Monday, October 1, 2012


Serious cuteness... baby picture below... warning!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

SAHM status

It's 1:30 a.m. on Wed, the second week of officially being a stay at home mom - SAHM. I am loving this, folks. Loving it. 

Yes, I still worry about finances and miss my pay check. That said, Mr. Jem is finishing up his 11th month at his "new job" and is kicking ass and doing really, really well. He loves his job, loves going to work, loves his colleagues and is breaking sales records monthly. Only thing - wish they offered health insurance and paid him more.

Rosie continues to grow - She's 16 lbs, 10 oz - and is so much fun. She wakes up every morning with a huge smile on her face. She's giggling and loves when I sing to her. She rolls over to her tummy from her back and can do a back-stroke gesture to roll back on to her back. She's starting to scootch back and yesterday actually got on to her knees and hands, like she might actually crawl! I'm not ready for that, tho. The thought of her mobile is a bit scary.

The other huge change in our lives - yes, having a baby has changed our lives fundamentally!! - my mother has moved from Oregon to my town. 10 minutes away in a retirement community. It's great to have her so close, to have Sunday dinner together, to have someone to watch Rosie when I go to dentist. It's going really, really, really well. She drove with me into San Francisco last week when I cleaned out my desk at work (bittersweet moment - I'll miss my colleagues, miss downtown SF, miss my job, but NOT miss actually seeing my daughter grow up).

Okay, I better go back to sleep. Rosie slept 4 hours, needed nursing and is now back asleep.


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Cliches I thought I'd never hear

While at lunch today with two friends with babies, I actually heard these two cliches:

One friend asked, "So is Rosie on solids yet?"

Me: "No, she's not yet 5 months. We're in no hurry."

Her: "You should."   She then lectured me one why.  I'm the only one still breast-feeding  plus, really?!? Are you my doctor?!? Why are moms in such a hurry?

Next cliche - same friend:  "You have to let her cry it out. If she cries when you put her down she's trying to manipulate you."

Me: "No, it just means she wants to be held."

I thought those cliches were dead.   Good grief.

What cliche/myth have you heard lately?


Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Infertility Podcast - Bitter Infertiles

At long last there's an infertility-related podcast!  

Check out Bitter Infertiles - click here to listen. And here to get it through iTunes.

"This week we discuss the public perception of miscarriage, open adoption with Lori Lavender Luz, and why celebrity pregnancies annoy us."

Be sure to subscribe and support our community.


Sunday, September 2, 2012

Losing my marbles

It's official! I'm so sleep deprived that I'm losing things, namely my keys. Twice. First I lost my regular set of keys somewhere between the house and the car a couple of weeks ago. Yesterday I lost the spare set of house keys. Again, somewhere between the house and the car, but maybe at he store. Mr. Jem was upset and super concerned.

BTW, his job is going really nicely, with two record months of sales. And he still lives what he's doing and his team.

Rosie has been napping but only briefly (20-30 min). No naps for me. Tired. Very tired.


Monday, August 27, 2012

In a fog...

Lack of sleep has me completely in a fog. If I can get one thing done a day, it's amazing. I don't know how working moms do it. Good grief! I'm working on refinancing the Jem household before I officially quite my job. Gulp. Did I just type those words?

I don't have a lot to report. Just received a box of baby books from a college friend - they are in French! How fun to read to Rosie in French. It always makes her smile and laugh when I read or talk to her in French. She loves it.

So much better to be blogging on the PC, rather than my silly small iPhone screen.

Gotta go as Rosie is trying to "talk" to me. And Sharky cat wants to be fed.


Friday, August 24, 2012

Rosie is 17 weeks? Already? Really?

Holy cow, time flies!

Things have been up and down - mostly up. Motherhood rocks, better than I could have imagined. Rosie is a joy. That smile alone melts my heart.

Okay, enough unicorn farts. Reality? 

First issue: I wish she slept more. 

She hasn't been napping and that has been affecting her night-time sleep - waking more often. So we started sleep school today. Didn't go on a walk with local moms, just concentrated on napping. 

Two hours after she woke I tried putting her in her crib for her morning nap. Epic fail. Tons of crying. Instead I rocked her and sang to her and ended up nursing her to sleep. Which is what I have been doing every night.  The "twins" are a bit sore, to say the least.

