April 26, 2013

NIAW: My Story

This week, I have had the privilege of reading some amazing & awe inspiring blog posts. Posts from women that have broken my heart, brought tears to my eyes and given me an overwhelming sense of hope & inspiration, all within a matter of paragraphs. Reading what I have been able to read this week, from more amazing women than I can count, makes this post hard for me to write. How do you follow up to that? Plain and simple, I can't.

All I can do is tell you my story.

When I started this blog a few years ago, I was escaping from a much more public presence on the interwebs, where family and friends galore were reading. I chronicled my first miscarriage on that blog. What followed was a depression so deep, that getting out of bed most mornings seemed impossible. When it came time to start our infertility treatments, I got scared. Not only was I severely depressed, I didn't want people I knew in real life to know about our sperm counts and how many trips to see "Wandy" I had been taking. It was personal. I only knew one other person at the time who was going through infertility treatments -- I was scared of what was to come & felt very alone in the process. So I started writing here to sort of save myself from what I thought, at the time, was an embarrassing situation.

My battle is different from many of the stories that I have read this week. So many of the women I know have gone through years of fertility treatments to have their babies, or continue to fight this disease in hopes of one day becoming a family of three. Our journey, in the infertility world, was short lived. One round of clomid. Two rounds of Femara. One IUI with one little follicle that brought us one amazing miracle. I know that on so many levels I cannot possibly relate to what so many of my friends have gone through, continue to go through, and would never, for one second, compare my struggles to theirs. Pain is pain, no matter how you look at it, but I am lucky. I know this and I thank the stars every day for what we have been given. 

I can only share what we went through get here. The years of trying naturally. The miscarriage that broke my mind, body and soul. The waiting ... waiting ... waiting for my husband to return from Iraq so that we could try again, while so many people around me got pregnant. The friends who had miscarriages the same time I did who went on to get pregnant again, successfully, while I was still playing Army Wife. The tears.

So many tears. And so alone.

When we started our fertility treatments, I quickly started finding fellow IF'ers on twitter and through blogs because I needed to. I had no one who understood this. This community? They saved me. Suddenly, there were others. SO MANY OTHERS who knew this pain. Who had been through what I had been through. An astounding ONE in EIGHT couples battle infertility on some level. There are so many reasons why couples struggle with infertility, and so many ways to help build that family you are dreaming of (oral medications, IUI, IVF, FET, surrogate, gestational carrier, adoption, embryo adoption, sperm donation, egg donation) but the emotional and physical toll these procedures take on couples, not to mention financial, are just as extensive.

Finding these women was one of the best things that has happened to me. It has brought me some of the most amazing friendships that I could ever ask for -- women who, no matter what, will drop anything for you to be the support you need. People that I love, without ever having met them face to face, and people that love me back. Friendships that I will carry with me for the rest of my life. These women are an inspiration to me, more than they will ever know. Every day they fight to make the infertility world better. They fight to make sure that infertility becomes less of a taboo topic and more of an open discussion. They FIGHT for the right of others to have better access to treatments. It is a community that I am proud to be a part of, even though I do not say it enough. They taught me early on to not be ashamed of what we were going through. That it SHOULD be out in the open. THAT is what I want to do in return.

This year, RESOLVE's theme was "Join the Movement ..."

The goal of this year's Blog Challenge is to bring together bloggers to talk about how you are making the difference in ways large and small in the lives of people with infertility. Topics covered in your blog post can include how you broke the silence of infertility in your life, how you advocated for the infertility community, how you advocated for yourself, or how you created a support community to help you through the infertility journey.

I will be the first to admit that I do not do enough for this community. I always want to do more. So much more. But I don't. I can give you a million reasons why, but I will save you from that because the fact of the matter is there is no excuse. So, for now, I do what I can, which is lending support. I can do support. I can do hugs. I can give so, so much love. I can be a shoulder to cry on. More than anything, I can encourage and supply HOPE when hope is nowhere to be seen. I do not EVER want anybody to feel the way I felt after my miscarriage. To hit a rock bottom below the rock bottom. To be so afraid of leaving your house because of what might go wrong. To feel like you have nobody there to pick you back up.

