Thursday, September 27, 2012

The Long-Awaited Post

As an infertile Myrtle, I honestly never thought about writing my Someday Baby's birth story. But, since I am a closet sentimentalist, I feel compelled to document every detail I can remember from that someday... August 28th, 2012.

To back it up just a smidge, I should share that I consider myself blessed with a relatively easy and enjoyable pregnancy. And frankly, after everything else I had to put my body through just to get knocked up, I was due for a break. No morning sickness/heartburn/reflux, except for about three weeks of finding no food other than blueberry waffles appetizing (seriously, I ate them for dinner on the regular); only the slightest bit of swelling in my feet and ankles at the very end (I called them hams); a reasonable amount of stretch marks given that I was GINORMOUS by mid-second trimester; a manageable level of aches and pains for a small-framed person suddenly carrying around an extra 28 pounds. The only snag was a concern over preterm labor, sparked by the discovery that I was already fully effaced at week 36 and constant Braxton Hicks contractions since week 24. I was put on bed rest for all of 4 days to ensure I made it to the magic 37 week mark at which my doctor would be comfortable with the baby's lung development should I go into active labor. Little did we know that I could contract and be "thinned out" (why do all of these terms gross me out?) all I wanted, but dilation would be another story.

I stopped working on August 10th, and assumed I would have a few days, at best, to myself to relax and sleep in and "nest". Two weeks later, I was bored of trashy TV, insomnia prevented me from getting that sleep that everyone kept warning me to get NOW ("while you still can!", "you won't get to nap again for years!"), and I had cleaned and organized and laundered and readied our home as much as is humanly possible... but still no baby. A day after my due date, the situation was the same, so we scheduled an induction for 1 week past my due date, unless something miraculously changed before then. My body had failed to do what was expected of it yet again. *sigh*

So, on the evening of August 27th, I checked in to the hospital and was given meds to kick-start labor. In theory, I would then sleep while the drugs did their thing and my OB would check me in the morning and hopefully labor would have started and I'd be ready to deliver shortly thereafter. But, my body had other ideas and within a half hour of the drug being administered, I was having major contractions every 5 minutes or less. These were no joke! Of course, this meant I got zero sleep, and I worried that I wouldn't have the energy to push when the time came. By morning, I had made a little progress and was dilated 2cm. Dr. Massa arrived around noon, after I had been given my epidural, and I was about 3-4cm. Epi = heaven (except for the uncontrollable shivering). She asked me if we had talked about how big the baby is (the nurses all mentioned this too), but we never discussed it! Now I am thinking, "great, I have to birth a giant child." Because the head was so low and the feet were still up in my ribs, this was not a mind-blowing revelation.

Things were moving slowly and I wasn't trying to be a hero, so after 11 hours of labor, when she suggested breaking my water to move things into high gear, my response was, "Yes please!" In the process, she found that there was more blood in the amniotic fluid than she would expect to see. She feared placental abruption, which would mean a potential for the baby to go into distress due to lack of oxygen during labor and delivery. We monitored things for another hour, and the baby's stats were very good, but still too much blood. When she recommended a c-section, I was surprisingly calm. I trusted her completely and knew that it was the right thing to do for our baby's sake, so once the anesthesiologist was available, I was given more meds to make me fully numb from the chest down (I joked that the epi made me feel like I was wearing pants with fuzzy legs, lol!), Justin was given a sexy blue paper gown, cap, and shoe covers, and I was wheeled into the OR. I know he was scared, but he was trying very hard not to let me see it. Thing is, I really wasn't scared at all! Only once I was on the table, under the bright lights, and they were about to cut, did he ask me how I felt and I could only say, "terrified". 

They played music, talked casually, timed everything, chatted with me about how Justin and I met (she met her husband in a bar and made the first move too! Have I mentioned how much we ADORE Dr. Massa?) while they waited for me to be fully numb, and before I knew it, they were telling me I'd feel some tugging (did I ever!), and our daughter was born!

Serafina Marie Chadwick came into the world at 4:46pm on August 28th at a whopping 8 pounds, 15 ounces and 20.5 inches long. The first thing I said when they brought her around the sheet to me was, "Oh my god, she's beautiful!" There were a lot of tears, not surprisingly. She was perfectly healthy and pink and sweet.

So YOU'RE the one who's been kicking me!

