Baby News & Book Nomination

Eli_Cristian_Couch Potatos
I love reading blogs, but have a hard time writing them. So I’ve made an August resolution of writing more of them to chronicle the ups and downs of motherhood. Well, I’m now almost 6 months prego with baby #2. We found out it was a girl and this sent us over the crib with joy. Although another boy would’ve been perfect as well. I love the idea of two brothers exploring the wilds of California together. But a girl it shall be. I did have some disconcerting news of a Echogenic Intracardiac focus (EIF)spot on her heart. They discovered it in a follow-up anatomy scan. EIF’s don’t cause any problems for the growth of the heart, but they’re associated with downs syndrome. Although some research indicates there isn’t a direct link and others says there is a slight one. Either way this was hard to hear. I did have the NIPT test at around 12 weeks, which came back negative for any fetal abnormalities and the anatomy scan found no other markers. The test is 99% accurate, so basically there is a 1% possibility. I have a comprehensive scan next week to look at the heart again. My doctor isn’t worried, and I’m trying not to be. Sometimes I think modern medicine makes everything a lot more complicated. Then I remember that thanks to science I have my Little Eli.

Eli_supermarket car.jpg
There is a lot to update about Eli. He started walking around 11 months and when he does he has this hip jiggle with a zombie arm raise, coupled with the biggest “I’m so cool” smile that watching him walk is pure joy. Except for the big fall on the pavement he took at daycare that left him looking like baby Rocky. He has feet shaped like empanadas and he loves to curl his toes, so it’s surprising he gets anywhere. Oh but he does. I knew kids have lots of energy, but it’s non-stop action from 6 am to 7 pm. And being pregnant chasing him around makes bedtime all I think about.

Right now it’s such a sweet phase with him. He’s sleeping good and eating well and seems to be incredibly happy. My house is a wreck, and I’m starting to balloon like a Christmas ham, but overall everything is sailing peacefully. I just can’t stop worrying about the little girl’s heart.

On a personal note (yes, moms have a life) . . .

Some of you know that I wrote a novel titled: How the Fat Girl Got Thin. For those of you who don’t, it’s a fictionalized story of my time spent living and teaching in a village in southern Thailand. My intention was always to have it published, but time and life got away with me and there it sat on my bookshelf. A friend of mine recommended that I join Kindle Scout, in hopes of securing a publishing contract. Kindle Scout, for a lack of a better analogy, is the American Idol for publishing.

Kindle Scout is a publishing program through Amazon and books selected are guaranteed publication on Kindle, their e-book platform. What is different about Kindle Scout is that prospective authors use social media to reach as many supporters as possible who then nominate the work. Thus, the more nominations the book receives, the bigger chance of being published on Kindle Scout.

It’s exciting to be taking on this endeavor because regardless of How the Fat Girl Got Thin becomes published at least it will have the chance of reaching a wider audience. To make this happen I need your support.

To nominate How the Fat Girl Got Thin, click on the link below.


If you have an Amazon account, you will need to sign-in and then click the nominate button. Registering for an Amazon account will only take a few minutes with no other obligation. It’s also noteworthy to mention that if my book is selected you’ll receive a complimentary advance copy.

In addition to your nomination, if you think it’s appropriate, please share this post and tell as many people as possible to nominate How the Fat Girl Got Thin. The novel took over four years to write and is an exploration of culture, friendship, and love. For me, it represents how travel, teaching, and culture transform personal and ideological identity. My time spent living abroad taught me to experience the world from multiple perspectives and appreciate where I came from.

Please nominate How the Fat Girl Got Thin.

A million thanks,

Amber Roshay
Follow me on Facebook

If the nominate link doesn’t work, you can copy and paste the link below in your browser to reach the nomination page.




Thoughts on Motherhood

Eli_Dressed UpMama Looks NiceEli_So Cute Face

It’s been a long time since I’ve written. My only excuse is that I had a baby and suddenly there was a new boss in town. Elijah George Troncoso was born on September 1st after 26 hours of labor, followed by a cesarean. Needless to say the physical recovery took longer than expected, coupled with the reality of taking care of a newborn. I spent my entire high-risk pregnancy being worried every day that something would take this little guy from me that I never planned for how I would take actually care of him. I don’t come from a big family with lots of children, nor had I ever been around any longer than a few hours, so my skills in this area were pretty comical. I’m also have an obsessive and perfectionist personality and as most people know this does not mix well with a brand new little human.

