Little Miss Baby J

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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

T-Minus 20.5 hours and counting...

Got the call this morning... ET is scheduled for 9:30 a.m.

Am running into another meeting -- today is a little crazy at work -- but wanted to let ya'll know the official time.

I am so grateful for your support -- your encouraging words and prayers mean the world to me!

More later~

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Transfer Thursday

Got the call this morning... the ET is set for Day 5, Thursday. No time set yet, but will hopefully know more tomorrow.

The nurse didn't have much info for me, other than the development of the embies "looks good" at this point. --I'm grateful to know that much, though I wish they'd expanded a little more...

I'm still in quite a bit of abdominal discomfort from the ER -- is that normal at this point? My poor belly is still so bloated, I feel like I look 3-4 mos. pregnant already. (NOT good when you're not though!) The Darv.ocet they gave me for pain didn't do a lick of good, so I switched over to extra strength ty.len.ol as of Sunday. It's at least helping.

And for those of you looking forward to your first IVF--- let me clarify: it's a discomfort, kinda like dull, achy cramps, with the additional feeling of enlarged ovaries. It's not out-and-out pain. It's not intolerable! Trust me--really really bad cramps are far worse than this.

Just wanted to make sure you all knew that. ...don't want to scare anyone away from future procedures here! :)

In other news, I was informed this morning that the PFH (see post here for explanation) is ramping back up as of July 6th. And if that's not bad enough -- they're wanting all team leads to sign on for "extended hours" during a 2-3 'workshop' phase they're planning for us... Extended hours that would commence a) an hour earlier than my current start time, and b) extend an hour longer than my current end time.

Now, ya'll know I'm not an early-bird. ...'specially sans caffeine, which is taboo right now. And I've emphasized my love for sleep, and lots of it, many times here.

To say that this is not ideal is an understatement.

I desperately, desperately want to back out of this project. I'm worried that the stress of it will have a significant and negative impact on me, and I don't want to risk anything like that during a potential 2ww or even (God willing) early pregnancy.

The question is, can I back out of it now, without risking my job?

I don't know.

And if not -- would I be willing to do so, even if it did?

...That may be my real question---without an answer, at this point...

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Fert Report

Okay - gotta make this quick--am about to go have my first IM progesterone injection... (yikes)

Today's fertilization report from the nurse:
- Of the 28 eggs retrieved, 27 were mature
- They froze 13 of the mature eggs
- The remaining 14 they fertilized
- Of those 14, 11 eggs actually fertilized... so we have 11 embryos!

I find out more tomorrow about the embryo quality, how they're developing, and whether or not we're shooting for a day 3 or a day 5 transfer.

So it's Tuesday or Thursday.

...Holding my breath 'til then...!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

And the number is...

(drum roll, please)



Everything went well this morning... the procedure went well, the dr had no trouble retrieving the eggs from my follicles, and I got a nice drug-induced nap out of it, and don't remember a thing. Overall, I'm doing well... A little discomfort in the abdomen, of course, but nothing a little dar.vo.cet can't handle. :)

I am so so SO relieved that a) it's over, and b) we have eggs. I don't know what I would have to done if I had woken up to the same news as last time (see post here). Praise the Lord, this round has been different from the beginning.

Tomorrow I'll find out how fertilization went, and what the egg quality looks like. I know I can't expect all 28 to survive, or to all be Grade A (or however they grade them!), but I am praying for a third to make it, at the very least. ...If we had a good 8-12 solid embies, it would go a long way in reassuring me that not only do we have a shot at this coming ET, but at a few in the future, as well. And what a huge blessing that would be.

As to everyone else's journeys, and your own progress -- I'm lifting you up, as well. I know that faith (whatever yours may be) can be difficult during IF... Wrestling with all the unanswered questions we have for why we're having to go through this in the first place---and more. (I know the questions don't end with just that one.)

Know that even in times that you can't pray for yourself -- whether due to bouts of doubt or anger or bitterness or despair, whatever-- just know that there are others out there praying for you, even when you can't.

I pray for my God to be with each of you. To hear your cries. To see through to your heart, and know your innermost thoughts and desires. To meet you where you are, and bring you comfort and peace. To carry you through this.

I pray for you; I pray for us.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Ready... and nervous

Well, there's nothing more I can do to get ready for this... I've taken the last of my shots, had my trigger shot last night, and I guess there's not much else to do now.

Except be nervous.

I mean, try NOT to be nervous.


The trigger shot last night went fine -- just a little awkward, breaking both hosts away from the party at 9 to do it. But we managed.

