Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Julie, I want to tell you something...

This post is about that uncomfortable topic for family and friends.  How to tell your seemingly crazy infertile friend Julie that you yourself, or your wife is pregnant or maybe even just starting to "try".  I'm being really specific for a reason in saying, "telling Julie" because the solution to this is different for each person dealing with infertility.  What works for others may not work for me and vice versa.  Therefore, I encourage those of you reading this post who are on the "telling" side and want to be sensitive to be proactive and have this conversation with your infertile friend ahead of time.  

We will use me as the example.  You could write a note or just have this conversation:  

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Dear Julie,

I know you are going through a lot of pain dealing with infertility and I want to be sensitive as I approach this topic.  XXXXX and I have begun trying to start a family as well and to be respectful of your feelings and ours and it is important to know ahead of time how you would like us to approach the topic of pregnancy when the time comes.

We want you to know you are in our prayers and hoping that both of us can add to our families soon!

XOXOXO,

So and So
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This allows me to do a couple things:

1.  Think about how I WANT to be told in the event that you become pregnant.  Honestly it takes a few pregnancy announcements to find out which methods of "telling" works for you.

2. Mentally prepare myself for the announcement.  Trust me I am going to be happy for you, but it will still hurt when it happens.  We have been giving our mind, bodies and souls to trying to have a baby for over 3 years and for many it happens so easily.  It is very difficult to process the feelings that come along with an announcement, but I REPEAT...I WILL BE HAPPY FOR YOU!  

3. Not break down into a terrible fit of tears when you tell me via the "wrong method".  Day to day is different on the roller coaster of infertility.  One day I'm as happy as can be and the next I am so low that finding out your dog is pregnant might send me into a tearful disaster.  That is why knowing ahead of time will make this process much easier for both parties.
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Okay so without further a do...these simple DO's and DON'T may apply more in situations where you are close friends or family.  I can only imagine you have made it through this post because you want to be a sensitive friend and truly care about delivering your news in the most sensitive way possible.

DON'T: Take an infertile by surprise and expect pure joy back.  You never know she may have just had a failed IUI or IVF and while it is great that you are pregnant, she may not be in the state of mind to be told.

DO: Follow steps above to find out preferred method.  I myself would prefer to be told over an email.  This gives me time to compose myself, cry if I need to cry, and respond in whatever way I feel is appropriate.  I don't feel like a text is appropriate.  You never know if I could be somewhere where reading a text may cause a total breakdown.  Email gives time to be a little more thoughtful and read at the appropriate time or place.

DON'T: Hide your pregnancy from your infertile friend.  This may be difficult, but keeping your pregnancy a secret from them may hurt them even more in the long run.  Finding out about your pregnancy on facebook or through someone else could ruin a relationship.

DO: Follow steps above.  If you didn't already have the conversation with your infertile friend, EMAIL is always the best.  You can explain in the email that you didn't know exactly how to tell them that you are expecting and wanted to give them time to process the announcement.  Most often she won't be offended if you are taking measures to be sensitive.

DON'T: Take your infertile friends reaction to your pregnancy announcement personally.  More than likely she is hopped on hormones as much as you are.  It would be easy to think that she is mad at you personally, but it isn't true.  She is more than likely mad at the world, mad at her situation and sad it wasn't her turn.

DO: Give her time to process the announcement.  Then continue checking in on her even if she doesn't want to talk about your pregnancy.  This may be hurtful to you because you want to share your joy, but if you want to maintain the friendship this is a must.  Be respectful of her wishes.  She may not wish to attend your baby shower because it is too painful.

DON'T: Stop communicating.  Infertility is a lonely road.  It causes weak relationships to crumble and tests even the strongest of relationships.  

DO: Talk about your feelings with your infertile friend.  You can openly say, "I was nervous about approaching this subject with you because I know what you are going through is difficult."  Each person is different, if they are open and willing to talk, lend an ear and if they don't want to talk about it be sensitive and bring up a different topic.
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As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, I wrote this post based on my own circumstance and each  person is different.  However, I communicate and read blogs and forums where this topic is frequently discussed and the majority of this information is pretty universal.  I hope this helps those looking for advice on this topic!  Feel free to add any other ideas in the comment section for those of you who have suggestions to add!

Julie

Monday, December 17, 2012

Lost & Found

Ever lose something and never find it again and it drives you crazy not knowing where it is?  This happens to me on a regular  constant basis.  It started when I was young...I lost the remote to my new stereo.  I searched everything, the whole house, endlessly and it never showed up.  Where on earth could it have gone.  I never took it outside so it had to be somewhere.  I don't think I ever found it.

