Sunday, October 4, 2009

39 weeks, 7 hours of labor and she's finally here!

Long story short, was induced on 9/24 at 8:30am and little Kailey Rose arrived at 5pm weighing in at 8lbs 6 oz (WAY over the 6 1/2lbs that they estimated when scheduling my inducement for low amniotic fluid). It was hilarious, my labor went so fast that we had to wait for my dr. to arrive at the hospital to deliver her! They sent me home on Saturday but kept her in NICU through Tuesday for monitoring of a rapid heartbeat. My mom, husband and nephew all have heart irregularities, but thankfully all of her tests came back normal and the pediatrician said she's a healthy little girl. We took an infant CPR class (the video scared the bejeepers out of me)and have a stethoscope to monitor her heart rate at home. Anyway, it's been a crazy, crazy, crazy journey to parenthood but wow was it worth it! This time last year we were starting IVF treatments...can you believe it???? AND, she has UBER hair! The kid doesn't look a lick like me...she's all dad!!!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

They said WHAT???

Crazy comments week (remix).

#6. Wow, everyone must be overdosing on eggnog because of all these summer/fall babies being born. Yeah, I wish!

#5. You’ll really miss being pregnant (yeah, the nonstop barfing, nausea, heartburn and horrid sciatica that has been plaguing me from the start ++++ all the IVF treatments just to get to the point of being pregnant?) I’m really gonna miss all that!!! Add in the HOT Arizona summer and it sounds like a wonderful time!

#4. You’ll probably still have sciatica and food problems after the kid is born (thanks a lot for the encouragement folks).

#3. From a fussy pants single person who has no children “All kids stuff is always recalled so you need to research EVERYTHING to make sure that it’s safe” and you should take everything to the fire station so they can show you how to use it! (carseat, stroller, etc.) OH MY GOSH—with what time, people?

#2. (Nurse conducting the hospital tour) “We just put the stirrups up, you push and out pops the baby” (thankfully she was just kidding, but some of the 1st timers probably thought she was serious).

#1. AND my all time favorite: “People stupider than you have had children”

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

33 weeks and counting!

I really thought that this insanely HOT summer would drag on forever, but thankfully time keeps marching forward quickly. Everything looks great so far (even though I feel like I’m just packing on the pounds)!! Doc assures me that much of this is baby weight. Baby Straubles weighs in at over 4lbs and is approximately 18 inches long. She gets the hiccups at least several times a day which is hilarious because after a few minutes of hiccuping she starts kicking and punching. Mom said I used to do the same thing as a baby so we’re expecting an avid hiccuper!

Curiosity about what she actually looks like is just overwhelming. Hubby thinks she will be a blond, but dark hair is the dominant gene, so I guess we’ll just keep making bets until she arrives. It will be interesting to see what she looks like since hubby is adopted and we have no clue as to his family genes (other than both biological parents were 100% Italian). We probably shouldn't even joke about it, but what would happen if the lab accidentally mixed up embryos from our IVF cycle??! I guess everyone probably considers the precise science behind fertility treatments, but it’d be quite a shocker to end up with a baby that looks nothing like either parent! I guess we could just be hyper paranoid or perhaps this question is pretty typical for most fertility patients?

Sleep still is problematic. But, I’ve been taking two Benadryl at night and sleeping on my left side with this wedge pillow placed under my stomach. It seems to be helping because now I'm only waking up once or twice a night vs. the horrid 5-6 times a night prior to trying the new pillow and Benadryl routine. I don't think the kiddo appreciates the pillow crunching into her space. She kicks and punches against it, so I guess things must be getting pretty crowded in there!! I really don't appreciate her little feet jammed under my ribs, but at least she's growing and healthy---which is all that matters! My poor ribs will have time to recupperate from the beating they are taking later;-)

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Ack! My achy back and sleep issues!

Does anyone have suggestions for good body pillows or other remedies? I've been having such a hard time sleeping (waking up 4-5 times a night) and hubby so kindly suggested that since I've gained weight with the pregnancy (I just hit 32 weeks or the official 8 month mark this week) I should think about getting a body pillow. This one from Target has decent reviews, but I just wondered if any of you all had some recommendations! I've just been using regular pillows, but maybe it's time for a seriously pimped out pillow! :-)

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

This has been my worst week of hormone induced blonde moments yet!!

I’ve made the following unfortunate discoveries:

1). The butter does not belong in the freezer

2). Stop SIGNS do not turn green, no matter how long you sit waiting

3). The roses should not be watered for 24 hours (I left the hose running all night and watered the entire neighborhood!)

4). When you are finished cooking TURN all BURNERS to the OFF position. I nearly burned the house down after making a grilled cheese sandwich!

5). To add insult to injury, I think I’ve worn the same outfit to work twice already this week--and it's only Wednesday.

6) Hubby says that I am having full conversations while sleeping. Yeesh, I’m not even that sleep deprived yet!

In other random strangeness, why in the heck is my Pandora station playing Christmas music? Wishful thinking for cooler temps I guess! :-)

Monday, July 27, 2009

Wedding dress shopping...WHAT?

Yes, went wedding dress shopping with my friend K on Friday night. She is getting married this fall and really had no idea what type of dress to look for. I forgot the challenges of dress shopping, pushy sales clerks, impossible zippers and buttons and the OH so frustrating challenge of finding the perfect dress. I encouraged her to try on some A-lines (like all of us, she was worried about too much bulk in the booty region) and after a few dead ends, we found a lovely strapless, A-line with a beautiful peridot sash that looks just gorgeous on her.

SOOOO much fun and it brought back so many good memories of dress shopping for my perfect dress all those years ago. Those young days of being engaged and anticipating the happily ever after with the perfect little family seem so far away, like a teenage girls whistful dreams of forever. Amazing how quickly those sweet times of our younger years fade into the background when enduring trials and tough times.It was so nice to be reminded of those blissfully happy days before infertility and all of the storms of life came crashing down. I can't say that I'm grateful for the incredibly painful journey to become parents, but I can't believe what a different (and better) person I am today because of it. Amazing how being denied the most basic thing in life (i.e., getting pregnant and becoming a mom) can absolutely change your perspective on life.

