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Moving

Well, it turns out the poll was good for practice, but I’m entirely too impatient to wait for results to make a decision. I have decided to self-host and am moving…this will be my last post at this location. From this point forward you can find me at my new home: (see 2nd note below)**

I hope to have all content from this site moved over there by the end of the weekend. I have no idea what formatting will look like initially, but bear with me while I figure it all out. In the end, it’s going to be a heck of a lot more fun for me…’cause you know how I love me some control (and I can use that neato widget when the time comes!). Hopefully it will be a better blog experience for everyone else, too!

*I’m not too proud to beg…I hope you all come with me! Please! And please update your blogrolls, readers and/or browser favorites with my now location! Can’t wait to see you all in my new digs!

**I am no longer listing the address for my new location here because this site shows up in Google and I don’t want people IRL finding out where I am now (slim chance of that happening…but still). Anyhow, if you are interested in checking me out at my new location, you can email me at babybard@gmail.com and as long as you swear you don’t know me IRL, I’ll tell you where to go. If you came here from another person’s blogroll, chances are good they know where I am now located and haven’t gotten a chance to update their blogroll yet. So you can try asking them as well. I’m sure they wouldn’t mind. 🙂

Hosting

Thanks for the feedback on format, Blogger, and self-hosting. I’m actually leaning towards self-hosting thanks to the comments by Paul and Sprogblogger. Now I have a dilemma: what domain name to go with?

For years now, I have owned (removed). My current blog address here at wordpress is right in sync with that, so it seems like it would be an easy move over AND it’s generic enough that when we finally do get pregnant, I can sort of change the theme of the blog, perhaps even the title, and not have to redirect to a new domain name.

On the other hand, (removed) is available which is rather fortuitous I think. I’m curious what your thoughts are, so I’ve added my first poll. Vote and tell me what you think!

Changes

For awhile now, I’ve been toying with the idea of switching venues. Gone so far as to open another blog at Blogger, even started formatting, but haven’t actually made the transition because I’m just not sure it’s what I want to do. Initially I was considering it because of that pregnancy countdown widget I couldn’t use here. Then there a fair number of readers from Blogger who were having issues commenting here, and I was having issues commenting on their sites as well. Finally, there is so much more control over formatting at Blogger that I could really personalize my blog without having to code much and without having to fork out. Oh, and then there is the part where I sometimes get a little paranoid that someone IRL might be reading, and I definitely don’t want that. There are things I hold back because of that fear. Frustrating.

Obviously, these reasons haven’t been compelling enough because I’m still here. I seriously considered it a few weeks ago until I started playing with Blogger. Parts of the set up were super simple, but it became very clear rather quickly that overall, WordPress is much more user-friendly. Restrictive, yes, but the format for managing the site seems so much simpler. Blogger made me feel like a big dummy because I didn’t understand the description of half the widgets, and for the life of me, I couldn’t figure out how to add more pages for “Pics” and “About”. Plus, I don’t really like the layouts available. The themes I was able to huntdown were fabulous, but the layouts weren’t for me. Plus, moving would be, well, a big move. Moving content over wouldn’t be a huge deal, but moving addresses, getting used to a new neighborhood…just not sure I’m up for it. To tell the truth, when I get pregnant again (gotta love the optimism, right?), that darned widget may be the deciding vote. But we’ll see.*

Another thing I’ve been pondering is adding a regular Days of Grace entry like Sprogblogger and Mo over at Life and Love in the Petri Dish. The reason I like the idea is pretty obvious if you’re familiar with either of their blogs. No matter your circumstances, it’s important to find joy in something every single day, to be grateful for the things you do have, to recognize the beauty in the small gifts we are given every day. This is of special importance when life isn’t going as you planned. We all benefit from reminding ourselves and others that, despite our hardships, there is something to look forward to every day, something or someone to appreciate. Often it’s the smallest things that make the biggest difference.

The reason I haven’t done it yet is two-fold. For one, I’m not sure from whom this idea originally sprouted, and I don’t want to filch an idea without giving due credit. The other reason is, I simply haven’t decided how often I’d like to do it. Do I start monthly and look towards weekly? Weekly and work towards daily? Which day of the week if I go weekly? And am I ready to make the commitment that every X day or EVERY day, I will make time for it? I am not fond of making commitments and then not keeping them.

