Monday, April 12, 2010

Whoa, Oh... We're Half Way There!

Thank you God. That is all I can say. I am officially over 1/2 way through my pregnancy, and things are going so well. I feel so incredibly blessed and so happy. Before I share all the joys and happiness that I am currently experience, I have to make a statement from a terrible, trying time in my life.

For so many years I was lost and in despair. I lived in depression due to self-pity of the obstacle in my life. Because of the pain, the sickness, the surgeries, the colostomy bag, the infertility, etc. I had lost hope. It seemed that so many things were thrown upon me at once. I was being buried, suffocated by these struggles. I continued to pray and so did all those special friends and family who loved me so much and saw my pain. As they prayed and tried to help, I pushed them all farther and farther away. Thank goodness for those few who demanded to be in my life! I needed them so much and am so thankful. Especially my wonderful Husband and terrific Sister. Even through my despair, I prayed. I prayed that God would please help me find a way to be myself again. Help me find a way to let go. Help me find a way to get my life back and feel better. Gradually I began to find myself again. Through my job and my marriage, I began to count my blessings and all the small wonderful things that I do have. All this time God had been blessing me and all I saw the one thing I didn't have. I didn't recognize the wonderful husband who supports me unconditionally, or a fabulous job i have. Or all the family, friends and colleges that brighten my day. I began to see that there is hope, and that everything was going to be fine. That God had a plan for me, and I was going to be the stubborn, motivated, goal-oriented, happy-go-lucky person I had always been. I would try my hardest to get where I wanted to be and just pray that it was the same place that God wanted me to be (otherwise we all know I wouldn't have gotten there). This horrible time in my life can now be seen as a complete blessing. I am so thankful and appreciative of everything in my life that I do have. There are so many people out there that have struggles much larger than mine. I will not take for granted the fact that I am alive, I have the most wonderful husband, the best family and friends, a good job, a home and so much more. I am blessed.

So, yes. I have over 1/2 way through my pregnancy and so incredibly excited, anxious and nervous all at once. I still have horrible thoughts that run through my mind from time to time, but I quickly say a little prayer, and think positive thoughts. Every time I feel my little one move, I just smile. My heart is warmed and I feel so blessed that it brings tears to my eyes. It's more than I ever imagine and all I've ever wanted. I couldn't be happier.

On Wednesday, April 7th, Jason and I had are "big" 20 week ultrasound. We were beyond excited to see our little baby again. To see how much he/or she had grown, that the baby was healthy, and if we were having a son or a daughter. So, with a full bladder I waddled softly into the office trying not to wet my pants. The ultrasound tech was so good, she got me right in!

So, I get up on the table and we see our baby for the first time in about a month! It was amazing. I couldn't believe how much the little one had grown! Of course, as you would guess, we have a stubborn little one who just didn't' want to cooperate. The technician was having a very difficult time getting views of the heart, spine, and lower extremities. She pushed and prodded for 20 minutes until I almost peed on the the table. I grunted a little as I strained to hold it, and she said "are you ok", I replied yeah, just peed a little... So at that point, she let me empty my bladder. We were thinking that we would have to come back another day to try to get the rest of the baby to make sure that everything was developing as it should. After I went to the bathroom, I walked around the room, rubbed/shook my belly a little to shake the stinker up, and then laid on my left side. Well, the tech came back in and we tried again. She successfully got the heart and spine as he did turn a bit.

And then he moved a lot! Just at the technician said "are you ready" I looked up at the plasma screen and say with tears in my eyes "ohhhh, it's a boy!" She said "wow, yeah, no doubt about it! It's a boy" I guess the little guy decided that if he just let us get the picture we wanted, we would leave him alone and let him sleep. I sure hope he's as laid back and restful when he's here! I really do think he has Jason's personality already. He is just so easy going. Doesn't cause me a lot of trouble most of the time, but when he does decide to move, whoa, he moves! I feel as if I know him already. I love him more than words can express that's for sure!

So, here are a few pictures from the ultrasound. I really wish I would have taped the ultrasound as it was such an amazing experience, and the pictures just don't do it justice. Everything was so much clearer on the screen. It was almost as if there was a looking glass into my tummy! I miss him and wish I could afford one of those ultrasound machines at home! I'd never leave :)


Tuesday, January 19, 2010

What I needed to hear...

WOW! We heard the heartbeat today. I was totally not expecting it, I'm only 8 weeks and 3 days, I thought it was too early. Needless to say, after the way I've been feeling, it was just what I needed to hear! It was amazing. It really put my mind at ease. (For the time being at least)

Dr. Ayers was amazing too! He was so compassionate and considerate about my fears. Every time I go for an appointment, I leave with a smile. (Even during the tough appointments). I am so blessed to have been brought to IVF of Michigan! I feel comfortable to express my thoughts and opinions and I am taken seriously and respected. I'm worried about hormone levels, so they did blood work to check it for me. I need to see my baby's heartbeat weekly, so I have an appointment next Monday and weekly there after until I feel comfortable! It is just an amazing place. As much as I didn't want to have to be a patient, boy am I feeling blessed to be with them now!