I definitely alarmed quite a few sales people when they saw my pregnant tummy. Had to quickly assure them that (as of yet) I'm not part of the bridal party! Whew did they look relieved. I'm not even sure if they have maternity bridesmaid dresses anyway! :-) I'm so thrilled we're having a girl. How fun to someday be a mother-of the bride and go dress shopping with my daughter! And NO, I'm definitely not going to be one of those crazy moms who starts planning her daughters wedding in elementary school!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Heat? What heat?

Excellent! So, let’s break all the Arizona heat records dating back to the 1800's the ONE summer I’m pregnant. Fantastic! UGH!!!

Also, I would like to say that I HATE iron supplements!!! That and the prenatal vitamins are just a nasty mix for my poor "anemiac" system! I've been iron deficient my whole life, but apparently it's become more of an issue lately because of the pregnancy. I truly can't bring myself to eat any larger quantities of spinach and red meat, BUT on the bright side, thank goodness all the IVF treatment stuff is behind us---that makes me extremely grateful for any of my super minor pregnancy issues!

We were talking the other night about secondary infertility and how/when we will continue to grow our family. Unless we have medical coverage to help offset some of the costs associated with IVF/ICSI, it's very likely that we'll never be able to afford having another biological child. That makes every day an issue of trust. Do we trust Him or are we trusting ourselves. I hope and pray that every day we're choosing the first. Even thought it's incredibly difficult and it feels like it'll never end, there is always hope! It's comforting to know that God will provide everything we need (including the children we long for) in His time. AND, a friend of mine from highschool ended up going to the Czech Republic for IVF--I guess it's quite a bit cheaper to seek treatments in Europe. Wow, kind of a neat "vacation/traveling" alternative...never would've thought of doing something like that

Monday, July 20, 2009

30 weeks and feeling great!

I'm finally off the Zofran! Since starting the 3rd trimester I've only thrown up once, which is pretty freaking awesome! Dr. says it's fine to take Zantac twice a day to help with the heartburn (and I have to down Maalox/Mylanta at lunch/dinner) but thank goodness no more am/pm barfing! Everyone always says that the 3rd trimester is the most uncomfortable and hardest, but now that the stomach has finally started feeling better I guess this just might be my best trimester (actually this is the best I've felt since we started IVF treatments back in the fall--minus the constant sciata of course!!!:-)

We went out for Indian food last weekend (which I've been dreaming about and craving forever!!!!). I still feel pretty ridiculous pulling out the bottle of maalox at the table, but it really helps. Welcome back salads, fruit, pizza, tomatoes and my lovely morning iced decaf espresso--I've missed you most dreadfully. Now, the only problem is that I have to eat tiny little meals, but it's so stinking hot here (115 over the weekend) that it just seems normal to eat small "snack" meals throught the day.

We scheduled a hospital tour of the maternity ward which should be interesting. I've never actually been admitted to a hospital (just RE clinics or other outpatient surgeries) so it should definitely be an experience. I overheard a couple girls at the OB's office last week just gushing about the brand new hospital that we'll be delivering at--huge private rooms, soaking tubs, a serenity garden, etc. Sounds great to me! Maybe I can stay there a few extra days for some R&R and send hubby home with the newborn kiddo? :-)

The nursery is finished, got the Target registry done and our church is having a baby shower next month. My three sisters and mom are planning to fly out for a girls weekend and to attend the shower so I'm super excited! Our little niece gets to sleep in the new nursery--and for the first time in 7 years, we actually have diapers and baby stuff in the house! Yep, good times!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Bah...Summer is here

Ah. Summer in the blazing hot desert. It's supposed to hit 116 this weekend. Most of us who have lived in Arizona for a few years get used to the heat advisories and claim it's a "dry heat". You know, open the oven and BAKE like a cookie! We've even fried eggs on the sidewalk and someone was in the news last year because they made a batch of fresh baked cookies on their dashboard!
Let me tell ya-- 3rd trimester in ANY kind of heat is unpleasant! When we first started IVF and looked at projected due dates we really thought our 50% success rate made it highly likely that we'd end up going through a 2nd cycle later in the spring. Which would push the due dates back and therefore I'd miss the 3rd trimester blazing Arizona SUMMER heat. But even though I have to wear pot holders to drive my car and drink gallons of water a day--I'm so thankful our little girl is healthy and active. I think she likes the pool. Her most active times are when I'm splashing in the pool and while we're sitting in church (she kicked me so hard last week that my entire leg twitched and I kicked the seat in front of me!).

Had my glucose (YUCK!!!) test last week and hopefully I passed--no news is good news, but with the holiday weekend they might be running a few days behind schedule with test results. Somehow I misplaced the directions and drank a bit of water with a light protein breakfast (which my dr. said would be fine because of my persistant all day vomiting). The grumpy nurse acted like a water nazi when I walked in with my water bottle--apparantly a few sips can throw the test off. Man, I hope to avoid the unpleasant 3 hr fasting glucose test! And now I get to see the doc. every 2 weeks. Which is great but I so dread climbing on that scale! My drs. office has the scale located in the busy hallway so everyone walking by can see and hear the upward climbing results AND sometimes they start stacking patients behind each other when things get busy. Good grief...thanks for announcing my weight and blood pressure to the whole dang world!
It'll be so worth it, but I gained 5 lbs over the past month (before I hit the rapidly expanding 3rd trimester!!) and I was really hoping to keep the weight gain down. Doc assures me that much of my excess gain is water weight, but the whole "shrinking pants" from IVF treatments, plus 9 months of pregnancy is making the sciata even more fun! Sigh, let the good times keep on rolling!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Getting Creative!

I needed to do something affordable and cute for a mom of 5 and her twin girls shower on Saturday and decided to make a diaper cake! Got directions online and spent a grand total of $18.95. I only used about a pack and half of diapers, so maybe next time I'll try a 4 tier cake! The picture I took is kind of crooked, but oh well!

