Wednesday, September 28, 2011

11 weeks preggers

Here we are folks, 11 weeks preggers.  Will update you on the baby (now nick named Monkey due to all his or her acrobatics at the ultrasound last week), then on J and I.

Your Baby in Week 11 of Pregnancy

Your baby (now about two inches long) has been pretty busy this week, growing hair follicles, fingernails, and ovaries (if she's a girl). She has distinct human characteristics by now, with hands and feet in front of her body, with ears nearly in their final shape, open nasal passages on the tip of her tiny nose, a tongue and palate in the mouth, and visible nipples. What else makes her look human? Those hands and feet have individual fingers and toes (meaning good-bye to those froglike webbed hands and feet). Hooray!

Your Body in Week 11 of Pregnancy

Hungry? Good — that's a sign your morning sickness is easing and your appetite is gearing up to help you nourish your body…and your baby. But don't go overboard just because you're eating for two: Try to gain efficiently by choosing the most nutritious foods during pregnancy and minimizing the junk. More smart nibbling tactics: Minimize bloating and gas (caused by digestion-slowing progesterone and your growing uterus) by grazing instead of gorging and steering clear of notorious gas producers, such as beans, fried foods, soda, and sweets.

Week 11 Pregnancy Tip: Feeling Tired During Pregnancy

Are your two favorite positions these days sitting and lying down? Pregnancy fatigue is normal. That's because you're running a baby-making factory that's in business 24/7 (and since you're the only employee, you're on the clock around the clock), causing your pregnant body to work harder at rest than your nonpregnant body did on the run. And for the next few weeks, a baby's not the only thing in production — so is the placenta, the magnificently complex mission control that will serve as your baby's life-support system until delivery. The result? You feel tired and overworked, even when you're not doing a darn thing. Your energy should pick up once the placenta is up and running and your system adjusts (as best as it can) to the hormonal changes of pregnancy — probably early in the second trimester. In the meantime, keep your blood-sugar level up with frequent snacks of complex carbs and protein (cheese and crackers; nuts and dried fruit), try a little exercise (which can actually give you an energy boost), and most of all — listen to your body. When it calls for a break, take one.

Week 11 Pregnancy Symptoms

Frequent urination: Blame that pregnancy hormone hCG (which increases blood flow to the pelvic area and kidneys) for making you feel the need to pee nearly all the time. But don’t be tempted to cut back on your fluid intake since you (and your baby-to-be) need to stay hydrated — instead, cut back on caffeinated drinks (they just increase your need to pee).

Breast tenderness and changes: Your growing breasts may be a turn-on for your partner, but your achy boobs are a turnoff for you. Warn your partner about your extra-sensitive breasts so that he knows why you may not be up for lovemaking — or even heavy-duty hugging.

Nausea and vomiting: Still feeling “morning sickness” — morning, noon, and night? Don’t despair since the odds are good you have only a week or two left of queasiness — most moms-to-be get over their nausea by weeks 12 to 14.

Excessive saliva: While experts aren’t entirely sure what causes this symptom, the most likely explanation is those darned pregnancy hormones. Keep your mouth as dry and minty-fresh as possible by brushing your teeth more often.

Food cravings and aversions: Are you still gagging at the smell of what used to be your favorite food — or jonesing for meat even though you were practically a vegetarian? The good news is that these freaky food preferences may lessen by your fourth month.

Bloating: How can your belly feel so inflated when your fetus is still only about two inches long? The progesterone in your system has caused your gastrointestinal tract to relax, which slows digestion and leaves you feeling bloated.

Occasional faintness or dizziness: Your body isn’t producing enough blood to fill your expanding circulatory system, which can lead to dizziness and fainting. Stave off light-headedness by keeping your blood sugar stable with regular, small meals throughout the day — and by keeping a stash of healthy snacks nearby at all times.

So now onto how J and I are faring. 

J: He's resilient and I guess not much has changed with him.  He still texts or calls almost daily when we are each working to see how I am feeling, especially if I was under the weather that morning.  He is feeding the animals so the smell of the food doesn't get me sick.  He's cleaning because I am not, just so exhausted.  And he's mostly in charge of dinner, although for me...well, we'll get there.

My progress:  I'm getting a bit more hungry and finding things that stay down well like...Country Crock Macaroni and Cheese, soup, grilled cheese sandwiches, Rosa's Mexican Food (only found in Tucson), some fruits, milk, tortilla chips, cheese, and did I mention Macaroni and Cheese.  Mac and cheese has become my go-to comfort food.  It's easy going down and calm on my stomach.  Even called Dr. OB's office today to make sure I wasn't shooting myself in the foot by not eating healthy or even much protein.  The nurse, Tami, told me that as long as I am eating and keeping it down, that's what we are worried about.  So eat often and what works for the time being.  So J really is just making dinner for himself as I eat from a can or mac and cheese or Rosa's.  But still, he tries to make me dinner and I say I don't want it!

I'm still tired, although seemingly less, but have now developed pretty intense headaches some days.  Sunday it was so bad that I finally gave up being awake and went and took some Tylenol and went to bed.  It felt like someone had a rubberband around my head and whenever I got up (no matter how slowly) they tightened it considerably.  YE-OU-CH!  Asked Tami about the headaches and she said it could be that I went off my meds (as prescribed by Dr. H) last Tuesday (YAY for that, no more shots or cream or pills) or that I am not eating enough small meals.  Still having that yuck feeling in my stomach and have actually now gotten sick once.  Although I can't blame it all on Monkey.  I took Tylenol again on Monday night for a headache and one of them got stuck in my throat and hit my gag reflex.  Eventually got the pill down but the stomach was still unhappy with the taste of the uncoated pill and yup, I yacked.  Not very much, but enough to never want to do it again!

Still not working out as getting through the day is all the energy I have and if I got up 2 hours earlier (like I usually do to workout) I fear I would be in bed the minute I got home. 

