Wednesday, November 25, 2009

I'm alive! I swear!

Wow have I been missing for a while! I have been so swamped that I can barely keep my head above water, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I am almost there. I told my mom that if I can make it to thanksgiving, I can make it to the end.

I have a hard time with the holidays. I have a hard time letting another, childless holiday pass, thinking that maybe next year will be my year, and for the past 2 holidays and this holiday season, it isn't my year. But I'm not posting another downer post. I want to post what I'm thankful for. Yesterday I had my students go around the room and each say 1 thing they were thankful for. I got anything from an airsoft gun, to food to eat, to family members, and a roof over their heads. They are thinkers! I wanted to say what I'm thankful for.

I'm thankful for my Christian beliefs. While I may struggle sometimes, (ok, a lot lately...) I still am trying to hold to them and to some important verses that get me through this time.

I'm thankful for a wonderful, supportive husband. He is my rock. Without him I wouldn't have anything to stand on. He can always make me smile, laugh, think of something other than what may be on my mind. He is so supportive in everything I do.

I'm thankful for my family. They make me smile. They make me laugh. They support me and pray for me in everything I go through!

I'm thankful for my dogs. They bring humor to every single second of my day. I mean, we do live with our own personal "Marley" (that would be Maggie in our case). At this very moment they are crying at a window because they want to attack a squirrel that is outside.

I am thankful for a roof over my head and food in my refrigerator. I can't say food on my table, because that would imply that I have time to cook! But in this tight economy, many people often get caught up in the materials that they aren't able to buy. I'm trying to think of what I do have, because so many people don't have a roof over their heads and food in their refrigerator.

I'm thankful for my friends. They make me who I am. They stick by me when I disappear for weeks at a time because I am so swamped and are right there waiting when I come out of the tunnel.

I am thankful for the support I have from a wonderful group of ladies on the bump who are all going through IF or have gone through it and succeeded. They are such an amazing group of women and I am thankful that I have them to lean on during this journey and that I am there for them to lean on.

I'm thankful that I am 13 school days from finishing out this very difficult semester and 13 school days away from my certification.

I'm thankful that I am going to see New Moon today for a second time. :) Ok... I had to throw ONE material thing in there!

I'm thankful that there is technologies to help people dealing with infertility to achieve pregnancy and am hopeful that it will work for me (or that a miracle will happen between now and the spring!).

What are YOU thankful for? I'd love to see your responses so leave a comment to let me know that you know I'm still alive and that you are thankful for something!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Too beautiful for earth...

Today is Miscarriage/Pregnancy Loss Awareness day. At 7:00pm I, and many other couples lit a candle for their angels in heaven.

I also wanted to give you a prayer request along the same lines. I belong to a website where many amazing women post. One of these women experienced a horrible loss yesterday. Her baby died only a few days before it's due date. Please pray for Angie and her husband for their loss.

I lit three candles. One for my angel, one for Angie's angel, and one for every other couple who has experienced loss. I wish a day like this didn't have to exist.


An angel in the book of life wrote down my baby's birth,

Then whispered as she closed the book,

"Too beautiful for Earth"

-Unknown

Monday, October 5, 2009

May Angels Lead You In

My mom's godmother passed away Saturday night. She was such a special woman and so wonderful to our family. She was like a grandmother to me. She was 94 years young (and you will get why I say young in a few minutes). She is truly an inspiration. She graduated college in 1935. She traveled around the world well into her 80's. She volunteered at a nursing home for years until they told her to stop because she couldn't see over the wheelchairs anymore! My mom and I always made at least one trip a year to visit her. She lives a few hours away. Once in a while we would make a few extra trips if we were up in that area. We used to go up and have lunch with her and my great-grandmother, who passed away when I was 17 years old, whom I still miss dearly. Now they are friends in heaven. She didn't have any children, but always treated my mom like her own grandchild, and she would spoil us rotten when we would come to visit her.

I have an insane obsession with York Peppermint Patties and I have Kitty to thank for it (we called her Kitty... everyone did). When we went to visit her one of the many times when I was a kid, we would take her to the store and she would INSIST (no matter how much my mom tried to say no) in buying me and my brother our own bags of candy. I would pick the Peppermint Patties. Every time I have one I think of her.

She passed in her sleep, without any illness. It was just her time. She was called Home, to be with her beloved husband who passed years ago.


May angels lead you in Kitty. I will miss you forever and keep you close to my heart always.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Frustrated

I am frustrated with the coverage that fertility treatments get on the news. It is no wonder people have such a horrible view or such an uneducated view of fertility treatments and infertility. The only coverage that anyone ever hears is negative coverage. There is no success stories heard in the press. It makes me sad to see that. It makes me sad that couples already hurting so much over the pain of infertility then has to face opposition from some friends or family who think fertility treatments are inherently evil and always result in high order multiples. We don't hear about the wonderful success stories.

I am determined to be a success story and to help change the views of those around me on the good that fertility treatments can do.

Thanks and more

Thanks to everyone for the anniversary wishes! That was very sweet of you! We had a great evening, although we were both tired (me from a busy day, and him from getting up early).

After we were married, we didn't avoid getting pregnant, although I wasn't charting, using OPKs or anything. We thought it would eventually happy. I used to worry what people would think if we got pregnant right away and had a honeymoon baby. Now I laugh at that thought. I would give anything to have someone think that, than to go through the difficulties we are having now. We have one more month to try before we have to stop until the spring. I don't have my hopes up. This month was a big fail. No ovulation. I was back to the way I was before I went on Clomid. I can't wait until I can start working in January. We can start saving for our first fertility treatment beyond Clomid, which I am hoping will be IUI. We will meet with a RE in March to start more testing.

School is going. I am so so tired all of the time because of all of the work I have to do, but I just need to adjust to it. It is a lot of work all at once, and there is not really time to do it during the day other than my prep time when the kids are in special, which isn't a whole lot of time. I do a lot of work at home. I think when I am in my own classroom, I am going to try to keep most of it at work. I'll go in early or stay a little late so that I can get things done (more the early than the late, probably) so that I can enjoy being home. But right now with student teaching, it is more than just what I would be doing normally because I also have assignments that I have to do for the college in order for me to graduate. I am trying to bang those out so I can concentrate on teaching my kiddos, whom I adore! This is a great age (4th grade)! I really hope I will get the maternity leave position when I am done with the semester (my co-op is pregnant and will be going on maternity leave in January). And there is another 4th grade teacher retiring at the end of the year, so I hope they fill it and fill it with ME! I really love this age. I think I would love teaching between 2nd and 4th. And the school I am in is fantastic! There is a lot of support and a lot of resources. I really am enjoying it. It is a great learning process. I can't imagine how I would be if I had only had the field experience that my college provides us with during the program and I didn't have the year and a half working in a special education classroom, and the experience sub teaching. I think I would be even more overwhelmed right now!

