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

Friday, July 30, 2010

insurance and infertility

Another blogger posted a link to an article in Newsweek about a local clinic. It is actually the clinic I plan on using next time around as they are developing an EA program. You can view the article here: Should IVF be Affordable For All. This clinic explains it reasons for offering IVF at almost half the price of other clinics ($7500 including ICSI). I applaud them for believing that having a child should be attainable for all couples, not just the wealthy or those willing to go bankrupt. What bothers me about the article is the criticism they receive for lowering their costs.

David Fleming, director of the Center for Health Ethics at the University of Missouri, says the main concern with making fertilization affordable for more people is the risk of “commoditization” of babies. “The more you have access, the more people will do it,” says Fleming, arguing that the unfortunate part of making IVF more widespread is its increased ethical stakes, such as those surrounding more premature births, which ultimately increase the cost of health-care coverage for everyone, and more babies with congenital malformations, which are twice as common in babies conceived through IVF than naturally. “The concern is that we are placing these little humans in danger,” he says. “IVF, with all due respect—is it a question of need or a question of want?”

Really?? He thinks that couples that don't have serious infertility issues will do IVF because it is affordable?? Has he ever done IVF? As a man can he really comprehend what an IVF cycle does to a woman's body? I only did FET which is much less than a full IVF, but the shots and appointments dictate your whole life! I would have preferred to have sex in order to get pregnant, believe me! Just because a clinic will offer IVF at a lower, more affordable cost does not mean I will skip the nookie and go straight to IVF.

And this quote by a RE that I highly respect really irritates me:
A complicating factor, according to St. Luke’s Silber, is that up to 80 percent of infertility cases are caused simply by increasing maternal age. “It’s hard to call infertility a disease. It’s normal aging,” he says, adding that only about 20 percent of women who seek treatment have what’s called a “valid diagnosis,” such as that they don’t ovulate. “Most of the time you can’t make a valid diagnosis,” Silber says. “The incidence of infertility is zero to 1 percent in teenagers. For women in their early 20s, only 1 to 2 percent are infertile. In their late 20s, 16 percent of women are infertile, and in their mid- to late 30s, 25 percent are infertile. By age 40, more than half of women are infertile, and pregnancy beyond age 43 is very uncommon.”

80% Really? He is going to stand by that statistic? I would like to see where that statistic came from. And does that statistic take into account that most couples in their 20s do not rush to do IVF or even see an RE unless their fertility issues warrant it. I started ttc in my early 20s. It took us 11 years to get where we are today. Look at it this way:

A women gets married at the age of 28 and they decide to wait a year to have children. She is still young so there is no rush. At 29 they begin trying but nothing happens. They give it the full year that doctors tell you to wait before seeking help. They go to her OB and begin preliminary testing. It takes 2-4 months for all of the tests to be complete and she has an issue with ovulating and he now needs to see a urologist because his counts are low. It takes another 2 months to get into the urologist, repeat the tests, discover he has a varicocele and needs surgery. By the time the surgery is complete the woman is now 31 years old. The surgery can take a few months before you know whether it is successful or not. So now she is 31 and they have the results and his count is better and they return to their OB to begin treatment. They just need her to ovulate, so begins the clomid. After another 6 months of this and no success the OB sends her to an RE. Another 3 month wait for an appointment. And more tests. She is now past her 32nd birthday. They spend years 32, 33 and 34 trying IUIs with different combinations of drugs only to be told that IVF is their only chance. They spend another year saving for IVF and at age 35 have their first cycle. Negative. A second cycle. Negative again. The reason: AMA (advanced maternal age).

Can this scenario really be considered in the above stated statistics? Most couples do not put off having their children until their 40s. Yes, some do to advance their career or maybe they are not sure if they want children. If you make that choice knowingly then you have to suffer the consequences of natural aging. But for those that do not find Mr. Right until age 38, should she be punished? Or the couple that has tried for 10+ years and are now getting older, should they be penalized?

Sadly, infertility affects couples of all ages, races, and economic status. And no, we do not need children to live. But insurance companies pay for erectile dysfunction and the last time I checked no man ever died from having a softy. Or what about eczema or psoriasis? Neither will kill you but make life uncomfortable. Insurance pays for these treatments. There are many issues that insurance companies will pay for that are not life threatening and infertility should be one of them. And now, after reading this article, I wonder if it is sources like these that keep insurance companies from seeing the need to cover treatments.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Contractions and .......catnip???

