Monday, January 30, 2012

The Past Week

For the past week I have been working on getting my old blog put into a book format so I can send it off to be printed and bound. I am pretty serious about this too. We're talking full color, hardbound book that will one day grace a box in my daughter's attic! If I have a complaint, and I only have one, it would be that it is going to take me FOREVER to get this book to a printer because I do document design and layout for a living. That translates into my need to be a perfectionist. BIG TIME.

At first I tried using the templates from, and I am sure they are great for people who don't do design for a living, but for me, they were too limiting. I have an idea in my head of what I want this book to look like, and I am going to make it look that way dang it! I kid you not that I literally lost sleep going back and forth between deciding whether to use their templates or put it into my design software. In the end, I opted to create my own template and format it exactly the way I want to.

It took me half a day to work up my template, and not surprisingly, I'm not 100% happy with it. I am sure I will change the fonts at least 2-3 more times before all is said and done. And because I want all of the comments from each post in the book as well, this thing is going to be huge. I may have to break it out into two or more books. But the way I see it, I spent 4 years of my life writing this blog, so if I'm going to make it into a book, I'm going to do it right. No regrets.

I have actually even thought about advertising my skills and starting up a blog-to-book business. Why? Because I love what I do!

Other than that I have spent a lot of time sleeping. I wish I had spent more time laying around instead of noticing how dirty my house is. Surprisingly, I've been really uncomfortable from this surgery. It isn't anywhere near as bad as any of my other surgeries, c-section included, but it is still no walk in the park. I keep thinking that because it doesn't hurt as much, I can do more, but I end up paying for that by the end of the day.

My belly button hurts. And it looks gross. Baby Bean keeps asking to look at it so she can go, "Ewwwww!" Then she tells me to look at hers and say, "Ewwww!" My other incision sites twinge every now and then, but for the most part, I don't feel them. I definitely can't do blue jeans or any kind of pant that isn't stretchy yet. I might end up having to buy pajama jeans for work next week, but I hope not. I go in for my post-op appointment tomorrow, so I am kind of excited to hear what Dr. D has to say. Honestly, I think he might have fixed the problem because I am noticing some differences already.

On Saturday Baby Bean and I went to get our annual birthday pictures done. That was the first time I had put on jeans since the surgery, and boy was it hard to smile through the discomfort, but I managed. Baby Bean did awesome too. We got some really great pictures. We even got to take some pictures with a bunny, which is always fun, and always makes me want to get a pet bunny. They are so soft and sweet!

Baby Bean also attended her first birthday party for another kid on Saturday night. I wore my blue jeans to this event too because I only had mauve stretchy pants, and I didn't want people to think I was a weirdo. The kids got to run around in this cushioned room that had foam pits and trampolines everywhere. BB had so much fun. I even forced myself out of my shell and met a bunch of the other mothers. I don't know when I became so anti-social again, but I have, and I find I am having to work hard again at being social. I actually ended up having a really good time too. I got a couple of RSVPs for BB's birthday party this Saturday while I was there. The most important one was from BB's best friend's mom. I made it a point to meet her, and we hit it off.

The one thing that surprised me about the party was that I was one of the youngest moms there. I grew up in Utah, and I know if I had attended that same party in Utah, I would have been one of the oldest moms there. So it was kind of nice to be the pup, especially since I am no pup. Most of the kids were also only-children, and some had a younger or older sibling, so all of the kids were around the same age. I don't know why, but it was comforting to me. The birthday boy is an only child, and BB's best friend is an only child.

I am really excited for this week. Thursday is BB's birthday, and my mother-in-law is coming up for the special day. I plan on doing a family party that night with cupcakes, balloons, and presents. I am supposed to do a presentation about her at daycare that day too. Then on Saturday is the big birthday party at the art studio. I am finding that even though it is hard for me to watch my baby grow up, I am really enjoying the birthday anniversary events, especially how happy and excited they make my baby girl. She really is the joy of my life, and anything that makes her this happy, makes me happy too.

Speaking of BB, I am going to go pick her up from school now. Ta ta!

Monday, January 23, 2012

An Infertile Rambling

Over the past few months I have been really bad about blogging. Updating and reading. I keep throwing out all of these excuses, but none of them were the real reason I have been absent. I have admitted to myself several times why I've been away, and to a few people here and there. But I have never posted why. Maybe if I do, I will get back into it. I mean, I've been a blogger for over 4 years now, and up until a few months ago, it was a significant part of my life. But here's the catch, it was a significant part of my life because I was actively dealing with infertility.