And, thanks to my wonderful RE, who knew that I would be nervous about my trigger shot this go-round, my Dr had me come in this morning for a "confirmation" that the HCG had, indeed, hit my system. ...Thank the good Lord, it had.

So now, I'm trying to relax--about to go see Knight and Day, and see if that succeeds in distracting me from my thoughts.

Have a good night everyone! Will let you know how it went tomorrow~

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Triggering Tonight!

It's official... The nurse called an hour ago to let me know that I have to take my trigger shot this evening, at 9 pm. ER is set for 9 am on Saturday the 26th, woohoo! I'm so excited to be done with stim shots and Lu.pron shots for round #2...

Slept like crap again last night -- woke up once again around 3 in the morning... that seems to be the "witching hour" for me these days...! Was hot as blazes, too -- which is quite unlike me (am typically always cold). DH swears that it's the hormones... He's probably right.

Today's report: 34 measurable follies -- 22 on the left, 12 on the right. I think there were 22 mature? And my E2 level stayed below 5,000! (Thank you God) It was 4,521. Even the nurse (to whom I don't believe I've spoken with before) commented on how much better I'm doing this round... what a relief!

Now-- if I can just find some good excuse for pulling my DH away from the grad school graduation party we're hosting tonight for one of his co-workers, so he can administer the shot... (I know, another example of GREAT timing!) Any good ideas?

Acupuncture apptmt tomorrow after work, and then it's just take it easy and relax as much as I can before the retrieval early Saturday...

Thanks for all the sweet comments ladies...The encouragement and support means so much.

Dear Lord - please let me get through this party tonight without freaking out about things... please let us get through the trigger shot without any hiccups or disastrous mistakes or issues like last time... please let me get a full night's sleep tonight, so I won't be a zombie-witch tomorrow to my DH/friends/co-workers... am starting to see them back away slowly from me when I walk up, and it scares me that I'm scaring them away. And please Lord, let the retrieval go well Saturday. Let the dr's get some good eggs, let the fertilization process go well, and please let us have some good strong emby's for the ET next week!

Trusting You...

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


Today's progress report from the RE: 31 measurable follies -- 20 on the left, and 11 on the right (what a slow poke!). Lab results: E2 level is now at 4,103.

When the nurse called to give me today's report, she said my dr is 99% sure they'll trigger me tomorrow night, for a Saturday morning ER. ...I sure hope so. I have a college friend that will be in town this weekend, and she's planning to spend the day with me on Sunday.

I know, I know---REALLY bad timing, right? Yep--couldn't agree with you more! I am fully aware that baby-making trumps time w/ friends --- I'll just be grateful to have the ER not fall on the same day of her visit. She's one of my best girlfriends, and lives in Raleigh, otherwise I'd have asked to re-schedule. Thankfully, she's fully aware of all my IF treatments, and is ready to spend a day just lounging around the house with me, laying low...which is what I'm expecting to do.

As for tonight's dose-- given that my E2 level is continuing to climb up there, my RE decided to have me coast tonight, in an attempt to avoid any further increase. I think they're hoping to keep me under the 5,000 mark this time. We'll see if that works! I sure hope so.

I'm definitely feeling the heaviness and pressure of 31 follies down there... there's some discomfort when sitting now, that wasn't there before. But it's not bad at all. Very manageable. --I still think that this round of IVF is a breeze compared to how whacked out I felt on clomid!

Last night's support group meeting was SO good. ...If you guys haven't been to one yet, I'd highly recommend it. I know it's intimidating and overwhelming and scary to go--'specially by yourself, without knowing anyone--but definitely well worth it, in the end. I met some amazing women last night. Hearing their stories was a privilege---anytime anyone shares their heart with me, I think it's a privilege. There were 8 of us there, and most of us had all had varying issues, experiences, successes. Some were on the treatment side, others had crossed over to Mommyhood already -- but all were bound by the common thread of IF.

We agreed at the beginning of the meeting to all share our stories, and to try and focus on the positives of IF. --We ALL know that there are days when IF will leave you crushed--mentally, physically, emotionally--but we wanted our time together, as our host so perfectly put it, to be life-giving... not life-sucking.

And so it was.

I was inspired by the courage, perseverance, and heart of the girls surrounding me. By what they have endured and overcome, or by what they are still facing. And I know that there's not much that I can do for them, except pray for them daily, and be there for them, whenever and if ever they need a friend.

Because, as Ecclesiastes so beautifully puts it, "a cord of three strands is not quickly broken." (Eccl. 4:12b)

Together, we ARE stronger... we have the power to give one other strength and encouragement along this journey-- and those gifts can make all the difference in the world to someone going through a rough day.

