Friday, November 30, 2007

A Little Christmas Fun

Go Elf Yourself!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Ramblings on a trip to the GP

(The above picture is of our Golden Retriever, who couldn't look that mean on her own unless somebody was trying to harm Grumpy or I. You can actually see a blur of flesh on either side of her nose... those are my fingers, holding up her lips for her "Grrrrrrrrrrrr" Face. Cute, huh?)

I had to go to my general practitioner today for a thyroid follow up. See, my thyroid levels are "a little off", so we've been "keeping an eye on it" for 4 years. "A little off" meaning off enough that it *could* cause problems (like, say, contribute to infertility?), but not *off enough* to be able to treat, yet. "Keeping an eye on it" means that me, and 4 docs, have been regularly watching the levels for THREE FUCKING YEARS, waiting for them to be *off enough* that we can DO SOMETHING about them. So, today was another blood draw, and I should have results early next week.

I walked into the doc's waiting room, and darn near tripped over an infant, in her carseat, sitting on the floor. Adorable little girl (from what I could tell, only allowing myself to peak at her for a few painful seconds). My ten minute wait consisted of me playing chuzzle on my cell phone, trying desperately to not notice the nurse, receptionist, and technicians that kept pouring out of the back office to fawn all over the sweet little child. Fortunately (so I thought), the little bundle of joy and her parents were called in to an exam room a few minutes before me. Whew, public crying jag successfully avoided.

A lovely nurse calls me back to the exam area, by way of the MEAN AND EVIL scale, and then tells me I've gained 4lbs since I was in last. "Didn't want to see that number," I say. "BULLSHIT! It's winter in MI, I blame the clothes difference!" I think to myself. And, I've convinced myself that this is a perfectly reasonable explanation. After all, my last visit was in May; I was probably wearing a lightweight, short-sleeved top, capris, and sandals. Today, I was in jeans, Come Fuck Me Boots (minus the fishnet stockings), and 3 layers of shirts including an over sized fleece jacket type shirt of Grumpy's. TOTALLY 4lbs worth of extra fabric there, right?

So, I'm ushered into the exam room to wait for the doc. I rejoin my chuzzle game, already in progress, and prepare to wait patiently. And then I hear it. In the next room, the distinct wail of a little person in pain. That's right folks, she was in for her first round of shots. She cried, Mom cried, Dad cried... but I didn't. I bit my lip, I shifted uncomfortably in my chair, I slammed my phone closed, I tried to distract myself with a crappy dr office magazine (which, by the way, were ALL baby/family/pregnancy geared), but I DID NOT CRY.

And for that, I am very proud of myself.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Do I look Christmas-y enough?

I am having such a hard time getting into the spirit this year. Not that I've been real successful at it the past few years, but this year feels even worse. I'm not interested in decorating, could care less about shopping, refuse to listen to Christmas songs on the radio (one station here started playing them Nov 1, and went NON-STOP Christmas music on Thanksgiving, thru the end of the year!) - I really don't want any part of it.

SO, since this *used to be* my favorite time of year, I'm trying to force the issue a bit. Grumpy promised that we'd decorate the house this weekend, so in an effort to push (shove?) start my Christmas spirit, I decided to "decorate" the blog. I figure that's a WHOLE lot easier to do than decorating the house, right?

I've started my shopping. Hell, with 17 people to buy for this year (which is down a bit from usual, as we agreed to not exchange with some friends... money is tight everywhere, it seems), I started my shopping in July! I've got a cart full at Amazon, just waiting on wishlists from 2 more cousins and I'll have 8 people done, and the other 9 started (most of whom I do have ideas for). Not too bad, by my standards.

Once the tree is up, and the presents are bought, I'll spend a day or 2 wrapping everything, which I am still looking forward to. I don't know why, but I've always enjoyed wrapping presents. Got any you need me to wrap? Ship 'em over, with the $ to ship them back to ya! ~*~hmmm, perhaps that's a business idea~*~

Step 2 in forcing the Christmas spirit... planning the decorating festivities at Grandma's house.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Recipes Worth Sharing - Hot Chicken Salad

My mother-in-law shared this recipe with me several years ago. It's yummy in that way that only true comfort food can be.