This happens a lot to me when it comes to jewelry.  I take it off, put it in my gym bag, my purse, a random tote bag, travel bag, box...etc. and then it sits there.  Over the years I have taken to doing a sort of jewelry inventory.  I look through all of those things above and usually am pretty satisfied finding the one lost earring or pairs that I didn't even know I was missing.  I did this last night and much to my happiness found quite a few pairs including these below which had just slipped off my earring holder and onto the floor, but under a stool:


This definitely was a happy victory for me!  Then there are those things that go missing and you don't really care because you wouldn't necessarily wear them anymore, but finding them brings up a lot of good memories like this horrible green headband I wore every day for a good stretch of time in 2005:


My husband absolutely HATES it and I found it last night while doing jewelry inventory.  He also hated the sweatpants I was wearing.  This is a loaded photo because I am wearing a fleece that also went missing over the years and was never found, but on the bright side I also found my Blink182 t-shirt from the very first concert I ever attended.  LOL!  Then there are things like this sweatshirt *below* that have been missing, but still in use by someone else:


Thanks Dad...I won't be needing that back.

The problem with me is once I find things I tend to lose other things.  For example, somehow this weekend my makeup bag went missing.  I've looked high and low for it and still not found it, BUT I found this:


My set of spare keys that have been missing 2+ years!  Every week for the past two years it has been on my TO DO list to go get a new set made (much to my husbands dismay I hadn't gotten around to it yet.), but now I don't have to!  If I had never lost my makeup bag, I never would have found these little puppies hiding under the passenger seat in my vehicle.  So...am I just irresponsible because I lose everything, or do I just lose things so I can find other thing?  Who knows!?  Am I alone on this?  Do I have some sort of MISPLACEMENT DISORDER?  Now where is that darn makeup bag?

******A special thanks to my friend Laci who somehow magically appeared in each of the photos with things that had gone missing...hmmmm****** LOL!!

Julie


Thursday, December 13, 2012

Finally hoping for a NEGATIVE Result!

I completed phase 1 of prepping for IVF which was STD testing.  I was excited to finally have some tests that a negative outcome was what I wanted.  I seem to be very good at that!  Thankfully I could just go to my regular doctor here in town but unfortunately I was feeling kind of snippy (the poor nurse).  She went through the tests..."chlamydia, gonorrhea and HIV, okay so a cervical swipe and blood test".  I responded with...OH!  My two favorite things to do!  She just kind of looked at me and with a sad grin said, "so you've been at this awhile, eh?".  She was very sweet and actually made me feel better.

The Mr. has to go through some similar testing (not the cervical swipe) and then we have to take an IVF and injections class before we can get started.  I'm not sure with the holidays if we will get that done before or after the new year.  Speaking of the "holidays" right now they are uncertain for us.  We don't know if the Mr. will be working or not yet.  That will pretty much dictate what we are able to do, but I'm not too worried about it.

What is bothering me is that this will be the first Christmas without my Grandpa.  It will be difficult because Christmas was always kind of Grandpa's holiday.  He loved singing, "Silent Night" and his birthday is a few days before Christmas.  It just won't be the same without him.  The family has decided to really make this Christmas special and make the focus on Grandma.  Each family member is going to give her an ornament with our names and tell a story of a favorite memory of spending time with her.  This year I will also get to bring along my guitar and play since I have been practicing Christmas music the past few months and my family LOVES to sing!  I know Grandpa will be smiling down from heaven!

Alright I need to end on a silly note so I need to bring this back from last year for any new followers.  Enjoy!

Julie

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

A Very Nerdy Christmas Party

This weekend the Mr. and I hosted a Very Nerdy Christmas Party!   I love a good theme party and (maybe in the future I will do a run down of all the theme parties I've hosted over the years) this one was a success!  









Even Bosko was in the Nerdy Spirit!  Thanks to everyone who came out!

Julie

Friday, December 7, 2012

Making My Hope "Sign" Permanent - Tattoo #2!

Happy Friday to All!  So today is pretty special for me.  I wrote awhile back about some mixed signs that I had been experiencing and more recently I wrote about my hope sign which is seeing a hummingbird.  I want to go into this a little bit more because tonight I will be getting it permanent in tattoo form!!!

I have been thinking about this for quite awhile.  Again I have always loved hummingbirds and taken great joy in seeing them.  I put a feeder up this summer and got to enjoy them almost every day.  Anyways, when I  was considering getting a tattoo (we'll call it my hope sign tattoo) I wanted something special that really symbolized how I am feeling right now while dealing with infertility.  Well here is something I found that I thought made the hummingbird symbolize my perfect hope sign.

Hummingbirds, called new world birds cause they are native to North America, Central and South America, are considered to be symbols of peace, love and happiness, moreover, ancient pagans held them sacred for their tireless energy and anxiety. 
In Native American culture, a hummingbird symbolizes timeless joy and the Nectar of Life. It's a symbol for accomplishing that which seems impossible and will teach you how to find the miracle of joyful living from your own life circumstances.
They are really spectacular birds, and have a lot to teach a person about self discovery and healing. 


