Sunday, November 30, 2008

PG - 6 Weeks

My first ultrasound is tomorrow and I must admit I keep getting scared that it's not going to look good, or as Tertia would put it I've been having DBTs (dead baby thoughts). I really hope everything looks great and that we do see a heartbeat. I know it's a littl on the early side, but sometime between 6 and 7 weeks we should see the heartbeat. I'd rather see it on the early side, nice and strong to relieve my mind and make me think that everything is going to be OK. I really don't want this to be another failed pregnancy. I'd like to just once in this journey to have the fairy tale where everything is rosy and peachy. I need it so badly so I can heal from all the failures and disappointments.

BTW, I hope everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving. I definitely did, since it was still early on to start worrying about the ultrasound. But we've also been busy every day, which has helped keep my mind off waiting for Monday. I wish I could just crawl into bed right now and sleep until tomorrow is here. But there is laundry to do, a daughter to be picked up from her cousins, and blogs to check that I haven't looked at in awhile.

Ooooo, and I also finished reading the Twilight series! I finished the last book this morning. It was amazing. I highly recommend them!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

PG - 5 Weeks 2 Days

Wow! Was I tired yesterday! I worked from home as Leo went to NYC for work and Phoebe had a half day of school. I ended up taking a nap when she came home for about an hour or so. And then I still went to bed at a decent time.

I had my hair appointment today, so I'll also be thankful for no roots, LOL! The scheduler didn't explain very well, though. The pictures won't be today, but in January. He just wanted to look at my hair today and see if he can do the hairstyle he wants to do for the picture. So the pics will be on a Sunday in January and everyone's coming to the studio at his house for them. There will be me and several other models that he'll be working with that day. The pics are for some hair styling competition that he did win back in 1997 and I will get copies of the photos, so I will be posting them sometime in January. I just think this is so cool and I'm so flattered. He also said he loved my skin and bone structure. If he wasn't playing for the other team, I'd be worried, LOL! He showed me an advertisement from a magazine that was his inspiration for what he could do to my hair and it's really cool. It's from a Calvin Klein advert and the long blonde hair is smoothed back, but teased on top and rolled underneath in the back. I can't wait to see the pics when we're all done!

We're leaving for the Thanksgiving holidays tomorrow to go help start cooking and getting everything ready. The turkey gets slow roasted overnight and it ends up really juicy. Tonight we'll be making my award-winning pecan pie and Tom's cranberry relish to bring with us. We'll be working on that after we get back from our first Parent/Teacher conference with Phoebe's second grade teacher. The Girl Scouts are baby-sitting, so both of us can meet with her teacher tonight.

Monday, November 24, 2008

PG - 5 Weeks 1 Day

Today I am 5 weeks and 1 Day pregnant. I'm counting down as I get ready for my first ultrasound a week from today! It's so weird not to have a thousand betas in between and thinking this is not going to work out. I'm pretty sure by now that things are going to work out. What with my tiredness increasing, boobs getting bigger and sorer and I can weep at the drop of a hat, things are definitely cooking in there. Leo seems to still think there's two, but from my beta numbers, I think it's just one.

We had a quiet weekend here at home. We ran a few errands: grocery shopping, picking things up for Thanksgiving dinner, bought Phoebe some new long sleeve shirts and a sweater from the Limited Too as they were having a sale and she had a gift card from her birthday. One of the shirts she just had to have was a Kermit the Frog one. She's so cute, she was so excited to find one. She's wanted a Kermit shirt for awhile now and of course she had to wear it to school today. And she found a lime green baseball cap to wear with it to school. She cracks me up with her fashion sense. She looked so cute today! Anyway, it was probably good that we all wore hats out to the bus stop this morning. It's freezing here!!! We had snow over the past 5 days. Just a little dusting, but enough to make me realize that winter is coming!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Vegan Chili Recipe

I'm still enjoying the vegan chili I made the other day for my lunches. Even Phoebe liked it, but I think it helped that I served hers with grated cheddar cheese and olives on it. Don't ask me about sizes of the cans - I don't know how many ounces they are, but the beans are the normal size cans, not the oversize ones and the crushed tomatoes is the normal large size can.

