Sunday, January 21, 2007

It's all about the "O"ma's

EndometriOmas that is.

The RE's nurse finally called me back after they reviewed my file. The RE is very concerned about my endo history and they want to do an ultrasound to rule out endometriomas that may have returned (and probably have). If they are there, I will need a lap before we proceed. This is something I had already considered and feel like I am in good hands since the RE is being so proactive. We have an appt with the RE on January 31 and in the mean time I should start my period and will promptly go back on the pill. I LOVE the pill! It shocks me that so many of my friends don't like it. The regulation of hormones ROCKS! PMS and I don't get along really well.

So, I thought I would share a photo of my darling dog, Ben.

In this photo you will see that apparently the ever-naughty cat caused one of the placemats to slip off of the dining room table (Ya know, as he was climbing around. On the surface where we eat).

The cozy looking place mat laid there beckoning to Ben and he could no longer resist....he decided to take a nap. On the place where a dinner plate would sit. Filled with food. Intended for human consumption


So, visitors to our home can be assured of two things:
1. the cat was on the table before your arrival, and
2. the dog may have napped on your placemat. :)
Bon appetit!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Curse of the Winter Birthday

Well, drat, my darling youngest daughter has been cursed with having a winter birthday....just like her mother. Not only is her birthday within one month of Christmas, she also has to endure the possible "canceled birthday party" because of snow.

One guess what the forecast is saying...snow for this weekend...the weekend of her completely-going-to-be-a-blast party! :(

Let's see....just how many birthday parties did I have snowed out (or almost snowed out) due to wintry weather. I so feel her pain.

Hoping for a change in the forecast or at least temps above freezing.

Update: The temps stayed at 34 so we just had a cold rain all day. The party was great fun and enjoyed by all. Meet da bears:

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Happy Birthday to Her

If cancer had not cheated her, I would be baking the kick-A$$ chocolate cake she loved so much and we would be having a big dinner, celebrating the day of her birth 63 years ago. We lost her, my dear MIL, in March 2005 and still miss her every single day.

I wrote this after watching her slip away:

You were alert, numbed by the meds that first day. A blessing beyond words, you knew your family, your grandchildren, your precious sons. The morphine had made your speech slurred and your eyes “off” but you knew us and you held us and you loved us one more time. As we left you, hopeful hearts looked forward to days when unknowingly only hours were left.

The next morning greeted us with a ringing phone, one that held ominous and yet painfully truthful news. “She’s going to the angels today”, your brave youngest son related. The time passed in silent, heavy-hearted thoughts. “I need to be with her one more time”, words were uttered through teared eyes, pushing the pedal down a little further. Your son, silent.

Hurried and rushed, through the hospital doors; hands held in support, hearts not ready to be broken, desperate for one more priceless moment. The scene in your room so different from the day before. Lying in your bed, loving eyes half-shut and fogged. With every labored breath a moan ever so gently spoken. Two shocked and saddened hearts, each rushing to opposite sides of your bed, grasping your still-warm hands, audible cries muted slightly by the white sheets that enveloped your fading body. Hands gently touched shoulders from behind, “she’s in no pain”; the gentle voice comforted.

The vigil continued for hours with you never alone for a moment. Someone was always there, talking to you, gently coaxing you to the other side, reminding you of the great love that rested in so many breaking hearts. Your mother, brother, a sister, a son, a daughter-in-law…your guides on this journey. As the hours passed, each aching soul shared parting words of thanks and love and praise. At times the gentle moans sprinkled with words. Words trapped never to be known. Your faithful guides shared alert yet confused faces with one another, desperate to pay homage to your final thoughts, wishes, fears. A priestly visit, a head anointed, The Lord’s Prayer in unison.

