Monday, April 27, 2009

A Magnificent Flicker

Here it is!! Measuring right on target at 6 weeks, 6 days, +/- 2 days. I saw the most beautiful little heartbeat.

There is a second, much smaller sac, which is empty. I'm fine with that. Two at once as an SMC sounds VERY overwhelming.

I am cautiously over the moon! The RE gave me an estimated due date of December 15th.

Thank you all for all your support so far. I adore having you all on this journey with me!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

I’ve been a bad blogger. (Updated)

WARNING: Some TMI stuff to follow.

Sorry I’ve been MIA. I have plenty to say, although nothing is really going on during this 2WW for the ultrasound. Just having trouble putting the thoughts together into some posts. So this may be a bit disjointed.

State of the pregnancy.

Still no nausea. (Unless I overeat, which happens sometimes because I get SOOO hungry and wolf stuff down faster than my brain can register.) Occasional crampiness, but it could be constipation, which is a chronic issue for me. (Thank you, stool softener!) Had a teensy bit of spotting Sunday night and Monday morning. Really, calling it spotting is kind of stretching it. It was just a tiny bit of pale brown. Nothing since then. My boobs are ginormous! I’m spilling out of my DDDs. I think I’ve gone up a cup size already. I’m really, really sick of PIO. I think I might have hit a nerve last night. It was hurting all night. (I roll over a lot.) The anxiety while I wait for the ultrasound next Monday is the hardest part. I was going to move it forward to this Friday, but then remembered I am at an all day workshop on Friday. So, NYC peeps, wanna help distract me this weekend? Looks like a perfect weekend to hang in Central Park with some ice cream. (Calcium for the baby!)

Assvice! I think some people are in for some snark.

It’s begun. I knew it was coming, but I wasn’t ready for it. My bad, I told someone at work who I shouldn’t have. The IT guy who I joke around with a lot and has 3 kids (one of whom came to work with him recently and became my instant bud). He overheard me talking to someone, so I told him. Of course, telling him to keep it on the lowdown. Now he’s giving me assvice at every opportunity. He saw me with my Starbux cup yesterday and had to tell me it was bad for me. Now, I have a full post percolating about the myths about caffeine and pregnancy, but I’ll just give you a little preview.

READ THE RESEARCH, PEOPLE!!! There is not a single study that shows any negative effects during pregnancy under 300 mg a day. THAT’S THREE CUPS! Still, most drs recommend limiting it to one cup a day during pregnancy, which is what I have. (*Update* apparently there is one study that shows "an increased risk of fetal growth restriction" with moderate caffeine consumption. This study is linked in the comments of this post. I should have known this would be a controversial thing to post, but this is NOT controversial among REs and OBs. Personally, the way I can pack away food, I'm more concerned about a too large baby than a too small one. Also, most women concerned about caffeine during pregnancy are concerned about the miscarriage risk, which even this study says is not an issue under 300 mg.) There are also now numerous studies that show lots of health benefits from moderate caffeine consumption. My order at Starbux is a tall skim “misto,” their term for a cafĂ© au lait. Which means my cup is half filled with steamed milk. The thought of getting through my workday with first trimester fatigue without my misto is not good. If you find it comforting to completely abstain from caffeine during your pregnancy, you'll get no judgement from me. But don't judge my perfectly safe one cup a day!

Trying to think of the best comeback when I next get assvice from this guy. At the moment, I’m thinking of just saying, “Unsolicited advice to a hormonal woman? Not a good idea.” Any other suggestions?

Informal poll here. Please respond in the comments. Did you get morning sickness? If so, what week did it start?

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

For Aunt K

Angrycanrn and I have been signing emails to each other with “Aunt” for months now. Honorary Aunt is the type of relationship we anticipate with each other’s children. These terms of affection are just a little something extra in our communications with each other.

I keep thinking about how I can possibly acknowledge the magnitude of her gift to me. Mostly, my thoughts keep returning to her faith in me. Her faith in trusting me with her husband’s DNA, with her children’s full genetic siblings. These embryos are a part of her husband’s legacy. The legacy of someone who left this world too soon. More precious than I can possibly express.

