5 weeks 2 days: I feel a presence / mod.cloth and other $$ spent

5 weeksI know it might seem early, but I can’t help but notice that I am feeling different during the past couple of days. For lack of a better expression, I feel a presence. I have not confirmed anything via ultrasound yet, but I am picturing the babies, seeing how tiny they are, the size of sesame seeds. I feel as though I feel life inside me. Of course, I felt this way last time, but dare I say that it is more intense this time around? Words will pop into my head, unbeckoned: This is going well. This is my time. My abdomen feels tight. My breasts are now in action. I have a peculiar sensation that is not quite nausea but not quite not-nausea. I get a fluttery, swirly feeling down there sometimes that is very pleasurable. A heaviness in my abdomen. A solidity. A feeling that my parts are incrementally expanding.

I am equal parts excited and scared for Thursday’s ultrasound. But right now, at least, I feel pretty calm.

Other woman who have recurrently miscarried: When you’ve gotten pregnant, has your abdomen popped out immediately? Holy crow. It’s not like I was overweight or didn’t exercise at all before becoming pregnant–I was doing cardio, yoga, hiking, biking. But my belly forgets all of those plank poses I did. If I wore a tight-fitting dress, I swear to you I could pass for three months pregnant. It’s not that I don’t like seeing signs of pregnancy, it’s just that it is so very early to be trying to camouflage, and certainly far too early to blithely announce my pregnancy to the world (well, for me, there will never be any blitheness about it). There’s something a teeny bit embarrassing about the size of it in relation to the week of gestation. I guess I have to remember that this is my seventh pregnancy in three years! So I suppose things are just going to be stretched out below the waist.

Which is why I just spent $700 at mod.cloth. Don’t worry—I will be returning 95% of what I ordered. I get to keep one perfect dress for the wedding on the 13th. But I had to order a ton of options to see which styles camouflage my abdomen, which don’t, and which sizes work. Although I’m normally a small to medium, I got everything in large because I figure I can get the dress tailored if I need to. I went for some vintage 60s and 20s styles. That website makes me drool and want to reinvent my entire wardrobe. So says the woman who has been wearing a black yoga onesie and sweatshirt for the past four months.

Here’s what I ordered. I have a feeling the Blueberry Buckle dress is going to win, if it doesn’t accentuate my abdomen overly (maybe the pleats will hide it?):


modcloth 1modcloth 2I’ve been spending too much money lately. I don’t know if this is common or not, but I find myself thinking about how much money we’ve spent on fertility treatments and doctors appointments and it makes me want to spend more money on our home and ourselves! What is that? It’s this bizarre non-logic that goes something along the lines of: “Well, this costs the same as Vivelle, and I fork that out without question. Why shouldn’t I spend it on a ceramic frying pan? We need it! We deserve it!”

I went to a megastore yesterday and did indeed buy a lovely ceramic pan. Actually, two. One with a lid. And an apron. And some (much needed) airtight containers. Oh yeah and a cast-iron grill/griddle pan, which we will use like mad. I had such buyer’s remorse as I walked up and down the aisles of our local gluten-free store, afterward, snatching up my expensive GH flours, that I almost took some of the stuff back to the megastore. But I didn’t.

Part of the spending has also to do with not working, ironically. I wonder if any of you unemployed ladies experience the same. While I was working, I never had any time to go shopping (and little time or energy to cook, so kitchen implements seemed unimportant). But now I have time to figure out what our kitchen/home needs and find the best deals. DH and I actually decided to get a gluten-free bread machine this weekend, because after I sat down and calculated what we’re spending on Udi’s bread, it just made sense to bite the bullet and start making our own loaves.

I’ve also been downloading samples of fiction to my kindle like crazy. Reading novels and short stories is one of my favorite activities, and also one the most effective distractions for me. In case you are interested, here is a list of samples I have downloaded recently, from which I will choose a few titles to buy, according to the strict budget I am following (hahahahaha). If you would like to add to my list, be my guest! What I did was scour the “read” books on a friend’s goodreads page, knowing that she and I, at least at one point, had similar tastes in literature, and I checked out a ton of them. I also revisted my dusty “to-read” page on goodreads and saw some titles I’d forgotten about. I’ve dipped into a few of the samples below and have loved them so far.


