Friday, September 28, 2007

Cletus is awesome!!!

So we went & did the trans nuchal ultrasound yesterday. It was so fun & exciting!! Cletus was jumping all around & stretching out. Cletus has very long legs & long arms! Loves to put hands up by the face. I think we might have a thumb sucker! I can’t wait to feel the stretching & kicking! I am sure I will regret saying that later. We got to see Cletus for ½ hr. It was so fun!! At first I didn’t think it was going to be very fun. My appt was at 9:45. We met with the genetic counselor at about 10:00. We didn’t get called back for the ultrasound until 10:50. I was fuming & I think they could tell. After we saw Cletus on the screen with a great heartbeat, moving around & looking like a baby, I could’ve cared less at that point. They did all the measurements & the Dr. Basically said there is no real chance of birth defects. They will give me a definite number after the blood test comes back. It is just amazing to think that the baby was ours. I wasn’t looking at someone else’s ultrasound. It is so crazy & surreal!!! We also got a videotape of the ultrasound. So we can watch Cletus whenever we want. We also got about 13 photos. We got some really cool ones of Cletus looking like Skelator and Cletus praying. Most of the time it looked like he was just chilling out in there; feet out and hands by the head.

Today is my last appt with Dr. B. I am so sad & emotional already about it. I really will miss him. All the care & compassion of his entire staff & himself especially, will be sorely missed. I know going to the OB, I will be just another number with my questions not answered until the very end of the day if I call. Without Dr. B we would not be in this position today.

I really hope I didn’t offend anyone with the post about pregnancy after IF. It was just my feelings at the time. I think that this genetic u/s & my last Dr. B appt are huge milestones for me. I really & truly believe we are going to have a baby in April. I am now ready to talk about finding out the gender (which we are going to), decorating the nursery & all the other fun stuff that comes along with a baby. I am even going shopping this weekend for maternity, bras & maybe baby stuff. I cannot wait!!!!

One last thing, Julie is a friend of mine in real life who is a frequent commenter on here. Her husband, Greg, who we also are friends with, left for his deployment for 6 months yesterday. So if you could just spare a thought, prayer or just some thanks for him fighting for our country I am sure they would appreciate it.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

For Autumn

Today is a sad day for us. This is Autumn’s due date. It’s hard to imagine that it has been nine months since she was conceived. It has been a long & crazy 9 months. Surgeries, depression, craziness & another pregnancy has all happened in that time. It seems so short when you think about it, but it seems so long to us that have lived it. It is crazy to think that we should be having or have had a daughter by now. I miss her tons and think about what would be different if she was here.

We went to the Angel Statute Memorial again this past Sunday. I was so surprised & glad to see the teddy bears we left in July for BB & Autumn still there. I just figured every so often someone came along & cleaned it up. Threw them out. But they were still there. They didn’t look too bad either for being out in the weather. We took another one down just for Autumn this time. It is so emotional to go, but I am so glad we do. There really isn’t anywhere else to go to remember our angels like that. It is very private and the flowers were blooming this time. Unfortunately so were the bees. I always forget to take tissue too. I need to remember that next time. I have never seen anyone else there, but I know they come because of the new flowers or stuffed animals each time. That part is a little sad. They have bricks around the memorial with some names carved in them. I think I may see what you need to do & the cost to get a couple bricks for us.

I think I am feeling a little guilty this time. I don’t think I have been feeling as sad or as bad as I have before. I think that I have been concentrating on Cletus and not really focusing on Autumn and her due date. I knew it was coming up, but it wasn’t all consuming like it usually is. I guess I need to think of the future, but still remember and honor the past.

It is still so abstract to me that we know that this baby was a girl. And we have a real name for her. I miss my baby girl so bad inside it hurts. It tears me up! But she did help us to figure out what went wrong & how to fix it. For that I am thankful so we don’t have to go thru that again hopefully.

So today is Autumn’s day & it is all about her. I really wish she was here with us or on her way, but I am so thankful for the time we did have. I am so glad we named her & gave her the respect she deserves. We love her & miss her always!

Friday, September 21, 2007

The One That May Cause Problems

Well I think it’s time for a big post from me. This is just a reminder that this is my space to let it all out. Please don't be offended about anything in here. I wrote this on Friday and I don't even know if I should post it, but I am going to anyway.

