Thursday, December 22, 2011

Merry Christmas

I don't really have much to say, but thought I better write a quick update before I take off for the weekend, and I also wanted to wish everyone a Merry Christmas!

AF arrived yesterday so this cycle didn't work.  Our timing was a little off so I wasn't too surprised (even though I was a little depressed and in a horrible mood all weekend after I tested Saturday and got a BFN).  Luckily, by the time AF arrived I had a few days to come to terms with the fact that this wasn't our cycle and was okay with it.  At least I won't have to worry about starting progesterone suppositories while staying at our families' over Christmas (since I've never done them before I have no clue what to expect when the time comes, but have heard they can get pretty messy).

And, now I can drink as much wine as I want to help get me through the holiday :)  I'm pretty indifferent about Christmas this year.  It's not so much that I'm dreading it, I'm just basically looking foward to 2011 being over with, and getting through Christmas is a means to an end.  It does make me sad that this is our 2nd Christmas since starting TTC that we don't have a little one yet.  I remember last Christmas being sad that nothing was happening yet, but was looking forward to our appointment with the RE in January and really believed in my heart by this Christmas we would have a baby.  Stupid, stupid me. trying to stay positive I'll put on my fake happy face, and wish everyone a Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Eating My Words

So....I may have to eat my words from my last post.  I may have ovulated afterall.  My BBT has been high for a few days now and it appears I have.  I have an appointment today to get my progesterone checked, so only time will tell for sure.  I would show you my chart but I can't figure out how to!

So why can't I seem to get positive OPKs?  I think I've written about this before that I am never able to catch my surge.  Is my surge really that short?  I get so frustrated with them that I've decided I'm not going to use them anymore.  I trust that as long as we're having sex every other day we should be covered, even though that didn't happen this cycle.  I find that by using the OPKs I get more focused on looking for that positive instead of just doing it.  They seem to do me more harm than good so I've decided to give them up. 

Other than TTC, things in my life are going well.  Despite our super crappy year, I'm letting myself enjoy the holiday season this year.  Our house is decorated, we managed to throw a few lights on our shrubs, and I've already spent one weekend baking cookies.  I plan on spending this weekend doing some more baking (and them I'm sure I'll be sick of it, haha!).  We did some shopping last night and managed to get quite a few gifts crossed off our list, which makes me feel way less stressed.  I think this is the first year that we actually know what we're getting everyone and aren't waiting until the last minute to do our shopping.  We are, however, struggling with ideas for our 2 year old nephews - so if anyone has ideas I'll gladly take them! 

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


I'm super annoyed with my body right now.  I swore I wasn't going to do a post complaining about my sucky body, but I just can't hold back any longer.  I'm currently on CD19 with no ovulation in sight.  I have some signs (cervical mucus and position - sorry for the TMI) that appear I'm gearing up to O, but my OPKs are very much negative and my temps are a little all over the place.   

When AF arrived all on her own 7 weeks post-miscarriage this time, I stupidly hoped my body might start cooperating a little more.  I was hoping my low-carb diet and Metformin would give me that extra little 'boost' this cycle to help me ovulate earlier than I have in the past.  I didn't ovulate until CD23 last time on Clomid (when I got pregnant the 2nd time) so I haven't completely given up hope yet.  I just get tired of waiting.  I've never been a patient person, but boy-oh-boy has my patience been tested this year.  I feel like all I've done is spent the last year and a half waiting - waiting through long unmedicated cycles, waiting to ovulate at a "normal" time while on Clomid, waiting for those first doctor's appointments once we did find out we were pregnant, spending half a day in the hospital (twice) waiting for my D&C's, waiting for the sting and sadness of losing our little ones to dissipate, waiting for my period to finally start after each miscarriage so that we could start trying again. 

And it's not that I even care so much about getting pregnant this cycle, I know the odds of it happening the first cycle are slim.  I just want to ovulate and feel like a normal woman.  I think that's the thing that women who have normal cycles can't quite understand.  For those of us with PCOS, the majority of the frustration is simply to be given a chance at getting pregnant.  If I had textbook 28-day cycles my anxiety level would be so much lower, because I would know that if things didn't work this month, I only had to wait a few weeks to try again.  With PCOS there never appears to be an end in sight with each cycle.  

I know I'll ovulate eventually.  Until then I guess I'll just keep peeing in a cup, sticking a thermometer in my mouth, and sticking a finger up my hooha.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Bucket List

I'm getting started on my New Year's resolutions a month early.  Check out my "2012 Bucket List" page above.  These aren't necessarily resolutions, but moreso things that either I, or both of us, always talking about wanting to do, but never get around to.  It's time I take charge with my life instead of waiting for things to happen to me.  Like most, we always have good intentions, but time simply gets away from us and we never get around to doing the things we set out to do.  I thought by having a list in front of me (I've always been a "list" person) it would force me to finally accomplish some things. 

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Liebster Award

I've been awarded!  This is my first blog award so please bear with me if I'm not accepting it properly :)  Thank you to M at Miracle In The Works who awarded me with the Liebster award.  Liebster is a German word meaning dearest, and the award is given to up-and-coming bloggers with less than 200 followers.

Here are the rules:
1. Thank the giver and link back to the blogger who gave it to you.
2. Reveal your top five picks and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.
3. Copy and paste the award on your blog.
4. Hope that the people you’ve sent the award to forward it to their five favorite bloggers and keep it going!
These are five bloggers who I'm passing this along to:

1. JM at Meier Madness - wishing her lots of luck in her first IVF cycle!
2. Emily at A Peek Into Our Journey - wishing her a healthy pregnancy with their triplets!
3. Tara at Sunflower Living - after 3 years of struggling to conceive their second child, they are finally expecting again!
4. M at Growth and Joy - she's also had 2 m/c and I can relate all too well to a lot of things she talks about in her blog.
5. Cass at One Day: I'll Have My Baby Bump - fingers crossed for a positive test this week!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Buckling Up and Holding on Tight

Guess what?  AF (aunt flo, aka: my period) arrived on Saturday!  I've never been so excited for AF to show up.  I'm not only excited for the fact that this means we can start trying again, but it also means my body really did cooperate and ovulated all on it's own.  Maybe I do need to try and have a little more faith in my body afterall? 

So....that means that today is CD3 and I'll be starting Clomid.  I never dreamed that when I miscarried in October that we would be able to start trying again in November already.  I feel really good about this.  I'm hopeful that I will get pregnant again and will actually stay pregnant this time.  Then again, maybe I'm just being stupidly optimistic and will get my heart broken again.  But, you can't win if you don't play though, so let the rollercoaster ride begin!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

RPL Bloodwork Results

I came home last night to a letter from Dr. C (finally).  She said all of my bloodwork for autoimmune and blood clotting disorders came back normal.  So that's good news!  When I told Jeff he didn't seem as excited as I was.  When I asked him why he said he was a little frustrated that there's no explanation for our losses.  I told him I completely understand where he's coming from - sometimes not knowing a reason why something has happened is harder than knowing why.  But, I reminded him that this is just one less thing we have to worry about now and we can move forward. 

