Grown Up Celebrating

Sunday, November 28, 2010

I have been reflecting on our Thanksgiving with Mr. A's family.

Our families are pretty different, and the older I get, I realize that even more.

My family has two spiritual parents, three girls, and a boy.

His family has no spiritual leaders (his dad never went to church, and his mom took the kids, but never displayed any devotion/involvement herself; side note is that his dad recently told me that he regrets not being an example of spirituality for his sons), and three boys.

My family does family celebrations (e.g. Thanksgiving, Christmas) in a big, organized, scheduled and Christian way.

His family does family celebrations in a casual, laid back, whatever-happens-happens way.

When Mr. A and I first met, it was refreshing to spend holidays (I use this term only to describe the months of November and December. I would never refer to Christmas itself as the "holiday".) with his family because it was so much more casual than with my family. With my family, you better count on spending several hours at a time on one evening all standing around my mom at the piano singing verses of The Little Drummer Boy. For a 22-year old, who is used to living by herself in peace and quiet, that was a little too much.

I thought it was great how his family was all together, but you could still sneak off for a quiet nap or reading time in one of their recliners and no one was begging you to go sit by the tree all together.

But now, years later, times with his family have grown a bit too casual for me. I want the excitement and priority of family time and togetherness.

Case in point, Thanksgiving with them was good but missing something. I called his mom the Friday prior to ask about the menu and what I could bring and she told me, well, I haven't really thought about it yet!

"Say what!!!," I thought, "Thanksgiving is next week and you HAVEN'T THOUGHT ABOUT IT?!"

Meanwhile, I had been excitedly hoping for at least two weeks to bring the pies and the natural turkey and looking forward to spending some time with Mr. A's brothers.

Turns out that one of his brothers left just hours after we had eaten Thanksgiving dinner (lunch), and the other brother left Friday morning, and there just wasn't that feeling that everyone was so happy to be all together. It was like any Sunday dinner.

That was a bummer to me. Clearly the boys take their cues from the parents, and I just don't think they set forth that they were wanting us all to make it a priority to spend some quality time together this Thanksgiving.

And I'd like to take this opportunity to blame infertility for this one. I don't doubt for one second that if we were expecting or (heaven forbid) already had a baby that it would have been so exciting and so important for everyone to spend time together. We all would have been dreaming of when we could get together again, instead of knowing that we really don't meet up that often. We would have been passing the baby around or voting for name choices. I can just imagine.

Instead, I was having water instead of wine (of course I could have had a bottle to myself, I found out the day after when I started my period), and we were helping his parents put up closet doors instead of sitting around with everyone laughing and having a good time. Not that we don't like to help his parents, but it was just kind of a mundane chore for the day after Thanksgiving.

My family is coming to our house for Christmas this year, and the celebrating will be very different. It will be reverent, and merry, and bright, and LOUD, and filled with lots of cherished people and good things to eat, excitedly planned and prepared. I can't even imagine how much more merry and bright it would be if we were parents, because it is already to the max of family togetherness and cheesiness.

I hope if (when) we are parents, we will be able to strike a good balance of the laid-back and the type-A family celebrations. It would be nice for there to be an emphasis and priority on time spent together, without making you feel like you can't go to the bathroom in peace.

So unfortunately, this season has gotten off to kind of a ho-hum start for me. I did order our Christmas cards yesterday, though, so that is a start. And I'm thinking of getting some blue lights to put up outside this year. My grandfather always put up blue lights at Christmas, and I think it would be a fitting tribute to him, as it's our first Christmas without him.

What are you doing to get in the Christmas mood? Are you having difficulty or is your house already the scene of Christmas perfection?

happy cd1

Friday, November 26, 2010

Oh wait, i mean thanksgiving!

Story of my life: you will get your period during every major holiday.

We have had a good but mildly frustrating time with mr.a's family. Their house is not dogproof, and bert & banana are getting into everything. His parents say not to worry about what the dogs are doing, but then they get all flustered if bert smells the nutbowl on the coffee table and leaves a nose mark on the glass.

Mr.a's brothers both left this morning, and i think we might leave this afternoon. We all miss home!!

But my turkey and pies were DELICIOUS!
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Good morning

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

I met up with my friend for coffee this morning, before we each were picking up our turkeys at the mennonite farm. Mine is TWENTY SEVEN pounds. Holy leftovers!!!

It was really nice to just sit and talk with her. Her younger two children were at preschool, and her older three were at home working on homework (they homeschool). So it was just the two of us, and we talked about all kinds of things. I finally feel like I have made a friend here who I can talk about anything with!

