Friday, December 28, 2007

Oh Crap...

I just realized I'm coming to the end of the 2WW.

It's been awhile since I've had one of these.

We technically aren't officially trying, but we're not officially not trying either.

In other words, we did have unprotected intercourse this cycle.

My face is broken out, I'm bitchy, and my stomach has felt weird.

All signs of a possible pregnancy... and of PMS.

Oh crap!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

'tis the season...

Ok, Ok, I know Christmas is over. Can you believe it?? It just went by so quickly.

All, in all, we had a nice visit(s). We managed to dodge a nasty stomach flu that was airborne in 2 households that we visited (so far anyway).

Last Saturday, Santa came to our house. It was AWESOME! Matthew was totally into it... he kept shouting "thank you Santa!" into the air, followed by, "I'm going to be even better next year so I can get even more presents!"

I made out pretty good, too. Santa surprised me with one of those journey diamond pendants. It is perfect... especially since I thought Santa was only bringing me a wooden cell phone charger organizer thing. Santa put the little box the pendant was in into the box with the organizer. Tricky, tricky Santa! Now granted, I had also shouted into the air begging Santa for it after I saw it was on sale and reasonably priced at M@cy's. So see, it does work! My son is onto something!

The only problem is that now Santa and I are fighting. Nice, huh?!? He gets me a diamond and I'm still pissy. Unfortunately, our desktop completely crashed right before we were leaving for our trip. Luckily, my brother is my own personal IT support, so we packed it along. My primary concern was that all of our pictures were on the hard drive, and hadn't been backed up in probably a year. Smart... real smart! PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT... BACK-UP YOU PICTURES!!!!

Fortunately, my brother seems to have been able to salvage them. He his now trying to determine if the computer is officially toast (it's going on 4 years old), or if he can fix it.

My dear, wonderful husband has decided he would like to forgo any possibility of a repair and just get a new computer. A $1300 computer. Right after Christmas. Right when we're finally trying to get our finances in order.

Now, if my brother comes back and says it's a goner, then I say fine, get the new computer. But if we can use it for maybe another 6 months or a year or so... then why not? Well, because my husband is acting like an immature 13 year old little boy, that's why. And yes, I called him that.

To which he hung up on me mid-sentence (he was at the store computer shopping). Then we went to bed and didn't speak a word to each other. And when I finally broke the silence this morning and said, "I don't appreciate being treated like this," he replied, "you're acting as if your bipolar," yeah, that didn't sit well.

Needless to say, it hasn't been fun in these parts. We very rarely fight. But when we do, we're both rather passive-aggressive about things. See, passive-aggressive-- YES, but bipolar-- NO!

Anyway, on a completely different note, my mother did something really cool. She has made these felt stockings for all in our family. Felt stockings with a bunch of hand-sewn sequins and beads and stuff. I've had the same stocking for the past 30 years. She's made a new one for each new member that's either married or been born into our family.

Growing up, my siblings and I would play little games with them. My mom always had them hung on the mantle from oldest to youngest. For whatever reason, we thought it was cool to put our stocking in the first position. So we'd constantly be moving them, and my mom would be putting them back to "her way." So, upon arriving to her house this year, that was one of the first things I did as soon as she turned her back. The "Jennifer" stocking was properly placed in position #1... in your face siblings!

There was something different about my stocking. She had added these snow-flake things to my stocking only, and hand sewn them on with some beading. There was three of these snowflakes. I think they represent my 3 angel babies. I didn't make it a point to bring it up. Maybe I'm wrong. But, God bless my Mom.

Funny thing is, my Mom also had a miscarriage. She has opened up to me about it a few times after my experiences. I don't think she really thought about it much until all of my drama. I'd like to think that maybe by me being open in regards to my feelings and grief, perhaps I've helped her process her loss as well.

Well, that's it for now. I'm off to bed, and hopefully to mend some fences.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

A Very Crafty Christmas

Greetings to all.

It's 12:30 am. I've just wrapped up all my crafts that I'm giving out as gifts.

Check me out!

Here is a cook book made out of one of those dollar cheap "brag book" type photo albums. Perfect for putting your 4 x 6 recipe cards in!


I gave a cook book and a tin of fabulous cookies to Matthew's teachers:


Just so you think I'm not totally cheap, I also got them a Panera gift card!

Matthew helped me make these ornaments for his Grandma & Nana:

You can't tell by the photo, but Matthew made sure there was a whole lot of glue and glitter on those bad boys!

My niece loves June from "Little Einsteins." So, I got her a shirt and made a matching hair bow:



And another for my youngest niece (you know her... the one that was born a few days after my latest miscarriage).



Also for this same niece, her nursery is Winnie the Pooh theme, so I made an attempt at painting and decoupaging:



So that's what I've been up to lately.

To be honest, I don't know why I take so much on. I'm now left very tired and with one huge mess on my hands!

In the long run, I think it's all worth it. I really do enjoy doing these things. If only I had a maid to come clean up behind me!

Well everyone, I think this will be the last post from me until after Christmas. Like I said yesterday, Santa is coming to our home on Saturday... and we're leaving to go visit the family in Chicago on Sunday. We're planning on coming home either next Wednesday or Thursday. It's going to be a very busy week.

Through all of this, I've really tried to keep the meaning of Christmas alive in our home. That's a hard thing to do with an almost-five-year-old. It's also a hard thing to do when your own spirituality has gone through the wringer.

This time of year, I do try to focus on the simplicity of the Christmas story. How beautiful it is. That God would humble Himself, and come to earth to dwell among us. That he loved us, and me as an individual that much.

I heard a song on the radio in the car the other day. Literally had me in tears. It went something like "He lived and died so that we may all live together with Him forever."

He came to earth so that we may ALL live together... as in my family, as in my 3 babies in Heaven. I will see them someday in Heaven.

Anyway, sorry to get all "churchy," but it struck a cord.

So, to end this post, I wish everyone the joy and peace of Christmas. May this find you well. And good tidings in 2008!

And I'll leave you with a final bit of commercialism:


Merry Christmas!

Stating the Obvious

I've been avoiding blogging about this topic. Partially because I've been very busy here... Santa comes on Saturday the 22nd to our household. So nice of him to accommodate Holiday travelers, don't you think? So, I've had to bump up getting things ready, because our Christmas is a mere 2 days away.

I haven't been on the Internet much over the past few days, nor have I been watching much TV. But that didn't let me escape the latest breaking news. Jamie Lynn Spears is pregnant.

My initial reaction was that the media must have gotten it wrong... Britney's knocked up again, yes I could see that... but her 16 year old sister? They had to have gotten it wrong. But, apparently not.

Of course, I went "there." She's 16/not married/she's got her whole life ahead of her/she's in high-school! While myself, I'm almost 31/married/have a Bachelor's degree and am contemplaing going to grad school/am a mother and desperately want more children.

Doesn't seem fair, does it?

I did a quick Google search. Every year 750,000 "women" ages 15-19 get pregnant. The fact of the matter is, this happens all the time. It's just that she's a celebrity, and now is the poster child of teenage pregnancy.

After the initial shock wore off, I've been doing some thinking. While I don't think the circumstances are ideal, I must commend her. She could have made this all go away very quietly, without anyone knowing.

Instead of casting stones, I am trying to not be so harsh of my thoughts of her, and to anyone else I usually deem less than worthy of motherhood.

See, I'm getting wiser with my age... I'll be 31 in less than a month.

2008 has gotta be great!!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Weekend Update

Another weekend has come and gone. And I have to say, thank God!

Let me start with some REALLY good news... my friend got a BFP!! Yipee! Now she is going through the "I'm so happy/excited, but don't want to get too happy/excited" phase. Obviously, it's so early, and she's got along way to go... but it's hard not to get excited for her. This is odd... I'm excited about someones pregnancy announcement! Maybe there is hope for me!

It was my weekend to work. It started off with me getting up on Friday. I was sick. Again. Like feverish, chills, and dizziness sick. I called into work to see if there was anyway I could take a sick day. Apparently, 4 other people woke up with the same symptoms, and beat me to the punch. They begged me to come in. Great, I'll come in and spread my nastiness. I drugged myself with Tylenol, Ibuprofen, and anything else I could get my hands on. I wore a mask and gloves all day long. It actually worked out fine. But boy was I glad when the end of my shift was done. I'll I could envision was my bed, and my pillow, and a pile of blankets. That's what got me through.

So, imagine my dismay when on the way home from work, I saw what looked like a white plastic grocery bag floating towards me. Only it wasn't a bag.

It was a white dog.