Rosie slept in my arms for a couple of hours. I slept too. I'm tired. Living off five hours of sleep (total) is hard. I've been breast-feeding her on demand and plan to continue this, but the sleep thing has to happen. During the day and at night. Must. Sleep. More.

Second issue: to go back to work or not. I've been agonizing over what to do. It's a hard issue, deeply psychologically, emotionally and financially scary. I could write a whole post just on this topic. Maybe I will, but I'm so busy with this parenting thing, that I can't really promise to. The bottom line is that we can afford for me to stay home with Rosie, if we tighten our belts - living in the San Francisco Bay Area is expensive. I've yet to actually tell my boss that I'm not coming back. Scary. Except that all I want to do is stay home with her. My commute to work was one hour each way. I can't imagine doing my job, commuting and coming home to take care of the house and spend time with the kidlet, wake in the night to nurse her, etc. I know I could do it if necessary. But if I don't really have to...

Okay, better go sleep because Rosie is sleeping (not on me for once).

Do know that just because I don't post often, I am reading your blogs and thinking of all of you.


Sunday, July 22, 2012


Check out how big and grown up Rosie is now!

I can't seem to get this picture in the right direction. At least you can see how cute she is!


Saturday, July 21, 2012

Rosie Update @ 12 weeks

I'm typing with one hand, chicken-pecking with my left index finger on my iPhone. Baby is asleep at my breast. Her warm body snug against mine. I'm so darn happy. Tears come to my eyes just typing this. 

Here's my quick update in bullets
  • Rosie is twelve weeks old. Hard to believe. She's a different baby now. No longer a new born. She's awesome. Only cries only when she's tired or startled. Last night I knocked over a lamp in her room while she was sleeping and she freaked. 
  • She weighs 14 pounds now. Gaining weight like a champ. 
  • Breast feeding is going well. Only trouble is that my let-down is too strong. She gasps and sputters. Oh and she won't take a bottle anymore. 
  • I'm freaked about going back to work in September. 
  • Looking for child care is confusing and makes me want to cry
  • Mr Jem is an amazing father. Except when he's tired and or sick. 
  • I've lost all but 5 lbs of my pregnancy weight. I still have 20 lbs of infertility treatment weight to lose. 
  • I shower (almost) every day. Today Mr Jem watching Rosie meant that I even put on makeup. 
  • We had a party last Saturday to introduce Rosie to friends and family. We also had a Jewish baby-naming ceremony in the back yard. Gave Rosie her Hebrew name. 
  • Being a mom is more amazingly wonderful than I foresaw. 
 Sorry for being off-line for so long. Forgive typos. iPhone format difficult. 

~ Jem

Friday, June 8, 2012

First cold

Poor Rosie woke in the middle of the night coughing and sputtering, totally congested. Been keeping her fed and comfortable all day. I'm exhausted. I promise to post about thrush another time. ~Jem

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Thrush update

Thrush update: I saw the Physician's Assistant at my OB yesterday and she prescribed fluco.nazole. So I'm cleansing my breasts after (almost) every nursing with diluted vinegar (1 tbs / cup water) and use lanolin cream after nursing. After 2 weeks of suffering with painful breasts/nipples, the relief was almost instantaneous, or at least over night. After 1 day on the drug I'm not 100% better,  but 80%. So much easier (and more pleasurable) to actually breastfeed now that my nipples and areolae aren't bright red, chapped and painful.

Essential purchase recommendation: One thing they don't tell you is that you have to write down the time and length of every feeding (which side did I nurse on first?), wet and/or dirty diaper. I have been using printouts from the internet up until now, which worked great since I was home. The pages lived in a three-ring binder, in blue, which we affectionately called "The Blue Book" and then "The Blue Book." 

Now that we are going out on the town, I need something more portable. I recently found this wonderful book that allows you to mark down all those details, plus sleeping patterns, and other notes. My friend uses it and I just ordered one for myself. Cute and useful.

Okay, baby is sleeping, so I better do the same.


Sunday, June 3, 2012

Body Snatcher

Dear readers,

Please, please forgive my absence from the cyberworld. I've been busy being a mom. I'm lucky if I get a shower, get fully dressed and/or fed myself. I can usually do one or two things outside the home per day. Last week we actually took Rosie out for a walk in the stroller. I started the "Mommy and Me" group Tuesday. It was great to meet with other new moms, share stories. I took a walk and had lunch with one of the other moms. Delish.

