Wednesday, January 31, 2007

So last we left the adoption story . . .

. . . we headed home with an empty carseat, and totally deflated and confused. The more we thought about it, the more we realized we didn't know who was to blame for our fruitless trip. Was it the birthmother, who's story kept changing, and everyone believed her, or was it the agency's staff who did not verify the bmom's doctor's visits and reports. We had a new due date of August 1st, but didn't believe this was ever going to happen.

Oh, it was horrible going back to work after that . . . everyone thinking we had our baby boy home. truthfully, i don't remember much from the end of May until July 10, 2004. Thankfully, "Chief" (what we called him during the pg) made his appearance well before August, and before I had totally lost my mind.

I don't remember where we were coming from on that Saturday afternoon, or why we were even together, but my cell rang as we were parking the car in the garage, and it was the agency director's cell number. I immediately knew this was it . . . and I was right. M* had been admitted to the hospital with labor pains, and was good to go. GREAT! Except, how do we get to Florida late Saturday evening? There were no flights that night, so we had to wait for the 6am flight Sunday morning. We packed, ordered in Thai food, called who w needed to call . . . I couldn't stand it anymore after awhile, so I just went to bed. Somehow I managed to fall asleep, but hubby woke me up just after midnight says he just got the call that Chief was born at 11:51pm, and all was fine. We were meeting our son the next morning!

If anyone has the book, Tell Me Again About the Night I Was Born, you can just read that and understand what happened from then until we finally arrived at the hospital. The anticipation was unbelievable. But we made it. At 11am on July 11th, we met our son, and I held him for the first time. My life had begun . . . again.

Monday, January 29, 2007

We locked the fridge.

No, not because I am eating us out of house and home with being pregnant, but b/c our dear son has figured out how to open it! He has been helping himself to cheese and grapes, but yesterday he had the gallon of ice cream out on the coffee table for who knows how long! Immediately after that, hubby went off to Home Depot to get a lock.

Picture how this kid does this . . . We have a side-by-side fridge/freezer. The handles are up a bit to high for him to stand on the floor and have enough leverage to open the doors. So this genius figured out that if he scales up the fridge, holding on to each door, if he lifts one foot while dangling there, that door will open, and he gracefully dismounts with that proud, "look what I did" accomplished look on his face! He also figured out that socks and slippers interfere with this maneuver, so he now takes those off even before beginning this little escapade. I'm sure its only the beginning of even wilder things to come. BOYS! Yes, Jenn and Jen, be afraid . . . be very afraid! (and, by the way, how cool is it that I can say that???)

In other news, 10 weeks today! Rented a doppler and heard that beautiful gallop of a heartbeat. Nausea is minimal, as long as I eat often. Love, love, love those Happy Herb's Oat Bran pretzels. Yum! Have to hide them so no one else eats them. Hopefully, the soluble fiber will help this constipation which is my worst complaint. Its bad. Two-colace/day, tons-of-fiber-and-water, off-the-iron-supps, no-cheese-and-still-backed-up kind of bad. Only thing that helps is acupuncture, but I can't do that everday. Trying acupressure, so I'll let you know how that goes. The fun never stops!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

First Belly Pics . . .

Yes, copying AZJenn's blog, with some belly pics. First +beta day and yesterday. No wonder my pants are tight! Can't guarantee its all baby, and not some constipation too. Sorry, I'm honest to a fault!

Congrats to you, Jenn, on finding out the gender!! Ha ha, I know before all of you!!!!

*edited to add that I didn't know Jenn had posted on FBA already! I'm a dork.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Waiting sucks, doesn't it??

Hurry up and wait is the story of my life! Why I have no patience whatsoever is a mystery to me. I will have to think about my parents, and if they were like this . . . anyway, I hate waiting.

I hate waiting for people to return email messages, phone calls, things they borrow. I hate waiting for people who are never on time, or for meetings to start when they are always late. I REALLY hate waiting for a table in a restaurant, so much so that I'd rather gto somewhere else (and often do).

I COMPLETELY hated waiting for my son to be born . . . being matched at 5 months was a nightmare in disguise, but with adoption, you either wait to be matched or wait for the birth. Or both. So I just have to say that I really, really, REALLY hate waiting for Jen's son M* to be born!!! He is due tomorrow, and I just can't wait for the news. And I know its a gajillion times harder for her to wait. HUGS to you, Jen!