I just have to say that I can not WAIT for Christmas! I will be certified (hopefully!) and it will be my favorite holiday! That is my push! I see a light at the end of the tunnel. I'm even seeing Christmas stuff in the stores now!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Happy Anniversary!


Today is my 2 year wedding anniversary! I have married the most wonderful, amazing man ever! He is so thoughtful and caring. He always knows how to make me laugh, smile, and feel comforted. I am so happy I get to spend my life with him! I love you honey!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

I'm Alive! I promise!

Here is the promised update. :)

I have been so busy the last few weeks! I've missed blogging! I started my last semester of my post-bacc certification (that is a teaching certification for those of us who already have their bachelor's degree). That means that this semester I am student teaching. So far I am loving it. The kids are a great group of kids (4th grade!), and my co-operative teacher is really great. We have very similar teaching and organizational styles and I think it is a fantastic placement. She also found out in May that she is pregnant and she will be going on maternity leave in January... which means that I will be considered for her long-term sub job! Wish me luck! It is hard finishing my certification in December because schools aren't typically hiring anything but long-term sub jobs at that point. So we will see! I am viewing these next 16 (well I guess, 14 1/2 at this point) weeks as an interview. I hope it goes well! :)

We tried an unmedicated cycle this month and I really don't think it worked because I didn't pick up an ovulation in my chart or on my CBEFM (Clear Blue Easy Fertility Monitor), so my hopes really aren't up. We will try one more unmedicated cycle after this month before putting trying on hold until April so that we can save money for IUI. Wow I never thought I'd be dealing with IF. I've been trying to be positive and not think about it lately though. It isn't like I don't have other stuff to be thinking about! Haha!

It is edging closer to fall. (Well, if you ask me, fall has arrived). I am wearing sweaters to school and sleeping under a heavy comforter! I love fall! My favorite season! It is beautiful. The colorful, crunchy leaves, the crips autumn air, football, sweaters, jeans, apple cider, pumpkins, Thanksgiving, pumpkin pie... I could keep going. I just love fall! I've already decorated for it.

So that's it in a nutshell right now. Not a whole lot of interesting stuff going on, but that is ok. Its really busy... so I am taking a deep breath and heading in head first. :)

Friday, September 11, 2009

I've been bad

But I promise an update to come hopefully sometime this weekend. I've just been so tired with the start of the school year. But I will update soon. :)

Friday, August 28, 2009

Distractions

I absolutely love to golf. It is my distraction from my problems. My husband and I go together and we love it. We went a few weeks ago and I shot a crappy game so I was nervous when we went again this week and ended up having one of the best games I have ever had. While we were out on the course he opened a bag of balls to get me a new ball out (one of my not-so-good shots right into a water-hazard) and found an envelope in the bag. I had gotten the balls from my parents for Christmas a few years ago, along with golf lessons. Well I had forgotten I also got this envelope. It was a gift certificate for a golf course I love to go to! 3 years later and a phone call later I find I am still able to use it! So we went out again the next afternoon. It was wonderful! It is so peaceful out on the course. And what you think about is how the course will play. You forget everyday life. You forget problems. You forget issues you are dealing with. You just think about your game, how you can improve, what would be the best way to take your next shot without going out of bounds. It is wonderful. By far my favorite distraction. I wish we had more money and time to golf more frequently.

I also love to scrapbook, kayak, and travel, but they don't distract as well as golf does. Kayaking and traveling actually make me think more, rather than less. Scrapbooking I can only do for a bit at a time (I have a short attention span). I love to do these things though.

I start school next week. I will be with 4th grade for the fall. If you don't know or need a refresher, I am finishing my post-bacc certification in Elementary Ed. I already have my undergrad degree, but in something other than El. Ed. It is a long story that I may share at some point. I am also working on my Master's in El. Ed., but I will be done with my cert in the fall and able to teach as of December. I will use this semester as a distraction as well, and I hope it will be a great one! I love to teach and spend time with kids. I can not wait to actually get PAID to do it, haha.

So, what are your distractions?

Monday, August 24, 2009

Bittersweet

Today is a bittersweet day.

Today Jeff and I celebrate 8 years of being together. 8 years ago today we went on our first date. It was to the movies to see "The Others". We were both just entering our senior year of high school. At the end of the date he asked if he could give me a hug. How adorable is that? Want to know what we looked like then? Check out this picture:This was actually about 9 months after we started dating, but it was still right around that time. Inevitably, you are looking at his hair... we used to joke around that he looked like carrot top. I loved it though. He had the body of a soccer player and the hair to match. :) And what I wouldn't kill to have the body that I had back then back. I'm working on it...

We really don't celebrate the day anymore. We mention it, but because we are married we celebrate our wedding anniversary now, which is less than a month later.

But today is bittersweet. One year ago today I found out that the positive pregnancy test I got a few days earlier was the result of a chemical pregnancy. I had just bought something to tell Jeff that he was going to be a daddy... and I was going to tell him that day. How perfect? To tell him on the day we were celebrating 7 years of being together. It wasn't to be though. I didn't even get to tell him. He never got to feel the excitement. I only pray that we will be able to be excited together someday soon. It is hard to think that if it would have worked out, I would be a mother by now. But instead I am looking to more infertility treatments. To saving as much money as possible to be able to afford these treatments. They say the physical pain is easier to get over than the emotional pain of a miscarriage, and that is very true. For me, other than some painful cramps, the physical pain wasn't too much more than a normal period (sorry for the TMI). But the emotional pain still hurts to this day. I know that what I've been through isn't nearly as much as many other people, but it still does hurt.

"An angel in the book of life,
wrote down my baby's birth,
then whispered as she closed the book,
'Too beautiful for earth.'"

So today is bittersweet. We are thrilled to be celebrating 8 years together, closer and more in love every single day, and we are having a hard time knowing that we still don't have a child and mourning the loss of the chance we were given.

I found this poem I wanted to share. It is more for the loss of a child, but I think it goes with infertility as well, so here it goes:

Don't Tell Me That You Understand

Don't tell me that you understand, don't tell me that you know.
Don't tell me that I will survive, how I will surely grow.
Don't tell me this is just a test, that I am truly blessed.
That I am chosen for the task, apart from all the rest.
Don't come at me with answers that can only come from me,
Don't tell me how my grief will pass, that I will soon be free.
Don't stand in pious judgment of the bonds I must untie,
Don't tell me how to grieve, don't tell me when to cry.
My life is filled with selfishness, my pain is all I see,
But I need you and your love...Unconditionally.
Accept me in my ups and downs, I need someone to share,
Just hold my hand and let me cry, and say, "My friend, I care."