This week has been a bit hectic. I woke up on Tuesday having some contractions. Nothing to get excited about, but definitely real ones. I wasn't going to call my OB about them, but with my BP issues I called to ask if I needed to do anything. I did. He sent me to L&D just to check if I was dilated and to make sure my BP was still good. I am not dilated. At all. Not even 1 cm. Bummer! But my BP was excellent! And there was no protein in my urine this time. I swear this kid is trying to make a liar out of me!! The OB at the hospital had a hard time believing that I have mild pre-e. Oh, and while I was hooked up to the monitors it did show that I was having contractions, but not very many and not very strong. The contractions were much worse before I got to the hospital and picked up again once I left. And when they put the heart monitor on me I told them that the OB only finds her heartbeat on my left side, never the right. Guess what? She made a liar out of me again. They found it on the right this time. Stinker!!! She also hated the monitors and spent an hour trying to kick them off of her. I am going to have my hands full with this one!

So I am home and still on bed rest. I just finished my 24 hour urine test again. Nothing like carrying around a big jug o' pee! Today is our 12th anniversary and I am really hoping that after my appointment tomorrow that he will allow me to go out for our anniversary. I just want to go to Olive Garden for lunch. I have been craving it for about a week now! Hubby was going to go and pick it up for us today but I would rather wait to see if we can just go out instead.

Oh, and the catnip? Well, since about 13 weeks my nipples have been huge and dark. Very dark! Hubby calls me his Nation.al Geographic woman. Funny guy! But anyway, after my shower each morning I dry off them stumble over to sink to find my contacts and put them in. My cat, Winston, has always felt the need to sit on the counter in front of me and watch me. Now, as I lean over to see myself in the mirror, he has decided that my huge nips are a play toy and bites at them, hence the term catnip. I am just glad he has been declawed!!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Good news!

I had an appointment today with my OB to check my BP and protein levels again. There was still protein in my urine and I need to do another 24 urine test, but my BP was FANTASTIC!!!!! This was great news! I have officially been diagnosed with mild preeclampsia but the bed rest is working and I should be able to continue with bed rest unless there is a drastic change in my BP. And it looks like he will induce my in 2 weeks instead of three. Holy cow!!! Only 2 more weeks!! I can't believe how soon she will be here. It still seems so unreal.

On a side note the part for the freezer has been ordered and will be here on Wednesday. YAY! And my A/C has been thoroughly cleaned and we are crossing our fingers that this was all that it needed. And my worry about money? God has already been providing. There was an unexpected check in the mail today for $350!! God is so good!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

An Exercise of Faith

Currently I am under strict orders not to allow anything to stress me out. Do you know what that means?? It means that things are constantly going to go wrong and I am going to have to learn how to trust in Him and not stress out. My hubby is an evangelist and we live by faith. For those unfamiliar with this it means that his pay is in the form of monthly support and love offerings from the churches that he preaches in. The monthly support remains the same each month (which is not a whole lot) but the love offerings vary from church to church. With me developing preeclampsia my hubby has had to cancel most of his meetings this month so that he can care for me and be here for Maddie's birth. This means money will be tight, but we could cut back and be fine. Then things started to break. Lovely!! First it was our compressor fan blade on the fridge. This happened last week and has yet to be fixed as I am waiting for hubby to get home and take care of it. So far it has not been too bad. Actually it has forced me to clean out my freezer and fridge which is a good thing. But I have been unable to go to the grocery store and someone is going for me tomorrow. Sounds great, right? Wrong! There is no place to put said groceries until the fridge is fixed. It is one stupid piece of plastic that I am praying that the local Sears Parts and Appliance place carries in stock. If not we have to order it and it will be 3-4 days before it gets here.

Now today. What could go wrong today? Well, let me tell you! I was walking down the hallway to go pee for the hundredth time and I felt something squishy and damp on the carpet. I thought maybe it was a hairball (ick!) or dog pee (yuck!). Nope! I actually wish that it was one of those! It is my air conditioner. It is leaking. I am really, really, really hoping that it just needs to be cleaned and not repaired. Or heaven forbid quits working!!! It is going to be over 100 degrees with the heat index all week this week. Not a good time for it to go out. We could stay with my mom if worse comes to worse, but she smokes and it gives me migraines. And is stinks!!!

