Monday, December 5, 2011

Getting ready to pop the bun out of the oven - 37 and a half weeks!

I can't believe I've made it this far.  Still throwing up regularly and somehow still managing to make it into work.  But the good news is that luckily I have my lightest work schedule now for the whole year.  And I am determined that Baby is Not going to arrive before I have gotten through all my paperwork and my tax file is to hand in, (oh yes - and bought ((and set up)) a new computer, as mine is on it's very last legs). I am thinking with my lack of organization this will take us nearly to my due date!

One of the good things about being pregnant is that people at work who ordinarily would never have talked to me - have gone out of their way to be extra nice - and that has made my life a whole lot more pleasant! ((Many of these have been older men - and other young mums)).

Without doubt, one of the biggest wastes of my time during this pregnancy has been visiting the doctors / midwife's offices every other second for seemingly unnecessary measurements of my stomach and baby heart rate.  They have done absolutely nothing for me except tell me that my stomach has gotten bigger (or has failed to - and tried to worry me) and tell me how normal it is to feel crap during pregnancy.  They have not offered any helpful advice or been in the least bit supportive ((which one would think would be the least they could do)).  All they have ever said is things like "well pregnancy does take it's toll on the body." Perhaps they disapprove of my SMC status?

My doula came over last week and wanted me to talk about ALL my fears of childbirth - which was a trifle annoying.  She seemed very put out to find that I don't have any fears - my reasoning is that I live in a first world country with excellent insurance - and one way or the other this baby Will Come Out! And If I get scared during child birth fine - but I don't need to start worrying about it ahead of time - as I Just have too much else going on.  And when she said she wanted to come over again to continue the conversation - and I am afraid I told her I didn't think we needed it! ((At least I won't have to worry that she will be in a rush while I am trying to give birth)).

One of the nicest things to happen recently, was that my neighborhood put on a special baby shower for me.  I was SO deeply touched - and all of the people on my doggy walking route turned out and brought me the Most Lovely Gifts (except for "bitchy doggy friend" who fortunately couldn't make it!).  They even had the most gorgeous Diaper cake.  It really was a Very Special Evening. And it certainly made up for one of my half sisters telling me I had to "not expect any sympathy from anyone (on still throwing up) - and learn to be a strong single mother".

It seems though that sleeping is always a challenge - I wake up every two to three hours to pee.  I have now put my bed on the floor - in case I decide to have baby sleep with me (less far for her to fall - and easier for her to have tommy time - on non toxic yoga mat between bed and wall).   But the Great News Is  - I remind myself to rejoice about - NO hemorrhoids!  Yeah - something to be proud of! ((Or perhaps I should say no New hemorrhoids hmm - thank God this is an anonymous blog!!!).   But my legs have started to swell - and ache dreadfully.  ((The doc had the bright idea that my legs might hurt Because I swim too much)).  Of course I then had to explain to him that they hurt Less, When I swim, and it helps relieve some of the water retention!

I'm sorry I haven't been in the best mood for this post - but wanted to write Something, Before the big Day (hope it happens in one,) Arrives!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Finding baby help - I'm so happy

As soon as I had gotten pregnant I booked my doula - and another very well recommended Post Partum Doula.  I guess I was scared of being stuck with a screaming baby all by myself over the Christmas and New Years holidays.  Of course nothing goes as planned, so I was not surprised that the post partum doula called me recently to drop out.  I was a little annoyed but understood completely.   She wanted to help another family (instead of me) where the mother is desperately ill.

I posted a job description - for some baby help - though to be honest I was not really sure what to ask for - Do I need a super qualified nanny - a cheff - a chauffeur or just someone to offer some basic friendly support.  I had quite a ton of replies.  Most of them completely unsuitable - It didn't take more than a second to see that most of the people were far from my cup of tea!

Then I was recommended to another post partum doula - I met with her, and instantaneously knew that I would be happy to pay her NOT To come Anywhere Near my house.  She lectured me on child rearing, instructed me how I was supposed to do this and that - and then proceeded to inform me on how she was planning to be debt free by May and so really needed to work for me - It was as much as I could do to tell her I was feeling sick and must get home - but I couldn't get her to stop talking!  After this meeting I was a little hesitant to call back any of the candidates who replied to my job posting.

However today I plucked up the courage to start interviewing - I haven't been or felt sick for a whole three days - and found the energy to call and meet the most lovely girl.  I liked her immediately - and she is available to help me at weekends.  She said "I will do anything  you want me to - especially if you show me how you want it done."  It seems that she is studying early childhood education, belongs to a lovely church, has experience with babies - is smart, and I really enjoyed her company.  I am so relieved - and extremely happy!

Now to find me someone who can help during the week! And an extra in case one of these drops out!

Monday, October 31, 2011

I didn't know I was pregnant! - NOT

I didn't know I was pregnant used to be my favorite TV show.  I always dreamed that perhaps somehow I would find out that mysteriously I was pregnant too.  But now that I am VERY pregnant at 32 weeks - I thought I should write a very few of the small ways that You May Notice You Are Pregnant. And how the show has got it All wrong.  Instead of making fun of these poor souls who drop babies in bathrooms - we should be studying them to find out how they managed to go through a whole pregnancy and give birth so easily!

This is how I noticed I am pregnant
1, My waist is over a foot larger than it used to be.
2, I wake up every few hours in the night to pee and drink more water
3, I throw up all the time
4, I am always tired
5, People who never used to talk to me at work - routinely ask after the baby
6, I pee my pants whenever I throw up,
7, Everybody smells bad - most especially myself,
8, I no longer enjoy eating chocolate
9, My mother calls three times a day to ask how I'm doing
10, I have to walk the dog mega slow - because otherwise I start having continual braxton Hicks
11, I have horrendous heart burn (very much eased by chewable papaya enzyme)
12, I lose my keys all the time and forget my appointments.
13, I haven't had the energy to pay any bills for a worrying amount of time
14, I can't fit through spaces I used to be able to at work
15, I no longer feel the need to flirt with geeky single men
16, I always used to be the first to pack up from work - now I am usually the last one there - having a "just in case" visit to the bathroom.
17, I spend far too long thinking up strategies to get my midwife to sign me out of work on disability.
18, I don't give a shxt about all the crap going on at work - I am just so relieved when I get to go home.
19, I have no interest in accumulating any more baby accessories!
20, I am often too tired to answer my phone, even when I really like the person calling.

If anyone can give me any tips for getting some time off work I would much appreciate it!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Embarrassing Moment

The stuff of nightmares and I ended up just fine!

Yesterday I got caught on the train (in england) in an automatic toilet - on the seat - throwing in the basin - and the automatic door Opened all by itself! (In full view of whole carriage).  I want to say that everyone sat  laughing and staring at my behind, and me stretched out making hideous noises into the sink - but thankfully most people were busy reading their papers and being so very English ! - And shortly there after I felt a Ton relieved - and a second later it was as though nothing had ever happened.

No one even gave me a second glance.  And I was just So grateful that I got everything contained in a suitable place!

Oh the joys of being pregnant!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

21 and a half weeks

One of the first things I did when finding out that my due date was practically christmas day, was to immediately book a Doula.  Fortunately the very first one I met seemed perfect for the job: intelligent, confident, empathic and good at giving directions.

We had our second meeting at my house last week.  She asked me all kinds of questions like - Have you felt the baby move? - Do you talk to your baby? - Are you worried about the birth?  All of which I had to say No No No.  Truth be said I don't even feel in the slightest bit emotionally attached to my baby.  Apparently something to do with my placenta being against my stomach, makes it more difficult to feel her move - perhaps this has something to do with it.  I am hoping that in due course mother nature will kick in - but for right now - I can only hope that I am not too unusual in feeling No Emotional Attachment Whatsoever.  I keep joking with people if this doesn't change by the time the baby is a few weeks old - I can always sell her to the highest bidder on the internet.  Not sure though if this eases anyone's anxiety's other than my own!

The Doula is definitely very lovely and a bit crazy, but she also Overstayed her Welcome - just a tad.  I am sure it's good sign - after all I don't want her encouraging the C-section so she can get home for her  lunch!  (She explained to me how she would be having me brush my teeth every hour or so to bring on an endorphin rush - so I guess I will be coming home with a Baby and the cleanest teeth in the hospital!) I knew I was not feeling too good while she was at my house and a couple minutes after she left, I threw up all over my neighbors yard.  People passing / walking the dogs were awfully nice.  Fairly sure though if I saw someone throwing, I would be tempted to keep more distance!

One of the best things about finding out I am having a Girl, was that I got the news just 3 days before the Largest thrift sale that I could ever had IMAGINED.  Everything was So cheap - I felt like a millionaire!  I may not be emotionally attached to Baby - but I sure am materialistically attached!  I bought a TON of clothes - it took hours!  In fact baby probably now has as big a wardrobe as I do - only she hasn't even been born yet - We have at least enough clothes, toys, blankets and gadgets to get us through the whole first year.  All of them for cents on the dollar.  Its embarrassing - but I actually counted  and I had brought home clothes that hung on 80 hangers!!!!!!!!!!!  and many of these had two or more pieces!

I know that many people feel its tempting fate to buy baby items before Baby is better cooked - but I figured that if they only have this sale twice a year - the next time it comes - I will either be in the hospital delivering - or home with a brand new baby - and not able to tolerate the stress of shopping (and hunting out the bargain - before the next person gets to it).

