Friday, September 29, 2006

MIL rant up ahead...

On rare occasions, my mother-in-law and I get into discussions in which we don't quite agree...

Now, don't get me wrong - we are VERY close, which is rare in the IL world - she has been a second mother to me since Hubby and I met in 1987 at the mere age of 14 years old. She even has threatened Hubby that she would personally hang him if he ever hurt me in any way physical or had an affair (HeeHee...good to know she's got my back on that!). Hell, she was even with me when I picked up Hubby's sample from the hospital and escorted it with me to the IUI that resulted in her grandson!

Anyways, we were talking on the phone last night about various ladies I am friends with who are either having a hard time TTC #1, are having a hard time TTC #2 (like me), or are contemplating TTC again in the near future. Normally, she is extremely supportive of what we ladies are doing... But, last night she made a few comments that, after some brewing time, kinda pissed me off. Luckily, I have been in a MUCH better mood lately, so I didn't reach through the phone and bite her head off. But, her observations, none the less, bothered me.

"Back in our day, we didn't PLAN on having children. You just got married and assumed that you would have children when it happened."

Well, that's all fine and dandy if, well, your body actually wants to agree and function normally to produce a child.

Sure, I can get pregnant - but only on meds. My body refuses to ovulate on its own and play nicely when we decide we want to try for a baby, so that laid back idea of having children is not an option for us. We HAVE TO plan - plan when I will approximately get my period (since getting my period is challenge to start with), plan what chart days I have to take whatever meds, plan on picking up those lovely OPKs and use them, plan when my u/s's will be, plan when DH has to pass off his sample to the lab, plan when the IUI will be, plan make-up time for my work at my job... You get my drift.

And, then there are my friends who have to plan even MORE than what I have to because their protocols are way more complicated and rely on precise timing... How exactly does she think that someone with blocked tubes will get pregnant UNplanned?

"Aren't some of you TTC to late in your life? How are you going to keep up with the kids? I had Ken when I was 21!"

Uh, well, some of us didn't quite plan on TTC in our mid- to approaching late 30's. If I had it my way, Hubby would not have been pushed into going to law school by his parents (okay, really by my MIL), waste $100,000 on a career he doesn't like, and have that $100,000 still looming over our heads to pay off. I would have LIKED to start TTC when I was in my late 20's - but, how can you even consider trying to have a baby when you can't even afford to live in a studio apartment because of the freakin' law school loans?

Then, let's also talk about the fact that some of us weren't quite planning on it being so difficult to have a child in the first place. I wasn't counting on it taking me 18 months to TTC Chris, and I certainly wasn't counting on a year filled with failed cycles and miscarriages. Does she honestly think that someone really WANTS to spend 4+ years TTC and be closing in on 34 years old and still be waiting for the stork to arrive, like my friend S has??? Okay....we confess! We just want to bitch about it for days, weeks, months, years on end. NOT!

Who ever dictated that every woman needs to have two or more children? Isn't one enough?

...and this is coming from the same person who asked us when #2 would be coming along when Chris was less than a year old...

I don't NEED two children - I WANT two children (Hell, I'd have more if the money was available to raise them!)! Where is it written that wanting more children is a crime?

I LOVE Chris with all my heart - I would move Heaven and Earth for him, would die for him. He has filled my heart with so much love, I could never put it into words. But, has she ever thought that maybe I would like him to have a sibling? My want for a second child goes beyond my desires of feeling a baby kick in my tummy and bring a new life into this world... Chris deserves to have a sibling (or siblings, if God gives us more), if I can give one to him. Hubby has told me many times how he wished he had siblings...unfortunately, God was not kind when my MIL miscarried twin boys at 5+ months. He longed for the closeness that only siblings have (well, most siblings are another story).

Some couples only want one child - and that is a-okay with me! But, some couples want 10 children or more, and mine is not to question that - not is it hers to question me wanted one more. Just one more.

I realize different times produce different people. But, chosing to have a child now is way more complicated than ever before - there is college to think of, expenses for living, health insurance, the list is endless. Back in her day, you got married, you had kids, then your life began when the children were grown - now, you need to have yourself financially established before you decide it is time for children, otherwise you have no cash to raise them with and you live paycheck to paycheck.

I don't need the "finer things" in my life.... I am not asking for diamonds, expensive cars and a McMansion. All I want is another, healthy child. I don't think that is too much to ask for. Right?

I wish she could just take her blinders off sometimes and see things for what they are. Life cheated her out of the things she would have liked to do or have - if she were having her miscarriage now, chances are the one who was healthy would have survived, or survived long enough for her to hold. So why question the things we want to do, if there are means to attain those wants?

Update to "...Lets keep the good news a'rollin' in!"

In my post, ...Lets keep the good news a'rollin' in!, I explained that Dr. S told me that my T4 were probably elevated because if the damned birth control pills. This was true - here are my new Thyroid numbers, as compared to my old ones:


  • from July 15: 2.555
  • from August 15: 1.964
  • from September 22: 2.012
  • Average range limits: 0.350-5.500


  • from July 15: Not run
  • from August 15: 26
  • from September 22: 24
  • Average range limits: 24-39


  • from July 15: 12.1
  • from August 15: 13.6
  • from September 22: 7.2
  • Average range limits: 4.5-12.0

Free T4:

  • from July 15: not run
  • from August 15: 3.5
  • from September 22: 1.07
  • Average range limits: 1.0-4.9

So, the levels in and of themselves for right now are perfect. Here's the glitch:

I am reading elevated for one of two thyroid antibodies:

Thyroid Peroxidase (TPO): Negative

Anti-Thyroid Antibodies (ATA): 63 (with upper limit being 40).

What does this mean now? Well, we are back to being higher risk in pregnancy again - talk about bursting my bubble! Guess we can't get off this ride that easily.

Dr. S wants to see that my TSH BEFORE pregnancy is below 2.0, even though the "normal" range falls between 0.350-5.500. If it is higher than 2.0 (which it is right now), then she is going to suggest I be put on thyroid medication prior to pregnancy to lower the number.

This means, retesting my levels in November when I meet with Dr. D for our pre-conception consult, retesting again in December and retesting yet again in January as we start infertility treatments...

Also means that the MFM clinic will need to monitor not only the MTHFR issues in the 1st trimester, but also monitor me closely througout the entire pregnancy.

It could be worse, right? My levels could be off the charts NOW, which would be a problem. But, they are not. So, I guess I will be in for more blood-lettings... hurray!

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Be Not Afraid - Means more to me than ever before

In my constant struggle to regain my Faith after this past year, I think Faith is finally winning out...

To backtrack a bit, many moons ago, when I was a wee baby, my mom made the decision not to have me baptized (nor my older brother). To this day, I am still not sure why, but it was what it was. And it was left at that.

My grandmother, however, felt I needed SOMETHING to count on and believe in, so she used to take me to mass (both at a Roman Catholic church and a Eukrainian Eastern Orthodox church - some masses being in Latin, no less!), teach me prayers, and try to cement some sort of Faith in my life.

When we moved from Hillside to Union in 1983, my parents ended up sending me to St. Michael's School because the closest public grammar school (which is what I was used to) was just too far away to walk. Mass was required every first Friday in the month - and, every first Friday, my classmates would ask the same old question: Why aren't you going to Communion? My answer: I wasn't Catholic.

When I started Mother Seton Regional High School, masses were required there too (like, duh! It was a catholic school too.). So, the same question would arise: Why aren't you going to Communion? My answer yet again: I wasn't Catholic.

Something changed in me after my first year at Mother Seton and I decided to go through the RCIA and finally become Catholic... I was baptized, made my first communion and confirmation at the Easter Vigal Mass in April 1989. It was a very special day...and from then forward, my Faith blossomed.

In college (yep, you guessed it, a Catholic - errh, Jesuit! - college: University of Scranton), I became involved in Eucharistic ministry and the choir. I went on retreats and became closer and closer with God.

After college, I still tried to go to mass as often as I could, and was also still involved in some retreats for high school youth. But, as time went on, my Faith began to wain a bit - not dissolve, but just not become stronger.

