Follow me on the crazy, hopeful, discouraging, funny, and ultimately successful (one way or another) path to parenthood while facing infertility.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

A Puzzler


What do these three things have in common?

I will give you a hint. I am NOT doing shots of tequila while icing my tired feet from dancing all night and heating my neck (also from the dancing).

The first item is a shot glass. The second, an ice pack that came with a medication shipment (waste not...) nestled in a ziploc bag for "protection." The third item is a cow-corn-filled neck heater that you microwave.

I have used all of these items for a variety of ways (the shot glass is the most fun, obviously). But why do I use them all together, and in that order?

This is my "PIO Survival Kit!"

1) The shot glass is filled with very warm (not superhot) water. The Progesterone In Oil vial is then dropped into the water (but not submerged) so that it warms up. Warm oil is so much easier to inject into the assular region than cool or room temperature oil. Other tricks I've read about are to put the vial under your armpit or in your bra to warm it up, but I'd just as soon let the trusty hot water in a shot glass do the work for me, since I have another task to do to prep for this insidious, 1.5 inch injection into my behind.

2) The ice pack is applied to the side that's being injected today. How do we remember which side? I have a code on the white board calendar-- D or ND. Dragon or NonDragon. (I have a sizeable dragon tattoo that goes from my right hip to my spine, and the area that needs to be injected is pretty much right under the tail. Pretty handy, not at all what I was thinking when I got that tattoo, but it works!) Then, I pretty much ice today's side until I have frostbite, because I DON'T WANT TO FEEL THAT GIANT NEEDLE AT ALL. It works maybe 80% of the time; occasionally I can still feel that nasty pinch. I don't wrap the ice, I just stuff it in my pants. It is a sight to see, especially when I decide that I need to multitask and water my gardens while I'm icing. I have missed the right spot for icing, and I will tell you that ICING HELPS TREMENDOUSLY!!! Big fan.

3) The neck heater has been transformed into what one of my friends calls a "Hinder Heater." I microwave it for 2 minutes while icing, flip it and then microwave it for 2 1/2 minutes when Bryce is done assembling the needles I have put out for him. Because I don't want to see that giant needle outside of its frosted plastic cap. Have I mentioned it's 1 1/2 inches long??? That's almost as long as my thumb. Which seems entirely unnecessary and like cruel and unusual punishment, but unfortunately it has to be that long to ensure it goes solidly into muscle and not fatty tissue. So Bryce is Mr. Injection and Mr. Draw Up, so that the unsheathed needle can remain a mystery to my tender eyes. After he's shot my butt up with a ridiculous amount of sesame oil containing uterus-conditioning progesterone (AND for a frozen, Del Estrogen, although that's a smaller amount and only every three days, but "Two Shot Day" is definitely not my favorite...), he rubs my behind. Like he's kneading bread. And I usually curse and say "Owwwwwww!," but this is pain with a purpose. The kneading and the heating keep the oil from forming nasty, hard knots in my muscle. They help the oil to distribute evenly, which I'm not sure if that makes it distribute to the uterus better, but I like to think so. After the torturous butt rub, I park myself on the couch and sit back on that hot, rolled-up neck roll. During the school year, I put the neck roll on the seat of my car and it heats me up on the 20 minute drive to work. I have forgotten to heat before (left it in the microwave usually), and like the ice, THIS DEFINITELY HELPS! I do not like to go without my icing and heating.

So, thanks to this routine I am left without the hard knots in my butt muscle from the shots. But man, do I put that area through the ringer between the frostbite icing, needle stabbing, and sometimes too-hot heating. And this whole process takes about 20 minutes, which adds to the morning routine substantially. But let me tell you, it is worth it! The hope with doing all of this is that I start out the process with butt needles to prepare my uterus and nurture an embryo, to coax it to stay. With the intent of doing this routine for a good couple of months to sustain a healthy pregnancy, since if your test is positive you keep on sticking until 11 weeks. Sooo worth it to get to that point. And, since I've done sustaining shots before (however short-lived), I can say that I am much happier to be undergoing stabbing and extreme temperature exposure when it's to support a growing, snuggling little nugget in that beautiful uterus. And, although you don't think to put in your wedding vows "I promise to prepare medicine in oil injections and inject them into your posterior with as much gentleness as possible," I am so grateful that I have such a supportive and non-needle-phobic husband who is now a pro with the butt shots. And who isn't afraid to keep kneading that tender muscle, even when I'm howling and begging him to stop. Now THAT is true love.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Smells Like Lime Sherbet

Every time I go into a new cycle, I have to change something. Do something different. At this point, not necessarily because I think it will actually make a difference so much, but because then I can say I tried something new, put a new variable in our basket, did something...more. Because as much as I am trying to believe that this is all a cosmic crapshoot, and the pregnancy either happens or it doesn't (despite elephants or owls or fertility earrings or candle burnings), I still have the need to try to add something into the mix that gives me the illusion of control. Just can't seem to squelch that.

