Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Hanukkah, schmanukkah

Oh my goodness but I've been drowning in a sea of work the past few weeks. I feel like I'm back in school, bringing work home with me every night, working on the weekends etc. This seems to happen every December. The pharma companies I consult for all want to use up their budgets before they lose them at end of year, so throw a shit load of projects at us. Of course they want them done and waiting for them when they come back from their two week holiday. So I'm working my ass off, and I canceled my vacation for earlier this month (did I already bitch about this?) but I will take time off over Christmas to visit my family in Michigan. We leave Friday and if I have to stay up all night tonight and tomorrow I will get this last project done. It's interesting how my technical writing gets a bit, how shall we say it, fanciful when I'm working on these reports at midnight.

So I had to take a few minutes to write this post, despite the fact I should be getting The Boy to bed soon so I can work some more. I had to write this post because I need to vent a bit about what happened this weekend.

I married in to a some what bizarre family. Not that my family is much better, believe me, we have our dirty laundry too. But, Amazing Daddy's family, oy, talk about dysfunctional. His older brother (by eight years) has the typical I'm the oldest son of the family mentality, yet he really has no patience for his own mother and her rapidly aging mind. They have had "issues" with pretty much everyone else in the extended family (basically all cousins at this point) and have very little to do with any of them. My SIL has been feuding with her family for years, and when her mother passed away a couple weeks ago all we heard from them is that her family didn't include her in any of the funeral plans etc. Yeah, well, after this weekend, it's going to be hard to convince me that the reason for all this "we just don't get along" shit lies firmly on my BIL and SIL's shoulders.

Weeks ago I invited BIL and SIL and their two grown sons (one with wife and toddler) over for a Hanukkah party for the family. Me, the non jew of the family, trying very hard to keep the family together and celebrate their special holidays. So for three days I prepare for this event, you know, cooking, making chocolate gelt, I even made the blue star of david jello mold. So, party set to start at 4pm, six pounds of brisket in the oven, and ten pounds of potatoes on hand for latkes, at 1pm BIL calls to say younger nephew is sick and that his face hurts (from the removal of a growth a few days prior). Of course we say we understand and we'll get together with them after we get back from Michigan. So we call oldest nephew just to make sure they are still coming, and to let them know they can come earlier if they want. They are a bit wishy washy on the phone and say they have to talk to L (SIL). Five minutes later they call and tell us plans have changed and they aren't coming, because they have to go to BIL and SIL's. Something about they were going their first. So, to make a long, boring story short, I was out manipulated by BIL and SIL. If they couldn't see oldest son and first grandchild that day, they weren't going to let us see them. It's not like we see them very often, so I'm not sure why they would feel this was a competition or something.

So I was pissed, because damn it I spent a lot of time getting ready (time I really could have used on work stuff or spending time with my own son) and no one came.

I'd say that's the last time I offer to entertain them at our house, but it wouldn't matter, because they would never get the point.

I'm not mad at older nephew and family, because I know they have to walk a thin line with his parents, and get manipulated by them often. Of course they never seem to have the balls to stand up to passive-aggressive SIL. Just like SH won't stand up to his big brother.

This family drives me crazy. And we'll be eating brisket for a week. But damn, it's one good brisket. And I do make divine latkes for a shikse!

OK, enough whining. Next post I tell you about constipated kitty and the growth on his ass!

Saturday, December 02, 2006

embryo updates

Several of you have commented or emailed recently asking what was going on with our donor embryo plan.

Something to know about me, when I've made a decision to do something I tend to stop talking/writing about it since in my head it is a done deal. Anyway, we are moving forward with the DET. I'll start Lupron after my next period, then the ET after that. I think this will put us in February for the transfer, since Aunt Flo is due to visit us again around Christmas time. Yes, a true red Christmas.

The only obstacle I foresee right now is that I may need surgery on my wrist. I have an appointment this week with the hand surgeon. If I do (which at this point I just want to do and get it over with) I'm hoping they will do it soon so it is out of the way before this cycle and a potential pregnancy.

Of course, just by saying that I've jinxed myself in to failure.

A little bit of cuteness to brighten your day.

conifers and powder, oh my

Well hello Saturday afternoon! The Boy is napping; all hail the holy spirits of naptitude! And with trusty work laptop on my lap (of course) I am successfully procrastinating doing every thing that I should do (as in; write holiday letter, finish Kodak projects, start work project that has me seriously stressed out to the point of cancelling my week of vacation this month, and all other mommy/wifely duties). And since I am feeling some what witty (although what sounds so funny in my head rarely makes it out of my fingers and on to the screen as humorous as I want) I figure I'd take some time and update my bloggy friends on the goings on in my world.

Christmas tree is up, and looking mighty fine if I do say so myself. Following my family tradition we went on the great tree hunt as soon after Thanksgiving as possible. I've groomed my son well apparently, because all talk prior to the hunt was about getting a BIG tree! Bigger than PaPa Rick! Which is pretty damn big in the eyes of a three year old, considering grandpa is 6'3" and solid.

As we entered the nursery where we bought the tree, The Boy's eyes got huge and he said "Wow, look at all those conifers!"

WTF? What three year old calls Christmas trees conifers?? I blame it on They Might be Giants. Well, at least he's learning something from his DVD's. Unlike the "stupid" and "shut up" he got from Toystory. Which, btw, we threw away today after he said both phrases numerous times while out running errands today. Is he too young to make eat a bar of soap?

Anyway, TB had great fun running through all the "conifers" and we did indeed get one bigger than PaPa Rick.
Perhaps this picture shows the devil in his eyes a little better.

All that cuteness that surrounds a little mischievous troll. As evidence I present the following pictures, the results of a forgotten can of zinc oxide powder left overnight in his room:

Please do learn from my mistake and vacuum immediately. Zinc oxide absorbs moisture from the air (which as a freaking pharmacist I should have remembered!), which results in a nice moist gummy mess instead of that fluffy powder it could have been 12 hours prior.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Consult with Dr. C this morning. Although I think I may have to rename him Dr. H for Dr. Holy Crap did you really offer me ten frozen embryos.

Yup, you heard me, we will soon be the recipients of ten frozen embryos. Even better, ten frozen embryo's from a 20 something couple. I think i smiled for the first time in a month today. Amazing Daddy and I were both speechless, totally in shock.

We went in to the appointment expecting to be talked in to a third cycle, which I would have refused to do without knowing something was different, or immediately going to donor egg. Instead, Dr. C asked us where we wanted to start, or something like that, and I said I didn't really know, for the first time I didn't come prepared with pages full of questions.

Then he started to talk about a couple that he treated that was very fertile, young, in their 20's but needed IVF to get pregnant, and she ended up with far more embryos than she needed, and she wanted to donate them to a couple who could use them. So apparently she entrusted Dr. C with the job of finding the right couple. And he chose us!

This is the first good thing to happen to us in the fertility arena since we started this process!

Donor embryo is something I've been thinking about the last week or so. Big thanks to Leggy for suggesting it and sharing her thoughts with me. I figured that it was going to take some time to get there though, especially if we had to wait on a list, or find our own. Never, did I expect to literally have ten thrust in my lap in this way!

So our heads are spinning, we have lots to talk about, and think about. Right now though, it seems like the answer to our prayers. Maybe I will have a baby some time after all.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

He says the darndest things

The Boy has said some adorable things lately and I'm afraid if I don't write them down I will forget them, so here goes.

This morning listening to the radio on the way to school after hearing a commercial:

TB: Mommy, what's details?

Mommy: Oh, well, it's when you give someone a lot of information about something, you are telling them the details.

TB: Oh, like Eeyores tail....


A couple weeks ago after going to an apple orchard and pumpkin patch:

Mommy: Wow, we had so much fun at the apple orchard. I really liked watching you pick all those apples.

TB: yeah, and riding the tractor

Mommy: My favorite part was how gentle you were and how you had such great listening ears!

TB: Yeah! And my favorite part was watching you and daddy hug each other!

Wow, who ever thought he paid attention to that stuff! Amzing Daddy and I did have a rather nice moment in the orchard.


Another riding in the car moment discussing something silly about who loves him and who likes to be with him etc.

Mommy: Who's more fun to be with? (thinking he will certainly say Mommy)

TB: with no hestitation Mommy AND Daddy (definite emphasis on the AND)

Friday, October 20, 2006

Like I said yesterday, I'm pretty much resigned to the results. Since the retrievel, I haven't felt positive about it. But then of course I start to worry that my negative feelings led to a negative result. But really, is that rational?

I'm not sure how Amazing Daddy is feeling about this. I know he's disappointed, but he also said he's happy with the family we have. He doesn't have the need that I do to carry and birth a baby. AD doesn't talk about things that bother him. It frustrates me, and leaves me guessing, and often feeling like he just doesn't feel anything.

AD was so sweet and sent me a big bouquet of flowers yesterday to cheer me up. So thoughtful! What I really needed though was for him to come home and hold me and share his disappointment.

I have so much guilt right now. Mostly regarding the expense of all this, with nothing to show for it. How do I justify spending even more if we do go on? Yet, how do I not go on?

Am I being selfish? The boy frequently talks about wanting a brother/sister (one entity in his mind I think). But really, he's 3 1/2, does he understand what he's asking for? At the same time though, doesn't he deserve to have a brother or sister to share his life with? But we could solve that by adopting again. At what point do I force myself to give up the need/desire to be pregnant and be satisfied with adoption?

