Friday, August 31, 2007

Just a sac.

I went in for an ultrasound today. The doctor's calculations (according to my LMP) had me at 5 weeks, 5 days.

The sonographer did find a single sac, nestled in the top of the uterus, but it's measuring only 4 weeks and 4 days. There's no fetal pole. Nothing. A small cyst on my left ovary.

I usually ovulate around day 16-18, so I wasn't terribly surprised if it had been 5 weeks 1-2 days. But 4 weeks 4 days? What does this mean???

The doctor on call at the sonography center gave me directions to come back in two weeks "so we can see the heartbeat then" but of course, my fucking doctor is out of the office and I'm unable to find a single shred of positive information online.

So terribly afraid.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Math is hard, Barbie!

Well - last Thursday at 3:30 my bloodwork showed an HCG level of 224. (Cycle Day 33, and I'm guessing I ovulated around day 16-17, so roughly 16-17 DPO)

Saturday a.m. at 11:00 it had jumped to 577 (Cycle Day 35, 18-19 DPO). So it may have gotten off to a slow start, but at least it's doubling at about a 1.46 day rate.

Repeat draw and examination tomorrow. So thankful for good news - now let's just hope it stays good.

So if Saturday was 577 then tomorrow's draw should show at least 3,500 -4,600 or so I think. Maybe. This is harder to calculate than I would like to admit.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

A ball of nerves.

Thank you for all your well wishes and comforting words. They were greatly appreciated and helped calm me down tremendously. I tried calling the OB yesterday (why is it that I keep wanting to say "O.G."? The thought of my older, balding Indian doctor as the Original Gangsta is just too funny.)

I'm going to be missing about a half-day to a day or so of work every week for the indefinite future as a result of the myriad of doctor's visits. So, I have an appointment at 10:30 to speak to my partner/advisor and I'm going to be breaking the news then so I can have someone running "interference" for me at the office. I know, it's tremendously early - but I want to quell rumors about why I'm out of the office so often before they get out of control. The only problem is my mid-year review is also scheduled for this meeting - so if it doesn't go well, it may not be the best time to bring this up.

And there's the other issue... I'm not entitled to paid maternity leave (3 months at full salary and an additional 3 months of unpaid leave) until April 9th next year, when I'll be at my job for a year. Baby G as P and I have taken to calling it - is due just about two weeks later. And granted, while first time babies are typically later - there's no guarantee that will be the case for us.

Add that to the issue of "potential bed rest" that's been bandied about by the OB and me wondering how I'm going to manage to meet my hours for the year.

It's going to be a stressful time. And right now I'm so nervous I'm about ready to projectile vomit.


(And why has no one ever discussed how awful it is to uh, "take care of business" when you're on super prescription strength prenatal vitamins. I feel I may be compacted to death.)

Monday, August 27, 2007

Red is perhaps my least favorite color.

My nickname in college and graduate school was just "Red" because of my blazing red tresses. It's always been one of my favorite colors - symbolizing love, passion - fire.

Until now.

I didn't listen to the doctor. I know, it's my own fault. But I was overcome - er, so to speak, with desire and I all but begged. You see, we're the once or twice a day couple, and it had been nearly a week...

About five hours later, I went to the bathroom and was startled when I saw red. Bright red. Lots of it. I cried to the point where I couldn't breathe - choking - rendering me incomprehensible. Patrick was trying to find out why I was crying and as I finally blurted out

"I'm bleeding. Bright red."

We both crumpled onto the bed, and he held me as he consulted Dr. Google.

Apparently not uncommon in the first trimester, blood is nonetheless a very frightening thing to find. All night long I laid in bed and grieved, sleeping fitfully about 10-20 minutes at a time when my sobs just finally overwhelmed me.

This morning, I'm still spotting, but it's brown and very scant. Of course, the doctor's office isn't open yet - and I don't know what to do.

Sigh. I will never forgive myself if one bout of sex is what makes me miscarry.

And if it doesn't - he better be prepared for the fact that I will not touch him again for a long, long time.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Endless doctor's visits and pelvic rest.

Well, apparently I better get used to sitting at the doctor's office. P went with me this morning, which was a good thing as we were waiting a LONG time and it was nice to have company.

My blood work came back, and well, the results weren't exactly stellar.

HCG: 224

Progesterone: 15.4.