Hot Chicken Salad

  • 2 cups chicken, cooked and cubed
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise (Miracle Whip works just as well)
  • 1/8 tsp pepper
  • 1/3 cup slivered blanched almonds
  • 1 cup celery, chopped
  • 1 cup slivered blanched almonds
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp salt

  1. Preheat oven to 400.
  2. Combine chicken, celery, onion, 1 cup slivered almonds, Cheddar cheese, mayonnaise, lemon juice, salt & pepper in a 1.5 qt casserole.
  3. Sprinkle with the 1/3 cup slivered almonds.
  4. Bake for 20-25 minutes.

Serves 4-5. We usually serve with a veggie or salad, and some crescent rolls.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Split personality?

I feel like I'm emotionally all over the place these days... Sad, frustrated, then happy, throw some thankful in the mix (just for fun). It's all EXHAUSTING! (Don't believe me? Look back at my most recent posts, other than the recipes. Tell me that's not a bit unbalanced.)

I don't know what to do about it anymore. I don't know if it's true depression, and maybe I should talk to my doc about it? Or maybe I should go back to my counselor for a bit (even though we REALLY can't afford that expense right now)? Is it just my hormones being crazy (because if my chart is any indication, they're certainly not doing what they are SUPPOSED to do)? Am I just overwhelmed right now, what with the holidays, and the bills, and coming up into my busy season at work? Perhaps the fact that I never fully dealt with some things a couple years ago, preferring to take the easy road & "sweep them under the rug" (those things are not IF related, and not open for discussion)?

I do know that something HAS to change. I can't keep bouncing thru emotional peaks & valleys like this. I really need a nice, level plateau. Get me thru the holidays, and to a place where I can figure somethings out (like, perhaps, what our next step in treatments might be, and when we might be able to take it).

I need help, but I don't know who to ask, or where to get it.

Friday, November 23, 2007


Yesterday was a wonderful day for me. Instead of our normal holiday insanity, bouncing between Grumpy's side of the family, my Mom's side of the family, and my Dad, we decided to pick ONE destination for the day. We also took our time getting there, and enjoyed a quiet morning and early afternoon at home.

We slept LATE, had a quiet breakfast of coffee & cinnamon rolls while snuggling on the couch under a blanket, watching a movie. We played with the dog, we laughed, we wrestled... we had FUN! Nice, simple, traditionally "us" fun.

We had dinner at my aunt's house with my Mom's family. Grumpy had to leave early to head for his hunting weekend, so we drove separately so that I could stay as late as I wanted. I didn't end up leaving until after 11, enjoying some family game time with everyone, and a game of "Extreme Uno" with my younger cousins. New nicknames for each other, talking in silly voices, and LOTS of laughter later, and I felt renewed... lighter... happy.

I am significantly older than all of my cousins (3 of them are teenagers, and 3 more that are 4 - 10 years old), and so I tend to have more in common with my Mom's generation than with my own. But, as the "kids" are starting to get older, I find myself really enjoying their company. They are all brilliantly intelligent (yeah, I'm a bit biased... but they really are smart kids), and I just adore the personalities they are developing. I find myself really looking forward to the time when instead of being their older cousin, I can get to be their friend. Spending time with 3 of them last night really reminded me that I need to make more time for them in my life. And not just because I have the opportunity to be a "safe adult" for them to come to (which the 18 year old already does), but because I need to foster those relationships for ME. I'm really good at being an adult, but they let me be a kid sometimes, and remind me that it's ok to be that way. And really, how can I turn down a game of Extreme Uno with Munchkin, the Naughty Nephew, and the Aunt who pees with the door open (after 2 glasses of wine)?

