More Cuteness

So yeah, I can be pretty distractible. It turns out that I got mixed up with the shopping sites. My sister had originally share the Zulily site with me, but then The Queen aka Bumpy over at My Bumpy Journey invited me to join an even cuter site called Totsy. Julie also recommends Totsy as being even cuter and cheaper than the other shopping sites.

I've never been a big shopper, but I've been having way too much fun 'window' shopping online. I have a little bookmark folder full of adorable things that I want to get for Bestie's Little One, my niece and nephew, my sisters, my bloggy friends, my mama, and a few things that I want for myself too. These shopping sites are fun and cute, but I'm not so good at the impulse purchase and most of the sales have an expiration date on them. There must be similar shopping sites for vacations, right?  I'd love to 'window shop' for cheap last minute vacations. 



The Queen aka Bumpy over at My Bumpy Journey sent me an invitation to join a shopping site called Zulily. Oh my gosh it has the most adorable things at totally discounted prices. I just splurged $20 for a super cute Japanese Weekend maternity shirt that I know I am going to love wearing later this fall.

There are books and toys, clothes and shoes for you, and lots of cute little things for the little ones - all at prices that are downright affordable.

I shared it with my sister, who is a member of lots of different shopping sites, but claims now that this is her favorite. Check it out... Zulily

My heart is heavy for our beautiful Augusta. Please send her some loving thoughts.



There are some things that I am really irritated by these days. Sorry for all the negativity, it really isn't like me. But letting it all out on my poor husband is not working so well, so instead I am going to download it here. Please don't take anything I am saying here personally. and please be warned that some of these thing are complaints about being pregnant (which i know can be hard to read sometimes.) For what its worth, I did have a good talk with my dr who gave me permission to blame everything on being pregnant. here goes...

1) captcha. I hate it. Is it really necessary? I understand not wanting to get computer-bot comments, but seriously, for the sake of people who actually read and leave comments, could be all just agree to disable captcha and delete any computer-bot comments?

2) blogger profiles that don't enable a reply-to email address. I have all comments sent to me via email, and sometimes I can hit reply and send an email directly back to the person who left the comment, but sometimes there is no reply email address to respond to.  How come I can reply directly to some comments, and not to others? Is it a bloggers setting?

3) food. this challenged relationship with food is getting old. psyching myself out to eat, forcing myself to swallow, is a lot  of work. i also have his expectation that everyone should be helping me with this by continually offering me appropriate snacks and meals so that all i have to think about is simply eating what is in front of me. its not rational, but its how i feel.

4) people at work. i want to hire some 3rd graders who were trained in conflict mediation to come moderate our meetings. i am embarrassed (and beyond frustrated) that adults in positions of great responsibility can behave so poorly. how do people rise to positions of such importance while lacking such basic communication skills?

5) my clothes. they just aren't fitting. my waist is thick so my pants are packed up. i have 5 awesome pairs of maternity pants that are still too big, but much better than too small. my boobs have grown two cup sizes so my shirts are busting at the seems and/or too short to cover up the maternity band on the pants. getting dressed has never been my favorite part of the day, but now, it really sucks.

6) my dear sweet puppy. i just feel like my patience for her antics is so thin. i come home from work and she is so so so excited, she gets her ball, runs around me, stops for a pet, but all i want to do is get my stuff set down and go to the bathroom, and get a drink of water and sit down. it feels like she is just in my way.

7) a stupid ticket i got earlier this year. we paid our registration, but they never sent us the sticker. months passed before we realized, but we did and made an appt at the dmv to go get it straightened out. a week before my dmv appt i get pulled over for not having the registration sticker on my license. i explain it all to the cop, who insists on giving me a fix-it ticket. jerk. So i take the afternoon off to go to the dmv, then to the police station to get the ticket signed off, then to the court house to pay the ticket but they don't have it in their records. So i go back to the pd, where they assure me that they sent it to the court. the pd calls the court, and ta da they find the ticket. long story short we are now getting these notices that i never cleared the ticket. they are demanding $1500 unless i prove that we cleared the ticket, but i have no idea where the original ticket even is. i just want ml to take care of it and make it all go away.

8) insurance. where to begin. i've been looking over our maternity benefits and called to make sure i was understanding correctly. this really deserves its own post, but as I should have guessed, our $3,000 out of pocket maximum is anything but that. Really it is the $500 deductible plus the $20 office co-pays plus the $3,000 oop plus any out of network charges. Oh and yes, the baby starts its own deductible and out of pocket max once its born. Oh and yes, just because we have an in-network obgyn and will be delivering at an in-network hospital, we can't assume that the people who work at that hospital (like an anesthesiologist or surgeon) will be in-network, and thus any of their charges will be in addition to our out of pocket maximum. Could anyone explain why we even bother having insurance? This really gets my goat, for oh so many reasons.

It does feel better to take these things, write them down, and let them go.



