Friday, November 23, 2007

Looking Good So Far

The check up last week went very well. Tarb2 was not in an ideal position for the ultrasound and he wasn't moving much because I hadn't had breakfast prior to the check-up. But after I shifted positions from my back to my side, he finally turned around. The OB who did the u/s was not Dr. T as I had it done at the hospital and not Dr. T's other clinic where her own ultrasound machine is. Still, this OB had good bedside manner and explained everything that was on the monitor.

So in a nutshell, Tarb2's organs and measurements are pretty much on target - give or take a few days. Yaay! I'm always anxious before my check-ups - something I didn't experience much with my first Tarb. I guess after the sub.chorionic hem.orrhages were found in my first tri, I do have a tendency to worry.

Anyway, the OB who did the u/s was great because she snuck in a 3D image - something that wasn't included in what we paid for! So here is Tarb2 with a profile that looks not unlike his father...



This pregnancy is going by real fast. I think I have to pause and enjoy it more...

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Catching Up

I've know I've been an absentee blogger but there hasn't been much news on my end. Still, I'll try to make it up with some nice photos from the past few days.

DH, Tarb and I got away from the city and stayed at a charming (though slightly over priced!!) bed and breakfast. The food and service was excellent so no complaints from me. Tarb loved it. The serve cheese and wine in the afternoons and warm milk and cookies at bedtime. "Best of all", they had Barney DVDs so Tarb was all like, "This is the best hotel EVER!!".

This was the view from our room... (annoyingly crooked shot but I didn't take it...)



The area surrounding a church we visited...



So here are some of the culinary delights we feasted on...



Not sure if this looks appetizing but I assure you it was an absolute delight to my palate - foie gras on caramelized figs. It totally satisfied. Our bodies really know what we need. I'm anemic (pregnant or not) and I've been seriously craving a meat and and anything with that iron-y taste.



DH started with oysters delicately arranged over pasta and topped with caviar. Don't ask me what was in the sauce. I dipped my spoon in it (didn't want to risk the oysters even if they were slightly cooked) and it was heaven.



Tarb took this picture of her order - pasta with sweet tomato sauce and sausage.



For our mains, DH and I split an order of rib eye steak. Here it is - medium - reflected in a divine peppery reduction.

Breakfast was nice too. I had pancakes and Tarb had Nut.ella filled french toast...





Have a check up on Thursday. Hoping and praying for more good news...




Friday, October 12, 2007

Definitely A Boy



On Tuesday we confirmed that Tarb2 is a boy! It wasn't too much of a surprise since we had an idea bout his gender since my last check up. Still, it was a relief to finally be sure and an even greater relief that everything else about him was looking good.

My next check up is in about a month. We'll do a more intense ultrasound - likely in 3 or 4D - to check all his organs. Praying for a great ultrasound then as well.

As for me, I have to confess to having a few apprehensions about being mom to a boy. At this point, I am completely clueless about how to bring up a boy. With Tarb being a girly girl like me in so many ways (as I like to think...!), nurturing her interests seems instinctive. What the heck do I know about the likes of Th.omas Tr.ain and the Teen.age Mu.tant Nin.ja Tur.tles?? It sounds frivolous... but that's what I've been thinking a lot about lately. That, on top of worrying/hoping/praying that this pregnancy continues on it's healthy course.

Anyway, thanks for all the good wishes and happy thoughts...

Thursday, October 4, 2007

It's Been Over A Month??

I know it's been ages since I've blogged but i didn't realize it the moon had waxed and waned completely in all this time. Well, thankfully, I have mostly good news to report on my end.

I officially got off bed rest and went back to work on September 12th. So basically my two weeks of full bed rest was extended for another two weeks, meaning I was on my ass for four! It was actually, "modified bed rest" for the last two weeks (because one of the two bleeds I had was completely gone and the other had shrunk considerably at that point) which meant my OB allowed me to go out once in a while for very low key activities like a movie or dinner. And such activities could only be carried out once a day.

My last appointment was on the 11th and behold! There was not a bleed in sight. Also, Tarb 2 was happily exposing his/her crotch, Dr. T took a peek and saw something resembling family jewels jangling around there. She said: "I don't know EXACTLY what I'm seeing here but it looks like a pair of balls. It could be a bit of cord or very swollen vagina lips...but at this point, I'd say it's a boy". So DH asks her, like what percentage? She says, 90. DH was thrilled to bits and started calling and texting everyone. I was like, don't you want to wait till we're sure? He said, 90% is practically sure.

We'll find out for certain on my next check-up on the 9th. I've always said, I'd be perfectly happy with a girl. I wouldn't have to buy anything clothes or toys wise and more importantly, I feel like I wouldn't know how to raise a boy. (Who the heck are the Te.en Tita.ns, anyway?) But since my last visit, my mind's kinda been programmed to baby-boy mode. I've been thinking of boys' names. DH and I haven't agreed on anything though he and my dad have ganged up on me about this one name which I like but find too common. Whatever Tarb2 is, I just pray that he/she is healthy and born full term - no sooner, no later.

What else? The nausea toned down only last week but heck, I'm just glad it's gone. My appetite's improved a lot since the pukey feeling left. When I got weighed at my last check-up I hadn't gained any weight but I feel tons heavier now though I haven't stepped on a scale.

My tummy's considerably bigger too. In fact, I only felt that it had increased significantly in girth yesterday. And my colleague at work today was like, Ok you weren't that big last week. Still, it's a sartorial frustration because my regular clothes are impossible to close, yet my maternity stuff is still too big. And I don't look all that pregnant yet. Instead, I look like I really enjoyed what I had for lunch. I love meat and detest seafood - as was the case with my first pregnancy. I can take shrimps but fish and crabs have the most awful stench - at least as interpreted by my olfactory nerves. I've also been good about avoiding cola. In my first trimester I was constantly "sipping" from DH. He'd be like, Just take it. I'd say, No I can't - but I'd relish and finish the all cold, biting bubbly in his glass. Bad Mommy.

When I was allowed off bed rest, Dr. T also let me stop taking progesterone. I had hoped it'd make my skin settle down but alas, my complexion continues to be ravaged by raging hormones. I don't ever remember my face suffering an onslaught like this. With Tarb, I had the most radiant skin. Now I look like the girl who sang "I learned the truth at seventeen... That love was meant for beauty queens... And high school girls with clear skin smiles..." Hahaha but it truly is a very small price to pay.

Oh oh! Another thing is, I've started to feel Tarb2 moving around in there! I felt it for sure last week so I was about 15weeks then. With Tarb, I was 14 weeks when I first felt her. It was harder to discern this time if what I was feeling was the famous "quickening" or just all that gas rumbling in my intestines. I've been so gassy, I could solve the world's energy crisis.

Anyway, those are the basic updates from my corner of the world. I promise to read up on what's been happening with all of you...

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Better But Still Grumpy



I'm glad to report that I feel better today compared to the past few. I'm not entirely sure why since today wasn't a whole lot different from those since my confinement. It must be the Ben & Jerry's I'm indulging myself with - the icy cold on your tongue, the smooth richness of the chocolate, the contrasting crunch of the nuts... it's the highlight of my day, it really is.

Admittedly, I'm still mostly on the grumpy side. DH tries to please me by giving me whatever I ask for from papayas to crossword puzzles to good ol' space but I'm hardly cheerful. I'd like to blame the hormones but that's a bit too convenient.

I've never been clinically depressed but my confinement has led be to a better understanding of depression. One of depression's definitions is the lack of desire for anything and that's exactly what I've been feeling. NO desire. Not even the desire to do something to make myself feel better.

Oh and I have NOT had a "pretty" day since I started on bed rest! The Du.phastone is making break out! And to think I had flawless, glowing skin during my first pregnancy! The picture of expectant maternal bliss! Now, my jaw line and neck are a tomato patch made in heaven. I also went on a leg shaving strike for six days. Very scary. You'll be happy to know that I put my razor to use two days ago. Though no one was more thrilled than DH.

Another day of bed rest down. Hopefully just 5 more to go.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Stir Crazy

It's the 6th full day of bed rest and I may be going insane with boredom. There is seriously nothing decent on TV, I'm sick of what my DVD collection has to offer (including the stuff that I haven't seen yet!) and for some reason reading makes me restless. That sucks since there's at least four really good books I have yet to finish.

So that leaves me with stuff I just don't do like knit (ok, I learned when I was about seven but I never got addicted to it), crocheting which is completely beyond me (I've tried!), crossword puzzles which I think would makes me feel as restless as reading at this point, Sudoku puzzles (again something beyond me) and blogging which should keep me busy for at least the next 10 minutes. My Mac is a desktop and while Dr. T said I could "compute" for a while each day, it's really better to be in bed.

I was going to shop at iTunes but our net connection is sooo s l o w today and my credit is down to like $3! I don't dare let Tarb hear the 30 second samples of High School Musical 2 songs or that would be my credit good and gone. (Bad mommy!)

All in all, there's not much to complain about. DH has been quite patient. I mean, he grumbles about having to do errands like go to the bank (stuff he ordinarily doesn't have to think about because I take care of all that) but I'm like, hey, welcome to my world! He was even like, you mean I have to line up and wait? Uh, yeah buddy, unless your a multi-million Peso depositor you kinda have to queue up with us vermin. OTHERWISE, he's been buying me magazines and DVDs and calls me up constantly while at the mall, asking if I want this or that or just to tell me that the supermarket has new stock of Ben & Jerry's Super New York Fudge. Oh, and for once, I get to choose what we watch at night. Not too bad...

