Friday, November 30, 2007
Thursday, November 29, 2007
So, Thanksgiving day and the greater part of Friday were great, the rest of the weekend left little to desire. I love our family, my side that is. We are warm and loving and can handle our alcohol without getting ridiculously stupid. Plus my brother C and I play a wicked game of croquet.* We ate all the requisite T-day food and drank wonderful concoctions of Cranberry vodka and 7-up and had the BEST whipped cream ever. My dad's boss and his family came and he made the best whipped cream - cream, Kahlua, nutmeg, Cinnamon - yummmmmm.
We were back to my parents house by 6:30 and all of us( us, my parents and my kick-butt auntie and uncle I never get to see) were trying to figure out how much longer we had to stay awake. What a sad bunch. Friday my mom and aunt and I spent the morning shopping (it was my first Black Friday as a shopper and it wasn't too bad. We only had to leave one store because it was a zoo), had lunch with my SIL and headed back to my parents house where the boys were up to no good. They had stopped at BevMo! (! was not my idea, it's in the name) and bought a bunch of cordials. When I opened the front door all I could smell was booze! It was hysterical.
My MIL had Friday off, but being in retail and it being very SLOW for her right now, she thought she might have to go in. She was going to call us to let us know what the plan was. So it's three o'clock and we still haven't heard from her. Mr. Sparky called her and she asked where we had been! She had been waiting for us most of the afternoon!! So a few deep breaths and a shot of Strawberry Pucker and we were off for a night full of drunken MIL's, weird fiance's (her's) and some very jet lagged gay men. It was interesting. Let's just say all we did the whole time we were there (besides me partaking of some adult beverages) was clean and work. That's all we ever do over there. But I digress. All in all a good time was had and we left by 8:30.
That evening I got a phone call from our elderly neighbors saying our dogs were out and we needed to come home. I told her we were in Phx and even if we did come home (it takes two hrs to get home) the people watching our dogs would get them. She told me she would call animal control if we didn't get it taken care of. So I told her fine, let me call the neighbors watching the dogs (whom I was told they did not know and did not approve of. what?) and if I couldn't get a hold of them to call Animal Control. I got a hold of the dog watchers and they took care of it. Saturday, we got a call saying the dogs were out again. This time it was from the dog watchers and they were saying our elderly neighbors were standing in their driveway yelling at them saying they were going to call the cops. It's not like we just let our dogs run nilly, or haven't tried to solve the problem of them getting out. We just have really smart dogs.
So Sunday morning finds us not going to church(which we probably really should have) and putting up an electrical fence all the way around our property. It really wasn't that bad, it only took a couple of hours and was really easy. We humans can barely feel anything, but the dogs, oh boy the dogs, they can feel it quite well. Personally I think they are being wussies. It was a little heartbreaking the first time Jax saw two little girls walking by and jumped up on the fence. He cried so loud I wanted to cry. But then I got over it and neither dog will go near the fence. Hence they will no longer be getting out of the yard. Unless they learn to fly, then I will need to be put into a padded cell.
So all in all, it really wasn't a bad weekend. A lot has been going on in the home front. Mr. Sparky and I are having a lot of problems, mostly stemming from this stupid academy (He graduates next Friday!!) and some pre-existing issues we both brought to the marriage. So tomorrow night we are meeting with some friends (he's a pastor) to discuss some of the issues going on and hopefully get everything straightened out. I love my husband, but we are in the deepest pit we've ever been in and it's scary. I want to be really happy again, it's just going to take a lot of dedication and work from us both.
I have another post about my mom that I started Tuesday and hopefully will finish it soon. Poor thing has had a very tough couple of weeks.
* I played horribly. It might have been the drinking, by that time I had had quite a few Cranberry vodkas and 7-up's. Usually I am quite the little croquet-er.
Monday, November 26, 2007
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
I wanted to take a moment to remind myself that I have oh so many things to be thankful for. I know that I take life WAY to seriously right now, so a little reminder that things really aren't that bad. So here are 20 things that make me smile, not necessarily in this order (except for number 1, that's always going to be number 1).
