Monthly Archives

July 2008

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The "Pretending I’m Ma.donna" Workout

After every BFN, I’ve tried a handful of different things to cope with yet another negative.  But the “Pretending I’m Ma.donna” workout is the best thing yet.

Exercise, in general, always makes me feel better and I’d have to say since I’m more aware of my body than I’ve probably ever been in my life,  working out has been elevated to the top of my ‘must do’ list.  It makes me feel good and in control of something when so much of this process require you let go of control.  I like control.
We we first started talking about TTC, I spent the next year collecting information and fine tuning my body.  I wanted to be in the best shape possible before I got pregnant.  
I also made a promise to myself that I would do everything in my power to not gain weight during this process.
And I was all good….until the progesterone.

When I was a freshman in High School my mom left an abusive marriage, my brother was growing weed in the backyard and I was sent to live with distant relatives far away.
I remember being miserable and the only way to soothe myself was watching MTV all day long in the basement and eating my way through the summer.
That fall I started my sophomore year in a new school, new town and 25 lbs heavier.
I was miserable in a whole new way.
After HS and moving far, far away, all of the weight and the misery came off–but it took me making some incredible life changes.  Eating healthy foods and exercising were not things that came intuitively to me and growing up I had no role models to learn from.

Learning how to be healthy rather than being skinny has been a constant work in progress since those days.  In the past, it would be so easy for me to curtail food and not work out in order to compensate for a slight weight gain.  But that wasn’t healthy for me and slowly I re-learned my relationship with food.  For while I was a vegetarian, once I cut out all sugars, over time I stopped drinking soda.  I studied nutrition and I loved learning about healthy ways of living.

So for awhile I’d felt like I’d really conquered this TTC/weight gain.  Then came the fertility drugs and the night I put on my favorite summer white pants and almost cried.
The BLOAT.  My panic.  The voice in my head saying I’m fat.  Knowing I’m not fat, I’m just bloated.  And maybe just a little bit fatter.
I wore them anyway and was miserable all through the meal.  But it didn’t stop me from ordering dessert.  I didn’t want to get on the scale, but I did.
It wasn’t much, just a few pounds, but enough to make me freak out because it’s the most weight I’ve gained in almost 20 years.  When I gain a few pounds, my clothes don’t fit.  We’re not talking 10 lbs, we’re talking a few pounds.  I cannot afford a new wardrobe nor do I want one. 

Yes, I have issues with body image.

So when I got that BFN, I sat around for a couple of hours and then picked myself up, put my workout mix on my iPod and hit the gym for my “Pretending I’m Madonna” workout.  I did 90 minutes of yoga, 30 minutes of cardio and followed that by weights and abs for a 2.5 hour workout.
It was great!  And I kept it up the next day and through the weekend.  
And Monday…I wore the white pants to work!  Happy Happy Joy Joy!
I know I can’t stave off the bloat and the few pounds that seem to creep on during the TWW, but I can work like hell to negate those effects during the non-TWW and that’s what I intend to do.

I will not let this get me.
In my twisted mind of skinny women and NY models, if M.adonna can do it, I can do it.
That’s so unrealistic, I know.  It’s her job to work out and look good.
But right now, it’s making my clothes fit.
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I Have a Confession to Make

I didn’t go take the test this morning. I took my temp and it had fallen, same pattern as last month when, yes, let’s just say it: I was not pregnant.
It’s better this way anyway. It would’ve been really hard to not say anything to her for 2 days and this way I don’t have to worry about that.

When I took the trip to Boston I had to skip my progesterone Monday night since I couldn’t figure out on the fly how it would make it up there without melting. I figured it would not hurt my body to miss one little pill popper this late in the cycle. However, it probably triggered my body to think it could go back to its regular programming…and then my temp dropped.
As an added bonus I had a slight headache today. The special kind of headache I only get right before my period.
So….let’s just say I’d be totally surprised if I was pregnant.

I thought about stopping the suppositories tonight and just letting nature take its course. I’m sure I’d bleed within 48 hours. BUT. K says go take the test. So tomorrow, bright and early, I’ll be giving blood again.