Have broken the news of our pregnancy on Facebook as I just couldn't take it anymore to not.  I was posting somewhat obscure messages trying to let people who knew we are preggers what was going on, but obscure enough that those who didn't wouldn't catch on.  I was initially waiting for the second trimester to start, but after we saw Monkey (and only 1 monkey) on Friday, we figured it was pretty safe to post.  The response was INSANE and very sweet.  Many people who don't read the blog were overjoyed and I think that is the most people that have ever responded to one of my posts.  Although, surprisingly, many close friends didn't respond...I know they have already congratulated us, but it just seemed a bit odd to me.  One of the sweetest things someone did was actually post on her page saying, "I can't think of anyone more deserving of a huge CONGRATULATIONS than Nikus!"  It was very sweet and above and beyond what I ever expected.  Now the fun begins right?!

We're slowly figuring out the insurance situation, but it also involves waiting that can't be helped and I am not happy about.  Thankfully Dr. OB's office is very understanding and I am so grateful!  I have yet to take a belly picture because I just look fat, not really pregnant.  Although I surely feel pregnant! :) 

Ultrascreen (test which looks for Downs Syndrome, among other abnormalities) is next week.  You know I'll be nervous for that one too, but we'll get to see Monkey again! 

And now this little post has turned into quite a novel, so I will sign off for now.  Happy Wednesday Blogites!Much love!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Looks like we're havin' a baby!

Hello friends!  After what seemed like waiting forever, we had our ultrasound today.  And it was a roller-coaster of a day. 

First off, I worked at home this morning but I had a very short window before Mom was picking me up to go to breakfast.  So I worked efficiently and quickly.  She picked me up and we went to a new place right by the house that I had seen had raspberry pancakes.  Now I've heard of blueberry pancakes and chocolate chip pancakes, but never raspberry pancakes.  We split an order, but each only ate one.  They were pretty good.  (Let me say here that after I woke up 3 times last night to pee, and J was having allergy issues, I didn't sleep well.  In fact, I probably woke up at 6 am and just tossed and turned until I got up at 7.  Was very nervous.)

Mom and I had a nice breakfast and chat and then headed to the ultrasound place.  I searched high and low on the internet last night for a map of the hospital for J where the ultrasound was but came up empty-handed.  So after Mom and I got there, I texted J instructions.  We got there about 12:10 am and had been told no less than 3 times not to be there any later than 12:15 for my 12:30 appointment.  J showed up about 12:20 (after getting lost and I called him to set him in the right direction).  When Mom and I had walked in there was one couple waiting.  After us came another family.  The family went in first, then the couple.  My thought was, "great, we're next."  Another couple women walked in and they were taken back.  And again.  It's now nearing 1 pm and we still haven't been seen.  I finally went up and asked the receptionist if they had forgotten us and she said no, everyone was there for a different reason and finally said they were having technical difficulties.  I sat back down a bit disgruntled.  Another lady went back and finally it was our turn.  All three of us traipsed back and entered the room.

There's a table, a computer, a screen on the wall and two chairs.  J and Mom sat in the chairs, me on the table and the very nice lady at the computer.  She asked how far along I was and verified some info, put the gel on my belly and away we went.  Right away, we see a baby.  We had told her about the twin thing and after a little bit she verified that indeed there was only one baby.  I didn't cry right then, I was amazed at what I was seeing on the screen.  A little thing with a nose, and arms and legs, and s/he was dancing or kicking or something.  She pointed out several things, took measurements, and played a bit.  Then she showed us the top of his/her head and what did the little sucker do?  He (see, this is where it's a he), he squirmed down away from the camera!  Booger!  Pretty soon he came back up, but he was being crazy!

She took lots of pictures and finally let us hear the heartbeat again.  So fast, so melodious.  So amazing.  I don't know what my Mom was doing because my eyes were trained on the screen.  J asked if she could see any of baby number 2 and she showed us just a small spot where it had been.  He asked if it would hurt the baby in there and she said no.  I haven't had any spotting, so I didn't know any of this was happening.  Anyway, after playing around a little more and showing us limbs and features, it was time to wrap it up.  We got 7 pictures (don't worry, they are below). 

Looks like we're havin' a BABY!

Mom had asked the technician if she could tell me to calm down and she patted my leg and said, "that'll never happen."  I had told her we'd done IVF when we walked in.  I don't remember what set her off but as she opened the door to let us out, she had tears in her eyes and she had to calm herself down.  She said she had actually retired a year earlier and come back because she loved her job so much and she loved seeing and hearing everything.  She was very sweet.  That's when I cried.  We got checked out before I really lost it, but once J and I were outside alone that was it.  I just let the tears come.  He asked why I was crying and I said, "we lost one."  He just held me and said, "it wasn't meant to be.  This is all for a reason."  I was immediately glad that we had put in 2 embryos instead of just one.  Mom then came out and asked if these were happy tears, and I said the same thing to her.  She hugged me and I think said it was okay to grieve, but we have one healthy baby and that was the purpose of all this.  She was very excited she got to be there with us. We parted ways. 

J and I went and found lunch at a place I'd been wanting to try for a while, Nimbus.  We walked in and as we were waiting to get seated I see someone in uniform (Air Force) walking towards us.  It's a guy that I went to elementary school, middle school and high school with, and dated for about 10 minutes in college.  We are Facebook friends and he's married now, but I wasn't expecting to see him today.  His wife is due to have a baby any day now.  Anyway, he gave me a hug and I introduced him to J and told him where we had just come from.  He congratulated us and we chatted for a bit.  We were cordial, but it was definitely weird.  His buddies were leaving so he left and we had lunch.  J and I had both texted a bunch of people to tell them the outcome of today, so we were responding to those as we waited for our lunch.  Both of us were still in awe.

Stopped at Target real quick on our way home and while we were there I started to really not feel well.  J found what we needed and we hightailed it home so I could finish work and rest.  Here it is 6:30 pm and I'm still at the computer! So on that note, I leave you with photos.

Monday, September 19, 2011

10 weeks

Hello Blogites.  Today I am 10 weeks pregnant.  It still amazes me to say that.  10.WEEKS.PREGNANT. Amazing.

