Monday, December 15, 2008

5 Weeks Old!

Today Grant is 5 weeks old. In one instance in seems like the time has flown, but in the next, it seems like an eternity. I can hardly believe I was pregnant just 5 weeks ago.

Motherhood is hard, but so rewarding as we are now getting smiles and grins. My days are now scheduled by feedings and naps instead of meetings and phone calls. This is something we had prayed for and longed for for so long, and now we're here.

I can hardly believe Christmas is just 10 days away. Sadly, I haven't been able to get in the full spirit with all that we've got going on and for the sleep deprivation. I love to bake, especially at Christmas, but this year, a nap takes priority.

We are very, very grateful this holiday season for this sweet little guy. A year ago this Christmas, I was in the depths of depression and never in my wildest dreams believed this year I would give birth to a son. That dream seemed impossible.

We love you sweet baby!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

He's here

I guess it's about time that I update and let everyone know that our miracle baby is finally here!

Grant William Daws was born on November 10, 2008 at 8:50 a.m. via c-section. He was 7 lbs. 5 oz and was 19.75 inches long.

The whole birth was very surreal. Hearing him cry was the best sound I've ever heard in my life. As the doctor was sewing me up, he said, "They all said you wouldn't make it, but you did."

We are blessed, thrilled, exhausted, overwhelmed and totally in love. Most of all we are very grateful to our Heavenly Father who came through and gave us the desire of our hearts.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Almost There -- 38 weeks!

Today I sit here 38 weeks and 2 days pregnant -- a feat doctors said just a year and a half ago would likely never happen.

"She'll never get pregnant. And if by some chance she does, she'll never make it past the 1st or 2nd trimester."

"She'll have an incompetent cervix, premature labor..." These are the words that my OB told me other people said of my case.

I am here as evidence that my God is an amazing, powerful, mighty God. In July 2006, He gave me a promise through scripture that I would be a mom -- before I knew of the problems with my uterus and just wasn't getting pregnant. I believe there was a reason for this. If I had read that scripture after I found out about the uterus, I think I might have doubted what I heard. The "impossibility"of ever having a baby and bleak outlook later given by doctors collided with what I believed in my heart God had spoken so clearly to me. Where would I place my trust? Who would I believe? Did science in this case trump all? It is so rare. The outcomes were all different -- some devastating -- and there wasn't much information on my condition because it was so rare. A 50/50 shot? The severity of the condition and the grim outlook given by doctors put my faith and what I would believe to the test. Would I take God at His Word, even when things looked impossible?

And then the verse -- my verse, Psalm 113:9 flooded my brain. "He settles the barren woman in her home as a happy mother of children." I wish I could say from that moment on I never worried or wondered if the doctor was right. I did. Things did not immediately fall into place as I've detailed here before. Truth is, there was tons more heartache and even more unanswered questions that followed. He was right for a long time. I didn't get pregnant. Procedures didn't work. My faith grew weak and weary and there were many days I questioned what I heard.

But that's where my faith grew -- in those moments of desperation and doubt and in the next moment of hope and unwavering trust. My God wasn't and isn't a vending machine. It was and is real relationship. It's what He wants with all of us. He wants us to be real with Him, to tell Him our doubts and fears, to struggle against Him and at the end of the day, to rest in His arms.

He wants your heart and mine and He wants us to trust Him.

So here I am, full-term, fat and happy! On Monday at exactly 39 weeks, I will deliver a beautiful baby boy by c-section at 8:30 a.m. There was no incompetent cervix issue, no premature labor, and no bedrest.

My God keeps His promises.

We are pretty much ready. I am nervous, excited and scared all at once. We can't wait to meet our miracle baby!

P.S. These pictures are me at 37 weeks!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

33 Weeks

It has been way too long since I've updated! I am in full-on nesting mode and getting everything ready for Grant's arrival.

I can hardly believe that I can say that next month he will be here. Due to him being breech, I have a c-section scheduled for Monday, November 10 at 8:30 a.m. 5 weeks from this Monday! Wow! We will finally get to meet our son and the baby we've been praying for and hoping for for so long. God is so faithful.

My pregnancy has been nearly complication-free contrary to what the doctors postulated and we feared. My cervix hasn't budged and remains long and closed. My amniotic fluid is in the lower limits of normal and he is breech, but other than that, I've been a "normal" pregnant woman.

I now go to the doctor twice a week for non-stress tests to make sure he is okay due to the fluid levels and he has been more than perfect! I've gained about 24 pounds so far.

Grant moves all the time. Poor baby seems like he is stuck. I'll feel his head bouncing up and down against my rib cage and feel his tiny feet wiggling at the same time in some sort of c-shape due to my right-sided uterus. There's just nowhere to tumble and move. Poor little guy.

