Monday, August 31, 2009


My trip to LA was A.W.E.S.O.M.E. We had so much fun that we are considering moving out there (a separate post to follow on that topic). My BFF was the best host ever and it's always fun being around friends. Her dog Cooper, who despite his size, is the biggest loveable baby ever. We just fell in love with him and want him to be Gracie's boyfriend. He has the longest tounge and loves to lick you and cuddle. On my long list of must sees and we got to everything. Some highlights included the beach, driving around different neighborhoods, the hike at Ruyon although it kicked my ass, and riding bikes along the beach. We went to Malibu, Beverly Hills, West Hollywood, Hollywood, Bel Air, on UCLA's campus, Santa Monica (my favorite) and Pasadena. I'm sure I'm missing some places. Our celebrity sighting was the guy from Curb Your Enthusiasm on our drive back from Malibu.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Los Angeles- day 1

I'm loving LA. Today we went to Pinks Hotdogs and afterwards we went to The Grove (a shopping area) and The Farmers Market. It was difficult adjusting to the time change and the 92 degree weather but a nice nap helped out.

Pics to come.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Mr. Midwife

That's what our new midwife calls himself, well at least his website. His real name is Patrick. We met with him this morning for an hour and we've decided he's the one. He's going to be our prenatal provider. He really took his time and answered all of my questions and I had quite a list!!! Here were some of my questions (for those who may consider a midwife at some point):
  1. Can I have meds if needed? Yes, he is able to order them if I desire.
  2. Do you have a back up doctor? Yes, he works with a small OB practice who will step in should I need more intensive intervention (lets hope not).
  3. Hospital Privileges? At the one I really like
  4. Who performs prenatal testing and ultrasounds? He orders them and we go to Magee to get them done.
  5. Are you available in April? Yes
  6. How do we contact you if needed? He gave us his cell phone number and said we can call him. We can also shoot him an email if needed. He doesn't use an answering service.
  7. What do you do post birth? He stays 1 hour post birth to help with anything we need at the hospital and then leaves us to bond with the baby. If possible he will do one home visit but it's not a promise.
  8. Will you help with breastfeeding after delivery? Yes and No. He said he knows the basics but a lactation consultant will help us in that area (or better yet, my mom will help me seen as she did it with three of us). He even gave us a place to attend a free breastfeeding class prior to birth. Most of the ones offered by the hospital are not free.
  9. Where are you while I'm in labor? He said we stay in contact by phone until labor intensifies and then he'll meet us at the hospital. He said it's best not to go to the hospital without him because the hospital is very methodical in their process of birthing and will try to start us on pitocin or other meds even if it's not in our birth plan. He said he acts as a buffer and advocate for us at the hospital. We can use a jacuzzi prior to birth to ease the labor pain if we would like.
  10. Do I have to birth laying down? No, the beds can break down into birthing chairs, you can get on your hands and knees, squat or stand. I asked this because over the weekend we watched "The Business of being Born" and they said that laying down actually makes your pelvis smaller and isn't the most efficient way of birthing. I was also inspired by the women on this movie who birthed standing or squatting.
  11. How often will you see me during my pregnancy? Monthly until my 7th month at which time we'll meet every two weeks. During my last month I go weekly.
  12. What's a typical visit like? Take my blood pressure, pee in a cup, listen to the baby's heartbeat, measure my tummy, review any test results and discuss any concerns or questions I may have. Each visit is one hour long.
  13. How long do you suggest laboring at home? Said in a joking manner, best would be until 7cm. But who knows how to measure that? We'll have to discuss that later on down the line.
  14. Does the hospital I like have private rooms? Yes.

I didn't get to ask: the percentage of births that turn into c-sections. I also didn't get around to asking how many babies he delivers weekly/monthly.

When I raised my concern about weight gain, Mr. Midwife challenged me to no sweets during this entire pregnancy. That's going to be sooooooooooooooooo difficult. I already failed today with two, three pieces of chocolate.

