"As for me, I'll take one baby marinated in a dish please"

Did I mention death was a potential side effect of birth?

When dealing with IVF, I made it my mission to read up on every drug I might have to take. I learned the side effects of Luperon, Gonal-F, Citrotide, Clomid and all the others. Not only did I know every headache, bouts of dry mouth, thoughts of suicide, depression, psychotic tendencies, and weight gain that I might encounter, I planned for it. I bought larger clothes, warned Ben of my potential meltdowns, and brought loads of books in case I was too sick to sight see. And for all my preparation, it turns out that headaches and dry mouth were really the only side effects I had. And both were minimal at that.

You would have thought that with all the planning I did for IVF, I might have done some sort of planning for actually becoming pregnant. But the thing is, when a person undergoes any type of fertility treatment (I assume this is true for everybody because it was true for me), planning for something that might not happen doesn’t make much sense. Plus, getting too excited for a big “what if” only leads to further disappointment if it doesn’t work out. So because of this, I stayed as far away from anything pregnancy as possible.

Fast forward to now.

Thanks to my older sister and my mother-in-law, I now have so many pregnancy books that when I look around my house I am constantly confronted by newborn babies and huge pregnant bellies. From Jenny McCarthy to the “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” girl, to the "Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth", and my personal favorite, the “1000 Questions about your Pregnancy” lady who night after night continues to haunt me on my end table.

While this lady might look docile and homely with her full length Mormon dress and 80’s bangs sitting contently with her hand placed on her unborn child reading about the miracle of life, she is actually learning about her sure fate with hemorrhoids and inverted nipples.

I confess that while it seems like the lady in the picture is least halfway through the book, I can only say that I made it about 50 pages before I was so terrified of both pregnancy and child birth that I was convinced we had made a terrible mistake.

The following are just examples of the horror I read about…

Question 170:

Is it true that my abdominal muscles may separate later in pregnancy and leave a big dent?


You’re describing a “diastasis recti,” in which the long vertical muscles of the abdominal wall pull apart in the midline over time. If they pull far enough apart, a large section of the uterus may be covered only by skin, connective tissue (fascia), and peritoneal lining. A “dent” in your abdomen after delivery is a pretty good description. As your belly shrinks to normal size the muscles do approximate, or come together. However, their attachment to each other is often permanently disrupted. In reality this usually means that you will see the separation clearly when you do a sit-up. If the separation becomes debilitating, it can be fixed with a surgery similar to that for an abdominal hernia.

Question 657:

What are the types of episiotomy?

The midline episiotomy, as you would expect, involves a small incision straight toward the anus. A mediolateral episiotomy angles from the fourchette down and out about 30 degrees off the midline, the intent being to avoid extension into the anus and rectum. A hockey stick episiotomy, also called a paramedian episiotomy, begins heading toward the rectum in the midline, but then swerves off to one side or the other just before the anal sphincter.

One type of episiotomy is not better than another. They type of episiotomy used is individualized to the particular patient and the particular delivery. Some women have long perineal bodies (distance from vagina to rectum) and other have very short perineums. Some women get tremendous swelling with pushing, making the tissue fragile and tearable like tissue paper and others have no swelling and the tissue is more elastic. Some women have very large hemorrhoids and others have none.

Finally, your provider’s training will dictate with which incisions he or she is most comfortable.

Yikes! I could list 998 more of these scary questions regarding topics like pregnancy related heart murmur, elevated or dropped blood pressure, breached extraction, viral vs. parasitic infections, deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolus, vaginal infections, strokes, trauma, heartburn, permanent darkening of areolas and clotting disorders, just to name a few.

But I won’t name any more. Not for your sake. For mine. I no more want to know about the type of episiotomy I might be unfortunate enough to undertake, then I want my eyeball gouged out with a fork.

But it doesn’t end there. Jenny McCarthy talks about how fat and full of cellulite you will become all the while pumping out the most ominous fumes so horrifically powerful they could make grown man lay down and die. The “What to Eat while Pregnant” book informs its readers that unless you eat one million fruits and vegetables along with quinoa and lean chicken, your baby will come out sickly and mentally underdeveloped. So, Krista, think about that next time you want a beef taquito.