1. God's grace - without this I would truly be in trouble
2. My husband
3. My family, including my mother-in-law (She's got some great jewelry I should be very thankful about!)
4. Knowing that I'm really kidding about the jewelry, but it is a nice bonus
5. My friends
6. My house, that we own
7. The fact that I have a job
8. The fact that I am not dying, no one in my close circle is gravely ill, and my aunt is recovering quite nicely from a knee replacement (you rock Auntie Cecil)
10. The smell of turkey roasting away in my mother's oven
11. Knowing that whenever I need it I have at least 10 people who will let me cry on their shoulder
12. My husband (I mentioned him already, right?)
13. My curly hair - and the ability to make it straight whenever I want. It truly is the best of both worlds
14. Beef Stroganoff (my all time favorite meal. We never, ever eat this enough. And spell check wants to make it stroking which makes me giggle like a little boy - Beef Stroking, hehe)
15. My dogs
16. I have never had to suffer the immense grief of losing a child. I would much rather be in my position than to ever lose a child
17. Pumpkin. Anything.
18. Sunsets, especially in AZ. I don't care what anyone says - we have the best ones(partly because of the polution, but that's neither here nor there)
19. Warm, fuzzy slippers
20. Zoo lights - if you are from AZ you know what I'm talking about. Although they've gotten kind of chintzy the last couple of years(I used to work there as a costumed character, before they got cheap, it was great. Maybe I'll post a picture of me as a spotted bear or a frog. I miss that job).
Have a wonderful Turkey day and try to remember that through the hurt and the pain that we are dealing with, there is always one thing(if not more) that we have to be grateful about.
*** I feel the need to set this scene for you. I am sitting at home in a wing backed chair watching the fire roar as it snows(ha!) outside while my feet are wrapped in fuzzy warmth and I am sipping a hot tottie while petting my dogs. It makes me kind of weepy. Yes, I am a dork, I know.
Monday, November 19, 2007
Things have been bleak lately, on all fronts. The wave of emotions on the fertility front have become crippling, exhausting, draining. I don't believe there are enough adjectives to describe the immense feelings that have been ravaging me lately. There have been days where I am a lump, I wish I could say an emotionless lump, but it seems that is not the case. I have always been an emotional woman, more so than the majority of people I know. I tend to cry very easily, even at stupid commercials(while all hormones are at an even keel as well). Everything in my life has been suffering the past few weeks. To be honest it's been months. I could justifiably be fired from my job, which at the moment would not be the worst thing to happen. I love my job, I'm just not in a good frame of mind to be able to cope with it. However, the financial would more than likely be devastating if that were to happen.
Things at home have not been the most harmonious either. We are very blessed in the fact that we do not fight like a lot of couples I know. In fact, if we do have words, voices are very rarely raised and we make sure to not go to bed angry (Ephesians 4:26-27 - In your anger do not sin: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold). For this I am grateful. I hear so many stories, even from our small group, about some of the fights, and thank God everyday that we handle our differences in a manor that is pleasing to God and healthy for us. With that said, there are other issues we are struggling with. We are not on the same page on so many issues, in fact I think that sometimes we are in completely different books. And these are things we need to work on before God can do any more work on our family. I truly believe that the reason we have not been blessed with a child yet is because we have some serious lessons to learn before we are given the greatest responsibility of raising a child. (I know many will disagree with this point of view, and that is fine. Let's just agree to disagree on this and remain kind).
Mr. Sparky left for Phx yesterday morning before the sun came up. I had no intentions of going to church and I had only gotten about three hours of sleep the night before. When I got home from dropping him off, I took a short nap with the pooches and decided I should go to church. Maybe it would be good for me. So I went, and I sang (admittedly without much passion) and I tried to listen. I even took communion, hoping that the remembrance of what Christ did for me personally would be the nudge I needed to feel anything again. That didn't work. I listened for most of the service, trying to understand how the pastor's words made any correlation to the mess that lives inside of me right now. It's hard, this monster of infertility. It makes even the joyous things, like hearing God's truth spoken to hundreds of people seem like torture. I cannot tell you what the sermon was about, or how it may have affected me. It didn't sink in at all.
