Wednesday, December 29, 2010

35 Weeks!

Wow, we just ticked off another week on the calendar and we're halfway through week 35! I can't believe I'm getting so close. A friend told me today, "in a couple days, you'll be able to say he's due later THIS month!" Wow!

I've gotten to that point where I'm starting to say, "I officially want my body back!" Don't get me wrong, I'm glad for him to cook as long as he wants to cook, and I definitely don't plan to induce or anything, but I've rather sweetly told him that if he wants to come sooner rather than later, that would be ok with me! I'm to that funny point in pregnancy--you know, the one all the jokes and TV shows make fun of. I waddle, I crash (or rather Matthew crashes) into things, I drop things and then can't pick them up, I need help getting out of chairs, rolling over in bed is a multi-step process, I take potty breaks like every ten minutes, my feet are ginormous (when I can see them anyway), my ankles have ceased to exist, I nap a lot, I huff and puff after the smallest exertion, people make fat jokes at my expense, the whole shebang. And for the most part, I laugh. As uncomfortable as I am, it IS rather fun to be so...typical, I guess? That sounds crazy! But I guess it's just another relishing in normalcy moment for me.

The biggest frustration is that I hurt all the time. I have a bad back, anyway, and God has been VERY gracious to me in sparing me back pain these first 35 weeks. But the last few days, something has changed. I don't know if Matthew's protruding more, or weighing more, or has changed positions, or what. But it just hurts to BE these days. So, that's slowed me down a lot. Today it took me 3 hours to do the grocery shopping--it normally takes me 1.5 hours but I just move so slowly, I had that much to buy, and I had to sit down every little while and just rest. It was really sort of comical at some point. I know things could have gotten to this point a lot sooner, and my DH is sweet to help me as best he can, so I'm not complaining, but it definitely heightens my anxiety for Matthew's quick arrival!

My poor DH and brother have both been in the ER this week, so I'd love your prayers!. DH has been sick for 3 weeks now, and they still don't know what's wrong with him. We're currently waiting on test results to confirm if he has one of two different kinds of pneumonia, or Valley Fever, or something else altogether. Then when we got home on Monday night from Bradley class (which is going very well, now finally!), there were 3 messages from our doctor that said "one of your lab results was abnormal. You MUST call us back tonight." We called and they said that his potassium was "critically high" and that he needed to go to the ER immediately and be retested because if that number was correct, he was on the verge of a heart attack or kidney failure. DH's granddad died at age 36 from a heart attack, so it didn't take him long to panic. Thankfully when we arrived, the nurse at reception said that the potassium level is the most common false-positive they see and that put his mind at ease while we waited. 2 hours later they confirmed that it was indeed a false-positive. They explained that you can damage the cells with the needle when drawing the blood and somehow that damage can produce those really high results --weird! We're so thankful it was nothing. But it definitely gave us some extra excitement! One of us has been in the ER every year in November for like 3 or 4 years now...we thought we'd escaped this year, though we didn't know it would only be on a technicality ;) We still don't know what's wrong with him illness-wise but they changed his medicines on Monday and today he said he finally thought he was feeling a little bit of change/production. We'd love your prayers that he gets better soon, and in the mean time we're rejoicing that this has happened NOW instead of after Matthew comes. When DH gets sick, he gets REALLY sick, and he usually gets sick at least once per winter, so hopefully this is his one time and it will be behind us soon.

My brother is unemployed and uninsured so he went to the ER in the absence of having a primary care doctor. They said he had tonsilitis and strep. If he's still got signs this week, they want to take out his tonsils! He's also developed a problem reaction to some of the meds they put him on so he went back to the ER today and they basically told him "tough luck, we can't help you, you just need to wait it out." So I'd appreciate your prayers for him too.

A HUGE praise is that I saw my brother last week for my birthday on Tuesday and again on Wednesday. He got sick early Sunday morning so the germs were cooking in him some point prior to that, even likely when I saw him. And I of course live with DH. And I had to take him to the ER and went with him to one of his doctor's appointments, neither of which excited me because of the germs in the waiting rooms and such. But God has been so, so, SO generous in that, despite all of these exposures to various kinds of germs, Matthew and I continue to stay healthy. There was one day last week I thought I was getting sick, so I slept all day and woke up feeling fine the next day. Aside from that, I've literally not felt sick or like I was getting sick at all! I'm really grateful for His protection!

We had a non-stress test last week, as well as another ultrasound. My doctor said he's going to do them every week until Matthew's born. Honestly, I think it's for my doctor's peace of mind. He said he just wants to watch fluid and placenta levels. Matthew hasn't really given us any cause for concern in those (or any other, really) areas, but I think he's just overly cautious, especially given his own lack of experience with ET pregnancies. It's ok with me so I'm going with it. The one thing he DID have cause for concern about because of my sudden weight loss was Matthew's size, but he came in at 5.5pounds last week (75th percentile) so he's not worried about that anymore! That puts him on track to be 8.5 pounds at 40 weeks--not too heavy, but I wouldn't mind if he wanted to come at say, 38 weeks, when he weighed only 7.5pounds ish ;) The fluid level looked great, as did the placenta. Matthew is partially locked and loaded. He is head-down (praise God) but the rest of him is still hanging out willy-nilly. He's got his head down, along with his torso, but then his butt and legs are kicked out to the side, and he likes to rest his feet up under my right rib cage. My Bradley teacher called him a "riblet!" But the doc says so long as that front half stays down, we should be good to go! I just can't believe we're talking about that already!

We've washed all his newborn clothes, blankets, and bedding. We'll install the carseat and start packing our bags next week! Have I said I can't believe it, yet?

Anyway, I should get to bed. My family is coming tomorrow for 5 days for Christmas, and all 3 of their birthdays. I think it will be fun and probably one of the last times with everything "this way" instead of the "post-Matthew" way! That's been weird--realizing that we've celebrated a lot of our "lasts!" When we put up the tree, I actually teared up a little--it was the last time for a while that we could put the ornaments wherever we wanted (or even on at all) without paying attention to keeping breakable things away from the bottom, etc). It's not that I'll really miss that, it's just that our eyes continue to open to how much our lives are about to change in EVERY.SINGLE.WAY. It's a little overwhelming!

We had a nice Christmas with DH's side of the family, albeit short (his illness cut our day short), and we spent Christmas Eve with our church and the WWF (Mike's family and the other family from church that make up our trio), so we've had a lot of nice highlights this week, even in spite of DH feeling so lousy. Matthew has already made out like a bandit and he's not even here yet--such that my brother in law joked that next Christmas, he's showing up expecting! People sure do love our little guy, that's for sure!

Ok enough to bed! I hope you all had wonderful Christmases and that you will enjoy happy and safe New Year's Celebrations! Love to you all!

PS: I'm current on all the blogs in my blogroll--I just have been unable to think of many comments! But do know that I read faithfully, even when I'm quiet!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

34 Weeks-Happy Birthday to Me!

Today is my birthday! Woohoo. I'm actually sort of simultaneously unimpressed with the fact that it's my birthday, and completely overwhelmed. You see, the past few years, my birthday wasn't a happy thing. It just marked one more year that my arms were still empty. We began trying to have a child in January of 2004. So it just kicked off an overall period of sadness as I got one year older, Christmas came and went, and we had another "anniversary" of trying. Last year was especially hard because it dawned on me that I'd be turning 30 this year, and probably still be waiting.

My how time and God change things! Now I am pretty ambivalent about my birthday, because I just want time to keep passing so Matthew can get here! It seems like such a small celebration in comparison to what's waiting for us very soon! But reaching 34 weeks is one of the most wonderful birthday gifts I could receive. I've told Matthew he can come any day after January 1 (I don't want to pay my insurance deductible this close to the end of the year :P ) but really, there's so much comfort to me in knowing he really could come at any time and he would probably be ok. 34 weeks feels like a milestone.

His carseat and stroller arrived yesterday. DH put it together and promptly took it for a test drive around the house. It didn't take long for him to begin popping wheelies and talking about getting spinners for the wheels. Boys. It was so cute though. I can't wait to see what adventures those two will have together.

I've been pretty silent because there's not much else going on. I keep making lists in preparation for Matthew's arrival. Last week we went and bought the last few things we felt like we needed for him to be able to come home. DH put his crib together this week. I ordered a tub for laboring-and found it for just $30! Score! Basically, it's a tall inflatable pool but our hospital allows you to bring them in and a local Bradley teacher (not mine) knew which brand fit our particular hospital's showers. For those interested, you might look in to laboring in water and seeing if your hospital will allow it. From what I've read and the testimonials I've heard, it's hugely beneficial. The buoyancy takes a lot of strain and fatigue off the mom, which helps her for the long haul. It also takes the weight off the uterus so it can contract more efficiently. It also allows you to get into different positions. It softens everything up, reducing the chances for tearing or an episiotomy. The weight of the water and the buoyancy alters your blood circulation and causes your body to release additional labor-helping hormones and also send more oxygen to baby. I really want to avoid as many artificial interventions and pain relievers as possible, and water seems to be spoken of so highly as really being a good tool for making this happen. But I was really confused as to how I'd make the logistics work because I didn't want to bring a hose and have to fill the tub across the room and then drain it again (gross), so when Diana connected me with someone who knew of a brand/size that would fit in the shower at the hospital, I was stoked! I'm grateful for God bringing one more detail into place!

The week of New Year's, we're going to install his carseat, take a breastfeeding class at the hospital, and pack his and my hospital bag. My doctor's office doesn't stop labor after 36 weeks so we want to have everything ready to go from that point on because we know if we go to the hospital, there's a good chance we're coming home with him! I can't believe that that point is just 2 weeks away!

