Thursday, December 31, 2009

Final 2009 Trip to Target: PG Test + OPK + Wine Coolers!

I just got home from Target, after my last trip to the Y for the year (I have to confess I have not gone enough!).  Among other things, I picked up the following:

  • PG Test
  • OPK
  • Sangria wine coolers

Interesting combination, huh?  I figured I'd use at least one of these tonight.

AF was/is still supposed to show up today.  I woke up in the wee hours this morning with a major cramp in my abdomen.  It felt like your regular AF cramps, but it was constant and much more intense, painful actually.  I felt like my uterus was about to fall out, but yet it was hanging tightly for dear life.  It was so intense I felt almost sick to my stomach and had to sit on the toilet for a few minutes.  For a while I thought I was going to have to go potty, but nothing (sorry TMI?).  The intense cramping finally went away (thankfully), and I went back to bed.  I don't think I've ever felt anything like this before.   I put on a pad just in case I had a major AF blowout.  I'd hate to throw away a good pair of panties!  Since then, no sign of AF.

I'm getting ready to head out to church for a nice fancy dinner and show, and then to ring in the new year with a Christian band at church.  If AF does not show up by the time I'm home, I think I'll POAS.  If it's a BFN, I'll have myself a wine cooler or two.  No need to waste a good reason to have a drink since it is New Year's eve and all.

On another note, I reconfirmed my appointment with the RE for January 13th today.  Exactly 2 weeks to our appointment!  So looking forward to that!

Here's wishing everyone a Happy New Year, and may 2010 bring you peace, joy, happiness and the desires of your hearts!!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Show and Tell: Gift Card Holder

Show and Tell
I missed last week's Show and Tell so I wanted to make sure I made it this week.
A couple of days before Christmas, I needed to pick up a restaurant gift card for a friend.  DH and I decided to pick one up from Old Chicago.  While we there we decided to have dinner there too.  Old Chicago is famous for its beer, pizza and pasta.
After dinner, we asked the waitress for a gift card.  When it came, I was so tickled pink by how it was presented.  
The gift card was tucked into a cute little miniature pizza box.  I'm not sure what it is about this little gift card pizza box, but I fell in love with it.  It just made my day.   Hope you like it too.
Now go check out what the rest of the class is showing at Mel's Show and Tell.

Do I Sound Bitter?

Do I sound bitter?

I just re-read what I just wrote in my "Christmas Rant" post and I must sound bitter!

I sound whiny and pathetic, as if I don't like kids.  Well that's just not true.  I want kids of course!  It's just that it's really tough when it seemed that this Christmas (and others before this), everything revolved around kids.  And there were LOTS of kids around, just none that I can call my own.  It's tough to be the "outsider",  watching everyone else's kids open presents, and deep down praying and wishing with all your heart that you could have your own kids.  And have been deeply disappointed for so many years.  And being around family and so many kids is just a constant reminder of the pain.

I think those in the ALI community reading this may understand how I feel, or at least can empathize.

I guess I'm Ok with sounding bitter.  That's why it's called a rant, right?  What better place to get it off my chest than here?

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Christmas Rant

I'd like to start off by saying that my first ICLW has been somewhat of a disaster.  With having company stay with us for 2 days and being out of town for 3, I did not have time to read or comment except for a handful of posts.  I will have to do better in January.  But thanks to all who commented on my posts from ICLW.