I know that I need to and want to explore donor egg or donor embryo. I just don't know how to get AD on board with it. I know he'll never "need" it the way I do, but I need him to understand how I feel and to want a child enough to make these sacrifices.

Leggy, you asked if we had looked in to embryo adoption. Do you have any suggestions on where to start with that?

Thursday, October 19, 2006

As expected

Well, no surprise here. The pregnancy test was negative.

I had a few spurts of hope earlier in the week when I did a couple HPT's and had some very faint lines. Of course I did an HCG booster last week, so the rational part of me knew that it was a false positive.

I'm frustrated, but resigned I guess. Dr. C wants us to come in for a consult, so we will see him November 3rd.

I want to move on to donor eggs or embryo's, but as usual, it comes down to the money. As of now we have spent over $80K between The Boy's adoption and all the fertility treatments. I don't regret a penny of the adoption, but it's hard to see another 40 grand flushed down the toilet. That's money that should be for our retirement, or to help buy a house, so TB has an actual yard and we don't have to hear the neighbors through the walls, or for TB's college fund. Or a safe car for me, instead of the rust bucket I'm currently driving.

It all comes down to money. The emotional part of this sucks, but I'd do it over and over again if I had to. If we could afford to. Until we have a baby.

How do you give up a dream of being a mother just because you can't afford it?

Sunday, October 08, 2006


You would think that having three days in bed I would write like crazy, but no. Although I did catch up on a lot of reading, including my favorite blogs.

So, anyway, three embryos were transferred on Thursday; a six cell, a seven cell and an eight cell. I'm trying to be positive. The transfer itself went very well. So much better than last time. They let me pee a little bit just before, so I wasn't in agony and was able to relax. I was able to watch the monitor of the ultrasound so I could see what was going on, which also helped me focus and relax. Last time I was having a lot of pain in my lower abdomen from my ovaries, this time I didn't have any pain. And I've felt good since. Maybe since every thing was different with this cycle from the last one, the outcome will be different too.

So I'm up today, I"m catching up on the laundry and cleaned the bathroom, changed the sheets, and now I'm getting ready to do some work on the laptop. You know, all the work I should have done over the last three days when I couldn't move and the laptop was my constant companion. I had a huge list of things computer related I was going to get done, and I did none of them.

If interested, my brother and his family are doing well. They are living with my parents right now but a "double wide" should be arriving next week for them to live in while their house is rebuilt. The insurance company has been great they said.

Thanks for everyone's kind thoughts!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

A bit of perspective, and a reminder to give thanks for what you already have

I received the following email from my mom today:

Kristie and AD,

Sure are thinking about you and know that it is a hard time for you, but I know that you will be hurt if Idon't tell you. I think that email is a gentler way. You can read it at your leisure. Mike and Kari'shouse was hit by lightning last night. Seven firetrucks, ambulance and police car. They got out O.K. Kari had a close escape. She was putting things into the freezer after a late trip to WalMart. The lightning hit the TV antenna about 11:00, went down the wires right behind the freezer and arked out at her feet. She had very thick wedgie shoes on (3/4")and it cut the sole in half and popped out a staple. The fire was in the attic. Fire men and women were wonderful. Lots of water damage. Insurance adjuster hasn't arrived yet, (12:30pm on Tuesday) so we don'tknow what's up yet. They spent the rest of the night here, 2:30 on. K & M have emptied their fridge and freezer into ours. Your Dad thinks he's died and goneto heaven with all the REAL food in the house. We're expecting them to be here for a while. Love you and hope that tomorrow goes O.K. I'll be thinking about you. Love you all. Mom Dad, too!

Mike is my brother. They live on "the farm" in Michigan with my parents, cousin, aunt/uncle etc.

Everyone is ok, and I can't believe how lucky my sister in law was. Like me, she tends to go around the house barefoot. Thank god she had those shoes on.

It sounds like they lost the second story, and over night their bedroom floor fell in to their living room. They were able to get some stuff out (like pictures, heirloom china, etc.) before the firemen got there. I think that my oldest nephews stuff is likely ok too since his bedroom is on the first floor. All my brothers and SIL clothes are ruined, as are my two younger nephews. I'm not sure about there books and toys.

I hate being so far away. There isn't much I can do for them here in Philly. I imagine they'll be living with my parents for a while.

Thank god they are all ok!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

It's not looking great...

I admit I haven't gone in to this cycle with much optimism. I've basically had the "if I don't think it will work, I won't be devastated when it doesn't" attitude. I wish it was that simple.

The ultrasound on Saturday showed some awesome follicles, certainly not a predictor of what I'm hearing today.

Egg report today:
13 eggs retrieved
8 were mature
rare, nonmotile sperm in sample
frozen sperm sample used
4 eggs fertilized

Well, you know 4 eggs today is unlikely to mean 4 embryos at transfer.

Last cycle:
14 eggs retrieved
10 mature
8 fertilized
7 became 4 cells day 2
4 were 8 cells or better at transfer
0 took

Apparently one of my ovaries was tucked behind my uterus yesterday, and they couldn't really get to it. I assume they got some from it or I wouldn't have had the 13.

I'm the kind of person that needs answers. And statistics. I need to know what the odds are that my 4 fertilized eggs will be 4 tomorrow, and what the chances are that they will be any on Thursday. I need to know why they couldn't get to the one ovary and how hard they tried. I need to know if using the frozen sample is why only 50% fertilized, when 80% fertilized last time. I need to know if our chance of getting pregnant would be better if we used the donor sperm we have frozen on backup. I need to know why Sparklyhusband has sperm one day and not another. I need to know that this result isn't because yesterday was a holiday (Yom Kippur) and everyone was in a hurry to get out of there, and it wasn't the "second string" embryologist doing the work.

What I don't need to hear is "all you need is one."

It's a number game, and the less there are, the lower the chances.

We have spent over 80K between our fertility treatments and the adoption of The Boy. I don't think I can justify the expense of another cycle. But at the same time I'm not sure I can give up all my dreams of being pregnant and having another child.

I'm back in to the "it's not fair" funk.

Monday, October 02, 2006

IVF #2 - retrieval

Retrieval day today. Bakers dozen recovered.

I'm confused, and disappointed. I had 20 follicles on my last ultrasound Saturday morning.

Amazing Daddy said they had a difficult time getting to my one ovary. Not sure what that means, and he didn't ask I guess. And someone said, can't really remember if they told me, or they told him, that they didn't go after the small follicles. I guess that could account for the discrepancy. I want to know why they didn't go for them though.

I woke up during the procedure, it hurt! Not sure why I woke up. I'm pretty sure they put me right back under. Damn Versed, I can't remember anything.

So when I finally did wake up and asked how it went, the nurse anesthetist told me 13. I started to cry. That wasn't enough. She couldn't understand why I was so upset. No one could. Damn people. Am I the only one who understands this is a numbers game?

On the other necessary part of this equation...AD had no sperm in his sample from last night and this morning. Again. And no one even cares to know why. Fortunately, one of the samples that was frozen had some and they were motile when thawed, so the embryologist felt confident that she could find 13 sperm. I'm assuming since we haven't heard from them that they did. I guess we'll know more tomorrow.

So I'm home, and crampy, and I slept a few hours this afternoon. The cats are happy to have me in bed again.

Tomorrow I'll go to the library to stock up on books to read after the transfer. And the grocery store. I think chocolate will factor heavily on that grocery list.

Egg update tomorrow.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Catching up and other shit

I've neglected to blog for a couple weeks. It's not that I haven't thought about it. I do, often. And I frequently write the funniest posts in my head on my way home from work, they just never seem to get out of the mush of my brain.

Cycle day one if anyone is interested. Oyyyy...The headache after being on ten days of Lupron. My soul for some estrogen please. Menopur stars on Monday, after the ol' coochie checks out and they drill for blood.


My parents are coming for a visit next weekend. That means I have to clean up the guest bedroom. And wash the sheets from their last visit, from like, four months ago. And, next Friday night starts Rosh Hoshanah. So I guess they'll let them selves in and be waiting for us. Because, dinner is at my brother-in-laws house Friday. I have to bring the salad. I hate salad. And basically no one eats it, but I still have to take it, and then bring it home after. And, they know that what I really love to do is bake, but do they ever ask me to bake something yummy for dinner? Oh no...and come on, my honey cake rocks! Especially considering a shicksa is baking it.

My brother-in-law and his family are weird. Every thing is a big secret with them. And they can't commit to anything more than a day in advance. And often, they never even give an answer. My SIL has multiple sclerosis, but she refuses to talk about it, and just says she's doing fine, even when I can see that her vision sucks or she is having trouble walking. I wish I could help her, but she refuses to talk about any thing of substance.

When I met my BIL seven years ago he told me he was an agnostic. Now he he goes to temple and seems to believe. I'm not sure what happened in the last seven years to get him there, because they don't f'ing talk about anything real in their life.

I just realized the other day that he is 19 years older than me, and could be my father. Amazing Daddy says that 19 is too young to be a father, so I had to remind him I was talking figuratively. BIL and SIL are nice people, but I have nothing in common. Spending time with them is painful. I find myself wanting to say outrageous things just to see if they will react. Poor SH cringes when I open my mouth.

