Saturday, December 18, 2004


Just a quick note to say that I'll be away for the season and most likely won't find access for posting until I'm back. I know that I'm not writing for the masses, but I appreciate the comments I have received from those of you who have found my blog. May you all have a very happy holiday.

And peace on earth...

Friday, December 17, 2004

Music to my ears

I had an OB appointment this morning and got to hear the heartbeat for the second time. It was extra cool today because when Dr. Numb-Numb was first looking, he located the placenta, which I did not realize had a sound. That was pretty neat. Then he found the little one. 149bpm- excellent. I tape-recorded it at this visit so that I can share it with my family. Not that I am savvy enough to post sound on my blog, mind you.

That was the good part. The bad part is that I gained too much weight since the last visit. Six pound this time, and he only wants me to gain two pounds per month. I didn’t want to argue with him, but in the time before I came back to his office (the time with the RE) I gained nothing. Right now I’m at 16.5 weeks, so roughly 4 months, and I’m up 8 pounds. By my calculation that’s 2 pounds a month. I know, I know- it matters how much in a single month. As I am hypersensitive about my weight, I do not plan to have a repeat of him telling me to eat less, so I need to start walking more. I’m starting to regain my energy, making this a logical thing to do. More activity = less weight gain.

Of course, more activity probably also equals more bleeding because I have developed a lovely cervical polyp. I get a nice dose of bright red blood every few days. If I’m quiet about it, I may be able to go a week without any. That has only happened once. It’s unnerving but since they have given me a reason and I have no cramping, I don’t go crazy anymore. I did get them to scan me at about 10 weeks just to be sure- and everything was fine.

That's all for now.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

The Call

Remember my promise to call the adoption agency and spill the beans? Well, the call happened, but as it turned out, they called me before I could even dial the phone.

--insert Twilight Zone music--

I was still at work yesterday, desperately scrambling to get a grant out the door early (it went out today on time...still good. I'll take it.), and the phone rang with a number I didn’t recognize. I debated answering, given my mental state, but as I was still waiting for a signature page, I hoped that it was someone calling me to say that it was finished.

It was the director of the adoption agency, C.

She explained that she had sent out a series of invitations and two of them were returned with no postage, one of them being ours. At first I was confused, thinking that I had sent her something that was amiss. My brain scrambled for a second to determine what that could be, but before I had an answer, she continued. C. explained that there was a meeting Thursday night and that was the purpose of the invitation. Could we make it? I asked her if she could give me more details on the meeting, and she explained that this was a series of six pre-adoption classes given to a small group, one class per month.

My heart about stopped.

C. was calling to put us in what they call “group.” This is the near equivalent of being on the short list. As she continued to explain, placement would normally occur by the end of the six-month period, sometimes even sooner. She said that she was very excited to have A. and I as a part of the group.

Oh. My. God.

My head was racing I’m going to be a mom! I’m going to be a mom! I’m going to be a mom! I’m going to be a mom!

And then my reality checker kicked in (it’s been on a delay, gotta get that thing fixed), and I knew that beans must be spilled. So, I told C. our news. She was so excited for us. She asked how far along I was, how was I feeling, etc, etc. I told her how thrilled I was to know that she had been calling to ask us to be in group but that I certainly couldn’t join considering the pregnancy. She agreed completely. I asked her if we could please keep our file active but just on a delay for now. I told her how much I love the agency, how much I love the people I’ve met, and how strong my desire is to adopt. Could I adopt through them after I give birth? Her response- Absolutely!

So, the news is out, we’re on hold with the adoption for now, but in about a year or so, we’ll get the ball rolling once again and get our little one a sibling. I told C. that we would be continuing to volunteer, and she was so pleased. And she wants me to keep her posted on everything with this baby. I love that she honestly cares about the people whose lives she touches. The birthmothers, the adoptive families, and the children.

I floated for a very long time after I hung up the phone, and I am finally aware of the reality that there will be a child in my life very, very soon. Thank you C., for everything you do at the agency and for giving me the best reality check of all-

I’m going to be a mom!

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Volume 3: The Adoption Option

So, in the meantime, my husband A. and I decided that we should start to pursue adoption. This was always on the table for us as a way to create our family. Even before we were married, I told him that I wanted to adopt at least one child during my lifetime, and that it was not negotiable. Luckily, he thought it was a wonderful idea. So, when the time came for us to really consider what the hell we were doing with all of these drugs and treatments, considering adoption came along quite naturally.

Through a friend, I found a wonderful group in my city that works as an adoption agency, but focuses the bulk of their efforts on the birthmothers. They provide them housing if needed, counseling, tutoring, supplies, life skills training, and anything else they might need. Most of it is free or very, very minimal in charge to the birthmothers. And the decision about whether to parent or place their child is entirely up to them. They can receive all the help in the world and then choose to parent their child. No pressure at all. The agency does not make the decision or require that they place their child for services to be rendered. They also do everything in their power to ensure that the decision is solid- which is in the best interest of the birthmother and the child.

