Monday, February 28, 2005

Shorted

My shirts are too short. Almost all of them. It's really frustrating. Either my panel shows or the bottom of my belly. Neither is that attractive nor anything I want to display to the general public. I don't want to have to buy any new clothes but I don't know how else to make this work. ARG!

Did I mention that I'm 46 inches around measuring at the belly button? I'm huge. Really.

And only 1 month left.

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Religion as divider

My best friend called me yesterday to talk to me about how hard it is to find new friends. Tell me about it. Of course I'm a little peevish about her looking for new friends, but I did move away about 4 years ago so I guess it's bound to happen. Also, love and friendships are in that group of things for which there isn't a limited supply.

So she's been trying to meet other women who have Down's syndrome children. She's been having a hard time because where she lives most are Mormon, and she isn't. Her husband was raised Mormon but left the church before he met her. The Mormons kept coming by to get him to come back to the church. Eventually he told them that he was married, not interested, and his wife wasn't Mormon. The local Mormon church actually sent him a letter to tell him that his blessings had been rescinded. I had no idea you could revoke blessings.

Anyway, she met a new woman who also has a Down's baby and toddler and they took all their kids to the park. Everything was going well and somehow in someway sexuality came up and the woman informed her that the Bible is against homosexuality. I look up to my best friend Valerie exactly for what she did which was start questioning her.
Should the Bible always be taken literally?
Yes, it was written by G-d.
Then you shouldn't be doing x y and z which the old testament expressly forbids.
The Bible was written long ago. That was appropriate for that time.
But why should some things be exact and others modified?
Because it has always been wrong to be gay.

What the woman didn't know was that Valerie's brother is gay. It's hard to be friends with someone who thinks murders can go to heaven if they repent, but a gay man because he refuses to apologize for who he loves.

I wish religion wasn't so divisive. Our country is so divided right now among political lines, but I think it has more to do with religion. How can you get both sides to talk to each other when one side seems thinks the other is going to hell? I don't believe in hell, but I wouldn't wish that on anyone except murderers, rapists, and such truly evil people.

Tomorrow in my speech class I will speak on gay marriage. Simply put, I don't think religion should be part of it. A church can decide who it wants as its members and who it doesn't. A marriage in a church adds special meaning for the couple with faith, and a church can refuse to marry anyone. The state on the other hand should not discriminate against any consenting, unrelated adults. A marriage by the state offers legal protections. A marriage in a church and marriage by the state have the same name, but are not the same. Why then would the churches want to stop state weddings? It is not a love thy neighbor type of situation, that's for sure.

-----

On other news, today was a busy day for Janie and I. She went to a sibling class at the hospital taught by one of those chirpy always happy and excited types of people. The video she showed was made at least 20 years ago, complete with the big 80's hair styles and infant car seats that faced forward. Then Janie and I went to a 6 year old's birthday party at the bowling alley. Janie would basically drop the ball straight down, then sit and watch as the ball slooooowly made its way down the aisle (gutters balls prevented by ingeneous rails). Then we went for haircuts and grocery shopping, then I went home and took a little nap. What a day. I wish I didn't have class all day tomorrow, I'd really like to rest.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Second Child Benefits

Why being pregnant with the second child is better than it was with the first:

  • When people ask if this is my first, I get to answer that it's not. That immediately stops them from giving me assvice.
  • Going into it knowing I will be having a c-section. No birthing classes. No fear of labor. Scheduled birth date.
  • No panic over whether my waist will ever come back. Yes, it will, not right away, but eventually if I work on it.
  • Ability to buy or use used items. With Janie I wanted everything new. With this one, it's everything used. Well, maybe a few new things but not much.
  • Hoping I will not be watching this baby every few seconds to make sure he's breathing, like I did my daughter.
  • Knowing going into it that I will want to co-sleep, breastfeed, and use disposables. It worked for us before so hopefully it will again.

