Sunday, December 14, 2008


Eli's nursery*

A good loud cry

A little formula to keep him from losing too much weight

At home

I love my fingers*

And I can do fancy things with my fingers*

*Photos by:

Monday, December 1, 2008

Two Weeks

It's pretty difficult for me to get any computer time these days, but thanks to a new corset-like item I purchased today at the New Moms Lactation Support Group, I can now pump breast milk "hands free" style. Oh yeah! Feel free NOT to get a mental picture of that.

Today was quite a day. We left the house at 9:30 am, and HK dropped me off at the breastfeeding support group, a free service offered by Women's Hospital of Texas, which is where we delivered. It was very informative and helpful. The best part was weighing Eli, feeding him, and then weighing him again to see how much he took in. About 1 ounce.

Afterwards, HK dropped off Eli and me at a local maternity store to try on slings while he picked up some lunch. We checked out a Sling.EZ for 10 days to see how we like it. Then, we headed over to the pediatrician for the big two-week check up! That's right, Elias is two weeks old! The best news from this visit is that Eli is exactly back up to his birth weight. [BIG sigh of relief] In short, the report from the doctor is: he's perfect, but he could be eating more. No surprises there. We were so glad to hear Eli is healthy and that all the little things we had concerns about are normal newborn things. Very thankful for good news. By the time we got home, it was after 3:00, and we all crashed for a nap.

Combining what we learned at the support group and the doctor, going forward this week we will increase the number of feedings in a day, in order to try to increase what Eli takes in and to up my milk production. Breastfeeding is much more difficult than I expected and is probably the most challenging part of this new-baby life we are living now. I am supremely blessed to have an amazing, supportive husband (who gets a nice chunk of family leave time), a mom who lives nearby and comes to help out almost daily, and lots of other supportive family and friends.

Time to stop writing and get a little catnap. Thank you to everyone who has sent congratulations. HK and I love you, and we are so happy to know Eli already has a community that loves him! More pictures soon...

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Allow me to introduce you... Eli!

Elias was born late in the night on Monday, November 17th, happy and healthy.

What started as a routine office visit at the OB Monday morning ended as an emergency c-section 14 hours later. The day didn't go quite as we thought it would, but it ended with us holding our precious new son, and that's all that matters.

We are so blessed, so thankful for this precious miracle!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Pregnant pause

Yesterday officially felt like my first day of maternity leave, since I don't work on Mondays. Now the waiting has truly begun.

How long will Uno make us wait? His arrival might feel less imminent if the doctor hadn't reported that I was dilated between 3 and 4 cm on Monday. I asked how my cervix can be that open without any real contractions, and she said the baby's head pressing on the cervix, along with cramping, can do that. Sweet. Three cm already with no pain -- I am grateful.

I saw the doula that afternoon for my "labor preparation massage," and when she heard the doctor's report she asked me how soon I wanted this baby to come. I told her I was ready any time. So, she did all she could to massage my hips to open and to get the baby down as far as possible. Afterwards, she said he could not get any further down without my water breaking. She also mentioned that once labor started, it would probably go quickly, so we shoudn't delay in heading to the hospital once the contractions were regular and close enough together. I left there very relaxed and resolved to finish packing my hospital bag that night, which I did.

Since then, nothing. I know it could be another week or so...or, it could be today. Quite a "pregnant pause" this time of waiting. I have lots of little things to keep me busy - finsh thank you notes, work on the quilts, do laundry, go through some piles of junk, shop online for Christmas presents, play around with my new account (now that's addicting), etc. Watch "West Wing" reruns on Bravo. Try to think up new names for Uno.... But it's not like I get fully immersed in any activity to the point of losing awareness of what I am waiting for.

I really can't wait for him to get here now. Hope to see you soon, Uno! Whenever you are ready! We are praying for you and can't wait to meet you.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Crafty Kathy - a couple finished projects

I finished the scarf for my sister and plan to mail it off to her tomorrow. Here it is, with a close up of the stitch:

I also finished two "hugs". These are one-yard flannel blankets that my local quilt shop collects and donates to the local hospitals for the preemie babies. I am going to make a Christmas one for Uno. : )

I am looking forward to seeing Dr. S tomorrow and hoping to hear there's been some progress since last week. I have almost no energy and am feeling very good about the fact that Thursday was my last day at work. My job is wonderful, but I was definitely ready to start my leave and use what little mental energy I have these days for the final baby prep efforts. After my OB appoinment, I am scheduled for a massage with the doula. Definitely looking forward to that.

Monday, November 3, 2008

37 Weeks = Full Term!

If Uno were a roasting turkey, his "doneness" button would have popped up yesterday. We reached 37 weeks, and he is officially full term and good to go. I am feeling huge, uncomfortable and tired, so I am looking forward to getting him out when that time comes.

I saw the OB this morning, and there is no change in my cervix from last week. I was hoping for a little more progress, but status quo is probably a good thing if it means I am more likely to get through the week without going into labor, so I can finish up at work.

Tonight HK and I plan to pack the hospital bag. Yesterday, a friend from church came over and took some maternity pictures for us, to document my largeness. : ) That was fun, and I can't wait to see the pictures.

Monday, October 27, 2008


I'm so excited! Today's trip to the OB revealed that I am between 1 and 2 centimeters dilated and 80% effaced. Woo hoo! I wasn't expecting that, and now I am anticipating Uno's arrival more than ever. My strep test was negative, and everything else looked good, too.

Dr. S said she does not think Uno will be as big as 8 lbs when he arrives. Glad to hear that. She did say it could be another two weeks before he gets here, even though I have started dilating. Frankly, I kind of need two more weeks to finish work and get ready, but whenever he comes after Sunday, when I will be officially 37 weeks and full term, will be fine. Dr. S added that the first 3 centimeters can take the longest, so since I am already progressing, she said I should not have one of those 20-hour labors. Well, that sounds just fine to me! Let's hope she's right.

HK and I had a class with the doula yesterday, and we found it very worthwhile. It reinforced some things we heard in the hospital class and gave us some new information, too. She tried to teach the moms the most effective way to push during delivery. Hopefully that will help me help Uno get out faster.

On another note, if you have a moment, please say a prayer for Sara, as she endures a rough pregnancy that is really taking its toll on her.

Saturday, October 25, 2008


Here are some long-promised pictures of various events/things.