Of course this has led me to spend hours considering what I would do if something goes wrong with this baby.  Because everyone I know,  KNOWS about my "little project" and I am realizing that one can't count on anything in this world going as one would like it to.  If this baby doesn't make it I could either keep all the stuff and hope that I get pregnant again - and that the next Baby is a girl - or give it away to charity.  Just for the record, I spent 368 dollars - but I literally have EVERYTHING I could possibly need except for the car seat and a breast pump.  I wasn't sure how hygienic it would be to use someone else's!

I am spending the next few days getting ready for another trip to visit The Mother.  I have the feeling it is going to be a Long Visit.  She has already told me I am supposed to be doeing 50 kegel exercises at a quarter past every hour, and that I am Not Allowed to sit on any sofa or soft chair - in case it makes the baby breach - and that I should be doing proper breathing exercises!  Hmmm.  What was I thinking!

Friday, July 29, 2011

How I shared my BIG NEWS

I wanted to find a somewhat lighthearted way of letting people know the following.  
1) I am pregnant,  2) It was not an accident / easy to become so,  3) I am not gay, and would have preferred to be married,  4)  I used a donor,  5) If you're not happy with that, keep it to yourself.

The following letter / email is something that I sent out in varying editions, to my extended family / friends / colleagues.  The good news is that so far - and it has only been a few days though - I have received the MOST LOVELY messages from about a third of the people - and Nothing at all from the rest - Which as far as I am concerned is a Best Possible Outcome!  FYI -  I am not actually terribly religious - but thought it wouldn't hurt to sound as though God was on my side for this letter!
To my Dear Uncles, Aunts, Cousins / Spouses, Nieces and Nephews,

I trust that everyone is enjoying their summer.  I wanted to take a moment share some of my Wonderful News with you.

I am sure it has not gone unnoticed, that over the years I have kissed a number of frogs, but sadly none of these ended in a wedding.  Some time ago I came to the realization that youth does not last forever and so decided to take life into my own hands.

With the help of a very lovely donor and a great many doctors, I am now proud to announce that I am reliably informed that Christmas will be a very Blessed one this year.  Santa is expected to be delivering me a baby girl!

I understand that the Ways of the Modern World may be a bit much for some of you, but sincerely hope nonetheless that you may find it in your hearts be able to join in the Happiness and Joy that my mother and I have so long awaited.

Please find attached a photo I snapped of the very last frog to get away!

With love and best wishes to you all,

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Warning - don't eat Poppy seeds if you're going to Deliver soon!

I just saw a horrible news item about two mothers that had their baby's taken away from them because they failed a routine drug test when they were in hospital to deliver.  It turns out one of them had eaten a chicken salad with poppy seed dressing, and the other a poppy seed bagel prior to delivery.  One of the mothers only got her child returned after something like 76 DAYS.  I can't imagine something so horrendous and stupid as this happening.  I wanted to know - were they informed that they were being drug tested - and who paid for it?  Will they test me without my knowledge?  It just makes me even more scared of going into hospital.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Great News 18 week ultrasound

Today was the long awaited day.  The doctor was very happy with everything he saw on the ultrasound - the detail was just amazing - I saw all four chambers of the heart, the internal organs, the lens of the eye - baby kicking me (which I could Not feel). And most importantly - the acupuncturist in London who told me at 9.5 weeks I was having a boy - is Wrong!  Its a Girl.  I am delighted - and still quite shocked - now I have to figure out girl names - hmm and perhaps return a couple items of clothing!

On the down side - after 4 days of feeling much better - I just threw up the meal I ate - and am off to bed to try and allay the migraine which seems to be rearing its head again.  The good news is that the doc said I can take one baby aspirin a day if that will help the headaches.  Oh and I may feel like crap - but I am So Happy to know I avoided the amnio and that Baby looks just fine.  She is definitely my daughter too - the tech said - "oh what long legs she has" - between hip and knee - just like me!

My mother is delighted it's a girl too.  Though she is SO sexist, she even said "oh it will be So much easier to look after a girl - after all, with a girl there are many fewer things to go wrong"!!!!  In a way, although I am really excited - it would have been nice to have a boy - I often wondered, if people would not have taken me more seriously - when i was a child -  if I had been a boy (being born illegitimate to a single mother.)  I had the feeling that when my mother gave birth to me - people said "she had the baby - it's just a little girl" - It's probably all in my head.  At least if I do decide to go for number two - I won't feel compelled to have them spin the sperm to select for a girl - which I knew I always wanted!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Things I woudn't normally admit to!

Getting pregnant has probably been the "project" in my life I have enjoyed less than any other - even though I am still hoping it will turn out to be the most rewarding.

Even before I got pregnant I had a rather good nose.  One of my ex boyfriends called me Madame Sniffagopolis.  Apart from being able to discern rather accurately what he had eaten for the past 24 hours, it turned out that one time he went to a party and smoked One cigarette - I could detect it on his person for the next 10 days.

The other day I sat down at home to do some work, and was overpowered by the most hideous smell.  I thought perhaps it was the light bulb burning - or the dog.  I coudn't figure out where the smell was coming from.  It took me forever to figure out the smell was emanating from MYSELF.  In fact i realize that I can smell tons of different parts of my body - all of which are foul, starting with the smell from my ears - nose, mouth.  I think I need not go on!

For a while I was hating the smell of my normally odorless dog.  The only thing I could do was to make the poor thing take a shower with me - which he hates.  Thankfully of recent I seem to be less sensitive to him.

Yesterday was a Good day.  No migraine, and I hadn't thrown up for three whole days.  I was beginning to feel almost normal, so much so that I was actually able to get some work done - or try to.  However my brain has definitely been in "pregnancy mode" and I notice I find certain tasks much harder than I ever used to.  For instance at a meeting the other day I introduced two people I have known for years - very confidently but entirely by the wrong name.

Sitting down to work, I was having a real problem comprehending a task (due to my brain not functioning), so I decided to drop by co workers house (who is recovering from surgery) to ask for assistance.  On the way, I decided to pick up some food.  It tasted so good.  Only problem was, that after enjoying the meal, I threw up the entire thing in three different spots in the parking lot.  The urge to rid my body of its contents was so violent - I ended up splattering my clothes with sick and peeing my pants too.  (I didn't even know that could happen).  Fortunately I was able to go home, shower, and start the day again.

I did feel a whole lot better though when my colleague had to take out his pen and paper to decipher the instructions - just a few lines working together, took us nearly half an hour to understand.

Later in the day I stopped by the chiropractor - anything to keep the migraines away. On the way back I noticed a store I had never seen before, with loads of children's clothing.   The urge to see what was there was uncontrollable.  I don't even know whether I'm having a boy or a girl yet, so I was determined Not to buy Anything.  (The one designated baby draw at home is already nearly full.)  I just couldn't believe how cheap everything was.  It took me nearly 10 minutes for figure out I was in a Second Hand Store.  Only seconds later I found myself stuffing a nearly new STROLLER into the trunk of my car.  It was So cute - so easy to maneuver - that of course I couldn't let it pass!

When I got home I somewhat guiltily told my mother what I had done - and she said "Did you test the brakes".  That was the one thing I did not think of - and of course the mother ALWAYS knows best. One of the brakes is broken!  I feel So silly.  Now she says I have to take it back! - Personally I think I may just keep it anyway - I don't live on a hill - and can't imagine a situation where I would want to PARK my child by itself in a stroller.  Please tell me now if I am wrong!

And lastly, while some people may have thought for some time that I am looking a little bigger - I have finally come to accept, that I am sporting a small but obvious "baby bump".  It has been 17 weeks after all - and apparently my uterus is now the size of a cantaloupe melon.  I must go to the supermarket to check out exactly how big that is.  I think that although people who meet me for the first time, might still not notice - anyone who knows me  - and isn't totally blind - would have to suspect that "Somethings Up".

When I was in London my mother made me get fitted for a new pregnancy Bra.  My new size was 34E, where before I was only 34C.  Well to turn things around, I finally admitted to myself the new bra may have been English and Expensive - but it also Really Uncomfortable.  So I am back to squeezing myself into one of my old bras.  It may not have the perfect support - but its "oh so much more comfortable."  So to set the record straight - I checked the tag - and now - as of yesterday I am back to a 34 B.  So much for sizing!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

sibling registry

When I was 25, the most wonderful and extraordinary thing happened to me.  I discovered that I had SIX half siblings.  Having never met my father, this seemed like the very next best thing.   When I did get to meet my father - and realizing that he is not someone I really like very much  - Knowing my half siblings was really fabulous and hearing that they had their issues with him too made me feel loads better!

Although I am very happy with the donor I chose - I realized I was a little sad that he did not donate more samples.  I found out from the sperm bank that they only sold his vials to a very few families.  While this may have some good sides to it - I feel my child may miss out on all of the fun associated with larger family ties.

I was interested to find that a friend of mine told me that she looked on Donor sibling registry, and found other half siblings for her child, but that None of those families wanted anything more that to be able to share very basic health information.  In fact at the last SMC workshop I went to it was noticeable that the general feeling seemed to be against being in contact with other half siblings,  so much so that someone felt the need to remind us of the value of at least sharing health information, and the general location where they might live - I guess so they avoid dating each other.

