Friday, December 30, 2011

Christmas 2011 Recap

Babycakes and I had a fabulous Holiday filled with family, friends, cocktails & way too many sweets (as it should be!) I used this month's fertility events as an excuse to 1) buy myself a marvelous pair of ankle boots (I did officially & inappropriately call them my miscarriage boots) and 2) indulge in adult beverages.

I didn't have my camera with me while we were in Kansas, but was able to snap a few shots with the good 'ole iPhone. Here, our first night in town for our "Siblings Night Out" with all the kids:

  The 3 Jules! My sister in law Julie to the left, & Lance's sister Julie to the right

                          The Jules' men: BC, Ricco, & Chad (BC's brother)

After a fun Christmas Eve Day bowling match with the entire family (where little Brady won the Yule Tide Cup for best bowling score!) we attended my sister-in-law's mother's party. Our 3 nephews Jake, Brady, & Nick adore their uncle Mike (Jules' brother) and wanted to emulate his chef's towel-over-the-shoulder action. Little Nick (who is 2 1/2) at one point came running up to Jules and I with a towel in his hand. Not knowing what to do with it, Jules folded it and handed it back to him. He threw a royal FIT until someone suggested maybe he was wanting it over his shoulder. SUCCESS!

                                      The mini-chefs and their Uncle Mike

Christmas Day we all headed over to BC's childhood home for an amazingly delicious brunch followed by our present exchange. After presents, the ladies retreated to the dining room to learn the card game "Phase 10" (I won!!) while the men snoozed in various corners of the living room. During this time, my cousin Heather sent me this photo from my family's celebration in Houston:

This is my sister-in-law Jeannine & Aunt Sheri making fun of me. They are emulating a yoga pose BC's sister and I often do for photos when together. Not to be outdone, Christie and I turned the camera on ourselves and returned with these:


        Yes, we are twinkies. And Christie is definitely WAY more flexible than I am!

Later that night BC's mom got out big bins of old family photos for everyone to look through. BC is the eldest of 7 children, all who grew up in the very home we were at (how cool and special is that?) Here is one of my favs of BC as a little one, with 3 of his eventual 6 siblings:

BC is the oh so adorable one on the left. Such a cute toddler- I hope our little ones inherit some of that delicious-ness!

Our last night in town we stayed at a hotel on the Plaza Square near downtown KC. We had a fantastic dinner together, re-capping our favorite moments of the trip, then met his sister & her partner out for a nightcap. Before heading to the airport the next day, I got my shop on at H&M. I always have to hit that store whenever we travel, and am rooting for one to open in our hometown!

We felt very loved & supported during the entire trip, having chosen to openly share the recent pregnancy & miscarriage events with everyone. I am so grateful to have inherited such a wonderful family, and look forward to sharing these sorts of Holiday festivities with our own future little ones!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Doctor's Orders

At my cycle day 3 sonogram yesterday, Dr. Vaughn declared, and I quote, that my left ovary "was not behaving very nicely." Basically meaning there was a nice 'ole cyst on it (I think there might have been two?) I think all that follicle action last month left some deflated casualties. Apparently ovarian cysts can emit progesterone, lowering one's chance for pregnancy that month. Couple that with the fact that my HCG came in at 8 (where we wanted it 5 or below), and Dr. V strongly advised us to wait a cycle before doing injectables again.

Boo. I felt as deflated as those old follicles.

But also a teeny weeny smidgen relieved, in that my arms will get a month off from blood draws, my body from hormones, and I don't have to do any fancy appointment finagling in Kansas.

I did have Cristy check in psychically with the little ones, and what she "heard" was that the "sister-friend" little one was the one who had started coming in, but because the main little one who is meant to be first (even as a twin) wasn't there too, the sister-friend retreated this round. And they are very, very ready. They know without a doubt that we are very, very ready. Cristy actually cheered me up post Dr. V, saying she was getting that this totally could happen naturally. When they're ready, they're ready, she said. Now my challenge is to truly BELIEVE that.  I will definitely keep the prayers going!

And off to Kansas we go......

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Poked and Prodded

We leave for Kansas tomorrow, so I have a jam packed day today filled with needed appointments before leaving town. The itinerary:
 
8:30am: Blood Draw

My arms are beginning to look like bruised battle fields- this being the 4th draw I've had in a week. So happy that my new fav nurse was there, but sadly "my vein moved" as she was poking, so oh what fun that was! Needing CD 3 draw for insurance along with my HCG. Dr. Vaughn won't let me do injectables this cycle unless that HCG is at least 5 or below. This crazy bleeding/cramping/clotting I've had for 3 days now should hopefully be indication that levels have gone down.

9: Mystic Tan (ok, maybe this wasn't a "needed appointment," but I do know that I won't be allowed to do this once officially pregnant, so I figured I'd get in one last fake glow before the Holiday season).

9:30-10:45: Work/breakfast at local coffee shop

11-12: Acupuncture Poking

12-1: Work/lunch 

1:30-2:30: Therapy Prodding (this week's events should make for an excitement packed session!)

3:15: Appointment with Dr. Vaughn to poke and prod my lady parts and *hopefully* be given the OK to start my Gonal-F tonight

4pm: Checking in to see if Cristy might be available to psychically prod the little ones about this cycle

6-9: Movie date night with BC at our favorite Alamo Theatre

Then we pack up for our morning departure to Kansas. I am so excited to see all of BC's family- including 5 of his 6 siblings (no joke) who will be making the journey home! Tomorrow night we have our "siblings dinner" out, where just 'the kids' head out on the town. Then it is full speed ahead to celebrate Christmas at BC's childhood house with home cooked meals, lots of laughter, and many rounds of dominos. Yee-ha!


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Moving Forward

I am sitting at one of my happy places here in Austin- the Driskill Hotel- having a lovely breakfast at their Cafe 1886. Christmas music is streaming through the speakers as sunlight filters in to illuminate the holiday travelers starting their days. I am indulging in a cappuccino (one shot only!), and luxuriating in the moment.


I feel peace. I feel healing. I feel so ready to move on to this next cycle.

I have always been someone who is able to move on pretty quickly in life. I am a forward thinking planner & dreamer, seldom looking over my shoulder at what is behind me. Seldom having regrets. This wasn't always so hot for my ex-boyfriends when they found themselves quickly replaced, but this trait is boding well for me in the fertility world.

I am so proud of myself for genuinely mourning this loss, feeling that pain, letting that grief and vulnerability bubble up and release. It was cleansing, healing, freeing. I have moved from a shallow feeling of HOPE, always wondering, to a strongly rooted BELIEF this can really happen. This DID happen. This WILL happen again. I know it with every ounce of my body.

