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Back to Work

Is what I is.

I always assumed that I would be a working mom. I didn’t want to ‘waste’ my education – I spent a lot of time deciding what to get a degree in, even more time getting that degree. Also, I really like getting paid money on a regular basis. I’ve largely ignored the debate of ‘having it all’ – I didn’t think I could have it all but I figured that as long as I could find good child care for my sweet, sweet progeny I would happily go to work knowing that this was my sacrifice for providing my children with the things that money could buy as well as being a positive role model as an educated, working woman. I really thought I had it all planned out.

Boy was I wrong. I want to stay home.

I always thought that staying at home with your children was a luxury, often chosen by moms who didn’t much care for their careers/jobs in the firs tplace. Lest I am skewered by stay at home moms who have sacrificed much to do what they do, let me say that I never really thought too hard on the matter and I never passed any sort of judgement. I didn’t count on the fact that 1) raising a baby is hard work and 2) raising a baby is really intersting, fun and far more rewarding than anything I’ve ever done for money. Every day I watch this little being develop her motor skills. She has started putting things in her mouth, a small thing but representative of a complex series of skills that show me her brain is growing. The other night watching me wash my face provoked the first real laughter I have heard from her (why? I don’t know.). I’m addicted. I don’t want to miss any of this. I want to stay at home.

So now Chad and I are discussing what it would take for me to not work or work only part time. Scary stuff to consider in this economy but since Chad’s a nurse he has a lot of options open to him. At this point its not so much a discussion of ‘if’ as a discussion of ‘how’. I’m thinking of ways to try to channel my silliness into something that can be done from home that pays.  Can I sell mail order silliness? Would any of you buy mail order silliness? Too bad there isn’t a paying market for silly pictures of cats because I have a crap ton of those.

ETA: About moms who choose to stay at home – I feel I want to further explain what I thought about this choice more for my own thought process than anything else. I think I gave it short shrift earlier and I guess if I’m going to have a record of my thoughts, it might as well be accurate. I’ve always known that some moms chose to stay home because that’s what they really want to do – it is meaningful and rewarding and it was their choice, not just some second hand plan because work wasn’t what they thought it would be. I think I felt that if I stayed home it would be because I dind’t like what I was doing. I also always assumed that my mom went right back to work after having my brother and I and that wasn’t true. So the whole point of this is that what I thought before isn’t what I think now. So. There it is.

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Today I send wishes and hope to every woman out there  who is trying to find  her Mother’s Day. May your path to motherhood unfold before you, carrying you to your heart’s desire.

On my first Mother’s Day I want to say how much I love my mother and how much I love my daughter. I love you both more than you’ll ever know.

The Grand and the Baby (picture by Mike (Papa) Skirvin)

The Grand and the Baby (picture by Mike (Papa) Skirvin)

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Oh, cat butts!

I’m wondering when I need to stop using bad language around the B.A.B.Y. At this point I haven’t curtailed my cursing but I’m sure that I will need to before she starts talking. I’ve been thinking about taking up pseudo-cursing (like “what the french, toast?!” from the orbit gum commercials). Anybody have any good pseudo curses I can use?

In other news, so…work, huh? I’ve gotta go back there? Really? Even beyond not wanting to spend any time away from Sweet Pooty (GM’s latest nickname) I have really gotten used to not working. I keep thinking of things to do with the girl and then realize that crap-diddley-doo, I have to work the next day. I really liked not working. Who would’ve thunk it? Thunk. That’s a funny word.

You know what’s hard? Typing with a cat on your hands.

Here’s Sweet Pooty. At 9 weeks she is 13 lbs 9 oz and 24.25 inches. I am proud of this as if it has anything to do with me.

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A new lesson learned:

If you’re changing a diaper and the baby starts to make grunting noises – Quick! get a diaper on that baby! Or else.

Cloth wipes are awesome. Even if you don’t use cloth diapers, I think cloth wipes would be quite handy. We do these cloth wipes with a bottle of Dr. Bronner’s soap and water solution. This way we can wet the wipe or use the wipe dry which is very handy when you want to dry off a little bum to keep it from getting a rash. We are also using Thirstie’s diaper covers over prefolds. So far we haven’t had a single blow out. The diaper covers themselves have had to be washed a few times (and are holding up very well) but the gussets have kept the poop from ever getting on her clothes. We cloth diaper at night using a bamboo cloth insert. We aren’t very fancy with our washing. For the cloth diapers, we do a cold soak and then wash them in cold water and we haven’t had any problems getting them clean. So that’s that in case anyone was wondering.

And now for cat pictures.

He just looked so comfy I had to lay on him.

He just looked so comfy I had to lay on him.

And he is keeping me nice and warm.

And he is keeping me nice and warm.

There's nothing wrong with our love.

There's nothing wrong with our love.

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Tonight I go in to be induced. I dreamt all night about having contractions and I would wake up to see if I really was having some and…..no. Just dreaming. Its so very quiet down there. Shhh.

