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.

Double Vegetable Please

Eric and I are embracing a plant-based diet. Yep. That’s right. The way we figure it, we might not have a problem with infertility if we attacked it from a nutritional standpoint. This isn’t the only reason we are changing by any means. And we don’t feel that nutrition issues are the sole cause of our infertility. Far from it. However, the last few months we have struggled with a different medical issue which has forced us to consider the benefits of healthy eating. Not just a once a week thing but a real life style change. Wow! Creating health from the inside out – what a novel concept!

Significant change is never easy. And as our doctor said recently, fear is a great motivator for the short-term. Her question to us was, “How do you feel about this (way of eating/changing)?” Fortunately for me, I’ve been used to consuming a lean protein, plant-based diet for some time. (Although not without its pitfalls – candy, white carbs, wine, candy. You get it.)

Fortunately for Eric, he grew up eating things like whole grains, vegetables and a variety of meatless options. But he too has veered. Straight towards McDonald’s and Dunkin Donuts. (Sorry Eric!) But seriously, it’s easy to grab processed foods and quicki meals. It’s convenient. It makes lives easier – for the short-term.

But we’re learning as we go. We read a lot. We talk to other people who eat the way we want to eat. We try different recipes. At the grocery store, we bypass the boxed macaroni and think about how we might be able to recreate the same dish in a healthy way.  We are slowly but surely changing the way we think about food.

Here’s what we keep in mind:

1. SUGAR is in everything from fruits and veggies to packaged products. The white refined stuff is what you want to watch out for. Read labels, and keep your sugar intake at a minimum.

2. Stick to 100% whole grain products. In the US, when wheat is refined, approximately 40% of the best stuff is stripped away along with a ton of nutrients like B1, copper, zinc and calcium. The remaining 60% is processed and “refined”. Examples are white bread, white table sugar, pastries, donuts and white rice.

3. Go green! Green veggies are filled with goodies that help the body boost it’s immunity and fight off infection and disease. Use them in juices, salads, stir fry – whatever you like!

4. Fresh and colorful, fruits and berries have powerful antioxidants that also help fight off disease and keep the body strong. Use them in salads, smoothies, juices, breakfast dishes, etc.

5. Drink lots of water throughout the day. Water flushes the system from toxins and other pollutants and it helps keep us hydrated.

6. Nuts and seeds are worth the investment. They are a great source of protein and are perfect for a quick snack.

7. Nobody is perfect.

I had to throw that last one in. We both get cravings every once in a while and we indulge. The point is to try to eat as best as we can most days of the week.

I’ll leave you with a few photos that point out the importance of checking labels:

This label is from a multi-grain cereal similar to Cheerios. You’d think it was healthy yet the second top ingredient is sugar. The sixth is brown sugar.

SAMSUNG

This label is from a pasta sauce we picked up last week. Simple ingredients we can understand without a dictionary! Notice there is no sugar added. (Bonus! I just noticed this product was produced in a green LEED facility.)

SAMSUNG

Whole wheat pasta – always check to make sure it says 100% whole wheat. Not wheat flour.

SAMSUNG

Do you have other healthy eating tips you can share? Would love to hear them!

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.

Being Chosen Feels Good

Remember way back when I wrote about Birdies for Babies? Well it turned out to be a pretty big thing. I submitted an application on behalf of Eric and I in the hopes we would get chosen as the next couple to be selected as beneficiaries of the golf event.  In the meantime, a wonderful, amazing, beautiful and supportive family member approached us and said she would help us make it happen.  I cried (I do a lot of that by the way.) and we talked about how we could work it out. In the back of my mind though, I kept thinking about Birdies for Babies. Eric asked me about the application and wondered out loud if it would be enough. Maybe we could make that work instead – if we just got lucky and were chosen then we wouldn’t have to burden anyone.

Do you know where this is going? If you did, you’d be right! We were chosen! We received an e-mail just after the first of the year to let us know the fantastic news. I called Eric and cried. I called Mom and cried even more. I called my sister and she screamed, “Are you serious?” And that made me cry too. The tears that came after the news were joyful ones. A tornado of emotions followed as I drove home from work following the calls I’d made. I sobbed in gratitude at God who surely sat in the passenger seat as I drove home. I was a wreck and needed all the help I could get to get home! I asked Him if we deserved this and argued (who DOES that when God gives such a gift?) that maybe we didn’t. Other people were more worthy of the receiving such a wonderful opportunity. Why were we special?