Hi there!
Recovering from a c-section is not fun, but being cared for in the hospital for 4 days was a blessing in disguise. They warn you about the gas pains after this kind of surgery, but I was not prepared for that level of hurt. When I had to send Sera to the nursery because I was in too much pain to function, let alone care for her, I cried with the guilt only a mother can feel. But within a few days, I started to feel somewhat normal. Slow-moving, but more normal. 

Proud Papa
Now that we are home and adjusting to each other, I find myself often just staring at her. She looks so much like Justin, with blonde hair and big eyes like pools of dark blue water. But she also has a little of me in her face too, though I can't even pinpoint which feature it comes from. She's lovely. Even when it takes an hour to get her back to sleep at 3am and I still have to pump her next bottle (breast feeding has been a saga in itself), I can hardly contain my joy when I put her back into her bed next to mine and she makes her squirmy, stretchy movements and grunty, squeaky noises. We simply can't get enough of her, which we will try hard to remember when we inevitably hit those rough patches.

Justin is completely smitten with her. He marvels at each new facial expression and bounces her around the house in a seemingly endless pursuit of getting her to sleep so we can eat dinner or go to bed with enough time to truly rest before the next feeding. He is exactly the wonderful father I knew he would be, and our little family is complete (for now, anyway).

Monday, April 23, 2012

Half baked!

That's right kids, we've hit the half-way point! Now, we inch closer and closer to V-day (viability day = 24 weeks, the point at which a pre-term baby has a chance to survive outside the womb) and my anxiety becomes less and less.

We also had our anatomy scan, which is essentially a follow-up to the NT scan, in which a high-tech ultrasound is done to take measurements of all of baby's systems and look for any structural abnormalities. The doctor comes in after the tech has walked us through what she's imaging to take a peek and tell us his findings. So, she showed us all kinds of cool things like blood flow in and out of the heart and kidneys, the baby's face and limbs (counting all of those fingers and toes!), and where and how the umbilical cord is attached to the placenta. As she was capturing images of that, I noticed it read "Anterior" on the screen. I asked her if that meant that I have an anterior placenta since it flashed by so quickly and she said yes. Darn. My heart sank a little and the (probably irrational) sadness kicked in. An anterior placenta essentially just means that the placenta is located on the top-side (closest to my tummy) instead of the usual back-side (closest to my spine). It's not a big deal and certainly doesn't affect the baby's health, but it does usually mean that it could be quite a few more weeks before we get to feel real movement. The one thing I was eagerly awaiting. Darn again. Otherwise, everything else seemed to look good from what I could tell (which isn't much, obviously), and we were able to find out the sex! Don't get too excited, our lips are sealed. Muahahaha!  

The doctor then came in and seemed equally pleased with everything, except he showed us that there are 2 EIFs on the heart, but given that our blood work came back stellar once again, he was not at all concerned that this extremely soft marker for Downs Syndrome meant anything was wrong in our particular case. As many as 1 in 10 caucasian mothers see these calcium deposits, and of course, the occurence of Downs Syndrome is much less than that, so it shows how often finding EIFs means nothing. Especially relieving to hear is that they do not cause any damage to the structure or function of the heart itself. Whew. But... you know me. The genetic counselor offered us the option of taking blood for the Verifi test (another like it is MaterniT21) which can detect with almost certainty the kinds of chromosomal abnormalities they were looking for by ultrasound. It used to be that you had to opt for an amniocentesis or a CVS test in order to rule out a problem, but these blood tests are all but making those obsolete and do not carry the inherent risk of miscarriage (however minor it may be) involved in an invasive procedure. So, being the "let's just be really sure" kind of people we are, we did the blood work on the spot. Cue yet another dreadful 2-week-wait. Of course, my brain told me that our amazing odds of 1 in 15,200, even with this finding, meant that there was likely nothing at all to worry about... but my brain lies to me sometimes and also tells me that there is a worst case scenario out there and that it would be my luck to fall into it under our seemingly perfect circumstances. Thankfully, logic prevailed and the labs came back negative for everything. *exhale*

From here, our baby just keeps growing. I am about to start the sixth month, and so far, I have few complaints. Sure, I can't poop to save my life, my lower back kills, and now the oh-so-fun Braxton Hicks contractions have begun as my body prepares itself for "the big show", but nothing that has kept me from truly enjoying the experience. Nursery plans are underway (even though we'll be moving a short time after the baby arrives) and we've purchased the crib, glider, stroller, various carriers, and an abundance of clothes... even before the first baby shower takes place. In short, this is the fun part.

