Monday, July 25, 2011

Here's Where the Story Ends

Yesterday, the very reason this blog was conceived told me that she - and I quote - "needed her privacy" (ahem) - while using the bathroom.

Her younger sister - the "baby" is pulling herself up to stand at nine months and crawled at seven.

Life with two young children, a thriving business, a solid marriage, frequent jaunts into the mountains and a sputtering-but-still-alive yoga practice has a decidedly chaotic hum to it. A much different hum from when I started writing here after suffering miscarriages and wanting so desperately to start a family.

I've meant to start another blog but haven't found the time and inclination. I still may concoct something and, if so, will post the link here in case any one of my former blog friends stumbles upon it and cares to see what we're up to.

Until then, it is time to close this chapter.

In closing I want to let all those who I connected with on this journey - in this medium - how much that connection meant to me. How grateful I was and am to have it in my life. I think about many of you on a daily basis.

I once counseled a friend who was trying to conceive that she had to believe she would be a mother one day. How everyone I knew - and there were many of you! - who was struggled is now a mother.

But how hard that was for me to do. I believed the worst would come from my failure to hold on to a pregnancy. And now only the best has come - well, mostly the best. (I will try to remind myself of that the next time both girls are going off simultaneously.)

Those were some hard lessons learned. But I truly believe that those very lessons of belief, trust and patience - mostly the patience! - are helping me in my journey to become the mother I want to be for my two lively girls.

Speaking of, to close is the photo of Missy (Piper) at 3 and Sissy (Sammie) at 8 months on Independence Day 2011.

Many happy days to each of you. All my love and support to you on your momma-hood journey.


Ms. Planner

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

I promise. It is coming.

The new blog, that is.

I've been designing it over and over in my mind. I hope to find more inspiration from some upcoming trips to the mountain. Yay!

Sammi is 4 months and ready for mountain daycare. Piper has taken the big chair lift up several times already this season with Cowboy. Momma is ready and chomping at the bit to get up on snow.

An aside, when not planning my new blog in my head, I am planning how I will manage getting two wee ones up and out to mountain daycare by myself since daddy has to boot up for ski patrol at 7 AM sharp. Goes something like, "Nurse Sammi in camper at 8:00 AM. Haul both girls and their stuff to mountain daycare from camper. Give self 30 minutes. Could take an hour. Drop off at daycare. Return to camper. Get my gear. Ski until 11. Nurse Sammi. Get Piper. Take a couple of runs with Piper. Get requisite hot cocoa. Pick up Sammi at 1. Wait! How do I get a baby in the Ergo, a three year old, their gear, my skis and Piper's skis back to the camper? Frick!"

I haven't had the balls to calculate how much we will pay in daycare fees so that I can ski for about an hour-and-a-half. I think it comes down to a dollar a minute.

An investment in the future, I guess.

In the meantime, here is a blurry photo of Sammi at 4 months. Snot dripping from nose (oh, the poor second child - no time for carefully crafted photos) included.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Milk does not do this body good

What is that old saying?

Something about making a plan and giving the Universe or God or whomever a laugh.

So after smuggly congratulating myself that I put up tons of food for the birth of my second child, it appears that said second child has a dairy intolerance. Not an allergy (yet) but she vomits copiously and has troubling digesting, and therefore expelling out the proper end.

Of course, nearly everything last thing I put up has cheese or milk in it.

But it is so heartbreaking to watch her struggle after I eat a serving of chicken linguine casserole - and I am committed to breast feeding her until two - so I am off the cow for now.

If anyone has suggestions for vegan cookbooks or resources or ways to replace items like butter with something else, I am all ears and eyes.

Cowboy is going to have fun eating all those lasagnas and chicken pot pies himself!

The only upside is how quickly the baby weight is coming off.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Random Market Research - please participate!

One of the things I love most about this blog is my blogroll on the right hand side. I have enjoy immensely watching (and reading) the new blogs that everyone creates as they leave the world of IF and get on with real life.

It's like the IF blog was only just a glimpse into the otherwise diverse and multi-dimensional lives we all lead. And my life beyond IF belongs to the mountains.

When we're not in the mountains, we pine for the mountains. The rhythm of our year revolves around snow season. Our friends know not even to call us for weekend dinner plans until May. Others can count on us to jump into the car at a moment's notice for a quick road trip for some good skiing - even with kids in tow.

So I want my new blog to be a place for mountain mommas, even if you're just going to be one for a quick weekend trip to the Rockies. Because being a momma in the mountains takes gumption and planning. And usually a lot of gear.

What you will find there are gear reviews for the best kid's outdoor products. And tips on introducing kids to the mountains. And musings from the momma of mountain girls and the wife of a ski patroller.

What you won't find are fleece jester hats for kids. Because those are just plain wrong.

And because the mountains demand that you never take yourself too seriously in them, I want to call my new blog "Mountain MILF."

What do you think?


(And if you don't know what a MILF is, please email me.)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

"Adorable Little Boys"

It's already snowing in the Pacific Northwest.