You know what? We don’t need an answer for that. It is what it is. I am grateful. Eric is grateful. We are moved by the graciousness and support of others around us and we couldn’t be happier. Despite the questions, Eric and I gave ourselves permission to accept that something so wonderful could and did happen to us. Sometimes in the dark, just before bed, we whisper about what our babies might look like and how we hope they’ll be good people. We hope they will live long lives and be kind to others. I hope they have Eric’s heart shaped lips and he wants them to have my eyes. No matter what, they will be beautiful.

Before Birdies for Babies the hope for a family wilted. Every month that passed, particularly over the summer and fall of 2012, brought us closer to the realization we may never have the chance to have our own family. This hope, much like the return of Spring after a long, harsh winter, is coming back. A positive aura is coming back and we are holding onto every moment.

Along with the outrageous excitement we feel about the upcoming event and working with the Birdies for Babies team, we are also counting our blessings for our health. The past few weeks have been tough. Eric has been struggling with a health issue that has made us all take stock of what life means and how unimportant the little things are. Now that he is on the mend, we hug each other every day and we look forward to a bright future.  Something we should have been doing all along anyway. It’s an important lesson that I’m so glad to have learned.

Thank you for listening! More details to come as Birdies for Babies 2013 gets underway! Make sure to mark your calendar for September 28, 2013. Also, Birdies for Babies is trying to help another couple as well. On March 2, 2013 Nevin’s Pub in Plainfield, along with Birdies, will host a Gala for the second couple. Tickets are $75. Visit the website to learn more information.

Cookies And More Cookies

October, November and December provide ample opportunities for me to consume more than my fair share of sweets. Cookies, candy, cookies. More candy. It’s ridiculous really. And equally so that I have seemingly no self-control. In fact, since last year I’ve gained at least 5 or 6 pounds. Very unwelcome I must say. If these items had lots of Vitamin D I’d have no deficiency whatsoever!

Sunday I had the nephews over for cookie baking and copious amounts of fun. I’m really a bad Aunt though. I provided snacks. Random snacks. I offered the kids a piece of crispy turkey bacon first followed by a glass of soy milk. A little nibble of cookie dough (Don’t tell Mom!) was thrown in before they exclaimed, “We want a snack!” Weren’t those snacks?

Zack, my oldest nephew, spotted a photo of a shrimp on a can of Pam.

“I love shrimp,” he said.

“I have some shrimp,” I said.

So I offered them two strawberries and two pieces of shrimp each.

It should have stopped there but the cookies needed to be tested. Cookies just out of the oven are warm and yummy and, well, yummy. So I gave them each two cookies and another glass of soy milk.

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My Lord, I will NOT be a good mother. I will kill my kids with love and sugar, I’m sure of it! But I guess it could be worse.

On another note, I wanted to share a link to a story sent to me by a friend. The Chicago Tribune recently interviewed Colleen Wagner Coughlin, a Chicago embryologist operating a lab called aParent IVF for Fertility Center of Illinois. According to the article, she was fascinated with animal reproduction from a very early age. Her mother, who must have been very cool, let her first breed gerbils, then mice, then rabbits. Wow. I bet she got lots of cookie dough!

Eventually Coughlin made her way into human reproduction and has been there for the past 27 years. In fact, her lab, aParent IVF, according to the article, is extremely successful and has helped see 25,000 babies into the world! She sounds like an amazing woman with a passion for helping others.

I will be adding a few more blogs to the blog roll in the next week. Until then, eat lots of cookies!

Vitamin D Deficiency? Nah!

In the last month I have had several blood tests to determine the cause of my extremely low alkaline phosphasate levels. The most recent tests done about two weeks ago. Unfortunately, my GP left the practice during this process and thus my blood work has taken a backseat. Her peers are scampering to deal with her patient list and I’m last in line. Still though, it would have been nice to get a phone call to let me know my results were in. That I wasn’t dying of malnutrition or other strange ailment. No. Instead, more than a week after my tests were done, I had to call the practice and ask for the results.

