Z is for Zoloft

My OB won’t re-prescribe me Zoloft. I should have re-arranged the situation throughout the last year and found a doctor through my secondary insurance who would keep the Zoloft coming. I plan to drop my primary insurance and stick with my husband’s when the new year arrives.

I sought care from this particular OB through my secondary insurance because I preferred their practice during my pregnancy. Prior to experiencing the most blissful, most nauseating six months of my life, I was on Lexapro—prescribed to me from my primary insurance.

I chose to stop taking my antidepressant during my pregnancy but was prepared to re-start a medication after giving birth. It was a logistical fail because instead of coordinating with my primary doctor to re-start medication, my OB sat on my hospital bed and wrote me a script for Zoloft the day after my baby died.

Having double insurance coverage has been a bit of a shit show for me.

I have two pills left, and now I have to find a new doctor, take time away from work to visit the doctor, and basically just waste more of my time because my OB won’t re-prescribe this medication.

This is the stuff that irritates me. I hate wasting time … I already know what needs to be done. I just need my Zoloft. Give me my Zoloft.

I know there are processes and procedures to be followed, and I can appreciate that. But sometimes, I don’t need counsel or help—sometimes I just need my Zoloft.

One year ago, I was living life as a NICU mom. I’d awake and do my work for the day. My work included exercising and any chores I’d committed myself to for the day. I’d *get ready for the NICU and be on my way. Somewhere in between taking a shower and driving to the hospital, I received calls from a social worker. Her job was to make sure I was okay.

“Do you think you’re suffering from post-partum depression?”

“Well, my baby died two weeks ago, and my other baby is in the NICU. I’m taking an antidepressant; I’ll figure it out.”

My goal was to get off the phone as soon as possible.

So—Zoloft—let’s make this quick and easy. Find doctor. Make appointment. Drive to doctor office. Sit in waiting room. Get vitals checked, **which never goes well. Talk to doctor. Get prescription. Go to pharmacy.

My biggest fear is that this process is going to waste too much of my time. But I have to do it because I need my Zoloft.

*Bathe. Hair looks like a bees’ nest. No make-up. Old leggings. Major Ugg-boot sag. Holey shirt with leaky boob stains.

**I wish the nurses would take my blood pressure under my direction or just not at all. There’s always this rush to slap the cuff on and get a reading. My readings are always appalling under these circumstances, and then it becomes “a thing”. I have to excuse my blood pressure’s bad behavior and convince the doctor—and myself—that I’m actually okay because I check it obsessively.

Unfinished

6.12.14

My booboo babies, I remember when I first started to feel your presence.

And now you look like little, precious humans. You have blessed me! You have brought me so much joy!

Your daddy says I am lighter now. He says that he doesn’t have to carry so much of my burden anymore; he can let his mind wander and question the world just like he always has. He finds it entertaining! I would have to disagree.

You have a good daddy. He does little things here and there for Mommy that just melts my heart—makes my day a little bit easier.

I am so happy you’re finally here. I knew you would bring me happiness. I can’t believe I get to feel this every day.

1.9.15

There’s very little significance associated with today …

… except that it is the ninth of the month.

I just hope she didn’t suffer. I hope she didn’t suffer in my womb. I hope Jesus numbed her discomfort in Room 15.

1.28.15

It’s a blessing to just be … after three years of infertility.

This winter I am not preparing for an IVF cycle. My first began two years ago.

My mother remarked how nice it must be to come home from work and spend time with our daughter … our baby.

No shots. No meds. No IVF.

We’re in family mode now—not at a stand-still. Our life isn’t on hold anymore. Our dreams have come true. Our hearts ache too, but for a very good *reason—she’s worth it.

I still hurt, and **it still stings—but the weight is gone. The heaviness is lifted.

After all the times I asked God, “When is this going to be over?”

I just want this to be over.

It’s over—done. I’m living it now. I’m living now.

It’s quite simple actually. *blessed*

*Emmanuelle

**infertility

Joy wakes me up in the middle of the night—because she’s hungry and is ready for her “diddy” to be changed. She eats well now—rarely turns blue.

Joy welcomes me in the morning and rests with her daddy while I go running. I have joy when I run—she’s mine; I no longer just daydream about her.

