Tuesday, July 31, 2012

I'm On a Google Moratorium

Access to Google should be outlawed.  When you are stressed, sick, worried or in general just need information, going to Google is the first thing you do (at least I do).  You “Google it” to figure out what’s wrong or to get the answer you’re looking  for.  We equip ourselves with way too much information and subsequently, have to live with the consequences. 
So, here I am scared out of my wits.  I found out the reaction I had to dinner at The Melting Pot Sunday night, was shared by my Gluten Free buddy that we had dinner with.  It was such a severe reaction that I’m scared that it wasn’t just a GF reaction but that it was food poisoning. I feel horrible today and have a pretty bad head ache – all in all I feel like crap.
Of course I’m worrying about the baby now.  We have our ultrasound on Tuesday – so I only have 24 hours left to wait – but boy oh boy did my trip to Google-land screw with my head.  I’m so frustrated that I got so sick and that it might have harmed Pedro – add to that my feelings of inadequacy because there’s not a damn thing I can do about it.
Here I was all pumped that I ate a normal meal and got nutrients like most people do – and then bam.  No more meal.  Now I don’t want food AT ALL!    So much for ‘getting on top’ of the nausea.
So once again, I have to turn off my head and pray.  This has been one heck of a roller coaster ride and I’m so tired and sick, I don’t know if I’m up for another lap around the block.   Going to work is enough stress in itself these days – even under normal circumstances.  Add that to the fun with my stomach etc…and I’m having issues pulling it together and keeping it there.
I’m so much fun to be around right now, I’m sure you all wish you could be here with me!  Just think, you too could be sitting next to me and watch me sip out of a water bottle 100 times just to drink 8oz and then eat Corn Chex a ½ at a time – it’s a happening time.  Maybe I’ll video tape it – it would be scintillating film for sure.
So, keep praying for us all day today – it’s a big one for the McGs – ultrasound and potential job offer – Oy.  You can never say my life is simple can you!?!
Sorry about today’s bitch-fest – I promise I will be Google-free for a while and will instead work on a list of questions for my doctor tomorrow.  That would be a much smarter use of my time – it just requires waiting which just is no fun – but then again – who said life would be fun right? J
Happy Tuesday Ya’ll! 

Monday, July 30, 2012

Misery Thy Name is Jennifer

Well, I haven’t dropped off the planet, nor am I on vacation in Tahiti – I was simply laid up all weekend with a wicked case of nausea – aka Pedro-itis.  It was evil my people, I cannot lie.  In fact, I really wasn’t able to eat a real meal until Sunday night. 
Fast forward to a lovely dinner with friends last night at the Melting Pot – love me some fondue!  Since cheese has been one of my recent favorite food groups, I thought it would be a great option.  It was wonderful!  I ate and ate and ate. 
Then I got home and hated my life and was sick as a flipping dog.  Lesson learned.  I won’t eat rich foods, I won’t over-indulge and I won’t go back to the Melting Pot until Pedro is here – I’m not convinced that I didn’t get some gluten in one of the dishes – that could have been the culprit.  Either way, food definitely holds little to no appeal right now.
So, needless to say, it was a pretty big waste of a weekend, but at least it happened over the weekend and not during the work week.  Things are calm for now – I’m hoping I’m back on top of the nausea and that Pedro will be more cooperative this week!
We’re all still waiting to find out about jobs here at work and I have our first “official” ultrasound tomorrow, so tomorrow will be a big day in the McG household.  I feel so greedy praying for two big positives, but I am.  I really need a job and I really want to see Pedro’s heartbeat!!!!  I'm claiming it Ya'll!
God knows what is coming, so I’m just keeping the faith and hoping He has good things in store for us.  It’s certainly been an interesting ride so far!  I promise my next blog will be more fun and interesting, but right now my creative has left the building.
I hope you’re all enjoying the Olympics as much as I am!
Happy Monday Ya’ll!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Uh Oh, I Broke Dr. Matt

Well, the deal is done - the company is sold and we are officially branded with a new identity.  We still don't have jobs or bosses,  but hey, why sweat the small stuff right? :)

I saw Dr. Matt this morning after I realized that turning my neck wasn't going to work out for me without help...that was because I'd popped a rib out apparently...go crazy.  Who knew you could do that while sitting at a desk?  The scary thing is though, that while Dr. Matt was fixing my popped out rib, he popped out his own!  Oops...is that a chiropractic foul?  I wonder if he'll bill me for his next chiropractic treatment along with mine?  Geeze...I didn't mean to hurt him!

Well, while he was nursing his side, we were chatting about a restaurant in Marietta, GA (where he went to school) that has a meal that is supposed to make you go into labor - the restaurant is called Scalini's.  They have over 300 baby pictures lining their walls and all of the babies were born shortly after eating their restaurant’s eggplant Parmesan dish.  I knew about this place when I lived in Atlanta, but it was so funny to go down memory lane and remember...their garlic rolls were 'to die for' delicious!

SO why am I bringing this up?  I think now that Pedro is letting me eat - I've become obsessed with food.  It's a love/hate relationship and honestly, I'm alternating between starving and nauseous.  Have you ever noticed that when people talk to pregnant women, they discuss food, cravings and favorites?  When's the last time you were asked if you had any cravings if you weren't pregnant?  Who cares really?  There's just such an obsession with the odd mix of foods that women crave when they are pregnant.  It makes me laugh!

I'm fascinated by the correlation between pregnancy and food.  I always thought I would eat such a healthy diet and never binge on things that were bad for me if I got pregnant.  HA!  I had french fries for lunch today.  Nothing else - just fries.  That's what Pedro wanted.    I was going to have pickles too, but showed some restraint with the salt - I was proud of myself.  The lunch I had planned made me gag.

All he had to eat today was Corn Chex, M&Ms (just a few) and french fries - that is until I went to Dairy Queen and had small Reese's Blizzard - hey it helped charity and had dairy in it - don't judge me!  I tried to fix it at dinner tonight - Pedro wanted meat - thank goodness, so I actually had a meal.  I had a small steak, a salad and a baked potato.  FOOD!  I ate like a grown-up!  I ate a vegetable!

Goodness knows what tomorrow will bring.  I'll be sure to bring my bag of Corn Chex though because Pedro sure is fickle!  (He must be a she the way he changes his mind!)  The one thing I know I'll avoid is the eggplant parm at Scalini's in Marietta! :o)

Happy Friday Ya'll!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

What a Butt-Clenching Sort of Day

Well Wednesday would not be a day I'd like to repeat.  It was a pretty non-descript day over all until this afternoon.  But boy, when 3:30PM hit, all bets were off.  Work has just exploded.  Let's just leave it at that for now - and suffice it to say I'm so disappointed in people in general that I need to do something to remind myself that, people are good and caring and that the world is a good place to be.

Right now, I feel old, jaded and disjointed.  I feel disrespected and naive.  I wish I could share with you what happened, but I can't.  I can say it wasn't to me personally, it was to our whole company.  We're all at a loss for words I think.

