Valentine’s Day Project

I wanted to share my Valentine’s Day Project… my 11 month old’s Valentines that he’ll be taking to daycare today. It was a super simple project.

I never thought I’d be “that mom” that was all “HEALTHY SNACKS! THE KIDS NEED HEALTHY SNACKS!” but since starting my necessary-because-otherwise-Metformin-will-attack-my-digestive-system low amylose diet and keeping a closer eye on all the sugars I eat, I have a hard time imagining that I’ll give my Dom a lot of sugar. I’m already planning out how I’ll get him to avoid soda when he goes to other kids’ houses and limiting how much candy he’ll get to keep at Halloween. I want him to reach for fruit instead of fruit roll-ups, so the longer we can avoid that sweet, delicious, tempting candy, the better.

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I printed the tags on cardstock and just stapled them over a little treat bag- a pack of 25 was only $1 from Dollar Tree! I love a good pun, and instead of chalky conversation hearts or sticky chocolates, the kids in his daycare will get at least one healthy treat.

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When you can’t follow a calling…

Something has been weighing heavy on my mind for the last couple of days and I don’t really know where else to put it, but thought this might be the place because this is where I shared my other fertility related tales. If you have any advice to offer, it is of course welcome, but not my main motivation for writing this. I need to get it out. I need to put it out in the universe so I can hopefully start to come to terms with reality.

In all honesty, I always secretly judged people who “felt a calling” to do something. I had never had that feeling; the notion that an outside desire could influence your life was foreign to me. Even motherhood didn’t feel like a calling to me- I always knew I wanted to be a mother and it was my designated “#1 goal in life,” but I never felt that calling it a calling was necessary. Perhaps because it is a common thing? A lot of people want to be parents, as rewarding as it is it isn’t exactly special or revolutionary.

Before I got pregnant, I did feel a calling to adopt, and I still think that is a viable and likely path for our family. I know I want more children, but I don’t know if I want to go through the rounds of failed fertility treatments and roller coaster highs and lows of waiting and testing, and trying again to have another child of my own.

BUT… I do want to do those things again… for someone else.

“Wait, what?!”

Although I’m not sure that I want to go through treatments to have another biological child, I’ve been feeling compelled to be a gestational surrogate. I would LOVE to be able to carry and deliver a child for a couple that cannot. I discussed it with my husband, who graciously and selflessly said he would support me through whatever process that entailed if it was something that I wanted. I started researching agencies and, to my dismay, hit a roadblock.

I don’t qualify.

I know regulations and rules and guidelines and whatever are all out there for a reason. I know I don’t qualify for good reasons (anxiety, state of residency, etc), people making this investment want a fully healthy woman to carry their child to minimize any risks to their child, and the agency doesn’t want the liability of furthering any heath conditions by facilitating a pregnancy in a woman without a perfect bill of health. My challenge now is dealing with the reality of this situation. I have to figure out how to get this desire out of my heart and mind.

2WW #2 is almost over…

… and I’m pretty sure I’m not pregnant.

I don’t think being a pessimist is the most helpful thing, but I just don’t feel like I’m pregnant. No particular reason, I just don’t. That and like a dummy I took a pregnancy test on Saturday and it was negative. But it was Saturday night and my blood test is Tuesday (tomorrow), so it could have just been timing. But I still think it’s true. \

I’ve been on Prometrium since last Sunday, and had a blood test to check my progesterone levels last Tuesday to see if I’ve ovulated. The doctor never called me with the results, and with the 4th of July holiday this past weekend I was too preoccupied to call back and check (I doubt their office was even open, anyway, and they said it’d take a few days for the results to come in). I’m figuring they’re just waiting til I get the official BFN tomorrow to let me know that it doesn’t seem that I ovulated, despite the injections. I don’t know that, mind you, but that’s where my negative mind has taken me.

I also just feel different, but that should be a positive. Last time I was super moody, my boobs hurt like no other, I constantly felt like I was on the verge of puking, and was so dizzy that anytime I wasn’t sitting I felt like I was going to tip over. This time I’ve only been slightly unsteady, and have been having weird dreams like I had last time, but that’s it. No soreness, no nausea. Last time I wasn’t pregnant, so you’d think by having different symptoms I’d think I’m getting a different outcome. Of course I just feel like not having these symptoms is telling me that the Prometrium just isn’t working.