~Author Unknown~

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Resting Peacefully

Sweet Annaleigh, the baby I posted about yesterday, went to Heaven today. Please pray for her mom, dad, and her brother and sister as they grow stronger. Infertility sucks, but when you beat it and then lose a child it makes everything even harder and I can't even imagine how they feel. This is a woman who is so strong. She beat infertility with her triplets and not long after had to send one home to Heaven. Please pray for this family.

I lit a candle for them last night. My prayers are with them.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Prayers needed

This family and their sweet baby, Annaleigh, could really use your prayers right now. It is a fellow IFer, who was blessed with triplets, but delivered them very early. The babies were all doing very well but one of the babies suddenly was sick with a bacteria that eats away at the bowels. They went in to do surgery and from what I heard on the board that I go on, the baby will not make it. Her bowels are dead. Please pray for the mom, dad, the sweet baby, and the other two working on growing strong. My heart is broken for them right now. IF is already so unfair, but to lose a child on top of it, after you were successful and beat IF, is extra heartbreaking.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

You have got to be kidding me...

**EDIT** Someone found that apparently the woman pregnant with 12 babies was a hoax. Read about it here.

There is a woman in Tunisia pregnant with 12 babies. TWELVE BABIES!!! Here is the article. And here is my response:

This is so so so selfish. I can not believe that a doctor would allow this, but I don't know the regulations in Tunisia. She is endangering her life and the life of those babies. It isn't confirmed whether she went through IVF or ovulation induction. Ovulation induction is what I was going through with Clomid. Trying to get the ovaries to produce eggs so that you can get pregnant. There is a possibility for high order multiples, but if you are being monitored it is not likely to happen, and it is rare for it to even happen on Clomid, but still possible. All of the high order multiples you have heard about in the news have been concieved through IVF, I believe. Octomom had more eggs than what was recommended transferred into her, which was why she had 8 babies. I believe she had 6 fertilized eggs transferred and two split. The norm is 2 eggs, sometimes 3 depending on the history of the woman with fertility treatments. It is rare for pregnancies to be higher than twins with IVF, but it is possible because every egg transferred, if it lives, has the possibility to split.

Now... I'm not going to go on about why it is important to be monitored and be with a doctor with high ethical standards because I want you to read about that here. Instead I am going to talk about what this does to insurance and the public's view of fertility treatments. If the public continues to think that they will be supporting women who have high order multiples, and if they think that every IVF treatment results in multiples more than twins or triplets, then they are less likely to go along with having their company's insurance cover fertility treatments, leaving couples without fertility insurance when needing fertility treatments. Infertility is more common than what is actually known because not many people talk about it, but as long as people think that fertility treatments result in high order multiples more often, there is less of a chance for politicians to mandate insurance cover fertility treatments. The bottom line is money and if people think that they are going to have to support these children, they won't support bills to cover fertility treatments.

But think about it... if you aren't going through fertility treatments yourself, chances are you know someone who is. You just may not know they are doing them.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

West Virginia

So I am a little late on updating on our trip... oh well, haha. Our trip was really fantastic. It was so relaxing. It was wonderful to spend time just the two of us. We forgot about everything at home, work, school, infertility, and just concentrated on each other for 4 days. It was really nice. The campground is nestled below a mountain, with the camper looking straight out at that mountain through the huge picture window. It was so beautiful. There was a small river that ran on the edge of the campground where we spent time wading and skipping rocks (I learned how!). We played lots of games, cooked on the grill, watched a few movies, cooked mashmallows over the fire to make s'mores, made banana boats, played horseshoes and took walks (well that wasn't our choice. The camper isn't hooked up to water or sewer so we had to use the bath house... which was pretty far from the camper. There was a golf cart but his mom forgot the key). His parents came down with us for the first night and then they left Saturday evening and the place was ours until Tuesday when we, begrudgingly loaded the car and drove home. We miss it already and may go back in the fall when the leaves are changing. It was just what we needed though.

Now we are back to the grindstone. I will be calling my dr on Monday and getting an appointment with the IF specialist (Reproductive Endocrinologist... RE for short). The way my dr's office works is they test and then try "easy" (as in Clomid) IF treatments for 3 months. After 3 months you are then referred to the RE. Well, I've used up my 3 months. I will also ask to not go back on Clomid. The side effects are horrible and it doesn't seem to be working. I am going to be asking for a trigger shot, which is a shot that triggers ovulation within 48 hours of receiving the shot (actually I will probably be giving it to myself). It seems like my body gets ready to ovulate and then doesn't and I think the trigger shot will help that.

Unfortunately, money may dictate what we do, since we are 100% out of pocket. Jeff and I had a talk today and I will go to the appointment and talk to the doctor and see what our options are. Another unfortunate circumstance is that I have one, maybe two more cycles until we need to put it on hold until next spring. I am praying it works, because if it doesn't I am going to be very heartbroken. Yet another holiday I will spend feeling as if my body is playing a horrible joke on me. The holidays are usually my favorite time of year, but this year will be even more difficult than the last two have been. In October we will hit 2 years of trying.

I'll update more when I find out what is going on after my dr's appt.

For now, I'll leave you with a quote:

"Faith is walking up the stairs that love built and looking out the window opened by hope."

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Annnddd I'm back!

We are back from our mini-vacation! It was fantastic! I will blog more about it later. Right now I'm trying to figure out why I can't see that I'm subscribed to any blogs on my blog reader (even though I know that I'm subscribed to a bunch of blogs!). Booo! I am dying to know what happened this weekend in everyone's lives!

Friday, August 7, 2009

My wedding reception and honeymoon

I am continuing on with the previous post of my wedding by telling you about my reception and honeymoon! :) To join, check out Kelly's Korner Blog for details.

Our reception was at the same location as our wedding, but under a tent about 50 yards away. It was a fall themed decor. Everything was rustic. The centerpieces were burgendy candles in a hurricane vase with river rocks at the bottom. They were beautiful (but unfortunately because it was so hot out and I was dumb enough not to do a candle test to see how long they burned, they had melted before the wedding party even got to the reception!). We gave out packets of apple cider as the favor.

Here is a picture of our cake. It is chocolate cake with chocolate icing and a chocolate filling. It was AMAZING!!! We also had two sheet cakes for people who aren't chocoholics like us. I made the "WE DO" letters on the table. And when we moved I lost our cake cutting set. I am so sad about that. I can not find it anywhere.



