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No news… is still no news

We’re still in a holding pattern just waiting for E to make her grand debut.

As the days tick by, it looks like we’ll be headed more and more for the induction on the 9th. I’m not really worried or concerned about what lies ahead. I’m actually feeling pretty calm.

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this previously, but long before we started TTC (and had any idea about IF), I had a lot of apprehensions about the whole ‘getting pregnant’ thing. I just sort of had this sense that we were jumping into the deep end of the pool without knowing how to swim or having any of those little inflatable ‘floaties’ on our arms.

I pretty much despaired over the entire process.

After a while, I came to hate TTC naturally when month after month yielded no results. Good grief, I felt like the prize stallion at the Irish National Stud Farm. When we finally went to the reproductive medicine clinic, I worried about the implications of finding out something was ‘wrong’ with one of us or (possibly worse) finding ‘nothing wrong’ as a case of unexplained infertility.

I think I only came into my own when then the shit hit the proverbial fan and we had a clear diagnosis. Finally! I had something we could do something about. Blocked tubes, who knew?

From that point forward, I’ve become increasingly sanguine about the whole thing. My sense of foreboding has entirely cleared. I’m no longer worried.

Was I somehow psychic and sensed the infertility problems?

Perhaps, I’ve had the first known case of ‘mantuition’ (male intuition)?

I don’t know. I just know that I’m feeling quite contented waiting to meet our daughter.

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There is no emotional “shared risk” program

I’d planned on writing a post-Christmas summary of what’s been going on in Babyland.

However, I read something yesterday from our online friend and fellow blogger Myndi that simply broke my heart. She suffered a miscarriage on Dec 23. As a small sign of solidarity and in respect for her mourning, I’m going to defer further baby-related updates until after the New Year.

I was very shaken by this turn of events. Indeed, I cried (literally and which, frankly, surprised me) after reading what had happened and could hardly bring myself to tell L (who was also shaken and moved by the news). I’m not sure that I would have been more upset had Myndi been a friend in “real life” or even had she been a sister (of course, I’m an only child — so there’s really no way to know). Then again, our online IVF community is—in many ways—not detached from “real life”… indeed, I speak more of these matters to you (all two…perhaps three now… of you reading these posts) than I do to most of the people in the “real world.”

I also can’t imagine what it most be like to go through such a loss. I realize miscarriage is always an “option.” It is, in fact, a natural (if unpleasant) element of the process of human reproduction. Intellectually, I get that. Indeed, that’s one of the reasons why we opted for the shared risk program, which “protects” you by allowing multiple chances until you successfully bring home a live baby from the hospital. Yet, I also realize—now more than ever—that the program lacks any sort of emotional shared risk. And, that can be a far heavier burden to carry.

So, I find myself feeling sad about Myndi’s loss, grateful (and a bit guilty) for our good fortune, and really hopeful that things work out for Myndi and PB in the near future (as well as continue to run smoothly for us).

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T-minus 66 Days (And Counting)

Well, it’s been a little while since my last update. As I seem to suck at keeping up this blogging thing, I thought I’d share a few recent “news” highlights.

Nursery Progress

I’ve finally finished the “construction work” in the nursery. It’s now painted and ready to fill with decorations / furniture (of which we’ve started… I just lack photos). Anyway, here are a few photos:

Adding the pink

Installing the chair railing

Completed project

4D Ultrasound – Take Two

Last week, we did another 4D ultrasound at 29 weeks. We did the $100 “peek-a-boo” session. It was fun to “see” the baby again and reassuring to know that everything looks great. But, in all honesty the “wow factor” was kind of gone, because we’d already seen 3D images and (advice to those behind us) 29 weeks is a little late to get great pictures.

A little late? Huh?

Yes, a little late. You see, by this time, the baby is so large that there’s relatively little room free space in the womb. As a result, it’s difficult to get a full shot of anything without other structures/anatomy in the way. So, my advice would be to do a 4D ultrasound earlier even though the baby won’t be quite as baked yet.

Minor Crisis Averted

One morning this week, L freaked because her hands had starting swelling to the point that her wedding ring no longer fit without marked discomfort. She concluded that she simply couldn’t wear it to work. She was really upset. (Strange? Perhaps. But, she’s invested in these things.)

Anyway, she sent me a frantic text message later in the afternoon, confirming her worst fears. Apparently, some moron at work asked her “if something was wrong with Paul” based on the missing ring. Really? Who notices these things, on a pregnant woman nonetheless, and on the first day that the ring was “missing”? Get a life!

Fortunately, being the Greatest (and most modest) Husband in the History of the World, I’d already gone out that morning to a jewelry store and purchased her a “temporary” wedding ring (which is reasonably nice and just enough “non-wedding-bandy” that she can wear it decoratively on a larger finger on her other hand later).

Major bonus points, baby. Major points.

And it’s a reminder of my “Golden Rule of Pregnancy for Men”:

What the pregnant lady wants, the pregnant lady gets.

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Closing in on the third trimester…

It’s been a while since my last update.

As usual, I’m started writing this from 36k feet. Airplanes seem to be my one good source of downtime. Thankfully (or not) I usually spend a good deal of time on them.

Most of my “blogging” efforts of the past few weeks were reading and responding to posts over on Myndi’s site. In case you haven’t seen, she got the news we all wait for in the IF community: a BFP! L and I are so pleased for her. Congrats again, Myndi!

More shots… this time for the dog!