The doctor said to keep taking the progesterone 2x a day. I had a follow up blood draw and he's faxing everything over to the perinatologist, and they're trying to get me in as quickly as possible. And I have a follow up appointment with the OB next Thursday. Sigh.

Pelvic rest until 8-10 weeks. Poor P. The doctor said "of course, you can do anything else that you're both happy with." P smirked. He does that often.

He said to lay off the hair dye (which my roots are frightening at the moment) and to try to limit my contact with the kittens as much as possible. Poor babies aren't going to understand why I'm so averse to touching them right now.

I really hope with every part of my being that this sticks.

I am so afraid of losing it. So, so afraid.


Last night, I did the unthinkable.

It's far too early for this, and I know it is - but I couldn't restrain myself.

We were out for a walk, and decided to peek in a trendy baby store in Lincoln Square. Oh. My. God. I folded.

I know, I know. But I couldn't help myself.

Still more than 80% of the pregnancy until there is (hopefully) an actual living baby in my arms, but I was so stupid... and I bought something.

Well, two somethings actually.

Errrrr, um, well, more than that.

He found a onesie that says "I can't read" that was so cute.

And then as we were paying for it, I spied another stack that had been taken off the shelves - in green with green text that says "Nobody Puts Baby in a Corner." I asked why they were off the shelves, and she said that the manufacturer had been sued by Lionsgate - the studio who made Dirty Dancing, and that they were required to pull them. I said - well, is there any way that we could buy one and pretend we got it before you got the pull order? She laughed and said, well - provided you're not an attorney I could probably do that. I giggled and said, well I am - but I'm essentially a tax attorney, you have nothing to worry about.
Nobody puts Lionsgate in a corner apparently.

But glad I snapped that up when I did because as embarassing as it is - I must've seen this movie about eleventy billion times (you can look it up - that's an actual number).

Dirty Dancing

So. In my post-baby good contraband euphoria, I went home and surfed Etsy. Ohhh. dangerous. Especially for someone who is as keen on hand knit baby items as I am. A sweater, two bonnets and two pairs of booties later, I had to force myself away from the computer.

I pray that I'm not jinxing things.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Sun-dried tomato raspberry surprise

Chicago was hit by a rash of rather nasty storms last night. We were out of power for about five hours at the apartment, while the people across the street peered out from their well-lit homes at us with pity. I typically have enough candles to make even the most observant cult member happy, but as it tuns out - when you have two kittens you can't light about 50 candles throughout the house with the expectation that your abode will remain flame-free. Burning whiskers stink too, in case you're wondering. And the smell of lots of scented candles when you're newly pregnant is a bit overwhelming.

And since the OB {I really must come up with a name for him} had specifically said "no sex" last night (due to the spotting following the exam) well, our options for entertainment at home were rather slim. So, we got into the car and dropped my giant stack of prescriptions off

---- tangent bitch about my insurance company -------
My doctor gave me a prescription for 100 pills of each of the medicines, but dear Blue Cross Blue Shield will only let me fill one month's worth at a time, which they equate to be 30 days. Now, perhaps I'm mistaken, but I seem to recall that indeed some months do extend beyond 30 days in duration. This isn't really a big deal, except that the prometrium isn't one of the "preferred" brands on the formulary which means that this is going to be an expensive 18 weeks or so.
------- end bitch session. maybe. mostly. who knows. I'm kinda bitchy in general right now. ---

So while we're waiting on the prescriptions I realize that even with the gas stove, I can't cook unless I light the stove with a match as the electric starter will not light. Which yes, most normal people would have no problem doing this, but me... I have an extreme fear of lighting gas stoves with a match. So instead I whine/bitch/moan and P finally just says "o.k. let's go out to dinner tonight!" (I think he thought if my mouth was full of food I'd be less likely to moan about everything which I have been wont to do as of late).

So we went to a new Italian place that took over for our beloved tapas restaurant with the amazing butternut squash ravioli. There was a delicious sounding cavatappi with sun-dried tomatoes and chicken which I was so excited about. I absolutely adore sun-dried tomatoes and have been known to throw them in everything I eat, or stand absent mindedly in front of the pantry, eating them by the handful. Well, that is, until last night.

Apparently sundried tomoatoes are now disgusting. I must've spent 20 minutes picking them out of my food and forking them over to his place. He assured me that they were not rotten, as I thought - but compeltely normal tasting. I still don't believe him.