My spirits are good. I am loving being a mother, changing diapers, nursing on demand, sleeping when I can. 

My body is slowly shrinking back to pre-pregnancy weight. I've lost over 30 pounds in the last 5 weeks. I'm eating very healthfully, and have started walking more with Rosie. It feels good to get out, see more friends, etc. 

Oh, and other good thing: our cat Sharky is slowly adapting to Rosie's presence. Don't worry, he's never alone with her!

Only bummer: Thrush. Rosie doesn't have any symptoms, but I sure do. It feels like there are needles being inserted down my nipples. I have to treat them after each feeding, and usually do, except in the middle of the night when we both fall asleep after nursing. I'm rinsing with diluted vinegar and then using a topical antifungal and then wiping them down with a wet paper towel before nursing again. Rinse and repeat. I change out my towel daily, wash my hands often and I'm trying to cut down on sugar.

I would love any advice on Thrush / yeast. Internets?


Wednesday, May 23, 2012


I can't believe Rosie has been in my life for almost 4 weeks. I've been in this blissful, timeless place where there are just the two of us, oh, and Mr. Jem, of course. My mother was here for 3 weeks, which was wonderful, super useful, especially with me healing from my c-section.

Oh, I'd like to write more, but Rosie needs to nurse.


Sunday, May 13, 2012

My First Mother's Day (updated picture)

Truly the best mothers day ever. My parents are here visiting. I couldn't ask for more help and support. And I totally need it. I live in a strange twilight world, feeding her, changing her, gazing at her tiny features, drinking her very presence up every moment. I have no time for anything else. My life before included work (commute, intellectual and adult conversation, challenges), blogging, commenting on your blogs, reading books, enjoying a slew of favorite TV shows, cuddling my cat, sleep.

No more. 

My world now: lack of sleep, deep gratitude, abject terror that something horrible will happen to little Rosie. At her two week Pediatric checkup last Thursday she still wasn't back up to her birth weight (she'd lost 13% of her weight), so I've been pumping 4 times a day (during the day - can't face those fiendish, always hungry cones at night) to supplement her sleepy breastfeeding. What do I mean, sleepy? Instead of nursing for 20 minutes, she lingers for around an hour, lazily nursing and just enjoying herself. Let's just say that if you have to nurse every two or three hours and one hour of that time is the nursing, plus another 10 for burping and changing, then 15 for pumping and 10 for cleanup, going pee, that doesn't leave much time for "just sleep when baby does." I'm exhausted, folks. Grateful, happy, terrified with a twinge of bored thrown in. Please don't judge me. It's just that this cycle goes on and on and on.

The good news is that I have this wonderful gift. Rosie.

(This is from 10 days ago, but gives you an idea of her cuteness)

Okay, better get back to it. Birth story to follow, eventually.


Friday, May 4, 2012

Rosie has arrived

Born April 27 @ 1:44 pm via c section after 19 hours of labor, 5 pushing. I'm recovering still and just getting used to this whole motherhood thing. Pics and more details when I can.

Monday, April 23, 2012

39w0d: Doula vs. Pain


From discussion with others, pain is only part of the labor/delivery story. It doesn't have to be the whole story. After taking a childbirth class (where I cried multiple times, and felt completely overwhelmed), I realized I wanted to take more ownership of the whole birth process, to open myself to the experience of childbirth, instead of fearing it, anticipating pain and stress. 

Because of this we hired a doula to help us through the experience, so it's not just a medical procedure, but more. E, our doula, will help us create a peaceful, non-stressful environment that enables labor to progress as it should. Her job will be making sure that I'm in the right head-space and use the right coping mechanisms to make birth better for me, for Mr. Jem (but mostly for me).

We interviewed three women for this important and expensive (over $1,000) job. We chose the person with the most experience - she's attended over 100 births as a doula and is trained as a midwife - and who we clicked with the most. Plus, we liked her process - first meeting Mr. Jem and I had to fill out a questionnaire, answering questions about ourselves and each other so she could know us better, know our relationship, how we work together, our relationship with "pain" and stress and how we cope with them.