So here I am, still waiting to find out if I have a job and really not sure if I want it.  I mean, I need it, but I don't know who to trust anymore and it scares me that my hopes are hinged on that.   I hope that this is just a rough patch and that things will look up.  I hope that the people left in our legacy company will lead well and be people we can trust.  I have hope.

It's tough enough to go into work when you're in limbo, but add in knowing this bad news and being worried about your future and bam - makes for a great rest of the week doesn't it? :)

I love the people I work with as I mentioned previously and it breaks my heart to see any of them hurt...so that made today even more difficult.  I think the next few weeks will be harder than anything I've ever been through.

I time everything well don't I?  We had a reception tonight for the final night of our company - and it was in a location that wasn't air conditioned.  I learned that I need air conditioning.   I left feeling unwell and got home and collapsed.  I swelled up like a little balloon and felt like I'd been through a marathon.

Luckily I had nothing to do, so I crashed for a bit and have rallied for now....lesson learned.  Pedro hates the heat.  I have been able to eat much more than before thankfully - so my energy is better.

So here I am, pregnant - still haven't heard the heartbeat and still not sure if I have a job....woohoo!  I sure know how to time things don't I?  I never did do things like everyone else, but I think all of this is testing things - it's a bit much isn't it?  

For now, I have no option other than to wait.  I'm practicing my 'Darth Vader' breathing and trying to calm my mind and focus only on today.  Easier said than done - but I can do this - I'll be in good company as all of my co-workers are in limbo in some shape or form as well.

Pray for all of us - it's a difficult thing to go through at any time, but add in the current state of our economy and job market and it's downright butt clenching scary.

SO the goal for tomorrow is to keep my butt cheeks relaxed and focus on breathing - and eating and drinking.  I have control over these things - life is good.  Oh and Pedro is now the size of a blueberry!   Yay!

Happy Thursday Ya'll.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Winkin, Blinkin & Nod

I want to introduce to 3 key players in our lives, Winkin, Blinkin and Nod.  I'm not sure if all of you know the poem – but I loved it as a kid - so here it is:
Winkin', Blinkin', and Nod, one night sailed off in a wooden shoe;
Sailed off on a river of crystal light into a sea of dew.
"Where are you going and what do you wish?" the old moon asked the three.
"We've come to fish for the herring fish that live in this beautiful sea.
Nets of silver and gold have we," said Winkin', Blinkin', and Nod.

The old moon laughed and sang a song as they rocked in the wooden shoe.
And the wind that sped them all night long ruffled the waves of dew.
Now the little stars are the herring fish that live in that beautiful sea;
"Cast your nets wherever you wish never afraid are we!"
So cried the stars to the fishermen three - Winkin', and Blinkin', and Nod.

So all night long their nets they threw to the stars in the twinkling foam.
'Til down from the skies came the wooden shoe bringing the fisherman home.
'Twas all so pretty a sail it seemed as if it could not be.
Some folks say 'twas a dream they dreamed of sailing that misty sea.
But I shall name you the fisherman three - Winkin', Blinkin', and Nod.

Now Winkin' and Blinkin' are two little eyes and Nod is a little head.
And the wooden shoe that sailed the skies is a wee one's trundle bed.
So close your eyes while mother sings of the wonderful sights that be.
And you shall see those beautiful things as you sail on the misty sea,
Where the old shoe rocked the fishermen three - Winkin', Blinkin', and Nod.

Now the reason I shared this poem with you is because this is what B dubbed the 3 embryos that we transferred on 6/27/12, Winkin', Blinkin' and Nod.  It meant a lot to me and I think surprised him because he didn’t even know the story.  It just came out of his mouth!   J  Our doctor and nurses call them that as well – it made if feel so real and kept me going.

So maybe it’s time for a bit of background on W,B & N…  so, here goes....after all of our trials and tribulations with infertility, we were given an amazing gift.  We adopted embryos.  Yes, we adopted embryos.  Really.  We opted to ‘rescue’ embryos that were already waiting for a family rather than continuously pulling a ‘Celine Dion’ and going through IVF over and over and over again with my eggs as they are just old…sad, but true.  It just felt selfish and hopeless after a while.  The clock kept ticking.

We had a path to take, so we did.  I had to feel closure and know that we had done everything we could do to try to have our own children.  So when we were having what I thought might be our last visit with our fertility doctor, she gave us some pamphlets to read about embryo adoption.  It sounded interesting – especially to me, the Queen of all Medical procedures. 

We thanked her and left.  Fast forward about a year and I started thinking more and more about embryo adoption and that it might be an amazing option for us.  As a Catholic, I believe that life begins with conception, so it was just breaking my heart to know there were hundreds of thousands of babies out there just waiting for homes! 

The bonus was I got to carry the baby myself!  What an amazing gift!  I found our adoption agency and to clinch the deal, it is a Christian agency.  I called them and the woman on the other end of the phone told me she would pray for me at the end of a great conversation.  How amazing!  MORE icing on the cake!

It was meant to be.  It just felt right.  We were in! Next came the home study (which was horrifying but another story) and then the waiting.  We had to write a bio about ourselves and include pictures – scary in its own right – once that was done, the agency, after a few months, matched us with a fantastic family.  They picked us!

And oh, what a match it was!  The note from the genetic family couldn’t have been more ‘right’ if I had told them what to say. In fact, they said things I didn’t even know I needed to hear!  It was a huge relief and blessing to know we’d been matched with such an amazing family.

So we all of the sudden were ‘parents’ and were ready to get going with a transfer – that process took a while and the rest as you know it is history!

We have one blessing and the other two will meet up with us someday – without all of them, we wouldn’t have been able to go down the path to parenthood!

Winkin' Blinkin' and Nod

We are blessed!

Happy Wednesday Ya’ll!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Monday Was Just a Write-Off

What to do when you have nothing (or not much) to do?  That’s my current dilemma.  I’m in limbo as I expected and really wish I had a huge project to work on, but right now, that’s not the case.  So as I sit in my new office location – at my new wobbly desk – with my new phone that no one can figure out, I try to find things to do.
Obviously, we’ve moved into our new office location.  We’re in the other building and boy oh boy is it warm and humid.  I actually brought a fan in with me to help with the stifling heat that almost took me out yesterday.  No lie.  It is just sickening in here.
Yesterday was a really rough day for me.  I woke up sicker than I’ve been at all – so miserable I didn’t make it into work until about 9:30AM….it took me three hours to feel like I could actually take a shower and get ready – driving was a joy.
Here are some fun highlights of my day Monday:
1.       Woke up gagging.
2.       Got to work about 2 hours after my co-workers to move into our new cubicles.
3.       Found out my desk shakes when I type – so my monitor gives me the motion sickness gags.
4.       I walked with some friends over to our old building to have lunch in the 95 degree weather.   As soon as I entered the old building, my heel broke off of my favorite shoes.  They’re toast.
5.       I heated my lunch, sat down to eat and gagged.  Closed lunch and sat for a minute with the group and then had to leave because the smells of their lunches was too much.
6.       I walked back to the new building solo.  Water was more than I could handle yesterday.
7.       I limped the rest of the day.
8.       I had a cup of Corn Chex and popcorn to eat all day - that’s it.
9.       I spilled my ice coffee from Starbucks all over the back of my car when I went to leave work.
10.   Went to the chiropractor (yay Dr. Matt) – that was a highlight – but my back and neck were so bad I had to lie on ice for about 30 minutes.  Ouch.
Don’t get me wrong, there were some highlights to yesterday – the chiropractor helped me immensely.  I feel better – slept well last night and had yoga with my friend K.  She calmed me down the rest of the way after a really crappy day.  Yay YogaMe!!
Today, I’m equipped with my fan, my psi wristbands, a calmer stomach and a hope that this will turn out to be a great week!
Happy Tuesday Ya’ll!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Pedro Wants a Pretzel

I'm hungry.  Seriously, I'm hungry.  I just ate dinner too - unfortunately, I don't want to eat much.  I'm starving and food looks just so unappealing, I couldn't care less.  I get like this every once in a while - I'm not really hungry - so I eat because I'm supposed to.

