Amber and Aaron

Amber and Aaron

The Fun We've Already Had...

  • Graham Tomas born July 31 at 5:04 P.M. weighing 8 lbs, 12 oz.
  • December 2, 2011: PREGNANT!!!
  • Paisley Kate arrived August 21 at 5:38 P.M. weighing 7 lbs, 9 oz
  • DUE DATE: August 25, 2010!!!
  • Dec. 14, 2009- PREGNANT!!!
  • Oct. 07,2009- Had elective D&C.
  • Sept 28, 2009- No embryo on ultrasound. :(
  • Sept 15th, 2009- We found out we're PREGNANT!!!
  • Sept '09- Aaron had varicocele repair.
  • July '09- IUI #1 with HCG shot= No such luck
  • April '09- Ovarian drilling surgery, followed by hospitalization for uterine infection
  • Jan-Mar '09- metformin + 3 rounds of clomid= no ovulation
  • Dec. 11, 2008- Hysterosalpingogram (Fancy word for shooting dye through the ovaries. OUCH)
  • Nov '08- Sent to RE. Tried metformin alone for two months (No ovulation)
  • Oct '08- Diagnosed with PCOS based on amenorrhea and crazy hormone levels.
  • June '08- Aaron convinced me to start trying.
  • June '04- Got Hitched!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Survive Christmas: Check

Hey blog friends, sorry about going M.I.A. on you all. The holidays have kept me plenty busy, so I haven't been around much to blog. I am not typically a holiday type person, but this year Oklahoma decided to have "winter storm 2009" on Christmas Eve. What this meant for my holiday was that I had to go to less houses to celebrate due to bad roads. Awesome! I was able to sleep in, leisurely open presents and then put them away, eat turkey once and actually enjoy it...

Our house got a ton of snow and buried all of our Christmas decorations, which apparently our Home Owner's Association (HOA) would have suggested we do with them based on the fact that we didn't win the lighting competition for the 3rd straight year.

Our house with all of its snow

I thought I'd show you all pictures of the 3 who did win though. We'll start with third place just for fun. I personally feel it's a bit painful to look at with the disco glowing bulbs. It even hurts to look at the picture. Plus, what's going on here that says winner?
2nd place: another lovely choice by our stupid HOA. Now let me point out that they do have 3 tiny deer in the yard that were unlit during this picture taking. But seriously... 2nd place.... for putting lights on the house and throwing 3 store-bought deer in the yard? Good for you guys. Glad you spent 10 minutes on your house this year so you could win a cash prize.

And the winner is.....

Now this one isn't laughable, but really. $150.00 for this. I think not. It looks nice, it really does. But to beat all of the other houses in the neighborhood??? And let me be fair for a moment and say that there were other houses besides ours that did a great job. I wouldn't have been upset if they had beat us. But they didn't. Lesson learned from this experience is that HOA does reward simplicity. If your electric bill is over $500 for the month of December, you are eliminated apparently. I guess we're "going green".

So next year I vote on putting a "F---you, HOA" sign in the yard. I bet that'll get their attention.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Merry Christmas!!!

I promised a post with pictures of our well-lit house (planes actually try to land on it and neighbors can't sleep until we turn our lights off)... This is an overview of the "simple" style we have chosen for our Christmas decorations. We totally live by the motto "less is more". Now let's break it down by sections so you can truly appreciate the beauty of it all. :)
Here you'll see our angel collection next to Santa/Rudolph/snowman/tree. You might notice the little gray rabbit next to Rudolph. Your guess is as good as mine on why he belongs. It's like the Christmas version of Where's Waldo? You might also notice the 8 foot tall Santa inflatable in our front bedroom. He's a little blocked by the North Pole sign in this shot.

Next on the tour is our 4 penguins and our carousel. Better view of Santa on this one.

Here we have the gingerbread family (hopefully next year we'll need to add a new one...), our soldiers, and our sweet little OSU snowbabies with what I call a moose. Aaron says reindeer. Whatever. It's totally a moose.

And now our Eskimo Joe's collection. It all makes sense except for the turd to the far left. Aaron would call it a walrus but I say it's a turd with big teeth and a hat. Nothing says Merry Christmas like a turd in your front yard.

Hope you're all having a wonderful holiday season!!!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Stupid infertility

One of those days just happened. You know the ones. Everything should be fine, but inside you're just a mess. No real good reason, nothing to blame it on, no one to yell at. Just a battle within. And I'm losing.

I guess it's mostly just that I'm tired of infertility. Kinda feels like it has conquered me lately. I try to keep control of the situation, but after 19 months of ups and downs, that gets hard. Loneliness and hopelessness settle in, and hope and positivity pack their bags. We'll get back there again. I just need a little time. I'm not sure what I need time for, or if it would really even help. But it sounds good.

Stupid holiday season is what's doing this. I wouldn't even put up a tree this year because we should be putting our child's gifts under this year's tree. And we're not. We could have a million gifts and it would still seem empty because in my heart I know what's mising. So I don't want a dumb tree to remind me of the losses we've had this year or the struggles we've faced. One day we'll look back and it will all be worth it. But until then, I'm trying to ignore my infertility and all the baggage that comes with it. Because frankly, it's really getting on my nerves.

Monday, December 14, 2009

I must be losing my mind

I don't know what possessed me to do it, but I made and sent out Christmas cards this year. For those who know me, I'm not really a Christmas-kind-of-gal. Too high-maintenance for me. But something possessed me to download pictures onto a Wal-mart card and actually mail them out. Wow! Next thing you know I'll be baking cookies and hosting parties.

Aaron and I chose 7 kids to buy for off the Salvation Army tree this year. We usually choose 2-3 but this year they have a ton of kids due to the economy. So we got a few extra. We have now bought 3 bikes, 2 scooters, clothes, an exersaucer, toys, etc. I'm hoping this brings good karma our direction for the next few months. What goes around comes around. Right?

Things are about to get really busy in our world. We have Aaron's work party this Thursday, his extended family on Saturday, his parent's house on Christmas Eve and then my family Christmas Day. Lots of fun, but I'm sure we'll be tired and a little chubbier than before. I'll post pictures of our ridiculous outdoor Christmas decorations next time. (Think the Griswolds).

Friday, December 11, 2009

Tick-tock... tick-tock...

It's amazing how slowly days pass when you're waiting for your period (or hopefully- the lack thereof). I'm in last part of the dreadful 2 week wait. And I can't help but let myself fall into that silly hopeful mode again. I've never, ever believed I was pregnant from any other cycle (especially the one where I was actually pregnant). Not the clomid, or the IUI, or post-surgery. Until now. Now I believe that I am. And it's not because I'm having any justifiable reason to think so, it's just that I can't imagine going any longer without being pregnant again.

I miss it so much. And it only gets tougher every month that goes by that I come to terms with the fact that my belly won't get bigger (except from holiday eating) and that we won't be preparing a nursery and that I will be returning for empty uterus ultrasounds if I choose more treatment. I miss the phone calls and e-mails and cards telling us congratulations and seeing how I'm feeling. I miss the way Aaron would love on my tummy, even though our baby was tiny. I even miss the nausea and weird cravings and overwhelming fatigue.

So, I'm just praying and hoping and dreaming that maybe I'd be lucky enough to get pregnant again this quickly. It's hard to imagine waiting another 18 months for a pregnancy. Of course, I never knew we'd go this long and through this much. And see everyone around us (even infertile friends) have babies who are now having birthdays. But maybe it's our month...

* Side note: I realized that one part of me thinks like this previous post. And then there's the other side of me saying, "are we still talking about the miscarriage? Are you still belly-aching over your infertility? I bet people are tired of hearing you complain." But then the sensitive side wins over and you get posts like these... Sorry.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Size of a Goat

I had a question on my previous post asking how big a pygmy goat is. They should weigh around 35-60 pounds. Our little chubby goat weighs more in the summertime when he's chowing down on our grass (we don't have to mow the lawn). His belly always look pregnant and he'll eat almost anything. One of his favorites is dog treats and also plants that we don't want him to eat. And he happens to love dressing up for our Halloween parties. The only problem is that when people try to take pictures with him, he tries to eat their costumes.

Hope that answered your question! (This blog is turning to crap when I start talking about pygmy goats)

Sunday, December 6, 2009

The Tale of a Dog and a Goat

Last night, my sweet husband spent about 2 hours steam cleaning the carpets in our study. They were drying this morning when we left for church, looking brand-new. You could see the pride in his eyes of a job-well-done. This becomes a very important part of the story I'm about to tell.

As many of you know, we have one outside dog, Evie, and a pygmy goat named Chester. Evie and Chester are a little on the hyper side so they don't get to come in the house to play. I actually even worry that somehow they might destroy our backyard.