We loved the philosophy of the agency, heard good reviews from our friend, and decided to get the ball rolling. We wrote our letter of intent to adopt (the first step in our state) and began doing service with the agency. Oh, yes, this agency is different in another way. They ask the members to volunteer their time in order to allow them to provide their services at little to no charge. And as a potential adoptive family, we also benefit from fees that are about a third of those charged at a traditional agency, maybe on a quarter of that for international adoptions. We joined for the good vibes, though, not for the savings.

Another bonus- we did not have to stop treatments or neglect other agencies (if we had chosen to join them) in order to be a part of this agency. Their wish is that you become a family, and if they can help- great. If you get pregnant or find a child through another agency, that’s fine too. The core staff members are very grounded and truly appreciate the struggles of infertility, the desire to become a family, and everything that goes into having that as a big part of your life.

(For those wondering, you really do have to live in my city to benefit from this agency)

We jumped in with both feet and started volunteering. We have done fundraising, tutoring, and various other little things as needed. We love the group. We love getting to know all of the other waiting couples. And we really love that most people who have become parents through this agency- continue to volunteer their time. Willingly. Out of love for the agency. That, in itself, speaks volumes.

Well, not to give away the end of Volume 4 (hell, who am I kidding, it’s given away in my profile), but in the throes of working with this agency, we managed to get all knockered up. Normally, the placement time is about a year from the time you join. Pretty good, overall. We officially joined around May of 2004. My due date is May of 2005. Can you see a problem? Yeah, me too.

So, I’ve been pondering for quite a while as to exactly when I should call them to tell them our news. I want to have our files delayed, but not closed. I am still determined to adopt, and my love for this agency is still strong (in fact, we are still actively volunteering). I figured I would wait until 12 weeks- seemed like a nice round number. Well, now I’m at 16 weeks and I still haven’t called. It’s as if I’m calling to “break up” with them, or tell them “let’s see other people for a while” and I keep delaying and delaying. Of course, Jo, in her brilliance, has written a great post on this very thing today.

I will get off my duff and call. This week. Really. I promise.

If not, you are welcome to come and kick my ass.

Monday, December 13, 2004

Volume 2: The Clomid Era

For those who missed Volume 1, here’s the synopsis: screwing, screwing, screwing, cancer, screwing, screwing, and at the end of it all…no baby.

My regular gynecologist, Dr. Numb-Numb, wanted to run a few more tests before he started into any course of treatment. Ok, that’s fair enough. So, I went through the famous HSG, which did not hurt in the least for me, but I know this differs across the board. Then I had an endometrial biopsy, which hurt so bad they had to scrape me off of the ceiling. This is where the doctor’s name originated. For the EB, they inject Novocain into the cervix before inserting the device to grab some uterine lining. The injection wasn’t too bad, but I could still feel the tool. So, he added some more and I could STILL feel the tool. So, he kept adding it and adding it…every time saying “Let’s just put a bit more numb-numb in there.”

Based on those tests, my tubes were open, but my luteal phase was short. Next step was an unmedicated cycle with periodic scans and peeing on OPKs to track my cycle in more detail. One lovely follicle, completely normal cycle (no shortened LP), and a nice LH surge before ovulation. Ok, so the parts work. Great, now what?

Dr. Numb-Numb decided that Clomid was the way to go, assuming that my perfectly normal, unmedicated cycle was a fluke. So, I began the Clomid regimen excitedly, figuring that this must surely be the “magic pill” that I had been waiting for all this time. The first cycle I had hot flashes like I couldn’t believe, headaches, one follicle, and no baby. This continued for two more cycles. All the while, my moods were getting more and more erratic. My husband dubbed me “Super Bitch” and threatened to get me a cape to complete the persona.

By the end of the third medicated cycle, Dr. Numb-Numb referred me to the RE. Ok, then, I guess we needed to get more serious. Round one at the RE involved more Clomid. Oh, Joy. At least this time they were putting all the little soldiers right where they belonged, or at least giving them a much better road map. IUI plus Clomid continued, again, and again, for three cycles. The bitchiness intensified, fueled by a sense of inadequacy, anger, and disappointment. I was able to hide my mood from most of the people I worked with, but my poor husband got the brunt of it. Again.

At this point, we were still without answers. Prior to the IUI, we had wondered if it was a sperm thing, but for each insemination his sample was of such high quality, that the nurses always commented that he got an “A+” for his performance. Great. So that means that I must be getting a big, fat “F” for my performance. That’s just great.