And once again I felt so alone. My husband gone, no friends to talk to(by choice) and a feeling of no faith. How could I trust in a God who could make things so hard? How could I want to love someone who made me hurt and cry and be disparaged of ever having the life I want so badly? I went home and laid on the couch all afternoon. I had called the couple who lead our small group and told her I was coming. Knowing that I had made the commitment and would more than likely not back out. And I went. And it was hard. And it was the best thing I could have done.
Friday, November 16, 2007
I've been thinking a lot about our next cycles. This next one is off which I've known for ever, Mr. Sparky will be out of town and unless I want a baby with someone else, it's a good break. I thought I would be able to get a head start on the next cycle, I have an appointment with my favorite RN on the 14th, but of course I will be out of town that day and need to reschedule, which also happens to be the weekend we could be doing some baby making. So it looks as if everything will be pushed back to the January cycle.
I could go either way at this point. I have no hope anymore. I know, the name of this blog has become almost meaningless, but I think only for a while. And I don't' mean that in a bad way. Or do I? I'm confused on how I should be feeling. I want a family, but how do we go about that. Treatments or adoption? Wait or pursue? I feel as if I shouldn't try the drugs because I know nothing will happen. I'm very wishy-washy about the topic lately.
And then I wonder, am I questioning my faith in God? Am I all of a sudden no longer trusting that He has a plan for our parenthood? I haven't been to church in a while. I haven't been able to go, or more that I don't want to go. No, that's not true. I do want to go, I just don't feel like I can. Too many babies, too many people who are living the life I want to have so badly. I cannot remember the last time I opened my bible. Which is sad, I know I need to. I need to have that connection, to learn and understand what He has for me, what He wants. I want to turn away, to run and hide and say things aren't fair, stomp my feet and go play by myself. But I know that's not what I should do.
Throughout my life I have done things I know I shouldn't do. And only had it bother me a little. Now though, I know what I should be doing and it bothers me that I can't (or won't) and I don't really seem to care. I know, that doesn't make any sense. I'm not really making sense today, I think it's just a word vomit(I really, really hate that word) of stuff I need to get off my chest. I can't talk to anyone about all of this right now in my real life, so lucky you, you get to hear it all.
I want to be a mom, no question. I feel like time is slipping by, that soon I will wake up and be too old to have kids. This is ridiculous and I know that, it's just where my mind is right now. I find that I am obsessed and a little ambivalent all at the same time. Confusing, no? My poor brain and heart. One minute I feel one way and the next I've jumped ship onto one that isn't' sinking quite as fast. I guess I want to know how to continue, how this journey is going to end. And I would like to know now please. Please?
I want to do everything possible to have a child of our own, but I do not believe that anything will work. Hmmm, quite the conundrum. The infertile mind is so confusing. Good thing my husband can't take a look inside. He'd probably run away in fear.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
I have buried(this word always looks funny to me - like burry not berry) myself into a hole. For some reason I am having a hard time with this latest (and last, thank you Lord!) rash of new babies. My friend A had her baby on Thursday and I have not called her yet. My friends P & J, I have not seen their little girl and she will be a month this week. It's hard, harder than I thought it would be. To see these babies that were conceived so quickly and well after we had started trying. It almost doesn't seem fair.
I talked to my mom yesterday and she asked how I was doing. I told her I was ok, and I lied. I do not like lying to my mom, but sometimes I just don't want to deal with the emotions tied to a conversation. We were talking about adoption and what I said on the last post about it and she said it would be great, think about the children we could rescue. And I stopped dead in my tracks. Rescue. I politely told her that adoption is not about rescuing a child from a bad situation. That that is not the reason people do this, and she quietly said ok.
We will have bible study next week for the first time since little Ava was born and I am not going. Mr. Sparky will not be going since he will be down in Phx for defensive driving and I cannot handle all the babies by myself, without his support. So I must think of an excuse when they call and make it sound believable. They don't understand, they are sympathetic, but do not truly get what it feels like and I am tired of the pity. I tried to type that word three times and each time it came out potty.