My running is going well; four mornings per week, I log some miles. Pumping is a phenomenal work out. *wink* I’ve reached my pre-pregnancy weight; in fact, I’m about five pounds lighter. *confident mamacita* I wear a bit more eye make-up these days; I put in a little more effort. Because I’m a mother, and it makes me feel beautiful.

Joy.

She keeps me on my toes and bursts my heart. There aren’t enough kisses. Her eyes couldn’t be more bright.

Her wardrobe is PINK. We cannot escape it; pink suits her complexion.

She talks about everything—sleeping, playing, stretching, eating—but she’s quiet too. A content little girl with those big eyes. Physically, she is very strong. And her strawberry hair grows—a head of peach fuzz after her baths.

WHICH SHE LOVES.

My little water princess for sure. She belongs in Nana’s Floridian pool.

My Papa is not well. Please, please pray for him. I want him to stay with us; he has lived a long life. I am grateful for his longevity and the memories created, but I want him to stay with us.

I pray for his comfort. I pray that he knows he is deeply loved and cherished.

My sweet Papa.

Tired

Rowan is starting to develop those fat pockets on her face … like what a full-term newborn has. Her face isn’t as emaciated as it was a few weeks ago. In fact, her entire body isn’t as thin; she’s chunking out, my sweet girl.

Her hair continues to grow, and it undeniably has a strawberry tint. We’ll see … (Thank you Daddy and Mary for giving Rowan Mommy’s hair color.)

I don’t really think about Mary anymore. Sometimes I see little things in Rowan, but mostly she resembles her daddy. Mary is beautiful, though, so it’s allll good. It doesn’t really matter, ha! I’m Rowan’s mommy without a doubt. She knows exactly who her mommy is. I thought it would be a little difficult, that I’d have to deal with my thoughts, emotions, insecurities. I worried a little about bonding with Rowan, but the Lord has been gracious.

If I had to choose, I’d choose Rowan and every block that built her. I’d choose that egg … that precious gift Mary will never understand means everything to me.

I feel like I could sleep all day. Like, it’s not normal. I’m a pretty productive, alert person. I’ve been productive: chores in the morning, NICU for the rest of the day. But I’m tired. Why am I so tired? I’m not exercising yet. I’m not going to work (I didn’t have to return so soon after all). I pump, tie up loose ends at home, and spend time with Rowie. Nothing I do is exhausting, and yet I am exhausted. I have to remind myself that it’s okay. That even if there’s no explanation in the forefront, perhaps it’s just the traumatic events of the last seven weeks. Just, ha! Maybe my body has established a new norm of recovering from sickness/surgery; mourning the loss of Emmanuelle; remaining on high alert for Rowan; producing a ton of milk. Maybe all of that is enough to make a new mom exhausted. My only concern is being able to hold Rowan for a good long while. She typically tolerates kangaroo care for at least three hours, from one care time to the next. But I can’t nap while holding her. I’m exhausted though, but I don’t want her to suffer or lose out on skin-to-skin time.

Speaking of which, let me date/time these breast milk bottles, go to the ladies’ room, and hold my baby … 2 p.m. Mommy and Rowie time.

My Freedom Order Has Shipped

2014-02-20 15.01.13 (1)

I’m one step closer out of this hell hole thanks to Freedom Fertility Pharmacy.

And! My husband’s insurance came to the rescue. We got our meds for $160-something instead of $400-something.

Ha! I guess one good thing about donor egg cycles are the “cheap” meds for the recipient … as if $30,500 to buy Mary is easy to hand over (ahem).

The birth control pills are causing this weird brownish-red discharge? I Googled it and asked my nurse about it; apparently it’s fine/normal since I’m just starting them. I’d forgotten that the last time I was on birth control pills was May 2013. So … it has been a while.

Side note: Before my endoscopy on Tuesday (which I’ll get to), I was explaining to the nurse that my surgical history includes getting a dime removed from my esophagus at the age of five and four oocyte retrievals. She then gathered my medication information which included taking birth control, and she was hellah confused. I was like, “Yea, I’m on birth control because I’m doing IVF (duh).” I’d forgotten that makes no sense to the “lay” person. Another “funny” encounter with her was when she asked if I was pregnant. (I had to take a urine pregnancy test to be sedated; they of course couldn’t take my word for it, so I pushed a few tinkles out.) So I told her no, I’m not pregnant. She said, “Great!” a little too enthusiastically. I responded with an underwhelming, “Yea,”—as you can imagine.