I took the girls up to Mount Hood for Sammi's first snow this past Saturday while Cowboy was on ski patrol at Timberline.

I didn't take a photo because - good lord! - hauling around a wee baby in a front pack in a still-too-big down suit AND a toddler in all her snow gear AND all their diaper gear AND assorted practical gear is quite the logistics feat that I haven't cracked the code on yet.

But there I was practically short-roping both girls up the stairwell: Sammi in the Ergo front pack and Piper on my hip ("Momma, carry you," she said). Both girls are in blue snow suits because I flat out refuse to buy pink outdoor gear. REI and the Patagonia store in Portland - regrettably - don't leave me many options. I don't wear pink in the outdoors. Why should my girls?

"Oh, look at those adorable little boys," a women remarked on her way down the stairwell.

I guess I should expect as much when I dress them in blue.

But it pissed me off. So I am starting my one-woman mission to rid the outdoor industry of gender color stereotypes for children's gear. I'm tired of choosing between pink and blue when I drop a shit-ton of money on quality kid's outdoor gear. Because I will ALWAYS choose blue. Just to make a point.

For this and so much more outside fun, please stay tuned. I finally have figured out my new blog "voice" as I transition from family-building to family-managing. Just haven't had time to execute yet.

Story of my life these days.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

The Newest Little Mountain Girl

Samantha Mohr J.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010 @ 10:07 AM

8 lbs (!), 21 inches

Sammi is our Buddha baby. She's big and chunky and calm (so far). Nursing with no problem and is almost back to her birth weight.

Born the traditional route although I caved and requested (begged for) an epidural when I stalled out at 8 cm for 2 hours. For days following Sammi's birth, I would look at her and marvel at her size and still can't quite believe I delivered such a strapping baby.

We are home now and are navigating how to manage it all. Ever so grateful for my parents and Cowboy who are holding down the ship with Missy and household while I get my bearings.

Despite the trepidation and the stitches, I am so happy and blessed. When I started on this journey, I had no idea it would turn out so wonderfully. Now it is my time to just serve my family in gratitude for it all.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

End Date

My due date is Nov. 5.

Despite being at 3 cm dilated, daughter #2 has not dropped. My OB estimates that the baby is 7 lbs and she does not want her to get much bigger.

I have a narrow pelvic opening courtesy of 2 lousy tailbone mishaps and there is a genuine issue of a "bigger" baby not making it through.

As such, we've been asked to come up with three dates next week to schedule an induction. Which means the "p-word" (pitocin), which I had hoped to avoid.

My OB says there is little risk of a c-section using pitocin on a 2nd baby when the first was delivered via the traditional route. I just really, really, really want a natural childbirth this time around and know that pitocin amplifies the contractions for momma and can stress out the baby. Leading to all sorts of rash decisions in a clutch.

I know this sounds incredibly silly and maybe a bit selfish. However, I am the kind of person who often sets physical goals for herself though, so the desire to deliver naturally is not entirely surprising.

I have vowed to keep a mental image in my head of the obscene amount of the money I wrote in the check to the doctor who performed my epidural the last time, which essentially cost $10 per minute of pain relief.

In the meantime, I have tried acupressure and acupuncture on the labor points to no avail. In fact, I have tried all the Old Wives methods, save for castor oil. Just can't go there.

Anyone know a good astrology source where I can find the best birthday for my little Scorpio-to-be?

Saturday, October 23, 2010

No action yet (sigh)

The moon is full tonight.

The barometer has dropped so that now it is cold and raining. The first snows are predicted in the Cascades.

I have nested to the enth degree: floors cleaned and re-cleaned; rugs rolled up, sent to the cleaners and returned; blinds vacuumed. I even re-arranged the furniture in the living room in an attempt to bring on some labor action.

The freezer (and we have one that is big like a full-size refridgerator in our garage) cannot absorb one more food item. It is stocked to the gills with homemade chicken potpies, lasagnas, and - Missy's favorite - 70 lbs (!) of frozen blueberries from a local orchard. (We go through blueberries in this house like some toddlers roll through string cheese.) That this baby's due date coincided with the final harvests of the season is somewhat to blame. I think I have 12 full chickens and our Thanksgiving turkey in there, too.

The pantry is likewise: shelves of pasta, boxes of Annie's bunny crackers, bags of flour and sugar along with dozens of quarts of applesauce, nectarines, peaches and roasted tomatoes put up in the past 6 weeks.

Everything for baby has been (a) pulled out, (b) laundered, (c) put in its place. All the momma necessities I didn't plan for with Missy - breast milk storage bags? wtf? - are under the counter in the bath.

My bag is packed. But its contents are much different than the first time. Gone are the ipods, magazines and books. In their place is a breast pump, sterlized bottles for collecting colostorum and warm shirts and hats for the baby. Did I ever mention I forgot to pack clothing for Missy the first time around?

Everything that I wasn't prepared for with my first baby has been checked off the list.