I can no longer see my feet when I look down, unless I lean forward, and my belly astounds me with how much it has grown. I am carrying high and all in front, which I think makes some people believe I must be further along or just weigh too much for this stage, neither of which are true. The weight gain has probably been the biggest challenge for me so far. Having always been the skinny girl (and all the body image issues that went with it), it's tough to watch myself go in the other direction in such a short amount of time. Of course, baby weight gain is different than just having too many Big-Macs, but taking the weight off when all is said and done doesn't discriminate. I do love my belly though, and I'd like to think I'm a cute pregnant lady nonetheless.

Just 2 short days after the anatomy scan, J and I both felt the baby kicking from the outside, anterior placenta be damned! Looks like our kid is also going to be one to not necessarily do what's expected.  :)

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The Husband Post

This is certainly long overdue, but I feel it necessary to brag about my amazing husband for a bit, so if you get queasy over that sort of mushiness, this post is not for you.

I used to think I knew what a good relationship consisted of, based on my observations of other "perfect couples" and the experience I had with my ex. However, once that relationship died, I saw that we were not, in fact, a perfect couple. Not even close, even though we appeared to be from pretty much all who knew us. Or at least, if they thought there were detrimental flaws, they didn't express as much to me. We didn't fight. We went out a lot together with our friends. We had (what I thought at the time were) open lines of communication, even about the sticky subjects. So, it took me MANY years to realize that the relationship was doomed, but once I did, I was out the door lickity split. No use prolonging the inevitable.

Thus began the craziest and most wonderful year of my life. In July 2005, after cutting ties in State College and trying to save what little money I could, I haphazardly threw as much of my belongings as I could gather into my car, and drove to Delaware to meet up with Leslie (one of my lovely BFFs) and her fiance and friends at a weekend party being thrown to introduce the attendants of their wedding to each other (it was happening almost exactly a year later, and I was a bridesmaid). Even though all of this was going on with her, when my life turned upside down and I didn't know what to do with myself, her response was simply, "well, I have a couch." And with that, I was moving to Brooklyn! We drove from Delaware at the end of the weekend into New York in a torrential downpour, which seemed to fit my sense that I was washing myself clean of the past and starting fresh in the one place I had always dreamt I'd live. Since I was carting the smokers in my car, I must have nervously inhaled half a pack while trying to stick to Leslie's bumper like glue (I even tapped it at one point and got a phone call from her saying "I said stay close, but not that close!"). Finally arriving, they made room for me in their house and their lives for six weeks and always. I quickly found a job, and shortly after, with Leslie's help, an apartment. If you had told me ten years ago that any of this would have transpired, I would have probably laughed in your face, but though wistfully, "damn, that would be sweet."

The room I rented was in a very nice, remodeled house with what turned out to be perplexing roommates. I worked crazy hours with people who would never be my friends (too young / weird / geographically inconveient) and scraped money together to make myself something pitiful to eat at the end of the day. Cooking for one is harder than you think, especially on a tight budget. I cried... a lot. I did manage to make one friend, Maya, an Israeli bartender/waitress at the neighborhood French restaurant where I would hide after work in an effort to avoid my roommates and my way-too-quiet bedroom (to which I was basically confined since the tv was stashed in another bedroom and it was seriously frowned upon to sit on the white couches in the living room, blurg). I was so disappointed that I had finally made it to New York, but coudn't figure out what to do with myself. Leslie and Brian were there, but comfortable with staying home, and also in wedding-planning mode, which I now know is incredibly all-consuming at times. In telling Maya about all of this, it was brought to my attention that I should go to Moe's and meet all of the neighborhood regulars. Apparently, it's a pretty cool bar and I vaguely remembered one of my coworkers at the bank mentioning it. It was mere blocks from my apartment, but since I had no idea where I was going in general, I had never even ventured over that way. At any rate, I went that Saturday night and sat down next to Justin, and the rest is history.

To say that we hit it off is a massive understatement, but I was afraid. I had only gotten out of a ten-year relationship less than six months prior, and I was so unhappy that I warned him that if it didn't get better, I was planning to move back home by the end of the year (we met in late October) and figure out my next move. Basically, I told him he really didn't want to get involved with me because I was a hot mess. Clearly, he didn't listen. We spent more and more time together, and due to my crappy roommates and his better apartment location, I stayed over more often than not. Four months in, when his roommate situation had become equally unbearable, we got wind of an apartment opening up. We took one look and they offered it to us on the spot (though I didn't really understand what had just gone down and Justin had to explain it to me, lol! Things move pretty fast in the city.) I took a deep breath and jumped in head first and moved in with my new boyfriend. Sure, it was probably insane, and I know my family was concerned, but once they met him, they trusted that I was making wise choices for myself and would be just fine.

