Saturday, September 29, 2007

Trying to find the silver lining.

Well, the house that we were bidding on? Not any longer. The day after their realtor called our agent to set up further negotiations, they pulled the house from the market. I don't understand. I guess everyone has their reasons - but I wish they'd made that decision before they got our hopes up again.

In a strange twist of fate, we're now looking at another house two doors down from that one that's not quite as big (about 2,800 square feet - and about $50K less because it needs some major updating - think 1973 wallpaper throughout), and five more in the general neighborhood. I'm hoping something comes of our searching soon - as I'd like to be settled in before the holidays. We're going to look at seven more houses on Wednesday after work.

Speaking of work - I love my job. I do, really. I am really exhausted though. This week we've been working on a big deal closing and that required me to work 15 and 17 hour days plus the commute. To say it's been a long week is an understatement.

Nausea seems to come and go. I prefer the "going" bit personally. My weight's dropping steadily I'm down 8 pounds from this time last week. I just have no appetite. I realize the baby doesn't need much at this point but it worries me a bit.

I started bleeding bright red again this morning after um, yeah. So, I think the "no sex" ban is back in place. I'll be out of town two days next week, and then we have a guest coming in next weekend, and then Patrick will be in London for a week - so unfortunately I think that's easier to accomplish than I'd hope.

I would love for this to just be a "normal" pregnancy...

I bought some stuff to start quilting something for the wee one. Next ultrasound is on Oct. 19. I think I'll hold off starting in earnest until then.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Toothbrush 3, April 0

I have weird issues with my teeth. I carry floss with me at all times, I actually enjoy going to the dentist. I'll sit and suck on my teeth all day after a cleaning. I religiously use Arm & Hammer baking soda toothpaste (squeezed from the middle - I'm a brat like that), but as a kid used only Crest (the blue gel). Through college and grad school I used the cinnamon red gel stuff - though for the life of me I can't remember what brand that was. Colgate?

My younger sister Daphnne was fascinated with Miss Piggy bubblegum toothpaste with silver glitter in it when she was little, and to this day it makes me gag to smell artificial bubblegum flavoring. When I was about 13 or so, I had very expensive liquid sealants that hardened into little enamel covered caps put into my back molars. I walked out of the dentist's office and chewed a piece of gum and they all immediately popped out. My family was not happy with me. The dentist had to redo them, twice.

They still popped out.

I'm really bad about chewing on things - pens, ice, my nails... etc. or using my teeth to open things. Very bad for them, I know. I've never had a cavity in my life, though I think I'm getting one now as the enamel on one of my molars feels a bit sticky. I'm horribly afraid of dentures (my great-grandmother used pop hers out at us with her tongue to scare us when we were really small and I was petrified of them). If and when I lose my teeth, I'll get implants because the thought of dentures squicks me out to no end. My next door neighbors growing up (April and Mark Grogan) had two sets of baby teeth come in and fall out. I thought that was incredibly cool, though everyone teased them that they were really part shark.

As a July baby, I was one of the last kids in my class to lose a tooth. I lost my bottom two front teeth first, during the same weekend in first grade. One wasn't even really loose, but I wouldn't leave it alone until it fell out. I was so proud of my snaggletooth school pictures the next week. I lost a tooth in a Hostess chocolate pudding filled fried pie (oh my god, could you get any more Southern than that?) and haven't been able to eat them since. I also lost one eating a caramel apple, so every time I eat one now a part of me worries that I will lose another one.

I once left a letter under my pillow for the tooth fairy to leave a picture of herself so I could know for sure she was real. I wasn't sure I believed, but I didn't want to be wrong and miss out. Blind faith has always been difficult for me I guess.

My sisters all had braces. I didn't.My teeth used to be fairly straight, but now - thanks to severely impacted wisdom teeth - they're a bit jumbled on the bottom. I also have a mild overbite. I'd like to get braces now, but feel silly at my age about doing it.I chipped my right front tooth about two years ago and had to have the dentist file it down for me. It was really sharp and I wouldn't leave it alone with my tongue. It's just a very subtle spot, but I'm extremely self conscious about it.

