Monday, September 28, 2009

Praying with St. Gianna!

This past weekend, the relics of St. Gianna Beretta Molla came to my hometown this past weekend. In a wonderful act of God's providence, the local coordinator of the visit arranged for a private veneration (honoring, not worshipping!) of the relics with the SHE Infertility Support Group. WOW!
Each member of the group had a chance to hold the gloves that St. Gianna wore (pictured above) and receive intercessory prayer from the relic caretakers & a couple friends. Each of us experienced a profound peace; a couple of us ended up in tears afterwards!

There are 5 women in our IF support group; I told the relic caretakers that if 5 out of 5 of us became pregnant or adopt, we would take a special group photo for their shrine. :)

As I held the gloves, I began to say the names of so many of you IF bloggers: AYWH, Sew, Prayerful Journey, Jeremiah 29:11, TCIE, Grace in My Heart, Thorn in the Pew, Misfit, ...and when my non-caffinated memory ran out of names, I included all of you IF sisters in the blogosphere, and the many silent readers. St. Gianna, pray for us!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Femara Fears

Yesterday My NaPro Doctor called with the results of my recent bloodwork. He is still not happy with my hormone levels, particularly estrogen. So he has prescribed Femara and Clomid for my next cycle, in addition to continuing the HCG shots. I felt rather OK with the matter until a friend told me of her recent problems with Femara: night sweats & nausea. She took the Femara over a week ago and can barely keep food down, let alone exercise.

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.

Tortilla Soup (slow cooker recipe)

Here is the recipe that was simmering in my slow cooker when the lid met its demise. Some of you asked for the recipe, so I hope you enjoy it. This recipe came from the Fix It and Forget It Cookbook. A woman named Joy Mintzer came up with it.

I make one change in this recipe. In her version, you cook and shred the chicken before putting it into the slow cooker. I find it much easier to cook the chicken in the slow cooker for a couple hours (be sure that you're home; meat cooks much faster, even on low). The chicken shreds beautifully and I simply pour the remaining ingredients into the pot. Less mess, plus the taste of the chicken juices. This soup smells so good after it's cooked all day. My husband can often smell it when he pulls the car into the garage!! I like the recipe because of its ease. Of course, now my quest is to find ways to cut calories & fat to fit in with my new diet.

Tortilla Soup (makes 6 servings)

4 Chicken breast halves (I've used more and even a rotissere chicken from the store)

1 garlic clove, minced

2 Tbsp. margarine

29 oz of canned chicken broth (I use the 32 oz box of chicken broth and measure it out)

2-14.5 oz cans of diced tomatoes

1 cup salsa, any level of heat (sometimes it's fun to mix 2 different kinds of salsa)

1/2 cup chopped cilantro

1Tbsp. or more ground cumin

8oz. Monterey Jack Cheese, cubed (shredded works too)

sour cream

tortilla chips

Cook & shred chicken. Add minced garlic to the margarine in the slow cooker. Saute. Combine all ingredients except the cheese, sour cream, & chips. Cover and cook the soup on LOW for 8-10 hours. Divide cubed cheese among 6 individual soup bowls. Ladle soup bowls over the cheese. Sprinkle with chips and top each bowl with a dollup of sour cream.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Dancin' in the Street

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

My Slow Cooker's Demise

CRASH! The slow cooker lid slipped out of my grasp (the handle broke months ago) and landed with a bang on the stove. Immediately, shards of glass scattered on the floor and kitchen counter.

Of course, this accident occurred after my chicken tortilla soup had been simmering for a couple hours, ready for a Sunday evening dinner. My husband rushed upstairs to see what was wrong and found me standing amid lots of broken glass. He kindly cleaned up the mess (thank God I had worn shoes in the kitchen!), cutting two of his fingers in the process. I inspected the soup for extra shards of glass. We decided in the end to not eat the soup. The thought of minuscule glass shards cutting our intestines just didn't sit well with us. So we ended up eating out after Mass. I meant to get a picture of the pathetic, broken lid and glass-ridden floor, but forgot.

My slow cooker is one of the most frequently used appliances in the house, especially during soup season. There's nothing like opening the garage and catching a whiff of fragrant soup that has cooked all day long. Time to hunt for a newer model! "The best laid plans of mice and men..."

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

When Things Don't Go Well...

Spirit Daily has a thought-provoking article about letting go and letting God do His work. All with the help of His Mother.

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.