27 September 2011

Maternity Photos Reveal A Future Career for Me: As a Japanime Cartoon Character

We are loving our maternity pictures thanks to our friend Melissa Pepin!  She was the same photographer who captured images at our wedding like this one:

Yeah, my husband wore Cons.  I think it's hot.

You can check out Melissa's website of talent here: www.melissapepin.com.  The girl kept us in stitches during our entire maternity session, especially after making us stare deep, deep, deep into each other's eyes for a chunk of the 2 hours and then laughed at us when Michael nor I knew how to hold a photog-worthy lover's gaze without bursting into a roll of belly laughs.  Here are a few of our favorites:

All parents-to-be spend excessive amounts of time touching the baby bump. 
GO DAWGS!

A tiny human will be wearing this soon--and cheering on her Dawgs!

Moment of seriousness: I love the look of peace and love on Michael's face.  It reveals that I chose the man with whom I was meant to procreate.

Touch the belly some more and laugh.

Deep thoughts: "Could I balance a bowl of cereal on this shelf of a belly?"

Handmade booties from good friends make a great gift.

Hands on the belly…and have a moment of panic over the fact she's coming soon...

All. Time. Favorite.
A daddy's first kiss for his daughter.

Let's see how long I can hold this thing up.  Anyone got any string?

As you can see, we're extremely pleased with Melissa's work.  She was definitely the right choice as far as photographers are concerned.

Yet, there were a couple of photos that took me back to something a college friend of mine once said to me.  My roomie and I were pals with a guy in our dorm named Korean Mike.  Well, at least, that's what we dubbed him because we knew about 10,000 Mikes at the time, and he was the only one of them who also happened to be Korean.

Anyway…Korean Mike used to play Korean rap on his guitar and kick everyone's ass in table tennis.  He was great for late-night chats, being a study buddy, or having someone to sit with in the dining hall. When hanging out one night with Korean Mike and a few friends, he looked right at me and asked, "Has anyone ever told you that you look like a cartoon character?"

Baffled, I replied, "Not yet."

"Well, I think you do," Korean Mike went on.  "I don't mean it in an insulting way.  It's just that when you smile, your eyes make that crescent moon shape that Anime cartoons always make when they smile.  Therefore, you look like a cartoon character."

Let's just have a little look-see, shall we?

Exhibit A: Vikki has crescent moon eyes.
Exhibit B: This Anime character has crescent moon eyes.  Maybe we're onto something?

Exhibit C: There they are again, following the arc of my eyebrows like an Anime cartoon!

Exhibit D: This Anime character's eye shape follows the arc of her eyebrows.


Hmmmm...I think Korean Mike may have pegged this one, and it might be that I missed my calling. Maybe if this whole teaching thing doesn't work out, Michael, Mallory, and I will move to Japan so I can begin a career in cartoons.  I'll be the Anime character with debilitating OCD whose partner in crime (a manatee with super powers and an extremely high IQ) helps her fight against illiteracy and political woes in education.  :)


25 September 2011

Nerd in Utero Project: Weeks 34-35

Are we really almost there?  We're so close!