So, long story short, today I'm feeling very thankful... for my wonderful husband, who still gives me butterflies, and can always make me laugh. For my aunts that are incredibly supportive of me as a person, even when they don't agree with the choices that I make. And for the cousins that help me remember to be young, and who I truly hope to call friends as they become adults. And, I'm very thankful for the quiet contentment that yesterday brought me.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving (and a cycle update)

Just wanted to wish you all a safe and Happy Thanksgiving Holiday! Eat too much, laugh too loud, and enjoy your loved ones!

(and no, I didn't test... the realist in me says its cd36 with no o, so why waste the dollar?)

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Can somebody knock some sense into me... please?

ok, it's cd35, of what certainly appears to be an anovulatory cycle. Nothing new, I've had them before, I'll probably have them again. Granted, this one is especially disappointing seeing as how I'm still on the Met, and I *thought* it had been working so well. Guess not, huh?

Anyway, I've had a couple of friends suggest that I test. I, personally, think this is ridiculous. My chart shows nothing even remotely resembling ovulation, I had a lighter than normal AF (altho definitely an AF)... I just really don't see HOW I COULD POSSIBLY be pregnant.

And let me just tell you, I feel like such a ridiculous newbie even typing this post... thinking these thoughts...

And yet, Ms Hope (ridiculous as it is), can't help remind me of all the surprise pregnancies out there right now.... and of how I've always DREAMED of a Christmas announcement to family.... and how it'd be pretty fucking awesome to get a POSITIVE TEST on THANKSGIVING DAY....

So, please, help me shut up stupid ass Ms Hope. I know she's out of her mind, YOU know she's out of her mind, but she's not listening to me.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Recipes Worth Sharing - Chili

In honor of the deer that Grumpy got over the weekend, and thus the batch of chili I will be making the weekend after Thanksgiving, I thought I'd share the chili recipe with you. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

This recipe started out in a Weight Watchers cookbook (and therefore would've been pretty healthy). I've doctored it a bit to make it my own, and therefore won't make any claims as to how healthy it is or isn't. I will tell you that it's awfully darn good, especially on a cold night.


  • 2lbs ground beef, or 1lb each ground beef & ground venison
  • 6 garlic cloves, finely chopped or pressed
  • 4 tbls chili powder
  • 2-3 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 28oz cans crushed tomatoes (unseasoned)
  • 2 16oz can red kidney beans, rinsed & drained
  • 2 sweet onions, chopped
  • 2 4oz cans diced green chiles
  • 4 tbls tomato paste
  • shredded cheddar cheese (optional)
  • cheddar gold fish crackers (optional)

  1. Brown ground meat and garlic together. Drain. Add chili powder & cumin, stirring to coat the meat.
  2. Mix all ingredients in 6 qt crock pot, stirring until mixed thoroughly. Cover & cook on high 4-5 hours.

Makes a LOT. We usually have it for dinner 2 nights, and then I freeze the rest. 1 batch gives the 2 of us enough food for about 6 dinners.

Monday, November 19, 2007


I think I've finally put my finger on how I've been feeling these last few weeks. I think I'm just sad, plain & simple.

I'm not angry or enraged, needing to fight the injustice that is infertility, and the torment it causes to all those effected by it.

I'm not depressed, thinking I may never find my way thru, my answer, my solution (altho I will admit that the sadness dips into the depression level from time to time).

I'm certainly not hopeful... not when it's cd33 and I still haven't ovulated. And not when I'm 3 years, 7 months, and 18 days into a journey that I conservatively (and pretty realistically) thought would take us a year.

I have my bitter days, when I fight the notion that I have to be one of the 12.5%. When I'm beaten and bruised that ANYONE has to deal with this, and simply horrified that I am one of those people.

I have my moments when I'm terrified... of what Grumpy & I must have done to deserve this, or that we will never find a treatment that will work for us, or that our "miracle treament" may be out of reach because of the financial considerations involved.

But, mostly I'm just sad. Sad that this is what my life is now. Sad that I see no light ahead, just tunnel. Sad that it's taking the joy out of my 4th Christmas season, when this used to be my absolute favorite time of year. