Friday, February 29, 2008

Little White Lies and Butt Paste

Yesterday, I went into the dreaded Baby's R Us. I was on a mission for two things: a gift for a neighbor's shower and a registration packet. We'll deal with the packet first.

The people who think of those packets are marketing geniuses. I consider myself a fairly level-headed person. I know that about half the junk (maybe more) in that store is completely unnecessary. Fun? Sure, but not vital to the survival of your baby or necessary for you to be a successful mother. However, you get someone like me in there, in a hormonal state, and they create these packets that make you feel as if you don't register for every single thing, then you will never have what it takes to nurture your little one. And to make it easier, why don't you just scan this whole catalog in so that everyone knows what to give you? Or better yet, ask one of the associates to just automatically register you for the "Complete Essentials Plus" registry.

Luckily, I was not there to register. My good friend, who has traveled the baby road before me, also had a run in with with this marketing strategy, and therefore, asked me to pick up the packet so that she could x off the things that she would be handing down to us and also the complete not-so-essentials. Kind of a cheat sheet, if you will.

However, procuring said registration packet turned out to be a little more difficult than I had anticipated. According to the not-that-friendly associate, they can't give out the packets unless you intend to start your registry today. Luckily, my friend had also forewarned me about this. So, I had a little white lie (okay, it's kind of a big white lie) ready and told her it was for a friend on bed rest. She became a lot more friendly after that and produced the list. Then, however, she wanted my friend's name and address, so that the store could contact her and offer assistance. I didn't really know what to do about that, so I just said that I would have her call them. I reached for the packet, but she held it just out of reach, which one eyebrow raised. I kind of think that she didn't believe me.

So, of course, I had to elaborate and say that she'd been really stressed out and would want to register on her own time, without any pressure. I could feel my face turning red as I continued to weave my tale. My little white lie was getting bigger and bigger.

Finally, the associate, who was back to being not-so-friendly, grudgingly handed over the goods. Clutching my hard earned packet to my chest, I wanted to escape immediately. Unfortunately, I had mission two still to accomplish.

The mother-to-be is a neighbor. She is a nice enough girl and even though I kind of have to resent her on principal (they got pregnant their first month trying), I feel obligated to attend.

I found one item in our price range: a deluxe wiper warmer). It was actually a few dollars under and I noticed she had registered for some diaper rash cream, so I picked up the one that she had chosen, creatively titled "Butt Paste." They also have (should you want the entire line) Butt Wash, Butt Softener, and Butt Dust. It gave me a smile.

So, I walked quickly past the registry table and got out of there: registration packet and butt paste securely in hand.

Mission Accomplished.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Um, That's My Lunch!

It's been a fun week, getting to tell people about the baby. I thought a lot of people knew, due to the nature of how we got here, but it's surprising how many people don't know.

To me, telling someone that I am pregnant is one of the best things in the world. It's like eating a box of really good chocolates - it's addicting - when I finish one, I can't wait for another. I love the look on peoples' faces when I tell them, I love how excited they get when I show them the pictures. I don't even mind the questions about morning sickness, weight gain, or my breast feeding intentions.

I will say this, though. I am really uncomfortable with people touching my belly. It's not that I am that private of a person - um, hello? Read my blog. It is more that I just feel FAT. My belly is definitely pooched out, but it isn't baby. It's bloating, perhaps my intestines, or maybe even the remains of my breakfast, but not baby. So, when they are patting it and oohing and ahhing, I really don't like it. I know that I have heard this complaint from many others, so I am not the first. And really, in the scheme of things, it's so not a big deal. It's just my first encounter with public petting and it is a bit weird. I guess I just have to get used to it.

Or I could ask the pregnant lady that I saw the other day where she buys her clothes. She was far more pregnant than me, with a big belly, and a white t-shirt with black lettering that said, "You Can Look, But Don't Touch." I think I'll just go with the belly rubs.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The World We Live In

My husband and I had a fight this last weekend. It wasn't really a fight, so much as a strained conversation.

My husband didn't want me to blog anymore.

Okay, now I am exaggerating. He doesn't mind if I post, he doesn't mind if I get comments, he even doesn't mind if I go on to other "happy" people's blogs and read their "happy" stories. But what he doesn't like - and what I can't prevent so long as I am blogging in an infertility world, is that occasionally, I am going to run into some sad stories. There are a lot of stories out there. We were all following along with Mary Ellen when she lost the triplets. Even if you hadn't been a regular reader, the candles were everywhere, and you knew about it. I sobbed that night and told my husband all about it. Just as I cried in his arms when Maria got her negative beta, or Baby Molly's cardiologist said that things weren't looking good.

I also cry when cycles fail, betas don't double, heartbeats stop beating, or babies are born still. Even though these things are arguably "dfferent," they are all part of the loss and heartbreak that is infertility. I can't help it. I hurt when I read these announcements, as I am sure that you all do, too.

My husband wants to look forward. He doesn't want to look back on the past. He said that my blogging and telling him about the sad stories makes him worry for the future. Okay, I reasoned, I just wouldn't tell him. Yeah, right. My red rimmed eyes and hiccups make him think something is wrong with the baby, "It's nothing" doesn't suffice, so I either have to A) lie or B) tell him about the tragedy that I read on today's Lost and Found. And of course I have to go over and comment! I think about all of the wonderful people that have made their way here, picking me up on days when I thought I couldn't go on, holding Hope for me when I just couldn't do it any more. Comments keep me going and I think it's only right to give back to the community that has given me so much.

And even if no one commented ever, it is still very cathartic for me to write here. I have so many thoughts in my head, and no one in real life wants to hear them. I fear for this pregnancy every single day. It is rational? Probably not. But given what we have been through, I think that I have the right to the occasional or even every day fear, if I want. But like in all other aspects of our journey through the valley of infertility, no one wants to hear my dead baby thoughts. They think I am being negative. One friend said to me recently, "Don't worry until you have something to worry about." Another said that I needed to only share my "positive" thoughts with her because she thought my worries were "silly." I know they care, I know they mean well, but people, please. I tried that with Gummy Bear (and actually all of the pregnancies before that) and look what happened.