After Hubby and I were married, we were a little taken aback by how some things in the Roman Catholic church were so, well, judgemental and hypocritical: At our Pre-Cana meetings, there were couples there who were CLEARLY not ready to get married, yet they were okay'ed to by the priest; friends of ours were allowed to get married without additional counseling after their personality questionnaires required by the Archdiocese proved them to be "incompatible"; the priest who married us (who is a VERY close friend of ours) left the priesthood after he was struggling with feelings for a woman he counciled and his superiors told him he could have "something on the side" and still be a priest as long as he kept it hush-hush. There is more...but, I think this is enough for now.

So, church attendance began to fall to the wayside...until I learned I was pregnant with Christopher. We felt we needed to start going again, which we did faithfully every week at Our Lady of Sorrows (eventually, Chris will be going to school there too) until after Chris was born. We stopped going for a bit because we didn't want him out in public until he had his first immunizations - but, by 6 weeks, Chris was baptized and we started going again sporadially.

....Then, I had the miscarriages...and my Faith was torn apart.

I have been angry for a long time now at God: How could He take away lives that were so special and pure, who we so desperately wanted? How could God allow my friend S to not be able to have a child for 4 freakin years and still stuggle with IF now? Yet, how could God allow some woman who could give a rat's ass about a child have a child and completely ruin that child's life? It just didn't seem fair - and I have been pissed off.

But, that obviously changed when we found out about Hubby's cousin Suzi's pregnancy and how she came to make the decision to keep her baby and get married (see How my miscarriages have brought forth new life). I began to see how my hurts could affect someone else's life (especially that of this new life growing, or Big Mac as the baby is being called). And, I ran across the blog of my friend C's hubby, T: Confessions of a Former Dawg. Reading through some of his posts, and seeing how he relates his Faith to the struggles that their son faces, gave me a new take on my Faith. And, I am very glad for that.

All of this brings me back to one of my favorite Catholic Hymns which, for reasons that were unknown to me then but are being realized now, I have always been drawn to and cry to.

Be Not Afraid
written by Bob Dufford, S.J., a Catholic Hymn
text based on Isaiah 43:2–3; Luke 6:20.

You shall cross the barren desert,
but you shall not die of thirst.
You shall wander far in safety,
though you do not know the way.

You shall speak your words in foreign lands,
and all will understand,
You shall see the face of God and live.

Be not afraid,
I go before you always,
Come follow Me,
and I shall give you rest.

If you pass through raging waters
in the sea, you shall not drown.
If you walk amidst the burning flames,
you shall not be harmed.

If you stand before the pow'r of hell
and death is at your side,
know that I am with you, through it all

Be not afraid,
I go before you always,
Come follow Me,
and I shall give you rest.

Blessed are your poor,
for the Kingdom shall be theirs.
Blest are you that weep and mourn,
for one day you shall laugh.

And if wicked men insult and hate you, all because of Me,
blessed, blessed are you!

Be not afraid,
I go before you always,
Come follow Me,
and I shall give you rest.

I think I am coming to an understanding of why this hymn means so much to me... And, I am at peace.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Why do Butterflies follow me?

I have noticed that, for a long time now since I started taking my two mile walks at lunch, I seem to have a very specific type of butterfly "walk" with me as I go. The butterfly (or -ies, since I cannot be sure if it is can be the same one every time - they do have a relatively short life span) that accompanies me often looks like this:

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

It seems that every time I am out walking or just taking in fresh air, whether it be at the track at work, walking around campus, playing with Chris in the back yard or playing at the shore by the ocean, this same type of butterfly is there - and it is nothing I have ever experienced before.

So, it prompted me to take a look on Google to see if I can find a symbolism to why this butterfly (or -ies) follow me.

I came across the following web page: Khandro Net. According to the web sites intro, it is
a premier site unique in situating Tibetan Buddhism within a wider context, it has topics ranging from Acts of the Buddha to Symbolism including that of Animals, and of Deities such as The Dakini. Practitioners will also find Prayers, Practices, Announcements and Teachings.
Below is a list of the symbolism that can be found on this site about what it means to be accompanied by butterflies. Not sure which meaning I like...although, some that I prefer are: Spiritial Evolution (since I seem to be coming to acceptance of what life has given me so far), Blood (since butterflies can be considered spirits of fertility), and Prosperity (re. the Irish Blessing).

Intersting that, when I decided to spend the $$$ to create a custom skin for my blog (thanks, again, Ro at Caio! My Bella!), the image I picked was to be a peaceful angel...who just happens to have butterfly wings... Was a drawn to this for a reason beyond my understanding? Maybe...

Full reading of this can be found here: The Butterfly. It was very enlightening.

As Uncaring as a Butterfly

The usual, Western, view is that the butterfly is a carefree creature. HH the Dalai Lama explains that, rather than carefree, it is uncaring: "The butterfly never meets its mother. It must survive independently and remains a stranger to affection. An animal nurtured by mother's milk, however, is dependent on another for its basic survival. A child who grows up in a cold and detached home environment is similar to the butterfly, in that kindness is sparing. Once an adult, it will be very difficult for that person to show compassion."

"Human affection is a very, very important element. At a young age, compassion is very crucial not only for survival but to establish these very important human values." ~ Jessica Hawley (The Bandera Bulletin, Nov. 23/05) reporting on the address at University of Texas at Austin's Frank Erwin Center on Sept. 20/05.)

The Butterfly Lovers

North of Dali not far from the current Tibetan border, in Yunan province on the slopes of Changshan, are three graceful Buddhist pagodas (the tallest, built in 836 CE, measures over 69 meters) and Butterfly Spring (Chi. hudie quan). In the 4th lunar month, when the trees blossom, thousands of butterflies of twenty or so species emerge from their chrysalises to flutter over the water and hang in colourful clusters from the branches. The event is associated with the legend of the Bai maiden named Wengu, whom a local ruler of the Nanzhao Kingdom [729-1253] wanted as his concubine. To escape the grasp of the powerful lord, she and her lover committed suicide here by drowning, but they are said to reappear every spring in the form of a pair of butterflies.

Spiritual Evolution

The butterfly exists in four distinct forms. Some consider that so do we: The fertilized egg is planted in our mother's womb. From our day of birth we are like the caterpillar which can only eat and creep along. At death we are like the dormant pupa in its chrysalis. After that, our consciousness emerges from the cast off body, and some see in this the emergence of the butterfly. Therefore, the butterfly is symbolic of rebirth after death.

In ancient China, this role is played by the cicada. An amulet of jade in this form was placed in the mouth of the corpse of a noble person. Some examples exist from the Han dynasty (206 BCE - 220 CE.)

In the Americas: In the 1600s, in Ireland, killing a white butterfly was prohibited since it was believed to be the soul of a dead child.

In the town of Bath, England, is the Theatre Royal built in 1805 that is home to several ghosts. Besides a mysterious grey lady, who regularly appears in her own box, spectators in 1948 first reported a phantom that materializes as a butterfly at Christmas pantomime time.

Releasing butterflies to celebrate an event: For Christians, the butterfly's three steps of metamorphosis -- as caterpillar, pupa and then winged insect -- are reminiscent of spiritual transformation. The caterpillar's incessant crawling and chewing reminds us of normal earthly life where people are often wholly preoccupied with physical needs. The chrysalis (cocoon) resembles a tomb and empty, can suggest the empty shroud left behind by Jesus. Therefore, a butterfly represents the resurrection into a new condition of life that is free of any material concerns.

In images of the Garden of Eden, Adam's soul is symbolized by a butterfly, or drawn with butterfly wings. In paintings of Mary and her Child, the presence of butterflies stands for their care for human souls. The Gnostics depicted the Angel of Death by showing a winged foot stepping on a butterfly.

Since the insect is so fragile it can be torn apart by a hard rain, the butterfly stands for human frailty, both moral and physical. Also, as its life is not a long one, it is also a symbol of the ephemeral nature of physical existence. A butterfly with a torn wing is the icon for a North American charity that benefits disabled children.

