Thursday, December 20, 2012

The Reveal!

When I first got pregnant, I had no feelings one way or another as to the gender of the baby. After a while I began to feel like it was probably a girl. As time I went on, I was more and more convinced it was a girl. But no one was more convinced than Little Bean, who has insisted since the day I told her she is going to be a big sister, that the baby is a girl.

I kind of hoped the baby was a boy because I would love to give my husband a son, and because all of the grandbabies on my side are girls (Little Bean is the only grandbaby on Hubs' side). I longed to bring the first boy into my side of the family, especially since this is it for us. We're not trying for any more babies after this.

The day after we got home from Disneyland last month we had our NT scan, which lasted about an hour and a half. The baby wouldn't sit still so the sonographer could get a good peak at the gender, still, she hazarded a guess at a girl and said she wouldn't tell the doctor to see what the doctor thought. When the doctor came in, she said she thought the baby was a boy, and she got a couple of really good shots to confirm her theory, shots the sonographer was unable to get. Even after the doctor was so sure the baby was a boy, I didn't want to start buying any baby gear yet, simply because sonographer thought the opposite. I had to be sure.

Funny enough, I cried for about two days after that appointment because I had gotten used to the idea of having another girl, so it was hard to change my way of thinking. Whenever I would tell people the doctor thought it was a boy, I would choke up. Not because I didn't want a boy, but because it just seemed so perfect.

Since that appointment, we have been telling people we think the baby is a boy, but that we weren't positive yet, so we were withholding confirmation of team blue.

But the anatomy scan and big reveal was today. I'm surprised I was able to sleep last night, because every time I thought about our appointment during this week, I would get butterflies in my tummy. I couldn't wait to find out!

But before I tell you what we're having, let's see the Belly Pic of the Week.

18 Weeks, 1 Day

And now, the moment you have all been waiting for... this baby is playing for....


I have to admit, I was surprised. After our NT scan, I had gotten used to the idea of a little boy and pee pee tents and everything blue. But most of all, I had gotten used to the idea of bringing a son, grandson, and nephew into the family.

I asked the sonographer if she was sure about five times, and asked her to look again at least three. I know she hates people like me, but I had to be sure after our last appointment where we were told it was a boy. When she confirmed again and again, and told me she was almost 100% certain it was a girl, I started to cry. I was a little disappointed, and again, I had to change my way of thinking.

Now don't get me wrong, I am over the moon no matter what this baby is. I am so happy and excited that we are pregnant, and that we are FINALLY adding to our family. I am just so full of emotion, and going from girl to boy to girl is kind of a lot to take in. You get used to this idea of how your life is going to be with one gender, and then have to re-arrange it, which is a lot for a highly emotionally charged pregnant woman.

Just like after our NT scan, every time I told someone the gender of the baby today, I would choke up. It makes me laugh. When I checked out at the doctor's office, the receptionist congratulated me on a girl, and I just started bawling. It was quite comical. One would think I didn't want a girl, but again, the reality of the situation is it is a lot to take in and I am just so happy this baby is on its way into our arms.

I asked Hubs if he was happy, sad, or indifferent. He said indifferent. There were pros and cons to either gender. He did say he is disappointed for one reason though: we now have to come up with a middle name we can both agree on, which has been no easy task so far.

So we're having another girl! I really am excited and happy. I get to do pink and frilly and bows again. Little Bean has been ADAMANT that this baby is a girl, and she is having a sister. Turns out, she was right! She went with us today, and when I told her she was right, she ignored me, as if to say, "Well, yeah. Duh mom! I've been telling you that all along!"

I have been jonesing to buy this since we found out we were pregnant

but refrained until we knew the gender for sure. Today, I finally bought it!

A baby girl.... I am a happy mama with a happy little girl, all set to be the world's best big sister. It just doesn't get any better.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

I Went Home

I thought it had only been a week since I posted, but apparently it has been two. Goodness the time flies.

Last Wednesday night after work, I flew home to spend some time with my dad before he went back in for surgery. I got the added bonus of spending time with all of my siblings for a couple of days. I spent some good, quality time talking with my dad and just being together, got chocolate from my favorite chocolatiers (and the best in the country), had tasty Chinese (because we don't have any around where I live for some reason), got to see the mountains, and even had a bit of snow.

The one downside to the trip is I can now tell you where I experienced the rudest TSA officers. I travel a lot, and have been through a lot of airports. When I asked to not be put through the full body scan, due to being 5 months pregnant, the agent acted like I was out of line. I told her there was no way I was putting my unborn baby through that scanner, so she made me stand aside until another agent could come give me a pat down. Luckily the officer who patted me down was very nice, but I still didn't appreciate having my time wasted.

I think the best part of my trip was when I showed my dad his pictures I had scanned in from his time in Australia back in the mid-60s. I had forgotten to take my thumb drive with me, but Hubs saved the day by getting the files to me. The look on my dad's face was priceless, and worth every second spent scanning over 300 slides. It was fun to look through them with him and see how many people and places he still remembered, even after all these years.

On the baby front, I finally found the heartbeat with my doppler! Last night I let Little Bean sleep with me, so she got a listen too, and she loved it. I had an OB appointment on Monday, and we scheduled the anatomy scan for next Thursday. We get to find out a bit early what we're having, and I'm excited. I wish we could have had a scan on Monday, since I'm supposed to get them monthly and my last one was over a month ago, but I suppose I have to take what I can get.

I have been getting weekly prenatal massages, which is always awesome. I plan on doing that all the way until this little one is born. I got nearly weekly massages when I was pregnant with Little Bean, so to me, there is no other way to fly.

As far as symptoms go, I have a lot of heartburn while sitting in any semi-reclined position, and especially when laying down. Just when I thought I was done with the achy hips, they have started back up again. The thing I love most is being able to really feel the baby move. The first night I found the heartbeat with my home doppler, the baby kicked the doppler so hard, my stomach actually moved. This baby is a strong one for sure! (And probably has lots of hair sprouting.)

I can't wait to find out for sure what we're having so I can actually start shopping. There are a couple of things I am jonesing to buy, but I can't get them until I know the baby's gender. Soon!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Hello and Goodbye Energy

I was starting to get a bit of energy back this week. For the first time in a long time, I came home from work every day this week and actually stayed awake until bedtime. On Tuesday, Hubs took Little Bean to the gym with him, and I was siting here on the couch all alone, my house still clean from the weekend, wondering what to do with myself. Then I remembered I hadn't touched my blog-to-book in a long time, so I started working on that again.

I have 4 years worth of blogging on that blog, and I've only managed to make it through the first two years. The book is going to be 12" X 10" and I'm already up to page 183. The publishing company I am going to use to print it has a 300 page cap, so I am going to end up breaking the blog up into two volumes. Then I have the other blog I wrote in for about 2 years, which will make a third book. And of course, then there will be this blog, book 4! I always was a writer. I took lots of writing classes in high school and college, so the fact I will have so many books from my blogs is no surprise.

At any rate, all of that energy I had back is now going away because my hips are starting to spread and is making it painfully difficult to sleep at night. I had kind of forgotten about this symptom from my first pregnancy. I can sleep on each side for such a small amount of time before I have to roll onto the other side to alleviate the pain. I end up on my back half the night, which always worries me because you aren't supposed to sleep on your back during pregnancy.

I asked Hubs if I could get a memory foam mattress topper, but he won't let me get one without researching the crap out of it online first, cause that's what he does before he buys anything. Which means even if I did get one, it wouldn't be any time soon, so there is no relief in sight for me. The only place I can sleep at this point is upright on the couch, propped up by a pillow. I might just tell him to stick it. I NEED SLEEP!

In Little Bean news, tomorrow is the first day I am sending her to school with a home packed lunch. She goes to a daycare that is essentially a private school, and where lunch is separate from tuition. We can pay extra to put her on their lunch program, which we have done up until recently when her teachers told us she wasn't eating her lunch. After some discussion with Hubs, we decided to try packing her lunches on our own.

