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Oh, Julie! Congrats!!!! LOVE the name!
Julie-Many congrats!!!! I PM'd you with some BF resources.
Congratulations Julie and Mr Julie! Welcome baby Henry! What wonderful news, I am so very happy to hear that your little man has arrived safely and that you're recovering well from the birth. I look forward to hearing your birth story.

Hopefully I'll be telling you soon about the arrival of my little boy - we still have 10 days or so to go...
Jenny D., I can't wait to hear your you have a name picked out?

Believe it or not, Mr. Z likes the name Zelda if it's a girl. I told him that was just too weird for me as it's my screen name here and on multiple sites. Being a computer-phobe, he had no idea!

We have some tentative names picked out, but veerrrrry tentative. Maybe Eloise or Eleanor for a girl. I like Theo for a boy. I love the name Hazel for a girl, but Mr. Z shot that one down right away.
Congratulations Julie!! I'm so glad to hear all is well and I'm looking forward to the details!

Michelina, the symptoms I've had have been somewhat similar to past cycles but slightly different. Strange cramps 2-4 DPO, swollen breasts/ bloated 2-5 DPO, nothing from 6-7 DPO, sensitive nipples 8-9 DPO. I know I shouldn't read into anything, it's just so hard to not be aware of everything! How are you doing???
I am anxiously awaiting results from Cristine and Michelina! Oh, that 2ww suuuuuuuucks.

Today is probably the first day I really feel pregnant. I put on some pants, and there is no way they can be buttoned. I put on a skirt, and to fasten it, I had to hike the waistline practically under my bra. I still feel like my pooch is fat and bloat, but it feels and seems different somehow. I went Christmas shopping, and when I caught a glimpse of myself in a mirror, I thought, "Woah, I look...huge."

I'm sure only I see the difference...I can't imagine anyone on the street thinking I look pregnant yet...just bloated or maybe a lady with a chunky tummy, but I am finally starting to really feel different. Oooof! I guess it's good it happens gradually, so you can get used to it!
Thanks so much for all the good wishes! (And eyelet, thanks a million for the BF resource - definitely will check that out. We're hoping we can taper off the supplementing relatively soon but anything that increases supply is great!)

So, here is our birth story. Last week I was busy busy busy, trying to finish up work for a client and finish up work on my part-time job before going on leave. Friday was especially busy - I had a client meeting in the morning, lunch with girlfriends, then ended up staying rather late at my part-time job that afternoon/evening in an effort to leave everything in a good place while I was gone.

So, Saturday morning I got up my usual number of times to pee and then to feed the kitty, who demands food at 6 a.m. every day and has this weird need for someone to watch him while he eats. After watching the kitty eat again around 8:00 a.m., I decided to lounge on the couch instead of going back up to bed. mr. julie came downstairs a little before 9 a.m. and zrrrbted my tummy before heading upstairs to work on his home improvement project (a wall between the office and the nursery/guest room). About 10 minutes after he went upstairs, I felt a little rush of fluid between my legs, then another one quickly behind it. I was torn between thinking "Is this it?" and thinking "Did I just become incontinent?" (which isn't an odd thought at all to think in late pregnancy....) So I went upstairs to the bathroom to check out the situation. My mucus plug had come out in my pajama pants and the fluid was streaked with some blood. And it kept coming. So I went to mr. julie and said, "Um, honey? I think my water just broke." Called the doctor's office, and the doc on call gave me a call back. After asking a few questions, she said I should come in to get checked out at least. At this point I hadn't felt any contractions, so I asked her how soon I needed to come in - she suggested sometime in the next three hours.

After telling mr. julie that his home improvement project would have to wait, I went to lay down. (I remembered the advice of several people to be rested up for labor to the extent I can....) Started feeling mild contractions in bed, mostly like strong menstrual cramps, not too bad. After resting for about an hour, I took a shower (figured it might be awhile), ate some bland food, packed the remainder of my bag, and called my mom to tell her what was going on. We got to the hospital about noon, and although the contractions were stepping up a bit, they still weren't severe. (I had a whole conversation with my mother-in-law on the way to the hospital and didn't so much as have to pause during it.)

Earlier that week I had been to my OB and she'd checked my cervix, which at the time was a little more than 1 cm dilated and 60% effaced (so, not that different from three weeks previously). So they didn't bother checking me again yet. I have to say that the hospital staff was really supportive of my going for the no-drugs birth - they asked up front my wishes and were great about giving me lots of options for positions and comfort measures. After checking a bit, they confirmed that my water had broken, said baby's heartbeat was great and he was head down (and face up), and said that we'd check in with the doc at about 4 p.m. to see how things were progressing.

I labored for about an hour or so walking the halls, and my contractions were starting to get more intense. But mostly the first hour I was bored - there wasn't much to see walking the halls, and there wasn't much to do in the room but get stir crazy. A friend of mine came to visit me a couple hours in, and that was a nice distraction (mr. julie is great company, but it was nice to talk with someone who WASN'T in the process of having a baby....). I was having a lot of back labor, and mr. julie was being great about applying counterpressure and helping me through the contractions. I learned that I'm not really a screamer...I would just get really quiet and focused during a contraction. Two things that I read in preparation for birth really was this idea of visualizing myself opening, and the other was a recommendation that during a contraction I try to relax my stomach as if I were 11 months pregnant to sort of ease the tension.

After some time walking, standing, and hanging out on the birthing ball (also a great help), I decided I was ready for the tub. By this time things were really taking off, and the tub was AWESOME for helping with contractions (the jets were especially nice). I spent about an hour and a half in the tub, and wow did those contractions pick up. I found myself visualizing them as a wave and telling myself to "ride the wave," which seemed to help me keep from losing it most of the time. I was due to get out of the tub in another half hour when I started really feeling the urge to push (which I honestly didn't think would be so intense!). So I got out and they finally checked my cervix - and I was at 9! (Before that, I was starting to think that if they checked and I was at a 4 or 5, I was going to have to seriously reevaluate the no drugs thing.) So they called the doctor and I worked like mad to resist the urge to push.

