Wednesday, April 30, 2008

There Will Be Blood.

14 Days Since the IUI and my PMS headache came yesterday in the late afternoon. Nothing makes this headache go away and I did not do it any favors by going to a concert last night.

Ah, but the concert was Feist and well worth the pain!  Thanks for taking me, Christine!

The day after this particular headache, I am usually greeted by Aunt Flo in the morning.
However...the anticipated bleeding has not begun.
I've had some minor...I don't know what to call them, they are not really cramps, but strange feelings in my lower stomach that I usually don't have.

Stranger still, I was walking to a friend's house this evening around 6pm and who do I see coming down the sidewalk towards nurse!  The one who inseminated me 14 days ago! She asked how I was doing and wished me luck and I was left there thinking...THIS has to mean something, right?

Months ago, a woman in my support group (Women Planning Biological Children at the LGBT Center in Manhattan) gave me a bag of OPK's and POAS's and I have one pee stick left...I just might use it tomorrow.  Or, I just might wait it out a few more days...

Friday morning K and I fly to my mom's for an early Mother's Day weekend.  That would be wonderful for everyone to be pregnant and celebrating mother's, wouldn't it?

I'm trying, trying, trying to not get my hopes up tooooo much.  But my body is pretty regular, so the fact this headache and come and gone has me hoping just a bit right now.

AND as I was in the middle of writing this I had a strange sensation in my koochacacha and said, "hmmmm, I think I'll go to the bathroom".  What I found, I refer to as "tinge o' pee" and K calls "rose tinted pee paper".  My other AF clue and one that I was getting hopeful about as the headache had come and gone and old Rose had not shown a sign.

I guess the headache was early, b/c I have a strong feeling THERE WILL BE BLOOD.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Day 12 POAS

I broke down yesterday and POASed. It was quite negative and bummed me out for most of the morning. Then I talked to a friend of mine who reminded me that she POASed on Day 15 one month, it tested negative and that was the month she really was pregnant.

So, I'm not running out to go scuba diving, wine swilling, sushi eating, and soft cheese gorging just yet.

The wait sucks.

And today I feel like I'm getting my PMS headache. Which sucks even more.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Boy or Girl? The Answer May Depend on Mom’s Eating Habits

If you haven't seen this in the New York Times is an interesting read along with the comments that follow.

****I'm a big breakfast eater and always consume a full three meals....let's see what happens!
Doesn't explain Posh and her three boys though, does it?!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

A meme, cribbed from Maybe Expectant.


Q. What is your wallpaper on your computer?
On the PC at the office, a shot I took of a postcard perfect beach on Little Corn Island, Nicaragua where we went diving in May 07.

At home on the, whatever it came with when I turned it on. God, I should do something about that.

Q. How many televisions you have in your house?
One and it’s dying.
We get about an hour a night out of night but have found that if we don’t turn it on at all during the week, it might go for up to THREE hours on the weekend before it flat lines and blacks out.


Q. Are you right-handed or left-handed?

Q. Have you ever had anything removed from your body?
Glass, lots of glass, from a hideous car wreck I was in at 15.

Q. What is the last heavy item you lifted?
I’m not supposed to be lifting any heavy items as I’m in my TWW…but I’d have to say the 30 lb boxes of kitty litter I picked up an hour before my last IUI.

Q. Have you ever been knocked out?
I was knocked out for my wisdom teeth, that was fun…

Physically, a gang of girls beat me up in high school and I remember seeing stars, but I don’t think I blacked completely out.

Alcohol has knocked me out many, many times.


Q. If it were possible, would you want to know the day you were going to die?
It would be much more effective in terms of saving for retirement vs. going on vacation!

Q. If you could change your name, what would you change it to?
I like my first name, hate my last one.
Only Irish names sound like they belong with my first name and I’m not happy with that either, so I don’t know—totally stumped on this one.

