Our journey through infertility, failed adoptions and now parenthood through the miracle of embryo adoption/donation.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Did you just "know"?

As a teenager I knew two different couples dealing with infertility. I was only 12 when I learned of the first one and even then my heart hurt for them. I did not fully understand what it meant but I knew that it was not right that a couple could not have a baby. I remember praying for them, even going so far as to ask God to allow me to get pregnant so that I could give them a baby. How I thought that was going to happen, I am not sure. I just knew that I wanted to help them. Thankfully the couple adopted a gorgeous baby boy a few years later. The other couple I met a year or two later and I remember crying on Mother's Day for her as I saw her struggle to remain composed. This couple adopted as well.

Around this time I began to suspect that I had endometriosis. I was only about 16 years old and no one believed me. A good friend had it and my symptoms mirrored hers. She had three children so I did not fully comprehend the impact that endo could have on my, but there was still something in the back f my mind that told me that getting pregnant would not be easy. I got married at age 21 and we began ttc soon after. A part of me thought that it would be easy, but there was always this nagging doubt in the back of my mind. I just "knew" that we would battle infertility. I also suffered from a bad case of denial. I refused to allow myself to think about infertility. Until we got close to the year mark when my fears became a reality.

Did you "knew" you would battle the demon of infertility?

Monday, November 29, 2010

What to do with leftover meds?

I was going through the medicine cabinet and found that I still have half a prescription of Estrace and 10 vials of Heparin leftover from my FET. It expires in February 2011 and I hate to throw it away. My clinic required brand name Estrace and it was over $350 for a one month supply. That is almost $4 a pill. I might cry if I have to trash it. I would donate it to my clinic but it has since closed. Will other clinics take it? I wish that there was a central location to donate all fertility meds to and it could be distributed to couples that need it. Or that it was legal to share it with others. I understand why you can't sell it or give it away, but I think that there should be a way to do so.

Anyone know of a place to donate it? Or if another local clinic will take it even if I am not their patient? All suggestions welcome. Wither respond here or shoot me an email. Please! Before I cry and throw it away.

it never really ends, does it?

Infertility, that is. I was so excited to finally get pregnant last year that I just knew everything would be easier from here on out. I must have been smoking crack cause that is so not true! Okay, it is slightly true. Now that I have a baby the pain has lessened considerably. But the rest of it is still the same. On the way home from the hospital after giving birth I was missing my baby bump and wanted to be pregnant again already. I still mourn not being pregnant anymore. And while I am loving and enjoying every minute of being a mommy and having Maddie here I am already thinking about "next time". If I was fertile I doubt that I would even be worrying about it, but considering that nothing is easy here in the last of the infertiles I have to begin planning.

I am wondering how we will afford this again. And where will we go for our next FET? Our clinic closed so it is back to square one. And what if it doesn't work the first time? Can we afford to do this not once, but twice? Or even three times? I hate that money is such an issue when it comes to getting pregnant. It would be so much cheaper if I could spend $40 on some sexy lingerie and some candles instead of PIO and Estrace. And if you are in high school the candles and lingerie are not even necessary.

There is just no way around it.....infertility sucks!!!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

2010 Creme de la Creme is open!

Take a moment to submit your best post for the 2010 Creme de la Creme list over at Stirrup Queen's blog!! Come on! We all have one post that is just awesome!! One that really means something to us or has inspired someone. It just takes a minute to fill out the form to be added to the list!!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Time flies when you are sleep deprived!

Actually, I am no longer sleep deprived. Right before Maddie turned 3 months something just clicked in her brain. One night she was getting up every 3 hours and BAM! she sleeps for 7 hours straight. Talk about scaring us! We both got up in a panic trying to make the other one check on her to see if she was still breathing. I was the brave one and checked on her and all was well. It is crazy how scary things can be with a baby in house! And here I thought the worrying would be over once she was born. How wrong I was!

Maddie is now 3 months old and laughing and cooing like crazy. She is such a daddy's girl! She just stares at him and smiles at him. I get a few smiles from time to time, but not like daddy does. She has yet to try to roll over but this could be because she hates tummy time. She is playing in her jumperoo and loving every minute of it too!

Even though it has been 3 months I still marvel at having a little one in the house. There comes a point in the infertility journey that you really do not think that it will ever happen. Yes, we all say that at some point, but in the back of our mind we still hope and dream. But after the 10 year mark I truly did not believe that it was going to ever end for us. Ever! So having a baby is still so surreal to me. Just last night I was holding her and tears started to course down my cheeks. To think that this baby is actually mine!! I hope that I never lose this feeling!

Here are some photos of my little chunky monkey:




Leelou Blogs: ------------------------------------------------...

Leelou Blogs:

: "----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Persnickety Prints is pretty much amazing.  I..."

