Saturday, May 31, 2008

They Won't Be Calling Me Flipper

I started a water aerobics class this week.

I felt like in my black maternity bathing suit. with a skirt, that is.

I got a bathing suit from a generous friend, in a box of lots of other maternity hand-me-downs. I didn't think that I would ever have the nerve to be seen in public in a bathing suit pregnant, so I wasn't that concerned what the suit looked like. But as the weight has continued to add up and the cellulite continues to pile on, I am interested in at least somewhat keeping in shape.

Following the bleeding incident, however, my OB has forbidden all forms of exercise that could cause any impact or strain - even a gentle session on the elliptical is not a great idea right now. I am on my feet a lot for work, so he just doesn't think it's a great idea to add in any extra standing time. His suggestion was water aerobics.

We had just joined a gym with a really nice saltwater/freshwater pool and they happen to have classes everyday. I also have a girlfriend recovering from surgery who was also advised to take such a class. We decided to brave the waters together.

I have taken (and enjoyed) group exercise classes before. I like the social pressure of having to finish what I started. It's too easy if I am working out by myself to just quit if I get tired. On the other hand, one time I tried a spinning class and nearly died, but wouldn't walk out because I didn't want to be embarrassed. I was so sore the next day that I could barely get in and out of my car. I digress. . .

So, I hadn't even tried on this suit before Wednesday morning's class. It actually didn't fit too badly, but the skirt makes me feel about 80 (which happens to be the average age of my fellow classmates). So, there I was, flopping around in the water, trying to learn the moves and follow along, with this skirt splashing me in the face.

I actually enjoyed the class and the belly was a big hit with the grandmas and grandpas in the pool. My friend liked it, too. Although I wasn't exhausted after the session, I did feel as if I had gotten a light workout without the strain.

So, I am going out to get a bathing suit this weekend. Without a skirt. And not black. It may be slimming, but strangely enough, doesn't look too skinny. And neither do I.

The Belly at 26 (27 tomorrow) weeks!

Friday, May 30, 2008

I Met Myself Today

I have become the pregnant woman that I used to avoid at all costs. You might find me at Tar.get. Or your favorite restaurant. Just walking down the street.

I am unmistakably pregnant. I've been told that I glow. I rub my belly - both because it itches and because my baby is moving like a wild thing. I don't even realize that I am doing it half the time.

This morning, I was in line at Star.buck's. The lady in front of me turned around and I saw it. I saw the unmistakeable sadness tug at her eyes. Before you think that I could be just imagining it, she asked me how far along I was. She asked how I was feeling, morning sick? Back aches? All of the above? She was friendly, genuinely interested in my pregnancy, but that look was still there, a tightening of the mouth, a slight grimness to the smile.

From her questions, it was clear that she knew a lot about pregnancy. I didn't want to ask, because I was almost sure that I knew the answer, but then there was no guessing.

"I was due in September."

The was caught in her throat and lashed into my heart. "Oh, I am sorry."

"I lost the baby in April."

"I'm so, so sorry." Why is it that after all of our losses, that is still the best that I can come up with? Why is it that I have nothing more profound to offer this grieving mother?

"This isn't my first pregnancy. I lost several babies before this one. I know how much it hurts," was what I decided to say.

"Oh, that's awful. It took us three years to get pregnant. We did IVF. And then I lost it." I can see that she hates her body, for what it failed to protect, for losing what she held so dear.

I wanted to comfort, to offer solace. But despite our common background, the belly between us felt like a deep chasm.

Suddenly, it was her turn to order. Life interrupted. We both got caught up in getting our drinks, moving on with our day. I tried to catch her attention again before she left, wanting to give her some of the resources that I found so helpful, but she was gone.

Before I was pregnant, I felt that it was so easy to reach out. Now, it's different. Even when I comment on blogs now, I feel self-conscious. I don't comment sometimes, even when I want to, because I fear that I might come across differently than I did before, that I might hurt instead of help. It is certainly no easier in the real world to know the right or wrong things to say. "I'm sorry" doesn't seem like enough, even though I know it is better than nothing. I just feel as if I should be able to do better.

As I was crossing the parking lot, I saw her driving away. I couldn't see clearly enough to know for sure, but I almost am positive that she was crying.

And a second later, so was I.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

A Saturday in August

I lived in fear of putting dates on the calendar for a long time with this pregnancy. With so many lost angels, there are a lot of circled and scratched out dates in my dayplanners of the past.

When friends and family started asking about showers, I put them off as long as I could. It wasn't that I didn't want the showers, but I didn't want empty dates with no meaning, yet all of the meaning in the world. I already have more of those than I care to think about.

The birth center where I will deliver also requires a Labor & Delivery prep class, which includes the infamous hospital tour. I got a reminder in the mail two weeks ago that I needed to sign up soon, because they like you to have the class completed by 34 weeks. That's August 1, ladies and gentleman. Barely two months away.