Little Bean is so excited to take her lunch box and thermos. We went shopping for lunch supplies on Saturday, and Little Bean wanted to buy everything in the store to put in her lunch box. In the end, all that is in there for tomorrow is milk, a tuna sandwich, a couple strawberries, grapes, carrots and ranch, a jell.o cup, and some yogurt-covered raisins. It might me too much for her to eat, and it might not. The good thing is we can tailor her lunches as we go.

Also this week, I am going home to see my dad. Hubs and Little Bean are staying here to hold down the fort. I haven't told Little Bean yet because I know it will just upset her every day until I go. I don't tell her in advance when I go on business trips either. I have found it is easier on her this way. She gets over it a lot quicker and then doesn't end up being upset for days on end. I wish she was going with me, but the trip was short notice, and I don't know that I want to try to deal with her and all of our luggage on my own.

Well, I guess that's it for me. Off to get ready for yet another painful, sleepless night!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Lovin' the Holidays

October through the end of the year is my favorite time of year because its the start of cooler weather here in Texas, the beginning of fall, and the beginning of the holidays. Although, the trees don't really start changing color here until the beginning of November. I love getting ready for Halloween because it means that Thanksgiving and Christmas are also on their way. I mean, its three months of holidays!

This year Hubs decided we could stay home for Thanksgiving, which I was so grateful for. It meant I had days to catch up on housework, yard work, put away the fall decor, and get all of the Christmas decor up, all without a time crunch. I also got to take daily naps! Glorious!

Some exciting news, I have definitely been able to feel the baby move already. I have to say, being stretched out from already having had a baby is not such a bad thing, if you ask me. You show earlier, instead of just looking fat longer, you know what to expect, and you feel the baby sooner. I realize my body won't bounce back as well as it did after the first one, but I honestly don't care. A flabby tummy and a bunch of stretch marks are a small price to pay. Besides, this day and age, its all fixable. ;)

I had a coupe of days over the past week where the baby and I were definitely going through growth spurts. I remember having the uncomfortable stretchy tummy feeling with Little Bean, in fact, I remember the exact day and where I was the first time I experienced it. What I didn't remember was that there is no position you can get into to alleviate the stretching. Now I'm not complaining at all. Like last time, I am so grateful to be pregnant that I enjoy the uncomfortable bits. They serve as signs that everything is going well in there. All I have to say is, grow baby. Mama will stretch to make room.

One thing I don't like about this pregnancy is that maternity clothes are so fetching ugly right now! When I was pregnant with Baby Bean there was tons of adorable maternity stuff. Now its all horizontal stripes (as if we pregnant women don't look big enough without that) or shirts with ruched sides. I really hate the ruched sides. REALLY HATE IT. I've almost cried every time I've gone shopping because I am afraid I will just end up naked. I refuse to pay full price for clothes I don't like, and when was the last time you saw a sale in the maternity section? The answer is NEVER. If I have to pay full price for clothes, I damn well better like them... A LOT. I think I have only bought three new tops so far, and have completely given up on getting anymore.

Here is one of the very few cute tops I have managed to find, for this week's belly picture.

In other news, I am almost done with my Christmas shopping. I did most of it back in May when we went to Mexico, then I did a bunch last Wednesday, and now I only have a few things left to get. Yes, I tried to finish up my shopping the day before Thanksgiving. I don't do crowds. I would rather pay more and have the store to myself while shopping, than go out with the crazies and fight over what's left on the picked-over shelves.

I guess that's it for now, so I'll sign off. Later!

Monday, November 19, 2012

14 Weeks

I realized today I blogged a lot more when I was pregnant with Little Bean, and it almost makes me feel bad that I don't do it more with this pregnancy. Okay, not almost, it does make me feel bad. However, I am keeping a better written pregnancy journal with this baby, so I guess it is all 6 of one and a half dozen of the other.

Depending on which book or app you use I officially entered the second trimester either last week or today. I am 14 weeks today, although that is based on LMP and not EDC, which is funny because we know exactly what day the little one came into existence, but hey, we'll take what we're given.

I am definitely showing:

So far I am only up 3 lbs, which makes me pretty dang happy. I am trying to limit my weight gain with this pregnancy. I didn't do bad with my first one, but I'd like to do better with this one. It helps that I started out about 4 lbs smaller too.

I still can't find the heartbeat with the home doppler yet, but when I read my other blog, I apparently didn't find Little Bean until 15 weeks. I expect I will be able to find this one in the next week or so. When I listen with the doppler, I do however, hear the baby moving around. Just like Little Bean, it is not a fan, so it tries to squirm away as best it can.

One thing I forgot about from my first pregnancy is the panic attacks. The ones where you're going along and everything is just fine, and then you panic all of a sudden and wonder if the baby is okay and if you should make a doctor appointment just so you can hear the heartbeat to ease your mind. If I have to go a week without seeing or hearing the baby, I panic. I know everything is fine because I keep growing and stretching (I get the stretchy tummy feeling a lot). I also have wicked heartburn every night at bedtime. I think I'm more than half way through my first family sized bottle of already.

Little Bean is adamant that this baby is a girl. When you ask her why, she says, "I don't want a brother because I'm a girl, and I don't like boy things." That child cracks me up. When I ask her what we should name the baby, her latest name is, Disn.ey Princess Marie. She doesn't like any of the names mom and dad have picked out, which by the way, this baby is already named.

We have a full boy's name, and a first name for a girl. Hubs and I cannot agree on the middle name for a girl, and we are both putting our foot down about not using the middle name the other wants. He has a strict Russian nationality naming convention when it comes to naming our children, which makes it difficult for me because I like so few female names from that country. He is half Russian, so I understand his desire to get back to those roots, but man it makes it hard to name my babies!

Other than that, this pregnancy is going great. I got clearance from my doctor to go home and see my dad next month, and we just got back from Disneyland, so this child will be well traveled before it is even born. Luckily, we are going to stay home and have Thanksgiving with my aunt who lives nearby, so that cut one trip from our agenda, which was such a relief.

With that, I leave you with a picture of my babies and I in Disneyland (more on that to come still).
I look dang good for 12 weeks pregnant!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


Part of the reason I haven't updated in the past couple of weeks is because I just haven't, and because we went to Disney Land last week. A lot has happened in two weeks, so I'll break it down into a couple of updates.


My dad is doing so much better. It has been an incredible blessing. Things got really scary there for about a week, and my family was so worried about him. I won't go into a ton of details, but my mom noticed over a couple of days while she was visiting him in the hospital that he would be somewhat lucid until they gave him his meds. Within half an hour of taking them, he would be completely incoherent and hallucinating. It turned out he had an infection that was not reacting well with his medication, so they backed off his dose, and the difference was night and day. Over the next few days we got more and more of my dad back. I tried so hard not to cry the first day he and I had a full conversation because I was so relieved and grateful. We talked for half an hour, and even then I didn't want to hang up, but my dad was tired.

While we've come a long way, we still have a long way to go. My dad only has a temporary knee in right now, and will have to go get a permanent knee put in in a couple of weeks. My whole family is really nervous about when that happens and whether or not we'll have to go through all of this again. And if we do, we're worried we won't get my dad back next time. Needless to say, I am enjoying every conversation we have right now.

I booked a ticket home to see him next month, which will be before the surgery so that he and I can spend some good time together. I recently scanned over 300 slides from his youth, and I get to take them back home for him to see for the first time in over 40 years. I love looking at these pictures

My dad when he was 19 or 20
So we'll look at these pictures, eat some chocolate from our favorite chocolatiers whose motto is, "Chocolate for customers with a distinctive pallet", have some good conversations, and probably take some naps while watching boring TV while he sits in his chair and I stretch out on the couch.

I love my dad. So much.

