Tuesday, December 29, 2009

quick share from the delivery room

Egg Basket calls this pic "last day on the inside". It is now 1 pm and we have been here at the hospital since 7am...today is the big day. We are all ready...and now we wait....

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Dont cry because its over, smile because it happened

Well, as you all now know, the 3 hour GTT was normal... obviously a good thing from the health perspective... a bit of a bummer to our hopes of delivering early.

Now we will focus on making it through the next week... at this point, an early arrival would be a pain for all of us.
I have noticed that the baby has stopped her intense abuse of my internal organs and is content with mere squirming and pushing.
This is a welcome change (minus the times when, I swear, she is attempting to head butt my pelvic bones)

Today was our first (and only) non-stress test. They did a quickie ultrasound to measure fluid and everything looked great.
The doctor declined to check for dilation today, for fear of "stirring things up" prior to our planned induction next week.

This was a-ok with me because I am not a fan of this particular doc. His bedside manner died sometime back in the 80's when he probably should have given up practicing medicine ... he is older than dirt as it is. In fact, he probably has boxer shorts older than Baby Mama HAHA!
At least this visit he reviewed the file and didn't mistake us for lesbian partners... I was kinda sad to see that perception end, the possibilities for amusing myself at his expense were endless!

This may (or may not) be my last blog post before the big day.
I am currently musing over my reflections of the past 11 months. I am formulating a post-delivery blog post with these thoughts.
It should be pretty entertaining, so stay tuned!

On a sad note, we are approaching the 1 year anniversary of when Baby Mama and I reconnected.
It is bittersweet for me.
On January 14th, it will also be the 1 year anniversary of the unexpected loss of my sister-in-law, Sherri.
This week was the week we always spent making gingerbread houses and gift baskets to deliver to our friends.
We spent an entire week, decorating houses, baking yummy candies and pastries and completely destroying her kitchen.
I laugh to myself at how Patsy (my brother-in-law) would (half)jokingly complain about how we would make such a mess that the kitchen would likely never be found again.
I cry at the thought of the two years after Patsy's death that Sherri, Hayley and I made our goodies with tears in our eyes, knowing that we wouldn't ever again hear Patsy make his obligatory protests to our annual tradition.

Next year, I will continue the tradition and smile through my tears because I know Patsy and Sherri will be watching. Patsy will be shaking his head with a Bud in his hand and Sherri saying “Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting. So... get on your way.”

Sad endings, new beginnings....

Thursday, December 17, 2009

biting my nails

Yesterday I got a call... a call from God.
Ok it wasn't actually from God, it was from Kathy... the nurse at my doctor's office.
But to me, for that one moment in time, she was God.
Now normally, she would be bearing bad news with what she said... yesterday, she was singing music to my ears.

Due to a lab screw-up, my 28 week bloodwork results never made it to the Dr.'s hands.
Now, not to be sidetracked, I LOVE the lab in East Haven ... the people there are pleasant ... but damn are they horrible at getting the results to where they need to be!
They have lost my results twice and Len's once... that is a pretty crappy track record.

So I went to the lab in the town I live in this time. And they really are an unpleasant group of folks.
Let's just say they didn't do well in the "bedside manner" class in phlebotomy school!
I think what happened is, the people who fail in that class, all get sent to the lab in my town so they can be cranky together... a "misery-loves-company" kind of thing!

At any rate, as they miserably did their job on Monday, turns out my 1 hour glucose tolerance test came back high-ish.
What this means for me is that I need to do the 3 hour glucose tolerance test..... complete with fasting and all that good crap!

What this means for US is much better....the doc has agreed to deliver early if the 3 hour GTT comes back high as well. He feels that this is safe at this point (less than 2 weeks from the scheduled induction)


So I sat in the miserable place, starving,tired and nauseous for 4 hours... listening to the miserable employees complain for 3 hours straight about some medical assistant at a doctor's office who was rude earlier in the day.

For those of you who don't know, the glucose liquid for the 3 hour test, is twice as sweet/strong as the drink for the 1 hour test.
Chugging that back on an empty stomach was akin to drinking 10 oz of orange flavored Karo syrup... !
So there I sat, in the office, stomach heaving, trying to hold down this concoction from hell (or I would be subjected to it again the next day!) curled in a fetal position in a chair with my jacket over my head, sucking my thumb and waiting for the first hour from hell to ... just ... end!

The employees voices permeated through my jacket and made that hour seem like an eternity.

I did get a reprieve in hour 3, as my stomach settled and all but 1 employee left for Wendy's (yes, I know they went to Wendy's and I know they ordered a taco salad, a Baconator combo (single)and two Frosty's ... it is forever seared in my brain... oh and one of the ladies bought ketchup for the entire facility to use ... in case you care ... which I didn't, but had to hear about it on a nauseous stomach anyway)

And now, I am home, in the blissful quiet of my house ... awaiting the (good) news that this baby can come NOW!!!

Please join me in what may be the only known wish-fest for a person to actually WANT/HAVE gestational diabetes... because I love ya guys, but I am SO DONE!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

the home stretch

First order of business... my apologies for the lack of blogging!
I will say, I was pretty convinced that this pregnancy was going to progress much in the same way as the last 5...
Needless to say... it hasn't.
I think I forgot the part where, this time, I am old!
For any of you out there wondering.... 42 is INDEED old.
There is a very good reason why we old ladies don't, generally, have babies.
our bodies simply cant handle it.
I have been sick, more or less, the entire time.
I NEVER had morning sickness before... let alone this all-day sickness.
Chasing after a crazy 3 year old certainly doesn't do much to help the situation.

I have lots of things stored in my brain for when I have the energy to write (while Baby Mama and Daddy are up for late night feedings, I will be working on recording many of my thoughts, which have been filed away for later use)

I know that there are many unasked (and asked) questions about how I "feel" about this process.... and generally, I feel largely the same as I felt when I made the decision to do this in the first place. The physical toll has been greater than I had expected, emotionally... everything is consistent with my expectations.

I wish I had felt well enough to be more interactive on the blog, however I hope to be able to fill in more details once the baby arrives and I am feeling more physically well.

The Dr.prescribed phenergan which has done a great deal for the nausea I have been experiencing... the down side is, phenergan has a very strong sedative effect and I spend alot of time dozing off.

I still have lots to do to prepare for the holidays, and there is always the looming sense that the baby will surprise us with an early arrival.
I have never gone into labor early... however the one thing this experience has shown me is that what I have experienced in the past is merely a crap shoot and anything goes!

I will say, I am having no signs that anything is impending at this point.

The most exciting thing that I have done recently was take a Saturday trip into New York City.
I went to a book signing in Chelsea Market and met Ree Drummond aka The Pioneer Woman.
She was a real sport and signed 7 books for me (and my needy friends)
I would have loved to talk with her longer, however she had a slew of people waiting to have books signed and I had 42 year old legs aching for a place to sit down.
If you don't know who Ree is, please check out her website at

I assure you, you will love her story(s), her sense of humor, her photos (her Nikon D3x made my D2Xs jealous ... LOL) and her recipes.
I have tried many of her recipes and they do not disappoint!

After the signing, my hubby... the gem that you all know he is, took me to Williams-Sonoma in Stamford and spoiled me with a new Kitchen Aid pro series, an ice cream maker attachment and an All Clad electric griddle YAY!

So ladies and gentlemen, now we wait for the little miss to make her grand entrance... all I ask, is that the hospital have the epidural ready and waiting and that someone (anyone) have my martini waiting!


Saturday, December 5, 2009

Is that a baby or a lion?