Actually, I have another confession to make. I’ve never bought a pregnancy test. I steal them.
Just KIDDING!!! When I started this process, a women in a TTC group I was attending gave me a bag with 3 tests and I used those for March, April and May. Then I ran out. And…well, I said I was frugal, didn’t I?
It seemed silly to buy them when I could either just wait to bleed or go take a test at the clinic that would be 100% conclusive.
I’ve been waiting on one thing or another pretty much my whole life.
I guess I’m pretty good at waiting.

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13 DPO…

It’s been busy around here since my IUI.  I will say that the TWW has flown by and I’m super happy about that.
Not to bore you with the details, but here what’s been going on (in Days Past Ovulation form):

2 DPO – Acupuncture for post IUI.  She says my temp cycle is the best one I’ve ever had and the timing looks great.
Hit a fab summer sale and picked up a beach dress for now…and later for Bali!
That evening headed out to Prospect Park to see the Brazilian G.irls in concert.  We went out with another couple, had an amazing picnic on the lawn and then as night fell the band took over and we danced in the Groove Zone until the parks dept shut us down. 

3 DPO – Back to Brooklyn (we love Park Slope!) and had the pleasure of finally meeting the lovely ladies from Babypants.  Hey Girls!  It was lesbian couples blind date!  We talked for two hours over tea before heading to Prospect Park (yes, again) to see Beth O.rton in concert.  It was mildly disappointing and we were wishing we’d gone to see Julietta V.enegas at Summer Stage instead, but then we wouldn’t have met up with LBabypants and HBabypants, so it was worth it!

4 PDO – K’s brother and wife from LA are in town!  We had 10 family members over to ‘our’ lawn and had brunch outside while we all caught up for hours.  It was so nice and relaxing. Later, K, the bro and I went on a nice long walk down the East River esplanade before coming home and cooking up a delicious meal using all of our vegetables from our farm share.  Perfect weekend!
6 DPO – Noticed that the progesterone hasn’t made me crazy this cycle.  That could also be because last month I was taking double the dosage I was supposed to!  Yep, the pharmacist fucked up and told me to take 200mg twice a day, but the RE says…no!  Only once!  K is here to vouch for me that I am not having any bitchy side effects at all this month and that is soooo nice for everyone in this house!
Therapist says this is the happiest she has ever seen me.  I am happy, it’s true.  I feel like I am exactly where I am supposed to be.

8 DPO – Went to my friend’s art gallery opening.  Saw lots of friends, so good to be around people who care about me.  Walked across town with a BF, her adorable son and caught up on life.  Beautiful summer night, wanted to stay out forever.

9 DPO – Had dinner with 4 other friends at a yummy Brazilian restaurant.  Tried to go salsa dancing afterwards, but the DJ had other tunes in mind, so we headed out for gelato and called it a night.

10 DPO – Met up for brunch in the West Village with another TTC couple we met on a lesbian online forum.  This was the 2nd time we’d met them and we had so much fun!  Really wished they lived closer so we could get together more often.

That night…I relived my youth by going to see YAZ in their final farewell concert.  Now, I know most of my readers might not know who YAZ/YAZOO is (and if you do, drop me a line!) but let me just say:  They are the duo of Alison Moyet and Vince Clark and they were just as brilliant tonight–25 years later–as they were in 1983 when they split.  After the split, Moyet went on to a brilliant solo career and Clark formed Erasure (I know you’ve heard of them, right?!) and found a lead singer, Andy Bell, who vocally was a dead ringer for Moyet.  

It was so amazing to see the people in their 30’s, 40’s and 50’s dancing around like teenagers again.  I went with one of best girlfriends for over 16 years and we had a great time reliving our youth (and tried to not think too much about that 25 years part….)!

11 DPO – K and I got up early, met three friends and headed out to Long B.each for some playa time.  I can’t believe we’re nearly at the end of July and just now getting to the beach!  We’ve decided we need to get out here a bit more and build up a base tan for vacation.  Lovely day spent reading, people watching, chilling with friends, long walks and eating.  I love the beach.

12 DPO – Off to Boston for a business trip

13 DPO – Back from Boston.  My boss is brilliant but can talk for 3.5 hours RT and then some….I am exhausted and need some quiet time, so doing nothing but reading tonight.  The cats really missed me.

