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

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Highlights of 2011

My last post lamented the bad of this year, but in truth there was much good as well. So I thought it only right to go over the good of 2011 as well.

*Celebrated our 13th anniversary.

*DH survived sepsis, a horrible infection and an allergic reaction. All of which could have killed him.

*I heard a word that I never thought I would hear: Momma

*Good friends of ours are pregnant via IVF and have had a terrific pregnancy.

*Other good friends of ours moved near us.

*Maddie celebrated her first birthday.

But I am still looking forward to 2012!!! ;-)

Thursday, December 29, 2011

ready for 2012

I am so over 2011. I will be glad when it ends. It has been a very stressful year, one that I hope to leave behind and start fresh in January. This year has been one of financial setbacks, health issues for Maddie and hubby, and just......hectic! Don't get me wrong, I have much to be thankful for and truly I am! But I have not had the time to enjoy my blessings. I feel like I rarely have to just sit. Yet I never get anything done. Go figure! I don't even know how that is possible.

Next year looks to be crazy too, but I am prepared for it. Hubby is coming off the road (travels for his job) and will be working from home. This will mean a pay cut and perhaps more financial stress, but it is necessary. We needs to get his health and weight under control and doing that on the road is impossible. He has a large lymphodema on his leg (caused from 8 bouts of cellulitis) and it has grown to the point that walking is becoming a challenge. We have been seeking help from medical professionals for years now regarding it and have yet to find answers. We think that we have found some answers in the form of lymphatic therapy as well as a new integrative doctor that does both traditional and natural medicine. She is an M.D. and not just a quack that read a few books and calls herself a doctor. We are excited to meet her this Friday and be able to get started on living a healthier life.

Next year I am also going to get organized. When I worked I was borderline OCD about my workspace. Okay, who I am I kidding? I was a total control freak and completely OCD about things. If you moved something I went all psycho on you! Yet at home I don't have that same dedication. And it drives me crazy that my house never looks clean or organized enough. I don't want perfection, just de-cluttering and a spring cleaning.

While I am ready for 2012, I am also hoping that it passes quickly. Most of time I am wishing that time would slow down because Maddie is growing so quickly. But I also want another baby and it looks like it will be 2013 before we can try again. This makes me sad. But it is what is best for us right now. That may change but for now our ttc plans are on hold for another year. When I will be nearing 36. Gulp! Did I just say that?!?!? Man, that sounds old! LOL

So what are your plans for 2012?

In Loving Memory


Today we said goodbye to an amazing woman, my mother in law, Terry. She was 81 and one of the godliest women I have ever known. She was a prayer warrior like no other. She had a true walk with God. She had Alzheimer's and dementia and has been declining over the past 4 years. Other than that she was completely healthy. The past week she began to seriously decline and they called the family in last night. We are 10 hours away and could not make it there so we FaceTimed her. My hubby was born when my MIL was 39 and they were very, very close. She had not been responsive for several days but last night had asked for my hubby by name. She never opened her eyes but she did talk to hubby last night and it will be a precious memory. He told her that it was okay to go home. And she did just that. As we say goodbye heaven says hello. She will definitely be missed.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

My feelings about meeting my father

A few posts ago I wrote about my father contacting me asking if we could meet. The first time since he and my mom separated when I was a year old. I reluctantly agreed to meet him but not until after Christmas. I just could not deal with the emotions of it all before that. Now it is after Christmas and I am not sure that I am ready. Not sure if I will ever be truly ready.

As a little girl I always wondered about my father. My step dad loved me like his own and I adored him, yet I knew that he was not my "real dad". He and my mom got together when I was two and I called him Gary until my sister was born almost 2 years later and then he became Dad. I must have always remembered that because no one ever made me feel like I was a step child. Ever! But there was something in me that was curious about the man whose DNA I shared. When I was a teen I located him and called him. He refused to answer the phone at first but finally spoke to me. I was hurt and decided I was not going to do it again. About 10 years later I tried again. I am not sure why, I just......wondered about him. This time he talked to me but there was no connection, no warm and fuzzy feelings. My last contact with him was 2 years ago when I needed some medical information. It was done via Facebook messages and it was cool and impersonal, which was fine with me. At that time I thought it was over and that part of my life was over.

Now he decides that he wants to meet me.

There is a part of me that is curious about him. My step dad left when I was 11 years old and between the two of them I have a hard time trusting men. There will always be a scared little inside of me wanting her daddy's love. That will never go away. That little girl scares me. She is sad and lonely. The rest of my life is fulfilled, all but this part. It is hard for me not to get my hopes up that this man will be the daddy I longed for. Yet I know that he won't be. He never has been and never will be. Yet the longing is still there.

When I decided to meet him I also determined that he would not hurt me. Yet, hurt I am. But it is my fault for having expectations. We corresponded for a few days and he was prompt in responding every time. He also commented on Facebook a few times which he has never done. So on Christmas day I thought for sure that he would wish me a Merry Christmas. But all was silent. And I was hurt. It shows me that this will not be easy for me to do. I will still meet him, but I will have to do a lot of praying to prepare my heart for this.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Maddie loves Elmo!

Last week I decided to get Maddie the Let's Rock Elmo. I wasn't planning on it but she saw it in the store and loved it. Then I learned that it was on sale for $30 and I had a 25% off coupon and they were giving a $10 gift card with purchase. Being the frugal gal that I am I could not pass up the deal. It took a few hours, 3 stores and several phone calls but I finally found one. The last one within a 30 mile radius too. And the hunt was worth it. Maddie loves her new Elmo!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Merry Christmas!

This is a photo of a photo so not the best, but you can still see all of her cuteness. She loved meeting Santa! I was glad as most kiddos her age tend to cry. We ran out of time and did not get actual Christmas photos so this is it. Just wanted to share!


Thinking of those that are hurting

For 11 years I had a love/hate relationship with the holidays. I loved getting together with family, Christmas lights and music, the whole spirit of the season! Yet it was all a reminder of what was missing in my life. My arms always felt emptier, the burden heavier. Each year it became more and more difficult to enjoy the holidays and I know that for many you are feeling this right now. Please know that I am thinking of you and asking God to lift your burden. I am also asking that 2012 be a year of many miracles.

If you are on the "other side" of infertility this year please take a moment to encourage one that is still waiting. If you pray, lift them up in prayer asking God for strength for them during this season. Just take a moment to tell them that you love them.

Monday, December 19, 2011

meeting my bio dad

I have never met my father. My mom was from a crazy abusive home and she wanted to escape and thought that getting pregnant and married would solve her problems. At 16 she did just that. I was born when my mom was 16 and my dad was 18. My mom grew up pretty quick once I cam along but my father did not. He was a selfish, spoiled child and it was the 70s and he fully embraced the era. He drank and did drugs and when high was not a nice man. My mom got tired of the drug houses they stayed in and not having anything to eat because he spent all of the money on booze so she left. He refused to give her anything, not even her clothes or my baby stuff, but she left anyway. It was difficult but with little more than the clothes on her back she took me and went back home. She saved up money for a year and moved out on her own. She later met my step dad and that is the man that I called dad until he passed away a few months ago.

My father never tried to have any contact with me through the years. It hurt a lot as a child but I have since forgiven him and moved on. I tried contacting him when I was a teen and once when I was about 26 years old. We spoke but it was not very warm and fuzzy. Then about 2 years ago her friended me on Facebook and I accepted but he never initiated any contact other than that. I finally messaged him some health questions right before Maddie was born and he responded but it was rather stilted and formal.

The other day I posted Maddie's Santa photo on FB and he commented and stated then that he wanted to meet me and Maddie and that he had been afraid to contact me until not. Well, I call BS on that one! He has had ample opportunity, all initiated by me, to talk to me but he chose not to. I was irritated that he did this on my public page and not a private message. My mom hates this man and here it is for all to see. I responded in a private message asking him "why now?". He claims that his health is not good and while he can't change the past he wants me to forgive him and give him a chance. I have decided to meet him, but I am honestly not looking for a dad. Maddie could use a grandpa but I don't need him as a dad. He had his chance and blew it. I do forgive him but I won't allow him to hurt me again. I have a lot of feeling and emotions over this whole situation but I won't post it now. I hate when people have uber long posts so I will refrain from doing so and will save it for another post.

Please pray for me as I meet him. I am nervous and a bit scared. I hate the unknown!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

adding to the misconception

We have all, at one time or another, been on the receiving end of the comment "just adopt". I have heard it many times over the years and always from very fertile people. I recently read it on a parenting forum discussing IVF. Many women came out and posted about the absurdity of the comment. The whole thing made me wonder why we have this completely insane view that adoption is easy. Why do people toss it around like it is fast, easy and inexpensive? I realize that if you have never actually researched it you may not understand just how complex and expensive it can be, but do people really assume that it just costs a few thousand dollars? Do they think that there are hundreds of babies waiting to be adopted? Adoption is a wonderful thing, but it is sad as well. While it is a great option for infertile couples there is a loss involved for the child and the mother. Adoption is in no way 'easy". So why do people think that it is?