And who cares if you are exhausted and still throwing up. The "Pregnancy Bible" says that if you don’t start exercising and doing pre-natal yoga, your baby and body will not get the blood flow that it needs and you will end up having a C-section, or worse…A stupid kid.

And speaking of C-Sections, "Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth" informs its readers that epidurals = C-sections, unless you are one of the lucky ones. So suck it up, be a real woman and push, sans medication. This all coming from a book where the woman in the picture is wrapped in a roll of toilet paper.

So now that I think about it, I’m glad I never prepared for pregnancy. I might have changed my mind.


I hope you like mullets and bad sweaters

As if pregnancy didn't carry enough worries on its own... For most it begins either the day they conceive. "Surprise! I hope you are know the cost of a kid is more than you will make in a lifetime right?" Or in my case, the date you realize you can't conceive. "What do you mean I have to remove my Fallopian tube?....The cost of IVF is WHAT?"

And the worries continue from that point on. From the worry of miscarriage in the first trimester to the worry of chromosomal abnormalities and defects in the second trimester and all the way through until....."the day you die most likely" I'm told by my own mother and mother-in-law.

Sounds fun right? So imagine my surprise when I recently read that I should add another nail-biter to my already growing list of pre-motherhood worries. I stumbled on not just one, but several articles taking about how a mother-to-be needs to watch her emotions because it affects the future personality of the baby. One of the articles went beyond that statement and proclaimed that a mother-to-be should really be careful about the environment she put herself in, because that too could affect the personality of the baby outside the womb. The article encouraged things like soft music, dim lights, and uplifting scents.

Almost all of the articles mentioned that the mother-to-be better start watching what she eats because the baby can taste halfway into the second trimester and will want to eat the same things that it remembers in-utero.

So based on these theories I have already ruined my unborn child. As I think back on my pregnancy so far, I know my child will want to eat nothing but tater tots and Trader Joe's Apple Cider. He or she will also sit on the couch all day long and watch Man vs. Food, Castle, and The Steven Colbert show while crying randomly at all three for no good reason at all. And as far as the environmental factors I have unknowingly bestowed upon my child, well, see for yourself.....

The bar for some live music. Ziggy will not only come out playing David Bowie's greatest hits, he will also be playing the likes of Fleetwood Mac, The Commodores, Bon Jovi, and Creepy Jack

Having season tickets for football will clearly turn Ziggy into a chest painting, Mohawk wearing, beer drinking, tailgating fool...... And we were considering moving to the family section next year. Not anymore.

NASCAR. A picture speaks a thousand words.

And most recently, when Ziggy isn't sporting a jersey or NASCAR coat, he will be sporting an ugly holiday sweater.

If there are any truths to these articles, socialization for Ziggy Stardust should be no problem at all.


Even Gangsta's Need Love Too

“Emotions are often unstable and feelings of depression are not uncommon, often for no apparent reason. It is commonly believed that the mood changes in pregnancy are caused by hormonal changes…Frequently a woman will become tearful with little cause. When asked why she is crying, she may find it difficult or impossible to give a reason.” - UI Maternity Center

Over the last couple weeks, I have found myself crying at everything. And by everything I mean pretty much everything. I have compiled a list of all the things I have cried at over the last few days.

The ESPN pre-game feature story about a boy with cancer that sings the national anthem at the Philadelphia Eagles football games, occasionally.

Being tired of being sick and tired.

The theme song to Extreme Makeover Home Addition.

A partial episode of Ghost Whisperer (I wasn’t even sure what was going on when I started crying that time).

Having nothing to wear.

Having to go to work.

Dropping my iphone in the toilet and thinking it was ruined (although, I probably would have cried regardless of my hormones with that one).

Gabriel Giffords first TV interview with Diane Sawyer.

Because Ben made me tater tots for dinner and I was so grateful.

