Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Thanksgiving Memories... Part 1 of 2

We had a wonderful time this Thanksgiving! Told in 2 parts...

Bo took some extra time off work (I'm laid off, remember) and we did a full circut of my family's homes for the holiday. We even managed to include some of his family on the outbound portion of our journey. It was truely wonderful to see everyone!

With my tummy popping out all over the place I found out what it is like to really be the center of attention in a LARGE family. It was sweet, scary, fun, and frustrating all at once. :) More than one time I entered a room of happily cozy people, only to have a matron of the group shuffle the troops to make a seat for me. I DIDN'T WANT TO SIT DOWN!!! How embarrassing... LOL ... and yet how sweet that they care so much for our wellbeing. Family, gotta love them! :)

We started off the jaunt at my parents' home in TN, just outside Nashville. My brother was in from Boise, ID and I was so very glad to see him. It has been way, way too long. I miss him terribly... Everyone oooh'd and aaaah'd over my belly, except for brother, because he's a Grinch, and yet I could tell he was secretly very, very proud of me. :)

On Thursday, we went to our family farm on the other side of Nashville. Our farm is still in use, for raising cattle, and my cousin is raising her family there along with chickens, dogs, cats, and sometimes bunnies. We always enjoy the ruckus the "city kids" cause by messing with the animals - what a hoot. I found out I do a mean rooster impression... Don't ask.

As usual, we ran the gauntlet of hugs and well wishes as we entered. Only this year I got "tummy rubs" too! Everyone was so terribly excited about the baby. :) When we entered the kitchen/dining area you could have bowled me over with a feather. There were baby presents stacked to the ceiling folks! Literally! They had piled them all on a sideboard, and one of them was grazing the ceiling tile! Oh My!

After an AMAZING dinner, which I must say was the best in recent memory, we all trundled off to the back porch for desserts. Oh how wonderful - party pink salad, my favorite!!!!! Oh, and home made pumpkin cheesecake!

Folks, a back porch on a farm house is NOTHING more than pure genius. This room is quite large (maybe 20x20), and serves as a catch all for the implements of keeping a farm house running. It is sort-of a glorified mudroom. However, it has one distinct advantage - it has a concrete floor and screened windows, so stays very cold. Perfect for housing desserts and hosting leftovers between the day's meals (we eat early, and then graze again at about 7 PM). Built in large-scale refrigeration... you gotta love it!

After the meal had settled, but before sleep had set in, my mother" distracted me while the "shower" was setup. We received so many nice things - a video monitor, blankets, bibs, gowns, onesies, a high chair, and the list goes on! It was so wonderful to have such an outpouring of love for our little one. It was also Bo's first baby shower ever - he seemed lost at first, but I kept handing him things to open. He really seemed to enjoy it - mostly though I think he was grateful there were no party games! LOL

On our way back from the farm we swung by Bo's brother's home, where they were hosting dinner for 11 - 8 of the guests being children. Sue's sister has 8 kids, all under 12. We didn't stay long, as our hosts were exhausted from the day's trials, and we were coming back on our way home for a night, so we made it short.

To be continued...

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

OK - I've got to do this MIME... Rotten Correspondent did this as her Fun Monday post, so I'm going to tag along. Feel free to join in and post your own story!!!

"I want you to take a trip down memory lane, and keep right on going, right back to your childhood. And I want to hear "THAT STORY". You remember the one? Yes, you do! The one your parents, siblings, extended family or friends, would never let you forget, live down or get over!"

Here's my contribution...

I was 21 when I was "outed" at a family gathering for still being afraid of the dark. I was a married woman, living away from my parents' home, and yet STILL I couldn't handle the dark?!?!

That was funny enough form my wonderful family crew, until they found out that I ALSO couldn't sleep if my foot, hand, or other part of my body was hanging over the side of the bed. It is true - I would wake up if I crossed the threshold of the mattress.

At learning this news, my brothers busted out laughing - you know the kind of laughing where you are SURE there is more too their laughter than mere making fun? My mother was giving them "the stare", so I was getting suspicious...

Turns out that when I was about 4, my mother put me to bed, kissed me goodnight, turned off the lights and closed the door. Only to have to come streaking back in the room to my screaming fits about 30 minutes later. I was inconsolable - completely freaked out and would NOT calm down.

It seems my wonderful, loving brothers had hid out under my bed, and once they were sure I was asleep they grabbed me from under the bed - pulling my hands, clothes, hair and covers, whatever they could reach.

I of course thought the monster under the bed had gotten me, and I freaked the fuck out.

