Change of plans

Friday, July 30, 2010

We are picking up Bert TONIGHT! We just couldn't wait :)

Me and Banana went to the pet store last night to pick up some things for Bert. In some crazy way, she was acting kind of quiet, like she had such fun playing with Bert and where did he go? (I tell myself this is what she is thinking so the worry-wart part of me doesn't think that she's sad that she won't be our only pup anymore!! Haha, moving on...!!)

As I was driving there and feeling so excited to pick out new things (a boy collar! what fun!), I passed Target, the mecca of pregnant women who also have a toddler in their cart, or families of 8 where the parents are 2 years older than me. And, with glee, I thought to myself, I am going to the pet store! Not Target!

And it dawned on me that I had never seen an obviously pregnant woman in the pet store in the many times I've gone there. Because really, who sends their pregnant wife to the pet store with their dog to pick up a 50lb bag of dog food or a new collar or some treats? Of course pregnant women love their pets, but I think they delegate that errand to their husbands. At least in my area they do.

So, add that revelation to the excitement I was already feeling for getting Bert and to the love in my heart when I look at Banana, and I practically floated into the pet store. Banana was sure to distract all the puppies from their training in the aisles, which she loved, but I know their owners did not appreciate!! Among all Bert's new things, I got them both new name tags and Banana an actual kong treat instead of those silly apples I'm always putting in there ;-)

And it was great that the total wasn't quite as much as I thought it'd be! And then I turned with Banana and our cart to head out the door, and guess who is walking in?


Hahahahahahaha :-D


Thursday, July 29, 2010

We are home!! (Bert is the top pic, and Banana is the bottom pic)

Bert is WAY bigger (taller) than he looks in the photos!! (I think both the photos of them above make them looks smaller than they are- Banana is 54lbs, and he is probably the same, just taller.) He and Banana played nicely/as you would expect a pup and older-than-pup dog to play. They were kind of shy at first, but then they warmed up to each other and we being very playful and fun. He has a TON of energy, and he's probably at least good head taller than Banana. I'm hoping that since he is taller (and pretty strong) that he wouldn't hurt Banana, but I think she'd let him know if things were too rough...?? He seems really sweet and goofy, but he knows nothing about obedience (even "stop") so we'd have to start with teaching him things like we did with Banana. I think Mr. A will be great with him. I'm hoping that with a 2 mile walk in the morning and evening (and lunch?) that he'd have a little less energy than he did today! But who knows :) They have an application process where you fill out and then they verify, so we couldn't bring him home today. I think we'll wait until Tuesday to go get him because tomorrow my sister and I are getting our nails done, and Saturday my brother is coming to visit (have to leave here and go get him at the airport a ways away), and Sunday the SPCA is closed, and Monday I have volunteering. SO! I think we will probably go back to get him Tuesday unless we have a change of heart! He is definitely going to keep Banana on her toes- we will for sure have to make sure she gets a rest from time to time :) I didn't bring my camera to the shelter, so you will have to wait until Tuesday for actual pictures!

Pretty exciting but also kind of scary! I guess is what it feels like to have a second child. You know you have extra love to share, but you are also worried if you have enough love to share and how will you make each one feel special and precious. I'm pretty sure it works out, though, right?


Wednesday, July 28, 2010

What does an infertile couple with a cute as a button pup Banana do when they are sure that they won't get pregnant any time soon?

Go see about adopting another dog, of course!!!

Guess what his name is?


Is that not the cutest thing you have ever heard?! Our dogs will be Banana and Bert!!! CUUUUTE!!

We (us and Banana) are going to the shelter to meet Bert tomorrow afternoon. There is no guarantee that they will like each other, so this is totally not set in stone. She is 4 and he is 6 months. Our neighbors got an 8-wk old puppy last week, and Banana is so great with him (I think she thinks she's his mumma), so we're hoping that she would be good with Bert, too. They are the same breed, so we're also hoping that he has her great disposition, too.

So all you two-dog families out there, give me tips on how to do this, if we do this!!

I dare us to get pregnant this month ;-) HA!!


Monday, July 26, 2010

Everyone always tells you (me) "God will do immeasurably more than you ask or imagine." (Eph 3:20)

And sometimes, this makes me wary to think that God is going to plop a baby into my belly when everything is seeming to line up well. In other words, sometimes I worry that if I could imagine getting pregnant this month, then it isn't going to happen because God is going to do more than that.

