The end of the bird


Thanksgiving was, as always, a huge hit in the IF Optimist household.  I love to cook and it took me two days to complete all of the prep and the dinner.  We had 8 people for dinner and a menu that included:

Herb-butter rubbed fresh organic turkey
Mashed potatoes a la MaBeep (made by my MIL)
Wild mushroom gravy with a dash of port
French bread stuffing with spicy maple sausage, apples, pecans and dried cranberries
Gramma Webster’s Corn Puddin’ (made by friend Mike)
Sauteed green beans with lemon zest and almonds
Brussels Sprouts (MrBeep’s favorite veggie)

for dessert I made a Turtle Pumpkin Pie – thank you to the lovely One Who Understands for the link.  I changed the recipe slightly since I like to do things the hard way.  I made the graham cracker crust and added roasted pecans to the food processor instead of a pre-made crust.  I also made a batch of fresh caramel sauce and added a touch of cognac – oh my gawd eat it with a spoon delicious.  I roasted some additional pecans and tossed them in cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg before coating them in caramel.  I also don’t like cool whip, so I made my own whipped cream and added a little gelatin for extra stability.  The pie turned out fan-freaking-tastic.  Here’s a photo:


Now much of the remaining of the turkey and fixin’s were gobbled up the next day with my gaming friends, but we still had some left (I roasted a 22lb bird this year).  The carcass and veggies are in the pressure cooker simmering away and making stock.  On the menu for tonight is Turkey and Dumplings. 

I’ll write about my first OB appointment next week, but I wanted to take a second to express how am thankful I am for all of the obvious things this year, for monsters on board who helped make dinner with me and added a special secret joy to my day.  For MrBeep would rub my belly and tell them how much he was looking forward to the dinner they were making. I am also so thankful to have great friends in real life and through the bloggidy world.  It felt good to read and catch up with you all this Sunday.  There was bad news and some good news but through everything, you all wrote so many amazing stories of courage and grace and joy.  Giving thanks to you all and I hope that the rest of the holiday season is one of hope and love.

Words of wisdom - #1


Pregnant women and cabbage don’t mix.


Off to my first official OB/GYN appointment tomorrow morning…


My friend Lindsay called to inquire about the results of the ultrasound, she knew how nervous I was that everything was gone.  This is what she said…

“So…Scotch or Ginger Ale?” 

“Ginger ale” I answered, and she squealed with joy. 

Thank you so much for all who have put up with my fears and my ups and my downs and my sideways.  It ain’t over, but it is sure nice to breathe again.  So far, so good.

Whose got two thumbs and monsters on board?


<Pointing at herself with thumbs up>  THIS GAL!

We got to see DocO today and he was grinning from ear to ear when he saw us in the lobby and gave me two thumbs up.  When he arrived in the ultrasound room, he asked me how I was doing and I explained I was nervous due to my loss of symptoms.  He looked a little concerned and gently said, “You don’t have to be miserable in order to be pregnant.  Let’s have a look.”  The date with Wanda had begun.  First thing he zoomed in on one and pointed and said “there’s the heartbeat” then he immediately swung around the wand to find the other one and point out the heartbeat, “and that looks good too.”  I love that he did that for me.  He allayed my fears first thing and then went to do his meticulous measuring.  DocO is a very compassionate man and I am so lucky to have been taken care of by him and all the other wonderful people at the practice.  The measurements were spot on, these little guys tripled in size in 2 weeks (Wow!).  The heartbeats were at 178 and 180 bpm.  I am so very happy about all of these good indicators.  Go little monsters! 

Their duck monster and frog monster likeness has morphed into more shrimp-like beings that look the same.  You could see their little arms and feet waving, which was really cool.  I got a CD with the images and videos that are fun to watch.  There are much monster gesturing and wild party dancing moves going on in there.  I think the conversation in the womb must have been something like this…

Most importantly MrBeep was laughing while he watched and was smiling at me and squeezing my hand.  I got lots and lots of hugs and kisses for a job well done.  I’m so excited, I can’t believe I have to get an OB/GYN now.  I have “graduated” from the RE office.  Yikes. I’m off to make a bunch of phone calls. 