Today I was watching the last 2 episodes of King of Q.ueens. I love this show! It reminds me so much of me and hubby, though I am not quite as thin and hot as Carrie is. Almost, but not quite! ;-) In earlier episodes they suffer a miscarriage and then the inability to conceive which endeared the show to me even more. But the last episodes ruin it all for me. They decide to adopt from China and within a week or two they are matched with a 4 day old baby and are on a plane to pick her up. While there they learn that Carrie is pregnant. All wrapped up in a nice little package. The inaccuracy is outlandish. In what reality is anyone ever matched in an international adoption in just a few weeks? And getting a 4 day old newborn? Not possible! While I can overlook the predictable pregnancy after adoption I cannot the fallacy of the adoption scenario. Yes, I know that it is TV show and that everything happens quickly, but they could have made it more believable. Why not a 6 month old baby? Why not wait a few months? Just give me something believable if not accurate.

While I do not "blame" TV for the flippancy in which adoption is tossed around I do think that they could help educate people on just how complicated that adoption really is. Or if not, then just leave it alone. There is no need to perpetuate the myths that are already out there. Maybe if they showed adoption in a more true light people would begin to see how "just adopt" is not something to throw around to infertile couples.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Two years later.....

It is hard to believe that Maddie was just a tiny little snowflake, waiting in a freezer. It was 2 years ago today I got the first positive pregnancy test I have ever seen. It was the first of many. I took nine that week!! After many, many, many negatives my brain just could not compute that I was seeing a plus sign. I used a 2 line one, a plus sign one and a digital one just to be certain. And sure enough, it was true. We were really having a baby!

Two years have since passed our little embryo is 2 1/2 feet tall and climbing on everything! I still marvel at our little miracle. At times I have a hard time believing that she is really ours. Though it took us 12 years to get here the past 2 years have made up for it!



Friday, December 9, 2011

Hubby is Home!!

After a week in the hospital hubby is finally home! My last post told of his leg infection that sent him to the ER where they admitted him. They finally determined that the infection was not in his blood as originally thought but it did go through his leg all of the way to his muscle. It was because of this that they had to keep switching his antibiotics to find one that would fight this severe of an infection but also not raise his muscle enzymes any more than the infection was doing. So today they released him with an RX for an oral antibiotic and when we went pick it up it was our highest copay. I knew that it must have been an expensive drug as we rarely have to pay our highest copay. I later looked at the paperwork and the retail cost was......wait for it.......are you ready? For a 2 week supply, 28 little pills, it was two thousand, nine hundred and ten dollars. Yes, you read that right! Praise God for good insurance! We have 4 copays: $10, $25, $45 and there is a 40% one that I am not really sure what it is for as we have never had to use that one. Had it been 40% we would have been a heap of trouble as we could not afford over $1000 for the RX. And this is not the full RX as our insurance denied the full amount. So we return to the specialist after the 2 weeks to see if he needs more or not at that time.

This experience made me so thankful for having insurance. We went 6 years without it and it was scary. However, it also made me realize just how ridiculous our health care system is. Why in the world would any antibiotic cost this much?? It is just wrong! But I am thankful that some drug company makes it as it has saved hubby's life.

I am so glad to have hubby home again as is Maddie. It has been a super long week and I am glad that it is over. Thank you for all of the prayers!!

Monday, December 5, 2011

thought I was losing him

The past few days have been....interesting to say the least. My hubby has been hospitalized and last night I thought that we were going to lose him. It all started Saturday night when he started running a fever so he took some aspirin and went to bed. At 1:30 am he woke up with fever and chills. I got him some Tylenol this time and something, God I am sure, prompted me to find the thermometer. His temp was 103.9. While he laid there waiting for the meds to kick in I grabbed my phone and sought Dr. Google's advice. I decided to give it an hour and see if the meds brought the fever down and it did, but only to 102.6. During this time I checked his leg. Several years ago he had 8 rounds of cellulitis (skin infection) on his leg. Though it has been 6 years since his last bought of it we thought it may have it again. I saw no obvious signs but was still concerned.

Sunday morning I decided that he needed to go to Urgent Care. Even though he was not exhibiting symptoms of cellulitis other than fever I feared that he still had the infection. His previous infections have been bad and he was hospitalized twice, once almost dying from an allergic reaction to his antibiotics. This was not something to play around with. We planned to go to Urgent Care, get some antibiotics, and go home to heal. Instead we were sent to the ER and then admitted to the hospital. They had run some blood work and it showed that the infection was in his bloodstream and they feared that he was septic.

Last night his fever went from 99 to 103 in less than an hour. They maxed him out on Tylenol (can't give him ibuprofen as he is allergic) and placed a cooling blanket at 60 degrees on him and placed ice packs under his arms and his groin. His fever refused to come down and his breathing was very rapid (40 breaths per min) and his BP was not good (159/52) and his HR was 118. This lasted for 4 hours and the staff was concerned and discussing placing him in the ICU. Thankfully he stabilized and has been doing much better today. But these hours last night were very, very scary!! I honestly thought that things were taking a turn for the worse. He was borderline on his vitals and they kept getting worse. And then it all just.....changed. If I didn't believe in the power of prayer before, I do know! I know that God was there and He changed the course that hubby's body was taking.

Today I picked Maddie up from a friend's house and just hugged her, thankful that her father is still here and able to watch her grow up. He may not have been close to death but the whole situation was dangerous and anything could have happened. Now that the danger has passed it has hit me just how bad he was last night. I want Maddie to know her daddy and the thoughts of losing him just terrified me. Today I am thanking God that he is okay.

Please continue to pray for his recovery. We are hoping that he will be able to come home on Wednesday. Leaving Maddie every day is difficult and she is now pushing me away and it hurts my mommy heart. I just want my little family all safe at home.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Who hurts more??

A few weeks ago I wrote about a woman on a parenting board that was complaining about not not being pregnant after 3 months of not preventing (not actively ttc). I titled it "let me cry for you". I received a response that I deleted. It said something like "You have a child so 'let me cry for you' too". My first reaction was to respond with a snarky post, calling the blogger out. Instead I deleted it. I was irritated about it for a day or so then I thought more about it. The commenter was anonymous and I wanted to call the woman out, but the more I thought about it I realized that her comment was not from rudeness but from a place of pain.

I am sure that if we were honest we could all say that we have been there. We have not only resented fertiles but those with secondary infertility. In the early years of my journey I had no compassion for SI-ers. I could not comprehend how someone that had a child could even begin to understand or feel what I felt. It took quite some time on Stepping Stones infertility forum for me to change my mind. I learned a lot about SI and while I would admittedly rather be dealing with SI versus PI, SI is still painful.

As infertiles, regardless of where we are in the journey, we beg fertiles to just try to have compassion and understanding on how difficult infertility is for us. We do our best to educate them and we share our stories and struggles in hopes of changing the world's view on infertility. Yet ofttimes we fail to have that same compassion on fellow infertiles if they have not struggled as long as us, or if they have a child already. By doing so we fail each other. Regardless of where we are in this journey we need each other. We need support. We need compassion. We need a listening ear.

So whoever the commenter was, I am sorry that my post hurt you. Actually, it wasn't my post, but my current state of life. I know that your comment came from a place of pain and I pray that you can find it in your heart to understand that we all hurt, even those of us that have had a child. And you will be in my prayers during this holiday season as I know that it will not be easy. And most of all I pray that you get the desire of your heart soon.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thankful for the journey

On this day of Thanksgiving I want to share what I am thankful for. I am thankful for the journey. Yes, the journey of infertility. I know that some of you may think that it is because I have a daughter now so it is easy to be thankful and in some ways that is true. But though I am ever grateful for my Maddie I am also thankful for the journey regardless of where it had ended. During my twelve long years of waiting I learned a lot. I learned patience. I learned compassion. I learned how to reach out to others. And I learned that though I may not understand, or even agree with it, God knows what He is doing and that He loves me. Some of these things I may have learned anyway, but I know that compassion came directly from my years of infertility. I was not a compassionate person before. Well, I was about some things, but I did not truly understand suffering. Now I can hurt for someone that has gone through a divorce, suffered through cancer or someone with a disability. Things that I have not personally experienced, but can empathize with now that I have suffered in some form. I can see past the circumstances and see the person and the pain that they are feeling. I feel that this is truly a gift that only infertility could have given me and I thankful for it.

I am also thankful for my fellow infertiles, all of which I have met because of my own infertility. I have met some truly amazing women that have walked this path with me and I love them as sisters. I would not trade knowing them for anything! While I wish that my journey would have been much shorter and less painful I would not trade the experiences that it has brought for anything and for that reason I am thankful for this journey of infertility.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Nine weeks ear infection free!!!

This past Monday marks 9 full weeks since Maddie has had an ear infection! I cannot begin to tell you just how thankful I am for this. Prior to this last surgery she had never gone more than 6 weeks between infections and most of the time only 2 weeks between them. To go more than 9 weeks is amazing to me. And to make things even better she has not had to have breathing treatments either. Before her surgery she was on 2 allergy medications and well on her way to asthma. She never, ever got a runny nose without at least an ear infection and most likely breathing treatments. Since her surgery she has had a sinus infection and now a runny nose from either a cold or teething and so far it has not caused her to have any problems with her ears or lungs. And she has been off of all of her meds as well. This surgery had no guarantees and I am ever so thankful that it was successful. Now if only we could find a cure for tantrums........

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Still trying to catch up!