Okay, back to the TTC update. I’ve begun taking Folgard and Baby Aspirin to address the MTHFR C667T homozygous mutation. If you take Folgard, guess what? I chew them. They don’t taste that bad, and it’s more convenient that chopping them into eight pieces—yes eight. And! I learned today that my homocysteine levels are normal, thank you Jesus!

So, I’m expecting CD 1 next weekend-ish; hopefully I can squeeze in my wax before the bleed.

So, my endoscopy revealed that my esophagus is significantly narrow with findings suggestive of Eosinophilic Esophagitis, which is an inflammatory condition of the ’gus. The doctor basically recanted my previous diagnosis of GERD. He took a biopsy, and I imagine I’ll hear about the results soon.

2014-02-18 15.47.25

All I wanted after the procedure was a milkshake, apparently…?

Also, I was prescribed Protonix in the non-pill form. I have to mix the little beads with apple juice or sauce. Like, the actual medicine box states it can only be mixed with apple juice or sauce. I wonder why … My husband found THE best apple juice. Yum.

2014-02-18 18.27.37

So, hopefully the medication will help heal and “expand” my esophagus. I might need to see an allergist to determine what foods Gus is allergic to.

My RE and nurse are aware of the new condition. Protonix is safe for pregnancy. Score! With regard to the immune system aspect, I am already planning to take—and have taken during my last three transfers—Prednisolone, so, another Score! for that.

I can only hope, pray, wish, believe that my Freedom is—in fact—finally planning its arrival.

Another Stone Turned

I finally started my period! Today is day 2-ish. I shouldn’t say “finally” because—really—it wasn’t late or anything. My cycles are pretty long and unpredictable, so a 34-day cycle isn’t necessarily “late.”

It’s a pretty light flow so far and kind of had to rev itself up, but she’s here! I start birth control today, and my nurse will be working on and sending me the protocol today!

Guys … I have two mutations of MTHFR. What the hell?

I’d starting hearing and reading a lot about MTHFR through TTC sisters who’ve experienced miscarriages and later learned they carry MTHFR.

Part of me didn’t want to open that can of worms, but I’m determined to leave no stone unturned for this cycle. I’m done making adjustments after a BFN, and this only solidifies my approach to know everything before my baby is transferred.

My test results reveal that I could also use some Baby Aspirin. I have a weird unofficial allergy to Aspirin that I typically disclose to health providers just to be safe. It involves an Excedrin-and-exercise saga from two years ago … Yada yada yada. So I haven’t been taking Baby Aspirin, but I need to take something now. My blood clot level is 10.6; I’ve researched that it should be between 11 and 13-point-something …?

My next steps are to: get a homocysteine blood test to further evaluate the MTHFR; take a folic acid supplement and eat foods that contain a lot of folic acid along with my prenatal vitamin; await my doctor’s advice with regard to the Baby Aspirin or Lovenox; and start birth control.

Hopefully I can finally have my doctor appointment with the GI specialist tomorrow after it’s been cancelled twice. I know what I need to do; I know what foods irritate my GERD. It’s just time to put my big girl panties on and take responsibility, but I want to make sure everything is “okay” with my ’gus.

I’m kind of nervous …

Confessions of a CD 26 Monster

I’m just not in a very good mood.

It’s not that I’m walking around in a terrible mood; it’s just that topics that emotionally affect me are affecting me a lot more this week.

It’s probably because my period is starting soon. Though I’m not really sure what happens—or doesn’t happen—during my cycle, I do know that I turn into a bitch about a week before CD 1.

Would you like to know the latest? Haha.

Lately (really within the last 16 hours or so), something has been bothering me.

“It’s not over.”

“This will work out for you.”

“You’ll be pregnant soon; don’t give up.”

Well, guess what? It is over. It didn’t work out for me. I didn’t give up until there was literally nothing else to give, and … here we are.

Just because I’m using donor eggs doesn’t mean we can pretend it’s not over.

My children will not be MINE in the same way many children are their parents’. That part is over. It didn’t work out for us.

I know my journey toward building a family isn’t over. I strongly believe donor eggs will bring us pregnancy and our baby/ies. Lord knows I hope to be pregnant soon and have signed up for six donor egg cycles, so I don’t plan on giving up anytime soon.