Here's this week's update:

How your baby's growing:
Though he's barely the size of a kumquat — a little over an inch or so long, crown to bottom — and weighs less than a quarter of an ounce, your baby has now completed the most critical portion of his development. This is the beginning of the so-called fetal period, a time when the tissues and organs in his body rapidly grow and mature.

He's swallowing fluid and kicking up a storm. Vital organs — including his kidneys, intestines, brain, and liver (now making red blood cells in place of the disappearing yolk sac) — are in place and starting to function, though they'll continue to develop throughout your pregnancy.

If you could take a peek inside your womb, you'd spot minute details, like tiny nails forming on fingers and toes (no more webbing) and peach-fuzz hair beginning to grow on tender skin.

In other developments: Your baby's limbs can bend now. His hands are flexed at the wrist and meet over his heart, and his feet may be long enough to meet in front of his body. The outline of his spine is clearly visible through translucent skin, and spinal nerves are beginning to stretch out from his spinal cord. Your baby's forehead temporarily bulges with his developing brain and sits very high on his head, which measures half the length of his body. From crown to rump, he's about 1 1/4 inches long. In the coming weeks, your baby will again double in size — to nearly 3 inches.

Why they compare the baby to a kumquat I will never know, seeing as I have no idea what a kumquat looks like!  But both versions of the 10 week mark that I have read refer to the kumquat.  Odd.

Now for my update:
I teeter between feeling fine and feeling downright awful.  Today is downright awful.  Yesterday was downright awful, with a few amazing hours of feeling fine.  Saturday, I felt fine most of the day, except for the part where I didn't eat protein until 2 pm.  My fault, not body's.  I'm learning.  However, today no home remedies seem to be working to keep my stomach un-upset.  I keep hearing that I'll feel better in my 2nd trimester and that's right around the corner, so I'm holding my breath.  However, last night I read that the morning sickness (that lasts through the whole day) may not actually disappear until the 16th week!  SAY WHAT?!  Here I was counting down just about 2 weeks, and now you're telling me 6 more?!  To be sure, I would take being sick for 9 months if it would give me a healthy baby, but I would still complain for 9 months...much to everyone's dismay I am sure. 

It also doesn't help that our office building can't seem to get the temperature in our office under control.  Last Monday, when it was raining and a balmy 75 degrees outside, it was 82 degrees in my office. I thought I was going to die!  For once J was more comfortable that me.  Today, it has ranged from 76 degrees this morning to about 73 degrees this afternoon.  Overall, not terrible but with my body going crazy on it's own, I don't need the building playing any of its own games.  Also doesn't help that the minute I eat or drink something hot or cold, my body reacts by following that temperature to the extreme.  Some days this is great, like last Thursday when my office was 69 degrees and MBM brought me a Starbucks Decaf Pumpkin Spice Latte.  But today, not the case.  Either too hot or too cold.

I haven't come out on FB yet, still waiting for magic week number 12, or is it 13?  Here's my dilemma, when does the 2nd trimester start?  If you divide 40 weeks by 3, you get 13.3333, which would say 2nd trimester starts in week 13.  However, 12 weeks is 3 months.  So which is it folks?  We'll announce on FB at the beginning of the 2nd trimester, if I can ever figure out when that is.  (smile) However I do make comments on my condition, and those that know comment without spilling the "preggo" word.  Thanks folks!

I did buy some lotion to help with stretch marks by mandate of my cousin who has a now 14 year old and an 11 year (forgive me if I got their ages wrong) and says it is muy importante!  I bought a body wash and lotion and have been rubbing on my belly every night.  Hopefully it helps.  At this point I don't look pregnant, just fat!

How is J doing?
He's still handling all this very well.  I think it has started to wear on him a bit when I go to bed at 8:30 pm, or can't eat specific things because they just don't sound great at all.  And I'm sure he won't be overjoyed when I tell him this evening that I can't feed the animals anymore because it almost made me lose my breakfast with the smell, but I'm sure he'll get over it.  He says he has gained some weight "for me" and may want to borrow my maternity pants come Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner.  We'll see how he looks in my black workout capris with the expandable belly.  Now there's an image!  He told me tonight that he had a dream last night about our daughter...yup, he's dreaming about baby girls, and this isn't the first time.  Blonde hair with pink dream child I think!  Anyway, what could that mean?  Think he is on board, just a little bit?

We got a "congrats" card from (BFF in San Fran) Melslaw over the weekend and it made me laugh out loud.  Besides being congratulatory and she's excited to be Auntie Melslaw...she mentioned that Melslaw is a great girl's name, and Melslaw-o is a great boy's name.  Made me crack up!  I do love her so! And I get to see her next weekend when she comes into town for another friend's baby shower!  Me so happy!

Next stop - Ultrasound.  We have our sonogram on Friday about 12:30 pm.  J can't go so Mom is and I believe she is overjoyed.  I'm always a bit nervous with the doc appointments, waiting for someone to tell me this is all going to end sooner tha it should.  But based on today's stomach-upsetted-ness, maybe I'll be okay afterall.  Will report and hopefully post pictures this weekend.

Thanks for sticking with me folks!  Talk soon!  Mama is going to bed...yes, at 9:04 pm.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

9 weeks

Hello friends, here's a little update that I get from weekly about the growth of the babes.
How your baby's growing:
Your new resident is nearly an inch long — about the size of a grape — and weighs just a fraction of an ounce. She's starting to look more and more human. Her essential body parts are accounted for, though they'll go through plenty of fine-tuning in the coming months. Other changes abound: Your baby's heart finishes dividing into four chambers, and the valves start to form — as do her tiny teeth. The embryonic "tail" is completely gone. Your baby's organs, muscles, and nerves are kicking into gear. The external sex organs are there but won't be distinguishable as male or female for another few weeks. Her eyes are fully formed, but her eyelids are fused shut and won't open until 27 weeks. She has tiny earlobes, and her mouth, nose, and nostrils are more distinct. The placenta is developed enough now to take over most of the critical job of producing hormones. Now that your baby's basic physiology is in place, she's poised for rapid weight gain.

