Friday, February 1, 2013

Book Review: Here I Go Again

Product Details

Ever had one of those days where you just wish you could take it all back? A real do-over?

There are some days I wish I could do that with this pregnancy. Don't get me wrong- I have LOVED so, so much of it. And have had a pretty darn easy time of it minus the exhaustion and sausage feet. I just wish I could go back and memorialize more of it. I have done a CRAP job of keeping track of everything, from symptoms, to weekly weight gain, to my general state of mind throughout the process. As we're starting to wrap up (35wks tomorrow!), I'm already getting nostalgic for this pregnancy, and it's not even over...

While not quite the same, though along the lines of a do-over, Jen Lancaster's latest book Here I Go Again addresses the age-old fantasy of returning back in time to "get things right". The main character is the bitchy high school cheerleader, who after attending her 20-yr high school reunion, realizes that maybe the way she's been living her life isn't all that it's cracked up to be. I'm not gonna lie- I had a hard time getting into this one. I really did feel put-off by Lissy's antics, and while I realize that it was the intended reaction to her, I never developed the sense of sympathy and desire for her to work it all out. Who knows... maybe I'm just too scarred from my own junior high and high school bullies to give her a break? :)

The book does a great job of making you root for the ancillary characters though, which was its saving grace for me. Between Lissy's dogged father, the ex-jock husband, the life-coach guiding her journey, and the music-geek across the street, the supporting cast really made the whole thing worth it to me. The book is overall a light, quick read, and a nice distraction from life for a few nights- grab it when you need to escape from a stressful day at work! (and I promise, there is only one IF reference, but it doesn't sting badly)

Check out the discussion that Blog Her has going for the book... there should be some interesting discussions over the next couple of weeks!

This is a paid review for BlogHer Book Club but the opinions expressed are my own.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Book Review: Reflected In You


I was super excited to find out I'd been selected to be a part of another campaign through the BlogHer book club- this time reading the novel "Reflected in You", by Sylvia Day. This happens to be the second installment of the Crossfire series, which tells the story of the relationship and romance between Eva and Gideon, as they meet and fall in love in New York City.

I had heard some hype about the books earlier this year, as the first novel (Bared to You) was released in the midst of the 50 Shades craze, and this series definitely fits into that same genre. After receiving the book (and the 1st as well, so that I'd be properly caught up!), I immediately noticed that the covers, I have to assume intentionally, mimicked the iconic 50 Shades covers, and groaned. (though marketing associates everywhere cheered that their ploy worked!) While I enjoyed those for what they were- smutty mindless entertainment, I was really hoping for more with these two books.

They delivered. While still reminiscent of the romance between Ana and Christian, I was immediately much more drawn to Eva and Gideon as characters. While still flawed and overbearing, I felt Gideon came across as much more endearing, and genuine in his affection for Ana, more of true relationship with give and take rather than the domineering I OWN YOU feel from 50. Even better? Eva has a backbone. As long as you don't give her sexy eyes. Then the backbone melts away. Both characters are survivors of childhood sexual abuse, and their relationship is not only a love story, but the story of their healing those wounds and closing the door on the past.

And yeah, the sexy time was hot :) So bonus there. Let's be honest, you're not going to read this series for much more than the lusty feelings it invokes, so it better do it well. And it does. Without leaving the women's rights movement in the dust. The only real flaw I found with these two books? The final installment doesn't come out until *after* the mini is born in 2013... Sounds about right to read near my <cough cough> 6-wk post-partum check up, eh???

This was a paid review for the BlogHer Book Club but all opinions expressed are my own.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

To Know, or Not To Know

Not even a question. We had our anatomy scan two weeks ago, at 19 weeks 4 days. I had planned from the get-go to keep the gender of the mini Meier a surprise. With all the planning and preparing and information that went into and was gleaned through the IVF experience, it meant so much to me to give up this piece of control. I wanted the focus of these months to be making room in our home and lives for a baby, not whether my MIL would be able to buy baseball jerseys or ballet slippers.

I love the idea of going through the birth process and having a doctor hold up our brand new baby and exclaim "It's a XXX!" I love picturing how our lives will unfold with our child, regardless of gender, as most of the things we want to involve our child in will happen regardless of its teeny peenie or vageenie. (yep I said that)

Dr Boy, however, was not in love with the idea. His thirst for knowing ALL THE THINGS was a huge obstacle in my plan to wait. We talked about it a lot, and he's come to terms with waiting. I know, that sounds awful, but it's not, I promise. I made sure that the same future he was envisioning with a child would be the same regardless of gender. I know this whole waiting thing is a sacrifice he's making for me, and it's huge.