It came quite suddenly, this end that had been slowly creeping in. It was greeted with dread and a sad joy that you were being released. The constant sounds to which the room had grown accustomed had stopped, although life somehow was clinging to your ravaged body through gentle, gulping, interrupted breaths. An arm was extended and suddenly your faithful guides were, in a blink, at your side. Your face was child-like and all sets of hands were upon your body. Words were filling your ears, “we love you, mom”, “it’s okay, mom, let those angels take you”….”save room for us up there, mom, it’s gonna be awesome!”…”I love you my mommy, my most wonderful mother”, tear-laden sobs warmed your neck.

“Love you” breathed from your mouth, the same mouth that for hours could only speak in slurred, inaudible speech. It was your final expression of love coaxed by a sobbing heartbroken son. From a body overtaken by pain and numbed by morphine, in your last moments, you sought to comfort this son…the one you knew whose heart is so easily broken but not led to words.

His words, your words. The room was weeping.

Your body held lovingly, tears staining your bed, desperate, love-filled words still ringing in your ears. It was in this moment of perfect love that life slipped away.

You had escaped the body that betrayed you and had joined the waiting angels.

It was perfect, beautiful, peace.

The fact that death can be beautiful was a surprise to me. It was. She was.

Saturday, January 13, 2007


This amazing essay was in the December issue of O. It is so worth the read. Enjoy.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

On Our Way

My annual exam was yesterday and it went well. My GYN whom I will refer to as Dr. Smile (b/c he is always happy to see me and absolutely beams with sincerity). It was decided that I would wait until my cycle ends (approx two weeks) and then we will do a hydrosonography to look for any abnormalities in my uterus and I will go back on the pill.

I felt good when I left the appt. For once, I felt confident that this is the right decision whereas always before I have had a doubtful pit in my stomach.

I have a call in to the nurse at the RE's office to get an appt scheduled with her. She travels to Dr. Smile's office twice a month....awesome!...only TWO trips to the RE!