One of my front teeth has a flouride stain on it that makes it have an incredibly white stripe in it. It looks sort of like the little stars that cartoonists use to show that something is shiny. I used to be horribly embarassed by it, but I sort of like it now because it makes my smile unique. I had all four of my impacted wisdom teeth extracted at one time. So unlike normal adults who have 32 teeth, I have 28. I busted out all my stitches and got oreo crumbs stuck in the holes because I just couldn't take any more jello and mashed potatoes. I ended up with more stitches.

Which I again promptly pulled out.

My tongue is just barely long enough to flip up and cover my upper teeth. I dream about my teeth a lot... about them falling out or swallowing them.

Anyway, right - to the teeth (yes, I listen to Ani upon occasion). I was brushing my teeth this morning, and like every other morning for the last month I started gagging when I did so. Usually, my stomach muscles get a little sore from the heaving, but I don't actually throw up. Today, however, the toothbrush won. I threw up so violently that blood vessels burst on my face all around my eyes. It's happened twice since then. Apparently, it's fairly common and actually has a medical term "petechiae" and looks like little red freckles all over my cheeks and around the side of my face. Basically it looks like someone took a red fine point sharpie and just went to town dotting the hell out of my face.

I'd already given up my tried and true "tongue brushing" and had honestly let the last few molars back get only the occasional cursory swish of the toothbrush, relying instead on the paint removing power of Listerine to freshen up.

So ladies who lurch - how did/do you deal with fighting the toothbrush?

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Woman cannot live on cheez-its alone.

Cheez-its are the only thing right now that helps quell the nausea. I'm not vomiting, but I have the reeling of too much tequila feeling pretty much all day. Oddly, the only time I feel fairly human is first thing in the morning.

I hate cheez-its. Well, hate is a strong word. Perhaps I don't care for them. There's a strong dislike there. But something about the salty slightly bitter taste works. So I've been eating them, one 100 calorie pack at a time.

The only other thing I've found that has helped is stone ground mustard on whole wheat crackers. The idea of anything sweet makes me ill. Salt and vinegar pringles worked for a bit - but they're so oily.

Any other ideas as to things to try?

I would be most grateful for input - as well as divine intervention to make the nausea stop. I'd take that too.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

I've heard beached whales wail.

In the eight months or so before I got pregnant, I lost about 30 pounds. Through the majority of the weight loss, I still was wearing the same size - about a 12. Right before I got pregnant the 12s got to big, and I was able to comfortably wear 10s. Thus, I was a little surprised to find yesterday that I can get almost nothing in my closet (even the biggest, stretchiest 12s) on without looking like a stuffed sausage around the "pooch" area. This - despite only having gained about 2 lbs. total since my last period 64 days ago. I'm actually noticeably losing weight in my arms and legs, and my clothes fit fine there. My stomach though. Ugh.

I think (way TMI I know) part of it may be because I seem to be struggling continually to go to the bathroom. It's like my entire digestive system has shut down and ain't NOTHING leaving anytime soon. But the fact of the matter remains, my pants, they do not button. And really, I just can't handle the rubberband through the buttonhole thing - mostly because I don't wear pants that often, so that's not really an option. I don't look pregnant, I look like I've had about eight thanksgiving dinners in a row. And oddly, going up a size(or two) in clothes doesn't seem to really help much. It's still straining on the belly, and hanging off my hips and thighs.

I (mistakenly, apparently) thought I'd be able to sail through the first trimester in normal clothes with no problem.

If you hear wailing, it's just me. Beached whales do that.


Tuesday, September 18, 2007

2/2 urbanite seeks 5/2.1 suburbanite with strong foundation...

In July we decided we'd like to buy a house together, rather than continually pouring money into our (rather nice) landlord's pockets. When we decided to move in together, we picked out a 2 bedroom 2 bath apartment on the north side of the city and it's a great place. Granite countertops, a gas fireplace, hardwood floors, a cozy back deck, a huge basement, etc. But the neighbor upstairs is incredibly loud at times, and while it's "homey" it's never truly felt like home.