It was really fun to see the hoopla it created and the mom-to be said it was so pretty that they might use it as a centerpiece!
And, in the creative theme of things, earlier this spring I got the stuff to make jewelry after a lunch-time saunter through the local beadshop with girls from work. Did some diving in their bargain bin and found some great items. What fun! I love doing creative stuff but just never seem to get the time or motivation to get started. Now with the recession hitting our pocketbook, I'm forcing myself to come up with creative and inexpensive ideas for gifts.

My sister loved this necklace I made for her birthday and said it's one of the best things she's ever received!
Grand total spent: $3.95 at Walmart for the jewelry wire and of course postage to Seattle. Excited to try a few more projects for upcoming birthdays and showers.

Monday, June 8, 2009

What a grouch....

What is wrong with me? I feel like I'm ALWAYS grumpy! The poor hubby has had to deal with my snappy impatient, hormone crazed self since last fall and there seems to be no end in sight. It must be the hormones and truthfully, it feels like I've not had a good night sleep in SO LONG! Probably the non-stop nausea and food issues are not helping either. The Zofran does help, but there are so many things that I miss dreadfully---like caffeine, tomatoes, Italian, Thai, Mexican and Indian FOOD. YUMMMY.

I also have this blog post rolling around in my head about worry and anxiety. So far, can't seem to eek out enough time to do much of anything lately. My company is furloughing us 2 days per month, so I have a furlough day coming up on Friday. Whew. What a relief to not have company in town. There is so much housework, yardwork, lifework that needs to be caught up on. However, I'm afraid that the whole day may be spent floating around in our pool on the nifty pink air mattress that the hubby bought for me. The bees and hummingbirds seem to think it's one giant flower!

In other news, the hubby has been interviewing for jobs. It looks next month he'll most likely be receiving a pink slip. The word on the street is that they may be closing down the entire Arizona sales office (50+ employees). Hopefully he will be able to get something else lined up(this will be the 4th layoff in a 24 month period). It is SO tough to find a job these days and it's hard not to stress with me going on maternity leave this fall. Please Lord, is it too much to ask that he be gainfully employed with a company that is not in the red, in a job that he enjoys--- that will not be laying him off at anytime soon???!!! Sigh. Welcome to the real world of adulthood!! Well, that's it for now. Just a few random ramblings on a sunny Monday morning....

Friday, June 5, 2009

Wild Thing...

I had my latest check-up yesterday and I can't believe how quickly time flies (six months next week)! I've gained 12 lbs from my first OB appointment, (I refuse to calculate the extra pounds accumulated during our treatments!!!). So far, the little stinker has refused to cooperate for ultrasounds...they scheduled a second one because she squirmed and hiccuped during the first and they couldn't get a clear view of her heart/stomach. Last night she kept punching and kicking every time the ultrasound tech would shake & prod to get her in position. The poor tech tried everything and finally gave up and got the 3d probe and did some fancy technological work to get a composite of the heart. We still have yet to see her face which is kind of disappointing because according to my dr. they probably won't schedule me for any additional ultrasounds.

I had a major anxiety moment while waiting in the exam room. I overheard my dr. in the hall telling a nurse that he saw some heart palpitations on the ultrasound. Of course me in my "calm pregnant state" assumed that he's discussing my results. Minutes keep ticking by and my dr. still hasn't appeared. I have no idea how long I sat there just waiting for him to come in and tell me that they found some abnormalities on the ultrasound (I have a friend who point blank during an ultrasound was told that her daughter had spina bifida---poor thing, her husband wasn't with her, they didn't give her any warning, just announced it!!!).
The nurse kept poking her head in and saying "he'll be right in" so I was really starting to think the worst. 30+ minutes later he calmly enters, announces that everything looks fine on the ultrasound, measures my stomach, asks how I'm feeling, do I have any questions, etc., and BOOM he's gone. Seriously, it must've been a 3 minute visit. YIKES. Sometimes I HATE myself for being a worrier!!!

I find it difficult to cross over from the land of infertility because you have the "BUT" syndrome. You know the clinic lingo and drill.
"Your hormones levels look good...BUT"
"The fertilization report came in...BUT"
"the transfer went well...BUT"

....BUT...BUT...BUT. It never ends!! Even when we had a BFP on the blood test..."BUT we need to wait for the 2nd blood test to confirm"...oh my gosh, it seemed endless. I keep reminding myself that the "BUT" days are behind us, but it definitely hit me again as I sat there last night waiting for the big fat "BUT" ultrasound results!!!!

So, thank goodness that everything is going well. And, this girl is a FEISTY little thing. Kicking and punching and rolling around---completely defiant of the poor ultrasound tech on 2 occasions! It's a bit daunting---how wild is this girl going to be when she's born? ;-)

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Banana splits and waffles…

GASP! I had two banana splits over the weekend JUST because I could!!! My brothers and sister in-law from California spent Memorial weekend with us and none of us could recall the last time we indulged in a banana split. When we were little Mom used to let us choose what we wanted for our birthday dessert. Banana splits always seemed to be the winner. It was like old times sitting around playing cards until all hours of the morning, munching on sweet treats and realizing how much our family has changed over the last 20 years. Who would’ve thought that a bunch of homeschooled, live in the boondocks kids would grow up, move away, get married and sit around talking about how we want our kids to experience much of what we loved about our childhoods. I’m so excited for my expecting sis-in-law and brother. It was bittersweet to talk about the long and painful journey we are traveling to parenthood. Theirs has been wrought with painful losses. Loss of Caleb at 7 ½ months pregnant, another miscarriage last fall and the months in between of not being able to conceive.

But, we had a great time celebrating the past, present and future as we played endless games of “idiot”, splashed in the pool, took them to our favorite restaurants, finished a few touches to the nursery, caught Star Trek for the 2nd time AND I felt completely inspired and whipped up a batch of homemade waffles with fresh strawberry syrup and tons of whipped cream! Long live holidays, family and good times (and the entirely too delicious banana splits)!!!!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

21 weeks and a few flowers I should think

I just realized that there has been no documentation of my rapid tummy expansion. Eeks. So here's a very sad self portrait (like how I lopped my head off in the picture? after about 5 tries at a tummy shot, I finally gave up and chose the "best of the best").