This pregnancy has just been crazy to me. I can’t even believe I am 11 weeks today. Almost the end of the first trimester. Everything looks great so I shouldn’t be worried at all right? I should just get over it & be happy.

Nothing is further from the truth. Pregnancy after IF and/or loss is hard. Harder than I could have imagined. I have moments of fun & enjoyment, but most of the time there is fear in the back of my head & heart. Fear of loosing, fear of something or anything going wrong. Fear of never having a baby. Every cramp, twinge or good day is over-analyzed. My poor chest has been widely abused, especially today since my soreness seems to be going down. I am hoping it is just the hormones leveling out, but in the back of my head I think the worst. I am afraid this will never go away. I still spot check every single time I use the bathroom. I am not kidding about this. I am obsessed.

The therapist said that this is normal. I am living in the present and that is all I can do for now. People ask me about finding out the sex & the due date & stuff in the future and sometimes I want to scream at them, Are you kidding me?!?!?!??!? I am just trying to make it thru the day. I can’t think about decorating the nursery yet. I am nice & polite and make the conversation, but inside I am screaming. This is not a sure thing yet. I am not going to be ok with this until I have the baby. We have been thru the ringer & we aren’t thru yet.

The biggest hurdle I am having now is maternity clothes. I am going to get to the point in the next few weeks where these are going to be a necessity. I have some already from the first pregnancy & just bought some more with a gift card. They are still in the big tub or bag I stored them in. I cannot bring myself to wear them. It is like this fear that if I accept this pregnancy & wear the clothes that something bad is going to happen. I need new bras so bad & I cannot bring myself to buy them either.

Finding support from people who truly understand the situation is hard. My friends are really great, but sometimes you just have a need for people who have been down this road before. I belonged to a local IF group here & I have made some fantastic friends who have truly helped me thru some of the bad & good times I have been thru. I say belonged because once you get pregnant you are no longer truly welcome. Just when I need support more than ever I am turned away. I am wished well & left to fend for myself. This was very hard to overcome as well. I was one of the original group members & now have no where else to go.

I wear a red string bracelet on my right arm that some of you in real life may have noticed. The banner is also on this blog. It is for IF awareness. It helps other women out there know that I am in the boat with them if they need support. My father-in-law knows what this bracelet means. After we told them about Cletus, he said something about he didn’t guess we were pregnant because I was still wearing the bracelet. IF DOES NOT GO AWAY BY GETTING PREGNANT!!!!! The IF stays with you for a lifetime. Cletus was not conceived like normal & someday we may have to explain that to him/her. We are no longer hiding the fact that this wasn’t easy for us. We are telling the truth loud & proud. I am no longer embarrassed by what happened to us. As a matter of fact, I have probably helped some women find a wonderful Dr or just help them figure out problems they may have. That makes me feel great!! I love helping others.

IF and Loss with pregnancy do not go away. They may fade a little bit with each u/s and great Dr visit, but it never completely leaves any of us. The hurt is always with you in your heart and mind.

What's happened to me?

Fatherhood, that's what. I know I share this blog with my wife, and I am about to describe another woman as good looking, but she knows I love her very much, so it should be OK to share this little anecdote from today. Plus from what I can tell, most of the guys don't really read this so I shouldn't take too much punishment for sharing it either. Anyway, as I was leaving work to go pick up some lunch today, a woman was getting out of a 4-door vehicle in the parking lot. As I drove by, I saw 2 little boys (perhaps 2 and 4 years old) climbing out of the driver's door. She was thin, blond and wearing shorts that looked like sweatpants material or pajamas that barely covered anything and a tight t-shirt. Was she tan? maybe? Long or short hair? Not sure. Keep reading and you'll understand why. Instead of staring at her and running off the road, I was puzzled about why the kids were climbing out the driver's door. I was disturbed to notice that there were no child seats in the car. Moments later, it hit me. There was a time I would have never given any thought to how children were exiting a vehicle. Especially with a good looking barely dressed woman standing next to it. I guess this is just one more example of changes that occur as you move on in life.

