Monday, April 30, 2012

*Navalgazing* Reflections at Seven Weeks (+2) Pregnant

I was sure I would find time to post on Saturday, but I guess not...

It was a busy weekend, but the good news is that I am feeling SO MUCH better this week.  Monday I went to the doctor and got a prescription for Diclectin, an anti-nausea drug.  As far as I am concerned, it is a miracle drug.  I've still been very tired and queasy at times (particularly when I'm not careful about what/when I'm eating) but the difference from last weekend to this weekend is astounding.

Apart from that there is not much to report on.  I've been anxiously awaiting today's ultrasound.  I keep having irrational thoughts that something is wrong with the baby.  I hope I'm reassured this morning.

The Bean woke up this morning with a high temperature, so rather than being able to send him to daycare and have some time together this morning, maybe even get lunch after our appointment, we had to call my aunt to come watch him while we're at our appointment and Jen will take the whole day off work.   It's likely I'll be home with him tomorrow.

I'll post a belly photo and the ultrasound update later today or tomorrow. 

Monday, April 23, 2012

Tales from the Deflated Uterus

It's been awhile since I've posted, but I've certainly been keeping an eye on things.  Allison is much better at the pick one thing and stick to it way of life and I take more of a shotgun approach and move on often. Certain people and things excepted, of course.
Allison mentioned that she thought I should do some posts on this pregnancy from my side of the stirrups.  I'm not sure how many lesbian couples decide to go this route, first one partner then the other, but we've been on this track pretty much from the start.  Allison has probably mentioned this previously, but for any newcomers, we decided that I would carry the first child because I was older and hit that magic "you better get hopping on this baby-wagon" age of 35 several years before Allison.

Allison got pregnant a lot faster than I did.  It took me five attempts over the course of about 10 months I'd say (it's in our TTC timeline, I'm just too lazy to look it up and do that math right now.) I'm very happy that Allison got knocked up faster than I did.

First of all, going through all that jazz really wears on a girl, and I'm relieved that Allison doesn't have to do it anymore.  Secondly, because we had limited supply of our donor left, I'm excited that we were able to conceive another child from one of his deposits so The Bean and The Sprout can be biologically related.  Looking back on this whole fertility journey, the one thing I would do differently would be to buy more samples right out of the gate.

I haven't been as enamored with our clinic this time around.  Mostly because there seem to be some protocol changes that have been enacted since we were there before, and no one really briefed us on those.  When I questioned them at our first insemination attempt the doctor on duty that day gave me an answer that sounded a lot like "I'm too busy to talk to you right now."  After having waited in the clinic's waiting room for close to 2-hours at times, that really set me off.

Attempt number two felt better from the get-go than number one did. The timing seemed better. The doctor on duty that day was the same one that got me pregnant.  And, he explained the timing and protocols in a way that made me feel a lot better.  I do think there was a little B.S. thrown in there, but his overall answer left me feeling satisfied.  And, hey, he put a baby in my wife so that's hard to argue with.

The past week has been hard.  I feel like I'm having to take care of everyone.  Allison hasn't been well, as you know.  The Bean is still just a  little guy who needs lots of care.  And, even the cat has been sick and is now on two prescriptions.  I feel like I've been missing a lot of work to run around to appointments, but I am grateful that my employers are very family friendly and haven't given me a hard time.

They say your blog post should have a list, so here's a list of some lessons I've learned so far in this TTC journey.
  • Be persistent.  Our old midwife collective wasn't able to take us at first, but through phone call after phone call of pestering, they found a way to work us in.
  • Be kind to yourself. Even though I'm healthy and my body isn't going through all of the crap that Allison's is, I can still take time out for myself to relax.  Even if there are dirty dishes in the sink. And cat puke on the floor.
  • You don't know what it's like for someone else.  My pregnancy sickness wasn't as bad as Allison's and I've been trying not to impress my experience upon her and say things like "it's not that bad" or "just put on a good face" because sometimes, you just can't model through it.
And, for the cute picture to accompany my post:

Sunday, April 22, 2012

*Navalgazing* Reflections at Six Weeks (+1) Pregnant

Okay guys.  I seriously did not know that I would feel this sick and tired.

What started out as unpleasant at the beginning of the week has gotten to the point of being practically unbearable.  I'd say my energy levels are about a 2/10 and nausea is about 7/10.  Friday night I slept over twelve hours, Saturday twelve, and even with a nap this afternoon I am exhausted.