...If I wasn't so blogger-challenged, and knew how to put music to a post, I'd have Joe Cocker's "A Little Help from My Friends" playing in the background for this one... ;-)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Onward and Upward

I believe I have crossed some sort of invisible threshold... I don't know exactly when, but somewhere between stim-shot day 8 (13 mat. follies) and stim-shot day 9 (19 mat. follies), my lower abdomen has experienced a rude awakening. ---Or a rude over-crowding, as the case may be!

Today is stim-shot day 10, and I now have 24 mature follies -- 15 on the left, 9 on the right. ...Thus the overcrowdedness of my ovaries. But this is still drastically improved from the 45 mature follies that I had on this day, last IVF round... yikes!

And despite the fact that my RE dropped my dose to 75 IU last night (down from 112.5), my E2 level rose again today--to 3,146.

Due to this, they're lowering my dosage once again... to the lowest dose you can take-- 37.5 IU. It's going to feel like nothin' when I take that shot!

I'm not sure if the E2 level or the more sensitive abdomen have anything to do with it, but I woke up at 3:33 last night (yep, the three 3's were glaring out from my alarm clock on the nightstand, plain as day), and could not for the life of me fall back to sleep. Then the mind started going---how many more days of shots will I have? When will they trigger me? Will something happen this time to screw this up? Who can I call that's a professional nurse or shot-administrator that can give me my trigger shot--so I don't have to blame myself, if something happens to it this time around??

It was as if I'd drank a whole pot of coffee, the rate my thoughts were going... I was wired. ..and at 3 o'clock in the friggin' mornin, people! Not cool. This girl loves her sleep, so I was NOT happy about the fact that I was missing out on mine... especially in light of the fact that I'm already not getting my full night's sleep due to early morning RE appointments.

Anxiety is something that I have to intentionally work to fight... and these days, I'm doing a much better job taking command of my thoughts and casting aside any shadows that try to darken my mood.. More on that tomorrow.

Ladies, I just got back from my first live-and-in-person support group meeting, and I just have to say, it's an honor and a privilege to walk beside you all (whether in person or via the internet) and hear your stories---to see your hearts laid bare, and have a window into your thoughts and feelings.

I'm thankful for the opportunity to carry this burden with you, and help encourage one another along this road.

Monday, June 21, 2010


Do you ever feel like IF is a steep journey uphill, complete with dodging fall rocks (bad news) and backsliding (failed treatments), making you think you'll never get anywhere? Like your sense of hope and optimism are intricately tied to your progress to the top?

Somedays, this is all I can see of my IF journey--the rock wall in front of my face, the steep vastness of the climb ahead of me, the pain of the rocks that cut me and make me stumble and slide, crushing the hope I'd built in the small bit of progress I'd felt I'd made.

Thank God, today is not one of those days.

Today I feel like I'm getting there, slowly but surely... like I'm actually making some decent progress in this long journey---like the summit is at least in sight, if not yet within reach.

Like hope is beginning to rise and climb with me.

Another thing that is climbing within me -- my E2. According to today's lab results, my E2 level is now at 2,071. Not a bad number, especially compared to my last IVF (round #1) in April.

On this day of my round in in April (stim shot day 9), I had 39 measurable follicles - 18 in the left, and 21 on the right--and an E2 level of over 6,000.

Today, in IVF round #2, stim shot day 9, my E2 is at an acceptable level, and I have 19 measurable follies-- 12 on the left, 7 on the right.

I cannot tell you how much better I feel at this point than I did last time. How much pain I was in last time, that I am not having to deal with (whew, thank you Jesus).

The nurse did express some concern that they were afraid my body was about to spike again--that I could still have some issues with overstimming. So they're lowering my dose of to 75 IU tonight, instead of the 112.5 I've been taking.

Nevertheless, I am one grateful girl... happy to be at this point, and looking forward to where the next few days will take us. God willing, we'll have a good ER and a good transfer, and within the span of a week, have completed our first full IVF round.

Welcome to all you ICLW viewers, by the way! I'm fairly new at this whole blogging thing, so bear with me. If you'd like to read a bit about my TTC journey thus far, read this. If you'd like to read my thoughts about IF's purpose in my life, then go here and here.

My heart goes out to all those who have dealt with or are actively dealing with infertility...truly, I wouldn't wish this on my worst enemy. So if you're on this journey with me, let me know---I'll do my best to keep up with your journey and support you through your ups and downs as well.