So far so good.  Mommy loves you very much and keep waving and monster mashing.

Saturday’s super update


Everything went great! MrBeep talked to his folks before we left and asked them not to inquire about what is going on in front of others.  They totally understood and were fabulous.  We got some special smiles and hugs when we arrived, but were otherwise fine.  The other folks were so busy talking about their new jobs and asking me about the ordeal with my brother (he's doing fine) that my ladyparts were totally off the radar.


We ate some yummy reuben sandwiches, pickles and slaw.  I drank a ginger ale and ate many delicious homemade cookies. Then we watched the game.  Our team didn't win, but we did enjoy watching the game.  At one point I almost got sick.  I held my hand over my mouth, breathed deeply and told MrBeep to step aside, but the wave passed.  Yay for almost barfing!

Later this evening when MrBeep had his glass of wine, I was sitting next to him getting a hug and suddenly the smell of the wine was soooooo strong and soooooo gross I couldn’t take it and had to leave the room.  I asked him if it had spoiled, but he said it tasted just fine.

Wow.  I’m grinning from ear to ear.  C’mon monsters…make mommy miserable.

Grrrrrrrrrrrrrr <sigh> Pass the nachos.



I tried.  Really I did.  The advice on when to get my ultrasound basically fell into two categories:

  1. Call RE and schedule ultrasound for Friday, get it off my mind, hopefully MrBeep can make it.
  2. Hang out until Sunday afternoon, MrBeep guaranteed to be there, get answer.

Easy ‘nuff said, right?  MrBeep checked his schedule and could make a Friday afternoon appointment if there was one free.  I called on Thursday and they were very apologetic, but said they didn’t have any available openings on Friday afternoon at all.  Saturday after 11 am was an option for them, but not for me.  So Sunday afternoon it would be right?  Nope.  A RE Nurse called on Friday afternoon and explained that my Sunday appointment would have to be cancelled because DrKAwesome would be busy with procedures all day.  Now this may seem odd, but my RE’s office is a smaller practice and the patients who need egg retrievals and transfers done that precise day take precedence over a non-time critical OB ultrasound.  This was explained to me before the Sunday appointment was made.  I am so happy for those other patients who have gotten to the point of retrieval/transfer that I totally understand.  I want them to be really busy with good news, it means they are doing a great job for their patients.  I want that success for everyone. 


So where does that leave me?  I have an appointment on Monday at 11:00 am with DocO for my OB ultrasound, this weekday appointment won’t be cancelled.  MrBeep will be there with me and we’ll know for sure what is going on. And here’s the crazy part.  I am totally OK with it.  I am fine.  One day later is one day further along and hopefully we will get good news.  The later you see good results the better your chances.  My symptoms continue to be minor but steady, so hopefully that is good news and not just progesterone. I skipped out on helping my friend pack and move (she’ll understand when I explain sometime in the future), I will enjoy my time out tonight with wonderful family, great food and fun football (Wolverines vs. Buckeyes…GO WOLVERINES!!!!) 

I am smart enough to skirt uncomfortable questions, right?  Here I am practicing:

How are things with the cycle?  Good.

What’s going on?  Y’know. Working on it. Doing all we can. (eyes watching football)

Your friend M had her kid (blah blah details, etc.)  That’s great, tell her I said congrats. (eyes watching football)

Do you want a beer?  No thanks. 

C’mon, its a special brew.  Sounds yummy but I’m taking medicine that says no alcohol.  I brought delicious Vernor’s ginger ale.  Do you want one?

How about a cup of coffee?  No thanks.  It will keep me up and I’m totally stuffed full.

More digging questions of various uncomfortable kinds.  SHUT THE HELL UP!  Watch the dang football game.  Pass the nachos.