The butterfly is also a symbol of woman's delicacy. It can serve as a reminder to treat her with gentleness. In Japan, a beautiful woman wearing a kimono is often compared to a butterfly. Favoured as a family emblem (ka-mon) or crest in Japan.


In mythology, the butterfly is rarely distinguished from the moth, so since the moth is irrevocably drawn to a flame, both are related to Fire. Also, since the source of the flame makes no difference to a moth -- in fact it can be the cause of its death -- then it is also a symbol of inconstancy and even promiscuity or indiscriminate sexuality.


In America among the Aztec and Maya, the god of cosmic fire, Xiutecutli, is symbolized by a butterfly. Fire is considered the element of transformation, as in cookery and the smelting of metals. This association is borne out in traditional psychoanalysis where a dream or drawing of a butterfly is taken as a symbol of the client's imminent transformation.

The ancient Greeks depicted the spirit of a person as a winged stick figure. Interpretation of that symbol gave rise to the idea of the "soul" or psy.cheh as a butterfly.

Later, long-suffering Psyche, bride of Cupid (Eros,) was compared to a butterfly. It was her use of firelight to get a glimpse of the true nature of her mysterious sleeping husband that led to her downfall, and a series of dire trials that eventually led to her transfiguration.

English translation of Lucius Apuleius' Cupid and Psyche (2nd century CE.)

A Symbol of Symbolism

Sophistication can be defined as the ability to read and manipulate symbols. Since range of meaning is linked to one's culture and level of education, symbolic references can also be the source of misunderstandings.

Once, I gave a present of a framed iridescent blue Morpho butterfly to a good friend, who had watched over my home while I was traveling. She was not particularly pleased by the gift, interpreting it as an indication that in my opinion she was superficial -- a "social butterfly." At the time, I was not wholly aware of the reason why, whenever I saw butterflies on my trip, I began to think of her. Not long afterwards, she and her family were involved in a horrible traffic accident in which only she survived. I think I had unconsciously tried to prepare and console my friend through the gift of a butterfly.

The Caterpillar

In mythology and art, the caterpillar -- the larva (immature form) of a butterfly or moth -- is not usually distinguished from the worm, which is associated with rot and disease. However, only a caterpillar spins itself into a cocoon, where the mysterious transformation takes place during the time of "retreat" known as the pupation period.

Sometimes, our daily period of sleep is viewed as a time of pupation, so that when we dream our minds seem to roam free like the butterfly. The Pikuni and T'suuT'ina (Blackfoot and Sarcee, of Alberta and Montana,) like ancient Greeks and Romans, associate the butterfly with the wandering consciousness that seems to occur during the dream state.

In the Canadian Pacific northwest, the Haida depict Butterfly as the companion of Raven the Creator-Trickster, perhaps acknowledging the unpredictable and unreliable nature of "flights of fancy" and dreaming.

The Anishnabe (Ojibway, Western Cree) relate that the first children would not try to get up and walk until there were butterflies:

In the beginning, the animals took care of the first Anishnabe children. The animals provided everything for these babies — food, warmth and companionship. While the larger animals guarded the children and kept them safe and warm, the smaller animals played with the children, kept them happy and made them laugh.

The children in return imitated the animals, their protectors and playmates, and crawled around on all fours. In fact, the children neither knew of nor tried other ways to get around.

One day, Nanabush watched these children laugh, roll and tumble with their friends. He knew it was time for the children to know who they were, to know that they were Anishnabe, to grow up. Nanabush scooped up a handful of pebbles and cast them into the air.

The pebbles turned into butterflies — butterflies of all sizes, of all colours, fluttering here and there. The children looked up and saw the beautiful celestial winged creatures. And for the first time, they stood up on their legs and ran laughing, chasing the butterflies.

Keeshig-Tobias, Lenore. The Trickster: Running for the People, Carrying Fire for the People. RCAP, 1994.


Butterflies can leave behind droppings that resemble blood. Before 1553, when Gosse discovered this source of "red rain," people who lived in the paths of migrating butterflies must have seen this as a bad omen, indeed.

In some circumstances, the butterfly will drink blood. The Udmurt (or, Votiak) whose homeland is in the Urals, consider butterflies spirits of fertility. A large percentage of the population is ancestor-worshiping, and they still follow the old ways. If the crops are failing, they go out to capture white butterflies in a white cloth. They bring them back and introduce them to a sheep carcass in the expectation that they will enjoy the offering and bless the crops.

(Other gardeners, on the other hand, might take small white "butterflies" for grain moths or white-cabbage moths, whose caterpillars tend to consume the crops.)


An Irish blessing goes: "May the wings of the butterfly kiss the sun, and find your shoulder to light on. To bring you luck, happiness and riches today, tomorrow and beyond."

The Hopi (southwest USA) have a ceremonial butterfly dance called Bulitikibi which they perform to do homage to the butterfly so that it will confer prosperity.

Flutterby, Butterfly

Some say that the word "butterfly" is a sort of joke that entered into English when Shakespeare transposed the letters in the original word, flutterby. It is not so, for the designation has been botter-fleoge at least since Old English, according to the Oxford English Dictionary.

However, it is amazing that, unlike most animal names, the word for this insect is so different in the various languages. (See William Beeman's "Elusive Butterfly" linked above.)


In Mae Hong Sorn, the northwestern province of Thailand, live the Shan people, whose roots are in northern Myanmar (Burma.) They celebrate the end of the rainy season retreat at full moon of the 11th lunar month, as instituted by the Buddha, with a ritual re-enacting the myth of Gingara. It is thought that this tradition comes from Himalayan Buddhism, where Gingara (Skt. gangara) is a figure of power and good fortune. (Also, the Ghaghara is a tributary of the Ganges.)

The inspiration for the festival derives from the verse: "And at the end of the retreat period the Buddha told Indra that he would descend to the world of humans himself to celebrate the end of this season." Tradition holds that the Buddha descended to earth by means of a ladder made of jewels in order to be with all living beings.

Gingara is sometimes shown as a garuda, a mythological creature that is half human and half bird. In Thailand, it has the head of a woman and the body of a peacock. In the festival, three creatures represent this and form part of the costume of the Gingara: the Lion, the butterfly and the serpent.

The lion, as we have seen, is a solar symbol and one of the four vehicles of Buddha. The serpent represents the energy of the earth and its water. The butterfly represents the air.

Butterfly Dogs

In the 1600's, a dwarf spaniel was developed that is named for its broad, erect, and feathery ears, ie. the Papillon, (aka Continental spaniel) which is the French word for "butterfly."

In 1861, Queen Victoria was given a Pekingese dog by Captain Hart Dunne. Known in east Asia as the Butterfly Lion, the Peke was considered a kind of spirit-dog and it is one of the breeds associated with Buddhism. One of the many myths surrounding its ancestry concerns a lioness who suffered under the brutish attentions of her natural mate. The gods took pity on her and arranged that she consort with a butterfly. Her offspring was the Pekingese, which has the heart of a lion, but the grace and delicacy of a butterfly.

Rumer Godden. The Butterfly Lions: The Pekingese in History, Legend and Art. 1978.


What Has 2 Wings But Is Not a Bird?

Moths and butterflies belong to the family Lepidoptera. In mythology and iconography, for the most part, no distinction is made between the moth with its fat furry body, and the butterfly, which is generally more delicate and colourful. That is not surprising, since many people even mistake the bats (often 5 in number) that appear as a motif in Asian textiles and other crafts, for butterflies.

The Butterfly Effect

This is an aspect of chaos theory. It is often misunderstood, especially when the expression is intended to refer to a "sensitive dependence on initial conditions." For example, the way a seeming insignificant event can cause dramatic consequences. It is incorrectly described as the disturbance of the air caused by the movements of a butterfly's wings that can, over time and with changing circumstances, become a hurricane. (That notion is, rather, tied to one of Poincarre's mathematical ideas concerning the importance of minute variation.)