His head is constantly in my ribs and is very uncomfortable. The doctor checked his position the other day and said, "This baby is not going to turn." My instinct has been telling me the same with the way that little head is!

This is all still so surreal to me. I've loved being pregnant and although I'm thrilled to meet Grant, a part of me is sad that pregnancy is almost over. I count it as such a miracle in so many ways -- especially because it was so hard to achieve for us. I am so blessed to have been able to experience it. From the positive test, to seeing and hearing his heartbeat on ultrasound for the first time, to finding out he was a boy and the precious u/s at 13 weeks to the cravings and preparations and feeling him move inside and having him all to myself for just a little while -- it has made the journey all worth it.

We've enjoyed getting the nursery ready. It was so much fun! Now to wash all the stuff!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

28 weeks and a long, overdue update!

I had my 28 week appointment today and all continues to be well. My cervix was long and closed at 4.8 cm which is awesome. The baby is approximately 2.5 pounds and measuring pretty much right on target according to my growth scan today. My amniotic fluid was in the lower limits as it was last time, but nothing to be concerned about at this point according to the doctor.

I only gained less than a pound in 2 weeks to my delight because last time I had gained 6 in 2 weeks! I've now gained a total of 18 pounds. Thank goodness for the probably 15 - 20 miles I walked last week in my career as an event planner. Last week was my busiest week work-wise of the year!

I stand amazed at where I am today and know I am incredibly blessed to have had a complication-free pregnancy thus far. It truly is a miracle and one I am thankful for each and every day.

The other day I was telling my story to my community group from church and I became completely overwhelmed at what my God has done in my life...

October 12, 2007 was one of the worst days of my life. That was the day my final cycle was canceled and complete despair overtook every last part of me - physically, emotionally and spiritually. After the dreaded phone call, I fell to the floor screaming, crying, yelling and telling the God that I loved so much that I hated Him. I questioned how a loving God could allow so much heartache and pain in one lifetime and why he kept saying no. All I wanted to be was the mom I never had. Why? I told those closest to me that I didn't feel like God liked me very much.

That isolated day and its events weren't what caused me to collaspe to the floor of my living room. It was the culmination of the two years of infertility -- of the pain and the ups and downs and the disappointment after disappointment. It was all of it. It was my breaking point.

But here's the beautiful thing. There was more in store. Even amidst my ugliness and questioning and hatred I was expressing toward God, His plan still stood and this sweet baby I am now carrying was still going to be mine. He didn't let go of me when I let go of Him. He didn't change His mind or take away this blessing because of the way I acted. To me, that is extraordinary love. Extraordinary grace. It was something I rarely knew with my parents. He didn't take back the gift He had in store for us because of my actions as my own mother had done one Christmas when I was a child.

My faith and assurance that my God is at work even when it is so very dark got taken to another level through this experience. And it's not because He gave me what I asked of Him. It actually has nothing to do with that. It's because I realized in a fresh way how very much He loves me. In all my ugliness and in all my shunning and mistrust, He gave me what I didn't deserve.

I will forever tell this little boy how special he is and that He was made by God and for God with a specific purpose on this Earth.

Yay for 28 weeks!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

24 Week Check-Up

I've been sufficiently checked on today. I had my glucose test, thyroid, cervix and baby checked. Whew!

First, the glucose nasty drink has given me a headache and I feel all strange still. Yuck.

I've gained 6 pounds in 4 weeks -- only supposed to have gained 4. That makes me sad. I need to watch it. Total weight gain is now 13 pounds. I've found that my hips have spread out which also makes me sad. Is that normal?

My cervix was great measuring 4.7 cm (yay!) and the baby is estimated to be around 1 pound, 8 ounces and is in the 48th percentile. The u/s tech said my fluid levels were low and to drink more water, but the doctor told me it was fine and that at any time the fluid levels fluctuate because the baby is constantly swallowing it and peeing it out. I am still downing the water now though.

I stopped by the fertility doctor's office and said hi to everyone. The doctor was very kind and seemed to appreciate the update. My OB told me at my appointment that he had stopped by a couple weeks ago and asked how I was doing. I thought that was very thoughtful considering how many patients he must see -- that he remembered me and which OB I was going to.

Here are some pictures of me from today at 24 weeks! I've finally gotten the courage up to show my bare belly. :-)

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


Well, just when I thought that all the people who have insensitive and insulting things to say lived in my prior world of infertility, I was proven wrong.

So I'm at the grocery store today just trying to pick out the Cheerios I want from the 18 different flavors offered. A nice stock boy asks me if I know what I'm having. A nosy, insensitive woman enters stage right.

Stock boy: Do you know what you're having?

Me: A boy.

