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.

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!

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!

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!

Don’t Worry, Be Happy

I have a problem. I’m a overthinker who worries over just about everything. I was thinking and worrying about this problem a few days ago and just had to find out what it was. Why do I over think things and worry about things I can’t control I wondered. Why, on occasion, do I just stall out? And then worry about why I stalled. Google told me I have what’s called Analysis Paralysis.

AP. I got it bad. And there’s no cure except to get my  head out of you know where and stop worrying about it. It’s a vicious circle.

I even called Mom and told her she had this problem too. See how I worry about her? I worry she doesn’t get out enough and that she’ll shrivel up and die all alone amongst her knitting needless, yarn and patterns and her random salt and pepper holder collection with her dog Dottie by her side. Sorry Mom.

But after I gave her the description, which I took from the place Google led me to, she agreed. Turns out she has AP just like me.

The way, I figure, we have a responsibility to tell other people what’s wrong with them too. As if by joining our sad little group, the whole situation will just go away.

But what is AP really? Wiki tells us in pretty simple terms:

“The term “analysis paralysis” or “paralysis of analysis” refers to over-analyzing (or over-thinking) a situation, or citing sources, so that a decision or action is never taken, in effect paralyzing the outcome. A decision can be treated as over-complicated, with too many detailed options, so that a choice is never made, rather than try something and change if a major problem arises. A person might be seeking the optimal or “perfect” solution upfront, and fear making any decision which could lead to erroneous results, when on the way to a better solution.”

I’ve realized this happens to me more often than I’d like to admit; mostly when it comes to writing. In fact, before I started writing this post I nearly did a search on what I should write about. Come on! Really?

Do the rest of you deal with this? If so, what’s your solution?

On a totally separate note, I thought I’d share with you something that I didn’t worry about all weekend! For the second year, I was able to go to the Knitting Pipeline Retreat in Washington, IL. My mom invited me last year and this year was just as much fun. Women, wine and yarn = fantastic worry free fun!

Okay, I sound a little too goodie two shoes but it really is a good time. I’m so grateful to my mom for showing me how to knit and including me in the friendships she has developed. Beyond the ability to create something beautiful, I’ve had a chance to enjoy time with her and learn from her. I enjoy watching her when she’s with her friends and to see her happy. I see a lot of myself in her as I get older and I’m pleased about that. If I am half as smart as she is, I’m a lucky woman.

Well, I guess that’s about it for my sentimental side tonight. Time to hit the sheets and worry (or not) about what tomorrow will bring.

By the way, if you wanted to know a bit more about how AP syndrome works, check out this blog post on Selfgrowth.com.

Where Have We Been?

I have been stuck in a rut for a while until recently. Mid January we received a serious medical diagnosis for Eric that has caused us to rethink our priorities. A wake up call if you will. We were living our lives but not REALLY living them. I imagine this internal reevaluation happens to many people when they go through something drastically outside the norm.

We’ve been awakened; each in our own way. We have had to reach back to a time when we both believed in God because to tell you the truth we forgot about Him. We forgot about the power of believing in something good. We forgot about the importance of maintaining faith. We just got caught up in the day to day (like everyone does) and we simply forgot.

This is not about religion or choosing a team to “play” on. It’s about finding peace and strength through faith in something greater than ourselves. Today, both of us are in a better place. We are reevaluating our goals, the way we treat our bodies, the way want to raise our children, the way we treat people. We are making positive changes rooted in the foundations that our parents introduced to us when we were small. (Eric was raised in the Seventh Day Adventist faith and I was loosely raised in the Lutheran Church. Our families each practice their faith to varying degrees.)

I’m just grateful that the concept of believing in a higher power, God, was introduced to me early on. Being able to lean back and take comfort in the idea that someone is there to catch us and carry us when we are down is the most powerful way to heal the soul. I want this for my children. I want this for my family as we move through life.

This being said, I see The Ornery Uterus morphing into more than just a place to discuss our infertility journey. We are made up of a billion moving parts, some exciting, some not so much. The infertility piece, just like Eric’s medical piece, is just a blip on the screen. I will use this space to talk about our daily lives and the things exciting things we’ll be exploring down the road.

For the few people who read my blog, thank you! I know you know how much Eric and I want to start a family. Despite the turmoil we have faced over the last month and half, we are even more confident we will be able to achieve this dream!

I’m going to leave you with a few photos. Yesterday, we were out walking the dog and ran across some debris in the street. I went back to take a few photos and decided to snap some shots of whatever color I could find. The weather has been crazy this month with snow storms, etc. Color reminds me that Spring is on its way!


