Meeting my Congressman

Dear Barbara Collura, Executive Director - RESOLVE,

I met with Congressman Awesome, and a member of his staff, this morning. We spent about 45 minutes talking in his District Office.
I'd sent him the Infertility 101 Factsheet and Family Act Factsheet in advance of our meeting. He'd had a chance to read thru the material and review it with his chief of staff. He explained that it was unlikely that this legislation would successfully pass through the Senate, since it would set a precedent for other similar bills to follow.
He felt that we would have more success working on advocacy at the state level, or as part of federal health reform, or even as part of federal tax reform efforts that he sees coming in the next 5-10 years.
I asked him about sponsoring similar legislation in the House, and while he supported the concept, he did not think that that a tax credit for any specific medical procedure would be successful.
I shared a little bit about the experience that my husband and I have had trying to build our family. He was empathetic and commented on the fact that people don't talk much about infertility. I explained that a year earlier I would not have been able to sit and have this conversation because I would be crying and incoherent. Besides, I said that people don't normally talk about how they conceived their children as it is a highly personal and private matter. I explained that it was only now that I am 19 weeks pregnant, thanks to the miracles of IVF and a retirement savings account, that I was able to speak about the pain grief and loss of our journey.
He suggested that we could write off medical expenses that exceeded 7.5% of our income. I replied that we'd spent nearly 50% of our gross income on medical expenses last year and appreciated the medical deduction.
At one point in the conversation he used the term "infertility and other exotic diseases". I didn't draw attention specifically to that statement but tried to emphasize the prevalence of infertility. I compared infertility to breast cancer in its prevalence, but reiterated that infertility is usually suffered silently.
He reiterated the suggestion to work on this at a State level, especially considering that we have a progressive insurance commissioner in office now. He also suggested that I lobby my employer, the County, to provide infertility coverage as part of our benefits. My boss is a County Supervisor and he was sure that she could get our coverage expanded. I assured him that I was working with the County on this issue, but that the county contracts with the State CalPers plan and we actually had little local control over the benefits offered.
I also tried to emphasize how lucky my husband and I were to have access to the funds necessary to receive treatment. I explained that most young couples in their 20's and early 30s who are experiencing infertility do not have a savings or retirement account to finance their treatment. I told him that my husband and I have spent $50,000 on testing, diagnosis, and treatment.
Finally we talked a little about the medical side of infertility. I urged him to support additional research in this area. The treatments that we used were not available 10 years ago, and we would have benefited greatly from treatments that will be available 10 years from now. I mentioned the CDC workplan and thanked him for the SART statistics that track IVF success rates. I explained that the costs of infertility could be much better controlled if there were mandates for coverage. In our case we chose to transfer two embryos because our costs would be the same for one or two, however if we had multiples the cost of a high risk pregnancy and NICU care would be borne by our insurance company. The cost of one IVF cycle that limits the number of embryos to transfer would be significantly less than the cost of a baby who requires the NICU.
We also talked a little bit about my work on other political issues, namely fighting for the inclusion on maternity coverage as a basic benefit of all health insurance plans, and my paid work for our local County Supervisor.
There was more to our discussion, but I think that this highlights the most relevant parts. Please feel free to call if you have any questions or would like me to elaborate more.
Thank you again for championing these visits and for providing the materials to facilitate this visit.
I would like to plan a follow up visit to meet with Dave Jones the California State Insurance Commissioner. Is there a chance that a RESOLVE staff or lobbyist would be able to join me for such a meeting?
take care,


Defining Infertility

I joined Mel's newest community project, the Prompt-ly listserve a few weeks back and have really enjoyed the conversation, links to interesting articles, and prompts for post topics. If you have the time, I'd definitely recommend checking it out.

One of the recent topics (Article: Comments on the Childless/Childfull Women Piece in HuffPohas been about the term "infertile" and who should be allowed to claim that definition. I didn't read the article that started the conversation, about a single older woman who wanted children but never had them and claimed that she was situationally infertile. The discussion that followed however has made me feel a little bit uncomfortable. 

If I've learned anything on this journey it has been to have compassion for others. I know what this experience has been like for me, but there is no way that I can fully understand or grasp or judge what this experience is like for others. I may not know someone else's experience, but I do know the pain, the grief, the sadness, the hopelessness, the loss that comes with these types of life-altering experiences. I have a newfound appreciation that compassion is simply the acknowledgement of another's experience. The compassion that I have been so lovingly shown here in this community is beyond incredible - people simply meeting me, without judgement, wherever I was at any point on this journey to offer me encouragement and support. 