Here goes the Christmas Rant:  This year has been the most stressful and chaotic Christmas that I have experienced.  Christmas has always been my favorite time of the year, but not so much this year.  Here's why:
  1. Major snowstorm in the midwest this year.  Driving out of town to my in-laws was no fun.  Fortunately, the roads were not as bad as expected, but there was a lot of snow that came down on the 23rd, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.  That means being stuck at my in-laws (See #2).
  2. Christmas at DH's parents included the following: 13 adults and 7 kids (ranging from 2 months to 9 years) in my in-law's 4 bedroom house.  There was NO peace or quiet in the house until all the kids were in bed.  I think I had a headache almost the entire time we were there.  I didn't even have a place to nap or get some peace (See #3).  2 nights there was more than enough!
  3. Because DH and I were the only ones with no kids, we are always the ones stuck with sleeping on the couch, or on an uncomfortable air mattress in the living room or TV room.  I am OK with, but it gets really old when this is the case year after year.   It feels like we are chopped liver and belong on the bottom of the "entitled to a room" list.  It does not help that there is always someone waking up to use the bathroom or a kid crying in the middle of the night.  Of course being we sleep in the "public space", we hear them all.  Kids always wake up early and want to play or watch a movie where we are sleeping.  I was so tired and crabby on Christmas morning!  We had seriously considered getting a hotel room, but due to the snowstorm, we decided to just stay put in the house.  
  4. In reference to #3, I wonder when/if we actually have kids in the (hopefully) new future,   if we will get a room at the house.  The way things are set up right now, probably not since we travel one of the shortest distances, and only go over on Christmas eve.  By then the rest of the family would have already taken a room.  It will be a hotel room next  year.
  5. There were some major tension between my 2 SILs and my MIL this year.  We were supposed to wait till Christmas Day to open gifts as one of my BILs would not be home until Christmas Day.  However one of my SILs had told her girls (ages 4 & 9) that they could open some on Christmas Eve.  Her family was supposed to stay at a hotel on Christmas Eve and I think they were supposed to open some gifts then.  But because of the snowstorm, she cancelled their room and stayed at the house. Because she had promised her girls they could open presents but now was forced to wait, her, my other SIL and MIL had sort of a fight.  This SIL stormed out of the house to cool off in the snow not once, but twice.  In the end, all the kids were allowed to open a few gifts, and waited till Christmas day to open the rest.
  6. How does one handle gift opening when there are so many kids?  This year, one third of the living room was filled with gifts!  And this was the year of mostly gift cards for the adults!  The kids were allowed to open gifts first but it was total chaos!  Handing out gifts was one thing.  Kids were yelling "I want to open another".  Parents were trying their best to help kids open presents, and trying to keep track of what was from who at the same time.  Kids wanted to play with their toys as soon as they opened in.  Some wanted other kids' toys!  Of course all the "wonderful" and "green" plastic and cable ties made it really easy (not!)  Parents and grandparents were trying to take as many pictures of kids opening presents while all this is going on!  It was loud and chaotic!  I always dread this part of opening presents.
  7. Late on Christmas eve, my 3 SILs put out presents from Santa for their kids.  I could not believe how many presents there were!  First there were stocking stuffers for each kid.  They each got 7 or 8 presents from Santa!  This did not even include the presents from their moms and dad, grandparents and great grandma yet.  One SIL was trying to arrange the presents from Santa so each kid looked like they got the same amount of presents so it "would be fair".  I grew up in a culture where Santa was not a big part of the Christmas tradition.  Christmas was about the birth of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.  So we never had gifts from Santa.  We only exchanged gifts between family members and some close friends.  I am OK with having gifts from Santa, but I think this has gotten out of hand.  I am planning to not make Santa a big deal with our future kids. I plan to emphasize that Christmas is about Jesus, though I have not quite figured out how to handle the story of Santa not being "real" yet.  I was planning on telling that Santa is part of the Christmas gift giving tradition, but that he is not real. However, I don't know how well that will work with having so many other nieces and nephews that believe in Santa.
  8. In one of my past post, I mentioned my "wonderful" BIL who never stops asking why we don't have kids or has other similar annoying comments.  Well he did not disappoint at Christmas either.  I was playing with my 2-year-old niece when he mentioned another of one of the "when are you guys having kids" statements  (I don't really remember what his exact line was as I try to ignore it and tend to blow it off but then can't remember what he said later).  Then he says "Well you guys have more money then we do, that's for sure.  Yeah, you guys are DINKS - Double Income No Kids".  That really pissed me off!  Then I corrected him said actually I am not working.  "So you guys are SINKS - Single Income No Kids".  He was pretty proud of himself when he said that.  I think my lame comeback was "Whatever".   It just pisses me off that he would say stuff like that and here we are getting ready to spend thousands of dollars in treatments!  I told DH about it later, and he said that I should have come back with "Oh, and who's the one that just bought another house?" (my BIL and SIL just bought a house to fix up this year).  Wish I thought of that earlier!
Sorry that my Christmas rant has run so long.  I am sad that Christmas this year has turned out the way it did.  Christmas had always been my favorite time of the year but this year has changed it.  I think it is important to spend time with family but is it worth it when it makes you upset or unhappy?  Maybe in the future, we will just have to be the selfish, anti-social ones and just spend it the way we want to.  Even if it means being away from everyone?

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas Card Decision

IComLeavWe: Join the Conversation
I'm excited about taking part in my first ICLW!

Well, a decision has been made.  I posted about my Christmas card dilemma earlier and we have decided to do what we have done in the past.  We just sent out store bought cards and a Christmas letter.

I struggled at first with what to put in the letter.  It was a tough year with dealing with IF (again!).  I thought we would be able to write about a new baby this year.  But no, not this year either.  So, we ended doing a highlights of the year, and included a few pictures in the letter.  That took up enough space without having to write too much in the letter.

I take comfort in knowing that some people truly love getting those letters every year.  Especially people we only see once a year, or are overseas that we never see.  The other benefit of doing letters is that I can email the letter to overseas friends and family (since I am too cheap to send cards overseas).

Anyway, I completed all my cards and letters, and they were put in the mail on Monday and yesterday.  It feels like a huge accomplishment!

Now I just need to deal with the snowstorm hitting MN today through Christmas!  Travel is going to suck!

By the way, Happy ICLW!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

"When Are Guys You Having Kids?"

Today we celebrated DH's grandma's 90th birthday as a family.  We went to a Chinese buffet restaurant and surprised Grandma for lunch.  She thought she was only having lunch with my BIL and his family.  After lunch we had cake at my MIL's house.  By what chaos!  There were 10 nieces and nephews ages 2 months to 8 years.  There were lots of running, yelling, crying, stomping, whining, fighting, etc.

DH is a kid magnet.  He is all the nieces and nephews favorite uncle.  DH is really great with the kids, especially the older ones who like to wrestle and be more physical.  I prefer to play with the younger ones, especially the 2-year olds.  The girls like the play dress up and are more affectionate.  The best part of today was holding my 2-month old niece.  I realize some of us dealing with IF have a hard time with newborns or babies, but I LOVE holding babies.  They are so cuddly, warm and smell wonderful! That newborn smell, there's just something about it.  And the feel of the soft fuzzy head just melts my heart!  I've also read somewhere that holding babies are supposed to be good for those TTC.  Well I have held LOTS of babies but still nothing to show for it.  Still  I don't mind too much.  It is a temporary therapy while I wait for my dream child(ren).