Stock boy: I want a boy.

Woman in aisle: Oh! No, no ... you don't want a boy (disgustingly, like boys are some sort of disease). You want a girl! I had a girl...girls are just so ahhh...(she trails off longingly).

Um...Hmmm. She had just heard me say I was having a boy. Why on Earth would someone be so insensitive to say something like that in front of someone who just said that?!

Wonders never cease.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

It's a Boy!

Josh and I had our 20-week ultrasound on Wednesday. It revealed a healthy, perfect little boy. We are so grateful.

The ultrasound tech measured everything from his brain to his kidneys. We saw his stomach, bladder, the four chambers of his heart -- everything. He weighed 13 ounces and was even measuring a few days ahead of his due date. My favorite shot of all was his profile. It was a glimpse into what he looks like. Many of my friends say that that picture in the womb is very accurate as to what they look like outside the womb. How exciting to get a quick look at his sweet face and the baby for which I've dreamed about and tried to imagine for so long. Do you remember the commercial from GE advertising their ultrasound machines that was on quite some time ago? The background music was Roberta Flack's, "The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face." I couldn't help but grin ear to ear upon finally getting a glimpse at a very developed profile of what finally resembled a baby. My baby.

My cervix was measuring about 4 cm and was long and closed. The doctor now feels that incompetent cervix has been ruled out and now the concern is premature labor. I'll go back at 24 weeks to start the every two week monitoring again. I'll also start the every 4 week growth checks of the baby at 24 weeks as well.

I had hoped to walk down to the good ole' fertility doc's office to say hi, but it was too late when we finally got out of there. I wanted to let them know I was still very much in the game. :-) All glory to God!

Josh felt the baby move on June 30th and I really started to feel movement right at about 20 weeks last weekend. I had flutters before, but wasn't sure if that was him, but there was no doubt last weekend. I am enjoying singing to him and praying for him knowing he can hear my voice now.

I am enjoying every minute of being pregnant and trying not to take one single day of it for granted. I think mostly because I just know how fortunate I am to be where I am today.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Yep, I'm Lopsided

I noticed the other night while I was in bed that I could feel the outline of my protruding right uterus. It was so strange. It felt like the shape it looked like in the pictures from my laparoscopy, only bigger. You can't tell any lopsidedness looking at me, but just for fun I lied down on my bed last night and looked down at my stomach. It's totally lopsided when I do that! My right uterus was completely protruding and obvious. So weird! I don't have a picture, but maybe I'll post one soon.

My belly button is also doing strange things and becoming more spread out and shallow as my skin stretches. I was like, there really is a baby in there!

Here is a picture of me taken yesterday at 19.5 weeks. Forgive my dishevelment. It was at the end of the day. :-)

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

18 Weeks!

I had my bi-weekly cervix check done yesterday and everything looked wonderful! My cervix is holding up at 4 cm. I also had it physically examined and it was strong, firm, closed and holding up just fine. The doctor told me that usually if you are going to have a problem with your cervix, it shows up about this time, so the fact that it looks good is a great thing. However, that doesn't mean it won't still be an issue and I will continue to be monitored frequently.

I really appreciate my doctor because he is no frills. He doesn't scare me to death for no reason, but he also doesn't promise me anything. He just says it like it is. I appreciate that he wasn't like, "You're home free now! Nothing to worry about!" But, at the same time, he was realistic that it was a good thing that everything looked good so far. I think it helps to keep me calm knowing that I will get the bare-bones truth from him. He's been doing this for 25 years and I have complete trust in him -- a good thing, no doubt.

The baby is still head down and had a strong heartbeat in the 150's. I asked him about the likelihood of a c-section and he said it was a strong possibility -- which I know -- but he did say that it's not ruled out that I could have a vaginal delivery. Only time will tell. My prayer has been and continues to be that this baby would come full-term with no signs throughout my pregnancy that I even have a UU.

I've gained 5 pounds so far and just this week my appetite has suddenly exploded. I eat rather voraciously now, which if you know me is not typical. I am a very picky eater and can't eat a lot. I've always been that way, but suddenly I've turned a new leaf. So strange.

I know I keep saying this, but I am so thankful for each day that I am pregnant and still can't believe it. It's so surreal when they put that wand on my stomach and I hear a heartbeat other than mine inside of me. I pray for many of the bloggers I read that are still awaiting their miracles. I know that every child is a miracle and a blessing to their moms, but I'm telling you, there is a totally different joy and appreciation for those of us who have longed and waited for these babies. There just has to be.

Praying for those of you still longing today.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Good Little Uterus

My uterus is behaving and my cervix was just fine yesterday. Praise the Lord! The doctor says most cervix issues show up between 16-20 weeks. I will go in 2 weeks for my next check.