But I end up sleeping at about 2am now - even if I don't nap during the day. There's such a huge lack of activity in my routine that I just don't get sleepy. I remember this happened when I was unemployed! It's terrible. I can't stand tossing and turning in bed so I don't turn the lights off and try to sleep till my eyelids weigh a ton each.

Then there's a wee bit of anxiety thinking about my check up on the 30th. If Dr. T doesn't let me go back to work well, that'd suck financially. I have 15 days paid leave a year. I've used that up already. So no work, no pay. And the lovely thing about my status as a "star", is that I'm not a regular employee which means that I have absolutely no maternity benefits. (Oh, but I have makeup and clothes sponsors from time to time).

BUT let me say that going stir crazy and temporarily not earning money are still a small price to pay for producing a healthy 2nd Tarb. What wouldn't any of us do right?

Sunday, August 19, 2007

That Thing Called A Sub.chorionic He.morrhage

Note: Blogger is pissing me of not wanting to upload my pics.*

DH's whole team (and most of their family members) are headed to LA tomorrow night. It's part of their bonus for winning the championship last conference. We built up the whole LA experience for Tarb - her first time to the States! She got up at 5am the other week to get to the US embassy with her dad to get her visa, we showed her the Disneyland and Universal websites etc.etc.

And now, we are not going.

Dr. T wanted to see me on Friday just to be sure that everything was ok for the trip - though I have to say that she was never keen on the idea of me traveling in my first trimester. Anyway, she has this fabulous new 2D machine. The imaging is still fuzzy but much, much better than her old machine. We saw Tarb 2 moving his/her legs! That was just amazing to me considering he/she is less that 3cm from crown to rump. We saw the heart fluttering AND the cord blood flow - amazing! So there I was, all confident with Tarb 2's HB nice and strong, his/her measurements matching his/her "age".

Then Dr. T. sighs and says, "Ok, this is where my hesitation lies..." (This is where it would be nice if Blogger would allow us to upload non-jpg files). Around the gestational sac (at about 1o'clock of where the fetus is) were these black splotches. "See these?" she asked, "This is where the pregnancy is not properly attached. Those are little bleeds called a sub.chorionic he.morrhage". So she explained that the condition is quite common and usually goes away with complete bed rest and meds. Good-bye LA.



(*Just added the photo. Mucho thanks to Baby Blues for the techie tip!)

She said, the medical term for this is not nice but it is what it is - a threatened abortion. Her instructions: you stay in bed the next two weeks, no errands no nothing. You stand up to use the bathroom and to the dining room - that's it. Sit at your computer for a while maybe but that's it. You can't make a half hearted effort at bed rest. Some women do that, the bleeds get smaller but they grown in size again soon as they return to their normal routine. She even said, if you were my sister, I would make sure as hell you wouldn't get up for anything.

Honestly, when she was telling me all this, I didn't feel so bad. The baby is not being bothered by the condition and it made the choice of not traveling a no-brainer. I'd so been wanting to go on this trip: I've never been to the States with DH, it would've been Tarb's first time, we sooo need a family getaway, those team trips are a hell of a lot of fun, we were supposed to drive to Vegas too. But I did get pangs of guilt when I thought about the risk I might be taking, traveling so far (12 hours in the air) at such a critical time in my pregnancy. Everything Dr. T said gave me so much clarity that it was almost a relief.

DH was NOT happy about it but I just looked at him (I was still on the examining table) and said, I'm telling you right now, I do NOT want to go. After we left, he was all quiet and practically pouting! But I let him be. This trip meant so much to him and at that moment we didn't think they team would give us the cash equivalent of the trip since we weren't going. (They approved giving us the cash later that afternoon). Not that this baby is even worth that amount in cash but I DID have to put things in perspective for this husband of mine.

I just said look, "If someone told you, that in order to save Tarb's life, you had to stay home from this trip, get none of the cash equivalent, you wouldn't think twice. You wouldn't even feel bad. You'd just do it. But now you're pouting and the only reason is, you don't know this baby. This baby is just as important as Tarb and when you see that, you won't be acting like you majorly got cheated out of something". He stopped acting like a brat after that - can you believe these guys sometimes??

So that's me for now. I feel fine otherwise. The nausea has tapered off. I'm just dealing with excess salivation (so gross but can me remedied with a minty hard candy) and gassiness like nothing I've ever experienced before. It's a good thing I have to stay at home! I'm catching up on DVDs and my reading.

Next scan is on the 30th. Bleeds be gone!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Answered Prayer

It's hard to believe I'm about to put this post together. I never really thought how I'd go about it but I guess I can start with the facts...

May 29th: LMP

July 2nd: While in the middle of the thrills and spills of Space Mountain in HK Disneyland this thought came loud and clear in my mind, "What the hell are you doing on this insane roller coaster when you might be pregnant??" Then another voice from within said, "Yah right! Just smile with some poise for the damn photo they always take at the end".

July 3rd (still in HK): I dreamt that my cousin (who's also my BFF) was with me in HK and I told her I needed to take an EPT. So I did and the darn stick came out positive. And next thing I know, there's a huge picture of the BFP stick on the side of the truck for one and all to see. Nice dream.

July 11th: Back in Manila. Feeling all premenstrual and wanting to get AF out of the way, I remembered how she likes to arrive mere hours after I take an EPT. So I took one. Waited for my pee to bleed through the strip - negative. I washed my hands and glanced at the stick again like 60 seconds later. This time it had a faint, faint but oh-so-visible second line. I examined the darn thing till I got crossed eyed. DH wasn't home and I was about to burst with excitement/anxiety at this development but I managed to text my OB. She said it was most likely indicative of a very early pregnancy and I should come in for an u/s the next day.

July 12th: U/s showed a corpus luteum on my left ovary (the super polycystic one! the Av.andia must've worked!), a very thick uterine lining and NOTHING ELSE. Dr. T said, "It's either very, very early or..." "Or I'm about to get my period, right?", I finished for her. Yes, that was possible, she had to admit. But she ordered an HCG blood test and me to come back in a week for another u/s.

July 13th: DH's birthday. We want to tell the world at his party (and the sneaky bugger DID tell SOME of his friends that night!) but we don't make a big deal out of it. Friends were asking me why I wasn't drinking. Said alcohol was incompatible with my fertility meds - not a lie.

July 18th: HCG results come in. I was at 600+. Very good sign but Dr. T wants me to wait till Monday - 10 days from the last u/s - before I come in for another one.

July 23rd: U/s shows a sac and fetal structure at 6wks plus. NO HEARTBEAT. Don't worry they said, that's perfectly normal at this stage. I'm like, "So I just come back in a few days?" Reply, "Uh no, let's wait two weeks to be sure". TWO WEEKS?? Were these people insane?? Do they know what it's like to wait in uncertainty?? Ugh! Decided to tell my folks and my brother but not Tarb. Explained the situation. Told them to TRY to not get too excited. Oh, but DH told Tarb while I was at work, "I think Mommy's pregnant. You better just pray extra hard now ok?" (Never ever tell this man your secrets!!)

July 24th - August 5th: My body plays tricks on me. One day totally nauseous, the next just fine. My mind joins in the fun and asks, "Are my HCG levels rising? How come I feel ok? Oh, they must be rising, I'm such a lazy slob... But you're always lazy and oversleeping..."

August 6th: Day of u/s #3! Good news! Finally! The real deal! It measured 7wks4days. Cardiac rate: 154 beats per minute. DH cheers out loud, asks Dr. T if it's OK to tell people now and LEAVES THE ROOM to make phone calls while I'm still stirupped and being wanded on the table! I forgave him.



And that's how I came to find out and confirm that I was pregnant.

I can't put into words how I feel. I was and am still elated but I know I'm still somehow cautious despite all the excitement and hope I have. I only told members of our extended family first and a very few close friends. It's also taken me a while to blog about it. I guess, I'm taking it all in and just trying to live with a sort of controlled excitement. I feel like, I waited quite I while for this - is it for real? I was so lucky in my pregnancy with Tarb - no complications. Will I be as fortunate this time? When I found out I was pregnant with Tarb, I text messaged practically every number on my phone!!

Oh and Tarb was the sweetest. We sat her down and told her the news soon as we got home from the u/s. We asked her, "what is the thing you most want in the world?" "A fairy pen and a fairy notebook!" "No", we said, "even more than that!" "A SHINY, PINK fairy pen and notebook!" So DH just came out with it and Tarb all wide-eyed, flashed the biggest smile and said, "Oh I will burp it!"

Since then, she's keeps examining my belly button and trying to see inside. She also asks why my stomach isn't big yet. Then one morning, she woke up, climbed into our bed as I was still sleeping and with out trying to wake me up, lifted my nightie and kissed my belly. Love her!

I get the feeling that Dr. T is being very careful with this pregnancy. For one thing, she put me on progesterone for the next few weeks. She said this was because I was on Av.andia which I now had to stop since we confirmed a viable fetus BUT stopping it suddenly could create a hormone imbalance so I need the progesterone 3x daily. She also told me to stop the gym for now. The most high impact I can go is swimming which I hate and never do as exercise. With Tarb, there were no hormone supplements and the only thing stopping me from going to the gym was laziness.