During the second meeting (on Friday), Mr. Jem wasn't there. I gave E a tour of our house (I plan to labor here as long as possible, especially how good I feel floating in our body-temp hot tub). We went over labor positions. I asked her to touch my back, massage me so I could be accustomed to her touch. She has strong nice hands. We also spend some time talking about the physiognomy of squatting during labor and delivery, what positions are better during the different phases of birth - for example, saving the full squat (on my feet or on the bed if I have an epidural) for pushing, as it opens the bottom of the pelvis. We discussed how relaxation, visualization and even vocalization can help with the labor. She said that when women get stuck, it's usually because they are afraid or stressed. She'll help me through this.

That said, I'm still open to being as medicated (epidural) or not as I feel appropriate in the moment and she (and Mr. Jem of course) support me in this.

So, in the battle of doula vs. pain, I'm betting on the doula (and me).

For those of you who have experienced labor and delivery, what's your take?


Sunday, April 22, 2012

38w6d: Pregnancy Update (Any day now...)

Pregnancy update and pictures... feel free to skip.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

38w2d: Final 2WW

Well, this is it, folks! My final 2WW (hopefully). 

Yesterday's weekly OB visit was routine - dilated 1 cm, with some softening of the cervix. I think I should have picked an OB with smaller hands, however. I had to grip the side of the exam bed when he had is WHOLE HAND up there for the cervical check. Good grief!

Yes, I'm starting to have what I think are real contractions, but mostly in the evening and at night and not at all regular. Those practice contractions are really ratcheting up - intense is the word I'd use. Like menstrual, pain but from my sternum down to my cervix. I haven't slept well the last couple of nights... didn't get to sleep until 4 am and was woken by the phone at 10 am. I see a nap in my very near future.

I am slowly getting my list of things done before the baby comes: Taxes filed (getting an awesome refund, thank you failed IVF last January that wasn't covered by insurance), renewed drivers license at DMV before my birthday early May, hired a doula, waxed "down South" complete, and getting my hair cut today.Still putting together list of people for Mr. Jem to email with the happy news... picking 

Hospital bag is packed and "birth plan" is typed up (multiple copies in the bag). I'll share the list next post. I'm sure I have WAY too much stuff with me. We have a separate bag full of snacks and goodies (protein bars, nuts, dried fruit, pretzels, lemonade boxes, chocolate) for me and Mr. Jem.

Oh, and I'm officially HUGE. I will post a picture later today or tomorrow (post hair cut). It still blows my mind that I've made it this far. I can't wait to meet my little girl and to introduce you all to her, too. A-fucking-mazing.



Friday, April 13, 2012

What is the definition of success?

I think this post should be mandatory reading here in IF-land - "No Kidding in NZ" does an amazing job discussing those that have been left out of the Post-IF discussion: those living "child-less" or "child-free."

Life after IF - what is it? How can we make the most of whatever happens to us? No matter what our outcome. How do we define ourselves throughout the IF struggle? After "making choices" to abandon treatment? 

For us, a year ago we had given up doing any more IVF. We went through a marriage crisis, massive work on our marriage that lead to us trying one more treatment - medicated IUI with donor sperm - which was less invasive and expensive - to positive results. 

As recent debate showed us, pregnancy and parenting after IF isn't all unicorn farts and rainbows. As I'm on the eve of real parenthood, I have no idea what awaits me. If we had "chosen to be child-free (ha!)" I would know what my life would be like. Travel, dinner parties, sleeping in. Hmmm... I know couples with children who do travel and throw fabulous dinner parties, so that doesn't HAVE to change...

I've never been one to define myself by motherhood. That said, I really, really, really want to be a mother. I'm absolutely terrified about it, too. Having just had my mother and then my MIL come for week (+) visits, I know we aren't embarking on an easy life. Our lives are about to get much more complicated, messy, painful and rewarding.

I feel like I'm babbling - not enough sleep. MIL is leaving first thing tomorrow, so hopefully things will calm down around here. 

I just wanted to make sure you all read NK in NZ's post.


Thursday, April 12, 2012

37w4d: Is that a real contraction?

Yesterday's post, if you can call it that, was posted from Mr. Jem's Kindle.Fire. I was able only to post the title, no text for some weird reason. At least you all knew that I'm still alive, Baby Jem still in utero. She could come any day now, and has significantly less room to wiggle around in. She has not yet dropped.