Me with my little Princess Mya and Suspect #1: Evie A picture of Suspect #2: Chester in his halloween costume
Somehow while we were away being good people at church, these two little criminals broke into our house. By broke in, I mean that they somehow pushed our door open that goes from the back patio into our bedroom. Maybe one of us failed to shut it tight and obviously didn't lock it. Regardless, we were greeted on our arrival home by a very excited mutt and her little goat friend. At our front door. In our living room.
They had probably been in the house unsupervised for about 3 hours. Excellent. For those of you who don't have a goat as a pet within city limits (if there are such people in this world), they don't have the best bowel control. You can pretty much count on Chester to create little "chocolate treat" piles all over the place. And he lived up to that expectation.

Exhibit A: This is what used to be the clean floor of our study
(NOTE: The dots in the farthest part of the mess are goat turds)
There were dog toys strung all over our living room as well as two other "goat accident" areas. We are "lucky" that nothing ended up broken or destroyed, besides Aaron's newly cleaned carpets and his patience. Boy, it sure is nice to have pets. And who needs clean carpet anyways? Totally overrated.

(P.S: I was super excited about receiving 16 comments on my last post. I think that's the most I've ever had. And I'm at 50 followers which is awesome!!! Thanks again for all of your support.)

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Woo-hoo! Ovulation has occurred...

Of all these months that I've tried to do ovulation predictor tests (for my IUI, clomid cycles, etc)and have been absolutely baffled by the results, I finally got my positive test. In the past, I've done them and thought, "is that line as dark as the control line?" "Am I doing this right?" "It is urine I'm supposed to use on this, right?" Now, I get it. This is what a positive should look like.

R is the control line and T is the test line. It's checking the LH (luteinizing hormone) in my body. LH peaks right before ovulation occurs. What you're looking for is the test line to be as dark or darker than the control line. I got this positive yesterday(on CD 16) and then my temp peaked this morning. So, it looks like the egg has been laid...

I've done my part. Let fertilization occur. Or not. But for now, I just want to say how happy I am that my surgery worked. We never had a chance at getting pregnant before. I NEVER ovulated even with fertility drugs. But now I do it even without seeing my RE. Wow.

So, this cycle looks good as of now. Of course, we still only have about a 20% chance of getting pregnant which is quite lame if you ask me. But it's better than 0%. And I'm trying to be thankful that I at least have a chance. We're back in the ballgame.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Team Jacob

Aaron, me and both our moms went to see New Moon last night. I read the books and always preferred Jacob. It never made any sense to me why Bella would choose Edward. He just seemed so gloomy and serious all the time, while Jacob was fun and kind. However, I solidified my die-hard Jacob status last night watching the movie.


I mean, really, how in the world would you not pick Jacob? Look at him! I can't even give a fair opinion of the movie due to my ridiculous fascination with this guy. I know there are lots of Edward fans out there, but I just can't see the competition...

*Note: I was not informed of his underage status until after the movie. Plus, I think any 17- year-old who looks this good is no longer covered under child protective services. Correct me if I'm wrong.*

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Survive Thanksgiving: Check

It may not have been easy, but it could have been worse. The tour of Thanksgiving dinners was survived...

We start at my dad's side of the family who live in the country. It's always full of people since I have 13 cousins on that side. My dad was actually there this year and on good behavior which is a rare occasion. The family played horseshoes, checked out Grandpa's new chickens (not kidding), and of course ate turkey.

Then we moved on to my mom's side of the family. She was an only child and my grandparents have passed away, so now it's just her aunt, uncle and cousin. My cousin has a 1-year-old so we were able to spend some time with him. At house #2, we discussed how my uncle shot the turkey in the back and we were even shown pictures of the poor turkey we were eating. By this point I am getting extremely full and tired of turkey.

House #3: Aaron's family. By far the classiest house we go to on Thanksgiving, we even use china. (The other two houses use paper plates.) My mother in law had scratched her eye while in the shower before we got there, so she wasn't able to open one eye. Made for some great jokes, but nevertheless, Aaron and I went to his vet clinic to get her some eye drops. She eventually felt better and we ate. Turkey. Again.

I can't tell you how many times people tell us that we're not eating enough, or we must not like their food. We ate at 1 pm, 3 pm, and 6 pm. Do the math, people. Our metabolism can't possibly keep up with that. It's like we're in a traveling turkey-eating-competition. And a person can only eat so much turkey.

Point of this whole story is that not one person mentioned the miscarriage or the infertility. And even better no one asked when we were going to have kids. That's the blessing of telling everyone about our problems. I didn't have to deal with stupid questions! Of course I was sad. The thought was never too far from me that I should be pregnant. And I am sure hoping that next year I will be. Maybe then I'll be able to eat more of their stupid turkey...

*Catie- your message that you sent me a couple of posts ago was incredible. It brought tears to my eyes. You have been such a positive, uplifting support for me through this. And I can't thank you enough for your friendship. Your joy would never cause me pain... You are such an amazing person and I am SO glad Robbie married you!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Thankful? Not so much...

Got the "lovely" chance to meet a perfectly nice, new patient today and refer her to an OB since she's 11 weeks pregnant with a perfect baby. Good for her. No really, I am so glad that it only took her 1 month to get pregnant with her 3rd flippin' baby. And that she is "trying" for a boy this time. Thank goooooodness she survived such an ordeal...

The holidays are not exactly bringing out the sunshine in me. In fact, I'm having a complete meltdown. I've cried twice this week which is more than I cry some years. And you know what crying does besides making my eyes puffy and my nose run? It makes me mad.

I miss my baby. I miss my pregnancy. When I found out I was pregnant, one of the first things I did was figure out how far along I would be at Thanksgiving. I was about 14 weeks wrong, it turns out. So now what I am is angry. And empty. At a time when I thought I would be so excited. We'd be in the 2nd trimester. We'd be well on our way to meeting our baby. All the should-have-beens keep rolling through my mind.

This has turned out to be a lot harder than I expected. I read somewhere than women who have struggled to get pregnant have a tougher time dealing with a miscarriage. This is not to say it isn't always hard. But when you've been waiting on this baby for so long and have been through so much already, it's extra tough. We wanted this so much.

Suddenly it seems like everyone else is getting pregnant. Like 90% of the female population. And I can't help but wonder why not me? Why do they get to keep their babies and I had to lose mine? Why are they posting belly pics and ultrasound photos and I'm still dealing with infertility? And why do they always have to be everywhere that I am???

The road isn't fair and there are NO good answers. I get that. If there is one thing I've learned through this, it's that every single story is very unique. Every ending is different. And every journey varies in distance, direction and speed. And all that I really want is to know that at some point, we will bring home a baby. But no one can guarantee that.

Tomorrow will be one year since we first walked in to the fertility clinic. I remember how scared and excited and hopeful I felt. I remember thinking that I didn't really belong there. At some point, they'd realize there was a mistake. I was fine... I remember when he told me I had PCOS and what our treatment plan was. Things were so different then. I believed in my heart that I would soon be pregnant. And I never thought I'd be one of those girls who had trouble or who lost a pregnancy. But here we are. And it sucks. Plain and simple- the whole thing sucks. And right now, I'm just not okay with it.

* Good news of the day: Aaron entered a weight loss challenge at our gym and worked his tush off for the past 6 weeks. We just found out that he lost the biggest % of body fat of the 20 participants so he gets $400.00!!! I'm so proud of him!!! *

Monday, November 23, 2009

11 years later...

Aaron called me on my way to work this morning to ask me if I knew what day it was. This is when sheer panic sets in. The only times I get asked this question is when I've forgotten something pretty huge, like my mom's birthday. (It only happened once and I will NEVER make that mistake again...) And then I realize...

November 23rd. The day we became a couple 11 years ago. Wow, 11 years...

I had driven up to Stillwater to have dinner with him that night during our 1st year of college. (I moved to Stillwater for my 2nd year to join him.) At this point, most would have thought I was crazy to follow a boy across the state to attend a college I had never considered. But it was the best and most important decision of my whole life.

Crazy looking back now at how simple and uncomplicated things were. We were just 18-year-old kids with our whole lives ahead of us. I'm so glad we didn't know then that combined we'd be a reproductive nightmare... What I also didn't see at that time was that we were strong enough to make it through anything. I knew that he was perfect for me and that I couldn't live without him. But I had no clue how much I would need him or how much we would go through.

Hoping that I can give him the best gift of all in the upcoming year. I'm feeling like year 12 is our year...