So that's me for now. I just want to thank all of you for all the supportive things you've posted on here the past few months. So many of my prayers have been answered this year. I feel truly blessed. And I'm thinking of you guys - Adrienne and SaraS-P who are pretty much where I am. But most of all Baby Blues who is hanging in there in spite of all the doubts and uncertainty hounding her at this time. If you haven't already, send her all your love.

Thanks for everything, ladies. I'll be reading your blogs and updating you...

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Absence... Changes...

Hi Everyone!!!

I guess I have a lot of explaining and catching up to do... It's been a month and a half since my last post - what gives right?
Well, things got really hectic around here - mostly in a good way. In a nutshell, both of the (pro) teams that DH coaches got in the Finals of their respective leagues. One lost and the other one claimed the conference title. Wooohooo!

Things at work got a bit scary for me for a while. They reformatted my show and for a second there I thought that the changes would include giving me the boot. Thankfully, I'm being retained but they sacked my partner which really, really sucks in ways I won't even try to convey here.

Also, my MIL treated us to a trip to Hong Kong earlier this month. No matter how tempting, I can no longer say anything bad about her. Her generosity - without agenda - during the trip humbled me. Of course my cousin joked, "Hey, that's a good strategy. If you can't beat 'em, buy 'em!" But I actually had fun the few days we were there with her and my siblings in law. DH couldn't come because his teams qualified so it was just me and Tarb and the inlaws. And it turned out to be far more than just ok.

Aside from all of the above, my absence was also due to the fact that I simply had no appetite to blog. It wasn't laziness. I looked back at some old posts and they seemed so whiny and petulant - and while those words can often be used to describe me - it's not who I want to be. I'm all for blogging as a place to where you can vent without being judged but FOR ME - reading my posts of old - it seemed and seems a little self-indulgent. Maybe it's because I already have a child. Secondary IF sucks but I know that it's still different for the childless who are TTC. I've just become more grateful for the little brat who brings so much light to our lives.

I just began to look at my Tarb and think, that's all I need. I'm going to do everything I can to get pregnant but I simply don't have the energy to feel sorry for myself or feel inferior to other women. I don't want to curse AF on every visit or whatever. I just don't have the energy - or I refuse to waste energy on what I'm not getting.

I know, I'm spewing sunshine all over the place again it's almost gross. But that's honestly the main reason for my absence. Please don't think that I'm condemning any of you for all the beautifully honest things that you write here. I know how much it helps some of you, so keep doing it. I'll keep reading.

Am I going to stop blogging altogether? No - but I may be around less frequently and I have all the resolve to make each post as positive as possible. With the way that you have supported me the past few months, that's the least that I owe you - positive posts full of hope and certainty that we are getting what we need if not what we want.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

My Sick Mind

So I was in a department store today. My mission: to buy a gift for DH's one year old god son. I decided on a Thom.as Train or two and was told my the sales guy that I'd have to wait about twenty minutes for the trains to get wrapped as there was a line. No problem, I said and began to just leisurely wander around. Initially, I was looking for gift ideas for Tarb who turns four in less than a month.

But my feet/brain/soul/desire/hopes soon took me to the infants' department. And I began to fantasize... What would I pick out for my son-to-be's baby registry? I liked the "Got Milk?" burp cloths, the blue puppy receiving blankets, the teddy bear and sailboat nighties, the En.fant baby hats with ears, the towels with "Champ" embroidered on them... But then, it soon hit me that I wasn't fantasizing - no, not I of the "trying hard to keep it real and disappointment free" world of the facts-only of the Momcaster.

I was going around there really picking out stuff that I was/am SURE I'll be needing again someday. I was meandering through the aisles, seriously making a mental note of what baby stuff of Tarb's is still in tact, what I'd need to replace and what I'd need to buy brand new. (Mostly clothes because Tarb doesn't have any unisex clothes beyond newborn tie-side kimono tops). It was fun and yet it felt like i was running an errand, doing a chore... I mean, what kind of mother doesn't plan for these things, right? This was something that had to be done!

Then just as my eyes were getting their fill of cool, new baby stuff, they caught sight of a woman in pink, rubbing her ginormous, round belly. And it wasn't like I felt bad after that. My thoughts were more like, "well, she's just going to need all this stuff ahead of me".

I don't know where this strange sense of certainty is coming from. I'm feeling like this - Tarb #2 - is JUST going to HAPPEN. I know that some of you are shaking your heads as you watch/read me barf up all this sunshine but it's what I feel in my gut right now.

Is this certainty is a jedi mind trick I'm playing on myself so I won't feel so bad with the possible failure of I.UI #1 in a month or so...? My rational mind is telling me it is. But if my mind were so rational, why would it even allow me to engage in purposeful fantasy baby registry? Maybe the rational mind is just a sick one with an even sicker sense of humor.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Picture Page Requests

Here are MOST of the requests I got for The Picture Page Project...



This is my favorite spot in the house. It's where we hang out to relax and talk and entertain visitors.



This is the front door...



This is Tarb's playroom - starring a bit of her lunch in the corner there...



This is one of my fave t-shirts because it reads "too many freaks, not enough circuses". I got it in a children's clothing store which Tarb and I love. We sometimes get matching tops from there since I fit in their size 16 or 18. Love it!



This is the "something old" that Baby Blues asked for. It's a cologne atomizer I've had at least since I was nine. It's been dropped several times and it's still alive!!



I'm counting this as "new" because it's one of the books I bought on my last trip to my fave bookstore. I'm a history nerd so this book is fun. Not too heavy a read.



Had trouble taking a decent picture of these... earrings I borrowed from my mom.



Something blue... my night cream jar haha ;p The actual cream is white, however.

There ya have it - my Picture Page. Thanks again to Reproductive Jeans for the idea. Had fun doing this post!

Monday, June 4, 2007

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MEEEEE!!!



Yep - that's how old I turned at 0956 local time today. I don't have major issues about entering my 30's... ok, maybe I'm lying but I think maybe I'm just overthinking the whole 30's bit.

I had a great dinner at home with famliy last night. It's just nice being around the people you'd choose to be with in a nuclear bomb shelter. I felt very thankful to have them around. And making sure that everyone was eating well was a good distraction from thinking about leaving my 20's. But they still crept in as I lay in bed last night.

My thoughts:

- I never envisioned my life beyond my 20s. As a small kid, I wanted to be a big kid. As a big kid, I wanted to be a teenager. As a teenager, I wanted to be a 20-something. And that's it!

- I am exactly the age my dad and favorite aunt were when I was born. I don't feel anywhere near as "grown up" as the adults seemed when I was a kid.

- Even if I have a lot of crappy responsibilities to remind me that I AM a grown up, I don't feel grown up. Then again, being an adult sucks in so many ways, there's a part of me that wants to stay young... I know, too late.

- It is time to move out of my parents' house.

- I always thought I'd be done having all the kids I wanted by the time I was 30. (I married at 24...)

- Where the hell does the time go?

- What if there's nothing fun and exciting to discover anymore?

So there...

In spite of all my little anxieties, I'm not really panicking about having to leave my 20's behind. Getting a bit sentimental maybe. All my friends swear, turning 30 is the best thing that could possible happen to a girl. I believe that to be true. DH and I were out one night last week and the place we were at was dripping with these painfully self-conscious 20 somethings. They were wearing what they perhaps thought were trendy outfits but they looked so uncomfortable in them - and in their own skin. I definitely wouldn't want to stay at THAT stage of my life.

So with a bittersweet kiss I bid my 20s farewell. I'm thankful for all the incredible blessings in my life. And (with a hefty push), I look forward to what the 30s may hold. Happy Birthday to meeeeee!!!

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Anxiety Attack

My IUI is still about a month away but I was just thinking...
How will I know they won't mix up my husband's sperm sample with anyone else's??
Seiously! Can you follow the lab guy to the lab and "guard" your potential babies till the sperm wash/centrifuge thingy is over??
Or do you just leave this is in the hands of the good people in the clinic/hospital who "never" make mistakes??
I'd love to hear from those of you who've done this before...

PS I promise to post the pics requested for my Picture Page next week.

Friday, June 1, 2007

IUI #1 Here We Come



So here we are...

I saw my RE on Tuesday and I told her all about the nasty stuff I experienced with Met and that I needed an ART detour. I didn't think she was going to put us on the IF Highway so soon. She's putting me on the lowest dose of Avan.dia which she claims doesn't have nasty ass side effects like Met. If I can function normally on that, then I go on injectibles, do the whole monitoring bit, DH will spill his seed in a cup, the best swimmers will be chosen and shot up my uterus with that freaky looking thing above.

BUT we need to wait awhile. DH is too busy with work to be on standby for IUI so we're looking at July when his schedule will allow him to be at my beck and call. (She said that inspite of DH's high sperm count in the last analysis, his liquefaction problem is well... a problem. And since he's had a history of having a low sperm count, she can't take his good numbers for granted).

I was surprised by how I felt about being told that we are now considered candidates for IUI. We conceived a beautiful, healthy child (with an APGAR score of 10, I'm proud to say) with no intervention after just nine months of unprotected sex. Just having fun, I like to say.