And I love him for defending our choice when people say stupid sheet like "but how ever will you decorate the room??? Or buy clothes???"

Because that's just not what it's about. And I don't want that to get lost.


DISCLAIMER: I totally don't judge the knowing! It's just not for me/us. But yay Team Blue or Team Pink to all of you that went that route! And yay healthy babies.

DISCLAIMER #2: I've got another post coming up tonight as part of a book review sponsor thingy... I promise I won't let it be the only thing I post for an entire season this time though!

Friday, October 26, 2012

It's so hard (blah blah blah)

I've come to realize that one of the reasons I've been avoiding this space is guilt. Guilt over this pregnancy, over making it, complication free, as far as we have, when so many others have not. I've read so many times this exact kind of post from a newly pregnant IF blogger, and rolled my eyes at the "It's so hard to be pregnant finally wah wah woe is me" platitudes. I can't help it, I'm snarky, and it just comes so *easily* to me. (shocker, I know)

But now that I'm here, I feel a lot of those same things. I want to talk ad naseum about the mini, post pictures, record symptoms, talk about plans. I can't help it. It's where I am right now. Which has made me think a lot about this blog, which has thus far been an infertility blog with random bits of outside life thrown in. Mostly? I don't want to feel ashamed to talk about something I am incredibly grateful to have achieved, and am thrilled to be experiencing.

What I've ultimately decided is that this is where I *want* to record all of that- bump pics, ultrasounds, nursery plans, cloth diapering, and hopefully? Baby pics, breastfeeding woes, and what it's like to finally have our child in our arms. So I will. This is my little corner of the interwebs, for better or for worse, and I don't want to move url's every time our lives take on a different focus. I like the continuity.

I totally get the unfollow. Though let's be honest, I've been MIA for three months so I think that particular ship has sailed anyways. I'll unabashedly talk about the pregnancy and the baby, because it's what inspires me right now.

And please, please don't accuse me of infertility amnesia. I will never forget what it felt like to get to this place, and I'm fairly certain that we'll be here again when we're ready for another. I'll continue to root for those of you I've connected with along this journey, no matter what stage you are in as well. This is the goal, right? To get to this place? And even further, with an actual real live baby at home snuggling and cooing and burping at us?

And I'm still terrified that every twinge, every trip to the bathroom, every ultrasound, every EVERYTHING, will result in the other shoe dropping and knocking us out of this game. 

If I say something, or complain about something, please know that I'm still inherently grateful to be where we are, feeling what we are, good and bad.

But I still get to complain. That comes easily to me too.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Grateful (w bump pic)

<tap tap> Is this thing on???

I'm still here, trucking away. I am incredibly grateful to be able to say that we are still pregnant, and complication free thus far. I'm 19 weeks and 2 days today, and so, so appreciative that we have been able to make it this far.

It was a ridiculously busy last three months. A lot of these things need separate posts, but in a nutshell, we've:

- Dealt with a severe case of pleurisy between wks 7-10 of pregnancy, requiring three x-rays, a CT scan, and narcotics. (Mom of the year!)

- Moved out of our rental and into a hotel because our house wasn't built in time and our lease was up.

- Switched hotel rooms because the suite was double-booked for part of our stay

- Moved into our brand new house after 31 lovely days in the hotel.

- Had various contractors in and out of our brand new house nearly daily, because it still wasn't done when we moved in but we were D-O-N-E with hotel living.

- Progressed fairly easily through the end of the first tri and start of the second with no real issues so far. EXCEPT for this lovely pubic bone pain, known as Symphysis Pubis Diastasis. It sucks balls. Totally not round ligament pain, just it's own special pubic bone ligament. Ow. 

- Went to San Diego for a week. 

And other awesome stuff. We passed our NT scan with flying colors, came out to the world about the pregnancy, and have our gender scan on Wednesday (though we're not going to peek at the bits, keeping it a surprise for the birth). I *may* have even felt the mini move two weeks ago today, though it has yet to give me a repeat performance. Stupid anterior placenta of doom!

Thanks to all of you who have emailed checking in on me- it's very much appreciated! I'll get back to my regularly scheduled programming now, and keep ya'll much more up to date. I don't want to let this slide again and miss out on remembering this pregnancy. 