Thankfully we both make very comfortable salaries and both of us have been working diligently to pay off debt, so the fact that I still own a house with my ex didn't hamper us from qualifying for another mortgage. I took the Illinois bar in July, and we decided that when we got back from vacation afterward that we would start looking in earnest for a house as we have an assignment clause in our lease which would let us get out of it at any time during the term provided that an alternate tenant can be found.

We both knew we wanted an older home with character (think creaking floorboards, well worn stairs, etc.) and it needed to be at least three bedrooms. Both avid gardeners, it also had to have a substantial size lot. As he was looking for a new job downtown, both of us also made the requirement that the city had to have metra or el (train) service direct to downtown.

We went on a drive to go look at a rambling three story victorian about 40 miles south/southwest of the city and stumbled upon another house a few blocks down the street that we fell absolutely in love with. The house is an arts & crafts style home built in 1919 with dual living rooms, five bedrooms, two studies off the master bedroom, a full partially-finished basement, a screened porch off the main front porch, fireplace, formal dining room, glassed in breakfast room, a library, and a detached two car garage. And the house is on about half an acre of professionally landscaped gardens complete with arbors. Remarkably, it's about the smallest house on the street.

Now, this sounds very "crunchy granola" but when we walked into that house - we fell absolutely and terribly in love with it. We felt instantly at home. The owners had lived in the house for more than thirty years and now empty nesters were looking to downsize.

Sometime in the week after we saw the house, I fell pregnant. We looked at a few other houses with our agent, but that house just felt right. So, a day before I found out I was pregnant, we put an offer in on the house.

The couple who owns the house refused our request for concession of payment of a portion of the closing costs out of the proceeds of the sale (a very minor request that is pretty much de rigeur in today's market) and then asked for sixty days post close possession in order to get their things moved out. That simply wasn't possible. We weren't going to spend thousands and thousands of dollars for the original owners to continue living in the house after closing. The owners were leaving out of town for a month, and the deal fell through.

In the meantime, we started looking at other neighborhoods, and luckily interest rates on the 15-year mortgage we were looking for dropped about 1/4 to 1/2 a percentage point. I got a call from our real estate agent yesterday that the owners were back in town and that their agent had contacted our agent and wanted to revive negotiations.

To say that we're nervously excited would be an understatement. This house is well within our comfort zone of affordability - and it's huge. Sure, there are things that I'd love to change (such as ripping down every bit of godforsaken wallpaper in the house, tearing out some overgrown shrubs, replacing the amazingly shallow tub, and ripping up some ceramic tile in the kitchen and breakfast room that looks strikingly like 1970s linoleum) but the house is definitely move-in ready.

And, we'd be able to start preparing a nursery and actually settling down. With 45 days from offer acceptance to close mandated by the lender, theoretically we could be nicely settling in by Thanksgiving. We haven't heard any firm details from the sellers yet, but we're keeping our fingers crossed. Here's some pictures of the exterior of the house. Note that I didn't take these shots, as if I had, I would've spared you from my rapidly expanding caboose!

Friday, September 14, 2007

Houston, we have a heartbeat.

The ultrasound technician started the morning with an abdominal ultrasound, and I had to laugh - after five years of infertility treatment, I had never had one before. My uterus is tipped so far back that she was having a hard time finding the embryo and asked if I would be willing to have a transvaginal scan so that she could get a better picture.

She did the transvaginal and I saw the yolk sac and the embryo right away - along with the tell-tale flickering of the heart on the screen. Poor Patrick was utterly confused as to what we were looking at, but she was very patient in answering our questions and gave us I think 8 pictures to take home with us.

And then she surprised me, and she turned on the speakers and we were able to hear the rapid whoosh whoosh whoosh of the heartbeat. I thought based on the measurements we wouldn't be able to hear it yet. I don't think I've ever heard a more beautiful noise in my life. She said the embryo is measuring 6w6d (so still further behind than I expected, but at least it's "caught up" two days from the last scan). The heartbeat clocked in at 153, which from what I understand normal rates are 120-160, so we're delighted. They've moved my due date up to May 5, so we may end up with a Cinco De Mayo baby.