Is it called Friday leftovers? all of the random thoughts that I want to get out, but that might not all be connected. here goes.

- I totally failed ICLW. Its possible that I'll get caught up over the weekend, but as of right now, I totally failed.
- Work has been really stressing me out. I just can't seem to get ahead of the work curve, and feel like I am falling farther and farther behind. It is a kind of stressful job, but I love it. I just wish I could hit time out every now and then. 
- My puppy is shedding and there is fur everywhere.
- ML just got some work that will keep him employed for a few weeks. I've been stressed out about him not having any work, so this is good. very very good.
- My boobs hurt. a lot.
- My shirts are all too short, probably because my boobs have grown so much. I need new shirts, and have had an order with old navy up in my browser all week, but am worried about money and not hitting the 'checkout' button as a result.
- We got released from the sex prohibition and I couldn't be happier :) Ml is quite happy as well :)
- I resigned from one community Board that I've been on for 5 years, and was elected president of another community Board that I started 10 years ago. 
- My mom and I are going to the spa on Sunday, and I am so excited. I need to call and make my treatment appointment, but can't decide what I want.
- I can't stop thinking about the Greys Anatomy scene a few episodes back where meridith and derek were in the elevator and meridith started crying because she was jealous of Cali at her baby shower. 
- We had our first ob appointment on Wednesday, which was awesome, and deserves its own post.
- I also saw my regular doctor on Thursday to check in after i quit taking my lexapro at 8 weeks. 
- We usually celebrate christmas at my sister in laws house, but instead invited her and her family and my mother-in-law to come celebrate christmas with us. But now I'm wondering if we might be crazy. If the baby comes on time, we'll have a 2 week old at christmas. And a house full of people. We like them, and they'll help, but still. I don't want to set myself up for failure.
- We met with the Doula, and I want to write all about it. 
- A friend of ours, the first ones we talked openly about our infertility struggles with, are in their 2ww following a second IVF cycle. I really really want this for them. 
- My delinquent cousin has pushed my aunt over the edge... We are going to tour a boot camp that they want to send her to. I think its her only real chance at graduating high school and not ending up incarcerated. Again, I might be nuts, but I reiterated that our offer to have her come live here with us as another option if she refuses to go to the camp. 
- Apparently I've got a lot of thoughts floating around in my head at the moment. I think I'm going to dedicate some time to writing this weekend. 

Update: oh my god, I just read that my dear friend Augusta has lost her baby. I am simply heartbroken, devastated. She went thru so much to conceive her baby with more love and intention than I ever imagined possible. She has been the most incredible source of support for me, and it felt so perfect that we were getting to continue our journey together. I am shaken to the core. Her first OB appointment was on Wednesday, the same as me. She asked the Dr the same question as I "is the baby still there?" only she got the worst answer possible, whereas I got to breathe a huge sign of relief. How is this fair? How can this be? I just don't have any words, I am devastated. and I feel so helpless to help her thru this.

Dear Normal Pregnancy Doctor

Dear Normal Pregnancy Doctor,
We want to thank you for taking the time to read this letter, and ask that you share it with your staff and add it to our file.
ML and I have been together for 11 years, married for 7. After trying to start our family for nearly two years, we received a devastating diagnosis of infertility. We spent the next year and a half meeting with so many different doctors, undergoing invasive testing procedures, trying experimental therapies, and ultimately grieving the loss of a biological child. 
This past March, thanks to the miracles of modern medicine, we finally succeeded with IVF. We are excited, yet still feeling very cautious about this pregnancy. After getting bad news for so long, I guess it takes some time for good news to sink in and feel real. 
We are so happy to be graduating from the RE to your practice. In most respects we are normal first-time expectant parents, yet having invested so much into achieving this pregnancy we may at times benefit from some extra hand-holding and compassion. 
Specifically there are a few things we’d like to request of you and your team:
    • We’ve been through a lot, and appreciate your patience, kindness, and smiles more than words can convey. 
    • Foxy prefers not to be left alone in exam rooms. ML will attend most appointments and would like to join Foxy for any tests or exams.
    • We prefer not to learn the gender of our child until the birth. 
    • Before the end of our visit, or conversation, please ask us if we have any final questions. 
    • We live and work in the next county over, so appointments are most convenient for us in the late afternoon. 
Thank you for taking good care of us.
Foxy and ML


11 weeks

We went out of town for a long weekend with good friends. It was wonderful, but left us without reliable internet or phone service for a few days. It was good to be away, but its good to be back :)

How far along? 11 Weeks
How is Mommy Feeling? 
pretty good. 
- really looking forward to our first OB appointment on Wednesday. beyond excited that the OB will (hopefully) lift the restriction on sex, and light exercise. 
- a bit irritable, like my patience is running thin, with people at work, with ML, etc. I am unreasonably irritated with the Family Building Act and the fact that we have so much medication leftover from our IVF cycle.
- that so many things i thought mattered, like where i deliver, and the type of birth i have, and whether i can stay home really don't matter. so long as we can bring this baby home with us, everything else is just a detail.
- wishing that i could take a rest every afternoon, and trying my best to bring work projects home so i can set up on the couch between 2-5pm.