Of course I am concerned some days about the "what-ifs", but in spite of that, I have a peace that I cannot explain.

I heard the baby's heartbeat. It was strong and such a great sound. I still can't believe it. I still just can't.

I went to a large-chain maternity clothes store today and while I was checking out, the sales person told me she had been trying for 5 years with one miscarriage. I felt so badly for her and can't even imagine having to work in that environment every day while going through infertility. A strong woman indeed.

Off to get ready for bed for another day at the office.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

16 Weeks

We arrived home from vacation last night. We had a wonderful time. We are probably what you would call active vacationers because we pack a whole lot in in a short amount of time. There is usually little time for lying around.

We went to Long Beach, Laguna Beach, San Diego, the San Diego Zoo, drove to the desert known as Joshua Tree National Park, and Disneyland. Josh also had two business meetings in Los Angeles. I stayed at the hotel and went to Downtown Disney. California is just absolutely breathtaking with so many different landscapes packed into one state.

Josh and I are HUGE Disney fans. We go to Disney World at least once a year. When we lived in Florida, we had season passes. It's an escape for us. It was so much fun to go this time and think that Lord willing, we will get to bring our child the next trip.

I even bought some pictures for the nursery. I haven't bought one thing for the baby yet for fear that something will go wrong, but I am trying to live in the moment and enjoy each day being pregnant. I am tired of living in fear. I can't control the outcome anyway. So you know what? I bought them.

Even more bizarre than me finally buying something for the baby was seeing people look at my belly. I have a belly? I couldn't help but think if any of them were struggling to become pregnant and the mere sight of me tore them to pieces. I wanted to wear a shirt that said, "I took me a LONG time to get here! This tummy was hard won!" Funny how IF will forever make me look at things and people differently.

I have my bi-weekly cervix check tomorrow. I am praying all is well after all the walking and hiking.

requested some belly pictures, so I posted some from our trip. I was almost 16 weeks.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

14 weeks and Counting!

We had our NT scan last Thursday. I was so excited I could hardly wait for the day to come. I think I mentally held my breath for a second when she placed the wand on my stomach as if to worry that Baby Bear might just have been a dream in my head or somehow had disappeared. Every time they do an ultrasound, it's the same feeling. I don't know if every mom-to-be feels this way, but somehow the endless ultrasounds of my empty uterus is a hard mental memory that's hard to shake. But then within seconds, there he was. My baby. Inside of me after all this time.

The u/s tech said her favorite time to do ultrasounds was between 11-13 weeks because they are fully babies and you can see them so clearly moving. I was simply amazed at every last detail. I could see every notch on his spine, his ribs, the bones in his arms. I saw his tiny footprint. I counted five tiny fingers on one arm and saw where his eyes and nose are. I saw his brain. I saw his profile and jawline. I even think I caught a glimpse of him sucking his thumb all at 13 weeks and 5 days. And we saw that he is probably a boy!

I can't help but praise my God when I see His handiwork in knitting this tiny little baby together. It screams of His glory. I think of Psalm 139 13-16. I love The Message version:

Oh yes, you shaped me first inside, then out;
you formed me in my mother's womb.
I thank you, High God—you're breathtaking!
Body and soul, I am marvelously made!
I worship in adoration—what a creation!
You know me inside and out,
you know every bone in my body;
You know exactly how I was made, bit by bit,
how I was sculpted from nothing into something.
Like an open book, you watched me grow from conception to birth;
all the stages of my life were spread out before you,
The days of my life all prepared
before I'd even lived one day.

After seeing the baby, I had my cervix checked and it was great at 4.5 centimeters! I was so relieved. Hopefully, the good ole' ute will continue to behave.

We are off to California on Saturday for a week's vacation. It's a 5-6 hour plane ride, so should be interesting being pregnant. We are going to San Diego, LA and DisneyLand! I am so excited and ready for a vacation.

Mickey, here we come!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day

In the past this day has been really hard to get through. I'd dread it for weeks before. Today, we celebrated with anticipation of what's to come. It was great to not cry and fight back tears at church and to be wished Happy Mother's Day by the people at Sam's (yes, we went again today, like it's some sort of tradition) and not feel like a fraud.

Josh gave me the Willow Tree wood figurine of an expectant mom and a sweet card. We have not forgotten how blessed we are or those who today are still hurting and longing for children.

I am 13 weeks along now and have an appointment on Thursday for an NT scan and to check my cervix. Moving right along!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Plan

Well, I am 11 weeks now and starting to feel some relief from the all day misnomer called morning sickness.

