Friday, December 2, 2011

I have moved!

If you haven't been to my new blog yet, what are you waiting for? I've had plenty to share, and I even have my own domain name now. I know...I'm SO cool. :)

Check out and subscribe to the feed on Google Reader.

See ya soon!

Friday, November 18, 2011

You spoke, I listened

Well, that was fun! I'm talking about the blog name survey, of course. I really appreciate all of the feedback from my request for help with blog names. Boy was it amusing to see all of the responses.

I can't really say there was a consensus...but, the name that jumped out as being the most popular is what I chose for my new blog. Which was it? Should I tell you? Okay, it is Being Cat. Nice and simple.

The thing is, WordPress is pretty different from Blogger. I haven't had much time to figure it out yet. So, give me a little time to figure this out. I have lots of post topics floating around my brain.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Survey Time

I'm a little frustrated with Blogger lately. My biggest issue has to do with the problems leaving comments. I know that I've unsuccessfully tried a few dozen times to leave comments on others blogs and it rejects me. I've also heard from a few readers who can't seem to leave comments on *my* blog. I googled the matter and tried the suggestions, but am still having trouble. So, I think I'd like to start anew with WordPress.

I came up with a bunch of name ideas for my new blog and I'd really like your feedback. I've narrowed down the list quite a bit, but I still have a lot of choices. Please help me choose the domain name for my new blog. Here are the finalists:

  1. BeingCat
  2. CatOli
  3. CatharineO
  4. IronCEO [yes, CEO are my initials]
  5. AnotherDayBeingMe
  6. SeeCatRun
  7. FasterStrongerCat
What do you think? Please vote! Thanks!

Aren't you glad?

So, I just read a post from a blogger that one of my readers directed me to. She's also going through IVF just like I am and let's just say, she's having a rough time with it.

She wrote this post that basically says that life sucks, people suck, etc., etc. She complains that everyone says the wrong thing and that no one in the whole world understands what she is going through. My first thought was, "I am so glad I am not like this!" and I am taking the time to appreciate this fact. In general, I love all of the support that people offer me. I rarely get offended by genuine attempts at comfort and kindness. Really, what is the *right* thing to say? Just letting me know that you care, that you're interested, and that you're optimistic is so touching.

I am so incredibly grateful for my friends. Now, it may surprise you to learn that I'm a little more type-A than most people. I know you're shocked, but here it is. True confessions.

Back in HS and college, there weren't as many people that could relate to my personality. But between law school and this crazy triathlon/marathon training, I've found so many people who love me, despite my need to run 14 miles when the schedule says 14 miles (and not stop at 13.75 even though I'm back at my car).

Today, I am appreciating my friends and the fact that I am able to recognize the effort that my friends make to support me in any way they can. Thank you guys!!! Not a day goes by where I don't think about the numerous wonderful emails, cards, chocolate-covered strawberries, cake pops, and the love I have received. How can I be sad when I have you all for friends?

Monday, November 7, 2011

For the record

Anyone else watch Private Practice? I love it! It is a great show!

But the other day when I was catching up on my DVR'ed episodes, I was a little, umm, irritated. I get that it is just a show, but ugh. So, Addison is starting IVF. And the darn show makes her out to be totally insane because of the fertility drugs. Seriously nutso.

Now, we won't discuss what happened when I asked the Knight about this and he said something like "You weren't that bad." That could be interpreted in a number of ways depending on which word you emphasize and how much you emphasize it, don't you think? But that's all cleared up now. Haha.  And yes, that was before we resumed the injections. Poor Knight.

So, for the record, yes, the injections make you a little emotional and sensitive. Remember this? There are other side affects, too. But from my perspective, I think that the Knight was probably the only one who noticed. I was not having emotional breakdowns at work or anything. Sheesh.

Friday, October 28, 2011

I'm Back

Did you miss me? I missed you! I admit, I have been debating about whether to blog anymore. I even wrote a whole post about my dilemma. But, here I am. Obviously I resolved the quandary. Many thanks to a number of friends who encouraged me to keep going.  I will continue to share the ups AND the downs. Thank you for reading and for all of your support!

So, what’s new? Well, for starters, we’re officially starting IVF cycle 3. The injections resume on 11/1 - fun, fun, fun!.

