July 26, 2015

Answer Me This (Vol. 7)

Welcome back for this week's installment of Answer Me This! This is the last one for this summer (I know, I'm sad about it too) but I hope you enjoyed it!

1. What's your favorite grocery store splurge?

Um, well, I don't really do the grocery shopping around here anymore.  A certain Hubs had a heart attack every time I came back from costco, car overstuffed with things I "needed" like 50 lbs of potatoes (that's like the smallest size they have). So the Hubs took over on the grocery shopping.  He's much more reasonable about it.  We did go to costco together a few weeks ago though and managed to get some fun items, including a fire extinguisher.  Safety first!

2. How's your penmanship?

Awful.  Really awful. Half the time I can't even read what I wrote.  Not only is it sloppy, but I go back and forth between printing and cursive, which makes it look like multiple people are writing.  On top of that, I make up abbreviations as I go, and I usually don't remember what they mean when I get back to them.  So. Count yourself lucky that this blog is typed and not hand written :).

3. Do you have a "Summer Bucket List?"

I think the only item on my summer bucket list is survive.  The work transition still has my schedule and routine up in the air, I hope it comes back down soon.  We are hoping to get away for at least on weekend soon, for our anniversary!

4. What's the best thing on the radio right now?

Hmm, that's a tough one.  By the time I find a song I like, it usually gets overplayed on the radio and I get over it.

This on is my current favorite, though its definitely on the getting overplayed route.  It's just so fun though!

Also I can't help, I love Ed Sheeran's music. Photograph is my current favorite song, but I pretty much just love whatever his latest song is, lol.

5. Ice cream or frozen yogurt?

FROZEN YOGURT!!!!! I love it so so much. I used to be a big Golden Spoon fan (more traditional yogurt place) but now I'm a convert to Yogurtland (self serve place with fun flavors and toppings).

 Lucky for me we have both of them in a shopping center within walking distance from our condo.  Score! I go to Yogurtland so much I've even go a platinum loyalty card, that gets me a few free ounces (like $1 off) every so often, woo hoo, haha.

Well, that's it for this week, and this link up, for now.  You can find other great posts over at Catholic All Year.

July 22, 2015

Why I Use NFP: For a Healthier Me

I think I've shared most of these details in other posts, but in honor of NFP Awareness Week, I thought I'd put the details together. So here's the story of how I came to use NFP.

First, in case you're wondering, NFP stands for Natural Family Planning, which is a way of determining a woman's fertility by keeping track of certain bio-markers.  There are various types, which use several different bio-markers and you can learn about them here.  I currently use the Creighton Model, which coordinates with NaPro Technology to assist in the treatment of health issues.  Ok, with that bit of knowledge, let's move along.

Also, my health background that factors in to this story. Pretty much when they started my cycles were irregular.  I bugged my mom to take me to doctors about it, but it took years before they took me seriously. Once they finally did, I was diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS), a hormonal disorder that causes all sorts of issues.  My doctors constantly pressured me to take birth control to treat it.  I refused every time, first because my mom was against it, but eventually on my own, as I learned about its dangers and health risks.  Even later I learned that it can make PCOS worse, and is contraindicated due to a genetic defect I have causing a high risk of clots, that no doctor who recommended birth control ever thought to test for.  Ok, on to the story (finally).

Growing up, I had heard a little bit about NFP.  In college, since I went to a small Catholic college, I learned more about it as friends started learning it before marriage. So you'd think I'd be somewhat knowledgeable at that point, but I didn't really retain much other than a passing awareness of it.

Like I've discussed in more detail here, my Husband and I met in law school and were engaged by my second year of it.  While we were preparing for marriage, my ob/gyn at the time told me that NFP wouldn't work for me because of the irregular cycles caused by PCOS. We also knew PCOS might cause it to be difficult for us to have children.  So we decided to start marriage just seeing when God would send us a child.

After about 6 month of marriage, I still wasn't pregnant, and I started to worry.  I heard about a secular book on NFP, Taking Charge of Your Fertility, using the sympto-thermal method (basically taking your temperature and watching some other bodily signals of fertility) that claimed it could help with conceiving.  So I started charting my temperatures to try to identify when I was fertile, but my charts were a mess and didn't make sense.  I knew something was wrong. However, the doctors I was seeing would dismiss my concerns, say everything was normal, or suggest I take birth control,because according to them there was no other treatment for PCOS and they thought I was too young or whatnot to be having children.