The part in “Elf” where New York is getting its Christmas spirit back by singing carols in Central Park.

Anytime Ben looks at me to check if I’m crying.

After hearing “Gangsta’s Need Love Too” by Master P, because after all, gangsta’s do need love too.

I’m sure Ben can think of more episodes of tear-fest 2011 because he likes to turn and look at me really quickly to catch me in the act as much as possible and then make fun of me. Nice guy.

Considering in normal life I am not much of a crier, these new emotions have caught me off guard. I can't even hide trying to cry because it comes out more like a sob. In fact, when I cried because Ben made me tater tots for dinner, I almost choked on one I was so hysterical. And then I was fine, like the outburst never happened.

Now I am paranoid that my crying has affected Ziggy Stardust into being an overemotional zygote that will follow after his mom's footsteps because what he/she experienced in the womb. I can thank some obnoxious article I read about "a mom's emotions while pregnant shape the babies personality outside the womb." But more about that in my next post.....


It's a boy, it's a's a David Bowie alter ego?

I have finally hit a major milestone in my pregnancy. I can now go into the doctor’s office without being told to “disrobe from the waste down,” and hop into the stirrups. In fact, at my 12-week ultrasound, the most undressing I had to do was unbutton the top of my pants. I couldn’t believe my luck. The wand actually goes on top of your stomach. What a new and pleasant experience from the ultrasounds of old. I’m used to the ultrasound wand that wears a condom and lube, literally.

The 12-week ultrasound has been one of the best parts of this pregnancy so far, besides actually finding out I was pregnant and seeing the heartbeat at 7-weeks. We actually got a chance to see the baby in full action, fist pumps, chest bumps, and all. It actually looked like a mini-baby to my surprise. I'm not sure exactly what I was expecting, but compared to the last two times I've seen it, a lot of progress has been made, including actual arms and legs. And, this time, I haven't even lost the ultrasound pictures yet.

For the moment, we have decided to call the baby Ziggy Stardust Hummel. And as you will see, we didn't choose that name, it chose itself.

I like to think it's a fist pump, but Ziggy Stardust might actually just be punching me in the uterus

side pose, Vogue style

Ladies and Gentleman, the side effects of IVF drug use...May I present to you Ziggy Stardust Hummel.


The baby monster

For those of you who don't believe, I am here to tell you that baby monsters do exist and I have seen one with my very own eyes. In fact, not only have I seen one, I have shared very close quarters with one. Was I scared? A little. However, throughout my interactions with this creature I have learned that while it is impossible to tame this wild beast, it is possible to calm it down every so often.

Here is the description for everybody to look out for:

6'1", brown hair, medium build, and a nice smile. One can find the baby monster either at work, on the golf course, watching football, or checking his fantasy football team somewhat neurotically.

One of the two of these guys just might be the baby monster....

There are several qualifications that go into earning the title of baby monster and here they are in no particular order:

-An Amazon wish list spanning over 12 large-ticket-items

-A memorization of every safety statistic on all major baby items including; cribs, bouncers, high chairs, and "Pack n' Plays".

-A tutorial for yours truly with pictures included, referencing the above baby items in order to ensure a competent wife and baby momma.

-An impulse to buy the number one rated bouncer (both portable and plug-in) as well as the number one rated crib regardless of the price tag.

-A constant reference to "styling the baby out."

-Cleaning up, re-arranging the house, and creating a perfect baby room all without my asking or help.

-Setting up both bouncers and the crib without any prompting, while still completely ignoring my yearlong request to fix the entry closet door.

-Going to Baby's R Us and Target to find a shower gift for Ben's "sista from another mista" and having him say "I'm ecstatic. All the stuff I've seen online is finally coming to life". And "Don't you love the Snuggabunny? Feel it. It's so soft."

.....But actually, I would take a baby monster any day. Not only do they make sure the baby will be cared for, they also take care of sickies who are glued to the couch by doing all the day-to-day stuff and not complaining about a thing.

So for all who are worried, my advice is to bring on the monsters!


What do you mean it's not all about ME?