I want to give back to her. We have discussed a possibility, but it’s too soon to really plan that. But I want to honor her gift and her husband.

I was raised Jewish, but not religious. Yet there are customs and traditions that are deeply ingrained. One is Jewish baby naming customs. Ashkenazi Jews (Jews of Eastern European descent) name their children for deceased family members. It would feel beyond strange to me to name my child for someone still living. We honor the deceased relative by using either their name or choosing a name with the same first initial as the deceased family member. My niece, Julie Diana, was named for both her great grandmothers, Julia and Dora. I have long been planning to name my child for my father, Stanley, who died when I was 17, but I now want to also give my child an “M” name for Aunt K’s husband, Mark. I’m not revealing my name choices, but boy or girl, there will be an “S” and there will be an “M.” I’m also leaning towards 2 middle names for a girl, to add in a “J” name for my friend’s father. I’m referring to my friend who donated his sperm during my attempts to get pregnant with my own eggs. His attempts to help me create my family brought us closer, and even though it didn’t work, we are family. (And I really like the way the “J” name sounds with the first name!)

It warms my heart to think of naming my child to honor Mark. I hope it warms Aunt K’s heart, too. He lives on in our children.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Fourth Beta — Guess I'm REALLY Knocked Up!

2,541!!! Pretty damn pregnant! Looks to me like solid singleton numbers. The RE I grabbed for a minute this morning agreed. I have the ultrasound scheduled for April 27th with my favorite RE. (The one who squealed and gave me hug the morning of my first beta when I told her I'd been getting positive pee sticks for the previous 3 days.)

I have so much to say and much I want to write, but my brain is just swirling right now! Thank you all for the bloggy love and support. I particularly appreciated the comments on my last post. I knew my peeps would understand.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Because I'm a NUT!

My mother called this evening and got me all pissy. (No, I did not tell her the news.) So, to make myself feel better, I peed on a stick! It helped somewhat. I have a whole bunch of cheapies I bought on ebay. They're definitely not as sensitive as the expensive ones, but at this point my hCG is plenty high enough.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Third Beta

862!! Pretty prefect doubling time! Canadian RE want me to get betas until I hit 1400, the schedule the ultrasound for a week or so later. After this one, she said to wait 4 days for the next beta. I should be well over 1400 by then!

Woohooo! This is feeling more real. The only symptom is still tiredness. No nausea yet. Maybe I'll be lucky. I would think I should have some morning sickness with these numbers. My hCG levels seem to be on the high side of singleton rates, but I've come to the conclusion that you just can't tell until the ultrasound. I've heard of twins with lower numbers and singletons with higher numbers. So I've decided not to worry about it until the day of the ultrasound.

I actually have an OB appt set up! That really makes it feel more real. I kept hearing how tough it could be to get in with the best ones in NYC, so I called last Monday. Yes, before the first beta! This dr has to approve you as a patient before you can get an appt. I gave the secretary my info, basically, my age and that I'm on lovenox. The secretary called me back a couple of days later and gave me an appt for May 4th. So I have an appt with a MFM (Maternal Fetal Medicine AKA high risk OB) specialist at the hospital rated #1 for labor and delivery in NYC. Fine, call me obsessively proactive.

Thank you all for the wonderful support!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Actions Speak Louder Than Words — SOCKSESS!!

Hard to slow down my brain right now to write my “Sock It To Me” post, but I’ll try.

Kymberli at I’m a Smart One had the great idea. The Great Sock It To Me Exchange. From her original post about the idea:

“The warmth you feel from your bloggy support is a warm and fuzzy pair of snuggly socks (metaphor!). Take the support with you for a trip to the stirrups. Wear them when you're chasing around your battle-won little person. Put them on when you have something to celebrate or when you need a hug. Wear them as a physical reminder of all the people inside your computer who you know care for and are thinking of you.”