I think the very worst thing for me about losing that pregnancy was what a fool I felt like the day the ultrasound showed no heartbeat. How could I not have known my baby died? What type of a mother does not know that her own child, residing within her own body, has passed away? What kind of mother took fifteen minutes of the doctor's time asking about morning sickness when her baby was dead? I never want to be taken off guard like that again. I know it's stupid, I know there is no preparation for bad news. But I never want to have my heart flayed open like that, with no warning, in front of two kind but virtual strangers. So, I read my blogs, I hear about what can happen and I guard my heart just a little bit. And I'd like to think that maybe, just maybe, the support that I give to others helps if only in the smallest of ways. I like those grieving to know that they are not alone, even if it is a stranger on the other side of a tangled world wide web.

I do have positive thoughts about this pregnancy, but I am also scared. I love this baby so much, I can't imagine losing it. And yet the unimagineable has happened to us before, and I see it happen to others every day. Good people. Caring people. It's not like if I just sit here, think positively and be nice to everyone, my baby will be born healthy. I really don't believe that negative thoughts will harm the baby - if they did, I would have miscarried this pregnancy at week 5. Of course, my happy thoughts are coming more and more, and you would think by the cheesy grin pasted on my face that we had won the lottery - and in a way, we did in the baby lottery of life. But I still have my moments. And it is so good to come here and have the understanding of this community. The love and support that I can actually feel sustains me.

But my husband does not think this is healthy for me. And he does not like it being imposed on him.

Now, don't worry. I have not been asked to give up blogging. I have just been asked to focus on the more positive side and try not to share when I come across the sad stories. I am not sure how easy/realistic it will be. However, this is part of the reason why I decided on becoming a Clicker. In all honesty, I really wanted to be the Clicker for Pregnancy Loss, but I decided to be more positive and ended up with Pregnancy After Infertility or Loss. And it was quite inspiring to go through that long list and see all of those positive stories. This is another reason why I started my side bar of Celebrations. To remind myself and maybe even a few of you of all the good that does happen, even to those of us that have been kicked in the gut so many times we don't even know how to breathe anymore.

Have any of you had similar conflicts with blogging and your husbands or other family and friends? How do you handle both the happiness and sadness that resides here?

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Clickin' Away

I was reading Lost and Found yesterday and saw an opening on the Clickers for Pregnancy After Infertility and or Loss L - M (Farah takes care of A - K). I really enjoy passing on the good news and helping support those in need, so I decided to contact Melissa and see if I could be the Clicker for that section. She was gracious enough to join me in the group.

These are the blogs that I will be covering as part of my "beat." This is very exciting, because I have read many of these blogs before, but there are some new names in there, too. Even though I will be responsible for passing on the information from these bloggers in particular, I will still be keeping up with everyone else on the sidebar. It may take me a couple of days to get up and running, so if you have something that you want communicated immediately, please send me an e-mail (link is in my profile). I look forward to meeting some new friends and celebrating with all of you.

The Land of the Infertile
Let the Fun Begin
let's make a baby!
Life as a Sandwich
Life in the South
Lightning in a Bottle
Lil' Juliebean
The Liminal Universe
Little Bits O'Cracker
Luck Doesn't Happen Twice
Making our baby (or babies!)
Max's Mommy
Missed Conceptions
Mission: Impossible, or adventures in infertility
Molli's IVF Story
The Momcaster
Mommy Someday?
Motherhood (the not so easy road)
Mrs Spock
Murphy is a Bastard
My Kick in The Ass
My Many Blessings
Nearlydawn... Nearlypregnant... Nearlyoutofsteam
Negative Lane
Nervous Breakdowns are Highly Underrated
No Longer Adopting: I'm pregnant!!
notes from the (formerly) infertile belly
One Day Two Day
One step at a time
Our Box of Rain
Our Dance With Infertility
Our journey to become good christian parents.
Our life
Peace of Mind is All I Want...
Pretty Kitties and a Chihuahua Too
princess smartypants
Problem Uterus
Quest for a baby
Relaxing Doesn't Make Babies
Reproductively speaking...
Sawdust & Diamonds
Serenity Now!
Shaken Mama
Sighing Softly
Slaying, Blogging, Whatever...
Starlit Dreams
The Sticky Bean Preconception Journal
Sticky Bun
Strawberry Wine and Clouds
T.K.O. ...more or less...
Taking the Statistical Bullet
Tales from My Dusty Ovaries
That was the plan
Three of a kind working on a full house...
To infertility and beyond
Trials of Heather
TTC with DH through IVF with AMA and a MF for a BFP
uterus monologues
Vacant Womb - No Vacancy!
Viva Olivia!
Waiting For Lily!! :)
The Waiting Game
Waiting on Two Pink Lines
The way I see it
We're just reproductively challenged!
Welcome to the Cysterhood
What to expect when you're not expecting
What to Expect When You're NOT Expecting
When all else fails...
Wishful Thinking
wishing...hoping...and praying

Monday, February 25, 2008

And THAT'S the Baby!

This morning was a big deal.

Scratch that. A HUGE deal.

This morning was our first regular OB/GYN appointment.

I had been in to see Dr. S once before in this pregnancy, but that was for the passing out business, and I had made it very clear that I did not want anything put up my girly bits at that appointment.

So, today, I knew I would have to face the music of a pap smear and physical. I even shaved my legs!

Imagine my surprise when they didn't ask me to undress. All we had to do today was talk to Dr. S and ask a few questions:

1) Exercise? Now that I am out of the first trimester, what is safe and how much?

Turns out that he only wants me doing 15 minutes per day, maximum, basically because I have been a lazy arse for the first trimester (per my RE's orders, but still, lazy). Even when I am back on a more regular program, no more than thirty minutes and my heartrate can't get above 140. He said to stay away from hard impact exercise (such as horseback riding), but that everything else is okay.

2) Travel? I know that I can continue my regular job, but what about cross-country flights (most specifically, the flight to Boston scheduled in April for a week long sales meeting)?

Well, that's kind of up to me. There probably isn't a medical reason, per se, but he said that minimizing stress will continue to be important, given our history and that my blood pressure is a bit higher than normal at this point. We will talk about it at our next monthly appointment, but he didn't have a problem writing me out of that meeting if that is what I want (or what is deemed medically necessary as time goes on).

3) Now, the biggie. I blushed when I asked about it (and this is a man who will be elbows in to my girly bits come August). . . but S-E-X. We've been on full pelvic rest per the RE's orders for the first trimester. So, what about now?

He chuckled and said it would be just fine. He looked at my husband when he said that and said that he needs to take advantage of the increased sex drive of the first and second trimester. My husband probably needs the reassurance more than I do. Or maybe not. Logically, we both know that sex probably can't hurt the baby, but if something did happen. . . Ugh. Our sex life would never recover.