I just realized I haven't even posted anything about the baby or my first ultrasound. All of my posts are conveniently about ME!! How I feel, what I am doing, my opinions, etc. Can I blame it on the fact that infertility breeds a sense of selfishness? Probably not.

Anyway, this post was going to be all about the baby fetus, who is almost officially 10 weeks old. I even spent the morning (the little part that I wasn't on the couch), looking for my first ultrasound. But to my dismay, I think it is gone. Lost to the clutches of rapid house cleaning. At this very moment it might be turning into an organic restaurant menu, or maybe an employee handbook make out of 75 percent recycled material. Regardless of what has become of it, I no longer have it.

In the past, I would have never acknowledged this mishap and instead gone to the internet and scooped an ultrasound off Google images like the one below.

And then I would have added the caption "Baby Hummel."

Because truth be told, I couldn't pick our baby out of an ultrasound line up if my life depended on it. And the above ultrasound looks as good as any, probably, including mine. And if I couldn't pick the baby out, nobody else would be able to either.... Except for the fact that I believe the picture I posted says it is Heather's baby from AZ Women's Clinic. Not Krista's baby from PV OBGYN. Oh well, can't sweat the small stuff.

This is not the first time I have used Google images to cover for me when I have failed to find a critical picture. The last time this happened was when I lost my dog, Kona, while she was chasing rabbits. I couldn't find any pictures of her in her adult life so I took to Google images to find a similar looking picture. Judge for yourself the similarities:

This is the actual "lost sign" I used with the impostor Kona.

The real Kona

Not bad for an internet look-alike right?

Not only did we find her (although, not through the posters but rather Craigslist), two little girls recognized her and called her by name the next time I had her on a walk. All thanks to Google images. And now, thanks to that incident, I have so many of pictures of Kona in her adult life, that I will never have to use an impostor if something similar should ever occur again.

As far as the ultrasound picture, my doctor hopefully has another copy that she can scan for me. At which time I will compare it to the one above to see how well my maternal instincts are kicking in.

But if she doesn't, I will Photoshop the above ultrasound to say "Hummel, Krista, PV OBGYN" and put it in the baby book hoping none will be any the wiser.


Where have you been the last few weeks?

There is a very simple explanation for where I have been the last few weeks. I have been on the couch. I have, in fact, spent so much time on the couch, that I have created a permanent indentation in one of the seat cushions. I will occasionally change my position on the couch to obtain a higher level of comfort, but other then going to bed, going to work, going to the bathroom, or throwing up in the bathroom, I have not really left the couch. I have thought about writing in the blog numerous times, but then a wave of nausea overwhelms me and I sit back and watch another re-run of “Man vs. Food”, or “Dual Survivor.” I think I have even memorized entire episodes. Have no fear, if I ever become stuck in the African jungle, I might die of toxic water, hippos, poisonous spiders, or dehydration, but Cody Lundine showed me how to make an awesome floating boat made out of jungle grasses, so I might just make it a couple miles longer. Although I couldn’t promise those couple miles would be in the right direction.

Actually, I have already told Ben that if I were to ever become lost in an unpopulated area, he should grieve and move on. No amount of Dual Survivor could save me, and that I am sure of.

Anyway, I have a sneaking suspicion that my misery and exhaustion is directly correlated to how awesome I was telling people I was feeling for the first 7 weeks.

Typical conversation:

Person: How are you feeling?

Me: Kind of tired, but other than that great! It’s like I almost want more symptoms because I feel so good right now. I feel nothing but good (good natured and blissful laugh).

Person: That’s great. You are one of the lucky ones…

Me: I guess so. Like I said before, I feel so good, it almost worries me. Ha Ha. I almost don’t want to be one of the lucky ones so I know everything is going ok in there. Ha Ha.

End conversation

And here is my lesson for the day: Be careful what you wish for, because it might just come true. Reading those ha ha’s above irritates me because I was the one making those cackles and actually wishing to be sick. I wish the Krista of old could have met the Krista of new. It would have shut her up in a second.

