An infertile walks into an OB office...

Friday, February 25, 2011

Actually, it is my normal ob/gyn's office. And, by some cosmic wierdness, I think there were probably 8 other women in the waiting room, and they were all visibly pregnant. It must have been Divine intervention that the times in the last three years that I've gone there for my annual appointments there were only older women and younger (not visibly pregnant, if they were) women there.

So I filled out all the intake paperwork (because, of course I had left the exact same paperwork that they had mailed me and that I had filled home). I get called back, and the tech asks me what I weighed before I was pregnant.

Time sort of stood still at that point- I couldn't believe that I am here, talking about me being pregnant. I am going to pee in a cup, and the test they do will be like the 6 I've done in the past month that were all positive.

Turns out I am up one pound from what I weighed in August. I consider that to be not too shabby, considering I ate (and drank) plenty of extra calories over Thanksgiving and Christmas. I guess I may have weighed more 4 weeks ago, but with the nausea that so pleasantly reminds me that there's a little one along for the ride, I may have lost some recently (just by not wanting to eat anything). I refuse to buy a bathroom scale, so day-to-day, I am blissfully ignorant.

The midwife is awesome. I am so glad I decided to see her. She didn't even blink an eye when she asked me about what I'd written on the "questions or concerns about this pregnancy". It went something like this:

Having struggled with infertility, I imagine I will be fairly "needy" when it comes to this pregnancy- as far as hearing the heartbeat often and coming for ultrasounds as often as possible/safe/waranted. That being said, I haven't had any indication that there is anything wrong, and I'm praying for a healthy pregnancy and baby!"

Yes, I wrote that I am going to be needy on a medical form!!! Hahaha :) I was cracking myself up, but the midwife needed to know this!!! She responded with wonderful empathy and interest in what we'd been through. It was perfect.

Since my last annual was just in August and it was normal, they didn't do another pap. THANK THE LORD. And I do mean, thank God. Because I was really nervous about someone messing with my cervix right now. I was going to beg and plead to not have one if they were going to make me.

I asked her about ultrasounds, and she said that basically only two are authorized under normal circumstances- one to confirm/date the pregnancy, and the big 20-week one. (I declined the NT scan and the other malady scans- it wouldn't change what we'd "do" about the pregnancy, and I think if there were even a tiny thing wrong or even debatable, I'd spend the rest of my pregnancy worrying about it.)

I may have neglected to interrupt her here and tell her that we already had one at 6w2d. I don't know if that is hugely shameful or not, but I am hoping that (from insurance perspective), this one will still be covered because it is the first from the OB office. It's not like I was under the RE's care when we conceived, so.... AND, it is good to have another one to confirm that the baby is growing healthily and the dates we thought are still on track. RIGHT??

Then she told me that this ultrasound would be transvaginal, and had I ever had one? I've had hundreds, I told her! She laughed, because she realized as soon as she said it that I would have had some from all the procedures last year.

The ultrasound tech was fast! My midwife was in the room, too, and she was rubbing my shoulder when the baby came onto the screen. I think she knows how much this little one means to us, and how blessed we feel. The baby looks right on track- even wiggling some!- and has a heartbeat of about 150. She said that was great, and the ultrasound tech told me that she had struggled with infertility, too, so she knew how I felt. They gave me 4 pictures! I added a new page for ultrasounds (to the right, above my ticker), so if you want, you can see what I think is the best one.

I still have a hard time believing that this is all happening. It is extremely difficult to put into words how grateful I am, and how amazing it is that this baby is here and growing perfectly! After all we tried last year (and the two-plus years prior) that failed, I really didn't think that we would ever have success on our own. I am speechless with how remarkable it is that there is a wiggling PERSON inside my very own womb whose heart is beating and who is growing up a storm. I am not taking one second of this experience for granted- it is really sad to me how many women take pregnancy and children as totally routine and normal and boring.

I honestly was 2% sure that God would bless us with a baby (pregnancy), and probably 0.5% sure that it would be the old-fashioned way. Just goes to show you that your estimations of what God has in store for you have a good chance of being way off. If you are still waiting for your miracle baby today and your mother's heart is broken, perhaps this verse (which is one of my top three post-it'ed on my computer) will comfort and encourage you today. I can't tell you how many times I repeated it to myself in the darkest of times! God's purpose of expanding your family cannot be thwarted!!!

I know that You can do all things,
and that
no purpose of Yours can be thwarted.
(Job 42:2)

Support Group

Thursday, February 24, 2011

We have all longed for more discussion of infertility in the world at large, and this clip is from the Today Show this morning:

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Although there is no actual infertility support group in my area, I consider all my bloggy buddies (along with my amazing family and the friends who have stuck by my side) to be my support group. I could not have gotten through the hundreds of days of infertility without you. I totally agree with Alison that there is so much solace in the safety of an infertility support group- that is what I have felt every time I come to my blog and read your amazing comments.

And now that I am gratefully and miraculously on the other side, I want to be there for you. How can I help make our virtual support group better? How can I help you to feel more solace and more comfort when infertility is tearing you apart? Please let me know!!

Funny Song

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

If today, you find yourself still longing for a little one and still fuming at some obnoxious ungrateful hugely-pregnant woman at the grocery store, I have a treat for you.

If you are pregnant and can laugh at yourself (or pregnant women, in general) today, I have a treat for you.

