Saturday, July 28, 2007

on gender

I've had this post in my head for weeks now, but haven't been able to actually write it out. With all the gender hoopla (crappy ultrasound day, impossible positioning, not being able to find out, being disappointed about that,etc.) I really wanted to put my feelings aside for a while on that subject. Partly because I don't want to be obsessed about gender and partly, if I'm honest, I don't want to be seen as overly concerned about it to others.

Here's the gist: I've been asked if I have a gender preference by many people and I always say that I don't. And that's the truth. I went back and forth many times thinking that I'd LOVE a boy or that I REALLY want a girl and I couldn't make up my mind. Then I came to the realization that I WIN EITHER WAY! I like telling people that.

Anyway, I was going to write all about my feelings on each and why and all this other crap, but the truth is, now that I know that this baby is a girl I can't make myself finish writing it all out. That's what happens when you let posts roll around in your head for too long. Now I can't even remember all that I wanted to say because my brain has been taken over by someone else and all I can think about is pink things and little dresses.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

24 weeks

viability. what an awesome word. this is a huge milestone for me. they would really try to save my baby if it was born right now, today, and it would actually have a shot at making it. obviously i don't want my baby to be born at 24 weeks, but it's amazing to me that there's even a possibility for a non-tragic outcome.

there's a real, living, human rolling around in me. and it's more likely than not that it will stay that way. you know, alive. it's really mind-blowing.

at this point, my brain has gotten quite mushy and i frequently forget what i was going to say or do. i can't seem to come up with the proper words for things. i am the cliche that can't remember why i went downstairs. clearly, there's a leech sucking away my brain power.

i like how my belly feels. i like seeing it, and i like how i look with it. i'm even not so hateful about my infertility pounds. what i'm not wild about is the fact that polishing my toenails on my own may not be a possibility any longer, but i can live with that.

my very favorite thing is to feel the baby move. even when this morning we had another round of grind-mommy's-bladder-into-a-pancake-with-my-skull so that i was unable to get out of bed for about an hour due to the searing pain, i was actually happy to feel the baby moving. the movements are bigger, stronger, and more frequent. we play poking games with each other. this is, so far, my favorite part.

Monday, July 23, 2007

sucker punched

Alternate titles:

  • Infertility: The Gift That Keeps on Giving
  • How NOT to Keep Money in Your Savings Account
  • Bending Over: What They Don't Tell You About Lab Work
  • My Baby Sleeps in a Dresser Drawer Because We Had Nothing Left to Buy a Crib


Is it just me, or does no one really explain about the lab work fees? At my RE's office, I would regularly pay a fee for blood draws along with all the other procedure fees (ultrasounds, office visits, etc.) A few months after my initial appointment I began to get bills from Quest for my labs. They had been billed to my insurance and were usually partially covered, so they were never really extreme and I just paid them. It worked differently with my old RE at the ClinicFromHell, so at first, I had no idea that the bills were coming. Once the billing all caught up I got to know what to expect and it was no big deal.

When we began IVF, we knew we would not have insurance coverage.I worked out a deal with my doctor and we were able to get into a low-cost (ha!) program that made IVF accessible to us. I stockpiled stims in advance so that when I filled prescriptions for steroids, antibiotics, progesterone, needles, etc. they would be covered. I was labeled a "self-pay" patient and the (fabulous) billing lady made sure to only bill for services that would be covered and not raise any red flags. It was still expensive and I'm not ashamed to say that it wiped out most of our savings.
Still, we were very lucky. We were lucky to have a doctor work with us, we were lucky to respond to stims that I was able to gather in advance, we were lucky to have any savings to begin with, we were lucky that it worked.

I'm still paying for my February/March bloodwork. The bills seem to trickle in and they've all been manageable so far. At the time, since I had worked out a fee for my RE, I didn't realize that I was still on the hook for the blood, but I am and that's just the way it goes. Not exactly how I understood, but in this case, that's probably my fault and not the end of the world.

Of course, now, in JULY, we just got a huge lab bill for P. His JANUARY pre-IVF blood screens were not covered services. Apparently, this was also not a part of the package fee that the doctor explained. Naturally, P's labs were denied by insurance (and honestly, if I had really understood what they were doing at the time I would have known that they weren't covered, so it's not like they're the bad guys - other than not providing the coverage in the first place, of course.) So we're legitimately on the hook for this bill and it sucks.

Some of you are probably rolling your eyes because, really, what's another grand? I know. I swear, I do. I'd pay that and more to have this baby, but I do feel like I've been sucker punched. I didn't see this one coming at all.

I really wanted to donate my leftover meds, but now I'm considering charging a small fee for them. I feel guilty doing this, and I know it wouldn't make a dent in this bill, but money is starting to stress me out (to the point I've considered revising my NEVER AGAIN policy on yard sales!)

Thursday, July 19, 2007

history of movement

14w4d: slight rippling vibration. brief. shocking.

15w3d: "bubbles"

Intermittent thumps/pokes, something lumpy is under me when I lay down

20w: someone either likes my singing to or is deeply offended by it.

21w3d: someone can now let me know that s/he is hungry/that I need to sit down/go to the bathroom/stop stressing out

22w: feeling regular movement. regular meaning daily, no real pattern or anything, but s/he's usually somewhat active in the evening and night. I can sense a strong reaction to caffeine.

22w3d: I wake up and want to feel the baby. I poke him/her. S/he pokes me back. HUGE smile for hours.