The car in front of me hit it first, and then it kind of "floated" in the air towards me. I nixed the whole bag theory when it hit my vehicle with a "bang." Definitely not a bag.

The guy who hit it first stopped, turned around to see what he hit, and drove off. Nice. All I could think of is, 'What if this was my dog?' I pulled over, put my hazards on. I then ran to a couple of homes where the incident occur ed. The dog belonged to no one, nor did they knew who's it was. Great... now what do I do. Seriously, does anyone know what to do in this situation?

God must have shown some mercy on me, as a car pulled behind me about 25 minutes later. It was a neighbor of the owner of the dog. We loaded her up in some of my nursing supplies (thank god I carry around disable blue pad thingys!) and they brought her home.

I just kept thinking great... some little kid's dog got killed at Christmas time. Great memories. Yeah, that sucked.

In better news, I have a bit a of personal news. It might be too much information, so please stop reading if you have no desire to hear of my sex life.

But, my DH and I actually had good sex! I know this sounds odd, as we have been TTC for almost 4 years. But in that 4 years, I can honestly count the times where the sex was great. This is making my husband sound inadequate! But that's not it at all. I think anyone who's been TTC for a long time can relate. It's always about baby-making... never about fun and enjoyment.

I think (for the time being) I'm out from under the TTC cloud... and also out of the post miscarriage psyche. I've always had a hard time after a miscarriage getting back into sex. Is this normal? It's like... here we go again... maybe I'll get pregnant... but I should be pregnant...

So, yea for me! I mean us!

And on goes my baby obsessed brain... hey, maybe I'm knocked up now!

WILL IT EVER END?!?!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

And on a side note....

If anyone is reading this, could you please toss up a quick prayer for my friend, Kate. She's been through a hell of a time, and she get's her beta results from her 4th IVF attempt tomorrow.

We all need some good news 'round these parts, don't we?

Please God, let this one work.

One Sick Momma

I've been sick. I've left a permanent imprint on the couch. I was begging God for mercy. I caught my son's stomach flu. I have to say, kids can deal with being sick much better than adults.

We're both better now (thank God). On with life we go. So in today's news...

I'm a bad mom. Why? Well part of me took such pleasure in this:

My son had a friend over. They were quietly playing in his room. Suddenly, I heard the scream of all screams. I seriously thought someone had sustained a compound fracture. Anyway, I enter his room to find the poor figurine decapitated. My son was is hysterics. I'm not sure if he was all that upset that his porcelain figurine had broke, or if it's because now there was evidence, clear evidence, that he and his friend had been jumping on the bed. That's the only way the figurine could have fallen off the shelf.

We completed our Christmas picture taking:

I considered using this picture, but my dog's mouth was cut off, and me and my anal-ness couldn't get over it.

Doesn't this say "Christmas Joy" to you?

Yes... he was actually sleeping.

We got ourselves a winner!

What Matthew wanted on the Christmas card, if he had it his way.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Bring It

In case anyone is wondering why I'm blogging at 5:45 am EST, well it's because I've been up all night cleaning up vomit and catching up on Project Runway via Tivo.

DS is sick. The throwing-up, stomach virus type of sick. I'm not feeling that great either. I wonder if my turn is next.

My point of this post at this hour is that I love this. I love being a mom. Mind you, I know I have been so lucky with my little guy. He'll be 5 in January (OMG!), and he's had all of one ear infection in the span of his lifetime. He was never colicky as a baby. He slept through the night at 8 weeks.

He's always been one happy, easy-going, healthy boy. I'm so blessed.

So, on nights like these, I feel like I'm earning my badge of motherhood. I was actually kind of smiling as I was cleaning up puke, and tucking him back in bed. He begged me to cuddle with him... something he has been getting away from. Lately, I have to steal kisses.

I've been getting a little tired of people complaining about their babies. About how they're so sleep deprived. That the baby is so fussy, and this and that. Now trust me, if this keeps going on night after night, I sincerely doubt I will remain so perky. It was very considerate of my son to have chosen tonight to get sick, since I don't have to go to work this morning.

All this being said, I love being a mom. Even when scrubbing the bathroom floor for the second time in the middle of the night. Even when doing two loads of laundry at 4 am. Even when tucking my child in, giving him cuddles, and telling him everything is going to be OK.

So, if having another child will require harsher working conditions, crappier hours, and dealing with a disgruntled baby all day and night, I say bring it.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Much Ado About Nothing

Please don't judge me.

My most recent miscarriage occured at home on 9/12/2007. Since I'd been through this a couple of times before, I was prepared. I knew what to do. With miscarriage #1, I had no clue. And it happened... in the bathroom... in the toilet... it was awful.

Miscarriage #2 was a missed miscarriage. Everything happened in the hospital. I was unconscious.

Miscarriage #3, I was prepared. I knew it was coming. I headed to the bathroom. I made a nice little nest of towels in my bathtub. It happened. But at least I was better prepared.

Now this was in September. I hadn't done a "deep" clean in that bathroom since that time. And what I mean by that is that there were still remnants of the miscarriage up until today. Nothing gross (give me credit people... I had cleaned the tub, toilet, sinks, etc.), but there were other subtle reminders. Certain things were seemingly frozen in time.

For instance, a pad of paper. I had scribbled down the number of my doctor's answering service. For some reason, it was still on the bathroom vanity.

My Crinone (vaginal progesterone) boxes were still out... along with my pill box with a baby aspirin, folic acid, metformin, and prenatal vitamin. All of that, and still nothing.

I also stumbled upon one of the positive pregnancy tests I had taken.

For now, I threw everything in a box in the linen closet. At least it's kind of cleaned up.

I'll have to further deal with it in the future. But for now, good enough.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Busy, busy!

Ah, the holidays are upon us.
The decorating...
The baking...
The shopping...
The working extra hours to afford the shopping...
It's the most wonderful time of the year!

Here is a video of my son for your viewing pleasure.
I have no idea where he learned of this song.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Perhaps I'm a tad cynical

Ok, so I've recovered from my marathon of a weekend at work.

Only to do it again this weekend. But that's ok. I'm not going to whine about it. I'm a grown woman, and I chose to work extra. See, no whining.

But since I've been working so much, I've had to hurry and get my holiday decorating done. I have TONS of Christmas decorations. And, I love to decorate. I have a touch of OCD with my holiday decorating. Everything has to be just right. God forbid my DH try to help, 'cause he'd just screw it up. Even the outdoor lighting... I prefer to be the one up on the ladder, just to make sure it's done to my standards. Sad, I know!

All this decorating got me thinking about our Christmas cards. Our first Christmas card we sent out as newly weds was a picture of us on our wedding day. So Sweet!

The next Christmas, I was 9 months pregnant. I don't even know if I sent out cards. Oh yeah, I did. It had our adorable, new, Golden Retriever puppy, Cooper. So Cute!

The following Christmas of 2003, our beautiful baby boy graced the cover. Sans dog. He was kind of over-shadowed.

Same in Christmas of 2004 & 2005.

Christmas 2006. Matthew and our Cooper. What could be cuter than a boy and his dog?

Well, except for maybe a couple of boys' and maybe a girl and their dog, but I digress.

Anyway, I'm preparing for this years card. I've been going back and forth as to whether or not to include one of those "our year in review" letters. Ok, not really. I hope not to offend anyone, but I really don't care for most of these letters. You know the one's I'm talking about... the "we're the perfect family, so there! In your face" letters.

Well, I've decided to draft a pseudo-letter for our family, for this very fine year, 2007.

Dear Friends and Family,
We hope this letter finds you all in good health & spirits. 2007 was a bang-up year for our family.

The year started off wonderful. I turned 30 on January 17th. I was ovulating, and spent the morning at my RE's office having Intra-Uterine Insemination. Then, I got to go to work. A birthday I will never forget.

We had a nice vacation to Florida in April. Had a lot of baby-making sex (or BMS) because I was ovulating. Unfourtunately, we did get knocked-up.

Had our 3rd injectables cycle with intra-uterine insemination in May, right around Mother's Day... ironic, huh? Yeah, that didn't work either.

We traveled all around the Mid-west in the summer. Great times.

We found out we were pregnant in July, on a "off cycle" none-the-less. We were so happy! With every ultra-sound the baby was growing, and it's heartbeat was so strong.

On September 11th, I had a routine OB appointment. I had an ultrasound which revealed that my cervix was dilating. I was 12 weeks pregnant. I stayed that night in the hospital. Matt was 23 hours away in the remote woods of Canada on a fishing trip. I miscarried and had another D & C on September 12th.

We are now trying to decide what the future holds for us. Matt says I'm "moody" a lot. I get frusterated with him because he does not want to do anything aggressive to have another child.