Q. What color do you think looks best on you?
Blue, Thailand ocean blue.

Q. Have you ever swallowed a non-food item?

Yes, I remember eating take out a number of years ago and as I finished up, I realized that I was one tong lighter on my plastic fork.

Damn, I must’ve been hungry.


Q. Would you kiss a member of the same sex for $100?
Same sex, opposite sex….Sure!

Q. Would you allow one of your little fingers to be cut off for $200,000?
Wow, that made me waggle my pinkie around a little bit to see how much I really needed it.

I don’t think I need it that much, so yeah, maybe.

Q. Would you never blog again for $50,000?
Blogging Finished.
Show me the money.

Q. Would you pose naked in a magazine for $250,000?
I’d strip right now.

Q. Would you drink an entire bottle of hot sauce for $1000?
Why not!
There’s always water.

Q. Would you, without fear of punishment, take a human life for $1,000,000?
But my stepfather died of a heart attack before I could take him out.


Q: What is in your left pocket?

Q: Is Napoleon Dynamite actually a good movie?
It’s fucking hilarious.

Q: Do you have hardwood or carpet in your house?
Carpet and 3 cats?
No thanks! All hardwoods.

Q: Do you sit or stand in the shower?
Standing Tiger, Crouching Dragon (while shaving)

Q: How many pairs of flip flops do you own?
Too many….6?


Q: Last person who texted you?

Q: Last person who called you?

Q: Person you hugged?
The old lady next door, but it wasn’t a good idea because I almost knocked her over.


Q: Number?

Q: Season?
Summer, so I can walk around naked (just in the house folks!
OK, there have been a few nude beaches…).

Q: Color?


Q: Missing someone?
K and my house before the painters came.

Oh some ONE. Oops.

Q: Mood?
Restless and Unfocused.

Q: Listening to?
Wynton Marsalis, the maid vacuuming the office, someone talking louder than both of these things.

Q: Watching?
The computer screen. And the clock.

Q: Worrying about?
Will I stop procrastinating long enough tomorrow to finish this RFP sitting on my desk, how I am going to put my house back together when the painters leave today, what I have to throw away, will anyone buy my shit from Craigslist or should I just take it to Goodwill, should I rent a car to go to IKEA and get started on some serious organization projects or just go to the Container Store down the street, how much is it going to cost me to do that and complete those framing projects that have been in a pile for years, where will K’s next project be, will we be able to go on vacation next month or will she start on another project immediately, are my mom and I going to get along with each other when I visit her in 9 days, and Ummm,

Am I Pregnant YET?????????

Q: Wearing?

Light blue metallic flats, Armani skinny legged jeans, and a sheer, long-sleeved, scoop-necked blue and grey polka dot blouse.


Q: First place you went this morning?
Bruno’s for breakfast of decaf and oatmeal w/ granola and strawberries because the painter was in MY kitchen at 8am.

I never eat breakfast out, not even coffee. It felt so indulgent and decadent to be up early, eating outside, reading the Wall Street Journal and watching everyone hurry by.

Q: What can you not wait to do?
Organize the house.
Go on vacation.

Q: Do you smile often?
Not so much.
I don’t like my smile and it causes wrinkles. Why do something that causes wrinkles when you don’t even like how it makes you look?

Q: Are you a friendly person?
I talk to people in elevators and compliment strangers on their shoes.
I think so.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

iPod Silent Rave

About 1000 people came to Union Square tonight to join in a silent rave.  Wearing your iPod, you dance as if at a rave, but to your own tunes and beats.  
It was a lot of fun, we stayed for about an hour before heading off to dinner.  The best thing was watching people walk by who didn't know what was going must have looked so strange! Afterwards, we went up to Filene's Basement to get a shot of the scene below:
Union Square Ravers
K and I dancing

Friday, April 18, 2008

Cats, Toxoplasmosis and Pregnancy

Many well meaning people have told me that once I get pregnant I will (1) have to stop cleaning the litter box and (2) possibly get rid of my cats.