Historically speaking, this has been true. You know, like last month, when I ovulated around my birthday and would be expecting a BFP on our anniversary. What perfect timing. What an amazing thing to have happen to our family. But nope, wasn't to be.

I just started to type that maybe that would have been too perfect, but then I honestly don't think that's possible when it comes to how God's plan for our lives will look in retrospect. And obviously, God does work in perfect situations (how many families with 3 kids, 2-years apart do you know?), but clearly not in my perfect situation. 'Cause I had one last month. Or at least it seemed that way to me.

But what is on my mind today is that I feel like I have another great month ahead of us, where it would be awesome to conceive, and where I'm getting alot of good vibes already:
  • First cycle on 100mg of clomid (after a year of failed higher-level stuff)
  • There was a pregnant woman in front of me when I dropped off my Rx
  • The pharmacist took clomid for both her kids, and she sensitively shared that with me!
  • I won a giveaway, about HOPE!!
  • August is a very special month for me, spirituality-wise
  • A good friend of mine sent me an amazing encouraging email and also shared with me her success (literally, she is pregnant now!) with wheatgrass, and I'm now giving it a try! But GEEZ, I might as well just scoop up some grass clippings into my lemonade instead of paying $25 for a month's supply- these tablets aren't winning any tasting contests!!
  • This is the first month where all our meat will come from the local farm, which we are VERY excited about
  • There was a family with SIX kids in front of us at church yesterday, and the youngest one (a baby boy) kept looking at me (HA! I can't even believe I included this on this list! It is so ridiculous- where else was he going to look when his mom had him on her shoulder?! Haha, I have lost it!)
  • And church, in general, yesterday was very uplifting for me
  • We would be 6w pregnant when my parents come to visit us for Labor Day- could tell them in person!
So all of these things makes me go "hmm" in a hopeful way, but then I wonder if that in itself is an indicator that it won't be "our month" because things look too good. Sometimes I have my own pity party that infertile-success stories are the ones that have to be in the "God working good out of misery" situations, but then again, those are some of the strongest testimonies.

So if you are like me, with your imagination running wild about how perfect every single month would be to get pregnant, be assured you're not alone. Sometimes I wonder if I should be imagining all the awful things that could happen, in order to give God a chance to really do more than I could imagine. Because, heck, I have a pretty great imagination!! (Let's be clear- I know it's not as good as God..) I'll just keep prayin' and making up how I'm going to tell people, as if it's going to happen someday. I'm sure God has a detail up His sleeve that I haven't thought of...


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Hate the 16dpo (just had to count) BFN. Gah. Looks like the progesterone supp's have delayed AF again.

Logically, I should all but given up hope right now. I mean, IV-stinkin-F didn't even work. What in the world would indicate to anyone that we'd be able conceive from here on out.

But that is the thing. The world says that ART is the final frontier, the last hope, and the ultimate baby making/family building practice.

God says different.

My dear friend at Making Me Mom had an amazing quote at the end of her post today, and I'm stealing borrowing it:

(From Radical by D.avid P.latt):

" . . . God actually delights in exalting our inability. He intentionally puts his people in situations where they come face to face with their need for him. In the process, he powerfully demonstrates his ability to provide everything his people need in ways they could never have mustered up or imagined. And in the end, he makes much of his own name."

That was the lift I needed tonight. (Thank you, Hillary, for posting it!!!) My hope is in the Lord, not the world. That quote is a reminder that God's ways are not our ways, His plan for us will be awesome and not a day late, and that He will take what little we have and turn it into something beautiful and amazing.

Admittedly, I feel kind of raw right now, especially when there are so many exciting things (i.e. pregnancies) happening to so many of my bloggy buddies. But just because I'm feeling raw today doesn't mean that I won't heal. Just that I need to be gentle with myself and rest, surrounded by the blessings that I have been given. I always like to picture myself crumpled in God's huge hands at times like this. It's very comforting to know that no matter how weak I feel, He will hold me up.

(PS. I am loving our grocery discussion (below)- more opinions welcome! I'm going to do a follow-up post soon!)

A Grocery Debate

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

I'd like to have one, that is.

Mr. A and I are always amazed to hear about someone we know in real life who's having trouble conceiving. He is convinced (I'm almost there) that there are definitely more people nowadays that deal with infertility than the days of yore. (What is a yore? misfit, I'm sure you will tell me!) I'm not sure if it was just way more taboo in the past (which is saying something, considering it is still taboo), or if there are literally more people affected today.