Thursday, August 20, 2009


I really cannot stress enough how much I really like my OB. She's very easy to get along with and very nice but even with all of that I'm just not sure we are going to use her. First of all, it was like hell getting in with her. If I didn't take the appointment yesterday during the middle of my work day then I had to wait until my second trimester to see her. That's how busy she is. Danielle and I took close to 4 hours off from work yesterday just for this appointment. We were waiting so long in both the waiting room and examination room. The consolation prize: patients are able to take any pregnancy magazine they want. Score!!! I just bought one the other day for $6. I quickly got a subscription for a year for $10 after that. But there was the Pregnancy and Newborn Magazine that I didn't get that we were told to take yesterday. Anyway....

During our meeting we learned several things: 1. she is now in a practice with 9 other doctors. We were encouraged to schedule with the other doctors so we could meet them. While I can understand that concept, I followed my OB to this new practice because I wanted HER, not any of them. 2. The only guarantee we could get that she would deliver out baby is if I made it to 39 weeks and got induced on a day she was available. Now, while I'm not here to pass judgement because I don't know much about being induced I will say this... - I'm under the impression the process of being induced was not so that you can specify the day your baby was born but for other more, lets say, medical reasons. I'm also all for the idea of not knowing when I'm going into labor or the day my baby is going to be born. Isn't that part of the fun? And lets point out that if I go earlier than 39 weeks, lets eh say 38w6d, then all bets are off and I get the doctor who is on call that night. Um, I don't think so. Anyway back to my list 3. because she moved practices, she has also moved hospitals. She no longer delivers at my #1 choice but at a more conservative hospital that doesn't allow birth control for their employees on their health plan. So with that in mind, I'm kind of worried that they will have some kind of restriction for Danielle. My doctor's response was "tell them to mind their own business." While I have no problem doing that, I don't want to risk Danielle not being allowed in L&D or caring for the baby.

So it's off to the Midwife we go on Monday. My fantasy would be that I could have both my OB and my Midwife involved but I doubt that happens in the real world. So unless my Midwife is a complete ass, we'll be using him.

In the meantime, Danielle and I are going to BRU this weekend to price some items (crib, furniture, strollers, etc). I can't wait.

This week in pregnancy land: Nausea. That sneaky bastard just kinda crept up on me without notice. Yesterday was the worst. My mother is so cute and told me this morning that she mailed me a box of ginger tea. I say this is cute because she could have easily instructed me to go to the grocery store down the street to get it myself and save the cost of shipping. This morning I also bought some ginger snaps from Whole Foods and B6 vitamins. I haven't taken any of the vitamins yet but I noticed that it is the primary ingredient in those prego pop things. Luckily for me, I'm finding a slight aversion to sweets, candies, etc. This my friends is excellent since it is partly responsible for my weight gain.

Next week we leave for L.A. Yippee!!!!! Sun, beach and my BFF Erica.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Can you stop breathing please?

Ha ha ha, the u/s tech actually asked me to stop breathing during the u/s. It was kinda funny because she never told me when to breath again so I was like dying and taking small gasps of air. Why did she do this? I'm not sure but I think it's because I was so nervous during my u/s appointment that my heart was beating so fast. I'm not sure if that could actually intefere with the recording of the baby's heartbeat but obviously it was screwing up something on her end.

If you recall, the u/s appointments are very strict. There's no asking of questions, no showing of the screen, just the tech looking at the monitor, clicking, moving the dildo cam around and more clicks. Then for a follie check you get a call later on that day with the results. But in my case, at the end of the appointment (about 5 minutes of freaken clicking while my heart is beating a mile a minute wondering what the hell she' s seeing) she called Danielle in, turned the screen to us and showed us SugarPlum. We couldn't hear the heartbeat because she didn't use a Doppler but we got to see it flickering on the screen. It was so awesome. SugarPlum looks like a little bean. His/her heartbeat at 6w3d is 115bpm and measures 5mm. Both she and the RE were happy with this number and I am officially discharged to my OB.