Everything except for how agonizing and physically painful those last few weeks of pregnancy can be. I am generally not a whiner, least of all about physical pain, but - Good Lord Almighty!

By being born at 36 weeks, Missy spared me this final assault on my body. Her little sister, however, seems intent on picking up the slack.

I guess this is a precursor of life to come: what one doesn't teach and prepare me for, the other one will.

Bring it, girls, I think with a mixture of pleasure and ruefulness.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Waiting, Waiting, Waiting...

I am in my 36th week.

There is dilation and effacing and all sorts of random OB-speak going on.

Unlike the days before Missy arrived - and I wanted to spend time doing all these things by myself - now I want to spend them as mother and eldest daughter.

As such, I am insanely jealous that my nanny is outside blowing bubbles with Missy in the early fall sunshine (we still have some sun in the PNW...and it is October!), who is shouting "Bye-bye bubbles. See you next time!," as each one floats over the back fence into the park.

Working from home is pure bliss. And pure torture sometimes.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Looking Back

What a lame title.

Yesterday I had lunch with a potential partner for my business. She's younger than I, but our lives track in so many ways. She admitted during lunch that she left a monolithic Portland-based sports company in order to start her own company so she and her husband could have flexibility when they started their family.

Only trouble is they have just discovered that they are having trouble starting one.

Sound familiar?

For the first time, I - at 34 weeks pregnant with my second - was clearly on the other side of the IF fence.

I tried to commiserate. I am an open book when it comes to our struggles. How timed sex sucks. How hard IF can be on a marriage. How lonely it can seem. How, yes, I too wanted to kick people in the shins when they asked us, "when are you having kids?"

But I wanted her to know that - although it doesn't seem so now - if she really wants to be, she WILL be a mom someday. How every last person I "know" who struggled is now a mother. (I did not explain the blog and blog friends and how many of you there once were). How she has to believe in this. Even though it is so very hard to do so at this point in their journey.

Her situation broke my heart. I so clearly saw myself four years ago reflected in her.

Like many of you, I want to close my door on IF and miscarriages and white-knuckled pregnancies. In all likelihood, I will in a few short weeks when our second daughter arrives.

But I don't want to foresake all those who are beginning to struggle or who are still in the trenches.

So this blog is at a crossroads. For once, Ms. Planner finds herself without a plan.

Thursday, August 12, 2010


Five weeks ago, sweet Gus, our almost-16-year-old golden retriever was diagnosed with bone cancer. It is spreading to other parts of his body. He cannot use his back hind leg and is in pain. He has lost 15% of his body weight in a month.

Tomorrow, Cowboy and I will make that woeful trip to the vet for the inevitable.

In his younger days, Gus used to run next to my mountain bike, trail run and backcountry hike - he once chased a black bear away from our camp.
He kissed plenty of tears from my face. After break-ups in my single days. And BFNs and miscarriages during my married ones.
He is in our wedding picture. The one we have on our wall.
He loves snow. And swimming. And bread. Not necessarily in that order.

I cannot decide which is sadder: seeing him hobble around in pain or not having him around.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Are You Happier Now That You Have Children? Duh.

I have had no less than three friends either email or mention this article from last week’s New York Magazine to me.

The article is about parenting and happiness. Or, really, a purported lack of happiness among parents. My first reaction was: why did they forward this to me? I know I have been sick, so very tired and a little bit angry about it all, but do I really seem that unhappy?

Reading the article got me thinking.

Of the friends who mentioned it to me, none of them experienced infertility, miscarriages or had even the smallest amount of difficulty conceiving their children.

I’ve had to stop myself from blurting out or emailing back that the hardest day parenting is way easier than a day of dealing with infertility or the aftermath of miscarrying a very-much-wanted pregnancy.

Since most of you still reading this blog also dealt with some form of infertility, how do you feel about your role as a parent to young children? Are you happier now than you were before kids?

As a market researcher, I have a lot of issues with the methodology employed in many of the studies and anecdotes cited in this article.

Chief among them are the New York City- and Los Angeles-based examples that nearly all NYC writers use. Authors who cite only examples in two of the most unique markets in America need to get outside of their bubble. I cannot take their articles seriously. Every researcher knows that you have to temper the vibe of such cultures with milder ones. There are many extraneous variables in those markets that can muddy the waters of the parent-happiness-index: (1) lack of easy access to natural spaces (any place where you can still hear traffic, such as Central Park, does not count); (2) extreme costs of living that all but demand dual-income parents; or (3) a parenting culture that encourages overscheduled and micro managed children, to name just a few.

Granted, the author employs Texas-based and Danish-based studies, but, again, every good researcher knows that you can’t draw broad assumptions based on data from just one population, unless you are, say, focused on only Danish parents or Texan mommies.