Matthew has 3 imaginarey friends-- Comveigh, Sumveigh, and Freddy. Freddy just showed up a few months ago. They talk, and play, and have a great time. I tend to believe that they're more than imaginary... perhaps his 3 brothers are here to keep him company for a while? You probably think I'm weird now.

Well, there you have it folks! Cheers and Good Tidings to all in 2008!

Most Sincerely,
Matt, Jen, and Matthew

Friday, November 23, 2007

Blood... blood everywhere! Part 2

In case you missed my last bloody incident, please feel free to get caught up.

Only this time, my dear son, thankfully, has had no further blood loss.

This time, it's my cat.

Until recently, I really loved my cat. He even has a cool story as to how we "obtained" him.

DH and I were newly engaged. He lived here in Michigan. I was still living in Chicago. I was out to visit him one weekend. It was in February. We were getting married in September in Chicago, so we were trying to use our time wisely. Every time we were together, we would try to get something wedding related done.

So, on this fateful weekend, we went to our local jeweler to choose our wedding rings.

The jeweler was right near the local mall. We successfully picked out our rings. They said they could size them, and we could pick them up an hour later. "Great", we thought. We went to the mall to kill an hour.

After an hour, we approached the car. There curled up under the car parked next to us was a little black kitten.

"Meow," he said, in a weak, whisper. He was shivering. Afterall, it was February. How he ended up in the mall parking lot, I'll never know. But he must have saw "sucker" written across my forehead. He mustered up enough strength to walk towards me.

"Get in the car!" my compassionate fiance insisted.

"Matt, we can't leave him here! He'll freeze or get run over. Pllleeeaaassee!" I begged.

He agreed (oh, to be engaged again!). But our agreement was we would bring him to the humane society on Monday.

And here we are, 7 years later. He's still with us.

And peeing blood over everything.

I should have suspected something. I took him to the vet probably 18 months ago. He had started 'emptying his bladder' in laundry baskets. If I had dirty clothes in them, he'd piss. If I had clean clothes folded him them, he'd piss. So, I was pissed.

Brought him into the vet... they ran a bunch of tests... they were all inconclusive... and I paid like $300 to be told it was "behavioral."

Kind of sounds like a trip to the RE!

Anyway, this laundry basket thing was off and on. He'd stop doing it for months, and then it would start again.

But the other night it happened in my son's bed! I was furious!!!

I mean, you could do it anywhere else, but on my baby's, my ONLY child's, my precious miracle's bed, this is where you choose to urinate? Oh, it was on!!

My husband declared that it was time to get rid of him. I could never do that. He's a really nice cat. Very social. He's almost dog-like.

Now, my son has discovered how fun it is to chase the cat. This the cat does not enjoy. So, I was thinking once again, behavioral. The cat was so fed up with my son chasing him, that he showed him who's boss. So, if I could get my son to stop chasing him, the cat would stop seeking revenge. Logical, right?

Until wonderful DH went up to bed tonight. I hear, "For the love of God and all things holy!.. there's blood all over the comforter!"

Not words anyone wants to hear.

My dear, sweet cat urinated blood on 1) our comforter 2) my son's comforter 3) our love seat

This is just what I've found.

So, I've steamed cleaned our love seat, and have began to wash 2 down comforters. DH is in bed. Please see Wednesday's post... yes, I did write that. In about 2 minutes. Isn't it funny that when your so inspired, the words just come to you? Yeah, I was inspired.

The poor thing. Now I have to break it to DH that he has to take him to the vet tomorrow. He's gonna love that one!

Hope you enjoyed my post about my cat's pee.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Ode to My Husband

On this, the Eve of Thanksgiving, I would like to dedicate this poem to my beloved husband, as I finish preparing our Thanksgiving dinner, as I am going to work tomorrow (and working a double on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday). I love you honey!

If I Had a Penis

If I had a penis
Life would be just great.
I would have a wife to serve me,
While I just sit and wait.

If I had a penis
How happy I would be
As I sit and watch T.V. all day
While she works, cooks, and cleans.

If I had a penis
I could just ignore the mess,
And remind her that she missed a spot
As she handles all the stress.

If I had a penis
I could give opinions and "how to's"
All while sitting on the couch
In between a snooze.

If I had a penis
How blind I would certainly be.
I could just miss the pot
And she'll clean up my pee.

If I had a penis
I'd be king of my house
And my wife would take care of me
'Cause I can't do it myself.

Monday, November 19, 2007

My Soap-Box

It must be getting to be that time of the month again. I haven't been paying too close attention to my cycles, as we are not activley ttc at this time.

I can tell you, however, that I think I'm in full blown PMS mode.

Why, you might ask? Because I've had my soap-box out for most of the weekend. I was at work, and there was nothing I kept quiet about. We had heated debates regarding politics, religion, sex, and many other taboo topics. That's what happens on a slow weekend when a bunch of nurses are working together. And being that most nurses are women, it makes for interesting conversation.

I won't bore or offend you on my views on politics or religion today. You certainly need no further details on my sex life. But there is one thing I can't let go of. I can't remain quiet. I'm pretty pissed off.

Christmas lights before Thanksgiving.

I'm not exargerrating when I say it pisses me off. I'm not a little upset over it, or slightly annoyed... I'm pissed.

What ticks me off is that when I'm eating my turkey and stuffing, surrounded by my Thanksgiving decor, I have to look out at my neighborhood all lit up as if I was eating Christmas dinner.

Perhaps I'm overly sensitive. Perhaps I'm just bitchy. This could all be true. But come on people, doesn't "Christmas" seem to get earlier every year?

And to my neighbor who every year for the past 5 years has almost made me go into cardiac arrest... do you really have to put up your Christmas decorations THE DAY AFTER HALLOWEEN????? Don't you agree that this is a bit premature?

Now, I think I get the rationale. We live in the Mid-West. It gets frickin' cold around here in November, so I can see putting them up on an unseasonably warm day. Fine, put the lights in the bushes and on the tress. But do we seriously need to adorn our porches with evergreen boughs, and are front doors with our Christmas wreaths, all before Thanksgiving? Is it really necessary to turn the lights on before Thanksgiving?

If this is the new standard, I think we should rename Thanksgiving, and incorporate it officially in the Christmas season.

Thanks for listening.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

The RE appointment

I had been dreading it.

But it went OK. I'm glad it's over and done with. But now, another huge can of worms has been opened.

I hate worms.

He offered his condolonsces. I thanked him. I didn't cry... my eyes welled up, but no ugly cry.

He offered some interesting options. He feels this miscarriage was probably not a chromosomal thingy since a) all 3 babies cytogenetic reports came back normal b)this last baby was old enough to have an autopsy done (bizarre); the autopsy was normal c) DH and my karotype is normal d) we have our son. So given the above, probably not chromosomal.

Could be clotting, could be autoimmune. I was on baby aspirin with this pregnancy... I wonder if that's why I made it all the way to 12 weeks this time?

So, he's offered to start me on Lovenox (low molecular weight heparin), baby aspirin, an Prednisone with our next pregnancy. That's as "deep" as he can go. He said if I want further clotting/autoimmune testing and/or treatment, it's basically out of his league, but he could refer me to a doctor in Chicago who specializes in recurrent pregnancy loss.

As far as getting pregnant, he offered a) gonadotropins with Lupron/Ganirelix/HCG/IUI b) Femara w/ HCG and IUI.

You know, I was so excited when I got my last BFP... of course I was thrilled because we were gonna have a baby, but I was also thrilled to get the hell off the infertility roller-coaster.

Now I have to decide if I want to get back on.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Ooops, she did it again...

Have I mentioned I love my sister? You know, the one with the 7 week old baby.

Cause I really, really do.

But, she's killin' me! Focus... she means well... focus.

Ok, here's what she did this time. I started this little webstore to raise funds for whatever the future holds for us- i.e. IVF vs. adoption. Either one costs a pretty penny, as we all know. I have really just started to "announce" that a) I have a webstore and that b)the goal was to fund raise for future IVF/adoption.

Sure I mentioned it to you, my stranger friends. Even to some co-workers. But not so much to my family. It's strange how it's easier for me to share personal, intimate, details of my life such as infertility and loss with non-family. I don't know why, it just is.

Alas, I have been coming out of my shell. Slowly but surely, I'm ready to start the crusade of bringing another child into our family. So, what better opportunity to mention my webstore and show off my products than to give them away as baby gifts? So, I gave a gift basket to my sister. My sister is not known for her couth... she tells you what she's thinking. No candy coating whatsoever. So, I was half expecting a "Gee, thanks for the homemade gifts... is money really that tight for you guys?" But, to my surprise, she genuinely liked the gifts. She even wants me to make some custom headbands for her girls' Christmas dresses.