Speaking of that, I "think" I may have ovulated all on my own.  My temperatures show I'm about 8-11 dpo (Fertility Friend, the online program I use, is a little confused on the exact date) but I definitely have that thermal shift that indicates ovulation.  This happening just 5 weeks after my miscarriage, and without medication completely shocks, and excites, me.  I whole-heartedly believe it has to do with the low-carb diet I have been following since the miscarriage.  So, now I'm just waiting (impatiently) for this cycle to be over so that we can start trying again.

Monday, November 14, 2011

The Half Truth

I feel deceitful. 

We came out to more friends of ours this weekend about our losses.  This couple lives out of town and it's been a year since we've seen them (crazy how time flies).  They came tailgating with us.  When the morning started off I wasn't sure if I was going to share our losses with them or not.  It wasn't like I was trying to hide it from them, I just wasn't sure if tailgating was the proper time to discuss such a huge topic.  I figured if it came up, it came up, and if not, fine.

I will make a confession here:  This couple already has a 2 1/2 year old daughter.  So I was bracing myself for another pregnancy announcement.  As she stepped out of their car, I held my breath, preparing to see a bump.  I didn't see one and let out a huge sigh of relief.  Then I found out she was drinking a cup of coffee with Bailey's in it.  Another even bigger sigh of relief escaped me.  Phew, I dodged another pregnancy announcement bullet.

Over the course of the morning the subject of our nieces and nephews came up.  For some reason the time just felt right to me, and I basically blurted out to her "I've had two miscarriage this year."  She looked at me with tears in her eyes and said "I've had one too."  So, we talked (and cried) about our losses, and our husbands even joined in on the conversation.  It felt so freeing to just let it all out and be open and honest about what is such a taboo subject. 

One thing I have found is when the subject of miscarriages come up, the conversation inevitably leads to infertility.  About how there are other couples we know that can't even get pregnant.  There are other men out there who have to stick shots in their wives' butts in order to have a chance at getting pregnant.  There are other couples we know that may never have kids at all because they've been doing treatments for a long time and they aren't working. 

This is how the conversation turned this weekend and I didn't say anything.  I stayed silent.  I didn't speak up about our own infertility.  I never do.  Why?  I'm not sure.  I told Jeff later that I feel so guilty for only telling people the half-truth.  I have no problem being 100% open about our losses, but for some reason I'm so scared to admit we are dealing with infertility also.  Both miscarriage and infertility are taboo topics in our society, but why is one more easier to admit to than the other?  I am a "face of infertility" and should be representing this community, but I don't. 

I simply remain silent.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

New and Improved Plan

I had my follow up appointment with my OB and here is our plan moving forward:

- I started on Metformin ER (extended release) 500mg, and will continue to take that through the 1st trimester when I get pregnant again.

- I had 11 vials of blood drawn yesterday for my RPL testing, results pending.

- Once my period decides to make it's grand entrance, I will take Clomid again since it seems to work for me.  If my period doesn't start by the first part of December I am to call for Provera to induce one.

- When I get pregnant again I will be on progesterone suppositories through the 1st trimester.

I'm so happy with this plan.  It's everything I was hoping for going into this appointment.  What's great is my OB suggested most of these things so I didn't even have to push her to do any of it.  I've had this inner struggle for a long time as to whether or not I should be moving on to an RE.  However, I feel so comfortable with my OB and feel like she's doing all the right things at this point that I'm glad I decided to stick it out with her.  Obviously if I don't get pregnant again with a few more cycles of Clomid, it might then be time to re-evaluate things.  But for now, I couldn't be more excited about our plan and the possibilities of what the future holds!

Monday, October 31, 2011


Tomorrow I have my D&C follow-up appointment with my OB.  It's so hard to believe a whole month has gone by already since we said goodbye to Baby#2.  I guess time flies when you're not having fun too.

I'm so nervous about my appointment, and I'm really not sure why.  I have a lot - and I mean a lot - of things I want to talk with her about.  I even have a list.  And yes, this time I'm actually going to hold my list in my hands and bring up every single thing on it.  I'm not going to leave it in my purse and try to remember everything I was going to ask, only to forget and kick myself for it later.

Hopefully the appointment will go great and I'll come away excited to have some answers, and have a more concrete plan in place as to where we go from here.  Look for my update!

Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Too Much to Ask For?

I'll just start this post off by saying I'm a little mad.  This is basically going to be nothing but a vent. 

We have season tickets for our college football team, and every home game we tailgate with a few friends.  The first home game this year I was just 8 weeks pregnant, but we decided to throw caution to the wind and go ahead and tell them we were expecting.  And besides, I'm a bit of a lush and we knew it was going to be obvious anyway the second I refused a beer.  So naturally, get a few women together, and the first two games it was all baby talk.  How were we going to decorate the nursery?  Were we going to find out the gender?  Did we have any names picked out yet?

And then I miscarried.

This Saturday was the first game since the miscarriage.  We made sure our friends had known about the miscarriage ahead of time so there wouldn't be the awkward - "where's your baby bump?" moment.  One of the girls had called me this week to see how I was doing, and asked me about it again when we first met up (before the other couple had arrived yet).  Then our other friends showed up.  And the wife did not awknowledge the miscarriage at all.  I did not get one simple "I'm sorry" out of her. 

As the morning went on, I kept waiting for her to say something, and my blood pressure continued to rise with every minute that passed with her not saying anything.  When we said our goodbyes and went our separate ways, I instantly started venting to Jeff.  All he could say was "well, some people just don't know what to say in situations like that."


Is that really an acceptable excuse?  Is it really okay for a 30-something year old woman (who has a child herself and should be able to guess what the pain of losing a child would feel like) to just not say anything to another woman who experienced a loss?  I understand it's an uncomfortable situation, but in my opinion that is not a good enough excuse to not say anything.  Those of us who have lost do no expect much.  We don't expect flowers, cards, gifts.  All we ask is for an "I'm sorry."  A simple acknowledgement of a life that was lost.  Is that really too much to ask?

I'm sure many of you have experienced the same thing, and I would love to hear your experiences and how you dealt with them. 

Friday, October 21, 2011

Welcome ICLWers!

Hello fellow bloggers!  I've only participated on ICLW once, and it was several months ago, so excuse me if I'm a little rusty.  After our second loss I felt compelled to participate again and try to reach out to others that may be going through the same things I am. 

A quick background:  I'm 30 and my husband is 37.  We have been together for over 5 years, and married for 2.  We started TTC a year and a half ago, and a handful of fertility drugs and two miscarriages later, we are right back to where we started.  I always suspected I would have some trouble conceiving, but never in a million years dreamed it would take this long, or that we would face not one, but two, losses. 

Where we stand today:  our second loss was just a couple weeks ago.  I have a follow up appointment with my doctor in two weeks and at that time we'll be discussing in more detail having testing done for RPL (recurrent pregnancy loss). 

I look forward to "meeting" some new people and following your journeys!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Doing Well

I have to say I'm doing suprisingly well.  I almost feel guilty for admitting that.  For some reason this loss hasn't hit me as hard as the first one.  Maybe it's because I've been through it before and know what to expect?  Maybe it's because I was half-way bracing myself for this outcome throughout this whole pregnancy?  Maybe it's because I simply hate feeling sad and depressed, and have therefore refused to let myself feel that way?  Maybe it's because it's been confirmed twice now that we can get pregnant, and after the first loss I was worried it would be the one and only time we would even get pregnant? Whatever the reasons may be, I'm just grateful that I have been able to stay so strong about this. 