It was such a relief to start first. So much less pain with the contractions. However, I started feeling really lost - I couldn't really tell whether my pushing was having any effect, and my pushes felt very hit-or-miss. Also, I thought I was going to bust every blood vessel in my face when I pushed. I tried a few other positions (squatting felt good, side-pushing SUCKED because it was really hard to rest between contractions) and they brought the mirror so I could see things happening, but the mirror turned out to be kind of distracting. The doc told me I would have to really bring it since baby was still sunny side up, so it would be harder to get him out. I started getting really tired and they gave me oxygen in between the contractions. I'm like, "C'mon, baby, work with me here...." The doc actually offered me a couple of options if I wanted - they could give me pitocin to try to intensify the contractions and thus get him moving faster, or they could give me an epidural and see if relaxing made him turn a bit. I decided that I'd come this far without drugs and I would hate to have them now, and that I wasn't sure I wanted to deal with intensified contractions, so I said that I wanted to continue pushing for now. Shortly after that, things seemed to click a bit better - I went for broke on the pushing, closed my eyes to concentrate, and started to actually feel some progress. It was amazing to feel him actually in the birth canal. And oh, my, God, they don't call crowning the "ring of fire" for nothing, but by that time I was just so glad to be making progress that it wasn't so hard to push through it. After two hours of pushing, Henry arrived at 8:42 p.m. - less than 12 hours after my water broke! Because he was sunny side up and it took awhile to get him out, he had a GIANT conehead and some bruising on his head and his nose. (Seriously, the conehead was so major that the nurses kept saying that he should be on Saturday Night Live.) I just kept saying, Oh my God, Oh my julie was crying, and he cut the cord. They had him on the warmer for a bit and were doing a lot of suctioning...they actually ended up taking him to get checked for oxygen level but he turned out to be just fine.

I delivered the placenta about 10 minutes later and they stitched up some very minor tears (the doc said they were more like abrasions, less than 1 on a scale from 1-4). When I went to the bathroom with the nurse to get cleaned up, she remarked that she wasn't used to people being able to just climb off the bed and walk with her to the bathroom, since most women get an epidural. After Henry and mr julie came back from getting him tested, we went to the postpartum room. Honestly, I was so wired after the birth that I couldn't sleep for awhile.

We've been home since Monday and overall things are going well. Henry had jaundice because the bruising caused him to have more red blood cells to process than normal, which is why we're supplementing the breastfeeding with some formula - just getting the excess bilirubin out as soon as we can. Still working on the breastfeeding...I was nursing in the hospital, but Henry tends to have some unfortunate habits (like latching on and then falling asleep, only to slip off) and I'm inexperienced at this and didn't always have him in a good latch, so he had basically made hamburger out of my nipples by the time we left. So I've been pumping every two hours to stimulate supply, and have a nipple shield that I will use temporarily when I get him back on the breast, just to protect things while I heal. My milk started to come in on Wednesday and has been steadily increasing, so I'm hopeful that we'll be able to reduce the amount of formula little by little until he doesn't need to be supplemented. I'm also thankful that our pediatrician's office has two lactation nurses who are available to help with nursing issues...I feel like this has been a huge help.

I am sooooo tired, and some of the nights have been frustrating (one night Henry wouldn't settle unless I held him, so I was sitting there at 4 a.m. trying not to fall asleep as I held him) but I am so happy. Henry had excellent timing in that he came about 4 days before my mom, dad and sister came to visit for Thanksgiving. So we had two days in the hospital, two days alone at home, then four days with my family helping out. They just left tonight. I'll definitely miss their company and their help - my mom was basically doing laundry and changing diapers continously, and often would take him for a bit so that I could nap, and my sister not only made Thanksgiving dinner and all our meals but also made us several meals to freeze and have later on. Happily, the help will continue - my brother is coming to visit on Thursday for four days and has offered to do anything we need him to do.

zelda, I am so excited for you and your pregnancy. It's always exciting to start really feeling pregnant at last, even if not everyone else notices right away! Enjoy this time....

Jenny, I am looking forward to your birth story when the time comes...which should be soon, since you're less than a couple of weeks away! Take care of yourself and keep us posted.

Cristine and Michelina, thinking good thoughts for this cycle....

yumyum, great to hear from you! Hope all is well...

Love to all the rest of y'all, and thanks for putting up with my ginormous post! ;-)
Julie- what a wonderful birth story!!!! biggrin.gif I am so happy to hear that you had a good birthing experience and that you, little Henry and the Mr. are settling in nicely at home. I have a horrible cold (I lost my voice yesterday and I feel like it's never going to come back) but aside from that, baby and I are doing well. I'm getting big, some days I even feel like I look huge (usually when I wear maternity tops) but I'm really digging my pregnant body. Congratulations on the little one- keep us updated when you can!

Christine and Michelina- the 2ww is a real bitch. I'm visualizing plus signs for both of you this month...
Julie, what a great story!! You're my hero, my intent is to also work until I'm ready to deliver & I really hope the baby has the same plan! wink.gif I am so glad you're all doing well and so so happy for you! One suggestion I wanted to make that might make breastfeeding a little easier are breast shields (I tried to look up the one my friend used but I couldn't find it)... it creates a better "grip" for little Henry and if he constantly falls asleep while breastfeeding, like my friend's daughter did, at least it won't be as damaging/painful to you during those long sessions. Good luck with everything, wishing you all the blessings for your family!!

yum, great hearing from you and yes this 2ww sucks... thanks for the visualization!
Great birth story, Julie! I hope mine goes as smoothly! So glad you are all home and settling in. That is awesome.