I expressed my concern about lack of symptoms and fluctuation of symptoms. He doesn't just say it's normal and move on. He explains it to me and why it happens and that calms my fears. He said, “I'm sorry your not feeling sick”, I reply sarcastically “I know, is a little morning sickness, nausea and frequent urination too much to ask for...jeeze”. We laugh together! Jason is right there, and it's the most wonderful experience ever. I just can't tell you how great this Dr. is! Jason and I both love him and think he is fabulous!

So, for a while, I am feeling relaxed and enjoying being pregnant. The relief I felt today after getting myself so worked up will ease my crazy mind in the future. Maybe this experience will help keep my crazy mind/body from playing tricks on me and convincing myself that “it's happening again”. I completely had my self convinced that today I would find out my little baby had no heartbeat. It is a nightmare I have lived in the past and I just can't seem to get past it. This is going to stick with me and I am going to keep the faith, pray lots and stay positive! This baby will be in my arms in August!!!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

8 weeks and counting :)

Well, yesterday was the 8 week mark for us. Things seem to be going well I guess. I feel fine other than just tired. I'm so worried and paranoid though. I have very little symptoms and so I'm constantly wondering if I'm still pregnant, if the baby is still alive, if everything is still ok. Is a little nausea, morning sickness, or frequent urination too much to ask for? Really, I'm driving my self insane and I'm so anxious to see the Dr. Tuesday. I know that getting to see my little baby's heartbeat again will make me feel a little better for a little longer. I just pray that all goes well and things look just as perfect as they did two weeks ago.

I don't think anything will every take my worry completely away. As many of you already know, (because for me, I have to be very open and honest about things... too keep me from completely loosing my mind) My last pregnancy ended in a D &C after the baby's heart stopped. I found out when I was at my 12 week visit, but the Dr. said the baby was only measuring 10 weeks (that must have been when their little heart stopped and they stopped growing). So, I think I will feel a bit better after at least that point. My IVF Dr. wants to release me if everything looks good this week, but I think I'll make him keep me on two more weeks. I've been thinking of doubling up and making an apt. with my OB too. Then maybe I can see my baby every week. My OB is wonderful and has stated that he will do ultrasounds for me every week if that's what it takes to ease my mind. He is so kind and understanding. One great thing that came from all my pain, surgeries and such... meeting this fabulous specialist who is so genuine and caring!!!

Anyways, right now I'm just praying a lot and trying to be very positive. Monday and Tuesday will be hard to get through, I hope all my appointments don't cancel so I'm going non-stop both days right up to the time I see the Dr. Of course I know I'll feel sick to the point of vomiting (nerves always get to me) while I'm sitting in the waiting room Tuesday afternoon!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Big News = Bigger Worries

So after my Embryo Transfer on December 11th, I got the biggest and best news I've had in a long time. It worked, and I'm pregnant. I was suspicious before my official Dr. appointment on Dec. 21st, but was trying hard not to get my hopes up too high. My only symptom is the same as one of my symptoms during my last pregnancy: Very Sore Breasts!

I'm thrilled of course, but also scared to death! I have been here before a little over two years ago. I remember it like it was just yesterday so of course it brings a flood of emotions back to life. I'm so happy and I feel so blessed to be pregnant again, but in the back of my mind I'm so scared because I know how quickly things can change. I want this more than I've ever wanted anything in the world. I feel as if I would give my life for this opportunity. The excitement and joy I see in Jason's eyes is so wonderful, I'm scared to death that although I'm the one to give him this joy, I could also be the one to destroy it. God please be with me and my growing baby. Bless us both so that I may hold them in my arms this summer.

There were some strange connections between my loss in 2007 and my current pregnancy. It was December 11, 2007 that I had to endure my D&C. It was Dec. 11, 2009 that two precious little babies were placed in my uterus and began to grow! I can't help but thinking that it is a sign of support and encouragement. I just wish I could completely let go of my fears.

Lately my mind as been playing tricks on me. People think I'm crazy and don't know what I'm saying when I say that I wish I had nausea and morning sickness everyday and night! I really do, I swear to it. At least then I would have a reminder everyday that I'm still pregnant and things are going well. Right now, I have nothing and it is worrying me to death. My breasts are not tender, I'm not peeing a lot, no sickness, nothing. Many people would be happy to have a good pregnancy like this, but for someone who has lost a baby without warning; it is the scariest thing in the world.

I remember going in for my 12 week ultasound... I was elated and so excited to see how much my baby had grown. Their little fingers and toes were visible, and they looked just perfect! I had not warning or indication that their little heart had stopped beating and it was only a matter of time before my body would "dispose" of them. In hind sight, I remember that I wasn't worried at all, but when that news set in, I remember thinking, "I guess my symptoms have really gone away". My breasts were sore and I was peeing all the time, it stopped, and I didn't even notice until after they informed me that my baby was gone.

So, now I can't help but worry. I wish someone would give me a piece of mind. Many of my IVF online friends have reassured me that it is fine. Symptoms come and go and fluctuate and everyone is different. I just am so scared of losing this baby too. I can't help but worry and I guess in a way, try to protect or prepare myself for the reoccurrences of that pain and anguish. I pray that God will see me and this baby/babies through. I pray every night and multiple times throughout the day just as I have for over 4 years now. God please give me peace and bless this growing baby/babies inside me.