Baby Bun
I am officially in the second trimester (at least according to most books and phone apps). It feels great to be here. I've had a bit of spotting, and a lot of sonograms because of it, but the baby is doing great. I still can't feel the baby yet or even find it with my fetal doppler. I figured this baby was a mover because I could find Little Bean with the doppler at 10 weeks, and I still can't find this baby at 13 weeks. I had a check up last week before we went to Disney Land, and it made me feel better when even my OB had a hard time finding the heartbeat because the baby wouldn't sit still. She did eventually find it and the baby finally sat still for a bit. Little Bean went with me to that appointment and loved hearing the heartbeat. In fact, Little Bean saw the baby on a sonogram a couple weeks before and loved seeing it and hearing the heartbeat.

Today we had our NT scan and it is amazing how far the technology has come, even in 4 short years since we were pregnant with Little Bean. The second we saw the baby, I started to cry because I am just so happy we're here. The little bun just would not hold still. It wiggled so much through the whole appointment that the sonographer had a hard time getting measurements. She had asked if we wanted to know the sex of the baby, which we did, but the little bum wouldn't hold still enough or in the right position for her to be able to tell. This baby is definitely a mover. When the doctor came in though, she got a couple of good shots and told us what she thinks we're having.

The appointment went really well. The baby had been measuring a day behind EDC (estimated date of conception [although in our case, date of conception was not estimated]), but today it measured 2 days ahead! The doctor said everything looks perfect and she is really happy with the way everything looks. She is happy with where the placenta is placed in relation to the scar and thinks we won't have any issues there. However, she said she wants to take the baby at 37 weeks to prevent contractions. I am kind of sad that my pregnancy will be cut short by a couple of weeks, but getting my baby here safely without risking a rupture is all we care about.

One upside to being high risk is that I will get monthly sonograms just to make sure the placenta doesn't get out of line. Which means we should be able to confirm the sex of the baby at the next appointment! While they can tell with a high degree of certainty now, I don't dare start buying gender-specific color items yet.

Here is one of the best take-aways from today's appointment:
13wks 1d

I don't know if all of the patients at this office get the 3D scans, but if not, this is another perk of being high risk. They also sent us home with a video of the scan that is about 45 minutes long. Now I get to watch my baby go crazy in-utero all I want. lol

Well, it is time to snuggle Hubs and watch TV. I will update with Disney pictures soon!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Trying to Hold it Together and Failing

I realize that pregnancy makes you hormonal and makes you cry more easily than normal, but I am really, really struggling with what is happening to my dad right now.

I am a daddy's girl and have been as long as I can remember. We have always been very close. He is the person I would always go to for advice. I always told him everything, and I do mean everything. He helped me through many tough situations. And we always loved the time we got to spend together, even if it was every day.

My dad is the kind of guy everyone likes the second they meet him. He is very caring and genuine. He has a special way with people, and I have tried to model myself after him in almost every respect. I do for my daughter the things my dad always did for me. One of the most loving things he taught me is to check in on my daughter every night before I go to bed myself, just to make sure she is still all nice and tucked in, and to give her one last kiss for the night and tell her again that I love her.

I could go on and on for days talking about my dad and what a wonderful person he is, I honestly could. He means the world to me. I've told my husband from the beginning that when my dad goes, he is going to have a mess on his hands.

I don't really want to go into details because it could take forever to write out, but my dad is in a bad place. Due to his recent knee surgery and all of the trauma he has been through with the meds they have had him on, a trip to the ICU, and having to reopen his knee to remove a blood pocket, his Parkinsons has progressed at a rapid rate. In the span of only a couple of days, he went from being coherent to being incoherent, unable to speak clearly, and unable to hold conversations.

I was able to pretend it wasn't happening for a while because I am 1300 miles away and not watching all of this happen. I had to pretend it wasn't happening because if I admitted it was, I was going to fall apart.

Well a couple of days ago, I had no choice but to admit it was happening, and I fell apart. I'm still falling apart.

I spent all day yesterday trying not to cry, and failing miserably. I scared a lot of people around me, because they thought it was something to do with the baby, especially my good friends who knew I had a bleeding scare on Friday and had stayed home from work on Monday because of it. So when my best friend came over to check on me first thing yesterday morning and I burst into uncontrollable tears, she thought the worst. So did my boss when I shot him an email asking to talk to him. I was and still am a mess. We're talking about MY DAD. I can't handle it. I can't.

I went into my bosses office and told him what was going on just so that if I needed to go home on short notice, or he saw me sobbing my eyes out, he would know why. He has been so good about it, and has told me we can work with whatever I need to do. I had talked to him when my dad was in the ICU about a month ago and told him that if I was still working there when my dad goes that I fully expect to lose my job because I won't be able to function enough to work for a long time. That is not an exaggeration.

There are so many things about this situation that feel like they are the worst part, like the fact that I can't understand my dad when we talk on the phone. I try so hard to pay attention, but I can't understand him, and it kills me. I know he is trying so hard to speak clearly, and I know he is frustrated. I just can't believe this is happening to my dad. And I can't believe that we can't get him back. A week ago he was fine, and now we are losing him mentally.

According to all of the tests they have run on him, he is perfectly healthy, which makes this whole thing even worse because it means only his brain is unhealthy, which means he could go on for years in this state.

We have a family trip planned to Disney Land. All of us kids, our spouses, and our kids are going to be there. It was going to be a very rare occasion for all of us to be together in the same place at the same time. I don't remember the last time we had everyone together. But now my dad can't go. And our trip has turned from being a wonderful family outing to being a trip where we get together to talk about what to do about dad. We're not going to cancel the trip because we all need to get together more than ever now.

All of this just kills me. This is so very difficult.

I took Little Bean trick-or-treating tonight, and tried not to cry the whole time because all I could think about were all of the years my dad took us kids trick-or-treating.

One thing I always wanted for Little Bean that I didn't really have, was to know her grandpa. My maternal grandpa died when I was 2 or 3, so I never knew him. My paternal grandpa died just before I was 10, and I have wished so many times that he had been around longer because I had followed in his musical footsteps and would have loved for him to teach me to play and to be proud of me and the scholarships I was awarded for it. I didn't know my grandpas very well, and I've always known I missed out.

My husband's dad left the picture when he was little, so there is no grandpa on that side. Little Bean already lost out there. But at 3, she is never going to know the wonderful man my dad was first-hand. Sure, I can tell her all about him, and parent her the way he did me, but she will never know that man. And that completely sucks. It breaks my heart. It is totally unfair that such a wonderful influence on her life has been taken from her before she got the chance to really know it. All she is going to remember, if she remembers anything at all, is how my dad is now and will be for the rest of his life, and that is brutal to me.

I can count on one hand how many times I have cried so hard I literally thought my heart was going to tear itself apart from the pain. Coming to terms with this is one of them. How do you deal with this kind of grief? I'm not going to have to say goodbye only once, but many times over. I am going to have to watch my dad slowly slip away mentally. I don't know how people do it. I don't know how they handle the pain.

Nothing I have written here even comes close to expressing the pain I feel, or any of the emotions I feel. They can't even begin to convey how much my heart aches thinking about all of it. They are just words. Worthless words. But I write them because I think one day my children should know how difficult this was. So that they know how very much I love my dad.

I have a doctor appointment next week, and I plan on asking if I can fly home to see my dad next month. I am afraid she might say no because that would make three times I will be flying in two months. I wouldn't worry about it too much if I hadn't already had two bleeding scares with this pregnancy, and if I wasn't considered high risk. She might tell me its okay to go, but she might not. All I know is I need to go see my dad.

I don't know how to end this post, so I'm just going to end it. Its late, and I have to work tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

I am Just Plain Excited

Last week I had my final appointment with my RE. I had to try hard not to cry just thinking about the appointment, while I was driving there, while I was sitting in the waiting room, and during my appointment. Yes, I'm hormonal and watching Say Yes to the Dress makes me cry right now, but the level of gratitude I feel toward Dr H for accomplishing in a few short months what our previous RE could not in over two year's time would make even a non-hormonal woman cry.