All of this is great. However, she took the liberty of emailing everyone in her address book (I stopped counting after 120), and told them about how wonderful the gifts are, and that they need to check out my website to help us raise money.

This is problematic because a) I've been taking my time with the webstore... slowly adding content at my leisure. So, up until a few hours ago, there wasn't a whole lot there. I've added as much as I can for the moment, but nothing like working under pressure! b) Now everyone in her address book knows about her poor, infertile sister c) A lot of people in her address book are also in my address book, meaning they're family... so now it appears as if poor, infertile Jen is begging for money (which I kind of am, but now everyone knows it!)

So, mark your calendars folks... November 13, 2007... my official launch date. Only, I wasn't aware of it.

See, she means well. There is a part of me that is touched that she would go to this much trouble. I know she loves me. So, I'm just going to focus on that. Not to mention, it got me to get of my arse, and got me going. Hey, you never know, maybe I will earn a little extra cash from her mass mailing.

And I'll have her to thank for my little babushka.

Oh, and the subtle links, not so subtle, I know!

Monday, November 12, 2007

I did it

I'm back in Michigan. It's always nice to visit my family, but it is oh-so-nice to come home. It's weird. The longer we're here in Michigan (it was 6 years for me in September), the deeper the roots get. I have a great job, which could have a lot of opportunities for me in the future. I have more friends here in Michigan than I do in Illinois... partially because I've lost touch with people over time, and some have also moved a few hours or more from the nest. We're in a great school district here. And to top everything off, we couldn't sell our house if our lives depended on it. I'm glad that we're happy here and that it does feel more and more like home.

Well, I took the leap... I made an appointment with my RE. Thursday at 11 am. I'm terrified. I couldn't even schedule the appointment without bursting into tears, how in the hell am I going to make it through the entire appointment? I only scheduled a half hour consultation. Perhaps I should have scheduled a few hours to account for the hysterics.

In other news, I have been granted a high distinction--


Image and video hosting by TinyPic

Jenna has created this flame, and has requested that we "take one line (and it can be a short line in a small font if you're uncomfortable about this) to honor yourself for this battle that you've waged over the years, months, or even just the last few weeks of a cycle. I want you to appreciate yourself with a special Blogger Flame of Fortitude. "



I have to admit, I am having some degree of difficulty with this request.

Now granted, the last 4 years of secondary infertility and 3 miscarriages has been no walk in the park. It sucks. It's hard. I wish it wasn't like this.

But, I have a child.

My worst case scenario is I'm a mommy of one (with 3 angels in Heaven, of course.)

I know many women in real life and in the blogosphere who would gnaw off their arm for just one child.

I feel whiny. I feel ungrateful.

DH and I were having another "talk" last night (thus, why I made the RE appointment today). I expressed I feel like that if we don't have another child (either biologically or through adoption), I will always feel a hole in my heart. It's there. I can't help it. I wish it could just go away.

DH doesn't feel the same way. He thinks that we are "so blessed" to have our son, and that if he's our only child, then fine. If we happen to have another child, great. But he feels fulfilled with one.

Of course we are blessed to have our son. I look at him and can truly see the miracle.

But, I digress. I have been through hell. Infertility is awful. It wreaks havoc. It has effected my mind, body, and spirit. It has effected my marriage. It has effected our finances. There is nothing that it hasn't touched.

So, I do honor myself today. I am proud that I am still standing after the hardest battle of my life. I am proud that I infertility has helped me grow spiritually. I am proud that although I've been in dark valleys, somehow I always climb out.

If you are reading this, I do hope that you will honor yourself today.

Time for a group hug.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Greetings from Chicago

I'm back in my home town this weekend. Yea!! It's so nice to come home sometimes.

I decided this would be a good weekend to visit, as I won't be coming home over Thanksgiving. Or, at least I'm not coming home for Thanksgiving. Why you might ask? Because I'll be working a single shift on Thanksgiving day, a double shift on Friday-Sunday. It's gonna kick my ass.

What I wouldn't do for a baby! Hopefully, the extra money I earn will help a little.

Speaking of baby, I saw my new niece yesterday. She's 7 weeks old. I felt really prepared to hold a new baby. I felt enough time had passed since this miscarriage that it wouldn't hurt that bad.

I was wrong.

It was all I could do to fight back the tears. I didn't cry (thank God), but it was hard. No crazy impulses to kidnap the baby (I hope you all know I'm kidding when I mention that... but sometimes I wonder if I am a little unstable!). It was difficult holding something that I should have in March... a few short months from now.

I know I need to get over it. I wish I could. Holding this precious new baby made me realize how badly I do want another child. It is worth the struggle and the hardship. But am I strong enough? Am I strong enough to try an IVF cycle... hope I get pregnant... and then hope I don't have a miscarriage.? Am I strong enough to ride the roller-coaster of adoption?

God, I hope so.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

WARNING!!

If you are easily offended, then DO NOT click below...

And as a secondary warning, this should not be viewed in front of children, and probably not at work (nudity, not vulgar!)

http://users.skynet.be/pdauwe/ursula_martinez.wmv

This could be 5 years old, and I just received it for all I know! My friend is always good for e-mailing me funny and, well, interesting things!

I just don't get it.

For once, I'm not blogging about how I "don't get" why I've had 3 miscarriages, or why it's so hard for us to conceive. No, I'm not going to blog about how I "don't get" why my co-workers 19 year old daughter has a 1 year old baby-- and that the daughter is now incarcerated on 2 felony counts--and the future of the baby is now in limbo. No, no, no, I'm not going to blog about that today.

What I really "don't get" is Day-Light Savings Time.

A man must have come up with this one... actually, according to Google, it was Benjamin Franklin.

My son's sleep cycle gets totally whacked for about 2 weeks. He's cranky at night because he's going to bed an hour "later," but still manages to get up at what would have been 8 am 3 days ago, but now it's 7 am.

My dog is messed up, too. He normally gets me up (if I'm not already up) at 7:30 to go outside. This morning it was 6:30. Mommy was not too happy!

As I mentioned, I Googled the topic. It seems as though the theories are that it conserves energy, gives us an extra hour of sunlight in Summer, and in these dark, cold months, lets us wake-up to sunshine.

I can understand the energy conservation. But why don't we just leave well enough alone. Let's set our clocks ahead in the spring, and then just let it be!

The world would be run much different, if I were in charge!

It was a long weekend at work.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

A rather eclectic post

So, it's the day after Halloween. M. J. got his first fever from the viral thingy on Sunday. I have felt like crap since Tuesday, and DH says is throat is now "scratchy." Thank God I'm working this weekend!

M.J. and I went to K*hls today. They had these cute Halloween houses-


Of course, I had to have them. So much for saving money for adoption/fertility treatments! To my credit, I did wait until the day after Halloween, so they were 70% off. Quite the bargain shopper. Now, I think there's one more in the 'collection.' I will be scouring the tri-county area this weekend in my travels trying to find the missing house. Aaaaah, priorities!

Just a quick mention on the "Kid Quest" front... DH says that he would like to get our finances in "better order" before pursuing ANYTHING. He says he doesn't even want to talk about anything until we've paid some stuff off, and saved a good portion of money. I'm all for getting things in order, but why can't we talk about things? At the rate we're going (i.e.- the Halloween houses) it will be a couple of years before we even begin discussing things. He says he doesn't want to get my hopes up. Whatever.

In other news, we had a busy couple of days. Even though we were all under the weather, we still managed to do our rituals.



That's our little alien (from Toy Story) next to a prop at a cool Halloween place here in MI. And for those of you with a 4-5 year old kid in your life, you might recognize this...



An attempt at a "Wow, Wow Wubbzy" Jack-O-Lantern, per M.J.'s request. I did say 'an attempt'.

And finally...

Thank you God, for my beautiful little boy (that's me with him, by the way).



Tuesday, October 30, 2007

My Futile Attempt


It always seems like a good idea. This cookie recipe is wonderful. And their so cute... nice to give away to people. I made them last year for my son's pre-school class for his birthday. They were a big hit, so I thought I'd do them for Halloween.
They're relatively easy to make. But it gets to be a pain in the arse about half-way through. Just a lot of steps, and a big mess. Nonetheless, I do enjoy it.
My husband sampled one last night before they were decorated, and said they were delicious. I finished decorating them this morning. I was feeling pretty good about them. I proudly showed them to my son, and said, "Do you think your friends will like them?"
To that he replied, "They look great, mommy! They're gonna love their apple cookies!"