Went out today and bought my first two pairs of maternity pants. I put them on in the dressing room and couldn't believe I was wearing them! My body is changing by the minute, it seems.
Julie you are a superstar, what a fantastic birth story. I am so impressed by your commitment to a drug free birth and your strength to deliver Henry naturally when he was back to back rather than the other way round. We had a demo of the baby coming through the pelvis when that is the case in our ante-natal class and it was clear how much more bloody hard work that takes. I am really inspired by your description of contractions and pushing, I read your birth story out to my other half as all we've read recently has been pretty negative, and your story is so great. Did you deliver the placenta naturally? Also great news that you had such minor tears, this is something that really worries me!

Zelda, it's so exciting when you start to really feel pregnant! I loved getting my first maternity bits and pieces. I didn't see my mum until I was about 15 weeks pregnant, and when I did she had bought me lots of mum-to-be products, stretchmark oil and the like, and some maternity tights! Using them, and even just having them really helped to solidify my pregnancy in my mind. I also remember the point at which I could feel my uterus sticking out when I lay on my back and realised that my bump was growing at a similar sort of time, it gave me a funny and entirely new feeling. So exciting. I stayed in my regular clothes (but no trousers!) until about 28 weeks, but now I'm all long tops and leggings.

Yumyum, I love your comment about loving your pregnant body. I got out of the shower this morning and had a good look at myself in the mirror and thought I looked like a plump, sleek seal and really liked it. I expect I'm going to feel very differently when the baby is out of there!

Cristine, thinking of you during this waiting period. Keeping 'em crossed for you.

Michelina, I hope your meeting with your boss goes well. I think it's great that you're being so frank about your plans for the future with her. My fingers are crossed for you too during the 2ww.

Fookie, I know you're not visiting the forum so much, but just wanted to say I'm thinking of you.

Melora, just wondering how you're doing?
Hi everyone!

I am really new to this blogging stuff, so please be patient! I feel like I need some kind of outlet right now, so I thought this might be great!

I am a 30 year old special ed teacher married to a 41 year old chef. We have been trying to conceive since July 09, which I know isn't that long. I feel like we may have a few things working against us, though.

*I do not ovulate regularly. I have taken the pill for 11 years, and just stopped last June. I'm also a little on the thin side, but not really underweight. I had REALLY irregular periods in high school, but had chalked that up to the fact that I was terribly thin then. Now I'm not sure what the problem is.
*My husband takes 3 antidepressants (he is bi polar). He takes Lexapro, Welbutrin, and Lamictal. I feel convinced that this can't be good for fertility, but all the doctors I've talked to have pretty much laughed at me when I suggest this. I have found some research (mostly blogs) to support MY theory of these drugs harming male fertility, but it does no good when I show them to the dr. I have spoken to 3 different dr.s and they all say these drugs would not cause a fertility problem.
*My husband's age (42).

I did purchase a Clear Blue Easy Fertility monitor, and according to that, I am ovulating every month, just at wildly different times. I am thinking of trying an herbal supplement, Vitex, which is supposed to regulate your cycle. Has anyone heard of that?

We would definitely consider adoption if it comes to that, but I have found online that a lot of countries will not adopt to people who take antidepressants. I am really angry about this and find it ridiculous, but that seems to be the way it is. Ethiopia seems to be one of the only countries that do not hold this against a person. And I would be happy with a baby from Ethiopia.

My plan of action is to wait until we have been using the fertility monitor for 6 months, then go see a specialist to start tests with my husband. Does this sound right? I'm also thinking that if we have tried for a year with no success and no definite cause of a fertility problem, that we should start the adoption process (age is held against you, too, and my hubby is 42).

I really appreciate any help I could get from any of you. My best friend is about to turn 31, and is terribly depressed about her constant "single" status. The last thing I want moan about to her are my suspected fertility problems!

Looking forward to hearing from you gals!
Jenny, I love your positive pregnancy body outlook...for me, right now I am just feeling...fat. Curious about how my body is changing, but mostly...fat! Today I wore my maternity pants which I had to keep pulling up since they are took big, but my regular pants are way too tight. ARGH. Can't wait until I really, really look preggo.

Kitty, welcome. I think you will find a lot of info on this thread, so post often. I think your plan of trying with the monitor for six months is a good one. I have heard good things about the monitor and its success rate.

I don't know much about antidepressants and male fertility. I know I scared myself because my husband smokes pot every day (he's also 42), and I found all this scary stuff online about how it would make him infertile, and we conceived after 9 or 10 months. Granted, maybe we could have conceived faster if he hadn't smoked, but ultimately we conceived in under a year's time.

Given your irregular cycles, I would go ahead and try for six months using the monitor. You're well under 35 so age is still in your favor. After six months, go ahead and make an appointment with your GYN and take it from there. For peace of mind, you might want your husband to go ahead and get a sperm analysis. They are affordable and simple. He can even give the sample at home and get it over to the doctor if he is uncomfortable with providing a sample at the doctor's. This is what my husband did.

I agree with your regarding adoption/antidepressants - I was on antidepressants briefly and always worried if we went the adoption route what that would mean. I think it should be dealt with on a case by case basis, not just some blanket statement.

But I wouldn't get too worried about that. For now, focus on trying with the monitor, then go for tests. Remember even if they find something that may be impeding your fertility, there are many, many things that can be done these days to help conception, not all of them being expensive or scary.

By the way, have you read Taking Charge of Your Fertility. It is the fertility bible and very informative. It also shows how women with irregular cycles can track their ovulation and get pregnant faster. The only thing I would caution you about is that the author writes at one point that after 4 to 6 months if you haven't gotten pregnant something could be wrong. Well I have very REGULAR cycles and we had very well timed sex, and my husband had normal sperm, and it STILL took us almost a year, so don't let that part of the book scare you. But it's a GREAT book and very recommended. I learned about it on this thread when we were TTC.
Hello everyone!

Julie!!!!!!!!! Congratulations! And I love the name Henry too! And what a fantastic birth story. So glad to hear that things went well at the hospital and that things are going well at home too. I laughed out loud when you talked about the nurses joking about the conehead. My niece had the craziest conehead. I'm still amazed at how perfectly round her little head is now!

