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   Monday, January 31, 2005  

Too tired to care

I haven't been sleeping. At least, not at night. Generally I fall asleep around 2 am. Which makes mornings extremely difficult. So, here's a list of all that's going on.

  • Picking up the x-rays from my HSG to take to the RE.
  • Only 15 days left before the RE appointment. Has time completely stopped? It's taking forever!
  • I have a potential gestational surrogate! My mom mentioned to some people that I might go that route, and my sister-in-law immediately began saying "wow...that's something to think about...I mean, I couldn't do it for just anyone...but for Miss W...well, that's different...definitely something to think about..." And when my mom said something about the doctor I would want to use there, my brother said, "You already see that doctor...there ya go..."
  • I'm terrified to actually TALK to my sister-in-law about this.
  • I'm tired of thinking about it all. I just want it to go away. Why can't they do uterine transplants???

And that is where life is at this point. Revolving around that next step. I'm just ready to be done with this particular side-trip on the overall journey of life.

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  Comments about my post, "Too tired to care":
Normally SIL are dragons. Is yours an exception?
Ugh -- doesn't lack of sleep make everything 1000 times harder? I hope you get encouraging news at the RE. Very interesting news from your SIL!



   Monday, January 24, 2005  

Reader participation time!

So, I'm thinking about a lot of things here. We're contemplating using a gestational surrogate to carry our child. I've got plenty of time to make an actual decision as my appointment with the RE isn't until February 15.

In the meantime, here are my questions. Please answer as many as you can.

1. Since we do not feel comfortable with the idea of using a surrogate we do not know, my husband and I would like to use either a friend or family member. Most likely one of our friends as few/none of our family members are a good choice (due to age, lack of uterus, other health issues, etc.). Is it acceptable to ask someone to carry for you? Or do you have to wait and hope they volunteer?

2. If you were to ask someone, how would you go about asking a question of that nature? I'm assuming e-mail and paper mail are out; is a phone call sufficient? Does it require an in-person visit even if the person lives several states away?

3. What types of things should factor into a decision on whether or not to ask/accept an offer from a person?

Keep in mind, I'm asking only for your opinions, what you yourself would be comfortable with. I'm hoping that by gaining the perspective of many different people, I will be able to more objectively evaluate my own stand on these issues.

So, please, even if you aren't in this situation, what do you think you would do if you were? Any lurkers out there? Now is the time to de-lurk.

   [ posted  @ 5:42 PM ] [ Post a Comment ] [ View Comments (4) ]
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  Comments about my post, "Reader participation time!":
I was surprised at how many people offered to be gestational surrogates for my husband and me. It actually happened naturally - I never had to ask anyone. During normal conversation, when our family and friends would ask us how things were going, we'd talk to them about the possibility of needing a surrogate and all of a sudden they started coming forward. It was absolutely amazing! Though it turns out that a GS wasn't the answer for us, I'm forever grateful to those women just for having been so selfless and having offered such a great gift to us.

Good luck!
Danae/Hardscrabble
Very tough questions. For me, the question of whether and how I could ask would depend on how close I was to the potential GS. For my dearest friends, I would think it would be okay to ask.

My biggest concern would be making sure my friend knew that I would not be offended if she said no. Because of that, the phone might even be better than a trip to ask face-to-face -- she might feel more guilty if I travelled all that way for nothing. I don't even know that email/paper mail would be out -- the advantage to both of those is that it would give the friend a chance to absorb and consider.

Factors I would consider: reliability would be first. I probably wouldn't ask/choose a friend who was weight-obsessed -- the pregnancy might be too hard on her. It would have to be someone whose husband was completely willing, as well (I don't know if single girls would be into it).

I look forward to reading about your own thought processes and experiences with this difficult issue. Wishing you so much good luck.
I'm so not the person to comment about this. But I think...

1. You can approach but only certain folks, people who might be receptive. Additionally, the right person may volunteer if she hears your story.

2. Actually, a phone call might be the best. Being in person might force someone to do something they might normally - and in the future - might not be comfortable with. The phone gives them an out...if that makes any sense.