My blog was my outlet for my feelings, and my way to deal with being infertile. Since 2006, being infertile was how I defined myself. No matter how hard I tried to break free from the label, I couldn't. It made me who I was. It was a life changing disease. I learned and grew so much as I fought to have a child. I made friendships all over the place as I came out of my shell, both in real life and in blogland. I became open. I shared with anyone who wanted to know about my experience as an infertile. I single-handedly educated the fertile world on what it was like to do whatever it took, to spend any amount of money to become a mother.

Then after Baby Bean was born, and I had my uterine rupture repaired, I wanted to get away from the drive to have more. I had to get away from those feelings because I knew if I didn't, I would waste my daughter's life chasing a dream instead of enjoying the one I was living. I feared she would grow up to resent me because she would feel that I didn't think she was enough.

I was torn because I finally had what I had been trying so hard to achieve, but at the same time, I knew the fight to her was worth it, and so it would be worth it do it again for another one. So in August of 2010, we started trying for the first time since Baby Bean was born. I was so sure we would get pregnant right off. As the months passed, my hope faded, and it took everything I had to keep from falling back into those old bitter feelings. I didn't want to feel that way again, and I didn't want my daughter to watch me feel that way. I didn't want it to shape her life in a negative way. Children pick up on these things, and they make them who they are as adults, even though they have no recollection of the events that shaped them. So I began distancing myself from my infertility, and began trying to enjoy the life I have.

I went through the motions with medicated cycles, and with each failed cycle, I found it easier to distance myself from caring about the outcome. Getting pregnant would be nice. Another baby would be a dream come true. But I didn't have to have another one to enjoy what I had.

Then in May we went on our first family vacation, and this is where the final straw did its damage. It was so easy to travel as a family of three. It was so affordable. The vacation was a dream. As I lay, floating on my back in the endless pool at the hotel, looking up at the clear blue sky, I began to think about how much easier life is as a family of three. I thought of every respect in which it is easier. I thought of how much more I could do for my daughter than I could if I had to divide everything between multiple children. I thought of all of the places we could go and the vacations we could take. We could easily go anywhere in the world.

Oddly enough, I thought I was pregnant while we were in Cancun. My period was late, and I had all kinds of pregnancy symptoms. But I didn't care.

That vacation was the end of the battle for me.

When I got home and found out I wasn't pregnant, I didn't care. I had had my vision of everything my family of three could do.

What I didn't realize is that tossing my infertility aside came with other costs. For one, my blog. Getting on the blogs reminded me too much of where I had been and no longer wanted to be. So I tried creating a new blog that wasn't about TTC, but I found it difficult to separate blogging from infertility. What was there to talk about if I wasn't cycling? My day-to-day life just isn't that fascinating, and I had lost my writing mojo. It was easier to just back away than try to force myself to overcome writer's block.

When my blogging slowed down, so did my ability to really talk to people. I found I no longer had anything interesting to say. So I became even more of a listener. I surround myself with people who love to talk, and I listen.

In some ways I feel like I have pulled myself into a shell. But I am content here. I don't feel like I need to pull myself back out. I only feel slightly bad that most people in my life didn't even know I was having surgery. I don't know why I didn't feel it was newsworthy, but I didn't. I think only 6 people at work knew. I know at least one, if not two of my siblings didn't know.  But what was there to say?

I don't know emotionally where I am right now. I'm kind of in a place where I don't have choose not to deal with the emotions of failed cycles, money flushed, time wasted. Telling people about the surgery or failed cycles forces me to think about things I would prefer not to care about. I think that is really the reason why. If I talk about it, then they want to know more.

"What is the surgery for? Oh I am so sorry to hear that. I really hope this does the trick for you. I am sure this will fix everything. You'll be pregnant in no time."

That is sweet, and meant in earnest, and I appreciate those thoughts, feelings, and words of encouragement and hope. But if I go there, if I a give a moment's pause to those thoughts, then I run the risk of disappointment if the surgery didn't fix the problem. And then Alice tumbles down the rabbit hole she just crawled out of.

I risk going back to that place where I want what I can't have and not being happy with what I do. I risk missing out on the great life I have been blessed with because I feel sorry for myself and my inability to bear another child. I risk falling back into feelings of bitterness and resentment. Why would I want that?

