Friday, May 30, 2008

The week in review

Sorry I have been slow in updating. Nothing really new going on - still pregnant, LB still moving and we continue to be not at all patiently waiting for LB to make his/her appearance. Below is a summary of the week. Sorry it is so long.

Brad and I had a wonderful memorial day weekend. In true "Brad and Kami" form we got next to nothing productive done. The best day was Monday when the weather was just perfect. We walked a little over a mile to check out a new breakfast place - which was wonderful. On the way back, we ran across an old neighbor. They were pregnant the same time we were pregnant with Ernest. They have two kids now - the youngest looks to be two. It's crazy to think that could have been us. I was a bit nervous at first to stop and chat, but it went fine. They are are very kind couple and it was fun to reconnect.

On Tuesday, we went to our acupuncturist. She was able to help with my edema a little bit (it hasn't been bad, but aggravating my carpal tunnel) and suggested I drink a bunch of dandelion tea. I drink a cup a day . . .it is kind of nasty, but we have tried worse things to have a baby and it seems to be helping. On the way home we stopped by my midwife's home for our 9th(?) appointment. This one went much better than the last. She went to Senegal recently and she showed me some of the things she brought back. Senegal surrounds The Gambia and have similar cultures. It brought back memories of my time in The Gambia and gave us something to reconnect about. Brad chatted with her husband and we got to hear some good stories about his sail boat tour of Greece. It was a nice evening. The best news: LB's h/b is still strong, my b/p was good (110 /70) and everything seems to be on track.

On Wednesday we went to see our OB. As usual, it was a looooong wait. That worked well though, because my mom was in the adjoining hospital's ER so we hung out with her while we waited for Dr. Wonderful to get caught up. She's fine. She fell and cut her face, but a little skin glue fixed her up. About 45 minutes after our scheduled appointment, we walked back over to my OB's waiting room and, appropriately enough, we waited.

When we finally get back to the exam room and have my b/p checked it was 142/90. A far cry from the day before. I wasn't concerned. After all, I had been hanging out in a hospital's ER or a room full of pregnant ladies for more than an hour - both creating some background stress. Dr. Wonderful came in, noticed my swollen feet (in hindsight, he was probably purposely checking for edema) and chastised me for not keeping my feet up. Why should I? They aren't that swollen and they don't cause any discomfort. He asked if I had done any cervical checks with my midwife. I hadn't. He said the blood pressure wasn't good and that if I was his patient - and we knew my cervix was at least 3cm dilated - he would have induced that day. How crazy is that? My blood pressure was borderline mild - a pregnancy induced hypertension (PIH) diagnosis is considered 140/90. He said that I wasn't spilling protein, but I did have 2 of the 3 other indicators of PIH - swelling and elevated b/p.

Dr. Wonderful suggested we see my midwife on Friday - two days later - and if any indicators got worse to get my kidney and liver function checked. Well, I knew Cathy would think the blood tests were a waste of time. My OB said that if it were up to him, he would get the blood work today. "Fine, let's do it today. We can always ignore the results." "No we can't," he replied. Brad took this to be the end of discussion and asked him if he would fill out my short-term disability paperwork. "Sure. When do you want to start?" I figured it would start when we had the baby. Brad half joked that it would be nice to start sooner. The rest of the conversation went something like this:

Doc: I think you should start tomorrow.
Me: Really?
Doc: Yes. I think you should go on bed rest.
Me: Really? Full bed rest?
Doc: Yes. Get up only to shower, eat and go the bathroom.
Me: Really? Not even take walks?
Doc No, not even walks.
Me: Really? My b/p wasn't even that high and I had just come from the ER - my mom is fine, btw, but wouldn't that cause my b/p to go up?
Doc: The pregnancy hormones should keep your b/p from going up even if you are stressed or nervous. Your heart rate may increase, but your b/p should stay down.
Me: But bed rest?
Doc: Yes.
Me: Really?