What do you do all day while waiting to go have a baby?! We keep having little freak out (auugghh!) moments and I’ve been very sentimentally talking to the dogs and cats about how we’re bringing home a little sister for them.

This has been quite a journey. We’re here.

Cinammon rolls are ready! That’s something to help pass the time.

We’ll post pictures of Gigantic Georgia (we’re taking over/under bets about her weight with 9 lbs being the cut off).

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In case anyone is wondering, there is no labor in sight and I’m overdue. I get that this is normal, but its also a little frustrating. I’m scheduled for an induction on Monday at 6:30pm. As I told Chad, I don’t want to be induced but if I haven’t had her by Monday I really want to be induced. I get a little sad that if I am induced I wont know what its like to go in to labor naturally, but I’m pretty good at saying whatever about stuff like that. The situation is what it is and since she’s probably already a BIG baby, I don’t want to push it too far and have a baby that is tall enough not to need a car seat.


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Why Chad is SAHD

See Chad. Chad is sad. Or rather Chad will be SAHD. Or rather, when this chicken that’s baking in my oven is born Chad will stay home with her (after my maternity leave of course). He’s pretty psyched. And the most awesomest part so far is that he is trying to prove his care taking worth to me by making dinner while I get to take a bath. I already had faith in his ability to clean and cook. But let’s not tell him that quite yet. I’ll probably clarify more on this set up later (I don’t know entirely what it means as of yet). I had no idea just how rare it is for Dad to be the primary caretaker of a child. I mean, I knew it was rare but there’s hardly anything out there for the stay at home dad. In fact, most child rearing information geared towards dads is about how they can best go about not starving or accidentally killing their child. I told Chad that the consensus seems to be that fathers are bumbling idiots who need to be distracted from the responsibilites of child care with sports references and big screen tv’s. LIke if he’s watching football maybe he won’t accidentally eat the baby!

As most of you know the chicken is a girl chicken. Her name has been decided but I can’t help but keep calling her “Somebody” as in “Somebody is practicing full body flips right now” or “When I was setting up Halloween decorations I shocked myself on a bad bulb and I’m afraid Somebody felt it”. And then I cried because I felt like such a stupid idiot. I think maybe I need all those books geared towards fathers. I apparently cannot be trusted not to electrocute my unborn child.

Anyway, Somebody is doing fine (or is doing fine as far as we know as I like to say after a good electrocution). She moves a lot, especially after I eat chocolate. Can’t help but think there’s a connection there. We bought several really freaking cute prints from an artist, GumballGrenade, on Etsy to set the tone for the nursery. Chad’s shifted gears since we decided he would stay at home (he’s still going to work some but not very much). He’s no longer obsessed with getting more hours in at the hospital – now he thinks about parks and trips to the zoo and what kinds of bottles we should use. Pretty darn adorable if you ask me. I even caught him reading a baby magazine.

I have a whole post in my head about pregnancy after infertility. That might come later. Hmm…all my coworkers are back from lunch. Better stop blogging. (more…)

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Long Time

I know. its been a long time.

The last we saw our heroine, she was on the eve of her first IUI in her attempt to have a baby. Flash forward to IUI. It doesn’t work. Damn. That’s a lot of money for something to not work (we did injectables).

Then their was the Month of Depression. For both heroine and husband. Talk about an existential crisis. It was and how. I might write about it later, but I’m still grappling with it somewhat and it gets a little painful and I’m not here to inflict pain on you all. At least not so purposefully.

And then our heroine got pregnant. Wah? Yeah. Just kind of got pregnant. From sex. Perhaps one of the most annoying things an infertile couple can do. I’m sensitive enough to refer to it as “spontaneous” and not “natural” because to infer a pregnancy caused by any other means is “unnnatural” is not playing nice and not really true. However I am not sensitive enough to 1) not rub my belly in public and 2) not complain about morning sickness. Which (!!knock on wood!!) seems to be slowing down to a vague, intermittent nausea as we swing in to week 20 (yeah – that’s how long its been. not only am I pregnant but I’m halfway through it).

Oh, and its a girl. And I often ask her “what’re ya doing in there?”. And she never answers. Already a communication problem.

On other fronts, I’ve been doing a lot (well…meeting a lot) for my neighborhood organization. I’m on a business and land use committee and we talk a lot about Variances and Budgets and How Kate is Going to Send Out Item X ASAP which doesn’t ever happen asap. I don’t know if this is the pace that volunteer organizations run at or if I am just Plain Ol’ Lazy. Its fun though – if you think for a second that most of the businesses in your neighborhood wouldn’t screw you and your neighbors for an extra parking space in their lot, you’re wrong. There’s a lot going on in land use to get uppity about. And I do love a good bout of uppity.