If you are pregnant and are having a rough, hormone driven day, or have just suffered a loss of your precious miracle(s), please don't watch the video... (unless maybe you think a song making fun of annoying pregnant women would make you laugh and improve your day)

I found this video at the blog that Josey highlighted today. I found myself laughing at the video, not because I think it describes me or the vast majority of pregnant-after-infertility warriors (although, oh my, I do say "I don't care if the baby is a boy or girl as long as s/he's healthy!"), but because it describes every one of my super fertile take-babies-for-granted college friends!!!!


Monday, February 21, 2011

I am here: gratefully, thankfully, humbly, unbelievably pregnant at 7w6d.

I have my first midwife appointment on Friday at 8w3d. I want so much to have another ultrasound to see/hear that precious heartbeat again, but from what I can tell, because everything is going seemingly well, and since we already had one, our next peek at our little one won't be until 20 weeks?!?!????!

I cannot even put into words how thankful I am to have had a good, uneventful pregnancy so far. No bleeding, and plenty of symptoms (although I think relatively mild compared to some others' experiences).

But it is just CRAZY to me how the rest of the world assumes that once you are pregnant, unless you are a twin/multiples mama or you start bleeding profusely, that things are all hunky dory and that you don't need more frequent ultrasounds and that your healthy baby will be here around your due date. I guess once you get to 9-10ish weeks, the practitioner can hear the heartbeat on the doppler, but STILL. When you have been through infertility and are used to ultrasounds every other day, one every 15 weeks is unbearable!!!!

I sure hope that my midwife can empathize with a pregnant-after-infertility patient. I fully plan on asking to try to hear the heartbeat and if we can't, then if I can have an ultrasound to make sure.

I wish people wouldn't take the miracle of life for granted. I am sorry, insurance company, if ultrasounds are expensive. There is a miracle happening right now, and maybe if you gave people more chances to witness that miracle, they wouldn't consider it to be so normal and so easy and so sure.

Food on Friday (A Confession)

Friday, February 18, 2011

Today's topic is herbs.

Specifically, idyllic kitchen-window herb gardens.

You know, so that when a recipe calls for fresh parsley or basil or rosemary, you think to yourself, "Ah, I will just prance over in my frilly apron and snip some fresh herbs from my beautiful little herb garden that is basking in the afternoon sun on my counter."

In a nutshell, I cannot seem to keep herbs alive.

I think I overwater them, and then they get to looking like they are drowning. So then I don't water them for a week because I think they have had their fill. Then they start to shrivel up, and so I water them again, but they still look shriveled. Or maybe they now look overwatered and underwatered! Aah!! (I killed a rosemary plant in the fall, and my basil plant is looking pretty sad of late...)

Do you have kitchen herb gardens? (Or ones outside, when it is warm enough?) What is your secret to keeping them alive???!?!


Thursday, February 17, 2011

{If you didn't read Yolk's post yesterday about Facebook, you should go read it NOW. It is hilarious! And you have to read the comments, too. And people wonder why I have never signed up for the thing!! (PS. I see she has a followup post today!!)}

I tried to just look at those baby info books yesterday at Target. I almost passed out reading one of them- I closed it so fast and walked away, I don't even know what it's name was. It was giving nutritional suggestions, and from what I could tell, it said that I need to be eating 2 lbs of spinach a day, along with a few steaks (for iron), as well as a carton of cottage cheese, 4 glasses of milk, a few apples, broccoli, some blueberries, green peppers, sweet potatoes, and some carrots.

I can barely eat a sorry excuse for breakfast, a snack, and dinner!!! Much less eat all the things they were suggesting (okay, maybe I am exaggerating their list a little, but it was definitely overwhelming).

When TTC, you get used to TMI of all types. TMI with respect to what is coming out or going into your body. TMI when you come home from the RE with a folder of protocols, waivers, schedules, and med instructions. TMI when it comes to who knows what about the inner workings of your body. TMI when you hear about someone else's protocol that you think might work better than your one that failed last month.

And for the most part, all of this TTC TMI didn't bother me a bit. In fact, I was actively seeking more information!! I was out there trying to read every word written about meds and protocols and experiences and suggestions!

But pregnancy/motherhood TMI is scary. I would have thought I would be all over the details and suggestions, but it is very overwhelming. I don't know how normal people can digest all the information in those books, and I have no idea how infertile pregnant/new mom people do. Maybe the idea is to gloss over the chapters? TMI about nutrition (even when I feel like we have fairly good eating habits) is worrisome right now based on my lack of appetite. TMI about development (even with how much I've read about what is going on week-by-week) is scary because how easy could something go wrong. TMI about the 500 strollers on the market, and which baby carrier is the best, and what is the safest crib for sale?

Maybe I need to embrace my new TMI situation like I did my TTC one. It might take a while, though. Switching from TTC TMI to pregnancy/motherhood TMI is going to take some time.

Pregnant after Infertility

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

It is true what you read, pregnancy after infertility is nothing like pregnancy that normal people encounter. It is very surreal, and it's hard to get used to trusting your body to know what to do after it has failed you so many times before. And I know tons of women say they are so thankful for their babies, but if you are pregnant after infertility, that baby is cherished beyond words.

You might be pregnant after infertility if....