I went back to work today.  I ended up taking all of last week off, which, miscarriage or not, was a much needed break.  I made the mistake of going back to work 2 days after my D&C the first time, and cried the entire day.  I think being thrown back into the real world so quickly was way too hard for me, and so with this loss I decided to give myself that time and slowly ease back into the world.  It feels good to be back though.  It's nice to get back into a routine and have life feel normal again.

One thing I do know is I will not let infertility and pregnancy loss beat me.  I'm ready to fight this battle, no matter how long it takes and how hard I have to fight.  Bring it on suckers, because I will not let you win.  You can beat me down all you want, but I'm just going to get up that much stronger each time, ready to fight that much harder.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Goodbye Again

This week we had to say goodbye again.  We've lost yet another baby.  We went in for our NT Scan yesterday, and discovered there was no heartbeat.  The baby was only measuring 7w6d, and I was suppose to be 12w.  I was devastated, and started bawling right then and there.  I couldn't believe my worst nightmare was coming true right before my very eyes.  What was suppose to be a fun, exciting appointment where we were going to watch our little one and get some great photos to take home turned into one of the worst days of my life. 

My doctor was on call and was, thankfully, able to still call me last night around 5:30.  I told her I wanted a D&C again, and she agreed that would be the best thing to do.  She was able to get it scheduled for this morning.  In that respect, I'm just thankful for the quick response and that we were able to start putting this behind us sooner rather than later.

As of tonight, I'm doing okay.  I think somehow I'm more accepting of it this time, or maybe I'm just still numb from it all.  I think I've mentioned this before, but one of the things about both miscarriages that bothers me a lot, is the fact that my body takes so long to recognize it.  I've been walking around for the last 4 weeks thinking all was well, and it wasn't.  My boobs were still sore and big, I was still pretty exhausted on a daily basis, and I was even starting to get a little bump. 

Where do we go from here?  My doctor said they normally don't do testing until you've had 3 miscarriages, but said she completely understands if we're ready to take that next step now.  As soon as Jeff and I found out yesterday we already had decided we wanted testing before moving forward.  So after my levels drop back to zero, we'll do that testing.  Then, assuming nothing is found with that, next pregnancy I'll be on progesterone suppositories up until about 12 weeks.  She said that low progesterone could be what's causing this, but of course now there is no way to know for sure now.  She also said the supplements might not help anything, but it certainly doesn't hurt to try them.  So, all things considered, I'm glad we at least have a plan in place moving forward.

I'm going to spend the next few months working on improving myself.  I'm not happy at all with the weight I've let myself creep back up to.  So I plan on making some changes with my diet and exercise and just spend this time focusing on getting healthier, which certainly can't hurt if/when I get pregnant again.

I still can't believe all these labels I now find myself in.  Infertile.  Recurrent miscarriage.  Ugh, when will it finally be our turn to get what we want and be happy??

Friday, September 30, 2011

All Ours!

Several months ago I was watching an episode of Teen Mom (sorry, I'm embarrassed to say it's one of my guilty pleasures) and there was a scene where the teen mom brought her baby home from the hospital.  They got home, sat down, and she looked to her mom and said "What should I do with him now?"  And her mom responded, "You can do whatever you want with him - he's all yours!"  I just remember thinking that was a really neat thought and a neat way of looking at having a new baby.  Now that I'm pregnant, I have found myself thinking that same thing a lot.

For example, we have the NT scan next Monday, and then another OB appointment on Wednesday.  I keep thinking if all goes well, it would be fun for Jeff and I to celebrate by going shopping and purchasing our first item for the baby.  And then I find myself stopping and saying to myself, "But wait, are we allowed to do that?  Is it okay for us to start buying stuff for the baby now, or is it still too early?"  And then I think back to that Teen Mom episode and remind myself, it's our baby, we can do whatever we want!

And the same thing goes for the baby's room.  I keep thinking that after we find out the gender we will start decorating the baby's room.  And then I stop and think, "Well maybe starting that at 20 weeks is too soon?  It it stupid to start decorating that early?  Maybe we should wait until after the first of the year, is that a more appropriate time to start that?"  And then I remember, it's our baby, we can do whatever we want!

I don't know, it's just a really strange feeling.  Thinking about these things seems to put it all in perspective.  We are going to be parents to this child, and everything regarding the care of him/her is going to be our responsiblity.  And as scary as that thought is sometimes, it's also a great feeling to know that we are going to be able to care for him/her however we feel best.  We are going to be able to do whatever fun things we've alway dreamed about doing with him/her.  And why?  Because he/she will be all ours!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Update on NT Scan

I guess I ended up creating a lot of unnecessary drama last week over our scheduled NT scan.  It turns out Jeff won't be able to get off work next week, so we ended up rescheduling for the following week.  It will now be October 3rd.  I feel much better about this.  Not so much because of what the date of 9/26 means for us, but mostly because I would have been 11w0d on the 26th, which I thought seemed a bit early to do the scan.  Now I'll be 12w0d.  I can't wait to see our little one again!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Double Digits

I'm 10 weeks pregnant today.  This is a huge milestone for me, as we found out about the miscarriage at 9w6d last time.  As each day and week passes, I start to feel a little more confident that this will be our takehome baby.  Our next prenatal appointment isn't for a couple more weeks, but our NT scan is a week from today. 

At first I really didn't want to do the screening.  Mostly because I just didn't want to face any decisions that could come our way depending on the results, and mostly because I'm almost certain I wouldn't terminate based on results of possible further diagnostic testing.  However, Jeff was all for the screening.  He's pretty confident that everything will be fine and just wants that peace of mind.  And if something does come up, he'd rather be able to prepare sooner rather than later.  So, mostly for the sake of Jeff, I agreed to do the screening. 

I had to call my ob/gyn's office last week to get the appointment set up.  It needs to be done at another facility, and the nurse said she had to fax some information over and they would then let her know when the appointment would be, and she would call me back and let me know.  When she called back and told me it's scheduled for 9/26, my heart stopped.  9/26 is Jeff and I's wedding anniversary.  9/26 also would have been our due date if our little one before hadn't left us so soon.  I feel like our anniversary will forever be tainted by our loss, and I really don't want to add one more negative thing to it.  However, after expelling my panic attack on the message board I regularly post on, the ladies there gave me so much encouragement.  One awesome lady in particular said it was our angel baby's way of being a part it and looking out for his/her brother or sister.  I still cry as I type those words.  

So, I'm stepping outside of my box and being positive for once.  I really do feel in my heart like everything is fine, and will continue to be fine, and I just need to hold onto that. 

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Busting My Own Miscarriage Myths

***Warning:  some of this may be TMI for some***

I really don't like to dwell on the past, especially my miscarriage, but it's something that I can't help but find myself thinking about every once in awhile.  It still amazes me how my prior conceptions of what I thought a miscarriage is like were so different than what I actually experienced.  So, in this post I'm writing about those personal misconceptions and I'm busting my own myths. 
*Note: none of these statements are necessarily based on scientific facts, but from my own, personal experience.