We had our first meeting with the OB on Monday the 21st and it went well. We got to see the baby on ultrasound and the doctor recorded it on DVD for us. It was amazing. At 10 weeks, Baby was kicking, punching, spinning around, and tenderly touching its face. Josh was amazed and so excited. I have watched the video too many times to count, never getting tired of watching this miracle that I have waited so long for and already love so very much.

We laid out a plan for monitoring and I feel good about it. I will start getting my cervix checked at 13 weeks every two weeks. He took a baseline measurement when I was there. If my cervix starts to shorten, we will do a cerclage and go from there. I will have the normal anatomy scan at 20 weeks and then starting at 24 weeks, I'll have an ultrasound every 4 weeks to check Baby's growth and well-being.

I have managed to freak myself out about many things already, including things that don't even relate to the UU. I keep reminding myself to enjoy the moment, the miracle -- the here and now -- and that I will worry about this child until the day that I die. Josh and I believe we were entrusted with this precious life by God and that he/she is His. I have to leave Baby in His hands and rejoice in this day. And I choose that.

The next step is that we will have an NT scan on May 15th followed by a cervix check.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

That's My Baby

Here are some pictures of our miracle baby. It's hanging upside down measuring 8 weeks, 1 day. I am simply amazed that this baby is in me and that it's mine. After the years of infertility, I still wake up each morning and have to remind myself that I wasn't dreaming. I am so, so grateful and humbled.

I finally graduated from the RE's office a week and a half ago. It was a great feeling. The baby looked great and had a heartbeat of 174 bpm. I'll go to see the OB for the first time at 10 weeks on Monday to get a game plan together for monitoring this pregnancy.

Here's to hoping that my little UU will stretch and allow a full-term baby to grow.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Miracles Do Happen

I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry. Psalm 40:1

I am pregnant.

I'm not sure I ever thought I'd type those words on this blog. After being disappointed time after time for almost 2.5 years, having tried everything short of IVF, I just couldn't believe a natural conception would ever take place. But it did.

As many of you know, I have been on Glucophage since the beginning of November after things went terribly wrong with my IUI/injectibles cycle in October. We had decided that would be our last cycle unless we did IVF someday. We were spent in every way, and I just couldn't take anymore. I was depressed and crumbling on the inside and out. I was defeated and I was done.

My RE suggested Glucophage for six months. I wouldn't have to be monitored and it would help me have a better quality ovulation. I essentially took my prescription and bid them farewell, happy to escape office visits and afternoon phone calls, figuring that this wouldn't work either. It was really just a way for me to ease myself off of fertility treatment without it seeming like such an abrupt end. It's hard to describe, but when you are in fertility-mode treatment for so long, even though I wanted it to be over, I didn't want it to be over. For my own well-being, I agreed to take it.

What I never detailed here was that we also started the adoption process in December. We were knee deep in it when we found out. We had paid out money, been fingerprinted and were in the middle of paperwork. We'd just had the first meeting with the adoption specialist. I had resigned myself that it just wasn't going to happen for us anytime soon -- if ever. The pregnancy was confirmed just 6 hours before our first adoption class began.

On March 9th at 7pm I took a test. I marched into the bathroom, took the test and placed it on the ground. I saw the control line and was convinced it was negative. I was crushed. I picked it up to look at it one more time before I was going to throw it away and I saw the faintest of faintest lines appear before my eyes. I just started shaking.

My beta was 297 at 16dpo the next day and declared "perfect" by the RE. It was 570 at 18dpo. At 6 weeks, we saw and heard the beautiful sound of a heartbeat at 112 bpm. And I finally got a picture of my uterus with something in it with my name at the top. How do I possibly explain what it was like to see my baby's heart beating away after all this time? To see a longing fulfilled? To experience grace in a whole new way?

I never thought I'd be able to see beyond the grief of the disappointment and broken dreams. Could something that good ever possibly happen to someone like me? Yet there was untold, unknown and unexpected joy ahead. Even in my doubt and cursing and frustration at God, His plan still stood. He didn't take back the"gift" that he had planned for me months down the road as my own mother had done one Christmas when I didn't meet her expectations as a child. He still loved me the same. He never changed. He was the same God in the pain and now in the joy.

I don't know what tomorrow will bring and there are many concerns, but I do know that on March 9th, the dawn broke and suddenly I was reminded of what I've been taught my entire life: God is a loving Father and longs to be compassionate and gracious to me.

There is something so beautiful and poetic about becoming pregnant in the Spring. After the long Winter of our trial, suddenly as the trees and grass have once again bloomed and become alive again, so has my spirit.

Very truly I tell you, you will weep and mourn while the world rejoices. You will grieve, but your grief will turn to joy. John 16:20

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

A Glorious Night

Congratulations to my husband and brother-in-law on the screening of their new feature film! It was screened on Saturday night in front of almost 400 people to thunderous applause and two standing ovations. I couldn't be more proud of you, baby!