A belly shot from sometime in August that I did not want taken:

Chase Tower, the building where I work, after Hurricane Ike:

Piles of broken glass in the street, and the poor trees. Just this past week we got the windows replaced on our floor, but many offices, including mine, are still under reconstruction:

A flower that mysteriously appeared and bloomed in our garden after Ike. Anyone know what this is?

HK at our baby shower with a very soft blanket for Uno:

Me with a gift for Uno, hand made by a friend from church:

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Eight Months Pregnant

Hello! I saw the OB yesterday, which will be a weekly event now until Uno arrives. I was 35 weeks along as of Sunday, but I am calling it Eight Months Pregnant, as Oct. 23rd is just two days away, and one month sounds shorter than five weeks.

As Dr. S put it, any remnants of the "honeymoon" phase of pregnancy is over. Another month like this? And I'm still just going to get bigger and more uncomfortable? I suppose there is a grand design for it -- so that I am good and ready to get that baby out. Which I am sure I will be.

I had to wait an hour in the waiting room, and during that time I finished the latest issue of "Baby Talk" magazine, which I admit I regularly steal from the office, but they do have a ton of them. The overhead music, which I usually appreciate, seemed too loud and was just getting on my nerves. The magazine had a story about a woman who passed all the usual tests for fetal abnormalities but then delivered a baby girl with Down Syndrome. I had to quit reading twice to keep from bursting into tears. All of this to say I was quite emotional and on edge. I was sleep deprived and coming off of a big weekend -- more about that later.

The doctor said everything looks perfect - my blood pressure, baby's heart rate (147), urine sample (no protien or sugar), belly size (35 cm), position of baby (head down), weight (152) and cervix (no dilation but almost completely thinned out). I am proud to say [TMI ALERT!] that after 8 months, I finally figured out how to get a urine sample without peeing on my hand. Very satisfying achievement.

Need to get back to work now. Will post more later about the weekend, with pictures.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Crafty Kathy

A day with no real plans stretches blissfully in front of me this morning. Ahhh. I am leaning toward getting crafy, by working to finish my quilt or making myself some maternity jeans, a la this helpful post. I may even have what I need already in the house for the jeans project -- if not, the Sandollar Thrift shop is not far away. I got my favorite Lucky Brand pre-pregnancy jeans there for $2.50.

I'm really not that much of a sewer...seamstress...whatever the term is, but I have always loved using sewing machines. It amazes me how they work. And if I can whip up a pair of jeans to take me through the next six weeks, that would give my yoga pants a much needed break. Then again, I have a couple of those Bella Bands. Maybe I can make some old jeans work using those instead....

My other project, which has been in the works for about 4 years now, is a scarf for my sister. She picked out the yarn to match her (then) new coat, and I am almost done with it, I'm just not sure how long it really needs to be. Finishing these craft projects is a weak spot for me, but I promised she would get to use the scarf this winter. She lives in the Pacific Northwest, so winter will be there any day now.

These wishes are a day late, but happy SEVENTEENTH anniversary to my sister and bro-in-law, and happy SIXTH anniversary to Brenda and M!

If I am going to get anything done, I better get off the couch. Does Columbus Day mean there is no postal service today?

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Time to get caught up - 33 1/2 weeks

This may be sporadic and choppy, but I want to get caught up on some things:

1) Ike dealt us a blow, but not nearly as hard as the blow many people received. We had many branches down, but no trees. No damage to the house. Just 12 days without electricity, which was 10 days too many. It was a humid 80 degrees in our house at night, and the noise of generators made me feel like I was in a war zone. The last three nights of it I stayed with friends, while HK held down the fort like the champ that he is. Pregnant woman's gotta get her sleep!

2) We had our u/s and everything looks good. Apparently, our little Uno is "no small fry," in the words of the u/s tech. She estimated his weight at 4.5 lbs, at 31 weeks. If he is gaining 1/2 lb. a week, he could get to 9 pounds! The OB thinks he'll be more like 8. I hope so. Uno was shy that morning and would not move his hands from his face to give us any good pictures. It was very fun to see him, though.

3) We had our first of two Birth Classes at the hospital. Lots of videos of women going through non-medicated labor and deliveries. No thank you. I am definitely getting the epidural.

4) My belly is huge. The rest of me has pretty much stayed the same size, and I have gained 25 lbs, can see why my co-workers think I am going to pop any second, and we still have over six weeks to go. It doesn't help that I am short-waisted, either. My abdomen is measuring 34 centimeters from top to bottom, which is only 1 above average, but since my torso is kind of shrinky, you know the arc has to stick out pretty far. There are very few items in the maternity wardrobe I can still wear.

5) Only 4 1/2 weeks of work left!

6) Except for not sleeping much, I feel good and am very thankful for that.

7) I'm getting more excited week by week to meet our little guy!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Ike & Uno

I just heard Mayor White's 7 am announcement, and it looks like most people in Houston will be off from work tomorrow, while many in the coastal areas are under a mandatory evacuation. I don't work Fridays anyway, but I guess now HK might be home, too. My mom and I were planning to spend the day together, as she is back in town after being gone for 4 months, but she may not want to drive down from the north Houston suburbs with Ike on the way. We'll see. We plan to gas the cars and stock up on water and non perishables tonight, but we are not planning to evacuate. Could get exciting around here! I am a weather drama junkie.

Yesterday baby Uno was going crazy inside me all afternoon and evening. He was awake and moving for about 4 or 5 hours straight. It was neat at first, and then it was like having someone poke you in the same place over and over again for hours, like Chinese water torture. I tried eating, drinking, singing, patting my belly, moving around, and nothing changed - perhaps a preview of trying to comfort a newborn? I think I may have some kind of wildman in there! He's already up and at it again this morning.

Assuming no news is good news, I guess I passed my glucose tolerance screen. It was over two weeks ago, and still no word from the OB. Surely if I were at risk of having gestational diabetes, they would have called me in for the 3-hour test by now instead of letting me go on drinking chocolate milk every day (well, almost every day). Don't you think?

Our next appointment is Monday the 22nd, and we get to see Uno on the u/s again! Can't wait for that!

A friend of mine had a baby boy in January, and although his name is Isaac, they have always called him Ike. What a lucky kid, he gets a hurricane named after him before he's even one year old. : ) Please pray for safety for everyone in the storm's path this weekend, and blessings on all who lost loved ones on this infamous day, seven years ago.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Tuesday night

We have had the computer over a week now, and it's wonderful to have internet connection at home again. I'm paranoid about getting robbed again and want to hide it under the couch when we're not home, but so far I am resisting that urge. We have decided to stop using a housecleaner, to save $$ for Uno gear, and I am making myself trust the cleaning lady to return our key after we let her go instead of cleaning us out, or giving access to someone else to do it. Sigh. It's hard to trust again.