That said, my Braxon-Hicks contractions have intensified and are no longer localized like previously. Instead my whole belly gets very hard and I can feel a menstrual-like pain from my diaphragm to my cervix. It took my breath away, but didn't HURT that much. 

Is this the mysterious labor contraction I hear speak of?

The nurse and my doula both say that when I have a "real" contraction, I will know it.

The Doula recommended that I take a relaxing bath, which I will do shortly. I did also take a short walk, which helped.

I have so much to catch you all up on. I have not written much, as my MIL has been visiting. There's been some drama, mostly related to the hateful SIL, but really Mr. Jem being stressed out by MIL's visit and SIL's sneakiness getting $$ out of the MIL, who is losing her memory and feel she has to buy SIL's love. Sigh.

I really don't need that drama right now for F's sake.

I promise to write more later... especially how and why we selected a doula.


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Friday, March 30, 2012

Last day of work

Just popping by to tell you it's my last day of work before maternity leave starts. 

Here's the very cute hand-made cake served yesterday for me (and Mr. Jem who came for the party) AND the other new dad in our group, who just had a baby boy.


Sunday, March 25, 2012

New Form of torture

Sorry for the lack of posts. I have one more week of work, and I promise to write more. 

I do want to update you on our all-day intensive childbirth class yesterday. Yes, this was the new form of torture I was referring to. 

There were 18 couples in the class, run by the local hospital where we'll be delivering our baby (!). There were two women running the course, one was a nurse/midwife/doula, who I'll call DD (for Dour Doula) covered the  "coping" with pain part (in the morning) and the other a labor/delivery nurse, Candy, who covered when to go to the hospital, what to bring, what to expect, interventions.

DD had each couple introduce ourselves, have the moms say something about our pregnancy, and have the partners say something they fear or want addressed. Of the 18 couples, we were clearly the oldest, and the only Infertiles. I was very proud of Mr. Jem because he spoke first and told the whole room how excited he was because of all the fertility treatments we've been through and how hard we have worked to get here.

The torture? The class was torture in that Mr. Jem was tired and nearly fell asleep at multiple times (which pissed me off). It was difficult at an emotional level for me. I cried at least 4 times during the day. 

Once during my introduction (pitiful, as I'm a trainer and regularly speak in front of groups), another time watching the video that showed childbirth, another time during the "coping" section, with Mr. Jem and I doing the breathing exercises. Another time when DD kept saying, "your bodies were made for this" (yeah, right, bitch! Tell that to all the IFers out there!!!) and "you can endure anything for 60 seconds (the length of a contraction). Doesn't she realize that childbirth isn't just the culmination of 40 weeks of gestation? For some of us, it's WAAAAY more that that. It's years of heartbreak, injections, hope, dashed hope, hyperstimulated ovaries and emotions. It's tears, violent thoughts, lack of empathy, lost work, lost illusions. It's almost losing your marriage, your sanity, your sense of self. And you expect me to "just breath through the pain?" Are you fucking kidding me?

The conclusion. I think I really need a doula to help out with childbirth. I don't care if it will cost over $1,200. I need the emotional support. I need someone else to be telling Mr. Jem what to do, someone else to advocate for me. I'm open to having an epidural.

So, I have one more week of work, and then I plan on catching up on my sleep and exercise (walking and yoga). I will find a doula, start researching childcare in earnest. And I'll put my poor, swollen, aching feet up. Dammit.

I hope you all have a great week. I'll write more when this week is over.


Friday, March 16, 2012

Week 33 Update

Pregnancy update... feel free to skip.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Happy Pi Day!

In honor of Pi Day, here's a treat for you.

Enjoy your Pi!


Sunday, March 11, 2012


The whole PAIL debate has really struck a chord with me, specifically the current climate of "I don't want to offend anyone by this post... (fill in the blank on the topic)" that Mel commented on recently and that seems to have kept friends I read regularly from posting freely about a topic that is front of mind (pregnancy fears, aches and pains, circumcision decisions,  baby sleep troubles).

We in IF-land have been through so much. Self-editing can come from a fear of hurting others with our words. What I fear is that it comes from a place of self-loathing, where we don't believe our point of view, what we are going through is important, or valid, or some such. I personally did so much self-editing while going through treatments - not telling anyone at work about it, not tell the majority of my friends. While I did this out of self-preservation, there was some shame. We can't get pregnant on our own.