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Opposites Attract

Anyone who knows Aaron and I would say that we are pretty much as different as we can be in many areas. He is more on the quiet side, while I like to tell my business to anyone willing to listen. (Thus, the blog began...) He's very determined and hard-working, while I'm more on the lazy side and will do anything to sneak a nap in. The list could continue forever and you all are free to add your own thoughts in the comment section, but I thought I'd show you two pictures to demonstrate what I mean.

I went in to our bedroom the other night and discovered this on my side of the bed. Nope, the bed isn't made up, our decorative pillows are shoved under the bed, and I will guarantee that the dresser needs to be dusted, but notice the floor. Pretty empty, right?

But then I made the fatal error of looking on Aaron's side of the bed. And this is what I found:
The kicker here is that this is frequently what his side looks like. And those clothes on the bed and floor are sometimes clean. How does he know that? No idea, they look dirty to me. But he's got some kind of "system". Now, I would like to take a minute to give him credit for doing his own laundry. I feel that all men with at least one arm are capable of doing their own laundry, but do appreciate that he does his without a fight.

Which leads us to one last difference between us. Aaron feels that laundry should be sorted in to nice organized piles based on some technical mathematical formula and done in about 10 loads. Then some things are dried, some are laid flat, and some are hung up.

My laundry works like this:
  1. Take the entire laundry basket and dump in washer. Squish it in if it doesn't want to fit in one load.
  2. Move all to drier. If anything doesn't survive this process, it wasn't meant to be.

I thought I'd put a picture of us with the twins of our best friends, Mendy and Adam. They started out at 2 pounds each, so they have come a LONG ways. We were able to spend the evening with them last night and enjoyed it so much. They are such an incredible family and we are so very lucky to have them in our lives. Thanks for always being there for us!!!

Friday, November 20, 2009

No Room for Infertiles Here

The mall was literally swarming with all things baby tonight. We go to do some unneccessary shopping (retail therapy, as I call it) and I lost count of all the baby bumps, adorable children, and newborns that we saw. It was like women were trying to hit me with their sweet little bellies or run me over with their cutesy strollers or kill me with their picture-perfect families. I get it, people. You can ALL have children and I can't.

I just went to the mall to escape!!! It's swine flu season for goodness sake! Did they not get the memo about keeping their babies away from crowds???

Pottery Barn Kids nearly made me lose it. It's like that store is designed to rip me apart at the seams. I do fine with Motherhood Maternity. In fact, I like to joke about how their clothes are designed to make you look stupid when pregnant. But just allow me a glance in the direction of Pottery Barn Kids and I turn into this whimpery, pathetic soul.

So, we're back at home. Safe and sound. Aaron has made a promise to hide all of the Christmas cards that we get of our friends with their adorable families. Only ones with dogs are allowed this year. It's like how he hides the envelopes from wedding invitations when people address it to Mr. and Mrs. Aaron. I am not Mrs. Aaron, thank you very much. Marriage did not delete my first name. (I could go on and on here, maybe another time.)

I've officially lost my mind. Which sucks considering I didn't have much control over it in the first place.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Wishing for Amenorrhea

Yep, it's most certainly a period....feeling more like something that is trying to rip my intestines out of my hoo-ha at this point. My cramps are killer, my lower back hurts, I'm nauseated and I might be having some mood swings according to Aaron. (Although I feel like I'm being perfectly pleasant.) *We might need to insert a commercial here for some PMS medication.*

So, we're now on Day 2. I'm excited about a new month and a new chance. I'm also worried that I am going to be a tad disappointed (aka: very pissed off) if I don't get pregnant already. So I know the stats are only about 20% get pregnant every month of trying. IF your normal. Which we are NOT. But a girl has to hope.

No further news at this time. I will be in the bathtub with a lovely glass (possibly bottle) of wine watching TV, popping Midol like candy. Hope everyone is having a lovely evening!!!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Period, maybe???

For those who somehow do not enjoy posts about my cycles, please return next time for more pleasant subject matter. Otherwise, feel free to read on...

I think I might be starting my period tonight!!! I had one 2 weeks after my D&C which my OB/GYN thought was a bit too early. But now, 28 days later, I am spotting and cramping. It's a little different than usual for me since I'm used to starting first thing in the morning and it's heavier than this. But things might not be the same for a while...

Point is, I'm excited than I'm having normal cycles again!!! I've been terrified than I wouldn't ovulate on my own anymore and then I'd be back at square one with those nasty progesterone shots... Thank you ovarian drilling!

Several weeks ago, I had a patient come in to the clinic to see me for bleeding during pregnancy. She was a younger girl who didn't plan a pregnancy, but was concerned due to excessive bleeding at 12 weeks gestation. I did a pelvic exam on her and we found out that she was, in fact, miscarrying. It was such a moment of deja vu.

Just weeks after being told of my own failed pregnancy, here I sit... holding this poor girl's hands, explaining to her that "it's not her fault", "these things just happen", and other such nonsense ramblings designed to give the healthcare provider something to say. I almost felt like I wasn't even the one saying these things, but actually hearing them from my own doctor. I felt like I had no idea how to even do my job anymore.

I watched her face go from seemingly calm and understanding to completely confused and devastated. And I knew exactly how she felt. I also knew that I could not say anything at all to make it better. She probably wouldn't even hear what I was saying if I tried. So I just sat with her and tried with all my might not to cry.

The day I saw my empty sac on ultrasound will always be one of the most disappointing days of my life. Dr. Haas stood there holding my hands and offering such sweet words of encouragment and hope. But nothing else mattered at that moment. I'd lost that little embryo that I wanted so badly and prayed for so hard.

My experience has made me better at my job since I do deal with infertility and even miscarriage from time to time. I definitely have much more empathy than before. I just wish I could make it easier on them. And even myself. I wish there were words that would ease the pain. But I know that nothing does.

So we keep on moving. Taking it one month at a time, holding out hope for that miracle, praying that you've got a lucky streak heading your way. And right now, I'm on cycle day 1. I'm looking at this as a new beginning...

Thursday, November 12, 2009

I sure have written a lot of crap!

This is my 100th post on here. I was really hoping it could be something exciting, but I don't have too much to report right now. Just waiting for my 1st real period following my D&C which should arrive early next week. And then we're back to trying...

I can't believe I've actually come up with enough to say that I've posted 100 times. I also can't believe that I've had over 10,000 hits to my site or that I have 44 followers now. I feel so incredibly privileged that 44 people actually think that what I write is worth reading... my English teachers would have been so proud. :)

This blog was started for simple fun. I thought maybe somebody will read it and maybe even a couple would think it was entertaining. I mainly did it for myself. It feels great to put your feelings down on "paper" and even better to find out that others have felt that way too. What I've found out is that I can't wait to get home to check my comments others have left. Or to check on the other blogs that I follow to see the results of their pregnancy test or if their baby was born or how their appointment went. (Kinda like being a peeping Tom.)

These girls have become my friends. We may live many miles apart, but you are all here with me every step of the way. And for those that have blogs, I feel so connected because you share your most personal life experiences with me. So, I thought the best way to "use" my 100th post was to say thank you.

Thanks to my "pre-existing" friends who have been there from the start. Thanks to my "infertile" friends, who make me feel not-so-alone. And thanks to everyone who has prayed, loved, cared, cried, yelled, and laughed during this journey. There's no way I could have went through it all without you.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Bye, bye Breasts...

Seriously, I've never been well-endowed. But I was okay with my properly proportioned breasts before. When I got pregnant, "the girls" immediately became much more voluptuous. Kind of like Lynette on Desperate Housewives. Except hers are obviously not really bigger and I didn't wear low-cut shirts all the time to display them. (Which I now regret considering they are gone.)

But about 3 days after my D&C, they disappeared. Which sucked. But I thought, well I can live with what I had before. Today, however, I feel like they have nearly disappeared. If things continue at this pace, I won't need to wear a bra by Christmas. I'll just be placing band-aids strategically, especially in cold weather. Great for comfort, not for curves. And they are no longer the same size. I had no idea that my left breast was so unhappy and so quick to bail on me.

You can't give a girl a nice instant boob job and then just take it all away along with her pregnancy. I felt like I should get to keep them as a consolation prize. But instead they've decided to head for the hills. Great, now I look like a pre-adolescent boy... So NOT fair!!!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Siamese Strawberries

I have never in my life seen a siamese twin strawberry, but I had two in the batch I ate this evening. They tasted delicious, but Aaron questioned the hormones or chemicals used that created such a defect. Uh-oh. What if this affects my fertility??? Maybe I'll grow 100 cysts on each ovary, have high amounts of male hormones, and fail to ovulate unless someone drills 10 holes in each ovary with a laser. (For those who don't know, I'm kidding. Totally already had all of those things happen.)