And tomorrow…it will be testing time.
I’ve had symptoms oh yes I have, many abdominal pains, heartburn, a couple bouts of nausea and for the last 3 days tits that feel as if I’m slinging around bowling balls.  What could it be?  Could be the C.lomid.  Coud be the progesterone.  Could be my period.  Could be…..pregnant?
I am hopeful.  I do have hope.

But you’ll have to wait until Friday to find out because K and I have decided that if I am pregnant, she wants to hear it in person. Since her flight generally doesn’t get her home until after midnight on Thursdays, that means either way, I can’t say what the verdict is until then.

Belated congratulations to the lovelies over at Now That You Know!  Way to go ladies!  I knew third time was a charm!!!!

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Why We Waited

After September 11th, life changed for me. I worked on Wall Street and in one beautiful morning, everything went black. Diagnosed with PSTD, the next few years were a test. In 2004 I was still at the same job, working for the world’s largest bank. I called it my G.O.O.D. job. Get Out Of Debt. But something needed to change. It was never what I wanted to do or what I was meant to do.

I knew all too well how short life was and that anything I wanted I was going to have to work damn hard to get. For years, I had been hoarding frequent flier miles and we had decided when we had enough we would go on a trip to Bali and Lombok for our first trip to South East Asia Then the Bali bombings happened and re-routed my entire life.
We decided to go to Thailand instead. Just a 3-week holiday. In the planning stages, I realized that what I’d like to do is quit my job and do volunteer work in SEA. I told my boss and he offered me a 6-month leave of absence because I was doing volunteer work.

When we arrived in the bustling, chaotic, humid metropolis of Bangkok, I felt like I’d come home.
The rest is history. I did go back to the bank but it was only a short time before I was itching to get back out there and explore. So, I did. I knew that while I was ready to start TTC, K was not. She wanted to get her MBA and get settled in her career. I wanted that for her. The best thing for us was for me to keep doing what I was doing while I waited. She’s 8 years younger than me. I had no right to expect her to be ready for a child when I certainly wasn’t at her age. It took a long time for both of us to feel ‘ready’. Longer, it seems than (most) the bloggers out here.

I’m consistently amazed at the number of women in their 20’s who are ‘ready’. I was in no way ready for children in my 20’s!! I mean, I had a great time partying like a rock star and I have no regrets, but children were never part of my equation. Before I came out I was engaged and felt certain I’d have children. But when that relationship ended, I packed that box up. Literally–I’d bought tons of baby things–all of which I still have 20 years later, tags on and all. For the longest time I didn’t think I’d have children. Indeed, I don’t remember my baby-making / biological clock start ticking again until age 35.

And so, 26 countries later–we were both ready to start! I try not to have any regrets, because I had some amazing years ‘waiting’ and we are both in such a better place to have children than we would’ve been 3-5 years ago. We have had a lot of fun together K and I, but our life was not well-suited for bringing a child into the world. Now, the late bloomers we are, we feel grown up enough to do this.

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We have a Winner!

Queerstork guessed correctly!  We are going to Bali and then to the Gilli Islands off the coast of Lombok.

Lizzie from Two Chicks in Pursuit of a Babe guessed Java / Bora Bora so I’m giving props to her as well since Java is sooo close and Bora Bora was on the list of places we were considering.

I had a feeling these two would be the winners as Queerstork and I are neck-in-neck for countries visited and Lizzie is a world traveler, too.  Well Done Ladies!
If both of you will PM me, I’ll get your details and you’ll get a free I Love NY T-shirt!

This contest really weeded out the map junkie/geography students, didn’t it?   Years ago, I got this laminated world map that I mounted on foam core and framed.  It hangs in our bathroom and has tiny colored push pins with all the places we’ve been.  Every time I get home from a trip, I can’t wait to add another pin.  I’m out to conquer that world map. When we have guests, they tend to stay in the loo longer then usual!  
Yes, Rachel, you are right.  We plan to keep right on traveling with this baby. It will be different, but it will be wonderful and we can’t wait!!
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More Contest Clues!