Finally, I’ve been considering doing some sort of theme day. Seems to be a concept growing in popularity in the blogosphere. I’ve pondered selecting a day of the week and posting a favorite quote as my theme. However, I worry something that specific would get a bit stale rather quickly. So, until the perfect idea strikes me, I’m going to keep searching, but I still like the idea even if it is a little hokey.

As for me, I’m a little cranky today and poor PB is bearing the brunt of it. I’m quite sure he’s wishing he hadn’t come home early today. Perhaps I can blame it on AF?

*And in case you’re wondering, yes, I’ve considered hosting my own site. Believe it or not, I hosted my own blog, on my own site, for several years (not IF related). Not really eager to do it again. Seemed like a lot of work with little gain. Why not take advantage of these free services where someone else has already done all the work?

A pleasant surprise

So, two days ago I mentioned that I had started spotting again and I was freaking out about it. Funny thing is, that’s mostly because I’ve done so much research on the net about what counts as a normal cycle that I got too focused on the whole 20 days without bleeding thing. Thing is, my doctors never defined it that way. Just Dr. Google. So when I saw spotting, I thought “Great, we have to start all over again!”. I didn’t consider alternatives.Alternatives that could be positive.

I have a clockwork cycle. 29 days. I spot the day before, usually starting in the afternoon, and then full flow the next morning. I’ve been spotting for the past two days. Today I woke to full flow. Today is 29 days since the D&C. So, I’m thinking…and this might be crazy…but I’m thinking that AF is here. She’s here!!! And I’ve never been so excited to see her! Not ever! I mean…this is a really great thing if it’s true.

If I ignore Dr.Google, and I think about it logically, here’s what I’m using as my argument for this being AF:

  1. For one, Dr. Google and my doctors said that AF would show 4-7 weeks after the D&C. Every site I’ve read confirms this (while only one made the statement about the 20 days with no bleeding). I am just over the 4 week mark. 
  2. I’ve read that you get back to normal more quickly after a D&C because in theory, you’re all cleaned out (and that’s verified) whereas with a natural miscarriage, you never really know when it’s all gone.
  3. The timing fits perfectly with my normal cycle. That would be an odd coincidence, wouldn’t it?
  4. My breasts started hurting a few days ago, right on cue.
  5. My bowels are being overactive, just like before and during AF.
  6. The D&C, in theory, is kind of like having a period, though the further along you are, the more traumatic it is physically, and the more you have to pass. I mean, during a period, your body is automatically flushing out your lining and all things related to the pregnancy it prepared for (but didn’t get). With a D&C, that is being done for you, but the end result is the same with the exception of hormones having to level out, specifically HCG.
  7. At my appointment on the 6th, OB said I should be nearing 0 quickly in terms of HCG, if I hadn’t already. She did bloodwork and said she would call if things didn’t look right. She hasn’t called. Recent HPT’s are as negative as they come. I believe the HCG is gone.

If I’m right (please let me be right!), then we are one cycle into the two cycle requirement to start treatements again (based on phone convos; to be confirmed at appt on the 29th), and much sooner than I had expected. And we’ll get to TTC naturally this month…in less than 2 weeks! ‘Course if I’m wrong, we’re much further behind than I would like, but this time, this one time, I’m going to be naively joyous and assume the best instead of the worst.

Yes, I am hopeful again. I feel like the speed of progress is picking up. And it’s wonderful. Really, really wonderful.

The unexpected

It’s been a few days. Just haven’t had anything IF related to talk about, or anything that really seemed worth mentioning. Two hours ago I was going to post about my unexpected stick-to-it-iveness in terms of health goals, so I’ll start there.

Perhaps this is boring to everyone else, but it’s pretty exciting for me. 4 of the past 5 days I have exercised for at least 40 minutes. I realize for a lot of people, this is status quo, but it’s way better then when I started exercising a few months before the IVF. Then my goal was 30 minutes, 3-4 times a week. So, I’m feeling pretty darn proud of myself at the moment, and hoping to keep the momentum going. I’m going to aim for 3 days on, 1 day off, at least 40 minutes a day, working up to 60. A week ago, I would have thought that a lofty goal, but it’s feeling very possible right now.

