Friday, May 28, 2010

Here We Go Again

On Wednesday, on the way from my hermitage to the main house to check out of Pacem In Terris, I made a detour to the biffy (outhouse/bathroom).  AF showed up then.  I only had a 26 day cycle this month.  No wonder I thought I ovulated early this month.

Yesterday I called the clinic to schedule an appointment for the next round of IVF.  For some reason I thought I needed to schedule blood work and/or ultrasound.  Silly me, not needed.  The nurse told me I only need to start BCPs (birth control pills) today and show up for our IVF nurses consult on June 15th.

So that's it.  We are off to our next round of IVF.  Yup, we are going for it now instead of waiting another month.  At first, I thought I'd like to wait a month.  I'm considering using acupuncture this time around, if I can find the right practitioner.  I thought maybe I'd give it some time for acupuncture to take effect, but I can do it while on BCPs.

Also, Babe does not want us to wait any longer.  He is not sure how long he will stay at his job as they are anticipating another round of layoffs.  He was surprised he survived the last one.  We want to do this while we still have IVF coverage on his insurance, just in case.

Plus if we wait another month, my egg retrieval/embryo transfer will be in August.  Yeah, I'm turning 37 in August!  Another year older, and the ticking clock gets louder!  I know it's just one month, but somehow I would feel better about doing this at "36" versus 37.

It will be around 4 months since my last egg retrieval to my next one.  Sometimes it feels like it was just yesterday when I found out about my cancelled transfer.  At other times, it feels like it was a lifetime ago.  We are just praying that this is THE cycle for us.

So here we go again...

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Pacem In Terris

Hi Peeps!  I'm back.  Didn't even know I was gone, did ya?

Yup, I posted the last couple of days when I was actually out of town, and with no access to the internet.  Wasn't really trying to be sneaky about it, but since I found out about the ability to schedule posts automatically, I've been dying to try it out for when I am out of town.

I have been a hermit the last couple of days.

A what, huh?

Yeah, a hermit.  I spent the last 2 nights at a place called Pacem In Terris, meaning "Peace On Earth".  It is a hermitage retreat center, a place of silence and solitude.  Just you, nature and God.

I stayed in a hermitage, a simple cabin with no running water or electricity, but a very comfortable place to be in.  It is a place to get away from all the busyness of life, job, daily responsibilities and the distractions of technology - TV, radio, internet, and yes, even blogging!

Unfortunately, Monday was also the hottest day in a long time.  We hit the 90's.

I spent my time in silence, reading, praying and just enjoying nature.  You barely see anyone else at the retreat, unless you decide to have dinner at the main house.  I took time to reflect on my TTC journey in the last few years, my journey ahead of me, my faith, and my walk with God.  It was a time I set aside for myself before I start my next round of IVF.

It was good to get away from the normal routine of life.  To get away from blogging (though I did miss it!).  To get rested and refreshed.  I could have spent a few more days there. It was beautiful out there.

Here are some pictures that I took from Pacem In Terris.

Have you done a retreat like this?  How did you like it?

My hermitage

Rocking chair facing the large picture window, I spent a lot of time here

My chair in the screened in porch, I spent most of my time here

View of the grounds (notice the cross in the background)

Boardwalk to the lake

End of the boardwalk, a place to enjoy the view of the lake

A deer showed up, view from my picture window

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

99 Things About Me

**Update:  Thanks to BabySmiling, I now have updated the list with #49**

This has been going around the blog world lately.  It's supposed to be 99 things about me, but I found that there are only 98 items.  In the version that I copied from, #49 is missing.

Does anyone know what #49 is supposed to be?