Now, to end on a humorous note--- let me share with ya'll a snippit from last night's convo with my DH...

--Background-- getting ready for bed, preparing for the week, giving the DH a run-down of all my upcoming RE appointments & such...

Me: I can definitely tell that my ladyparts are getting a little worn out from all this poking and prodding...

DH: Does it hurt?

Me: No, it (the vaginal ultrasound) doesn't hurt, per se.. but it definitely doesn't feel good!

DH: You mean there's no pleasure involved??

(long pause)

Me: Um.... are you serious?

(long pause)

DH: well, I didn't know if it would feel good or anything...

(long pause)

Me: ...honey, it's not like they've added a little vibration to it to make sure we 'enjoy' ourselves during the ultrasound!

DH: (turning bright red and bashful) well, I have no idea what they do or what it's like! I just thought that it might resemble... you know!


...Seriously ladies! My DH was comparing my vaginal u/s to a trip to see a professional vibrator!

I think I laughed 'til my cheeks hurt.

At least the land of IF isn't without its moments of humor...!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Lucky Number 13

This will be a short-and-sweet one... about to take the pups for a walk around the neighborhood, and then it's to bed for me. I definitely could have used another nap today...!

Today's ultrasound & bloodwork report: 13 mature follies thus far--8 on the left, 5 on the right. 8-9 others close to mature, so we'll see what happens over the coming days. E2 level: 1371. SO much better than the 5000+ I had on this day last time, praise God!

It was great to get another good report, and to hear that my body was continuing to progress as it should. Now, if we can just continue like this for another 3-4 days, that would be fan-tastic.

Hope everyone else had a good weekend!

Isn't it nice to start the week on a positive note? May yours start off the same~

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Sleepy Saturdays

I feel a tad guilty about how much I'm enjoying my weekend thus far... All thanks to both the RE and the acupuncturist stressing how important it is that I take it easy.

It goes without saying that I've taken their advice to heart --- and thankfully, so has my DH!

It's pretty cute -- he's being super protective of me, and keeps encouraging me to take it easy, won't let me do any exercising beyond walking or yoga, and keeps asking if I'm feeling stressed at all--or what he can do to help me relax. Very sweet of the hubby!

And I'm definitely reaping the benefits of all his concern... Thus far, all this 'taking it easy' business has gotten me out of cleaning, yard work, and this weekend's stint of deck repair...

What I've actually done today: woken up at 7:30 am for my Lupron shot, gone to the RE for my u/s and bloodwork, and gone to the acupuncturist (...and napped through most of my session).

Next on the docket? A real nap--at least a short one -- and then on to a co-worker's house for an early-afternoon game date and cook-out. Then maybe to a movie with the hubs later.

Ahhh... I could get used to this!

My report from today's appointment with the RE was a good one: 4 mature follies on the left, 2 on the right. E2 was at 823---continuing to progress much slower than the last round. The u/s tech also mentioned that I had about 9 follies that were on the cusp of maturing, so she said this looked like it would be a good cycle for me.

Please God, let it be so.

I'll try to post another quick update tomorrow... we hope to trigger wednesday, for a friday ER. We'll see if anything changes with that timeline over the coming days.

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6-7

Definitely praying for that this next week...

Friday, June 18, 2010

Slow and Steady...

...Wins the race... right ya'll??

Let's hope so! 'Cause that seems to be exactly what my ovaries are doing this go-round... This is officially CD-9, and day 6 of stimming... As of today, I have 3 measurable follies on my left, and 1 on my right.

From my first IVF round back in April, on day 6 of stimms, I had 4 on the left, 3 on the right.

So I'm definitely starting off a bit slower. Which is good... I don't want my E2 to spike like it did last time. According to my RE, mine is right where is should be this round... I just want it to stay that way! (please,please!)

Nor do I want to experience the feeling of my ovaries housing 59 mature follies again. ....I'd like to aim for maybe half that amount this time...umm, God, are you listening? Think we can arrange that? (seeing as I have so much control over all this...)

In other news, I had my first acupuncture appointment on Wednesday. I called to set it up on Monday, and had thought we'd aim for Saturday for the initial consultation, but when they learned that I was already in the midst of an IVF round, they urged me to get in 'as soon as possible' to see them... so Wednesday was the first visit.

FYI--apparently, they prefer you start seeing them several months out from big treatments like IVF... ideally, they would have started treatments on me 3 months ago! Whoops. Who knew?

