Monday, December 28, 2009
Monday, December 21, 2009
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
As any teacher can relate, the final week before Christmas vacation is always the most hectic. This week is no exception, and we also have Christmas program rehearsals that shrink class time. Such is life during December! I bought stockings for my students to do secret Santas. One student even brought me a stocking (it's in the middle). By the way, I bought these stockings, although I'm sure Sew could have made even more gorgeous ones.
I have somewhat mixed feelings about the upcoming Christmas. Like many of you, I think every year, "Next Christmas, I might be a mother!" Or, "Next Christmas, my parents will have to come to us because we will finally have a child!" For the past 3 years, that has not happened. More changes are coming as my brother brings home his beautiful girlfriend this Christmas. Perhaps because Christmas is such a usual, celebrated milestone (unlike a birthday celebration that can be toned down), the holiday becomes a marker every year.
And to continue my metaphor of "walking the line" from my last post:
I walk the line between being grateful for a strong marriage yet longing for my husband to finally become a father.
I walk the line between happiness for a family friend who just gave birth to another baby (found out tonight) and nursing the ever-present IF wound.
Thanks for reading my rambling! Here are some pictures from the SHE group Christmas outing (love you, girls!) and my Christmas tree at home.
Saturday, December 5, 2009
Saturday, November 28, 2009
The weekend ended with the peeling of our hideous kitchen wallpaper, spearheaded by my mother-in-law. Not only is the wallpaper pattern obnoxious, it also makes the kitchen very dark. We got one wall done and have more to go.
I'm through fighting with Blogger's formatting of my photos, so they are posted backward.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
I'll post more pictures of the table tomorrow. I thank God for His many blessings, and for the many online IF friends that I've met through blogging. May He bless all of you today and always!! :)
Thursday, November 19, 2009
To me, that really indicates that our desire to adopt is very alive and well. My desire to lose this weight and bring our child home has become stronger than a desire to get pregnant. Maybe it's the pessimist in me, or perhaps God's way of preparing me for the embrace of adoption.
My two cousins were adopted from South America over 18 years ago. One of them told me recently that he still sees himself as Slovak (my dad's side of the family), despite his very obvious Latin American ancestry. I in turn always thought of him and his sister as my cousins, not very different from me. The whole idea that they were adopted really disappeared after a while. :)
Seeing that mother and child on Tuesday night awakened a new excitement in me. I know the same will happen with our child; the outward differences will give way to the love of a family.
Monday, November 16, 2009
Monday, November 9, 2009
I really love the online Catholic IF community. We cry with those who miscarry or are gripping with despair, sympathize with the numerous medical and adoption-related setbacks, AND rejoice when one of our own finally becomes a mother. :)
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Blood Test Buddy was told by the doctor that she could divide the Femara into 2 doses. Keep in mind that over 1000mg of hormones go into your body at once...so dividing seemed like a reasonable option. I took the other 4 pills a few minutes ago, so we'll see how I feel tomorrow. Some women have night sweats with this drug; we'll see if that happens. Femara also causes drowsiness.
Blood Test Buddy informed me that our HCG injections cost have recently risen from $50 to $75. *sigh* always something.
Finally, in a bit of a soap-opera type scenario, I stopped at the pharmacy to pick up Clomid and crackers. Somehow I thought my doctor had asked me to take both (TCIE has repeatedly pointed out that it didn't seem right). Sure enough, the pharmacist pulled up my prescription on the computer and said the doctor only called in Femara. I called the doctor's office only to find out that he wasn't in the office today. Oh well; I feel more comfortable taking Femara on its own (thanks, TCIE!) :)
Thanks to everyone for your prayers & encouragement.
* * * * * * * *
Well, you may recall from last month that I opted not to take Femara (a Clo.mid alternative) due to my college reunion. Blood Test Buddy became VERY ill from the Femara and I didn't want to take any chances that the same could happen at the reunion. I don't regret the decision, but 1 month later CD 2 has arrived. However, that lovely $50 bag of 9 pills still sits on my desk. My wonderful, loving husband even suggested that I don't take the meds. He knows my fears. Of course, several of you commented that Femara did nothing to your body. I had zero side effects from Clomi.d but still worry about what Femara will do. Looks like I will take the plunge and take the meds, ready to tell the doctor "never again" if this stuff doesn't work.
