Monday, May 18, 2009

Decisions, Decisions

It's an odd place to be a pregnant infertile. In fact, typing these words seems like such an oxymoron. Pregnant infertile. While the name sounds impossible, I fall into both categories.

I've been contemplating what to do with this blog since getting pregnant. Do I keep it and risk hurting the feelings of my blogger friends who are still on their own path to motherhood? Do I inflict guilt when my "followers" feel like they have to read and yet they aren't in the same place as I am? Do I abandon the blog and my story and have others question what happened to me, not knowing how my story ends? Do I just stop posting altogether?

I decided the best option for me was to leave this blog up so I can continue following all my buddies. I'm not sure if I'll continue to post here or not; I don't feel like I've come to a peace-filled decision about that yet.

I am also going to start a completely new blog with a new email address for those of you that choose to follow. In warning, the new blog will be baby-related, show belly pics, and will be the story of our journey "after conception." The beginning of a new book, so to speak. And trust me, I won't be offended if you can't or won't follow. I truly understand and expect everyone to do what is best for them.

By keeping my old blog, this blog, I'll still be able to easily click over to your stories and post as "Hope2morrow." I'll be able to read over my thoughts and feelings as I battled the complexities of infertility. I'll also be able to see the support I was given and show support, encouragement and congratulations for all of you on my blogroll.

Now, because I have been so tight-lipped about our struggles with friends and family, I do have a favor to ask. If you choose to follow the new blog, please do not mention our procedures or anything we went through to get pregnant on that blog. It will strictly be for baby advice and warm wishes until (or maybe I should say if) we decide to mention treatments. Most of our family knows we have been trying for quite some time and the real story may come out some day, but we want the focus to now be shifted from our past to our babies. If you have questions about treatments or things of that sort, please leave a comment on this blog. I will check both emails regularly.

I specifically opted to create a new email address for the new blog so family and friends wouldn't be able to link back to this blog. I know someone will likely find us and read our story... I'm not naive enough to think it won't happen. I just prefer to make it more difficult than the click of a button. And since no one even knows I had another blog, maybe they won't even think about it.

This solution seems the most logical to me for now, and I hope it works well with keeping everyones' feelings in mind too. I am trying to be mindful- Boy, what a tight rope this is to walk!

So, the new blog is called "At Last" and the address is if you decide you want to pop on by and say hello. Otherwise, I will try my best to keep up with you via my blogroll here and at least pop in to say hello on occasion. In fact, I should be back here soon because I have some books to give away....... check back in the next week or two for details.

"This is my wish for you: Comfort on difficult days, smiles when sadness intrudes, rainbows to follow the clouds, laughter to kiss your lips, sunsets to warm your heart, hugs when spirits sag, beauty for your eyes to see, friendships to brighten your being, faith so that you can believe, confidence for when you doubt, courage to know yourself, patience to accept the truth, Love to complete your life.” (Anonymous)

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

My Affection for Odd Numbers

I have an issue- a severe issue. It's not one I typically admit to having because it sounds a little OCD. But since I am trying to morph this issue due to recent circumstances, I will let you all in on my secret: I have an obsession with odd numbers. Not all odd numbers; just some of them. My odd numbers.

I honestly have no clue how this obsessive love relationship started with my special numbers; perhaps it is because they have always been good to me and worked for me instead of against me. My favorite number from as far back as I can remember has been the number 13. Of course, in middle school, that was one more reason for me to stand out because 13 was considered a freaky and unlucky number. Not for me. Not for me at all.

My husband considers this odd number affection and fascination very annoying. In fact, he has little patience when I ask him to set the alarm clock for "8:03 AM" instead of just 8:00 AM. He also bears little patience when I microwave something and set the microwave to heat for a minute and thirty three seconds. And to throw things off even more, I do not use all odd numbers in this way. Fives are forbidden. And even though zero is not an even or an odd number, I never set any timers or clocks with a number that ends in zero.

Other times my odd numbers have come in handy:

* When lying on the couch and wanting to rest for a few minutes, I refuse to get off the couch when the clock is on an even number such as 11:02, or a five such as 11:35 or a zero such as 11:20. Doing so would go against my love affair with odd numbers, a jinx in and of itself, some sort of denying of affection to these odd numbers that I have loved so deeply.

*When purchasing shoes. I wear a size seven so thankfully this shoe size fits into my passion. But should I have to purchase a size seven and a half (a number that ends in a two)- well, let's just say I never have.....

*When cutting up fruits and vegetables. I can't cut two of anything or four of anything.... it must be one of MY odd numbers.

*If I'm chewing gum and counting the number of times my jaw moves up and down, I have to stop counting on an odd number.

*If I have to randomly choose a number for a contest or something, I always choose one of my odd ones.

*When counting items or counting aloud, I prefer to count by odd numbers.