Including if I know when I'm ovulating.

And when I said, yah, I can mostly tell based on my body's signals, she told me that she's not sure if she is ovulating or not.


You guessed it! They are trying for #6!

And, while you may think I would have spit out my coffee chai tea latte and walked home, I am remarkably peaceful about them trying, knowing that they will probably have success before we do. Maybe it's because I know that they totally consider all their kids to be precious gifts on-loan from God. That makes a huge difference to me with how I can relate to you as a mom. If you are the type to parade "your" kids around just because you can, I would not be so excited and supportive if you were trying for #6.

She is 9 years older than me, but thanks to this crazy train, I know alot about (in)fertility, and I think it was nice for her to talk to someone who knows something about it. I even gave her such meaningless advice such as pumpkin is good for implantation!! HA!! Haven't we all tried that??

She and her husband lost a baby at 10weeks in February (I had no idea), and ever since then they have been trying to no avail. She just started temping and is just getting the hang of it again. She thought she was pregnant last month, but after several negative tests, she got her period days later. I told her that I knew the disappointment of that, and that anyone who wants to be pregnant and isn't feels the same hurt.

What she said next is the reason why I think she is going to become a dear friend.

She said "I could never compare my disappointment to yours, because I have my other children around me to support me when I'm disappointed."

I mean, I felt so much compassion and sensitivity when she said that. And despite her saying that, I still maintain what I say- the hurt is all the same.

Of course we discussed the obligatory wouldn't-it-be-great-if-God-allowed-us-to-be-pregnant-at-the-same-time, and you know what, a miracle of that type would be welcomed with open arms. I'm not expecting it, but that is the point of a miracle, isn't it?

I told her that one time when I arrived at church early, I found myself in prayer and overwhelmed by the notion that I will be standing in that church carrying our child one day. I sure hope and pray that day is soon. I told her that I'm worried that feeling was fake, but she said it sounds like the devil trying to cause me to doubt what she thinks was genuine encouragement from the Spirit.

Join me in praying for my dear friend, for her baby in heaven, and that we might both be blessed soon.


Monday, November 22, 2010

Attending church continues to be a labor of love for me. Sometimes I leave feeling uplifted, but more often than not, I leave feeling lonely.

I know that my experience at church should be focused on God- the whole reason we go- but it is easy to get sidetracked when some perfect family out of the pages of sits right in front of you and their baby is the cutest thing you ever saw. I try to concentrate on hearing what God would have me hear, instead of wishing I was the one taking my toddler out to go to the bathroom.

But it's tough. On normal Sunday's.

And then there are extraordinary Sunday's like yesterday when I left in such a disappointed fog that I couldn't even believe it.

Some background, there is this family at church with whom I'm acquainted through a mutual friend (who also has 5 kids), and they have 5 kids. I know that one of them- their young son- is quite a handful.

So the father of those kids gets up at the end of the service and asking the men of the congregation to commit to being men of prayer and opportunities for them to live out being prayerful men. He says "In prayer, I discovered that I was meant to be a married man, and now I've been blessed with 5 kids. Well, 4 kids and one cross- my three year old."


I could barely believe my ears. I could not believe that this man, in front of all of us, called his PRECIOUS CHILD a cross!!! Just because he is less perfectly-behaved than their other kids!! I was so sad. Sad for the son, sad for the father, and sad for me.

I'd like to see him take on my cross for a while. See how it would feel to sit in church- which is already nearly unbearable in the presence of all the other fruitful families- and have someone make a joke about how their fiesty three year old is a cross. See how it would feel to pray for a baby for THREE YEARS with not so much as the slightest nod from heaven. See how it would feel to feel like an unaccepted member of society because you have no children.

I know those of us who struggle with infertility are acutely aware of this cross of ours. And I know (imagine) that if you have 4 perfect children and then you have a son who gets into alot of mischief, it might seem like a cross. But let's be clear. It is his behavior that is the cross, perhaps. Not the boy himself. To call him a cross, especially in public, especially in CHURCH, is degrading and irrerevant and ungrateful, in my humble infertile opinion.

I emailed my friend of my incredible hurt, and she has responded with the utmost compassion and gentleness. And as all of us do, we learn to bounce back from these heart wrenching situations.

Maybe church won't be such a hard place to go, someday.

Antagonistic Mail

Saturday, November 20, 2010

I think my insurance company hates me.