Since the ceremony was breezy, we had to do our unity candle at the reception. Here is a picture of that:
Our first dance was so "When I Said I Do" by Clint Black

We cut the cake to the song "Sugar Sugar", and then fed it to each other to "Hit Me With Your Best Shot!" (although we were nice and didn't smash it in each other's faces. I did dab it on his nose though).
I can't find a picture on my computer of me dancing with my dad, but there is a nice story for it so I'll tell it to you. My family LOVED the movie "Mr. Holland's Opus" when I was growing up. I used to play the clarinet and there is a song in the movie where Mr. Holland tells the girl playing the clarinet to "play the sunset". My dad loves that part and loved when I would play that song on the clarinet. To this day that song always reminded him of me. Well he had picked out "I Loved Her First" by Heartland to dance with me to, however I had a surprise up my sleeve. I was going to find the song my dad loved from "Mr. Holland's Opus" and we were going to dance to that. Unfortunately, it isn't on the soundtrack. I was trying so hard to find it and couldn't, so two days before the wedding I told my dad what I had wanted to do and that I was sorry I couldn't find the song but I wanted him to know that it was going to be a surprise for him. Well he went home that night and found the song and downloaded it and sent it to me. We danced to that song at the wedding.

Jeff danced with his mom to "Memories" by Elvis Presley.

Here is me throwing the bouquet. See the girl charging for the bouquet? She practiced and practiced to catch it for the MONTHS leading up to the wedding. Now see the girl on her right, standing still in the black dress? She was the one who caught the bouquet.


I just love this picture for some reason, haha. And I surprised him. I had on a New England Patriots garter and toss garter. :)
Ok, now look at the next two pictures. The first is Jeff trying to fling and in the picture it looks like it will go very far. But the picture below is our reaction to the garter falling to the ground, very short of where they guys were waiting.



The day after our wedding we had a luncheon for anyone who was staying in the area and wanted to come. We ate the left over food from the day before, watched the slideshow that I spent HOURS on that didn't work at the reception, and Jeff and I opened gifts.

I did have one surprise up my sleeve. I ordered a New England Patriots ice cream cake (my husband's FAVORITE kind of cake) as a groom's cake, which I served at luncheon. No one got a picture of it until Jeff started to cut it, so here it is:

In our family, it is a tradition to any man getting married into the family to have "the talk" with one of my male family members. In this case, it was my great-uncle, who is a cop, haha. Here is the picture of him giving Jeff "the talk". I warned Jeff ahead of time that this would happen, I just didn't know when, haha. It was all in good fun (and semi-seriousness!) though.

Just Married!

For our honeymoon we went on a Royal Caribbean cruise to Key West, Cozumel, and Belize.


Key West... we didnt' do any excursions here. We decided just to walk around.

Cozumel... we spent a day at the beach. It was actually a really disappointing. We were expecting a relaxing day on the beach, and it was mobbed with people. Massages on the beach, and it was in the middle of all the crowds and you had to pay for them. The all you can eat buffet was terrible! The only good thing about it was the drinks, which were very good. It was an open bar. I won't go back to Cozumel (and really have no desire to go back to Mexico).
Belize was BEAUTIFUL! We went on a Jungle Buggy tour to Mayan caves. I would love to spend more time in Belize.
The best sunset picture I got while I was on the cruise.

This picture cracks me up. There was a very nice, but confused man who offered to take our picture next to this ship model. He then aske dus where we were from and we told him Lancaster, which is where we used to live. It is known for the Amish. He actually asked us if we were Amish! If you don't understand why this is funny, read this article.

Overall it was a fantastic cruise! We can not wait to cruise again!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Guess what I'm dong this weekend...

camping! :) Jeff's parents bought a camper (so yes, fake camping, although I've been known to do some real camping in my life as well!) and the keep it on a site in West Virginia, so we are going camping for the weekend. I am looking forward to the time alone with my husband with virtually no technology (no regular TV, although they do have a DVD player, no computer, no cell phone... it will be along but I don't want to use it except to call Jeff's brother to check on the dogs). His parents are coming down too but they are leaving either Saturday or Sunday. We are staying until Tuesday. It will be like a mini-vacation.

I've been camping, both real and fake, since I was 5 weeks old. When I was a kid we went every single weekend from spring until late fall. I really miss it. Jeff and I don't go as much as we would like. It is something we will get into more when we have more spendable cash.

I will miss my dogs and really wish we could bring them along (long, touchy story that I'd rather not get into) but I will enjoy being able to sleep in and not have to worry about waking up to feed dogs or to let dogs out. :)

And hopefully I will be getting away from infertility for a few days and just pretend to be normal...

Sunday, August 2, 2009

My heart aches

Today has been an up and down day. Funny... my husband woke me up and told me it won't be a good day for me. He said that he couldn't bring me a lemonade home from work (he brings me one every day) because the cooler was broken. No biggy! (Although I did miss my lemonade!) Then he said there were no mini-jokes in the paper. He reads me the mini-jokes in the paper every single Sunday morning, but today they weren't in there. :( Oh well. But there was a really nice thunderstorm this morning. The kind that you want to curl up in the blankets and listen to the rain and light thunder. It was wonderful.

But I've been emotionally taxed today. I keep thinking about what it will be like to be a mother. I want to play with my child so badly. To cuddle with my child, watch movies with my child, read books to my child. I want to be embarrassed that my child is throwing a tantrum in the grocery store. I want to change dirty diapers, wet sheets, muddy clothing. We have names picked out for a boy and a girl and I think about those names all of the time. I love them because they are my children's names, but I just don't know the children who belong to them yet. (If you are wondering, we are telling names until the baby is born.) It is so hard to sit here every day and wonder IF I will ever have a child. No. Scratch that. IF I will ever carry my own child or if my child will come through adoption. It is hard to hear people talk about their pregnancies and complain about morning sickness. I would give anything to have morning sickness, because that means that I have a baby inside. I am thrilled for those who are pregnant and wanted to become a parent. I am not upset about their being pregnant. I am upset about my not being pregnant.

I am just emotional today. It is the medication side effects, and natural feelings of wanting to become a mother and for my husband to become a father. Thank you for reading this downer of a post, but this is partly what this blog is for... to help me get off my chest what I am feeling so I can remain positive in real life. And to also let those know JUST A BIT of what it feels like to be someone dealing with infertility because it is somthing not very well understood. Those who have never gone through it will never understand how those going through it feel, even though they may feel sympathy towards the couples going through it.

I am so appreciative for the support I receive. My husband is amazing. There is an online board I talk on that is made up of a FANTASTIC group of very strong women who are going through the same thing, although in different stages. I have some family members and close friends who have also gone through it and they have been very supportive as well. And I have friends that may not know how I feel but are offering their support and prayers, which I really appreciate as well. It is important to me. I tend to be an emotional person and I tend to be very passionate about how I feel about things, which is another reason why I wanted to start talking about infertility in this blog. It is something I feel strongly about that isn't very well known and is hush hush and through this blog I hope to educated just one person about infertility. If that happens, my mission is complete (although I still won't stop blogging, haha).