It's hard being someone who is so open like we are, and being family with someone who is so CLOSED.

Really though, they are nice people, and they make good briskett.


My MIL, stereotypical Jewish old lady. Some day I'll write about her. I have funny stories. Remind me to tell you about the phone message she left when I first moved in with AD.


We were invited to a private party at the Philadelphia Zoo last night. We took Prince Alexi and had a lot of fun. He got to see puma's play with each other. Not much different than our own cats, just much bigger and with longer, sharper claws.

The spider monkeys were cute too. They went non-stop...Reminded me of TB.

TB did well, until we had to walk through the big cat exhibit and go through a small building with a large movie screen. Scared him shitless, all the lights and roaring. He stood at the door and wouldn't move. Poor kid. It was interesting because he seemed to process it all very slowly. It actually took him a couple minutes to realize it scared him.

After that every few minutes he reminded us that he didn't want to go to the movie anymore.

He told one of the zoo workers about watching the elephant poop. He saw the elephant poop four months ago during our last visit. Guess it made an impression on him.


We don't really care for one of TB's therapists (technically called his itinerat teachers (IT) by the Intermediate Unit). She's been with him since he was in early intervention. Basically she sees him for about an hour a week. And has for the last 18 months or so. I really think she's crossed some boundaries with him and has pissed me off and his regular pre-school teachers several times. I may have written about it before, but she told TB's TSS that if she wanted to learn more about TB she should research ODD (oppositional defiant disorder). Now, TB has been labeled with many abbreviations, but ODD has never been one of them.

I had a meeting with TB's teachers a couple weeks ago and they expressed some concern with with this woman (let's call her Deb, because, well, that's her name). Deb seems to think she is an expert on sensory disorders because she has a grown son with SPD. The problem is, Deb isn't with TB to work on sensory issues. That is what his OT is for. Deb is supposed to be working with him on...Well...Actually, I'm really not sure. I thought it was his behavior originally, but recently learned that wasn't true.

So really, what I was going to tell you is that at the beginning of the school year we found out that TB was getting a new IT and OT. I wasn't thrilled about a new OT since we had just been given a new one six months ago, but what ever. I did do the happy dance when I found out Deb was being replaced.

Imagine my surprise when TB's preschool teacher called to tell me that Deb had just been there and said she was going to be TB's IT again this year.

You better bet I was on the phone to the IU as soon as I hung up with Rachel. We've been playing phone tag since then. If she can't be reassigned AD and I (ok, I have decided, AD really doesn't have much to do with this stuff) have decided that we are going to cancel that "service" altogether. Considering we don't even know what she is supposed to be doing...


And that is all I have time for right now....Consider yourselves updated.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Pre-school woes

My son was dissed this morning at daycare! After the normal drop-off routine I witnessed him go up to one of the older boys (he’s in a mixed pre-school/pre-k class) and stand across the table from him and say “good morning Bobby” while Bobby ignored him. He said it again “Good morning Bobby.” Bobby looked up from his Mr. Potato Head and growled “I don’t want to play with you.” The Boy, still smiling by the way, says “Bobby, HI” while bouncing on his little feet. Bobby again says “I don’t want to play with you, go away.”

At this point TB apparently took the hint and found another friendlier, more accommodating group to play with.

I wasn’t sure whether to hope TB took it as a learning experience that the older kids don’t want to play with him because his play skills suck, or to cry for my poor little boy who was totally dissed by that big mean Bobby. I don’t like Bobby!

At least the teacher handled it, although I hope it wasn’t just because I was there to witness it. She told Bobby that it was ok if he didn’t want to play with TB, but he needed to still be polite and say good morning. I thought that was an appropriate response, although I still wanted to thunk little Bobby in the forehead with my middle finger.

Work place woes

Have you ever worked with someone who is always right? Even though you’ve worked there twice as long as they have they seem to know more about how the company runs. And even though they can’t stand your boss and basically find fault in every thing she does, they seem to glory in “taking charge” when the boss is gone. And attempt to close you out of all the decision making that is going on, even though you happen to be in a good place with said boss at the time. And you f’ing know more than they do and have more experience! Or perhaps that’s why all this is going on.

And have you ever worked right next to someone, separated only by a cubicle wall, whose cell phone rings all day, even though they are only at their desk half the time. And all the calls are personal, from a wife who must not work, or the grown son or daughter who apparently can’t make a decision without this coworker? And the phone is f’ing loud! And pretty soon you are going to jump over the cubicle wall and shove said phone up said coworker’s ass?

And have you ever had the same coworker chew and swallow so loudly and grossly you want to vomit over the cubicle wall, right on to said coworkers annoying and loud cell phone? And has this coworker held all meetings with other employees in his f’ing cubicle, even though his meetings all seem to be with people who have their own f’ing office.

And have you ever had a cubicle close enough to the bathrooms where you have to confiscate every f’ing deodorizing spray because some people seem to think it has to be sprayed every f’ing time they enter the bathroom. And if you have to f’ing smell that god damn spray that gives you a migraine every time the “over sprayer” strikes, you will explode?

And have you ever been in a mood that lasts for weeks on end and you are afraid you may just implode from the anxiety?

And yippee yee hah, have you ever been in this mental place and know you get to start Lupron in a week? Yeah LH surge.

F’ing yeah.

**brought to you by the letter F**

Sunday, August 27, 2006

I miss my Grandma

I've been thinking about my grandmother a lot lately. She passed away three years ago this month. She was just shy of her 90th birthday. She was such an amazing woman in my eyes. Like most women of her era she went through many changes in her life.

When I was 11 my grandfather had a massive stroke and she cared for him for almost two years before he finally passed away. Most of that time she cared for him at home. There wasn't much left of him during that time. He couldn't really communicate or do anything for himself. She never talked much about it to me, even after when I was an adult.

I grew up on a large farm. My parents owned the original farm house and my grandparents built a house farther back from the main road. They also built a house for my great grandfather, which my brothers family now lives in. My uncle built a house on the land around that time too. More recently my cousin built a house on the farm as well.

I was always close to Grandma, I really can't remember a time when I wasn't. In many ways I was closer to her than I was with my own mother, especially after my grandfather died. I was always closer to Grandma than my mother was. For some reason I never really understood my mother never had much patience for her own mother. Of course now, after her death my mother feels great guilt because of this. But, that's another post.

It was tough moving from Michigan to Pennsylvania when I married Amazing Daddy. I hadn't lived on the farm in years, but I'd never been more than two hours away, so I could visit any time. Although I missed my parents, it was Grandma that I missed the most. She came to visit us several times. I was always so proud of her. My dad would take her to the airport and get her on the plane and then I would be there to pick her up when she got off the jetway. That was a big deal for her, taking that trip by herself. I remember how she called me the night before the first trip to make sure she could wear tennis shoes (sneakers in this part of the US) on the plane. Any one remember the time when you used to dress up to travel?

I think Grandma was more excited than anyone else about us adopting. She was so happy when I met Amazing Daddy and brought him in to the family as if he was her own grandson. Then when we couldn't get pregnant she mourned with us. And when we first met TB and sent home pictures she had them all over her house. You'd think TB was her first great grandchild, but in fact, she already had seven, six of whom lived on the farm with her. She couldn't wait to meet TB, and spent hours struggling to knit him a blanket, with poor eye sight and hands that constantly shook.

Grandma died the same day we were in court adopting TB. Just four hours before we stood before the judge in Moscow, Grandma was in a hospital bed in Lansing, MI being removed from life support. She had a massive stroke in her brain stem just hours before.

The first call we had with my parents (who were at our house pet sitting while we were in Moscow, 12 hours drive away from Grandma) should have been the most joyous call I ever had with them. Instead they had to tell us that Grandma was gone. I knew something was wrong when I was talking with them, and then they asked to speak to AD. When he got on the phone Mom asked if I was off the line (not knowing we had two phones in the room), as soon as I heard that I knew something was terribly wrong. My first words were "what's wrong, is it grandma?" How is it possible I knew?

How is it possible she would never get to meet TB? How could she die half a world away from me? I had always promised that I would be there for her if something like that happened. I always had before, and when I moved I promised that no matter what I'd get back for her if she needed me.

My family assures me that it all happened instantly and she never knew.

The happiest day of my life, was also the saddest.

Her funeral took place while we were still in Moscow. I never said goodbye. For some reason, three years later it is hitting me harder than ever.

In some ways I think it was easier not having to go through a funeral and all the mess associated. I will always remember Grandma well and whole. But damn I miss her. And it hits me at the oddest times.

It turns out the blanket she made for TB is his favorite. G.G.'s blanket. G.G.'s blanket makes everything better. We showed him her picture a couple times when he was first starting to talk. He has been able to point her out in any picture ever since then. He talks about her like he knows her.

Is it possible he really does?

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

I’m just back from the dentist from a cleaning. Man, I love my dentist! He’s done some great stuff with my teeth over the last year and a half. I never thought I’d ever say I loved a dentist!

But, that’s not the real reason to write tonight. The hygienist who cleaned my teeth was someone I haven’t met before, despite the numerous visits I’ve had there over the last several month. Very pleasant woman, and she didn’t hurt me at all, which is unusual for me when I get my teeth cleaned. Usually my teeth/gums ache for the rest of the day.