99 Things About Me
  1. Started your own blog - Yeah, obviously
  2. Slept under the stars - Camping under the stars in the mountains of Colorado is amazing!
  3. Played in a band - drums in middle school, played the flute in the marching band with the Girls Brigade, and sing on a worship team at church.
  4. Visited Hawaii - Maui rocks!
  5. Watched a meteor shower - Very cool!
  6. Given more than you can afford to charity - I give to a few charities but can't really say I've given more than I can afford
  7. Been to Disney World - not yet, but have been do Disneyland L.A. and Disneyland Tokyo
  8. Climbed a mountain - No, but I know someone who just made the summit of Mt. Everest on Saturday!  He's finally completed his climb of the 7 highest summits on each continent.
  9. Held a praying mantis
  10. Sang a solo - In church when I was little.
  11. Bungee jumped - in Hanmer Springs, New Zealand.
  12. Visited Paris
  13. Watched a lightning storm - On my birthday last year, while tornado sirens were going off even though we were supposed to be in the basement! Even video taped it.
  14. Taught yourself an art from scratch 
  15. Adopted a child
  16. Had food poisoning - Unfortunately, yes.  Not something I hope to experience again!
  17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty - Not all the way to the top though, they closed off the top when I was there.
  18. Grown your own vegetables - Most credit goes to Babe though
  19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France - It was smaller than I thought 
  20. Slept on an overnight train
  21. Had a pillow fight
  22. Hitch-hiked
  23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill - I call those "mental health days"
  24. Built a snow fort
  25. Held a lamb - I always worry they would poop while I'm holding them!
  26. Gone skinny dipping
  27. Run a Marathon - Why?
  28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice - On Babe's birthday a few years ago, actually
  29. Seen a total eclipse - Very cool!
  30. Watched a sunrise or sunset - Who hasn't?
  31. Hit a home run
  32. Been on a cruise
  33. Seen Niagara Falls in person - 3 times
  34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors - I was in China, but it's a huge country!
  35. Seen an Amish community - Does it count if it's from afar?
  36. Taught yourself a new language - I think our husbands speak a different language, don't you?
  37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied - I'm hoping one day I will
  38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
  39. Gone rock climbing
  40. Seen Michelangelo’s David - Seen the replica in it's original location in Florence, but not the original sculpture which is in the museum.
  41. Sung karaoke - Yeah, baby!
  42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
  43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant - Done this many times at drive-thrus.
  44. Visited Africa - Was in Mauritius which is an island off the coast of Madagascar.  Technically, it would be considered Africa, just not the main continent.
  45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
  46. Been transported in an ambulance - A group of us were in a car accident after bungee jumping in New Zealand (see #11).  I was fine.
  47. Had your portrait painted - I'm counting my caricature portrait done by a street artist!
  48. Gone deep sea fishing
  49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person - Very cool....
  50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
  51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling - I've scuba dived in Maui during whale season.  You could hear the whales singing in the water.  Pretty freaky but so cool!
  52. Kissed in the rain
  53. Played in the mud
  54. Gone to a drive-in theater
  55. Been in a movie
  56. Visited the Great Wall of China
  57. Started a business
  58. Taken a martial arts class - Tried kickboxing (the REAL kickboxing, not the cardio fitness class) in college.  I was so sore I never went back!
  59. Visited Russia
  60. Served at a soup kitchen
  61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies 
  62. Gone whale watching - Incredible!
  63. Got flowers for no reason - Thanks Babe!
  64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
  65. Gone sky diving
  66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
  67. Bounced a check - Not proud of it
  68. Flown in a helicopter
  69. Saved a favorite childhood toy - Wish I had.
  70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
  71. Eaten Caviar
  72. Pieced a quilt - Does making a quilted pillow cover count?
  73. Stood in Times Square
  74. Toured the Everglades
  75. Been fired from a job
  76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
  77. Broken a bone - Thankfully not!
  78. Been a passenger on a motorcycle - Whee.......
  79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
  80. Published a book
  81. Visited the Vatican
  82. Bought a brand new car - What's wrong with used cars?
  83. Walked in Jerusalem - Some day.
  84. Had your picture in the newspaper - Made the front page of the Sunday papers when I was in college.
  85. Kissed a stranger at midnight on New Year’s Eve
  86. Visited the White House
  87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating - Caught, cleaned and cooked fish
  88. Had chickenpox - There was a time I was certain I would catch it since everyone else around me did, but was lucky enough not to.  I'm immunized instead.
  89. Saved someone’s life
  90. Sat on a jury
  91. Met someone famous - Michael W. Smith signed my t-shirt.
  92. Joined a book club
  93. Got a tattoo
  94. Had a baby - Someday, please?
  95. Seen the Alamo in person
  96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
  97. Been involved in a law suit
  98. Owned a cell phone
  99. Been stung by a bee

Monday, May 24, 2010

IVF Schedule

On Friday, I received a packet in the mail for my next round of IVF.  In it, a prescription for BCPs, my list of drugs I will be on, and my IVF calendar.

For this round I will be doing the Antagonist protocol versus the Lu.pron protocol from last time.  I will be on Ganire.lix instead of Lu.pron, Follis.tim and Meno.pur.   Thankfully, no PIO this time either, I will be on Endome.trin suppositories again.

The antagonist protocol is much shorter than the Lu.pron one. I will not be suppressed for 12 days with Lu.pron.  I will go on BCPs after AF shows up, stims will start on July 2nd and the estimated egg retrieval/transfer will be the week of July 11th.  My nurses consult is scheduled for June 15th.

It's coming up fast.

I could have started earlier, with stims starting on June 25th, but then ER/ET would have been the week of July 4th, and I didn't want to risk it in case we decided to go on vacation that week.  To be honest, I'm not even sure if I want to start that quickly.  I'm thinking about taking another month off before doing IVF again.  I have my reasons, but that will be for another post.

For now, we are have a plan, though that plan could change.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Embryo Adoption

At the Patiently Waiting Infertility support group on Tuesday, I met a girl named Katie.   She is pursuing embryo adoption.

Yeah, embryo adoption.

When I first heard about her from K (Patiently Waiting also has an adoption group) I thought wow, that's so cool.  Then when I met her on Tuesday, my heart jumped a little.

I'm not sure what this means yet, but the thought of embryo adoption is exciting.  If IVF does not work for us, and if we decided to pursue adoption, this is an option.  I heard about embryo adoption on Focus on the Family a few years ago.  At that time, we were just starting our fertility treatments, and it never even occurred to me that we would have considered IVF.  So I didn't even consider it.  But now, embryo adoption seems like a possible option. Though Babe and I have not talked about this, I did "casually" mention Katie to him.  Couldn't really tell how he felt about it though.

