A New Chapter Begins

It’s been ages. I mean ages since I’ve written anything more substantial than a grocery list. Sad. Honestly though I’m exhausted. The birth of Aaron took us by storm and tossed us around like rag dolls. Do people ever recover from having children? I mean, these people, new human beings called kids, are with us forever and ever. We are no longer alone. We are no longer just responsible for ourselves. We are in charge now. We make the rules (or not).

Almost 10 months postpartum and I’m still feeling my way around. It’s dark yet. I can make out shapes but more than that it is a stretch of the imagination. Sleep deprivation took hold long ago; in the early days and weeks. I thought the last stages of pregnancy would have prepared me. Not so much. Nothing. And I mean NOTHING can prepare a soul for parenthood. I don’t care what anyone says.

I love my boy more than life itself. As I lay him down to sleep tonight I mumbled about in my head on how I would describe such love. The best thing I could come up with? He, my son, his the heart of my heart. That’s it. And really all the sleepless nights, the arguing with Erich, the frustrations with not knowing what we’re doing – it’s all small stuff. We have a baby. A warm, live being made from our parts. Some people don’t ever get the chance to experience this. For that I’m grateful.

I went back to work full time in October of 2014 when Aaron was 11 weeks old. It seems so long ago. Like a fuzzy dream. I just remember how much I worried and fretted over details that now seem so insignificant. One thing I worried about? That Aaron wouldn’t know me if I worked so much. That other caretakers would become the object of his affection. This couldn’t be further from the truth. When I arrive home after a long day’s work this ‘heart of my heart’ perks up with visible distraught until I wrap my arms around him and kiss his ruddy cheeks. I stroke his hair, close my eyes and draw a deep breath in.

I am home baby. I am home.


Pregnancy Fears

It has finally hit me. At least a nasty cold has. At almost 36 weeks pregs I’m feeling down in the dumps and under the weather. Add this to a thrown out back, achy/cracked/sausage feet and my inability to keep urine in my bladder and I’m a real mess. The back issue has resolved itself but the latter two continue to plague me.

Thank goodness for the kindness of friends who’ve been here before me or I’d be in a pretty sad state of affairs when it comes to pregnancy clothes. Retailers get a clue! Carry maternity shit for Pete’s sake. (Motherhood Maternity you are exempt from this rant.) Seriously, we’re still people. In fact, we’re two people now – sometimes more. By that very fact perhaps you should carry MORE maternity clothes then you do regular clothes. You’d be a hit with us Pregs and you could take advantage of our unstable emotional state by offering fabulous deals we can’t say no to. After all, what pregnant lady doesn’t want two or three pairs of super comfy capris with matching spandex panel that wraps up and over her ever-growing belly until just below the boob line? Maternity wear is a necessary evil. Let’s just come to terms with it and we’ll all be happy.

While clothes shopping is bad enough, finding a decent pair of shoes is a freaking nightmare. Just last week I was at JCPenney browsing the racks of sandals in search of anything to replace my bejeweled Walmart flip-flops that have become a staple in my wardrobe. I passed up many a sandal until I saw a style that could, one, make my feet look halfway normal and two, make my feet look halfway normal. Sadly, feet of the Pregs are just not that attractive in the last months and I’m certainly am not bucking the system. Anyway, back to our story. . .I attempted to squeeze my foot into the sample size 7 to no avail. The width of my foot just wouldn’t allow it.

I gave the shoe to the salesman and asked for a size 9. I was NOT happy when he came back and said, “I’m sorry ma’me, all we have is a size 6.”

Really? Not only will my fat sausage feet NOT fit into a size 6, let alone a size 7 or 8, I was also a ma’me. Calgon, you failed me that day. Don’t let it happen again.


Between the physical ailments and my clothing/accessory nightmares I’m also feeling emotionally drained. Anyone who knows me well will tell you I tend to worry about things a lot. And the fact that I’ll be meeting my first baby in just a few weeks has my worry gene in overdrive. Any of the following negative questions and statements will run through my brain at any moment throughout the day:

The house isn’t ready.
We don’t eat healthy enough.
How am I going to raise this baby when I’m so tired?
Why can’t Eric open cereal boxes the right way?
We have NO closet space. Shit.
I eat too much sugar and therefore am ruining my unborn child. (Fannie Mae is my BFF.)
How come I just can’t ‘be happy’?
Will labor and delivery kill me?
Will Eric be okay? (Worry, worry, worry.)
How will we afford this?
Will our lives be chaotic and crazy all the time or just sometimes?
Will I be a good mom if I go back to work full-time? (Will my son know me?)
Every ache and pain must mean I have some terrible disease.
We must have a schedule or the baby will be ruined.
We eat out way too much. (See point two.)
JCPenney and other retailers – you suck. (See rant above.)

