Sweet, Sweet Panda Baby

While the rest of world might not care, the DC metro area is buzzing with excitement. The Nationals on the way to the play offs? Nooo … The presidential election? Nooo … RG3 is killing it as a rookie Redskin? Nooo … What on earth has been headline news in the nation’s capital?

Mei Xiang had a baby! Mei is a panda at the National Zoo,  who had her last baby in 2007 and this little bundle of joy was a surprise! Zoo officials say they were hopeful she was pregnant (apparently panda pregnancies are hard to detect) because she wasn’t getting pregnant after many attempts and had 5 pseudo-pregnancies in the past few years.  She had LESS THAN a 10% chance of getting pregnant again.

Panda Cam Shot

You know where I am going with this. I find so much hope in this panda mama and her pink stick of butter (which is what a panda baby looks like).  I love turning the news on in the morning and hearing how the zoo keepers (that isn’t their title is it, it sounds so Curious George) are keeping their distance and letting Mama do her thing. Apparently this unnamed baby is a loud one!

Things I Look Forward to When I am Pregnant

While I am wondering if I am in fact pregnant (I will never say preggo. Knocked up yes, preggo no),  I am thinking about all the things I will love about being pregnant. Here’s a few so far:

  1. Maternity Clothes – As a ‘larger woman’, I always go shopping in the plus size section of stores, which is next to the maternity department. Why they do this is infuriating to me, but it does give me a chance to see the fun styles. Mostly it’s an accident because I think it’s plus size and not maternity and I am always let down. Not anymore!
  2. Being Special – While I don’t want strangers touching my belly, I will enjoy being the center of attention, I am not going to lie.
  3. Not being alone – Think about it. For 9 months, I am never alone. It will be even real when the baby starts moving. I bet it’s cool.
  4. Redecorating! – I love organizing and decorating, so putting together a nursery will be a fun event.

So just a few things I am looking forward to. If not this cycle, there’s always next time.

It’s been a week. Too soon to take a pregnancy test? Damn.

The Art of Waiting

It’s official, we are in the two week wait (don’t cringe, I won’t start using stupid acronyms like TWW)!  I triggered on Friday and we *ahem* did as the doctor instructed. Now … we wait.

As usual, I took to Google to find out what I should be eating, what to do, what not to do … but alas, I came across stupid lists about how to keep myself busy. Some suggestions made sense like blog, watch a movie, read a book … and some were just plain stupid. Here’s a taste:

  1. Wear loose clothing (um, so the baby, who is the size of a pinhead doesn’t suffocate? I can imagine walking into a meeting, ‘sorry, had to ditch the suit for the sweats. I am trying to make a baby.’)
  2. Write your husband a love letter everyday (I’m the one trying to grow a baby, write ME a damn love letter)
  3. Create a fertility dance (I don’t even know …)
  4. Ask your husband to do the vacuuming, dishwasher, laundry, and garbage disposal (Laughable. Because I usually do ALL those things. Just kidding. He does them all already)
  5. Cut Coupons (that should kill an hour)

Here’s what I’m doing during my two week wait:

  1. Working (gotta make the money honey)
  2. Taking Charlie to the dog park
  3. Going apple picking and to dinner with Sam for his birthday
  4. Spending a day shopping with Mom in Annapolis
  5. Going to the Renaissance Festival with friends
  6. Having lunch with old coworkers
  7. Having lunch downtown with Sam for our 2nd anniversary

But really, it’s a lot of taking medicine (Promethium twice daily and Metformim daily), going through my daily routines and encouraging my body to do what it needs to do.  It’s out of my hands now!

Pull the Trigger!

I had, yet another, ultrasound today and extensive bloodwork – it took them 45 minutes to find a vein! I think my veins have finally had enough. And frankly I can’t blame them.

But … the good news is it looks like tomorrow I will get the green light to trigger!  The trigger shot is basically a dose of HCG (the pregnancy hormone). So when we get the shot, it’s telling my eggs to put on their fanciest panties and red lipstick because the boys are coming to town. This is all really, really good news. Of course, it screws up our weekend in Maryland. But we can downgrade our family weekend to a day.

Also something that makes my head spin that on October 1st, at 7:15AM we are going to to find out if we are pregnant. Just like that. I always pictured it a little differently. You know, wondering, getting the pregnancy pee test, being surprised and surprising my husband. The old fashioned way. Same end result, different path.

How the hell will I keep myself busy for 15 days wondering if I have a person growing inside of me? I should take up knitting.

