December 30, 2014

Last 2014 Appointment and the New Plan

Yesterday we had our last doctor's appointment of 2014!  Woo hoo!  Anyone else excited with me on this? lol.  It was my post surgery review and appointment to figure out our plan going forward.

First, really quick about the surgery, everything was pretty much the same as I heard after surgery.  The one new bit of information was that the uterine and ovarian biopsies came back clean, so yay there.   She said other than the ovaries being all cysty, everything looked great.  Then we got to watch the surgery video... fun.  I was actually surprised by how much of it I was able to watch.  I really only looked away when things were too bloody, like when my ovaries were being cut into.... ick.  Other than that, it was kinda cool seeing everything, I even got a peek at my appendix, lol.  She checked out my incisions. One of them isn't healing so quickly and looks a little infected, so I get to do a round of antibiotics for that, though the rest of them are healing nicely.  Oh, and just a little update on my end, I was off the narcotics by a week after surgery, and finally was able to wean myself off the minor pain killers, Motrin and Excedrin, by last Friday, so only a little after two weeks after.  

Onto the plan moving forward.  Dr.S wants to jump right in with Clomid next cycle.  Granted we're starting again at a low dose, 25 mgs. Dr. S also wants to add Low Dose Naltrexone, which was surprising to me.  She hadn't mentioned it before, and although I had heard of it before, I hadn't thought it applied to my situation.  According to Dr. S though, it can help with insulin resistance and ovulation, so I guess we'll see if it helps.  As for the TEBB, since the uterine culture came back negative, we haven't found a cause for it.  Dr. S mentioned it could be inflammation, but it seems unlikely because everything looked good during the surgery, so... go figure.  Regardless, we're going to try another round of antibiotics and see what happens.  If you're keeping track, that's two different rounds of antibiotics, so fun.  As for supplements, we're going to keep going with the same as before.  I guess its time to get the pill box ready again.  I can't say I missed it in the last couple months.

I have to admit, I didn't think we were going to jump right in to the meds again so quickly.  The Hubs was surprised too.  I think we both were expecting a longer break, for the sake of the mental health of both of us, lol.  I think my hormones have been acting up too, I've been... a little emotionally unstable the last couple days... I'm not quite sure what that's all about.  Also, I had hoped I would see some difference in my charts after the surgery, but they look the same as before.  I'm just not feeling very hopeful about it all.  Even though its only been 3 weeks since surgery, and Dr. S mentioned that it can take up to 3 months after surgery for the ovaries to completely heal, I guess I was hoping for some quicker effect.  So, with all of that combined, last night I had a little bit of a break down.

Considering all of that, we're not sure I'm actually going to start with the meds next cycle.  I just don't know if I'm ready for it, especially since Clomid tends to make me sad. I think I'm just going to see how I feel the next couple weeks and decide once the next cycle starts.  Yep, I'll push the decisions off till next year :).

This might be my last post before then, new years eve plans and all, so I'll see you on the flipside :).

December 25, 2014

December 18, 2014

Our Story: Engage!

Just to switch gears a little bit, I thought I'd tell a little bit more about our story.  Last time I left off with us starting dating.  From the very beginning I knew there was something different about him.  I was so comfortable with him.  It was like hanging out with my best friend, even though we had only known each other about a month.  I felt fine completely being myself, whatever that meant (meaning a lot of dorkiness, lol). He also pursued me, rather than me pursuing him, which unfortunately had been my experience through most of college.  He was everything I had hoped for in a man too:  He was (and still is of course) kind, caring, generous, smart, funny, had similar values, and most importantly, his faith was very important to him.

The first month we were dating, we went out on so many dates I don't think I even had to buy groceries, lol.   We did fun things like make cookies and pancakes, play with nerf guns, and go go-carting.  We went to our first movie together, Love Happens.  Granted, most of our dates were study dates, but still, super sweet :).  My whole worry about dating distracting me from my studies turned out to be completely unfounded.  The Hubs was always there to help me study and focus when I needed to.  

To be completely cheesy, it was one of those moment were I first started to feel like I was in love with the Hubs.  Finals were coming up and I was freaking out (law school finals are no joke).  Not only had the Hubs supplied me with study materials (law school is very competitive, very difficult to get people to share) but he took time out of his study schedule to help me out when I needed.  One of those nights I was super nervous and could not calm down, so I went to visit the Hubs.  He talked me through it then hugged me, and I just felt all that stress melt away.  Even today, there's so many times he's the only one that can calm me down. 

After finals were over we went back to our separate states for Christmas break.  That wasn't a fun couple weeks but before I knew it we were back together.  Then his Dad visited.  Talk about nerve wracking, but it went well.  Right after his Dad left, he first said he loved me :).  Not a super romantic story, we were cuddling and the Hubs just kind of blurted it out, but it was perfect.  

Reality soon threw a wrench in the works though.  Around 6 months in, we realized things were getting serious and that there could be a future there.  Problem was that whole separate state thing.  We both planned on going back to our own home states after law school... which happened to be just around 3,000 miles apart. It was the subject of a lot of debate, but we were both set in our own opinions. Things weren't looking so great...

About a month later was barristers ball, aka "law prom".  Everybody took a break from the studies, cleaned up, and looked pretty.  After dancing my feet off, I got a little tired so I wanted to go soak my feet in the pool at the venue and the Hubs came along.  While I was soaking my feet in the pool, the Hubs sat down next to me... and told me that some earthquakes might not be the worst thing in the world, and he'd be ok coming with me to California.  Poor guy didn't know what he was getting himself into, but problem solved :).  Things just got better from there :).

Soon enough it was summer time, and back to our separate states we went.  At the end of the summer though, he came to visit me and check out his future home state.  It was an interesting trip, involving a funeral, the county fair, and the beach.  And at the end of the trip he asked my parents to marry me :).   Things were great!

Again, slight problem came up.  See, the Hubs asked my parents then because that was the last time he would see them in person for the foreseeable future.  However, he wasn't quite in a place where he was able to propose yet.  Back before the summer break, he had been in a car accident, and his car was totaled.  He didn't need a car over the summer, so he was planning on getting a new one in the fall.  The car situation needed to be taken care of before he could get the ring (budgetary considerations and all), and he was having a hard time finding the right car.  It was all very complicated.

Anyways... long story short, it all snowballed and much tension about the whole thing ensued.  In hindsight, it wasn't all a bad thing though, it led to a lot of ...honest conversations, not only about ourselves but about our families too, which was good, even if it was hard at the time.

Finally, after our last exams of that semester, and before everyone was about to go home for Christmas, the Hubs wanted to take me out on a date.  I wondered if it could be the night, but wasn't sure.  When the Hubs came to pick me up I wasn't ready yet.  He waited with my roommate in the living room, pacing back and forth and rearranging little decorations we had around.  My roomie knew something was up.

Once I was ready to go, we headed off to dinner.  He surprised me and took me to... the very same sushi restaurant we had gone to on our first date.  Then we walked down the same road, stopped by the same place with the super yummy homemade donuts... hmmm.  Yea, I definitely knew something was up by that point, lol.  Then we went for a walk on the beach.  After walking for a bit, he stopped, got down on one knee, said some really nice things that I cannot remember for the life of me, lol, and asked me to marry him.  The nice things he said were really nice,  I blurted out yes before he was even done asking :).  With that, I knelt down on the sand with him and he slid the ring on my finger, though on the wrong hand at first, lol.  At the same time, the fog closed in around us, making us feel like we were the only people there. It was perfect.  So, on December 18, 2010, exactly four years ago today, me and the Hubs got engaged!