And the #1 best thing is going through all this with my daughter. I love when she hugs and kisses my tummy, tells the baby stories, or shakes my belly to try to wake him up to play. She loves to tell me all the things she wants to do with him after he's born. Sometimes I think she's even happier than I am. I feed incredibly lucky that the IVF worked and we're able to give her a sibling afterall. I was setting up to settle on an only child if it didn't work, but now I'm really enjoying being part of building this sibling relationship. I think the thing I'm most looking forward to is introducing her to him after the birth. I can't help but smile everytime I think about it.

Friday, February 18, 2005

Coming to Terms

My mother called last night and told me lots more about Meryl and her family. Basically my mother said that she and her family seem very normal and interesting, in contrast to my sister's boyfriend "the doctor" who still seems kind of strange.

I've got to get over this feeling that something bad is going to happen. I am privately the most negative person in the world. Publicly, I smile and say I feel great. When I'm alone, I obsess over everything and am convinced that doom waits right around the corner. I've got no real reason to feel this way. I've just got to knock it off and start moving past it.

I met with the urologist today and he said that my protein isn't high enough for preeclampsia, I've got no swelling, and my blood pressure is back to 105/something. So he ordered another 24 hour test, but he's going to release me back to my OB with a note saying that I'm fine. See, I really am.

And I've had no bleeding or early labor like I did last time, although I keep looking and expecting to see it. Why do I drive myself crazy like this? I'm going to wake up in just six weeks with a healthy baby and wonder why I didn't enjoy this pregnancy.

There is no real justifiable answer for it. Am I a hypochondriac or just trying to brace myself for some sort of fall? I had really talked myself into believing that I would never get pregnant again, that I'm still sort of confused. When I wake up in the morning, I'm surprised to see my belly, no matter how big it is. When people gush about this baby being a boy I get embarrassed, as if I'm making it up. I don't think these thoughts are normal.

One of my favorite things is to just sit with my hands on my belly and feel him moving around. He's big enough so that his movements aren't just in one spot. He's taken up the entire space, so when he moves I can feel it all over. And when he juts out a foot, it kind of hurts because he can really push it out there, and I try to grab it to feel any detail. And I do it because it reassures me that he's alive, that he's active, that he's real. It's like the practical side of me is directing my hands to feel the movements, that the more I feel the more it will sink in that it's really happening.

Work has been going horrible because I'm so distracted by all of this. There is barely a time during the day when I'm not aware of my pregnancy, either by his hiccups or hiking up my pants or the constant bathroom visits, yet I still feel like I'm just becoming aware of it.

Sometimes I just want him born now so that I can walk away from the table with some chips, a winner. He's alive, let's do it before something bad happens. Then I think about the NICU and how horrible that would be and I tell myself that the best thing I can do is to let him stay. I'm the human incubator and science can do no better. Besides, I tell myself, you've got so much work you've still got to do before he gets here. If he were born tomorrow you'd be in big trouble.

So I'm going to work on getting my act together before he is born. I will get my work projects done, my home projects done, and maybe even figure out a name for him. Meanwhile, I will also work on accepting the state that I'm in. Believing that he will be healthy and stop bracing for that not-so-inevitable bad news. Some times good things do happen. Janie is living, breathing, mess-making proof. It's time I stood in the sunshine, smiled, and exhaled. Maybe I do deserve it.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Miscellaneous

Random late night thoughts...

