Friday, March 30, 2007

Is it just me...

....Or, do people just don't want to do their jobs anymore???

I went to Dr. McC's office for my "alleged" 5:00 pm appointment... I say "alleged" because, well, I have a feeling everyone can figure out what happened yesterday...

Yep, they had no record of a scheduled appointment for me at 5:00 pm in their computer! So, after I left work early (skipping my lunch) to get there and sitting in the waiting room for 45 minutes, they finally call me to the window and say, "We don't have you in the schedule."

So, having just come off my PMS-bitch tyrade that I now get in the one to two weeks before I get my periods now, I told the girl at the window that 1) I didn't come here to wait for an appointment just because I had nothing better to do with my time, 2) I didn't skip my lunch and leave work at 3:30 pm because I was bored there and had no work to do and 3) she better find out if I can get in with the doc TODAY since I took the time to get there and the dope who made the appointment should have hit the ENTER key to schedule my appointment in the first place (like, duh! I had a confirmation card in my calendar!)!

All I can say is they are lucky this was not Tuesday or Wednesday, when I was slightly more homoc.idal than yesterday...

Anyways, I did finally get in to see Dr. McC - except it was 7:15 pm instead of the 5:00 pm scheduled time. I didn't leave the office until 7:45 pm = I was starving!

*** This is where Tina must remember if she doesn't get a confirming phone call for my next appointment on May 14th, then she had better call the office to confirm herself!!! ***

Anyways, I did obviously get in and we made some progress in the appointment yesterday...
  1. Dr. McC is going to re-run the full auto-immune blood panels, now that Hashimoto's Thyroiditis (auto-immune thyroid disease) is confirmed. He decided that since I now have a diagnosed auto-immune issue and my mom has several different auto-immune disorders, it would be best to re-run the panels. Sometimes, issues remain dormant until one is confirmed, and we don't want to get surprised later on if something develops and he didn't test for it.
  2. He agrees with Dr. S about the Hashimoto's and doesn't think I will lose any more weight from the Levoxyl. It should hold my weight where it is (141 pounds again).
  3. I told him about Dr. S' thought that my blood pressure last week was low (she measured it as 99/65). So, he checked it a few times and looking back in his records, it seems to hang around 104/66. He is not worried about that right now - it seems to be my normal, especially since losing 30 or so pounds.
  4. He is going to call Dr. D about how to handle my being on Lexapro and TTC again. Since June/July might be the target time for it, he is going to have me come back on May 14th to see if either I can start coming off it completely (average time to be on meds is six months, so I might be ready by then to come off it) or see if Dr. D would consider letting me switch to Zoloft, which should be safe to TTC on. Obviously, I need to be off Xanex completely...
So, now I have to wait for my thyroid u/s on April 10th, this next appointment with Dr. McC and repeat thyroid b/w in May and my follow-up endocrinologist appointment on July 2nd. Hopefully, all signs will be a GO for TTC in June/July - just gotta see if Dr. D will be closing his office for the July 4th holiday again this year (his office is usally closed for the week) so that we can time Provera, Clomid and IUI!

Keep your fingers crossed!

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

The power of Numbers??

So, today - finally, after feeling PMS-y for almost 2 weeks! - The Red Storm arrived.


But, I really need to know what is the power of this number:


All of the past thee cycles have been 77 days... Three cycles... 77 days...

Any takers on this?

Am I supposed to take this as July, 2007 = a start to TTC again? Or, July 7 as an ovulation date? Or, go back to the "777" as "God's Number" - three times 77 appearing? What? It has GOT to mean something - other than this being "my regular cycle"!

Positive Affirmations

A fellow (anonymous) blogger posted this on her blog - and I am here to spread it for her.

Tell 5 good things about yourself or good things you have accomplished here lately. Pat yourself on the back! You deserve it. If you want/need to remain anonymous, go right ahead. But I want to hear from you. And it will do you some good. So 1, 2, 3 GO!
  1. I have been able to go more days without Xanex than with over the past three weeks!
  2. My last miscarriage anniversary passed without tears, anxiety or anger. I have become peaceful with where my journey had taken me thus far, and have more hope for the future of our family.
  3. I have become assertive with people when I need to be, instead of backing down from a disargeement - even though I know I am right.
  4. I had a great first parent-teacher conference for Chris today - he is doing very well at his nursery school, and I was told that has a lot to do with how myself and my husband follow-up with what is taught in class.
  5. I have gone back to doing yoga, now that my stitches are healed. And, it just feels great!

Monday, March 26, 2007

Livin' for today

First, I want to thank Melissa over at Stirrup Queens and Sperm Palace Gesters for her post on her latest Friday Blog Round-up. It was very sweet of you to mention my last post - and because of that, I have received more comment on my blog than ever before (not sure who are new readers or not, but that doesn't matter to me). The response was more than I could have imagined, and in line with my post Paying It Forward, I will be making more stops this week to other blogs to comment.

I also wanted to thank all of the commenters that stopped in last week - your thoughts and comments were very kind and supportive. I greatly appreciate it. Even though I have finally come to terms with my path and have grown because of it, that still doesn't mean I am not sad it all. Your support means a lot to me. I never started this blog for "popularity" or attention reasons - I started it to get my feelings out of me (and learn from them) and to maybe help just one person who has walked a similar path I had laid before me. I hope I have done that to some degree.

So, on to some "catch-up's," since I haven't posted for a few days...

Last Monday morning, I got my semi-infamous stitches out of my chin for my I feel like a total horse's ass right now... fall. The resulting Rosacea rash from the band-aid covering the "laceration" is finally clearing up, so I am looking a little more back to normal now. I know I still owe pics of the "wound" - I will get to it this week (we do need to have the "after" pics, don't we??). But, at least you really can't see it - you have to know I fell to notice where the scar will be. Yeah!

My dad popped his hip replacement out early last Tuesday morning... Spent the entire day (from 5:30 am until about 4:00 pm) in the ER trying to figure out how the hip would get put back in. I am curious to know what was going on - the ER was so jammed packed, they had beds throughout the hallways of the ER! Anyways, around 9 am, we got tired of waiting for any information on what was going to be done and we called the surgeon's office who did his hip replacement surgery in January, only to find out he was skiing in Wyoming. Oh, joy! So, the receptionist at the office talked to one of the partners and got a covering doc down to the ER around 12 noon. Finally, after general anesthesia (the local anesthesia was not working), they pushed his hip back in and we had him transported home via abulance once he was coherent enough to go home. He saw the surgeon on Friday - he's home for two weeks from work, and must limit his movement to what he had post-op. Once he is ready to go back to work, he HAS TO resume his exercises (which was one of the factors in the hip popping out in the first place!) and has to be careful of how he moves. What a moron my dad can be... He popped it out putting his work shoe "the old way." So, that blew a sick day...

Work has been insane this and last week... Not that I mind now, since balancing things is getting a little easier. Just means less blog and BG time. :( Rats...

Friday I went for my follow-up at the Dr. S' office (the endocrinologist). After her exam and reviewing my latest bloodwork and what has been going on in terms of symptoms for the past few months, I have been officially diagnosed with Hashimoto's Thyroiditis. I started Levoxyl on Friday and go back in two months for repeat thyroid bloodwork. I also have to go in on April 10th for an ultrasound of the thyroid since my gland feels "grainy" now. I hope over the coming weeks that the symptoms begin to subside a bit - although I am really hoping that I don't lose any more weight on this medication. Guess we have to wait and see on that one.