1 block tempeh, chopped to resemble the size of ground beef
1 large onion, chopped finely
2 Tbs olive oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped finely
1 sweet red pepper, chopped medium
1 can kidney beans
1 can black beans
1 can crushed tomatoes
2 bay leaves
1 Tb oregano
1-2 Tbsp cumin
1 Tbsp chili powder
few shakes of cayenne pepper
1 tsp sage
1 tsp paprika

Heat the olive oil in a medium stockpot. Saute the onion, garlic, tempeh, and red peppers in the oil until the onion is translucent. Add the beans, crushed tomatoes, bay leaves and spices. Simmer for 30-40 minutes to let the flavors meld.

You can serve this over spagetti squash or brown rice if you wish. You can also add vegan (or non-vegan) cheese and sour cream and olives on top for garnishes. Another thing I may add to this recipe if I had it is corn. I love corn in my chili. A corn muffin on the side would also be great for a meal.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Still Very Nicely Pregnant!

Just got the call from the IVF nurses. I'm glad they called soon because I had even checked my cell phone to see what time they had called on Tuesday. I don't get impatient, do I???

My hcg today is 1453, which more than doubled, but not so much that I don't think we're dealing with multiples here. Just a healthy singleton, which is great! They don't want to see me until December 1st for ultrasound and to talk to the doctor.

I've been working hard to eat healthy. Last night I even made a meatless chili using tempeh for the meat. I thought it was tasty. I'll have to post the recipe for it. I have the leftovers for lunch.

I will admit, I'm tired. Not too tired, but getting there. The other cool thing is that next Tuesday I'm getting my hair colored and the owner of the salon called me to come in this day because he wants to take some pictures of me and my glorious platinum blonde hair for their website and stuff. I know I won't get paid, but I hope I get a discount on my hair. Plus it's just the thrill that someone wants to take pics of this 37 year old pregnant me!!! As Leo said, their not asking to take a pic of my a$$. I'll want to get my eyebrows waxed before that day, so they don't look all scraggly.

So my hair will be all pretty for Thanksgiving. I don't think we'll be telling the whole family on Thanksgiving, but we may let Leo's parents in on the secret. My parents know, as they actually knew we were doing IVF this past month. Leo's parents didn't know because we haven't seen them much lately. I was on overload from the summer of remodeling their kitchen.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Uber Amazing Blog Award

My good friend Merlot gave me this award yesterday and I'm so flattered I must accept it. I feel like my cup runneth over right now! Of course I'm nervous about my next beta tomorrow, but I have faith that this one will be great!

Here's the info about this award:

The “uber” (synonym for super) is a blog award given to sites who:
- inspire you
- make you smile and laugh
- or maybe give you amazing information
- a great read
- has an amazing design
- and any other reason you can think of that makes them uber amazing!

The rules for my award recipients…
1) Put the logo on your blog or post.
2) Nominate at least five blogs (can be more)that for you are uber amazing.
3) Let them know that they have received this uber amazing award by commenting on their blog (think they all read so I’m not going to notify them).
4) Share the love by linking to this post and the person you received the award from.

I know I just came up with seven fabulous blogs the other day, but I'm going to spread the love and list some other uber amazing blogs I love so much. Here's my list:

American Mom in London - I'm currently living vicariously through her as I'd love the idea of getting up and moving to some completely different country for awhile just to have the experience.

Antigone Lost - She has gone through so much this year, but yet she still keeps trucking on her dream of making a home for baby and getting into law school. I hope she gets a great score on her LSAT and makes all her dreams come true!

Doc Grumbles
- has had to deal with a horrible insensitive boss and is now getting free from her. She's also currently pregnant and deals with this and all her work issues with a great sense of humor.