That depression post-miscarriage was the lowest point of my life, and is it a low that I never want to see again. Nor do I want any woman to feel even a fraction of how I felt. So when I can? Whether it's a message or a hug or a phone call ... I will be there.

This is what I do, or what I try to do, on a daily basis. Going forward, I am vowing to do better. I want to give more to the community that has already given me so much, and I am looking forward to what the next year will bring. This is the first year that I have truly been in touch with what has been happening in the NIAW world, and as I said before, I am in awe of who I have the honor of associating with.  I hope I make my friends proud in being a better advocate for the community that has already give me so much.


Join the movement! You don't have to suffer from this disease to be an advocate for it. For more information on infertility and National Infertility Awareness Week, you can visit the following links on the RESOLVE website:


April 24, 2013

Our Friends*

People, I am getting nervous about the move. Like, really nervous.

There is so much to do, that I don't even know where to start. So much packing. So much throwing away of things. Finding a house [and the argument that has come up between M & I -- to buy or not to buy]. The job situation, or lack thereof. And just -- MOVING.

Moving is stressful.

I think what terrifies me the most is starting over. I'm no stranger to starting over, at all. We moved -- A LOT -- when I was a kid. My dad was a computer engineer so we went where the jobs were. Washington. Utah. Oregon. Back to Washington. Florida. Back to Washington. Moves within the state. My four years at college was the longest I had ever been in ONE place. For a long time, I was used to adjusting [we weren't even Army!!]

But we have been here for a while now. Seven years, which in military terms is practically a LIFETIME. When I first moved here, I was able to find some good friends, one in particular, S, who was my mutual lifeline back home. We were both from Washington, and actually knew quite a lot of the same people. We were introduced by another mutual friend & with our husbands deploying together [another coincidence] we were inseparable. I was introduced to a couple other people through my husband [wives of his friends] and found my own group of friends through a job & social events. "Hey, I like your bra!" was one of my pickup lines at a baseball game almost seven years ago. C & I have been friends ever since.

A lot of those early friendships have come & gone. S moved back to Seattle, ended up getting divorced & left the military wife life all together. While we still keep in touch, the communication isn't nearly what it used to be. Some friendships came to ugly ends. Others just faded over time, as friendships sometimes do. All of this is OK. It happens. LIFE happens. ESPECIALLY in a military town where people are coming and going with the wind.

But somewhere along the way I found my groove, so to speak. We found a really great group of people that have constantly been so supportive of our lives. Not to mention they are just truly amazing people. When I got pregnant & had Lucas, it was such a huge shift in our lifestyle. A very, very good one, but a lesson to learn none the less. As a full time working mom, battling post-partum depression and figuring out how to balance my child with my life with my husband with my job, things changed. There wasn't time for much of a social life, nor did we really want one. Suddenly the get-together's we used to have with beer pong tournaments [oh yes. I am AMAZING at beer pong. I promise you this!!!] and late night cookouts with all of our other couple friends [with the occasional group of singles mingling in!] just weren't appealing. It was all I could to do get up, get my kid to daycare, go to work, pick him up, get him home, feed him, bath him, make dinner for M & I. When there WAS free time, it was spent calling family I hadn't talked to in weeks. Worrying about the health of my grandfather. Responding to emails. Trying to spend a few minutes with my OWN husband before falling into bed. Or just breathing, trying to keep the crazy that was swirling in my head at bay.

Any communication I got from the outside world was welcome, although I wasn't very good at responding, aside from the occasional text message. But this group -- this wonderful, wonderful group that we had established pre-baby -- they understood this. There was no judgement for not keeping in touch. No anger for missing an event or leaving early. We don't talk behind each others backs & be nice to each others faces. They have given me a place to stay when I needed it. They have offered to watch the kiddo so M & I can get away for a night. They drop off soup when we are sick & offer to pick up some groceries if they are out. They check in knowing that it may be a while before either one of us gets back to them. They offer support when something goes wrong & are encouraging when we open up about things we had been keeping to ourselves. They love our child like their own, cry with us, celebrate with us, and understand when they need to be put on the back-burner for a bit so we can get our own life back on track.

They love us & we love them. They are our family. No matter how far away we end up moving, THESE people will be in our lives forever.