But I digress, the real reason I’m writing is because of some of the things she said. I was explaining that I was in the midst of IVF treatments and she asked if I had any other kids, so I told her about The Boy. But during the conversation I clarified that I had never been pregnant and that we had adopted TB from Russia.

This is the conversation:

Ignorant (but nice) dental hygienist (IDH): So, his parents didn’t want him?

Me: mouth hanging open, and not because she was doing anything yet “umm..well, its’ a different culture in Russia, and she was single, so I don’t think it was really an option for her.” But in my head I’m thinking “holy crap lady, I’m his parent, of course I want him, what kind of question is that asshat?”

IDH: “so he doesn’t have any contact with his parents then?”

Me: thinking “damn lady, do I just let this go or do I tell you how insulting your terminology is?”, but saying “well no, it doesn’t work like that over there, although we did just recently make contact with her father, but we initiated it and that’s unusual over there.”

IDH: “Oh, so he’ll know his mom and dad then, that’s good for when he’s older and wants to know who his parents are.”

Me: thinking “what the fuck!”

So I totally whimped out on the opportunity to educate this woman on positive adoption terminology. I’ve heard and read tons of stories about things like this, and know all the appropriate come backs, but I didn’t use any of them. I know she didn’t intend to be rude or hurtful.

Here’s my question to you dear readers. Did I do my son and the adoption community a disservice by not using this as an opportunity to educate her? Or was being nice ok, since I figured anything I said would make her feel bad? And me sound bitchy?

There’s been a lot of “conversation” going on in the adoption blogosphere (well the limited number I read anyway) lately regarding the feelings of birth parents and (versus?) the entitlement of adoptive parents to be happy and not feel obligated to feel guilty about their happiness.

I’m going to write about that soon. This is a topic I’ve thought a lot about since we first decided to adopt.

But what I wrote about fromt he dental office...that's a different issue yes? Who are his parents? Who is his Mom?

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Yeah, so perhaps my last post was a bit over the top. Although, honestly, I was feeling it last week. This week, somewhat better. As I got closer to my period my hormones seemed to even themselves out. I tend to forget how bad I can feel that last week of my cycle.

So, yesterday marks CD1. Another week or so and I start peeing on sticks. Whoohooo...count down to Lupron!

I just read a post here that references kids doing crafts with glitter glue. Which reminded me of the birthday party I took The Boy to yesterday. They had crafts, which TB had no interest in doing, until everyone else was done of course. Then all he wanted to do was glob on the glitter glue. It took all my self control not to try and direct him. Tell me, why is it so difficult to let kids just do things? Why do I always want him to do it "right?" And just who dictates what right is?

Hmmm...not as profound a post as I had been hoping for.

How about this one...Amazing Daddy just drove his mother home after an afternoon visit. I did everything I could to convince TB to go with him so I could have an hour or two to myself. then as soon as they are out the door I start to feel guilty, and then I'm half convinced they will be in a terrible accident and it will be all my fault because I wanted them gone for a while. I get this amazing sense of guilt and feeling that I can control fate from my mother. I got my depression and issues with food from her too. Thanks Mom, thanks so much for fucking me up.

Ohhhh...Here's a good one. I got very ballsy Friday and I asked my boss for a raise. I found out recently that the women i work with all make more than I do, even though I've been there longer than all but one. I was the only part timer until just a few months ago. It's a long story how I figured all this out, and even longer as to how it actually happened that I was being shorted. But, The Boss took it very well and is going to look in to it. If I am correct, I may be getting a several thousand dollar a year raise soon. Believe me it will be useful. Being the only budd of the boss right now is definitely a good thing. Although useful, the fact that I am sucks for the company because there is a lot of tension.

It was not an easy thing to do. I guess not many people find that an easy conversation to initiate. I had butterflies in my stomach all day. But I did it!
And now I'm sitting here watching a Lifetime movie enjoying my last few minutes of peace before the boys get home.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

chasing me again

I feel it chasing me again,
nipping at my heals,
like a cloud of black smog.
It's always hovering over me,
but this time,
it's catching me.
I can't seem to run fast enough...

Yeah, I'm not really a poet, I know.

So how do I say that the depression is grabbing hold again? No one else seems to notice. Even Amazing Daddy doesn't ask. Maybe he is afraid.

I know I am.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Master of the one finger click

As of tonight I have totally mastered the ability to read all my blogs with one finger. No, not brail sillly!

With googlecom/reader, the space bar and the K or P key I can totally one finger navigate my way though all my favorite blogs Combine that with Amazing Daddy's "borrowed" laptop from work which I have totally taken posession of, my big comfy bed, and several pillows, and I am in nirvana

It's a real shame that the wireless speed basically sucks, the period key only works periodically (so is that, umm, ironic), and it's kind of hard to type while laying on my side.

But still I'm one happy camper

Oh yeah, except for the fuciking pop-up blocker which on this computer decides to only take effect when I'm on blogger

Did I mention it's not so easy to type laying on your side?

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Sore tussie and other various rants

Right now Amazing Daddy is upstairs begging The Boy to let him clean his tussie. Poor baby must have pooped during the night and slept in it for hours before we got up this morning. Even though he knows he can call to us to go change him if he needs to. He's pooped three more times today and each one has been a helacious challenge to clean him up because it HURTS! I feel like the meanest mommy ever because I'm trying to clean shit off of him. Now AD gets to feel like the meanest daddy ever.

Poor kid, I know it really hurts, but how do you make him understand that it will just get worse if we don't clean it off? How do I convince him if he would just go in the potty it wouldn't hurt as much because he wouldn't be sitting in it in his diaper.

On a lighter note, this evening when AD got home we were upstairs folding laundry so he came and sat on the floor with us. He told TB he had a surprise for him and did the ol' pull my finger trick. TB thought it was just the funniest thing every!! Now he won't stop pulling our fingers.

It would not be a good evening to just stop by, unless you routinely carry a respirator with you.

Side note rant: I really, really, really hate the god damn fucking popup blocker on my computers. I can't seem to decrease the sensitivity. It blocks every fucking thing I click on!

second side not rant: Comcast changed their channel line up last week. I can't find anything! I hate change!

Monday, August 07, 2006

Thoughts on adoption

I'm so excited that I'm starting to get people reading my Blog. I'm even more excited about the comments people are leaving. I can't tell you how much that means to me. I love that it makes me want to write more, and to write about something with substance, not just the day to day drivel of my life.

So lets talk more about adoption. I think I've posted the link to our adoption story here before, but I'll have to check later. If not I'll post tomorrow when I'm at my regular computer and can find it. I think that's the best way to understand my feelings and excitement as we went through it.

Tonight though I want to talk about what is real. My love for The Boy is real. He IS my son. From the first time I held him in my arms I knew it. I still remember that moment like it was yesterday. In fact, this Friday is the anniversary of his adoption three years ago. His third "gotcha day." I don't even want to think about what our life would be like without him.

I always knew that I could love a child no matter how they came in to my life. A year or so before I met my husband I dated a man with two children that he had full custody of. I loved those kids. Even nine years later I still think of them, and worry about them. The situation they were in was not ideal, and I think that I dated their father more to be with them, than for any true interest in him. It ended up he lied to me about many things, then cheated on me. When we ended the relationship he punished me by not letting me see the kids any more. In retrospect I think it was better for all of us. But, what would have been best was for me not to get involved with those kids before I knew how I felt about their dad. But, that's another topic.

What I'm trying to say is that past experience showed me I could love, and love deeply, a child that I did not give birth to. Once we decided to stop IF treatments and start the process to adopt a child from Russia, it was an immense sense of relief, and of "rightness." I can't remember having a single bit of doubt about my ability to love. I also entered in to the process believing that the right child would come to us at the right time. It was absolutely true! There has not been a moment that I have regretted how The Boy came to be our son.

While in Russia doing all the elgal stuff and going to court, I tried to find a way to contact TB's birth mother. I wanted her to know that TB was safe and going to be in a loving family, who wanted him more than anything. I had great compassion for this woman Tatiana. I knew very little about her situation, other than what she said in her relinquishment letter. According to the letter her family did not know of her pregnancy, and neither did the child's father. We were strongly discouraged by our Russian facilitators and the "social worker" about attempting any contact. In fact, I remember having the distinct feeling that they were figuratively patting me on the head and thinking, aww, what a cute girl, but so misguided.

The need to let Tatiana know her child was ok, and the desire to have more information, to be able to tell TB when he asked, never left me. When the opportunity to search for her came about, I knew I wanted to do it. It took longer to get TB on board, but he finally did. That was over a year ago, and now, finally, I have some contact with the family.

It turns out Tatiana's father knew about TB, and he was very upset to find out he had a grandson that had been given up. Apparently he had the opportunity to go get TB from the orphanage, but didn't. He also hasn't seen Tatiana in the last three years, since shortly after TB was born. Tatiana has since married and given birth to a little girl, who is 11 months younger than TB. Her father has never seen this grandchild. He has another granddaughter from his divorced son, that he has seen only once. Yet in the video that was taken of his interview, he speaks of the importance of family and seems genuinely upset that he does not see his children any more. He was clearly emotional when he read the letter we wrote to Tatiana and when he saw TB's picture. He has asked to hear more about TB and has said he will write back.