Sunday, November 1, 2009
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Once again, Blogger has messed up the formatting of my photo. The Scarecrow cupcakes came out very nicely. I wish I could take credit for the idea, but the decor came from a cupcake book. We used Ra.men no.odles for the beard & hair. :)
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Monday, October 12, 2009
Did I mention that the South Korean adoption process takes about 9-10 months once your paperwork is in? :)
Monday, October 5, 2009
Thursday, October 1, 2009
St. Therese has been a wonderful heavenly friend to me throughout the years. I really like her "Little Way" of doing small things for God with great love. One of my favorite books based on her teachings is I Believe in Love. St. Therese has also sent me many roses in answer to prayers or requests for help. I carried roses in my wedding bouquet in honor of her.
St. Therese, pray for us!
Monday, September 28, 2009
Friday, September 25, 2009
Now I'm growing rather nervous and downright afraid. My NaPro doctor said he had not heard of anyone having side effects with Femara. I believe some infertility bloggers have talked about fatigue, but can't recall anything worse than that. To make matters worse, my conversation with the Pharmacist:
Me: Hi. My friend had horrible problems with Femara, like night sweats and nausea. Is this common?
Pharmacist: Yes. If you really want to scare yourself, read the entire medical information paper.
Me: Can I do anything to help the side effects?
Pharmacist: Normally we prescribe Hormone Replacement Therapy, but obviously that won't help you. All you can do is try to keep food in your stomach to help combat the nausea. Have you tried other less expensive fertility drugs, like Clomid?
Me: Yep. Didn't work.
Pharmacist: Special shots?
Me: (trying not to laugh at the same time) Yep. Taking those right now.
I am really panicking. My period is due next week, right during my 10-year college reunion 6 hours away. (Murphy's Law is really happening to me!). Femara is supposed to be taken on Day 2, which falls during the reunion. Believe me, I do not want to spend my rare chance to catch up with college friends curled up in a hotel room! My doctor did say he did not know of any side effects, so it's quite possible that my body will not react in the same way as my friend's body did. But if the side effects DO occur, my efforts to exercise & diet may go by the wayside. My 2+ years of infertility has stolen all optimism, so I just see this recent medication as crossing more "things that did not help Percolating Petals' get pregnant" list.
And don't get me started on having to pay $48 for 8 pills.....
Femara is a huge chance to take. My fellow infertile friends, please leave any insights or advice. I really, REALLY could use it.
Sunday, September 20, 2009
On Friday my Irish Dance group jigged and reeled in front of a local Irish Imports store. Here's a clip of the two-hand reel that I did with a friend. Technically speaking, my form is not stellar (e.g., feet need to be crossed), but the sidewalk was full of potholes and bumps. I'm feeling more light on my feet thanks to the recent healthy lifestyle change. :)
Monday, September 14, 2009
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
p.s. For the past two weeks I've had bronchitis. Then AF came on Monday. Blogging has taken a back seat but I'm working to change that!!
p.p.s. Thanks again for your comments on my last post.
Thursday, August 27, 2009
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
The news fell like a ton of bricks. To feel the surge of starting the process only to hit a roadblock-- especially after our many infertility medical experiences-- was incredibly frustrating. It didn't help that last night I sang at a children's holy hour. Just watching all of those precious children made my heart break.
The good part, however, is the weight loss will be good for overall health. My husband and I have always wanted to shed pounds; our child definitely gives us a hard & fast reason to tackle our goals ASAP. So I'm shooting for the end of November, at least to get our home study in before December. Several kind friends have offered dieting tips and I plan to seek the aid of the local hospital's nutrition center. And yes, I have asked for Divine Help to help my cravings for sweets & carbs.
Once again, infertility takes us on another twisty path. Hopefully we'll make it unscathed and thin. :) Oh, please pray for the SHE group meeting on Saturday; our attendance has been low.
Friday, August 14, 2009
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Sunday, August 9, 2009
Three years ago we selected this psalm after marriage prep using Christopher West's Theology of the Body series. His specific mention of this psalm spoke of God's way of using tactile things for us to get closer to Him (e.g., water for baptism). Three years later, I see a different side of this psalm, especially the line, "when the afflicted man called out the Lord heard..." Infertility feels quite afflicting, so the psalm is a reminder that God does hear such prayers.
Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.
I will bless the LORD at all times;
his praise shall be ever in my mouth.
Let my soul glory in the LORD;
the lowly will hear me and be glad.
Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.
Glorify the LORD with me,
Let us together extol his name.
I sought the LORD, and he answered me
And delivered me from all my fears.
Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.
Look to him that you may be radiant with joy.
And your faces may not blush with shame.
When the afflicted man called out, the LORD heard,
And from all his distress he saved him.
Taste and see the goodness of the Lord.
The angel of the LORD encamps
around those who fear him and delivers them.
Taste and see how good the LORD is;
blessed the man who takes refuge in him.
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
My NaPro doctor called a few days ago with the report of my recent blood test. My hormone levels have increased, but he would like to see them a little higher. So I will have to get another blood test in this present cycle to determine if the HCG dosage needs to increase.
If you recall, the hormone profile/8 blood tests ordeal revealed my hormone levels were very, VERY low, particularly after ovulation. When the doctor told me the levels were the lowest he's seen in his years of practice, I panicked a bit. But after 2 cycles of the HCG shots, I'm overall pleased with the results.
The 2 biggest changes with HCG have been my cycle lengthening substantially and a lessening of cramps. Normally I am glued to the heating pad on CDs 2-4 due to extreme cramping pain and nausea. Since taking the HCG, these symptoms have lessened. Not eliminated, but lessened. That improvement alone has made it worth it. My husband has become quite adept at giving the shots; I barely feel the needle. I would definitely choose the shots over my previous painful cramps.
Whether or not these shots help me get pregnant (a hope that seems to be fading), I'm grateful that they have helped my overall health. ME, grateful for a shot. Hell has frozen over!! :)
Monday, August 3, 2009
Find out more information here.
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Today is also another milestone: we have filled out our application to adopt from South Korea! We just because eligible today, as that country requires couples to be married at least 3 years. While we still hope to conceive a child, adoption is a new and exciting journey. :)
Friday, July 24, 2009
(Sarah, Hannah, Elizabeth)
Thursday, July 23, 2009
(Sarah, Hannah, Elizabeth)
Monday, July 20, 2009
First of all, congratulations are in order to fellow blogger Sew, who just found out she is pregnant after almost 4 years of TTC. What a blessing!! I love how the blogosphere has brought together women enduring infertility from far and near who cheer for each other when a pregnancy finally occurs. Though I hope and wait for the day I could make an adoption/pregnancy announcement, knowing that a fellow infertility sister has succeeded gives me hope.
Second, I have some photos to post from our trip, but the camera is still in my hubby's backpack. I'll post more tomorrow. Ocean pictures guaranteed! :)
Third, we're on the second round of shots. The vacation sort of messed up our timing for the shots, so I'm thinking of holding off on the blood test (it's supposed to monitor how my hormones are responding to the HCG) until next month.
Fourth and finally, please pray for the pastor of my parish. An accusation was brought against him and he has been placed on administrative leave. We are all very sad; he was especially compassionate about my infertility struggle.
Thursday, July 9, 2009
Saturday, July 4, 2009
As luck would have it, my first HCG cycle occurred in an extremely stressful period. My Creighton instructor took one look at my chart and asked, "Hmm...did something happen?" "Yes, quite a few things," I groaned. Therefore, my Peak day was way later than normal. Still, we stuck to the system and began the injections on P+3, which for me occurred on Cycle Day (CD) 24. My normal Peak Day occurs somewhere around CD 15.
Mark did the first injection straight into the middle of the upper arm, which hurt a bit more than expected. However, after reading Sew's post and subsequent comments on the HCG shots, the next time Mark injected in the back of my arm. BIG difference; I didn't feel a thing and the subsequent 3 shots went just fine. Looks like Mark could have a second career :)
HCG mostly affected my cycle length: a record-setting 34 days. My average cycles for my entire life to this point have been 25-28. Quite a change. Also, my usual PMS symptom of hypersensitivity was squelched majorly. My one complaint about the shots is that it caused more than a week of "pre-cramps" pain. Normally such pain is a signal that the next period is imminent. However, with so many days of this pain, I couldn't tell if it was due to regular period stuff or (a small hope) that we had actually conceived. To make a long story short, AF arrived and a new cycle has begun.