Monday, January 4th is my first ultrasound. First and most importantly the Dr. will be able to tell me if the baby is growing at the right rate, and if my body is carrying the baby well at this point. Another exciting thing is that we will find out if I am carrying one or two babies and will also be able to determine my estimated due date a bit more closely.. According to my calculations, It is August 28th, 2010 (for one baby)! I’m just excited to know that everything is going well and maybe then I can at least relax a little bit.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Thoughts...

I have to admit, I'm completely going insane here! The waiting is killing me. The more I wait, the more I think, the more I get worked up. I can't just relax and not worry.
So, I'm trying very hard to keep busy. We have been going to a lot of football games... which I LOVE! And spending time with a very fun group of friends. I have been enjoying staying out late, sleeping in, and just going with the flow. All this had worked for the past 3 months during this agonizing wait, but now that things are starting to move toward Dec. 11, I'm finding myself getting more and more anxious.

It doesn’t help that my emotions are completely through the roof! I've started meds up again, so that doesn't help a ton either. Hot flashes, cold sweats and all that fun stuff! And on top of it all, it seems like I can't escape. Everywhere I turn it feels like babies and pregnancy is in my face. (What do you really expect though when you work with children from prenatal care to age 5?) This scares me even more. I feel so positive about this cycle. I feel very strongly that this is it, I will bring at least one of those 14 frozen babies home with me sometime next summer! But still, in the back of my mind there is that little "what if". I just have to say that I can't take another let down. I can't! This has to work, or I don't know what I'll do. I've become so very sad and depressed. I'm at my bottom... it has to look up from here.

Thank goodness I have the absolute best husband in the world. And right now, he feels like the only thing I have. Lately I have been feeling more and more alone. I have a wonderful group of online friends who are experiencing similar problems. They give me someone to talk to who truly understands, but they still aren't right here! They still don't know the real me. They aren't someone to hug! And although I love my friends dearly.... none of them know what I'm going through. Not truly. They may think they do, but they do not. Many of them didn't have problems conceiving at all, many have 2 or 3 children, they just really do not know. And often times, even though they don't know it, they are very inconsiderate of my situation and feelings. (In their defense, it is because they just really do not understand.) Thank goodness I'm good at hiding my feelings until I'm alone. Then I let loose and bawl my eyes out. If they only knew my pain...

So, now I'm feeling like I need to lock myself away and keep as busy as possible. This seems to be the only way to shield myself from extremely painful situations and interactions. My husband in great and always thinks of me and my feelings. In difficult situations he squeezes my hand to tell me its ok, and to just old on. When we are alone, he tells me how good of a job I did handling the situation. Then I cry! He is the only person who I let see me cry. (Well him and my doctors).

I'm really struggling with my faith too. Although I do not attend church regularly, I have and always have had a relationship with God and strived to live my life through him. I try to be a good person and follow the golden rule. I think this is more important than going someplace once a week. I have always believed that God has a plan. That we all have a purpose here in life and that God's will is what’s best. Lately I just can't escape the feeling that I must just be a horrible person. I truly feel as if I must have done something terribly wrong to deserve all the torture I've experienced in the past 3 year. Why else would it continue? Why else would my prayers be ignored? Why else would he not comfort me or give me strength to deal with everything? Why would I be pushed to the point that I want to give up? I want to give in? I just don't understand. I try so hard to stay strong and I pray every day for God to please give me the strength to make it though this difficult time in my life. I thank him everyday for all my beautiful blessings. Although sometimes this is hard to remember, I have so many. I ask him to bless all the wonderful people in my life. I ask him to forgive me for my sins, negative thoughts, and downfalls. I'm trying very hard not to let go, but I am really struggling.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Acceptance...

So I guess I've maybe finally come to terms with my disappointment. I'm trying to think positive and believe that there is a plan and everything does happen for a reason... but it still sucks to wait more and to have my hopes up and broken down once again.

Anyway, I was much to sick to go ahead with the fresh embryo transfer as planned. I was devastated at first because I had been getting so excited to think that in days I might actually be pregnant, now I'm back to terms with waiting months again. I guess after 4 years I should be able to deal with it a bit better, but it still crushes me.

My ovaries were super stimulated during my IVF cycle and fortunately, I had an abundance of eggs. There were 20 healthy looking follicles when the egg retrieval was done. Of those 20 follicles, 18 eggs were harvested, 17 were mature, and 14 fertilized! So, right now we have 14 little babies frozen, waiting for me to be healthy enough to try to carry them. This is exciting and creepy to me all at once. I guess I just find it amazing that technology has come this far, and more amazed that the early human life is resilient enough to undergo months to years in a frozen state. I know that some of these little ones won't live through the freeze; some will not develop enough to be implanted... I just pray that at least one of them will! And if God's willing, I'll take all 14 if I can! (not at once though).

So, now... it's more of the waiting game. I was so sick for about a month, and now things are calming down a bit. My stomach was visible distended and taught with the pressure of the fluid in my abdomen. I had to have it aspirated twice, but it has been slowly going down since then. It reminded me a lot of my time right after my abdominal surgery. Very bloated and super sore. Couldn't walk, sit up, lay down... it was miserable. At one point I thought to myself "what the heck am I doing to myself?" It's so hard because so often I find myself doubting myself.... I hate that. The only thing I know is that right now I feel as if there is nothing I wouldn't risk to have our baby. I'm sure many of you don't understand... how could you, you've never lived this pain... but no matter how I try to rationalize it, it all comes right back down to that one statement.