So, I joyfully ate the strawberries. Heck, maybe it'll fix something in there. At this point, pretty sure it isn't going to hurt. :)

Friday, November 6, 2009

Go Ahead, Lock me Up

We're friends, right? I can totally tell you girls (and some guys who wish to remain private readers because it's apparently embarrassing to read an infertility blog) anything on my mind, can't I? If your answer was "no way" or "I'm not quite comfortable with that", you should probably stop reading now. For the true friends, here goes...

So, a realization slammed into me like a mack truck yesterday. When my grandma, cousin, then friend of the family all walked up to me at the funeral and asked when "the little one is due", I had the fleeting idea of answering as if the miscarriage hadn't really happened. I actually wanted to just pretend things are fine, tell them May 22nd was the big day, smile like the proudest expectant mother and maybe even rub my belly for good measure.

But that's crazy talk. What in the world is wrong with you, insane girl?

Don't worry about me, it's just the infertility talking. You just get to a point where you're tired of disappointing people around you. It's always, "nope, still not pregnant", "that treatment didn't work", or "we lost that pregnancy". People are starting to dread talking to us for fear of having to hear about another failed month. And I'm quite honestly tired of talking about it.

It was such a wonderful change of pace to tell people I was pregnant. To talk about pregnancy symptoms and due dates and ultrasounds where you expect to see something in the uterus. I've talked myself and everyone around me to death about infertility. People are ready to fling themselves from moving vehicles to avoid hearing about my cycles, cervical mucus, and emotional turmoil.

And then I realized, I'm just one slippery step away from being like those crazy women who fake their pregnancies and steal someone's baby. Uh-oh... When did I lose my mind? Now, let's take a minute to note that I am perfectly aware that stealing a baby is also spelled F-E-L-O-N-Y. I'm just saying- infertility and pregnancy loss can make the mind play tricks on you. You become a little desperate. Which in my book also equals crazy.

So, now that I've worried everyone about my sanity or lack thereof, I hope you all have a great weekend. Just back away from the computer and forget that this ever happened.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Memorial Service

Today was Kate's memorial service which, of course, was incredibly heart-breaking. Seeing a tiny little casket is completely surreal. Knowing that we will never see her again is hard to imagine. I am glad she will never have to suffer. And I am so thankful that she was brought into our lives. Never will a little one mean so much to me and make such a huge impact in such a short amount of time.

Many of our family and friends were there. Grandparents, cousins, aunts, uncles. I realized a very important lesson. News of a pregnancy travels like wildfire. News of a miscarriage does not.

I can't tell you how many times I was asked today about when I'm due, or congratulated on our baby. And this isn't the first time this has happened. My neighbors congratulated me on Halloween night. And it's so sad to watch their faces go from happy to sad/embarrassed in seconds. They don't realize that I'm okay. Infertility has given me thick skin. They think that they just broke my heart. I can't convince them that it will take a lot more than that.

But I realized that I have to keep the next pregnancy (God willing) a lot more private. I just don't want to see the hurt faces again next time. And we will probably be even less excited about the next pregnancy than we were about this one. I never felt completely comfortable about it. You can't put this much time, money and effort into something and not feel total fear that it will all be taken away.

I am sad for our loss. It's unfair that we'll never meet our baby. But I'm even more upset for Amee and Billy. I just can't even begin to imagine their pain. It really puts my own situation into perspective...

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Sweet Little Kate

I've been trying to complete this post for 3 days now. It's so difficult that I'm going to keep it brief. My cousin, Amee, had identical twin girls on the 4th of July this year. While Marley is completely healthy, Kate was born with a major heart defect. She had open heart surgery at 10 days old and spent 2 months in the hospital. She has been home for the past month and we've been so fortunate to spend a lot of time with her and Marley. (We live about 2 minutes from them.)

On Sunday, her heart suddenly stopped and she was taken from us. She was an incredible little girl with a beautiful smile and such a brave spirit. It was just more than she could take.

I will never be able to thank my cousin enough for allowing me into Kate's life. She has a permanant place in my heart and will never be forgotten. I feel so much anger and sadness that she won't grow up with Marley. But I'm thankful that we were given the chance to know her and that she won't have to endure any more surgeries or pain.

We were able to spend about 4 hours with her on Sunday and took some great pictures with her. She was happy all day that day which makes this so hard to understand. I just wanted to share her with those who didn't get the chance to meet her.

Marley (pink headband) & Kate (green headband)

Aaron with Kate

Me and Kate

Kate, you had the most amazing smile and sassy personality. You were a joy to be around and I'll never forget the hours I spent just holding you. Your face always lit up when we talked to you. You are still the toughest, most resilient baby I've ever met and I'm going to miss you so much. I would give anything in this world to have you back with us, but I know you're in a better place. We know you'll watch over Marley from Heaven. We love you so much.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!!!

My favorite holiday of the whole year is Halloween. I love the costumes, decorating, parties, scary movies, candy, trick-or-treating, etc. There are no gifts involved and I don't have to see all of our crazy family members. Last year, I did have a minor melt-down while handing out candy because it hit me that I may never have a child to take door to door. Let's hope I do better this year. Sobbing scares away little children. :)

We usually have a big Halloween party to celebrate with friends, but due to the month we've had, I chose not to. Now I'm sad about it! I thought I'd include some of our past Halloween pictures.

Fred and Wilma Flinstone (we wore these to a freezing cold outdoor party) We were able to survive due to Colby's special party drink he made!

Whoopie Cushion and a Paper Doll (mine was made of cardboard)

Pinocchio and a Chia Pet (my costume weighed a ton!) I'm still surprised

that Aaron agreed to this one.

Loofah and a Bathtub (we won 1st place with this one during vet school)

And lastly, I want to share a picture of a gift Aaron bought me for Halloween. He thought it fit me perfectly. A little background for those that don't know me, I was an only child and an only grandchild on my mom's side. I was raised with lots of praise and encouragement. They tought me that if someone makes fun of you or is mean to you, it's because they're jealous. Let me tell you- that theory got me through school. I was always the shortest kid in class and we were pretty poor so I never had the coolest clothes, hair, etc. So in my defense, I think they did a great job parenting me!

Stay tuned- tomorrow I will post pictures of our furry babies in their Halloween costumes. Go ahead, make fun of us. We dress up our pets for Halloween. Further proof that we are well overdue for a baby!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

My Plan: The Lazy Approach to Infertility

This may not be much of an important post because I don't have that much important stuff to say right now. I'm not saying that I don't have anything to say because let's all face it- I always have something to talk about. And maybe it's never all that important.

My doc suggested that maybe I do ovulation tests this month to track things. I thought about it. And decided that I'm gonna pass. I've done ovulation tests plenty of times and get nothing accurate. My body loves nothing more than to confuse me and my docs. And infertility tests just add to the madness. So, no thanks. I give my patients "homework" all the time just to keep them busy. I know it won't make them better, but it distracts them. I'm not falling into that trap...

I am, however, watching my temps every now and then. So far, they've been all over the place but they are trending downwards. The other day I even got a 97.2 which is my normal pre-ovulation temp. So maybe we're getting there.

I considered checking my HCG this week to see how much it's lowered, but again I just haven't. It's terribly hard to motivate myself to put in all this effort when I never got pregnant while "trying". The month I did absolutely nothing... BAM! Pregnant. So I think what I'll do is just hang out, look at my thermometer on the dresser every now and then, and wait for a period. That will tell me that I ovulated. And after several failed months of my approach, I'll consider going back to the infertility doc. Until then, I'm pretending to be "normal".

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Fish Update

Due to popular request, I am giving this update on the two fish convicted of assault and harrassement. They are both still being held in isolation from the other fish. Sheriff Aaron feels that they will learn their lesson and behave. I believe that they are fish and lack the ability to learn a lesson. We'll see who is right...

I'd have already flushed them.

Friday, October 23, 2009

My Own Version of Animal Planet

Warning: this post may not be suitable for all readers. It contains violence and adult language.

The day began like any other. The fish tank was peaceful and it's occupants were happy. Until three adorably fat goldfish decided to move in. Aaron returned to work and left me to ensure their acceptance by the other fish and to make sure they liked their new home. Everything was going well until several hours later...

One of the sweet precious little goldfish was being chased and picked on by an ugly, evil fish in the tank. I'll call him Bandit. I was none too happy to see this rude behavior so I thumped the glass several times (which Aaron repeatedly tells me is a big no-no) and called the fish some bad names. It did not deter him. This fish was unstoppable.

Granted, Bandit Fish is about 1/4 the size of the sweet angelic goldfish, but with attitude like that, there was no telling what he was capable of. I knew he must be stopped.