This is a profile picture..she is looking up

This is a very grouchy face..look sideways towards the top of the picture

And this is just a closer picture of her face...her arm is next to her head (also sideways)
Sorry it has taken me so long to get these pictures up- I had technical issues. Three separate scanners didn't work so finally I took a picture of the pictures..not perfect, but good enough that you can see our beautiful daughter :)
Two weeks ago Egg Basket made the torturous journey here to Maryland. It is a very difficult journey since she does not live close to the airport, traveled alone with her three year old and is more than 8 months pregnant! Still, she braved the journey to come and meet with the doctor here in Maryland and attend the small baby shower that my sister and close friend threw for me.
First an update on the doctor appointment- We started with an ultrasound that went really well once I restrained from ripping off the nurse's face who said that only the father could come back to the room. Now in fairness, Baby Daddy and Baby Grandma where both there so I guess we looked like quite a crowd ..but the nurse clearly did not look at the file and realize this was a gestational pregnancy- ultimately she was very nice, but we had a tense beginning.
The baby cooperated for the lovely pictures above and we had a great delight in that they were able to see the baby's hair in the 2D ultrasound! She has so much that it was sticking up all over the place and we could see it. Egg Basket has been telling me she has terrible heartburn and so knew the baby had a head of hair, but it was great to see it. Now before you naysayers all start telling me it will fall out, it sometimes doesn't if it is thick, and if they can see it on the u/s it is likely thick..so let me live in my fantasy world of my daughter and her lion mane :)
The other highlight of the u/s involved Egg Basket's three year old. She is the spunkiest, smartest and most adorable little girl I know. For obvious reasons, Egg Basket has not told her that she is pregnant and since the three year old has no real prior reference, she just thinks Egg Basket is getting fat :) Well, she came into the ultrasound and stood on a chair next to Egg Basket and watched the screen...as the nurse pointed out the legs, arms, etc, the three year old decided they were "drawing a picture on mommy's tummy"...a very smart way to make sense of what was happening on the screen and very cute!
Anyway, the baby looked great and then we met with the doctor who agreed to do an induction!This is great news because as many of you know Connecticut recently changed their GC laws and will only allow genetic parents on a birth certificate. Since it is not my egg, they would allow Baby Daddy's name, but I would have to adopt whereas Maryland allows both of our names (with a court order which we already have) on the BC from the beginning. The doctor agreed to do the induction a week before the due date (putting us around December 28th) and can schedule it one week before that, meaning we should know the exact date around the 21st. Now we just have to hope the little princess doesn't decide on arriving early. Granted, Egg Basket might appreciate that..she has been very sick (virus) and is actually losing weight..constantly nauseous and barely able to eat...she is looking forward to evicting our little troublemaker and we are looking forward to welcoming her :)
Next- my sister and great friend through me a small informal baby shower..it was amazing. As some of you know there is a Jewish tradition of not bringing things into the house before the baby is born- so I didn't have a shower before- but this time around, we decided the celebration with my close friends and family was appropriate. It has been a long journey and one I couldn't have survived alone. It was nice to celebrate with those so intricate to this journey and to have the chance to thank them all (not to mention show off the baby's room!). My sister went above and beyond, creating adorable diaper invitations, an amazing diaper cake and cooking the best desserts a girl could ask for. My friend E opened her home, provided the wine and took great care of all who attended. and for the record- this child will be so much better dressed than I ever am :)
Finally, for this keeping score- still no milk. I have moved on to the hospital grade mechanical pump 6 times a day for 10 minutes a time. It has been 3 weeks on the pump and besides sore nipples, I don't have much to show :( However, the gurus say you usually start seeing drops around 4 weeks, so we shall see. I also added mother's milk tea (3x a day) and an herbal supplement (3 x a day)...I feel like a crazy person constantly looking at the clock to see if I need to pump, pop pills, or drink tea. I also purchased a supplemental feeding system so I can "nurse" her with formula if I have to to try to bring in milk...we shall see..
Tomorrow I head to CT to begin our weekly appointments..will update again soon :)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

32 weeks and counting (still!)

There is my baby! Egg Basket looks beautiful doesn't she?

So funny story...I took the train up to Connecticut on Monday afternoon for our doctor's appointment on Tuesday morning..as an aside- train was MUCH better than driving. Anyway, Egg Basket has to see all the doctor's in the practice - standard practice even though we don't intend for the baby to be born in CT- so each time we meet a new doctor, I always wonder if they read the file and know this is a gestational pregnancy ..I would guess this guy didn't...

First of all he was a curmudgeonly old dude..he didn't introduce himself to me..came in, listened to the baby's heartbeat (sounds great!) and asked if Egg Basket had any questions..then he confirmed that she didn't want the flu vaccine or the H1N1 vaccine. So I said that I had a question, if Egg Basket got the flu or H1N1 would there be any effect on the baby? The doctor gave me the dirtiest, meanest look and said "No, but you know she (meaning Egg Basket) could die from it"...of course, I was asking because I respect that Egg Basket's body is hers and if it is just about her, then it is totally her choice and I wouldn't say anything, but I wanted to be sure...

Anyway, he clearly thought I was an asshole and didn't care about her..at that point I realized, he probably thinks I am her "lesbian lover"...and a callous one at that :)

Most importantly, both Egg Basket and baby are doing fine and we are getting closer...Next week Egg Basket comes here to meet with the doctor's here....we will have lots to update then :)

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Does the waiting NEVER end???

Alright..so I am a bit behind on my blogging...besides preparing for the arrival of our little princess, I have been trying to finish my dissertation proposal...coupled with my trips up to Connecticut, busy time at work, and all the "normal" responsibilities, I just haven't had time so please forgive me, but here is an update...
First of all- how cool that our ticker is less than two months now? It says 1 month and 30 days :)
I went up to CT last week for our 30 week appointment...everything is great. Egg Basket looks good, and her tummy measured well. As she laid down for the doctor to measure her stomach size, I wasn't feeling her because I was holding Egg Basket's three year old who was asleep..so I guess the baby realized I couldn't feel her and gave a nice big kick that I could see (from all the way across the small room!) That is my big tough girl!
Egg Basket says she is very active- so much for sleeping ever again once she arrives...not that I am complaining. Her heartbeat once again was in the mid 140s, which has been where she has been all along...and the doctor said she likely weight between 3-4 pounds now. It is really a bit surreal at the moment. We are now on to seeing the doctor every two weeks so I am heading back up next week for our 32 week appointment.
In terms of updates, all the legal stuff is now worked out and I am still trying to induce lactation..no milk yet, but hopefully it will come. Still no name for this baby either
Right now, the hardest part is the just waiting..I feel like time has slowed down...guess most pregnant women feel that way at this point too...next update next week :)

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

and one small kick for mama!

This picture was taken last week at 25 weeks... Egg Basket so generously sent (and agreed to allow me to post) it. Isn't she beautiful? (and I mean both shes).
Yesterday was 26 weeks..an important milestone since most docs feel this is the age of viability. I drove up to Connecticut Thursday night for our monthly doctor's appointment on Friday (and then drove back Friday night). Baby and Egg Basket are both doing great! Baby's heartbeat was 142 BPMs and Egg Basket both looks and seems to feel pretty good.
But the most exciting part of my trip came just before I left...Many of you know that Egg Basket has a 3 year old daughter. She hasn't yet figured out that anything is going on in Egg Basket's tummy and so the decision was made that if she asks, Egg Basket will tell her, but if she doesn't, then better to not try and explain. Because of this situation, I do not fondle Egg Basket's tummy in front of the 3 year old (makes sense, right?) which means the whole time I was there, I was dying to put my hands on her stomach and see if I could feel my daughter moving around, but I totally restrained myself. Then right before I was getting ready for the drive back, the 3 year old fell asleep. I asked Egg Basket if the baby was moving and of course she wasn't..she was too busy sleeping. So Egg Basket started poking her trying to get her to move for me...it wasn't really working...but I decided that as I kissed Egg Basket goodbye, I'd give a poke too...and then like the mini miracle she is, she moved! It was so amazing...I felt like she was saying hi to me! Sometimes it really is the *small* things that make your day :)
Finally...Baby Daddy and I are back to negotiating a name..I was so sure we had agreed on one, but Baby Daddy isn't loving it...I am really starting to think she is gonna be "hey you!"..sigh..any suggestions?

Monday, August 31, 2009

A Stubborn Princess

This is the proof that she is a girl...her tush is facing the camera and the arrow points out her "girl parts"..ya for girls! This is her foot..look closely on the left of the picture and you can count all 5 toes!
And no posting would be complete without a view of her face!

So we had our ultrasound and echo-cardiogram on Friday. First we went for a regular check up where the doc told Egg Basket that she was doing great...and little Miss Baby didn't want to stay still for a constant heartbeat..every time the doctor touched her with the little Doppler, she moved. It seemed like her heartbeat was in the 160s, but hard to tell.
Then we went to the ultrasound and echo. Again, she was being pretty stubborn- the echo took an hour and a half, the doctors had Egg Basket contorting into all kinds of positions because the baby was transverse with her back to Egg Basket's tummy which was causing her spine to cast a shadow over her heart. No matter what the doctors and nurses tried, she refused to roll over..she had no problem kicking- which was a pretty cool thing to watch onscreen, but refused to move. Guess the stubborn genes have kicked in! Still, docs say everything looked great. She weighs 14 ounces (so almost doubled in 3 weeks time!) and all organs looked healthy, including the heart.
Of course this was the appointment we decided to bring big brother too to "see" his sister. Needless to say, he got restless and so it was hard to tell how much he got. I think he realizes she is in there and she belongs to us, but hard to know if he really understands that he was looking at her. He was very interested in how it worked, how could they see through Auntie Egg Basket's skin? Still, he did come home and tell everyone about his sister and when he went to meet his first grade teachers today, he explained to them all about gestational carriers and how we are having a baby that is in Auntie Egg Basket's tummy in Connecticut. He his still looking for lots of reassurance that we won't love her more than him, but this week, at this moment, he is excited she is coming and wants to help paint her room.
This was a rough visit as we had just returned from Hawaii two days before and we were really off in terms of time and sleep. I must publicly apologize to Egg Basket for putting up with all of our crankiness. Not only does she carry our baby, but she puts up with us too, now that is love :)
I will write more soon, but really wanted to get these pictures posted.
Happy 22 weeks!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Just thought I'd mention....


Today is 21 weeks and 2 days!!! wow..would have posted on the big 20 week day but I was incommunicado. I think it was a good vacation..and probably Egg Basket had a good vacation from me too :) (pretty terrible cell phone service in Hawaii)

We head up to CT tomorrow night for two appointments on Friday..a regular check up and an echo-cardiogram..we are bringing the big brother-to-be to the ultrasound..I will post when we get back and give you all the update on how it goes :)

I also just wanted to take a minute to thank you all for your incredible support...I honestly and truly couldn't make it through without all of you encouraging us, supporting us, and just being there to listen. They say it take a village to raise a child..we all know it takes a village to get one here too :)

Friday, August 7, 2009

Not a morning person?

