May 12, 2010

Raise your hand if you are obsessively checking and re-checking Jeremiah’s blog today.

<<ME!>>  << ME!>>

“For I know the plans I have  for you, says the LORD, plans for your good and not for evil. Plans for a future and a hope.”


Foster to adopt

May 7, 2010

Here’s a pretty neat article about a church-led effort in Colorado to adopt foster children. I think it’s great! (at least, based on the very limited information I have)  I’d love to see more churches around the country do this … I think adopting an older foster child would be easier if we were doing it in community. Ahhh, I’d love to do that some day …



What’s the deal with prometrium?

April 22, 2010

So, the mystery of my body and its touch-and-go relationship with progesterone production is probably worthy of a post on its own (First I was told I was infertile because I was producing TOO MUCH progesterone. But now that I am pregnant and need it, I apparently do not produce enough. Thanks, body, for being totally weird. Or maybe I should just deduce that saliva hormone panels are not to be trusted.)

But I digress. Because for now, I come to you with this question: what is the deal with prometrium? And by “the deal,” I mean “the danger.” I am taking 200 mg a night. I know many of you also take it, in the hopes of achieving or sustaining a pregnancy. And yet, the warning label says to discuss with your doctor if you think you may be pregnant. Are there  real risks of taking it?

Infertile brain trust: I love you! Please give me your mad, mad knowledge.

In other, unrelated, news: I saw Sigourney Weaver today. She looks totally normal and seems quite nice. She also looked, err, pretty normal-shaped. This was a surprise because I recall her skinny near-naked body in Avatar … was she digitally altered or did she just lose weight/tone up for that scene? I don’t expect an actual answer to that question.


Sonogram report

April 19, 2010

For those of you interested in the sonogram results, I apologize for holding out on you. My husband was out of the country and because of time differences, bad skype connections and previously scheduled events, he did not get the full story until he came home Sunday. He also subscribes to my blog (hi dear!), and it seemed unfair for him to hear it here first.

So, the results.  The long and short of it is that I am *not* the insane wife on Glee, there *was* an actual baby in there AND it has a heartbeat. I was shocked and amazed. I did not get to hear the heartbeat, but I could see heart flutters. It was amazing. For many reasons including: how does something the size of a pinto bean have a heart and the beginning of intestines? Creation is mind-blowing.

The sonogram people were very nice and much more forthcoming than I had been led to believe they would be — as many of you predicted. The set-up at their office is for people who come in and look at their healthy babies — I was lying on a table with a TV screen over me showing me what she was scanning. First she looked at my cervix, uterus and ovaries. Then inside the uterus at the egg sack, then at the baby. This technology is like magic to me — she did all that by putting the same instrument and the same goo on my abdomen. How can they do that? And if you can check out a uterus that way, why have I not had it done before? Or does it not tell enough information to help in infertility?

One interesting thing of note. She easily found and measured my left ovary, which looked vaguely like a circle on the screen. But then she could not find my right ovary. And I began to think, “Do I have one?” Eventually she found it and rather than looking like a circle, it looked like a line. I said, “It looks smashed.” She replied, “Um, yes, it’s a little smashed.” Not sure what that mystery tells us.

Then there was the wee tiny baby –wow!  I asked the specific, non-diagnostic type questions that TCIE recommended and she gave me answers that were even more forthcoming than I expected. The baby measured at 8 weeks 4 days. I am pretty sure 8w4d is technically impossible, given my ovulation date, but only by a couple of days. His/her heartrate was 175. Dr. Google tells me that is on the slightly-high side of normal. But Dr. Google also tells me the heartrate is affected by stress of the mother, and I had, err, stayed up all night the night before to finish a big work project. I think getting more than 1.5 hours of sleep a night is generally recommended in the baby books. Never fear, I slept a lot on Friday night.

After all this, the technician left the room to get the sonographer, and I panicked again. Calling on a higher authority makes me think, “something’s wrong!” The sonographer came in and LO AND BEHOLD, it was the same man who did my HSG 14 months ago. How funny. He said, “You look familiar, have I seen you for something?” Me: “I think my HSG. Do you do HSGs?” Him: “Is the Pope Catholic?” Oh, what a card.

Anyway, he was nice and seemed to just be there for oversight …?  I asked him about the ovary and if it could be another key to my infertility. He did not think so, he said “Oh, your ovary was there, it is fine. That’s not the key, you already found the key.” That sounds nice and all, but I have not really found any key — this pregnancy is just a glorious fluke, a miracle.