  • Had a great sex dream last night about Elvis. Young Elvis, and it was very realistic. I hummed Suspcious Minds a lot today.
  • Belly button is flat as a pancake. It won't poke out, it didn't with my last pregnancy either. A guy at work once told me that you're supposed to tape a quarter to your belly button to keep it from popping out. I hate to think of someone actually following that suggestion. It either will or it won't, quarters won't help.
  • Janie has taken her baby playing to the next step. She likes to put her head and shoulders under my shirt and pretend she's in my belly. She moves around a little and I rub her head from the outside and wonder aloud about good baby girl names until I pick the name Janie.
  • I've been eating too many Oreo cookies. So addictive.
  • My pants still are falling down. The under belly thing still doesn't work for me.
  • My shirts are too short for my big belly. The underside of my belly gets lots of cool breezes.
  • Combine below belly pants with too-short-shirts and you get a very unusable wardrobe. Since I can't buy anything else at this late date, I've been recycling the few workable items I have over and over again.
  • I have not had a school day yet this semester where someone didn't comment on my size.
  • My professor introduced me to a speaker the other day as Pazel who is due in April. I guess that's all anyone now needs to know about me anymore.
  • We're shopping for a new tv. Matt wants plasma and big and HDTV, so he's priced us far beyond what we're willing to spend. In other words, we may be without a new tv for a long while.
  • While working on an electrical project under the house today, Matt discovered a small swimming pool of standing water from the rains under our bedroom. Our new beautiful gutters and downspouts were directing the water right into the crawl space. If he hadn't been working on this other project, he never would have found it. He adjusted the downspout, and tomorrow he's going to get the water out. The fun never ends on this house.
  • Working on a family geneology project, my brother sent me the marriage certificate information on Matt's parents. The year was when Matt was a year old instead of a year or two before. When Matt got home I told him about it and of course he said it was wrong. He called his parents and found out it was right afterall. What they said (and I'm suspicious) was that they had found out their wedding in 67 was illegal so they had to redo it in 70 when he was 1. They had never told him this story before and were so surprised that he found out. I'm sure they're telling all their neighbors in Nowhere, Nevada, to beware of any family secrets because they are all out there on the evil internet, although I'm not sure they'll tell them what family secret was discovered. Of course I then got to tell Matt that I always knew he was a little bastard.

Monday, February 14, 2005

Effort versus Results

Happy Valentine's Day! Tonight we will cook steak and beans, and dip some strawberries into chocolate. It would almost be romantic except our daughter will be there. Last night she signed and drew her card to Matt while I wrote mine. We then put them with some chocolates into his truck to surprise him this morning. As soon as we got back in the house she ran in and told him. I guess 4 year olds aren't very good with secrets.

I had class all day yesterday on Leadership Communications. Basically it is a speech class in which we are called to give a prepared speech and several impromptu speeches just to get used to speaking in front of others. For one of my speeches I had to talk about a bad past manager and I thought I'd share it with you.

He was a partner at Arthur Andersen when I was a staff person, and was counseling me. I was exceeding the budget on a job, certain things were taking a lot longer than expected. I was working as hard as I could, and there was no other way to do it and get the comfort I needed, at least in my opinion. He lectured me that effort didn't matter, only results mattered. It didn't matter if it took me hours or days, as long as I got the right answer.

I still think about this in light of Arthur Andersen falling because of short cuts and poor auditing all in the name of fees. They sold their credibility. It is not all about results afterall.

Effort does matter. I can't help but put this to the infertility test and wonder how different I would be right now if I had never gone through infertility. If I end up taking home this baby I'm carrying, the result is the same. Yet, to get him we went through so much. All this effort doesn't just disappear because it worked.

I'm sure he's gone on to work for some company making tons of money. But I can't help but hope that not everything goes so easily for him and he does have some effort. I don't think he'll remember me or that whole lecture, but maybe he'll learn that he doesn't know everything afterall.

I hope you have a great Valentine's day. Eat lots of chocolate and get lots of loving.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Code Yellow All Clear

Just a quick update. I finally got back my 24 hour urine test. My protein level is high (210 when normal is 21-120), but not at a preeclampsia level (300+). My blood pressure is still low too. So I have a few more tests ordered and an appointment with a urologist. I'm not sure how this will go, I hope he doesn't want to see my goods. I'm glad that things are okay and will just sit tight until that appointment.