My BIL D.D. never stops with the "When are you guys going to have one of these?" or "Aren't you glad you don't have kids?" (when kids are yelling or screaming), and "When are you going to join the club?".  It annoys the heck out of me, but I have not had too many good comebacks yet.  I think one time I said "When is A. [my 8-year old niece, his daughter] going to be old enough to babysit?".  Another time I said something like "You'll know when it happens", or " Why are you so anxious?".  I don't think I've ever come up with a real good response.  Drives me crazy!

I once told DH that one of these days I'm gonna snap and yell "I can't have kids, OK?  I'm infertile!!  You happy now!!?"  Then I'll probably breakdown and cry.  AWKWARD!  But that probably won't help because then he'll have something else to say like the the classic just relax, have you tried X,Y, or Z, just adopt, enjoy yourselves while you can, want mine, etc.  He's one of those guys that never stops talking (seriously, he loves to talk!), and thinks he is the smartest person around.  He always has a comeback remark.  Anyway, I just hope it will never get to that point!  I don't mind him as a person, but I wish he would just shut the heck up already about this!

Today, as I was holding my 2-month old niece sleeping peacefully on my chest, DH's aunt J. asks me casually "Are you guys planning on having babies?".  My response was "If it happens, it happens".  I don't mind so much her asking because I know she really meant well.  I am sure she has been wondering this for a long time and she knows we love the nieces and nephews.  I just appreciate that she was asking sincerely.  I also suspect it is a question that Grandma really wants to know too, but has been nice enough not to ask, unlike my "wonderful" BIL.

So anyone have any good comebacks to the ultimate and non-stop question of "When are you guys having kids?".

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Birthday Milestone (Not Mine)

Today, DH's grandma celebrated her 90th birthday.  Yup 90th!  Can you believe it?  What a milestone!  Grandma has 6 grandkids (plus spouses) and 10 great grandkids.  We are all heading up to DH's hometown on Saturday for her surprise birthday party.  DH's siblings are flying and driving in from all over early for this, and for Christmas next week.

Today, DH, my FIL and I took Grandma S. out for lunch for her birthday.  We took her to a Japanese Tepanyaki restaurant, one of those where you sit at a grill and they cook the food in front of you.  Grandma had never experienced anything like this so it was really great to see her so intrigued by it all.  She watched the cook closely like a hawk.  She almost forgot to eat!  I know she enjoyed it.  On the way home, she said "Boy, that restaurant was something.  I like how they made the train with those onions".  The cook had stacked some onion rings on the hot grill so steam came out of the onion stack like smoke coming out of a train.

Grandma has been through a lot.  Last year, we lost Grandpa S on the 4th of July.  He was 97.  They would have celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary last September.  At his age, Grandpa was very sharp and fairly healthy.  Two years before his passing, he fell and cracked a rib.  Then his health went downhill after that with multiple hospitalizations and nursing homes.  It was very tough on Grandma through all this.  Not long after Grandpa's passing, Grandma had a stroke.  Since then, she has been a lot quieter, weaker and has lost her spunk.  But she still kills at the Peg Game (game similar to Sorry).

DH was very close to his grandparents.  Growing up, he spent a lot of time hanging out with his grandparents.  He learnt how to play cribbage with them and Grandpa would tell him his stories from the days of the Great Depression.  DH used to bike to his grandparent's house for breakfast before heading to classes at the college.  So he really did spend a lot of quality time with them.

Over the last few years of TTC, I had hope that Grandpa would have had the chance to meet at least one of our kids.  I regret that we did not have the privilege.  And now I fear that we may not have the privilege with Grandma either.

I am hoping that 2010 will prove me wrong.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Baby Nightmare

I was reading JC's "Worst Dream of My Life" post today about her "fake pregnancy" dream and it reminded me of a nightmare I had a few months ago.

I dreamt that I had given birth to a beautiful baby.  I don't remember if it was a boy or girl, or even if I knew what the sex was.

Not long after that I realized that my baby had died because I had forgotten to feed it!!  In my dream, I was trying to explain to the police officer arresting me that I did not mean to kill my baby.  I just forgot to feed it!

Can you imagine, forgetting to feed your own baby?!!  What kind of sick and pathetic mother am I?

You see, I do not have a green thumb at all and have killed every single indoor potted plant I have ever owned.  Okay, so I still have a 5 foot indoor tree sitting in my living room that DH bought this last spring, but it's looking pretty sad right now too.  It only has about half of its leaves still remaining.  I'm really bad about watering my plants. I forget to water them, and then I drown them.

I woke up from this dream thinking, "Oh my God!!  If I can't remember to water my plants, can I remember to feed my own baby?!!"

It actually made me doubt that I would be a good mother.  Thankfully it was only for a short moment.

I so hate stupid weird dreams like that!

Show and Tell: "Joseph's Lullaby" Video

Show and Tell

It's time for Mel's weekly Show and Tell.  As we are only a little more than a week to Christmas, I'd like to share with you one of my favorite Christmas songs by Mercy Me.  It's called "Joseph's Lullaby" and the song is written from the perspective of Joseph.  Most often we think of Christmas of the birth of Jesus and of course that's the whole reason for the season.