This lone leaf looked so sad floating in the winter water.

This lone leaf looked so sad floating in the winter water.

Another balloon on the sidewalk. A blue flower perhaps?

I thought this was debris from a construction site but then realized it was a balloon. It looks like a spring flower to me.

I thought this was debris from a construction site but then realized it was a balloon. It looks like a spring flower to me.

Bright red in a sea of white.

Bright red in a sea of white.

Thanksgiving Blessings

Mom and I stopped at Stephanie’s to feed the cat when Judy, her neighbor, came outside to say hello. We spoke over the hedge. In the cold, the glow of Judy’s porch light blacking out her face, she told us her son would be here for Thanksgiving. He is dying. The cancer in his pelvic bone now, hospice at the ready.

This will be their last Thanksgiving she says.

The darkness couldn’t show our concern. It didn’t express our sadness for her. We told her with words how bad we felt and that we were sorry her son was dying. It’s hard on his two boys, six and four. Their Dad, here now, won’t be around for them as they grow. His body, wracked with cancer, is barely able to keep up. His wife is there, but not really there. It has to be hard.

A moment later, Judy’s grandson popped his head out of screen door. He needed her. Over the hedge, one last time, we gave our condolences. Said we would pray for them this Thanksgiving. And then she was gone.

I think about our Thanksgiving plans. A motley crew will congregate at Mom’s. We invited a lonely neighbor and a lost teenager to spend it with us. We will eat beef pot roast, roasted potatoes, broccoli, appetizers and the like; Apples to Apples and Dominos tucked to the side for after dinner fun. Steph, Chris and the kids will be out-of-town but we will think of them anyway.

And we will pray for Judy’s son and her family. We will take time to remember those no longer with us and those who have nowhere to go. We will be grateful for what we have. We will think to ourselves how fortunate we are to have healthy friends and family.

We will have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

I wish this for you and yours. May happiness and health be with you!

Happy Anniversary!

Last night was our 13th anniversary. Eric did a fantastic job making risotto and I grilled up chicken breast from the store. His dish was awesome. Mine was way too salty. I doesn’t really matter that we didn’t get each other cards or flowers. Gifts were not exchanged but time was spent with each other. That’s the point after this many years have passed. I wonder sometimes how my grandparents felt about each other after 60 years of marriage. What an amazing accomplishment!

This week has been a bit crazy. Work is keeping me busy. Non-profit fundraising and development never ends, never takes a vacation. Eric is exhausted most nights. He has a much more physical job than I do and it takes a toll. No matter – we found a way to enjoy the evening which included Mint Chocolate Chip Ice cream. 🙂

Last week I mentioned that I would be interviewing the couple that was chosen as this year’s recipients for the Birdies for Babies golf outing. I feel honored to have had the chance to talk with them about their experience. Jake and Janae were married three years ago. They took some time to travel and then started “trying” for their own baby. Jake explained that he comes from a really large family and was not at all worried about having problems. Both he and Janae expressed their frustration after two years of trying “everything under the sun,” including a failed IUI attempt. A friend told them about Birdies and they applied. Just as they were getting ready to go into their first IVF cycle they got the call they had been selected by the Birdies for Babies committee. What an awesome feeling of relief that must have been for them. I could hear the happiness in their voices. I could also hear the sorrow and the sense of hopelessness as they talked about the two years of trying. I told them I could relate.

They both had interesting and different perspectives on the experience. I asked each of them what they discovered about each other that they could describe in a few words. Jake talked about Janae’s resolve and toughness. Janae has been changed by how supportive Jake continues to be through this process. Their love for each other was evident during the interview and I’m sure it will continue to grow as they go through this next phase of their journey.

Another high note for the Birdies family includes the birth of Hannah and Avery Davis – the newborn daughters of Katie and Pat; the events 2010 recipients. My mom and I will get to meet all of them at the golf outing on September 29. Can’t wait for that!

I can’t say enough how much I have been blessed just by opening myself and talking about my experience. I have talked with so many people with similar situations. While each experience is unique, we all share a common bond; a desire to be more than ourselves no matter what the outcome.

One thing I’ll leave you with is something that Janae mentioned during the interview. She said that it is heartbreaking to see the negative results each month. As painful as that is she said, “This is something completely out of your control. The only thing you can control is how you think and feel about it.” Well I choose to think positive today. One day at a time is all it takes!

Thank you all for reading this blog and continuing on this journey with me!