Mizfit - I must admit she keeps me motivated. Unfortunately I can't raise my heartrate until we see the baby(ies) heartbeat(s), but I know the instant I'm off restrictions, I'll start slowly but steadily, just as she tells us too. She has some great healthy recipes posted here too!

The Part Where We Move to London - Do you get the impression that I'd like to move to London, if I could? Here's another expat blog I love. It's great to see the pics of the places they go to and of course stories about how things are just much different than the way they are back here in the States.

Enjoy some blogging goodness from the folks up above!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

IVF#2 - It Worked!!!!

OK all my Internet bloggy friends!!!! I'm pregnant with the best initial beta I've ever had!!! Could that mean multiples? We'll find out over the next week or two for sure. My initial beta was 660!

I can't believe it! I'm so excited I want to cry. I was so nervous. I didn't want to test before I went there because of all the hcg boosts I had. And I was really starting to doubt if it would really work out or if I was going to have a major disappointment today.

I go back on Thursday for a repeat beta and we'll see if we're doubling or better. Leo made a prediction last night of twins. I wonder if he's right. Of course we just want at least one healthy baby, but healthy boy/girl twins would be like winning the lottery. Of course we'll want to win the lottery to support them, but I'm like Scarlett O'Hara in that perspective - "I'll think about that tomorrow!"

Monday, November 17, 2008

PG Symptoms Check

Since I'm not planning to do any home pregnancy tests, as I'm afraid I'll get a false positive from all the hcg boosts they had me do, all I've got for hope right now are the multiple pregnancy symptoms we all check for. Here's the list I've got right now:

1. Having to get up and pee in the middle of the night - Check! Past several days I wake up at 3 AM, go pee and go back to bed for a few more hours.

2. Boobs hurt - Check! Then again I'm on tons of progesterone right now, but they are quite sore. Don't like Leo hugging me too tight right now.

3. Really tired. Kind of. I haven't fallen asleep in the car on Leo this weekend, which is usually a good indicator, but it may be too early for that. I have been getting at least 8 hours of sleep a night and I can't help it that I seem to need it. And I'm yawning all day for the past few days.

4. Sex dreams - Check! Happened last night for the first time since the pregancy this summer. I don't know why this happens to me. Maybe it's because I'm restricted away from sex, but it always happens. Could be becuase I'm really sensitive down there, which I noticed in the shower the past few days. I know it would feel really good to linger there, but I want baby! Must hold out until we're in the safe zone.

5. Hungry - Check! The past two days I've been ravenous. I never get morning sickness in the first trimester, just really hungry.

6. Bloated stomach - Check! I bought some sweater dresses and a belt to wear with them this weekend at H&M to hide the puffy belly I'm currently sporting. I definately look like I'm beginning a pregnancy.

Tomorrow morning is the time! I'll be going as early as I can possible muster to get out of bed. Let's all keep our fingers crossed!

Friday, November 14, 2008

I'm Feeling The Love!!!!

Wow! I feel so honored! Martha at A Sense of Humor is Essential (which I think is an awesome blog name!) gave me this award! I will also do her meme that she tagged me for in the same post.

Here's the rules for accepting the award:

Linking back to the person who gave it to you.
Paying it forward & nominating 7 blogs. (See below)
Leaving comments on their blogs telling them they’ve received one. (Will do)
Enjoying the award. (I'm so flattered!!! Trust me!)

Here are my 7 nominees for the "I Love Your Blog" Award

Merlot at Swimming Against the Tide
Tertia at So Close (not that she needs the press, but I think she's awesome!)
Shana at SashaLili and all her other wonderful blogs for her gorgeous children
JJ from Reproductive Jeans
Mands at The Secret Garden
Billie at BillieBlog - she takes the best pictures!
Loren at Baby Wait - she's not waiting anymore!!!

Now here are the rules for this Random Meme:

1. Link to the person who tagged you. (That would be Martha again)
2. Post the rules on your blog.(here you go)
3. Write six random things about yourself. (Don't laugh, okay?)