I’m ready.  ;-)

Hiding out


Symptom watch:  generally feeling great – tiny bit of breast tenderness and sensitive nips, very minor occasional queasiness, heavy feeling in uterus, slight fatigue.  All of these symptoms can be caused by pregnancy or progesterone.  A little bit of good news?  No spotting whatsoever.  I called my mom who said she didn’t really have morning sickness, and never vomited.  Maybe a slight upset tummy once and a while but never anything else.  I also never get motion sickness in cars, roller coasters, etc.  Generally the bigger, faster and spinnier a carnival ride the better for me, so maybe I am just not very susceptible (studies seem to indicate this).  However, I am still very edgy since it is the LOSS of symptoms I had in weeks 5-8 rather than their total absence that makes me nervous.  The always wonderful MeKate provided an excellent link in one of her comments that did calm my panic.  You should absolutely check it out.

Truth is, I’m hiding out.  I’m doing everything I can to avoid people I know in real life because I am dreading the question of how things are going with the IVF/How are you feeling *hint, hint*/Any news *wink, wink*.  Thanks to the vivid dreams lately, I’ve actually been having nightmares about it.  Oh and those vivid dreams can be caused by…ready for it…pregnancy OR progesterone.  So does that symptom help me know whether I’m still knocked up or not?  No.  Gah!

I have a friend hinting to a group of us how she needs help packing for their move to a new home.  Normally this is the type of thing that I am right on, but I don’t want to talk about my current status while I am alone with my friend.  Oh and did I mention their 10 month old that I would help to babysit during that time?  Oh yeah, there’s that too.  So the talk would be 100% baby baby baby. Plus, I shouldn’t lift anything heavy, I can’t drink (I know they’ll offer) and they have two cats and I don’t know how much stuff I want to touch.  What if they want me to help pack their laundry room where the litter box is located?  I know…not likely but would YOU want to do it? 

I am supposed to go to a dinner/football thing on Saturday evening.  MrBeep’s parents (who we told I was pregnant at 5w4d--that’s another story) will be there and I don’t want to endure any positive hopeful looks while I am feeling like all is lost.  MrBeep promised to talk to them about keeping it on the down low.  I really want to attend and eat and watch the game, I just wish I could do it undercover.  Anyone got some dark sunglasses?

My friend M, who I have mentioned in a 4 part series, should be giving birth at any minute, if she hasn’t already done so.  She travelled to a country in Latin America to deliver and I don’t know any news.  Honestly, I don’t really want to.  The problem is I will see a mutual friend who knows everything at the football thing and will be sure to update me. I can’t stand the idea hearing how one person had their baby while I am thinking I lost mine. I know…I am a total shitty friend.

Also I don’t want be around anyone because I just don’t know what I can say.  Yes?  No?  Maybe?  I don’t want to break into tears.  I don’t know how to gracefully skirt the question.  I just want a couple more weeks to get farther along.  I want a little more time to feel confident.  I’ll feel much better if there is good news at the Sunday ultrasound (well, duh…of course I’ll feel a bajillion times better).  But if that is positive news, then I will get a fetal doppler and give it to MrBeep.  He can regulate its use on a freakout/need to know ratio. 

A huge part of me thinks I should push for an ultrasound on Friday afternoon, that way I can skip all interaction on the weekend if it is bad news or enjoy the weekend if it is good news.  An interesting idea, but I don’t know if MrBeep could be there or if they have any open appointments.  I don’t want to get bad news without him there to be with me.  Maybe I should just say I’m PUPO, push back these worries and enjoy my Saturday.  What would you do?

Subterfuge, dreams and decisions


First and most importantly, thank you all so much for your information and encouragement.  It was a relief to find out that many others have had the *POP* vanishing act of pregnancy symptoms and are still doing OK.  I have calmed down a little.  I would still prefer to be sick as a dog at this point because hey, that’s what all the storybooks tell you it is supposed to be like.  I know that I am unusual.  I know that I have always been the bizarre girl standing outside the pack but y’know sometimes I just wanna whine, “I WANT TO BE LIKE ALL THE POPULAR GIRLS!”  Well…not really, I do prefer being the geeky oddball surrounded by my own kind.  They get my jokes.