With embryo adoption, we would have to go through the regular adoption process.  Unlike regular adoption, I would actually be able experience pregnancy and childbirth, which would be a big plus!  There is also no risk of a failed adoption where a birthparent decides to parent or reclaim a child.  Plus, since we have gone through IVF, we can relate to the pain and heartache of infertility, and we know how much the biological parents wanted and desired to have children.

It is estimated that there are around 500,000 human embryos in cryopreservation in the US.  Because some parents that have gone through IVF have extra embryos, but have decided that their families are complete, they are faced with a dilemma: donate the embryos to research, thaw them and let them die, or donate them to couples that cannot conceive.  With embryo adoption, we would be adopting these donated embryos, a decision that is life honoring for both the biological parents and the adoptive parents.

Like I said earlier, I don't really know what this all means for us yet as we are planning on another round of IVF.  I haven't taken time to research any of this but I'll probably meet up with Katie sometime in the future just to chat.  Still, it's exciting just to think about it.

Have adopted an embryo?  Have/Would you ever considered it?

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Divine Appointments

Do you believe in divine appointments?

Have you ever had a coincidence that was so special that you thought it couldn't just be a coincidence?  That maybe God played a role in orchestrating the whole thing?  Some people think that it's just incredible luck, but I think it's more than that.

I believe in divine appointments.  I believe that God puts people and situations in your life for a purpose.  In the last couple few months, things have happened in my life that made me go "Hmmm...... what's HE up to?"

Here are just a few "coincidences":
  • A couple of weeks before I left my job last year, Ro, a gal on my team that I had worked with for more than 5 years, and I started chatting.  The topic of kids came up and eventually we both cautiously revealed that we both have had TTC issues.  It's funny how we never talked about this until right before I left the company.  Maybe it makes it easier because I was leaving the company.  She has told me how nice it is to be able to talk to another person about her struggles and feelings, since all her other friends and family already has kids.  I also referred her to my doc that eventually performed her laparascopy.  We still meet up for lunch to chat.  I hope I can be a source of support for her.
  • I met Kristi at a Chipot.le restaurant because there were no seats available.  She offered to share a table with me and we started chatting.  To make a long story short, we found out we clicked like old friends, met up for coffee and found out we had a lot in common.  She is an acupuncturist, has had 3 miscarriages, adopted a baby girl and then got pregnant with her son a few years later (yeah, the classic just adopt and got pregnant scenario!).  We hang out for lunch or coffee sometimes and she has a heart for people dealing with infertility because of her own journey.
  • There is a group of friends that have been praying for Babe and I during out TTC struggles.  I found out that one of the couples that have been praying for us, their daughter had struggled with infertility for a couple of years, is now pregnant via IVF and is due in June.  Another couple that is praying for us also had experienced baby loss.  I am grateful for my strong prayer partners that have supported us all this while, and it makes is even more special when you know they can relate to some of your pain.
  • 4 out of 5 women (including myself) in my small group at church has suffered through miscarriages and/or infertility.  The one that hasn't is single.  I wasn't planning on telling my group about my fertility issues, but once they found out about my failed IVF, they all came forward with their stories.  I think God is teaching me not to be ashamed of my struggle, but to share it and be a blessing to others.
  • K and I have met casually before a few years back via a mutual friend (her friend is married to one of Babe's best friends).  She had heard in the past that I was dealing with infertility, and happened to see my name on the email list of a Christian infertility support group called Patiently Waiting.  I had not attended this group in 3 years due to conflicts.  She emailed me one day and asked me if I were going to the meeting that night.  I had not planned on attending since it had been 3 years, but since my schedule was open, I decided that I'd go with her.  It was such a blessing to have gone.  I have met a few other wonderful gals, and we have met even outside of the support group
  • Last Sunday, I ran into K (from the above) at church.  K grew up in my church but had not been attending there in a few years.  I had just got done attending the first service, and she had just gotten done with her bible study small group that was meeting for the first time.  It was totally weird to run into K at church!  Coincidently, there was a lady there, Mar, in her small group that had been dealing with infertility for 8 years before conceiving her 2 sons.  We (Babe and I) plan on joining K and her small group the next time they meet. 
  • Mar, K and I have met up for breakfast.  We had a wonderful time sharing our experiences, and struggles.  Mar is such a strong and godly woman, and her encouragement has been such a blessing.  It has been such a blessing meeting her!
  • While K and I were chatting when we met at church, one of our pastors, Pastor Greg came walking by.  I had emailed Pr. Greg earlier in the week with a question about infertility treatments (he is also a doctor), but he did not have a chance to reply yet.  Coincidently, K had known him from her youth group days (remember K grew up at my church).  So, he stopped by to say hi.  We mentioned that both K and I have been dealing with infertility, and I mentioned my question that I emailed him.  Not only did he give us time out of his busy schedule to chat, he answered my question AND he prayed for the both of us right there and then! Again, what a blessing!  I could not believe how the day had played out.
So, do you believe in divine appointments?  What's your story?