We went on a bit longer as he explained how it was suppose to help. It would lower my b/p making it easier on my kidneys and liver. We talked about signs to watch for (which I already knew since my age and using donor eggs increase my risk of PIH), but he said not everyone will have symptoms. He didn't like the idea of me just monitoring on my own, but wanted someone to see me. I had my blood drawn for liver and kidney function and off we went, my head spinning.

Brad and I then grabbed some dinner at our favorite Mexican deli (it has become our mini-tradition after an OB appointment) and I headed off for a visit with my hypnotherapist. That was an interesting experience, but I will save it for another post.

After I got home I called my midwife to see if she could see me on Friday - currently we are not scheduled until Wednesday. I told what my OB thought. She said, "I don't believe it. You were probably just stressed." I told her what my OB thought about that. She said, "I don't believe it."

Ok, that's fine, but can we have a little discussion? Can you expand on that a bit as in, "I don't believe it because I have too many clients with borderline b/p do just fine." I felt very much shut down. Brad said I should have expressed my feelings, but I just let it go. Needless to say, I didn't ask her to see me on Friday.

Wednesday night I didn't sleep well. I was irritated with both my OB and midwife. I think my OB is overreacting. I think my midwife is underreacting - or at least not listening to my concerns. I am 100% against giving birth in a hospital unless it is absolutely necessary. I am frustrated with how I am treated sometimes by my midwife. Still, I know that she has had experience reviving babies (she is a nurse by training), she is mostly hands-off during labor (which I like) and she is a good person. It is probably good that she has such faith in my body to give birth. I still hate that my two caregivers are on opposite sides of the spectrum and I am stuck in the middle trying to figure out what is right for me. To top it off, I think they both resent that I am listening to another's advice. You would think they would both know me better by now. I'm in charge, they are my consultants.

On Thursday, my OB called to say that my liver, platelets and hemoglobin were fine, but my kidneys weren't 100%. He gave me the numbers to research later, but my understanding was that they were just a bit elevated and more water and bed rest could make a big difference. I told him I would not see my midwife, but would monitor my b/p on my own and see him on Monday.

Today is Friday and my b/p is doing ok - it was 130/75 this morning and I am about to run to the store and check again. I have increased my fluid intake and spent about 1/2 the day laying down and 1/4 of the day sitting wit my feet up. The rest of the day not doing what my OB recommended. I feel ok with that because my 2:00 am google scholar research found some research indicating bed rest can actually be bad for mild hypertension because it can increase the risk of blood clots. It also indicated that biofeedback can decrease b/p in pregnant women with mild to moderate PIH. Wouldn't that mean stress could make a difference?

There you have it - an eventful week. In summary, I am on modified bed rest for now, 38 weeks and 1 day along, LB still moving, and I am done with work until at least 6 weeks post delivery.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Midwife appt # 8: 37 weeks and 0 days

Have you ever heard the story about the teacher who fills her student's tea cup, but the cup is already full so the tea the teacher adds just spills on to the floor? The point being that you cannot learn anything new if you have already made up your mind . . . if your cup is full, nothing else can fit in.

I will tell you upfront that my cup is usually about seven eighths four fifths three quarters full. I can be very opinionated and passionate about my beliefs and unless you know me very well (and sometimes even if you do) I suspect I sometimes come across as "I'm right and your wrong." To my defense it is something I have been working on for quite some time. I have gotten better about understanding another person's view point and appreciating how she came to believe as she does - even to the point where I could say, "Hmmm . . . if I had that experience, I can see doing the exact same thing." I have gotten better at "live and let live" (as long as you don't try to throw out your aluminum can in front of me). I try not to sound like I have all the answers and mine are the right answers.