The Entire Predicament, Lucy Corin
Snow Country, Yasunari Kawabata
The First Hurt, Rachel Sherman
How Should a Person Be? A Novel from Life, Sheila Heti
Lolly Willowes, Sylvia Townsend Warner
After Life, Rhian Ellis
The Museum of Extraordinary Things, Alice Hoffman
Leaving the Sea: Stories, Ben Marcus
Thirty Girls, Susan Minot
Dept. of Speculation, Jenny Offill
That Part Was True, Deborah McKinaly
This is Not an Accident: Stories, April Wilder
Still Life with Bread Crumbs: A Novel, Anna Quindlen
My Happy Life, Lydia Millet
Pale Horse, Pale Rider, Katherine Anne Porter
Therese Raquin, Emile Zola
Personal Days: A Novel, Ed Park
Mating: A Novel, Norman Rush
Famous Fathers and Other Stories, Pia Z Ehrhardt

And here are two collections I bought:

Bark, Lorrie Moore
One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories, BJ Novak

Keeping myself busy while stopping to feel this new presence inside me: That’s what this time is all about. This week and next and the one after that are going to be my most challenging. My heart could break or bloom into a million flowers. Let’s pray for the latter.

5 weeks

Leave a comment


  1. I am totally praying and believing 100% for the latter! This is so awesome girl!


  2. Violet

     /  April 1, 2014

    Thinking of you lady. Just found out a friend reads your blog as well. VERY cool!
    I am waiting for wonderful news on Thursday. Thank you for sharing the book list.
    Love your purchases! Very fun!
    I have two ways for you to save $ if you feel like saving… :-)
    I order all my supplements and flour, shampoo, you name it from Swanson vitamins. Check them out! There is usually some kind of coupon you can find online for 10% off as well.
    My public library has been my God-send for my audiobooks for my commute. I think they also let you download for a Kindle. Not sure though.

    Waiting for good news for you for Thursday!

  3. AndiePants

     /  April 1, 2014

    OMG I usually can’t control myself on ModCloth AT ALL. Good luck sending it back! ;)

    • That website is extremely dangerous and should not be available to the general credit-card-holding public. I honestly don’t know how this is possible but I just discovered it, just a couple of days ago! This seems improbable, considering that they designed all of their dresses with me in mind (obviously, from the sheer amount of yearning I feel when I scroll through them). I feel like I’ve stumbled into a wondrous fantasy-land!

      If I don’t send stuff back, I am a very bad person forever and always. But I will look so good!

  4. Thinking of you and praying everything is perfect. The dresses also look so beautiful! :)

  5. Treyton

     /  April 1, 2014

    Don’t worry about the bloat, trust me, it’s the meds. With my successful ivf’s, I had the exact same problem. It will slow down once the medicine begins to be reduced by the Dr. Plus, what a great excuse to go shopping!!! All very cute.
    I am on day two of my 5dt with RBA donor eggs. Having some major AF cramps right now:-(
    I have a question. What day did you fly (I’m guessing you flew to Atlanta) after your transfer? RBA have such different philosophies on taking it easy!!!

    • Ack, sorry to hear about the cramps, but you know what they say: cramps can be implantation. That’s good to hear about the meds—I always seem to forget that some of what I’m experiencing, preg symptoms too, is related to the estrogen and progesterone I’m on. This past time, I flew the day after transfer, which seemed just right. The time before that, I flew two days after transfer, which was far too cautious. I know women who flew home the day of (which I could never do, nor would I want to). What does your doctor say?

  6. I have that exact same inclination with spending re fertility treatments. It’s like we are spending so much on IVF that everything else feels like play money. Thinking of you for the upcoming ultrasound!!

