the small stuff.

In other news, I got a surprisingly delightful call today from the RE's office.  Apparently after all of our claims were filed and paid, we ended up with a credit for over $400.  How fun is that?!  Momma B and I were already amazed that the entire FET cycle will only cost us $230.  That still leaves us with a small credit, but for now I think we're going to leave it just in case.  Hopefully, that will just send a message to the universe and we'll get pregnant before we can use it all up.  HA!  Wishful thinking, but I crack myself up. ;)

Here's wishing all of you a lucky, wonderful day too!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Furry Friend Friday

My furbabies have been a sanity saver many times.  It is the only version of unconditional love that I know.  They are the most affectionate, cuddly, and crazy animals.  Every day they make us laugh and make us smile.  This is a little tribute to these little ones that enrich our lives.  


Lola is our crazy girl who is still a kitten at heart.  We will put all the cat toys away at night and the next morning they're strung around.  One morning I counted 14 toys!  She's a busy girl.  She loves to lay on our boobs like she did as a kitten, even though she's a just a little too big now.  She always has to be right next to or on one of us.  She loves to eat plastic, lay on Momma B's shoes (and books, papers, or backpacks), lay in boxes, and she is a high-maintenance princess who gives herself daily manicures on her favorite scratcher.


Mikey is our lover boy.  He vies for our attention all the time, sometimes even meowing at us after he's already on our lap.  He never gets tired of pets or cuddles - as long as they are given on his terms.  He is also our adventurer.  The higher the jump, the more he'll go for it.  He's often found at the top of the kitchen cabinets looking downs on all his charges (that would be us, of course).  As soon as we lay down in bed, he's there ready to cuddle up and settle in for the night - usually on Momma B since she's a human furnace.  We also believe he's our little gay boy; in San Diego he had a boyfriend, Chilly, who lived next door.  However, he's also very loving and comes to Lola's rescue every time she gets in trouble and is embraced in some Corporal Cuddling.  




Once I got together with Momma B, I adopted two very large doggies.  Though I'm admittedly not much of a dog person, I have come to love these crazy boys.  Kayin is the trouble-maker.  He's stubborn and onery, but he's also very handsome ... and he knows it.  I'll admit, I have a hard time resisting that face.  He makes the best puppy dog eyes and is probably the smartest dog I know.  Too smart, sometimes.  Malakai is our doop-de-doo boy.  He's slow and lazy, but he's also very sweet and endearing.  He's easy going and happy to go anywhere, no matter how boring.  I relate to him because we both get a little too excited come meal time.


All of these kids make our lives full: full of love and fun and laughter.  Yes, they can drive us crazy sometimes and test our patience, but we think they're preparing us for children.  We already deal with daily messes, constant feedings, and occasional accidents.  Too bad they don't know what's coming.  


*Blog post idea courtesy of Stress Free Infertility

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Listomania Update

I was thinking about how I can overcome my excessive sleepiness lately as this whole night shift deal is really starting to kick my @$$ more than ever.  I ran across this article and had a little "ah-ha" moment.  Now who's to say that stopping eating 12 - 16 hours before I want to wake up will actually work, but then it can't hurt right?  After all, this is part of my 40 before 40 - specifically #32, if you wish to review.  So will my stomach wake me up because it will have been so long since I ate and motivate me to get up and find food ... fast?!  Or is it really just some odd connection to our bodies' Circadian rhythm?  I have to admit I'm very curious and actually a little excited to try this out tomorrow (and, no, this is not my procrastination kicking in, but it's not so helpful - and, let's face it, feasible - to begin on a work night).  I will update if it does indeed reset my sleep pattern!

I'm also currently putting together the plans for #39.  It's so difficult keeping secrets from Momma B.  I tell her everything - sometimes more than she'd like to know, I'm sure.  BUT it's so much more fun trying to find ways to surprise her - especially with anything to do with traveling and adventure.  Momma B has made me realize what sheltered life I've led prior to meeting her.  There is little she hasn't done or seen.  Okay, that may be a slight exaggeration, but very slight.  I figure, if she's already been there done that, at least it'll still be new because it'll be new with me.  Oh so corny, but I love it!

Additionally, I found a Groupon the other day for sewing lessons.  Yeah, I used to know a lot more than I do now and I've been afraid to start for fear of messing it all up.  There are so many projects I have planned, especially for this future in-the-works baby and their nursery.  And as it's #30, I need to get started!

