The Latest Happenings

We’ve used our carpet cleaner several times this week.

This week has been a struggle—just everyday life challenges; nothing emotionally difficult (thank Jesus).

It’s all about perspective.

Well … my emotions have been a bit on edge this week. I cannot lie. Our darling Rowan has an ear infection and mild wheezing. Save for the word “infection” that has plagued by beautiful munchkin, the wheezing is what really scares the heck out of me. My head understands what my preemie mother heart can’t understand: She. will. be. okay. I’ve been sleeping in her room on a “bed” made of couch cushions. My neck and shoulders feel tight, but hearing her breathe wheeze-free helps my heart understand the reality of the situation—that she is a sick booboo who is being treated and will get better.

Sarabi has been a little sick too. So, the carpet cleaner has encountered vomit of differing varieties—and has encountered “the vom” on a daily basis.

Oh, and ants have been haunting my mental stability and attacking my kitchen!

I am very thankful—though—that if these “issues” were destined to occur, 1. my husband’s business trip occurred last week, and 2. I no longer have to spend 40 hours every week dealing with this.

Instead, I have my companion enduring this week with me, and a boss who’s let me leave work early, work from home—even pour my heart out to him about how terrifying Rowan’s sickness is for my heart given my family’s “history”.

Do you know what I like about this boss? Some of the first words he said to me when I began my transition back to work were: “I’m sorry to hear about the loss of Rowan’s sister.” When I reference how small Rowan is, he matter-of-factly says: “Well, she’s a twin. Twins are small and sometimes need more time.” I mean—yea—her body is that of a six month-old, but the point is that he recognizes Emmanuelle’s existence, and he’s sincere.

The culture in this particular part of our blessed country can be a bit … harsh. Often times, people just don’t give a shit. Sometimes it seems like there’s only one thing on everyone’s mind: the money. It’s nice when we can act like humans and talk about and recognize what really matters.

I can believe that Rowan is nine months old. I can’t believe I’m starting to plan her first birthday party, though.

Rowan is nine months and 15 days old. She weighs a whopping 14 pounds and 10 ounces. She is healthy, and she is growing. We are all different shapes and sizes, and I pray my next statement does not hurt any mothers—especially mommies with preemies. But I must admit that I think her percentiles on the infant growth chart are absolutely precious. Her pediatrician tracks her chronological versus adjusted age, and here are my princess’ stats: 5th percentile for weight; 5-10th percentile for head circumference; and 2nd percentile for height. I’ll tell ya what: Her beautifully shaped head is BIG (for her body), though she’s growing into it. And her petite-ness is just so fitting; I am 5’0”, and Mary is 5’3”.

Rowan is tiny, but she is strong. Her spirit is strong, and—physically—she’s got some power!

Rowan’s birthday is on a Thursday. I have begun brainstorming ideas for her birthday party, and there are several dilemmas.

Though I would like to host a birthday party for her on October 8, I don’t know how many people would be able to attend. And the point is for people to be there. I owe it to Rowan to plan this special event on not-a-Thursday.

Friday is a better day than a Thursday. But Friday is … Friday. In my heart, I don’t believe Emmanuelle will be dishonored. As Emmanuelle’s mother, the idea of celebrating Rowan does not dishonor my angel. In fact, a dear family friend made a very profound statement to my mom and me a few weeks ago regarding October 9. You may know that October 9 is my birthday; I do not care that Emmanuelle went to heaven on my birthday. What I care about is that Emmanuelle went to heaven when she was 20 hours old—and that she’s in heaven and not with me. More than anything, I thought it was just “mean” of God. I don’t care because I don’t; my mama says, “Well, I care.” A mother is a mother is a mother; God bless our tender hearts. Our friend shared something beautiful with us, though. She said that perhaps God gave Emmanuelle and me that day to be ours. October 9 is our special day—for just us two. And it holds a lot. It holds a whole lot.

Secondarily, October 9 is the birthday of one of our nephews whom we intend to invite and hope will attend—along with his family. He and his family will likely want to spend the day celebrating his birthday. 🙂

So, Friday just won’t do.