We are taking this next cycle off as Mr. Sparky will be gone during prime baby making time. I will make an appointment with my favorite RN and talk about adding Clomid to the mix next time, and bring up an HSG. I had a uterine lap done in April of 2005 and all was clear, but that has been 2.5 years, so I think an HSG would be appropriate. We will be turning our adoption app in the end of January and somehow we will come up with the $1500 for the home study and the classes.
To end on a lighter note - yesterday as I was folding laundry in the living room enjoying my day off, I see a dog running across the street. And then I realize that it is my dog, who should be in the back yard. So off I go running out the front door screaming at the dog and trying not to look too much like a buffoon. I grab him and thank my nice neighbors who tried to corral him and drag his bad butt back to the house. He dug his way out under the gate, I'll show a pic tomorrow, he's quite the Houdini. Good thing the puppy has more sense than Austin. He stayed put.
By the way, how did it get to be Thanksgiving already? Where the heck did this year go?
Thursday, November 8, 2007
There are many medical procedures that are available to us to assist in the building of our own biological family, great advances in science. However, none of them are covered by our insurance and we are not in a financial position to pay out of pocket. Therefore, we are left with few options. We have started the least expensive options, basic medications that seem to not be working, and are quickly trying to discuss and analyze our options that lay ahead.
The big debate I seem to hear most days is the higher outcome of multiples. Why are so many couples willing to take that risk? Let me tell you - they do not have coverage for the procedures that can start a family. They have to scrimp and save, sometimes for years in order to afford just ONE shot at having a family. So yes to some, the multiples are worth the risk. If people have mandated coverage for fertility treatments they wouldn't need to take the risk of multiples, placing the mother's and babies lives in jeopardy.
My husband and I are seriously considering adoption. Not because it's easier and not because we have given up all hope of having a biological child of our own. The reality is, our hard earned and saved for money will have a better chance of producing the outcome of a family this way. There are no guarantees through either path. Birth mothers change their minds, IVF doesn't always work. Both are heart breaking and painful, and expensive. If we knew there would be a net to catch us if treatments didn't work, or my well being wouldn't be put in jeopardy because this is the one shot we get, we would try everything possible to have our own biological child. But we cannot be guaranteed that that will not happen, we cannot be assured that it will work and we cannot afford to take those chances. Who would it benefit if we lost house and home while trying to start a family because we had no coverage?
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
Not five minutes later the woman who worked for the adoption agency we would go through stopped in the office to drop off some info for a client and asked if I go to the Heights (which we do). And she started to tell me how they were getting ready to start an adoption ministry with counseling for infertility, fostering and adoption. My eyes started to tear up and I can only think that God wants us to walk down that path. Every time I have met with Cindy (from the adoption agency) it has been totally by accident and she has had the information that I was literally JUST thinking about.
I'm just stunned at God's weird ways of working in our lives. It's truly amazing! Now we just have a lot of praying to do and see where the path will take us. Wow, I'm really just in shock.
So I was over at Mel's yesterday and got really excited about what was going on. Go read, I'll give you a minute.
Done? Ok, good. Can you see why I was so excited? That would apply to us, we do not have coverage for anything above basic medications. So I sent the letter's off to my representatives and wrote an e-mail to everyone I could think of explaining everything and why it is so important. Of course, I added Mr. Sparky's mom and his grandparents to the list. So by the time I got home, I was freaking out about it and made him call her. I was afraid she would read the e-mail and get all pissy - she does that frequently.
And you know what? All was good. She wasn't mad we hadn't told her for over two years, and she was genuinely interested in what was going on. It blew my socks off. I made Mr. Sparky tell her since it is HIS mother and all, and he told what we were doing now and how if we need to move on to anything else it wouldn't be covered blah blah blah. Then her and I talked and she asked how I was doing and we moved onto a different topic and it wasn't as bad as I had feared. And I'm glad, because all my internal organs had taken up residence in my throat since about 3:30 yesterday afternoon. And it was quite cramped.
