Tuesday, April 24, 2012


Its that time of year again... National Infertility Awareness Week.  This years theme from Resolve is "Don't Ignore Infertility"... although, to someone dealing with infertility, that's like saying "Don't ignore the elephant in the room" or "Don't ignore whats staring you in the face every morning in the mirror" or "Don't ignore that needle as you plunge it into the soft tissue of your stomach".  Really, there's no way to ignore infertility for those going through it.  I get what Resolve meant and I understand that infertility and all that goes with it needs to be talked about... its not some shameful secret that people should carry around.  God knows I don't feel that way about it; my poor family and friends know more about my uterine lining and egg quality and The Husband's sperm count than they ever wanted to.  And I (and the Husband) are both okay with that.

I think one thing we need to not forget is that infertility is one hell of a battle to fight and you need an army behind you when you face it head on.  I think that the one thing that kept me (relatively) sane through our entire journey was the fact that everyone knew what we were going through.  There were a few people who were ignorant to our situation, but for the most part, our friends and families knew what we were going through.  We never had to deal with the "When are you guys going to pop out kids" questions or the like.  We had a HUGE and amazing support system who were there for us through the worst of times.  They knew what we needed and what we didn't.

After the first miscarriage, two of our best friends drug us out of the house and along with them to their wedding cake and catering taste testing.  They wouldn't let us wallow for too long and they MADE us get out of the house and on with our lives.

During the IVF miscarriage, Mom came out and held our hands in the ultrasound room as our blighted ovum was confirmed.  Everyone stateside wept with us and mourned with us and then helped us pick ourselves back up and moved on.

During our last miscarriage, our friends in England brought over junk food and chocolate and made sure my shifts at work were covered so we could have time off to grieve.  And again, everyone stateside mourned with us.

Every single time we've gone through a miscarriage or IVF, EVERYONE has gone out of their way to do whatever we needed them to do; even if it was giving us space for a few days and then picking up the phone.

Last mother's day, still licking my wounds from the hellacious previous year, I received a Mother's Day card in the mail and hand written on the inside was: "You deserve a Mother's Day just like the rest of us". I bawled my eyes out, but I felt validated as a mother... and it meant the world to me.

I realize that not everyone feels the same way I do and prefer to go through things in private.  And I know that a lot of people think that infertility and miscarriages and all that stuff should be kept private, but I am not one of those people.  I need to talk about it.  I need to have support and to have people to talk to.  I need to share what's going on and how I'm feeling.

All that support and love helped me... helped The Husband and me, get through everything we went through and still are going through.  And that is something I won't forget.  I won't forget the army of love and support that got us through the Infertility and the miscarriages.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

A Thousand Years

Music has always played a huge part in my life.  I grew up in a house of people who love music and from a young age I too have loved music.  I have a very eclectic taste in music... my iPod has everything from broadway musicals to 70's rock, to praise music, to choir music, to some pop, rock, alternative, and the list goes on.  Throughout my life, music is an ever present thread that continues to weave in and out of my memories.  

There are a couple of songs that have always struck a chord in me, especially while we were trying to get pregnant.  Songs that I couldn't always listen to because they would hurt too much.  

Since we had Ticky Boo, I've been able to sing her the lullaby's I so wanted to sing and those moments are incredible precious to me.  I've never heard a song that really captured "us" though... until now.  

I had heard this song on the radio a couple of times and really liked it.  I thought it was so romantic and sweet and I downloaded it to my phone and put it in the playlist for my trip back to VA.  It came on as I was about an hour and a half into my drive and Ticky Boo was sleeping soundly in the back.  As the music filled my car I really listened to the words and then tears started streaming down my face... this song was absolutely perfect for Stella's birth.  I could see the memory of that night play in my mind as this song played on the radio.  And I fell even more in love with Ticky Boo and this song!   