Next we have Saturday and Sunday. I have a *friend whose first dose of motherhood has been heartbreakingly, nearly identical to mine, and Saturday nor Sunday are the best days. I will extend the invitation to them, but I don’t think they will be able to attend.

You see: dilemmas.

I have a social life now. I have friends whom I spend fun, quality time with. My weekends are packed. I was lonely for a long, long time. I literally did not have friends to “hang out with”. But now I do.

I have a social life because my babies were born at 28 weeks gestation.

My friends are beautiful people—inside and out. They are becoming some of my best friends—these NICU nurses and *mothers.

I don’t always understand God’s plan. This journey He’s given me sure does have some low lows. It often times seem very unfair and unjustified.

But He does give. I try to hold onto that as best as I can.

When daughters die and health is compromised; when families unravel and people are hurtful—I have to hold onto the good, good things.

I have my baby.

And now I have friends. I have some really good friends.

When’s your due date? January 2.

I’m a chump for the holidays. I get caught up in all the joy and fun.

There’s just something so magical about it all, isn’t there?

I typically experience the after-holiday blues around this time. It’s childish, I know. But I just can’t help myself.

Today is Rowan and Emmanuelle’s due date. Happy due date my darling daughters. Rowan is enjoying her day with Mommy and Sarabi in her baby pink onesie. She graciously accompanied me to Starbucks this morning. I snuggled her in our Sakura Bloom sling. It was magical. Show off my baby? Don’t mind if I do. No doubt, my baby Emmanuelle is enjoying her due date with our Heavenly Father. I love you Emme. What color onesie shall I imagine you in while you sit on Jesus’ lap? Grandma would know; she’s good with that stuff. Perhaps an ivory-colored onesie with some feminine flare. You are my brunette baby with a darker complexion; you would look like a beauty among the angels.

January 2: The end of the holidays. I remember 2012 … Shortly after the New Year’s holiday, it was time to move on with “normal” life. We were in the depths of our infertility journey, and I’d welcomed the holidays as pain medication for my aching heart. Little did I know, we would spend 2012 and 2013 child-less. I woke up one Monday morning – dark and cold – and my heart just ached. It just hurt so bad. My pain medication was gone; there were no more distractions. There certainly wasn’t a baby. My heart hurt that morning, but I bundled up and went for my run – passing Belle Haven Drive along the way.

I remember. I will always remember. And I am so thankful it’s over. I’m so thankful that today represents what it does and has brought a new meaning to the days after Christmas.

Because the joy doesn’t end today. The joy is just beginning …

82 Days

We have a 6-pound 12-ounce little princess who is keeping us on our toes, no doubt!

I was told preemies LOVE to be held and snuggled A LOT. I think my husband can attest to that. He has spent hours doing so …

My beloved let me sleep in this morning. Mommy ate some breakfast (chocolate cake) and took her medication (antibiotics for a UTI that must be chopped into a million little pieces). Now Rowie is just hanging out at the breast for however long she wants. Well – until it’s time to get ready for her eye exam.

Rowan has been home for two days now after spending 82 days in the NICU. I’m not as scared as I thought I’d be. Having her in a “normal” newborn environment sans wires and monitors – it makes sense. Of course, before I lay me down to sleep I check for her neck/head placement; her coloring; I check for moving air beneath her nostrils on that adorable button nose. I do this several times; I also rearrange any cloth near her neck. “Do not obstruct my baby’s airway, swaddle blanket. D’ya hear?”

I mean, Rowan and we spend very little time sleeping at the same time, so the hours of not monitoring her airway, coloring, etc. are few.

She de-sats, gets a little ahead of herself during feeds. And that damn reflux. But we know her well and how to help her recover. “Earth to Rowie.” We watch the blue turn back to pink, and it’s a beautiful thing, I tell you!

I can tell you she has the best daddy ever. I can tell you I have the best parenthood companion ever. Patience. Grace. Selflessness. Endurance. I don’t know – that’s our recipe I guess.