My husband's best friend and his wife want to get a cabin in the mountains for a weekend this summer. Since it's a couple of hours from here and no where near a good hospital, we know that we should also do that relatively soon.

All of these dates coming so fast made me realize that it was time to sit down with the calendar. I started putting in all of the dates for the four (yes, four, we are blessed more than I can even begin to say) showers, the classes, the tour, the weekend away, and I started realizing that this summer is going to be over before I know it. I was looking at the page for August and my eyes kept drifting down to August 30. Would you even believe that until yesterday, I didn't even know that August 30 was a Saturday? I just never let myself look that far ahead.

I started to close the calendar and then I realized that I still needed to put one last date on the page. I even switched from the ball point pen that I had been using to a red Sharpie. First, I circled the date. Then, I wrote in capital letters: "Baby Boy Due." I looked at the page for a few minutes. My heart was actually beating faster than usual and I felt a little tug of remorse at my boldness.

This is silly, of course, because this date is emblazoned in my mind, regardless of being on any physical calendar. But just putting it there, seeing it there, was a big step for me.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Better Than Flowers

My husband has a romantic side. I can count on flowers about once a month (but randomly, so I never know when to expect them) or a treat of some sort if he stops by the grocery store.

Last night, he called on his way home from work and wanted a specific meat to BBQ for dinner. As I didn't have it, I told him he was going to have to stop at the store and pick it up. This was about 6:00. I figured that he would be home by 7:00 and started prepping some other things for dinner.

By 7:30, I was starting to worry a bit.

By 8:00, I was calling his cell phone.

At 8:02, he walked in and handed me. . .

a box.

I was confused. It was a large box, almost as tall as me. He had a grin on his face, so I knew whatever it was was going to be good.

And it was. Inside the box was a beautiful hammock.

I have been wanting a hammock since we stayed in Mexico for the first time on our honeymoon. We have a tiny backyard and really no place to put a hammock. This weekend, I started saying how much I wanted to be laying on a hammock right now, since it would be so comfortable and would cradle my burgeoning body. My husband's answer to my request was that he didn't know how he would rig a hammock in our small, treeless backyard.

Last night, he went on a mission. He bought the hammock and extra hardware and found a way to hang the hammock between two corners of our fence posts. It worked perfectly.

By 8:30, the BBQ was going, dinner was on the grill, and I was in my hammock.

I love my husband.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

All's Well That Ends Well

After a nice, relaxing weekend, life has returned to normal. Or at least as normal as life gets during pregnancy.

I haven't had any spotting, bleeding, cramping, or anything that would signal alarm. Baby Boy continues to amuse me with his stomach stretching antics.

A quick check-in with Dr. S has confirmed that while the cause of the bleeding is still unknown, irritated cervix seems the most likely culprit. Unless I start bleeding again, this was merely a blip in an otherwise healthy pregnancy.

Big. Sigh. Of. Relief.

Thank you again for your support and love. There aren't enough words to thank you properly.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

L&D Mystery

It's a long story and yesterday was an even longer day, but basically, they have no idea why I am bleeding. After the bleeding turned red, a trip to L&D yielded the following. . .

Possibly an irritated cervix.

Possibly a slight tear in the placenta, but too small to measure (???).

There is no collected blood up by the cervix, which is good.

Baby Boy is doing fine, moving and grooving, heart beating appropriately.

The bleeding never really got much heavier and seems to have stopped altogether now.

I am still on bedrest throughout the weekend with a follow up appointment this Tuesday. The doctor on call seemed to think that irritated cervix was the most likely cause, seeing that I had a lot of swelling last week (none of my shoes fit, I had to take off my rings, and my feet bruised) and am on my feet for work pretty much all day. He said that the cervix can get bruised just like any other part of the body when it swells and that with all of the extra blood flow to the area, bleeding can be a common result. We hadn't had. . . ahem. . .you know for a few weeks, and we are definitely restricted now, so it wasn't related to that (a girl can only wish, right?).

There was a small something on the placenta, but it was so small that they don't think that it could be causing any problems. If it was the cause of the bleed, then it was already resolving itself. The amniotic fluid levels looks fine, right in the average range, although I am under strict instructions to drink water as if it's my job for the next few days.

So, all of that to say, they don't really know. I'd have to say, honestly, no one seems that concerned. I even feel a bit sheepish for being so alarmed, but you know, bleeding + pregnancy has never equalled good things for me.

Thank you for the outpouring of love, support, and prayers. I cried reading through the sweet comments. This community is the greatest.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Pink spotting. Not red. Pink. No cramps. Felt Baby Boy just a little bit ago.

Doctor says straight to bed and lots of fluids. If it turns red, cramping starts, or his movements don't seem the same, I go to L&D.