But what makes this song so special is we seldom think about Joseph's perspective.  What was he feeling when baby Jesus was born?  What was going through his mind?  Can you imagine knowing that the baby is the Son of God?

This is such a beautiful song, and the images are touching.  It often makes me tear up when I hear the song, and view the video.  Especially special to me during my journey of TTC.

Merry Christmas to you all!  Please go check out the rest of the class at Mel's Show and Tell.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Countdown to RE Appointment

It is almost exactly one month to our next appointment with the RE on January 13th.  The last time we were at the clinic was February 2008.  We were supposed to have a conference with our RE in April 2008, but we cancelled our appointment.  We knew that the next step would be to pursue IVF and at that point, DH was not ready for that.  So we decided to take some time off from fertility treatments.  Well it will be almost 2 years by the time we go back in January.  How time flies!

I have not had much to update about our TTC efforts since I started the blog last month, but infertililty has always been on my mind.  For now, I am trying to prep myself both mentally and emotionally for the first appointment.  A few big things:
  1. Biggest concern:  Cost of IVF!
  2. Biggest question: Should we do the Shared Risk program if we qualify?  Will we qualify?  For those not familiar with the Shared Risk program, it is like an "insurance".  For our clinic, you pay a set price of about $24K for up to 3 fresh cycles of IVF, and 3 frozen embryo transfers.  If you don't bring home a baby after that, you can get refunded up to 70% of the cost back.  However this does  not include the cost of fertility meds that can cost $3K - $5K per cycle.  But if you get pregnant, and bring home a baby on the first try, you pay the full amount (I'll probably blog about this more in a different post).
  3. Biggest fear:  Intramuscular shots!  I have no issues doing sub-Q shots, but I am terrified of having to do IM shots.  Not sure if I can do it myself, or if I will need DH to do those!
  4. Biggest to do list: Get a list of questions to ask the RE at the appointment.
So if you have gone through IVF, what are your opinions on the above?

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Christmas Card Dilemma

So, it's less than 2 weeks to Christmas and I still don't have my Christmas cards or letter started yet.  I can't even find the Christmas cards I bought last year, you know, the half price ones from the day after Christmas Sales.  Well, at least I think I bought some.  I have to go through my "junk" room to see if I can find it.  By the way, the "junk" room is supposed to be our nursery when the baby comes.  It's been the junk room for a few years now.  Have not been motivated the clean the room since still no sign of baby.

So we've been doing Christmas letters with our cards every year.  Some years we've included photo greeting cards with the letters, sometimes store bought cards.  This year, I'm not sure what to do.

Do we want to send photo greeting cards?  What's the point?  Who really wants to see a picture of the both of us?  Again?  It would be different if we had pictures of babies or kids.  "Oh your kids are so cute!".  "They have gotten so big!"  Nope, not with our photos.

I've been planning our Christmas greeting card for when our baby comes.  A picture of our sleeping baby with a big bow tied around it, and a tag that says "Gift from God".  I've been planning this for a few years.  Next year, maybe?

Should we do a Christmas letter this year?  What do we say in the letter?  No one really knows we have been trying for a baby for 6 years!  Every year, I hope that we would be able to include an "introducing our newest addition" section in the letter.  Baby's name, sex, weight, etc.  How fun would that be?  I'm still waiting to do that.

Most years the letters include our travels (we try to travel every year).  DH and I speculate that most people are envious of our travels (usually overseas) and think we are just selfish and are enjoying ourselves.  "Oh, must be nice be able to travel since you have no kids".  If only they knew.

What else should we talk about in the letter?  Our work? Yes, hubby's been working a whole lot of hours for his job, but do people really want to know that stuff?

I left my job in January because I was too stressed out from it. I did some traveling and spent some time overseas with my family and aging parents.  I was also hoping that the lack of stress would help in TTC.  Not many people know about this.  Not something I like to share with others unless people ask.  Especially in this crazy economy.  I'm lucky that DH is still working and has a decent job that gives me the privilege to not work, at least for now.  Most people can't fathom how I could  leave my job voluntarily.  Sometimes it makes me feel guilty, but it's for the better.  I contemplated going back to work but a couple of my friends that know that I am TTC convinced me to wait.  It was not easy for me to make the decision to leave my job.  One friend said "If you go back to your job, you can forget about getting pregnant!"  So for now I am not working, and enjoying the time off.

Anyways, I still have not decided if I will write a letter this year.  I'd really like to.  Maybe just do a "highlights of the year" letter.  Mostly about travel again.  This year actually included a trip to Hawaii.  People must think we live such a glamorous life.  Hah!  If only they knew!

Will update the status of the Christmas cards in a later post.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Show and Tell: Favorite Christmas Ornaments

Show and Tell

Mel at Stirrup Queen's does a weekly Show and Tell.  This week, I will be showing you two of my favorite Christmas ornaments.

This is Little Drummer Boy.  He is very special because he is almost as old as DH.  Every year for the last thirty plus years, DH has been getting a handmade or specially chosen Christmas ornament from his grandma and aunt.  This one was given to DH when he was one.  It has DH's name and the year 1976 handwritten on the back.  There are other ornaments dating back to from when he was born but somehow this one holds a special place in my heart.  Maybe it's the blonde hair and blue outfit that reminds me of DH.  We could not figure out which one he got the year he was born since some of the ornaments were not dated.   These ornaments are so precious to me!