I thought I would jump right back into my online community, but so far, no. I want to, but I feel like there is so little time in the day. Guess I will just try to ease back into it.

I am in the third trimester now. Cause for celebration, all is well.

But what's really on my mind tonight is my very close friend who just had a miscarriage, at 11 weeks. I'm so full of sadness for her and her husband. So is HK. There is no way to fully express this terrible loss.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Stay tuned...

The new computer arrives this week!

Meanwhile, all is well. We got full marks at the last OB visit, and we are already going back again on Monday. Uno is kicking a lot, and despite not sleeping for more than 2 to 3 hours at a time during the night, I feel pretty good.

More updates coming soon. : )

Monday, July 28, 2008

Hard to post with no computer at home yet

Yes, we are still computer shopping and waiting for the insurance claim check to come thru. Meanwhile, here are some recent pictures:

This is Mt. Rainier, in Seattle, Washington. HK and his best friend climbed this impressive peak a few weeks ago. I am very proud and impressed, indeed.

This is Lake Pend Oreille (that's "pon-duh-ray") in Sandpoint, Idaho, where HK and I spent a couple glorious days with my sister and her husband.

This is my belly, in Sandpoint, Idaho.
: )

All is well with Uno. We see the OB again on Wednesday. I'll try to be back again soon!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Can you see it?

Unless you recently had your own ultrasound or are an ultrasound tech, you may not know what you are looking at, but the arrow is pointing to what clearly makes our baby...A BOY!

Right now he weighs 12 oz and measures 19.9 weeks, right on schedule. Everything looks good - the heart, spine, head, bones, stomach and umbilical cord, thigh bone connected to the knee bone, etc! I have an anterior placenta, which means it is up front in my belly, with the baby behind, so that will muffle the movements for another month, but that is normal, and so is my cervix, which means I can travel safely on our vacation next week. Whew.

HK and I are thrilled that everything looks healthy and excited to know we have a son in there. Now we can choose a name from our list...which is on the computer...which was we will be starting fresh with a new list! : )

Seeing Uno again was amazing, exciting, and also sobering. A little dose of reality, to remind us there will be a big new responsibility in our lives about 4 1/2 months from now. Yeah. We are just soaking all of this in, with lots of gratitude for all the good news today.

So, thanks again for casting your vote, and everyone who voted for "boy" can do a little self-satisfied nodding of the head and enjoy the successful application of your old wives tale. Nicely done.

Already a great day

For the first time this morning, I was 100% sure those pokes and "bubbles" I was feeling as I laid in bed came from the baby. Uno seems to be curled up way to the left, and s/he was kicking me in the side. HK and I could both feel the poking when we put our hands on my belly. Pretty great moment. Looks like all three of us are ready for the big u/s today. : )

How I will post the results before tomorrow morning will be a challenge, since we have no computer at home, but I'll see what I can manage. Have a super day, everyone!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Old Poll is Broken! Please vote in new poll!

Okay, I don't know why, but the old poll won't let anyone else vote, so I added a new one, above. Feel free to vote again! There's still lots of time -- until around 1 pm on Wednesday, depending on what time zone this blog host is in...

I am very antsy, waiting to see Uno again tomorrow, and a little anxious, hoping that everything is okay. HK and I started singing and playing guitar for Uno last night, and tho we need practice, we're not too bad. : ) Really, how much can you mess up "I've Been Working on the Railroad"?

Several posts below, you will see details that may help you vote. Christina asked about heart rate: at 4 1/2 weeks, the heart rate was 180. Thanks for weighing in!!!

Monday, June 30, 2008

Slowly getting over it

Sorry about the outburst and expletive on my last post. Guess I shouldn't post angry - but blogging is all about expressing myself, and that's what I did.

Really, I hope the individuals responsible for our robbery will come to see the error of their ways, get help, and change their lives for the better. And I am now rethinking how we buy and spend, and how the more stuff you have, the more you have to worry about securing it.

HK and I sure are ready for our vacation next week. We have a wonderful house sitter staying the whole time we are gone. Sorry she doesn't get to play wii after all while she's there!

Only two more days until we can see Uno again! Feel free to vote until noon on Wednesday. : )

Friday, June 27, 2008


Our house was robbed. They took our computer, modem, tv, wii, jewelry, camera. Makes it kind of hard to keep up with the online community. I am up at the office on my day off taking care of everything, but I have to go home now and meet the locksmith. Why can't people just leave other people's stuff alone?

But we are fine, and they didn't steal our baby. It's just stuff, we'll bounce back. But it sux right now.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Owee. And there is still time to vote.

Good morning. Thanks to all who have voted! The results are currently 50/50, but there are still six days to go. One of my dear friends sent me an email yesterday saying she could not vote until she knew if my skin was broken out or clear. Ah ha, a new "how can you tell?" answer! My skin has been very clear, so we'll see what her vote is based on that. She has had a boy and a girl, so she's got credibility. : )

The "Owee" title comes from the lower back pain that has settled in this week. Not lovin' it. Definitely going to prenatal yoga tomorrow.

Also, I have a lovely plantar's wart - my first (hey, is that an indication of boy or girl?!?). My OB said I could go ahead and treat it, OTC style. Then, I read in "Fit Pregnancy" magazine that salicylic acid causes birth defects. Hello?! That's the main ingredient in drugstore wart medication. So, I will discontinue that until I talk to the doc again. Anyone have experience with that?

Have a super Thursday.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Aww, how can you tell? (& Polls are open!)

Any else remember a commercial from, maybe, the 80's, for Ziploc bags that went like this: Woman opens fridge and cringes from the smell. "Whose bag is open?" she says. Different foods in Ziploc baggies speak up and say, "Not me! Not me!" Finally one says accusingly, "It's the cheese!" And the cheese looks all sad and droopy and says, "She thought my bag was closed." The lady pulls out the bag of smelly cheese and exclaims frustratedly, "Aww, how can you tell!" Then it goes on to promote the 'yellow and blue makes green' technology.

As a person who has always appreciated a good commercial, I laughed at that one, and I still to this day use the woman's frustrated question when it seems appropriate. My sister is the only one who gets the joke.