A nurse checked my chart and assured me that all the blood tests were within normal range and that the doctor (the new one) would like to check in with me in three months time. I made a critical mistake in my relief. I didn’t question the nurse further about the results. I should have asked for the doctor. I should have held the doctor accountable for getting back to me with tests that I had been waiting on.

I know they are busy. I get it. But the doctor should still have the courtesy of calling a patient. What’s more, the results posted on the practice’s patient portal, were normal save one critical test.

I have a severe vitamin D deficiency with a current blood level of 15 ng/mL.

Livestrong.com says this, “A normal range of vitamin D in your blood from the 25-hydroxyvitamin D test is  between 30 and 74 ng/mL, or nanograms per milliliter. If you have a lower amount  of vitamin D in your blood, you may not be getting enough vitamin D in your  diet, or you may lack enough sun exposure on your skin. Other possibilities  include a kidney or liver disease; a problem with your body’s ability to absorb  vitamin D; or your use of medications that lower your level of vitamin D.”

The nurse made no mention of my vitamin D levels. Again, I should have asked to talk to the doctor. I urge all of us to keep on top of our doctors so that you are “in the know” at all times. A vitamin D deficiency can cause all sorts of issues including increased risk for bone fractures and osteoporosis.

A 2004 article in the Washington Post brought to light other issues saying, “But beyond bone and muscle problems, some evidence suggests a dearth of vitamin
D may be associated with an array of more serious illnesses, including many
forms of cancer, high blood pressure, depression, and immune-system disorders
such as multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes.”

And, from what I’ve read, infertility. In fact, Dr. Joseph Mercola, a well-known alternative health physician out of Hoffman Estates, IL, posted an article in february of this year addressing this very issue. He talks about the importance of vitamin D, not just for women’s fertility but for men’s as well. Check out the article here: The Vitamin That Has Been Show To Dramatically Improve Fertility. I have also seen articles which say it doesn’t have a significant impact on pregnancy or fertility. Either way, it is worth the research.

I plan to call the doctor tomorrow to find out what she recommends. In the meantime I have stocked up on Calcium with Vitamin D3 (it is said that D3 is what we should be taking – NOT D2.) I checked the label on my prenatal vitamin and interestingly it does not include D3, only D2. Also, fish oil – particularly Cod Liver oil is supposed to be the best source for Vitamin D3. These come in capsule format so check around.

Does anyone else have stories about a vitamin D deficiency or other such issue? Would love to hear from you!

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!

Prayers Welcome

It has been a crazy few months! The Arizona trip I mentioned in my last email was fabulous. Dad and I had the most amazing time, driving all over the place taking photos and generally enjoying each others company. I don’t think I’ve ever had a chance to do that in my adult life and it is something I will always remember.

I’d never been to Arizona for any length of time (unless I count the time Grandma and Grandpa Gregory took us to the spot where you could stand on the corners of four states at once, Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah.) We didn’t hit The Four Corners Monument this time around but we did noodle around in Sedona and Tuscon, both equidistant from Dad’s place in Apache Junction. Sedona was nothing short of breathtaking. Seeing the “red rock” up close and personal is a true gift. It confirms for me (as do many other things) that there is a God somewhere.

I was a little nervous to go and see my dad knowing that we’d be on our own. Mary, my stepmom, was unable to make the trip down as she was taking care of her mom in Seattle. Her mom has been struggling with cancer for many years and it has taken its toll. Mary was where she needed to be, but I missed her tremendously – my wine drinking partner!

Dad and I did just fine together. As soon as we embraced at the airport I was transported back to our last visit as if we’d never said goodbye. We grabbed lunch, talked about the flight – which was amazing by the way (go American Airlines!) – and settled into the mobile home unit in Apache Junction. Dad and Mary’s golf cart was the perfect vehicle to take in the sites of the community they live in. Like the ipad, everyone there has one!