Right now though, it's pretty important that I eat well and often - keeps the stomach calmer they say.  I'm not sure I'm believing it yet, but I'm following directions.  I just didn't count on the hunger.  I want all the foods I can't have.

I would kill for a stack of waffles right now.  I hate waffles - and I can't eat them because they have flour in them.  Gluten free ones just don't appeal.  I want crackers and butter - my Mom used to eat Matzo and butter.  Yum.  Yes, a good Catholic woman eating matzo crackers.    Can't eat those though and the gluten free crackers so don't appeal right now either.

I want a soft pretzel with mustard - a Philly pretzel!!! Oh, and a cheese steak from Pat's with criss-cuts (waffle fries) with cheese from Abner's ( I don't know if they still have them or even call them that, but I want some.)

Obviously I've been watching Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives again.  I'm trying to get my mind off of Mexican food.  That's all I've wanted for weeks now.  So much so, that we've dubbed Baby McG - Pedro.  Yes.  Pedro.  (Even though I think it's a girl.)  I want chips, salsa, beef tacos and guacamole.  Bad, bad, bad.  But oh, so good.

I think part of it is that it's 'safe' food - aka gluten free.  I get that, but I'm watching them make bagels on Triple D and honestly, eh.  Don't want one. 

I hope this ends soon - otherwise, it's going to be a long 8 months.  I can't go ordering food only to turn my nose up and gag.  B made me corn pasta with butter and Parmesan for dinner tonight.  Tasted great - total comfort food.  But totally unhealthy for me.  Starch, starch and starch.

At what point will I crave veggies and fruit again? You know there's a problem if I don't want fruit.  I'm a fruit-a-holic.  Truly, under normal circumstances, I'd choose fruit over any other food.  Today, gag. 

I guess for now I'll have to be hungry and hope that Pedro is getting enough from my vitamins and dairy products.  I'm still craving cheese....I wonder if that means I'm having a calf instead of a baby? :o)

Happy Monday Ya'll!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Call Me Spoiled

I'm a lucky girl.  I have the sweetest husband.  Seriously, I do.  For the past few weeks he has waited on me hand and foot, taken care of the dogs, done laundry and is now gearing up for a grocery shopping trip.  Not his favorite activity mind you, but he's up for it!

My nurses basically told me to only go to work and go home - so no other activities are permitted right now.  I am totally taking it easy for now until things get to a heartbeat stage.  Don't want to screw this up!  I might slip in a movie or dinner once in a while, but right now, I'm totally chilled and doing nothing.

So here's how a typical weekend day unfolds for B right now...
1.  He goes downstairs and gets my meds out of the fridge.
2.  He makes me peanut butter toast to help me move in the morning.  Gag time.
3.  He irons any clothes I need. (I HATE to iron - so this isn't because of Baby McG)
4.  He takes the dogs out and feeds etc...them
5.  He then takes a shower - first so I can sleep off the meds.
6.  He goes and gets me a 'real breakfast' and coffee.
7.  Walks the dogs again.
8.  Studies where he can.
9.  Checks on me.....hangs out a bit.
10. Studies some more.
11.  Gets me lunch.
12.  Brings it upstairs to me on a tray.  (Yes, he does)
13.  Gets himself lunch.
14.  Takes dishes downstairs and loads the dishwasher.
15.  Studies some more.
16.  Checks on me - hangs out some more.
17.  Gets me an afternoon snack.
18.  Walks the dogs.
19.  Orders dinner (Cooking isn't part of the deal right now.)
20.  Gets dinner.
21.  See #12
22.  Studies some more.
23.  Brings me more drinks....I drink a lot you know.
24.  Gets me nighttime meds
25.  Says goodnight - and then does more homework.
26.  Sleeps.

He's a busy man isn't he?  I feel so guilty, but I know this is for a good cause.  I don't sit still very well....but it seems to be working out so far.  I hope he hangs in with me for the long haul.  I'm so blessed to have such a sweet and giving man in my life.  It took me a long time to find him, but he was so worth the wait.

I hope you all are as blessed as I am...

Happy Sunday Ya'll!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Moving Right Along

Well, I worked for a half day yesterday.  It wasn't because I was being careful either - we were packing up our offices.  It really was a sad day.  The new company purchasing the company I've worked for over the last 5 years has decided to move IT out of their current office space along with 3 other departments. 

They are moving us to a building across the parking lot to a floor all by ourselves.  SO, all of the new people who are moving down to Charlotte will be sitting in our old seats - while we sit in the 'extra space.'

It won't be forever, but we aren't quite sure how long we will be there - could be about 6-9 months.  Or maybe a year.  They are re-doing the 2nd and 3rd floor of the normal building to fit the new business.  We've been purchased by a huge corporation and then merged with another of their divisions to create a new business.  The business will be headquartered here in Charlotte - which is good. 

But the big detail that's hanging over all of our heads is the fact that we don't know if we have jobs in the new organization.  AND we won't know until after the sale happens.  Did I mention the sale date has been moved back, again? :o)  No pressure there.  We think it might be the end of next week - so we're in limbo for a week or so.  Unfortunately, for right now, if you don't have work activities around Day One - you really don't have tons to do.

We're not sure how the new regime wants things done so we don't want to move forward with projects etc...so we'll hang for now and hope that we get answers as to who our new bosses are soon!

No stress there right folks?  Yesterday could have been really hard, instead a smart friend ordered pizza for our department and got us permission to wear jeans to work - which never happens - so it was a more casual relaxed atmosphere that helped with the sad parts.

We're a strong team and overall, I'm sure we'll be fine....I hope all of my team gets jobs and is happy with their new assignments - they are all great people who have come to be be friends and people I care about.  That makes this kind of thing so much harder.

We've become a family of sorts and you certainly want to see your family taken care of!   So I guess I'll say goodbye to my great office with a great view shared with a great lady - and move forward to my rickety cubicle with no walls and lots of noise....I'll always have my iTouch! :o)

Outside of work, "me and Baby McG" are doing well - I'm taking it one day at a time and plan on doing nothing this weekend.  Seriously, I'm tired and I'm doing nothing but watch movies and pee - a lot.

I hope you all have a great weekend and get a chance to relax and recharge!

Happy Saturday Ya'll!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Peace Reigns....