Zelda, maternity pants! Wooooohoooooo! Can you even believe it? A few months ago, that was probably the farthest thing from your mind. I'm so happy for you.

Christine, how's the 2ww? I'm thinking of you and crossing my fingers.

Michelina, how did the talk with your boss go? It sounds like you've laid out a good plan. I always find a "plan" made things easier. It gives you some stages to go through, rather than just the general random waiting with no end in sight. I'm really hoping that you end up with a lovely surprise well before the end of your stages.

YumYum! How's it going? Where are you at in terms of your pregnancy again? You must be getting so excited!

Jenny, thanks so much for sending your thoughts my way. I loved the "plump, sleek seal" comment in your last post. You must be gorgeous!

Kitty, welcome. Ditto what Zelda suggested. One quick way to find out if your doctor's are wrong about Mr. K's sperm, is to have a sperm analysis done. That will show quality, quantity, and motility. All very good indicators for his fertility. Although adoption is still a long way in your future, I think that if you went domestic there may be fewer issues with age and anti-depressants. Good luck with everything.

Although I haven't been posting much, I have been lurking. I check in pretty regularly and I'm always right there with you in my thoughts. I've been digesting my own and wanted to share some news with you.

Now that we've turned our thoughts to adoption and gotten off what for us had become somewhat of a miserable journey, I'm feeling like I've suddenly freed my brain. There have been very brief moments of sadness, but they are fewer and farther between as time goes by, and instead I'm happy, and eating healthy, and going to the gym, and laughing more than ever. With this new energy, we've started going ganbusters on adoption. We have a practitioner. We're also signed up for the mandatory PRIDE (can't remember what it stands for) adoption training. Our first homestudy visit is next Thursday and the PRIDE training starts mid January. By March, we should be all done and ready to place our profiles with agencies. We're putting our profile up for private adoption (pricey, but the birth mothers do the choosing ... and we feel very good about getting chosen - also this means it will likely be an open adoption, which we're both very keen on) and for adoption through social services (free, but babies are few and far between - but our adoption practitioner just had one of her couples who finished all the training a year ago, take a six week old baby home the other day!). We'd like an infant, but have put up to age 2 on our application forms. We'll see what happens.

If we're very lucky, we could be looking at some extra gifts under the tree this time next year. If we're insanely lucky it could be even faster than that! I can't even begin to tell you how excited we are.

So that's my update. I'll keep you posted about the homestudy process and the PRIDE training.
Julie, I too love your birth story. It's positive and beautifully inspiring. You are amazing! Thinking of you and baby.

Kitty, I am so glad you have joined us! No, it hasn't been that long you've been trying, but I know how long time can feel when TTC. I was starting to get quite down by the 4 or 5 month mark. Some of that may be attributed to the book that Zelda mentioned, though. Anyway, I echo the opinion of the others. Instead of wondering, I needed to know if Mr M's sperm was okay. And it is. Just getting that out of the way helped immensely. I am just a few weeks shy of 32 and we have been trying for 10 months. I ovulate regularly, but had a short luteal phase so I am now taking progesterone. Still no luck, but hoping.

Jenny, I also love how positive you are about your body. I imagine you are radiant. Can't wait to hear all about your little one. Thinking of you! Must feel very real now that December is here!

Zelda and Yumyum, I love hearing about the different stages of pregnancy. So excited for you both!

Cristine, you must be getting very close to the end of your luteal phase now. Have you decided if you'll test early? Fingers are crossed.

Fookie, I felt a lot of emotion reading your post. Tears actually came to my eyes. Your excitement about adoption has impacted me. Thank you for that. I am very, very excited for you.
Fookie- I was so pleased to read your post! It sounds like you and the Mr. have been very busy. I'm excited for you and can't wait to hear more about the process. I think an open adoption sounds wonderful. smile.gif

As for me, I'm 22 weeks along. One thing I've noticed for sure about my journey- ttc felt like it took forever, but the pregnancy is going by super fast. I am so excited. As soon as my semester is over, I'm going to start setting up the nursery. I still can't believe that 2010 is right around the corner!

Michelina- it's good to hear from you. How are things going?
Fookie, wanted to quickly say that I had a good friend in college place her child for an open adoption and it was one of the best things that could have happened for everyone involved even though it was difficult emotionally. I also wrote a huge story on open adoption for a newspaper here in Texas when I was working as a reporter. Will try to find out of the link is still active. Very inspirational story and I cried several times while I was reporting it!

I got excited for you just reading your post!

More later...
Fookie, here is the link to the story I wrote:

Aw everyone. Thank you so much for the well wishes.

Michelina, I am so incredibly excited about this. I know that you are still early on in your fertility journey and I think you have every chance in the world of conceiving with or without intervention, but if you think you can handle some more tears … read Zelda’s article. I think that had I read something like this when I was at any of the low points in my fertility journey, knowing that if all else did fail, being part of a story like this was another option ... would have made it easier.

Zelda, THANK YOU for this. First of all, it’s beautifully written. Your transitions are insanely good. You are one talented lady. Second of all … little did I know when I joined this board about a year ago, that I would “meet” someone who would end up playing an official part in my journey to motherhood. Mr. F. and I will be printing this article off and handing it out to family members as we share our news in a few months. I can’t imagine a better way to introduce them to the idea of adoption and to the idea of open adoption and the fact that if the birth mother chooses, she will become part of the extended family. I can’t imagine anyone reading this and not thinking it’s the most wonderful way to approach adoption.

Thank you so much for this. Now I must go dry off my face, or I risk drowning myself in tears.
Fookie, it's great to hear from you and I am so excited for you & Mr. F in this next exciting journey in your life! Please keep us posted!

Welcome kitty, I am 32 and Mr. C will be 33 this week. We've been TTC for 7 months, but technically 5 since I didn't really know my cycle and we weren't monitoring any signs those first 2 months. I used OPK's for 3 months and then switched to the ClearBlue fertility monitor for the last 2 months, the first month I think it misread my ovulation but this month I feel like it nailed it... but I'm still getting to the point where I don't think I'm pregnant this time around. I think your plan of 6 months with the monitor is a good idea., good luck!