Friday, November 26, 2010

More about cloth diapers

After my post about cloth diapering I received a lot of questions so I thought that I would just answer some of them here. I am in no way an expert on cloth diapering but I can tell you what I have learned so far.

Why cloth diapers? I decided to use cloth for a few reasons, the main one being money. Diapers are not cheap and I am a bit of a diaper snob. No generics for my baby's bum!! Not that generics are not good enough for baby poo, I just hate the plastic, crinkly sound the cheapies make. I prefer Hug.gies Snug.glers and Pamp.ers Swad.dlers as they are softer and drier on her widdle biddy tushie. The only problem with these diapers are that they are more expensive. I figured that even with coupons I would spend, on average, $45 a month on diapers. Cloth is by far cheaper, though the upfront cost is more. If you do covers and prefolds or the Econo.bums you can get started for about $100 and this will last you until potty training if you purchase one size covers. Since I prefer all-in-one diapers I have about $300 invested in my diapers. My water bill has gone up, but only $4 a month. I have not noticed a change in my electric bill. Then the detergent is about $10 for 3 months (on average). So for 2 years I will spend about $450 for cloth diapering. Had we done disposables we would spend over $900 for 2 years!! And if we use the cloth for a second child we will really save some dough!!

The other reason we chose cloth was because I hated the thoughts of throwing away so many diapers!! I still use disposables from time to time and I hate the thoughts of just throwing these in the trash knowing that it will take years for them to degrade, if ever. I am by no means "green" in the sense that I recycle everything, have a compost and use all natural product. But I do think that we should do what we can to protect the environment for future generations.

Lastly, we chose cloth because of the chemicals in diapers. I have no proof that these chemicals cause fertility problems, but I can't imagine that having all of these chemicals near our reproductive organs can be good for us. So on the off chance that it really is harmful I would rather avoid it. I would hate for Maddie to have to endure the pain of infertility if I can help it!

How do you wash them? Here you will find that everyone does it a bit differently and you have to find what works best for you and your washing machine. I have a front loader and it does not have a rinse cycle so I begin with a delicate wash, no detergent, and an extra rinse. This takes about 30 min. I usually start this near bedtime while I am preparing for bed. Right before bed I add detergent and start a wash cycle (hot wash/cold rinse/extra rinse). In the morning I toss them in the dryer. That is it! Not everyone puts them in the dryer, but I use bumGenius Elementals and sewn in insert is rough if you line dry it.

I currently use Charlie's Soap but want to try Rockin' Green as I hear rave reviews abou tit. A lot of people use Tide Original and swear by it. There are several options and many are fairly inexpensive. Also, you use less detergent on cloth diapers than you would on regular clothes. Detergent can build up and cause your diapers to become less absorbent.

Do you prefer velcro or snaps? I use both and they both have their pros and cons (which I will list below). All in all I prefer snaps, though.

Pros: You can get it as tight as you want; easy to use
Cons: Sticks to other diapers in the laundry; loses it's stickiness after awhile and needs to be replaced.

Pros: Never have to worry about it having to be replaced (unless you break a snap which is very unusual)

Cons: You have to be careful when unsnapping or you can put holes in the fabric

How many diapers so I need?
It really depends on how often you wash. I change her every 2-3 hours and use one with a doubler for overnight, so I use about 8-10 a day. If you do laundry every 2 days then you will need about 24-ish. If you want to wash every 3 days then at least 30. It sounds like a lot and can be an expensive investment up front, but in the long run it really will save you money.

What do you do with dirty diapers? I purchased a trash can from Tar.get that has a pop up lid for about $10. I then purchased a pail liner from a cloth diaper store. I put the liner in the can and on wash day I throw the bag and diapers all in together. I only have one liner but plan on buying a second one to use while the other one dries (I hang it to dry every time).

If anyone else has any questions please feel free to ask! I will either answer them in the comments or post another blog post about if needed.

baby shower

Pink Burst Baby Shower Invitation
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View the entire collection of cards.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Struggling with Thankfulness

But not in the way that you might think. This year it is easy to be thankful as I have my beautiful daughter sitting beside me. I have a wonderful hubby, a great family and the baby that I have prayed for. How can I not be thankful? And I am. Very thankful. But conviction for past unthankfulness has gripped my heart. For so many years I was completely focused on having a baby that I often missed the blessings around me. It is easy to thank God when we get our way but what about when things are not going so well? Are we not to thank Him then as well? I am saddened to say that I was not always very thankful.

I recently came across a blog that has made me see the error of my ways. The blogger, Mattie, delivered her son Jakin yesterday. Jakin is her third child and the second one she delivered into Heaven in the past 14 months. She had him last night and through it all her faith has been strong. Her blog is not riddled with anger or bitterness as I am sure mine would have been. I cannot even imagine what she and her husband are going through right now. She is am amazing woman and if you have a moment please stop over at Creative Joy and show her some support. While most of us are with our families today she is planning her son's funeral.