He also asked if the pregnancy was spontaneous, prompting a befuddled stare on my behalf. But then he said, “Or was it IVF?” No, no. Spontaneous. Very spontaneous, in that scenario.

But best of all, he told me “Everything looks good.” MUSIC TO MY POOR LITTLE EARS. Praying it stays that way…


How to get (coerce) medical info?

April 15, 2010

I feel awfully greedy asking everyone to hold my (virtual) hand while I pray and hope that this pregnancy is for real (and healthy!) … especially while so many of you are going through rough times and those dreaded reoccurring  CD1s. My heart grieves for you, and my prayers go out for you.

If we were friends in real life (and I wish we all were!), I would not be calling you all the time with these questions and concerns. But since this is just a little ol’ blog that you are free to ignore for a while or never look at again, I am going to keep posting. I hope I am not annoying anyone.

But this is where I am, in those tenuous first weeks of a miraculous pregnancy. I think everyone should get a miraculous pregnancy, and I have put a request in to Jesus in that regard.

Until that request is honored, I continue to pray for you and continue to be inspired by your blogs and comments. Thanks especially to those loyal commenters. You have been so unfailingly generous. Thank you, thank you.

So now I come back with another question. I am hopefully going to finally suck it up and go to my “viability” sonogram Friday afternoon (of course there is now a major work-related event scheduled just before it, but I am hoping I can phone into that from the waiting room? ack).

The midwife  told me not to expect to get any real answers at the sonogram itself. She said the sonogram technician probably won’t tell me anything. Rather, the technician would call her office with the results in 3 or so days…unless things don’t look good, in which case she said they would be on the phone with her right away and I would hear that day.

So, I guess no news is good news.

I am not fond of that set-up, though, and I know I will be anxious waiting for a call. There has to be some way I can get some information out of the technician, right? Part of my job is to ask people questions and get answers they might not want to give. But I feel much more comfortable doing that with U.S. Senators than with medical professionals. I guess because I know the rules of the game in ye olde Capitol.

Have you been successful in getting information from technicians (with diagnostic sonograms looking at your follicles, for instance. or for other people with pregnancies, for a similar sonogram)? Any tips on how I should do it? Can I just pepper him/her with questions while s/he is doing the scan? “What’s that? Where is the baby? Is that the right size? Is there anything in there?”

If I tell them about my nightmare where they look and nothing is there, do you think they would pity me and point out if something *is* there?



April 14, 2010

I called this morning and delayed the sonogram.

It is not usually like me to put off the acquisition of new information. Generally, I would rather know the good or bad news as soon as possible. (Except I do wait to open mail or medical bills sometimes. But only until after I’ve had a snack. )

So why did I put it off? I don’t know. But last night I decided I just couldn’t face it.

I realized that if it *were* bad news, I would have to come back to work directly and attempt to focus on a large, somewhat difficult assignment that is due tomorrow. And I’d have to call my husband, currently in Central America … and the thought of him being sad by himself in a hotel room was worse than the thought of me being sad by myself with our cat.

Of course, hopefully it will be good news. But I can live in limbo for a few more days.

This morning I rescheduled it for Monday, when my husband would be around and could go with me. But we decided it would be better to get the information sooner (just not today), so now it is scheduled for Friday afternoon. (plus it’s not like he would miss the baby waving or something) That makes the THIRD appointment time I’ve scheduled in the space of two days. They might hang up on me if I call again, so Friday it is.

Totally unrelated: Last night I had a craving for grilled cheese and soup. (is that a pregnancy symptom? ha) I don’t actually have any bread or cheese in the house. So, I went to the corner store near my house — you know, one of those little city stores that just sells the basic staples. They had five different kinds of queso fresco, but no cheddar cheese (or American cheese, or any other kind of average cheese). And they had tortillas and injera (the Ethiopian fermented flat bread) but no bread loaves whatsoever.  This could be annoying or funnily charming. I chose funnily charming.


