Monday, November 29, 2010
Sunday, November 28, 2010
I'm really hoping I can get it all done today so I can truly have it all marked off my to-do list before December arrives on Wednesday. I got a good chunk of our Christmas cards signed and addressed while on the road this weekend, but still have a ways to go with those. Otherwise, I'm ready for you, Christmas!
So in other news, you may've already caught my tweets from earlier this week, but it looks like this first IVF cycle is a bust. We tested Wednesday night, and then like a million times more over the weekend, and all were negative. I realize it's still "early" - and yes, my blood test is still on for tomorrow a.m. and anything's possible - but I'm pretty darn sure we have our answer here. It was definitely a bummer... it's just hard to go through all of that intensity and come out empty-handed. Or empty uterus, I guess. I suppose dot didn't find it so homey there and left the building. Sorry, dot... we tried! But the good thing is, we are NOT empty-handed here. We have at least 14 frozens waiting for us, which we are so grateful for - and certainly now!
I did not *expect* to get the job done on the first try but oh, we were so hopeful. I just prayed for peace, as I always do, before taking that first test Wednesday night. I didn't pray for a positive, I just prayed for peace. And I was fine. Disappointed, yes, but OK. That is until we ran by my parents' house Thanksgiving morning to drop off Belly before heading out of town... we had to tell them the news. I couldn't get it out of my mouth. Totally did not foresee this happening as I had been completely fine talking about it with the hub since the night before. But when I get around other family, especially my parents who are so invested (literally) in this, I remember there are others I'm disappointing here. And I KNOW they're not disappointed in me - of course not. But it's hard not to feel like you keep letting the wannabe-dad and wannabe-grandparents down. So anyway, I went to the bathroom while over there and as I was washing my hands, I just lost it. It was the first time I let myself cry over it and I was a blubbering fool.
Luckily, the hub managed to tell my parents about our negative pee stick while I was in the bathroom, so they knew why I was such a mess when I came out. So yeah, I had my good cry on Thanksgiving morning. But tears aside, you must know we truly are so grateful for the little babes on ice that await us. While going through this mess, I've connected with other IVF'ers all over the world via Twitter. It's amazing how widely people's results vary. It has become VERY clear that we are so, so blessed to have any frozens at all, not to mention 14+! My ovaries seriously kick ass. We just need to get my uterus in gear.
But again, thank you all so much for following along on this journey and encouraging me with every step! After my results tomorrow, I'm sure we'll get word on next steps. I'm guessing they'll have me sit out one cycle to let the meds get out of my system before gearing up for a frozen cycle in January. And OH, please let that frozen cycle work because I don't think I can handle doing a fresh cycle during tax season! I might die, get fired, or both! But hey, whatever we have to do - if the frozen cycle blows and we have to wait till April to start again, so be it. I just have to keep reminding myself: God's timing is perfect. Because it is. I know he's not making us wait without reason. (Just wish I freaking knew the reason!)
Alright, y'all... gotta get back to wrapping! And we're going to make some chili, so I've gotta get that going soon. Enjoy what's left of the weekend! I know I'm gonna! I'll let you all know what we find out from the doctor tomorrow...
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
We of course saw Part 1 on opening day last week! Not the midnight show... I couldn't handle that right now! But I'm planning to do a midnight show again for the last one - those are so fun! But we did go to the prime time 7pm IMAX show Friday night, so there was still lots of excitement. The full theatre applauded once the movie began, and gave a huge audible "UGH!" when it ended. It does leave you hanging, but I thought they split the two parts at the best place possible. More of the book is in the first half (if I'm remembering correctly), so I'm assuming they're going to really play up the final battle scene with lots of screen time.
I was tearing up within two minutes... watching Hermione "obliviate" her parents' memories of her. OMG. They really showed that well. I love the opening scenes, taking us to each of the three kids' homes before they're together again to face their final and most important mission. No spoiler alerts here... I know some people go see the films without reading the books (I don't get you, but I know lots of you.) I'm not sure I would totally follow the films without having read the books - there are so many emotions and story lines that aren't touched on screen. It's just impossible to get those books wrapped up in a 2-3 hour movie. Movies 1-6, you're maybe getting 35-40% of what's all in the book. And a lot of it was changed. Though, I will say I'm glad they did the last book in two parts. If they're going to get the bulk of the book into a film, the 7th one should be it! And they really did stay true to the book for the most part, at least in this first half. I knew they would have to bring the house elves back into the film (when they got ignored in other installments - namely #4!), because they're so vital to the storyline. I won't give away Dobby's role in this first half, but I thought it was very well done on screen. I totally lost it.