If Mattie can find something to be thankful for today I am sure that all of us can as well.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Debunking the myths

Once you have been married a year (sometimes earlier) people begin asking you "the question". You know the one: "When are you two gonna have kids?". After infertility is diagnosed (or suspected) and you begin to tell people that things are not going as planned you begin to get all of the expert advice. From fertiles. People who pop out babies on accident. Go figure!! Sadly, they all believe what they are telling you and this is partly because TV portrays infertility incorrectly. So I am going to debunk some of those myths.

Myth 1:

"Relax and you will get pregnant" or "Quit trying"


Do fertiles really think that we started out frantic about having a baby? Unless we knew about our infertility ahead of time or started ttc later in life we are all relaxed that first 6 months to 1 year. We are naive and assume pregnancy will happen soon so we ARE relaxed. We don't begin to worry until we have been trying for awhile. So if "relaxing" worked we would have all gotten pregnant in the first few months. Back when sex was about recreation instead of procreation.

Myth 2:

"Just adopt and you will get pregnant."

This actually does happen, but it is rare. Then why do we hear it all of the time? Because it makes for a good story line on television. When watching a show on TV it makes you feel all warm and fuzzy to see the lead character adopt and then get pregnant unexpectedly. The actuality of it happening are slim to none.

Myth 3:

"You should do IVF. It works!"


IVF is a wonderful option and works for many, many people. But the truth of the matter is that not only is it very expensive and time consuming, it doesn't always work. Many people assume that it does though and this is because no one talks about the failures. You won't hear someone say "My cousin's husband's sister did IVF 7 times and never got pregnant. They had to file bankruptcy because of it and are now living in their cars. But you should really try it. I hear it works." Yeah, I doubt that you will ever hear that one!

What are some of the other myths of infertility that you want to set the record straight on?

It's a girl....maybe

So I get a call today from my mom. She knows of a little girl that needs a home. It is (now try to keep up, this is confusing) my niece's mom's boyfriend's sister's daughter. Whew! That's a mouthful! She is 9 years old and the mother is an addict. The state is threatening to take her and the mom does not want her in foster care. While foster care is a much better place than where she is currently living, I would hate for her to get lost in the system. Hubby and I discussed it and are willing to take her but only if it is legal. We will not, under any circumstances, babysit her only to return her to the sad situation she is coming from.

Our first step is to wait for contact from the mother. From there we will get legal guardianship. After that we will just have to see. There are a lot of variables such as where her father is and if the mother will be around to allow adoption. We are fully aware that this could end in heartache for us and we could have her for a short time only to have a family member step up and take her. We also know that if we don't attempt to take her she will be lost in the system, bounced from home to home, possibly returned to her mother at some point, and will be more damaged than she already is now. How can we allow that if it is within our power to help?

Please pray that His will is done in this situation. This is a huge undertaking and one that is quite intimidating. We are still adjusting to having a baby in home as it is. Also, I have always said that if we adopt an older child it will be later and someone younger than Maddie as I did not want to disrupt the birth order. But we infertiles know that things seldom go as planned!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Do I follow you??

You know, I was thinking about the term "followers". It reminds of a Jim Jones kinda thing. Ya know, his "followers". Or maybe a guru and his "followers". Does that make me a guru? Hmmm....I think I like having "followers". Though I promise to never ask you to drink kool-aide!

Now back to the question. Do I follow you? If you follow my blog I wanna follow yours!! I have asked this before but wanted to make sure I have everyone. Some of you that follow don't have links back to your blog so I can't find you. I promise not to stalk you. Too much! So if you follow me and want me to follow you please let me know!

And the winner is........


She posted:

I would also love to read this book. My husband and I have been suffering from infertility for over 3 years. Any form of insight and comfort is always welcome.

I will mail it out early next week. Congrats!

One year ago today.....

One year ago today I started my first FET cycle. I began injecting hormones into my body preparing my uterus for 2 little embryos. At 7 am, one year ago today, I sat on my bed with tears running down my face, terrified to give myself a shot. I was angry that it had come to this, that a baby was not easy. Yet, I was thankful for the advancement of medical science that allowed us to have this wonderful opportunity. One year ago today Maddie was sitting in a freezer just waiting for me. One year ago today I felt the first stirrings of hope that I had not felt in many years. I was so scared that it would not work. This was our last hope. We had tried adoption and was not ready to do that again. We had tried IUIs and knew that there was no chance that that would ever work for us. IVF was not really an option. This was it. Our last chance. And not only our last chance, but these embryo's only chance at life. It is an awesome responsibility to know that these little lives are depending on you and your body. Granted, it is all up to God whether they survived or not, but I wanted to do everything I could to give them the best possible chance at survival.

So one year ago today I had little hope, no baby, a box of meds and one last chance. Today I have a little one sitting here next to me. What a difference a year makes!!!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Should fat people be allowed to have children?