Grandma and Papa have been visiting us, keeping us company in the evenings and bringing us real food for dinner. I love them. Thank God for them and grandparents in general. My mother-in-law is traveling here for a three-week stay. She’ll arrive on Sunday, just in time for Mommy and Daddy to go back to work and make that money. Well, Daddy’s been working, supporting his girls like a champ. He took this week off for the homecoming of his little princess. Thank Jesus, I could NOT do this alone.

I will miss my Rowie, but – it’s weird. I’m used to not having her with me 24/7. That’s what an 11-week + 5-day NICU stay will do to you. I’m going to go ahead and call it grace. I can’t deal with emotions of that nature right now.

Sarabi has been phenomenal. We have had Rowan’s swings and hospital blankets in our living room for quite some time now. She has been trained that those items – and that scent – is off limits. She is very slow to approach Rowan.

I remember walking into our bedroom – where Sarabi currently resides – with Rowan and Daddy on Rowie’s homecoming day. Sarabi’s ears perked right up. It was really sweet; not aggressive, but she was just very curious. I have a good feeling about these two. 🙂

And so it’s New Year’s Eve. My New Year’s wish for the last four holidays has been what I hold in my arms and heart today. Thank you Heavenly Father. Finally …

There’s not really an adjective to describe 2014. January-April: Hope. May-September: Joy. October-December: Joy/Brokenness/Fear.

January 17, April 11, April 16, April 22, April 29, May 1, May 9, September 29, October 8, October 9, December 29 …

Those days define my year. My 2014.

I have hope because the joy I carried in 2014 remains with me. I have my husband and my girls, don’t I? My heart is content. The pain of 2014 were incapsulated into just days. Those days are over; I don’t have to live them again.

Of course there is an enduring ache in my heart for Emmanuelle, but that is her place. She will not be forgotten. There is no closure or healing when you lose your baby. I can still have joy amongst that ache though. I choose to have joy, though my baby is with Jesus.

In the darkness last night, I looked at Rowan in her bassinet. I saw Emmanuelle’s face. When Rowan smiles in her sleep, I wonder if she’s dreaming of her sister.

Our suffering was never welcomed, but – boy – has it taught us how to cling to the good stuff. We let go of the small stuff, even the medium-sized stuff. Life is messy. But where there is love, there’s a lot of hope for tomorrow.

And I’ve got a lot of love.

Just Like That

Yes, there are moments I stop and think, “After everything, can you believe you are pregnant?”

Allison, can you believe you are 12 weeks pregnant?

I remember being four and five weeks pregnant, reading about my TTC sisters’ pregnancies that were further along, yearning for a more stable week of pregnancy. To be just a bit further along as to ensure less and less of a chance of loss.

Well, I’ve arrived. With a miscarriage rate of less than .5%, as spoken to me by my maternal fetal specialist, I think we’re good. Babies A and B are solid – actually beautiful, perfect … just a couple of adjectives about my babies spoken to me after a thorough review of my sonogram images.

They have hearts that are beating – heart beats I can hear! They have brains, spinal cords, fingers, KNUCKLES. They have noses and knees. My babies are growing, flourishing. After everything, this is my season of joy and peace. No scares, no blood, no cramping. It’s been good, guys. Real good.

There is another aspect of my life that has been pure insanity. It’s the part that occupies eight hours of my day Monday through Friday. It’s been a challenge – definitely a season of growth. Good heavens, I would crumble if I were in the midst of an IVF cycle. I remind myself that I am pregnant and try to keep the goodness in my life in the forefront. But – wow – you can’t have it all, huh? As my belly has grown, so have my responsibilities. But – it’s all good. The boss himself asks me practically every day how my stress level is. They get it; they care; they are rejoicing with me as well in that weird, “professional” way.

My husband and I announced this pregnancy to the “world” two weeks ago.

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Papa wrangled the beast, and yours truly was the photographer. As you can imagine, I was lying on my tummy with the camera.

Afterward I asked Daddy if the babies were hurt because I was on my tummy, using ab and back muscles, to capture the photos. He assured me (with a smirk), “No, Allison; they are more durable than that.”

And they are. They are perfect. I am blessed.

Just like that … I wake up and am reminded that my dreams are coming true; that the heartache is over and the burden is lifted.