Also – we have five cats now. Five cats is a lot of cats. All accumulated in just over a year, too. That’s some mad cat collecting. There’s Mojo and Tinkerbell. These were Plannedcats, brought home from a local no-kill animal shelter. Then there was Faith, the first of the Foundcats.  Three was a nice number and they all got along or ignored each other and the litter never got too stinky. And then during a neighborhood clean up, two leeetle kittens came running across a busy road to see what we were doing. And you can’t leave leetle kittens on a busy road. Unless you’re a heartless bastard who doesn’t care about life. So we brought them home and treated them for fleas and before I could figure out where to post our “Kittens to Good Home” sign, Chad had named them and got very pouty whenever I talked about not keeping them. They are Bogey and Sam. So 5. And they get along or leave each other alone and there’s lots and lots of cute playing but boy howdy that cat litter really stinks now.

That’s the update for now. I’ve got to eat some soup. World peace depends on it.

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While this is not really an infertility blog, I figure at some point google is going to send people this way with all the mention of fertility related things going on in so many of my posts. And I know that when I am reading someone’s infertility blog, I really want to know what their situation was/is so that I can figure out if the lessons they are learning (about meds, treatment, etc) might apply to me too. In the spirit of providing people with questionable medical information, I figured I would chronicle our test results and treatments in a way that might be helpful for others who need to obsess.

The Lady of the House: Never had an irregular cycle. In fact, I have such regular 28 day cycles that I’ve started on a Sunday every cycle for the last year. Bad cramps but nothing that can’t be controlled by ibuprofen (the elixir of the NSAID gods). I haven’t had a lap to see if there is endometriosis, but this is not a concern at the moment. There is also no concern of a luteal phase defect/progesterone deficiency based on cycle charting and a progesterone level I had drawn last year that I can’t remember but was good. I know all these things can change or be proved wrong later, but for now they are assumed good.

Hysterosalpingogram: Looks great! Our RE did our test and I think the consensus is, if you can, have your RE do it and not the radiology tech. I have known several radiology techs and they are awesome people but not trained at reading HSGs.

Day 3 Fsh: 4.9

Day 3 Estradiol: 36

Day 3 Prolactin: 12

Ain’t nuthin’ wrong with the lady’s hormones.

The Gentleman of the House:

Semen Analysis #1 – 3 Days of Abstinence

Volume: 2.5 ml; Concentration: 18.5 million/ml; Total Count: 46.3 million; Motility: 55% (45% rapid, 10% slow); Morphology: (WHO criteria) 1% normal, 14% Slightly Abnormal, 85% Severely Amorphous Heads; PH: 8.1; Viscosity: grrrrreat!.

In between SA #1 and SA#2 Chad gave up alcohol and caffeine (oh my god the coffee??!!! Will no one think of the coffee??!!) and started taking Centrum total/complete/something or other that the doctor recommended.  There were about 6 weeks between #1 and #2.

Semen Analysis #2 – 5 Days of Abstinence

Volume: 3.55 ml; Concentration:20.5 million/ml; Total Count: 72.7 million; Motility: 45% (35% rapid, 10% slow); Morphology (WHO Criteria): 2% normal, 34% slightly abnormal, 66% severely amorphous; PH: 8: Viscosity: grrrreat!

So as you can see, SA#2 is a good bit better than #1. SA #1 was categorized as Moderate Male Factor Infertility (MFI) and we were okay with going straight to IVF if everything stayed the same. SA #2 is Mild MFI and so we are going to try IUI. For anyone who is trying to find information on what to do with bad morphology let me just say good luck. The field seems to be split pretty much down the middle as to whether or not you should try IUI or IVF first. One study I read said that slightly abnormal sperm are just as good as normal sperm at penetrating the egg, so I think its good to know what you’ve got going on with your slightly effed up guys. For us the decision came not from one parameter but multiplying the total count by morphology (eg .36) and motility (eg .45) to get an idea of how many guys we might have for IUI.

We have it planned but we’re not telling anyone when its going down because frankly I don’t want to talk about it. The actual procedure, not infertility or wanting a family. In the way that we all learn things the hard way, after last year’s miscarriage I know that I don’t want to tell a lot of people things that I may have to take back later.

I will tell you my protocol and I’ll even tell you how much stuff costs because just as much as we want to know if something works, we want to know how much its going to cost.

Cycle Day (CD) 1: baseline scan ($320)

CD 3-7: Femara (2.5mg/2xday) ($20 if my insurance will cover it – which they might since its label use is not as a fertility medication)

CD 6-11: Follistim 50IU/day ($235 through online pharmacy)

CD 12: Follicle Scan ($246)

CD ?: Ovidrel – HCG trigger ($60)

CD 14-ish: IUI ($366 – procedure/office visit/sperm washing)

CD 15-28: agonizing wait (Totally Fucking Free)

We get 20% off of everything but meds since we have no insurance  coverage for this and we’ll be paying cash (10% if we used a credit card). This means the whole thing we’ll probably run us just over $1000. So there you have it folks – that’s what you can expect to spend on a low dose injectable/trigger IUI in central Indiana.

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