But still, I will miss them. Starting over somewhere new again is much harder in your 30's. Making QUALITY friends at this age is tough. I'm not the open book that I used to be, and I'm trying much harder to be a little more protective of our life. Putting myself out there again is scary & not something I am really looking forward to. It will be easy to get into the mindset of "we aren't going to be here for long, so what's the point?" and I am going to try and not do that. I NEED a social life, even if it's just a lunch date once a month!

But. I will miss my peeps. And even though the Army is going to send us all our ways this year [it seems we are ALL moving -- not just my family] I love these people. They know I love them. They know who they are. And I hope that my husband is prepared for my already WAY TOO MANY text messages to sky rocket. Sorry babe :)

April 18, 2013

Recipe Roundup*

I wanted to share a recipe that we did recently, but than I realized I have cooked so many good things lately, that I might as well just share them ALL! Because who doesn't love good food, right? I know, for me, that I am always in need of quick, easy recipes for dinner at night. Being a working mom & a wife to a soldier, my schedule is so insanely crazy that I don't have time to go home & think about what to do for dinner. I NEED to have a plan.

And usually, that plan needs to consist of something that I can make in 30 minutes or less, because really, that's all the time I have to get us fed. With the transition into summer, some of these will get shelved for a while, I think, as we move into more salads and grill-friendly meals. But, we have just started to have warmer weather, so most of these will get one more go around the menu before we move onto something else:

1. Mexican Slow Cooked Pork Carnitas. This is a Skinny Taste recipe and one that is TO DIE FOR. We don't eat a lot of pork in our house, and I have made this with chicken before, but I have to admit, it tastes better with the pork. This was an easy recipe to make, especially since it's a crock pot recipe, which meant I could throw it in before work in the morning & let it cook all day. You can't beat a dinner that's ready for you when you get home.

2. Homemade Cheeseburger Helper. This recipe isn't going anywhere anytime soon. Quick. Easy. Insanely delicious. Excellent comfort food. I see this happening frequently as it's a big request from the husband. We were having it weekly for a while there!

3. Pan Fried Chicken with Corn & Tomato Summer Salad. There's nothing fancy or original about this recipe, but it's another quick & easy one for weeknights that are a little hectic, or weekends when I don't want to spend a lot of time cooking. It's simple & classic, with items that I usually have on hand in the kitchen 100% of the time.

4. Skillet Lasagna. I love pasta. Way more than I should. I admit that I am an emotional eater and I love a good comfort food. If I can find a low calorie (well, lower than normal) comfort food, even better. This is one of those dishes. Easy and yummy! Not to mention a little bit better on the waist line.

5. Baked Spaghetti Squash with Cheese. We LOVE spaghetti squash in our house! LOVE. Neither my husband and I had actually tried it until this past winter, but once we did, we couldn't get enough. This is another GREAT comfort food that is incredibly low calorie & leaves lots of room for embellishment. I've doubled the amount of spinach, thrown in some ground turkey or chicken, added extra veggies -- a great, easy dish. A little more time consuming because you have to bake the squash for an hour before assembling the dish, but worth it.


April 17, 2013

Girls Weekend in Savannah!

A while back, my amazingly awesome friend Lauren & I decided that since we were both parting way [*sniff. sniff*] in the coming months because of military moves, that we needed a girls weekend together. Lauren is, hands down, one of my best friends here in town, and easily earns that title as well in the rest of my life. While it was our struggle with infertility that brought us together, my life has been better with her in it these past couple of years & I am trying to not think about the fact that we won't be living just a couple minutes from each other after May.

Sorry husbands. You thought our texting was bad before?

Just you wait.

So with what's to come, we knew we needed to maximize our time together! We took off to Savannah, GA, for the weekend with another very good girlfriend of mine (my awesome birth buddy, Jenny, who held my hand & cheered me on during Lucas's delivery). We arrived late Friday night, checked into the hotel and got some rest! For me, it was a much needed weekend away, as well as some great quality time with amazing women!

Saturday morning we got up, got ready, ate an overpriced breakfast at the hotel that we thought (according to the website, AHEM!) was free (it wasn't) and hit the town. We had all been to Savannah before, which made the trip a little easier. We drove to the Visitor Center & hopped on the Trolley Tour, which gave us not only a great overview of the city, but also easy access to the historic district without having to figure out the parking situation. The tour was fun, entertaining & educational! Since two of the three of us had been former Girl Scouts, we did make a quick stop at the Juliet Gordon Low House to do the tour. Also educational! YAY EDUCATION!