1. I'm afraid to get my hair colored right now. I'm waiting for my beta test on Tuesday and even after that I think I will be afraid until I see some proof that my short period of time with bleach on my hair will not affect my unborn fetus(es?). Even though my hairdresser is due to have her baby in one month and it's her second. BTW, she had a hard time getting pregnant with #2 and I love her to death, even if she's semi-fertile.

2. I'm a Roman Catholic that likes to meditate and study Wicca and Buddhism. I think I have a great spirituality to me, others might think I'm a spiritual mess.

3. I am a semi-vegan, in that the more recipes I learn, the less dairy, eggs and meat I consume. But I'm also really healthy about it. I'm into whole foods cooking and drink lots of nutritious herbal teas like nettle tea. I don't drink red raspberry leaf or red clover tea right now as they cause uterine contractions - not good when pregnant or especially in the first trimester, which I may be in and just don't know for sure!!!

4. I had a little voice in my head when I first saw Leo that said "That's the man you're going to marry!" Funny thing is we were both involved with other people at the time and we didn't really talk for another two years. I just stared at him from afar!

5. I'm obsessed with Bridget Jones and Gone with the Wind fan fiction. I think it's because I love stories of women who aren't perfect but they are very strong.

I will also do the same as Martha and tag the folks I nominated for the award. Enjoy! I love all my bloggy friends. I have to admit picking just 7 favorite blogs was really tough, so I tried to get a cross section of types of blogs I love. Just because you weren't listed doesn't mean I don't love you too! You should look a the list of blogs I follow. I know it's huge!!!! Love you all!!! Mwwwwaaaahhhh!

Getting Over Nervousness

I want to admit here publicly that even though we've been trying for another child for many years now, I've secretly been scared if we succeed. I mean, Phoebe is 8 years old now and so independent. There haven't been sleepless night and diapers in our household for quite a long time. I know Leo agrees with me, because he's more vocal about his nervousness of going back to babyhood, but I haven't voiced my concerns too much because I've been so gung-ho about getting to the successfully pregnant part.

But reading the blogs of others with babies and toddlers has gotten me excited to experience that again. The wonder, the newness of everything to them, the first smile the first wave goodbye, the way their whole body shakes when they are so excited to see you (Phoebe is quite blaze when we show up. It's not that exciting anymore. Unless she's been at her grandparents for a week. Then she's excited to see us.). I'm really hoping Tuesday shows an excellent hcg level and that the following tests will all be great and on target. I really want nothing questionable. I think I deserve that from the universe, don't you? Three miscarriages are just unthinkable sometimes, but I've been through them all. I want to be able to start looking forward to when the baby (babies?) are here and getting to know him/her/them.

BTW, I won't be testing at home, because I've had two hcg boosts after the embryo transfer so I'm really afraid I'll get a false positive. I'd rather wait to hear what the lab sees as an actual count. I've also named our three embryos so I can talk to them: Paige, Piper and Leo2. Paige and Piper - the other two sisters from Charmed and Leo2 as he's also a Charmed character (their white lighter and Piper's husband) also because my Leo (not his real name) is a junior and we're still thinking about using his name and III. If we do that, we might nickname him Trey.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Bad Dreams Go Away Magic Spell

Wow! Two posts in one day!!! I just had to blog about this. Indigo Girl had posted about her daughter having bad dreams and looking for advice. I had to post what we do in our house to keep away bad dreams. I have to admit it was one of my most brilliant mommy moments as I pulled this one out of my a$$ when I came up with it.

When Phoebe was about 3 or 4 years old, she started complaining about nightmares. I knew it was half true and half stalling for bedtime. She has always been very into witches, wizards and spells (heck she was named after the character on Charmed and my due date was Halloween), so I came up with a magic spell on the spot to keep away bad dreams. I figured all it had to do was rhyme. I will share it with you all and feel free to try it if you need it:

Bad dreams, bad dreams go away
In Phoebe's dreams she must play
She should dream of ice cream and cake
Until the morning when she wakes

She loves it! She still asks for it sometimes if she's had a nightmare the night before. I think it helps for the psychological part of nightmares and gives her something good to think about when she falls asleep.