I fell in love with the idea immediately. What a great way to celebrate this community and the VERY REAL things we do for each other! I’d already been the recipient of “lucky socks.” Before my cycle with my poor old ovaries last November, a caring blogger email me to ask if she could send me lucky socks for my cycle. I wrote about how cared for it made me feel here. Before my first FET in February, Angrycanrn sent me more lucky socks and some awesome beads.

My sock buddy was Betty Rubble at I Married Barney, Now What? She sent me the most adorable socks and a lovely handmade card! They arrived just in time for me wear in the stirrups for a lining check. Since this cycle seems to have worked, they are now officially lucky socks!

Here is a photo of one foot in the stirrup. Could really take a wide shot by myself, and yeah, I hadn’t shaved my legs. After going to this clinic for so long, on a cold morning, I JUST DON’T CARE!

Now, as to the title of this post and how it relates the sock exchange and our corner of the blogosphere. It came to me as was scrolling through my iPod the other day. It’s a clichĂ© phrase, but it’s also one of my favorite lyrics by Jonathan Larson, who wrote Rent, from another show of his. You can download the song here. I looked for a video clip, but couldn’t find a good quality one. This is the chorus:

"Cages or wings,
Which do you prefer?

Ask the birds

Fear or love, baby

Don't say the answer
Actions speak louder than words"

Many would say that all our blogs are just words on the internet, but our community is so much more than that. If it weren’t for this community, Angrycanrn and I would not have connected, and I would not be pregnant today. Cassandra sent her massage therapist friend to my hotel room for an amazing massage before my first FET. Our community helped finance Calliope’s FET and now her baby is HERE!!! We have donated expensive meds to each other. (BTW, my dear friend and fellow SMC wannabe, Princess of Tides needs meds for her next cycle. Please help if you can.) We helped a deserving couple, who’ve had so much heartache, go on a vacation. We helped ease someone’s pain by helping her with the ridiculous co-pay bill she received after surgery for an ectopic. We never know when a heartfelt comment will be the very thing that gets someone through their day. Sending each other socks is a perfect symbol of how we care for each other.

ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS! But our words are pretty awesome, too!

Thursday, April 9, 2009


The email I received from Angrycanrn a few hours ago: "The WWW is clamouring for an update! Can you hear the chants?"

Beta #2 is in. 425!! That's an increase of 118%. Perfect! Above average, but not crazy.

Thank you all for the bloggy love. Monty, your comment touched me so much. Thank you. Kristin, I'm on 30 mg of lovenox. I think that's the lowest dose.

Keeping this brief, 'cause I'm busy working on my "Sock It To Me" post.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


Calliope at Creating Motherhood had her little boy!!! Details to come, but I am so beyond thrilled for her! What a week! This baby is here because of the efforts of this community. Cali was the first recipient of The U.T.E.R.U.S. Brigade's fundraising efforts. YAY for us!

Can't wait to see pictures of this little boy. Congrats to mom, the new grandma and great grandma!!!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


I'm just thrilled! And tired. No other symptoms yet. I'm bruised beyond belief from the lovenox. A few people have suggested arnica. I'm not a big believer in topicals, I think they mostly have placebo effects, but the bruising is BAD! I have a bruise just from the tape used after my blood draw this morning! What do you think, internets?

Thank you all for your love and continued support!

Well, better get back to pretending to work!

P.S. Go buy a hat!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Please go shopping for a GREAT cause!

Been meaning to post this. Since my stats are WAY up, now seems like a good time.

Recently I received an email from an Etsy seller I featured here back in October. She had some beautiful, hand crocheted hats she wanted to donate to help support The Liz Logelin Foundation, which she found out about through some of my posts. She didn't have the time to handle the listings, and I was feeling overwhelmed by my upcoming FET, so I tried to think of someone with a big heart who might be able to tackle the job. I very quickly thought of Kristin. She is such an amazing asset to our community. A more loving woman would be hard to find. Check out her post about the project, and the Etsy shop she set up. Now go shop! I know it's an odd time to buy hats, but come Fall you'll be glad you did. They're so beautiful!


It's DARKER!!!

Out of consideration for those still trying and having rough time, I won't post this as my Show and Tell post. BUT LOOK!!