It never fails. At least three time in the last year and always when I'm in the 2ww, they send me this mailer.

On the front is this woman, with a hint of wonder in her eyes, clearly pondering something. It says beneath her face "Are you ready for a New Adventure?"

Cue the eye roll.

Then you open it and it says "Motherhood is one of life's greatest accomplishments...." and although there are tons of other words on the page, I am obviously unable to read any further!!!

They have this healthy pregnancy program, and if you are thinking of having a baby, you should call now and they will send you this packet of stuff which is clearly applicable to the rest of the general population who can have babies at their earliest whim!!!


Can't they review the tons of claims that have been filed in the last 2 years and logically conclude that I do not need this kind of material!?!?!?!?

Resolution and FOOD!!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Only six comments yesterday?!?! Do you guys think I am a terrible person?

I think it's time for a resolution of all this friend drama. My dear friend H (one of this group that I will be keeping in touch with!) said it best yesterday in an email: "Friendship doesn't need to be this much work and this much drama."

I do have a peace about it. Actually, it feels like I have been freed of the worry about my place in their eyes. Ever since they have been having kids and I have been trying to fit in, it has been a source of strife for me to figure out how I could still fit in. Now I don't have to worry about that.

I was actually surprised at my counselor's take on this whole situation: that there must be something special about our friendships to have lasted this long. I'm not saying that there wasn't something special, I'm just not sure it still exists among all of us (certain people it definitely still is there). My counselor's comments were just different than I expected because, in my eyes, counselors are there to help you with your person, not to have you figure out how you can still belong among others. It's like me trying to jam myself into jeans I wore in high school and doing that for years, until I finally accept that my high school jeans just don't fit anymore because I've grown up since then. I feel like my counselor was saying "But you loved those jeans, didn't you? Maybe you could still try to jam yourself into them", instead of acknowledging that maybe that was not the best thing for me to do right now.

I am disappointed about how they've treated me, but I can't change what has happened. I was honest with them about our struggle and how I'd still like to be included in their lives. It has been very hurtful, and I don't know if they will ever make a noticeable effort to include me again. (If they do appear to want to include me back into their clique, I suppose that I would not be opposed, but my trust in them has been badly broken, so it will take alot of time to rebuild that.) But I do have a peace about deciding/accepting that they can go their own way, and I'm not going to fret if that way doesn't include me. The disappointing part is that I know that people with kids can be awesome friends and wonderful supports. My friends here and here and here and here are shining examples that you don't have to become elitist when you have kids and testament to the fact that I don't live my life running to the hills when a friend of mine has a baby. I just long to be included even though I don't have one yet. And when I don't quite know how to convince myself that I matter as much as they do, I need some patience and understanding.

But seriously. Enough of the drama. Onto some food!

Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and I am making my list of things to get at the store for the PIES!!! (And some more pads for when I start my period the day after, but I digress...)

Here is one of my favorites, my mom's recipe for Pumpkin Pie!

1 unbaked crust (1 cup flour, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/3 cup shortening (or more as needed), 5ish Tb cold water)
1 can of pumpkin puree or 3-4 cups of mashed cooked pumpkin
2 eggs
1 can evaporated milk
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp cloves

(Preheat oven to 400F)

For crust: Combine flour and salt. Cut in shortening until the mixture is crumbly. Add water and knead until a dough ball forms. Roll out the dough so that it fits your pie plate.

For filling: Dump all the ingredients into your mixer and give it a whirl until it is all blended/homogeneous. Pour into the pie crust.

Bake the pie at 400F for 15 minutes, then reduce the temp to 350F and bake for 45 minutes or until the filling is set.


Thursday, November 18, 2010

I think I have made a decision.

I think I have decided to just let the friendship(s) go. There are a couple of girls that I will keep in touch with individually, but in a nutshell, I think whatever fallout from my confrontation email would be even more painful for me than being silent. I am so hurt already that I don't think I can handle any more from this group.

Because let's face it, she is going to say that she thought it would hurt me, and I'm going to have to go into the whole "but I asked to be included", and then chances are that I will still be excluded because, as Al said in the comments yesterday, fertile people seem to assume that they know how to treat us better than we do.

I am afraid of coming across like I am pushing people away. But Mr. A noted that since they are not emailing me anyway, it's not like I wouldn't be responding to them. Of course if they do email me, I will respond as though nothing is amiss, so as not to be offstandish. But clearly they feel like there is a difference between them and me, and even though I tried to emphasize that I want to be included despite my circumstances, they have decided for themselves that there is information that I do not need to know. I cannot control whether or not they include me.