Just like last time, when I got into a groove, I’m feeling really good. I’m already sleeping better, have more energy, and have a more positive attitude as well. Maybe it’s the endorphins. Maybe it’s feeling like I’m in control of something in my life. Or maybe it’s just being happy that I’m doing something good for myself, and have found an unexpected joy in doing it. I’ll take it however it comes.

In addition to the exercise routine, I’m watching what I eat again. Yes, I’m sort of counting calories, but more importantly, I’m paying attention to the quality of what I put in my mouth. I wouldn’t mind dropping about 5lbs, definitely working towards a slimmer middle (just because I’m not overweight doesn’t mean I like being able to pinch an inch!), but mostly I want to eat healthy, to put things into my body that are working for me instead of against me, ya know?

To do that, I’m back to using this site called MyFoodDiary.com. It costs a little, but the free ones out there aren’t as inclusive. So, I pay a little and I get an online tool that helps me track most of the things that are important (food diary, nutritional information about what I’m eating, daily exercise log, water intake, etc.), let’s me set goals for weight (gain or loss) and water intake, tells me how to reach those goals, and how what I’m doing every day works towards those goals (too much salt, you met your water goal today, exceeded vitamin A intake, etc.). I find it very helpful. It’s also rather eye-opening.

Eating right isn’t really that easy. For me, it isn’t really a problem with portion control (except maybe fudge bars lately – it’s always something). PB constantly teases me that I have a stomach the size of a yogurt cup because that’s about how much food I can consume in one sitting. Portion control is naturally determined in my case. What I find hard is balancing things, finding foods that bring something good to the table in terms of taste and nutrition. I don’t eat unless it sounds good, no exceptions (except during pregnancy, of course). Then, even with that hurdle crossed, a balanced diet isn’t that easily achieved, at least for me.

I always end up high on carbs, high on sugar, and sometimes high on sodium (usually I’m only slightly over on these things or I’d be big as house and wouldn’t have low blood pressure). Problem is I’ve learned too much about vitamin and mineral intake. It’s dangerous to have too much iron or too much vitamin A, and with a prenatal or regular multivitamin already meeting so much of those needs (if not exceeding them), I’m over on the vitamin A every time I pick up an orange, steam some spinach, or fix up some low sodium vegetable soup. The point is: to avoid going over on the vitamins, I end up avoiding foods that contain what I’m over on…which means I end up over on something else (salt, sugar, carbs, saturated fat). I’ve considered quitting the vitamins, but if I don’t take the vitamins, I’d be falling below requirements for tons of other things. So, what’s a girl to do?

The upside is, I’m making healthier choices. I’m reading labels again, and trying not to bring home food that doesn’t do anything for me. And eating out just one meal would blow my whole day, so unless I’m taking a day off (which I probably will at least once a week), I’m eating at home. A good thing for my budget as well. Overall, I’m feeling good on the health front. Like I’m making good progress and can stick to it. Nice to feel really good about something again.

On the IF front, I’ve started bleeding again. Well, bleeding may not be right. There was blood. More than spotting, and too early to tell if it’s a fluke or not. But 8 days in the clear, and here I am again. As I understand it, I have to go 20 consecutive days with no bleeding of any sort before flow counts as a normal cycle. So, I was 12 days away from being in the clear, and expecting my cycle…and now I’m in the lurch again. Now I have to wait for it to stop, and then start counting again. I can feel a December 2010 baby slipping between my fingers as we speak. But you know what? I’m disappointed, but I’ll live.

I can’t let myself get hung up on dates. Yes, the longer I have to wait, the more frustrating it becomes. I won’t kid myself on that front. But I feel confident there will be a 2011 baby for us. What’s another month, right? January 2011 is just as good as December 2010, isn’t it? Again, I’ll take it where I can get it. Stressing out isn’t going to help the situation, and I have no control over this. I repeat, I have no control over this. Somehow, I have to find a way to be at peace with that. I’m learning. To let go. To let things be. To let things happen in their own time. In the meantime, I’m going to live my life, and get ready for what’s to come.