People keep asking me if I can feel the baby kicking or moving. "How can you tell?" is my reply. Digestive rumblings, random little pains and twinges, none of these feel new to me. I am a constant testament to the gassiness of pregnant women, and there is usually a lot going on, abdominally. So I have no reason to think Uno is directly causing anything I feel, but, really, how can you tell?

On another note, others seem sure they can tell if Uno is a girl or a boy. Several woman say if the baby is riding high, like a beach ball under your shirt, it's a boy, and if the baby is low and inside, like a sideways watermelon, it's a girl. I am carrying Uno more out in front of me than low and wide. People who adhere to this method tell me Uno is a boy.

One stranger asked me what foods I was craving. If I was devouring all meat in sight, it's a boy, and if I instead prefer to nosh on salads and fruit, it's a girl. "What about if I crave pasta and Chinese food? She was stumped by that.

Personally, I look at HK's family and see how few girls are born into the family, and I think we are more likely to have a boy. HK, Mr. Master in Statistics, assures me it's a 50/50 chance every time, and the OB is backing him up on that.

So how do YOU tell? Any guessers out there? We still have 11 days until the big ultrasound, so use whatever method you prefer and take my poll, upper right. If you want to ask about other symptoms, facts about me, go ahead. Use your intuition and cast your vote, and then we'll let Uno prove us right or wrong.

One more thing: last week I had a dream about the ultrasound where we saw the bits, and it was clearly a boy.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Happy and sad

After more than a month of silence, I am happy to return and report that little Uno is doing great. I had my regular OB appt today, heard the heartbeat, and breathed a little easier. We're 15 weeks along now, and the second trimester is living up to its promises of more energy and less of feeling sick. Very nice.

HK painted Uno's room over the Memorial Day weekend - with "No VOC" paint from ICI. That's "volatile organic compounds" for those who don't know. It has fewer toxic fumes and is recommended for schools, nursing homes, and my baby's room, according to the pregnancy books. It's a pretty, light green, to match a quilt I am making, and I promise to post pictures later. HK did a great job on the painting.

Only one month until we get to find out if Uno is a boy or a girl! I have given up on perusing the baby name books until we know, otherwise I feel like 50% of my time will have been wasted. My belly is getting bigger, and I am loving the hand-me-down maternity clothes. It's so refreshing to let my stomach stick out as far as it wants to, and people think it's just adorable! I am relishing this.

Unfortunately, May ended on a sad note, as our wonderful dog, Max, became suddenly very sick, and we had to say goodbye to him on May 21st. Max was HK's dog for over 10 years, since HK adopted him from the pound when he was just a little puppy. He truly was the sweetest, best dog I ever had, and we still feel his absence every day. Thanks to all our friends and family for your notes of sympathy, and even flowers, too. We are very blessed by you.

That's all for now. If you have a special pet of your own, spend some extra quality time with it today.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

It kind of makes you miss the RE

I went to the OB on Monday, but I didn't get to actually see the OB, unless you call her walking past me saying a warm hello "seeing" the doctor. She was running late, coming back from an emergency C-section. Meanwhile, the nurse used a doppler device to find Uno's hearbeat - this took a long time, but I didn't worry too much - and she did find it, and said it sounded good. Good! I was so glad I didn't mind her getting ultrasound jelly goo all over my pants. She also weighed me and had me pee in a cup.

After more waiting, nurse informed me that Dr. S had to run out to another emergency C-section, to be followed by an emergency hysterectomy. I could wait around for 2 or 3 hours or have the appointment desk "fit" me in. Right. I have never been to this ob/gyn in 5 years when I didn't have a long wait, and that's when I have an appt, never mind "fitting me in". So, I took an opening on Friday afternoon at the other location - I'll drive more, but maybe it won't be so crowded. At least I know Dr. S will be there on the double if I need an emergency C-section.

Then I went down to the lab on the first floor. Everyone who works there must have been at lunch, because the waiting room was full and the reception window was empty. No problem, that shaggy dog movie with Tim Allen was on the TV - what more could I want? I had my cup of pee in the little white bag by my side, and I would just wait my turn. Reminded me of the IUI days, when HK and I would wait for our turn with the turkey baster (catheter). In those days, the little white bag we carried had a vial of sperm in it, and we waited for Nurse Honey to page us to report for insemination. I was glad to be on the other side of sperm-meets-egg, but I missed Nurse Honey just the same.

I had already irritated the OB's nurse by questioning the lab order - didn't I just have all these tests run in December? No, she said, those were different. Then she found the results in my file (yes I DID already have those tests), and she said, well, it's been 5 months, we need them again, this is our standard 10-week OB work up. Whatever, except that the lab had to draw six vials of blood to do all these tests. Then I irritated the nurse again about getting another appointment - but I didn't really care, I need to see the doctor.

All in all, I spent 2 and 1/2 hours at the OB's office and did not get to talk with the OB. Of course, confirmation that little Uno is still alive in there made up for it all. But it made me think that maybe graduating from the RE's office is kind of like graduating from college. No more coddling, no more feeding me with personalized information, no more celebrating our grade 4 embryo and successful IVF cycle, no more direct dial to Nurse Honey. We're in the real world now of the OB, just another pregnant woman coming in for her 10-week OB work up. Hmmm. Thank you, God! : )

Monday, April 21, 2008

The week 8 ultrasound

Yay, HK for getting our scanner to work! Uno is upside-down in the pic, where the dotted line is drawn, and the dark area is the fetal sac.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

"Cletus" the fetus

That's what HK is calling Uno, now that we are starting week 10 of the pregnancy. Uno is starting week 8 of life in utero (they start counting pregnancy weeks before you are actually pregnant, which is kind of weird) and is entering the "fetus" phase. Here is what is happening this week:

"The crown-to-rump length of your baby is about 1.25 to 1.68 inches (between 3.1 and 4.2cm). He weighs about 0.18 ounces (5g).

The placenta is now producing progesterone which helps to make nutrients for your developing baby.

Your baby has passed the stage when he is most susceptible to damage. By the end of this week, the danger zone for congenital abnormalities has passed.

The plan for your baby's body has been completely laid down by now. Further growth and cell division will build on this plan.

Taste and tooth buds have appeared.

Your baby has recently developed fingers and toes which are now well-formed. Ankles, wrists and the inner ear have formed. Your baby's nose is flat and his eyes are far apart. His eyes, ears, mouth and nose are all recognizable. The tail is disappearing.