I don’t know if I realize how many changes my body and mind has gone through over the past eight months. I mean really. Between hormone shots, relationship challenges and growing an actual human being it’s no wonder I’m a little on edge. I imagine many women feel like this during their pregnancy; some even have it worse. While I tend to downplay a lot of my feelings and concerns as if they are not important, today is not that day.

Thank you for letting me get this off my ever-expanding chest. If you have any advice for this mama to be – bring it on!


My Breast Feeding Nightmares

Clearly I need some down time. I mean the list of things I worry about is ridiculous. To top it off, I pulled my lower back out last night putting away laundry. I was proud of myself for actually putting it AWAY and this is what I get? And it couldn’t have come at a worse time. The agency I work for held its annual 5K Walk this morning and I had to be up at the crack of dawn to help set up. Fortunately Boo Husband came to the rescue and pitched in where needed; a back massage at 12 a.m. and sympathy groans on the hour as I made my way to the bathroom for pee breaks.

It’s hard enough peeing four times a night. Add excruciating back pain and a kicking baby to the mix and it’s downright cruel. Having survived the event we made it home to take fitful nap. Eric is now headed to Subway for sandwiches and I’m nursing this back until I can get to the chiropractor tomorrow.

Overall it’s been an interesting week. My doctor’s appointment on Wednesday revealed increased swelling of the feet and ankles which I’m to enjoy for the next eight weeks at varying levels of acuity as well as a five-pound weight gain. (My last appointment was two weeks prior.) I’m blaming it on the water retention along with Baby Djordjevic’s need to prove he’s above average.  It can’t possibly be the two pieces of key lime pie along with numerous helpings of random cookies and the like over the last two weeks. Please don’t judge me…I hit mile marker 39 and I’m preggers for the first time. Forty is going to rock!

I wonder if this back issue is my body’s way of side tracking my mind from things like breastfeeding nightmares in which my dog ‘stands in’ for the baby, thoughts about leaving my kid in a hot car to die, packing my bag for the hospital and being mired in debt for the rest of our lives. I’m pretty sure the first two are NEVER going to happen. I mean, if I start breastfeeding Louie then all hell will have broken loose and I should be committed to a place where I’ll never be let out.

The whole kid in the car thing has me freaked out. An article in the last issue of Parent magazine recapped two accounts of children dying after being left in a hot car for hours. The kicker? These were parents who loved their children. They were not deranged. Neither of them suffered from Munchausen by Proxy. They fully intended to pick up their beautiful children at the end of their workday. Except they forgot to drop them off at the caregiver in the first place. As incredibly sad as it was to read, I now know that anything can happen when we are distracted. I’m posting the link to the article “You’d Never Leave Your Child in the Car, Right?” because it’s that important.

For seasoned parents – what did you worry about that really didn’t matter in the long run?

For parents to be – what haunts you in the middle of the night, on weekends and generally every free moment you have time to think about how life will change when baby arrives?



30 Weeks and Counting

Steph and Jenn


My uterus is no longer ornery. It’s cooperated since early December, although begrudgingly. I have to say, I didn’t think we’d make it this far. I know. It’s terrible to think negative thoughts. But when you’ve tried for as long as we have they just seem to creep in. However, we’ve survived many of the pregnancy milestones we feared. Implantation. Genetic testing. We graduated,  not without drama of course, from first trimester to second and now to the third. We even avoided the gauntlet of preeclampsia and gestational diabetes. (Despite my addiction to all thing sweet.)

The best word I can come up with right now is grateful. Grateful. I’m so grateful to be here and to have this opportunity to be a Mom. I am tearing up right now just thinking about how amazing this journey for us has been and how much we have to look forward to. It makes me feel as if all of the pain we went through will be nothing in comparison to what we will receive.

Over the past several months I’ve thought about so many things. Will I be a good Mom? What if i can’t do it.  What if Eric and I fall apart or what if we can’t afford it. I give into those fears at times but then bounce back with more vigor. Because I won’t be pushed down no matter how hard it gets. I’ve also thought way more about how awesome it will be to take my baby boy to the park. To watch him as he gets his first bath. I am thrilled at the idea of seeing how him and Eric will bond and what his tiny little body will look like when he’s born. The positive images far outweigh the bad.