I used to be far more pessimistic in my daily life, but have made a conscious effort to be more positive. I’ve been trying to see the bright side of things and hoping for the best. For whatever reason, though, this cycle has brought me right back to the dark side. I’ve pinned several inspirational quotes and will leave you with a few, in an effort to bring myself out of this funk:

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Perhaps this negativity is just a coping mechanism to help me deal with the sadness that comes with a BFN, if that is indeed what I’ll be hearing tomorrow. Bad news isn’t as bad when it’s what you’re expecting, right? Also that’d make good news that much sweeter. Who knows… maybe this “Debbie Downer” attitude is a side effect of early pregnancy.

…right?

Things are getting close!

“Before anything else, preparation is the key to success.” Alexander Graham Bell

…Then I hope I’m success-bound because I’ve been in preparation mode for approximately forever. Or like 15 days, but whatever. Here I am on CD 15, which means in 15 days I’ve missed 6 hours of work, had 4 ultrasounds, 4 blood tests, 3 trips to the doctor (3+ hours round trip each time), 8 Bravelle injections (that came with a $250 price tag), and 30,000mg of Metformin.
Thankfully the only expenses have been time, gasoline, and the Rx, because I’m finally back on the unheard-of-so-wonderfully-amazing-I-can-hardly-stand-it insurance I get through my employer. These specialist visits are covered in full up to $2500, (I think I’d be around $900 so far this cycle), then after that they cover 80% until I reach my out of pocket maximum of $1200. I can’t even get over this coverage, you guys. I don’t mean to brag to those who likely are going out of pocket for most or all of their treatments… I only did that for 10 weeks and it used up a month’s pay. I just have to say it outloud (type it outloud?) to believe it’s real.

Anyway I journeyed up to the doctor on Thursday to get the u/s to see if my follicles were showing up for duty. I had roughly 100,000,000,000 little ones open, and three medium ones (one right, two left). I thought I was going to be done with my injections then, but hahahahhahaa no. I got the call later that afternoon saying I had to come back in Saturday morning. That was an interesting trip because my niece and nephews were staying at our house for the weekend (6 y/o boy, 5 y/o twins, boy and girl). My husband was left alone with them for around 4 hours while I was gone- something he’s not done before. They’re his sister’s kids, but she or I have always been there to ‘help’ him, he never even babysat, so he doesn’t have a ton of only-him-and-kids experience. But, he survived (and so did they!) so it was a general success.

"General Success"

“General Success”

Good practice for him for when we have kids! During my Saturday morning appt it was revealed that the medium follies were still medium, but like upper-middle-class medium, moving in the right direction.

Since I originally was only supposed to be on the Bravelle til Thursday, my mail-order supply was running low. Thank goodness they gave me free doses at the doctor’s office- I don’t have the cash flow to buy another round right now. The nurse said she didn’t know if the doc would approve me just taking a couple more doses then doing the trigger shot, or if I’d have to come back in. Well if you do your math from earlier you’ll know, I had to make a third trip in, this morning. I finally got some good news today though!! One follicle is officially big enough for action (I’m so proud!), and a couple others are *this* close. I’ll take my last Bravelle injection tonight, Ovidrel trigger tomorrow, then it’s time to baby dance.

There’s nothing like telling my husband he has to keep his schedule open on Wednesday and Thursday, we have plans. Doctor’s orders.

The Next Go-Round

Round Two- ding! ding!

We’ve started round two of treatments. After I had my blood drawn and science stated the obvious (not pregnant), I started my dose of Provera so I could get my cycle started. The other times I’ve taken it, I’ve always started two days after the last pill. I had it all planned out around my vacation- I went to Disney World!- I would be able to get home, check in with the doctor, and start my official treatments. Well, wouldn’t you know, I started with 3 days of pills left to go. That was on Tuesday. They wanted me to come to the doctor on Friday, but I was Florida-bound at 5:45 am on Thursday morning, so that wasn’t going to happen. I had already filled the Rx of pills to take days 2-6, so I started those on Wednesday. I also had to drive the hour and twenty minutes to the doctor on Wednesday morning before work for my ultrasound.  It made for an interesting week, between work, packing, and driving back and forth- my house to Indy for the appointment, Indy back south for work, work to home, then home back to Indy to stay at my parents’ house, since they’re closer to the airport and the vacation was with my mom.