-You purposely don't eat anything in the morning so you feel nauseous and confident that the baby is still okay (and then when you are just about to need the bathroom, you break out the saltines. how do they work so fast?!)
-You say sometimes, I wish I felt worse
-You have studied what happens each day after ovulation, and you know with the deepest of detailed wisdom what a miracle it is for a healthy baby to grow from just two cells
-When you call to schedule your first midwife appointment and they ask "do you have any idea what the first day of your last period was?" you (respectfully) scoff quietly. Do I have any IDEA?!?! My cycle has been the object of my obsession for the last {x} years!!!
-You have an ultrasound and see the heartbeat before 95% of the rest of the population even realizes the heart is beating.
-You do not run out and buy 5 baby books the afternoon of your positive test- maybe 3 weeks later...or 15 weeks later
-It is weird to have restless sleeps and have to pee in the middle of the night, but you will gladly embrace these nighttime rituals so you can get downstairs in the morning and see another day has dawned in your pregnancy!
-You are happy when you eat an egg sandwich that tasted great but then you feel positively awful the rest of the afternoon
-You have taken prenatal vitamins for 2 years already
-You are happy to see bloating and to fall asleep at 8pm
-Everything that is a normal pregnancy complaint is like heaven on earth to you

I don't know how many of my still-waiting bloggy buddies will read this post, but I hope if you do, you will know that you are all still in my prayers!!! God has great surprises in store for you, I just know it!!

PS. Banana's bloodwork has been NORMAL the past two days!! We are so relieved and praying that we are done with that crazy-train for good!!!


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Lindsey has tagged me!

Rule #1:
the tagged person must write their answers on their blog and replace any question they dislike with a new question formulated by themselves.

Rule #2: tag 4 people to do this quiz; they cannot refuse (ok, so nothing bad will happen if you don’t participate but I would love to see your answers). The tag-ee must state who tagged them.

1. If you have pets, do you see them as merely animals or are they members of your family? We have 2 dogs (Banana and Bert), and they are truly members of your family. We wouldn't have kept Banana in the hospital for 2 weeks to the tune of $5k if we didn't love her dearly!! (Yes, it really did cost that much, and the tab is still running, and no we aren't done yet. She came home over the weekend, but bloodwork yesterday showed elevated levels again, so she had to spend the day at the vet yesterday getting more IV fluids. Ugh. We go back today to check her levels. Wake me up when this is over.)

2. If you could have a dream come true, what would it be? To have a LandRover (aside from the obvious that this little tyke growing up a storm is born healthy in October...)

3. What would you do with a billion dollars? Pay off our houses, set up a mutual fund/financial plan so we can have fun in retirement, put a bunch in a 529 (can you do that before the baby is born?), buy a LandRover (see #2), take our whole extended family (both sides) on vacation, furnish the house from PotteryBarn or EthanAllen, and set up a scholarship fund for local high school seniors

4. What helps to pull you out of a bad mood? Cooking, playing with my dogs, going for a walk, Mr. A's silly jokes, talking to my sisters or brother

5. What is your bedtime routine, with your kids? No kids that have a bedtime right now! But I hope to have a very relaxing routine for them when they get here :)

6. If you are currently in a relationship, how did you meet your significant other? We were in the same training class the first day I started at my office!

7. What kind of books do you read?
Normally new fiction that catches my eye and some Christian/inspirational types, too

8. How do you see yourself in 10 years? Living in the same general area, with hopefully 3 kiddos, our dog(s), and a great love for each other.

9. What’s your fear?
That I will lose this baby (we are being honest, right?). I know plenty of women have healthy pregnancies and they don't even say boo about the fact that things could go wrong, but after struggling with infertility, you know how many amazing things go into the growth of a baby, beginning from just 2 tiny cells!!! I have great faith that this little one will arrive healthy and happy in October, though, and I'm just trusting God and my body to know how to support him/her!!!

10. Would you give up all junk food for the rest of your life for the opportunity to see outer space? Actually, I don't eat that much junk food, and I don't really care if I see outer space....

11. What’s the first thing you do when you wake up? Go to the bathroom! Even before my alarm beeps, at this point!

12. If you could change one thing about your significant other, what would it be?
That he wouldn't drink so much sweet tea. I'm sure I should be concerned from a health standpoint (but I'm sure there are worse drinks..), but it is also annoying to have the sweet tea pitcher empty so fast! It is not hard to make, but...

13. If you could pick a new name for yourself, what would it be? I have never really wanted a new name! But maybe Emily? That was the name of my Cabbage Patch doll :)

14. If you had to choose between six months of sun or six months of rain, what would you choose?
Sun! Who chooses 6-months of rain? Although, if it rained for 6 months, we wouldn't have to worry about filling up our pool from evaporation, or watering our garden....????

15. If you could only eat one thing for the next 6 months, what would it be? Blueberries

16. What is the thing you enjoy about blogging the most? "Meeting" others who have similar interests, struggles, and concerns! Plus having it be an outlet for my own psyche :)

17. Do you prefer salty or sweet foods?

18. What items are in your purse right now? Wallet, lotion, a pen, a daily reflection booklet, chapstick... I dont have a very big purse!

19. If you had to choose between vacationing at the beach or in the mountains where would you go? Mountains....with a lake nearby ;-)

20. What do you watch on television that you know you shouldn’t?
I don't watch alot of normal TV (mostly just Food Network and The Office), but I watch crazy things on hulu like Toddlers and Tiara's and the Duggar clips. Those shows are so unbelievable, I just can't look away!

The four people I tag are:
The Fertility-Challenged Black Sheep
Making Me Mom
Mission: Motherhood

Ugh (Cont'd issues w/ friends)

Saturday, February 12, 2011

By some weird coincidence, my college friend #1 called me a couple weeks ago when I had just found out about this baby. I was kind of caught off guard- it has been since probably early November since we'd talked on the phone! I was actually heading to an appointment, so I asked her to call me another night.