I talked to my naturopath on Friday and she prescribed me some Nausea Ease which I feel isn't really helping.  I called off for tomorrow and am hoping I can get a last minute appointment with my doctor and maybe get some Diclectin.  I know it won't help with the tiredness, but maybe if one of the two issues are somewhat resolved I'll feel like I can cope.

Jen has been amazing through the past few days taking on all of the responsibility around the apartment and with The Bean.  I feel like an awful wife and mother.  Today I went to the grocery store because I felt I should be doing something to help.  (Also, we take turns doing the shop every week and this was my week, though Jen offered to go.)  It was an awful experience.  I managed to get the shop done but broke down in tears when I got home.

I don't know how I'm going to be able to manage at work.  I've told my two closest co-workers, but emphasized that I don't want anyone else to know, particularly my principal.  She indicated to me about a week ago that there was the possibility of an assistant position being available in one of the junior grades for the fall.  Though it'd be a pay cut and I'd rather be teaching, it'd be good to have full time employment and the guarantee of something to go back to after mat. leave.  The decreased responsibility may not be a bad thing either.  However, I'm sure if she finds out I'm pregnant the offer will go to someone else.

I also shared our news with my mom, brother and his girlfriend yesterday when they came over for a family visit (my sister, brother-in-law and the baby also were over).  They were all excited and congratulatory.  I think my mom was caught off-guard.  She got a little teary.  We'll probably tell the rest of the family after the first ultrasound.

We're still waiting to hear back from the midwives.  I've called two collectives in addition to the one that we were at for The Bean.  Hopefully one of them takes us.

Here's the bump picture for the week.  No weight gain (maybe even down a pound or two), but that's not really a surprise since I'm having difficulty eating anything.

Anyway, please forgive the lack of updates and comments on your blogs.  I'm not sure how much I'll be managing to get on here over the next few weeks.  I think between work, home and the course I'm taking (which I don't think I mentioned before) I just won't be up to it.  Any big news I'll try to let you know about though.  First ultrasound is a week tomorrow.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

*Navalgazing* Reflections at 5 weeks pregnant

This was a bit of a tumultuous week.

Tuesday morning I went in for my first set of blood work.  hCG came back at 647(LMP 4w3d), which confirmed pregnancy.  We, of course, were excited to have things confirmed again.  But then on Wednesday morning I had some brown discharge after going to the washroom.  I  was beside myself convinced that I was losing the pregnancy.  Jen was reassuring.  Google had conflicting messages.  The spotting went away as the day wore on, but of course, every time I went to the washroom I was anxious.  I waited for Thursday and the next set of blood work. 

Thursday morning I had brown discharge again, but I also had my second set of blood work.  I was anxious to get the results.  The clinic called in the afternoon -hCG this time was 1600 (LMP 4w5d).  I was beyond happy, but didn't have much time to think about it since I was at the hospital just starting into the long stint of supporting my sister in labour.

In the wee hours of Friday morning, just as my sister was reaching 9cm, I felt a surge coming over me and I had to run to the bathroom to be sick.  From her bed, my sister called out, "Allison, is there something you're not telling us?"  To which, I replied, "Yes."  We really wanted to wait to share the news.  Not only to be more sure of things, but also because we wanted to give my sister and her husband their moment in spotlight.  They were the ones with the baby well on his way.  They deserve the focus to be on them and their child right now.  I told her that we're not telling anyone, and they seemed understanding.  I apologized for not being able to wait to tell them, but good sister that she is, she wasn't upset by it, just excited for us.  (Even if earlier in labour she was saying very adamantly to me, "Don't do it, Allison!  It is not worth it!") 

I was really tired at the end of last week and earlier this week, but that seemed to taper off a bit.  Of course, I'm tired right now from being up all night on Thursday, but I expect that will sort itself out by the end of the weekend.  Smells have been really starting to get to me.  I can't quite tell if I'm smelling more, or if scents are just bothering me more.  I feel hungry a lot of the time, but also unable to eat a lot.  I'm making an effort to drink more water, which makes me have to pee constantly.

And now, I'll leave you with a photo of my five week tummy:

Friday, April 13, 2012

{this moment} Nephew

A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.


Like last week, some words are necessary.  This morning at 5:58am we welcomed our new nephew into the world.  I helped my sister and her husband through the day yesterday, and through the night until he was born this morning.  I missed the birth as there was some intervention necessary and only Papa was allowed in the OR, but was happy to be there for the rest of it and lend support where I could and of course, to be among the first to welcome him into the world. 

Jen helped by being doing some awesome solo-parenting of The Bean and is visiting this little peanut now.