So, second on my hatred list is waiting for my next ob appointment and/or ultrasound. I have been stressing about weaning off the progesterone since no one is monitoring me. I even emailed my local RE to ask his opinion of the wean protocol and timing with gestation. He replied that it sounded "perfectly reasonable" to him, but he knows me so well, he offered to let me come in Thursday morning for monitoring (blood and u/s). What's a sucker like me to do??

Friday, January 19, 2007

First OB appointment . . .

was yesterday! I went to a new practice that my friend who had the twins (which started as 4 heartbeats, for those that remember!) went to. I wasn't too attached my practice, since I'd only been 2 times for annuals (got new insurance in 2005 and had to change practices). An infertile doesn't really need an ob/gyn for much. My RE did paps and a million other tests, so I just faithfully scheduled my annual visits to get referrals for mammos and such. Never got that warm, fuzzy feeling from her I needed, so I figure if this new practice and the docs put up with my neurotic friend, they must be angels! I really liked them all, so that was good. Yes, warm and fuzzy feelings were had!

Got yet another pic of our little bug. Heartbeat is up to 160's, my BP was 1oo/60 and I lost 2 pounds. Everyone was excited to hear our story, although it confuses a lot of the testing in the future, b/c for some things, I have the risk of a 36 year old body, but for other things, it was a 29 year old bio-mom (at the time). It will be interesting.

I have to schedule my NT scan for 3 weeks or so. That will be my next u/s. How will I ever survive 3 weeks!?! A better question, how will you all survive me the next 3 weeks?!!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

So, where was I?

Back to our son's story! So, no, he wasn't twins. We found out rather quickly what a poor historian the birthmom was. Her dates were ever-changing, and her appointments were never at the same clinic, so her file was always lagging behind. It never quite caught up to her until the birth. But much more drama occurred before then, so hang on!

The "due date" was May 8th or so. We were soooo excited. We were planning to be at the birth, so as the due date passed, we became more and more anxious. Finally she was a week ovedue, and our agency liasion called to say she would be going for an induction on Monday. Great! Plenty of time to make travel arrangements and get work coverage. We flew to FL on Saturday afternoon, and called the agency when we got there. First bad news . . . bmom missed her last clinic visit two days before, and has not returned any calls from the agency or bmom counselor since. She was basically MIA. There we were in a rotten hotel room in FL with no plan and an empty car seat. Fun, fun, fun. All we could do was hope she'd turn up. We decided to head to the beach and find a hotel on the water. It was our anniversary weekend, and we needed to salvage something. As if we could.

Somewhere around Monday evening, she turned up and we were told that the agency director would pick her up personally on Tuesday morning and drive her to the hospital. We were back to being thrilled! We drove up to the hospital on Tuesday aftenroon to meet our son's birthmother for the first time. Unfortunately, we are immediately hit with the second bad news. From ultrasound, the baby is estimated at weighing only 3 pounds! Now, at 41 weeks, this is nowhere near a good thing. In fact, its a really bad thing. IUGR and all that. My husband almost fainted at the thought of it all. I have to admit, so did I.

So we waited and waited for a plan. She was hooked up to the monitor and was having regular, mild contractions. We were so naive, we thought this baby was coming. After more waiting, and getting her records from everywhere and nowhere, it was determined that her due date may be off, and she may only be 30-32 weeks. Oh fuck. The doctors urged her to do an amnio, to determine if the lungs were mature. If they were, they would deliver. If not, we'd know it was too early. She refuses the amnio.

FUCK! Well, my craziness kicks in and after much discussion and perhaps a little begging, she finally agrees. This is probably the best memory of the entire nightmare weekend . . . I get to witness the amnio. I have the ultraound pic of his feet that look like footprints, and as we were watching the screen, he waved at us! The bmon saw it too and said he was waving at me. It was a precious moment. Another great moment was when the doctor was explaining things to her, she stopped him and said "talk to her too. She is the mother of this baby". WOW.

More waiting for the stat amnio results, which was hours. At least I got to spend time with M* (the bmom) and do a little bonding. Michael was fighting the urge to vomit in the waiting room all that time. We had an interesting bonding session, learning that she smoked Marlboro Reds (the pack was on the floor, and she even went outside for a cigarette once) when she had said she didn't smoke in our early conversations, and on her agency profile. That sort of sent my head reeling . . . if this baby was 3 pounds at term, that is some serious effects of smoking while pregnant. The rest of our conversation is hazy at best, but I did learn that her penchant for Mountain Dew was as strong as she claimed on the phone those many months before (great, super-high caffeinated soda!). I went to sit with Michael. I about had enough.