Cookie cutter in their layout, each unit emulates the homeowners unique personality. Colorful whirlygigs and cacti, reflective of the Arizona landscape, dot grass barren spaces and bay windows. Cactus is everywhere! I’ve never seen so many varieties, all beautiful in their own way. And the storage! I was in awe of how efficiently laid out these units were. They offered more storage than many of the full size homes I’ve been in. Common areas, where the residents can get their creative groove on, were at the ready for returning snow birds. Art studios, a lapidary studio, woodworking shop, quilting and sewing room, game room complete with several new pool tables, a library and puzzle/card game room; you name it, they got it. It’s the first time I ever wished I was 55 or older. I could easily seem myself retiring in a place like this.

The pool area, with its crystal clear water set at about 75 degrees no less, was a welcome sight on a cool morning. The waters needed to be warm. According to Dad, the ladies who did their morning water aerobics are not impressed with a cool pool. A few of the mornings I enjoyed the hot tub before getting into the showers. Such a great way to start the day. Eric meantime was managing the dog, cats and himself. I must say, I’m quite proud!

I didn’t talk very much about our infertility issues. I didn’t want to make Dad feel uncomfortable either. Frankly, this vacation was a nice way to forget all of it, at least for the week I was there. I imagine Eric had a nice break away from me as well. We are just in it too much, living and breathing infertility everyday. We are reminded, seemingly on a constant basis, of our “issue”. Pregnant women in the grocery store, baby-on-the-way announcements, stories in the news. Google. Yahoo. Comcast. It’s everywhere.

Update on the Alkaline Phosphatase test results! My GP decided to test me again. The results came back the same. Very low compared to other people who have low results. She ordered more tests to check my liver and bone function to see if there are any issues there. Apparently AP is an enzyme that is generated by the liver and the bone and other organs. It has something to do with the body’s PH balance and the acid levels in the body. High levels in the blood can indicate several issues with liver disease and bone disease. Low levels are much less common. Causes may be due to things like excessive intake of Vitamin D, Celiac’s Disease, malnutrition, etc. I have a feeling it may be the cause of my achy joints and bone issues. The doctor asked me if I had ever had bone issues or had lost my teeth at an early age. Nope. Nothing like that from what Mom has told me.

Dr. Bang is also checking my Vitamin D levels, magnesium and my thyroid again. It’s amazing to me how our bodies work, and at such a microscopic level. I’m not sure what the results will be this time around. It’s been about a week since the last blood draw. In the meantime, as a good friend always says when times get rough, one foot in front of the other. It’s the only way to move forward.

We’ve tossed around financing ideas as well. Bottom line our out-of-pocket expenses will most likely settle in around $22,000 when all is said and done. It’s a big nut to crack but we have help out there – I just know it. And we are grateful! I am confident we’ll figure it all out.

On a completely separate note, I ran across a post from a man who suffers from infertility and his experience with it. I will look for the post and link it to my next entry if I can find it. Thought it might bring a new perspective. Another recipe is coming your way too! I just made it tonight – a Brussels Sprouts Lemony Slaw made with greek yogurt, lemon, roasted sunflower seeds, etc.. It’s delish!

As always, prayers are welcome!

Cowboy Casserole

Man! I just got finished writing this post and I deleted the whole damn thing. Darn it! I suppose if that is all I have to deal with today, then I’m okay. 🙂 Let’s try this again.

During my visit to AZ, Dad made me a fantastic dinner of ground beef, potatoes and creamed corn. We enjoyed it with some garlic bread and a little salad. So simple, yet delicious and filling! This is a great go-to recipe for those times where you just can’t think of what to make. I told Mom about it and she says it was her who made that dish for him so many years ago. The credit goes to. . . Mom!

I served it to Eric and he decided after the second dish he liked it. Was it a thick stew? A casserole? Whatever the classification, I think of it as comfort food.

Ingredients:

1 lb. of lean ground beef (85% is a good mix)
1 medium Russet potato sliced in 1/4 inch slices
3 cloves of garlic minced
1/2 c. chopped onion (red, yellow or white)
2 cans of creamed corn (any brand)
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

1. brown ground beef with garlic and onion, drain
2. layer cooked ground beef on the bottom of an oven safe dish
3. layer sliced potatoes on top of ground beef
4. pour creamed corn on top of potato layer
5. salt and pepper to taste, cover and cook for 50 minutes at 375 (or until potatoes are done to you liking. Enjoy!)