We’re doing another frozen cycle, since we have one frozen embryo remaining, and it turns out that the Shared Risk agreement we signed says we have to use the frozen embryos before doing another fresh cycle. I wish I knew a lawyer who could review the agreement. Oh, wait. I’m a lawyer. Darn it. I must have skimmed that part.
On Monday we met with our new doctor (we're still with Shady Grove though).  To make a long story short, we were never very comfortable with our previous doctor. Let's just say that I always felt like she was speaking to us as though we were 12 years old. We met our new doctor at the last sonogram we had and although he had to deliver some really bad news, he didn't patronize us. We just got a really good vibe from him - which is pretty remarkable given the circumstances.

As he was talking to us, I was thinking "I really like this guy. It would be great if we could switch doctors." A few minutes later the doc made a little joke, and then apologized for "making light of the situation." The Knight told him it was absolutely fine and asked him if we could switch to him. Mind reader! The doc didn't really respond, so we didn't do anything.

Well, I realized that I needed to deal with the situation, despite the potential awkwardness, and ask to make the switch. I'm proud of myself for doing that. You know how it is. You don't want to break up with your hairdresser so you just keep going to her, despite the bad haircuts.

Now that it is done, I am relieved and happy with the decision.  Our meeting on Monday confirmed for both of us that we made the right choice. We are really on the same page with this doc. For example, back in August the previous doc suggested a number of tests. After a lot of discussion, we decided to refuse the tests.  It's a long story. Anyhow, when we brought these up to our new doctor, he said that he saw no need for the tests and if we wanted them we'd have to make a really good case to convince him to do them.

I share all of this to say that sometimes we need to suck it up and follow our guts.  The hard path can be worth it in the end.

I feel really good about our prospects going forward. We have about a 40-50% chance of success for this cycle, so keep those fingers crossed.

Finally, I feel like sharing an incredibly nice compliment I received in an email this morning. It said "I am still sending positive thoughts and prayers out to you guys for a future baby. I've never met anyone who seems more fit to be a mommy than you. And I truly mean that!!!" Thanks, M! You totally made my day!!!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Finally! My Wine & Dine Half Marathon Report

Oh, wow, it has been a while since I blogged. I knew I needed to do a Wine & Dine Half Marathon race report, but um, I was, uh, busy. No, really. I guess it isn’t too late, since one of my favorite bloggers, Run Faster Mommy, just posted hers.

So, “how was the race?” you ask. It was awesome! It was really, really great for so many reasons. This was my second Disney race – well, third, if you count the Disney half & full I did for the Goofy challenge separately. Disney does it right. From packet pickup to medals, everything is top notch. Yeah, I’m a Disney fan.

Okay, okay, so the deets. I’ll skip the packet pickup details and all and get to the good stuff. We arrived at the race site and had about 1.5 hours to wait. Disney did their best to entertain us runners as we waited.

First item on the agenda, a photo with Chef Mickey. The line was long but since there was no place else to go, we waited. The Knight and the lovely girl decided to try to save their legs while we waited in line, but eventually thought better of it.

Meanwhile, I wasn’t saving my legs… On stage they were leading a dance party. Oh yeah! Funky chicken, electric slide, and some groovy tunes…I couldn’t resist. The Knight and lovely girl just watched me. Whatever. Sorry, no pictures of that. You’ll have to imagine how much fun I was having.

We met up with our friends Dr. Keith and Krista. They are even bigger Disney fans than we are. They pretty much talked us into this, despite my concerns about the late hour of the race. Thank you, guys! I’m so glad we did it.

At 10:10 pm, our corral took off. The plan was to have a nice, easy run. 4 minutes running, 1 minute walking. I love 4:1 because it so easy to keep track of. You don’t really need to do any math while you’re running. You start walking at the 4 and the 9: 4:00 , 9:00, 14:00, 19:00, etc.

Anyhow, we took it really slow. We had planned to stop for lots of pictures, but I was kind of disappointed that there were not that many characters out for pictures. Definitely not nearly the number that were out for my previous races. They had bands, and costumed guys on stilts, and these three ladies who were dressed in lighted costumes [Krista later informed me that they were the three fairies from sleeping beauty].

We did get a few good shots.

I felt great the whole way. It helped that we were running much slower than my usual pace. But given the time of day, the fact that the race day was not exactly restful, and the fact that I had essentially done two training runs: a 5-miler in mid-August and an 8-miler in early September, I was thrilled with how good I felt.