Chris came down with another stomach virus on Saturday... I am beginning to feel like such a bad mother because this was his fourth stomach virus in less than three years! I keep a relatively clean I just wish I knew where he was picking them up from! We got very concerned on Saturday because his fever spiked up to a little over 104 degrees - and he has never had a fever that high! So, we called the ped and was told that if it didn't come down in an hour after motrin and a tepid bath, to take him to the ER. Luckily for us, it did come down, although it hovered around 101 degrees through Sunday morning. Finally, after a 3 1/2 hour nap starting at 3 pm yesterday, he started to feel better and is now his old self...

However, here is my newest issue that I am having a hard time dealing with:

Every time Chris has had a stomach virus, I get it. Sooooo, of course I am sitting here watching for every freakin' sign of impending doom of hurling. I talked to Hubby about it last night - it is such an irrational thought to constantly wonder if I am going to get the latest virus, but the idea just won't leave my head. I have spend the better part of a year feeling like I had a stomach virus due to the anxiety I had - and I am so tired of feeling that way. Plus, the achiness of the Hashi's had made that feeling worse. So, that spills over into my constant worry about getting this latest virus.

I know, a virus is a rather short-lived thing. Chris starting acting sick around 10 am Saturday morning, and by Sunday evening was very much himself - so, if I do get it, it is only 24 hours or so out of my life... But, I HATE, HATE, HATE that feeling of barfing (not that anyone does!). And, I have had such a hard time getting it out of my head...until I was walking today and heard this song:

Live For Today
Natalie Grant

Sittin' in my room staring at the wall
Wonderin' about the meaning of it all
Why is it this thing called life
Has got me goin' crazy
So I open up your word and let it speak to me
The purpose and the plan that you've designed
Is clear to see, and I believe

I'm gonna live for today
I'm gonna follow in your way
I'm gonna let my little light shine
Like there's no tomorrow
I won't worry about the past
I know my future is intact
So I'll choose to live my life one way
I'm gonna live it for today

You told me not to worry
About what lies ahead
So I am gonna focus on today instead
Making every moment count and counting
very single blessing
I'm gonna set my mind on the
Here and the Now
This is what I want my life to be about
And this is How...

Repeat Chorus

If I just live for the moment like I have been, maybe the worry of this freakin' virus will subside. Please send some healthy vibes, because I don't feel like giving up a day for puking.

I am still waiting for the Red Storm to arrive. My boobs are so sore that just looking at them hurts. Alas, tomorrow is CD 77...and, I am starting to think that maybe "77" might be a sign. My last two cycles were 77 days long - and, if my period holds out until Wednesday, then this cycle will be 77 days too. Anyone know what the signifigance of "77" might be? For right now, the most logical one to me would be that maybe 7-2007 might be a good month to start TCC (I go back on 7/2/07 for a follow-up with the endocrinologist - and would be cleared to TTC by her if my TSH is below 2.0 by then). Any takers on this one???

So, to cheer my day today... Here are some fun things to share:

Team Winks left the following comment on my post Okay, now for some summer-preview fun...:
"Oh, just wait till you hit your site meter. I truly found your blog by putting in "bathing suit" +"34DDD" Yup, I certainly saw that it was a blog, but hell, trying to find a bathing suit with those dimensions is tough work!"
Now, I have been blogging for a year...and it never occurred to me that posting those dimensions without a "." in between the 34 and the DDD would leave me open to searches for the bra size!! Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket Too funny! Well, I will have to watch my site meter now! Thanks, Team Winks, for the heads up and the laugh! Who knew something that simple would probably bring in the pervs!

Oh, and I have to mention that, while I was walking today, I got my first wistle from a guy in a passing car (or, really, hot-rodded-up pick-up truck). WoooHooo! Only took me 34 years for that to happen -- alas, though, the poor college guy probably had no idea that I am more than ten years older than him! But, I'll take the wistle anway!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

The last "One Year Ago" post I hope I ever have to write

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It has taken me a long time to write this organize my thoughts clearly. With deepest hope and faith, I look to this post as my last "One Year Ago" post I will ever have put forth on this blog. I just wish I could look into the future and know if this hope and faith is out of resolve to get pregnant again and not miscarry, or if it is out of being terrified TTC again. I am scared to try again...but, I know it is normal.

One year ago today, March 21, 2006 at 7:00 am, I miscarried via d&c my last angel baby.

Kinda feels like being in AA....Or, RMA (Recurrent Miscarriers Anonymous). Just call me Tina S. Anyone wanna join this twelve-step group?

I woke up at 5:00 am, my usual time to wake up for work, just to shower and look "presentable" for the d&c procedure. Wasn't allowed to eat that morning because of the anesthesia - which, of course, made my morning sickness with this pregnancy a little bit worse already. I had to be at the Women's Surgery Center for my d&c at 7:00 am - the first surgery time of the day. Dr. D made sure I had the first time so that I didn't have to wait long and so I didn't have to suffer through the morning sickness for that long that morning (who needs the reminder of what cannot be, right?). We left the house at 5:45 am and arrived at 6:00 am for pre-op. The IV line was started and my vitals taken - just as was done on November 22, 2005 with my previous d&e. The nurses were very sweet - all knew I was there for another miscarriage, so they were kind enough to not make any not-thought-through comments. The anesthesiologist told me that I would also be given a shot of meds in the IV line after the ansethisa so that the nausea would subside when I woke up (Great stuff! No nausea! No reminders.). I was in the operating room immediately at 6:45 am - after a little chit-chat with Dr. D and the other surgical staff, I was knock-out mid-sentance less than ten minutes later... I was in recovery by 10:00 am - my pregnancy now over. By 11:00 am, I was feeling fine and on my way home to an empty house to rest - to stare directly into Chris' room from our bed knowing that I would yet again not be moving his room down the hall to the spare room, and I would yet again not be redoing his current room for a new baby.

The past year and a half has had so many ups and downs (probably more downs than ups until now), but I survived. I am still here, hanging on with both hands gripped firmly to my soul and my life.

During that time, I have watched friends (and I include all of the ladies in my BG's in this) get PG and have their babies (some with little or no complications - some with many complications); get PG and miscarry; get PG and miscarry again; get PG and send their babies to heaven much too soon; start cycles and end cycles time and again with no pregnancy and no answers. I have scrapped my own cycles and said goodbye to my three angel babies... I have finally learned how to grieve my losses. I have sat out more than a year's worth of cycles (well, really as many as my body allows me to get in a year anyway) because the anxiety and fear - or self-preservation - has prevented me from trying again... And, let's not forget to mention finally diagnosing the real medical conditions that prevented my babies from being here with me today - that will become the issues to overcome if I became PG again.

But, I have started to finally learn how to be a complete person and nurture my soul again. I have rediscovered the joys in my day, the things I am interested in, the beauty which is my life. I have rediscovered the most important things that my miscarriages can never sour: The love and bond I share with my Hubby, and the ever-growing love and joy I have for my Christopher. Hubby has ratted me out more times than I can count to my counselor and doctors about what I couldn't say was going on, which is something I regard as a selfless chore he was willing to do for me. He has been my rock while I cried, my punching bag when I was angry, and my nurse when I felt sick to my stomach. Chris has loved me unconditionally - no judgements and pointing fingers, regardless of flaws, emotional breakdowns and short-fuses. His hugs and smiles and laughter are the best prizes of all - and always well-timed when I needed them the most. For this, I will be forever greatful and consider my #1 strengths.