Can anyone enlighten me why people seem to shy away from getting to know their child's half siblings?  I can understand the shock of finding that you share a donor with someone that lives down the road - especially if you don't like them that much - but surely that is the joy of having a large family,  I know myself - I speak to some of my siblings a lot and others hardly at all!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Firing the OB

Yesterday was my 15 week visit to the OB.  I was quite amused when the nurse informed me I was only 14 weeks 4 days - "because the computer said so" - even though I was inseminated on Friday - and it was a Friday - a week is a week!

The OB seemed rather distracted / uninterested in me, and just informed me "We will test you for everything".   When I asked her what "everything included" she would only tell me  "Its a whole panel of tests".  It took a while to ascertain that she had either not read my chart - or overlooked all the testing done so far, this ment I was able to avaoid having to pay for duplicates.

Once that was sorted out, she got the doppler to find my baby's heart beat - only she couldn't find it.  I thought she was jolly lucky that I didn't freak out - thankfully I just laid there and told her that I was certain Baby was in there Somewhere - because I hadn't seen him come out!  Finally we got it - Baby at 151 beats a minute.  Then she said "That's why we tell patients they should Not get a doppler."

I remembered a good friend telling me I should ask my OB her C-section rate. I had no idea about these numbers except that I know I would prefer not to have to have surgery if I don't need it - and apparently too many C-sections get done because the Doc wants to get home for supper.  Given that my due date is practically Christmas day - I thought I might as well ask.  She refused to give me a number.  "Oh I don't know - We don't do numbers - I suppose I could tell you the national average  - that would be about 33 percent".   I pushed her on it - so finally she said "Well I could guess that Your chance of having one, would probably be about 25%".  When I got home I found out that the hospital she uses for delivery, has about the highest rate of Csection in my area - either 37 or 40% - I wasn't quite sure how to read the chart.

To put the icing on the cake - I also asked her if she knew the Doula that I am thinking of hiring - I was expecting an answer like " Yes / No / She is nice......"  What the Doc said was "well she is not going to do anything medical for you, so it really doesn't matter who you choose".

Thankfully my doula recommended some other OB's that Will be willing to share their C-section rate and a group of midwives that are all closer to the 15% rate - so I am going to see what fun lies ahead!

Meanwhile I have resisted buying Any baby clothes - my mother has not done so well!  I get daily updates on the price of baby items in London- and I have started telling people around my neiborhood and various collegues that I am pregnant - with differential degrees of congratulations and or looks of horror!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Visiting the Mother

I was surprised I even made it to London.  The day before the flight I felt so sick I could hardly move from my bed – except to make it to the bathroom to throw up.  I don’t know how I managed to pack, but somehow it got done.  Driving to the airport I learnt an important lesson.  Stop the car Before you start to throw up out the window, otherwise it’s hard to stay on the road!  When you do manage to pull over to the side to throw, remember to take the keys out of the car and close the door otherwise anyone could drive away with the car!

Although two doctors I greatly trust told me to keep taking the progesterone to 10 weeks, my RE for whom I have less respect told me I could stop at 8.5   In actual fact the last doses were just impossible for me to take – I was so ill – I finally figured that if I was feeling this sick, there couldn’t be too many problems with too Few hormones and stopped just before 9 weeks.  My cramping ceased, and for quite some time I was worried that something might have gone very wrong!  Thankfully I found out on my return that all is still just as it should be.

London seemed smaller and quainter than I had noticed it before.  The buildings appeared so cute, tiny and squished together.  Even my mother’s front door seemed smaller – or perhaps I was bigger, and then it seemed like I could hardly even fit in the bath.  On meeting my second oldest friend she exclaimed uncertainly “you look different somehow– are you Bigger? ”   Well at least I know she’s honest!

Actually I made a mess up of telling her I was pregnant.  It has been two years since we last met, and so I started to tell her about my decision to use a donor.  Before I had a chance to really explain my thinking, I heard her saying “Sarah – don’t you EVER do that – promise me you wont.”  Then I was in the difficult position of telling her I already had and was pregnant!  In actually fact she was great, and pulled up her socks up extremely quickly!  She was very happy for me – even if she was a little horrified. 

In future I am going to do things differently and just Announce how happy am to be pregnant – and then the listener will know they are not allowed to express their disapproval.  In retrospect it was rather funny.

My mother seemed to have taken my being pregnant Surprisingly Seriously.  At  supper when I asked for soya sauce, she explained that she had gone through ALL the cupboards and thrown out everything that was out of date – the soya sauce had apparently expired in 2005!  I hope now everyone will believe me when I say that up until this pregnancy I had a stomach of proven steel!

I had a wonderful visit with my Oldest friend.  She cried when I told her my Good News, and even managed to produce an black maternity dress that fitted me perfectly.

Shopping in London was Fabulous – because I was not scared of bumping into anyone from work (in a baby store.)  Bringing home bags labeled Mamas and Papas was a little more tricky – I did have to hide behind a tree to avoid a neighbor – but other than that I was fine!   I hit all the maternity stores, and found remarkably little choice – but managed to come home with two fabulous pairs of maternity jeans.  Until this point I had not realized the strain and discomfort of trying to still squeeze into trousers that really were too small!  There is nothing that feels so good as a great fitting pair of jeans!  This was the day I realized that my first trimester depression and exhaustion had truly disappeared!

My mother insisted that I get fitted for a new bra. My normal size is 34 C.  It turns out I have grown 3 sizes already!  The bra specialist assured me “You’ll be a 34 Double G by the time you milk comes in!”  I am beginning to think that perhaps one really can have too much of a good thing!

As well as having a very full bust I seemed to have had a very full schedule in London too.  One day I decided to visit my favorite museum  - the National Gallery 1200- 1500.  Of course my mother then came up with two other exhibitions that could not be missed – so somehow – the National Gallery got left for my next visit!

I saw the English Acupuncturist who took one look at my tongue and exclaimed that I must have been  shockingly ill with morning sickness (no surprises there) and she informed me very nicely that my US acupuncturist must have been doing a dreadful job.  Apparently it transpires the US acupuncturist had mixed up two of the needle points – and was giving me one that is counter indicated in pregnancy! – So much for cheap acupuncture!

She also informed me that I am having a BOY (This is so SO exciting – but at this point I would have been excited if she had told me I was having a DOG!)   She explained that as I was (then) only 9.5 weeks she could only be 90% certain.  She is almost always accurate at 12 weeks!  Somehow with hearing this news, and feeling SO much better, I have begun to actually believe that I might really have a baby at Christmas!  

I will just be incredibly shocked if “the project” turns out to be a girl!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Life Changing Week

I have just come to the end of a most extraordinary week at the Institutes for the Achievement of Human Potential in Philadelphia.  Sometime before Christmas I read an amazing book - which in every language other than English is called "Your baby is a Genius" - sadly in the US it is titled "How smart is your baby" - an unfortunate title which sadly puts many people off reading this wonderful book by Janet Doman.

The Institutes (for the Achievement of Human Potential) work primarily with helping severely brain injured children - including Downs children, with recovering  and regaining their full abilities so that they are able to live a completely normal life.   For example one of their students with Downs students, recently completed his masters in economics!

Their belief - for which they have full scientific evidence, is that the brain grows with use, and that the child's physical development is intricately connected and influences what is possible of the brain.  They specifically feel that the the developing child should spend as much time as possible crawling and creeping on the floor (or a clean smooth firm surface). ((This also has the added advantage that your child will sleep better!)) Humans are the only animal (save household pets) that would ever consider sleeping on their backs).  For those of you worried about Sids (which I was originally) - they explained that in the original study which caused the great stir - three out of five of the babies who were thought to have died or sids, were actually found later to have been murdered.  Of course they also had tons of other  scientific papers - which I have yet to read.

It was such a remarkable week.  The staff were so loving, helping each parent to do the best for their child.  They showed demonstrations of their "normal - able children"  - which included a beautiful gymnastics display - 7 year olds acting Shakespeare - suzuki violin playing - Kids learning japanese  - a three year old running a mile faster than I could, and a one year old who was reading full (simple) sentences, as well as the brain injured children overcoming remarkable challenges.

They told us simple things we could do which would make a huge difference in the lives of our children, like at birth taking your child into a black room and turning on the light for about a second and saying "light," then turning off the light for 4 seconds and doing the same 9 more times, three times a day.  This strengthens the visual pathway into the brain, enabling the child to be able to focus the eyes and see much earlier, than if they had not had this experience.

I was also extremely impressed that The Institutes had based their findings on children from across the world, from different civilization with different experiences, with scientists and learned people from across the globe adding to their research.  They have been doing their work for over 50 years.  I can't believe that more people don't know about them.

I should also add that the other parents were just lovely. They were those, who really wanted the best for their child.  About nine of them were still pregnant (Including ME - I just made it to 12 weeks now!)

Please if you know anyone with a brain injured child, let them know about the Institutes - and if you want to help your child of any age learn easier (or if you have something like dyslexia in your family like I do) -  check them out!

Now that I have stopped taking progesterone I have started feeling a whole lot better - and plan to do some "catch up posts" - beginning with my trip to london to visit my mother!  

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Best chicken soup ever - oh so easy!