But, stop. There is a huge part of this journey that has come to an end—forever.

We failed. I’m not ashamed of it, but it’s the truth.

Donor egg ladies, am I making any sense? Do you know what I mean? It’s okay if I’m just being CD 26-ish and need to take these words of encouragement more graciously. But, I don’t know, let’s not sugar coat it.

I’ve become used to the fact that my baby/ies will be built from Mary’s eggs. It’s my reality. I’m happy about that; relieved.

But I have approached closure regarding a pretty big issue—an issue some women spend a lot more money and time trying to be on the “good” side of.

If the world has to include a certain number of mothers who require donor eggs in order to keep spinning, I’m glad God chose me. I don’t know why, but when I really asked myself—back in June—what was most important to me, it was pregnancy; not a genetic connection.

But I’ve reached a devastating end to this road of IVF with my eggs.

So, it didn’t work; we failed; it is over.

But I will still get to be pregnant, and I will still get to be a mother.

Included in my repertoire of health conditions, I suffer from dysphagia. It’s lovely.

When I was 19 years old, I kind of realized that, “No? Food doesn’t get stick in your throat all the time too?”

It could take up to an hour for me to eat a Chipotle burrito. Meat, pastas, chips, just a certain texture of food would get lodged in my esophagus. Drinking water didn’t help because the food was going to “go down” on its own time.

Anyway, I went to the doctor and was diagnosed with gastro esophageal reflux disorder. He instructed me to chug this highly carbonated liquid then flipped me upside down; my esophagus clearly displayed an acid reflux condition on the x-ray machine. He prescribed Prilosec, and I’ve taken it every day since.

I still struggle with dysphagia. Sure, I struggle with acid reflux a bit, but not really. I’m not sure the Prilosec addresses the food-stuck-in-my-throat situation. Of course, my diet plays a big role into how easy (or difficult) it can be to swallow food.

So, let me explain: Sometimes I swallow food, and it remains stuck at the very top of my esophagus. It hurts, but it’s mostly claustrophobic. People suggest I take a sip of water. The sensation I feel tells me that drinking anything to “wash it down” won’t help—rather it will hurt the situation. Three months ago I was snacking on nachos with my parents and husband at a restaurant. I wasn’t paying as close attention to my dysphagia as I should have been (I’m the slowest eater of all time). I was talking and eating too quickly. I took a sip of beer; when I swallowed, the liquid just fizzled on top of the food in my esophagus. I wasn’t exactly choking, but it was urgent. It scared the hell out of my parents and husband. See, I usually don’t wash food down once I feel the “stuck” sensation. I get anxious and try to let it go down on its own. BUT THERE’S NOTHING I CAN DO ABOUT IT. Sometimes it takes seconds, a few minutes; sometimes it takes 20 minutes—literally. It really sucks. This happens AT LEAST once a week.

I have to eat very slowly, and I have to sit in a particular way so my throat is as straight and upright as possible. Often times there’s nothing I can do about it.

I’m one of those women who claims she can’t swallow pills. Family and friends used to constantly tell me it was just in my head. But I seriously CANNOT swallow pills. A few of them have witnessed some of my episodes and now understand—SHE CAN’T SWALLOW PILLS.

My father suffers from this weird condition as well. I get anxious whenever we eat together. I act like his mother and tell him to eat carefully. It’s scary when it happens to him because I know what he’s going through. I hate it.

Last week I was eating dinner at home alone. My husband was out running. It happened , and it was a “bad one.” I actually put my shoes on and prepared to go outside in case I needed to find a stranger to offer moral support or the Heimlich. Again—it’s not like I’m actually choking, but when the food won’t go down, where the hell else is it supposed to go? Thankfully, it went down.

I texted my dad and asked him about this esophageal dilation procedure he had done after experiencing a REALLY bad episode of food-stuck-in-throat. I’d begged him to go to the doctor because this particular episode scared the absolute fuck out of me.

He told me he couldn’t really feel a difference after the procedure.

I made an appointment with the doctor and mentioned my wish to have this procedure done. I don’t know what advice the doctor will offer. I guess it would be nice for him to “take a look” at everything anyway.

It’s probably scar tissue because I swallowed a dime when I was five years old and had to have surgery to get it removed. It’s also probably hereditary. I don’t know.