Anyway, I hope to be posting more frequently in the next few weeks and throwing up a lot less. But until then, you can find me sipping on ginger water and eating goldfish on the couch in front of my TV.


Dear Progesterone, I hate you

Right before I left the clinic for the last time, I was given some parting gifts to help me on my pregnancy journey. These gifts included; pictures of the newly implanted embryos (awesome), and prescriptions for Prednisone (less awesome), and progesterone (not awesome at all).

The pictures, I assume, were given to me so I could see where all of my money went. And also to prove, that the clinic completed the job it was supposed to, and now the fate of our embryos was my complete and total responsibility.

The progesterone and the Prednisone were given to me to support the pregnancy. Apparently, IVF is not a natural enough process that the body picks up where all the injections left off. Weird.

The Prednisone is used to prevent rejection of the embryo until my body decides it is ok to have a foreigner loitering in my uterus for a few months.

It would have been nice to know about Prednisone when I was a five-year-old and had a hamster named Daisy who escaped out of her cage right after having babies. Our family made it a mission to keep the babies alive by feeding them out of a tiny bottle. After my dad found Daisy and put her back in her cage, she didn't recognize the babies as her own... The rest of the grotesque story is still traumatic to me. It was my first real life lesson on how cruel life can be in the wild.

Enough about mothers eating their young...

Anyway, the progesterone suppositories are to supplement the extra amount of hormone my body needs in order to have a healthy pregnancy because my body isn't doing it on its own yet.

These two drugs will be a daily part of my life for the entire first trimester. And while the Prednisone has left me alone for the most part, the progesterone does nothing but torment me day in and day out.

First off, those medium-sized white balls have to be taken twice a day, two at a time. And I don't swallow them. I shove them as close to the embryo as they will go, and then lay down for an hour so they don't leak out immediately. But part of them still leaks out, slowly and all day long. It is gross, white and wet. And that isn't even the worst of it. I put them in and immediately bloat at least two sizes. And then I turn crazy. In fact, in the beginning of taking these crazy pills, I had to limit myself to cry only once a day. The pharmacist in Bulgaria has my prescription? Cry hysterically. The restaurant doesn't have anything that sounds good to me? Cry. That commercial has a puppy? Cry. The commercial has a truck, car, person, soda, food item, or detergent? Cry. And that's not all folks, my knockers have also grown ten-fold. While most women would be happy with the added enlargement, mine have gotten so big, that I fear they will completely take over my upper body and I will actually have to tie them down in order to be able to see. What even comes after "d" sizes? Whatever it is, I will need it if these babies keep growing.

And, you have to be super careful when it comes to inserting those things. Even a good hand washing before and after doesn't always do the trick. The other day, I decided to make southwest egg rolls for dinner (they were delicious by the way). One of the ingredients was jalapenos. Just like everything else, I cut it up and added it to the recipe. I didn't think anything of it until suppository time. Even after I had washed my hands numerous times between cutting the jalapeno and bedtime, it didn't matter. Imagine my surprise when right after inserting the progesterone I started to feel a burning sensation. At first I didn't know what was going on, and then it hit me. The jalapeno. I spent the next two hours burning from the inside out until I was finally able to go to sleep. Not a pleasant sensation, but a very good lesson

The bottom line: While I dislike progesterone immensely, the fact that I'm still taking it is very good news. And, if it keeps the loitering embryo(s) happy and exactly where they are, I'll keep shoving them up there. I just need to remember to stay away from the jalapenos in the future.


The verdict is in....

Over the last few months, Ben and I have been overwhelmed with support from all of our friends and family. Although, when we told people we were doing our cycle in Prague and we received a lot of, "I'll be praying for you," I wasn't exactly sure if it was meant to be "I'll be praying for you," for a successful cycle, or "I'll be praying for you," for your sanity and lack of good judgement. Regardless, we were happy to take all the prayers we could get. In fact, I think even God was surprised with the people who were praying for us. We had Christians, Atheists,
Agnostics, Spiritualists, and even a (dare I say it?) Reformist. And I'm sure the Jehovah's Witnesses who stop by my house every three weeks to drop off End of Times, Are you Prepared literature, are praying for me too. But not for the same reasons as everybody else. In fact, the funniest text I received was one of my friends. It said, "I'm excited to see you. Been thinking about you guys a lot. I even prayed for you, even though I'm a little rusty."