* P.S. For those of you with loss experience: does this reoccurrence of blood (brown, so it’s old not new) mean I can’t take a bath? I was supposed to be able to starting last night but didn’t get around to it, and I really want to tonight if I can!

I feel really bad about my last post. I debated removing it, but I’m going to leave it because, ugly though it may be, it was honest. Never have I claimed to be the nicest person on the planet, though I really do try. Sometimes things get to me though, and I’d be less than honest, sort of pretending that ugly part of me doesn’t exist, if i didn’t share it now and again.

Today I bought the Wii Fit Plus disc (don’t feel right calling it a game), and though I promised myself not exercise until Monday (one week of no bleeding), this is much more laid back than Wii Active (although I did burn 96 calories, woohoo!), and how could I buy it and not check out all the new features?

I am dying…and I mean DYING…to get back into some sort of exercise routine. This future baby mama wants a nice flat belly (oh, how I miss thee!) before we start the FET, and a firmer…everything. I figure if I get into a routine soon, I can keep it up after the BFP rather than feeling like I have to let it go because it’s been too long and is therefore not safe (last time, I hurt my foot, and had to take a 3 week break that cuddled right up to the no exercise rule for IVF, which lasted until week 10 so…you see what I mean…I was scared to exercise in week 11, and then we all know what happened anyhow…).

I really, really want to be able to do something other than yoga during pregnancy. And I’m really, really hoping that because it’s a natural FET (no meds!), I won’t be at all bloated and will be able to enjoy a well-earned flat belly a little longer (cause then I can hide it a little longer, ya know?). And yes, part of it is, I need to have something to focus on, to work towards, while I’m sitting around doing nothing about getting pregnant.

I mean, let’s face it. A little over 2 weeks before I can even think about AF coming…and then I have to wait until at least the AF after that before we may be cycling (which means waiting around until my OPK lights up so we can do a trigger and a transfer). That’s at least 6 1/2 weeks. 8 1/2 weeks if you count towards estimated ET. Right now, that seems like forever (FOREVER!). So, I figure during this lull, I can focus on getting healthy and fit for myself, my baby and a happy, and healthy pregnancy (oh, and an easier delivery and recovery period , too!).  Certainly can’t hurt, right?

As I’ve openly admitted previously, I am not exactly a people person. More often than not, I prefer the company of a good book. Yes, I have friends, but none that could fairly be called good friends. Most of the time, this fact doesn’t bother me in the least. Sometimes, I think, it would be nice to have a girlfriend or two to lean on, but I’ve found that when the going gets rough, they tend not to understand or empathize and you end up alone anyhow. Told you, I’m cynical. 😉

I’ve also mentioned before that there are a couple of girlfriends who were really great at the beginning of IF. Positive cheerleaders and all that. Couldn’t go to them and cry on their shoulder mind you, but if you wanted your spirits uplifted, they were your girls. They were both very excited about the pregnancy, or so Facebook and one email said, but when the loss occurred, I was…disappointed.

Many, many people shared their condolences via FB which I very much appreciated. One of my cheerleaders has yet to mention a thing. Perhaps she didn’t hear (unlikely). Perhaps she doesn’t know what to say (I’m sorry for your loss worked fine for everyone else). In the end, it bothers me a bit, but oddly, it’s the one or two who reached out with email (rather than just FB) to empathize that bothered me the most.

One email came recently (this week) from an old colleague who happens to be 38 and got pregnant naturally 4 months after she got married (I don’t begrudge her this, but am admittedly jealous). She is about 30 weeks right now I think. I’m happy for her because I know how stressed she was about getting married and being a tad bit older than she had planned when starting a family. Anyhow, she sent a simple email that said she was sorry for our loss, followed by a statement stating how she knows how early the anticipation and excitment builds and she knows how disappointed we must be. Well-intentioned for sure. I’m also quite sure that had she lost her baby, she’d be a little more than disappointed. At least she made an effort. That should be what counts, right?