I've also healed the sorrow & envy that would trickle in every time I heard someone was pregnant. Now, instead of feeling that these women had something I didn't, I KNOW I can have that too. My body can create life.

Last month, in addition to feeling very zen in my TWW,  I decided to energetically replace the term "TRYING" (to get pregnant), to "ALLOWING." "Trying" feels tight and restricted and fearful, whereas "allowing" is lighter, open, receptive. Those are the qualities that are more apt to bring a little one in.

I was told yesterday by my nurse that I'd had a chemical pregnancy this cycle, which is pretty much a fancy term for a very early miscarriage. This morning my body began its release in full force. I am grateful it is happening on its own so quickly; however, the timing of it is creating some challenging logistics for this next cycle. I feel 100% resolute that I want to move forward with another injectables cycle. In lieu of discouraging me, this month's events have renewed my faith & genuinely energized me. Momentum has built and it would be extremely difficult to take a month off.

Did I mention we leave Friday for 5 days in Kansas with BC's family? Timing wise injectables cycles are started on CD 3, which is Thursday, and that would put me at 6 full days of being unmonitored, which my doctor will not allow.

Thus I spent the morning chatting with my sister-in-law to get a doctor recommendation in Kansas, and was able to find a clinic that can see me on the 26th for monitoring (at 7:30 in the morning. Of course). If my insurance will support this, we'll be a go for full steam ahead. I'll be packing up the Gonal-F pen for a whirlwind vacation with the in-laws.

I've also decided that in the next couple of weeks I am going to:

*Eat lots of sushi
*Eat my steaks medium rare
*Eat soft cheeses
*Indulge in (limited) glasses of red wine
*Take lots of pilates classes

All with the anticipation of (hopefully) having to give these items up again soon. Babycakes will also be happy to hear that for now I can resume taking care of the cat litter. I plan to continue with weekly acupuncture, re-visit D for another energy cleansing, and also check in with Cristy to hear what the little ones were up to with this month's events.

The Quest continues! May 2012 bring Baby Lambert home.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Playing the Odds


In each Injectables cycle, there is a 25% chance of achieving pregnancy.


I've often thought about the moment when I'd get my first positive pregnancy test (BFP). I imagined lots of happy tears, Babycakes picking me up in a huge bear hug and dancing me around.

It was sort of like that.

The morning I was to get my blood test (14 days past ovulation- or "DPO"), I took a home pregnancy test, mostly so I could see the negative result and try to get out of giving blood. Imagine my surprise when I saw this:

                                Extremely light, but definitely there!! Kind of hard to see in this picture.

I had read enough to know there was no such thing as a false positive, no matter how light it was! I was literally shaking as I put on my makeup in record speed. I had never in my life been so excited to go give blood. I yelled out a quick "I think I saw something REALLY promising!" to BC as I ran out the door.

I went back to Snake Eyes' clinic, and she was no where to be seen! The lady who drew me was AMAZING and it hardly hurt at all. This was to be a good day! Babycakes was already calling me to find out what had happened that morning, and we both anxiously awaited the results call from the fertility clinic.

I went through my day in a numb, excited blur. I could hardly believe this might be IT! I flashed back to some of the suspicious signs I'd been having the last few days- the constant mild heat flashes, extreme constipation (sorry again-TMI!), bloody noses, and yes, even the insanely sore boobs. I went around the house all day with my phone glued to my side, not taking any other calls for fear the fertility clinic might call while I was on the line.

My friend who also works with this clinic told me I should be able to call in for blood test results myself anytime after 1:30. So with my heart racing, around 3pm I dialed in. And was transferred to MY nurse (oh promising!) whose voice intonation sounded good.

"Jules, how are you?"

"Hopeful!"

"Well, you are definitely definitely pregnant."

Cue me silently mouthing Holy S***!!!!!! For the first time in my life, and after 2 1/2 years of trying, I was finally pregnant. Holy holy s***.

"Your HCG is at 28, which is a tad low. We want you to do another test in 2 days to see what your numbers look like then."

A tad low? What? I had just witnessed my friend go through a pretty rough experience (the one who got pregnant on her IVF cycle). She very sadly ended up with an ectopic pregnancy. She too had a low HCG number initially- but her number had been even higher than mine.

Looking for reassurance, I asked the nurse if she saw women with my kinds of numbers go on to have healthy pregnancies. She replied "I've seen it go both ways. I just want to prepare you." She explained that we wanted to see the HCG number at least double on my next test, showing there was growth occurring.

So there I was. The buoyant joy I felt earlier in the day took on a very guarded, heavy tone. Yes, I was pregnant. But my numbers weren't good. Of course I googled everything I could find on the subject, and it seemed like most women's first HCG counts were in the 100's. My nurse said they prefer to see them "at least 50" on an initial draw. And thus began a torturous waiting game.

When BC got home from work I told him the news that we were indeed pregnant, and he was SO excited! He did pick me up and swing me around (ouch- boobs!) and kissed me with so much sweet passion. It hurt my heart a bit seeing how genuinely overjoyed he was, knowing we were treading on some delicate ground.

We elected to tell a select few people about our news. It was a strange way to share, having to instantly insert the caveat "but our numbers are low so please send prayers and good energy our way." We decided to tell my parents, since we wanted them on board with the prayer chain, and they were OVER.THE.MOON. Saying this was the best Christmas news they could have hoped to receive!

The next morning (15 DPO) I took another home pregnancy test, and my line was darker than the day before! Super promising- as I knew that these tests measured HCG levels, so there must have been growth there! I spent the day talking and singing to that little Baby Bean, telling him/her that we absolutely wanted them to STAY and GROW! I barely slept that night with all the praying I was doing. I allowed myself to go through the day really believing this could happen. I dusted off the "What to Expect When You're Expecting Book" I'd hidden years before. I imagined the moment we'd get to tell BC's family at Christmas that another baby was on its way! His sisters' little one would have a cousin right around the same age!


Over the age of 35, it is believed that there is a 20% chance of miscarriage
 in the first 4 weeks of pregnancy.


On the morning of my next blood draw (16 DPO), I did 2 more home pregnancy tests to *hopefully* see that positive line getting even darker. It was hard to deny that on one test the line was lighter than yesterday, on another it was hardly there. My heart sank. More frantic googling ensued, and I found reassurance from ladies who noted that those tests can be extremely affected by how much water you've drank, the time of day you test, etc. I had to hold on to hope. Many ladies seemed to have had this happen and went on to have healthy pregnancies.

After the blood draw I had a Psychic Development class from 11-5 with a girlfriend of mine. During a break I saw that the fertility clinic had left a voicemail, and I thought my heart might beat out of my chest. I decided to wait until I got home to listen to the message with BC, b/c I knew if it was bad news there was NO way I could get through the rest of the class.