Pac Man's 30th Anniversary

Did you hear?  It's Pac Man's 30th Anniversary.  In honor of that, Google embedded the game directly into it's logo on it's website ( .

Go check it out.  You can actually play the game on the logo.  Just click on the "Insert Coin" button.  You can even do 2 players!  Just click on the button twice for 2 player mode. Use the arrow keys for moving around, and if playing 2 players, use the WASD keys to move Ms. Pac Man.

I get a chuckle out of it..... even comes with the original annoying sounds.

Don't miss it.  You can only play it through the weekend.  Enjoy!

p/s This is really making me feel old!

Friday, May 21, 2010

May ICLW & 6 Month Bloggaversary

Welcome ICLWers!  I can't believe it's been a month since the last ICLW.

For those new to ICLW, it's a week every month dedicated to honoring and encouraging commenting on fellow bloggers' blogs.  Great time to find new blogs and make new friends.

For those visiting for the first time, welcome!

To make a long story short, my husband, Babe and I have been on the TTC journey for about 6 years.  We've gone through IUIs and 2 IVF cycles now, but still no baby.  You can read the history of our journey here.

In March I had just gone through my last IVF.  I did not get a BFN because my I didn't even make it to embryo transfer.  My only 2 embryos that fertilized out of 6, arrested before we could do a transfer.  It was a very difficult time for me because I didn't expect that I would not make the transfer.  If you are interested in reading more about my experience, you can read about my egg retrieval here, fertilization report here, fertilization update here, and embryos update here.

After that, my RE believes that I have low quality egg issue due to age (I'm 36).  She recommended that I do the Karotype test which tests for chromosomal abnormalities.  Thankfully that came back normal.  So now we are getting ready to start our next round of IVF.

On another note....

It's my 6 month Bloggaversary!!  

Yup, it's been that long since I started blogging.  I've said this before, when I started blogging, I had no idea if anyone would even read this.  Now, I have around 90 followers, and lots of new wonderful and supportive friends.  Thank you so much for coming along with me on this crazy journey.

I would love to hear from you if you are visiting for the first time, or if you are a regular (thanks for your support!).  Have a great ICLW and hope you find lots of new and interesting blogs.

p/s Oops!  Just noticed that I put April instead of May ICLW in the title.  It's corrected now.  Sorry bout that!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Caught Up!

I'm FINALLY caught up with my blog reading!  Sorry that I haven't been commenting much.  I really wanted to get caught up.  It's tough trying to catch up on 10 days worth of reading, then progress to only 3 left, and then only to be back at 7 days worth, and on and on....

But I'm finally caught up.

Then I realize that ICLW starts in 2 days, which means more reading and commenting.  Plus I will be out of town again for a couple of days next week during ICLW!  Ugh, it never ends!

I currently have a few things in mind that I am working on posting.  But thanks for hanging in there with me!

Travolta/Preston Expecting

I'm usually not big follower of celebrity news, but a friend sent me a link to the article on Peo.ple magazine that Kelly Preston, who is married to John Travolta, is pregnant at 47.  I'm really happy for them as they'd just suffered the loss of their 16-year old son in January 2009.  Plus, I'm a fan of both actors.

But I can't help thinking, at 47, did she do IVF?  If so how many rounds did it take her?

Did she use donor eggs?  I can't believe that at her age, egg quality is not an issue.

I'm not sure if it really matters, or if it's any of my business.  But Hollywood sure makes it sound so easy to get pregnant at an older age.  I wonder if they would share more details of the pregnancy.

But then, would I share with the whole world that my baby was conceived via IVF?  Probably not.  So why should I expect them to?

Either way, I am happy for John Travolta and Kelly Preston.  I wish them a safe and happy pregnancy!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Babies, The Movie

Have you seen the trailer for this movie?

I know some IFers may have a hard time with this movie, it is about babies after all.  I for one would love to watch this.  Babies born in San Francisco, Mongolia, Tokyo and the Namibian flatlands, filmed during the first year of their lives.  I find that fascinating.

It came out on Mother's Day weekend (of course).

Anyone seen the movie yet?

Sunday, May 16, 2010

The Story Behind "Before The Morning"

I hope you had a chance to listen to Before The Morning from my last post.  I found this other video about the story behind the song and I just have to share it.  It's 10 minutes long, but so worth watching.

Before The Morning - Josh Wilson

Have you heard "Before The Morning" by Josh Wilson?  I've heard this many time on KTIS, our local Christian radio station (which by the way, you can listen to online anytime!) but I've never really paid attention to the words until Katy posted the lyrics on her blog.  It's a great song, and I can't seem to get enough of it!

The words from the chorus is exactly what I (we?) need to hear:

   Would you dare would you dare to believe
   That you still have a reason to sing
   Cause the pain that you've been feeling
   It can't compare to the joy that's coming
   So hold on you gotta wait for the light
   Press on and just fight the good fight
   Cause the pain that you've been feeling
   It's just the dark before the morning


   It's just the hurt before the healing
   Oh the pain that you've been feeling
   It's just the dark before the morning

There is joy coming!  There is healing coming!