How awesome is that?

Well, in my opinion, God must have been impressed with the diversity of people giving us shout outs, because he decided to give us a


I did have to do a little triple checking just to make sure

And while I'm at it, here is a money saving tip from yours truly. That little test in the middle is from the Dollar Store. While I had already had two positives when I purchased it (I was a little skeptical), I wanted to see if those things did indeed work. And, what do you know...they do. So for all of you wondering "who the heck would buy a pregnancy test at the dollar store?" (That would be me before this morning) I have now become "that person."

Rest assured, the Dollar Store ends with the pregnancy test. I promise to not buy anything else baby from there, unless I'm looking for lead paint legos or something.


Are we there yet?

The two week wait before finding out if the IVF cycle actually worked is what one forum poster described as "feeing like the time lapse between Prince albums, or complete solar eclipses." Which, I have to say, is not too far off.

Since the transfer, this is an example of one minute inside my head:

"I really hoped this worked. If it didn't work, I have no vacation time to go back in the next 8 months, and we are going into our busy season so my boss wouldn't let me go anyway. That means I would have to wait until next June. I will be an entire year older. I wonder if that would affect the quality of my eggs. The embryologist said the embryos were high quality, so it should have worked. If it doesn't work, I'm going to be disappointed. A lot of people have unsuccessful tries the first time so I shouldn't be that disappointed, but I would be anyway because the whole thing went perfectly. Nothing went wrong so they wouldn't know what to change for next time. Ben and I aren't usually lucky enough to have the best case scenario and we already had an awesome trip so our luck must have run out on the pregnancy. Now I know for sure it didn't work. We aren't that lucky....oh shoot, I just sneezed. I hope the embryo doesn't fall out. I know, Krista, it is impossible for an embryo to fall out from sneezing. You are driving yourself crazy. Maybe I am pregnant. Pregnant people are crazy. What if it's twins? What the heck would I do with twins? I can't think that far ahead because I don't want to be disappointed if it's nothing. But I feel really tired and weird. But mainly tired. But that would make sense because I just traveled from the other side of the world less than a week ago and I'm taking that disgusting progesterone. That stuff is so gross. It makes me so bloated. I'm sure I'm not pregnant because I think I walked around too much in Europe. Why did I insist on making Ben take me to Istanbul? Oh yeah, so I would stop thinking all these thoughts. I wonder if I'm stressing out too much? Did I take that gross progesterone this morning? What about the Prednisone? I wish I knew already, that way I could move on with my life one way or another. I still have four days to go? Uggg. I hate this.

Now, take that minute and add 59 more, and then multiply it by the amount of hours I am awake (roughly 16), and there you have it; the two week wait.


Well, there is no going back now

It's done. They have officially been transferred from the dish to me. So now we wait two weeks to see if they felt comfortable enough with me to stick around for an extended stay.

Look guys, it's their new home!!

Ben also got to witness the transfer and dressed up for the occasion. What a stallion!

He just couldn't keep the ladies away.

Overall, I couldn't be happier for how things turned out so far. A little bad news is that we did lose the other 6 embryos between the fourth and fifth day. They clearly had both of our genetics when it came to being cold, as once they must have realized they were going to be frozen, they said "forget that," and stopped growing.
Defiant little bastards.

We only wanted super-embryos anyway, and hopefully that is what we got. I'll continue to keep updating as things progress, but for tomorrow, I'm going to spend the final days over here resting on the black sea.


Funny thing about Prague

Almost all the souvenir shops in Prague have similar nick-knacks. They all have wooden clocks, magnets of St. Charles Bridge and Vitus Church, bottles of Pilsner Urquell and Becherovka Liquor, marionettes, and of course, painted eggs.