So with a net and incredible bravery, I caught him.... after knocking over all of the plants in the tank and thoroughly freaking everyone else out. Not to mention the watery mess. But peace was restored with Bandit in custody.

Or was it? Next I notice that another of the sweet goldfish is being terrorized (aka: followed around) by Bandit's evil brother, Outlaw. I'm not sure that Outlaw isn't the meanest hombre I've ever seen. Facing the potential for pecks on my arm by fish, I then netted Outlaw in with Bandit.

They knew the jig was up. I was ready to deal out their punishment immediately, but was told to wait until the Sheriff came home. I feel that their crime is punishable by flushing, but we'll have to see what Sheriff says. Until then, they're thinking about what they did while hanging out in their netted prison...

A picture of one of the good guys:

For those that are concerned about my sanity based on this post, don't worry. It's just that I've had 2 days off from work so I'm well-rested and happy. My usual bad attitude will return shortly. :)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Keep on keepin' on

I went for my 2 weeks post-op today. Dr. D feels that we can start trying again immediately (would have anyways) and that I may actually already be on my period. (When did it become a question of maybe?) I hadn't bled at all since the D&C and then started heavily bleeding last night and today. He feels that it's early for a cycle but that it probably is. After all, my body does not follow the rules. If there's one thing we've come to know, I am NOT normal!!!

He suggests I do ovulation tests and track temperatures to watch for ovulation. My worst fear is that this screwed up my "new and improved" cycles. I do not want to go back to amenorrhea and shots of provera. My cheeks are finally not sore letting me sit comfortably. :)

I have learned of so many girls that I know who have infertility and/or miscarriage experiences. It's almost like joining a really sucky, exclusive club. We all have different stories and lives and outcomes. But what we share is the frustration and fear and sadness that comes with the journey. You always hear of someone worse off than you, who has suffered more and been through it longer. And you think, wow, I don't think I could have survived all that. But you do. And you are stronger for it.

When this began, I never dreamed I would go through what I've gone through. It happens to other people, not me. But here I am. 16 months in to this... 3 surgeries....1 hospitalization....1 miscarriage. Where will this path lead us next? Impossible to know, and that's what keeps me going. The hope that the next little turn will bring a baby into our home. And until we have traveled every possible road, I have to keep on truckin'.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Almost 2 weeks post-op

We had another good weekend. Nothing big to report, just enjoying spending time with family and friends. We went to the OSU-Missouri game on Saturday night. It was a lot of fun and we won!!! It's awesome to have a winning OSU season. I've had to cheer them on through so many "less-than-winning" years, it's a nice change.

I go in for my post-op recheck on Thursday and it should be pretty uneventful. I'm just hoping he tells me I can start trying again next month. It's never a good sign when you're supposed to prevent pregnancy while trying to conceive. Kind of a step in the wrong direction. Pretty sure I'm going to try again anyways even if he tries to sit me out of the game.

Last week I realized that I've been counting on the chance that I'll get pregnant again right away. I just assumed the quicker I had everything taken care of, the faster I could do it again. I am trying to remind myself that it very likely won't go that well. It took us 14 months to get pregnant the 1st time. I am just unwilling to accept that it could be that long again or that it may not ever happen. To see those two encouraging pink lines again...

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Infertility is no one's fault

I just found an online article in the New York Times titled, "The Gift of Life and it's Price". It's discussing IVF and the costs, risks, etc associated. The media does a fantastic job at casting a terrible light on infertility and the treatments of it. We rarely see the struggle a couple actually went through to become a family, or the medical condition causing the problem. You hear about the costs, the babies who have problems, the octo-mom, overzealous doctors...

You miss the part about the couple who is completely financially and emotionally prepared to welcome a child and finds out that they can't without help and maybe not even with. These aren't single, teenage moms who are on welfare. These are your friends, neighbors, and co-workers who would love a child with all their heart and have the resources to care for them.

Some of the ignorant comments from readers following the article:
  • "People want miracles, and they want someone else (you and I) to pay for them."
  • "Society as a whole CAN NOT AFFORD to indulge these people. If they can’t have children, get over it or adopt."
  • "These people are very selfish just because they want a child genetically related to themselves."
  • "Do we really think it's a good idea to use technology to allow people to *perpetuate* these substandard genes?"
I don't even know where to begin. Let's start with the fact that no one else is paying for what we're going through. We've paid about $8,000 out of pocket this year alone. My insurance covers VERY little. And yet as a society, we pay for extraordinary costs associated with diabetes complications, obesity and smoking. I have always taken great care of myself, eat healthy, exercise, etc. and was unfortunately born with a disease that I could not prevent and which causes my infertility. So, don't worry about paying my bills.... you aren't.

Until you walk in my shoes, don't you dare tell me what you think I should do or how we should build our family. When you are fortunate enough to bear children without any effort, it is probably pretty easy to say, "just adopt". I have always planned to at some point. But that doesn't take away my yearning to feel a baby grow inside of me and to have a baby that we created. Furthermore, don't act like adoption is a "cheap" alternative. It is NOT!!! It is an incredibly lengthy and emotional process and it costs more than IVF in many cases.

We have enough hurt, sadness and anger without people judging us. The day that someone tells you that you may never have children and you walk away knowing that it "just wasn't meant to be", then you can judge me. Until then, try to remember that we are just people who want our own family too. And we're going through hell and back to get there.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Glad I wore my brown pants...

So, a moment of insanity washed over me yesterday and I decide that we should go see "Zombieland" last night. (I know, we're in the movie-seeing-mood now that it's getting cold) Weird choice for me seeing that I have about 4 true fears in life:

1.) Being stuck in a room with a lot of children by myself.
2.) Midgets. I know it's ridiculous. Kinda relates to the herd of children thing.
3.) Taco Bueno closing down or getting rid of their mexi-dips and chips.
4.) Zombies and/or the living dead.

I love scary movies. The scarier, the better. Except when it includes the living dead. Totally freaks me out and I turn into one of those whiny girls clinging to their date, refusing to look at the screen. So imagine Aaron's surprise and curiosity when I suggest it. I saw the previews and knew there would indeed be zombies. The name itself kinda suggests that there might be. And yet, I thought Woody Harrelson looked funny enough in it to subject myself to the terror that is zombies.

It was actually worth it. I am still 100%, truly, positively, undeniably terrified of zombies. But it was a funny movie. I was paranoid and overly twitchy last night on our way home and before bed. And I watched the entire movie with my feet tucked up into my seat. But I watched it... and I survived. I guess I've just turned my blog into a movie review site, although I have absolutely no credentials for judging a film. Ooooh, and we're super excited that Saw VI comes out this month!!!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Couples Retreat

Aaron and I decided to go last night to see Couples Retreat with Vince Vaughn. Well, not with Vince Vaughn, I'm sure he had other plans. I should say "starring". The premise of the movie is that a couple is really contemplating divorce because their marriage is falling apart. Why you ask? Oh, because they've been dealing with infertility for 12 months.

Only 12 months... That was when it just started to get bad. Up till then we still had hope. Anyways, I digress...

So there I sat through half of the movie, missing the funny parts because I was wondering why we are handling this so well. What makes us immune to the fighting or depression or even divorce? Infertility can wreck your life and it definitely changes your relationships. All of them.

We actually know about 4 couples going through divorce right now and none of them really have anything all that bad going on. And they've all been married less time than us.

Aaron and I have always been great at making fun of bad situations. The worse things around us get, the more material we have to work with. You know when you think your day can't possibly get any worse and something unthinkable happens, and you just start laughing uncontrollably. Welcome to our life. Totally there.

He is my best friend in the world and when things like this happen, it only pulls me closer to him. I realize how much I need him in my life and how much he cares about me. This will make us love a baby so much more in the end because our baby will truly be a miracle. And our marriage will be that much stronger. I feel like we have truly survived a storm and come through it even better than before. (Note to Aaron: don't get too full of yourself, I can change my mind.)

So I think I'm going to skip out on the couples counseling for now, although it might be fun. And I totally recommend the movie. Don't let my long boring post deter you! It's really funny.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Starting Fresh

First of all, the D&C was by far the best idea. I don't even have to think about how things would have went at home. I had NO pain when I woke up, and it was the closest thing I can imagine to just having things "disappear". I had a tiny amount of spotting yesterday right after surgery but have had none since. Awesome! And I feel really good. I actually feel better. Now I realize that I think the pregnancy was making me feel pretty sick.

My operating room nurse who took me back to the OR told me that she lost a baby 26 years ago and she still misses that baby even now, especially on her due date. She did go on to have one baby, so she told me to keep hope. I bawled when she told me so she hugged me and the anesthesiologist put me to sleep so quickly through my IV that I don't remember anything else. She was just so kind to acknowledge what I was going through.

