Monday, September 27, 2010

Belly Stares

I'm starting to get questioning looks. A girl at work complimented my black dress today and her stare lingered at my belly. The dress is plain and I've worn it a bunch of times. Hmm....

It doesn't seem right that I'm still not in the "clear" but my belly is starting to spread the news. Despite only being 7 weeks along, it looks like I swallowed an eggplant.

It is definitely time to implement the "decoy" (see entry from last week).

I haven't started waddling yet but I'm sure it's only a matter of weeks.

To Tell or Not To Tell?

We are headed to Washington, DC this weekend. He has to go for work and since he's my injection administrator, I bought a ticket to go with him months ago--in case we were doing another round of shots. Luckily, I'm hopefully done with injections for a while and can just enjoy a fun weekend away with him.

I convinced my parents to come spend the weekend with us. Since they live in New York and we live in California I welcome any opportunity to see them outside of the regular Christmas and annual summer visits.

Last month, I kept thinking, "Wouldn't it be great if we had news to share with them in DC!" I could tell them in person, which otherwise would be a rare opportunity.

Now that I have good news to share I'm conflicted. Max would prefer that we wait because next weekend I'll still only be 8 weeks along. However, he's leaving it up to me. Part of me thinks that if Friday's second ultrasound goes well, I may spill the beans this weekend. The other part of me thinks it would be hilarious to wait until Christmas when hopefully my belly will speak for itself.

Talk about extremes! The middle ground, and what we'll probably choose, is to skype with them on Thanksgiving while visiting my sister and her family. That way we can tell everyone together and no one (except us) will need to keep a secret.

That brings us to my husband's very large family--he's the youngest of eight; there are a dozen nieces and nephews on that side; and, we're the last hope for more babies. I'd rather tell them all at once too to avoid a game of "telephone" where the story is that I'm now having quintuplets. It sounds like we may need to host a family dinner in early December after I tell my family on Thanksgiving.

And, what about close friends and coworkers? Can I tell them before my own parents? They see me everday and if they haven't already, they'll start noticing a growing belly. But for now, I'll keep chomping on pretzels and saltines and hope no one asks me inappropriate questions about my growing waistline.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Two Against One

They said it would happen. I hoped they were wrong and that I'd be immune. The morning sickness has settled in and like an annoying relative sleeping on your couch, she's not showing any signs of leaving anytime soon. She lingers around day and night and is only appeased with saltines and pretzels.

Yes, overall this is a welcome feeling. It reminds me that I am finally pregnant. It's real! It gives me comfort that things are happening in my body--some more pleasant than others.

I try not to complain about it. As Max reminds me when I "report" on my nausea, we worked so hard to get to this place--dry heaving and all.

Last night the ravenous belly struck again. It usually happens as I climb into bed upon returning from the ceremonial middle of the night pee.

Last night I was desperate and couldn't handle the hunger pains so I bumped my way to the kitchen, tore open a new sleeve of saltines (like an addict pushing her way to her drug) and returned to bed.

Max is very tidy. Max DOES NOT support eating in bed....ever. He insisted that I get out of bed and eat in the kitchen or another approved eating location.

I refused and said, "It's two against one now. We want crackers and they are staying."

To which he replied, "It's starting already?"

Yes, Pipa is already taking my side and Pipa loves snacks in bed.

Monday, September 20, 2010


For the last two plus years of trying to conceive I've been thinking about a great trick to outsmart co-workers that suspect pregnancy.

In our work bathroom there is a tray of tampons and maxi pads near the sink. Starting next week, whenever there are other people (that I know) I am going to reach for a tampon before heading into the stall.

C'mon, isn't that brilliant?!


Today we saw Pipa (pronounced pee-pa) and its heartbeat. Sigh....
I feel some relief. I also feel more nausea. Not that I'm complaining...yet.

Pipa is measuring well based on the calendar. We get to see her/him again October 1.