After about two years of marriage we finally decided to seek medical help and went to see a NaPro Technology doctor. Our first visit with her was awesome! She knew so much more about PCOS and treatments for it than any other doctor I had seen, which meant more than I could learn on google. She sent us to learn the Creighton Method of NFP to help out treatment.

So we started to train in the Creighton Method, and from the very beginning I was amazed at how much information my charts showed.  It helped us create a medical plan tailored to my specific issues.  I watched as things I had been told for years were normal were uncovered as problems and treated.  Even though my cycles have been and continue to be confusing (though they have gotten better over time) my instructor is there with me every step of the way to help me figure it out.  So not only can NFP work with my irregular cycles

Creighton also has given us tools to communicate about and strengthen our marriage. While it was difficult at first, it has been invaluable as we deal with the trials of infertility.

We continue to chart with Creighton and treat with NaPro, and I am still learning.  Even though we don't have children yet, I know so much more about my self.  I also feel, and have actual proof that I have become much healthier. My only regret is that I did not learn about NFP (and Creighton in particular) earlier.

It is so empowering to have so much information about your own body, to be able to gauge your health and advocate for yourself.  I still get upset about all the misinformation I was fed along the way, by many doctors, including very prestigious ones.  I believe NFP can be valuable to every woman.  Women deserve better than a one size fits all medical treatment and misinformation.

July 19, 2015

Answer Me This (Vol. 6)

Welcome to this week's installation of Answer Me This! I hope you enjoy it!

1. What's currently on your To Do list?

Hah, what isn't on my to do list would be easier to say.  On the top of the list is go check out the poor neglected garden that I haven't watered in two weeks.  Luckily its been raining this weekend (so freakish for our area) so the sky has been doing the watering part for me.  When I peeked outside, almost everything seemed to be hanging on, except for the lilacs, stupid lilacs. I'm adding replace lilacs with something else (maybe hydrangeas?) to the to do list.  Then there's all the household chores, random home fixing projects (like getting a light fixture back on the ceiling), getting the treadmill working, try to promote the ministry, and you know... work stuff too.  Most likely it'll just be work stuff that gets done.  I'm sorry garden :(.

2. Better type of superhero: magic/radioactive powers? Or trauma/gadgets/hard work?

Hmm, I'll probably go with the latter.  Or at least combining the two, the magic/radioactive power thing can be fun, but I think its good character development to have the superhero have to work at it too.  For being a superhero movie/ tv show fan (we watch ALL of the superhero movies and shows) you'd think I'd be more impassioned about this debate... but I'm not really.  As long as its fun and there aren't too many gaping plot holes I'm fine.

We saw Ant Man on Friday and it mostly met those qualifications.  It was definitely fun, and funny.  There were some awesome visuals (the whole point of seeing them in theater) and some touching scenes.  There were some plot holes that are still really bugging me, though all the marvel movies have them. I'll definitely watch it again once it comes out on dvd, or more likely download, we usually just buy on google play now.

4. Have you ever appeared on a stadium jumbotron?

I don't know? Maybe/probably? My parents had season tickets to the (then Anaheim) Angels while we were growing up, so I went to a lot of baseball games.  I loved it. Best game ever was when the Angels won the world series, so awesome.  I feel like at some game we were on the jumbotron, though I don't really remember for sure.

5. Are you more book smart or more street smart?

Haha, this one isn't even a little bit hard.  All book smarts, no street smarts (unless they can be learned from a book).  Anyone who knows me learns that pretty quickly, and I'm always being made fun of in my family for lacking common sense.  Luckily I married someone with somewhat more street smarts than my own, so we get by (most of the time, lol).

(Yes, I did skip 3 and 6, they're pretty inapplicable over here)

Just an extra note for any regular readers out there.  I am really trying to get back to posting somewhat regularly (or at least once a week in addition to answer me this posts).  This week is NFP Awareness Week, so I definitely hope to get a post up on that, and maybe one more, since I'm feeling ambitious right now.  It all depends on how soon after I get home that I fall asleep though.  So.. you'll know I'm just too tired if I don't get anything else up this week.

That's all I've got for you this week.  Head over to Catholic All Year for more!

July 14, 2015

9 Things a PMSing Infertile Woman Shouldn't Do

Otherwise known as things I did last week.  It was some good times I tell you.  So I thought I'd share in case anyone would like to learn from my mistakes.