So maybe she isn't a morning person! Look very closely at the picture above, that is her arm in the center (white blur) with her hand resting on her forehead...I decided she was annoyed because we were bothering her so early in the morning :) Baby Daddy just thinks that she is a drama queen (already!). Either way, yesterday was the organ scan and the docs said her organs all look great...nice brain and four chambers in the heart..phew! She weighs about a half of a pound right now. It seems that she is growing well..we go back August 28th for an echo-cardiogram (do these tests ever end?) Oh, and her heartbeat was in the 150s...the most beautiful sound (although as my friend pointed out, does sound a bit like a washing machine!)
My other update is on breast feeding..as most of you probably know, I will NOT be taking any of the medications necessary to induce lactation. However, I will try to induce mechanically without drugs...The good news was that I had lots of blood work done which showed I am still in remission (it is 5 years and one month!) but there was just too much risk that the drugs and herbs could cause a relapse...and as much as I want this, I can't take that risk. So about 6-8 weeks before she is due, I will just start pumping and see what happens.
I also wanted to address the "perspective" entry from Egg Basket. First, I want to reiterate how grateful Baby Daddy and I are to Egg Basket for being on this journey with us..no matter how difficult it has gotten (or gets) I am still glad that we embarked on this journey..together. As Egg Basket mentioned, it isn't always easy..for any of us. Some days I think I am doing so well holding it all together and giving Egg Basket space and other days I want to slap myself (can't imagine what she wants to do to me!). I think ultimately the fact that we all keep our eyes on the big picture and that we really and truly have a bond of love is what helps us through. Sometimes, for me, I have to express the emotion to get to the acceptance. I can accept that we will do whatever we have to, but I often say that doesn't mean I have to like it (in re the legal issues especially).
One of the worst parts of infertility is the total and overwhelming feeling of powerlessness. Procreation is often a very personal experience between a couple, one that takes place behind closed doors between two people..ours is more like a national production. I have no control over any of this process, from whether it worked to what my baby hears in utero or is nourished with, to where she is born...clearly my trust in Egg Basket is implicit and none of my powerlessness it about her, it is just situational. Still, as we struggle to all be kind to one another, to respect each other's feelings, and to make sure everyone's needs are met I feel those powerless emotions rising up. I know that many women probably feel that their bodies are being taken over while pregnant and probably feel powerless too, but sometimes I wonder whether there is any precedent here. It is Egg Basket's body, her life, but our baby...it often feels like a very fine line...I am the kind of woman who likes to control things and be organized, so perhaps this is a good lesson for me to let go of that which I can't control and just accept that what will be will be.
Each day we get a little closer to meeting our daughter, a little closer to the miracle that Egg Basket is giving us..each day I remind myself that THAT is what this is about...my daughter...and I would journey to the ends of the world and back for her, so this is nothing, right?

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


Ahhhh… week # 18.
Almost ½ way there!
I know, its been awhile. Boy! the all day sickness really whacked me harder than I had ever anticipated!
This has certainly been more difficult than my previous pregnancies.
A bout with migraines adding insult to injury. Weeks 8 to 16 were pretty horrific.
But here I am, at week 18…. Feeling much improved and ready to handle the challenges ahead.
Because I am not an overly demonstrative person, this process has been an interesting challenge for me. Acknowledging how much I care for Baby Mama and how much I want her to realize her dreams… I have also had to do a great deal of personal reflection.
There are many things that, frankly, I had failed to truly process when making this commitment.
Having other people intricately involved in my daily life for starters. It was (and, at times, continues to be) difficult to deal with people asking me questions, perpetually.
How are you? How do you feel? Are you sick again today? Oh no! what’s wrong?
I am just simply not accustomed to the onslaught of interest in my life.
Scheduling appointments is often a 4 way catastrophe, with my increasingly busy schedule, Baby Mama’s, Baby Daddy’s and the doctor’s!
There is a delicate balance that we all must walk between preserving our personal autonomy and respecting each others feelings. I’ll be honest in saying we have all had our moments of power struggle along the way… particularly if we’ve had difficulty in coordination. It can be frustrating.
I have had to step back and remind myself, more than once, of how lucky I am to not be in the position where bringing my child into the world rests, physically, in the hands of another.
Separating my personal feelings about myself and this process, while remaining empathetic to the needs of Baby Mama/Daddy is tough. I often have to place my feelings of being smothered on the back burner in order to do so.

This is most definitely a humbling and insightful experience. It gives me perspective not only into how another person must feel, but also into my own limitations.
We are now faced with some unexpected legal complications with regard to the birth certificate.
I know that Baby Mama and Baby Daddy are very worried about the future of this uncertain situation.
I am thankful that we are all on the same page in our desire for a successful outcome … despite the stressors involved.
Keeping my eye on the prize, it’s what I tell Baby Mama, it’s what I live by.
For me, that prize will come the day I watch the doctor hand this little princess over to her Mommy and Daddy and big brother… all of the sickness, the struggles will be forgotten .
<3 you guys.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Happy 17 weeks!

So..as much as I hate Mondays, I do appreciate that each Monday brings me closer to holding my daughter. I know I haven't written in awhile, been a little crazy. So first an update:
Everything is going great! Phew! Egg Basket seems to be feeling better, especially since she stopped having to stick herself with needles. The baby appears to be growing and so far healthy. We had an appointment two weeks ago, just a regular old checkup. We heard her heartbeat again, it was 146 BPMs. I was a bit amazed because 3 weeks before when the doctor looked for it, he had to push down and move all around (I was actually worried that he was hurting Egg Basket), but this week, the doctor just popped the Doppler on and "swoosh swoosh" there it was! Clearly she is growing!
Baby Daddy and I head back up to Connecticut on August 5th for an organ scan of the baby's organs on the 6th. We believe this is the last big test. Although all these tests make me nervous and mildly crazy, I do love getting to visit Egg Basket and her family, and of course, each time a test comes back and says things are fine, I breathe a little more.
The other project I had been working on was inducing lactation..not going so well. I finally got the hematologist to call me back and gave them the list of medications. He said I could take them because none of them are contraindicated, but also said if I take them he wants me to be monitored the whole time because the TTP could come back. He did a series of blood tests (haven't gotten the results yet) and said if anything changed in my blood, I'd have to stop and get treated as if I was symptomatic.
So of course, Baby Daddy immediately noted this was NOT a good idea. Rationally I knew he was right, but it took a little longer emotionally for me to come around. I think the doctors are being cautious, but I also can't take that risk. I want to be here when my daughter gets here...not in the hospital or G-d forbid something worse.
Now I am waiting to hear back from the hematologist about the blood results. If it shows I am healthy, maybe I will just try pumping without any meds, if not, formula here we come. Baby Daddy and I were both bottle fed and we turned out okay (no smart comments!)..so I know it will be okay, but I'd be lying if I didn't feel angry that my body can't give me this...
Still, on the brighter side of things..only 3 weeks until I can start decorating the nursery! Woot!

Friday, July 3, 2009

PINK PINK PINK...and maybe some PURPLE!

So as most of you know by now, we got the CVS back and our DAUGHTER's chromosomes matched up perfectly! I literally fell off the bed when Egg Basket told us the baby is a girl...I feel so blessed that I haven't stopped smiling for 3 days...now, for the record, I would have loved this baby if it were a boy too (and I really, really, believed it would be a boy), after all, I have a boy and I do not believe it is possible to love him more than I do, so another boy would have been wonderful too...BUT..in many ways, this makes me feel that our family is complete. We will have a new experience this time around and it is a bonus that my son really, really wanted a sister (never mind that it is because he doesn't want to share his Wii!) This is the first girl in 3 generations for the male side of my husband's family...Can you say Princess?

And perhaps more importantly, she is healthy. Although CVS is not a magic test, it does appear to cover most of the major issues that she could have had. As some of you know Baby Daddy and I were not in agreement as to what we would do if that test did not come back so nicely...so it is a huge sigh of relief that we do not have to have that conversation...

I also have to issue a MAJOR apology to Egg Basket (and her friend W) for ruining their surprise. Egg Basket knew before I did that the baby was a girl and was planning a special surprise to tell me, however I whined and complained about how anxious I was so much that she felt she had to tell me. So..I am sorry for ruining the surprise..but the truth is, I was pretty surprised when you told me anyway :) And a BIG thank you for holding on to that girl embryo! As Egg Basket has pointed out..she doesn't do anything half way!

The next major endeavor for me is that I am going to try to induce lactation. With some advice from my "angel" and some more luck, I am hoping to breastfeed my daughter when she gets here. I am speaking with a lactation consultant on Monday and hope to figure out a protocol that does not require me to take any estrogen elevating drugs...and then I am likely to start pumping..perhaps this will put to rest that annoying comment of "at least I get to drink" since I will freeze whatever milk I might get (although I do expect that will be awhile).

The minor endeavor will be decorating her nursery..I have never done that before..but I need to *nest* a bit...so I am thinking that somewhere around the 20th week I will start to set up her room...There is a Jewish tradition (old wives tale/superstition) that you don't bring anything into the house until the baby is born, but I think that I need to do this. It is therapeutic for me to feel that I am preparing and being part of this process. Plus- I can't wait to buy all the adorable girl stuff I have looked at longingly for the last 6 years!