*When shutting my computer down, I ensure the clock is on an odd number.

This may all seem a little creepy and odd (no pun intended), but it really works for me. It gives me control. Ha! Number control..... until recently......

Fast forward to February 12 when I had my 4th attempt at IVF with a second doctor after more than four years of trying to get pregnant. Thirteen eggs were retrieved during my second fresh-cycle retrieval, but only ten were mature eggs. Ten fertilized normally.

February 17th at 1:30, two embryos were transferred, one Grade B and one Grade C. I laid on the table for 60 minutes after the transfer and then spent two days on bed rest following the transfer.

We then waited ten days for the blood pregnancy test. On 2/26, February 26th, I had an HcG level of 575. I waited four more days for another blood test that revealed an HcG of over 3000.

And on March 17, St. Patrick's Day, we saw two heartbeats and two fetal sacs. While that day was amazing and undreamed of, we were also told that one of the fetal sacs looked much smaller than the other. The doctor was not sure if it was because my ovaries were still swollen from the stimulation drugs or because the sac was actually smaller, but we were informed of Vanishing Twin Syndrome at that appointment. We were sent away with our questions answered but a definite uncertainty of the future.

A week later, on March 24th, we again saw two heartbeats and two fetal sacs. Although one sac was still smaller, both were growing. We were told if we could make it two more weeks with two heartbeats, it was likely we would keep two babies.

So, on Wednesday, April 8th at 9:30 AM, it was confirmed that we still had two heartbeats, one beating at 174 beats per minute and one beating at 176 beats per minute- viable twins!

I must say that my affinity for odd numbers has slowly washed away with the even-numbered frenzy and good luck. I'm trying hard to break my odd number obsession since the even numbers have been so kind to me as of late.

Odd numbers. Even numbers. It really doesn't matter how I got here.... the fact is that I am here. What is most difficult for me through all of this is the fact that I am pregnant and others that have been on this journey with me still are not. I cannot believe what guilt lies inside me, thinking of my blogging friends who have not yet conceived but will read this entry and cry and scream and get angry, all of which I have done at pregnancy announcements. So to those of you who are still on the path to motherhood, I salute you and stand by your decision to possibly not follow along on my journey anymore. I understand; I truly do, and I am sorry for any pain this post causes. All IF survivors are my heroes because I know what a long and tedious journey this is no matter if you have been trying one year or ten. I know your pain, and I empathize with your feelings right now. But no matter what, I am still here as a cheerleader and supporter since that is what so many of you have done for me. From the deepest beats of my heart, thank you for your support and faith and may your turn come, in one way or another, sooner rather than later.

"Faith can light a candle in the darkest night." (Anonymous)

Monday, December 22, 2008

Santa Claus is Coming to Town

I've decided I need to take a break from blogging. I'm not sure how long it will be or when I shall return, but I need this for me, for my well-being. I feel guilty when I don't blog, and I feel guilty when I do blog. I feel guilty when I don't have time to comment and then comments appear on my posts. I feel guilty when I am tagged and don't respond. I feel like I am not being a good supporter and cheerleader right now. And trust me- this has nothing to do with you all; it has everything to do with me.

In the mean time, Wishing 4 One tagged me, and I am complying.

The rules are:

1. Link to the person who tagged you.

2. Share 7 random and/or weird facts about you.

3. Tag 7 random people at the end, and include links to their blogs.

Here goes...

1) I have my own language that people close to me understand. I have no clue where I came up with it, but my family and friends just accept it as normal. A few examples from my own language library are as follows:
  • I need to speak with you = I have a story to tell you.
  • What's for leonard? = What's for dinner?
  • Make you. = Thank you.
  • How do you do? = What's going on?
  • You hurt my feelers. = You hurt my feelings.
  • The baby was come. = I am so full I could pop.
  • I need a bankin = I've been naughty and need to be spanked.
  • Will we eat lessert? = Do you want dessert?
  • Will you be my friend? (said to my husband about 100 times a day) = I need confirmation and affirmation that you are my friend and love me unconditionally.
2) When I set my alarm or anything to do with time (timer on the microwave, nap alarm, etc), I always set it at an odd time. I cannot have the time end with even numbers, zeroes, or fives. Thus, I set my alarm to wake up at 6:13 or set the microwave to heat my coffee for 47 seconds.

3) I prefer champagne more than any other alcohol. I love it!

4) Poop and "gas" are very interesting to me. I think they are fun topics to discuss, but my husband thinks this is disgusting and refuses to entertain me and discuss these topics with me.

5) Our dogs have more nicknames than anyone we know, and they respond to their names and all their nicknames. A few of Tucker Bug's nicknames are Buggers, Tuck, Buggins, Bugs, Punkin', Booty, Buddy, Tuckins, and Buttercup. A few of Moxie's nicknames are Mox, Fatty, Big Girl, Sis, Baby Girl, FattyBoombaladdie, Naughty, Sister, Sniffers McSnifferlotts, Nosey McNifferlotts, Sissy, and Naughty Baby.