I always worry these things are you-know-what or will lead to you-know-what. It causes me great anxiety. My husband reminds me that I would have been dead by now if it were.

Wish me luck.

Happy chewing.

The Idiosyncrasies of a Sister Mary Elephant

I have a lot of hair on my head. It’s super thick and curly.

But, as explained in my answer to question #2 here, I have light—in color and texture—body hair. But I still hate body hair. (I don’t hate it in general; I just hate the way it feels on me. And—NO—hairless men are NOT sexy. I like my burly, bearded men.) I think because I was blessed with light hair, I have higher expectations with regard to my bodily hairiness. I don’t know.

You probably always wanted to know this about me, huh?

What I’d like to share with you as that when I was on Lupron for 60 days, along with the headaches and hotflashes, I noticed that my body hair was even more thin than it already is naturally. I usually shave every three days or so; during my menopause, there was nothing really to shave.

It was fantastic. Today, I’m not loving the current status of my body hair. I just took a shower after my run and cringed at the touch of my armpits and legs … but I’ll just shave tomorrow morning in celebration of the work week.

Those who’ve been on Lupron, did you experience this with your body hair too?

I’m kind of a crazy person when I run. Like, creepy crazy. I zone out and start contemplating the meaning of life infertility with myself. Me, myself, and I have really great discussions during my runs. Again, I’m weird; I know.

Today we talked about how crazy it is that one phone call filled with some standard information (at least in the infertility world) turned into this mess.

I was supposed to take Clomid for two or three months and become pregnant. It was supposed to be that easy. My doctor had all the confidence in the world that this 23-year-old patient sitting in front of her with all the doubt and fear in the world would be visiting her soon with a baby on board.

Nope.

I’m quite proud of my body and it’s last menstrual cycle. There was actually something to shed. I don’t know if the first cycle post IVF is supposed to be heavy, light, long, short, painful, painless … but mine was mild in pain and heavy for me. It seemed normal. It was probably even tampon-worthy. (I don’t wear tampons because my periods aren’t heavy enough, and the thought of pulling out a semi-saturated tampon is kind of like nails on a chalkboard for me.)

Me, myself, and I discussed the fact that I probably should have known better as a late teen/early 20-something-year-old woman. But—then again—how could I have known any better? It’s obvious NOTHING was happening with regard to my cycle. I didn’t know cycles were actually supposed to be like clockwork … or at least predictable.

Of course, I didn’t want to be a teenage mother or anything; but, later on in life, I started to wonder why I hadn’t “accidentally” become pregnant.

Of course, after my wedding when I schemed sex every other day on CDs 10 through 20, it was a shot in the dark. “Oh I have no idea if I’m ovulating, but I’m supposed to be, right? So, let’s go ahead and do it.” I didn’t need OPKs or to monitor my temperature; it was obvious NOTHING was happening. Of course, I didn’t know nothing was happening because nothing was all I’d ever known.

Relaxed or not, a 23- and 24-year-old should fall pregnant when they do it every other day for two weeks.

I remember that June, my parents visited for the weekend. We were enjoying each other’s company on the beach and discussing a friend’s desire for children. It was obvious this friend and her spouse were having trouble conceiving. My father sarcastically asked, “Well, are they having sex?” As if it’s that easy. That was the first moment I thought about telling my parents … but I didn’t.

Instead, I was tipsy from margaritas enjoying their company at the beach again over that Labor Day weekend. My little brother called my mom; as they were talking, her countenance changed. I knew what was coming. He told her he was going to have a baby.

I lost it.

I got up and walked toward the boardwalk. My husband rushed after me, and I let it out. Apparently there were onlookers who pulled out their phones to record the shit show … At least that’s what my husband told me. Well, fuck them; go ahead and record what infertility looks like on your iPhone.

At this point, I had to tell my parents what was going on. I wanted to tell them too. I WANTED TO TELL SOMEONE. I was worried they’d think we were ridiculous. “You want to have a baby in the middle of law school?” Instead, my mother said, “So, in October you’re starting that medication to make you ovulate? Good. Don’t wait.” She wasn’t effing around, and neither was I.

*My father has an interesting sense of humor. You either get it or you don’t. I happen to think he’s absolutely ridiculous and hilarious. I am 5’0″; you can imagine I was a very small baby. My parents compared my size to that of a kitty cat. Because of my size, my father nicknamed me Sister Mary Elephant. I think he was being ironic.