When he walked into the room he exclaimed, "Good job, you did it!" And I replied, "Good job, YOU did it!" I think all three of us were pretty amazing, and it took all three of us to beat our odds. I told Dr H the only thing that made me sad was that I wasn't going to need to see him again. When he told me he wanted to meet the baby after it was born, and then continue to see me to control my endo after the pregnancy, I told him it was a deal. Like there is any way I wouldn't bring my precious little bundle to meet the doctor who made it possible!

Honestly, I don't care about controlling my endo or PCOS after this baby is born. I don't care about scar tissue, or anything else that could go wrong with my reproductive organs. I've said it all along, one more, and I'm done. I am totally sticking to that. If we happen to get more on our own, sweet! We'll take more, gladly and lovingly. But if we don't, we're done with medicated cycles and flushing money down the toilet in the name of another baby.

Since finding out we're pregnant, I have been excited and over the moon for a few reasons, the first being: HOLY CRAP WE'RE FINALLY PREGNANT! (<-- I wish I could make that flash.)

I had a ticker on my old blog that counted how long we had been trying for #2. It didn't include the year we had to take off after Little Bean was born; it didn't include the 3 months we sought second and third opinions on repair surgery; and it didn't include the 3 months we had to wait post-surgery. It took us exactly 2 years to finally get pregnant. For 21 months out of 24, we were either cycling or taking a break from medicated cycles. (Let's not even get into how long it took us to get Little Bean and what we had to go through to get her.) So the thought that all of that is behind us once and for all, is nothing short of amazing for me. That alone makes me want to happy dance until the cows come home.

Another reason I'm excited is because I get to have another baby! Little Bean makes us laugh often, and we love her so much. It has been incredible watching her grow and learn over the last 3.5 years. I am so excited that I not only get to do it again, but that I get to do it again with Little Bean enjoying all of it with us.

I am so excited, I am looking forward to the newborn days, and toting a baby around on my hip for a year, bottles and sippy cups, diapers and burp rags, bouncers and swings. I cannot wait! I honestly think I am more excited this time than I was the first time, mostly because now I know what to expect when the baby is born. I know how our lives are about to change. I know what sleepless nights are like, and that its okay if my baby cries. I know how to swaddle (or rather what to buy for a good swaddle). I know what baby products I can and can't live without. I know what to buy, and what not to waste my money on.

Sure having a toddler and a newborn will be an experience I haven't had yet, but I am totally looking forward to it. Little Bean is going to be an amazing big sister, and I know this because she has a baby doll that she totes around right now. I plan on buying her "baby" everything my baby will have, like a changing table, play yard, and all of those little goodies. I already bought her a stroller travel system like the one I have.

I am really excited to have our family complete, to no longer feel like I have to keep putting my body through hell because I have this strong maternal desire to have another baby. I love that I finally feel deep inside like this baby will complete our family, and we will be all done. It is an amazing, fulfilling feeling. I am ready and totally excited.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

A Tiny Heartbeat

On Tuesday I had my first official prenatal visit. The one where they ask all the questions, tell me the do's and don'ts of pregnancy, take a ton of blood (4 vials), and perform a sonogram. Let's just say I was giddy to be there that day. I almost cried from sheer happiness when they handed me the bill for my prenatal care and delivery (my doctor's office charges for everything up front). I didn't care what number was on that bill, the fact that it was in my hands was beautiful. It was almost surreal. I almost felt like I was playing a joke on everyone. But I'm not, I really am pregnant!

After three years of  countless doctor visits, taking more prescription meds than an octagenarian, more sonograms than Michelle Du.ggar has had in her life, four surgeries, and tens of thousands of dollars, WE ARE FINALLY PREGNANT! I still can't believe it.

Do you want to see my baby? Here is a picture of my beautiful little bub.

I got to see and hear the beautiful little heartbeat that instantly put my fears to rest and made me cry with pure joy. I could have sat there all day and watched my baby and heard that heartbeat. We have gone through so much to get here and I am so incredibly grateful it has finally happened. The blessing of this miracle is not lost me, just as the miracle of Little Bean has never, ever been lost on me. I cannot wait to add this little one to our family.

This week my pregnancy symptoms have finally started to show, which is funny since I am already 8 weeks along. I have been so exhausted I can barely hold myself upright, let alone put one foot in front of the other when I have to go to the loo every 10 minutes to pee. This level of exhaustion should be illegal. So of course I love it... as much as a person this tired can.

I have had a few small bouts of morning sickness, and enjoyed every second of it because it means my baby is growing and doing great. I just take a Pre.ggie P.op and go on with my day, while beaming inside.

My favorite new symptom, food aversions! I know, I'm so weird. But when I can't stand foods I normally love, it makes me so happy. This morning Hubs, Little Bean, and I went to breakfast at one of our favorite Mexican restaurants. I got eggs, bacon, and potatoes and could not only not handle the smell, I couldn't eat even half of the eggs and almost barfed when I tried to eat the bacon. I LOVED it! I had Wend.ys for lunch yesterday and couldn't eat even half of it because it was so gross. The most amazing food aversion though: french fries! I cannot believe I can't stand french fries because they are one of my most favorite foods ever, but I just can't handle them right now. The thought of them makes me cringe. Every day this week I have been eating foods I normally love only to find I can't stand them right now, and it makes me SO HAPPY!

My least favorite pregnancy symptom and the only one that doesn't make me happy: mood swings. No only do they suck for obvious reasons, but they come packed with a TON of guilt. The worst is the mom guilt. Little Bean is so sweet and happy, but when I am exhausted like I am, it takes a lot of patience to answer her questions when she asks the same one over and over and over. Patience I don't have. I feel horrible about it. And I'm one of those parents who likes to buy people things to make up for bad behavior, so Little Bean is being spoiled by a cranky mama a lot the last couple weeks. Honestly, I would love to just cuddle with her in my lap while we watch cartoons all day. Tomorrow we are going to take her to the fair, and I'm pretty excited about that.

Its funny to be so happy and so cranky at the same time. I am just really excited to add this new little bub to our family and travel the globe as a happy family of four.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

My Scars Hurt

No, I'm not talking about emotional or figurative scars, but the actual scars from all of my surgeries. I've basically had two c-sections, and I've had three laparoscopies, two of which were this year. So I have found over the past couple weeks that my pants are digging into my scars. Luckily I have some fat pants that I've been able to wear and still have some room to spare, but I don't know how much longer I will be able to tolerate the waist-line digging into my abdomen.

I actually went up into the attic last weekend and pulled down my giant bag of maternity clothes and washed up all of the early maternity stuff. I've tried the pants on (oh how I have missed them!), but they are still too big to be worn on a regular basis. Boo! I also discovered that I will have to do some maternity clothes shopping with this pregnancy because I am pregnant in different seasons. I was four months ahead of where I am with this pregnancy, which means I won't have a lot of clothing overlap.

I'm starting this pregnancy 4-5lbs lighter than my pregnancy with Little Bean, so I might be able to hold off wearing maternity clothes for as long as I did with her. I know I will be one of those moms who show earlier the second time. Heck, I can already see my baby bump growing. But baby bump aside, I am going all out for comfort. If I can't handle wearing non-maternity clothes even a week from now because of my scars, I'm going to wear my maternity clothes, and anyone who thinks anything of it can stuff it. That's the great thing about being me, I don't care what other people think about me. If they don't like it, that's their problem, not mine.

As for the pregnancy, it is going annoyingly easy, just like Little Bean's. My biggest complaint is the same with this one as it was with the first: I don't have enough symptoms! I don't have morning sickness at all. I don't have any of the symptoms you read about in the books. I seriously sit here all day waiting for some sign that everything is okay in there. If I have a day where I feel like crap at all, I'm happy as a clam.

The only small symptoms I do have are heartburn at bedtime and some exhaustion. As soon as my butt hits the couch when I get home after work, I'm out. I have had a teeny, tiny bit of nausea here and there, but its not enough to write home about. I still hate the cramps. I know they are part of the uterus growing, but I hate them. A lot.