Our fuzzy conclusion is that it has to have something to do with the way we (in general, as a culture) eat. Unlike the olden days when the milk on the table came straight from the barn, the normal milk everyone reaches for possibly contains hormones. And so forth, when it comes to all kinds of poultry/meat/dairy and the processed dinners or treats in a box or bag. And, when an infertile gal's hormones are already out of whack, the last thing she needs is some added ones here and there, or random unnatural ingredients or preservatives.

(Let's pause for a moment for me to identify a couple holes in our theory. Number one, I'm pretty sure ad.dicts are not making sure to eat their recommended doses of fruits and veggies each day (not to mention aiming to eat organic fruits and veggies!), and yet they manage to have as many kids as they want. Number two, I am a from-scratch cooker anyway- I can't remember the last time our dinner came from a box or freezer bag. But I think the quality of ingredients could be higher in what I make.)

But anyway, so we have decided to go as "whole" as possible. Organic milk/cheese/produce/pasta/snacks, and local-Menn.onite farm fresh (i.e. no hormones/meds) poultry/meat/eggs, and even switching to organic/natural cle.aning things and sham.poo and soa.p and stuff (have you heard that paraben.s are bad?). And, there is definitely a price difference. Minimally noticeable with the milk/cheese/produce, but at least a dollar a pound more when it comes to the farm things. (Which, I might add, why is organic more? They use LESS stuff to grow whatever it is they're growing, so shouldn't it be cheaper?)

As my long-time readers know, we follow Dav.e R.amsey's budget plan of a set cash-only budget for monthly expenses, like groceries. So, while I consider myself to be a careful keeper of the grocery budget (not once in our 2.5 years of doing it that way have we had to eat saltines and water for dinner on the 30th of a month!), especially when I pull away from the farmhouse, I am noticing a little less cash in the envelope. In addition, there are way less coupons for organic things, and pretty much no coupons for produce. My farm doesn't have buy one get one free on roasts, etc. (Although they did have $2 off per chicken last week!)

So, the debate I'd like to have is this:

Is it worth it to you to eat more "who.le" foods, if they cost more? Have you considered eating more naturally/organically but decided against it because of cost or the lack of evidence that it makes a difference (especially with regard to infertility)?

We feel really good about trying to eat/live this way, and if we have to be even more protective of our grocery dollars, for now I think we'll be doing just that!

Growth Spurt

Thursday, July 15, 2010

I am going through bloggie-growing pains I think. And not that I remember whether actual growing pains were uncomfortable, bloggie-growing pains sure sure do suck.

We have clearly taken a step away from the TTC Circus since our failed IVF. And, we are enjoying the normalcy of every day life as regular people, not the strung out I-have-to-be-home-at-6pm-to-do-my-shot and sorry-I-can't-go-swimming-because-I'm-having-my-period-and-tampons-are-bad-for-vaginal-pH person I used to be, and not the husband who was unfailingly supportive but also emotionally drained husband he used to be.

But while we were "those people", the IF-blogging community was such an amazing part of my support system. I was so connected and had so much in common with others going through treatments. I had bloodwork to compare and an embie to love. But then our embie didn't stay here with us, and we stopped treatments.

I wondered if people would keep reading if I was posting about non-ttc things, and bless their hearts, many readers promised they would. And not like I blog just for the comments (although, seriously never underestimate the power of comments-the virtual hugs!), but based solely on the data, my non-ttc things blogs have been dreadfully uninspiring to you all. Really, though, to be fair, it is no surprise that my recent thoughts are not as alluring because, let's face it, this is an INFERTILITY community, and while we are still struggling with that in our hearts, we are not doing anything about it. Meanwhile, the rest of you plug along in your RE clinics, while I'm not going anywhere near mine.

So, don't feel bad. I know I'm not in the throws of injectables or anticipating a transfer or posting belly shots or baby pictures.

But at the same time, I end up wondering how I can still be a part of this community without really taking part in what this community does. Am I still a part? In my heart I hope so, because Lord knows I have no idea where else I'd belong at this point.

Maybe it's because I got so used to posting so often that posting less regularly feels like I'm dropping some huge ball. I can think of at least one of you who didn't post that much during her struggle with infertility, but I never doubted that she was a part of our community, so maybe my frame of reference is off, and it's like I never left.

