Monday, April 27, 2009

First Saturday in May

Around these parts, the first Saturday in May is a big deal. Fast horses and beautiful women. Fast women and beautiful horses. Mint juleps. Trifectas. And....hats. Big, over the top, match the dress to the hat, hats. My hat last Derby was so big I strained my neck. Because I'm a trooper (and my shoes matched my hat), I continued to wear the hat, just drank more to compensate. I love hats. Others' opinions notwithstanding, hats love me.

Until this year.

I will not be wearing a hat to the Kentucky Derby. I make this decision last weekend while posing in front of my mirror donning one of my favorite hats from yesteryear. I looked like a flying knocked up nun, a mushroom that had swallowed a dung beetle...I looked silly. I wonder if I will have to enter the track through the "non hat wearers" door, located so far on the backside that the powers that be hope you'll give up in frustration and go home to watch the races on TV? It's a sad story, I know.

In other news, the issue of "showers" has arisen. I'm very flattered and touched that dear friends and family have offered to throw me baby showers, but the thought of a shower makes me feel twitchy and itchy and rash-like. It would be different I suppose if I weren't 39 years old and not already scarred by the endless Saturday afternoons I gave up to guess the diaper containing the tootsie roll. E thinks I'm nuts, but this is the same man who wouldn't have to attend and count tootsie rolls and also believes that people give you cribs or free college educations at these events. Silly, silly man.

So, I'm holding firm. No showers. Especially the dreaded work shower, though for different reasons. I work with a bunch of male lawyers, and support staff and paralegals who are primarily women. The bunch of male lawyers part speaks for itself. And, as wonderful as the support staff and paralegals are, I can't bear the thought of them spending their money on me. Economically, times are tough and it's just not right to put people in the position where they feel compelled to contribute, so no work shower. I will take the bakery cake with lots of icing though. The men can pony up for that.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

A typical visit to the Ob

Scene 1, Act 1.

Nurse: Please get on the scale.
Melanie: Ok, I will get on the scale, but I would like it noted in my file there that I just had lunch.
Nurse: Duly noted.
Melanie: So deduct 5 pounds. I've got on heavy clothing too, so better make it 6.
Nurse: silence
Melanie: And I mean it, I don't want you to tell me my weight. And don't write the number really big so that when I try to read it upside down I can't.
Nurse. Ok
Melanie: Oh, and don't leave the file where I can get it. Because I'll read it and I don't want to know.
Nurse: Get on the scale.
Melanie: Ok.

Act 2, Scene 1.

Pleasantries exchanged with doctor. Fetal heart tone identified. Fundal height measurement noted. Doctor prepares to leave.

Melanie: Hey, where are you going? You haven't told me anything...
Doctor: Everything looks great. See you in four weeks.
Melanie: Four weeks? Well, wait. Let me see what you've written down there, but, eww, wait, I don't want to see my weight.

Melanie reviews chart with doctor's hand covering the weight section.

Melanie: You know I had a big lunch before this appointment, so that weight, whatever it is, isn't technically correct.
Doctor: silence
Melanie: Anyway, so fundal height's ok?
Doctor: Yes.
Melanie: Um, heart rate sounded a little fast. You know, kind of like the old Lone Ranger series. Dum Dum Dum Dum Dum Dum daa Dum Dum....
Doctor: Heart rate's fine.
Melanie: So what else do I need to know? Anything?
Doctor: Really, everything's fine. See you in four weeks.
Melanie: Wait, shouldn't you be scheduling me for an ultrasound before then?
Doctor: Why do you need an ultrasound?
Melanie: (thinking to herself, Why wouldn't I? Duh.)
Melanie: It's been awhile. What if he's grown another limb? He could have learned how to make obscene hand gestures since the last one ultrasound. It's best to correct these behaviors young, you know.
Doctor: silence
Melanie: We won't know anything until we take a peak.
Melanie: Oh, come on.
Doctor: (Rolls eyes) See you in four weeks.

The end.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Eww, eww, eww, call on me, I know the answer..

Q: When does the fear subside?

A: Never


I'm a devotee of milestones; a follower of "just get to point A" then, B, then C; a staunch believer in "just make it to X, then worry about Y." I haven't abandoned my cartography tendencies this pregnancy (yes, this, my only sustaining pregnancy). At first, it was the peesticks. Let them stay positive, double pink lines, a flashing "pregnant." Check. Then the beta. Let it be high. High and strong. Higher than my first failed pregnancy. Ok, next the ultrasound. Before December 2008, I'd never been invited to an ultrasound (my own, that is) which featured more than follicles, lining checks and ovaries. Let this one have, oh I dunno, a sac? Fetal pole? A beating heart. Oh please, a heartbeat. Two? Bliss.