Then, came the BIG moment. Dr. S picked up the doppler. I rolled my pants down, he applied the goo, and about ten seconds (kind of felt like years) later, we heard a heartbeat. My husband and I got all excited, but the doctor shook his head and said quietly, "That's Mom's heartbeat."

Then, he moved the probe down about an inch. . . and we heard the much faster bump, bump, bump of our baby's heartbeat. Dr. S smiled, showed us the display with 160 BPM flashing, and said, "And THAT'S the baby!"


I made the nurse cry when I started crying.

That's the baby!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Second Trimester

First off, I am a bad blogger. This week got away from me. I am starting to feel a lot better as far as the nausea, but the fatigue and dizziness are hanging around. But I am not complaining, just trying to explain my silence of the past few days.

Here is the promised picture. . .

If you look closely, you can see the little hand giving us a thumbs up. I think the baby is showing us how happy s/he is to be at the end of the first trimester.

And speaking of the s/he question, the ultrasound tech thought that she saw some boy bits. At the time, I didn't see what she was talking about, but my husband did. We took video of the ultrasound and when you review the footage, there is something down in the baby's nether regions, but I can't tell what it is. Deferring to the judgement of the more experienced technician, I guess that for now, our guess right now is as good as hers. But we are going to wait until the more definitive anatomy scan before we are painting the nursery blue.

As the title and the widget to the left proudly announce, we are entering the second trimester today. This is obviously a huge milestone for us and one that has me feeling a little more confident about this little one being born safe and sound late this summer.

Thirteen Reasons Why This Pregnancy Is Different and Should Result In A RLB*

1) IVF

2) Lovenox

3) Great heartbeat - at 12 weeks, 1 day it was 152 bpm

4) Consistent measurements- measuring 12 weeks, 5 days at 12 weeks, 2 days

5) Pregnancy vitamins

6) Phenergan - which I didn't have to take as much of this week 7) Pure and utter faith - could this be growing stronger?

8) No spotting

10) Fainting

11) Expanding waistline

12) Big breasts!

13) SECOND TRIMESTER!!!!!!!!!!!! - Nothing more needs to be said on that!

*Real Live Baby

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Cough! Jump!

I have some more great pictures to upload and lots of details to share about today. But I am exhausted. I was so worried last night that I barely slept an hour.

I wanted to let you all know that my fear and doubt was unreasonable. Our sweet baby's heart continues to beat away at 154 BPM and was still ahead in gestation, measuring 12 weeks, 5 days.

We took our camera and got some great videos of the baby. We also found a neat trick - when I cough, the baby jumps! So adorable!

Now, I have some bloggers to check up on and then I am going to bed. I wish that I was more eloquent right now, because this is truly one of the best days of my life. But I am beat.

Pictures tomorrow. . .

Monday, February 18, 2008

Fear and Unreasonable Doubt

Last Tuesday night, I was laying in bed. I felt a "pulsing" feeling down there - as in more of my hoo-haw area, rather than in my uterus. No, I wasn't watching porn or thinking about the sex I haven't been allowed to have since before egg retrieval. It felt kind of strange, then I got a sharp, almost jabbing pain that came from the right side of my groin. It was so quick, but it was pretty intense. Of course, I got up and googled said pain, and came up with potential round ligament pain.

Saturday night I held a newborn for the first time since I've been pregnant. The first time since July, actually. I used to be a baby grabber, but when my mother-in-law asked me if I wanted to hold the precious little ten-day-old, I really didn't want to. Even when I finally did hold him (because for some reason, people INSIST that a pregnant woman hold a baby), I didn't feel the usual feelings. I felt. . . strangely SAD. Even though I have a lot of reasons to believe in this pregnancy, I guess I really still don't think it will equal a baby for us. I still felt as if I was holding a piece of something forbidden and the old wistful feelings came over me.

Sunday morning, I woke up RARING to go. Not a drop of morning sickness, not a hint of fatigue. I was reading to conquer the world. Or at least my messy house. For the first time in WEEKS, I had the energy to SCRUB my bathrooms, do my laundry, vacuum dog fur out from dusty corners, and just generally clean the heck out of my long neglected house. It felt great, I felt great! THIS must be the second trimester energy they talk about! Woo hoo! I could do this!

Then, while on my knees with an old tooth brush, scrubbing behind our toilet, I felt it. . . a faint feeling of panic that seemed to well up from no where. As soon as the feeling was there, it grew from a pebble or worry to a boulder of fear, which has been sitting in my stomach since then. How could I be feeling this good? I am not even in the second trimester yet and most women I know with really dreadful morning sickness don't feel better until the 14th week or later. WHAT was that sharp pain on Tuesday night - round ligament pain or something more sinister like the placenta detaching from the uterine wall? Why the feelings of sadness when holding a baby, even as people were passing around our ultrasound pictures and oohin and ahhing?

Argh. I thought that by this time, I would believe in this pregnancy more. I mean, here I am, past any previous milestone, and I still can't relax and just let it go. I cannot enjoy a day of perfectly good energy, or even the clean house that resulted from it.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Twelve Reasons Why

Ladies (and of course, the rare gentleman that might stumble across my blog), can you believe that Widget to the left?!?! Look at that BABY! Twelve weeks.

As always, I continue to be amazed to be pregnant. This pregnant. In just one week, I will be in the second trimester. Expect there to be a crazy amount of celebrating at this blog next Sunday. I am not naive, let me assure you. I know things can go wrong at any time during a pregnancy, but I also know that the chances of this little one being born safe and sound increase dramatically once I am in that promised land. However, let us know get ahead of ourselves. We still have a long week to go before that milestone and the 12th Week is still something to celebrate all on its own.

According to Pregnancy Week by Week at

By now, nearly all of your baby's organs, structures and systems are fully formed. The heart begins pumping several quarts of blood through your baby's body every day. Your baby has also begun to develop nerves and a spinal cord, allowing him to feel some types of pain. While your baby's brain is not the same size it will be at birth, it does have the same structure. Fingers and toes have separated and hair and nails continue to grow. Your baby is approximately 2.5 - 3.5 inches and weighs about 12 - 14 grams.

Also, the external genitals can now show definite signs of
male and female gender. Before, Where there was only reflex movement, your baby now moves spontaneously and at random, although his movements are still too slight to be felt. With the use of a Doppler, you may be able to hear your baby's heart beat at this office visit. It will sound very fast, similar to the sound of a running horse’s hooves. Once you hear this sound, you can rest assured that your risk of miscarriage is greatly reduced.

Now, I have to tell you, I don't like the fact that my sweet, innocent baby can feel pain. That just makes me a little sad, even though I know that it is part of the human condition. I will just pray that my baby knows little pain to no in his or her early life. I would say his or her whole life, but that is just not reasonable.

It's funny, when I started my "Blank Number of Reasons Why" Lists, I really didn't think about the outcome IF I actually stayed pregnant. The list may get both redundant and boring. Oh, well, I don't get a lot of traffic on Sundays anyway, so I'll have to risk putting my audience to sleep with my weekly list of:

Twelve Reasons Why This Pregnancy Is Different and Should Result In A RLB*:

1) IVF
2) Lovenox
3) Great heartbeat - at 11 weeks, 1 day it was 156 bpm
4) Consistent measurements- Measuring FIVE days ahead this last week!
5) Pregnancy vitamins
6) Phenergan - which I didn't have to take as much of this week
7) Pure and utter faith - could this be growing stronger?
8) No spotting - but I do have periods of pretty intense cramping. I just hope that's normal.
9) Constipation
10) Fainting - only fainted once this week, but I was off of work and spent most of my time on the couch.
11) Expanding waistline - Ugh, I feel so fat! But I am NOT complaining, just telling the truth!
12) Big breasts! - I think my breasts also got bigger with Gummy Bear, but last night, we went to a family event and my Aunt said, "Oh, yeah, you're pregnant." Immediately, my hands went self-consciously to my stomach, but she shook her head and pointed at the "girls" instead. I know my friend A has called them my "Porn Star" boobs! As I am a very modest size normally, this is a "fun" pregnancy symptom.

*Real Live Baby

Friday, February 15, 2008

Giving Back

The other day, I mentioned the telemarketers and how I am now not allowed to answer the phone. We have a lot of telemarketers calling right now, as the Washington State primary is next week. Without getting too much into politics, I can tell you that my husband and I are very different in our political views. We were political science majors in college when we met, so these differences have led to very spirited conversations throughout the course of our relationship. I won't say who is what, but let's just say that there have been wars fought over which candidate's sign gets put on the front lawn or who won't ride in who's car if there is a certain bumper sticker on the back. Of the two of us, my husband is far more active in his party's political activities. He makes frequent campaign donations, attends caucuses (we are a split caucus/primary state), and political rallies. I used to do all of that, but got kind of tired of it a few years ago.

Anyway, because of his activity, he gets a lot of phone calls from the party activists, looking for votes for the candidate of choice. Consequently, I get these phone calls when I pick up the phone. First off, I think a lot of these phone calls are pretty funny. I know from personal experience that about 90% of the callers are high school and college kids that honestly couldn't care less. They are paid a decent amount per hour to make these calls and read the script. The other 10% are the truly dedicated, very passionate party liners. If you get one of the former, you can almost instantly tell from the monotonous way the message comes across. They are polite and take any refusals easily. If you get the latter, any attempts at shutting down their political message will be met with a mix of indignation and disbelief - remember, they are calling a residence which their records show believes in and supports their party.

Usually, I have fun with these types of calls, especially if it's a die hard activist. I have had no trouble in the past questioning some of their bold statements and exaggerations (both parties, by the way, are guilty of this behavior, it is their way of making sure a would-be supporter gets to the polls. I then love asking them how they got my name and delight in informing them that while my husband supports their political message, I am currently undecided. Oooh! An undecided voter! Even the $11/hour crowd gets excited for that.

Now, pregnant, I don't have the heart. I imagine the poor underpaid college student, just trying to get by. So, I listen and let them go on and on and promise they have my vote. If it's a party activist, I am no better, imagining the scary world that they are promising will come, should the other party's candidate come into office. I don't want my baby growing up in that world!

The worst is telemarketers asking for money for things like the Policemen Widows Fund, American Red Cross still looking for money to help Katrina victims, or the World Childrens Association, wanting you to adopt a hungry child for just 2 cents a day. Now, don't think me heartless. My husband and I donate to various charities throughout the year. We research the organizations that we donate to, making sure the moneys donated are used appropriately. We also volunteer our time to several community projects. I have always felt that it is my civic duty to give back to people that have not been as blessed as we have. But some of the time, those telemarketers are representing organizations with a hidden agenda (the Policemen Widows fund is actually a political action committee - the money is not going to the poor widows of fallen heroes). In our state, if you want to give money to widows of police officers, then you can do so directly through the union or officer's guild. But I didn't think of that and donated money because I could only think of the poor women without their husbands, the sweet children without their fathers. I cried as I read off our credit card number.

The first few donations, my husband kind of shrugged off as I made the dramatic case for why we had to donate to the Feral Cat Society (poor kitties!) or the Homeowner's Association (but they need money to keep our neighborhood safe). But when our latest credit card bill came, he was surprised by how much my pregnant hormones had decided to give. And even if it was a worthy cause, we have a monthly budget that we stick to, which my donations were far exceeding.

Of course, how could he get irritated with his pregnant, giving wife? Really, he can't. So now the rule is that I just can't answer the phone unless the caller ID tells me that it is friend not foe.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day!

I have started a post about Valentine's Day many times. The first was a complaint about how my husband and I don't have anything planned and I am worried that the romance is leaving or relationship. I just sounded whiny.

I then did some time researching the history of Valentine's Day, which is rather bloody and uninspiring. I played around with that a bit, but it wasn't flowing right.

Then, I thought about this post from Kathy Benson, who truly defines the meaning of Mother. She said that Valentine's Day would be special this year, because Molly's heart is still beating.

And I thought about this post from Zoe and Lennox's Mom. It is a heartwrenching post on grief, but at the end, it is also a tribute to the love that she has for her husband, Shannon.

Still further, I reflected on all of the wonderful women that I know that have had some bad news these past few weeks. Jumping to mind is Maria, who wrote this post just two days after her negative beta. The love that she and her husband have for each other is truly inspiring.

These are the true stories of love. Valentine's Day is simply that: a day. Sure, flowers and chocolates are nice, but they are not what makes a relationship strong or keeps someone's heart beating. If only it was that easy. No, the true measure of love is when things are darkest and you can turn towards each other and pull each other through. Alone, you might not be strong enough, but together, you can find the strength. So here's to all of us out there, with battle scars from IF that pierce our hearts. What I want to recognize this year is that we are all still here. Despite sadness, loss, discouraging news, heartwrenching decisions, and everything else, we are still here. That is something to celebrate.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Words Aren't Enough

There are no words for today's appointment.