Funny story: Aaron, my mom and I were in the waiting room with just one other man. He was dressed very nicely and carrying a briefcase so I thought he might be a doctor. He was originally walking very slowly and almost painfully, but after downing four cups of coffee in a 10 minute time frame, he really got some pep in his step. He politely said hello and then asked if one of us was having surgery. I said I was and he immediately said his wife was having cataract surgery, followed by asking what I was having done. I told him D&C which I know he doesn't understand because his response was "that's great". Well, during my surgery, my poor support team was left alone with him. He went on to tell Aaron in an excited manner about how they just discovered another ring around Saturn. He had even printed off an article and pictures to show him... :) My question is why do we waste time and money on crap like that and none on paying for infertility or studying it?

My next question is why do my toenails look invisible when I don't have nail polish on them? This is why you will NEVER see my toenails unpainted...

This is what they should look like... I immediately repainted them when we got home.

So, I'm trying to look at today as a new beginning and not an ending. We will always miss this baby and this will forever change me as a person. But it will not stop us from trying. We are only that much more determined. Now we just have to wait for my hcg levels to come down and try again...

Monday, October 5, 2009

Racking up the surgeries

I struggled with my decision all night last night and this morning. I called DeLene who is the OB/GYN nurse practitioner and a good friend of mine. We talked things through and decided that I will have the D&C on Wednesday. But to make myself feel absolutely right about it, we're going to repeat the ultrasound right before.

I need to gather my strength by seeing inside my uterus one last time. I mean, what if a roaming, homeless little embryo stumbled across my unoccupied gestational sac and thought, "this might be a nice place to stay... for let's say 9 months." Yeah, I know, there won't be a change. It will be one last glimpse at my failed pregnancy. But I need that for closure and to go into this without extra regret.

And as much as I dread it, I am ready to put this in the past. I can't look forward to our future with such an obstacle in my path. I appreciate the comments so much. It was pretty much unanimous for having the D&C. It just really hits home every now and then how much this hurts. No one should have to do this. But it's just the way the cookie crumbles. I'll update everyone on Wednesday after surgery. I'm starting to think there should be a surgery punch card. Buy 3, get one free...

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Eeny, Meeny, Miny, Mo...

I was given two choices: 1.) Have a D&C to empty out my uterus. 2.) Wait until my body decides to have a "natural" miscarriage. I was hoping for choice #3 being keep this pregnancy and have a baby. Apparently, that wasn't in the cards so then I was hoping for pretend it never happened, have a regular ol' period, and have everything reset to normal. Again, not an option on the table.

I immediately decided on D&C. Why wouldn't I want to move on with this? But today, the wheels in my mind started spinning. And now they're spinning out of control. Everytime I've had anything medical done this year, it's turned out bad. From the minute I walked into the infertility clinic, I've received very little good news. Most of the time it's "I'm sorry to tell you...", "This is not what we were wanting to see...", "Looks like you're in the small percentage..." Point is: nothing has worked out easy for us.

D&C's are performed on gazillions of girls all the time. The risks are minimal. Things should go smoothly. Blah,blah,blah... I've heard all of that before. And then I got really sick and had a 3 day stay in the hospital for an unknown infection. "I've never had this happen before."

No, I don't want to wait on a miscarriage that may be painful and may take 4-5 weeks to come. But I don't want to risk having even more complications develop from a surgery that I don't have to have just to avoid pain and waiting. To tell you the truth, I don't want to make a decision on how to end my pregnancy. It's impossible to feel okay about either one.

I'm totally open to honest opinions on this one. Don't worry about saying the wrong thing, because there is NO wrong answer. I just need to know what you all would do in these shoes. I've already heard from girls on both sides and what their experience was. And I appreciate your thoughts so much.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Party Time

Raw sushi.... check!
Turkey lunchmeat.... check!
7 mango margaritas.... check!

I've had a great weekend considering the circumstances. This is the toughest blog I've ever posted considered the large amount of tequila I've consumed this evening with my mom and husband in tow. Nothing like a crapload of margaritas to lift your spirits and numb your sadness. Now it's sleepy time for this girl...

Friday, October 2, 2009

Nice Empty Gestational Sac

Not a shocker today- my ultrasound showed the same empty sac I had 4 days ago. Maybe it's a little bigger, but still empty. No baby. Even as I emptied my bladder for the transvaginal part of the u/s, I prayed so hard that he would find a baby with a heartbeat. Maybe you shouldn't pray on the toilet?

My doc was called out to deliver twins (not only do they get to have twins, but they do it during my appt time...) so I saw his nurse practitioner who I love. She's getting me set up for the D&C next week. Hopefully she'll call me with a time soon. Then Dr. Dachaeur will be calling to talk to me about everything.

Thanks again for the positive comments, e-mails, cards, phone calls... You are the most amazing group of people ever! This would be so much harder without the encouragement. I'm going to go eat lots of raw sushi and have some mango margaritas this weekend. Wish I could find a rollercoaster and a horse to ride. Kinda chilly for waterskiing. But I'm back to hot baths!

There's always next time...

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Hope: that dirty tramp

Of course I'm having a rough week. Not a good way to start a Monday finding out your only pregnancy in 15 months isn't going to work out. And even better- that my body isn't clever enough to figure it out. Awesome.

But to make matters worse, I started feeling better yesterday. Strange that I'd all of a sudden feel the clouds lifting. And that's when it hit me- I'm hopeful. I'm praying for that once in a lifetime, never going to happen, we've never documented something like this kind-of miracle that my baby is actually fine. "Woops, we were wrong on Monday. Yeah, I know we've looked at a gazillion ultrasounds and this is our specialty, but you really fooled us. "

I know deep down how things will really go and I know how I'm going to leave feeling. But it's so hard to realize something is wrong when I have had NO bad symptoms. My stupid little uterus is just ticking along like it's actually doing something productive. In reality, it's just nourishing an empty placenta. Stupid uterus. I guess at least it's persistent. It doesn't just give up.

Aaron and I went to Stillwater yesterday to hang out for the day and it was great. We laughed and joked around and just enjoyed being together. We were just a normal couple having a good day. And I love him so much for giving me that. And for never faulting me for any of this. He has stood beside me 100% even though I know it hurts him too. I've never loved him more than I do right now. And he's the sole reason that I will try again. I will make him a dad.

In conclusion, infertility still stucks. Now my good friend, Hope, also sucks. We've officially destroyed the possibility of either of us becoming a parent before the age of 30. And I'm about to have to look at another dismal ultrasound tomorrow and then talk about our "options". What a spit-in-your-face, kick-you-in-the-kneecap, call-you-a-turdbucket kind of week...

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


Yesterday I was numb with shock and disbelief. I saw patients which kept me from being able to feel everything. As soon as I was alone, I fell apart. The reality of it all hit me like a hurricane. And I know grief is part of this, but I thought I'd handle it all better.

Today, I woke up knowing that my world was changed. The smile that has graced my face every morning since I found out is now gone. I had gotten used to reaching down to touch my slightly protruding belly throughout the day, but now I avoid even looking at it. It's like a cruel reminder that although my body still thinks it's pregnant, it's all over.

I know everyone is trying to be helpful with all of the encouragement, but right now it just doesn't help. I don't feel comfort in knowing that "at least I got pregnant", or "next time it will work out", or that "there was probably something wrong with the baby." It might never work out. I know it and anyone else in this situation knows it. This might be just another step to nowhere for us. And I will always mourn this pregnancy. The next one won't replace this. It won't just fix it.

I still don't have any cramping or bleeding and my stupid HcG levels had went up to 30,000 so we're repeating an ultrasound on Friday to check the situation. Before I get a lot of hopeful comments about this, that number sucks and my ultrasound showed NO embryo. Hope is kinda out the window here. We'll decide Friday whether I'll have surgery to clean things out or wait for a natural miscarriage which could take up to 6 weeks. I'm voting surgery. I can't even begin to work through this right now since it hasn't even happened.

We're angry and sad and frustrated. My way of dealing with this is to shut myself off from the world. I don't feel like talking and acting like life has carried on. Mine hasn't. And it won't for a while. We're going to be fine, we just need time to ourselves. I still love the comments and e-mails. Just don't be upset when I don't respond right now. I just can't. Emotionally, I feel like I'm drained. Just working is exhausting me. I'm so sorry if I've hurt anyone's feelings or let anyone down. Please bear with me. Normal Amber will be back...

Monday, September 28, 2009

Another door closes

We went in today expecting to see our baby's heartbeat. It was supposed to be the greatest day of my life.

Walking into the infertility clinic, I thought it might be my "graduation" day. Time to move on to an OB/GYN. Time to be a mommy.