How Far Along: 35 weeks, 5 days.  This entry throws weeks 34-35 together.
Size of Baby: An oversized honeydew melon that grew arms and legs.
Total Weight Gain/Loss: Do I dare admit that I've gained almost 40 pounds?!?!
Maternity Clothes: I wish I could boycott clothing until Mallory Olivia gets here.  Anything against my skin just gets on my nerves, especially bras.  I have purposefully purchased bras that are large in every dimension and added circumference with bra extenders to give my poor lungs room to breathe, and even then, I feel as if I'm being choked.  I find myself unhooking them any chance I get during the day.  I barely make it in the door of our house each afternoon before I'm removing my bra through the sleeves of my shirt.  Then it's PJs the rest of the evening.
Baby-related Purchases: My school hosted Baby Shower #3 (which was themed in black and red for my alma mater, UGA), and we received a bunch of great baby items off our registries!  Mojo, of course, had to bury his head in every gift bag I brought inside, thinking that these were treats I was bringing for him to enjoy.  I also received 2 grocery bags of hand-me-downs from a co-worker, Stacy, whose niece has outgrown all of her baby things.  Then my shopping savvy mother called me one evening to say she was in Target looking at a brand-spanking new Eddie Bauer stroller/travel system that was originally priced at $230 marked down to $29.  Even better--the pattern on it is a gender-neutral maroon, grey, and black plaid, so we can use it again if we have a boy in the future.  Yeah, Michael and I racked up on all kinds of goodies these last couple of weeks.
Gender: We're going to have a DAUGHTER soon!
Movement: I call Mallory's extreme movements "the bursting starfish".  It feels as though she has herself tucked in tight, limbs and head pulled in against her body in a true fetal position.  Then, out of nowhere, both arms and both legs burst straight out from her torso and her head flies back, clobbering my ribs, bladder, stomach, and other major internal organs all at one time.  If I were a pinball machine, I'd be permanently stuck on "tilt".
Sleep: It only comes in spurts now.  My body wants to sleep from now until Doomsday, but my stupid bladder has me up every couple of hours.
Belly Button In or Out: Definitely out.
What I Miss: Being comfortable.  Never does the thought cross my mind: "Wow, having baby feet in my ribcage feels awesome!"  Mallory is free to come, like, now so she can relieve me of all the pain and pressure my body is enduring.
Cravings: Still love the salty stuff.  Although, sweets immediately after consuming something salty feels as if I'm maintaining some sort of balance in taste.
Symptoms: 
  • Constant discomfort.  Ugh.
  • Leg cramps.  My twig-like legs are going to snap under the weight of my mighty midsection.  I liken my torso-to-leg ratio to using a pair of toothpicks to support the weight of a 3-inch thick porkchop.
  • I've peed so much, I ruined the septic system.  Seriously.  Michael had to call someone out to check our pumps and the electrical box that runs the system.  They had to pour in some fancy schmancy oxidizing chemicals to break down all the extra toilet paper and then give us a lecture about how to care for our septic tank.
  • I can't put on pants without losing my balance.
  • Heartburn bad.  Tums good.
  • I wouldn't say I've mastered it yet, but I've started waddling.  Walking like a normal person takes talent.  The waddle is far easier.  I just hate the stupid word.  Maybe we could call it "pregnant swagger"?
  • So I realize this isn't really a symptom, but this deserves mentioning.  Michael no longer drives the speed limit.  For the last month or so, he has been driving 5-10 mph UNDER the speed limit when driving me somewhere, causing much frustration about arriving to engagements that have starting times.  This means he's only going to drive 15 mph down the highway when we're bringing Baby Nerd home.
Managing the Stress: If I only had time for a prenatal massage…  All of my work commitments and doctor's appointments eat up my schedule.
Worries: Forgetting something important--like my contact lens solution or the diaper bag--at the house should we go into labor early.
What I Look Forward To: Seeing Michael's reaction in the delivery room.  He talks to Mallory every day through my stomach wall.  He puts his hands on my belly to feel her moving around while we watch TV together.  He marvels at the 4-D ultrasound photo we have posted on our fridge.  But I cannot wait to see the look on his face when he can actually lay eyes and hands and a father's love upon his little girl.
Celebrations:  

  • There are 4 teachers at my school that are pregnant other than myself!  Since formal announcements for a couple of them have yet to be made, I won't mention names, but I'm so excited for these ladies.
  • My brother, Erik, turned 27 on Tuesday.  My YOUNGER brother.  I remember being weirded out when he turned 16 and got his license.  Now he's in his late 20's?  What?
  • My friend and fellow blogger, A. Hab, hit the major milestone of turning 30 this past week.  We met in ballet class way back in 2nd grade, and now we're turning real-life grown-up ages.  She also found out that the baby she is currently growing is going to be a girl!
  • Earlier in the month, my friend, Kajal, also turned 30.  We celebrated at a very tasty Thai restaurant in Atlanta.  Michael and I had to skip out on the going out for drinks and dancing that followed, but it was still lovely seeing Kajal since she lives way up in NC.
  • Another blogger friend, Rachael, had a bouncing baby boy this last week.  Congrats to the family on your newest addition!
  • My in-laws, Mike and Mary, just returned home from a trip out to Wyoming.  They stayed in Yellowstone NP (one of my favorites) and posted updates via Facebook while enjoying their vacation.  Now that they're home, I'm about to turn inside out wanting to see their photos.
  • Speaking of photos, here's an oldie my mom posted on Facebook:
Mom holding me when I was a baby.  I hope Mallory sleeps this soundly!