BTW, Pipa is what we call our embryo since it means fruit seed (or pit!) in Spanish. Someone told me that language is discernable in utero. We have been speaking more and more Spanish in our home in hopes that Pipa can start learning it.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Long Wait

I'm finding that waiting for my first ultrasound is much harder than the 2ww. It's hard to not get ahead of myself and think about a due date, a baby-moon, maternity leave, strollers, etc.

Then there are the fears--should I have insisted on a third beta? Is this cramping a bad sign? Why don't I feel nauseated today?

I try hard to "forget" that I had two good betas. However, the frequent peeing and the cramping remind me.

I'm starting to understand why Tom Cruise had an ultrasound machine at home while Katie was pregnant. I'd be peeking at the little orange seed every day to say hello.

I'm praying we get good news at Monday's ultrasound and that some of my fears will be relieved.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Stock up and Save!

When I was about 13 years old I became obsessed with store circulars that come in the Sunday newspaper--especially those for drugstores like CVS, Walgreens, etc. So many things on sale!

It is here that I learned the wonderful concept of "stock up and save". You could pay half price on staples like toothpaste and toilet paper--only catch, you had to buy half a dozen.

I remember being a teenager and wondering why do home pregnancy tests go on sale? Stock up and save on home pregnancy tests? Since when are HPTs "staples"? That sounded like only something promiscuous girls would find to be a great bargain.

Some context to help you: I was a very sheltered child. In my pea-sized brain, one (usually a teenage girl) bought a home pregnancy test because she was "late". No one ever hoped the test would be positive. Positive results were always feared.

Fast-forward 15 years: The store circular obsession continues and I still consider "reading the paper" to be thumping through the circulars to see this week's deals. However, over the last few years I raced to the "feminine" section of the flyer hoping ovulation predictor kits and home pregnancy tests were on sale. Unlike the teenage girls, I prayed I'd get a positive result. Home testing kits have become a staple in my house.

For the first time last night, I used an HPT and got the result I had been wanting for years. Yes, I had already had two beta tests which showed positive but I peed on a stick for the ceremonial aspect.

I danced into the living room and showed Max the stick. We squealed with joy and took pictures of it. It wasn't exactly as I had fantasized (since we knew the answer) but fun nonetheless.

I'll probably still continue to buy HPTs when they are a good price because I think they have a long shelf life.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Dumb Luck

Today I got good news. I passed! This first round at least. We have a few more big milestones ahead. Just knowing that I can get a positive beta is a big step for me. We've had no reason to believe that could happen and ample reasons to doubt it. I'm trying to remain cautiously optimistic.

For the cermonial aspect, part of me wants to rush into the bathroom and pee on a stick. I've never seen one go positive (except ovulation sticks but they don't count) and feel like it's a necessary step and one that I may regret missing. For once I'd like to scream, "It has two lines! It has two lines!". But, I'm refraining. I'm also refraining from screaming out in the streets like I predicted I would when I finally got good news. Trying to remain cautiously optimistic.

Back to the test taking analogy: remember that annoying classmate that used to say she was so sure she failed a test and then turned around and got an A+? Don't worry, I don't feel like her today. I feel like the stupid kid that happen to get really lucky in guessing most of the questions on the test correctly. The kid that knows that luck may or may not follow him to the next test and therefore isn't applying to Harvard just yet.

Monday, September 6, 2010


The night before a big school exam did you ever have that dream where you show up to the test without a pencil? Or, you're two hours late and the test is long done? Or, the teacher hands you the test and it seems to be written in gibberish because you don't understand a darn thing?

Or, you're just plain unprepared and know there's no way you're going to do well? That's how I feel tomorrow's beta test will go. I feel unprepared. I did all that I could but I'm still doubtful that I'll pass. I have no pregnancy symptoms and all the symptoms that AF is near.

There's a lot riding on this test. But, I've come to terms with the fact that I may need to prep some more and take a redo in a few months. If I do fail tomorrow's test I'll know that it wasn't due to lack of effort or not wanting this more than anything. I'll know that I have the support and determination to try again and not accept defeat.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

When I grow up...