Her

I was at the 2.5-mile mark this morning, and it hit me.

Her name.

I am kind of insane and have a never-ending physical checklist—as well as a mental one. Let’s get real: I couldn’t forget about the shit that needs to get done if I tried.

But sometimes I get overwhelmed. I carry my undone tasks from work home—not physically, just as a metaphorical monkey on my back. Then I have my “life over there” tasks, as well as other stuff. You know what I mean. The little tasks (even fun ones) pile up and overwhelm me. There are huge “tasks” like choosing our donor, and little tasks like what font I want my first tattoo to be.

But the list grows, and I shut down.

My run this morning couldn’t have been more necessary. Usually I force myself out the door four or five mornings each week for about 5.5 miles so I feel like I at least accomplished something for the day. The less I run, the grosser I feel. Ha! I just have to check it off my list.

I might be from Colorado, but exercise is a chore for me too. I don’t necessarily think exercise is pure fun … but it is always worth it. That’s why I keep up with it. Fun for me? Food, drink, card games, family, friends. That’s beside the point, though.

The point is that I woke up and made myself run this morning … and didn’t expect some of this “weight” to be lifted. It was a pleasant surprise.

And as I reached the top of the gradual hill, about .25 miles from my turn-around point, it just happened … and it’s so meant to be.

Her name is Mary.

This is a tribute to my Nurse Mary; it’s a beautiful, traditional, feminine, motherly name; it’s the name we’ve chosen for her.

*** Two hours later: I found Mary. Actually, my husband found Mary. She’s ours. I didn’t think it would happen this fast. She’s perfect. Every page of her profile is perfect. ***

A Lot of Feelings and Stuff

People my age are getting married.

I am having a text conversation right now with one of my college roommates. She’s a sweetheart and asked how “everything” is going. Don’t you love that question? “How are you. How’s everything going?” I mean—we all know what these people are really asking. “Are you pregnant yet? No? How bad is it?”

We are talking about summer plans. (Mine: None.) She’s going to a wedding every month from April to August. I’ve only been to two since I got married. I love weddings! I want to go to more. Some of the girls who are getting married are mutual friends/former teammates of ours.

Weddings are so wonderful. There’s chaos and drama, sure. But—they are just so happy. Who doesn’t love a wedding? Who doesn’t love what it represents? I don’t know; I love them. I feel genuinely happy for whomever I know is getting married.

Right now my friend and I are discussing if/when her boyfriend might pop the question. I’m thinking all the upcoming weddings will give him the itch. It’s like I’m 21 again. It’s a refreshing feeling.

I can’t help but worry, though, for these girls. I know that is such a shitty attitude. Like, seriously? Buzz kill. But will their wedding day just be the start of an infertility journey? Yikes. Okay, let’s get real: If they get knocked up before I do, screw ’em, right? 😉

To me, weddings are kind of bittersweet. Or at least the memory of mine is.

You don’t prepare for these kinds of things. You just don’t plan for it all.

My boss has been bugging me about what I want to do when I grow up for six months now. I nearly broke down in tears in his office—on Monday morning at 9 a.m.—because he told me how valuable I am, how much potential I have, how he wants to support my career the best way he can. He wants me to send me off into this epic career—but clone me before I go; that’s how much they believe in me and need me. And all I had to say, all I was thinking was: I don’t have time or effort to plan my career when my life “over there” is a mess. My philosophy is to kick ass at my job, but keep it simple because I can’t keep “that stuff over there” simple. I don’t know when CD1 will arrive (speaking of which, I’m on CD34 today and no sign, but do I ever have signs?); I don’t know when my trigger will be, my retrieval, my transfer; I don’t know if/when/where/how my doctor or social worker or whomever will want to meet with me. Ugh, I have to remain flexible, so tell me what you want me to do and when it’s due, and I’ll do it.

And not only do I not have the time, but: What do I want to be when I grow up? A mother!!! That’s all I want; that’s all I’ve wanted.

And—I’ve been a shitty dog owner to Sarabi. I mean, I guess I’ve done kind of the best I can, but here’s the combination we’re working with: a petite woman with generalized anxiety disorder and a non-petite, muscular, protective, dominating Boerboel—who might also have anxiety … not that my anxiety is spilling over, surely. 😉 I don’t know if I just can’t be dominant, am not trying hard enough, or she just can’t fathom the ridiculous idea.