The amnio results came back sometime after midnight, and it indicated she was 31 weeks. Lovely. We left, and crashed at the hotel, and yes . . . we had our empty carseat with us.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

yuck day

I feel yucky. Nauseated. Tired. Woke up at 3 am and was starving. I fought it for about 1/2 hour and then gave up and had some soy milk. This morning's coffee went down a little rough, and the Christmas Crack I ate in the car on the way to work really started me off badly this morning. Now its after lunch, and I'm still fighting it. Funny . . . felt fine for a few days in a row.

Note to self - don't eat sugary crap on an empty stomach. Duh.

Note to everyone else - NO, I am NOT complaining. Just taking detailed notes for posterity.

Monday, January 15, 2007

8 weeks today!

I still cannot believe I am pregnant! I had my last visit with my RE this morning, for bloods and and ultrasound. I have really been feeling good the past few days (a little nausea last week in the afternoons kept me satisfied that the heart was still beating), so I was worried, of course. But the expert sonography tech that I am becoming, I immediately saw that little heart beating away once the dildo-cam was in! Our little blob was measuring exactly 8w0d, and the heartbeat was 155bpm. Music to my ears!!

But on the flip side, I am now released from the RE's care. GULP! I am to start weaning estrogen and progesterone to taper off in 3 weeks time. Scary stuff . . . good thing I thought ahead and booked my first ON appointment for this Thursday. How will I live without my weekly ultrasounds? Sigh.

**edited to add that my beta this morning was 118,660!! Now that's a beautiful number! Progesterone was 33.6, so time to start weaning. Yikes!

Thursday, January 11, 2007

The first call . . .

5 days pass. It was St. Patrick's Day. I was really not thinking about adoption, because I figure it may take months. My cell phone rings at work and I usually never even have it on. It a 352 area code, and the only phone number I know from there is the agency. I couldn't answer it because I was in a session with a client. I imediately retrieve the message once I am free, and its the agency Director calling with an urgent question. I "urgently" call back. Who knew it was to be THE call?

A birthmother wants to speak to me. WHAT? Are you ok with twins? WHAT? At least one of them is a boy. WHAT?? I nearly pass out in the staff lounge as I am on the phone. My co-workers start to gather around since they saw I was shaking and shrieking. I'll never forget it. My boss gives me her office to take the call. I spoke to J*'s birthmom for the first time that day. I barely remember much of the conversation excepot for her extremely southern accent that was almost difficult to understand. Her parents were in the background and were very involved. It was her dad that actually chose us. Her mom chose another couple, but those fools turned it down b/c it was twins. J* was almost not ours. Unbelievable to think how close that was . . . . we didn't know it for 2 more weeks, but it wasn't twins, just a shadow the doctor pointed out that "looked like a twin" and bmom misinterpreted it.

Back to the story . . . I spoke with the bmom and immediately afterwards, the Director calls me back and said she really liked me, and wanted to talk to my hubby and me together later that day. Hmm. First problem . . I worked in CT and he worked in NJ. Second problem - he runs a bar/restaurant and it was St. Patrick's Day. Third problem . . . it was already after 12 noon, so he might be drunk. Lovely.

I frantically call and ask him if he had a drink yet. He didn't like that question too much! i quickly explained that I was driving over, not to have a drink, we have a phone call to make. He almost died. And the twins thing? He almost died all over again.

Somehow, we manage to make that call, and have that conversation that was to change our lives forever. That afternoon, we were officially matched with J*'s birthmother. We were having twins (so we thought)!

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

The background . . .

I have been tentative to get into the story behind our story, b/c I wasn't sure if it would really work out. I would close this blog if the pg ends prematurely, so I was not ready to commit to the task of getting everything down in print. But hey, I am pregnant (!) for now, so I may as well dive in.

The story of our Son:

We starting TTC the month BEFORE our wedding, b/c I knew we'd (I'd) have trouble. I had an ovarian cyst when I was 27 and didn't have a period for 9 months. that is when I started reading about PCOS, and self-diagnosed myself. I had also been on depo-provera for 2 years while we were dating, which definitely screwed me up, now that I look back. Plus, eating disorders tend to not be a good thing, right? Been there, done that.