We will keep in contract with him and send pictures. It sounds to me like he will have more information about his grandchild, who is no longer "legally" part of him, than his own children's children. I'm sad for him, and happy that I can provide him with some contact. I hope that through him we can find out more about Tatiana, and eventually TB's birth father,but even if we don't, TB has another grandfather and has a concrete link to his Russian heritage.

We never even considered keeping his adoption a secret. I don't even know how you could do that these days? Besides, we want TB to be proud of his Russian heritage. We will support him in any way we can, if he chooses to learn more. I hope that some day we can go back and visit with him.

All that being said, I still feel somewhat uncomfortable calling Tatiana Mom. Short of her pregnancy and giving birth, and the fact that she wrote a letter to officially relinquish him, what has she done that is in any way "mom" like? This was not a woman who was coerced in to giving birth or in to giving up her child. She did not make a "birth plan." There was no guarantee for her that her son would be adopted by anyone. She left him in a hospital to languish for the first three months of his life. He was "failure to thrive" during that time. If he hadn't been moved to the orphanage, I don't know if he would have made it. And the conditions of the orphanage weren't all that great either, but at least they fed him. The fact that he has so many sensory issues and attachment issue is quite telling that he didn't get much stimulation in he orphanage, and likely even less in the hospital. Any love didn't happen until he was with us.

The story that Alexei tells of his daughter is not pretty. He talks of her hobby being the search for a prince. Someone to take care of her. She moved to Moscow to find that man. He thinks that her pregnancy was to try and trap TB's birth father. The fact that she married and had another child so soon after TB's birth is very telling.

I think I've gone on a bit of a tangent here I think. And a storm is approaching quickly, so I had better sign off for now. Hopefully more soon.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

First contact

I've been meaning to post for several weeks about the birth family search we've been doing for The Boy. I've had an overwhelming desire since we first met TB at the orphanage to let the birthmother know that he was ok. And, to find out more of his "story."

Over a year ago we hired a man (Tony) in Russia that does birth family searches. He's been amazing. And finally, we have some answers, although not all that we would like.

Tony and his team have not been able to make contact with the BM, but they did meet and talk with her father (TB's birth grandfather) Aleksei. A few weeks ago we received a written report of this meeting and pictures of Aleksei, the birth mother (Tatiana) and other family members. We also found out that Tatiana is married and has a daughter (TB's half sister).

It took a while to hit me as I was reading the report that Tatiana's daughter, was in fact, TB's sister. We assume half sister, because we have no information yet about the biological father.

We initially thought that Aleksei didn't know about TB, so we were concerned that we would be creating problems for Tatiana. Fortunatley, Tony's team is very experienced with this and was able to find out that he did indeed know that his daughter had a child that she placed for adoption.

It was very exciting to receive this information, although it still felt somewhat empty, sterile perhaps, as there was no real emotion in the report. Well, last week we received a copy fo the video that was taken when they met Aleksei and conducted the interview. Although it is in Russian I can see and hear the emotion in his voice. I watched him read the letter we wrote to Tatiana and I saw the tears. I can also tell at the end of the interview that he sent TB, Amazing Daddy and myself a special, heart felt message.

This Friday, a close friend of mine who is Russian, will sit with me and translate the video for me. I'm so excited! But, it opens up a lot of questions for me.

Until now, we have danced around the terminology related to the birth family. I'm just not comfortable yet saying "birth mother." In fact, I'm not comfortable with any term that uses "mother" in it. When possible, I refer to her as Tatiana, but I can only do that when it's with someone who knows who I am referring to. Sometimes I try "Russian family" or Russian relatives" when referring to the family in general. But even saying "Russian grandfather" seems like a betrayal to my family, TB's "real" family.

TB isn't yet at an age that he understands any of this, and because of that I haven't shared any of this with him. He knows he was born in Russia, and we talk about and read stories about adoption, but he doesn't grasp any of the concepts yet. I had thought that if I got pregnant that would be a natural opportunity to go in to all of this, but I don't know that that will really happen.

I know this isn't in the immediate future, but I should think sometime in the next year or so something will click with TB and he might start to question. I need to have a term by then that I am comfortable with. I thought perhaps "birth woman", but that seems so cumbersome.

I don't consider Tatiana TB's mother in any sense but biological. Until we make that contact, and I hear her story, I'm not sure how to feel. I can't discount her feelings, because all I can do is think how I would feel if I had been in her shoes. What a devastating situation to be in. Or was it? The adoption facilitators in Russia told us over and over not to think too much about her. That we were silly to want to let her know TB was ok, that it was not necessary, and was discouraged.

In a way I'm threatened by her, I know that, but I also know it's silly. I'm TB's Mommy, I'm the one who kisses his booboo's, puts him to sleep at night, snuggles on the couch with him as we watch Caillou. I'm the one who taught him how to hug and cuddle. I'm the one who taught him he could trust someone in his world. The only thing I couldn't do was give birth to him, or reach him sooner than six months. I will always regret that I missed that part of his life.

I should say, that some of these thoughts have come up because of a blog I read last night Thin Pink Line. Manuela talks of her birth family and adoptive family, and what it was like to find out she was adopted at 25 years old. Her incredible story brought up a lot of confusing feelings inside me, and opened questions that I don't' think I would have ever thought about.

More thoughts on this in the near future.

*Thanks for the kind comments Manuela, Celeste and A. It is so meaningful to me to have someone read my words, and not think I'm awful for feelings the way I do.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Babies, babies everywhere....or always an aunt, but never knocked up

Rough day at work today. Sometimes working with all women sucks!

Worse though, was coming home and having Amazing Daddy say that my best friends mother had called to say that my best friend gave birth this morning to a little girl. She's the friend that at 37 got pregnant less than two months after her wedding. That her new baby, Maisy, is doing well is wonderful. That I can't feel any excitement for her is what sucks.

What kind of friend am I? Her entire pregnancy has been very difficult for me. Granted, I've only seen her once since her wedding (she's in Michigan, I'm the one that left her to move to PA), so it hasn't exactly been in my face. We've only spoken on the phone maybe five times since then too. All my fault really, because when I do talk to her I can't stand when she complains about being pregnant.

I'm so happy that she didn't have to deal with any infertility issues. My god, it took her long enough to find the right man, and what a miracle that she conceived basically on their first try. But, she knows everything I went through trying to get pregnant, and she knows about our IVF cycle (not that it failed though, because she never called to see how I was doing).

What I don't understand is that I work with two women who are pregnant, and just found out another is pregnant. And I'm so happy for them! It isn't hard for me to be around them at all. So why is it so hard when it's my best friend? What kind of bitch am I?

Adding to my IF depression, we found out yesterday that our neighbor is pregnant with her third (her second Oopps) baby. This is a family that never has enough money and they complain about it all the time, but they have nicer cars (two SUV's) than us, and pretty much get what ever they want when they want. She just quit her job a few weeks ago too. She's also the one that I hear SCREECHING at her kids all day long.

WTF huh? So life isn't fair they say. No shit! But that doesn't help me act excited for my friend and her new little girl.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Wow, big storm Tuesday night left us without power for a while, and then with out cable and internet until last night! Talk about blog withdrawal! I've been getting in to this daily posting bit, especially since my husband has been letting me use his laptop and I can blog while lounging on the couch!

So, without the distraction of TV or the internet, I've been forced to do some thinking (oy, my brain hurts). Actually, some of the pain is likely from the bonking my head took from the flashlight darling TB laid in to it Tuesday afternoon. I'm still not sure if this was an intentional come up behind mommy and hit her in the head from behind, or it was just a random throw up in the air and my head got in the way mishap. Regardless, TB was taught a new word/phrase (little son of a bitch) and spent a good amount of time in his room while I cried it out in mine. At least it wasn't the stroke I initially thought was going on before I realized what had happened.

But yes, back to the thinking. I realize I need to do something different. What I'm doing with TB now isn't working. So I'm going to search out some help for ME this time, and try and figure out how to be a different kind of mother.

It's interesting, because at work for the last year or so we've been doing some team building to try and get us through some interpersonal issues with our boss and my coworkers. Being a small group of 1 boss and 4 employees (all of us women) we've needed the help. Our last session was spent talking about how our boss is unlikely to change, so instead of bitching about her all the time, maybe we need to change things up which will hopefully force her to react differently to us. So, it makes sense that if this can work with a 40 something menopausal woman, why couldn't it work with my 3 1/2 year old terror.

But, first, I think I need help knowing just how to change it up. Cause my screaming is definitely not work. And sitting on the couch letting him do what ever because I'm too exhausted to stop him, isn't doing much either.

So I feel good just saying that. Plus, we actually had a nice evening last night. And when I read him stories before bed he really cuddled in and then wanted snuggles as he fell asleep.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006


I just reread my last post. I forgot to say so much. Most of all that I love The Boy with my whole being. I can't imagine life with out him. No matter how much he frustrates me he's a part of me, the most important part of me.

We really have come so far with him, I know it will keep getting better. All these hormones raging through my just don't help things. I need to keep reminding myself of that.

I love my son. I couldn't love him more even if he was a perfect angel.

We'll get through this.

I'm really not enjoying being a mother these days...