And maybe I don't know if it's just me, and I don't even know if I should be estimating this because it's not like I have been a great commenter lately, either, but is there a general lack of energy around here lately? I think back to April when so many of us were in the trenches and how my newest bloglist post list would almost constantly be changing. Then, so many of us were left with empty arms AGAIN, while a few blessed ones have gone on to belly shots. I don't know if the rest of us have recovered fully yet (myself included).

Speaking of my Baby Bumps (especially all the new ones- wow!), how selfish is it of me to want them to come read my blog and leave encouraging comments when somedays I cannot even click on their newest post? Craziness. How can I even justify that?? Not because I'm not happy for them (I think it's safe to say you all know what I mean), but some days I just don't know if I have the energy to process all of everyone's amazing baby/bump news. Sure, my life is pretty darn good, but there are some days when I have to keep repeating that to myself to fend off the self-pity.

A few days ago, my friend K emailed me this link to a practice that specializes in immunology testing. They claim to have a great success rate, and she thought maybe I would like to read more. I have to admit, I have never so quickly and fearfully scanned a website in my whole life. I didn't want to understand anything. I didn't want anything to catch my eye. I didn't want to stop too long to think, hey, maybe I do need that $4000 test. Because, as you all know, we had an extra savings account for our baby-making adventures, and it is all dry. I am just as financially conservative and pragmatic as Mr. A is, and at this point, I feel like I can't lure myself into what the latest and greatest diagnostic test is, given that their whole practice is fee-for-service (i.e. no insurance accepted). Maybe, MAYBE if we ever consider ART again, we will look into it. But we're not even sure if we'll do that.

I really appreciated her sending me the link (I'll add it to this post tomorrow), but it just emphasized to me how emotionally detached I've become from all the interventions. I have been so hurt by them, and I understand why abus.e vi.ctims just completely recoil and withdraw, especially from their perpet.rator. After all the hurt that we went through with the last year of treatments, the last thing we want to do at this point is go running back into the open arms of rejection and disappointment and failure. I honestly have no idea how multiple-IVF'ers do it.

So while I don't know if recognizing how hurt I've felt is a growth in the right direction, I do feel like I took a positive step today in meeting with my ob/gyn. Although their office and lab are not nearly as efficient as my RE's, it was good to be back there. My ob/gyn (let's call him Dr. M) prescribed 100mg of clomid and ordered TSH, T3, and T4 levels. (I know I was supposed to ask for the antibodies, but I forgot...). Dr. M said that we'll touch base again in 3 months if I'm not pregnant, and then we can go from there. I told him that Mr. A and I have pretty low expectations, given the fact that IVF didn't work, but we're still interested in "trying", so why not include clomid in the boat since it is so cheap and I don't get side effects. (Watch, now that I said that, 100mg will knock me on my tail.) I am very happy with this course of events. Very low intervention, pretty low expectations, normal s.ex life, pretty high hope, and very high chance for an amazing testimony. I'll take it!

Maybe slow and steady growth is the best kind, but it sure can be grueling. My apologies for not posting that often and then writing a novel this afternoon. Thanks for reading!!

(Edited to add, that I didn't mean to imply that anyone necessarily abandoned me (you girls are so sweet!), just that it is remarkable how we are all (myself included) so excited to comment on a great u/s result or progesterone number while we are not as relatively impressed with the other minutae of our lives.) (enough parantheses for you? haha!)

Going backwards

Friday, July 09, 2010

So, I think I might be the most fickle infertility patient ever. Especially cozy under my new apathy blanket.

I had made an appointment with the other RE, but especially after their billing comments, I just did not have peace about it. We are not planning on doing any big-time treatments (e.g. injectables/ART) for the forseeable future, so what was emphasized to me in prayer is why not return to my ob/gyn if all I'm going to be possibly doing is clomid/progesterone supps and some 7dpo bloodwork here and there. They might have a way less efficient office (scheduling-wise...just assume you're going to wait half an hour when you arrive for your appointment) and they might consider 6.4 to be an acceptable 7dpo progesterone (which is lower than the RE's acceptable 10, but maybe for the normal population, that is fine?), but I think with the knowledge I have from the past year, I can be a better advocate for myself with any particular test result. Not to mention driving the 5 miles there is so much more attractive than the 45 to my RE's office...