I have also wondered about other moms out there who are struggling to make it work; whether they are alone or married. What do they laugh about and what do they cry about. Will I do the same? I imagine I will. I’ve spent time talking to my son as I travel to and from work, in the shower – really anytime I have a moment alone to wonder and think out loud. I’m curious as to what he hears and if he picks up on my emotions. What DO babies feel/absorb/learn in utero anyway?

Eric and I have poured over parent magazines and endless lists of “must haves” trying to figure it all out.  We’ve talked about religion and beliefs on parenting. We have adult conversations about how to raise our offspring. A strange but exciting adventure! I’ve polled my parent friends on Facebook about color schemes, stroller options and vaccinations. I’m overwhelmed in many ways and yet all I can do is take it in and attempt to sort it out one day at a time.

No doubt about it though, this little boy has made me realize that anything is possible. Oh what the future may bring!

Honey Will You Rub My Butt

I’m seriously done with these progesterone in oil shots. I’ve been doing them since our egg transfer on December 1 and they hurt! I KNOW it’s necessary. I just don’t LIKE  it. And Eric dislikes it even less – that is if he’s not miffed at me for some reason and then he gets slight pleasure out of jabbing me with a obnoxiously long needle. And then I cry and ask him if later he will “rub my butt.” This makes him smile.

A massage is necessary. You see, the lumps left behind by these shots impeded my ability to sit for any period of time in comfort. I also feel like I’ve been through the ringer at the gym when in all reality I haven’t stepped foot in one since the summer. Sad I know!

On the bright side, we are officially 7 weeks and 2 days pregnant! The journey, even the progesterone shots, has been all worth it. I wouldn’t trade a single moment.

The last couple of weeks have been interesting. Emotionally I’ve been up and down. A sufferer of mild depression, it has been difficult adjusting to increased pregnancy hormones flowing through my body. I stopped my low dose Prozac before egg retrieval as I didn’t want it in my system during the pregnancy. I pride myself of being fairly self aware and therefore try to set realistic expectations. It also helps to have a very understanding husband!

The most exciting and emotionally charged event thus far has been our first ultrasound. Leading up to this much anticipated event, both Eric and I were unsure, feeling a little detached. Was there really something in there? Until then we relied strictly on the blood work to confirm the pregnancy. Each test solidifying the results as my pregnancy hormones rose.  On December 30 we drove up to the clinic and worried the whole way. We promised each other that no matter what, we had each other.

ALL our fears were put to rest as soon as we saw the beautiful miracle of a beating heart! I can’t tell you what a relief that was. Eric kissed me and we cried a few tears. WOW. There really are no words…

On that note I think it’s’ time for me to get my rub down! Until next time.

Changing Our Name

We are thinking about a new name for the blog. After all, my uterus is no longer ornery! Plus my mom hates the name. 😉

When the name changes so will the premise of the blog. I’ll be writing about being pregnant. Har! Me? And eventually parenting which I don’t know much about unless you include the lessons I’ve learned living with Eric. I shouldn’t rib him too much though. He has been amazing so far with the entire process. We’re both just amazed we’re in this position. We’re pregnant and we’re going to PARENTS.

Oh shit.

In any case, we’ll figure it out like we always do. It’s all about the teamwork I say.

So, if you have any ideas on what you’d like to read about let me know!



Our Journey with IVF

It  has been a whirlwind since September! The Birdies for Babies event was a great success. We ended up with 72 golfers and a ton of people who came out to support us at the reception. We are so grateful for everyone who contributed. This part of our lives will never be forgotten!

Once the event was over we waited until October to start our first IVF round. On October 25 we began our cycle which officially thrust us into the world of IVF. It’s a unique process and I now have a new appreciation for women and couples who have gone through the process (and some multiple times) before us. Since that date in October we have been on an emotional and physical roller coaster of the likes we’ve not seen since Eric’s cancer diagnosis in January. Being new to the IVF world we were not sure what to expect however we quickly caught on! Here is a run down on what we’ve been through over the last couple of months:

October 25 – Our cycle begins – I call Advanced Fertility Clinic to let them know we are ready.

