Monday, January 31, 2011

Blue

2011 Color Photography Project - January/Blue


Jumping on the good times bandwagon!  I got excited looking at everyone's blue photos on their blogs and couldn't resist playing along.  An Offering of Love had the fantabulous idea of starting a monthly photo post.  I'm an amateur, at best, (especially considering how much I love my Hipstamatic on my iPhone) but who doesn't love finding a more purposeful reason for taking snaps?!  I know I do!  So without further ado, my pics:


Saturday, January 29, 2011

Kittie Love

Lola managed to hold herself together until Friday, when the stress of her week got taken out on some innocent toys and one unsuspecting scratcher.  I think Mikey just lost himself in drink and went to sleep it off.
I love our kitties.  They make me smile sometimes when no one else can.  They've kept me together and sane through some rough times.  They are my babies.  They are my heart. They are our daily entertainment!


They have also been BFFs since they first met - attached at the hip.  I can't believe they're almost four years old.  Is this what watching our kids grow up is going to feel like??  It's so amazing to be a part of their lives ... I can only imagine it will be, probably even more so.  


I love our kitties!  <3

Mikey: "Lets make like fabric softener and Snuggle!"  Lola: "Who is this creep?"
 

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Can't Sleep

I don't really think it's a case of insomnia so much as it is my night-shift work schedule getting the better of me yet again.  I try to sleep at night on my days off, but it doesn't always work so well.  Case in point, tonight ... er, this morning.  


Too bad I don't do anything more useful with this time than scour the internet, but I always do so in hopes that it'll wear me down.  Usually works; not this time.

As I was going through various web searches, I came upon a very well done blog, doozeedad, about a near-deaf mom and a Down Syndrome baby.   It made me start to think about the "what if's" ... how would I handle knowing I was going to have a child with Down Syndrome?  How would Momma B handle it?  How would my view of the world change as my vantage point shifts?  Big questions that I obviously cannot answer without having the situation presented to me, but definitely something to at least ponder.  


In the meantime, it's a thing of wonder and beauty to see one mom show how "normal" DS can be.  And, frankly, her baby is one of the most gorgeous I've ever seen!  I've been reading through her blog for the last couple hours.  Yeah.  Hours.  It's that good.  ;)


On her recommendation, I also downloaded a sample of Expecting Adam onto my Kindle.  As I'm currently pursuing a personal goal of reading at least 100 books this year, I'm on the search for good material and this book, like her blog, definitely caught my attention!  

Monday, January 24, 2011

Smooth as Butter

Amazing.  I'm still loving how well today went - definitely not a day like this!    


Instead, I call right after I get my smiley on the OPK and, of course, have to wait for the nurse to call back ... which she does after only an hour.  First star of the day!  My OB/GYN isn't in until 2 pm and I get the first appointment of the day.  Second star of the day!  Call the sperm bank and arrange for pick up.  When I get there, everything goes beautifully as always.  I get to the OB/GYN early as I actually found parking right away.  Third star of the day!  I check in for my appointment: no fuss about my payment plan and they actually have an appointment showing up in the computer system.  Fourth star of the day!  I only wait about ten minutes before I'm called back to the room.  Fifth golden star of the day!!  


What a change!  Has the new year gotten everything aligned correctly again?!  Is there a system change that I'm unaware of?  Did someone from that office get a glimpse of my blog and know it was them?  I don't know, but I love it!  No stress.  All smiles.  And one very happy, easy cervix according to my MD.  :) 

Anniversary Fun and New Plans

Yesterday was our 2 year anniversary.  On Saturday, Momma B surprised me with a road trip (my fav!) to L.A. - we spent the day exploring Venice Beach, Santa Monica, and The Getty Museum.  All things I have either not done or love to do.  It was a great surprise, but total gastronomical overload!  Good eats!  I think I gained back the three pounds I lost the week before.


Happy Anniversary to my fearless, beautiful, intelligent, LOVING Momma B!  You have made my life more colorful and I am always amazed at my life with you.  <3


We also spent the weekend discussing our current and upcoming plans.  We asked ourselves, and each other, BIG questions - where we see ourselves in the near and far future.  There is so much we are looking forward to and some BIG decisions that we have to make in order to achieve many of our goals.  


This month and next we have financial obligations elsewhere and as much as we want to go forward with our plans to utilize the RE, we cannot.  Thus we decided to continue trying through our OB/GYN for now, but also go ahead with our plan to add on the Femara next month.  As we're still so early in our TTC journey, we feel good about our decision.  Had we already been trying for as long as we've said we've been trying (hehehe), then we may be a little more anxious to start with the RE and either find a way to make it happen or just wait it out until then.  But, in all honesty, we've done only 3 IUI's - one (soon to be two) without any pharmaceutical assistance.  As much as I may want to add the RE into the equation right now, I'm okay with keeping them in my back pocket for when we're truly ready - physically and financially!