New Look

Do ya like it? I really wanted to go to a 3 column blog style instead of just two.

I still want a new header. I'll get there at some point. For now, it is after midnight and I need to go to bed.

*Edit* Now there is a new header which I designed today! :)

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Please read this article

Please read this article. If you are suffering with infertility then save it and pass it on to family or friends who may seem uncomfortable around you. If you are not dealing with infertility, read this and follow it. it is very informative on how to talk to someone who is dealing with infertility. It is one of those things that can never be understood by someone who has never experienced it, but this article does a fantastic job of explaining how we feel and what may or may not comfort us. Pass it on. It is a fantastic article.

Friday, July 31, 2009

My wedding

Kelly's Korner does a post each week to get to know bloggers and for them to show off parts of their life. I decided to start doing this too as much as I can (or more like as much as I remember). This week is about the wedding (not the reception!) and all about the wedding, so here we go!

Jeff and I got married September 22, 2007. My family loves to camp (not just my parents... my ENTIRE family... aunts, uncles, grandparents, etc.) and Jeff's parents also love to camp. My dad's friend owns a campground that has a BEAUTIFUL gazebo area and told us we could use it for free and have the reception there! It was exactly what I wanted.
(If you look behind the gazebo in the picture above you can see a covered bridge).
(There is a water mill next to the gazebo).



The morning of the wedding I woke up hearing POURING down rain (on a day it wasn't supposed to rain!!!). I panicked. But the rain left after about a half hour, unfortunately when it left the humidity came in. It was the hottest day in September!!

Our wedding took place at 3:45pm.


There was a string quartet from the high school I went to. They were AMAZING. The girls walked down the aisle to Bach's "Air on the G String" (my mom found this title hilarious, but I just loved the song!), I walked down the aisle to Pachelbell's "Canon in D". I want to point out that I heard this song when I was a kid and absolutely loved it. I had no idea that it was used for weddings. I even bought a tape of this song playing with ocean sounds. I would make my parents play it when we were in the car and over and over they heard the same song. They would wait until I was asleep and take it out. I have always wanted to get married to this song.

My favorite memory was walking down the aisle. My husband's face was amazing.

I truly think it is important to look at your husband and no one else when you are walking down the aisle. You have the entire reception to look at everyone who came... but only that one chance to look at the man you are about to marry as you are walking down the aisle. It was wonderful.


My grandfather performed our wedding. He is a minister. He baptized me, gave me communion, and now married it. It was very important to me that he marry us. Above he is pictured preparing for the wedding. Also in the picture is a table my dad made for me in college so that my TV could go over the AC unit in the dorm room. It ended up being a beautiful table and perfect for our rustic wedding! On it is our unity candle. We ended up lighting it at the reception because it was too windy to light during the wedding.

We did a circle of trust at the wedding, which my parents did at their wedding. This is where the parents come up to where we were and we all stand in a circle and speak a vow that we will go to them for guidance if need be, and they will let us find our way.


We both choked up during our vows (me more than him, but he did have a tear or two in his eyes).


THE KISS! :)


I am an AVID football fan, as is my husband. (No seriously, for our wedding Jeff gave me a Patriots jersey with my new last name on it and the number 22 for our wedding date). I tend to be very vocal when we watch our team. My husband, me, my grandparents and my dad all used to get together to watch Sunday Night Football together (a tradition started by my dad when he wanted to spend more time with his grandfather). Well, the weekend before our wedding my team played. As we were watching and they scored I shot my hands in the air and yelled "TOUCHDOWN!". My grandmother thinks it is hilarious and then said that at the wedding, as we turned around to walk back down the aisle she was going to stick her hands in the air and yell "TOUCHDOWN!". My grandfather and dad quickly said they would too. Well, I didn't actually think anyone would do it until we turned around to be announced and walk down the aisle and see this:



And it wasn't just her too, most of my family was doing it, but my grandmother was the only one we got a shot of. They didn't yell touchdown, but their arms in the air was enough!


We walked back down the aisle to the "Hallelujah Chorus!" It was so fitting because we were together for 5 years and engaged for another year before we got married. HALLELUJAH!

I had written a poem for my husband to be read at our wedding, but because of differences with the reader we decided not to have a reader and decided to have it printed in the bulliten. Below is the poem I wrote for him:

A Message from Me to You

(written by Abbie at www.MyKayakSunset.blogspot.com)


I am hit with inspiration.

I pick up my pen and start to write,

and words come flowing from my mind.


I am writing a message from me to you:


My dear love, Mein Schatz,

Today I vow myself to you, I give my whole self to your whole self,

and you do the same.

And as we pledge to each other, looking deep into each others eyes,

Know this:

That just as I trust you will love me always,

I will always love you.

That just as I know that you will support me always,

So will I support you.

Through the years and the tears, the past and present, the good times and bad,

I will be by your side, just as you will be by mine.

Know that I will always be your companion and friend,

A safe haven when you need one,

Just as I know you will always be this for me.

You are my heart, and you have my heart.

You are my lover and I am yours,

My best friend, my confidant, and my rock,

Just as I am yours.

We are committing ourselves to each other this day,

To be steadfast through the laughter, through the pain, through joy and through sorrow.

As we look towards the future, with hopes and dreams in the deep blue pools of our eyes,

and overwhelming love in our hearts,

know that I am truly yours, and I give myself to you today, forever.

And just as you love me, I love you Mein Schatz.


Forever,


Me.


I put my pen down, and wipe the happy tears from my eyes, and join you in the other room.



If you copy it, please credit me. I wrote this poem for my husband.

It was a beautiful day, and my favorite part of the day. A fter all, without the marriage part, the rest of the day couldn't have happened! I am so happy to be married to my best friend!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Insurance and Infertility

This is a hot topic. Currently there is no national mandate to require insurance companies to cover infertility treatments. There are a few states (MA and NJ to name two) who require insurance coverage for infertility, but recently PA (the state I call home) shot down a bill to require coverage. To ready why, click here.

Jeff's insurance does not cover infertility treatments. For those of you who don't know, here is about what popular treatments can run you:

Clomid or oral meds: up to $1500/cycle (depends on what monitoring your doctor wants)

IUI: up to about $5000/cycle (could be less). This really depends on the types of meds you are on to induce ovulation.

IVF: $15,000+/ cycle.

Might I add that Jeff's insurance covers ABORTION (and in this it includes termination for medical reasons, but it also says it does not discriminate and covers abortion of all kinds) but not infertility treatments.