23 weeks. I may have felt the baby once last night (usually I feel more.) Not as strong as usual. Not responding to poking. Not responding to position changes. Have had a cup of caffeinated coffee and have so far felt no response. Trying to tell myself that babies are not reliable with movement at this stage and that it's normal to have a quiet, relaxed day(s?) Don't want to get worked up about it, but of course I really, really want need to feel something here soon. Like, now.

*** Update: I think the coffee finally kicked in. I suspect the baby has changed positions. I was hoping that by posting this that I'd feel something shortly after so that I could feel as though I was a big ole worrywart over nothing. It worked.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

calling pet owners

Have any of you used 1800petmeds or petcarerx for things like flea/tick prevention and/or heartworm prevention? How did that work out for you?

Saturday, July 14, 2007

hangin' with the old wives

leg hair growth = slower
bigger ass = probably
foot temp = same
fetal heartbeat = always over 140
watermelon or beach ball = i'll go watermelon, but it could be that I'm just wide!
i'd pick up a mug by the body or handle = body
increase of acne = yes
chinese gender predictor (lunar age)
more moody than usual = lately, absolutely!
hair thickness (thicker or stringier) = no change
carrying high or low = uh, in the middle

wedding ring = circles (but there's not a consensus of which this is supposed to be!)
orange juice = no thank you!
morning sickness = not much

sour or salty vs. sweet = sour/salty
dad gaining weight = nope

weight gain in the face = don't think so
craving meat/cheese = boy
skin drier = yes
chinese gender predictor
clumsy or graceful = clumsy
baby is very active
i'd pick up a key by the fat part


It's pretty shocking that they don't agree, isn't it? Gotta love my little "neutral" one!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

no reply comment

Sometimes I want to respond personally to a comment you've left but I can't because I don't have your email address. If you use blogger, you can change your profile settings so that your email address is visible (and as far as I can tell, this gets you no additional spam) and it will show up to the blog owner when you leave comments. Or, you can just use the "email me" link under my name on the right and I'll save your address for future use. If I've never emailed you and you like it that way, please ignore this paragraph!


In other news, the baby has moved. Yesterday I was having an awful time peeing, it hurt like a bitch, never felt empty, and had blinding pain for a good part of the day regardless of how much time I spent resting. I also became nauseated and very tired. I was thinking infection, but my nurse informed me that once again, I'm peeing clean and though they'll send it out for more testing, it doesn't look like an infection. The doctor said the baby has flipped head down and is compressing my bladder. Holy fuck, that hurts.


Thanks for all the support on the shower thing. So glad to know that I'm not the only one not looking forward to the prospect, whatever the reason. Anyway, when I have an update or resolution I'll let you know.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007


I really don't want a baby shower.

The idea has literally reduced me to tears on more than one occasion.

I loathe opening presents and I really don't like being the center of attention. Being touched? Ugh. When I first went home with P for Christmas, one of my biggest fears was that they did the open a present one person at a time while everyone watches thing (they didn't.) Serious panic.

The people closest to me know this and though they think I'm crazy (and I'm not arguing) they generally indulge this quirk and mostly try not to make a big deal about it.

For weeks now, I've been laying the groundwork for commenting on not having a shower (and not in the way you do as a hint that you want someone to throw one for you!) to P and he has seemed fine with it. I didn't have a bridal shower (though a lot of that has to do with the fact that we had a very short engagement) and I don't feel that I missed out in the least. It's just not a tradition that's for me. We have no family or friends nearby. With everyone so spread out, I figured this was an issue that we'd be able to avoid fairly easily.

Obviously not. My MIL wants to give me a shower. And P did not immediately tell her that I'd rather not, which has put me in a very unpleasant position. I'm not close to MIL. We're not enemies or anything, we've just never spent much time together. She doesn't know me well either, and the reason behind the gift panic thing is long, dramatic, and complex. I don't want to try to explain it to her. My own mom barely gets it.

Speaking of my own mom, she thinks it's a lovely thing and I should just agree to it. It's not about me after all. When she told me this I took a shower and cried. I know it's not about me. But it is.

I actually have a secondary reason for not wanting a shower. Even if I really wanted it, literally none of my friends would be able to attend. None of my family would be there. It would be a couple of P's female family members and a few family friends that I've never met. It feels sad. Something that's supposed to be such a celebration shouldn't feel that way. And I would be sad not to have the people I love best there too (yes, even if I didn't want to have the shower in the first place. And I'd never want to exclude P or any other guys. I suffer, he suffers. Or I just want to be inclusive. Either way.)

I just don't want to do this. I never have. I know these are my issues and that they probably seem petty and ridiculous to some people. Who doesn't like presents? I hate letting people down and I know I will be doing just that.

I'm kind of waiting for someone to tell me that it's ok for me to feel this way, even if they don't personally understand. So far I'm alone.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

I feel like I should tell you something, I'm just not sure what

I did go and see my family finally. That was great (the visit, not the travel, which was my very worst travel experience ever.) It was wonderful to be there, but it was hard to be there too. When I'm home, in my house, with P and my animals, I'm able to put the homesickness away for the most part, but when it's all right there... longing. I drove to the city P and I met in and past our first apartment. I went to the used bookstore that I've loved for years. I drove along the walking route P and I used to take every night and smelled the ocean (I'd walk it, but too much exercise for the still-restricted me.) I sat at my grandparents' dinner table like we used to do each Sunday and as happy as I was to be home, it also made me sad.

My mom took a day off of work and we were able to go look at baby stuff together. We had done some simultaneous internet surfing, but that's not the same as being there. It was fun to see her look at stuff. We didn't buy anything though. My grandma is desperate to know the gender so she can begin knitting a blanket and a hat.

I feel like a jumbled-up mess, but also really happy.