So, this time around, with my lovely little frozen babypops, I added two things. (I add and take away... things that have stuck are the orange underwear, and obviously good eating/no alcohol/avoiding chemicals whenever possible.) I decided that I would totally get rid of coffee--no decaf, no coffee at all (despite the report that even pregnant ladies can have 240 mg of caffeine per day). I also decided that I would try to replace as many personal hygiene products as possible with natural/organic options.

The Nefarious Coffee Bean
Just as a disclaimer, I have absolutely no proof on this one. It is entirely anecdotal based on several word-of-mouth conversations over the years, and I did not look up the facts/science/lack thereof at all on this one. I just dove right into this theory totally blindfolded. Supposedly, there is a compound in the coffee bean itself that can somehow interfere with fertility (implantation maybe? Not sure, since I have done ZERO followup research on this hypothesis). So it doesn't matter if you switch to decaf, if you are drinking coffee at all, it's less than ideal. I have always gone to decaf (or, after learning of the 240 mg thing, half-caf) during a cycle. But I never totally gave it up. It's not that I'm a coffee addict, I drink it on weekends and odd afternoons during the school year when I am beyond exhausted. So this is kind of a cheating variable, like giving up lima beans for Lent. But, I did drink some coffee each week before, and now I have been coffee free since a week or so before I started Lupron. Which is forever ago. Except... last week a certain national coffee chain with a mermaid on its logo introduced a new cold beverage--the Refresher. With flavors like berry hibiscus and cool lime, I assumed this was a tea-based beverage, like green tea. So I nabbed my free one Friday afternoon and it was so yummy. And then I went to the same store later in the day to get Bryce some coffee to wake him up for our fun evening out, and noticed an informational display for this new concoction, off to the side. And it turns out the secret ingredient is... PEOPLE!!! Haha, just kidding. But it's almost as bad. It's green coffee extract! Those bastards, they tricked me into drinking a coffee drink that did not look, sound, or taste like a coffee drink. I was beside myself. I had already ordered another one and it was already being made, so I couldn't say I didn't want it. All I could think of was that there was green coffee extract coursing through my veins already, telling my uterus to REJECT whatever goodness may come its way! It was too late. I had royally messed up this cycle. I was a mess, crying and angry and feeling very stupid for not even thinking to ask if it had caffeine or coffee in it. Bryce, that wonderful man, took my berry refresher of embryo death and we went to another store (so I didn't seem quite as crazy as I felt/looked at the moment) and got me a passion iced tea/lemonade. Definitely caffeine free. Definitely sneak-attack coffee free. But I still cried all the way to our pre-dinner walk. Every single time there is something that happens that could be a reason for a cycle not working or too much stress--from my cat needing to be put to sleep to delayed construction on my house to my grandmother's hospitalization. I guess I should feel lucky if the only thing that feels compromising in this cycle is a coffee mickey slipped in my drink.