In the meantime, I have a question. When I cough or tighten my stomach muscles, the belly gets super pointy like a conehead from Saturday Night Live. I'm hoping this is because my stomach muscles have separated and not because he actually is a conehead. That could explain why this cycle worked after all... alien intruders.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Peace Pazel Style

In the interest of peace in blogland, I have deleted my last post. You'll have to believe me that it wasn't angry, excited, hateful or any of those related emotions, but more along the lines that I could get upset but wasn't going to. Apparently that can still get some people upset.

Quite frankly, as to this whole argument, I'm bored with it.

So, let's venture together to my happy place. It is near the ocean, but not hot. There is a slight breeze and a hammock under some shady trees (I tend to burn). Today there are hundreds of hammocks set up on many, many trees almost in a grid pattern. Every so often there is a cabana with gorgeous men with deep tans and six-pack abs blending up yummy drinks with long straws willing to fetch us whatever we desire. We have no place to go and no time we have to be there, so come pick out a hammock and enjoy the peace with me.

Ahhhhhhh.

Saturday, February 05, 2005

Questions on the Big Metaphor

Generally I go out of my way to avoid controversy. I don't like to confront people or cause problems. On the other hand, I can't just let things go sometimes.

I was reading another blog about how pregnant infertiles should ship out of infertility island. Well, not all pregnant infertiles, just ones who haven't suffered enough in the Infertility Olympics. This feeling was applauded by many. I understand this metaphor, and can't say that I disagree really, but I have questions...

Let's take this out of the metaphor. What does it mean to leave the island? Does it mean to give up the community of infertile women? Since I'm pregnant, does that mean that I'm not allowed to give support to other infertiles still waiting? When someone is waiting I tell them that I'm hoping for them. When someone faces disappointment I tell them I'm sorry. Is it wrong to do this? It's not like I'm saying "I'm sorry, come see my belly pics." I'm not an asshat, just trying to give back some of the support I received when I was cycling or received bad news. I see it as sending over care packages back to my friends on the island. Maybe some find those tainted and don't want them. But I couldn't imagine just forgetting the women who are still waiting. I know what it's like to go through infertility pain, and there's not much support in real life. That's why we have the island, to give support and find new resources. Is it wrong to send back caring messages to those we got to know while we were there? If I post supportive messages on other blogs does that mean that in the metaphor I haven't left the island?

I also don't understand the term of pregnant infertiles using up the valuable supplies on the island. As far as I'm concerned, I've never asked for nor expected support from infertiles still waiting. I know that what I'm going through right now is not the same as what they are going through. Again, I've been there and I do remember. There's so little support in the real world that we have to band together. When I post on my site about my ups and downs, truly I'm not expecting the infertile women to rally around me because I don't expect them to come to my site at all. I am expressing what is going on with me. Actually, if there's anyone I want support from it's other pregnant infertiles who maybe can tell me that I'm not crazy and that my fears are real.

How does one demonstrate that they have left the island? I imagine myself on the ship. I wish I could tell you that it's a big luxury cruise liner but it's not. It's small and the ship is often tossed by horrible waves. You don't know to which cabin you've been assigned until you get on board, and it's not based on merit. You think you have a good one, but then you find out that there could be issues. And the sea changes so much. I'm waiting for the results of my protein test and Dee's waiting for her amnio results and Jen P is spotting. There are no guarantees and the voyage is not the beautiful cruise we all imagined.

Again, I'm not saying this so that there will be an outpouring of sympathy from the infertile ranks. They'd give anything to be here and I know it well. I'm just saying that it's not so pretty once you get here.

I just don't know how to show that I'm not on the island. I am on the ship. I am grateful to be here and I'm not trying to flaunt it. Actually, I'm in my cabin as I don't venture out very often. I've decorated it as to how I see fit, which for me means no belly shots but I do have a figurative picture of my daughter and the nursery. I need these things to get through the stormy seas.