The acupunturist was so nice---very informative, very sharp, very kind. And she specializes in acupuncture for infertility--yay for me! We spent about an hour going over history & paperwork--what treatments I'd been through, what my reaction had been to the drugs, etc. Then it was on to the good stuff.

She had me undress from the waist down, and then lay down on my back on a table, replete with pillow for my neck and for under my knees, and then cover myself with a towel. She then proceeded to insert the needles all over my body-- I think there were 2 in my feet, 2 or 3 in my legs, 1 in each knee, several along my belly/lower abdomen, and then one in each ear. --That was definitely the strangest!

The needles were super-thin... as in, practically no thicker than a strand of hair! You could hardly even feel them--some I did feel at insertion, but others I didn't feel at all. And then once they were in, I couldn't feel anything. ...Just the oddest, tingly sensation around that area.

She then turned on a nice, soothing cd, rolled a little heat lamp over my exposed feet/lower legs, and told me to focus on my focus on what was going on in my ovaries, and to pretend that I was floating out in the water at my favorite beach somewhere... She gave all the needles a few little flicks (feeling the vibrations from it was crazy-weird!), and left me to my daydreaming.

A half-hour later, and we were done. I felt relaxed, very peaceful.

She recommended I come in every 2-3 days 'til the retrieval, and also suggested that on the day of the ER, to come in once beforehand, and then again right afterwards.

Seems like a lot to me, and it's not the cheapest thing in the world, but then again... a) it felt REALLY good; b)I don't want to NOT do it and regret it later... so I think we'll keep it up 'til after the ER.

She surprised me by asking me to call her and give her updates -- she said that she would be tailoring the treatments according to my progress, and that there were special things she could do to try and increase or decrease (in the case of hyperstimming again) my follie's progress. Pretty cool stuff!

Also, I did find out from my RE today that the trigger shot from my last IVF round was fine...which means they're chalking up the failed ER to a "patient administration error" with the trigger shot. I can only say that I was afraid of that. It's disappointing, and makes me that much more nervous about something going wrong this round. I mean, seriously peeps---it's not like we have the money to just screw around on these attempts, and can pay for umpteen more! This is our last shot at a fresh round for 2010--and I'm just really hoping and praying that we'll, at the very least, get some good eggs out of this, and that they'll fertilize well.

That's all I ask, God.

(okay, okay... that's all I ask for today, God. Tomorrow might be different!)

But--- one good thing. I did get my RE to agree to mix my novarel trigger shot for us for next week, so we don't have to worry about screwing that part up. It's one of the few varieties that you can pre-mix and then store in the fridge 'til use, so we're doing that. Also, I have a nurse friend that I might just have to invite over to do the shot administration honors... We'll see!

For now, I'm feeling good. Hopefully. ...Cautiously optomistic...

Keep us in your prayers, ya'll!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

A Wedding and a mini-Panic

…not by the bride or groom, thank God…

This weekend was my baby brother’s wedding… He’s officially a married man. (crazy!) The whole thing was absolutely beautiful, as was the bride. Everything went off perfectly (at least to my knowledge)---with the exception of the slight, muffled sound of my 5-week old nephew, Liam, crying in the “quiet” room in the back of the sanctuary during the ceremony… poor little guy had just about had it with all the commotion and people that he’d endured for two days… But for a wedding, that’s small potatoes to what could potentially go wrong, right? Thankfully, nothing else did, and it was a blast!

The bride’s prayers were answered—there was no rain on Saturday. What she did get, however, was heat and high humidity instead. It was an OVEN outside ya’ll… thank goodness the wedding & reception were both indoors. This was make-up-melting heat. …And it’s just JUNE. Oh dear…

The mini-panic. Actually, truth be told, this preceded the wedding.

Based on the plan for IVF round #2, I was told to take my last BCP on the 10th of June, which I did. From what I could recall of my previous conversation with my RE nurse, she had told me to “expect to get my period sometime within the following week" of my last BCP...which I thought meant some time between the 10th and the 17th. Umm, I actually started spotting on Tuesday the 8th, and it was full-flow by the 10th---no waiting around for the last BCP to make it official! This completely threw me, and I was a little nervous as to what would come of AF's early appearance.

Now, back in April, me and the DH had a little sit-down with our ER to plan out this next IVF cycle, and had discussed the fact that I would be out of town this weekend, attending my brother’s wedding, and thus would prefer it if I was not in the middle of lots of IVF stuff. At the time, I was told this wouldn’t be a problem--that we could work around it.

Given this, I only brought home the Lup.ron shots that I would be taking each morning…leaving my at home. Apparently, this was a mistake.
When I called the RE office to advise them of my CD-1, they advised me to start taking my stim shots of the next evening – the day of my brother’s wedding.