Now, more than six years later, we have grown a lot, both individually and as a couple, and helped each other through life's challenges. We are truly equal partners. If I ever thought I knew what a good relationship was supposed to be like, I now realize that I didn't have a clue. I have one now. We are kind to each other and consider the other's feelings like second nature. We disagree, but don't fight. There is a balance in our differences that makes us work. He makes me want to be more patient and I encourage him to be more assertive. We're that disgusting couple who want to spend every possible moment together and never get tired of it. I love his face. It says so much to me beyond just physical features.

But besides all of that, we just have fun together. How sad it is to me to see couples who have forgotten how to have fun together! And there are so many people living this way. Life gets complicated. You go to work, you have kids, you pay your taxes... and it can all suck the joy out of you if you're not careful. Remembering that the family we are creating and the day-to-day lives we lead are all a product of a boy and girl meeting and falling in love is essential. Otherwise, what's the point?

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Another hurdle... hurdled

Well, yet another thing has gone our way! Despite dealing with the bitchy OB and bloodwork confusion, we went ahead with the NT scan as scheduled. I, of course, was just excited to possibly get really good pics of the baby, but my brain simply would not think about the part that involved the genetic issues they were truly looking for as the purpose for this test. Unavoidable as it is, Justin and I sat with the genetic counselor beforehand and listened to her walk through our family histories and come to the estimation that there were no red flags... other than my age. As usual. Cuz I'm sooo old.  *eye roll*

So, off we go to the ultrasound room. This was by far the coolest moment in the pregnancy to date. The baby was moving all around and stretching out its skinny little legs (just like Mom and Dad, lol!) and waving and yawning(?). Too cool for words, but still surreal. She gives us her semi-professional guess at what we're having (though it is admittedly too early to say with certainty at only 12 weeks) and prints out some awesome shots for us to take home and add to our collection:

J says it looks like s/he is saying, "feed me!" Accurate, considering how hungry I've been.

After staring in amazement as the tech took the necessary measurements, it was back to the waiting room to hear the results of the scan plus bloodwork. After what seemed like a painfully long wait (really, probably less than ten minutes), we went back to the genetic counselor's office. Before we could get in the door, she said everything looked great! Whew! Apparently, my labs and the 1.5mm measurement of the nuchal fold (anything over 3mm is cause for concern, it's the fluid at the back of the neck) gave us such slim odds of Downs Syndrome and Trisomy 18 (which is fatal), that they were literally off the chart! I am so grateful for such definitive results so we don't have to make any tough decisions on whether or not to do more invasive testing. Now we will switch to the new OB on March 9th and get the anatomy scan at the end of March. That'll be half way already!!!

As for me, I am feeling pretty darn good. I have my moments where I am still worried that something will go wrong (I got a home doppler cheap from a friend today, but am so scared to use it and not find a heartbeat), but otherwise, I love window shopping / nursery plotting on Pinterest and looking cute in my maternity gear. I am already up 6 pounds! Leggings and dresses are my best friends right now. I refuse to look frumpy just because my waistline is expanding. My lovely office bathroom self portrait:

I'm starting to get more energy and even had trouble napping this weekend *gasp!* But all in all, I am enjoying this crazy trip so far.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

A Note to Doctors Everywhere

Dear Doctors of the World,

I am "that" patient. You know the one. The one that you like, but also dread dealing with.

Perceived Positives:

  • I am not afraid to make an appointment to get help if I am sick.

  • I am open to alternative treatments, but understand that sometimes a Z-pack makes life simpler.

  • I trust your judgement and education, but also like to be my own advocate.

  • I know a good bit about the kind of care I need and what options are available, so every little thing doesn't have to be explained.

Potential Negatives:

  • I may know too much for my own good. I blog, I google, I ask friends and family for advice. This usually leads to me asking a lot of questions which you may or may not have expected / have time for. I still expect you to answer them and not shoo me out the door. I have been the patient waiting in the other room for my turn and I fully understand that my wait time may be caused by someone asking a lot of questions, and I am fine with that. I don't really care if the patient after me gets this or not. 

  • I expect YOU to know what I need to know. If something needs to be done, tell me. I cannot read minds and have no medical degree like you do to fall back on.