Folks, I have never been so mad at two hysterically laughing people in all my life. I ran after them, kicking and scratching, calling them every name in the book. Dumbasses had caused me YEARS of nightmares, terror and pain for no reason!!! My mom was right there, egging me on too. She said, "I always told you that messing with her was going to come back to haunt you. Don't look at me for help!". :) Love you, Mom!

Better yet - that night, for the first time in 15+ years, I slept with the lights off and my foot dangling off the bed. Learning the reason for my fear magically cured me. I have NO problems with the dark. Weird huh?

Share your story... Come on, it's fun!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

It Rained and It Poured...

Last night we got some very much needed rain. It was getting really terrible around Atlanta - the trees are changing colors, but the undergrowth and bushes were starving for water. Everything has been so terribly wilted. I was very happy to be sitting in the new glider, in what will be the baby's bedroom. I could hear the soft sound of rain coming down outside. It was very peaceful indeed.

Today however, it poured... In a metephorical sense that is...

I lost my job today - laid off - 6 months pregnant and laid off.

I was sitting in the HR rep's office, listening to the details of how my employment would be impacted, severence, employment assistance, etc. All I could think was, "What about my baby? What is going to happen to my ability to provide for my baby?", over in my head.

There is so much we are going to need over the next few months... How will we pay for it all? Diapers, baby gear, car seat, etc it is all so expensive. I'm really worried about it... I don't think you HAVE to have all this stuff, but I know that the expenses of caring for baby can be enormous.

The reality is that we will make it work. We will find a way if it is possible. I realize the truth of it, even while I am depressed at the idea of needing to look for a job right now.

On the bright side, I am technically employed for another month, while I try to find another job within the company. They give us this time to try and get into another position (it is a very large company), and if after that month you can't find something you get your severence.

This being the case, I am trying with all my heart to focus on finding another place within the company. I find there have been moments today where I am upbeat and looking to the future and other where I just want to lay down and cry. So far the "proactive" me has won out. I figure my best shot is to be in the game - getting my resume out there. It is the only chance I stand of winning.

Hope all is well with you all out there in the blog-o-verse.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Grey Hair Moments...

This morning the baby had me very scared indeed. By 9 AM, I had not felt the baby kick for about 24 hours. I was worried, to say the least. I was just sure something was horribly wrong, as the kicks have been getting stronger and more frequent for over a week now. Added to this I had the worst discomfort yesterday - a soreness and painfulness in my lower abdomen. Also, I was sick to my stomach for a good part of the day. NOT at all like me, I assure you...

So, at about 9:30 AM I called the OB's office and reported my fears. They set me up with an appointment at 11:15. I hung up the phone and went back to driving and listening to an audiobook on the way to work. I was stressed, very stressed and melancholy about the prospects of any good news coming from my appointment. I wanted to just go home and crawl back into bed.

While stopped at a traffic light, I felt what appeared to be a kick, but I couldn't be sure, because I had just pressed the accelerator too. I waited anxiously at the next light, turning off the book (like less noise would be helpful), and another kick came even harder. I was so happy I had tears come to my eyes. I have never been so happy to be kicked in all my life!!!!

I waited a few more kicks, and decided the baby had just been having a game with Mommy. I called the nurses back and canceled my appointment. The nurse and I had a good laugh at the baby's hide-and-seek game, and I felt much relieved. The baby has continued to kick the rest of the day.

I of course now have more grey hair than when I started 24 hours ago.

In other news - two good blog-o-verse friends of mine are now new mommies - go over and say your hellos to Maya at Gemini Girl and Stacie at Here Storkey. They are both facing premie twin pregnancy challenges right now. I'm sure they could use the company.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Life Lessons... A.K.A More Than You Really Wanted To Know

A post over at Serenity Now! got my writing juices flowing. She talked about how infertility is something that is hard to explain - the affects on your life, your personality - the struggles and the growth you go through personally from the fight.

It made me think... I have been through a few rough patches in my life... Infertility treatments would just be one of the more apparent ones. It seems that each of these experiences has made me grow wiser, more grown-up.

Most people who know me now have NO IDEA that I was married previously at the very old age of 20. I never speak of it really... It isn't like I avoid talking of it - it just never comes up...

However, from my viewpoint there is a HUGE flashing sign on my life that says "Married an Alcoholic, Con Artist and Thief - Lived to Tell!". Really, it is true... I was sure my life was over at 23, and no one was ever going to love me again.

No, I'm not going to tell all the gory details here - the short version is... Through his constant refrain I came to think I had actually caused my relationship to be horrible. Somehow I deserved the treatment -everything he did to me mentally (not physical abuse, mind you). See, physical abuse would have been obvious to me - duh, that's abuse, RUN!