Because the nature of the class was training us to better hear our intuition, angels, guides, etc, I was "in the zone." And when I checked in with myself, asking if this pregnancy would continue, I immediately heard in my head "I'll be back" (and no, not in an Arnold Schwarzenegger voice).

My ego did NOT want to hear this! So I replied back with the thought "we want you to STAY with us! Please stay!" And then I heard "yes mama." Again, my ego wanted to believe this was the little one saying that YES he/she would stay, and that the whole "I'll be back" I heard initially was a fluke. I needed to believe that there was some free will involved, even with this little one.

After class I raced home and summoned BC to come listen to the voicemail with me. Very anticlimactic, since the nurse had left a message to page her for the news. More torturous waiting!

BC and I headed out to dinner and I again kept my phone glued to my side. It rang just as BC's wine & my water had arrived. I immediately did not like the intonation of this nurse, and for good reason. She said my blood test showed my HCG had actually gone down to 25, when what we were looking for was for it to at least double. Not good news at all. They wanted me to do one more blood test on CD 18 to confirm what they suspected, that this was not a viable pregnancy. I thought that was a pretty mean thing to layer onto the news- "oh, and we want you to give blood AGAIN just so we can tell you AGAIN this ain't gonna work. "

I had many questions.

Had she ever seen anyone with these results go on to have an HCG rise and a healthy pregnancy? 

Once. In her 19 years. She wanted us to prepare ourselves.

When would my body release the pregnancy (miscarry?)


The HCG has to get back down to zero, which can take anywhere from a week to a month.

Will my body resolve this on its own?


Maybe. If not there is a shot they can give to induce the release, otherwise surgery may be needed.

I then waved the waitress over and told her to bring me a glass of whatever wine BC was drinking. I flashed back to the little one saying "yes mama" to my wanting her to stay, and wondered if she had meant "yes mama, I do know that you want me to stay."

We were in public, and had to have our game faces on. We were so, so sad. And I was so, so mad that we had even shared this news with anyone. Because now we had to share the updated news, in essence re-living it over and over with each person we'd told. Lesson learned there, and now I totally get why people wait for that 12 week marker. It's a tough call, as we are pretty open, but man, it sucks to have to report to the troops that "oops, sorry. Just kidding about that whole baby coming on August 24th thing. Hope you didn't get your hopes up."

In the midst of our sadness, we tried to focus on the positive that would come out of this. We now knew we could get pregnant. We were grateful, if this was NOT to be a viable pregnancy, that it ended as early as it possibly could, and not many weeks further along. We were grateful to have been pregnant at all through the injectables, vs. having gotten a negative result. If my body now recognized how to do this, surely it could do it again. My tubes must work! Our 'stuff' works! And on the spiritual level, we now know without a shadow of a doubt that someone is coming. That I am no longer blocked. This little one was ready to come but for some reason the genetics weren't quite right this round.

It is also interesting to me how each of us needs to mourn and cope in different ways. For BC, it was meeting out guy friends for drinks, where he could just talk politics and lose himself in not thinking about the last few days for awhile. For me it was calling a girlfriend up and bawling my eyes out. Then calling my mom and bawling my eyes out. Then holding my kitties and bawling my eyes out. And upon BC returning home, holding him and bawling my eyes out once more.


Less than 5 percent of women have two consecutive miscarriages, and only 1 percent have three or more consecutive miscarriages. Miscarriage is usually a one-time occurrence. Most women who miscarry go on to have a healthy pregnancy.


Today? I do feel a sense of peace. I do feel so hopeful that if we did this once, we can do it again. Of course I am still super sad, but I am so hopeful that we WILL get pregnant again.

It is pretty brutal to have to wait for my body to let this go, and I am to stay on my progesterone until tomorrow's blood draw results, which are mostly to confirm what we already know is happening. My boobs are hurting less and less. The constipation has let up. It's amazing how quickly my body recognizes & adjusts to a pregnancy, only to immediately recognize the pregnancy isn't continuing.

I pray that my body does release soon (before we leave for Christmas), as apparently it comes as a really painful period with intense cramping & clotting. I suspect with that will come another big wave of grief. We'll see what Dr. Vaughn advises when I hopefully see him this week and get more information.

For now,  I am just so anxious to get back in the game and start trying again.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

********Note: the politics of blogging this whole TTC stuff is complicated. Please note that you, dear blog readers, are in a special category of being pretty immediate witnesses to our journey. That being said, for those friends/family who read along, know that in "the real world" we would be notifying you of any positive news past the 12 week mark, so please don't feel saddened or offended that you did not get immediate calls with the last few days' roller coaster.  We appreciate your continued love, understanding, & support! *************

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Zen and the Art of TTC Maintenance


The old familiar AF type cramps started this evening. I am supposed to do a blood test tomorrow to see if we got pregnant this month, but b/c I loathe blood tests so much part of me really wants to just ditch it and 'wait and see.' You know, like how regular fertile people do it? Where you wait until you've missed a period and do a non-invasive pee test to confirm everything?

I've been very zen this cycle. I haven't obsessed over what DPO I am, and have not taken any pregnancy tests. I think part of me has wanted to prolong the "what IF?" as long as possible. Let myself dwell in the possibility- the positivity- of maybe being pregnant. But these cramps are definitely suspect, and make me even grumpier about tomorrow's scheduled blood test.

And also? I totally want to cut my boobs off. They are SO sore it is absolutely ridiculous. To the point where I can't even hug BC without wincing.  Sadly I cannot count this as a possible pregnancy symptom, b/c this pain started before I even ovulated-- full on Gonal-F boobs.

I had a dream a couple of nights ago where I was caring for a newborn baby (it wasn't clear if the baby was mine or not, but I was definitely in charge of its' care). The baby communicated to me that it wanted red beans. I was confused and told the baby it should really want milk. When I awoke, I was obsessed with the idea that maybe I was supposed to eat red beans? (I have been - sorry TMI- awfully constipated lately). So when I arrived at my local coffee shop for a breakfast date, I promptly ordered beans as my side dish. Upon their arrival I took a HUGE bite and totally burnt the s*** out of my mouth.

I feel like the Universe is really having a field day with me lately. It seems like every time I try to find meaning & hope in the TTC world, I get burned. There is a Real Estate adage pertaining to folks who are hesitant to work with someone who in the past has led them astray. It goes: "Have you ever burnt your mouth on an piece of pizza?" (cue most folks nodding yes). "Well, will you ever eat pizza again?"