So glad I figured out how to do this today. Sometimes I'm quite clever. After spending time with the Apple tech on the phone trying to start up my macbook, I remembered about the bootable external hard drive I created. Fired it up, and was briefly able to access my damaged internal drive and back up my documents. And I'm able to work with it and post pictures. I still need to take the macbook to the computer hospital. Haven't decided whether to do it today or not. Maybe I'll be lucky and they'll have the right hard drive in stock and can just swap them out, so I don't have to leave it behind.

Anyway, back the the PREGNANCY!!! It's so reassuring to see the line get darker. I'm going to wait until Tuesday to go in for the first beta (13dp2dt), so the number will be reassuring, and so the 2nd beta will be Thursday, when my boss is out, so it won't be a big deal if I'm late for work.

As to how I'm feeling about all this, I'm terrified, but relieved, if that makes sense. I'm overwhelmed with love and gratitude for Angrycanrn. And proud that we made it happen ON OUR TERMS! I keep looking at pictures of her twins, especially their baby pics. JUICY! Now that they're 3, they're beautiful lean children, but OH! they were roly poly babies! My favorite kind. J in particular had the juiciest thighs! What delicious dumplings! I'm just imagining my dumpling baby. A wonderful feeling.

Thank you all for your love and support.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Dead Hard Drive

No clever title. Of all days, it looks like my computer's hard drive might be dead. (Thank goodness for Apple Care!) Typing this on my iTouch. Thank you all for the wonderful comments. I will keep updating with my iTouch, but it's hard typing on it, so I may not be returning many comments the rest of the weekend. Hopefully, it will be fixed soon. And I will be able to comment more and post photos from work on Monday. xoxo

Saturday Pee Report

Guess I'm kind of knocked up!

The line showed up in less than 3 minutes, and I don't even have to squint at it in bright light to see it!!!!

Here's a close-up.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


Thank you UnitedWealthcare! Just got off the phone with my insurance company. I’m pissed. Now I know that many of you have no IF coverage at all, but I was counting on some reimbursement for my transfers. My bank balance is scary. I have some IF coverage, but it has a cap. A fairly low one. There’s no way it would cover another IVF with my eggs, but I should still have enough coverage for these last 2 FETs.

I called UnitedWealthcare in December to check on my international coverage. I was told it was treated as out of network. So theoretically, I should be reimbursed 80% of “reasonable and customary” charges. When I returned from Canada after my transfer in February I submitted the bill for the transfer. I kept checking the status on the website, and it said “In Process.” On March 11th I called to check what was going on. The recorded information said the claim was denied, so I got a person on the phone. I was then transferred to a Resolution Specialist. She told me the claim needed to go through the International Claims Department. She said she would transfer the claim over, and it should be process in about 10 days. I was also given the International Claims Department address, so I could submit the next bill properly.

Fast forward to today. Boss is out, so I had the privacy to call and follow up. This time after being transferred and put on hold a few times, I’m told that my international coverage is ONLY FOR EMERGENCY CARE! WTF!! I was absolutely not told this before. The Resolution Specialist I spoke to today said I could appeal the denial. I will, but I doubt it will help. I feel completely misled.

Any suggestions for the appeal? There’s no reason for UnitedWealthcare to know that the embryos were moved to Canada from MI. The MI clinic would not treat me because I’m not married, and moving them to another US clinic would likely have been impossible due to FDA regulations. I thought I’d write in the appeal that I went to Canada for treatment because that’s where the embryos were, and that embryologists feel that it’s risky to move embryos and thaw them in a different lab than where they were created. Some embryologists do believe this, and some clinics have terrible thaw rates with embryos from other clinics. Also, what do you think about pointing out that because Canadian fees are lower than the US, that they would have had to pay out significantly more if I’d had the transfer here?



In other news, no news. Too soon to POAS. Today is 7dp2dt. Any symptoms can be attributed to the estrace and progesterone. For some reason (self protection?) I’m not feeling as hopeful about this cycle. Even though everything looked good and went smoothly, I’m feeling low.