Here we are at 34 weeks!

I better get off. I want to do a little tidying around the house. When DH wakes up, he's taking me to breakfast and then we're going to Build a Bear to make this bear for Matthew. Tonight my folks are coming up and we're going to see Narnia--fitting because I saw the first one for my 25th birthday :)

I'll just sign off with what's going on with Matthew this week! Have a great week!
Your amazing baby is on the move! They’ve been riding fairly high in your stretched-out womb till now (while kindly compressing your poor internal organs), but now they’re planning on making the big move to your pelvis this week. If you haven’t noticed it already, you’ll be feeling the weight shift that signals that your baby is most likely out of breech position, with their head now resting on your pubic bone. In liver news: although not quite fully formed, your little miracle’s liver is now capable of processing a certain amount of waste. In general, most of your child’s prenatal physical development is pretty much up to snuff and ready for the outside world. Naturally, further weight gain is expected—so you’re still not at maximum capacity despite probably feeling like you definitely are maxed out.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Checking In

I think my version of "nesting" is incessant list-making and then stewing about all the things still left on said lists, regardless of how many things I've crossed off in any one day. Matthew's little middle-of-the-night dance party had me up several times and DH's snoring has KEPT me up, and then once I had two brain cells functioning at the same time, the wheels started turning about the lists again, so here I am. 4:30am--too tired to actually DO anything on the list, except perhaps make phone calls, which doesn't help because everyone else is in bed! Ah well, I suppose this is practice for *7* short weeks from now!!

I never really doubted that DH and I would be good parents...that is, until now. It's not that we've ever gone into this haphazardly or carelessly, but we're both good with kids, we have what we think are appropriate views on the responsibility of parents, we've had time to watch our friends and determine what we like and what we don't like in terms of approaches, and we have a good support system in place. But lately, as I start reading about all the things I'm supposed to have an opinion on, I find myself thinking, "good grief, I don't have the foggiest clue about what I think on this or that. I didn't even know I NEEDED an opinion on ________________." I guess I'm just experiencing new-parent freak-out. I know that God will give us His grace and wisdom to make the decisions we need to make, but it's hard to turn my brain off. I keep wondering if I've thought of everything, or how I'll find out the things I want to know, and when enough is just enough! So anyway. My latest lists are pediatrician questions and things I still need to buy to feel like we're ready for him to come. Too bad stores and doctors aren't open at this hour!

I had a really nice visit with Kim. I was disappointed to lose a day to sickness. True to my doctor's predictions, it seems to be increasing again with frequency. I'm disappointed, but this time, I know there's an end in sight. I mean, I knew there was an end in sight before, but at months and months away, it sure didn't feel like it. This time, I know it can only go on for 7-9 more weeks so I don't feel overwhelmed by it. Bummed for sure, but not drowning.

Poor DH has bronchitis! We're praying he gets better quickly--when he gets sick, he gets sick and it takes him forever to recover. He's on day 6 now, and the doctor said it looked like it was just starting to get worse! We're also praying Matthew and I don't get it. We'll see how that goes. I felt terrific yesterday morning, crummy last night, and mediocre right now. Mediocre is better than crummy, so I'm hopeful that the "improvement" means that last night was a fluke.

As far as pregnancy goes, I continue to feel pretty well, all things considered. Right about now I think I'd give my left arm for 8 consecutive, uninterrupted hours of sleep (well, maybe not my arm, but definitely a toe or a lock of hair or something!), but I don't seem to yet have a lot of the discomfort that a lot of women experience at this point in pregnancy, and I'm really grateful for that.

We had my 32 week appointment last week. I've lost a few more pounds, undoubtedly due to the rise again in sickness. I'm back down to a total net weight gain of 2 pounds. Doctor wasn't happy with that, and also couldn't really determine Matthew's position, so we're doing another ultrasound next week--oh, darn! He's also going to do a non-stress test at that time. I'm not super worried because I continue to feel him regularly, his heart rate sounded great, my rate and BP were fine and, well, by the time we have the exams, they will be 2 weeks after he ordered them, so the situation can't be too emergent. But we're praying with those factors in mind just the same. And like I said, I'm not exactly disappointed to get another glimpse of my baby boy.

He's started to do what we affectionately call "alien baby." I can look down at my belly and just watch it do these funny moves and rolls and waves. I had been able to see jabs here and there before, but to watch him move all over my belly is so cool and yet weird at the same time. The other night, Kim could see it from across the room! He's definitely exploring in there! It's really fun to watch and for the most part, his movements still aren't uncomfortable for me, thankfully (though last night he did go exploring in my ribs a few time--no, no, baby Matthew!).

I have a few more shower pictures :) Kelly did take pictures of some of those details I mentioned, so I'm tickled pink about that!

These snowflakes were hanging all the way up her banister and across the loft area of her home, which was directly above where we were all sitting. The funny part is that during the shower, they kept falling and crashing down on people (they're plastic so no one was hurt, but they did give us several laughs!)

More friends!


Just a fraction of all the lovely food:

Baby's Great Grandma :)

All of baby's grandmas

I'm behind on a new picture because we didn't go to church Sunday (we always take the picture before church), but here's what's up with Matthew this week! :)
For all the weight and bulk you’re lugging around these days, you’d think your little champ should weigh much more than a mere 5 lbs and measly 17 inches in height, but nope, that’s about the average size for a baby in its thirty-third week. In terms of appearances, they’re getting cuter and pudgier every minute as they pile on the baby fat for those adorable little wrist rolls and chubby toes. And as we’re sure you’ve already noticed they’re getting stronger with every passing day. Nowadays, it’s possible to observe a well-placed kick just by watching your belly—but you already knew that didn’t you? Although they’re getting stronger, your bigger-by-the-day baby is losing space to move around, so the actual rate of movement will drop off in the last few weeks, despite that powerful drop-kick they’ve been working on. Hey, did you know you’ll continue feeling their movements even during labor?

Oh, and no weekly update would be complete without more tales from my Bradley class. Last week's class actually WAS useful and gave me hope that we're getting out of the goofy stuff and more into the practical stuff, but still, I have to share the funny stuff. At one point, we were discussing why labor may plateau. She gave us 3 possibilities: that the mother's body is not ready to progress (totally logical!); that the mother may not be emotionally ready to leave her old life behind and embrace her new life as mother (why do subsequent birth labors stall then??); and my favorite, that the baby may not emotionally be ready to come out--specifically, that he's afraid to leave the home he's known for 10 months and go to the unknown, so he lingers in the womb a few moments longer to cope. Ummmmmm, ok. I can understand a baby being physically resistant to change (especially if he's like his momma!) but I'm pretty confident he doesn't have the emotional self-awareness to say "self, you need to get a grip. Take a few moments to collect your thoughts and then let's do this?" I just had to laugh at the absurdity of it.

Then last night I was reading a book on managing back labor. I borrowed the book from my Bradley teacher. And the author told me to punch a wall hard with my fist, multiple times, to learn that...hitting the wall hurts your hand. I read almost the entire rest of the book and I still haven't figured out what that is supposed to teach me about back labor, but again, it did give me comedic relief. We didn't make it to class last night because we didn't think the other mommies would appreciate us bringing our germs to share, but I'm sure we missed some new gems!

Hope you joined me in a few laughs. Now I'm going to go try to roll the buzz-saw over to stop the snoring and try to get a few more hours of sleep. I hope this finds you all well!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Baby Shower Recap

Kim is putting the baby down and chatting with her hubby so I have just a second to post!

My baby shower wast just perfect. 40 people attended and quite a few others sent along gifts though they could not attend. We were overwhelmed with the amount of people who came, and with how generous everyone was. Kim and I were talking. I think that as soon as we buy the carseat, we would be ready for him to come at any time (don't get any ideas, Matthew! Stay put at least 4 more weeks!)--but in terms of the things we need for him right away, we have that and so much more! People were so, so generous! It was such a fun time of fellowship and celebration!

The only thing I regret is that I didn't take any photos of all the details that went into the shower. Kelly had snowflake decorations all over her home. The food was beautiful. She had snowflake confetti and snowflake favors and everything was just so pretty and lovely. I wish I had taken photos of those things but I was feeling a little sick yesterday morning before hand, so I didn't get there early like I would have liked to and then didn't feel comfortable spending time behind the camera instead of with people. Kelly took some photos too, so maybe she got some of those details. But I will always remember all the love she put in to all the "little things." She also had these paper snowflakes and she asked people to write notes and prayers and encouragement on them so it's been sweet to read through those, too.

Here are some pictures. We took a picture with baby's great grandma, and with all of his grandmas, but they're not on my camera. They must be on Kelly's camera so I am anxious to see those.

My dear friend Brenda made this lovely (and delicious!) cake and these awesome cookies for him!

A friend from church made him this darling hat!!

Me and little Miss Ella--belle of the ball!

Kim and I

This is DH's mommy :)

And my mom :)

The fabulous Kelly (hostess)

Kristin made him this adorable Noah's Ark blanket!

And his great-grandma made him this lovely blanket

It was just such a wonderful day. Like I said, I'm just overwhelmed with the care taken in the details, and with how generous people were with their time in attending at this busy time of year, and with the gifts they gave us. We are so blessed--I don't even know how else to say it!

I'll just close with our 32 week picture and update!

