Saturday, April 30, 2011

Are You Ready for Some Football???

Are you Ready for Some FOOOTBALLL??

So according to our one-day-at-a-time pregnancy calendar, there are lots of interesting things going on with Tad. His eye color is determined... his skin is starting to look not so translucent...

But most interesting to us this week? 

Baby is the length and weight of a football.

A FOOTBALL people.

That's a lot of baby.

I thought I was going to make it through pregnancy with only my very comfy lots-of-room skirts and dresses that I have in the closet...

I'm starting to think this week that may not be a possibility after all.

This little football baby is destined for one thing though-- to be a Clemson fan!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

A Taste of Pregnancy

After yesterday's post which I got some "too preachy" comments on, I thought I'd go with something a little lighthearted this evening... the strange affect pregnancy has on your taste buds.

We're not talking the cliched extreme of pickles and ice cream, but I have definitely have some strong likes and dislikes in the food arena. I've probably mentioned a few of these before.

We'll start with my aversions which are really broad brush and have been strange and strong:
  • Any beef, pork, or chicken that I cook:  This has led to lots of nights making a veggie burger, or passing my meat off to Shawn.
  • Bananas.  I used to eat a banana every morning (along with two boiled eggs) for breakfast.  This is a no-go
  • Eggs:  Ditto.  See above. 
  • Potatoes:  I haven't had the taste for anything in the potato family, including fries.  This is probably a good thing.
  • Lemonade:  Pregnancy has given me a strange allergy to lemonade.  Or at least a sensitivity.  If I drink even a sip, my throat starts to close like I'm having an allergy attack.  Strange strange strange.

My likes have been stronger-- some good for you, some not:
  • Tomatoes:  We're talking slice up the tomato, add a little salt and pepper and eat.  At least once a day.  I can imagine this one is going to grow as tomatoes actually come into season.
  • Chex Mix:  This one didn't kick in until the second trimester.  I actually had a huge Costco tub of party mix that just sat around for the first 15 weeks, until one day I opened it.  Took it to work.  And it has been eaten through twice now.  My colleagues are enjoying helping with this one.
  • Pineapple:  Most specifically, pineapple in the fruit salad from Busboys & Poets.  But for the first time in my life, I've been seen buying huge pineapples at the grocery store and cutting up and eating them in 2-3 days.
  • Salmon:  I never EVER cooked fish at home before this pregnancy.  The smell in my house killed me.  Scratch that.  When you don't want chicken, pork, or beef, that leads to more fish than usual.  I have to watch this though, because between tuna and salmon, I usually sget to my weekly allocation of fish by Tuesday.  I do plan to eat the hell out of some crab in the next couple weeks if I can convince Shawn to make the drive out to Annapolis to go to Cantlers.
  • Spinach:  Nom nom nom.  Sauteed spinach is a winner.  Jules was witness to my replacing my french fries with spinach at lunch a few weeks ago.  That was a delicious decision.
  • Sushi:  I want sushi ALL THE TIME.  We're talking every single day, all day long.  Pregnancy conventional wisdom says no raw fish.  I'd like to say I've strictly abided by this rule but...
  • Cheeseburgers:  We talked about this before.  Delicious.  Homemade burgers, veggie burgers, McDonalds burgers... doesn't matter!
  • (You can make fun of this one) Corned Beef Hash:  Yes, its strange.   I don't think I've ever eaten corned beef hash in my life.  Now I think about it when I'm not having it.  I don't want to think where it comes from, I just want to dominate it for breakfast every single day.  Shawn witnessed this in SC last weekend, and I think he was shocked.
These could definitely be worse, I'm sure...


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Bust a Move... or a Myth for National Infertility Awareness Week

I'm usually not the preachy type.

And I've tried to avoid being the preachy type.

But you know what? It's National Infertility Awareness Week, and I've decided to take part in RESOLVE's "Bust a Myth" campaign.

What does that mean?

It means taking a little time to correction a wrong impression or two that people have about infertility.

But before I start busting myths.

I want to let people know that there are "infertiles" all around them. They are best friends and mentors. Old babysitting charges and old babysitters. They are the women who sit outside your office answering your phone, and 10 offices down in the massive corner office.

These women hold their tongues. A lot.

Sometimes they want to punch you.

Or random mothers of 7 in Walmart.

They are happy when you get pregnant, but go home and cry.

They dread baby showers more than the dentist.

They cringe when you ask "Do you have kids?"... "When are you going to have kids"... even "Are you sure you WANT to have kids?"

The moral? Think before you speak. If someone has been married for a few years, and they don't have kids... no matter the reason why... it's none of your damn business. And if they want to make it your business they will. They come up with witty answers to the questions above like "We're having dress rehearsals" or "You won't be the 1st to know".


So on to myth busting, and my personal favorite:

MYTH: It’s covered by insurance.

Yea. Sometimes it is. In some really nice states like Maryland and Massachusetts, it is required to be. In almost every other, it is up to kind employers and flexible insurance companies. And we all know how flexible insurance companies are.

From RESOLVE: "Busted!: Many insurance companies do offer coverage for the various stages of the evaluation and treatment of infertility. Exactly what is covered often varies from insurer to insurer, and from policy to policy. Some insurers will only cover the examination and testing to determine the cause of infertility, while others will cover treatment and medications. The kind of treatment that is covered also varies. In addition, 15 states require that insurers include infertility benefits in their policies, though what is covered also varies from state to state. As a result, it is important to study your policy to determine if, and to what extent, you may be covered. Many fertility practices have financial counselors to help you through this, to answer your questions about your insurance benefits and to work with the insurer to determine what is covered."

So what's my story? Sure. I had infertility coverage. After proof of at least 18 months of unsuccessful trying.

That didn't cover any pre-testing.

Or any drugs.

Or any medically unnecessary blood tests or ultrasounds.

Oh yes, and a limit of $2000 per procedure, or $4000 over a lifetime.

You know what that covers folks?

Not much. I.E... not even the medicines on an injectible IUI.

If you think that IVFs can cost from $8,000-$12,000 per cycle, you hit that $4000 lifetime limit pretty quickly.

So what am I going to do about it other than complain?

I've signed up to participate in RESOLVE's Capitol Hill advocacy day next week. Because really, what does a lobbyist by profession enjoy doing more than going to the Hill and advocating for something they feel passionately about. Health reform certainly wasn't perfect. No legislation is. But to think that with a little legislating, the federal government could required insurance companies to carry some type of fertility coverage. We're not just doing IUIs and IVFs for fun folks.

So take some time and learn about NIAW. Think about the people around you who aren't ready to talk about it. The ones who have gone through it... the ones going through it... and the ones that will have to face the challenges in the future.

Monday, April 25, 2011

I (we) got a great one.

Well, as you already know from Susann's post, we were in the fabled city of Marion, SC for Easter.  It is always good to see the family and catch up on everything going on.  Dad is doing much better.  He still has some trouble verbalizing more complex thoughts but does pretty well consider the severity of his stroke.

Mom, as always, is amazing.  She has a great deal on her plate right now.

Joey and Kevin are doing well and Paula is very busy with Spoleto (and a budding tennis carer).

Having said all that the star of the weekend was Susann.  She jumped in at every opportunity to help no matter what.  She watched an entire hour of Glenn Beck with my Father without throwing something at the screen - believe me no small thing - or saying anything disrespectful.  Finally she got up at o'dark30 so we could go to the Sunrise Service and get on the road ahead of the holiday traffic. 

I could not ask for a better partner and our son could not ask for a better Mother.

Now if I could just get her to watch Fox News!