I want to thank everyone for their comments.  It means so much to me to know that there really are wonderful people out there and that you understood me.

I wanted to write a really positive post (for a change).  I am not really a cook, but I am so proud of this super easy recipe, discovered / explained to me by my mom.  There are just two Magic ingredients, and once you know them, you can make a chicken soup which would make any Jewish mama proud!

Firstly, it helps if everything is organic and if you have at least two hours and HUGE pot.  But I have made it very satisfactorily with none of the above.  Prep time is about 7-10 minutes (depending on how sharp your scissors are for skinning the chicken).  Veggies can be cut in very large lumps.

Then you need the usual ingredients like chicken drumsticks (cut off the skin), onions, garlic, carrots, mushrooms (I like shiitake) and any other choice of veggie you wish, in your pot with plenty of water and set to simmer.

To this mix you also add the TWO Magic ingredients.  A few chunks of the rind of a cheese like peccorino or parmesan, (if you don't have the rind you can also use  a few lumps of the cheese) and a WHOLE lemon.  With a grater, drop the zest of your lemon in the pot with all the other ingredients, then slice the lemon/s, (being sure to cut off and disgard any pith), and then drop the slices too into the pot, just as you would with any other vegetable.

No need for a stock cube, but you can add some if you wish. Add more salt than pepper (and possibly braggs liquid aminos - it's like soya sauce).  Boil for two hours! (but this should taste good after just an hour).  Add extra salt and extra lemon juice if necessary.

Then if you wish, you can thicken the broth with either cous cous or some other grain / rice.  Enjoy!

As for quantities, you will always wish you had more broth and more veggies!  If anyone has any additional suggestions - please do share!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Outrageous Hormones - horrible feelings

I apologize because I have not been posting or keeping up with reading everyone's blogs.  Sadly I just seem to have lost a lot of the joy I used to find in reading them.  Its just that when you feel like throwing up, nothing really seams to matter.  Every once in a while I have a better day or few hours, but life has been a Real Huge Struggle.  Thank God I have a super easy job, which has enabled numerous afternoon sleepovers with my dog close by my side.  But in actual fact I realize I hate going to work.

When life gets tough, sadly its never just one thing that goes wrong - its FIVE things, all wrong together - and it makes me wonder if I don't deserve it - or bring it on myself in some way.   And of course upsettingly there seems to be a theme - issues with friends, colleagues and jealousy.

Firstly, I realize must be depressed - even though I keep telling myself how happy I am to be pregnant - that I didn't have to do IVF, but in reality I would do anything just to feel well and have some really good friends.

Secondly, a colleague who has been really rather nasty to me for the past three years, is pregnant, not that she told Me - but Why does she have to be pregnant at the same time as me? It will be the two of us pregnant at work together.  She is 18 weeks and hardly showing, she has had all the tests and knows she is having a healthy baby.  I overheard her saying in tones of disgust "We didn't need ANY help getting pregnant." I can't control my feelings.  I am jealous as hell.  She has tons of friends, a wonderful husband, recently (and very publicly) inherited millions of dollars, and she frequently gives parties to which our whole company is invited (except me and one other perfectly nice colleague who actually lives across the road from her house).  When she needs my help, she will have someone else ask me for the favor, and then treat me like shit.

In addition I was at work earlier this week, and was required to give (some very mild) feedback to a colleague.  His retort was to go to management and accuse me, of hitting and kicking him.  Management did clearly not take the accusation seriously - but nor did they seem to have any problem with him making up stories.  Another colleague, who was completely uninvolved in any part of this, took up this guy's case, so much so, that she publicly yelled at me and said "if you ever hit or kick anyone again - the whole team has been given the authority to hit and kick you back together".  I was so shocked and stunned, (and obviously did not believe for a moment that any legitimate workplace advice could be to attack someone.)  The timing was such that without saying the field in which I work - it was absolutely impossible to respond.  So I sat down, completely shocked that anyone could believe I would ever attack someone (let alone a very tall athletic man),  and we all resumed our work.  Of course now I have decided to document with a paper trail, but why do I have to work with people who belong in kindergarten?  I want to quit.  After I get my maternity leave.

Lastly, I have really enjoyed getting to know other Single Mothers by Choice in my small town.  In early december I got to know a new SMC.  We met a few times, and spoke regularly on the phone and were in fairly close contact.  Latterly she had failed to respond to a couple of group invitations and a phone call, so she did not hear that I am now pregnant.  Yesterday she called to tell me in a rather distracted manner that she too is pregnant.  I was delighted for her, until I realized that she has been pregnant since the beginning of the YEAR.  She is 19 weeks, knows she is having a healthy boy, the donor of her boy is her EX husband - so she has a man to pay child support, and a father for her son.  I just feel so deceived. All those times she called to know if I got my BFP, all the mean while she was lying to me.  What is the point in being friendly to someone who does not trust me enough to share their good news, who consistently lies to me "Oh no,  I got my period,  I must make that appointment at CCRM" and then doesn't think there its anything unusual.  I expect she only told me so I can be invited to give a gift for her baby shower.

And Really Lastly.  My niece is pregnant with a Billionaire.  I have been assured by her father that the pregnancy was planned - but seemingly to me it was badly planned because she is five months, and he is still married to someone else.  Either way it seems to me she will do quite well out of it.  Everyone is being So supportive of her - people are flying in from Paris and around the world to help with the baby etc.  And to top it off - I have been informed that her son's name - Is the very one I had picked out should I have a son.  Well now there will be TWO !

Fortunately I get to visit my mother next week, which Could be great, or not, but anyway the scene change, and escape from work will be very welcome.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

7 weeks 4 days utrasound

I was so nervous about this first ultrasound I could not fall asleep for my obligatory 3 hour afternoon nap.  The doc was late but finally arrived and she got her magic wand in place.

Truth be told I have been feeling so awful recently, that I have sworn to myself that I will never ever try to get pregnant again.  There is just something about feeling constantly sick and exhausted that makes any life seem unnecessary and pointless.  I think I may also have been a little depressed.  I have spent most of my hours lying asleep in bed or comatose in front of the TV or trying to think of ways to avoid doing anything.

My only other activity has been that of praying for TWINS - call me naive - I know they are a huge amount of work.  And I have just figured out that if there was a fire in my house - it would be very difficult to run out of the house Fast with Two babies.

Anyway - It seems God has better sense than I did.  It appears that I have One Healthy Baby - I am greatly relieved - and it may even arrive in time for Christmas.  My mom says I should be extremely thankful I got such a cheap blessing - total costs so far (excluding unused sperm in storage) - is only $3700.  I am SO happy I didn't have to pay for IVF.  But it is such a pity I didnt have three - one for keeps - one to give away - and one to sell on ebay!

I am of course so overjoyed to know my dream of being a mother is coming true - Dr Uncommunicative wants to see me again in two weeks, which will be just a week before my nuchal scan - I can only imagine it's about the money.  She did manage to tell me though that the heart rate was normal at 161 - and give me two ultrasound photos.  However for anyone not experienced in these sort of things - it really does look like a receipt from the supermarket gone wrong - so much so that BABY has to be labelled - you would not know it  otherwise.  None the less I am growing very fond of the photos - and no doubt in a few days I with own nothing with more sentimental value!

In the mean while, it all seems so unbelievable.  Actually the last few days have been feeling substantially better and I have found that ice cream  definitely reduces the nausea - and remarkably I still have one pair of jeans that fit me just fine - but not for long I think!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

early pregnancy symptoms / worry

My mother assures me that when I was in her tommy, she did not have Even ONE day feeling under the weather - despite spending hours jumping around on ski slopes!  I have not been so lucky.  I am now about 5 weeks and 4 or 5 days, and for some time now, have felt generally nauseated, famished and exhausted most if the time (and I only seem to want to eat lemon and pepper chicken!)

I am convinced that I actually felt the conception - not in my tommy, but in the form of a "sizzle in the tit" specifically in my left tit!  Needless to say my tits have been Extremely painful from the very beginning.  Yesterday I had to lie down at the chiropractor, and had to restrain myself from squealing when he pressed down on my shoulder blades - because my tits were being SO squished!

At five days after home insemination, I felt what I think was implantation / boring into my uterus.  The following day I had a speck of brown blood. And the subsequent day I felt more boring / digging into my uterus at the exact same place, So I figured my embryo was getting a good hold onto life, but now I am wondering - could there be two!  After all I did have two big O's !

My first HCG at 11 or 12 days post ovulation was 38.4, my second at 20 / 21 was over 3000.  The nurse said "congratulations - I guess the holiday did you some good." That evening I was having so many cramps I began to worry whether something might be wrong, only to wake up the next morning and find that I felt perfectly normal - and definitely felt NOT pregnant, and the urge to urinate and the "plugged up feeling" had gone. 

I was so relieved to hear that they would do a third beta (which actually was quite unnecessary) but it calmed me down NO END to get another set of good results.  I guess each day brings something different.  Day 24 / 25  beta over was over 15 000.  So now I realize that with pregnancy there is ALWAYS something to worry about.  Too much pain - no pain - exhaustion.  And now,  I checked my beta values and found that although they fall within the upper ranges of singleton - they are higher than average for twins - and bang on average for triplets!!!