Here are the full lyrics:

Do you wonder why you have to
Feel the things that hurt you
If there’s a God who loves you where is He now

Maybe there are things you can’t see
And all those things are happening
To bring a better ending

Someday somehow you’ll see, you’ll see

Would you dare would you dare to believe
That you still have a reason to sing
Cause the pain that you’ve been feeling
It can’t compare to the joy that’s coming
So hold on you gotta wait for the light
Press on and just fight the good fight
Cause the pain that you’ve been feeling
It’s just the dark before the morning

My friend you know how this all ends
You know where you’re going
You just don’t know how you’ll get there
So say a prayer

And hold on cause there’s good for those who love God
But life is not a snapshot
It might take a little time but you’ll see the bigger picture


Once you feel the weight of glory
All your pain will fade to memory

It’s just the hurt before the healing
Oh the pain that you’ve been feeling
It’s just the dark before the morning

This and That

I've been a bad blogger, sorry.  I'm STILL behind in catching up on reading everyone's blogs.  I'm about 3 days behind.  Haven't been commenting much, and not feeling like posting much either.  So, here's a few going ons in my life right now.

  • So thankful that our Karotype test results came back normal.  It means we can try for another round of IVF, and can skip the whole donor egg discussion.  For a while there, I thought maybe it would be a good thing if the result came back abnormal.  Then we can just say screw the whole IVF thing, quit trying, and move on to adoption.  Of course I'm truly happy that's not the case.  The whole IVF thing is hard.  It's hard when there are so many unknowns.  Not knowing if it is going to work this time, after yet another failure.  All the physical, emotional and financial strains it involves.  But yes, I'm thankful for the way it turned out.
  • Earlier this week, my 2 1/2-year-old goddaughter L gave me a little pot of african violets.  Just because, and as a thank you for being a special part of her life.  I'm sure it was her mom, E's idea, a little something for mother's day.  So thank you, E!  I will probably plant it outside in a planter or in the garden transfer it into a permanent indoor pot (I was just notified by E that the plant is actually an indoor plant!  Let's hope my black thumb does not kill it!).
  • We refinanced our house from a 30-year to a 15-year mortgage.  No refinancing fees and we actually will pay less every month, thanks to the stimulus package.  We still have to get the final approval in the mail.  The only possible bump is that I am now not working, but we've had a perfect history in the past of paying on time and extra.  Plus unlike many mortgages out there, we actually owe less than what the house is worth.  The refinancing guy doesn't think it would be an issue.
  • I ovulated early this month.  It came as a bit of a surprise since I normally ovulate on day 16 or 17 on, but I think I actually ovulated on day 15 this month.  Luckily I was paying attention to the OPKs or I would have missed it!
  • We had dinner at a Chinese restaurant a couple of nights ago, and my fortune cookie said "You will have a comfortable old age".  Hmm.... comfortable?  Hopefully that includes kids that will be taking good care of me!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Mother's Day Giveaway Winner

Thank you all for participating in my Mother's Day pomegranate earrings giveaway.  I loved reading all the things you would love your fertile friends to know about infertility or baby loss.  I can relate to almost all that was written and also learned a thing or two as well.  I also appreciate the kind words about my desire to celebrate Mother's Day.

As for the winner, it was decided somewhat randomly.  I had Babe randomly picked a number between 1 and 13 (since 13 people left comments for that post).  Babe picked the number 4 (after first picking 14, he's funny that way).

So the winner is the 4th commenter, Crossing My Fingers from Crossing My Fingers But Not My Legs.

She wrote "The one thing I want people to know is that infertility is a lot harder than you think it is! It's not easy as relax, don't stress, go on vacation...its an up hill battle, so many ifs...something I would never wish on my worst enemy!"

I think we can all agree with her!
Congrats, CMF!  I hope you enjoy these earrings.  And may it bring you lots of baby dust!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

It's Normal!!


The results of my Karotype test came back normal!  Everything looks good!  

Thank You God!!

The nurse has forwarded our file to Dr. Hopeful so she can put in an order (paperwork, financials, etc) for another round of IVF.  

Babe and I still need to decide how soon we want to start the next round.  I am so relieved!

Monday, May 10, 2010

How I Spent Mother's Day

First of all, don't forget my Mother's Day giveaway!  If you have not already done so, make sure to participate.  It ends on Tuesday night!

How I spent Mother's Day.....

Well I woke up thinking, ugh.... I don't want to get up!  It's freezing out there!  And I snuggled deeper into my sleeping bag.

Yup, I did say sleeping bag!  Oh, didn't I mention that I was camping last weekend?  In the cold, wet and almost freezing weather?  Crazy, I know!

Yeah, Babe and his friend, Buddy decided that they we should go camping this month.  It was supposed to be for the 3rd weekend of May, but Buddy changed it last minute to this weekend, which happened to be Mother's Day.  And it was cold!  He didn't even have any idea that it was Mother's Day.

We camped at a state park next to a river, which was pretty nice, but somehow picked one of the coldest and wettest weekend this spring.  Thankfully it was only for one night.  We spent Saturday cooking by the fire, walking along the trails by the St. Croix river, drinking hot chocolate and just hanging out (and warming up)  by the fire.  Did I mention it was cold?  We could see our breaths the whole time we were there!