I'm really not enjoying being a mother these days. Pretty awful thing to say isn't it. Made even worse by the fact that I'm trying so hard to get pregnant. Confusing, huh? Yeah, for me too.

I'm struggling, really struggling, right now trying to be a good mother to
The Boy. I never, ever, thought it could be this difficult. Two years ago when we started to think something wasn't quite right, we were frustrated, and scared at what the future would hold. It took us a good year to find TB the right help, and even longer to get some of it actually in place. So now he's had a good year plus of occupational therapy for his sensory issues, attachment therapy for his attachment, and a special instructor to help fill in some of the gaps. We've had over six months with a behavioral specialist and therapeutic support staff (TSS) at school. So why does his behavior seem to be getting worse instead of better. What are we missing?

This morning I went in to get him from his room and he was sitting there tearing up one of his books. It's at least the tenth book he's destroyed in the last two months. We don't even keep books in his room anymore. I'm not sure how this one got in there. Then at breakfast he carried his glass of milk into the living room and deliberately dumped it on the carpet. As I was cleaning it up he grabbed the roll of paper towel and threw it down the basement stairs. When I told him to go get it he brought it back up and unwound it every where. Then he grabbed a fresh apricot from the counter, ate half of it, and smashed the rest with his foot in to the carpet.

After his OT appointment today when I was talking to his therapist he ran down the hall, out the door, through the parking lot and in to the playground. Once there he got in one of the toys where I couldn't get him. At the store later he continually kicked me in stomach while he was sitting in the cart, and grabbed at my shirt refusing to let go. Then he yelled the entire time we were in the grocery store.

At lunch he spit his drink all over, then "swished" his food all over the floor.

He's in bed now for a nap. I have about 90 minutes of peace until it starts all over again.

I try to be as consistent as possible with him. We do time outs, but they only really work at home. Some times we do swats on the tuss, but again, I'm not comfortable doing them in public because of the stories I've heard about how it can be misinterpreted. So in public we take things away, or don't let him have treats (like the cookie at the grocery store). I try not to yell because that makes it worse, guaranteed.

The few times lately where I feel we are doing well together and having a good time, it seems that as soon as I breath a sigh of relief and start to enjoy it, he turns in to a monster.

I realize that TB isn't here to entertain me, and it's not on him to make me happy, but damn it, isn't there supposed to be something enjoyable about parenting?

If I had heard someone talk like this four years ago when we were making the decision to stop fertility treatment and start the process of adoption, I would have been horrified. What a horrible, selfish woman I would have said. She doesn't deserve to have a child. Of course back then I would never have had a child that screamed in the grocery store, or spit out his food at other people, or ran away from me, over and over again (cause you know, my children would be perfect, because I'd be the perfect mother).

I think if anyone who knew me knew I felt like this they would be shocked. I always thought I was meant to be a mother, I hope I wasn't wrong.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Moving forward with a smile...and various blathering on about nothing

So I rolled myself out of bed this morning and made it to work. Other than dumping his bag of chex mix in the car The Boy and I had a good morning. Only minor struggles getting dressed and sun screened up. I even managed to hold back the tears while driving.

Once at work I did much better. Although tired (probably from the double xanax Sunday night) I managed to accomplish and interact appropriately. I even had an amazing conversation with my boss. She has been very supportive through all of this, far more than I had thought possible. There was a time when I don't think she could have expressed concern or support, because she would have been so focused on the thought that if i did get pregnant I would take time off to have the damn baby. Considering I would be the fourth employee in less than two years for this to happen to, I guess I can't blame her. But, she's surprised me and handled this all very well. Or, maybe she just doesn't believe it will happen so isn't all that concerned. But no, that really isn't fair of me, because she has been so kind and really opened up to me today about her own pregnancy several years ago. Believe me, this was a big deal!

So yeah, may be not quite as empty today as yesterday. Although when I stepped on the scale this morning and saw I'd gained ten pounds during this cycle, I realized I shouldn't be empty at all, cause apparently I've been stuffing my face for the last two months. So if I chose to stop being depressed over the BFN I can be depressed about gaining back ten pounds of the 40 pounds I worked so hard to lose last winter. God damn roller coaster. If it isn't dieting, it's infertility. They don't really compliment each other very well at all.

On the bright side of things, TB actually snuggled up with me on the couch today and watched a movie. I'd say I got a good 30 minutes of cuddle time before his body went in to movement withdrawal and he was forced to get up and shake everything in a bizarre fashion. But really, 30 minutes is amazing for him. And considering it's been a good month since he's sat like that with me for any length of time, I have to say it was a good day. Perhaps he senses the hormones fading from my body.

Speaking of hormones, the ol' period started today. I figure this one will be a doozy considering what a rich, lush lining I had from all that progesterone. Plus, I'm still having occasional cramping from my ovaries. And....drum roll please....I had my first aura today. No, not one of those good touchy feely hippy crystal yoga type auras (cause that one would probably be black or at least grey right now) but a true migraine aura. Let me just tell you that was f'ing weird. I was in a meeting and we were looking at all these papers and I felt like I had looked in to a spot light for too long, because I couldn't see parts of the papers, and I had this metallic silver ring on the left side of my visual field. I guess I must have been looking pretty weird, maybe something to do with trying to read with one eye closed and the continual repositioning of the papers in front of my face. So one of my coworkers asked me what was wrong and I was all like "I think I'm having a stroke." Just like my husband though no one took me too seriously, but my boss (score TWO points for her today) said it sounded like I was having an aura. Well fuck if she wasn't right, because about an hour later the pain started. So I popped an Imitrex and about 45 minutes later life was dandy again. I think i like this aura bit, because instead of waiting until I knew the headache was a migraine, I drugged up right away and didn't have to hide in the dark under my desk from the pain.

Tomorrow is a TB and Mommy day. Whoo hoo. Supposedly we have OT in the morning, but she cancelled last week, and the four weeks before that was summer break. OT is great for TB, and our days tend to be better after he has a session, but the hall I have to wait in isn't air conditioned, and since it's supposed to be another hot mother tomorrow (100+ degrees) I'm not so sure I want to go.

There's a new kids place in our town, called Jungle Jim's Kids Zone. It looks interesting, and I spoke with the owner yesterday to find out more about it. It sounds like mornings are free play/mom's morning out type set up. They have a snack bar with coffee and tea, etc. Sounds great, except for the fact that I might have to actually socialize with another human being. In between making sure TB isn't jumping on another child. So yeah, not so sure about this. New venue, worry that no one will talk to me... takes me all the way back to highschool. Oh shit...what do I wear?

Damn, maybe I should just go to Target and let TB eat popcorn and create a trail through he store (in case we get lost you know, he's very up on his fairy tales). We do need diapers. Oh man, that's a post for another day. TB will be 3 1/2 in August, and he's no wear near wanting to be potty trained. The pediatrician said not to worry, he won't go to college in diapers. He didn't promise he wouldn't start highschool that way though.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Emptiness, pressure, and moving forward

So many things have gone through my head this weekend. As I fell asleep in Amazing Daddy's arms Friday night I realized that what I was feeling mostly was empty. More than the disappointment and sadness, was emptiness.

It's not something I really feel I can say out loud to anyone, because it sounds so selfish. How can I say I'm empty when I have an amazing husband and a little boy that I love with all my heart. How dare I want more? How dare I say my life isn't enough for me?

In a way it's harder because I know that AD feels like his life is full already. He's happy with the family we have now. He doesn't "need" another child the way I do. He is already fulfilled.

Then I wonder how The Boy will feel if we do have another child. Will he ever wonder why he wasn't "enough" for me? Or if he's not as good as a child that I'm able to give birth to? But it's none of that. My feelings have nothing to do with any of that. The emptiness I feel has nothing to do with what I have.

I'm not sure I know how to explain it. In a way the emptiness is because of what I've never been able to experience. I was definitely one of those little girls who played mommy and baby. I always knew I wanted children. I decided not to go to medical school because I wanted a family more, and I didn't believe that was a career I could have and have a family at the same time. From my twenties on I've always had this fear that I wouldn't be able to get pregnant. I actually had a doctor as me if I was fulfilling my own prophecy when I told him this. This was early on, before we did any tests. I think after my first HSG when he realized something was right, he regretted saying that, but still. What makes a woman fear something like that? I was a good girl. I was a virgin until I was 22 (not that I don't regret that now). I never messed around. I was ultra careful not to get pregnant before I was married. And knowing I was being a good girl, I still worried that I would never get my chance.

So how DO I explain this emptiness? How do I explain it to my husband in a way that he doesn't think I'm saying he's not enough for me? How do I ensure that TB never wonders if he wasn't enough for me.


AD says we can do one more cycle. And I know that really that is all we can afford. But the pressure of knowing we only have one more shot at this is a lot. I can't imagine how I'll feel knowing it's the last shot.

The other pressure I feel is my age. At this point if I do get pregnant on the next cycle, I'll be 39 when I have the baby. AD will be 50 (not that any one would ever believe it). We'll be old parents. Is that fair to a child?


So I gave myself the weekend to wallow. Tomorrow I will get up and move forward with a smile on my face, no matter how empty my heart.