I thought it slightly ironic that I was surrounded by eggs. White lace eggs, multi-colored eggs, wire-wrapped eggs, eggs with simple designs, crazy designs and pictures. I decided it must be fate that I was in a city full of so many eggs, when I too, was so full of eggs. I took this shot as a remembrance of Czech's egg glory.

For $3.50, I also purchased one of these beauties:

However, in my several week obsession with eggs, and an actual purchase of one, I didn't want Ben to think he was going to face nothing but estrogen and crazy Krista in his future, so I searched high and low and finally found and purchased this gem.

I would say we are equal now

Whoever calls first dibs can claim the "liquor" inside when we get back.


Tivas, and Crocs, and Nylons, Oh My!

If Europe is as fashion forward as we all have been led to believe, and all the trends here are headed to the United States, I thought I should warn everybody of what we all have to look forward to (I fear this could be a two-part series)...

Exhibit A: Her- See through lace tank with visible bra, shaved head with one side chunk of hair left to flow freely, Him - man Capris.

Exhibit B: Combination of eccentrically bold man capris, high black socks, and running shoes

Exhibit C: Plaid man capris paired with a striped shirt and finished with black socks and brown sandals.

Exhibit D: Man extensions, apparently goes with everything and nothing at the same time

Exhibit E: Socks and sandals for him, and acid washed parachute jeans for her. I guess in Europe MC Hammer is making a comeback. The good news is that she decided not to wear the shirtless vest and tuxedo shoe combo to go with the pants....

Exhibit F: Who wears short shorts?

Exhibit G: "I do. I do"

Exhibit H: "Me too. Me too"

Exhibit I: Czechs version of our "striped shirt guy," complete with full frontal shred on his jeans, unbuttoned shirt, and rockin' kicks

Exhibit J: Showing off abs of steel

Exhibit K: Abs of steel part 2

Exhibit L: Speedo with Crocs, the ultimate European trend. Can't wait for that one to cross oceans!

Exhibit M: Last but not least, Ben making his own failed fashion statement

Other fashion forward trends I've noticed but have not gotten a picture of (yet)

Faux Hawks - bold and brash with equally annoying people who's heads they adorn.

Skin colored nylons with everything: Dresses, pants, shorts, skirts, shirts, mini skirts.

sandals with massive ankle cuffs

Girls with half of a shaved head (actually kind of cool)

Jeggings (yikes)

Capri jeans and rayon pants with large elastic pant cuffs and waist bands

And......I have now named Tiva the new international shoe. Worn by people in all countries without discrimination. And it must be a shoe that begs for socks, because most people wear the Tiva/sock combo without embarrassment.

Consider yourselves warned


The waiting game

I spent the first couple days after the transfer on the couch reading and feeling lousy, while Ben changed his fantasy football line-up probably 100 times, studied every team and every player, and memorized all things football. He has complete knowledge of every team in our league and who has what player and who he is going to trade for who, etc. While boredom I'm sure played a part in this, Brad changing his team name to "Pummel the Hummel's" certainly didn't help. Thanks Brad. Maybe if you actually get your iPad working and change your lineup every once and a while you would have a chance....

Since then, we have just been waiting around for our embryos to marinate in the petri dish. So far, they seem to be enjoying their accommodations. Of the 14, we had eight fertilize (good), and up to today we still have eight (great). Of the eight, six are good-very good quality. That is good awesome news.

For anyone wanting a visual, below is a picture I got off the Internet. We are at the pink line with six of them and the orange line with the other two.

If all goes well, they will put two of them back tomorrow and freeze the rest.

Here's to hoping they like me as much as the petri dish.


Fertilitze this

What a terrible wife, I didn't even mention Ben's clinical duties in my last post. He too was adorned with white Crocs before heading into his own private room to preform his manly duties. The room came equip with both magazines and movies for his viewing pleasure. What a nice staff. They even offered that I go in the room with him. But alas, I had my own fun stuff to get ready for, and magic red sweats and a sweatshirt don't exactly qualify as sexy, so I entrusted him to Kim Kardashian and crew to get the job done.