Finally..in case you aren't smiling yet:

Me: I love you so much my sweet boy.

Sweet boy: Will you still love me when the baby comes?

Me: Of course..Daddy and I will love you always no matter what

Sweet boy: Well will you love me more than her?

Me: No, I will love you the same

Sweet boy: Well I think you should love me more because I was here first and I am older

Me: Well do you think Safta (grandma) loves Uncle J more than Daddy since he is older? or that she loves Daddy more than Uncle D since he is the youngest?

Sweet boy: No..that wouldn't be nice that she would love Uncle D the least..

Me: so it is the same..I will love you the same, but you will always be my best BOY

Sweet boy: Okay...(pause) but I still think you should love me more :)

Monday, June 22, 2009

Waiting ...again!

Have I ever mentioned how much waiting sucks? I am not patient and HATE waiting...especially for things I have absolutely no control over...This whole process is fraught with waiting, waiting, waiting!

It has been a busy 5 days. Last Thursday night, Baby Daddy and I headed up to CT to meet with the doctor on Friday morning. We went in with Egg Basket and had a long conference with the doctor where the three of us decided that we wanted to go ahead with CVS. A nerve wracking conversation, but one in which we felt sure. Egg Basket checked out beautifully and we got to HEAR the baby's heartbeat for the first time.

The doctor asked whether we had a preference for the gender..we all laughed and I told him that depends who you ask. So he told us that there is a belief that if the baby's heartbeat is between 120-140 it is a boy and higher is a girl. Our baby's heart was beating at 166 BPMS!! Lots of smiles from me and Egg Basket. (For the record, Baby Daddy will be happy with a girl too, he is just a little more nervous).

So the doctor told us we had to schedule the CVS exams at Yale Medical Center. We figured that we take another week..silly us, they schedule it for 8:45 Monday (this) morning!

So Baby Daddy and I went to NYC for a little romantic anniversary weekend (9 years of married bliss- 8 of which we have been on the fertility journey) and then headed back to Egg Basket's house Sunday evening.

We all showed up bright eyed and bushy tailed at Yale Medical Center this morning. Another very long conference with a doctor type person to "make sure we understood the test" (Because I wasn't freaked out enough!). We assured them that we "got it". (Btw- all this double checking is standard procedure).

Then we went into a room and they did an ultrasound to find out where the placenta was attached (front left)..and for the first time our baby looked like a baby! As you can see from above s/he doesn't look like a blob anymore. S/he had two legs, two arms, two feet, two hands (which s/he was waving all around). They looked at his/her neck folds (great!) and bridge of the nose (great)...and my heart froze..why where we doing this? My baby looked perfect!
If someone had asked me at the moment, I might have tried to back out...but ultimately, I held Baby Daddy's hand and watched them insert a huge needle into Egg Basket's abdominal wall. I made sure that sucker didn't touch my baby!

When it was over they listened to the heartbeat again, I believe to reassure us that s/he was okay...it was 156 BPMs this time :)

Anyway, it took longer to prepare than to actually do...now we wait 7-10 calendar days to find out whether s/he is healthy and the gender...it is gonna be a rough 7-10 days. They also warned us that if the test were to cause a miscarriage it would happen in the first 48 hours...so you all know I am still holding my breath (it is 13 hours down and 35 more to go).

I will post again when we know more, but just wanted to get the picture up and update you all. Thank you for following our journey and for all of your love and support.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

I'm baaaaaaaaaack

I know, its been a looong time. And you KNOW its been a long time when Baby mama is out blogging me!
Since generally, I have a LOT to say.

But, alas, at 11 weeks and 1 day... I feel pretty crappy.
Nausea is not my friend. As a matter of fact, I would take just about any illness over nausea.

Broken bones, tooth ache... send 'em all my way.. but spare me the nausea.

And I was cocky going into this. I had morning sickness in the past. It lasted a couple of weeks and thats it.

Oh no, not this time.
I am nauseous about 23 hours a day... and have been... for the past 4 weeks.
Yup, I'd say it kicked in right after the last Dr.'s appointment and has stuck around to torment me since then.

I know this is supposed to be a good sign, because I tell myself this... frequently.

I was doing so well too... 4 weeks a go I went to the doc, hadnt gained any weight... I was rocking the elliptical 45 minutes a day and walking 3 miles 3-4 times a week.

I am afraid to go to the doc this week... Sitting on my butt because I am feeling too crappy to do anything, eating fruit and gingerbread cookies 24/7... yeah, dont want to see that scale.

Aside from all of that, I feel GREAT!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

and G-d sent an Angel

So, as some of you know I have been having a little bit of a tough time lately..the emotional side of me has been ruling a bit more than I would like and I have been worrying about all the crazy, scary things that come up on this roller coaster. Specifically, I have been worried that the baby is gonna think I am a stranger and cry when I hold him/her, not know my voice, that the baby won't be connected to me...that Egg Basket is gonna feel smothered by me, etc.

Many of my amazing friends and family have tried to comfort me, reassure me, and just support me through this part of the journey. Still, as much as I have appreciated that, I still felt alone..like no one really gets how scary this is unless they are standing in my shoes...

and on cue, G-d sent an angel

Now, I have been in a rough place spiritually for the last five years..I am not exactly sure where I stand on religion, but I know it would be inaccurate at this moment to call myself an Orthodox Jew...still, I have no doubt that G-d sent me an angel yesterday

She is a woman about my age, the sister of two of my husband's fraternity brothers. A woman I must have met at least once (at one of the above mentioned brother's weddings) but never knew. She too walked this path and experienced such a journey...and miraculously (okay to me, right now it feels miraculous) made it to the other side.

My angel has twin boys who will turn two at the end of this month and an older son who will be six at the end of August. She carried her first child and then she had an Egg Basket to carry her twins. Last night she spent two plus hours on the phone with me..she spoke the words my heart didn't know how to articulate, she voiced the fears I have still been too afraid to speak, and she reassured me the way only someone who has made it to the other side can do.

and then another miracle..last night I slept soundly for the first time in almost 6 months...

I have always believed that we all need a community..that no matter how big or small, none of us is an island and none of us can walk alone...I am just so grateful to have been blessed with an amazing Egg Basket, a big sister, to give me this opportunity, to join me on this journey and to now be blessed enough to be given the gift of a heart that persevered through this journey and the strength to know I too will make it through...

And just because this is NOT just my journey..but the journey of our family (and our friends):

Overheard in Baby Mama's household (format stolen from an angel):

6 year old son: Mommy, is the baby blood related to Auntie Egg Basket? (Of course he doesn't call her that, but for posterity we will call her that here- and I have NO IDEA how he understands blood related).

Me: No sweetheart, the baby is blood related to us..it is our baby

6 year old: Well, how did that work again?

Me: Remember, how is a baby made?

6 year old: A mommy gives a part, a daddy gives a part and then Hashem (G-d) makes it a baby

Me: Right! So the daddy part came from your daddy and the mommy part came from another woman (NOT Auntie Egg Basket) since mommy's part doesn't work and then Hashem made it a baby and the doctor put it inside Auntie Egg Basket

6 year old: Okay, that means it is a girl

Me: Why do you think that?

6 year old: Because there were more girls, the one who gave the part and Auntie Egg Basket, involved in making this baby than there were boys! (said with a bit of "Mommy your an idiot" look)

Wow..if only we all understood and were able to make sense of such complicated stuff so easily...my six year old is gonna be an amazing big brother :)

Monday, May 25, 2009

Ultrasound #2 Update

So as most of you know, we had another ultrasound last Thursday (sorry it took me so long to update, been a little crazy). As you can all see, our little blob is doing just fine. The heartbeat was clearly visible again and was 132 BPMs. Everything was measuring perfectly and Egg Basket's exam was great. She hasn't gained any weight yet, which she is very happy about :) We go back to the doctor on June 19th (countdown). That will likely just be an exam and a conversation between the doc and the three of us (Egg Basket, me and my husband) about which tests we want to have done.
There are some "screening test" which could give us some indications about the baby's health, but are not definitive. Still, they carry no risk. Then there are two options for definitive tests (with much lower false positives) that carry a quarter percentage point risk of causing a miscarriage...decisions, decisions..My husband and I are currently discussing, but I think are most likely to go with the CVS..that good news is that we will then find out the sex of the baby earlier :) So take the poll and let me know your guess. For the record, Ethan's mom has 3 boys, his brother has two boys, and Ethan's grandmother (father's mother) had two boys...and of course, we already have a son...hmm, who is the betting type?
So..how are we doing? Well, as usual, Egg Basket is "fine"..I think she is tired, but she just planned and pulled off an amazing party for her son's graduation from college for 100 people! As for us, we are excited and still a bit anxious. We told our son because he was worried that Egg Basket had been "stung by a bee and was allergic" and that was why we had to go see her to take her to the doctor. He appears to be very excited (although he did stop and ask again how "our baby got in her [Egg Basket's] tummy"..I told him the doctor put it there :) My husband is a little worried that he is gonna think a bee sting gets you pregnant! Brings a whole new meaning to the birds and the bees! Still, gonna be a long 8 months waiting for this baby :)
As for me..my current hang up is that the baby isn't gonna know my voice, never mind that he/she's first word is gonna be some form of "yuck" :). Seriously, it has now been suggested on 3 separate occasions that this is the way to go, have someone else carry your baby...I know people mean well, but I repeat, NO ONE CHOOSES THIS WAY. Some days it is a bit harder than I thought it would be. Let me tell you, Egg Basket is amazing and totally gets it. She makes the doctor direct comments and questions to me, tells the nurse to make sure I can see the screen, etc. She never makes me feel inferior or secondary to this process...but sometimes it is hard to think that my baby will think I am a stranger when I first hold him/her. I am thinking about making some recordings and having her play it to her stomach (I promised no singing!). Still, it is the little things that remind me that this is so different...specifically, I never thought about this before!
It sometimes seem surreal, like is it really happening, finally? I have been told (repeatedly) that in 8 months when I hold that baby, none of this will matter...really? Isn't this process part of who we are? Part of our child's story? I believe it is the journey and not the destination, so this is part of the journey..of how together, as a team, two friends (and our families) really are participating in our very own journey of life. Complete with complex emotions, fear, doubt, anxiety and love.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Ultrasound #1 Update

So wiseguys..only 4 of you were right! The ultrasound this morning showed one very strong heartbeat...they searched around, but alas, only one.