The article also cites the theory that unhappiness caused by a shortened amount of leisure time that parents have today versus 1975 – a whole 5.74 hours less per week! Which, if you do the math and adjust for 8 hours of sleep per night per week (she hypothesizes optimistically) means that parents today have 4.8% less leisure time than parents in 1975. Are you seriously going to blame rampant unhappiness on less than a 5% loss of leisure time?

I have my own theories about why these parents are unhappy. I am sure you do, too.

Raising babies isn’t easy. But – in my opinion – it is not the chief culprit in why these parents are unhappy with their lives.

When I reconsider of my most unhappy, challenging days as a parent - the days or nights when I was the most frustrated with Missy - it wasn't at all about her. If I was honest with myself, it was always about something else or myself. And she was the most accessible person on whom to lay blame.

With that in mind, I’d trade with these unhappy parents a day during my past IF slog – say, a two-week-wait day or the day after AF arrives - any day.

They might have a little more perspective.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Big Girl Bed

We transitioned the nursery into the girls' room this weekend.

I always seem to wait until we pass the 24-week gestation mark to take such bold steps.

Missy and sleep has been one of the biggest challenges in my evolution as a parent. The one that blew my confidence out of the water. Which also made it so gratifying when I could put her in her crib awake and she would fall asleep on her own without crying. It took us nearly two years to get there, but we made it.

So it was with much trepidation that I approached THE BIG GIRL BED.

We kept the crib in the room as back-up - also because Sissy will occupy it in a scant few months. And gave her the option between the two. Big Girl Bed won, although there was a moment of hesitation.

We listened on the monitor last night as she chatted away, obviously quite pleased at the new freedoms such furniture allowed. I checked on her at one point to find that she had deposited every last book from her armoire onto her duvet.

Apparently she likes to read in bed.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Rain, Rain, Go Away

During their 7-month tenure at Fort Clatsop, Ore., in 1806, Lewis & Clark endured a winter where it rained all but 12 days. They saw the sun just six days in that 7-month period. No surprise that they were eager to leave.

I know how they feel.

By yesterday - halfway through the month - Portland recorded its second rainiest month in history (the record was set in 1888) with record low temperatures across the state. Until last Saturday - when the sun finally shone for a brief 24 hours and we all crowded onto the sunniest spot on our deck, eager for a Vitamin D fix - it had rained 18 days. in. a. row. This is the longest time on record that it has taken Portland to reach 80 degrees. These days, we are happy to reach 70.

I honestly can’t remember the last time I’ve seen the moon or stars.

I shouldn’t complain. A nearby friend’s father is dying of cancer and – until last weekend – he was despondent that he would leave this earth without ever seeing the sun again. Imagine that. Never seeing the sun again. Ever.

I called our vet in tears yesterday because poor, old Gus is having a hard time using his back legs. He needs help getting up and then gimps around when he does. The vet urged me to hold out for warmer, drier weather before making any rash decisions about his fate. All his “senior patients” are having a rough time with arthritis this spring, he said.

Please warm weather. Come. Now.

For Mr. Knight, so he can sit on his porch during his last days. For Gus, so he can use his back legs and live a few more months.

For this momma, who yearns to see some sun-kissed cheeks on her sweet girl.

Missy and Boo head outside during a break in the rain. Thank heavens for our hand-me-down raincoat - a wardrobe staple this spring. Oh - by the way - did I mention that Boo blew out her knee and is having knee replacement surgery today. Happy first birthday, Boo! Hope you like you new knee since it cost 4 large and now we can't afford to vacation to someplace warm. When it rains, it pours!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Beautiful Baby

Those were the exact words both the technician and the perinatologist used to describe Sissy at our 18-week ultrasound.

Those heady words still can't stop me from feeling guilty for feeding this baby more anti-nausea meds than food during her first four months in utero.

The nausea is mostly gone but I am still exhausted. I guess some recovery from a three-month long sickness is to be expected. Unfortunately, I put off a lot of client work until this month and now I am slammed. Don't know how I will do this with 2.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Retail Therapy. Check it out.

For those of you out there who are (a) still reading and (b) pregnant or breastfeeding. Have I got a find for you...

Jakfish - clothing for active, knocked up or breast feeding ladies

I just ordered some goodies and can't wait for the cozy fleeces and skort to arrive. It is still rainy and in the 50's in Portland, so I anticipate living in fleeces for the next several weeks.

(Note to the weather gods: we Northwesterners generally prefer our la nina's to commence in winter, when the ski areas are actually open. Otherwise we just get bitter and depressed when it is June and is still rainy and cold).

But back to shopping.

When I was pregnant with Missy, I stretched the living shit out of every single one of my Prana yoga pants - even to the point of holes in some of them. I still haven't replenished my stock.

And there is nothing more depressing - for you AND him - than wearing your honey's XL sweatshirt from college. Again.

So treat yourself!

I know this post sounds all chipper, but I am nearly 17 weeks and still sick for fuck's sake. My OB is going to put me on predn1sone next week if the nausea doesn't abate by then. It is hard to drive (motion sickness) so a little online retail therapy was in order as Cowboy does the evening bed time routine with Missy.