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

100 Things

1. None of my friends or family knows about this blog.
2. I am very private. (So what am I doing here?!)
3. I am guarded until I learn a person's true nature.
4. I believe in the goodness of humans but they have to earn my trust. If my trust is betrayed, I can't "go back" emotionally. Ever.
5. Tomato skins and tomato seeds in food conjure a gag reflex in me that I cannot control.
6. At the time of this publishing, I am about to introduce Goose to a book called "It's So A*mazing! A book about E*ggs, S*perm, Birth, Babies and F*amilies". Um, yeah. Update: Consider the can opened.
7. I despise insincerity.
8. I also despise people who sit in the parking of the Supercenter blocking traffic waiting on a parking space to clear out when there are SEVERAL that require the actual burning of calories. Get off of your untoned @$$ and do a little walking.
9. I am a very complimentary person. Unless you hold up traffic in parking lots.
10. And while we are at it, put up your d@mn cart so it doesn't slam into my car.
11. I want to be a chocolatier someday. And Johnny Depp can be my first customer.
12. I used to be an English tutor for the literacy council. My student was a Chinese immigrant. She was the first "red thread" to my daughter. We still send each other birthday cards.
13. When I find small not-scary spiders in my house, I gather them up on a piece of paper and set them free outside.
14. The ones that look like their bite could make an arm fall off due to a flesh-eating type condition get the boot. A boot. On top of them.
15. DH and I have seen Bob Dylan in concert five times.
16. I have a fascination with barns.
17. I would love to write a novel about a barn’s life.
18. A story winding through a century revealing what the barn saw.
19. I wrote a short story for my children about a country vet.
20. There was a barn in the story.
21. They begged for more.
22. Maybe someday.
23. I drink tea - iced, sweet and decaffeinated.
24. Four years ago, I went "decaf" and have not looked back!
25. I have always been slender.
26. At 36, I blossomed and acquired some hips! Lovin my new hips.
27. IMHO, Sweetened condensed milk is a miracle in the culinary world.
28. I enjoy cooking but have such anxiety deciding WHAT to cook.
29. ((knocking on wood)) I have never had to watch what I eat.
30. Stop throwing daggers at your computer screen.
31. I must have a sleep machine to sleep.
32. It has to be on "white noise"...ocean waves just keep me awake.
33. I have an aversion to hotel rooms...I won't let my feet touch the floors and the bedding cannot touch my face.
34. I spent the night on the sidewalk of my daughters' (year-round) elementary school so we would get a "spot" during KG enrollment. It was 35 degrees that night. I peed behind a bush as needed. I still have a fond affection for that bush five years later.
35. I love animals (see 36-45).
36. We have a cat and a dog.
37. And a 13.3 HH hunter/jumper pony.
38. Our pony gives me peace.
39. I bury my face in his neck when I am with him.
40. He makes me very, very happy.
41. He walked over my foot and broke my pinky toe.
42. I am very guarded with my foot now.
43. We have barn swallows who nest under our porch every Spring. One or two always fall out and we try to save them. In vain.
44. In college, I hatched eggs in an incubator for a speech in my public speaking class. I thought they were going to be chickens and I cried out of joy when I saw duck beaks. Chickens are lovely creatures but there was something more interesting about ducks. They lived to adulthood. Until a raccoon ate them.
45. We have a two year old Chinese Crested Powderpuff (How to Lose a Guy in Ten Days dog but the ones with hair). I taught him to ring a bell when he has to go potty. My friends are all amazed and maybe somewhat alarmed..."your dog rings a bell to go pee?" Yes. And, no, I do not have control issues.
46. If my house was on fire (pooh, pooh, pooh), my first earthly possession to see safety would be my D*ell laptop.
47. I heart my PC and it's continuous Internet connection.
48. I have an intense fear of rodents, particularly mice. There is a hard-to-speak-about-scarred-me-for-life incident concerning my ten-year-old arm going into a feed sack and a lightning fast rodent using said arm as a ladder where it scurried up into my shirt. Long flailing legs. Running. Blood curdling screaming.
49. I am not a member of Mensa.
50. But I do have a bachelor’s degree in business.
51. I don’t particularly enjoy business.
52. I used to be an Employment Paralegal.
53. I defended EEOC charges for a large corporation.
54. And did training seminars on preventing sexual harassment.
55. Also at said corporation I referred to my pink breast cancer ribbon pin as "my breast awareness pin" when a male co-worker inquired. During a meeting. In a room filled with men. It seems the fact that I was going to have to say "breast" in front of men in a work setting was too much for my just-out-of-college brain.
56. I love to dance. It was a missed calling.
57. I have excellent rhythm. And long legs.
58. Well, aren't I just da bomb? :O
59. And I love music.
60. I don’t watch TV really. Except for the addicting Grey's.
61. NPR, Sirius Radio and iPod are just a few of my musical loves.
62. I would rather have hot pokers in my eyes than watch a daytime “soap”. Seriously, if anyone ever needed to pump me for information, just make me sit in the same room as any of the soaps being currently broadcast on the big three and I tell you people, I would give up any and all family, indecretions of family members during the 70's, secret nude's all yours, just turn off the TV dammit!
63. I am very involved in China Adoption.
64. And create amateur websites for non-profit groups.
65. Recently I became addicted to PF Ch*angs melon shrimp.
66. Since I was 8 yrs old, New York City has been my favorite place.
67. But I have never been there.
68. I want to go for the first time with Ivan, Goose and Lili.
69. And see many Broadway shows.
70. And ride the subway.
71. And see Five Points.
72. And Chinatown
73. And Ground Zero.
74. I am very spiritual but not terribly religious.
75. Despite my uncertainties we take our children to mass. I feel guilty about my lack of certainly. But don’t want to cheat my children out of a religious life even though I think spirituality is more important.
76. This is an ongoing source of anxiety for me.
77. In college I was almost crushed during a stampede at a Motley Crue concert.
78. On the way to said concert, I was pulled over for speeding and, based on my appearance, the officer asked if there were drugs in the car. Silly man. If only he knew what a pollyanna I was behind those ripped jeans.
79. My husband, Ivan, was my high school sweetheart.
80. We got married after college.
81. He is very patient and he loves me purely and unselfishly.
82. He flies a Cessna 150, canoes and plays guitar. He is extremely humble. He is the quiet one in this relationship.
83. I love his hands. I am a hands girl. They must be strong and capable of doing manly things. They should not be pale or clammy or overly manicured.
84. Ivan. Adores. His. Daughters. Is there anything sexier than a good father?
85. His mother died of cancer two years ago.
86. I was devastated.
87. I still am.
88. I miss her daily, sometimes hourly.
89. I hate, abhor, despise cancer.
90. My children are not allowed to say “hate”.
91. Unless they are talking about cancer.
92. The one word we should all live with is "respect"...Goose and Lili have been taught to apply this to all aspects of their lives. The world would be a better place if everyone did this. One. Simple. Word.
93. We discuss adoption with our girls.
94. They have a very loving, positive concept of it.
95. Sadly, we will never meet our China birthmother.
96. Joyously, we have held our domestic birthmother in our arms.
97. We. Love. Her. She loves us back.
98. We send her cards several times a year.
99. I mourn my China daughter’s loss...she will never meet her birthmother.
100. Loss should not define how we live our lives...I hope to teach her that.
101. I could inhale my daughters I love them so much..