Back on the home front, one of our other “children” has become ill. Our male (nine year old) Min Pin, Harley, was diagnosed with diabetes. So, instead of being free from of needles and syringes, we now have an insulin dependent doggie that requires a special diet and shots twice per day. The good news is that the “training” for us was negligible—we’re shot giving experts. The biggest issues are his need for a very regimented feeding schedule (thankfully my Mom provides great assistance as our schedules are often hectic) and the fact that he can no longer sleep through the night without having to go outside. So, L and I are getting training for the sleep deprivation that will come along with the baby.

Checking out hospitals…

Last weekend, we started the process of touring birthing and delivery centers. We’re looking at two centers: St. Joseph’s Women’s Hospital and University Community Hospital. I’d personally prefer Tampa General (where I spent many a summer interning with their trauma team)… but Libby’s “for chicks, by chicks” OB/GYN practice only serves the aforementioned medical centers.

Overall, St. Joseph’s seemed alright. It’s a bit farther from the house. They’re very big on keeping the baby and mom close together following the birth. That means the kiddo may never go to the nursery (which is very tiny) unless they’re premature or ill and need to go to the NICU (which is very large and well-equipped as a Level 3 center). It seems like the downside of this is that L won’t have much time to rest following the labor and delivery… of course, I’ll be there to help.

We see UCH on the 14th.

Nursery updates

Last weekend, I also picked up the crib from Babies ‘r Us (pic below from Babies ‘r Us web site). It comes in a HUGE box… I had to rent a truck at the Home Depot to get it. It also weighs 150 lbs. So, lugging it off of the truck and around the house was a fun activity for me, myself, and I. My plan is to set it up next weekend.

Carter's Lifetime Crib

This past weekend, I also started “construction operations” in the baby’s room. I’m preparing for painting (a lot of work, as I’m hand painting strips below the chair rail on the wall) and then will be installing the aforementioned (custom built by me to match the rest of our woodwork) around the room. All in all, this work will be more time consuming than anything else.

In search of hauling capacity…

You’ll have to humor me on this one…

I also started to grow increasingly frustrated by the our utter lack of hauling capacity. Libby has a large sedan, which is decent for many objects. But, I drive a small two-seat sports car, which is utterly useless for “practical work” other than shuttling me to and from the airport. Plus, the only way for me to even drive the baby in my car is to get an (overpriced) “Genuine Porsche Child Seat” (otherwise, they won’t deactivate the passenger-side air bag).

So, we went out this weekend and got an SUV that provides a bit more… well… utility: a Porsche Cayenne S. Ok, sure, it falls a little short of earning the title “most practical choice.” But, it is both sporty (with the S’s larger V8 engine) and utilitarian (indeed, it’s larger and has more towing capacity than many other SUVs). Besides, it’s the one way I could justify a second Porsche after spending all of that money on the IVF treatment. ;-)

Porsche Cayanne S

I suppose I’m nothing if not goal-oriented…

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Some updates…

I’m writing this on an airplane (surprise, surprise) en route to Minneapolis for a Board meeting tomorrow morning. I think I’ve mentioned that work has been a bit hectic lately. It’s all been good, but I have a lot of responsibilities and feel very obligated to the ensuring the success of my company. One of my closer colleagues (and friends) mentioned that I’ve started losing something of my “easygoing” nature and that I seem more “intense” these days. I think he might be right, which worries me a bit as I’ve always prided myself on my imperturbable countenance.

Anyway, on with the “baby” news…

To start, I’d be sadly remiss if I didn’t mention that my IF buddy, Myndi, had her ET today. So, L and I send her our best wishes, many “sticky” baby thoughts, and much love! I’m really positive and hopeful for her.

I’ve also managed to finally get my rear-end in gear to start preparing the nursery. Last weekend (after returning from Minneapolis), we ordered a crib and changing table from Babies ‘r Us, which is now at the store and awaiting pickup. In addition, we’ve had the first shipment of nursery supplies arrive from Restoration Hardware Baby & Child too. Restoration Hardware stuff is really pretty pricey, but I honestly have a hard time resisting the temptation to get such things because, well, I simply think my daughter deserves to have the best.

L is spoiled rotten by me. Annie (my “doggy daughter” and “pretty, pretty princess”) is spoiled rotten by me. Now, they’ll just be another lady with me wrapped around her little finger. Go figure.

Meanwhile, I’ve also been reading baby books…

And, I have to say little comes as a real surprise. Indeed, I think I have pretty good instincts for what should and shouldn’t be done with little ones. So, it’s nice to see in print that my ideas are roughly on the mark.

The biggest “issue” that I’ve rethought is our ideas about travel without the baby. We’d planned to take two big vacation per year… one with and one without the little one. However, it seems that leaving an infant / toddler for a prolonged period (even with a very familiar family member) could be traumatic. As such, I’m really starting to rethink my position… not to reduce our travel plan (perish the thought) but to bring her along on more adventurous trips at a far earlier age. Crazy? Probably.

Today was another first…

For the first time today, I was able to feel the baby kick through L’s stomach. How cool! I know this will sound stupid, but it’s actually difficult for me (as a man) to really “get” that there’s a living human inside my wife. Oh, I understand it intellectually (I do have a Ph.D. for goodness sake—so, I’m ostensibly not an imbecile)… but it’s a little difficult to really feel/imagine. It’s actually amazing when one sits back to contemplate it.

Finally, a name will be forthcoming soon…

We actually have/have had a first name picked out for a really long time. We’re just working on finalizing the middle name… so stay tuned! The announcement may come as early as next weekend.

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