Natural Hygiene Products Are a Mixed Bag
It started with body wash and body moisturizer. Starting months ago I swapped out those products for natural and/or organic products. See, I am a monkey-see/monkey-do person, which is why sometimes the mob mentality of support groups can be somewhat damaging to me. If I hear that something worked for someone else, I will jump on that ship, guns blazing. (And then usually I am disappointed that it didn't work for me, although I am holding out hope that THIS WILL NOT BE THE CASE THIS TIME!) This is where my red candles came into play, and my fertility idols/fertility stones, and my elephant statue that got carted to my transfers and even the diner where we had breakfast before one of our pregnancy tests, and where the coffee thing comes from. But, there's this friend of mine who is already pretty natural/organic and regards plastic like the antichrist, and she got pregnant this spring. And...during her cycle and especially her wait, she used only natural hygiene products if any at all. She went a little further than I am willing to go, doing baking soda instead of soap or shampoo and whatnot. What can I say, I am a little on the vain side. I have a closet in my bathroom with free makeup bags from a certain department store brand that are filled with tons of one kind of makeup each--the Lip Gloss Bag, the Eyeshadow Bag, the Lip Stick Bag, the Skin Product Bag (blushes, stains, bronzers, powders).  I have a problem, obviously. So this particular project was a tough one to undertake, and I totally am not following it across the board. I still wear makeup (although as much hypoallergenic stuff as possible and my lip products at the moment must be organic/natural since they go in your mouth and I read a disturbing factoid that the average woman eats POUNDS of lipstick in her lifetime...). I still wear anti-aging moisturizer and eye cream. And I still wear sunscreen, because otherwise I burn to a crisp and while skin cancer is organic I don't want it. So, here is what I actually swapped out:
  • Body moisturizer
  • Body wash
  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Deodorant/Antiperspirant
I love the body wash and moisturizer, they are actually an improvement on my previous products. The shampoo and conditioner are ok...I have a lot of curly hair and it gets dry and frizzy easily. This stuff is not as heavy-duty as I'd like it to be but it's summer--where am I going? My flowers and veggies don't really care if my hair is crazy looking. And it so is, because I'm not putting styling product in it very often if I can help it. But it's been ridiculously hot, so all hair is tamed in a ponytail or bun. It's the deodorant that's killing me.

The deodorant is flavored "Mexican Lime and Bergamot" and claims to have the rare organic antiperspirant element through rice powder, which "gently absorbs moisture." I should mention that my friend who did this successfully did it in early spring, not JULY, and it was not in the 90s. I should also mention that when I saw her recently she said, "Oh, I should have mentioned that I never sweat." OH HOLY JEEZUM, I have been so misguided. Because I sweat like a filthy, filthy pig. And I am so sad, because I was all ready to blame it on my often-demonized PCOS, but my friend is also a PCOS-er and so out the window that goes. I am just disgusting all on my own. This deodorant has a very strong smell. My armpits smell like lime sherbet. And then about an hour into the day if I have done anything more strenuous than read/nap on the couch, I smell like lime sherbet funk. And let me tell you, this antiperspirant claim is NONSENSE! I didn't expect much, since most natural deodorants don't even claim antiperspirant properties. That comes from aluminum in regular deodorant. Without the chemicals, I am a sweaty, limey, funky mess. I have to reapply every 4 hours or so and DEFINITELY before I go out in public. Poor Bryce, he has no idea what to say anymore. We're in the car and I ask if he can smell me (worst fear is to be the stinky person out in public), and he says "That's YOU??? I thought that was my FEET!" Which is horrifying, because I love my handsome, handsome husband but he has the sweatiest, stinkiest feet I have ever encountered. But I must persevere. Even though another friend of mine, one who has done just about every natural thing you can think of, yelled through the phone, "POISON YOUR ARMPITS! You have to poison the armpits. Nothing else works. Dear lord, POISON those ARMPITS Jessica!" But I can't give it up. I have to do due diligence, especially since I flubbed up the whole coffee thing. So, people I see in real life, I apologize for the stankus when I see you in person. Especially if it is a hot day. And we're doing something even remotely active.

So there they are, my strategies to sneak a little bit of power into this cycle. It's funny, because it's a frozen cycle--which means that there's nothing to prepare but my uterus. And then I have to nurture those blasts once they're defrosted and put back into me. But no worries about egg quality, no wondering how many embryos we're going to have. I already know. Three. There are three embryos that will snuggle in and hopefully at least some (if not, gulp, all) will stay this time. I mean, look at what I'm willing to do for these babylings--I am willing to smell like lime sherbet funk, all for the love of defrosted babypops. That's got to count for something, I hope...

PS - SHAMELESS PLUG ALERT... If you haven't yet, please go to www.resolve.org/vote and vote for the best blog Hope Award--for which I am one of five fabulous nominees!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Holy Crow, I'm a Hope Award Best Blog Nominee!


So, back in April, I participated in the annual National Infertility Awareness Week Blog Challenge put forth by RESOLVE, a national infertility organization that spreads awareness, offers support groups in person and online, and lobbies hard for family building legislation (read: Personhood legislation = bad, Family Act and Adoption Tax Credit extension = good). This year I was inspired to write two posts. I agonized over these posts. I am my own harshest editor and have countless .doc files of blog posts that haven't made the cut or need more work before they can be shared, but when the post is a part of something bigger it really makes me hard on myself. I think about it. I write it in my head. I draft it in Blogger and revise all over the place. I read it aloud to my husband. And then I post it, and worry that it wasn't what I wanted it to be. But this year I felt really good about my posts. And I said to my husband, "Wouldn't it be crazy if I got nominated this year?"  I read so many of the participating 280+ blog posts and was blown away, but after a week or two from the closing of NIAW I became absorbed in the end of the school year and to be honest, totally forgot about the challenge.