Neither need to happen nor are going to happen.  First of all, it would not work with our lives and the fact K travels Monday-Thursday and second of all, these concerns about toxoplasmosis don't really apply for women with INDOOR CATS. 

Read on.....

If you're expecting a baby, you may have heard of toxoplasmosis because it can cause serious birth defects. A woman who acquires toxoplasmosis during pregnancy can transmit the infection to her unborn child. And a congenital toxoplasmosis infection in utero can lead to miscarriage or an array of malformations at birth. Because one of the ways to become infected is through contact with the infected feces of cats, many pregnant women try to lower their risk of acquiring toxoplasmosis by giving their cat away or putting the cat outside.

Thankfully, you can easily avoid contracting toxoplasmosis from cat feces without giving up your beloved feline "baby." Cats acquire toxoplasmosis from eating contaminated raw meat, birds, mice, or soil. While cats are the only species of animal to shed the infectious stage in their feces, other animals can disseminate toxoplasmosis if their infected meat is eaten without proper cooking.

Likelihood of Contracting Toxoplasmosis

Because it's difficult for cats to transmit toxoplasmosis directly to their caregivers, a pregnant woman is generally unlikely to contract the disease from her pet cat. Several factors keep the chance of such transmission low.

First of all, only cats who ingest tissue cysts acquire infection. Within the feline population, this would be limited to outdoor cats who hunt and eat rodents, as well as cats who are fed raw meat by their owners. In addition, only after a cat is first exposed to T. gondii does he typically excrete oocysts, and he does so for only two weeks. An outdoor hunting cat is often exposed to the disease as a kitten and is, therefore, less likely to transmit the infection as he ages.

Secondly, because oocysts become infective only after one to five days, exposure to the disease is unlikely as long as the cat's litter box is changed daily.

Finally, since oocysts are transmitted by ingestion, in order to contract toxoplasmosis, a woman would have to make contact with contaminated feces in the litter box and then, without washing her hands, touch her mouth or otherwise transmit the contaminated fecal matter to her digestive system.

Reducing Your Risk of Toxoplasmosis

Even though it is unlikely that a woman will contract toxoplasmosis from her cat, it's a good idea to err on the side of caution. The following recommendations will help cat owners expecting a child to reduce their risk of contracting toxoplasmosis.

  • Avoid undercooked meat.
  • Wash all uncooked vegetables thoroughly.
  • Be certain to wash all cutting boards and utensils that may have come in contact with meat before using them to prepare other foods.
  • Wear gloves when working in soil. If gloves are not worn, hands need to be washed thoroughly following soil contact.
  • Ask a spouse, friend, or neighbor to help out with litter box duties while you're pregnant.
  • If you don't have help to keep the litter box clean, wear rubber gloves when changing the litter and thoroughly wash your hands afterwards.
  • Change your cat's litter on a daily basis.

120 Lbs. of Kitty Litter

So, what do you do the morning of your IUI and the last chance at some heavy lifting?
Stock up on kitty litter!  If you live in New York City and you don't have a car, that might look something like this:

Those of you with cars, do you know what kind of looks people give you rolling a granny cart down the street full of kitty litter?  They look at you with judgement and as if you are possibly that crazy cat lady.  This cart weighs more than ME.  The 13 blocks there is easy--it's empty.  But coming back 13 blocks navigating people, dogs, dog crap, kids, stroller, uneven pavement, curbs--it's hard.  How hard?  Well, I sent K to do it by herself once and instead of carefully navigating the course back, she decided to get a running start and 'jump' the curb.  Not smart.  She broke the cart, hurt herself and got a lot of stares.  When I get pregnant she'll be left to this task again and out on the streets--watch out!!!

We are crazy about the cats.  We have three now but had four up until a few years ago.
This is Boo Boo Bunny aka Bunny aka Buns aka Bun Bun.  I adopted him from the SPCA in Dallas, Texas.  He has traveled with me through five states and 12 apartments.
He is 16 years old and was the love of my life before K came along.  Some days he still is:)
He has his own pillow on the bed and curls up in my armpit every night to fall asleep.  Bunny has a meow only a mother could love.