Thousand Years by Christina Perri

Heart beats fast
Colors and promises
How to be brave
How can I love when I'm afraid to fall
But watching you stand alone
All of my doubt suddenly goes away somehow

One step closer

I have died everyday waiting for you
Darling don't be afraid I have loved you
For a thousand years
I'll love you for a thousand more

Time stands still
Beauty in all she is
I will be brave
I will not let anything take away
What's standing in front of me
Every breath
Every hour has come to this

One step closer

I have died everyday waiting for you
Darling don't be afraid I have loved you
For a thousand years
I'll love you for a thousand more

And all along I believed I would find you
Time has brought your heart to me
I have loved you for a thousand years
I'll love you for a thousand more

One step closer
One step closer

I have died everyday waiting for you
Darling don't be afraid I have loved you
For a thousand years
I'll love you for a thousand more

And all along I believed I would find you
Time has brought your heart to me
I have loved you for a thousand years
I'll love you for a thousand more

Friday, April 13, 2012


As I said a few weeks ago... the rent is due on our embryos.  

I've been home for a little over a week now.  The paperwork has been sitting on my dresser, unopened.  Until tonight.  Tonight, I sat down on my bed after everyone else had gone to sleep and I opened up the paper work.  It opened with a letter explaining that it was time to evaluate what we wanted done with our frozen embryo's.  We have four choices:

1.  Continue paying for them to remain frozen.
2.  Donate them to medical research.
3.  Have them disposed of.
4.  Donate them to another couple. 

Before the Husband left on deployment, well, almost a year ago really, we decided that we'd have our embryos donated to medical research in the hopes that they could help find an answer to something... we hoped that there could be a reason and a purpose for everything we went through (well, aside from the obvious).  Why is that?  Why do we need a reason for everything?  Why do we have to have an explanation?  Cant shitty things just happen?  I guess I cant just let it be like that... I guess I need there to have been a reason for everything... and I guess I'm just too damn nosy to accept the God's will/life path explanation.  So, we're hoping that maybe our beautifully perfect, healthy, high grade embryo's will shed some light on something in the medical community. 

The problem with all that is... our embryo's are a "them".  And one day "they" could possibly be people... if only given the chance.  I guess I cant look at "them" like that though and still sign my name on the dotted line.  I guess I have to take out the emotions of all this and look at "them" as just embryos... not the possibility that they hold.  Its not easy.  I am a firm believer that life begins at conception and for lack of a better term, these guys are life... just frozen.  Its been a difficult decision to talk over with The Husband about what to do with the embryos... but I have to believe that we're making the right decision. 

I still stand by not ever wanting to go through IVF again.  And neither one of us are comfortable with donating embryo's to another couple.  Eggs are one thing, but embryo's are a part of both of us and we just aren't okay with that.  So... medical research it is... and filling out paper work that's been sitting there staring at me for a week it is.... 

And hoping and praying that our embryo's turn into good stem cells for the researchers to learn from.  And hoping and praying for no regrets.

And taking a deep breath and feeling relief that that's another chapter in our lives that's really coming to a final close.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Easter Basket

Just a forewarning, this is going to be a sad/sappy and relatively pointless post... I apologize in advance, I'm feeling somewhat melancholy today. 

This Sunday is Easter.  Tomorrow I will put together Ticky-boo's first Easter Basket.  And I'll do it alone.  Not that it takes two people to put together a basket, but The Husband is still out floating around the ocean and I'm still here playing Mommy and Daddy and while, most days, its not a big deal, it definitely sucks during Holidays.  

Every Sunday morning on Easter, our home church does this thing called flowering the cross.  Basically there's a big wooden cross covered in chicken wire at the front of the church.  When the services start, its completely bare, and when everyone gets there, hymns are played and everyone walks up the aisle and puts flowers in the wire and onto the cross.  By the end of both services, the cross is COVERED in beautiful flowers!  It is a very moving and touching part of the Easter service and it is probably my favorite part of any church service.  

Well, this year, Ticky-boo gets to participate!  She's taking quite a few steps on her own now, so I'm going to hold one of her hands and we're going to walk up the aisle and flower the cross together.... and I'm probably going to bawl the whole time.  Mom says she probably will too... but she's going to try and video it for the Husband so he can watch it.  Fingers crossed that she cooperates and walks down the aisle with me!  I hope that it will help him feel like he's here in some capacity. 