This was a reenactment, but you get the idea

Yes, the title of this post is another Star Trek reference.  I can't help myself.  Sorry.

December 14, 2014

Recovery Recap and Some Lessons Learned

I know, there have been far too many posts about the surgery.  Sorry if they've gotten boring.  Feel free ignore and catch up next time.

So first of all, just a little recap of the recovery process so far:

Recovery Recap

By far, the absolutely worse part of recovery was the ride home from the hospital.  It started out fine, but around halfway through, some combination of a bumpy road, the pain meds wearing off, and my mom being in a hurry to get me home, combined into... ouch.  I was in excruciating pain, every start, stop, and bump just hurt so much.  I was in tears, pillow in one hand, rosary squeezed in the other for like the last 15 minutes of the trip.  When we finally got back to my parents' house (I stayed there because I could be on the bottom floor), the scene was kind of comical.  I was greeted by my dad and sister at the car. I don’t think they were expecting me to be in such bad shape.   I was hunched over in pain, and shuffled my way to my room, followed by an entourage of four people who were kind of helpless to do anything.   I laid down for a bit and finally started to feel better.  The Hubs was off to the drugstore to pick up my pain meds.  Once I got those I was fine J.

I relaxed the rest of the day, was fed jello and pain killers lol.  I guess I had too much liquid, I was up almost every hour that night having to go to the bathroom.  I felt sooo much better the next day though.  The Hubs had to keep me from getting up by myself and walking around too much.  Actually, that's pretty much been how the recovery has gone, I want to wander around, the Hubs tries (and mostly fails) to keep me from doing too much, I get tired and sore and admit to the Hubs that he was right, and pop some pain killers.  It was easier for him to keep me from doing things when I hadn't figured out how to get up without using my abs (because ouch) but now I've figure out workarounds, and the diminishing soreness helps.  I've been working on tapering off the pain meds, and hoping to be done with the narcotics today or tomorrow.  I go long stretches without any, but the pain creeps back up again.

Staying at my parents' house turned out to be perfect for recovery.  It has wide, straight hallways, making it easy for a recovering person to shuffle around.  There's lots of furniture around, meaning sufficient things to hold onto or sit on if needed.  And my shower had a handle and a seat, perfect for if I got to tired. We stayed in my old room, which was kinda fun, thought it meant more of the 50s lifestyle. My old room has two built in twin beds so we couldn't even push them together.  I didn't mind though, it meant I had my own space, tossing and turning was more difficult, and my bed was comfy and low, so it was easy to get in and out of.  The one negative was that my parents have started to use it for storage.  Stored right at the foot of my bed was my nephew's high chair.  I couldn’t really handle that, and eventually had my sister move it to the closet.

So anyways, yesterday I was feeling good enough for the car ride home, so after staying two days longer than we had planned, we headed home.  Its nice to be back on my couch (yes I love my couch) and have internet back.  Its also nice to be able to cuddle my dogs again :).  While we were at my parents, they were stuck outside.  They are so not outside dogs, the first thing they did back home was cuddle up on top of pillows, lol, rough life that they have.

Anyways that's my recovery so far.  On to the little bit of knowledge I've gained.  

Things I've Learned

I'd call these these tips, but they aren't really handy, just some pieces of advice from my experiences. If you need laparoscopy tips head over here.  I know I've mentioned it a few times, but it really is great. So, here are things I wanted to pass along:

1. Recovery might not go as expected

I really thought that the recovery would be a lot of sleeping and movie watching and that's about it.  Things have been a little bit different than that.  The pain meds had the opposite effect on me from what I expected.  Instead of making me sleepy, they make me wide awake.  I've barely been able to get 7/8 hours of sleep a night, with lots of waking up in the middle of it, and I've gotten in only one or two naps.  I also had some other weird side effects that I hadn't expected.  For example, the pain meds also made me itchy and mentally checked out.  A few of the other side effect are mentioned below.

And as for the movies thing, no internet means no netflix or google play, means no movies. I tried to watch tv, but couldn't really find anything I liked.  It turned out to be a good thing, instead of settling in on the couch, it meant I did more walking around and talking to family.  Point is, be prepared for unexpected things, whether negative or positive, to happen.

2.  You might be emotional

After the HSG I had earlier this year I was emotional for a couple days, so I knew I should expect that again, I think its a side effect of the anesthesia, pain, pain meds or some combination thereof.  Somehow, it still surprised me.  Its been a lot stronger and lasted a lot longer than before.  I've been very sensitive, irritable, and overall just really emotional.  The weird thing is that I feel completely justified and normal, but have to remind myself that I'm not.  I'm actually glad it took time before I got the internet back, I had a lot of feelings about how things went at the hospital that I needed time to process before posting about it.

3. Constipation (and getting over it) is no joke

Okay, this one is a little TMI, but so is most everything else on the blog I guess.  Anyways, everything I read warned me that there might be constipation after surgery.  My doctor even warned me right before surgery, and gave me a prescription for miralax.  Even so, my abdominal area hurt so badly after surgery I couldn't imagine having a bowel movement, and I usually respond pretty quickly to laxatives, so I waited until the next day to take the miralax.  Bad move.  I was super constipated until 3 days after the surgery.  I was super bloated and uncomfortable, and worried about the whole thing. I even doubled up on laxatives, which finally worked.  The... unconstipation was  also not fun.  The pain and spotting had been starting to get better, but with the unconstipation got worse.  Just a heads up for anyone who deals with that.

4. I'm firmly team low-rise

Another tip I'd run across a lot was to get either high or low rise underwear to avoid irritating the incisions.  I bought both because I didn't know which I'd like.  After the surgery, I took one look at the high rise underwear and though, oh he** no, lol.  They probably would've landed directly on the incisions and even if they hadn't I think the material would've been too close and irritated them.  So I went with the low rise.  They had plenty of clearance and didn't bother me at all.

5. Its tough to learn your limits

Like I mentioned before, there's been a lot of Hubs telling me no to do things, me doing them anyways, then me getting worn out.  I'm a really bad patient, and I don't like admitting defeat.  I have had to though.  There are things I can't carry... like our bigger dog or a flower vase.  Even my purse right now is bordering on the too heavy side.  I couldn't pour my own milk from the gallon yesterday.  I couldn't even get myself out of bed for a few days.  Point is, as you go along, you have to accept that you can't do some things and ask for help, even if you're stubborn like me.

6. There is a way to upgrade the squishy pillow

Everyone also recommended keeping a squishy pillow on hand.  Seriously great advice, and I've been super attached to my pillow since right after the surgery.  It was actually funny, when I was walking into my parents' house after the surgery, I was clutching my pillow. Everyone kept offering to hold it for me, but I wouldn't let them take it away.  They had no idea why I was so attached to the thing.  It felt like it was my security blanket or something, lol.