And then we come to the big question: Do I really want any more kids? I'm not so sure. I kind of dig this family of three thing. So if I don't really want any more, why would I care if I spend $300 to get pregnant and don't? Exactly. I don't care. But I can say I tried. And that is all I need right now, to say I tried.

This is the other big reason I keep going back, cycle after cycle, surgery after surgery. So that I don't look back 10 years from now and wish I hadn't given up. To me, that would be a life failure. 10 years from now, I definitely won't stand much of a chance at getting pregnant. You have to strike when the iron is hot, even if you don't want to right now. Regret is a bitch. And I determined when I was in college that I was going to live my life in such a way that if I should live to be 100, I don't look back with many regrets. I'm doing good so far, and I'd like to keep it that way.

With all of that said, my goal now is to get back into blogging. Into reading and commenting, and setting aside a night each week to blog. I've had some really great post ideas lately, and I am ready to put them into action. I am determined to make this year a good one, so I should have plenty to write about. And for everything in between, there will be some fun posts.

If you've made it through this post, and more importantly, stuck around with me through my hiatus, give yourself a big hug from me. Because in my book, you are a definite friend.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Lap 2 = Boo!

Right now I am a little over 24 hours post-op. If you didn't know I was having surgery, don't feel bad. I didn't tell many people. Mostly because I didn't expect to be out of commission for very long. Apparently I am going to be down for two weeks. I've kind of gotten weird about this whole infertility thing since last May when I decided I just didn't care as much about it anymore. When it quit defining me. When I decided to move on and be happy with the life I have, and to quit wasting it wishing for something I couldn't control.

Last night as I was waking up from the anesthesia, I started to cry. Really cry. I sobbed. All I want is one more baby. I don't want my beautiful Baby Bean to be alone. I am not positive, but I am sure I sobbed, "I just want one more." The thought of not giving my baby a sibling is like a knife to my heart. I have three siblings, and I love them all dearly.

My little brother and I are four years apart, but we might as well have been twins. I can't live without him. He just had a birthday last week and the text message I sent him at 7:30 that morning was, "29 years ago today, I was given one of the best gifts ever. I still remember dad waking me up early in the morning to tell me you were born. This day, 29 years ago, my life changed for the best. I wouldn't change a single moment. I thank God for putting you in my life." THAT is what I want for my baby. I couldn't give her anything better than a sibling.

If it weren't for the fact that I want Baby Bean to know the joy of a sibling, I would have thrown in this towel last May and called my life good. Cause I hate this TTC crap. I hate it so much. With that said, it has definitely been easier to handle each disappointing cycle. It can't hurt when you don't care. I've just been going along with it to say I tried. I did everything I could.

So here I sit tonight, sore, stitches in my belly button, a hole sealed shut in my lower abdomen, and a steri-strip near my c-section scar. Disappointed by the surgery results.

There was no endo. At least not enough to speak of. I haven't talked to the doctor myself yet, but my husband said Dr D told him there was a very small patch of endo. Everything inside the uterus looked great. Dr. D was apparently very proud of his repair of the rupture. Everything outside the uterus looked good. Again, he was proud of his repair.

The only thing he found was that my right ovary and tube were infused in scar tissue. Most likely from the repair surgery in which I basically had another c-section. My guess is it was stuck to the scar tissue there. Dr. D told my husband he was able to free them pretty easily.

Before surgery I told Dr D the worst possible thing he could tell me post-op was that he didn't find anything. On the drive home from the hospital I got angrier and angrier, because that is almost exactly what I was told. Now what? Everything is fine in there. So why isn't this working?

Over the past year I have become a little more closed off when it comes to sharing my feelings and emotions regarding trying to have another baby. I don't say much about it to anyone anymore, except to my dad. After texting my friends and telling them about the results and talking to my mom, my dad called, and I let loose. I cried, and I told him how angry I was. After we hung up, I pretty much went to sleep.

This morning I started to think about things, and how Dr D had told my husband that the fact my right ovary was bound in the scar tissue might have meant any cycle I ovulated off that side, it just couldn't work. I ovulated off that side a lot. In fact, ovulated off that side every single time we didn't do medicated cycles with chlomid or letrozole, so a good 75%+ of the time.

Then I started to put dates together. My repair surgery was at the end of May 2010. By August, when we were able to start trying again, that is when my cycles got really weird. In December Dr D told me I had low estrogen, and then medicated cycles began. If that ovary and tube were stuck in scar tissue, it was probably hindering my ability to produce estrogen. And even if I was ovulating, those eggs might not have truly been getting free. Even if they were, they might not have made it to the fallopian tube that was also stuck in scar tissue.