So I am taking a few deep breaths and telling myself that this will be okay. No reason to stress. I am such a fixer though that it is so hard for me not to worry and stress. But for Maddie I will learn to relax. But seriously, couldn't this have all happened a month ago when my BP was normal?? Does it really have to all happen at once? AAAHHHH!!! Life is fun!!

Why is it that....

people feel the need to offer reassurance about something that they have no control over? When we were ttc people would tell us that they "knew" we would one day be parents. Really?? Did God send them a text with this information? A vision? What? And what about those now in their 50's that never had children? Were they sure that they would not be parents? Or did they offer the same false assurances to them as well?

Now that I am facing preeclampsia I am hearing it again. People want to assure me that all will be fine. Honestly, I am choosing to believe that all will be well. But do I know this for certain? Of course not!! Anything can happen and until Maddie is born and safely in my arms those fears will exist. Telling me that you are "sure everything will be fine" is not reassuring! There are too many women out there that thought the same thing and it was not true for them. Things happen!

Some like to tell me that God would not have brought us this far just to take Maddie. Really? Do they honestly believe this? How many times have we seen or heard of the death of a little one? I have been to 2 infant funerals of full term babies and I am sure that their mothers would have loved to have had the assurance that nothing could have gone wrong that late in the game. But it did! I don't claim to understand the reasoning behind God's choices nor do I even agree with them, but they are His choices and He has a reason for them. I am not exempt from them either. My Maddie is His and whatever happens is His choice. I choose to remain optimistic and refuse to worry, but I also need to be cautious and put my trust in Him.

I also find it ironic that this advice has only come from fertiles and have never faced a loss of any kind. Infertiles and those that have faced loss know all too well how things can happen all too well. I wish that people would learn to just say "I am praying for you and Maddie" and leave it at that. Is that really so hard to do??

Friday, July 23, 2010

Thank you for noticing!

Those of you that have followed me for any length of time has heard me complain about my lack of baby bump. I am now showing more but I still get "the look". You know the one. They look at your belly, then your face, and back to your belly looking for some clue that says "pregnant" or "not pregnant" before they embarrass themselves. Rarely does anyone mention my pregnancy and I completely understand! No one likes to accuse a fat non-pregnant chick of being pregnant. So when I find a few brave souls willing to venture out and comment about my baby bump I just want to hug them. Unless they are annoying and then I want to mess their heads and tell them that I am not pregnant, just fat. But that would be cruel and I haven't done that. Yet.

Two weeks ago was one such moment. I was at the local hospital for another ultrasound. There were 3 other people in the elevator and before I could push the button for floor #4 the woman next to the door looked at me and said "Floor 4??". I was kind of stumped at first wondering how she could have known that I was going to floor #4 (which is the L&D and the perinatal unit) and then I realized that she could tell that I was pregnant!! I just grinned, happy to be noticed. Well, noticed for being pregnant instead of fat that is. And then today I was at the grocery store (don't worry, it was a quick trip even if it as against doctor's orders) and the cashier asked me how much longer. I answered "Until what?". She replied "Till the baby is here." She is my new best friend!!! I guess I should have asked her what her name was since we are now BFF.

Not the news I was hoping for.....

At my 34 week appointment this past Monday my BP was elevated and there was protein in my urine. I had to do a 24 urine catch as well as 2 sets of blood work. All of my blood work came back normal and my BP has remained in the normal range since then, even today at my appointment. But my protein was high from the 24 urine catch. At 300 they consider you as having preeclampsia. Mine was 299. Still under the cut off, but too high for comfort. I have not been diagnosed with preeclampsia at this time but my doctor is afraid that I will develop it soon.

So here is where we are:

* I am to be on modified bed rest. I can attend one service at church on Sundays, but that is all. No cleaning. No cooking. No finishing the nursery either.

* My baby shower has to be rescheduled until after the baby is born.

* I see my OB 2x a week now.

* I have to do a repeat 24 urine catch (yuck!) as well as more blood work.

* I will be delivering Maddie within the next 3 weeks. If I have not gone into labor on my own before week 38 then I will be induced.

* If I have any symptom of preeclampsia I have to head to L&D immediately!