The benefit of camping on Mother's Day weekend was not having to witness the festivities that goes along with this day.  No need to see mothers with flowers pinned on their shirts, or people dressed up to go to church or Sunday brunches, and mothers (and dads) showing off gifts received from their kids.  These are all wonderful things, just not something I'm up for at this moment.

Buddy was cooking us bacon and eggs over the fire on Sunday morning when I asked what he was planning for his wife to celebrate Mother's Day.  "Oh I guess she will have to wait till J (their 3-year-old daughter) is older and she can celebrate it with her (Buddy's wife)".  

What??  It never crossed Buddy's mind to celebrate Mother's Day with his wife.  In his mind, he would celebrate his mom, and it would be his daughter's responsibility to celebrate his wife.  I was outraged!  He didn't even think his wife was worth celebrating Mother's Day?

Without coming off as a raving lunatic (which took a lot of self control and effort), I said, "Don't you think you should get your wife a gift or celebrate on behalf of J?  She's only (almost) 3, so you should help her celebrate it."  He didn't seem too convinced, so I added "You know, she IS the mother of your child!!  That should mean something, right?"

He looked at me and said, "You know, you might me right.  I'll think about it".  I'm not sure if he did anything about it, but I sure hope he did.  How can you not appreciate your wife, the mother of your child on Mother's Day?  I'm going to have to check with his wife to see if he actually did anything to celebrate with his wife.  How clueless can he be?

Driving to the state park on Saturday, I was thinking about Mother's Day, whether I had a right to celebrate it.  So I cautiously asked Babe if he thought I deserved to celebrate Mother's Day.  He had a frown and said, "It doesn't make sense.  If we had children then yeah, you should celebrate it.  But we don't"  

I was pretty upset.  I know it totally made sense.  Technically, we have no children, but what about all the embryos that didn't make it.  I guess they don't matter?  I suppose they weren't babies, or fetuses even.  Yes, technically I am not a mother. 

But still it hurt.  I wanted him to be more understanding, to be more sensitive to all the hurts and pains and feelings of loss that we (or maybe just me?) had gone through.  For him to say, I know this is hard, but maybe we can just have ice cream instead, of go for a movie, or have a drink, or something.  To give me a hug (OK, so he was driving).  Something for him to at least acknowledge Mother's Day, as something I really yearn to celebrate, but can't.  It was too hard for me to even think about fighting about this.  So I let it slide.

Maybe not thinking about us celebrating Mother's Day is his way of dealing?  I don't know.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

I Want To Be A Mother

I received the poem from a friend the other day.  I thought it would be fitting to share this on Mother's Day.

I do not want to take away the significance of this day, because this is a special day.  We should celebrate our moms, and you deserve to celebrate this day if you are a mom.

I hope that I will be able to celebrate this day fully some day.  But for now, this is what I want.  I want to be a mother.  I am a Mom Wannabe.

Happy Mother's Day everyone, no matter where you are on your journey!

I want to be a Mother 
A Mom Wannabe 
By Alison Kathleen Whitney 

I want to be a Mom. But I can't. Instead, I am a Mom Wannabe. 

I want to procreate. I want to conceive a child, naturally, with my husband, in the privacy of our home, in the spirit of love and passion, in the way God intended. But I can't. 

I want to discover that my period is several days late. I want to buy a pregnancy test and pee on a stick. I want to see a + sign. I want to cry tears of joy for the news we'd discovered. But I can't. Instead, I cry tears of pain at random, for no reason and with no warning. 

I want to experience morning sickness. I want my hormones to go haywire. I want the "pregnant glow". I want to have my husband talk to my belly. But I can't. Instead, I try not to look pregnant. I don't buy clearance clothes for next year, "just in case". I try to keep my emotions from going haywire. I dream that my husband talks to my belly. 

I want to take prenatal vitamins. I want to eat for two. I want to schedule my first doctor's visit. I want to sit in the waiting room with other pregnant women and know that I am one of them. But I can't. Instead, I wonder if those pregnant women ever had problems conceiving. I think how cute they look as they waddle with their big bellies. I smile at babies that are not mine. I ache from loving someone I've never met. 

I want to hear the doctor say "You're Pregnant. Your progress is right on schedule." But I can't. I want to surprise my parents with a new grandchild. I want to tell my friends and family our good news. I want my life to change overnight. I want to read "What to Expect When You're Expecting". But I can't. Instead, I have no news to tell. I realize my life hasn't changed in years. I read "When Empty Arms become a Heavy Burden". 

I want to monitor the progress. I want to see ultrasounds. I want to hear the heartbeat. I want to watch our baby grow. I want to feel the kicks, but I can't. I want to decorate the nursery. I want to childproof our home. I want to shop for adorable, soft, tiny outfits. I want to shop at Gymboree. I want to save money for the baby's future. Instead, I imagine a crib in an empty room down the hall. I avoid baby stores in the mall. We spend our money on doctor's appointments, tests and high-tech procedures. We spend our money on a dream. We are left with an empty bank account. We are left with empty arms. 