Your baby is moving around the amniotic sac, and moving his feet and ankles. You still will not be able to feel these movements but you may be able to see them on an ultrasound.

Blood is circulating through the arteries and the vein of the umbilical cord.

The brain of your baby is developing at a phenomenal rate. About one quarter of a million new neurons are produced every single minute at this stage in your pregnancy.

If your baby is a boy, his testes, though they are not even clearly visible, are already producing testosterone.

Your baby is no longer called an embryo, but rather a fetus.

So amazing! I am still very tired, but so far still no throwing up - gotta be happy about that. Anyone out there have a puke-free pregancy? Just one more week until we see the regular OB.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Just a quick one

I should be drying my hair and scooting out the door to work, but I had to take a minute to say WE ARE OKAY!!! It was all good news at the doctor on Monday. Uno is measuring 8 weeks 4 days, with a heart rate of 180 bpm. It was wonderful to hear that again. The u/s tech turned the screen around for first time, so I could see the image, and there was the tiny heart, and we could see it beating. Unbelievable. Thank you, God. And thanks everyone for your prayers and support! I will try to post the u/s pic, somehow. Happy Wednesday!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

So thankful

Well, I have been out of touch with my online community for almost two weeks, partly because there has been nothing big to report on the pregancy front, but mainly because I started a new job in my first trimester, when all I want to do is sleep. Or lie still. The job is wonderful, despite the transition frustrations and being the "new kid" in the break room with no one to sit with. I am glad I made the change - from a tiny law firm to a large one. But it's all I can do on my days off to eat, dress and run an errand or two between stints of lying comatose on the couch. I am very thankful this is a part-time job and that it's going well, so far.

Catching up on some other blogs yesterday brought tears for others and more feelings of gratitude for how blessedly uneventful my pregnancy has been thus far. HK and I are reading through the "expecting" books and starting our list of possible names, stuff like that. But a couple women who became pregant after IVF the same time as me have been through hell. Please lift up Alison and her husband in your prayers, as they grieve a terrible loss, and also Amy, who has had a rough couple weeks of scary happenings.

Monday is our next u/s. I feel like everything should be fine, but it will be good to get confirmation from Dr. D on that. Meanwhile, we will try to take advantage of a rare, gorgeous weekend here in Houston. I'm gonna go re-plant some tomatoes now and cultivate some more gratitude.

Monday, March 31, 2008

All is well

HK and I got to see Uno again today! The ultrasound showed Uno measuring about 4 mm long, inside a one-inch diameter gestational sac, with a yolk sac also in the gest. sac, right next to and connected to Uno. Eventually, the stuff in the yolk sac somehow ends up inside Uno. Weird. And get this -- we heard the heartbeat!!! Uno is the size of a pea, so the heart is, obviously, really small, and it's just beating away, at 120 beats per minute. Unbelievable. Hearing that made this more real to me than ever.

We got to ask all of our questions to Dr. D, and we go back in two weeks for a repeat. Right now, everything is measuring normally. I am six weeks along, and my due date is November 23rd. Other than feeling fatigued most of the time, I feel fine. Must go lay on the couch now...

Thursday, March 20, 2008

We're not messing around here

Finally got my results from the second beta test yesterday - 1491! It almost tripled! I feel like Uno wants everyone to know s/he means business and is serious about sticking around. It's wonderful to be in this place, where the messages my body is sending are strong, clear and positive, rather than wishy-washy. I am very grateful.

They tested my progesterone level, too, but I don't know the results yet. If it's really high (like 200), I can stop the nightly shots. That would be nice, but I don't mind them if I need them. My hiney can take it.

So, I don't have to go back to the doctor for almost two weeks! On Monday the 31st we get to go see the doctor and have an ultrasound to get a peek at Uno. Can't wait for that!!!

Monday, March 17, 2008

What a happy St. Patrick's Day!

Worth the wait

I'm pregnant!!

HK and I are very excited and very happy! Sorry to keep you waiting on the news, but we waited until he got home from work and called our parents together, then we celebrated by going out to dinner. I took a home pregnancy test this morning, which was positive, and then went in for the blood test, and Nurse Honey called late this afternoon with the results. My beta was 502. I will go back in two days for another blood test, to make sure the beta number goes up like it should (ideally, it should double). Then, in a couple weeks, I'll have an ultrasound.

We know that there are no guarantees of how this pregnancy will go, but we are thrilled to be pregnant for the first time after almost 2 years of trying, and we are super proud of Uno!!

Thank you for all your thoughts and prayers! We are grateful for this blessing, and we are thanking God again and again.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

The waiting is the hardest part...

Thanks, all of you who have been checking in and asking for updates. So far, nothing to report. I told the acupuncturist, "I don't feel pregnant," and he said, "Have you ever been pregnant?" "No." "Then how do you know how it feels?" Hm. As HK says, he ran circles around me logically. And today my haircut lady said she went months without knowing she was pregnant (you can see, I talk about this with LOTS of people). So, I am trying to believe that I am pregnant until proven otherwise. But it sure would be nice to feel something.

Thursday the 6th was my last day at work, until I start my new job April 1st. Mostly since then I have been indulging myself with resting, working on my quilt, acupuncture, haircut, foot massage, shopping, eating out, seeing friends, etc.

On Sunday I had a belated birthday brunch with girlfriends whom I have known since high school, at the Grand Lux Cafe. Yum. It was good to catch up and focus on things besides fertility for a few hours. Thanks again, y'all! On Monday, I lunched with Kaaron. That's the first time I met someone from the internet in real life, and I really enjoyed spending that time with her. We go to the same clinic and live not far from each other. She just found out she is pregnant after IVF and is going in for her first ultrasound tomorrow - congratulations, Kaaron!

I am not sleeping that well, so Tuesday I rested a lot, in the gorgeous weather, but yesterday I shopped with my Mom and had dinner with her and Dad. Today I am trying to transition from a "vacation" mindset to a more productive one, since my sister and her family arrive Wednesday for a long stay. Must get our taxes done before that! Poor HK has been working a lot, so I am hoping to spend most of the weekend with him. Then comes Monday...

Monday, March 3, 2008

Allow me to introduce you...