  • We’ve been to this country recently
  • We started to go to this island in 2004, but a political situation changed our mind
  • This island is completely unique to the country
  • Many expats arrive and never leave
  • I was offered a job on this island last year but declined due to TTC plans
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How to Plan a Vacation While TTC / Contest Involved!

*Warning* long post below while I sort out my head

This post has been a long time coming. As I’ve mentioned before, K does not work in NYC. She flies out every Monday morning to the client site and comes back late Thursday night. There’s not any flexibility in this and so the only time she can take vacation is in between projects. The projects generally last between 3-4 months.

Last Spring we thought she might be placed on a project in South America, so the thinking was that I would fly down every 3 weeks and we would do mini vacations and do something fantastic, like go to the Amazon, the week after her project ended.
She wasn’t placed on that project.

Then we were going to go on vacation in May to Panama. Two years ago, when K finished her MBA, we took 3 months off that summer and backpacked throughout Central America. Starting in Mexico—with a side trip to Cuba—we went through Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica. The only countries we didn’t get to see are El Salvador (and neither of us had much of an interest) and Panama. We were so excited to finally go there!

I had the entire thing planned. We would start off in Panama City, fly to the San Blas Islands, camp, snorkel, scuba dive and eat fresh fish as we swayed in hammocks. The next week we’d fly to the Bocas del Toro where essentially we’d do the same thing. We’d fly back to Panama City a day before my birthday and I’d spend turning 39 on a cruise down the Panama Canal. Maybe I’d even buy one of those famous hats, why not?
Just before I bought the airline tickets, she was placed on a new project.

You getting a sense of how hard this is without adding TTC into the mix?

Looking back, these other trips did not happen for a reason. I hadn’t even thought about the health risks of some of these locations and the fact I might be pregnant. I was simply planning around anticipated ovulation dates and when K could take time off.

The past 4-5 years for me have been almost non-stop travel. It’s what I do. I quit jobs to travel. I could be the most frugal person you know. I save all my money to travel. I live and breathe to explore. I get homesick in airports longingly looking at all of the destinations to go. I will do anything to travel. I’ve even put baby making plans on the back burner because of traveling!

Now, with #4 BFN, we need a vacation for real. K has verified early September is approved for vacation. She will have 18 days.
This is not my ideal time to go because I’d much rather travel during the recommended 2nd trimester. But, this is the only time we’ll have for…? So hell yeah, we’re going!

But this TTC/could be pregnant makes it very difficult to plan a destination.
A lot of places like Panama (malaria), Amazon (malaria) and many other places we’ve considered (did I mention we’re attracted to third world countries that are in malaria zones?) are out.
Argentina sounded safe except that ‘if’ I’m pregnant I can’t participate in most of the things that make Argentina fun (rock climbing, wine tasting, white water rafting, horse-back riding).

Pregnant or not, we have a few requirements for this trip: beach, snorkeling, scuba diving (if I’m not pregnant I can join and if I am K can still dive), cultural interests, hiking, yoga and good food.

Right now, we are seriously thinking of going to a couple of gorgeous islands in South East Asia (slight, rare possibility of malaria!).
These two islands offer everything we want out of this vacation.
If I am pregnant and feel like crap, I can just chill by the pool or on the beach. If I’m not pregnant, I can log in some awesome dives. If I’m pregnant but feel good, I can do everything BUT dive. Plus, there’s decent medical care on the island. I would feel completely comfortable on that level.

Added bonus: K has accumulated a gazillion Starwood Hotel points, so we could lounge in the lap of luxury without paying for hotels for at least part of the holiday. She’s pretty excited about this as our usual budget allows for $10 guest houses that have bucket showers. Many places in SEA have traditional showers where water is often dipped from a large barrel/tile tank. Sometimes there will be a hand-held shower head if you’re lucky. What I mean here is that it’ll be cold water. It’ll certainly wake you up in the morning. Also, there is always a spray nozzle to clean up after your time on the toilet, but no TP unless you’re staying somewhere swankier. Even with TP provided, you will still have a nozzle. It’s quite nice, really, like a Asian-style bidet.

I’m always the one who is fine with roughing it while she would rather splurge for more creature comforts. Example: I spent one month on a small island in Southern Thailand living in a bungalow where rats raced across the rafters in the heat of the night, so anything without rats and a bucket shower is an upgrade at this point!

