Monday, January 26, 2009

My 1st Blogoversary!

Today is my first blogoversary! It is hard to believe an entire year has gone by since I began writing and chronicling my IVF journey. When I go back and read my very first post, Maiden Voyage, I find myself sounding very naive and not too sure of my voice in the blogosphere. I was on the eve of IVF #1 and so optimistic.

I can tell you with 100% certainty, that I NEVER, EVER thought I would be sitting here today with 3 failed IVFs under my belt. There are days when I still don't believe it. I thought I would be pregnant in a matter of weeks and my brand new IVF blog would become my "pregnancy post IVF" blog and I would be sitting here rocking my newborn by the time my one year blogoversary came around.

Here I sit, no baby in my arms, but always in my heart and on my mind. In some ways, no closer to having that baby today than I was one year ago. To say I have learned a lot in this past year would be an enormous understatement. I have learned:
  • This is much, much harder than I ever thought it would be.
  • I am stronger person than I ever believed I was.
  • That my heart breaks a little more with each failed cycle and I'm afraid it will never be put back together again.
  • I am not the positive, happy, glass half-full kind of girl that I always used to be. I try to be, but I think a piece of that girl is gone forever.
  • That my marriage is strong and getting stronger each day.
  • That shots don't hurt nearly as much as I thought they would.
  • That doctors don't have all the answers.
  • That "perfect" cycles fail and ugly ones produce beautiful results and it is all out of our control.
  • That miracles happen.
  • That my faith in God has been shaken and I don't know if it can be fixed.
  • That I have had to let go of my need for control and planning.
  • To do without.
  • To save more.
  • That the big house and the cars and the jewelry and the gadgets don't matter and they are not a substitute for the one thing we want more than anything in this world.
  • That food is my drug of choice.
  • To live more simply.
  • That we still don't know if adoption is for us.
  • That I am not ready to give up.
  • That I would go to the ends of the earth for a chance to have a biological child.
  • That my friends and family love and support us more than I ever knew was possible.
  • That the IF community is brimming with the bravest, strongest, most caring, kindest, supportive women I have ever known in my life.
  • That I count on those women for support and advice and inspiration each & every day.
  • That my heart could break for a "stranger" in another city.
  • That my heart could burst with joy when one of you is blessed with your miracle.
  • That I would laugh and cry and celebrate and mourn with women I have never "met."
  • That horrible, heartbreaking things happen to people who have already been tested over and over again.
  • That even after 3 failed cycles, I still believe this will work for us & I am not ready to think about what if it doesn't.
  • That HOPE is powerful and gets you through some dark days.
  • That PIO sucks and its side effects are a cruel joke.
  • That there is always someone going through something worse than you.
  • That this is not the life I planned out.
  • That infertility has changed me and made the hole in my heart a little bigger and little more jagged around the edges.

As I reflect today, I want to thank you all for being here, for reading and commenting and lifting me up when I am down, for sharing your dreams and baring your souls, for holding up hope when I can't, for thinking of me and praying for me and cheering me on; thank you for being my strength and my inspiration and my friend.

There is something ironic about being in a mock cycle preparing for an FET on my 1 year blogoversary. When I start my FET in a few weeks, it will be with the little embryos that were made almost a year ago, when I was so full of hope and the power of medicine and miracles that I thought I would burst with expectations. Today, no expectations (as I promised myself going into 2009), but there is always hope...

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Let the Mock begin!

Today is CD2 and I began my mock cycle yesterday. It is pretty boring actually - 1 Es.trace pill once a day for 5 days and then I gradually ramp it up until my U/S on Feb 3rd. At the end of this I have nothing but an endometrial biopsy to look forward to. Fun stuff. Hopefully it will bring some answers and then we can get the FET show on the road!

Still feeling good, still cooking everyday, still trying to be more active. Weigh in tomorrow! I am glad to hear some of you tried the soup recipe!

Thinking seriously about making a pretty major life change, but that's all I'm saying for now. We really want to be sure and have a good plan in place before making any major announcements. I will keep you posted as it evolves... (it is NOT IF related). Send some thoughts and prayers our way - we have a lot to consider.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

"...when nothing but Hope and Virtue could survive..."

My favorite words from today's historic inauguration speech...

"So let us mark this day with remembrance, of who we are and how far we have traveled. In the year of America's birth, in the coldest of months, a small band of patriots huddled by dying campfires on the shores of an icy river. The capital was abandoned. The enemy was advancing. The snow was stained with blood. At a moment when the outcome of our revolution was most in doubt, the father of our nation ordered these words be read to the people:

"Let it be told to the future world…that in the depth of winter, when nothing but hope and virtue could survive…that the city and the country, alarmed at one common danger, came forth to meet [it]."

America. In the face of our common dangers, in this winter of our hardship, let us remember these timeless words. With hope and virtue, let us brave once more the icy currents, and endure what storms may come. Let it be said by our children's children that when we were tested we refused to let this journey end, that we did not turn back nor did we falter; and with eyes fixed on the horizon and God's grace upon us, we carried forth that great gift of freedom and delivered it safely to future generations." ~President Barack Obama, January 20, 2008

What beautiful words. What a wonderful, blessed day. To HOPE!

Friday, January 16, 2009


So, I haven't been so great with the blogging lately. It is all because of my New Year's Resolution to use my time more wisely. The good news is that I am succeeding - getting up earlier, working out on the WiiFit, eating healthy, knocking out the to-do list etc... but that has resulted in much, much less computer time.