October 31 – I am scheduled for a hysteroscopy or “mock transfer” to make sure I don’t have uterine polyps which could interfere with implantation. During a hysteroscopy the doctor inserts a series of rods from smaller to larger in order to stretch cervix which allows the doctor to access the uterus with a small camera. In my case this procedure was extremely painful; to the point that the doctor asked halfway during the procedure if I wanted to come back and repeat it under anesthesia. We decide to push through – after all, we knew there would be more pain to come. Might as well keep going! To our delight the test is negative for polyps and my uterus deemed ready to go. (It’s all very clinical isn’t it?)

November 1 – 11 – We are asked to start high doses of Vitamin D since my levels are so low; one 50,000 IU tab for three weeks. I start taking one baby aspirin a day. We also order over $1,500 in medications including (Follistim, a follicle stimulating hormone, progesterone in oil, progesterone capsules, Estrace, an estrogen pill, Medrol and Doxycycline, both antibiotics to prevent infection, Crinone 8%, another form of progesterone taken vaginally, and HCG, Human Chorionic Gonadotropyn or “the trigger shot” which is taken when they are ready to begin retrieving eggs.) For the past several weeks we have been storing donated medication called Cetrotide which is used to stop eggs from releasing to early. We are overwhelmed when we receive a box through FedEx. In addition to the meds the box contains a sharps container for the BILLIONS of needles they sent us. Ouch.

November 14 – An ultrasound is scheduled to see where my follicle count is prior to injections. We get a count of 44. An extremely high number for someone my age. Yeah!

November 16 – Medications begin! The needles are so tiny and cute. I decide to use my stomach as a dartboard. Seems the easiest to do. I start with Follistim in the evening 216 iui.

November 17 – Continue Follistim (Morning dose and an evening dose). The pen is easy to use!

November 18 – Continue Follistim. An ultrasound is scheduled for November 19

November 19 – Our ultrasound confirms that follicles are responding well. Eric is by my side. We are asked to decrease the Follistim slightly. We take a shot of low dose HCG – 6 iui

November 20 – Follistim continues and I take a total of 225 iui. HCG dose remains at 6 iui.

November 21 – Another ultrasound is performed. The ultrasound tech says my follicles look like “beautiful flowers”. 🙂 We drop our dose of Follistim to 75 iui. We take 7 iui of HCG and one cartridge of Cetrotide at 10 p.m.

November 22 – Another ultrasound! They are watching very close now. I’m told to take 150 iui of Follistim, 7 iui of HCG and another round of Cetrotide.

November 23 – Ultrasound! I take 150 iui of Follistim, 8 iui of HCG and one cartridge of Cetrotide.

November 24 – Ultrasound! Man this is getting old – but all for a good cause! My follies look amazing. Eric and I ask for a “photo” of our potential future babies. The tech obliges. We get the call later in the day that we have been waiting for – we are asked to take one more dose of Follistim 150 iui and our “trigger shot” at 8 p.m.! Here we go. The egg retrieval will be exactly 36 hours later. . .

November 26 – I wake up early to make sure I take my progesterone capsule in time as instructed by our team. Vaginally. Really? We drive to the clinic filled with anticipation and joy. Is this really happening? My follicles look great! I feel the bloat as they are so large. How many eggs will they get we wonder. We arrive to the “back” of the clinic. We feel special now that we’ve ‘graduated’ to this step! I’m asked to come there with a full bladder; no picnic in the park let me tell you. We’re ushered into a small waiting area with a few chairs, a gurney and a small table. The nurse comes in and explains that they’ll walk me into the procedure room and put me under anesthesia. The process will take about 10 minutes or so and then I’ll be wheeled back to the room to rest for about an hour. Eric in the meantime gets “relax” with some movies, coffee and magazines! What a deal. I drop off to ‘sleep’ and a moment later am back in the waiting room with Eric waiting to hear how the retrieval went. We’re told they found 25 eggs! WOW – I guessed 13. Eric guessed 27. A few minutes goes by when a nurse pops her head back in and says they found a 26th egg. We rest up, pray to God, take a bunch of crazy photos, cry a little bit and text our families the amazing news. We pray some more. The nurse gives me instructions on medications I’ll be taking post retrieval and sends us on our way. Our parts will be combined later tonight – and we’ll find out the next day how many are fertilized! I stay at home the rest of the day. The evening brings horrible cramping and pain. I’m doubled over and thanking God I didn’t go back to work. Tonight I take one Doxycycline to prevention infection. I also take one dose of Medrol. Baby aspirin continues.