Until this past Thursday, when I received the SUPER EXCITING email at my Grandma's apartment (summertime means I can go for the afternoon and play Scrabble or introduce her to Bananagrams). My mom was reading family emails aloud and, since I had already read the email, I stealthily checked mine. (Kind of rude, I know.) And HOLY JEEZUM, I did not expect an email from RESOLVE telling me that I was a Hope Award for Best Blog Nominee! I was shocked. I was ecstatic. I write this blog as a therapeutic exercise (I love to write and it helps me understand my mental process as I trudge through this reproductive Hell), and also as a way to let others know what it's like to be infertile in a fertility-obsessed world. I wanted it to be helpful to those also going through the process, but also helpful for family and friends who had no clue what this was really like, what to say, how to treat me and my husband. I had a sobering situation with a friend who just did not know what to say to me or my husband and so she said nothing throughout her whole pregnancy. When confronted about it, she said "There just isn't a GUIDEBOOK for how to navigate this with you!" and so I wanted to create that guidebook. And chronicle my journey. And to have that effort recognized is incredibly gratifying, and an honor I am just over the moon to receive.

I had kind of a funny reaction after the initial ecstasy of the nomination wore down to a reasonable level (one where I could breathe and stop repeating "holyshitholyshitholyshit" in my head). I burst into tears. I couldn't control it. It was so bizarre, and then again...not. Don't get me wrong, I am just plain thrilled about this recognition! But at the same time, I was incredibly sad that I was still writing about coping with disappointment, with loss, and that I wasn't on the "other side" at this point in the game. I love my blog and I love being honored for what I write and the awareness I bring to the community, but I do not love the reason why I write it. However, as a friend told me when I called her to let her know I was nominated (if not for her suggestion that I participate in last year's NIAW I wouldn't have even been up for consideration...I owe her bigtime!), she said "You are really turning your lemons into lemonade." And it made me feel better. Because if I help anyone feel less alone, if I help a parent or a sibling or a friend know how a fellow infertile person feels, then that's just amazing. And while I don't have a lot of official followers and I rarely get comments, I get private emails and find that friends of friends are reading and discussing my blog. At one point I was surprised beyond surprised to find out that a coworker of my husband's, a totally male, totally NOT infertile engineer, was an avid reader. Which is so incredibly cool. I don't even really know this fellow! And now he knows about infertility and can spread that knowledge and sensitivity to others. So my tears were shortlived when I realized that through this blogging--this concentrated, thematic verbal vomit--I can reach out to all kinds of readers and make a difference in my own way.

So please, go to the nomination page here and read all five of the nominated blog posts. We were whittled down from over 280 blogs that participated, which is pretty amazing. Then, vote! Voting starts July 11th and there is one vote per email address. Voting closes July 30th and a winner is announced August 1st. Congrats to all of us nominees--and cheers to turning those sad bitter lemons into tasty yet informative lemonade.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Bathing Suit Shopping

There are very few things that I hate more than bathing suit shopping (bet you can guess what they are...). But it is a necessity--a horrible, vanity-crushing necessity. I have several bathing suits in my closet drawer, and it is like a stretchy, faintly-chlorine-scented testimony to how infertility and age have gradually rendered my body, um, squishier than it used to be.

In my drawer of Spandex That Once Fit I have: 1) a bikini that I actually wore four years ago, 2) a tankini from Target that is really, really old (and now in the trash as the elastic in the straps was downright brittle when I tried it on again), 3) a super cute tankini that Bryce bought me a couple years ago (but the bottom is, alas, too tight for my progesterone-filled behind), 4) a decently ok tankini that I ordered from Vict.oria's Secret about a year ago that now only brings to mind delicious brown-sugar sausage links.

1) The bikini was super cute. I have never really had a bikini body--even when I ran track and cross country in high school and weighed an impossible 125 pounds (that I will never, ever see again) I had a gut. I named this gut Marge (as in Large) and she has been my constant companion since the onset of puberty. She gets bigger and smaller (mostly bigger) but she is always, always there. And so I never wore bikinis, except once when I was 14, again when I was 23 and in Hawaii, and lastly (probably forever lastly) in my early thirties, when I had gone through a divorce, discovered my Celiac disease, and lost about 25-30 pounds. (although it seems I have found a good number of those again.) I said SCREW IT!!! My giant bosom will distract from Marge! I will wear this bikini! And I did. But I can't wear it any more, as it is comical at best and hideous at worst (not only am I chubby in the middle, I am fish-belly pale. Not a good combo.). And yet I can't throw it away, even though it is a $20 Old Na.vy number, because it reminds me that once upon a time in my adult life I semi-successfully wore a bikini.