I love the films. I do think they've done a good job taking the beloved books to the screen and I have LOVED watching Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, and Emma Watson grow into their characters over the years. And grow up! It's been fascinating to watch them become young adults along with Harry, Ron, and Hermione. They were all fresh faces when this started and they've matured into really great actors. I thought this last film was tremendously acted. And I'm still always dumbfounded by Alan Rickman as professor Snape. He is so hauntingly terrific. He was only in this first part a short bit, but whoah, you felt it.
OK so the movies are fun, but why read the books?! All I can say is God bless J.K. Rowling. What an utterly amazing talent. This world she has created... how these seven books are so intertwined... it's just beyond my comprehension. I think many have the misconception that these books are just for kids. They are great for older kids, for sure. But I would not read them to my 5-year-old. They get very dark, very fast. But it's the ultimate good vs. evil, coming of age story. An orphan boy who grew up thinking he was nothing, learning he is the only one who can rid his new-found magical world of its enemy. It's about friendship, love, and having something worth fighting for. I have such great love for these characters. I have laughed with them and cried with them. I always loved reading about how J.K. Rowling really struggled whenever she killed off a character. As real as this imaginary world is for the reader, I can't fathom how captivated she is by this world she has created.
I think it's really hard to convince someone to read something - no matter how much you rave about it. Kinda like how our head pastor at church encourages us just to get people there - then they'll see. So I say, just read it - you'll see. That's how I got into Twilight after all - someone said, you gotta read this - you'll see. And yeah, I FLEW through all four books and loved it! Now just for comparison - which it's really apples and oranges here - but if you're speaking level of ultimate awesomeness... the Harry Potter series trumps Twilight by a LOOOOONG ASSSSSSSSSS shot. Probably the best book comparison for Harry is the Lord of the Rings trilogy. You know, Dumbledore is like Gandalf... Harry, Ron, and Hermione are like the hobbits... Voldermort is like Sauron... OK but LOTS easier to read Harry Potter! I love the LOTR books, but holy shit are those a hard read.
But seriously, one of the things I most look forward to about being a mom is being able to one day share these books with my kids. I CANNOT WAIT to introduce them to this magical world. That is how special they are to me - I don't know any other way to put it. I know I have some other fellow Harry fanatics out there... what is it that makes you crazy over these books?!
So in other non-Harry news, Thanksgiving is tomorrow! I'll be out of touch Thursday and Friday since we'll be all engrossed in Turkey Day festivities, but I hope y'all have a GREAT one! My MIL is doing the cooking, but I'm going to bring my own Moo Goo friendly (gluten-free) dressing recipe (in addition to hers) since I can't have the real thing. Normally, I'd let the diet slide some for Turkey Day, but given that we're in such a critical phase right now with dot, I'm stickin' to my guns. I'm also going to do some baked apples with a walnut topping for a dessert. Gluten-free and dairy-free - duh! Had to buy some GF bread and flour for this stuff... damn it's expensive! Ridiculous. Better be good!
Safe travels and lots of love to you and your family this Thanksgiving! Gobble, gobble!
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Chicken Taco Stew
2-3 chicken breasts (I just dump them in frozen)
1 pkg Taco Mix (Taco Bell is our favorite)
1 onion, chopped
1 can black beans
1 can dark red kidney beans
1 can yellow corn (I just throw in frozen usually)
2 cans Rotel
1 8oz can tomato sauce
Dump all the ingredients in the crockpot (no need to drain any of the cans), mix well and add the chicken breasts on top. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. Shred chicken just before serving (it falls apart!)
It's great topped with sour cream and cheese. Or for us non-dairy folks, mix in a spoonful of light mayo if you're after a creamy texture. Sounds grody, but it tastes nothing like mayo, promise! Mayo has become my best friend since going dairy-free.