Please, God, please. Let this stop. Let my baby be okay.

No Thorns Here

Sanan at Why Me has honored me with this:

You can click this link to read more about the origins of this award. The gist of this award to is pass it on to a person that has inspired you and a person that is going through a rough patch and needs some inspiration. Thank you, Sanan, for your nomination, I truly appreciate your kind words.

Kathy immediately springs to mind as someone who has inspired me. Although all of my blogger pals give me hope each and every day, Kathy and her family are a true inspiration of living and growing through loss. The way that Kathy handled first her pregnancy with Molly Marie and then the loss of her sweet girl, simply humbles me. Her grace, peace, and love for her daughter are awe inspiring.

Ally just had a D&C yesterday. She is a strong woman but I know how horrible the days following a D&C can be. And today is her birthday. So, Ally, I want you to know that you are not alone and that there are so many of us loving you, thinking of you, and praying for your lost angels right now.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Faux Paws

I think our furry children are in for a rough ride with Junior on the way.

Our oldest and smallest dog will probably take it the hardest. He has been around longer than all of the others and is extremely jealous of anything that takes our attention. If he is cuddling comfortably with me, for example, and my husband gives attention to our other dog or (even more horrifying) the cat, he will scramble over and stick his nose in the middle to get his lovin'.

Lately, as the baby moves more and more, I have taken to talking to him more and more. When he is moving, I talk to him about all sorts of things, including what a wonderful Baby he is and how much he is loved. Well, I think that I might talk to him in the same slightly higher pitched voice that I use to address the dogs. It drives our little dog crazy.

If I am sitting on the bed or couch, he will jump up and snuggle in, trying to nudge my hands off of my belly and turn my attention back his direction. If I am standing, he will prance around at my feet, anxiously whining and barking. My husband thinks this is funny, but it worries me a little about how he will be when the baby is actually here, and my focus will shift entirely.

Now, mind you, I can't see our furbabies getting completely neglected. But for our entire marriage, they have been the focus of our parental love and affection. They get a lot of attention. While I still plan on giving them the love and care that they need, until the dust settles, we are all going to be in for a readjustment.

We have read the books about acclimating animals and babies. We know to bring a blanket or piece of clothing home from the hospital prior to Baby's arrival. We know not to leave them unattended with Baby within their reach. We know to make introductions slowly and not expect a baby love-at-first-site-fest.

Hopefully, the dust will not billow for long, and we will all be settling into our new routines. I just hope the fur doesn't fly in the meantime.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Some Thing That Won't Help Matters

I heard about this on the radio yesterday morning.

With my recent weight gain, I won't be heading to my local 31 Flavors today.

But even if I wasn't worried about gaining a healthy amount of weight, I have very mixed feelings about this type of promotion.

See, not that long ago, had I heard about this, my response would have been, "Those preggers already have a baby. I am the one who needs the free ice cream."

I wish that they would have a Clomid Cup or IVF Ice Cream Day. What about introducing a new flavor - Miscarriage Mocha Chip and everyone that has miscarried never has to pay for it. Ever. What about Retrieval Rum Ripple? I know I certainly would have enjoyed a free cone on the way home from egg retrieval.

I know that most people don't consider infertility something to celebrate. I couldn't disagree more. I felt that each day that I survived, whether it was CD1 or CD 257, was a true miracle. There were so many times that I didn't even want to get out of bed, let alone do all of the other necessary things to get through the day. Yet I did. Somehow.

Now that I am pregnant and seem to be staying that way, I feel as if I deserve recognition far less than I did during my darkest hours. It was then that I really needed someone to say, "Here. Here is your free ice cream. Let's celebrate the fact that you got out of bed today."

So, because I don't own my own ice cream store, here is a free cone for every one of you. Feel free to pass it on. In honor of infertility, this is a special cone, guaranteed to:
Never melt or drip
Contain absolutely no calories or fat grams
Magically turn into your favorite flavor
*Also, for my GD friends, it will not cause any disturbance to your glucose levels!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Weighty Matters

First off, thank you for your support yesterday. I felt kind of bad blogging about weight gain. I mean, really? Weight gain? Have I come that far that I am going to go on about something so completely irrelevant?

I guess the answer is yes (but I still feel whiny about it). Part of the problem is (was) that I hadn't been gaining a lot of weight up to this point. If it had been the steady, one-pound per week gain that is quoted in all of my pregnancy books, then perhaps it wouldn't have knocked the wind out of my sails. Each time I have been in, I have not looked forward to my meeting with The Scale, but each time, the nurse has smiled as she wrote down the number and assured me that I am doing great with the gain. In fact, last time, they even encouraged me to add some more fat into my diet, since I had gained so little.

Yesterday, after weighing me, there was no smile. Instead, she wrote the number down and asked if my eating habits had changed dramatically in the past month. Then, she told me that while overall, my weight gain is good, this past month's eight pound jump is not okay.