My next appointment is with my OB on Tuesday. I'm hoping it will include a sono. If memory serves, the 8-week appointment with Little Bean was our first sono, so I'm hoping that's right. I just want to check in! I think this will also be the appointment where they talk a few pints of blood. Okay, so its not pints, but it feels like it.

I still haven't figured out what to call this baby on the blog yet. I have names picked out for real life, but not for the blog. Isn't that kind of backwards? lol I still can't think of anything I like. If I ask Baby Bean, she thinks we should name the baby Kate, but what if it is a boy? I'd have to answer to blogging about him as Baby Kate. (Hubs is officially excluded from contributing blog baby names.)

Well, that's all I have for now. I'm going to just sit here and watch some TV now. Laters!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Hanging on by a Thread

Just a warning, this post is long and full of highs and lows, just like the last 3 days of my life have been.

It all started bright and early Tuesday morning with a bit of red spotting. Of course I freaked out, and had to try to calm myself down. I was frantically texting my sister, seeking comfort, which she is awesome at, so of course I got it. Hubs was great at trying to calm my nerves too. Of course it was Tuesday, one of the two days a week my RE doesn't work. And of course it was before 8:00 and my OB's office didn't open until 9:00.

When I got to work, one of my cubemates had brought donuts, so there was a whole gaggle of guys standing around my desk. I didn't want to be social. At all. I just wanted to get on Google, and I wanted them all to go away and not look over my shoulder to see what I was doing. Ha!

After a bit, I had calmed down. I had gotten a hold of my doctor's office and was waiting for a call back when my dad called. I don't talk about my family much on this blog for many reasons: 1) I don't know if they want me to; 2) their stories are their stories and not necessarily mine to share; 3) if I ignore unpleasant things going on with my family members, it means they aren't really happening, right? I am great at doing the latter, but it can sometimes come back to bite me in the ass when reality does too.

So a bit of back story, my dad has Parkinsons and was positively diagnosed around the time I got married, 7 years ago. During that time he has undergone a knee replacement and multiple foot surgeries. The combination of any of those things takes its toll on a person. A couple weeks ago my dad told me he had gone to the doctor and had 90ccs of fluid pulled off his knee (the one that had been replaced). Shortly thereafter, he told me they were scheduling an emergency knee replacement surgery. Last Tuesday they took out the knee replacement and put in a temporary one. Without going into details, the whole thing has turned into a giant FUBAR.

Back to our story, so my dad calls and asks me if I know what they had done to him the night before (this was days after the surgery). At first I thought he was joking, so I joked back. The more the conversation went on, I realized my dad was not joking and that he was kind of freaking out. It was the first time I had come face-to-face with what my mom and brother had been telling me, and that I had been doing such a good job of ignoring. Luckily my mom had called me the night before and told me what they were planning to do, so I was able to help fill him in a bit, and then asked if he had talked to my mom yet. He said he hadn't, and that he would call her next. As soon as we hung up, I lost it.

I immediately called my little brother and asked him to go check on my dad and make sure everything was okay. I then spent the next few hours bawling at my desk, unable to leave due to tight deadlines.

By the end of the day, I was in the doctor's office for a sono. The spotting had stopped, thankfully, and I hadn't had any cramps. The sono showed that everything looked normal. We were able to see the gestational sac, but it was too early to see a fetal pole. It confirmed the large follicle from our cycle had indeed turned into a cyst (which I knew because I can feel it). But what it showed in addition to that shocked us.

The day of my IUI, I had two large follicles on my left and nothing on my right, or so I thought. I had a 25 and 21 on my left, and a 17 on my right. We didn't think the one on the right would be viable, but apparently, that is the one that fertilized! Can this cycle be any more shocking?

We repeated my betas that day, just to make sure the hcg levels were still going up. The level from Tuesday was 11,437. Oh yeah, that baby is growing! I haven't gotten the results from yesterday yet, but I'm not worried about it.

Over the next couple of days the situation with my dad got better and worse and better and worse and then much worse. By last night, they had moved my dad into the ICU.

I have been trying so hard to keep it together this week, but I'm an emotional, pregnant wreck. I go back and forth with my siblings on whether or not we need to get home to see our dad. Luckily my brother-in-law, who is a doctor happened to be with my parents this week. He had driven down just to spend some time with them. His visit could not have been more fortuitous. He has been there with my parents during all of this, and has helped keep us all calm. This has been especially helpful to me, as I try to keep myself calm for this pregnancy.

My dad had showed considerable improvement by the time I went to bed last nigh, which was a huge relief. Sadly, he will still be in the ICU for a couple more days. All I care about is that they keep him comfortable. He has gone through so much the last few years, and it has been so hard to watch. The doctors say he should be better and back into rehab for his knee next week, so that's what we're all hoping for at this point.

To end this post on an up-note, we had our first sono with our RE today. We were able to see the fetal pole, and the sonographer said she could see the heartbeat (the machine couldn't turn to where I could see for myself). The baby was measuring 3mm. Here is our first baby picture!

Its kind of hard to see, but that little blob is my baby. I asked if it was the top of the baby, and the sonographer said, "That IS the baby." lol That's our little miracle. Our amazing, resilient, little miracle. Keep on growing little baby! Mom, dad, Big Sis, grandma, grandpa, and all of your aunties, uncles and cousins love you very much already.

So for now, I'm trying to stay calm, trying to keep my hormones in check, and trying to keep this little bun in the oven and growing.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

And it's Good!

I just realized I never posted my beta results on the blog! I did on FB, but ya'll can't see that. So here are the stats:

14dpo hcg = 68
16dpo hcg = 276


When I got the results from the second beta, I cried for the first time. I was driving home in the car with Little Bean in the back seat when the doctor's office called. I just could not stop crying.

Symptoms are mostly awesome. I am completely exhausted and go home and fall asleep after work every night. I've had a couple of food aversions, and sadly they were to foods I normally love, like crawfish etoufee. The only symptom I don't like, and didn't like when I was pg with Little Bean, are the light cramps. I had some very minor spotting a couple of days ago, but I attribute that to the progesterone.

I told Little Bean she was going to have a baby brother or sister the other day, and the first thing she said was, "I don't want a brother." She only wants a sister. I remind her that her one of her uncles is my little brother, and I tell her how cool little brothers are, but she still wants a sister.

She came in and slept with me one night, and when we woke up the next morning she smiled and then we had the following conversation:

LB: Why is your tummy so big?
Me: Its not big.
LB: Why is your tummy so big?
Me: Its not THAT big.
LB: Why is your tummy so big?
Me: *sigh* It has a baby in it.

Last night I asked Little Bean where the baby was, and she said there was one in my heart and one in my tummy. I then asked her how many babies there are in my tummy, and she said two. I asked if they were boys or girls, and she said there is one girl named Kate. She then waffled back and forth between one and two babies, but there is at least a "sister Kate" in there.

Little Bean has a cousin named Kate, and for years she has told us that she has a sister named Kate. She also apparently has a brother named Kate. I asked her last night what we should name the baby if it was a boy, the answer was the same as for a girl, Kate. She didn't like any other names that I suggested.

As I we were laying in her princess bed after I read her a story, I asked her if she wanted to talk to the baby, and she said yes. She told the baby that we would go to the park, and I would push the baby in her red stroller while she pused her baby doll, Caroline, in her little purple doll stroller. She also told the baby that we would go on all kinds of rides. When I got up to leave, she gave me two hugs and kisses, one for me and one for the baby. Little Bean is going to be an awesome big sister.

I can't wait for the first time Little Bean gets to feel the baby kick. We are definitely taking her to our sono next week!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Ironic or Daddy's Intuition?

A week and a half ago Hubs came home from work and said one of our local furniture stores was having a blowout sale. I've been trying to get him to let us buy Little Bean her big girl furniture for a few months now. We had gone shopping a while back so that Hubs could see what I liked, and then fit it into our budget. Of course other things kept coming up, like our water heater kicking the bucket, and other major expenses, so the bedroom set kept being put off.