Over It

Phew. It’s been a rough few days for so many reasons. I am hoping I am crying all the time because I am going to start ovulate any damn minute. I had another ultrasound today and the good news (!!!!) is they are seeing progress and hopefully I will ready to trigger on Thursday. Also, more good news, if I have to do another cycle, they will just start my Gonal shots at the dose that worked and I won’t have to build up again.

I am dealing with R. being public with her pregnancy and it stings a little more than I anticipated. However, with all the other infertility blogs I read (PS – mine is WAY more interesting), my family is SO understanding. But, of course, I don’t want to take one thing away from R’s pregnancy and she knows that. Some days are easier than others, and one day it will be use with hundreds of Facebook well wishes.

It’s funny, I am praying for a trigger shot the way most couples pray for a positive pregnancy test. A whole lotta God/Buddha/Allah/Goddess up in this place!

Ultrasounds, Bloodwork and Angry Birds

So I’ve been kinda quiet lately, not for any exciting reason, just going about our day to day life adding in doctor appointments and shots. The shots are getting much MUCH better and S. is a trooper. Last night I really had enough. I am so tired of being a human pincushion. I know the medicine is working – it’s just such a long, time consuming process to determine which Gonal dosage is going to do the trick. They can’t start at the top, because then too many follicle will grow and the chance of being an Octo-Mom increases.

Saturday will be my 7th ultrasound, 7th blood draw and tonight will be my 12th Gonal shot. My poor abdomen is all puffy and bloated (but fancied up with Angry Birds bandaids). I know it’s worth it in the end, but I am just tired of it all.

But even though I’m cranky and whining today, it is not lost on me about how lucky I am to have the job I do.  I work in IT (but not on the technical side) from the comfort of my home with flextime. I was thinking – 7 doctor’s appointments since 27 August and my coworkers are none the wiser. I am able to get my appointment done before most of them start their day. But I can’t imagine the sacrifice teachers, nurses, shift workers and moms have to make to do this. How do they fit it into an already busy schedule, find coverage and tell their supervisors? I am thankful for the ability to keep my infertility treatments close to the vest.

Sitting in Shady Grove, I see all kinds of people – old, young, skinny, overweight, some with partners, some solo without wedding rings. We are all dealing with the same(ish) situation. It helps to know S. and I are not the only ones emptying our purses for a dream.

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Hit Me With Your Best Shot

Phew! I was not a happy, infertile woman when Nurse Anne called me yesterday afternoon and said she wanted me to do an injection for the next 2 nights. Sure, we took the class where we stuck a notepad with some ‘fake skin’ that felt like raw chicken. An aside – if my skin feels like raw chicken skin, we have a whole new problem.

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S got home and I was ready to rock and roll and get this over with. S filled the needle like a seasoned heroin addict … just kidding, of course. But he did a great job! Here’s how it went when I laid down:

J: Okay, I need you to just do it, don’t count or anything. And I can’t look. It’s not because it’s you, I have to do it with the nurses too. I have total faith in you.

S: Okay, 1, 2 …

J: I SAID NO COUNT …

And then he shot me up with the very important Gonal F. I didn’t feel it go in, but it burned a little bit. And, like a good infertile, hormonal wife, I demanded a present for each shot. Nothing big and flashy, but if I was 4 years old and getting a shot, I would get a sticker right? It feels like a valid request. This shot I got a lollipop bouquet in the shape of circus … things. Yay! Plus, he got some fun Angry Bird bandaids. Obviously I didn’t need them since the injection was so teeny tiny, but that wasn’t the point.

One more tomorrow, then Wednesday I head to get another ultrasound, then hopefully a trigger shot.

Not So Fabulous Follicles

It’s been a few days since my last post, but work has been revving up and nothing too important baby related was happening. I had my second ultrasound today and determine if I was ready to put on the Barry White and get to baby making. My follicles are being stubborn (PS – don’t Google Ovarian Follicle. Trust me. You’re welcome). I also wonder if this is a ploy to get a few more co-pays … regardless, the doctor seems confident I am just a late bloomer. Back on Wednesday! At this point I can walk in and do the ultrasound myself.