How is Daddy Feeling? 
- less terrified that something bad might happen, but just as terrified that this might really be happening.
- excited that the baby is the size of a fig this week, because he really likes figs. However keep joking that his wife won't think the fruit comparison is as much fun when the baby is the size of a cantaloupe!
Total weight gain? 
- not sure. haven't weighed in.
- resigned that I'm eating the best I can to control the nausea, and will start exercising again soon. 
- My boobies still qualify as my number one symptom. The new bras help a lot.
- Food management is still an issue. Keeping my stomach happy requires maintaing a fairly constant level of food  intake. If I wait too long to eat, the nausea and aversion take over. Jamba Juice blueberry smoothies have been a daily staple. Plain Cheerios, potatoes, vanilla yogurt, and apples with peanut butter are consistently safe bets.
- I've been unreasonably irritable this week. I got cranky at ML twice for things that really were meaningless. I've also been extra stressed out about work and some projects that are just not going the way I need them to.
- I've had a tiny bit of cramping here and there. Usually I notice it in the morning before I get out of bed, and other times when i'm driving. Sometimes it turns out to be gas, but other times I pretty sure that it is just everything stretching and growing. 
The Belly? 
- Not much to report, other than that I love my maternity pants from Old Navy and the Gap.

The Boobies?
- yes, I am adding a special category to report on The Boobies as they have become a major player in this adventure.
- I broke down last weekend and found a special store that rents breastpumps and sells nursing bras and cloth diapers. It was open by appointment only, and so I made my appointment hoping that they could fit me with a bra that helped alleviate my pain. I've been a 34 B from the time that I bought my first bra. Until now when I measured a 38 C/D... She helped me find a perfect sleeping bra, and two other well padded bras for the daytime. She also warned me that my breasts are going to continue growing, and that I'll need to re-up again in a few months. All three are technically nursing bras, so I'll be able to use them again on the other side.
- I'm not typically a fan of bra's, and am known to not wear them unless there is a reason one is needed, but since I got the new bras, the only time I am not wearing one is when I'm in the shower.
- I've been on high alert to prevent any additional vasospasm attacks. Now that I think I know what is causing them, mainly cold, I am noticing the warning signs that one might be coming on and taking immediate action to get warm again.  Wearing a scarf and keeping my neck warm seems to help. 

- I woke up one night this week to find ML missing from our bed. He had relocated to the couch so that his tossing and turning wouldn't bother me. I don't like his wiggles, but I dislike not having him next to me even more. 

What I miss? 
- drinking, yep, i miss it. I miss having a sunday morning mimosa, I miss having a vodka soda after a hard day at work, I miss having a glass of wine with dinner. I'm thinking that after the first trimester, I may decide to relax on the prohibition and allow the occasional adult beverage. 
- sex. like you wouldn't believe. i crave my husband.
- sex, yes I have to say it again. I miss it that much. 

Big News this Week? 
We went to the doula fair, an event put on my our local Birth Network, last weekend. We met a lady who ML and I both felt comfortable with. She seemed very open minded whereas some of the other ladies seemed to have very set philosophies about birth. We met with her later in the week to talk in more detail about how she would work with us. 
- My mom sold her house, the house that she and my dad bought 15 years ago, the house that she thought she'd live in for the rest of her life. She is moving this weekend into a rental. This is like the 20th time that my mom has moved since she and my dad got married, (the first since their divorce 5 years ago), and I'm sure the hardest since it represents the loss of so many dreams. 
- We decided to turn two of our bedrooms into a studio with a separate entrance. ML bought a little kitchenette to install in one of the closets, and found a guy who can start working on it for us. We've rented out three of our extra bedrooms for the past 7 years, and finally the time has come that we want our privacy. We don't need the space, but would still like the extra income, and this seems like a nice compromise. 


Yes, But...

I'll support it, but I'm actually really disappointed by it.

Resolve has revealed the Family Building Act of 2011, or Senate Bill 965, introduced by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand to create a tax credit for certain out of pocket costs associated with infertility.

Having spent nearly 50% of our gross income trying to start our family last year, since our insurance specifically excludes anything remotely related to infertility, I feel strongly that something needs to change. However this feels like a misguided attempt to 'fix' the problem, potentially creating a whole mess of additional problems for us infertile to have to deal with.

This plan will only cover costs associated with IVF. Only a fraction of the medical expenses that ML and I incurred last year would have qualified for this Family Building tax credit. Our diagnosis wasn't simple, and neither was our treatment plan.  Do we really want a tax code that handles medical credits and deductions on a case by case basis? It just doesn't feel right to me. It feels like we are leaving behind a huge segment of our ALI community. 