But I tell you, when I come across someone else who has a full cup it really pushes my buttons which seems to make the part of me that wants to put everything into a right or wrong category looms large. And that, gentle readers, is what I am going to highlight from my midwifery appointment. *

It didn't start off too well with Cathy suggesting I should join the mindful mommies group. Yes, because I would oh-so-enjoy being around a bunch of fertiles with their cups full on the subject of motherhood. I expressed my lack of desire to be around people who have children easily. I was tearing up. I guess she thought that an example of how neat the group was would sway me so she told me about how they were discussing fertility after baby. I am not kidding - this was the example. I thought, "Fertility after infertility? Yeah . . . that would mean $25,000 for one chance of a sibling with a (hopefully still willing) donor who will be nearly 33 years old. Outside of that, I have nothing to contribute.

Then she told us about an acupuncturist that she works with who would like to trade her knowledge of acupuncture for Cathy's knowledge of midwifery. I think that is a great match because I know Cathy wants to move more into a consultant role and not have to be on call as a midwife all the time. I am very happy for her to have this potential career change. I wish she hadn't suggested that I would prefer this acupuncturist for the wonderful one I currently go to. Brad I have been seeing Shannon since June 2005. I don't think we have gone more than 2 months without paying her a visit and it has been as often as weekly. We have even become friends. She is kind and soft spoken and seems to have a amazing empathy - and uses that to lead her in which points to use. I told Cathy how much I like her, but she still suggested I see her acupuncturist. "She does house calls for postpartum support. She brings along her 5 month old since she is still nursing." Did she miss the part about not wanting to be around people who have children easily?!

The final straw was when we were talking about getting some essentials for when (hopefully) we have a real, live baby. I think we have the essentials. My motto has been "If Kumba didn't need it, I don't need it." Kumba, being the first wife in the compound (set of huts) I stayed in while in The Gambia during my Peace Corps days. I will confess that Kumba did have some baby clothes, which we don't currently have, but she didn't have diapers, a crib, hat, blankets, towels (not just no baby towels, but no towels at all). She had what I have - breasts that are expected to give milk, a bed to sleep in that she shared with baby (among other female children), and her loving attention. I explained further that we were planing on having a diaper free baby (also known as EC'ing for Elimination Communication). (Just between us, I don't plan on being militant about it so at least a few diapers would probably be a good idea). To my shock and surprise; this very granola, environmental activist midwife poo-pood the idea (pun intended). "Why would you want to do that?" (better for the environment, more connection with baby, just because I want to) and "That is too much work." (it didn't look like it from observing the women in The Gambia, people who have tried it say it isn't, I'm willing to find out for myself). I was ready to tell her how EC'ing is the only right way to raise a baby, but I bit my tongue. See? I'm learning! Ok, I don't really believe that anyway, but I wanted to say it just the same.

Afterwards, I called my good friend Stacey. She has just been wonderfully supportive throughout the whole ttc thing. She was the first to encourage me to look into our fertility issues (Sadly, I ignored her sage advice), she supported Brad and I during Ernest's birth, she was the only one outside of Brad to attend the Focus on Fertility Forum, and most importantly in this instance Cathy was her midwife for her son's birth and we tend to have similar views. Stacey told me to let it go and reminded me why Cathy is a good match for me for a home birth. She also said, "You might as well get used to it. Every decision you make as a mother will be second guess or outright criticized. You need to do what you think is best and not let other people get to you."

It's a good thing I had a little of room left in my cup, because I took that last bit of advice to heart. I am looking forward to Brad and I doing the best we can in the grand experiment of The Little Butterfly.

* Note: Just for the record, I like and respect my midwife. In many areas we agree so it doesn't matter if we are opinionated. I think she will be great for the birth.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Don't forget to dance

As many of you know, infertility can takes it's toll on our self esteem and drastically change how we view ourselves and the world around us.

Tonight was a strong reminder of that. I went to a wedding that was filled to the brim with pregnant ladies, infants, toddlers and young children. Even though I didn't have the overwhelming desire to flee as quickly as possible like I would have a year ago, it was still a tough crowd to hang out in. I felt that oh-so-familiar funk settle in on me. Over the last six years I have mostly adjusted to a new normal of sadness and feelings of inadequacy and bitterness. I don't mean the times when these feelings are particularly strong and you would rather stay home and stare at the ceiling for hours than participate in the world; I mean the times when it is hovering around the edges and you know you ought to be enjoying things more, but you just don't feel up to it. That's how it felt tonight. That is how it so often feels.