Folks, it took me 2 years of hell to come to terms with the reality of my situation.

Even my family didn't realize how bad my relationship was. They thought he was funny, bright and fun to be around. He was good to me, and blended pretty well with my family. When the truth of my life came out there were some very shocked people, I'll tell you. Everyone felt pretty bad that they had not seen the signs. Of course, I thought the problem was me, so I never really talked about it. :/

That is, until I reconnected with an old high school friend that told me plainly that I was a shell of my former self. This friend saw that my smile, confidence, and laughter were gone. The path was clear to my friend - RUN!!!!

You see, I didn't realize people could be truly and utterly horrible to their core. I mean yeah, there's all those bad people on the news, but they don't live around me - they couldn't live IN MY HOME!!! You learn from this kind of life experience that those people on the news are just the ones who's stories are exceptional. There are many, many tales of horrible goings on that are never told.

I just wanted to say that even something so horrible as that relationship helped to make me who I am today. I do not regret going through hell, the trip taught me:
- A lot about how bad life can really be - a bad day at work is really just so not a big deal.
- To be good to myself - no one else is going to do that for me.
- You can have faith without organized religion
- To recognize a snake with legs
- To trust my inner voice - when it says "RUN!" I had better already be moving (no not because of fear from the ex - but I can "feel" bad people now).
- To be thankful for what I have - especially my sweet hubby, Bo.

What, you ask, does this have to do with IF?

Infertility has been a different sort of learning and growing, but carries its own lessons and reinforces others:
- A bad day at work is really just so not a big deal.
- To be thankful for what I have - especially my sweet hubby, Bo.
- To be a steward of myself and my health - no one else is going to do that for me.
- You can have faith without organized religion
- That health care professionals DO NOT know everything - quite often they are guessing. Medicine is 45% science and 55% art.

With both of these experiences it is not likely that someone will understand what it is like. They can show you empathy and sympathy, but they will never understand unless they really walk those same miles. Even those that have been nearby during your trials do not really get it.

After a while, you stop trying to explain. You only graze the surface when someone asks questions. Unless you find they are going through a similar hell. Then you will go to great lengths to point out the path - then you try to become a guiding light.

Thank you to all the guiding lights I have found here in the infertility blogging community.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Sweet and Scary....

Lots of very sweet and very scary changes have happened this week in our household!

We had a GREAT Perinatologist vist on the 26th - see the photos at the end of the post - the pictures are so clear that it is amazing.... The Peri was extremely happy with how the baby looked. Once again he measured him/her at a week ahead in growth. Can you say "Excstatic Parents"? I knew you could!

The OB's office gave me the Pre-Registration package for the hospital on Friday. OMG! That is the most scary piece of paper I have ever recieved! You would think I would have come to grips with the fact that we are going to have a baby, but it shocked me that we are that close. People are wanting to start getting ready, pre-registering, oh my.

The baby has started kicking me several times a day... It is so comforting to know that everything seems to be OK in its little world.

We painted the baby's room, it is gorgeous!!!!!! I love the color - even hubby is impressed with the results (he painted it). I'll try to remember to post some photos so you can see...

The crib was delivered on Thursday along with the new glider and ottomon.

I put the crib together - it looks AMAZING!!! I can't believe how sturdy it is! I would absolutely recommend this crib to anyone - We bought the Peyton crib.

I've been frustrated with the mattress search - who the hell knows which one is best for baby?!?! Ugh... The specialty store wanted $179 for their "highest quaility" mattress. I'm thinking NO Way am I paying $ 200 for a crib mattress. That's just silly to me. The average top-end mattress at Babies R Us and Target in Georgia is around $100.

So, I've been quizzing my friends about what they bought. Most said they are getting the Sealy Perfect Night... So, I went and bought one of these mattresses, which I brought home and put on.

Putting the mattress on let me put on the bumper pads - how totally cute!!! However, I do have to lengthen two of the ties - the crib's rails on the front are too large for the bumper to tie on properly. I'm good at sewing, so I'm comfortable that I can make them safe. If I find I can't then I won't use the pad.

My Mother's-side family decided on a date for our baby shower! Thanksgiving!!! That is just SOOOOOOOOO close!!! Two weeks!!!! OMG!!! I'll be 24 + weeks, I've received lots of emails and calls from family asking and talking about registries and how excited they are to be buying baby things. It is so sweet... I feel so terribly blessed. :)

So, lots of scary milestones and yet it is so sweet to be here after so much anguish and torment from IF. We feel truly blessed with each day that passes, with each kick, each morning that I wake up and realize we are one day closer to our lives being changed forever.

Here he/she is, in all his/her glory!!!