I'm beginning to change my mind about Crocs...He looks pretty good sporting them

He was waiting for me in my room when I was finished, so everything must have gone well on his end..... I have to say, of the two of us in this whole thing, he's gotten off pretty easy, although he will have to answer to this picture in Croc's a time or two in the future.


Eggs a plenty

I scared even myself the other day when I realized that I have become so accustomed to taking injections that I don't even care where we are when I have to take one.

That picture was taken right after my last and final trigger shot. Hooray! The scary part is, that is the exact spot where it was taken.

I blame Ben for that particular spot though, and here is why: I had strict orders that the shot needed to be taken at 9:00 p.m. We happened to be at dinner when nine rolled around, so I suggested we hole up in the bathroom and do it there. Ben thought that would look too suspicious, both of us coming out of one bathroom (snicker). So instead, he thought behind a tree right outside the restaurant would be a better option. No matter that it was a beautiful day and everyone was eating outside, right on the other side of the tree (if you look closely, you can see a chair right next to the tree). I thought he might be right about the bathroom, so, like the classy couple we are, behind the tree it was.

Fast forward 36-hours-later.

Time for the egg retrieval. I was glad to have those little buggers out of my mango sized ovaries because they were starting to become uncomfortable. And when you have 100 stairs to climb to an over-sized metronome monument expressing Prague's freedom, it's no fun having those things drag you down.

So away I went to face the bright lights of the surgery room.

I should have known it was going to be an unpleasant experience when they made me swap my shoes for a pair of white Crocs. But it only got worse from that point on.

I'll spare the exact visual, but I will say this: Like riding a horse vertically, and one huge bright florescent light shining somewhere, but not on my face.......

And this is where I sat for what seemed like eternity. They had to ask me all kinds of questions, get the equipment ready, talk amongst themselves, etc. All the while, I was hanging out in the most awkward position ever. Finally, they spared what was left of my dignity by putting me under.

So I don't remember the rest, until this point:

In one piece


They retrieved 14 mature eggs when it was all over. Well done Krista (insert pat on back here). It must have been all the wine and beer to stimulate blood flow.


Riddle me this

"A popular bar had a new robotic bartender installed. A guy came in for a drink and the robot asked him, "What's your IQ?" The man replied, "130." So the robot proceeded to make conversation about physics, astronomy, and so on.

The man listened intently and thought, "This is really cool." Another guy came in for a drink and the robot asked him, "What's your IQ?" The man responded, "120." So the robot started talking about the Superbowl, dirt bikes, and so on.

The man thought to himself, "Wow, this is really cool." A third guy came in to the bar. As with the others, the robot asked him, "What's your IQ?" The man replied, "80." The robot then said, "So, how are things in Poland these days?"

Sorry, I couldn't resist.....

I had two days between appointments, so rather than take it easy (like I probably should have), we kept the car for a couple extra days and headed to Krakow.

Besides being one of the most amazing cities I've ever visited, it was also one of huge contrast. While one of the most obvious contrasts was the modern vs. communist buildings, another one sticks out in my mind just a little bit more.

To Ben's good fortune, this is what all the women in Poland look like.

But to my misfortune, all the men did not.....

But aside from the genetic makeup of Krakow's finest, the city was also a stark contrast of incredible and vibrant buildings vs. communist dorms (but now is mainly awesome buildings.)
One of the 235 (or something like that) amazing churches in the city...All of which had weddings the day we went to tour them.

Communist's have no architectural style

I also thought it was interesting that despite all the reminders of the country's rough past, the people still seem to have a sense of humor.

These guys need a one-way ticket to Comicon, and a couple of girlfriends.

While it was necessary that I go to Auschwitz/Birkenau, it was also a mix of: Krista + massive amounts of hormones + Auschwitz = What was I thinking?

All in all, I was far more impressed with Krakow then I could have ever imagined. After all, who wouldn't love a city that tolerates a guy dressed as Luigi trying to look like he is urinating in a fountain off the main square?