My body is on the mend and I am taking a breather. It is our hope, and the Dr. opinion, that I should be healthy enough to try a frozen embryo transfer in December. So, until then I will be praying and dreaming of our babies!

Monday, August 31, 2009

:(

Too upset to go into detail now, but scenario 2 seems to be playing out. I’m happy it’s not scenario 1, but I’m still very sad. I'll post more when I calm down and stop crying.

Just my Luck...

So, things were going so incredibly good with my IVF treatment. My ovaries had responded very well to the stimulation meds and were producing nice eggs. I was so super excited that things were really going to go smoothly. I should have known better... it's just my luck

Sunday morning we had a routine appointment to check my blood and have an ultra sounds. The nurse was quite alarmed at the presence of fluid around my ovaries and the differences between my multiple eggs. She contacted my Dr. and I was ordered to quite taking all meds immediately. Of course I've been doing my injections at 7:30am and 7:30pm, and that morning my appointment was at 8am... I had already done 2 of my injections. This was not good :( So, the nurse informs us that we have to quite this cycle all together or possibly have the eggs retrieved and then frozen. I'd just have to wait to see what my blood work and a few other tests showed.

An appointment was set for today. Of course it was incredibly hard to stay focused all day Sunday and this morning! During my appointment today I had another ultrasound and more blood work. My Dr. was very positive and almost guaranteed that I would have a baby with one of these eggs, it just might not bee as soon as I like. Although I'm super excited that he is so positive and feels so good about my progress, I'm really sad that we may have to wait once again.

There is rare event that occurs in approximately 5% of women undergoing my type of ovarian stimulation for IVF. It is called OHSS (Ovarian Hyper Stimulation Syndrome). Your ovaries become very enlarged, retain fluid and distend your abdomen. It can be very serious. Of course, although there is very small chance of having this problem... I guess I do.

The good news is, the Dr. informed me that we may have caught it at the right time. There are pretty much 3 scenarios that can play out. One: My estrogen levels are dangerously high and I have to stop this IVF cycle immediately for my own health. This is the worse case scenario as it results in the loss of 20-30 very healthy eggs and leaves me having to start all over again in 3-4 months when my ovaries are ok again. Two: My estrogen levels are too high for an embryo transfer or healthy pregnancy, but they are able to retrieve my eggs, fertilize them and freeze them for a Frozen Embryo Transfer (FET) in 3-4 months when my body is good again. or Three: my estrogen levels are fine and we can go ahead with the retrieval and transfer now as planned.

Of course I want scenario 3! I have gotten so excited about what could be and my dreams finally coming true. I have waited 4 years and to think it may be a reality in 9 months is very exciting! On the other hand, I don't want this at the risk of my life or my babies’ lives. That would not be worth it! I guess when it all comes down to it, I will do what my Dr. feels is the best procedure. He has years of experience and I trust him with my (and my babies) life. He is compassionate and caring and I feel that he wants me to have a baby almost as much as Jason and I do. I feel blessed to have been referred to him and his office.

So, now is the waiting game. My blood work from today should be back before 4, and the Dr. will call me then. I will know how bad my OHSS is and where we are going from here! Waiting to know is very difficult, but by now, I'm a pro! The meds do make me a bit less patient and a bit more irritable than normal (Jason might say more than a bit.. ha ha), but I'm hanging in here. I still feel confident that everything is going to work out just fine!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Eggsplosive...

I am so excited I feel like I might just jump right out of my skin. I had my Dr. appointment today and the ultrasound showed lots and lots of eggs. The nurse said that on average, most patients have 10-15 follicles for retrieval. Of course more is better because it gives you more chances to fertilize an egg and create a healthy embryo that makes it to Day 5 for the best chances of a successful transfer. Well... one of my ovaries has that many eggs. It was hard to count because there are so many, but it seems there are at least 12 in my left ovary and at least 11 in my right. The nurse was very pleased, and that makes me feel very happy as well. I'm just feeling so optimistic about this whole procedure. Jason and I have waited over 4 years, and I feel like this is it. My body is cooperating and things just came together even when it looked like it wouldn't. I know that there is still only about at 37% chance of me carrying a baby to full term, but I feel like I'm going to be on the positive end of a percentage for once in my life! I just really feel like we will finally be blessed... it is going to happen. I go back to the Dr. on Sunday morning and in the mean time I start a third injection to prevent premature ovulation. We don't want those little eggs letting go on their own. Of course now that would happen since they wouldn't do it for 4 years on their own! LOL, anyway, I'm feeling so good... so excited, so anxious! Praying for a miracle!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Egg Check

So, tomorrow is my first Dr. appointment to check my egg development. I'm really excited and sort of anxious. I hope that my ovaries cooperated with the meds and there are lots of nice healthy eggs developing. The ultra sound should give us a little bit better picture about when we might be looking to do the retrieval. It was estimated to be around the 1st, but anything can change. It all just depends on how my body reacts. Jason and I are betting on how many follicles there will be... you know, just for fun! I said 13 he says 10. Either is a good number, but more it better. We'll see...

Monday, August 24, 2009

I am not a Nurse...