I wonder how they would feel if they knew that I went to therapy because of them?

Mr. A has always felt unwelcomed and demeaned by (many of) this particular set of friends, and he says that he is not surprised that I am feeling this from them now. It makes me sad that this has happened. I don't really have that many other friends, so I think one of the reasons I'm tempted to hang on despite how they treat me is that at least then I can count them among my friends.

But friends are people who support and love you. They will be with you through thick and thin. I do not feel love or support from several of them, and so maybe they are not the friends I thought they were. I always try to put myself in their shoes, and I think I would have tried to be as sensitive and inclusive and comforting as possible to me, if I had received the emails that I've sent. Clearly it's not impossible- one other of them did everything perfectly when she found out she was expecting #2. So obviously, if one of them could act compassionately, my expectations of them are not out of line, right?

It will be interesting to see how this plays out. I have a separate "mom friend" folder that all their emails are filtered to automatically, and we'll see if any messages pop up. I'm not holding my breath. Obviously I have no idea what it's like.

Can't Decide

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

I can't decide if I whether to email my "friend", as my counselor suggested.

On the one hand, it would feel good to let her know that her veiled attempt at not telling me has been dashed. It would probably be good for me to force myself to write "but I'm happy for you". And inherently, it would be good for me to practice what I say, that I really do want to be included in what's going on.

On the other hand, she might become defensive (especially with all the pregnancy hormones that clearly I have no idea about) and start ranting to me that she was just trying to protect me, even after I asked to be included. Also it's not like the two of us were the closest of us 8 college buddies, so I'm not sure that forcing the issue is worth it. And there is a good chance that I will still be excluded.

I still can't understand how she thinks this will work logistically. Because as of now, she is going to have to exclude me on every further update for the rest of ever, because for all she knows, I don't know she is pregnant, or that in 9 months she will have a baby. Can you imagine that? She emails everyone (including me) in May or June or whatever that her baby is here with a "PS. Sorry I didn't tell you I was pregnant, A." Ha! I almost want her to keep excluding me, just so I have more ammo when I unleash all of what I know. Oh wait, that is the ugly infertility speaking.

And what the blazes are my other friends thinking? Only one told me when I asked, and no one else has contacted me. Are they feeling sorry for me? Are they encouraging her to tell me like I asked?? Are they too busy changing diapers that they could care less?

I really don't appreciate being put in this position.


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

If you go to see a counselor (who is maybe 60ish and definitely not pregnant, haha) about dealing with infertility, she might ask you if you've tried natural progesterone cream.


She honestly did say that, and I had to shake my head and appear very honestly interested in her advice.

All in all, my session was generally good, but nothing earth shattering as I hoped it would be. Don't counselors have the "how to" manual on living well with infertility? What, one doesn't exist? Is it because "living well" stands obnoxiously in stark contrast to "infertility"?

We talked about how I feel abandoned by my friends, especially since I'd felt so close to them in school. We talked about how sometimes it feels like I'm not good enough for God to give me a baby, even though I know that isn't true. We talked about how my childhood was, and the fact that I've never felt inferior until my friends started being wildly prolific while in the meantime the only thing I can make is an apple crisp. We talked about how Mr. A is great.

She told me that I should not feel bad that I feel sad about being childless. She told me I should any time I feel attacked by infertility, I should take a moment and meditate, picturing myself in a warm safe place where I feel beautiful and happy (Labor and Delivery suite? Oh wait, ....) She told me I should email my friend who left me out of her pregnancy announcement and tell her that I was very hurt she hasn't told me, but that I am very happy for her.

I have never been to a counselor before, so I think I expected too much. I expected me to say "I feel left behind" or "I feel inadequate" or "I feel less worthy than people with kids" and she would give me things I could do or think to (I guess) fill my thoughts and life with other things so I wouldn't have the space or time to consider our three empty bedrooms. (She did give me a couple concrete suggestions, but I think I had the bar too high.) Or maybe that isn't the point of counseling, to fill your life with good things so you don't have time to deal with the bad things. Maybe the point is really to just talk about the bad things enough so that you become so comfortable with them that they're not so bad anymore.

Hey, maybe I just gave myself a breakthrough.

I should write myself a check for $120.

I made an appointment for next week, but I am not sure I will keep it. This is more expensive than acupuncture, and I'm not sure I will perceive it as helping as much. On the other hand, I am feeling really great right now, so maybe it helped more subconsciously than I'm aware of.