At that point, I had my mini-panic. I didn’t have my meds with me, I had specifically talked to them about avoiding having to take shots in the middle of my brother’s wedding reception, I didn’t have my meds with me—did I say that already?? …and then started panicking that I was already screwing up this whole month’s cycle because I hadn’t brought them, and oh my.

The nurse had to go consult my dear Dr about it, and call me back. Did I mention yet that a) we were packing up to leave my house, to go to the hotel and then straight on to the rehearsal dinner, and b) my parent’s house gets the worst cell phone reception ever? …It’s like they friggin’ live in a cave or something!

So we packed up the car, drove off, and I got a VM ding for a missed call. From the RE office. Telling me that she needed to talk to me, but that the office was closing! Thankfully she was such a sweetheart that she gave me her cell phone number to call, which I promptly did.

In the end, they said I would be able to start my stim shots on Sunday evening—by which time we’d be home, and everything would be fine… (whew)

All that panicking kinda kick-started my system though—it took a few hours for the adrenaline to wear off, and a few days for the nervousness over fearing I’d somehow screwed up this cycle early, to go away.

Today is day 3 of stim shots—112.5 IU of I think the Dr is trying me on a lower dosage this go-round to see if it decreases my chance of over-stimulating…which I did majorly last time (59 mature follies and a E2 of almost 9,000). I hope it works!

Thus far, I feel good. Am trying to decide how long I should try to go about my usual routine and normal exercise… I’ve been enjoying running and zumba classes lately, as well as my DH’s P90X videos, but I’m not sure where the line is between doing enough to keep me sane and overdoing it… I know that I most likely won't feel like or be able to do much of anything though, so I'd like to do as much as I can, while I can. Is that stupid? Do you think I'll regret my exercising if it doesn't go well?

Comments or suggestions welcome!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

IF's Purpose

Just read a fabulous post this morning by fellow blogger Lisa (see post at --couldn't get the link to work!) Her thoughts resonated so strongly with me, perfectly articulating how I feel about IF, and its purpose in my life.

I may not like it, but it's my reality. Whether or not I am IF is completely beyond my control. What I choose to do with it--how I choose to act, by my words and my deeds--is entirely in my control.

Lisa's post brought another favorite verse to mind: II Corinthians 1:3-5
"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows."

I cannot help but see the truth in this scripture. In fact, it has played itself out repeatedly in my life.

When I was younger, my mom had a stroke. Not a major one, thank God, but enough to put her out of commission for several weeks, requiring both physical therapy and speech therapy. Other than a deep depression that she struggled with for several years afterwards, the only parting gift from her stroke was a personality change... one that was quite significant to her immediate family, but not as noticeable to the outside world. Let's just say that my mom's sense of logic, of humor, of common sense, are just a But other than that, she had no lasting physical impairments from her stroke.

Immediately following the event, and for many years afterwards, our family pulled together and focused on surviving...quickly learning to make up for any neglected areas that mom was no longer able or inclined to care for (cooking, cleaning, laundry), and life went on. In retrospect, I'd say we all came out stronger, and certainly more domestically-equipped. :)

In college, however, I became much more aware of the strength and intimacy of my peers' relationships to their mothers, and more aware of the condition of my relationship with my own. I began to view my mother's stroke as a kind of death, to mourn the loss of her previous personality. I began my journey to acceptance of my mom's new personality -- not an easy one for me.

I had a lot of anger about the stroke--why God had allowed it to happen. So often during visits or just phone conversations, I would be unable to contain my anger and frustration at my mom's new personality--the forgetfulness, the idiosyncracies that were seemingly illogical to me... but I knew I was angry at the stroke--not at my mom. The struggle to contain that anger, to hide it from her in our conversations and interactions, became a continual one for me. When I would fail to hide it well, I was left feeling so overwhelmingly guilty and ashamed of my attitude or the sharpness of my tongue... She was and is still my mom, and was/is wholly deserving of my love and respect.

During that time, God kept pulling me back to that verse. I had loved it from my initial reading of it, and easily saw the daily application of it in my life--but at the time, had no clue of its greater meaning and purpose.

Fast-forward to 2006. My best friend from college called me out of the blue one day, frantic and in hysterics... I could hardly understand her from her sobbing. Her own mother--a vivacious, sharp-witted and highly intelligent businesswoman at the top of her game and in her prime--had just suffered a stroke. A major stroke. And she was not so fortunate, in her final outcome. My friend's mom went from leading a full life, traveling for work 4 days a week as a VP in a major consulting firm, in a strong and healthy marriage, to needing 24 care, with little use of the left side of her body, and significant damage to both her short-term memory and her personality.