I tried a tad bit of personal subterfuge yesterday to trick myself into being queasy or sick.  I’ll admit my one slice of toast with PB&J did give me more indigestion than would be normal, so that made me happy.  But I thought I could erase all doubt by going out to dinner for a really fancy meal.  I figured Murphy’s Law would dictate that after an excellent pricey meal, I would have to hornk it up, right? WRONG.  But it sure was gooooooooood. In the month of November we have a tradition in Seattle called “Din.e.Around.Se.attle” where 30 super fancy excellent restaurants have fix-prix menus.  For $30 (Sun-Thurs) you get an appetizer, main course and dessert.  If you are a local and are drooling, you can read about it here

We went out to a restaurant called “The F.rog”.  It is a lovely place with warm colors, a tantalizing wine selection, and superb food.  MrBeep and I got different courses for appetizer and dessert, (I had toasty warm pureed chestnut and apple soup-Mmmmmm) but we both ordered the same main course (don’t freak – the glass is sparkling apple juice).   

Lamb Shank & Pappardelle Pasta, Cipollini Onions, Butter Braised Carrots,
Confit Chanterelle Mushrooms, Demi Butter Sauce

Oh, the sauce.  THE SAUCE was sooooo unctuous and rich and grab-that-last-piece-of-bread-and-sop-it-all-up-goodness. I was sure it would put me over the edge, but alas, I had to just enjoy my dinner with only the mildest tang of upset tummy afterward.  Oh well.  Hopefully the monsters just love me too much and are giving me a break, or maybe it is because they’ll want nothing but expensive gourmet chow (take these cheerio’s away Plebian!)

On other good symptoms I was ridiculously tired at 11:30 pm despite sleeping 10 hours the day before.  The nips have been mighty tender and the b00bs are, well on again/off again sore.  Not as much as right before the symptoms vanished, but not comfortable or normal either.  In fact, last night I woke up 4 times to pee (another good sign) and at one point, while lying on my stomach my b00bs hurt sooooooo much that I woke and needed to turn and sleep on my left side.  Anyway that is what I THINK happened.  I also think that I could have dreamed it.  I’m not 100% sure.  I’m having these really vivid dreams lately.  Also there has still been no spotting whatsoever.

Finally, I made a decision to not call the RE office today to discuss the symptoms disappearing on Friday since maybe they really are waxing and waning.  Frankly, there is nothing that they can do to change the outcome at this early stage.  I have decided to wait for my next scheduled ultrasound on Sunday afternoon. I will be with MrBeep all day and don’t have to face any people afterwards if the news is bad.  And isn’t learning to be patient an excellent lesson for a mom?  Maybe I will be lucky.  Getting positive news at a later stage (9w2d) is a good sign and maybe I should just try to be myself, IF Optimist, and choose to keep my heart in a place of hope.

On a much better and lighter note, Maddy wins the prize for most clever person in the universe with a post to get you ready for the holidays, The 12 Days of IUI.  Dang, that is some funny shite.

I woke up this morning and…


At 8 weeks and 1 day, all of my pregnancy symptoms have vanished.  VANISHED.  The boobs feel normal, no queasiness, no headaches, supernose is gone and I went a whole 7 hours through the night without having to get up to pee.  My symptoms were slightly lessened yesterday and now today they have disappeared and am I completely freaked out.  I woke up MrBeep this morning and told him I thought I wasn’t pregnant anymore and cried and cried and cried.  He held me and tried to comfort me, reminded me that we don’t know for sure.  We called the RE office, but they were closed.  I guess they didn’t have any big procedures today.  I will call Monday, maybe by then I will feel better or worse.  I just can’t imagine my symptoms disappearing with twins, I thought I would be getting worse by now.  I’d much rather have my head in the toilet than feel absolutely fine.