For the first time, I am going to share with everyone (other than Hubby and Chris) all of the items I have saved from my three miscarriages. These are my only physical memories of the babies I lost - the babies I hope to hold someday when my time here has passed. I never got the chance to take pictures, to hold these three pieces of my heart and soul. I have no grave to visit. I have no memorial place to go to....

...All I have are these boxes, filled with the memories of the children that will never know how it feels to snuggle in our cozy bed in the cold of winter, enjoy the sights and smells of a sparkling spring day, to feel the beating warmth of the sun during the summer, to hear the leaves crunch underneath our feet in the receive a tender kiss from the mommy who so wanted and loved them so much.

These are my two memory boxes side-by-side. They sit on my dresser in our bedroom all of the time - and are there when I occasionally need to feel a connection to my babies:
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This is the memory box from my second miscarriage in November 2005:
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The poem reads:

A Child’s Goodbye
By Colleen Berry

Hooray! A brother or sister for me.
A new baby to add to the family.
A brother to play ball, A sister and her doll.
We will be a happy family.

One day, Mom and Dad have tears,
I watch them with fear.
They give me a hug and kiss,
Our baby-to-be they miss.

My brother or sister one day
An angel now has flown away.
Our angel we love,
Was called by God up above.

With Mom and Dad, I too am sad,
This is something so bad.
Not an angel did we seek
But a person for us to meet.

One day when God calls me
My angel sibling I will see.
For now I know she is happy to be
A member of God’s Angel family!

Included in the box is: Cards of sympathy and support, flowers I received from my mother and from the Women's Surgical Center where the d&e was done, a certificiate from the Shrine of Innocents in NYC, the HPT I took, the medical forms from my doc confirming the pregnancy loss, my St. Gerard Medal I was wearing at the time and the u/s pic I was given before the d&e was done:
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A close-up of the u/s pic, confirming the blighed ovum:
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The memory box from my third (and last) miscarriage in March 2006:
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The poem reads:

Two Angels up in Heaven

I have two angels up in heaven
sitting side by side.
Somehow I hear them telling me
"Mommy, don't you cry!"

And though I have never seen them,
Or had the chance to know them here,
I muster all the strength I have
Then brush away my tears.

I know one day I’ll meet them
And what joy will surely flow,
When our love is finally realized
In that place where forever goes

Sadness is only temporary
When I think of what’s beyond.
I have two angels up in heaven
To love me now and when I am gone.

I have throught of changing this poem because this angel was in fact my third angel in heaven - but, at the time I only knew her as my second angel. But, I decided not to change it - to leave it as it was when the loss happened.

Included in this box is: Cards of sympathy and support, flowers I received from the Women's Surgical Center where the d&c was done, the medical forms from my doc confirming the pregnancy loss and the u/s pic I was given before the d&c was done (I have pics of the HPTs, but they have not yet made it into the box):
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A close-up of my angel, my baby girl:
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Why do I not have a box for Angel #1? Because I never thought to save anything. I didn't - and probably should have - realized I was really PG. But, since that HPT revealed a positive that we didn't plan on three months after Chris was born and AF arrived quite quickly after that positive HPT, I figured it was just an error in the test. I never saved the test stick. Hind site sucks, doesn't it? How was I to know at the time I was going to miscarry three times?

But, this continued to be one of the biggest guilts that I have carried with me since finding out about the loss - a guilt I have finally learned to let go of because, quite frankly, it is irrational to my educated brain too. In my heart, I know it is only a piece of plastic - a test result that probably would have faded over time to nothingness anyway. But, on the other hand, it was my only tangible connection to that angel - my unknown angel until March 2006... The guilt of not having that HPT to hold on to still rears its ugly head from time to time. Mostly when the house is quiet and I am in the bedroom folding laundry. But, I have learned to let the guilt go. I can't always hang on to a memory of something or someone that could never be.

However, the real kicker of it all is that this angel is the only PG (and miscarriage) I ever had where I actually got PG on my own - no u/s's, no meds, no IUI's. It was the only time I had a relatively "normal" cycle - the fluke that represents why I have such hostility towards my body. My body finally figured out what it was supposed to do, and it let me down in the worst possible way...and it only snowballed from there.

Even with all of the weight I have lost, the physical activity and healthy eating I have made strides to keep on the ball with for overall health, my cycles are still for crap. So, when we TTC again, away comes the spontinaity of trying for a child on our own yet again and back on the TTC treadmill we go when the time is right.

Through it all, however, I know I could not be the "me" I have become without the rough road I have travelled on. My angels, in their own special way, have taught me to take time for me. To love myself for who I am and what I could be. To slow down and enjoy the here and now, and not worry so much about what will come tomorrow.

What a lesson to have to learn, right?

There is a time and place to try to sway your life - We are given free will to learn things, make educated choices in our lives and relationships. BUT, conception and pregnancy and infants and children are all still miracles - miracles that, as much as you can possibly try, are still up to God to give to us as a gift at the right time, at the right moment. It is when you lose sight of those miracles that you lose your mind. I know that is what I did... I am ready for a new miracle to happen - if it is meant to happen - even if it is with a little push of medical science...

I don't want to ever write another "One Year Ago" post here on this blog - nor do I ever want to see another one on any other blog out there. I hope and pray we all are granted a special gift to one day hold and love... Until then, I can draw my strength from my angels and my family and my new-found sense of purpose and calm in my life...


...And, how did I spend this day, you ask? Differently than past terraversaries...


But, that is okay. I could have taken the day off - but, I decided it has not done me any good in the long run taking these anniversaries off. So, I wanted to keep as normal a day as possible - went out walking my two miles at lunch, stopped and got my favorite sandwich at the campus center (St. Pepper Mozzerella - PLUS they had one of the best Cream of Tomato soup's too!), and will be going home after the easier workday to spend time with my family.

When I was out walking, I decided to toss off into the stream near where I walk my "peace" keychain I had bought at Walgreens a few months ago, when things were starting to go haywire. It was one of those keychains with the Chinese symbols, like this:

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I don't need it anymore - I found my peace. And, as my saying goodbye to all that has brought me down for months and months, I tossed it off somewhere I can always return to... A place of peace.

So, a peaceful day overall...which is nice!

Monday, March 19, 2007

High-Fat Dairy Intake Reduces Risk for Anovulatory Infertility

So, did any of you see the story:

High-Fat Dairy Intake Reduces Risk for Anovulatory Infertility

Hummm... This new study indicates that women who are trying to conceive may improve their chances of pregnancy by eating two servings of high-fat foods, specifically high-fat dairy products like whole milk, ice cream made from whole milk, yogert made from whole milk etc. The high dairy fats allegedly improve ovulatory function.

Well, nooooow! Since that is my problem - uh, like I pretty much don't ovulate at all - I say sign me up! Heehee!

Seriously, though - after reading the information in the study (a very long-term study with thousands of women), it makes you wonder if they could be right.

When we decided it was time to start TTC #1, I made it a point to start eating healthier - taking my vitamins, eating lower-fat foods (including 1% milk - just couldn't do the skim milk!), eating a more well-balanced diet, staying away from things like ice cream on a daily basis (as a treat, sure! Just not every day). And, 5 years after that fateful decision to start TTC #1, here is a study stating that dairy fat may improve ovulatory function! Who knew?!?!