Man, I have really been a bad blogger! My computer no longer has a battery. It died a few months ago. Then right after that my plug died too. I blame Maddie. She likes to tug and pull on it and suck on the end of it. Yes, I know that it is an electrical cord and no, I don't allow her to do it. She is just super fast and grabs it before I can snatch it back from her. She ruined my plug and hubby and I have been sharing and lo and behold, she did it again! We finally got his to work but it took a few days of drying it out. I am not sure why she has such an obsession with cords but she needs to quit! It scares the crud outta me! I don't even think that it is the cord that she loves but the metal on the end. Some days I swear this kid suffers from PICA. But she likes cords too, but more to wrap around her neck than to chew on. Crazy, I know! It makes for constant work around here to keep her out of stuff. We have removed every necessary cord yet she still finds them.

So her cord sucking has kept me from blogging. As has my house. It looked like a disaster zone from our week of stomach flu and I have been busting my butt trying to clean and sanitize this germy place. I finally got caught up on laundry. Finally! Hopefully I can begin blogging again. I have so many blog posts swirling around in my head with no time to post them. And I need to catch up on everyone else. If you have an update you could save me some time and post it here for me! Just sayin'!

Friday, November 11, 2011

is this what Lazarus felt like??

Last Friday I worked at an in home daycare. The woman that runs it has 2 children and one of them was sick. By noon the other one, the one with me, was sick. By sick, I mean she threw up all over the place. I cleaned her up and gave her to her mom who was now sick as well. I had Maddie with me and knew at this point that it was just a matter of time before we both got this lovely stomach bug as well. It didn't take long! Just about 24 hours later I was hit with it, then the next morning Maddie had it, and then hubby on Monday. The worst of it lasted about 48 hours but it has taken until today for me to feel normal again. Maddie still has the poopies and woke up with a disgusting mess this morning at 5 am! Yuck!!! I have done so much laundry this week it isn't even funny!!! I am so sick of sick!

But today I feel resurrected! It was wonderful to take up and be able to eat something. Hopefully my suffering for the past 6 days has at least caused me to lose a few pounds or so. But now I am ravenous! I can't wait to finish sanitizing my house and finish my laundry and erase this week from my memory! And now I can get back to blogging! I have not read any blogs for over a week and hope to catch up on all of them over the weekend!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

disagreement does not equal uneducation

So often I read debates where people disagree with one or both telling the other that they are uneducated. Why do some people assume that my choices (and "my" is general here) are uneducated just because they differ from yours? (again, "yours" is general and not directed at anyone specific) Did it ever occur to the other person that I did research certain things before making a decision? Here are a few issues that I have educated myself before making my decisions.

Medicated birth: yes, I know that epidurals carry risks. Yes, I still got one. I felt that the risks were minimal and the benefits far outweighed said risks. Medical science has found a way to minimize the horrific pain of child birth and I planned to take advantage of it. For me it ended up being a moot point as I had to have a c-section after 36 hours of labor.

Formula feeding: I really, really, really wanted to breast feed. I felt it the best choice for my child. However, this was not to be. After Maddie had jaundice and we made the educated choice to supplement she was not too keen on drinking from the tap. I pumped and continued trying for 3 weeks but was fighting a constant migraine. The two compounded made for a very frustrated, unhappy mommy. I made the educated choice to switch to formula. It was best for me and my child.

Hormonal birth control: I have 2 differing views on this one. If I were fertile I would make the choice not to use it as it is an abortifacant. With that said I do not believe that the decision not to use it is for everyone. For some it is clearly the best choice. The risks outweigh the benefits. Even strong pro-life people can use hormonal birth control and still be very pro-life. The chance of it actually causing a spontaneous abortion is very small. About the same as drinking caffeine causing a miscarriage. Sometimes you have to weigh it all and make the best decision you can. Now, as for other uses I do use hormonal birth control. I prefer the side effects to the pain of endometriosis. I also want to protect my fertility as much as I can and BCPs allow me to do this. Yes, there are risks, but not enough to dissuade me.

Vaccines: This one was one I really studied. I do not like the idea of injecting my daughter with all of the garbage in these vaccines at all. But I also don't like the thought of lowering my child into a grave either. if the majority of parents did not choose to vaccinate we would be seeing a huge increase in many treatable diseases. I am sure that 100 years ago the thousands upon thousands of people that died from what are now almost nonexistent disease would have loved to have the option of a vaccination that could have saved their lives. Do I wish that they would separate some of the shots? Yes. Do I wish that it did not contain unnecessary chemical? Obviously! But these did not deter me from making an educated decision to vaccinate my child. Do I criticize or think someone else is stupid for choosing not to? No. Just as you should not think the same of me.

We live in a day and age where we have options and choices. We have a vast amount of information at our fingertips and should ALL take the time to educate ourselves before making decisions. But just because we differ does not make my decision one of uneducation, just one of a differing opinion.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Personhood Initiative....pray it doesn't pass

On November 8th Mississippi will be voting to pass the Personhood Initiative. I have blogged about this before but with the day fast approaching I want to remind everyone to be praying that this initiative does NOT pass next week. It has the potential to effect us all. How? If one state passes it then others are sure to follow. While I am fairly confident that it will not pass, you just never know.

For many, especially Christians, this sounds like a wonderful idea. And in all actuality it does have some merit. The problem is that it is too broad. It is described as a law to protect the unborn. As someone with a pro-life stance I like that part of it. What I do not like is the narrowness of the law. It makes no provisions for ectopic pregnancies or when the life of the mother is in jeopardy. Basically, if you are pregnant and going to die you will die. Period. Or travel to another state or go to an underground facility to have a possibly unsafe procedure done. So now not only will the child die but the mother will to? How is this a good thing?

This initiative will also outlaw birth control pills, IUDs and other forms of hormonal birth control. So we remove the option to be responsible and prevent a pregnancy and the ability to abort as well? While I am against abortion I wholly support a women's right and ability to prevent a pregnancy. It is the adult, responsible thing to do! Not all unwanted pregnancies are from teens or promiscuous women. Many are married but are not financially able to support another child at this time. So what are they supposed to do? Permanently remove their ability to have another child when they are ready to do so? No longer have sex with their spouse? Really??

Another huge concern of mine is what it will mean to fertility treatments. IVF will no longer exist. Neither will embryo adoption/donation. While I think that clinics could do a better job at with educating patients on their options in regards to leftover embryos and even reduce the number created, this law is not the way to do this.

There are aspects of this initiative that I could support. I do believe that life begins at conception and should be treated with respect. What I do not believe is that someone should go to prison because an embryo dies. If they were to separate the law into different ones then we could see some change. All this one does is make the entire pro-life community look like a bunch of kooks, much like Westboro "church". It hurts us as Christians, as women, as infertiles and as pro-lifers. So if you are in Mississippi VOTE! If you are not, the PRAY!

What are your thoughts on this? Where do you stand?? Please take a moment to share your thoughts!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Legal contracts for ED?

Okay bloggy friends, I need some help! For those that have gone the donation route (but not in a clinic program per se) what did you do about legal contracts to transfer the property of the embryos to you and your hubby? A few months ago I was contacted by someone considering donating their embryos to us. They were out of state and we would either have to travel to their clinic or ship them to us. At this time nothing has come of this situation but on the off chance that we do find embryos outside of a clinic program, what do we do? Do we ask the clinics what they require? Contact a lawyer? If using a lawyer what kind of fees are we looking at? I just want to be prepared and I know that this information would be great to have for those considering ED. Thanks!!

If you have answers and are not comfortable answering publicly please email me at agreateryesblog@gmail.com.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Please, let me cry for you.

I was reading tonight on a forum about a woman that is ttc her second child and she has been trying for 3 whole months. Aw! Don't you just want to cry for her?? Her first child took almost a year, but she wasn't really trying then. Most responses were women giving her hugs and lamenting with her that it took then 6 month for baby #3 or 4 months for baby #4. WOW! Then the tears really began to well up thinking of how hard it must be for all of them. **insert eye roll** One poster told her "Hey, it could be worse. It took us 10 years". Good for her!!

Now, before you call me a heartless witch, I am not. Okay, maybe a little when it comes to whiny woman that have no clue just how difficult it can be. Once a woman hits the one year mark my heart goes out to them and I am quick to offer support. Did I wait longer? Yes. Does it make my pain more? No, it doesn't. Infertility is infertility. If you are diagnosed at 6 months or 6 years it still hurts. But if you are not charting or temping at the very least and don't get pregnant after 3 months YOU ARE NOT INFERTILE! Yes, you are allowed to be impatient. Yes, you are allowed to hope that it goes faster. What you are not allowed to do is whine about.

I wanted to post a snarky comment but decided that it would just feed the stereotype of the crazy infertile. So I blogged about it instead!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

It's not always sugar and spice

I love being a girl, usually. I love the frilly clothes, high heeled shoes and designer purses. And though I am no weakling and can do most things myself I am not above using my feminine wiles to get what I want. Though, admittedly, it was much easier to do 10 years and 80 pounds ago! But there is one thing that I hate about being a girl: lady business. There is nothing fun about an annual exam. Nuttin'! Stirrups are uncomfortable, the gowns ugly and the the snoopy looking tool they use.....yikes! Oh, and they weigh you to! Oh the injustices of it all! Yet, it is oddly comforting after not seeing my Ob/gun for almost a year. We used to spend so much time together and now, well, I kinda missed him. I think I missed what going there represented the last time: baby. Pregnancy. Yeah, that is what I missed.