1.  There is a very slim chance of miscarriage after a heartbeat is detected.

I was 7w2d at my first prenatal appointment.  Dr. C. did an ultrasound and everything looked perfect.  I knew what day I O'd, and the baby was measuring correctly right to the day.  There was an obvious heartbeat.  Basically, everything looked perfect and I thought I was in the clear for the next 33 weeks or so.  Yes, the rate of miscarriage decreases a little once a heartbeat is seen (around 6-7 weeks), however it doesn't drop significantly until a heartbeat is heard (around 10-12 weeks).  And even then, bad things can still happen at any moment during a pregnancy.

2.  A miscarriage begins with cramping and heavy bleeding.

My miscarriage started with very light bleeding on a Friday night.  So light that I really thought it was "normal" (despite what some might say, I now do not believe any bleeding is normal in pregnancy) spotting or bleeding.  This continued through the weekend until I was able to get to a doctor to get checked on that Sunday night.  It remained light into that Monday, and I had yet to have any cramping.  Around noon on that Monday I started having horrible cramps that lasted for about 5 hours.  They then, thankfully, subsided.  I had my D&C the following morning.  At the time I went in for the D&C I still had yet to experience any heavy bleeding. 

3.  The cramps associated with a miscarriage are simply like really bad menstrual cramps.

Uh, no.  I felt like I was going to die that Monday afternoon.  Seriously.  I had never experienced so much pain before in my life (and I've been through appendicitis, which I thought was pretty painful).  I remember telling Jeff (as I lay writhing in pain) that if this is anything close to what labor feels like, women are idiots for wanting to do it naturally (I don't mean to offend anyone out there choosing natural birth, but it's certainly not for me, especially after I've had a small taste of what it would be like). 

4.  As soon as development stops, a miscarriage will immediately start.

This is the one that bothers me the most.  Our baby had stopped developing two weeks before we knew it.  Two weeks before I started to have any signs whatsoever that something was wrong.  I stupidly walked around for two weeks thinking everything was just fine when it wasn't.  This is mostly why we (Jeff and I made the decision together) decided to opt for having the D&C versus letting things happen naturally.  If two weeks had already gone by with nothing happening, how much longer was it going to take?  I didn't want to sit around and wait to find out. 

5.  Doing all the "right" things will prevent a miscarriage.

With the last pregnancy I completely cut out caffeine.  I stopped eating tuna altogether (even though they say it's okay to eat occassionally).  I completely stayed away from artificial sweeteners.  I didn't eat lunch meat, even if it was warmed up.  I tried to do all the right things they say you are suppose to do in pregnancy, and I still miscarried.  That's why this time around I'm continuing to live my life like I always have because I know it doesn't make a difference.  Whatever is going to happen will happen.  I'm staying away from the obvious things (alcohol, ibuprofren, still limiting my tuna intake).  But I am still enjoying my morning cup of coffee (or skinny caramal macchiato from Starbucks for my weekly splurge). 

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Carrying On A Legacy

My Great-Grandma O'Brien was a remarkable lady.  She lived to be 107, lived in her own home until she was 104, and got her licensed renewed for two years when she was 100.  How cool is that?!  She had a very strong Catholic faith and had been through a lot in her long life, including burying her husband and two of her sons.  She has been gone for several years now, but she has crept into my thoughts quite a bit this week.

One of the legacies Grandma O'Brien left behind was for the majority of her life she crotcheted baby hats for her local hospital.  I can remember visiting her the last couple years of her life when she was in a nursing home, and the whole bottom drawer of her dresser was full - and I mean full - of baby hats she had recently worked on.  She had passed on her crotcheting skills to my grandma, who had shown me as a kid how to crotchet also.  I'm not talking anything fancy here, mostly potholders because a basic square was about all I could handle!  However, several years ago I decided I wanted to carry on Grandma O'Brien's legacy and had my grandma show me how to crotchet baby hats so I could donate them to my hospital.  I made a couple dozen and donated them, and never touched a crotchet hook since.   I guess life just got in the way - planning a wedding, buying a house, trying to have a baby. 

The other night Jeff and I ended up having a really long, great conversation with our retired neighbors.  I found out she is involved with the "Preemie Project" for our local hospital.  They raise money for the NICU in various ways, and also make and collect donated hats, blankets, and booties for the preemies.  After talking with her something in my clicked and I thought "I need to start crotcheting baby hats again!"  So I went through our plastic totes that haven't been touched since we moved last year and dug out my crotcheting supplies and got back to work. 

I always say I want to do volunteer work, but never quite know what my niche is.  But I think this is the perfect thing for me.  It's time I start doing something positive towards becoming a better person. 

And while I was feeling very connected to my Grandma O'Brien this morning while crotcheting a little before I left for work, I said a little prayer to her, asking for her help in letting this be our takehome baby.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Here We Go Again

Sorry I've been avoiding my blog again.  Not only were we away on vacation over the weekend, but I also had some news to share and wasn't sure how to break it gently to those out there that are having T-TTC.  Since there really isn't a gentle way, I'm just going to say it.  I'm pregnant.  Again. 

My BBT went up a little last Thursday at 11 dpo, so I decided to test and here is the result (sorry for the blurry pic):

I'm surprisingly pretty calm about it all this time around.  I think a lot of the reason is I don't want to get too attached this time, only to experience another loss.  I would say the best way to describe how Jeff and I are feeling right now is cautiously optimistic.  I'm for sure feeling more positive about it though and am not letting negative thoughts flood my mind.  Having anxiety and bad thoughts about what could happen isn't going to help anything, and therefore I'm simply letting go and letting whatever happens happen. 

Our first appointment is 3 weeks from today, which seems so far away.  Luckily, we have plenty to keep us busy so hopefully time will fly. 

This last weekend we went to Blue Harbor Resort in Sheboygan, WI with Jeff's sister, husband, and 4 kids.  It was right on Lake Michigan and was one of the most relaxing vacations I've been on.  Most of my time was spent sitting on the beach reading a book.  It doesn't get more relaxing than that. 

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Caught By Surprise Again

It's funny how one simple little thing like ovulating can change my entire mood and outlook on life.  Ovulating is all I ever wanted this cycle, and it looks like I may have finally gotten just that.  My temps have been up for over 3 days now and I have that clear thermal shift on my chart.  When I tested last Friday afternoon/evening the 2nd line on the OPK was *almost* as dark as the control line (on the internet cheapies).  Saturday morning was the same thing.  However, the digitals kept coming up negative.  By Saturday afternoon the line had started to fade, and when I tested again Sunday afternoon it was stark white.  So, I'm guessing I must have had a really short LH surge again this cycle sometime between Friday night and Saturday morning and missed it?  Agh, it's so confusing and annoying!  I did have what I believe to be ovulation pain Saturday.  I didn't temp Saturday or Sunday morning so I can't tell for sure when I O'd, but think it was one of those days (CD22 or 23). 

Dr. C. just called and confirmed my progesterone was low on CD21, so that didn't surprise me at all.  She said next cycle we'll up the Clomid dose to 100mg and hopefully that will move my O date up.  That's if I'm not pregnant of course.  We actually did have good timing considering I had no idea what my body was up to.  I'm just happy my body finally did cooperate, even though it was late.  Waiting to O is just pure torture.  I would take a 2 week wait over waiting to O any day.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Bad Blogger Award?