The heartbeat was 117 BPM...very good for so early (The heartbeat is between the X's).

We are thrilled!

Egg Basket still feels fine...more to come later with new poll.

P.S.- I am an idiot who can't count...as you may have noticed, I fixed the last post- we are really *6* weeks and 3 days (not 5 weeks)...hooray..I just gained a week :)

Monday, May 11, 2009

6 Weeks today...so take a guess...

So in order to amuse myself, (but mostly Egg Basket) I updated the ticker and added a poll. My husband and I will be heading to CT on Wednesday evening for the 7am ultrasound on Thursday morning (I think infertility docs don't sleep!) to look at "placement and number"...the docs fancy way of saying are they/is it in the right place and how many are there?

We are both excited and nervous. The doctor called to say it was unlikely that we'd see a heartbeat because it is early (We will be 6 weeks and 3 days), but that the ultrasound is important for placement and number...that funny little word *number* makes my heart skip a beat. Could we really have hit the jackpot? Are we that lucky? (For the record, we go back up the following Thursday, May 21st for the next ultrasound to see heartbeat(s)- no nerve wracking here, right?)

As you all know, my not so secret wish was for twins..so many have asked, will I be disappointed if it isn't? My answer: For about 30 seconds and then I expect to be so overcome with gratitude and relief that there is one, that I will be ecstatic! As for IF it is twins, well after my husband changes his pants, we will be ecstatic too (Okay, I know, TMI..but he TOO is excited and nervous)..we'd be crazy not to be nervous..after all, it has been almost 7 years since we had a baby...two? woah...we also like to sleep...

That brings up my next thought...My husband and I are both TERRIBLE morning people (just ask Egg Basket!) and hate waking up early (That is why the 7am ultrasound is a mean joke!)..well our darling 6 year old was (Thankfully, hallelujah!) born with our genes and sleeps late (I know this opens me up for serious hate)..and of course he is 6, so even when he wakes up before us (at like 9am) he heads down and turns on the TV and gets himself breakfast...ahh heaven! BUT the totsicles (we also refer to them FHB - Future Human Baby (ies)) do not share my genes..we have a donor..and somehow I forgot to ask if she was a morning person! I can just picture it..two that wake up at 5am! Wonder how *jackpot-ish* I will think it all is then :)

Okay, in all seriousness..take the poll..curious what you all are guestimating..I mean from 485 to 1584 in less than 48 hours was a pretty good increase. And for the record the doc says "it IS very high and EB is VERY fertile" in response to my question of what did he think!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

"Victory is the sweetest, when you've known defeat"

... Indeed... Baby Mama and her husband have known defeat... particularly in this long journey.
And now, we can begin to breathe just a bit easier.

Some of you have followed us on Facebook and know that (like the impatient people that we are) Baby mama and I tested with a home test WAY too early and got the expected negative.
Of course that only prompted us to continue to test.... daily....
And we continued to get negative results.
On Thursday, the 30th Baby Mama contacted the fertility clinic to ask them to push the beta test from Monday to Friday.
We were not hopeful at that point. The nurse told us that this was probably an indication of what we should expect, and we began to prepare for the worst.
Thursday was a crappy day for all of us as we all went through a variety of emotions.
We began to prepare our closest friends for the likelihood that this was not a successful transfer.
Since I had one leftover test, I decided to use it on Friday morning ... this test was positive... I nearly fell over when I was the result!
Of course my camera phone was not cooperating, so I had my daughter take a picture of the test, and send it to Baby Mama.
Needless to say, she and her hubby were equally shocked!
I had a very long day in court, and then went to the lab for my beta... at that point we wouldn't have the results until Saturday morning!

After a very harrowing morning involving Baby Daddy stalking the fertility clinic... LOL... we got our first number.... 50.

A follow up test was scheduled for Monday. I JUST made the morning pick-up! by 3 that afternoon, we were at almost 500!
They were looking for a number of 100...
And here we are... Wednesday.
For today's blood test we were looking for close to double (around 1000). since it would actually be only about 45 hours and not the full 2 days, I told Baby Mama that I am sure it would be fine if we hadn't completely doubled our numbers...
That didn't turn out to be a problem....
Today's number was a whopping 1584... more than triple!

What does this all mean, you may ask....

Right now, we are awaiting further instructions from SGFC.
We may have another blood test on Friday, or we may jump straight to the ultrasound sometime within the next couple of weeks... until then, we know that we have success... the unknown... is how much success... whatever it is though, we'll take it!

“A single event can awaken within us a stranger totally unknown to us. To live is to be slowly born.”
~ Antoine de Saint-Exupery~

Monday, April 27, 2009

Waiting Sucks!

So waiting sucks...just thought I'd throw that out there...we are smack in the middle, one week post-transfer, one week pre-pee on a stick...just waiting...
Now, if you have ever had to wait for something in your life, I mean really wait, not the 10 extra minutes it takes the idiot who can't figure out your coffee in the morning, but really wait, you might know what I am talking about...The feeling of your heart always being two inches from your throat..the anticipation that runs through you when the phone rings...the smack you give yourself as you walk too far down the "what if" road...that inability to sleep because all you see are blue lines and plus signs (made more interesting since it isn't ME peeing on the stick!)...
Ya, waiting sucks!
Then there are the questions..folks, I love ya all and I (the emotional one) couldn't get through this without all of your love and support..BUT..seriously, stop asking me how Egg Basket feels! She feels "Fine"...that is it..she never had any indication on any of her other FIVE pregnancies that anything was amiss until well after the pee tests...so it is not a surprise that she feels fine now...I know it is awkward and you all are waiting along with us (Did I mention waiting sucks?), but I don't know how she feels (other than fine) and every time someone asks me, it makes me crazy! Now, if you really want to know, every time someone asks me how *she* feels, it is a little reminder that it isn't how *I* feel...probably why I am being so sensitive..I am working hard not to make her crazy with the daily 700 questions so please bare with me and help me remain sane...
So that is it..short post..just to let you all know that EB and I (and our significant others and all of you) are still waiting..and that it sucks...update next Monday with results..good or bad...

Monday, April 20, 2009

Virginia Slims anyone?

As you may know, today was the day for the frozen embryo transfer.

We arrived at SGFC at approximately 11:45. I came, as instructed, with my “moderately full” bladder, no scented lotion and perfumes and perfectly ideal uterus.
Since there is little else about me that is perfect, I am glad my uterus was able to accommodate the occasion!

The happy parents and I waited for our turn to get knocked up!
After they called us into the top secret totsicle insertion area (aka Area 51 haha) and they checked our ID’s to make sure we were the right people for the right totsicles.

We got some incredibly fashionable blue paper shoes, which “E” dubbed our “Manolo’s” … “C” eat your heart out!

Baby Mama and I were in the room and after I was situated for the transfer, the doc came in to have us sign the consent and all that.

The doc informed Baby Mama that the two thawed embryos looked very good, one was 80-85% and the other was 95%. He explained that they look for 75% or higher, so they were in a very good range. Now if you are really curious about the significance of these percentages… Google “frozen embryo morphology scale” and you, too, can become a reproductive fertility and endocrinology expert as I have this afternoon after 6 hours of bedrest!

As I promised you all, just as I was lying back and the Doc was pointing his “spotlight” on my perfect parts, I happily exclaimed “YAY! I am ready for my close-up” While the doc found me quite amusing … the attending nurse and ultrasound technicians, not so much. HAHA!

The whole process took only about 10-15 minutes and Baby Mama and I were able watch on the ultrasound monitor. I was surprised that there was very little discomfort and we were even able to see the totsicles on the monitor.

AT this point, everything looks as good as it possibly can and we now begin our two-week-wait.

Not gonna lie folks, I have definitely had more fun getting knocked up in the past, but as the three of us walked to the elevator, we did have a strange desire for a cigarette…

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Pre-Transfer Update

Okay, so clearly Egg Basket outblogs me..so I am in charge of the pre-transfer entry.