SO ... having said all that, I got a smiley face this morning and a two o'clock appointment with my OB/GYN today!  YAY!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

RE To the Rescue

My visit with the RE today went very well.  The MD earned my trust within that first hour of our meeting because of how upfront and honest she was about everything.  


The great news is I learned that fertility-wise, I'm in excellent health!  My OB/GYN never reviewed all my lab work with me nor did she tell me all the tests that were done - I found them all out today.  Luckily, she did at least have me tested for everything I needed.  The RE told me I was very healthy and everything looked ideal for me to get pregnant.

SO ...


My options were laid out: 1) More rounds with Clomid or Femara, but now with an u/s to check follicles and uterine lining, a trigger shot to more precisely time ovulation and IUI, and progesterone suppositories to ensure my LP is adequate for implantation; 2) hormone shots, multiple u/s and blood work to closely monitor hormone levels and thus determine injection dosage is adequate, a trigger shot, and IUI; or 3) IVF.


Option 3 was automatically canceled out.  Momma B and I are not ready for such invasive measures just yet and my RE did not think we were at that point either.


That left us with Option 1 and 2.  Neither of which are cheap.  My insurance doesn't cover all the procedural steps of Option 1 with the RE, only with my OB/GYN, so we will be cash out-of-pocket for the all the RE services.  My insurance does cover 50% of Option 2, but for the RE services only.  The actual injections are out-of-pocket.  So for both the RE services are the same cost.  It's the meds that make Option 2 twice as expensive.  Luckily, they're far less expensive than we thought (the RN called back today to let me know the estimated cost), but it would still make one round of Option 2 twice as expensive as Option 1.


Confusing?!  YES!

Momma B and I talked it over and over.  We're both conservatives when it comes to this whole baby-making process mainly because I AM healthy and there really isn't any reason to be so aggressive just yet.  However, we are willing to be more assertive ... so we're going with Option 1, but with Femara this time around (anyone have experience with this medication?).  


We like the reassurance that Femara has fewer side effects than Clomid.  I love the security of the u/s, trigger shot, and all the monitoring that will be done with the RE.  We also like the lower percentage of possible pregnancy with multiples!  =)

All in all, I feel much more relaxed and confident about the BD process.  I'm so glad to have finally gotten to this point and have the RE.  I feel very good about our chances!  Wish us luck.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Aspiring Foodie, Hopeful Soul

Momma B and I sat down one night and laid out our health goals for this year.  We ended up with 17 total, but one in particular struck a chord with me and I've found a renewed vigor because of it.


Goal #1: Eat at home.



I've always collected cookbooks.  I simply cannot go into a book store without at least walking through the culinary aisles.  Sometimes I think if I just touch one book, I will acquire an innate sense of possibility.  Yet somehow over the course of the last couple of years, I've let convenience and excuses override my passion.  I've talked and talked and talked about how much I love cooking, but it was just talk mainly.  I was a fraud.  No more.


This last week, I planned a fairly simple menu.  I went shopping for organic, fresh foods.  I've enthusiastically prepared meal after meal ... and posted pictures of my creations on my Facebook to share my amusement.  What I've found is that by eating richer, more flavorful meals I actually end up eating less!  What a concept, eh?!  Rather than gobbling up inferior bites that are gooey, greasy, or just full of empty calories, I'm going the total opposite direction and using full fats and rich, organic meats and produce.  A friend of mine posted on my FB that she basically assumed that what I was making was not "diet-friendly" or "bad for you" because it looked too yummy.  Well, it's been an extraordinary finding: real food is good for you!  Trust me, it sounds overly simplistic and kind of stupid, but I was like so many others that believed the opposite for a long time.  This is revolutionary, in my mind.   



My joy of cooking is just the first step.  Our goals are simple and sometimes I look at them and think how sad that something so obvious needs to be a goal of mine ... but I don't look at it negatively, but rather as a moment to realize the importance of the basics.  This is for my health: physically, mentally and spiritually.  Somehow I've been able to rescue my enthusiasm and put it to good use.  It's a new prospect, this inward focus I've taken on.  I've decided the best thing for our future children is a healthy, confident, happy momma ... but more than that, it's the best thing for me!


What started this spark of retrospection was a book I started, called The Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun.  It got me thinking about my life. 


I have a good life: a career that I love, a spouse that embodies unconditional love, good friends (though few), and loving family members.  All in all, I feel content, but I don't always feel happy.  I don't feel like I appreciate fully those wonderful things that are in my life, and I feel I've lost some beautiful things along the way because of it - mainly friendships.  I certainly don't appreciate myself.  