18 weeks, 6 days bumpdate
(in the crying bathroom)

Friday, July 20, 2012

It's ME time- w DOVE Bodywash

I have never been a morning person. For as long as I can remember, even if I woke up early, I would lay in bed, postponing the day as long as possible. (i believe this is when i honed my supersonic hearing, eavesdropping on the rest of the house) Mornings? Not me time. More like, let me sleep time.

One of the few pleasures I take in the am is my shower. Long, luxurious, hot- love it. I could stay in for hours. When DOVE gave me the opportunity to enjoy that shower time a little more by reviewing their new line of body wash? Yes please!
I was lucky enough to try the Dove Softening Body wash, part of their VisibleCare line with Nutrium Moisture. I have GOT to say- this review could not have come at a better time. One of the most annoying side effects of the estrace pills I've been taking for the IVF cycle is that is dries me out like the Sahara. I'm thirsty all the time, and I'm practically drinking lotion. You know when you can just feel the ashiness on your legs and arms? The itchy dryness? Yeah. That.

Swear I'm not just overly emoting myself, but this Dove stuff is a lifesaver. It's so thick it looks like lotion coming out, smells amazing, and seriously lets the moisture sink into my arms and legs. The scent is so much that my sensitive first trimester nose can't handle it, and lingers into the morning. I still need to lotion a bit in the morning, but if I'm running late? No biggie. (Bonus? It works as a great shaving cream in a pinch!)

It claims that you can see visible improvement in just 7-days. No joke, you really can. Or rather, I really could. I'm adding this one to my list of IVF/FET must haves.

Even better? Dove is giving YOU a chance to win a $500 SpaFinder gift card! Just answer this question:

What is your favorite part of your morning routine?

Ooooh! And a coupon!!

Visit Dove® VisibleCare® to get a coupon for $1 off!

Enter to win one of two $500 Spafinder gift certificates!
You may receive (2) total entries by selecting from the following entry methods:
a) Follow this link, and provide your email address and your response to the Promotion prompt
b) Tweet (public message) about this promotion; including exactly the following unique term in your tweet message: "#SweepstakesEntry"; and then visit this link to provide your email address and the URL to that Tweet.
c) Blog about this promotion, including a disclosure that you are receiving a sweepstakes entry in exchange for writing the blog post, and then visit this link to provide your email address and the URL to that post.
This giveaway is open to US Residents age 18 or older. Winners will be selected via random draw, and will be notified by e-mail. Winners will have 72 hours to claim the prize, or an alternative winner will be selected.
The Official Rules are available here.
This sweepstakes runs from 7/18/2012 - 8/22/2012
Be sure to visit the Dove® VisibleCare™ Crème Body Wash brand page on where you can read other bloggers’ reviews and find more chances to win!

Quick updates (6w6d)

We still have a heartbeat!! Our ultrasound yesterday went perfectly.

- The mini-Meier measured 6w4d (7.4mm, or the size of a pea), rather than the 6w5d it should have been, but totally within acceptable margins right now. No worries whatsoever.

- We didn't measure the heart rate or anything, so I am blissfully unaware on that front. We did see it's flickering though which is AMAZING. I'm hoping it's more clear on the video this time.

- Dr S gave us a 5% or less chance of miscarriage at this point, based on structure, size, and presence of a HB. 1 in 20 is still huge, but I am breathing a little more easily now.

- Our next ultrasound is scheduled for two weeks from today, Aug 3rd at 8w6d. It'll be graduation day! Very bittersweet, though I'm not getting worked up about it yet because fourteen days is a LOT of days to get through.

- I made our OB appointment. HFS. Three weeks from today (bonus is it'll only be one week after the graduation u/s). It'll be the day before we leave for a week of vacation, so we'll be able to leave with a (small) sense of security. If we make it that far, that is. FX.

- Good luck socks, as always!
My Goddess of Heartbeats

Sorry for the delay in updating!

Hey, also! I had an awesome opportunity to write a guest post yesterday for Bloggers For Hope! It was started by a group of women going through different infertility issues, and gives a great varied perspective on treatments and alternative options such as adoption and living child-free. I highly suggest checking them out.

I got to write a post on my favorite topic- the unglamorous side of IVF treatments :)

(pardon my next post- it'll be the review for my freebie bodywash)