Everyone, meet Uno: a Day 3, Grade 4, 7-cell embryo, currently residing!
The transfer today went really well. When I got there, Dr. D was kind enough to spend some time with me, answering questions and talking about how the retrieval had gone. He shared our disappointment that we didn't get more good eggs, but was pleased to tell me what a great egg we got.
He said he called the lab an hour before my transfer to check on the status of Uno. If the embryo looked poor, he would have put the transfer on hold for two more days, to make sure it was going to keep growing. I appreciated this bit of common sense. If the embryo wasn't developing like it should and didn't make it to day 5, it would save us two weeks of anticipation and extra hormones just to hear some bad news. But our Uno is doing just what it is supposed to do. By day three, they like to see 6 to 8 cells, and we have 7. You can count them in the picture.
Also, if you look closely, you can see just a shadow of a border around the cells. If any fragmentation of this "shell" were visible, that would indicate a lesser quality embryo. This embryo got a grade of 4 out of 5, with 5 apparently being pretty rare. Way to go, Uno!
So, with everything looking so good, we went ahead with the transfer, and as Kaaron said, I am now "with embryo"! Closest I have been so far to being pregnant, and it is pretty darn exciting.
After the transfer was over and I was alone in my little changing room, I laid there a while, praying and crying a few tears of gratitude.
On the drive over, I had been thinking of each person I knew who was praying and hoping for this embryo to be a baby in our arms, 9 months from now. From HK and me, thanks for being our cheering crowd, for helping us carry this burden, and for sitting with us while we wait.
Now, bear with me for one more thought: Look at the picture again, and think about how that could be a photograph of YOU a jillion days ago. We ALL started out like that. It totally boggles my mind. What a frickin' miracle.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Looking out for numero Uno

Since we have one precious embryo (we are calling it "Uno") and don't have to choose the best from the group, Dr. D is having us do a 3-day transfer instead of a 5-day transfer. There is one school of thought that says if an embryo does not make to the blastocyst stage (day 5), then it would not make a viable pregnancy anyway, but the other school of thought says my uterus is a much better place for Uno than a petri dish. We are trusting Dr. D on this one.

HK did my first PIO shot last night (in the handy circle the nurse drew on my upper hiney with a Sharpie), and he is a straight shooter. It didn't hurt at all. I was super proud of him. We iced it down first (my hiney), and I asked for the Progesterone In Oil made with ethyl oleate instead of sesame oil. It's not as thick, so you can use a 25 gauge needle instead of 22. Those 22s look HUGE in comparison! So, I am a bit sore in that area today, but I am not dreading the nighly PIO ritual now that I have one behind me, so to speak.

We are very excited about the transfer tomorrow, 12:30 pm. Hang in there Uno!

Saturday, March 1, 2008

The lab called

we have one embryo. please pray for our one. thank you. thank you, God, for one.

Friday, February 29, 2008

In someone else's basket now

Thanks so much for all the thoughts and prayers, everyone. We got 5 eggs! The ER went really smoothly, and mom has been bringing me hot tea and popcorn as I rest up on the couch.

The IVF lab people said that often a follicle can look nice and mature but turn out to be empty. So, while all those 16 mm follies may have grown enough by this morning to turn out some good eggs, giving us just one short of a dozen, in the end all those follies yielded 5 eggs to fertilize. Honestly, HK and I were a little disappointed we didn't get more, since the odds are that not all eggs will fertilize, and not all those that do fertilize will make it to transfer, and we were hoping for a few to freeze, BUT in the end it only takes ONE, and we are very happy we are starting with 5 times that many.

I feel relieved just to know I am not responsible for my eggs for the next 3 to 5 days - they are in someone else's basket now, and I trust they are taking very good care of them. There is nothing else I can do right now but stay hopeful and pray.

Tomorrow we will get the fert report. I'll keep you posted. Back to the couch now. I am resting easier knowing so many people are supporting us and praying for our little eggs.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Maybe half a dozen

Okay, we are all set for egg retrieval (ER) tomorrow! At the u/s yesterday, this is what they saw:

Right ovary: 23, 19, 18, 18 (and 16, 14, 12)
Left ovary: 20, 19 (and 16, 16, 16, 16, 12, 12, 11)
Lining: 16
Estradiol: 2518
Progesterone: 1.9, up from 1.4 on Monday

I put the smaller follicles in parentheses because they probably will not be mature at the ER. There was talk about pushing me one more day on stims to give those 16's more time, and my hormone levels are good, but Dr. D decided not to risk it. I am already late in the cycle by one day, there is always a chance my estrogen could spike, and we have enough mature eggs right now to go forward. HK and I are totally fine with our half dozen, and I am getting so crazy on these shots that I am happy to be done!

So last night I did the trigger shot at exactly 8 pm, plus one last injection of Lupron, and today I am blissfully shot free. Ahhh. HK took his antibiotics last night (aww, he had to swallow a couple pills, poor guy! Hmm, do you detect a note of bitterness? Sorry, sweetie.), and I will take the same tonight. No food or drink after midnight, and we have to be there at 7:30 am.

Please pray for everything to go smoothly and for a good fertilization report!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

My belly

I have been wanting to post, but I haven't had any time to myself lately until today. Lots of good things to report! First, I have finally found a good use for my pot belly: a pincushion. When I do get pregnant (not using "if" here), no one will be able to tell until my third trimester, thanks to the genes from my mom's side of the family. Petite from the waist up, skinny from the thighs down, but kind of like a small beach ball in the middle.

Seriously, people have done a double-take at my stomach and exlaimed, "You're pregnant!" when I definitely was not. But now, that convex accumulation of fatty tissue is the perfect place to inject my fertility meds. Very accessible and thick enough to forclose any chance of hitting an organ with the needles. Nice to have a good use for it at last.

My belly is more bulbous than usual right now, due to my ovaries taking up five times as much room as they usually do. Which leads to the next bit of good news. I had an u/s on Friday and another one yesterday, and those follies are a-growin'! Here's the progress:

Friday 2/22
Follicles on left ovary: 12 mm, 11 mm, 10 mm and 5 small
Follicles on right ovary: 14 mm, 10 mm and 4 small
Lining: 9
Estradiol: 682

Monday 2/25
Follies on left: 18, 16, 15, 15, 12 and 3 small
Follies on right: 19, 15, 14, 14, 11 and 2 small
(look at how that right ovary caught up!)
Lining: 15
Estradiol: 1690

Woo hoo! I got to talk with Dr. D (the RE) yesterday, and he thinks we will get 10 eggs at retrieval -- some mature, some less mature, and some very mature. That sounds great to me and HK.