Well weekend before last, Hubs said we could go check out this sale. It was an outlet, so everything was scratch and dent, but who cares when you are buying the furniture for a child? They are going to scratch and dent it over the years anyway. Within a few hours of entering the store, Little Bean had a whole new bedroom set. Since we had taken my car instead of his truck, we weren't able to pick it up until the following day, which worked great for me because I had to get Little Bean's room ready for the new digs.

I spent the entire day that Sunday taking down the convertible crib, moving out her old dresser and night stand, and cleaning up her room. By the end of the day, her new room was all almost all put together. I had to buy a couple of other things to complete the room, which we did over this weekend. Now the room is totally fit for my little princess.

Saying goodbye to the crib
Enjoying the last time she would have so much space
All of this is going away!
The bookshelf and little table are the only things staying

Goodbye crummy dresser - into mom's closet with you!

On the new Princess Carriage bed, also known as Little Bean's "Ride" (Her name for it, not ours)
The new Princess Nightstand, complete with writing desk
The new Princess Dresser
Her first night in her Big Girl Bed
 And then I finished it all up this past weekend....

The finishing touches!
This was the first time she had seen the canopy. I put it together while she was in the bath.
Checking out all of the princess stickers on the walls
More Princess stickers!
Yes, she really was this excited!

Sleeping in her "ride" under "the tent."

In retrospect, is it ironic that Hubs finally let us get the bedroom set, or was it his intuition speaking to him?

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Against All Odds

On Monday Hubs and I went to see Dr H to follow up with our IUI. We didn't do a pregnancy test because I was only 12 days past IUI, and Dr H thought it was too early. Instead we talked about all of our issues and how we could proceed with future cycles. Dr H was worried that I wasn't ovulating, even though I had follicles, because at 35 hours past trigger, I still hadn't ovulated. He told us that if the egg doesn't release by 41 hours post-trigger, its no good. So he did say it was entirely possible I ovulated 5 minutes after the sono, but that it was something we needed to track in the future.

He told us again that our only real chance of getting pregnant was through IVF because of my potential LUFS (Luteinized Unruptured Follicle Syndrome) and Hubs issues. We told him about Hubs' insurance covering everything up to IUI and about how we wanted to keep doing IUIs next year, but that we were done for the rest of this year until we changed insurance.

Dr H gave me a high dose birth control prescription to take continuously for the rest of the year to keep my endo at bay until we were ready to cycle again, as well as a daily prescription of femara. He told me to test on Wednesday, and that of course, if it came up positive, everything we had discussed that day was moot. I told him I didn't have feelings one way or another as to whether or not I was pregnant. The endometrin he has me on gives me pregnancy-like symptoms, so I attribute anything out of the ordinary to that.

Normally taking a pregnancy test throws me into full-on panic attacks. But this morning, I thought for sure I was going to be filling my birth control prescription tonight. So I did my thing, and walked out of the room to get ready for work. When it came time to see if I could discontinue the progesterone, I went in and checked on the test. Here is what I saw:



The bottom test was from this morning with FMU. I couldn't believe it. I was so excited I couldn't quit shaking. I had to muddle my way through putting on my liquid eye liner and mascara. I literally couldn't think about anything else. Hubs was afraid it was a false positive, because those have happened to us before. And he was afraid it was still from the trigger, but that should have been completely out of my system by Monday. So when I got to work, my BF and I ran to the pharmacy and grabbed a box of FRERs, and tested again at work. It took that line no time at all to show up, and it showed up at the same time as the control. That was the top test. What I think is funny is that line is darker than the FMU test.

I go in for our first sono on the 28th. I had my OB order the hcg levels because Dr H's nurse said he didn't put anything about it in his notes, so I figured it was easier to drive two blocks to my OB and have her do it, than drive 35 minutes to Dr Hs office and have them do it. I won't get the levels back until at least Friday, and then hopefully they will order up the second set that day.

I know that there have been a lot of prayers from loved ones and friends that have gotten us here, and I am so incredibly grateful. I really don't think this would be possible without all the prayers. I am literally pregnant against the odds. I just pray that this little poppy seed makes itself at home and gets nice and comfortable, because I really want to hold this little miracle in 9 months. We have been through so much over the past two years trying to get here.

Little baby, PLEASE burrow in good and deep. Please grow and thrive. Please make your way here safely in 9 months. I promise you will have a wonderful life with an awesome daddy, and out of this world amazing big sister, two fantastic dogs, possibly two gerbils, and loads of fish. I want you to be with me when we go to Disney Land later, and I want you to be with us, growing and thriving, when we go to London. Please stick. Please. You are one very wanted little baby, and you will be very loved, just like your big sister.

I hope to hold you in my arms in 9 months.

Monday, September 10, 2012

7 Wonderful Years

Seven years ago, I married my soul mate. Both of us had searched for a long time before finding each other, and both of us kissed many frogs in our search. But when we met, we knew it was kismet. We had finally found each other.

I cannot believe that 7 years have passed since our wedding day. It seems like only yesterday, yet it seems like I never lived before I met him.

Seven years later, and he can still make my heart leap, make my toes tingle, and make me giddy . He can read me like a book and know what I am thinking even before I do. He gives, and asks for little in return.

I am so incredibly happy with the way my life has turned out. I am so happy that he is in my life, that he is my life, my world, and my love.

We have weathered many storms together, and continue to do so. We always have each other's backs. We rarely fight because even to this day, we would rather be happy and in love for the rest of forever, than be right for a few minutes.

Sometimes life might get in the way, but at the end of the day, we are always in each other's arms. That is our time to nurture our relationship and grow stronger in our love for each other.

I love the way I fit right into the crook of his arm, and the way it encircles me. I always feel so safe and warm. I love the way he protects me and cares for me.

Above all, I love him for the precious gift he has given me in Little Bean. I love the way he loves her and cares for her.

Wearing Daddy's Cowboy Boots
I love the way he appreciates what a gift she is to us, and that like me, being without her is not anyway we want to be. We are a family. I live for the weekends when we venture out as a family of three, and our only care is that we are together.

He is my rock, my shelter from the storm, my firm foundation, my calm, my yin, my sense, and my soul.

i carry your heart with me

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
i fear
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows

(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than the soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)
~E. E. Cumming
Happy anniversary Hot Stuff. I love you with all of my heart. I always have, and I always will. I will love you forever.

Friday, September 7, 2012

My Dog is Fat

Yes, this post is really about my fat dog because I need advice and am hoping someone out there can help me.

My dogs get bi-annual wellness checks because they are 100% covered by our pet insurance, and because the vet's office always reminds me when it is time to bring in the dogs. After every well exam they send home an information sheet showing my dogs' stats. Sadie's always comes home with the weight section saying she is overweight.

When she was pregnant, my vet kept telling me he couldn't feel the pups because she was too fat. I kept telling him she has always been like that. I feed her the exact same amount as Mags, who is 10+lbs lighter, and I give her as much exercise, although Sadie is definitely my lazy dog.

I had Sadie fixed just over a month ago, and the vet told me when I picked her up that he had had to make her incision longer because she was fat.

I can honestly say, this pisses me off. I don't overfeed her by any stretch of the imagination. Every time my vet has said anything, he tells me to feed her according to the bag of dog food, which I do. I feed her on the low end of the recommendation. I make sure she gets out and gets exercise. Hell, I bought them an automatic ball chucker so they could play fetch all day long if they want to.

After I got Sadie fixed I noticed she was getting fatter. A new acquaintance who had been a vet tech for years suggested I get Sadie's thyroid checked, and have her tested for cushings, so I did. Both tests came back negative.

The vet said Sadie just has a slow metabolism, and that after females are spayed, their metabolisms slow down even more. So he gave me a dog food measuring cup and told me to feed her exactly 2 1/4 cups of dog food every day. I told him I was worried she would still be too hungry, and he said she would be.

