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Thursday, November 28, 2013

alone


Self-pity has been threatening to pull me down into a deep dark hole. I'm kicking and fighting to break free and this post is an attempt to claw my way out.

Why am I so down?

Because I'm sick.
And I'm alone.
I'm childless.
And it's Thanksgiving.

In the world outside of these four walls, I see pictures of
sleeping babies
turkey trots
delicious food being prepared
gorgeous thanksgiving table settings 
family togetherness
children playing
happiness and laughter
black friday shopping 

I close my iPhone. Listen to the silence in my house. Feel the heat of my fever burning my skin and the pain in my throat when I swallow. Think about the family that I won't see, the turkey trot that I can't run, the food I won't eat, the shopping that I can't afford to do this year and the baby that I still don't have. 

Take tylenol. Cry. Sleep.
Repeat.

But I'm not going to repeat anymore. 
Last week, I received an email from a woman struggling with infertility. She found my blog and given how long I've been at this...she asked me if I had any advice on how to be happy and find joy amidst what we're going through. 

Here's what I told her.
In terms of advice to be happy despite this crappy situation, I'm still learning day by day. And some days are still harder than others. But the main thing is to focus on what you have instead of what you're missing in your life. It sounds so simple but as you know....it's quite hard. 
I already know this and need to take my own advice. The only way out of this slump is to focus on my blessings and give thanks for all that God has given me. I have so much to be grateful for and need to focus my energy on expressing gratitude.

I'm thankful for so much but here are a few specifics.
another year with my grandmother and the hope that she might still meet my baby
my husband who loves me despite all of my many flaws
the love and encouragement of my mother 
my team at work who supports me in growing my family
my best friend who set this up to help ease the financial burden of IVF
And all of you...for taking time out of your busy lives to read this blog and walk on this journey with us

I give thanks for all this. And I will continue to pray for the blessings that are yet to come.



Wednesday, November 20, 2013

It's a Beautiful Day


Today is a "Beautiful Day," in every sense of the word.

That's because November 20th is recognized as "Beautiful Day" Day, a day to look around and appreciate the beauty and world around you.

In honor of Beautiful Day, write a blog post about something "beautiful" -- something that makes you feel happy and share by linking your post up below. If you participated in the Autumn Mug Swap, write about the happiness you received from your beautiful new mug and swap buddy.

I swapped with the lovely Suzanne at Our journey to a baby bump... who I've come to adore over the last year or so. She is a fellow ad gal and CCRM patient who is getting ready for FET in early 2014. Hopefully we'll both become mamas together in the new year.

Suzanne sent me this beautiful handmade mug all the way from Indianapolis. 
Isn't it lovely? Every time I drink out of it, it reminds me how blessed I am to be a part of this wonderful community of bloggers.


Have a beautiful day.


Saturday, November 16, 2013

the dream


The other day, I had a super vivid dream. Some people are really into interpreting dreams and if you're one of those people, I'm interested in hearing your take on it.

So here's the dream as I remember it. Keep in mind that some parts don't make a lot of sense but that's sometimes how dreams are.

I was laying in bed alone (in a house that is not my current home) and heard a scratching noise coming from above. Remembering that I once found a bird in the attic, I went up to check it out. Instead of a bird, I found a beautiful, demure three-year old little girl with long curly blond hair. 


I brought her down and was caring of her for a while. At one point, I asked my mom to watch her while shopping in Target. When I came back, she was gone. My mom said she went to look for me. I was really upset with my mom and telling her "she's a three-year old little girl, you can't let her go by herself".


Then we were back in the house and I was searching each room looking for the little girl and calling to her. Finally, she crawled out from underneath the guest bed and ran into my arms. She held me around the neck so tight and put her head on my shoulder. In that moment, I knew I had to keep her.


But as I began to release her from our embrace, I saw that she had a dog collar around her neck with a phone number. After much contemplation, I decided that if a sweet little girl like this was brave enough to run away from home and wanted to me to care for her....how could I say no. I figured something bad must be happening to her at home so I took the dog collar off of her and threw it in the trash. 

Then I woke up.
When my husband woke up, I recited my dream to him. Being the big brat that he is, this is how he responded.

"Sounds like you woke up right before you got booked in the county jail for kidnapping." 

Really, A?!??!
Then I told him, I wonder if this dream means that we are meant to adopt.
His priceless response...

"Tell you what, if you find a three-year old girl on our roof wearing a dog collar, I'm all for it...let's adopt her."

He is such a sarcastic sh*t!

So what does this dream mean (if anything)? Dream interpretations. 
Go.


Monday, November 11, 2013

change of plans


On day 31 of my cycle (Saturday), I finally ovulated. This cycle will be roughly 45 days long. Sigh. A reminder of how busted my body is. But the delay has given me some time to think. And there has been a change of plans.