One happened to be from one of the earlier cheerleaders. And I must preface what I’m about to say: I know with my full heart that her intentions were good. I know that she was trying to reach out and be there for me in a way she thought made sense. It just happens that her email, intentions aside, was very upsetting to me.

Cheerleader #2 found out 3 weeks after my BFP that she was also pregnant. She emailed me at that time to tell me the news and to share that it was an accident (she has a 5 year old boy and a 2 1/2 year old girl) and it was causing a lot of stress at home. They didn’t want any more children. I was able to be happy for her and understand her circumstances (though I wouldn’t feel that way myself, we’ll take what we can get). After all, just because she has what I want doesn’t mean she wants it. The people with the greener grass aren’t always happy with the grass they have either, know what I mean?

Anyway, so I’ve just lost my baby and she emails me to comfort me. She says just like her unwanted pregnancy was a part of God’s plan, so is my loss. All of you who have been reading for awhile know how I’d feel about a statement like that. And anyone who would make that statement to me doesn’t know me very well at all. She goes on to say how fertile miscarriage makes you, and reminds me how she had a miscarriage at 8 weeks between the births of her son and daughter. She got pregnant a month later with her daughter. So we should try again right away because I’m über fertile right now.

Ummm, have you listened to an f’ing thing I’ve said in the past 2 years? We have MFI!! MFI!!! How is my having a miscarriage going to fix my husband’s morphology and sperm count issues, huh? And great for you that you can act like your loss was no big deal because you could replace it with another baby with the snap of your fingers. I can’t! It took us 21 cycles, $16k, and a lot of pain and heartache to get to that one baby. That may have been our one shot at having a family. We can’t try every f’ing month like normal people and actually plan on eventually getting pregnant. Every month we try involves buttloads of money and multiple visits to a doctors office to have sex with a dildo cam and a catheter.

This wasn’t a small bump in the road for us. But thank you very much for trying to make it seem like it was. It’s really comforting to have someone tell you that an entity you don’t believe in killed your baby because it was for the best followed by a heart warming story about how loss isn’t that big of a deal because you can just make another one next month. Easy peesy! And to know that you know me so well, that you crafted this email with so much thought given to what you know about me as a person…my heart overfloweth.

Another friend, a very old one whom I considered my bestfriend and female soulmate when I was younger (late teens, early twenties), called and said she was in town on New Year’s Eve and would we meet them out. I didn’t answer, she left a message. Now, nothing wrong with this on the surface, but it felt like…like the whole thing was no big deal. It’s been a week so that’s obviously over, now let’s get back to life as usual. As if that should be easy.

Believe me, I realize I’m being harsh here, but there is still latent anger. I know it isn’t reasonable to expect everyone to be able to relate to you or to say the exact perfect thing. I know that they all had good intentions, that they don’t know any better. But I also know that every single one of these women is strongly pro-life*, and had I terminated the pregnancy at 12 weeks rather than having had a miscarriage, they would have labeled me a murderer and never spoken to me again. Because I lost it naturally, it’s just an unfortunate incident. Doesn’t that seem somewhat backwards?

In a nutshell, these responses just seem like they invalidate the importance of my baby, that they minimize my loss somehow, and indicates they clearly don’t know me very well at all. In some cases, it shows they haven’t listened to anything I’ve said over the past 2 years about IF or our specific circumstances. Some of these people have known me for 16 years. Yet, the best support, the most heartfelt and comforting responses have been from all of you, people who have never laid eyes on me, never been on vacation with me, attended my wedding(s), witnessed the birth of my child, or so much as been out to have a drink with me. A lucky and grateful girl, I am, to have all of you. It goes without saying, as always, but I’ll say it nonetheless…thanks. You’re the best. So thrilled and grateful to have you all in my life, even if it is from a distance. 🙂

P.S. I seriously wish some of you lived closer so we could grab a decaf coffee or a caffeine free tea or have dinner together. If anyone is ever traveling up near Sacramento, CA…let me know so we can set something up!

* I am not pro-life myself (and I hate that term because those of us who are pro-choice aren’t pro-death for f’s sake), but respect that position, and find that considering current circumstances, my own beliefs in this regard are somewhat in question…a future post me thinks.