Escrow Day 2 / Pregnancy Day 201

First, a baby update:

I am 28 weeks 5 days today. I saw my OB this morning and she skipped into the room making exclamations over how impressed she is with my health. My blood sugar is perfect. My iron level is perfect. My weight is perfect. My blood pressure is perfect. She is a happy doctor.

Baby girl is also perfect. Based on last week’s ultrasound, she is measuring in the 54th percentile, and doc says she’s about 2.5-3 lbs at this point. Her heart rate was in the 150s, and as usual, she moved away from the doppler as soon as she felt it there. She’s still transverse, but doc has promised me that we will get her into the appropriate position before birth. Right now, her head is in my left hip and her feet are wedged between my right hip and my ribs. The rib kicks were new this week, and I have to say that I actually prefer bladder kicks to rib kicks.

And a house update:

It turns out that buying a house is pretty stressful. Who knew? (Aside from everyone who has ever purchased a house.) Yesterday, I was fairly certain that my heart AND my brain were going to explode, but things are a bit more settled today.

Since our escrow length is contingent upon our sellers finding their new house, we could be moving anytime between the first and last weeks of June. They made an offer on a house a few days ago, and if they get it, we could start the 30-day clock as soon as tomorrow. If they don’t get it, they have until May 19th to find a place. Naturally, I am hoping that their offer goes through. I would LOVE to not be moving when I’m 37 weeks pregnant. But this “easy going and flexible” angle was what helped us get our offer to the top of the pile, so it’s worth it.

I have no idea what we did to get so lucky this week, but here’s a peek at our future house. These are photos from the listing. I am over the moon thrilled that we are going to have a dishwasher AND central air before baby girl’s arrival. It feels like we won the lottery. A really expensive lottery that we will be paying for over the next 30 years.

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Once again

This is just a quickie because I don’t have much time, but I absolutely have to thank all of you for your well wishes and positive thoughts yesterday.

Twix is INFINITELY better today.  After a very scary day, she turned a corner last night and was up begging for breakfast bright & early this morning.  She is clearly going to be just fine.

AND, we got a call from our realtor about 15 minutes ago. We totally got the house.

The universe came through for us this week in some amazing ways, and I feel so grateful right now that I can’t even really put it in words.

“Minor” Freak Out

The house we love got 7 offers over the weekend. They are only considering two of those offers. One of them is ours. We could hear something as soon as tonight.  I am DYING.

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A Bit of Stress

My sweet little Twix is at the vet this morning with pancreatitis and a possible bowel obstruction. She’s in a lot of pain, and I feel awful. Her heart rate is 200, and should be closer to 120. All she can do is pace around because it hurts too much to lie down. The vet wants to keep her there today, but we know she’d be so much more comfortable at home (she is SO FREAKED OUT at the vet), so poor Catch is there trying to figure things out.

On top of that, we made an offer on a house yesterday and we are positively dying to hear something. They have 3 days to decide. We know they have multiple offers, and we made ours as attractive as we possibly could. Honestly, I would have thrown our entire budget at them for this house, but our realtor warned us that we could run into problems with the loan and appraisal if we do. Our offer is over asking, but not dramatically so—I just hope it’s enough that they’ll at least give us an opportunity to counter if it comes to that because I want that house. This wait is almost as bad as a 2ww. At least it’s only 72 hours.

On the bright side, we got to see our baby girl on Friday. Look at that face. I am so in love. I absolutely cannot wait to kiss those cheeks. (I mean, I CAN wait. I WILL wait. I’m just excited for July.) It’s amazing.

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Now universe, if you could just make those first two things work out I swear will be the happiest mama on the block. I know that expecting a healthy baby, a healthy dog AND our dream house all simultaneously is asking a lot, but… pretty please?

NIAW – You Are Not Alone (Or Are You?)

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I am not one of those people who kept my mouth shut throughout our fertility treatments. I needed to talk about it. It wasn’t something that I broadcasted via social media or anything like that, but if I was having a conversation with a friend or family member and the subject came up, I didn’t hesitate to share a bit. Mostly, I spoke in facts and specifics and avoided the emotional aspect, but that worked for me.

I often felt kind of silly about it after the fact. Like maybe I was oversharing. Perhaps it would be better if I just kept my mouth shut. Was I making people uncomfortable? How much did I care? Should I care more? Is this appropriate?