Homemade Vinaigrette Dressing

I am a huge lover of vinagrette dressing and I can now say I'll never need to buy it from the store again. Newman's charities will be losing some funds from me apparently. I found a recipe for homemade vinegrette dressing and it was awesome!!! And so easy to make. Here it is:

Shallot Vinegrette Dressing
1 shallot
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
7 tablespoons olive oil

Finely chop the shallot and let it soak in the vinegar for about 15 minutes. Add the salt, pepper and olive oil, shake it up in a container and Voila!

It seems to be covering me for about 4 side salads, which is perfect since there are no preservatives in it to make it last forever. I ended up using it over some roasted beets that I made up this week. I'm trying to give those embryos lots of nutrient-rich foods. This dressing over beets was great, as it reminded me of the pickled beets I used to be given as a child (Am I the only one? Is this a Eastern European thing?) but with this dressing it tasted like a gourmet version of that childhood side dish. Leo and Phoebe wouldn't touch it. Oh well. More for me!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

No More Thumb Sucking!!!

I have one week and counting to my pregnancy test!!! Next Tuesday here I come!

Phoebe went to the orthodontist today and had the appliance installed. Her talking is a little odd until she gets used to it. She has a follow up visit the week of Christmas and will probably wear this for 10 to 12 months. It's serving two purposes. One is to keep her from sucking her thumb. The second is to train her tongue not to be at the bottom of her mouth when she's swallowing. I'm really happy at least that the appliance is keeping me from being the bad guy telling her to stop sucking her thumb. Hope this works!

Monday, November 10, 2008

IVF#2 - CD23 - Post Weekend Update

So we had a quiet but fun weekend with friends visiting and good food. Phoebe had her show on Saturday and she was great. After that, we went back home and I took a nap (that's been happening a lot lately) and then we went out to dinner at Casablanca. Definitely the best Morroccan restaurant I've been too so far. We've been there a few other times and Phoebe and our friends had a great time.

I've been working from home today and I had my progesterone bloodwork this morning at the doctor's office. I don't have work tomorrow for Veteran's Day. So I can officially say I've been as good as possible. And before I forget again, my pregnancy test date is Nov 18. So after today, I'll only have one more week to know if the test comes back positive. I can't get over how quickly this has all been moving. I hope if it's positive that the uncertain weeks go by quickly too. I'd really like to be able to make an announcement for Christmas or New Years.

Friday, November 07, 2008

IVF#2 - CD20 - Embryo Transfer

All eight embryos were still doing great! I can't believe it all went so well! They transferred three embryos at noon today. I'm on bedrest until I go to Phoebe's show tomorrow. I'll be taking it easy the rest of the weekend. We'll have company, but I think playing cards or Catch Phrase aren't really very taxing. Leo will cook for us, but we're thinking of going out to dinner tomorrow. I got all the cleaning done last night and went to Harvest Market to shop for some good veggies, fruit and tea. So I'm ready for some downtime now.

Let's all keep our fingers crossed that one or more of these embies stick!

Thursday, November 06, 2008

IVF#2 - CD19 - Embryo Transfer Tomorrow

I just listened to my voice mail box at the doctor's office. My embryo transfer time is scheduled for 12 noon tomorrow (Friday). All 8 embryos are still going strong. I'm curious if he'll transfer 2 or 3 of the best quality tomorrow. I'm really pleased with what I've heard so far this month as I had lots that stopped growing during our last IVF cycle. I only had two left to work with at the end and only one of them was a good quality. The other was fair. I'll get to ask about the quality from the doctor tomorrow. I'm very excited!!!!!!