The Butterfly Effect is, in fact, a pattern with the form of a butterfly (ie. bi-lobed) that appears in the mathematical plotting of meteorological or other random or chaotic distributions. It was first noticed when barometric pressures were charted. As Michael Cross shows, Edward Lorenz first used the seagull as his metaphor. In any case, the butterfly has now become a symbol of extreme sensitivity to the slightest change, and as such has been co-opted for use by a major software company.

Resolution to make October 15th the Official Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day will be voted on today!! ** UPDATE**


The resolution was passed last week! October 15th is now the Official Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day!!!!

Thanks to all those who helped!

The resolution to make October 15th the Official Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day will be voted on today!!!

A total of 51 Representatives are supporting this Resolution... Let's keep our fingers crossed that this October 15th is the first OFFICIAL Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Crap, crap, crap...

...I just noticed I lost 2 tiny diamonds out of the ring Hubby had made for me for our anniversary 3 years ago.


They are replaceable...not a big deal in the grand-scheme of things. But, this is a one-of-a-kind ring and I hate going without it. At least it wasn't the center sapphire! That would have been a doozy!

Guess we will be off to the jewelers this weekend...

Monday, September 25, 2006

Autism Speaks: Annual Walk for Autism Research

For anyone who has been touched by Autism, Autism Speaks! is getting ready for its annual signature event, Walk for Autism Research.

My friend C (who was involved with my meeting Hubby 19 years ago) has a son who was just diagnosed with Autism this year, after so many other medical battles in his relatively short life. She and her her husband T are taking part in the Annual Walk for Autism Research:

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To send a donation:

Click here to get to the Scholz personal page and make a secure, online donation.

Or, you may make a check payable to Autism Speaks and mail your check to:

Timothy Scholz
5171 86th Ave N
Pinellas Park, FL, 33782-5352

Your donation will get where it needs to go - directly to Autism Research. Thank you!

Looking back to how far I have come since July 2005

I decided today to look through some of my past posts... To see how far I have come since TTC #2 and figure out how much farther I have to go in reclaiming my life, and to move beyond the pain of the last year.

First and foremost, I can't believe I have actually stuck it out and continued to write for seven months straight! I have been totally honest with myself - and for the first time, not been afraid to show the hurt that has been in my heart to the outside world. This has been one of the hardest things for me to do - I, unlike my Hubby, am not good at verbalizing how I feel. I usually acknowledge to myself my hurts and hide them from the rest of the world. But, through "journaling," I am really learning how to talk about my pain, and allowing it to make a positive turn in my life.

Second, the anger I have had - whether obvious or subtle through my past ramblings - seems to be fading into the background. Even though I have more "anniversaries" to get through (meaning more hurts to overcome), I feel like I am more at peace with how events have unfolded over the past year. I feel like powers beyond my control are guiding me to the right time to start TTC again - that 2006 was not the right year to bring another life into our family. And, I am accepting that now.

Third, I am getting my humor back, learning to enjoy some of the things I used to enjoy way before TTC ever ruled my world, and focusing on the things that matter most in my life: My family and friends. It has been a long time since little things like swinging with Chris on a swing at the park or calling one of my girlfriends has truly made me happy... It is a nice feeling to be comfortable in my own skin again.

And, last and something that is very important to me - I am finding my faith again. As many of you know, my faith has been very lacking over the past year (see post on Has anyone seen my faith?)... I tried going back to church again, I tried listening to and reading things that should have brought me closer to the faith I once had, and up to this point, not much had worked. I have envied how others, through their own struggles, could keep their faith and I could not. But, I do feel that my losses have brought through some new hope in a new life (see How my miscarriages have brought forth new life) and I am finally at peace...and have some faith again.

As TTC again looms in front of me - I can finally acknowledge that I AM scared of what is to come. I AM scared of miscarrying again. I AM scared of the cycles just not working. I AM scared that I won't be able to conquer my fears. But, I think I am better able to face these fears now...and work through them.

...And, yes, I will still continue to see my counselor through TTC again. ;)

I know I am getting the best care I can through Dr. D and the MFM clinic, and any future pregnancies will be watched more closely. I know I have a great emotional support network in place - and know who I can count on if another loss is enevitable. I know I am physically healthier (well, almost - still working on the stomach stuff here!) and in much better shape to hold another pregnancy. And, I LIKE looking in the mirror and seeing my old shape back!

I am ready for this - I am ready to try to conceive again. I will not look back at past cycles and compare them to current ones anymore. I will not be charting, except for meds, OPKs (if I even have to do them) and procedures like IUI. I am ready to accept the "What will be, will be" and truly live it that way.

Maybe that has been my lesson all along...and only now am I able to see it, accept it, and let it go.

So, in honor of beginning to let go...

By Celine Dion

Fly, fly little wing
Fly beyond imagining
The softest cloud, the whitest dove
Upon the wind of heaven's love
Past the planets and the stars
Leave this lonely world of ours
Escape the sorrow and the pain
And fly again

Fly, fly precious one
Your endless Journey has begun
Take your gentle happiness
Far too beautiful for this
Cross over to the other shore
There is peace all one word
But hold this mem'ry bittersweet
Until we meet.

Fly, fly do not fear
Don't waste a breath, don't shed a tear
Your heart is pure, your soul is free
Be on your way, don't wait for me
Above the universe you'll climb
On beyond the hands of time
The moon will rise, the sun will set
But I won't forget

Fly, fly little wing
Fly, where only angels sing
Fly away, the time is right
Go now, find the light.

Chapter 4: How a two-year-old can scare the crap out of her parents (and hosts!)

Last we left off, Chris was battling his cold...

We had arranged with friends of ours (M&J) to come down Labor Day day and stay overnight with their daughter, Kaila. They arrived around 11 am Monday morning...just in time to see the Dover Township Emergency Response Team (ERT) unit at our house. Not to worry - this was a social visit! The sergeant is a client/friend of Hubby's and he brought the ERT unit over with his liutenant so Chris could take a tour of it (pics to be posted in the next chapter since my MIL is still holding them for randsom!).

Anyways, we had a very nice time with M&J down for the day - unfortunately, we missed boardwalking with them and our other friends who live in the area because Chris decided to take a 3+ hour nap. Oh well...wasn't like he WOULDN'T get to the boardwalk, right?

Monday night was a trip trying to get the kids to go to sleep - they just fed off each other, so we let them play until about 10 pm (which Chris never gets to do!).

Tuesday ended up being rather rainy, so we decided to hit the beach in between showers (pics still held hostage) and when it did rain, stay indoors and play. Chris loved the water - Kaila loved the sand...can you say match made in heaven!

...Then, it was time to pack up and our guests to head home...and here is where the fun begins!

Kaila is a darling little peanut - she is as tiny for her age as Chris is a moose for his. She will be 2 years old in early December, yet she just hit 20 pounds. However, her strong-willed personality (and I mean EXTREMELY stong-willed!) would make you think she was a little brute - not the peanut she really is.

As her parents were gathering up the bags and such, she was "teaching" Chris how to open and close the doors to all of the rooms - except, she wasn't betting on the locks on the doors. Around 6 pm, as she closed the door to the room they stayed in, she flipped the lock and locked herself - and only herself - in the room. She began to scream bloody murder as she realized she couldn't get out of the room - and she was trying!

So, as she screamed from the inside, M, my FIL and Hubby were taking the door handle apart. I was trying to keep J calm, because she was just crying as much as her daughter was. Finally, Hubby got the door handle off on the outside, and pushed the doorhandle off to the inside - but, the lock still wouldn't unlock. Kaila, being the smart cookie, picked up the doorhandle and kept trying to push it back in to try to open the door. Finally, after about a 20 minutes, Hubby got the door opened, and Kaila came rushing out!

Kaila was fine....and much calmer than her mom. But, everyone recovered well...and, after they left, we taped the door locks with duct tape so Chris wouldn't get the same bright idea.

Amazingly, my MIL slept through the entire incident! Not sure how that happened - but, thank goodness she did! Otherwise, I have a feeling we would have been replacing the window screens out of our security deposit!