Yes, I am the wife of a film director. Pretty cool, huh?

Friday, February 15, 2008

One year ago today...

52 Fridays ago I discovered the tiny uterus I'd gone about life with for over 27 years, yet never knew about. 52 Fridays ago, my whole paradigm shifted. It's overwhelming to think that something that I have carried with me for my entire life in my body could possibly have been oblivious to me and upon its revelation have had such power over my emotions.

I wondered the other day why I must go through the endless monthly cycles of PMS and inconvenience if I may never get to cash in on the one benefit of having a uterus. And the reason we all have one in the first place. It's not fair. Why do I feel cheated, tricked and betrayed by my very own body? Sure, my body will gladly prepare each month for a baby, but forget about it actually following through to allow life to take root and grow. Why is there such a disconnect here? It's like an endless dress rehearsal for a show that never takes place.

I know of a woman who just had her first ultrasound after years of infertility. She explained how is was so good to see her baby, that it was small, but that it was THERE -- that she has seen way too many pictures of her empty uterus. The comment resonated with me and instantly brought me back to the days of endless ultrasounds of my own empty uterus. Each time alone in the ultrasound room, waiting on the tech to come in, I'd look across the room at the ultrasound pictures of pregnant uteruses on the wall and daydream about that being me. Me looking at my name at the top of a screen or picture of my uterus with a baby in it -- with life in it -- and something other than uninterrupted black and white fuzz. Anything other than empty, hollow, barren nothingness. Is it even possible that my womb could house life? At this point, it's hard to believe it ever will.

One year ago today, on this Friday, I knew sorrow and pain at a whole new level. It was more than I ever thought I could bare. Even though I had gone through a whole year of infertility already, somehow the year since finding out about the UU has been such a roller coaster of its own. I've known hope, disappointment, sorrow, pain, disbelief, frustration, helplessness and anger. Somehow in the cloud and haze of it all though, I've known grace too. I have experienced times of great peace and joy admist unspeakable pain. I have wrestled and cursed at and screamed and shunned the God I love but struggle to know. How could he allow such pain to sift through His hands? Twelve years ago, when my mom abandoned us and I became the mother to my three younger siblings at the age of 16, I struggled to understand God's purpose in it all. Where was He? But there were glimpses of grace and there was joy ahead. Twelve years later, I still don't have any more answers than the day my mom left. There have been no apologies or reconciliations on her end. There is no pretty bow. Things are actually probably worse. But I am at peace and I'm not bitter and I am okay and there was joy and there is joy in my life. I know that the same God who sustained me in those dark nights when I grasped for Him and couldn't sense him and placed each star in the sky also has a plan in all of this heartache. I know from past experience that while I may never have answers, apologies, a mom, or a baby of my own there IS joy ahead and enough strength and grace to take another step and even better, live a fulfilled, joyful life despite unthinkable pain.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008


I am a reflector by nature. I remember people's birthdays and significant dates. I will often look back on the anniversary of that day or time and reflect and experience the emotions -- even years later. The day my mom left, the day I met my husband, my husband winning his first film festival, the day I found out about my uterus...

The thing about reflecting, though, is that as I look back, it causes me to look forward. I realized recently that had my first IUI worked, I'd be giving birth this month. I remember May 31. I remember the doctor telling me that "February was a great month to have a birthday" and I remember the unabashed hope I had that day. As I put my vacuum away in the guest room last night, I thought about how if it had worked, that room would be a nursery. I might be rocking my baby right now. I would be going to the park this spring with a stroller.

But here I am. I still have a flat stomach. I have no cravings. I've not been sick. My body still resembles someone who's never been pregnant, never had a baby. I still fit into my jeans. I don't have stretch marks. I'm not trying to breastfeed. There are no late nights. No crying baby. My arms are still empty.

A couple of weeks ago at a scrapbook get together, a woman was due in February and I couldn't help but think that that would have been me. Her swollen abdomen in contrast to my flat stomach was a painful reminder of what might have or could have been and mostly just what was supposed to be. What my body can't do or won't do. What others so easily can. She was the ultimate picture of femininity. I was the defective version.

I'm not sure why it's different than any other month. But I think it's mostly because it was at that point I started treatment and was so full of hope.

Oh well. Maybe February's not such a great month to have a birthday after all.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Tag, I'm it!

I thought this would be fun. Thanks for tagging me, Sara. I figured I'd just do the 6 or 7 quirks/habits/interesting things about me and not worry about tagging anyone else. Hope that's okay!

So, without further adieu, here are seven things about me!