I think that most of us would agree that insurance mandates for infertility coverage would be an ideal place to start the discussions. Unfortunately I understand just how difficult that fight can be considering that I've been fighting unsuccessfully for California to simply require maternity coverage as a basic health benefit. In fact our governor vetoed such legislation at the urging of the (evil) insurance companies the past 4 years in a row.

Current federal tax law allows for a tax deduction for any medical costs over 7% of your income. In our case we  were able to deduct a significant portion of our medical expense, and will likely be in a similar situation again this year. Tax credits/deductions require that you spend the money first, then are able to play the tax game to hopefully recoup some percentage of your expenses. This is not an option for every family, nor is every family in a position to reach the 7% threshold in any given year. I assure you that it is a financially painful achievement.

If we really wanted to support hard working families, we'd start by making sure that they have access to comprehensive health insurance so that they don't incur huge medical costs in the first place. And if we can't do that, then then we should simply lower the 7% threshold so that they can deduct more of their costs. Its not a perfect solution, but it would be a step in the right direction.

I am not in favor of creating new, complicated tax rules that will only benefit certain individuals with certain conditions to receive certain treatments. This sounds to me like one more frustrating complexity that we will be left to figure out on our own, and it just rubs me the wrong way.

I'm also really put off by the idea that IVF is the only meaningful cost of infertility. We just spent a week busting myths, one being that IVF is the only treatment for infertility, that IVF is always successful, that IVF is the answer. It is just so disrespectful to our experience, and the experience of so many others, to suggest with this legislation that IVF is the only cost that really 'matters'.

Ideally, a Family Building Act would support public health goals that represent savings to the health care system. For example, insurance companies who do pay for IVF can restrict the number of embryos transferred resulting in more full term healthy babies born. The increased cost of IVF would be offset by the significant savings in NICU stays for preterm multiples. I'm not sure that I see the connection to public health in this legislation. In fact I perceive what might be perverse incentives in this legislation. IVF is not the best or first choice for every infertile couple, but when you start subsidizing one treatment option among many you start to disincentivize other potential more appropriate treatment options.

I do think it is commendable that RESOLVE is venturing into the political realm with this campaign, and I will of course support the Bill by contacting my US Senators and asking them to sign on a co-authors.

I understand only too well that in order to bring about change that we must stand together with one loud voice. I also understand that this is only one small first step toward the real changes that we know are necessary.

You can support it too by visiting and following the links to contact your US Senators.

However I'm really disappointed that this is the best we could come up with.


Key provisions of the Fertility Act of 2011:
  • The Family Act covers the out-of-pocket costs associated with in vitro fertilization (IVF) including diagnostic tests, laboratory charges, professional charges, and medications for IVF.
  • The Family Act covers the out-of-pocket costs of fertility preservation procedures if the man or woman is diagnosed with cancer and the cancer treatment or disease itself may result in infertility.
  • The Family Act has a cost sharing provision allowing 50% of all applicable medical expenses to be  covered up to a lifetime maximum of $13,360. You would need to have out-of-pocket costs totaling $26,720 to claim the entire credit in your lifetime.
  • If you do not owe taxes in a particular year, do not owe enough taxes to use the whole credit, or do not reach the max amount in one tax year, it carries over to the next year for a max of five years after the first year you use the credit. 
  • The Family Act is available to couples filing jointly with adjusted gross incomes of less than $222,520, but the credit is smaller for those earning between $182,500 and $222,520. 

Torpedo Tits

I had a nickname in high school. 
Torpedo Tits. 

I was late to mature and have never been well endowed. My nipples, however are another story. My nipples are sizable, nearly always erect, very sensitive (which used to be a great thing), and tend to show thru my clothing regardless of what I am wearing. 

In high school, they earned me the nickname Torpedo Tits. It was true, I couldn't fight it, so I embraced it and we had lots of fun with it. Remember the James Bond scene when the Bond girls open fire from their breasts? I loved to reenact that scene.  

My first serious boyfriend helped me discover just how wonderfully sensitive my nipples were. There is one first glorious encounter that I will never forget, mostly because I had no idea that my breasts and nipples could supply so much pleasure. 

I loved my nipples, thought that they were fantastic, but every so often, usually on colder mornings, I'd be overcome by nipple/breast pain. I'd sequester myself in a warm classroom, hands inside my shirt desperately pulling away the fabric of my bra and clothing from my nipples while simultaneously trying to warm them up. It didn't happen all the time, but I have very clear memories of the intense pain that accompanied the attacks. Crazy stuff is happening with a teenager body, and I just assumed that my boobs were growing or some other normal puberty thing was happening. 

I can't seem to remember any specific episodes of pain as intense as it was in high school, but suspect that there were a few now and again. Until now.

