Friday, March 26, 2010

Future Soccer Star?

So it's been almost 2 whole weeks since I started feeling the little bean move around in there, and it's been getting stronger ever since. He or she has been so active, every day. I'm especially noticing movement right after lunch (like right now). Most of the time, it's on my left side, once in awhile on the right. But it's undeniable.

I get so reassured every time I feel something, like a "It's okay, Mom...I'm still here!"

I just can't wait for S to be able to feel it from the outside. Hopefully only another week or two for that.

Monday, March 15, 2010



About 38 seconds ago, I totally, undeniably, unmistakeably, clear as a bell FELT THE BABY!!! It was so a weird, fluttery, pushy-pully movement on the left side of my abdomen. Weird description, I know, but I don't know how else to put it. I have been looking for it for the past couple of weeks and it was much stronger than I thought it would be. So crazy!! There really is a little person in there!!!!


Sunday, January 24, 2010

It was the worst of times, it was the best of times

When I woke up Wednesday morning, I really thought Scott Brown winning the US Senate seat was going to be the worst thing that happened that day. Boy was I wrong.

Before I get into details, let me first say that I am okay, and the baby is okay. No sense drawing out the melodramatics. But I definitely had the scare of my life Wednesday night, and hope to never, ever go through anything like that again.

Okay, here's the play-by play:

I left work Wednesday evening completely ravenous. I guess my cravings are kicking in, because all I could think about the entire way home was a big juicy burger with all the works. When I got home, Stacey asked me what I wanted for dinner. Immediately, I said "5 Guys". I had never had one of their burgers, but all afternoon coworkers had been raving about how they were the best burgers they ever had, and my mouth immediately started watering.

Now normally we don't eat fast food. In fact, hardly ever. But just the day before Stacey and I had a conversation about not being crazy sticklers about my diet, as long as I was conscious about getting a steady supply of vitamins, minerals and DHA, which I was. Not to mention, we have been really good about not spending money when we don't have to, so it is very rare that we go out to eat instead of cooking at home. We agreed that giving in to a not-so-great craving once in awhile was okay, and it's not going to break our bank to spend $10 on take dog-gone it, today was the day. I said, don't worry. I'll run out and grab dinner, and I'll be back in 20 minutes.

About 15 minutes later, I was on my way home with my delicious smelling bag of burgers. I was about 5 minutes from home, when I went through a green light, only to have an idiot coming the opposite direction decide to turn right in front of me. Now, she didn't have a green arrow, and I had the right away (the policeman on the scene reiterated that fact), but that didn't seem to deter her from turning into oncoming traffic. I slammed on my brakes, but couldn't avoid getting hit. She crashed into my front driver's side, and my car went careening onto the curb and finally stopped about 8 inches from a light pole.

I didn't get out of my car, I just sat there, panicking. I didn't care about the damage to my car, I didn't care about whether or not I was okay, all I could think about was the baby. I immediately called 911 (after I collected myself enough to remember how to use a phone.)

"I've just been in an accident. Please come help me. I'm 10 weeks pregnant."

The dispatcher was very calm and helpful, and police arrived on the scene within 3 minutes.

"I'm 10 weeks pregnant" was all I could say to the officer who came up to my car. It was all I could think about.

"Are you hurt?" they kept asking me.

"I don't think so, but please, I need to go to the hospital. I'me 10 weeks pregnant."

Panic was setting in, and the thought of my baby being hurt was too much to handle. I started crying uncontrollably, and couldn't speak. I called Stacey, and felt horrible because I'm sure my tears made her even more upset about the accident, but she was calm and wonderful. "It's okay, just tell me where I need to meet you", was all she said.

All I could think about was, "Of course this is happening. Of course I'm going to lose the baby. This accident was supposed to happen because I'm not supposed to be a mother"...I mean horrible things. I tried to relax, and breathe deeply to stop the tears.

The paramedics were very comforting, and walked me to the ambulance. Physically, I felt major damage. I walked by the other driver, and made eye contact, and she gave me a pathetic little smile as if to say, "I'm sorry." I was so filled with fear and rage at her, I couldn't manage a response. I just walked by.