Oh Dear God - "Give me one baby or two, but NOT Triplets!"  I warn everyone now, I will do some very awful things if there are Three in my tommy.  I have only two hands, two bank accounts, and two tits!!

I want to thank everyone for their comments on my last post.  Now, when I bump into my Dog's best friend's mother,  I will have the self confidence to smile, wave hello - and walk boldly on!

In conclusion to the last post, she actually called and left a phone message, which it took me 3 days to summon the courage to listen to.  She said "HI Sarah, I just want to to know, I really do hope you have a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby, and I Hope it's Everything you Think you Wanted, but I really can't handle your  passive aggressive personality, so Good LUCK to you.... Click"

Thanks so much to everyone for their support, I understand now that she must be extremely unhappy - and probably she wants a baby of her own, but doesn't realize it.  Fortunately, she has ended our friendship, so we can both make space for something more rewarding!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

When the Best Friend Reacts Badly!

Truth be said - she is actually my dog's Best Friend's Mother, but we frequently walk the dogs around the neighborhood, such that I feel she is or aught to be one of My best friends.  In fact, she has been more a part of my TTC discussions than anyone except my mother.

As we have both been out of town for some weeks, Friday was the first time I actually got to tell her that I am Pregnant.  Thinking back, she has been very kind to me - an excellent chef, she has taught me to make a number of "Mummy dishes" so that I can be able to cook something my child one day might wish to eat, and she has often baby sat my dog.

I suppose there were a couple of signs that she was not particularly happy for me to try to get pregnant.  I remember the day she told me just after my first IUI "Who knows - you might find they mixed up the sperm, you could be giving birth to a Black baby" to which I said, "That would be just fine - at least I would know that whatever sperm the bank sent, it comes from a super healthy, smart college grad - and the baby will be genetically mine.  But the couple down the road (who did IVF) They could potentially find out that neither of their (gorgeous) twins are theirs at all.  They might belong to another couple entirely!" And thankfully that was the end of that.  I have to admit, I was SO relieved that I never told her about my donor freak out! (About his high forehead and need of a makeover!)

Then there was the time when she said to me, "I don't even know if you will be a good mother - You told me you might not bother buying a crib ((no because I might be lent one - and I do have some odd ideas about child rearing - but obviously will make sure my child is safe)) And you said that if you don't like the way your kids looks when it arrives, you will donate it to GoodWill" - This is actually is true, but I thought anyone would know I was kidding!

After I had heard her latest holiday news, I shared my BIG News.  I heard her saying "I hope you don't think you can replace the love of a Husband with that of a Baby!"  Trying to keep things light hearted, I commented that I wouldn't have to, because I had already replaced it with the love of my DOG.  She did not seem satisfied and said "Well I hope you have a lot of money saved for therapy - because you're going to need it!"  She continued her ruminations, such that I felt bound to say "Well actually there's no way to know What love replaces What - because you don't have a baby in your tommy - and I don't have a husband - so there is no way to compare."

Then she started to say "And what are you going to tell people - about the father - you've GOT to be honest."  The weird thing is that I could understand someone asking me all these questions if this was the first time they had heard of me wanting a baby - but she has been part of the process since well before the beginning! So I said "Well I can say whatever I want - actually it is fairly rude for people to ask - so I might just say I have no idea who he is, whatsoever!"  She then said "You will Have to tell them the Truth - you will have to say - """I couldn't get a steady relationship and I was getting SO old I decided to get myself inseminated""" you HAVE to be honest".  At this point I must admit I was getting really annoyed and I couldn't understand why she would ever think that I would lie - as I am not someone who ever lies.

I guess I was running out of answers, so I said "well I could always ask them for details about their father (as it really is none of their business) - or I could tell them I ordered a vial over the internet" She said "Well their father will actually Have a name, and your child's father doesn't"  Then she actually continued - "Look at how you turned out, with what your mother told you about Your Father" At this point I was really annoyed but tried to keep calm, so said "Well actually my mother has never lied to me - and if you don't mind me saying so, I think I've turned out - just fine"

Now a normal person would probably have left the conversation at this point - but like an idiot I stayed - and brought up less inflammatory topics.  We managed to keep walking a further quarter mile or so, until  we came to a small hill.  At this point I started to feel a little odd / faint / and feel some sort of pressure in places I won't mention, and so sat down for a few minutes under a tree.

Instead of her saying "Are you OK" she said "Well if you're going to start acting Like That, People are going to start asking" and like an idiot I said "Not if you help me think up some really good excuses."  A moment later still immersed in a very unpleasant conversation, we bumped into some neighbors,  and finally I had the good sense to wave good bye, and go on home by my self.  Only when I had arrived home, did it dawn on me that she had never once said Congratulations.

The only explanation I can think of - Is that despite what she has always said (in the four years I have know her) - SHE Wants a Baby!   I am never walking my dog with her again - at least not until she finds a better mood.  The problem is, we keep bumping in to each other - and our dogs just  Love each other!

PS I want to thank everyone for their Lovely Lovely, encouraging and wonderful comments - And Many thanks for my Versatile Blogger Award! -BTW my Second beta test got great numbers and I am currently preparing another post about various gossip that was not relevant to this post!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

First Response Test is Crap

Last night after exhausting myself running all over town getting "stuff done" including taxes sent off, and attending a couple boring meetings,  I fell asleep on my couch.  I awoke just in time to take my pregnancy test over to my friend's house, for her and her husband to "pronounce" upon. They are also TTC and were quite certain it was negative. Somehow I was not in the slightest bit concerned.

This morning I did another test, and it looked a little more convincing.  So much so that I showed it to a random girl in the parking lot, before my Beta.  She glanced for just one second and said "CONGRATULATIONS".  For the first time since starting this TTC journey I felt Amazingly HAPPY.

I was at the airport when the nurse called to confirm, my BFP.  She actually said I should not be going out of town, because they have to do 3 more tests at two day intervals.  (Well thanks for telling me ahead of time!).  I told her there would surely be plenty of time to worry about numbers when I get home.  I certainly don't want to miss my vacation, because I have to stay home and "worry".  If there is a problem I can deal with it when I can actually use "sick days" not Vacation days!

For now it seems my progesterone is good at 58 (have no idea what this means)  and HCG OK at 38 or 34.  (Nurse said it was a little low, but then we tested a little early).  Have decided not to worry about this - because I could clearly see a stronger test line from yesterday till today.

Turns out my Mom called me 5 times to see if I had the news (after acting cool as a cucumber all day yesterday).  So the whole world (around me) rejoices!  A strange man bought me a drink at the airport (I didn't have the right change)  and I got upgraded to first class.  I just can't believe it all.  Perhaps things will just fall into place easily for this baby?

Extraordinarily, it seems that three out of four of my (smartest) friends, can't read a simple pregnancy test! One line or two - not so simple!  But then I really do think the test is CRAP. Sitting in my first class seat, I texted as many people as I could think of before the plane took off!

I realize its only 50% chance that this pregnancy makes it (as I am 40), but I am determined to enjoy every single second of it while it lasts!  And I am just loving enjoying my first day Knowing I am PREGNANT

Ok now for advice - Can I swim in the ocean (Caribbean) - feels perhaps a tad cooler / or like a swimming pool.  Not cold once you are swimming?   Nurse said, sort of no "you shouldn't even be out of town"

Can I eat soy protein?

What about a little gentle yoga - standing on head ? (for 30 seconds - is all I can do before I get wobbly)?

Ok, so now I got my BFP, I am throwing the bouquet. Next persons TTC reading this (who leave a message) get simply TONS of baby sparkles!

Post Script - Either the Dr Uncommunicative hates me - or her nurse hates that I'm taking a vacation - I just received the following "Your beta hcg level was 38.4, Estradiol- 425, and Progesterone- 58.0. You will need to call us with a return
date so that we can schedule a repeat blood test as soon as possible. Dr. Uncommunicative does feel that you may be at risk for early bleeding and potential miscarriage. Please, feel free to call us with any questions or concerns, congratulations"  What kind and caring and helpful people!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Pregnancy test Entertainment 11 pt ICI 10 pt IUI

Yesterday I was not able to do a test because I had run out of cheap tests, and I refused to by an expensive (while out of town) , and besides the day was far too full without the excitement / disappointment of testing.

Today, was another matter.  I awoke in the night to ravenous pangs of hunger, and my tits really are painful - by any standards. Incidentally last night I delved into my jar of Nutella, and found no particular desire to have another spoonful! Very Odd

Pregnancy test Result -  I have no idea.  After 40 minutes of scrutinizing the "6 days early test" (for me either 4 or 5 days early) I still have No Idea.  Even after subjecting it to a further dose of urine, is still Could be positive or Could be negative.  Even after keeping it in my handbag and searching for the line under different shades of lights, in the car at a traffic light, in the store, (privately) during a boring meeting  - Still Not Sure.

I asked a trusted friend to tell me what she thought.  She looked at me with sadness and pity when she said "I'm sorry, its definitely negative."  My acupuncturist was more positive, she said "I can see the line but its not very strong".

One would think a fail safe Early test would be a little easier to read.  What they really should advertise, is "will provide hours of entertainment, and controversy for all friends and family".