32 weeks:
In the latest womb reports, your amazing baby has now developed sensitivity to temperature! This means you’ll probably get a swift kick if you put a hot pad on your ginormous belly. For the Elton John lovers out there-- yes, baby’s got blue eyes. At this point, all babies do, although depending on their chromosomal disposition, this could easily change after birth (or even between now and labor), but for the time being, blue it is. Thanks to their recently matured lungs and a remarkably strong immune system, over 90% of babies born in their 32nd week, survive premature births. So it’s pretty much a done deal. Even if your little monkey’s planning on heading out early, their survival odds are in everyone’s favor. Time to celebrate!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

I'll be AWOL!

My baby shower is this weekend. I can hardly wait. I think that over the last 6 years, the baby shower has become more important to me than I think it would have been if I'd gotten pregnant immediately. It's hard to describe. So much of infertility is about loss and compromise. When you throw in public fertility treatments, even more of that plays into things. There's no spontaneous conception. No surprising your husband. No guessing how far along you are. No cute telling of the grandparents that there's a grandbaby on the way. No breezing through the pregnancy with nary a care in the world. You go through embarrassing moments of grief and feeling overwhelmed. You find yourself crying at silly things and completely unable to handle the "normal" at various points in time. You begin to feel...conspicuous. Abnormal. Even cheated sometimes. A lot about your family building experience feels sterile and clinical.

There's something so, so, so NORMAL about a baby shower. I think that's why it's come to mean so much to me. For this day, I get to be like every other pregnant mommy and Matthew is like every other baby! Just me and my loved ones, hanging out and celebrating him! I just can't describe how precious that is to me. A baby shower is right up there with her wedding and bridal shower as a "landmarks" that a woman waits for--or this woman, anyway. And over 6 years of throwing and attending baby showers, you develop a sort of "always a bridesmaid, never a bride" feeling.

So I'm just super excited. The little girl inside me is screaming "it's finally my turn!!" which has a double meaning in that it is finally my turn, because I finally have a REASON for a turn!! For me, it's not even about the gifts. It's about seeing that people love my son. About rejoicing with people. About the silly games and the yummy food and the laughter and the advice and the hugs. For a person whose love language is time, having an entire morning dedicated to just spending time with people I love is exhilarating. I just can't WAIT.

My dear friend who is hosting it has put so much love and effort into it. I haven't even seen a fraction of what she has planned and everything I've seen so far is just I'm just blessed that people have spent that much attention to detail in blessing us. I really can't wrap my head around it. It hasn't even happened yet and it's already perfect in my head. It sounds so silly to be so emotional over a party, but it really just feels like a dream come true. I just can't believe that I'm the recipient of it. I just can't understand sometimes that I really have friends like that. That people really love us like that. God is so good to me!

When we were pregnant the first time, my best friend had just moved across the country a few months earlier. I had told DH at the time, "I don't care what it takes, please see if you can get Kim here for a baby shower." I didn't really mention it this time around, because she now has two children, including one who is 3 months old. I just didn't think it would be logistically possible. It was the one part of the shower experience that I was disappointed in. I had so much fun throwing hers and having that memory of enjoying the party together, that I was disappointed that she wasn't going to be able to attend mine. It was just one more of those things on my "lost in the last 6 years" list. So anyway. I sort of had this secret fantasy that we'd be at the shower and she'd suddenly walk in and I'd freak and we'd hug and it would be a total shock. But I figured the chances of that happening were nil. It was confirmed last week when we were talking on the phone and she was talking about mailing my gift (don't know why that was the nail in the coffin for me, but it was. Funny what our brain does to us).

Anyway, DH had told me a few weeks ago to refrain from planning anything for this Friday night because it was reserved for "Date Night." Cool. I thought we might be going to the Botanical Gardens for this Christmas thing they do but which we've never attended because it's always sold out. So I was totally clueless that that's NOT what we're doing.

But last night, DH sort of sheepishly and gently said, "Um, if there are any projects around the house that you want to get done, you might want to do those in the next couple days. And you may want to refrain from making any plans for the next week and cancel anything you already planned." He also randomly asked me the other day where our carseat was. Um...we don't have one yet, dear. That got my mind going. The only thing that would take me out of commission for an entire week that would also necessitate my house being clean was company. My mom is local enough that she wouldn't be coming for a week. The only person I could think of who could/would come for a week was Kim. It also made the carseat comment make sense.

I stewed on it ALL night. I kept thinking, "Oh goodness! If she IS coming, I have a lot to do to prepare. And what about the logistics? And if she's ISN'T coming, I'm going to be disappointed all over again." I tossed and turned over and over.

This morning, DH started teasing "I know something you don't know." Then he wanted me to guess. I told him I didn't want to, because I was afraid I knew and didn't want him to be disappointed if I was right. He pressed, so when he asked again "Come on, where are we going on Friday night?" and I responded with "the airport," I think he was surprised. He played possum for a few minutes but then came clean. He and Kim had arranged this a long time ago. She teases him that they've kept it secret for two months and then he cracked 3 days early. It's ok--I'm the same way. I can keep other people's secrets, but not my own. I love to give gifts so I'm always bursting with excitement and end up spoiling my own surprises.

Anyway, so I jumped up and down and screamed and called Kim until she answered the phone and then I gushed some more. Todd said he was sort of glad I told him I knew because then he got to see my real reaction, rather than my pretend-surprise reaction on Friday night, which apparently, I "stink at." I haven't seen her in a year and a half so this visit is LONG overdue. I guess Kim's DH is taking a couple days off work and her mother in law is helping the rest of the week to watch their son, so that Kim can come. She'll be here for A WEEK! And, I get to meet my brand new goddaughter!

Here's the kicker--I posted on my fb page about the visit, and Kelly (friend who is throwing the shower) said that she and another friend Kim (two Kims) had also tried to fly my Kim out, but DH had beat them to the punch. I was just flabbergasted. Kelly and Kim have done so much already. Kelly is throwing this wonderful party, and Kelly and Kim are also the two ladies who worked their magic to get me to the Women's Retreat. I think their generosity is endless. It certainly humbles and overwhelms me to my core. And my Kim said that Kelly has been so sweet in including her with plans long-distance. I just can't believe I have such friends, such a wonderful DH, such a life. My cup runneth over!

So anyway, Kim will be here, so I probably won't be around the computer much while she is. If I'm AWOL, that's why! I just can't explain how excited I am!

Random, completely off topic tidbit: my heartburn has been AWFUL. Like when nausea doesn't start pukiness, heartburn does. I've tried Tums, and Zantac (not together), and bananas, and milk, and water, and lots of other things and nothing was working. My doctor said I can go on another prescription if I need to (my call), but honestly, I'm so over popping pills! I googled last night and found a suggestion to take Apple Cider Vinegar (eewwww!) But, I was desperate, so I figured I'd try it. There were various "recipes" but the basic seems to be one part ACV to one part honey. Some people dilute it with a glass of water, others add cinnamon or cayenne. A lot of people said a minimum of 2tsp ACV and 2tsp honey. ACV is seriously foul in my opinion so I was concerned about gagging. I decided to do just 1 tsp of each and no water, so it would all go down in one swallow. If I needed more, I could do more but I wasn't going to start with more than I needed. It worked...INSTANTLY! And the honey made the taste bearable. I couldn't believe it! DH (the smart one in the family) gave me some technical explanation of WHY it works (something about acid and base) but all I know is that it DOES work. Word to the wise though--I nuked the honey (actually, agave in my case) for 10 seconds so that it would be thin enough to stir in with the ACV. Then I downed the whole thing like a shot--and proceeded to burn my mouth and throat! :P I forget how quickly sugar gets hot-especially an amount that small! So, don't trade a burning esophagus for a burning throat! :P But if you've got bad heartburn, try that method!

Oh, and please join me in congratulating Jennifer, the newest member of the expectant Snowflake Mommy club. Jennifer and her hubby suffered two failed transfers too before this success so they know the deep pain of loss, the hesitation to try again, and the amazing feeling of seeing that "+" sign finally appear! We're so excited for you guys!

Nighty night, friends!

Monday, November 29, 2010

God of Miracles

As you all know, this pregnancy has been rough. Tougher than I ever expected, and admittedly, I've had a hard time appreciating it. But I was thinking today, and one of my favorite things about being pregnant has been to watch how God works in the life of my son to show His power and mercy and glory. God is doing miracles through baby Matthew's life.

The very way Matthew came to be our son is a miracle. The way God crossed our paths with Sheila and Beau was incredible (in a nutshell, she and I had both been in contact with Nightlight already and decided on EA for our families. We "met" on a Christian Infertility Support website and ultimately, they approached us about adopting their embryos. For both families, using Nightlight was a non-negotiable, which is pretty unusual in a self-matching situation.)

The fact that Matthew has been frozen for 6 years and is now (as in RIGHT NOW ;) ) kicking up a storm in me is a miracle.

The fact that July 4, I had some sort of unexplained hemorrhage that could have easily been fatal to him but wasn't is a miracle.

The fact that he's growing and thriving and perfectly healthy after 7 months of malnutrition and heavy medication is a miracle.

Embryo Adoption in itself is a miracle, and Matthew's life is a constant testament to that.

This weekend, we had another one. On Thursday, I started having some minor discomfort and contractions, which I assume(d) were Braxton Hicks (they still may well have been, I just don't know). I had some more on Saturday. They were mildly uncomfortable, but moving positions and stretching out seemed to help. On Sunday morning at church, I was buzzing around hanging Christmas decorations and I started to feel some. I wasn't terribly worried. But they started coming more frequently and lasting longer. I sat down during service, figuring they'd die down when I settled down. They didn't. They continued to increase in frequency and length.