When I got to the hospital, Stacey was already there waiting for me, and was as scared as I was. The doctors and nurses at the hospital were very reassuring, and said at 10 weeks the baby is extremely protected, and if I wasn't feeling any cramping or bleeding, most likely the baby is fine. But they strongly suggested we call our OB right away and schedule an ultrasound, just for our own peace of mind. As soon as we got home, we did so, and the doctor on call told us he'd squeeze us in the next day for an appointment.

Needless to say, we barely slept that night, and I prayed more than I had ever prayed in my life.

I took Thursday off from work, as a day of recovery was definitely needed. We talked to the insurance company, we walked to pick up our rental car, and drove to the body shop where our poor car was taken. The whole front panel of the driver's side was missing, and it was then that I realized how lucky I was. A second sooner, and she would have hit my door. A second later, and I would have hit her, and the airbags surely would have gone off, probably hurting me and most likely seriously injuring the baby. A wave of emotion came overe me all over again.

After the body shop, we waited for another hour or so, and finally it was time for our ultrasound appointment.

Let me tell you, never in my life have my emotions skyrocketed from sadness and fear to bursting with eleation quicker than it did the moment we saw our beautiful little baby dancing around on that screen.

Beautiful arms, beautiful legs, a perfect little head and an adorable little belly, with a strong healthy heartbeat that was music to our ears. Both Stacey and I immediately started crying. Our baby was okay.

They whole rest of the day, we were on cloud nine. We sent pictures to our parents and closest friends, all of whom were thrilled. (We hadn't told them all about the accident yet...we thought we'd lead with the good news.)

In less than 24 hours, we went from one of the scariest days of our lives to one of the happiest.

I suppose that's parenthood for you, though. Boy, are we in for a wild ride.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Go Martha! Go Martha!

It has occurred to me that in my excitement about growing a little bean I have completely forgotten to write about the other MA that this blog is about...our lovely adopted state of Massachusetts. We have been here for 5 months, 2 weeks and 4 days. In that time, we have gotten married (woo hoo!), went sight-seeing all over New England: we went hiking in Maine, visited friends in New Hampshire, explored Provincetown, toured the Witch museum in Salem, spent a weekend in NYC (twice), and enjoyed the holidays with relatives in New Jersey. And, oh yeah, just this morning we voted in the election for US Senator.

The past few months have been crazy around here with the's been a very nasty fight, let me tell you. But with so much hanging in the balance, namely the possible passage/blockage of health care reform, it's easy to see why. At first, we thought there was no contest...this is Massachusetts after all...of COURSE a Democrat is going to win. But ohhh, how we were mistaken. This may be known as one of the most liberal states in the nation, but it seems the Reds are rallying. Especially here in Worcester County, aka Fox News Country.

At my job I am surrounded by very outspoken conservatives and only a handful of closet liberals. Now, everyone here is very tolerant of me, and the fact that I am married to a woman (or at least they are civil to my face), but I have had to endure countless slams against "Flaming Liberals", "President Osama" and "The Big Government Machine". You would think my workplace was Scott Brown's campaign headquarters.

So this morning, we did the only think we could...we got up early, drove through the snow, and voted (with all our might) for Martha Coakley, the woman who filed a lawsuit against the US government to repeal DOMA. For that reason alone, she is my hero.

Go Martha!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Stress Ball

The good news: As of today, we are 8 weeks and 5 days pregnant. The risk for miscarriage at this point is miniscule. I have symptoms galore, including nausea lasting all day, fatigue beyond belief, and huge painful boobs. I've even developed an obvious case of pregnancy brain, becoming much more scatter-brained and forgetful than normal. I have an increased sense of smell (about 5 minutes ago, I could smell the shampoo of a girl who walked by my office...not IN my office, BY it.) I've been having incredibly bizarre and vivid dreams, including getting into a sword fight with Jason Bateman, and my father growing a shark's head. I'm even developing a little pooch in my lower abdomen, right above the pelvic bone. I mean, I can SEE it growing. The proof is right there.

The bad news: There is none.