So I called and left a message for my ob/gyn's nurse yesterday (she is so bubbly and helpful!), and she called me back and said that my ob/gyn would like to talk with me to go over the last year and then go from there. She is so different from my RE's nurse, and honestly, just talking to her made me feel so good about calling there and taking this route. So I'm taking that as a confirmation that it's the way to go. I'm meeting with him next Thursday. I do plan on asking him to retest my thyroid. And I think I'll ask for a higher dose of clomid, too. This feels right.

(Time to cancel the other RE's appt!)

In some ways it definitely feels like I'm moving backwards by "switching" to my ob/gyn. But, I'm actually okay with going backwards. Back to the time when we didn't know there was any issue, back to the time when we were so excited to have just the two of us, and back to the time when we were sure we'd be parents.

Maybe I am delirious, but we have been so happy lately. I have been driving with all the windows down, Michael Buble blaring, and me singing at the top of my lungs. Mr. A and I have been chasing each other around the pool, taking Banana for long walks at sunset (although this is mostly because she doesn't like walking at 5pm when it is 300F here!), and dreaming of a great and fun future. We have been eating our home-grown veggies (which reminds me, I tried to make refrigerator pickles the other day with our cucumbers, and I have to see how they taste!), and buying more organic food. I was emailing with my friend K yesterday, and I wrote how it is a little odd and unexpected that we'd feel so stress-free about trying less than 2 months after our failed IVF attempt. But I am thankful for the way my heart is feeling these days. I can only attribute it to grace from God, because logically, I think I should still be grieving and being anxious about what happens next.

Speaking of K, please keep her in your prayers. She is having a rough week in this "IF hell hole", as she so affectionately calls it. We have been praying that God would allow us to be pregnant together, but even if one of us gets pregnant before the other, it will allow us to be an example to the other that God works miracles even in the most difficult and improbable situations.

I know that You can do all things,
and that
no purpose of Yours can be thwarted.
Job 42:2


Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Did any of you watch Jake and Vienna's breakup interview Monday night? I watched it on hulu last night, and it is UN-REAL. No wonder 50% of marriages today end in divorce. Lucky for them, they were still "engaged", if you can call it that after such a show. Here is my reaction, in a set of letters:

Dear Vienna, I cannot believe how disrespectful you are of Jake. I would never in a million years interrupt my husband the way you do. Even during arguments or disagreements, wives should be respectful of their husbands. (Okay, I know you weren't married, but the point is the same.) Before your next relationship, you should pick up Eggerich's Love and Respect. Undermining your husband is one of the most disrespectful ways you can treat your husband. You should be respectful at all times. I had to laugh at the story during the interview when Jake was saying how you asked him where a certain building was and he told you, but then right in front of him, you pulled out the GPS and double checked him. My husband would have been really upset, too. How disrespectful! You say that you moved to L.A. to support him during his DWTS apperance, but you appear very resentful of the move. Actions speak louder than words- you can't say your supportive and then pout in the corner and then get all teary that people didn't view being all fussy as you being supportive.

....I also had to laugh when you were bemoaning the fact that once the show ended and you guys moved in together, it wasn't as steamy or romantic or kissy. Welcome to real life, honey. I'm not saying that us normal married people don't have our romps in the hay, but it sounded like you expected him to come home and make out with you the minute he walks through the door. Forget it! Marriage is not built only on physical intimacy, sweetie. You can't expect Bachelor-style kissy-faces and fantasy suites every day for the rest of your life. And you know what, if it is true that even emotional intimacy lacked after a while, I'm really sorry about that, but it could be that you were so fussy and argumentative to him that the last thing he felt like doing was cuddling on the couch.

Of course, based on my favorite book above, Jake should have been unconditionally loving to you anyway. It's a circle, see? You are always respectful, and he feeds off that and always shows you love. And then since you feel loved, you're motivated to respect him. And around and around you go in a happy relationship!!! But first you have to reprogram your view that respectful women/wives only sit there with their hands folded and look pretty and do whatever their husband wants. There are respectful ways to disagree with your husband. Nobody's perfect. But you should honor your husband, even when you don't feel like it.

Sincerely, Mrs. A


Dear Jake, I watched the last few episodes of your season, and I was shocked with the rest of the galaxy that you chose Vienna. What does your family say? I hope they are supportive of you right now.