The arguments against this bill are ridiculous. The first point, for example, says that while it can be extremely emotional, it isn't medically necessary (as in life threatening) for a couple to undergo fertility treatments. Really? So instead they would rather the insurance pay for $ in therapy bills because the emotions can be so hard to take at times that therapy is often necessary.

The second point is that infertility treatments are costly. Well of course they are and so you are expecting a couple to spend their life savings on infertility rather than saving it for their baby or spending it to help the economy. It is adding extra stress on marriages, on budgets, on both parents to HAVE to work because they need to pay off the debt of their infertility treatments. Oh and remember Octomom? How about John &(minus?) Kate +8... do you remember them? What about the other extreme multiple families we hear about in the news? If insurance coverage covered infertility treatments, women wouldn't have to feel like they need to use every last embryo for one shot at becoming in pregnant because they can't afford treatments in the future, which results in multiples. Multiples almost ALWAYS require NICU stays, costing insurances millions of dollars. So millions of dollars would be better than a couple thousand for the couple to have one child instead of feeling pressured that they only have one shot?

Another reason was on the language in the bill, saying that it didn't stop post-menopausal women and habitual aborters from using fertility treatments. Honestly? Change the language of the bill then. Don't shoot down a bill that could help out desperate couples who want nothing more than to have a child because of a few people who ruin it for all (which always seems to be the case, huh?).

But here is the bottom line... here is the reason why they shut this down: "While the Council is sensitive to those suffering from infertility, we were unable to find needed proof in the review of SB 1183 that coverage of infertility benefits would be cost effective."

Money. That is all that matters in this case. Money. That is so painful that money has to be something that would stop the state from requiring this coverage, even taking in consideration how emotionally painful this can be.

Types of insurance are chosen by different companies. Jeff's company (which we love and have always found them family friendly except in this one area) offers more than one option of insurance. I don't see why one of the options couldn't cover this. This would trump one of the arguments in the bill, which is that they want everyone to be able to afford healthcare and by adding infertility coverage, it would make it unreachable for some. Why not pick one of the options to include infertility insurance? I plan on sending a letter to his company that says something similar to this (feel free to copy and edit it/ use it. This was shared by someone on the infertility board that I frequent and I tweaked it to work for our case):

Dear [HR person]:
My husband has been a dedicated employee for the past three years. My spouse and I are suffering with the disability of infertility and request that you consider covering infertility treatment in [company name]'s health benefit package.

Often employers believe that adding and infertility coverage benefit will increase health care costs. However, recent studies indicate that including comprehensive infertility coverage in a health benefit package may actually reduce costs and improve outcomes.

For example, a recent employer survey conducted by the consulting firm William M. Mercer found that 91 percent of respondents offering infertility treatment have not experienced and increase in their medical costs as a result of providing this coverage.

As also proven in the following studies, the perceived cost infertility treatment is typically overstated.

Often patients elect treatment based on what is covered in their health benefit plan rather than what is most appropriate treatment. For example, a woman having trouble conceiving because of blocked follopian tubes or tubal scarring may opt for tubal surgery, a covered treatment, which can cost $8,000-$13,000 per surgery. Many patients are forced to forgo in vitro fertilization (IVF) because it is not a covered service even though it costs about the same as tubal surgery and statistically is more likely to result in a successful pregnancy. I have been faced with similar choices myself, and will have to face difficult decisions that might not be necessary, given adequate insurance coverage.

According to William M. Mercer, "The decline in use of high-cost procedures like tubal surgery would likely offset the cost to include IVF as a benefit and provide improved health outcomes." (William M. Mercer, Infertility as a COvered Benefit, 1997). In states with mandated infertility insurance, the rate of multiple births is lower than in states without coverage. (New England journal of Medicine, "Insurance Coverage and Outcomes of In Vitro Fertilization," August 2002). Couples with insurance coverage are free to make more appropriate decisions with their physicians based on medical necessity rather than financial considerations which often result in multiple births and a high rate of complications during and post-pregnancy for mother and babies. Wouldn't it be better to cover a $10,000 IVF procedure than a $2 million NICU stay for 3 babies?

Comprehensive infertility coverage may actually reduce premium expense by as much as $1 per member/per month. According to "The Hidden Costs of Infertility Treatment in Employee Health Benefits Plans" (Blackwell, Richard E. and the William Mercert Acturial Team, 2000), insurance premuims now indirectly provide coverage for "hidden" infertility benefits such as surgeries to remove scarring in the fallopian tubes for women or varicose vein removal for men. The cost of those benefits were calculated to be adequate to cover more effctive and often less expensive treatments such as ovulation induction, intrauterine insemination and in vitro fertilization.

The cost of infertility services as a percent of the total health premiums went down after the 1987 Massachusettes mandate that required infertility coverage. (Study by Griffin and Panak, Fertility & Sterility, 1998).

According to a 2003 Harris Interactive Poll, 80% of the general population believes infertility treatment should be covered by insurance. (Harris Interactive Inc., Survey, 2003).

In vitro fertilization accounts for less than 3% of infertility services. According to the American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM), 85%-90% of infertility cases can be treated with conventional medications. (ASRM website, Quick Facts About Infertility).

I have always felt that [company name] was a company that cared for their employees; however I have been disappointed that not one of the handful of insurance options offered by [company name] includes infertility treatment. Is that the kind of reputation they want to have about how they treat their employees? As the spouse of someone who works for [company name], I certainly hope not.

Please let me know if you would like any additional information on this issue. I hope [company name] will consider offering infertility coverage and support our family building efforts. Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,


For more information on how you can advocate for insurance coverage in all of the states, or in your state, or mine, check out www.resolve.org.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Nothing too new

Nothing is really new around here. We have been enjoying our new vehicle, but otherwise life is fairly normal and slow right now.

I don't have a good feeling about this cycle. We will see. I only have one more cycle left after this to try before we have to stop until the spring. :( In a way it will be heartbreaking, but in a way it will be OK because then I can concentrate on finishing school and getting a job and then starting fresh in the spring. This next cycle will probably be with an RE (reproductive endocrinologist... fertility specialist), and then I will continue with that doctor in the spring (around April). We will see. I am triyng not to give up on this cycle yet.

Coming up I am going to write a post about insurance coverage, or the lack thereof, and what PA has just turned down from becoming law.

And just so you don't feel like this post is a waste, haha, here is an ADORABLE picture of the dogs (and Jeff):
Kota (on the left) would spend all day looking out the window if she could. Maggie likes to look out the window, but gets board rather quickly and would rather hog all of the toys.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

New Something

Meet the new member of our family:
You may remember it from such commercials as this:


Or my personal favorite (they may look the same, but the music is different):


It is a 2010 Kia Soul + and it is our very first new car! Wahoo! It was so fun test driving and deciding on a new car (and a little stressful too).