So, sing your point of view, IFers! Be free!


Thursday, March 8, 2012

Over-sensitive IFers

Nope, I'm not commenting on the current PAIL drama, instead about myself.

So, what happened? During today's OB appointment, I was taken into the examination room by the nurse/medical assistant. My doc has a big screen with educational videos. The girl proceeds to start a video on contraception post-delivery - my instant reaction? I was pissed! Didn't she read my file? Doesn't she know it took us over two years to conceive, and couldn't do so without medical intervention?

Once I calmed down, I was fine. Baby is fine, growing nicely. Good strong heartbeat, lots of movement, belly measuring right on track.

Question: how many of you feel extra sensitive?


Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Job situation update


Just went to talk to the VP about next steps. He verbally offered me the position. He still needs to follow up with HR about what paperwork needs to be completed. Said the changes won't go into affect until I get back from maternity leave.

HUGE sigh of relief. The knot in the pit of my stomach just unclenched.

Thanks for the support.


Monday, March 5, 2012

Why the radio silence

Sorry for the silence. I've had quite a week, filled with work-related drama. 

Two Thursdays ago I was called into my VP's office, along with my colleague (a peer) and we were told our department was being re-organized. Both our jobs were going away, being reclassified and we'd have to reapply for the jobs. My colleague (a man) would be getting a raise and a higher job title while my job's scope would be getting smaller, with a lesser title. The closest VP came to reassuring us about our jobs was by saying that he hoped to fill the positions with people in the larger department he manages and said he wasn't opening the job to external candidates.

I sat there dumb-founded. Holy Sh*t. Here I was 6 weeks from going on maternity leave being told my job was going away and that I'd have to re-apply for a job at a lower title and with less responsibilities. 

Is that even legal?!!!???!!

Needless to say, I've taken action. Yes, I've applied for the job and am waiting to hear. But I've also reached out to an attorney.

Oh, and last week I was completely swamped delivering training (which I'll no longer be doing should I get the "new" job), to stunning reviews (of course).

So, now at 32 weeks, I'm 4 weeks from going on maternity leave and I don't know if I have a job. How fracking unfair is this? I'm so stressed by this whole thing and could use some encouraging and supportive words from cyberspace.


Thursday, February 23, 2012

Poem: "I'd Rather be the Father"

I receive daily emails from The Writer's.Almanac with Garrison.Keillor. Here is today's poem, that really struck a chord with me. Can't wait to share it with Mr. Jem.

I'd Rather be the Father

Right from the start, it's easier to be the father: no morning
nausea, no stretch marks. You can wait outside the

delivery room and keep your clothes on. Notice how
closely the word mother resembles smother, notice

how she is either too strict or too lenient: wrong for giving up
everything or not enough. Psychology books blame her

for whatever is the matter with all of us while the father
slips into the next room for a beer. I wanted to be

the rational one, the one who told a joke at dinner.
If I were her father we would throw a ball across

the lawn while the grill fills with smoke. But who
wants to be the mother? Who wants to tell her what

to wear and deliver her to the beauty shop and explain
bras and tampons? Who wants to show her what

a woman still is? I am supposed to teach her how to
wash the dishes and do the laundry only I don't want

her to grow up and be like me. I'd rather be the father
who tells her she is loved; I'd rather take her fishing

and teach her to skip stones across the lake of history;
I'd rather show her how far she can spit.

"I'd Rather be the Father" by Faith Shearin, from Moving the Piano. © 
Stephen F. Austin University Press, 2011. Reprinted with permission. (buy now)

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

REALLY?!!!!? (updated link)

In case you missed Saturday.Night.Live this weekend, I wanted to share this clip from Weekly.Update. My favorite part is at about 1:40.


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

February IComLeavWe

Welcome new readers and old friends!

Yes, I'm one of those obnoxious IF'ers who actually got knocked up. So if you want to skip my blog, I totally get it. 

I'm 30 weeks pregnant after 2 years of TTC. We're talking 3 IFVs (plus 1 FET), giving up hope and then one final try - IUI with donor sperm gave us a BFP. And my oh my, she stuck around.