3. I'd imagine there are so many things that it all boils down to some overall feeling, some hunch.

Intersting topic...I truly wish you luck :-)
I think the most important thing for me would be...have they (surrogate) finished having a family. Giving up a baby would be awful regardless of who it is supposed to belong to. The person needs to know the emotional journey ahead and prepare for "detachment" at handover time.

As for a friend or family member, its a big ask. I couldnt ask my sister as I know she would hold if over me for the rest of my life. I couldnt ask my friends either - how would I ever repay that debt? I couldn't disagree or be seen as not giving as I would be faced with "If it wasnt for her you wouldnt have your baby". That is too much for me.

I hope others give you some good feedback.



   Friday, January 21, 2005  

Signs you've got too much hair on your head

It's still wet from the shower. At 11 p.m. When you took a shower at 7. A.M.

This could also be a sign that you should not tie your hair up in that sassy little twist when it's still wet EVEN THOUGH that is the only time you can get your much too silky hair to stay in fucking place!

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   Tuesday, January 18, 2005  

Yet another reason why I am a Bad Person

I need to begin by saying a heartfelt congratulations!

I am honestly very happy for these people. What is unfortunate is my state of mind at the time that I read their news. I had just read this heartbreaking post by MissZoot.

Now, I know as well as the next person that there is a very real possibility of a happy outcome for both of these wonderful couples. But instead of seeing that, I saw the path that I've trod. Repeatedly. For a year. And my heart breaks. The thought that these wonderful people could wind up like me is almost more than I can bear; it is, however, a thought that I cannot push out of my mind.

And then comes my horrible, illogical, gut reactions. MissZoot has been through this before and I honestly want nothing but the best for her. I also know the Cacti have had some issues, though they've never fully detailed more than the need to "#3 in a cup." Yet when I saw the picture of Mr. and Mrs. Cactus, all I could think was, "Why them? Why not me?"

I had to leave work immediately to avoid the inevitable breakdown. Just when I think I'm starting to be OK again (I was honestly overjoyed at the births of Julia's daughter and Tertia's twins; I was truly thrilled at Dee's, Heather's, and Sherry's twins...)only to discover that I'm only OK if I know that you, too, have fertility issues.

Apparently, I am still a bitter angry bitch. Fuck me.

   [ posted  @ 7:38 PM ] [ Post a Comment ] [ View Comments (9) ]
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  Comments about my post, "Yet another reason why I am a Bad Person":
A "bitter, angry bitch"? No way. Human, maybe. Just like me, definitely. But bitchy? Bah!

- getupgrrl
You said it, sister. Gosh, I LOVE you!
You said it, sister. Gosh, I LOVE you!
I think bitter just comes with the territory. Maybe it is not there every day, but on those bad ones, it's a real bitch.

Sending you my love. Wishing I could take all the pain away.

Moogielou
Well then, I'm in good company because I feel the same way sometimes. Hell, I've got a whole blog devoted to angry and bitterness -- it's my theme.

Sending good thoughts your way.

xxoo,
Emily
:) - we are a strange sisterhood - arent we?
You're probably a nicer person than me, because when I saw that picture, I thought they looked pretty effing obnoxious.

Sorry, not in such a good mood, I suppose.

I do wish them well.
Well then I am a bad person too.

Infertility does this.
Well, count me in, friend. I'm right there with you. I'm sorry you had such a horrible day.



   Saturday, January 15, 2005  

Moving forward

I finally called the RE on Monday. My appointment is scheduled for Feb. 15. By Tuesday, I had already received the information packet and a stack of forms to fill out and return.

I'm going into all of this knowing that he's really not going to tell me anything different than what I already know. That statistically it's possible for me to have a child, though miscarriage of each new pregnancy is a very high probability.

I suppose the only real reason that I'm even doing this is because I have to know how likely I would be to have success with a gestational surrogate.

Not that I'm planning to go that route. I've just decided to be open to it. I don't like to discuss it a lot here, but my personal faith plays a large part in my decisions. I am a Christian; a fairly conservative Christian. While I am not opposed to birth control, once a pregnancy is achieved, I'm firmly against any measure to prevent a birth of that child. (Please note, this is how I feel and not what is "right." In cases where the life of the mother is at risk, I wholly agree that she should have options. This is where I personally stand on the issue. Many of you disagree and that is fine with me. I can't change your mind; you can't change mine. And I would never dream of trying). Now, I've said all of this to help you understand a bit where I'm coming from.