After I'd had 15 or 20 over two hours, and I was getting light headed and crampy, I thought "hmmm, I think this is more than the max number the doctor said I should have without being worried." I wasn't uncomfortable or alarmed, but I figured I'd call him because he told me I should. I reached him and asked what the "concern" number was. He said "6 in an hour." I said, "Um, I've had several more than that." I gave him the quick details and he said "that's more than I'm comfortable with you having. I'd like you to go over to the hospital and be checked." My doctor is very conservative and non-interventive (as we know) and when I called him, I honestly expected him to say "no big deal!" So I was slightly concerned when he wanted me to go to the hospital but I still wasn't nuts. I really think this in and of-itself was a God-thing because I'm generally a freaker-outer. But I was just like "hey, let's go to the hospital! Hope I'm done in time for kickoff!" ;)

I had told a friend of mine I'd take her and her hubby's picture after church. So I wanted her to know I was leaving early. I slipped her a note and just asked her to pray. No big deal, just a "hey, this is what's up and I'm not flaking on you." We got in the car and went to the hospital. I had a couple of more in the car on the way.

We got to the hospital and they did an initial check in. They couldn't find Matthew's heartbeat at first but assured me that it was probably just due to positioning and that they'd probably find it easily in triage when I was lying down. I answered a lot of questions and realized that I was feeling 100% normal. I got back to triage and they strapped me to the monitors and found his heartbeat right away. I was on the monitor for almost an hour and a half, and during that time, I had....

0 contractions. Not only did I not FEEL any, the monitor didn't even detect little ones. Matthew's heart rate looked great, mine was fine, my blood pressure was great-absolutely no signs of anything amiss. She tried to do a cervical check to see if I was dilating or effacing and then she said "I can't even FIND your cervix. That's a good sign that it's high up and no where near getting ready for birth." They kept me on the monitor for a good long while (I think about an hour and a half?) and then checked me out and sent me home!

On the way home, I called Cindy (friend from church) just to update her. She told me that she had passed my note to another friend, who passed it to the Pastor. I guess that at the end of service, he gave everyone a quick update and asked people to break up into small groups and pray for us. Well I thought back over the morning's events, and the time they would have all been praying was exactly the time I had my last contraction. It gives me goosebumps just thinking about it!

I came home, rested the rest of the day, and have had absolutely zero contraction activity ever since. God continues to overwhelm us, to bless us, and to speak and work in unmistakably-HIM ways. Glory to God.

And can I just say how much I love, love, LOVE our church? Every time I get frustrated with the politics and the business of things, I remind myself that this group of people loves on each other better than any church or group of people I've ever been a part of. I just love that we were in need, and their immediate response was prayer and love. The body of Christ is just so COOL (sorry, I lack a more sophisticated way to describe it!)

So, that's our excitement for the weekend! God and Matthew make quite the pair in keeping us on our toes! But they always give us such wonderful stories of God's goodness to tell.

It's interesting to think about in the context of Advent. I've thought about Mary a lot in recent years, especially having experienced loss of children immediately before the last two Christmases. I've thought about what I imagine must have been her pain, her fear, her surrender, her unknown, her loss. But this year I think about what it must have been like to have a front-row seat to that kind of display of God's glory. To know that God gave her this precious Son, through which He'd change this world. How full her heart must have been! What a privilege it is to watch God working in and through the life of your child to demonstrate His own power and glory!!! I am so grateful God has already given me so much of that! My heart is full! I marvel at His goodness! It also makes me more keenly aware of the magnitude of His sacrifice.

So, lots to think on!

Here's what's going on with Matthew this week:

Your not-so-little-one is just a bit closer to their birth weight and height at around 4 pounds and 17 inches. With each added layer of baby fat, your baby's skin starts to look more and more like it will when they finally get to see the light of day. The heavy news: you can expect your miracle-gro muffin to gain about a half a pound of weight per week from now until about two weeks before birth. Great. That's just what you needed. Even more weight to carry around!

Your baby's still-developing immune system has gained substantial strength over the past few weeks getting them in full gear to face our disease-ridden world o’ wonders. Obviously, a large majority of your child’s immune strength will be derived from exposure to breast milk as well as the outside elements. Their cute little noggin’ (which could already be covered with luscious locks or just purty peach fuzz), is still soft because the skull bones have not yet fused together. As much as that sounds a little too vulnerable, their “skull softness” allows for a much smoother passage through the birth canal during labor—something both you and your little swimmer will appreciate when it’s finally time to “go!” Also, some babies will have that “soft spot” on their head for up to one year after birth.

And here we are yesterday before church. I can see now in looking at the picture that I was pretty puffy in the face yesterday morning, but I didn't realize it at the time and none of that swelling was present by the time I got to the hospital.

Had Bradley class tonight. I'm convinced that given our personalities, it was probably not a very good investment of our time and money. Content aside, there's so much in their methodology of research and instruction that I just don't respect or agree with. It makes it hard to filter through a lot of what we think are bogus research techniques and teaching methods and hear what is true fact. I'm still praying that despite our frustrations with it, the classes will prove to be useful in the end. They did do something tonight to give us a good laugh. They gave the husbands a list of things to say to their wives during childbirth. One was "Think of yourself as a leaf, floating on a stream." Corny, but I guess if you're into that visualization stuff, it might be peaceful for you. But the one they said that really made us all laugh was "Picture your cervix, opening like a flower." I told DH that while I've never been through labor, I'm pretty sure that in the interest of his own safety, he probably shouldn't say that to me. ;) They did have other things on the list like telling your wife she looks great, she's doing well, baby's almost here, etc, but that one really gave us a laugh! So, pregnant friends, here's to us and our lotuses! :D

We have our hospital tour tomorrow--eek! And our baby shower is on Saturday. My sweet friend hosting it for us told me today that she has 44 people coming!! And a girlfriend tonight told me she's coming but hasn't RSVPd yet, so it's 45! I am STUNNED! We are overwhelmed! One of my favorite parts of being Matthew's mommy is seeing how many people already love him. And these are just two more things in the "Oh my goodness, this is REALLY happening" category! DH is taking me...somewhere on Friday night, but his lips are sealed on where! Next week we have another doctor's appointment--we're in to biweekly appointments now! So much is changing so quickly! This is really happening! :)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

30 Weeks!

We've reached 30 weeks! There is approximately 1/4th left. In a couple of days, I'll be able to say "He'll probably be here next month!" Soon we'll be in the single-digit number of weeks countdown. Soon 2010 will be over--my last year with empty arms. It's just all too much! I'm overwhelmed and overjoyed!

Here's what's happening with Baby Matthew:
The light is visible at the end of the tunnel! Your oversized self and amazing growing baby have finally reached the single digits (in terms of weeks till birth)! The fine lanugo hair that has been growing all over their little monkey-like body is going to start falling off this week in preparation for the big day. But don’t be shocked if they’re hairier than you’d anticipated, some babies keep their lanugo until after birth. Still, it’s not any cause to be concerned as it will fall off eventually. No surprises here: your little porker is getting even cuter with increasingly pudgy arms and legs this week thanks to the ever-growing layers of subcutaneous fat. In terms of numbers, your baby should be weighing in at around 3 pounds 12 ounces (or more!) and be nearly 16 inches long.

We have our next doctor's appointment tonight, and then I think I switch to bi-weekly appointments!

Hmm...not much going on. We had a wonderful visit over the weekend with Todd's roommate from college and his bride-to-be. Their wedding is the same weekend as Matthew's due date, so we obviously won't be able to attend. So they flew down to spend time with us instead. It was wonderful.

I've been struggling a little with dizziness and light-headedness. I've read that this is normal. Trying to up my water intake, sleep, and exercise to see if that helps reduce the spells. If you have alternate suggestions, let me know.

Random note-don't do business with The carseat and stroller I ordered in September still has never shipped, and from what I have been reading online, this is par for the course for them. Sigh--I knew the deal was probably too good to be true. Back to the drawing board!

I'm off to the zoo with Diana and then to do some errands. I'm making some mixed nuts and candy to give as stocking stuffers and gifts for some of DH's work associates, so I'm going to try a dry run this week.

I hope you all have a blessed Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Free $3 Credit from for MP3 downloads

I'll update soon, but I wanted to post this deal going on now at Amazon. Simply go here and enter the code GET3MP3S for free $3 toward mp3 downloads. I just picked up Casting Crowns' Christmas album for $2

Happy downloading!

Also, The Blind Side is $3.99--a great stocking stuffer!

PS: Thank you to those of you who come here and click my link (on the right) to do your Amazon shopping. We receive a small percentage of your purchase price, and with baby coming, every extra little bit helps! Thank you!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Respite and Contentment!

DH and I just returned from a wonderful weekend away in Flagstaff, AZ, which is a town about 160 miles north of here. We went up for our church Women's Retreat. Yes, you read that correctly. *We* went to the Women's Retreat...kind of.

Two of the ladies who coordinated it are dear friends of mine. They'd been encouraging me to go for a long time. I finally told them that I just didn't feel comfortable going and having a roommate, who I knew would have to hear me barf, be interrupted by my constant bathroom trips in the middle of the night, or be inconvenienced if I wanted to nap mid-day. I also said that I didn't feel comfortable making the long, remote drive alone, knowing that I'd potentially be pulling over to the side of the road frequently to be sick, but that I also really didn't want to carpool or ride in the church van and have anyone else have to put up with that. Our 5 hour drive to San Diego took us 8 with all my stops, so I knew a 3-4 hour drive could easily be much longer, and I didn't think that was fair to anyone else, especially for a *relaxing* weekend. So I politely declined and wished them a nice trip.