The thing is that I don't feel as if I have been eating that much differently than at any other time during my pregnancy (first trimester excluded when I couldn't eat at all). My appetite has increased lately, but I am eating really healthy stuff. My current craving is fruit, namely mangoes and watermelon. I have had to throw an extra snack in during the afternoon, but I usually do a yogurt or granola bar.

So, I am obviously not wanting to repeat another such increase at next month's weigh in. And not purely for superficial reasons, either. I don't want an unhealthy weight gain to negatively affect the baby's health. But in reviewing my habits of the past month, I really don't know what to change. I tried taking out the afternoon snack yesterday, and then I was so hungry, I ate more than usual at dinnertime.

My husband and I have been more active lately, with the weather getting nicer. We are getting out with the dogs, walking, taking them to dog park, etc. I walk a fair amount for work and now that the fainting seem to be a thing of the past, I choose the stairs instead of the elevator. Still, I could probably put more activity into my schedule.

Has anyone else faced this issue? How have you handled increased appetite and weight gain? Have you had a jump one month only to return to "normal" gain the next?

Monday, May 19, 2008

The Truth Hurts

I had my 25-week OB appointment today.

It went well. We heard the lovely sound of Little Man's heartbeat. I measured correctly (still a week ahead overall). Next month will be my 1-hour GT screen and then we start going every two weeks.

The only hiccup is that I am gaining weight - which I guess is a no-brainer, but still bothers me a tad. I am right on track for where I should be for a 30 - 35 pound weight gain. That just seems like so much. But as my husband said, "You can't have a healthy baby and not gain weight."


Thursday, May 15, 2008

It Was Only A Dream

Last night, I had a bad dream. I dreamt that I was miscarrying again. Red blood was everywhere.

I woke up in a panic. I went to the bathroom to check and make sure that the red blood was only in my dreams. It was. The toilet paper was blessedly free of any red.

It was only a dream. I know that.

But it brought everything back.

I try to distance myself from the pain of miscarriage. I don't want to forget my lost babies. Not now, not ever. But in order to keep some amount of my sanity, I've had to turn away from the pain. I have had to stop looking through my miscarriage basket, finding new miscarriage blogs, and reading through old posts and journals. It is a way to survive.

This one dream, horrific and so "real," reminded me why I run away. It is just too awful to think about how many times that I went through this, that others go through this, that many of you have gone through worse. It's a nightmare and one that you can't wake up from. The fear that something will happen to this baby still lingers, even as his kicks get stronger everyday.

Each morning, I find myself holding my breath, waiting for his first stirrings. This morning, I am especially aware that I haven't felt him yet, which is completely normal. He is active for awhile each morning, then quiet except for a few bumps here and there, and then active again in the evening. I know his schedule now and if he deviates, my mind goes down a scary path. I poke and prod at my stomach until he responds with a firm "Leave Me Alone, Would Ya?" punch. Even then, I am not satisfied, wondering why he is not moving as much today.

I try to stuff these feelings away, down deep inside, where they cannot hurt me.

But then I have a dream, with blood and loss, a reflection of the reality that I lived for too long.

And I remember. And I am still scared.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Kindest of Kindness

I feel so honored to have received recognition from one of my favorite blogging pals, Farah at Fertilized.

This is perfect, because now I can honor some of my other favorite ladies, who show such kindness, not only to me, but to others as well. Each of you is a major part of my infertility and pregnancy journey, and I am so thankful for you.

I pass the torch to:

Mel at Where's My Belly?
JJ at Reproductive Jeans
Brown Eyed Girl at Down That Dirt Road
Adriene at It Will Happen
Joy at Seven Shades of Red
My Reality at Mixing it Up

Amy at Life Without William Henry

Antigone at Antigone Lost

Thank you again.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Clumsy Oaf

So, my husband and I also did something else momentous this weekend.

Drumroll, please. . .

We cleaned our garage.

Now, for those of you organized minimalists out there, that might not be such a big deal. For us, it's a huge deal. We are packrats, we are not particularly organized, and we had a mountain of crap to face.

We didn't just shove the boxes around, either. No, we spent $500 on expensive, heavy duty shelving that took my husband most of Saturday to drill into the wall and put in place. It looks phenomenal. We also bought bins to replace the cardboard boxes still leftover from our last move five years ago. Everything is stacked, labeled, and organized. I should take pictures.

This was the first step in the three phase "Project Nursery." The next step is to empty the nursery (which is now my unorganized home office) of everything, which will be another weekend project, maybe even next weekend.

The last step, of course, will be the most fun. The actual painting, decorating, organizing, etc., of the nursery itself. We still haven't picked furniture, colors, paint, or bedding, but I have it narrowed down to a few choices.