1. Nestle Toll House break and bake cookies. I'm talking the bar, not the roll. There is a difference. I LOVE chocolate chip cookies, but not just any. I love Nestle Toll house straight from the oven with cold milk. I used to have these every night for desert, but have cut back to only every once in a while. It's kind of a joke at work. Everyone knows how much I love chocolate chip cookies. And don't even get me started on Cookie Cakes...mmmm. My first word was "cookie". No lie.

2. Whenever I'm finished using my curling iron or flat iron I check to make sure it's off a million times -- even though one of them turns off automatically. I am so afraid I am going to burn my house down!

3. I have to have Avon brand chapstick with me at all times. My husband got me started on it, and now I can't live without it! I am not much of a lipstick person, more of a chapstick, lip gloss kind of girl.

4. As far as fetishes go, I love Coach bags and Seven jeans. Love them.

5. I am obsessed about keeping the baseboards in my house clean. I am in the process of touching them up with paint right now. I know it's strange, but if they are dirty, I feel like my whole house looks dirty.

6. I love TV. It's how I unwind. I love LOST, Friday Night Lights, House, American Idol, Oprah, etc., etc.

7. And one more, since Sara got seven. ;-) I love Chick-fil-a fountain cokes. They have the perfect mixture and the Styrofoam cup helps the ice not to melt. It's the perfect coke!!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Tales from the Hair Dresser's Chair, Part II

Well everyone, my hair dresser has come up with the solution for my and everyone else's fertility problems. If you're new to my blog, this isn't the first time he's inquired about my ability to have children.

So, I'm sitting there. He says, "What are you doing today?" I say, "I'm going to go home and play in the snow."

"You need kids!" "You'd be a great mom!" Silence.

"Do you want kids?" "Yes."

"Does your husband want kids?" "Yes."

"Have you been trying?" "Yes."

"For a long time?" "Yes."

Now, at this point, you'd think he'd back off right? Wrong.

"Well, my friend (doesn't it always start out that way?) so and so -- he and his wife -- tried for two and a half years and it just finally happened. I'm convinced all it takes is a bottle of cheap wine and a Def Leppard record."

Um. Are you serious? Did you really just say that to me? I've got to say, out of all the advice I've gotten, that's got to be the most original. Gosh, the money and time I would have saved! I just wish I'd asked him first before spending all that money at the fertility specialist!

It's amazing to me how many people offer their advice after finding out you're having problems conceiving. As if we need more advice and guilt. Keep your mouths shut and listen. That's all we want. I guarantee we've thought about whatever you are going to suggest and no, it's not about relaxing and not being stressed. I've had plenty a vacations and relaxed times. Infertility is not a state of mind.

"Most people I've known make an appointment with a specialist and get pregnant right before they go!"

"Uh huh."

Now mind you, this is a 35 year oldish male. This was uncomfortable. I was not getting into my fertility problems with him.

"Keep trying!"

Oh the ignorance of it all. I quickly changed the subject.

So, there you have it people. All it takes is a bottle of cheap wine and a Def Leppard record. Look out fertility clinics of the world, you may just be put out of business.

I never knew that wine and some Leppard could magically make me have a whole uterus. Wow.

I was assaulted one last time by a clerk that day when I stopped by the vitamin store on the way home. "Stress kills off everything in your body. Don't stress if you want to get pregnant." Do you know that saying that makes me stress about having stress?

Thank goodness for advice. Where would we infertiles be without it?

Monday, January 21, 2008


We don't get this too often in Atlanta, so it was a real treat. I am from Florida, what can I say? It was so much fun!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Guilty Pleasures

I've been a little down lately. I can't help it. I completed my second cycle on Glucophage and was convinced I might have just managed to get myself pregnant. But alas, as usual ... it wasn't meant to be. I hate hope. It's a thorn in my side. I feel like such a fool for letting myself hope every month. I know better, I always tell myself, but I do it again anyway. Hope is both a blessing and a curse.

As my temperature climbed and various other signs started popping up, I got to live in this euphoric land of what it must feel like for others who get pregnant easily at anticipating a potential pregnancy. For just a couple of days, I indulged in THAT world of joyful anticipation and what ifs and when I'd be due -- a rare guilty pleasure I usually don't dare allow myself to even take a bite of. But for two days, I let my hopes run wild. And it felt good to live in that world for just a little while. Despite knowing the downfall would be harder if I let myself go there, I just plain hoped. I hoped like I'd been trying three months and infertility wasn't part of my vocabulary. I hoped like I'd never been to a fertility doctor. Like I'd never taken a fertility drug. Like my heart had never been broken.

I hoped.

Unfortunately, I was rudely awakened out of my euphoria, but despite my disappointment and sadness, it was worth it to indulge my hopes. It was worth it to dream. Perhaps because for a couple of days, hoping made me feel normal and like the fertiles of the world. Hope makes me crazy and keeps me sane.