24 September 2011

Thank You, Victoria's Secret, But...

Thank you, Victoria's Secret, for making a vast collection of clothing and cosmetics that make just about any woman on the face of the Earth feel sexy.  I only say "just about any woman" simply because I'm sure there's an 85-year-old woman out there who couldn't figure out why her rear didn't look any cuter or perkier when she tried wearing one of your G-strings underneath her muumuu.  As for me, I have frequented your store for your 5 for $25 cotton panties.  My skin has been indulged by your fragrant lotions.  And that little black dress I ordered from you to wear on an ultra romantic dinner while on my honeymoon?  I think it's safe to say that my husband enjoyed the scenery more than the meal.  You have most certainly made me feel sexy.

Thank you, too, for your reputation of hiring models free of silicone and liposuction.  At least, that is what I have been told time and again over the years.  Sure, your Angels have the measurements of lab-created Amazonians, and I know airbrushing is involved in the printing of your magazines…BUT the idea of models that are natural in their body parts helps to ebb my envy.  After all, how could you make money off of your push-up bras if your models had breasts that didn't need pushing up?  A "thanks" can be thrown out to Tyra Banks for when she admitted to the magic of the push-up for her southward-moving, au natural boobs.  Keep it real, girl.

But most importantly, thank you, Victoria's Secret, for your semi-annual sales so that those of us who hate to pay $50 for one bra can (for once) afford to buy as much sexy as we can handle because the price of the bra suddenly dropped to $15.  My wardrobe has benefitted from such sales, supplementing my work wear with comfy sweaters and my vacation wear with colorful tees.

So thank you, Victoria's Secret, for everything you have done for women (and their men) all over the planet.  A little sexy goes a long way.

But here's where my thanks hangs a question mark.  Everything you create is in the name of sexy, especially your line of lingerie.  In fact, I would bet that women have worn your leather and lace in an attempt to woo their husbands to their bedchambers, which later resulted in…

PREGNANCY!

That's right.  Woman makes a trip to your store, which leads to the purchase of a lacy teddy.  Woman wears lacy teddy, leading to the seduction of the husband.  Husband seduced.  Teddy gets thrown across the room.  Night gets all steamy.  And weeks later, there's a plus sign on an at-home pregnancy test.

So here comes Victoria's Secret with their line of maternity clothes to make pregnant women everywhere feel sexy despite their swollen ankles and bulging bellies.

*sigh*

Pipe dream.  This is where you duck out, Victoria's Secret, disappointing the preggos who have been ever so faithful to you before getting knocked up.  Why have you drawn the line with maternity wear?  Afraid of models with stretch marks?  Fear that some customers would run the other way, offended by a woman with child modeling a silky cami?

Allow me to bring up one of your current Angels, Miranda Kerr.  In our house, she is known as "Michael's girlfriend".  This is because (according to Michael) she is the only model to grace your magazine's pages without casting the look of a hungry praying mantis ready to feast on her lover's brains.  Some of your other models' attempts at making "bedroom eyes" in photos come off as scary rather than seductive.  Miranda Kerr (seen in the picture below) is most certainly sexy, but is so because she's so darn cute.  All of her photos radiate just how adorable she is.  Even I want to pinch her dimpled cheeks!  So when we noticed her disappearance from your magazine, Michael and I were left disheartened.  Why was our favorite VS model suddenly gone?

Cute as a button.
We found out Miranda had taken temporary leave from the life of modeling to--get this--HAVE A BABY.  She and her husband, Orlando Bloom, had a bouncing baby boy earlier in the summer.  And because she had filled out to grow her baby, she wasn't modeling for VS.

But just look at her with her pregnant belly!  She's still adorable.  She's obviously glowing.  She's loving her belly growing a baby.  And she's still sexy.