1. Work a nearly 60 hour work week.

Yes, there are things to be done at work, and yes, when your first start a job you probably want to impress your boss.  However, when PMSing, taking it a little bit easy on yourself helps deal with what's to come.  Being beyond stressed out and past your energy reserves is not.  Pro-tip: Go home on time and take a nap instead.

2. Volunteer to Help Plan a Baby Shower

Ok, this happened before last week, but I had to include it.  I don't care where you are in your cycle, as an infertile woman, getting involved with baby showers is dangerous business.  I'm not saying you should never consider going to a baby shower (though that's totally ok if its what you need to do). I'm just saying maybe you shouldn't dive in and volunteer to help with every single baby shower that comes your way, like a certain masochistic author of this blog does. It will not help things, and I don't think it's healthy to be trying to figure out how to plan a baby shower with as little mention of the baby as possible...

3. Take Multiple Pregnancy Tests

One might be necessary, especially if you're taking meds that would need to be continued in case of a pregnancy.  However, I suggest taking said test as late as possible, and then accepting the negative and letting it be.  What is not helpful is taking the first test jussst early enough that mayyybe there's room to doubt, wracking your brain about it all week, then taking another one and being shocked and crushed at the still negative result.  Not that I repeat that cycle every month or anything...

4. Go Shopping for Presents and Decorations for a Baby Shower

Just stop while you're ahead, get a gift card or something.  And no, shopping online won't be better.  It will be worse because there will be pictures of all the babies you don't have, leaving you sobbing to your husband about not wanting to go to the baby shower but having to because you volunteered to help in the first place (see how the vicious cycle works?).

5. Attend a Double Baby Shower

Once you're already hitting an emotional wall, you probably shouldn't keep pushing yourself just to see how far you can take it.  I mean, a regular old baby shower is enough, let alone one with double the bumps and what not.   Ok, that's my last entry about baby showers, I promise.

6. Listen to All the Sad Songs on the Radio

You're already emotionally unstable, why would you make it worse with moody music? And by moody music I mean anything that's not obnoxiously peppy.  Anything less than that will be translated to saddest. thing. ever. by brain on hormones.

7. Forget to Take Your Happy Pills

If you some sort of supplement/ prescription that keeps the hormones at bay/ keeps you even keeled, you should probably be extra sure to take it during this volatile time of the month.  You probably shouldn't skip them just because you want that extra glass of wine.  It might not be worth the repercussions the next day.

8. Leave the House Without Pain Meds

While we're talking about important pills to remember, these are definitely at the top of the list.  If you can make it without pain pills, more power to you.  But if the cramping is already starting, even if its not *that* bad yet, don't leave the house for 6 hours without pain meds. That is exactly when you will get the worst cramping you've ever had, with absolutely nothing you can do about it.

9. Decide to Clean the House After an Exhausting Weekend

Let's see, if you've had a long week, and an even longer weekend, with the last few hours of it you should probably get some rest.  What you probably should not do is complain to your husband about the house being dirty, which makes him start cleaning, which makes you feel like you have to clean, and then keep cleaning until past your bed time.  You may end up throwing a tantrum and start crying while throwing all your clothes off a shelf because its a mess.  (Your husband might respond that it is, in fact, now a mess).

So yes, a fun week and even more fun weekend. When I start doing things wrong I just really don't know how to stop. There are a few things I'd like to think I did do right though:

1. Drink Wine

Ok, maybe that extra glass of wine was worth it, wine is always worth it...

2. Meet Up With Supportive Friends

It will definitely be worthwhile, and might even make you feel better.

3. Have a Patient Husband

This one, probably the smartest thing I've ever done.  Lucky for me, the Hubs seems to think its cute when I'm being ridiculous and hormonal (I'm pretty sure it's anything but that).  And will help me pick up and hang all the clothes that somehow found its way to the floor.  He's a keeper I tell ya.

I'd love to hear any other don'ts or shining moments that you have to share!

July 12, 2015

Answer Me This (Vol. 5)

Welcome to this week's installation of Answer Me This! I hope you enjoy it!

1. At what temperature do you keep the thermostat set? Summer, winter, day, night?

Well, a certain Hubs likes it cold around here, so we usually keep the thermostat around 72ish.  I know, that's cold.  We do have a Nest, so we try to use it to minimize our a/c usage when we're not around, or asleep.  I think it helps?

2. What is your favorite frozen beverage?

Ooo, alcoholic or non-alcoholic? For non-alcoholic, I definitely appreciate a shake from time to time. I'll take and in-n-out shake or a Wendy's frosty, yum! Alcoholic... I've been on a mango mojito kick lately. A margarita is always good too though :).