She called last night, and because I find it particularly sort of annoying when people talk to me when they're pregnant and don't fess up, I decided to tell her about our news.

She was very, genuinely excited for me. After all, she is one of only two of them who ever actually called after I shared our struggle with them in October, and one of only three who have been consistently supportive ever since. It warmed my heart that I finally got to share such precious news with her.

But there were a couple times in our conversation that just made me sigh, to the deepest infertile corners. (I hope no one is offended at my wording- infertility is a huge part of my journey, even though I'm pregnant now, and it still stings when I am on the receiving end of disrespect towards those who suffer its cross.)

Exhibit A: {After telling her to please keep this news between her and I because I don't feel comfortable sharing so early with the other girls, given how unsupportive they seemed in past months..."} She says , "Well you know, I think it just made them feel uncomfortable- they have never dealt with that before- they didn't know what to say."
Exhibit B: She says, "Wow, this is great! We can talk more often!"

Okay, Exhibit A.

I will use my Grandma as a counter-argument to hers. My Grandma has Alzheimer's. Do I have Alzheimer's? Nope. Have I ever known someone with Alzheimer's? Nope. Do I just cut my Grandma off, and not talk to her anymore, and tell everyone else updates about my life except her because, hey, she probably won't remember it tomorrow? Nope.

I read about it online, to find out what types of things Alzheimer's patients love to talk about (e.g., old memories are retained more than new ones). I try to remain in more contact with her now because, from what I have read, having Alzheimer's is a very isolating sometimes-scary place to be. (Sound familiar?) And for heaven's sake, I tell her everything that I would tell anyone else, and if she forgets the next day, I'll just retell her! (She was SO excited to hear about our baby! She did suggest we use some awful family name for the little tyke, which I, myself, might forget!)

It is a human tragedy that people who struggle with infertility are forced to carry their own cross, but that they also have to go around making sure their cross doesn't offend or make other people uncomfortable. Other (fertile) people should be falling over themselves trying to make sure we are just as loved and included and valued. Maybe there will be times when it's just too hard to accept an invitation for lunch from your mom-of-three-under-four friend, but the invitation should always be there. And if you email them the link to RESOLVE's "How to be a good friend to an Infertile", they should not make excuses for their lack of stepping up to the plate with you.

Now for Exhibit B.

Um. I get that her life is consumed with her young son and her baby girl due in late March/early April, so she is really into baby stuff. But why are we going to be talking more now? Even though she may not have realized it, and despite my failed attempts at trying to update my "friends" last year with things that were going on in my life, we had things in common a year ago, and six months ago, and two months ago. I think it validates my feelings that my friends really do have crazy mom-blinders on them that render things like cooking and gardening and exercise completely devoid of meaning. Who cares if I cooked an amazing dinner- the only thing I can talk about is my baby's new {whatever}!!!

I think it is kind of sad that she said we're going to talk more now. I mean, there are good things, like finally feeling like I belong and that they will now think I am a worthwhile human person, but after my struggle with infertility, those feel so superficial. I fought many nights to convince myself that I was a worthwhile human person even though our IVF failed or our first month of acupuncture didn't magically plant a baby inside.

Because if you are good friends. And I mean, really good friends with someone, your friendship (and communication) should transcend circumstances. If your good friend gets cancer, and her life is filled with medications and appointments and new realities while yours is filled with sippy cups and laundry baskets and diapers, does that mean you can't talk as much? I say that if you are truly good friends, you will talk exactly the same amount, despite whatever personal war is raging or whatever joyful song is being lifted.

(And yes, I realize that people with similar likes/interests tend to gravitate towards each other because they are concerned with the same things, but the true lifetime friendships that are there for you no matter what shouldn't vary based on what exact spot you are in today. And if people aren't willing to be your friend through thick and thin, they shouldn't kid themselves about the quality/nature of their friendships.)

(And for what it's worth, I found out that the "friend" who told everyone else except me about her pregnancy after I specifically asked them all to include me on all their emails (see link above), is due in April, and she has still not told me. Can you believe that?!)

I made the decision last November to just keep in communication with those who have been supportive to me, and this baby does not change that at all. Although I have zero desire to share our news with those who have been unsupportive (mostly because I think their sickeningly sweet emails and subsequent including me in all their updates will make my skin crawl because I was so blatantly excluded before), I will tell them....eventually. I promise before September ;-)

PS. I imagine some people might tell me to just get over myself and be happy that they are going to be happy for us and include us and all of that. I am sure they will be happy, and maybe time will heal things, but I was so hurt by them last fall that I think it is going to take years, if it ever happens. They have no idea how their words (and/or lack thereof) have hurt me. And while some may say I'm being selfish or unforgiving or considering myself to be the center of the universe, I say it's all in the name of self-preservation. Which is something that you get schooled in after struggling with infertility for so long.

Say what?

Friday, February 11, 2011

This morning, I realized we haven't gotten a bill for Mr. A's truck since late November. Cue panic. We have always paid way extra, so when I just called the number on the last bill we got, the digital lady told me our next payment is due in July 2011. Whew. But still.

So of course after trying all kinds of mouth aerobics trying to say the phrases in the way the digital lady will understand, I finally squeak out a version of "operator" that she understands.

The operator tells me that they have been having a billing system upgrade issues since December, and that pretty much none of their customers have been getting their bills.


Ha! How can this be possible?! Are you telling me that you expect normal, busy, pulled in a thousand directions, adult Americans to realize on their own that they didn't get a bill and so they should pay it anyway?!