Here is Savina, aka Savvy, Weena, Weena Wumps, Wumpus and Wumpa, and Wumpalotapuss, also 16 years old.  I adopted her 6 months after I got BooBoo because he used to give me the most pathetic looks as I left the house every morning.  I mistakenly thought he was lonely and brought him home a friend.  He was not lonely--at least not for another feline friend--only lonely for me.  They pretty much hate each other to this day, though in their old age there is less hissing and growling than there used to be.  She purrs like a Harley and because her preferred sleep slot is on your head (taking up most of the pillow) it forces us to wear ear plugs every night. 
Cadeau (Ka-Dough) du Tigre, it means gift of the Tiger in French.  He is also affectionately called Monster most days.  I found him while we were living in Jersey City.  One day standing in my living room 4 floors up I heard 'kitten in distress' and like the crazy cat lady that I am I bounded down the stairs and out onto the streets to find my baby kitten.  He was across the street, trapped between the front door and the apartment foyer door and what I found was a sick, scared, near death teeny tiny thing.  He fit in the palm of my hand.  Somebody probably tossed him out when he got sick.  We took him to the vet, spent an enormous amount of money and quarantined him for the next month.  The vet said if we hadn't brought him in he would've died within 24-48 hours.  K and Cadeau slept in the front bedroom until we knew he was safe for the other cats to be around.  Savvy took to him quickly, but it's taken Bunny 3 years just to let him lay down beside him without getting up in a huff.
You might say Bunny is a little spoiled....

And that is what scares me.  All of my cats are terribly spoiled and although I'm not even pregnant, I've already been on forums that talk about how to introduce your cats and your new baby.  These cats have the run of the house and our bed--it is not going to be easy.  But I think we'll manage.  I've already figured out how to make a tent over the crib with our mosquito net to keep the cats out--that's a bonus, the baby won't get malaria either!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Mission # 2 Activated (formerly known as Swim Swimmers Swim)

Ready to be Spermified

IUI #2 was this afternoon at 2pm. When I went in yesterday my estrogen had peaked and I was clearly already surging so I didn't have to do the trigger shot.
I had an U/S yesterday and there was one nice looking follice at 18.5mm, so by the time of the IUI maybe it had reached 20mm.
The timing has me a little freaked. I think that last month K and I truly did see it as almost a 'practice run' and we weren't expecting too much. This month feels more real and thus has me scared of the very low percentages of a natural cycle IUI at my 'advanced age' (38) and the short lifespan of frozen sperm (6-12 hours VS 3 days for the fresh stuff).
The timing is so tight and crucial, it's a wonder anyone ever gets pregnant!

My acupuncturist wants me to start temping again and the funny thing is, I'd started doing it the night before myself.
Going to the RE and Big Fertility Center can make you forget that you are still the best advocate for what your body is doing and I realized that I need to have some power over that.
The blood work and the ultrasounds are great, but I want to temp as well.
Next month--if I'm not pregnant, I'll be getting a speculum to check out my cervix and see what's going on in there. If you don't know what I mean and it's just can read all about it

Overall, it went rather smoothly. My nurse had a bit more trouble threading the catheter in this time, but it wasn't painful, just uncomfortable and took a little longer. She likes to talk to me while she's going about the business which is great as it might take your mind off it, but at one point, I had to say, "I'm going to stop talking and just breathe now, OK?"

Afterwards, I texted K, but she was in a meeting and couldn't call me right back. So, I put on my iPod and listened to a few songs by Elisa before heading to the office. K and I were able to talk on my way to work and she is being very supportive.
It's hard for both of us that she's not around much to be a part of this on a day to day level.
But as she travels for work Monday-Thursday, it's difficult.