Friday, September 22, 2006

Monitor On Psychology issue dedicated to TTC/Infertility

Thanks to Drea on C-Moms, she pointed out that September's issue of the Monitor On Psychology is dedicated to TTC/Infertility. I encourage everyone to check out these articles - they were very helpful:

  • Battling the Self-Blame of Infertility
  • Does Stress Hinder Conception?
  • How to Handle a Stubborn Stork
  • Private Loss Visible
  • They are So Wanted

Here is the journal and articles link:

Hope you find these articles helpful too.

...and, a BIG thanks, Drea!

Oh, while I am at posting articles, here is one from Conceive Magazine on miscarriage:

...Lets keep the good news a'rollin' in!

Just got back from my endocrinologist appointment this morning...and Dr. S confirmed what the radiologist told me Tuesday - there appears to be no thyroid problem. YEAH!!!!

So, why exactly was my T4 elevated, you ask?....

....Because if the damned birth control pills!

Can you believe it! I go on the BCPs to try to regulate my cycles (which, of course, it has not done), and on the back end, they create more stress and worry. Please remind me to NEVER make that decision to go back on them again!

Dr. S explained that Dr. R and Dr. McC ran the thyroid bloodwork for TSH, T3 and T4 - but, not FREE T3 and T4, which gives you the true level of the hormones in your body. What they ran shows you T3 and T4 with proteins attached to the hormone - and, because I was on the BCPs for a few months, the BPCS were causing more proteins to run through my system, elevating the T4 readings. Which explains why the T4 levels kept increasing over the summer from being completely normal in the Recurrent Loss Panel in May...I was on the BCPs from mid-May through the very beginning of August - and the last T4 level (the highest one I had) was run on August 22nd, not allowing enough time for my body to flush out the proteins and extra T4 attached to them. Now, that I am almost 2 months off the BCPS, the bloodwork she ran today should show normal FREE T4 levels.

As a precaution, she is also running a Thyroid antibody screen - she said you can have thyroid antibodies in your system, which may or may not make you develop a thyroid problem, but can certainly affect your chances for additional miscarriages. So, I will know those results next week sometime...but, she said it is unlikely the bloodwork will come back with a positive for thyroid antibodies (she is sure Dr. D must have run that in the Recurrent Loss Panel).

....and, I am STILL 151 lbs! Yippeee! Can you say, Gap! Watch out! Here I come! Mommy needs some new clothes for the fall!

What does all this mean for the future now? Hope, for sure. Peace, absolutely.

I am finally being treated for the MTHFR/homocysteine issues, so we will know in November if the Folgard is working well. I have had little problems now with my stomach...although, I have yet to see what happens when I come off the Librax (hopefully, the stomach issues will not return so strongly). I have kept the weight off, and am physically in a better place to TTC again. And, I have finally, truly, come to a peaceful place about the losses - to a place where I can remember, but not feel angry, upset or alone.

I just have to keep the weight off now...and see what Dr. D will do about getting me knocked up again. I still have reservations about using Clomid, since the last 3 tries have not produced stellar responses...but, now that I am 35 lbs lighter (and weight less than I did when I get pregnant with Chris on 50 mg Clomod), maybe it will work better and I just need to trust and try it again. That conversation comes up on 10/23 when I go to see Dr. D for my annual...

I think I have come to a point where I can begin to close this chapter of my life and look toward the joys of the future. I know I will still have bad days ahead - especially, when I am TTC and finally pregnant again, and the worry of another miscarriage will creep back in - but, with Dr. P's help, I think I will be able to face it better.

Until then, I am going to enjoy life for a while!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Chapter 3: The Boogey-Nose Imp (Christopher, of course!)

...Now, onto Chapter 3 of vacation...which, now, seems like it happened a year ago (damned work!).

My mom calls me Friday to mention that Chris has been sneezing like crazy...which I also had noticed Thursday night. So, I figured, maybe he was just having some allergies again - it certainly was starting to feel fall-like, and when I have an allergy flair-up, so does he.


Friday night, someone opened the faucet that is his nose and forgot to turn it off!

Poor thing... He was sneezing, nose running, mild coughing - not quite a good way to begin vacation. But, he is a trooper! He slept like a log Friday night (after aiding him with some Children's Tylenol Cold) and was very chipper Saturday morning (just with a runnign boogey-nose).

After we made it down to the shore through Hurricaine Ernesto, and he (and I) took a 3 hour nap (can you say heavenly...except when I woke up and realized my contacts were sticking to my eyeballs), he just chilled for the day...not much to do when it is pouring rain.

The weather started to clear a bit in the very late we decided, let's take him to The Music Man Ice Cream Shop! The Music Man Shop is an ice cream store where you get seated, order your ice cream and when all of the orders and served, the wait staff presents a half hour performance - We called and made reservations for 5 (the place is VERY busy!) for 6 pm.

When we arrived, we had to wait outside a little bit (they were finishing up a private party), and during that wait, you could see Chris was starting to get a little icky....he was whiny (which is NOT his style), eyes getting red and he just looked tired. Once the party cleared, we went in and got seated...then we could really see he just wasn't feeling good. So, after about 10 minutes of sitting at the table, looking over the menu, I made the decision to take him back to the house and call it a night. We apologized to the wait staff...and they genuinely felt bad that he was feeling so crappy and hoped we would come back when he was feeling better.

My IL's stayed a few minutes and bought take-out ice cream (which, we did give to Chris at home - helps a sore throat, right??), while we got him settled into his jammies. He didn't sleep that well Saturday night - even with the Tylenol. But, once he woke up Sunday morning, he was ready to go again....sleeping it off (as best he could, anyway) did make him feel better.

Of course, there was some residual boogey-issues through Thursday of vacation...but, he felt much better after Saturday. And, amazingly, NO ONE caught that cold!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

The Lo-down on the Thyroid Scan and Uptake...Good News!

This is yet to be confirmed by the endocrinologist on Friday morning, but it looks like I may not have a thyroid problem at all!

I went over to St. Barnabas Hospital early Tuesday morning and arrived around 7:15 am... After registration with the outpatient test area, I headed up to the 1st floor radiology area. Radiology has several, once I found out where I really needed to be and followed the HUGE maze, I finally found Nuclear Medicine...

Step one was to do a brief history with the tech supervisor. Once all medical information was confirmed, I got to swallow this lovely green and white capsule - taken out of 2 different storage containers since, well, it is radioactive. Not sure if I was glowing after I swallowed it...

Then I headed home for a few hours to allow it to run through my system... During that time, I started my marinara sauce for dinner (yummy!) and did some major fall cleaning out of clothing. Now, I have room for some new skinny clothes!

I headed back for the uptake and scans at noon...thank goodness I decided to leave early, as it took me 15 minutes to find a parking spot (nothing like letting outpatient testers have complimentary parking). Then, I headed back through the maze to Nuclear Medicine.

After 15 minutes of waiting (and watching all of these elderly people being left on stretchers in the hallways while they were waiting for tests to be run), I was called in (still no glow, at least not that I could see). After reviewing the medical stuff with the tech doing the actual test (nice, older fellow...very personable), I was taken to the uptake area. I had to remove my necklace so it would not interfere with the test - that was fine, as long as I didn't have to remove the tiny hoop earings I wear! Those hoops are the worst to get back in!

The uptake test is quick - they point a gun-like device at the base of your throat and leave it there for a few minutes, then do the same on your leg for a comparison. Not bad. Took only 5-10 minutes.

Then, we headed over to the scan area... Yozers! My neck hurts today! I was asked to lie down on the gurney and place my neck on a triangular pillow, which tilts your head back in a total craning position (I had a GREAT view of the old tile ceilings...maybe I should tell them they have a small water leak?). After that, he put another triagular pillow under my knees to keep me from moving around (the knee pillow was comfy!). I had to stay in this position for about 45 minutes straight! Each scan took about 8-10 minutes to complete (3 scans are done - thyroid gland head-on, and then a scan from an angle on either side), but the adjustments between scans also take time so he can scan the gland clearly. During that time - you CANNOT move! I think I fell asleep for a while...what else was there to do?