November 27 – I am in massive amounts of pain from the surgery. After all, 26 follicles were punctured and aspirated. Makes a lot of sense to me. I stay home another day. I get the call from the nurse that 16 of our beautiful eggs were fertilized.  The doc says we are good for a day 5 transfer which means our fertilized parts will be much more developed by the time we get them. Now the big guns come out. Progesterone in oil is a bitch but it has to be done. The needles are ridiculous and I’m not sure what to expect. I’m NOT looking forward to it. 8 p.m. rolls around and we prep for the shot. Eric gets the syringe ready and I prepare my backside with ice. We watch a YouTube video to make sure we’re doing this the right way. I lay down on the couch and prepare for the worst. A second goes by. And another. And I’m wondering what the hell Eric is doing back there. “Are you done,” I ask with a cringe? “Yep, all done,” he says. Wha? It’s that easy? I could get used to this. (Think again sister. . . just wait.) If all goes as planned I’ll be taking this shot once a day for the next 12 weeks. I also begin Estrace patches. Three every 48 hours. These annoying little suckers come off  in my sleep, and cause me much stress. I dump the patches and opt for the Estrace pill (3x per day). We adopt “All for a good cause” as our mantra.

November 28 – THANKSGIVING! I’m feeling much better except for the fact I have this lump on my backside and it feels a little sore where the progesterone was injected. At least I’m better to the point I can make stuffing and cranberry sauce for dinner at Moms. Eric focuses his energies on making a delicious roast. One that he has never cooked before. Hmmmm. All goes well and we gather at the Gregory household around 2 p.m. Steph, Chris, and our nephews show up around 3 p.m. We’re nearly ready to eat. And boy am I hungry! We have a lot to be thankful for this year.  Doxycycline (twice per day), Medrol (once per day), Estrace (3 times per day) and Baby aspirin continue. Progesterone, and Crinone are administered in the evening. The shot is given on the other side tonight and boy does it HURT. Mom, Steph and I decided to go Black Friday Shopping as if I didn’t have enough excitement for one week!

November 29 – I’m glad I’ve taken these extra days off from work. I need to rest and relax. Estrogen, aspirin, Medrol and Doxycycline continue. Progesterone in oil is not my friend. No one is my friend. My emotions are all over the place. Eric is sad he has to do this for me but I think he is secretly loving this! 🙂

November 30 – We’re one day a way from our ET (Egg Transfer) experience! We can hardly contain ourselves. We have  no idea what to expect and what will happen. I ask Eric to make sure we take a video. Doxy and Medrol are stopped. Aspirin continues as does Estrace and Poopy Progesterone in Oil.  December 1 is TOMORROW. Our big day!

December 1 – We have to be at the clinic at 10:30 a.m. Today is much better than retrieval day. I don’t have to arrive with a full bladder and I don’t have to go under anesthesia. Today is when we welcome our little blastocysts! We’re having a Womb Welcoming Party! Upon arrival we enter our same waiting room and wait for the nurse to draw blood. The blood work she says is to check estrogen and progesterone levels. A cushy, warm lining is important! I am prepped for transfer and Eric and I walk back to the same room we did the retrieval in. The room is hot and a bit humid like a sunny beach in Florida at midday. Apparently embryos like the heat. After a few preparations, the doctor informs us we have two embryos he’d like to implant HOWEVER, he is gives us the option to implant three due to our age and a few other factors. Eric and I huddle for a brief moment and agree to three hoping we’ll get one beautiful baby out of the deal. (May the odds forever be in our favor!) The doctor obtains the blasts from the embryologist and deposits them in a small dish which he moves under a high-powered scope. Eric hangs back to videotape the TV which features our three tiny blastocysts. We can hardly believe they belong to us! In just a split second they are scooped up by a thin needle attached to a catheter and gently placed in what we hope will be their home for the next nine months. The process is surreal, inspiring, exciting and anxiety ridden. Again we pray that our little blasts will find their way around. Ushered back to our waiting room we hang out for another hour or so before we leave. We fawn over the photos of our embryos and send a flurry of texts to friends and family to update them on our progress. When the hour is up we exit the door from where we entered. We walk to the car and Eric opens the door. I take a seat knowing I hold special cargo; the ride home we fill with comments about God’s grace and about how blessed we are.

December 2 – We wait in agony! How are the blastocysts doing in there? Did they fall out? Will they fall out if they didn’t already? How small are they? Now what do we do? Fortunately my progesterone and estrogen numbers look wonderful. A victory! We will know tomorrow how many blasts are eligible for freezing. We both work through the day to keep our minds off the process. Progesterone in Oil shots continue and Crinone 8% begins.