So WHY, pray tell, am I so freakin' paranoid??? Why am I fearing the absolute worst at every waking moment? If I am lucky enough to have a reprieve from the nausea, I get nervous that the pregnancy is ending. If I feel my abdomen and it doesn't seem bigger, or if I look in the mirror and I can't really see a difference in my breast size any more, I assume it's all over. Every time I go to the bathroom, I assume there's going to be blood when I wipe. Every time I feel a slight round ligament twinge, I assume it's the beginning of severe cramping and I'm starting to lose the baby. The stress is killing me, and I KNOW it's not good for the baby. I am trying to calm myself down, and be confident that this is a healthy pregnancy, and our baby is safe and sound. At night, I sleep with my hands on my abdomen and try to think soothing, comforting thoughts, coaxing the baby into staying put in its cozy little home. But then by the next day, the paranoia starts all over again, and I start to doubt that there's actually a baby in there at all.

I think we got spoiled by our RE. Looking back, we had a doctor's appointment on average once every 5 days, and between blood tests and ultrasounds, we always knew exactly what was going on inside me. Well our last ultrasound was on Christmas Eve, and we don't go to our first appointment with the OB/GYN 'til the 29th. That's 5 whole weeks of being in the dark. I just want to see that heartbeat again, to hear it. We even purchased a Doppler fetal heart monitor, and it came in the mail Monday night. Of course, at 8 1/2 weeks, it was way too early to hear anything. So we put it away on a shelf in the bathroom, and told ourselves we'll try again next week. But honestly, I doubt I'll be able to wait that long.

I hate myself like this. I hate that I can't just be giddy and excited and savoring every moment. Because the thing is, I love being pregnant, and I love the fact that we are going to be mommies in about 7 months. I already love this baby with all my heart, and can't bear the thought of anything bad happening to it. I just wish my head would shut up for awhile and let my heart do the thinking for once.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Our little baby's growing up so fast.

Today we are at 8 weeks, and the little bean has officially graduated from an embryo to a fetus.

Way to go, little guy!! See what you can do if you put your mind to it?

Now keep up the good work...only 32 more weeks to go!!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

just bursting with excitement

So, as I was standing at the kitchen sink this morning, filling a glass with water, I heard my wife (who was sitting at the kitchen table behind me) say in an oh-so-gentle tone,

"Uh, honey? You think maybe it's time we look into a pair of maternity pants?"

What, you don't like the stuffed sausage look?

Personally I'm waiting for a button to physically pop off, or my seam to split straight up the back before subjecting myself to the humiliation of elastic-waist pull up pants.

Although, to be fair, I do hear they are quite comfortable.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Hail Mary

Let me start off with a disclaimer:

I am not a religious person. At all. I was raised Catholic, and went through the whole dog and pony show...first communion, confirmation, Catholic School...the whole works. But I never truly believed any of it. Being Catholic, to me, was just part of who my family was, like being Italian or the fact that we were all Cubs fans. It wasn't until college (a Catholic school, mind you) that I started to realize I could choose my spiritual identity, and maybe this whole thing wasn't for me. Hey, I think Jesus was a great man and everything, and the Bible definitely has some great lessons in it, but as far as organized religious institutions go, well you can count me out.

That said, I have to admit to a recent religious experience I had, for lack of a better term.

When Stacey and I were in New York in November for our little weekend getaway, I had a few spare hours while Stacey had to put in some face time at a conference (the whole reason we were there, actually). I decided to stroll around Manhattan taking pictures of things that caught my eye. I got lots of cool snapshots of cab drivers, hot dog vendors, $5 Prada purse "salesmen" know all the great "New York-y" stuff. Along my stroll, I stopped at St. Patrick's Cathedral. Having never been inside, I was curious. One thing about the Catholic corrupt and backwards as it may be, you cannot deny the beauty of their houses of worship.

I wandered through the cathedral, which was breathtakingly beautiful. I loved all the statues of saints, the candles, the kneelers, the marble. I took as many pictures as I could without being disruptive to the people there to actually pray. I worked my way to the front and saw a sign that said "No photographs beyond this point", and saw a little chapel-like area, with several people sitting (or kneeling) in pews, facing a large statue of the Virgin Mary.