They came back to me and said that when they booked the hotel, they'd committed to having 20 women there, so they were paying for meals and rooms for 20, but didn't have that many signed up to come. Since they were going to pay anyway, they said I could have my own room. Then they said that if I was going to room alone, I might as well bring DH, and that would solve the driving issue, too. It was way out of my comfort zone to be going, but the way was paved so smoothly, that I decided to go!

I am so, so glad I did. I truly enjoyed respite.

We left Friday at lunch time and just took our time getting there. We stopped as often as I needed to, and DH drove while I lay down when I needed to. My father in law loaned us his SUV, which is much nicer and rides more smoothly than our vehicle. Climbing the altitude would have been sort of Fred-Flinstone-ish in our car, so I was grateful too for his generosity, because I think I did as well as I did on the long drive largely due to the vehicle.

We got to the hotel and took a little rest, and then went out for a date-night dinner before the retreat began. Flagstaff is just lovely-it's small and quaint, and surrounded by the natural beauty of forest and wildlife. After dinner, I ditched DH for prettier ;) company, and enjoyed the first session at the retreat while he had some nice alone time.

The next morning, I was really sick. I was able to make it through one morning session, but I missed the other, most of lunch, and all the free time. I was frustrated, but I found the timing to be testing, considering that the theme of the weekend was "contentment."

Meanwhile, DH had fun going out and scouting the town, touring Old Route 66, reading, resting. He does so little for his own rest and enjoyment that I was really grateful for him that he had that opportunity. And the ladies were so sweet. They had given each of us gals a goodie bag with snacks, fuzzy socks, and a journal for the retreat. They made a bag for him too-complete with a Nerf Gun and mini Nerf gun for him and baby Matthew, the book "Bringing Up Boys" by James Dobson, and his own manly comfy socks. The ladies really just went out of their way to bless DH and I both.

After sleeping much of Saturday, I was able to rejoin for Saturday evening's dinner, the evening teaching session, and games afterward.

This morning, I felt really pretty good and was able to participate in the worship session and the final teaching session, as well as the end sharing time.

DH was in and out--he drove another lady and I to and from our room when the walk got too long. He had meals with us, and he helped load the van this morning. People tell me what a sweetie he is--of course I know it already. I'm just glad I was smart enough to marry him!

After the retreat ended this morning, DH and I went for a walk in the woods around the hotel. I had been wanting to do it all weekend but hadn't felt well enough to. It was so peaceful and lovely. We took the opportunity to use my nifty little remote and take a picture of the 3 of us--something we hadn't done since our trip to San Diego when I was still in the first trimester.

DH did this after I had pushed "click" on the remote timer. Isn't he sweet?

Then we got in the car and drove to Sedona. I'd also never been there, though our state is famous for it.

Sedona is nice enough, but the canyon you have to drive through to get between the two towns is one of the most beautiful places I have *ever* seen. I've never seen anything like it. The mountains were unlike any I've ever seen--rocky and imposing, but still covered in trees. There was water in the canyon and the trees hadn't gone completely barren yet so there was still a lot of green, red and yellow just EVERYWHERE the eye could see. I tried to take a photo but I couldn't do it justice. But coming around the bend and just looking down into this gorgeous valley just takes your breath away. I literally gasped when we came around the corner, and not just because we were near the edge of a perilous cliff ;) Several times, I asked DH to either slow down or pull over, just so we could enjoy it. And we did! It was wonderful to just have the freedom to do that. I've way way WAY over-saturated these in photoshop just to try to give you an idea of how beautiful and rich the color is in real life. I wish I could have done this place justice--you'll just have to go see for yourself!

We eventually made it to Sedona, which was beautiful in its own right. Though I preferred the lushness of the canyon, Sedona's majestic red desert mountains are pretty incredible, too. We wandered the town for a little while and ate out on the patio at this darling little restaurant. We played "identify that mountain" along with a little map that told us all their different names, but all we determined is that we're really bad at that game.

Sedona actually kind of made me sad. The town is a virtual epicenter for all things spiritual and self-aware, but pretty anti-God. Everywhere you turn you can get a palm reading or a psychic consultation, or a moon crystal or some other man-made way to heighten your sense of spiritual or self-awareness. Many believe that there is some sort of power in the rocks and mountains. I couldn't help but feel sad that here these people are in what is quite possibly one of the most beautiful places on this earth, and they can't see past the creation to the Creator. It was hard for me to grasp how people could see a place so beautiful, and NOT wonder about Him whose handiwork it is.

We went up to Church of the Holy Cross, which was also sort of sad. It was originally a place of worship, but now is just a tourist trap. People go up to see this beautiful place designed to worship God, and on their way out, leave various remnants of their own spirituality in the form of lucky coins and charms, etc. I didn't even feel comfortable going inside the chapel, but the park around it did afford some beautiful vistas.

DH took these-didn't he do a nice job?

Then we decided to head home and said goodbye to the beautiful scenery. When I was at the chiropractor last week, I noticed a flyer for a WWII airplane display. DH and I had briefly talked about stopping there on our way home tonight, but we'd forgotten completely about it. Just as we were driving past the freeway exit for it, one of the planes on display flew right over our heads. So, we jumped off the freeway and headed to the airport. There were 3 on display-a B17 Bomber, a B25 Bomber and a B29 Bomber. We got to go inside the B17 (well I could only go in the rear because baby Matthew and I couldn't climb up to or fit into the front!), and see the B25 and B29 in flight--that was SO cool! I'm so grateful that we still have people willing to invest the time in preserving these planes and the legacy of the men who flew them.

Then we finally headed home, where we've just been relaxing all evening. We were just saying what a treat it was to have no agenda today--to just say "hey, let's do this!" and then actually do it. Usually one of two things derails us--busyness, or tiredness. Often when we get a free day, we want to spend it napping--but today was so much more restful than sleeping usually is! We both resolved we'll try to do this more often! And quality time with my sweet DH fills my love-cup faster than anything else a human being can do, so I always just drink that time up so deeply.

So anyway, it was truly just restful in every sense of the word. The hotel was just lovely. The surroundings were serene. The company was wonderful. The teaching was challenging. The pace was gentle. It was just lovely.

Back to the retreat. The theme was contentment. I really was challenged in a lot of areas. I'm honestly still processing, but I wanted to share some things that really struck a chord with me.

She cited this book from the 1600s, in which the author describes contentment as:
The inward, quiet, gracious frame of spirit, freely submitting to and taking pleasure in God's disposal in every condition.

I really liked that definition. She went through and unpacked each word. Quiet was the hardest one for me to wrap my head around. It doesn't mean not feeling something, not bringing your complaint to God, or even not sharing it with your friends. But it is marked by an absence of grumbling, pining, vexing, etc. I really have been noodling on the difference between sincere lamentation and honesty with God, and just grumbling. I know I've been camping more in the grumbling department these last months, so I'm really trying to decide what/where the difference lies and how to make my heart and weakness known to God and to be authentic, but to not get sucked in by it.

She also dissected the "in every condition" to specify every type or kind of condition/affliction, every timing and duration of a condition/affliction, and every variety of or change in a condition/affliction. I really appreciated that because I think when I've considered that before, I've really only thought about the type/kind.

A lot of times over our journey of infertility, I thought about what I was missing out on, and what I'd lost or potentially lose. And I won't lie. That pain is real and deep and hard and I don't mean to minimize it at all. But she said something that I wish I'd better understood at that time:
God is the giver of goodness. The thing we desire is NOT what holds or gives the goodness associated with said goal. Therefore, He can also give that same goodness in the absence of whatever it is we desire, and specifically in coming to a place of being content in that absence.

She challenged us that it's not enough to have ____________. You must cling to the God of ___________. Put in whatever you want in that blank--health, life, riches, family, provision, security, etc.

I think I have learned a lot of that over the last 6 years, but I think I also forgot a lot of it over the last 7 months. This stupid sickness has allowed in more fear and worry and weakness and bitterness and whining than anything has in a long time. How quickly so many years of God's toiling in my heart have been undone. Don't get me wrong. It really stinks to be so sick. It's hard in every way. But I think for 7 months, I've just stopped at "this is hard!!" She even gave a list of excuses we use to wallow in our discontent. Of the 10, two really stuck out to me as a "hello, Jen! This is for you!"

"You just don't know how bad it is." Well, that's true. You probably don't. I have to ask myself, so what? That doesn't give me an excuse.

"But I worked so hard and now THIS!"
Ha! after 6 years of infertility, I definitely felt entitled for SOME part of this to go easily. But really--what am I basing that on? Some kind of "fairness?" If life was about what was fair, I'd be bound for or already burning in Hell.

Another thing Dora said this weekend was that God knows the best medicines for the specific diseases of our heart.

For whatever reason, physical affliction seems to be God's best medicine for me right now. And I've just refused to see this as an opportunity for spiritual growth. I've been so focused on survival, that I didn't really see that this could actually be for my nourishment. Honestly, I don't know that I could tell you right now what puking a kazillion times a day is designed to do for my spiritual health. But, by God's grace, I'm determined to find out. I really appreciated her challenge.

She left us with 6 questions that I'll share here because I think that they're appropriate for all of us, no matter where we are in our spiritual walk or what our bone of discontentment is:

She asked the question, "Are you satisfied with God?" And then specifically she said:

•Are you satisfied with Who He is?
•Are you satisfied with what He is like?
•Are you satisfied with how He does things, both globally and in your life specifically?
•Are you satisfied with where He is?
•Are you satisfied with when He does things?
•Are you satisfied with why He does things the way He does?