Michelina, yes I am weak and I tested today at 12dpo... negative! I know it's still somewhat early but I'm getting cramps and I'm not feeling very hopeful at all. Also I'm really not happy with the quality of our sex life since we've been trying, the first few months were fine but since then it's become an issue. I think Mr. C feels the need to prove that he's not a failure and it just kills me to see that in him. I think we may take time off this month at least, we have a trip to Vegas planned with friends the weekend before Christmas and I want to just go out & have fun without worrying about whether or not I'm pregnant. How are you doing?

Jenny, how close are you now?
Zelda, thank you for posting your article. It was written beautifully and I felt a lot of emotion reading it.

Fookie, I am curious. Do you know the percentage of adoptions in Canada that are open? It seems to be a fantastic win-win scenario.

Cristine, sorry to hear about the negative. Did you test again today?

Mr M had a dream that I had a positive urine test the other night and he was excited, but I said it was "inconclusive." Yes, he knows me well. :-)

I had three nightmares in one night last weekend. During the first, I ended a pregnancy because the baby had abnormalities and it was traumatic. I held the dead baby after the procedure and I cannot get that thought out of my head. The next dream involved a miscarriage. The last dream involved my mother in law going on about how she wants another grandbaby and that we should give her one soon. We were in Starbucks and I ran off crying. Yeah, that wasn't a good night.
Michelina, I'm not sure on the actual statistics, but, I think that this only really happens in private adoption scenarios. My adoption practitioner told us that the numbers have dropped drastically for adoptions (i'm not sure if she was talking just private, but I think so) in the last year. She said that in 2008 there were something like 900 private adoptions in Ontario, and that this year so far there have only been 300 or so. I'm not sure in how many of those cases the birth mothers asked for an open option. But I have read that the stats for success in terms of the birth mother not changing her mind are way higher in an open situation. My adoption practitioner did tell us that most birth mothers who are choosing to give up their babies go through the private system, and that a majority chose some amount of openness.

Also, I'm not sure if this was for all of Canada, or just in Ontario, but this summer, adoption records from the past were all opened. There is a huge move towards a flow of information that didn't exist in the past. Sorry I don't have more concrete answers. We meet with our practitioner next Thursday. I'll add this to my list of questions.

Those are some horrible dreams. What a crummy night for you. My worries and fears always come out through my dreams and so far I have found them to not be any predictor of the future. Remind yourself that these were just dreams, not visions of the future.
Fookie, I am so touched that my article meant so much to you. Michelina, I am also glad you enjoyed it. Truly, it means a TON. As far as the openess goes, I can tell you that in America as I understand it almost all adoptions are now open including all handled by agencies.

Since Mr. Z is adopted (closed, he was born in 67), I can tell you how many times I have wished we had some information on him - even health wise. When I went for my first OB appt. it was frustrating to not have any info for the doctor when she asked me questions regarding genetic screening. Not only is open adoption more humane and realistic, I think it is also more practical! And I can tell you that in my two experiences being associated with it, both birth mothers were very certain in their decision. The lines were clear - the mom and dad were the woman and man raising the child. It just seemed to work.

I am so sorry about those dreams, Michelina. I had scary dreams while TTC as well, and then I recently had one where we had a little girl and she had a tremendously high fever. I don't know when baby nightmares end - if ever - no matter where you are on the motherhood journey.

Cristine, so sorry about the negative. I know when I tested a day before my period was due, the line was fairly faint (although I did get a positive on a digital). It may just take more time...either to test positive or to get pregnant. Remember it took us 9 to 10 months. Thinking positive thoughts for you.

Michelina, what's going on with your progesterone?

There is no doubt I have "popped" as they say. I'm dressing all in black today. I'm waiting for my students to ask me if I'm pregnant...haven't said anything yet. My mom says I shouldn't say anything and wait for one of them to ask! :-)
Michelina, yes I tested again today at 13dpo and it was still negative. I haven't had any more cramps yet but my temperature did drop pretty low today... my LP is 12-13 days so I should start today or tomorrow.

Just wanted to tell that I'm sorry about the negative and I'm thinking of you.
Thanks Fookie! I've gotten to the point where the last thing I expect to see is a positive, so it's getting surprisingly less hurtful each month. I think I've given up hope on natural conception without some sort of assistance... I guess the positive side is that I don't need to worry about birth control methods anymore! rolleyes.gif
Thanks everyone for all your advice!

I will look into Taking Charge of Your Fertility- I have heard of it before, just never checked it out. I've been having strange things go on the last few days... We had sex on both days of the egg symbol (clear blue easy monitor's way of saying you are ovulating). That was 7 days ago. Monday I started feeling weird cramping (almost where I imagine my uterus would be, not like menstrual cramps). I had that all day Monday. Tuesday I had cramping on and off, and then really badly, but only badly like that for a few seconds. I was also constipated (which I never am). Today I have no more cramping, was finally able to go to the bathroom, but still feel sort of "strange" in my lower abdomen. My husband is convinced I am pregnant, but it is still a few days too soon to test, I think. Who knows. Every month I think I am feeling pregnant, but it was a little different this month. Does any of this sound familiar to any of you that are pregnant? My boobs aren't sore or anything, so I'm not sure what to make of this stuff! Can't help but still obsess about fertility problems though. Don't know why, just feel that way. Maybe it's my OCD personality acting up...

Zelda- How far along are you? Have you heard of a Belly Band? I think it allows you to wear your regular pants longer. I've heard mixed reviews about it.