The weather was perfect. We really could not have asked for a better Saturday to explore the town. It was warm & sunny; sunscreen was definitely in order (I missed a couple of spots. Whoops.) but because we are still early in the year, the nasty Southern humidity had not kicked in. It was a perfect combination for a really great day and I think we all enjoyed the time together.

Savannah has quickly become one of my favorite cities to visit. This was the third time I have been, and every time I fall a little more in love with it. The old world charm. The history. The gorgeous, gorgeous homes that I will never be able to own in a million years (trust me. Zillow told me so. Jenny & I spent about an hour on the iPad looking up beautiful, beautiful homes.) I could spend an entire weekend just walking around the city, taking photos of all the amazing architecture and gorgeous scenery. One of the things I am looking forward to most in our upcoming move is that we will be a little bit closer to this wonderful city. A mere two and a half hours away; doable for a day trip or a short weekend without feeling rushed or travel weary. The husband is a big fan of Savannah as well, so I see many frequent trips in the next couple of years.

We attempted to head over to Tybee Island, but because it was so gorgeous out, apparently everybody else had the same idea. About 10 miles to the lighthouse, we got stuck in bumper to bumper traffic that wasn't really moving. We turned around and headed back to the historic district, and then quickly decided that we should head back to the hotel to rest for an hour/freshen up before dinner.

Oh yes, y'all. Paula Deen was calling our name.

Dinner was at The Lady & Sons restaurant in the historic district. We had ALL eaten there before, and it was definitely a given that we would be eating there again. Let me tell you all -- it was worth it. Every calorie that filled me up & kept me full for the next two days was amazingly worth it. I could have rolled out of there and probably should have just walked the five miles back to the hotel. The food was, as always, amazing. Can I say amazing one more time? It was amazing.

We all slept very well that night, and slept in quite a bit the next morning. It was 8:30 before we woke up (a time that I KNOW Lauren and I don't get to sleep past too often!) on Sunday morning. We took our time packing up our things & headed to Clary's for breakfast -- a local hotspot with lots of history and connections. The food was good (of course it was) and our belly's were content on the ride back home.

All in all, a truly great weekend. I am so blessed to have amazing friends like these two and my heart hurts knowing that we won't have many more times like this in the future. I am grateful for the opportunity we had over the weekend! As I said, it was much needed and beneficial for my soul. Also, any excuse to get to Savannah is a good one in my book!

April 12, 2013

Lucas & my Grandpa

In anticipation of a weekend getaway with some girlfriends, I was cleaning off the memory card for my point and click camera. In the process, I stumbled upon all of our Christmas photos. Somehow the memory card from my big fancy camera ended up in my small point and click. Even though we are far past Christmas, I never really went through any of those photos so it was nice to see our trip back West & our time there.

In those photos, I found this:

This is the last photo I have of my Grandfather, who passed away almost exactly two months ago. This was taken on Christmas Day. I remember thinking it was so important to me to get photos of Lucas and my Grandpa together while I had the chance, because who knew if that chance would ever come again. I was right in doing so, because it never did.

This was a hard day. He was very sick at this point, and not his normal, chipper, funny self. But he lit up any chance he had to hold Lucas. This picture is so important to me in so many ways, and one that I will cherish always.

It brings tears to my eyes because it is a painful reminder of what I lost. I love my Grandpa so, so much. He was such a huge part of my life, and even writing this is hard for me. He was more of a father to me than my OWN father was and losing him leaves a huge void in my heart. I was the only family member that wasn't there when he passed, and that is a guilt that I will carry with me for the rest of my life. Getting there in time was impossible, but knowing that doesn't take away the sting of not getting to say goodbye one last time. But this photo also brings back so many amazing memories that I had with him. He loved me, and he LOVED Lucas. For me, it is apparent in this photo, and all the others I have of the two of them together.

I wish I had gotten just one more picture of me and my Grandpa together. I don't know why I didn't think to do it, but it didn't happen. But it's nice to know that there is a little piece of me sitting on that couch next to him. I miss him every. single. day. & was so blessed to have him be such an enormous part of my life.