I think most of us could answer several of those questions in the affirmative. And I think we could even answer the general "are you satisfied with God?" question with a "yes." But when she really broke it down into those specifics, I was a little more hard pressed to say that I can say "yes" all the time.

So, I have a LOT to noodle on. A lot I've been convicted on. It was particularly funny as I was puking my guts out Saturday morning to think, "Ha! See how content you are with THIS!" Talk about application! There was a lot I've been challenged to just think more on. Even some things she said I didn't quite agree with, but they still challenged me to better define my own thoughts on the subject. In addition to the teaching, we had some wonderful worship and fellowship at all with such sweet ladies from my church. I really just love our church family so much and it was nice to be away and enjoy the fellowship after some of the struggles I've had recently with my roles at church. It was definitely where I needed to be this weekend, and God just made the way so smooth for me to be able to be there. I'm just so grateful.

I really need to go to bed but I really don't want this weekend to be over. I can't remember when I've had a weekend that was both so fruitful and so restful at the same time. I know I received a precious gift this weekend. Thank you God, and to you ladies He used to give it to us.

I guess I'll close with one last picture....29 weeks! Forgive the hair...Flagstaff made! :)

I'll catch up on all y'alls blogs early this week! Thanks for checking in on mine and I hope you all had a wonderful weekend!

Monday, November 8, 2010

I'm here!

Breaking radio silence...

Well, it's been a gloriously normal week! I've had nothing to write about because I've been living a normal life! What a treat that was!

I had great days Thursday, Friday, and Saturday of last week. Sunday morning I was sick again, and then from Sunday afternoon all the way until this morning (1 whole week!!!), I was sickness-free!!! I had a couple of bouts of "almost" but they went away on their own.

It was wonderful! The first several days I really struggled with fatigue, so I pretty much did nothing but sleep, but by Thursday, I felt like myself. I ate chicken and salad twice a day, every day (I hadn't been able to keep down either in months), I exercised, I went to work, I socialized with friends, I made it through an entire worship service at church, I even made it through 3 days without napping! It was WONDERFUL!!! It was such a wonderful gift of rest from the Lord, and restoration to all parts of me-my mind, my heart, my body, my soul, my spirit. I really think that this was a precious, precious, GENEROUS gift from God.

Today I woke up and it was all back with a vengeance, but I even think that was God's timing. I asked DH to hang out with me a little this morning--we have this tradition on Monday mornings where start late. We wake up together (which only otherwise happens on the occasional Saturday) and we get up at a reasonable time but then we just lie in bed cuddling, talking about our week, digesting the weekend, eating breakfast together, etc. It just starts the week at a much slower pace and for both of us, it's one of our favorite parts of the week. It almost feels a little bit like it's stolen, because Mondays are "supposed" to be so harried and busy. We've noticed we both have a better outlook on the week when we make this time for each other. It's not much, and we always hate when it ends, but it's ours. We just take our time enjoying a last few quiet minutes together before the week starts. Well the sickness started as soon as I woke up this morning so that sort of ruined our routine this morning. DH is self employed so he sets his own agenda. I asked him if he could do his at-home part of his job first this morning so that if I got a wave of relief, we could still have a few minutes together. He said yes. I proceeded to be sick for a while, clean it all up and go sit back down.

Shortly thereafter, I noticed something smelly (my nose works in overdrive these days). Sweet DH set out to investigate and determined that ALL of the plumbing-showers, toilets, sinks, dishwasher, washing machine and even outdoor drains at the house had backed up and liquid was rising back up into everything. So he set out working on it. He tried our "green" remedies first with no success, so he ended up having to the orange big box store for something more heavy duty. He tried that a few times, too. He finally said "I give up" and set out to call a plumber. WHILE he was on the phone with them, I heard the "burp" that a drain makes when it suddenly starts draining and simultaneously, all the levels started going down immediately. We've since run the dishwasher, washing machine, both toilets, all the sinks, and both showers with no problems, so we think it's fixed. But isn't that cool? If I hadn't have been sick, DH would have surely been off and running this morning like normal. He wouldn't have been here to fix the plumbing. And if he had been here, he'd have been in the driveway painting a car (which when in process, can't be stopped in the middle) so he wouldn't have been able to drop everything to run to the store or to immediately deal with it. With my oversensitive nose and gag-reflex, I wouldn't have been able to do anything here by myself, and the levels of water probably would have just kept rising, making a gigantic mess. And more than that, if I HADN'T been sick, then I'd have been at work too, and we could have come home to a really big mess. Then when we were about to call a plumber, everything just "happened" to start working again. So, though it was weird, I'm actually grateful I was sick. It kept both me and DH home so that the problem could be dealt with right away. But, it was definitely a comedy of errors. I'm sick, I can't use the plumbing, and the smell of everything is making me MORE sick. Poor DH was so sweet and forbearing.

DH also learned to never put rice down the drain. He put some down the garbage disposal the other day--and today our system decided it didn't like it and it had a little NVP of its own. There was rice everywhere--in the sink he dumped it in, but also in the shower, in the bathtub, in the drain out back--it was actually kind of funny. The nice thing is that it does seem to be incident-specific to the rice, so hopefully, it doesn't mean our whole system is going to break on us. And I'm so grateful DH was able to fix it--it just took $15 of big box store plumbing solution and some elbow grease! He's so handy!

We had our first childbirth class tonight. We chose the Bradley method, not because I'm sold yet on unmedicated childbirth, but because from everything we learned, it gives the best education about what's happening to you during labor and birth. As I shared last week, I'm definitely a "knowledge is power" kind of person--I always do better with more information, not less. I figured if I at least knew what was happening, I'd feel more confident in whatever I did decide. I definitely know I don't want an induction or a C-Section. Beyond that, we're still learning and deciding. The thought of a giant needle in my back freaks me out, as does being strapped to a bed and monitors, but the pain of labor freaks me out, too :P So I figured that arming myself with information would be the best way to go so that whatever we decide, I'd at least feel like it was OUR decision, and not one made out of ignorance or fear.

The class was...interesting. It's definitely one sided. I know it's to be expected but it makes me nuts anyway. I almost feel like I have to take a "rah, rah, rah, hospital births are AWESOME and doctors always do the right thing" kind of class just to get the other extreme and maybe find the balance that's right for me in the middle. Does anyone have any recommendations on good, accurate information on a more clinical birth experience? I feel like in all cases my choices are either fear tactics-from each sides toward the other (unmedicated birth advocates seem to tell you that all doctors and hospitals are out to get you and if you listen to them you don't love your baby, and doctors and hospitals seem to tell you you and your baby will die without their care and how dare you consider leaving yourself in the care of some hippie), or you get the "our side is infallible, don't question us" stuff. And honestly? I hate that kind of information dissemination. I hate it in big things and little things. I feel like they either prey on your fear or your ignorance. And frankly, if what you have to sell is that awesome, then you shouldn't need to resort to those tactics.

The truth (talking little t truth here, not Absolute Truth) is almost always somewhere in the middle of both extremes. I wish there was some resource that just laid everything out--all the pros, cons, and neutralities of all your choices. No agenda, no bias, no exaggeration or understatement. Just the facts, ma'am. But, who would ever make money that way?? :D So anyway, if anyone DOES know of good NEUTRAL books, videos, or other resources, I'd love to have them.

It's also pretty....crunchy, shall we say? And let's just say that I'm not and leave it at that :D

I'm just going to have to really pray over this class. I feel like it could really be a trap for me for my two big pitfalls-fear, and guilt. Fear because I honestly think they try to scare you out of some hospital procedures. I hear stories of them passing epidural needles around the circle so you can see how big they are and promptly freak out. They quote c-section rates of hospitals and say how much better babies born their way are. Honestly, I feel backed into a corner in situations like this. I feel like I end up making a decision out of fear, rather than empowerment. And I wonder-what if I DO end up needing or wanting something outside the Bradley allowables? Will I feel disappointed in myself? Will I feel guilty? Will I feel I have the tools and courage I need at that time to deviate from my plan if need be?

Bradley is big on nutrition. As pregnant women should be. But I can't check off all the stupid little boxes on their chart. HG is just a different ballgame. You think in terms of what will stay down. You don't get the luxury of choosing the most nutritious thing or the thing that rounds out everything else you've eaten that day. The teacher and the book laid it on a little thick tonight about how bad it is for you and baby if you're not eating this and that every day and it looks like it's part of the curriculum every week. And Bradley is anti-medication in general, not just medication during labor. Well, the zillion pills I take a day to stay functioning kind of throw that out the window. So, I just have to keep telling myself that all of that is well and good for a normal pregnancy, but I am just responsible for MY pregnancy, and doing the best I can with it. God knows that, I know it, DH knows it, and hopefully one day baby Matthew will know it too. But the Jen-guilt-monster was really shouting from the back of my head during all this "See, look at all the bad stuff you're doing!!"

That all makes it sound like the class is awful, or awful for me. It's not. I think the teacher and the other students are really nice, and I do think I'll learn a lot and that in the end, I'll be better prepared for WHATEVER birth experience we have, even if it's 100% not-Bradley. I just think I need to really practice active filtering. I did learn some new things to try with stretching, relaxation, exercise, etc, and DH is so earnest in going along with whatever I need, whatever they suggest he try, etc. And I think I'll learn a lot about what actually happens physically and physiologically in labor, even if I ignore everything else they say.