If someone wants to have dessert without my spoon making an uninvited appearance, the easiest way to do that is to somehow incorporate raspberries into it. I love all fruit... except raspberries. I don't know what it is about those vile little glistening berries, but they make me wretch - even without the benefit of morning sickness. That is, until last night. Suddenly they are delicious.

And that leaves me questioning whether my tongue has been replaced by someone else's when I was sleeping. And I have been so hungry for chicken fried steak (or just meat, eggs and cheese in general) in the last two days that I have been near tears. Isn't it a bit early to have such strange taste changes/aversions?

Thursday, August 23, 2007


At the OB's office (funny - I was down to my last tampon - which incidentally I use o.b.s and was contemplating a CostCo run this week) the very kindly balding gentle Indian doctor took one look at me and asked me about my symptoms. The nurse was opening the pregnancy test behind him and he looked at me and said "I've been doing this for years. I don't need a test to confirm it, you're pregnant."

Two second later the nurse said "Congratulations!"

And like a complete asshat... who had just taken her fourth home test that morning - I asked "Are you sure?"

They both laughed, and concluded that they were in fact sure. And he told me I could stop "urinating on sticks" - which in his thick accent made me laugh very hard.

The internal exam was VERY thorough, to the point where the doctor felt the need (I don't know why) to acquaint himself with my back passage. That's not something I was expecting... and I sort of half jumped off the table when that happened. April doesn't do anal. The vaginal exam left me spotting, but he said it's just that the cervix is very tender right now and not to worry much about it, but that perhaps I should go home and lay down for the rest of the day. A doctor telling me to go to bed? I'm so on it.

Based on my history I walked out with half his prescription pad when I left. Folic acid (1 mg.), prenatal vitamins, baby aspirin (still a little unclear as to what this is for), and prometrium. Said he's going to keep me on prometrium for 18 weeks. Though, I do at least get to take it orally. Thank god.

He laughed when I asked if there was anything I could do about the mind numbing fatigue... and replied "yes. sleep." He offered to write me a letter to P to tell him to "treat me like a princess" and not do housework. I was sorely tempted to take him up on that, but assumed P would assume I had forged it.

I had I think about six blood draws, which left me feeling very woozy. I have to go back Saturday morning for a repeat draw to make sure HCG numbers are doubling appropriately.

He said that he considers me to be a higher risk patient (why, I don't exactly understand), so instead of the one time a month OB visits during early pregnancy, I'll be going 2x a month. He said I may end up getting referred to a perinatologist as things progress.

But all in all, he said to expect a baby April 26 or so.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007


That is all I've got right now.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

The backstory...

It's good to see some familiar faces here. I've missed y'all.

Our story is a bit of a strange one. His parents live one pasture over from my father's sister in a town of less than 400 people. His parents are very good friends with my aunt, and know my parents - and even my sisters very well. But I lived away (first in Florida, then Missouri, then Kansas) and he did too (in Michigan for over 10 years with his ex-wife and then to Illinois). We met by a complete fluke via a photography website. We became best friends. And then, it blossomed into something more. I fell in love with him, and I was able to give myself completely to him without fear. At first we were just getting to know each other - and I would fly up (we took turns paying) once a month. Then it was once every two weeks, then it was I would fly up every Friday and fly back every Monday morning.

We picked out a lovely apartment on the North side of the city just a half mile from the el with original hardwoods and a restored kitchen and bathrooms. Easter weekend he flew down and helped me move up my meager belongings (having left the vast majority of them when I left the old house). On Mother's Day, we drove to Grand Rapids to pick up a gift he'd selected for me - two 6 week old kittens to help appease the loss of the ones I left behind.

We firmly made the decision a few months ago that we wouldn't mind having a family together. But, I was sure it wouldn't work for us. Not right away. We consulted with a reproductive endocrinologist who told me that he wouldn't be surprised if I ended up pregnant on my own during the process of treatment. I laughed. Because really... I'd been off birth control for over five years, and actively trying everything in the book with my ex. My eggs, they are not delicate little flowers bursting forth with abundance... no they're obstinate little bastards who refuse to ripen. When I was trying before, it was either no ovulation at all thanks to the PCOS or extreme overstimulation.

We traveled extensively this summer. Mexico City, Denver and the Colorado Rockies, Washington D.C., Austin, Miami and the Florida Keys. I took my third full bar exam in four years. Life was hectic and a general mess.