* My hubby travels with is job and he has canceled everything but a few of his overnight meetings. This will put a financial strain on us, but it will be safer to have him here with me instead of me being alone.

So now we wait! And pray!!! Please pray that Maddie stays safe for another 3 weeks and that if anything needs medical attention that I am aware of it and get to the hospital in time.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Infertility feels like.....

What does it feel like to be infertile? I know that I am preaching to the choir here, but there may be some that read this that have never experienced infertility and may learn something from this post.

Infertility is like a cancer. No, it will not kill you, but you are constantly looking for a cure for it, trying to stay a step ahead of it. Each year that you do not conceive your chances of conception get less and less until time has run out and you are not longer able to have a child. And by that time you may be too old to adopt.

Infertility alienates you. No matter how good your attitude is or how well you love to hold a friend's baby, you are still on the outside looking in. You cannot participate in pastpartum discussions, late night feedings, nursing issues, or sleep schedules. You have no birth story of your own to tell. You just sit there with a smile on your face while dying inside, knowing that you have not experienced that one thing that sets a woman apart from a man.

Infertility makes you feel empty. Each day, whether you want to or not, you feel as though something is missing. No baby waking you up at night. No baby kisses. No pitter patter of little feet.

Infertility brings self doubt. Why not you? Why do drug addicts and child abusers have multiple children but you cannot have even one? What about you is so bad that God will not grant you this one desire? A natural desire that you never asked for, by the way.

Infertility changes who you are. I was once an outgoing, confidant young woman. I am now a shy, introverted 33 year old trying mydarndest not to become an angry, bitter old woman.

Infertility causes you to live life on the defensive. Each time you meet a new person you must prepare for the inevitable "Do you have any children?" questions. Or if it is a person that you have not seen in awhile the question may be followed with more probing questions. You are never able to relax and enjoy meeting new people.

Infertility dictates your activities. You have to schedule vacations and trips around your fertile time. And if you do fertility treatments the planning gets worse. It also dictates when you have sex. Spontaneity is gone!

Infertility is intrusive. Most women have a yearly exam where their goods are bared for all to see, and then again during pregnancy. But infertility is much different. More probing. Doctors, technicians, specialists, etc will all see you lady bits. You have to answer questions about your sex life, your periods, your cramps, and even your cervical mucous. Nothing is sacred!

Infertility morphs you into a hybrid if you are fortunate enough to become pregnant. You are no longer "infertile" yet you do not fit in the fertile gals either. Some infertiles distance themselves to protect themselves and fertiles assume that you are "cured" and that infertility is no longer a part of who you are. Yet infertility leaves scars that never heal.

Infertility can also do some good as well. It can teach you compassion for others. Infertility also teaches us patience. Both are good things to learn, though I am sure most of wish that we could have learned these lessons some other way. A less painful way.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Come on in!

(this is a copy and paste of last month's welcome message. I apologize to my followers for not being very original)

Today starts July's ICLW. Wondering just what that is? Follow the link on the left of my page to learn more. For those visiting from ICLW, welcome to my little corner of the world! Are you wondering if this blog is interesting? Should you follow it? Let me tell you, I think that I am pretty darn interesting!! But then again I am a bit of a narcissist.

Still on the fence about following me? Here is a little about me to help you decide:

My name is Jess and I have been married to my hubby for 12 years next month. I feel way too young to have been married this long!!! Hubby and I began ttc just a few months after we got married and like all naive newlyweds we were certain that it would only take a month. Two at the most. HA! I think that joke was on us!! Even before the year mark my impatient self jumped on the infertility roller coaster and began testing. I could list all of the tests that we both had but that would take you an hour to read. And let's face it, it is just not that interesting!! But the results were b-a-d! ME: endo, mild PCOS, blocked tube (with good ovary) and damaged ovary (with blocked tube, go figure!). And if all of that wasn't enough hubby started out with a low sperm count to slowly morph into a count of zero. Big fat goose egg!!!

So what's a girl to do with poor quality eggs that can't get through and no sperm?? You adopt! Or at least you attempt it. Two disastrous attempts later we are back at square one. So our next step was to try donor sperm. Guess what?? That didn't work either. By this time we had been married 10 years and I was in my 30's and my clock was ticking loudly!! We were down to our last hope, IVF with donor sperm and possibly donor egg. The thoughts of it made me squeamish. To spend that much money and still no guarantee of a baby?? We just couldn't afford to do that and began thinking about maybe trying adoption again. We ended up doing the best of both worlds: Embryo Adoption! Not only would we adopt a child but I would have the opportunity to carry the baby. How awesome is that??