DrGoogle is all over the place.  Some folks have had the loss of symptoms and then miscarried, others have had all symptoms disappear and then come back a few days later much worse, some have had them disappear and never return but all worked out just fine.  I can’t decide if I should relax or freak.  Statistics are all over the place, but some things seem to indicate a 20-25% chance of miscarriage after seeing a heartbeat when you are 40 years and older.  There has been no blood, no spotting and no cramping.  Part of me thinks that I just can’t be that lucky, to get to the other side, to have hope.  The other part of me wonders how they can both die in just a matter of days after the ultrasound.  I know both are possible.

Now that I have been up for a few hours my symptoms are (good/bad): 

  • mostly normal boobs with slightly sore nips/soreness could be from me mashing them to check and see if they have changed every 10 minutes
  • feeling really exhausted, needed nap/this could be from so much crying this morning
  • slightly upset stomach/feels upset more due to stress and nervousness

Somebody please tell me that I’m crazy and I need to calm down.  Somebody please tell me how your symptoms disappeared and the story turned out with a happy ending.  Somebody get me a fricking crystal ball.

Guess who’s coming for dinner?



That’s right.  Ginger ale and saltines.  I was out shopping for stuff to make spaghetti dinner yesterday.  I walked to the back of the store near the butcher counter, they were cooking something that smelled so strong and vile it make me super ill.  It was extra super fab to enjoy that smell combined with the perfume of raw meat. Not necessary run-for-the-hills grab-a-paper-bag queasy but “seasick with a touch of too many jalapeƱos” kind of queasy.  Luckily I was able to high tail it to the front of the supermarket, where I was able to purchase some ginger ale (Vernor’s is the best!) and some plain crackers.  I may keep a ziplock of crackers in my purse for such emergencies.  Gah.

Two days earlier I was in a different supermarket and they had a huge display of apples for sale.  All different types.  Galas, fujis, honeycrisp, cameo, macintosh, tart green apples, etc.  They were gorgeous and looked like the best of fall, but my nose?  I could swear I smelled some of the bad apples in the crop.  Totally bizarre.  Most of my morning sickness reaction is just a fairly constant upset tummy, heartburn and hiccups from time to time.  If I eat little meals, or drink milk I am usually OK but even now it feels like I need an alka seltzer.

I told MrBeep about my queasefest and he was very sad and worried.  I laughed and tried to tell him that it’s a really good thing.  Bring it on!  But he just looked at me with those big blue eyes and crumpled up his mouth in sad concern.  Husbands are wacky sometimes, but we sure love ‘em.

What the ultrasound saw…


I won’t tease you, I haven’t really been holding out.  My ultrasound appointment was on Sunday at 3:00 p.m. pacific time. 

After we went to the RE for the ultrasound, we went for a little grocery shopping and then out to dinner.  I had delicious salmon with spicy zesty soba noodles.  When we came home, we watched a terrific movie and I went to sleep early because, whew, I am sure tired lately.

I fall asleep sitting in a chair like an 80 year old man.

Can’t imagine why.

And my b00bs are really weighty and sore.

Ain’t that unusual?

Oh and I get a little queasy from time to time.

Guess I need some pepto.



It’s because of what the ultrasound saw.


That’s right.  I’ve got two monsters in here (I photoshopped a little animated GIF to better illustrate what the ultrasound really saw).  “A” (who looks like a duck, am I right?) measured fine and had a heartbeat of 150.  “B” (totally a little frog) also measured fine (estimated a few days older) and had a heartbeat of 144.  DrKAwesome was my RE on Sunday and she also checked out my ovaries and said they were the right size and doing a great job making progesterone. 

So wow.  Two.  We checked them out on 7w2d and are due back for our next ultrasound two weeks from now (Golly, another two week wait?  Who woulda thunk it possible?) that will put us at 9w2d and if all is well I will “graduate” to a real OB/GYN.  MrBeep has been patting my tummy and grinning at me.  I had a perma-grin on Sunday and kept getting all teary-eyed.  We keep saying “so far so good”. 