I would just like to take a moment to thank all of you out there in the nursing, medical and health care fields. My recent experience with injections has confirmed the fact that these are not fields I myself could work in. I love working with people and helping people, BUT, I'm sorry, I just have a very hard time jamming a 5 inch needle the thickness of a pencil into myself let alone into another person. Maybe I'm exaggerating on the size of the needle just a bit, but trust me, it is big! You can actually see into the end of the needle.... OUCH! If it weren't for my extreme desire for the potential outcome, I don't think I could do it.

P.S. Maybe seeking a nurse friend to help if my husband can't go through with it... it's hard to give yourself a shot in the rear-end.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Still Chasing it...

Many of you know that Jason and I have had one specific dream for a long time now. After almost 5 years and many ups and downs, we are still chasing that dream. I wasn't sure what I was ready for before, but recently we made up our minds.

After our visit with the Infertility Specialist in April, we took his advice and just took a break. We took multiple vacations (Las Vegas, The UP, Boston, Niagara Falls, and a few overnight Bike trips). During that time we had lots of time to think. The Doctor was less and optimistic about us ever conceiving on our own. Not that I believe this, I think that it would eventually happen, I mean, why wouldn't it... they insist that there is nothing wrong, but anyway, we don't want to wait anymore. Our Doctor stated that he feels very positive that IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) has a very good chance of helping us make our dreams come true. After much soul searching, prayers and discussions with our close friends and family, we are going for it. I'm super excited, but scared at the same time. We are not rich by any means, and the procedure it quite expensive, but as I'm sure any of you women out there who have, or want children will agree, you would pay any price for your child. I would give anything for their little life and that is what keeps me going everyday. The Hope, The Dream... in my heart I know it will happen.

Boston

So, I'm not sure if you all knew, but Boston is the most awesome city ever! I love it! Since my sister moved there almost 4 years ago, I have had the opportunity to visit multiple times! Every time is just a little better! There is always something new to do or see! It is definitely my favorite city!

Of course I would love my sister to live much closer to me, but if she has to live someplace else, she did a good job picking a pretty cool place! If you have never been, you must go! The history is amazing! As are the museums, parks, culture, architecture, people, shopping, food, and tours! There is just too much to say about such a fun city. It's only down fall I would say is that it is NOT fun to drive in. You have to just park in the suburbs and take the trains! Much easier. You don't have to deal with traffic and you get the whole experience! I love it!

This past week I got to go visit again. I miss my sister so dearly, so I really look forward to anytime we have together. This time we got to be part of a small reception that Adam's parents threw in celebration of their wedding (Yes, Trish eloped... I was upset at first, but seeing how happy she is... all is forgiven! I only want for her to be happy, and Adam is AWESOME). And can I just say that his parents are probably the nicest people that I have ever met. They are so kind and hospitable. They just make you feel so welcome. I love them too! I got to meet lots of Adams family and celebrate with them. It was so nice. Hot... but nice.

We also went to the New England Aquarium. That was really cool. Fish are so interesting and beautiful... well most of them anyway. Some of them were actually quite ugly and a bit frightening. There was also an amazing sea turtle there: Mertle. She was huge! Weight 550lbs and had the most amazing shell. I have pictures, but haven't got them off my phone yet. It was very cool!

Pretty much the whole time we just spent hanging out with my sister, her husband Adam and friends and family. Every night we stayed up late 1am or so, and then spent all day the next day together too. I just love my sister so much, I wanted to squeeze every second I could with her. We had a great time and I didn't want to leave.

On the way home Jason and I stopped at Niagara Falls. That was the whole purpose of us driving out this time. It was very beautiful and absolutely worth the stop. I would love to go again for a weekend and do all the fun sightseeing attractions like the Maid of the Mist, IMAX, Helicopter ride, Observation Tower, etc. This time we just took the scenic trolley around to multiple stops, had lunch at the Top of the Falls, and then headed out. It was enough after spending a week in Boston... I was ready to be home and to sleep in my own bed. Now that I've rested up, I'm ready to do it all over again!

Friday, June 12, 2009

It's been awhile...

Sorry it's been so long since I last posted. I have no good excuse, so we'll just leave it at that. So, an update on the last two months.

Our Anniversary Vegas trip went on as planned. The weather was absolutely amazing there. Sunny and 90's the entire week! I really didn't want to leave! We saw some shows, toured all the hotels/casinos on the strip, revisited our Honeymoon hotel (the Tropicana), partied Down Town Vegas and spent time by the pool! The only way it could have been more perfect was if we left with a few hundred thousand or more in our pockets! Our luck isn't so great(neither of us are big gamblers and I've been told you have to really spend to win), so I'll take the $90 we won and be happy with that. At least we didn't' loose $$.

We had an awesome time and to make it even better... My mom ended up being there on our last two days there, so we got to hang out with her. It was Mother's Day, so we bought tickets to the Beetles Love show. She loves the Beetles and we had a great time. My sister had bought us tickets to Mystere (a Cirque du Soleil production) and it was fabulous!!! I can't say how amazing it was, just go see it if you ever have the change. Strange but just incredible. So, because we loved that show so much, we decided to see the Beetles Love show which is also a Cirque du Soleil production. Based on these two experiences I have come to the conclusion that I would love to see ANY Cirque du Soleil show and would recommend that you do too! They were great!!!