A few weeks ago, those questions were answered for me when I was approached by one of my friends at work. I was the first person she confided in that her (out of state) daughter had undergone IVF and was about a week away from a FET using the single embryo that resulted from IVF. She hadn’t told anyone else because she was afraid of judgement and/or misunderstanding, but she knew I had been there and she wanted to talk about it.

We have talked a great deal over the past few weeks. Her biggest concern has been supporting her daughter through this process because she honestly had no idea what to say or do—especially since she was so far away. I love that I was in a position to provide some insight that helped a mother support her daughter through part of this struggle.

I thought about them as I drove into work this morning with my own little IVF baby wiggling away. Today was beta day, and I had a feeling the results might be in by the time I got into the office since her daughter is on the east coast.

Sure enough, my phone rang about 10 minutes after I sat down at my desk. Beta was negative.

My poor friend was teary as she told me that I was the first person she called, and all I could do was tell her how sorry I am over and over again. What else is there to say, really? They have no more embryos and the couple can’t afford another round of IVF. I can’t say definitively that this was it for them, but right now I’m sure that’s how it feels.

This is where I am lost, because no matter how many times they hear the words, “I’m sorry,” this pain is still their pain. Perhaps I can understand it a bit better than the average person, but I can’t fix it. No one can. I think that’s the thing about this kind of emotional pain—even when you are surrounded by love and well-meaning gestures, it is so incredibly isolating. And even if she is anything BUT alone today, she will feel about as alone and empty as she has ever felt. That is infertility.

I wish so many things for my friend’s daughter today. I wish she was celebrating instead of mourning. I wish she was hopeful instead of hopeless. I wish she could find comfort in knowing that she is not alone.

As so many know firsthand, having a life inside of you for however long—be it days or weeks or months—and then losing that life and all of the hope that goes along with it is one of the most “alone” feelings in the world.

So no, you are not alone. I am not alone.  She is not alone.  It just feels that way sometimes, and that’s okay. Infertility cannot always be a sisterhood, and while it’s comforting sometimes to know that there are other people out there fighting the same fight you are, this particular fight often has to be won from within our own selves.

27 Weeks

3 days until we kick off the 3rd trimester, folks. 3 days.

I sent this to Catch the other day and she told me that I have ruined sex for the rest of my pregnancy because she can’t look at me without thinking about the cats. Hah.

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I am both shocked and terrified at how the weeks are flying by lately, but even more than that, I am just plain grateful to be here with this little one still tucked safely away.

We have a growth scan scheduled for Friday afternoon, so I’m looking forward to seeing this little munchkin. I hope the tech has an easier time seeing her this time. She’s been in a transverse position for several months, but I’m pretty sure that she flipped yesterday based on the location of her kicks. A darn good thing too, because my hips have been KILLING me and I don’t think the fact that baby was using my hip bones to support her personal uterine hammock was helping any.

Here’s this week’s shameless office bathroom bump picture:

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The belly is definitely growing and I’m starting to get a bit uncomfortable, but I know this is just the tip of the iceberg. (Dear Universe: It would be great if it was a small-ish iceberg.) I have this great new thing where if I stand or walk for longer than 10 minutes, my left thigh goes numb. Because that’s not weird or anything. I am really hoping that the issue will be at least somewhat alleviated by baby’s new position.

Aside from that, morning sickness seems to have made a comeback. I’m not throwing up but for the last week or so, I feel nauseous and generally awful until 11 or 12 o’clock. After that, I’m absolutely fine. It’s like it’s true morning sickness this time. It’s kind of throwing me for a loop, but from what I see around the interwebs, this is fairly common. Yay. It would be great if it wasn’t permanent, or if it could at least not get any worse.

I haven’t been working on knitting for baby girl because I was busy knitting for one of the girls at work. Her baby shower was today, and this is what I gave her.

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I think they turned out pretty cute.

Also, the garden is growing! We found our first little tomato the other day, and our carrot seeds have officially sprouted. We totally scaled down the garden this year because of moving and baby, but I’m glad Catch talked me into at least doing a few veggies. The garden always makes me so happy.

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May Karma Bite Them HARD

As you know, we’re in the process of trying to buy a house. I say trying because the market is tough in our area right now. Everything is being snatched up by investors left and right. It’s maddening.

(For example, we went to an open house on Saturday for a house that I was already in love with courtesy of the 91 photos on Zillow. It had only been on the market for 24 hours. As we strolled through noting, “this will be the baby’s room” and “the dog door can go here,” there were already two investors chatting up the realtor about their offer. I wasn’t totally heartbroken because in the end we decided that the living space was just way too tiny, but this experience is par for the course.)