2) That tankini was a hot mess. It was at least 8 years old, and from a time when I was on the pudgy side, but the elastic is shot and it supports aforementioned giant bosom not at all. And so to the trash you go, Madam!

3) I love this tankini, so much so that I may need to find a matching bottom that fits my ever-expanding rear. I think I have a mass of oil from all the progesterone and estrogen shots that has made my butt/hip area bigger. Yeah, I'm sure that's what it is. Luckily, the top is multicolored so it shouldn't be too hard to find a bottom that matches. However, it is not so supportive for the boobles.

4) Oh dear lord, this brown tankini from VS is horrific now. I bought it because it had an underwire. And it does support my chest quite nicely, except the band size is a bit...snug. And so the whole thing makes my midsection and "waist" a bumpy, lumpy mess. It's like wearing chocolate brown casings. Not attractive in the least. Scary, actually.

Rifling through the Drawer of Body Horror made me realize I had to go swimsuit shopping. Because I'm going to Cape May in August, barring any weirdness with my next frosty opportunity for motherhood. (I am just going to say that I am definitely going and try not to think about all those nasty What Ifs I mentioned last post.) But the problem is, Cape May is a beach town. And I will be on the beach and in a pool, and that necessitates a bathing suit. Something reasonably flattering, since I am going with a crew of preternaturally slender women, ranging in age from 20s to 60s. I am always the chubber on this trip, but I am feeling particularly self-conscious and so I needed a decent bathing suit that will make me feel like less of a caricature on the beach. At least I don't have horn-rimmed glasses.

And so I started with catalogs. Why, I do not know, because this did not work out well for me at all. I am now very familiar with the return policies at LLBe.an and EddieBa.uer. The first number was a slimming, retro one-piece, black with white polka dots, with a halter top. This looked cute online and in the catalog, but they didn't have it in the store. So I ordered it. Size 12, D cup (they didn't have my actual cup, but I read the reviews online and there were several doubles like me who said it fit nicely). It came, and it was amazing--up until my chest. It held in my tummy, it gave me an actual waist, the leg openings were not too scary low but not high either. But my poor boobies looked like old lady boobies in that thing. The seam that supports the chest was about 3 inches too low, and I kept trying to pull it up and tie the halter tighter and it just wouldn't work. So alas, I had to return it. For high-quality shaping swimwear that comes with a high-quality pricetag, it had to be PERFECT for me to keep it. I tried seeing if I could order it in a Tall (which is so weird since I am 5'6", not exactly tall, and I am short-waisted, so this torso issue makes no sense to me at all), but it didn't come in my cup size. On to another catalog.

I found another similar suit in Edd.ieBauer, a two piece Mirac.leSuit tankini with a halter, tiny black and white polka dots, and an underwire. I thought this would totally solve the problem. A tankini could be adjusted so the boob support was just right, and a slimming tankini would be longer so Marge would be under wraps. It arrived in the mail and looked so pretty in the bag! On me, not so much. This time was the complete opposite of the LLBe.an one-piece--my chest looked fantastic, but the rest of me was a sausage from hell. Holy guacamole, the bottom cut me off at a squishy part and then the tankini fabric held me in a little too well, having the complete opposite effect from slimming. It was awful. I returned it and decided maybe catalog shopping for a swimsuit was not for me.