I try to be sensitive. While the name of my blog will not be changed (as it is my name), I did change my banner so that it's clear that I'm pregnant and have a child. Like a warning flag on my door before you come in.

What I'm trying to say is that I'm not sure how far I'm supposed to go to show that I really have left the island. There is no guidebook. Am I supposed to stop posting my support to infertile women's sites? Is this for all infertile women or will a list be created to show me which think it's okay to say "I'm sorry" and those who think I've lost my credentials to give sympathy?

I'm not trying to be melodramatic, but I am confused by all the us versus them when we already have so many in society against us. It's not like I'm hanging out in RE waiting rooms or crashing IVF meetings, I'm posting my thoughts on my blog and sending out messages of support to those who supported me. Am I supposed to close down my site like Jen P at The Reich Ovary? Am I supposed to just turn my back on the non-pregnant infertile women and pretend that I don't care about them? Am I supposed to keep my cabin sterile, neither happy nor complaining, with no outward signs that I am pregnant or that I have a child?

So I've been kicked out of the cool girl's club. I'm not surprised as I never have been one who cliqued if you know what I mean. I don't think it's all because I'm pregnant, but comes back to that question of not being deserving, not having suffered as much as others, because some pregnant or infertile women with children are still allowed to belong. I've said it before and I'll say it again, why throw the undeserving label at the infertile pregnant women? Why not at those who got pregnant on accident, or after 1 month, or on their honeymoon, or by simply the power of positive thinking? I thought we all discussed the Infertility Olympics long ago and decided that while the spectrum was huge and while some women deserve gold medals, that there were no winners in such a comparison?

So if you're interested in hanging out in my cabin, come on in. Sorry I didn't make the bed and that my room is rather boring, but I'm not much of a writer. And please ignore the big old orange urine container in the fridge, I'm doing my best to try to myself. And if the sight of my belly or the talk of my daughter bothers you, I'm sorry, maybe now isn't a good time for you to visit. I would be happy to send you care packages back to the island if you'd like. And if you don't, I understand that too and I'm sorry if I did and you didn't want it. It's so hard to know the difference.

Friday, February 04, 2005

The Secret is Out

My secret life is over. I may as well come clean with it since I'm no longer under contract to not disclose it.

Up until today we were a Nielsen family. For the uninitiated what this means is that our televisions had trackers on them that made notes on what we watched. Each night it would call into the Nielsen company and upload this information. Based on this information from many, many homes, Nielsen would come out with ratings on television shows. Our family represented the viewing habits of 10,000 families.

For this, we received a $25 check each year and another $25 each time we purchased a new TV or dvd player. That's it. Matt hated it. He felt like it was big brother in our living room. I loved it. I loved the power that what I liked was what everyone liked. Yes! Yep, single-handedly we kept Clifford the Big Red Dog and CSI on the air. Unfortunately, my husband had a hand in those damn motorcycle building shows that now the Discovery channel seems to be showing 24/7. I had strict rules that neither Judge Judy nor Jerry Springer would every appear on our television, but apparently there must be other households making up for our lack of viewership.

Anyways, our contract ended and today they came and took away all the equipment. Matt is happy, I'm kind of sad. Now it's back to having no say on what comes on our tv. We are at the whims of all the other Nielsen homes and whatever they watch. I don't have any influence to save the shows I love, like Arrested Development and the Simpsons.

As an interesting point, this was not something we had chosen to get involved in. Actually, you can't call them up and ask to be part of it. They do it by random sample of addresses. When we bought our house, little did we know that it was already in the sample.

I've been proud to serve. I would gladly have done more. Now it's back to good old privacy and the freedom to watch whatever crap comes on without wondering if falling asleep with the tv on would cause an overabundance of weepy Hallmark television specials.

(p.s. Between you and I, I forgot to catch and save one of my pees today. How bad is that? Should I pour out all I've collected and start over tomorrow? Or carry on with the rest with the hope that it doesn't make a difference. I think I already know the answer but I'm always hoping for a way out.)