After the scans were complete - and I was no longer light-headed from the craning position - the radiologist came in to review what he saw in the tests:

Uptake (or how your thyroid works) is perfect, and the scans only show that one side of the gland is enlarged, which is very common and not an indicator of a problem. Also, the radiologist said that if it were a real thyroid problem, I should have 2 of 3 levels elevated (T3, T4 and TSH) - my only elevated level is T4. He did say some of my symptoms sounds like a hyperactive thyroid...but by the tests alone, he sees no problems at all. He said, sometimes there can be a small glitch triggered by pregnancy, miscarriage, medications, etc. that make it look like you might have a thyroid issue, but will correct itself on its own. This may very well be what happened to me.

Talk about good news! So, keep your fingers crossed - this may be off the problem list on Friday!!!

Please Support October 15th - Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day

To any woman reading this blog who has either experienced one miscarriage or several, or has supported someone through a loss - or to any man reading this blog who has supported someone (whether it be spouse, fiance, girlfriend, sister, daughter...) through a loss...

Please support the work trying to be done to make October 15th the Official Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day:

I am trying to do my part by calling and faxing my Congressional Representatives. I also have on my car an official Support October 15th magnet on my car and am wearing my support band.

We need 50 total Representatives to support this Resolution, but we need 11 MORE to support it! Please try to do your part as soon as possible... We have one more week to get this done!

As many of you know, October is a big month for me... I learned about my second miscarriage when I started bleeding on October 30, 2005 - and the ultrasounds and bloodwork started on October 31, 2005 began to confirm the Blighted Ovum. The baby I miscarried in March 2006 would have been due October 30, 2006. Making October 15th an official rememberance day for babies would be a very healing step.

Thanks so much to all of you...

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

....and 2 years ago today...

...I had my first miscarriage.

After Chris was born in 2004, I opted not to try BCPs after pregnancy because I had hoped that, because of the pregnancy, my cycles might regulate. They did - for about 2-3 cycles, then it was downhill again from there.

In my first real (and charted) cycle after Chris was born, I had a clean ovulation...and at 15 DPO, realized that AF was not here (nor were the AF symtomps). It was a Sunday - the day of the baptism of a friends' son.

So, I decided I better test...and lo and behold, it was a BFP! I was shocked - scared - excited!

I didn't say anything to Hubby at the time because we were leaving to head to Toms River for the baptism. But, I brought the + HPT with me in a baggie to show him later.

But, during the baptism and the party afterwards, I started cramping - badly. Then, about a 1/2 hour before we left the party, AF showed - and with a vengance.

I was disappointed, for sure. But okay with it - I figured that the test was probably just defective, or I read it wrong. So, when I got home, I threw the test away in the trash... That was it. It was over.

...Now, 2 years later, I know this was my first miscarriage. Am I sad about the loss? Absolutely. Am I devastated about the loss? Unfortunately, no...and maybe that is because I didn't realize at the time it was in fact a miscarriage. Do I feel guilty for that? Definitely.

I chose to take 6/27 and 10/30 off for my EDD's not to try to remember them on the days that they should have been born. Funny how I ended up off today anyway, since my thyroid scan and uptake test had to be rescheduled from last week because of Dr. McC's office staff error. I am glad...I can give this angel his/her own special time.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Chapter 2: Escort down the GSP with Hurricane Ernesto

The start of our vacation - after the minor fender-bender involving my carpool buddy's car on the way home from work the day before - was interesting. Not bad, just amusing in some ways.

Of course, there was the requisite packing the night before...and packing....and packing... In the third vacation with Chris in tow, it is getting a little lighter - no swing, bouncer, pack-n-play, etc. to pack! But, there is the HUGE storage tub to pack with all of his fav toys (the tub, BTW, seconds as a bathtub since the house we rent only has showers). I got to do all of it - except for Hubby's stuff. He's a grown-up and can figure out what he needs. Done packing around 11 pm Friday night...not bad!

However, my MIL drove us nuts for 2-3 days prior to the trip because of the reports of Hurricane Ernesto... Rain, more rain... Flooding in the roadways...flooding at the shore. Beach errosion. What are we going to do with the trip down to the shore? I told her, we are going, rain or shine! Just travel slow!

So, Saturday morning, we got up early and did the usual routine: showers, breakfast, etc. DH packed up the Forester (filled to the gills, but at least I could see out the rear-view mirror this year) and we were on our way around 10 am, just behind my IL's, who left about 20 minutes before us... I think this was our BEST packing and loading time EVER.

As we headed south on the Garden State Parkway (GSP), the rain and wind wasn't too bad... Needed the wipers, but it wasn't pouring. Then comes MIL cell phone call #1:

"Be aware there is a tree in the roadway around Exit 135."

Okay...we are approaching Exit 135 (which is approximately Clark, for the NJ folk). No back-ups, which are bound to happen on the GSP with a tree in the road. I think my MIL took too much Effexor or something.

We called my MIL back... "Where was the tree? There is no tree."

"It was on the side of the the shoulder."

Uh, duh. Like that was going to matter for traffic.

The rain still isn't too bad... Then, we hit the Driscoll Bridge (which, for tri-state area residents, is known as the break between "the city" and "the shore". As we are going over the bidge (which is very elevated and wide), you could feel the car swaying (especially with the "clam" - or storage tub mounted on the roof of the car - decreasing the eurodynamics of the car).

About halfway over the bridge, MIL cell phone call #2 arrives:

"Be aware we just called the troopers."

"Why?" we asked. "Accident?"

"No. But the lawn chairs bungied to the roof of our car just flew off at the end of the bridge. We called for the troopers to pick them up. Watch for them so you don't hit them."

"You didn't stop?" we asked.

"No, figured there was no way to get them back."

We start cracking up at this point... Never, in all the years we have collectively headed to the shore for vacation, have they EVER lost anything off the roof of the car. And, knowing my MIL, I am shocked she didn't make my FIL stop to get them.

As we head in the area where the chairs should have been...none were to be found. Either the troopers were really amitious and picked them up...or someone just stopped and got some free chairs. Personally, I think the aliens took them - who else would stop in heavy rain and wind for old lawn chairs? But, that's just me.

A few miles up the road, we see a 3-pack of paper towels on the, we just HAD to call them to bust on them about the chairs.

"So, we didn't see your chairs," we said.


"But, did you lose some papertowels?" we asked.

"Uh, very funny."

The rest of the trip was relatively uneventful - usually, you can expect a few idiots to drive like maniacs (or, like its 80 degrees and sunny), but I guess they stayed home. The rest of the trip was peaceful...with Chris singing his heart out to the Backyardigans CD playing in the stereo.

We arrived at the house around 11:30 am - which is great timing! Usually takes about 1+ hours to get there from the 'hood (or, Irvington). Time to stretch!

The men did the car unpacking....yeah! No wet hair for me! The ladies did the room settling...and the Chris prep for lunch and nap. We were settled in by 12:30 - Chris had lunch, and mommy took a nap with him afterwards...

Not bad for the start of vacation. :)

19 years ago today....

...I met my Hubby. Phew! Has it been that long already! Amazing how so much has changed in almost 2 decades....yet, we are in a small way, still the same.

I wasn't planning to go to my high school welcome dance... It was a Friday, after the first week of school (okay, the first week of High School!) at an all-girls catholic school (this was my choice, since the boys in grammer school were, to say the least, mean to a girl who "developed" early). The change to high school was enough for me that week - I didn't feel like subjecting myself to meeting a whole slew of high school boys. But, a friend (C) I met on the bus earlier that week wanted to go....and she insisted I go with her.

I met up with C after my parents dropped me off at the door (wow, were we lame or what!) at 8 pm. We went in (and, like high school freshman, we were the first to show up - even lamer!) and the music just started. We had a good time meeting up with others from our class, seeing the guys show up, and scanning the guys to see who was "cute" and who were nerds.

Around 9 pm, C saw this guy (Joe) and "wanted to dance with him." But, she just couldn't ask him herself (insert eyes rolling here - as, years later when we were 22 years old, she was chasing male dancers around at the clubs!). So, off I went to ask him to dance with her at the next slow dance. Joe agreed - but only if I and a third friend we met up with would dance with two of his friends.