However, hanging out in my old room, I discovered and old friend that upped  my squishy pillow game.  I found my pillow pet I got a few years ago, which has turned out to be so perfect.  Its big enough to cover my whole stomach area, folds up if I need it to take up less space, and its happy!  I mean just look at it:

His name is Buzby

The only problem I ran into was that the dogs thought it was a toy for them, very self centered those dogs are.  I covered it with a blanket and they completely forgot about it, other than finding it a comfy place to rest (while perfectly cushioning me from puppy paws).  So, if you happen to have a surgery in your future, or just need a smiling face around, I suggest you get yourself a pillow pet too :).

7. You might not know how to feel about the future

I know I've talked  about this before, but its been heightened lately.  I'm so ambivalent on how to feel about it things now.  The Hubs is hopeful.  When I pointed out a cute toddler in a batman sweater to him (we have a game where we point out cute kids to each other), he smiled and said to me "soon".  My mom is hopeful.  So hopeful in fact that she bought baby hats at the hospital and presented them to me on the car ride home.  I, however, have been more cynical than hopeful, according to the Hubs.

I want to believe the surgery will be successful.  I want to believe that this time next year will be different, that maybe we'll have a use for those hats.  I'd like to think that some day I can show those hospital wrist bands to my kid(s) and tell them the story of everything that led to them. But at the same time, I can't really see that in our future, and I don't want to get my hopes up again. I want to be prepared for the surgery not to be a success.  Its kind of weird though, instead of all the pain I'd been feeling as usual, its been like a lot of confusion. I guess its to be expected.

8. Don't underestimate the power of prayer

I very greedily asked for prayers multiple time on here and other places.  I'm so thankful for all those that prayed for me, and really believe I've felt the power of all those prayers.  I know those prayers helped us get to the hospital on time, helped the doctor to sew my ovaries back together when they didn't want to cooperate, and helped me have a recovery that's been surprisingly easy and uncomplicated (despite all the things I've said above).  I know they've been there helping the people taking care of me put up with me too :).  So thank you again I'll be praying for you too!

December 13, 2014

Surgery Recap

I’m finally settled back at home, and have my internet back (yay!) so, as promised, I’m going to share my surgery story.  I apologize if its too long, I just wanted to get it all down before I forgot.  So here goes nothing…

The night before the surgery, the hubs showed up after work with flowers and a sweet card.  And then, because I tried to follow all of Stephanie's tips (yes, I'm pretending we're on a first name basis now), we went out for a “last meal”.  We went to my favorite build your own burger place, and were joined by my sister and her new boyfriend.  A good time was had by all (I think), though the poor new bf did get grilled a little, it was all in good fun.  After dinner, we went home and relaxed a little, then started packing and cleaning, because I didn’t want the place to be too much of a mess when we got back.  Although that successfully kept my mind off the impending surgery, before I knew it, it was midnight…. and we had to wake up at 3:30 a.m.  Suffice to say, we didn't get much sleep. 

At 3:30, ok more like 3:45 a.m., the morning of the surgery the Hubs and I woke up, showered, got the dogs corralled and in the car, and then headed to my parents house.  We got there around 4:45 a.m., dropped the dogs off, switched to my Mom's car (she wanted to come and she has a nicer car :) ) and got on our way to the hospital.  Funny thing, there were two routes we considered taking, and by accident we took the one we ended up on, but stuck with it.  I think I remember my mom saying when we got to the hospital that there was an accident and traffic the other way, so we would've likely been late (or might not have even made it) had we gone the way we meant to.  Talk about some intervention on that one :).  

We got there around 6, right on time, and checked in. Once I was checked in, a nurse came and escorted me and another woman to the pre-op area, we dropped off our loved ones in a waiting room on the way.  I gave a urine sample, changed into my hospital gown, and got my blood tested.  They were checking for my blood type, which somehow I don’t know, so I asked for them to tell me.  They said they would after the surgery but I forgot to ask.  I guess I’ll find out some other day.

The pre-op area was pretty relaxed.  (the Hubs just told me the pre-op area was the same as the recovery room.  I had no idea.  Mind. Blown).  There were  two nice nurses and we were just telling stories and laughing most of the time, so it kept the nerves at bay.  My dorkiest moment:  the nurse took my temperature with something that she just swiped along my face.  I blurted out "cool, that’s like star trek!"

Tricorder anyone?

(I guess its official, the Hubs has turned me into a trekkie, I’ll just have to live with that).

The worst part of pre-op was getting the IV in. The nurse tried a vein in my hand but that vein was so not having it… ouuuch.  She gave up on the hand and went to the inner elbow… much better, my veins there are always good.

Soon enough my Mom and the Hubs were ushered back to hang out with me, and the anesthesiologist showed up right after them.  He asked if I had any problems with general anesthesia before, I said I didn't think so, last time I had it was when I was seven having my tonsils out. So I turned to my Mom and asked if she remembered any issues I had. Her response was "you didn’t have your tonsils out, did you?!?"  I poked fun at My mom for not remembering I had my tonsils out for the rest of the time, lol.  I also  asked the anesthesiologist about the anti-nausea patch that I've heard about.  He assured me that since I don’t regularly get motion sickness, I would’t need it, and that he would be giving me other medicines to deal with nausea… in hindsight I wish I had pressed the issue more.

Dr. S then came by to go over the surgery.  She was calm about it all, quickly explained what would be happening, answered our questions, then was on her way.  The last thing they were waiting for before I could get hauled off to the operating room was my HCG result.  When it finally came back negative, I told them “ I could’ve saved you the time and told you that” lol.

Then it was “hugs and kisses time” as they called it, I said goodbye to my mom and the Hubs and was wheeled off to the OR.  In any procedure I’ve had before, I’ve been put under before making it to the OR.  This time, my IV wasn't even hooked up yet, so I was wide awake when I was wheeled in there and scooted myself onto the table… below the very big and intimidating robot. 

Friendly looking, isn't it?
They mentioned it had a name, and I think they told me its name was margarita??  But I was administered the drugs and was out pretty quick… so I may never know what the robot's actual name is, lol.

As for how the surgery went, the Hubs made a recording of what the doctor said, though the quality wasn't awesome, but between the recording and what the Hubs and my mom remembered, I was able to piece it mostly together. By the way, I'm not sure if I ever said exactly what the surgery was, just in case, it was a robotic ovarian wedge resection and diagnostic laparoscopy.  The surgery went pretty well.  The doctor didn't see any endometriosis, which was a big relief.  Even though I never had an symptoms of it, I was worried it would show up, and  I really didn’t want to have just one more thing wrong with me. My uterus looked good, but she took a culture and we'll hear about the result at my follow up.  I hope we'll be able to get to the bottom of the TEBB. As for my ovaries, I guess there were so many cysts that my ovaries were really big, and instead of being oval shaped like normal, they were round.  One was worse that the other.  I’ll be interested to find which one it was, and if it corresponds to some pain I've been having.  So anyways, she cleared out the cysts, wedged resected the ovaries to a normal size, and sewed them back together.  She ran into a bit of a problem with that,…. I guess the ovaries were very delicate, kept tearing, and she had a hard time keeping them stitched… so it took some extra time but she got it done.  I guess it had really worried the Hubs, they had been told the surgery would be two hours, but it ended up being four because of that.  He kept asking for updates because he was scared something had happened.  Poor guy L.