Friday, July 14, 2006

It's official

Yup, the "I'm sorry" call. So the knot is gone. And there were some tears. I feel bad having to tell Amazing Daddy at work. He's having a rough day as it is after being gone for four days. So much crap for him to catch up on. He may have to go in to work this weekend to catch up. Which sucks on many levels. He goes in to work on his day off, but doesn't get to take it off of the vacation days he had to use. And, that means I have to be alone with The Boy. But, I am determined to be a better mom and enjoy the time I'm with him.

So, no more progesterone. Thank god. Hopefully I'll be feeling better by the time I get my period.

So, no Xanax yet. But I did break in to the tortilla chips and made up some queso dip. And then the door bell rang. I thought maybe...flowers? To cheer me up? Although hardly enough time had passed for something like that to happen.

Nope, it's a painter come to pain the front door (ahhh..the first good thing of an association, other than the lawn care and snow shoveling). So I can't even sit here and gorge my face with the chips and salsa, because the front door is in direct line of where I am sitting. And why do I fucking care?

After this I may make chocolate chip cookies. That sounds like great comfort food. Cause you know, why not throw a few more pounds on to the ten that I already gained back during this cycle.

Waiting for the phone call

Here I am, waiting with a very large knot in my stomach, for the phone call that will officially end our first IVF cycle. Even though I KNOW it will be negative because I truly can't believe that the HPT could be wrong, part of me apparently still hopes.

I cried so much yesterday I'm not sure I really need to cry today when I get the news. But, I imagine I will. I'm still going to blame it on all the progesterone surging through my body, but I imagine I'd cry anyway. Although, I have to admit, there have been times in my life when I should have cried, that I just couldn't. And of course, many many times when I shouldn't have cried, that I did. And most of those in public.

And have I mentioned I don't cry pretty? My face gets all red and blotchy and puffy, really puffy. And then I can't see out of my contacts because they start to feel all cloudy and goopy. And then I'm exhausted and all I want to do is sleep. Of course sleeping is the best way to escape from it.

When the call comes, and after the "I'm so sorry, it was negative" bit, I'm going to take a Xanax, maybe even two. Then I think I might crawl in to bed with Old Faithful, because I deserve a good buzz, and since I've been so damn horny from the progesterone but couldn't do anything about it, it's about time I get off.

And then maybe a couple margaritas this weekend are in order.

So how long does it take for the hormones to get back to normal? When will the crazies go away? And do I really have to wait a full cycle before I can start again? That means I can't start Lupron for at least another 7 weeks. Which means our next cycle would be September/October I think. Right smack in the middle of our annual vacation to visit my family.

So now I'm going through the it's not fair crap. I guess part of me really did think that I had gone through enough with all the fertility treatments we did a few years ago. Then the years in between believing it might work on it's own. I wonder just how many periods I've had that I've cursed over. Adding the adoption of TB, and the stress of it all as we discovered his special needs and faught for help for him. Then this cycle all the ups and downs with AD's sperm/no sperm issue. I thought maybe we had been through enough, and that the cosmos would agree and finally grant it to us.

I'll have to add everything up, but I think we have spent about 15K for this cycle with all the extra stuff we had to do (multiple SA's, the ICSI, assisted hatching, banking the sperm we did get, having donor sperm on back up, my choice to do acupuncture). And of course all the regular costs involved.

We took out a home equity loan with the thought it would pay for 3 cycles (assuming one would be a frozen), and give us enough to pay off a bit of debt we had. Well, this cycle cost a little more than I thought, and our air conditioner broke the end of may, so we had to spend 9K replacing the heat and cooling system in our house. We had hoped to have enough left that when I got pregnant we could replace the rust bucket that I drive, and get a safe, family car, like a minivan. This isn't going to happen though. Because I looked at our account, and what we have left is only going to cover another cycle, with maybe a little left over. Maybe enough to do a third cycle if we had embryos left that made it to cryo. Which afer this cycle seems unlikely.

I'm rambling now, I realize that. Blah, blah, blah.

Yet, here I am, still waiting for the call, still hoping. Am I fucking insane?

Thursday, July 13, 2006

A moment of insanity

In a moment of insanity today I did an HPT. It was negative. I cried all the way to take my son to school and then to work. I’m handling this much worse than I ever thought possible. What the hell is wrong with my body that I can’t get pregnant!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Never patient at the best of times...

Have I mentioned before that I thought I would handle this two week wait much better than I am? And have I really mentioned that I hate progesterone?

AD is out of town this week doing some consulting at an oncology hospital in California. Man do I miss him, and not only because I have to solicit others to give me my damn shot in the ass every day. TB misses him too! Cause I think he's noticing mommy is a little crazy lately. Poor kid!

I asked TB last night if he remembered where Daddy was. He looked very serious and I could tell he was thinking, then he said "Calimari." Which I actually thought was damn clever considering he got the "cali" right! I reminded him it was California, and he looked all serious again and said, "oh yes, California, a state of America." It's good I was already laying down, because you could have blown me over ala Captain Feathersword.

Today, after I lost my temper with him for about the 100th time, he looked at me and asked when Daddy was coming home. Yeah, I miss him too.

Today I had to go to my GP's office and pay my office visit copay so the nurse could take 30 minutes out of her schedule to stick a needle in my ass. Silly me for thinking they might offer me a little professional courtesy...and offer to stick it in my ass for free!

So, yeah, I continue to be a bit hormonal if you can't tell. And I'm feeling some faint cramping really low in my abdomen. Good sign? Bad sign? Or just impending diarrhea?

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Daily update

Today I feel pretty good. No dizziness, no nausea, no cramps. Maybe a little constipated…but that’s to be expected. So, is that a good thing? Or a very, very bad, not pregnant, kinda thing?

TB was in a good mood this morning. Perhaps my middle of the night visit to his room where I cried over how mean I’ve been feeling penetrated his dreams. Who knows…

Blood and ultrasound tomorrow morning. Do you think it can tell me anything?

This waiting is harder than I thought it would be. And of course, I just found out (although I’ve suspected for several weeks) that one of my coworkers is pregnant. I’m happy for her, I really am! But fuck, how come I can tell when everyone else is pregnant, but not myself? Or, does that just mean I’m not pregnant?

Chub club tonight. Yippee…not. I hate that place. My “coaches” as in skinny minny meanie ladies, are not exactly motivating, just bitchy. They don’t like me. I know it. I hate not being liked. If I find out I’m pregnant next week they can just kiss my flat ass, cause I’m out of there. No preggies on their plan! Please let me be pregnant so I don’t have to see the mean ladies every week any more!

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Not fit to be a mother

I don't like my son much lately. In fact, I don't want to be around him at all. His behavior has been so bad that I've actually had the urge to spank him, hard, diaperless. I feel like all I do is yell at him. When I'm not doing that I'm ignoring him so Amazing Daddy has to deal with him.

We've had over a year of therapy for him, and I know we've made huge strides, but right now, I can't help but think WHAT THE FUCK?

Or are we just terrible, ineffective parents?

I don't like my son much lately. How fucked up is that? If I heard someone else say that about their child I would say they didn't deserve to be parents.

I think we need more help with him than we are getting. Yet, I'm not sure there is any more help for us out there.

And yet I sit here, hopeful that I'm pregnant, fearful that I'm not, equally fearful that if I am it's multiples. Knowing, that it might all be too much for me/us.

Someone tell me this is just the hormones talking.

Wishful thinking?

I almost passed out in the shower this morning and then thought I was going to throw up. The Boy came in to the bathroom and I asked him to go get Daddy and tell him I was sick. I must have scared him because he actually did it! So really, is it just wishful thinking? Or is this a sign of something? Can you really have symptoms less than a week in to pregnancy? Last night I was in bed thinking that I didn't feel any different and was pretty convinced I wasn't pregnant. This wait is going to be much harder than I thought!

I still feel pretty punky, but feel better lying down. I finally figured out how to position the laptop so I can type while I'm lying down. Too bad I didn't figure that out a couple days ago when I actually felt ok but was still on bedrest.

I have work I need to do. I made rather a big deal about bringing work home to do this weekend and getting the laptop set up, etc., but have yet to actually do it. After this update I will.

TB and AD are outside in the kiddy pool on our deck. It is so hot! I was going to go out with them today but I just can't do it yet.

AD is definitely tired of me being "sick." I think he thought three days of bedrest was overkill. And I'm sure he just didn't understand why I couldn't get up and do things between naps. Nothing got done in the house for three days except playing with TB (which granted is important and often a full time job) and meals. I guess I wouldn't complain, if I didn't feel like he was complaining. A couple times he asked me if I wanted anything, and when I said I did, I got "the look" and the big huffy sigh. So apparently his job is supposed to be fulfilled by asking me, I'm not actually supposed to take him up on it.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

More quotables from The Boy

The fascination starts early in our house.

Declared loudly while jumping on the guestroom bed, naked from the waste down: I have a penis! Hurray! Hurray! I have a penis!

Walking, or should I say waddling, in to our room naked, pelvis pushed forward, saying: I have a biiigggg penis Daddy!

I actually had no idea that a three year old got erections to this degree. And so often. The other day he took his pants and diaper off three times to show me his "biiiggg penis."

The Boy's relationship with Jesus Christ:

I suppose it's appropriate that all little Jewish boys know how to use JC's name appropriately. It appears TB is a quick learner...

While sitting on the bed with us one morning, TB got right in my husbands face and said: Jeeeesssussss Cccchhhhrrriiist Dddaaadddyyyyyy, I always love you!