Tomorrow I am hoping to get away for a few days at the beach.  I really don't want to have to come home just to get a progesterone prescription if I do turn out to be pregnant.- so I will get the Real Blood test taken tomorrow.  If I am NOT pregnant - I might just decide to keep on with the progesterone a little longer - and enjoy the holiday I deserve - so i don't arrive home too late for day 3 tests!

Fingers crossed.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Crazy me - 8 days post ICI, 7 days post IUI

To be honest, I am really quite amazed at the way I handled my whole insemination drama last week.  I was so calm and super confident in my special swimmers, and their ability to find my two special eggs, that for about three days, I walked around (my small town) in total confidence that very shortly I would be giving birth to twins. 

Then on Sunday evening  I started to have a major freak out (that nothing could ease).  I started to worry that I had not placed by swimmers close enough to the cervix and I began to chastise myself for not demanding to be inseminated by a doctor when I could clearly feel that I had ovulated. "I must be more assertive" I kept thinking - but really I hate having to be assertive - I am actually someone who really prefers to agree!  I just pray I never have to go back to my fertility clinic and Dr Uncommunicative - other than to thank them for getting me pregnant (even though in reality they should be thanking me for self inseminating - and boosting their figures).

Anyway, in the midst of my panicking that one egg was lost,  I had some sort of vision about my eggs having their own aura.  The one on the right ovary (that popped out Thursday morning) I saw as having a yellow red color - and the one from my left ovary (popped Friday) I saw as having a blue green aura.  Then I decided my favorite one was the yellow red, but decided that it had died!  I went through a ridiculous phase of morning the loss of my red yellow egg and anger at my doctor.  Then I started feeling that perhaps the smaller (blue green) egg was only second best - and if I do manage to get pregnant - I really want to know whose egg made the baby.  The one I got (red yellow)- or the one the doc inseminated friday (blue green).  

Ok I know I am COMPLETELY crazy.  But this has given me much food for thought and the excuse to start peeing on expensive strips of paper right away.  As yet all negative.  The sooner my test shows up pregnant, the more likely it is to have been the red yellow - fertilized from the home insemination - and that would be Great news.

The good news is that I have been out of town for work - and have been having an insanely great time - due to a whole series of unforeseen coincidences. 

Also I am convinced I had very light spotting on day 6, have no idea what my temp is up to - because I keep forgetting, and now I have misplaced the thermometer.  The progesterone suppository is kind of yucky, and makes me ravenously hungry.  It did however seam to diminish the awful pains in my tits from the ovadril injection.  Did I get to mention it here - I am convinced the Ovadril almost caused my ovaries to rupture - I nearly drove myself to the ER, but then things started to get better. Not sure I should take that again.

More news is that I have met so many lovely people this week - and I even met I guy that interested me.  He was serving me in a music shop.  I am sure he can only be 30 or less, but after much consultation, encouragement and coaching from my friends (and googling him and discovering that he is Not on Facebook), I asked him out for a meal - and we have a date this sunday morning!  Actually when I first saw him, I noticed his thinning hair, high forehead, and gorgeous smile, and I thought "he could be my donor - I hope my donor looks as cute as this".

So Please Pray for me - that I get pregnant with the yellow red egg, that he turns out to be 38, and that he accepts me fat and feminine, and that he has always held the desire to move to my home town.  

Not asking too much am I ?

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Office Insemination with Cold Sperm

On Thursday night I fell asleep quietly confident that my home swimmers would have met their target on time  (previous post).  I was somewhat surprised to awake very early the following morning, to the distinct impression that my other ovary was ovulating (the follicle measured at 18 on Wed).  I was delighted to know that in a few hours I would have my IUI.

I waltzed into the RE's office (actually I nearly overslept it - but I got there) and Dr Uncommunicative looked very pleased to see me.  Oddly I think she has decided she finds me quite amusing, and although she never tells me anything informative, I really do like her very much.   It turns out that apparently I had some of the "finest" sperm she had ever seen.  57 million sperm at 100% motility. Yay! Just what I needed to hear. Some good little swimmers.

She then inseminated me - and it hurt when she tried to get thought the cervix (because I had already ovulated Twice  - but I didn't mention this), and she "placed" the 57 mil very COLD sperm into the uterus.  It was odd to feel a chill from inside - and it stayed with me for quite some hours! She told me how happy she was that I had responded so well to the drugs - and that FSH (level of 20) doesn't count for too much theses days. Well well - we will see!

I mentioned that I had done three acupuncture appointments a week for the last two weeks (I ended up settling on the really cheap acupuncturist who is good, and easy to get an appointment with - but doesn't understand the meaning of the word confidentiality - she has even told people in the waiting room what I am there for - discretely of course - but I know!), and Dr Uncommunicative  said - "I am sure the acupuncture has helped - you have had such good numbers". (Of course she didn't think to tell me what they were - and I was trying to be an easy patient so I didn't ask.  After all if this IUI doesn't work I am never going back there and I will be running to CCRM, and I will retrieve the latest notes  before going! And numbers aren't going to change anything now).

Then I told her how at the monitoring session Dr China had told me I was just "so old my hormones were all over the place".  She loved hearing that the other Doc had messed up, and she said "well if he were to say that to his wife - I am sure she would slap him!".  Then I explained that I had not been upset for the reason that, later the exact same day, the Dude from across the road who can only be about 20 -22 asked me out on a date.  He said "if you would like to get together to practice some yoga - or go to the mountains!!!!!"  If only he was not quite so skinny I might have been tempted to be a little less sensible!

It really was very flattering, even though I realize that living with his mother and senile aunt he is desperate to away from his family.  But surely he would want to get a bit further than - the next house over?

Now I try not to notice that my TITS really do HURT - Is it the Twins or the Ovadril?  I peed on my first pregnancy test just to watch the two lines come up (one for each twin) - I know its the Ovadril - but it sure was a good feeling.  It can happen.  Now I have to get to work - I fly to he Big City to work with the Big Company - and am not really sure I am up to the task.  The acupuncturist said "no stress" - but the twins will have to decide now if they want to sign on or not - because this is the way my life is.  Stressy.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

defrosted donor and the Big O

A good friend of mine told me "When you do injectables you WILL feel yourself ovulate" She was right.  This was my first cycle with injectables.  After a scare about ovulating too early (on day 7) my RE kept me on 75 mils daily of gonal F (having done Femara days 3-7).

On day CD 8 (Thurs) - I had 4 eggs developing, three in the left ovary (10 -8- 6) and one in the right (8).  On CD 11 (Mon) at monitoring I had a total of only one follicle measuring at (18), everything on the left had disappeared.  The Doc said that given my FSH of 20 we were lucky to get anything at all.  Day 13 showed that there were three follicles again, two on the right (25 & 11) and one on the left (18).

Around CD 12 (Tues) I started to notice, if I may say so, some rather superior (egg white) cervical mucus!   I felt sure my insemination would be very soon.

My RE's office is the only one I have heard of that judges ovulation based on progesterone levels (Having spoken to three other doctors from different clinics I understand that this is indeed an unusual method).  It may be a good way to judge ovulation, but for me, I have noticed that I ovulate sooner (and at a lower progesterone level) than I was expected to, and then my progesterone rises faster.

I was sure that my insemination would be Thurs when I was told Wed of my follicle at 25 (would this be mili or trili centimeters?).  After having my blood work done I bustled off to work,  thinking I was waiting for the call back to inseminate. Sitting in my chair at 903 - I felt myself ovulate - an intense throbbing pain - followed by complete relief and nothingness - on the side of my super special egg!

A few hours later the nurse called to tell me there would be no insemination today just an ovadril injection.   I told her that I had already ovulated.  She said simply "the Doc wants you to come in tomorrow."

Although my nurse is very nice - I want to say Smiley - she is very difficult to talk to when I say or ask anything unusual or unexpected.  Often she will just repeat whatever she said before - even if it makes no sense.  I realized that there would be no changing the date of my insemination - It is impossible for me to even speak to or have any meaningful conversation with my Dr. Uncommunicative - and she has obviously well chosen nurses that suit her style.

Of course all of this happened at a time at which I was in the midst of a very stressful project at work - that I had to be present for.  At the first possible moment - having formulated my PLAN, I went running over to the Infertility (or is it a Fertility?) clinic to find the head of lab.

I am afraid I was in such a rush, I did not even have time to call ahead (the garage at work doesn't have cell phone reception - and there is no privacy at my work).  I explained about my (very convenient) anxiety disorder (which is self diagnosed of course) and told her how worried I was that I might have ovulated, and how in order to ease my concern, I would like to have the vial of ICI which they have for precisely this reason  - to help ease my stress levels!

To my surprise she gave it to me.  I rushed home and self inseminated.  (She did look a little thoughtful when I told her of my follicle at 25 - and that they still wanted to wait!).  All I can say is that for anyone who has not done at home insemination (which I have not) - there is hardly ANY stuff / sperm at all. You could easily lose the vial, or drop it.  Hope I got it in the right place.  The good news is that I didn't try to eat it! - got the right orifice anyway. The dog did give it a good sniff and he got to lick the empty vial.  I want him to know where the baby comes from - hopefully he will recognize the scent!