I guess everything looked like they expected it to look in the ultrasound, because I got the instructions for Bravelle injections and was sent on my way. I hoped I could pick it up at my regular pharmacy before I left town that night, but no such luck. The doc let me know it wasn’t commonly stocked, so it would have to be mail ordered and could be to my house by Friday. That would have been great, but as we know, I wasn’t going to be at my house on Friday. I’d be soaked to the bone in Orlando rainstorms, waiting out the downpour, wearing a stinky poncho, holed up in a Magic Kingdom bathroom adjacent to a gleaming bronze statue of Gaston (with whom the 7 year old family friend we were with has fallen in love after seeing the Beauty and the Beast stage show at Hollywood Studios. She loves his muscles!).  Luckily it was easy enough to set up the delivery to the hotel. I felt so fancy getting a package at the front desk (OK not really- it happens all the time for work), but was immediately daunted upon opening it. It was filled with needles, vials, sterile caps, and syringes. When arranging payment I found out the prescription plan I’m on doesn’t cover the Bravelle, so the $250 price tag was a tough pill to swallow (and boy oh boy am I used to swallowing pills by now- those Metformin ER tabs aren’t Tic-Tacs!), but I got a waiver for the cost of the Ovidrel, so it was free, and they sent it in this delivery as well! Glad I have that for later this week, one less expense, one less trip to the pharmacy. I had packed plastic baggies to transport the half-dose of Bravelle that I’d have after my first injection, to fill with ice, but the Ovidrel came with cold packs, so that was one less worry off my mind, too. Better yet, they were still cold! I could only imagine the hassle of getting it re-ordered if the hotel had had it sitting in a warm room and the medicine was no longer chilled. Yikes.

Finally Sunday evening rolled around and I was ready to take the first shot. I sterilized my makeshift work station at the hotel room desk, washed my hands elbow to fingertip, and set out all of my supplies. I mixed the sodium chloride with the tablet in its vial, and waited for it to dissolve. With much trepidation I screwed on the needle, swiped my stomach with an alcohol swab, and aimed that pointy little sucker an inch and a half to the left of my belly button. Poised for the strike, I took a deep breath. Then I chickened out. When I was almost on the verge of asking my mom to scrub up and do it for me, I just thought “eh, forget it” and stabbed it in. Of course it didn’t hurt (though pushing it through my skin did feel weird), and I felt like such a goober when it was over because it was so easy. I put the other half mL in the fridge and started to worry about how I was going to get this stuff home!

The next morning we woke up, got our luggage together, and began our trek to the airport. We had quite a few stops to make- breakfast at McDonalds (I just had apple slices, it was the only thing I could eat!), a trip to the gas station to fill up the rental car and get some coffee, going back to the souvenir shop we were at on Saturday so my mom could get some stuff she passed on earlier, returning the rental car, all before catching a shuttle to the airport to go through security and board our flight. Since we had missed two shuttles to and from WDW earlier in the trip, that last leg was what was worrying me the most. I’m a natural planner and my tripmates are more go-with-the-flow, so I was definitely the schedule master. While at the gas station my coffee cup overflowed and spilled hot coffee all over my hand just as my companions were complaining about the terrible coffee selection. I just dropped the cup on the counter and stormed out. They cleaned up my mess, brought me out a coffee, then realized that I had stormed to the car in the midst of a complete breakdown. When they saw the tears they were worried I had burned myself more badly than they though, and were quite surprised when my response to their “are you OK” was “Your bad attitudes are stressing me out! Stop acting like you’re a spoiled princess and just accept things the way they are!” I didn’t know where it was coming from as the words exited my mouth, but I didn’t really care, either. The stress and exhaustion that comes along with the end of a vacation on top of my hormones adjusting with the medication just sent me over the edge. They were understanding and we all could laugh about it later in the day, but at the time I was just over it and just wanted to focus on getting to the airport to face my next big concern: getting those meds through security.