I've decided that I personally can not allow myself to become pregnant again. Unless of course I'm given some miraculous "if we just do this..." In that case, I'd reconsider. But you and I know that isn't likely to happen.

I can't handle another miscarriage. I am at my psychological breaking point on that one. But beyond that, I've begun to feel that by getting pregnant I would be doing something wrong. I now know that my actions will cause the death of another. That knowledge is not a 100% certainty, but neither is getting behind the wheel while intoxicated. It's just a very high probability. I'm not willing to do that. I know that I personally could not abort a child (again, this is not a definite as there are many situations where I might change my mind; I am speaking here in the more generalized "I don't want this baby so..." terms), yet I feel that the mere act of my becoming pregnant is, in effect, the same thing.

It's hard for me to admit it, but I honestly believe that for me to become pregnant is morally wrong. If I know the consequences of my actions yet do it anyway since I don't want that to happen, I don't know that I can remain guilt free in the aftermath. I feel some amount of guilt over my first three pregnancies, but I didn't know that I was imposing a death sentence on my children when I conceived them. Now, I know. And I can't do it.

So, we're saving money, we're rearranging our plans for the future. We're figuring out how it is that we are going to grow our family. We've begun researching adoption (international and domestic). We've sent away for information from several agencies. We've picked an agency and a program we'd like to work with. We've also begun researching gestational surrogacy since we do produce genetically normal embryos.

We've also decided that right now we aren't going to choose one over the other. We're preparing for both financially. Once we have enough money in hand (within the next year), we will begin one process or the other. We want to trust in God that we will be led to the right decision for us...that we will be doing the right thing. In order to do that, we've decided that we are going to let our friends and family know what we are going through. We are explaining both processes. And, since I have a hard time imagining myself trusting a complete stranger to carry my child, we are waiting. Right now I feel as though a surrogate will find us if we are intended to go that route. I just strongly believe that if that is what is right, one of our friends, or even one of theirs, will volunteer. And if they don't, we're adopting. We are equally fine with either option. If surrogacy doesn't work for our first child, maybe it will for our second. We'll just wait and see where things lead us.

I'm rambling, and I'm sure that most of you now know that I am insane instead of just thinking it. Regardless, this is where I'm at.

   [ posted  @ 11:41 AM ] [ Post a Comment ] [ View Comments (6) ]
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  Comments about my post, "Moving forward":
I just wanted to let you know that I'm still here and listening and offering a hand or a shoulder or whatever you need.

You have to do what is right for you, for your life, your well being, your personal beliefs. This is so hard, there is no 'right' answer and you have to do what you feel is best.

I do hope that surgery can repair this and you have more options.

Thinking of you.

xxoo,
Emily
Whatever you decide, I'll be right behind you, cheering you on.

- getupgrrl
I definitely understand where you're coming from! And I agree with you! We'll be thinking about you, and praying, as you take on this next step!
These are all such big considerations. I am glad you have been able to make a start.
There's a lot to be said for the path of waiting & seeing, and the interesting roadblocks and diversions that can throw in your way, or give to you. I wish you all the best whichever way your journey takes you.
I wish there were some simple answers, friend. I'll be here reading and sending you good thoughts as you navigate all of this.



   Saturday, January 08, 2005  

In which I ignore my current situation and rehash New Year's Eve

I'm not going to write about all of the things I've been wrestling with this week. There are no changes in any of it. I have made no calls. I have done nothing but attempt to formulate a financial plan for what is surely going to be an expensive endeavor. Instead, I'm going to take the opportunity, just over a week late, to regale you with a New Year's Eve story.

Every year, Mr. W and I invite a few friends over for New Years. Generally there is little to no drinking. This year being close to the anniversary of my first positive and only days before appointments that I knew could change everything, we decided to shake things up a bit in that department. I figured, "If I can't get drunk now, when the fuck can I?"

Mr. and Mrs. H were the first to arrive. I met her in grad school about 3 years ago and she has quickly become my best friend. We spent a quiet hour talking, preparing food, and sipping a glass of wine. Our remaining four guests (Mr. and Mrs. Cheese; Mr. and Mrs. G)arrived and the serious drinking began. It was a generally normal evening. Wine was consumed, jokes were told.