Hey all - first of all, thank you so much for your kinds words, support and prayers.  We're hanging in here...my bleeding has stopped for now but I'm still having some cramping.  I spent the day relaxing (and praying) and trying to stay calm and peaceful. 

I didn't even get out of bed until it was time to get ready and go to acupuncture this evening.  Acupuncture always helps  - NO lie.  No matter how bad my day is, it always calms me and helps reset things.  Hope, the magician acupuncturist and future mommy herself, was able to calm more of my fears and talk me through a few things as well.  It helps when your acupuncturist specializes in fertility treatments and knows her way around the aches, pains and issues that come with a pregnancy.  Some days she more of a therapist than an acupuncturist, but I love her either way!  Go Team McGowan!

I'm holding my own for now and baby McG is hanging in so far as well.  On a lighter note, I feel like crap, so I guess that's good for now huh? :) I made B take me out for Mexican - because apparently our baby is going to be nicknamed Pedro, and that's the only food I want right now.  It tasted good and I scarfed it down like I hadn't eaten in a month.  Unfortunately about 10 minutes after I was done, the nausea moved back in.

I get it now though.  This will be the hardest three months of my life.  I had a great talk with a dear friend last night and she 'talked turkey' to me about this baby thing.  I learned a lot and I think I've got my big girl panties ready for the ride.  I can do this...I've been through hard things before, lots of them.  I just think I was so focused on the actual 'getting pregnant' thing, that the idea of 'what comes next' didn't really get enough focus.

SO as of today, I've had three great blood tests results and one scary episode.  My next ultrasound is on the 31st so I'll just suck it up and pray I make it to see a heartbeat.    God is good - I trust that this is meant to be.

I have peace in my heart no matter what and truly think I need to get my focus back on the positives and off of the scary parts.  So today I'm thankful for the the following:

1.  No bleeding - at all today.
2.  Great phone calls from my family (and pretty flowers too!  Thanks T&B!)
3.  I had great cuddle time with my Bubbies.
4.  Great call from my college roommate - she always cheers me up!
5.  Acupuncture and support from Team McGowan always picks me up too!

Lastly, I thank you for your notes and prayers....I truly believe this baby wouldn't be here if not for the power of prayer.   I hope each of you has had a great week and is looking forward to a relaxing and fun weekend.

Much Love and Happy Friday Ya'll!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Back on the Roller Coaster....

Well, you know they say the little voice knows...well I guess there was a reason why I wasn't diving in head first to mommy-hood....I had a minor emergency today.  I had some bleeding.  I know all of you who have had kids are going, ok, that's normal.  I guess it is, but when your morning sickness ends and you start bleeding, your heart goes immediately to panic.

I called my doctor's office and they had me come right in.  I was able to see the ultrasound and I have one little one growing - no twins.  I"m thrilled to have one - don't get me wrong.  It looks ok for now, but it's too early for a heartbeat.  So all I know is that the baby looks ok for now....but if I still have bleeding they want me in tomorrow for blood work. 

I'm back on the roller coaster folks.  I hate this damn roller coaster.  Seriously, I didn't expect this to be as hard as the infertility thing - but it is.  I would actually hazard a guess that this is even harder.  I was hysterical today.  I just couldn't stop the fear and must have prayed so hard that my subconscious drove my car to the doctor's office.

I can't say enough of how amazing the staff was at my doctor's office. If anyone ever needs a fertility clinic in the Charlotte area, I would so recommend REACH....they were so caring and worried about me.   They helped keep me sane until B could get there.  The doctor spent about 20 minutes with me and walked through what he saw and the positives as well as the things he couldn't predict.  He was very open and honest with me.

I appreciated the honesty, but boy I could have used a few lies today...let me tell you!  I get that my reality is right now to stay still and pray more than I've ever prayed.  I know that this is in God's hands and that if it's meant to be it will be.

For now I'm going to be thankful for the wonderful friends I have at work who calmed me as much as they could and then called my husband to get him on his way to the doctor.  I'm thankful for the doctor and nurses at REACH and I'm thankful that for now, my baby is doing exactly what it's supposed to do.  I'm also thankful that our electricity came back on an hour earlier than expected....that will have to do for now.

Keep those prayers coming if you can - we'd really appreciate it...

Have a happy Thursday Ya'll!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Perhaps a Kick in the Butt?

So ok, if you've been following my blog, you know I'm pregnant.  Yay!  I was just wondering if you Moms out there could tell me when it's supposed to sink in that I actually AM having a baby.  I feel like crap, then I feel ok, then I feel tired, then I feel wired.  It feels like my body is on a roller coaster and my brain just hasn't caught up.

I haven't read a book about it, I haven't purchased anything (except for anti-nausea meds) and I really haven't talked about it since the first few days after we found out.  I feel like it was an event that happened and now it's over.

I'm ready to do this, don't get me wrong.  The idea is so thrilling; it's the reality that is so confounding. 

What am I supposed to do next?  I really want to enjoy this - after all I've been waiting for this for more years than I can count.  It's like getting the best Christmas present you can imagine, only to put it on the shelf and not play with it because you don't want to break it.

So I got this amazing gift, but I don't want to break it.  That's where I am right now.  I'm racking my brain trying to get out of this 'be careful' mode, but I'm not really sure how to do that.  I was never that kid who didn't play with a toy to take care of it.  I was the one ripping the box open and playing with my toys to my hearts content. 

I've never been this cautious in my life.  Tell me, when does this feeling go away?    When can I start enjoying these moments and planning for good things and not worrying about each twinge? 

I'm full of questions aren't I?  I'm afraid this is because all of this is so new to me.  I've never been nervous about something I knew I wanted. Never.  When B proposed, I said yes!  No doubt in my mind.  When we moved to Charlotte, no doubts, no nerves.  I interviewed for a transfer, took the job and started to pack.

So here we are, having a baby (maybe two) and I'm sitting here whining like a loser.  I can't really blame it on my hormones...this is me people.  I'm totally unsure and I DO NOT like this feeling at all.   If I were me, I would tell myself to smile and be happy and just throw caution to the wind and go shopping!  But the usual J just isn't there right now.  I think she's in shock. 

So, I sit here watching The Music Man, (yes, I'm trying to de-stress) and I'm looking at my swollen little foot, thinking I should go to bed...and I still have no resolution to this issue.  I guess I need to sleep on it...

Any advice you have would be appreciated....maybe a gentle kick in the butt would help....I guess if I knew the solution I wouldn't be in this situation. 

For now, I'll post this, get my clothes ready for another fun day at work (that's a whole other story) and try to get a good night's sleep.   Maybe I'll feel better in the morning....

Happy Wednesday Ya'll!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Insurance-land Ain't for Wimps Ya'll!

Dealing with medical insurance companies is just exhausting.  Over my years of medical drama, I have really learned how to maximize insurance benefits, but let me tell you, when it breaks, look out!  Due to a surgery I had about 3.5 years ago, I needed some physical therapy to regain the use of my right arm.  I was in PT for about a year and a half - doing really well.  And them BAM, received a letter from my insurance company telling me that all of my visits from the date of the letter back six months had been denied.  Nice. 