I always believed that we'd pop a pill or two and in no time have another Tarb. But here was the RE saying that I could have developed polycystic-ness on my right ovary after my pregnancy. (Before my pregnancy it appeared that only my left was polycystic). Then, to scare me even more she said that PCOS is not just a problem in conception but also in pregnancy because you are not releasing the right mix of hormones to encourage and maintain implantation. My pregnancy went without a single hitch. I can't imagine carrying with complications! Unimaginable. I was working till the day Tarb was born. No problem!

I'm excited about taking a more aggressive step but at the same time, I'm in some kind of shock because I never imagined I'd get this far in ART. Sure, IUI is chicken feed compared to IVF but as I said, I never thought I'd have to do this. And the fear of disappointment greater than ever before, because I know my hopes and expectations will be higher. I feel like it's all happening so fast but then again, it HAS BEEN TWO YEARS of TTC.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

The Picture Page



Reproductive Jeans has a got a great idea. It's called The Picture Page. Breathe easy, it's not a tagging thing.

She figured that since most of us in blogland share so much of ourselves, except our true identities, there must be a (fun) way to share more of what we experience in real life - things that aren't necessarily about IF. And that's how she came up with The Picture Page. All you have to do is leave me (and everyone else participating) a comment and name a thing or things that you'd like me to post a picture of. So far the most common requests are things like, pets, the view from your bedroom, stuff in your handbag etc. etc. So what'd you like to see?

Ask and it shall be posted...

Friday, May 25, 2007

Meditation





I've been studying the ancient spiritual wisdom of Kabbalah for the past few months. Don't worry, I'm not going to use this post to explain what it's all about. (But if you do have any questions, just post a question). All I can tell you is that it's helped me a lot deal with my garbage - IF just being one component. I know there are a lot of people out there who are put off by Kabbalah - for whatever reason. If you're one of them, by all means skip this post.

For those of you reading on, this is a meditation I've only recently started doing. You might want to try it yourself. The three characters in the circle (more clearly seen in the second picture) form an Aramaic word representing fertility. This is how you do it. Sit upright in a chair with your feet touching the ground. Make sure none of your limbs are crossed. Look at the characters from RIGHT TO LEFT and read the meditation below them on the second card. Now close your eyes and see the letters in your mind. Imagine the letters infront of and slightly above you. You can peep at the letters once in a while in case you forget how they look. When imagining the letters in your mind, see them also as rays of light coming down on you. Do this for at least five minutes then work your way to 10, 15 then 20 if possible. You can also say the word (kaf lamed yud) in your mind, if it helps.

Obviously, I'm not saying, Poof! We'll all be knocked up tomorrow. And this certainly is no substitute for ART. But I've tried to meditate many times in the past and this is the first method that I've really been able to carry out. I can do it for around 7 minutes straight now - without having to peep at my watch to check that time is up! It also really relaxes me, makes me feel less scattered. Whether this will work in getting any of us pregnant, who knows. I just know that it's helped me deal. And if we all keep each other in mind when we do it, I think it'd be really powerful.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Tag I'm It (Again)

Thanks, Baby Blues for tagging moi. This is slightly different from the 8 Random Things About Me.

What were you doing 10 years ago?
Exactly 10 years ago I was touring Europe with my fave cousin and one of our best friends. We had just graduated from college and were on a vacation of a lifetime. (Also, the last one paid for by our parents). We always said we'd take a trip like that again but we haven't. Life and financial realities all got in the way. Maybe one day... At least we have the memories...

What were you doing a year ago?
I must've been losing my mind on Clo.mid. Otherwise, life hasn't changed much in the past year.

Five snacks you enjoy:
1. Royce chocolates
2. Melty Kiss chocolates
3. Hawaiian Host chocolate covered macadamia nuts
4. melted cheese on toast
5. fried kamote (sweet potato) smothered with butter, brown sugar and rum

Five songs to which you know all the lyrics:
1. Let The River Run by Carly Simon
2. Seasons Of Love from Rent
3. As Time Goes By (by lord knows who?? We just had to learn and sing it for my grandparents' 50th wedding anniversary!!)
4. You by The Carpenters
5. Circle by Edie Brickell

Five things you would do if you were a millionaire:
1. Travel to every corner of the globe
2. Ensure that every Filipino child got a world class education
3. Buy an island and build a resort for family and friends
4. Hire a full time stylist and interior decorator
5. Bribe all corrupt government officials to leave their posts

Five bad habits:
1. Procrastination
2. Leaving all closet doors open after dressing up
3. Obsessively checking email
4. Finishing everything on my plate even if I'm not hungry anymore
5. Over sleeping

Five things you like doing
1. Tickling my Tarb
2. Going on vacation by the beach
3. Reading
4. Karaoke
5. Getting massages

Five things you would never wear again:
1. Reebok hi-top sneakers with legwarmers
2. Huge gold cat-shaped earrings
3. Suspenders with a rah rah skirt
4. Madonna style head band tied in a bow
5. Sky high bangs (Am I an 80s kid or what?)

Five favorite toys:
1. Speak n Spell "computer"
2. Barbie "make your own perfume" set
3. Baby Miss Piggy doll
4. Casio electronic piano
5. Disney characters indoor tent

Now, my turn to tag (though I'm not sure if any of you've already been tagged):
1. Samantha of Southern Infertility
2. Nicole of Just Crazy Enough To Try
3. SaraS-P of The Island
4. Buchiko of Waiting For Buchiko
5. Bea of Infertile Fantasies

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Sad Mommy Moment



One of the things that came to pass while I was "away" was a sad mommy moment. A moment when you realize your angel is capable of being anything but. It was the first time I can remember being truly embarassed by my child. Not "oh how embarassing but adorable". Just pure embarassment with a healthy sprinkling of shame.

First a backgrounder. In and around Metro Manila, there are lots of street kids. And when we see them, we point them out to her and tell her how fortunate she is to have parents, a home, food, toys, the chance to go to school. There was a time she would even ask us to list all the stuff the street kids didn't have. So we mentioned every luxury she ever enjoyed. It seems we missed one because she had to ask us, "They don't have parmesan cheese??" THAT was cute. THAT was also over a year ago.

Last month when one of our helpers left for a month long vacation to her home province, we asked Tarb to pick out some toys she no longer wanted, to give to our helper's daughter. We explained that the kid in the province didn't have all the things that she had, so Tarb needed to share. No problem. She was able to pick out a number of things she could live without. Then this...

One afternoon last week, I left instructions with Tarb and the yaya (read: Tagalog for "nanny") that Tarb was to sleep while I was out running errands. I got home a few hours later to see Tarb in a good mood, running around. So I asked the yaya how long she had slept. Apparently, not a wink. The yaya then proceeded to tell me in a matter of fact way, that when Tarb had been continuously told to sleep, she got annoyed and told the yaya, "You know, you're poor. And you don't have a lot of things. And you don't have a house. This is my house. There's lots of things and food in it". OH.MY.GOD.

She's a smart girl, incredibly perceptive. I could give you tons of examples about how she figured out the complex relationship between my separated in laws without us telling her. I just didn't count on her using her knowledge and (barely 4 year old) skills of deduction to put down the household help!

So her father talked to her calmly later that night and the dialogue was something like this:

DH: Tarb, did you say something mean to your yaya today.

T: No... I don't remember.

DH: You have to tell me the truth because I heard something. You said something that was not nice...

T: But... but Pappy, I was confused...!

DH: No, what you said was not nice. It was mean and it makes the yayas sad...

T: (bursts in to tears and begins to wail) I'm sorry, Pappy! I'm sooooorrryyyy!!!! (cry, cry, cry)

Sigh...

I would have wanted DH to explain to her why what she said was wrong. Factually correct, yes, but wrong on every other level. He said, because she had burst into non-histrionic tears and apologized so readily, she already knew. I left it at that but I still felt that DH just went to mush when the flood gates broke. I would have had a mouthful more to say. So far so good though. She hasn't said anything mean or politically incorrect to the household help. We shall see...

*photo of Tarb at about 5 months, taken by moi

Monday, May 21, 2007

The New Look

I was getting juuuust a bit sick of the Larry King lights on my old template.
I can't say this new one is very "me" either but it'll do for now...
More later, ladies!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Tagged!

Yes, yes I've been gone for a while. I just haven't been feeling too bloggerific lately. And there's not a whole lot to report infertility-wise at least. Anyway, I'm doing the whole 8 Random Things About Moi thing because Southern Belle Samantha tagged me. (Thanks, Sam - was touched someone was thinking of me in my absence!) Ok...

1. I spent most of my formative years outside of the Philippines. We lived in Wellington, New Zealand for three years. As in I picked up a thick Kiwi accent there, mate. Afterwards, we were hied off to Hong Kong where we lived for 10 years, during it's glory days in the years leading up to its handover to China. I do not speak any Cantonese - never did. And my "keywey" accent is long gone.

2. I am semi-ambidextrous. At least that's what I call it. My dominant hand is clearly my right but for some unexplainable reason, I can only efficiently brush my teeth with my left. And I instinctively hold a guitar the wrong way round.

3. I'm not a dog fan. BUT when I met my animal-crazy husband I learned to appreciate furry friends - so much so I helped his (later our) lab while she was in labor, bottle fed those adorable puppies, learned to sleep with a dog in my bed etc. etc. But my interest and affection for even the most loyal canine beasts died with the birth of my first (human!) child. But I did have delayed reaction grief when our lab died. Started bawling on the way home from work, thinking about him while listening to Coldplay's The Scientist :(

4. I do not watch a whole lot of local tv. That's no biggie for most people but seeing as I'm in the biz, it's rather ironic. Maybe I'm too busy but I think I just don't care what's out there... but I should! But there are so many things I'd rather be doing...