Monday, October 29, 2007

Blood... blood everywhere!

That's what I woke up to this morning.

My son, M.J., has had a viral thingy for the past couple of days. Fever around 101, stuffy nose, sore throat. General uckiness. He knocked on our bedroom door around midnight last night and said, "I'm sick, and I need to snuggle." He's got us wrapped around his little finger.

So he hopped in. DH hopped out. He can't sleep with all 3 of us in bed, so he uses the sleeper sofa for occasions like this. Fortunately, they don't happen very often. We've been very lucky with M.J. He's rarely sick, and a very good sleeper (just like his momma!).

Now, if you knew my son, you'd know he's a lot like his father. And if you new his father, you'd know he's a big, tough guy on the outside, but rather wimpy on the inside.

My son cannot stand the site of his own boogers. If one happens to escape, say, onto his hand, he is mortified. He hates to blow his nose, for fear of having to look at the boogers. Strange, I know. The upside of this is that I have never seen him pick his nose, something a mom can feel proud of.

Anyway, imagine his fear when, around 4 am this morning, he thinks that boogers are gushing out of his nose.

Imagine his mommy's fear when she turned on the light and saw blood all over his face, pajamas, and pillow.

I consider myself a pretty calm person. I'm a nurse after all. I have to be calm. I've been in "codes" and have helped to try to resuscitate people near death.

But I nearly shit my pants when I saw all of this blood coming from my child.

As it turns out, it was M.J.'s first bloody nose. Turns out he's not fond of blood coming from his nose, either.

Halloween came a little early to our household.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

I think I have issues...

I'm so embarrassed.

I went to a birthday party yesterday, and ended up crying. Crying about my infertility and my miscarriages. At a birthday party. Pathetic.

It wasn't my fault. One of the guests, whose kind of an acquaintance/borderline friend-of-a-friend, started the whole "I'm so sorry..." and then when my eyes started welling-up the "Oh shit... I'm soo sorry" look.

Thank God I managed to avoid completely going into ugly cry mode, but it was a close one. She seemed sincere, and genuinely interested in hearing what I had to say. She didn't awkwardly run away. She sat, and listened. She asked a few questions, like "Why does this keep happenening?" and "What options do you have now?" It was nice. Kind of an impromptu therapy session. Which would have been fine, had it not occurred at a 1 year old's birthday party.

I also received an e-mail with a picture of my new niece today. The niece that was born 5 days after I lost this baby. The niece that was born 3 weeks early, as if just to spite me. So, she's going on almost 6 weeks old, and no one had felt comfortable enough to e-mail me a picture? Do I come across that fragile? Now, granted, I had not requested a picture. Partially because I am jealous/envious/bitter/angry/etc., and I just couldn't. I couldn't look. I couldn't look at what I don't have.

So yes, I have issues. I know I have issues. I think I'll continue to have issues. Quite frankly, it's not my fault I have issues.

I am going to visit my sister and the new baby in a few weeks. I think I'll be OK. As in, you won't see me on the evening news in hand-cuffs with the headline, "Psycho sister attempts to kidnap sister's baby." How refreshing! I think I'll do OK holding the baby, and loving my niece. God, I hate how loss/infertility effects how I love my niece... yet another way it's robbed a part of my life.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Musings on AF

AF reared her ugly head this past Wednesday. First time since the miscarriage. 6 weeks to the day since the D&C... with all 3 miscarriages, AF has always showed 6 weeks to the day. Faithful old friend.

With AF came yet another not-so-subtle reminder that I'm not pregnant, I will not be having a baby in March, and that there is seemingly no baby in sight.

So, now that I've officially had "one full cycle," it's rekindled emotions of trying again. I've been avoiding my RE. I have no desire to meet with him and rehash everything that has happened. I have no desire to call the receptionist and explain why I need an appointment. I have no desire to see the befuddled looked of the office staff when they see my face in the waiting room. I have no desire.

I'm so discouraged about the process of adoption. I'm inpatient. I want to submit paperwork and have a baby/child in a couple of months, not a 9 months-2+ years later. Haven't we waited long enough? I'm also broke, so that adds to the problem.

I suppose an appointment with the RE wouldn't hurt. I could hear what our options are. But, do I really feel like paying our co-pay to hear what I already know? I should just get it over with.

I feel like I'm on the teeter-totter from hell. Adoption-treatments-adoption-treatments... it doesn't seem to stop in my mind.

Today is CD 4. Do I really need to keep track anymore? Ugh.

In other random news, I dyed my hair yesterday! 4 inch roots gone! I had planned to get my hair touched up back in July (it was long past due even then), and then got my BFP, and of course, wouldn't dare let hair dye near me. Then I was pregnant for 12 weeks. Now I been un-pregnant for 6 weeks. So, it was time. I dyed it all brown, a shade or two darker than my natural color. Darker... hmmm... subconscious irony, perhaps? Perhaps.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Amazing Grace

Had to work today. I must say, I'm so fortunate to have a job that's so interesting. As a Hospice nurse, the work is often very intense. I learn a lot. Not just about medicine, or how a disease process makes people's bodies ultimately shut down, fail, and die. I learn a lot about human will and human spirit. My work often strengthens my faith in God, even during times where I'm amidst a really shitty situation. You know, the times when something awful is happening to someone with such a beautiful spirit, or to a family who is so loving, so wonderful, and doesn't deserve to watch their loved one die.

I had an instance like that today. I should be charting about this instance as I type, but have decided to reflect on it now (or procrastinate, however you want to look at it!).

Mr. C. is (or was... I'm not sure where he is at the moment... this life or the next...) 88 years old. He has/had 3 adult children, several grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He is/was a Reverend. By all accounts, it looks as if he's lived a full, productive, good life. The poor man has/had a rough year... been in and out of the hospital for months now, for various reasons. When I met him, he was basically unresponsive, on a ventilator, and his body is failing. His doctor recommended Hospice. That's where I come in.

I spoke with the family that Hospice is allowing the body to go through the dying process, without any intervention, except those that are meant to keep him comfortable. I explain that it is a natural part of the dying process for people to lose there ability to swallow, and therefore, they are unable to eat or drink. A lot of people actually die of dehydration. This is natural... the body releases endorphins as this is occurring, allowing for natural pain relief. Of course, we top this off with a touch of Morphine, just to be on the safe side.

The patient's son, who is also a Reverend, kept stating that he believed that God would answer the family's prayers by delivering them a miracle... that Mr. C. would wake up and eat, drink, converse, etc. The rest of the family was clinging to his words, agreeing that God could give them this miracle.

I believe in miracle's. I do. But, in all my years as a Hospice nurse, guess how many "Lazarus miracles" I've seen. I'm talking about the patient is clearly dying, and suddenly the dying process stops, and the person is cured.

That would be Zero.

I mean no disrespect. I know that God has the power and certainly could intervene in this manner if He wanted too. I have witnessed "small" miracles before... once I had a patient that had been in a coma for a week, and he woke up to say last good-byes, even give last kisses... that's what I would consider a "small miracle." Sweet miracles, but not grandiose.

Mr. C.'s son kept going on, about this miracle that he was expecting. I had to say something.

With the utmost respect, I asked if he wanted God's will for his father's life. He responded, "Yes, of course." I asked, "What if God's answer to your request is 'No', and that it is time for your father to come home to Him."

He seemed to get it. I encouraged the family to cling to the "small miracles"... the hand squeezing, the stares into each other's eyes, the love in the room.

With this, the whole family started to sing "Amazing Grace." One of the most beautiful moments I have ever witnessed.

The patients Oxygen level started to drop, indicating that his body was further failing. That's why I don't know if he's still here or now in Heaven.

It does make wonder... why it's relatively easy for me accept "God's will" for strangers? Was it God's will for 3 of my babies to die? Is it God's will for us to have infertility? Is it God's will for us to adopt?

I don't have answers to all these questions. I do know that today was the first time in a long time I felt God's peace. And at peace with God.

"God's will" is somewhat subjective, don't you think? Even still, more calm tonight.

Thanks Mr. C., wherever you are.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Seriously?

I've been requesting a few International Adoption packets. I've gotten a few in the mail. Most come in nice folders, some are even cute. The packets are too big to fit in our mail box, so the mail lady has to put them on the front porch. Today, I happen to be outside when the mail lady came. I saw that she had a packet in her hand... I felt like it was Christmas morning! This is the packet I had been waiting for... the agency is here in Michigan and is accredited for Russian adoptions. So much excitement running through me. Until...

... I opened the "International Fee Schedule." Holy Moses! I was under the impression that a Russian adoption would be around $30K.