Lots of love and good wishes and prayers from people near and far have brought me a long way and have been a comfort to me in difficult and nervous times.  It still seems a little unreal, but today I am bursting, full of hope and promises and wishes that may finally come true. 

24 and 48 and 72


In 24 hours I will officially be 7 weeks.  In 24 hours I will finally finally be home and alone with MrBeep.  Don’t get me wrong, I am glad that I was able to be there for my brother.  He is doing much better and will now just need to do things to improve his health.  He has stopped smoking and is now taking walks with the kids in the evening.  It has been nice to see my SIL, niece and nephews.  It has been great spending a few days with my grandparents and parents.  It will be a treat tonight to see one of my best friend’s from 7th grade through high school.  But really folks, I want to be home.  I want to smell the damp earth and listen to the rain.  I want to be with my wonderful MrBeep who calls me every day and texts me and makes me so happy but he is far away and it makes me crazy.  I miss smiling until my face hurts, I miss laughing so much my sides ache.  MrBeep took the day off and will pick me up from the airport.  Yay! 

In 48 hours I will be settled in at home, with all my travels washed away.  I will have snuggled and snoozed with MrBeep.  I will have walked in the last remnants of fall colors. I will have caught up on some film work and web stuff.  I will have enjoyed a game night with my pals.  I will have been able to cook a dinner in my own kitchen with my own things.  My life will once again begin to return and surround me.  My mind can begin to return to a place of peace from all this chaos.

In 72 hours I will have some news.  I will have seen what is going on first hand.  I will have some information.  I am scheduled for an ultrasound at the RE office on Sunday at 2:30 p.m.  They say I can call on Saturday to see if they have any openings so perhaps I can find out sooner if possible.  I hope to get an appointment on Saturday, but Sunday will do.  It feels like it taking so long to find out, even though it will have only been an extra week.  I am getting terrified of disappointment.  I am so close to starting a new path on my journey to a family of my own.  I am curious and nervous and scared and excited.  I hope it is good news.  In less than 72 hours I will know. 

Happily Halfway Home

I flew back from Florida with my brother very early on Friday morning. I managed to get a H1N1 flu shot from the county health dept folks (who were so nice to appreciate my situation and offer to help). I received the shot on Tues afternoon so I felt much better flying on Friday. I was still extra careful in washing my hands and using sanitizer. My brother is doing much better and is able to walk around on his own. He had to take a break while walking from one terminal area to the other at the Houston airport, but otherwise made the trip without problems. His wife and kids were really happy to see him returned safely. He wore compression stockings during the flight, got up and walked around and also did leg exercises. I managed on the last day and during the flights home to get him hooked on Heroes Season 1. I also got a nephew hooked.

I feel out of touch as blogger was blocked by the hospital wifi and I have spent the last 2 days in the wifi void at my grandparents house. I am currently typing this entry on my Palm Pre cell phone, so please forgive any blatant errors. I plan to fly home to Seattle on Friday. I will ask for an appointment with DocO first thing since I had to cancel my first ultrasound that was supposed to be today. :-( I am sooooo curious and anxious to find out what is happening and whether or not I am still pregnant. I think I am. Here's the symptom list:

* Occasionally very sore boobs
* Slightly darker hue/sensitive nipples
* Weighty full feeling in uterus
* Crazy tired falling asleep in a chair even after 8 hours sleep

I've had no spotting or total loss of symptoms. Part of me would feel better if I had some nausea spells, and I have felt a little queasy from time to time but it has always been after I ate way too much or made a bad combination choice. So I dunno. However I am only 6w3d. I hope to soon regret ever typing my barf envy -- but I don't mean YOU Invitro Veritas. All kidding aside, I hope you are feeling better sweetie. I hope I will be able to catch up very soon. Sending love and IF Optimist vibes of support and hope to all on the four winds.

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