Fookie- good luck with your adoption! I will definitely need tons of advice from you if we go that route! I'm excited for you:)

Christine- I know how you feel! That monitor makes my hubby feel "pressured", I think. I hate that, but when I see the egg symbol, I'm like "Come on, come on, we have to do it NOW!" My hubby smokes a little pot (1 or 2 times a week), and I nag him about fertility issues with that! But- don't be too depressed about your cramping- I've read several places that during implantation you will get cramps. I'm keeping you in my thoughts, and my fingers crossed for you!

I'm so thankful to be able to have an outlet for all of this! You gals are great!
Fookie, thanks for the info. I wonder why the dramatic drop this year? I have heard that the number of mothers placing babies has also decreased significantly in the west. I look forward to hearding about your journey to parenthood. This is one journey that will definitely result in a baby! I am seeing a friend tonight who would be called "subfertile." She took well over 3 years to conceive and now has a beautiful and healthy son. She is adopted and has an amazing outlook on it. I think she will be a very good support and resource while TTC and then in the adoption process.

So Zelda, did any of them ask? It must be so fun! As far as the progesterone, I am taking it still. I am just dreading the spotting again. Last month I started spotting on 11DPO. I am currently 9DPO.

Cristine, I feel the same way. I feel deep down that I need interventions to get pregnant. And I find that my period gets easier in some months, and in other months I am unexpectedly devastated. I am hoping for no devastation this month. December is way too busy to be feeling down.

Kitty, sounds hopeful! I am crossing my fingers for you! We are very close in our cycles - sounds like just one day apart. I'll take a urine test on 13DPO (Monday) and will head to the lab for my blood test after. The blood test is done so that I can find out if I am having very early losses (chemical pregnancies). So far, they have just been plain negative.

I meet with my boss today. I am a pretty private person so telling her about upcoming fertility treatment plans will be hard. But I intend to be very open and honest. One thing I will ask her not to do is advise me to "relax and it will happen."
I started my period today, right on time, which I was totally fine with cuz I expected it… until I logged onto Facebook and saw that a friend of mine is pregnant. On a positive note, she had just started Clomid (for those of you who are interested) and it clearly worked for her!

Kitty, the symptoms I had during this 2ww were weird non-menstrual cramps around 5dpo, sensitive breasts & constipation… so I guess this means I will officially ignore any and all symptoms with my body. Keeping my fingers crossed for you!

I think I’ve decided to go to a new highly recommended doctor, cuz mine sucks and I can’t imagine going through this process with her… and I’m going to tell her we’ve been trying for a year just so I can get some tests performed. I have no idea what tests can be done, how much my insurance will cover and how invasive they are… so I’m going to search the internet right now and find out.

Has anybody heard about this? Wonder if it works as well as going to the doctor...
What do you ladies think about this? I'm going to check the ingredients against the prenatal I've been taking.
Cristine, sorry to hear you got your period. Going to a new doctor sounds like a good idea. You need to feel comfortable and trust your physician. As far as the products, I thought about both. However, I am glad we got the sperm analysis at the lab because I think that no matter the results with the home test, I would question the accuracy. But if you trust the test and would feel comfortable with a normal result from it, then I say go for it. If it is an abnormal result, I would definitely suggest a lab do an analysis. As far as the Fertilaid, it bothers me that it is so very expensive compared to a regular vitamin. I am a little concerned that it is a pretty normal vitamin (with a few extra ingredients) that is being marketed to people who are desperate to get pregnant, which is why it is so expensive. I think there is a lot of money to be made for businesses in the TTC market. Just my two cents.

In my last post I mentioned my friend who struggled for over 3 years to conceive. Her son is now 1. We went out last night and she announced she is pregnant. I almost choked on my wine. It was not planned and it happened after one oops. She is going to have two children very close together, and is actually not very happy about it. It was tough for me, not just hearing she is pregnant without trying, but that she is not very pleased. I completely understand why she is not thrilled, but I so want to be pregnant. And a lot of the conversation last night ended up being about pregnancy and children as one of the other friends is also a mom. Sigh. I am going out tomorrow night with some childfree people and am quite happy about the break from baby talk.

My talk with my boss went VERY well. She was very supportive and appreciative of my honesty. I don't think that getting to my appointments will be an issue now that she understands. I felt great after that.
Christine, after our debacle with Fertell (which is now no longer being manufactured, I have learned), I would highly recommend against any at home testing. (In case you weren't on this thread at that time - we spent $100 on the Fertell product only to have it malfunction and we couldn't get in contact with anyone at the company, so we lost that money.) I know the desire to know is strong, but even if you get a "good" result with an at home test, I know that I myself would be doubting it still...nothing gave us peace of mind more than Mr. Z's results. In fact, the month after we received them, we got pregnant...I have always highly doubted the stress = infertility connection and think it really insults infertile couples to suggest they should just calm down and it will happen (argh!!!), but I do wonder for us personally there was some connection with getting positive results and then conceiving...

Same for the vitamins...I would go with your doctor. There is an entire industry out there that preys on the fears of couples who are TTC, and it's sick. With the exception of Preseed (which is very affordable and was suggested by my doctor), I tried not to buy into all of that even though I know it's hard. Go with what your doctor suggests first.

Michelina, I am so glad you spoke with your boss - wasn't it a load off your mind? I know it was for me when I spoke with my supervisor. I am glad you have an understanding work environment and appointments won't be an issue. I'm sorry you had to hear about your friend's pregnancy news - even though she did struggle to conceive her first, it's difficult to hear that. I am glad you are going to hang out with some childfree folks soon...I made a concerted effort to do that while TTC and am grateful to have both mommy friends and friends who have no desire to have fact, I think it will be good for me even AFTER I have a baby to have both kinds of friends. Hoping for you and thinking of you as always.

The science teacher on my team told me today, "You are definitely pregnant." No kids have guessed, but I seem them eyeing me. I know they have been trained that it is bad manners to ask a woman if she is pregnant. Maybe I will tell them today, I don't know! It's sort of fun to have them wonder. Tee hee.