I will admit that I may have been somewhat annoying at the end. The Knight and lovely girl were hurting a bit, and although I had tired legs, my endorphins and the Disney spirit trumped. As we headed through Hollywood Studios, about 3 miles from the finish line, we passed the point where I remembered I began my “sprint” to the finish line for the Disney Marathon. I was ready to get to the finish party and I know I sped us up. I am thinking that my running mates also didn’t totally appreciate me saying how great I felt and that I wanted to run another 13 miles.

Finally, in the wee hours of the morning, the three of us crossed the finish line, holding hands. It was fantastic! We got to run as a family which was way better than a PR. And it was lovely girl’s first race *ever* which makes it even more special.

Afterwards, even more fun awaited. The Wine & Dine Half Marathon is so named because it takes place during the Epcot Food & Wine festival. The kept the festival going until 3 am that night. Seriously the best post-race food ever. I hope that lovely girl didn’t get too spoiled. I tried to make it clear that you’re not going to get seared mahi mahi and margaritas at other races.

Much to my surprise, when they started shutting things down at 3 am I was still pretty energized. Tired, but happy. We got back to the hotel, showered, and slept just long enough to get us ready for another wonderful Disney day (which included a lot more quality time at the Food & Wine festival).

I didn’t take pictures of the food. I know, bad foodie. My camera battery was dying. If you’re interested, here’s a site that has the menus and lots of pictures.

Yeah, we hit most of the 26 countries. My mouth is watering just thinking about the escargot in brioche and the seared scallop with red curry. Mmmmm.

It was a fun Disney experience that none of us will ever forget. Who's with me in 2012???

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Vacation rocks!

Well, hello there blog readers!

Can you feel my mellow vacation vibe coming at your through the keyboard? I hope so.

Needless to say, our vacation was wonderful! We had such a great time. I admit that I wasn’t 100% certain that we’d love being on the ship for 14 days, with five of the sea days being in a row. But we did love it and were very sad to see the cruise end. If I had more leave time I am sure I could have convinced the Knight to stay on the ship another week.

As you may recall, the itinerary had us starting in Barcelona, and stopping in Gibraltar, Madeira, St. Martin, Tortola and the Bahamas (Disney’s private island). The ports were fun and interesting. The sea days were a perfect mix of relaxation and entertainment. We did everything from animation class (learning to draw Mickey and others), to a lecture on hypnosis, to watching Disney movies in 3D, to dance classes. And yes, we managed to get a good amount of exercise from running around the ship’s 1/3 mile (covered), and taking spin and yoga classes.

The food on the ship exceeded my expectations. We thoroughly enjoyed the meals (2 lobster nights!), and especially enjoyed dining with our tablemates (and new friends). The shows were generally very good. One of our favorites was the comedy duo of Alfred & Seymour, who had us laughing almost continuously for an hour. There were also several groups providing live entertainment throughout the ship.

What? Are you surprised that I managed to summarize a 14-day trip in three paragraphs? Me too! :)

This weekend we’re flying back to Orlando to run the Wine & Dine half marathon with the lovely stepdaughter. None of us have trained as well as we could/should have, but I have no doubt it will be a great experience. We are going to stop and take pictures with the characters during the race and try to enjoy the festivities as much as possible. I say try because I am not known for being a night person and this race finishes waaaay past my bedtime. I am hoping that I’ll have the willpower to take it easy on Saturday before the race and maybe even nap for a while. We’ll see.

In the meantime, I’m getting caught up with work and all of the friends that I’ve missed for the past few weeks. I think I need to have a party so I can catch up with everyone at once. Hmmmm…. That would give me something to plan after all of this fun stuff subsides. Stay tuned.

Note: I wanted to post some pictures on here but I just haven't had time to do what I need to do to get that done. You know how the first week after vacation goes... They're all on facebook, so if you want to see them and we're not facebook friends, friend me or leave a comment and we'll figure out how to share the highlights.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Moving forward

As you probably know, we are doing Shady Grove's "Shared Risk" program, wherein we paid for approximately two IVF cycles, but are entitled to up to 6 cycles, if needed. The good news is that we are apparently getting our money's worth out of this deal. The first two rounds were, shall we say, unsuccessful... although the doctors are very careful to focus on how great it is that I was able to get pregnant both times.