Alright - last day of work this week!!!! So excited! I'll be back tomorrow with my review of Harry... and for my friend, Jill, my persuasive
Monday, November 22, 2010
Still hangin' in there with dot. We actually had dinner last night with our 2 to 1 ministry team at our leaders' home and they all prayed over us and for dot to stick, stick, stick! A very cool moment - so grateful to be surrounded by such caring friends. (Oh and on that note, I must give y'all the pasta salad recipe I used last night - delish!) We're of course continuing to pray everyday. We certainly want this to be our answer, but our biggest prayer is for continued trust and peace. We're so thankful for our little frozens, regardless of the results of this cycle. Just reciting over and over... "God's timing is perfect."
Now you know the two questions I'm getting most often right now are (1) "When do you find out?" and (2) "Do you think you're pregnant?" OK well first, we have a blood test at RBA on the Monday after Thanksgiving, so that will be our definitive answer. But we do plan to test on our own before then. As to exactly when, well it's nice to keep SOME things to ourselves - at least for a bit. So, mum's the word on that. And apparently some IVF'ers are dead set against peeing on a stick before the actual blood test. Well, not me. I rather know. My life is not riding on this... I just rather know. If it's a *no* - I'll be OK, but I just want to know. The "not-knowing" is truly the hardest part... all these scenarios running in your head. I don't want to go into the doctor's office Monday absolutely clueless and be waiting by the phone all day. No thanks! And, secondly, do I feel like I'm pregnant? Well I must tell you I really *hate* this question. First, how the hell would I know? But really, I hate this question because I personally do not like to speculate AT ALL. Of course I am feeling symptoms (but symptoms of what exactly?). My boobs are sore as hell. But I know that means nothing. Need I remind you of all the massive hormones I'm on and oh yeah, the big dose of the actual *pregnancy hormone* itself that was injected into my butt earlier? So yeah, to that question you get my standard "I really don't know - we'll see" with a stink eye. Sorry.
Yeah someone told me like 5 years ago that I would just "know it" as soon as I got pregnant. I'm calling bull shit on that theory. Maybe that's true for some, but not for me! I've been fooled before, so I really just try to stay chill and not speculate either way. I just hope, hope, hope, and pray, pray, pray... and do everything I can to make sure I'm eating right and taking all my crazy pills and drinking my nasty Noni. That's all I can do! The rest is on you, God!
So aside from the wait - which is actually going by pretty quickly - we've got lots to be thankful for this Thanksgiving! A huge surprise announcement at church caught me by surprise yesterday. Our church is building a Gwinnett campus in the next couple of years... it's going to be a hop and a skip from our house! This we knew - that was not the surprise. We knew about the Gwinnett campus and figured we would go there once it opened - it only made sense. But we love, love, love our Buckhead campus so very much. We just feel very invested there - we have always been there. We make the drive because we love it. And a big part of that is Jeff Henderson - the head pastor at the Buckhead campus. Well yesterday he announced that he is leaving Buckhead to head up the Gwinnett campus!!! That was a huge prayer answered that I didn't even know I had prayed! I am so, so stoked about this. I am truly sad for Buckhead Church to lose him, but so very excited and grateful that Jeff will be leading Gwinnett! And now we're of course sold on the idea of going to Gwinnett now that we know Jeff will be there. So huge!
And gosh, so much else to be thankful for this season... An amazing husband who gladly walks the trenches with me. Our two silly doggies who keep us smiling! Our amazing family and friends - seriously, we are blessed. Our little embies on ice! We got our own little army chilling in the lab - so grateful! The hub's new job - what a long way we've come since the beginning of this year! God is good. And just thankful for persevering over all this year... through baby drama, through money woes - we've nearly made it! We stuck to our guns and never faltered on the budget. We've got a long way to go with our financial goals, but I feel like we have steady feet now. Just continuing to trust and seek God's wisdom there. I think there are good things to come!
So what are you thankful for this year?
Oh PS, here's the pasta salad recipe I made yesterday. A huge hit! It's basically a caprese salad in pasta form. Love! I of course made it gluten-free with some good GF pasta courtesy of Wally World (and no one could tell the difference). I did nix the shredded parmesan, but I did leave in the fresh mozzarella. The mozz is in big chunks, so it's easy for me to scoot those to the side (sadly enough) to make it dairy-free. I so wanted to devour that cheese - ugh! Fresh mozz is one of my absolute favorites!!!