After all that was done, I was woken up.  I think I was in the middle of a good dream or something, because I remember being irritated they were waking me up then.  I don’t remember everything in order from the recovery room.   I remember seeing the clock and being surprised that it was 12, my surgery had started around 7:30/8:00 and was only supposed to be 2 hours.  But everyone was just saying the surgery went well.  I remember that I felt like I had to go to the bathroom.  They said I had had a catheter in during surgery and that my bladder was empty, but they gave me a bed pan just in case, turns out they were right.  In hindsight I'm glad I didn't actually have to utilize the bed pan.  I was super groggy, my throat hurt, and I was in a lot of pain.  After complaining about it for a bit, someone asked me what my pain was on a scale from 1-10, I said 7 or 8. They gave me some pain medication that staved the pain off for a little bit, but a half hour later the pain started climbing again, it was around a 5 or 6, and they gave me more pain meds.  I was also nauseated… I bet that patch would have come in handy.  

Then I was just kinda alone in the recovery room for a while… the nurses were busy with other people and in and out of grogginess. Finally, around 1:00, the Hubs was brought back to me.  Once he was back there, we talked for a little bit, he told me that surgery went well and that he recorded what the doc said so I would hear it later.  We hung out for about a half hour.  Then the nurse said I needed to pee before I left and gave me something to drink so that I could and ushered the Hubs out while I waited for my bladder to fill up.

While I was waiting for that, I had a particularly unpleasant moment with the nurse.  She asked if I was having the surgery so I could have a baby.  I said yes.  Then she asked how long we’d been married, I told her three years.  Then she said, oh, you’re so young, you have plenty of time.  I was so not in the mood to hear that, you know while I was laying there in pain in the recovery room.  So I rolled my eyes at her and told her, well, if things are bad now while I’m young, they’re probably just going to get worse, not better.  Then she went on to say something to the effect of I would have kids when I was ready for them and I just needed to relax.  I so wanted to yell at her or something… but figured that wasn’t a great idea.  I just looked away and stopped talking to her.  That just about all I had enough energy for anyways.

Finally, I felt like I needed to pee, so the nurse got me to the side of the bed and to sit up.  I tried to stand... much pain and nausea.  We waited a bit and I tried again, but I was still in pain and dizzy.  So she got me some more pain meds, and let that set in for a while.  After the pain subsided, the nurse brought over this thing to wheel me to the bathroom… I don’t know how to describe it… it was like a dolly crossed with a wheel chair.  Here, I found a picture of something like it:

weird, right?

 All of this made me feel like, for some reason, they were really in a rush to get me out of there, which kinda bothered me since I was still nauseated, dizzy, groggy, and kinda hurting, but I went along with it.  So she got me to the bathroom, and I was able to walk, or shuffle really, back from there to the bed  Then the Hubs was called in to dress me and we called my mom to swing the car around to pick me up.  Everything was going so fast, they almost forgot to take the IV out of my arm! Around 2, I was wheeled out to the car and we headed home.

I figure this post is long enough.  So stay tuned, the next will cover my recovery (so far) and some things I've learned.

December 11, 2014

Surgery Update

Hi there! I am now officially on the other side of the surgery.  It went well, ovaries are cleaned out and wedged, uterus looks good, and no endometriosis found.

The car ride was so not fun, but now I'm resting at my parent's house being waited on hand and foot. I could get used to this, haha. I'm about 18ish hours post surgery and I'm  already feeling remarkably better and more clear headed. If it wasn't for the pesky abdominal pain and inability to use my abs, I'd be up and running around already,  lol.

Right now I only have internet access on my phone and typing on it is a pain, but I'll get a more detailed recap up when I can use my computer.  Thank you for the prayers,  I really feel their weight. I'd really appreciate prayers for my recovery.

December 9, 2014

And Our Patron Saints for the Year Are....

TCIE announced her patron saint of the year today. In case you'd like to find yours as well, and hadn't run across the website already, head on over here.  So anyways, after seeing TCIE's post, first I thought I would wait until the new year to find my own, considering its a bit of an awkward spot between the new liturgical and calendar years. But then I got I decided I would just check it out for fun, but not pick my saint yet.  Then I got my saint ... and I'm definitely keeping him.  Okay, long enough lead into it, my patron saint for 2015 is:

Feast: October 16

Patronage: Childbirth; Children; Falsely Accused People; Good Confessions; Lay Brothers; Mothers; Pregnant Women; Pro-Life Movement; Unborn Children

I'll admit, I was shocked when he showed up. See, this saint and I have a little bit of recent history.  First of all, he's the patron saint of the Catholic  infertility group I belong to on facebook, so right off the bat I knew there was a connection, and it also means I'll be trying to pray for those in that group more as well :).  Actually, I think its from the group that I first heard of St. Gerard.  It was around that same time that I also started looking into novenas, and I wanted to find a patron saint of infertility that I connected with.  Unfortunately, St. Gerard and I got off on the wrong foot, and he, not being someone who dealt with infertility himself, got dismissed pretty quickly.  Oops.  

Recently though, I had been thinking about him more, and maybe asking for some intercession from him from time to time.  What lead to that was a personal connection with his name.  You see, there was a Dominican priest who was friends with my family when I was growing up, who's name was Father Gerard.  He passed away while I was still young, but I just remember him as always being so kind and joyful, and so that association led me back to St. Gerard.  

Another surprising thing is St. Gerard's feast day.  Its the day after my birthday!  Its also on the birthday of a friend of mine who is pregnant right now, so I think she deserves some extra prayers too.  

I can't lie though, thing that stands out most to me about St. Gerard is his patronage.  Its not just infertility, as I had assumed before, but of Pregnancy, Children, Childbirth, and Mothers.  Seeing that, on the eve of my surgery no less, gives me some hope.  I mean, I don't want to read too much into it, and I don't want to be superstitious about it or anything like that.  But I've been in a more hopeless place lately, more leaning to thinking that surgery will just be a last failed step in our infertility treatment that will allow us to get closure and then move on.  So seeing what my new friend is a patron saint of gives me a little much needed balance I think, and some extra hope knowing I'll have someone else in my corner in all of this. All in all, I'm just excited to spend the year learning about and getting to know my new patron saint!

I have to mention though, after I got such an awesome saint, I told the Hubs that he had to do it to!  So he clicked on over, and was assigned:

Feast: June 13

Patronage: against barrenness; against shipwreck; against starvation; against starving; against sterility; American Indians; amputees; animals; asses; boatmen; domestic animals; elderly people; expectant mothers;faith in the Blessed Sacrament; fishermen; harvests; horses; lost articles; lower animals; mail; mariners; oppressed people; paupers; poor people; pregnant women; sailors; seekers of lost articles; starving people; swineherds; travel hostesses; travellers; watermen

I love it, he seems like an awesome saint for the Hubs for this year.  I definitely see some crossover between our two saints, which the Hubs picked up immediately.  Another funny coincidence, St Anthony's feast day is also close to Hub's birthday, within a week of it! I'm sure St. Anthony will come in handy when the Hubs is tracking down things that I've lost (happens all the time). I also love the emphasis on the sacraments between the two of ours: mine covers confession and  the Hub's covers the Blessed Sacrament.  I think we could use some frequenting of both of those more.

Thanks for stopping by and learning about our new saints!  I hope this has convinced you to go find your own patron saint too :).