So, where are we now? Well, despite feeling a little battered by recent events, our desire to have a child and see this thing through has not waned. Heck, we're Ironmen...we don't give up.

Two weeks ago I had a D&C to remove the fetal tissue. The process went perfectly, and recovery couldn't have gone better. I'll leave it at that. I wasn't going to mention this but I do so to tell you about the benefit (???) of doing the procedure. By removing the tissue, they were able to analyze it. [Additionally, doing the procedure avoided the immense pain and drama of miscarrying naturally.] They aren't always able to get helpful information from the testing, but we got lucky (???) and they determined the cause of the miscarriage.

I wish I could now explain to you what happened, why, and what that means going forward. Nope. The nurse called a little while ago with some gobbly-gook [there were this many chromosomes, and blah, blah, blah, number 14 was blah-blah] and said that the doctor would call me next week (NEXT WEEK?!) to discuss. But oh, if I wanted to talk about it sooner I could call the office and leave her a message. Uh, thanks.

So, I don't know much more than that. I assume it is something that we can deal with. Dr. Google hasn't been super helpful, but from what I can tell, it isn't something major that will prevent success in the future. But I don't know, because, you know, the doctor is very busy, and so, I guess I'll just patiently wait for a better explanation. [Yes, I'm being a little snarky. I'm impatient.]

The medical part of this, however, is separate and distinct from the emotional side. As much as I want to go forward, I find myself questioning everything.

Remember what a happy, excited pregnant lady I was? I want to be her again. Yeah, I knew that all pregnancies have a risk of miscarriage...but I was strong and healthy, our numbers were GREAT, and I was drinking green juice every morning, eating lots of good healthy food, and continuing those pesky injections every night. I just believed we were in perfect shape. I guess I was naive. I was more concerned about the potential for bed rest in the later months than anything.

When I think about doing another cycle, I am more scared than excited. If it works, and I get pregnant again, I don't know if I will be able to relax enough to celebrate that. I've tried talking to a few friends who've had children, and they say that pregnancy is full of worry and doubt. I get that, but while I plan to be cautious and careful, I don't want to be obsessive.

Now, I feel compelled to mention, that all along it has been very clear that there is nothing we did to cause this, and there is nothing we could have done - short of preimplantation genetic testing (very expensive and usually unnecessary) - to prevent this. It was a unpreventable chromosomal issue. But now that I've essentially lost three babies - separately - because of chromosomal issues, I don't know if I can stop worrying that it will happen again. [Note: Since we didn't test the first time, we don't know if the first pregnancy was due to the same chromosomal issue or a different one. Also, the nurse couldn't tell me if both twins suffered from the same chromosomal issue, as she only showed one result and guessed that it applied to both. More info would be very helpful, Shady Grove.]

I've found myself feeling uncharacteristically pessimistic lately. I get really sad and often find myself thinking that this is not going to work out. I don't know where this comes from, since I am usually pretty optimistic. Perhaps my hormones are still wackadoodle. Last week's beta test, which you may recall detects the level of hCG - the pregnancy hormone, was still pretty high and had me well within the "pregnant" range.

Assuming that my head bounces back, and assuming that whatever this test result means is not a deal breaker, here's the plan. My beta level needs to get back to zero. Again, I don't have much information about how long this takes, mostly because it appears that it is very individualized. At 9 days post-D&C I was in the high 700s. I will test again this Friday.

Once it goes back to zero, I need to have a full natural cycle, and have a real menstrual cycle. In other words, the lovely stuff that started last week, in the midst of my head cold and stomach bug, just before the earthquake (yeah, it was a lovely day), doesn't count. Zero beta, period, then I get to start those birth control pills again to regulate my cycle. Then we start again. So, it might be a while.

Right now, I am focusing on all of the excitement on the coming month. Just 8 short days until our vacation begins. Less than a week after returning, we will have our little Disney Wine & Dine half marathon adventure. Good stuff ahead!

Oh, and a little more good news to share. I found out last week that it looks like my current boss was able to convince my old office to let him keep me for another year. That is excellent news! I emailed my boss to thank him and he responded, "No one is happier than I!" How nice is that?! I feel very appreciated.


My secretary, a sweet 23-year old, is sitting at her desk crying her eyes out because her dress ripped. She is considering taking the rest of the day off. I get it...and that really stinks. But I am this close to saying something like "let me tell you why I cried myself to sleep last night." ....But I won't. Sigh.