I am so glad they had multiple chances to be in each others lives, and I am grateful for all the time he had in mine. I miss him. Always. And love him even more.

April 11, 2013

Dare I Say My Kid is Sleeping Through the Night??

I almost hate to write about this topic because I know as soon as I hit "post" shit will change and I will instantly regret it. But I feel I need to talk about the topic we're not really supposed to be talking about.

Sleeping through the night.

A few weeks back, I wrote about our sleep issues. Well, not necessarily issues, but the fact that my 11 month old wasn't sleeping through the night and instead we were still having multiple wake-ups in the wee hours of the evening. It was driving me batty.

I couldn't figure out what I was doing wrong. There was a very, very huge part of me that still enjoyed the late night snuggles, because, well, I was a little emotional with my kiddo about to turn one. Our wake-ups never lasted long -- 15 minutes, tops -- but they were still frequent. Sometimes three times a night. Any chance I have to snuggle with the kid, I will take it, but going that long without a full nights sleep, I was well past the "I've had enough" point.

So something needed to change. Of course, I consulted the holiest of places for motherhood advice -- Twitter --- and voiced my concerns for what I should do next. My first thought was to test out Crying It Out. For the record, this is not something that we had ever done. Not for more than a couple of minutes at bedtime in very small intervals. Not because I disagree with it, per say, but mostly because of my severe anxiety (which was only worse postpartum) and the fact that I'm a giant sucker and hated to hear him cry. Five minutes TOPS was all Lucas was ever allowed to cry (while I was around -- I'm sure M let him cry for MUCH longer sans Mommy). I received some reassurance from other mommies that things would be alright (I knew they would) and we set out to see if he could sooth himself to sleep.

The first night was kind of a disaster. I let him cry for 15 minutes. FIFTEEN. It was a lifetime and I couldn't take it anymore. I scooped in, soothed him & got him back to sleep.

The next night I wanted to try something different, and go back with CIO in intervals (which worked GREAT for us when we were sleep training for bedtime). I went in after five minutes with the intention of soothing without picking up, but that only made matters worse. Once he saw me, all hell broke lose. Five more minutes and I thought my kid was going to throw up he was crying so hard. Pick up & sooth back to sleep.

The third night, it dawned on me that I was maybe doing too much. He was still taking a bottle at night, even though it wasn't really necessary. This was also one of those things where I thought, maybe he will grow out of this on his own. He doesn't NEED IT, but it helps. So I never stopped. Now, all of a sudden, he wasn't getting food (even though he never had more than four ounces during those night feeds at this point. Usually only two) AND he was being forced to cry it out. MEAN MOMMY!

We took a step back. I continued to cut out the night feed, but when he would wake up, I would give it a couple of minutes, go in, pick him up & sooth him back to sleep without the bottle. By night five, he was soothing himself back to sleep and we have had restful nights ever since.

I know that things will change, as they always do, and who knows if this trend will continue. But it's been AMAZING having him sleep as well as he has been the past couple of weeks. Bedtime is generally around 8:00 and he goes down without a fuss. He has always been great at going to bed without an issue. Now that he is sleeping through the night, he will sleep until approximately 7:00. Sometimes I hear him at 6:30, sometimes he doesn't wake up until 7:30. Either way, he seems to be getting much better sleep at night, as am I.

And that, my friends, is a win for all.

April 9, 2013

Skipping the Hurt*

This past Sunday, I started my injections for IUI 2.0. We decided since our time was limited and we didn't have many chances to try with this RE before our move, that we might as well take the chance. My protocol is the same as it was last time, almost two years ago -- 75 IU of Gonal.f. My first monitoring appointment will be this Thursday morning. My cycles are always pretty regular so I am anticipating smooth sailing through this as well. I triggered on either CD 12 or 13 last time, with the IUI being done on either CD 14 or 15. I didn't write it down, so I don't remember, but I know it was fairly standard. Obviously, I am hopeful that this works out like it did last time. However I'm also trying to be realistic in the fact that it might not. Will we be that lucky twice? I doubt it.