We test drove the Kia Soul first, which REALLY set the bar high! We were so impressed with it (and to think that Jeff first thought it was ugly and now he loves it!). We loved all of the room it had inside and all of the details that this car had compared to the others in its class. But to let you know that we did do our research and test drove other cars, here is what else we test drove: After the Soul, we test drove the Nissan Cube, which is a similar car but EXTREMELY gimicky. Every reason the salesman (who we were not impressed with) told us to try to sell us on the car was an aesthetic reason, nothing to do with how good the car is except the style of engine it had. The car, standard, came with almost nothing in it. To get it up to the level of the Soul +, we had to add a ton of options to it which made the price WAYYY out of our range (over $20k!!!). We were NOT impressed. We also test drove the Nissan Versa, which is a hatchback. We weren't impressed there either. The price was high for the type of car it was compared to others in its class. It didn't have a whole lot inside and the interior felt very cheap to us.

We also test drove the Toyota Yaris, another 5 door hatchback. There was nothing WRONG with this car, it was just that it didn't have what the other cars we were interested in had (there were more cars, and I'll get to them in a minute). We also test drove the Honda Fit, which we liked, but again, it didn't have the room that other cars had. I realize that they are both good cars that will last and that Kia doesn't have that reputation, but I do think that Kia's cars have gotten A LOT better over the past few years. I know quite a few people that have Kias and LOVE their Kias.

Now for the competition... we test drove the Scion XB and XD (both made by Toyota). They were fantastic and real competition for the Kia Soul. Everything that the Kia had, they also had. However, they are a "pure priced" car, which means there is no negotiating on the price, Toyota policy. The price it is listed as is the price that it is. The Scion XB was our favorite of the two Scions, as it matched the Kia Soul with features, etc. However, it was high enough to be just out of our price range. The Scion XD was a great car and matched the price of our Kia, however it was a lot smaller than the Kia. We liked it but not as much as the Kia.

We got him talked down to a price that was comfortable (thank you to everyone who gave me advice on negotiating! I feel we did good for our first time. There is definitely room for improvement, but we did alright for our first time).

Why we loved the Kia Soul + (and why I keep putting a + sign next to the car name):
(I'll explain the latter first): The Soul comes in 4 categories: the Soul base model, which only comes in manual, the Soul + (plus), which has a lot more features standard in the car and comes in manual or automatic (and we are both automatic drivers), the Soul ! (exclaim), which had an interior we like, 18inch alloy wheels, but not too much more than the +, and the Soul Sport, which had an ugly interior (red and black! strange) but had some cool aesthetic features, like aluminum wheels, a sunroof that came standard, a rear spoiler, etc.

Now for why we loved it:
The Kia ran very smoothly and quietly (which actually ended up being pretty big when we test drove it!).
It has equal or higher saftey ratings than every single car that we test drove.
It came STANDARD with bluetooth in the car, so I can talk on the phone through the car!
It is extremely roomy inside the car. It is a cross between a hatchback and an SUV. It isn't as big as a crossover, but it is all but as big. the seating is like SUV seating, the seats fold down to leave A TON of room for storage, and there is even a decent amount of room when the seats are up, it had the most storage when it came to the glove compartment (enough to fit a 15" laptop if we wanted!).
The seats folded flat on the floor (instead of the trunk still being further down when the seats folded down.
The gas mileage was a lot better than what we have been getting with our cars (and no, neither of our cars qualified for the cash for clunkers program. Boooo)
The warranty.
Power windows and locks.
You can control the radio from the steering wheel.
A consol between the two front seats (you wouldn't believe how many cars came without a console or without armrests for the passenger! It was very annoying!)
There is definitely more but I can't think of them.

I went online to a few major websites that have done reviews or have consumer reviews and the only bad reviews it got was from people comparing the interior to a luxary car, which it is not. Otherwise everyone who has owned it loved it. Kia releases their cars in Korea first, to flatten out any bugs that may come up in the car before releasing it to the US.

We love the car and hope that it will love us back! We definitely needed a new car! We replaced Jeff's car, but for now it will be OUR car, not just his. It will become pretty much his car after I get a new one next year, but for now it will be our car. His car was giving us a lot of issues. It would just shut off when we were stopped, we've had a lot of radiator/heating issues with it lately, we just had a major engine issue this winter. It had no AC and only 3 windows went down (and none of those include the driver's window, making it terribly uncomfortable for the driver). You had to pull on a wire with pliers to get the hood open. There were other reasons I am sure. As you can see, it was time for a new car. We were ready to have a car that we could rely on!

And heck, we got the hamster car! That is what alerted us to it in the first place!

(Oh and props if you made it this far in this post! It was long and I didn't intend for it to be this long!)

Friday, July 24, 2009

They love it, I hate it

My dogs LOVE going to the vet. They love the attention they get and all the dogs they get to see (but hate that they don't get to play with the dogs). They were both scared to get on the big metal table, but were able to get on to be weighed. After that, Kota wouldn't get off of it! She LOVED it! Maggie on the other hand wouldn't go near it. She put her first two paws up there to get a treat and that was it. Everyone there loved our dogs. I love getting that response. :) Although I used to find it amusing that people would think they were labs, but now it is kind of annoying. Well, yesterday especially because this lady started whispering how "labs can be like that when they are young" (meaning very active and hard to handle), almost implying that we couldn't control our dogs (who were overstimulated, in a place they hadn't been to in a year, seeing dogs they couldn't play with all around them, coupled with the fact that they are really only 1 year old). I spoke up and said that they weren't labs and she was shocked. I also told her they were young and that was why they were still pretty active. Another lady thought they were stressed. Hm... my dogs really don't get stressed. They are so curious about everything and have found no reason to hate the vet so they love that they get to go somewhere new. Now... we had just taken them for a mile long walk and we were in the car, which doesn't have AC, so they were hot and tired from their walk. They were panting, but to cool down. Not because they were hot. The lady was arguing with me that my dogs were stressed. Um no, I know my dogs and know when they are stressed (believe me I do. Maggie can't stand fireworks and she cries and cowers down when she is stressed). They just wanted to meet the dog in the corner of the waiting room and they wanted to get off of their leashes and explore. I realize that a lot of other animals are stressed when they come to the vet (my parents' dog is one of these very stressed, must have a muzzle dogs) however the last time our dogs were at the vet was when they were babies. They LOVED it then and they had no reason to hate it now.

But they were VERY good. Maggie was 90 lbs!!! Kota was 83lbs! We thought that Maggie was 80lbs and Kota was 70-75lbs. They surprised us! And they also had NO CLUE they were getting shots or blood taken because they were too concerned that they would get the food that the vet was giving them. Meanwhile the vet was taking every measure he could to hide the shots from the dogs and told me not to let Kota watch Maggie getting shots. I don't think Kota would have had a clue that Maggie was getting shots. She just was so jealous that Maggie was getting attention and she wasn't. Boy was she happy when it came time for her to get the shots! Haha!