It's been a relatively easy pregnancy, up until 4 weeks ago when I got sick with a bad cold, coughed myself silly, fractured a rib doing so and lost a lot of sleep due to the pain.

Let me close with a tidbit you might not know about me: My favorite website to visit each day is not CNN or Google. It's - for the morning spoilers because I'm a huge nerd.


Friday, February 17, 2012

29 week update

Pregnancy update and pic... feel free to skip.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Signing up for childbirth classes (gulp!)

One thing I've been struggling is all the things that need to get done BEFORE this baby is born and my deep-seeded belief that something will go wrong and ruin it all (sound familiar?).

So, I've been agonizing about which childbirth classes to take. I finally bit the bullet and signed up for 4 classes through the hospital where we will be giving birth. 

I'm posting them here on this blog, because it will magically make this whole surreal thing that much real:

  • Childbirth: This practical approach to childbirth is offered in one-day Saturday Class or a two-session weekday class, depending on location. In this program you will learn about the labor process, pain management basics, and what to expect on the big day. Prepared Childbirth is designed for couples who enjoy in-class instruction and interacting and learning with other couples.
  • Breastfeeding Your Infant: This class, taught by a lactation expert, explores the advantages and benefits of breastfeeding and discusses nutrition, positions that are comfortable, common problems, pumping and storage of breast milk. (Yes, Mr. Jem is coming with me!!!)
  • CPR - Infant & Child CPR & Safety: This is a class you cannot afford to miss! Join us for a hands-on session that will provide you the opportunity to practice with CPR mannequins.
  • Newborn Care: Explore the essential information and skills you’ll need to feel confident and prepared for your newborn’s care. Learn basic diapering, feeding and bathing techniques.

Hopefully, attending these classes will make thing more tangible and real. I just feel so darn overwhelmed.


Friday, February 10, 2012

Baby Shower blues

When I announced my pregnancy a couple of months ago, two friends generously volunteered to throw me a baby shower. I was told all I have to do is pick a date and supply a list of names (+addresses). 

Well, not so easy. 

Both these friends live in small apartments, so then the shower was going to be at my house (great, I get to clean!!? Thanks!). Then the parade of questions: "What colors do you like? Do you want a theme? what type of food should we have?"

I thought as the mom-to-be I was just supposed to show up, smile a lot and leave (with lots of loot and good memories). 

Fast forward to last Wednesday, during our couples counseling (yes, we are still going) Mr. Jem and I are talking about the shower and how he wants his mother there - I agree, but we live in a smallish house and my mom will be there,too. How do we make this work?

At that session I came to a sudden and tearful revelation. 

I don't want a baby shower. 

I never wanted a shower, but had only bowed to social pressure. In fact Jewish tradition (superstition?) is that you have a party once the baby arrives - for the bris or circumcision if it's a boy, or for the baby naming (Hebrew name) if it's a girl.

On a deeper level, there's still part of me (about 5%) that is still skeptical that we'll have a real, take-home baby. Given that it's taken us over two years to get to this point (I know, not that long if the IF community, but you know what I mean), I know first hand that much can and could go wrong. Despite the fact that I've had a relatively easy pregnancy (ha! pg isn't easy, but my experience has been easier than most), there's a little voice in my head that is listing everything that could go wrong. (Of course the other 95% of me loves being pregnant, loves the attention that I get being pregnant, feels filled with love and is all glow-y and shit.)

I also remember dreading and reluctantly going to baby showers and just couldn't see myself having one for me. The shower was scheduled for Sat, March 10th, which is the during my last month of work.

I was dreading my own shower, folks. Not good.

So I said, "No. The invites haven't gone out yet, so let's just cancel." Mr. Jem agreed.

The new plan is to throw a party AFTER the baby comes to introduce her to family and friends. It will be in May or June (with the help of those friends who volunteered for the shower). I'm even thinking of having it catered by my favorite Mexican restaurant, so it's super easy.
That way the WHOLE family can be there (I can organize the comings and goings of the mothers) and I won't feel stressed.

Hugh sigh of relief.

Of course I really need to deal with these feelings of doom and gloom and disbelief about actually taking home a baby. I much rather do that here on this blog, with my own therapist, or talking to Mr. Jem. It's all been rather overwhelming. The pressure of a shower wasn't helping, either.