That's how I feel. No matter how many times I get burned, I will continue to look for hope in the little things. Like dreams. And psychic predictions. And drawing out the TWW for as long as humanly possible. It's how I pick myself up month after month and persevere in the face of such difficult adversity. And I do learn from every experience. This month's lesson?  Cool my beans and continue to remain as zen as possible about the whole TTC experience.

Can I have an "Om?!"

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

West African Peanut Soup

About 3 years ago Babycakes took on a soup making hobby, and we have both benefited greatly from his delicious endeavors.  I made this incredible West African Peanut Soup last night (from BC's soup archives), and wanted to share the love. It's the perfect thing to warm you up from the inside out on these gray winter days!


West African Peanut Soup

INGREDIENTS 
  • 3 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 4 medium sweet potatoes, scrubbed, peeled and chopped
  • 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons peeled, grated ginger root
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 12 ounces crunchy organic peanut butter
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 2 tablespoons cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder
  • 2 tablespoons coriander
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon salt
          GARNISH
  • crushed peanuts
     1).  Warm the oil in a large stock pot over medium-high heat.

     2).  Sauté the onion (with a pinch of salt) 10 - 15 minutes, until onions begin to brown.

     3).   Mix in the garlic, ginger, cumin, coriander, cinnamon and cloves.  Sauté another 1 - 3 minutes, ensuring the onions are well coated with spice.

     4).  Mix in the sweet potatoesbell pepper and carrot.  Stir for another 5 - 7 minutes (or until the sweet potatoes begin to stick to the bottom of the pot).

     5).  Pour vegetable stock into the pot and season with cayenne, curry powder, red pepper flakes and salt.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and let simmer for 30 minutes (or until the sweet potatoes are tender).

     6).  Add crushed tomatoes and peanut butter.

     7).  Puree with a hand blender producing a smooth texture.

     8).  Stir in fresh lime juice, then season to taste.

     9).  Serve garnished with chopped peanuts.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Things you may not know about me....

I was recently tagged by a fellow blogger to share 7 things people may not know about me. Thanks so much to Belle at Scrambled Eggs for the TMI award!


The rules go like this:

  • Thank the person who passed the award on to you. 
  • List 7 things that people may not know about you.
  • Pass the award to 15 other bloggers and don’t forget to notify them as well. (I definitely don't have 15 other bloggers to pass to- I'm a newbie- but will tag who I can!) 
Here's my list:

1. I can cut off my entire pinkie toenail and not feel any pain. I think it is because I have freakishly wide feet, and those pinkies are like extra appendages stuck on as an afterthought. I would cut off my entire pinkie toe if I could, b/c it would open up a whole new world of cute slender heels and ballet dancing. *Sigh*

2. I am a Crazy Cat Lady. I always had cats growing up, and had 3 of my own in my adult life (actually had gotten a 4th kitten, but he sadly got FIV and passed early). My ex and I had 5 cats together, and I would have had 5 with Babycakes, but when we moved in together he decided to find new homes for his 2, lest we become a Crazy Cat Couple (a label I am totally comfortable with). I really really want one of Miss Priss' kittens, but BC mumbled something along the lines of 'over his dead body,' and hey, I need that body to make the babies. So there it is.

Mr. Otis, Zoey Dulcinea Lady Bird Johnson Lu Adams-Lambert (RIP), & Sam Johnson

3. I was raised in a somewhat unusual religion called Christian Science. People always mix it up with Scientology- which it is most definitely NOT. Most Christian Science families do not take medicine or go to doctors but rely on prayer for healings. I directly credit my upbringing in CS for much of my spiritual foundation, and also for the fact that I am now a total hypochondriac. I seriously love talking about medicine & injuries & surgeries. I take Advil for cramps and get antibiotics for fevers. Hey, I'm even using modern meds to try to make a baby! I fell off the Christian Science wagon the summer before my senior year of high school. I was away at CS summer camp and contracted a nasty flu bug. Lying there in agony, folks around me prayed to God for my healing. I prayed for drugs.

4. I am completely obsessed with the St. Nicholas Square Christmas Village. I first witnessed this magical sight at my mother-in-law's home 2 years ago and was smitten. For my birthday last year she sent me a few pieces to start my own village with. The JOY! Akin to what I felt when I got my first Cabbage Patch Kid in 4th grade. Total geek. I may or may not have picked up 5 new village buildings yesterday. It's becoming a problem.

                               Behold: the magic of the Christmas Village!


5.  I have what stylists call "Virgin Hair." Not a speck of hair dye/color in it. Both times I tried highlights I cried (one exception: in 8th grade I bleached my hair with sun-in and it turned orange. I thought I looked cool). I also have a groovy gray streak forming at my left temple. I figure I'll keep it there until it ravages and takes over the Virgin Hair- at that point, it may be time for a divine intervention.

                                               Sun-in + lasers = magic


6.  I have a freakish talent with the trumpet. I picked it up in 5th grade and quickly became first chair throughout middle and high school, without EVER practicing. I felt like a nerd the whole time- which is why I quit band in 12th grade to take Painting & Human Growth and Development classes (you know, where you get to carry around Cabbage Patch babies? Hmmm... maybe that is why I didn't score any college scholarships.....)

7.  Jobs I've held out of college (b/c there is SO much you can do with a Psych degree!) have included full time Nanny (one of my favs), 5th grade teacher, and now full time Realtor. Jobs I might still like to explore when I grow up: Relationship & Family Counseling and/or Photography.

8. My favorite number is 8. Yes, I know the rules said to list 7 things- but I figured this one was appropriate. 8 is infinity. It is my birthday number (Scorpio!). It is also the numerology of our current and previous home addresses, and represents prosperity. What's not to love?

And here are the folks I'd like to tag, all with excellent blogs definitely worth checking out!

Abby at Learning 2 Remember
Julie at Just Jules Everyday
Jen at Maybe If You Just Relax (one of the first infertility blogs I stalked)
Babycakes at Lambasted
Sara at Feeding the Soil
Beverly at A Baby? Maybe
Angie at Love is Spoken Here
Pufferfish at Puffer and the Baby Fishies
Belle at Scrambled Eggs (not sure tag-backs are allowed, but I'm struggling here!)



Monday, December 5, 2011

Even Miss Priss is Pregnant

                          Sometimes it feels like the whole world is pregnant.

I had another breakdown last night. One where I felt fully and completely like an overemotional a**hole.

Babycakes's sister had left him a voicemail on Thanksgiving, "just checking in" and wishing us a Happy Thanksgiving. Super sweet!

Then last night BC and I were watching a movie. I left for maybe 5 minutes to run downstairs, and when I returned, I had a voicemail from his sister, "just checking in." He had apparently also just gotten a voicemail from her. Super sweet! Super suspect.

