Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Meet Mary

I think I've mentioned before that I have a younger sister. (I can't really call her my "little" sister, because she has always been taller than I am.) Anyway, Mary is seriously the coolest person I know. She has the best sense of humor, and is my favorite person to just hang out with. Sadly, we've lived pretty far apart for the last few years, so I don't get to see her as often as I'd like.

PumpkinMary has been so supportive of me throughout this infertility journey. When she found out she was pregnant, she sent me the sweetest email, so I wouldn't feel pressured to have to respond in the moment on a phone call. She made it clear that I could be as involved or uninvolved as I needed to be, which was amazing. She was able to be understanding of me, because she had walked a similar path herself. I don't know how much of her story she wants published on the blogosphere, so I will just say that I consider my niece to be a perfect little miracle. :)

Soon, I will be getting two more nieces! Mary and her husband have known for some time that they want to adopt, and God recently laid it on their hearts to adopt two precious little girls with Down Syndrome. The girls live in Eastern Europe, and it will be a few months before they can come home. Mary started a blog called Threefold Blessings to chronicle their journey through the international adoption process. Since she's new to blogging, I thought I would ask all my bloggy friends to stop by and leave her a comment or two. ('Cause I'm an obnoxious big sister, and I do stuff like that.) Here are my beautiful new nieces:


Monday, November 16, 2009


I just had a stern conversation with one of the cats. She's been running around all afternoon, refusing to settle down. Several times in a row - she waited until I was comfortable on the couch, and then she dashed across the table, knocking everything off it in the process. So I told her that she was being silly and needed to settle down. I don't know what should be more concerning - that I talk to my animals, or that I believe that for the most part they get the gist of what I'm saying. (Are those men in white coats at my door again?) Anyway, the whole incident made me wonder if God ever looks at me and thinks, "What a silly cat!" (Or, "girl" in my case.) I'm quite sure that He does, because I know my behavior and thoughts often border on the absurd.

For instance, we got our second beta results back earlier in the week (384, praise the Lord!). Ever since the first beta came back, I have had this overwhelming urge to pee on a stick. I have wasted so much money on hpt's over the years that I didn't want to spend money on one more - especially since I already knew what the result would be. But, oh, I wanted to pee on a stick and get two lines for once!! So I was ecstatic when C asked if I would take one, just for kicks and giggles. Apparently great minds think alike!

I could not wait to target that stick...until it came in the house. Then, I was struck with an overwhelming fear. What if it was negative? What if the lab made a mistake with our bloodwork? What if something was starting to go wrong? I almost couldn't do it...but I did, and of course, it was positive. Pure silliness.

There is nothing I can do at this point to control the outcome of this pregnancy, other than to continue to follow directions, take my medications, and bare a cheek nightly for the oh-so-romantic PIO shots. And pray, pray, pray. Yet every little thing has me worrying - is something going wrong? Did I do something to hurt my little embie(s)? The truth is sobering - I have no control. But I act like I do, and that's pretty silly.

It's interesting, too, how many of my perceptions of God fall into the realm of silliness. I wasn't going to post about this, but I've been thinking about it a lot lately, and in case you haven't figured this out yet - blogging is my way of avoiding a super huge therapy bill. The day we got our beta results back was difficult. I prayed and cried and begged God for a positive, all the while convinced in my heart that He would say no yet again. Finally - a short while before we got the results - I had one of those epiphany-type conversations with God. It was one of those moments where what you know to be true in your head finally bridges the gap to your heart, and you get a glimpse of God's face.

I grew up in an emotionally (and sometimes physically) abusive situation. I was taught at an early age that good things (or sometimes just the absence of bad things) are born of good behavior, and I began to see the world as a giant merry-go-round of cause and effect. If you asked me, I could define grace and mercy, and list out well-rounded arguments for how salvation is a gift flowing from God's grace, and we can never do anything to earn it. But yet, I was startled to realize that I had put God into a one-size-fits-all, black-and-white, tiny box: somehow I thought I did not deserve a baby (because spiritually I'd become so disillusioned and distant from God), and therefore He would not allow me to get pregnant.