Literally, I am speechless - quite a feat for me.

But I just don't have the words to express our absolute. . . enchantment with what our love has created. Sure, we needed the help of thousands of dollars of medical intervention, but really, when you come down to it, it was still just a piece of him and a piece of me.

And the result is too beautiful for me to even comprehend. I don't even know what I have done to deserve this miracle. I am humbled by the great gift that God has bestowed us with. I promise to spend the rest of my life being even somewhat deserving.

As I told the baby today, when I saw it on that ultrasound screen, "I will be the best mommy to you that I possibly can be." May I not let this baby down.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Never Send A Pregnant Woman To. . .

...Take your dog to the vet to be put under anesthesia.

I was a sucker. That vet could have sold me anything for the "well-being" of our pooch. Voodoo, hoodoo, good medicine, whatever you want to call it, I was buying. Sign me up for two, please.

I am normally no fool. I know from various sources (including my mother-in-law, who has worked at a vet for twenty years) that vets make most of their money on the "extras." For example, the bloood work that is recommended before your be put under is usually unnecessary. Unless your pet is geriatric (over 8 years old) or has a documented underlying health problem, there should be no issues with general anesthesia. Even humans don't have this blood work done! If your dog has been put under before with no complications, that should remain the case. Yet for another $100, they will charge you for this bloodwork. And if you don't want the bloodwork, they paint all sorts of scary scenarios in which your pet can die of unexpected complications.

Now, if you have followed my blog for any length of time, you know that our pets are our "furbabies." When people have asked in the past if we have children, they usually get the response of "Three, would you like to see pictures?" and are shown the dogs and cat. So, please don't think me heartless that I usually refuse the extra bloodwork. My dogs and cat have always been fine.

Then, there is the matter of the EKG lead. Now, when your pet is normally put under, they have a their pulse measured through their tongue. For the bargain price of $48, they can add the EKG lead, which will add another three minute lead time if a heart murmur should happen while they are out. While I am sure this is of benefit if your animal has a heart murmur, my big dog is as healthy as a horse. But there's always that small chance. . .

My big dog has been my baby since his mother's milk was not enough to sustain him at 3 weeks old. I bottle fed that baby pup from his status as the runt of the litter to one of the faster growing puppies. At his full grown weight of 65 pounds, he still thinks he is my "little one" and isn't shy about clamouring into my lap for some lovin'. Cheesy as this sounds, I made up a lullabye for him when he was a wee thing and when he is sick or even just cuddling, I can still sing the song for him and you can feel his whole body relax and his hearbeat slow. Yeah, I know. But what can I say, my animals light up my life. They are here for me, thick and thin. Rocky's fur has caught more of my tears than I can even count, and in the days following my D&C last year, he wouldn't leave my side as I grieved.

All of this to say that I was dead meat when I walked into that vet's office today. With pregnancy hormones in full gear, every time they would come to an option that I usually turn down flat, I was a blubbering mess thinking about my sweet dog losing his life over $48 here and $100 there. But of course, all that adds up. Our original estimate for today's procedure was $325. By the time all the extras added up, we were at $498.

My husband laughed at me, but said that from now on, he was answering the phone for all telemarketers (another post for another day) and taking the furbabies in for their checkups and procedures. I think for the sake of our pocketbook, that's a good idea.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Eleven Reasons Why

Incredibly, amazingly, undeniably, and miraculously it is once again that time of the week. It is time to celebrate the passing of another seven days and welcome all that is to come in the next few.

According to Pregnancy Week By Week at Babies Online:

"Your baby's organ systems are now functioning and he has a skeleton, nerves and blood circulation. Your baby's tiny feet are fully formed and shaped and could stand on an adult's fingernail. The most critical part of baby’s development is now over, and the remainder of the pregnancy is about rapid growth, organ maturation and getting ready for delivery. In fact, your baby grows so quickly now that he will start out this week being approximately 21 - 25 mm or 0.85 - 1.0 inches and by the end of the week will be 44 - 51 mm or 1.75 - 2.0 inches and weigh approximately 7 grams! Your baby’s head is about ½ of his body length. The baby’s eyelids are fused now and the irises are developing. Your baby will begin to get baby teeth, fingernails, toenails and hair follicles this week, too."

In a word? Wow. One of my books said that the baby would be the size of a lime by week's end. We happen to have some limes in a fruit bowl downstairs. Those suckers are pretty good sized!

Which might explain my ever-expanding waistline. No, I am not "showing," I just look fat. But my husband noticed it for the first time last night, instead of it just being my overcritical eye. So, as you might have guessed, I have another addition to:

Eleven Reasons Why This Pregnancy Is Different and Should Result In A RLB*

1) IVF

2) Lovenox

3) Great heartbeat - at 10weeks, 1 day it was 164 bpm

4) Consistent measurements- Ahead three days this last week!

5) Pregnancy vitamins

6) Phenergan - can I tell you how much I love this drug?!?!

7) Pure and utter faith - this baby is the farthest we have ever gotten in gestational age. As of today, we are exactly at the date when we found out that we had lost Gummy Bear. It's all unchartered territory moving forward.

8) No spotting - even though I have had lot of cramping these past few days.

9) Constipation

10) Fainting - three times since last week, once on my front steps, which was really scary. I have a couple of nice bruises, but no permanent damage.

11) Expanding waistline - At my 11 week appointment with Gummy Bear, I was still easily fitting into my regular jeans. For one million dollars, I could not button up my regular jeans now. I love it.

*Real Live Baby

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Letting Go

Author's Note: Alison wrote about the "Friend that Got Away." This is kind of different, in that this is a friend that I let go. Or at least tried to. She keeps coming back. This is my attempt to truly let go. It's a long one.

Whenever I meet a person who has struggled with infertility in real life, when I read blogs, or when I look at e-mails from my on-line pregnancy loss support group, I find a common theme. There is usually one person or event that stands out among the rest. What I mean by that, is there is the coworker, sister-in-law, or friend that has been the least understanding, the most irritating, and generally the bane of our infertile existance. Perhaps it's not a person, but an event, like a baby shower, wedding, or family reunion. Either way, we all have our Waterloo.