We've endured so much heartache, disappointment, and sadness over the past year and a half, I thought it was the beginning of a new journey. We'd completed our mission, earned our pass to the next step. Apparently, we were very wrong.

I could tell it on my doctor's face the moment he saw my uterus on ultrasound. Things were not okay. There was only a tiny little sac. No fetal pole. No heartbeat. Not a 6.5 week embryo. In that second, I knew. We were no closer to becoming a family. All of our new hopes and dreams and expectations were crushed. No amount of praying, begging or pleading could change it.

Not a single step of this has been easy. I have fallen into the sucky minority of girls who experience everything bad. Only 5% of girls have PCOS, only 20% of those are thin, only 15% don't ovulate on clomid, only 1% get an infection following surgery, only 15% have a miscarriage... You get the picture.

Your support has been great. It's not the words you say or the advice you give, it's just knowing that you all care. We're not alone. Even though in times like these it can sure feel like it.

I'll be okay eventually. If there's one thing that this has done for me, it's made me stronger. It's also made me less hopeful, more jaded, and far more pessimistic. There is nothing fair about any of it. There is nothing in this world that will make it okay. It will always hurt. And we will always miss this little one who we never got the chance to meet.

I was supposed to see my baby's heartbeat today...

Bad news

My ultrasound was not good. I'll post more about it later. Looks like I'm either waiting on a miscarriage or to have a D&C. I can't believe how much this all sucks and how angry I feel. So sorry to let everyone down.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Big Day

Tomorrow is finally upon us. We'll get to have our first ultrasound where we are actually hoping to see something in my usually vacant uterus. And hopefully, we'll get to see that precious little heartbeat. I'll post tomorrow to let you all know the results. If anyone wants to talk at about 3 am, I'll bet I'm wide-awake. And I will probably get to the doc's office about an hour early...

Friday, September 25, 2009

Way Better than Karaoke

Aaron and I headed to the fair this evening to hear one of our all-time favorite singing groups..... Boyz II Men. First I had a little temper-tantrum because everyone in front of us stood up and I couldn't see anything but big butts. Granted, I would have blocked their view if I had the chance, but nevermind that... I may have gotten a little teary-eyed for a moment, but then I was able to crawl up on top of a concrete pole and had a great viewpoint. They sang for 1.5 hours and I got to hear all of my favorites!!!

Keep in mind that this is our THIRD try at seeing them in concert. We bought tickets 9 years ago during college and they cancelled due to illness. Then it was rescheduled soon after and cancelled again. So I just knew something was going to happen again!

I can't believe how many of their songs take me back to a special moment in my life... a first slow dance, missing a friend, surviving a break-up, enduring the teen years. They had so many songs that almost captured my youth. And they're actually releasing a new album. I'm totally on board!

Call me dorky all you want, but I still love my groups from the 80's and 90's. And apparently so do a lot of other Okies. We all stood out in the drizzle on a Friday night to see them. And I got to eat an Indian taco and spend time with my best friend. What a wonderful day!!!

Thursday, September 24, 2009


My feelings have been all over the place since those double lines appeared on the test. I have truly felt almost every single emotion possible in a much more exaggerated manner. On the outside, I probably seem secluded at times. What's really going on is I'm focused.

I'm focused on ignoring the stress around me and making sure my body stays calm. It's crazy how much my world changed. The only thing that I care about right now is protecting this baby. I'm not as worried about myself or my own emotions if I lose this pregnancy, but feel sad that we'll never meet this little one.

I have been truly blessed with the best support system. I'm so incredibly sorry that I know so many people who have experienced infertility or miscarriages, but you all have given me the best advice and understanding possible. One of these friends (KW) had dinner with me last night. She is one of the most unselfish and caring people I know. She has endured her own loss this year, but is still a fantastic cheerleader for my pregnancy. It's so nice to have someone who truly understands all of my emotions and doesn't need me to explain why I feel a certain way. She's already been through it, thought it, or felt it before.

I'd also like to acknowledge another friend (BB) who recently had a miscarriage. Your words of encouragement mean the world to me. Somehow hearing them from someone who just went through what I'm obviously fearing the most helps me to feel at peace. You are one of the voices of reason that help me to feel calm about all of this.

I'll be posting some baby bump pics really soon as well as our first ultrasound on Monday. Hope everyone is doing well!!!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Can it be Monday yet?

We're about 5.5 weeks now and I'm definitely getting some symptoms.

  • I suddenly LOVE tomatoes. Always liked tomato products (spaghetti sauce, pizza,etc) but now I love whole tomatoes.
  • Pretty much continuous nausea. Very mild and no vomiting.
  • Newly improved breast size, very painfully tender. Sending in my Playboy pics soon. :)
  • Bloated belly and increased reflux. Sexy...
  • Lots and lots of fatigue. I am one sleepy girl.

I've had three sets of labs drawn... kind of my newest addiction... and my latest levels were good again. HcG= 10,003 and P4= 22.1. I just love to see that number go up.

I'm definitely looking forward to my ultrasound on Monday. To see a healthy beating heart is my dream come true. I'm so incredibly worried about everything right now. I know a lot of people don't get it, which amazes me. If something takes you this long and this much effort, you'd do anything to make it work. And you can't help but feel constant fear that you may lose it all. I appreciate you girls so much who know how tough this is. You've offered such incredible support. This has been such a tough road and I feel like I have SO much on the line to protect right now. Each day is one day closer...

Sunday, September 20, 2009

How it all went down

One of my dear blog friends suggested that I further explain what we did this month to get pregnant. (Besides the obvious, people. What kind of blog do you think I'm running here?) I think that's a terrific idea and I'm going to do just that.

It all began on a warm, summer day in August. The 15th to be exact. I had a period. Cycle Day 1. For those that don't know, pregnancy is actually measured from this day on. I had decided that we were taking 3 months off while Aaron recovered from his upcoming surgery and I only took my temp every now and then.

Medication wise, all I took was my prenatal and metformin three times a day. No ovulation meds, etc. We didn't do any IUI's, IVF, ultrasounds, labwork, etc. Totally unmonitored. I didn't even see my infertility doc this month. Interesting how the world works. I had written off the chance of getting pregnant this month. Apparently that was a good method.

Screw the intensive monitoring. Throw the charts out the window. Flush the pills down the toilet. Give up completely and forget all about it. This plan would probably not EVER work again, but it sure was nice.

For those who've asked, we were already pregnant when Aaron went in to surgery. Oops... No wonder I was loving the vending machine food while waiting for him to come out. Have you all had spicy cheetos? They are fantastic!

As for everything we've been through, most of it was still necessary to get here. I would not have ever ovulated if I didn't do my surgery. We're just "patiently" waiting until our ultrasound next Monday. And I'm still cheering for my little one to hang in there and grow.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Can I get a guarantee on this pregnancy?

I'm finally settling in to believing that I am actually pregnant. The moment that urine hit the test and the double lines immediately appeared... my life changed. Not trying to be dramatic, but the world seemed to stop moving around me and all that matters now is my uterus and these little tiny dividing cells. It's literally all I can think about and I can hear the seconds tick by. (I should be nominated for a soap opera award.)

My emotions change from excited to fearful to hopeful to worried about every 2.7 seconds. It's quite exhausting. I feel like I look at the world in a whole new way. Things that seemed so important now seem silly. My body even seems different. My emotions have changed, and I have feelings inside that I can no longer explain. ("Is that normal?", "Should that concern me?", "Is that just gas?")

The realization that this could end in miscarriage is at the forefront of all the emotions. I just found out about two of my best girlfriends having miscarriages this month. And there's not a single thing I can do about it. I can hope and pray and beg, but it doesn't give me any guarantees. Nobody can. It's literally the most painful waiting game in the world. There's never been so much at stake.

I'm not quite sure how the human race hasn't went extinct. This seems SO difficult. Why can't we be like chickens? You just lay some eggs and here come baby chicks. Not sure how I'm going to lay eggs (ouch), but this sure doesn't seem like a good plan either.

So, if my misbehaving little uterus would just play nice for about 8 more months and provide a loving and nourishing home for this little embryo, I'd be incredibly grateful. I'm doing my best from this point of view, laying around and trying to relax. And you all have done excellent at keeping my hopes up and my spirits high.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

2nd HCG levels

I drew my 2nd levels today (48 hours later) and what you're hoping for is a doubling of the numbers. Well, mine tripled!!!

First hcg: 647
Second hcg: 1,823

So, what do I do? Freak out. I can't just be excited that the numbers more than doubled, I start worrying that they're increasing too quickly or too much. So I called my OB/GYN who is a co-worker and she said it's great. Nothing to worry about.