I will crop and adjust the pic when I get home but I quickly stopped off at a copying place before work to have them scan and email Sugarplums pic to me so I could share.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Tone it Down

My anxiety level is out of control. I know, I know, it's not healthy for the baby but honestly, waiting for this u/s on Monday is worse than any tww I've had. I feel like my symptoms are deminishing. Luckily the weekend is here and I have lots planned to distract my mind until Monday.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Midwife Vs. OB

After our u/s next Monday, we will be discharged to my OB. I adore my OB. She does great work but she's so darn busy and does a lot of outreach work to third world countries, which is 100% admirable but it makes her a little inaccessible sometimes. I had to track her down this weekend because she left one group practice and went into another one. My biggest fear about going with her is that she won't be there for the birth. I mean today I called and it was so hard to get an appointment scheduled with her. The receptionist gave me two appointments and then took them back, stating she would have to call me back. I called 2 hours later and it was either next Wednesday in the middle of my work day or in late September which the receptionist calculated would be close to my second trimester. Obviously I took next Wednesday and pray that my supervisor will be understanding as I'm already coming in late next Monday because of the ultrasound at the RE's office. I haven't told my boss and don't plan to for as long as possible.

I also made an appointment for a consultation with a highly recommended midwife, who happens to be a male. Actually, he is only one of three male midwives in the entire state of Pennsylvania. I was told, by a close friend who recently delivered with him, that his care is phenomenal. So while I really liked the idea of having a female midwife (why I have no idea) I'm drawn to him and his work. Additionally, he is in a solo practice so I know only he will deliver our baby. Ultimately I have three midwife options: 1. The Midwife Center- they have a birthing center and deliver back up at AGH. They are a really well respected group of women but I have no interest in birthing at their center which I didn't find all that homey and I don't have any desire to birth at AGH so they are kind of out. 2. The Midwives at Magee Hospital- they too have a good reputation but I learned that I won't always see the same midwife throughout my pregnancy and I'm not with that. 3. Patrick Thornton- solo practice, male midwife who has a good reputation. So we'll see.

My experience so far: I get really hungry really quickly without much notice. I have to stock up on some healthy snacks to help in between meals. I've gained so much weight over these past two years that I'm really concerned about excessive weight gain. While I'll confirm it with my OB, the books tell me I shouldn't gain anymore than 15-20 pounds for my current weight. I don't know how realistic that is so I'm interested to hear about other people's weight gain. I'm walking Gracie 1.5 miles daily so hopefully that will help as well keep it under control.
Today I also noticed that my ta ta's are growing. SCORE!!!!!!!!!! They feel a little heavier and look fuller. While I was never a mbr of the itty bitty titty committee, I don't mind having these nice ta ta's for a while.

I feel a little embarrassed about admitting this but I bought Sugarplum his/her first gift. It's a silver piggy bank. I figured there's no harm in trying to fill it up during the next 9 months.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Wanted: Doggy Daycare

Yesterday, we went to visit Doglogic and all I can say is that whoever manages doggy daycares should shut that place down PRONTO! Here's what was wrong... Two kids were managing about 40 dogs. There were two rooms, one for big dogs and one for little dogs and all they did was roam around the room. The room with the little dogs down the hall was behind a wooden door and they said "we TRY to check in on them about once an hour." He let us literally peek into the room and there was nothing but pee and poop all over the floor in this very drab, windowless room. I asked if they had a schedule for the dogs and they said no. I asked about the inground swimming pool and the outdoor play area and they pointed to the area but didn't take us out there stating that it's mainly there for the big dogs to use and SOMETIMES they will take the little dogs out there. So basically what I gathered is that it is just a dumping ground that you pay almost $20 a day for that lacks supervision, a schedule, adequate staff, or any regard for how the smaller dogs are doing in a very closed off room. We were so outta there.

On a whim we decided to go to Camp Bow Wow. OMG, what a difference. The place was set up nicely, you saw staff cleaning as we went through. They have play areas for ALL dogs that are sectioned off for their size. They monitor the dogs throughout the entire day and will place the dog in their "camper" (kennel) to rest or calm down. They are fed organic food if you decide not to bring your own. You could tell that the staff were really invested in caring for the doggies. However, the owner told us that Gracie was way too small to attend. She would consider taking her when she got to her full weight of 10 pounds. She was concerned that she would get hurt because her bones are still fragile. However, the sweet thing was she took our information and posted it for a personal dog sitter. So it seems that a personal sitter is the way we'll have to go for now.