Then the 10-piece Salsa band started up and Brad and I got up to dance. We probably only remembered about 5 moves from our ballroom dancing days, but it was more than enough. We felt the music move through us as we smiled at each other and flirted with our eyes. We sat out more songs than we danced - I'm afraid I am a bit out of shape, but we still danced quite a bit. We even participated in a conga line for a long song and it was so much fun to let the music tell my body what to do. I wish I could explain it better. I just danced and expressed myself and it felt great.

All the way home, I had a content grin on my face. I felt reconnected with myself - my old self. The one that isn't quite as broken and bitter. The one who defined herself in broader terms than just someone who couldn't have a baby.

It makes me wonder - is it worth it? Is it worth what we put ourselves through to be parents? Why couldn't we just have decided all those years ago that we would simply take a different path? Imagine . . . "Hmm, looks like it would take a lot to have a kid, why don't we just travel more instead?" Done. Just that easy. But, for better or worse, there seems to be something about the desire to parent that is beyond logic and it leads so many of us to tax ourselves to the near breaking point to achieve that goal.

Right now, Brad and I seem to be almost there. I'm sure we will say it was worth it. I hope we will also create a new new normal that feels closer to the old normal. Maybe we just need to go dancing more often.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Midwife appt # 7: 35 weeks and 6 days

This week's midwife appointment was last night and it went pretty well. I can't believe we are getting so close. Brad and I are both anxious - so close, but no guarantees. Even if it was a sure thing, I don't think either one of us could really believe it might work out. It is a dream we have had for so many years, how could it possibly come true now?

Nothing terribly exciting about the appointment itself. I got a little freaked out when Cathy wanted to time the heartbeat - she usually just goes by feel and I knew if she counted she thought it was a little low. Usually it is around 140, but it was only 120. She had me lay on my left side and patted the baby to wake him up and eventually got 144. Phew! She reassured both Brad and I that this was normal and no big deal. The baby could have been sleeping or it could have been the position I was in.

Cathy would hate to hear this, but I called Dr. Wonderful this morning to verify. The good thing about Cathy is she trusts the process. I think it is hard to give birth if you are terrified something might go wrong and I think that can be common in a medical environment. The good thing about Dr. Wonderful is that he lives in the "So many things go wrong!" mindset so if he thinks it is no big deal, we are doubly reassured.

I am starting to swell a bit from water retention and there are times when the baby's movements cause a bit of discomfort - either pushing on my ribs or kicking my pelvis. I don't mind. If I had my way, Little Butterfly would move non-stop and never sleep until after she is born (when she will promptly decide to sleep through the night!) I still love it every time he moves. It is extra special when Brad and I sit together and he can feel LB move too.

I am still a mess of emotions. I can go from happy to sad to anxious to happy to angry to peaceful and a many more in just a few minutes. I will suddenly feel like I am going to burst into tears only to have the feeling change before the tears come. It is very strange and I hope things will level out after the baby is born. I had one friend describe feeling like a veil had lifted after she gave birth. I hope that will be the case. I don't know if the mood swings are predictive of an increased of post-partum depression, but I am really hoping that we can avoid it.

Thank you, everyone, for your wonderful comments on my last post. I don't know what I would do without your support. I hope I struck a balance between expressing my fears and regrets without losing the part that I am also grateful and hopeful.

Someday I might have a post about our preparations and pictures of a nursery, but at this point we still aren't quite ready to start that process. I joke that we better not transfer to the hospital because we don't have a car seat to bring Little Butterfly home. We do have a room we painted in kid colors before our second IVF, almost 2 years ago now, but at the moment it is mostly a storage / sewing room. My midwife might be bringing the pool next week (we are planning a water birth) so perhaps we should get that room cleaned out - other than that it will be in the living room. Did I mention we have a cozy house?