Now, the recommendations are within moderation of course - 1-2 servings of whole milk products per day (not at every meal). Sounds reasonable, right? But, when you are used to eating a certain way for 5+ years, it is hard to reintroduce the higher-fat products back in!

So, here is my little medical experiment for the coming months, as we correct my thyroid issues and I have play with some wiggle room in the weight department: We bought whole milk for the cereal I eat every morning... We bought Rocky Road ice-cream, whole milk cottage cheese and whole milk mozzarella cheese (cut into sticks) to alternate on for the second serving... The Red Storm is coming - I can feel her approach like people can feel the onset of a large hurricaine. I am going to reintroduce these two servings of high-fat dairy products into my diet every day and see if my cycles become shorter...and if there is any possibility of an ovulation.

Will report as I see fit!

...Ah, what better means to enjoy Rocky Road ice-cream, right?

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Happy St. Patrick's Day - From Christopher!

Happy St. Patrick's Day, everyone, from Christopher! Here are pics from the parade we went to last weekend - before the weather turned frigid and snowy again...

Say, what?!?! You're out of Guinness?
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Waiting for the parade to start.
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Lovin' the St. Pat's Dolphin!
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Just a little bright out today!
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Christopher and his friend Samantha...
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Samantha and her daddy, Battalion Chief (Uncle) Brian.
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Our kinda Irish family (subtracting the other 6 or so nationalities mixed in!).
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Have a fun (and safe!) St. Patrick's Day!

Friday, March 16, 2007

Christopher Fridays: Nursery Schools and Songs

Remember Sharon, Lois & Bram's Elephant Show??? Remember Skinnamarink???

Well, Christopher has been singing and doing the movements to the Skinnamarink song for a week now and we have been trying to figure out where it was coming from. Found out last night when I talked to Chris' teacher at the nursery school...

They have been singing "winter songs" every day - which Skinnamarink is part of the winter arsonnal - to make way for spring and songs they sing in the spring.

Which leaves us with Chris' special "performances" of Skinnamarink every day - sometimes the adults are allowed to participate, most of the time Chris is the performer and we have to clap for him when he is done.

He is just too cute - and is yet another domonstration of how much like Hubby he is!

Chris is doing very well in nursery school, despite his crying fits when getting his coat on at my mom's house. He is playing with the other kids now, and had Flag Duty this week (all of the kids have a "job" each week - last week, Chris carried the soap pumps to the bathroom for wash-up time before snack). He is adjusting well to the schedule of the day...finally.

I was concerned about him crying at my mom's house before going over - but the teacher assured me that if she saw a real problem, she would have called me by now. She was glad, though, that I called - not many parents do that anymore and she said it was very refreshing to see a parent want to be involved. How sad is that? I am in the minority now of parent involvement...

We will be taking video clips over the weekend so we can share his musical entertainment of Skinnamarink, Iron Man, My Sharona, and more!

...Also, watch for some St. Patrick's Day pics of Chris tomorrow from the parade we went to last week! There are some cuties in there!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

I think I'm turning Hypothyroid... Yes, I really think so!

By some miracle, Labcorp sent the thyroid panel I had done late Tuesday afternoon to my GP by yesterday morning! Not sure how that happened - once in a lifetime event, I suppose. Usually it takes their slow-asses at least a week to get the results over...

Anyways, so, here are the new numbers (given over the phone by a receptionist who couldn't tell me which was the T3 reading and which was the T4 reading - so, of course I requested hard copies to be sent and there very well may be changes to make to the results list. I will edit the post as needed when I get the copies):

  • from July 15, 2006: 2.555
  • from August 15, 2006: 1.964
  • from September 22, 2006: 2.012
  • from October 27, 2006: 2.204
  • from December 4: 2.405
  • from March 13, 2007: 3.2
  • Average range limits: 0.350-5.500
  • from July 15, 2006: Not run
  • from August 15, 2006: 26
  • from September 22, 2006: 24
  • from October 27, 2006: 33
  • from December 4: (have to break out my results for this)
  • from March 13, 2007: 129 (this is the result I am questioning - it may only be 29)
  • Average range limits: 24-39
  • from July 15, 2006: 12.1
  • from August 15, 2006: 13.6
  • from September 22, 2006: 7.2
  • from October 27, 2006: 7.1
  • from December 4: (have to break out my results for this)
  • from March 13, 2007: 6.7
  • Average range limits: 4.5-12.0
Free T4:
  • from July 15, 2006: not run
  • from August 15, 2006: 3.5
  • from September 22, 2006: 1.07
  • from October 27, 2006: 2.3
  • from December 4: (have to break out my results for this)
  • from March 13, 2007: not run
  • Average range limits: 1.2-4.9
Now, the receptionist said Dr. McC was informing me that the numbers are all normal - however, I know when I go see Dr. S next week, she is going to disagree with that. She uses the 3.0 TSH reading as the signal for Hypothyroid - obviously, I am over that now. So, I know I will be starting meds next week. And, I am fine with that - I knew I would anyway if my TSH wasn't below 2.0. Maybe I can finally get rid of this linguring fatigue, achiness and constant sore throat, foggy brain, constantly feeling cold when it is not cold at all and other stuff: all signs of a thyroid problem. And, if I am lucky, some of the anxiety may go with it too. Horray!

Will post most updates about this next week after seeing Dr. S on March 23rd. Until then, I promise I will post the "injury" pics from yesterday - I modeled them for DH last night, but I was too whiped to bother saving the pics to Photobucket and post them. Will do that tonight!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

I feel like a total horse's ass right now...

...Okay ladies, if you don't know already that rubber-soled shoes catch on linolium tiles, let this be your lesson:

I decided I needed some excitement in my life and fell today at work!

Of course, as is my style, I couldn't do this in some dramatic fashion, like, oh, lunging to catch a falling cat out of a tree, or pushing someone out of the way of a large stack of falling boxes...

So much for my acting career!

Oh, no! I felt I just had to trip in my shoes on the way to the bathroom and fall chin-first into the linolium tile.

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I promise to post pics later tonight (watch for the update here on this post) - the nice doctor was kind enough to take a pic on my cell phone (his idea, actually) of the gash before he stitched it closed. I now have 3 stitches on my chin-line, and a lovely eye-gawking band-aid over it.

What an ass!

Well, hey! The one good thing is that at least I am laughing about it! If this has been a few months ago, I probably would have been in tears!

Upcoming "Terraversary" next week

A week from today, I will be facing the last terraversary (a la Stirrup Queens and Sperm Palace Jesters - thanks, Mel, for the use of the term) that I hope I have to face on my journey to a second child. March 21st will be 1 year from my last miscarriage - the loss of my baby girl.

Now, I have finally become able to accept my life and the experiences that have gone with it - it has been one long road and I have a little more to go, but at least I am no longer falling apart. For example, we went to a friend's house for a St. Patrick's Day bash (early because of the big Belmar parade that day) and the hosts announced they were having their third child in October. She is one of those "I look at her and she gets knocked up" type of women -- actually, she and her three sisters all have honeymoon babies, so they are a super-fertile bunch of women! But, I was very much okay with the news - no anxiety attack, no jealousy. They really cherish their children, and they are so sweet. Hubby asked me later in the car of I was okay with the news - and, for the first time in a very long time, I truly was okay with the news. That is a huge step.