So my appointment went fairly well. I talked to him about my endo symptoms and we are trying birth control again, but this time Nuva Ring. I am really bad about taking daily meds so pills were not for me. Hopefully the NR works and keeps the pain away. While he was checking out my business he said that my left side felt "full" and wants me to have an ultrasound next week. This will be bittersweet as the last time I did this was so see Maddie, not to look for a cyst. What makes it worse is that it is the drink-a-gallon-hold-your-pee one and I hate those! Especially now that they endo has taken over my bladder and I pee myself easily. Fun, fun, fun!!!

I have that done next week and then we discuss what to do if it shows something. I am not opposed to surgery as then he can attack the endo. But I would rather it be nothing. I hate jumping back on this roller coaster again, trying to stay one step ahead of a disease that is determine to annihilate my reproductive organs. But I want to protect my uterus for future bambinos so I will do what I must!

Has anyone used the Nuva Ring? Like it? Hate it? Was it pricey?

Monday, October 24, 2011

I have SPI

Are you wondering what SPI is? A diagnosis of some kind? A 6th sense? A new toy or gadget? Nope! I have Secondary Primary Infertility. We all know what SI is, and we all know what PI is. So what is SPI? It is the combination of the two. I am infertile....again. For the second time. In a way I have SI, but in a way I don't. Most that move onto the SI diagnosis are those that gave birth after conceiving a child whether it be naturally or with intervention. Their own biological child. Which means that the possibility exists to conceive a second child. With those that have to use a donor (embryo, sperm or egg) you do not necessarily fit into this category as their is no chance of having a biological child.

And even those that have conceived a biological child can still fit into this category. All of the emotions and struggles associated with PI are still there, the difference is you now have a child to help ease that pain. I am glad for it, really I am! But I still wonder where I fit in. I am still infertile yet some infertiles feel like they no longer relate to me because I have moved on. And fertiles want to forget that we ever struggled. But I will never forget it, nor do I want to. To forget negates the journey. My child is a miracle made even more special because of all that we went through to get her. Do I want to remember the pain? No, not really. But that pain reminds me to pray for all of those still waiting. It also reminds me just how special my daughter is, especially when she is trashing my house and smashing crackers into the carpet.

I think that it is these feelings of displacement that makes me love the online IF community. You all "get" it. And even if you don't you still support those that are struggling. And as I go through round 2 of IF I am thankful to have all of you!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Um, no, I don't steal kids

Most of us have seen the news about the missing baby in KC, MO. I know that we are all touched by this story, worried for this little baby. I was recently talking to someone about it, discussing what we think happened. The other person stated that they hoped it was some childless couple that took her. Now, I will admit to seeing a baby left unattended in a shopping cart and thought about how easy it would be to snatch them. Most honest infertiles have thought this. Never seriously, just a fleeting thought. And had Lisa been taken from a grocery store or out of her front yard, maybe that could be said. But what we never, ever think about doing is plotting and planning to break into someone's home in the middle of the night to steal someone's child. That is what a crazy person does, infertility just being the catalyst to their actions. They were sick before infertility, not the other way around.

The media has done a great job perpetrating this image of the crazy infertile. I understand that the normal, average infertile crying herself to sleep at night, or looking longingly at a newborn while trying to stifle tears does not a made for TV movie make. I get that. Boring! People want to see a wild eyed psycho infertile woman lying in wait to steal your child. She will slice your throat and rip your fetus right out of your womb. Now that is Lifetime worthy! But it is realistic? No! Does it happen? Yeah, it does. But the women that do this have problems so much deeper than infertility. Parents abuse their kids everyday but we don't assume all parents hurt their kids. Men murder their whole family but we do not assume that all will do this. So why do people make infertiles out to be the boogeyman?? Hey, maybe I should make and market the Crazy Infertile Halloween costume! Comes with a fake baby bump and machete.

So to all of you fertiles, it is okay. You don't have to fear us. We won't hurt you or your little one. Hey, what is that over there? Look!! (snatches baby and runs.......)

It worked! It worked!!

Just a quick update on the cloth diaper stinkies: The aquarium ammonia remover WORKED!! Last night I used 2 different hemp liners and a Flip microfiber insert (all of which were really bad) and nothing. Nada! No burn your nose hair stinkies, not even up close and personal. WOOT!

Friday, October 21, 2011

It's that time of the month again!

No, not THAT time, but that time. ICLW time! For those of you that are scratching your heads, wondering what ICLW is, there is a link to the right. Click it. Go ahead. You know you wanna! It will take you to a place that explains it all better than I can.

For those stopping by from ICLW, welcome! Nice to meet you! I am Jess. I am also an infertile that also has a child now through the miracle of embryo adoption/donation. It took us 12 long years to have this little bit and we couldn't be happier. We just love her to pieces! But even though we have her now we are still infertiles. We will always be infertiles. And I am okay with that. We have been here so long I wouldn't know what to do with myself if I started popping out kids like a PEZ dispenser.

Currently we are not ttc, but hope to start again next year. But we have to start from scratch as our previous clinic closed. We are open to to whatever God has for us and pray that He will lead us to the right embryos. If that means travel to another clinic, great! Miracle's Waiting, we will take it. From a fellow blogger, sure! Wherever this journey takes us we will go! I just hope that it doesn't take another 12 years.

So if you wanna follow our journey, stick around. If you just find me interesting, I would love to have you too! Just click on that little follow tab at the top. And if you follow me, I follow you. Cause I am awesome like that!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

cloth diapers STINK!

I mean as in smell, not that I don't like cloth diapering. But as much as I love cloth, there are definitely some negatives. One of which is ammonia. (the other is changing every two hours, but that is just because I am lazy ;-). Recently I changed Maddie's morning diaper and whoa! Holy singed nose hairs, people! The ammonia smell seriously burned my nose and throat. And her tiny little bum. I have had the diaper pail smell of ammonia but never the actual diaper. And once it starts it does not get better. All of her microfiber and hemp inserts began to reek to high heaven. Some of the diapers did as well. I could handle the smell but not it burning her bum. That was unacceptable! So I stripped them with Dawn dish soap, tried vinegar, washed in bleach a few times, rinsed a ton, and nothing was helping. I went to the CD store near me to get something and the product they had there was almost $20. I chose CDs to save money and to pay $20 for something that may or may not work was not going to happen. So I asked one of the workers their opinion and she was awesome!! She told me that the pet store would have what I needed for a fraction of the cost. Apparently ammonia remover for aquariums have the same ingredients as the CD stuff. Hmph! Who knew?

So for less than $4 I bought some ammonia remover from Wally World and gave it a try. I soaked all of my dipes and inserts in hot water and 2 tabs of ammonia remover (some are liquid but mine were tablets). I soaked for about 4-5 hours and then did 2 cold rinses, one regular wash cycle and two more rinses just to make sure I got them good and clean. When I pulled them out of the washer I immediately noticed that they smelled like, well......nothing. No stinkies. No ammonia. Nothing!! So far so good!! They are drying right now and I will try a diaper tonight to see how things go.

So, for those that are CDing be prepared for ammonia. It can happen at any time. Some never get the yucky smell, but most do. I went 12 months before it happened to me. Others it happens within a few months. I am not really sure why is happens (I have read several opinions, but nothing conclusive yet. I am leaning towards bacteria in the dipes causing it, but not certain). If you find that your diapers start to burn your nose hairs head out to your local Wally World or pet store and get you some ammonia remover for aquariums. Your nose and baby's bum will thank you for it!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Ovary? Or no ovary?

In 2005 I had my 2nd laparoscopy to look for endo (first one in 1999 showed none, but that doc may have been an idiot). During this surgery my doc found endo. Lots and lots of endo. So much so that he did what he could and told me that to clean it up better I would need a laparotomy (like a c-scetion but without the joys of a baby). I tried to avoid doing such an invasive surgery but 3 months later I went ahead and had it done. At that time the doc was able to clean most of it up but my left ovary was covered in it and the ovary was adhered to my colon. There was no way to "unstick" it without losing the ovary. My gyn knew how badly we wanted children so he left it. Soon after my symptoms lessened considerably and we went on our merry way, trying 4 IUIs with donor sperm. Well, those were a complete bust!! My left ovary (the "good" one) was the dominant one. Sounds good, right? Well, it would have been except my left tube is blocked. With the magic of clomid we were able to get both ovaries to work at the same time. Still useless as I did not conceive anyway.

Now that I have had Maddie my endo symptoms have returned. With a vengeance! I am going next week for my annual exam and will discuss this with my doc. I am considering another surgery, this time to not only clean up any endo but to remove the left ovary as well. There are two main reasons I want this sucker gone: 1) I have terrible, horrible, no good IBS which is worse when my endo is bad. I am thinking that since the ovary is stuck to my colon that it may be the cause of my increased IBS issues. And 2) I was unable to have a colonoscopy done a few years ago. They were unable to get the scope around the bend. I am wondering if the ovary is the cause of that as well.

My only reason to want to keep this ovary is that it is a super ovary, pooping out eggs like a fertile chicken. Nice, big, healthy looking eggs. If I give it up we may never be able to do IVF. At this time IVF is not a consideration. If we have to spend the money we will do EA again. However, if the law changes and insurance is required to cover infertility in my state will I then consider IVF? Would it be fair to Maddie to now have a biological child? Do I even want to go through a full IVF cycle if it is covered? Or will insurance (if mandated) cover embryo donation? Not so much the legal costs if there are any, but the FET?