Their reasoning was that I didn't show any progression or decline because of the treatment based on the documentation submitted by my physical therapist (aka terrorist.)  SO, because the physical terrorist didn't submit adequate documentation, my insurance company wouldn't pay for it.

Naturally, I appealed, and then appealed again...(rinse repeat) and 4 appeals later, I was denied.  BUT, in glorious fine print in the letter I received was the following verbiage:

"Please be advised, that although these claims have been denied for payment, you are only responsible for any applicable co-payment and you are not responsible for any outstanding balances.  The denied claims are the provider's responsibility. "

I was shocked...really...that after four appeals, they said I wasn't responsible for the balance after all???  OMG!  What a waste of energy and stress.  So, the PT's office would just 'write it off' per my PT and we'll call it a day. 

SO NOT reality.  I'm so naive sometimes. Nothing is easy in insurance-land.  I've called and emailed and called and emailed.  It's now over two years later, and it's been sent to a collections agency...who can't do anything or get any response from the PT's billing people either.  I've been in one big limbo for way too long.  It's a lot of money people - I'd like to know if I have to start selling my shoes to pay for it or if they are going to do as they said and 'write it off.'  Speaking as a compliance geek (which I am) their books must be really loosely managed to have a balance from 2 years ago just sitting there....being ignored.

I love that the government is going to force everyone to have insurance.  I think it's a great idea - but who the heck is going to manage the influx of people who show up to be treated?  They can't manage the patients they have right now my people.  I'd advise any college bound students to think seriously about a medically related degree....there will be a huge need going forward. They will also need lots and lots of accounting types.   People who can actually answer phones and return emails....it's a dream world that I'm talking about I know....but a girl can hope.

For now I'll just call my insurance company at least once a month, (sometimes more often) and hope that before my insurance changes - God forbid...that they straighten out this mess.  Should we start a pool to see when they will actually return a phone call?  I'm choosing 11/13/13 - seems like a nice round number....until then, do yourself a favor and be diligent about what your insurance company is doing.  Check your bills and make sure they are actually yours and that they are being paid.  Be proactive and call your physician to let them know when things are in limbo and aren't being processed. 

You'll thank yourself in the long run. 

Happy Tuesday Ya'll!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Call Me Old Fashioned....

Old movies are just so great.  I'm a sucker for a Cary Grant or Audrey Hepburn movie.  I've always wondered why I've been drawn to my old, sappy flicks, but I am.  In fact today, I actually cheered out loud when I found out that Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House was on!  Cary Grant and Myrna Loy - they are so good together on screen.  What a great way to chill out and smile.  I love the glimpse into the past... 

Here are a few things I've learned about the 1940s and 50s from watching my old movies (read sarcasm here):

1.  Twin beds are always used.  Never was a couple shown in bed together.
2.  They always had the perfect pajamas and bathrobes were always at the foot of their beds.
3.  No pants for women, period- unless it's Katherine Hepburn of course.
4.  The women hardly ever worked out of the house.
5.  Hats - most important part of their wardrobes.
6.  Seat belts didn't exist - in movies at least.
7.  Pipes and cigarettes were required accessories for men and women.
8.  When a husband wants his wife to be quiet, he says, Now Muriel, or Jennifer etc...how polite!
9.  A pocket square was key to complete the three piece suit for men.
10.  If couples kissed, they never, ever actually moved their lips.

How funny is it, that this is what our generation knows about the 1940s.  What on earth will our kids think of our generation by watching our movies?? I'm really scared of that idea actually.  Think about it, if girls thirty years from now watch Sex in the City movies, they'll think we all drank like fish, slept with anyone who moved and were completely neurotic. 

How about Ted?  I know I said I just saw it and thought it was hysterical - but 30 years from now, it will look pathetic.  A stuffed animal smoking a bong on a couch next to his best friend, a guy who shows up late to work and sneaks away to smoke pot and idolizes an actor from a horrible movie from his youth?  What a great example we'll set for the next generation through our movies!

I know there are some that are great pictorials of our times....The Help, Forest Gump, Pursuit of Happyness, The Bucket List etc...I just wish that we lived in a time where people took pride in their lives, selves and families....maybe then we'd have fewer movies that focus on things that poke fun at others or on the negatives of our generation....let's have more movies with happy endings people!!!

I know I'm being idealistic, but I'd rather watch Gone with the Wind than Step Brothers any day....

Happy Monday Ya'll!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

My Stomach is in a Quandary...

Sorry this is late today folks - 'that which I have prayed for' has knocked me on my butt.  I've just woken from a two hour nap and am watching my two sweet Bubbies snooze away.  Days like this are a gift.

It's my own fault you know...we had a really busy day yesterday...In fact, I was out until 11:00PM!  I know right?  I've gone just crazy - We went and saw the new Ice Age movie with friends - definitely recommend it - then dinner.  C R A Z Y.  It was actually a really fun night and after getting home SO late then getting up early for mass this morning I was really knocked out.

We went to mass, we had breakfast at the MacDonalds where I had apple slices, a hash brown and 3 spoonfuls of a fruit and yogurt parfait and 5 sips of water.  Yum.  That brings me to the topic du jour....eating while pregnant.  It's quite the conundrum for me.

I mean really, I order what I normally like and then when it arrives, blech, the nausea just rolls in waves.  I'm seriously not complaining.  I just don't know what to eat to calm it down.  Since I'm unable to eat gluten - aka wheat etc...I'm not really a saltines kind of girl.  I'd love a cracker or a slice of nice soft white bread right now, but the repercussions would be just horrifying.

For now, I'm eating rice crackers, (which give me heartburn) and cheese.  Lots and lots of cheese.   I'm trying to eat healthy foods, but the thought makes me gag.  The idea of cooking anything right now makes me gag too.   I just made some microwave popcorn - with Parmesan of course - and it tasted really good.  I'm craving salt - but that won't work with the swollen left ankle I'm sporting.  So - any suggestion my people?   I need to eat....and function....and go to work!

When I get really icky, I use my Preggie Pop Drops - those puppies are not cheap!  And really, I'm not sure why they work, after all they are just hard sour candies.  But they do work...unfortunately I can't walk around with a hard candy in my mouth 24/7. 

Again, let me reiterate, I'm not whining - truly I'm not.  I'm just hoping to glean a bit of information from those of you who have been through this joyous time.  A girl can only Google so much you know!

So I'll leave you with a shot of how the Bubbies have relocated since I began this post....they're obviously sending me a message to put down the laptop and relax...and Bubbies always know best!

Have a great rest of Sunday Ya'll!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

The Cycle of Life

I had an amazing conversation with a dear friend this evening.  She's stronger than anyone I've ever met - truly.  While we were talking, the topic of who your 'real friends' are came up.  I've learned in my life that in different stages, you'll meet new people, strike up new friendships; friends that you thought would be a part of your life forever, will no longer keep in touch.

It's a hard thing to accept when you 'lose' a friend isn't it?  I had a dear friend - a guy - who was married a few years ago.  I was SO excited that he'd found the woman he wanted to spend the rest of his life with! I couldn't wait to meet her.  You know what comes next.  She didn't understand how he could be friends with a female.  So while he gained a wife, I lost a friend.  Sad for me (and him I think), but when you find the person you're meant to be with - sometimes your life changes. 