It wasn't a conscious thought; it was a perfidious shadow underlying my thinking and slipping between my heart and God's. But once I saw it for what it was, I put it all out on the table and brought it into the light. I told God that sometimes it doesn't feel like He is good, and that sometimes I have trouble believing that He really does have a plan for me. I told Him that I knew I'd been disobedient and had run the other way when I'd needed Him most. And then I asked Him, in His mercy and love, to grant what I didn't deserve.

And He did. I don't know why. But I am learning that He is good, even when His version of "good" doesn't line up with the vision I have. I am so very near-sighted, and all I can see is today. Truthfully I probably spend more time looking backward than forward, and that too is silliness. But I am so grateful that I serve a God who overlooks my silliness, and loves me despite it.

Over the Top

I've been tagged with the Over the Top Award!! Many thanks to Serendipity over at Exploring Chaos for thinking of me (along with a very sincere apology for not getting this posted sooner).

Here are the rules:
USE ONLY ONE WORD! It’s not as easy as you might think. Copy and change the answers to suit yourself and pass it on. It’s really hard to use only one-word answers so try your best.

Once you’re done tag 6 other bloggers and let them know that you think they are ‘Over the Top’!

» Where is your cell phone? Table
» Your hair? Messy
» Your mother? Loving
» Your father? Insane
» Your favourite food? Chocolate
» Your dream last night? Vivid
» Your favourite drink? Kombucha
» Your dream/goal? Baby :)
» What room are you in? Dining
» Your hobby? Reading
» Your fear? Miscarriage
» Where do you want to be in 6 years? SAHM (does an acronym count as one word?)
» Where were you last night? Couch
» Something that you aren’t? Spontaneous
» Muffins? Blueberry
» Wish list item? House
» Where did you grow up? Globally
» Last thing you did? Eat
» What are you wearing? Sweats
» Your TV? Eyesore
» Your pets? Cuddly
» Friends? Amazing
» Your life? Good
» Your mood? Sleepy
» Missing someone? Yes
» Vehicle? Accord
» Something you’re not wearing? Bra :)
» Your favourite store? Bookstore
» Your favourite colour? Green
» When was the last time you laughed? Today
» Last time you cried? Yesterday
» Your best friend? C!!!
» One place that you go to over and over? Library
» One person who emails you regularly? Aunt
» Favourite place to eat? Kobe

I tag:

Mary at Threefold Blessings
Amber at The Pattersons
Tammy at Tammy's Journey
Hillary at Making Me Mom
Peaches at Diary of a Stork Stalker
Kim at Thoughts by Kim

Monday, November 9, 2009


*sneaks furtively over to table and steals laptop*

Hello blog-world!! I have been laying low lately (literally), due in part to a resurgence of OHSS symptoms as well as a plot on the part of my husband to keep me from obsessively checking with Dr. Google about every little possible pregnancy sign. I think the last straw for him was when I could see my stomach rippling in sync with my heartbeat and started googling that. (Little did he know how much I was using my phone on the sly to perfect my google-fu. Ha!)

I made it in to work for a little bit today, and it felt good to be up and around. Of course, the picture-perfect autumn day helped. "Unseasonably warm" has to be one of my favorite phrases! But the rest of the day will have to be enjoyed through the window, because I have retreated back to the couch. There is now a Jennifer-sized divet permanently etched into the cushions, I fear.

For such a beautiful day, it started off a little sketchy - I woke up around 3 AM with stabbing pains in my stomach and shortness of breath. And when I went in for my lab work (dehydrated due to the aforementioned stomach ickiness), it took two people to finally tap a vein. Those little buggers must know when the needles are coming for them, because they ALWAYS roll. Evasive manuevers, I guess.