The learning curve the first few months was huge. I think I must have cried almost every day. Of course the raging hormones didn’t help and the huge struggle I had with breast feeding fed the fire and not to mention the not sleeping part – I was a hot mess. I remember the first day I was going to be completely alone with him was the scariest day of my life. I practically begged my husband not to leave me. I seriously did not know how the population continued to increase after the stark realization of being a mom became clear to me. Sure, I adored the little guy, and I wouldn’t change it for the world. And yes, as many have reminded me, it’s worth it (a phrase I’ve learned to loathe) and yes, after many years of trying I should not complain, and I’m not; I’m only pointing out that being a mom is emotionally hard. I really had no idea! 

But my husband did go to work and there we were – just the two of us. By the end of the day, I thought, well, that wasn’t so bad. Perhaps, I could do this. That one day was followed by two then three, and then I realized that I needed to leave the house to buy food. Leaving the house seemed like a daunting task. We live on the second floor and the stairs alone intimidated me. How was I supposed to carry the car seat with a baby and a diaper bag stuffed with every possible thing you might need (I was a new mom, okay!) all the way to my car through the courtyard and then around to my garage. I did manage to do this. I got to the store and realized that the stroller would have to be the cart. Eli has never liked carriers, so I could only buy what could actually fit in the space below the stroller. Surprisingly, you can fit quite a lot.

Once home I had to carry the groceries, along with Eli in the car seat, and stuffed bag at the same time. I did this in stages, taking long pauses along the way. By the time I did get everything back home the kid was screaming for hunger and for a poopy diaper. Baby screams, especially when they’re your kid are unbearable. I always became frantic. Now, I’m better at tolerating his cries but as a new mother it was literally the worst sound of my life.

But we survived! 

I suppose that is the point of the phrase, ‘It’s worth it, right?’ The reminder that despite the tears and fears, this little human is yours. And you’re his. Rubbing the baby soft skin and kissing those wet lips make it all worth it. So it’s true, it’s worth it.

But this Facebook, idealized version of motherhood that’s propagated on posting the cutest baby pictures everywhere (have you seen the ones I just posted of Eli. Egads, he’s cute) and making every non-mother believe that new motherhood is this land of baby bliss is false.  And by saying this, doesn’t make me a bad mother. It makes me a real one.


See ya later scaremester!

I’m officially 12 weeks and 2 days. I just told the last really important person in my life the news. This feels like a huge milestone to me, and I thought I would write a post to commemorate the occasion. I’m still having some slight spotting, but I’ve been told this is from the uterine polyp removed last week. Still the spotting is really psychologically disturbing, as you can imagine, so I really wish that it would go away. My midwife explained that about 20% of all pregnancies have some unexplained spotting/bleeding. I really am always in that low percentile. If there is a chance of something, I seem to experience it. But the baby on the 12 week ultrasound was doing a boogie woogie and the heartbeat was right on target, so I have to just let go of my fears. Naively I really had no idea how much fear and worry there is associated with pregnancy. I thought just becoming pregnant was the milestone.

I really love reading all the blogs I’m following. Some of you have recently become pregnant and this is so heartwarming. Others are still getting there and this is heart wrenching. It’s hard writing about my journey when so many others are still struggling. But today I wanted to write because it truly does feel like I’ve reached a new doorway into this journey and the feeling of hope and love is amazingly strong. I’m sending these vibes out and hope that you’re catching them.

10 Week Thoughts

It has been a while since I’ve written. Mostly because I’ve been having a hard time relaxing into this pregnancy. I’ve had a few emotional break downs and one trip to the emergency room. Even at ten weeks and a few days, I find it hard to rejoice in this gift I’ve been given, mostly because I’m so afraid that it will be taken away. But at this point the chance is very small. I’ve seen the heartbeat and my baby almost weekly since conception and each time a sense of relief floods my synapsis and for a little bit I relax. But then a few days later I start to worry again and the fear threatens to take over. I fight this pesky emotion with yoga, acupuncture, visualizations, and writing. I even allow myself to plan a little. This week I took on the task of deciding where to have my baby. I really want to have a natural birth at a birth center with a few close people and a doula. So, I toured UCSD Medical Center’s Birth Center and Best Start, a freestanding center close to two major hospitals, including UCSD.

After the tours, I decided on Best Start because it really was like giving birth at grandma’s house, as one recommender yelped. They also practice a method of prenatal care called Centering and this really interests me. The whole place gave off the essence of love and compassion. The birth center at UCSD wasn’t what I was expecting. I knew that it was in a hospital but I expected the birth center to be more of an oasis in the middle of a big city. But I never got that impression. They do have great statistics and the midwives at the tour were really professional and nice. Not to mention all the technology and specialists are seconds away. Still Best Start seemed to be a better fit for me. But then at dinner I started to bleed. It was a medium flow that seemed to come all at once and then start to stop. I immediately went to the emergency room at UCSD because it is literally two blocks from my house. I wasn’t having any cramping, which really helped to ease my fears.