In other good news, she couldn't find a reason in the uterus for the bleeding, so she said it's likely just an abrasion on the cervix. Doctor is to follow up with us on that issue.

I am so thrilled right now I can barely breathe.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

To the quick.

My follow-up ultrasound is tomorrow morning. When I was scanned two weeks ago at what should have been 5 weeks 5 days, they found a small gestational sac in the uterus, but that's it. My HCG level the day before had been 6,200+ - but there was no fetal pole, no yolk sac (and God Almighty am I tired of trying to google "gestational sac in uterus and no yolk sac" and getting back hit after hit for "yoke" sac. Freaking yokels.) I know I ovulate late (usually day 17-18 on a 28/29 day cycle) so I wasn't going to be terribly surprised if they said that the pregnancy was dating behind but when she said it was dating only about 4 weeks 4 days, I was a bit taken aback.

So, two weeks later we're hoping we see an actual embryo in there with a strong heart beat. I'm still spotting on and off - I've just stopped talking about it because really, that gets boring after awhile. I'm still nauseous all the time - especially at night, but I'm not vomiting. I just get the "oh holy jesus I should've stopped after four shots of tequila last night" queasiness (yes, I've quit drinking completely - but you can't tell me you've never had that feeling before, and if you have, don't tell me) and the unmistakable feeling of the room spinning. Oddly, the one thing that triggers my nausea the most is watching something move - looking out the car or train window, scrolling through a document at work and watching the text fly by - or even watching the pantry door shut. The boobs are enormous, and sore and swollen and the nips are on constant TERROR THREAT ORANGE alert. (I dare you to spend more than an hour in Chicago O'Hare and not go insane listening to that over and over and over and over and over on the loudspeakers). I'm still out cold most nights by 9:00. I just cannot stay awake that late, though the crushing desire to nap during the day is lessening.

My stepmother has told my entire extended family it seems (grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc.) So we're hoping and praying that everything in the scan goes well. I've read plenty of success stories about women with strong HCGs and retroverted (my ute is essentially flipped back toward my spine, and she "dresses" left a bit as well apparently) uteri showing a healthy heartbeat a little later than normal.

Tomorrow will mark cycle day 55, and I think I ovulated around day 17 - so that should put me at uhhhh 38 DPO? Why I'm even keeping up with this I have no idea. I'm having a hard time switching to the week/days dichotomy that seems to be peppered through the pregnancy sites that I've lurked on (trying to temper my feelings of being a fraud). If I was supposed to be 5 weeks 5 days 2 weeks ago - then I guess I'll be at 7 weeks 5 days - or by my calculation right at 7 weeks 1 day or so?

I've been biting my insanely long - due to prenatal vitamins - nails all day in nervous trepidation.

If I was a religious person, I'd be deep in prayer right now. Oh - who am I kidding, I'm praying to anyone who will listen. Ganesha, Allah, Yahweh, Sweet Baby Jesus, whatever. I'm an equal opportunity employer.

If you've got any good mojo to spare, I'll happily take it as well.

And in case you were wondering, today was apparently the day for parentheses.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


In case you were wondering, reading on the "el" and morning sickness do not good bedfellows make.

At all.


Monday, September 10, 2007

And yet another thing...

I swear I just shaved my legs late yesterday afternoon - and yet.... my legs now resemble a poky brillo pad and it's not even 5 a.m. My body hair has always been a light reddish blonde, but now it's dark. Really dark. One could even say it's borderline black. And it's growing copiously.

What the hell?

Is this some kind of pregnancy conspiracy to make razor manufacturers more money?

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Who is this person?

It's amazing how I am noticing the smallest changes in my body.