I am sorry that your relationship ended so badly. From the interview, it is clear that there was a gross lack of respect of you from Vienna, and as a devoted, Christian wife, I do hope you hold out for a girl who will respect you as the leader of your family. (I know Vienna said you wouldn't find such a girl, but I think you will.) I hope you will find someone who is selfless and willing to truly support you in whatever career you find yourself in. At the very least, I hope you find someone who you can have an level-headed adult-style disagreement with, without all the interrupting and foot stomping and hysteria.

But you should check out the book I mentioned to Vienna above. If you read it, you will find that your duty as a husband is to love your wife. Even when she is fussy, even when she is mad, even when she questions your expertise. It is not easy. But your wife will thrive on this unconditional love, and it will entice her to be more unconditionally respectful. The more you guys practice love and respect in good times AND bad, the more solid your relationship will be. I wish you all the best :)

Sincerely, Mrs. A

Back from our trip

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Banana and I are back! We are so glad to be home and with Mr. A again. I'm so thankful that home is a place I long to be, because I know for many people, that's not the case.

We had a nice time with my sister and extended family (our trip was to go meet up with everyone). Here are some pics:

My grandpa, unfortunately, is steadily declining, and it's just hard to hear that he's in pain. He tries to avoid taking his painki.llers because sometimes they make him feel woozy, but then if he takes them too late, his pain is unmanageable. So, he's resigning himself to taking them on a more regular schedule. Like I said, it's difficult to hear that he's hurting. I just pray that God will protect him from any bizzare pain that can't be controlled. My dad thinks he might not be with us more than another couple of months. Please pray for our family, as I think this next year will hold alot of changes for us!

It was nice to hang out with my cousins and aunts and uncles, though. Now that we're all grown-up's, it's kind of neat to see how we all relate and interact with each other. We're lucky in that we all have a pretty rockin' time together!

I also got to talk with our family friends who, along with their extended families, go on vacation in the same place the same week every year as my family. Their son is my age, and he and I were definitely summer sweethearts because of our families' vacation schedules! We didn't go to the same college, but we definitely kept in touch and during our senior year, there was talk about us trying to date after college. He felt it would be too difficult because he was going to law school a little ways away from where I was moving, and although I was admittedly disappointed at the time, there wasn't much I could do. However, he ended up meeting and marrying a girl who forbids him to have any contact with his family. Like, any. Like, not even his parents were invited to their wedding (I think it was 5-6 years ago.). Yah. As awesome as his parents are (I guess they had their reservations about this girl, and that was her way of dealing with it), I cannot believe that he chose her over them. Cannot believe it. I haven't been on vacation with my family for 6 years, but his parents and I got to talk several times while I was there last week and we even exchanged emails so we could keep in touch. It just breaks my heart of what they've been through, basically losing their son. Their whole family does not even talk about him in any way- my brother asked them how he was doing, and his cousin cut my brother off the minute he mentioned his name. I really hope we can start to email back and forth because they are such fun, amazing people!

And after a great time with everyone, Banana and I had a really smooth drive home yesterday. I am lucky she is such a good car-rider! We are so glad to be back :) Mr. A surprised me and ordered us a new kitchen table set while we were gone! He's going to pick it up soon, and I can't wait! The kitchen table we have now is seriously old- my mentor at work gave it to me 8 years ago after she and her family replaced it in their house! It has kind of retro rolly-chairs and the upholstery (and one of the whole chairs) is in need of repair/replacement. The new set Mr. A ordered is Amis.h-built, and it is beautiful solid wood. So in love with him that he can pick out furniture I like, without me! Ha!!

I had no cell service at the campsite, but I've tried to read and catch up with you guys in the last couple days. Will return to commenting soon! I've been praying for everyone, though. My prayer list is portable and not dependent on cell service!

One thing that I did want to mention is that I've read some blogs lately that characterize IVF as the easy way out. It just burns my heart to read that. While I think it's simple for someone who hasn't been through it to say that IVF is easy, I'd love to hear from someone who did IVF and considered it easy in any way. We made God-honoring decisions during our IVF journey, and it was anything but easy. It was probably one of the hardest things we've ever had to do. I think that from the outside, it seems easy (the successes, that is- it is also easy to forget that God doesn't always choose to bless a couple with a child that way). But I caution people who haven't been through it against labelling those who prayerfully choose IVF as taking the easy way out. God remains the sole Creator of life no matter how you slice it.

I hope everyone has a fun long weekend! Banana is scared of the fireworks, so we will probably spend the next few evenings trying to keep her from hypeventilating. We're considering getting one of these shirts- have you ever used/heard of them?

God bless the USA :)