Thursday, January 31, 2013

Liebster Award

This is an award given to new or up-and-coming bloggers with less than 200 followers. To graciously accept the award, you must follow the rules below.

Before I tell you about the rules, I must thank the wonderful blogger over at Project Baby for my nomination. Thank you!

So here is how this blog award works:

  • Tell 11 random facts about yourself.
  • Answer the 11 questions asked by the person who nominated you.
  • Choose 11 blogs with less than 200 followers to nominate and link to their blogs from your blog.
  • Come up with 11 questions to ask the bloggers you nominate.
  • Tell the 11 bloggers that you nominated them by posting on their blog.
  • Link back to the person who nominated you and thank them dearly from the bottom of your heart!
  • Post your award badge with pride!
Here are my 11 random facts:

1.  I cut my own hair 90% of the time. I can't handle the idea of having to make an appointment and wait. I often just want a cut and my hair is long and straight, so it's pretty easy to do and always looks nice (enough - nobody notices!).
2.  I HATE to shop for myself so my clothing is all pretty old. New clothing is stuff my darling husband buys for me!
3. To this day, I love the smell of gasoline and eraser-board markers (no, I don't seek it out!).
4. I ride my bike to work every day of the year. Rain, shine, snow (although that's hard!). I love the winter riding best, actually.
5. My husband and I each had wooden engagement rings created by an artist in Canada from wood off his property. They broke down over our 16 month engagement and splintered just as we got married. We keep them in the jewelry box my husband gave me 20 months ago.
6. I have lived in 7 countries on 4 continents. I have visited every continent.
7. I have given myself every single shot through this process, including every PIO!
8. I like writing with blue bic Papermate pens best and think my writing is better with those than with others.
9.  My sleep schedule is tied to the sun so in the middle of summer, I wake up naturally (and am awake) by 4:45 am.
10. I don't sync my iPhone with my computer. I don't even know how to do it!
11. I involuntarily rub my feet together when I get sleepy.

Here are my answers to the questions posed by the blogger who nominated me:

1. What is your favorite T.V. show?
Right now, it's Parenthood. We don't watch a lot of tv, but in the winters, we find a tv show and watch in on hulu. This year, it's Parenthood. We caught up on the first 3 seasons and we're now watching the up-to-date season.
2. If we were on a road trip and I went into a convenience store to get you a snack, what should it be?
Something bad for me! It's a road trip, afterall!
3. What is your favorite book from childhood?
Watership Down. It's what made me compassionate to non-human animals and I am grateful for that.
4. How many pillows do you sleep with?
One. My husband sleeps with 2-3!

5. How do you drink your coffee or tea?
Soy latte, extra foam, add some sugar in the raw.

6. What is your favorite dinner recipe?
Depends on my mood.

7. What kind of car do you drive?
Stick-shift 2006 Subaru Forester. We bought it in October 2009. Sadly, we got this car the month before throwing out birth control. We "upgraded" from a 2-door Civic. This was out baby mobile. Sigh. 

8. What is your favorite kind of shampoo?
Used to be Aveda but now I am using just about anything that is natural and organic and smells good!

9. What is your least favorite food?

10. Describe your best friend in three words.
Husband. Loyal. Forever.

11. What song is currently on repeat on your iPod/MP3/CD player?
"Little Talks" of Monsters and Men.
Here are the 11 bloggers I am recommending:
And here are my 11 questions to those bloggers:
1. Sweet or savory?
2. What is your favorite season of the year?
3. What is your ideal job / career?
4. What is your favorite Friday evening activity?
5. Have you ever suffered a concussion?
6. What about you are you most proud of?
7. Do you have any tatoos? If so, what and where and from when? If not, why not and do you think you'll ever get one?
8. Do you use body lotion? What kind?
9. What is your favorite movie or tv show?
10. What is the most important quality in a friend? Spouse?
11. If you could travel anywhere in the US / world, where would it be and for how long?

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

What a difference a day makes

Have you ever had one of those days? Where bad news and bad things seem to happen all in one day?

I have had months of GOOD days. I credit that mostly to the monthly big resolve group meetings, plus the monthly small resolve group get-togethers a few of us are doing, plus the weekly yoga for fertility, plus the long walks I've been taking. I have been doing really well and my home-life has been wonderful - meaning no fighting, no mood swings and just a general good feeling.

Then yesterday happened. I suspected it might be a bad day when I (1) forgot the latte I just ordered was in my bike water bottle holder and when I hung my bike up at work it went flying and spilled everywhere, and (2) I thought my 10 am plea before a judge was at 11 am so I was late to court (for the first time in years).