I'd buy maternity clothes from VS if Miranda was modeling them.
Victoria's Secret, do you realize how much you could bank on a line of maternity clothing?  I realize that you can't ask all of your current models to run out and get themselves pregnant for the sake of such attire, but I can't imagine the hiring process to be so difficult you couldn't find an "outsider" model.  Just like there are hot non-pregnant models, there are hot pregnant ones.  Miranda Kerr proves that theory to be true.  So if you did create maternity wear for your pregnant fans, we would stay true to you.  I have faith that you could create flowy dresses and light-weight peasant tops that would be beautiful and functional for a pregnant belly.  Even your maternity lingerie would be coveted by many.  Small boutiques in Hollywood make it.  You could, too!

And if you felt you had to have a separate magazine for belly-hugging apparel, we would be OK with that.  We promise not to take offense at advertisement segregation for the differing clothing types.  We just want to see you try your hand in the world of maternity.

Again, a huge thanks to you, Victoria's Secret, for making women everywhere feel sexy.  I simply ask that you not abandon the ones you helped get pregnant.  Nine months of receiving your magazines in the mail, knowing we couldn't possibly fit into anything you advertise (especially in your semi-annnual sale catalogues) is nothing but a cruel tease.

Oh, and thanks for bringing Miranda Kerr back after she had her baby.  We were thrilled to see her smiling face in the latest catalogue.  Life after baby does exist, and it can be sexy!


Post-baby, and still beautiful.



11 September 2011

Nerd in Utero Project: Weeks 32-33


Sorry for my unkemptness.  Having a head/chest cold is taking its toll...
The sign on top was designed by one of my former GHP residents, Jessi Queen.  She was on my hall when I chose the theme "Olivia" back in 2007.  Because she was an art major that summer, she designed our hall T-shirt with a bridal Olivia (I was engaged at the time) and every girl's name on the back as an honorary bridesmaid.  After Jessi found out we were naming our baby Mallory Olivia, she wanted to make a poster with a mommy-to-be Olivia.  I'm loving it.  Check out Jessi's work here:  http://missjessiqueen.carbonmade.com/

How Far Along: 33 weeks, 5 days.  This week's entry combines weeks 32 & 33!
Size of Baby: A honeydew melon or a pineapple.  I'm sure it's a lot less painful to birth a honeydew melon.  Too many spines on a pineapple.
Total Weight Gain/Loss: Just over 30 pounds.  The weight gain has stagnated, which I'm grateful for.  The joint pain and leg cramps are more than I know what to do with.
Maternity Clothes: I want to give a shout-out to Old Navy for their super cheap maternity T-shirts.  I found a few long-sleeved numbers to go with the changing of seasons.  Target also gets a shout-out for having really cute nursing bras for reasonable prices.  
Simple, long-sleeved bliss.  Comfort is my biggest
 craving here in the 3rd trimester!

Definitely not what your grandma wore while nursing!