Well, I tried to follow his recommendation. I even put her on diet food. But you know what? Sadie has gotten fatter! She hasn't been this fat since she was pregnant. She's huge! I am sure it is because she is finding ways to supplement her diet, which involves cleaning up other animals "leavings".

Last time I put her on diet food, she got fatter. So my dilemma is, do I feed her enough diet dog food to keep her satiated, or do I only give her the bare minimum, leaving her hungry and turning to scrounging?

It almost seems as though I should just feed her and Mags the same food, in the same amounts, as I have always done, and let her be a little fluffy, as opposed to feeding her less or putting her on diet food and letting her "supplement", which only makes her fatter.

Does anyone out there have any advice? I've never had a naturally fat dog before. I love my Sadie, and I want her to be around for a long time, so I try to keep her healthy. But this one has got me scratching my head and frustrated beyond all belief.

Please, someone help me!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Life with Little Bean

I've been wanting to get back into blogging lately, but the amazing thing is I have been so lax, I can't think of anything to blog about anymore. My life, outside of cycling, has been amazingly boring. That's not to say there isn't lots going on, and that Little Bean isn't growing a break-neck speed, but most things going on just are not worth talking about, or should not be talked about on my blog.

I guess I could update on Little Bean. I mean, she is 3.5 years old and is already into 5T clothes. Yes, my daughter is the same size as most 5-year-olds. As if she wasn't growing too fast for my liking, she has to be physically growing too fast too. All of her 4T stuff is getting to be too small and too short. It makes me so sad. The other day she told me it made her sad to get big so fast too, and that she wished she could stay my little baby forever. Me too baby girl.

She has turned into a very chatty little munchkin, full of opinions, and is all kinds of stubborn. I think her favorite thing lately is to randomly throw tantrums. She'll be completely happy and having a good time with you one second, and the next she is being snotty. It blows my mind. But at the end of the day, she is and always will be my baby girl.

Little Bean has decided she hates to sleep alone. She is still in her toddler bed, despite my best efforts to coax Hubs into letting us get her a Princess twin bed. We have already been shopping and picked it out, but Hubs doesn't want to shell out for it until he absolutely has to. Until then, I don't blame Little Bean for not wanting to sleep on her firm, non-breathing crib mattress when she can snuggle up with me in my nice, soft bed. She easily spends at least 1 in 4 nights with me, if not more.

We have recently started having Movie Nights on the weekends. Even though my husband wants all junk food out of the house, I have a stock of movie candy, popcorn, and puffed corn treats, just for movie night. We either rent a movie off the On-Demand, we find something on Netf.lix, or we buy movies from the $5 bin at Little Bean and I love it, and look forward to it all week.

Little Bean is definitely my little buddy. She loves to go to the store with me, be my big helper, imitate me (this is not always a good thing), and just plain be with mama. I'm not sure which one of us loves being together the most. Another one of our favorite things is to take naps together on the weekends. We'll curl up on my bed, watch a half hour of cartoons, and then take a couple hour nap.

Even though my baby girl can test my patience, I can never stay mad at her for long. She has my capacity for holding grudges too, which means you say whatever angry thing you have to say, and then 5 minutes later you're ready to have fun again. Neither of us can stay mad for long.

Well, I guess that's it for now. Little Bean just got put to bed, and now its snuggle time for Hubs and I. Night!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

I Don't Want You to Get Your Hopes Up

I was so excited and nervous for our IUI this morning. We got there for my sono at 8:30 to find that I had not yet ovulated. I had two eggs ready to go, one at 25.5mm and one at 21.5mm. The 16.5 had already shrunk back to 14, but one of the 14s from the other side had grown to a 16. In the end, all we had was two. I was okay with that.

Hubs and I went and got breakfast while we waited for Hubs' "specimen" to be prepared. Then we sat in the freezing cold waiting room for just over half an hour to be called back. I was wise to how cold the waiting room is, and so was nice and cozy under a blanket, while I passed the time playing solitaire on my phone.

At 10:00 we were called back into a room, and sat there, waiting for a few minutes. When the door opened and Dr H came into view, I smiled and told him good morning. The look on his face told us he had some bad news. He said, "I don't want you to get your hopes up."

I won't go into details, but Dr H told us that with what he saw from Hubs' sample, our only real shot at another baby is to do IVF. I kept a stiff upper lip, and stayed as upbeat and positive as I could. Dr H asked if we still wanted to go ahead with the IUI, telling us it wasn't impossible, by the likelihood was low. We decided to go ahead with it because the money has already been spent. We had nothing to lose by going forward with it.

After the procedure, Dr H asked if I had a follow-up appointment schedule for two weeks from today. I told him it was going to be less than 14 days, and asked if that was okay. He told me it didn't matter this time, because the appointment would not be to discuss our next cycle plan.

Yeah, take a minute to really let that sink in. Ouch.

Now before you think Dr H is a Debbie Downer, he has been nothing but awesome and optimistic for us since the day we met him. So the fact that he was down today, is concerning to me. It was really hard to take.

I kept my emotions in check until we got out to the car, and then I cried the whole way home.

Every time a doctor tells us we won't get pregnant because of Hubs, I think they are wrong. Little Bean is proof, right? They have to be wrong. Right? Hubs reminds me, its not impossible. Our chances just aren't very good.

We've had a couple doctors, Dr H included, that have told us when it is a problem with the male, there isn't anything you can do. But Hubs has done sooooo much research and has found numerous studies that disagree. They all cite different things that have been tried and proven to help with issues like his.

This was our last cycle for this year, but Hubs has said he will go see a male fertility specialist. We were just disappointed because he has done so much this year to try to make his end of things better, and it hasn't. But from what he says, there is still a lot to try yet.

We're not done. We're not giving up. If Hubs' insurance will cover IUIs with no cap, we'll do an IUI every single month next year if we want to. We're going to keep trying, and we're going to keep trying new things.

Its just hard when the problem isn't all yours. It was easier for me to handle when I thought it was all me because I knew there were so many things we could do and try without having to consider IVF. But it hurts to think there is nothing more I can do.

I have said all along, I don't want to do IVF. It costs too much and the odds aren't great enough for me to justify the expense. Hubs' insurance covers fertility, but even they draw the line at IVF. If we went that route, it would be 100% out-of-pocket again. To me, the line between us and IVF is set, its not a line in the sand. If that's our final option, we're going to throw in the towel.

One thing we learned today: it takes 100 sperm to fertilize an egg. It takes 100 to break down the barrier around the egg enough that one can get in.

While our outlook for this cycle is bleak, the fat lady hasn't sung yet. Unfortunately, we won't know for 2 full weeks if she is going to sing or not. I just hope that fat cow keeps her mouth shut!

Here's to being cautiously hopeful....

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Oh the Difference a Day Makes

I went in for my CD14 sono yesterday morning and left feeling so defeated. I guess the lesson I am learning from this cycle is that I know nothing about injectible cycles as far as what is considered a success and what isn't. I also learned that follies are still good up to 28mm, even though my cycle plan may say to trigger at 18mm.

As we all know, this was my first cycle on Menopur. I expected to have lots of follicles on both sides, just based on the fact that these meds are $75/day. I mean, I can get fantastic results on chlomid with as many as 6-8 follicles, so I figured Menopur would yield similar results. I was so very disheartened yesterday when I only had two, with the possibility of a third. I didn't understand how the sonographer could be telling me I was responding really well to the Menopur. I thought for sure Dr. H would think we would have to modify something if we end up cycling again. I also fully expected Dr. H to tell me to trigger at 9:00 last night, and to come in Weds morning for IUI. Instead, I was told to take the trigger either last night or this morning, and to come back in for another sono this morning (which = more $$$$).

Yesterday I had three follies at 22, 17.5, and 14.5, and three more at 14. I won't go into details, but I thought we were only going to be afforded one chance, with the 17.5. When I went in today my follies had grown almost 2mm since yesterday. I had a 24, 19.5, and 16.5. The other three had remained the same size or had begun to shrink.