That’s not the point of this post, though. I’m only mentioning it because if you have ever purchased a house before, you know how intimately familiar you become with your own finances and credit report as you move through the process.

That said, on Friday morning Catch called me to tell me that she got a call from a woman who was trying to reach me. She was claiming to be a process server, and left Catch with instructions for me to contact some law firm ASAP. After some discussion, the two of us decided that it sounded kind of fishy, and we decided to wait it out and do nothing. Surely if someone was actually trying to serve me with legal documents and they were able to track down my wife, they would be able to find me.

Then around 2 in the afternoon, I missed a call from my uncle. He left me a voice mail message informing me that this same woman had contacted him and given him the same story she gave Catch. He left me with the same contact information for this supposed law firm. I started to panic a bit. They called my uncle? I don’t even call my uncle. What the hell is going on?

I didn’t have much time to think about it because ten minutes later, our HR director at work called me to inform me that she had received a verification of employment for me from—you guessed it—the supposed law firm. It included all of my personal information, and requested everything from my social security number and income to my supervisor’s name.

THAT’S when I started to panic.

In the meantime, Catch and I had both been googling the phone number to see what we could find. We found a number of reports of people claiming that this is a scam and that they were coming after them about old credit card debt that did not actually exist and threatening them, but there was nothing very concrete.

Still, these people are calling everyone I know—including my employer. And they know a hell of a lot about me.

So I called.

After a few moments, I was transferred to a reasonable-sounding gentleman who informed me that they have been trying to reach me regarding a Chase credit card account that I opened in 2003 that was in good standing until I stopped paying in 2006. I was told that the amount due was around $2700, and that I could pay it right that second, or I could settle the matter in court, where the sum would be closer to $6000. I argued with him on the phone for over 20 minutes asking for proof of this supposed debt in writing, etc. He said it was too late and that if I didn’t want to pay that day, I could take my chances in court. He was willing to email me a document detailing my debt, but I didn’t want to give him my email address. In the end, I finally relented and gave him my email address because it was clearly the only way I was going to get anything in writing from these people. They claimed they had mailed me a letter 45 days prior and that my non-response was what was leading to their actions.

My blood pressure was through the roof. I was about 90% positive that I have never had an account with Chase. And wouldn’t it be on my credit report if I had? Because I can tell you there is no Chase account on my credit report. However, my credit around that time in my life was not fantastic. I had split up with an ex, and was over my head trying to support myself and pay bills that we had accumulated in my name while we were together. I was a mess. (Even so, when I think about it now, I know that I didn’t have any credit cards when I met Catch in 2005.)

At 3:15 pm on Friday afternoon, they emailed me their supporting documentation, which was really nothing more than what I had been told over the phone. I was told that I had until 4 pm to pay them or my credit report would be affected and I would have to settle the matter in court.

Let me make something clear: I am a pretty smart lady. NOTHING about this was sitting right with me, but they got me so worked up and scared that I was not thinking like myself. I was their prey, and I felt totally vulnerable. All I could see was my past credit mistakes catching up to me at this transitional point in my life where it could hurt me, Catch AND our baby, and I was terrified.

Pregnantly (new word—think I might trademark it), I called Catch in absolute hysterics. We’re talking loud, messy, ugly crying from behind my office’s closed door. Catch tried her best to calm me down and reminded me that this is all highly suspicious and told me that she was going to contact her cousin (an attorney) and take care of this from here out.

Fortunately, Catch and her cousin were able to work together to figure out the glaring holes in this scam. For one thing, the statute of limitations on this supposed debt would have been up a couple of years ago. For another thing, she looked into the supposed law firm and determined that they are not an actual law firm.

In the end, I replied to their email that I was having my legal counsel review the matter, and I have not heard another peep from these assholes.

I am telling you all of this because clearly, I am not the only person who has been taken advantage of like this. I don’t know how these people got all of the personal information they had on me, but I came very close to handing them $2700 just so they would leave me alone. Honestly, I am still pretty unsettled about the situation, and I’m going to sign up for a credit monitoring service today.

Showered

OK, I haven’t wanted to write about this, but it’s bugging the crap out of me and I need to get it off my chest.

Many months ago, my sister in law told Catch that she wanted to throw us a baby shower. It was very sweet of her. So SIL would cover Catch’s side of the family, and then my mom wanted to throw us a shower that would cover my side of the family. We both have fairly large families and when you add in family friends and our own friends, it’s much more manageable to have separate showers.