Mr. and Mrs. H left shortly before midnight -- they had gotten engaged at midnight 2 years ago in their living room and since this was the first New Year's they would spend together as a married couple they wanted to do it in their living room (and yes, in my drunkenness I did tell her that living room sex was more important than my party. Am hoping she was drunk enough not to be embarrassed since she knew none of the other guests before that night).

After they left, Mr. Cheese put in the Strong Bad Sings cd and proceeded to sing every word. Over...and over...all while exclaiming at the start of each new track "This is the best song ever." At one point, Mr. G drily said, "No, I don't think it's the best ever. " To which Mr. Cheese replied, "No, it is, really it is."

Thankfully we were all able to ignore Mr. Cheese as he drank. They all had much more interesting things to point and laugh at (namely me slipping off the ottoman I was sitting on, only to move to the loveseat and fall off of that as well).

Mr. and Mrs. G left somewhere between 12:30 and 1 a.m. Mr. Cheese realized he might be too drunk to drive an hour to get home. His wife, who was the only person to consume no alcohol due to her epilepsy medication, can not drive a manual transmission and so they were going to stay several hours to allow him to "sleep it off."

Mrs. Cheese, Mr. W and I all began cleaning up as Mr. Cheese went upstairs to the spare bed. As we were cleaning we noticed 8 empty wine bottles, but could only account for the consumption of 3. We realized we had only 4 of the 20 bottles of beer left and knew that other members of the party had drank only 7. As we were realizing exactly how much Mr. Cheese had consumed and beginning to worry about him, we heard water dripping...in the hallway...below the upstairs bathroom.

Mr. W and I rushed to clean that up (thankfully clear water) while Mrs. Cheese went upstairs to find out what was going on. Apparently, Mr. Cheese was vomiting everywhere. And he managed to cause our toilet to overflow. (I've still not figured out how) His wife took all his clothes away, grabbed the towels, rugs, etc. and ran down the hall to the washing machine. Then she sopped up the floor and came downstairs crying. Which is how little drunk me ended up walking around the city in my pajamas at 3 a.m. comforting my friend.

When we came home, Mr. W, in an effort to not scream at my friend's husband, was removing every vestige of Christmas from our apartment. Mrs. Cheese and I joined in and were able to make short work of it. Mr. W and I went to bed; Mrs. Cheese scrubbed the grout of my bathroom tile all night long.

In the morning as they were leaving, Mr. Cheese looked around and sheepishly asked, "What happened to Christmas? Is it January 2? Did I sleep through an entire day?"

And now...I have to paint my bedroom ceiling as wine colored vomit has seeped through during the course of this week. I really hope that Kilz stuff works!

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  Comments about my post, "In which I ignore my current situation and rehash New Year's Eve":
Oh, that sounds just...awful. What could be worse than wine colored vomit?

~Brooklyn Girl
Gotta love Mr Cheese. I have done this Mrs Cheese job before and its not pretty. Good news is you can remind him, whenever you want, about the night.

Welcome to 2005.



   Tuesday, January 04, 2005  

The MRI

Dr. P called me this morning to give me the results of the MRI. They confirmed what he had already suspected from the HSG. I have a unicornuate uterus. Am completely devastated. Am emotionally drained after all the crying and fighting with my husband about how to proceed and the fact that we just don't have the money to do it yet.

My doctor recommended I contact an RE he knows in Connecticut who deals with uterine anomalies . Dr. P and my perinatologist both think that I should have further testing (the 3D ultrasound, the laporoscopy). And they both cautioned me that with this condition it becomes a matter of how much I can take. I have such high risk for 1st and 2nd trimester miscarriage. I will likely have many more. But one of the pregnancies could result in a 34/35 weeker being delivered via c-section.

I didn't call the RE today. I couldn't deal with it. Maybe tomorrow. Right now I'm trying to figure out how I can pay for this...whether in the end I'll adopt for a gestational surrogate or if I will adopt... The one thing that I know is that I can't keep getting pregnant in the hopes that maybe one day it won't end with me in a puddle of tears in the recovery room after a D&C.