So tonight is very special to me.  I will share a picture of what it looks like when it is done so you will have to check back :).  There is one more key to this tattoo.  I will be getting it in black and gray only, (for now).  I want it to be a transitional tattoo that once we have resolved our infertility (have a baby, adopt a child, decide to live childfree) I will go back to get the colors filled in.  It will mark our transition to the next phase of life no matter what that ends up being.


What is your hope sign?


Julie

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Someone must have put something in my drink...

Why you ask?....For the first time in awhile I felt happy.  Not just happy, really happy.  I'm not saying it lasted that long or that I have been continuously happy, but it has been long time in this miserable IF process that I have felt just plain old happy.  I cleaned my house, went for a run, did all those little tasks that sometimes just seem impossible.  I felt good while doing them.  I cranked up my little red radio with some Luke Bryan and went crazy doing laundry, dancing, wiping cobwebs, vacuuming, singing, doing dishes and baking cookies.  I cracked a bottle of wine, rented a movie (Magic Mike!) and went out and had some drinks at the bar with my dear sweet hubby (who was bartending).  It felt good!  This week I even made a hair appointment!!  (Long story BUT: last hair appointment I had scheduled was after my 1st or 2nd failed IUI and prior to the appointment I was a mess and had too much wine and let the girl hack up my hair so now I have been growing it out and scared to go back.)

The only time this month I stopped to check where I was in the fertility scheme of things was when I had to schedule that darn SHG (had to be between Days 5-12) and yes I still am observing my CM and giving the Mr. the old wink wink when it is time (I'm such a romantic), but I don't feel so psychotic about it.  So I am not sure whether it is the meds. (20mg of Prozac daily for those who are wondering), the break we are sort of taking or the holiday buzz starting to kick in, but I wanted to document a few bright spots along with the negatives.

This weekend we are hosting, "A Very Nerdy Christmas" Party at our house.  I can't wait, we have outfits all picked out, suspenders, glasses, super awesome Christmas shirts ...oh and for me above the knee green and red striped socks and a plaid red skirt.  Will there be pictures...you bet!

And for all my IF sisters out there, PLEASE take time to make a big deal about the happy moments.  Often they are far and few between, and they might come at unexpected times but when you have them, they are very special and you should celebrate them!

Julie

Monday, December 3, 2012

My Perfect Broken Uterus

Happy Monday!  Once again the test results came back NORMAL from my SHG last week Friday.  Everything looked perfect.  Okay...then WHY DOESN'T IT WORK!???  Grrr...this is exhausting!  It was kind of a funny situation, we arrived at the RE's office just on time and checked in.  We had gotten coffees for the drive in and I need to "go".  So I got up to go to the bathroom, just finished when I heard an urgent knock on the door.  "DON'T GO"...I responded back with ..."TOO LATE!".  I guess I needed to take a pregnancy test (guess what it was negative) and thankfully I could still squeeze out the 5 drops needed to do it.  Would have been nice to know ahead of time.  At least the snotty receptionist remembered my name this time.

Okay so the plan is a few more tests (STD testing mostly) and an injection class/IVF seminar and we are slated for mid-late January to begin stimming.  This weekend I was cleaning up the house and I was putting away my hummingbird feeder.  I was kind of sad because all summer whenever I saw a hummingbird I thought it was my special sign of hope.  It was so great because they just seemed to appear whenever I needed them (which was quite frequently).  Anyways I was bummed to think about all winter how I won't be able to see my precious hummingbirds.  Then in one of the million emails I got this morning I found this:

So I bought myself a little early Christmas gift.  I just couldn't resist!  I feel guilty because we are trying to save up every penny for IVF, but I guess I need to treat myself once and awhile.  Another hectic week ahead, hope everyone has a good week!

Julie

Thursday, November 29, 2012

SHG - HSG - HCG - WTF?

Well my dear friends in blogosphere (is that how you spell that) I have another round of testing which technically I will consider preparing for IVF.  I was able to schedule a few through my clinic near home, but when it came to asking about the SHG (Sonohysterogram - filling your uterus full of saline and doing ultrasound) I got flashbacks of when I had to call about a year ago at this time to schedule my first HSG (Hysterosalpingogram).

Julie of 2011 - Hi I need to schedule an HSG*.
Nurse - A what?
Me - H-S-G
Nurse - Oh Honey, you mean a HCG**
Me - NO - H- SSSSS - G
Nurse - Are you sure its not a HCG?
Me - Okay how can I explain this...I'm NOT Pregnant
Nurse - Oh, who is your doctor?
Me - Ughhh...Dr. Chuppa
Nurse - Okay let me put you on hold.