Baby-related Purchases: I had purchased an Angelcare baby monitor (as recommended by our friend, Sara, who had her baby last December) a couple of months ago from Ebay.  I chose the particular model because it came with 2 monitoring stations.  With us having a 2-story home (and the fact that Michael puts things where he can never find them and then sends me on the hunt for them), I figured 2 stations would serve us well.  Except, the seller didn't disclose that not all parts were included in the set she was selling.  The set needed 3 AC adapters.  It came with 2.  Michael and I spent hours shopping at electronic stores and online trying to find a match.  The cost of an extra adapter--before shipping and taxes--would be roughly $20.  That was on top of the $70 I spent on the original purchase.  I messaged the seller, claiming she had misled me as a customer by selling an incomplete set as one with all its parts and wanted a refund less the shipping costs.  She in her return message said I had had the monitor too long, that I had probably damaged it by now, and that there was no way she could have misled me.  She even told me I should have asked her about the adapters before committing to purchasing.  In my stick-it-to-you kind of attitude, I shot a final message back reminding her that being misled in this case meant that she had sold a product knowing it was missing a piece to someone who had put trust into her as a fellow mother and Ebay user.  I never heard back from her.
So…to the point…I resold the monitor on Ebay without the second station (as there was no AC adapter to make it run) for roughly the amount I originally spent on the set with both stations.  Door closed, window opened.  And now a new Angelcare monitor--with ALL necessary parts--is on its way to our house.
Gender: I know it's a girl, but man, she moves around like a professional soccer player from Brazil.
Movement: So many mother friends of mine claim that their babies quit making as many movements when they reached the end of their pregnancy.  They figured it was because their babies ran out of room.  The running out of room only pisses off Mallory Olivia.  The pokes and kicks are only more dramatic and more violent than they used to be.  Michael rested his hand across my belly one evening after I complained of kicking pains, and sure enough, he was elbowed in the palm with a mighty force.  I think he understands my pain now.
Sleep: I've had a few great nights of sleep, even though I have to get up to pee 5 times a night now.  But even after having to make midnight trips to the toilet, I am able to get back to sleep rather easily.  For the last couple of nights, a head/chest cold is the only thing disturbing my slumber.  It's difficult to sleep when it's difficult to breathe.
Belly Button In or Out: Out it goes.  Where it stops?  Nobody knows.
What I Miss: Being comfortable in one position for more than 5 minutes.  Seriously, I can't keep my body still while sitting, standing, leaning, or lying down (unless I'm unconscious).  And crossing legs is impossible, which used to be a way to help make myself more comfortable while sitting.
Cravings: Give me food, or give me death!
Symptoms: 
  • Thirsty and hungry.  This body is one crazy metabolic powerhouse/energy drain.
  • My extremities now go numb.  If I sit Indian-style, my feet start to tingle.  If I lean on my elbow, my hand goes to sleep.  I had read that this might happen, and it's only adding to my frustration of wanting to "be still" and not being able to do so!
  • Swelling is still only minor.
  • Reflux.  Not nearly as bad as before since I learned not to gorge myself on meals, but I still hate it when it happens.
  • Leg cramps.  I'll walk my kids to PE, and my legs will get that overcooked noodle feeling as if I just sprinted 5 miles.
  • The latest, as told in a quick, funny play: 
    • Me [after getting out of shower]: "Oh my GOSH, I'm leaking colostrum!"
    • [Footsteps heard bounding up the stairs. Michael is at our bathroom door, eyes wide as saucers.]
    • Me: "What?  Are you here for the freak show?"
    • Michael: "Of course!"
  • Belly shift.  Happens all the time.  Here are before and after photos of what I'm talking about:
Mallory in the middle.
Mallory migrates to the right.
      



Managing the Stress: The nail salon.  God bless the Vietnamese women of the salon I visit.  For 2 hours and $45, I received: a good soaking in the foot spa; polish jobs on hands and feet (plus a design on my big toes); cuticle treatments; exfoliating scrubs from toes to knees and fingers to elbows; a mentholated mud mask on my feet and ankles that they then wrapped in hot towels; and full-pressure lotion massages from feet to knees (including with a bamboo rod…the leg massage alone lasted 30 minutes), fingers to elbows, and my neck and shoulders.  Oh, and they brought me a pillow to support my sore lumbar region.  I have not found another salon that does this much for their customers.
Worries: It sounds stupid, but I'm afraid I won't have my report cards done before the baby comes.  We have many issues with the way report cards are handled by our school system, and being a very vocal member of the county's report card committee has done nothing to help bring forth change that would actually HELP teachers find relief in the process.  My last day of work is 14 October.  Just you wait.  My prediction is that they'll send out the most up-to-date electronic report cards on the 12th.  Rock--ME--hard place.
What I Look Forward To: Being "full term".  After 36 weeks, Baby Nerd is allowed to come whenever the heck she feels like it.  Even if it means going into labor at work.  I'm just that uncomfortable.
Celebrations:  
  • Remembering and honoring the heroes and the fallen from 9/11/01.  You will never be forgotten or forsaken.
  • Michael and I had maternity pictures made with the ever-so-talented Melissa Pepin (her blog in on my blogroll).  She was our wedding photographer, and being around her is just a breath of fresh air.  She is a mommy to two precious babies: Riley and Reese (which both look exactly like their daddy, Anthony, one of Michael's fraternity brothers/co-workers).  Melissa also has the sense of humor that is quick and loaded with sound effects and classic facial expressions, so she keeps me in stitches.  Can't wait to see the photos she took of us!
  • I have started knocking out parent/teacher conferences, and so far, they are going very smoothly. Thank heavens for parents who actually support you as an educator.  Even former parents who keep in touch make a difference in the outlook I have on this career.
  • OK, don't think I'm weird, but I got a new hair color and I'm really excited about it.  The blond is gone so I don't have to worry about keeping my roots maintained with a newborn.  Tanya from The White House Salon here in Jefferson does my 'do, and she did a fabulous job getting my hair "back to brown" without making it look flat.
  • I have had a couple of strangers or casual readers reach out to me because of my blog in the last couple of weeks.  It is incredibly humbling to know that something I have written has touched the life of another human being.  Thanks to everyone who keeps up with little ol' me via the blog.  You make me want to keep writing!