Last month, while were were waiting for our u-Haul truck, I was hit with a very intense very painful episode of breast pain. We were outside and there was a light breeze, it wasn't even that cold, but apparently cold enough to push me right over the edge. It was not tenderness, or discomfort, it was pain. Real, serious, intense PAIN. It lasted until we got into the truck and I started to warm up, maybe 15-20 minutes. 

I had another attack of really intense breast pain yesterday. I was at a big ceremony celebrating the expansion of a local college facility. My boss couldn't be there, so I was presenting a Proclamation on her behalf. It was outside in the garden area, and there was a slight breeze. Despite my three layers of clothing, the episode of pain came on strong. I tried to hug myself, to protect my breasts from the wind with my arms, but it just kept getting worse. Important people were giving speeches, but I had to excuse myself and run to my car to get my jacket. It took me another 10-15 minutes to warm up after which the pain subsided.

I consulted Dr Google when I got home, but my searches kept coming up with descriptions of breast tenderness, pre-menstrual breast discomfort, pain in a single breast as a result of an injury, nothing close to the cool temperature induced episode of severe intense breast pain that I experienced today. I kept searching, finally adding the term Raynauds. Raynauds is a vasospastic disorder that can cause pain within the affected extremities (most often hands and feet), discoloration (paleness) and sensations of cold and/or numbness. Wikepedia also explained that Raynaud's can occur in breastfeeding mothers, causing nipples to turn white and become extremely painful. Emotional stress and cold are classic triggers of the phenomenon.

I first read about Raynauds on another blog, the description sounded so very similar to nipple pain that I used to experience in high school and again more recently. Intense episodes of pain that are brought on by cold. In classic Raynaud's the affected area changes colors from white to blue to purple. I've never been in a position to inspect my nipples while experiencing these episodes of pain, but am feeling pretty confident that this is a fitting explanation. 

I turned up a ton of useful information once I added Raynauds to my search. Apparently nipple pain is an often undiagnosed/misdiagnosed reason that women give up on breastfeeding. I found a really great article written by two lactation consultants in Australia that explains "Raynauds is a common condition affecting women of childbearing age with up to 22% of 21-50 year olds reporting symptoms.  It is likely therefore to be an underdiagnosed condition affecting the nipples of lactating women." Most of the stories I read described women who suffered for weeks and/or months, undergoing multiple treatments for other infections before finally getting an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment. The best part is that there are very effective treatment options for Raynauds, unlike the complete lack of treatment options for generic breast pain.

The research confirmed my suspicions that the attacks are brought on my cold, and thus one of the first preventative strategies is to prevent your body, especially your breasts from getting cold. I am desperate enough for relief from this pain that I ordered some breast warmers from Australia! I will also be talking to my new OB about this, especially since it has the potential to interfere with breastfeeding. (I kind of want to test her by not revealing the fruits of my research, but don't know how playing games like that will benefit me. I am really confident that she is a fantastic OB, who will take brilliant good care of me, just as she has taken wonderful care of Bestie.)

My torpedo tits have turned against me! But I am going to take some really good care of them so that they are ready for our little one come December.


Week 10

How far along? 10 Weeks
How is Mommy Feeling? 
  • Scared that this is too good to be true. Feeling like I’ve read too many stories where everything falls apart. Trying to reframe my thoughts in the positive.
  • Counting every day as one day closer to our dream.
  • Still very disconnected from this additional heart that is beating inside of me. It has clearly taken over control of my body, but still feels very surreal. 
  • I actually contemplated a life without children the other day. It was as if it is finally ‘safe’ to actually explore those thoughts and feelings. But it seemed a very bizarre set of emotions to be surfacing. 
  • A bit surprised by how I’m feeling, it is so much different than what I expected.
How is Daddy Feeling? 
  • He’s wondering what fruit the baby is compared to this week. (at least that’s what he told me when i asked about his week 10 thoughts.)
  • He also continues to toss name ideas out for discussion and consideration.
Total weight gain? 
  • 12 lbs from the start of the IVF cycle (.5 lbs this week)
  • I’ve never weighed this much and honestly it freaks me out a little. My weight has always been pretty stable at 155, up from 145 when I graduated from high school 15 years ago. It also freaks me out that I’ve gained so much so fast - feels a little out of control. 
  • My boobies are not sore, they are painfully sore. I am in pain. And my nipples are beyond sensitive, so much so that I’ve taken to wearing some padded bra inserts that take the pressure of the bra fabric off of my nipples.
  • My stomach has taken control. Foods that used to be good are no longer welcome, and the mix of hunger and food repulsion is a strange one to get used to. Jamba Juice blueberry smoothie and Odwala Vanilla protien drinks have been staples in my diet this week.
  • I had an incredibly busy work week, and I’m tired. Came home in between meetings yesterday and today for a rest. 
  • Still waking up to pee once or twice every night.
  • Out of breath from very little activity, its been this way for weeks. ML joked that we will have to start taking the elevator to prevent me from passing out after we climb a flight of stairs.
The Belly? 
- I think that it is there and growing, although right now it just looks like I’ve put on a few lbs. You know, like the freshman 15.
  • I am feeling more restless as night. Might be the waking up to pee, or just having pent up energy from being on restricted activity during the day. 
  • My boobies cry out in pain from typical sleep movement, but the thought of wearing a sports bra to sleep makes my nipples scream out in pain.
  • ML’s wiggles are beyond irritating to me. I know he’s not doing it on purpose, but geez, I can’t stand it.
What I miss? 
  • I keep having these amazing dreams about getting it on with My Lover. Clearly my desires take over in my sleep. 
  • I ordered my favorite gorgonzola Fuji apple salad ... sans the gorgonzola. It just isn’t the same. 
  • Exercise, I’ve been on restricted activity since the week 7 bleeding. I am honestly scared to start doing more, but need the physical outlet of some walking and exercise classes.
Big News this Week? 
  • We went a whole week without an ultrasound! and I’m feeling good about it. 
  • There is a doula fair on Sunday and I brought the idea up with ML who agreed to go and check it out. (My mom is a doula, but I want to give ML the chance to explore the concept, and decide who he might feel most comfortable with.)