How your life's changing:
You still may not look pregnant even if your waist is thickening a bit. You probably feel pregnant, though. Not only are morning sickness and other physical symptoms out in full force for most women, but you may feel like an emotional pinball as well.

Mood swings are common now — it's perfectly normal to feel alternately elated and terrified about becoming a parent. Try to cut yourself some slack. Most women find that moodiness flares up at around six to ten weeks, eases up in the second trimester, and then reappears as pregnancy winds to a close.

Now for an update on me....

We had our first appointment with Dr. OB as a pregnant couple this morning and I remember all the reasons that I love her.  Not only did her staff go above and beyond the call of duty trying to understand and help us understand our insurance situation and what it would cost without insurance, but Dr. OB never rushed us and answered all our questions thoroughly and honestly.  First she did an exam with just me.  She did a PAP (always fun) and then felt my uterus.  Okay, that's just weird.  I had given her the notes from Dr. H, the pictures and told her about the vanishing twin.  She said that my uterus felt larger than it would for a single baby at 9 weeks, so that made her feel like we were still on track for twins.  

Then, J was brought in for lots of information.  She relayed the same information to him that I had just gotten and said that we could do another ultrasound as early as next week to figure out if we were having twins or not.  We determined that we wanted that.  The more I see these babes, the better off I am.  Then she described how much we would see her - single baby or twins, twins would be more often and more ultrasounds...fine by me!  We talked about a test to check for Cystic Fibrosis genes that I swore I had had when they ran all the blood work before Dr. H stepped in and lo-and-behold we had so didn't need to again, yay for good memories!  And no, I am not a carrier.  We talked about the Ultrascreen which checks for Downs Syndrome and decided to have it because I am a preparer, and if that is the scenario I want to know.  I wouldn't dare terminate, but I do want to know.  Of course I was taking notes through all of this and again Dr. OB commented on my notebook and how organized I was.  I said, "you should see the fertility binder, it's double this size...this is the baby binder!" 

I asked Dr. OB about eating and she said not wanting healthy stuff is perfectly normal and to just make sure I eat.  If we're having two, I'll probably gain more than the recommended 25-30 lbs, by no fault of my own.  She said to not TRY to gain weight, but understand that I will.  She wants me to monitor it and try to keep it to 1 lb a week from here.  J commented, "She's eating, but not very much!"  Some of the best words he's ever said, since usually I am a huge eater...but not lately!  Anyway, she just said to try and eat healthy, but if that fails, eat what will stay down.  She wasn't worried about me not working out, just said to ease back into it when I felt up to it.  And be aware of what goes down my gullet.  She also said I can have one caffeinated beverage a day, although right now coffee doesn't sound great to me, but tea maybe! She went through some meds that were approved and not, also said to call anytime with questions.  And she was excited for us and complemented us on our tenacity to get pregnant! Even saying she hoped it was twins given the situation!

All in all it was a great appointment and J really liked Dr. OB and her staff.  They sent me home with some research to do about insurance because their info was different than mine, and mine eventually turned out to be right, but what a drama ... I hate insurance companies!  Sorry, they are just so difficult no matter who it is!  Anyway, we're set for now.  Ultrasound is scheduled for next Friday and Ultrascreen is scheduled for mid-October.

Next step....find out if it's one or two...but must wait until next week!  Will post before then, but for now off to find dinner!  Thanks for stickin' with me folks and talk to you soon!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Many firsts....

Hello my lovlies...I know I have been MIA since I blogged last week with so much information in a short period of time.  I figured you needed time to recover...I sure did.  So let me catch you up on where we are in this process.

STATUS:  As of tomorrow, the babies (I'm still saying two since we saw two on the 30th at our ultrasound) will be 9 weeks along.  That seems quite amazing to me that at the end of September we'll be out of the first trimester. tells me that at this point the babies are the size of raspberries, but they are sure wreaking havoc on my life...I guess that is what the rest of our life will be right? 

CONDITION:  How am I feeling these days?  Tired, always tired.  I wake up and I'm tired.  I go to bed at 8:30 pm and I'm tired.  If I'm not tired then my stomach is upset.  I haven't yet gotten physically sick, but I've definitely come close and had to ward it off.  I wake up not hungry but I know I need to eat, so I try and find something healthy, but then when that doesn't sound good I go for whatever does.  Fruits are easier than vegetables to get down, depending on the day.  The "ladies" are still sore, but not nearly what they were -- or maybe I am just used to it at this point.  For a long time I was having a lot of cramps, but those have kind of subsided.  I've had a headache here and there, but nothing crazy.  The biggest thing these days is exhaustion.  I've been told by Holly that in the first 6 weeks my blood supply will double, and that's why I am so tired.  It is also because the placentas are developing too, which I've been told stops in month 4. 

HAPPENINGS: People keep asking us if we have discussed names yet and we haven't.  J and I even discussed this phenomenon and we determined that it is really hard to discuss names when we don't know the sex, or even if we are having one or two babies.  I did buy a baby names book yesterday though, and when I checked out the lady in front of me looked at the book, then looked at me, and gave me kind of that "knowing" smile.  One of many to come I spose. 

Some of my clothes are getting a bit tight around the belly and I refuse to get on the scale, so I finally went to Target to get some belly bands.  It's a tight piece of material that goes around your middle and helps hold up your pants before you really need maternity jeans, then helps support your belly during it's growth, then helps again with your pants after the baby is born before your regular pants fit again. Since J had dropped me and was at Lowe's, I had some time to wander around the maternity section and look at sales.  I tried some things on and I obviously don't have the belly some of them are ready for, but some of the clearance items fit pretty nice and were cheap.  So I officially own 7 maternity items.  In fact, I asked the lady at the dressing room desk where I could find other sizes of one item and she said, "you know those are maternity right?"  I said, "yes."  She then said, "do you want maternity?"  I said, "yes."  So apparently, I'm not showing things as much as I feel like I am. 