3. Where do you keep your keys?

On a dish next to the door. The dish was given to me by my mom, and also happens to say "call your mother" on it, lol. The Hubs refuses to use my key dish and throws all of his stuff in a bowl on the counter. Yes, there has been some contention over this issue, haha.

4. Have you ever really been lost?

Only all the time? I have the absolute worst sense of direction. Even with GPS I can (and often do) get myself lost, and I have to have the GPS guide me multiple times before I know how to get somewhere myself. Even then I'll still probably use GPS guidance, just because I like to know exactly when I'll get somewhere and be warned about any traffic, I do not like surprises on the road.

5. What is the last movie you saw in the theaters?

Jurassic World. It took a while before we got around to seeing it because I wanted to watch Jurassic Park first. My parents didn't show it to us when we were young, they probably thought we'd get scared, which is probably true. I thought the visuals of Jurassic World were awesome, and the movie was fun, though there were some plot holes. And I'm still disappointed that Chris Pratt's role wasn't funnier. I mean, I just feel like I like him more in comedic roles, but that's just my opinion.

That's all I've got for you this week.  Head over to Catholic All Year for more!

July 5, 2015

Answer Me This (Vol. 4) and a Blogiversary

Here's this week's installation of answer me this! enjoy!

1. How did you celebrate the 4th of July? (Or, for you international types . . . Do anything fun this weekend?)

By celebrating my independence with sleep.  Lots and lots of sleep.  Apparently I've been a little worn out out lately... but I think I've remedied that with like 12 hours of sleep (naps included) a day, on this nice extended weekend.  For the actual 4th of July, we hung out at my parent's house and ate some food barbecued by my siblings.  I love me some good barbecued food!  Then we headed over to my parent's condo by the beach.
not a bad view

We played some board games and watched the fireworks. We were super lucky and found out the show was taking place right across the street from us!  That was the closest I've ever seen a firework show, it was awesome!

That's the Hub's head over to the left

2. Do you sunburn easily?

Oh my goodness yes.  A couple hours in the sun and I will be fried. One of the worst sunburns I've ever had was on our honeymoon.  We were walking around midday for a few hours, and I was in a strapless dress.  When we finally got back inside, my shoulders were tomato red and oh so painful.  My new husband got to show his love for me by periodically rubbing aloe vera on my back, lol.

3. Hot dogs. Yay or nay?

Yes! Definitely yes! With ketchup and only ketchup though.  Especially Costco hot dogs.  We may have gone out of our way to get some of those on Friday.  $1.50 for a hot dog that is like a foot long and a drink is a pretty good deal to me!

4. Have you ever personally set off fireworks?

Nope.  That'd probably just be asking for trouble, I'm so accident prone.  The closest I've gotten is sparklers, which I tried for the first time the summer after my junior year of college, believe it or not.

5. Have you ever jumped off the high dive?

Nope! That sounds terrifying to me!  And another accident waiting to happen, lol.

6. Do you do anything weird in your sleep?

Haha. I'm a huge tosser and turner. I don't bother to tuck the sheets in on my side of the bed because they're bound to come out that night. If I'm stressed out I might grind my teeth. The Hubs HATES that

Check out some other Answer Me This Posts at Catholic All Year! But wait, don't head over there quite yet!

Today is also this blog's first anniversary!

Well sort of.  Yes, I do have a few posts in the archives that older more than a year old.  This blog originally started as a baking blog back in 2012.  I only got a few posts up though, and later deleted them.  Then it turned into a weight loss blog (yes, the first thing did lead to the second), and those are the older posts in the archives.  I didn't post often or regularly with that though, only like a couple times a year. Finally, a year ago today, I started blogging about our infertility journey, along with some posts about faith, marriage, and whatever else I feel like talking about.  Surprisingly, I've actually stuck with it! For a whole year now! So I'm calling his my blogiversary!

I've really loved being able to use this blog as a place to get my thoughts and feelings out about infertility.  This year has been a tough one, what with starting treatment, having surgery, and the ups and downs of it all.  Having a place to talk about it has really been a bug help to me.  Even more so, I love the community I've found here, of bloggers from similar and completely different backgrounds.  I love the support and kindness people keep bringing to my little corner of the internet. It's kind of crazy to be that this blog has also led to me doing things in real life, like going to a Catholic Women Bloggers conference, or starting our infertility ministry.  

So thank you for reading and celebrating with me! Hopefully I'll stick around, and you will too!