To say that this was devastating to my friend's mom, and her entire family, doesn't even begin to do the situation justice.

Her mother was the breadwinner in the family--her husband was retired, so all income and health benefits were covered through her job. The stroke caused irreparable damage to their finances, requiring the husband to go back into the working world, just to pay the bills and ongoing care costs. Their marriage, needless to say, has been tested in ways that I cannot even imagine.

The frustration and anger and grief that my friend experienced, post-stroke, was so similar to what I'd experienced... her pain resonated in me, recalling to mind so acutely the anguish I'd felt, mourning the loss of my pre-stroke mom.

It was then that I understood more intimately the truth in that scripture, and the purpose God had intended for it in my life.

One of my spiritual gifts is showing compassion & mercy--I have, by default, a nurturing spirit. So I know that whatever God does in my life, He does so in order to put my gifts to good use.

Because I myself had experience my mom's stroke, and received God comfort and compassion through that time, I was able to share that comfort & compassion with my friend. I wholeheartedly sympathized with her grief, with the anger and frustration she experienced, with the mourning of her mom's old personality and the struggle to accept the new one as permanent. I had lived this.

In the same way, I think God has a greater purpose for my struggle and journey with IF... I think He is equipping me to be able to share my journey with others, and to help comfort them in the dark days, and direct them as much as possible back to the One who is the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort... And despite the pain of this struggle, I look forward to seeing what He does with this in my life. Who He leads into it, how He may grow me, and how He will glorify Himself in this process.

I pray that it will only make my heart bigger, and that my words and deeds to others will be a true reflection of that.

"For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows."

Monday, June 7, 2010

Looking Forward

Ahh, just got back from a weekend at the in-law’s lakehouse… so nice! Despite a few pop-up thunderstorms, it was mostly a sunny and perfect weekend. Definitely worked on blotting out my pasty whiteness with some color---and thankfully, that color is only partially tinged with pink!

My baby brother gets married next week, which seems just crazy to me. He’s 6 ½ years younger than me, and still seems so young. …And then I remember that I was younger than him when DH and I got married, which seems absurd. I mean, what were my parents thinking? We were mere babes! Kids! We knew nothing! Had no money---only one job between us, when we actually got married—and that didn’t pay us a lick the first 3 months.

Thankfully, my brother and his future wife are in a much better situation. He has a job—a good one. Which he loves, and that has some pretty incredible perks, working in the music industry in Nashvegas. The future SIL also has a good job, which she seems to like (her first one after graduating this spring), and it pays pretty well for a first job, too. Plus, my brother bought a small house about a year and a half ago (again, as a mere babe), and he’s spent much of his free time fixing up the place for his future bride.

In other words, they are pretty much set.

Comparatively, the DH and I were flat broke when we married – the DH even borrowed eight grand from his padre when we got married, to help us with the first few months’ expenses. He had a job, as I alluded to previously---but one of those where you have to spend the first 60-90 days getting all these licenses with which you will be allowed to do said future job—which leaves you forking out lots of dough in the beginning, with absolutely bubkiss coming in the door. Combine this with the fact that I had no job when we married, and took on a job as a hostess at a local restaurant just to pass the time while I job-searched…and we were definitely “married-broke.” For a looong time. I’d say the first six months we were married, we went out to eat (as in, fast-food dining) maybe 4 times. In retrospect, I guess it’s good that we had little to no friends in the city at the time—we wouldn’t have been able to handle it. Needless to say, the loan from Daddio really paid off for us!

This September marks our 8th anniversary… crazy that it’s already been 8 years already. We dated for 3 ½ before that, so in some ways it feels like we’ve been together forever anyways. Over a third of my life—how weird does that sound?

Praise God from whom all blessings flow, we are no longer in the financial straits we were when we first got hitched. I got a job, then a better job, and then a muchmuch better job (my current one—excluding the PFH--see post here), and the hubby too has moved on to a better company with his job as well. We live within 10-12 minutes of our respective offices—down from an hour and a half for the DH, each way. And the paygrade has probably tripled from where we started out. (That’s not to sound impressive---oh no. That’s to highlight how very LIT-TLE we actually made... think poverty line, peeps)

Praise God that we’ve been able to afford a house closer to work & church. Praise God that we’ve paid off one car, and only have 6-8 payments left on the other. Praise God that we’ve been able to cover the close to twenty grand (thus far) for IF-related treatments this year. And biggest praise and shocker-moment-of-the-weekend, we’ll be able to afford to go on vacation this year. A vacation that I am in desparate need of. And not just any ‘ole vacation people… Europe.