I haven't been to the gym in at least 2 weeks, because I am just so tired.  I know Meanie Christinie, Lobster, Robot and Trainer aren't happy about that, but at least I hope they understand.  Trainer was very sweet after I emailed him the other day to put my account on hold because I am just so tired.  Thankfully, his wife just had a baby not too long ago, so he understands where I am coming from.  I feel bad not working out, but just day to day stuff wears me out very easily.  I haven't snapped at too many people I don't think, but I fear the girls at the office might get some of it soon.  I'm trying to get as much sleep as possible.  But it doesn't seem to help.  So. Very. TIRED!

J's STATUS: I've noticed some changes in J too.  He's always been very protective of me, but that has ramped up quite a bit.  He texts me almost daily to see how I am feeling, and if he doesn't text than he asks me when I get home from work.  He also is embracing our marriage much more openly.  That sounds odd and here's what I mean.  J has never strayed or anything like that, but he can't wear his wedding ring at work because if the metal touches the wrong part of a vehicle engine it could sear his finger off.  In that, he forgets to wear his ring on the weekends sometimes.  I know the ring is just a symbol of what we have, but sometimes that bugs.  Anyway, he came home from work the other day and we were relaxing in the family room and I saw something on his hand that wasn't his ring.  I asked him what it was and he said it was a rubber band that he had wrapped around his wedding ring finger so EVERYONE knew he was married.  I know it is only a small gesture but it meant a lot to me and made me smile.  It's also funny to hear him ask how the babies are.  I just never thought we would get here and here we are!!  He also makes a point of telling me what "the guys" at work tell him about their pregnant wives/girlfriends.  And when I tell him what my weekly emails say about pregnancy or what the books say, he is really very interested and asks questions.  I never expected him not to be, but it is great to see that he is living up to my expectations!

FUN NOTE: At our housewarming party, BFF from Phoenix and her Mom came down and they knew it was my Mom's birthday too (BFF's is on the 2nd, my Mom's is on the 4th) so they had brought my Mom a present.  It was a little cube that says "___ Weeks until I'm a Grandma" and then she can change the number of weeks with the little cube based on how much time I have left of my pregnancy.  How sweet is that?  I do have wonderful people in my life! They also brought me a scrap booking kit to keep track of pieces of my pregnancy.  Of course it is purple, and very sweet.  I've never been a scrap-book-er but this seems like a great way to start.

NEXT STEP: Our first appointment with my OB is on Tuesday. We'll find out then when our next ultrasound appointment is and where we go from here. 

This is all still very surreal to me.  But I know it's real and I know in my heart it will all be okay.  And again, I'm tired, so I am off to rest a bit.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The real update

So now you are up-to-speed folks and I guarantee that I will write more now that both cats are out of their bags.

HOUSE - The move went fine.  We had about 13 volunteers helping us, including MBM, MBM's very preggo sister and her hubby and daughter (although I don't think Lil M helped but she did keep the movers entertained), J's parents, Mama K, and a slew of other people.  But it was a very tiring day and instead of just having one "mother" around, I had about 7.  Whenever I went to pick up any box (be it full of pillows or books) I had to check around and make sure I wouldn't get  screamed at for "picking up something heavy."  Believe you-me, I got screamed at a lot!  All in love, all in love, but by the end of the day I was over it.  We had treats for the movers (bagels/donuts and pizza) and once we made it to the new house, everyone fell in love with it just like we did.  That weekend was a whirlwind and despite being pregnant, I tried my best to get a lot unpacked.  That left for a very tired Nikus every day!  But here we are, ready for Labor Day Weekend, Schelle's visit, and our Housewarming Party.  Pictures are on the walls, furniture is arranged, the only boxes left are things that were in boxes to begin with (i.e. our childhood memories, etc) and we're all settled.  YAY!

PREGNANCY - Wow.  I really can't believe that I am actually pregnant.  I have bouts where I have no symptoms what-so-ever and after those moments disappear, I remember that I am and feel that I am.  I have to pee all the time.  My boobs ache like I don't know what.  I have cramps like AF is right around the corner.  And I even have had a few food aversions and upset tummies and hormonal outbreaks.  J has been super wonderful.  I figured he'd get really tired of hearing about my cramps, etc., but he says, "go lay down" and "don't over-work yourself."  Even makes sure I eat before 8 pm so I don't get crampy at night which actually seems to make a difference. 

I told Mama K the other day that I keep waiting for someone to jump out and scream "just kidding" at me and that this is all a ruse.  She said, "that's a very mean joke."  I know, but it just feels so surreal.  She said she still looks at her daughter (who is 7!) and is amazed she came out of her body.  I told her, "add to that feeling, trying for 4 some-odd years and failing for 4 some-odd years."  She said, "I can only imagine how you feel."

I've talked to Holly a few times about minor things.  I think in some ways she is more excited than I am for the ultrasound.  But talking to her is like talking to my best friend.  When we haven't talked for a while, she answers the phone with, "well where have you been?"  I do love that lady and couldn't have done IVF without her...and Dr. H of course. 

Our first ultrasound was August 30th and we definitely got some interesting news that day.  I was very nervous the day before and day of, almost busting into tears on the way there because my mind was running wild with what the doc may or may not see.  Calmed myself down enough.  Walked in, sans treats (too nervous to cook) and didn't even have to give my name...they know me, and commented that I was empty-handed at which point I immediately wished I wasn't.  Holly came out to chat for a second and ask how I was feeling.  J was a few minutes behind me because we drove separately so we could both go to work afterwards and he needed to get gas.  Holly left me and immediately I was called to go back.  Texted J to say, "get your butt here" and just as Dr. H walked in with Holly in tow, J walked in behind them.  Time to get down to business.