Food Diary

I always thought that the idea of pregnancy cravings were a bit random, but kind of cool. I always thought that they must be a positive kind of craving, like how I normally crave chocolate or ice cream, so much so that I'll hop in the car at night and drive to the store to get myself a fix.

I never pictured them as being the only thing that I can imagine eating right now, because the thought of anything else makes my stomach turn and my gag reflex respond.

It only been the past few days, but my stomach has definitely made its presence known and declared control. I've been extra hungry since week 5, needing lots of little snacks starting first thing in the morning and continuing until I fell asleep. If I didn't eat, the growling started, and if I ignored it for too long I'd start to feel ill. But there was plenty of warning, before any negative consequences. It was easy to pack my purse full of string cheese and granola bars and fruit.

I figured that since we made it to 8 weeks without any nausea that I was home free. haha

Starting last Thursday, the hunger warning turned into a sick stomach warning. If I waited too long between snacks, I'd start to feel nauseous. It was as if the nausea had replaced the hunger growls. But I could still eat a quick snack and regain control.

Shopping with ML on Saturday was a little challenging, until he suggested that we have cheeseburgers for dinner. Oh my gosh did cheeseburgers sound delicious. Thinking of of dinner was the only thing that got me thru the rest of trip, because nothing looked appealing.

By Sunday, I was diligent about snacking every 30 minutes or so. A little piece of bread, a bite of granola bar, a bit of string cheese. We were taking my mom to lunch for mothers day and as we drove to the restaurant, my favorite restaurant, the thought of food sounded awful. I couldn't imagine what I might order, and hoped that what the rest of the group ordered wouldn't be too offensive. I managed thru lunch eating my salad (sans gorgonzola) and mashed potatoes. I felt better after eating, but not for long. I snacked my way thru the evening, but wasn't feeling real hot.

On Monday, I'd packed my bag full of snacks, but couldn't bring myself to eat them, they just made me feel ill when I thought about pulling something out. Jamba Juice came to the rescue and I nursed my smoothie thru my next three meetings. When I ran out of smoothie, I switched to an odwala protein drink that lasted until the day ended. ML had planned on making pork chops and asparagus for dinner, but the thought of those foods made me feel so nauseous as I drove home. The only food that didn't sound repulsive at that point was cheese enchiladas. Not sure where that thought entered my mind, but it was all I could picture eating, not because I wanted it so much as because it didn't make my throat feel gaggy when I thought about it.

Sweet ML abandoned the pork chops and made a trip for mexican drive thru with me. I could only eat about half my plate, and then felt super gassy and stomach gurglely for the rest of the evening.

Today has been very much the same as yesterday. I usually keep peanuts in my office for snacking, but the sight of them today was awful. I had my sister, who I get to work with, take them away. Jamba Juice was a great choice again today for lunch, and it lasted all afternoon for sipping snacks.

I am feeling a little nervous about all the eating, since I've gained over 10 lbs from the start of the IVF cycle. I'm also feeling like I should be adding some activity back into my life, since I've been on restriction since the week 7 bleeding. I'm sure the extra snacks combined with the reduced activity is to blame for this weight, but I still feel a little guilty (or something) about it.

I'm going to attempt to brave artichokes and asparagus and mashed potatoes for dinner tonight. But it might end up that I head to the store for an Odwala, not because I want it necessarily, but because the thought of this other food is nauseating.

PS: At mothers day lunch another couple from our clinic sat at the table across from us. I'm sure she recognized me, but because we'd never had any interaction at the clinic it felt weird to have any interaction over lunch. She was totally wearing a maternity shirt, the kind with the bunched sides, and it was really nice to think that the cycle was a success for her too.