December 3 – A phone call from the clinic lets me know if we have any blastocysts left over for freezing. One, the nurse says. A very good quality one. But one. For some reason I am disappointed and I immediately feel remorse. We are blessed to be here at all I remind myself. I call Eric to give him the news and we talk about what might be growing inside me as we speak. Today is hard. My fears, despite my faith, get the best of me. I wonder if our cycle worked and I cry myself to sleep. Progesterone, Estrace and Crinone continue.

December 4 – 9 – The next several days are filled with moments of extreme doubt, hope, fear, wild excitement and physical pain. The progesterone shots are doing a number on me and the pain only serves to remind all that we are going through. Most evenings, during and after the shot, I cry as Eric does his best to keep the pain at a minimum. By this time the progesterone has built up in the muscle in lumps that need to be massaged flat. It literally feels  as if I’ve been attacked by someone with a baseball bat. We struggle through our work days and come home to comfort each other through the unknown. It is out of our hands and yet we continue to worry and wonder. It’s the nature of being human I suppose. On Thursday December 5 I return to the clinic for blood work. The doctor is monitoring my progesterone and estrogen levels closely. Sometime on Friday December 6 I start to feel what I like to call “twinges”. They are minor and intermittent. They are below my belly and I notice them as being different. I am cramping as I would with my cycle about to start but the twinges keep me intrigued. I tell Eric something is going on. His face lights up and I see a smile cross his face. What is it he asks? Do you think you are pregnant? I think so. My heart does not leap however. I am cautiously optimistic. I refuse to get my hopes up so high only to see them smashed on the floor. I know it sounds drastic but this is what infertility is about. The ups and downs and all that is in between.

December 10 – TODAY is the day we have been waiting for! We wake early while it’s still dark. We’re anxious to hear the results of our first experience with an IVF cycle. Would our hard work pay off? Will we be heartbroken or walking on Cloud 9 later today? Eric heats up the car and we take off for the clinic at 6:30 a.m. for a 7 a.m. blood test. This is it. I tell Eric during the drive that something woke me in the night and told me it would be okay. I can’t pinpoint what it was, I said, but it was definite and it brought me a sense of peace. I wrapped my arms around my belly the night, cradling what I knew was in there. The blood test was routine. We were back on the road in no time, zipping towards home, towards work, towards the life we have lived together for the past 14 years. We held hands as we exited the highway. The sun shone on our faces and we began to cry together. We have been through so much this year with Eric’s cancer diagnosis and our infertility woes. We were NOT feeling sorry for ourselves but rather grateful for the gifts we had been given. We had to give this over to God and let him take over. And that’s what we did.

We head off to work and wait. Hours go by. I sit at my desk, a co-worker by my side. The phone rings and she looks at me and says, “Isn’t that your doctor?” Yes! It is. But I hesitate. I’m afraid to hear what the caller will say and yet filled with hope. I find a quiet place to answer the phone. Yes? “Hi Jennifer, this is Megan from Advanced Fertility Clinic and I have your results. I’m happy to say you are pregnant!” Her voice blurs as I take in the news. I have no words. The crush of anxiety washes over me and reappears as pure joy. I ask if I can call back. I need to call Eric immediately I say. Thank you so much I tell her. Thank you. Thank you. My tears come tumbling out as I place the call to Eric. Hi picks up and immediately asks if everything is okay. I ask him, “Are you ready to be a daddy?” The voice on the other end of the phone is one of relief and pure excitement. “Are you serious?” Eric says. This is our new reality!

Update. . .

I have to say that Poopy Progesterone in Oil will be with me for several more weeks but at this point I don’t care! We are pregnant – another beta test today, December 13, confirmed our upward trajectory towards a healthy pregnancy. We couldn’t be happier or feel more blessed. Eric’s 10 month oncology appointment is coming up next week and we continue to grateful that he has been given clean results. We now have a better understanding of where God wants us to be. We have work to do and we better get to it!

We are now officially 4.5 weeks pregnant which means our little one (or ones) are about the size of a peppercorn. As we continue down this path I will be changing my blog to reflect our journey through pregnancy and parenting. I hope you will stay with me! Encouragement and advice are welcome!

A Baby Just Around the Corner

I’ve not written since May. Of course you know this, those of you who follow the Ornery Uterus. Days slipped by and it became easier not to write. A terrible excuse but the most honest I can muster.