Dr. H started up the ultrasound machine and pretty soon can point out that there is in fact a baby in there and everything looks fine.  There is in fact, two embryo sacs in there, however one is thriving more than the other.  So we could see that everything was doing fine and then Dr. H said, "we may have a vanishing twin syndrome here."  What that means is that the 2nd baby isn't prospering as well and may not make it, however it won't be a miscarry technically.  However, he also stated that he could be wrong and things could go along just fine and next time we have an ultrasound we should know the outcome.  He then reverted back to Twin A (Mo) to look for the heartbeat.  I was holding my breath the whole time I swear.  And he finally found it and it was just this miniscule flutter on the screen.  Miniscule is an understatement.  (Understand that what we're seeing on the screen is magnified - so we're seeing the sac which is about as big as an orange on the screen, however inside of me it's about the size of a blueberry.  On the screen the heartbeat flutter is about the size of half of my pinky fingernail, so imagine what it is in my body...again, miniscule!)  And then he got the machine close enough so we could hear it.  Hear IT!  And it was fast.  147 beats per minute, but according to Dr. H that is normal.  But folks, we do have a heartbeat!  That was the point I started breathing again.  I started to tear up a little bit, but then we went right back to Twin B (Eenie) to talk about the vanishing twin syndrome.  Holly said that it shouldn't hurt me or the baby, and in fact Dr. H's first child had a vanishing twin as well, and he is now 20 years old, handsome, smart and great according to his aunt Holly.  She said not to worry now.

So it was an interesting morning.  I was expecting an answer on the number and while we know that one baby is for sure prospering well, we don't quite know how the second will turn out.  I briefly spoke to Angel Ash this afternoon and she said that she felt #2 would hang on, so who knows.  She's been right so far, I'm not about to doubt her now.  However, I need to be ready if #2 isn't around when we go for our next ultrasound.  Dr. H also said that even if the twin vanishes, I may go into labor early because we started with twins and the body still thinks that.  And we graduated out of Dr. H's office.  Will not go back to see him, unless I want to show off my pregnant belly, update the binder still in the office, or show off the fruits of our labor when he/she/they are born.  And the drugs stop September 20th.  Amazing!

And now we're back to real time.  So I will continue to post how I am feeling and what new fun things are happening in my life.  Thank you so much Bleeps for not giving up on me.  But besides wanting to tell Schelle in person (as I promised her years ago that I would that I was preggers), I needed to get to that first ultrasound and make sure everything was progressing as we needed it to be.  Now that all the family and friends know, and the ultrasound is confirmed, I think we'll be okay going forward.  Just needed to get my head on straight before revealing myself to the world.  If you know me on FB please don't say anything yet.  As much as it pains me, I really want to wait until we hit that 12 week mark to reveal myself there.  Am working on what to say, but I'll get there in due time.

And Bleaders, please know that I wouldn't have made it this far without you all and your support.  You have helped make me as strong as I am today.  You are my blog-amily (that's blog and family).  Thank you!!

Monday, September 5, 2011

It's annoucement day.....

Please note, this post was originally written during my 3 am blog visit on July 28th, but for reasons you'll read about, couldn't be posted until now.


Hello Bleeps!  Now that the transfer is said and done and all we can do is wait, but we needed some distraction in our life, so without further ado....our announcement we don't know if we are preggers yet (I mean in my mind I know, but I have nothing to back it up) the transfer was like 5 minutes ago....sorry, our announcement is.....

WE BOUGHT A HOUSE...or rather, A SECOND HOUSE!  Our dream house to be exact!  This place is perfect and I'm so excited!!  It has plenty of room for out twinies, or our first and second child, however this comes to pass, a great area for the dogs, a pool and everything I've ever wanted to do to our current house.  Now you are supposed to say, "what are you going to do with your old house?" and the answer is we are going to rent it.  Already had a couple inquiries just from people we have mentioned it to.

If my life wasn't busy enough already right?!  We've been thinking about this for quite some time and after getting all the financing in place, on a whim while J was working last Saturday I went out with our realtor (who also happens to be MBM's Mom and my longtime "other mother" Mama L.) and we looked in the area we wanted to be in.  We looked at 9 houses in about 3 hours.  Some were okay but too pricey, some were just plain not gonna work, but there were 2 that really had some pieces I liked.  So we took J back to both on Sunday and he said a flat-out no to one of them, but the other he fell in love with like I knew he would and like I had.  The house's owner was actually there when we went back on Sunday and told us that his Realtor was having an open house that afternoon and since we were both in love with the house, we figured we better hop-to or someone else would jump on it.  Sooo...while I was at Super-Mom's shower with lady (who coincidentally gave me no issue what-so-ever and I was very cordial to for the 5 seconds we spoke), J took my parents back to the house to get their opinion of it.  They fell in love with it as well and agreed it fit us to a T.  Sooooooo.....Sunday evening, we made an offer and Monday afternoon the owner countered and we accepted!!!  We close on August 19th and move that weekend!

I'm so very excited and the only reason I didn't let the cat out of the bag earlier (here's the reason) was because I wanted to do some digging and make sure Schelle (and a few other people I didn't want to tell via the blog) weren't reading the blog because....Schelle's got a plane ticket to come see us in early September for Labor Day weekend and J had the great idea of surprising her with the new house! Picking her up from the airport, not saying a word and just driving to a different house.  (By some incredible feat in the 5 years after J and I left Denver, I have seen Schelle every year - either by some fluke trip to Denver for work, or her making an effort to come here for my 30th birthday or just to play, we've made it happen.  So...she's been to this house - now referred to as the old house - many a time.  I don't know that she'll notice the different route "home" but I know when I open the garage door to a different house altogether, she'll take note!) 

However, Schelle does read the blog, but I know she's been really busy lately, but I she reads so sporatically that I couldn't take the chance.  But I had to do a little recon to make sure and when I talked to her tonight she verified she hadn't been reading for a while because we make it a point to talk every week and she hears my stories straight from me, rather than reading them - which I assumed (of course after I wrote this, but thankfully didn't post, she read the blog to catch up on transfer day).  So as hard as it was for me to do, I didn't tell her about the house.  Now I've just got to keep it a secret for the next month until she gets here for Labor Day Weekend - a huge feat for me as I tell Schelle a lot! She is one of my besties!  I even planted a seed with her saying, "if we're gonna have twinies, we'll need a bigger house!" and the practical woman that she is she said, "yes, but not while they're real little!"  Oh does she have a surprise coming!  I love giving people surprises!