There was something very difficult about choosing to do another IUI at this point. I never went back on birth control after having Lucas, and we were always of the mind set of "if it happens, it happens." But we weren't TRYING per say. We weren't preventing, but I wasn't charting, temping, counting cycle days. There was no heart break every month with negative tests. So I am going into this with so many different feelings than last time. I don't feel broken or beat down. I am not depressed (anymore -- thanks Prozac!) and I don't feel completely hopeless about our situation. It's different. There are absolutely still some remnant feelings & hurt from our first trip down baby alley, but our journey has been different this time.

So in a way, I feel like this is cheating a bit. Jumping to treatment without having to go through the pain that we went through before. For me, however, this was why we chose to move to treatment. I am not sure that either M or I could handle months on end of negative tests. Neither of us wanted to go through another year of trying naturally only to constantly have our hearts broken before making the choice to do more infertility treatments. Would it have been the same? Not necessarily. We will never know if I would have been able to get pregnant on our own. Maybe I would have. It happened once before, and though it ended in miscarriage, it very well could have happened again. And, as I'm only three days into my injections for this cycle, there's no way of knowing at this point if this will work again. There very will still be some heartbreak left for us down the road.

But, we've skipped a lot of it. Again, it feels like cheating. But also smart. If you can avoid having your heart hurt, would you? I've had that hurt before and I feel it every day for others, and the option to skip that, this time around, was appealing. For both of us.

But what if these IUI's do work on the first try? Or even the second? Am I then that person? The one who decides to try to have a baby and POOF ... is pregnant? Am I a traitor to my community? Am I suddenly that girl we all hate? Or is it different? I don't know.

Of course, there is always the option that these won't work for us. Then we have to live with the reality of being a one child family. We cannot afford IVF, and we are so blessed with one truly amazing child that if that ends up being our fate, we are OK with that. Then the hurt will happen, I think.

So maybe it's not avoidable at all.

We will see. I want to be as positive as possible, but protect my heart at the same time. I'm starting to feel like those two things are mutually exclusive; I see too much positivity end in pain, and I don't want that again.

April 8, 2013

Spring & Summer Meals*

So this one time, I had a great idea of doing a Meal Planning Mondays post -- weekly posts talking about what was on our menu for that week. M & I had decided that meal planning was what needed to happen for our waist line AND our budget.

Well, that only lasted one week before the Army threw things up in the air and sort of messed up our consistency.

There was a good month straight where M was in the field. He would be home here and there, but usually not until 10:30 at night and then he had to leave the next morning bright and early. I had no idea when he would be back home again. Now, he's doing a detail that has completely changed his hours, which means it's 9:00 before he gets home at night. Some days I make dinner and he has leftovers when he gets home. Sometimes I just am not in the mood so will eat something small and leave it to him to fend for himself at night. Either way, it has made meal planning next to impossible these past couple of months.

With warmer weather making it's way towards us (finally) our Spring and Summer meals are mostly consisting of grilled chicken and salads, because in the South, I have no desire to slave over the hot stove and heat up my already warm home even more. So meal planning may, for the time being, not even happen, even if M IS home on a regular basis (which he won't be for quite some time -- once he's done with this detail, he's gone for a full month so yeah ... cereal for me).

I want to continue to share recipes here and things that I am finding. I need to change things up every once in a while, because green salads, while good for you, get boring every night. I'm on a mission to find some great, healthy salad alternatives to go with our minimal, easy eating lifestyle over the next few months.

But healthy definitely is the key. I've lost almost 20 pounds so far in my weight loss journey (40 if you count pregnancy weight from last year) and want to continue on this track. If I am lucky enough get pregnant again soon, then I want to go into this with the same mind frame and definitely do not want to gorge myself on cheeseburgers like I did, um, last time. I'm sorry, but Five Guys is just too dang good to pass up, mmkay??

So what I find, I will share!

What are your favorite Spring & Summer meals?

April 2, 2013

IUI Number Two & What to Do*

IUI #2. It's on the table.

We decided long ago that when Lucas turned one, we would have the conversation of do we or don't we. We have gone back and forth so many times of whether or not to have a second. We are happy with the one, amazing blessing we have, but at the same time, expanding our family one more time seems like the right thing to do. With the impending move, neither of us wants to continue treatment at a new facility, with a new doctor. With me being 32 and my husband about to turn 34, the age factor also comes into play here.  The age gap where I am comfortable having another baby is closing, for me and for my husband, and with said move, comes additional time for finding a new clinic, repeating tests, starting over ... it's too much, too long.