05 September 2011

From Fertility Friends to Belly Buddies

Starting just a couple of years ago, this is what I saw every time I took a PT.  I had been blessed with a husband who was my rock whenever the laughter erupted from a box of First Response.  But I felt that I needed a girlfriend--someone with the same internal reproductive parts--with whom I could walk this troubling road.  And out of left field came exactly that... 
---------------------------------------------

This is Katy.

Katy Mac.

Katy likes camping, UGA football, good beer, and llamas.  As is obvious in this photo, her Hollywood doppelgänger would be Eliza Dushku.  Yet, in my opinion, Katy's way prettier.  Her chariot is a boxy Jeep Grand Cherokee, which comes in handy for all those camping trips.  And while she can sport cocktail dresses and heels with the best of them, she is most comfortable in jeans and a T-shirt.  Her life was made complete when she married her high school sweetheart, Ryan.  They are currently raising their first child: a loyal dog named Lola.

How the heck do I know this spunky individual?  She and I met many moons ago when we were a part of the wait staff at Up the Creek: Fish Camp and Southern Grill in Snellville.  We share the same list of interests--just subtract llamas for my list and insert manatees.  While she and Ryan have Lola, Michael and I have Mojo.  In place of her Jeep, our sport vehicle is the GMC Sierra.  But the college life and grown-up life got in the way of keeping in touch with Katy, putting roughly 9 years between first meeting and eventually reconnecting.  It was the summer of 2010 when our casual Facebook friendship took a turn for companionship via a message she wrote me:

Hey Vikki... I know it's been forever since we last talked and saw each other, but I wanted to let you know that I just read your blog post and I am currently going through the same thing. It's been about 10 months since I last took BC and so far… nothing…
I had been writing about our fertility struggles for a few months and posting them on Facebook as a mere outlet of my frustration.  While most of my friends who read the blog (all 6 of them, at the time) were trying to make sense of our infertile-due-to-no-ovulation situation, Katy had been on the same boat and knew its course as well as me.

Over the next several months, we messaged back and forth, exchanging stories of our visits to the doctor and the status of ovulatory patterns.  When hormone test results came in, we immediately contacted each other:
Me: My TSH levels are apparently normal.  So why can't I have a dang period?
Katy: My testosterone levels are through the roof.  Bad androgens!
When it came to how far we were willing to go in starting a family, we couldn't have been more equally matched:
Katy: I'm hoping all it will take is a round or two of fertility meds to "reset" our hormone button.  IVF won't be an option for us.  Adoption would be a far better fit.
Me: Couldn't agree more about IVF.  The costs and injections involved are more than I could handle, and neither guarantee a baby.  Plus, if 5 embryos take, what then?
Then it came time to actually make the big decision in our infertile lives.  We had both endured months of testing, retesting, and getting absolutely nowhere.  Was it finally time to start fertility meds?  The question of "do we or don't we" loomed like a black cloud overhead.  She and I both had witnessed friends and acquaintances suffer through multiple miscarriages or deliver a baby still.  Were we taking the "easy way out" by going on meds when we hadn't experienced such tragedy?  Did our end of the fertility spectrum--not having a regular period, that is--really count as "suffering"?  It felt as if we were comparing apples to oranges when considering all of our IF sisters out there.

But wasn't wanting to be a mommy a good enough reason?  And didn't the year plus a few months of trying to make a baby with our devoted husbands mean something?