Am I just unorganized and scatterbrained that I didn't realize until today this bill was missing for 2 months?

I don't know if the online billing has been working- she seemed to indicate that the entire billing system is messed up- but we don't do online billing anyway. Mr. A doesn't like to give digital access to our bank account to billers- he read somewhere that even if you can't pay your bill, they will continue to take money out of your account and that they could technically take money out whenever they want to. It's not like we don't have enough money. He just likes us to write the actual checks :)

I feel bad for the people who aren't ahead on their payments. Does this ding their credit if they haven't paid in two months? Sheesh. That would suck.

BABY!!! (updated w/ photo)

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Our precious miracle is measuring 6w3d and has a heartbeat of 110!!!!

We are speechless and so in awe of God's creation. And of course SO EXCITED!!!!!

Will post a picture when I get home (see below)!!!

Thank you for all your prayers!!!

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Wednesday, February 09, 2011

After all we have been through, it is hard for me to believe that we are 6w1d today. (And yes, I am still taking tests at home, thankyouverymuch.) We have known about this baby for almost 2 weeks, and from all we can tell, everything is so far so good.

We have an early pregnancy ultrasound tomorrow. That is unbelievable!

We are so thankful and grateful for this little one, and we are praying he/she is healthy. I know that sounds dreadfully boring, but it is hard to put the magnitude of all of this into words.

I think tomorrow morning I will be the most nervous I have ever been in my life. My RE moved to a different suite in the same building, and I am sort of grateful because there was alot of disappointment and sadness associated with the previous suite. Now they are in a new suite, and I am on a new journey. Seems very appropriate, if I do say so myself.

I know there are a ton of you who are still waiting for your precious babies, and I have not stopped storming heaven on your behalf. I (we) so appreciate everyone's prayers for us and for our little one. If you have some spare moments, if you could please pray that everyone looks healthy tomorrow, and that we might be able to see a heartbeat!!

I will keep you posted!! Y'all are the greatest friends a girl could ever ask for :)

Acupuncture Woes

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

I love(d) going to acupuncture. Although my pulses never really improved (as far as my practitioner could tell), it was one of the au naturel things I had been doing for 4 months before our precious miracle came to be. It is so relaxing, and I have full faith that it was doing good things within my body.

But now that I have to make sure that this little guy/girl stays bubble wrapped and safe inside, I couldn't make up my mind about continuing with acupuncture.

I fully believe that it moves energy around your body and increases circulation here and there and gets rid of blockages. And this is why it (now) makes me nervous.

Right now, my body is at a new steady state that is, from all indications so far, supporting a healthy baby. I worry that if we go poking meridian points that something of my steady state will get off and the baby won't like it.

I have no doubt that my acupuncturist is well-trained and knowledgeable about points that are definitely to be avoided during pregnancy. But what if there are unintended consequences of a supposedly-benign point? From what I have read, some practitioners prefer to treat after the first trimester is over or not until the third one.

I talked with my acupuncturist about this early last week, and she assured me that it is fine for women to receive acupuncture their whole pregnancy; there are points to relieve morning sickness and other uncomfortableness, and there is even a happy/beautiful baby point that supposedly assures you that your child will be the next poster baby for Gap.

I asked her if we could just do ear points, which are less systemic than body points. She didn't seem to think that body points were all bad, so we settled on a treatment plan (for last Thursday) that included the finest needles and relatively few points.

And then Banana decided to eat my vitamins.

So in all the craziness of trying to deal with her first day on fluids, and trying to see where she would go overnight, I canceled my acupuncture appointment last Thursday afternoon. I explained why in my message to her, but I never heard back. Yesterday, I emailed her with the gory details of Banana's continued hospitalization (at this point, I'm just hoping we can pick her up after our u/s on Thursday morning). My acupuncturist emailed me back a short "thanks for the update."

I am somewhat worried that she thinks I am making this doggie catastrophe up, or that I am exaggerating the circumstances. Because how "convenient" would it be for me to have "something" come up when she knows I was nervous about being needled while pregnant.

Blah. I am even back to wondering if I even want to go during the first trimester. Am I being too cautious?

PS. Thank you to whoever submitted our happy news to LFCA! Or however they found out! :)

What a weekend

Monday, February 07, 2011

Long story short, Banana is still in the hospital. We need her combined calcium and phosphate levels to be below 60; we have gone from 81 (Thurs) to 60 (Friday) to 75 (Saturday) to 46 (Sunday) to 58 (this morning's), so we elected to keep her in one more day to make sure they don't go above 60 again. As far as we can tell, they should stay below 60, but we want to be sure. We are praying we can bring her home tomorrow morning.

Now for the long story, if you're interested in having something to read while draining your first cup of coffee :)

If you didn't already know, we live in a pretty rural area. Our vet is great, but the first impression of the emergency vet clinic is kind of unorganized, helter skelter, and fly by the seat of their pants. They are only open 6pm-8am, so you have to take your dog from your vet to their clinic and then pick up your dog again in the morning and take her back to the vet.

We show up there on Thursday night, and the vet there is very nice, but the techs don't seem to know how to work the accounting/computer system. We wanted to pay the full amount of the estimate, but they told us that we could only pay half. We leave Banana there, and plan to pick her up in the morning.

Friday morning comes, and I go to pick her up. The tech tells me that our bill is $250 more than the estimate. She says that the girl who entered the estimate the night before entered it as an invoice and not an estimate, so the billing is all messed up, and even though it seems like we have been double billed, we haven't. I just pay the balance, and I make sure I keep both receipts to go over carefully later.

