Friday, August 28, 2009

big week

First, there's some good news in IF-land this week...

Gil introduced Trinity to the world- congratulations to the happy family!

Murgdan got a BFP, and will have a confirming beta on Monday. Hurray for Murgdan and perseverance!

I hope the success that these two have finally found continues to inspire and motivate others who are still TTC. I know each of our situations is unique, but it helps to see success around us. It's a comfort to see someone succeed. It CAN be done!

On the personal front, I had my first appointment with my midwife. I was a little surprised in some ways, but pleased all-in-all and pretty comfortable with my choice at this point. Firstly, the office was one massive advertisement. There were photographs of pregnant bellies and newborns and families displayed on every wall (even in the exam rooms), along with business cards and brochures for some photographer. There were "informative" posters in the exam room for various forms of birth control, all manufactured by one drug company (except for the condoms, I think). I was given a 10-pound "goody-bag" filled with ad-filled publications- parenting magazines, healthy-living guides, book lists, coupons, etc. I guess I've joined a new demographic that's notorious for excessive spending. Yippee. Can't wait to see who they've sold my address and newly-pregnant status to. I was tempted to find another practice. But then I met my midwife. The other surprise, which shouldn't have been (I guess) was the number of bumps and babies and spouses in the waiting room. It's a completely different atmosphere from the RE's office.

Oh- and the scale... shocker there, too. According to their scale, I weight 10 full pounds more than my home scale tells me every morning. My home scale, which agreed with the RE's scale when I was weighed 2 days before ER, and which has been telling me I'm down 4 pounds overall since ER. As if that weren't bad enough, I'm an inch shorter than anyone's ever measured before. I wonder how much shorter I can be before I need to correct my driver's license. My next appointment will be in another of their offices, closer to work (4 miles away!). I'm curious if it'll agree with my home scale or yesterday's office.

The practice includes 6 physicians and 2 midwives. Any one of them might be involved in my delivery, as it all depends on who happens to be on call when the time comes. I suppose that's standard, since no one can be on-call 24/7. It has me seriously considering finding a doula, though, so that I can have one-on-one attention consistently throughout my labor. The midwife I met yesterday appears to be pregnant. It's not socially acceptable to ask, and I couldn't tell if her dress was maternity-wear or just fashionably shirred below the empire waist. It should be obvious by our next appointment in just over 3 weeks. If she's showing, then I suspect she's at least a couple of months ahead of me, but I'll need to ask her how much maternity leave she plans to take. Not that it matters, I suppose, since the odds are only 50/50 that I'd see her anyhow... IF I labor during the work week, because midwives aren't on-call on weekends.

Anyhow, she was great. Before beginning an exam, she gave me her spiel on nutrition and exercise. Then she gave me the chance to ask as many questions as I wanted. We talked for over 30 minutes, and at no point did it seem that she was in a rush to move on to another patient or get my appointment over with. She explained the sorts of genetic testing available to me since I'm over 35 (we're taking the bloodwork & u/s approach for now... non-invasive, and potentially revealing). We chatted about birthing options, and the fact that I really have no idea what will work for me. She gave me a list of books and a video that might help me understand what's available. She assured me that her practice, and the hospital they work with, resort to medical interventions only when necessary or specifically requested by the patient (i.e. pain medication). She spent a good ten minutes trying to find the baby's heart beat with a doppler, to no avail, but all the time repeating that 10 weeks is still early for doppler and that a tipped uterus would make it essentially impossible to hear so soon. She didn't mention that my being a wee bit overweight wasn't helping with the doppler, and for that I am grateful... especially after the scale incident.

Then, she did a standard gyn exam and figured out that my uterus really is tipped, and considerably so. It's also way off-center. I suspect my lopsidedly hyperstimulated ovaries may have contributed... my uterus is off to the right, and my left ovary was the big performer. Apparently, none of that is a problem as she proclaimed that everything was sized appropriately and appeared to be progressing smoothly, so the lack of HB was a non-issue. She's confident we'll hear it next time, at just under 14 weeks. I would have cried (remember- I really need to hear or see that heartbeat... I've read Susan's and Mo's blogs...), but the nuchal translucency u/s is in just two weeks. I am again erring on the side of optimism and refusing to acknowledge that anything bad could happen. I can make it through two more weeks, especially as long as I continue to feel hungover and exhausted.