Friday, November 19, 2010
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Monday, November 15, 2010
I've been on the progesterone fun pills since Saturday and I'll start the Estrogen patch Wednesday. They also have me on some kind of steroid for several days that helps prevent my wonky uterus from rejecting the transferred embryo as a foreign object. It's amazing how much goes into this with the timing and the meds... the science is just unreal. And appreciated! I seriously don't understand how people get pregnant on their own. So much has to happen at just the right time! It's truly a miracle.
Physically, still getting back to 100%. I'm almost there - I just get a little uncomfortable at random times if I try to move too fast. Otherwise, I'm good to go and GLAD to have those million eggs out of me. They were sucking up all my energy - literally. Emotionally, I'm very excited and ready, but easily kicked in the face. It's like I'm all about it when it's just me and the hub or if we're at the doctor's office surrounded by fellow infertiles. But when I go out in the "real" world I find myself a little extra sensitive lately. Like I was at the mall Sunday doing a little Christmas shopping and in a span of 30 seconds I eyeballed three ridiculously cute pregnant chicks. "Aw, you're cute! I hate you." Leaving Kroger earlier that same day toting my fresh pineapple to help with implantation, I stopped as a not-so-well-kept (I'm putting this delicately) teenage girl passed me with her infant in tow. Really?! You can be on an emotional high thinking about this amazing IVF technology with all its possibilities and then you see that. None of this is fair, I know that. But no matter how at peace you may be with it all, life still punches you in the gut every now and then. And that's OK. I guess I just gotta roll with the punches, right?
Continuing to pop my gazillions of pills and herbs here and also concentrating extra, extra hard on maintaining a high protein diet. Moo Goo makes that pretty easy, but I'm really trying to ramp up the protein this week. I'm piling on those meats like no tomorrow! I like me some meat, so I'm not complaining. But I do have to be intentional about it and track what I'm eating. I've been doing that (tracking) off and on forever, so that's no big thing.
Other goings-on this week... duh, HARRY POTTER on Friday! Already got our IMAX tickets for Friday evening. I can't handle the midnight showing in my current state. Maybe we'll be able to swing that for the final film next year - that's always fun to go to because everyone's SO over-the-top excited. What a nice kick-off to our two-week-wait!
Current mood: Super excited for Wednesday!
Sunday, November 14, 2010
I still took it fairly easy today. It was an online church kinda day, but I did get out this afternoon to do a quick grocery run and also some quick Christmas shopping. I had a couple of really good coupons that I couldn't let go to waste! I've just about knocked out my entire shopping list! Of course, our list isn't very big. Neither the hub or I have huge extended families, and outside of that, we don't buy too many other gifts. Plus we still don't buy gifts for each other - not till we're out of debt! But I'm definitely very methodical about the whole gift-buying process. I've got my master spreadsheet with my budget for everyone... I take out the cash and I go! I've got a few things left to grab, so I'd say I'm about 80-85% done.
Alright, off to bed for me. I've got a long day ahead. I really wish I could just not work until we get past the transfer... wouldn't that be nice?! Duty calls, though. I am so thankful that my retrieval fell on a Friday and allowed me to rest up over the weekend. So nice! Feeling much, much better today. Still a little discomfort at times when trying to sit straight up, but even that is mostly gone. Pretty sure I can handle the desk chair tomorrow!
Current mood: Hopeful
Saturday, November 13, 2010
Apparently it was quite the party in that petri dish last night! We're supposed to get another call tomorrow to schedule a time for transfer on Monday, BUT the nurse said she is 99% sure that we'll be doing a day 5 transfer on Wednesday (which is ideal)! Super excited! Transfer is the last big step... can't believe we're almost there!
Current mood: Over the moon!