In June of 2009 we began our journey of embryo adoption. I had surgery in July and had to wait 3 months to heal and for the call for an embryo match. Two weeks before I was physically ready to begin we got "the call". We accepted the embryos and things moved very quickly from there. On 12/12/09 we had two precious little embryos placed in my womb. Six days later I saw something I had never seen before: Two Pink Lines!!! Another 9 tests and 2 blood tests confirmed it: We were PREGNANT! Sadly, one of our little embies did not survive but the other one is a determined a little bugger. I are currently 34 weeks pregnant with an adopted little girl. I am still in shock in awe! After 11 years of trying I had honestly given up all hope. We are forever thankful for the couple that selflessly donated their precious little snowflakes to us.

That about catches you up to date. Right now we are waiting on our little girl and I am learning how to fit in with fertiles. In my heart I am still the infertile gal sitting on the sidelines. I doubt that I will ever be completely comfortable in the fertile world and honestly, I am not sure if I want to be. I have the heart of an infertile, born from the pain and sorrow that only fellow infertiles can ever understand. Finding a new normal is not easy!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

So you had a bad day....

This song keeps playing through my head. I have not had the best day today. Or yesterday. Where do I start? Hmmmm......Well, yesterday was my 33rd birthday. My mom and my sister came over to paint the nursery (yay!) and I watched my nieces in the living room. My hubby was packing to leave to go out of town and my brother stopped over as did my sister's fiance. Can anyone say full house??? Everyone but my mom and sister left and things quieted down which was nice. My hubby got me the new iPhone for my birthday. I love that man! He ordered it through Apple but it had not come in yet, so my brother informed us that Wal.mart had it in stock and he went to pick it up. I was so excited! Until he got it home and it was not activated. The associate had called Apple and was told that it could take up to 24 hours to activate. Excuse me?!?!?! This is my only phone. Hubby is out of town. I am 8 1/2 months pregnant. Do you see the problem?? There was no way I could be without my phone for that long.

So I called AT&T and they told me that it would take up 30 minutes and it should be working. Tick. Tick. Tick. Thirty minutes later and guess what? No service. So I give it a full hour. By this time I am livid. I go to Wal.mart and they are no help. Then I drive 12 miles to the AT&T corporate store for help. They give me the same song and dance that it will take a short time to activate. I kindly informed them that it had now been 3 whole hours and I was not happy!! (read really ticked off pregnant woman on a rampage) It took about 20 minutes and miraculously they fixed it. By this time I was hot, tired and crabby. And of course the trip home put me in traffic and let's just say I needed anger management for my road rage. But then I got home and was able to relax and enjoy my birthday and thought that all was well. And it was....until 11 pm when my freezer began growling at me. There was an ice build up around the fan blade and it was noisy!! I scraped it and it worked....for a few hours. It started again at 3 am and I was up blow drying the stupid freezer trying to defrost this area. During this late night episode I broke one of the fan blades. Fan-freaking-tastic!!! I had to order a replacement for $60 and send all of my stuff over to my mom's house.

And then there was today. I had my 34 week appointment and it starts off with my blood pressure being too high. Just great! Then he informed me that I had protein in my urine and have to do the 24 hour urine test. So I brought home a large, bright orange jug to pee in. Lovely. And I am on modified bed rest. Thankfully my fridge still works or I would have to stay with my mom to keep my pee cold. And how nasty is it to keep pee in your fridge?? Just yuck! And to top it all off I was supposed to go out of town this Thursday through Sunday and now that is canceled.

I had blood work done today and so far that does not indicate preeclampsia (yay!) and I have more blood work tomorrow as well as my urine tested (glad I don't have that job!). Then another visit with my OB on Friday.