I am supposed to be working. Shhhh.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Who Needs Pony Rides...

...or bouncy houses when you have a helicopter at your two-year-old's birthday party.*

Looking forward to putting, "First helicopter ride: Age 2" in Missy's baby book.

* In our defense, we are so low key we would have never really commissioned a helicopter for Missy's birthday. But we celebrate her birthday at a local vineyard with friends and it turns out that the winemakers were offering helicopter rides as a special event that day. How could we not give it a go?

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Missy's Sleep Saga

And a saga it is.

When I first became a parent, I naively thought that – if you were a proper, disciplined parent, ahem! – your kid would sleep when it was supposed to and, more importantly, when you wanted it to. That such a routine would happen overnight. At your will and bidding.

Oh, how karma works! Chuckle. Chuckle.

So of course I was blessed with one of the worst sleepers. Ever.

Missy fussed. Had to be held to sleep. Had to be held all.the.time. Nursed to sleep. Rocked to sleep. In defense of my daughter, the kid sure had the deck stacked against her. Reflux not properly brought under control by the proper medicine until she was 7 months old. (If you have a baby with reflux, demand Prevac1d. It is the only thing that works on infants). And then sleep apnea diagnosed and treated when she was 18 months old.

Through it all, she never learned to soothe herself. Never latched on to a thumb, a binky, a favorite blanket or other transitional object. Oh, though we tried! I did the evening routine with blankies and other assorted lovies for weeks on end.

One evening I succumbed to the realization that Missy’s journey into big girl sleep would be a looooong one. With maybe no end for Momma until she could read herself to sleep with a head lamp under the covers.

And then I began to relax about it. I had faith that it would come. If we were compassionate but consistent, I knew that one day she’d get there.

Oh, but it wasn’t all that pretty. There were some nights when I got frustrated. When she got frustrated. Where we both sobbed in the rocking chair as she tried to sleep and I tried to understand what I was doing so wrong.

But we moved gradually. Mastering each new transition over months at a time. She weaned from the Amby bed to the crib for naps. She weaned from co-sleeping at night to the sleeping by herself in the crib. Weaned from nursing to sleep to rocking to sleep. And then it stopped.

My dirty little secret was that, at 21 months, I still rocked Missy to sleep for her nap and bedtime. She still had not learned to soothe herself. So – if she awoke in the night, which still happened from time to time – she needed Momma or Daddy to pat her back to sleep. (Thankfully, we had earlier weaned her from being picked up and rocked during the night.)

Her pediatrician – the new one who specializes in sleep issues – counseled me that this was OK until she was about 2-1/2. And then he wanted us to get more aggressive about her soothing herself. His rationale is that as children understand more language and object permanence, they understand that Momma and Daddy also go to bed. Children begin to understand that parents aren’t just in the room and then not in the room. And pissed about it because they want “Mom-ma!”

So we planned on rocking until this summer. And then I got pregnant and so very sick.

Rocking in a dark room with nausea was out of the question. Unfortunately Cowboy’s job doesn’t allow him to be home consistently by bedtime. But as luck would have it, the pregnancy coincided with a rapid development in Missy’s language skills. So I went for it.

A little rocking, our nightly made-up prayer, some singing and then into the crib.

The first night, Missy wasn’t having any of it. As directed by our pediatrician, I comforted her briefly every 5 minutes, where I was met by demands to “Yock!” and “Pat!” followed by dramatic screeching and big crocodile tears when I left.

The beauty of it: I just didn’t care. I was so sick, I was completely dispassionate. Every five minutes, I would haul myself out of the guest room bed, which is closest to Missy’s room, go into her room and explain that it was time to sleep. I gave her a hug, handed her the baby doll du jour, laid her back down, gave a few “shhh’s” and left.

Then I collapsed on the guest room bed. There was no hand wringing or second-guessing. It was time. It was Missy’s first hard lesson as a big sister that the world no longer completely revolved around her.

Two months later and we’ve made it. We have a little crying on occasion, but more often than not, Missy chatters herself to sleep for night time and naps.

When she wakes in the night, which is rare, we only go to her if the crying gets out of control (again, rare) or if she directly calls for one of us (also, rare). Usually, she puts herself back to sleep.

Good Lord. It is a beautiful thing. I know it won’t last. There are new baby transitions, big girl bed transitions and potty training on the horizon.

But I’m gonna soak in all this liberating, hard-earned sleep while we have it.

Monday, April 26, 2010


Normal, healthy baby.

Bring on the fights about sharing clothes and a bathroom... another GIRL!

I am so relieved. I just about cried. I would have been happy with either gender but I secretly really, really, really wanted two girls.

Let's be really original and call her "Sissy."

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Post- (Almost) Everything Update

My most sincere thank-you's to all of y'all sweet gals who left birthday (and Earth Day) wishes for me. It brought me to near tears - all of those wonderful well wishes. I sure needed them. And they did my heart so much good.