Next post: Childbirth classes (oh, my!).

Thursday, February 9, 2012

28w2d: OB visit and Maternity Leave (Updated)

28 freaking weeks! Can you believe it, peeps? Amazing. It's still hard for me to wrap my little brain around. My incredible shrinking brain... (I have zero short-term memory left).

Yesterday's visit to the OB went well. I really like my OB, Dr. L. He's so easy going and positive. I have a friend whose doc is so conservative with the "You can eat this or do that's." Dr. L is very permissive, but has told me not to use my favorite face cream with some sort of acid in it, and my favorite protein powder because it has some artificial sweetener.

The best part of the visit was that Mr. Jem was there. We initially were shown into a room without an u/s machine... Mr. Jem looked around and said, "Hey, my ticket stub didn't say anything about not being able to see our baby today... Can we see her?" Dr. L laughed and led us into another examining room, with the caveat that we shouldn't "expect" an u/s. He then spent 5 minutes going bit by bit over our baby's anatomy. "There's her eye socket, her chin, her hands, her heart (144 ppm - perfectly normal), her belly, her labia, her feet, her brain, her eye socket again..." and on and on. LOVED IT! Mr. Jem has so few opportunities to "experience" her. I keep asking him to put his hand on my belly to feel her kicking, but he doesn't really feel much and is disappointed.

The other good thing was Dr. L confirmed that it is "pretty standard" for his patients to go on maternity/disability leave at week 36, as that's the point where he won't try to stop labor or a "birthday party." So I informed my boss that I'll be going out on leave 2 weeks earlier than I had said (4 weeks before my due date). Just 7 weeks away!!! Such a relief to move up the date. I'm bloody tired, as our friends across the pond put it.

UPDATE: To answer Oak's question: this new start date won't affect my leave end date. I'm fortunate to live in California, so there is extra protection for my job and extra disability pay, so I'll have a total of 22 weeks of disability + baby bonding leave.

My cold symptoms are slowly dissipating. Still on antibiotics (fully cleared by Dr. L), nasal spray, Robitussin. Still coughing, but starting to feel more normal. Unfortunately, normal means my insomnia is back. I was up at 3:00 a.m. for over an hour. Tired this morning.
Okay, I better get back to work. 

Tomorrow: I'll post about my big Baby Shower Revelation.


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Pediatrician = check!

Mr. Jem and I met with Dr. K last night for a consult. We LOVE him. He's been in practice for 27 years, very easy going, very funny, very straight forward in his communication style. There are 2 other physicians in his practice. They have a good night/weekend service and sick visits on Saturdays. He'll come personally to the hospital to check out our baby after she is born, and then sends a nurse to our home 2 days after we come home to see how baby and mom are doing. Both Mr. Jem and I feel totally comfortable with him and are very happy that we got to meet him ahead of time.

My cold is finally clearing up. Slowly. I'm still coughing, which hurts, but the antibiotics and the nasal spray is working and I'm better enough to come in to work. I wish I could just stay home and rest for the remainder of my pregnancy, but I need this job (mortgage to pay). 

I'm at 28 weeks, so the end is in sight. 

OB checkup tomorrow.  I'll let you all (those readers who are still following) know how it goes.


Thursday, February 2, 2012

Pediatrician Consult Questions?

Monday I have an appointment with Dr. K, a pediatrician. (Gulp!) 

Dr. K comes recommended by my OB and a personal friend with a one-year-old. I don't want the first time I meet this man to be in the hospital after delivering (I tear up just typing those words).

So, my question for you all out there who have been there and done that, what questions should I ask during this consult? I imagine I'll have around 15 minutes with him.

So, bring it on, folks? What should I ask?


Monday, January 30, 2012

27w0d: sick

Here's my pregnancy update. Skip if you want.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Week 26: technical difficulties

Sorry for not posting for a while. My work blocked this site for a while (gasp!). Was it something I said? 

I'm doing fine, as is Baby. Lots of daily movement. Being anemic sucks. I'm constantly tired and light-headed. A friend had her baby shower last Sunday and I knitted this.


Thursday, January 19, 2012

Fuzz Therapy

This comic, thanks to gocomics.


Wish I was home cuddling with Sharky today. Not having a rotten day, just need the cuddles. Hope it lifts your spirits, if they need lifting.