Growing up, there were always the "if onlys."  If only I were skinnier.  If only I were smarter.  I was told so many times I came to believe it myself and always felt I would never be that girl that people found attractive or the woman that anyone would want to talk with.  I internalized all of this lack and have been holding onto it far too long, letting it keep me from forging new friendships and from taking care of my physical self.  I've recognized it's presence for several years now, but always fought against it - which merely served as an avenue for my self pity to take over.  It has been no way to live, especially in light of the juxtaposition of my external and internal worlds.  

Yet this book started a tangent of thought that allowed me to look at my feelings and realize that I need to appreciate those feelings - where they came from, what they've meant to me, what security they've provided.  No fighting, no struggling, just nurturing.  It has been quite the eye-opener, but more than that it's been an inspiration.


I finally have momentum again.  Simply amazing.




So I've started three of our 17 goals already.  I have sparkly stickers for my calendar to remind myself of my own importance and reward my progress.  Juvenile, perhaps, but it makes me smile so much seeing those happy faces line up on my date planner.  


Now I know this is all new and wonderful and roses and butterflies at this point, but that is why I knew I had to write it ... not just to myself, but put it out there.  Not for accountability, but to make it more real, more solid somehow.  So here it is.  Something to look at, examine, and remind me of the excitement of beginnings when I may get bogged down in the work of middles. 

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Ready or Not

Got the consult in the mail and now have the appointment (on the 18th).  I'm a little nervous to go to the RE.  I don't know why.  I guess I always assumed we'd get pregnant without having to take this step, but after thinking about it ... it's better for my sanity, I hope.  I just want to eliminate some of the extra time it may take going on our own with IUI after IUI.  I'm hoping it will up our chances, so to speak.  I just don't know what to expect, so I'm a little worried, but also a lot excited and VERY ready! 

Monday, January 10, 2011

COLAGE

As I was looking through one of my favorite blogs, Mombian, I found this post about COLAGE - an organization that frankly I knew little about.  I've heard of it before, but never really bothered to pursue it.  Now that we're TTC, it takes on an entirely different meaning.  


I enjoyed this video that gives not only the history of the organization, but also some insight into how children of LGBT parents have felt.  I hope you enjoy it too!


Sunday, January 9, 2011

Lookin' Pretty

After looking through so many other glbt TTC blogs out there, I decided mine needed a little styling.  Please check out my new and improved personalized pages telling our momma story, our TTC outline thus far, the language page, etc.  Also I would love any feedback and/or suggestions.  Want to know more?  Less?  Did I make some heinous grammatical error that you just can't look past?  Let me know!  =)


Additionally, I added some great artwork by Kath D who is a Melbourne-based graphic artist.  She wrote a very short comic about how lesbians get pregnant called Here I Am.  I loved it!  

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Fear Less, Hope More

BFN.  Shit.


Sitting in my ACLS class this morning, I felt so sure the very light spotting yesterday may have been the little progeny implanting itself into my uterus.  I was tired, but so hopeful.  AF decided to start today instead.  Not that I should have been surprised, had I bothered to actually look at my calendar and calculate my LP the last five months (since we've been keeping very exact track) I would have seen that AF always arrives exactly 12DPO.  I wouldn't have been waiting for iPeriod's predicted ETA.  


I lost it, right in the public bathroom.  Just broke down crying right there.  It was all I could do to go back to that classroom and concentrate on our didactic lecturer.  Driving home was a blur, literally.  Momma B wasn't home and I was left to cry myself to exhaustion unconnected and alone.  


The worst part isn't so much the fact that we have to keep trying, but rather that I can no longer trust in the knowing of my own body.  Symptoms arise that are seemingly conclusive, but turn out to be totally false and now without cause.  I polished off my "Early Signs Your Pregnant" checklist, save for that very last one.  Now here I am: still bloated, my breasts still tender and sensitive.  You may say, well Momma L, those are also common premenstrual signs.  And I would wholeheartedly agree with you, but then add ... they have never been my premenstrual symptoms.  And as an aside, I would have to question too why then has my body decided to express itself so confusingly since 4DPO?  To throw in another wrench, my cycle shortened itself this month from my 29CD average to 25.  My LP stayed the same, which is all well and good, but my body can no longer be trusted.  Every reassurance it offered, every confidence we shared, each pain or tingle we relished ... insincere and duplicitous.  I feel a strange disconnect and yet, fight to form an alliance once again.  


I want to embrace this deception and turn it around into something purposeful.  Maybe it would make this TTC pilgrimage just a little easier.  

We must embrace pain and burn it as fuel for our journey.           ~ Kenji Miyazawa



First step, breathe.
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