  • Miscommunications happen, but it should be safe to assume affiliated offices know each other are up to. If there is a difference of opinion and it creates a problem for me, then YOU need to fix it. You are my doctor, so again, that's your job.

If any of the "negatives" are a problem for you, then you can watch my ass walk right out the door to the rival clinic.

Today's PSA is brought to you by a crappy obstetrician who just got fired.

Back story: Everything went beautifully at my appointment on Monday, including a quick ultrasound that showed a happy Jellybean wiggling!

Today I took time from work to have my TB test "read". This took all of 5 minutes and involved me showing her that my arm had not ballooned or turned funky colors in the last three days. As I waited, I got a call from the genetics center regarding my NT Scan, which is scheduled for Friday and must be done before I hit 14 weeks. She claimed I have not had all my blood work done. As she listed said tests, I noticed that they were simple ones that had been done ages ago (blood type, etc.) that should already be in the computer system. When I ask why this needs to be done and why I was not told about it or given a lab slip when I was at my first OB appointment TWO DAYS AGO, the doctor says, "you told me you did that already, so that's not MY fault". Wrong, I told her I did the First Trimester screening bloodwork that was ordered as part of the NT Scan. I don't have a clue what these labs are about. When I explain this and the fact that I cannot go to the lab right this second, as was not-so-politely suggested, because I was due at work hours ago, I am met with, "yet you're wasting time here now?" Nice, right?

Monday, January 30, 2012

A form of torture?

Friends, let me start by saying that I am not known for my patience, nor am I good at just letting things happen and hoping for the best. "Everything happens for a reason"?? Blech. I think not. I am a planner, a details person, and a worrier by nature... though the latter did not manifest itself until recent years. I used to have the attitude that I could handle anything and roll with the punches and that everything would work out, but somewhere in my journey to adulthood (and actually having a lot to lose for the first time in my life), that all changed, resulting in the paranoid mess you see before you.

The fact that I have not had an ultrasound since "graduating" from the RE on 1/6 coupled with not being able to get an initial consult with the OB until 2/6 is just torturous for someone like me. I was doing well until yesterday, when I felt a little queasy, but otherwise, really good. Too good? I'm worrying about feeling TOO good... again? What is my problem?! Why can't I be happy that I'm not barfing constantly? Because that doesn't convince me that everything is ok in there. Neither do the 4 pounds of belly and boob that I've gained so far. Or being super hungry, even in the middle of the night. Or having to pee all-the-time. Or that my acupuncturist can detect a fetal heartbeat through my pulses. 

Sure, I could buy one of those at-home doppler machines off the internet for $50 plus shipping to give myself some reassurance, but I hesitate to make too many baby-related purchases before we can SEE that all is well. That, and it's difficult to find the heartbeat early on and I don't want to make myself crazier than I already am. We even postponed taking pictures for our big Facebook reveal (which, I promise, will not be obnoxious) because it seemed premature. Oh the insanity! 

Let's not forget the little fact that nothing has happened to make me think anything is wrong. I have not miscarried, therefore, I am still pregnant.

The only conclusion is that I am a lunatic. Please don't let me pass this on to my child. It's not fun to be your own worst enemy.

Thank you for listening. I will now go count down the days, hours, minutes...

(7 days, 2 hours, 12 minutes)

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Trucking along

So, my posts will probably be less frequent now that the daily insanity of the IVF process has subsided. Since hearing the news that we are expecting, things have been good, bad, and weird... sometimes simultaneously.

The Good: Due to some spotting and bleeding (see The Bad below), we got to have a few early ultrasounds. At 6 weeks, we learned that there is one baby and it was measuring pretty much on track. At our "official" dating ultrasound a week later, we got to see the baby again, and this time it was measuring 3 days behind and had a heart rate of 120! That little flicker is awesome to see, and a little of the weight came off my shoulders at that moment because this significantly reduces our odds of miscarriage. Yay! Two days after that (again with The Bad), we got even better images to bring home and saw its little stubby arms and even a dark space at the top of its head where the brain would soon be forming! Truly amazing.