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Just a little protein

I'm very calm by all outward appearances. I really have no reason to be nervous, but I am a little anxious. At my OB appointment this morning I had protein in my urine (+3 on the scale of 1-4 where 0 is normal and +1 means to run more tests). Actually, what happened was that I went pee before arriving there, so I couldn't go but a tiny bit. They tested it and it came up positive. I drank two cups of water. A short time later I peed again, a tiny bit and it also came up positive for urine. I knew the second one was positive before they told me because the nurse came in to check my blood pressure a second time.

On the other hand, my blood pressure continues to be low, 100 over something. This is good because all that I read about pre-eclampsia is that blood pressure is high which causes all the problems.

My only weird feeling is that of fainting this morning. It starts with ringing in my ears, feeling of weakness, and then the world starts to go yellow. Before it does, I sit down with my head between my knees and I get better. I couldn't stand for longer than a few minutes this mornign without feeling it. My doctor said it was probably from dehydration as I acknowledged that I had only had a half glass of OJ with my breakfast that morning. I'm still feeling weak and tired this afternoon, but nothing unusual.

So my fun task for tomorrow is to pee in this very large orange-juice-looking container, saving all my urine except the first morning one for 24 hours. The worst part is that it has to stay refridgerated. It's a good thing I work from home because otherwise I couldn't imagine having to carry this jug from my office to the restroom all day.

Considering it takes 24 hours to do this test and the clock doesn't start until tomorrow, then it's the weekend, I may not have any results for awhile. As long as I don't develop any other symptoms, I'm to proceed as normal (except add an iron supplement since I'm slightly anemic).

Then again, once I know what the symptoms were that I'm looking for, I become hypersensitive to them. So now what's probably a slight headache from being behind on my water is now becoming a sign of pre-eclampsia. In other words, I'm going to drive myself crazy.

For those of you in the know, can you have pre-eclampsia without high blood pressure?

I'm working to convince myself that the protein was just a fluke and all is really well. I'm 30 weeks and 3 days, feeling huge and uncomfortable but otherwise well. My blood pressure is great. If it were such an emergency I wouldn't be home typing, right?

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Good Old Fashioned German Values

Last night in my Healthcare Public Policy class, we discussed the German healthcare system. I won't go into all the details, but the basics are as follows:


Everyone covered (including unemployed, poor, old).
Paid for by employees & employees as % of wages much like US social security.
Ability to go to any hospital or physician.
No long waits.


They use sickness funds which are similar to healthcare insurance companies except they are nonprofit and have strict rules from the government as to benefits and copayments. As for the negatives of this system, it is basically this:

The employee/employer tax contributions aren't able to support the expense.

This is because they have high unemployment (10%) and an older society with more people over 60 and very low birth rate. I don't know if this is true, but my professor said that Germany was considering charging couples with no children a higher rate than couples with children since they weren't supplying the future taxable workers. (Funny, my face looked just like that when she said it.) Of course not everyone child-free in Germany is infertile, but for those who are, this would be another slap on the face.

We had a very lively discussion in which we compared the German values and American values with regards to healthcare. Germany has a historically strong feeling of solidarity in which they want everyone to be covered regardless of their ability to pay. Maybe paternalistic or perhaps brotherly, but it is quite the opposite of the American system where we find healthcare to be a priviledge and not a right. While we care about those who are sick, god forbid we give everyone coverage because then our hospitals would fill up and we couldn't get in. Or, there would be a flood of immigrants to our country who would drain the system and then we couldn't get in.

German people also want to keep profit seeking out of healthcare. They even limit how much physicians can make. For the U.S., it's all about profit baby! There's the insurance company sitting between the hospitals and the patients, trying to collect more from the patient/employees and pay less to the hospitals all so that they can pay their top executives a multi-million dollar salary and show a great earnings-per-share to Wall Street. There's the pharmaceutical companies who in a race to get their product to market to make up for the high cost of research and start raking in dollars for their stockholders, gets a product like Vioxx to patients without knowing all the long term effects. And when they do find them out, they don't pull the product right away. And forget low prices or free drugs for the poor, it's all about profit.