I want to share the experience with my pregnant friends. I want to compare symptoms. I want to be the guest of honor at a baby shower. But I can't. Instead, I watch my friends get pregnant quickly. I watch their bellies grow, attend their showers, see their pictures and try to be a good friend. I watch their lives change and our friendships change in front of my eyes. 

I want my belly to drop. I want my water to break. I want contractions. I want an epidural. I want my husband by my side and my family in waiting room. I want the pushing. I want the pain. I want to hear the cry. But I can't. Instead, I feel a different pain. I hear my own cry. Yes, I even hear the cry of my husband which hurts more than I had ever imagined. 

I want to hold our baby in my arms, with tears of joy streaming down our faces. I want to experience the miracle of birth, thinking "We did it" but knowing that God did it. But I can't. Instead, I hold my husband in my arms with tears of sorrow streaming down our faces and wondering what God's plan is for us and why we have to go through this. 

I want to pray that one extra special blessing be added to my life. And I do. I pray my 1000th unanswered prayer to God and hope this time He answers. I pray for the miracle of life that only God can give. I pray that someday soon He will give it to us. 

I want to be a mom, but I can't. Instead, I am right where God wants me to be: thankful for our blessings, searching out His will, basking in His grace, trusting in His perfect plan, praying for a change in status... 

From a mom wannabe, to the mom I WANT to be. 

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Mother's Day & A Giveaway

Mother's Day is right at our doorsteps again.  This is a tough day for us dealing with infertility.  What do you do when you yearn to be a mother and Mother's Day just reminds you of something you want so badly, but cannot seem to have? (hint: I'm doing a giveaway!)

I hope you are able to celebrate this day with your mom.  Growing up, I always knew moms were special and I celebrated Mother's Day with excitement.  But as a grown up, I really appreciate how special moms really are, the sacrifices they make, the lessons they teach us, the love they give.

But for us dealing with infertility, Mother's Day can be so hard to handle.  Seeing how special moms are treated, all the flowers, gifts, special brunches, etc.  We want so much to be able to celebrate this day, not  because we want the gifts or the special treatment.  But because we so yearn to be mothers ourselves.  It's just another reminder of what we want so badly, but can't have.

I remember growing up, my old church would celebrate Mother's Day by acknowledging all mothers by having them stand up at the service.  And all mothers received either a flower or a corsage.  Thankfully the church we go to now doesn't do that or it would be too hard for me to attend church on Mother's Day.

My mom lives on the other side of the world, so I will not be able to celebrate with her.  Usually we celebrate Mother's Day with my mother-in-law, but this year, she and my FIL is on vacation in Hawaii.  So instead, we are going to have dinner with my Babe's 90-year-old grandma.

Will you be celebrating Mother's Day?  How?

Do I have a right to celebrate Mother's Day if I have lost embryos, but no baby?  I'd love to, but I would feel like a fraud, an imposter.  Wouldn't you?

What about those of you that have lost babies to miscarriages?  Do you celebrate?

I'm doing a giveaway in honor of Mother's Day!  I suspect that many of us will be celebrating our mothers, but not not ourselves, even though we would LOVE to be mothers.   I won't be getting any gifts this Mother's Day, but I am going to bless someone else instead.

A couple of weeks ago, I posted about pomegranates being a symbol of fertility and prosperity.  Inspired by some of the comments I received, I'm giving away a pair of pomegranate earrings.

There earrings are handmade my me.  They are simple but very pretty, though the pictures did not turn out too well.  The pomegranate charms are sterling silver and includes a pair of purple sparkly crystals and glass beads.  My goal is to bless someone with this pair of earring.  Hopefully it can bring you some luck, some "baby dust", if you will.  If nothing else I hope it can be a great conversation piece when someone says "Oh, what kind of earrings are those?".

It's really simple to participate in this giveaway.  You don't have to be a follower or tweet or anything.   Just answer this question in the comments section:  What is the one thing you would like your non-infertile friends to know about infertility or baby loss?  

That's it.  It's that simple.

The giveaway is open to everyone.  I will ship overseas if needed.  The giveaway will close at 11:59 p.m. CST Tuesday, May 11th.  The winner will be randomly selected by my Babe, and will be contacted on Thursday, May 13th.

I can't wait to hear your comments!  Good luck!

Happy Mother's Day!  Make sure to give your mom or MIL an extra special hug!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Sharing "What If" Posts from NIAW

This post is not about me.  This is a post about those who have written about their "What IFs".

Since I was out of town during most of NIAW (National Infertility Awareness Week), I have finally caught up on reading NIAW posts.  I had more than a week of reading to do.

All I can say is wow!  Some of "What If" posts have really touched me.  I realize that many of you that read my blog are bloggers yourself, and have most probably seen or read a lot of what I am about to share.  But I also know there are those reading that are not bloggers or are not dealing with infertility.  So it would be careless of me if I didn't share the following with you.

There have been so many incredible posts that were written in honor of NIAW that have really touch my heart.  Many have expressed so many feelings that I have not been able to put into words myself.  So I would like to share a few of them here.  Please realize that these are just of few of the hundreds of "What If" posts of Project IF.

If you don't have time to read these now, please make sure you take some time and come back to read these later.  It really does help put into words what infertility is, what it means to those of us who go through it, and how it affects us.