So, I don't' know where this leaves us with her and we will see how good she is at not pestering us about everything. And she is going to send the letters to the reps for AZ as well. Maybe, hopefully, we can get something accomplished. It would be good.
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
I'm going to call my dr and request to start Clomid next cycle, which will technically be two cycles away since Mr. Sparky will be in Phoenix for defensive driving the entire week I ovulate. Maybe even a post-coital (where they check the amount of live sperm in me after we, you know, have "marital relations"). So, I'm sad. And frustrated. But mostly sad. We'll see how things go. January is coming quickly and we set that as the date to turn in the adoption application. So many mixed feelings and emotions.
Monday, November 5, 2007
So, I know you all have been dying to know how an infertile woman convinces herself that she is pregnant. At 8dpo. Except now it's really more like 12 dpo and I'm trying really hard not to pee on a stick, or POAS in some circles.
1. Serious fatigue - needing nap only an hour after I wake up, I have NEVER experienced this before. It could also be the fact that I have been ill since last Sunday and am still trying to get better.
2. Ravenous - the other night I ate the biggest meal and complained about not feeling well afterwards (probably from stuffing myself - dork!) and not a 1/2 hour later I was starving. In fact I just ate lunch and am now starving again. Or it could just be the fact that I like to eat, a lot(which is probably why I am 30 lbs overweight, but that is a sensitive subject, so I won't bring it up)
3. The boobs. Oh dear lordy the boobs! Mr. Sparky has been enamored with them for the last two weeks. They are HUGE. and sore. This must mean there is a baby in there, no? Except for the fact that every month before my period my boobs get big and sore, just not this big or this tender (they are tender under my arm pits and all the way up my chest). But of course I like to imagine things, so it could be all in my head.
4. The cramps. See here is the hard part. I have this bladder thingy which causes me to feel like I have cramps all the time, getting worse before my period. So, it is very hard for me to determine about 3-4 days before the period what are actual period cramps and what's from my IC. Except I don't really feel very pmsish, but again, I have an overactive imagination( and a true love for the comma).
5. The dizziness/hotheadedness. I can't stand up without having a disco ball going off in my eyes. And at church yesterday I to sit down really quickly while we were singing. In fact right now I'm a little lightheaded, but that could be from the ravenous hunger too. Hmmm, no rationalization for this one.
So for the last week Mr. Sparky and I have been walking around the house saying I'm pregnant. I even ventured to tell my friend S at the hockey game Saturday night that I thought I might be. So we wait, until Wednesday, when I can get a blood test because I refuse to pee on a stick! I will not do it! I have some (and by some I mean shreds really. There isn't much left) dignity. In fact, I was at Big L*ts today and didn't buy any. Well, they didn't have any, but had they had some! I would not have succumb.
Oh yeah, did I mention that some of these things can be related to the Prometrium I'm on? No? Silly me.
Friday, November 2, 2007
Austin & Jax
We toyed around with the idea of getting a second dog for awhile, as in from the time we got Austin until the day BEFORE we got Jax. It just wasn't fair to have Austin all by himself all day long. Actually, before we got Jax, Austin was only home alone all day for two days a week. That's not too bad if you ask me. Finally we decided that it was just going to be too much work for another dog and we didn't need the hassle. We travel down to Phoenix a lot and it's a pain to travel with Austin so I can't imagine what it would have been like with two dogs. Plus it's expensive to board two dogs too.
One sunny Sunday we were running errands after church and walked past P*t's Mart. And wouldn't you know it was Adopt A Pet Day. If I had a picture of two suckers, well maybe just one, it would look a lot like me, in every way shape and form. As we were walking down to T*rget I spotted the cutest thing I have ever seen, as evidenced above (not the best shot, I have more cuteness to follow) and immediately told Mr. Sparky we needed to have him. Someone had abandoned him when he was 5 weeks old on the side of the road. That would be March and March here is cold, very cold. So we did all the necessary things, home visit to make sure the dogs would get along and they could "check out" our house, fill out nineteen thousand reams of paper work and sign over any available organs we could spare.