As for infertility coverage, considering what we value in the U.S., it's not surprising that it's not covered. We call it a priviledge to become parents, not a right, even though everyone else can just do it on accident or with one good bottle of wine. Sometimes religion or ethics are thrown about as if they were major underlying reasons for denying coverage, and although I think that it plays a role, I don't think it's nearly as important as profit. Yep, money. It's our capitalist system at work again. What if it were covered? Then the RE's would have to be paid some lower percent of charges by insurance companies instead of the full fees they dreamed up and printed in their brochure. The infertility financing companies would have to crawl back into the hole they came out of, dreaming of a new way to make money off of the desperate. The insurance companies would have to pay out for yet another benefit, taking away money they could have spent on new marble bathrooms for their executive team. And our fellow employees may have to pay an twelve cents a month (as was calculated under Massachusettes program) for us to be able to have our selfish way.

So why is it that erectile disfunction is a covered benefit but infertility is not? Well, let's look for a minute at the board of directors and executive team of any of the major insurance companies. See any women of childbearing age? Actually see any women at all? What you will find is a lot of older men in suits who appreciate this coverage and whose baby making days are over. They are old school, with no paternalistic feelings for solidarity with their fellow Americans. They want positive analyst predictions, a strong bottom line and a bonus big enough to pay for their second home.

So I guess it comes down to values and in the U.S., we've decided to turn a blind eye towards our fellow citizens so that we could continue to enjoy our healthcare system as is. Unfortunately, we become one of the forgotten the day we are given our infertility diagnosis, but then it is too late.

I don't need infertility coverage anymore, but I will continue to fight for it. I see its chances of spontaneously happening as much as I see universal healthcare being adopted in this country as the right thing to do. I wish there were more spokespersons willing to speak out about it, although that is difficult considering the sensitivity of the subject. Yet, I can't help but wonder, if Bob Dole was willing to stand up for Viagra (paid is fine), then why wouldn't Julia Roberts be willing to stand up for infertility coverage? Maybe because she hasn't had to sit in the waiting room looking around at all our scared faces and bruised arms. Maybe because she didn't need infertility coverage but could afford the best money could buy. Maybe because she was able to get through all this without forming bonds with other infertile women, unable to see how the situation could be different without millions in the bank. She doesn't feel the solidarity that we need to make our voices heard. We have to stand together, and if we get pregnant, never forget and never stop fighting for our fellow sisters.

Now let's all clench our hands together and give them hell.

Plot Change

Do you ever wonder what life would be like now if only...

A little over 3 years ago, when Janie was only 1, Matt and I went to Cancun with another couple. Our first Sunday there was Mother's Day, and I was determined to have a good one even though I was away from our daughter. It wasn't planned, just one of those uh-oh sort of discoveries that we made after we bought our tickets and made all our arrangements. I should have known that bad things would befall a woman who went out of the country on Mother's Day without her child.

We were laying on the white sand under shady cabanas sipping cold, blended, watered-down drinks, lazily sleeping and watching the water. I'm horrible at descriptions, but the water looks like one of those credit card commercials where the couple has gone somewhere wonderful on miles they earned by paying 29% interest. So light blue, clear, friendly and welcoming.