Then I logged into Facebook for some random reason. And saw a pregnancy annoucement by a woman who just moved to Portland. She is the friend of a woman I knew in middle school - that woman contacted me through Facebook and asked me to help "Ann" get acclimated to Portland. We hung out a few times and she invited us over for dinner. We had to reschedule a few months back and it's set for THIS Saturday. She is now pregnant, due in August. I do NOT want to go over for dinner mainly because she's not someone I really care that much about and so putting the energy into being ok around her doesn't seem worth it. I happen to know that her first child was conceived with the help of Clomid, so she understands IF. And I know they've been trying for # 2 for a little while. But it still stings and I still don't want to go over there and pretend.

Then I had lunch with a friend. This friend has been VERY VERY VERY supportive of me and knows our whole journey. She follows this blog and my previous blog, too. She and her wife got pregnant November 2011 and had their goregous son in August 2012. My friend got pregnant on the first time, and they did an at-home insemination. They are now considering # 2. She lamented that "having a baby is expensive." I didn't know what she meant so she explained the airfare and hotel for the sperm donor (a family member) and his wife and the equipment for an at-home insemination.

To her, it must be frustrating to have to spend around $1000 to have a baby when it is for some heterosexual couples totally free. I understand that frustration and that they have to budget for it when they try for # 2.

To me, however, it made me think about the upwards-of-$45,000 we have spent and are still empty at home. It made me so so so sad to think about my own situation. I wasn't made or angry at her and appreciate her feeling comfortable to talk to me about her woes. But on top of the already tough-ish morning, it sat with me.

Then ... and this is what sealed the coffin ... I watched an episode of Parenthood. Hubby and I discovered this show a few weeks back and have had fun watching episodes on our ipad. Hubby was at a firm dinner and had seen this episode the night before (while I was sleeping!) so I watched it. It's the second-to-last episode in season 3. The episode when Julia rushes to the hospital and helps with the birth of the baby boy she thinks she's adopting. The episode when Joel and Sidney then show up to meet the baby and take him home. The episode when the birth mother changes her mind and leaves Joel, Julie and Sidney high and dry. The episode when Julia shuts herself in an empty hospital room and sobs and sobs and sobs.

That episode was too much for me. I sobbed and sobbed and sobbed along with her. That episode was so real and raw and perfectly embodied all the fears I have with adoption. I texted hubby "I can't survive that" meaning don't let that happen to us.

By the time he got home, I was in a right state and wouldn't even talk to him. I just needed "to go to bed" and did so. This morning, my mood wasn't a whole lot better.

It is amazing the difference a day can make. I need to right my ship, get my feet back underneath me, and get through this spot. It feels like a setback but I need to just power through it and focus on ME and US and not worry about others.


Finally, it's important to me that my previous post not get overlooked, so if you haven't already read my post about how trading IF drugs is illegal, please read this:

Monday, January 21, 2013

Trading IF drugs online = VERY dangerous - please read

Ladies -

I have seen a lot of this over my two years of blogging, but it seems to be getting more and more obvious.

(I am a criminal defense attorney)

While you never ever think it'll happen to you, I need you to know that trading prescription drugs online and over state lines is a FEDERAL FELONY. It's delivery of a controlled substance and it can carry a federal PRISON sentence.

And trading them online to someone in the same state is a STATE FELONY that likely also carries a prison sentence.

You don't expect it'll happen to you because you think you know the person on the other end. And you may. But that doesn't mean the next person is safe.

The federal government has a lot of money for prosecution. They could easily start (if they aren't already) monitoring online activity and "catch" women who are trading drugs. I see detectives - state and federal - monitoring things like Craigslist for prostitution and drug sales. Imagine a young agent trying to make a name for him or herself - yup, the IF blogging community could be the place to go.

It seems like it's worth it or even like it's necessary to ask for drugs or send drugs to someone else. IT IS NOT. It may save you a little bit of money but if you get caught, the money you'll spend on an attorney and the money you'll lose when you lose your job will NOT be worth it. And you might be labeled a felon.

For those of you who are going to continue to trade drugs, BE CAREFUL. Do not write blog posts asking for drugs. Do not put a shout out online that someone sent you drugs. It is NOT worth it.

*** This blog post does not constitute legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. ***

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Pregnant ladies

I considered titling this post "making assumptions" but that just didn't quite fit.

Over the course of this three plus year journey, there is (at least) one lesson for which I am grateful. I have learned empathy through this. An empathy that I can apply to situations outside the world of reproduction.