This second one is special to me because it was from our honeymoon in Tahiti.  I call it "From Bora Bora, with Love".  We stayed in some overwater bungalows in Bora Bora and this was the holder that held my sarong/wrap that was a welcome gift from the hotel.  DH got a free t-shirt.  The holder is made of straw or grass and has two shells on it.  Technically it is not a Christmas ornament, but it sits on our tree.  Every year, as we put up the Christmas tree, it reminds us of how special our marriage is, and the wonderful time we had on our honeymoon.

So what are your favorite Christmas ornaments?  Leave a comment then hop on over to Mel's to check out the rest of the class.

Last Happy Hour of the Year?

It's been a few days since my last post.  I have been trying not to think too much about TTC so have been trying to focus on other things.

I managed to get some more shopping done so I am about half done.  I also managed to finish putting up the ornaments on the Christmas tree last night.  I was going over DH's ornaments that he had collected over the years.  His aunt and grandma had handmade most of his and his siblings' Christmas since he was born, so it was fun to see some really old (and some not so pretty!) ornaments.  Some were falling apart but most were still in great condition.

Came across the "Our First Christmas Together" ornament that my MIL gave us.  It had our wedding date on it.  Made me kind of sad as I wonder when I would be able to have my first "Baby's First" ornament of my own.  What will the date be on it?  I'm hoping that we will have one next Christmas!  I hope that someone in our family will take the time to make or give ornaments for our future babies.  Oh heck, I can make our own I suppose.  It's more special if it's the kid's grandparents, uncles or aunts I think.

On Monday night, after a good day of shopping I called DH at work and told him I wanted to go out for dinner and have a strawberry margarita.  We went to Chili's for the 2-for-20 deal.  For $20 you get an appetizer, 2 entrees and a dessert to share.  It was great!  The best part was we were there early enough that it was still happy hour and I got 2 strawberry margaritas for the price of 1!  Since DH does not drink, this "party" was all about me!

This could be my last happy hour for a long time, that is if I do get pregnant "naturally" this month.  I told DH that I can't drink during all the Christmas festivities since I will be in my 2WW.  Can't drink for New Year's eve/day celebrations either since AF is suppose to arrive on New Year's day.  Unless I POAS, and I refuse to do that!

After so many BFNs, sometimes it just seems like such a waste to not be able to have a drink during the holidays since it'll probably be another BFN.  BFPs just seem so impossible after a while.  I actually snuck a couple sips of wine during Thanksgiving.  Well, maybe I will sneak another couple during Christmas?

So I had what was most probably the last happy hour of the year for me. Come to think of it, I should do more happy hours!

I shall now call them "Unhappy Happy Hours".  Sounds like something a drunk came up with!

Friday, December 4, 2009

A Happy End to the Year?

Today is CD2.  I marked my cycle days on my calendar for December.  This is a ritual I do every time AF comes.  New hopes for a new month, I suppose.  Seems like our lives have to be planned around our  TTC calendar.  At least we won't have to BD at my in-laws during Christmas this year.  We had to do that one year and it was not fun.  We had to be really quiet so we don't wake anyone up.  All the in-laws, nieces and nephews were crammed into one house.  There were 17 of us in the house!  No choice, we had to do it because it was during my O window.

If all goes well (or in this case, not so well) AF should come right around the 31st of December.  I guess I can look it at 2 ways:
  1. If AF does not come, then we could possibly have a happy ending to 2009 with a BFP!
  2. But if AF does come, then full steam forward to IVF in 2010.  Not the ending I would choose, but I am glad that DH and I are on the same page and are actually taking steps to making our dreams of a baby a reality.  Let's hope 2010 is our year.
Christmas is exactly 3 weeks away and I am so not prepared.  DH put up the Christmas tree and lights, but I have yet to put up any of the ornaments.  Not much decoration this year either.  At least we have the outside Christmas lights on.  I have only bought 2 Christmas gifts so far.  Oh man, I better off my butt and start getting some stuff done!

Oh! An update.  Found out tonight that DH will not be traveling to CA for work next week after all.  Guess none of his other co-workers can make it either.  So yippee!  DH will be here for my O window.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Game Over

Game over.  AF won.   I lost.  I have been defeated.  Again.

Well, at least I did not POAS!

AF came this morning.  I felt the familiar feeling last night before bed, some cramping and the feeling of dampness.  Just to be safe, I wore a pad to bed last night.  Actually I have been wearing panty liners for the last 5 days!

How annoying!  First you think you AF is here early with the cramping and all (see earlier post).  Then all the major AF cramping stops and AF still has not shown up, so you think "oh maybe this is the month".  Just when my hopes are starting to go up, and I even googled "cramping in early pregnancy", that darn AF makes her unwelcome visit.  Can someone please hold her down and shoot her??

So my cycle was 32 days this time.  Almost a new record for me.  I looked through my Palm and found that the last time I thought I could possibly be pregnant was September 2004.  DH and I were going to Toronto for a friend's wedding and AF was late.  I actually took a HPT that turned up a BFN.  Then took another HPT 3 days later and got another BFN.  Even took a Beta test right before I left for Toronto.  In the end AF was 9 days late.

9 days!!  I was so sure I was pregnant!  I could not believe it when I called the clinic from the hotel in Toronto to find out the result and the nurse told me it was a BFN.  Of course AF shows up in Toronto while we were on vacation.    Unbelievable!