On this day there was a black flag which means no swimming. I'm cool with that, no problem. Eventually though, we got hot so my best friend and I decided to get just our feet wet to cool off. I got in as far as my ankles and then the waves started pulling me out farther and farther. I swear I wasn't trying to go in, but it was getting deeper and deeper and the waves were relentless. My friend was already out, but I couldn't get out. Standing on the shore, yelling for me to get out were my husband, best friend, her husband, a life guard and some other resort worker that the life guard was shaking his head to (dumb gringa). I could hear them yelling to me between waves, but it was tough. The waves were so strong and pulling me farther out. It was getting hard to get a breath between them before the next one would crash over my head. I couldn't scream, there wasn't time and I had to concentrate on trying to breathe and maintain my footing. I could see my husband between the crashes and the salt water in my eyes and mentally begged him to save me. My arms were trying to push back the water and my legs felt like they had ropes around them pulling them out to sea. Actually, I wondered why no one was doing anything because I was getting tired and knew I was about to go. My strength was gone and I was beginning to accept that I would not make it back out again. I actually knew the ending to my own story and was calm about it.

For some reason, the waves started to lessen. There was a little more space between them. I struggled and pulled myself forward. A few more steps and it went from waist high to knee high. At that point, someone grabbed my wrist and helped pull me out. I fell into the sand exhausted. Everyone was talking at once. My husband, pacing all around me was asking me why I went out and why I didn't come back in, didn't I hear him? My best friend was asking if I was okay and laughing that I really scared them. Her husband was saying something I don't remember, probably about us all needing stronger drinks. The life guard was telling me to stay out of the water when there's a black flag. I think the resort worker was just shaking his head before going off to tell the other four or five tourists who stopped to watch what an imbecile I was for going in the water.

Eventually, they helped me to my chair and I sat and sipped my drink. I couldn't believe that I made it out. I couldn't. I knew that I had slipped into some other path, sort of like those books we'd read as children where you can turn to a certain page depending on what decision you chose. It was like I had read that page, decided I didn't like how that decision turned out, so cheated and went back and made the other choice. I don't know how I did that, but I was amazed. I think I sat out there another hour just staring out at the water, not even realizing that half my hair was still in a pig tail and the other half was down.

I joked about how I could have really ruined their vacation by dying on the second day. I laughed at what a dilemma they would have had whether to stay after my death since they had already paid for the week, and besides I was dead, rushing home wouldn't change that.

But actually what I thought most about was my daughter. What would happen to a girl who lost her mother at only 1 year old on Mother's Day? She wouldn't remember me. She wouldn't know how much I loved her. She wouldn't know all the nights I stayed up with her, all the kisses I gave her, or any of the things I wanted to teach her. I would be erased from her life and it was a horrible thought.

It's not like I purport to be the world's best mother. Trust me I'm not. But, it would be as if I had never been a mother if I hadn't left any impression on her life besides my death. She'd end up adopting another mother, and what would that make me? The time I spent conceiving her, pregnant with her, and caring for her as an infant would be gone.

I don't really have much of a moral to this story, but how quickly everything changes. The most dramatic things happen in the blink of an eye, and then there's no going back. For my friend Valerie, her baby was born with Down's syndrome. Just like that, everything is different. Forget what you know or planned for because circumstances have changed.

Sometimes things happen on these blogs that are just like that. There's a miscarriage or a birth. Someone gets a positive hpt while on break while someone else gets a negative after IVF. It seems random to me. It's not based on any sort of merit based system. And each time, things change and there's no going back to the way they were they day before. And you hope that there are more good things happening than bad, but it's never even steven for any one person. One person can be dealt more than their share of bad and it's not fair. And I'm here pregnant, and I can't tell you why since it's a mystery to me why one of those poor embryos would stick, but one did. And my life has changed, no matter the final outcome. I just wish I knew what it was. I want a tiny peek into the future to see that it's okay.

Okay, it's 2am and although I'm still not sleepy, for the sake of my morning self I should try. I wish I could get comfortable. I wish the baby was this active during the day time instead of the night. And I really wish that Matt didn't snore so loud. Good night to all my sisters, especially Dee and Jen P who are on my mind. Kind of strange to worry about women I've never met, but I feel connected, yet disconnected and helpless at the same time. So hard to just be there for a friend when you can't be there.