I guess this is a good lesson in parenting. I'm sure we'll run into this same kind of stuff with vaccines ("vaccines will kill your baby!" v "without vaccines, you'll kill everyone else!"), with discipline ("spanked children grow up to hate their parents" v "children who aren't spanked grow up to be hellians!"), with education choices ("kids who go to public school end up corrupt!" v "homeschooled kids are sheltered and weird!"), etc, etc, etc. :D Honestly, I get so afraid of making sure I'm not making a fear-based decision, that I just run around in circles! I really think my head is screwy sometimes :P I wish I just knew everything about everything, and could write perfectly neutral books on all this stuff so that tightly wound people like me could have a resource! =D

So anyway, THAT was a tangent.

I've been sick again tonight, so I probably should go to bed before it gets any later-getting too tired is just asking for trouble.

I'll end with what's been happening with Matthew:

27 weeks:
Your not-so-tiny-anymore brilliant baby (about 2 pounds and 14.5 inches long!) is slowly rotating in preparation to “head out.” Obviously, this doesn’t happen overnight, but when you start to feel an unfamiliar pressure on your cervix, you’ll know you’ve got a fully flipped baby locked and loaded for the countdown to their birthday! Even now, at the beginning of the third trimester, their little lungs are already capable of breathing air while the pulmonary vascular system can provide sufficient gas exchange and the central nervous system can generally regulate rhythmic breathing as well as their basal body temperature. For what it’s worth, at this point in a healthy pregnancy a premature child (with intensive care) could easily win on the show: “Survivor: The Early Years.”

And 28 weeks:
You know how you’ve been feeling a bit like a barn with legs? Well, that feeling won’t subside before… well, you know, when you finally give birth. For the time being, you’ve got yourself a baby in the business of collecting fat and lots of it! In spite of the dubious joys of being a human-barn, this baby fat business is very serious and you’ve got to put up with it because it’s going to keep your little porker warm and healthy after birth. Other good stuff from inside: their eyes are doing lots of blinking this week because they’re now able to respond to light and dark. Also, their industrious little bone marrow is now a major construction site for developing red blood cells, while their super-cute adrenal glands are actually producing androgen and estrogen—which will stimulate your hormones to begin milk production. Can you say, “Moo?”

And lastly, here's picture--28 weeks! The third trimester! I can't believe it! My weight still hasn't changed (still weigh the same I did the day of transfer) but when I look at the pictures side by side, I can finally start seeing a difference, and I think I'm graduating to full-panel maternity pants instead of half panels. And my goodness, I can FEEL a difference. This kid is killing my back and tummy muscles! That's one awesome thing about Bradley--they teach and instruct DH to massage me whenever I need it, and he's a sweet enough guy to do it! I see lots of massage in my future--how can I get that to continue after birth ;)

Hope you all are well!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


I wrote in a candidate tonight, for the first time ever. This baby boy was the main reason. I could not bring myself to vote for a Senator who sees my son as a science experiment, rather than a person.

Unfortunately, though predictably, said Senator retained his seat, but I am proud to know I didn't help him keep it.

WE voted today.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Update (again)

Best news first--the ultrasound was fine. My fluid level was normal. Matthew measured in the 75-90th percentile for size, but he said that's normal right now anyway. At 22 weeks, he measured in the 50th percentile. He said at this point, they grow at all different paces, so things could slow down again--it's too early for that to be a predictor and he's not worried. Baby Matthew-slow down! Don't be huge! Go easy on your mama!

We think the appointment went well. I essentially went in and said "I really like you as a doctor and I don't question your qualifications, but I don't think we communicate very well with each other and I leave my appointments feeling scared and under-informed." So we talked through some specifics. We learned some differences in our terminology-what he means by something and what I interpret. For example, when he says "higher" (as in "higher risk") I hear "high" but he said today that overall, my risk for all the various different things is low. It might be slightly higher than an average woman, but not "high." He said if I was truly high risk, he'd have passed me on to a specialist. In other cases, he's using precise, technical language, where we think he's using common vernacular. (Did you know there's a difference between "common" and "normal?" I didn't). That same preference for highly technical communication is also why he's vague on some things and he said he also tries to be vague to keep patients from worrying. He's highly technical in his language (and to be really technical sometimes he has to be vague) and I'm highly specific, and in some cases, those two just weren't crossing paths well.

So I explained to him that my personality does better with more information rather than less, and that if he's going to toss things out, I need a "so what" step. As in "you have an elevated risk for Gestational Diabetes, so I want you to be careful with your diet and exercise" or something like that. Not just "you have an elevated risk of ___________. Period." If it's a "wait and see" kind of thing, we're not really going to go down that road. I told him that I needed to know I had the freedom to press harder for information and know that he knows I don't mean it to be offensive, or undermining and he said he understood.

We also talked about the C-Section thing. He stated that he definitely doesn't WANT me to have one and doesn't even predict that I'll need one-he just wanted me to know it might be a possibility, but that his general practice is to let a woman try vaginally birthing for as long as she wants to (barring emergencies, of course). He said he supported our choice to take Bradley classes (which start next week--eek!) and to have a doula present.

His nurse was already talking to me about visiting me in the hospital and bringing me dinner after he's born. :) She came in during the ultrasound and said "can I watch too? I want to see my nephew!" I really do love that familiarity there. Even at the end, the doctor said "*I* really want to see this little guy be born!" That was cute to me, too. At the end of the day, this staff is committed to us, and that goes a really long way in my book.

As far as the FET/EA risks, this is what I learned from reading, from talking to Nightlight, and from talking to my RE. The risks of miscarriage ARE believed to be higher with embies that were frozen. I knew that part already. And in some ways, all fertility treatment rates for miscarriage are higher because frankly, we know the children exist sooner than people who conceive the "old fashioned way" so we know about it when they die. But we're well out of that window anyway. The other risks are NOT heightened by the FET procedure or the fact that the baby was frozen.

However, I learned from a couple studies linked for me by someone in one of my previous posts, and from Nightlight, that there is SLIGHTLY more risk for preclampsia when the baby is 100% unrelated to you. Preclampsia puts you at higher risk for things like preterm labor and C-Section. So he's not entirely off his rocker. That made me feel a lot better about the information I was receiving from him. Both he and Nightlight confirmed that it's *slightly* higher, but not *high.* I don't have high blood pressure now, so we just have to wait and see. Nightlight told me that the rate among their parents is not high at all and that most pregnancies are normal. And any elevated risks are still better for the babies than the 100% chance of death they have WITHOUT embryo adoption. I think my doctor gets that, too.

He did clarify that he didn't think I was "high risk" for anything. He just said the combination of the genetics and PCOS made him want to keep his "surveillance" level of me higher. So the net point is that a lot of this was just a misunderstanding and that there was a lot of fretting for nothing! At the very least, I now feel freer to be more assertive and not afraid that I'll offend him if I ask for more information or help. Thanks for encouraging me to get some backbone :P ;)

So anyway, all of that is probably more than you wanted to know, but the net point is that he was very receptive, we came up with some specific tools, keywords, and questions that we can both use to understand each other. Today he answered every medical question we had very specifically, so I think it COULD work. Time will tell. DH and I think that the right thing to do is to at least go to our next appointment and see if it worked. By that point, our first appointment with someone else would be at 32 weeks, which I think is too late in the game to switch, so we're going to stay with him. But I no longer feel uneasy or nervous about it. I was impressed today with how receptive he was and I think we got some very concrete devices to help. I just wish I'd done it sooner. Thank y'all for praying and for encouraging me to buck up and do it.

Oh, and I found out that my glucose test number was 112. Passing is 135, so it's not even like I passed by the skin of my teeth--we came through with flying colors so I shouldn't need to retest. Woohoo! Praise God again!

Please pray

I went in for my ultrasound this morning. (Don't worry, this post isn't about the baby-so far as I know, everything is fine, but we have to wait for results from the doctor).

While I was there, I pulled the nurse and the Office Manager aside and told them some of my concerns and that the main reason I continued to treat with him was because of THEM, not him, and did they have any suggestions for ways I could better communicate with him. They both encouraged me to just sit down and have a heart to heart with him about my concerns and tell him this isn't working and that I need him to communicate better. They encouraged me (gently) to try to fix the problem first, rather than just cutting and running. Well, you can imagine how my anti-confrontational self took THAT. But they were right. I have a longstanding relationship of care with this guy, he is a fellow believer, and I think that I owe it to myself, to the baby, and to the professional relationship, and to our mutual existence in the body of Christ to address the issue, regardless of whether or not it results in my staying his patient. Honestly, continuity of care IS my preference. At the end of the day, the fact that he's been my doctor for 5 years and Matthew's doctor for most of his little life still means something to me and my peace of mind, and I can't replicate that in 12 weeks with some other doctor.

The fact is that I don't have peace about staying and I don't have peace about leaving. I called a lot of OBs and I never found another who had exactly what I was looking for, so I do recognize that some of this just may be me needing to adjust my expectations.

So anyway, the meeting is in an hour. And my stomach is churning. Would you join me in praying for the meeting? Please pray that the meeting is productive, that I have the right words to voice my concerns, that I can do so objectively and without hormones and fatigue complicating things, and that we'd walk away with really strong direction on whether we should stay or go.

The ultrasound was performed by a tech, who couldn't tell us anything other than facts. He said the fluid level measured average, and that baby's size was 4 days ahead of my due date. He couldn't tell us if any of that was good or bad (I'm assuming it's normal?) or if he saw anything else concerning, but I'm hoping the doctor will be able to tell us that in this meeting, too.

Thanks, everyone!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

3 Day Reprieve!

I have a huge, huge praise!