But getting the garage cleaned out was the part that I was fearing the most. Now that it's out of the way, we are a big step closer toward having a lovely nursery for our Little Man.

Of course, the reason for the post title still needs to be explained. You see, my job was to hand the lighter boxes up to my husband while he teetered precariously on a ladder - we have a very high garage. I was taking one very light box over to him when I tripped over a broom that I had left laying on the ground.

Yep, I fell.

I didn't land on my stomach, rather my right arm and wrist took the brunt of the fall. Obviously, I checked for spotting the rest of Sunday and was nervous until I felt Baby Boy moving later on that night. But he seems okay and I did some googling, all of which leads me to believe that he fine in his cozy house.

Just call me Grace.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Twenty Four

On Saturday, Baby Boy and I hit a special milestone: TWENTY FOUR WEEKS. As we all know, this is the marker for viability. I decided to have a little talk with him, in honor of this momentous occasion. It went something like this:

Now, listen here, Young Man. Regardless of this viability rumor we've been hearing, you are not, under any circumstances, to come out anytime in the near future.

His response? A swift kick to my bladder.

Listen, I know you are wanting to come out and play, but trust me on this, it isn't time yet. We can discuss it again at 38 weeks.

Just silence this time.

I hope he was listening. Of course, I am comforted by the fact that should he come any time after this, he would have a fighting change at survival. But I also know that there is no magic time, that bad things could still happen. I'd rather he just hang out for a much while longer, especially since we aren't ready for him to arrive.

Of course, I have to mention Mother's Day, the bain of every Infertile's existence. Even being pregnant this year, I was not really comfortable "celebrating" the day. My mother sent a card, my mother-in-law did, too. I got cards from a couple of friends and several text messages wishing me a happy day. My husband asked me what I would like to do and I said that I didn't want to do anything special. He gave me a sweet card from him and a sweet card "from the baby." Both were very cute and made me cry. But brunches, gifts, corsages? Nope, I wasn't ready for that.

One silly thing did happen on Sunday. I was half-napping on the couch, just dozing in and out, when I felt a rythmic bump, bump, bump. It kept going for so long that I finally realized that it wasn't kicks. . . it was the hiccups. How adorable!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Waiting Mothers

Last year, I received a card from a friend a few days before Mother's Day. It had this on the front:On the inside, it read:
A Waiting Mother is a mother of a truly special nature.
She waits for her children, day after day, with a tenacity that sometimes defies logic.
She waits for her children, because she knows they are coming, somehow, someway.
She waits for her children, because she has no choice, her destiny is to be their mother.
A Waiting Mother is no less a mother, simply because her children are not here.
She carries her children in her heart, and A Waiting Mother knows, it will only be a matter of time until she carries them in her arms.

So to all you, my dearest friends, who are Waiting Mothers, Mothers To Angels, or even if you are no longer waiting, Happy Mother's Day.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

YOU Make My Day

I am honored to have been given this award by Mel as a Blog That Makes Her Day. I am glad to know that I help make Mel smile, and if she hadn't already been nominated, I most certainly would be returning the favor.

It is so hard to choose just a few bloggers to nominate for this. All of the blogs that I follow make me smile and laugh on a regular basis and I love each and every one of you. However, there have been a few that have been there for me every single time. I don't think that they have missed commenting on an important topic since way back. When the betas weren't looking great or I needed the answer to a question, these ladies were always there.

So I nominate:

Tracy at the Wonder Twins
Farah at Fertilized
Geohde at Mission Impossible
Polka Dot at Sometimes It's the Destination
Jen at The Best Laid Plans
Maria at Love Will Tear Us Apart
Jen at Here We Go Again
Kristen at Stickybean
Chris at Love, Hope, & Faith
And she was already nominated, but I can't forget Alison at (un)Complicate Me

It is so hard not to pick everyone. I fully reserve the right to add more later on, should I suddenly remember that I forgot someone!

Friday, May 9, 2008

What Would Emily Post Do? *Edited*

I find myself in an unexpected position involving shower etiquette - I am the jerk.

Without calling me out-and-out rude, please weigh on in the following two situations.

First situation: I have a girlfriend I will call Kam. She and I met about six years ago, through a job neither of us work at any longer. We were never close friends, but talked on the phone at regular intervals (monthy to bi-monthly) and got together maybe a couple times a year. She knew about the miscarriage troubles (though not in great detail) and I knew about some problems that she was having in her marriage. About a week after Gummy Bear died, right before Christmas, I ran into at the grocery store. I remember feeling strange about the conversation - it seemed strained, but then again, I wasn't in the greatest mindframe. I should also add that it was the night of a huge storm, the power kept going off and on, and I was trying to buy batteries and some last minute supplies. It was just hectic.

So, after Christmas, maybe a month later, I called and left her a message. I told her that I had been glad to see her and wondered how she was doing. She never called back. I sent her an e-mail a few weeks after that, asking about her family, and received a brief reply that all was okay.