AND, because I love gardening and would much rather putter around in the yard than do housework or other domestic diva tasks, here are a few shots of the tropical backyard jungle.

One of our Hibiscus bushes that the hummingbirds and butterflies frequent

The huge bougainvillea hedge that threatens to engulf the neighbors house (and ours if we let it) Good heavens it has the most horrific thorns which makes it an absolute terror to trim, but it's quite beautiful and again the hummingbirds, butterflies and bees love it.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Mothers day revisited

“Do you know what it is thus to live on the future—to live on expectation—to antedate heaven? It may be all dark now, but it will soon be light; it may be all trial now, but it will soon be all happiness. What matters it though "weeping may endure for a night," when "joy cometh in the morning?" CH Spurgeon

Infertility is mind numbing, soul stabbing, tear inducing pain, particularly when Mother’s Day comes around each year. The one ray of sunshine for me on this day is sending my mom flowers or something sweet out of pure gratefulness for her selfless love and care of us as a stay-at-home mom to 7 kids. Because seriously having me at 17 and the other 6 kids before the age of 35, is also quite a feat! I love and respect Mom for all of the sacrifices she made for us including putting her education and career goals on hold for 20 years. I’m amazed at how utterly thrilled she is that we are finally expecting. Sometimes it seems as though she has more joy and anticipation of her little granddaughter than Nathan and I combined.

It just occured to me the other day that it must be terribly painful to watch your own children endure infertility. Mom has said on multiple occasions that she has a sense of guilt for how easy it was for her to conceive and deliver the seven of us. When she called me in tears 2 years ago to say that my brother and his wife lost their firstborn son (stillborn at 8 months) the hurt and anguish of that lost grandson was beyond measure. “What do I say to them” she asked? Through my flood of tears, I responded that there’s nothing you can say to take this hurt from them, but just listen. Even if you sit on the phone and just cry together, that’s ok. They need to know that we care, that we are mourning their loss and that we are praying for them. Silence and a heart of shared grief and compassion is better than a well intentioned barrage of words that only drive the sharp pain of loss even deeper.

Yes, infertility, miscarriages and the death of our nephew have drastically changed the dynamic of both of our families, but I’m thankful for the hope and joy that waits on the other side—our personal quest to become parents has spanned 4 years, totaled thousands of dollars, included endless tears and a multitude of emotional trials and heartaches—but Lord willing we are on the other side and will treasure the little life that is being entrusted to us as a gift from God. After a stillborn and a miscarriage my brother and his wife are finally pregnant again—she is due 2 months after I am. What joy, sweetness and tears there will be when the two long expected cousins meet for the first time.

While it has been pitch dark and there have been many, many trials on the path to parenthood, the prospect that the future may “be light and happiness” is such an encouragement.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

It's official....we're having a...

Everything looked great on the ultrasound. She's measuring well at 19 weeks, heartbeat looks good and she had a hilarious case of the baby hiccups. Nathan was absolutely over the moon during the ultrasound. I guess through out this whole process, I'd forgotten how much it means for to him to have a biological child. He was adopted as an infant and the only background info available is that his parents were 100% Italian, lived in NY and both were just teenagers (mom was 17) and his dad was 13. Given the fact that IVF w/ISCI is the only treatment that gives us a chance at parenthood (unless we adopt) we just feel so blessed that this cycle worked and everything looks good so far! Pink, Pink and more Pink!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Seven years today....

Since that sunny day at the church where we said "I do". It's hard to believe it's been that long.

"Grow old with me, the best is yet to be.
The last of life for which the first was made"
Robert Browning

I know we’re only promised today, but I look forward to many tomorrows as we walk this path of life together.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Your insurance saved you...WHAT??

Holy frijoles! I glanced at the refill prescription info as we picked up my Zofran last night from the pharmacy. That GENERIC "no barfiness" medication has my insurance co. paying $683 dollars per bottle. One bottle of 30 pills(I take them every 6 hours on the dot or the non-stop vomiting starts) lasts me 2 weeks. So basically my insurance will end up paying $10K for me to be barf free. This is the same insurance company that refuses to cover my $32.00 a month OB prescribed vitamins. The workings of insurance companies are very strange and obviously beyond my pea-brained intellect!! 

Last night, I just couldn’t stop thinking about all of the thousands of dollars my poor body and this little peanut have absorbed in medications since we started treatments back in the fall. The endless bottles of Repronex, Gonal-F pens, progesterone shots, trigger shots, etc. We women are so long suffering and patient when it comes to infertility and the treatment protocols. I know oftentimes we don't feel it, but can you imagine our significant others doing daily injections, popping pills, submitting to endless ghastly exams one after another, charting temps, keeping track of is a highly amusing and scary perspective, eh?

All of this in our deeply personal and quiet quest for that desperately desired child. All I can say is GIRL POWER! And by God's grace and the prayers and support of others, we make it through. Always a changed person when we emerge, but I think that I can honestly say that the infertility path that I've walked has shaped me into a much more empathetic, patient, understanding and more deeply grounded person. It's strange to look back and not remember what you were like on the other side of infertility, but I know that in the end we all emerge stronger and more resolved about the things that really matter in life.

Monday, April 27, 2009


I don't know what everyone's beverage of choice is, but I simply LOVE coffee (the real honest to goodness caffeinated elixir of life!!). Growing up in Seattle probably had nothing to do with my adoration of all things coffee. However, since starting our IVF treatments last summer and then of course, now halfway thru the pregnancy (in my caffeine deprived state) I literally dream of coffee brewing, coffee beans, coffee ice cream, in short---everything coffee!! Each morning my espresso machine, coffee grinder and french press sit longingly on the kitchen counter hoping I'll brush the dust off and put them to good honest use at long last.

Sigh. I'm halfway there...only 4 1/2 months to go 'til I can savor a fine brew! (and no, not that kind of "brew"). Although, I did dream of sipping a Corona on a Mexican beach awhile back...gosh, deprivation is so mockingly cruel!!! :-)

So funny and so true.

I love this one!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Out with the old...