Let me preface this post by stating that I am a chubby chick and I have a chubby hubby. So don't get your panties in a bunch over this title!!

Now, back to the post. Should fat people be allowed to have children? I ask this because recently a nurse at a clinic informed a patient that she and her hubby needed to lose weight before they could be good parents. Yes, you read that right! She was not concerned about the patient's health, but that it might be difficult for them to chase a child while heavy. I have met this couple once before and they both can move around just fine. And even if they couldn't, is that reason enough to deny them IVF?

Here is the story: Heavyset couple dealing with infertility call a few clinics to set up consultations. A nurse at one of the clinics ask the patient some questions in preparation of the consultation. After hearing the patient's weight (and that of her hubby) the nurse informs the patient that they will not even consider working with them until they lose weight. Neither patient have any health issues at all. Both are active and healthy, albeit overweight. Is it right for a clinic to refuse them IVF? And no, this is not a shared risk program.

After hearing this I was furious! Unless a person is a drug addict or has an illness that could harm a child or themselves a clinic should not be able to refuse helping a patient become parents. And if they are going to screen people in this way shouldn't thin people with high blood pressure be denied as well? Or what about high cholesterol? Are these not as dangerous as being overweight? And at what point is heavy too heavy? Technically 30 pounds is considered obese. Would obese people be turned away? Or just morbidly obese? That means that Maddie should not be my child as I was considered morbidly obese when I did my FET. Yet I had a perfectly healthy pregnancy except for mild preeclampsia and it was not weight related in any way. So by this clinic's standards I am not eligible to have a chance at having a baby. What makes this so incredibly sad is that this is the clinic that I had planned on using next year and now will be unable to. I am now 30 lbs less than my pre-pregnancy weight and no longer morbidly obese, but my hubby still is. So will we be disqualified even though we would be using donor embryos? Are we not good enough to be parents now?

I understand that there has to be some guidelines for medical treatments, but I really feel that this is crossing a line. It smacks too closely of discrimination to me. No one would deny a healthy paraplegic a chance at IVF. So how can they say that a heavy couple should not have that chance as well. Granted, obesity is not necessarily a disease, but not all heavy people are lazy and unhealthy. I know many chubbies that are very healthy, my dh and I included. And we are great parents!!! Yes, it is unhealthy to overweight! Yes, I should get my fat, lazy butt off of the couch and exercise. But if I have to wait until I lose 70 lbs I will be 35 and then have to deal with advanced maternal age. What is worse? Being too "old"? Or being too fat??

We can all agree that the octo.mom is a bit on the crazy side and really should not have had the last FET. But the truth is that it is not our place to tell her whether she can have a baby or not. And I firmly believe that the best scenario for a child is to have a mother and a father (personal opinion) but should a medical facility deny a single woman a chance at having a child? Or a lesbian? Just because I may not agree with a person's lifestyle choices does not mean that a doctor should be able to prohibit a person from achieving their dreams. If a woman is allowed the "choice" to have an abortion because it is "her body" should not ART have the same respect?

So what are your thoughts? And if you are going to be rude at least have the decency to use your real identity. All mean anonymous comments will be deleted. =D

Welcome ICLW peeps!

If you are wondering what ICLW is just click the link to the left. Or is it right?? Just look for ICLW and you will find your way. For those that are here from ICLW let me tell you a bit about me. Since it is my blog and all.

*I have been married 12 years.

*We began ttc after about 2 months of wedded bliss. Back when we were naive.

*Eight months later still no bambino so we started testing.

*We were diagnosed with a smorgasbord of infertility issues. You name it, we probably have it! Endo, azoospermia, blocked tube, and mild PCOS.

*We tried adoption. Twice. No go!

*We tried IUIs with donor sperm. No go there either. In fact, the donor even had a low count. Go figure!! Hubby says that I de-fertilize men!! LOL

*We had 2 options left: IVF with donor eggs and donor sperm or embryo adoption. It was a no brainer for us. We adopted 3 little embryos.

*In December of 2009 we had 2 little embies transferred to my womb and one decided to hang around. A few weeks after our 12th anniversary we welcomed our baby girl into our lives.

*Though we have our little miracle I still consider myself infertile. Forever infertile as another blogger once called it.

That sums up our infertility journey! As for more personal information, I am a SAHM and hubby is a minister and runs a non-profit organization that does drug, alcohol and crime prevention assemblies in public schools. We are two chubby people quite happy with our life. Little Maddie was just the icing on the cake. MMMM....cake!!!