The CVS went as well as such a thing can go. I wasn't nervous. Just stoic. There is still a fetus. I don't know if it is measuring on schedule because I just plain forgot to ask. It has all appendages. And apparently likes to wave its left arm around a lot.

Or maybe it was just trying to shoot me the finger for some days giving it more drugs than nutrition. Safely, doctor-perscribed drugs that is. I haven't resorted to medical marijuana (legal here) to quell the nausea. Not really thinking my OB will consider mary jane such a good idea.

The preliminary results will be in on Monday morning. Which - I think - is the third anniversary of That Was The Plan.

I am not an overly religious person but I do converse with God, Buddha and a small cadre of my favorite saints when the going gets tough. I've been praying a lot that this unrelenting nausea and near constant urge to vomit depart soon. My family can only take so much of it. And I want the old me back. So very badly.

My protocol is 8 mg of Z0fran 2x per day. I've developed evil headaches from it - a side effect. Some days I try to get by on one dose. I take 1 Un1som at night, which is about the only thing that works. Though it knocks me clear out so taking it during the day with Missy is a no-go.

They tried Phenegran(sp?) but it didn't work. The Z0fran prevents me - for the most part - from vomiting but it does not help the nausea one bit. Have you ever felt so nervous or scared that you were on the verge of throwing up? That's the feeling I walk around with from about the moment I sit upright in bed until I lay down at night or during Missy's nap.

Hence, I have a lot of trouble eating. I have lost 3 pounds this month. It concerns me because I'm three months pregnant and nearly at what I consider my "fighting weight" for my not-pregnant body.

Nothing glamorous for myself post-CVS or on my birthday. I don't have the energy to plan anything. And surprising the wife with a spa gift certificate is, apparently, in Cowboy's estimation, sooo first pregnancy. (Well, I mean, so first non-miscarried pregnancy).

As for Earth Day, my goal this year was to begin baking our own bread. But since the only thing my oven has seen in the past three months is frozen pizza for Missy and Cowboy, I've failed mightily at that goal.

Stay tuned for Monday. I will post the results as soon as I process them. If all is well, we will find out the gender, too.

Thank you again for your love, support and bearing with me through yet another post about nausea.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Day by day

Sometimes hour by hour. That's how roll these days.

And this week, in particular.

It is week 11. CVS week. On Thursday. I should have the results by this time next Monday.

I am so not connected to this pregnancy. (I know this is a horrible sentence to put on an infertility and miscarriage blog so I write this with much gravity). Perhaps I am staying unconnected so I can control myself through the spectrum of outcomes - one of which is certain to happen - both good or bad - that the CVS will bring.

The sad thing is that I will not even feel relief with a positive outcome. Because it means I will still be so sick for who knows how long. God, what another horrible thing to write. Even to think.

I try to keep the big picture in view. I really do. But it only lasts for about 15 minutes as I lay in bed before Missy wakes up. Then I get up, the nausea kick starts and I try to make it through another day.

The only thing I look forward to is when I take a Un1som tablet and drift to sleep at the end of the day - sleep being my only refuge from the extreme fatigue and nausea.

Which is a third horrible thing to write when I have a life full of things in which to bestowe much gratitude.

Gratitude but precious little joy. Is there such a thing?

Thursday, April 8, 2010

5 Years Ago...

We eloped. And went to New Zealand and Australia for three weeks. Then we came home and held a backyard reception replete with hay bales, watermelon and homemade cupcakes. We served BBQ on china. The day after, I rinsed out and recycled every single one of those red plastic beer cups (yuck), which held Shiner Bock Beer from a keg ordered from Texas.
It seemed like such a simple time.
It was.
Before miscarriages and infertility, then a baby, then another on the way and crashing into bed at 8:00 in the evening because you are so sick with nausea.
From where I sit today, five years seems almost like a lifetime ago. A different life entirely.
But with one constant. Cowboy.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Your Feedback Solicited Here

We have a CVS scheduled for April 22 during week 11.

The CVS was originally scheduled for April 19 (Monday) but then my lovely husband asked me to please change it because he has to prepare for his company's annual shareholder meeting also that week. I need him to take the day off to care for Missy post-procedure as I am supposed to rest and not lift anything for 24 hours following.

Changing the CVS by a few days is no big deal. Unless you count my nerves. And that I will now have to wait through an entire weekend to get the early results, instead of getting them a mere 48 hours later. And that April 22 is the day before my birthday.

So what do you think that kind of trade-off warrants?

It is so not like me, but a posh hotel room by my lonesom, room service and in-room facial spring to mind.

Sorry to sound like such a whiner. But I'm sick of feeling sick and so very tired. I just needed to vent.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Several IV Bags Later

Good Lord. I just spent a good spate of time in the L&D ward where I delivered Missy. Hooked up to an IV dripping several bags of delicious hydration into my body. The Z0fran wasn't bad either. Took the edge off.