Setback one. Only one beating heart at 7 weeks five days. It's ok. Little A is still strong. It's not unusual to lose a twin early on. I have my Little A. Now I need to get past that most magical of all pregnancy milestones...the first trimester. Much hand wringing. Multiple ultrasounds. And, on a wing and a prayer, we make it to 13 weeks. Whew. Next up: level one ultrasound, first sequential, triple screen, second sequential, quad screen, level two ultrasound. Movement, please give me fetal movement. Ah, movement. And then we got here...almost 22 weeks.
So at what point do I get to relax? When do I get to settle in with the certainty that this little life is going to keep on living? Will I be peeing on sticks as we drive to the hospital? Last night for example, my Little A was kicking up a storm. This morning, I've felt a few little nudges but no fetal gymnastics. Am I worried? Do I find myself poking my stomach and searching out month old chocolate to prod the child into action? Hell yes. Do I drive to the ob's office to have a visit with the doppler? Hell to the yes to that too. And what does my Little A do when I get in the car to go back to work...kicks up a storm. Sort of a "I am the boss of you, mortal" gesture.

On another note, I had a funny conversation with someone at work the other day. She said to me "so have you told your husband what present you'd like for giving birth?" I was stunned into silence. Not because the woman had asked something inappropriate, but because of the utter absurdity of the thought as it applied to my life. A present for giving birth? If I make it to birth, I will have been given the most astoundingly miraculous, magical bestowal of my existence. A bestowal that was over two years in the making and sheathed in tears and sadness and uncertainty and finally, unimaginable joy. And though it pains my soul to say this (as a girl who's inordinately fond of things that sparkle) no material object in the world is suitable to commemorate the, please oh please, birth of my Little A. Present, indeed. (I guess I need not point out that it cost a Mercedes to even get to this point.)

Monday, April 13, 2009

Hello Spring

Ah, glorious, happy, delightful Spring. Where have you been all my life? Yesterday, I sat outside on my cushioned lounge chair, felt the sun on my face, ignored the screaming children from two houses down (whose parents bought them a trampoline for Christmas. Grrr.) and thought, yes, this is good. Really good. Nothing in the world regenerates my spirit like spring. Except maybe sitting in my comfortable lounge chair in Spring feeling my Little A kick and punch my uterus like a little welterweight. Bliss.

Finally, I'm feeling some action in my belly. I've felt little this's and that's for a few weeks but nothing I could distinctly categorize as baby movement. Then, last Thursday, my stomach turned into microwave popcorn. Picture the old Batman TV shows...BAM, Kaboom, POW, BOOM. I can almost hear his little gurgling wail now, "I wanna speak to the warden. GIMME out of here" (in an underwater voice of course). I'm having so much fun at his expense. Dare I also admit that sometimes, not all the time, but sometimes I'll eat a cookie just to get a little feel of the fetus olympiad. I'm having way too much fun at the child's expense.

Though I was planning on waiting until, oh about 38 weeks before I bought anything for Little A, I broke down. I bought bedding. And a matching teddy bear. And matching mobile. Dear God, I bought flippin' pillows too. And somehow, a miniature pair of cargo pants and polo shirt showed up on my dining room table. And not that anyone other than me has any interest WHATSOEVER in the bedding I bought a few weeks...months early, but if you are, here's the link.

I am weak. Weak, weak, weak.

So here's my pledge. My next post will deal only with adult issues. I will not mention teddy bears, mobiles, adorable cargo pants or other infantile subjects. Really. Global warming, recessions and Somali pirates only.

Happy Spring!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Quad Screen Results...

...came back fine. Negative for neural tube defects, risk of chromosomal issues very low. My little A seems to be doing fine. I'm doing fine. Actually, I feel great. I always thought (back in the days when I thought I could go off the pill and *zippo* fall pregnant) that I would hate pregnancy, but I don't. At all. It's added a new dimension to my feelings about ART.

Frankly, title of my blog notwithstanding, I never gave much thought to pregnancy. itself. Sure, if you go the traditional route, you have to go through pregnancy to get the desired result. The desired result was what I wanted and why I endured the sado-masochism that is IVF. I always assumed that, well, pregnancy would suck, but it was worth it. I was wrong. There is a magic and a mystery and a joy to pregnancy I never could have imagined. I'm not sure if it's because it was so difficult to get to this point or because I truly came to believe that it wouldn't happen, but either way or neither way, I'm in awe of this process.

I wonder if my ultrasound addiction fueled this? Seeing my Little A stick his hand in his mouth and cross his little frog legs (tasty side of remoulade anyone?) and drape his little arm over his eyes just slayed me. I never expected to love carrying around this little, not yet a full beer in weight, soon to be human quite so much. I mean, we haven't really met or exchanged pleasantries or hugs or handshakes, but I would leap tall buildings for him. I would slay dragons to keep him safe. How very strange it all is. Very strange indeed.

We got our first two baby gifts the other day. One was a little onesie with ducks and a matching bib. So very tiny. My husband commented that "it wasn't very masculine." I reminded him that they didn't issue guns and camo until at least 18 months. Sigh. The other gift was a blue blanket, so incredibly soft with a satin edge. A little blue blanket for my Little A. At some point I will tell him about my blue blanket and Old King Cole blanket one day. I wonder where they are?