For me, I have one such person in my life. I'll call her A. She was a coworker and someone that I would have called a "friend" at one point, actually even a close friend.

To be fair, she suffered more than her fair share at the hands of the infertility gods. When I miscarried the first time, she was going through her first (failed) IVF cycle. This was kind of bonding in a way, because we now had both experienced loss. Whereas I had no known reasons for my struggles with recurrent miscarriage, A and her husband were dealt the double blow of significant male and female factor infertility. In many ways, we got along well. We talked multiple times on the phone each day, with only parts of our conversation being about work. We talked about a lot of personal things and encouraged each other through our different ups and downs with fertility.

But as coworkers, we worked in an extremely competitive environment. Promotions are handed out rarely in our area, so getting one is like winning the lottery, even if you are good at your job. Both A and I are competitive and were interesting in being promoted, so it added a sort of underlying tension to our relationship.

In late 2005, while working a conference together, A overheard me talking to another coworker and thought that we were talking about her. We honestly were not. Rather than talk to me about it, she stopped talking to me and gave me the silent treatment. When I tried to get her to tell me what was wrong, she shut me down and told me that if I didn't know what was wrong, then she wasn't going to tell me. A then proceeded to bring up things that I had done over the past two years that showed that I wasn't a good friend, some of which hadn't even been me. Then she walked away. I was in tears and felt awful about the confrontation. At my heart of heart, I am a people pleaser, and it devastated me to no end that I had obviously hurt her, but I honestly had no idea what I had done to set her off (and in truth, I hadn't done anything, it was a misunderstanding). We didn't speak for days after that.

A few weeks later, she dropped a Christmas gift by my house. It was unexpected and I think her way of making peace. I didn't want to keep fighting and we were coworkers, so I let it go and we started to tentatively be "friends" again. But it was really never the same, especially after she finally admitted to me why she had been mad in the first place. I explained who and what we had been talking about and she laughed, but it was harder for me to shrug off all of the other things she had said during the confrontation - horrible, mean, cut-to-the-bone things.

In 2006, she ended up trying two more IVF cycles and taking a significant amount of time off of work (about six months total). I was responsible for covering our sales territory by myself. During this time, our manager quit, as did several teammates, further increasing my workload and stress level. I was incredibly supportive of A's need to take time off. I never once discouraged her, despite the extra work that it put on my plate and the fact that I was going through my own infertility struggles. I wanted to her to get pregnant, prayed for it every day.

When she came back after a three month hiatus, it was just in time for a regional sales meeting, where I got accolades for our territory's performance. Her name was listed right next to mine, but it was me that got the majority of the recognition. To be completely honest, I know that I would have been irritated if the tables had been turned. I tried to talk up her contributions, both in front of our manager and other coworkers, but it wasn't enough. I could see her looking at me during that meeting with resentment. I think it was this meeting that was the beginning of the end of our already tenuous friendship.

We continued to work together after that and have what I thought were deep, meaningful conversations. We went to a mutual friend and coworker's baby shower, which was three hours one way, so we had plenty of time to talk. During that time, I felt as if we really opened up to each other. Our friendship almost felt as it hadn't for a long time - genuine. One day, about two weeks later, she called me crying, telling me how frustrated she was about having to work so hard and try to have a baby at the same time. I encouraged her to take it easy and told her that we could work it out. Our job is a sales job and although it is demanding, it also has a certain flexibility to it. I told her that she could do what she needed to do to alleviate the stress. We talked for two hours about how we needed to support each other through our attempts at pregnancy. She thanked me for my support and I felt better for the first time in months about the state of our friendship.

The very next morning, we had a meeting with our manager, where A proceeded to announce that she had just taken another job offer and was giving her two weeks notice. She never gave me any heads up and told me in front of our manager. I was shocked and felt betrayed, especially after our conversation only the day before. If I had ever thought that she was my "friend," it was made crystal clear to me in that moment that she was not. A had known for weeks that she was leaving the company (she had gotten the offer the day before we went on our six hour car trip together). Yet, she gave me no warning. My manager was shocked by the way that A handled it, saying that in all of her time, she had never heard of a workmate leaving and not giving the coworker(s) a heads up. My boss felt awful for the way that things worked out, but she had been taken by surprise as well.

After A's notice was up, I decided that there was no reason for us to keep in contact. I was deeply wounded and felt "used," for all of the times I had covered for her and had been willing to do it still. She called me a couple of times after that, but I let it go to voicemail. I realized that our so-called friendship was irretrievably broken. While I might not have been blameless in this scenario, I at least feel that I approached the relationship honestly. I did not hide things from her and tried to accommodate her needs while she was trying to have a baby. She did not return to the favor.

This was about the time that I found out that I was pregnant with Gummy Bear. Between work and my pregnancy, I didn't have time to really worry too much about her. About a week after I lost the baby, she called me from her new cell number. Not knowing that it was her, I answered and we ended up talking. Again, we had a long "heart to heart," with me telling her about my miscarriage. She told me that she and her husband had "given up" having biological children and were going to adopt and had started the process. I still wasn't interested in being a close friend with her, I had been burned too many times, but I was genuinely pleased that they were moving forward with adoption (previously, her husband had not been open to the idea).

Two weeks later, a close friend of mine called. She also worked for our company and knew both of us, although she and I were much closer. She said that something was weighing on her mind and that she had to tell me. Turns out that A was pregnant - ten weeks - and had been pregnant when we had our last "heart to heart." Once again, I felt betrayed. She had once again lied to me about her situation and then went out of her way to tell one of my friends about it. A then asked my friend not to tell me about it, even though she knew how close we were. My friend told her that she had a limited amount of time to tell me or she would do it, as she didn't want to keep a secret from me. To make matters even worse, she had also told many customers in our old territory, so it seemed as if everyone had known but me. Everywhere I went, people were saying how great it was about A's pregnancy, and the hurt continued.

I'm sure that it didn't help that I was still deeply grieving for Gummy Bear at the time. It was extra salt in my wounds. I was happy for A, but so sad for me, and of course, I wondered why my baby had died and hers didn't. Not that I wanted her baby to die, of course, but then again. . . just a few months before that, she had said that she would be okay with a miscarriage, just to know that her body could get pregnant. I was pretty irritated when she said it. So what if you can get pregnant, if all of your babies die!?! Despite my grief, I decided to send her a congratulations card and then be done with it. She responded to my card with an e-mail, expressing surprise that I knew about the pregnancy, then saying that she was praying for me every day and wanted to get together if I ever needed to talk. I deleted the e-mail and never responded.