Anyway, we tried for 9 months, and then I lied to my doc that it had been a year, and we starting testing, and IUI's. At the time, we had no insurance converage for IF treatments, so every dime that left our pockets hit me through the heart. Oh, the guilt! My inability to have a natural pg was costing us a fortune . . . and I quickly lost my mind. We did 4 iui's over the course of a year and few months, and I was physically and mentally DONE. FINITO. I shut down.

We started talking about adoption the summer of 2003, but myhubby was not ready to even consider it for another few months. I guess that well of depression I fell into sort of gave him a clear hint I was going bonkers. Oh, and there was that Christening for his cousin's first baby that I made a fool of myself at in 2002, b/c I was just sobbing and sobbing. Not my fault, I told him I didn't want to go! Mind you, that was only after the 2nd IUI.

Sometime during the fall of 2003, we decided that we'd begin the adoption process in February of 2004. I can't remember why we chose that date, but I do remember that I felt better knowing we had a plan. At least for a little while! My friend Erica may remember our first night out for cocktails in November after returning from maternity leave. We were married only 2 weeks apart, so after a cocktail or two, she asked me when were we going to have a baby. Well, since I'm usually a drink ahead of everyone, I looked her straight in the eye and said, "we're not, b/c I can't have any". I will certainly never forget the look on her face, nor will she probably ever forget the feeling of her stomach hitting the floor. I am so sorry I said that, and she knows it (we've talked about it many times in the past years), but it really felt good to just let it out. And yes, I get a bit dramatic on martinis.

So that's how I remember the timeline, b/c we went on to have the conversation that drunken night that we were starting adoption in February. It felt even better to let that cat of the bag, and that's probably where the wheels starting turning and never stopped. About a week later, I had convinced my hubby that if we were going to adopt anyway, why wait till Feb?? So we (I) started the paperwork immediately, and announced to our families on Christmas Day our plans to adopt. It is such a wonderful memory of a happy Christmas.

Well, for some reason, the completed paperwork sat on my desk in a stamped and addressed envelope for weeks. I had worked so hard to complete it quickly, but I just could not put it in the mail. Once I did, I new we'd be "waiting" and that was terrifying. I did finally mail it in the middle of January, we took the required weekend and online classes, and we had our homestudy visits in February. The homestudy was completed March 12th, 2004. Now we really began "the wait" that may last a very long time until our baby found us.

Monday, January 08, 2007

I think its really for real!

I just got off the RE table (LOL) where we heard a heartbeat!! OMG I was shaking so hard before the u/s I thought I was going to vomit!! But there it was, going strong at 140bpm. Measured right on for 7w0d too.

This is a dream come true! Please tell all your friends about embryo adoption . . . get the word out there!!

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Could it be . . . ?

A little boob pain? Maybe? Can't really tell, as I never got sore boob before AF in my life. Might just be from squeezing them so often to see if they are sore. Its a sickness, I tell ya.

But, for the record, my right boob feels sliiiiiiiiiightly tender on the outside and sometimes my nipples itch. But that is all I have in the realm of symptoms at 6w5d. And I am loving cheese. Hmm, that could be a symptom, huh?

Boy, I sound like a real prize. Aren't you glad you stopped by to read?? Next u/s at 7w0d on Monday morning!

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

When will I feel ok to relax and be pg?

After the heartbeat? After the 1st trimester? After the NT scan? Wow, this whole process is terrifying. But good, definitely good.

My hcg at 24dp3dt was 12,201 and progesterone was 28.4. Solid numbers, just not stellar, to make me feel at ease.

The scan at 5w6d measured at 5w5d. That's fine, but why am I not happy? Because it leaves behind that seed of doubt, kwim?

So now I wait for next week's ultrasound, to see a heartbeat (please, oh please), and confirm a "clinical pregnancy". Is this where the other shoe will drop? I pray its not. I always hated that damn other shoe.

**edited to add this nifty chart I found on the internet (love the internet when I find reassuring things!):

HCG Level Doubling Time
< 1200 48-72 hours
1200 to 6000 72-96 hours
> 6000 >96 hours

So the rumor is true that HCG doubling times get slower as the absolute # gets higher. Yes, Jenn, you were right again!!