*x-ray of your uterus using a dye to check to see if your fallopian tubes are open
**Pregnancy blood test

You can only imagine how I felt having to call and ask about an SHG this time around.  However it was much more simple this time.

Julie of 2012 - Hi I need to schedule a SHG.
Nurse - We don't do those.
Me - Crap.

So they are able to do the simple STD testing (Dec 13th), but I have to go to my RE tomorrow to do the SHG (which was another whole ordeal).  The main thing I wanted to make sure of was that I got everything taken care of in December to have my insurance cover whatever possible since my deductible is obviously met for the year AND I am changing insurance coverage in 2013 (Still no actual IF treatment coverage though).  (Right now my insurance covers infertility diagnosis/testing, but not actual treatment.)  So I called the RE to make sure my insurance was going to cover the SHG and I was told NO.  She told me since I have a diagnosis (I do???) my insurance no longer covers it.  I said oh really...what is my diagnosis?  She looked at my charts and says...Oh...ummm infertility.  Okay so my infertility diagnosis is infertility??? WTF!  I didn't let it go.  I went on to explain how since I had treatments (IUI's) and afterwards insurance covered my laparoscopy.  So after a few more back and forths she said, let me try again.  She called back and turned an almost $900 procedure into a $35 co-pay.  Oh sweet success at last!

In other news we put up our Christmas tree and got a few new decorations in the meantime!




I was having a difficult time getting in the Christmas spirit but I think this will help!  Hope you are all doing well and having an okay time gearing up for the Holidays!

Julie

Monday, November 26, 2012

Where We Go From Here

Hello All!  I hope you had a great Thanksgiving for those of you in the US.  I wasn't kidding about drinking wine at Thanksgiving.  My family can surely tell you I wasn't kidding.  Oops!  Oh well it was fun.

So the question is...where do we go from here?

As I had mentioned in my last post that the Mr. and I had decided upon a plan moving forward if we came to the end of this month and it was a negative.  As you can see in the "TTC Timeline" to the right we are planning on moving forward with IVF.  Not familiar with this?  That is more technical, what happens is we pay a crap load of money, they get me all hopped up on hormones and check to see how my follicles are progressing.  When the time is right they harvest my eggs and get the party started outside my body with the sperm.  They keep a careful eye on the progress and after 3-5 days place 1-2 of them back in me when they are fertilized.  Then we cross our fingers and wait and pray to God they implant.  The program we are choosing allows us to do 1 IVF and one FET or frozen embryo transfer.  That is if we have any embryos left over.  The cost for the program at my clinic is $11,900 + meds ($3,000-$5,000).  Oh no I am getting that sick feeling in my stomach again.  I wasn't kidding when I say a crap load of money.  Anyone have $15-$16K laying around?  Contact me ASAP...haha!

So that is the plan.  We are going to be scrimping and saving every single penny we can get our hands on and give this one last ditch effort.  After this we are completely broke and will no longer be able to afford infertility treatment moving forward.  I've never felt so stressed out in my entire life.

Right now we have a bit of testing we need to do before we get started and I am hoping to begin stimming in January.  As always, thank you for all the love and support you have been sending my way.  All we can do is remain positive and hope that at the end of all this I can say, damn that was hell, but it was sooooo worth it!

Julie




Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Someone Pass the Wine

SHIT....shit....shit....shit.  My period showed up last night.  I can't even put into words how devastated I am right now.  I want to cry, I want to scream but more than that I feel absolutely numb so I can't do either of those things.  So I get today...to be mad, angry, sad and whatever else I need.  I get to throw out all the hopeful crap for one day because today...today sucks!  So today you also get to be mad, upset, angry and pissed off and below no positive crap I want some anger in the comments section below because we get today.  I'm not kidding...throw in some f-bombs!

Tomorrow is a new day, the day I remember all the happy hopeful butterflies and rainbow crap I always blog about.  Tomorrow I will remember that God has a plan and that things will work out.  Tomorrow I remember that the Mr. and I have already mapped out our plan moving forward and that we already discussed our attack moving forward and that the battle isn't over yet.

Today I am sad, today I feel defeated.

Julie

Monday, November 19, 2012

One Day Late and Afraid to Pee!

Sorry for the title...I just had to.  I'm officially 15DPO (days past ovulation and IUI) and I am pretty sure this is a FIRST since I have been tracking my cycles.  I usually get to about day CD12-13 and then BAM like clockwork my period shows up.  I tested on 12DPO just to see if there was a chance and BFN so I decided I am going to wait now until the Mr gets back home (Wednesday).  To be sure I wasn't freaking out for no reason at all I checked my prior IUI's to see if the HCG shot had anything to do with it and no my March IUI I made it to 13DPO and July I made it to 12DPO.  People this is a first.  I'm currently at CD31 15DPO and trying not to lose it.  Thus the reason for the subject...I'm so scared I'm going to go to the bathroom and see RED that every time I have to go to the bathroom my heart starts racing and I feel ready to burst into tears.  Keep the prayers coming everyone...I need them more than ever!!!