I hope that you stick around! I promise that this is still an infertility blog. It is not a mommy blog, though I do talk about Maddie from time to time. But come on, she is too cute not to share!! And besides, she should be a symbol of hope. If we can have a baby after all that we have been through there is hope for all of you reading this.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Infertility portrayed on TV

In the past few years I have noticed a huge increase in story lines that include infertility in one way or another. For the most part I see this as a positive thing. Maybe infertility will lose some of it's taboo-ness now that we see it on television. And maybe the fertile world will realize that not everyone can pop out a baby. Though I do not watch the show, as I hate reality TV, I do like that Bill & Giuliana have chosen to allow the world to see their struggle. I hurt for them, but I respect them for allowing us to see this very private pain. And the fact that it is not storybook perfect helps. Not that I don't want them to succeed because I do! No one should have to endure infertility!! But so often fertiles tell us to "just do IVF" assuming that it works for everyone when we all know that is not the case for many. Their story is proof of that.

What I don't like about some of these shows is that they get things so very wrong sometimes! I can't tell you how many times I watch a show and am pleasantly surprised to see that they have included infertility only to see them ruin it with them adopting and then getting pregnant. No wonder people seem to think that this is how it works! Or they get some diagnosis and the treatment plan given is totally off the wall. For the fertiles they may not catch this, but we infertiles will every time. And while speaking of fertility faux paus there is a credit card commercial that irritates me every time I see it. The woman is obviously pregnant and sitting on the floor surrounded by baby stuff. In walks her husband and she informs him that she used the card and it gives them points. She takes him into the nursery to show him 3 baby beds and 3 car seats, her way of telling him that they are having twins. Seriously?? Like it is even possible to get that far into a pregnancy and not know that there are 3 in there?? The commercial is bogus!

But back to the infertility part of television....I am really glad to see that it has become more common. Now if they could just get it right!

Don't forget...Giveaway ends tomorrow!

Don't forget to enter the giveaway for the book When the Cradle is Empty. It ends tomorrow at 11:59 pm.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Cloth Diapering

When I first found out that I was pregnant I began reading all things baby related. It was at this time that I began to read about cloth diapers. I knew that people used them, but I thought that it was only very poor people or the Amish. The reality is that the majority of parents that use cloth diapers are upper middle class. I guess it's from all that money they saved by using cloth! In the beginning I was intrigued, but not sold on the idea. So I continued researching it and the more I learned, the more I liked the idea. Cloth diapers are no longer flat prefolds, safety pins and crinkly, plastic pants that failed to hold in the pee smell. There ate tons of options now. Tons!!! And many of them are cute too!

Once I hit the 2nd trimester and felt more confident that the pregnancy would go well I began buying diapers. I took the advice of the been there done that mommas and bought several different kinds instead of investing is all of one kind. I bought Flips, Econobum, BumGenius AIO and pockets, prefolds and covers, AI2 and some fitteds. The closer I got to delivery the more intimidated I became. How would I keep up with laundry? What if I hate it? Which ones will I like? What about stains? SO many things to think about!

I decided to wait until Maddie was 6 weeks before I began cloth diapering. I waited for several reasons: Newborn baby poo is frequent and yucky! And I knew that I would be tired and cloth would overwhelm me in those early days. So at about 6 weeks I slowly started using cloth. I quickly learned that prefolds were not for me. They are bulky and too much work. I tend to be lazy! Next I tried fitteds. Hated them too. I just can't figure out why anyone would spend good money on a cute diaper that requires a cover over them. And I just don't want to have to put 2 diapers on (fitted and cover). Again, too much work. Then I tried the Flips and Econobums which are basically the same. For a newborn the were too bulky. As she got bigger they fit better but I am not too keen on the idea of a cover. I know that you can reuse the cover as long as there is no poo on them, but once she peed the cover got wet and I did not want to have to clean them. Next came pockets. I didn't like those either, mainly because they are bulky for a newborn. You have to fold the inserts and somewhere there is going to be bulk and I hate bulk!! I only tried one pocket and maybe this is not the case for all of them, but my one experience was not a positive one so I gave up on those as well.

My favorite ones are AIOs, especially Bumgenius. I even like some of the WAHM ones (home made). They are so easy to use! Just like regular diapers. Now that I have found my groove I really like cloth diapers. I am using them exclusively and love that I am saving money. My water bill has only gone up about $4 and the detergent was only $10 and will last a long time. I am not sure if my electric bill has increased, but if it has I am sure that it is not by much. So all in all my cloth diapering experience has been a very positive one and I am so glad that I decided to at least give it a try. And Maddie likes them too! Seriously! She will not go poo in a disposable diaper. When we used them she would go 3 days between poos but once I put cloth on her she would go within and hour. Every time!!! And now that we use them all of the time she goes every day. No more constipation! Crazy kid!!!

So if you are thinking about trying cloth I would encourage you to go for it! It is not for everyone, I realize that. But if you can, you really should. It will save you a bundle!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

cheesin' it up!


Sitting Pretty

Another Book Giveaway!