So this has been my week! And it is only Tuesday! Please pray that I do not have preeclampsia and that my blood pressure can be controlled though meds. Miss Maddie needs a few more weeks before she is ready to be here. And for everyone around me as I am on the warpath!!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

let's level the playing field

Today I was reading some posts on a pregnancy forum and some of them really irritated me. "My baby daddy is cheating on me!". "How do I do a DNA test to find out who the father is?". "I am pregnant with my fourth and not happy.". And here all of us have to spend a fortune on treatments, tests and drugs or adoption to have a baby and some of these women pop them out like a Pez dispenser. So I thought that we should level the playing field. Natural conception should be outlawed! Everyone has to do IVF to have a baby. Free IVF! Just think about it. No one would ever have to wonder who the father is. This would eliminate paternity testing and a lot of child support disputes. No one night stand babies! No unwanted pregnancies. No teen pregnancies. Foster care would be greatly reduced as crack whores and child abusers would not keep having kids. Not only all of this, but everyone would have a better understanding of the difficulties of infertility as we would all, for the most part, have the same success rates. And to top it off, we infertiles would get free IVF. And then we would never have to hear "Why don't you just do IVF?" ever again! Because you know IVF is so easy!!!! Now we can all do it!

Friday, July 16, 2010

The girl is STUBBORN!

I had an ultrasound this morning and was excited to hear that she is growing right on schedule. She is now 4 lbs 11 oz and in the 36th percentile. There was some concern that she was not growing enough, but all looks perfect. As for getting a good look at her...not gonna happen. She is the most stubborn baby that the tech has ever seen. The entire time she kept her hands over her nether regions. No peek at her goods. None at all! And she would look out at us from time to time, but not for long. I think that she was playing peek-a-boo. The tech tried so hard to get good pics but it was not to be. The ones that I got today have me kind of creeped out. She looks like a character from a Tim Bur.ton movie. Scary!!!!! Here are pics of the pics.

Creepy, scary pic:

Here is Maddie playing peek-a-boo:

Profile pic:

Feature Friday

Each Friday I am going to try to feature a few blogs that have caught my attention. Many times I read a blog post and relate so well to what the author has written and wish that everyone could read it. So now you can! Or maybe a blogger is in a place where she needs extra support. Or a post may just be freakin' hilarious. Whatever the reason, if it catches my attention I want to share it here. And it is my blog, so I can!

Jonelle at In The Middle With You wrote this post about Apple's new commercial. Thank You Apple Inc, for Once Again Reminding Me That I'm Infertile.

Chelle at Once An Infertile wrote this post, Only An Infertile, that I am sure we can all relate to.

Now, for an update on me. Which is why you are here, I am sure. I am heading out here in a few minutes for an ultrasound. They are checking Maddie's growth. She was on the smaller side and they want to make sure she is growing on schedule, especially with my thyroid levels being all jacked up. I am hoping not only to hear that she is growing and healthy, but also to finally get a good look at her. I want at least one good photo of her in utero! I will update this afternoon. Until then, visit these blogs!!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Applauds SELF magazine!

In the August 2010 edition of SELF magazine there is an article about infertility: This Woman Has A Secret: Breaking the Silence on Infertility. It is a very good read! I applaud SELF magazine for taking the time to write not only an informative article, but an accurate one as well. Please take a moment to read it.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

A fellow blogger needs us today

Britt at Peace BEGAN is hurting today. July 14th was the due date of her Ella Grace, but she was born over 4 months too early. Being that this is the original due date, not an anniversary, the pain is still fresh. She is an amazing person that offers support to others but today needs it herself. Please take a moment to stop by and leave her a comment letting her know that you are thinking of her.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Just tell me I'm fat, why don't cha??

As you all can tell from the pics that I posted I am finally starting to look like i have a baby belly. Well, I guess it would have helped had you seen a before pic, but I can't find any that include my belly. But take my word for it, my belly has definitely grown! Now the rest of me has not changed and for that I am thankful. Though being thankful for the abundance of thighs and hips that I have seems wrong, at least I have not added to them. My face looks fuller, but only when I am swollen. I have a fat face anyway. Even when I was thin, and yes, there was a time that I was.....even if it was in a previous like.....I still had a round face. Just less round. And fewer chins.