Yep, day 10

I ovulated yesterday, CD10. For the last few days my left ovary has been hurting and this morning the pain is gone...and my fancy fertility monitor just shows two bars today instead of the lovely egg graphic. Perhaps this is happening b/c I am still getting the pill out of my system? Dr's appt tomorrow. This is all starting to scare me. But I must see it through.

Monday, January 08, 2007


Doesn't it give you chills? Seeing an "egg" on a monitor that just assessed your hormone levels? That's a libido booster if ever there was one. Since investing in a fancy fertility monitor, there is a clear pattern that I ovulate LH surge was yesterday, day 9! Last month it was day 11. After researching, I cannot find concrete evidence one way or the other that indicates if this is good/bad/neither. Very interesting. In addition to the endometriomas...oh, and the stenotic cervix...this could be why I have never conceived. At day 10 (way back when) I would have been keeping DH at bay so he was good and fertile closer to day 14! Even though we most likely cannot do this "alone", it is very interesting to know what is going on with my body and I'm glad I plopped down the $200. (Cuz I was feeling a little guilty that someone so freaking infertile was buying a fertility monitor!)

Here are some photos of my darling daughters' feet. We attended a banquet last night and they wore their first open-toed heels. Damn, I could just eat them up. DH and I are feet people.

Friday, January 05, 2007


BTW, I would love know if this process is by chance addictive? My master plan is to only have ONE egg retrieval. With those eggs that actually fertilize, we will do a full IVF cycle and then perhaps one FET if they thaw well. That's all that I am budgeting this even sane of me? Once you get a taste for seeing your fertilized eggs, are you drawn back into this like a damn fish to water? Is it possible to exert self-control with IVF? I am a little scared about that. ("Really, honey, I think we can handle a few newspaper routes and I hear that selling your plasma is quite lucrative...")


Since we started talking about IVF again, I have been obsessing about it (nothing new with me). In my mind, I kept going over the pieces of this intricate puzzle....the potential health risks, the trips to and from the RE, the wasted money if we fail(!!). Why would I want to do this? Life is good...two amazing daughters, one loving husband, one very cute dog, one stinkery but loveable cat, one much-loved pony, a great network of friends at school and in the adoption community, our HEALTH (knocking on wood now). The road ahead ain't that pretty....injections every day for weeks, my ovaries pushed to their limits, blood draws, ultrasounds. And, at some point, I will have to include a friend in our plans (I am fiercely private) who will need to keep our children when we travel. Luckily, my GYN can do the daily monitoring, blood tests, ultrasounds, etc.. But we still will have three trips to the RE...the initial consultation, the egg retrieval and then the transfer. (The trip to the RE is 3.5 hours one way). Things are good the way they are! So...why?...well, here is the deal...I have learned to trust my instincts. That sounds like a big load of bull, doesn't it? "Oh, honey, my instincts say we need to buy a new house...time for a new car....and, one more thing, we need to have a third child!". It's true, I make decisions very, very carefully. I am the person who researches a digital camera for months before I would even *think* of *maybe* buying one so when I finally admit that my instincts say "leap" about a life altering decision this big...well, that means something.