I think this present cycle, which occurs in a more relaxed atmosphere (our vacation to Southern California occurs during this time), will tell more of the HCG's effect. In addition, my doctor has ordered a blood test after the 2nd cycle. Amazingly, my wonderful blood test buddy is ALSO on the shots, so we have been swapping shots stories and the like. At least my fear of needles has begun to subside.
Thursday, July 2, 2009
Friday, June 26, 2009
Ever have one of those weeks when the rain just kept falling? Well, my week turned into a month. There must be a cloud somewhere following me! The 2 boys I babysit are convinced my tote bag is really a rain cloud that brings thunderstorms. HA. To quote the book series, a series of unfortunate events has happened all at once and I'm trying to poke my head out of the constant dark clouds. Thankfully, a week-long visit from my parents provided respite.
Anyway, I apologize for yet another gap in the posts. I will post something about the HCG shots very soon.
Thursday, May 28, 2009
In tuo adventu, suscipiat te martyres
Et perducant te in civitatem sanctam Jerusalem.
Chorus angelorum te suscipiat
Et cum Lazaro, quondam paupere
Aeternam habeas requiem.
And when you come may the martyrs receive you
And lead you to the holy city of Jerusalem.
May a choir of angels receive you,
And with Lazarus, once a pauper,
May you have eternal rest.
A. I am engaged.
B. We are moving.
C. I am pregnant.
As you can probably guess, the answer is "C." My friend tearfully told me that her pregnancy felt bittersweet, so much did she desire for me to have a baby. The normal tide of happiness, envy, and sadness (yes, for close friends this can all come at once) stopped. My heart felt touched to its very depths that a friend would think of infertile little me amid the joy of another pregnancy.
Although I still wish for my own child, I am so grateful for the love of a friend. And that God seemed to ease the brunt of the news with His loving hands.
Friday, May 22, 2009
1. Hmm, those little pink onesies will work. I wonder if my favorite jeans are on sale? And those flip-flops sure are cute. Must go see!
2. Why can't this be me? Everything is so little and cute. If I had a little girl, I would dress her in that outfit. Oh, why do I do this to myself! *sniff, sniff*
However, when I trekked to Target yesterday, a different feeling came over me as I wandered the aisles of baby toys and car seats: numbness. Neither tears nor anger came to me. Perhaps the numbness is from the lack of sure knowledge of whether or not we will have a baby. My heart felt a bit angry; I wanted to be shopping for my friend K., whose baby would been born last week. So I picked out a few items and walked victoriously to the checkout, glad that I did not have to wipe away tears. Additionally, that trip was one of the first times that I did not grab something from Target's tempting $1 aisle!
I still don't feel ready to attend baby showers, as they are very painful. Thankfully, I will be out of town for the upcoming event and will bring the mom her gift in person. For now, this is my coping strategy. Perhaps when our adoption plans are underway, I will feel differently. After crying through an entire baptism of a family friend in January, avoidance works very well right now.
Monday, May 18, 2009
My dad sent me this charming website that helps you find your "Birth Verse." Basically it turns the month & day into a scripture citation and gives you the verse. Check it out!
My birth verse (August 23= 8:23): 1 Kings 8:23. Very cool!!!
Sunday, May 10, 2009
Every year, a dreaded holiday arrives that brings sorrow to my infertile heart: Mothers' Day. My Mom lives on the other side of the country; I'm sure if she lived closer, the day would be easier.
All my engineered efforts to avoid baby showers and the like do not work on Mothers' Day. Blood Test Buddy shared with me her tears at reading a card for "the Mother to-be." From Wal-Mart to the florist, reminders of motherhood are everywhere. Such reminders scream to me, "See! You're not a mother! You can't have all of this!"
My tactic for the past years has been avoidance. I even read about this in a Catholic infertility booklet. Last year my husband was in Japan on Mothers' Day. I was too scared to attend Mass and sit through a blessing of mothers. So I went out of town to a Pentecost Celebration and escaped unscathed.