He is a beautiful soul.  Very mellow.  I think he knows there are people here taking care of him and filling up their hearts with love for him. 

Inspired by SouleMama.  

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Easter Photos

Fifteen Months Old!

Today The Bean is fifteen months old!

-We certainly have an active toddler on our hands.  This past month he has learned to climb the ladder to the small slide at the park and go down it (mostly) on his own.  He has also learned to climb onto the sofa.  Our days of blocking off the dining area with the ottoman (to provide a safe haven for the cat and keep The Bean out of the litter box) may be limited. 

-The Bean is starting to talk more.  He has a few words that he uses on a regular basis --Mom, Mama, up, bubbles, yes (yesh!), and okay.  This past weekend he learned to say "Grandpa" which delighted grandpa to about the same extent as it aggravated Grandma (though she may have been hamming it up a bit). 

-He is now signing "eat", "more", "all done" and "bath".  There are some mixed messages, such as when he signs all done followed by more, which we have been taking to mean that he wants something different, but overall it's nice to be able to understand him more.  He was fussy out at the mall earlier this week and when I asked him what was wrong he signed eat.  SO helpful.  He

-Books continue to be a big hit.  I took him to the bookstore at the mall that I mentioned earlier, he walked over to the Dr. Seuss books, pulled "Go Dog, Go" off the shelf and clearly said "Go dog!"  Our child is a genius.  He's really been into the "Zoe" books lately. 

-His favourite toy recently has been the Fisher Price Teapot he got for Easter.  He loves the music it plays.  As with other music, he will dance when he hears it  --big steps on the spot and turns in circles.  Already a better dancer than his Mama. 

-Bubbles are also a favourite.  As are train tables.  We purchased one, but haven't put it together yet.  We're trying to decide where an appropriate place to set it up will be.  I think we need a bigger apartment.  (Have I told you about the play kitchen I saved from the garbage dump? Yeah.  It's awesome, but it's not small.) 

-We have a new bedtime routine.  We now eat a (quickly prepared) dinner as a family, then give The Bean a bath and some play time in his room, then put him down for bed around 7pm.  He's been falling asleep much more quickly than when we were putting him down around 6:00/6:30pm and things don't feel quite as rushed when we get home.  He also seems to be eating more and we thought it was time he started eating more "real food", though we often still supplement with leftover strained fruits and veggies.  He's also been getting up slightly later, which was one of the big motivations for pushing back bedtime.  4:30am is too early to start one's day. 

-Perhaps best of all, The Bean has started giving hugs and kisses upon request, and spontaneously too.  I love, love, LOVE it. 

He is such an awesome little guy.  Looking forward to everything the coming months have to bring... except maybe the word "no". ;) 

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Russian Tea Cakes

I made these the other week (month?) for my Nana's 80th birthday party.  They've come to be a quick and easy favourite cookie recipe, so I thought I'd share.


1 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup ground almonds 
1/2 cup icing sugar 

Preheat oven to 325.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a bowl, sift together the flour and salt.  

In a large bowl, combine the butter, sugar and vanilla.  Beat with a wooden spoon until smooth.  Add the ground almonds and stir until blended.  Add the dry ingredients and mix until the dough comes together in large clumps.  

To form cookie, roll dough between your palms into a 1-inch ball.  Place the balls 1 inch apart on the baking sheet.   

Bake cookies until the bottoms are light brown, about 20 minutes.  Let the cookies cool.  

Sift the icing sugar over the cookies.


We don't usually have unsalted butter on hand, so I have used salted and then just left out the additional salt.  It doesn't seem to make a significant difference.  Also, you could use another nut (like hazelnuts) in place of the almonds.  Finally, I've found that it's easier to form the balls if the dough is sitting on top of the oven --the extra heat helps make them stick together more easily.

Let me know if you try baking these!  I'd love to hear how they turn out.  Alternately, if you have a great cookie recipe you'd like to share, feel free to leave it in the comments.  I love baking!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Bunnies, Baskets and Books

On Friday, The Bean put on his bunny ears for a visit with my cousin's family and my Nana.  They didn't last long, but he made a cute little rabbit.  

The Easter bunny had left a Fisher Price Teapot at my cousin's house for The Bean.  He's been playing with it constantly for the past two days.  Whenever it "sings" he dances.  I'd venture to say it's been a big hit.  Nana came over with miniature copy of Beatrix Potter's The Tale of Benjamin Bunny and a Beatrix Potter piggy bank for him.  