My liquid doses of medication were less than 3 oz, so I wasn’t as concerned about that, as I was about all of the syringes and more than 3 oz gel cold packs that were stuffed around those expensive doses. I had all of my paperwork with the medications, I had them packed separately in easy-to-access zip top bags, and let three separate TSA agents know I was traveling with liquid injectable medications and cold packs. They all just said “OK thanks.” They went in their own bin and through the scanner. I was prepared to be pulled aside and the items to be taken out and inspected, but the bin came right out between my carry on bag and the bin with my shoes and jacket. They didn’t even want to make sure those syringes full of liquid were medicine! While I was thankful it was hassle-free, I am surprised they just took my word for it.

The dose of medication I shot into my belly last night was as easy and uneventful as the first, as I imagine those I take tonight, and for the next two nights, will be as well. Then I’ll go to the doctor on Thursday morning to see how my follicles have reacted, fingers crossed for multiple openings on both sides!

 

(stay tuned for a post about low-amylose, PCOS/Metformin friendly eating at Disney World. I’ll give you a hint, it wasn’t as hard as I thought it’d be!)

Who Are You?!

I suppose a lot of women wonder what their children (or future children) will be like. I keep having a dream that I don’t know who they are at all.

I’ve had a variation of the same dream quite a few times. The scenarios are usually the only variant, but the theme of each one is I have a child and I know nothing about them. The first three times I had this dream I had a daughter. She was a toddler and had curly blonde hair. Sometimes it was just me and her, other times my mom was also there. I never knew what her birthday was, how old she was (although in the dream she always appeared to be 2-4 years old), her name, her likes/dislikes, and had no memory of delivering her, but I knew she was mine. I would constantly try to create hints in the conversation to elicit this information, but couldn’t get anywhere. The time my mom was with us I finally broke down and confessed that I knew nothing about my child, and she filled me in, then lectured me about needing to be more involved and present and what a terrible mother I was.

The latest development in the dream involved the child. The last time I had this dream I was with my husband, and our child was a son who we had adopted. But that’s all I knew about him. He was probably around 5 or 6 years old, but I couldn’t remember his name, or what he liked, or how long he had been ours, etc. In this dream he would let me pick out his clothes and prepare meals, but other than that he would only interact with my husband. He wouldn’t let me play games or toys with him, read to him, answer questions, or anything. I eventually found the adoption papers and learned his name and birthday. 

I think this change came because my husband and I have more seriously been considering the idea of adoption. My company offers really generous adoption assistance, and I just think it will be better for our family to go the adoption route, vs. loads of fertility treatments. This of course will all depend on what I find out at my appointment with the specialist (only 15 more days!) and what kinds of odds he gives us based on how the Metformin has been working on my ovaries. Of course Greg is still far more optimistic than I am regarding my fertility, he is certain the doctor will give us good news but in my gloom-and-doom outlook I’m sure he’s going to tell us that nothing has changed and if I drop any eggs at all I’ll never be able to predict when and they’ll be duds anyway. (I know I should be more positive, but, sometimes it’s hard!). Anyways, back to the dreams…

In every dream I wake up as soon as I learned any information about the kid. If anyone has had similar dreams or knows what this could mean (besides I’ll be a bad mom- don’t tell me if that’s the case!), I’d be interested to hear.

Patience is a virtue…

…that I do not have. I feel like I’m losing my mind.

I have my follow up appointment with the fertility specialist in less than a month. I have been taking my Metformin like I should, and have had noticeable physical changes (lost 19 pounds so far, AF came without further medical intervention). But I still am on the edge of my seat, wondering what it has done for my ovaries. And depending on what it has or hasn’t done for my ovaries, what that means for my chances at conceiving. I JUST WANT TO KNOW RIGHT NOW.