So, I've been looking for a new grill as a birthday present for the hubs. Nothing fancy, but something definitely better than our ancient halfway rusted out and entirely useless old grill that the neighbors gave to us when we moved into the house 5 years ago. Seriously, it is such a ghetto grill! :-)

After our community HOA garage sale this morning we went out grill shopping (and to get some tasty Dunkin Donuts)!!!
Home Depot had a super nice floor model on clearance for 1/2 price. So with the help of our friendly Home Depot salesman John, we managed to dis-assemble the beast in the parking lot and somehow jammed it into our Jeep Liberty. Nate is beyond thrilled and to celebrate he is out at the grocery right now "hunting" for some red meat!

Old "ghetto" grill

Shiny new grill (it is almost to beautiful to fire up!!!)

Saturday, April 18, 2009

I'm still here!!!!

Do you ever have those weeks when you're so busy that you forget to eat or take restroom breaks? Well, that's been me! So, needless to say, I'm still alive and just now downloading all of the pictures from our trip back in March.

The hubs and I at Gettysburg.

Playing with the misc and assorted nieces and nephews (caution baby pictures)

My sisters-in law and our nephew Caleb (L) and niece Elsa (R)(who are both 4 months)

Austin our god-nephew, 4 months --what a cutie!

Luke (5) and Cade (3) with the log-house extravaganza that Uncle Nathan built. It took forever to build and just seconds for them to gleefully knock down.

Auntie Amanda teaching Calvin (2) how to dance--surprisingly the kid has really good rhythm, I hope they enroll him in dance lessons or something. My mom is in the background holding her newest granddaughter Noelle.

My 6 week old niece Noelle who is a grumpy little fuss. She didn't smile or stop crying the entire time we were visiting. My poor little sister!

Well, that's it for now. Got another packed weekend of b-day parties and church stuff, but I WILL be better about blogging! :-)

Monday, March 30, 2009

Home at last...

Holy smokes. Can I be more exhausted? Late nights, early mornings and crazy amounts of driving, flying and trains...all this in the company of my wonderful non-stop barfy, stomach. But on the flip side, what a fantastic trip! Got to meet the new nieces and nephews (plus our "godnephew" that a word?) whilst traipsing about in PA, VA, MD & DC. My dear friend Emily even played hookey from work and drove us down to Gettysburg. Once I unearth the camera, I'll upload a few pictures.

I'm now officially 14 weeks and finally starting to show. My little sister (who just had her second baby 6 weeks ago) loaned me a ton of her maternity clothes (mostly tall sizes which thrills me to no end...seriously I can think of nothing more appalling than a tall preggo lady wearing shirts that barely cover her belly!).

Thursday, March 19, 2009

"Leaving on a jet plane...don't know when I'll be... to get on the internet again. We're heading out this am for a 10 day whirlwind trip to visit family and friends in DC/Virginia and Pennsylvania. All I can think about is please Lord, for the sake of everyone on the plane keep me from barfing the whole flight. After a yucky start this morning, I'm hopeful that the stomach will cooperate. I have all my magazines and books to read, plus enough dramamine for the whole flight crew and passengers! You know, the only thing I really love about airports is that there are always tons of Starbucks and the gimmicky little tourist shops are always worth a browse! Good times!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Infertility and crazy comments week…

This has been THE week of bizarre IVF comments from folks that I know well and a few of them, well, not so well.
From our sweet grandmotherly neighbor: “Oh, you’ll have no problems getting pregnant next time since you're pregnant now”, (I tried gently to explain that we were treated for male infertility and IVF/adoption are the only options for children—I’m still not sure if she understood)

from the gal that we purchased a baby changing table from: “you should have gone to a blessing service at church—it’s all about faith AND also go to lots of baby showers, that will ensure that God blesses you with a child because you are blessing others” (what do you say to that one???…I just nodded and looked at the floor)

or the one that hit me as I was face down on the massage table at the chiropractors last night: “did you get to design your baby i.e., choose the sex of the baby and it’s hair color & eye color” ?

It’s so difficult (and incredibly painful) to trudge through years of infertility and all of the social awkwardness and stigmas that come with it, but once you actually have a successful treatment (and or/adoption for many) it’s like you automatically become some kind of ghastly science/social experiment or even worse, a faith experiment. Don’t get me wrong here, I am in no way disparaging these good people and their kind intentions, nor am I knocking religion or faith. DH and I are both Christians and have prayed many years for God’s will regarding a family and also for graciousness of spirit when responding to all of the well meaning---but decidedly cruel 2 legged "social disasters" that come our way.

I just wish people would consider the appropriateness of their words. I know all of us have said things that can never be retracted and it’s such a horrible feeling to know that your words “pierced” someone else. You can tell by the look in their eyes after you’ve opened your mouth and the stupid words just come tumbling out that you’ve lost something in your relationship that you’ll never get back. I remember hurtful things said in anger to my parents or siblings over 20 years ago…I think the memories can haunt you forever even after you’ve apologized and tried to make amends. But what about those who appear to have no clue that what they’ve said is inappropriate or hurtful?

I like what Pastor John MacArthur teaches about the tongue (James 3:1-5) the full sermon transcript is available here

"Everyone of us is carrying around a concealed weapon." All we have to do is open our mouths and it's unconcealed.

If you're a normal person, you spend one fifth of your life talking.

You speak about 18 to 25 thousand words a day. Some people have said that men speak 25 thousand words a day and women speak 30 thousand words a day,

We could probably put together a 54-page book every day of our words.

In one year, we would probably produce about 66 800-page books.

So, I guess the question directed to myself today is: what words are being written in my book? Obviously, I can’t control the content of the "books" being written around me, but I do have the power to direct the words that will be imprinted on my pages. So, onward I march…into the battle of words, hoping and praying that I respond with grace and kindness (and don’t take personal offense) to those well intentioned people who always manage to say the wrong thing. AND, deep within me I still wonder, am I too sensitive about infertility? Maybe so, but we “fertility challenged people” shouldn’t be subject to such a relentless torrent of stigmas and inappropriate comments from others.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

odds and ends

1). The past few nights, I wake up at 3-4am terrified that I've overslept and missed carpool. Of course, going back to sleep never happens.

2). FINALLY I'm starting to feel human again. In fact, the other night I went positively wild and actually made homemade lasagna! Hubby was ecstatic!