For example, think about Facebook. We often blog / bitch / vent about FB posts and how it hurts to see a pregnancy announcement there. Empathy had made me think of all the single friends out there who see my FB updates about the fun times I've had with my hubby. A photo from a recent get-away, an update about our anniversary. Whatever it is, I think about how - to someone who hadn't yet found her life partner - seeing my updates must trigger a pain akin to the pain I feel when I see a FB pregnancy announcement / update / belly shot.

This empathy is something I am glad to have learned. It can never hurt to be empathetic and to understand or see the life difficulties of others.

Within empathy is a sub-lesson I am still learning. The idea of assumption. I am sure most of you do this: you see a pregnant woman and you assume she got pregnant easily and / or the pregnancy has been easy for her.

For me, there was a long period of time I could not be around a pregnant woman. I temporarily lost friends because I just couldn't handle it. The anger and jealousy that boiled up inside of me was exhausting, so for self-preservation reasons, I had to avoid being around "the pregnant."

That period has passed. Now I just don't get an F and can be around pregnant women with semi-ease. It's not easy and I certainly do not seek it out, but at least I am in a place that it is ok for me.

Then I went to Chicago this past weekend for my BiL's wedding. An interesting thing happened to me, one that a fable could be made from.

At the wedding, there was a pregnant woman. She was about 7 months pregnant (exactly where I should have been, had I not miscarried). I could feel my hackles up, my razor edges coming out. I had a mental image of nails on a chalkboard and even saw my two hands raised with nails out. It was really hard on me, but I found myself constantly looking at her and her gorgeous belly.

On the dance floor, my husband came up to me and said "I just talked to Eric." I said "who the hell is Eric?" Turns out Eric is the pregnant woman's husband. And she and he went through THREE failed IVF rounds before getting pregnant this time.

Suddenly, that woman became my hero. I never spoke a word to her, but as we danced a slow dance near each other, and I assumed she knew what we've been through (my hubby told Eric), I felt her warmth cover me. She was so beautiful.

And it reminded me NOT TO ASSUME. For two reasons: first, it brought out a side of me I am not longer willing to allow present. And second, if I assume, it means other IFers will assume. And then, when I am pregnant, I will cause someone else the pain and consternation this woman (through no fault of her own) caused me this weekend.

It's crazy, but I am scared of being pregnant because I don't want to hurt fellow IFers. I said at the RESOLVE meeting Tuesday night that I want to get a moomoo to wear while very pregnant and I want said moomoo to say "Infertile" with an arrow to "IVF baby" or "IVF babies." I don't want a single IFer to get sad or angry or agitated because she sees me walking - and glowing - down the street.

Those who are happily pregnant and / or new moms: how do you / did you deal with this? I think it's a worthwhile conversation to have within the IF community. I blogged on my old blog about the "pregnant infertile" so this is a similar post.


(also, we have our new donor egg bank calendar - to come in a following post!)


And on a different note, I was around my 8 1/2 month old niece and my 11 month nephew again. Remember after Thanksgiving, I posted that I didn't hold my niece once. I am VERY happy to annouce that I held them both this weekend. I was able to smother them with hugs and kisses. They are adorable. They are family. And it feels GOOD!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

and then there were ... FOUR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



Two times as many as we got from the donor in May 2012.

Four more perfect embryos than we got from our own IVF cycle in January 2012.

FOUR = we get at least TWO shots on goal.

HOLY SHIT WE HAVE FOUR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This is an 80% rate of fertilization and getting to 5-day blast!!!

I am over. the. moon.

7 of us met at my house last night for the small-group RESOLVE meeting. I eagerly shared that the clinic would be growing the embyros this month - I never in a million years thought I'd get the news today.

I could not have asked for better news. FOUR.



I just cannot stop saying or thinking that number.

There is a chance I'll be a mommy in 2013.

HOLY SHIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

No calendar yet, but we're still hoping for a transfer sometime in March or April.


Sunday, January 6, 2013

3 yrs TTC

This month marks 3 years TTC.

It also marks 2 years of blogging.

And it marks the month our Seattle clinic will be growing our embryos for our next round of donor egg bank (calendar yet to be created so I don't know when transfer will be).

When I started each TTC and blogging I never thought I'd reach the 3 year mark of un-success.

I remember sitting at a restaurant in February 2011. An IRL friend was in the middle of her first (and only) IVF and I was gearing up for my first IUI in March. Another IRL friend had told me "how cool would it be if you both got pregnant at the same time." I was only a year into IF and heard that statement and was positive and excited about the prospect. I told my IVF friend and she said "what are the chances of two infertiles getting pregnant the same month?" She had no hope we would both get pregnant. Turns out she was right.

Now, two years later, I have that same hard shell, that same pessimism.

And so, here I sit, on the month that marks a lot of things.

We shall see what 2013 has in store for us.