6) I love sending and receiving things in the mail. Like LOVE it! Nothing makes me happier than to send even a small token or card or receive something from someone else via snail mail.

7) I have a hard time with visualizing things and depth perception. If Babe wants to rearrange the furniture and asks if I think it will look good a certain way, I always tell him to move it and then I'll tell him if I like it. If he asks if a pair of shoes and shirt go together, he has to try it on for me to see before I can decide. When driving, I often wait until the coast is very clear before turning because I have almost been in so many accidents from "cutting it too close." Sometimes I have to Babe if it is okay to turn because my depth perception is so off. I don't discuss what happens when he is not in the car because it scares him.

I tag anyone that wants to participate and share 7 weird things about themselves. Come on; someone has to be a bigger fruitcake than I am. HA!

Last but not least, I thought I would share some Christmas pictures of our house with you~

This is our dining room. The carolers on top of the fireplace are from my great-grandmother.

We had to buy a new, skinny tree this year because we rearranged our den. Our tree is completely decorated with vintage Christmas ornaments. The display case below sits next to our tree and houses vintage decorations my husband loves.

These next few are of my office~

*A special blogger friend sent me the pine cone you see in this picture. I never knew the pine cone was a symbol of fertility, but it is. What a special gift for her to send. Thank you, friend, for your thoughtfulness!

Happy holidays to everyone! I hope 2009 brings you all the blessings you desire!

"Christmas day is a day of joy and charity. May God make you very rich in both." (Phillips Brooks)

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Better Late Than Never

I've been MIA. I've been a terrible blogger in the sense that I have been reading but not commenting very often. I've been an awful supporter. I'm sorry! I can't even tell you why. I have been taking a break from all the infertility stuff, and it is doing wonders for my heart and mind. But doing so has also left me feeling disconnected and like I am ignoring the one thing I truly want. Apparently I have some feelings I still need to work through...

Nonetheless, things are well, and I am thankful the holidays are here! I love this time of year: the hustle and bustle, the lights, the music, the excitement and anticipation, buying gifts, celebrating and reconnecting! I love it all, despite the complete busy-ness that also makes some of us pull our hair out and overextend ourselves and our time!

I've been waiting on My Peah to send me some of her Halloween pictures since they showed my full costume, but she is having issues with her Internet. I told you I would post some Halloween pictures, so here are a few from the Big Bash. Even though they're over a month old, it's better late than never, right?

This is My Peah (my BFF) and me with my crazy red eye lashes that could also serve as an airplane landing strip. I just had to wear them, although with that grin on my face, it's hard to look like a true biker.

This is My Peah's brother, "T", and their sister. Her sister, "E," was actually my "lover" for the night.

And this is "E," and me again, showing off our matching tattoos.
You can kind of see my cool pleather pants in this shot.

*I have been informed that the word "cool" and "pleather" do not belong in the same sentence,
but they truly and sarcastically do for Halloween.

This is the end of the night (as if you can't tell). Just posting these pictures is cracking me up. It was so nice to let loose and enjoy myself with friends.

Another end-of-the-night picture. HA!

And since I'm smiling right now, I thought I'd post something to make you smile: A Giveaway!
Jill has a magnificent basket she is giving away in honor of her 100th post on The Averitt Family blog! Go offer her congratulations for her 100th post and enter her drawing. You will absolutely be amazed at the beautiful goody-stuffed basket she put together for one lucky winner! Congratulations, Jill! We are honored to have you as such a strong supporter in our community!
"I wish we could put up some of the Christmas spirit in jars and open a jar of it every month." (Harlan Miller)

Monday, November 10, 2008

It's Beginning to Look

... a lot like Christmas.

Now, here's a little Hope2morrow diddy for you all (sung to the tune of "It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas")-

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas
Like my new design?
Take a trip to Danielle's site, get a new blog for your life
And yours'll be pretty as mine.

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas
Danielle is so cool!
She's great at designing blogs, doesn't look like a frog
Won't even charge you a mule.

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas
I love my new theme
Go see what she can do, for the price of only a few
Your new design will be a dream!

Danielle did another truly amazing job redesigning my blog for the holiday season. Doesn't it just put you in a great mood? Danielle's holiday blogs are cheaper than her regular makeovers (BIG sale going on through the end of today) and she does a phenomenal job (as you can see). I'm always impressed with her creativity, imagination, and professionalism! I hope you'll check out her site and see what she can do for you this holiday season! In the mean time, enjoy my new look until I get a chance to post more, especially the lovely Halloween pics....