I logged in here because I found out you could see a bunch of stats about your blog and I wanted to check it out. Who knew? Okay, you knew. But I'm still figuring this stuff out.

Among other interesting things I learned, is that it looks like 18 people checked this page in the past 24 hours. 18! Wow! This week, when I haven't even posted, there have been 86 page views: 75 in the US, 4 in Germany, 4 in Kuwait (?), 2 in Australia, and 1 in Taiwan. I have to say, I am touched. And flattered. Maybe I am being presumptive, but I guess you are all wondering how I'm doing.

I'm okay. I guess I should be honest, right.

For the most part, I'm keeping it together and maintaining my perspective. More about that below. But then I have moments like last night when the hairdressers in my salon excitedly congratulated me for the news they heard from the Knight just a few short weeks ago. I didn't know what to say and as I tried to explain I started to cry. It really took me by surprise.

In general, though, I feel like I've done a pretty good job of keeping things in perspective lately. That was especially evident last week when two people I totally adore suffered from random, devastating medical conditions. One of my favorite [Iron]friends landed in the ICU last week after suffering from a pulmonary embolism. [Please read this if you haven't already.] Fortunately, she is now fine and is at home recovering. The next day, one of my beloved teammates suffered from three strokes and is now beginning the arduous process of relearning how to communicate. Wow! Talk about perspective.

Anyhow, I think you all know how much I have truly appreciated the support that I've received. It has been amazing and overwhelming. As I've done my fair share of googling about miscarriages lately, I've read so many comments from women who've had a lot of anger towards those who've tried to be supportive but have somehow struck a nerve or two. You know what? That's just not me.

I'd say that 99% of the time I have been touched the support I've received and I generally don't let the misguided comments bother me. [Thank you, coworker, for trying to lighten the mood by telling me that the miscarriage must have been caused by my daily snack of greek yogurt with chia seeds and dried blueberries that you detest so much. --  BTW, this is one of just a few people in the office who knew what was happening b/c I needed to explain my absences; I have generally kept the situation a secret at work.]

I will say that just because: miscarriages are somewhat common/it happened to so-and-so you know/it was so early in the pregnancy/everything happens for a reason/et cetera, et cetera, does not make it hurt any less. But really, when people say those things to me, I don't take offense or get upset. I know they're trying to help. I appreciate the effort. I know that I certainly don't say the right thing all of the time, or even most of the time.

But there is one thing that bothers me. I don't think that anyone who reads this blog is an offender so I am just going to say it. What really upsets me is the folks that imply, or outright state, that it was too early for me to have shared the news of my pregnancy, or that I shouldn't be blogging about this. Again, I know that they mean well, but I guess it feels like they're questioning my judgment, or the decisions that I so carefully made.

I should probably just get used to that. I hear that parenthood is rife with such unwelcome judgment. But I digress...

As my regular readers know, I give a great deal of thought to my decision to blog, and I take great care in sharing what I believe is appropriate - for ME (or I should say, for us).

Yes, it was really hard for me to share the bad news. I'm not sure that it would have been any less difficult for me to deal with my loss than if I had kept it a secret. In fact, I am sure that the positive impact of the love my friends have shown me this month FAR outweighs the difficulty of publicly announcing the bad news.

I have never been a big fan of being secretive. It is probably just my personality. [Don't worry, I keep my friends secrets close.] When it comes to this blog, I regret nothing. Yet, it still hurts when I feel like people are saying or implying that I should not be sharing.

Now that I write that, I realize that the offenders are non-readers, and perhaps they just don't understand what this blog is about because they haven't seen it. And for those who said it was too early for us to tell, says who? Just because your son and daughter-in-law waited until the second trimester to tell *you* that they were expecting, doesn't mean that we were required to keep the news to ourselves until that point. I've yet to locate the rule book on this, but if you have a copy, please let me see it.

So, from this point forward, when I feel like it, I am going to blog. Writing has been remarkably therapeutic for me - especially today. I have learned a lot from people who've reached out to share their experiences with me; something that wouldn't have happened if I had kept this whole process under wraps. Most importantly, I have had the opportunity to support a couple of other friends who are beginning a similar journey.

So yeah, I'm doing okay. I have good days and bad days. But I am healing, and am amazingly aware of how lucky I am.

Stay tuned for more info on what's next...