Ding! Ding! Ding! WARNING LIGHTS!!! What we do for friends, right?

So, I agreed and about 10 minutes later, the next slow dance comes up and the three guys head through the crowd like a Navy armada.

C and Joe walk off together to dance, leaving myself, our other friend and two guys standing there like dorks. Finally, the one guy breaks the ice and says, "Come on...lets meet each other and dance." He takes my hand and off we go.

Here is the song that was playing...

The Search Is Over
by Survivor

How can I convince you what you see is real
Who am I to blame you for doubting what you feel
I was always reachin', you were just a girl I knew
I took for granted the friend I have in you
I was living for a dream, loving for a moment
Taking on the world, that was just my style
Now I look into your eyes
I can see forever, the search is over
You were with me all the while
Can we last forever, will we fall apart
At times it's so confusing, these questions of the heart
You followed me through changes and patiently you'd wait
Till I came to my senses through some miracle of fate
I was living for a dream, loving for a moment
Taking on the world, that was just my style
Now I look into your eyes
I can see forever, the search is over
You were with me all the while
Now the miles stretch out behind me
Loves that I have lost
Broken hearts lie victims of the game
Then good luck it finally struck
Like lightning from the blue
Every highway leading me back to you
Now at last I hold you, now all is said and done
The search has come full circle
Our destinies are one
So if you ever loved me
Show me that you give a damn
You'll know for certain
The man I really am
I was living for a dream, loving for a moment
Taking on the world, that was just my style
Then I touched your hand, I could hear you whisper
The search is over, love was right before my eyes

We didn't talk until after the song was over.... He asked if I wanted a soda (gotta love high school dances!), and escorted me to the cafeteria (did I mention the dance was in my high school gym?).

It was there that he introduced himself as "Nek" - that is Ken spelled backwards, drop the "c". Oi! What a lame line that was....but, so sweet, I couldn't leave. We talked for 2 hours...about his cousins (who at the time were 4 and 6 years old - now, the 4 year old is getting married and is expecting her first baby!), about school, about what we wanted to do with our lives... The time went by so fast...yet it felt like I knew him for years.

Then, I had to make a confession to him.... I took him over to where my purse was and dug out my glasses: Yes, I wore glasses! He laughed himself to tears! He thought I had some "deep, dark secret" that was going to scare him off. He still makes fun of me about that now. I always respond that it was a good thing he was good vision isn't great without glasses!

At the end of the dance, he gave me his phone number. Me, being the traditional type of girl, gave him my phone number and asked that he call me - I wasn't going to chase him, I wanted him to chase me. He escorted me out to my parents car, said hi to my parents, and shook my hand (my mom laughs about that, even now!).

He called the following Sunday night...and we talked for about 3 hours straight...and the rest of history.

The night I chose to go to that dance was the smartest choice in my life. He has been my rock so many times...and every road really did lead back to him. Sometimes, fate has a funny way of working...

Friday, September 15, 2006

Vacation Chapter 1: The Psychic visit

The boardwalk psychic visit actually happened on the last full day of, this will be out of "time-sequence," if that really matters!

I walk into her "storefront" (really, a larger room followed by a smaller room, separated by a red curtain) and she tells me to sit down...she needs to "clear her mind" (sure thing, since our friend S just had a reading done a few minutes before). After a few seconds, she tells me to come in to the small reading area...

She takes my hands and begins to examine them, front, back, front, back... The first words out of her mouth is that I have a nice, long life-line - I should live well into my 80's. Phew! So, we will have to see what is happening around 2056! Although she didn't mention anything specific about how long I would be married, she did say I was happily married to a supportive man. So, Check #1 for her.

She then beigns to ask me about my mom...

She says my mom is very stressed and sad. Did someone pass recently that she was close to? I replied no. Check subtraction #1. Then, she tells me that I am very different from my brother and sister - I care about people's feelings and minimalize the meaning of "stuff" in my life (meaning, materialistic things), whereas they are "stuff" oriented and everything is always about them. They only "care" about you when it is convenient for them. Check #2 for her! She said they are a great source of stress and sadness for my mom...and that I need to be her rock to get through it. She says my mom is not a well woman (Check #3 for her, since my mom does have several autoimmune diseases, anxiety and stomach problems), and that being her sounding-board will help her to reduce the stress and be well. She also said my mom takes such pleasure in Chris when he is there for the day (Check #4, since I didn't tell her my mom watched him) and that the arrangement is very good for her.

Then she tells me that a move is being planned for the future... I respond yes, but not the very near future - it was in the very early "planning" stages. So, she asks how close my parents and in-laws live to me - and I told her my parents live a town over and my in-laws are around the corner. She tells me to keep that kind of distance - not to move everyone closer. Not because no one gets along - we all do. But, such a close arrangement could cause stress for us (meaning Hubby and I) in the long run. Check #5 for her, since I didn't mention until after she said this that the plan was to try to find a three-family house (or some sort of arrangement like that) to have everyone close. She said, absolutely, don't do it. Humm...

She also says that my job has been stressful lately...that I work with the public and the work I do affects those who attend the events. Check #6, since she didn't ask what I did until after she said that. She said, try to stay out of the politics of the office - it would only cause more stress than I need right now. On that, she is kinda wrong (Check subtraction #2) as the politics of my office have gone away since the departure of my "fav" ex-co-worker (psycho) Maria...but, then again, she could mean the University itself, which in that case, she would be right. So, I will take that at face value for now...and keep it in the back of my mine.

Then, she finally came to the issue I was hoping she would....children.

She asked, you have had several pregnancies, right? Check #7. I responded yes. She asked, several were not successful? Check #8. I responded yes. She asked, how many living children do you have? (Now, as a psychic, she should know that, right? But I will let it slide for now...). I responded 1, out of 4 pregnancies.

She holds my hand and says, "You are meant to have 3 living children. Don't give up, as you have the best care you can get."

Now, this falls in line with what she told my MIL in July, and what she told DH in July and after my reading (he went in after me again). So, maybe that can be true? Only time will tell.

However, what does bother me is that she told S that she will have 3 children as well (although the 3 for her includes her m/c'ed angel in 8/05)... So, children come in 3's to her?

In the end, she got a lot right - way more than I was expecting for $10 and 10 minutes time, and not coming forth with informatin to "aid her" in her reading. But, at the same time, there were generalizations that could be applied to just anyone she meets... Again, only time will tell...but, considering how well the MFM appointment went, maybe she will be right...

My amazing vacation....broken into "Chapters"

Since so much went on during vacation (mostly good, some not so good...), I am going to break down the events into "Chapters:"

Chapter 1: The Psychic visit (coming first, since everyone is waiting to hear about the results of it!)

Chapter 2: Escort down the GSP with Hurricane Ernesto

Chapter 3: The Boogey-Nose Imp (Christopher, of course!)

Chapter 4: How a two-year-old can scare the crap out of her parents (and hosts!)

Chapter 5: Peace found by the ocean

Chapter 6: Play time and other funny Christopher moments (pics will be included....which is why this is later in the chapter list!)

Chapter 7: Some sad news to accompany the last night of vacation

Chapter 8: The return to reality - Work, doctor screw ups, unexpected weddings!

I will try to post one or two chapters per day...I hope!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

How my miscarriages have brought forth new life

I am back from vacation (and, a FANTASTIC vacation it was!)... There is a lot of work I have to catch up on here at work (shocking!), so posting the details of my vacation and pics here on the blog and saying hi to everyone on FFriend, FFamily and C-Moms won't be possible until the weekend. I apologize for the lack of communication...I am lucky I get a chance to eat lunch right now!

Until then... I have to share an event that has brought such peace to my soul...

Through all of the heartache of the past year, I have searched and searched for a reason for why I have miscarried my three angel babies - and I don't mean medical reasons (I know at least part of that now), but more spiritual reasons. And, it has not been an easy journey. It is hard to smile or laugh when all you want to do is hide from the world and cry.