On to my weekend.  Remember not so long ago when I post this?  Well that backfired a little when I decided to take up hunting to spend more time with the Mr.  Instead this weekend (opening deer hunting weekend) we actually split ways and I went to my parents farm and he went to his.  I was shocked and surprised to find out that I really LOVE deer hunting.  Me!??  I know right?!?

- - WARNING - - DON'T LIKE HUNTING SKIP THIS PART - - LEFT OUT GRAPHIC DETAILS

So that is what I did.  I packed up all my blaze orange on Friday (and about a million tampons expecting AF to show up on Sat. or Sun.) and headed to the family farm.  Our "deer camp" consisted of my dad and my older brother (and Bosko and Lady and parents black lab Trapper).  Mom was also there for moral support, but did not go out hunting with us.  I woke nice and early Saturday morning and we headed out to our stands.  I was armed with all my warm gear, "hot hands" (find out what these are if you ever have to sit out in the cold they are amazing), my cell phone, and my Nook for when I got bored.  The opening time was 6:18 AM and just around 6:30 I hear a shuffle of leaves headed my way.  Holy buckets...my heart is racing at this point 100 mph and I see 2 doe walking right in front of me.  I took one shot.  Skip ahead the details.  Sunday morning back out and same thing happens, but this time around 6:45 and this time it is only one doe and on to the results I finished the weekend with one doe Saturday morning and one doe Sunday morning.  Boys = 0, Julie = 2.  I am SO thankful to my brother for taking care of the part after you shoot the deer (which I would never be able to take care of) and my dad for lending me his gun and both for putting me in the best spot on the farm to hunt!



- - END OF WARNING - -CONTINUE READING- -

So now what do I do?  I have 2 days of work today and tomorrow and then I have off the rest of the weekend for Thanksgiving.  The Mr. comes home from his hunting adventure Tuesday which if I can make it until then without giving in or AF arriving I will test Wednesday.  THEN...if positive (eeks!) I will set up a blood test (beta test) and go from there.  For the record right now I feel anything but pregnant so while I am freaking out I am trying so hard not to because I feel a lot more like my period is just around the corner and the acne on my face to go along with it.  If negative/or AF I plan on drinking a lot of wine at Thanksgiving.  However until that happens I am going to keep the hope alive and keep sending the prayers up to the Big Guy in heaven.  Please please please do the same!!!

Julie

PS. If you have an extra prayer available please also send up one for my new nephew who has been in the hospital for jaundice the past few days.  Thanks!




Thursday, November 15, 2012

Are you one of those Black Friday people?

Let me start off by saying I am "NOT"!  Oh my gosh if they could make a day that was more miserable sounding than Black Friday I wouldn't believe it.  Crowds of people shopping all at the same time.  Ick!  When I shop I don't want anyone within a 100 foot radius.  Now I love a good deal as much as the next person, but just thinking about that day makes me cringe.  

SO!  I've decided this year that instead of sitting at home twiddling my thumbs and stuffing myself with Thanksgiving leftovers on Black Friday I'm going to go to the store!!!  However, this will not be to shop it will be to RING BELLS!   This is a great way to volunteer and raise money for the Salvation Army for the holidays.  You don't have to spend a lot of time, but it is for a great cause.  There is no hard labor and you can actually have fun doing it!  Also if you are one of those crazy shoppers that go to sleep at noon on Thursday so you can get up at midnight to head out for the deals it doesn't have to be on Black Friday you can do it anytime throughout the holiday season.  Thank about it!

Julie

Monday, November 12, 2012

Has Infertility Made Me Selfish?

Happy Monday!

Well the second week of my glorious 2WW after my 3rd IUI has begun.

I realized lately I have been so wrapped up in all this infertility stuff that I have become extremely selfish.  Now don't get me wrong, to a point you have to be selfish because you need to protect yourself emotionally, but sometimes I think it gets to a point that you need to remember there is life beyond the fertility treatments and 2WWs.  (Honestly, I sometimes forget that especially when I am all whacked out on hormones!)  Lately it is just so difficult for me to think of others because I feel like we are struggling so much ourselves, but the more I focus on infertility the more miserable I am.  So this is what I decided...I am going to VOLUNTEER!  I've decided on 2 things I would like to do still in 2012 and then try to expand for 2013.

1. Big Brothers Big Sisters - I have submitted my paper work and am waiting to hear back for approval.  This may be difficult considering the situation we are in, but overall I think the benefits will outweigh the negatives.