Today, I went in for an OB panel blood draw and met with even more convenience now that I'm associated with a practice and hospital in my neighborhood. Instead of driving an hour from home, thirty minutes from work, to have blood drawn, I drove 4 miles from my office to the lab in the same building as my midwife's usual office and was back to work before anyone even noticed I'd left. Seriously- no new emails or voice messages waiting when I returned.

Other big news? Well, I am officially cancelling the insurance that has paid for this year's IF treatments. The policy provided by C's union covers pregnancy, no matter how we got here, so I don't need the additional coverage any more. It's a huge financial relief to drop that monthly expense, especially as we fear that lay-offs might come early this year. We're hoping that C will be employed at least through Halloween, but you never know. He's looking into returning to a career as an long-haul truck driver, which could mean being away from home for a week or two at a time... possibly longer on occasion. I'd miss him. But, to be completely honest (and sometimes he does read this blog), I think I'd get more housework done if I were home alone once in a while. As a trucker, he'd be able to take time off when the baby comes, too, without jeopardizing his job.

And finally, we're done with crinone! If I can stay awake, maybe C and I will get romantic again soon. Yippee!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Looking forward to Thursday-

I'll reach the 10 week mark.
I'll have my first midwife appointment- and there'd better be an u/s or doppler because I need to see or hear that heartbeat.
The heat wave that has plagued the northeast will finally break, for real.

For the sake of remembering them later, here are the symptoms I've been experiencing lately-
* Still feeling "hungover" almost 24/7. The only real cure is to eat, but ironically food no longer appeals to me. I'm not opposed to food or eating, and haven't experienced any real aversions. Everything just kind of tastes bland to me. A piece of toast is as enticing as chicken piccata.
* Trouble sleeping through the night. Not because of the dire need to empty a bladder at 2 am, which I was warned to expect (and haven't experienced), but because I simply wake inexplicably in the middle of the night and then spend an hour or more trying to fall back to sleep. As a result, I'm perpetually sleepy. I'm hoping the cooler weather coming at the end of the week will help with this.
* I don't like coffee. The last cup I made for myself (iced, with a splash of light cream) about 4 weeks ago, I couldn't bring myself to drink. Not an aversion, I don't think,... it's just not appealing. I don't even enjoy the aroma of C's morning cuppa.
* Expanding midsection, but little-to-no weight gain so far. I don't know my starting weight, but I suspect I gained at least 5-10 pounds while stimming. I was weighed in the RE's office two days before ER to provide a basis for OHSS monitoring ("if you gain more than 3 pounds in 24 hours, call us"), then I lost 6 pounds during the TWW. Now, I'm hovering 3-6 pounds below the pre-ER weight, so essentially no change since the TWW. Meanwhile, none of my pants fit comfortably. Thank goodness for the Be-band. In another week or two, I'll start recording actual measurements, for my own sake. I have more formerly "too big" fall/winter clothes than summer ones, so I'm looking forward to coooler weather and the chance to wear them. My heat-wave wardrobe is pretty sparse, especially since much of it wouldn't fit without revealing more than I'm willing to exhibit at this point.

But now, I just want it to be Thursday. I want some reassurance that Ishkabibble is still alive and well inside me. And I want to sleep for an entire night under a blanket instead of on top of it.

Friday, August 21, 2009

tears in his eyes

We still haven't told any of my family and most of C's about the coming addition to our happy clan. I like the idea of telling them all at once (or as many as we can assemble), so we've invited everyone over for dinner on the Saturday of Labor Day weekend. I bought a couple of sweatshirts for us to wear for the occasion (I hope it cools off by then!)-

I think it'll be more fun watching who notices the words than if we just flat-out told everyone. The shirts arrived in yesterday's mail, so I opened them while dinner was cooking and showed them to C. In addition to our sweatshirts, I picked up a couple of onesies. I just couldn't resist. I tossed one to C so he could see what it looked like. Hi eyes welled up and his voice nearly cracked when he tossed it back to me saying, "You shouldn't show me baby clothes. You'll make me cry."

I've imagined for years how I would tell our family that we're expecting, and I get all teary and goose-bumpy just thinking about finally having the chance to actually do it. We have our first midwife appointment next week, and I'm erring on the side of hope by ignoring the possibility that anything bad could have happened since the last time I saw that tiny heartbeat.