And lastly, I'm working my way up to #10.  However, I've never even successfully made a quick bread like banana bread.  I found a great looking recipe from one of the blogs I follow.  I was all set to make it today, until I saw that Momma B accidentally tossed the ripened bananas away (well, as I suck at banana bread, why would she keep them thinking I may actually make something out of them?!).  Bummer.  Hopefully I'll be able to find some close to ripe bananas tomorrow and will finally be successful.  Otherwise, I'll just try, try again.

It feels good to put this all down and see for myself this list coming to fruition.

Like Me!

Yep, I did it.  I took this blog to a whole other level.  A Gayby Story is now on Facebook!  Why? you wonder.  I'll tell you - often there are thoughts, quotes, or just other randomness that could be post worthy, but doesn't always make it.  Sometimes I just want to get queer parenting information out there and don't want to feel too preachy on my own page for those that may not care.  Because I just thought it would be fun to see it on Facebook.  That's the best reason of all.  So "like" me, okay?!  



Tuesday, August 16, 2011

A Whole Lot of Nothing

Amazing how when you're faced with a natural cycle, there's not a lot to talk about TTC-wise.  Life has just been going forward calmly and smoothly.  There are no meds to worry about, no schedules to look at ... I feel like I have nothing much to write about on here that wouldn't put all of you to sleep!  I will come up with more, I promise.  There are lots of ideas for different posts that are fertility-related, but at the moment I got nothin'.  


So I leave you with an awesome quote that I read in the July/August 2011 edition of Dwell magazine today: "One of the most important roles a home can play is that of incubator - a container in which to grow a family." That is exactly what I've always felt in my heart and why my home is so important to me (and, I know, to Momma B as well).  It is also something that fills my heart as we get closer and closer to buying our own home.  I've always wanted a forever home - one in which our children will not only be raised, but where they will always know they can return at any point in their lives.  This is the way I view homes as I peruse the real estate websites ... does it have the potential of sustaining a family throughout their lives?  Does it have the adaptability to change with you through the years?  Of course, home is where your heart and your love is, no matter if you have that forever home or if you're a gypsy family content to roam.  "Houses may be made of glass, bricks, and mortar, just as we are made from blood, organs, and bones, but the materials mean nothing when it comes to the concepts they represent: home and family.  The two are inextricably linked - think of the house you grew up in without the smell of mom's cooking or dad's tool bench and it's not quite home."  Home is family.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Au Naturel



I'm sure I have yet to disclose on here how much I love Dr. M. Well, let me just let you in on my secret and share with you that after yesterday I <3 him even more.

We're all set for FET in September. This month my body will be getting over last month's injection/hormone overload. I was really hoping to avoid taking BCPs again this month and, thankfully, Dr. M agreed. He broke down the two different FET protocols and the only difference between the two is a matter of convenience - if I took a bunch of hormones to suppress my ovulation and then did a trigger shot on a predetermined day, we would be able to simply schedule the day we would like the embryo transfer.  However, because I normally have very regular cycles and am essentially quite healthy, he said I am the best candidate for option number two: minimal intervention.  

(One of the reasons I respect Dr. M so much is he truly does look out for you, the patient, and what is best for you.  He has never pushed one choice over another, but yet still makes a solid objective recommendation.  Perhaps it is just my experience and the average patient does not experience pushy, let's-just-do-this-the-easiest-most-convenient-for-me doctor - I truly would hope not - but as a labor and delivery nurse you see these types more often than I'm comfortable with because many things are unpredictable and yet they try to fit labor into their little defined boxes and schedules.  So to not experience that with my RE has been a bit of a surprise, I'll be honest.  Okay, well, I'll just step off my soapbox now - sorry 'bout that.  Anyhow, YAY! Dr. M!)
Not one for such petty conveniences, I of course chose to go with the more natural non-medicated option. Now, obviously I would love to plan the date of the transfer because it makes everything so much simpler. However, in my head less is more - especially with regard to medications. I would rather my body be allowed to do what it is designed to do on its own because wouldn't that create an optimum environment for a couple of embryos?! Considering my hormone levels were a bit unpredictable during our IVF cycle, I think staying away from anything that may throw them off again is best for me and definitely best for those tiny little embryos.

The plan: we will still do a hCG trigger shot once I get a positive on the OPK and we will stick with the progesterone/estrogen suppositories ... but other than the trigger shot there will be no other injections, no three-times-a-day estrogen pills, and definitely no BCPs (they scare me, I can't for certain tell you why). If all goes according to my iPeriod - and it's been reasonably accurate thus far - our ET should be sometime during the last week of September.