The ER was buzzing with people and eventually, after a blood test, two doctor’s visits, and two nurses asking me the same questions, I was wheeled down to radiology for an ultrasound. The radiologist told me that the doctor would give me the results. I asked him to please let me know if the baby had a heart beat. He said of course. In seconds my little fig was on the screen. I could see the flashing light. The heartbeat. The sense of relief was absolutely keen, almost surreal. The baby even waved. I swear. It looked like a wave. She (I prefer to think of her, as a her, but a boy would be just find too) just kept moving around. It was absolutely beautiful.

After the most thorough ultrasound I have ever had, I was wheeled back to my room to wait to hear from the doctor. The radiologist did tell me that he saw a very small subchorionic rupture but that the doctor wouldn’t mention it because it was so small. At the time I had no idea what that was, but later I educated myself via google (the most dangerous thing in my life) and basically it’s blood that builds up in the layers of the developing placenta. It can become serious and eventually pull the placenta away from the uterus. The doctor told me that there was no known cause for my bleeding. A lot of women have unexplained bleeding during pregnancy and are fine. I was the fourth pregnant women that day to come to the ER. I asked him if there was a subchorionic rupture and he said no. So who knows. I have been having some brown discharge since then but no cramping and no red blood. I’ve had morning sickness and other oh so reassuring pregnancy symptoms in abundance, so I’m just going to have to say . . . it is what it is.

But it has made me revaluate my decision to give birth at Best Start. At UCSD I have immediate access if something goes wrong and a strong chance of giving birth naturally. The problem with birth centers at hospitals is that even though they really do believe in natural birth and want to make sure your birth plan is followed, they are also beholden to hospital regulations. This means if my birth doesn’t go exactly as they hospital sees a low-risk birth, I will be shipped off to labor and delivery where my choices might be made by other people. So I guess I need some advice on this. Where is everyone delivering? Hospital? Birth Center? Natural?

Staying Positive

I found that after the shock wore off, I became giddy, then fearful. Since I know what it is like to be filled with so much excitement and hope over the coming birth of a child, only to have that taken away, it can be a little hard not to worry just a little bit. Last time, I even started to pick out car seats and baby daycare at 8 weeks. Now, I’m reticent. I have told some close friends and family members, but only because they knew I was going through the IVF process. I’m still yet to blast it from the rooftops. I have to remind myself that this time I’m different, everything is different. There is a difference in how I view my body and how I view being pregnant. I have to remember to trust my body. I have to remember that I beat the odds and this wasn’t by accident. It was because I believed I could and through changing my diet and daily habits. I must remember to keep my faith and know that this child is meant to be born now.

So on the first day of the New Year in 2015 I want to usher in the day with love and positive affirmations.

Simply Positive

I’m really at a loss as what to write. For months, I had this post planned in my head. But today, I really am just thankful and in awe. Yesterday, my beta came back at 525. My husband took the call because I just couldn’t, and when he told me I screamed a little bit. I think I paced for awhile before I finally sat down to the realization that I am actually pregnant.

After the shock wore off, I took a pee test of my own. I needed to see the words written in a clear blue before I actually believed them. There were some promising signs that led up to this moment; some that could just be coincidence but I thought I would share them anyway. During the dreaded TTW I kept dreaming about the number 25. The morning of the beta I googled the number and the first sight I came to stated the 25 meant an intelligent child would be born. The number 25 is also my lucky number. It has been since I was 16 when I worked at Denny’s. It was my server number. The beta results also have the number 25 in them. The next coincidence was that the date of the beta test – the 27th of December – was the due date for the child I miscarried. So I found out I am pregnant again on the due date my first child would have been born.

Perhaps, none of these things mean anything. But for some reason I keep thinking about them. I do have some other physical signs (sore boobs, tiredness, and insomnia) but for the most part I wasn’t sure what the results would bring. I’m so thankful and happy. For those waiting for good news, my heart is still with you.

Hope Stands

Talks to watch when every conceivable thing goes wrong

Today, as I was preparing a course using TED Talks, I stumbled across a playlist of talks to watch when every conceivable bad thing has happened to you. The first one I watched was by Stacey Kramer who talks about the biggest gift she ever received. I won’t ruin it for you by telling you what that gift was, you’ll just have to watch, but I will say that it is connected to wat what most people who get off the infertility train say – I learned so much and wouldn’t change a thing.