Cat Lady

Sarabi and I have some tension in our relationship right now.

Okay, really she’s clueless about it and still knows Mama feeds her, so things are good on her end. I am convinced, though, that she’s pissed we haven’t held up our end of the contract. We’ve yet to name her Maternal/Protective Deputy Manager of Da BooBoo for which she signed up, and—let’s face it—BooBoo should have arrived about five months ago.

I wouldn’t say we have a difficult neighbor, but I think she’s kind of fake and particular about things. We’ve had a few run-ins; I think we’re trying to rebuild our neighborly relationship/friendship. Well … I think she’s trying to; I don’t really care.

I don’t think she likes Sarabi. As I’ve mentioned before, Sarabi and I weigh the same. Well, I’ve gained some weight for winter bulking, so I have her by about—hmm—five pounds …? We’re basically the same size, though. Except Sarabi is all muscle. When I take her to the ladies room by myself, I have to be fully engaged in what’s going on around us. At any moment, someone could walk around the corner and initiate a shit show. A child could run across the street. Another dog could appear. So, while Sarabi relieves herself, I do constant 360-degree turns so I’m one step ahead of any stimuli that might disrupt her—God forbid.

I typically take her back inside, grab a waste bag, and pick up her waste. So, her shit sits in the grass for about 30 seconds—tops. Well, someone told on me about a week ago. He/she called the front office and accused me of not picking up my pet’s waste. I think it was cat lady (our neighbor—no offense to those of you whose furry children include cats).

Regardless of who it was, this individual creepily stalked me while I was taking Sarabi to the restroom. Doesn’t she look so cute in her squat? I explained my technique of taking Sarabi to the ladies’ room to our community leader? … or whatever her title is. I’m not changing a damn thing about how I do what I do with Sarabi’s doo-doo. No, I can’t afford to kneel down, lower my eyes, and occupy one of my hands with her shit in a bag. I can’t. She’s too quick, strong, overbearing if she sees something—anything. I’ve GOT to see it before she does. Let me explain why …

On Wednesday afternoon, I took Sarabi outside to use the restroom. Back inside, she indicated she needed to go out again—even though there was nothing left for her to relieve. Well, I obliged. Maybe she had a bit more … We stepped outside, and I saw cat lady walking to her front door about 20 meters away. (Sorry, I have to use meters because I’m most familiar with them due to running.) I told Sarabi to sit, which she did. Now, what happens next is kind of a blur.

Basically, Sarabi saw cat lady and just went for it. I was on the ground—face first—within seconds. As I mentioned in this post, people like to watch for some reason. Instead of getting inside her home quickly, cat lady stood there as this 110-pound beast was heading in her direction. I’m, like, on my face in the snow, grass, dirt, and cat lady asks if Sarabi is going to attack her. It was a rhetorical question. I regrouped, and cat lady was inside before I could even give a shit to answer the question. See, once Sarabi realizes that Mama no longer has any control of her movement (i.e. there’s no more leash tension), she just stops. It’s over. No, cat lady, she’s not going to attack you, but I understand why you’d think so.

I don’t blame cat lady or anyone else for that matter. Sarabi is a handful; my husband and I are really the only ones who understand her.

Of course I cussed Sarabi out after this as she gave me a blank stare. Mature of me, I know. I love that girl to death, but—cheese and rice—she can be a pain in the ass! She’s lucky I wasn’t pregnant … Oh buddy, that would have been bad for her. Now, sit up straight in your crate with your paws crossed until Daddy gets home.

But then there’s this face …

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This photo is displayed as my background on my work computer. My cute, little, old-lady coworker visited my office a few days ago (on Wednesday coincidentally). She told me Sarabi looked sweet in the photo, explained that she’s terrified of dogs, and asked if Sarabi is a good girl.

Ha!