It seems so very far away, but 1) I know it will go by much faster than I think and 2) this gives me plenty of time to continue to work on myself, my fears, and maybe even start a sewing project or two. I'm actually more excited about the FET than I was the IVF because really I'm all about doing this as natural as possible given the circumstances. A good friend once told me, I'm a bit "granola."  Initially I wasn't entirely sure what she meant, but if she was referring to my belief that life is seasonal and organic, then yes I definitely agree. TTC has taken us away from these innate cycles out of biological necessity, but I really love that we are being given the opportunity to make this FET as intrinsic as possible. There is just something so cool about it all.

Friday, August 5, 2011

I'm Not Pregnant, Just Fat

On the subject of getting rid of negative energy ... this is by far the most challenging.  As I think about pregnancy and all the joys that come along with it, there are also fears that I have wrapped up in what pregnancy entails.  I'm not afraid of being a bad mother or perpetuating the abuse that I suffered as a child, no, what I'm afraid of is far more selfish: my body.  Now this fear does not arise out of vanity as it does with some women, nor does it arise from a fear of complications as it does with others.  My body and I have had a love/hate relationship for as long as I can remember and though it is something that I actively work to reconcile, I am still far from achieving this.


My fear is simply this: I will look fat, not pregnant.  I know, logically, this really shouldn't matter because of the struggle it's been to achieve pregnancy, because of the miraculous job my body will be doing of aiding a child to grow and flourish inside of me, because quite frankly it's silly and ridiculous to worry about something so trivial when you're pregnant.  BUT.  That is my fear and I'm allowed to have it.  Thing is, I want to also let it go and no longer be held by it.  Therein lies the problem.*  


My book, The Mind-Body Fertility Connection, relates such inward fears to struggles with fertility.  I'm not so sure it's that simple.  In fact, I'm pretty sure it's not my fear of looking fat rather than pregnant that is keeping me from actually becoming pregnant.  However, I do appreciate it for raising the possibility because it at least has given me the perch from which I can start to examine any fears and/or insecurities I do have.  Is this fear of mine causing subconscious and undo stress in my body?  I cannot say for sure.  Thus isn't it better to address this issue head-on, just in case?!  It definitely cannot hurt.


Today I had Momma B take a full body picture of me.  I post it with a heart of trepidation, but it's a starting point.  It is a rare occasion that I allow such photos to be entirely because I am ashamed of my body.  Even though I am still 15 pounds lighter than my heaviest weight, I cannot keep the thought out of my head that I am still 100 pounds away from when I looked and felt my best.
Thing is, in my head I still look almost the same as I did back then.  Seeing photos of myself  in the present is always a shock to me.  I inspect it and scrutinize it and shake my head in disbelief - that cannot possibly be a true representation of what I look like, can it?!  It is.


So this is my attempt to begin another type of healing and look to myself for even more forgiveness.  My body has been amazing even while I have treated it unkindly.  It has survived and sometimes even thrived through depression, working full-time while going to school full-time, many moves, rowing and kayaking lessons, 5K walks, too many glasses of wine, and too many more trips, stumbles, and bumps.  It takes me through my days and always knows what it needs to prevail even if I try to refuse or abuse it.  It is itself a miracle.  I would do well to remember that.  


So I may not have a cute little basketball baby bump?  So what.  I may have a harder time finding cute clothes to wear.  I may have less people sure if I am pregnant or just fat.  I may have to look harder to find an OB or midwife that isn't going to lecture me on my weight or scrutinize what I eat or expect that I will develop gestational diabetes or hypertension because of my weight.  BUT perhaps, for once, I'll get to stop worrying about being fat and instead just enjoy what my body can achieve.  Perhaps I'll not have to endure strangers hands constantly trying to touch my belly, or receive unwanted advice, or listen to comments about "popping".  Perhaps, for once, my belly will be a thing of wonder and not a thing of resentment.  Perhaps.  


I won't know until it happens, but for now I can begin to visualize myself seven, eight, nine months pregnant and actually start to smile because I'm no longer focusing on the trivial things that don't matter but rather the one little thing that does.  
*Perhaps if you're not a plus-sized woman you may not be able to truly relate.  That's okay.  We all have our own fears and issues surrounding our bodies and our bodies in pregnancy.  But if you are, I would truly appreciate anything you would have to share with me related to this - whether you struggled or embraced it.  I would enjoy hearing it all.  
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