Anna spent the day Friday at our vet's office, and her levels were 60. We are thinking, yay, she is going to come home tonight. Nope. Our vet says that she needs fluids overnight, so we have to take her back to the emergency vet. During the day, I've gone over our bills from the emergency vets, and I have come up with that they owe us $151. So when I take her to the emergency vet on Friday night, I tell them that, and they get all huffy. They tell me that they manager will not be in until Monday and that they will see what they can do and call me in a few hours. As far as the estimate this night, they tell me I *have* to pay it in full, which is totally opposite of what the tech on Thursday night said. This time when I leave Banana, she is barking, and I am in tears.

I get home, and Mr. A tells me that he thinks they owe us $250. He is really mad (at the emergency vet), and I am just upset because this is so much to take in. I felt awful leaving her there Friday night, knowing she was barking, and feeling zero confidence in their bookkeeping, honesty, and compassion.

By the way, they never called us about the bill Friday night.

Saturday morning I go to pick her up, and the vet there says that her levels that morning were 75. Yuck. She has to remain on fluids again. I told them that we are not happy with the care and treatment (of us) at their clinic, and we would be taking Banana to a 24-hour clinic in a bigger town 40 minutes away. She seems stunned. But I hold my ground. We are not dealing with these rough people anymore! They decide to credit us $165, and I told them that we still feel we hve been overbilled and that we'd like to talk to the manager. They told us that the manager does not usually interact with clients. HAAAAA!! I told her we will need to talk to her anyway. They also told me that they couldn't show me how they came up with a credit of $165, which is different than the numbers that me and Mr. A came up with!

At this point I am bawling in the emergency vet lobby. I am upset that Banana is not better yet, that we will have to pay more money, that I am tired of all the running around we are having to do to take her here and there, that I paid the huge bill without disputing it on the spot, and that I am supposed to be home getting our house ready for my aunt and cousin to visit!!! I called our vet, and through sobs, I tell her the situation and that we are moving Banana to the other clinic.

Mr. A straightens up the house while I take Banana to the other clinic. From the second I step into the door, I can tell this place is different. For the first time in 3 hours, I stop crying. Everyone is gentle, patient, and compassionate. They take the time to explain and comfort. They have marble countertops in the exam rooms, for heaven's sake. And, if you can believe it, their prices are lower than our dinky rural clinic's. They call the owners every morning and evening to give updates. They know exactly how to handle their accounting, and I walk out of there feeling 100% confident that they will help Banana get better. Finally, a sigh of relief.

My aunt and cousin made it to my house before me :) I told my cousin about our baby, and she was so excited! My aunt brought our little one their first books, and she brought me some lollipops for when I don't feel good! She is so amazing! We met my friend (who incidentally just got her BFP #6 on Friday) and her daughters (who are my cousin's age) for lunch, and we had a great time! We came home, hung out with Mr. A and Bert, went to church, and made my lentil soup (from Friday's recipe) and some pizza.

Yesterday morning, we got up at 4am (yes, FOUR IN THE MORNING). My cousin was performing (singing) at a pretty big concert hall and had to be there at 830am. Luckily, our timing was perfect, and we dropped her off. We had to wait a bit for a breakfast place to open, but we enjoyed some good food and took a walk in the big city streets until we had to be back for her performance at 12:30. She did great, and we were home by 5:30pm.

I fell asleep at 8pm. Ha!!

I am feeling a little off these days, but I am welcoming it :) I am just hoping and praying we see a healthy little heartbeat on Thursday!! I am trying not to worry or go.ogle. I am trusting my body to know what to do to support this little one!!!

Bert misses Banana something awful. We are praying she can be home tomorrow! It will make both of them so happy to be together again!

Adoption Auction!

Saturday, February 05, 2011

My friend Sarah and her hubby are hosting an online auction to raise money for their upcoming adoption! There are some really neat items- have a look at

Their auction is open through tomorrow (Sunday) night! Happy weekend!!

Food on Friday

Friday, February 04, 2011

For today's selection, I present to you a vegetarian option! (well, except the chicken broth, haha- but you could always use vegetable broth....)

Taken from this cookbook, a new favorite of mine! This soup has some really neat flavors from the ginger and sundried tomatoes, and the lentils are a very filling and satisfying "meat" for the soup. Hope you like it! (It is also excellent as leftovers for lunch the next day!)

Noodle and Lentil Soup

1/2 stick butter
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2-inch piece of ginger root, peeled and minced
1/2 tsp dried sage
1 cup lentils, rinsed
1/2 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes
4 cups chicken broth
2 cups water
8 oz of pasta (I used penne, but you could use rotini, etc.)
2 cups chopped spinach
salt and pepper, to taste

1. Melt butter over medium heat in a soup pot. Add garlic and ginger; cook 1 minute. Add sage, lentils, tomatoes, broth, and water. Bring to a boil over high heat, and then cover and reduce heat to medium. Simmer until lentils begin to soften, about 20 minutes. (Stir every now and then to make sure the lentils aren't sticking)
2. Turn heat up to high. Once the soup is boiling, add the pasta and boil until tender. Add spinach, and cook a few more minutes before serving.

(PS. Banana spent the night at the overnight vet, and she is back at our vet this morning for more bloodwork and fluids. We are praying that maybe her levels are back to normal and she won't have to stay over the weekend.... thanks for all your responses yesterday- you made me feel much better (less guilty)!!!)