Just to illustrate (again) my mood swings, here is a high and a low for today.

First the low:

I was reminded of when we learned that our third IVF was a complete bust - the only time we had a completely negative beta. I was so sure it would work, I didn't even take an HPT before the beta and even napped between the blood draw and the results. Because I had been upset about low, but positive betas in the past, the agreement was that Brad would get the results and not tell me what the beta was. If it was negative, he would come home from work (I had the day off) and give me the news in person. I didn't think this was a possibility so I didn't think about how cruel that was - to make him get the news and then drive all the way home thinking about how he would tell me. This is what I wrote in my journal:
We were so sure it would work that I wasn't even nervous. When Brad showed up at home, I was in shock. It was obvious Brad still was too. I will never forget the look on his face when he walked in the door. I was desperately hoping to see a look that said there was another reason he would be home so early. There wasn't. We held each other while I chanted "Oh God. Oh God. Oh God." In denial, we went to the store and bought an HPT. It was, of course, negative too.
That was a very difficult blow. I don't regret the great hope we had that entire cycle. It felt good to be that hopeful. I think it made the bad news much more difficult, at least at first.

A good moment:

Brad and I were sitting on the couch and I was feeling LB move around. It hit me that I was pregnant! I turned to Brad and said:

"Brad, I am pregnant . . . "
"Yes, you are" he replied with a smile that makes his eyes twinkle.
" . . . with our baby!"

That is the first time I have called LB "our" baby. And not just said it, but felt it. Nice.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Some posts I have been meaning to write

Are cousins better than hot wheels cars?

My nephew has a big heart. He was one month shy of his 4th birthday when we lost Ernest. Unknown to me, his mom hadn't told him he wouldn't be getting a cousin when he caught me crying. He asked me why I was crying and I told him it was because the baby died. "Oh. Well, I'm not sad," was his reply. I told him that I was glad he wasn't sad, but I could tell he didn't like the news. He didn't know what a "cousin" was, but he understood it was supposed to be a pretty big deal.

The next day, when I was in a room by myself, he came in and said, "Kami, I'm sorry the baby died." He then probed me for when he might be able to have a cousin. "I hope I have a cousin by my next birthday." I hoped so too. His "next birthday" came and went two and a half years ago. Since then he has been at least somewhat aware of what we have gone through. He knew we had a baby growing two summers ago and knew that that one had died as well.

Yesterday, now at a mature 7 years old, he called to ask how the baby was doing. I told him everything seemed fine and we were hopeful. I asked if he wanted to get a cousin. "Uh huh," was his reply. Poor kid, I think we have made this cousin thing out to something it can't possibly live up to. I thought I would get some idea of what he might expect out of this elusive cousin thing by asking about how he enjoyed having a little brother who is currently two and a half. "Yeah, I like it," was his somewhat neutral reply. I suspect he thinks a cousin must be more special. Still very sweet of him - even if a good part of it is for his own perceived benefit.

Then his mom came on the line and I told her what a sweetheart her son was. He practically had me in tears. She shared a conversation they had a few nights prior to this phone call as she tucked him into bed:
Nephew: Mom, is Kami still pregnant?
Mom: Yes, she is.
Nephew: I hope she has a baby this time.
Oh, me too!


Midwife update:

I failed to provide an update after our latest midwifery appointment. It was pretty uneventful. The baby continues to be head down with good heart tones. We talked about the beta strep test and she said she could give me an IV during labor if I chose to get the test done and found out I was positive. That was good news. I also shared some of my anxiety about giving birth - mostly because I concerned that this anxiety my stall labor. No, I am not afraid of the pain or the safety of a home birth. I am afraid I won't bond with the baby because he / she won't be of my genes. I know that probably sounds crazy to some people and it is very possible I would have similar fears even if this baby was our mutually genetic baby. Sometimes I think the emotions come first (hormonally induced?) and then our rational mind puts a reason to it.