We decided to move to the suburbs. Found a historic home built before 1920 that we fell in love with. Five bedrooms, two studies and a library. Gorgeous. The day we first saw it I felt like it should be "our" house. We were laughing, making big plans... enjoying each other without distraction.

Twelve days later, we'd submitted a bid on the house. I took a test that morning. Negative. I chunked it into my bathroom trash, silently cursing that I'd wasted another $10. Later that day I dropped a contact and when picking it up off the floor I saw that the test poking up through the refuse, mockingly.

There appeared to be a faint blue line on the test.

"Hmmm. that's odd. Though surely it's an evaporation line." I thought. I sighed thinking how lonely it would be with just the two of us and the cats in that big house for the indefinite future.

We drove out to look at the house again the next day and I was ravenous. I had lunch and less than two hours later was begging him to stop at McD's for a cheeseburger. He looked at me oddly as I'd given up almost all meat completely and hadn't eaten beef in ages. A few hours later, I had to ask him to pull over so I wouldn't get sick in the car. Apparently mid-sentence I just passed out cold asleep. My breasts were swollen and heavy and I recoiled angrily when he accidentally brushed against them.

When we got home, he raised an eyebrow... "do you think?"

"No." I replied. Surely not.

The next morning, I woke up at 5 a.m. and couldn't sleep. I stumbled to the bathroom and saw another test on the counter. Half asleep, I ripped the foil packaging and laughed at myself for yet again wasting money on a test.

I sat naked on the toilet - utterly dumbfounded as I saw the first line and then the second line of blue darken on the test. I shook my head. Second line? What?


Instantly awake, I started shaking.



I busted into the bedroom door - barely grasping the test in my quivering hand.

"WAKE UP!!!!!!!!!!!" I all but screamed...

"WAKE UP!!!!!!!", throwing the test at him I asked "IS THERE ANOTHER LINE??? ARE THERE TWO????"

He calmly replied, "Yes, why? What does that mean? Is that good?"

So, rather unexpectedly I find myself up the duff with a due date in mid-April.

The first doctor's appointment is Thursday afternoon. I am still running maniacally to the 'loo every few hours convinced my period is about to make it's arrival. I'm exhausted, and hungry, and queasy... and more excited than I've ever been in my life. I realize we've got a long way to get out of the woods, but I'm hopeful. I just have a feeling that everything will be alright.

Our bid on the house wasn't accepted, but I feel oddly calm about it. About everything right now. There's a very zen-like quality to things that's catching me rather off-guard.

Oh, and if you in fact "know" us online via flickr or the like - please keep this bit of info quiet. While I realize I'm blogging with abandon about this tiniest little surprise... I'm not ready for that to be common knowledge in other places yet. Thanks.

"Slightly" Tired.

They say that you can expect to be "slightly more tired than usual."

I say that "they" are out of their damn gourd.

I can barely get through the day without falling asleep. And by 8:30 at night, forget it. I'm out cold.

Conked. Completely. Out.

I feel like a zombie.

A very hungry zombie.

And with that, I'm going to corner bakery.

365 days.

So much has changed in a year.

Let's see... in no particular order the past year has consisted of: Infidelity. Separation. Tentative reconciliation. Permanent Separation. Therapy. Losing friends, and finding new ones. Divorce. Visiting four countries on three continents. Moving out. Moving on. Finding love. Finding myself. Losing thirty pounds. Watching my sister graduate. Getting caught in a whiteout snowstorm. Learning to sing again. Being stuck in O'Hare for days with weather delays. Going from zero to over 100,000 frequent flier miles. Starting to run again. Stopping running from problems. Saying an excrutiating goodbye to my cats. Giving up. Bringing home two new kittens. Getting let go from work. Letting go of a garden I planted and never saw bloom. Landing my dream job. Finding out how much it hurts to lose hope. Being betrayed and blatantly lied to. Snowstorms. Sizzling Texas heat. Opening my heart. Reinforcing boundaries. Unexpectedly seeing two pink lines after thinking it would never happen. Moving - twice. Finding the perfect apartment. Months later, bidding on the perfect house. Losing said house before closing to circumstances beyond my control. Finally having hope take hold with such ferocity that it nearly overwhelms me.

The next year will be full of so much change.

I can't wait.