Friday, November 12, 2010
The funniest thing this morning was that once I was in my lovely hospital gown, cap, and booties and all IV'd up, they brought back my husband. Except that he was NOT my husband. Apparently they called for a "Scott" out in the waiting room and some other Scott jumped up first. The nurse entered my room first and goes, "and here he is!" I was like, "uh, yeah, that's not my Scott." And I'm sure after taking one look at me in all my hospital glory, he was thinking, "yeah that's NOT my wife - thank God!" Hahahaha...
I had never been to the surgical center before at RBA. Both of my surgeries with Dr. T were actually at hospitals (Northside and then Piedmont) for insurance purposes, so I'd never had a procedure done up there before. It's in the same building as the clinic, but up a couple of floors. It's weird because you get off the elevator and it looks like any nice office building. Waiting room looks pretty normal. But then you go through some doors in the back and suddenly you're in a full-on hospital. Bizarre. So after talking with the nurses, Dr. T, and the anesthesiologist, it was finally time to head to the OR. One of the nurses actually walked me down there with my IV stand while I held my gown tight so I didn't expose my buns. Once in the OR, they had me sit down on the table, slowly lay down and then started my sleep-tight druggies. I don't remember when I fell asleep exactly... all I remember is waking up and wanting to keep sleeping!
I was in recovery for maybe 30 minutes. One of the nurses asked me if I was sure I hadn't grown feathers and started clucking, because they retrieved FORTY eggs! 4-0! We of course don't know yet how many of those were mature, but 40 - wow! Dr. T also said the hub gave a fabulous specimen, so yay us! There's definitely a big party in a petri dish going on right now. We'll get the call tomorrow by 1pm with the fertilization report! We were also told that they'll probably freeze some actual eggs (in addition to embryos) since there were so many. Maybe I should start selling those puppies! Haha...
So now I'm just resting up this weekend and getting prepared for the transfer in 3-5 days. They will go ahead and schedule me for a day 3 transfer (Monday), but if possible they will hold off till day 5 - which is ideal. I start my progesterone and baby aspirin tomorrow. Then my estrogen patch a few days later. The transfer next week is the last big step and then it's pretty much a wait-n-see kinda thing. So glad to make it this far with such good results! Uterus, it's now your turn to work it. Get ready!
Thursday, November 11, 2010
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
Monday, November 8, 2010
Sunday, November 7, 2010
That's right, 15 total measurable follies so far and counting! I'm on day 8 right now, so still room for more growth. The nurse thinks we'll probably have egg retrieval on Friday or Saturday - which is great! I would love for it to fall over the weekend so I don't have to miss work. It's so not a big deal to miss - my office is very flexible, but I'm trying to save as many PTO hours as I can to carry over to next year for (hopeful!) maternity leave. (We don't have a maternity leave policy at work - so it's either PTO or leave without pay.) Anyway, hard to know at this point exactly when the retrieval will be, but that was the nurse's best guess based on the size of my follies today. I'm still doing great on my current dosage, so no changes yet in my meds. We'll be back at the doctor tomorrow to check my progress and we'll actually get to see Dr. T this time, so I'm definitely looking forward to hearing what he thinks! He is our biggest cheerleader there for sure, so I get excited when he gets excited.
But seriously I just weighed myself and I'm 3.5 lbs heavier than I was this morning. OK granted, we did grab some dirty Mexican after my appointment and I ate a ridiculous amount of tortilla chips. But 3.5 lbs? And it's all in my love handles and belly - I totally saw them in the mirror. Dear me! We're just going to call it sodium intake for now and hope it's back down in the morning. Of course one of my friends told me yesterday that her sister-in-law looked 4 months pregnant by the time she got past the egg transfer. Oh geez... not that it really matters, but sometimes it feels like the only thing I have control over in my life is my weight! Whatever. I give up!
Alright we've got church tonight and mentoring, then back at the doc in the a.m.! I'll give y'all the latest on the other side...
Current mood: Gross
Friday, November 5, 2010
Thursday, November 4, 2010
And there have been lots of unpleasant dates with the stirrups over the years. I love how doctors and nurses use words like "pressure" and "uncomfortable" instead of down right saying "this is gonna hurt like hell and you're gonna want to bitch slap me!" And not to mention the fact that you're in like the most vulnerable position possible. The doctor's so far up in your girly parts you can't even see him. Super fun! Ahhh... but the hub and I just try to keep our eye on the prize. Friends of ours that have traveled the same road and now have little miracle babies tell us they'd do it all again in a heartbeat. ALL of it. It's so not the road any of us ever imagined taking to have children, but hey, sometimes life takes a detour. There's nothing romantic about conceiving with a catheter on an exam table. But God bless the doctors that know how to do this stuff!