I guess I was sorta right, but try $37,690-$45,130. Gee honey, sorry, I was off by 7-15 grand.

Seriously, $45,000!?! Did I mention this DID NOT include home study and post placement costs? Yeah, it doesn't.

How can an average person afford this? I mean, come on! I just want another child. This was just, yet again, another kick in the groin. Ouch.

On another note, my online store is coming along. Check it out if you wish http://www.mybabybabushka.com/. Still a lot more work ahead.

The site was named after my son... when he was a baby and all bundled up he looked like a little babushka (which in case you're wondering, is a little old Russian grandmotherly type).

At this rate, I only need to sell 2,466-3,000 blankies to pay for our adoption expenses! Better get sewing!

Seriously.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Precious One's

Tonight I think of you. I remember you. I know we will all be together someday.

I know you all are getting so much love in Heaven... that gives me so much peace.

Sweet Dreams, little one's.

Love Always,
Mommy

I ate a whole Kringle by myself...



In case you happened upon this blog, and you don't know what a Kringle is, please see picture on the left.

I am a transplant here in Michigan... grew up in Illinois near the Wisconsin border... not too far from Racine (see picture on your left). My family would get a Kringle every weekend, from a bakery in Racine, WI.

Fast-forward a few years to my new husband dragging me kicking and screaming to Michigan. A minor culture shock, not to mention that I know no one except my husband. Oh, and did I mention, not a Kringle insight? WTH?

A few months ago, I was browsing the bakery section at my local Kr*ger (shocking), and there it was in all it's glory... KRINGLE!!!!! I was elated! So, needless to say, I pick one up quite frequently... I usually buy 2 and put one in the freezer. I mean, come on, what if they decide not to sell them anymore? A girl has to have her Kringle.

So, I had one in my freezer. I was trying to have a civilized, productive, meaningful conversation re: international adoption w/ my husband. Only, it wasn't going like I had planned. I guess I planned an emotionally charged conversation, where we decided to jump feet first into this thing, hand in hand. It's not that it was awful, he just seems so reserved. Now, I know I'm all emotional. I just want something to be excited about. I just want to make a decision one way or another.

So I ate an entire Kringle. By myself.

I'm not proud of myself. You can pound one of those back pretty easily. I didn't feel good about it after the fact. Whoa is me.

My husband then went out of town for business, and ended up meeting up with his brother and his brother's friend.

Turns out this friend adopted 2 little girls from Russia a few years ago. This is good news because A) It's nice to know someone personally who has gone through the process and B) My husband must be talking about the subject for this to just be "randomly" brought up. He also has agreed to attend an informational meeting next month.

I felt better. Baby steps, right? I guess the eating the whole Kringle incident was in angst. Oh, well.

I'll lay off the purchasing of Kringle's for me anytime in the near future!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Angry?

I was cleaning my sty of a kitchen. I accidentally knocked a glass off from the counter. It broke into a thousand little pieces. My almost-five-year-old, although I still prefer to call him my four year-old, rushed into see what happened. I sternly told him to stay back, as to not step on any of the broken glass. I must have sounded angry to him, as he replied, "Mommy, why are you so angry at God?"

I'm not kidding, that's what he said.

I quickly ran to him and gave him a hug. I apologized for my tone, and explained I didn't want him to get hurt. I tried to inquire more about his statement... "Do you think I'm angry?..." "Why would I be mad at God?" I got nothing except, "Can I watch my shows now." So much for having a deep conversation with a four year old.

Alas, it did get me thinking. Am I angry with God? Perplexed by God?... yes. Confused with God?... yes. But I don't think angry. After my first miscarriage, I can say with certainty I was angry with God. But now, I think I'm over that. I don't think that God has cursed me with infertility and three miscarriages. I think that shit happens sometimes. Shit has happened to me.

As for the perplexity and confusion... I still wonder... Why would God let a 15 year old... a drug addict... an abuser (fill in the blank)... have a child? Why let the child suffer in the hands of the people? There are so many people who are begging for a child, and can't have one... So I do wonder, "Why?"

I don't know, maybe he's on to something.

More on this subject later....

Friday, October 12, 2007

Men

May I vent a little? OK, maybe more than a little.

We lost our baby 4 weeks and 2 days ago (not that I'm keeping track). Strangely, I feel back to "normal." I think I ovulated this week, and got to observe all of those wonderful signs. I wonder when AF will show. Have to schedule an appointment with my RE. Aaaah, things are back to normal. Only, I despise normal!

I've yet to schedule an appt. with my RE since the miscarriage. I'm dreading talking about it AGAIN, only to be told there were no apparent reasons as to why I lost the baby. AGAIN. This is especially the case since I don't think I want to pursue further fertility treatments. Of course, I'll probably change my mind tomorrow.

So, I've been really researching International adoption. Particularly, adoption from Russia. If I could, I think I'd leave tomorrow if our paperwork and finances were in order. Maybe I should see what my husband thinks about that. Which leads me to my problem...

Why the hell don't men talk, share, research, obsess, and focus all their energy on one thing? This has become my focus. I have to come up with a plan, crunch the numbers, research time lines, and learn a few words in Russian.

DH and I talked a little about adoption immediately after the miscarriage. We both agreed things were too raw, and that we would talk about our plans in the future.

Well, the future is now. It's here. I want to get the ball rolling.

I again broached the subject with DH tonight. My plans are to work a bunch of extra shifts over the next few months and try to pay off some bills. Work on my web-store and maybe earn a little extra money for the adoption expenses. The bulk of adoption would be paid for by the money we could pull out of our 401K. We could start the home study process in the beginning of 2008. See, I have a plan.

I decided that, perhaps, I should let DH in on my plan. We talked about it. For a little while. He just doesn't want to delve into as much as I do.

Is this one of the many differences between a man and a woman? Or is this just my DH not on the same page as I am? Will he ever be on the same page?

Anyone have any suggestions? Are there any books out there on men and adoption?

I'm not sure what to do or what to think.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

No news is...

... in this case, bad news.

Just spoke with my friend. BFN. WTF?

I have nothing more to add for the moment...

Nothing Yet

I haven't heard from my friend I referred to in my last post. I called and left her a voice mail last Thursday. I'm 99.9% sure that this is the day she was going in for her beta. I'm a little concerned. She's in the 4th year of her residency program, so she's a busy girl. I'm not reading into the lack of response. Ok, I'm lying, I'm trying not read into it, but I am. Here's my analysis...

My hope is she got her BFP on Thursday. Probably didn't want to make any calls because a) It's a private moment. Not everyone knows they're pregnant the moment the embie implants. Maybe they just want a few days or a few weeks without letting everyone know the news and b) Perhaps they are waiting to make sure the beta level continues to double c) Maybe she's trying to "protect" me. She thinks that her good news might be too much for someone who just suffered a loss to handle (while this normally would be the case, an infertile hearing a BFP announcement from a fellow infertile... PRICELESS!!!)

Worse case scenario, a BFN. I don't think this is the case because a) After her failed FET cycle, she called me within hours for support b) It just had to be positive. HAD TO BE!!

Selfishly, I just want to hear some good news from the IVF front. It seems the only stories I know from people I actually know (i.e. not cyberfriends), haven't had happy endings. If we're even going to consider IVF, I need to hear a happy ending.

I just want my friend to have a baby. I will call her later today...

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Waiting to make the call...

My dear friend had her embie transfer about two weeks ago.

This morning, she goes in for her beta.

If anyone in this whole big universe deserves a BFP, it's her. I know that everyone has their issues, but she's had to deal with her husband having cancer, her mother having cancer, and infertility all at the same time. This is her third IVF attempt. Her first ended up with a stillbirth at 27 weeks, her second an unsuccessful FET, and now this, her third try.

Please God, let this one work!

It has helped to have a friend going through similar circumstances over the past 3 + years. Although, I much prefer my journey... although difficult, I see it could be so much harder.

I'm struggling with the call I'll make to her later this afternoon. First of all, is it too much to call her on the day she receives her beta results? I mean, maybe I should give her some space. But I want her to know I'm there to support her whatever the results.

And, Lord forbid, if it's a BFN, what do I say? How many "I'm sorry's" does one have to hear?

If it's a BFP, I will be elated. It seems the only joy I find in pregnancy announcements are from those who have had fertility and/or loss issues. Nice.

I'm an infertile and still struggle to find the right words. Perhaps I should cut fertiles and people naive to this warped world of infertility, ART, and pregnancy loss a little break.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Stupid Idea?

I've been tossing around the idea of starting an online store.