Then I did a little standing on my shoulders - and kept legs elevated - Oh yes and I did the obligatory Big O.  Now I have seen a lot of reasons stated in the literature for doing this both before and after - like it changes your chemistry - or whatever.  But I was in too much of a rush to do any O before.  I knew that I was already running late. The egg may only live 6 hours - but can go as long as 24 ( usually 12, I think).  Anyway the little swimmers take quite some time 6-7 hours to get to their destination - so I was just on the edge of being out of time.

But now I will tell you the three most important reasons for doing the Big Orgxxx.   Firstly (and least importantly) it relaxes the mind.  Secondly (and most importantly) it brings heat, energy and blood to the area - And this opens places that need swimmers and closes off other openings - so nothing / less falls out! Thirdly (and most conveniently) it makes it much easier to fall asleep on your back in an awkward position (for four hours - to give the swimmers the best chance).  I decided to be on the floor with feet against the wall / bed  

Of course I said a few prayers for the spermies - and my eggs - and gave thanks to my Donor -and bargained with God a little.  "If you God give me a baby.... then I will......   forgive you for not finding me a handsome hubby!" OK so then, I decided that as impatient as I am I want two good eggs  and two children - and twins would be just fine.  So I thought it would be fair to have Two Big Os - one for each child.  Then just to be sure,  I had a third!

Being somewhat of the impatient type (and being very hungry because in all the panic I had forgotten to eat lunch)  I bailed at two hours. I placed a cervical cup over the cervix - hoping to retain few million sperm - and beetled back to work!  What was most difficult, was wanting to tell people what I had been doing all afternoon.  Thankfully  I managed to act like an adult and Not say a Word except "a somewhat  unusual and stressful afternoon".

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Better news

After a very sleepless night, I went running into the RE's office this morning with my positive surge on the ovulation predictor.  They were very nice to me, even when I had to told them that I had accidently - (well not really) taken the Gonal F a couple days early (hmm hmm, not all doctors think alike, but anyway).  When I got home after work this morning, I turned off all my phones and slept a solid 4 hours.  The animal in the wall must have either escaped or decided there were better places to be than listen to me snore.

When I awoke I found that the poor nurse had tried to reach me 4 times.  It seems that I am not about to ovulate after all.  At least for today.  She left Very Strict Instructions...  (Oh what it must be like to have to deal with disobedient patients - I can't be the only one, right?)   She told me to come back Monday for another ultrasound - so there must be some hope.   Yah.. The doctor did look very astonished when I pointed out my FSH of 20, and he said, "you got the positive because you are so old and your hormones are all over the place!" And there was me believing I looked young for 40!

So sorry about my horrible depressed post this morning.  Perhaps in future I should allow my self the therapy of writing the post, but keep it to myself.

You can give this one a miss. Don't read this if you want to have a good day.

One of the less wonderful things about meeting people who are pregnant, is that they often tell you their secret remedies as to why "it worked" for them.  This is something that its good to know - but I noticed myself losing my calm the other day when a young mother told me "Well its because - you know - I started eating really healthy" Thats fine, because I too eat healthily.  Then she told me -  "And I started going to a chiropractor".  Me too.  "Oh and before we decided to conceive - I went to an acupuncturist twice."  Well I have Two acupuncturists and will have had 3 appointments THIS WEEK.  They may have chilled me out  (a little) - but I'm still jealous as hell.

And for some odd reason I decided to pee on the OPK just before going to bed last night (CD day 6).  Why would I do that?  I am still bleeding.  I got that lovely smiley face.  Great!  Now I can't sleep.  What will I do with an egg on day 7?  Put it in storage?  Even if the egg is good - my lining won't be ready.  So now I have screwed up Another Cycle.

And there is an animal in my bedroom wall. Tap tap tap tap tap.  It has even stopped my dog from sleeping.  Any guesses - rat, mouse, bat, squirrel - something worse?

What will I tell them at the RE's office. OK I did start to take the injectables a couple days early.  But two other doctors told me to!  And I tried my best to switch away from this doctor.  Pray to god they don't look at my stomach.  Last night I jabbed myself about 5 times - long story.  Will have to say its acupuncture needles.  I am a crap lier.

I am losing my Faith.  Faith that there is a reason for this life, that good things happen. That people are supposed to enjoy life.  They don't, take a look in Japan.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Still after the Storm

The last few days have been packed with difficulties at work, an ever lasting headache, discoveries, and decisions.  Thankfully - and perhaps due to some acupuncture, I have now found a place of calm and confidence.

If I were to write about the torment I suffered yesterday as I tried to understand what an FSH of 20 means, weigh my options, natural cycle , medications, run to CCRM, invent my own protocol, I think I would drive you crazy.  All I will say is that I came up for perfectly good arguments for each.  But finally I have decided to give the pills a good go (and tweak the protocol a little!)

I was so worried that taking the Femara / letrozol would make my headache worse.  In actual fact it pepped me up - and 2 hours after popping it, the everlasting headache had completely disappeared!

Then I got a very funny email from a SMC who must have forgotten the details of fertility treatment.  She wrote "Congratulations on your FHS of 20 - I am So Happy for you Yah" which started me in a fit of giggles.  Life is so ridiculous, why should I worry about a test which tests something, that I really have no understanding of what it is, and is known to be extremely unreliable.  Even AMH is only 70% reliable. I ovulate, and have some supper fantastic sperm - I still have hope!

Then after lunch the lovely Scott from the sperm bank called and told me I don't have to worry that my donor is - in my terms "butt ugly". He talked me through the "look alike" pictures - and I feel very happy with my choice.  Apparently he has a bad hair cut (in the places where he still has hair) and a high forehead - but I am not going to worry too much about that, as I think I probably have a high forehead too - and its never bothered me!

Then I remembered the rather stunning SMC I met saturday who told me that with her FSH of 18 and non existent AMH she was informed there was no hope.  She got pregnant on her first try!

I was just sitting down to a cup of tea when the RE doctor from the Choice Mom's conference called me - and explained that FSH of 20 means I am going into ovarian failure - but she said, I still do have a very small chance.  I was so touched that she would call.  I am not her patient. I just cross questioned her about early ovulation - until she said "I think you are really quite unusual" - which may not have been meant as such - but I took to be a great compliment!  Her calling me just now reminded me that there really are some wonderful people / doctors in this world. She went on to explain to me that she recently told someone with FSH 28 to do donor eggs, but before their cycle had began she found she was pregnant naturally.

I am realizing that writing a blog is extremely therapeutic.  It helps me process my thoughts, and see where I was yesterday.  And now that there are TWELVE followers - it makes me feel like..... hmm,...... Just so you know... Each one of you is Very Close to my Heart!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Good News Bad News

I too had a fabulous day at the Choice Mom's Conference.  But now I am all UPSET and in a big  Tizwoz!

Today I went to get my day 3 tests done and start a cycle of injectables.  I was really excited to find that for the first time ever, instead of having 5-6 follicles like I did at my first ultrasound,  or 7-8 like at the last.  (The first natural cycles I did were not monitored). This time I had a grand total of 13 - a baker's dozen!  It must be either the Co Q 10 I have been taking or the 6 days yoga vacation in the sun.

I did become rather concerned when after lunch, the nurse had not called me with my blood results and given me the OK to start taking the letrozol.  I was just beginning to worry (that I had been forgotten about - or deliberately overlooked as a result of my trying to leave their clinic) when she finally called, and said to go right ahead.  When I asked about the blood tests - she did not answer - but tried to distract me with details of the medication.  On asking a second time, she told me my FSH is 20.3.  Last month it was 14.3 and a few months before  that 8.1  My initial search on the internet tells me that some centers will not do IVF with patients over 20 - its a "no go area".  I remember Dr Surrey said he didn't want mine getting much higher than 14.

Of course no-one has thought to run an AMH level - which I had realized I should request (thanks to the Choice Moms yesterday) - and got drawn this morning (gives best predictor of number of eggs still up for production). It takes 10 days to get the answer.  The Weekend Doctor seemed very surprised it had not already been done.

Most worrying, was the fact that the nurse said I was to come back for monitoring on day 11 (which is really day 12 because they wouldn't count that my period arrived in the afternoon of the day before day one).  I ovulate on day 11, and last time I took femara I ovulated day 10.  I asked the nurse if I could come in earlier and she said "you don't need to because we are monitoring you".  I said "oh good, when will you do that?" to which she answered "when you come in on day 11".   Then I think I may have said something about using an OPK and letting her know if it turned sooner and she said "oh no - I wouldn't really recommend doing that - because your being monitored!"  I think I must be going crazy!

Does anyone know - does having high FSH mean that the drugs don't work? - Thats what I thought I understood from my reading.  Will 5 mg of letrozol and 75  X  3 units of Gonadotropins do anything for me?

Given that I am so unhappy with my the communication with my doctor.  I think the anxiety alone might finish me off - I have to decide - do I bag this cycle and run to colorado / and miss loads of work short notice. Do I try a natural cycle - where I will get a properly timed insemination - (and then run) - and not subject myself to drugs which probably won't do anything (except that the femara / letrozol will give me more headaches).  Do I take the drugs and pray - write letter to the doctor pleading to bring me in earlier say day 9.  (I have a friend who recently missed a whole cycle because she ovulated day 8 and they completely missed it!)

Now I have to find something to do which will help me Lose my Tizwoz.  Perhaps I could hide it somewhere - for someone else to find? -  I wish I could - Not very nice of me.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Witch in the Andrology lab update

I want to thank everyone for their support and suggestions.  It really means a lot to me to know that guys were there for me!  I would like the record to state that I really did have a little bit too much on my plate today - as well as having a difficult a day at work.  