And a few days later while driving home in the car during an impending storm, after Amazing Daddy had commented that he hoped they got home before the rain started so they didn't get wet: Oh gosh, oh jesus christ, it's raining...

I know I have other quotables I've been saving up...but damn if I can't remember them now.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

The Injectable Crazies

I've been pretty proud of myself over the last month. I was nervous when I started Lupron and what was to come with the stims. I remember four years ago when we did several cycles of IUI with injectables. I was a basket case through most of them. It didn't help that the first cycle we did we used Repronex and I had a horrible pyrogenic (the fever definition, not the rock definition) reaction. For over a week I had a fever of 104F (that's not 100.4, but 104.0, I tend to run hot). No other symptoms, as in no nasal or chest congestion, no rashes (other than the huge welts caused by the shots themselves), only the fever and the massive headache and frequent rigors (makes me sound oh so medical huh? just means I shook from the chills). The fertility clinic refused for a week to believe it was anything other than a virus and kept insisting I go see my primary physician. I figured it would run it's course in 2 or 3 days and I'd be fine. But it didn't, by day 7 I was insisting that it was from the Repronex. Finally, to shut me up, the doctor changed my medication, and low and behold, within 24 hours of stopping the Repronex I was fever free. By then I was able to concentrate at the computer and found some articles supporting the fact that some people do in fact react to Repronex, something to do with the urine it is derived from.

The even suckier part of this was that my ovaries, they did like themselves that Repronex, cause they filled up with follicles. (I often wonder if the fever in my body didn't help a little too, kind of like a little chick incubator.) So many that I had to sign a waver before they would do the IUI, and I know that they shot me early. At the time I didn't, but since I kept records of what was going on, I could see that in future cycles they let my follicles get much bigger. So here I had a drug that worked like crazy on me, with relatively small amounts, but unless I wanted to be on what felt like "death bed" sick, I couldn't take it.

So, that was my start to the injectable world. Of course that cycle didn't work, and neither did the subsequent five cycles. But man oh man did the hormones make me crazy during that time. I became a chat room whore, I cried on a dime, I wanted sex, I didn't want sex. I couldn't stand MYSELF, I don't know how my husband managed to live with me.

Well, this time, I'm proud of myself. Like I said I was nervous getting started. I had heard horror stories about Lupron. But honestly, other than a headache the first week I started stims (likely because of my low estrogen level) I did great. I felt great. No hormone swings, no tears, no super bitchiness.

So yes, I'm proud of myself. I think I'm more mature. I also think that over all I'm just in a better place in my life.

Not to say the crazies can't still hit...

Friday, June 30, 2006

Overdue update on fertility

I've been very remiss with my entries lately, as all of you wonderful readers have I'm sure noticed. Ok, slight bit of sarcasm there, as I don't have any regular readers other than my husband, but maybe some day.

So, today we did IVF. Well, the culmination of it, as we transferred four embryos. It was a very good cycle, I felt great with all the meds, and other than some ongoing cramping from the retrieval I feel good. Amazing Daddy was able to step up to the plate and give a good sample of swimmers both the night before retrieval and the morning of. We did have donor sperm on backup, but it will remain frozen. Maybe I can sell it on eBay!

So now starts the two week wait. It could be a long one. I'm on bed/couch rest for a couple days but it seems kind of silly because I fell good. But, on the off chance it will help I'll stay here. Plus, how often do you get to lounge in bed for three days when you aren't sick!

I hope to update my blog over the next couple days. I have lots of great, entertaining, witty entries in my brain, I just never seem to get them out my fingers and onto the screen. Lots of TB stories to share, as well as updated information on his bio family in Russia.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Driving The Boy

Driving home from work last week

TB: Mommy, drop me off at the mall please.

Mommy: What??

TB: Drop me off at the mall please.

Mommy: TB, you're three, not thirteen!

How did he come up with that??

Driving to school recently:

TB: Mommy, light turned lellow.

M: You're right TB, the light turned YELlow. Yuh..yuh..yellow.

TB: luh...luh...lellow...ruh...ruh...red...bl...bl...blue...puh..puh..purple...grr...grr...green

Smart ass!

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Our son, the traffic Gestapo

TB has always done well with his colors. So it was no surprise to Amazing Daddy and myself that he would start translating this knowledge to understanding what red, yellow and green meant on a traffic signal. What we didn't expect was the transformation of TB into the "Traffic Gestapo."

It started out small, as it often does; first, a comment when Daddy turned right on red. Now, tell me, how do you explain the right on red rule to a 3 year old? He seems to have accepted it as a fact, although it took several weeks of squealing "No Daddy (or mommy as the case may be), No, it's red" from the back seat. Now Mommy doesn't do well with loud, expected shrieks frback seatackseat. And the incessant "but why Mommy, why" doesn't help. Imagine my surprise though, when my response of "because Noah, that's the way it is, you just have to accept it" seemed to work.

But the traffic light observations didn't stop there.

Now let me clarify, I'm a fairly law abiding driver; it's always been my opinion that if I don't follow the rules, and I get caught, I deserve the ticket. I'll brag a bit though, because to this day, at the age of 38, I have never actually received a traffic ticket! Of course, I won't be surprised when I get one on my way home tonight. My "lawfulness" tends to annoy my husband at times, especially when I tell him to slow down. It also appears to annoy him (or perhaps drive him f-ing nuts) when I tell him what color the light is. For someone who likes to push the yellow, he's awfully slow to start on the green. I used to joke and say I couldn't wait until TB could take over my job of telling Daddy what color the light is.

So, imagine my reaction, when the other day I was taking TB to preschool and I was stopped at a red light where I needed to make a left turn. The oncoming traffic gets the green first, due to a left turn signal on that side. I don't typically have a problem making that turn at that time of the morning, but I'm always aware of the line of cars behind me which can get rather long. Apparently I was a bit distracted, because there were no oncoming cars and before I got the green I started to turn anyway. TB SHRIEKED at me "MOMMY, NO, it's RED, DON'T GO!" It stopped me in time and I thanked him and told him he did a great job. And he said..."Mommy, that was a BIG THUMBS DOWN!"

Well he told me!

Then a couple days later Amazing Daddy pushed a yellow light when he was making a left turn, and the light turned red as he was going through. Don't even think that TB let that one pass. "Daddy, NO. RED LIGHT. That's a BIG THUMBS DOWN!"

Monday, May 15, 2006

The fight for Mothers day

So which Mom is supposed to get mothers day?

In my husbands family we have his mom, his SIL, his nephew's wife, and me.

MIL has had over 60 Mothers days of her own.

SIL has had over 30.

This is our nephews wife's first Mother's day, so in my mind she has first priority. I'm curious how it went for her since she had both her MIL (pushy Jewish mom, BTW) and her own mother to contend with.

And of course, me. This is my third Mothers day. And the sixth year I've had the joy of spending it with my own MIL.

So really, whose day is it?

It wasn't exactly mine, since I had to spend it with the MIL.

Some how his brother's family disappeared for the day. Amazing Daddy invited them over for dinner, but they never responded. Typical in their rudeness. But that's a topic for another day.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

An American Idol shocker?

Yeah, I admit it. I'm an American Idol junky.

Last night, with full confidence I told Sparklyhusband that Chris would be the big winner, and I thought Tayler would be second.

So imagine my surprise when Chris was voted off tonight? Huh? WTF? How did that happen?

Wardrobe malfunction

Wardrobe malfunction - the feline variety

Before you accuse me of animal cruelty, I didn't do it. I had no intention of doing it. And I asked them not to do it. But, they did it anyway.

The Puss in Boots cut

I'm sure it will grow back in a few months. But will it take that long for the other cats to recognize him again? I left them with strict warnings this morning not to tease him, but I forgot to turn on the nanny cam, so I guess I'll never know.

Wardrobe Malfunction part deux

Went out to lunch with one of my coworkers today. Gorged on chips and salsa. Yummmm!

Back in the office with chocolate cake in hand, another coworker comes up behind me and asks if I know that there is a tear in the back of my jeans. Imagining a small hole I say, "why no, I didn't, thank you" as I reach my hand instinctively to my rear. Well low and behold, I don't just have a tear, I have a fucking rip that extends from my waist band down below the pocket on my right side, and my right purple underwear clad cheek, is sticking out for all to see. I'm surprised it wasn't waving a flag.

How this happened you ask? I have no earthly idea. I can't imagine that I didn't notice. Or that no one else did. Although that makes me think that others did, but chose not to tell me. Because of course, everyone enjoys a look at my purple pantied ass. I mean, my goodness, its spectacular in its large, flatness. Thank god for packing tape. Perhaps I can start a new fashion trend.

Sorry, no pictures.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

The BIG BOY bed

I've spent the last few weeks redoing TB's bedroom. He's out of the crib and in to a big boy bed now. He's doing great with it!

I thougth I'd show off some pictures of what I did in his "new" room.

You can see the airplanes on his "sky," and the trains and trucks border. I'm very pleased with how it all turned out.

I have a few things I still want to do, like put up some display shelves to put some of his Noah's Ark collection and his Russian toys. The curtains came down and I installed a cellular shade after I took this picture.

I love my Martha Stewart side. I wish I could do it all the time. I'd much rather be "creating" than doing anything else.