Using my time more wisely has been paying off. First, I picked up another tutoring gig 2 mornings a week and that pretty much guarantees me 20 hours a week or more. Second, I have been menu planning and cooking up a storm. We have not eaten out or ordered take-out in two solid weeks. One of my favorite changes is that I now cook dinner in the afternoon and then pack it up and take it to tutoring with me. Turns out eating dinner or take-out at 10pm is bad for the waistline and the pocket book- who knew??? I have lost 8.2lbs, Sean is down 3.5lbs and we have saved hundreds of dollars - seriously. I've even scrubbed the house top to bottom - baseboards and ceiling fans included!

I am feeling good. Really good. Better than I have in a long, long time. I feel healthier, I have tons more energy, I am more hopeful and positive than I have been in months. I am not obsessing over our upcoming FET or infertility in general. I am really at peace with where I am right this moment. It is a good feeling; a peaceful feeling.

I am hoping this feeling lasts, because I will be starting my mock cycle when my period arrives next week. That should take a full cycle to complete and that will leave us staring down the last week of February. I may start my FET right away and I might not. Depends on how I feel and where my head and heart are. All my bloodwork done in December -karotyping, prolactin, and fasting glucose- was normal. That's about all on that front.

I thought I would share my favorite recipes from this week. It is from Bob Greene's new Best Life Cookbook. I tweaked it a bit.

Best Life Bean & Sausage Pasta Soup

1 can white beans (canned, rinsed and drained) *I did 2 cans
3-4 links Hot Italian Turkey Sausage - slit casing and crumble meat
1 bay leaf
1 large carrot
1 onion
Lots of garlic -minced
1 red jalapeno - seeded and chopped
1/2 tsp rosemary
1/2 tsp sage
2 cups tomatoes - fresh or canned
2 cups greens (collard or escarole) washed well and broken into bite size pieces
32 oz reduced sodium organic Chicken Broth
1/2 box of Barilla Plus Elbow macaroni
1/4 tsp salt
Parmesan cheese to top soup

Add 1tbsp olive oil to pot- brown garlic, & onion and sausage. Combine all remaining ingredients, bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer 20 min. Cook pasta in salted water and serve soup over noodles. Parmesan cheese to taste. The original recipe calls for water instead of broth and does not include sausage.


Wednesday, January 7, 2009

2009 "The Year of Hope"

Happy New Year! I hope the first week of 2009 has been kind to everyone! My year is off to a reasonably good start and I am feeling better than I have in a long time. It is nice to be off all the hormones, not have a million doctors appointments, and to actually be feeling a little more like me.

Honestly, the holidays were better than I expected. Family was very supportive and kind without being overbearing or full of 'assvice'. My mom went overboard for Christmas and bought us a Wii. It is seriously the best thing ever! She was so sweet when she gave it to us. She said, "I know we were cutting back this year, but you are so sad and broken hearted. I knew I could not fix it for you, but I could at least bring a smile to your face." That she did! It was also a long over due gift. I begged and pleaded throughout my childhood for a Nintendo system and she never, ever gave in, until now!!! Sean hooked it up Christmas morning and the four of us (Sean,me & my parents) laughed harder than we have in a VERY long time. My parents had a holiday open house the next night and it was definitely the hit of the party! Sean & I have had a ball with it and are completely addicted to Hero! I can't wait until the Wii Fit is back in stock!

New Year's Eve was fun as well. We invited
Amanda and her family over for a slumber party. We made tons of appetizers, played Wii and drank an adult beverage or two or three or maybe more ;) It was a great way to start off 2009!

As far as resolutions go, I only made one and it is to use my time more wisely. By doing that I will also be reaching more of my goals - planning my meals, cooking before I leave for work in the afternoon, getting in some exercise, staying on top of home projects etc... I feel my life will have more balance if I am making better use of my time. So far, so good. I have cooked a yummy, healthy meal every day before I leave for tutoring. The house is stocked with healthy foods, I have packed Sean's lunch daily and even checked a thing or two off my master to do list. Life is good in our house this week!

I have been hearing 2009 referred to as "The Year of Hope". The man behind me in the grocery store was making small talk with me and the cashier and he was the first to say it and tie into Obama. It struck a chord with me immediately. I told him how much I loved it and thanked him for sharing it with me. It reminded me of something that happened on Christmas morning. Sean & I had agreed to keep our gift giving very low key this year. We have a bad habit of going a little crazy with gifts for one another, so this year we agreed to keep it small and meaningful. We have a tradition of buying each other a personalized ornament every year for the holidays. I had a hard time picking one this year and told him we should just pick one together. We never got around to it, but on Christmas morning he had an ornament for me to open. It was an old-fashioned white mortar and pestle that you would see in a pharmacy. It has a red ribbon and it says in glittery red lettering 'Rx'. Sean had it personalized to say '
HOPE ~2009~' It took my breath away and I started bawling! Before the New Year had even arrived, Sean had already coined 2009 the year of hope.

Then, during Oprah's Best Life Week show on Monday, she also called 2009 the year of hope, the year hope will triumph. I seem to be noticing it every where.

I have decided to make this my mantra for 2009 - The Year Of Hope. May it be a year of hope for all you - may you find the hope that may be fading and grab on to it with all you have. May hope triumph over fear in 2009.

In honor or our President-Elect, in honor of the Year of Hope and in honor of each of us, some quotes~

"Hope – Hope in the face of difficulty. Hope in the face of uncertainty. The audacity of hope! In the end, that is God’s greatest gift to us, the bedrock of this nation. A belief in things not seen. A belief that there are better days ahead." ~Barack Obama

"Hope is not blind optimism. Hope is not ignorance of the difficulties of the task ahead or the hurdles that stand in your way… It’s just the opposite." ~Barack Obama

To better days...