I suppose that the Prompt-ly discussion is more theoretical in nature, and on some level necessary, but seems to have an undertone of judgement that lacks the compassion that I associate with this community. In essence the discussion is about who should be allowed to use the term 'infertile', and does the use of that term by certain populations render the term less meaningful for other populations. 

Simply defined infertile is the inability to reproduce.

By this definition the woman in the article would not qualify as infertile, since she may very well be able to reproduce given different circumstances. 

By this definition, I would not qualify as infertile either. Given different circumstances I may very well be able to get pregnant and carry a child naturally. 

I think this is the part that I am having a hard time with in the Prompt-ly thread. I am in deeply in love with and married to the most incredible man. A man who is infertile. Those are my circumstances. WE are unable to conceive naturally... I am unable to carry a child who shares his genetic make-up... How dare anyone imply that his infertility is not my infertility. 

I get it that our experience is different from a couple who has female factor infertility, or a couple who has suffered for far longer than we have... or for that matter a friend who is deeply upset that she is still not pregnant after 6 months of trying, or a military wife who grieves the opportunity to share her bed with her husband for extended periods of time... I get that we all have our own journey. 

Its just that getting into a debate about the definition of a term that is so emotionally charged hits a nerve with me. Language is powerful, and being on the same page is important, especially as Mel points out in the attempt to promote legislation that recognizes infertility as a disease, however I would love to think that somehow we can engage in this conversation in a way that embodies a compassion and lack of judgement that I know is so valued by this community.  


The Diaper Bag Debate

Among the things that I dreamt about during our long journey to become parents was the diaper bag that I would someday own.

Eight years ago when my friend and colleague came down pregnant, she was given the cutest Petunia Pickle Bottom diaperbag. It was gorgeous and decadent. While on the one had I thought it was insane that a mom would carry diapers around in such an expensive dry clean only bag, yet on the other hand I loved the way that she appeared so classy and put together when she carried that bag. When everything in her life was turned upside down as a new mom, she had this one beautiful item that went with her everywhere. I was enamored.

Then two years ago when Bestie was pregnant she was given the most beautiful handmade floral diaper bag. It was such an amazing gift. Bright and cheerful, unique, and so full of personality. She carries it with her everywhere and it always makes me smile when I see it. It also made me long for the day when I would have my own beautiful bag that represented my new role as a mother.

One of the first registry items that I started looking for, as soon as we actually were able to begin cycle treatments was a diaper bag. I have a bookmarked tab with all of the amazing bags that I’ve found. Its like this bag represents so much more than a vehicle to carry supplies. This bag represents the achievement of a dream that I thought I would never experience.

Sounds good right?
So here’s where the debate comes into play...

I’ve been working on our registry, doing the research to figure out what we really need, what we already have, and getting it all posted online so that its ready for distribution. There were a few items that I needed ML to weigh in on, the 521 plan, the dog barrier for the car, and a rug that matched our home decor. And since I assumed that he would not want to carry my beautiful feminine diaper bag, I suggested that he choose a daddy bag for himself.

Oh dear...

Mr Practical simply can not understand why we would possibly need two bags. In his mind a diaper bag is simply a practical vehicle to carry supplies. If he had it his way, we’d use an old backpack.

Generally he is having a hard time with the idea of a registry at all, thinking that we should just wait until the baby gets here and decide then what, if anything, we really need. He is not a ‘stuff’ person, and I suspect feel slightly uncomfortable with the idea of asking people for things.

The issue came up one evening last week after I reviewed the few registry items that I needed his help with. He balked, I got upset but was able to calmly articulate that I’d been working hard on this registry, that I was doing this for us, and that I needed his support. Dutifully, he said the right words to offer his support and the next day set up the 521 account, researched and chose a dog barrier and baby rug, and even selected a daddy diaper bag for the registry.

But the discussion continues... He grilled Bestie last night about her diaper bag, her backup diaper bag, her husbands use of the main bag, and the need/functionality of multiple bags. I hadn’t prepped her for the discussion and so suggests that we simply get a gender-neutral simply functional bag to share. ML got a big smile on his face and declared victory.

Stay tuned as I am sure that this discussion and debate will continue. I am not giving up that easily!

Oh and in case you are interested. I used the Alternative Gift Registry at Search “Baby Askew” to check out the list.

xoxo -


Besties Blessingway

I hosted Besties Blessingway this weekend. It was so beautiful. and felt so different from last time.

I cried at both events. For very different reasons.