I was going through some stuff yesterday looking for Christmas stuff and found another book that I would like to pass along! This one is actually brand new, though it does have sticker residue from the price tag on the front. I found them on sale a few years ago and purchased several of them to give to friends. The Book is When The Cradle Is Empty by John and Syliva Van Regenmorter.


The Van Regenmorters started Stepping Stones Infertility Ministry and their forum has been a lifesaver for me! I found it 6 years ago during our failed adoption and I honestly do not know how I could have survived without the support found there. I have also been blessed to be able to moderate the forum and I love it!! I know that this post sounds like a plug for Stepping Stones, but really, it isn't! I just really love their ministry!! And this book! So one lucky reader will get a copy of it!! And it will be easy. All you have to do is comment that you would like to win. See! Told you that it would be easy!! All I ask is that when you no longer need it that you pay it forward.

And for those of you that do not need the book at this time please feel free to mention it on your blog so that those still experiencing primary infertility can enter to win. The deadline for the giveaway is Sunday, Nov 19th. The winner will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. Please make sure that you leave an email address for me to contact you!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Christmas is Coming!!!

Christmas is my absolute most favoritist time of the year! I love, love, love it!!! And sending Christmas cards is one of my highlights of the year. I used to purchase ready made ones, then I began making my own, and last year I ordered photo ones from Shutterfly and that is now my new love. My sister even got my baby shower invites from Shutterfly as well. And I think I did most of my Christmas shopping there as well. I love their calendars and photo books too. This year my biggest problem is finding which card I love most! Here are some of my top faves:



We will be getting our Christmas photos done next week so we I will wait until I get them before I decide. Gotta coordinate, ya know! And considering that we are going to be wearing black, red and white I may have to reconsider our options. Hmmm....maybe we will have to have them done twice just to match the cards! If you haven't already chosen your Christmas cards you should really check them out! And if you are a blogger you can get 50 free ones! Just follow this link: Shutterfly

Family of Two Holiday Traditions

The word "family" kind of annoys me. Mainly because most people do not consider a couple as a "family". I have always felt that hubby and I, along with our furbabies, have been a family since the moment we said "I Do". Just because the general fertile public does not consider us as such does not change how I feel about it. Just as a single parent with a child(ren) or a grandparent raising their grandchild(ren) is a family. Maybe that is the difference, having children. But should it be? Are children the only way to have a "family'? I think not!

When hubby and I became a family in 1998 we began holiday traditions. There are some traditions that included our someday children and I look forward to doing them in the years to come, but many of them are ones that we did even back then. Some years it was hard to do them as we had dreams of having babies by that time, but we made ourselves do them and celebrate together. We felt it important not to center our lives completely around "what if's" and maybe someday babies. Here are our traditions:

*Put up our Christmas tree the day after Thanksgiving
*Make a gingerbread house with our nieces on Thanksgiving day.
*Get a Starbucks and drive around looking at Christmas light.
* Invite my grandmother over on Christmas Eve. I make a ton of appetizers and we exchange gifts.
*Hubby and I stay up until Midnight and then we open our gifts.

Do you have family traditions that you do as a family of two? If not, will you begin one or two this year? Please share your traditions!!!

Worth the read

A fellow blogger, Molly, over at Enough Happiness wrote a post this morning titled "That's When It's Easy" that really spoke to me. I think that all of can relate to it and I highly recommend stopping over there and reading it.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Finally finished her nursery!

During my pregnancy I was so proud of myself for getting things done early. I had a goal to have everything finished before Maddie came home. In July, about 7 weeks before she was due, I only had a few things left to do to finish the nursery. Then I went on bed rest and family pitched in to help. But even with the help there were a few things that I needed to find to complete it and I was unable to do so. Then once we brought her home I was just too tired to care. I still am! But I made myself get my butt in gear last night and git 'er done! One of the hold-ups was these two shelves that I wanted hung up. They were those floating ones. No matter how hard I tried they would not hang right. So I gave up. They won. And I hung a quilt over it! The quilt is a special one and I was glad to put it up. My aunt made it and it was for everyone at the showers to sign. I love going in there and reading it and I hope that one day Maddie will love it as well. So without further delay, here is her room:


Thursday, November 11, 2010

And yet another reason I hate infertility!

Remember when you first got married, those days of wedded bliss? Remember when you first said to your hubby "Let's make a baby!"? Ah...to be young, carefree and naive again! I miss those days. But alas, I am here. Twelve years older, thousands of dollars poorer, and have more knowledge of my reproductive organs that my high school biology teacher. Yes, I have a child now, and for that I am most thankful. But the "let's have another baby" conversation will not be an easy one for us. We will have to go through treatments again, which means saving money and waiting for available embryos. And all of this is for a "chance" not a guarantee.