The Bad: As I mentioned, I had some issues with spotting and bleeding, starting right around the 6 week mark. From all of my reading, I know that a little spotting is common and nothing to be concerned about, but the disclaimer is usually that it be brown and not accompanied by cramping. As is my luck, *TMI Warning* I had a big ol' blob of red and brown when I went to the bathroom at work that day, which continued as reddish brown spotting. I kinda freaked. Those who know me intimately know that I always fear that the good things in my life will be taken away from me. That I don't deserve them somehow, so of course, it would all get ruined. All of those thoughts came flooding into my head, and I immediately emailed Susan (our nurse), got impatient, called the front desk, and begged to be seen. They squeezed me in right away and I fled the office to find out what was going on. Unfortunately, Justin was in the East Bay (he had the week between Christmas and New Years off and was vinyl record shopping in Berkeley), so I would be on my own until he could get there. Thankfully, the ultrasound showed all was well with The Bean, as we started lovingly referring to it, and they could not see any reason to be alarmed about the spotting. It tapered off later that evening and I felt better, only to have incident #2 smack me in the face.

On 1/3, we had our "official" ultrasound with Dr. Huddleston. It was scheduled for that day because she was on rotation, and it would be nice to have our actual doctor for this milestone. This ultrasound machine was obviously older, so the image wasn't great, but everything looked fine from what she saw, including the heart rate. She pointed out something to the side of the gestational sac and said it could be a little fluid and the cause of the spotting, and not to worry about it, even though it may continue for a while. Understatement of the century! Two days later and once again in the bathroom at work, *TMI* I looked down to see the toilet completely full of dark red blood. This cannot be good. I started shaking and trying to keep it together as I called the RE's office, and of course, they saw me right away. Justin was at work in the South Bay, so again, I was on my own. Stephanie, a practioner that I grew particularly fond of in the IUI days because of our shared affinity for funky patterned socks and the fact that she takes the time to thoroughly go over everything with me, came into the room and asked me a series of questions. She looked concerned. But, upon further inspection, the ultrasound showed the baby was happier than ever in there and the heart rate was up to 125, and it measured perfectly at 7 weeks and 2 days! I was so relieved, I could have passed out. She looked closely around the gestational sac and saw very clearly that there was a dark area adjacent it and diagnosed it as a subchorionic hemorrhage. It was small and located on the opposite end of the sac from the baby, and the side closest to the cervix. This meant that any bleeding as it resolves itself can just escape the uterus without disturbing the pregnancy at all. The prognosis is good, but until it goes away (hopefully by early second trimester), I can experience a scary moment like this again, or just on and off spotting. Unless it doesn't taper off in a few hours or is accompanied by major cramping, I should not worry (easier said than done). I have had continued spotting, though not every day, but it seems to have reverted back to the brownish color. We go back tomorrow morning for our final visit before "graduating" and moving on to the OB on February 6th. I'm hoping that everything is still on the up-and-up, at which point, I will allow myself to be officially excited.

The Weird: Ok. I know that we have worked VERY hard to get me pregnant. The money, the anxiety, the tears, you name it. But now that I actually AM, it's very strange.  I mean seriously, there is something growing inside of me that does not yet resemble a human being. How is that not bizarre? My body is changing and my clothes are not going to fit soon. Pants are already a challenge. I cried during the National Anthem at a basketball game (WTF). I seem a little foreign to myself. Like I'm watching this happen, but it isn't really me. Well, the food aversions and crazy dreams and massive boobage (hello!) are all undeniable, but I guess it still seems surreal. And I don't really want to talk about having this baby until I can fully accept it myself. Even then, I dread the conversations where people ask me a million questions or "oo and ahh" or heaven forbid touch my stomach uninvited (Side note: I've decided that when people do this, I am going to touch their stomach right back. I mean, if they think we're cool enough to be that friendly with each other, then I should be able to do it too, right? I'll be sure to let you know how this goes when the time comes). Does everyone go through this? I think maybe to some degree.

I have never fancied myself as the "motherly" type. In fact, as a teenager, I insisted that I was going to to be a powerful New York City attorney and never have children. I didn't have the patience to babysit, and felt like kids in general were just not particularly fond of me. I did work full time in a day care for a few months after college, and enjoyed the experience, but let's just say that I'm not a "natural" the way some women feel they are. But that was the old me and maybe it's time to give myself more credit. At some point, I will settle into this new stage of life. I can already feel the contentment creeping in (though I am still afraid to accept it in case something goes wrong - infertility really messes with your head) and believe without a doubt that Justin and I are going to rock the whole parenthood thing.  :)

I am praying to Jesus and Shiva and Buddha and Allah and L. Ron Hubbard and all those other deities that everything goes well tomorrow. Maybe then I can stop waiting for the other shoe to drop.

And heeeeerrre's baby!