The other thing about this whole scenario that makes me so confident in IVF is that everything is falling into place perfectly.  We found our ideal house the first day and low-balled the asking price because we are in a recession after all.  The owner didn't accept our offer right off, but counter-offered something in the middle - that we deemed very fair - that we could still afford and we accepted.  The owner even got another offer before he had counter'ed on ours that was HIGHER than our original offer and his counter-offer, and because we made our offer first (and I believe because he met us and we were sooooooo interested and asked lots of in-depth questions) he was honorable and said to his realtor, "let's see what we can work out with these kids first," which is in part why we figured out how to afford his counter offer, not wanting to lose the house of our dreams over nickels and pennies.  And then our loan guy pulled some strings and had all these discounts for us from his company that I couldn't even have imagined!  It's just all working out too well to not believe that we are on track to a lot of bigger and better things in our life, especially so far as preparing us to be parents and have the right tools to make our children's lives great.

However, the two flaws this house has, or I guess doesn't have, is that there is no door from the master bathroom to the master bedroom and the garage isn't THAT much bigger than our current garage - but I think that is a plus so J can't have too many more toys that belong in the garage.  If you recall, that is what one of our current house's flaws is that there isn't a door from the master bathroom to the master bedroom.  So after 4.5 years of living here, we finally broke down and with the help of J's Dad, put in a wonderful, beautiful door.  And now we're leaving and we are sans door...again!   Who builds a house like that?  Apparently, quite a few designers!

Another piece of this perfection picture is that I have always toiled with the fact that Dr. OB is on the other side of town and I want J to be at as many appointments as he can be, but it would be beyond out of the way for him.  Well now, it's right down the road!  And the only hospital that my doc delivers at is right next door to her office so we are set.  I know these are minute details, but I have often thought about switching just because it would be closer.  But now I don't have to!  It's just all working out so very perfectly!

I'm beyond excited and can't wait to move.  The only thing I'm not looking forward to is packing!  EWWWW....I hate packing.  But unpacking is quite fun I think because you are in a new place and get to put things away in your new digs!  We already have a bunch of friends who have offered to help us move and J, Mom and MBM have told me that I'm not allowed to move anything heavy when we find out that I am preggers.  (However, J did say that on the off chance I am not preggers, I get to move everything heavy, by myself!

Anyway, we've got a very busy few weeks and I can't see that slowing down anytime soon.  My "to-do" list has now tripled in size, but I can honestly say, that my mind is off Eenie and Mo in my belly.  Well, kind of.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

So now you know....

You will be reading this post almost a month after I have written it Bleeps only because I needed time to tell everyone about our pregnancy.  But I wanted to get all the details of 8/8/11 on paper computer before I forgot them in the rest of the craziness that I feel will be ensuing.

August 8, 2011

I woke up about 7 am and couldn't fall back asleep, so wandered to the computer room to check email that had accrued from our trip to Pinetop (without much internet) and catch up on Facebook and Blogs.  Talked to Kismet via Facebook chat and heard that it was her daughter (who was born thru IVF)'s 20 month birthday, so we both deemed that a good omen.  Also read my horoscope, which said "If you're not in a good mood, something strange is going on - you've got so much positive energy coming your way that you should be grinning from ear to ear and maybe even farther than that!"  I had a feeling it would be a great day.

About 8 am, I wandered back to bed where J was still sleeping.  I was in the middle of reading The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo and it was really getting interesting, so I read before forcing myself out of bed at 8:15 am for my 9 am blood draw appointment which was 5 minutes away.  Showered, put on very little make-up, comfortable and "lucky" dress, kissed J good-bye, made my breakfast smoothie and set off for the lab.  Made it fairly quickly although it turned out to be someplace else than I had thought.  Got in right away and blood draw very quickly and painlessly.  On my way home by 9:15 am.

J was awake when I got home so I crawled back into bed with him while he was watching TV and read some more.  About 10:50 am, Obama came on to talk about the debt crisis and it reminded me that I needed to go work a little bit (yes, even on my day off) so I got up to do that and J got up as well.  He went to the garage to unpack the truck from our trip and I went to my office.

I was on the phone with a client when my cell phone went off at 12:02 pm.  Thankfully our call was done so I could get off the phone with her and answer my doc's call.  It was Holly and after we said our hellos, I said, "hold on, let me go find J."  Then, as I scrambled down the stairs I said to her, "Do I need J?"  She replied, "well, he is the FATHER!"  I let loose a blood-curdling scream and began to cry.  I finished running down the stairs, although more carefully now, to the garage where I just handed J the phone telling him it was Holly.

She said to him, "I hope those are happy tears."  He said, "Me too."  She said, "They are!!!!!!"  I can't tell you exactly what he said just then because I was in his arms and he was squeezing me tight!  I think I heard him say, "well, that's good."  Holly then let fly on a bunch of information about continuing my meds, getting another blood test on Wednesday, 8/10 to make sure the numbers were behaving themselves and then told him that my beta was 746 which made it highly likely we were pregnant with twins.  At this point, I had composed myself enough to take the phone back and hear all the information myself.  We hung up and hugged very tight in the garage - how romantic - when we pulled away, J's eyes were wet.

We went inside where it wasn't 105 degrees and hugged and cried some more.  Talked a bit about who we would tell and then began that barrage.  J's Mom's birthday was the following day, so we figured we would tell her this evening so she could wake up happy.  My parents were in Pinetop and while I wanted to tell them in person very badly, I knew I couldn't wait until they got back a month later.

I texted Kismet first because she had emailed me that morning.  She was way excited, texting back "Twinies!"

Then I tried calling Volleyball Queen, but she didn't answer (dag-nabit!) but she called me right back.  I told her the news and she began screaming incoherently!  We talked for a long time about the events of the day and she told me if she lived in AZ she'd be swinging me around and hugging me so hard!  (Love you VQ!)

After hanging up with her, I called Busted Kate, but she too didn't answer her phone (double dag-nabit!) and finally called me back.  I gave her my beta number and she went ballistic.  She too wanted to hear all the details.

About that time MBM called from the office and asked how my blood work went.  I said, "do you really want me to tell you this way?"  She said, "I just asked about the appointment, not the outcome!"  I said the appointment was fine and quick.  We talked a bit about work and finally I decided I couldn't wait until Wednesday to tell her so I told her we were preggers with twinners!  She was very excited, however calm so the rest of the ladies wouldn't know at the office.  I told her she could tell her hubby, but no one else.