The one thing that she did say that perked up my ears is when she was reviewing all of the blessings I recounted for her. She said "you have a husband who loves you, two great dogs who depend on you...." I never thought of my dogs depending on me, even though I guess they do. I know people who humanize their dogs can be a little wacky, but if I remind myself that they depend on me, maybe that will help me feel a little less useless, in the realm of not "mothering" anyone/thing.

Long story short, I think every infertile should try counseling once. It would be amazing if you could find someone with infertility experience, but even if yours hasn't struggled with it, you still might be able to come away from the session with a couple foods for thought. I'm glad I went today :)

T-minus 3 hours

My appointment is at 1:45pm. Today is cold and rainy and gray. Hopefully the session will not be the same!!

From the material they sent with my forms, it seems like even if I were to call to try to get authorization, they may not approve because it's not for a medical diagnosis, e.g. bipolar, depression. I mean, of course infertility sucks the life out of you and then stomps on your soul, but it's not like I am thinking about jumping off a bridge (no joking about that intended).

And I think calling and putting it out there that I was thinking of going, and then being denied, and having the request STILL be in my file would be one of my least desired outcomes. So I will gladly self-pay to see what it will all be about. I think the sessions are an hour long, and it is kind of funny when I think of all the infertility crap I could unload on this poor girl. I could probably talk the whole hour without her getting a word in edgewise! We'll see how it goes.

She better not be pregnant. ;-)


Monday, November 15, 2010

I decided to take it daily- from what I can tell, royal jelly has good effects on all hormones, so conceivably (get it?) that would include progesterone, which is important in the 2ww! I also read that it has anti-inflammatory properties which is also good in the 2ww. Here's hoping for the best!

The kind I got is royal jelly in honey with bee pollen. It tastes like kind of bitter or more condensed honey. According the package, you're not supposed to put it in hot water (degrades it somehow), so I just take a teaspoon hunk (on a plastic spoon, also supposedly very important to keep it from degrading) and keep it on my tongue and wash it down with juice. Then I add my wheatgrass powder to my juice and swig that down, too.

The things we do for baby.

I have taken three days of the royal jelly so far, and to be honest, I do notice that I wake more easily in the morning, i.e. I don't feel like it will take a front loader to get me out of bed! I think that is a good improvement!

We feel really good about how we have changed most all of our food to organic and natural. We are bringing our fresh farm-raised turkey (non hormone/antibiotic/GMO-feed) to Mr. A's parents' for Thanksgiving, but what about all the other food? They are definitely not buying organic. I guess I will just try to eat in amazing moderation. Something about the way they cook (more oil/fat maybe? or maybe it's because we are used to less processed food?) makes Mr. A and I have indigestion anyway, so less of the food will probably be easier on my stomach! Am I a food snob? ;-)

And I decided to give the counseling a whirl- tomorrow afternoon. But we're going to do self-pay. The place actually sent me a pamphlet with the registration materials on how if you involve insurance with counseling, they can raise your rates in the future and legally have access to all your records. No thanks! Plus, I would hate to alert the insurance and feel like the session was a complete bust, never wanting to do it again, but now it's on my health record. So we'll see how it goes. Hoping it will be helpful, but skeptical at this point.

(Toast and) Royal Jelly

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Hahaha ;-) Not the recipe you were expecting, eh?

I ordered a container of royal jelly because I have read that it is another superfood that can help egg quality. I don't know if that is really our problem, but it can't hurt, right?

I *think* I ovulated yesterday. I don't really know because I am pretending not to worry not worrying about being super obsessed with trying.

So this royal jelly is supposed to regulate/enhance all hormones, but I also just read that it may have some estrogenic activity. (Although, I did always have lowish estrogen levels, so maybe a kick in the estrogen pants would be good for me!) If I just ovulated, should it not be taken in the 2ww? But if it supposedly takes 3 months to really affect egg quality, shouldn't it be taken every day for those 3 months? I am finding conflicting advice on Dr. Google!!

Here are some things I've found that are making me wonder if I should wait until I start again to begin, but then again, if it's going to enhance the progesterone, I'd like to take it now! It seems like many people take it every day....

Link 1
Link 2
Link 3
Link 4

Has it come to this?

Friday, November 12, 2010

(I interrupt Food on Friday with more about the pregnancy (un)announcement. Check for a recipe this weekend!)