I just knew.

I told BC he had to be the one to call her back, because I didn't think I"d be composed enough to receive the news. I was already crying with the anticipation. Sure enough, she is pregnant. 12 weeks along. They weren't trying, but weren't preventing. BC was amazing on the phone as I silently sobbed nearby.

It was at this sisters' wedding 2 1/2 years ago that we first didn't 'prevent.' I remember it vividly- having that flash of magical excitement, thinking we were on the road to starting our family.

I feel like I am at an insanely heightened emotional place right now (Gonal-F hormone override anyone?!). This marks two Sundays in a row we've gotten pregnancy news that knocked me down. I felt like such a jerk crying last night. I feel like a jerk being nervous for the Holidays with BC's family, when everyone will be fawning over his sister's pregnancy. Where our not being pregnant yet will be the big fat Elephant in the Room. And yes, of COURSE my rational self is thrilled for my sister-in-law! Definitely time for a new gang of little ones in the family, and she and her husband are going to make the most amazing parents. But that rational self still couldn't corral the tears and the persistent question of "when will it be our time?"

This morning as BC was leaving for work, he peeked his head back inside and told me to come look at Miss Priss (our moniker for the neighbor's feisty kitten who likes to hang out in our yard). Sure enough her belly was suspiciously distended and swollen, teats protruding. Totally pregnant.

I bet she wasn't trying either.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Injectables IUI #2

I had my 2nd IUI this afternoon. The lab was running way behind, so I got treated to over an hour waiting in the doctors' office, undressed from the waist down. Couldn't help but think of this song while lying there:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cDgDTEy6yfc&feature=fvwrel

I did manage to get caught up on all the US Weekly magazines, so I guess that was a good thing.

BC's troops looked great again- 68 million little Lambies, all making a go for it! My sonogram showed that 2 eggs had already released from my right ovary (I've been having mild cramping since 11am today). Dr. V thinks it is possible another may also release from the left ovary. I hope so!  I feel like there should be upped odds & more targets with all I've been through, needle & hormone wise, in the past month. According to my sonogram last Tuesday, my right side had the largest follicle at 20mm followed by two on the left side at 17.5 and 17. The next two, in size order, were on the right side at 16 & 15.  If my right ovary released 2 eggs today, that means the 20mm babe & one of the smaller ones took off; so it is likely the larger ones on the left might take flight as well.

Now begins the notorious "two week wait," to see if this month's endeavors were successful. If you are reading & following our journey, your prayers & baby dust are appreciated! Truly all we want for Christmas is to know our little one (or ones) are on their way. : )

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Ovidrel + IUI #1

Last night I took my Ovidrel trigger shot. That sucker hurt much more than the Gonal-F shots! I'm thinking maybe the needle was a bit thicker:

                                                 More needles! Oh boy!

I also really appreciated the verbiage in the package insert, referring repeatedly to Ovidrel users as "infertile women." Thanks for the hope, Ovidrel Makers. Real helpful.

                                  Ovidrel knows how to charm the ladies


Today started with a lovely phone call from a dear friend who moved away last year. She is expecting her 2nd little one this January, and is one of those lucky ladies who got pregnant pretty much instantly with both kiddos. It's been a treat seeing her and her husband become such conscious & amazing parents. I have a lot to learn from them!

After we got off the phone, I called my fertility clinic to see if exercise on the day of one's IUI was OK. Specifically I was debating whether or not to attend my noon Pilates class, and secretly hoping they'd tell me I shouldn't go. Alas, they were all for me continuing with my regular routine, so without any further excuses, off to Pilates I went.

Pilates was followed by acupuncture and then my afternoon IUI. Dr. V commented that I "have this IUI routine down." Not sure that is a good thing, but it sure ain't my first time at the Rodeo. BC's noontime donation looked good- not the highest counts we've had (81.7 million motile), but definitely great numbers to work with! He got a 4/4 rating. I actually compared the last 3 IUI donation sheets we've gotten (yes, I'm a freak), and realized that his insanely AMAZING donation back in September (250.4 million motile!) was the cycle following our drink-fest in NYC. Go figure. Just another way the Universe is telling me we are totally not in control (as I advise him to cut back on drinking and take his daily vitamins).

Tomorrow morning is my 2nd IUI, and should be ovulation day. Dr. V warned me I may have cramping with this month's ovulation, due to all the partying follicles making a run for it. I will hopefully also get a sonogram to see how many eggs actually released- which I am super curious about.

In closing, a picture of my kitties. Because they are cuter and more entertaining than Ovidrel needles & instructions:

                                         This fertility stuff is for the birds!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Trigger Time

Now I have MC Hammer's "You Can't Touch This" in my head..... "Stop- Hammer trigger time!"


I had my appointment with Dr. Vaughn today, and after 10 days of injectables, here's today's roll call:

Right ovary: 20, 16, 15, 13, 12
Left ovary: 17.5, 17, 13, 9. 7

Dr. V was happy to see we had our 20mm babe ready to roll! He wants me to do my Ovidrel trigger tonight, with an estimated ovulation date likely Thursday (those follicles will continue to grow about 2mm/day). He feels good that the 3 biggest follicles will release, and *possibly* the next 2 largest as well- and just in case that happened he gave me another talk on how we'd then need to selectively reduce *if* all took (which is pretty unlikely, but he still has to say his peace).

We will have our IUI procedures tomorrow and Thursday. And as timing would have it, tomorrow is REALLY difficult with BC's schedule- he is going to have to leave work to do a noon drop off, and will likely have to use the lab's "special room" to aid his sample. Cha-cha-cha! So romantic. Both IUI appointment times also directly conflict with my 2 acupuncture appointments this week (what are the odds of that?!). Happily the acupuncture clinic was able to adjust my times slightly to accommodate- those appointments are HARD to come by and always booked weeks in advance.

I had about 2 hours to pass between my morning closing (hooray for a closing!) and my afternoon doctor appointment, so I thought I'd check in with a psychic friend of mine, Cristy, who had donated a 15 minute session for my birthday. She was home and available! I was so excited, thinking that it would be perfect timing to check in psychically on the little ones.

Cristy checked my chakras/energy centers and said I was all clear (yay!). She felt there might be a small block still with BC- and was getting that he was holding back his hope/excitement somewhat as a protective mechanism for me. She said we should make sure to be united/connected in the next couple of days through all these procedures.