We have a busy weekend ahead with a silent rave in Union Square Friday night (this is about 2000 people dancing around with their iPods on!), a farewell BBQ for my German friend on her apartment terrace tomorrow afternoon/evening, and a baby christening of K's nephew on Sunday in Princeton.
I have something planned almost every single night next week--even if it's just yoga or pilates as it makes the TWW go by much, much faster!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Elisa. You Will Like Her. I Love Her.

Tuesday night at 11:30pm? I don't do that anymore...but I did tonight!
It was a late night concert at Joe's Pub and the US debut performance for Elisa, the Italian superstar.
I brought a friend with me (thanks CW!) guaranteeing that there would be cute Italians even if she didn't like the music--but as I thought, she loved Elisa, too.

She's available on iTunes. Go get download crazy. You won't regret it.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Me Gusta Fin de Semana de Primavera

One of my best friends in the entire world got married on Friday.  Congratulations Senora Morales!  This is the same friend I called on the table after IUI #1, she's the sister I never had.
She doesn't live here and neither does her Colombian husband, but they were coming to NYC and decided since her parents were also here for the weekend and two of her best friends live here, they'd go down to the courthouse and get married.
Oh, she crazy like that.  That why I heart her.
We had a great celebration dinner at Sapa and I even drank champagne!  Oh La La.  I am getting so crazy...!
It was great to be surrounded by wonderful, loving, beautiful people in my life.

K's mom and stepdad were also in town for the weekend and we made brunch for them at our apartment on Saturday morning.  K had already told her mom that I wasn't pregnant this try and she was disappointed for me which was nice.  A few months ago when we were starting this process she was so disinterested and I was a little worried.  My mom was great and I wanted her mom to be as supportive and wonderful.  She may never get to this point because I'm not her daughter and we've had our ups and downs, but it helps us a lot if both moms are there with us through it all.  I feel confident that they will both be fantastic grandmothers!  K and I are the only daughters and that is something special.

Spring is finally here!  One of my favorite things about NYC is being able to walk everywhere and the weekends find us out and about, either going on a long walk down the East River esplanade which we on Saturday or exploring the city which we did on Sunday.

A very good friend of mine is leaving NYC this month.  She is from Germany and has been working here for two years.  I met her and her mother in Burma/Myanmar in 2003 when we were both on a hike through the jungle and staying in the same village guesthouse.  A year later they came to visit me in NYC and then K and I visited them in Germany and then she ended up with a placement here living 15 blocks away from me.  So crazy!  From meeting in Burma to living in NYC.  Life is strange and wonderful like that....

Sunday we spent the day with the two of them wandering upper Central Park, Harlem, Morningside Heights ad visiting the Cathedral of St. John the Divine.
We ended the day taking a bus down to midtown--a place I rarely venture--to eat at this famous burger joint inside Le Parker Meridien.  It is so weird to go into this posh, modern hotel lobby and behind a curtain down the hall is a greasy diner-type of burger joint.
I had been meaning to go for years and I'm so glad it was on their list of "things to do in NYC before we leave".  
The Shake Shack is still my favorite, but more dangerous because I work so close to that place...oh those burgers are so freaking good.
I might just have to go get one this week!  YUM!

An excellent weekend spent with K and good friends!  I hope you had a great weekend, too!

Friday, April 4, 2008

Back in the Stirrups

I've spoken to my nurse and we're on to IUI #2.  Basically the same protocol as last month and this is the overall map of what I'm doing:
  • March/April/May = unmedicated IUI's with trigger shots
  • June/July/August = IUI w/ drugs, probably Clomid and trigger
  • After August = Gimme the hard drugs, we're going IVF baby!
I have a lot to be thankful for and I now need to remind myself of at least 10 good things (not necessarily in order of importance):
  1. My body is working; I have regular periods and I ovulate regularly.  
  2. Dr. VID says I have a perfect uterus.  
  3. I am in excellent health.  
  4. I walk to work and back and am thankful my legs and feet carry me without fail for one hour every single day.  
  5. I eat a healthy, mostly organic diet.  
  6. My insurance policy that is (so far) covering this.
  7. Many wonderful friends and family members who support me and care about me.  
  8. A good job that isn't the most fulfilling but at least doesn't make me miserable and best of all provides me with a great deal of flexibility.
  9. Three cats that love me as soon as I walk in the door every single day!
  10. My partner, because I cannot imagine doing this without K.
That's my pep talk to myself.  It's back in the stirrups folks!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