Today will be my last full day of injects. Tomorrow I will go in for one more u/s and bloodwork, and if all is well, I will give myself the "trigger" shot. The shot contains hCG, or human chorionic gonadotropin, aka the pregnancy hormone. When women pee on a stick to see if they are preggo, those drug store tests are measuring the level of hCG in their urine. hCG is very similar to lutienizing hormone (LH), the hormone that surges right before a woman ovulates. Thus, in the realm of assisted reproduction, hCG is used to trick your body into thinking it's time to pop a follicle and release the egg inside. Controlling the time of ovulation allows you to schedule inseminations and egg retrievals for optimum egg availability.

Ovulation happens 40 to 45 hours after trigger. About 36 hours after my trigger shot, Dr. D will go in with a needle and suck out as many eggs from the follicles as he can, just before they are ovulated. Hopefully, we will get at least one egg that fertilizes and then implants when inserted into my uterus five days later. Then I will gladly welcome any resulting increase in the size of my belly.

As I was telling some friends yesterday, I am getting excited about the IVF, and at the same time I am afraid to get too excited. Trying to keep stress to a minimum. Very thankful for the love, support and prayers of friends and family.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Waitin' on the follies

Ultrasound #3 was this morning, and my ovaries still aren't doing much. The scan showed 2 measurable follicles -- one on each side, both measuring 10 mm (a follicle is considered mature at 20 mm). There are also 5 small follies on the right, and 6 small on the left. I found out my estrogen level on Monday was 83, which was not the >100 number we were hoping for.

Because of that, the doctor adjusted my meds a bit starting yesterday, and sure enough, my estrogen was up to 239 today. Yay! So I am hoping to see more good follicles on Friday. Also, the lining of my uterus has thickened from 5 mm to 6 mm. By the time of ovulation, it is usually about 10 mm. A nice, thick, cushy landing pad for those embryos.

Wow, embryo. Just using that word strikes amazement in me. Could that minute, miraculous, cellular-level life form really exist inside me one day? Maybe around March 4th or so?

An online friend of mine had her egg retrieval today. They saw 4 mature follicles at her last scan, but they got 7 eggs today, which is great. Tomorrow morning she will find out how many eggs fertilized, and I am anxious to find out, too, though I am sure my anticipation does not even come close to hers.

This post is not too exciting, but I want to send love and thanks to everyone reading and keeping up with what's happening. It's great to know people are sharing in this with me.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Not much happening

I had my second u/s today, the first one since I started stims (the Follistim injections). None of the follicles are big enough to be measurable yet, but I now have 5 follicles on the right and 7 on the left. That's two more than I had Friday, so I take that as progress.

Now I wait for Nurse Honey to call with the b/w results, to find out if they will adjust the dosage of Follistim. She said it is normal not to see any real activity yet, and that my follicles will not grow until my estrogen level goes up. She said they are expecting my estrogen to be above 100 today, so that is what I will hope to hear when she calls.

Also, tomorrow I will start a new shot, called Menopur, once a day. That's four shots a day now, the maximum I will have to do. It requires setting aside an extra 15 to 20 minutes every morning and night for the injection routine -- get the meds out of the fridge so they aren't so cold, prep the injection site with alcohol, cleanse the vial cap, attach the needle and dial up the dose on the needle pen or prep a disposable syringe and fill it with the right dosage from the vial, squeeze the part of the thigh or belly where I am going to inject, stick in the needle, let go of the squeeze, slowly depress the button, wait a few seconds, and withdraw the needle. Voila! Sometimes a drop of blood comes out, sometimes it doesn't. It's really not that bad. Especially if you have a morbid curiosity about medical stuff, which I do.

My husband ("HK") is going to start observing the injections, so he can get more familiar with the process, since he will eventually have to do some injections for me. Now that is trust, especially for someone with controlling perfectionist tendencies, like me. How many people do you know, whom you would trust enough to let them stick a large gauge needle deep into your muscle and inject you with hormones? Hmm, reminds me of some recent headlines...

Friday, February 15, 2008

Peraphernalia picture

Here is the picture of some of my drugs and drug accessories.

Blog about a blog about a blog

The link above is to a post about a post. I appreciate the blogger's honesty about the "lenses" formed for her in her struggle with infertility and her determination to turn towards tolerance and keep an open mind. She discusses the shift in her reaction -- from sympathy to something closer to bitterness -- to parents complaining about parenting, as her journey toward parenthood became increasingly long and difficult.

I'll admit there is some of this in me, too. There certainly are times of bitterness, jealousy, self-pity, self-doubt. But somehow my hope and my trust that my husband and I will have children, and that this childless time is allowing for growth and strengthening in ourselves and in our marriage that will come in really handy when we do have children, remains the louder voice so far. Of course, we still have a viable option in front of us to get me pregnant -- we haven't done a full IVF round yet, and the IVF meds are covered by insurance (saving us maybe $5000), meaning there is hope we can afford to do it again if it doesn't work. Many, many women have been trying longer than we have, have been through much more, or don't have as many options b/c they don't have insurance or other resources. So I am not passing judgment on the blogger mentioned above (in fact, I chat with her online and think she is very wise and compassionate) or any other woman (or man) facing infertility.

My bitterness comes more from feeling left out and having things not go the way I think they should go. Many of my friends have already had their kids - two or three of them, years ago. My sister, my best friend, has kids that are ages 8 and almost 11. Many of the rest of my friends are not married and (I assume) won't be having babies anytime soon. Who is going to go through having her first baby with me? My original plan was to have babies when my sister and close friends were having babies, so we could all do that together. It hurts to feel left behind, either because I couldn't get married fast enough or couldn't get pregnant fast enough. I had plans about these things, for goodness sake!

What is that saying, "comparison is the thief of joy", or something like that. And why do I feel so entitled to any of this? Part of it is my perfectionism. I see how something goes for someone else, anyone else, even if it's in a movie or a book, and I think of how I want that to go in my life, how to perfect it. Have a baby in the year 2000 b/c my Grammy was born in 1900 and isn't that cool that if it was 1985 then I knew Grammy was 85 years old? I didn't even have a boyfriend in the year 2000. Have all four of my children in my 20's when my body could handle it better. I'm 36 now. Have kids when my sister has kids, so they can be same-age cousins who are friends all their lives b/c I didn't have that (luckily, there is some chance of this on my husband's side of the family, if we hurry up). So I guess a lot of it is about timing for me. I think I know when is the best time for things to happen, and God doesn't agree.