December 7, 2014

(Over)preparing for Surgery

So I've mentioned before that I've been a little anxious about my upcoming surgery.  It gets more anxiety inducing as it gets closer and more real.  AF just showed up yesterday, so the last possibility of anything stopping the surgery is gone (I didn't ovulate and AF was brought on by progesterone, but still).  Luckily, since its on Wednesday this week there's only a few days of worrying left.  And, much to your relief, only a few days left for me to post about the surgery coming up :).

In order to try to keep myself busy instead of worrying, I've been preparing, and probably overpreparing.  I've emailed some fellow bloggers that have been through the same procedure, and read all the surgery posts I could find, including these ones by Polkadot at Making God Laugh and Stephanie at Blessed to Be, that have been super helpful.  If you've noticed some page views recently on a surgery post... that might've been me haha.  

I've also googled all I could google on ovarian wedge resections.  I think I have now become (mostly) immuune to pictures of ovaries being cut up and sown back together again, though the idea still icks me out a bit.  I was really mean and showed the computer screen of my google image search to the Hubs, telling him that was going to happen to me.  I don't know if I've ever seen him turn that shade of green before... poor guy.  I really should be nicer if I've expecting him to wait on me hand and foot for a few days. 

Speaking of how nice the Hubs is, on Saturday we went shopping for the things I'm expecting to need, based off my binge surgery post reading.  Purchases included, but were not limited to: food and drink (soup, jello, gingerale), miralax, gasx, ibuprofen, cold/heat packs, pads (regular and overnight), loose sweatpants, high and low rise undies, and cozy socks.  My absolutely favorite purchase involved some Christmas pajamas that are sooo soft and fuzzy.  Hey, they're comfy and cheerful...both important.

obviously essential to recovery
While we were already getting Christmas themed things, we picked up some Christmas decorations.  We also picked up our Christmas tree, my parents old artificial tree, its awesome.  I figured if we're going to be spending most out time around the house for a few days, might as well get the Christmas decorating finally started.  We've still got a ways to go (like decorating the tree) but I think its off to a good start.

On the spiritual front, the Hubs and I went to confession on Saturday.  After mass today I asked our pastor for a blessing.  We hadn't introduced ourselves to him since we had started attending this parish about a year ago, so I was a little nervous, but it was really nice and calming.  I also gave the pastor a quick rundown on creighton and napro, he hadn't heard of them before. Hopefully I made enough sense that maybe he'll be able to pass it on to someone else who needs the information. Tomorrow we make our consecration to Jesus through Mary, we're excited about that.

Now I just have to get all the work that's due in the next two weeks done in the next two days... no big deal.

So... I think I'm almost as prepared as I can get.  Do you have any advice, or can you think of anything I'm forgetting?

December 3, 2014

Well, Hello There

Hi there!  And yes, I'm referencing this:

I don't know if you've noticed, but I've been a little MIA for a bit.  Were you wondering where I was?

Sorry, I just had to.  No more Up GIFs for this post, I promise (no promises made as to future posts though).  No I wasn't hiding under your porch, lol, I was off visiting the in laws in upstate New York.  We just got back yesterday.

I know I mentioned it before.  What I hadn't mentioned is that I was a little nervous about it.  We hadn't been there in 2 years, hadn't really made any plans, and well.. you know... general concerns about family and holidays and what not. Turns out I had nothing to worry about, it was a great trip, even with the few negatives.

The flight there wasn't bad, actually something really cool happened.  While the Hubs and I were waiting for our connecting flight, the Hubs and I heard someone call out his name.  We turned around to see an old friend of the Hubs, who had been his groomsman and we hadn't seen since the wedding.  Turns out he was taking the same flight as us, and since we were flying Southwest and got to pick our own seats, we got to sit together. For the hour and a half flight, the Hubs and his friend told hilarious stories about their high school days, I seriously laughed the whole time.  The row in front of us was a little grumpy about that... but oh well, laughing is better than a crying baby.

Once we got to our destination, we settled in at the Hub's parents' house, the same house the Hubs grew up in.  Another funny part of the trip, we stayed in the Hub's old room.  However the Hubs had a twin bed growing up.  Since the twin bed obviously wouldn't fit the both of us, the Hub's parents brought in a cot for me.  So, we got to travel back to the 50s for the week lol.

Something like this

Anyways, the Hub's parents were more than sweet and accommodating to us, and spoiled us the whole trip.  They had the house stocked with the Hub's favorite foods and took us to eat at his favorite places. The day after we showed up it snowed and it was wonderful!  We went and played in the snow like little kids. We threw snowballs around, made snow angels, and yes, I finally got to make a snow man.  It was just as awesome as I'd imagined :).

my perfectly imperfect snowman

We spent the next few days relaxing, hanging out with family, and catching up with the Hub's old friends.  Unfortunately I got a nasty stomach bug Saturday night and spent the rest the trip recovering :(.  Let me tell you, flying home while recovering from a stomach bug is not enjoyable.  I think the only way I got through it without incident...was thanks to ginger ale and Mother Teresa's flying novena.  Also not enjoyable about the stomach bug, maybe even worse than bug itself, is the incessant questioning... do you think its because you're pregnant?!? UGHHH. (and although I know you wouldn't ask, and of course I don't even need to say it, but NO I'M NOT).

Though it wasn't my in laws asking that.  I mentioned it to my sister, who passed it along to my parents, who were all OMG.  My mom has gotten it into her head that I'll get pregnant before the surgery so I won't have to have it.  She is not very accepting of me telling her its not going to happen (literally impossible without ovulating), but whatever.  No, the Hub's parents did not want to talk about the big infertility elephant in the room... at least the one I imaging was there.  It bugged me at first, but I figured they were just uncomfortable talking about it. Just to put myself at ease (and maybe to have some fun making them uncomfortable...maybe) I just let them know I had surgery coming up "to fix some things" and let the conversation die. By the way, the surgery is exactly a week from today, let the surgery countdown begin.

Anyways, other than that bit of fun, it was an awesome trip, and I'm super glad we went.  It was really great to be with the Hub's friends and family and I hope we can get back there sooner than later.  I have to say though, it is good to be home, and be back on my couch, watching my tv shows, and writing this post :).

November 23, 2014

My Big Fat Paleo Fail

I've been promising a post about how Paleo has been going for a while. The problem is, Paleo isn't really... going anymore. It really went well for a while.  I was feeling better, cooking new things,  eating lots of veggies and meat.  We even had bison. And well, then the cheating started.

I think it all slowly started going down hill around birthday. My 80/20 slid to 70/30.. 60/40... you get the idea. Then came Halloween... which means candy everywhere of course.  I started out good and bought some organic super dark chocolate from my neighborhood super healthy grocery store.  Of course that only started the candy cravings, which led to butterfingers and kit kats, and... well you get the idea.  Then we went away for the weekend and completely went off the plan and well... I haven't really gotten back on it since then.  I have cooked a Paleo meal here and there, spaghetti squash has become a staple around here, but no consistent sticking to the plan.

I avoided the scale for quite a while, and I'm still refusing to update the weight tracker on the weight journey page, but I have gained half the weight back.  I've also noticed that some fun PCOS symptoms have been flaring up more than usual too.  In general I feel not as great, and I'm especially not looking forward to travelling like this.  I know I need to get my act together, but I seem to have lost my motivation.  It was so hard to break the carb/sugar addition... and then I brought it back.