I was one of those 'changes'.  At the time it happened, I was heartbroken and just wanted to meet his then fiancee to get her to understand I was not, nor had I ever been, a 'threat' to their relationship.  I'd never even met her.  They just had a baby last year and I was so thrilled for them - I still haven't met her or their baby.  I'm still sad, but it hurts less as time goes on.  The cycle of life right?

I think the time it hurts the worst to realize you've lost a friend is in times of need.  When you are really in a bad spot and those 'go to' folks that you think will be there for you, aren't there.  Again, part of life I know; it still doesn't make it hurt any less. 

When life throws you lemons, you're told to make lemonade.  How do you do that when your world becomes thrown off its axis and your support system becomes shaky?  I think God provides through other people at that point.  The people you least expect to 'be there' for you in times of need, step up to the plate in such an amazing way.  They are there for you - an amazing and unexpected gift.  You get support from people you haven't heard from or seen in years and you again have a renewed sense of the good in people.

You can make lemonade again, but maybe not as much as you'd planned.  As time goes on, you'll make new friends and those that you thought would be there might come back into your life again - they could just be your 'sunny day friends.'   I've mentioned sunny and rainy day friends before - as much as I would like only 'all the time' friends, I think sunny and rainy day friends are there for a reason. 

The friend I spoke with last night is going through some hard things right now and I so wish I lived closer so I could be there for her in person.  I can still be there for her over the phone and in spirit, but sometimes I'm sad I can't be there all the time.  I pray that she has friends and support when she needs it and that people are there for her without her asking.  For now, I'll appreciate the fact that she's still in my life and I know that I'll be there for her 'all the time' through thick and thin.

I've been blessed with friends who've been there for me on my rocky road - in fact I'm sometimes amazed that they are still around - "Debbie Downer" that I was for so long and all.  But that's what good friends do.  They listen and are there even when you're 'no fun' and then have fun and play with you when you're back in a good place. 

Life is crazy isn't it?  Everyone has their path and with that comes ups and downs.  Every once in a while, take a look around and check in with friends you haven't heard from in a while - they might need a friend.  I hope that you have good "all the time" friends who are there for you in good times and bad and I hope you're a good friend who'd do the same. 

Happy Saturday Ya'll!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Where's Spicoli When You Need Him?

So today came and went - what a day it was!  Before I get into the rest of this post, I just wanted to let you all know that my blood work came back at a very good level so it looks like Baby McGowan is going strong!  Woohoo!  Now I have to hold out until Monday for test #3.  I'm being micro-managed right now because I'm so high risk --eventually I'll be cut loose to my 'regular' doctor - not sure who that is yet, but I have a few weeks to figure that out.

For now, I'm already into the nausea and heartburn - they are being nice and alternating right now.  I'm not complaining mind you, I'm just swallowing a lot  - going to be a long nine months isn't it? :o)

The problem that hit me today is that I realized that I hardly shop in a store anymore! OMG!  Oh the horror!  Mon Dieu!  What have I been thinking?   So here's how it went down...a  friend at work mentioned a brand of hard candies that would help with the nausea and told me what store I should go to here in town to get them.  So what did I do?  I went online to Amazon - beloved Amazon - and ordered them - free shipping, no tax of course.

(I think I'm going to embroider that - free shipping, no tax.  Maybe on a pillow?  At a minimum on a wall hanging of some sort.  It's a beautiful sentiment isn't it? )

Sweet mercy - I've lost it.  I think I've lost the spark for shopping in a store.  It's so much easier to go online and just get what I want - it saves time and usually money.  I've lost the thrill of the hunt - the urge to go digging through piles of stuff and rack upon rack of clothes (that are all completely ugly - but you never know what you might find there.)  That moment when you go through the crap and unearth a pair of Cole Haan loafers for $29.99 - in your size - is just so much fun too!  Look what I'm missing!

I think shopping online has made me lazy.  Sure, it's efficient and cheaper - but it's no where near as much fun.  I can't remember the last time I was in a Pottery Barn outlet or even a shoe store!  Because my feet are smaller than the bound feet of ancient Chinese women, I buy most of my shoes online - better selection in the size 5 and under sections that way.

I think the time has come to go to the mall....or maybe Steinmart or (go crazy) maybe the outlets....I need to go to a place with a food court and a Starbucks.  I need to channel Spicoli and the kids from Fast Times at Ridgemont High and 'hang' at the mall for a while.   I'll probably hate it when I get there because I won't find what I'm looking for or shoes in my size, but my world just feels empty without it.   

Amazon, dear Amazon, I promise I won't by any toilet paper or gluten free flours or books on my visit to the mall - you are still my first shopping love.  I just need to touch and see the pretty colors, smell the leatha and try things on for a change.  I'll be back - this I know.  I'll be back.

Happy Friday (the 13th) Ya'll!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

And the Beat Goes On

Ok, so let's recap the last few of my posts - we went through fertility treatments, we waited and waited and waited, we found out we were pregnant (yay!), and I claimed it.  Obviously I'm a very silly girl because all I focused on was the actual 'getting pregnant' part of the whole picture.  So now that I'm pregnant, I'm back in the vicious loop of waiting, claiming, waiting and claiming. 

Today was a rough day for me. I'm totally ramped up about work - things are happening that one day I'll share; but right now it's a bit stressful to think about.  I'm not really happy at work right now but I need to have a job without B working.  SO I need to suck it up and put it away until I have no choice but to deal with it.  That might be two weeks from now actually.  At least I hope it is.

I woke up this morning and realized I didn't feel pregnant.  OH MY GOD.  I was ready to run screaming through the house - instead I asked for a hug.  It helped.  I thought I had that under control, but obviously I didn't. 

But I still had to go to work - after a quick visit to Dr. Matt - who still cracks me up by the way - so I went to work, practicing my yoga breathing - go Team McGowan! - it helped somewhat, but then the work stuff started and boy was I a wreck.  I got so upset today that I couldn't stay calm, my heart was just racing and then I noticed that I was feeling  really 'different.' Scary different.

I just wanted to turn tail and go home and crawl in bed and pray that everything would be ok.   I stuck it out though, talked with my boss and settled a few things and after a few hours of being calm, began to feel pregnant again.  I know I sound crazy ya'll - but I'm really scared right now.  I know I'm supposed to be  - but boy, after miscarrying 3 years ago, I'm second guessing every little twinge - praying that things are still copacetic.

So for now, I'm going to continue breathing deeply and hope that tomorrow's blood work is great - work can just continue to stay in the background for a while I think.  Baby McGowan's still so much more important - I'll just keep focusing on positive thoughts....

Fingers are crossed until tomorrow.....for now we're enjoying some cuddle time with our Bubbies, I'm curled up with my favorite afghan and Sabrina's on television - ok it's the remake of Sabrina, but any sappy chick flick in a pinch right?  And the beat goes on....(Sonny and Cher's version mind you.)  One day down many more to go!

Happy Thursday Ya'll!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Claim It Ya'll!