A consult with the RE we were seeing revealed that we had two assistance options at that point, both of which required us to change REs within the practice because ours did not work with the injectables. Not sure why, but whatever. So, we discussed our options- injectables + IUI or go straight to IVF. We also discussed my intense dislike of needles. Fortunately for us, both procedures were covered by insurance (please don’t hate me) so we didn’t have to consider the financial portion of it. The emotional part still weighed heavily. I remembered back to almost a year prior, sitting in a rented beach house, crying, and telling my husband that I didn’t really want to go all the way to IVF. Now I was sitting here, weighing my final assistance options, and was actually considering IVF. Did this make me weak because I was reconsidering it? Was I ready to consider it? Was it even going to be worth all of the effort?

…to be continued in Volume 3

Thursday, December 09, 2004

I must be an alien

Something just dawned on me, and it is so bizarre that no one will ever believe it. I have never seen a positive HPT. But wait, you might say, aren't you pregnant? Yes, indeed, but for some strange reason, I never actually peed on a stick this time. As I was nearing the end of the 2ww for my IVF cycle, I remember thinking that I should just go out, buy a stick, and let loose the stream. But of course, being the over analyzer that I am, I figured that no matter the result, I would never believe it. I knew that if it was positive, I would decide that it was leftover trigger shot. If it was negative, I would decide that it was too early to test. See? It would have simply made me crazy. And once the positive beta came back, there didn't seem to be a need.

Yep, I am truly from another planet.

Monday, December 06, 2004

Monday, Monday...

I had lunch today with a friend and after much lively conversation, we were presented with the bill and two fortune cookies (a non-Chinese restaurant, but whatever). I opened mine to reveal the following:

"To be a man means constant revision like correcting a writing"

Um, what?

So, for starters, am I to be a man, as in penis-toting individual, or a man as in human? I spend a lot of time editing documents, so does that qualify? And when is the last time a man said to you "I am a man, therefore I will change."? That's what I thought.

At least one of my lucky numbers was 13.

Happy Monday.

Friday, December 03, 2004

I Swear, Officer, I Didn’t Mean to Take These Boobs

I just caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror and noticed, to my astonishment, that I’m wearing someone else’s boobs. No really, these are not mine! I “know,” in the book sense of know, that pregnancy does some strange things to your body, including a big ol’ boost in the cleavage. I even “know” that I am up two bra sizes, but for some reason, I kept thinking that I didn’t look much bigger. Well, that illusion is now officially gone. I’ve always been less-than-well-endowed in that area, and now I have normal girl’s boobs! What a shocker!

Well, I guess now I know.

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

A Brief History of Time...Volume 1

I figured that a good way to get the ball rolling with this blogging thing, online diary, or whatever else you'd like to call it is to start at square one and tell my story. I’ll only go back to the beginning of our TTC times, as really, what else has possibly consumed my life for the last few years anyway?

Volume 1: The Year of Naivety

We were married for about four months when we decided, not being spring chickens or anything, that we would start the whole process of building a family. By chance I had my yearly appointment at the same time, gave them the news that we would be trying, and went through the normal set of blood tests, etc, that any typical woman might have at her “introductory” appointment. They gave me a pat on the back, a cheer of good luck, and sent me on my way to procreate at will. I was just about to start a new cycle on the pill, but that would, of course, be unnecessary. Little did I know that it had probably been unnecessary from the start, but I think we’ve all been through that scenario.

So we tried and tried…and tried. The first few months it was fun, and I didn’t worry too much about the fact that nothing seemed to be happening. In fact, the very first month I was actually scared that it would work the first time, and I wasn’t entirely sure I was ready. So the delay was nice in it’s own way. Then the day came when my period was late. Oh the joy. The excitement. The suspense. Now, being the practical type, I didn’t run out that same day for an HPT. Really, I didn’t. I actually waited a whole week. (I am way too cool for this, right?) So, I pee on the stick, and wait, and wait, and wait. And there, yes it must be, see if you squint and all…was the faintest possible distinction of a line that ever existed in the history of HPTs. Ever. Three days later I was bleeding fast and furious and awful. At that point I had already called my doctor’s office for the prenatal appointment, so when I called back about the bleeding they sent me to the emergency room. Imagine my embarrassment when both a urine and blood test came back negative, revealing that I had gone to the emergency room because I got my period . Which, as everyone knows, is a crisis and requires emergency care. Right?

So, on to continuing the journey. Soon after my 10 days of hope I noticed a strange mole on my leg. Being of northern European descent, I have to keep an eye on these things, so I went off to the dermatologist. Melanoma. Do not pass Go; do not collect $200. At that point we were thankful that our efforts at TTC had not worked because I’d be faced with a heck of a situation. I had surgery to remove almost a fist worth of tissue out of my leg plus a lymph node, chilled out on Vicodin for a few days, and then went on with my life because, thankfully, it had all been contained within the original biopsy area. Rule #1 of my life now- wear sunscreen!

When the one-year mark rolled around and our respective rolling around had produced nothing, I returned to the doctor, head hung low, and waited for the magic solution to be delivered.

To be continued in Volume 2…