The DH threw that out there while we were chatting in the car, on the way up to the lakehouse on Friday, and I about lost it. Had I been driving, I might have run off the road from the shock.

I have been coaxing and wheedling and begging and nagging about going to Europe I’ve never been anywhere there except Spain (studied Spanish for 4 months there in 2001) and he’s been all over western Europe (albeit as a kid—went on 2 different soccer tours as a 13 and 15 yrd old). As such, he kinda feels like he’s ‘been there, done that.’ I keep trying to point out that he hasn’t really done any of it—not as an adult.

The cost has really been the prohibitive factor thus far. Years and years of “it’s too expensive” and “I can’t take that much time off work” were the only response my persuasive wheedling would get me.

But thanks in large part to the recent decline in the Europian world markets (sorry Greece—wait, I mean, thanks!!), it’s now suddenly an option. Now---to figure out where to go.

Oh boy. That’s going to be a doozy for me—I’m not good with decisions. And there are so many places to see… all in 9 or 10 days. I don’t like feeling rushed through a city so fast I don’t remember it—during my time in Spain, I had between 1 and 5 weeks in every city we hit… and I only have 9-10 days for the entire trip.

So… Anyone got any good suggestions for where we should go, with a cap of 3 or 4 places?

In other news-- today is day 5 of Lu.pron shots… and other than a major headache 12 hours after the first shot (almost down to the minute, so bizarre!), I don’t have any bad symptoms from the shots, except for feeling sleepier than usual at night and in the mornings… and that’s not a bad one! Just means I’m more likely to go to bed on-time when I’m taking my shots, than not.

I haven’t really said much about Round #2, so I guess I should share the tentative schedule:

June 3 – start Lu.pron shots
June 10th – stop BCPs
@ June 17th – start stim shots of
@ July 1st weekend - trigger shot
@ July 4-6th (assuming trigger above) – ER
@ July 9-11th (yadayadayada, same as above) – ET

Fun way to spend a holiday weekend, right? (sigh)

I’m just praying that everything goes smoothly this time. No out-of-whack hormones. No failed trigger shots. Come’on, good embies!

At least there’s a vacation to look forward to in the fall, no matter what the outcome…

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Necessary Distractions

How do ya'll distract yourselves from obsessing on something you're trying desperately to NOT think about??

I am failing miserably in my attempts today... I don't know what it is that's set me off. I had a perfectly good holiday weekend... cleaned up the house, relaxed, even went shopping one day with my MIL (whom I love, thankfully!), grilled out for Memorial Day... and other than one off-hand comment made by another grill-out attendee about how "those women who can't have babies just can't because they're trying too hard"---OTHER than that comment, I had a great, non-obsessed weekend.

Unfortunately, whatever magic I had going on that allowed me to be so blissfully distracted must have died in my sleep last night.

'Cause it is GONE TODAY, ladies!

I am so stinkin' restless, I feel like I could climb the walls in my office. But. Due to the fact that I have a group of internal auditors occupying a near-by office (and also due to the fact that gravity is such a downer and all), I don't think I'll try that anytime soon. Thus, I am left with an unrelenting case of ADD...which I don't technically have. But still. Can. not. focus!

The work sitch isn't really improving any... we found out last week that the ongoing issues with the PFH (for background on the PFH, see this post) were officially being 'escalated' up the flagpole to the head of the company--and the PFH was halted. Indefinitely. --okay, indefinitely 'til we get a response from the company, with acceptable resolutions to our issues and an acceptable revised budget.


The invariable outcome of this 'pause' is, unfortunately, that the project will be extended into 2011... that we will continue through September here, pause once again for our busiest season of the year (fourth quarter), and then reconvene again in late January/early February.

I'm not sure I can handle the PFH beyond 2010. I'm still not sure I can handle it now.

Anyway-- to digress. Given the 'pause' in things, there's a little more room to breathe in all the project-related deadlines. This is good for sanity, and bad for day-dreaming your way through the day. Day dreams lead to obsessing, people!

At home, I usually try distracting myself with good books, a little exercise, walking our pups, a movie or whatever reality-trash-tv is on, you name it. Here at work--well, you can't really go distract yourself with any of those options at your desk, now, can you.

How do you make yourself focus on the work at hand, and distract yourself from whatever issue/crisis/restlessness you might be experiencing?

This girl could use some suggestions.