I am really unsure of what I should do here! My endo is really taking a toll on me and I need some relief. I am horrible at taking daily meds so taking BCPs is a chore. And I was on them for 4 months and as soon as I stopped the pain was back and worse. So while BCPs keep the pain away, is it really slowing down the endo? What to do? What to do?? Any advice is greatly appreciated!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Baby Makers of the World, UNITE!

Was this a memo sent out recently? I swear that every fertile I knew is pregnant again. Was there a mass email to tell them all to baby dance? Or was there clomid pumped into our water system to assure that they all got pregnant about the same time? Seriously,m this is crazy! I work as a sub for an in home daycare and she told me that she will be needing me more in the months to come as she is 15 weeks pregnant. She has a 10 month old and is still nursing which may hinder some, but not the super fertiles, no! They still get pregnant easily. Must. Be. Nice!

Yes, I have a child. Yes, I am grateful and thankful for her. Yes, I realize that I am fortunate to have even one child while others still wait. Please do not misunderstand, I do get all of this. Yet, it does not change the fact that I cannot have a child whenever I want to. I want another baby. I want to give Maddie a sibling. I want IF to not hurt anymore. But what I want is not my reality. I don't wish IF on anyone. I just wish that IF did not exist so that all of us could have babies when we wanted.

So while all of the fertiles are waddling around I am imagining that they are not pregnant, just fat. It makes me smile! ;-)

Monday, October 10, 2011

Saying goodbye to Sadie

Photobucket My hubby and I got married over 12 years ago. Soon after we found out that we were infertile. To help fill that void we got a furbaby, a Maltese named Dudley. He quickly became my baby. A year later we got him a companion, another Maltese named Sadie. They have been wonderful pups and I have loved having them in my life. A few months ago Dudley had to be put to sleep because he had cancer. I was devastated!! I cried for days and I still tear up from time to time. Now, we are going to say goodbye to Sadie. She is not sick, we just need to rehome her. She is great with Maddie and everything, but she is becoming more work than I can keep up with. As Sadie gets older the more accidents she is having in the house. At night she sleeps with us (will cry and whine if not) and I am so exhausted I pass out so I do not hear her if she needs to go out at night. This means she is having an accident almost every night. Having a toddler running around knowing that my carpet is not sanitary is bothering me. We have had it cleaned but that is not enough for me. I have tried diapers for Sadie and they just don't work. Today Sadie pooped and I did not know it. Maddie got to it before I found it and that was the straw that broke the camel's back. Maddie has to take precedence. I have always been a firm believer that you just don't get rid of a pet because of inconvenience, and you stick it out if you can. But I can't. I just don't have the time or the energy to give Sadie the attention that she deserves. I want her to spend her last years in a loving home, being petted and spoiled. We cannot do that now. So I posted an ad on Craigslist and I think that we have found the perfect home. The woman really, really wants Sadie and emailed me twice. I hope to meet with her this week to see if this is a match. But I won't lie, this is killing me!! Sometimes doing the right thing is not easy!

EA and race

When you are faced with not having biological children you have few options left to consider. One is adoption and now, through the miracle of modern medicine, is embryo adoption/donation. There is also donor sperm and donor egg, though with these you have many, many choices and usually you choose the donor that is most compatible to you and your partner. When you consider adoption and embryo adoption there are so many variables yet few options. There are a lot of children waiting for families in foster care but not nearly as many babies when considering infant adoption, especially domestic. The same is true for EA. So when you start your journey down either path the first thing you usually decide upon is whether you want international or domestic (for adoption); open, semi-open or closed; health (history of families and health needs of baby); and lastly, race. With traditional adoption it is much easier to explain to an Asian child why their dad is AA and their mother caucasian. Though there are obstacles and prejudices, most people understand adoption. But what do you do when both parents are one race and you give birth to a child of a different race? How do you explain that to not only the child, but to other people? With the newness of EA you have to explain IVF, EA and adoption to those that are inquisitive. When we decided to pursue EA race was very important to us, more so that when we were trying to adopt domestically. Race was important for several reasons. The main one being that my hubby travels. A lot! Because of this there would be those that would assume that I had had an affair. With hubby being in the ministry this would have had the potential to harm his testimony. Many people don't understand EA and to some they would assume that I had an affair and then used this "EA story" to cover it up. It may never had happened this way, but we felt it best not to even go there. Another reason is that my family has a few racists. No, I do not let them dictate what I do. No, I would never allow them to say anything in front of me. But the truth is that they would never accept a child of a different race and I would never want a child to feel different or to be hurt by callous, hateful words said my "family". Hubby's family has bi-racial marriages and children and if they lived near us it would have been great, and would help our child understand differences. But alas, they do not. The third reason is that I want my child to be able to share their story if THEY want to, but not to have to every time we go somewhere. People can be stupid and insensitive, saying things that no normal person ever should. We did not want to have to explain that no, they were not adopted in the traditional sense. Not that adoption is "bad" or negative at all, it just does not accurately describe EA. So, for us, race did play an important role. So, for those of you that have done EA or are in the process, how important was race to you? Did it play a factor in the embryos you chose? If you have a child of a different race how are you dealing with the questions? I know that there are many couples beginning the EA process and could benefit from all sides of this discussion. **Please note: any racial slurs or negativity will be deleted!**

Thursday, October 6, 2011

holidays are different now

When we first got married I loved holidays. I love to decorate and entertain. We always had BBQs for the Fourth, Labor Day and Memorial Day. Christmas Eve was at my house and even if we did not host Thanksgiving dinner I would still decorate. And for Christmas I went all out with the decor. All year long I would look for decorations at yard sales and thrift stores, looking for items to add to my stash. I also began Christmas shopping the day after Christmas. I love holidays!!

As the years passed and all of our friends baby after baby it became difficult to host get togethers. There was no place for the kids to really play and though I had some toys there was not a lot for them to do. And I felt out of place in my own home as the moms congregated and talked diapers, feedings and sleep deprivation. Slowly the get togethers stopped. Then it seemed silly to decorate for anything other than Christmas and even that was no longer fun for me. In 2009 I only put up a tree and even that was done sparsely. It held no joy for me.

This year I anticipate the holidays. There is so much joy in my home and I can't wait to decorate and see Maddie enjoy the lights and decorations. But then I feel guilty. I should have enjoyed life a bit more before having a child. My life was a good one. We have a great marriage and a wonderful family. Looking back I should have focused more on Him than what I was missing. This is not to say that I should not have felt sadness, that was part of my life. But it became my focus and I missed out on some wonderful memories.

I can't change the past but I can embrace the now. Now is easier, I will admit it. But there are days when infertility still leaves me sad, especially knowing that Maddie may never have a sibling. But regardless of the future I am going to enjoy this holiday season.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

First time EVER!

If you have followed my blog for any time at all you have read that Maddie has suffered from chronic ear infections. They began in December when she was just 3 months old and by September she had her 12th one. She had tubes back in April and they only helped for a few weeks. The infections came quickly and were separate infections, not just one that was not healing. After her 4th one we called the ENT. Just waiting for that appointment she got her 5th and 6th one. And her 7th right after that as we waited 3 weeks for her surgery date. It was ridiculous!

After her 10th one we scheduled her 2nd surgery. This one was to replace the tubes (ENT thought that the tubes themselves were infected) and to remove her adenoids. And while waiting for this surgery (insurance was being a pain and it took 4 weeks) she got her 11th and 12th infections. Surgery could not come fast enough! On September 19th she had her surgery and we went into "wait and see" mode, praying that this would heal my little one. If it did not work we were unsure of what else to do. We had already seen an allergist and had allergy testing done. We went to a chiropractor and it did not help either. We cut out dairy. That did not help either. We met a little boy in the pre-op area that was there for his 5th set of tubes and if that did not work he had to have his entire ear canal reconstructed. The very thought scared me for Maddie. We were desperate for this surgery to work!

It has been over three weeks and so far so good. Then on Sunday she woke up with a runny nose. It was not bad, but any time she has a runny nose she inevitably gets an ear infection. Always! By Sunday afternoon she was miserable so we took her to Urgent Care. Though the situation was nowhere near "urgent" I wanted her to be seen by a doctor. If it was an ear infection I wanted medication ASAP. She also has a history of bronchilitis and we wanted to head that off as well. Thankfully both her ears and lungs were clear and we were told to watch her for any changes. By Tuesday her nose was green and really yucky and we were certain that her ears would have drainage as well. Again, nothing! Today she started to cough and we started her breathing treatments. Still, no ear drainage.

This is the first time she has ever had a cold, runny nose, fever, etc without an ear infection. She goes to the doctor tomorrow because her doctor wants to make sure that she does not have an ear infection but so far there are no signs. I am so excited that the surgery may have "fixed" her ear problems!

Monday, October 3, 2011

To tell? Or not to tell?

Maddie's conception story is no secret. We are honored to have welcomed Maddie into our home through the miracle of embryo adoption. Though we do not tell just anyone about it, we do share with those that are close to us and those that have struggled with infertility. I want Maddie to be comfortable with her birth story though not defined by it. As Maddie is getting older we are being more careful in who we tell as we don't want Maddie to grow up cringing every time we talk to someone about it. But we do want her to hear us discuss it openly, without shame. We are just going to be selective in who those people are.

