The 2WW: The Beatles Were Right

So we’re about halfway through our slightly abridged 2ww and are 6dp3dt. For any of you not in the acronym know, 6dp3dt = 6 Days Past 3 Day Transfer – and we’ll blood test on Day 12.

I’m having a much easier time with this wait than I did with other periods of waiting in the process: waiting to stop birth control, waiting for meds, waiting between scans, etc. It’s an odd thing to know that right now, as we speak, I am either pregnant or not pregnant….it’s simply too early to tell.

Throughout the time I’ve been trying to get pregnant I’ve read a lot about the 2ww (and have been in it many many times) and mostly I find myself shaking my head at people.

You just have to wait!

Time has to pass – there’s no changing it.

So for me, I’m NOT going on the internet to read too many opinions by too many people without any medical knowledge, I’m not reading into every little thing my body’s doing, I’m not over-thinking every little moment, and I’m not going out to buy pregnancy tests before there’s any chance of them registering anything accurate.

You know why?

Because I’ve done some of that before and it got me nowhere. I also hate to pull the age-card, but I am 42….at this point there’s some life experience to lean on. I know that to do any of the above things is pretty much like punching myself in the face, running around the house with a scissor, or like covering myself in peanut butter and then taunting a bear.

I’d be knowingly setting myself up for confusion, discouragement and frustration.

And frankly, I like none of those things.

In other news, I’ve been doing progesterone shots since last Saturday’s egg retrieval and so far so good. The nurse was kind enough to draw a circle on each fanny so that I’d have a target – and I’ve been retracing her lines every few days. Man I hope I’m not in an accident or anything, though I’m sure it would give the EMTs a good giggle to see a grown lady with circles on her butt cheeks.

A note on these shots: the needle is intimidating, because it’s an inch-and-a-half long and you know it’s all gotta go in. Honestly though, it’s so sharp that by simply resting it on my skin and pressing a bit the needle does all the work and after the initial sting from the tip of the needle it really hasn’t hurt at all. I shit you not. Perhaps I’m lucky and have a high threshold for pain, but after reading so many things on the interwebs about how awful they are, I really have thankfully not had that experience. I’m able to do them myself and they go pretty quickly.

I put a bag of frozen vegetables on first, do the shot, rub it around and then sit on a heating pad for a few minutes afterwards to help the oil work its way in. This is what works for me.

The progesterone’s another reason it’s easy not to read into every symptom, because likely it’s the progesterone’s fault. I’m a little sleepy, yesterday had a teensy bit of nausea and I suddenly have a decent set of knockers. They’ve grown enough that I really don’t need to wear my “smoke-and-mirrors” bra unless I really want to vavavoom it.

So alas, we’re in a good place: lots of movies, books, cooking and general chilling out. Time’s actually passing fairly quickly, we’ve been laughing a lot and life kind of plods on as usual.

Soon enough we’ll know which road we’re taking next and in the meantime, in the words of the great Paul McCartney, we’ll Let It  Be.  

Wow, that was super cornballs, even for me.

Retrieval and Fertilization: 3 is the Magic Number

Yesterday’s egg retrieval went just fine and afterwards we learned that The Russian had gotten 7 eggs.  Not gonna lie, kinda had my hopes up that we’d indeed get 8-10 as she’d predicted earlier.  But hey, 7 is still 7.  I was okay with the anesthesia and in fact, I think the 20 or so minutes I was on oxygen really helped my congestion.  I spent the rest of the day on the couch watching Veronica Mars and consuming such comfort foods as butterscotch pudding, hubbo’s chocolate chip cookies, tomato soup and copious amounts of tea and juice.

Got the call today that 3 of the 7 had fertilized – too early to say why the other 4 weren’t on the fert train – and still too soon to know when we’ll do the transfer.  I’ll hear tomorrow afternoon as to if we’ll do a Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday transfer, though the nurse I talked to said, “if I were a betting person, I’d say it’s going to happen Tuesday, but we’ll know more tomorrow.”  I mean, I also know that we’re far from out of the woods – we have to wait to see if the three make it to transfer, and if the quality is enough to transfer at all.  

It’s a mind storm.  A mind storm.

So I got myself a little worked up, was a bit overwhelmed, felt the odds were stacked against us….the whole nine yards, and then my husband came home from taking the dog to the beach to announced that they’d invented a new game: Ultimate Patience.  It was a sarcastic game they’d invented in trying to find a non-existed parking space – patience in the face of a situation you can’t really change.  

And we all know, Ultimate Patience is what this whole deal is all about.

I still released a few tears, but hey that’s cool, and I felt better afterwards.

Which brings me back to 3. Because 3 is what we have and I can’t change that. Until I hear tomorrow’s update, I have to figure that 3 is where it’s at, because after all, there’s the rule of threes. 

It’s a G. D. Rule.

The rule of Three is a writing principle that suggests that things that come in threes are inherently funnier, more satisfying, or more effective than other numbers of things. The reader or audience of this form of text is also more likely to consume information if it is written in groups of threes. From slogans (“Go, fight, win!”) to films, many things are structured in threes. Examples include The Three Stooges, Three Little Pigs, Three Billy Goats Gruff, Goldilocks and the Three Bears.