What IF it never works?  by Krista of Dear Rowan

NIAW by Denifay of Making Our Troxiclair Family

Adoption/Infertility Road by Tiffany of The Pifer Family

What If? by Lut C of Things Get IF'fy

And finally, check out Keiko's (from Hannah Wept, Sarah Laughed) video.  She actually "came out of IF closet" during NIAW.  You can read her post about it here.

What IF? A Portrait of Infertility from Keiko Zoll on Vimeo.

A heartfelt thanks to those that have shared.  Thanks for putting into word many things that we IFers feel.

Again, please check out the rest of the "What If" list.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

No News Is Good News?

I called my RE's office today about the best way to send them my IVF lab report from my first IVF that was done overseas (I'm working on this post!).  At the same time, I checked on the status of my Karotype testing.

If the result is abnormal, someone (hopefully the RE) will call.  If the result is normal (praying that it is!) no one will call.   How can they not call if the results are normal?  Don't we IFers do enough waiting already?  Sigh...... I guess no news is good news.

Please don't call!  Please don't call!
I wanted to know if they had heard anything yet, but the receptionist assured me that it really does take a month for the result to come back.  It's only been 3 weeks.  Yeah, only (insert sarcastic tone).  I'll have to wait till after May 11th to call them back, if I still have not heard anything.  I want to make sure that I'm not sitting on my hands, wasting a cycle if the results are normal.

In the meantime, let's hope I don't get any calls from the clinic.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

TTC: Lessons Learned

This week, Bon at I Can Haz BeBe? blogged about what 3 years of TTC has taught her.  I only wish I could have written it as beautifully as she did.

I have been TTC for 6 years, and I've experienced most of what Bon wrote about, except the part about adoption since we are not ready pursued it (yet, though we have considered it).  Even after 6 years of TTC, I am still learning from others.  That's another reason why we blog, isn't it?

Go check out her post here.  It's worth the read.

Thanks Bon for sharing this great post!

"Empty Arms" Video - In Honor of NIAW

In honor of NIAW, I am sharing the "Empty Arms" video again.  I posted this in November of last year not long after I started blogging, but it seems fitting to post it again at the end of NIAW.

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

Watch the "Empty Arms" video.

Then share it with your loved ones.

What IF?

Today is the very last day of National Infertility Awareness Week (NIAW).  In fact I am writing this post at the very last minutes of end of this week.  As part of NIAW, Mel at Stirrup-Queens is hosting Project IF.  The first part of Project IF was to list our worst "What if" fears, part 2 is to blog about it.  I've actually already missed the deadline for part 2 of Project IF, but that's OK.  I'm going to write about it anyways.

I have a long list of what ifs.  But here are my two biggest ones.

What if I never get to experience pregnancy?

Will I ever see the two pink lines of a pregnancy test?  Will I be overjoyed?  Shocked?  Will I laugh, cry, jump with joy?  Who would I tell first?

I often wonder what it would feel like to know you are able to produce life, precious life in your own body?  What would it feel like to feel a life growing in your body?  To hear its first heartbeat?  To see its ultrasound images?  To feel a baby kick, or swim and dance around?  I'd gladly endure morning sickness if I know a baby was growing inside!

What would it be like to see your belly expand over time?  To have constipation, heartburn or stretch marks because of pregnancy?  Would I be able to sleep at night or would I be running to the bathroom all night?

What would it be like to experience the pain of childbirth? The sensation of breast feeding?  What would it be like to fall desperately in love with a little newborn that you know is the love of your life?

What if I never get to experience any of these things??

What if we are never able to have children that look like me or my husband?

I've always wanted kids.  And I've always wanted kids with my Babe.  I've always looked forward to see what kind of babies we would have.

My Babe and I are a mixed couple.  I am of Chinese descent and my Babe, he's mostly German and some Polish.  Oh what beautiful babies we would make, right?

Would our babies have my black straight hair or his blond wavy hair?  Will they be super fair like him, or more tanned like me?  Will they have my brown eyes or his blue ones?  Will they have his "strong" (big) nose, or my dimples?  Will they be tall like him, or short (hopefully not!) like me?  Will they look mostly Asian or Caucasian, or would you just not be able to tell the difference?  I am so curious to find out what they would look like.

My Babe and I used to joke about what if our kids were unfortunate enough to inherit our worst traits?  What if our kids had his "strong" nose, my "mick.ey mouse" ears, and were really short?  We would have trolls!  Remember those troll dolls from the 80's or 90's?  Wouldn't that be funny?

Most of our closest friends are mixed couples, and their kids are gorgeous.  It is so amazing to be able to tell which trait come from which parent.  We want gorgeous kids too.  Kids that have our genes, that look like my Babe and/or myself.  Kids that have his musical talent, his natural athletic ability, his mathematical mind.  OUR kids.

What if we never get a chance to combine our gene pools?  
What if we never get to find out what our kids look like?  
What if we never get to have a child that is combination of the best of the two of us?


For more information on National Infertility Awareness Week, please visit here.

Read the first part of Project IF where readers post their "What IF" questions.  Then take some time to read part 2 of Project IF. where bloggers write about their "What IF" questions.