And so I went off to the mall with my own Stacy Lon.don, my awesome friend who is able to find me clothing that is flattering and doesn't allow me to even try on things that are hideous. Everyone needs a friend like this. Especially one who will bravely enter into dressing rooms with you as your semi-naked body slithers and shimmies into, oh, about 50 different slimming swimsuits. Stacy was a shopping machine--pulling all sorts of suits off the rack and finding the big fitting room every time. I don't think I've laughed this hard in a really long time, which was such a gift considering that I was a) trying on swimsuits while feeling quite chubby, b) hopped up on hormonal injections that had me extra bloated and emotional, and c) faced in the mirror with my ugly bruised-up stomach every 5 minutes or so (apparently baby aspirin makes my lupron injection sites uncharacteristically ugly and purple). Things that were hilarious:
  • Tried on several shaping suits at another outdoorsy type store--they were HIDEOUS because the leg openings were so low I looked like the Strong Man from the 1900s. And so I kept lifting imaginary barbells to make this point. Not flattering in the giant mirrors, but funny.
  • Apparently Mira.cleSuit means Sausage Casing for me. Every one I tried on had a high back, meant to stave off the backfat, but instead created crazy Michelin Man type rolls on me. Not a one looked good from the back. However, what I didn't realize is that the high-power spandex means it is a freaking workout to just get the damn thing ON. Every one of them induced a crazy shimmy, breaking out my Whitney upper-lip sweat in about 2 seconds and prompting me to say "Look 10 pounds slimmer just by putting it on? You freaking ARE 10 pounds slimmer because it's a damn workout to pull this stupid thing up past your thighs!!!"
  • In addition to the Spandex Shimmy, there was the "I hate this suit and it makes me look fatter" belly dance.
  • There was also the "I love this swimsuit and will dance around in it like a happy peacock" dance. I cannot take swimsuit shopping seriously. Actually, I don't think it should be serious (if it was I'd probably cry).
  • I tried on a tankini that had a top with tiered ruffles, which could actually be flattering and tummy-hiding except this particular number made me look, no joke, at least 6 months pregnant. Stacy said, "well, not really" and then I turned around and put my hand on my fake baby belly to illustrate my point. She was like "oh. Yeah, that is not a good look. But maybe when you ARE pregnant it would be super cute!" and I pointed out that hopefully I will not be largely pregnant in the summer because this cycle is a sometime-spring arrival if successful, and she was like "maybe you could wear it at the end of this summer if you are pregnant and when someone congratulates you you can say 'YES, I AM actually pregnant, thank you!" I just about fell over laughing because I was like, "And what do you think happens when they ask how far along I am and I'm like, 'Oh, 6 weeks or so...' but I look THIS big? Tell them I'm harboring 7 of them in there???" Ha, ha, ha. Man, am I glad I can laugh about that sort of thing.
Things we discovered: I need a tankini or something that looks like a tankini to break up the expanse that is Marge. I need a ridiculous amount of boob support, or else I have that hideous low cleavage popular grannies the world over. Not attractive. I do need slimming panels, but NOT ON MY BACK. Dear lord, do NOT squish my back in. It just reanimates into a number of hideous roll-like creatures that shift and shuffle as I move. All I could think of was that line from Steel Magn.olias where they are making fun of a woman who needs to wear a girdle and they say she "looks like two pigs fighting in a sack" or something like that. Ewwww. And lastly, patterns are my friend. Patterns up top and solid on the bottom is even better.
What, you didn't think I'd post a picture of me
IN the suit, right? Nooooo, I don't think so.
And so, here it is, the winner, the second-to-last suit I tried on, when my stomach was actually a little thinner from all the belly laughing. It has everything! Super boob support, ruching on the side and a pretty pattern to hide Marge's glory, a low but not-too-low back to de-roll my scary backfat...the thing has it all. AND it was on sale and nearly half the price of the original suits I had bought.

It was amazing--I went bathing suit shopping at a time when my body is totally not my friend (just kidding body, you are so my friend and I want you to stay that way and harbor a guest or two like the supernice body you are), when my hormones are all out of whack and tears are pretty much part of my daily repertoire, and still--I had a GREAT TIME. I found an amazing suit that makes me feel sexy, not huge and lumpy. I feel like this suit is flattering enough that I won't have to use the snappy remark I've been saving for anyone stupid enough to say that I've put on a bit of weight lately-- "Yeah, well three years of infertility treatments and various related surgeries will do that to a person." Nope, I think I can shelve that for now. And, on top of having a great time with Stacy and finding a great suit that made me actually feel good about my body, I managed not to be sad/pissed that I wasn't buying a maternity suit. I managed not to feel like it was a waste of money to get a good quality suit when I might have to get a maternity one...at some point. I know that I won't need one this summer, and so I went with that. And it felt good. It felt really, really good to just pretend I don't have this specter hovering over me, freezing my ability to plan long term. I ignored that pesky phantom and bought a bathing suit that looks good now. For my body now, not pregnant in the future (or 10 pounds lighter some day when I'm not shooting up substances that pack on pounds and make me sleepy and motivationless). I never thought I'd say this, but hip hip hooray for bathing suit shopping.