I'll be working from home tomorrow and Monday and Tuesday is a holiday at my office (Veteran's Day). However, Phoebe has her big show tomorrow and we'll have company all weekend. I'll enjoy the company and I'll be taking it easy - no helping Phoebe get ready for the show. I'll leave that to Leo. Leo is a good cook too, so as we have company, he'll take care of our guests with food and drinks.

Talking about drinks, I had my last glass of wine before the embryo transfer last night. Phoebe was at dress rehearsal for the show and Leo took me out for drinks and appetizers at a nice restaurant on the riverfront in Wilmington. I only had wine during this cycle after the egg retrieval and I'll stop now that the transfer is tomorrow. I have to say the wine was excellent. I told the waiter that I like dry, full-flavor red wines and he steered me toward a wine from South Africa - Graham Beck Gamekeepers Reserve. It was quite tasty and it was the first South African wine I've ever had! Tertia talks about the wines from her country all the time, but I've never had the opportunity to try one. She's right! They are lovely.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

IVF#2 - CD17 - We Voted and Fertilization Report

I hope you all voted out there! I was working from home today, as Phoebe's school was closed and we had a lot of non-work stuff to do. First at quarter to 8 in the morning the HVAC guy came to do the heater maintenance for the year. After he left, we worked a little and then went to the polls. I haven't mentioned it lately, but I have been waivering on who to vote for president. I still went back and forth until last night when I finally made up my mind. I liked the way I put it to Phoebe this morning that where as the last presidential election, I didn't like either candidate, this election the other person could win and I'd be perfectly fine. I don't know who DH voted for, he wouldn't tell me. Which is funny, because I kept telling him that we shouldn't tell each other who we were voting for. He kept wondering why not, and then when I told him who I voted for, he wouldn't tell me, LOL!

The other thing we had to do today was go back to the orthodontist to have the spacers put back in to prepare for them installing the hardware next Tuesday. So Phoebe can't have any sticky candy now. She ate her last Skittles before she brushed her teeth before we left. And next Tuesday she won't be able to suck her thumb anymore and I won't be the bad guy.

And last of all, I did get my fertilization report on the voice mail I have at the doctor's. All 8 embryos are still progressing and are on target for where they should be. The funny thing is the IVF nurse who left me the message said they would be talking to Dr. Russell today to see if he wanted to do the transfer tomorrow and they'd get back to me. Well I have no new messages at the doctor's as of 5 PM tonight, so I'm going to say that the transfer should definitely be Friday. Let's keep our fingers crossed they keep growing on target and looking good. He'll transfer 2 or 3 depending on what the doctor is thinking that day, but he would never transfer more than 3.

Monday, November 03, 2008

IVF#2 - CD16 - Fertilization Report

I just listened to my voice mail at the doctor's and they left the fertilization report for today. Out of the 13 eggs they retrieved, 8 were mature, they used ICSI for fertilization on those 8 and I currently have 8 embryos! Let's all keep our fingers crossed they all grow and at least 2-3 of them look fabulous for a 5-day transfer on Friday!!!!

IVF#2 - CD16 - Egg Retrieval Was Yesterday

So my egg retrieval was Sunday morning at 7:30 AM!!!! We had to be there at 7 AM for prep work. Phoebe slept overnight at a friends' house, so we didn't have to drag her out before she's used to even being up. At least we had an extra hour for the fallback from daylight savings time, so we still got some sleep. When I first got there, the doctor did a quick scan because my estrogen in my bloodwork the day before had dropped, but he also said everyone's did, so he thought there was a problem in the lab. He checked me out and proclaimed me ready. I was a little nervous and kept talking while they were putting me under. Apparently I kept talking, so they kept giving me more anesthesia. I should've warned them I talk in my sleep sometimes. Yesterday seemed to be one of those sometimes. They got 13 eggs. I'll find out today how many were really mature and how many fertilized from the fertilization report. Most likely, my transfer will be this Friday with 5 day blasts. Let's all keep our fingers crossed for good fertilization!!!