She was very reassuring and said, "When you hold your baby for the first time, you will bond." I know that seems to be most peoples experience with donor gametes or adoption. If not right away, then within a few weeks. I keep reminding myself that I am likely not that different than most people.

I then confessed through tears that I was afraid I would see too much of Belinda in our baby. My midwife said, "Well, maybe you shouldn't have used a known donor." That wasn't quite as helpful a response as her previous one. I wanted to say, "It is a little to late to change that, don't you think?" She then went on to say that I need to be happy for the baby because those chemicals do affect him. Of course, I know that, but what do you do? I am not always sad (although it may seem that way to readers of this blog) and when I am sad I tell Little Butterfly that it isn't about her. Not that he can hear or understand, but maybe the act sends a little bit less sad chemicals or a little bit more loving chemicals through the placenta. At any rate, I have decided that my therapist may have it right - that it is better to grieve than to pretend everything is ok or to put it off until . . . .when? When Little Butterfly is born? When he is a year? When she is 5?

In the end, I decided she is doing the best she can. I am quite certain she has never had a client who has gone through infertility or donor gametes. Instead of expecting her to understand, I have made an appointment with my hypnotherapist in hopes she will have some positive influence in calming this anxiety.

Oh, the really cool part about the midwife visit is that we will now be seeing her weekly. We must be getting close!


I think my RE was right when he said that I am someone who holds on to my dreams very (too?) tightly. It is hard for me to let go of how I thought it would be. Even before I knew Brad was "the one", I wondered what kind of children we would make together. In those early days, I didn't think too much about how we would parent together (I didn't know him well enough yet), but I did wonder how our children would be as a genetic blend of the two of us.

Yesterday, as I read the wonderful news that Mrs. Spock has given birth and welcomed Jonah, I was reminded again over what I will never experience. Mrs. Spock's sister (Auntie Noonie) wrote the announcement post which contained this paragraph:
He looks just like Mr. Spock, except he has Mrs Spock's ears and nose. Oh and he has his Auntie Noonie's giant Peggy Hill feet! :-)

I am genuinely happy for Mrs. Spock and hold no ill will toward her sister. It is what we humans do. We welcome a newborn baby and we look for those physical characteristics that tie us together. We delight in those things the prove we are of the same blood. While I know that there is much more to family ties than this genetic connection, I still long to have that experience.

Yesterday, far too late in the evening, it hit me . . . I will never have that experience. Never. What a hard word. When I thought that I may never have that experience or may never be a mom, it was scary, but so much less certain. That tiny bit of hope made it easier to deal with. That word never grabbed a hold of me and held me so that I could barely breathe. I wanted to scream to the universe: "But I wanted to have that too! Please let me go back and try again! I promise this time I will do it better. This time I won't be so afraid and I will go to an RE sooner. PLEASE! "

But I can't go back. I need to be ok with never. Unfortunately, like the concert that seemed like a good idea until it was sold out and suddenly became the concert you can-not-miss, never makes losing my genetic connection much more important than it probably is. At least, that is my hope and, when I am less fatigued, I think I actually believe it.

Ponderous man, really ponderous

While I was taking a break in writing this post, I popped over to Stacyb's blog who has a timely post about the genetic connection between mother and child. In it, she talks about a good friend who is mourning the loss of her mother - her adopted mother. Stacy makes some good points, but what struck me was the question, "What makes your mom your mom?"

Hmmm . . . that is an interesting thought.

What makes my mom my mom? We are nothing alike and haven't gotten along well since I was a teenager. I know she did the best she could, but sometimes it feels like I raised myself. When I think about her as "my mom", my first thoughts are of how much we look alike. I have her hands, her eyes, her smile and her body shape. We are both far sighted. Outside of that and a penchant for noticing what is missing in our lives more easily than noting what we have, we don't have a lot in common.

Of course, I still love her and would miss her if she were gone, but it makes me wonder - Perhaps this is why I struggle so much with the genetic connection. Perhaps the strongest connection I have with my mom is my genetic connection and some subconscious part my mind can't conceive of a mother / child relationship not based on genetics.