We have a number of mutual friends and I kind of became "the bad guy" in the equation. See, when we were working together, I was loyal. I kept quiet about some of the things that happened between us because I wanted to preserve our friendship and working relationship. When she left the company, I didn't see the need to make a big deal about my reasons for not wanting to be friends. Now that A was pregnant, people thought that was why I wouldn't be her friend and they thought that was selfish, especially considering all that she had been through to get pregnant. I didn't want to rehash old history, but it was really irritating that people took her side.

To be clear, she never called me to tell me about her pregnancy herself. She never called me again. This summer, she sent me a random, out of the blue e-mail, which I responded to. We ended up e-mailing back and forth several times, and I was the last to write, but then I think her life got busy with the birth of her son.

She sent out birth announcements about a month after he was born. I know this, because I was at a mutual friend's house and it was on the refridgerator. I got it that she didn't sent one to me, in fact was kind of glad. It meant that we were both moving on.

Until a few weeks ago.

Eight months later, A sends me a birth announcement. It is the same exact announcement that was on my friend's refridgerator. On the outside envelope, it said, "Sorry it's a bit late."

For some reason, it hurt me all over again.

I just want to let this - her - go. I wish that I could, but just when I think I have, there she is again. Mutual friends say that she still asks about me (and I don't bring it up) tell me that she is praying for me and wishes that I would call. I have no desire to talk to her. As far as I am concerned, I am happy for her and her husband. I know that they wanted to be parents very badly and they have a lot to offer a baby. Jealous? Yes, but I would never wish ill on her or her family.

So, I am trying to let go here, in this post. Let go and move on. It's time.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Love Isn't Like A Bowl Of Sugar

One of my favorite series as a child was the Ramona Quimby books by Beverly Cleary. These books were written about a young child's perspective of the world. Some pretty funny things happened to Ramona, usually because she was a bit too inquisitive. My mother would read the books aloud to the whole family, usually every night. Even when we would go camping, she would read around the fire until the light got too dim. I remember these times as very cozy family moments and I would like to do the same for my child(ren) some day.

My all-time favorite Ramona book is the one where her parents have another baby, usurping her place as "the baby." Her mother is giving the new baby all sorts of attention and Ramona gets jealous. She worries that her parents won't have enough love for her. In a line that I can still hear my mother reading aloud to us, Mrs. Quimby's response was, "Dear, love is not like a bowl of sugar, only so much to pass around the table. My love for you has no bottom or top, no end. It will never run out, no matter how many people I have to love."

Even though it was written in a children's book, I think that those words are something that even adults need to remember. Love is something that you can give and give.

Now, I am sure you are wondering why this post is on my IF blog. . . wait for it. . .

I have to confess a mother's worst admission. I have favorites among my children. What is she talking about, you might justifiably be wondering.

Well, here is the nitty gritty, down and dirty truth: I loved Gummy Bear so much. And I haven't let myself grow as attached to this baby. Even with all of the great ultrasounds, I still fear the pain of losing this baby. So, I have a wall up. I do the same things with this baby as I did with Gummy Bear, I talk to it, I say goodnight to it, I have rubbed my stomach. But as I am doing it, I feel like a pretender. I feel as if I am only doing it because I should. I fell asleep with my hand on my stomach every night of Gummy Bear's pregnancy. I don't do that with this baby. And I can't seem to give this little one a nickname, despite my best intentions (Pickles was my latest idea). Nothing seems to fit. I feel bad even typing this, it is an evil thought that has been lurking in my head these past few days. It's definitely not something for the baby journal.

So in the words of the great Beverly Cleary: Love isn't a bowl of sugar. I have plenty of love to go around. So why am I with holding back from loving this baby?

Thursday, February 7, 2008


One of my IF friends said that there would come a moment when I would truly start to believe in this pregnancy. For her, it was her tenth week ultrasound.

I am not sure if I have quite reached that place yet. There are definitely moments, such as during our last ultrasound, when I thought it could possibly be. But it still is a fleeting thought, quickly replaced with haunting echoes of the past.

I want to believe, so very much, that this is our time. Everything seems to be looking good and my doctor is very encouraged. I think if she was a betting woman, she would say that her money is on this baby being born healthy.

The grin on my husband's face has never been wider. My dad is printing off the pictures that we are sending and showing them to his coworkers, starting to call himself Grandpa B. My mom called on Sunday is ask if she could buy the crib for us that I love because it's on sale this week. All of these things make me feel happiness in my heart that I can't truly describe, the cold fingers of fear that grip my heart relax a bit. For the first time in months, I feel as if I can breathe again.

Then, something will happen, or a memory will surface. I only know pregnancies that end in sadness. I think that's why it is so difficult for me to believe in this one. When will I finally truly let go of the fear? Or is that my job as a mother, to always be worried?

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Outside, Looking In!

Today was a huge milestone for us. The tenth week. We have never been "this pregnant" before.

This is a picture of what we saw. . .

We were the last appointment of the day, so our fabulous ultrasound technician gave us a lot of time looking at the baby. In the above picture, we are still using the transvaginal ultrasound and the head is to the right. You can see arms and legs, although not nearly as clearly as you could on the actual ultrasound - where our Sweet Little One was putting on another performance, this time, with his or her torso joining in. It was hard to get a face or hand/arm shot, because apparently, the baby likes to tuck its hands up by its face. Which of course, we thought was just too precious.

The next picture is another big deal for me. After a long and lingering look through the transvaginal camera, she surprised us by spreading warm goo on my tummy and letting us have an external ultrasound peek. This way, we can see the profile a lot more clearly. In this shot, the baby's head is also to the right, and that little white "peak" is the nose!

After we had a long print out of pictures (she gave us EIGHT) and the CD with twelve more glamour shots, the doctor came in to assure us that all looks great. The heartbeat was a tad bit slower today, but at 164 beats per minute, it is still higher on the range of normal and nothing to be worried about. The baby was also measuring 10 weeks, 4 days, so still a few days ahead. I think it is the baby's way of assuring me that all is well.

I did have another scary faint today, and when we brought it up to Dr. M, she was a bit more concerned that Dr. S. While it is normal to faint, she is worried about the amount of driving and standing around that I do. She took my pulse, which was about 100 beats per minute, a bit higher than she would like to see. She decided that it would be best for me to take a few days off from work, try and take my anti-nausea medications throughout the day, keep more fluids down, and then come back in for a reassessment.