Is there such thing as a Bad Blogger Award?  If so, I should definitely be nominated.  I guess I've been MIA for a few reasons, and most of them are pretty Debbie Downer-ish.  I would like to keep this blog a little more upbeat, and thus I've decided I'm better off not writing about any of it.  Well, today I've changed my mind.  So if you want to keep your spirits up, I suggest you not read any further.

Over 4th of July weekend I received a text message from my brother's wife.  It was a picture of my 2 year old nephew wearing a shirt that said "Big Brother".  What was my first reaction?  I broke down and starting bawling.  Luckily, Jeff completely understood why I was so upset and let me cry on his shoulder for a good 15 minutes.  Only after I was done crying was I able to muster up a "Congrats!" reply.  Am I a bad sister?  Probably.  Can I help the way I feel?  No.  Am I going to apologize to anyone for the way I feel?  No.  Don't get me wrong, I'm so happy for them and am excited to have another niece or nephew come February.  But at the same time I can't help but be sad about our loss.  I was suppose to be next and instead I'm still waiting....and waiting....and waiting.  And what makes it that much harder for me, is they are seriously those people.  You know who I'm talking about.  The people that get knocked up the very first time they try.  Yep, two children now....the very first time with each.  While I'm still struggling, trying to get my stupid body to cooperate even with the help of Clomid. 

I'm now in my second cycle of Clomid (50mg).  I'm on CD17 with no ovulation in sight.  The very first time I took Clomid back in October, I didn't ovulate until CD21, so I'm still trying to hold out hope.  But I'm honestly getting really discouraged.  I'm also torn between continuing treatment with my ob/gyn, or going back to the RE.  I called the RE's office last week to try to speak to a nurse and get her opinion on what to do.  However, I ended up playing phone tag over the course of a couple days and never did get to speak with one.  That made me frustrated and even more upset so I just gave up.  I guess my biggest concern is I'm not being monitored with ultrasound while on Clomid.  I know, I know, in the IF world, that's a big no-no.  However, when both my ob/gyn and RE told me it wasn't necessary, I guess I just decided to trust them and see what happens.  But now that my body seems to be so uncooperative on Clomid, I'm really wishing I was being monitored because I want to see what my ovaries are up to.  So I guess as of now (and I change my mind several times throughout the day so this plan could definitely change at any moment) here is my plan moving forward:

1.  Give this cycle some more time to see if I ovulate.  I have my CD21 check this Friday, where I could discuss either the possiblity of being monitored with her, or asking for a referral back to the RE.  I really don't need a formal approval to go to the RE, but I just feel like I should be up front with her about how I feel and what I'm doing.  The only problem with this you ask?  I'm not actually seeing my own ob/gyn on Friday.  She wasn't available so I'm seeing a different one.  So....not sure how I'm going to pull off talking with Dr. C when I'm not actually going to see her.  I figure I can have the doctor I am seeing relay this info onto Dr. C. (and maybe it wouldn't hurt to get a different ob/gyn's opinion anyway)?

2.  If Dr. C. refuses to do monitoring, I'll make an appointment with the RE and demand they monitor me.  Will they do it if I ask for it, even if that's not their normal protocol?  I guess that would be a question I need answered before I decide to go back to them.  

Ugh, this sucks.  I just feel so lost and don't know what the right thing to do is.  My biggest problem is I've reached the point where I've lost all patience for all of this.  It's been 14 months since I've been off birth control, and have absolutely nothing to show for it.  I want to make Jeff a dad so bad, and yet I'm so powerless to make that happen.  Infertility sucks.  You really can't understand how it feels until you've gone through it. 

Sorry that was so long (see, if I'd write more often my posts wouldn't be so long!).  If you made it this far, congrats to you! 

Wednesday, June 29, 2011


Why can't my body just be normal and do what it's suppose to for once?  I'm 16 dpo and still waiting for my period to start.  I had a huge temp drop at 13 dpo and thought for sure this cycle was coming to an end.  I was prepared for it because I had already tested (it was negative, obviously), and was okay with it.  But the next day my temp sprung way back up (the highest it's been this cycle) and stayed there since.  I don't know what's going on.  I took another test yesterday and it was stark white. 

The ladies on my message board say it could just be the stronger ovulation from taking Clomid caused my progresterone levels to be higher, and is just taking this long to leave my system.  However, my progesterone at 7 dpo was 18.9, so it wasn't that high.   

At this point I don't know what to do.  I get the impression that both my doctor and nurses at my ob/gyn office don't really "believe" in charting, so if I called them and told thim about my temps still being up they'd think I was some sort of loon.  I guess all I can do is wait.  I just worry that this delay in AF is some sort of bad side effect from Clomid, although I don't have any idea what it would be. 

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Preparing For A Temp Drop

When we started TTC again, I told myself this time around I wasn't going to get my hopes up.  In my life I always set myself up for disappointment, and therefore I made a pact with myself not to do this while TTC this second time around.  Well, that's way easier said than done.

I had told myself I wasn't going to get stressed out if 3 or 4 Clomid cycles go by and I'm not pregnant yet.  Maybe after 4 cycles I'll let myself start panicking.  And I for sure wasn't placing any expectations at all on this very first cycle.  Ha!  Here I am at 8dpo and I'm already imagining the "what ifs".  I swore I'd never be one of those girls that gets all excited over phantom symptoms.  Especially now that I know what it really feels like (or doesn't feel like) this early on in a pregnancy.  However, with every little twinge I feel in my abdomen I get excited thinking this is it. 


So, all I can do is try not to think about it for the next few days and brace myself for a temp drop.  I'm going to try really hard to hold out on testing until 12dpo because I think a temp drop would be easier to see than a BFN.  But who are we kidding?  A temp drop is going to sting just as bad. 

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Didn't See That Coming

According to my BBT (basil body temperature) I ovulated on Monday, which was CD16.  That totally caught me off guard.  The last time I took Clomid I didn't ovulate until CD21 so I wasn't expecting it at all this early.  I had even been taking ovulation predictor tests, which had been negative.  Apparently I missed my surge?  I was only testing once a day so I suppose that's very likely what happened.  I guess I'll know better next time (if there is one!) to test twice a day.  I'm still not fully convinced I actually ovulated as I didn't really have any other symptoms (ovulation pain, sore boobs), but my temps definitely tell me I did.  I have my progesterone check on Monday which should confirm whether or not I did ovulate.  So for now, I wait.....

Monday, June 13, 2011

Garage Sale

I hosted my first garage sale this weekend.  My mom brought a bunch of her stuff up and we did the sale together.  It was fairly successful, though I was hoping to make a little more money than I did.  I had a few bigger items (Christmas tree, coffee and end tables, lawn mower) that I was hoping to get rid of that didn't sell, while most of my "junk" flew off the tables.  It's interesting, and kind of funny, what people go after at garage sales. 

Nonetheless, at least now I have enough money to buy these shelves from Pottery Barn:

We moved into our house a year ago and it's time we start putting some things on the walls to make it feel more like home. 

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Clomid Round 1.2

Well, we're officially back in TTC game.  My period finally decided to make it's grand appearance over the weekend.  It actually started on the last day of my Provera pills so I was a little surprised to see it that soon, but definitely no complaints here! 