So why am I telling y'all all this gross stuff? I don't know... mostly, I'm rambling. But also, this month marks 5 years that we've officially been trying to conceive. So in those five years, I've been through pretty much every test/procedure in the IF world... not all, but surely most. So please always feel free to ask me any questions if you find yourself wandering down the same path. Comment here any time, drop me an email, or DM me on twitter. Duh, I'm obviously open about this junk so no question is stupid! I've been so grateful for the people God has put in my life to walk with me through all this. Support from friends and family is so crucial, but it also REALLY helps to have that friend who has really been there. Unfortunately, the scars of infertility are just impossible to really understand unless you've suffered through it yourself. How do you impress upon someone the emotional and spiritual struggle that comes along with it? I used to turn my nose up at girls who "couldn't handle" going to a baby shower because they weren't able to get pregnant themselves. I mean, how selfish and ridiculous! Even in the beginning of my struggle I vowed to never be "that girl." HA! Now I avoid baby showers and kids' parties like the plague! It is truly a daily battle to fight that inner voice (the devil no doubt) that says I'm less of a woman and it's never going to happen for me and I'm disappointing everyone around me. It's impossible to make someone understand that - someone who hasn't fought that same fight before. So many girls keep the struggle to themselves - and that breaks my heart. It's so easy for infertility to become a stronghold on your heart if you let it. Please don't let it!
It will swallow you whole if you allow it. It will take your friendships. It will kill your marriage. All it takes is time. So suit up and say NO! Surround yourself with positive and supportive people and share your journey with them. Take pride in the fact that you and your spouse ARE a family. Children are a great addition, but you are already a family. Seek out someone who has been where you are going and survived to tell the tale! And most importantly, protect your heart by arming yourself with the most powerful weapons of all... God's word and prayer. That is the only true path to peace with all this junk.
"As for God, his way is perfect: The LORD's word is flawless; he shields all who take refuge in him. For who is God besides the LORD? And who is the Rock except our God? It is God who arms me with strength and keeps my way secure. He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he causes me to stand on the heights. He trains my hands for battle; my arms can bend a bow of bronze. You make your saving help my shield, and your right hand sustains me; your help has made me great. You provide a broad path for my feet, so that my ankles do not give way." - Psalm 18:30-36
Well, shit. Now I'm crying at work and I seriously don't know how I got here. I was planning to tell y'all about my weird egg dream and look where we landed instead! Whatever - so goes my brain these days. I have had some wacko dreams lately and will have to post about those later. Another round of meds tonight and then an ultrasound tomorrow to see how I'm responding so far! I'll let you know what I find out...
Current Mood: Grateful (and obviously mental)
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
Second... today's our 8 year wedding anniversary! I cannot believe it's been 8 whole years. And what a journey it's been! I can't imagine doing life with anyone other than my sweet hubby, so today is truly a day to celebrate. And don't you know we're doing it in style! First we'll come home a little early to go vote together. (Everyone get out and vote today!!!) Then we'll run back by the house to do my meds (fun with needles!). And then we're running out to get a Red Box movie and Chinese take-out. That probably sounds like an average Tuesday night to most (minus the needles), but I can't tell you the last time we got Chinese take-out... I'm seriously so excited! With our budget, the only times we ever eat out (which are few), it's either dirty Mexican or a hot dog at Costco. So yeah, this is pretty thrilling for us to say the least! Super excited...
Also, somewhere cruising around the Mediterranean are my parents, who are celebrating their 42nd anniversary today! A BIG congratulations to them! We love y'all and miss y'all! (And Bailey does too.) So it's a big happy day all around!
Round #2 of meds up tonight! I know I came across at least one person via twitter yesterday who was going to be starting all this fun later this week. Here are some great instructional videos for different medications for anyone who may need them! Just scroll down and find your specific med, then you can pull it up on You Tube. If you're like me, you need visuals!
Current mood: Excited!