Thursday, September 20, 2007


This is a message for the guys, because obviously the women have to be there. Go to the ultrasounds! The world is full of amazing things. I am an electrical engineer. I have learned about and often been in the presence of very high tech, very sophisticated, very amazing technology. I have been to a plant where they bend steel for roller coasters, I have been to conferences where companies present the latest in radiology equipment, I have seen robots that can automatically tell what region of the world coffee was grown in, I have even worked on research projects I can't talk about. I have swam in the crystal clear waters of the Caribbean, been on a ship surrounded by water as far as the eye can see, stood on the rim of the grand canyon, climbed to the top of the second highest peak in New Mexico, above the tree line, where there was snow in August. I have peered into the star filled heavens from the pitch black of the Canadian wilderness. I mention these things, not to brag, but to give context. Despite all these wondrous sights, and the feelings of awe that fill you when you experience them, none of them come close to equaling the feeling you get when you see your baby, its heartbeat, its head, its arms, its feet, and even see it move. I missed the heartbeat the first time Jennifer was pregnant and by the next appointment it was gone. She tried to convey to me how amazing it was, but you don't get it until you are there. I couldn't take my eyes off the screen. I didn't want the appointment to end. And I can't wait to see more. I know sometimes it is not an option, for one reason or another you can't always go. But if it is an option, do it. You have never seen anything more touching or more amazing in your life.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

The secret is out

Well we told Rich's Mom and his dad & step-mom yesterday. The funny thing is is that both sets of parents suspected something since we evidently never visit. Works both ways though. Anyway, they were all very excited for us. I don't think I have mentioned it on here yet, but my sister-in-law is due 2 weeks before me. So Rich & his brother will be fathers at the same time. Very scary!! We did tell his dad & step-mom some of what has happened to us, the 2 m/cs & the shots. The missed the first quarter of the OSU game becuase of us. The 2 of them kept leaving the room at seperate times & not sitting down together. Finally Rich just blurted it out. His brother is spreading the news after their next u/s on thursday.

Things are going pretty well for me. Just tired and nauseous. Starting to get my appetite back some thoguh which is nice. My bo.obs aren't as sore but I think that the hormones are starting to level out some now. I have 1 more appt with Dr. B 9/28. The trans nuchal u/s is 9/27. We get to see Cletus 2 days in a row. First OB appt is 10/15. It will be so weird not to go every couple weeks and also weird not to get to see Cletus everytime.

My mom & Rich's Step-mom do not like the name Cletus the Fetus. I am very upset with them. My mom has already renamed the baby. Just confirms the fact that there will be no telling of the name before the baby is born. All the mom's are retired or don't have jobs, so they were already asking about babysitting yesterday. My mom & Rich's mom were talking about setting up nurseries. I have some big news for them thoguh, this baby is going to daycare. This sounds horrible but I would rather have paid strangers watch my babies then family. At least I know that they will respect my wishes. I won't have to worry about someone holding my baby all day long & not giving them a chance to rest or having their first words be "Jerry! Jerry!" Ok so obviously things are already starting to get on my nerves. I knew it would, but people, give me a break. This still isn't a sure thing until I give birth to a live baby. I am ready to run away already. WEll I needed to get that out. I have another post brewing about pregnancy after IF, but I need to take care of something else first. I alos hope to get back to blogging more at work since the policy says you can use the internet during lunch or off-work hours.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Celebrate good times!

So 9 years ago today at approx 6 am, I got asked the most important question ever. Out on a boat at Witch Bay camp, Rich read me a poem and got down on one knee in the boat!! It was very romantic, but wouldn't have been if his Dad would have gone like he wanted to. I can't beleive it has been 9 yrs since Rich asked me to marry him.

Anyway, on to what everyone really cares about. We saw Cletus again today. Today was just amazing. We saw hands, fingers, both sides of the brain, backbone, jaw, feet, the cord, sinus cavities and a heartbeat at 163 bpm!!! We also saw Cletus move!!!! Put his hands in front of his face and punched the amniotic sac. I am just saying he as a generic term, we don't knwo the sex. He jumped around a little bit. We both cried when we saw movement. I pointed at Rich & said I told you so. I told him we may see movement & he didn't beleive me. It was really funny. After all the measurements were done and Dr. B was pointing out parts, all of the sudden Cletus jumped. We got some really great pictures this time. Of course Cletus looks like an alien right now, but we love him so much already.