3). Why does our health insurance not cover the vitamins my OB prescribed? I mean, come on, they shelled out some serious cash for IVF, but now they don't care about the next 6 months? Very strange.

4). I arrived home the other day to a carnage of chewed needles, bottles of repronex and progesterone scattered all over the living room. Bandit was bored and ransacked the supply of leftover (but unopened) fertility meds that we planned to donate back to the clinic for other patients. Thankfully the furry (but loveable) idiot wasn't hurt or even bleeding. How he got into the hall closet and selected the bag of meds, I have no idea. Even more puzzling, why in the world would a dog chew on needles?

5). Sciatic nerve stuff? Anyone know why/how it starts? HMMM...I've never had back problems before and now there is shooting pain and numbness in my lower back and leg. Next week will be my first EVER visit to a chiropractor so it should be an interesting experience!

6). Why don't I feel like responding to what seems like a gazillion phone calls, e-mails and facebook friends? I just want to find a quiet corner somewhere in this world and be left alone to sleep and ponder life. Am I a wannabe hermit lady?

7). 1/3 of my co-workers will be jobless as of the 31st. While I'm glad to still be employed, I feel just terrible for them. Our receptionist has been with the firm for 20 years. This economy sucks!

Ok. Enough of the random ramblings for now!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Donuts and Dramamine!?

So, my 10 week with the new OB went well. I got to hear peanuts heartbeat @ 156 which he said is perfect. The funniest part of the whole visit was the poor nurse trying to calculate my progress/due date. Apparently she wasn't familiar with IVF (nor did she read the massive pages of fertility charts that our RE faxed over) anyway she was absolutely exam room was across the hall from the nurses station and I heard her asking several people what to do. She came in the exam room 3 times to ask me again, ok, when was your last cycle (when I replied Oct. I swear her eyes bugged out of her head) when was your retrieval, how far along are you, etc. She even showed up with the handy little circular chart to try and calculate my stats. Why she didn't go through my charts and find the last ultrasound and calculate from that, I have no idea.
The OB put me on dramamine and said I should hopefully lose the all day sickness at 12-13 weeks. I'm SO hopeful and just praying that the next couple of weeks go quickly. I miss good food and feeling well!
Oh, and to celebrate the success of my first OB appointment I indulged in some cinnamon donuts...OH my gosh...SO GOOD and little peanut didn't seem to mind!!!! :-0

Friday, February 27, 2009


Whoo Hoo for Friday!!!! Can't wait to enjoy a lovely Saturday of sleep and pure laziness! We have a whole day with NOTHING planned!!! The weather here is supposed to be gorgeous and warm (80's) so maybe we'll take the pups for a nice long walk down to our favorite coffee shop . I love Arizona winters!

Hopefully I can try and get our little garden in order tomorrow. My neighbor puts me to shame with her gardening skills. Last night they brought over a gigantic bag of juicy lemons and asked if we'd mind if they trimmed some of OUR bushes that overhang into their yard. Guess it's time for us to do some spring trimming in our jungle yard! I really enjoy working in the yard, it's so relaxing and theraputic. Maybe I can get some "tan" on my bright white legs!! Happy, happy, happy weekend all!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Our little Strawberry!

Well, apparently the little embie now at 9 weeks has grown to the size of a strawberry and he/she is still vehemently protesting all of my food choices. I can't seem to keep much down and the heartburn/nausea has been wretchedly miserable. However, I'm persistently drinking chocolate milk and eating yogurt, which seem to be the only two food choices that help calm the stomach. Tums are helping a bit, but not much. So far, it's been nine weeks of sheer misery, but perhaps at my appointment next week I can beg for a prescription to ease the heartburn. I hate taking meds, but my poor hubby is suffering too! Plus the puppies haven't had a decent walk in over a week. Truly, it's all I can muster to get up at an ungodly hour to meet the carpoolers, drag myself through the workday and end the day by collapsing on the couch for the evening with the tv remote. Although in a sudden burst of energy, last night I half heartedly yanked a few weeds from the backyard and managed to vacuum up all of the nutshells that Bandit snitched off the buffet in the kitchen. Somehow the sneaky dog went wild and managed to nosh his way through a bowl of unshelled nuts scattering shells and junk ALL over the house. As soon as he heard the garage door announcing my arrival home he went and hid in the corner. Sigh, even my poor sweet dog is feeling the misery!!!!!! :-)

Monday, February 23, 2009

Rants and raves on IVF and beyond...

So,I'm all fired up about "Octomom" and the lack of oversight for fertility clinics. Then, I started getting all upset when I read another article about maternity leave in the States vs. other countries. Happy Monday, eh?

In Sweden, "we have a slogan: One at a time," said Dr. Karl Nygren, former head of an IVF monitoring committee for the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology.

Seventy percent of in vitro fertilization procedures in Sweden involved only a single embryo in 2005, according to Nygren. For Europe, the average was 20 percent. By contrast, only 11 percent in the U.S. involved one embryo in 2006.

A key difference, though, is that health programs in Europe cover the cost, so that if one attempt fails, women can try again without having to worry about the expense.

In the U.S., most patients have to foot the bill for IVF, which costs about $12,400 per attempt. Only 14 states make insurers cover some infertility treatments.