Of course on top of that it doesn’t help that I’ve had all kinds of “pregnancy symptoms” that turn out to be something else. I get dizzy and nauseous, but that’s just because I need to eat a bunch of small meals throughout the day. I often forget about this until I almost tip over when I stand up. It also doesn’t help matters that I always forget to bring food with me to work and there’s nothing in our vending machines that is suitable with this medicine.  I also was peeing constantly, but it turns out that was a precursor to the worst UTI I’ve ever had. I don’t get them often (I think I’ve had 2 other ones in my life) and the last time was 5 or 6 years ago. So, that wasn’t fun, and since that area is temporarily closed for business (not taking any chances), I hope I didn’t ovulate this week! Also, my boobs are sore. For no reason at all, at least not one that I’ve found. Trust me, I’ve taken at least 5 HPTs and they’re all one-liners.

I think having this constantly on my mind is also giving me crazy dreams. I’ve had vivid dreams at least 3-4 nights a week for the last month or two. Sometimes I can remember them, sometimes I can’t. They’re usually scary or intimidating. Getting fired, getting assaulted, getting robbed, etc.

I think I’m going to try to get back into the habit of going to the gym to work out… maybe all this nervous energy is just because yesterday was the first time we’d gone in like 6 weeks and being sedentary was just letting my mind run wild. I hope at least.

Are we serious with this, Hello Giggles?!

http://hellogiggles.com/10-creative-ways-to-enjoy-your-mac-and-cheese?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=HGFB&utm_campaign=post

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I‘m sure it’s obvious but I added the sad crying self-portrait

 

I have 10 desperate ways I would like to enjoy some mac and cheese:

1. With a spoon

2. With a fork

3. Just eating it with my hands

4. Mac and cheese made with powdered mix from a box

5. Mac and cheese made with Velveeta

6. Mac and cheese made with real life honest to goodness cheese

7. Still-too-hot-to-eat mac and cheese

8. Cold-from-the-fridge mac and cheese

9. Accidently-left-on-the-counter-overnight mac and cheese (yea, I’d go there!)

10. Even if it’s not ‘MAC and cheese’ mac and cheese.(One of my pet peeves when it’s called macaroni and cheese but made with a noodle other than macaroni. Call it cavatappi and cheese! call it rotini and cheese! Those aren’t macaronis!) (but still yes please I’ll have cheesy pasta)

 

I obviously love macaroni and cheese (hello, blog title much?) and I know some women TTC have a tough time seeing pregnancy announcements or newborn pictures, but I’m starting to get sad over food posts. How silly, I know, but I’m so bored of salad and eggs.

Updates

Man I’m tired.

I just got back from a three and a half day work trip to Las Vegas. It was fun when it was fun, but the times I was working were exhausting. Plus Sin City is full of wonderful restaurants and I had to get salad at every stupid one we went to. There were some tasty salads, but man oh man did some of the other things look good (hint- they almost all had fancy mac and cheese).

menu

Even though I got kind of sad and grumpy that I wasn’t getting to eat much hot food, I did find out that if I “cheat” in moderation, I can still have a very little bit of foods forbidden by my low-amylose diet and the Metformin does’t hate me. There’s a Joe’s Stone Crab in Vegas that has the absolute best Peanut Butter Pie in the world. Luckily my boss ordered a slice and let me take one bite so I wouldn’t be so upset about not getting any dessert. I also found out that I can have up to two Michelob Ultras in one night. Yay beer! This revealed to me, however, that after not having any beer since Christmas, one light beer is enough for me at a time.  I have to drink plenty of water with it and after it before drinking another, because my tolerance has gone way down. Luckily I recognized this before I got the second one, since I was at a work function with 60+ clients, 4 co-workers, my direct supervisor, her supervisor, a VP, and the CEO. PLUS I was wearing 5-inch stilettos and had to go around the event taking photos.

The best part of all, though, was that I made personal-history. I actually lost weight on a work trip. A pound. I swear since I started traveling for events two and a half years ago our travel season (Feb-November) is also weight-gaining season. But I ended up coming home a pound lighter! I started TTC about 9 months ago and knew I needed to lose weight, but was having a tough time, and actually gained 3-5 pounds. I started the Metformin in the middle of December and have since lost 17 pounds. I’m really hoping this does the trick and gets my ovaries in shape!

I did have a ovary related victory as well, Aunt Flo came without any further medical intervention. The doctor had requested that I call if I didn’t have a period within 60 days, and I practically had my finger on the dial button when she showed up, Day 60. So, we’ll see if the next round is that long, or if things really are starting to work.