Friday, April 24, 2009

Of Blood Tests & Support Groups

Drumroll, please. Tomorrow is my EIGHTH and final blood test. My arm has become sore from all of the pricks, so the final test is most welcome. So are the drinks that Blood Test Buddy and I have planned to celebrate. I did give Miss Betty a hug today to thank her from delivering me from phelbotomist trauma.

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

Tomato Tortilla Soup

It's time for a post free of infertility and blood test references, at least for now! As Mother Nature continues to cruelly sock the city with cold temperatures, my favorite soup recipe comes in handy. The recipe came from the Rachel Ray Magazine. I usually make a double batch, as the soup freezes extremely well (gotta love those Ziploc cylindar containers). Ingredients are very simple and include canned tomatoes, a wonderful shortcut. The recipe also happens to be my husband's favorite. He insists that he could eat the soup nonstop. Among our favorite pairings are Shiraz wine, chicken Quesadillas, and tortilla chips.
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!

The Next SHE Meeting:

S.H.E. (Infertility Support Group)
next meeting:
Saturday, April 25th (this Saturday)
Seton Catholic School's Library
1740 Summerhill Drive
Lexington, KY 40515
You don't need to live in Lexington to attend!
All women with primary and secondary infertility are welcome.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Blood Test Marathon: Day 3

One simple test has caused so much problems. Arrg! The blood tests are taken Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday for 2 weeks. So on Monday, I went to the lab. Thankfully, one of the girls from our SHE group also had blood work. We're calling ourselves "Blood Test Buddies." The phlebotomist could not find my vein; any needle pricks resulted in no blood coming out. After numerous attempts in both arms, she finally collected the sample from the top of my hand. Thankfully, Blood Test Buddy held my hand as the extraction was quite painful.

After announcing my trauma on Facebook and telling several friends, I was advised to find another phlebotomist. Not knowing if my paperwork could be faxed to another lab, Blood Test Buddy and I returned to the same place on Wednesday. Perhaps some delusional part of me thought Monday's nightmare was only a fluke and unrepeatable.

WRONG! The same thing happened. This time, the phlebotomist couldn't even get the blood to come out of my hand. She finally sent me to her colleague across town. I showed up in that lab with 3 band-aids: my left hand and both inside forearms. Blood Test Buddy kindly came with me, despite the fact her blood had actually come out of her arm at the former lab. The test at the new lab went differently. The new phlebotomist "Miss Betty" found my vein within seconds and completed the test within a minute.

Thankfully, I learned my lessons: go with a friend for support and find a good phlebotomist!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Blood Test Marathon: Day 1

Today begins 2 weeks of blood tests for my NaPro doctor. He scheduled the tests to begin just before my peak day and end approximately 11 days after. Why go through the trouble?

The blood tests are looking for hormone levels. The test will reveal whether or not I've ovulated. I've seen some example charts of such blood tests; I was amazed to see the close accuracy to a woman's Creighton chart.

The huge advantage of this kind of testing is concrete answers. When I was on Clomid, my blood tests were at the end of the month, around day 22. My levels started low, increased, and then plummeted again. However, the OB/GYN will not put me on another round of Clomid as I've had 2 three-month cycles of it. So there were many questions left unanswered. But with this blood test, despite the pain and inconvenience, I will finally have concrete answers.

Sunday, April 12, 2009


Happy Easter, everyone! He is risen, Alleluia!
I thought a few lines from the Exultet, a special prayer at the beginning of the Easter Vigil, would be appropriate for this glorious day:
"May the Morning Star which never sets
find this flame still burning;
Christ, the Morning Star, Who came back from the dead,
and shed His peaceful light on mankind,
Your Son Who lives and reigns forever and ever."

Friday, April 10, 2009

No Greater Love

Good Friday is an ordinary day for many throughout the world, but an extraordinary day for Christians everywhere. Catholic exchange has a wonderful article called Extreme Love on the Cross. The poem at the end of the article is most haunting:

There He hangs--pale figure
pinned against the wood.
God grant that I could love Him
as I really know I should.
I draw a littler closer to share the love divine
and almost hear Him whisper,
"Oh foolish child of Mine!
If I should now embrace you
My hands would stain you red

And if I leaned to whisper,
the Thorns would pierce your head."
Then I knew in silence
that love demands a price
'Twas then I learned that suffering
is but the kiss of Christ.

-Poem to Christ Crucified by Caryll Houselander

Whether our suffering includes infertility, mourning the loss of a child, disease, pain, and heartbreak, today is a perfect day to unite our pain to that of Jesus' on the cross and look forward to His resurrection.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Announcing a new name...

Well, after 2 months of calling the group "The Infertility Support Group," we finally have a new name. The idea came up during a conversation last week and the name stuck:


Sarah Hannah Elizabeth

All three of these women from the Bible experienced infertility. I'm grateful for the name as it become increasingly difficult to pick one of those saints. Hopefully a logo & website will be coming soon.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Period Maddness

For only the 2nd time since I began charting, I have just finished a 22-day cycle. This is quite odd. My cycles have been getting longer (27-29 days) over the years...a key early symptom of P.C.O.S. that my NaPro doctor warned me about.

Then, out of nowhere, my period arrived today. The cause could be the distruption of a normal schedule (both schools are on spring break this week)...but other than that I have no clue. We're scheduled to have another follow-up session with the NaPro doctor soon, so I'll post on the progress. With this latest monkey wrench thrown into the infertility mess, our adoption discernment has provided a nice light to look to.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Radio debut

This afternoon I will be a guest on our local Catholic Radio Station, Real Life Radio 1380. The program coordinators have generously allowed me to come on the show to talk about infertility and the support group. If you want to catch it, go to the Real Life Radio homepage and click on the "listen live" tab. I'm coming on the show at approximately 3:30 EST. The segment should last a few minutes. I've never done a live radio interview before, so please pray for me!! :)

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Spring Has Sprung

On a lighter note, an advantage of living in an area of the country that gets winter snow makes you appreciate spring even more. I took this photo yesterday of our street:

This lovely picture is a nice change from the icy white look this past January.