This time, I was cautiously optimistic, but deep down I didn't think this would be the month.  See my previous posting here.  So now we have to move on to the next month.  Welcome CD1.

Of course DH decided to surprise me last night with the news that he might be traveling to CA for a few days for work on the 14th.  Well what do you know?  It's right smack in the middle of my O window! That's the great!  December would most probably be the last month for us to try "naturally" before seeing the RE again in January.

Oh who am I kidding?  We've been trying "naturally" for 6 years and nothing's happened yet.

I was toying with the idea that I might go with him to CA.  You know, I could do some sightseeing during the day while he is at work, and then get busy with BD at night.  DH is not too keen about it since he would be traveling with a few other guys and having a wife tag along may not be most desirable.  Oh heck!  Not another wasted month!

I need a drink!!  Now that AF's here, I can actually have one.  Yippeee.....

A strawberry margarita sounds pretty good right now.  Maybe have some sushi too.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Show and Tell: Mahna Mahna Video

Show and Tell

I just came across Mel's Show and Tell. It seems like something fun to do, to share with others something just for the fun of it, and to see what others have to share and tell.  I'm excited to be part of the class for the first time!

I could not think of something real exciting this week on short notice, so I thought I'd share the "Mahna Mahna" video from the Muppets Show.  There's no real story or anything, but just great fun.  It puts a smile on my face every time I watch it.  And you can watch it over and over again.  I do!

When you're feeling down, watch this, you'll feel better, guaranteed!  Or there's something wrong with ya!

Now go check out the rest of the class at Mel's Show and Tell!  There's a new one every week.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Technically Late, Maybe.

Technically, I'm late.

It's December 1st and technically my cycle is 30 days so far.  I can't remember the last time I had a 30 day cycle.  It's been mostly 28 days, with a couple of 26, 27 and 29 days.  Could this be the month?

It's too early to tell.  Actually I'm too chicken to find out. For now at least.

I refuse to POAS! 
I can't remember the last time I POAS.
It's too nerve wrecking! 
I refuse to spend the money on a HPT only to find out it's a BFN! I've only had BFNs so far!

It seems like every time I POAS, AF comes within an hour or two!  "Afraid you might be pregnant?  Need to bring on AF?  Go on, POAS!  AF will come! Guaranteed!"  That sounds like a great marketing slogan, don't you think?

I doubt this is the month for a  BFP anyway.  I had been sick this month.  I think missed the Ov window.  Instead of the usual Clearplan OPKs, I used the cheaper Target brand OPK.  Couldn't read that dang thing! One day the line was just starting to show a faint line.  Then the next, the line was gone!  What the heck!  I learned my lesson there.  Don't buy the cheap OPK, if you want a baby, get the good stuff.

On the other hand, a few days ago, I started getting strong cramps like AF was coming.  You know, the ones you get on the day AF arrives and you feel like your uterus is gonna fall out?  I thought, shoot, AF's early again this month!  I kept checking and waiting, but nope, no sign of AF.  Yay!  I'm still getting a few minor tugs here and there, but nothing like the AF cramps.  So that's a good sign, right? Implantation symptoms, maybe?

In the mean time, I am trying to distract myself from thinking about it too much.  This year, I joined the Christmas production at our church.  We had our first 4-hour full dress rehearsal tonight and it went well, for the most part.  Tomorrow night (oh wait, I guess it is tonight!  I have to quit blogging so late!) will be another full dress rehearsal, then the shows start on Thursday.  I will be busy all of this and next weekend.

Back to being technically late, I am sticking to NOT POAS!! 
Unless I can't stand it anymore. 
Or AF shows her ugly head.
Whichever happens first.  Any bets on which will be first?

Stay tuned.....

Monday, November 30, 2009

Babies Galore... None of which are mine!

You know how it feels like when you hear another one of your brothers/sisters/in-laws/cousins/friends/neighbors/co-workers/(*fill in the blank*) announce that they are pregnant?

Well today, I decided to sit down and count the number of babies that have been born since we started TTC.  It's amazing how many new additions there have been to the human race for the last 6 years, and these are just of family and friends, not including acquaintances and long lost high school friends (thanks Facebook!).

Since February 2004 the following babies have been born to DH and I:
Immediate Family
  Nieces: 5
  Nephews: 1
Extended Family
  Girls: 5
  Boys: 7 
  Girls: 18
  Boys: 19

That's a grand total of 55 babies!!

Babies Adopted: 3 (2 boys, 1 girl)
People Currently Expecting: 2

That's a heck of a lot of BABIES!!  These are only the ones I can think of right now.  I'm sure I'll think of more later.

Unfortunately, none of them are mine.

A couple of years ago, I jokingly said to DH that if another person tells us they are expecting, I'm going to the spa!  He didn't think that was very funny, especially with our track record.   Maybe I should cash in on some of those long overdue spa trips.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

"Empty Arms" Video

Time for another IF video.  I found this a while ago on You Tube, and have been waiting to share this.  A fellow member in one of the IF related groups at BabyCenter posted this in her journal a few days ago.  Time to share it now.

Check out the "Tears and Hope: The Infertility Awareness Project" website at

Then watch the "Empty Arms" video.

All I Want for Christmas is.... Not on the Black Friday Deals List

Yesterday was Black Friday, the busiest shopping day of the entire year for retailer. My DH, B and I stayed the heck as far away from the mall as possible!  We slept in, and spent most of the afternoon at the coffee shop surfing, comparing prices of item, and planning our Christmas shopping for all the nephews, nieces, parents, grandma, etc.