Needless to say, I am ready for the Husband to be home.  Not just for me, but for him and Ticky-boo too.  I hate that he's missing so much.  And I hate that she's missing him so much.  She at least knows who he is... she carries a picture of the two of them around and she'll kiss it and give Daddy kisses.  I'm just ready for her to be able to give the real thing kisses.  

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

9 Month Stats

Today we went in for Ticky-boo's 9 month appointment.  We saw a new pediatrician today and I really liked her.  I tend to be picky when it comes to medical professionals, but I know what I want and I make no apologies for wanting the best when it comes to a pediatrician.

*Weight:  15 pounds 15 ounces!!!!!!  Hooray!!!!
*Height: 27.5 inches

The doctor was extremely pleased with her development and her growth.  She said she is not AT ALL concerned with her weight!  That was a huge relief.  Her biological family are all really small people, so I knew to expect her to be tiny, but I was still concerned since her growth chart dropped so drastically (from 50%-10%).  The doc said that she is just long and lean and that she'd much rather her have that body type than any other one... cant say that I disagree with that statement at all!  I would much rather Ticky-boo grow up with a smaller frame and a great metabolism than to struggle with her weight the rest of her life.

We got the go ahead to stop baby food and go straight to table foods, which is awesome.  I have made all of Ticky's food since she was 4 months old with very few exceptions, so to be able to just give her what I eat is pretty exciting... also a pretty good wake up call that I have to actually get up off my ass and cook something healthy for myself every day.

The doctor was surprised that she shows such a preference for her left hand... she said that it was really early to be showing favoritism to one side.  But she checked her muscle tone and strength and said that everything was perfectly even and that she was curious to see if the left-handedness continues.

On to the sleep thing... I talked to her about my concerns with her waking up all the time and not sleeping well and she told me to Ferberize her.  For those of you not familiar with "Ferberizing" or Modern Family, Ferberizing is Dr. Ferber's method of letting the child cry it out.  Ticky-boo's pediatrician said that it would only take 3 days and that it would work.  I tried to tell her that we've done it, but she insisted that I try it again and be consistent.  She said that there was a chance that the first night we would get NO sleep at all, but to keep at it and I'd probably get a few hours the next night and that she'd be great the 3rd night.  I'm still trying to decide how I feel about that and what to do.

So there you have it.  9 months and doing fantastic!!!  We go back in 3 months for her 1 year well baby...its hard to believe that in 3 short months I'll have a one year old!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The Rent is due...

I got a phone call from my dad the other day saying that we'd received mail from someone in Cambridge, England.  We used my parents' house as our forwarding address when we left England, and I knew what it was... the rent is due on the 2 embryo's we have on ice at the Bourn Clinic.

We've talked about, and I remain adamant, about the fact that we dont want any more children; that I especially do NOT ever want to go through IVF again and that when the time came, we would have our embryo's thawed out and we would donate them to medical research in the hopes that something good would come out of those stem cells and that maybe our blood, sweat, tears, eggs, and sperm could cure AIDS or something.  That was the plan.  Well, I guess its still the plan, but as with most things in life, its harder to actually make the decision when its staring you in the face and no longer a hypothetical situation.

To be clear, I'm not wavering... I still dont want to put us through IVF again, but now, as I'm faced with signing my name on the dotted line and thawing out our last remaining embryo's, I'm left with a feeling of... I dont know; betrayal to the dynamic duo?  Relief?  Guilt at said relief?  Anxiousness at making the wrong decision?  Wondering if this goes against my life begins at conception beliefs?  Feeling sorry for what could have been?  I'm filled with a jumble of emotions and it sucks on a whole other level because The Husband isn't here to hold my hand and be my rock and steady that storm of emotions raging through me.  He's the only one that could look me in the face, tell me to relax, and help make the final call and make me feel good about it.  And he's out to sea, floating around the ocean with a storm of emotions all his own, I'm sure.

In faced with signing my name on the dotted line, I am also faced with the fact that I think its time to get some help.  I kind of touched on my fucked-uppedness  before, but I've been doing a lot of thinking lately and I think its time to get some counseling and really heal from everything we went through.  I think I spent so long telling everyone I was okay, that I never really got the chance to be okay.  What we went through left some deep emotional scars that need to be dealt with and I think its time.