My post this evening is largely inspired my wonderful, athletic and beautiful sister Stephanie who decided (as if she didn’t have enough to do with three children, a husband and an Ironman race in 2014) that she needed to start a blog.

Really? An Ironman? Okay, I guess I can write a blog post. About her starting a blog. Oh geesh.

Truth is, I’m damn lazy when it comes to writing. And have I got stuff to say.

So here’s a few nuggets from the last three months:

1. Eric is CANCER FREE. Yes. You read it right my friend. Cancer free and going strong. He’s kept 35 pounds off his tall frame, been quit smoking for over 7 months, hasn’t touched a soda in 9 months and hasn’t snored a lick since he lost the weight. He rocks in my world.

2. Birdies for Babies is still very much alive. We are 17 days away from one of the most exciting events in our lives since our wedding in 1999. Last December, as you may recall, Eric and I were selected as recipients for the outing which helps couples afford IVF or other infertility treatments. It’s been a whirlwind since then now it’s crunch time. We need golfers, sponsors and auction donors to continue to support this event. If you know of anyone willing to come out or help in any way, please have them go to: http://www.golfinvite.com/bfb

3. With Birdies underway, we’ve had time to find a doctor we think can get the job done. Dr. Richard Sherbahn from Advanced Fertility Centers of Chicago is our go to guy. We met with him for the first time on Monday, August 19th with mixed reviews on his bedside manner, or lack thereof. This is a numbers guy no doubt about it. He’s science through and through and he prides himself and his practice on producing some of the best results in Illinois and Wisconsin. We figure we can deal with his demeanor if he produces the result we’re looking for. Plus, from what we’ve heard, we’ll be connecting with the nursing staff and other medical personnel on a much more frequent basis.

Prior to the meeting with Dr. Sherbahn, I was given an ultrasound to check my uterus and ovaries. I was surprised to learn I had 52 follicles, many more than is expected in my age range. At 38 years old I should be sporting anywhere between 18 and 22. Apparently I’m an overachiever in this department. My ovaries look, at least on paper, as beautiful as an 18 year olds. This will mean Dr. S will retrieve more eggs when he “dips the ladle” in so to speak. Now the quality of those eggs is a different story. But one can assume we will have more to choose from. Yea us!

During our discuss with the Dr., Eric asked the very simple and reasonable question, “So why can’t we get pregnant?” Yes. Why can’t we? His sperm was fine. My body seemed to be in working order by all indications. Apparently, Reproductive Endocrinologists are of the thought that something is either “not happening” or something is “preventing” eggs from arriving at the critical meeting point. Well, duh! For example, eggs may be released but the fallopian tubes may not be scooping it up. Essentially the eggs are standing up the sperm. They are never showing up for date night. Bad, bad eggs. Poor Eric.

We asked about success rates and really, if I tried to explain it, it would just be more confusing. Eric and I are simply of the belief that when our time comes to participate in this amazing science experiment, that it will all work in our favor.

So this brings you up to speed on us and our infertility journey! Our emotions range from excitement to trepidation at times. There is always that fear that we are racing against the clock especially in terms of Eric’s diagnosis. We know that the further he moves out from the cancer removal, the better his prognosis. It still never leaves our mind. Even though this is the most exciting time of our lives, there is something that lingers below the surface which never really lets up. It’s the honest truth.

Thank you for following along. More to come next week.


Facebook Hacking Sucks

Two days ago a friend of mine called me up to say I’d better look at my FB account pronto. Super sly hackers sent out a message to ALL of our friends in the hopes they would click on their nasty link which would lead to God knows where.

I reported the hack, deleted the posts and got back on track in a matter of minutes. Not long after, I saw a number of people with the same hack.

Hackers beware. We won’t put up with your amazingly rude behavior.

As annoying as this was, there are plenty of great things to talk about. Mother’s Day weekend was a nice one – Eric and I both had Thursday and Friday off and we got to spend significant time with both our moms. Not something we’d planned since we were scheduled to travel to Tennessee to see Eric’s sister and our eight year old niece. We’ll make it up on our way down to Florida in June. It’s so hard when family lives so far apart. Not enough time to visit as much as we’d like.