For now, I don't see it feasible to get back to Paleo.  We're travelling, then I have a week back, which will inevitably be crazy, and then I have my surgery, and recovery.  I'd  like to say after I recover I'll be back to Paleo.  But by the time I'm back in the swing of things, Christmas and New Years will be coming up.  So... I'd like to get back before then, but I think my deadline to get back on plan is New Years.  We'll call it a resolution? 

I know its a big old fail.  I really did feel better/ healthier on Paleo, and I really did want it to work. I thought putting it out there on the blog would keep me more accountable and help me stick with it, and I feel awful admitting it didn't work here.  But hopefully the next time I give it a shot it'll stick?

November 21, 2014

7 Quick Takes, a Change of Season Edition

I think the tone around here could use a little lightening up.  I hope this weeks 7 Quick Takes can do the trick!

So the first time I linked up, I mentioned that fall was taking forever to show up.  I think I mentioned somewhere else that I thought fall was finally here, that was a lie, it got hot again.  Its slowwwly getting cooler, but there's still 80 degree days here and there.  Seriously ridiculous.  I've been wondering if I'm just going (more?) crazy, considering the fact that I live in the same area that I was born and raised (I moved away for 6 years, but I've been back for a few), I should be used to this by now, right? Sooo, I checked online, and the weather has been consistently about 10 degrees or more higher than the average this year.  I'm not completely crazy, this year is warmer than usual!  With that confirmation, I've decided to give up on it ever getting cool. I'm just going to pretend its getting fallish/wintery anyways.

My absolutely favorite part of fall is apple pies. I was going to say apples or pies, but then I realized it isn't one or the other, its both together. I made my first apple pie in college with a friend... it was actually the first thing I ever baked from scratch(ish... I've never made a crust on my own).  Just in case you're wondering, this is my favorite apple pie recipe, though I do tend to add spices like cinnamon and nutmeg.  Mmmm cinnamon, my favorite spice.  I feel like I've added cloves too, but I'm not sure, its been a while.

Speaking of apple pie, I made an awesome discovery this week.  I was having a sweet tooth moment and discovered the most amazing combination, apple pie and gelato!  I was thinking that it couldn't possibly taste as good as it sounds, but oh yes it does! If you're an apple pie lover, but not feeling up to baking one yourself, and also like gelato (who doesn't like gelato?) you should probably pick up some of this.

heaven in a pint

Another one of my favorite things about the change of seasons is fall/wintery clothes.  Over here in the land of sunshine, that means light sweaters and scarves mostly for decoration.  I finally got around to dry cleaning the sweaters that really needed it, but when I got them back, I discovered something super sad. My absolutely favorite sweater appears to have been a snack for some moths or something in the last year, it has holes everywhere :(.  Of course I realized this while wearing it at work... not embarrassing at all lol.  I haven't had the heart to check the others yet, but I have a feeling that it might be time to go sweater shopping.  Apparently I need to invest in some moth balls too?

Despite the lack of cooler weather over here, it looks like we might finally experience some elsewhere.  Next week we're heading to the other side of the country to visit my in-laws in New York. I've been checking the weather and it doesn't look like we'll be seeing any snow, but at least we'll see some sort of season changing. We haven't been over there in a couple of years, so we're excited to get back there and see the Hubs's family again.  The plans we've made so far consist of nothing but hanging out with family and Hub's best friend, so I'm looking forward to the fun and relaxation.

Related to the change of seasons is the change of liturgical seasons!  Advent is just around the corner!  I cannot believe its already that time of year again.  I'm not sure what we're going to be doing to participate in the season, but we did get an advent wreath.  Actually, we kind of accidentally ended up with two advent wreaths, one more traditional:

and one with a nativity

It had to do with a little mix up with the amazon account. You see, we recently got amazon prime and switched over to both using the Hubs's account instead of each having our own (I haven't figured out how that's going to work with Christmas shopping yet).  I have learned that the Hubs only puts things into the cart when he actually wants to buy them (such a strange idea), while I tend to put things I want to consider buying (but probably never will) in there.  So of course, when Hubs went to purchase some things, he just bought the stuff I had in there too.  Lesson learned, and now I have a wishlist instead, lol. I think I'm going to keep one and give the other as a gift, but I haven't decided yet.  I don't know which one to keep, they're both beautiful!

Speaking of advent, another blogger is hosting advent prayer buddies.  I absolutely love the idea, have signed up, and think you should too!

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

November 20, 2014

Participating in Suffering

I'm just going to preface this with saying, I don't know much, I don't have the deepest spiritual life (not even close), and I know there are many many more people whose suffering is much greater than mine. Just thinking about that makes me not want to write about the issue at all, who am I to write about suffering when I have things generally so good. At the same time, this blog is where I put stuff out there that I've been thinking about, so here goes nothing. Just know that I in know way mean to say that I think my suffering is equal to or greater than anyone else's, that I've figured out the meaning of anything, or that I understand anything really, haha.

That being said, I've been thinking a lot about suffering, trying to figure out some, if any, meaning behind it. What am I supposed to be learning, and if I do learn something, what am I supposed to do with that? *Spoiler alert*, I still have no idea. But I've started to get the feeling that its one of those things God is trying to tell me over and over again, but I just don't understand, not yet.

So the Hubs and I have started the Consecration to Jesus through Mary using 33 Days to Morning Glory. Its beautiful, it does challenge me to grow spiritual life, but that's a good thing. Anyways, the book spends a week on a holy person's devotion to Mary, and we just got to Mother Teresa. I had always heard that she had gone through a very long "dark night." Yesterday we read that she had realized that the dark night was a participation in Jesus's thirst for souls. Wow.

I've also mentioned that I get emails from Divine Mercy Daily with excerpts from Saint Faustina's diary. She suffered quite a bit, and Jesus taught her much about suffering. The emails have focused on this for some time, but there was something about today's:

"My daughter, know that if I allow you to feel and have a more profound knowledge of My sufferings, that is a grace from Me. But when your mind is dimmed and your sufferings are great, it is then that you take an active part in My Passion, and I am conforming you more fully to Myself. It is your task to submit yourself to My will at such times, more than at others ... (Diary, 1697)."

Now there is a lot to be taken away from that.  So much more than I can even think of right now.  However, one thing hit me in particular, that by suffering we're taking an active part in Christ's passion, and He is conforming us to Him. It made me think.  In my suffering I am longing for one child, one small soul, to enter our family.  Ok, maybe its more, maybe I hope for several children, but still.  That longing for just one, or maybe a few children causes so much pain.  And the inability to have them creates so much sorrow.  

God is also longing for people, the souls that haven't found Him, or have turned away from Him.  And these aren't hypothetical souls, these are souls He knit in their mother's womb, who He knows the number of every hair on their heads.  And its not just one, or a few, it could be millions, billions even.  And these are people He died for.  Can you imagine?  That pain caused by one hypothetical person missing, the longing for one small child, multiplied by millions, billions even?  I can't even begin to think of it.

So what am I supposed to do with that?  How do I become more like Christ?  How do I more actively unite my suffering with His?  And how do I bring good about with it?  Like I said at the beginning of this post, I have no idea.  But at least this is a start, something to think about, something to give some meaning to all the suffering?

November 16, 2014

Weddings are Hard

So I don't know if I'm the only one, but weddings are a huge trigger for me.  They all tend to follow the same pattern:  See the beautiful and moving ceremony, have fun at the reception, have a few drinks and dance my feet off, head home, then have a break down in the car until its time to go to sleep. Its happened like clockwork at all of the wedding we've been to since we've figured out we're infertile, though I didn't realize the pattern until after the wedding we went to last night.