I actually have my boss working with me tomorrow and Thursday and she has flown up from California for the occasion, so I am still going to work, but she is going to drive my car and we might wrap the day up a bit earlier than usual. I am definitely going to take Friday off and see if a long weekend can help me feel a bit better. It's funny how physically lousy I feel, when emotionally, I have never felt better!

Monday, February 4, 2008

Trite, But True

Okay, so the past two weeks, I have had some cravings. Strike that, I have had one craving, an insatiable need that has to be fed. I have had cravings in my previous pregnancies, such as oranges the last time around. I couldn't get enough juicy goodness.

This pregnancy, I have loved sour things, as they seem to settle my stomach a bit, which seems counterintuitive. My husband is always bringing home some sort of sour treat, hoping that it will ease my nausea. Some things work, some things don't.

Yesterday, my husband started laughing as he caught me indulging in my latest cravings. I was standing at the kitchen sink, methodically eating my way through a jar of . . . pickles. He said that I looked like a druggy getting a fix, as the green juice dribbled down my chin. Yes, that's right, cliche as it sounds, I am craving the pregnancy food known world-wide. Pickles.

And not just any pickles. A certain kind of small dills, marinated in dill and lots of garlic. Just typing about them is making my mouth water.

It all started one morning when I swore that I could smell pickles. I was in my car, so I am pretty sure that was an olafactory manifestation. I was suddenly very hungry for the little devils, but I laughed it off.

The next day, while in the grocery store, I saw a display of pickles. They looked delicious. I bought a jar.

I thought about those pickles the whole way home. I unloaded the groceries and fantasized about those pickles. Finally, I gave in. I opened the jar and. . . oh, heavens above, those crunchy green beauties were the best thing I had ever had.

The jar was gone by Thursday. But it was a tiny jar.

My husband surprised with the the economy sized jar of the exact same variety (he learned his lesson by getting me the wrong lemonade one day, but that's another story) on Friday night. The jar is a quarter of the way gone.

I asked my doctor if it was okay to eat a lot of pickles. He said that luckily, the calorie and fat contact is negligent, but I have to be careful of the sodium. He recommended that I switch my cravings to watermelon by summertime, or the water retention will kill me! I told him that if I could control my cravings, pickles would not be what I stuffed into my mouth.

At least I am not craving ice cream.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Ten Reasons Why

Oooh, this is getting exciting.

So, the little Widget on the left doesn't look much different that last week, but according to Pregnancy Week By Week at Babies Online:

This week marks the beginning of the fetal period, which lasts until birth. Your baby’s body systems, such as circulatory, nervous, reproductive and digestive, are fully formed during this time. His heart is beating approximately 160-170 beats per minute. Your baby is 27 - 35 mm or 1.06 - 1.38 inches with ½ the length being attributed to the head. He weighs between 3 - 4 grams (or less then ½ ounce), or 4 paper clips.

Also, your baby will become much more
active than before, but unfortunately, his movements are still too small for you to notice. He will be moving his arms and legs, which can be seen on an ultrasound. Your baby's joints are fully formed, as are his tiny hands, feet, fingers and toes. At this age, he would be able to grab an object, if it were placed in his hand, as he grows more and more sensitive to touch. Your baby's eyes are open most of the time but the eyelids are beginning to fuse – they will stay that way until you reach approximately 25 to 27 weeks. The external genitalia are beginning to be able to show your baby’s gender and both the external ears and upper lip are completely formed now. Your baby’s biggest accomplishment this week is the disappearance of the tail!

Also, your baby is breathing. This breathing activity is noticeable as he “breathes”
amniotic fluid. He is beginning to urinate as well.

Well, our baby has managed to lose its tail, breathe, and pee this week (okay, is it wrong that I am slightly grossed out that it is peeing in me?)! In honor of those accomplishments, I present to you:

Ten Reasons Why This Pregnancy Is Different and Should Result In A RLB*

1) IVF - We know the embryo was gorgeous, the baby should be, too!

2) Lovenox - it certainly made my head "wound" bleed like a stuck pig, so it should be working to get the bloodflow to the baby.

3) Great heartbeat - at 9 weeks, 1 day it was 172 bpm.
4) Consistent measurements- The baby has always measured two days ahead at each ultrasound.
5) Pregnancy vitamins - I got a new one this week, with a bonus stool softener - yay!
6) Phenergan - I had to switch to this old standby this week, because my insurance company only pays for so much Zofran in a month.
7) Pure and utter faith - this is a big week for us. When the baby looks good on Tuesday's ultrasound, it will be the farthest that we've ever gotten in gestational age.
8) No spotting - not even a tiny speck, and believe me, I'm still looking.
9) Constipation - alleviated by a combination of #5 and my daily prune juice.
10) Fainting - now, normally this would not be on a list of positives, but it's different. Anything different is good in my world. Also, it is a sign that everything is progressing and that my blood flow is rearranging itself for my little one, so it gets a place of honor on the list.

*Real Live Baby

Saturday, February 2, 2008

You're Looking. . .For ME?

I installed a stat counter awhile back. At first, I was really interested to see how many people were reading my blog.

It definitely is interesting to see how many people come to my blog every day. It is also of note that most people must do their blog searching/reading while at work as hits go down dramatically on the weekends.

At first, I checked my stats almost every day. I won't lie, I liked to see my numbers increasing, and the amount of time that people stayed to "visit" increased as well. Vanity? Perhaps. But I'd also like to hope that perhaps people have come and found something comforting on these pages. Maybe it's simply the knowledge that you are not alone. Miscarriages do happen to other people. As devastating as it is, you can and will survive. And if I am not proof enough, check out the blog roll to the side.

Lately, I just haven't had as much time to obsess over the statistics. When I went to check them today, however, I found something interesting. Almost every day, people are actually putting in searches for "taking the statistical bullet blog" (or some such close variation). At first, I thought that it must be a mistake, but I started looking back and almost every day, someone's search includes those words.

This can only mean one thing: people out there are looking for me! And not in a bad way. Nope, I pay my taxes, parking tickets, and late movie-rental charges. I stay on the "right" side of the law. So they are obviously searching me out for my blog. It actually is kind of humbling.

I know there are a lot of you out that don't delurk to comment. I set up my blog so that I can accept anomynous comments. I'd love to hear from you, find out what brought you here, what your story is. So, if you think of it. . . post a comment! After all, my stat counter only tells me so much.