I would make and sell baby items... ironic, huh? Mostly easy, cute stuff. I haven't figured all the details out yet, but like I said, I'm thinking about it.

I like to consider myself "crafty." I like to sew. I'm not the greatest, but baby stuff, I think I could handle. I've sewn stuff for my son... clothes, Halloween costumes, blankets, pillows. So that's the kind of thingies I'm thinking I would do.

I would put all proceeds earned towards our future fertility treatments (more than likely IVF with PGD), future adoption, or if we decide to leave well enough alone, donate the money to RESOLVE, or a children's organization of some sort, or even another deserving couple trying to make their dreams come true.

Of course, I'm not planning on making a lot of money. That would be great, but I think I'd be better off working extra shifts at work (I'm a nurse and make decent money... and they always need help). But, I figured it could be a creative outlet, a way to pass the time (especially since the weather's bound to get nasty on us soon... yuck!). And, if I happen to make a few bucks to put towards our cause, then great.

My primary marketing plan is to give my creations out as baby presents. Since everyone I know (and their mother) has either just had, or is about ready, to pop one out, I might as well profit from the fruits of their labor! So, I'm planning on throwing together nice gift baskets, and tucked inside a business card. Oh, I'm so subtle!

So I've been designing my business card. I think it turned out pretty cute. I thought about getting them professionally printed. But I don't want to pour money into this and either chicken out, or just not turn a profit. Did I mention I'm a nurse?? Not a business-minded bone in my body.

I think I'm gonna start working on the website soon. I checked, and the domain name I want is available. So, once I start, I'll post a link to it... I'm all about shameless self promotion!

What do you think, good idea, or waste of my time?

I'm not sure...

** Edited to add: OMG, I just checked out Stirrup Queens... great minds think alike! A sign perhaps?!?

Sunday, September 30, 2007

I'm being a b!tch

I think I'm avoiding people. On purpose.

My mother is high on the list. We normally talk daily, or every-other-day. She lives near Chicago, and I live in Michigan. She tried to help by coming to visit the day after the miscarriage (2 1/2 weeks ago, might I add.) I think it made things worse.

For one thing, I cry. I like to cry a lot. Always have, always will. My mom? Not so much. So, I tried not to cry in front of her. Stupid, I know.

She knit a baby blanket while visiting. It's what she does in her down time. Watches T.V. while knitting. Usually, a good use of time. But why the hell would you do that when your daughter just lost a baby? I know it was not out of malice. But... hello? A little sensitivity??

I could go on. She means well, and I know I'm being harsh.

I haven't spoken with her since Tuesday. She called and left a message on Friday, and I have not returned the call. I'm not really upset with her. It's more like, I really have nothing to say. I have no further information as to what our next step will be, and I know that will come up in conversation. I don't really want to discuss my sister and her adorable, sweet, precious new baby.

See, I told you... I'm a complete bitch.

More wine tonight. I'm limiting it to 2 small glasses... I have to go work out tomorrow morning. Ugh.

Friday, September 28, 2007

I did it...

I had the unfortunate experience today of joining my local "women's only" gym today.

It's not fair! I should be 14 weeks pregnant, and enjoying getting my maternity clothes out. But instead, I had to face reality.

I'm fat. And I'm gonna keep getting fatter unless I do something about it. Only, I shouldn't have to be doing anything about it right now!

It's adding insult to injury! Salt in the wound! Somebody help me!

After miscarriage #1 (sad that I have to make a distinction!), I gained 20 pounds. Just ate anything and everything I wanted to, and didn't care. My attitude was "clearly, life's too short... eat, drink, and be merry!."

When I was then faced with fertility issues, it was suggested that perhaps it would help to lose some weight. So, off came the 20 pounds, and a few more. I was then at the same weight I was when we conceived our son.

Over the past 3 1/2 years of trying for #2, my weight has yo-yo'd. Not by much. But I know myself all too well. I had been thinking of joining this ladies only gym for a while now. Of course, then I got pregnant... and I was so happy that I could keep putting it off! But we all know how that ended.

Let it be known.... I have tempted the fates by paying for a year's membership IN FULL. NO REFUNDS.

My first work out was this morning. I hurt already.

Oh, and this isn't your typical old ladies gym. I think it's geared for a "younger" crowd. They have tons of cardio equipment, and then the typical circuit training. They also have "free" (included in your monthly dues) yoga, pilates, aerobics, etc. classes if you so desire. So, I like to think I joined a hip women's gym. Yea, that's it.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

"Just So Sad"

My whole life I have struggled with a lack of organization/order/neatness in my life. Don't get me wrong, I love when my house is neat and in order, but it is beyond me on how to get it there, and keep it there.

One thing I have mastered is how to cram, and pull an all-nighter. Much like when I was in college "preparing" for an exam, except instead of studying I clean. I had one of those sessions last night. And now I'm paying for it.

My son's best friend and his mom and baby brother were coming to our house for a play date. We met them last year at pre-school, but for whatever reason, we've always went to their house for play dates. So, a year later, I decided it was finally time to reciprocate.

The problem is that every time we went to their house, it was immaculate. This lady has a 4 year old, a 1 year old, 2 big dogs, and 2 cats. Not to mention she babysits for a couple of other kids a few days a week. I don't know how she does it.

And my house? Not so neat. I try, really I do. And in my 30+ years on this planet, I'm learning that my life would be so much easier if I were more organized. I'm a work in progress... in so many ways.

Now, it doesn't help that my son is like a tornado. He enters a room... BOOM... instant mess. It is a sight to behold.

And I count my husband's mess as if I have 2 other children. He wears a size 14 shoe. He leaves several pairs laying around, and... BEHOLD... instant obstruction!

The dog... a Golden Retriever... need I say more?

The reason I bring all this up is that I did stay up all night cleaning for fear of scaring off our guests. The real problem was that I had to clean every corner of our house. We have a finished basement, so I figured the kids would probably head down there. Of course, our main level, where we would eat lunch, etc. And even the upstairs. The little guy's bedroom and majority of toys are there. I also had to clean the nursery, because the one year would need to nap.

I had been sort of using the nursery as a storage room. If there was something laying around that didn't have a designated home... into the nursery it went. I've been packing up summer clothes and getting out fall clothes, and using the nursery to sort through everything.

So I cleaned it all up. It looks beautiful.

My friend went to lay her baby down. She commented on what a beautiful room it is, and that "It's just so sad..."

"Yea," I nodded, "it's sad."

I've been contemplating for some time now on what to do with that room. About 6 months ago I had considered selling all of the furniture and making it my craft room... or maybe a toy room for my son. But, I decided against it. I was hopeful. I figured that eventually the fertility treatments would work, and that we would have a baby to put in the crib.

And then, to our surprise, a pregnancy on our own in July.

And now, emptiness. And very little hope. I don't know if we're ever going to have another baby.

And in the midst of grieving my little baby, I'm also grieving the loss of a dream.

And trying to figure out what to do with the crib.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Hmmmm.....

On my never ending googling quest to find answers, I stumbled upon this tidbit. Interesting:

Women are more likely to suffer recurrent miscarriages if their first child is a boy