5. I am a fairly laid back mom. I do not totally obsess over my daughter's diet and cleanliness. The kid hates fruits. She might eat a chocolate covered strawberry following lots of negotiation so I don't force the issue in general. We're able to sneak in veggies when they're soft and mixed with her other food. She's allowed junk. Quite a bit of it. She takes a bath like 3 times a day - not because it's a rule. It's just a habit. Although I do obsess about her smell. She needs to be wreaking of baby cologne at all times of the day.

6. My mother is a damn good cook. When she was bored out of her wits when we lived in New Zealand, she'd even knit. She is Martha Stewart and I'm not even a Rachel Ray. I am feeling the pressure.

7. Oh to make more sense of no. 6, DH, Tarb and I live in my parents' house... with my (older and only) single brother. Yeah... I know...

8. I am so bloody boring, I don't have any hobbies. I can't draw and I am not athletic. I'm ok with going to the gym regularly though - it's what I do while waiting for Tarb to get out of preschool. I love love love to sing but alas, I'm quite tone deaf. And this is extremely frustrating because Filipinos are known for their musicality. And I can't say it's not in my family. My grandmother was a piano teacher and my dad is a great singer. He sets the pitch for me in karaoke hahaha.

So there ya go. Stuff about me that has nothing to do with IF. It's actually been refreshing to write...

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Detour



So here's a less than savory update. Please be sure you are not eating when reading this.

I have a ye.ast in.fection. It is the third one this year!!! The first one was in January - easily explained by nuclear strength antibiotics I was taking. Then there was one in March. And now this.

So I went to see my regular OB-GYN, Dr. T, and we had a nice chat (love her!) and she figures that it's the Met that's causing me problems. With having the runs on and off, my immune system is weakened and the area down there more exposed to whatever. She did an IE and said it was pretty bad but just in case I got pregnant this cycle (yah right!) she's not putting me on oral meds. Instead it's suppositories for a week. Oh joy.

Then we talked some more and she said that taking the Met once a day - something I barely even managed to do because of the nasty side effects - won't help my ovaries any. So she told me to head of back to my RE, Dr. L, and ask for some other route to fertility.

I asked her why my ovary is still polycystic if my LH, FSH and testosterone levels all meaured within the normal range. She said the tests were good in that my polycystic-ness is not affecting my other hormones. BUT (and we all knew that was coming), polycystic ovaries are an estrogen-progesterone problem. So lil' ol' scientific me with nothing but a pre-med degree under my belt, asked can't they just give me the estrogen and progesterone? She smiled - in way that was not condescending at all - and explained, it just doesn't work that way.

My next question is: THEN, HOW THE HELL DOES IT WORK??!!

I hope Dr. L answers that when I see her in a week or two. In the meantime, suppositories, please.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Weekend Waves



We spent the weekend at Su.bic B.ay - the former US navy base just a few hours drive from Manila. This picture was taken from the Y.acht C.lub poolside. Don't be fooled by the overcast skies. It was daaaamn HOT over there. The Tarb had fun which is pretty much all the matters. (The foot at the lower left corner of the photo is my cousin's - the SIL of Baby Blues - just in case you were wondering). I wanted to use a pic of the Tarb in the goggles and floaties but DH'd kill me.

This is my "fertile" weekend - at least according to the textbooks. I have not lived up to my promise of taking Met regularly. Go ahead, call me a pussy! But still I think I might actually be ovulating. I've got little pangs of pain in my lower abdomen - good! My boobs kinda of a sort of a hurt - ohhhhk. But I haven't noticed any great changes in CM - not so good.

It's near impossible to be accurately atuned to your body when you're trying so hard to look for or feel something! It's almost as bad as second guessing everything you're feeling after a 2ww.

My last post had me spewing sunshine all over my dear readers. And my mood now is not a drastic departure from that. In fact, I hardly thought about being in the IF rut while we were in Su.bic - and to think it was my first fertile day on Friday. I was just like, "I'm ready for action" and didn't dwell on "O God was that the one that's going to do it??".

But then I realized the pain of IF comes in waves. Last night after watching a movie I was thinking about how some newlyweds I know will be getting knocked up sooner rather than later and how that might make me feel - even if it were their first pregnancy. And thinking that way surprised me because just last week I learned of some new pregnancies (just acquaintances on their 2nd or 3rd Tarbs) and I felt fine about it.

Also last week, my dear friend K (married six years, TTC for 5) just found out that her tubes are almost completely blocked. It's not the end of the road of course, she still has options like surgery and IVF or both. But the bad news made me think. Am I wasting my time? maybe I should have MY tubes checked. (But my RE says my tubes'd be the last thing she'd check because I already have a kid and I haven't - as far as we know - suffered any infections). When I told DH about K and their likely next step to IVF, he was all like, so why don't we just do THAT? He's funny sometimes. I wish he'd read up on IF more!

So that's me for now. Partly optimistic, partly worried and hoping like mad.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

CD7, Baby!

AF arrived on Monday. Gotta love her! She's a scientific explanation for bitchyness and she makes your boobs nice and "fluffy" for a few days.

Forty days for an unassisted cycle is not bad - certainly not for moi who's been known to go all the way to oh... CD90!

I've told myself, I'm really gonna make my peace with Met.form.in. Just bite the bullet. Go through a few days of hell to get used to it and seriously get on the road to more productive ovaries. What's a few wretched days of toilet-bowl-breaking loose bowels for another baby after all, right? Pray for me! I keep telling myself, start the Met tomorrow... then I conveniently forget and then say, oh tomorrow and before you know it I'm singing the chorus like little orphan Annie. I'm going to do this. I HAVE to!

Aside from taking the Met (starting tomorrow...) this is the plan. CD12 will be on Friday so I need to be getting all randy and frisky next weekend. Sometimes the thought is "oh, that'll be fun... i think". But most of the time it's "oh crap, scheduled sex... pressure... how can we do it like we're doing it for fun?" Perhaps the most comforting thought is "at least it's on the weekend". Whatever... I'm not sure how I feel about it. Kinda excited, kinda not, kinda hoping he doesn't do anything to piss me off next weekend, kinda hoping I'm not hormonal and moody then.

I'm actually feeling very positive about IF - for the moment. I'm in one of those We Can Do It On Our Own frames of mind. We did it on our own once, we can do it again! Nothing is impossible! Miracles happen! Just do it! You miss 100% of the shots you don't take! Believe! It'll happen when the time is right! Never say never! Please, add to my cliches! For some strange reason they've really been working for me the past few days. Seriously! I am dispensing (Infertility Brand) sunshine - and it's for free. I don't do it often so here... catch!

Monday, April 16, 2007

The 2nd International Infertility Film Festival


Bea of Infertile Fantasies is doing it again!
After the first - not to mention very successful - 1st International Film Festival, she's sprucing up the second with a new logo (not the one shown here) and hopefully (with your help) even more entries.
If you've never heard of the festival, you can draw inspiration from entries of the first one.
And update yourself on the 2nd here.

Great job, Bea! Looking forward to it!

Saturday, April 14, 2007

CD37, Baby!

I haven't been writing because there really isn't that much to to write about. AF is missing in action. I'm on CD 37! Technically this cycle was unmedicated because I was NOT taking Met regularly due it's nasty ass side effects. So lord only knows when the old bitch will show up again. I'm kind of in a bad mood so hopefully that means she'll be here real soon.

As for the Met taking, I've been pretty good. Good in my case means, I've been handling it every other day. I'll keep doing that for the next few days and hopefully by next week will muster the courage to take one everyday.

I'm a wee bit peeved today because I was sooo looking forward to having the morning all to MYSELF. DH has work all day and Tarb was supposed to take a day-long sojourn in the countryside with her grandmother but that is NOT pushing through. I wanted to surf and blog away before going to work myself but nooooooo.

Anyway, I'm rather looking forward to the traffic I expect to encounter on the way to work. I've learned to make my time in the car my alone time. Unfortunately, I can't blog from there. Heck, I don't even have a bloody laptop.

So enough bitching from moi. I hope to be back in a slightly more cheerful mood.

In the meantime, please visit Snickollet. I read her blog for the first time just yesterday thanks to Max's Mom. Snickollet has suffered a horribly tragic loss. I can't imagine any words can console her now but do leave her a message anyway.

Monday, April 9, 2007

Exactly A Month

It's been exactly a month since AF last visited. It's not like I was expecting her TODAY since she never comes on time anyway. But I am totally symptom-less. I don't even have her advanced party of lower back pain or minor cramps. I guess it's my fault because I haven't been taking the Met that I should. It's was a holiday here last week starting Thursday - it would have been the perfect time to take it... but I didn't. Honestly, aside from living in fear of taking the God awful stuff, on many occasions I just forgot.

Anyway, this leads me to ask again, if my LSH, FH and testosterone levels were all normal and DH's last SA was looking pretty good, why the hell am I not pregnant and why the hell am I not even ovulating?? I stupidly forgot to ask RE, Jr. that during the last consult.

So let's just make a deal AF, you come over asap and I SWEAR I will start taking the Met regularly to (hopefully!) keep you away for a good nine months.

Noom-nee-noom-nee-noom, I twiddle my fingers while waiting for an unwanted visitor. This is like starring in Groundhog Day.