On my way in to work this morning, I listened to probably the most perfect song to sum up my journey thus far to child #2. This song is not what you would expect from some of the former members of Guns'n'Roses. But, it really hits how I have spent the past almost two years of TTC again.

I am no longer falling to pieces... I am really ready to try again, and for the right reasons. And, I hope that when the time is right to try again, I remember where my journey has brought me and try not to let it go there again.

Fall To Pieces
by Velvet Revolver

It's been a long year
Since you've been gone
I've been alone here
I've grown old
I fall to pieces, I'm falling
Fell to pieces and I'm still falling

Every time I'm falling down
All alone I fall to pieces

I keep a journal of memories
I'm feeling lonely, I can't breathe
I fall to pieces, I'm falling
Fell to pieces and I'm still falling

All the years I've tried
With more to go
Will the memories die
I'm waiting
Will I find you
Can I find you
We're falling down
I'm falling

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Okay, now for some summer-preview fun...

...Let's talk SUMMER and bathingsuits, ladies!!!

Okay, okay. I know it is only March. And, I may have some ladies kicking me in the ass because spring it not quite here yet...and summer diets may not have begun. Buuuut, I need a new bathing suit BADLY!! And, this is the first time I am actually excited about the prospect of a new bathing suit! The last time I bought one was under duress (or, my old one was falling apart) at Lane Byrant in 2005. At that time, I was 180+ pounds at 5' 7" and wearing a size 14-16 - I bought a modest, black tankini that covered everything. Last summer it was HUGE (held tighter with safetypins - hell, it was just the family and friends around, right??) - this summer, it will be even worse.

So, I went on Lands End this morning and took a look around (did a preview in my IL's bathroom through the catalog last week - can always catch a good read in their bathroom!). Would have also reported back on The Gap, but their site is down today (Crap!). I want something nice, that will show off my new size 6-8, 140 lb figure (at least until I can get myself knocked-up and have the pregnancy stick), and will hold up to a toddler (or, a few since they all seem to gravitate to the IL's) in the pool. Of course, I am too old to something skimpy...or maybe not, but that is not my style.

Here is the small snag: I wear a 34.DDD bra. Yeozers!!! I was a 42.DDD at my heaviest, so at least I lost some in the boobage area. I may actually be a wee bit smaller now (the nice bras Hubby bought me at Bra Smyth in August/September 2006 are a little big - figures, after the cost to buy them and have them altered!) because of the weight loss, but I always have a hard time finding things that fit right because of the ladies.

So, what do you all think of the suits below? I haven't even considered price yet (sure, I can give my Hubby a heart attack every now and then, right!?!?!). I will label them for choices (with the last ones being mix and match tankini's - I would probably just go for the standard bottoms, which is why I didn't post a pic).

Sorry most of the choices are black - I fall into the "black makes you look slimmer" choices... I could always be talked into color though...

(Pic #10 is only if I really have the guts to wear a real two-piece suit!)

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Friday, March 09, 2007

Christopher Fridays: The Demon that is Pingu


Did you hear that???


Uh... Am I the only one hearing it??


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I think Pingu is related to the devil.

Pingu is a Swiss animated series aimed at children. It features a family of penguins who lived at the South Pole, and primarily focuses on the antics of the son, Pingu, and his friend Robby the Seal. There are also lots of family-based episodes, featuring the mother and father and (after she was hatched) his baby sister Pinga, as well as several other minor characters. All dialogue is in a kind of "penguin language" ("Pinguish" or "Penguinese") - hence the Nyuck...Nyuck....which we all hear in our sleep now.

Chris has an addiction to that damned penguin... Asks for Pingu ALL OF THE TIME! Now, the addiction is always useful when trying to prepare dinner (rare is the time Chris will stray from Pingu) and this penguin has single-handedly given Chris the courage to sit on the potty without screaming. But-


There it is again.

I will admit - there are some addictive eposides with Pingu: Pingu was featured in a specially-made music video for Eskimo Disco's first single, 7-11. It is great!

I just want the-


-out of my head.

Oh, I hope this wave of favoritism is gone soon....

Publically acknowledging my pregnancy losses

Wow, the past two weeks has brought up three very public ways to acknowedge my three pregnancy losses - and, you know what? I am not frightened or embarassed to be as public as I am going to be about them...

The first opportunity started with nominating my bosses in 9/06 for the 2007 Compassionate Friends Compassionate Employers Awards (check out the link from last week to see how the nomination came about). So, I opened my e-mail this morning to find this message from my Director:
"Marcia Alig from Compassionate Friends, NJ Director, wants to arrange a date/time to come over and present the plaque. I'd like to do this at a time when you are here, of course, but also to see whom else you would like to have present for the presentation. They may want you to say something if you feel like you want to. Clearly Sarah should be included. What about others? They suggested publicity, so we could invite Carl Blesch if you thought this was something you felt comfortable about publicizing. Marcia said their group likes publicity since it is good for them. Let's talk about this tomorrow. They would like to do this some time in the next few weeks. I'll be out of town a lot next week and some the week after, but we could do it the week of March 26."
Uh, I wasn't expecting this kind of publicity other than the center's name being listed on the Compassionate Friends web page!

But, you know what? I am glad that the local chapter is also acknowledging my bosses for being as kind and considerate as they were over the past year or so. It is very rare to find a group of people that supportive - and they deserve the recognition. So, I agreed to have this publicized by the University Relations Department and to also have everyone here at my Center be there (with my Hubby and I) when my bosses are given the plaque. Maybe this is a stepping stone for all employers to be kind during such a time of sorrow when going through a pregnancy loss or a death of a child.

Who knew I would become such the activist!

The second opportunity came about when I contacted someone named Hanna about a book she was writing on how couples remember their angels after a pregnancy loss or stillbirth. This request for stories came over a loss support e-mail list I received back in November - and I decided to share my story in February. Well, the book is now published - and my story is a part of it. I ordered a copy, as I have not yet seen the book at all. If anyone is interested, go here:
Remembering Our Angels: Personal Stories of Healing from a Pregnancy Loss

"No one knows the devastation and heartache of losing a baby more than a father or mother. Grieving parents often do not know where to turn and what to do with their grief in the aftermath of a pregnancy loss. In "Remembering Our Angels," Hannah Stone has collected essays and stories from pregnancy loss awareness activists, doctors, grief counselors and grieving parents in the hope of offering a resource to parents in mourning."
When I get the copy, I can let you know where our section is.

The third opportunity is that my husband and I are taking part in a research study with someone from NYU doing his doctoral thesis on learning the experience of couples who have lost a child prior to birth. His research will be complete around 6/07 - and he is hoping to publish his findings in the future. I saw this through the SHARE March newsletter and online here - but it is also available through RESOLVE. If anyone is interested, he would like to get a very broad sampling of couples that will strengthen his research.

I guess that part of acceptance is not being afraid to publically acknowldge your experiences... I hope at least one person will have a positive experience through sharing my story. I have certainly been aided by others sharing their stories - I hope I can repay the favor to someone else.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Paying It Forward

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Last week, I had a few interesting, random things happen that have showed the kindness of strangers - or, in one case, it was not kindness but a mishap on that person's part that cost him/her $30.

The snowballs started on February 22nd with what I wrote about in the post The kindness of strangers. This post was about how someone randomly contacted my Hubby after he had posted on his wrestling message board about Britney Spears and our experiences with infertility and pregnancy loss.