CONTEST: The first person who can guess at least ONE of the islands we are going to will receive an I Love New York T-shirt! I’ll give you hint…we haven’t been to this island before, but we have been to this country. You can check out my new list “Travelher’s Travels” to find out where I’ve been.
*Those who already know can’t play!*

Thank you everyone for chiming in and saying GO! I still haven’t bought the tickets…but it looks like we’re GOING!!!

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Is This a Good Idea?

I’m all better now, thank you very much for your concern and the virtual hugs.  I ended up meeting a 4 1/2 month pregnant (lesbian, IVF) friend for lunch in the park and she gave me a great hug.  Later I had my usual 30 lbs of cats on me when I got into bed.  Those are cat hugs every single night and I love them!


So, we need a vacation.

Here’s the situation:  We’re going on vacation in early September, we have 18 days.  We don’t know if I’ll be pregnant or not.  It’s either a snorkeling/seltzer “babymoon” or a pre-IVF blow out holiday complete w/ scuba diving and cocktails on the beach.
The most I could be pregnant is 2 months, or I could only be 1 month.  Or I might not be pregnant at all.
We’re looking at a certain island that is halfway around the world and requires a 24+ hour plane ride.  

I could have really bad 1st trimester sickness.  Or not.
I figure all I have to do is make it through the plane ride and I’ve done this trip 6 times, so I know what I’m in for.  Once I’m there if I’m sick I can lay on the beach or lay at the pool.  How hard could it be?

Is this a bad idea?  Should we go somewhere closer?
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The Post About How I Tried Very Hard to Quit Freaking Out

First of all, the nurse that called me back is my all-time not favorite nurse.  She’s loud and gruff.  I cringe when I hear her.  She’s not mean, she’s just…not the most patient person I’ve met.

She stands in stark contrast to my regular nurse, whom I adore and my RE, who is very soft-spoken and has kind eyes when he looks at you.

When I got to the clinic I was more than a little worked up.  Listening to Tori Amos on the way probably did not help.  It was iPod shuffle, I didn’t do it on purpose and damn, “Precious Things” is an awesome song.

My fave nurse could see that I was on edge and as soon as we got into the room, I started telling her how I was second guessing everything and asking questions.  Apparently, I was worked up enough that she did not feel comfortable going ahead with the IUI and went to get my RE out of a meeting.  While I was waiting, I almost lost it half naked on the table alternating between wanting to scream or cry.  I did neither.  But I just wanted a hug and there was no one there to give me one.  This is a really hard thing to do month after month by yourself.

The RE listened to all of my concerns and said that while it was highly unlikely (due to my blood levels the day before) I had ovulated, there was a slight possibility.  However, what I was probably feeling was the drug working its magic on my ovaries.
Regardless, I wanted another ultrasound.  Everything checked out, lining nice and thick and stripey, two follies trucking along.  I had not ovulated.

Which leads me to further mind-fuck territory because now I feel like I can’t even trust listening to my own body.

I was very honest in expressing to him that I felt like I was just coming in here every month throwing money away for a crap shoot of ‘maybe’ and that in the end I would end up doing IVF anyway because it was the only exact science of making a baby (and even with that there are no guarantees).  It’s not that he agreed or disagreed, but IVF is what RE’s excel at.  IUI, not so much because there’s so much even they cannot control.

The insemination went so very well, I didn’t even feel it.  Seth’s sperm count was great, 14 million full motility swimmers.  I should be feeling happy, more relaxed…but…

For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been so totally fine and laid back about everything and I have a feeling that in a couple of days that feeling will return.  It’s this day, more than the entire TWW worth of days, that makes me feel like banging my head against a wall and stealing a baby (don’t worry I’m not making any plans to steal a baby and I’ve already banged my head against the wall).
The entire time I’m wondering, “is this me, really me?  or is this me on cl.o.mid?”  I honestly don’t know. 

Oh and I just found out one of my BF’s is 5 months pregnant.  She’s a few years older than me and they have been trying au natural for a long time.  I am so incredibly happy for her that she didn’t have to go through any of this.