Mr. A and I had a pretty "lively" discussion last night given the most recent pregnancy "un"-announcement- "un" because she still hasn't told me. Here are some highlights:

Mr. A is focused on very good things we do have instead of the huge thing that we don't have. He cannot for the life of him understand what it means when I say that I'm happy for {whoever} that they're pregnant, but I'm sad for me. Why do I have to be sad for me, he wonders? We have a nice home, good savings, stable jobs, two great dogs, etc etc etc. I am very thankful for those things and for his constant reminder to put those things ahead of what we might not have.

He says he's going to make a recording for me to play that says "It is going to be alright. We can be happy anyways without kids." because he's tired of saying it over and over with apparent lack of results in my response.

He has been convincing himself for the last couple of years that it probably isn't going to happen (even though he also says that if it's going to happen, it will happen whenever it's supposed to) and he is to the point where he has accepted that and is ready to move on. I am definitely not there yet, but how many more years can I torture myself with the idea that it's possible?? I have started to curtail myself from saying things like "when we will wait for the bus with our kid..." or "what if our kid gets into trouble at school...." or "that's the baby's room..." because I feel like I'm just teasing myself with those kinds of thoughts now.

I have not finished grieving the idea of our biological child, so I don't feel ready to move to adoption. Mr. A thinks that the whole adoption process is plunking down a suitcase of $100's, and saying "call us when you get a baby". I have tried to tell him about all the work and emotional exploration involved and that it isn't an easy road either, and I am not ready to move to adoption until he is fully on board with all that we'll have to go through if we choose adoption. Not to mention, our families are not exactly open to adoption right now, either...

I feel in my heart that I should just keep in touch with my (college) friends who (are) have been supportive, but I don't want to be accused of pushing people away who haven't been (one of them has already pretty much admonished me for this), even though I feel like they don't want to include me in their lives anymore. It makes me so sad that I used to totally belong with them and now I don't.

I still place most, if not all, of the blame of infertility on myself. Maybe it was the training 3+ years ago for the 2 marathons, 3 half marathons, and other distance races that messed up my hormone levels. Maybe it was my unworthy behavior in college or my wavering confidence that God really is going to give us a family. I worry that I miss too many Sunday's at church. At the same time, I know in my head that if God gave out babies on the merit system, drug addicts wouldn't have 7 kids each. But also at the same time, I have to hope that God is pleased with how I try to live my life, and what about all that rewarding the faithful stuff in the Bible??

Especially after that letter about the mama-jama fertility drugs, we are not feeling like we have the emotional energy for another run through the ART gauntlet, much less that it would be a good use/safe risk of our finances. So that leaves us with doing nothing acupuncture. And wheatgrass. Still gulping the wheatgrass.

So anyway, long story short, maybe I should call the christian counseling place here for an appointment. I think Mr. A is growing weary of being the only sounding board, especially because even though he says {mostly} the right things, I don't think he sees enough of a change in me to be confident that he's making a difference (although of course he is). Because I think I'm to the point where I am just about to my limit of dealing with this crap, and it might be helpful to get some guidance on how to go from here.

I know a few of you have gone to at least a few sessions, and I'd love to hear your feedback on your session (did it help?), and suggestions about how to prepare myself for this huge admittance that I might not be dealing with this struggle as well as I think I am.

But really, I think I do a pretty good job of dealing with IF day to day, any other day except pregnancy (un)announcement days. Is that so unforgiveable?

PS. I have to get a preapproval from the mental health section of my insurance!! Is this going to be a huge red flag on my record if I do this?! Maybe I can just talk to my pastor...

Edited to Add: Mr. A is super ultimate amazingly supportive. He totally knows my longing for a baby, and when he says things like, "but look at what we have been blessed with", he does not mean to diminish my (or his) longing for a child. It's just his way of dealing with it- focus on the good not the bad. I think it is an excellent way to approach the things we feel we are missing in our lives, but I have not found it as "easy" as it appears to have been for him to really focus on those things, and not just "say" that.

We are both very honest with each other about everything, including our mutual lack of peace with adoption right now, and we respect each other's positions and reasons. And we did attend an info session in early 2008 that left us both very disappointed (I know every agency is different).

I just hope I didn't paint a picture like he just sits on the couch and says "get over it" when I am struggling with an (un)announcement. He is amazing, and I am so thankful for how he has led our family of 2 in the last 3 years of this struggle. I hope God will allow me the chance to make him a dad- he will be a great one!