I am getting sick still, more often than not. That is ok with me though. I think it's definitely time for the elastic pants too. I have been holding out for so long, scared, but I think it will be ok now. Still exhausted all the time too.

Rich & I are so excited & relived. We are ready to shout it from the rooftops. We are telling his family this week or weekend. Rich wrote an adorable e-mail in order to tell everyone. Maybe I can convince him to post it here when he is done. :-)

Dr. B told me to make an appt with the OB/GYN & I made my last appt w/ Dr. B today. I know I will get emotional at that appt as he has been a miracle worker & life saver thru this whole process. I get teary eyed just thinknig about it. Appt with him is 9/28 and trans nuchual u/s is 9/27.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Wating on me

So the spotting got worse on Thursday & I decided to call the nurses line. I got my favorite nurse on the phone. She asked me about the spotting color & frequency. She told me to keep taking the ibuprofen as long as I saw anything. She asked me if it ever stopped or got to be less. I told her after work on Wednesday it got better. She told me to relax as much as possible & take it easy. Then she asked me in a very delicate way if we had done anything to "aggravate my cervix" - draw your own conclusions. When I said yes, she sounded more relaxed and said the spotting was probably coming from my cervix because it is puffy right now. The spotting had stopped on Friday and no more has appeared over the weekend.

When I told Rich what the nurse said he was relieved. He told me no more laundry, dishwasher, grocery shopping & I needed to take it easy. He then said that he would do whatever I needed to make Cletus happy. Well he opened up the opportunities there. He has been very good to me. I am going to call him Ricardo - my house boy. He took me to Dairy. Queen on Thursday night because Cletus wanted it :-) He also went out to lunch with me on Wednesday when we were both scared again. Obviously I cannot slow down or take it easy. I just can't do it. As hard as I try there is still so much to do around here. I am getting testy with Rich more often & it hasn't been fun to be in our house or possibly our presence lately. I hope this goes away soon. U/s got moved to Wednesday due to an unscheduled surgery. Since I am very familiar with those & have probably bumped some other women out of their appt times, I tried to be very accommodating & changed the appt time.

Please put your item in the bag……

Does this blog have to always be about infertility? Because I have something to talk about that is unrelated. As you may know from the title, I want to share some thoughts on self check-out lanes. First of all let me start by saying, self check-out lanes: Great idea, poorly executed.

Great Idea:
How many of you have gone to the store only to experience a cashier, bagger, or both that are more interested in gossiping with their friends than doing what they are getting paid to do? Call me old school, but you are at work to work. Or you get in the line with the cashier that is slower than ice melting at the south pole……in winter. So to the talkers that can’t multi task and the and slow pokes…shut up, get out of the way, and let me do it myself…..brilliant! Now go have a Guinness.

Poorly Executed:
Where do I begin? How about with the title, please put your item in the bag. Ever notice the bags sit on little square pads that must be scales or something? Sensitive little suckers aren’t they? Please put your item in the bag. Huh, but I did? Let’s see….what did I just scan, oh here it is, take it out, put it in a different bag, whew, that’s better. Now what? Oh, I have 5 cans of the same soup, I’ll just scan one can 5 times then put them all in the bag, I see the professional cashiers do this all the time. Bleep…..there’s one, now why isn’t anything happening? Please put your item in the bag, oh never mind, scan-bag-scan-bag-scan-bag… least it’s good for the abs. Just yesterday I saw something I never noticed before, a little button pops up with “skip bagging” on it. Finally, screw you and your please put your item in the bag. So, I scan the next item, the bags are pretty full anyway, and I decide to hit the skip bagging button and place my item on the shelf, not in a bag. Unexpected item in the bagging area. What do you mean unexpected, I just scanned it, it isn’t in a bag and where else am I supposed to put it? So I pick it up, item removed from bagging area, please return item to bagging area. Please wait for cashier assistance. Great! I stand around waiting on the 2 other people who evidentially are as uncoordinated as I am before she comes to get my machine out of failure mode. All along there’s this touch pad just after the scanner that says touch item here after scanning. So I scan, touch the item to the pad, OK, well maybe I just brushed over it, but the item did make contact with the pad, I made dang sure of that. I’m getting pretty aggravated and determined to follow all instructions. Unexpected item in the bagging area, Please wait for cashier assistance. Noooooo, the very source of inefficiency this process is supposed to eliminate is back in the loop again. I guess you need to do more than just “touch” the pad as the instructions indicate, you have to push it down. So, when I shop alone, I am perfectly content to wait on the slackers and slow pokes. It saves me lots of frustration and usually goes faster than doing it myself. Jennifer never seems to have these problems so maybe I’m just an example of idiot proof something and someone will build a better idiot.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Relax? Not Likely