About six months later, I ran into her again at the same store. We talked, again briefly, but to me, everything seemed okay. I sent my usual Christmas card to her family this year, I am pretty sure that she sent one back. I have copied her on all of our baby updates and she has written back very nice responses.

I am gathering addresses for my upcoming baby shower and putting her name on the e-mail list was something that I debated about. I knew we hadn't talked in awhile, but I also felt that she was someone that I wanted to keep in touch with. Looking back, it was a mistake to add her, but I did.

She e-mailed me back, very hurt that I was asking her to come "just for a gift." She thought that I had been rude to her a year and a half ago, and no longer considered us friends. I sent back an e-mail, explaining my state of mind when I had seen her that time in the store, and asking forgiveness. She wrote back, again saying how rude it was to ask someone to a shower that you haven't seen for over a year. Reviewing the situation, I agree with her, I was out of line. How should I handle this situation without making it worse?

Second: This one is tricky in that I can still change it before too many people are offended. It has to do with registry length. I have a pretty long registry at two major stores, BRU and Tar.get. I like to give people a lot of different options in what to buy, in a lot of different price ranges. I find it frustrating when I look at a registry and there are only expensive things or a small amout of things available, especially if I procrastinated and it is close to the shower. With that thinking in mind, I have made my registries very "complete," including putting a lot of toys and books on them. I think I have around 140 items on each one. I am not sure how many pages it would be if I printed it out. I am going to try that at the store and see, but probably 10. I was thinking that it was good to give people options, but now I wonder if I look greedy. Will people print the registry out and think "Geesh, this girl is a gift grubber."?

The thing that is sad about both of these scenarios is that the last thing in the world that I want is to appear greedy or as if I am only after a gift from my friends. This is part of what makes me uncomfortable at showers for myself, I really feel badly when people bring me things.

Again, please don't make me feel worse than I already do. Just let me know what you think about these situations and how I can resolve them.

Edited: Thank you for your thoughtful responses. I can always count on you guys to show me the way. I will work on paring down my registry this weekend and I sent my friend this e-mail.

I have been thinking about the right way to phrase and handle this situation. I have been very upset over it, simply because I can easily see why you would be offended by being invited to a shower, and I feel awful. I never wanted to come across as a gift grubber or just wanting to see you for your wallet.

You are a person that I really enjoyed having in my life. Losing so many babies and dealing with the process that is infertility was a lonely and isolating thing. I lost touch with many friends during this time, and that is completely my fault. Please know that it was not a reflection on you. I was so depressed for so long that I couldn't even see family members for some time in there. I truly felt as if I was burdening people with my sadness, especially when in the past, I have been typically an upbeat person. This does not excuse rudeness in any way, I just want to make it clear that I realize the situation is my fault. I truly did not realize that I was brushing you off that night at the grocery store, if nothing else, please know that was unintentional.

Now that I finally have something wonderful to share, I really wanted to include you in what is a happy time for me again. When I put together the e-mail updates on our son and then the shower invite, I really was trying to make an overture of being back in your life when I included you. However, looking back, I realize that it was out of line and probably did not come across that way at all. I regret my decision, but there is no way that I can take it back now, I can just apologize for it.

Again, I am sorry for letting go of our friendship. I hope that you can still remember it fondly and forgive me for my lack of etiquette.

Take care of yourself and your family. I wish you only the best.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

First Major Baby Purchases

As I posted earlier in the week, I am starting to feel a bit behind on nursery preparations. I was bemoaning this fact to a friend, who suggested that I go to this store. I did not even know that they had nursery things there, let alone the best selection of nursery furniture, bedding, and accessories that I have seen. I like that it's all set up, too, so you can see how the things really look, rather than trying to zoom into pictures online or picture it from a piece of railing on a display. It's kind of like the bargain basement version of BRU.

I was like a little kid in a candy store, as I zoomed around, looking at the cribs. I was kind of annoyed when a sales lady kept approaching me, asking me if I needed anything, especially a high chair, rocker, or swing. I politely put her off a few times, saying that I was just looking. When she came back again, I was almost ready to ask her nicely to leave me to browse, when she said the magic words:


Actually, what she said was, "Our national manager is here from New Jersey and let us mark down some of our floor models. I am talking $200 items for $20."

Okay, now she had my full attention.

I followed her to a corner of the store, which will from here on out be known as The Corner of Bargains. And she hadn't misadvertised.

I bought this. I had been wanting one, purely for emotional reasons. and had decided against registering for it because it just isn't necessary. They are spendy and I know that you can just use a pack n' play for the same purpose. But when I saw the price tag, I could not resist. Marked down from $109 to $39.

Then, my eyes bugged out of my head when I next saw this. This actual one is on my registry, so I know that it costs $140. But it was marked $30.