So halfway through, B turns to me and say "So, what do you want for Christmas this year?"  Me: " I dunno.  I'll have to think about it...."

Really what I wanted to say was "A BABY! A BABY!  The same dang thing I wanted the last few years!"

Wouldn't it be great if I found out I was pregnant for Christmas?  What an awesome gift that would be!

Of course a baby is not something that you can find on the Black Friday circulars!  And it's not something you can put on your Christmas wish list when Grandma or MIL asks for one.  Sometimes I make up things just so that I have something to give them.  Things like CDs, or cookbooks, or a kitchen gadget, or gift cards for eating out.

All things that seem so selfish when the greatest desire in my heart is to have a baby.

Things I wish I could asked for: Maternity clothes, "What to Expect" books, pregnancy books, parenting books, anything related to pregnancy or parenting.

I have asked for Christmas wish lists from my SILs and friends with kids for suggestions for their kids this year.  And I wonder, when is my turn to be able to give them a list for my future kids?  How many years have I bought Christmas presents for everyone else's kids?  When is it my turn to be on the receiving end?

No, it's not about the money.  It's the time and effort put into getting thoughtful and wonderful presents for children I care about.  It's time for someone else to take the time and effort to do the same for my kids.

And if only we have a child/children there for that.

That's what I wish for Christmas.....

Our Journey So Far

In deciding to blog about my IF journey, I spent a long time going over my medical records to try and figure out where I've been. It seems like I've been TTC for as long as I can remember. DH and I have been married for 7 years, and out of those, almost 6 we have been TTC. Almost our entire marriage has been about TTC! No wonder I can't remember what it feels like not to be TTC! Anyway, here's short summary of our journey so far.

**For latest updates, please see my "Our Journey So Far" page.**

Oct - DH and I are married

Feb - Decide to start TTC

May - See OBGYN about difficulty in conceiving
Jul  - Go on Clomid
Aug - Go on Clomid
      - Have HSG (Hysterosalpingogram) done
      - Have SHG (Saline Infused Sonohysterography).   Discover a polyp
Sep - Undergo Hysteroscopy (#1) to remove polyp (#1)

Oct - First appointment with RE.  Decide to proceed with IUIs.
       - IUI #1 - BFN
Nov - IUI #2 - BFN

Feb - Undergo diagnostic laparoscopy.  Fix minor endometriosis.
Jun - IUI is cancelled
Jul - Forced to rest this cycle - 20 cysts discovered
Aug - IUI #3 - BFN

Jan - IUI #4 - BFN
Feb - IUI is cancelled. Another polyp is discovered.
Mar - Hysteroscopy (#2) to remove polyp (#2)
Dec - Hysteroscopy (#3) to remove yet another polyp (#3).

Feb - IVF - BFN
Aug - consulted with a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practitioner and start on herbs.
Sep - 2nd month of TCM herbs
Oct - 3rd month of TCM herbs
Nov - Stop TCM herbs due to cold
Dec - Month off for the holidays

Jan - Meet with RE to discuss IVF.
Feb 1 - Started on BCPs
Feb 21 - Started Lu.pron
Feb 24 - Last day of BCPs
Mar 5 - Started stimulation meds
Mar 19 - Egg Retrieval - 8 eggs retrieved from left ovary only
Mar 21 - 6 eggs mature out of 8, only 1 fertilized.
Mar 22 - Found 2nd egg fertilized.
Mar 23 - Embryo 1 only still at 4-cells, and Embryo #2 at 2-cells
Mar 24 - Both embryos arrested, transfer is cancelled.
Apr 13 - Post-IVF consult with RE.  Did Karotype testing.
May 12 - Karotype test came back normal.
Jun 23 - Nurse's consult for July IVF

**For latest updates, please see my "Our Journey So Far" page.**

Wacky IF Lingo

The infertility world has such wacky acronyms!  Especially if you are new to TTC (that's "trying to conceive") all the infertility lingo can mind boggling.  This is especially true if you read lot of infertility blogs and boards.  Here's a list of commonly used acronyms.  I will add to this as needed in the future.