Let me start with a HUGE thank you for all of your kind words, thoughts and prayers from my post yesterday!  We're thrilled and still nervous as we're really 'early' in the baby process.  It feels right though and I feel horrible most of the time - so I guess that's a good thing....

Ya'll remember that post I wrote about being 45, pregnant and unemployed?  Well, I've gotten the first two of those items down - now I'm really concerned about the third.  The sale of our company is coming any day now and boy the tension is thick.  

So I guess the struggle for me over the next few months will be how to walk the fine line between stress and calm and how to just 'Claim it.' 

The 'Claim It' concept is a new one to me.  As a "good Catholic girl," I was taught to pray but not to ask for things for myself - to pray for others.  So when I had a great conversation with a co-worker about our quest to have a family, she very simply said to me, "You'll get what you want.  You just have to claim it."   I completely scratched my head and said, "I'm sorry - I'm not sure what that means."  I truly had no clue what she was talking about.

Basically, she told me that if I owned what I wanted and claimed it as my own, that God would hear me and answer our prayers.  The concept was and is fascinating to me....later in the week, I was speaking with a friend (who is not Catholic) and mentioned it.  She very calmly said, "oh yes, you need to claim it," like it was something I should know how to do.

She helped me to understand things a bit more and off I went - to claim away. Interestingly enough - when doing some 'research' about this idea,  I found a Facebook page called:  "Step Out in Faith and Give Thanks, Claim it and it Will Be Yours."   I was really surprised and somewhat disappointed that I had been missing out on this concept. 

SO here I am.  I'm going to have a baby (yay!)- hopefully a happy and healthy one; my prayers were answered.  I claimed it - so now is it too much to ask for or should I say, claim a job too?  I wonder what the limits are on this method of prayer....is it like Aladdin?  Do I get three and then I'm done?  I'm not trying to be irreverent here, I just don't think I really understand the whole concept yet. 

For now, I'll keep praying for a healthy baby and that I have a job - I'll claim it as I know how and hope and pray that I'm doing it right!  If any of you can give me feedback or help me to understand this a bit more - I'd love to hear from you.

I've prayed a lot in my time and have had many wonderful people pray for me, I guess I just can't get past the Catholic guilt thing - I always figure God knows what's in my heart.  I guess I need to say it out loud to make it real - to prove I really want it.

Oy - the hormones are obviously making my mind race.  I think I'll get off and go to bed.  I hope you 'claim' what your heart desires and that God answers your prayers!

I'll leave you with one of my all time favorite (and guaranteed to make me cry songs)- I think it really helps to explain the path we've taken and why my brain has issues asking for good things...and it's a beautiful song too!

Blessings -  Laura Story

We pray for blessings
We pray for peace
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep
We pray for healing, for prosperity
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering
All the while, You hear each spoken need
Yet love is way too much to give us lesser things

'Cause what if your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You're near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

We pray for wisdom
Your voice to hear
We cry in anger when we cannot feel You near
We doubt your goodness, we doubt your love
As if every promise from Your Word is not enough
All the while, You hear each desperate plea
And long that we'd have faith to believe

When friends betray us
When darkness seems to win
We know that pain reminds this heart
That this is not our home

What if my greatest disappointments
Or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can't satisfy
What if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are your mercies in disguise

Happy Wednesday Ya'll!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

We Did It!

I wanted to start this post for today with a huge and heartfelt thanks to all of you who emailed, texted, commented and 'Facebooked' us with your support.  B & I were really touched by everyone's support and we wanted you all to know we're so thankful for all of you!

We also wanted to tell you that - the rabbit did die!  It's very early in the game, but we are having a baby!!!  We are thrilled beyond belief and cannot believe our luck. We are truly blessed!!

My first reaction was honestly, 'now what do I do?'  When you spend four years of your life planning, working towards and praying for something and then it really happens?  It's such an amazingly huge shock!

I'm still stunned that this is 'real' and I guess it will take a lot longer to sink in - but then I do have some time to worry about it right? :o)  Just a few months at least (I just love sarcasm!)

SO I guess to sum up the days events - I got the call and called B and then we both called the world to let them know - while I worked and had meetings in between.  (This work thing is so inconvenient isn't it?)   I have many more blood tests to go before I'm in the safe zone - so please keep those amazing prayers coming ya'll! 

It's still in God's hands - but I have to say - this just feels so right to us!! 

Thanks again for the love and support!  I'm going to take a nap!

And Hey - HAPPY Tuesday Ya'll!!!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Today's the Day!

Well, I've been hinting at it for a while now, but today's the day.  Today I find out if our last shot at IVF is a positive or negative result.  I could either be pregnant, potentially with twins, or I could be hormonally charged and left with nothing.

Needless to say, it will be a really hard day.  I won't get instant results after the blood test.  And, no.   I haven't peed on a stick and won't.  I'll have to suck it up and wait for the phone call that will change my life - either for the 'good or the bad.'  (Insert Scottish accent there). 

I've so appreciated the amazing support I've received from all of the wonderful people in my life.  It's been a gift.  Truly.  I started this blog to help 'get out' some of the stuff going on in my head and it's helped a great deal...but you never know how you'll react until that moment happens.

Don't get me wrong, I've been through this day seven other times.  Yes, I said seven.  Not all were IVFs, but all were prayed on and hoped for and all didn't work.  This is the last time I think I'll put my body and heart through this ordeal, so obviously it will be the most traumatic.

I'm prepared to put on my big girl panties this morning, take my coffee to the clinic and have my blood drawn.  Then I'll head to work for my 5 meetings that stretch out throughout the day.  I'd love to know early in the day because sometimes the suspense is more horrible than the call....but honestly, if it's a negative and the rabbit doesn't die (not literally of course) then I'd almost rather not know until late in the day. 

You can tell I've over thought this can't you?  I'm actually in a really good place mentally and spiritually for this.  I'm ready to accept whatever decision God has made and am at peace with what happens.  I know that I've done everything I could have done with an amazing husband at my side, supporting me every step of the way.

SO, I'll let you all know...thank you for your prayers and your support - I couldn't have gotten through the last few weeks without it.  And no matter what happens, I'll have a smile on my face because I know God has a great plan for us....we'll just have to figure out what it is....

I ready for this next phase in our lives....bring it on!!

Happy Monday Ya'll!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

I Liked Today So Much, I'd Like to Do it Again!