  7. Oh Hun I am sooo loving this post. Loving your energy, your symptoms, your dresses (pretty!) And yes, strangely this is also my 7th pregnancy, but my abdomen popped pretty much right away too. I think it has a memory!

    Ok so please bloom into a million flowers!! I am feeling utmost confidence that things are going splendidly down there. Hugs sisterfriend xxx

    • Ah, thanks so much. I’m glad you are feeling that confidence—I need you to send that to me today! Today has been tough. Cried some. Am generally feeling apprehensive. You know how hard it is to get up on that table and get examined after what we’ve been through. I just am so afraid of repeating history. Hard to stop my imagination. The fear didn’t really show up until today. I’m doing okay managing it, I guess. xoxo

      • Oh hun I totally understand where you’re coming from. I’m living with that apprehension everyday still too. It’s so hard, it’s so scary. The fear doesn’t really ever go away but you are managing it so well, as best we can. Hang onto hope. Huge hugs for tomorrow, you are doing amazing xxx

  8. Sweetheart: I’m so excited for you. I’ve wanted to say that for a while but it’s been just too painful (my stuff, not yours). Now that I can own my grief-induced hesitation, I’ll say it again: I am really freakin’ excited for you!

    About the bloat: That has happened to me with every pregnancy and worse on drugs. The last one when I got to 10 weeks I’d already pulled out mat clothes because my tummy was just not what it used to be – carrying a kid to term does that to you even more than first tri losses – and now that I’ve found out my usually retroverted uterus had fully flipped forward and was anteverted I understand why. It took until 6 monhs to flip forward in my one successful pregnancy (which was pregnancy #2 but the first one ended at 8 weeks and the second was really early). On injectables and progesterone supplementation I felt balloonish. I think it’s all good news for you or I’m hoping and praying it is.

    About the shopping: I’ve never been unemployed for any length of time but I’ve never done as much shopping (especially home-wares) as I did during my early mat leave (because I wasn’t working and baby was sleeping, either in a carrier strapped to me or in a car seat I toted alongside me).

    I’ll be thinking of you Thursday. All the best.

    • Thanks for the excitement! I’m not feeling so much excitement today as I am feeling anxious, but am just trying to distract myself as much as possible. Today has really been a challenge. I really don’t want to go to that ultrasound tomorrow. Then again, I also want to rip the bandaid off. Keep hoping and praying! I appreciate it.

  9. When I initially I stopped working outside the home, I wanted to shop A LOT more, mostly for stuff for the house. But now that we live in my hometown and don’t have as many stores (ex: home goods, world market) it’s curbed my spending. Plus we started saving for a big vacation. But I would relish the opportunity to splurge on maternity clothes! I like the black polka dotted dress a lot (I think it’s polka dots?) And the blueberry one is cute too :)

    • Oh yeah the black one is super-cute—those are actually gold birds! Which reminds me of a dress my first-grade teacher, Mrs. Holzmeir, used to wear. Funny the things we remember. It’s so awesome that you guys are saving for a big vacation. One of these days, I will learn how to save, when I grow up.(…oh yeah I’m forty and I’m supposed to have a retirement fund already). XOX

  10. BLoom bloom bloom! So much support sent your way for Thursday. I love the Blueberry Buckle dress, love it! I don’t think it’s a bad idea to splurge on a few things that will make you feel pretty and hide the belly for the time being. I am thinking of you and the blooming little sesame seeds!

    • Aw nice, please keep thinking of the blooming sesame seeds, that’s sweet! I am trying to stay calm. It’s partially working. I wish Valium were an option!

  11. Tess

     /  April 2, 2014

    “and it makes me want to spend more money on our home and ourselves!” Me too! After a failed cycle we bought a dining room table. ha! :)

    I don’t regret it one bit. It was life affirming, and we can now host more people for dinner parties.

    Love the blueberry buckle dress. And I bet the pleats will hide the bump.