So my struggle is in learning to let go, since I have no control anyway.

This is kind of ramble-y. I need to go eat some breakfast!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

All clear!

Big happenings this week -- all good, too! I was going to wait until tomorrow to post (when I am not at work), but I want to write in the moment, and I am in the moment now.

First, and most relevant to the blog topic: I had my baseline ultrasound ("u/s") this morning, which is where the u/s tech looks at your ovaries to see how many follicles are developing, how big they are and whether you have any big, bad cysts that might cause a problem. I will not go into detail about how they get the best view of the ovaries, but let's just say it's...intimate. So, my report said 5 small follicles on the left, 5 small follicles on the right, and one 11 mm cyst on the left. This cyst is most likely an endometrioma -- a bit of endometrial tissue that has attached to my ovary and caused a cyst to grow. I had a big endometrioma removed a year ago. Thankfully, this cyst is too tiny to matter, and I got the "all clear" to start the next level of meds tomorrow. I am celebrating!!!

After the u/s, I had to get blood drawn so they can check my estrogen level. They moniter that, along with other hormone levels, throughout the process. Later today, the nurse (Nurse Honey -- that's her real name -- she says her parents were hippies) will call me with the test results.
Then, I stopped in the special "all fertility meds" pharmacy and picked up a few more cool-looking vials of fancy meds. I think I will post some pictures tomorrow.

It's been two weeks now of Lupron shots, one a day. Starting tomorrow, I will add to that regimen two injections of Follistim, one in the morning and one at night. Follistim does what the hormone FSH does -- it makes the follicles in the ovaries grow (Follicle Stimulating Hormone). There is supposed to be one egg in each follicle. When a woman ovulates, whichever follicle is the largest releases its egg, and the finger-like ends of the fallopian tubes go pick up the egg and send it through the tube to the uterus. Amazing. Anyway, the dose of Follistim will be adjusted as needed over the next two weeks to grow as many mature follicles full of nice, healthy eggs as we can get. (Then, we will bypass the whole fallopian tube part of it altogether.)

My husband and I had to sign a bunch of forms that I turned in today, giving our consent to the procedures, acknowledging the risks involved, stating what will happen to any frozen embryos in the event that we divorce. Wow. There's a dose of reality for you. Forms aside, I knew this day would be a milestone for me, emotionally. I was holding back until I knew we were okay to go forward, but I am deeply invested in this process now, in my heart and in my hopes.

Okay, other piece of news: I quit my job yesterday! I'll take a few weeks to wrap things up here, take nice break in March, and start my new job on April 1st. I am celebrating!!!

Happy Valentine's Day, everyone.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

So far, so good

I have had five injections of Lupron now, and so far, I feel fine! Well...I have had some moodiness, but overall, no problems. Before I started the Lupron injections, I went on birth control pills, to begin the process of suppressing my ovaries. Strange to be on BCP when what I want is to get pregnant. I'll take the last one of those tomorrow morning.

Meanwhile, I am almost done with my fourth week of the endo diet. Just over a year ago, because my husband and I had been unsuccessfully trying to get pregnant for over six months and because of my "advanced maternal age" (35), I underwent a procedure called a laparoscopy, where the Reproductive Endocrinologist ("RE") looked inside my abdomen and checked out the exterior of my uterus, fallopian tubes, ovaries, intestines and pelvic wall. The RE found what he called Stage III endometriosis. Read all about the disease here: . He removed adhesions, scar tissue and a large cyst on one ovary. I had almost no symptoms of endometriosis, but I was glad to know the RE had removed it, and I was looking forward to getting pregnant right away. At the time, I read about a diet designed for endo, but it sounded really hard to stick to, and I figured my endo was gone, so I didn't bother with it.

After endometriosis is removed, it returns almost 100% within 10 months to a year.

One year after my lap surgery, we had tried three cycles of intra-uterine insemination (no longer called "artificial") and numerous hormone pills, injections, ultrasounds, RE conferences, ovulation predictor kits, blood tests, and of course a few pregnancy tests, all of which were negative. My husband and I were now down to three options for a baby: IVF, adoption, or continuing to try on our own with no medical intervention in hopes of beating the odds. We chose IVF.

I have been told that IVF effectively takes endo out of the equation. Faced with the emotional, physical and financial toll that IVF would take, I decided I could do better. Maybe IVF helps you GET pregnant when you have endo, but what about staying pregnant? And how about giving this our very best effort, and not just relying on doctors and drugs to make it happen? So, I committed myself to the endo diet in preparation for IVF.

Later, I will post more about what the diet entails. For, now I just want to say that I am thankful that I learned about it, that I have the time and resources to grocery shop and cook within the guidelines, and that I can know that I am taking responsibility for my health. I don't stick to it perfectly, but that's okay. And hey, I've lost 5 pounds.

I appreciate those of you who have left your comments, and thanks everyone for visiting and being a part of this journey.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

First Post

I will start menopause today. Watch out for moodiness, hot flashes, forgetfulness, trouble sleeping, and others I won't mention. That's what the nurse told me. Just for a couple weeks, though. After all, this is not the Change of Life, this is temporary. An "induced menopause," brought on by medication, in preparation for a cycle of in vitro fertilization ("IVF").

Welcome to my first post on my first blog. Thanks for visiting. My goal here is to tell my truth, to exercise my voice, to know what I think when I see what I say.

The desire to start blogging has been there a while, and the catalyst for finally beginning is a 10 iu injection of Leuprolide and a many thousand dollar investment in my and my husband's hope for a child of our own.

I am calling it "Mother on Earth" because I want to be a mom, and I try to be conscious about the consumer choices I make and how they affect our planet and the people who live here. For Christmas, I got the book "Clean House, Clean Planet" by Karen Logan, and I am slowly incorporating "green" cleaning into our household. I buy organic when I can, recycle and reuse, compost our scraps, grow organic fruit and vegetables in the back yard, and have started learning about and supporting fairly traded foods and other products.

One last thought. No matter what amount of cash or drugs we pour into this IVF effort, my husband and I know that God is the one who makes babies, who gives life. So I hope this blog will also be a reminder to me to be obedient to the IVF protocol but surrender this to God, to let go of any sense of control and trust God to meet all of my needs, and to reach for the love, joy, comfort and hope that comes from staying connected to our community of faith.

That's all for now. Peace be with you!