Cristy has always seen and heard a strong little girl coming through, and about 6 months ago that little one started talking to her about wanting to bring in a "sister-friend" twin with her. When we checked in today, this little one (let's call her "A") was anxious and really ready to come. She was pulling the other little one, "B," behind her (Cristy sensed B wasn't sure if she was ready to come yet). A was feeling frustrated and wanting B to come with her now. She said B was stubborn (hmmm- maybe like her father?), and if she wouldn't come with her now, then she wanted a little brother! (said with the effusiveness only a little one could have).

When Cristy told her that she should still come- and that BC and I would definitely welcome little B at a later time- A expressed a lot of sorrow (Cristy said the emotion was as if a pet had died). I felt that sorrow- I actually was overcome with a feeling of grief and got tears in my eyes, sensing her sadness. We worked to communicate to A that BC and I loved her and wanted her to come, and that she needed to release B and allow little B to decide for herself if she was ready now or not (maybe this was part of the hold up?).

Cristy actually said to me not to be surprised if I got pregnant with twins, but had one leave early in the pregnancy (so little B could keep that window open and fully decide- if she stayed we'd have twins, if she ultimately wasn't ready, that 2nd fetus would not stay viable). If little B is like her father, she would decide to still come now (since people have backed off the pressure and are allowing her to decide for herself!) According to what Cristy was hearing, we'd either have twin girls now, or one girl now followed by a little brother soon thereafter.

All this psychic stuff is totally fascinating to me (obviously- since I've devoted several posts to it!). It is the ONE THING that has continued to give me hope through this whole crazy fertility process. And it will be incredibly interesting to see what predictions come to fruition! Time will tell- but the psychic consensus is that I am open & clear, and that the little one is ready.

My fingers and toes are crossed!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Not the Only Family Blogger....

I wanted to give a shout out to my sweet Babycakes, who also keeps a blog. It contains some awesome recipes, poems, trip photos, and most recently, the re-creations of our Match.com profiles (yup- that's how we met!) No fertility rants on his posts- he leaves that fun to me. : )

http://lancelambert.blogspot.com/

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Blue


Today was one of those days. Where it seems like everything is going against you. Blue. Blah.

It started at the crack of dawn with this morning's blood draw. Deciding to try a new lab, I was pleased when, upon arrival, a very CA-ute nurse-man greeted me. With longish curly dark hair & two earrings, he was a far cry from Snake Eyes!

He ushered me into the blood draw station, where I felt obliged to tell him (as I always do) that I am a total wimp with needles, have a low pain tolerance, and have a history of fainting. He assured me he was really good with the needle.

Game on, cute nurse-man, game ON!

I asked if he had different types of needles- specifically smaller needles, and realize in retrospect my key mistake here was not saying the words BUTTERFLY NEEDLE. He did choose the smaller of what he had (NOT a butterfly)- and went in.

Owww-OUCH!

He said something long the lines of "there's not much coming out" and moved the needle around while pushing on my vein. F***!! I was in so much agony he stopped. And instantly the flashing lights of an ocular migraine began.

He said he thought he might have just enough blood for the test sample (please oh PLEASE)- and asked if I could wait while they spun it. My arm was still throbbing in pain.

I waited 20 minutes. To have another substitute nurse come out and tell me they had to re-draw.

F'in awesome.

Happily, it was love at first poke with the substitute nurse. She immediately got out the BUTTERFLY NEEDLE and was so fast, it hardly hurt at all. Why oh why can't they ALL do it like that? Cute nurse-man was never seen again- I'm assuming his ego was as bruised as my right vein.

Exhausted, I headed home to pass the time until my appointment with Dr. Vaughn. Babycakes, fresh from a full nights' sleep/sleeping in, found me and said he'd had a really weird morning as well. He'd just received news from a friend that his ex (whom he had been with for 12 years prior to our getting together) had recently had twins. And there was a picture on Facebook to boot (yes, I had to see it). And they had names that easily could have been ones we'd choose: Lukas and Lilly. BC worried that maybe he shouldn't have told me, but I would never want there to be secrets between us.

I was now left feeling bruised AND battered. Totally blue. It's interesting how some pregnancies totally don't affect me (like my friend who is now preggers through IVF- whom I was genuinely THRILLED for) while others completely demolish me. And the fact that she had twins. At 38 some years old. My BC's ex, Ms. Fertile Myrtle.

So I proceeded to Dr. Vaughn's office snotty and red-faced. Not sure if this explains my crazy emotions, but I do have some teenage follicles partying in there:

Right ovary: (sweet)16, 14, 14, 14, 8, 7, 6
Left ovary: 12,11,10, 8, 7

                                          Fab Four Teenage Follicles

When I asked why the number of follicles changed visit to visit, Dr. V said the total number of follicles doesn't matter, and that he only measures the largest ones. The 4 teens on my right side are making a run for the lead! He again said that ideally we want 3 mature follicles to release; if 4 released, and *if* 4 took (which would be highly unlikely... and... HELL NO!) we'd need to be prepared for serious talks about selective reduction.

The BEST news of the visit was that Dr. V wants to see me again Tuesday- and ISN'T GOING TO MAKE ME DO A BLOOD DRAW THAT MORNING! I guess my sob story about this morning's experience got through to him. He said my estradiol (estrogen) levels are progressing such that we won't need to draw that day (142 day 3, to 290 day 6, to 582 today- day 8). I seriously wanted to kiss him!

Phew. What a day. There was more crap that ensued with grocery stores not having ingredients I needed, a real estate contract falling off, etc. etc., but I think I've vented enough for one post. May tomorrow be a sunnier one!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Injectables Day 6: Follicle Roll Call


I had my 2nd check-in for the Lucky 13 this morning. I wasn't thrilled to have to get up at 6:45 on the day after Thanksgiving for a blood draw, but a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do (boys truly do have it MUCH easier when it comes to fertility- Babycakes was slumbering soundly away as I departed at the crack of dawn).

I've come to call the main lady who does blood draws Snake Eyes. She wears green contacts over what I assume are brown eyes, giving her a serpent like quality. Old Snake Eyes was the one who couldn't find my vein last month (referenced in this post), and she's also the one who drew me last Tuesday and sparked a migraine (apparently the clinic was out of butterfly needles that day, so she had to use a torturous regular one on me).

This morning I said a little prayer before arriving to the clinic: Please let it be quick and as painless as possible. And please let Snake Eyes be off for the Holiday.

Well, one out of two ain't bad. Old Snake Eyes was there behind the glass partition, gossiping and complaining away about having to work (per her norm). Awesome. Please Snake Eyes, don't take it out on me! 

She also asks me EVERY TIME I go to the clinic if I've been there before. Apparently those Snake Eyes don't see so well (as evidenced in her vein finding abilities).