Let's hope that I can prove myself wrong, if that is the case. Either way, that is enough navel gazing for one day. I am off to take the dog for a walk.

Friday, May 2, 2008

I don't look back, darling. It distracts from the now.

Ha ha ha - that is me not at all. You may recognize that quote from Edna in The Incredibles. They are words of wisdom that I just don't seem to be able to practice.

And so . . .

One year ago today, I had my first ultrasound for our last chance cycle with my eggs. Things were a bit different that time around because I didn't get suppressed - I was just one month out from our last failed (negative beta) IVF cycle and we were starting on my natural day 3. I had 14 antral follicles - more than I had ever had. I knew that it could be because of left over drugs in my system from the previous cycle and these eggs could end up not being the healthiest, but it was still so hopeful!

We had planned on transferring all our living embryos back on day 3 like we did in the previous cycle. My RE was sure we wouldn't have more than about 6 and since 6 hadn't even produced a pregnancy, he wasn't concerned about having higher order multiples.

We eventually retrieved 20 eggs, 17 were mature and 14 fertilized. On day 3 most (12?) looked really good with 7-9 cells (most were 8) and low fragmentation. The embryologist called to suggest we grow them out to blast because we couldn't transfer all 12 on day 3 and he couldn't make a call about which ones would grow the best. I remember him saying that "it is like I am working with an entirely different person." We were over the moon. We might get an heir and a spare out of this - or at least some on ice for the first time.

On day 5 things had already started to go downhill. None had made it to blast, but a few were promising. I remember how my heart sank the next when my RE walked into the prep room (for the transfer) with a picture of a single embryo. We had 5 more still living, but they didn't look good. He was very hopeful though because we had one "beauty queen" - the best of all our 37 embryos over 4 cycles and it was hatching.

I was still discouraged and cried every day for the next seven days until the beta at 13 dpo. I was tired of taking PIO shots for failed cycles and asked if I could come in a day early for the beta. My RE agreed and it was a whopping 2.8 - positive by some standards, negative by others. They offered to let me come in again, but since I had positive betas of 26 and 37 (they like to see at least 50 although 100 is better) that ended in early miscarriages, I declined. Lovely AF showed a couple of days later and all our chances were behind us.

I don't know why I am sharing this other than that the past has been on my mind a lot lately. I don't even think it is doing me any good. I may be trying to make sense of it - to fully come to grips with what we have gone through and perhaps let it go or have it not hurt so much. It hasn't worked so far that I can tell and I really should try a different tactic. I keep telling myself that I want to be more like Brad - he is so good about letting go of the things he can't change and being happy with whatever there is to be happy about.

Wait. What's this? I think it is . . . yes! A smile has come to my face! Can I just say that I am a thousand times blessed to have Brad in my life? He lifts me up. We have fun together. He kept me going almost single handedly over the last 6 years (not true - there was Stacey and Kari and Kathy Jo among others, but he was there every single day). He loved me even when I was too sad to show that I loved him back. He makes me smile. We are a team.

No, I'm not bipolar, just a little more emotional than usual. And as long as we are on the emotional roller coaster let me sprinkle in a little anger / frustration.

There have been some friends IRL who have suggested or flat out told Brad that he needs to get me a gift for after the baby comes. Some people even call it a "pushing gift". It really irritates me because Brad has put as much into this over the last six years as I have. Sure, our roles have been different. I did more research and got all the shots and I get to be pregnant. He remained hopeful and steadfast when I faltered. He has picked me up and held me when I cried more times than I can count. Did I mention we are a team? I can't believe that anyone would imply that I deserve a gift and not Brad. I realize it may be pertinent when the guy's primary role was to have an orgasm during sex, but you can't fight infertility for long without both members of a couple baring the battle scars.

Damn, it just occurred to me that he probably will get me something. He is such a hopeless romantic (reason # 342 why I love him so much). Anyone have some ideas for a "You survived six years of hell for this" gift for Brad?