A wise and holy priest gave me this psalm to reflect upon for the next few days. The psalm speaks perfectly to my soul: it begins with Jesus' words on the cross, "My God, My God, Why have you forsaken Me?" and then continues. It ends on a hopeful note. Check out the entire version here: http://usccb.org/nab/bible/psalms/psalm22.htm Ironically, I cantored this psalm at the First Communion Mass this past Saturday evening. This last line is my favorite:
"…and I will live for the Lord, and my descendants shall serve you."
Thursday, May 7, 2009
I find it very amusing that Dodgers player Manny Ramirez was just suspended from the MBL for 50 games for using HCG hormones. How surreal to watch SportsCenter on ESPN and find out I'm taking the very same drug that got a player suspended? ha ha ha
Thanks again for the encouragement and prayers. I will keep all of my infertility sisters in prayer as we face Mother's Day this weekend. Oremus pro invicem...let us pray for each other!
Saturday, May 2, 2009
Nope. Excuse me as I vary from writing information and ranting. I hope these results shed some light in case one of my anonymous readers out there has experienced the same thing.
So the doctor went through each blood test. Apparently my Estrogen levels are fine up until ovulation and then plummet afterwards. Remedy: oral estrogen pills.
The progesterone, however, was a different story. The doctor informed me that my progesterone were EXTREMELY low, in fact the lowest he's seen in 8 years. Oh great, I muttered inwardly. Those are the kind of records that one does not want to hold!!
The remedy? Injections of progesterone. AAACK! It has taken quite a long time to get over a deep-seeded fear of needles. Obviously, my recent blood test adventures took quite a toll. Were it not for Miss Betty's blood taking prowess, I would run away from every needle. However, these home injections did not sit well with me. My husband will have to give them to me on P+3, 5, 7, and 9 each month for 6 months. Arrgg!
Of course DH had to joke that he gave injections to calves growing up on the farm. The doctor took out a syringe and injected me with some arm-numbing fluid just to show DH how to do it. Really, was that necessary? It didn't help that the doctor joked that the injections had to be given in the eyeball. Thankfully, the home injections will be given with a diabetic needle, which is very small and relatively painless.
Every other cycle I will get a blood test (thankfully, only 1) to see how everything is working. The doctor concluded that I have some major signs pointing to endometriosis, which includes low progesterone. He remains hopeful that the shots & hormones may correct things anyway. We'll follow up with him in 6 months.
So after the ultrasounds, the condescending looks from the doctors, fruitless Clomid, blood tests up the wazoo, numerous doctor appointments, this is getting real old, real fast. I am still grateful for our NaPro doctor, however, because he treats me like a person ("not like a cow!" he said) and has given us a lot of answers. This cross is just getting heavier. I wish my words could echo that of a blog entitled, "This Cross I Embrace." Right now, my words are more like, "This Cross Stinks but I'll Carry it Anyway. GRR!"
Around Easter time we had made a prayerful decision to pursue foreign adoption (really, I was going to blog about it but wanted to get my thoughts in order!). I had just began to accept that God's plan for our family only included adoption. But this ordeal and the coming 6 months have thrown a huge curve ball.
We have a flurry of activities in the coming week, so hopefully as my anger and sullen feelings begin to wane (we hope!) I can post more about the treatment and the results. Blood Test Buddy and I think we should add monthly massages to our hormone treatment plans.
Friday, April 24, 2009
My NaPro doctor asked me to wait 5 days after the last blood test (tomorrow) before visiting him for an analysis of the tests. I will be sure to post the information!!
The blood test coincides with our SHE Infertility Support Group Meeting. Ought to make for a hectic morning; this calls for mucho espresso. :)
SHE Infertility Support Group Meeting
Tomorrow, April 25th
Seton Catholic School
1740 Summerhill Dr.
Lexington, KY 40515
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Here's what the soup looks like before you have to blend it all together. The corn tortillas help absorb the liquid to make the soup thicker. The recipe calls for pouring the soup into a blender; I previously used my Cuisinart, which usually made a huge mess in pouring the soup from pot to bowl. A cheap hand-blender blends the soup in record time with less mess:
Here's what the soup looks like after it's all blended:
Mmm, bon appettite! Hey Molly, I can bring you some next week if you want!