Thankfully she had a butterfly needle (she seemed annoyed when I asked), found my vein, and got to business quickly. No migraine! Much smoother this morning, but I am still seriously considering going to a different clinic for my next draw. With people who have normal eyes and might actually remember me.

I also noticed last night & this morning an early abundance of EWCM. I hardly ever get much naturally, much less on Day 9 of my cycle! It is an indication that those elevated estrogen levels are definitely cranking (and making me cranky).

So without further adieu, here is today's follicle role call (in millimeters), brought to you by the offices of Dr. Vaughn:

Right ovary: 7, 8, 11, 11, 12
Left ovary: 6, 6, 7, 7, 9, 10, 12, 12

Hmmm- I just noticed we had a couple side jumpers- still 13 follies, but the left ovary is taking the lead with an 8/5 split (8 total over there- my lucky number!) Hopefully there weren't an additional 2 missed on the right side....there were 7 there last Tuesday (where did they go?)

My follicles are distinguishing themselves into two groups- we have the three front-running 12mm babes, with the two 11mm close at their heels. Ideally, we want *only* the top 3 to release, hoping that 1, maybe 2, take.



                                                         Go top 3!!

The plan right now is to keep me on very low nightly Gonal-F doses (75ml/night), since I am having a good response. Dr. V says- and I quote- that he "doesn't want me to make National News." So slow and steady we go, with an estimated trigger date for mid/late next week. The office wants me back again Sunday for my next follow up (there go my brunch plans! Oh boy- early morning blood draws & doc visits, now spaced every TWO days. BC will surely sleep through them all).

At our Thanksgiving gathering yesterday, I treated all those who were interested to a Gonal-F administration viewing (my mom, aunt, and cousin partook- we squeezed it in between dinner and dessert). And at the end of the night, everyone sweetly said farewell to me and to my 13 eggs.

Little ones, we have a lot of folks rooting for you! Let's do this.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Clearing the Block


I had an energy clearing/Akashic record reading session scheduled with a practitioner (K) last week. Unfortunately K fell ill and had to re-schedule all of her clients. Feeling badly about the shuffle, she offered up a donated 30 minute session with another clairvoyant friend of hers, LD, in addition to the original sessions planned with her (yay for me! One psychic's sickness is another woman's gain).

Last Sunday morning I had my donated 30 minute session with LD. Pretty quickly into our session, she noted she was getting an energetic 'block' in my 2nd chakra- the fertility area. She said she saw that there had been a trauma there when I was young, and asked if I had ever been abused. I haven't experienced (in my conscious memory) anything like that, so she sensed it may have happened in a very recent past life. (side note: she also said she heard 4 little ones who'd like to come to me. She indicated not all may come this lifetime, but also noted that with fertility meds they could all decide to come at once. To which I proclaimed "HELL NO!" Yes, I want children. But HELL NO to 4 at once! Universe, do you hear me?).

 You may remember the frustration I felt in October, when I was first told about being blocked. So here I had another psychic picking up on the same thing. Yes, skeptics out there may say that this is an easy cop-out when someone knows there are fertility concerns. But ebbing on the side of "what if they are right," I went into my problem solving mode. LD said she knew an incredible energy worker she thought could help clear the block (D), and felt it could be cleared pretty quickly- within weeks (cut to my mental math- if we want to be players this cycle and give those 13 follies a chance, I needed to get that stuff moving- and fast!) She called D the "Deep Cleaner," and I was all for it.

So this past Tuesday night I had my energy session with D scheduled. I had NO idea what to expect, or exactly what this woman did. She was first and foremost a voice & piano teacher, and her website made no note of her healing business.

And everything about the evening was completely and utterly bizarre- like nothing I have ever experienced.

D's home was located in a large apartment complex off the freeway in North Austin. When I got to her door, a yappy little dog named Todo greeted me. D was a large Mexican girl wearing a bedazzled sweatshirt with musical notes on it. I could definitely tell this wasn't her main profession- nothing about the environment was professional, and I wondered what I had gotten myself into.

D had me sit on her couch to begin, and indicated that sometimes loved ones came in during her sessions. I asked if she could see/feel/hear any little ones. She paused, listened, and said she heard 4 voices (HELL NO!), and was getting possible "twins." She also said a grandmother was coming in who told her this conception difficulty ran in the family and was "no big deal." I don't really know my dad's sides' history with fertility, so couldn't confirm or deny this (never knew my paternal grandmother, but my dad and his sister are 8 years apart, so maybe there is something to that?)

Then she said it was time to begin the session. I thought we had begun, but oh was I wrong.

D explained that the energy work she did was called Pranic Healing- basically like Reiki on steroids. She moved her coffee table out from the middle of the room, laid down a blanket, and set a bowl of saltwater in the middle of the blanket. She explained that she would be putting all negative/removed energy into that bowl. Her work was to identify my energy cords and CUT all of those cords that were blocking or inhibiting me. She would also work to scan & clear my chakras.

She told me to stand on one side of the bowl, and that she would stand on the other. As she began, I kept my eyes open, and she started making motions like she was pulling ropes from my body. She stopped a couple minutes in and said I was too much in my head (hard not to be with Todo yipping back and forth!) and that I should close my eyes.

And then the absolutely bizarre part began.

I couldn't see what she was doing, but boy could I FEEL it. I started to get incredibly hot and sweaty, and had to shed 2 layers of clothing. My body began gently swaying side to side, and I could feel a swirling motion moving within me. The strangest was the energy that moved in a corkscrew fashion- starting at the bottom of my leg, up, up, into my hip, into my stomach, across to my shoulder... almost like I was being uncoiled. My body would spontaneously twist to one side and then the other, before settling again in a balanced center gait. When it would pause at the center, I had the sensation of being firmly rooted to the ground- my feet were hot and I experienced energy in my legs I haven't ever had. I also felt like my hips were actually expanding and thus allowing/opening to all sorts of energy between them. D later said that one of her gifts was being able to go inside ones' chakras and work from the inside up through the body to clear. Whoa.

She said my crown chakra had been a bit blocked, and that I definitely had a big energetic block in that 2nd fertility chakra. She scanned my body and felt she had moved much- if not all - of that energy out!

Then she said she was going to do "toning" on my chakras. I closed my eyes again, and she started vocalizing as she scanned/moved through my energy centers. She had an amazingly beautiful and powerful voice (that bedazzled top wasn't for nothing!), and would at times emit a higher pitched tone, other times lower, sometimes starting just off tune and moving the sound into full, beautiful harmony. My heart felt like it was beating out of my chest, and I could "feel" which chakra she was at as she moved through my system. She explained that she could visualize energy particles inside ones' body- and that she saw them as either black, gray, or full color spectrums. The vocalizations actually moved and adjusted these energetic particles back into colorful harmony.