2ww ~ Two week wait (the time between ovulation and period)
AF ~ Aunt Flo, period, menstruation (most dreaded in the IF world!)
ALI ~ Adoption, Loss, Infertility
ART ~ Assisted Reproductive Technology
BD ~ Baby Dancing/Bedroom Dancing (having sex)
Beta ~ Blood test for pregnancy
BFN ~ Big Fat Negative (pregnancy test)
BFP ~ Big Fat Positive (pregnancy test)
BIL ~ Brother-In-Law
BMS ~ Baby Making Sex
B/W ~ Bloodwork
CD ~ Cycle Day (day of your menstruation cycle)
CM ~ Cerival Mucus
DH ~ Dear Husband
DPO ~ Days Past Ovulation
E2 ~ Estradiol - a female hormone that is tested to monitor the ovaries' response to stimulation
ENDO ~ Endometriosis - condition where tissue that lines the uterus or womb grows outside the uterus on other organs or structures of the body.
ER ~ Egg Retrieval - process to remove eggs from the ovaries for IVF.
ET ~ Embryo Transfer - process of transferring embryo(s) back to the uterus during IVF.
FET ~ Frozen Embryo Transfer - process of transferring a previously frozen embryo back to the uterus.
FIL ~ Father-In-Law
FSH ~ Follicle Stimulating Hormone - responsible for stimulating the growth and development of eggs in women, and sperm cells in men.
hCG ~ Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (detected in home pregnancy tests) - hormone that supports pregnancy.
HPT ~ Home Pregnancy Test
HSG ~ Hysterosalpingogram (x-ray of the uterus and fallopian tubes)
IF ~ Infertility
ICSI ~ Intra Cytoplasmic Sperm Injection (injection of single sperm into egg)
IM ~ Intramuscular, injection directly into muscle
IRL ~ In Real Life
IUI ~ Intrauterine Insemination
IVF ~ In Vitro Fertilization - procedure where eggs are surgically removed from the ovary and fertilized outside the body.  The fertilized eggs are then placed back in the uterus.
KMFC or KMCX ~ Keeping My Fingers Crossed.
KU ~ Knocked Up
Lap ~ Laparoscopy - minimal invasive surgery using very small incision so a laparoscope can be used to view the inside of the abdominal cavity.
LP ~ Luteal Phase - second half of the menstrual cycle after ovulation
M/C ~ Miscarriage
MFI ~ Male Factor Infertility
MIL ~ Mother-In-Law
O or OV ~ Ovulate or Ovulation
OHSS ~ Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome
OPK ~ Ovulation Predictor Kit - kits used at home to help predict ovulation.
P4 ~ Progesterone - hormone that supports pregnancy.
PIO ~ Progesterone In Oil
PMS ~ Pre-menstrual Syndrome
POAS ~ Pee On a Stick (to take a pregnancy test)
PCOS ~ Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome - Hormonal disorder.  Enlarge ovaries containing numerous small and painless cycsts.
PG ~ Pregnant, pregnancy
RE ~ Reproductive Endocrinologist (fertility specialist)
SA ~ Semen Analysis
SHG or SIS~ Saline Infused Sonohysterography (saline infused ultrasound of the uterus)
SIL ~ Sister-in-Law
Stims ~ Follicle Stimulation drugs
SubQ ~ Subcutaneous (under the skin) injection
TCM ~ Traditional Chinese Medicine
TTC ~ Trying to Conceive
U/S ~ Ultrasound

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Infertility Thanksgiving, of sorts.....

The holiday season can be so hard for so many of us going through the very tough and unwelcome journey of infertility.  So, as we celebrate Thanksgiving tomorrow, I started to think about what is it that I am thankful for?  May people say things like they are thankful for friends and family.  But every year, I struggle with this!  I want to say I am thankful for family too, but I wish I had a family of my own to be thankful for!!

So, even though I am going through this IF journey, I am thankful:
  1. For the support of the FEW friends and family members that know about our IF journey.  This is a painful and lonely journey to be on, and support can mean a world of difference!
  2. My faith, knowing that no matter what happens God has a plan for me, even though I may not always know what it is.
  3. For people who are, and have been PRAYING for DH and I for our journey to parenthood, no matter what it may be.
  4. That we live in an age where medical advances have given us hope to have babies when conceiving is difficult or "impossible" for some of us.
  5. That DH and I are on the same page on how to proceed with our treatments.  It was not easy starting treatment at first, but now after 4 failed IUIs, we are looking forward to IVF next  year!
  6. That DH still has a decent job in this economy (I am currently not working)
  7. That DH and I are able to pay for past treatments (some covered by insurance), and that we will be able to finance our future treatments somehow.
I am praying that next year I can be thankful for a healthy *baby or pregnancy*!!

Have a safe and Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

"Infertility Is" Video

I found this "Infertility Video" a few months ago and thought, geez I wish I should share this with those who know about our efforts of TTC but have not gone through it.  No matter how much you love and care for us, it is hard to describe in words how we feel.

This video is for those special people in our lives, and also for you who are TTC.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Harder Than I Thought!

Oh boy!  Blogging is harder than I thought!  Not so much the blogging itself, but where do I start?

I am looking at the many blogs out there and I wonder if I can really do this?

Can I really put down in words what I feel?

Will people really care what I have to say?

How do I describe what I have gone through in the last 6 years without boring everyone to death, and yet I feel like I need to?

I have so much to say, yet where do I start?

It sucks to feel like an amateur in blogging, but yet I've been around the block in the infertility department!!

So all I ask is to please bear with me as do this and hope and that people will actually read what I have to say!


A New Journey

Well it is time to take a new journey again. After almost 6 years of trying for a baby and a few breaks in between, my hubby and I have decided to start on a new journey of TTC (trying to conceive) again.

I have decided that after years of reading thousands of other people's TTC blogs, it is time for me to start my own. I realized that blogging is possibly the best way for me to share my valleys and peaks with others who has, is, or will be going on the "fun" journey of TTC. It is also the best way for me to journal and remember this journey. After 6 years, I can honestly say I can't remember a lot of the details and wish I kept a better record of all the experiences. All the doctor appointments, blood draws, fertility drugs, etc. Even going over copies of my medical record is hard for me to decipher exactly what happened.

So, from now on, I'm going to blog about it!

Today, I finally called the fertility clinic to set up an appointment to see RE after being away from the clinic for almost 2 years. My next appointment is set for Jan 13th 2010. It has been a tough decision for us to make this appointment.

I will post a brief history of my journey, but that will be for another post! As of today, I am officially blogging!