Now, these were floor models, but there were in perfect condition. Not a scratch, spot, or speck. I was in quite the quandry, because I have promised the husband that I will not make major baby purchases, besides a crib, which takes a few weeks to order. It's not that he does not want to buy things, but again referring to my earlier post, we are supposed to be clearing things out before bringing new things in. But at these prices, I felt it would be a crime to walk away from them.

So, I sent him pictures on his phone of each bargain and then called him to see if the ban could be lifted. Luckily for me, he was about to leave for a meeting and didn't really have time to talk. Which meant that he told me to do what I wanted. Which meant that I did.

It was a bit tricky getting both pieces into my car, but with the help of a really nice assistant manager, we got the job done. The swing and bassinet are now sitting in our spare bedroom and I couldn't be more pleased with my bargains. I keep picturing our little man in this bassinet and it makes me so happy.

Oh, and I almost positive that I found our crib, too. We're going to go back and order it this weekend.

Next, I need to pick bedding and colors.

And clean out the room and the garage, but let's not get carried away. . .

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Kickin' It

Ho hum.

Not a lot going on today.

Except did I mention the alien creature that has apparently taken up residence in my abdomen?

Either that, or something that I ate really did NOT agree with me.

Seriously, this kid has gone from "Hmm, is that the baby?" kicks to "Holy crap, is he going to kick his way out?" kicks in a matter of days. I love every moment, but I have to admit, I am worried about how I am going to survive the next four months of stronger activity. I do know from extensive googling that a baby hasn't managed to escape by way of abdominal mutilation, so I do rest easier.

It is crazy to see my stomach moving from the outside. I imagine our son is laughing as he imagines which position to try next. I can hear him thinking, "Now, if I just bounce on her bladder like this. . ."

Of course, I have my own games that I like to play with him. If he is quiet for too long and I start to get nervous, a firm push on my abdomen rouses him. Then, I wonder why I poked the bear, as he retaliates by sticking some appendange into my ribcage.

Sometimes, however, I will be thinking about something else entirely. Perhaps the garbage disposal that I clogged and broke last night. Or maybe our cable bill, which inexplicably went up twenty dollars last month. In any case, I am not thinking B-A-B-Y. And as if he wants to remind me just where my focus should be . . . WHACK!

My husband laughs at me that the firm movements can still make me cry tears of happiness. But oh, what a miracle this is.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008


I think it is too early for nesting, but I am starting to feel a little. . . nestful?

I have not been all that worried about the nursery. It is currently our home office. As I work from home, this room is essential. We are planning on buying a nice computer desk (the kind you can close up behind doors) for our living room and moving all of our stuff down to that. There is then the matter of a shelf FULL of books, which I will probably just take to a consignment bookstore, and the more concerning matter of a CLOSET of crap. Not crap, really, but there is a lot of junk in there. Cleaning the room out would probably take a day in and of itself. But that's not the only issue.

Our garage is a disaster area. Some of it is work-related. I have to store company product and materials at my house and that's where it is relegated. There are stacks to the ceiling of work crap.

The rest of it is squirrel-related. No, we don't have squirrels. Both my husband and I are savers - we like to squirrel away rather useless things. I have boxes of childhood toys, so does he. I have a lot of knick knacks and decorations for different holidays. My husband wants to clean out the garage so that we can move some of the closet crap into that area. It makes a lot of sense. But it also makes for a mountain of work. Probably a full weekend project.

And I haven't decided on a nursery theme at all. Not even close. Not colors, motif, bedding, furniture, nada.

All of this means that I haven't done squat with the nursery and it hasn't really bothered me.

Until now.

The past couple of weeks, it has started niggling at the back of my brain. I think it has to do with the fact that many of my pregnant friends already have their nurseries baby-ready. Sure, some of them are much farther along, but most of them are right around my gestational period - or less!

Also, Little Man is moving so much right now that I am feeling more and more confident that he will actually be the RLB that I have been dreaming of. Sure, I still get fears and doubts, and I know that so much could go wrong. But so much could go right, too. This realization is making me want to get things ready for him, to have a place to bring him home to.

I tried talking to my husband about it last night, and he is in no hurry. He thinks we have plenty of time and that we don't need to rush. He thinks we should wait until June. June?! We have two showers in June, from which I assume we will get some baby things. It would be really nice to have a place to put said things, rather than just pile them someplace else and create another mess!

I know from talking to other pregnant ladies that this is a common theme. I think that if husbands had it their way, they would start prepping the nursery when the water broke. But that is no longer an option. I am ready to move things, to paint, to assemble furniture, to put up pictures!

And don't even get me started on his name!

Monday, May 5, 2008

Hello, Daddy!

Baby Boy gave my husband and me a wonderful anniversary gift on Saturday.