This month I was planning to do my uterine biopsy for the beta integrin 3 test. However, I decided to skip it. The test is painful, expensive ($1,000) and in my case would likely be for nothing. If I take the test, it will play out in one of the following three scenarios:

1. Inconclusive. 30% of the tests come back inconclusive. If that happened, Dr. S would treat me with two months of Lupron Depot shots prior to a frozen embryo transfer (FET). This hormone therapy treatment reduces endometriosis lesions and pain. The hope is that the drug will also make my uterus more hospitable for the embryo to attach and give my body the sticky protein that could be missing due to my endo.

2. Negative. If I tested negative, I would do the Lupron Depot as described above. 

3. Positive. If I tested positive for the beta integrin 3, I wouldn't trust the results. My friend had two failed IVF cycles locally before switching to CCRM. Dr. S did a laparoscopy and found that she had stage five endometriosis yet she tested positive for the beta integrin 3 test. She was treated with two months of Lupron Depot prior to transfer and is now pregnant with twins. She attributes her success at least in part to the Lupron Depot shots.

That being said, I already know I have endometriosis and will have very few embryos to transfer. I can't afford to waste any. Keeping with my motto to "follow the path of least regrets", I decided to skip the test and just do the Lupron Depot shots to give myself the best chance of success. 

The only downside to the treatment is that it causes bad hot flashes and a fatty needle to deliver the meds. Since I'll be taking the shots in the winter, I'm not concerned because my body is always freezing. Silver lining is that I've heard that you feel amazing since it suppresses all of the horrible symptoms associated with endometriosis. I feel good about the new plan.

So my baby-making life will probably look something like this....
Early Dec - Start estrogen priming
Late Dec - Start stims
Early Jan - Egg retrieval #2
Feb/Mar/April - Lupron Depot hormone therapy shots
May - Frozen embryo transfer

And here's to wishful thinking...
A positive pregnancy test by my 37th birthday on May 25th, 2014.


Sunday, November 3, 2013

this is for you swappers!


So so sorry ladies.
I'm late, late for a very important date. 
My apologies.

Not everyone left their email address in the comments and I don't want to leave anyone out. So I'm going to match y'all and then ask that you look for your blog/insta partner's email in the comments here. If you don't see them, it's because they signed up via Instagram and you connect with them by viewing comments on the #autumnmugswap hashtag on Instagram. I did my best to match bloggers with bloggers and IGers with IGers. Also, if you signed up and I somehow missed you...please let me know and I'll get your matched. 

Below are the mug swap matches, start shopping and swapping!

(Note: If you are one of the 4 Ashleys, please click through to make sure your blog is linked before you contact your swap buddy to ensure you're looking at the correct match.)

Bloggers/Instagrammers
Aislinn and Lauren Thomas
Meant To Be Mommy and Dog Mom Chasing the Stork
Mrs Green Grass and Aspgriswold
Cheryl and Mary
Jessah and Suzanne
Fourth Grade Something and Amy P.
Sally and The Granberrys
Shay and JoJo
Aubrey and Sarah
Shannon and Sybil 
Stephanie C. and Antonia
Katie Jeanne and Amber
Jamie and Ashley
Em and Amie
Ashley and Ashley
Katie and Sara
Nina and Lauren

Instagrammers (non-bloggers)
Christina @kers_11 and Cairna @mrscolivares
Martha @empty_cradle and MZ @tworldsttc
Teva @cheerslovers and Rudy @teamcoxttc
Meli @IVFWish_BFPDreams and Christina @wishingfor_babylove
Cynthia @cynttc and Jaime @jshell_ttc
Sarah @s_milliman and Jenny @slpmama3
Terri @tessabella76 and Lauren @lauren_gervais
Amy Michele @amymichele81 and Melanie @hopingforbabylevoy
Beth @elizardbreathspeaks and Lucy @ellesee1
Ang @fabmamafitness and B @b_wackyamzgrllife
Marina @marina04118 and @DNAThomsen
Sydnie @mrs_sydnie_w and KC @ttcamiracle13
Jamie @byarsjamie and Hailey @haileyelisehughes
Jessica @jess_douglas and Kyle @kphughes
Waiting4Stork @waiting4stork and Jess @jessika_stepanski
Sophia @sophia_ttc and Stacy @journeytobaby
Jess @jesslacombe and Jessica @jessicamichaela
Meg @megbrink and Tiffany @mrsfrazer_ttc

If you have any trouble at all reaching your match buddy, please feel free to email me using the link in the top right corner (envelope icon). I'll help you get in touch with your swap buddy.

Can't wait to see all the happiness being spread! Don't forget to post your new mug and link up here on November 20th (Beautiful Day) and/or post on Instagram using hashtag #autumnmugswap 

Happy Swapping!

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