Also, if you don’t mind, I am going to get on my Judgmental Soapbox. Another Facebook friend (real life acquaintance), is having another baby by a new baby daddy. Yes, both babies were born in monogamous relationships. This is the THIRD person I know with 2 kids, with 2 different Dads and no wedding in sight. Yes, I totally get that women are having babies all the time in a plethora of ways. And each child is a gift … blah blah blah. But I can’t help but be pissed. I had protected sex with each of my past partners to avoid having a baby. I fell in love, had a wedding, and I am not pregnant. Despite wanting to be and paying good money to get there. It doesn’t seem fair. (PS – sorry if you are in this position and offended, but I’m keeping it real). I really want to ask these girls (who are younger than myself) if they understand where babies come from.

Well, back to growing my follicles. What are you doing today?

This Is My Confession

One of my favorite parts of the day is when I snuggle into bed with S and the beagle and I flip through Google Reader. Hey! You should add me to your Google Reader. Look down in the right hand corner. Anyway … I read all kinds of blogs, lately, I have been reading Shady Grove’s blog. And guess what smacked me right in the face Friday night? This little gem:

“Q Are there any risk factors associated with miscarriage?
A The risk of miscarriage increases with increasing age, especially in women over the age of 35. Smoking, caffeine, and alcohol increase your risk of miscarriage. Also, some medications, including those you can buy without a prescription, may increase your risk.”

I don’t smoke, never even tried it. I seldom drink alcohol. Caffeine …. that’s another story. My biggest fantasy is rolling over in the morning and having S. hand me a ice cold can of Diet Coke. I start my day with one, cap my mid-morning granola bar with one and enjoy dinner with an icy can of caffeine.  God help me if I am out and about during the day, 7-11 has nothing on my $2.29.

I posted on Facebook about quitting my beloved Diet Coke and many people chimed in about how wonderful their life has been since they quit their soda addiction. They are freaking pooping rainbows and riding unicorns. And not one, NOT ONE mentioned the initial side effects.

I went cold turkey. Saturday AM. Between then and now, I have tripped numerous times, lost my car in a parking garage and assumed it was towed, knocked over my chair, screwed up a website for work, sent an email with the cc emails in the subject line (twice), and almost went to the ER for a migraine so horrible I wanted to die last night. Today is a little better, but I still want to cry when I see a Diet Coke commercial on TV. I change the channel as fast as I do when Sarah McLaughlin’s ASPCA commercial comes on (and that’s fast). One day I hope to poop rainbows and ride unicorns too. But not today. Or tomorrow.

the first step is admitting you have a problem

Sex & The City & Needles

Yesterday I had to cancel an important meeting because I have to wait by the door for the FedEx man delivering my injections. Normally it would be no big deal for them to drop it at our apartment’s leasing office, but I am terrified I won’t get them in time, into the refrigerator in time and ruin this whole process, ultimately depleting our savings and ruining our life. File this under over obsessing, I am 100% aware.

I am also freaking out a little bit about doing the injections. Thankfully it’s only once (I think) in my stomach fat, which shouldn’t be hard to find. S. and I are going to a class on Sunday about how to do this, but frankly, I can’t do it to myself. First of all, no one wants to cause themselves pain. In elementary school I had one of those plates on the roof of my mouth that pushed my teeth out (to make room for braces). It required turning a key daily and I had a hard time with it. S. is going to have to do the stabbing and I know he won’t want to. Then again, if I get all ‘Clomid Monster’ on him, he might enjoy a little temporary pain.  I was really hoping to avoid injections.

A cardboard baby. Who does that? Oh, a future ex-husband. Thats who.

I was thinking last night about the whole injection process and it occurred to me – I forgot the most important show of infertility on a TV show – Charlotte on Sex in the City! I am ashamed I forgot it. Charlotte was by far my favorite, and had her share of infertility issues. Her first husband, Trey, decided, when Charlotte became obsessed with getting pregnant (even though the doctor said their chances are slim), he wasn’t ready for babies. Trey’s mother made it very clear, in her own elite way, an adoption was not an option for the couple. OH! And the best part, possibly the best scene from all the SATC episodes … Trey brought Charlotte a cardboard baby. A FREAKING CARDBOARD BABY! If S. did anything like that, he wouldn’t be around to tell the story.

To add to the emotional turmoil, Miranda, Charlotte’s best friend, finds herself pregnant by accident and viewers see how Charlotte finds it hard to handle, especially when Miranda discusses terminating the pregnancy.

Harry, the 2nd husband (a loveable bald Jew) comes into the picture (and shortly leaves) and they try for babies and have a miscarriage. Towards the end of the story line, Harry and Charlotte adopt a beautiful baby from China.  Oh, and if we fast forward to the SATC movie … Charlotte gets pregnant.

So, it’s clear, everything works out perfectly in the end.