2. Fund raise for Victims on the East Coast from Superstorm Sandy - I have been working on this the past few weeks to get approved at work, but things are getting finalized and hopefully I can share more about this once I get approved.  We hope to specifically fund raise for our co-workers that were affected.

It is so easy to get so down and feel so negative when you are dealing with infertility, but there are so many others out there who are hurting for different reasons.  I hope to share my volunteering experiences with you and also ask what you are doing to help others?

Julie


Thursday, November 8, 2012

Surviving the Holiday's - IF V3.0

Hello Again,

I wanted to write a quick post as the "holidays" are rapidly approaching here in the US.  Thanksgiving is right around the corner and as any infertile knows the holidays are not always easy to deal with.  This will be my 3rd infertile Christmas and I think I am learning from my past mistakes!  Here goes:

IF Holiday Tip #1.

DO - Make party visits short (if possible) and then get out!  Auntie So&SO WILL ask you when you are going to have a baby, be prepared with a short polite response.

DON'T - Get stuck watching all the grandchildren opening their adorable little presents.  If this is not an option make it into some sort of drinking game...little Anna got another Barbie? That's 2 drinks!


IF Holiday Tip #2.

DO - Spend at least one of your days off with your significant other enjoying just the two of you (and your fur babies).  Take a break from the hustle and bustle that all the FERTILES HAVE to deal with since they have kiddos.

DON'T - invite a TON of people over to your house on Christmas Day!  I learned the error of my ways after doing this for the past couple years.  You think you are stressed about your HSG two days before Christmas?  Why add the additional stress of cleaning, cooking and family and in-laws on top of it?  Hopefully you are all smarter than me :).

IF Holiday Tip #3

DO - Plan your shopping accordingly.  Be smart about buying gifts for children in your extended family, if you don't think you can handle walking through the kids department then buy a department store gift card.

DON'T - Save your shopping until the last minute, have a total mental breakdown in TOYS 'R' US because you had to make a quick run to the bathroom and AF stained your new pair of Christmas undies!

IF Holiday Tip #4

DO - Make time for adult fun.  Throw/attend an adult Christmas theme party that won't be centered around kids.  This year I will be hosting "A Very Nerdy Christmas" and I can't wait!  (You better believe there will be pictures!)

DON'T - Accept every single party invitation sent your way.  Be sensible and politely decline if you don't feel you will be comfortable.

LAST BUT NOT LEAST IF Holiday Tip #5 - Remember the reason for each holiday.  Take joy in the fact that you have your faith, family and friends.

DON'T - Let the stress of it all send you into a spiral of misery.  The holidays' aren't easy but a little planning and fun and you may even start to enjoy them (a little bit).

My new Christmas Guitar Book!


Julie

P.S. Feel free to add any of your own personal tips for surviving the holidays you think would be helpful!

Monday, November 5, 2012

IUI #3 - 2WW Begins

Hello all!

Today begins the two week wait (2WW) after IUI #3.  I'm finally feeling a little better after having some difficulty this month during the first part of the crazy hormone stage.  I just felt very negative and it was difficult to overcome.  Today for the most part I feel normal, maybe a little too normal since we just had the IUI yesterday.  I think it is a good thing.  I feel relaxed!  The procedure went well, I had some cramping and slight bleeding, but that has been pretty standard.  Mr. Amazing produced some great numbers this month as well (76 million post wash)!

I also had a GREAT weekend!!  I spent the weekend at my parents cabin for an annual event which takes place each November.  When I was a kid my mom played softball with a wonderful group of women and once I turned 16 I started playing as well.  18 years ago they began getting together and going up to the cabin for a ladies weekend and once I turned 16 I got to join and have been going ever since.  It is always a weekend filled with food, drinks and laughs.  This year was no different except I had the pending IUI looming over my head.  Since I grew up knowing all these women I had no difficulty sharing what was going on and I am so happy I did.  I could just feel the love and support all weekend!!  Friday night I was scheduled for my trigger shot (ovidrel) and the ladies supported me by taking a shot of alcohol at the same time.

They also signed a pair of lucky socks for me and a pair for the Mr. to wear Sunday morning to my appointment.  We are so lucky to have so much love and support in our path to becoming parents.  I have never for a second regretting coming out into the open about our infertility because nobody should have to go through it alone. At the same time I know not everyone is as lucky as me to have such wonderful family and friends who are willing to be so supportive.  I feel extremely blessed.