Dr H is out of the office on Tuesdays and Thursdays, so the sonographer called to give him my results. A few minutes into their conversation he asked to talk to me. After the pleasantries (I seriously love this guy), he said, "I have to ask if you are okay with the slight possibility of triplets." I laughed and told him that yes I was because I didn't think it would happen. He agreed that it was a small possibility, but that he had to ask.

I trigger tonight, and we are scheduled for IUI Thursday morning. I have to admit I wasn't feeling very hopeful until I talked to Dr H. But something about that guy makes me think this could actually work. I've thought about it all day, and realized this really could work. The point of the Menopur was to give us more than one chance, and to make any eggs we did get, were as good a quality as we could get. Add to that, we're doing the IUI, which super charges Hubs' donation. So yeah, we have a pretty good chance!

So fingers crossed, here we go with our first (and hopefully only [because it is successful]) IUI!

P.S. I will be catching up on blogs soon!

P.P.S. Sorry if this is over the heads of all you fertile folk. This post is more for me than anyone else. :)

Thursday, August 23, 2012

In the Middle

I have been really bad about updating my blog for the past year, and today I realized that I was doing myself a major disservice, especially when we're cycling. You see, I often times refer back to my blog during any cycle to see if I can pinpoint when certain events happened to help me figure out if I experienced certain symptoms before. Well this time, I hope I haven't done myself the biggest disservice of all.

Right now I am CD10 and have been giving myself Menopur injections for the past 6 days. I have 3-5 more days to go. This is significant because this is my first cycle that is 100% out-of-pocket, my first cycle with daily injectibles, and my first IUI in 5 years. I've only had one IUI before, and it was so long ago, it was before I was blogging.

The first few days on the Menopur I didn't notice anything as far as side effects. I found that giving myself abdominal shots was actually very easy, partly because I have lost a lot of feeling in my abdomen from all of my surgeries. I don't feel the needle go in for the first few millimeters at all. By the time I do feel it, the needle is almost all of the way in.

I thought I was going to skate by with no side-effects, but a couple of days ago I started to notice I was having some pregnancy-like symptoms. Mostly that anything and everything in regard to food made me want to vomit, especially the thought of meat in any form. I have been going to my favorite restaurants for lunch, and can't find anything on the menu that doesn't sound completely disgusting. I go back and forth between starving and wanting to vomit, without eating in between. In addition to those symptoms, I've had pain behind my eyes. It doesn't bother me if I'm looking forward, but if I try to look out of the corners of my eyes, it aches.

I realize it sounds like I'm complaining, but I'm really not. I'm just documenting my symptoms just in case we do an injectible cycle again, which is very possible because we found out Hubs' insurance covers fertility treatments. So next year we are switching to his insurance, and if we don't get pregnant this year, all of our cycles will be covered next year!

I definitely feel the Menopur working, especially today. I've had a lot of twinging today. I am most worried that I will be overstimulated and the cycle will be cancelled because this is the last cycle we're going to do this year. I am also worried that my sonogram on Monday will be too late. I am afraid I will have either already ovulated, or be in the process of it. So I'm torn between trying to get in for a sono on Sunday and having to pay $450+ for it, or waiting until Monday and paying less than $400.

So far I have taken $450 in shots, tomorrow morning will make $525. By the time I am done with the Menopur, I will have given myself at least $750 in shots. The sonogram will cost us around $400, assuming we only need one. The hCG trigger will be $85. The IUI will be $385. There is at least one doctor appointment in there that will run less than $300. Last time I added it all up, we were in this almost $3k. The idea of only having to pay copays for all of this next year if we have to... AWESOME! SO AWESOME!

If everything looks good on Monday, we'll end up triggering Monday night and doing the IUI Wednesday morning.

Two months ago I was so excited to do IUI. I just knew it would work. But now that I'm in the middle of the cycle, I find that I am keeping my feelings neutral to numb. I keep thinking of all my blog friends who have done IUIs and IVF before me, taking the same meds, and have nothing to show for it. I find thinking about that brings me down.

Obviously I hope this cycle works and we can be done. Sadly, I am getting to the point where I almost hope we get pregnant with twins because of all the crap we've been through trying to get pregnant. I have never wanted twins. But at this point, I've done and spent more TTC #2 than I did for #1. I feel like I should really have something to show for it. That thought is, well, there are too many words to describe how I feel when I think about it. Put simply, it sucks.

So there is the cycle dump. Now I can sleep tonight knowing everything is documented for posterity. Go me!

Monday, August 13, 2012

Mr. Bigglesworth

Mr. Bigglesworth 1998-2012
 Somewhere around the end of May 1998 my dad came to pick me up from my freshman year of college. As I was locking up the Music Department Property Manager's office for the last time before summer, my dad broke the news that one of my childhood dogs had passed earlier in the week. I instantly started to cry and asked why I hadn't been told, and my dad said that my parents chose to withhold the information until I was done taking my final exams, so as not to upset me too much. Even though I was upset, I understood.

After we had the last of my things packed into the car, my dad and I got on the road. A short while into the trip home my dad told me that they already had a new dog. Again, I was a little upset. Three-and-a-half hours later, we finally arrived home. It was very late, and my family had long gone to bed. My little brother was outside, sleeping in a tent with his new puppy. I took my own sleeping bag and went outside to join him, and to sleep with my dog so that she would know the puppy had no claim on my affection.

Upon entering the tent I was tackled by a fat little puppy who wanted desperately to lick my face clean off. I shoved him over to my brother, climbed into my sleeping bag, and snuggled up to my own dog. Within seconds, the puppy was in my face, ferociously licking my nose. I kept throwing him back over to my little brother, only to have him make his chubby way back to me. "Bird, keep your dog on your own side of the tent!" I yelled, as I tossed the puppy back to him.

That night was the beginning of a 14-year companionship between my little brother, my dad, and their dog.

Over the years Mr. Bigs has watched two of his K-9 companions pass on, one at the age of 14, and one at the age of 3. He has watched two of his feline companions pass on, both at the age of 14. He hiked up the canyons with my own Mags, and attempted to use her as a floatation device when Mags dove into a small pond to fetch a ball (this was when he learned he did not like swimming). My little brother and I have come and gone from his life as we went to college or war. My dad was a constant for the old boy, but he loved everyone.

Bigs and Roo

He was always happy, and we always swore that if his tail hadn't been docked, he would wag it so hard he would take off in flight. The only person he didn't like was my parent's next door neighbor, and I always stood by the fact that Bigs had an excellent sense of character. Often times I would wish that Bigs could clear the fence and clear the neighbor off. They were arch enemies. But Mr Bigs loved kids and cats. He got along with everyone and loads of love to share.

Such a happy boy

He wasn't always the easiest dog, and there were times when we wondered where we had gone wrong in his training (I did most of his early training, and my dad and brother took over while I was away). But one thing we were always sure of is how much we loved him and how much he loved us.

Today was one of those days that I will look back on for years and will still cry about, just as I do when I think about all of the animals we have had to put down before him. To me, a dog isn't just a dog. They aren't people, but there is a reason dogs and people have been companions since nearly the dawn of time. The bonds between us are strong and go just as deep as those with our human family members. Losing a dog or cat is every bit as painful to me as losing a person I love.

Bigs and puppy Roo

When my little brother called me early this morning, I knew something was up. He and my dad were on their way to the vet to put Mr. Bigglesworth down. It took about 10 minutes to really sink in, but when it did, all I could do was sob. I got to be on the phone for his last minutes, and be there for my dad and brother the best I could with 1,300 miles between us. Yet, it hurt even more that I wasn't there.

Butchie, you were a wonderful dog and I loved your big boy head with your floppy puppy ears. I loved rubbing your tummy. I loved throwing the toy for you. I loved hearing your big bark and always feeling safe when you talked or even just walked by my side. I am going to miss you so much. I love you big boy. Take good care of Roo, Bris, Frank, and Bubba.

I love you big boy