Back when we first started trying, when I thought that I was "normal", we talked baby names. We had dreams and ideas of our future children. We have had our names picked out for years. Many, many years!!! I have had to sit back and watch fellow church members use our names and while it hurt, I survived. I could care less if Maddie is one of four in our church. I love her name and was determined to use it. We have two other names that we absolutely love and have planned on using for years: Braeden for a boy and Olivia for a girl. Both are popular now but our church is small and no one else has these names and all of my friends are done having babies. My sister is planning another child (must be nice to plan, huh?) and neither of these names are on her list. What I hadn't counted on was my brother and his girlfriend having a baby. And choosing one of my names: Olivia.

When I had first learned that they were unexpectedly expecting I was a wee bit jealous as they had done so much to prevent and can still pop one out. But for the most part I handled it well. However I did tell hubby that I hoped they had a girl as I would really like to be the first at something and hope that our next one (if God wills it) will be a boy. I am the oldest of three yet the last to have a baby. And the only one that ever wanted children. Though I may never have another child and if we do it may be a girl, I still wanted to chance to be "first" at having a boy. But now that they have chosen my girl name I hope that they have a boy. Silly, I know!

I am not upset that they have chosen the name Olivia as they had no idea that we planned to use this name if ever given the opportunity. But it still stings. We were supposed to be done having kids by now and would have already gotten to use our chosen names and this would not be an issue. Infertility stinks on so many levels and this is just one more reason!!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

She IS my biological daughter!

When we first decided to pursue EA we were very excited!!! Even more so once we found out that we were indeed pregnant after 11 long years of waiting. We were amazed that it worked!! But during it all there was a part of me that was sad that our daughter would not be genetically related to us.It was something that I had to mourn and am honestly over. I think that this is something that most everyone goes through when adopting (if infertility is a factor), regardless of the type of adoption. Recently I posted about my lack of bonding with my daughter (which has gotten much better, btw!) and I made a comment that it had nothing to do with her not being biologically related to me but more about a past trauma (losing our daughter in a failed adoption). A fellow blogger, tasivfer, over at Rinding the IVF Roller Coaster posted a link to an amazing article explaining how Maddie IS biologically related to me! Though this article has not helped be bond with Maddie (since it was never the issue) it was wonderful to read. And I know that all of you that have used donated embryos or donor eggs will love this article as much as I did!!

Here is the part of the article that you will want to read:

“Women who give birth to donor egg babies are the biological moms”

“Perhaps the greatest myth surrounds pregnancy. Many believe the uterus is simply an incubator. Nothing could be further from the truth. The most important aspect of all pregnancies- including egg donation pregnancies- is that as the fetus grows, every cell in the developing body is built out of the pregnant mother’s body. Tissue from her uterine lining will contribute to the formation of the placenta, which will link her and her child. The fetus will use her body’s protein, then she will replace it. The fetus uses her sugars, calcium, nitrates, and fluids, and she will replace them. So, if you think of your dream child as your dream house, the genes provide merely a basic blueprint, the biological mother takes care of all the materials and construction, from the foundation right on up to the light fixtures. So, although her husband’s aunt Sara or the donor’s grandfather may have genetically programmed the shape of the new baby’s earlobe, the earlobe itself is the pregnant woman’s “flesh and blood.” That means the earlobe, along with the baby herself, grew from the recipient’s body. That is why she is the child’s biological mother. That is why this child is her biological child.” Taken from a booklet published by Freedom Pharmacy

Winner, Winner! Chicken Dinner!!!

The winner of my giveaway has been chosen. I did it the good ole' fashion way and put the numbers 1-7 in a bowl and had hubby choose one. And the winner is.........

#2 Amanda said...

Me, me, please! =) And how wonderfully sweet of you to do a give away w/o any gimmicks!

I sent you an email and once I receive your address I will mail it out! Congrats!!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Found mine!!!!

On Saturday I posted a challenge for everyone to find a blogger that has less than 25 followers and become a follower of their blog. So I went on a blog hunt (thanks, Elizabeth!) and have found a blog. It is Waiting For That Positive. So, did you find your blog???

EA program with NO waitlist!

I am not affiliated with this clinic, nor am I even familiar with it. Someone on a forum posted this information that they received as an email. The program did their home study for domestic adoption and they later received this information. I am passing it along in case someone wants to check it out!

Children's Connections Crystal Angels embryo adoption program is looking for adopting parents who have a completed and approved home study and are interested in pursuing embryo adoption. We have genetic parents in our program who wish to share their gift of embryos with adopting parents. Due to our tremendous outreach efforts with Texas clinics, we are in the precarious situation of having more genetic parents donating embryos than we have adopting parents at this time. If you or anyone you know is interested in building a family through embryo adoption, please contact our embryo adoption coordinator, Julie Hames for additional information. Julie can be reached at 210.452.9773 or julie@childrensconnections.org.

Hope that this is a help to someone!!!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Help my friend and maybe win $100!