"We elves try to stick to the four main food groups: candy, candy canes, candy corns and syrup." (Buddy the Elf from Elf)

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Cheers: Halloweenie Party!

I'm headed out of town this weekend to see my BFF, "My Peah." She and her brother always have a big shindig to celebrate Halloween. I wasn't able to go last October because we were in the middle of an IUI with injectables cycle, but I am stoked about the party this year! I plan to drink enough for all of us, especially those of you that can't drink right now. Not that I'm a lush- I just love to celebrate good times and don't often have a reason to do so.

I'm going as a "biker" and will post pictures once I return. Everyone always dresses up for the party, and we hang out, munching on finger foods and playing Guitar Hero and pool. The year before last, I don't think the party ended before 4:00 AM. Yep, it's a BIG party! And, of course, I get to see my favoritest and bestest friend in the whole world. I honestly cannot wait!

Cheers to those of you that can't drink; I'll toast to you this weekend, spreading well wishes and luck, and cheers to those of us that can. May the witches brew drinks, treats and babies for us all!

"I'll bet living in a nudist colony takes all the fun out of Halloween." (Author Unknown)

Thursday, October 23, 2008

To cup, or not to cup: that is the question

  • 3 and 3/4 years
  • 46 months
  • 1,391 days
  • 33,384 hours
  • 2,003,040 minutes
  • 120,182,400 seconds
This is the length of time I've been dealing with infertility. No wonder Grief and I are battling it out, and he is winning. Grief has the upper hand in this fight. I recently let him literally pin me to the ground to the point where I could barely breathe. I am done with that. I don't want him in control, so I am finding new ways to gain my control back!

My latest adventure lead me to a Chinese herbalist and acupuncturist. Yep, it sure did. I read a book that said when you are searching for an acupuncturist in your area, you should make sure they are listed with the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. There were only two "doctors" listed in my area, and I knew of one of the facilities because I had received a wonderful massage there previously. I opted to go there, basing my decision on my one-time visit with them and the quality massage I received.

My initial visit lasted a little over two hours, and we discussed every aspect of my emotional & physical imbalance. The first visit with this lady was quite uncomfortable because I was asked to get completely naked (please don't try and visualize this) and lie face down on the massage table with covers on top of me. My Balancer, as I'll refer to her, proceeded to tell me about acupuncture and inserted the needles into different areas of my neck, back, shoulders, calves, and feet. In case anyone who is reading this has never tried acupuncture, let me tell you that I am not scared of needles but in most cases, I couldn't even feel the needles going in as they were being placed. There were a few instances where I felt a sting for about three seconds, but it went away very quickly. After all the needles were in place, she turned the lights down, played some soothing music, and told me to relax for a few minutes. I nearly feel asleep I was so relaxed.

When she came back in, she removed the needles and asked if she could try a procedure called "" on me. Now, let me give you some background- I was diagnosed with sc0li0sis when I was in 3rd grade. It is now severe scoliosis. I never wore a brace, but doctors wanted to perform a half-million-dollar surgery to put a rod next to my spine to straighten it. Not even a chance! But as a result of the scoliosis, I have seventeen or so vertebrae that have little to no padding between them. As you can imagine, my sc0li0sis gives me severe headaches and major back pain. Anyway, back to my story...My Balancer asked me if she could do this procedure on me, and I asked her what is was for and what it involved. She told me it was for chronic pain. It is a procedure where glass jars are lit on fire and placed to create a vacuum that pulls the skin into the jar to help separate the muscle; it also helps with circulation. Why not? I couldn't see anything since I was face down anyway?

My Balancer warned me that the suction from the jars could leave marks on my skin for a few days, and the ones that were the most red were areas where the was helping the most with pain and circulation.

So, I'm going to post a few pictures. If you are easily grossed out, these pictures might not be for you, but I wanted to show you what the end result looks like because it really freaked Babe.

*These two pics are the day the actual was done. The spots under my bra straps on either side are actually pretty tender right now, but those are the only ones that have been that way in the three times I have done this.

*This picture is two days after the was done.

And no, those are not perfectly round hickeys. Ha!

So, to finish my story, after the jars were removed and the complete, My Balancer asked me to flip onto my back and then proceeded with the acupuncture on my collar bone area, stomach, calves, and feet. I felt "lighter," if that even makes sense, but I wasn't sure it was worth the cost of the treatment the first time I went.

I have been to My Balancer a total of three times, and I am now hooked! It has done wonders for me- I sleep better, have less digestive issues, my back pain has been reduced drastically, I have less headaches, feel less stressed and I think it is also helping improve my attitude in general.

I will continue going as long as I feel like it helps. In the mean time: Grief, you better watch out! I am on my way back up and will soon be able to whip you with my hands behind my back!

"He who conquers others is strong; he who conquers himself is mighty." (Lao-tzu)