PPS: Mothers Day marked my one year blogging anniversary! It has been pretty incredible to read back through some of my old posts, and remember what we've been through. I bookmarked a dozen of the posts that were most meaningful to me and might share them in an upcoming blogosversary post. We'll see.

Week 9

How far along? 9 Weeks

How is Mommy Feeling? 
- like this gets more and more real every day. 
- anxious about the switch to the OB, and not having 24/7 access to the doctor with extra special hand holding.
- oh so grateful to be done with the PIO injections, with a rump that is slowly recovering.
- excited about the delivery of maternity pants from old navy/the gap. 

How is Daddy Feeling? 
protective of his pregnant wife insisting on carrying all the groceries into the house after shopping today. 
- very attentive and responsive to Foxy's need to eat, cooking and shopping and suggesting food choices.
- anxious about providing for his growing family, applied for a 'real' job that would provide benefits. 

Total weight gain? 
- 11.5 lbs from the start of the IVF cycle (6.6 lbs from the BFP)

- boobies that are oh so painfully sore. Sore enough that they wake me when I role over at night. and especially painful when my nipples get cold. I am going to ask my new OB about Renaylds of the nipples. really painful.
- a stomach that has suddenly become very particular, demanding constant feeding, yet slightly repulsed by most food options. 

The Belly? 
- my mom claimed that she could see a little bump. Be it bloat or whatnot, I can no longer fit into my normal pants and am very happy to be wearing stretchy pants and new maternity pants. 

- i feel asleep on the couch way before bedtime twice this week. I haven't noticed any serious fatigue until this week. there have been a few occasions when I could have taken a nap had work allowed. 
- my dreams have been beyond vivid and strange. 
- if only my boobies did not hurt so much when I roll over.
What I miss? 
- i am really missing intimacy with my husband, really, really missing this.


Dreaming of a baby boy

I've always been very aware of my dreams. It is a rare night when I don't wake up remembering some portion of my sleeping entertainment. I'm also prone to nightmares, and known to wake up in a panic, heart pounding, sweating, after crying out for help in my sleep.  I think its always been this way.

I dreamt last night that we had our baby. We were in a home, not our home, but it was a very calm safe place. I remember realizing that we were not at a hospital and feeling like it was okay. It was a baby boy, carefully handed to me as I lay in bed with ML. We were tired and slept, the three of us together until morning. Apparently I'd forgotten to tell many important people, like Bestie, that we were having the baby. Somehow she arrived in the morning and I was able to introduce her to the little baby boy. After a while I thought that the baby must be hungry and that I should try to feed it. Still in bed, I offered him my breast, with my mom right there to help me get it right, and he latched right on for a short feeding. We all went back to sleep for some time.

I was holding this perfect little baby, full of such peace and calm. Yet, there remained a disconnectedness that I feel now. A hesitation to believe that it was real. I cautious feeling warning me that I better not get too excited about this. All the while, with a trust that everything would work out just the way it needed to.

I've had dreams about babies in the past. Never one like this. My last dream about a baby was years ago, ML and I had delivered our baby at home by ourselves in our bedroom. It was a vivid and graphic dream. When we decided that we needed to get cleaned up by jumping in the shower, I left the just delivered baby lying on the bathmat outside of the shower. My other baby dreams all consisted of a complete disregard for the baby in some way or another, of me putting my desires above the needs of the infant, and then feeling guilty as a result.

When I was younger my girlfriends used to spend hours trying to analyze our dreams. One book we had focused on the emotions that one felt in a dream, as opposed to the symbols in a dream. For instance, in a dream where you were flying, it was more important to focus on your feelings about flying, were you happy? scared? excited? The book argued that dreams were a way to explore emotions that were otherwise hidden below the subconscious. I've always thought that this theory made sense, more sense than analysis of the dream symbols.

We had our final appointment and ultrasound with the RE on Monday.  According to him everything looks great. He and the nurses all gave me hugs on the way out and eagerly asked us to bring the baby to meet them in December. It was sweet really.

We were told to stop the PIO injections, which was more than welcome news, since they had recently turned from a nightly ritual to a nightly torture. I am supposed to increase my endometrium form 1 per day to three per day. In another two weeks we will discontinue the progesterone and baby aspirin.

I have thousands of dollars worth of extra medication (follistim, menupur, ovidrel, etc) that we didn't need, and am not sure what to do with it. The RE suggested that I donate it to his clinic, which might have gone over better had he directed some donated meeds my direction during our cycle. It really makes me sick to think that we can't recoup some portion of the cost. And I suppose next time we do this, I'll definitely question the logic of placing one large order for the cycle under the assumption that I'll have all the meds I'll need. Placing a second order would have been a much better alternative.

I am still feeling exceptionally well, so long as I keep food on hand always. The cramps that were making me so nervous weeks 4-7 have pretty much stopped, and I haven't had any bleeding, fresh or otherwise in over a week. The dizzies are an issue that I'm dealing with on a daily basis. I've been on order to take it easy, but when I am up and about I get out of breath so fast. I'm up six lbs from the beta, and none of my pants fit anymore. My mom even said that she noticed a bump when she came over for dinner on Monday night.