I wanna be famous
I wanna be a star
I wanna be in movies

When I grow up
I wanna see the world
Drive nice cars
I wanna have groupies
("When I Grow Up" by the Pussycat Dolls)

Even though it's not my dream to be famous and have groupies, I love that song!

I thought of it this morning as I was getting ready for another day at the office. My current job is definitely NOT what I sang about when I was young. I work for a technology company in Silicon Valley. I don't have much to complain about, I'm employed, I make a good living, my hours are good, and I *sometimes* feel like I'm adding value. Mostly, it's a paycheck that I can't pass up.

As a child playing with dolls I never dreamed of working in Corporate America. I played school. I played library. I played "store". I was intrigued by jobs where one would scan things and use a register. Another dream job was to follow in Malibu Barbie's footsteps and have a dozen kids that I'd shuttle around town.

Post-doll playing years and after graduating from college, I still always thought my job would be to be a mom--just like my own mom. But unlike her, I'd probably be less Mrs. Cleaver and more Mrs. Brady. I'd work for a while, save some money, get married and have babies. Depending on my financial situation, maybe I'd work part-time, maybe I wouldn't work at all while the kids were young.

Because I moved to San Francisco at 22 and wanted to be finanically independent, I opted to stay in business instead of following my teacher/librarian/store clerk dreams. I also knew this business job would be temporary so it worked "for now". Needless to say, I've been in this job two years too many.

Having a baby isn't my "out" of a bad job. Having a baby means I get to start my dream career. I liken it to Max's job. What if he went to med school, did his residency only to find out he then had to wait indefinitely to get his dream job. No one could tell him why he couldn't get a job, he just had to be patient and HOPEFULLY one would appear.

Granted, babysitting is not nearly the preparation that medical school is, but you get the idea. I'm not asking to be a professional athlete or singer--jobs that I know are very hard to obtain despite great talent. I want to do a job that many people get to do every second of every day--willingly and not. I want to do a job that biology says I should be able to do. Biology aside, I am qualified for this job and think I'd love it.

Instead, I'm going to work every day while I wait--waiting for the day I get to start my real career. I do my current job well but there's no question that my aspirations to climb up the ladder here are limited. I see it as a paycheck, medical benefits (although fertilty benefits have just run out...sigh), and something to do. Boy, I hope my boss doesn't read this...

I considered leaving my current profession last year when I got laid off. It seemed like a good time to re-evaluate my career goals and find a job I was passionate about or to stop working altogether. It was a sign. But, we had just bought our first house, we were one year into trying to conceive, and I got tempted by an offer that was too good to pass up...financially, at least. Eleven months later, no baby. Still in the same crappy cubicle.

I feel very fortunate to have a husband that supports me in my career choice. He has a hard time understanding why I stay in a field that I'm not passionate about but that's because he's in a job he loves. Proof of that is he would do his job for free--and has! I would NEVER in a million years volunteer to do my job. In fact, I probably wouldn't even take a pay cut. Max has told me to quit if that's what I need to do. He has encouraged me to find something that will be more enjoyable. He is also supportive of my decision to become a stay-at-home mom (or work part-time) when the time comes. We are lucky to have saved our pennies and that his job can support us both, if needed. Given the high cost of living in the Bay Area, I appreciate this much more than Barbie ever did. Frankly, she probably took Ken's job for granted.

I know that many women feel that becoming a stay-at-home-mom puts women at risk of being financially dependent on men. In some cases, I would agree. For me, I'm happy to have that as an option while my chidren are young. Being financially dependent on Max doesn't worry me. He's dependent on me now and will be even more when we have children. We have a partnership. Plus, if necessary, I would go back to work and know that I would be able to provide for my family financially--though it may mean moving to a different town.

For now, I'll sing:

When I grow up
I wanna be pregnant
I wanna be a mommy
I wanna be in playgroups

When I grow up
I wanna see the playground
Drive nice strollers
I wanna have babies