The day was beautiful. We gathered outside on a sunny patio surrounded by a private oak forest looking out over a little valley. When I drove up to the house I was greeted by a mama deer and her two fawn.

The guest of honor arrived a little late, which gave me some extra time to set up the chairs, yoga mats, and prepare a special foot bath for the mama.

My mom had helped me prepare a program for the morning. We had special roles for everyone in the circle, with readings, songs, blessings, and sharing.

I felt so good sitting in the sunshine, next to bestie, with so many women I love within my view. We were there to bestow blessings on Bestie as she prepares to welcome her second child, a son. However I felt blessed to be in that space, and to know that, this time, we are on this journey together.

Whereas last time, when we gathered to bless her as she prepared to become a mother, fighting back the tears of sadness had me so choked up that I was unable to speak the love and joy that I none-the-less felt for her. This time, I felt at such peace joyfully sharing my blessings for a healthy pregnancy and birth, telling bestie what an honor it has been to watch her so beautifully mother her daughter, and sharing my joy that we finally get to experience this together.

As hard as it has been to believe that this pregnancy is real, it is moments like yesterday that I am overcome with the reality. For whatever happens, wherever this journey takes us, this is real today. and I am so overcome with gratitude. For being able to experience yesterday in such a warm, joyful, perfect way. For the expressions of joy that others express when they learn of our blessing. For my sweet mama and sister who are so lovingly planning a shower for me. For all of it, I am so grateful.

I thought about what I might like for my blessingway. My mom has been asking me, but it felt too soon to think about it. Lying in the sunshine yesterday, as we finished a guided yoga practice, I thought about the ways that I need our blessing to be about ML and I as a couple, to honor the journey that we've been on together to get here. A blessingway for me will be as much about honoring the transition to motherhood as it is about honoring this experience. I also thought about who I might want with me, and so many of your come to mind. One way or another, I do believe that I will find a way to make that happen, at least symbolically. It felt so good to be able to let these thoughts fill my head.

When Bestie shared her love for me, her compassion for what we've been through, her joy at getting to experience this pregnancy together, her respect for the strength that she sees in me, my heart filled with love and my eyes with tears. How I ever ended up with the friendship and love and respect of someone so amazing as her, well, I feel lucky beyond belief.

It really couldn't have been a more perfect day.

Opening Circle - Grammy J
  • Please join us to create this circle of love and support for B. Let us join hands and together take three deep breaths. 
  • A blessing-way is a ceremony that creates a sacred and safe environment where the mother can explore the challenges and joys that lie before her as she approaches birthing and mothering, surrounded by the most important women in her life she gains a sense of power, confidence, and support that will help her rise to motherhood.
Nurturing the Mother - Foxy
  • Part of our blessingway today includes nurturing the mother by making a comfortable space for B to relax and accept the love and support that we are here today to offer her. As B's family grows and she takes on the new role of nurturing another child, she will be able to call on her own experiences of being nurtured, by her Mother, and all of the other women in her life. A foot bath honors a woman's “own two feet” in which she will have to stand to care for another human being. It definitely soothes the mothers feet to prepare her for a peaceful journey.
  • We’ve prepared a warm foot bath for B. Please help us make her comfortable as she relaxes in this space.  
Opening Song - S
We All Came to Welcome You, We all came to your birth
We all came to welcome you, To welcome you to earth.
And I was there to love you, 
I was there to love you, I was there to love you
And give my body for your quick and easy entrance here
From heaven’s open door
Introductions - A
We will each introduce ourselves and share our connection to B.  As we introduce ourselves we will say the names of our sisters, mothers, grandmothers, and daughters. 
Reading - K
I am a willow tree, strong, yet fluid, graceful.
I can bend with the wind, but my roots are tough, indestructible.
Opening to the birth of my child, is flowing with the wind:
from a soft and gentle breeze, to a stormy gale, 
back to a soft and gentle breeze.
My body is strong, but flexible.
It is my friend, it knows how to open.
I am a friend to my body, eating well, walking, and loving myself.
I shall give birth safely, freely, openly...
among my loved and trusted ones.
I am the willow, flexible, beautiful, resilient,
endowed with the power of surrender
to the wind rustling through my leaves, my branches.
My roots reach deep into mother earth, anchored in her strength
I bring forth life, in joy!
Offering your blessing - Auntie A
This is an opportunity for everyone to share a wish or a blessing for B as her family grows. This is a time to share wisdom, dreams, and wishes with B. As each person offers their blessing, they will give B a symbol of their blessing in the form of a flower. 
Yoga - B
Please join us for a special session of yoga. 
Reading - Auntie L
To Our Children by mary jane paustenbach
These children of ours- so bright and so young, 
will bloom into the flowers of our love for them,
will grow so bright and strong to nurture their own wee ones,
to love and be loved as we are loved and love them, 
until year after year we mingle the generations upon
generations of love.
Closing Circle - Nano G
Before we close this circle today we will take hands and B will pass a squeeze around the circle. As B approaches her delivery, please send her your best thoughts for a calm, productive, and safe delivery.
Closing Song - G
Ancient Mother I hear you calling
Ancient Mother I hear your song
Ancient Mother I hear your laughter
Ancient Mother I taste your tears
Creating a symbol for Baby Boy - Auntie A
We will be welcoming baby boy into the world by decorating unique onsies for him to wear. B's son will be wrapped in our love and affection when he wears the clothes that we decorate today.
Please join us for a light breakfast. 