***Update: Okay, so I don’t have any new information but just feel like writing a little something about my cycle. 🙂 We start stims tomorrow, and our first monitoring appointment is on Tuesday! I will have another lining check before starting PIO, though my doctor assured me that the two extra weeks on Delestrogen is totally okay for my lining. He basically lets me run the show—well, kind of—which is great! Doctor, I want to get tested for recurrent loss causes. Okay! Doctor, I want to have my progesterone checked during the 2WW. Okay! Doctor, will my lining grow too thick for transfer? Nope, but do you want to come in for another lining check? Okay!

Funky

What is wrong with me today?

I think my anxiety is desperately trying to outshine my Lexapro.

I’m on the verge of a meltdown … but more just in a funk.

I’m irritable and sensitive today. I just feel weird.

Leave me alone. Don’t talk to me.

My husband just poked me in the bum, and I’m laying in bed resting on the heating pad. I’m trying desperately not to mess with my fingers. (I have a disgusting finger-/nail-biting habit that I’m currently trying to break).

Surely I’m not anxious because my home is filthy right now. Maybe I’m the tiniest bit anxious about my dermatology appointment next week..? I like to get annual skin checks because I’m a ginger. I don’t think I’m too scared though, right?

Maybe this all has to do with something BIG happening in three weeks.

Who knows.

I’m just exhausted …

And I really want to bathe Sarabi tomorrow, but I don’t know how I’m going to easily accomplish that.

These are the things weighing me down.

And then there’s that project at work …

I think I just need some me time. I need an outlet for this anxiety. I’ll conquer my world tomorrow, I suppose.

<3

There are a few things I’m absolutely loving this week.

  1. I love the freezing temperatures that have hit Virginia this week. Nothing is better than freezing my ass off. I haven’t been able chosen to run because it’s so damn cold.
  2. Related to item #1, I love it when my windshield wiper fluid freezes and the windshield defroster accomplishes nothing because—as mentioned—it’s effing freezing outside. Junk accumulates and freezes, and the beautiful morning sunshine is blinding so there’s literally no way to see ANYTHING. My favorite thing to do in this situation is pull off on the side of the road and clean my windshield with a napkin while semis are driving 55 MPH passed me. What’s really special is when I plan my commute back home perfectly with the beautiful sun setting so I experience the blinding situation again while junk is—again—accumulating and freezing on my windshield … because it’s freezing outside.
  3. Hmm … I don’t know if I love this as much as item #2. I mean, item #2 includes a lot of adrenaline and one-on-one time with Him that sounds like this: “Dear Jesus, please be with me right now because I can’t see a fuckin’ thing …” But item #3 can hold its own—I suppose—because I really love it when others don’t pull their own weight. Like, there’s a task that needs to be completed, but the person who should take ownership of that task simply doesn’t, so I just LOVE swooping in and completing the task on his/her behalf. Somebody has to do it, right?
  4. I think it’s really great when people talk about my hair color [okay, that statement is actually sincere]. 🙂 They remind me of how very rare it is. I love it when I mention that my husband has red hair too. I say these things without thinking first. Oops. But I love it when the anxiety starts to rise because we all know what’s coming: “Aww, your kids are probably going to have red hair! How cute!” I love it when that happens.
  5. Oh my gosh, please let me tell you about something else I love with all my heart. One of my favorite experiences is when Sarabi triggers on stimuli [people] right outside our home. I think it’s a really special moment when the stimulus decides to stand there and watch the shit show. Like, dog is barking at person; person stands and watches. Oh, but the grand finale of this production is when the person is no longer interested in standing there and watching … and proceeds to walk DIRECTLY TOWARD SARABI. Like, the person can’t take a slight detour or anything. Um, she’s coming after YOU. I love it when that happens.
  6. Okay, so I’m not completely in love with this yet, but I’m really starting to like the fact that we bought Mary for a pretty penny and I haven’t heard from my clinical team yet. Like, no feedback or information. Dead silence. I’m falling in love with this quickly, though. It’s just that I love not knowing what’s going on. I love waiting. I don’t think I’ve waited enough; I’d love to do some more of that.
  7. Not specifically related to the events of this wonderful week, but another thing I love is when family members or friends just can’t talk to you or listen to you about your infertility because it’s too hard or weird for them. Now that’s a friend.