So maybe the surgery wasn't a bust after all? I guess only time will tell.

Oh, and my husband? He's apparently super fertile. At least according to the male fertility specialist. His counts are way above normal. The specialist would neither say he was nor was not part of our problem, but it doesn't sound like he is.

On Monday I will schedule my post-op appointment in which I will ask a million questions. When I leave that office, we will see how things go. Hopefully there is an improvement, and hopefully this year will be our year.

Just one more, and I am done.

Monday, January 9, 2012

What's Going On

So much is going on in our house, as always, but everything is pretty exciting.

Up first, and the most boring, but funny, I spent the Saturday morning mowing the lawn and cleaning up dog bombs. That's right. The first week of January we had to mow our lawn. How awesome is that? It was 70 degrees here the other day. Of course today it is rainy and cold. If there is one thing I've learned about this part of Texas, it is that you can never plan on what to wear in the winter. One day will be hot and the next will be cold. (P.S. Does anyone else feel like their dogs poop too much? lol)

I got Baby Bean's third birthday party scheduled! She is so excited. Almost every single night after I tuck her in she says, "Mama, I wish it was my birthday." That day is fast approaching. She is adamant about a princess theme, and so that is what she shall have. We bought invitations over the weekend. Now I just need to figure out which kids to invite. It will be held at a local art studio where each child will get to paint an 8X10 canvas with oils. How cool is that?! The place totally hosts the party too. I just need to bring my own food and drink and they do everything else, including the paper/plastic ware. I also ordered her the most adorable princess cake. It is a two-tier cake with a castle on top and four Di.sney princesses. Some people might find it all a bit much, but I went through hell to get this child, and she might be the only one I ever get, so I make the most of all of it.

I FINALLY have my laparoscopy scheduled. This has been such a huge pain in my @$$, and it shouldn't have been. I kept asking for them to schedule it for the first of this year since Thanksgiving. I went to see Dr. D right after Christmas and the lady who schedules the surgery (and whom I love) was sitting there scheduling surgeries for other girls right in front of me when she had never scheduled mine. I was NOT happy. And then I had just entered the Two Week Wait, so I had to wait until we found out if I was pg or not before we could schedule (all though we all know I stood a snow ball's chance in hell at getting pg right now). But now it is scheduled for next Friday, and yet another surgery on the ol' ute will be behind me. Hopefully Dr D can find and fix whatever isn't working. I know its not likely, but I hope I have results like my first lap. I was SOOO FERTILE after that surgery, but I didn't know it because I hadn't read "Taking Charge of Your Fertility" at that point and wouldn't let my husband near me when I was so "goopey." LOL! If only we had known!

I am doing so awesome on the diet front. I am so proud of myself. I have been on it for 11 days and have not cheated once (except that one french fry I ate on Friday). It has been so much easier and enjoyable than I thought it could be. I am doing so much cooking at home and loving it. Plus its nice to have meals and snacks all planned out for a week. No wondering what to eat! I started the Phase I work out plan today too. As long as I can have sugar-free candy, I can keep this up.

I think that is everything from my end. I am going to try to get some blog reading in now. :D