home birth?

ML and I were watching The Business of Being Born last night. Interesting documentary about the birth industry in America. Growing up with my radical mother, none of it was very shocking to me. My middle sister was born at a birth center and my littles sister born at home while I slept in the next room.

I'd done my research on our local hospitals years before we even started trying. Our community hospital has a c-section rate of over 35% with an epidural rate approaching 90%. The next nearest hospital isn't much better, and I've actually heard from their nurses that doula's are routinely asked to leave and that they've been given explicit instruction to increase their epidural rate as a revenue generating procedure. yikes!

The County hospital, which deals with a much higher risk population, has much lower intervention rates. However to deliver at the County, you must receive your prenatal care in their OB clinic, which has a large team of doctors. Appointments are will different doctors and you deliver with whoever is on call that day.

The next County over is much more granola than ours, and has so many good birth options. They have a birth center with awesome stats, and a well respected hospital that has impressively low intervention rates. There are practicing midwives in almost every OB practice. It is like night and day from our local options.

I chose my OB, Dr K., many years ago, before we started trying. She practices in the next county over and delivers many babies at the birth center. Skilled in VBAC's and breech deliveries, she believes that childbirth is natural. She has a small practice, just her and a midwife, and delivers all of her babies. It is a bit of a drive, but I feel like I'm in such good hands. I chose her because I really wanted someone who trusted pregnancy and birth as a natural process but also had the skills to handle unexpected risks.

We've had two appointments with Dr K's office, one with her and one with her midwife. I brought a typed list of questions to each appointment and they took plenty of time to answer the questions that I'd asked, as well as many others that I hadn't thought to ask. I feel like they really care about me, and want me to feel cared for.

So, last night ML and I are watching this documentary that included some footage of homebirths. ML says "It looks like homebirth is the way to go." I agreed because I really do believe that for a normal healthy pregnancy homebirth would be an awesome option, then paused as my mind repeated what he'd just said, and asked "Are you saying that seriously? Would you really want to do a homebirth?" He was, and he does. And its all that I've been able to think about since.


my missing voice

I've been silent as of late. Got a lot going on in my head, but seem to have lost my voice in this transition to pregnancy. Everything about this experience has been so different than I expected. It is hard to explain, and i am still searching for the right words. I think a lot about our decision to use donor  sperm, and wonder if it was the right one. I wonder why we never considered using donor embryos, wonder if I might feel differently about things.

We've started getting gifts of baby clothes and things, which is really sweet, but hard to accept. and hard to know what to do with when we bring them home. The garage is full of hand me downs from my wonderful sister in law. ML is missing his garage space and suggested bringing the big items inside to their permanent home, but I couldn't respond. It just feels too early. Do you think we can wait until after the baby is here to set things up?

Talking to Bestie the other day about some of the garage stuff, it occurred to both of us that my experience of this pregnancy is oh so different from hers. She asked if I was talking to the baby yet... what? um, no, i can't say that the thought has occurred to me. She asked if I was feeling more secure now that i'm into my second trimester... what? maybe, a little, but um no, the caution is still here with full force. She asked when I thought it would be okay to move the baby stuff inside... and I don't have an answer. It was actually a very sad conversation.

Melissa G at Banking on It had a great post that nearly made me cry because so much of what she said resonated with me. 

None of this is to say that I am not enjoying this experience, because I am. But in a way that is just so different from what I expected. I am feeling pretty good these days. Building my new wardrobe of cute maternity clothing. Thinking about starting my christmas shopping now so that we are ready before the little one arrives. Strutting my little bump into pilates this past Saturday. Its awesome, really. The gratitude that I feel is simply overwhelming.