And Jax came home to live with us. Except his name wasn't Jax at the time, it was Happy Jack. And as Mr. Sparky was telling the puppy to get off of whatever it was he was on, Jack's Off!!!! was yelled and I burst into 12 yr old boy laughter. Good lord that was funny. So we shortened it to Jax, which is much cuter, and do NOT.EVER. say Jax Off!! See - I'm rolling around on the floor as I type this because I am that immature.
So here are some more pictures of the dogs, sometimes I love them and sometimes I want to get rid of them. The puppy, AKA Jax, AKA piggy horse dog (he gallops like a horse and makes piggy noises when he gets excited. Man, that dog is so frickin' cute!) has a habit of crawling under our bed, which when he was a little puppy wasn't that big of a deal, except now that he is a 45 lb puppy he gets stuck and barks until we come and free him. Ahhh, seriously, it's like having kids. I pray the puppy faze is over soon, Austin is two this month and is still rather puppyish himself.
So, pictures of the dogs abound.
I am so cute, how could anyone not fall madly in love with me?
This was the day we brought him home, I really wish he would have stayed this size!
Mom, I didn't do it, I am innocent! I swear!
What? I didn't do it!
I was a tad angry when I found this little mess, however, it now pales in comparison to some of the other things these dogs have done.
Please join me tomorrow when I explain how an infertile can convince herself she's pregnant at only 8dpo. It's really quite the talent.
Thursday, November 1, 2007
Today I will tell you something about me that not a lot of people in my current life know about. I am a musician. Or I should say was. I have played the piano since I was five. I didn't take my first lesson until I was nine, I taught myself in the beginning by playing by ear. I would lay down next to the gigantic 1970's speakers and memorize the music I was hearing then run to the piano and figure it out. For the first year of my lessons, I would make my teacher play the piece first, then I would play it. Always memorizing how it sounds and never actually reading the music. I fooled everyone for the first year until my teacher finally figured out that I was conning everyone. I eventually learned to read music, but now I can no longer play by ear. That is one thing I wishI never lost. It is such a great gift.
I continued with music in elementary school by learning the violin. I can tell you that ALL people in my life were grateful when I switched over to the flute in the sixth grade. I was not a very good violin player.
In junior high I started playing piano for the jazz band and got involved with percussion enjoying both very much. My freshman year of high school, every girl I knew played the flute so in order to get into Varsity band (which is really much cooler than it sounds, really) I decided to learn the bassoon. So I did and became quite good.
My junior year I decided I was tired of playing the piccolo in marching band and wanted to join drum line, where all the really cool people were. I wanted to play the cymbals but the new instructor wanted me to play mallets (marimba, xylophone, vibes, etc). And I loved it. In fact I got really good and by my senior year of high school I was the best in the state.
Then I turned eighteen in January of my senior year and I came down with a horribly serious and incurable case of senioritis. It was so bad I stopped everything, studying - which at that point was a joke since I only had elective classes and didn't need to study to get an A, and all my music lessons. I was taking piano and mallet lessons in order to get a full scholarship to NAU. Needless to say, I blew that. Big time. In fact my mom still brings it up every now and then. She was really mad at me at the time.
I did move on to NAU, without the scholarship (STUPID, STUPID, STUPID) and continued to loose all interest in music whatsoever. I still play the piano a little bit today, I have a beautiful antique upright player piano from 1906 that is my pride and joy. I just do not make the time in my schedule to play, much to my husband's dismay. He loves it when I play.
I know that things happen for a reason, if I had gone to NAU on that scholarship I would have graduated and moved to NY or LA to do what I wanted - movie scores. But instead, and here is the very less glamorous part, I dropped out of school and moved back home. Had this not happened though, I would not have met Mr. Sparky and I wouldn't have the life I do now. I do wonder sometimes what life would have been like. Would I have been successful? Would I have been able to make a career out of it? Would I be making a lot of money? Would I have been happy?
I know that I made the right choice now, even though at the time it was painful for all involved. And the road to this point has not been easy, it's been cluttered with drama and pain and frustration. But I'm happy now, and content with my life (as content as an infertile can be) and know that when God is ready for me to use the talent He gave me, He will let me know.