Finally, went down to have some lunch and J said he had texted his buds at work and his BFF.  They were all very excited.  I called the pharmacy to get more drugs and planned to go pick them up, as well as groceries.  Called Holly back to see when I could go back to working out and she said whenever I wanted to and it would be good, just nothing crazy.  And to tell Trainer.  As of writing this post, he doesn't know yet.  Will tell him in person when I see him next.

J suggested that after so many negative pregnancy tests that I now pee on a stick again to see if it would show.  I told him I was chugging water so I would need to go.  I finally went and it popped up right away.  Who knew those things actually worked?!   I showed J and he said, "that's what it is supposed to look like?" 

Got in the car to run errands and Mama L. called about something non-baby related, but then she asked if I knew.  I couldn't lie so I said, "I'm not telling."  She knew that meant yes and said, "I won't tell anyone!"  I told her that it was quite possibly twins and she was very excited.

Called Melslaw on my way to the pharmacy and she was in a meeting, so said she'd call back.  Got to the pharmacy, and after paying, I was looking through my meds to realize that I didn't have all that I needed.  So we figured that out, paid again (yeouch!) and then back in the car to head for groceries.  Melslaw called about 10 minutes before I pulled into Target.  We chatted about her job, etc. and I finally said, "are you ready to be an auntie?"  She said, "SERIOUSLY?!"  I said yes and told her about the events of the day.  As everyone else, she was very excited and turns out she'll be in town soon so there will be celebrating when she comes.  Finally got off the phone and got groceries.  Almost got a University of AZ onesie, but wasn't thrilled with any so I opted out.

Home to unload groceries and then sit down.  BFF in Phoenix called while I was unloading so I asked if I could call her right back.  She agreed.  I finished and called her back when I was sitting.  We talked about her life and finally, kind of out of the blue, I said, "are you ready to be an auntie?"  She said very nonchallantly, "of course."  I said, "how about an auntie to two?"  She said, "what?  WHAT?  You know?!  How do you know?  You are?  OMG! I thought it wasn't until Thursday! OMG!  Congrats!  Nik!  OMG! ..."  And it continued! (smile)  She asked if she could tell her Mom, Mama R and I said yes.  I recounted the story of the day's events again, and then we talked about her coming for Labor Day weekend and her birthday.  Finally, after a bit more screaming, laughing and reminding her that we were still very early on, we said our good-byes.

Upstairs to work a bit on bills, update the binder, and relax when Schelle called.  I tried to keep it to small talk and about our trip, but didn't tell her on purpose so I can tell her when she comes at the end of August.  She always told me if I found out I was preggers to call her and tell her to buy a plane ticket, so since she already has one, I didn't tell her.  Our conversation was short and sweet and I think they'll stay that way until she comes.  Otherwise I may burst.

With that, I am off to relax a bit and then we'll call the parents.  I know, we haven't told them yet, but we wanted them to all be home from work.

Yes folks, we are preggers!  It still doesn't feel real.  But I know it will.  Just takes time.

WOW, we are pregnant.  I don't know where to go from here...

Friday, September 2, 2011

IVF by the numbers

As of today, these are where our numbers stand for IVF:

Shots = 51
If no number is listed after the date that means there was only 1 shot.
(6/3, 6/4, 6/5, 6/6, 6/7 (2, ran out of follistim and had to do 2 sticks), 6/8, 6/9 (2), 6/10 (2), 6/11(2), 6/12 (4, ran out of follistim so 2 sticks there, plus HCG and Ganirelix), 6/23, 7/23, 7/24, 7/25, 7/26, 7/28, 7/30, 8/1, 8/3, 8/5, 8/7, 8/9, 8/11, 8/13, 8/15, 8/17, 8/19, 8/21, 8/23, 8/25, 8/27, 8/29, 8/31, 9/2, 9/4, 9/6, 9/8, 9/10, 9/12, 9/14, 9/16, 9/18, 9/20)

Other meds = 56 (I take these meds twice a day)
(7/27, 7/29, 7/31, 8/2, 8/4, 8/6, 8/8, 8/10, 8/12, 8/14, 8/16, 8/18, 8/20, 8/22, 8/24, 8/26, 8/28, 8/30, 9/1, 9/3, 9/5, 9/7, 9/9, 9/11, 9/13, 9/15, 9/17, 9/19)

Pills = 607 (every day there are different amounts)
Here's a photo of most of the meds that I have taken or will take.  That's a lot of meds!  The iced tea jar is there because that is where my used needles are - they have to be thrown away in a closed container. 

Ultrasounds = 8
(6/1, 6/7, 6/12, 6/14, 6/20, 7/21, 7/28, 9/2)

Blood tests = 9
(5/31 (J), 6/1, 6/7, 6/12, 6/14, 8/8, 8/10, 9/2)

Dollars = $10,455 (look at fertility spreadsheet)

IVF books read = 4

IVF Care packages = 2

Phone calls/texts/emails/FB messages = countless (much thanks to anyone and everyone who contributed to this number)

Goody plates to doc = 6
5/31 = Orangies
6/1 = Pumpkin cake
6/7 = Fruit bucket
6/12 = Blueberry muffins
6/14 = 8 Deviled eggs
7/28 = 24 Deviled eggs

Eggs retrieved = 19
Mature eggs retrieved and attempted fertilized = 16
Eggs took to fertilization = 11
Eggs to 8 cell embryo phase (embryos) = 7
Embryos to Blastocyst = 7
Blastocysts frozen = 7
Embryos transferred on 7/28 = 2

Ruptured cysts = 2

Heating pads needed for pain = 3
Caretakers = 3
Days off work = 6/14, 6/15, 7/28 (1/2 day off), 8/8 (3/4 day off)
Acupuncture sessions = 8

Beta level on 8/8 = 746
Beta level on 8/10 = 1542

Pink lines = 2

WE. ARE. PREGNANT!  And very possibly with twins!