Even with all that we need to consider, I realize that this time is "it"....we are really going to do it this time. As a matter of fact, I called and moved my GYN appt to next week, Jan 10, so we can get this going more quickly. Also, I talked with our insurance rep at my DH's co. Little did I realize we could do a salary redirection and get our out-of-pocket expenses deemed tax-free. Kudos to "B" for letting me know about this! (In my defense, we have never had medical expenses so have never used this program). The form must be turned in ASAP requesting the maximum amount allowed, $5000.00. Once the funds start coming out of the pay check and go into the "savings" account, we are responsible for the amount, no backing out! If we don't spend it, the money is gone!

I am at peace. True peace. That feels good.

Of course, now I am addicted to reading infertility blogs...reading these blogs must be akin to taking a nice long drag on a cigarette (something I have never done)...I feel that same sense of pleasure that I see smokers get when they light up. Hopefully blogging will be much better for my health.

In the end, I am ready for what is to come and maybe along the way I might have a few days when I actually feel fertile, maybe "meet" a few precious embryos that DH and I created. If we do not end up pregnant, I still have two of the most amazing daughters in the world. Knowing I tried will alleviate anxiety that has been brewing and the potential for "what ifs" that I know would have haunted me for the rest of my life.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Okay, so it was a false start

Ahem, here we are in 2007...and re-setting the starting gate. Oops. After a very busy fall, going back on the pill, a trip to Disney (Orlando) and the holidays, whew, here I am ready to crouch down and wait for the shot to ring out....again. I promise that my laces are tied this time.

To follow-up from July, I did eventually start my period (after the Clomid Challenge) but talk about a wild time back on my full blown hormones. Whew! It was interesting to say the least. I went back on the pill in August in anticipation of our October Disney trip. I don't have a good time with PMS and wanted to enjoy the trip on an even keel.

Once the holidays were over I had planned to use my ClearBlue Easy fertility monitor, toss my nose in the air at my GYN and try to conceive "naturally". Ha. Well, I am only one cycle in and realize that I don't have time to play around. The eggs are drying up, my friends, and we need to introduce them to DH's swimmers soon. A few weeks ago, I was ready to paperchase to China again. I still very much want to (and intend to). However, the wait is now two years and that does not include paperchasing. Too long. (And I guarantee adoptions will slow in '08 with the Summer Olympics being held there). The new plan...try to conceive NOW as the clock is ticking. No matter how that goes, we will paperchase to China again (and hopefully the process will have sped up by then). The Vietnam program just opened up again and for a fleeting millisecond, I thought about a son from Vietnam (because those referrals only take a few months). Well, that thought came and went. For one thing, I know girls, I can do girls. Boys scare me, quite honestly (although if we conceived one, DH and I would somehow figure it all out). More importantly, I don't want to mix the Asian cultures in our family for the sake of our China daughter. If we adopt again, it should be from China. Our hearts are truly in China.

The last correspondence between me and my GYN was in July. After the Clomid Challenge we learned that I have excellent ovarian reserve. Nice to hear. Cannot speak to quality but, hey, we have quantity! Let's hope that counts for something!

I have an appt with my GYN on January 16 for my annual exam. Once I talk with Dr. B, we will see where this ride will take us next.

While I wait on my appointment, my newest job in life is to obsess day and night about IVF and if this is the right decision. While Jazzercising today, I was weighing the pros and cons...telling myself why I should not feel quilty about this..that if the money is lost then at least we tried and I can cross this off of my list of "things to try once in life". I have found that I am actually more skilled in multi-tasking than I thought. Kick, ball, change, hip thrust (((obsess, obsess))) march up, march back, kick right, kick left (((obsess, obsess))). I never missed a beat.

The game is back on baby! The game is back on, baby!

Pandas shooting and leaving?