First, the logistics- Egg Basket went to the doctor on Wednesday for the real lining check and of course it was beautiful. There is a range of lining thickness within which they will do the transfer and an ideal thickness..Egg Basket is ideal! The nurse actually said perfect! She also had bloodwork done, which was perfect as well. So then on Thursday night she started injecting herself with the big, thick, stinging progesterone and oil...and of course has not complained at all. I actually watched her do this yesterday and got to squeeze the medicine in..I guess it sounds worse than it is because she never winced and it didn't even leave a mark.

That is the next piece...Egg Basket is here! Maragarita transported the goods to D.C. Friday night and then I picked her up on Saturday afternoon. We got the call from SGFC (the fertility folks) that our transfer is 12:15 on Monday. We have to be there at 11:45, Egg Basket has to have a *moderately full bladder* which we are still laughing about..I mean seriously, moderately full? not too much, not too little? Anyway, we also were told not to wear perfume or scented lotions...we can't figure out why..maybe the totsicles are already allergic? and then we were told we must have picture I.D.s or they will not do the procedure..then Egg Basket scared the heck out of me when she couldn't find hers...only lasted about 2 minutes before she located it ..but phew! I guess the docs figure it is important to identify Egg Basket and not put my totsicles in the wrong oven . Guess that makes sense :)

So that covers the logistics..as for the rest..well, it is a little more than 24 hours away..I am anxious, nervous, excited, sad..you know....the regular mixed emotions. But what I know most is that we have done all we can do, and as Egg Basket pointed out, we have the ideal conditions, the rest are up to the totsicles...latch on or not. I think the next two weeks while we have to wait to see if it takes will be long...however, Egg Basket will update after the procedure tomorrow since she has to be on bed rest anyway. As for me, I am above all, happy to have the chance to try and honored to share it with my big sister.

Monday, April 6, 2009

oh, and a random thought

I have had so many strangers look at me in the last two months.
I think that from now on, when I am waiting on the doctors table, as soon as he goes to look for whatever it is he is looking for...
while I am patiently lying on my back with feet in stirrups...
The moment I cant see his head any more from behind the paper sheet..
I will shout, really loud..
"I am ready for my close up Mr. DeMille!"

Sunday, April 5, 2009

What we anticipate seldom occurs, what we least expected generally happens

I will begin this blog with a TMI warning (TOO MUCH INFO, for those who don't know!)
But this is just much funnier with all the details!

I am struggling to come up with something witty and appropriate to title this blog entry.... Usually these things come to me while I am writing ... so here goes...

As you all may know by now, I went to the doc on Wednesday for clearance to begin the estrogen and ultimately the progesterone shots.
I was instructed to take 2 weeks of birth control pills then stop, after those two weeks, on March 28th... At that time I would get this "faux" period
(HAHAHA I warned you!TMI)
It is during this time, that they do the next baby box check.

Now, once you have had 5 kids, like I have, you could really care less who looks up in there or what is happening when they do it!
For example, when I went for the first check at the fertility center, I was having my "friend" (scaling it down for you queasy folk)
Of course we did tell the doctor this, and I guess by their standards, this is the optimal time.... go figure.... for them to get the most accurate info.
SO, as I am lying there and the doc is doing his thing, poking me with "wands" and wires and stuff like that

I just blurted out:

"As a rule, I try not to bleed on people when I first meet them.... but, Hey, nothing says nice to meet you like some blood!"

He did laugh, though I am not sure he was completely down with my sense of humor.

ANYWAY fast forward to April 1st (poetic isnt it? HAHA)
Once again, I am subjecting some man, I have never met, to being bled on at our first meeting.
(I guess is it a good thing I didn't employ this tactic while dating! I would have NEVER landed a husband doing THAT! HAHAHAHA)

So I had a discussion via email with my friend about this new habit of I have of bleeding on strange men, and it goes something like this...

D: So, I have the check today, to see if I begin the shots
W: Oh that's great! SO what to they do?
D: well, I stopped the pills on Saturday and they need to check the baby box while I am bleeding.
W: wow that sucks!
D: HAHAHA yeah, sucks to be him! I don't have to be poking around some strange woman's cootch with a magic wand! Now THAT'S one sucky job!
W: HAHAHAHA 'non' shit (inside joke)

The shots arrived on Wednesday as well.
I think this is probably the only part I was nervous about.
Like the train-wreck-watching-curiosity-seeker that I am... I open it up.
and I looked.... at the needles... or should I say straws!
Not going to lie folks, I was pretty surprised at the size... I think I was mentally blocking it out.
But no denial here. Those are big needles. 1 1/2 inches long! 22G!
Thursday night I am psyching myself out... nearly hyperventilating.
I filled the syringe after reading the directions 50 times
For a half hour I was looking at the damn thing with a magnifying glass looking for air bubbles
(I had visions of dying of some errant embolism, even knowing full well that this wasn't likely with an intramuscular injection!)
I had Alex standing by with my cell phone to take a picture for posterity....
(I was going to post it on Facebook, but I thought that might be going to far, even for me HA!)

and WHAM! I took the plunge. In with the needle, squeezed and done... in 5 seconds.
no pain, no nothing.
HAHA I was being such a wuss, for nothing.

I try to laugh at these things that happen, mostly to help Baby Mama relax.
Though I must admit, I crack myself up... sometimes my mouth opens before my brain jumps in to stop it.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

24 Plus 280

So..24 days..and counting. I am happy to report that we have successfully completed all the "prerequisites". The fertility office is still waiting for confirmation that the baby box rocks, but we all already know it does, so not worried about that. Which means we are moving on to the actual process!

Egg Basket goes for a "lining check" next Wednesday and if it looks good and thick, then she will start injecting her tush that night (or the next, depending on when the results get from Connecticut to Maryland). I KNOW she is looking forward to that! Unfortunately, I will be on a plane to California while her lining is being examined, but she knows my heart will be with her and I intend to call the second my plane lands..if I have to miss something, I guess this is an okay thing to miss..sigh.

The next step will be another "lining check" on the 16th and if it is all good, touchdown on the 20th..phew! Then about 2-3 weeks of nail biting and we will know!

In the meantime, my husband, son and I all went up to CT this past weekend to visit Egg Basket and her family. We arrived in the middle of the night on Thursday and stayed through Sunday evening. I can't describe how wonderful I felt being there. It felt like I went home, even though I had never been to her house in CT before. In fact, I was really depressed to leave because talking to Egg Basket on the phone and computer aren't the same as sitting in her kitchen, drinking wine and eating whatever yummy thing she just whipped up for me. I comforted myself with the knowledge that there will be many more visits and lots more time together.

Still..over the last few days I realized that I had a nagging emotion that I am not used to..insecurity. There is a part of me that feels so indebted to Egg Basket for all that she is doing that I am constantly over-analyzing my actions. I am worried about annoying her, pissing her off, making her feel under-appreciated..whatever. As much as intellectually I know that she and I are in this together and nothing will change that, the emotional part of me questions how to act.

Of course, I just be myself...but that is where the insecurity sets in, what if myself isn't good enough? what if I've changed so much and she doesn't really like who I am now? the person I've become in the last 8 years? I am an incredibly emotional, wear my heart on my sleeve type and she is not...

Then I remember, she does put up with my neediness in this situation (just as she always did) and of course I've been emotional since the day she met me, and intellectually I know she loves me regardless of all of this...yet, I think that the insecure feeling is a part of this process too..

I expect that this feeling will ebb and flow throughout all of this, if it works..but at the end of the day, how do you thank the woman who is willing to carry your baby or when/if she is actually carrying your baby? That is a question I will gladly struggle with..for the next 24 days, and G-d willing for 280 more days after that (give or take a few, right Egg Basket?)

Monday, March 16, 2009

True friendship is seen through the heart, not through the eyes

The countdown has begun, I am sure you have all noticed the ticker that we added to count down the days.
This is all so very exciting now, as I feel that we are in the home stretch of this first part.
I had the baby box inspected Friday, and filled the doctors office in on our plans.
They were very supportive! I loved the midwife... he is a guy, but I was comfortable with that... after 5 kids, you really don't care much about who looks up in there! HA!
He suggested that I go for a mammogram... so I will. I did argue that one should probably have breasts in order to do that... he laughed... I guess my small ones qualify!

I started my second pack of birth control pills.
I will only take those for 14 days.
After that I will be checked to see if the lining of the baby box is looking embryo-friendly... if it is looking good, we will start the injections, one every third day... I will be checked on April 16th, then if all continues to look good, we will start the daily injections until the transfer on the 20th.

I will have my hubby do the injections, since he used to do that a lot when he worked for the WWF. HAHA! oops! did I say that??
Good thing I am not afraid of shots eh?

So that's the plan, folks.
I am stoked.
I got the legal contract in the mail today, Hubby and I will sign it and ship it back and that is the last piece of business.

I did have a moment of sadness when I received the contract.
On it was a little post it note from Baby Mama.
When I read it, I instantly realized that I no longer recognized her handwriting...
It had been THAT long.
There was a time that I recognized her handwriting as easily as my own.
I missed her so much. The social worker was concerned for no reason, I will never, again, walk away from our friendship.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

There is only one way to happiness and that is to cease worrying about things which are beyond the power of our will

This particular blog entry has taken me a few days to sort through in my mind.
As Baby Mama indicated we had hit a bump in the road… temporarily anyway.
I was in an intriguing position that made me a tad uncomfortable.