I haven't been sick since WEDNESDAY!!!!!!!! Wednesday (or maybe it was Tuesday) was a really bad day. Thursday, I was tired, but nothing more. Friday, I actually felt NORMAL. I can't believe it! I worked in the morning and then ran some errands and then came home to take a nap so that I could go to a wedding last night. But I wasn't even tired enough to sleep. And then I went to the wedding, where I just hoped to be able to make it through the ceremony. I made it through the entire thing! And I ate, and talked, and danced, and I didn't once have to run flying for the bathroom! It was a WONDERFUL night. And it was so refreshing for my spirit-I got to spend time with friends, I hung out with Krista and the kids and DH, I ate REAL food (even chicken-something that's been off limits for almost the entire pregnancy!) and we left when we wanted to! instead of when my tummy said I had to! It was so nice! It's the longest I've been away from the house in weeks, and the most amount of social interaction I've had, either. It was so wonderful!

And then today, I expected to feel like garbage as payment for the exertion yesterday. I was exhausted and napped a good long while, and I was a tiny bit queasy, but a Zofran and a Zantac took care of everything and I was able to enjoy the day with DH!

I have to pace myself and keep reminding myself that the REASON I feel so good is probably because I've been sleeping so much, so that's not license to return to "normal" life. If I take away the naptimes, I'll probably add back in the sickness, but it's been SUCH a treat to feel so NORMAL!

Third trimester decided to show up a little early with this kick-your-butt fatigue. In my first trimester, I was physically tired from vomiting and low nutrition, but not the "I'm growing another person inside of me" sort of exhaustion I'd always heard about. MAN! This is like a special kind of tired! But I actually don't mind it. I love the extra rest, the extra fatigue seems to help me sleep harder, the extra rest helps my NVP, and it's nice to have a "normal" pregnancy symptom, too! It's sort of funny to be THIS tired.

I honestly don't know or remember if I've had this many good days in a row through the entire pregnancy! I don't know how long this will last but I'm praying that it's a long time, and I'm praising God for it in the mean time! THANK YOU for praying with us! This break has given me much restoration!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Big decision

Hi everyone,

Thanks so much for your input on my last post.

After seriously thinking about a lot of the things several of you said, DH and I are at least considering finding a new doctor. But some things other people said are also making me be careful that I don't ditch my doctor in haste.

Those of you who know me in real life will be shocked to hear me say this, but I mean it in earnest: I am a big, fat chicken. I hate interpersonal conflict. I can debate you until the cows come home on an issue but interpersonally, I RUN from conflict. It gives me knots in the pit of my stomach. So the thought of "breaking up" with my doctor stresses me out because I worry about offending him. I've not been more assertive with him because I haven't wanted to argue with him. These are all really dumb things, I know. But as a people-pleaser, they are part of my personality. I've been giving myself this pep-talk over the last few days: "He's not your friend, he's your doctor. He's not your friend, he's your doctor." Lame that I have to actively tell myself that, isn't it.

So I found a couple of recommendations and I have an appointment set up to meet with one next week, and another doctor the week after that. I want to see how those meetings go and see if I click with someone, before I make the decision. If one goes well, THEN I'll transfer. But if they're similar to my current doctor, I'll stay put.

I know some of you must think I'm a terrible mom for even thinking of staying with this doctor, but he's really not terrible. I've been his patient since the month after he opened his practice. As a gynecologist, he was WONDERFUL. He diagnosed my PCOS right away after another doctor couldn't in a year and a half of care. He discovered my cyst that had been paining me for years, and 3 months after I first walked in his doors, he had performed surgery to remove it. He really is the most gentle, mild-mannered doctor on the PLANET. He always was SO careful and patient and delicate during all of my exams. He's also very pro-life, so I always knew that anything he would recommend would be consistent with my values and I never had to second guess.

At the time of my first miscarriage, I'd been experiencing problems leading up to it. I had called the doctor several times, and he pretty much blew me off. A lot of doctors do, especially in early pregnancy. The truth of the matter is that there usually ISN'T a lot that can be done. We've since discovered in my case that an adjustment of my own medications may have helped, but even if it couldn't, no one wants to feel blown off.

In contrast, my current doctor has ALWAYS treated Baby Matthew like a human being. He was never a "product of conception." There was never an attitude of "I won't start caring about him until the second trimester" or anything like that. When I was bleeding, he had me in for an ultrasound, that same day, multiple times. I always felt like even if it was just for my own peace of mind, he treated both me and the baby with dignity. That is so, so important to me. Early pregnancy was so scary for me, and I really felt like I could have as much care as I needed/wanted with this doctor.

I really do like and trust him. And for me, that's really important in a doctor. I feel like if the fundamentals are right, usually the rest falls into place. That's not proving to be the case here, but that's why I've stayed so long because I knew at the core, we were on the same page.

I LOVE the rest of his staff. Seriously LOVE them. Like I want his nurse at my delivery. Considering a LOT of care is actually provided by the office staff, this is a big factor for me, too. I ALWAYS get to talk to my nurse the same day if I need to. In early pregnancy, there were times I called EVERY day. They're compassionate and knowledgeable and again, treated me and Matthew with dignity.

So there's all of that to consider. In a lot of ways he HAS been a WONDERFUL doctor.

But on the other hand, the frustrations I've experienced are maddening. And I've always said that I don't care what religion a person is--I want the best care/service. So I can't place too much emphasis on our common ground if I'm getting substandard care in trade. I just can't decide if I think it's substandard, or if a lot would be solved with a meeting of the minds discussion about communication.

We have a lot to pray about. I want to do what's best for Matthew, and I see a lot of pros and cons on both sides. (Remember what I said about making decisions? I stink at it!)

In other news, we had received a hand-me-down rocker. It broke the other night so we went this week and bought one. It was so COOL to go and sit in all the chairs, and just picture sitting there, rocking Matthew. It was such a quintessential pregnancy experience. I just am so excited for him to get here!

AND, while I was typing all of this, my doctor's office called..............

I PASSED MY GLUCOSE TEST! I DON'T HAVE GESTATIONAL DIABETES!!!!!!!!!! She said all my bloodwork was "normal" so it wasn't even an "passed by the skin of my teeth" result! This really, truly is a miracle, and I almost cried when she told me. I'm almost crying now, just thinking about it. I am so, so, SO grateful for this news, and I thank you for joining me in my petition before, and in my thanksgiving now!!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Small Update

Well, the update is that I don't really have one. I won't get my blood test results until Friday.

I still measured big so the doctor wants to do a growth scan, but is still very evasive when I ask him what he's looking for or concerned about. I asked him and he just said "Don't worry about it." I think it was a double--"really, don't worry" and a "stop asking so many questions." It's just odd. The way this doctor communicates is so weird-I don't have him nailed down yet. The only thing we've decided is that we will probably find a new practitioner next time around because we just can't seem to get on the same page with him. It bums me out because I really do LIKE him, and we know we're on the same page fundamentally. And I LOVE his nurse. LOVE her. But I just think this arrangement is frustrating for everyone involved.

Anyway, the ultrasound will be on Monday, when I am 27 weeks. The good news is that I was less big yesterday than I was at the last appointment so the disparity between Matthew's gestational age and my measurements is closing. I can only assume that's good news?

I did get clearance to continue with the various "experiments" I've been doing with the OTC meds I mentioned a couple posts back in dealing with NVP. I hadn't called him for permission when I started them (I did check with the FDA though and the drugs are safe for pregnancy) and he agreed that my plan was good, and that I could continue even more aggressively than I have been. He did say "those things should really help you" and I was only wishing he had thought to suggest them, many months ago! But thank you, bloggyland friends for all your help!!

We met with a doula yesterday. We're evaluating if we think it would be a good fit and help for us. She's still in training so her services would be free--a win win for both of us. She gets practice, and we get her help.

Ok, I have a question for those of you who have undergone EA, or even "just" IVF (I'll explain the "just" in a minute). My doctor is a very conservative Catholic. He objects to IVF, and is on the fence about EA. I do know that I am his first/only EA patient, and am possibly his first/only FET patient because he doesn't recommend/refer ARTs. With increasing frequency, he is cautioning me of things and/or explaining away some of my problems with either how the baby came to exist in me (FET), and/or the fact that the baby is not genetically related to me. Some of the problems are "just" FET, and other things he seems to think are a double whammy because I had FET AND the baby is not related to me. So far he's told me that I'm at greater risk for Gestational Diabetes, Preclampsia, Preterm Labor and a C-Section, all due to one or both of those reasons. He's also labeled me "high risk" for the same reasons. I had both of the Level 2 Ultrasounds because he said the risk that something would be wrong with the baby was higher because of the FET/EA, too. At the beginning, he said my risk for miscarriage was higher as a result.

Have any of you ever been told any of those things? I know that some of the things are true, like the miscarriage risk. And my risks for some of those things is elevated for other reasons (like GD because of my weight and PCOS), but I just can't believe that I'm the ticking time bomb that he's starting to make me feel like I am. I just wonder how much is his personal bias against the procedures to begin with, how much is his own unfamiliarity/inexperience with a pregnancy that came about in this way, and how much is actual medical fact. Please understand, I don't suspect him of willful dishonesty at all. Despite our frustrations with him, the reason we have stayed with him so long is because he is of utmost integrity and commitment to the sanctity of life. But I just wonder if maybe some of the things he is saying come from a moral/religious standpoint, rather than a medical one, perhaps even without him realizing it. We've had that challenge with him in the past, too.

So anyway, do any of you out there who were pregnant through FET (whether with your own DNA or not) have any insight?

I'll post more when I have updates but in the meantime, thanks for your prayers. Tummy is pretty unhappy, so the pup and I are off back to bed!