Thinking of everyone!
Michelina, there is nothing worse than hearing someone talk about a pregnancy without being thrilled… especially if they are in an ideal scenario to care for that child. I’m so glad everything went well with your boss, I know how comforting that must be for you to have that support & understanding. Did you manage to keep from crying? I can’t talk outloud about trying to have a baby without fighting tears. And thanks for your advice, I agree about those vitamins completely, I was wondering the same thing about being taken advantage of because I’m desperate.

Zelda, thank you too for the advice… yes I do remember the Fertell thing, I had just forgotten. I think because of the low price we’re going to try it to start, then we’ll go from there. But I do agree that it may not be definitive. I have taken the First Response fertility test twice, which said I was good… I’ve never really felt comforted by those results though. And I say, keep waiting until 1 kid has the nerve to ask! wink.gif

Mr. C & I had an amazing conversation last night and it really made me feel better to get EVERYTHING out there that we’re dealing with internally. I told him about that test and he told me to order it because he hated all of the other “experiments” they’ll have to do on me once I start this whole process. In regard to him getting a semen analysis, he is not currently insured & won’t be added to my insurance until January 1st so we’d have to wait until then.

Cristine, there is a chance insurance will not pay for a semen analysis. Ours didn't. However, it was only around $150, so it was reasonable...more later, but I just wanted to give you that info.
Thanks for the info Zelda, my insurance sucks so I'm sure that's probably the case for me too.
Ok today, at 9 days past ovulation, I had a very small amount of light brown discharge. I was immediately sad, thinking my period was starting. That seems awfully early for a period, though. And it was just that small amount, and has stopped now. Sometimes that's how my period can start, then just turns into a regular period after a few days. I'm really hoping it was implantation bleeding, since it was so early! I'll post to let you all know how it goes one way or the other.

Christine- how long exactly have you been trying? I'm keeping you in my thoughts!

Did anyone one else have implantation bleeding? Does it sound like that may be what I am experiencing??
Kitty, sounds hopeful! I did have some bleeding one cycle for one day at 6dpo. It was sort of light pink / brown. I wasn't pregnant, but the infertility specialist I see thinks it likely was implantation bleeding, but the embryo just didn't take. I have NEVER had bleeding like that before that went away. Interestingly, that cycle was the one right after I found out that Mr M had a normal sperm analysis, which is like what Zelda said. So maybe there is something to say for getting that information. Unfortunately for me, it didn't result in a pregnancy, but did give us some hope that maybe his sperm is getting to my egg.

Thinking of you, Kitty, and crossing my fingers!
kitty, I've never had any mid-cycle spotting/ bleeding so I'll be pretty convinced it's implantation spotting if it happens! I really hope it is for you! Are you charting? Just wonder if you noticed a temperature drop the same day you had spotting. We've been trying for 7 months total, but the first 2 we didn't really understand that timing is everything... who knew that it's not easy to get knocked up just by having unprotected sex?! wink.gif

I wanted to take the month off but I guess it's not only up to me, Mr. C wants to keep going... sure why not, I have about 20 monitor strips left!
Kitty, I had weird spotting two days before my period was due one time - I turned out to get my period later on. I still wonder if that was a chemical pregnancy. I think it's a good sign! Crossing my fingers for you.

Cristine, it's great Mr. C wants to keep on trying. There were some months we tried more than others...the month I got knocked up we barely tried at all. I know your time will come!

Went shopping for some more maternity clothes today and Christmas gifts. After almost three hours of standing and walking I am in PAIN. My lower back and legs really ache. I have read this has to do with my joints and muscles stretching. Let me tell you, I can feel it. I did some stretches when I got home and that helped. Trying to stretch regularly, but oooh! Growing pains for sure.

Thinking of everyone...
This is just a drive-by post, but wanted to say I think that I had implantation bleeding the month I got pregnant. I had a spot of blood and a really sharp pain in my side. At the time I was gutted because I thought it was mittelschmerz related to ovulation meaning that I had mis-calculated when to have well timed sex, but finding myself knocked up shortly afterwards I think it must have been implantation in retrospect.

My original due date was today - it is 40 weeks since my last period. However my due date was adjusted to 9th December when I had my 12 week scan. I'd really hoped I was in labour earlier, having regular braxton hicks contractions and some period-like pains. But after a sit down all signs went away. I am ready for him to come out now!

Am jumping in a bath now, to ease the back ache that seems to be accompanying this late pregnancy period for me. I say jumping, but it is quite some time since I jumped anywhere.

Love to all in the lounge, sorry for brevity of post.
Hi everyone!

Nope. That was my period coming on. Sigh. Oh well.

Christine- I am only using the CBFM, not charting temps and all that other stuff. Are you doing all of it combined? Do you think I should? I guess I thought the CBFM took care of everything. Hmmm.... Maybe not?

My next OBGYN appointment is at the end of January, so I'm trying to hold off for testing on either my husband or myself until I talk to her about everything. The last appointment I had I never mentioned my irregular periods because I thought they had been due to me being so skinny in high school when I started taking the pill (99 lbs at 5"6'). Wasn't anorexic or anything- just couldn't gain weight!

Anyhow, I'm gonna try taking Vitex, baby aspirin, and B6 all in conjunction. I've read several places online that those 3 combined are effective sometimes. I haven't been taking prenatal vitamins- mostly because I'm really not a pill or medicine person. Maybe I'll throw those in the mix, too. Here's to self medicating!
Sorry to hear that Kitty! Hopefully your time will come soon.

Jenny, thinking of you tons.

I got my negative again today. I tested urine twice so I was more than prepared for the dreaded phone call. I had a good appoinment with the specialist. I'll elaborate later. For now, I'll just mention I go in for the HSG (fallopian tube test) next week after my period has come and gone.