Back on the grid and PRAYER BUDDY

April 13, 2010

The past two weeks are a bit of a haze. Holy Week and Easter are always like time out of time. I love, love, love my church in DC, and there is nowhere I would rather be than here for Holy Week. Once again, it was a great week … although I was quite sick with  cold/sinus/coughing/congestion/nastiness/crud. It does take something out of the Easter joy when you can’t sing “Christus vincit!” because you are hacking up a lung. But Christ still conquers, even when I cannot sing about it. And being sick for a little while reminds me how grateful I should be that most of the time I *can* sing and speak.

Early Easter Monday, my husband and I flew to Arizona. We visited some friends in Phoenix and spent four days backpacking in the Grand Canyon. And let me tell you, that canyon is really quite GRAND. I visited it in 1999 and was, of course, impressed. But I got an entirely new appreciation of it this time, since we hiked to the bottom, camped there for two nights, then hiked back out (stopping halfway to camp another night).

I felt fine most of the time on the hikes, but I tried to be extra cautious — taking things slow, taking a lot of breaks and being sure not to overheat. But I still worry if it might have been the most idiotic thing I have ever done. It was a lot more work than I was expecting, but mostly long slow muscle work, not at all taxing cardiovascular work. I have not (noticeably?) had a miscarriage yet, so does that mean my hike was OK?

I had a minor breakdown on the way into the canyon. I was having abdominal pain, which I am now pretty certain was linked to digestive problems (note: it’s pretty bad when you are *starting* a four day camping trip with constipation. because those sorts of things don’t usually get better in the woods.) But I couldn’t quite place it then, and I wondered if the blueberry-sized babe was protesting to me strapping on a huge backpack and descending 7,000 feet. However, at that point I was halfway down the canyon, so I didn’t really have much of a choice but to keep going.

Perhaps surprisingly, going up the canyon was quite easy for me. No complaints there.

I still have this weird feeling that I am not really pregnant. I am just convinced something is wrong. This is either crazy intuition (hopefully not!) or the sad byproduct of so many months when I thought I was pregnant and discovered I was just fooling myself. Granted, that never went on for 8 weeks. So perhaps this is sinful inability to accept a blessing. It is fueled by the fact that I still have very few “symptoms.” I am hungry and have very specific food cravings. But then, it is possible that I am just indulging my normal food cravings. If I smash my boobs, they hurt. But then, whose boobs don’t hurt with smashing? All the pregnant people complain about this crippling exhaustion, but I don’t know that I am more tired than usual.

I had a totally unthrilling appointment with a local OB (well, really a midwife) on Monday. I was kind of hoping she could do some sort of exam that would reassure me that things are progressing (maybe a heartbeat or something? no, too soon). But nothing really happened at the appointment besides her telling me not to run or scoop cat litter (husband is out of town this week and cat is a little bit ill. Lord protect me.) She gave me a prescription to get a sonogram done — that dreaded “viability” sonogram. Right now I have an appointment to do it tomorrow afternoon, but I am petrified that it will be bad news and then it will be just me and my sick cat home alone to face the depression. My husband is on a work trip until Saturday evening. I could delay the test, but I am getting rather annoyed with myself over this feeling-of-dread — I mean, you must be annoyed too. QUIT COMPLAINING, A, and freakin’ rejoice in the Risen Lord and the possibility to carry life, no matter how long … though hopefully to full term! If things are going well, it’s more than a bit lame of me to be such a state.  So I’d also like to go ahead and do the sonogram, so I can possibly confirm that things are going as they should be … and try to convince my battered emotions to rejoice.  But then, what if not … I’m not quite sure what to do.

But for the moment, enough about ME, ME, ME. I apologize.  Let’s talk about someone else. Specifically, J at “All Things!”  She was my Lenten prayer buddy! I am sorry to be so tardy in the BIG REVEAL, but see above about being off the grid in the Grand Canyon for a week. That’s my excuse. Luckily for me, Easter is 50 days long. Happy Easter, J! Alleluia, alleluia!

J’s blog was new to me, but I thought it was rather nifty that we’re both “allthings” kind of gals. I love her faith, her excitement in her new marriage, her smile (in photos, we have not met) and her openness. I lit candles for her at the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham at my church, offered up prayers for her before the Blessed Sacrament in the Maundy Thursday night vigil and prayed (short) prayers for her throughout the day during Lent. I asked God’s blessing on her marriage and for the Lord to draw her and her husband closer to eachother and closer to Himself. I also prayed especially for healing for her husband, healing for J from PCOS and guidance, wisdom, peace and discernment as they seek medical answers.  J, it was a joy to pray for you!!