What does she know? There's a ton for me to worry about. I suddenly have the most important job in the world- incubating a human being. But I'm totally excited!!!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

You Won't Believe This!!!

So, this weekend my husband and I caught a nasty little stomach bug which caused fevers, abdominal pain and vomiting. Great fun and well-used toilets. But that's not the important part of the story.

The important part of the story is that I was late for my period and I ignored that fact since I was actually worried about dropping over dead this weekend from the vomiting. (Pretty sure it's possible.)

Well, I took a pregnancy test at work today thinking that something may be brewing, and guess what? It was POSITIVE!!! I am pregnant. Never thought I'd get to write that on my blog without it being April Fool's Day, but here we are.


Got my levels back today for those who care and/or know about them:
HCG: 647
Progesterone: 21.7
Doc is thrilled, I am thrilled, Aaron is thrilled. We are hopeful and terrified at the same time. I'm definitely in the scary window period, so I'm asking for LOTS of prayers and positive thoughts in the upcoming weeks. And some hand-holding and encouragement if this goes wrong. You all have been the best support system I could ever have asked for and I love each one of you SOOO much!!!

I'm hoping this blog turns into my journey through stretch marks, weird cravings, and bad attitudes. Nothing would make me happier... I'll be getting a 2nd beta on Thursday to make sure my levels are going up and then my 1st ultrasound on the 28th. (My pics are hard to see completely because I didn't take pics until 8 hours after I took the test, but the test line was darker than the control.)

Hang in there, little embryo!!!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Amber= quiet, adaptable, and sensitive

Aaron and I had a huge craving for some sushi tonight so we went to one of our favorite restaurants. I got my smoked salmon sashimi and spicy salmon roll, which made my belly very happy. Afterwards, we got our fortune cookies which is always lots of fun.

We love to read our fortunes and the ones that have the "learn chinese" on the back are extra fun. Mine tonight was perhaps a little off...

"You are quiet, adaptable, and sensitive to others."

Let's start with quiet. For those who don't know me, I think I have been called many things but NEVER quiet. I started a blog to talk to anyone who would listen since my "real-life" friends probably get tired of hearing me. And as for volume control, my voice registers right under a chain saw on the decibel charts...

Adaptable... pretty sure that I have very few circumstances when I've possessed this trait. I like to pretend that I "roll with the punches", but when it comes down to it- I hate change. Makes me crazy really. I like my life to be nice and predictable. Some call it boring. I call it low-maintenance.

Sensitive to others... this one makes my own mother crazy!!! She is incredibly sensitive to others and about her own feelings. And I've definitely hurt those feelings a time or two. I care about others, but apparently that is quite different than being sensitive. I tell it how it is and forget that not everyone likes advice delivered in the blunt form. I've never really understood sugar-coating. It's the same message with a lot of crap thrown in to protect someone.

Point of this is to say that maybe, just maybe, fortunes aren't actually that accurate after all. And I possibly have some areas for improvement. At least it didn't say "quiet, adaptable, and fertile."

Friday, September 11, 2009

Let's just ignore this fertility business

I realized the other day that I don't find myself caring anymore about all this baby business. This "break" that we're on has been great for my mental health. I didn't even know what cycle day I was on or when I should start my period until I finally looked on a calendar the other day. What sweet relief!

It's not that I gave up, it's just not my focus. I have learned to accept that this is my life. This is my situation. Worry and sadness will not help anything (I've totally tried those approaches.) And I'm savoring my peaceful mornings sleeping in late, and the spontaneity that we still have.

And I'm trying to take things one day at a time and not just assume that we'll never have a baby without IVF. If the day comes when that is our choice, we will deal then. But for now, I'm just happy being left alone. :)

On an unrelated, but more exciting note, I'm super excited that my Cowboys are doing well this year so far! It might make me a tad more interested in football. (Doubt it though).

Monday, September 7, 2009

Who are these people???

Just recently, I realized that a lot of my blog readers are people who have stumbled across my blog or found it through friends, so you don't all know a lot about us. I thought I'd dedicate a post to telling a little about our story for those that are new. And I'd also like to thank everyone who takes the time to read our updates, pray for us, and offer us encouragement and advice. It means the world to me. :)

Well, we are both 1980 models, making us both 29 years old. I was raised in OKC by a single mom while Aaron was raised in OKC with both parents and a younger brother and sister. I was a cheerleader/dancer/gymnast, while Aaron played soccer and tennis. I was outgoing and wild, Aaron a little quieter and well-behaved.

We met in 1998 right after we graduated from the same high school. (There were 601 people in our class so we did not know each other at all). But we did have a lot of the same friends.

He went to OSU that first year of college and I stayed at OCCC, but transferred to OSU my 2nd year (to follow him, pretty much). College was our favorite time and I still miss it. We made such amazing friends during that time and still talk to many of them.

We were both biology majors and took a lot of classes together. After our undergrad degrees, he went on to veterinary school which is another 4 years. I took some time off to do odd jobs for a while, then I went to PA school (physician assistant). He graduated in 2006 and I graduated in 2007. Those were some tough years, since we were both so busy with studying and rotations, etc.

We got married in 2004, right in the middle of vet school. Crazy way to start a marriage, but it worked for us. We had an awesome wedding in Ponca City at the Marland Mansion. It was tons of fun! Then we went to the Dominican Republic for our honeymoon, which we both loved!!! Still our favorite trip destination.

He is now a practicing veterinarian in OKC, seeing small animals and exotics. (No livestock.) I work in Midwest City with an internal medicine doc. Both of us would love to find a way to go ahead and retire, but that opportunity just hasn't hit yet.

That brings us to what you all already know. We started trying to have a baby in June of 2008, assuming that it would go as planned. But as you know, that hasn't happened. We've dealt with it through humor and our relationship is as strong as ever.

Stay tuned to see where this story will take us next...

Thursday, September 3, 2009

What kind of drug cocktail did they give him???

Aaron's surgery went well today- surgeon said everything went as expected. He made an incision in his lower left side and was able to successfully tie off the problem-child vein.

He's feeling pretty good right now, just watching old episodes of So You Think You Can Dance. We've eaten lunch and he's definitely walking better than I did. He's already asked when he can start running again. We'll see how things go when the medicine wears off...

Speaking of the medicine, this guy has been flat-out mischievious since recovery. He's asking me tons of questions and pestering me about everything. What did they do to my sweet husband??

I sure hope this works. I hope he no longer has any discomfort from the varicocele. And I hope that this will get us the baby we've been waiting for all this time. We will never, ever take a single day for granted.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Time for Aaron to go Nighty-night

Surgery is tomorrow. Everyone keep Aaron in your thoughts and prayers. He's going to do great, and this is just more proof of what an incredible dad he'll make. Haven't we proven ourselves yet???

I'll update you all tomorrow...

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

I have such a way with words

So, I learned an important lesson this week. Apparently, if someone is having surgery and you have taken off work to be there with them, you do not refer to it as the "long weekend". The above named person might not agree with that title, and may even feel a little offended.

I guess I should be more sensitive. It's just that I had surgery 4 months ago and have already replaced the actual events with a much more pleasant memory of how things went.

On a totally unrelated note, I met the neatest people today. Both were patients of mine in the clinic. The first was a beautiful 18-yr-old girl who recently won a local beauty pageant and will be competing for Miss Oklahoma in June. She also got added to the Guinness Book of World Records lately for doing the most turns wearing tap shoes. (Previous record was 16, her record was 36.)

The second was a 50-ish- year-old lady who was a contestant on the Price is Right several years ago before Bob Barker left. She not only got chosen as a contestant, but she won the whole showcase showdown. The only prizes she has left are two violins. She sold the car she won. Lucky lady got to live out my dream!!! And she has 4 kids... Some people have all the luck.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Our little lab creation...

I was driving home the other day and it occurred to me that we'll possibly be doing IVF in about 3-5 months depending on the outcome of this surgery and the 0.0001% chance that I'll just get pregnant on my own in the next few months. (Rolling your eyes and laughing would be appropriate responses.)

And I realized that although I'm dealing with the concept of IVF somewhat better, I apparently have a bit of a sentimental feeling towards our potential embryos.

Didn't see that coming...

Reason I know that I'm "attached" to the hypothetical embryos is that I was thinking I would want to see them under microscope before they inserted them. They would be little Amber/Aaron cells. And I guess that means I would already consider them a baby. Uh-oh.

Which I had not considered when they were someone else's embryos. Then they're just cells dividing. Now, don't get all worried that I'm going to implant ALL of them just to see what happens. I'm not losing my mind.

Let's just say my hormones are out-of-whack. I'll pull myself together...