I agree with Baby Mama… we were never told that there was some sort of higher veto power where the Social Worker could veto the entire process after our meeting.
Our understanding was that it was more a formality and, absent my being a stark raving lunatic, (something that may be debatable by some) things would move forward as planned.

The bizarre way that we found out that the social worker had reservations that our friendship was not rekindled for long enough was certainly not, in my opinion, professional at all.
Baby Mama had many emails and phone calls ignored before the nurse in charge of my meds finally talked to her and told her, in a roundabout way, that there was an ‘issue’. This run around went on for a week.
At that, getting the, whole story seemed akin to pulling teeth!
At any rate, once we were aware of the Social Workers concerns, many things jumped into my brain.

I understand Baby Mama’s feelings of emotional despair and lack of control over her reproductive life. My concerns were more fundamental and pragmatic.

First, someone made my sister cry, uncool.
And second, the Social Worker’s philosophy made no sense…. And I would try and use this, to fix the first issue! HAHA!

So we launched a multi-level attack (of sorts)
Baby Mama would hit her with the emotion issues she discussed, and I would beat her down demanding answers for her, apparently arbitrary, two-month wait proposal.
The next day we had a conference call with the SW. I won’t rehash the semantics of the conversation and I know Baby Mama posted about her end of it. Basically, from my perspective, while the SW’s concerns may be valid under normal circumstances, there were NOT valid for 2 reasons. One reason is, I don’t believe that the SW fully considered the specifics of our relationship in drawing her conclusion and the second reason is, even if her concerns were valid, two months simply wouldn’t make a significant difference in defining the potential longevity of our renewed relationship. Ultimately and in addition to Baby Mama’s points, like the true lawyer that I am, I tore apart her ‘logic’. Then I countered, with my far superior logic HA!

I think that, ultimately, we brow beat her until she gave up. Of course, she never intended to stop the process, so I think it just wasn’t worth the battle to her… Baby Mama and I can make a relentless team and we ended the conversation with SW assuring us that all was a ‘go’.

The next day, I got a call from the nurse regarding the “firmed up” schedule for the transfer. We went over how things would progress and ended the conversation with the promise of an email from the nurse with an outline of what was to come. Seemed like an inoffensive enough conversation, right?

Nah, of course not. Little did I know, somehow, some way, this nurse had told the doctor that the date for the transfer was “unacceptable” to Baby Mama.
This struck me as pretty odd since the nurse has JUST hung up with me confirming the date…
Needless to say the doctor called Baby Mama and he was pretty upset... and got her pretty upset which... pretty much, PISSED ME OFF.

My take on the whole situation is this… in his excitement to get the ball rolling, the doc kind of gave us some unrealistic timetables to get the transfer done. Unfortunately, with the issue with the SW, and the lack of communication… that added to the delay. As in everyday life, people get defensive when they screw up, and I believe that’s how this all evolved.
Problem is, I love Baby Mama and I hate to see people make her upset, particularly if they are doing it to save face. I also know that we need to concentrate on the task at hand, and save our “being pissed off” for a later date.

I know that is tough to do, being in Baby Mama’s position. I know that she is hurting over what has happened.

I guess, to a degree, we all have our own sense of powerlessness… for me, it’s an inability to make this all “right” and “ok” for Baby Mama.

Ultimately, we have sorted through the details and set a date…. Albeit a month later than we had hoped, but a date nonetheless.

Barring any unforeseen circumstances, April 20th is our day.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

So Hard

Okay..so we have had a bump in the road..what we hope will be a minor bump, but we aren't sure yet...
It all started with the lovely, gorgeous snow storm we had last week..it seemed to knock out the electricity in the doctor's office which meant they had to cancel Egg Basket's appointment for the annual baby box check..which is one of the pre-screening requirements. So we called and emailed our two nurses about what should we do..and got NO ANSWER...no return call or emails..now truthfully, I had also called two days earlier to check in and had gotten no response either.
Finally, one of the nurses sent Egg Basket an email which implied that we shouldn't worry about the baby box exam because there would be another month of pill taking...NOT part of the original plan..so I called the nurse and got her on the phone and she very nervously told me that I needed to wait for the doctor to call me because everything was on hold due to the social worker's reservations!! WTF???
Finally, at 8:45 pm last night the Doc called...
Doc: "The social worker is concerned that you and Egg Basket have not be reunited long enough and would like you to wait 2-3 months before proceeding"
Me: (naturally) "WTF???" - okay on the inside- I really said "what does that mean, does the SW's have veto power?"
Doc: "Well what would be the point of having social workers if we didn't listen to them?"
Me: WTF?
Okay pause here- first of all, we were told that the mandatory meeting with the social worker was "for our benefit"..to make us aware of how the social worker could be a resource if we needed someone to talk to... over and over we were told, this is not a test...NEVER was it mentioned that this chick had any kind of veto power..okay back to the conversation:
Me: "Okay..so what does that mean?"
Doc: "Well, I am going to talk to the social worker, tell her that I don't agree with her and ask her what the benefits would be for waiting- but the worse case scenario is that we'd be delayed 2-3 months..which isn't a lot.."
Me: "With all due respect..I disagree..2 months IS a long time, we have been working with you since 2001 to complete our family...each day is another day that we don't have that family"
Doc:..something like I understand but "in a year from now, these two months won't matter"
Me: WTF!!!
so basically he defended the process of using social workers and gave lots of examples of when it was very important..then my husband took the phone and gave the doctor a piece of his mind :)
Ultimately the doctor said that he would talk to the social worker and she would call us today.
So Egg Basket and I hatched (ha ha) a plan...it seemed that we still had one chance to get the social worker on our side...
fast forward..
Social worker calls at 3pm today..and I conference Egg Basket into the call..
SW: (after all the sorries about not calling us sooner) "So, as I expressed to you both when you were here, in the ideal situation the two of you would have been reunited for a longer period of time"
Me: WTF? Seriously? because two months is going to do what?
Okay really:
Egg Basket: (in a very polite way)" So, can you explain what the purpose of two months is?"
SW: "Well I just want to make sure that the two of you are still comfortable with all of this and that it hasn't been moving too fast, I am not trying to stop the process"..blah blah blah..
Ultimately I made two points:
1- the clinical "What if" scenario of mine and Egg Basket's relationship needed to be weighed against my emotional turmoil of waiting..I repeated the part about building our family since 2001 and how each day is another day..how we went from having no hope to lots of hope, that the emotional turmoil of wondering if it will work, the need for it be over, the stress interfering with my work, dissertation, parenting..the growing age gap between my son and whatever child hopefully is to come...all needed to be considered in her judgement
2- This whole process is about powerlessness..My husband and I have absolutely no power or control over any of this..we have to work with doctors and social workers..we have to have someone else carry our baby..we are completely vulnerable and at everyone else's mercy...and here we were, with one more person telling us what is best for us, one more person deciding that they know better than we do..
Egg Basket made a lot of good points and made the social worker explain- but I will let Egg Basket describe her perspective/side of this if she chooses..
Ultimately, the social worker said that she would email the doc and let him know that she thinks it is okay to move forward..of course, since we got no answers for a week, it looks unlikely that or original transfer schedule will hold..we are probably looking at another month just because of the time this has all taken.
So- I won't feel better until someone calls me back (doctor or nurse) and give me a plan..a real plan..with dates and schedules...
As I drove in the car today listening to the Dixie Chicks' song, "So hard"- which was written by two of the band members who had infertility issues, I was struck by the words:
It felt like a given
Something a woman's born to do
A natural ambition
To see a reflection of me and you
And I'd feel so guilty
If that was a gift I couldn't give
And could you be happy
If life wasn't how we pictured it
And sometimes I just want to wait it out
To prove everybody wrong
And I need your help to move on
Cause you know it's so hard
It's so hard
It's so hard when it doesn't come easy
It's so hard when it doesn't come fast
It's so hard when it doesn't come easy
So hard
I can live for the moment
When all these clouds open up for me to see
And show me a vision
Of you and me swimming peacefully

So that is it..it IS so hard...waiting is never easy..but I continue to believe, to hope, to know..the clouds will open up...even if it is in 12 months instead of 10.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves

Ahh, I guess it is my turn to blog.
We are in the waiting phase. I am taking my birth control pills every evening. Which makes me feel like barfing every morning. That is un-fun.
I think I can handle a few weeks of that, though.

I have been thinking about Baby Mama’s recent blog entry. I have been processing how I feel about how SHE feels.

I can’t say that I understand how she feels. I can certainly empathize. I think, for me, offering to do this is truly the only way that I CAN help.

The only fear I have in this journey, is the overwhelming sadness that I would have, if it were not successful. Not sadness for myself (although I may experience a sense of defectiveness if that happens) but I am very certain my heart would ache more for Baby Mama and her husband ….. far worse than any feelings of failure on my part. That is a heavy thought for me to grasp.