I've been slacking on comments recently, don't have any good excuse, just feeling a little disconnected I guess and maybe a little more tired at the end of the day. Just know that I'm reading and sending lots of love.

PS: If you have a moment and wouldn't mind, could you vote for me?

Advocates at Home

I love my Congressman, but seriously, it shouldn't be this hard to schedule a 15 minute meeting with him.
Original Message
From: Foxy
To: Congressional Scheduler
Date: April 12, 2011
Subject: Request for a meeting with Assemblyember Awesome

Hi Scheduler, 
I would like to request a brief 15-30 minute meeting with
Assemblymember Awesome to discuss the disease of infertility. I am
available to meet at your local office at the convenience of the
Assemblymember. Once we have scheduled a time to meet, I will share
our appointment with RESOLVE, the National Infertility Association, so
that others may join in this meeting.
Infertility is a major life crisis for 1 in 8 couples. For these women
and men fighting the disease of infertility, the infertility
experience involves many losses for the individuals, their loved ones
and society as a whole. Because infertility often involves major
personal life issues and decisions, it is often experienced as a
private matter and is not ordinarily discussed in public forums. The
personal nature of the infertility experience contributes to the
failure of the public, politicians, healthcare professionals and the
media to recognize infertility as a disease. This causes a lack of
sound knowledge and available resources about infertility. Additional
facts about infertility can be found on the RESOLVE website at:
Thank you so much for your assistance in making this appointment.
Mrs. Foxy
Reply #1
Dear Mrs Foxy,
Mr. Awesome is a Member of Congress.  He has not served in the California Assembly since 1993.  Did you want to meet with your current Assemblymember?  That would be Mr. Fabulous, and he has a local office: 867-5309.
Reply #2
How embarrassing Ms. Scheduler.

To be honest, I am more than a little nervous about this appointment
and advocating for this issue that has been such a painful private
struggle for my family.

I know very well that Mr 
Awesome represents us in Congress, and most
certainly desire to meet with the Congressman.  Please forgive my

Reply #3
Mrs. Foxy,

My apoligies--I did not mean to embarrass you, just wanted to be sure to direct you to the correct office, as we handle federal issues and Fabulous handles State issue.  I won't really know until you tell me what the problem is, so if you would feel more comfortable just coming to our office and talking privately with me, I'll be happy to meet with you.

Reply #4
Hi Ms. Scheduler,
The purpose of this meeting with Congressman Awesome is simply to raise awareness about infertility. April 24-30 is National Infertility Awareness Week and RESOLVE The National Infertility Association is promoting legislation that would create a tax for the out of pocket costs incurred for the medical treatment of infertility.  
I am available to meet at the convenience of the Congressman, and don't expect that we would need more than 15-30 minutes.
My apologies for all the confusion!
Mrs. Foxy
Reply #5
Hi Ms. Scheduler,
I didn't hear back from you and just wanted to check-in. 
I would like to request a brief 15-30 minute meeting with
Congressman Farr to discuss the disease of infertility. I am
available to meet at your local office at the convenience of the
Congressman. Once we have scheduled a time to meet, I will share
our appointment with RESOLVE, the National Infertility Association, so
that others may join in this meeting.
Thank you very much for your help.
Mrs. Foxy
Reply #6
Thanks for the reminder—I did not forget you, but the days he will be here in May are already pretty full.  It’s like a jigsaw puzzle, putting all the pieces together.  I will come up with a couple of dates and times, so you can work out the best one for your group.  It may be end of June-July.

Don’t hesitate to keep bugging me about it – I won’t mind at all.  Just please understand that his calendar is a moving target and changes sometimes happen.   
Reply #7
Sounds great. 
Thanks so much Ms. Scheduler.
I look forward to getting a date on the calendar, even if it is a ways out.
Phone Call #1
Hi Ms. Scheduler, This is Mrs. Foxy. We'd been exchanging emails for some time and I was hoping that we could get a meeting date on the calendar.
Oh hi Foxy, um yeah, his calendar is really full this month.
Thats okay, I don't mind setting a date in the future. I'd just like to get something on the calendar.
Lets see here, He is booked until August and I won't start making appointments until later in May. 
An appointment in August would be fine. I understand that he is busy, but would just like to get a brief meeting scheduled. 
Well they say that the squeaky wheel gets the worm, so how about I schedule you for August 29th?
Sounds great. I really appreciate your help.
Seriously? It shouldn’t be that hard to meet for 15 minutes with the voice that represents me in Congress. 
If you can’t attend Advocacy Day in Washington DC on May 5th, please consider making an appointment to meet with your local congressman. RESOLVE has an awesome toolkit with all of the talking points. 

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