Thinking back to the 18 months it took to TTC my Chris, I was angry and upset and felt worthless that my body could not do what it should naturally - ovulate and conceive children. But, finally, the answer to all of the hurts and questions during that time was born on May 4th, 2004....and all of the pain was washed away in one second when they laid my beautiful Christopher in my arms. It was (and still is) an amazing time...

But, as I have tried and tried to heal from the losses of my three angels, I have not been able to find those "answers" to explain the losses. I am a "scientific" thinker - I need an answer to move past the hurt, which is a hUGE flaw of mine. I feel that as I make small steps in healing, I am always knocked back down again with what to some would be miniscule reminders - but to me, are stabs in the heart. But, that has now changed...

Tuesday evening, Chris and I decided to wait outside for Daddy to arrive home from work - and Chris could watch the cars and airplanes go past the house (he LOVES it!). As we were waiting (as Hubby was late coming home), Hubby's aunt (Cookoo Auntie - who lives across the street from us) waived "hi" as she answered her door to get the pizza she ordered for dinner. A few minutes later, she and Hubby's cousin (Suzi) came out of the house and made their way over to our house....which is not unusual, since they LOVE to play with Chris.

When they got to us, Suzi said "she had news."

Okay....I'm in the dark here! Fess up, girlie!

She holds out her left hand and announces she is engaged.


But, in that moment, I did think it odd she was engaged because she had JUST gotten back together with Mike in late July. After 3 1/2 years of dating, Mike was in a bad spot - no direction to his life, working at a Jersey Mike's deli for little pay and no working car. Suzi decided she needed some space in March-ish and started dating other people (Mike knew) - and she felt Mike needed some time to decide what to do with his life. She went round and round until she realized she missed him....and he realized he needed to make more of his life. So, they got back together in late July. I am thinking loooong engagement. Very pretty ring (it his Godmother's). She looked happy.... I am happy for her. He's a nice guy at heart.

The Suzi says "...but, there is more news.... Chris is going to have a cousin."

At that moment, I am thinking her friend is pregnant again (Kier got pregnant and ended up with a "shot-gun" wedding at town hall in 2004). No big deal, right?

But, then I realized it was SUZI who was pregnant! I was speechless...

Now, I am not close-minded by ANY means - my sister and brother both had children before they got married to their ex's (and my brother's son was in his!), so this is nothing new to me! I was just shocked that she, of all people, would end up in this situation.

She and Cookoo Auntie explained how Mike was getting his act together well, she has a potential better job lined up for herself, that they had a plan in place - They are getting married on November 12th, will live with her parents until they can afford an apartment and be ready for her EDD of April 3rd.

Then, she asked if I would be in the wedding (she was in mine) and if Chris would be in it too. Cool! Another wedding! And, Chris in a tux - double cool! So, I agreed...and I am happy for them.

But, I had to ask her if she was okay with all of this - that she wasn't rushing into marriage just because she was pregnant, that she was sure of her decisions about the baby, that she was ready to be a mommy. And, what she said to me has really put my aching heart to rest...

She said that when she realized her period was late, she stalled to test by a week - she was in denial. When she finally tested, she was in even more denial about the result she got. So, she talked with her parents, and with Mike, for hours one end... She considered abortion and adoption... If she had this baby, all of her plans and dreams for her life would change dramatically. She wanted to start a career, have fun (she is only 23 years old), have a nice wedding...ane eventually have children, just not now.

...But, as she talked with everyone and thought about how this baby would change things, her mind kept settling on ME and what Hubby and I have been through loosing three babies that were wanted so desperately...and not easily conceived. She thought about the hurdles it takes me to get pregnant in the first place...and the monitoring it is going to take to make sure any future baby will be healthy - and stick. She asked, how could she take a life away before it has a chance to begin, when she has watch me cry and cry for the babies that were taken from us - from me? She asked, how could she chose to terminate a life when I had no choice in the termination of three? She asked, how could she sleep at night with a decision to terminate a life because it didn't fit "the plan" when I can't sleep at night thinking about how different my family should have been three times over. So, she decided that she would accept this gift of life - even though it was not conceived at "the right time" - make the best choices she can to raise this child right.

Her consideration of what Hubby and I have been through over the past year just took my breath away...and has, finally, given me the answers to why these losses had to happen. My emptiness and sadness of never being able to hold my angels has opened the door to a new life - a life that will be greatly appreciated and loved. Her decision - their decision - has brought such peace to my heart, I just cannot describe the feeling right now.

My miscarriages have brought forth new life.... What more can I say? My heart can finally begin to heal knowing that my three angels were not taken from me for no reason...and I am grateful. The weight on my heart is really beginning to lift.

(I just hope the pregnancy vibes rub off on my come the New Year....)

Meme about Christopher

ME tagged Christopher

3 Things That Scare Me
- Loud, sudden noises
- Loud concerts
- BIG dogs or dogs that like to lick

3 People That Make Me Laugh
- Daddy
- Cookoo Antie (Hubby's aunt)
- Zia (our frient S)

3 Things I Love
- Snuggle time with Mommy & Daddy (or anyone willing to snuggle that is not a stranger)
- Singing
- Mommy coming home from work

3 Things I Hate

- Mommy leaving for work in the morning
- White Rice
- Green beans (I changed my mind on this one...I used to like them)

3 Things I Don't Understand
- Why mommy has to leave for work every day
- Why I can't splash like crazy in the tub (cleaning up the water is such a trivial thing, isn't it?)
- Why some other kids are so grabby of my toys and won't share their toys

3 Things On My Desk/Table (or my highchair)

- Thomas the Tank Engine trains
- Jay Jay the Jet Plane planes
- Books galore!

3 Things I'm Doing Right Now

- Not sure (mommy is at work)...probably napping though

3 Things I Want to Do Before I Die (don't like the thought of that- changing this to- Before I'm 3 yrs old:)
- See the BIG trucks at the quarry where PopPop works
- Fish with Papa
- Do whatever daddy does (include wrestling, acting, signing, playing guitar, etc., etc.......)

3 Things I Can Do
- Sing any song played for me
- Jump in place until I am out of breath
- Give great hugs and kisses

3 Ways to Describe My Personality
- Humorous
- Stubborn
- Smart and inquisitive

3 Things I Can't Do

- Read books (although I know all of my letters and numbers!)
- Walk well on slippery tile floors with non-skidproof socks on
- Go up and down the stairs without mommy or daddy watching (how dare they be cautious!)

3 Things I Think You Should Listen To
- My singing...
- My singing...
- My daddy's guitar playing (with my singing)

3 Things I Think You Should Never Listen To

- Anyone fighting - it's scary
- Grandma trying to sing Opera (don't worry, she knows she's not good at it either!)
- Gwar (the heavy metal rock band...although they are really funny to watch)

3 Absolute Favorite Foods

- French fries
- Ice Cream
- Cereal

3 Things I'd Like to Learn

- How to wash and dress myself (I am learning!)
- How to play the instruments I like (like piano and guitar)
- How to swim

3 Beverages I Drink Regularly
- Water
- Iced Tea (decaf, of course!)
- 1% Milk

3 Shows I Watched as a Kid
- The Wonder Pets
- Pingu
- Thomas the Tank Engine

3 Babies we will tag:

- Paco

Friday, September 01, 2006

We're goin' on a trip... We're goin' on a trip!

We are off tomorrow (with Tropical Storm Ernesto in tow) to the Jersey shore... YEAH! The Subaru Forester will be packed to the gills, but the trip isn't too long.

To start the trip off with a real "bang" - I got to be involved in a minor car accident. Our system administrator's at work (we carpool to save $$$ on the gas) was driving his wife's car and this idiot woman didn't notice were stopped at a red light and she hit us pretty hard. None of us were hurt...but now he has to get his wife's car fixed (which was JUST fixed from another accident).

No more thinking about doctors appointments, tests, losses....nothing. This is to be all rest, relaxation, fun...and a trip to the boardwalk psychic.

So... I will post when I can. But, I am going to enjoy my time with Chris, Hubby and my family.