Generally, I avoid grasping that thought. Maybe I am in denial, but I have a really positive feeling about this. And, no, I am not psychic or any of that…. So don’t call me “swami” or anything like that… (Although I AM pretty great, I’ll admit…… LOL)
It’s just a gut feeling. This was the way things were meant to happen...

I think it perfectly normal for Baby Mama to have a lot of emotions about this process. Adding to one’s family is a huge decision. Even under the best of circumstances. When things aren’t “perfect” by conventional standards, I think it certainly heightens the sensitivities.
But I know, in my heart, that this is going to be a positive and uplifting experience and I can’t wait for the next step!
I love you Baby Mama, and I am ALWAYS here for you.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


So..I've been silent...kind of rare for me..I have been processing. Processing all that has occurred in the last two weeks..from no hope to "beautiful uteruses"... But really, from mommy to the one who can't carry...as much as all of this is wonderful, it has also reminded me of the hard stuff, the part that I can't do, the sense of loss and the feelings of failure that naturally come with that.

If the purpose of this blog is to record our journey and our emotions about this journey, then it is important to me to describe this side of it. I have read too many articles in the NY Times or other "reputable" news sources that make it sound like intended mothers use gestational carriers so they don't get stretch marks..news flash: no woman I have ever known chooses this route as her "preferred method" AND I already have stretch marks!

I want another baby..simple right? If I knew before getting pregnant with my son all that I know now, I would have done it anyway. As his mother, I would do ANYTHING for him..I envision that G-d willing, in a year, I will feel that way about another child. I know that no matter what it takes, if it works, it will be worth it. But I also know what it is like to be pregnant...to feel MY child inside of ME..to look into my son's face and see my own...none of this will be like that.

Being with Egg Basket as she was declared perfect was both exciting and deflating..I am NOT perfect..my uterus is NOT beautiful..and I am NOT capable of doing what she can do..at least not anymore.

My incredible sense of dependence on Egg Basket is sometimes difficult to accept. I mentioned in our mandatory therapy session that there is an incredible sense of inferiority..one that the husbands don't get because they are used to someone else carrying their children...a feeling that only I will feel in this process. Now, let me clarify...Egg Basket does not have a feeling of superiority, nor does she EVER flaunt her skillz...but it doesn't change the reality..I can't do it. I will never feel another child move inside of me, I will never look in this child's face (G-d willing) and see my family features..I will have to tell a complicated story to my child/ren about his/her life story. Again, all worth it..but still I don't think I would be normal if it didn't cause me at least a momentary pause..and as I tell Egg Basket, I AM the mushy-gushy one..I am emotional and sensitive...I DO feel everything..the good and the bad.

So I don't feel bad for myself, and am not asking for that kind of sympathy..but for every woman who has had a child and for those who dream of eventually doing it...imagine not being able to and the kind of mourning that goes with that. For those who choose not to have children, imagine not having the ability to choose. Add the complication of having a really rare disease that is not curable and is completely unpredictable; a fact that is reiterated each time I explain why I need a gestational carrier and know that it is complicated..it is both joyous and scary all at the same time.. Know that I want this baby, with every fiber of my being, but this child is also the essence of my inferiority...this process is as much about what I can't do as it is about the incredible gift that Egg Basket is giving my husband and I..

On that note, I promise not to lament too much..but it is all part of the journey of life we are embarked upon and I am committed to honesty about this process ... Today is just a day that I hate my body and I rue the fate of the universe..a moment where I both celebrate my blessed friendship with Egg Basket, the opportunity I have that many others do not, but also curse the "abnormality" of my life...in short..it is just another day...tomorrow is likely to be better :)

Monday, February 16, 2009

true friendship isn't about being there when it's convenient; it's about being there when it's not.

As time passes, you will get accustomed to a variety of blog entries from me.
Some of them will be funny, joking and sarcastic…. Some will be intellectual. Every once in a while you will read one that reflects the real me… the friend, the person who loves deeply and cares intensely.

Those of you who have read my “Introduction” know the story of how I reconnected with Baby Mama.

I promised a blog entry about my dearest closest friends and how they reacted to my decision to act as gestational carrier, so without further ado…...

I am not an emotionally deep person for the most part. I am not particularly close to my parents for a variety of reasons, I love them, but we just aren’t very close. While they will know of my decision, it isn’t critical for me that they approve or even understand why I have decided to do this.

I love my children and husband intensely, and their input regarding this process is important to me. When I approached Len (my husband) with the idea that I would offer to be a gestational carrier, as I expected, he told me that it was MY body and that I was free to do with it what I choose. Of course I insisted on a deeper response. The response that cuts to the core of a human being, without regard for hurt feelings, etc. It was THAT response that surprised me. Don’t get me wrong, my husband is a very compassionate man…. Much more so than I, and I take great comfort in knowing this, particularly as a person who isn’t free with the outward expression of emotion. It was the intensity of his response that surprised me, the conviction…. He said “I am SO jealous that you are able to do something like this for someone you love.” I knew, then, that this decision was right not just for me, but for my marriage as well.

The kids’ reactions were positive as well. Mike, after an initial “oh crap, you’re serious!” reaction has been very supportive which is surprising to me. He thinks everything I do is a little off-the-hook. HAHA. Brit thinks it’s a great idea. I think after having a baby of her own, it makes her more intrigued by the process. Alex totally doesn’t truly get the whole process…. That may be due to his diminished brain function from his “extra-curricular” activities. And Corie is just looking for assurances that this won’t affect his clothes shopping habit in any way. LOL. Clearly we won’t explain anything to Sofia until there IS something to explain. She really isn’t able to grasp abstract concepts quite yet.

I have several friends with whom I could not move forward easily, without their support. Sherri, Connie, Chrissy, Linda, Wendi, Doreen and Zulie.

Sherri is on this list too because I believe Sherri is looking in on us now, making all of this happen. Kids were Sherri’s passion. She loved Sofia and enjoyed our visits so much. I believe she whispered into my heart and told me to reach out to Baby Mama and do this for her.

Linda is my twin soul. We think alike, we laugh at the same things, we finish each others sentences… I knew that she would be 100% supportive. No questions asked.

Zulie is logical like me, I knew she would know that I gave this the required thought and would be supportive… she can always be a voice of reason in my life with a touch of emotion to keep it real.

Wendi is one of my very best friends, so like me in so many ways. Same sense of humor to cover for the deeply feeling human being that we don’t share very often. But we both know inside that it is there, and we are comfortable with that. I have never felt a closer kinship with a person I have never met. We are like two peas in a pod (except of course she will tell you, I am the wrinkly old pea HAHA) and I can always expect an honest, but caring answer from her. As I expected, when I told her of my idea… she had recently been contemplating the very same thing… she amazes me everyday with what an incredible person she is and her support was crucial to me.

Doreen is our unique friend in that she is friends with both Baby Mama and I. I was not at all worried that she would be unsupportive… but I also didn’t expect her to get all gushy either LOL. And of course she didn’t. I am sure in some ways, she thinks I am nuts for doing this at 42…. She may be right! But I know her well enough that she wants the best for Baby Mama and that she is supportive just the same.

Not that I care ANY less about the above friends, but it was Connie and Chrissy whose reactions were nearest to my heart…. Their disapproval may have even been a deal breaker for me. For a few reasons. I will start with Chrissy.

Chrissy and I are best friends. If women friends can be soul mates, we are them. She is one of two people in this world with whom I never have a serious disagreement. Now understand that we do not always agree, and I know that I can be a bit off the hook, even for her crazy ass. Interestingly, Chrissy has no biological children. She loves other people’s kids (for the most part HAHA) and has an awesome step daughter. Chrissy is also friends with Baby Mama, so I knew that, even if she was a bit hesitant, she would be very supportive. And she was. I know that she loves me and trusts that I will make the best decisions for me. This was probably one of the most important parts for me because I know that I will need her many times over this journey.

Connie and I are a completely unusual friendship. Next to Wendi, I have been friends with her for the shortest time of all of my closest friends… yet I feel closer to her than nearly anyone in the world. Connie and I clicked immediately. She is a very unique lady. She has always been a number of people in my life… even though she is only 15 years older than me; she has been like a mother, a sister, a mentor and a best friend ….. right from the very beginning of our friendship. I can count on her to be straightforward and tell me what she thinks, even if I don’t want to hear it. I know she thinks I am nuts sometimes, and she likes me anyway. What I do not know about her, is why she has no children. I know in my heart that her approval was critical to me, yet I wanted to be sensitive to the fact that I really don’t know why she didn’t have any kids. She always tells me that when they were handing out maternal instincts, she must have been arguing with a judge…. LOL. In reality, she is clearly very maternal and has shown this in the facets of her personality that I have been lucky enough to see. Whatever the reasons, I know that this can be a sensitive subject to many people. I ended up telling her at her office, since she canceled her margarita date with Chrissy and I, LOL. She listened carefully to what I told her and I could tell that she knew I was very serious about it. She was open with me and expressed her concerns for me and my health mostly… which means a great deal to me. Ultimately, I said “So you don’t think I am nuts?” and she said “Oh, no! I think you’re nuts! But I love you and I will support you in your decision”

I knew then, with the support of my dearest friends that everything would be ok.

So Sherri, Connie, Chrissy, Wendi, Linda, Dor and Zulie… thank you for joining us on this incredible journey of life….. I love you.