Well, on February 28th, my last day officially working from home, E and I wanted to get the boys together for a playdate in the afternoon. So, Chris and I headed over to her house around 4 pm and we walked over to the train station to watch the trains (see post Christopher Fridays: Train Spotting and Dolphin Jumping). The plan was to order pizza when we got back to her house after watching the trains for a while, by which time Hubby and J would be home from work and we could eat together. But, on the walk over to the trainstation, E asked me to wait a second - she found $10 on the ground. We looked around and absolutely no one was there - no one we could spot who would have dropped the money. About a block further, I stopped short and found $20 on the ground. We looked around again - yet again, no one close who could have dropped the cash. So, E decided that we should use the money for paying for dinner. There was no way we could find who lost it, so we might as well use it.

...So, we did use it for dinner and only paid for the tip.

However, I felt bad about it the entire time. What if the person who dropped it really needed the cash? What if they didn't have enough to make ends meet - and we used their cash on something frivilous that we could have afforded ourselves? What if the cash meant not being able to feed his/her child?

Of course, it could have been lost by someone who was just going to spend it on something as frivilous as our pizza for dinner. But, who could tell us that? No one was around to could have said the money was their's.

Then, last Friday, I stopped to get gas on my way in to work. The Shell station on the GSP is still the only station that still had Regular for $2.28 a gallon, so I was going to fill up the tank since my car was about to sound the idiot bell for being low on gas. When I asked the attendant to fill it up with Regular (nope, we don't pump our gas in NJ), he told me that they were out of Regular. I watched as several people left the gas station in a huff because the station was out of Regular and went next door to the Exxon station (although their price for regular was the same price at the Plus at the Shell station). So, I decided I might as well get the Plus - the cost for the Plus was still cheaper than the Regular at most of the area gas stations. When the attendant returned with my receipt, he had given me the Plus for the price of the Regular - and had walked away before I could thank him! I managed to save a few dollars on the tank of gas.

So, I decided that - since I had saved at least $40 on various things last week - that I needed to give that money back somewhere. So, I dontated more than the $40 saved to the March of Dimes this week for their Annual Prematurity Drive.

I hope the money I saved last week goes to some good use now....and maybe a few of us can donate to those babies who need it too.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Maybe I just wasn't ready for my Angel Babies

I decided I need to stop car-pooling to work with our System's Administrator for a while. I haven't come out and flatly told him that yet - just made some excuses for right now about needing to do some things at night (I will fess up soon though - I don't want to be bitchy about it since he is a nice person). We have car-pooling since January 2006 to save on gas money since gas has been so expensive (and his house is on my way to work anyway). But, I have always done my best thinking in the car and carpooling 1) does not allow me to think freely since you are usually talking about stupid stuff to pass the time and 2) it adds time on to my commute since I detour off my route. I think, for me, not having that hour-ish commute in and home alone this past year has been costly to me emotionally - I would have rathered paid more for the gas than the emotional pitfalls is caused.

Anyways, last week was just BEAUTIFUL here in the NorthEast! I went out walking almost every day - it was warm, sunny (except for a little scattered rain and snow flurries) and perfect for walking! I ended up walking three miles on Friday instead of the two I normally walk just because it was too georgous to be inside (and I don't have a window in my office). I really have missed walking over the winter - I never realized how much it helped my mood until now.

I have been walking with my new XM portable player and while walking, I end up listening to a station called The Message. Last year I was walking with nothing - but, now that I have the portable player, I can take it with me when I want to. This particular station is mix of Christian and positive popular music from the '80's through now - and it nice to listen to. Positive and uplifting - delivering messages I think I need to hear (this is not to say, of course, I still don't have my '80's hair metal and club music playing in my car! I still love that stuff - even though I am dating myself!).

So, I drove home from work on Thursday with the windows rolled down and Dirty Vegas and Daft Punk blaring through the open windows. This is something I don't normally do - I am usually too worried about my hair getting messed up (obsessive, no??). I felt like such a club chick again. But, lately, I really don't care if my hair gets messed up by the wind. I don't care if people don't like what I am listening too. Frankly, I don't care what other people think anymore. This is MY life and I don't want to be confined by what others think. I want what I want - and that is to love my family, love myself and if I am lucky enough, have another child to add to the love I have to give.

So, it occurred to me on this ride home that maybe - JUST maybe - I wasn't ready for our angel babies to be with us...

What an admission to make.

But, I think I needed to slow down -- stop worrying about things I can't control and what other people thought of me and my life. I needed to reclaim my soul and my spirit in order to be a better mommy, a better wife, a more complete person. Unfortuntely for me, I needed such tough signs (meaning my miscarriages) for me to slow down and turn inward and reevaluate what I have been doing to myself. But, the message has finally come across - and I am grateful.

How could I have been a good mommy to these angel babies and to Chris if I couldn't be kind and true to myself?

I have worked to hard to reclaim so much of myself since December - and starting the Lexapro/Xanex was a stop-gap to allow the real healing to begin. I have rediscovered my precious time with Chris and my family and the time with them that matters the most. I have reestablished my friendships that I didn't think I had time for anymore and I am enjoying the "girl times" of high school and college again. I have rediscovered interests I have always had and burried because I didn't "have time" for them. I have begun to live in the moment more and let things that don't matter as much just roll off my back.

These are things I just couldn't have done if I kept banging my head against the wall, TTC a child my body just couldn't carry at the time and my soul probably wasn't truly ready for.

Now that I have a new mindset - and made time for myself - maybe it will be different trying again. I am hoping June could be a good time to start again - but, that all depends upon the doctor appointments coming up. I have to have my thyroid levels rechecked and see what is happening with them (I think I will be starting meds to lower my TSH levels). I have to see if I can come off Xanex (which I have actually gone a few days without now here and there...and when I do feel I need to take it, it is less than half of what I started on) and either come off Lexapro completely or maybe switch to something safer to TTC on.

But, I am not going to push things either. I am not going to beat myself up if I am not physically or emotionally ready to come off Lexapro or Xanex. I am not going to beat myself up is I am still TTC past age 35. I am not going to worry anymore about the age gap between Chris and another baby - a gap I never felt I wanted. I will let a new life come to me - to us - when it is the right time...if it is ever the right time.

I do have to admit (** blush **) that the yoga, guided imagery and reading have all helped so much to start overcoming the anxiety I have lived with so long... I feel like a dork for having poo-poo'ed it for so long. Hubby has tried to get me to try it for quite some time - but I had to come around to these techniques on my own.

Live and learn, right?

But, I have learned and that is what is important now. I wasted time, but will no longer waste time. I want Chris to have sweet memories of a happy childhood and a happy mommy - and that is what he can have now. If more should come, then it will just add to the happiness.

Of course, I want to keep sharing my journey - I called up this morning to participate in a study about perinatal loss a doctoral student at NYU is conducting. I am still going to partipate in pregnancy/child loss rememberance walks and donate money to the March of Dimes. These things are all important to me - education and support are key to letting people know how loss affects us. But, my losses are not going to define who I am anymore - they are just a part of who I am now.

All of these positive changes in my mindset are not to say there will be other pitfalls - I am sure there will be. But, I am beginning to handle them better now...not jump to an anxiety-driven, wrong conclusion. I am not falling apart when something goes wrong. And, not losing it feels good - feels like I used to feel before this whole mess started.