Now I just want my period to get here already!
Michelina, I'm so sorry!! I hope you're getting through this ok.

kitty, damn that sucks! This is just too much bad news all in one day! In regard to charting, I check cervical fluid & temperatures daily... I've found the temp charting most valuable, except for 1 month when it was all over the place. Now the cervical fluid issue is that it doesn't follow a pattern that I I find reliable. For example, and in case you haven't yet noticed there's sometimes a little TMI on this board, BUT I get EWCM several days before my peak and rarely ever on my peak days... so without the monitor, OPK's and temp'ing I would feel completely lost! I started checking my cervix for 1 month because I wanted to confirm ovulation, I found it very interesting & educational but ultimately it was just as hard to interpret as my cervical fluid. I would highly recommend taking your temperature though, I feel like that has been the single most reliable indicator for me over ANYTHING else. And if you do then I highly suggest you sign up on to log your temperatures on there, I love that site. Lastly, as others here have already told you, you need to buy the TCOYF book. I think after reading it you will also have a better idea of the different signs you'd like to monitor.

How's it going Jenny???
Oh and an update on my FB friend who recently got pregnant on Clomid, she just gained 15 lbs. in 1 week (due date is 7/27/10) and was diagnosed with preeclampsia... I did a little bit of reading up on it and it just sucks to say the least! I have to admit I was jealous when I found out she was pregnant, but when I heard this it really hit me hard that everyone has their own crap to deal with even during times of blessing.
Thanks, Cristine. Quite honestly, I am doing well. Haven't even shed a tear this time. I think as time goes by, I am looking at this more as a medical condition that needs intervention. That is helping me cope. I keep reminding myself that there are worse things than infertility. That's not to say that it doesn't hurt like hell sometimes. I know we are not officially at 1 year yet, but we have had 11 failed cycles now, which is close enough to a year. My reqs have "infertility" written all over them. It's sort of hard to look at. We have to get infectious screening done if we are going to do IUI.

I asked a lot of questions about IUI. My doctor suggested we try one or two rounds unmedicated. I questioned that because of what Fookie said, but her suggestion was to try it unmedicated if my insurance won't cover the meds. If it does cover the meds, then I think we may as well go the whole 9 yards. I plan to call the insurance company today. She highly recommends injectables over Clomid. She also said the IVF wait list is about 9 months so she put us on the list for a consultation as a proactive step. She is very good and really listens.

She still thinks that we have a good chance of pregnancy. I appreciate hearing that, but told her that it really is hard to believe. I am just so pleased we are getting help.

Cristine, it is a good reminder for all of us TTC'ers that pregnancy isn't a benign state and fun period for all. I hope your friend is okay. That must be pretty scary.
Michelina, I'm sorry to hear you got the negative result, but it sounds like you have a great mindset and I'm really pleased to hear that you've got such a good and encouraging doctor. Glad also that your meeting with your boss went so well, I think it's great that you're being so assertive about this.

Kitty, sorry it wasn't your month this month. I second Cristine's recommendation of FertilityFriend. I didn't use it to get pregnant but used it for a few years for contraception. The 'charting your way to conception' learning modules were really valuable for me, for learning when my fertile period was, and I really think it helped me when it came to conceiving. Also, my cervical fluid was a bit screwy and it was temperature charting that really worked for me.

Cristine, it's fantastic that you and Mr C are so on the same page with TTC, the conversation you had with him sounds so positive. It sounds like changing your doctor and getting some tests done would be a really good pro-active step for you, and the fact that Mr C is so positive about it is great. Your poor friend, it is dreadful that she has been diagnosed with pre-eclampsia so early in her pregnancy. I hope she is doing better very soon.

Zelda, I'm sure you're doing similar stuff already, but I found that pregnancy yoga was fab for helping with the aches and pains. I had quite a bit of round ligament pain, particularly in my right hand side, and the class taught me some good stretches to help. How exciting to feel really pregnant!

Well, it's my official due date tomorrow so I am really hopeful that I might go into labour soon. I don't really have any signs, although my bump has been more rigid than usual today and I've had a bit more period style cramping and the baby is moving a bit less than usual, which apparently happens in the run up to labour. Sadly I have had no nesting inclinations! Also, I've been very hungry and greedy, eating loads of rubbish. He better come quick or else I'll be much less healthy than I have been during this pregnancy!
Michelina, I'm really glad you're doing well with this... I completely understand the semi-emotionless state you're in, the negative results just begin to feel normal. I no longer wait to get my period before going out to buy a bottle of wine, I have it waiting days before. wink.gif It will happen, I swear... it's just a matter of how we make it happen, but we'll all get there eventually! I'm feeling unusually positive today, no idea why.

Jenny please keep us posted!!

Funnybird, are you still checking in? Hope all is well!
Cristine, that is exactly how I am beginning to feel. I started crying this morning, and just stopped myself. Normally I can't do that!

My period is here, thankfully. I will be ovulating at my mother-in-law's next so good-bye to any hope this month. She lives in a condo so I assume the bedrooms are close together. But I guess you never know. Maybe taking a break is a good idea.

I am very disappointed that my drug plan covers no fertility meds at all. IUI will be over $600 per cycle this way. I am going to suggest to Mr. M that we do an unmedicated round or two beginning in March or maybe even Feb. Unmedicated will be $300. I guess we'll start small and go from there. 2010 could be an interesting year. I just hope to be pregnant by this time next year. If not, we will start the adoption process.

Well, I started taking Vitex, baby aspirin, prenatal vitamins, and vitamin b6. And I NEVER take pills! Ugh. We'll see what this does.

Michelina, what exactly is IUI? I mean, I know what that stands for, but how exactly is it different from IVF? Because they are inseminating you with you husbands sperm and not combining the two outside and then putting it in?? And did you try all the other routes, like Clomid, first? Just curious in case this is a road I have to head down myself. I have a $3000 limit set for trying fertility treatment before we move to adopt... Speaking of that, are you guys considering open or closed adoption? Open scares me a little, that is why we were looking at international. But, to be honest, I don't know tons about either at this point so any input you have would be welcome.

Christine, that's awesome you are staying positive. I just keep getting really pissed every time I get my period. And to have had those weird "symptoms" this past month is further irritating. Sorry for the negativity, just frustrated!
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