Reasons Why I'm Thankful Today:

1.  I'm married to a sweet man who took me to go see Ted today -a totally ridiculous movie but hysterical!
2.  I got all the popcorn I wanted - he even let me go first!
3.  I'm almost done with the longest wait of my life!
4.  I have a great friend who just sent me a really fun and sweet card - just because.
5.  I have two sweet Bubbies who are ALWAYS happy to see me - even after we left them crated for 8 hours - shame on us!
6.  I had a great talk with my husband who agrees that we are really lucky and blessed people.
7.  I had over 100 hits on my blog the other day - WOW!  I hope my story helps someone else who feels alone in their quest with infertility.
8.  Our dog Paxton has really done well on his Prozac - he's so much sweeter and his outbursts are less frequent and much less aggressive.
9.  I got through today with a smile on my face. 
10.  I just heard from a high school friend - got a really nice, thoughtful note which meant a lot!  I love random emails!
11.  My Godmother just joined Facebook!  Now I can chat with her all the time!  Hey Aunt Lois!
12.  I had popcorn and chocolate for lunch - sweet.
13.  A close friend sent me a really sweet bible verse - even though she's having her own trials.  What a great friend!
14.  We had a great visit with B's hairdresser - she shared her own infertility story with us and offered her prayers and support.  She's a really sweet person - who no matter what trials she's dealing with continues to give to others with her warmth and enthusiasm.
15.  I just got a face-full of Paxton kisses.  (Twice!)
16.  I watched Tangled for the first time this morning while lazing around in bed - LOVED it!   But then I love all Disney movies....
17.  We had a great dinner at one of our favorite burger joints - and they have a Gluten Free Menu!
18.  It's Sunday and I have NOTHING to do.   Awesome.
19.  B went to the doctor on Friday and is finally getting over his sinus infection.  
20.  I am most thankful for all of the support I've received from all of you who read this blog - your notes, comments, prayers and feedback mean more to me than you can imagine!   Thanks everyone!  My 'Pie Plate' is full today!

Not too shabby for a Saturday is it? :o) 

Happy Sunday Ya'll!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

I Want to Be Tall and Blond

Negotiation with God is simply silly you know.  (Sorry, just talking to myself here for a minute.)  I'm a very matter-of-fact person - I'm not always black and white about things, in fact, I love me some grey areas.  But I think that religion either 'is or isn't' for you. 

Obviously you've probably figured out, religion is for me.  In fact, it's been the one constant in my life - well, that plus my love of shoes.  Seriously, I think I've gravitated towards religion, Catholicism in particular, for most of my life because I love the continuity and tradition of it.

I've loved that no matter where I live, church is always the same.  I love being a part of something bigger than me that has meaning and affects my heart in such a good way.  I love to sing at church - in fact some weeks at mass, singing can even bring me to tears!  (Maybe that's the hormones singing!)

I've never been what you might call a 'bible-whacker' but I have a deep faith that is a big part of who I am.  Most people don't know that about me.  But, I'm constantly talking with God - I've joked before that He's probably tired of hearing my voice - that's because I'm constantly chattering to Him.  I'm so thankful for the little things, I just want to let Him know.  Ok, I know you're thinking that saying it is overkill - He can hear my thoughts.  I get you.  I just feel better saying it. 

So I guess when it comes down to it, I have so much to feel thankful for, I feel a bit guilty.  Hey, I'm Catholic.  It's inherent.  So I'm constantly reaffirming how much I appreciate the gifts I've been given.  I'm here.  I've found my husband after so many years of wondering if I'd ever find the right person and I've got such great friends and family - I'm truly blessed.

Yes there are things I'd love to wrap up and call done - you know, I'd love to be tall and blond, I'd love to  have a normal shoe size, things like that - you thought I was going to mention babies didn't you?  Gotcha!  See, that's one I don't have to say out loud - my heart does that for me.

I hope that you have so many things to be thankful for that you almost feel guilty too - and I mean that in the best Catholic way possible.  Guilt is just part of our lives.  If you're having a good day, you feel bad that someone else didn't. If you have a bad day, you wonder what you did wrong to deserve it. It's a vicious circle my friends.

All kidding aside, I don't quote scripture and I don't memorize bible stories, but I do know that God made us in His likeness and while we're here on Earth, we need to make it count.  So, I'll  leave you with this, a favorite Irish Prayer:

May God give you...
For every storm, a rainbow,
For every tear, a smile,
For every care, a promise,
And a blessing in each trial.
For every problem life sends,
A faithful friend to share,
For every sigh, a sweet song,
And an answer for each prayer.

Happy Saturday Ya'll!

Friday, July 6, 2012

I Have Hope in My Heart

Have you ever been to a fertility clinic?  I hope not.  I have and they aren't fun.  Fertility clinics are places where women of all ages, race, size and religion flock to in order to conceive a child.  Infertility is a taboo subject in our American culture for some reason.  I'll never understand that.  I've been very open about our quest to have a child and have never hidden the truth. 

Obviously, we don't have kids, so either people assume we don't want any or I tell them the truth.  It's so much easier to put the truth out there - people have active imaginations and often their guesses are so hurtful.  So, why not be honest?  I had so many surgeries in the last 10 years of my life that I just never was able to try to have kids.  Now, I'm 45 years old and healthy(finally) - and still no kids. Basically, I'm old.   B & I didn't get married until I was 35 - so I started out late in the game and my body (and God) had other plans.

Even though I've had roadblocks, I'm not one of those people who will just sit back and say, oh well, guess we can't have children.  I've fought hard with every iota of my being for us to be able to have a child.  I've changed my diet to the point where I don't recognize my eating habits.  I haven't had caffeine in 3 years and soda is but a distant memory.

I've made any sacrifice asked of me because it's just that important.  I've missed vacations, family events and cried my way through conference calls just to get through the day at work.  But it's all worth it you see.  I really want this.

Over the years, I've had to be my own health care advocate.  I've learned to ask, push and question.  Once I've built up trust with a physician, I absolutely follow their advice, but I still question when things don't quite seem right for me.  ME.  I've learned that science is a guideline and no two humans are alike (except for identical twins :o) of course.)  Many treatments that have worked well for other people don't work for me!  In fact, typical protocols for fertility treatments just don't work.  I have an amazing doctor who listens though and experiments with me and we've gotten great results.  Her nursing team's skill and compassion is un-matched and their support has helped me down this really complicated path we're on.

The one dangling participle, or missing link to this ever important fertility chain is God.  I know that no matter HOW HARD I try and how well I follow my diet and how diligent I am with taking my meds, I still might not get pregnant.  That breaks my heart to type, let alone say out loud.  I've faced that fact and have come to terms with it.  Sort of.  I still have hope in my heart.

I'm typing this now because we're at our last attempt.  We've tried everything there is and even things you've never heard of and so far no kids.  I've prayed so hard that I cry just thinking about it.  I've found saints to pray to that I never knew existed and I've had to have faith that if it's in God's plan for me, it will be so. If not, I'll have to let it go and move on with my life.  I know some of you are asking - why not adopt?  Well we did.  A traditional adoption would be very complicated for me with my health history and we were advised against it.  So we did a very different kind of adoption - and that's what we're waiting on now. 

Time will tell.  God has always provided for me - I'm only here because of His grace - I get this.  I just wish someone could call Him and explain that we'll be great parents - if He only gives us a chance.

Until we know more - prayers would be great.  And please, remember that if someone doesn't have kids, it might not be because they didn't want them.  God just had other plans for them.  But don't treat them like they have a disease - they still love kids and would love to be happy for you and celebrate your pregnancies and joys.  Your heart hurts inside, but if you want kids, you love them and any kids are a joy to be around. 

So tonight, after you pray for all of the couples struggling with infertility, hug your kids and realize how truly blessed you are - even if they drew all over the walls in permanent marker or dumped a 5 lb bag of flour on the floor...they are a gift.

Happy Friday Ya'll!