Remember Homework assignment: Name Your "Failures"? This list doesn't seem as important anymore...

So, here is a song I just heard today that kinda sums up how I feel right now... Enjoy!

No More, No Less
by MercyMe

I'm not trying to hide anything
I wear it on my sleeve
I wear it on my sleeve
I'm not trying to be something I'm not
This is all I've got
This is all I've got
I'm not trying to re-invent the wheel
Just trying to be real
Trying to be real
I'm not trying to say follow me
I'm not the one who leads
I'm not the one who leads

Let me introduce myself to you
This is who I am
No more, no less
I am just a man who understands
Because of You I'm blessed
No more, no less

I'm not trying to prove anything
It's all about the change
It's all about the change

I hope you stare just long enough to see
The heart that's beating here inside of me
Beyond all the things you may think you know
I'm just a kid trying to make it home, that's it
No more, no less
Lord, I want to go home
Nothing more, nothing less

Monday, March 05, 2007

Barren Bitches Book Brigade #2: Children of Men

I decided to participate a book tour (after years of starting and never finishing books!) to discuss the novel "Children of Men" by P.D. James. The topic of infertility, of course, was interesting. But, the plotline of global infertility really made me curious about how the topic of infertility would be handled in the book. There is a movie of the book now. However, after reading the book and knowing that some of the plotlines have been changed in the new movie version, I have no plans to see the movie.

There are 22 questions presented by the readers in the book tour. We get to choose 5 questions to address per blog. Below are my answers. Please feel free to comment and discuss your opinions.

1. Though there are interesting female characters in the forefront of the novel, the cast of thousands of infertile women in the background are portrayed as crazy, desperate, and delusional. Did you feel P.D. James captured the emotions of infertility or do you think she merely repeated the image presented in the general media--infertile women are desperate and single-minded and obsessed with babies and pregnancy?

No, I don't feel she did a good job. Infertility is dealt with in so, so many ways (all you have to do is read through five to ten blogs to see how some handle it with humor, some handle it with anger and rage), there can never really be a "stereotype" of how women react. Would we put a stereotype on people who suffer with cancer? No. I am sure there are women out there who deny their infertility and act the way these women did in the book - but there are many more who deal with infertility and have themselves a little more "together" than to walk around with kittens in a stroller on their way to baptize them.

Besides, the author could never really get into the real "feel" of what we go through with the scope of the novel the way it was -- this novel did not focus on the infertility, but how infertility was dealt with in the gobal society. I don't think the novel ever really intended to cover what individual women go through with infertility - and I don't see how it could either.

My life dealing with IF does not really coincide with the author's image of it in the novel. Although there were times when I felt desperate to have a child (really, before I finally conceived my son), I doubt I would have pushed around a kitten in a stroller to satisfy the want of having a child.

5. In Chapter 7, Jasper Palmer-Smith says to Theo within a tyrade about society, "Now, for the rest of our lives, we're going to be spared the intrusive barbariam of the young, their noise, their pounding, repetitive, computer-produced so-called music, their violence, their egotism disguised as idealism. My God, we might even succeed in getting rid of Christmas, the annual celebration of parental guilt and juvenile greed."How do you feel about this statement? Do you agree in certain respects with it (and the rest of his statements, not quoted here)? Do you think this has become a true generalization of the youth in America today? If you have children now, how do you plan to raise your children so that this statement does not pertain to them? If you do not yet have children, how would you parent your children so that this description does not fit them?

In a way, I do agree with the statement.

When I am out with Chris and I publically reprimand him for something (say, I tell him he either has to sit in the high chair at a restaurant or we have to leave the restaurant if he is going to continue to whine to get out - and we do leave if he does not stop), I get stared at as if to say, "Holy cow! She really followed through with her consequences!" People are astounded that I really do what I threaten - and none of my punishments need to be physical to get my point across (although, I think a slap on the hiney if Chris was about to run out into the street with a car coming is not unreasonable).

There was a time I was out shopping with my mom (when I was still expecting Chris) and this lady followed us throughout the store with her two screaming kids in the cart. She gave them no real punishment, no real parenting. By the time we left the store, my mother and I had a twitch - and the kids were still crying. That is not appropriate - and, in the end, what benefit does it have for the kids?

There are good children out there in the world - polite, sweet, loving. But, there are also more children now who are rude, expect they deserve things, have no respect for others and their property, and the laws that govern our society. I am tired of people (and I won't just pin this on the young because I see people my age doing it too) just bolting out in between the cars, expecting you to stop for them - or, better yet, never even bothering to look that a car is coming in the first place and just step out expecing you to stop! I can't stand those sneakers with the built-in rollerskates and the kids who crash into you with them on (and the parents who look at you as if YOU should have moved!). I can't take the "I need" attitudes about cars, iPods, cell phones and Playstations. What happened to working for what you get?

Chris is being raised "old school" - He has to say "Please" and "Thank you" for things. He has to say "Good bye" when we are leaving. He does not just get something when we are out at the store. He has to clean up his toys (or at least help) when he is done playing. We leave parties if he has to take a nap. I want him to be polite, have manners, be kind and loving. But, I also want him to be able to stand up for himself when he needs to. I won't allow him to just expect that he will get something because he wants it. I think that just leads to false expectations of your future.

8. What do you think is the significance of the fact that the two people who are finally able to conceive are both considered "flawed?" (Luke had epilepsy and Julian had a deformed hand)

I think it this part of the novel is very "real" - and for a variety of reasons.

It speaks about how our society has become in the past few decades - how the "pretty people's" children will be beautiful and how the "pretty people" will succeed in life, and will be more accepted, more popular, more perfect. I think it was Conan O'Brien who had the skit on late-night TV where they mash the likings of Billy Bob Thorton with Angelia Jolie and come up with a weird, baboon-like child concoction on the computer? What does that say about how we view people? Strangers still look at special needs children as the thorn in society - even with the efforts of mainstreaming the "trainable" children, these children are still not always accepted for who they are but what they look like.

I am sure I am going to offend someone in the blogosphere for this, but I find it disheartening when people choose to go through IVF specifically so they can have beautiful, blonde-haired, blue-eyed, unflawed children (and of a specific gender, of course) who will do excellent at math, science, literature, who will excel in school and have a great career, who will always be let into the elite programs, etc.

All I want is another child - and there are other women who just want one child to love and hold. What right do we have to "shop" for a child like we do for packaged meat?

No one is "perfect" when having a child (physically or emotionally) - and, sometimes, those who are not deemed as "physically the best" can be emotionally the best at parenting. Julian (and Luke) did what was best for the child - not for the power or prestige of being the first to usher in a new generation of children. With how society became after the Omega, there were not many genuine, perfect people left to "parent" the "new world". I think it was rather fitting that someone who loved the child for the right reasons was the first to bring new life into the world.

17. James' book makes much of the role of history--what should be (and so, is) kept and what should be discarded. These concerns seem a question never far from the handling of infertility and loss--how we reckon with our bodies' past failures, what we carry of that into our daily lives, and what we choose, instead, to put away. James' character Theodore writes in his diary of the "half-demented women" who fawn over dolls as replacement children in this invented, infertile world, but in our real world, infertiles are often cast as desparate, insane, ready to look madly for any replacement for a child. How, then, do we make known an "appropriate" history, of our hopes and failures and losses as we struggle to make a child when the body--and seemingly, at times, whole world won't allow it? How do we keep more than we lose, keep more than we hide, deeply, away?