So we jumped.  Katy started on progesterone injections and daily doses of Metformin.  Not too much later, I began Clomid.  We found it funny that we had almost exactly the same fertility issue, but our doctors were treating it with very different methods.  Even with the monthly monitoring, our docs documented differently.  Katy's doc used ultrasound technology to watch for developing follicles.  My doc (actually, my NP) did monthly blood tests to check changes in my progesterone levels.  We both got off to a rocky start.  In fact, even though Katy and I were both able to have our "monthly" cycles while trying various medications, my hormone levels plummeted to rock bottom and her follicles played tricks on the sonogram.

Needless to say, the frustration grew and we continued to rely on one another for support.  Phone calls and text messaging turned into lengthy rants about each other's troubles.  We'd scream and curse and grit our teeth, but just having those conversations with someone who "gets it" made us feel better.  The holidays arrived, and we exchanged addresses for our Christmas card lists.  We made a lunch date so we could chat face-to-face over pasta and salad.

Then January rolled around.  It was a month that would forever change our lives.

It was the month I had my first spike in progesterone levels.  My meds had been switched to Femara and Metformin, and instead of having a pro level down in the 2s, it had jumped to the 12s.  A couple of weeks later, Katy had an ultrasound where a very healthy follicle passed.  We were both getting good news.  Optimism got a hold of the both of us, and we were already pregnant together in our minds.

And when I got a positive on a pregnancy test one morning just after Valentine's Day, I had to message Katy.

Crap, I had to message Katy!  I was prepared for her getting a positive PT before me.  I knew I could handle the news if it happened for her first and not for me.  But how was she going to take it?  Would she be just as excited for me as I knew I would be for her?  So I sent a brief message:
Got a faint positive this morn.  Don't know if it's real.  Going to doc to check it out.
Even I thought it felt a little cold and unfeeling, but I didn't want to sound overly excited when one test didn't prove anything.  I also didn't want to rub it in Katy's face because I was the one with the first positive.  And when her response message came just seconds later, it was full of love and support, proving to me we were in this for better or worse.  Then I got the positive results from my NP.  I was in fact pregnant.  All I could hope and pray for was the same for Katy.

On my birthday, Katy called me as Michael and I were picking up our new VW from the dealership.  It was only my second time using the bluetooth function, but I took to it like a duck to water.  Katy's voice didn't seem too cheery as it filled the Jetta's interior.  She said she had started having migraines again and was feeling under the weather.  Concerned, I asked what she thought may have been causing her malaise.
Katy: Um, well, it's most likely due to the fact that I'm PREGNANT!
Me [almost running off the road]: WHAT?!?!  Holy cow, this is the best birthday present EVER!
Katy talked about how she got a positive home PT and visited her doctor not long after.  They gave her a confirmation that she was definitely pregnant and most likely due in November.  Come to find through our technologically-advanced conversation, our due dates were exactly 3 weeks apart.  Laughingly, we started planning play dates and baby showers.  We even covered the idea of "if you have a girl and I have a boy, we'll have to talk wedding".  It wouldn't be until the summer that we would find out that she was the one having a boy, and I was going to have a girl.  And even with getting the happy news that Katy was going to be a mommy, she asked me not to make any of her news public via the blog until she and Ryan told their families.  It was a tough secret to keep, but so very worth the wait.

As for nicknames for our growing babes?  Everyone is familiar with ours, Baby Nerd, considering Michael and I are nerdy to a fault.  Katy and Ryan have nicknamed theirs McBaby, as their last name is McLaughlin.  So very cute!

Just because Katy and I were able to reach pregnancy status doesn't mean our journey is over.  We are now each other's direct contact for new pregnancy symptoms and ailments, pictures of the nurseries, and shares on new baby gifts we have received.  Our lunch conversations are aglow with hopes and plans for our upcoming arrivals.  We will get to be mommies together as we hold tight to the very issue that renewed our friendship in the first place: infertility.

And maybe one day, we'll be in-laws.  Katy and I could plan one heck of a UGA-themed wedding for our future Bulldawgs.

The mothers-to-be!  Katy is happily housing McBaby, and I'm housing Baby Nerd.


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