I hate the vet though because even though they don't mind their shots, I mind the shot at the very end and by shot I mean receipt that says how much I owe for that visit. Uggghhhhh.

But I will do what I can for these two beautiful (not lab!) faces:

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Lighthearted blog post

I got this in an email from my mom. I think it is hilarious! So check it out:

One For the Girls

Now I lay me down to sleep
I pray the Lord my shape to keep.
Please no wrinkles. Please no bags.
And please lift my butt before it sags.
Please no age spots. Please no gray.
And as for my belly, please take it away.
Please keep me healthy. Please keep me young.
And thank you Dear Lord for all that you've done.

Five tips for a woman...
1. It is important that a man helps you around the house and has a job.
2. It is important that a man makes you laugh.
3. It is important to find a man you can count on and doesn't lie to you.
4. It is important that a man loves you and spoils you.
5. It is important that these four men don't know each other.

Foot Note:
One saggy boob said to the other saggy boob:
"If we don't get some support soon, people will think we're nuts."


Friday, July 17, 2009

Organization

I used to be super organized. I was a neat freak also and my house was very organized. And then I had surgery and have since struggled to stay organized. One of our biggest issues is mail. Our mail gets collected in a basket inside our door and it is a small basket. It overflows and drives me NUTS! There is a blog giveaway for one of these:How perfect would that be for our mail (and keys, which I also always seem to lose!)? I entered to win and I am blogging for an extra entry. BUT YOU can enter too (and win this away from me! :P haha). Just check out Wedded Whims for entry info. If you let her know that I sent you over I'll get an extra entry as well. Then blog about it on your blog and your followers can mention that YOU referred them! Good luck!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

I live vicariously through my dreams

Dreams and I live on a love/hate relationship. I love dreaming, but sometimes I hate waking up into reality. Last night I had a dream I was 9 months pregnant, and I woke up hating my body. The other day I dreamt I had a readheaded baby girl, which is something I've always wondered about and hope for because my husband is a redhead. I woke up and missed my baby. I loved these dreams, but hated waking up from them into what was really going on, which is not much of anything, sadly.

I am starting to feel some pressure because we only have two cycles left after this cycle ends before we have to put all of our treatments on hold until the spring. I finish my post-bacc certification in December and start teaching in December/January, but I'm not guaranteed a permanent job, which means I will be long-term subbing. If I don't get a permanent job, we can't try until April or May so that I won't be due in the beginning of the school year teaching with a new school. If I do get a permanent job I we may start right away because I will already be with the school for a while by the time I am due. I won't get hired for a job, though, if they know I'm pregnant and due in September or October, or even November, so if I only sub long term in January, then we aren't going to start trying again until my due date would fall late in the school year, like April-June. This will also allow us to save up for the next step of the process in treatments, which will probably be IUI. Sorry if this paragraph is confusing... I have a lot going through my mind. But after this break we are trying until it happens.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Fantastic birthday!

I had such a fantastic birthday weekend! Thanks to everyone who sent me birthday wishes, both on here and not on here.

Friday the husband and I went to the drive-ins. It was a lot of fun, even though one of the movies was TERRIBLE. We saw Ice Age 3, which was cute, and Year One. Year One was awful. I don't recommend seeing it. I've never seen so many people leave during a movie as left during this one! It was funny! We stayed to watch it even though we both agreed that it was terrible.

Saturday, my birthday, was great. A friend of mine and I went to get a massage, which was FANTASTIC! I will never get over how good massages feel. Ahhh. I could use one every single day. We went out for Panera afterwords, which was just as yummy. :) Then I got home and Jeff gave me the presents he got for me (while I was out getting my massage... the man never plans ahead, haha). He got me golf shoes, the Twilight soundtrack, and Cars. Definitely awesome!

That evening we went to The Melting Pot for dinner with friends. (The pictures were taken by Steph. I forgot my camera). Here is Jeff and me at the restaurant. I love this picture!


These are our friends, Craig and Steph. Craig was Jeff and my roommate in college (we lived in a 3 bedroom apartment. Very good friends!)


The YUMMY cheese fondu. It was Fiesta style. THE BEST!!!! Seriously, I've had most of the cheeses at The Melting Pot and this one is the best by far, in my opinion, but I like spicy foods too, although you can get it without jalopenos.

This is a TERRIBLE picture of me, but you shouldn't be looking at me... you should be looking at the desert platter. The restaurant put a candle on the cheesecake! So sweet! :)

Seriously, if you haven't been there make it a point to go. Save your pennies because it isn't cheap, but it is the best restaurant ever!!! Afterwards we waddled to our cars and we all headed back to our house to play board games and drink some wine. It was a great night!

It was really great to spend the day with friends and my husband! It was really great to spend the whole weekend with my husband, who took off work to surprise me! I really had a wonderful birthday! :)

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Thoughts on Becoming a Mother

Author Unknown

There are women that become mothers without effort, without thought, without patience or loss and though they are good mothers and love their children, I know that I will be better.

I will be better not because of genetics, or money or that I have read more books but because I have struggled and toiled for this child.
I have longed and waited.
I have cried and prayed.
I have endured and planned over and over again.

Like most things in life, the people who truly have appreciation are those who have struggled to attain their dreams.
I will notice everything about my child.
I will take time to watch my child sleep, explore and discover. I will marvel at this miracle every day for the rest of my life.

I will be happy when I wake in the middle of the night to the sound of my child, knowing that I can comfort, hold and feed him and that I am not waking to take another temperature, pop another pill, take another shot or cry tears of a broken dream. My dream will be crying for me.

I count myself lucky in this sense; that God has given me this insight, this special vision with which I will look upon my child that my friends will not see.

Whether I parent a child I actually give birth to or a child that God leads me to, I will not be careless with my love.

I will be a better mother for all that I have endured. I am a better wife, a better aunt, a better daughter, neighbor, friend and sister because I have known pain.

I know disillusionment as I have been betrayed by my own body. I have been tried by fire and hell many never face, yet given time, I stood tall.

I have prevailed.
I have succeeded.
I have won.

So now, when others hurt around me, I do not run from their pain in order to save myself discomfort. I see it, mourn it, and join them in theirs.

I listen.

And even though I cannot make it better, I can make it less lonely. I have learned the immense power of another hand holding tight to mine, of other eyes that moisten as they learn to accept the harsh truth and when life is beyond hard. I have learned a compassion that only comes with walking in those shoes.

I have learned to appreciate life.

Yes I will be a wonderful mother.