CONTINUED insult to injury

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Yesterday I randomly checked (not something I do daily) one of my college friend's (Friend #5) blogs, and of course, she posted a positive pregnancy test recently! AND I also just found out yesterday from Friend #7 that Friend #5 told EVERYONE ELSE EXCEPT ME three weeks ago about her pregnancy! I cried BUCKETS yesterday afternoon. Buckets and buckets and buckets. I specifically sent out an email weeks ago to everyone telling them that I wanted to be included, even on stuff about kids!! I am so hurt I can't even put it into words. Let's review, out of us eight college friends, or maybe I should say "friends" (with the exception of #2 and #7, who have been very supportive):

Friend #1: Husband, one son, baby on the way (effortless kid count: 2)
Friend #2: Husband, one daughter, baby on the way (effortless kid count: 4)
Friend #3: Husband, one daughter, one son (effortless kid count: 6)
Friend #4: Husband, one daughter (effortless kid count: 7)
Friend #5: Husband, Apparently now expecting! (effortless kid count: 8)
Friend #6: Husband, not trying at all
Friend #7: Soon to be engaged

ME: Husband, two dogs, buckets of tears, empty arms, lonely house, boring Christmas card, three echo'ing bedrooms, unfulfilled life, lack of anything in common anymore

God, why don't You just beat me in the head with a 2x4! I think it would hurt less!!

Insult to Injury

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

We are thoroughly enjoying our break from modern medicine. But the other day when I got a letter from my insurance company about my past prescriptions, I was sick to my stomach.

Essentially, starting in January, all fertility meds will require prior approval "for females under 50". (Should I just wait until I am 50 to try IVF again? Hahaha) Even clomid and progesterone! But the list includes all the big guns, too, like follistim, ganirelix, PIO, novarel, etc. AND, supposedly approval will be given unless the drugs are taken in conjunction with ART. Okay, who is going to be taking ganirelix in a normal cycle?!

I always considered myself very lucky to have had these meds covered for relative pennies compared to what they cost, so I probably have nothing to complain about, but I just think it is awful of the insurance companies. You (insurance) don't even pretend to cover IVF or IUI, and now you can't even throw us a bone and cover the meds?!?! Is this what happens when the government runs healthcare- every living thing has coverage, but that's because the poor helpless infertility patients are getting even more of the short end of the stick than ever?!?! Way to go, keep on covering people with 8 kids and no job, but make sure you give a big "screw you" to people who work 3 jobs to try to finance a shot at having ONE child.

I feel very thankful that we had coverage when we did, and that we went through all of the medical interventions when we did. I feel validated that what we are doing now (au naturale) is what we're supposed to be doing, given this change of situation. But it is totally kicking infertility patients while they are down. We are not even considering any other meds for the forseeable future, but this hurts almost as much as if we were in the thick of things. Don't infertile people have enough heartache?!

Food on Friday

Friday, November 05, 2010

Today's recipe is one I made two nights ago, so that Mr. A would have some resemblance of breakfast food to eat this weekend while I'm visiting my sister!!! I also made him 2 pizzas last night... that should hopefully hold him till.. tomorrow? Haha!

But about today's recipe (Apple Muffins), it is also adapted from the cookbook I mentioned last week! I told you, I love this cookbook! You should buy it :)

Here are the ingredients:
1 1/2 cups sugar
A tad less than 1 1/2 cups vegetable/canola oil
3 eggs
3 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup coconut
3-4 cups diced apples

Preheat oven to 350F. Cream the oil and sugar, and add the eggs one at a time. In another bowl, mix the dry ingredients, and add this mixture (a little at a time) to the sugar mixture. Add the vanilla and coconut, followed finally by the apples. Grease 24 muffin cups, and bake about 20-25 minutes. (I only have 1 muffin pan, so I baked 12 and then put them on the cooling rack and then baked the other 12.)

This recipe is one of my new favorites, and it's very easy and pretty fast except for dicing the apples. But I had picked a crazy amount at the orchard this year, so I have quart bags of sliced apples in my freezer that I can just thaw and chop quickly. It's my first year doing this, and I'm really looking forward to being able to make apple things in the thick of winter!

Kid Chaos

Thursday, November 04, 2010

I went over to my friend's house for lunch yesterday. She has 5 kids, ages ranging from I'd say 2ish to maybe 12ish.