Or maybe it’s that I’ve buried the issue because I just can’t deal with it. Okay, I can deal with it but don’t want to. She’s fine; she’s perfect; she listens to me; I can control her if I want to; bluh, bluh, bluh. I could do that if I could do that. I could stop smoking or drinking or eating junk or having premarital sex if I wanted to … bluh bluh bluh.

I know I’ve been a disappointment as her mother. I know my husband is a little disappointed in me. I love that “little” girl so much, but how much can I carry? The day I found out my FET failed (way back in April 2013), we were dealing with a baby girl who was developing quite the attitude, was sick, and ate my husband’s enchilada for dinner. I mean, sue me. I surrender: I can’t do it all.

My husband and I hold each other to high standards. Everybody’s got to pull their own weight around here. I like that he challenges me, but it hurts when I fail. It’s a blow to my ego for sure. I want to excel and please my loved ones (especially him). Lord knows he likes to be challenged. But, sometimes I’m human. Sometimes I just forget or bury issues. Sometimes I’m a shitty mother to my sweet Sarabi.

My home is picked up and reasonably clean. Meals are prepared or at least purchased and organized for the week. Dry cleaning is taken care of. Recommended exercise is kind of sort of accomplished most of the time. I bring home a big girl paycheck. I’m not Super Woman or anything. I don’t need kudos for emptying the damn dishwasher in the morning. But it adds up, you know?

I don’t do everything, but I do a lot. I get through each day—just trudge on through—when all I really want to accomplish is so far out of reach right now.

Is that an excuse, though, for when I screw up? Is it NOT an excuse, and rather just plain legitimate? Or, should I know better? I feel like it’s an excuse; I feel like anything is only worth “doing” if you give it 110%. It’s my own fault. Maybe when I get (pardon me) butt hurt after being criticized, it’s not that I’d prefer a more gracious delivery of the criticism; maybe my ego is just getting in the way, and I need to deal with the fact that I’m not perfect. And, yea, when you screw up, people get upset or annoyed or whatever because you screwed up, and maybe—just maybe—they’re not perfect either.

And then I also am feeling annoying and clingy and awkward and stupid and a little bit fat … for various reasons.

Update on my “life over there”: Well … We had our consultation with the financial coordinator, so that’s special. We have all our blood work done. Next Tuesday we will meet with a social worker who will cram it down my throat to recommend I tell my babies that I’m not their real mother—even though I was already planning to. Why not give them even more ammo for when they’re teenagers? I’ll have a mock embryo transfer sometime between CD5 and CD12—even though I’ve had one mock and five real ones. No biggie. Then, I’ll have a follow-up with my doctor to talk about everything involving my “life over there.”

Aaaand I’m hoping that someday soon my Baby Fund in YNAB will hit $10,000 so we can get this party started. The good news is that we’re at $6,000 already!

And no, this isn’t going to just cost $10,000.

Debt? I’mma just bury it—just shove it way. down. there.

Another Sunshine Award!

The Lovely Candace over at The Loveliest Way nominated me for the SUNSHINE AWARD!

After reading many of Candace’s posts—and my heart breaking for her—I have drawn a conclusion that Candace is a beautiful lady filled with hope, faith, peace, love. I HATE that these beautiful—inside and out—women I’ve “met” endure SUCH struggle, but thank Jesus for those TTC sisters who exude calmness and stillness and peacefulness. Candace seems like one of those women. 🙂

So, here are the questions she asked me:

1. Do you prefer savory or sweet for breakfast?

I prefer both, actually! I love me a combination of eggs, sausage, etc. with a side of French toast or chocolate chip pancakes. I have a naughty sweet tooth but also need the savory goodness.

2. What is a beauty product you simply cannot live without?

I have two answers for this based on a. beauty products in general or b. specifically makeup. So, I shall share my must-haves for both.

I am a ginger and don’t have dark or super coarse body hair. I imagine that’s a blessing. But, I still hate being super hairy (even though I only shave my upper legs approximately five times a year … maybe …?). Now, I hate having hairy armpits and legs, but I HATE being hairy down there … I get Brazilians every six weeks; haven’t shaved in six years! So, I absolutely could not live without proper hair removal products.