I think part of the answer is education - just like how education has given more liberation to those who suffer from AIDS and AIDS related illnesses, and those who suffer through cancer.

Blogs such as ours, message boards, books, articles, conferences, news segments - all of these venues are appropriate paths to making a new history for infertile women or women who suffer through pregnancy loss. No one can begin to understand what we go through until we are willing to come out of the shadows and TELL PEOPLE how we really feel, what we really go through emotionally and physically to have a child - which is something that comes easily to most women.

And, I think women who really do suffer with IF need to be willing to stant up for themselves when other women start whining they have not become PG in three months time (or similar scenarios that we have all heard first-hand) - that is not suffering with infertility. Not being able to conceive for months and months on end, years and years on end - who's marriages, other relationships, jobs, lives suffer because of it - is what real infertility is. It is not a "club" to join. It is not a "popular" thing to have to suffer through.

19. In the book, there is a passage (Chapter 16, p 116) in which Theo describes the majority of the population's attitude towards intercourse. With the decline of humanity's fertility, there is also a decline in the physical pleasure of intercourse. The State has to actively encourage pornography to get people to "enjoy" sex. In the novel Theo assumes that because people are freed from the act of trying to conceive, people should be "liberated" and more uninhibited, yet the very opposite happened. Sex becomes synonymous with comfort rather than physical pleasure-in fact, it's relayed that women associate sex with physical pain rather than pleasure. As infertiles, the very act of intercourse suddenly and irreversibly has a different meaning for us-especially those of us who have been raised in religious faiths which stress that sex is for the main purpose of conceiving children. So, here's my has infertility affected sex for you? How has it affected your relationship with your spouse or partner? And, how have you worked through those feelings?

Infertility has had a positive yet negative affect on our sexual life.

On the positive side, since I don't ovulate on my own and you need to ovulate to get PG, avoiding pregnancy with birth control has not been necessary - so, we save money on condoms, the pill, etc. We just don't need it and don't have to worry about it. So, the "Oh, stop. We need to put a condom on" times are non-existent, making sex a little more spontaneous and worry-free.

But, on the negative side, it becomes very hard to distinguish the difference between "pleasurable" sex and "necessary" sex. When you have to live your life depending upon when you are going to ovulate (via OPKS, the wandings, the bloodwork) and when the best time for intercourse would be to catch the egg, spontanity is out the door and the act becomes full-time employment. That view of sex - as work - is something that can begin to eat away at a marriage.

Hubby and I handled the issues by being open about what we need and want in that part of our relationship, and how we are going to go about changing the "ritual" sex. It took us a while to change our mindset away from TTC to just having sex for sex sake - but it is possible to do.

Also, by taking such a long break from TTC and beginning to straighten out other lingering issues due to my pregnancy losses, we were able to have sex only for pleasure again - and it has become like a second honeymoon. There is no pressure to time it right, to make sure everything is done right, etc. It is what it is, and it is in the moment.

Intrigued by this book tour and want to read more about Children of Men? Hop along to more stops on the Barren Bitches Book Tour by visiting the master list at Stirrup Queens ( Want to come along for the next tour? Sign up begins today for tour #3 ( The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger) and all are welcome to join along. All you need is a book and blog.

Friday, March 02, 2007

2007 Compassionate Friends Compassionate Employers Awards

Wanted to share with everyone that my employers were recognized as one of the 2007 Compassionate Friends Compassionate Employers Awardees.

See the links here (my employers are listed first for New Jersey):

Press Release: Compassionate Friends Compassionate Employers (PDF file)

List of 2007 Compassionate Employers

It is was very nice to be able to thank them for everything they have done over the past year and a half - and they were quite honored for Hubby and I to even think of them.

Means so much when someone cares what you are going through...

Christopher Fridays: Train Spotting and Dolphin Jumping

Since I missed last Friday's Christopher Friday post, I will give you a double-shot post and let you know what Chris is up to (other than the hacking cough from his latest cold).

Dolphin Jumping:

Chris has a new best friend....

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Chris has never really been attached to anything (except for his bink, which even that is starting to go away a bit now) until last week. Once morning, he came out of his room and walked over to where we keep his bath toys. He picked up his dolphin water squirter, which my MIL bought on vacation in 2005, and said, "Oh, Hiiiii!!!" and it has been his pal ever since.

Dolphin must go on car rides, play trains, eat breakfast, lunch and dinner with Chris. Dolphin must go to bed and nap with Chris. Dolphin must go on the potty with Chris. About the only place Dolphin does not go is nursery school. Of all the things Chris has, he had to pick a $3 water squirter from the Point Pleasant Aquarium! Who knew???

....Guess he gets his "low maintenance" from me. :)

Train Spotting:

On Wednesday, in honor of it being my last official work from home day, I decided to play "hookie" a bit in the late afternoon. E and I have been trying to get the boys to play together once a week (Matthew has a little bit of a "sharing" issue - he doesn't want to share at all, so she is trying to break that with play dates), so we decided to take Chris and Matthew over to the train station to watch the trains. The weather was too nice to stay inside anyway.

Matthew watches the trains often since J takes the train into NYC for work - but this was Chris' first time up on the train platform. This pic is a sample pic of the platform - the one we went to has the trains pass East and West from either side, so you are right in the middle of the trains passing:

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Chris was in absolute awe of the trains! He and Matthew sat there with their cookies, trying to spot the next rain coming. It was so much fun to watch them with such wonder and amazement.

Chris would say to me, "Look! It's a nice train!" ever time he saw a new one coming. He loved when they stopped and he watched some people come off the train and other people board it. And, better than just watching one train was seeing two trains passing in the opposite directions at high speed!

It was great to watch Chris have so much fun...and I have a feeling we will be spending many nights there during the spring and summer. I am sure I will have many pics to share!

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Happy Blogaversary!!!

Well, today's post marks one year of writing and blogging...which is a huge feat for me! As I have said before here, I am not a writer - especially my own baggage. But, this has been a very theraputic process for me now, and I am glad I stuck with it for a year. Guess we will see where this leads me...

My mood and outlook has certainly changed so much over the past few weeks - between the counseling, the meds and the relaxation (yoga and guided imagery), people on the "outside" are starting to tell me I am more cheerful, more relaxed, funnier again.

For example, on Tuesday before I left for the day and work from home the next, I realized we had two reports due on Friday to the NSF. As background, the NSF changed their protocol in December (of course, without notifying us first) on when reports are due - so, now we can no longer submit a report before its' due date. And, we have a three month window of when we can submit the report: either on its' due date or within three months of the due date so it is not considered late (which, in essence makes the later date the real due date....gotta love the federal goverment for this one!). So, I sent out a reminder to two of our Associate Directors that we needed to scramble to get the reports done. But, for some reason, the date didn't seem right - and when I checked again, I realized we had 3 months from Friday to submit the report. I resent the message saying to disregard the first message.

First thing I noticed is that I didn't freak out when I first thought the reports were due on Friday. I was like, oh well. They will get done when they get done.

Then, I get the following in my e-mail from one of the Associate Directors:
"Good! The new Chris, light in weight, light of heart."
So, people are noticing the changes.

I like this particular Associate Director's outlook on life: "Is anyone sick or dying? No? Then, why freak out about it."

That is how I want to live my life now - in the now, not fretting over things I just can't change. I think I am starting to really get it.