Today I saw a friend that I had not seen in 4 years. She is very well aware of our struggles though she has no idea what all we have done as far as treatments. Though we are not close friends we still feel comfortable enough to discuss this kind of stuff and she asked me is she was a natural miracle or an IVF one. I was stumped for a second, unsure of how to answer. I did not care to tell all, though I did not want to lie either. Technically Maddie is a product of IVF so that is the story that I went with. I refuse to deny that we used fertility treatments. The world in general has some negative ideas about treatments and Christians even more so. If I deny it or omit it I feel as though I am adding to the shame associated with it, therefore I am fine with disclosing that information. But that Maddie is genetically not ours? I am more reluctant now to do so for the aforementioned reasons. The problem today was that I was unprepared.

Now I am trying to decide how I want to answer these inquiries. Anyone that has known us for any length of time knows that we struggled with infertility. It took us 11 years to get pregnant so it is quite obvious!! I am leaning towards going with the "we did IVF" and just leave it at that for people that we know. To everyone else she is just our miracle baby!!

How am I still fat???

I chase this kid all day long! She is Speedy Gonzales constantly searching for some new adventure. Yesterday she was standing in the kitty litter box while splashing toilet water everywhere. Today she unlocked and then opened the dishwasher to stand on the door so that she could reach stuff on the counters. She also stands on the shelves of the lower cabinets. That was just the start of my morning. At about 8 am she had her morning poo and I opened the diaper and used my right hand to grab a baby wipe. It was stuff so I used both hands to pull them apart. Big Mistake! She grabbed her poopy diaper from between her legs and wiped poop all over her shirt, face (nose and mouth included), hair and changing table. I grabbed it and wiped her face first. She then stuck her arm in the poo on the changing table. I wipe her arm and she twists and gets poo on her legs. I just needed to wipe her off enough to carry her to the shower!! I finally get her wiped off then scrub her down in the shower. All before 8 am.

I just cannot, for the life of me, understand how I can possibly still be fat while chasing her all day long! She never rests!! She has three speeds: fast, faster and crash! Barney is the only thing that will distract her (that show is like kiddie crack! she is addicted!). And yes, I will use it to give me five minutes of peace and quiet. Don't judge me!! This chubby chick needs a break sometimes! Besides, Barney music is awesome!!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Infertility support....where do you find yours?

Infertility can be one of the loneliest things to endure. Your friends go on to have children leaving you behind. Sunday school classes for couples tend to discuss child training. Other women get together for play dates which do not include you. It is lonely! Most of us have to go outside of our friends, family and church to find support. I have found mine in a local support group, fellow bloggers and forums. Here are a few of my favorite places and if you have never checked them out you should!!

Stepping Stones This one is my favorite and where I am most active. It is a Christian forum and I have made a lot of good friends here, many that I have met in real life.

Hannah's Prayer: I like this one a lot though I rarely post there. You do have to be a member to see the forums and after 10 posts you get access to more forums and then again at 25 posts. (I think I have that right.

Baby Center: this is mainly a mom community but there are many forums for infertility, EA, donors, etc.

Where do you find your support? Are there any forums that you love? If so, please share them with us!

Becoming all domestic

When we first got married I planned to be a SAHM. I envisioned myself part Betty Crocker, part Martha Stewart with a dash of June Cleaver mixed in for good measure. I decided not to continue with college and spend time traveling with hubby while waiting for the baby to come. The infertility knocked me on my butt! So now I had no education, very little work experience and no baby. Great! After a few years I went back to work and quickly moved from optician to asst. office manager and had to option to become office manager. Instead I moved to a private opthamalogist's office because there was potential to return to school (paid for by the company) and become an opthalmic tech. There is decent money in this profession and it was one that I would really enjoy. Then it all went downhill. The company was horrible and I hated, absolutely hated, working there. Which is good because as soon as my boss and I set up their new optical (I even wrote their employee manual and handbook) they gave us both the heave ho and replaced us with minimum wage workers that we had trained. Lovely. Now I was back to square one.

I looked for a job for about 18 months but no one wanted to hire me. There were two reasons for this. My previous boss was highly respected in the optical community and since his CFO had nothing nice to say about me (I used my FSA before they laid me off and I had no legal obligation to pay it back and she was livid) and was quick to tell potential employers. The other issue was that for an optician I was paid well at this company. More than others were willing to start me out at so they assumed that I would not stay long therefore choosing not to hire me.

I finally gave up the job search and we started looking into ttc again. It was odd to be out of the workforce and at home again. I thought there was no way that I could enjoy being a SAHW (wife) again but I learned to enjoy it. Now I find myself a SAHM and I love it. I mean, I really love it!! But at times I don't feel as productive. I know that raising my daughter is productive, but it doesn't help pay the bills, ya know. So I am trying to be industrious and learn new things. I have an etsy.com shop but have not done anything with it. With Christmas coming up I have decided to learn how to sew (I know the basic, I am just not very good at it yet). I want to make gifts for family and maybe some things for my etsy shop. A friend is giving me a sewing machine this weekend and I am excited to get started!! I have also started making cakes again and plan to start selling them next year. I love to learn new things and can't wait to use these skills to make some mad money. Maybe even start saving for our next FET. That would be awesome!!! Now off to scour the net for ideas......

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Party TIme!!!

Yesterday was my niece's 2nd birthday party. My sister and her fiance went all out and the party was fabulous!! They had a bouncy house, snow cone machine, a clown, face painting and balloon animals. Maddie had a BLAST!!! When she was not trying to go down the bouncy house slide she was stealing shoes. By the time we left she was exhausted! Here are some photos for your enjoyment!



Here is the cake. And yep, I made it. I know, I'm awesome.


First call to Poison Control

So my little Maddie has been a little spitfire lately. She is into everything. And I mean EVERYTHING! She has opened every drawer in the house today and emptied them all out. I have 3 tables in my living room and they have wicker drawers in them. I finally emptied them out and they are now her toy boxes. She wins!! She also goes into her bedroom and dumps her baskets of shoes, socks and tights. All over her room!


Today I have been trying to clean my house. Trying being the operative word. I used the last of my Ly.sol disinfecting wipes but left the container on my counter. The window was open and the wind blew it of my counter and Maddie got it. It has some the cleaning liquid at the bottom of it but the lid was on so I thought it was okay. Next thing I know she is sucking the cleaner out of the lid. I am sure that she only got a tiny bit of it, but I have no way to be sure. I decided to call poison control just to be safe and thankfully it is okay. And as an added bonus her breath is now Ly.sol fresh!!

I swear, this kid is going make the rest of my hair turn gray!! =)

Saturday, September 24, 2011

And the winer is....

Lara!! I sent you an email with all of the information. Congrats!!!!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Giveaway ends tomorrow!

I am giving away a $10 gift certificate to shoebuy.com. Wanna win it? Enter it here. It ends tomorrow so HURRY!

Personhood Law

Mississippi is trying to pass the Personhood Law. In short it would make embryos "people" and give them the same rights as a person. It sounds like a good law, right? For those of us that are pro-life it sounds like a step in the right direction, but in reality it scares me. First, it will ban all abortions. I am anti-abortion for any reason but one: when the life of the mother is at risk. A woman that will die if she carries to term should have the ability to choose life for herself. It is a decision that none of us ever want to face, but the truth is it happens and we need to protect that right. Also, what about ectopic pregnancies? This will also endanger the life of the mother and there is no chance of survival of the embryo. Will this be illegal as well?

Another ramification is for embryologists. Embryos are delicate and many do not survive. Will they be liable for those that are accidentally mishandled? Or those that just don't survive? And what about cryopreservation? Will we no longer be able to freeze embryos? If they are people then I doubt tossing them in a freezer will be acceptable. So this would mean that all IVF procedures would be fresh cycles. This means more money and more medications and invasive procedures for couples undergoing IVF. This would also eliminate embryo adoption/donation in the future once all of the frozen ones were gone. And for those that are currently in cryobanks, if they were made available to other couples it would only be for true embryo adoption. Home studies and adoption agencies would be required and the cost would go up significantly. And that would mean that Maddie would never have a sibling.

With all of that said I do think that the law has soon good points. I do believe that life begins at conception, regardless of where said conception begins. I am against embryonic stem cell research and the destruction of embryos. I am against abortion. But making a law to deems embryos as people is not the way to protect life. Outlaw embryonic stem cell research. Tighten up abortion laws. Encourage clinics to educate patients on what their options are for extra embryos. But not one law encompassing them all.

What are your thoughts on this law?

**This is not a debate about abortion so please do not turn it into that.**

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A small giveaway!

I have a $10 gift certificate for Shoebuy.com that I am unable to use so I thought that I would give it to one of you, my lovely blogger friends. Why? Because you all are awesome!! So if you want it, comment here. No gimmicks. No need to follow me. Though you should 'cuz I'm awesome. But you don't have to be a follower to enter the giveaway. Want an extra entry? Follow a newbie (infertility/adoption/EA blog). Someone with less than 25 followers. Leave a separate comment below with a link to the blog that you have decided to follow. So you have to chances to win!