I am a bad (dog) mom

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Banana decided to eat a gingerbread house and some Christmas cookies and some peppermint bark at Christmas. So we put her in her crate while we were gone for a while.

Then, we decided that she had probably learned her lesson, so I left her out once. She ate the other gingerbread house.

So, back in her crate she went (while we were gone). Then, I left her out again. She got a ceramic dish with a sealed lid off the counter, pushed it around for an hour, finally got the top off, and at the blackberry cobbler within. If you are wondering how we know this, I had turned on our webcam that has view of both the kitchen and family room.

So, back in her crate she went (while we were gone). Then, I left her out again (clearly I am not learning my lesson here). She got up on the counter and ate a 1.5lb beef roast that I was thawing.

So, back in her crate she went (while we were gone). Then, I left her out again while I went to CVS. When I came back, both her and Bert were sitting on the couch. Ah, finally she has learned not to get on the counter.

Then, I left her out yesterday when I went to get my bloodwork (progesterone is up to 20.2! did not recheck beta since it was high on Monday). When I came home, she had pulled all THREE of my bottles of vitamins off the counter. She ate the entire remainder of the bottle of vitamin D3, but I don't think she was impressed by the prenatals or the CoQ10 because those bottles still had the approximate amount of tablets in them. But there was zero D3 left.

She is lucky I am pregnant. I am SO frustrated with this recent behavior. We have been leaving her out for probably 2 years, and this has NEVER happened before. And it is not like we leave a steaming buffet on the counter. And sure, it is (partly?) my fault for leaving my vitamins in the same place they have been for the last 4 months. But I was so mad at her. She is lucky I am pregnant or she would have hours of ear-bending yelling coming at her.

Bert does not seem to take part in her mischief. From the video of the blackberry incident, he just walks around and looks at her, as if he is thinking "ohhhhhhh, I'm pretty sure you aren't supposed to be doing thattttttttttt."

So I take Banana to the vet this morning (just to be sure, otherwise she isn't seeming sick), and her calcium and phosphate levels are a tad above the allowable range. They call the pet poison control, and they are extremely alarmed, and they estimate she will have to be on fluids (at the vet hospital) and other medications until MONDAY.

So I started crying in the vet's lobby. I cannot believe this is my fault. We are probably looking at $2-5k, and it is ALL.MY.FAULT. Why didn't I just put her in her crate? I feel awful that she is in harm (although it is definitely treatable), but mostly (if I'm being honest) that we will have to pay this huge bill, and it all happened when Mr. A is on a business trip, so it is clearly my fault. Why did I have to try to let her out while I was gone, he wonders? GUILT. But she is the one doing things she knows is bad, so can I blame her a little? UGH.

I am having an awful morning!!

Poor taste

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Of course everyone knows that people have poor taste in talking to infertiles. They feel the need to suggest things you tried 2 years ago that failed. They feel the need to say maybe you should try them again. They feel the need to tell you every anecdote they know regarding pregnancy. They feel the need to perpetuate every myth on the planet; I think the all-time winner would be that you will get pregnant after signing adoption papers.

I am just here to say that it doesn't stop after a positive test.

On Monday night, I shared our happy news with the rest of the volunteers at our pregnancy center inservice. (Yes, I am still on "leave", but I wanted to share with them all, so I went to the inservice.) It was like an out of body experience to hear the gasps when I said "this morning I got a positive test after 3 years of trying and failed treatments", and to have everyone coming to hug me and congratulate me.

There was one lady who shared with me that they tried for 8 years and then adopted, and she didn't think she could have counseled while they were trying. I tried to tell her that my ability to reflect God's love and mercy to my clients was ALL Him, not me.

Then, there was another gal who came up to me at the end. Here is how the conversation went:

Her: Congratulations! We tried for 11 years, and now we have our nieces and nephews to keep us busy.
Me: Well gosh, thanks. I imagine you guys went through alot while you were trying, too.
Her: Yah, we did, but now it is fine. So have you had bloodwork?
Me: Yes, I had some this morning for hcg and progesterone.
Her: Oh, that is good. Who are you seeing?
Me: Oh, Dr. (so and so) over at (university)
Her: Oh, I know him! Well, just so you know now, that he is going to want alot of bloodwork to make sure the hormones like progesterone and estrogen are okay, because bad things can happen like the lining separating or the baby not implanting right and so they are going to keep very close tabs on that.
Me: Um, yah, I'm sure he will keep an eye on it.

Okay. I really appreciate her opening up to me about her infertility. And maybe infertility 11+ years ago was not the sea of knowledge and tests and research and googlemania it is today, (and maybe I am just extra sensitive in my new "state), but does she really think after 3 years of infertility that I am not familiar with bloodwork?! Okay, fine, she doesn't know our history. (But to be honest, I don't really think she knows him that well, because compared to some of your RE's, he requires very little bloodwork.)

My bigger beef is who the heck tells a newly pregnant woman about awful things that can happen?!?!?!??!?!?!? Haaa!!! That is like saying to a newlywed wife "Now, you know, there is a chance your plane might crash into the Atlantic Ocean on the way to your honeymoon." Of course there is a chance, but now is not the time!!

I really am praying for all my bloggy buddies who are still waiting. I know alot of people say that, but honestly I have a list in my prayer journal with all of you on it!!! And I hope that when you get your BFP's, the people around you will just be so excited and not feel the need to tell you things that are totally not what you want to hear!!!