This recipe couldn’t be easier. You don’t have to think AND it uses minimal kitchen ware. Right on!

Note: A co-worker mentioned it sounded like the Shepherd’s Pie she makes. Her version layers the beef with creamed corn. She throws mashed potatoes on last and tops with cheddar cheese. Wow.

Check out the pics! Yummmmmmm

 

 

A Waiting Game

I just got back from the most amazing trip to Arizona. I’m sold. Ready to retire, done deal. Eric didn’t go with me this trip but I know he would have enjoyed it just as much as I did. It gave us a little time apart (which I think is a good thing at times!) and gave me quality time with my Dad. We spent hours on the road going from Phoenix to Sedona to Tuscon and everywhere in between. Cameras in hand, we captured our take on Arizona’s beautiful landscape. I am so glad I took the trip when I did too – October in AZ is perfect!

A lot has been going on since I last wrote. We have been going back and forth between starting IVF and figuring out how to fund it. I saw a doc through InVia Fertility which has a few offices scattered through the northwest suburbs. Dr. Sigal Klipstein was recommended by a co-worker and the reco was right on. She has been really responsive and down to earth, providing me with information in a way I can understand. Unfortunately Eric was not able to go to the first meeting with me (October 15th was my visit.) She explained the IVF process in a few short minutes. It’s amazing to me how far science has come.

Dr. Klipstein observed my office ultrasound and looked through my previous test results. She believes that Eric and I would have about a 50% or better of achieving pregnancy through IVF. She ordered a few more tests including CBC and one that measure my alkaline phosphatase. The AP test came back with results that were a bit lower than she liked. This was a few days before I left for Arizona – as you can imagine Eric and I were both freaking out about what it could mean. Low results are not usual. The reasons can vary from too much vitamin D intake to malnutrition. It can also be connected to a type of leukemia. From what I’ve read it will be easy enough to rectify with diet changes. It was recommended that I see my GP which I did yesterday. The GP doesn’t seem to think it is anything to worry about. Just in case she ordered another blood test to check the levels including an extra test to take a better look at my liver function.

While this has been going on, Eric and I have wracked our brains to figure out how to afford treatments. Like most Americans we are not debt free. To consider taking on a $14,000 loan is daunting. The interest alone isn’t something we are prepared for. Prior to my visit with Dr. Klipstein I was told the procedure could cost at least $10,000. Our “quote” came back with a total of $13,800 broken down as follows:

$10,000 – IVF procedure
$2,100 – ICSI (Intracytoplasmic Sperm Injection) – instead of leaving Mr. Sperm and Ms. Egg to their own devices in the petri dish, a doctor will force them together by injecting the sperm into the egg.
$1,050 – AZH (assisted Zona Hatching) – apparently older eggs are tougher. Hmmm. Makes sense. To “assist” the embryo to hatch, a doctor will literally poke a hole in the egg’s exterior in the hopes the embryo will have an easier time in hatching.
$650 – anesthesiologist fees – Mom says I should just suck it up and save the $650. Ha! not gonna happen.

I was a little surprised at the quote. I thought for sure Dr. Klipstein would take pity on us and just waive the fee. Well, okay, maybe not waive it, but reduce it perhaps? Anyway, I wasn’t really prepared for that number. Eric was overwhelmed when I told him. The discussion on how we will afford this continues.

Our initial thought was to move forward in January which, if my calculations are right, would put us towards the end of January for the procedure to take place. There are lots of injections and medications I need to take beforehand. This include birth control of all things! I understand it’s a way for the doctor to get control of the cycle. This will be a first for me.

Now, we are thinking we will wait until March. This is the month when we will find out if have a shot at becoming the next recipients for Birdies for Babies 2013. It is our hope that they may choose us as the next recipients of the golf outing they will hold in September. We are also selling the motorcycles in the Spring which will help us reach our goal. A few years ago I think we may have said, let’s just go for it! Now, we are reserved thinking about the financial implications. Sometimes I just wish we were better at saving money in the early years of our marriage.

We are still hopeful and we know this journey is not over. Sometimes the details get in the way of what we want but somehow it will all work out the way it supposed to! Thank you for going along with us. We appreciate the support!