We also spent time outside continuing our work on the raised garden beds and purchasing a variety of plants. We planted a garden a few years back and never thought to repeat the process until this year. With our efforts to eat more healthy and juicing almost everyday, we thought it would be wise to revisit the idea. I have to say it’s pretty exciting – building the beds, planning the layout, selecting the plants. We purchased a mix of things this Sunday. From herbs (basil, dill, chives, italian parsley, cilantro) to vegetables (lady bug, Brandywine and health kick tomatoes, zucchini, onion, garlic, kale and lettuce) we got a little of everything. A couple of lavender plants found their way into the basket. I love the smell of lavender. . .

Before Eric’s diagnosis I think I wasn’t living. Yes, I lived. But I didn’t really live. Maybe we didn’t live together. Know what I mean?

I hated yard work! (Much to Eric’s disappointment as he loves being outside.) Even on a nice day, gardening and general work around our haphazard landscape held no appeal. Somehow this has changed. The reality of mortality does this to a person. To a couple.

Now the mowing of grass is more palpable. The pulling of weeds cathartic. The planting of a garden, healing. The sun shines down and somehow it will all be ok.

We’re very fortunate to have had the chance to start living again and I know I speak for both of us when I say the words, “we are grateful.”

The weekend was great but today was a phenomenal day in Eric’s cancer recovery! Each month he is required to visit his oncologist for blood work and a physical check up. Last month (his first after the surgery to remove the melanoma) went so well – the doctor was amazed at how great is blood work was. This month, I’m happy to report, was no different. The blood test results came back and all indicators were in normal range. CBC, HTC, LDH – it’s a jumble of microscopic related jargon we never wanted to know about. We’re just ecstatic that Eric’s body is in much better shape then it was at the beginning of the year.

He’s also lost an amazing 31 lbs. and has been quit smoking for over four months. We’ve talked about how these positive changes may have a direct effect on our fertility and are holding out hope we may still get pregnant on our own. If this happens we could share the Birdies for Babies gift with someone else who needs it. Until then, we continue to move forward with the planning. We are both so grateful for this opportunity. An exciting thing no doubt about it!

Stay tuned. . .

Birdies for Babies Update – May 2013

Hard to believe we’ve entered May! I’m gazing out the window right now, warm breeze wafting in, wondering why the temps tomorrow will turn so wildly in the opposite direction. The thermostat reads 81 degrees. Yet, come morning, we’ll be back at 55, praying the predicted 7-day rain streak doesn’t play out.

We’ve been through a tough road this year, Eric and I. Cancer is not something we’d ever thought we’d deal with at our age. It definitely puts things into perspective. The urgency to have children is more pronounced now. Even though Eric’s prognosis is amazing, it’s still something that lingers at the back of our minds. The dark thoughts, the what ifs lurk despite our best efforts to dismiss them.

I’ve not really talked about it on the blog but thought I’d better start. It’s a part of who we are and what we’ve gone through. And if I’m going to write for you, for me, then I better be transparent. Otherwise, what’s the point. Right?

So here we are, two months to the day Eric had his final surgery to remove the melanoma that took us by surprise. The thoughts that go through a mind in shock are unbelievable. Faced with the real prospect of death is uncomfortable. Scary. Sad. Fortunately, Eric is now cancer free. And while recurrence can happen, it won’t. Not right now. We willed it away and prayed to God. And we believe He’s listening.

During all this, I was afraid to bring up the fact that we still had an opportunity to have a child with the help of Birdies for Babies. A crisis was happening and I was selfishly thinking that I (we) might never have children. I questioned whether or not we should call Todd and Melissa Trader and call the whole thing off. Our life was over as we knew it. Give it up lady. Move on.

But I didn’t. We didn’t. Eric and I talked through the tears and the anxiety about what we wanted to accomplish if we had limited time. We want to have children. Together. And that puts us in a wonderful position – because Birdies for Babies is still on the table! We didn’t call it off but rather relayed to Todd and Melissa what we were going through. They have prayed for us and they understand and are even more determined to help us.

I’ve reached out to the clinic in Ohio (Institute for Reproductive Health) where many of the Birdies for Babies recipients have gone on their journey. We couldn’t be more excited! I called just a few  moments ago to leave a message about setting up a consultation and getting the paper work started.

The weather tomorrow, a cancer diagnosis, a bad day at the office. It’s all relative. It is part of our larger experience but these things do not define us. Instead, we are looking forward to a wonderful future with little Eric and Jens running around!

More details to come as we talk with the clinic and ramp up for Birdies!

Are you interested in supporting our event? Please visit the website to make a donation. Auction items also welcome. http://www.golfinvite.com/bfb

Thank you!