I am taking it all one day at a time. Accept that how is feel is how I feel.

Bloganthropy and Mel

Mel recently posted that she has been selected as a finalist for the 2011 Bloganthropy Award, recognizing women bloggers who use social media to support a good cause.  There is no voting, the winner will be decided by a panel of Bloganthropy folks announced this coming week. 

I just love idea to honor bloggers who are using social media to make our world a better place!

It also feels like a fitting time to share a tiny bit about the significance of Melissa Ford's blog Stirrup Queens has had in my life. After suffering silently through the most painful devastating two years of my life I discovered the online ALI (Adoption, Loss, Infertility) community. Mel's insanely organized blogroll directed me to a list of blogs that were written by others who had our same rare diagnosis. Reading the stories of others who were going through the same challenges that we were facing was beyond incredible. I suddenly felt like i wasn't alone on this journey anymore. I discovered that there were words to communicate the mess of crazy thoughts that had taken over my head. I found my own voice. Most surprisingly I've made some incredible friends. 

Mel's projects - International Comment Leaving Week (ICLW), Lost and Found (LFCA), the Weekly Round-Up, etc - invite the participation of everyone in the ALI community. She has created a safe space for connection and growth, for love and support, for grief and celebration. 

I am so amazed that one women, a woman who doesn't even know me, could give me so much. I will be forever grateful to The Stirrup Queen for helping me find my own strength to navigate our personal and private journey of infertility. 


Body Image

A dear sweet friend graduated from high school last week. I am so proud of her, and know that she is going to do great things beyond high school. Her family and mine have been close family friends for decades. I have two sisters, as does she, and we've all basically grown up together. She and her sisters used to come over to our house to watch my sisters and I get ready for school dances, and now, my sisters and I cheer her and her sisters on as they navigate adolescence and early adulthood.

It was a really beautiful event, and we took a ton of pictures, as we always do, lined up by age with my sisters and I in the back with the  younger sisters in the front. We have that same lineup at various events ranging back to the days when my sisters and I were holding the little girls as babies.

My littlest sister just posted a batch of photos on her Facebook page.

Oh Jeez.

I look awful. My face is all round. My sweater, the new sweater I was so excited about ordering, looks gigantic, with my breasts and tummy bulging. There is one picture that I just want to delete. Its just terrible. and there is a comment under it from a friend of my mom's. It just says "Foxy....?"

Why would I be so upset that I might be looking pregnant? I mean, I am. right?

Why would I be so offended by a comment like that? I immediately went to that place of, how dare she assume anything, she doesn't know what we've been thru, what if I wasn't pregnant, this is none of her business. So defensive. Yet I know that this lady is super sweet and kind and would never cause harm intentionally.

Maybe I've gotten so used to carrying around the invisible cloak of infertility, that it is hard to adjust to having my body reveal this sign of fertility.

I guess that my reaction to this picture goes beyond a body image issue, and touches also on my perception of self, and the way that other people 'know' me.

Until now, I've had the ability to reveal our pregnancy on my terms, telling people in the way that felt right to me, and most often including a statement about the journey that we took to get here. Just about everyone who I've shared our news with also knows how long and painful our path was. I guess it was inevitable that I would lose that kind of control over our message.

I do love my body. I love my growing breasts, and checking out my bulging belly from every different angle. I'm just surprised, I guess, at how 'our' news is going to quickly become not so private. I'm also surprised at how challenging it is going to be that cute pregnant lady that I always dreamt of being.


the list

Waiting in the mail for me today when I got home was an envelope from my new OB. Inside was a printout with a list of all my OB appointments between now and December 15. I sat at the counter just staring at this printout.

It has my name on it.

These are my appointments.

It just feels so... still feels so surreal.

Today, while driving to a meeting, I couldn't help but think about how lucky we are. We have each other, we have jobs, we have our home, we are healthy, we have wonderful friends and family. How did we possibly deserve more luck to get pregnant? I'm not saying that we don't deserve it, just that suddenly feels so freaking unfair. Why us? Why not all us us?

People keep asking me how I'm feeling, alluding to the concept that I must be so excited and in love with this baby. But I don't feel that. All I can think is that every day that passes brings us one day closer to December. I have this feeling that I can't trust this, that this won't feel real until December, until we are finally holding this child in our arms.