Last night at church a woman asked me how much longer I had till my due date. A skinny woman. You know where this is going. When I told her 7 weeks she said "Wow! You don't even look pregnant." Her daughter says "MOM!!!!" all embarrassed. The woman goes on to say that by the 8th month most women "pop" and that I really haven't. I informed her that I had indeed "popped" but that when I sat down all of the fat redistributed itself and I look less pregnant. Her daughter snickered at her mother's discomfort. The mother tried to fix it by telling me what she meant was I looked great and that is what she meant. She might as well have skipped the whole conversation and just said that I looked fat, not pregnant. LOL

Really, I was not mad at her. She is a sweet woman and meant well. Though I will admit it made me very self conscious about my belly. More so than usual. I try to wear tops that blouse out a but when I sit down so as to hide the dent in my belly, but this top was new and I didn't check it before I put it on. Now I know better. Maybe I should just go to a maternity store and "borrow" one of their foam bumps for the next month!!! ;-)

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Faith and Doubt

Today in Sunday School my teacher taught on the story of Sarah and Abraham. He was focusing on Abraham and Sarah's lack of faith that God would fulfill His promise of the long awaited child. As he was teaching I learned a few things. I guess that he did his job, huh?!

Previously I was a bit critical of Sarah and Abraham. They had a promise of a child, a guarantee. What I wouldn't have given to have God give me a promise during my 11 years of ttc. I had always thought "if only" I had a promise then I would be fine with the long wait. Why couldn't Sarah and Abraham be content with the wait then? But today I thought what if God had given me a promise and at the age 90 I still had not conceived? Would I still have faith? I would like to be a spiritual giant here and answer in the affirmative, but who am I kidding? Of course I would not believe that He would give me a child at that age, especially not biologically. Even with all of the advancements in modern medicine having a biological baby at the age of 99 is an impossibility unless you freeze your eggs or embryos several years prior and find a completely incompetent doctor to transfer them to your uterus. So how would i have responded had God told me at the age of 90 that I would still have a baby? I am sure that I would have laughed as well. Maybe even rolled my eyes.

This story started a discussion in class about faith. Or the lack thereof. Someone mentioned that it was sin not to have complete faith in God. I argued that faith only exists because of our doubt. If we did not have doubt them there would be no need for faith, we would just have certainty. Faith and doubt go hand in hand. I spoke up in class and said that my faith in God never wavered during my 11 years of ttc, but I doubted that we would ever have a baby. How is this possible? How can you have complete faith and still doubt? Because my faith was not that God would give us a baby, but that His will would be done. My doubt was that it would be done in the way that I wanted, a baby.

Like Sarah and Abraham, I think that all of us struggle between having doubts and having faith. But in our doubt we learn to develop faith in Him. And until your story is over there is always reason to have faith.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Belly photo and baby shower

I had a fantastic shower today! I got to see some great friends and family that I had not seen in quite some time. I also got a lot of awesome loot for Maddie. It was such a special day and I wanted to share it with all of you, even if I look like a moo cow!!! LOL












Support for Donors??

I was reading on a forum and a woman that is wanting to donate her embryos was asking if there was a forum to find support from other donor families. Had she asked about agencies, clinics, etc, I could have provided a wealth of information. But not as much for donor support. This really made me sad! I do not know of many support groups/forums for these couples that are donating a piece of themselves so that others, like myself, can have a chance to be parents. I cannot imagine how difficult this decision must be for many of these couples. They, too, went through the pain of infertility and now they are going through the pain of donation. I am 100% pro donation, but we must recognize that this is a tough decision for many. For someone like myself it is easy to get caught up in the selfishness of "me" and my desires for a child. But I never want to forget how I got here and the sacrifice of another couple. It took 7 of us to give Maddie life: RE, nurse coordinator, embryologist, donor couple and dh and I. It was a group effort. One that Maddie will know all about one day.

If anyone is familiar with support groups and forums for donating couples please let em know. I would not only like to pass them along to the aforementioned woman but I would also like to add a link here. Thank you!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Puff Mommy

Move over Puff Da.ddy, here comes Puff Mommy! I swear, I never knew that 2 legs could hold this much fluid! Seriously, I am puffy. My face is puffy. My hands are puffy. My knees, calves, cankles, feet and even toes are puffy. And so not pretty! I wore flip flops on Tuesday night and my feet swelled so much that I still have 2 marks on my feet from the straps. If I wear regular shoes I spread them out so far that I walk on the sides of them. And I even had to go up to a size......gulp.....11....Ack! And to top it all of I dropped a 24 oz bottle of water on my left foot. It left a bruise. And the next day I dropped a can of veggies on my right foot. It too left a bruise.