Monday, January 2, 2012

Bits and Bobs

Since I haven't been blogging very much the last few months, I wanted to do a post about what I've been up to so that I can remember in the years to come. So here is what has been going on with me:
  • I discovered that I can get a French man.icure that lasts for weeks. Since finding this out, I have become hooked. I always liked the look, but never wanted fake nails. Now they make a nail polish that lasts for weeks so I can have the look I want with my own nails.
  • I took a few days off over Christmas so that between my vacation and paid days, I would get a week and a half off work. It has been one of the awesomest stay-cations I've ever had. I got soooo much done!
  • My house was deep cleaned and reorganized. Our downstairs bookcase went up into Baby Bean's room where her changing table moved out and up into the attic. The rocker glider that was in her room went into my room where my husband's dresser was, which was relocated to another part of the room.
  • Our garage got cleaned out... again.
  • I put together one awesome Christmas for my little family. I even had the opportunity to host a neighbor for Christmas dinner who had no other plans for that day. She is a lovely gal who loves to talk, and I love to listen, so it was great having her over. We thoroughly enjoyed it.
  • I got a cavity filled (the first in more than 10 years, but that is what happens when you don't go to the dentist for three years). But what is most impressive about this is I did it without being numbed. My dentist and her assistant were shocked when I requested to not be numbed and tried to talk me out of it. The way I saw it, it couldn't hurt worse than anything infertility had put me through. I was right. It was a cake walk.
  • Sadie ripped off two of her back toe nails, each a week apart, and both requiring vet attention. I'm still not sure how it happened, but I am guessing she got them caught in the carpet while trying to run around a corner. I trim my dog's nails monthly, so I am still surprised she was able to tear them.
  • I felt like I did an awesome job at giving presents this year. I put a lot of thought into what I got people so that I could get them something they wanted or would really enjoy.
  • I started the S.outh B.each D.iet and am currently in Phase I. I tried doing this years ago when we were new in the IF ring. Needless to say, it was more difficult than I could handle then, and so it failed. This time, however, I feel confident that I can do it. I am in a much better mental place, and also a much better cook. It has been going really well so far. Just like nursing, they first two weeks are the hardest, so I know if I can conquer them, the rest is easy sailing. (No, this is not a new year's resolution. I don't do those.)
  • We got a new roof and spray foam in our attic. I can honestly say the spray foam makes a big difference. The upstairs retains heat like no one's business. I realize we have had a warm winter here in Texas, but our upstairs is 77 degrees at bed time. As they say, heat rises.
  • We started going back to church, and plan to keep going. (Again, not a new year's resolution.)
I think that is everything. I've been meaning to write about all of these things for some time, but my old laptop died and we had so much going on with the holidays that it just never happened. Right now, life is good.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Good Riddance 2011!!!

I knew by January 7th of 2011 that it was not going to be my year. What happened? I was two weeks late for my period for the first time ever in my life and found out on that day I was not pregnant. Right after receiving the phone call about my BFN, we got a phone call saying my husband's truck had been hit in a parking lot. NOT good omens!

Three more times over the year I was late and not pregnant. I ended up back in the IF trenches, despite my hopes, and never saw one tiny bit of success. The whole year on that front was full of stepping further and further backward. I ended up doing full medicated cycles for more than 3/4 of the year. I don't even want to think of how many hours I spent at the RE's office, or how much money was flushed in the name of baby, all in vain.

As if my own infertile problems weren't enough, my Sadie dog had and lost a whole litter of 5 pups. One of THE WORST experiences of my life. I can't even describe the pain I feel even to this day when I think about those 48 hours from the moment I walked in the front door to the blood everywhere and the dead puppy to the moment the vet called to tell me he had performed a c-section on the remaining two pups that were stillborn to the moment I realized the one puppy that had survived had just died in my hands at 24-hours-old.

Emotionally, this year was a roller coaster. A horrible, awful roller coaster I couldn't get off of no matter what I did. My relationships were affected. My work was affected. My family was affected.

Even though the year was crap, and I couldn't wait to see the end of it shortly after it started, not all of it sucked.

We went on our first family vacation to Cancun and bought a time share so we can visit the white sand beaches every single year, or go somewhere else in the world... like Scotland. :D

Maggie had her first litter of pups, two of the three survived and are now in very loving homes with two great people. One of whom I work with, and the other is my mother-in-law, so I will get to see him often.

I got a new car. I finally, finally got a new car! And I LOVE it.

I actually got away from the crazy drive to have another baby. Do I still want another one? Yes. But my fight against infertility no longer defines me. It no longer rules my world. I do what I have to do, and I take each hurdle as it comes without caring one way or the other. I have a gorgeous baby girl. I've already won.

Baby Bean was potty trained, and we moved away from diapers. And last week we moved the last of the baby items out of her room and up into the attic. Her nursery changed to a little girl's room that she just loves.

And you know what? I am so excited for this next year. We already have two vacations planned, one of which is booked. You guessed it, we're going to Cancun again! Then we are planning on going to California in the fall. Our plan from here on out? Two vacations a year.

I also feel really good about our baby chances this year. I am going to have a laparoscopy next month to check everything out and clear out some endo on my ovaries that has resurfaced. We also found out at the end of 2011, I am not the only problem. We both are. So Hubs is doing what he has to, and we're going to go from there. (As a Christmas present I was told our only chance of a pregnancy was IVF. Oh well.)

I plan on trying to breed the dogs again in the fall. The vet says he doesn't think Sadie can, but I'm going to try anyway. I just feel so hopeful.

I just feel like this year is going to be good. It is going to be our year. We just had two really crappy years in a row, and now it is time to have a good one again. It has started out on the right foot, and I am determined it will stay this way.

Welcome 2012!