Now, as a recovering Catholic, I've always been a big fan of Mary. In fact, the only "Catholic" thing I still do is say 3 Hail Mary's every time I'm in a plane about to take off. Although that maybe more superstitious than religious, but whatever. So, perhaps I was just overcome by the sheer beauty of my surroundings, or the lovely serenity of the whole thing, but I put my camera away, took off my coat, quietly sat down in a pew and began to pray, for the first time in about 20 years.

Knowing that we would be inseminating a week later, getting pregnant was the only thing on my mind. So, of course, that's what I prayed about. I just sat there, silently talking to Mary about how much I wanted to be a mother, how ready I was to be a mother. I talked about how hard I knew it would be, that it would be the toughest job of my life, but I wanted the chance to try. I talked about how much Stacey and I loved each other, and wanted to love and raise a child. I talked about how much Mary loved Jesus and how I wanted the chance to love a child like that. By the time I was through, I realized I had been crying. I quickly made the sign of the cross, wiped my eyes, and got up to leave.

When I turned to leave the chapel, I immediately noticed a large statue of Elizabeth, holding a baby. As I am not up on my bible stories as much as I should be, I stopped to read the placard explaining the story. Elizabeth, it turns out, was visited by Mary when she was pregnant.

Now I'm not a big believer in "signs" or "omens", but that moment resonated with me, and it took me all day to stop thinking about it.

And I'm not saying it WAS a sign or anything, but hey, 2 1/2 weeks later we found out we were pregnant.

I'm not saying, I'm just saying.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Now where was I...?

6 months and 4 days.

That's how long it's been since my last post. There's really no excuse for it. Well, that's not entirely true. But there's really no GOOD excuse for it. Basically (and you can laugh if you want), I thought I was jinxing myself. I thought that by documenting every single step of our TTC journey, I was somehow messing with the baby gods. Kind of like "the pot that is watched never boils" or something. I don't know. All I know is I was tired of writing over and over again how frustrating everything was...the two week waits, the ungodly amounts of money we were flushing down the toilet every month, the putting the whole process aside for months on end for whatever reason -- moving, getting settled, waiting for insurance to kick in. It became a very boring and unhappy blog to write, and (I'm sure) and even more boring and unhappy blog to read.

So I stopped.

Then, in November, after months of waiting for insurance to kick in so we could start TTC again, we realized insurance wasn't going to cover it after all. (Apparently fine-print loopholes we failed to read when we signed up for the coverage.) According to our plan, as a same-sex couple, we had to do 6 IUI's out of pocket before infertility treatments would be covered. We had only done two before we moved to Massachusetts, and had been waiting for the past 4 months. Which was upsetting and frustrating, because it meant we could have been trying all along, instead of just wasting time. So, we decided to start ASAP...if we had to pay for 4 more IUI's anyway, might as well get started immediately. So I called an RE, made an appointment for a consultation the 1st week of November and we were on our way.

To make a long story short, here's how the rest unfolded:

Got my period November 15th.
Went to RE for saline ultrasound November the green light.
Went to New York City for a lovely weekend get away November 19th.
Went in for ultrasound on 11/24...3 big follicles...24 mm, 17mm and 14mm.
11/27, the day after Thanksgiving, IUI.
12/8, 10 dpo, 3:45AM, BFP!!!!!!!!!
12/9, 11 dpo, hcg level of 164
12/11, 13 dpo, hcg level of 534
12/17...RE wanted me to come in for an early US to make sure there was only one sac in there. Yep...just one. We are 4w,6d pregnant with one little bean.
12/24, Christmas Eve, second ultrasound. Saw heartbeat. Cried. We are 5w,6d pregnant.

1/3, Today. 7 weeks,2 days pregnant. After feeling extremely nauseous, exhausted and emotional for the past 3 1/2 weeks, with boobs that make me cry out in pain when touched, I finally feel like I am pregnant enough to write about it to the whole world. I no longer feel like I will jinx anything if I blog about's not going to go away just because I'm excited and talking about it. I can document my experiences and feelings and journey, and that doesn't mean it will all just end tomorrow. My paranoia about blogging was silly, I know. Because this is real, it's happening, and in about 33 weeks, we are going to be mothers.

And I promise I will be writing about it ALL THE TIME now.

Glad to see you again. It's been a long time. Talk to you real soon.