On a baby note (I almost wrote a ttc note because I'm so use to writing that) thank you so much for all of your well wishes. It's amazing to see how many people read my blog that I didn't even realize or popped over to congratulate me. It's a great feeling to have so many people being so happy for us.

I had my second Beta today and it went from 333 to 1008. We were asked if we wanted to be discharged to our OB or come in for an ultrasound first. We opted for an ultrasound (of course). I need to buy some time anyway because although I love my OB, she travels a lot and I would be very disappointed if she wasn't there for the birth. I really like the idea of a midwife so I need to investigate a little.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

And Finally, Baby Makes Three

Can you believe it? I'm finally pregnant. I've been waiting so long for this day to arrive and now that it's here, it feels so surreal. I know, I know, I didn't even tell you that I was ttc this month. But honestly it was a last minute decision. I had titled this cycle "Ah what the hell" on FF. I was relatively calm throughout the whole 2ww. I hung out with friends, went to my niece's christening, shopped, and just didn't really think about it too much. I wasn't even the slightest bit tempted to test. However, this morning af was due and because I hadn't had any of my usual pre af symptoms, I tested and low and behold I got this:

I tried to surprise Danielle but that didn't work because I was so excited that I just kind of blurted it out. There were lots of tears (Danielle), happy dances (me) and hugs (both). I had to reel Danielle in a bit from announcing it on the 6 o'clock news. However, she did tell her mother and sister. Who did I tell? My two online friends, Tosha and Gia. Both were incredibly supportive (thanks), and well you guys. I plan to tell my mother and brother/sil but I've been so busy at work today that I haven't had a chance.

Actually work was really difficult today. From the time we left the RE's office to the time they called me with the results (um about 4 hours later) I was a nervous wreck. My stomach was in knots and I had literally worked myself into a tizzy. I wasn't able to enjoy the bfp at all. It's just so hard to believe that it finally happened to me. I know I'm deserving of this pregnancy but in the back of my mind I'm just so worried. But with that said, I got my Beta results back and for 16dpo, my number is 333. The RE said she was pleased with the number and that I'm in the range they want me to be in. I go back for another Beta on Friday and if all goes well, an u/s in 1-2 weeks.

So there you have it kiddos. A bfp story after 16 tries over a 2 year span, many buckets of tears, multiple RE visits, 2 cycles of clomid, 3 cycles of injectables and the decision to try at home one time without meds, without an IUI, just with Danielle and myself on a Sunday night in our bedroom the way we started this journey.

Monday, August 3, 2009


Gracie is off to doggy daycare starting next week. If someone told me that I would be paying for doggy daycare a year ago, I would have told them they were nuts but here I am. We identified two daycare facilites, Doglogic and Camp Bow Wow. I really like some of the amenities of Camp Bow Wow but it's further away and pick up is at 6:30pm which is not convenient for us. However, they have a webcam so you can log on to their website to see your dog during the day, which we both find very cool but maybe it's a good thing we don't go there because it will only heighten Danielle's helicopter mom behavior. They are so pretentious though. Why? Because Gracie would have an interview and if she passed the preliminary interview she would be "invited" to stay for a few more hours so they could monitor her behavior. If she passed that then she would be accepted into their program. How hilarious is that? I know our Gracie would pass with flying colors because she's a really good dog. Very social and up until now has never attempted to bite another pup. She has, however, been the victim of a few dogs (and our cat) trying to snip at her.

Doglogic doesn't seem as fancy as Camp Bow Wow from their website but they are closer and stay open later, with a pick up time until 11pm. Wednesdays are really long days for Gracie because of my work schedule. She's able to hold it but but recently she was so excited to see us and really had to go that she peed all over my shirt and pants on the way to the potty (I was carrying her). It's just a long day. So Friday Danielle and I will take a look at the facility and see if it meets her needs. They have an inground playground, an inground pool, an outdoor playground and areas for them to nap at their leisure. The other nice thing is that she will be grouped with other similar sized puppies.

So off to daycare she goes. Lord, what will they think up of next?