What a polarity to manage.

Faxed my charts in to the doctor as he wanted to review them. Apparently I'm a huge nerd, because nurse says I am the only one she's ever had actually do it when asked. They were quite impressed. Nice doctor left a message and said they looked good, to keep sending the info and a kind, heartfelt "good luck to you" as if he was signing off or something. There was something so unsettling in that statement. I can't really explain it. I'm not in treatment and am sort of on my own now (and glad to be), so I get that, but the "good luck to you" just seemed so final. Cut-off. Done. My entire year last year revolved around that place with no success, so it was like, good luck to me? Good luck?! That's all you have to say? I'm not sure what I wanted him to say. I think I'm just being sensitive. I know it was just a phone message and I know I can call them anytime, but you know what I mean. I'm still raw and grieving everything that happened and I guess being sensitive is to be expected.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

So long, 2007

I walked into a hospital on a cold, beautiful Friday, February morning in 2007 to have this test done -- an HSG they called it, and all by myself. It was to be no big deal, and I sure didn't want to make it one. The clomid they had given me hadn't worked in the last 4 months, and I wanted to have the HSG done to check it off my list just to make sure I didn't have any fibroids like my mom did and to make sure my tubes were clear.

After finally getting in the room and on the table, I remember just laying there. And I remember the lights. Oh, the lights. It was so sterile and medical and cold -- much like the doctor who would eventually deliver the news of my fate. As I lay there on the table waiting for the doctor to come in, the angel God sent to me fashioned in the body of a radiology tech helped to calm me a bit. This was the first real diagnostic test I had and somehow now the fact that I was in...fer...tile hit me like a ton of bricks. I was forced to look reality in the face.

The doctor came in. He preceded to try and put the catheter in for 5 - 10 minutes. It wouldn't go in. "These things happen sometimes." Knowing what we know now, the forlorn look on his face was a foreshadowing of what was to come, yet I was oblivious.

It finally went in. The screen was not visible to me, so I was left with just the physical, painful reminder of what was going on. After a few minutes, he left the room and told me he'd be back in a few minutes after he reviewed everything.

Finally, as I lay there with nothing but a gown on, he delivered the news that rocked my world as I knew it. "You have a congenital anomaly where you have a one-horned uterus." As he turned the screen toward me I remember seeing this banana-like shape and thinking, "How in the world could I ever carry a baby in that?" He delivered the news with an almost reserved look of glee on his face as to appear professional, yet I was just a radiology picture to him and he had just found the find of the month. A true rare gem. Only thing is there was a human attached -- me -- who had hopes and dreams and plans that involved that rare gem. My life had just been turned upside down. But by all means, I'm glad it made your day and I've given you something to talk to your colleagues about at lunch. "I know you are going to ask me the question, can I carry a baby in that uterus? I don't have the answer to that. You'll have to ask your gynecologist." Trying to keep it together and calm as I always am, I manage a fake smile and say okay or something. "Are you okay?" he asks. I guess the fact that I looked white as a sheet gave it away. I felt white as a sheet.

The second he walked out of the room, I just balled. I couldn't help it. I sobbed. Right there on the table in a gown with nothing else on. "I'm supposed to have babies!" I thought. Who, by the way, gives news like that to someone in an already vulnerable position? Couldn't he have at least let me get dressed? I couldn't talk I was crying so hard, and the poor tech tried her best to console me, a virtual stranger. "It's just my worst nightmare, I explained." "It doesn't mean it's over, she said. You don't know yet."

As I went in the locker room and dressed, I just cried out in heaves -- you know like you can't catch your breath desperation. It was like an out of body experience. It felt like the room was spinning around me and I was just standing still. I thought it was over. I was confused and had no idea the uterus formed like it did or that there could be problems with it. Nobody ever talks about that. February 16, 2007 ranks in as one of the worst days of my life. I'll never, ever forget that day.

In March, we met with the RE for the first time, April I had surgery, May and June I had failed IUI's -- July another failed try on fertility drugs. I had cysts in August and September that caused me to sit out cycles and in October I spent $2500 on a cycle that I never got to complete because I overstimulated.

Yeah, that was my 2007.

I have cried more collectively in this year than all my 28 years combined. My heart has hurt over and over and over again with each failed attempt, each hope followed only by disappointment. Most days, I just felt as if I were walking wounded -- functioning yet torn up on the inside.

2007 has been an intense time of growth for me, and for that I am grateful. I am not the same woman I was one year ago, and I realize in the pain is usually where the most growth is. And while it's served it's purpose, I'm ready to put it in the books. It will always be "that year" for me.

I am now ready to embrace a better 2008. It's going to better.

Here's to hoping.