The reason I'm calling this round 1.2 is because technically this is my second round of Clomid, however my first round was way back in October and therefore it feels like we're starting over again for the first time.  Calling it round one would be incorrect, but at the same time calling it round two doesn't quite feel appropriate either.  So, I'm thinking of it as a second go at round one.  For some reason I'm having many mixed emotions about this, and it took me several hours today to muster up the courage to take the first pill.  I think I'm mostly worried that my body won't cooperate and it will end up being yet another very frustrating cycle.  And I what I mean by not cooperating is not ovulating.  I honestly don't expect to get pregnant this first cycle TTC again.  I'm not feeling pressured by any means, and am going to give it 3-4 cycles before starting to get too concerned if not pregnant by then.     

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Broke Down

Last night I broke down.  I feel like I’ve been really strong about this miscarriage, so much stronger than I expected.   This is only the 3rd time since it happened where I’ve cried about it.  And I don’t mean just crying, I’m talking about sobbing uncontrollably.  What was getting to me is how alone I feel in all this.  I feel like Jeff doesn’t feel the way I do about it (and our discussion last night confirmed this for me).  He tells me he felt sad the week it happened but since then hasn’t really thought about it much and doesn’t understand why I’m so upset about it.  I told him we lost a baby.  I told him I’ll forever mourn this loss, even if we do go on to have healthy kids.  I’m never going to forget about this one.  None of that makes sense to him. 

I don’t expect him to agree with my feelings.  All I want is for him to comfort me on days I feel sad about it.  I want to feel like I can talk about it and express my feelings without him looking at me like I’m some freak.  I want him to hug me and tell me it’s going to be okay and that he’s here for me.  

Most days I’m fine with it.  I really am.  I feel like everything in life happens for a reason and I have learned so much from this experience.  But on those rare days when I feel really down, I just want to know I can turn to him and not have to keep my feelings bottled up inside.   

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Giving Thanks

When I think back to my miscarriage and the day I had the D&C, the one thing that stands out in my mind is how caring and wonderful the staff at the outpatient surgical center where I had the procedure done were.  The compassionate people who cared for me that day made what I was going through just a little bit easier.  I think I was suppose to receive a patient satisfaction survey afterwards, but never did.  I really want these people to know how special they are, as I feel anyone who provides good customer services deserves to be praised.  Therefore, I wrote the director an email today.  Here is what I wrote:

I was a patient at [facility name] on 3/1/11.  I am writing to let you know how great every single person I encountered at the facility that day was.  I still find myself thinking about that day and am amazed at how kind, caring and compassionate they all were.  To be treated as great as I was by your staff on what was one of the worst days of my life means the world to me.  I will forever be grateful for the care I received. 

I would love it if you passed this on, or made sure those who cared for me know how much they are appreciated.  

Thank you so much!

20 Things About Me

1.  I never had the desire to get married until I met my husband.
2.  I have a hard time helping others when they don't try to help themselves.
3.  I'm impatient.
4.  I enjoy looking forward to events way more than when they actually happen...
5. ...I set myself up for disappointment all the time.
6.  I tend to be more of a pessimist than an optimist but am trying really hard to change that.
7.  I have completely turned into my mother, and surprisingly that is okay with me.
8.  I would like to do volunteer work but don't want to give up my free time.
9.  A lot of the time I look like I'm walking around with a scowl on my face, but it's really because I'm in deep thought, I'm always thinking about something.
10.  I love to read books.
11.  I don't care for fruit flavored candy, it has to be chocolate.
12.  I worked for the campus newspaper in college long enough to write one article, and then quit because it was so hard.
13.  I'm left handed.
14.  I get excited about the simplest things.
15.  I could never get LASIK eye surgery because just thinking about it makes my stomach churn.
16.  I have sky-dived once and probably won't have the guts to ever do it again.
17.  I have 3 tattoos.
18.  I hope I never lose my independence.
19.  I love caramel lattes and wish I could afford to buy one every day.
20.  I love cute pajamas, but always end up wearing the same old, worn out, comfy t-shirt and pants to bed.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Welcome ICLWers!

Hello and welcome to my blog!  I am fairly new to the blogging world, so I apologize if my blog doesn't have much content at this point.  I found myself keeping a journal once we started having trouble TTC, and during my pregnancy and miscarriage, and decided a blog would be a great way to organize my thoughts and feelings from here forth.

In starting my own blog, I've also been introduced to others' and really enjoy reading about their experiences.  It helps to know I'm not alone in dealing with infertility.  (That, by the way, is the first time I've actually admitted that we are struggliing with infertility.  I think I've lived in denial up until this point). 

I hope you enjoy what I have so far, and perhaps you will decide to stay and continue along this journey with me!

Another Decade Gone By

My latest update:  two weeks went by and my period never made its grand appearance.  Dr. C. upped my Provera dose to 20 mg/day for 10 days in hopes that will bring on a period this time.  So hopefully that does the trick.  Even though it pushes TTC back further than I anticipated, I'm actually feeling pretty calm and relaxed.  I feel like I'm doing something (i.e. popping pills) again instead of just sitting around impatiently waiting for something to happen. 

In other big news, I turned 30 this week.  I was okay with it all until the day before my birthday my husband asked me if I was going to party it up since it was my last day in my 20s.  Yikes!  When put that way, it sent me into a bit of a panic attack.  Leaving my 20s behind?!  But I graduated from college, met and married my husband, and did a lot of wild and crazy things in between during the last 10 years.  There are so many memories my mind has accumulated over that time.  I can only hope when I turn 40 I will be able to look back on my 30s with nothing but fond memories of raising our kids. 

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Lost All Hope

I've lost all hope.  I know that sounds a little dramatic, but that's how I feel today.  I took my last Provera pill on Thursday (5 days ago), and my period still hasn't started.  The other two times in my life I have taken Provera, my period started within a couple days of taking the last pill.  I know the nurse had said it could take up to two weeks, but for me this doesn't seem normal.  If Provera doesn't work to bring on a period I don't know what there is to do.  I'm getting stressed out thinking I'm now going to have to wait another 60-90 days for my period to come in order for us to be able to start TTC again.  I'm so frustrated with my body right now I just want to cry. 

Monday, May 2, 2011

Ouch, that stung!

I have come to an interesting realization.  Ever since making my miscarriage known to people, I have noticed that those around me think that I am suppose to be overjoyed at others' pregnancy or baby related announcements and news.  I think people assume that just because you are now trying to conceive and have babies on the brain, that any baby news is going to bring you joy.  What they don't realize is that after you have suffered a miscarriage, others' baby news is the last thing you want to hear about.  Yes, any child is a blessing from God and should be welcomed into the world with open arms.  And yes, I am happy for those who are so blessed.  However, it still stings.  It stings a lot.  Call me selfish if you will, but as happy as I am for others, I want my own. 

I don't necessarily think it's the news itself that bothers me.  I understand life goes on and people continue to procreate.  I think what bothers me is the expectant look in people's eyes when they deliver the news.  It's a look that says:  "Isn't that the most wonderful news you have ever heard and aren't you just so over-the-moon happy for them/me?" 