On Saturday we met up with my sister (who is due today!) for some lunch.  The Easter Bunny had left some treats for The Bean with her too!  A beautiful wooden maraca and the book Marshmallow which is the story of a little bunny who comes to live with a cat.  I recognized it, but it's not a book that I was really familiar with.  Both Jen and I read it this morning and agree that it's a sweet story.

And of course, there is a basket here for The Bean.  It has the beeswax crayons and playsilk I mentioned in yesterday's post as well as two new board books I am a Bunny (a classic) and Harry the Dirty Dog (one of my favourites) and some plastic eggs filled with candied ginger --one of The Bean's favourite treats.

This afternoon we went over to my mom's house.  The Bean did an Easter egg hunt there, the eggs were "hidden" in plain sight and he didn't really understand what he was supposed to do with them, but he played along.  There was also a basket there for him, this one containing chocolate-covered ginger.  The Easter bunny knows our boy well I guess. ;)

I'd say The Bean's second Easter was a big success.  I love how he interacts with people and his environment so much now.  It's just amazing to see the changes that the past year has brought. 

I'll try to post a few photos from at my mom's tomorrow and maybe also do a little spring book/Easter book update.  I wanted to do one today, but we got home too late to do a photo.


One more note: I took another HPT yesterday morning.  The results are a lot more clear than the photo I posted on Friday, so I thought I'd share another photo.

According to online calculators I'm already four weeks pregnant (I had forgotten how that worked) and the baby is due around December 16th.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

I Won!

Back about a month ago now, I was excited to receive an email telling me that I had won a contest on SouleMama.  The prize was a $50 gift card to A Child's Dream Come True.

As most of you know, the past few months haven't been the easiest.  Winning a $50 gift card didn't make everything better, but it was still a nice pick-me-up.

I put it towards a small rainbow silk and some Stockmar beeswax crayon blocks for The Bean as well as a copy of Amanda Blake Soule's The Creative Family for myself.  All things I had thought about purchasing before winning this giveaway.

I've been fairly lucky with winning contests in the past.  I've won other online giveaways for BabyLegs that I gave to my nephew (this was pre-Bean), guitar strings and picks, and probably some other things that I'm not remembering at the moment. 

Have you ever won a giveaway?  What did you win?

Friday, April 6, 2012


I couldn't just leave it at that, now could I? 

So, it's early (very early) but we figured there was no harm in sharing our good news on the blog as few people who know us in real life know about this blog.  We'll try to wait the customary 12 weeks before telling most family and friends.  I also know that if anything happens I'll appreciate being able to "talk" about it on here.  

I didn't really feel prepared to blog about the TTC process this time around.  Nothing out of the ordinary, I just didn't want to focus any more of my attention on it than I already was.  Let's be serious, when you're going through this it is difficult to think of anything else.  I also didn't know how I would feel sharing about another BFN.  Everyone here was so sympathetic back in January, but I wasn't sure how I'd feel about that month after month. 

In addition to all of that, we've been pretty busy and tired the past few weeks and I didn't really have it in me to blog at all, no matter what the subject.  We had a week where The Bean was up in the wee hours of the morning, with what we suspect was teething pain.  (He has since popped two or maybe even three teeth  --he won't let us get a good look.)  Jen's parents came for a wonderful visit last weekend.  I had my final yearbook deadline and lots of difficulties getting the pages completed and edited.  I also started an online Additional Qualification course, hoping that it will help with job prospects.  So lots to keep us busy, but not very interesting blog fodder for the post part.   

The whole process was fairly uneventful.  Blood work and ultrasounds on Day 3 and then from Day 10 on.  The IUI was on Day 15 which I thought was late, but the lab work indicated was PERFECT timing.  And I guess it was.  The same doctor who did the insemination when Jen got pregnant with The Bean did my insemination this time.  I did some acupuncture seven days post IUI to help with implantation (increases blood flow).  Anyway, it seems that it all worked out. 

The photo earlier was from our first HPT, taken this morning.  I waited to take the photo (since I took the test at 5am) so the line isn't as clear as it was initially.  I took it back into the bedroom with a flashlight to have Jen look and confirm what I was seeing.  Of course, I wasn't able to fall back asleep after that.  I'll do another HPT tomorrow morning.  Tuesday is the follow up blood work at the clinic, and if that comes back positive they'll do second batch of blood work on Thursday to confirm. 

I know it's early.  I know things could change.  The test could be wrong.  But I'm still so excited. 

There's a baby in there. 

{this moment} (Really) Good Friday

A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.

Inspired by SouleMama.