All of this has earned me a pedicure. I am going to get one in a few hours. Hopefully I do not scare them when they see my puffy feet and bruises and strap marks.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Buyer's Remorse

Several years ago we decided that it was time to get a second vehicle, one for me to drive around town. Up until this point I had traveled with hubby so we were always together and there was no need for a second car. But I quit traveling and needed some wheels. Our main vehicle was a van. Not just a van, but a minivan. A mommy vehicle. We bought it because we were so sure that we would have kids soon and need it. We had that van for 6 years and never put a car seat in it. So I decided that "my" vehicle would be just that: mine. No thoughts of kids involved. Yet I secretly hoped that as soon as I bought it I would get pregnant and regret the purchase, but the joke was one me. We also wanted something cheap. Like pay cash for cheap. We drove past one of those mom and pop car lots and saw a cute little Ford Probe. It was about $2000 and looked so pretty!! We had it looked over by a mechanic and he found a few problems with it so we decided to pass on it. Once I had sat behind the wheel of the sporty little car I was hooked. I was never big on sporty cars, but here I was wanting one. The mechanic told us of a neighbor that had a Probe for sale and he would get us the info. This one was RED! Bright red! And in good running order. AND only $700! Can't beat that! The only thing wrong with it was that the guy that owned it had the muffler removed and a glasspack installed. For those that don't know that a glasspack is, it is one of those muffler thingies that makes a vehicle loud. Super loud!! You couldn't hold a conversation in that car. But this was an easy fix. The other issue was that it was a manual transmission. A stick shift. And I am a total girl driver! Hubby and I test drove it and he let me try to drive it, assuring me that I would learn quickly. So we bought my candy apple red sporty Probe. I was stylin'!

That night I lay in bed almost in tears. I had buyer's remorse. What if I could not learn how to drive a stick? What if I rolled down a hill and off a cliff? What if I stalled in the middle of the road? How would I tell hubby that now I didn't want the car? I was miserable!

You are asking yourself, what does this have to do with an infertility and pregnancy bog? Did she buy another car? What? Well, patience, my dear, and I will explain it all to you.

Last night we were getting ready for bed and hubby said "Good night. Love you." Pretty standard. Then he said "Good night, Madddie. Daddy loves you." Aw, so sweet. But it was what he said next that sent me into a panic. He said "See you in a few weeks." Really?? A few weeks?? Then I began to think about the fact that she really is coming out and will coming home to live with us! She will be totally dependent on us. Her parents. Holy crap, we are going to be parents!!! What if I leave her somewhere? What if I fall down the steps and drop her? What if I miss the symptoms of a serious illness? It was buyer's remorse all over again!

Back to the Probe, I did eventually learn to drive it. Hubby took me out several times to practice and I somehow wrapped my brain around the concept of shifting while driving. Though I never could do anything other than shift and drive. No texting or eating or phone calls for me while driving! I even went on to get a second vehicle that was a stick after my Probe bit the dust. This should have all been very reassuring to me last night when I was scared about bringing Maddie home. Surely if that worked out then this would too. But what you didn't know was that while I could drive a stick I was never any good at it!!! I stalled all the time. I rolled down hills (though never off a cliff, thank God!) and my niece hated to ride in that car because I was so bad at it. Hopefully I take to motherhood better than I did at driving a stick shift. ;-)

Monday, July 5, 2010

Think I need facelift!

I love to change my background for holidays and seasons, but I think that it is time to get one designed just for my blog. Something unique. Like me! This is where I need help. I don't want to spend a lot, but I do want it to look nice and professional. So I need suggestions. Help me, please!!! Help me pretty up my blog.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Home Sweet Home!

We are finally home and man, does it feel good!! We got home about 10 pm last night and went right to bed. I slept 6 hours straight, which is the most that I have slept in a long time. it felt heavenly! The trip was long as I had to stop 9 times for potty breaks. Crazy!! I got up in time today to get ready for a friend's birthday party and am now back home resting. I have only been gone a week and apparently grew while gone as everyone keeps telling me that I am huge. This is the only time that I love being told that I am huge! LOL Unfortunately my face, hands and feet are huge as well. Which is not fun!! I am so puffy. And there is nothing cute about puffy.

I have my baby shower next Saturday and I am getting quite excited about it. I will be sure to take and post photos for all of you. Then you can see me in all my puffy glory!!!