Meanwhile, I am still hoping and praying for the IFfers who've suffered a miserable summer of losses and BFNs. I wish I could make us all pregnant. My commenting has dwindled recently, not because I stopped reading or caring but because I don't know if some folks want to hear words of encouragement from someone approaching "the other side." We're still a long way from holding a healthy baby... there's so much that could happen over the next 7 months. But we've jumped that first hurdle, and I understand the distance that creates from so many in the IF world. My thoughts are with all of you!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

salvation & salivation

Much as I like sour candies, preggie pop drops simply aren't for me. I don't like the aftertaste left by super sour candy and my poor tongue was getting shredded by the sharp edges that develop as each candy dissoved. Today, though, my ginger candy arrived. I love these candies! I've gotten them before from Trader Joe's, but the variety pack included flavors I hadn't tried before- so yummy! Maybe it's all in my head, or maybe I've just eaten so many of them today that my stomach hasn't been truly empty, but I feel much better today. Still dog-tired, but not quite so hungover.

Warning- ginger candies are really hot, in a ginger-spice kind of way. If you aren't already a fan of ginger, these aren't for you. But if you like ginger, these are amazing!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

8w0d, 149bpm- all is well

I have several more blurry u/s images to scan, but again there's not much to see. I was slightly concerned about size since Ishka measured a day behind at the first u/s, but today the wee one measured two days ahead (8.3 weeks size at exactly 8 weeks). Heart rate was a stunning 149 bpm. My ovaries are still slightly enlarged thanks to all the stimming (thank goodness... I was afraid I was just getting fat because my jeans still aren't comfortable), but not alarmingly so. We've been officially released to the care of whomever we choose.

At the point where a normal patient would probably hug her RE, I just smiled, said "Thanks," and waltzed out the door. All-told, I met with this woman exactly 7 times over 13 months and she never participated in any of my procedures. I feel more like hugging Dr. Aggressive, who happened to be working the weekend of my 40-egg retrieval and who encouraged us to go ahead with the transfer in spite of the threat of OHSS. My own RE, even before anyone knew exactly how many eggs would be retrieved, had recommended "freeze all" in my chart (without mentioning it to me). The second RE who worked the day of my retrieval, who actually did my retrieval, was against transferring too. I feel so lucky that Dr. A was on that weekend, and that he was the one to call with my fertilization report and to explain my options. Everyone else wanted to freeze my embies and wait. Luckily, we didn't.

Not to mock fate or anything, but I did ask the RE when we might begin thinking about #2 and what protocol she would propose for that. If we return to the same office, we'll follow the same protocol as our successful cycle (long lupron cycle with Gonal-f). And I still have a few years before I reach their maximum age for own-egg cycles, 44.

But for now, and for the next year or so, my attention is totally on Ishkabibble. I have my first midwife appointment in two weeks (I hope there's an u/s involved!). I picked her practice because they work with the hospital in my town and have an office in the town where I work. If we click, I'll stick with her. If not, I'll search around for someone else. My focus now is on staying somewhat local (can't stand the thought of fighting rush-hour traffic while in labor) and finding a group that doesn't default to major interventions for delivery. Sure, I want an epidural and a c-section if they're necessary. But ONLY if they're necessary.

Other happy news today- the crinone ends in just two more weeks! Originally, I was instructed to continue with it through my 11th week, but the RE told me today to stop at 10 weeks. One week less is wonderful news.

I'm still not telling anybody else.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

not much to say

I have a hard time thinking of things to say just now, in light of Sprogblogger's and Mo and Will's recent losses. I feel like the unworthy winner of some really big, life-altering prize. I did nothing to earn this or to deserve it any more than they did. And any minute now, this pregnancy could be taken away. I have an u/s scheduled for tomorrow morning, at precisely the 8-week mark. I hope to clearly see the heartbeat again, and to learn that little Ishka has caught up with expectations after measuring a day behind at the first u/s.

I had toyed with the thought of telling a few more people if tomorrow goes well, but that was before I heard about Susan and Mo & Will. They were farther along than I am. I'm older than they are. We're not telling anyone else until Labor Day, at the earliest. I'll be a few days short of 12 weeks at that point. I guess there's really no point at which this becomes a sure thing, but the longer I'm pregnant, the more attached I become to this life growing inside me and the more support we'll need to handle a loss.