Wow. I am not a fan of socialized medicine, but can you imagine how amazing it would be to have public health coverage for multiple IVF treatments? Then, I read another article about maternity leave (and or lack of in the states)
AND our disability/health coverage system stinks for new parents too. 6 weeks paid time off, vs. 14-16 months in Canada and Sweden. Folks, I think our system needs some serious revamping!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Shrinking pants...Part II

Whew, it's been a crazy couple of weeks and I just realized this morning while sitting in a staff meeting at work that I've fallen terribly behind in every aspect of life, including laundry, blogging, e-mail, etc. Hopefully, this all day sickness will end sooner rather than later and my energy level will return. I cannot stand the sight, taste or smell of ANYTHING ginger because evidently I overloaded on ginger products during the first 6 weeks of the morning sickness. Now I've moved on to bread (preferably toasted with a taste of butter) and chocolate milk. The food snob in me just hates any products containing the dreaded high fructose corn syrup, so I've made a concoction of cocoa powder and organic sugar that is pretty tasty and hopefully healthier than the processed and prepared chocolate syrups and hot cocoa mixes.
So, on to other things. "Peanut" appears to be chugging right along into a healthy little 8 week old "kidney bean". We saw the heartbeat at our last RE appointment and Dr. Patel kept exclaiming "beautiful, beatiful". Which made the hubby and I laugh because he has an extremely thick Indian accent and it comes out sounding "booful, booful". He said my chances of miscarrying are 4% and there was nothing more he and his team could do--I have a perfectly healthy pregnacy!!! After a rousing round of handshakes, hugs and congrats we found ourselves standing outside of the RE's office clutching our our first official "pregnancy goodie bag" and wondering what we're going to do now that I don't have a calendar overflowing with blood tests, ultrasounds, precisely timed medication schedules and those horrid, horrid progesterone injections. I guess we'll adjust to being a normal expecting couple, but I still feel lost without the constant supervision and care that our RE gave to us over the last 4 months. I'm feeling like perhaps there is no such thing as a "normal" pregnancy after IVF?!!! Now, here's hoping that I don't drive my new OBGYN bonkers...

Friday, January 30, 2009

Did the dryer shrink my pants?

Or is it 3 months of fertility drugs going straight to the blasted hips? Or perhaps it's the little embryo(s). I have no idea, but definitely wasn't prepared to have my pants shrinking this quickly!!!!!! It just can't be the mass quantities of saltines, gingersnaps and 7-up I've been consumming lately!! I guess we'll find out how things are progressing @ Monday's ultrasound appointment. It's strange to not be at the drs. office every other day...somehow it was comforting knowing how things were progressing. Now, I feel really helpless without the daily updates. But the constant nausea and fatigue are good signs. AND my social life just might make a comeback (as long as I'm home in time for the dreaded progesterone shot) So, not quite the crazy pre-IVF life, but somehow I feel somewhat normal again...except for the crazy shrinking pants!! Any other members of the "sisterhood of the shrinking pants" out there?

Monday, January 26, 2009

It's Official!

I'm still in shock, but Friday's beta was 120 and Sunday tested at 290. Whoo Hoo! We really truly feel so blessed and still can't believe the good news. We had prepared for the worst after discovering our embryos weren't strong enough to freeze and it seemed like this just wasn't going to happen on the 1st IVF attempt.
We'd love twins, but ALL we are praying for is a healthy pregnancy and healthy baby!!! Because we're being treated for male infertility our dr. said that I won't be high risk if we get through the next couple of weeks and everything is normal. That surprised me. Somehow I thought all IVF pregnancies were high risk!
I go in on the 2nd for a pregnancy ultrasound and a few weeks later for the heartbeat ultrasound. Meanwhile, I've lucked out and suffer from the enviable 24 hour morning sickness syndrome! Gingersnaps and 7UP are quickly becoming my best friends!
Thanks to all the wonderful people who have been encouraging and praying for us on this crazy journey to "pregnancyland"!!!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

2WW expires tomorrow!

But, we couldn't resist a home test (actually 2 of them this week).

Friday, January 16, 2009

Progesterone is completely EVIL!!

I can't even begin to describe how much I hate progesterone's sheer torture. Heating pads, massaging, moist towels---NOTHING takes the sting and ache away. This weekend I'm going to plan B (the lovely suppositories)to give myself a break. The 2WW is bad enough, but progesterone in all its horrible glory is making everything a gazillion times worse! :-)

A girlfriend of mine e-mailed this fun website containing a huge list of random, bizarre and quite interesting facts. I've decided that my posts are going to contain at least a few of this outlandish and funny facts. Somehow the last couple of weeks have driven the hubs & I to light and humorous reading (think Calvin & Hobbes, Astrix, TinTin and a few other British comic/graphic novels). It keeps our minds of the inevitable D-Day coming up next enjoy some fun and completely useless posts in the next few days!

More Monopoly money is printed in a year, than real money throughout the world.

Caesar salad has nothing to do with any of the Caesars. It was first concocted in a bar in Tijuana, Mexico, in the 1920's.

One quarter of the bones in your body are in your feet.

Crocodiles and alligators are surprisingly fast on land. Although they are rapid, they are not agile. So, if being chased by one, run in a zigzag line to lose him or her.

Seattle’s Fremont Bridge rises up and down more than any drawbridge in the world.

Right-handed people live, on average; nine years longer than left handed people.

Ten percent of the Russian government's income comes from the sale of vodka.

In the United States, a pound of potato chips costs two hundred times more than a pound of potatoes.

A giraffe can go without water longer than a camel.

Nearly 80% of all animals on earth have six legs.

In the marriage ceremony of the ancient Inca Indians of Peru, the couple was considered officially wed when they took off their sandals and handed them to each other.

There is approximately one chicken for every human being in the world.

Most collect calls are made on father's day.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Come on little embies!

Embryo transfer on Sunday went well. Started out quite chaotic. My appointment was set for 11am. At 8:30 my phone rang and it was Dr. Patel’s office asking why we weren’t at our 8am appointment. WHAT?? I told her we live 40 minutes from the office, but that we’d leave right away. ARGH!!!! So DH and I jumped in the car while I chugged a liter and a half of water in record time during the white knuckled drive up there (knowing I HAD to have a full bladder for the transfer). Poor hubby was so stressed out. Strangely I was the calm one. We showed up at 9:15 and Nan the clinic manager apologized immediately. She forgot to call and tell us that our time had been changed to 8am because we were the only procedure for the day.
Dr. Patel didn’t do the transfer since he was sick, but he did stop in to make sure we were ok with Dr. Larson doing the procedure and also to discuss our embryos. Apparently we have normal to below normal embryo quality. They chose the 2 best for transfer and will place the others back in the incubator to see if they will survive to blastocyst stage. It looks pretty likely that we won’t have any viable to freeze. One valium later and a very cooperative bladder the transfer was finished. We have the ultrasound picture of the two little embryos posted on the fridge! We are just praying and hoping the two little transferred “embies” make it! The pregnancy test is on the 23rd. Thankfully we’ve been so busy that the BIG day will be here before we know it.
Oh, and our two favorite football teams won over the weekend. Hubby is a DIEHARD Eagles fan. I’m rooting for the Cardinals! My hometown Seahawks just didn’t have the gumption this year!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

And the count is...