Jason had a little too much fun on the night of the Beetles show, and didn't exactly make it through the night.... lots of fun memories there and a pretty funny text message too! Great times! The best news is that both of our flights were amazing! Many of you know the story of how we thought we were going to die on the way to Vegas for our Honeymoon, and then again on the return flight. Needless-to-say, neither of us really like flying because of this one trip! BUT, that is all in the past now, both flights were awesome. I hardly even knew we were off the ground! Just all around great vacation.

My mom and dad's house is really coming along. Don't think I've mentioned it, but their dream of building a house is finally coming true. They originally were going to build behind us off to the Munson Rd. Side, across from the cemetery, but for convenience and financial purposes, the location has moved to right across the road from us. The foundation is there and the house is expected to be up and ready to move into by the end of July. They are super excited!! Hopefully things will go smooth for them.

Summer is here and school is out. Working with the little ones I now work summers too. It's strange, but nice. Really... I think all school should go year around. It would be so much better for our children! They would retain so much more. And really, regular teachers in my district are working 185 days, I work 195 days a year. That's only 10 more working days... the thing is, it's just spread out through the year. I really like it! It fits my style. I don't really need a full 3 months off at a time. I like having week breaks throughout the year! Anyway, I love my job and feel so blessed to have it! The children and families I work with are amazing!

Jason and I are currently enjoying a nice long 10 day vacation together. I had a week off from work to start the summer, and he took his week of mandatory leave at the same time so we could hang out. Due to the times, his company has made some cuts and adjustments. One of these adjustments is that all employees must take a mandatory week of unpaid leave per quarter. This is tough, but at least he still has a job! I thank God for this and continue to count my many blessings in life. So, on our week off we have lounged around, slept in daily, taken bike rides, visited Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield village, shopped, watched movies, and just relaxed! It's been great and I'm sort of sad we both have to get back into our routines on Monday. We'll have another full week together in August! I'm looking forward to that. I have two more weeks off at the end of the month, but he doesn't. We are probably going to take a trip to Boston in late July or early August, but no details are set yet.

My body is still not cooperating. We have taken a break from all meds and are pinching our pennies for Invitro. I'm still hanging on to hope that it may "just happen", but the doctors are not overly optimistic about this happening. I used to be, but it has been well over 4 years now, so I'm not sure how optimistic I really can be at this point. They feel really positive about Invitro, but it just scares me to think about it. I guess we'll see. Really and truly, it is out of my hands and I will live with the life that God has set for me. It has been an extremely blessed one thus, how can I complain when I have a wonderful husband, great family, terrific friends, a fabulous job, a beautiful home and so much more. I am truly blessed and although I long for children of my own, I know God has a plan :)

Friday, April 17, 2009

Boomerang Effect

There is this strange occurrence that always seems to happen to me. No matter how hard I try to make sure that it doesn't, it just does. Maybe some of you out there can make me feel better by sharing that this incident has happened to you as well. Let me explain.

I try very hard to always do the right thing. You know, to follow the rules, respect others, use the golden rule, be compassionate and considerate of others' feelings and generally do the right thing. I try my darnedest to do this and for some unknown reason, it seems to quite often come back to bite me in the butt. I can't quite figure out how trying so hard to do whats right and be considerate always ends up blowing up in my face. Really... how is it that this happens.

I'm starting to think that I try too hard. Maybe if I were a more blunt and rude person who was just straight forward to the point of inconsiderate that this "boomerang effect" wouldn't happen to me. I don't know. I guess its just a fact of life. It is who I am and the people out there that really know me will understand because they know that in my heart I was thinking of them and their feelings and trying to do what was right. And those that don't, I'm sorry. The fact of the matter is that there will always be people out there that are the "Pot stirrers". They like to get things started and cause problems for people. I choose not to fall into their trap, or play their game and I just hope and pray that those that I call friends can see this and make this choice as well.

An interesting thing though, there is actually a definition for "boomerang effect" and it's funny how well it actually connects to my situations.
See what Wikipedia said:

In social psychology, the boomerang effect is "the theory of psychological reactance (that people act to protect their sense of freedom) is supported by experiments showing that attempts to restrict a person's freedom often produce an anticonformity "boomerang effect" (Brehm, S., & Brehm, J.W. (1981). In social marketing, the boomerang effect occurs as a result of attempted attitude change. If someone makes a strong attempt to change a prospect's attitude toward a subject, the prospect will counter with an equally strong response, even if prior to the confrontation, the prospect held a weak attitude toward the subject.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Refocused and Centered....

Ok, so I guess it took a small melt down and a little pity party to get things back in order for me. Jason and I talked, I cried, and after sleeping on it, I guess I'm feeling better. The bottom line is, I can't go on living my life the way I have been feeling and, the truth is, no one can change this but me. Yeah, shitty stuff has happened to me in my life and it's not fair, but I can't just be sad and mopey for the rest of my life. That's just not me, and I'm tired of not being me.

So, I'm not in control of my fertility. No matter what I choose to do, if a baby is not in the cards for me, then it isn't going to happen. This doesn't mean that I will quite trying, hoping, and praying for it, it just means that I need to stop letting it control my life. I do have control over my reactions and feelings and I need to pull it together and get back to enjoying all the blessings that I do have in my life instead of dwelling on the one large thing that I don't. I know that this will be an incredible hard feat for me, but I'm going to try darn hard.