In terms of makeup (and even the hair thing trumps this), I guess I couldn’t live without foundation. Though I’d like eye makeup because—again—I’m a ginger, it’s most important to me to have a clean complexion.

3. Complete the sentence: I wish I had more time for …

… my real life…? Sometimes I feel overwhelmed by the idea that I spend 40 hours of my life each week at a desk. I mean, that’s life. Everyone has to work. But when I don’t care about have a five- or ten-year career plan or goal—and all I want is to be a mother—it’s just daunting to know that sitting at a desk takes up a pretty large chunk of my life and time. I do—however—feel called to continue working when I am a mother … my life would just be more fulfilling if I were finally a mother. I mean, work just isn’t much of a consolation when suffering from infertility. And don’t you guys feel like infertility treatment is a full-time job at times?! Geesh.

4. What is the last book you read?

I started reading Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn about a month ago but just couldn’t get that into it. The last full book I read was Where We Belong by Emily Giffin. I read this book in less than two days because I was having a weekend-long anxiety/depression episode back in March. Great book; shitty reminder of that particular weekend. In case you’re wondering, I LOVE Emily Giffin and Jennifer Weiner. Chick Lit all the way; I’m not ashamed!

5. Which do you prefer: a live or fake Christmas tree?

In my heart, I love the idea of a real Christmas tree. In all reality, though, fake trees are way more convenient for me and are probably what I’m going to stick to for many Christmas holidays to come.

6. What is your favorite Christmas carol?

This is a tough question! I can tell you my least favorite: Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree (particularly when it’s sung [whined] by Jessica Simpson, yuck). But my favorite? There’s something beautiful and unique about Carol of the Bells. This is such a hard question though! There are sooo many good Christmas carols!

7. If you could own a home anywhere, where would it be?

Gosh … I’m not much of a places person as I am a “home is where the heart is” person. If I had to choose, I’d like to own a home in North or South Carolina. I’ve always loved the “culture” of southern east coast beaches. I was reminded of this over the Thanksgiving holiday when we went to the Outer Banks, NC with family friends. Have you ever seen the movie Nights in Rodanthe? It was filmed in the Outer Banks; such a wonderful place. 🙂

8. Which do you like better: gold or silver?

Gold. I think it suits me better than silver.

9. If you were a flower, what flower would you be?

The flower I walked down the aisle with. I had a beautiful bouquet of the deepest of deep red roses. Oh, so beautiful. Classic, simple, yet very bold.

10. What is your favorite book of the Bible?

I haven’t studied the Bible enough to have a favorite book. Though I do admire the stories of Esther, Job, Joseph, Ruth—stories of forgiveness, brokenness, and inner feminine strength/determination.

11. What is something you’re holding to or remembering this Christmas season?

I am not alone. Physically, I will be with my family in my husband’s and my childhood hometown (Colorado Springs, CO). That smell of my home and of packages my mother sends me. My own bed in my room filled with childhood things and yearbooks and my wedding dress hanging in the closet. Waking up and talking with my mama for hours about all kinds of things—stupid things like the Desperate Housewives of Wherever. Giving my daddy an unlimited number of hugs. Feeling outnumbered and like a kid again surrounded by my three brothers.

In my heart, I’m also not alone. Unfortunately, I do not carry this burden alone this Christmas season—another Christmas season. I have a hole in my heart, a void in my life, a burden on my shoulders, but my TTC sisters are helping me carry mine as I hope I am helping them carry theirs.

What I’m holding onto this December is that I’m not alone.

I would like to nominate the following ladies for the Sunshine Award. I’m so excited to read your answers!!!

My questions for you:

  1. What was your favorite year in school (grades 6 through 12), and why?
  2. What was your least favorite year in school (grades 6 through 12), and why?
  3. If you could choose any profession (no matter the education and intelligence), what would it be?
  4. Can you please post five of your wedding photos? I LOVE WEDDINGS!
  5. What is your favorite sport and why?
  6. To date, what’s the most meaningful “thing” you’ve learned about life?
  7. Who are your favorite musical artists/groups? Favorite musical genres? Songs?
  8. Who are the most beautiful celebrities in your opinion, and why?
  9. Have you found any hidden gems on Netflix, and what are they?
  10. Where should we have a TTC sisters trip? Vegas? Quebec? The beach? The mountains?