I also know, however, that when I am lucky enough to have my own I want others to be happy for me.  I don't want people to cringe and turn their head the other way.  I don't want people to make me feel guilty for being blessed with a child.  But those are the kinds of responses I give to others.  I feel guilty about my reaction afterwards, but in the moment it is the only way I know how to cope. 

So my question is, how does one go about temporarily pushing their own grief aside in order to be happy for others?

Thursday, April 28, 2011

5 Servings a Day

I grew up thinking I hated most fruits and vegetables.  We either never had them, or my mom would only buy canned.  I have no idea why this was.  Perhaps this was how my mother was raised.  Perhaps because we lived in a small, rural town fresh fruits and vegetables weren't readily available.  Or perhaps she just didn't like them and therefore never bought them.  My guess is it was probably a combination of all these reasons. 

Watermelon:  my mom had an incident as a child where her throat swelled up after eating watermelon and therefore decided she was allergic to any kind of melon.  I guess it never occurred to her that we weren't, and would perhaps enjoy some watermelon every now and then.  I find the seeds a little annoying, and that is probably the reason why I don't eat much watermelon today, but I still like it and don't have any allergy problems with it. 

Canteloupe:  perhaps my mom thought her watermelon allergy carried over to others in the melon family?  Thus, I never tried canteloupe until I was in college.  I remember the first time my roommate brought one home.  I watched, completely fascinated, as she cut it open and cut it away from it's hard shell.  I tried my first piece and it was so good!  She even showed me the trick that salting the melon really brings out the flavor.

Pineapple:  I can't remember the first time I tried pineapple.  This may have been another fruit my college roommate introduced me to.  What I do know is once I had fresh pineapple, I could never go back to eating canned.  I can't even begin to explain how bad I think canned pineapple tastes.  It's hard and unflavorful.  The only time I'll buy canned pineapple is to have on hand for homemade canadian bacon & pineapple pizza.  Once it's cooked I don't notice the texture as much. 

Peaches & Pears:  I feel the same way about these canned fruits as I do pineapple.  Hard.  That's the only word I can come up with that describes them.  As an adult, I love a fresh pear. Pears have to be at the perfect ripeness in order for me to enjoy, but once it's there I can't get enough. 

Spinach:  my only memory of spinach as a child was from school lunches.  They always served the nasty-looking, and nasty-tasting, cooked spinach with lunches.  I don't think one child ever ate it, so why they continued to serve it is beyond me.  However, as an adult I've found I actually like fresh spinach.  It makes for a great salad.  Spinach and artichoke dip also makes for a very tasty treat :)

Sweet potatoes:  the first time I was introduced to sweet potatoes was just a couple years ago.  Some co-workers and I had gone out after work for a drink at a local bar, and one of my coworkers ordered sweet potato fries.  Um, can I say delicious?  I was hooked.  I was on a mission to look for sweet potato fries on every menu at every restaurant I went to after that.  I even got brave a few months later to try a plain old baked sweet potato.  Add a little butter and ranch dressing and you've got yourself a yummy and healthy alternative to a regular baked potato. 

Asparagus:  this is another vegetable I didn't try until a couple years ago.  I love to watch shows on the Food Network, and it always seemed like they were cooking with asparagus.  I decided to get brave and try it for myself.  I found an easy recipe for roasting asparagus.  I brush it with olive oil, sprinkle some salt and pepper on it, and bake at 400 degress for about 10-15 minutes.  Even my husband loves it, and it's become a staple side dish in the summertime at our house. 

There are still plenty of fruits and vegetables that I need to try.  The older I get the more experiemental I get, and I hope to continue to broaden my horizon of these healthy foods.  I am determined to always have fresh fruits & veggies in the house once we have kids.  I want our children to grow up with these foods as a part of their regular diet.  I hope in doing that they will choose healthy foods over unhealthy junk foods as they make their way through life.  And in turn, will live long, healthy lives.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Getting Cold Feet

At the time of my D&C, Dr. C. was already talking about when we could start trying again.  Much to my surprise she said we only had to wait this one cycle, and once I got my period we could start trying again.  On average, women should get their period about 4-6 weeks after a miscarriage.  However, with my history of long cycles Dr. C. said if we made it to the eight week mark and no period, she would prescribe Provera to induce one.  At the time I couldn't even imagine what my life would look like eight weeks from then.  Having to wait eight weeks seemed like an eternity.  I mean, eight weeks: that's two whole months!  Of course I was mourning the loss of our baby, but at the same time very eager to start trying again. 

Well, this coming Tuesday marks eight weeks and I haven't even ovulated yet.  The last two months have flown by and I can't believe we're closing in on time to start trying again.  At this point I'm very undecided as to whether or not I want to call for the prescription.  As soon as my period starts, I'll be starting Clomid a few days later, and we'll officially be actively trying again.  It's crazy to think there's a possiblity that I could be pregnant again a month from now.  One one hand I want to call for the Provera and get started.  On the other hand, I want to let nature takes it's course and wait until my body ovulates, and in turn has a period, on it's own.  Maybe I'm putting too much faith in my own body, but deep down I feel like she can do it! 

If I'm being honest with myself though, I'm avoiding making that call because I'm scared.  Once we start trying again, it opens up all sorts of possibilities.  Once we start trying it opens up the possiblity that my body may not ovulate despite the help of Clomid.  It opens up the possibility of the disappointment and heartache of negative pregnancy tests.  Even worse, it opens up the possiblity of getting that elusive positive pregnancy test, only to miscarry again and lose yet another baby. 

Saturday, April 16, 2011


My husband and I purchased our house last July.  We fell in love with it the very first time we stepped foot inside.  It fulfilled almost every want and need we had for a house.  However, it didn't take long for me to realize we had a problem.  We had a huge problem.  We had crabs.

No, not those kind of crabs.  I'm talking about crabgrass.  For those unfamiliar with what crabgrass is, it's type of weed.  A really ugly weed that looks like this:

Our yard was infested with it.  I felt so embarrassed and ashamed.  I didn't know how to get rid of it.  I felt as though people would drive by and stare at our yard in complete disgust.  Our neighbors' yards were lush, thick, and full of dark green grass.  But not ours.  I assumed the previous owners didn't take very good care of the yard because either A) they knew they were going to be moving and didn't care about the yard anymore, or B) they just weren't good upkeepers with their yard to begin with.

I wanted it gone!  I spent one Saturday afternoon on my hands and knees crawling around our front yard pulling up every weed I could find.  I'm sure the neighbors thought I was completely crazy and were a little worried about me moving in next door to them and their children.  By the time I pulled up as many clumps of crabgrass I could find, our yard looked even worse and I had huge blisters on my hands.  I knew at that point it was a lost cause.  Our yard would remain like this for the rest of the summer and fall.  By the time crabgrass starts growing, there's no way to stop it. 

So, when spring rolled around this year I put my foot down and insisted that we take action this year to prevent crabgrass and hopefully end up with a beautiful yard.  We tossed around the idea of hiring professionals to come in.  However, calling around to get quotes seemed like a big hassle.  That's when we came across the Scott's Lawn Pro 4 Step Program.  It's basically four different applications that you apply throughout spring, summer, and fall.  We decided to give this a try and see what happens.  Tuesday night we went out and bought the 'Step 1 Crabgrass preventer and Lawn Fertilizer' and applied it to the yard.