So just when things start to get a little comfortable, my body decides to throw me for a loop. I think I have finally come to the realization that this is just never going to be normal. It really sucks that I can't enjoy this pregnancy at all. All I do is worry. I worry if the spotting of brown blood today is a problem. I wonder if these cramps are really cramps or just stretching. With having a new job I can't really take any time off yet. The spotting never got really bad & it has basically stopped, but I am still so worried. I think the cyst burst last night because I felt a kind of ovulation pain on the right last night. Then the spotting started first thing this morning.

This is just so hard right now. I feel stupid worrying or complaining because I think people will say, you asked for this. Or you are the one that wanted this so bad. Yes, I do, but I don't think I deserve this worry either.

Just wanted to say congrats to Mrs. Spock on her pregnancy on a natural cycle. Hope you can return the meds or find someone else to use them. You are so psychic in your abilities. She said that she would get pregnant soon after I did, so it makes sense. I just wish she could be psychic on whether Cletus is going to make it or not.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Infertility....The ugly side

The ugly side of infertility…..I’m not good, I’m broken, Everyone is having babies but me and I don’t like any of them…….oh the bad things that infertility can do to us.

It’s a frustrating disappointing and all around difficult journey, but just because friends or family may say insensitive things, or they might now have something you don’t (baby) and you are feeling like there is less and less you have in common, they are your friends and family and they want to be supportive. But, having never been in your shoes they are not going to be very good at it. The pain of their actions or comments might even be amplified by ignorance to your situation if you have kept your struggle and your feelings secret. But, they are still the same people you have always known, and you are still the same person to them. Though it might be difficult for you to hang out with them because they are pregnant or have a baby, it is difficult for them to see less and less of their family member or friend, especially if they don’t even understand why.

We have been very fortunate to have patient, understanding, and supportive friends, old and new, during our struggle and many of them read this blog. Thank you to all of you.

I saw an article that got me thinking about all of this and I’ll put the link at the end. Living with infertility is always hard and some times hurts those around us that are not dealing with it personally. There is a very ugly side to it that can make us feel broken, far away or incomplete. But in this article, I think the last paragraph sums it up well. What it says to me is that we all have a choice to make. On top of that, I feel the longer we stay on the path we chose, the easier it is to stay on that path and the harder it is to change. If we are on a good path, this is a good thing, but if we are on a bad path then it is not.

If you are reading this and think you are feeling down, pause, step back, and think about your family and friends. Are you still a friend, a brother, a sister, cousin, daughter, son, husband, wife, etc… or have you let the frustration and disappointment take those good, happy, and potentially supportive relationships away from you too? Infertility can be greedy if we don’t work to keep it from taking that which it doesn’t deserve.

You can find the article here:

Saturday, September 1, 2007

We have parts!!!

Ultrasound was so awesome!! We saw arm & leg buds!! I told Dr. B that we have parts & I was so excited. He laughed at me, but I don't care. The head is really big & he showed us where the brain will grow into it. Rich called it a hollow head. Dr. B and I both thought he said bobble head. Dr. B said I might come up off the table & smack him. Bobble or hollow head isn't nice to say to your child I didn't think. Heart rate was 165!!! We are so thrilled that everything is going so well, especially with the scare. The cyst has shrunk considerably, so that maybe what the spotting was from. My cervix was 44mm which was great since we were worried about that with the LEEP surgery. I threw up my awesome welcome lunch that I had with my new co-workers on the way to the doctor's. It so all worth it though. We go back on Sept 11th I think. Good thing they write that stuff down for you. Sorry that the updates are behind & I am not reading many blogs yet either. I need to get caught up on them from vacation, plus I am so exhausted now.

Work is going great. I just got a computer yesterday afternoon. Everyone is so nice. They gave me a cookie bouquet to welcome me. I think I am going to really like corporate life!

In case anyone is interested, Jason got the movie right. It was midnight madness. But he goo.gled it.