Sunday, April 8, 2007

How To Deal

Over the past few days, I haven't really felt the sting or the heartbreak that IF can often send my way. And to think several fertiles have hinted that they're up for having their second kid - and I just know that they'll get knocked up before me.

Instead, what I was thinking was

1) What if I just tell people that I only want one Tarb my whole life? That way, no one will have to know about the frustration I feel - the frustration that no one seems to understand anyway because the Tarb is already that light of my life and I "should be happy that I already have one". And if I tell them I'm not trying, they won't know that I'm failing and I won't have to feel like an incompetent loser among fertiles.

But after a few minutes of reflection, I realized this would never work because I've shouted to the four winds just how badly I want another Tarb and detailed just how hard I'm trying.

2) And this really makes more sense. I just would like God to tell me if he's ever going to give me another Tarb or not. If yes, ok I'll wait but could he tell me if I should bother with treatments? And if no, boo-fucking-hoo, bawl my eyes out for a few years and then (I think) I could be ok with that. KNOWING that I'll never have another one will kill a part of my soul but a lot of me would come to life again since I wouldn't have to deal with so much wondering and disappointment. And I could free up tons of storage space instead of hanging on to Tarb's baby stuff, hoping against hope that I'll need them again soon.

Just say the word, man! I mean, God...

I need an Easter prayer...

Saturday, April 7, 2007

What's In A Name?

What's in a blogger's name?
Too much according to DH. He's not thrilled about my blogging but "tolerates" it. Tolerates it means, whenever he sees me tapping on the keyboard he rolls his eyes and can't resist spewing out a mouthful about how blogging takes away our quality time and is a complete invasion of our privacy etc. etc.

He was rather upset about my username, saying if anyone who I knew from RL came across it, they'd know instantly it was me. I have to admit he has a point there. Not that I really care if a reader from RL could identify me - but it bothers him so now my blog name and my username are the same. Still me though =)

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Fluffy Boobs

I'm feeling the pre-AF bloat. That, with a "plugged up" GI and a ridiculously huge full moon is not pleasant. I haven't taken Met in a few days... maybe I should. But honestly, I think that's what brought about my plugged up-ness. My tummy rumbles but I'm not egesting as completely as I'd like. So sorry to share that.

As I said in the last post, based on my one-time experience, if you're pregnant, your boobs become what I can only describe as "fluffy". They become very swollen and assume a gravity-defying quality. They're heavy, yet look light and airy. Light like fluffy, beaten egg whites. And as for fondling, forget it. Pregnant breasts are "you even just poke and I'll kill you" breasts.

Obviously, the current state of my breasts are nothing like those mentioned above. So I'm waiting patiently for AF. Actually she's not due till next week - and being the fickle little bugger that she is, she might change her mind and leave me in cycle limbo for quite a while longer.

I seriously need to make friends with Met soon. Looking at the BOX that I bought, the box that remains full, makes me wanna puke. Thursday and Friday are holidays here - I guess I should take advantage and pop some then.

Sunday, April 1, 2007

Some Real Gems

Had dinner with some extended family members last night. And they came up with some real gems about how to get over the failure to produce Tarb #2. Some lines are old and worn out, others more amusing. I didn't get upset with them. They all truly meant well and I love them for it. But as they were talking, I smiled, nodded and allowed myself a nice long, mental sigh.

Here's what they came up with:

- You should relax.

- Don't try so hard.

- Just don't think about it and you'll get pregnant.

- You need to take a vacation where it's quiet and the air is clean.

- Well, you should be thankful with the one that you have.

- How did you manage to have Tarb then?

- I have a really strong novena you can pray. It really works they say.

- If your grandmother were alive, she'd tell you not to torture yourself taking all that medication.

- Both of you should just eat durian. (That's an "exotic" tropical fruit, hard and spikey on the outside, creamy and extremely pungent on the inside. Good thing I actually like it). So and so didn't have kids for the longest time, when she and her husband started eating the stuff, they had five kids in a row.

- It will come.

- God's spacing it out so Tarb can enjoy her time as the apple of everyone's eye.

If there's one thing I hate hearing, it's the "you should be thankful for the one that you have". Is there anyone who knows me that actually thinks I take my daughter FOR GRANTED?? That I'm so unimpressed with the person she is that I just want another Tarb because it's like I'm trying to complete a tea set? I guess they meant, you've already been blessed... Thank you, like I DIDN'T KNOW THAT.

Moving on...
I'm on CD 25 and feel nothing that even hints at a pregnancy. Had some back pain while riding the car yesterday. That's like AF sending you a letter to say she'll be over in the next week or so. Then, there were bouts of pain/cramps where I imagine my ovaries to be. There's also a wee bit of constipation. What I am constantly on the lookout for is sore, sore boobs - and I haven't had those in like a million years (obviously). I mean, we all get sore-ish boobs when AF is on the way but pregnancy sore boobs are like nothing I've ever experienced before. That's the only thing that'd make me REALLY stop and think, could it be...?

I only started taking Met just over a week ago. And so far I've only managed to take it like every other day. Yah, like that's really gonna help make the extra follicles in my left ovary disappear.

I have this rather stupid thought/question about women who are readily able to produce more than one child. If a woman has two kids or more, doesn't that make her more of a mother than me (because she has more kids and I only have one)? Ok, your collective eyeballs are rolling, I can feel it but seriously. A woman who has more than one kid, has more to deal with, gains more experience and is therefore more of a mom, right? Not that that makes me less of a woman (just as IF should not diminish one's sense of womanhood), just less of a mom? Gee, can you tell it bothers me when people have more (of anything) than me? Ok, raise your hand if you're feeling extra insecure this weekend... (Me! Me! Me!)

Sorry for the rambling, people... I hope to produce something more coherent and positive next week!
Cheers to a fairly decent weekend!

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Tired

Today, I'm feeling like I'm tired of trying to get knocked up. I'm in one of those if-God-wanted-me-to-have-another-kid-I'd-have-one-by-now moods. I haven't been taking Met though I know I should. It's just after lunch, I've had a good meal and now would be the perfect time to pop one but I'm hesitating like anything. Seriously, WHAT'S THE POINT?? The meds don't work. I don't like them and they certainly don't like me.

I often see this whole secondary IF thing as the Powers That Be making me work for something that I truly want since a lot of the other things I truly wanted in the past (including Tarb #1) came pretty easy. Ok, ok, so maybe I should trouble and toil my ass off for the second but today, I'm tired.

Tired of waiting, tired of wanting, tired of thinking, tired of counting and tired of hearing: Tarb's so big already, isn't it time for another one?

If I just banished the desire for another child, I wouldn't be so worked up and anxious, right? So part of me wants to stop wanting it because I'm just so fricking tired. But realistically speaking, that's not gonna happen, not anytime soon anyway. So here I am waiting, wanting, thinking, counting... with negative vibes all around me.

In short, not a good day for not being fertile.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

When We First "Met"

Started Met.for.min on Thursday. Popped one 500 mg tab and a few hours later could feel my tummy rumbling but nothing disastrous happened.

Friday was, unfortunately, a different story. About three and a half hours after taking the tab, I was over at a neighbor's house to pick up the Tarb from a playdate. And as I was chatting with the nice host mommy, I was hit by a sudden stomach (small intestine?) spasm. Like the kind that comes so suddenly and with such force, you almost have to hold on to something. Good thing DH was with me. I excused myself and hopped across the street where my sister in law lives (convenient, eh?) and sped to her guest bathroom. What followed had me sweating bullets and could have broken the toilet bowl. And there were at least two milder (thank God!) repeats later in the afternoon.

I was warned by my RE and some lovely ladies in blogland about this but I honestly didn't think it would be this bad. It was debilitating! I didn't go to work on Friday for fear of not being within a 10 meter radius of a clean, private toilet. Yes, I've been told my body will get used to it but now I live in fear of taking it! I knew I'd be out the whole day Sat. and Sun. so I didn't take it then. And now, I'm trying to convince myself it'll be ok. Help!

How long did it take you guys to get used to it?

Oh - something I've been meaning to ask is, why does everyone put a period (haha no pun intended) between the letters in a name of a medicine as in Met.formin and Lu.pron? Is that so Googlers won't find you? Can't think of any other reason...

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Not So Bad News

I finally got see my RE today - at least her daughter anyway. The results are in - and they're suprisingly quite good.

First moi - all my FSH, LH, testosterone and insulin levels are normal. This totally surprised me. While I was happy to hear it, it made me ask (not out loud), why the hell am I not ovulating regularly?? According to RE, Jr. the good news is that my brain i.e. pituitary glad, is normal because it's producing the right amounts of the necessary hormones. It's that one bloody ovary that isn't responding to the hormones. Why isn't the damn thing responding?? Anyway, the Rx is Metformin for two months. If pregnancy doesn't result, then we do the Metformin-Clomid cocktail.

Then, we discussed DH's sperm work up. Almost all his numbers saw a healthy increase. He has a count of 77.8 million. (Woo-hoo! I married a stud!), 95% of his swimmers enjoy normal morphology, and 65% of those guys are still up and at 'em after three hours. Not bad - in the last work, up only 40% were in fighting form in the third hour. The only problem: liquefaction. Semen is supposed to liquefy within 30 minutes after ejaculation. DH's liquefied after 4 hours!! But RE, Jr. says that's not a big deal. He just needs to take Ambrolex (used to make sticky mucus - usually in your nose - run. Hahaha!