About two weeks ago my breasts started swelling, and they're not showing any signs of decreasing their rapid expansion yet. I'm now spilling out of DDs, and hoping I don't have to move into "watermelon breast" territory soon. My nipples are oddly sensitive, but not in the same way they were before. I can't feel some things that would have bothered me before. Yet, their sheer mass makes my shoulders ache. I can trace blue veins all along them - even through the nipple.

The nausea is actually picking up in a hurry. So much for telling the doctor I was concerned that I didn't have it.

Oh, and I've had my first odd craving. I wanted pineapple juice, but with jalapeƱo juice mixed in so badly last night. Very weird, I know. I've gained two pounds, but I chalk that up to copious amounts of queso in Dallas last weekend and bedrest. The sense of smell isn't as noticeable - except for certain smells (usually unpleasant ones).

I'm definitely a long way from showing, but I think it's a result of the incessant constipation perhaps - my waist looks "thicker" and less defined. I've always been a big girl, but I also had a very large difference in my waist and my hips - but it's not as noticeable to me.

I alternate from sleeping like the dead to insomnia. There is no inbetween. Oh, and I'm snoring now too - though I blame that on the fact that I can't breathe at all through my nose.

Oh. and the belching. My god, Homer Simpson would be jealous.

Everyone keeps saying my face is flushed, and I feel either oddly warmer or colder than normal.
I've also started changing my behavior apparently. I usually drive like a bat out of hell, and Patrick commented this past weekend that I was driving way too slowly. It's as if I'm suddenly hyper aware of every risk I take.

I have utterly no desire for chocolate whatsoever, something completely foreign to me. All I want is fruits - but I'm really craving anything salty/spicy. The spicier the better.

I feel like I don't even know who I am anymore, and it's just beginning.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007


Went to the doctor this morning after cramping on and off most of the night. The doctor said my cervix is closed and that everything looks good inside. My bleeding had stopped but he said he was glad I came in, so he could make sure I was o.k.

So my HCG results are:

Day 33: 224
Day 35: 557
Day 40: 6,222.

This was a huge deal as I'd misheard him on the phone and thought he said my HCG for day 40 was 1,222. Slight difference there. Instead of doubling every 96 hours or so as I thought, it's actually doubling faster than every 1.5 days. He said to up my prometrium to 300 mg. a day (100 mg. 3 times a day) and that I could go to work, but that otherwise he wanted me to stay off my feet for the next few days. Lay down and be lazy? Sure. I can do that.

So now, Jack & Ennis (my kittens) and I are curled up on the couch eating Thai delivery.

I feel so much better.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Spotting. Again.

Cramping on top of it. Brown and light pink spotting. Still internal but enough now that I'm really starting to worry.

I'm not ready to give up. I want this baby so much.

Spilling the beans.

I talked to the doctor late Friday after the ultrasound and he wasn't concerned at all about the results. He said he appreciated that I was scared, but that at this stage, given my HCG levels, and the fact that I know I often don't ovulate until day 16-18 or so at the earliest that everything was "fine."

He said my HCG was rising, though not doubling every two days. The upward progression was fine and in line with what he was expecting - and that apparently HCG doesn't double every 1-2 days as your levels rise. I asked him what they were, but I missed his response as his cell phone broke up at that point. I told him I was extremely concerned about miscarriage, and he said "not to worry - enjoy your pregnancy."

Obviously this man has never been pregnant.

Based on his reassuring comments however, we went ahead and told our parents this weekend when we were down in Dallas for a wedding. My stepmom, my mom and his mom's birthdays were all this weekend - and they were overjoyed with the news. We cautioned that there was still a lot of risk, and that I'd been having light spotting (only one day of red spotting - about a week ago, and then pale barely noticeable brown spotting for the last two days) so not to get too excited. It's not even enough for a panty liner, just a little on the toilet paper in the bathroom.

But it's nice to know I'll have a support network if the unthinkable happens and I lose the pregnancy.

I'm trying to stay positive. I woke up insanely sick this morning, and my breasts are up a full cup size and very sore. The spotting scares me (another call into the doctor is pending) but I'm trying to just take it easy and minimize worrying about it as much as I can. My mom told me she spotted and even bled all through her pregnancy with me.