Xoxo,

Alli

Go Ahead

There’s not much to report …

… besides WE BOUGHT MARY!

It’s official. Now I’m just waiting to hear from my nurse. Next steps to sync four women’s cycles? Pending.

I’ll enjoy the I-don’t-have-to-do-anything-but-follow-directions phase for another few days then I’ll reach out to her if she doesn’t reach out to me first. I’m on CD 14, soooo there are a couple more weeks until I have to manipulate my reproduction anyway. And – NO – I’m not going to ovulate, so don’t even think about it, ladies. Though I do appreciate your enthusiasm. 😉

Moving on …

So, do you want to “hear” from my husband? How about a guest post written from the man behind the syringes? My dear friend Nina had this fabulous idea of opening her blog up to questions for readers to ask her husband. Her husband’s post was so entertaining and enlightening. I’m going to be original and copy her fabulous idea!

I will say, my husband has been thinking about guest posting for quite some time. He thinks a. I’m a good writer and b. I have expectations for his post to be “well-written like mine.” Well, I will say I express myself 100 times better via writing than verbally, but I just vent … there’s not an art to how I write or anything. I just let it all out. He thinks Nina and I should write a book together. I can agree with the Nina part; her blog is seriously entertaining.

Anyway, please get curious! If there’s anything you want to know about him, me, Sarabi, our life, ANYTHING, please comment with your questions. I think it will help him write if he has a prompt of some sort.

I will ask that if you know his name, please keep it anonymous. 🙂

*So many of you are experiencing your 2WWs or your suppression phases or your embryo testing. Some of you are at a standstill. Some of you are experiencing pregnancy! Please know that my thoughts and prayers are always with you. I think we TTC sisters teeter-totter; we are in different places at different times throughout our journeys. When you are weak and hopeless, we are here to carry you. It’s a beautiful thing. Right now, my heart is at peace with a beer in my hand as I think about all the possibilities for you …

xoxo,

Alli

My Girls: Mary and Sarabi

It’s ironic that my fur baby’s reproductive system is being removed today …

… as our match with Mary has been finalized so we can finally start utilizing my reproductive system.

My husband texted me at 4:54 p.m. on Friday. I was finishing up a few things at work when—BAM—he felt a nudge from the Holy Spirit to take a quick look and text me. I remember scrolling through her profile very quickly. I knew what I was looking for, had practically memorized those profile templates. With each new page, I knew she’d go quickly, so I had to hustle.

I followed the steps to select her, received confirmation that she was mine, and my password became invalid. Next up: I quickly filled out the preliminary loan application. Thanks goodness the loan company is located in Arizona; I had a few extra hours to work with them before their workday ended. As of Friday, I have three business days to get Shady Grove their money.

This morning, after settling my Sarabi into her crate at the vet’s, I received an email confirming our selection of Mary. I was expecting this email, as they owe me a copy of her profile. But the email also informed me that all her matches are complete and I’m the secondary recipient (out of three)! Being the tertiary recipient is kind of risky because there’s a chance the cycle will get cancelled on you; each recipient is guaranteed a minimum of four mature eggs. I think I was probably the first recipient to actually choose Mary, but patients who’ve been in the donor egg program longer (i.e. cancelled or unsuccessful cycles) have status and are automatically listed as primary recipient.

So, it’s go time. Our medical teams just have to sync up all our cycles. No biggie, huh? 😉 My nurse (Pam; I lost Nurse Mary when I transitioned to the donor egg program) offered to start me on birth control pills last Tuesday—CD 5—but I really didn’t think we’d choose Mary three days later. Today is CD 11—kind of too late to get the BCP party started for this cycle. Oh well, 20 more days to go; I just feel bad holding up the other women.

Now I just need my ADP username and password to work so I can get copies of my friggin’ pay stubs to send Fertility Finance.

My sweetheart is probably snoozing away right now with her tongue hangin’ out getting her mama parts removed. I can’t wait to mommy her; “scritches” on her ears and belly. She is going to look too darn precious wearing her cone of shame. I just hope she’s not in too much pain, bless her heart.

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That dog … Dear Jesus, where would I be without that dog …

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.