I will randomly pick someone on Friday and then email you the gift certificate. Simple! So get commenting!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Surgery & Funeral Updates

Yesterday was a crazy, hectic day. We had to be at the hospital at 5:45. As in AM. I had to get up at 4:00 am and hubby got Maddie up to give her a cup of juice before 4:30, the cut off for fluids. I would say that getting up before the butt crack of dawn was difficult, but it wasn't. Sadly, I am used to it with my little early bird. The good thing about leaving this early in the morning is that there is no traffic. The bad thing is that Panera and Starbucks were both closed. Sad. Very sad!

The staff at the hospital was fantastic and Maddie was the first surgery of the day. I thought that I would have a hard time letting her go but she happily waved bye-bye to me as they took her back. The surgery lasted only about 30 minutes and then I went back to recovery to hold her. Poor little lassie was in pain. :( They gave her a tiny bot of morphine and she felt better fairly quickly. Then she was just a bit high! She tried to walk at one point and she looked like a drunk. The rest of the day she slept off and on and was in a pretty good mood. Today she was back to her old self until night time when she became irritable and crabby. Other than that everything is going great! We are now just waiting to see if this fixes her ear infections.

After the surgery I left Maddie with her daddy and I headed out to my step dad's funeral. It was a military funeral and it only took about 15 minutes. I was glad that it was short. His father was not there (the man who molested me as a child) and I was very thankful that I was able to avoid that encounter. I am glad that the funeral is over and behind me.

Thank you all for your prayers and support for both situations!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

I blame the donors!


I love my little Maddie. I really, truly do. She is such a delight. She is my shopping buddy. She is my little cuddle bug. She is also my little tornado!! This kid can get into places I never thought possible. Kind of like a mouse. She can squeeze into the tiniest of spaces. She can also make messes faster than any natural disaster. And if you tell her no? Watch out!! She will throw her head back and holla! She is one strong willed child. She is determined to destroy my phone, demolish my remote and completely tear up my kitchen. And this includes the dog food and the dog water.
I can't tell you how many pieces of dog food I can taken out of her mouth. And the water. Oh, the water!! We change clothes 2-3 times a day just from the dog water.

When she is this little terror we blame the donors. Cause we were both perfect kids and there is not way that she got her bad behavior from us! All of the good though? That's me! But this little hellion in the making...it's all them! ;-)

Maddie also has a shoe obsession. A serious one! She has a basket of shoes in her room ans she will sit there for an hour just trying on shoes. She also wears our shoes and tries to put shoes on us. Trying to get her dressed in the morning is becoming a challenge because I cannot find a matching pair of shoes. And not like matching her outfit, but matching each other. I find shoes in cabinets. I find shoes under the couch. I find shoes in the dog food. I find shoes in my purse. It is ridiculous! But oh so cute to watch!!

You would think that will all of this chasing and hunting I am doing that I wouldn't be fat. But yep, still am! But that could be from the cupcakes.......

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Facing my demons

**This post is about childhood sexual abuse**

When I was a child my stepfather's dad molested me. There. I said it. It is in black and white for the whole world to see. There is much about the abuse that I do not remember. I am fairly certain that I have repressed memories and I have seen a counselor about it. She counseled me to allow the memories but not to dig for them. There is one incident that has always been very clear to me, but the rest is hazy. For some reason I think that it lasted for two years, from ages 5 to 7. I am not sure why I think that was the age, maybe my subconscious mind is telling me that. I remember a few things that happened along with this main one mentioned before. I am not sure why I remember this one so clearly. I can close my eyes and recall the truck he drove, his hand on my thigh as we pulled out of our driveway, the blue nightgown I was wearing with a raccoon and a rainbow on it, the room I slept in there, him pacing the hallway before he entered my room, and him touching me.

Why am I telling you all this now? Because on Monday I may see him for the first time since my mother discovered the abuse. He will be at my step dad's funeral. I am not afraid of him, but I am not looking forward to seeing him. The very thought of sharing the same air as him repulses me. I prefer my memories to stay buried and I do fear that it may not remain this way if I see him again. My counselor warned me that when Maddie hits the age that I was when the abuse occurred that the memories might return and I am prepared for that, but I was not prepared for it to happen now.

I could avoid the funeral. There is not real need for me to be there. He was not my father by blood. He became a despicable person and was no longer the man I knew. But the truth is I loved that man. Before the drugs and alcohol he was am amazing father! I want to honor that man. Also, by not going I will be giving my abuser power and that is not acceptable to me. He has no power to hurt me ever again. I doubt that he even remembers me. And even if he does, so what? I turned out great! He did not ruin me!! His abuse has left some scars but did not destroy me. I refuse to give him the victory.

Now, with all that said, I do realize that this will not be easy. I posted this for two reasons, the first being prayer. Please pray for me! The second is because I am not alone. Sadly, too many of us were abused as children and carry shame. But there is nothing for us to be ashamed about. We did NOTHING wrong. We are innocent. This post is my way of taking back the power and gaining strength for this day. But mostly it is for the prayer!!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Why do you blog?

I was thinking about blogging the other day wondered why we all do it? Is it narcissism? For educational purposes? A form of therapy? For me it is a few reasons. My blogging journey began as a way to chronicle my embryo adoption journey and to meet other EA mommas. Later it became a way to reach out to others going through infertility and to educate those unfamiliar with EA. Now it is also about relationships. I have "met" some really amazing woman, all in different places, yet all with a common bond. And I feel like you are all "family". Kind of like sisters!

So why do you blog?

Saturday, September 10, 2011

honoring the dishonorable

Today my dad passed away. Not my real dad, but the only dad that I had ever known. My mom grew up in an abusive home. So abusive that she sought any means to escape and getting pregnant at 16 and getting married was her ticket out. At 16 she became pregnant with me and got married shortly thereafter. Life with him was no better than the one she left and when I was a year old she packed a bag and returned to the home she ran away from. My "father" refused to give her any of her stuff or mine and she had just a diaper bag and an overnight bag of clothes. She had nothing. She was also determined that she would do right by me and give me the best life that she could. She worked hard and eventually was able to rent a small trailer on a quiet, dead end street. A neighbor lady babysat me and I called her Maw Maw. She was the grandmother I did not have and her husband my Pap Paw and they loved me dearly. At the end of the road there was a house that had construction work being done and a young man on the crew that noticed my mom. Gary was a hard working, honest man that quickly fell in love with not only my mom but me as well.


I instantly became his shadow. Where he went, I went. What he did, I did. I "worked" with him and we played together.


And he treated my mom like royalty. He bought groceries when there was none. He showed her how to not just care for me but to enjoy being a mother, something that was foreign to her. Eventually my mom became pregnant and at that time Gary became my "dad" as well. He moved her to a bigger place and we soon became a family of four and then later a family of five. Never once did Gary make me feel anything other than his child. I was closer to him than my sister was as we had so much in common. I have many memories of our time together. One of which was that we loved to watch Incredible Hulk and he used to color my face with green chalk.


Gary sounds too good to be true. He was. Sadly, Gary had a drinking problem. He was a happy man and an even happier drunk. He was one of those that were able to drink a 6 pack and you would never know it. But as the years passed his drinking increased. It rarely interfered with his daily activities or work but it still became a source of contention between him and my mom. But that was nothing compared to the drugs he was introduced to when I was 8 years old. I distinctly remember the change in him. My happy, healthy dad became a paranoid, scary monster. He began to steal from neighbors to feed his addiction. He spent the grocery money on his habit. It was at this time my mom had had enough and Gary was kicked out. It took a year or two to finally get him out of the house permanently, but life as we knew it was over. Gary was gone.

Gary later married a woman that accepted him, drugs and all. She enabled him and he loved her for it. They lived in a run down trailer that was not fit for humans. On the rare occasions that we did see him he hardly remembered us. And we barely recognized him. Then yesterday we got a call that he was in the hospital. He was dying and had been put on hospice care. My sister and I decided to go and see him one last time. He was a hardly more than a corpse. His eyes were open but he was in a coma. His wife said that he had showed no signs of recognition or response to anyone for several days, but that he most likely could hear us if we wanted to talk to him. My sister could not bring herself to do so but I did. I said "Dad, Boo and I are here to see you." Instantly his hand moved and he tried to talk. He heard me. He knew me. And my heart was broken. Broken for what could have been. Broken for the man he had become. I continued to talk and he showed a bit more response and then it was over. We said our good byes and cried as we left. We got the call today that he was gone.

The Bible says to honor our parents but he was not worth honor. He was not a father to me anymore. Yet I loved him. I showed what honor I could by saying goodbye and I will attend his funeral. While it was difficult to show him anything other than disdain I will always be thankful for those few moments. That moment that said he knew me and that he loved me.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

How many kids would you have had?

If we lived in a perfect world where all uteruses worked, all eggs of excellent quality floated down the fallopian tube each and every month, and all spermies were present and accounted for happily swimming upstream....How many littles would you have had? What were your original plans back when you were blissfully naive? Would you have had a house full? Just one or two? Nineteen like you-know-who? And now that your dreams and plans have hit the roadblock we fondly call infertility has that number changed?