(ETA: A couple of commenters have brought up a good point that maybe it was her infertility or miscarriage speaking. That is definitely possible. To be honest, if I had been in their shoes, probably all I could have mustered was a short congratulations, so I definitely appreciate them opening up to me, their "advice" notwithstanding!!!)


Tuesday, February 01, 2011

(First, thank you EVERYONE for such a huge outpouring of support and love and excitement over our unexpected miracle. We are so excited and praying for a healthy baby, and I am so thankful that you are doing the same! We feel very lucky and very thankful and very humble right now, knowing the magnitude of what is happening. I think CoCo said it best that even after all we went through last year, God wanted to have this miracle be all about His power over what we feel are dire circumstances!!!)

I bet you thought that I forgot that certain cool people gave me some awards last week!

Lovin' Ma Soldier gifted me with this one:

Lovin Ma Soldier, IFfy life, and the lost stork were kind enough to tell me that...

And, the lost stork, Pez, and PinkaDots think I am a...

Wow, I am getting quite the large doses of humility lately! Thank you ladies for these awards :)

Here's how this awards work:
1. Thank and link back to the person who gave you the award.
2. Share 7 things about yourself.
3. Award 15 recently discovered great bloggers.
4. Make sure you contact these bloggers to let them know about the award

Here are my 7 things:
*I have never ridden a horse.
*I am a perennial-only flower gardener thanks to training from my previously mentioned super cool vegetarian aunt who is also an amazing perennial gardener. Hello, you don't have to buy new flowers every year!!!
*I make all our bread- 100% whole wheat with wheat flour we grind ourselves!
*I love broccoli.
*I am the oldest of four kids, and I thank God every day for my sibs
*I ran cross country in high school, and have (in my adult life) completed two marathons (4:01 and 4:20), two half marathons (both 1:06ish), several 10-miler's, and countless other races!! I think my running chapter is behind me, but I loved it!!!
*I have a pink motorcycle helmet for when Mr. A and I go on rides B-)

Here are the blogs I nominate:

The Wonder Wife- She's been reading for a while but just delurked recently, and I am so glad she did- loving her blog!! She is praying to conceive, in that, her husband would like to wait a while until they "try", but her heart is ready. Go over and see what they are up to in the meantime!

While I'm Waiting- I love this blog for Lisa's reflections. She posts wonderful devotions for those who are in need of a spiritual lift! She and her hubby lost their baby at 14w last year, and I have been praying that God would bless them again soon.

The Pughs- Rachel makes me want to move to Alabama and be her best friend! They have this cool painting store with fun Friday night projects, and it looks SO fun!! They have chosen adoption and have a baby placed with them now. I am praying that everything goes smoothly and that the baby will be theirs soon!

from IF to when- This chic is an amazing writer! She was even in the finals of RESOLVE's best blog award last year!!! WOW. She and her hubby have been through alot of uncertainty with IF lately, and have chosen to pursue adoption. I pray that their journey is smooth and short!

the big infertility- I am a new follower to this blog, and I was initially drawn to it because they are choosing embryo adoption! I wish them all the best in their journey, and look forward to seeing how everything unfolds!

the black sheep- I love this blog for her really hilarious takes on things, and the fact that she calls everyone GLOB's (you will have to go see what that stands for!). I hope that she and her hubby will be blessed soon, because that baby is going to have one heck of a great life!

BrigitteMarie- This is one of my sibs' blogs! She is an artist, an art teacher, and one strong and independent young woman. I am so proud of her! If you need any kind of art for your walls, go check out her etsy store! She has some photographs, but my favorite pieces of hers are the paintings she does of photographs. Do you have an amazing photograph you took on vacation in Tahiti? Send it to her and she will replicate it on canvas to make an amazing piece of artwork for your home!

venting vagina- Finally, this fashionable NY bloggy buddy has some buns in the oven. Be healthy, babies! She always posts crazy unbelievable things that provide the right amount of entertainment needed for a slow afternoon at work!

Something Beautiful- A wonderful friend of mine who has been with me through up's and down's (for each of us), she finally brought her son home last week!! She is an amazing example of trusting God that His plan is better than what we can imagine! Plus she has this daily calendar that is freakin' amazing on how its verses are so applicable to whatever is happening today!

The Bigger(s) Picture- Melissa is a new mom who is real and honest and funny! Her Ten on Tuesday posts are always thought provoking and comment worthy!! She has been a great support to me :)

On (In)fertile Ground- I am pretty sure Sonja has no time to do this award, but I just love her blog. She had QUADS last year, and they are so stinkin cute!! You should check her out just to be in awe of those little ones and how she is raising them!!

Making Me Mom- Hillary is an amazing daughter of the King, and she has been so faithful during her infertility journey. Right now, she and her hubby are seeking where to go next, and I ask you to pray that they will be given clarity. Go over and lend her some support!

Delinquent Eggs- I am a new follower of this blog, and she is a great writer. She is also trying to figure out where to go next, and I'm hoping that whatever they choose will be successful!

Cheap Version of Therapy- Josey is just starting to be treated at CCRM, and I'm praying that their plan of action will bring a baby into her home. Her and her hubby have been dealing with some job uncertainty lately, but they are pushing through, doing their best and rolling with the punches!!

My lazy Ovaries- I am new to following this blog, but so far the best thing about my reading there is this gal's blunt honesty! Like all things you think but never write, she has the courage to put them down on "paper"!! It is very refreshing and I think anyone will find something in common here!

WHEW! I love all the blogs on my blogroll, so if I didn't get you this time, I'll be sure to highlight you next round of awards!!