But we have a limited amount of time. Three chances, at the most, before we leave. Likely only two, depending on what happens in July and when we decide to pack up and head farther South. June is out because of a school my husband will be at the entire month, unless we decide to freeze. That leave April and May as definite chances (for now). We were extremely lucky with our only IUI working last time, but the reality is it may not work that way the second time. Despite optimism from others, I'm going into this level headed, knowing what I know, that it may not be like this again.

And if it doesn't work? We have accepted that it just wasn't meant to be. A one child family. We are OK with this.

I've also been fighting some personal demons that I have been working very hard to overcome. This decision does not come lightly for me & my family.

But it is what it is, and while nothing has been decided yet (although we are nearing having to make that decision for the month of April) we are ready to go should we decide to pull the trigger. Meds have been picked up. Clinic on standby.

As exciting as this decision comes for me & my little family, it also comes with some worry. I worry about depression. I worry about the physical pain that I endured while pregnant with Lucas. I worry about coming so far while also slipping. I've voiced my concerns to my husband, and told him of my fears, and knowing what we know now, maybe all of this won't be the case this time around.

But more than anything, I worry about this community. Telling you all this does not come lightly, but with a heavy heart. Many that I know, close or not, are still dealing heavily with infertility. My intention is NEVER to hurt anyone, but I know this news does just that to some. What if I DO end up pregnant again (which is ultimately the goal)? What if this IUI is as easy for us this time around as it was last time? Telling those that I would need to tell -- it would break my heart. And more importantly, likely theirs. I know this. I don't want to hurt my friends. I don't want to hurt any of you. I know that the ones closest to us would be happy if we were to be blessed with a second pregnancy, but I would not blame any of them should they need to step away from our life, from me, for a while. Or unfollow me. Or block me on Facebook. Or just in general, say adios.

This is what is weighing heaviest on my mind, and in all honesty, weighs in my decision of whether or not to do this in April. I will be cycling with some of my closest friends. Delivering the news, if we are lucky enough to have news to share, would not come with ease if things did not go absolutely perfectly and we all got pregnant (which is the way it should happen, damnit!), and there will likely be tears. I know there are some that say infertility is a battle, no matter where you are in the process. That pain is pain. But I also know that when you already have one, such as we do, it's so very different than it is for the individuals still fighting for one of their own. Infertility is a bitch, and it still effects me every. single. day. Even when we weren't trying. But it's different. This I know.

I love this community. And I love my friends. Plain and simple, I don't want to be the cause of any more pain to any of them.  Maybe, just this once, the universe will be kind to those I love and all this worry will be for nothing. Let's do that, mmkay, universe? Thanks.

April 1, 2013

Doodles & Such*

I love being creative. I always have. Art, for a long time, was a very big part of my life. Drawing, Painting. Charcoals. Photography. Our house is full of pieces that I have created -- some hanging, some just waiting for space -- over the years. For a long time, it was a passion of mine. I was never GREAT, but I was decent. Decent enough that I loved doing it.

Then life got in the way. Full time job. Marriage. Baby. Lack of space in our tiny house for my easel & tons of supplies. Right now, I simply don't have three hours to devote to a canvas when there are other things that I NEED to be done around the house or in my life. But I missed it.

But a few weeks ago, during a class I was taking, I got bored. So I started to doodle. It wasn't great, but it was fun, and I realized that drawing, while not always my first choice for an art medium, could be the creative outlet I needed and was missing from my life. Inspiration from a new friend this past week, some amazing blogs & a quick trip to the art store on my lunch break was enough to get me back in the mood. So this weekend, I started drawing.

I haven't come up with anything spectacular, but, I am looking forward to some online classes that I am signing up for this week. I am rusty. Really rusty. I need a lot of practice. But I am looking forward to that practice. My goal is at least 20 minutes a night, for now, of just drawing. I can manage that. I can do that while sitting on the couch with the husband. I can draw while Lucas sits in his high chair and eats his lunch on the weekends. I can, and will, make the time for this.

It's a habit that I want to get back into again. Hopefully I will have things to share here.

Wish me luck!