For us we had "planned" at least 3 children but would have had up to 5 if we could afforded to have that many. I still want three. I am not really sure why, I just picture three kiddos. Maybe because I grew up in a home with three? I don't know. I do know that if we do not have twins the next time that the likelihood of three is slim to none as I will be at least 35 (though closer to 36) when the next one is born and that is best case scenario. That would mean being 38+ for #3. Not unheard of. Not really all that old to have a baby, but it is too old for me. I would prefer not to have a baby that late. I am soooooo tired at 34 that I just don't see being 38 and doing this again. But you never know, I just might! It all depends on how FET #2 goes. And when it happens.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

pangs of jealousy

As infertiles we often find ourselves surrounded by big, round, baby bumps. Bumps that do not belong to us. I am once again finding myself in the midst of a bunch of prolific uteruses. Some of which are very close to home. My sister. I am genuinely happy for her and glad to actually be excited and share in her pregnancy this time. But I am jealous!! She found out the that baby #2 is a girl on Friday and felt her move on Saturday. I immediately felt.....empty. My womb aches to carry another life. Yes, I am immensely thankful for even just one opportunity to get to experience pregnancy. But said experience has made me want it even more.

I am sad that I still feel this way. I want to be happy and nothing else. I don't want to feel sadness and disappointment. I wish that I could fold my arms, nod my head and POOF! Infertility would disappear. Or a baby would appear. Either would work for me.

A few weeks ago I had begun looking into clinics for our next FET. I spent about 2 days with this and decided to put it on the back burner until Maddie's surgery (which is the 19th of this month). After that I will begin calling clinics again. Also, we have been contacted by a couple interested in donating their embryos and they are considering us. I have absolutely no idea if this will work out and we are waiting on Him to lead us and the other couple. It is a huge decision for them and we want them to be completely certain that this is what they want to do and that we are the right family. Until then we are proceeding forward with clinics that have ED programs. And after Christmas we hope to get serious about our next cycle. Well, that is unless I need surgery. Remember my mono? Well, my tonsils are still swollen even after a round of steroids. I may need them removed. *GULP!* I am soooooo not looking forward to this! If I have to have surgery I will wait until January (cause of my deductible) and then once I heal begin plans for the FET.

So until then I will swallow my pangs of jealousy and enjoy what all that God has done for us!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Our crackbaby

I swear this kid is on crack! Or cocaine. Or something of that nature. Having never tried the stuff myself I really don't know the difference. I just know that Maddie is going 90 to nothing with no end in sight. She has emptied my cabinets, dumped the dog's food, dumped her cereal, emptied her diaper bag, knocked about 100 pieces of paper off my table, taken every shoe out of her bin, dumped the dog's food a second time, and emptied both toy boxes. And that is all since she got up from her nap at 4:00. I am tired just reading about it all! She is currently running through the house screaming. At nothing. Just screaming and laughing. I think that she likes the sound of her voice.

I have to say though that I prefer this kid at warp speed than the tantrum thrower from yesterday. I swear someone snuck into her room and switched kids with me. My sweet Maddie now throws herself to the floor when angry, pinches me if I remove her from something, screams if I say no, and all of the other fun toddler characteristics. Her terrible twos have started a year early.

But even with her bi-polar ways I love this kid. She is a blast to have around, even with her tantrums. And constant messes. Now we just need a sibling for her. Maybe next year.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Common misconceptions about EA

Today Maddie and I were outside when our neighbor came out and started talking to us. She has only seen Maddie about 2-3 times and she commented on how much she looked like me. I forgot that she did not know how Maddie came to be and I mentioned how ironic that it is considering she is not genetically related to me. She had a funny look on her face so I explained that she was from a donor embryo. Her face lit up and said "Oh! A Snowflake baby!!!". Imagine my surprise that she knew all about EA. There is actually a couple at her church that did EA through the NEDC a few months ago. This began a conversation about EA. She had a really good grasp on the concept (she is in her 50's and never struggles with IF so this was a bit unusual) but there were a few things that she had the wrong idea about.

Misconception #1:
There are hundreds of thousands of embryos available.

While there are over 400,000 embryos currently in storage, there is only a small about available for adoption. My neighbor mentioned that a few other couples wanted to do EA to save these little embryos. While I applaud their willingness to help rescue them and give them a chance at life, in reality it would take opportunities from families that had no other options. Many of the frozen embryos are awaiting their parents to thaw them and give them a chance, while some are sitting there until their parents decide what to do with them. Sadly, many of them will end up discarded or used for research. With more education about donation options maybe that number will change one day, but until then there is not an abundance of embryos available for adoption.

Misconception #2:
Embryo adoption is the same thing as embryo donation.

Yes. And no. Technically they are very different. However, the term is used interchangeably. While we did embryo donation I still feel like we adopted Maddie as an embryo. The real difference between the two is the process. With EA you must have a home study and is treated as an adoption. This route gives you the option of an open adoption. ED on the other hand is done more like donor egg or donor sperm cycles and is almost always anonymous.

Misconception #3:
EA is expensive.

This is another yes and no answer. Fertility treatments are not cheap no matter what. But in the grand scheme of things EA can be less expensive then IVF. ED even less. I know of someone that spent less than $3000 for everything with ED and someone that spent over $16,000 for EA. It all depends on whether you want a more traditional adoption or go through a clinic and do ED.

Misconception #4:

With ED you don't get a medical history.

Yet another yes and no answer. Clinics really vary on this one. My clinic gave us a comprehensive medical history on the donor parents, their parents, grandparents and siblings as well as any children they may have. Some clinics give nothing more than hair color or eye color. I am a firm believer in getting as much of a health history as possible and wish that all clinics did so.

Misconception #5:
Babies born through EA are not really "yours".

This one is a big, fat false!! Regardless of how a child came to be a part of your family (donor eggs/sperm, adoption, EA/ED, etc) they are most definitely yours. As for feeling "different" about a child not genetically related to you I can assure you that is not so. At least not for me. Maddie is "mine" and I could not love her more.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Maddie's birthday party!

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Thursday, August 25, 2011

a year ago today.....

A year ago today my precious little Maddie graced us with her presence. A year ago today the 12 years of infertility finally made sense. The pain didn't end, but it lessened. The moment I heard her cry the years of anger and bitterness fell away, my grieving was over. A year ago today my life completely changed. It no longer revolved around "what ifs" and countless doctor's appointments and unsuccessful fertility treatments. It now revolved around a tiny little princess. She is the culmination of years of praying, thousands of tears, and many years of waiting.

Life as a mother is still a bit foreign to me. There are times I look at this little person and wonder how she got here. I still cannot believe that we have her. Now she is leaving her baby days behind (sniff sniff) and moving too quickly into toddlerhood. She has her own personality. She is such a delight!! She has a wonderful disposition and each day brings laughter to our home. She is trying to talk and cracks us up with her attempt at words. She loves her Kee Kee (kitty) and often gives him kisses. Winston is not happy about this new development and boxes her with his paws (don't worry, he's de-clawed!). She calls for her cousin Lella (Bella) and is quick to say Thank You though I am not really sure how to translate that here! It is gibberish sounding but she repeats me when I say it every time so I am counting it! I love to watch her grow and learn!

There are still tears. But now they are not because my arms are empty but because my heart is full.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Surgery it is, then

Last Wednesday Maddie was diagnosed with her 10th ear infection (her 3rd since getting tubes, the first that we took her back to the ENT for). The ENT suctioned her ears out (horrible experience for both of us!) and sent the fluid to be cultured, hoping to find a specific bacteria to treat. Then on Friday she had a fever of 101.8 and had had diarrhea for 3 days so I took her to her pediatrician. While there the doctor checked her ears and they both looked great. I continued her ear drops until Monday night and then today she had her follow up at the ENT. I mentioned that on Friday her ears looked great and he was glad to hear it. He then asked how she was acting/feeling. I told him great but last night she was restless and then woke up at 2 am and stayed up until almost 6 am. We are all exhausted!!! I jokingly said "I hope it wasn't because her ears hurt." Ha Ha Ha. Wouldn't you know it, one ear had fluid again!!! We were both shocked!! The ENT admitted to being perplexed but her infections since there is no obvious cause. I really appreciated his honesty.

We discussed our options and he is fairly certain that the actual tubes are harboring bacteria (which is sadly quite common) and once replaced it should reduce, if not eliminate, her ear infections drastically. Also, he will remove her adenoids. There is no guarantee that this will work but we feel it is the best option at this time. I have spoken to other moms that have dealt with similar issues with their little ones and most of them had great success with removing the adenoids. We are praying that this is the answer for her chronic infections. I am not sure of the date for her surgery yet but once I do I will post it. Prayers are appreciated!!!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Who are theses people?

Right now I think that I would have to answer YES!!! You know, I read these mommy blogs where these women are SAHM with 6 kids, clip coupons, keep their house spotless, sew their children clothing, decorate like out of a magazine, host parties, and cook gourmet meals. Who are theses people???? I look around my house that looks like a tornado just came through it and I envy their organization and character. I have my 1 year old daughter and my 2 year old niece today. They are trashing my house!!! Granted, it started out halfway there, but still. I have dishes in the sink, the carpet needs vacuumed, lunch needs to be made, half of the laundry is folded, Maddie has finally been dresses but now her shirt is stained, and I need to put some make up on. All of this and I am in the middle of making the decorations for Maddie's birthday party on Friday. I still not to shop for that too. And all I want to do is turn on some music, grab a book and soak in the tub. I want to fold my arms, nod my head and viola! The house is clean. I need a maid. And a cook. And maybe a personal shopper.

I want to be the women I read about. I would love perfection. But it ain't gonna happen!! So instead I will enjoy my crazy life, listening to sounds of my daughter's laughter. And assume that those with "perfect lives" must live in Stepford.