So we're supposed to boink on the fertile days which RE, Jr. said starts on CD 12. My regular OB-GYN always told me to start on CD 10. Maybe we've been starting too early all this time? When do you girls start contact??

I'm a bit worried about taking Metformin. She's suggesting I take it 3 times a day. But I'm gonna start on one a day and try to work my way up. I pray that the side effects don't hit me too hard. What do you guys feel when you take it? And how many do you take in a day?

So that's me for now. Not so bad news. I'm kinda relieved but then again, I feel more pressure to get pregnant since most things appear to be "normal".

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Yummyness!



I am a domestic goddess wannabe. On most days, I fail miserably at it but today - triumph!

I managed to whip up these babies this afternoon in preparation for a big play date here at home tomorrow. They are simply called Chunky Chocolate Cookies is the recipe book. They resemble your basic chocolate crinkle but the batter isn't so sweet which is why you require a dollop of the divinely sinful icing. The recipe called for chocolate buttons but I had a bag load of Hershey's Kissables (in Christmas colors, as you can see) and used those instead.

Hope the kids like them because if not, they'll be mine all mine...!!!

What A Journey It Has Been

Here are the lyrics of the song that all the kids at the Tarb's school sang on "Moving Up" Day. I get all weepy when I think of my Tarb as a "traveller" just starting her journey through life. But the reason I'm posting it here is because I think it's so appropriate for what we go through in IF.

The song is called, The Journey. And Baby Blues just informed me that it's by THE best Flipino singer ever, Lea Salonga. It's on iTunes but if you want, I'd be happy to email you the mp3 file. Enjoy...

Half the world is sleeping
Half the world's awake
Half can hear their hearts beat
Half just hear them break

I am but a traveller
In most every way
Ask me what you want to know

What a journey it has been
And the end is not in sight
But the stars are out tonight
And they're bound to guide my way
When they're shining on my life
I can see a better day
I won't let the darkness in
What a journey it has been

I have been to sorrow
I have been to bliss
Where I'll be tomorrow
I can only guess

Through the darkest desert
Through the deepest snow
Forward, always forward I go

What a journey it has been
And the end is not in sight
But the stars are out tonight
And they're bound to guide my way
When they're shining on my life
I can see a better day
I won't let the darkness in
What a journey it has been

Forward, always forward
Onward, always up
Catching every drop of hope
In my empty cup

What a journey it has been
And the end is not in sight
But the stars are out tonight
And they're bound to guide my way
When they're shining on my life
I can see a better day
I won't let the darkness in
What a journey it has been

Monday, March 19, 2007

Sentimentality & New Found Respect

Today is officially the Tarb's first day of summer vacation! On Friday, the kids performed in their grand, year ending program cheerfully named "Moving Up Day". The theme was "Preschool Musical" inspired by the movie "High School Musical". The kids performed songs from there and other Disney favorites. They were simply adorable - all of them, not just mine... ok, especially mine.

Now I have to admit, I do get all sentimental at events like this. No streaming cheeks, mind you - just misty eyes. It happened at the Grandparents' Day program and at the Christmas one as well. But Moving Up Day was worse because of the choice of songs like "Miracles Happen"* and "The Journey"* which really made me take stock of all the things the Tarb has accomplished in the past nine months. She went in there knowing only the letters in her initials give or take a couple more. Now she knows all of them and their sounds and can write her full name. Back then, she could only count to 10 by rote. Now she can meaningfully count objects up to 15. And her ability to follow Teacher M's choreography has improved by leaps and bounds. (Stage mother trying to control herself... but it's no use!) And seriously, she was the star of the show - stage blocking had her in the front, smack in the middle.

I don't think of myself as a super mom. With my dependence on the yaya (read: Tagalog for nanny), it would be awfully pretentious to do so. But I sure as hell looked like one at the program as I squatted in front of the stage simultaneously shooting video and taking digital stills from two cameras. (Yah, I know most cameras have both functions but I'm not happy with the low-res stills from my video cam and the low-res video from my digital). DH woke up late, arrived late and just happily enjoyed the show from the seat I saved him, so it was up to me to single-handedly record this moment in history.

The Tarb did as well as expected with her natural immunity from stage fright, give-it-all-she's-got moves and star-quality projection etc. etc. As I watched the kids and noticed how they were all just that much more grown up, I was painfully reminded of how time's swiftness is a betrayal of parental joy. We long to see our kids do this and that and when they do, we sigh about how quickly they're changing.

No one understands or welcomes this bittersweet condition like a preschool teacher. I watched them as they led their kids with gusto and caught them smiling with pride and eyes shiny with tears. After the show, they hugged the kids from their respective classes, telling them how much they'd miss them. The sincerity in their affection surprised me even though I had become aware, during the course of the year, just how fond the kids and teachers had grown of each other. My heart just swelled knowing that someone who wasn't a relative or friend could care for and be so devoted to my kid.

I have to confess that I often pigeon holed preschool teachers as young girls who lacked the drive to make it in the corporate arena or the direction to do something more "meaningful" in life. I couldn't have been more wrong. Friday was a humbling experience for me. Preschool teachers are my new heroes! I am a fan! I have the greatest repsect for what they do and am ever so grateful that they have been a part of our lives.

*I should post the lyrics of these songs because they are also very appropriate for IF-ers!!

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Wait Extended

I didn't end up going to see my RE on Thursday for several reasons. For one thing she had an emergency and the DH only collected his sperm sample that same day. So we figured it'd be best to wait for his results to come in so we'd only need one consult to talk about our plan of action.

BUT it turns out the RE is going on vaca so I might have to consult with her daughter - who's obviously an RE as well. That'll be on Wednseday. So till then, I think I'll just keep sipping on the fabulous caipirinha that the Stirrup Queen delievered. Aahhh...

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Blood Test

Went in for the blood tests my RE ordered, it being CD 3 today.

I was kind of annoyed because the med tech said he couldn't do the insulin test because I hadn't fasted overnight. But when I called the lab the day before, they said fasting wasn't really necessary if my doctor didn't specifically say so - and she didn't. To be sure, I texted "family doctor" Baby Blues and she said, I didn't really need to fast but it was best to have it done in the morning. Anyway, I have to go back tomorrow morning first thing to get it done. What a pain.

Speaking of pain, I almost died when they gave me the bill for the four tests: LH, FSH, testosterone and insulin. Bloody, frickin' hell man!!! &*^%$#@ It's like a joke The Powers That Be are playing on us. In this country, the poorest of the poor have no problems conceiving. They're baby factories. Families with eleven kids are NOT an uncommon thing for those at or below the poverty line. Then, here's me - seemingly barren but living quite comfortably. It's like the Universe is saying, "Hey, you can AFFORD to be infertile!" Oh hahaha, so funny, so clever. Thanks a lot!

Anyway, my Tarb was with me when I had the test done and she was just the cutest. She volunteered to hold my hand while it was all being done. And she said, "I might give you a lollipop after". (Standard procedure at her pedia's office - she's such a fabulous patient, she gets two).

The nursery is on the same floor as the lab, so the Tarb and I had a good look at the babies on the way out. There were only three of them and they were all wrapped like spring rolls in their blue and green blankets. When I told her they were all boys, she was like, I don't like them. Where's the girl? And providentially, she did get to see a baby girl when we got in the elevator. She was getting ready to go home.

I thought I might feel bad seeing the babies but I'd say it was more excitement. Ok, there was a teeny weeny weeny dull ache somewhere within but still, excitement was the overriding emotion. I guess it's because I know that I'm doing something more concrete to find out about and hopefully solve my infertility.

And by Thursday, I should have some answers.

Friday, March 9, 2007

Announcing The Arrival Of...

AUNT FLO.

Of course she chose to arrive at a truly inconvenient time - at work, in the middle of my show! And she brought along presents like extreme bloatedness in all the wrong places and piercing lower back pain. Smile!

But I must say, I'm happy to see the old hag. Her arrival means that I can subject myself to a blood test over the weekend. And I don't really fear needles, so no problem there. As my Tarb says, "I'm brave of injections" - and she truly is. She doesn't cry. She'll maybe let out a whimper at most. And the freakiest thing of all - she LOOKS while they're doing it! Strange child...

Anyway, I need to pop an Advil to take the edge off AF's visit. Have a great weekend, everyone!

Thursday, March 8, 2007

The Consult

I went to see Dr. L the RE for the first time today. She was very business like - in a grandmotherly way. Not exactly like my regular OBGNYE whom I can chat up a storm with but warmer than I had expected.

Here's the score:

- After an IE, she said my uterus was slightly enlarged probably because I'm expecting AF but we couldn't rule out pregnancy.
- A test done right then and there was a BFN - surprise, surprise...
- My uterus is leaning forward slightly so my cervix is postioned a bit further back than usual. Dr. L said it was nothing to worry about.
- I need to go in for a blood test on CD 2 or 3 to see where I stand but there is definitely Metformin in my future.
- Hubby needs another sperm work up. 5 days abstinence - good luck to me convincing him it'll all be worth his "sacrifice" and whacking off in the toilet of the outpatient lab at the hospital.
- Dr. L says it's very unlikely my tubes are blocked because 1) I already have one kid and 2) I haven't had any infections.
- Dr. L also said, I'm very lucky 1) to have had one successful pregnancy considering my one lazy ovary and LT's slightly low sperm count 2) that I don't exhibit the tell tale signs of a PCOS patient (being overweight and hairy) probably because only one ovary was diagnosed as polycystic.