ReCap of New Orleans Because I Love This City and Yes, it Does Look Like a Horse is On Top of My Head

Bless her heart, but a photographer my K is not.  In Jackson Square, this is the 4th shot and after I cropped out some random guy's arm.  I love her anyway.

New Orleans is an amazing place and I can't wait to return.  If you have thought about going and you haven't--GO!  The city has returned for tourists and what a gorgeous city it is.
We were able to make it to Tipitina's uptown for a benefit concert and danced for hours to the 101 Runners, Rebirth Brass Band and so many others I can't even name.  The New Orleans music scene is amazing and like nothing I've never heard anywhere else.  I love that you can find live music any night of the week and a welcoming crowd that just wants to get their groove on!

Having been here twice since Katrina and seeing nothing of the damage, K and I both wanted to see the 'other side of New Orleans'.  My friend, a 5th generation New Orleanian, took us on a 4-hour tour of all of New Orleans--the good, the bad and the ugly.
While most people visiting NoLa only see the French Quarter and maybe St. Charles Avenue, there is so much more to this city.

He showed us poverty that I've never seen in a US city. It reminded of third world countries in Central and South America.  It was mind-numbing and made me so angry that we are the leader of the free world and such a wealthy country yet people--children--live in such abject poverty.

If you look closely at the photo on the left, you will see a marker of how high the water was and then the church board says--totally unrelated but perfect--"he has risen"

What really blew me away was the drive through the neighborhoods of the Lower Ninth Ward and St. Bernard's Parish.  Watching the coverage on TV and reading the stories just doesn't prepare you to understand the extent the floods destroyed.  There are neighborhoods full of empty houses where people never returned home.
It's all so sad....yet this city is so alive and hopeful.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Totally Not an April Fool's Joke

And totally not pregnant either. I got up to POAS when K got in the shower at some ungodly hour to catch her flight and Aunt Flo greeted me.  I POAS'd anyway because I was like, "F*ck You.  I did not wait all this time to not pee on my first stick!"
I know, silly, but there was a little voice in my head--a crazy deranged voice--that said, "could be late implantation bleeding?" Even though I knew it wasn't.

And that was that.  Out of frustration I drank a full caff cappuccino--take that you stupid sperm--ate a 3-course lunch with my team at Lilette (oh so YUM delicious) and then was upset that I'd done nothing but eat for five days, including an absolutely fabulous meal last night at Commander's Palace.  
Out of frustration I went to the gym and ran five miles on the treadmill and burned 550 calories before saying "screw it", then went to dinner at a friend's house where I not only had another 3-course meal but I drank WINE.
Wine, Ha!  That no drinking thing lasted a really long time didn't it.  What was that, two weeks? Haha.

You know, I really didn't expect to be pregnant on the first try and honestly, I feel bad for kids who have December birthday's because they totally get screwed.  However, I would've loved to have a December baby!  I can't believe that I used to be like, "well, I really want a girl, and I'd like to be most pregnant in the summer months and I don't want a Scorpio or a December baby"  HA!
As if I have any control over anything?! (hello, control issues anyone...I'm working on that).
Now, I want a baby, a healthy little baby.  I don't care when or what sign or what sex.  
Just get me pregnant and get me one of them babies.

It also sucks that I can't curl up with K tonight and talk about this because she's on a plane and completely inaccessible.

OK folks, on to Try #2.  Stay tuned.
And if you're out there reading this, say hey.  Or something.