Madrid, Spain: Women who give birth to a boy as their first child are more likely to suffer subsequent miscarriages than women whose first baby is a girl, an international conference of fertility experts heard today (Tuesday 1 July).
Dr Ole Christiansen, a consultant registrar at the Rigshospitalet Fertility Clinic in Copenhagen, Denmark, told the annual conference of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology, that giving birth to a boy first was not only a risk factor for subsequent miscarriages, but for women who suffered unexplained secondary recurrent miscarriages (SRM) it could mean that they never managed to carry a child to full term again unless doctors gave them appropriate treatments.
Dr Christiansen said: "Giving birth to a son is known already to be a prognostically negative factor in many obstetrical complications. Therefore we wanted to assess the impact of the gender of the first child on the outcome of subsequent pregnancies among patients with unexplained secondary recurrent miscarriages.[1]"
He studied 204 SRM patients admitted to clinics between 1986 and 2000, and obtained information on subsequent pregnancy outcome in 181 patients admitted before 2000. Among the patients admitted before 2000, only 54.4% of those who gave birth to a boy in their first pregnancy had given birth to a second live baby by January 2002, compared with 73% of women whose first child was a girl.
Amongst a subset of women who did manage to have a second child after a series of miscarriages, those whose first child was a boy had an average of 3.9 miscarriages before achieving a second birth, while women whose first child was girl had 3.5 miscarriages before delivery of a second child – a small but statistically significant difference. Average birth weights of the second children tended to be 181g higher where the first-born was a girl.
Dr Christiansen said: "Our study shows that the majority (54.4%) of those who gave birth to a boy in their first pregnancy go on to have a second child. However this percentage is lower than for those who gave birth to a girl first. Among my patients I have at least 50 who never have a second child after the first birth of a boy, whereas approximately 20 patients did not experience another birth after having a girl. So there are patients who will never get a second child in both groups, but the risk is larger among women whose first child was a boy."
He believes that the way women's immune systems react to male foetuses is the explanation for his finding and that therefore it will be possible to treat successfully women who suffer from SRMs. "These women may have raised an immunological reaction against tissue types that are expressed on the surface of the placenta in pregnancies with boys," he said. "The placenta is created from the foetus and if it is a boy it will carry these male-specific tissue types. The mother's immune system may be reacting by forming antibodies, but also the mother's white blood cells may be reacting against the placenta."
The first pregnancy is able to proceed to full term because the pregnancy is safely established by the time the mother's immune system starts to react to the male foetus. However, it is possible that the immune systems remains activated after delivery and affects subsequent pregnancies, believes Dr Christiansen.
"This is an epidemiological study, so we cannot be sure that such an immunological reaction is the explanation for our findings. However, no genetic disorder following the known rules of inheritance, can explain the findings. The impact of the gender of the first-born child on successive pregnancies is suggestive of something that has memory and only two tissues in the body are thought to have memory: the central nerve system and the immune system. Together with a PhD student, I have planned a series of genetic studies and immunological experiments to confirm or reject the theory of an impact of male specific antigens on the reproductive performance of women with SRM."
However Dr Christiansen believes his theory is probably correct because he has conducted two placebo-controlled trials in which infusions of intravenous immunoglobulin have been given to women with SRM to try to make their immune systems tolerate the male-specific antigens. This treatment increased the live birth rate by a factor of 2.3, whereas no effect could be detected in women who had never had a child and who suffered recurrent miscarriages.
"For many years it has been well-known that pregnancies with boys carry an increased risk for a long series of obstetrical complications compared with girl pregnancies. We believe that our research will be able to clarify whether these complications may be related to immunization against male-specific antigens. If this turns out to be the case, then I believe that we already have a quite efficient treatment, as our trials have shown."

I did everything right, right?

So, I'm coming on the 2 week mark... 2 weeks ago I was blissful, naive, and pregnant.

Now, I'm sad, bitter, and not pregnant.

What I can say after this loss, that I never could after the first 2, is that I really think I did everything I could to avoid losing this little one. I've compiled a list. Why? Not sure, but these random thoughts were floating through my head all weekend at work.
Reasons I did not cause this miscarriage:
1) Number times I forgot to take my prenatal vitamin, extra folic acid, progesterone, baby aspirin, and metformin? ZERO

2) Number of cups of coffee I consumed this pregnancy? ZERO

3) Number of sandwiches containing deli meat I consumed this pregnancy? ZERO

4) How much seafood did I consume this pregnancy? NONE

5) Number of times I had intercourse from 7/19-9/12 (day I found out I was pregnant, to the day I miscarried) ZERO

6) Number of diet sodas consumed? ZERO

7) Number of times I saw a doctor throughout duration of pregnancy? approx. 9 including ultrasounds... did I mention I had 7 ultrasounds in this 12 week pregnancy? All of which the baby looked "great"

8) Length of my hair roots since my last hair appt. (which I think was back in June), and of course I didn't get my highlights redone once I found out I was pregnant... approx. 2 inches!

OK, I'm sure I'll think of more later. But, I can honestly say, I don't think I can blame this loss on anything that I "did" or "didn't" do. Instead, I'm blaming myself on things I have no control over... perhaps the cause of all of my losses is autoimmune? Perhaps I'm clotting? Although all of the tests come back negative.

I guess the bottom line is that I just want a freaking answer!

Friday, September 21, 2007

First Day Back...

I had to go back to work today. I was dreading it. I really shouldn't complain... I work every other weekend (Fri., Sat., Sun.) as a Hospice nurse. I really love my job. Sure, it has it's moments... people are grieving and often misplace their anger (ha, sounds like me!), and it can be very stressful. But what I was really dreading was the lack of eye contact, the stupid "it wasn't meant to be" comments, and the sense that people are avoiding you because they just don't know what to say.

But... I had a pretty good day at work!

I was met with true compassion. People hugging me... and saying nothing. Co-workers making comments such as "I can't believe this keeps happening to you," with tears in their eyes. Wise suggestions... such as a woman who's daughter has had 4 miscarriages and is now 14 weeks pregnant and using acupuncture.

What a relief!

I can say that infertility and recurrent pregnancy loss has made me a better nurse. More empathetic, and more sincere. These three little one's have helped their mommy obtain so much wisdom and compassion in the few short weeks that they were with me.

On a different note, I was a naughty nurse... I looked up my medical records. Why, why, why, do I like self torture? The pathology report was back... "Immature male fetus... all findings negative." Still waiting cytology. Sigh... I should have 4 little boys : (

Two week post-op is on Tuesday. What a waste of time. There seem to be no answers.

Changing subjects again, thanks for the comments ladies! I was so touched to see the responses. I have to admit I am new to blog world... but I'm so happy I've found it! Feel free to come back anytime and listen to me whine and ramble!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Sloppy Drunk

So much has happened since... May?!?!? Where has the time gone?

For one thing, in early July, we found out we were pregnant. On our own. No drugs or inseminations were needed. We had sex, I got pregnant, the way it suppose to happen.

I won't elaborate too much, as it is now September, and I am no longer pregnant. I miscarried this little one just over a week ago. I was 12 weeks along. I'm heart-broken. Sick. Come March, I won't have a baby... again.

Not only am I grieving this loss, but I'm grieving the idea that I probably will never have another baby. Ever. No doctor can give me an answer as to why this keeps happening... it takes over a year plus to get pregnant, and have had 3 consecutive miscarriages at 9 1/2, 8, and 12 weeks. We saw the heart beating on ultrasound with all 3 babies. "Less than 5% chance of miscarriage now" my ass.

So, I've been wallowing in self-pity for a little over a week now. And rightfully so I might add. And the inevitable happens... my sister has her baby 3 weeks early. I've been trying to prepare for the babies arrival, but I thought I had a few more weeks.

My sister and I have a unique relationship. I love her. I do. But we're not really that close. There's 6 years between us, and we are half sisters. Although that's really irrelevant, as she lived with us full time growing up. We're just different. If we weren't sisters, I don't think she and I would be "friends."

Now, I know she has probably been busy nesting and such, but never once did I receive a phone call, card, e-mail, NOTHING stating "I'm sorry to hear about your loss." Now to her credit, I had kept this pregnancy pretty quiet, but I know my siblings are aware of the miscarriage (my brother left me a "I'm sorry" message... thank God for brothers!).

I received the phone call from my Mom on Tuesday morning, stating the baby had been born Monday night. Great, now what do I do?

I guess I expected my sister to call me sometime on Tuesday to tell me the details, but that never happened. It didn't happen on Wednesday either. So last night (Wed.), I'm thinking what a horrible person I am for not calling and offering my "Congrats."

So, I sucked it up. Became the "better person." I called the hospital and asked for her room. It literally was a two minute conversation. I couldn't stomach anything longer. I had recited the conversation, and had decided that if she tried to turn the conversation to a "I'm sorry" tone, I would quickly state, "thank you, but I don't want to talk about me right now..."

But, the "I'm sorry" part of the conversation never happened.

Is it wrong to have been expecting it? I mean, she just had a baby for God's sake.

Instead, she told be the baby's middle name will be "Grace." The middle name I have been reserving for my baby for the past 4 years.

And thus, I got sloppy drunk last night. Not intentionally. At least I don't think so. Three (very large) glasses of wine, and it just happened. I have to say, I felt better. Now, not so much, but in the moment last light, I was oblivious to all emotion. Good or bad? I'm not sure.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Timing is everything

Day three of my injectables cycle. It's amazing that I can pump my body full of hormones and not have any side effects. Fascinating...

In for blood work Friday morning to see how the follies are growing. My doctor thinks that early next week will be "O" day. Which could be a problem... DH might need to go out of town for work. What the hell?? I guess we're gonna have to get creative. It's so stressful to coordinate sex! Who ever would have thought? Like always, my husband is a trooper. He always says, "We'll make it work." Looking forward to the good old days... no more shots, no more doctors, no more catheters up the who-hoo. Aaaaaah... memories!

On a random note... American Idol ended tonight. I'm glad Jordin won. I think she's got a great voice. She's a big girl! She towered over Blake and Ryan. Maybe they're just really short...