Obviously you can tell that my news from the fertility clinic was less than good. I have no more answers than when I started 3 years ago, and it is disheartening to know that there is no reason or diagnosis for the problem (whatever the problem is... we don't even know that). I guess we do have a diagnosis, "unexplained infertility". Whatever the heck that means. So anyway, there is no reason why I shouldn't be able to get pregnant, I'm just not. I guess this is good because maybe one of these months my body will just decide to cooperate and it might happen. But on the other hand, I feel so helpless. All my life I have been able to fight to work to achieve my dreams and goals. It is just so defeating to feel that no matter what you do, you cannot make it happen.

The Infertility Doctor whom I was referred to was excellent and so compassionate. I feel like he truly cares and was dedicated me as his patient. Despite his kindness, his news really hit me like a ton of bricks. The last thing I wanted to hear was IVF. I thought that maybe there were some other medicines or procedures or tests that could be done to track down a reason and fix it. I really didn't expect him to say that he is "not overly optimistic about a pregnancy occurring with strictly medication at this point". I guess I kind of knew this in my mind, I've been on the max does of Clomid for 5 months now, and it typically works within 3 if it's going to work, But I just really wanted there to be other options. Despite the money that it costs to have In Vitro (no covered by insurance), I'm not sure I'm ready for another highly invasive procedure.

Then I have all these other thoughts in my mind... I do believe that God has a plan (although I don't like it right now), I believe that my best interest is at heart and maybe I need to stop fighting against it. I'm not in control and the thought comes to mind about what might happen if I push too hard. Will I have more medical problems? Will I have a baby with a birth defect or special needs? When do you say enough human intervention? When do you let go? This question is especially hard when it is something that you want to badly. I just struggle with all these thoughts.

But back to the refocused and centered part. Jason and I have talked and we will not venture into the world of In Vitro at this point in our life. We will keep the faith and hold tight to each other and pray that God will take care of us. I am going to finish up with a 6th cycle of clomid (just because i have it and who knows, it did work 2 years ago) and talk about injections, but In Vitro is not something we are ready to jump into at this point. So I am packing away my monitor, ovulation strips, thermometer and fertilityfriend.com subscription, and refocusing. Putting time into our home and land. Loving my job as always and working hard to be good at it. Taking time to enjoy my wonderful husband and all of our family and friends. And most of all, just getting back to me!

Friday, April 10, 2009

%#*@ Life...

Boy do I sure feel like someone really just wants me to quite! I try like heck to stay positive and look at the bright side. I deal with all the shit that happens to me, and just when I think it's going to be ok, I'm going to get through it, then some other bull sh*t is thrown at me. I'm just so sick of it all! Life really is NOT fair and I just want to quite! I'm so done with all of it. I feel completely helpless and totally out of control... I hate it! For real, you can only beat someone down so much, come on, cut me some slack for goodness sake! All I ever try to do is be kind, compassionate and devote my life to helping others! Could I please just get a break from all of the negative crap for once.


P.S. Don't worry... I just needed to vent.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Nervous...

I know I haven't shared much lately about my issues, but I guess I'm just still trying to take everything in. Last week I went back to visit my Baby Doctor, (who I absolutely LOVE). He specializes in endometriosis and pregnancy. (So I was super excited that he would be able to help me). Well... I've been on clomid for 5 cycles now, and things are not working. Not only are they not working, they are getting worse. I was really hopeful that since it worked 2 years ago, it would work again, but that was not the case. Plus, you can only do 6 cycles of it at once then you have to give your ovaries a break (it can cause infertility indefinite if you over stimulate them). While there he explains to me (which I've read over and over again and was aware of which is why i scheduled an appointment with him in the first place) that typically if clomid is going to work, it will work with in the first 2 cycles. After that the percentage of pregnancy drops to some single digit number. So pretty much, it's not working for me.

I'm not so shocked to hear all of this, but for some reason the next part really scared the heck out of me. He explains to me that it is time for him to referred me to the infertility clinic. I just don't like those words. I had always thought that I was getting fertility help, not INfertility help. So I'm infertile? I don't' know, it just hit me like a ton of bricks. I have always thought that thing would be just fine and that I just needed to be extra, extra patient for some reason (like 4 years and 3 months isn't enough). After hearing this, I just felt so scared and hurt. I felt like he was ditching me or something. I know he's not, and I totally respect him for not wasting anymore of my time (like many other doctors did and almost cost me my ability to use the toilet like a normal person), but it just brought about so many thoughts.

So of course, anyone who knows me know that the first thing I did once I got home was research the clinic and doctor to whom he referred me. That was probably the wrong thing to do. Of course the whole page pretty much centers on In Vitro Fertilization and all these extremely invasive procedures. I guess I just never saw myself as being that severe. Do I really need that much help? Then, to make things worse, they have a small tab on the website about success rates. "Oh good I thought", I can see how wonderful they do. I was less than impressed to find out that only 63% of their patients actually get pregnant. Holy crap that is not what I wanted to see. I guess in my mind I was just thinking it would be, you know, in the 90's or something. I know myself well enough to know that percentages have never been on my side. It's been the story of my life. For some reason, it seems like the smaller chance there is for things to go my way, the more likely it is that it won't. And, as I said before... am I really that severe?