I looked into counseling in the Virginia area and I cant really find anyone who seems like they'd fit my needs.  I dont need counseling for abuse or PTSD or relationships... I need someone who understands the infertility world and miscarriages and all that.  Someone who gets what my body went through as well as my mind.  I think what I'm going to do is call around to some fertility clinics in the area and ask if they can recommend someone.  I figure, if anyone is going to be able to point me in the right direction, it ought to be them, right?

Basically the moral of the story is that, even if you have a happy ending, infertility will always suck balls.  Big ones.


Life these days is... um, stressful, to say the least.

Ticky-boo is still not sleeping.  She will occasionally trick me and sleep halfway decent one or two nights and then inevitably she reverts back to her old tricks the next 20 nights.  I'm pretty much at a loss at this point.  I've done it all.  I've read books and blogs and parenting websites, I've researched Dr. Sears' website and Dr. Laura Markham's website, I've talked to Mom's and Dad's and grandparents and solicited advice (as well as heard my fair share of unsolicited advice), I've let her cry it out, I've held her all night, she's slept in her swing, pack and play, crib, my bed, and my arms, we've done routine and no routine, music, no music, fan, no fan... and nothing... I repeat... nothing has worked.  She remains restless.  Even when she sleeps with me, she's restless through the night.  Most everyone's advice consists of some form of making her cry it out.

People, let me go ahead and clear the air right now and say that my daughter is a resilient and dedicated screamer.  She doesn't just cry.  She screams.  And I'm not being dramatic.  I have witnesses.  She screams at the top of her lungs and doesn't let up... at all.  She can go for hours.  Yes, hours.  I think her maximum screaming time is about 4.5 hours and by the end of probably an hour, I was crying too.  Oh, and that's WITH ME HOLDING her.  Granted, once I switched her to the hypo-allergenic milk, the screaming has gotten some better, but not much.  Her night time patterns are also not very consistent.  There are nights that she wakes once or twice and nights she wakes 5 or 6 times.  There are nights she screams and nights she just wakes up.  There are nights she wants to get up and play and nights that she just wants to go back to sleep.  I've tried feeding her, even though they say they dont need to eat in the middle of the night anymore, and she doesn't even want a bottle.  She just wakes up.  So, to say that I'm exhausted doesn't even cover it.

On top of being tired... we're moving.  I was a little...over zealous in choosing the house that we're currently renting and our rent amount teeters a little too closely to our housing allowance amount and our  monthly utilities are exorbitant.  So, we're moving.  And I use we to imply myself and Ticky-boo... granted, The Husband will be moving as well, but he's out floating in the middle of the ocean as I type this, so its me, Ticky-Boo, and whatever friend and family members I can coerce into helping me.  I am packing up our worldly belongings and hoping to fit them in the 10x10 storage unit I've rented.  From there, I'm moving in with some friends, saving up some money, and starting the great house search all over again.  Oh, and did I mention that I have to find a temporary home for the high maintenance four-legged son of mine since our friends' landlords dont allow dogs?  Joy.

To say things are stressful is like saying the sky is blue or Ticky-boo doesn't sleep.  And even then, I dont think stressful even begins to cover it.  I know the packing thing will happen.  I'm actually a whiz at packing... this most definitely is not my first rodeo, so I can get that done in time.  The sleep thing and the other day to day stressors in my life?  I dont know about those... finding a house is priority number 1 and its more difficult than I imagined.  It was seriously easier to find a place in England than it is to find one here!  And I swear, I'm not being that picky.  My top must-have in a rental is that we HAVE to be in a safe neighborhood.  I have to stay on my own so much that I need to be and feel safe and secure.  So, I'm attempting to find the perfect house to rent and make our home.

Side note... Ticky-boo's 9 month well-baby is tomorrow... I am anxious to see what her stats are.  I'm a little nervous... I want her to have gained weight and be back on track as far as her weight growth chart goes...so fingers crossed for a good visit!