On the way home I had some time to think about everything going on and was kind of talking to God in my head asking him if I was on the right path and asking for his blessing on the decisions we were making.  Then out in front of me I saw a clearing in the clouds (just a small spot) and in it I could see the colors of the rainbow.  It was so odd because it wasn't an actual rainbow, but I could clearly make out the colors.  It made me feel at ease.  Not that this will be the answer to our prayers or that this is going to be the one (though I hope it is) but that we were making the proper decisions in our life right now and that we are on the correct path!

My prayer goes out to everyone struggling with infertility.  I hope through being open about our story we can help spread awareness that infertility is real and affects many couples.

Julie


Thursday, November 1, 2012

Happy Birthday BOSKO!!

My big baby Bosko turns 12(ish) today.  4 years ago the Mr and I decided we wanted to get a dog.  I always wanted a Springer Spaniel and we decided we would adopt rather than getting a puppy.  I searched online and found this adorable boy at the Watertown Humane Society.  I had decided years before I wanted to name my first pup Bosko in honor of a great friend I had met while studying in Australia.  He was found as a stray in Watertown so there isn't much history for him and he won't tell us his "real name".

I went with my Mom to go check him out and decided he was the one.  We brought him home November 1st, 2008 which was the same night we had invited friends over for a costume party.  He is quirky, needy, neurotic and I love him with all my heart!

Bosko over the years:


Happy Birthday Bosko, (Big Boy, Big Bopper, Bakko, Markel, Boskinator, Mr. Turd Tail, Turdie, Turd Boy, "B")!!!

Julie

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Christian Grey Did My U/S This Morning!

Oh what a day to have my U/S!  Everyone at the doctor's office had dressed up and I had "Christian Grey" do my U/S this morning.  "Oh My!" LOL!  My regular doctor wasn't in yet since it was so early.  It was good luck:

For all you lucky dogs who don't know what this means let me explain.  L1-L5 is my left ovary and the follicles are what are growing that hold the eggs.  The 1 and 2 across the top are the dimensions of the follicle and the mean is the size.  So you would read this that I have 3 follicles on my left ovary and 2 on the right. Yes indeed, FIVE FOLLICLES!  The size when they are good to go for ovulation is around 18+ so "Christian" told me I should have 3-4 ready to go by time I trigger on Friday night.  Then I have my IUI on Sunday morning.  Since it is taking place in November I will lovingly refer to the IUI moving forward as "getting basted" in honor of Thanksgiving.  :)  The most follicles ready to go in the past has been 3.  I have been extremely crampy the past week or so and knew something had to be going on in there.  This is great news!

I have also made the decision that this will be my last "basting" either way.  Hopefully I will be pregnant and not have to worry about it or we will move on to more aggressive treatment in 2013.  Please keep me in your prayers and hope lucky #3 is it!

Julie

Monday, October 29, 2012

Halloween Fun...and Upcoming U/S

We had a fun Halloween (weekend) this year going as the "jock and the cheerleader".  Had so much fun making our costumes and wearing them.  Go to my CRAFT page to see the details!

Update on this cycle I am at CD10 and still bleeding.  This has happened before and I am pretty sure it is the Letrozole.  I also have been feeling crampy which I take as a good sign that the follicles are growing in there. I am going to acupuncture tonight and I have my U/S this week Wednesday (good luck it is on Halloween?).  Maybe my costume will be good luck...I haven't actually read this book "Every Drunken Cheerleader...Why Not Me" but hey it can't hurt right! :).  I have downloaded on my Nook and am ready to go! http://www.juliesjunkdrawer.blogspot.com/p/reading.html

Anyways, fingers crossed for some nice big ripe follicles on Wednesday!

Julie

Monday, October 22, 2012

IUI #3

Good Morning,

Thought I would just put out the update that we are heading down the path to IUI #3.  I was hopeful that my Laparoscopy would be the magic trick, but no such luck.  Hopefully it will still help with increased odds that this will be the lucky month.

Here are the details:

Letrozole 125 CD3-12
Follicular U/S Date TBD
Ovidrel
IUI Date TBD

I'm having a hard time even being hopefully about this one.  I am only just starting the meds. though so I have  some time to get myself in a little better mood about this.  As of right now I'm not quite sure how to feel.

Julie

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Want to hear me play my guitar and sing?

Alright everyone, I promised this awhile back on my music page that I would record a video of me playing my guitar and I decided to sing too.  It isn't a great video, I by no means sound good but it is fun and I enjoy doing it.  So go ahead, click on the music tab above or click here: http://www.juliesjunkdrawer.blogspot.com/p/music.html

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The Best Things in Life Aren't Things

I have a little sign in my kitchen that says exactly what the title says, "The Best Things in Life Aren't Things".   I often have to remind myself because I am somewhat of what my Mom always called me: A pack rat!  I am nowhere near a hoarder because I do hate clutter.  I love to shop, and while that is fine I don't enjoy giving things up.  I want to do it, but for some reason the act of actually doing it is difficult.  Most of the time I have to sit and force myself to pack things to give away and often times go back through and pull things back out. This has lead to holding on to WAY too much stuff that should have been "donated" long ago.  I often think, well what if this comes back into fashion, or I can use this for fabric on something else.  Sometimes I will get a second use out of something that reinforces this type of behavior.