A friend of mine lost her 18 month old daughter over 7 years ago. She was strangled by a window blind cord. Since her daughter's death she has started a non-profit to educate parents on the dangers of window blind cords. She has also started a blog and is trying to get followers. To help with this she is giving away a $100 gift card. How sweet is that ?!?!? So please, please, please take a moment and check out her blog, become a follower, and enter to win $100 smackeroos! Thanks!!!!

OOP!! Forgot to include a link!!! Here it is: PFWBS

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Show Some Love!

Each of us started a blog not only have a place to share our thoughts but to garner support. Sadly, most of us do not have a very good support system in real life therefore bloggy friends can be essential for our emotional health. With the upcoming holidays the pain and sadness of infertility is magnified. Commercials, movies, newspaper advertisements, stores....all portray Christmas as being a holiday centered around children. Yes, children do add an element of excitement to the day, but that is not the reason for the season. It is during this time that we need to support each other. So I have a challenge for all of you, myself included. Find a new blog to follow and show some love! But not just any blog, but one that has less than 25 followers. Follow them and then comment on their most recent post. And once you do that come back here and let us know that you did so. By doing this you just might help someone during this difficult season. And I will do it as well and post a response letting you know that who I am following. Now go! Follow!

Friday, November 5, 2010

They're everywhere!

Infertiles, that is! It amazes me at how often I come across someone that has struggled with infertility in some way. Today my sister and I got up at the butt crack of dawn to go stand in line outside of GAP so that she could get a free pair of jeans. Actually, she got 2 pairs. She dragged me with her so that I could get a pair for her too. I am a good sister!! There was a couple in line behind us and they had a little boy and we got to chatting. She asked if Maddie was our first and I told her yes and that we waited a long time for her. Not sure why I feel so compelled to announce this to people, but I do. Partly because I am always afraid that they are infertile and hurting and I want them to know that I am not a "fertile" and that there is hope. Another reason is because I never know who I might meet that might want to learn about Embryo Adoption. But I digress.....

After I informed the lady that we had struggled with infertility she then informed me that it took them 5 years to conceive their son. From there we talked clinics, diagnosis and meds. My poor fertile sister was bored!! So not only did I score a free pair of $60 jeans but met a fellow infertile as well. Good day! Good day!!!

Don't forget to my Giveaway!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Infertility makes you cRaZy!!!!

I am sitting here this morning drinking a cup o' joe and eating some sausage balls, wonderfully delicious sausage and cheesy goodness. Then all of a sudden I get hit with a wave of nausea. My first thought?? You guessed it! "Maybe I am pregnant?!?!?". There are so many things wrong with this scenario it ain't even funny! 1) I never even had morning sickness or even nausea so my mind shouldn't even go there. 2) I am on my period as we speak! and 3) I haven't even had any nookie since I had the baby. Okay, we haven't even done it for over 13 weeks! They say it is like riding a bike....let's hope so!! Cause right now I think that I have completely forgotten what goes where!!!

So, no, I am not pregnant. Though I wish that I was. But I am not. I am just feeling icky to my stomach. And slightly crazy from infertility. Good to know that things never change!
Don't forget to enter my giveaway!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

A Giveaway!!!

I was going through some stuff and found a book that I no longer need. It is called Budgeting For Infertility. I found the book to be helpful so instead of giving it to Good.will I will host a giveaway here and pass it along! So all you have to do to win this fabulous previously read book is post a comment here telling me that you want to win! Easy peasy! No hoops. No need to even follow me. Though I would. I'm awesome! All I ask is that when you are finished with it you, too, pass it along to a fellow infertile. Winner will be chosen next Wednesday. Make sure there is a way for me to contact you in case you win. Winner will have 48 hours to respond and then a new winner will be chosen. Winner will be chosen randomly so kissing up is not necessary, though appreciated.

(photo not of actual book. it is one I swiped off of Amazon. Actual book in like new condition.)

Hey! I need some help!

I want to add a links to some of my other posts across the top of my blog, but I don't know how. I have the HOME link there, but can't seem to figure out how to add other ones. Anyone able to help a girl out???

She's back....and I hate her!

Last night I had an unwelcome visitor. One that has not shown her ugly face for 11 months. One that I did not miss. Yep! You guessed it! Aunt Flo is here. Uninvited. She brought along a lot baggage as well: cramps, irritability, bloating, crabbiness, etc. A real party!! Having endo makes this an even more fun experience. Though I guess that I shouldn't complain as I did have an 11 month reprieve. I have heard that endo can get better after pregnancy and oh, how I hope that is the case for me!!! She was such a pain before, and has been since I was 16 years old, that I think that I have earned some time off for good behavior.

Flo, Flo...go away! Come again..........NEVER!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Super Cute Giveaway

Over at Saving My Family Money there is a great giveaway that could score you a gift card for baby hair bows and bloomers. Check it out! Some cute stuff!!!

Maddie's first Halloween