Thinking about it, I think its caused by a combination of things.  It starts with the ceremony. I think Catholic wedding ceremonies are beautiful, and hearing the couples say their vows always takes me back to when we said those same words.  At the same time, little parts of the ceremony get me.  For example, the couple is asked "Will you accept children lovingly from God and bring them up according to the law of Christ and his Church?" Those mentions of children are peppered throughout the mass. I believe it is beautiful, and should rightly be a part of the ceremony, a big part of marriage is being open to children.  However, each time it comes up, its a reminder of the children we would happily accept into our marriage but don't have.

Then we get to the reception.  You see how happy the new couple is, and I can't help but start to wonder what their future will be.  Will they have children?  Probably soon, sooner than us at least.  At some point in the night the bride and groom end up dancing with some of the babies or children, and that's when I start tearing up.

I'm normally a pretty guarded person, and tend to keep my emotions buried.  Unless I'm on medication that's making me crazy, or on here I guess, I don't talk to much about my feelings about our infertility.  Sure I talk about the fact that I'm infertile, and treatments and whatnot, but not really about how it all makes me feel, at least not very often.  But once you get a few drinks in me, as happens during weddings, especially those with open bars, the feelings start coming to the surface. And considering the fact that we only go to one or two weddings a year, that's a lot of feelings.

So by the time we get to the car, hotel room, or home I get sad and start talking about all the feelings and crying.  I feel sad about the children we don't have.  I feel bad about the fact that the Hubs would make such a good father, and so wants to be a father, and instead is stuck with me, who can't seem to be able to give him a child.  I think about I think about our future, what will it look like if we don't have kids? Will just the two of us be enough?  And so I sob and I sob until I exhaust myself and go to sleep. The poor Hubs is always taken off guard, but does his best to console me and is a complete sweet heart, but I'm sure its hard on him.

Now that I've reflected on all of this, and I've recognized the pattern, I'm determined that it won't happen at the next one I got to.  The next wedding I'm aware of is set for March, so at least I have time to prepare.  Now if I could just figure out how to do that...

November 12, 2014

The Calm Before the ... Surgery

So I know I've mentioned a few times that I have surgery coming up.  Its actually less than a month out now. Sorry if you're getting tired of hearing about it, its probably going to come up a few more times... but at least there's an end in sight?  My last cycle was our last medicated cycle before it. We gave Femera one last shot, and that didn't work out.  So now I'm taking a break from treatment.

I didn't actually stop everything.  I am still taking my medicine and supplements that are health related, just not the ones that are specifically ttc related.  So right now, I'm continuing with Metformin, as well as supplements dealing with PCOS and my MTHFR defect generally.  It is drastically less than I've been taking for the last four months, so that is pretty nice.

Emotionally its been a really good thing.  My strongest reaction to the fertility meds was emotional, I was a *little bit* crazy for those four months or so.  Its really nice to be off of that crazy train.   I do feel a lot more like myself, and at least one of my coworkers has mentioned that I'm more like myself too.  I had started to worry if the meds had permanently changed me somehow, and if I would always be overly emotional  Luckily, that's not the case.  I've actually been surprised at a number of situations that I haven't had an emotional reaction, where on the meds I would have been upset or sad.  Its weird when I start bracing myself for nothing, haha, but its  really nice to be level headed again, I really needed that.  And though he's been nothing but sweet and hasn't said anything, I think the Hubs needed me back too.

Physically, on the other hand, is a different story.  I don't know if my body just got used to the meds, or if its upset because of them, but things have not been great.  My cycle started off  like normal, but that brown bleeding that came back last cycle seems to have set in for the long haul. I'm on CD 13 and there's no sign of it letting up yet.  Talk about frustrating.  I have a call in to my doctor to see if we should treat it now or wait until after the surgery, I'm guessing the latter though.  My skin is also reacting badly.  I've been breaking out with random big painful zits since the beginning of the cycle.  For all of my PCOS symptoms, acne has always been the one I've been lucky enough to not have, so this is an unwelcome occurrence. Any ideas on how to treat it are welcome.  Just to round out the symptoms are some random cramping and sensations, severe stomach upset (though I think that's mostly a diet problem), and pre-peak  breast tenderness that I don't remember ever dealing with before, because why not. Needless to say, me and my body aren't particularly getting along right now.

I've also started to get a little anxious/apprehensive about the surgery.  Before I was introduced to NaPro, I was dead set against the idea of the ovarian wedge resection.  I mean, all I kept hearing about it was that it was an outdated procedure that led to scarring and did more bad than good.  After finding NaPro, I was a little worried that it seemed to be the go-to treatment for PCOS.  I've come to understand that NaPro techniques are different, help prevent scarring, and have great success rates.  I also have a lot of faith in my doctor.  She was open about the risks and benefits, and about her own track record with the surgery, which is great, so I really feel good about her abilities.

Its just that, although I've been fortunate to have a couple people generously email with me about their experiences, I'm still constantly googling the procedure to try to find more out.  Unfortunately, there isn't much online about it other than the aforementioned negative stuff.  If it isn't negative stuff, its surgery pictures and, excuse my immature reaction but, yick!  I've always been pretty squeamish, like fainting at blood tests (though that hasn't happened in a while luckily), and the time I passed out because my sister told me that she cut her finger, I'll never live that down. So just the idea of being cut up, with the wonderful visuals I've gotten from google is... unsettling.  And the thought that I need to be cut up in order to be fixed is weird too.

Right now its pretty easy to dwell on all of this because I don't have a lot going on.  Luckily, in about a week we're about to get pretty busy, what with travelling and the holidays coming up, so hopefully I'll be so occupied I won't have much time to think about it all. 

November 3, 2014

Little Happies- Eight!

Linking up with Stephanie @ Blessed to Be for another Little Happies Monday!


After a long, drawn-out, summer that was was refusing to end, its finally feeling like fall!  This weekend the temperature finally dipped below the 70s/80s, and we even got some rain!  Now there's that cold snap in the air that comes along with the season change, I love it!  I'm just hoping it doesn't get hot again.


I mentioned on Friday I really wanted to get my dogs Halloween costume but decided against it.  Well considering that its now fall, I did decide to get hem something slightly  more practical.  They got matching sweaters!  I think they look just adorable.  Again I apologize for the bad picture quality, but these guys just didn't want to sit still! (and ignore the tv remote on the couch lol)


Last Christmas my parents gave us a two night hotel stay as a present.  This weekend we finally used it, and it was perfect! We got in on Halloween which was great because we avoided having to deal with trick or treaters (I just wasn't feeling it this year) and there was barely anyone else at the hotel that night.

We had a great fireside dinner, with the hotel restaurant basically to ourselves.

cozy dinner

And then, being the old people we apparently are, we fell asleep right after that at like 9.  Apparently we really needed some sleep, haha.

Saturday we got to pick up some wine from our favorite winery

Isn't the Hubs a great wine model?

After that we headed back to the hotel, rested up, then went out for a nice long walk along the ocean at sunset.  It was gorgeous!

And we even got to see some seals!

cute but stinky, lol

The next day we headed home, though we stopped by a microbrewery  to pick up some awesome beer on the way home.  