I went to the bargain fair with my mom last weekend. It is like a massive community garage sale that is held every 4 months. My sweet mama is so excited. She had so much fun shopping for adorable little baby clothing. I found some gender neutral sleepers, but as I bought them, for $1 each, I felt a little like an impostor. Like I was simply engaging in a business transaction, without the emotional investment that I would soon enough be dressing MY long awaited baby in these clothes.

Later on my mom and I went to Macy's and found ourselves in the baby section. My sweet mom wanted to buy all of the perfect little outfits. Yet I could't let her. Maybe after December, it will be alright, but not now.

In more positive news, I am having a ton of fun shopping for myself! I just got my first delivery of maternity tops, all of which I absolutely love. Old Navy and Gap delivered me 6 awesome tops for less than $100 - can't beat that. My blouses are starting to bust at the bust, and aren't long enough to cover my maternity pants elastic band. It was a necessary purchase. And I guess that if I can keep loving my body, that some of that love will seep into the little life that is growing inside.


Week 13

A few weeks ago I signed up for a top pregnancy blogs contest on the Circle of Moms website. I must admit that I shamelessly voted for myself everyday, which is probably the only reason I got selected, but somehow I ended up in the top 25 on the list. They've asked me a few questions and will be featuring the blog on their site later this month. The one question that has me stumped is "What are 3 adjectives that describe your blog?" I don't know what to say... any ideas?

How far along? 13 Weeks
How is Mommy Feeling? 
- like I have a lot to say, and nothing to say, all at the same time. 
- the food aversions/nausea has started to subside. Maybe in part because I've learned to manage it all better with more regular eating, and a ginger beer every afternoon, but also I am guessing that the hormones are off a little.
- extra emotionally needy. I wish that ML could anticipate my needs more.
- thrilled that the sex restriction was lifted at our OB appt, but strangely not in the mood.
- still very overwhelmed by work, and falling farther behind everyday. I'm worried about next year and how my maternity leave will work and how I can put some plans into place so that I don't leave my boss hanging while I'm gone, and if I don't come back full time. 
- frustrated by the insurance game. I got some preliminary information about what our insurance will cover and felt like I was pulling teeth to get the whole story. I must have been crazy to think that our $3,000 out of pocket maximum meant that we'd only be paying $3,000 for our maternity care and birth. whatever. 
- still very much feeling 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.

How is Daddy Feeling? 
- Lots of thoughts, but none to share with the world this week.

Total weight gain? 
- holding steady at 168.6. Pre-IVF I've been at 155 for years, but then jumped to 160 during the IVF cycle, and then up to 168 pretty quickly after getting our positive. It hasn't changed since.  
- the food aversions/nausea/hunger are still a daily issue to deal with, but seem to slowly becoming less and less.
- my boobies have grown so much, I could stare at them in the mirror for hours. 
- I am drinking more water, and thus making many more trips to the restroom. 
- insomnia is a recent addition to the list. I get up to pee in the night, and can't go back to sleep again. So I lay in bed for a while, then turn the tv on, and eventually fall asleep again. 
The Belly? 
- My sister noticed a little bump the other day. She said it looked like I'd eaten a really big lunch.

The Boobies?
- the new bra's are fabulous. I never thought it was possible to love a bra as much as I love these bra's. 
- The sleeping bra was especially awesome, but I've been able to go without it a few nights this past week.
- I'd ordered some special breast warmers from Australia a few weeks back and they finally arrived yesterday. They are a thin fabric that reflects your own body heat to keep your breasts warm. I'm trying them out today and hoping that they do the trick.
- I asked my OB about the Boob Attacks, and she said it was not a common complaint and that I would need to talk with a Lactation Consultant. Then before I left, she consulted with her midwife who has another patient with nipple vasospasms and knew the perfect LC to refer me to. Yeahhh!
- I talked to the Lactation Consultant who knew exactly what I was experiencing, confirmed that it was nipple/breast vasospasms, aka Reynauds, and suggested that in addition to keeping warm I should also start taking some vitamin B6. She also said that there is medication that can be prescribed after the baby is born if the pain is a problem for breastfeeding. Good to know that we have solutions waiting for us.

What I miss? 
- not missing much this week. 

Big News this Week? 
- We chose our Doula! She will help us get prepared for the birth, attend to us during labor and delivery, and help make sure that we are all set afterwards. It is another out of pocket expense, but I feel so good knowing that we will have someone to help us have this be the best experience possible. 
- We had our first OB appt! It went really well and the Dr. took lots of time to answer all of my questions. I'll have to write more about it soon. Our next appt isn't until June 24th, which feels a long ways off... But everyday is another day closer to our dreams coming true. 


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