I wrote a conciliatory email stating the facts clearly to the Witch to see if we could work something / anything out.  I called the nurses line but couldn't get through to a person so had to leave a message.  The nurse took a while to get back to me - it turns out she had been busy speaking to the Witch.  When I asked if I could forward a copy the email to the doctor or leave a message with him (the nurse was actually extremely nice), she said that she would be more than able to convey the message herself ( I did not feel up to being insistent as I could feel there was no hope).  Clearly the Witches Wish is Law at that clinic.  No cycles as No vial would be able to be in place by day three - which is Sunday!

The good news is that my period has started full flow!  No more waiting - and I am going to pop all the pills and potions I can get my hands on!

The Bad news was that I nearly found myself without Any doctor at all!  When I first spoke to the Witch I asked her how long transferring the vials might take.  I did not get a clear answer - other than "forms procedures, ethics etc".  What she did say was that she would SEND me some forms.  I figured I would fill them in - see if I could get everything in place, and if all looked good, go ahead with switching doctors. What She did, in fact was to call my doctors office and inform them that I was leaving their practice - and I have the proof of this (and the lab girl told me)- as she obtained vial freezing dates (and other useless info on that is not anywhere in my notes).  Perhaps she wanted to check the International Stolen Sperm Vial Registry!  Then two days later she refused to accept me or my vials to her clinic.

So this left me in the difficult position of calling the old doctors (like I normally do) to make a day 3 appointment.  Only no one called me back.  This is when I knew something was wrong.   I was getting really worried,   that they were offended because they could see in the computer that I wanted to leave, (it was a friday today - and I have to get the day 3 test done).  Then I got an idea.  I called the head of andrology (at my original clinic), because she nearly always answers the phone, AND she writes really detailed notes which go into the computer!

When I had surreptitiously got a copy of my notes (before getting my second opinion(s)  I had been shocked to see that she had actually quoted (well not correctly) my exact words in her records.  She was out of the lab, but I spoke to her colleague who informed me that Yes the nurses had already called her to ask what was going on with my vials! and they were not at all sure what to do with me. Apparently they were busy trying to contact my (uncommunicative doctor)  who was just getting back from vacation? to explain that I had tried to leave, but now didn't want to (or wasn't accepted by other lab).  So I explained to the lab assistant - how I hadn't been sure if I wanted to transfer  at all - I had never actually made the decision to go ahead - the Witch had instigated the transfer, not me - I had only wanted a second opinion - and how much I love Doctor Uncommunicative - and how she had been so good to me with giving free samples etc.

Two hours later I got a call from Dr Uncommunicative's nurse.  And guess what - I do love her more than ever now- she will still have me as a patient!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Witch in the Andrology lab!

Having found communications a little difficult at my RE's office,  I recently went for a consult with a new doctor (this was before the telephone consult I wrote of in my last post with CCRM). This new doctor is in my home town and came extremely well recommended by a friend.  I really liked the new doctor and the nurses at the new office.  After some hesitations - (I hate doing anything new - even using a new bathroom etc!) I finally decided to make the switch to the new office.

I had wanted to do another natural cycle at the old office - but after failing to ovulate - and losing my patience, I decided to take the plunge and pump the pills under the nurturing and "easy to talk to" care offered by the new office.

I called them to enquire how I would go about transferring to them my vials (of donor sperm).  It turns out, that the head of the andrology lab - is literally Quite Impossible.  Unfortunately when we first tried to connect, she was on vacation, then I was.  After leaving a couple messages, she took two days to get back to me, then a further day and half to email me the forms (I had offered to pick them up)  but she had said "I have other patients to attend to first".  Then she said "I can start the process but I can't promise that we will get them in time for your insemination".

At this point I asked her how long she thought it would take, offering if necessary I could overnight a new vial from the other side of the country, (so they don't have to walk across the road to my old RE's office to collect the vials I already have in storage).  She told me that his would be just as complicated, and she would not accept Just Any sperm mailed to her!  I explained that I could not start taking medication if I didn't know if the vials would be there on time.  She wouldn't even give me an idea of how long this would take other than "We have forms to sign, procedures to go through and standards to achieve, and we are very proud of these at our clinic".

Then the icing on the cake came, when I showed up with my forms signed and notarized the next morning.  (I had to run over to my friendly lawyer at the crack of dawn and explain to him and his entire office staff why own donor sperm vials).  In actual fact it turned out any of the lab staff could have signed / notarized my forms  (but Madam Witch wanted to make it difficult for me).  When she looked at my paperwork she said "you are only supposed to have 3 vials, not five".  It turns out she had already called my old RE's office, and informed them that I was leaving their office, and obtained the individual reference numbers on each vial, without my consent!

I explained to her that my friend had "gifted" me two further vials.  (We have all the paperwork notarized  for that too).  In actual fact the storage fees are so prohibitive that my friend was not sure she could afford to keep the vials frozen (she has just delivered the cutest baby).  Since each vial is so extremely small, and I have a right to store as many as I want - for a set fee,  I offered to store my friends vials for her, while she decides what to do with them.   Madam Witch however had probably guessed what was going on.  She informed me "I can't deal with this. I can't have those vials here, they are not yours.  It is not Legal for her to gift them to you.  I will have to have our legal department look into it before we do anything further with this".

So now, my old office knows I wanted to leave them, the new office won't take my sperm (in any time for an insemination).  And a very well meaning nurse at the new office told me that if I didn't ovulate last month- I probably won't ever get a period!  Apparently I have to take medication for 10 days - and two weeks after that it will give me a period! Lets wait Another month!  And slightly upsettingly,  I just learn that another friend, tells me she just LOVEs (the Witch in the Andrology lab) saying "she has been just like a mother to me"- but perhaps her mother isn't that nice to her?

Perhaps its all a big sign that I need to learn to have patience and pray for a new day - perhaps even a new week or a new month!  It seems like I will be staying with the old doctors office after all, unless I want to battle with the Witch!  It seems accepting a gift has cost me!  I guess I will just have to say something diplomatic at the old doctors office, like "I found out I had better insurance coverage than I realised".

Monday, March 14, 2011

CCRM IVF consult

This is the telephone appointment that I have been putting off for months.  I don't imagine anyone likes to face up to the reality of  having to flush $25 thousand for a baby, when most people get one for free with few good orgasms.

It takes 7 weeks to get a new patient appointment at CCRM, and whenever I had an appointment  - it always ended up being rescheduled (Last time it was my fault.  I delayed because I hoodwinked myself into believing that the reason I was not getting pregnant was psychological - I decided I should rearrange my house to make space for the baby - thinking that then my body would be able to create the space for me to get pregnant naturally!) - Turns out I was partly onto something.  My uterus filled up with junk - a polyp, which has now been removed.
It was a delight to talk to Dr S.  He was so good at answering my questions clearly, and speaking to me so I could understand his thinking.  He told me that although I have not had much opportunity to get pregnant (being So good at getting my past boyfriends to use condoms - why did I ever listen to my mother!).  Considering my situation - age 40, with FSH over 14, and about 5-6 follicles I should begin right away! "What if I were to wait  6 months and you have an FSH of 18" - that would not be good.

If anyone is unsure about whether to have an IVF consult - DO IT.  I wish I had done this sooner.  And It does seem that CCRM are going to do a number of tests that would not normally be done at my RE office.

I was also surprised and quite reassured that the Doc was not overly positive - and seemed quite conservative in his estimation.  This made me trust him.  He said "We just need to talk about getting you one child - I don't know that you would be likely to have any embryos left over to freeze".

When I asked about DHEA, he suggested that I take it - but said I would stop taking it when they start stimulating the ovaries.

However I have decided I will try just one IUI cycle in my home town (with my new polyp free uterus), with either natural insemination or with injectables.  I have to make up my mind soon.  Oh dear oh dear.  I am a little worried that if I do injectables I will get another cyst - and that this will delay me further.  Most importantly,  I am desperate for a fix.  I want to know I have at least the chance to get pregnant SOON.  Sitting out the last 2 cycles (surgery & funky hormones) has been really really hard.

Last thing.  As I am single (and am using donor sperm) I have to have Another psych consult!  I already see a counselor weekly (well perhaps that is a sign I'm crazy) and have also done an independent consult (mainly to reassure my mother). ((And for the record she actually ENCOURAGED me to go right ahead and not waste any time!)) Do they make couples do this too? Or is it because they suspect there is something wrong with a single woman, if no man would wish to marry her?  Surely one has to be more sane to admit that one has not met a husband worth marrying, than many people are when they marry because they are too scared to undo the engagement - or just desperate to get a husband.  And lets not forget that probably 50% of the world was conceived by accident!

I suppose though the Doc is only doing what he thinks is best - or to cover their butts!.  After all I could be OctoMomCrazy - and it might not show up properly on the telephone!  It could of course also have something to do with the fact that I did mention the possibility of selling a baby on the internet if I didn't take to motherhood - But he was the one who said FIRST that said I might be happy with just One baby  - or might find I wasn't so keen on being a mother (not his words exactly, but something to that effect).  Does anyone know - does he have one kid too many?