Now we keep our fingers crossed and wait! 

Tuesday, April 12, 2011


My eyes have been opened at how quickly your life can change.  My mother-in-law’s house was hit by a tornado Saturday night.  We received a call from Jeff’s sister around 8:30 Saturday night that this had happened.  Our first instinct was to jump in the car and start driving there (she lives 4 hours away).  However, storms were still passing through the state and we didn’t want to risk the possibility of running into another tornado while we were out on the roads.  Jeff’s aunt and uncle live about 20 miles away from her and they were able to pick her up and take her to their house.  Since we knew she was safe, we decided it would be best to wait and get up early Sunday morning and head that way.  We ran out and purchased anything we could think of that we would need – totes, boxes, garbage bags, water, food, batteries.  Jeff even purchased a chain saw.  It was close to midnight when we finally went to bed, even though it took a long time for either one of us to fall asleep.  We got up at 3:30, packed up the car, and started driving.

When we go there this is what the house looked like:

We didn't know where to even start.  We wanted to start packing up her things, however the smell of natural gas in the air was so strong that we didn't think it was very safe to be inside.  So, we started dragging tree branches and limbs out to the curb.  There was no way to get access to her house from the front, but we were able pull vehicles into the back yard and up to the back of the house.  After about an hour, once the gas smell wasn't so strong, we went back in the house and started packing up every single thing inside.  I was so amazed at how many people came to help.  Friends and family from up to 60 miles away came to help.  I think we had over 30 people there jumping in to help without hesitation.  By late Sunday afternoon the house was completely empty and most of the yard was cleared.  Here is what it looked like Monday:

The power of a tornado is absolutely amazing.  The back door was shut, and locked, but the tornado was still able to pry it open:

The entire house was scattered with corn kernels from nearby grain bins:

We are all thankful that Jeff's mom is alive and with us today.  That is the most important thing.  Jeff's dad passed away 7 years ago, which makes this all the more difficult.  I can't imagine what his mom is going through right now.  I feel like losing your spouse is about the worst thing a person could go through.  So for her to make it through that, and then lose her home years later has to be emotionally draining.  She has so many friends and family that care about her though.  She initially planned on staying with a friend who lived in town (whose house wasn't damaged).  However we all thought it would be better if she could find her own place to rent for awhile, until we get the next steps figured out.  Jeff's sister and her husband arrived early Monday morning and we spent yesterday looking for a place.  Unfortunately, Small Town Iowa doesn't have much to offer as far as apartments, condos, rental houses go (especially after half the town is destroyed).  At the end of the day yesterday some ladies from her church stopped by and told her the church owns a furnished house for people to stay in whenever needed.  It just so happens that nobody is currently staying there and they offered it to her.  What a blessing that was!  Jeff and I had to leave last night so that we could get back to work today.  His sister and her husband are staying through tomorrow to help get her settled in this house. 

Where do we go from here?  Good question.  A boy who was interviewed on the news put it perfectly:  "Now what?"

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Our TTC Journey Thus Far

I stopped taking birth control pills in May 2010 after being on them for 10 years.  After a couple of long, irregular cycles (60-90 days), my ob/gyn (Dr. C.) decided to do some bloodwork, which ended up showing that I have PCOS.  Dr. C. explained the first course of action would be to take a fertility drug called Clomid to make me ovulate.  Clomid is taken for 5 days and is usually prescribed for cycle days (CD) 3-7 or 5-9.  I was prescribed to take it CD3-7.  I did ovulate that cycle, but didn’t get pregnant.  In the meantime I had been doing some research, and had found that patients should be monitored with ultrasounds while taking Clomid.  Dr. C. had told me she didn’t think this was necessary.  I had also read that prior to taking Clomid, other tests should be done to rule out other possible fertility issues.  These include a semen analysis and a HSG, a procedure where they check to make sure your fallopian tubes are open.  We didn’t have those done either.  I decided to forgo using Clomid the next cycle, and seek a second opinion.  On January 6th my husband and I met with a RE (reproductive endocrinologist).   He didn’t think extra monitoring with ultrasounds was necessary either.  He said studies have shown monitoring versus not monitoring doesn’t affect the outcome of treatment with Clomid.  He also didn’t feel a semen analysis or HSG were necessary at the time.  He suggested we try 3 more rounds with the Clomid first, and if I didn’t get pregnant we would proceed with those tests.  Little did we know as we were sitting in the RE’s office, our sperm and egg had already met and I was pregnant!  I tested positive on January 14, 2011.  We were both excited, but very cautious as we knew the rate of miscarriage is very high (15%-20% of pregnancies end in miscarriage).  My first  ultrasound at 7 weeks 2 days showed everything looked great and the baby was developing right on track.  However, over the last weekend in February I started having some light bleeding.  We ended up going to the emergency room that Sunday evening and found that the baby had stopped developing at 7 weeks 6 days.  At that point I was supposed to be 9 weeks 6 days.  I had a D&C on March 1st to complete the miscarriage. 

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


I've always felt like I was different from other girls my age growing up.  Coming into adolescence I always seemed to be a little behind others my age.  I can remember being in 5th or 6th grade and anxiously awaiting my last few teeth to fall out so that I could have braces like everyone else in my class already did.  Most people dreaded getting braces, but I wanted them so badly just so I would fit in.  I watched as people came back from their orthodontist appointments every month with a new color combo on their bands. I couldn't wait for the day when I could have green bands on my bottom braces and red bands on top for the Christmas season (and black and orange for Halloween of course!).  However, by the time my last tooth fell out and the braces were put on everyone else was getting theirs off and having braces wasn't so cool anymore....

In 5th grade they made us watch the much-anticipated "sex" videos.  They separated us out and put boys in one classroom and girls in another.  I was so excited thinking they were going to explain in great detail how men and women have sex.  As it turns out, we watched some corny 10 minute video on girls getting their periods for the first time and how to use a sanitary pad.  Boy was I disappointed! I can't imagine what kind of video the boys had to watch.  If they weren't showing us videos on how to have sex, what else would 5th grade boys need to know?!  Each girl received a little packet that included a pamphlet and a couple sanitary pads.  I came home and put my packet in my dresser drawer, and would get it out on occasion, anxiously awaiting the day I would be able to use them.  Most girls in my class had already started their periods by now and knew how to use all that stuff.  But not me....

As the years went by with no period, my mom would reassure me that I was normal and just took a little longer than other girls my age.  As I would cry myself to sleep on many, many nights, she would always remind me how I had to wait longer than everyone else to get braces, and I was just a little slower with menstruating also and eventually I would catch up.  It made me feel better for awhile, but it was always in the back of my mine how un-normal I was.... 

When I turned 14 with no period in sight, my mom made an appointment for me with her gynecologist.  He sent me for a blood test to check my thyroid, which came back normal.  He said if I hadn't gotten my period in a year to come back.  That year came and went with no period so I went back to the doctor, and he told me the same thing.  By the time another year passed, the doctor finally prescribed some pills (Provera) for me to take to induce my first period.  I took the pills and finally, at age 16, I got my first period!  I continued to get a period after that but my cycles were very long, averaging about 1 period every two months....

I didn't know then, but I now know these long cycles are one of many symptoms of PCOS.