12 mature eggs and 7 fertilized (thank goodness for ICSI, hubby was so worried that there wouldn't be any good ones due to his morphology issues). Anyway, I'm scheduled for the transfer tomorrow @ 11am. Strange, but I've been so incredibly busy with work and life, that everything seems like it's happening so quickly. Which is a good thing, but where is time going?
I am looking forward to having Monday off (dr. says I need to be a couch potato for a few days--that is going to be SO rough!!!) Oh, and I managed to drag myself into work yesterday only to discover that a furry rodent (aka a mouse/rat) raided my snack drawer. EVERYTHING was chewed (tupperware, teabags, bags of microwave popcorn and my oranges). Maintenance came to set some traps. Hopefully when I get back to the office the mouse/rat is GONE!!! Can you imagine if I opened my drawer and found the furry little vermin in the midst of his noshing? Oh my gosh. It practically makes me hysterical thinking about it!!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Good work ovaries!

Yahoo! 15 eggs retrieved this morning! Higher than the original 8 we were told earlier, but we'll find out tomorrow how many were mature and if any fertilized. Now begins the excruciating part. The waiting, waiting and more waiting! :-)
ER wasn't as terrible as I thought it would be. I'm just super glad that the nurses let me keep my socks on under the booties (my feet are ALWAYS freezing) AND that we had an outstanding anesthesiologist. I was awake and chatting up a storm before they even wheeled me out to the recovery room. After a nice long afternoon nap, a steaming hot bowl of my favorite Chinese take-out Wonton soup (thanks hubby for taking such good care of me)-- I'm heading calling it a day and heading off to catch some zzz's. The 5:15 am wake-up is going to be a killer tomorrow. Would love to take the day off...sigh. Oh well. TGIF!!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Fedex, follicles & jury duty???

Fed-ex drama galore yesterday because they didn't deliver my Saturday shipment. After frantic calls to and from the pharmacy over the weekend and most of yesterday morning spent on the phone, pharmacy girl 1 informs me that there's a 24 hour delay on my shipment because I changed the delivery address. Gee, thanks for telling me about the delay earlier! I tell her this is unacceptable. I needed the shot 12 hours ago and absolutely MUST have the injection before 12pm. She needs to talk to her supervisor and will call me back. Meanwhile another pharm girl (same company) calls me saying Fed-ex shipment can be picked up at the airport AFTER 5pm. Again. Not happening---I explain everything all over again. She needs to talk to her supervisor. Pharm Girl 1 calls me back and says we have the Fed-ex guy on the other line, he thinks he can deliver by 11am. pharm girl1 and crew convinced Fed-ex to flag my package as a medical emergency delivery and it was put on a truck for urgent delivery (no duh!!!) and she rattles off a street address which is 2-3 miles up the street---my office is the last stop on his morning run. She is literally stalking the Fed-ex man. I am ready to jump in the car and start driving the streets of downtown Phoenix looking for him...

I needed the injection 12 hours ago I tell her, but if I get the shot by noon it shouldn't mess up this cycle. However, we can't trust Fed-ex to deliver so you'd better give me a Plan B!!!! She calls my nurse and asks if this is qualifies as a medical emergency (ARE YOU KIDDING ME) and that she needs a supervisor and a credit card to to provide me with the meds. My nurse tells her to GET me the meds or we're going to lose a $25K cycle because of a $500 Gonal-F pen. Pharm girl1 calls in the prescription to a local pharmacy and instructs me to call her at 11:10 am if Fed-ex hasn't arrived and she'll pay for my prescription while I jump in the car and drive like a madwoman to the pharmacy 30 miles away! Meanwhile, hubby is panicking and texting me every 30 seconds to see if the package has arrived. 11:10...nothing.11:12...nothing.11:13..nothing-----I start frantically dialing pharm girl1 at 12:14 and literally in mid-dial our receptionist buzzes me saying that Fed-ex arrived. WHEWWWWWWWWWW. Literally, my knees shaking, dizzy and lightheaded I run to the ladies room with the precious Gonal-F in hand. Good grief. What did I do to deserve this level of STRESS!!!!!!

On to good news, the follies are ready so I'm scheduled for egg retrieval first thing Thursday morning. BTW---Has your dr. ever asked you if you talk to your ovaries? I was shocked when he asked me if I'd been "talking to my ovaries". I'm not really sure what to say to them, but it's helpful to know that they might respond or even listen to my coaxings! :-) I'm thrilled to have a shot free day tomorrow!!! YAY, Yay and yay!!!!
Ah yes, and that blasted jury duty. Somehow I'm still in the jury pool. Need to call in at 11am to see if I'm needed. Right. I'll do that right after my pre-op @ 10am. They couldn't just dismiss me, eh? Wowsers. Seriously, am I nuts? It sure seems like lots of insanity---none of which I can do anything about.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Gonal-F and mass pandemonium ??

Eeeks. Had a major episode with the pharmacy today regarding meds (or lack of them). short and sweet version is that my much needed shipment of Gonal-F and Repronex was to arrive yesterday. somehow Fed-ex messed everything up and didn't deliver. so @ our morning ultrasound and appointment today i mentioned the problem to our nurse. you'd think that in a metro area of 5 million that ONE pharmacy would carry a Gonal-F pen on Sunday? ha. not a chance. so, i don't have my full gonal-f dose for today. needless to say, the hubby and i both panicked until our nurse called me with the blood results and said it's ok. i can catch up on my gonal-f in the am when my shipment arrives @ the office. now, here's PRAYING that dang fed-ex delivers the meds to my work address tomorrow morning. :-)
dr says i am running a day or so behind normal with my stim cycle. so it looks like retrieval will happen this thursday or the midst of all this i also might end up on jury duty wednesday. oh well, all this pandemonium keeps life interesting.