My body felt so light and free and open, and my hips wouldn't stop gently swaying side to side. Absolutely insane.


Then D said we should ask my subconscious some questions, and that my body would move forward for "yes" and backwards for "no."

"Will Jules be pregnant in a month?" Forward lurch (oh I hope so! Go follies go!)
"Will Jules need another energy session?" Twist forward/right (a maybe)
"Will the baby be a boy?" Lurch to the right (we discovered my body said "no" by going to the side).
"Will it be twins?" Forward lurch (we'll take them- but HELL NO to quints! Universe, are you getting me?!)

Then D said she was going to cut the energetic cord between us, and I kid you not, my middle section pushed back in a concave fashion, and I could feel that cord being severed.

I was in a blissful, light, airy space, and was ready to leave. But D had other plans. See, if D's gift is being able to move & affect energy, my gift is that people sense I would be a great counselor/psychologist and want to open up to me. Don't know how D read this, but she proceeded to spend 30 more minutes talking to me about how she didn't know if her current boyfriend was "the one" etc.  I just wanted to get out of there and stay in my bliss. I almost asked her to RE-CUT the cord that she had just attached to me! Geez. I will be very conscious of that if I do subsequent energy work with her.

Regardless, it was an incredibly powerful session- and I am grateful for the crazy play of events that led me to D. I am so hopeful that everything is now aligned and in harmony toward our little ones joining us.

Friday I have another blood draw &  appointment with Dr. Vaughn to see how my posse of follicles are progressing... stay tuned!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Injectables Day 3: Follicle Roll Call

Today I had my first day of Injectables appointments, starting with my favorite part- the blood draw (why oh why does this always hurt so much?).  For an extra special touch, I got a migraine immediately following the draw, likely b/c I didn't have much food in me. Hunger + pain proved to be a perfect festering ground.

Later in the afternoon I went for my sonogram with Dr. Vaughn. I was hoping to see 2-3 follicles developing nicely after 3 days of injections. As he moved the wand around, he started calling out follicle sizes (in millimeters). It went something like this:

Right ovary: 4, 6, 7, 7, 7, 8, 9
Left ovary: 4, 6, 7, 7, 8, 8

Ummm.... yeah, so that is THIRTEEN FOLLICLES if you are counting. Can you say Octomom?  Well, technically it would be Trideca-mom (and yes, I did have to look that up). Dr. V didn't seem alarmed at all- I guess in reality it isn't likely all of them will reach the monumental 20mm point, where we want them to be prior to triggering a release. But man- there are a lot of them on the upper end of the scale- jockeying for first place in the Great Release of 2011!

                                       If my ovaries were a chipmunk......


Check in again soon for another post about the CRAZY energy clearing session I had later on this evening. Me and my 13 incubating follicles now need some rest.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Injectables Day 1

The monumental "Day 1 of Injectables!" kicked off with a bang yesterday. Babycakes and I headed out for our traditional Saturday morning breakfast, and then planned to head out on bikes to the East Austin Studio Tour.  Every year we like to find one piece of art from a local artist for our home.

This year was a bit different.

An occupational hazard of my gig in Real Estate is that I often see homes that look like amazing deals, resulting in a bit of house envy. I had seen a screaming deal of a house hit the market, and convinced BC to go look at it with me. Listed for just 99k, I *knew* from my knowledge of the market that with just some simple cosmetics, this house could sell for closer to 115-125 (and upwards from there- with a full overhaul it would sell closer to 175k!). I also knew that the difference between our mortgage payments and potential rents would net us $300-$500/month out of the gates.

So, for E.A.S.T. this year, in lieu of pottery or a painting, we made an offer on an investment property. Holy s***! Because we are dealing with a bank as the seller, it may be several days before we hear back. Fingers and toes are crossed that no other offers come in.... it truly is a great deal. A bit of a financial risk on the front end (goodbye savings!)- but what other investment immediately PAYS you a chunk of money monthly while also appreciating from 5-7%/year?

Also, you know that friend of mine I referenced who was going through her first IVF cycle? PREGNANT!!! I am beyond excited for her and her husband!! I actually have had so many friends and clients getting pregnant lately. Just yesterday another client emailed me that she is expecting- and upon going to their first ultrasound, discovered it is with TWINS! Babies everywhere!

Last night BC and I met friends out for some post E.A.S.T. snacks. As 8pm neared, we had to excuse ourselves ('Sorry everyone! I have to go give myself a fertility injection now. Have a great night!') I was pretty nervous, and re-watched the injectables video on this website to make sure I didn't mess anything up. And you know what? It really wasn't that bad. The needle didn't hurt going in (maybe I can thank the margarita I'd had for that)- it stung a little once in during the 'wait 5 seconds' part, but I think I am going to be able to handle it. And I can tell that stuff is STRONG b/c I was already feeling tugs and pulls and action in my left ovary last night. Those follicles are in for a RIDE this month!

My instinct is that it may take a couple months/rounds of this before we get pregnant, but I am all for keeping the gates wide open!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Like a Prayer

Life is a mystery, everyone must stand alone.
I hear you call my name and it feels like
Home.

When you call my name, it's like a little
Prayer. I'm down on my knees, I wanna take you
there. In the midnight hour, I can feel your
Power. Just like a prayer, you know I'll take you there



(Madonna's "Like a Prayer")


-----------------------


This month I was hopeful. 


I keep a "DPO Symptoms List" that was added to daily.


I spent evenings perusing websites such as this, looking for encouragement. ('I had spotting on CD's 8 and 10 too! Oooo, I also had AF like cramping! This might be it!')


I even looked up what our child's estimated due date would be. July 27th, 2012. A Leo baby, which seemed oh so fitting for how this little one's feisty personality has been described by the clairvoyant folk I've talked to.


I communed with a friend of mine who is going through an IVF cycle and on the exact same cycle, timing wise, as me (shout out to Ms. 32 eggs, 26 of which fertilized, 2 of which were implanted! Here's hoping you get to carry the torch for us this month).


So last night before bed I said a little prayer. "Please give me a sign that our little one is coming. Something. A dream, a message, anything to re-assure me."


And you know what I got? 


Blinding cramps at 12am (in the midnight hour, I could feel it's power), followed by bleeding this morning. How's THAT for a sign?! There's nothing clearer than one's monthly cycle  to send the message "IT AIN'T YOUR MONTH." Noted, Universe. Noted.


Going in for my baseline with Dr. Vaughn this afternoon, where I"ll be whistling away:


Hi ho, Hi ho
It's on to Injectables I go
(whistles)

Hi ho, Hi ho
Hi ho, Hi ho
Hi ho, Hi ho