Nausea hit hard and fast late last week. I managed well for a few days but then it just accelerated. I couldn't keep anything down. Which put me in a downward spiral, dehydrating me further. No energy. Dry heaving the nothingness in my gut. Lying awake at night with gnawing hunger, dry mouth and so much nausea I could barely leave the bed. It was a very desperate feeling.

My OB admitted me right away. And the kind nurses pumped me with fluids. I feel almost human again.

I also had an ultrasound, which showed a measuring-spot-on embryo with a heartbeat of 124 at 6.5 weeks.

The daily Z0fran and the nightly Un1som tablets keep the harshest nausea away. I still have a constant low-grade nausea that hangs about me like a robe but I now I can manage it.

The whole experience has left me feeling like such a hypocrite. Here I try to be all natural-like but when push comes to shove I'm the one begging for the extra 2 ounces of Z0fran and am popping my nightly Un1som like it's Pez.

At least the wee one has cleared another hurdle.

Not so sure about momma.

Monday, March 8, 2010

First Day of the Season

For every parent who loves the mountains, this has got to be one of the most anticipated, most celebrated days on snow. Equal to (or, dare I say, better than) those bluebird powder days.

We'll consider the emphatic "Mo' ski! Mo' ski! Mo' ! Mo' ! Mo' !" as verdict that she loved it as much as we did.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

First Hurdle Cleared

Second beta = 783

Up 139% from 48 hours earlier. Well over doubling.

They didn't test my progesterone again. Damn. Sometimes I want my RE back. I begged the nurse for another progesterone test. Told them it dropped with Missy the first few weeks of her gestation. So I am waiting to hear what they say.

They want me to schedule an ultrasound in the next few weeks. I LOVE my OB, but - again - am missing Dr. Stretch, my old RE. With him, I had a very set protocol: (1) initial beta, (2) second beta, (3) beta, (4) u/sound at 6.5 weeks to look for a heart beat, (5) follow-up ultrasound at 9.5 weeks to look for heart beta and fetal movement.

And you know how much I love a good plan.

Now I just feel left to wing it. So I am wondering: should I schedule an u/sound for 2 weeks out, which would put me at 7.5 weeks, where we may see a heart beat (please, please, please!)? Or should I wait (can I wait it out?) another week and hope to see a heart beat and maybe some movement at 8.5 weeks?

Thoughts and suggestions gladly accepted.

I know this all sounds a little bit desperate. Especially in light of my misgivings just a few days ago. Bottom line: I'll take another baby any day over another miscarriage, even though I have very little say in either matter at this point.

On a related night, I finally told Cowboy last night. That man's optimism never fails to inspire me.

"C'mon...aren't you just a little bit excited?" he asked after digesting the news.

"You know, honey, it just doesn't work for me like that anymore," I replied, "I have to take it one day at a time."

We read in silence for a few minutes.

"Okay, but what about some more girl names?"

That man. He never fails to make me smile.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

But of course...

So the story goes: Last Sunday it was a gorgeous spring day skiing. Missy was in "ski school" and for the past two weekends has not even cried when I dropped her off. She's like, "See ya, Momma. Gotta go play at the snow table." (Well, she doesn't talk in sentences yet. But if she did, the look on her face indicates that this is what she would most likely say.)

Cowboy and I are taking a break in the deck chairs, facing the late winter sunshine. I think I'm cool with this one kid thing, I thought. My child is in day care. Date day with my husband.

Which means of course that on Monday I get a BFP.

Beta for 12 (?) dpo is 327. Which seems kind of high.

Well, it might be 12 dpo. I wasn't even using CBEFM this month because I ran out of pee sticks and somehow couldn't muster the time or energy to go to the pharmacy across town that carries them.

Progesterone is 37 without prometrium. Bagged that the back half of this cycle, too.

Trying not to be freaked out.
Trying to play it cool.
Trying not to get any hopes up, despite my post from yesterday.

No one knows except for my OB and the few of you still reading this blog. I haven't even told Cowboy yet.

Monday, March 1, 2010

I don’t even know what to title this post as I can’t believe I am posting this on an infertility blog

It is late. Or early. Depending upon how you look at the clock. I should be working or sleeping. But I can do neither. My mind is stuck. It has wrapped itself around a compelling feeling. Something that feels life altering to me – the proverbial fork in the middle of the road, if you will.

The thought is this: What is Missy is my only (live) child?

What if we choose to have her as an only child? Of course, my body may decide that for me. But what if we consciously hold up our hands and say, “That’s it. We’re done”?

Please don’t think this is frustration talking. We’ve been TTC#2 for just a few months.

It may be a little bit of fear talking. I don’t “do” pregnancy well: daily vomiting and extreme tiredness for the first four months; white-knuckled scans; a knee-knocking CVS due to my advanced maternal age and other factors; more daily tiredness for the last 2 months; and the biggest fucking swollen ankles you can imagine, which is not a good look on someone who just barely tops 5’1”. All worth it now that Missy has blessed our lives but…

…that was when I didn’t have a willful, spirited toddler and a growing business that needed constant tending. Just thinking about the prospect of keeping those balls in the air makes me heave a deep sigh of how-the-hell-will-I-manage-it-all-?