I want to make a goal to go through and "clean" house to rid my closets of things that I no longer need!

This picture doesn't apply to the blog post, but isn't she cute! :)
Julie



Thursday, October 11, 2012

#8

This post is going to be focusing on #8 from my previous post because this is what I really want to focus on in October.  If you want this post to make sense go back and read my previous post.

#8.  You are doing the best you can in the situation you are in.  Keep exploring the things you love, don't act as if life is on pause because it isn't. 

This has been extremely important to me the past 3 years and often when others ask about how I deal with IF I bring this up.  Each new month brings a whole new series of doctors, testing, waiting, drugs...did I say waiting.  I hate that part the most.  At least the other things make you feel like you are accomplishing something, maybe getting closer to getting pregnant, maybe finding out new information, but the waiting is miserable.  Many times I would think, well if I can just get to this date or that date, if I can get through this month.  

This mind set is a great way to miss out on all the good things life has to offer.  Life isn't on pause. You start thinking, well maybe I'm not getting pregnant because I am exercising too much, or not enough, or maybe its my diet, maybe we aren't having enough sex, or too much...You start questioning and worrying about everything single thing you are doing.  It can start to feel as if life is on pause until the next treatment, the next doctors appointment, the next cycle, IF is all you think about...or all you write about in your blog. LOL.  

Infertility is so uncertain, and downright depressing but I'd like to use this post to focus on more positive things that I have done.

Here are a few things I have accomplished while waiting:

- run my first 1/2 marathon
- gone hunting for the first time/got my first deer
- learned how to sew
- learned to play the guitar
- celebrated 3 wedding anniversaries
- learned to love and enjoy cooking
- started doing my own canning (including my seriously delicious salsa)
- planted and grown my own garden each year
- began reading "for fun" again

I'd love to hear from YOU what kind of things have you accomplished while WAITING?

Julie

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Things I Would Say

I'm going to try and make this post as least depressing as possible, but for those of us suffering with IF most milestones are not fun ones.  October marks the "3 years or 36 Months of TTC" anniversary for my husband and me.  I can't decide if they have been the longest 3 years of my life or the shortest!?   There are many things I wish I could tell my "Julie of 3 Years Ago" self.  Here goes:

#1.  Stop being so hard on yourself.  This isn't going to be easy, but you will make it.

#2.  You aren't in control, I know you think you are but you aren't!

#3.  Write things down.  Know what tests have been done and which ones haven't.  Take charge of your health and treatments.

#4.  Trust your instinct.  If you think something isn't working, don't keep trying the same thing month after     month.  It WON'T work!

#5.  Don't be afraid to reach out for help sooner.  You will find more support than you would ever expect in places you would never expect.

#6.  Take it easy on your poor husband.  He can't even begin to understand what you are going through.  In fact, in three years he still won't fully understand.  Take time to explain things to him.

#7.  Communicate often, don't hold things in.

#8.  You are doing the best you can in the situation you are in.  Keep exploring the things you love, don't act as if life is on pause because it isn't.

#9.  Take care of yourself.  Love yourself because you are going to dip into some of the lowest lows and you are going to need to be strong and pick yourself back up.  You can do it.

#10.  Be patient and lean on your faith in God.  He knows what is best for you, even if at many times it doesn't seem like it.  He does have a plan for you, but it still hasn't been revealed.  Use your faith to help other women suffering with IF to remain hopeful that one day we will all find our contentment.

I can't believe it has been 3 years.  I have come to realize that infertility has given me something.  Patience, that one is obvious.  Strength, I am mentally stronger than I would have ever imagined.  Wisdom, my eyes have been opened to a world that is real, things don't always come easy, things aren't always as they seem.  Humility, what is more humbling than realizing your aren't in control of your body.  Love, our relationship has been tested time and time again, we pick each other apart and said things we can never take back, but at the end of the day we are able to put the pieces back together and say we are more in love than we have ever been.

This is a time to reflect on what has happened, and an exciting time as we finally move forward with a diagnosis and an idea of what we are up against.  It isn't going to be easy and I don't know how it is going to turn out, but I move forward in faith and trust that things will work out and God will continue to bless our family.

Julie


Friday, September 28, 2012

Glasses...!

I am currently doing the home trial from a company called Warby Parker.  I have five days to try them on and then send them back prepaid! Pretty cool huh? 

Let me know what you think!  The last picture I realized you could look in the mirror at the back of my phone and see the picture :)






Julie