    • Hey that sounds wonderful—and you get to use it to improve your quality of life! I think that’s what the shopping is about in part for me, improving quality of life, enjoying and enhancing what I can while we have so little control over family-making. I’ll keep you posted on blueberry buckle…


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  • About Me

    Me: 41
    DH: 38

    Fertility issue:
    Recurrent Pregnancy Loss
    6 pregnancy losses
    All early
    5 with my own eggs
    1 with donor egg

    Abnormal embryos

    Factor V Leiden heterozygous
    MTHFR heterozygous

    AFC: 2 - 12
    AMH: 0.2
    FSH: 6.8
    E2: 40
    LH: 2.8


    April 2011 -
    Natural conception, first try. Blighted ovum (gestational sac only). D&C to remove products of conception at 9 weeks.

    Oct 2011 -
    Natural conception, first try. Blighted ovum (gestational sac & yolk sac). Took Cytotec to induce miscarriage at 9 weeks. PTSD, depression, anxiety, insomnia, night terrors followed.

    Winter 2012 -
    Two rounds of Femara/Clomid + IUIs at Columbia and RS of NY. The idea: to produce more eggs and increase chances of catching a good one. BFNs.

    April 2012 -
    Natural conception, first try. Ultrasound showed activity in the uterus, but no complete sac. Diagnosed with "missed abortion." Natural miscarriage at 5 weeks.

    June 2012 -
    Conception after 7 mg Femara for 5 days + IUI. Diagnosed with chemical pregnancy. Natural miscarriage at 4.5 weeks.

    August 2012 -
    Natural conception, without trying. Chemical pregnancy and natural miscarriage at 5 weeks.

    October 2012 -
    ODWU at Colorado Center for Reproductive Medicine (CCRM).

    January 2013 -
    IVF with Dr. Schoolcraft.
    Straight Antagonist protocol

    What he predicted:
    I will produce 11 eggs
    Good chance 1 will be normal
    30% chance 2 will be normal
    Transfer 1, then a 45% chance of success
    Transfer 2, then a 65% chance of success

    What happened:
    7 follicles stimulated
    6 mature eggs retrieved
    2 died during ICSI
    4 fertilized
    3 out of 4 embryos CCS-tested
    All abnormal

    Aug/Sept 2013-
    Frozen Donor Egg IVF at Reproductive Biology Associates (RBA)
    What Dr. Shapiro predicted:
    6 or 7 will fertilize
    1 we will transfer
    1 - 3 we will freeze

    Protocol: Lupron, Vivelle patches, Crinone

    8 frozen eggs from donor thawed
    6 fertilized
    1 Day-5 Grade A XBbb blastocyst transferred
    1 Day-5 Grade A EBbb blastocyst frozen
    1 Day-6 Grade A XBbb blastocyst frozen

    September 13, 2013: Pregnant

    Prenatal vitamins & baby aspirin,
    Vivelle patches & Crinone

    Beta #1: 171
    Beta #2: 706
    Beta #3: 7,437

    6 w 3 d: measured 6 w 1 d
    FHR: 80 bpm
    Fetus did not grow
    7 w: FHR 121 bpm
    8 w: heart stopped
    9 w: D and C

    Test results: We lost a normal karyotype male for unexplained reasons

    Quit stressful job
    Anti-inflammation diet
    Gluten-free diet
    Vit D, DHA/EPA
    Therapy/energy work
    Creative Visualization
    Art Therapy

    March 14, 2014:
    Double FET at RBA
    1 Day-5 Grade A EBbb blastocyst
    1 Day-6 Grade A XBbb blastocyst

    March 24, 2014:

    Prenatals, baby aspirin, Folgard, Vivelle, Crinone, Lovenox

    Beta #1: 295
    Beta #2: 942
    Beta #3: 12,153

    1 fetus implanted

    Measured on track

    Fetal heart rate:
    7 wk: 127 bpm, 8wk:159 bpm, 9wk: 172 bpm

    Due date: Dec, 4 2014!

    NatureMade (USP Seal) Prenatals and 4000 Vit D3
    Baby aspirin
    40 mg Lovenox
    DHA and EPA
    Folgard 2.2

    Born: One perfect baby boy 12.4.14

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