You will all excuse me if I stay in my cave for a while.

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  Comments about my post, "The MRI":
What can I say my friend except I'm sorry. Take all the time you want in the cave. I'm sure you'll reach the decision that's right for you both and for your future, whatever it holds and whatever you decide.

I'll be thinking of you in the meantime and wishing you nothing but good.
I'm so, so sorry. I know it won't help at all, but - I know what that particular brand of devastation feels like. It's wrenching. I'm just so sorry.

Whatever you need, let me know.

- getupgrrl
I'm so sorry you are having to deal with this. In or out of the cave, we are all here for you.

Moogielou
You always know you've got a pal here in CT waiting to whisk you away to Mohegan Sun.

BTW, the doctor they referred you to...might his name be Dr. Nulsen?

Thinking of you tonight, my dear.
Simone here...(A former Miss W herself) just to offer a hand on your shoulder.
I have a didelphys uterus (like 2 seperate unicornate) Why stop at one?
I am so sorry for your shocking discovery. It sure knocks you to your knees. I found out 2 years ago. There are some good sites around, with encouraging statistics for uterine abnomilies/pregnancies...that said, I will shut up & leave you to your cave....but there are a few of us abnomily gals around...Soper? Your turn for aspiring words.....
I am so, so sorry to hear this news. I will be thinking of you and praying for you.
I'm sorry about the results. I just wanted to let you know that I'm here for you.

xxoo,
Emily
I am so sorry about your diagnosis. I hope I am not being too forward but I belong to a online support group of women like myself who have uterine abnormalities that have supplied me with more information and questions to ask my doctors. It has been a huge help dealing with a uterine abnormality. Please know that you can email me anytime for support.

Take care - Chana
I'm so sorry to hear the bad news. I think staying in your cave for a while as you absorb all of this is a damned fine idea.

I did want to tell you, though, that I know of women who've recovered from huge uterine abnormalities. Finding a doctor who knows his/her stuff is the first step.

Additionally, might you not be able to get insurance to cover this as a general health problem - not an aspect of the dreaded "Infertility"? I was able to have my lap/hysteroscopy covered (as well as the other testing) because it was germaine to my overall health. Just a thought.

Julia
Uncommon Misconception
I am so sorry.
This is heartbreaking. Please post the address of your cave so I can send chocolate. Thinking of you.
Oh no.



   Monday, January 03, 2005  

Perinatologist's report

I met with Dr. G today to discuss the results of the placental pathology done in the beginning of December. I held so much hope for that.

Basically--it showed no cause for any of it (though the first appeared to be a chromosomal abnormality).

This is somewhat good, knowing that there isn't an additional problem. At the time I was counting on this to be the only problem. Then I had that blasted HSG.

I told Dr. G what the HSG looked like. She said that in her experience, it is highly unlikely that a blockage that severe is a result of scar tissue after only 3 D&Cs. She feels that we're most likely looking at a septate uterus (with a complete septum between the two horns) or (most likely) a unicornuate uterus (and yes, in the car afterward, I did tell my husband I was pretty sure she said a unicorn ate my uterus because I am just that kind of dumbass). We have to wait on the results of the MRI to know for sure, though it may not be definitive and she reccomends a 3D ultrasound, or if I can't get one then laporoscopy. She also highly reccomends I contact an RE who deals with structural abnormalities of the uterus and gestational surrogacy because if the unicorn did eat my uterus, it's just not large enough and I will miscarry repeatedly and am at a significantly higher risk for second trimester fetal death.

Good things to hear. You can imagine my mood. And my husband, of course, says that since it's going to cost a lot of money for either surrogacy or adoption that there are other things he would much rather do and why not just wait a few years. We're still young (he'll be 29 in May, I'll be 28 in July). Of course, having fallen so deeply in love with my first 3 children within the few short weeks I carried each of them, I don't want to keep waiting. It's just not an option. Am really starting to think my husband and I may need to see a counselor together. Because I can't keep crying. I just can't do it.