We were exhausted when we got home, but it was a great, and much needed, get away (even dealing with CDs 1-3 couldn't get me down).

That's all I've got for now.  Thanks for stopping by!

October 31, 2014

7 Quick Takes on Halloween, All Saints Day, and All Souls Day

Happy Halloween! I have to be honest though, I’m not a huge Halloween person. Growing up, my parents weren’t huge fans, I think the last time I went trick or treating was around 4th grade. That, along with my having an aversion to scary things (even the most mild of things can give me nightmares, I’m a wimp), has led to me just not being super excited about Halloween. I’m not anti Halloween,  I’m just more likely to buy a bag of candy for myself and hang out at home than to get dressed up or decorate for it (which is probably exactly what I’ll be doing this year).

Back in college, I did tend to go all out and dress up for the school wide party.  I think my favorite costume was when me and two other friends dressed up as a blonde joke.  We had a blonde, a brunette, and a redhead, and went around telling blonde jokes.  It was pretty entertaining.  (In case you’re curious, I was the blonde out of the trio). 

I think my creepiest Halloween was the year I had to fly on Halloween.  I don’t know why, there was just something about the airports and planes while taking a red-eye flight on a half empty plane that was a little spooky, haha. 

While I might not get excited about dressing myself up, I am a big fan of dressing my pups up.  They might have a small wardrobe of their own. Last year I got my poor dog a koala and shark costume, though my favorite was the pig costume for my parent’s pug. 

This year I seriously considered getting these for my dogs:

Wonder Woman Dog

Thor Dog
The Hubs is a huge action hero/marvel fan, and Thor is his favorite, so it would’ve been perfect.  I don't think the dogs would've loved them though, and since we didn’t really have anywhere to take them, I couldn’t really justify the cost for the sole purpose of putting pictures up on facebook.  They sure would’ve been cute though. 

Although my parents weren’t into Halloween, they were into All Saints day. One year I was dressing up as some nun saint (though I can’t remember which one) and actually borrowed a habit from some Dominicans we’re friends with (I may have mentioned before I’m a pretty big fan of Dominicans).  I’ll have to see if I can find a picture of that somewhere.  That was probably the best costume I had for All Saints Day. 

Speaking of All Saints Day, I saw this post by Simcha Fisher and it made me think about which saints I like more or less.  For the longest time, I had a really silly reason for disliking St. Thérèse of Lisieux.  You see, my favorite saint has always been St. Theresa of Avila.  I was born on her feast day, picked her as my confirmation saint, and even was lucky enough to visit Avila when I was younger.  I've always admired that she was intellectual, spiritual, and seemed to have a good sense of humor and balance as well.  I’m a big fan of her writing too. 

Anyways, when I was really young I decided that you couldn’t like two saints with the same name, but that they were rivals and you had to pick one, lol.  So I was firmly pro-St. Theresa of Avila and against any other saints by the name of Theresa.  Even though rationally I know that’s silly, that underlying feeling has stuck with me for most of my life, and I’ve disliked Thérèse of Lisieux for no reason.  This year I’ve tried to learn more about her and get over my Theresa issue, and she really does seem like a lovely saint, but man, deep seated ideas like that are hard to get rid of.

This year I’ve also been doing more thinking about All Souls Day.  It’s a great opportunity to remember and pray for our friends and family members that have passed away.  My maternal grandfather’s brother, so I guess my great uncle, has been on my mind lately.  He passed away when I was very young, like 5 or 6, and I honestly don’t remember much about him, other than that he had some troubles.  So I don’t really know why he’s been on my mind, but maybe he needs some prayers. So if you could join me with praying for him especially on this All Souls Day, I’d appreciate it.  I’ll pray for you and your lost loved ones too. 

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October 30, 2014

Hope and Hopelessness

As this cycle seems to be winding down (P+13 and closing in on CD 40) I've been experiencing a little bit too much of these two feelings.  This was our last medicated cycle before the surgery, our last chance, in a way.  It was also my best cycle in a long time, except for a late peak.  I'm not sure if I ovulated, I didn't feel like doing post peak testing (I'm getting a little tired of being poked and prodded), but there were some symptoms I experienced that made me think that I might have. Thanks to all of that, I started to let myself hope.

 Now, I'll admit, I'm a realist bordering on pessimist, definitely not in the glass half full/ optimist camp.  So for most of this IF journey my default has been hopelessness, because I've learned that hope can just hurt so much.  I'm a math kind of person, and I've watched myself be on the wrong side of too many statistics.  With all the time that has passed and all the treatments that have been ineffective, I know what the odds are and that they aren't in our favor (and now I want to watch hunger games, lol).

I mean, when we first started out, sure I thought it wouldn't take too long, but as the weeks, months, and eventually years flew by, I realized that wasn't going to happen, or at least not easily.  As time went by, I started to talk about our potential future children as more of an "if" than a "when".  And slowly even that has gotten too painful most of the time.  I realized that our hopes and dreams of children seemed to become more of a fantasy than a possible reality. And I tried to just compartmentalize all of that away.  I told (more like broke down to) the Hubs that it was too hard, that it hurt too much to be let down month after month.  So he became our designated hoper, and I stayed cynical.

SoI knew the danger in letting myself hope this cycle. But for some reason I just couldn't help it.  I don't know if it makes sense, but as much as it hurts to hope, it also hurts not to.  As much as I can understand our chances in my head, my heart still wants the hopes and dreams.  So I hoped.  And like waters flowing through a broken dam, all the held back dreams came pouring in. It started with nurseries, after watching a favorite movie and thinking how cute a nursery with that theme would be.  Soon enough I had a whole pinterest board of nursery ideas (secret of course, haha). Then I started to think about names, and how I would fit in the name of the saint whose novena I was praying.  I planned how I would tell the Hubs, and  then my parents, and how perfect it would be to tell the Hubs's parents when we visit them.  I looked at cute little baby clothes online and dreamed of what outfits I could put a sweet little baby in.  So yea, I went a little overboard.  That's what happens when you don't let yourself hope for so long

Before charting I used to take pregnancy tests regularly.  With crazy cycles ranging from twenty to sixty days or more, a monthly test was required to keep me sane.  After I started charting, it was easier not to test, and it became extremely rare for me to do so.  Actually I can only think of once or maybe twice that I have tested in the last year.  That being said, this cycle I just couldn't wait.  So P+11 and P+13(today) I tested.  Of course they were negative, I should've known they would be, but it still hurt, just like all the times before.  Crashing back to reality always hurts.

I don't know if I regret getting myself so caught up in my fantasy.  Being hopeless is hard. Its hard to face day after day that our journey may never end in us having a child, to keep telling myself not to look at or think about baby things because they'll never be for me, that I just want to get all this medical treatment over with so I can know for sure that it will never happen.  A lot of the times that is my goal, just go through all of this so I can finally know we don't have a chance, its so hard to let myself even think of the alternative.

Hoping feels like setting myself free.  I can believe in possibilities, in miracles, in chances.  I feel free for my spirit to soar, but the higher I soar, the further the fall. And when I come back, it makes me all the more bitter, and all the more I try not to again.

All of that is to say, I don't know what is better, and I don't know what attitude to take.  I wish I could strike a balance, but I can't, I seem to take one extreme or the other.  All I know is, this journey involves a lot of both of them.  Maybe one day I'll figure it out?