A series of three often creates a progression in which the tension is created, built up, and finally released. Similarly, adjectives are often grouped in threes to emphasize an idea.

The Latin phrase, “omne trium perfectum” (everything that comes in threes is perfect, or, every set of three is complete) conveys the same idea as the rule of three.

In comedy, it is also called a comic triple. Two is the smallest number of points needed to establish a pattern, and comedians exploit the way people’s minds perceive expected patterns to throw the audience off track (and make them laugh) with the third element.

I know this last one especially well because I work in comedy and we’re constantly leaning on the Rule of 3s to create a build, get a laugh, and give the audience that specific gratification.  They may not always see a 1-2-3 punch coming, but they certainly appreciate it.

And therefore, in this game of Ultimate Patience, I hang on to The Number 3:

because it’s a Rule

because I don’t have a choice  

And, because according to Schoolhouse Rock, 3 is indeed, a magic number.

 

The Cake That Wooed a Husband

I met my husband at my own birthday party on New Year’s Eve.  His sister is an old friend of mine and she dragged him out on the promise that he was getting set up with someone at a NYE party…..this someone was not me, they were merely stopping by “a friend’s birthday party” on the way to the bigger NYE party.  He came through the door, made a beeline for the cake (which I was standing next to), cut himself a piece and starting eating.

Me: “You Like That Cake?”

Him: “I love this cake!”

Me: “I made that cake.”

Him: “You made this cake?”

Me: “It’s my birthday cake.”

Him: “You made your own birthday cake?”

Me: “It’s pretty good, right?”

We’ve been together ever since.

For those of you who are wondering, his sister called off the set-up at the other party…to this day she won’t tell us who they were going to set him up with.

And yes, he kissed me for the first time at midnight.  Swoon city, am I right?

Though, to look at the story another way, I kissed him within 2 hours of meeting him. What. A. Hussy.

I’ve been thinking about this cake since posting Cosby’s Chocolate Cake For Breakfast clip a few days ago. I’ve also been thinking about nice things I might do for my hubbo throughout this magical time in our lives…especially if I turn into a crazytown hormonal space beast once I start shooting myself up with hormones.  He is notoriously patient and supportive and the least I can do is make dude a cake.  We’re actually trying to eat super well right now, but I think once we’ve done the egg retrieval and I’m trying to chill out, it’ll likely be cake bakin’ time.

The recipe’s taken from one of my favorite cookbooks: The New Basics cookbook by Julee Rosso & Shiela Lukins. I’ve killed the spine on my copy and many pages are covered in….ingredient remnants.  I’ve made tiny indications of a few tweaks – the cake’s delicious without them, I just like to tinker….but for Pete’s sake – do yourself a favor and bake this cake at some point.

For the cake:

3 ounces good-quality unsweetened chocolate	
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 1/4 cups (packed) dark brown sugar (light brown will also work, you can always add a little molasses)
3 eggs
2 1/4 cups cake flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup buttermilk
 1 cup boiling water
 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
***tweek: add a Tablespoon or two of instant coffee to pump up the chocolate flavor

1. Preheat the oven to 375F. Grease and flour two 9-inch cake pans; set them aside.
2. Place the chocolate in a small heavy saucepan, and melt over low heat, stirring constantly. Remove the pan from the heat and set it aside.
3. Cream the butter and brown sugar together in the bowl of an electric mixer. With the mixer on low speed, add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in the melted chocolate.
4. Combine the cake flour, baking soda, and the salt. Alternating between the two, add the flour mixture and buttermilk to the chocolate mixture in three stages, ending with flour. Then slowly stir in the boiling water and the vanilla.
5. Pour the batter into the two prepared pans, and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of a layer comes out clean, 30 minutes.
6. Remove the pans from the oven and let the layers sit for 5 minutes. Then invert the pans over
wire racks, releasing the cake, and let the cake cool completely before icing.

For the icing:

1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate morsels (tweek: I've used milk chocolate or dark chocolate, which are equally amazing).
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup confectioners’ sugar

1. Combine the chocolate and butter in a small heavy saucepan, and melt over very low heat.
2. Remove the pan from the heat, stir in the milk and vanilla, and transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl.
3. Add the sugar gradually, beating with an electric mixer. Continue beating until the mixture is smooth; it will be runny.
4. Refrigerate the mixture for 1 hour, beating it every 15 minutes. (The icing will stiffen.)

Two last tweaks: 
1. bake the cake in 3 layers instead of 2 (cut baking time by 5ish minutes) 
2. Make a raspberry filling for between the layers - use your favorite recipe or this is a good one:

Combine 3 cups fresh raspberries, 2 Tablespoons cornstarch, 1/4 cup lemon juice and 1/2 cup 
granulated sugar in a pan over low heat, bringing to a low and slow bubble.  
Simmer for 10-15 minutes.  
Remove from heat and allow to cool.  
Chill in an air-tight container for at least 4 hours and overnight.