   [ posted  @ 9:08 PM ] [ Post a Comment ] [ View Comments (3) ]
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  Comments about my post, "Perinatologist's report":
I lurk on your blog and I just read that you may have a uterine abnormality. I was recently diagnosed with a septate uterus and had surgery to remove the septum. I had an incorrect diagnosis of bicornuate uterus from my ob/gyn and one RE who told me just have a drink and get pregnant - what a moron! I went to a large teaching hospital and had an RE diagnose me as SU.

I think you should find an RE who has performed lap/hys surgery which is the gold standard for diagnosis. I had the lap/hys because I wanted to find out what was wrong with my uterus before TTC. I did not want to go through the heartbreak of another miscarriage.

If you want to email me, I would be more than happy to chat with you.

Take care - Chana
Oh dear. This is hard. Damn unicorn. I'm thinking of you and hoping you find a way ahead.
Message:
I was wondering if ANY one has one also (bicornuate uterus), I found out when i was a freshmen in high school, I had a son and had problems carring him went in pre. labor at 5 months but ended up carring him to 8 months, well i am 27 now and my period is REAL bad and heavy and VERY painful, also MOOD SWINGS BAD, my sex drive is up and down but sex can be very painful. I am looking for help, answers, anything, my periods go on for 5-10 days stop for 2-4 back on again for 3-7 and they are heavy, my PNMS is so bad its like my head spins, and thats not me, my sex can be very painful and some times just not pleasing. I am so tired of always being on my period, bad mood, low sex drive,painful sex, and I guess I cant have another child cuz we have tried, and NOTHING, I mean before my husband went to Iraq in August we tryed for months and nothing and now he is home for a few months before he has to go back and we have been trying and NOTHING. If ANYONE has the same problems with sex,periods or trying to have there 2nd child pleas help me!!!!



   Sunday, January 02, 2005  

In which I discuss the new year and thoughts on adoption

I'm not going to write a typical year end/new year post. I don't have any resolutions this year. I don't have any tangible hopes for things that could successfully be accomplished in 2005.

My fertility is completely up in the air. We don't know if things in my ute can be corrected--and if they can, we aren't sure we're willing. Julia gave me some hope in this area...but still the risks are great. And I'm afraid. Very afraid.

I don't know if my sanity is firmly established enough for me to try to return to teaching. But I'll need to decide soon as the spring is when most districts begin looking to the fall.

My husband has applied for a promotion within his corporation. Should he be hired to the new position, we would be moving to Ohio. Now, don't get me wrong here, I'm an Indiana girl, so the prospect overall is FABULOUS (seriously, a 3 hour drive to see my family vs. a 12 hour drive?). Except... I have doctors here who are great. They're testing everything, getting me some sort of answers. Will likely be sending me to Cornell to see an RE. And if I live in Ohio? This won't be possible. If only this position had opened up last year. Before I knew I needed those doctors so that I would be happy seeing the doctors in Ohio.

I have decided that I would like to adopt. I'd always intended to adopt my children. Then I met my husband and thought it would be incredible to have a child with him. To give birth. Just once. It was always a deal of just once. Any siblings for that child would come via adoption. My husband fully agreed. Knowing what I know now and the potential risks should I be able to carry a child, I'm ready to file the paperwork right now. Start on the homestudy. Get ready. But that's where the problems hit. Because of high rent, car payments (x2), paying for grad school out of pocket, paying my student loans from my undergrad (my husband has none), and then just the general high cost of living...we don't have the money on hand that we would need for that. We could take out a loan. But it would be tough to get as we have no home to borrow against. And it would jack our debt:income ratio to the point that it could be some time before we could buy a house.

My husband looks at this logically and says we'll just wait a few years, buy a house somewhere in 2005 (or 6), earn some equity in it over the next 2-3 years, and then adopt. Which means I wouldn't hold a child in my arms until I'm nearly 35. And that isn't ok with me. But he just keeps saying that I'm too emotional with all of this and that one of us has to be logical. Thing is, it isn't that I'm illogical. It's that I can't imagine going through all of those years without being somebody's mother. After 3 pregnancies, I've felt that deep over-powering love (and with that feeling in just the first trimester, I can only dream of what it's really like when you actually see and hold your child!). I can't live without feeling that again over the next several years.

I'll end with a word of advice to the year 2005: Play nice with us. We're fragile. And if you are half the bastard that your brother 2004 was, somebody's going to die.

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