But, that's enough dwelling on the bad side of what-if. This might work. I'm still enjoying constant morning-sickness. Not the earth-shattering kind. I just feel like I'm going through the longest hangover I've ever had. Food in general is not at all appealing, but I only feel normal while eating. I haven't the patience nor the stomach to actually cook anything, so I filled the freezer with frozen meals. I realize now why I never bought saltines before- I just don't like them, but I've munched them dutifully when the thought of popping another preggie pop drop in my mouth was more unsettling than the flavorless crunch of the cracker. I ordered a variety of ginger candies, which should have arrived yesterday, but FedEx has no record of picking up the shipment so who knows when I'll actually see them. I sent a pathetic appeal for expedited shipping to the company yesterday, explaining that morning sickness + pregnancy hormones = me crying when there was no package for me. They haven't responded. (Just checked FedEx- the package was finally picked up and should be delivered next week... I guess my appeal fell on deaf ears.)

And to end on a truly positive note, IrishNYC gave birth to a beautiful, red-headed baby girl last Thursday. This does sometimes work. IFfers do sometimes see dreams come true.

Thursday, August 6, 2009


I thought C had made the name up, but when I plugged it into, real results appeared. This fits, I think. We IFfers worry constantly, whether we've seen a BFP or not- first about getting pregnant, then about staying that way. We know how neurotic we are, and how unreasonable our worries can be (sometimes).

So, here I am, finally pregnant. "What, me worry?" HA!

Ish Kabibble
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The origin of Mervyn Bogue's stage name, Ish Kabibble, can be traced back to the 1913 novelty song "Isch ga-bibble" and this 1915 cartoon postcard, which displays a spelling (Ish Ka Bibble) almost identical to that used by Bogue. Between the song and the card, in 1914, Harry Hershfield introduced his character Abie Kabibble" in his comic strip Abie the Agent.
Ish Kabibble (January 19, 1908 – June 5, 1994) was a comedian and
cornet player. Born Merwyn Bogue in North East, Pennsylvania, his family returned to Erie, Pennsylvania a few months after his birth.
He studied law at
West Virginia University, but his comedy antics soon found an audience. He performed with Kay Kyser on the television quiz show Kay Kyser's Kollege of Musical Knowledge in 1949 and 1950. He also appeared in ten movies between 1939 and 1950. In Thousands Cheer (1943), he is the band member who tells Kyser the joke about his friend receiving $250,000, and he sings "I Dug a Ditch" in that film. He's also a vocalist in That's Right — You're Wrong (1939), You'll Find Out (1940), and Playmates (1941).
In his 1989 autobiography, Bogue explained his
stage name, which he took from the lyrics of one of his comedic songs, "Isch ga-bibble."[1] The song derived from a boy named Ben, who thought the word was cool. "Ishkabibble?", which was purported to mean "I should worry?", prompted a curious (and perhaps not coincidental) association of the comedian with the "What, me worry?" motto of Mad's mascot, Alfred E. Neuman. While this derivation has been widely quoted on the Internet and elsewhere, the expression "ische ga bibble" is not Yiddish, and, in fact, contains no Yiddish words at all.[2]

Monday, August 3, 2009

A little more real

I saw a heartbeat today, and I cried. Then I went out an celebrated by buying a big box of saltines because the morning sickness has settled in. I feel fine when I'm eating, but 10-20 minutes after I stop, I start to feel hungover. I love it.

My husband is always making up names or tossing out as possible baby names some bizarre ones he heard somewhere... Mamalickaboobooday is one. I think we'll call this baby Ishkabibble until we meet him/her in person. It's one of C's favorites, and I like the ring of it. Little Ishka is measuring slightly behind what the RE expected... 6.4 weeks as opposed to the 6.6 they wanted, but not smaller enough to worry. Heart rate was a very healthy 117 bpm. I go back in 10 days for an 8-week u/s and final consult with the RE. If all is still going well, I'll be turned over to the care of my OB from then on.

I picked "my" OB/Gyn last year based on who had an appointment ASAP when we first discovered the root of our IF. I didn't give it much thought. I don't know if I should stick with her or look elsewhere... she seemed nice enough, and competent. I'm not sure how to screen an OB. Any tips on what I should ask or stats I should check? I searched online for the lowest cesarean rate in the area and found a small hospital with a well-regarded birthing center just 20 minutes from my house. Maybe I'll look for an OB wwith priviledges there.

I have a couple of u/s pics from this morning, but they're terribly blurry (I swear they gave me the worst ones of the bunch) so I'm not planning to post them. Maybe I'll get a better shot next week.

Heartbeat plus undeniable morning sickness = I'm pretty convinced I'm pregnant.