So, guest lists are decided and invitations are ordered. The invitations for the shower my mom is throwing include both of our names. Please join us for a baby shower honoring Molly & Catch.

The invitations for the shower my SIL is throwing include Catch’s name only. Please join us for a baby shower honoring Catch.

I was hurt. My immediate reaction was something along the lines of, “Oh, don’t mind me… I’m just the one cooking the baby. No big deal.”

Now, I understand that the very idea of a couple of lesbians having a baby together implies to some that tradition has gone out the window. It seems that when you remove a penis from the babymaking equation, all bets are off. And I get how it can confuse people. I do. This lesbian thing is not for everyone.

SIL wanted to throw a shower for her sister. Totally understandable. I guess I just assumed (and you know what they say about assumptions) that perhaps I was equally important in this particular equation. Much like my SIL probably assumed that these would be hers/hers baby showers rather than joint ones, I suppose. I don’t know. I guess maybe the politics of a lesbian baby shower are more complicated than I thought?

I am trying very hard to get over my hurt feelings because it’s bothering Catch that I’m upset and I don’t want that. It’s not worth it. We got into a sort of emotionally-overwrought fight about it, but we agreed in the end that the baby shower is not about either one of us—it’s about our baby girl. It’s not as if Catch and I don’t know that we’re equal partners in this. That should be enough. But try telling that to the overtired, overly hormonal pregnant woman with the aching hips, heartburn, and tear ducts that are operating on high alert.

26 Weeks

I feel like I have a gazillion things to say, but it’s all a jumble in my head. I’m going to try to give you a bullet point update with some pictures, because the last few weeks have been a whirlwind.

  1. I passed my glucose test today! You have no idea how stressed I was about this. I know that PCOS increased my risk, but my result wasn’t even borderline. I’d like to thank my pancreas for cutting me some slack on this one. Ice cream for dinner! Actually, my wife said no to that because she said she’s gaining too much of my baby weight, but whatever. I’ll get some ice cream in there somehow.
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  2. At 26 weeks, baby girl supposedly weighs about 2 lbs and is about the size of a butternut squash. I love watching that tiny little hand get bigger. It’s the best.
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  3. Baby girl’s blanket is complete and I love it! In fact, I love it so much that I started another one with a gazillion different colors of leftover yarn from my pre-carpal-tunnel days when I used to sell baby hats on Etsy.
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  4. Our beautiful baby book arrived from Rag & Bone Bindery with special pages for two moms.  I really love the page with “the story of our path to you.” I can’t wait to write that one.
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  5. At my OB appointment last week, my total weight gain was 14 pounds. It is seriously hard to jump straight from weight loss mode into pregnancy. All I can think about is the 50 pounds I lost before IVF, and the scale is just messing with my head. I’m trying REALLY REALLY hard to get over it.
  6. The belly was also measured at last week’s OB visit. At 25.5 weeks, I was measuring 24.5 weeks. If I compare practically identical belly shots from 24 weeks and 26 weeks, I see no difference at all. I know I shouldn’t be complaining about this, but I just want to throw it out to the universe that it’s OK for baby girl to start really staking her claim on my midsection. Really. (And yes, I bought that Old Navy dress in every color. Shut up.)
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  7. I took some much-needed vacation time last week while Catch was on spring break. We did a lot of spring cleaning & de-cluttering to try to make some room for this baby in our precious 600 square feet. Fortunately, we got word that we can start house hunting again at the end of the month! Exciting and terrifying all at once!
  8. When I returned to work this wek, I sat down with HR to discuss maternity leave. I will be able to take 16 weeks off to be with our baby girl, and I am thrilled. Most of the girls in our office only take 12, but I have enough vacation time to pad my 12 weeks and still have some extra time in the bank.
  9. Do you like lemon bars? Make these lemon bars. You will not be sorry.  (Note–I did not build up the crust on the sides of the pan, I just flattened it. I also didn’t bother chilling it before baking.)
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  10. Lastly, we are currently 95 days from my due date. Double digits. It feels fantastic.

I hope you are all in the midst of a great week!

“IVF PTSD”

  

Facebook generally has a horrid idea of what will appeal to me, but they got something right today when they suggested this NYT post. I know there are a number of us who can relate, so I thought I’d share. 

(A proper post is coming soon–I promise!)