Until now, I had always felt very sure that I would eventually get pregnant with only a little bit of help, and carry a healthy baby. Now I'm thinking, What if I am one of the small percent of women who just can't have children. No explanation, it just isn't going to happen. My diagnosis post surgery was "unexplained infertility". Nice huh? They don't even know why I can't get pregnant or carry. Yes, I had a lot of unusual endometriosis that cause a world of trouble in my colon and rectum area, but my reproductive organs were all clean, not one spot. So, they just are unsure as to what the heck my body is doing. I know that things always happen for a reason, and always work out they way they were meant to in the end, but it's so hard to remember that when you want something so badly that you would rather not live than not have it.

So, needless to say, I'm scared to death. My appointment is tomorrow and I have no idea what to expect. I don't know what they will want me to try next, or if I'll even be able to go ahead with it. I struggle with so much of this in my heart and it's hard to know what to do. My heart wants something so badly, but something in my head is telling me that I needed to think about when enough is enough. I just am not there yet. I'm sure that soon it will become a financial issue and I won't really have to make a decision anyway... it will be made for me.

Monday, April 6, 2009

A Plan...

As you may know, our 5-year anniversary is quickly approaching. (I can't believe it's been 5 years already!) We have been tossing around ideas on a get-a-way for quite sometime, and other things always come up. Either we are waiting for lines on a pink stick, or have doctor appointments or whatever. Anyways, we decided enough was enough. Less thinking and more doing, and I guess that's just the excuse we needed to push us over the edge.

So, on May 7th we will fly to Vegas for a 2nd Honeymoon in celebration of a fabulous 5 years together. I'm so super excited. This trip has really brightened my spirit and given my mind a much needed new topic of obsession. We debated about going to Hawaii or some other tropical oasis, but we wanted to keep this trip shorter so that we can take another vacation later this summer. AND, the idea of returning to the spot where we celebrated our first week as a married couple really just makes my heart jump.

We are going to stay at a different hotel, and see a few different shows (can you believe that all the shows we saw last time are STILL there!) I'm sure they are a bit different, but we are going to mix it up a bit. I've booked the flight and hotel, but am researching before we purchase our show tickets. Last time we saw Blue Man Group (which I would LOVE to see again), Lance Burton, and a few other smaller comedy shows. This time we are debating between David Spade, Criss Angel, a dinner mystery show, and a hypnotist. I think we will also go to the Tournament of Kings because it is just fun! We went while in Florida and in Vegas. I just like it.

Secretly I am hoping that all that crap that everyone says is true.... you know what I'm talking about. Everyone is always saying crap like, "quite trying, it will happen", or "make a big purchase, it'll happen" or "Plan a tropical vacation where you want to enjoy a few drinks, it will happen". You know... All of THOSE comments that make me want to strangle people. Well... We bought a motorcycle 3 years ago, my dad was sure that would work.... here I am still baby-less and making payments on a motorcycle... (which I'm not complaining about, I actually really do love it just as much as Jason). The large purchase try was a bust, so I guess it's time for a vacation! (secretly crossing fingers).

Monday, March 30, 2009

A Wonderful Weekend

So, I had a great time this weekend with my sister home from Boston. It was a short trip for her, so we had to make the most of every minute. When her plane came in Friday afternoon, Jason and I along with my Mom and Dad, were there to greet her. Detroit Metro Airport is so easy to get around, there was no trouble at all! Her flight went well, and we were all ready to eat! We went to Chili's in Ann Arbor and had a great time. We had a few drinks, ate, and just talked the night away. By the time we got home that evening it was nearly midnight. Trish came home with us and we all retired to bed by 2am.
Saturday morning Trish and I got up around 8:30. We showered and headed over to my parents house to pick up my Mom and Julia. We all had apts. to get our hair done at 10:30, so there was no time to waste. All of us got color/highlights and a new cut. It was a ton of fun and we all left feeling really good. From there we headed to Red Lobster for lunch! After a wonderful lunch, we decided to make the journey to Monroe to visit the Horizon Outlet Centers there. It was sad to see that so many of the stores there had closed down, but there was plenty open to keep us shopping until around 7pm. At that point we decided to head north toward Ann Arbor to do a bit more shopping and of course eat dinner. We all decided that Cold Stone (the best ice cream place ever!) was the perfect dinner for a girls night out. We ended our shopping spree with Borders, where we spent about 2 hrs. previewing books and of course purchasing a few that made the cut! The four of us girls had an absolute blast just talking, laughing and singing in the car all day! We ended up getting home once again close to midnight.
Sunday was fun too, but sad. We got up around 9. Trish had to pack up her new purchases and put the ones that needed to be shipped aside. We then headed over to my parents house to meet my Mom and Aunt Judy. From there we went to visit my Grandma Brown at the Lenawee Medical Care Facility. Grandma was is great spirits and really enjoyed our company. She even remember who I was without anyone telling her. We stayed with her while she had lunch and then helped her in bed for her afternoon nap. At that point we left to go have some lunch of our own. Mancino's was Trish's place of choice for her last meal before the flight out. It was nice for us to get to catch up with Aunt Judy. We then headed back toward Metro to drop Trish off for her flight. You would think after all this time she' lived in Boston, and all the times we've had to drop her at the airport, it wouldn't' be so emotional.... but it always is! I just miss her so much and hope someday we will live a bit closer again. Until then, I will cherish every second that I get to spend with her and be thankful that we can all afford travel back and forth right now.