So, here’s to the gift of this journey. May it arrive earlier than expected.

2 Days Out

I’ve resisted the urge to test before the scheduled beta. I’m now 13DP3DT. Up until today it was relatively easy. Now I just want to be past this TTW. I find that I’ve turned into some sort of zombie. I’m a zombie on Christmas. My husband has commented on how quiet I’ve become. I’m a hermit zombie with no desire for human flesh.

I’ve had all kinds of symptoms that could be from the progesterone supplements, all in my zombie mind, or from the real enchilada. The two main symptoms have been intense bloating and belly cramping. Yesterday, I felt like it was the day of retrieval when balloons of embies dangled off of my overworked ovaries, waiting to be relieved of their precious cargo. I, of course, have scoured multiple fertility sites and chat rooms for success stories with off and on cramping and sharp pains. The success stories have given me hope.

But, really there is no way to know.

Hecho en Mexico

Not many people can say they saw their babies projected on a screen three days after conception. This may be one of the coolest aspects of going through IVF. It puts a whole new spin on, “I knew you when . . . ” One uncool aspect of IVF, besides the bloating, the uncertainty, the cost, and the silence, is the two week wait (I sometimes refuse to use acronyms). In this two week window, I’ve been reflecting mostly on the silence and the shadows of infertility. When one has cancer, I suppose this silence exists, but when the silence is broken, comes a flood of sympathy. When the silence of infertility is broken, well-meaning friends, co-workers, bosses, and family members say what may seem to them as helpful, things like, “Just relax, it’ll happen.” Or some will even tell you that they got pregnant the first month of trying, with both children. You listen and nod, not knowing what else to say. They can’t possible understand what it is like to have this total desire for child, something that every women seems to be able to do, but you. They can’t possible understand the sleepless nights or the fear that it may be too late. They can’t possible understand what it is like to live with unknown and not being able to control the outcome.

Some well-meaning friends even have children and regret them. Your viewed as someone enviable, with all the time in the world on your hands. Others, the sensitive ones, who started the fertility journey with you, but moved on, into mommy land, understand, but don’t know what to say. Guilt is what they feel when they see you. The conversations with them involve anything but babies and since it is exactly what is on both of your minds, the conversations basically evolve around nothing. Fluff. The wind.

Getting Eggy

Today in acupuncture, as I lay in the prone position with various needles in important and tender spots, I began to write my thank you conception letter to all that have helped me so far on my journey. It was filled with tears and gratitude. It began with a simple Dear Giselle, and I continued from there. You see, I’m ready for this journey to be over. I want to get on the short or the long bus or any bus that will have me. I’m ready not to take daily swigs of wheat grass; prenatals divided into three portions; royal jelly with a shot of honey; needles filled with LH, FSH, and HCG. I’m ready to wear a squishy Bjorn and buy little socks with Santa’s face. I’m ready for cheesy family photos and nights of no sleep. I’m ready for the next step.

During acupuncture, I practice my visualizations while listening to a gurgling fountain and soothing music. Peace does descend and in that hour I believe that one day I will get to cross over. I will get to cross over to the inclusive and elusive mommy club. One day I will complain about poopie diapers and leaky nipples. I will get to be normal. I see a little girl, sometimes a little boy. I can smell their hair and feel their shoulders. They squeeze me tightly and tell me they are coming. I just have to be patient.

Patience I have learned. I have had no other choice. Trying to conceive requires an overabundance of this virtue. It should be marketed along with folic acid, omegas, and vitex. If patience could be bottled and stamped with organic, sales would surpass milk and bread as a daily staple. Stores wouldn’t be able to keep it in stock.

Tomorrow is egg retrieval day. My eggs have performed beautifully so far. I have five ready to go and two more hidden under the chicken and will be ready tomorrow. I only have eight follicles to begin with, so a healthy seven is a success. I injected the trigger shot last night, and all day I’ve felt what it is like to be pregnant. I spent the afternoon wandering Target buying a baby gift for a good friend of mine. Everywhere I turned (I was after all in the children’s section) were mothers with babies of all shapes and sizes, packaged in fat strollers loaded with must have baby stuff. For the first time in a long time, I did not experience the sensation of being forgotten, but rather the sensation that my time was near.

After retrieval, I plan on streaming romantic comedies on Netflix, starting with Love Actually, followed by a long nap and a antioxidant milkshake. I will continue with my wheat grass and beet and carrot juices. I will continue swallowing my vitamins and hoping, hoping that one day very soon, I will no longer need so much patience because my time, our time has come.