I was exhausted after the graduation and a bad night's sleep in Bed Bug Manor, so we were laying down together, my husband watching t.v. and me trying to sleep. Just as I was drifting off, I got the hardest kick to date - my whole stomach jumped.

I grabbed my husband's hand and said, "If you are patient for awhile, I'll bet you can feel him kick."

If you will recall, my husband hasn't been that enthusiastic about the bump. I have taken the advice of many of your comments as well as some IRL friends and not forced the issue. As of late, however, he has been eager to feel the baby move. When his grandma tried to feel it the night before, he said that he wanted to feel it first, so I told him he is going to have to try.

He had his hand on my stomach for about five minutes when it happened again - a great big thump! He looked at me in amazement and asked if that was it. I laughed because well, what else could it be? He jokingly accused me of making my stomach jump, but as I don't see how that would even be physically possible, we both know that it was Baby Boy giving his Daddy a love tap.

Of course, I cried. It was a wonderful moment and truly made our anniversary even more special.

Friday, May 2, 2008

The Gift of Wood

Today is a big day for my husband and me.

It is our five year wedding anniversary.

We are actually about five hours away from home at a roadside motel. We are going to his cousin's college graduation this morning. As far as anniversaries go, this is definitely not the most glamorous.

For two of our anniversaries, we have been in Mexico at an upscale all-inclusive. For the others, we have gone to nice hotels, spas with massages and plush robes galore. We don't usually give each other gifts, considering the trips and hotel stays as our present to each other.

This year, his cousin's graduation fell on this particular weekend and, of course, there will be no Mexico trips during this pregnancy. The end result is that last night, we spent the night in a small double bed. As I was pulling back the sheets, there was the lovely surprise of a small black bug crawling between them. There is some suspicious yellow sludge on the wall. I am not a snob, but this motel is definitely not on the list of "will returns."

By now, you are probably thinking that I have already returned to my whiny pregnancy state. Actually, quite the opposite. I wasn't expecting a spa hotel, so I brought my own flip flops for the nasty shower and didn't even look twice when I stepped into it this morning. I brought my own pillow and blanket for the bed. I laughed as my husband gently captured what was most likely a bed bug in a plastic cup and brought it outside. It was almost kind of romantic cuddling in a double bed instead of sprawled two feet apart in our king sized one at home.

When we woke up this morning, on this day of celebrating five years of marriage, my first thought was that it can't possibly have been such a long time. It seems like moments ago that I woke up on another Saturday in May, flinging open the curtains to reveal a typical gray and drizzly Northwest morning. I turned to my three bridesmaids, who had shared the room and my last night as a single gal with me, and yelled, "It's a beautiful day! I'm getting married!"

And yet, sometimes, I feel as if we have been together forever. We aren't just husband and wife, we are best friends. We have laughed and cried together, and luckily, the tears have been outweighed by the smiles. There have been many wonderful highs and a few crushing lows, but we've made it through both. And it what I feel has been the true test of our marriage, infertility, actually brought us closer and made our relationship stronger.

The traditional five year anniversary gift is wood. So, my gift for my husband this year is a wooden picture frame with three pictures in it. The first is a picture taken just seconds after we were engaged, the second is a picture taken from our most recent trip to Mexico. The third is the 3D ultrasound picture of our son. I labeled the pictures with three simple words. Past. Present. Future.

We have been through so much together. From holding hands as we signed the paperwork, buying our first house, to holding each other in a small obstetrician's office and trying to come to terms with the death of our fifth baby, we have been there for each other for all of our past. We stand together now, still holding each other, as we prepare for the newest chapter in our lives together. This side of parenthood will no doubt challenge us as nothing has before. But I believe that like all of the challenges before us, this one will make us laugh. Make us cry. And make us stronger.

So even though we are in a crappy motel, this might go down as our best anniversary to date. To my husband, M, I love you with all of my heart. Thank you for our past, present, and future.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

What Is the Point?

I am doing a lot of whining on this blog lately.

And I don't like it one bit.

Thank you for the comments regarding my last post. Like pretty much every other woman on this planet, I have some issues regarding weight and body proportions. I had hoped that pregnancy would quiet those inner demonds, but it has only muffled them. I doubt the onslaught of hormones combined with the comments from friend, family, and foe is helping.

However, I need only to look through my own blog, or glance at the pages of others to know that there is nothing in this world that I would trade for this baby and the opportunity to carry him. Pregnancy is a miracle, a hard fought battle for so many people, and instead of valuing it, I am crying about a little weight gain.

Now, this doesn't mean that I am not going to post about aches and pains and weight gain. After all, this is a blog about my pregnancy-after-infertility, and I wouldn't want to exclude that or make it less authentic. But I also want to talk more about the miracles of pregnancy and less about the minor inconveniences.

Like the fact that when I feel my baby move, everything else in this world pretty much doesn't matter at all. And isn't that the point?