Her house is so different than ours. It is a historic place in walking distance of the quaint downtown, and while its rooms are on the small side, there is alot of space. There are random shoes in the front hall, the dining room table is askew, a coat rack with 15 coats on it, a space for homeschooling, and kitchen counters covered with breakfast dishes, bread dough bowls, tea pots, and milk glasses. I have never seen such a full dishwasher as the one her daughter was unloading, there were story books open on the floor and couch blankets thrown here and there, and it was never quiet. She is so lucky.

There are so many contrasts to our house. Ours is a modern-built traditional house in a neighborhood next to a cow pasture. Our shoes are all in a basket by the door. Our kitchen and dining room tables are square to the wall and the tablecloths are the same. Unless I am cooking right this very second, there are no dirty dishes on the counter, and everything is put away in the cabinet. I load our dishwasher in the most type-A fashion you could ever imagine (trust me, it is quite the source of teasing!), and I never overfill it. I fold all the blankets in the morning, and make sure to take care of any clutter. And here, it is very, very quiet alot of times (except when the UPS guy drives by and the dogs go nuts).

As I spent time with her, I couldn't help but think of the differences between her house and mine. Would it bother me to have so much chaos of kids after living with peace for so long? How would I handle 3 different kids asking if they can have another sandwich after I just told them to sit and wait for a minute and then 25 seconds later they ask again?

It might be very different- messier, louder, and less type-A- than our current household, but at least I will be a mom.

Losing a Parent

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

As you know, my grandfather passed away at the end of August. My mom has what some would say (for a 50-something year old woman) is an unhealthy connection/devotion/obsession with pleasing her parents. As in, if my parents had a financial decision to make, my mom valued her dad's input more than my dad's. To me, that is a huge disrespect of my dad as the leader of our family, but...that is how my mom has been ever since she left her childhood home, and my dad is too much of a pacifist to force the issue.

Also, for the last 30 years, my mom (our family) has lived hundreds of miles away from her parents, which was/is a constant source of resentment in her life, that she can't see her parents every day, etc. (Also, to me, unhealthy, but that is beside the point.) We visited for holidays and they visited us, too, but it was never enough. When my grandpa got sick, she felt overwhelmingly guilty that she couldn't be there 24 hours a day to take care of him. She felt like she was letting them down by not being there to help her parents out. God, in His immense mercy, allowed her to be at my grandpa's side when he passed away.

Fast forward to earlier this week, which was my grandpa's birthday. She was full of tears, and she told me that she felt bad that she had missed so many of his birthdays. She told me that her aunt had told her that grandpa had said the saddest day of his life was when my mom left town after getting married. (Side note: Who tells their niece something like that!!!)

If you can't tell, their family has alot of guilt issues.

SO, I have just been trying to rack my brain as to how to help her with this. Can I even help? I assure her that grandpa would not want her to be sad that she missed his birthdays or worried that she let him down by doing so. But it doesn't seem to help. She said "well, you might feel the same way someday."

I love my dad aLOT. I think we have a great relationship, "even though" I also live hundreds of miles from him. We talk about every other day on the phone, and I feel no guilt for not having been with him on his birthday a month ago. Should I?!

This has been on my mind alot lately, but I can't think of anything I can do that I haven't already tried. Her dad is with Jesus, and she is still worried about pleasing him and doing what she is supposed to so he will approve and being afraid she did not do enough when he was here!!! Any suggestions??

Very Pleased

Monday, November 01, 2010

At CD3, the cramps and discomfort I've had this time around have been honestly minimal. Like I have barely felt like I am even having my period! I am very pleased with this, and I think it is a huge encouragement that doing acupuncture/healthy eating is going to allow my body to go leaps and bounds towards pregnancy.

I have never read The Infertility Cure- what do you think of that book, those of you who've read it?

It's based on Chinese Medicine, and although I'm not sure I'm up for a very regimented diet, I'm intrigued as to the other dietary/lifestyle changes that it might recommend.

If you can believe it, today at the pregnancy center, I had a couple where the girl wanted the test to be -, and the guy wanted it to be +. It was -, and let me just tell you it is really weird to sit across from someone two weeks in a row who is so disappointed at the - result and feel like you're looking in a mirror. My heart went out to the poor husband, and I know that Mr. A had felt the same way so many times. It was just another opportunity to share my/our story, though (abbreviated version of course- they don't have all day! ha!), and to share my belief that God will bring something good out of this disappointment!!!

Other than the slight hysteria (Mr. A would not agree it was slight) I experienced upon seeing a 4x4 pulling a hayride of 25 kids under 7 through our neighborhood last night, I am very pleased with how things are going today. It's about time I felt like something is right!!