Then, it gets even more selfish. The skiing. The mountains. The latent yoga practice I yearn for desperately. The local, off-the-grid food movement that I ascribe to. The will to travel internationally as much as possible to experience different cultures. Could I do it all with two? Do I want to go back to baby-baby mode when my “baby” has already started to potty train?

Granted, my past experience with an infant was with that of a high-maintenance one. Missy is one of the great loves of my life. She has a sparkling personality and a wonderful spirit. But, good Lord, that child is strong willed. “Like her mother,” cowboy - and my parents - would likely say. It is true the apple does not fall far from the tree. But between the sleep – she still takes over an hour to get down and that is after bath, milk & books – and the I-must-be-attached-to-momma-at-all-times first year… I just don’t know if I have it in me.

Yes, I am sure #2 would be quite different from Missy. But I feel like I am still recovering from her babyhood and staring down the barrel of raising a spirited toddler.
And my high-needs baby recovery time and biological clock are nearly at an impasse. Trust me on this.

I did a quick survey of my acquaintances & friends who share similar interests: skiing, travel, etc. Having a single child occurs at a pretty high rate. I look at their lives and how we want to live ours. I do the mental math of adding one more seat on an international flight to Portillo or Wanaka and I do a reality check. I KNOW! It’s horrible to quantify a child like that. Really. How fucking cold. But still. I do.

I don’t know what to do or how to tackle this or where this strong feeling even came from.

So, on this one…on this major one. I think I am going to turn to my yoga teachings and my infertility training: I’m just going to sit with it for a little while. Even though it is mightily uncomfortable. I need to sit with it and try to feel it both ways.

It seems like too big a decision not to.

Friday, February 19, 2010


Have you ever asked a psychic about your reproductive future?

I haven’t and while I both have a hippie streak and live somewhat close to California, I am not sure I will fork over some hard-earned cash for a glimpse into my future.

But Cowboy did. Kind of.

A few months ago – before AF had even reappeared on the stage – Cowboy ponied up to the bar at the mountain and was lured into conversation with a (in his words) cougar. Who ended up telling him she was a psychic who earned close to 200 G’s telling people around Portland what was coming. She had just bought a ski house nearby with some of the proceeds.

Cowboy – as cowboys are wont to do – played his cards close. He says he alluded that he had a child but didn’t tell cougar-psychic-lady that Missy was a missy. Over the course of their conversation, cougar-psychic-lady gave him a bunch of freebies, including:

1. Your daughter (right) is a fire cracker (right, again).

2. Between ages 16 – 17, she will be hell on wheels. (great. Then again, what girl between the ages of 16 and 17 isn’t?)

3. Then she will right her ship and become very successful. (really?)

4. Between this December and April, you will conceive a boy. (you don’t say?)

5. He will be the opposite of his sister: mellow (thank God).

6. By the way, is there someone close in your life named, Mark? (WTF! Cowboy’s dad with whom he is very close is named Mark).

Maybe I should be obsessing about the kind of trouble my daughter might get into commencing with her Sweet 16, but really the whole son-conceiving-between-December-and-April thing is what sticks in my head. I’d be lying if I said it didn’t pop into my head at some point every damn day.

Why!? Why am I willing to hang on to a thread of bullshit free advice given to my husband by a cougar-psychic-lady at a bar (when, by the way, he should have been out skiing)?????

Is this really how low I’ve sunk of the reproductive confidence scale?

What do you think? Should one ever believe free psychic advice? Have you ever seen a psychic and were his or her prophecies true?

Or am I just fucking nutty cakes?

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

More patience required

I think that in the past 3-1/2 years of miscarriages and infertility and then a baby who wouldn't sleep, I might have gotten semi-decent at one thing: being patient.

Which was never, ever my strong suit.

Patience rules the day again. Chart Day One again, that is. Sigh.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A Decade of Fun

Last week Cowboy and I celebrated the 10 year anniversary of our first date. A decade of fun, I referred to it.

I remember the day as clear as a bell. We went snowboarding at Mt. Bachelor on a Friday when we didn't have classes. It was a bluebird powder day (there are not many of those in Oregon in January). And he was an incredible rider.

I used to use snowboarding, mountain biking or climbing as my filter for dates. Back in Washington, D.C., from whence I came, I would meet lots of guys at parties who professed to being snowboarders, bikers or climbers. So if asked for a date, I would suggest one of the above. Cowboy was the first guy in a long time who was better than me at one of the aforementioned sports. To this day, he's better than me at most outdoor sports. But I can still kick his ass rock climbing.

We ate a lunch of brought-from-home soup and sandwiches on the tailgate of Old Blue (his pick-up truck). Gus sat between us in the back, begging pets and sandwich crusts. I instantly saw a future with this man.

Just by coincidence, 10 years from that excellent day riding fell on CD14.