I tried to have a "normal" day, and not to stare at the clock too much while waiting for my beta results. (Yeah, right...) I read, I cried, I prayed (who am I kidding, it was straight-out begging), and when the phone finally rang, I could barely answer it. The nurse on the other end (the one who hadn't been able to get the vein this morning) asked me how I was, in the sort of soft, sympathetic voice that you don't really want to hear. I told her that I was doing my best impression of a calm, non-neurotic person, but that I was failing miserably at it. She laughed and said that I had every reason to be excited if I wanted to, because my beta was 172!!!!!! So apparently, the OHSS symptoms that have returned with a vengeance are a good sign. My next beta is Wednesday morning, and if the number has increased appropriately, we will schedule our first ultra-sound for about two weeks out. (For those of you who know me in real life or on Facebook, we aren't telling a lot of people yet - at least until after the next beta, and maybe longer. I've learned from too many others that a nice beta number does not always equal a full-term pregnancy, and I don't want to learn the art of untelling.)

I am in shock. Part of me feels like this is a dream, and I'm going to wake up at any time and it will all be over. I realize as I type this that I had stopped believing that this day would come. Part of me is so, so blissfully happy - for C especially. He is excited beyond words. But another part of me feels so...unworthy. I have so many sweet, lovely friends who really deserve this, and who have been through so much heartache. It is so unfair.

Hannah prayed:
My heart rejoices in the LORD;
my horn is lifted up by the LORD.

~ I Samuel 2:1a

There is no one holy like the LORD.
There is no one besides You!
And there is no rock like our God.

~ I Samuel 2:2

He raises the poor from the dust
and lifts the needy from the garbage pile.
He seats them with noblemen
and gives them a throne of honor.
For the foundations of the earth are the LORD's;
He has set the world on them.

~ I Samuel 2:8

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Transfer Update & Vindication

Here they are!! My precious little miracles. The transfer yesterday went amazingly well!! Dr. No-Bull was out of town, so the doctor on call did our procedure. Seriously, this guy had the gentlest, most compassionate bedside manner of any doctor I've ever met. I barely felt anything (with my ovaries still being larger than grapefruits, I figure he gets a gold star for that). The two-hour car ride up and back was another matter - turns out that part of our problem with the PIO shots is that the nurse only drew one circle, which was too small and too low. So instead of giving the shots in my hip, we've been giving them directly in my butt muscles. No wonder I haven't been able to move much! The IVF coordinator drew new circles (one for each side this time), and last night's shot went so much better. I've also been icing prior to the shot, and having C massage it afterward, which helps. (Of course, using a base that I'm not allergic to also has a nice effect!)

In addition to the two hatching blasts we transferred yesterday, we had five more blasts to freeze. All in all we only lost three. The embryologist seemed really excited about our embryo quality; I can't remember the chances for twins but we have a 50% chance for a singleton pregnancy.

I had this vision in my head of what my bed rest would be: me and my mom hanging out on the couch, snacking and watching funny videos. It has not been like that at all. (**Warning: TMI ahead.**) On Friday, I told the IVF coordinator that I had started having to strain to go to the bathroom. She told me to take Peri-Colace, which I did. It didn't do anything, so I took more on Saturday (transfer day). Last night, I had the worst intestinal cramping; it was horrible. Then, on top of everything else, my stomach started feeling hard and I was having trouble breathing deeply. This has been happening a lot in the evening. Suffice to say it was a looooong night. I was convinced that I had hurt my precious little embryos, until C finally called the IVF coordinator this afternoon. She said it was good that everything happened the way it did: the embryos haven't started to implant yet, so I didn't hurt them, and it's better that I was able to clear my bowels than having to strain during implantation.

She also said something that made me feel a lot better, in an emotional sense: she said that they have been very surprised that I have done as well as I have, and that they were expecting my OHSS to be more severe. She also explained that I will feel worse in the evening, which is when the nausea and breathing issues have been most difficult. So, in a sick and backwards way, I feel vindicated. I've been trying not to whine, but I really do not feel well at all, and it's kind of nice to know that I'm not just being a baby.

BUT SPEAKING OF BABIES!! There are two precious little embryos inside me RIGHT NOW! And I am amazed. Please, Father, protect them and keep them safe and growing and allow them to burrow in deep!!