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

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.