So now there's nothing to do but wait for AF - that inconsiderate cow who's never there when you need her but ALWAYS there when she's not welcome.

I'm actually excited to get all the results. I'm all bright eyed and bushy-tailed that they won't be tooooo bad. But even if they are, it'll be nice to finally see exactly where we are in the labyrinth of IF. Anything beats guessing and worrying in informational limbo, right?

And if anyone sees AF, please tell her to come by my house asap.

The Souvenir

I was looking for something in the jungle that is my night stand drawer today and then I saw it. The one and only BFP pregnancy test stick my pee has ever been able to produce. It was really the strangest feeling to see it and hold it in my hands. I swear, I had a nanosecond-long adrenaline rush, thinking or hoping really hard - for a second - that I had just peed on the damn thing!

I was staring the the two purple parallel lines for quite a while... then I got sad. I thought about my knees going weak and the blood turning to ice in my veins that night - December 9th, 2002. There's just no thrill like it. And it scares the shit out of me to think that I may not ever feel that particular kind of joy again. I never thought it'd take this long or be this hard to see those two lines side by side again.

By the end of the month, it'll be exactly two years since we started TTC for Tarb #2. Where does the time go? Maybe I should've sent myself to an RE back then - but who knew, right?

There are days I can literally feel my body pining for a pregnancy. Is that weird? It's hard to explain but I start to remember very vividly how it felt to have a swollen belly, bloated breasts, suddenly softened joints, glowing skin. I remember it so clearly sometimes it's like I can actually feel it. I loved the quickening, the fluttering of butterfly wings, bubbles bursting in your tummy - whatever you call it - it's your kid, living and growing inside you. And what I miss most is how PURPOSEFUL pregnancy makes you as a whole.

The things I'm saying may sound really selfish: first, for those of you who haven't even had your first Tarb and second, because I'm emphasizing how fabulous pregnancy made ME (me, me, me) feel - so for that I apologize. But those are the things that honestly come to my mind.

Then soon after that are that thoughts that say: Maybe, me wanting to get pregnant is a selfish thing because I want to feel this and feel that and have more purpose and maybe, I'm too arrogant because I believe DESERVE it because I am (so I like to think) a damn good mom. (Ooh, too many run on sentences - next paragraph please).

I don't have any answers to these crazy questions and I don't pretend to.

All I know is I want a baby.

Seeing an RE for the first time ever tomorrow - hope she can help. Good luck to me...

Monday, March 5, 2007

The Next Step

Took at EPT on Saturday night and it was... a nice, neat BFN.
So instead of wasting another month on Clomid... I've decided it's time to see a specialist. As in I'm seeing her (Dr. L) on Thursday. I'm told she's always booked up but since her clinic operates on a first come, first served basis, I shall haul my infertile ass there reeeaaally early.

As for AF, I'd love to say, the bitch is back - but she ain't. As always, extending her sabbatical in lord knows where.

I'm a little nervous bout seeing an RE but we'd all do whatever it takes and this is the next, perhaps long overdue, step. I've been reading up on all the little things that could be wrong with me and the DH and it's really quite scary. The thing that worries me the most is the fact that - because my Tarb was delievered by C section - I could have adhesions in my uterus, making conditions less than ideal for implanation. (Freak out, freak out!) Although, when I last went for an US, my OBGNY said that it looked like the incision in my uterus healed nicely. Then again, how accurately can an US show you that - haven't a clue!

But I supposed more light will be shed on all this in the coming weeks after a visit to the RE. Good luck to me!

Friday, March 2, 2007

Cramping...

Dear Aunt Flo has sent signals that she's coming for a visit... yipee.

Was sitting in the car in traffic today, then suddenly there it was - the slight back pain and the oh so subtle cramping.

Just a matter of time. Dognabbit!

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Waiting...

So it's the days before Aunt Flo's "scheduled" visit and I'm short of going crazy with the thoughts in my head. I'm over analyzing every damn little thing my body is feeling.

This is me the whole day...hmm, my tummy's feeling a wee bit acidic... why am I so sleepy?... you're always sleepy! Oh oh my boobs look bigger... you wish!... I'm sooo hungry... yes, because you didn't have breakfast, genius... hey, I'm not grumpy... if I'm not grumpy I'm not PMSing... and if I'm not PMSing...

Sigh. I've been pregnant before and I remember exactly how it feels. And how I feel right now is not quite it. The first, unmistakable symptom for me, was the very sore breasts and unfortunately, that's one symptom I'm not suffering right now. But that doesn't stop me from hoping against hope - "It's too early to feel anything anyway". I wish there were an EPT that told you like the day after you do it, if one of the boys made it to the egg - just to save us all the agony of waiting!

Yesterday, I found out that an aquaintance of mine is knocked up with her second kid; the first is barely one. I was sincerely happy for her but I couldn't help the feeling of being left behind. I've got one last try on Clomid after this, then off we go to see a specialist.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Flower Tarb

We were out of town for a wedding over the weekend.
Once again, my lil Tarb was asked to be a flower girl, so here she is, happily playing the part for the fourth time. She did great but fell asleep soon after her trip down the aisle - which was just as well because she was then able to join us on the dance floor till late.

She actually ditched her dad and I after a few songs to go grab her cousin. (Wanted a dance partner at the same "altitude").

Just wanted to share!

*Sorry - had to remove the photos for various reasons.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Just Thinking

I was just thinking about what I wrote in my last post.

As a not-so-devout Catholic and reader of Kabbalist teachings, I admit that I tend to believe that the reason I haven't conceived a 2nd child yet is because God/The Universe/The Light does not see another child as necessary to my journey and the lessons I need to learn in life at this time.

That's great when I'm feeling kinda Zen like now, but when I'm thinking about just how great it would be to be pregnant again, such thoughts do little to console me. It's easy to slide down that slippery slope and start asking why God doesn't think you deserve to be a parent twice over. I look at some moms and think to myself, "I'm a way better parent than that chick...She never reads to her kids!...I keep my kid cleaner and smelling better than THAT (my Tarb smells like an angel even when she's sweaty)...that woman has toddlers at home and she's partying out with guys that aren't her husband??"

There are many blessings that have come so easily in my life - fabulous parents and family, my career, material comforts - but I often flagellate myself by wishing the blessings of others on myself. OK, that's a wordy euphemism for BEING ENVIOUS. I swear, when I'm in the zone I can envy ANYONE and ANYTHING. Now how tiring is that? Thankfully, very. And I snap out of it eventually.

I just never thought that baby envy could get this manic.

So when my energy's not so negative, I go back to my Tarb and she says, Let me hug you. You're my best mommy in the world. Sigh.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

When The Second Time Ain't A Charm

"Infertility does not mean we are selfish or ungrateful. Infertility isn't punishment for finishing college, or having a good career. It doesn't mean we want it all. With secondary infertility it doesn't mean we aren't grateful for the children we do have. We want what many, many people take for granted, the ability to have children when you decide you are ready ... We just want the family we imagined having".

Here's something I read on another mom's blog and it really struck a cord with me. Finally, someone who gets it.

I've been very open about my efforts in trying to have a second child. Me shy? Hell, no I'll talk about it to whoever cares to listen when I'm in the mood. The reactions I get vary: Well, you've had one already, I'm sure you'll have another one in time. Then there's: But you should be thankful that you already have ONE. And the most common: The both of you are probably just so stressed from work - take a vacation.

For the women who get pregnant by so much as a sneeze from the opposite sex and friends who've spent years focusing on NOT getting knocked up, yes, these might seem like helpful and sympathetic comments. But for anyone who has done even minimal research, secondary infertility is a REAL problem - not something conjured up in the minds of busy, educated yuppies. (And I'm not even sure if I fit in that demographic). People who have babies with little effort - from the rich Opus Dei baby making machines to the urban poor house wives - just don't get it. They might as well tell a starving child in Darfur that dinner at the Four Seasons is overrated.

I have not undergone extensive procedures to find out exactly why baby #2 refuses to come into existence, but I know that I have one polycystic ovary (the left is a lemon) and that my husband has an ok-but-boderline-sperm count. Clomid for moi and Proviron for him are the treatments we've been using. I'm one unsuccessful Clomid cycle away from seeing a specialist.

There is a huge emotional toll that comes with not getting pregnant when you feel you're good and ready. And the hormone imbalance only makes this exponentially worse. (This will have to be written about more extensively on another post!) The pills, ovulation piss sticks and scheduled sex are not the most ideal elements for a fun tryst but they're part of the deal. Fine.

MY issue is not being able to create the family that I want - the kind you picture yourself having, the kind you honestly believe you deserve . (Enter the voices of the "concerned" friends and relatives: It's just not meant for you yet). Yah, ok screw you - that's like me saying, you should cut your three youngest children out of your life. Am I selfish for wanting to multiply the joy that my daughter has brought into my life and all those around her? I sound like a petulant child and at this point in my cycle I won't apologize for it.

This venting is thoroughly incongruous with my faith and spiritual beliefs. But there's no room here at this moment to wax philospohical about all this because infertility is what it is. Painful. Degrading. Frustrating. And in the darkest days, very lonely.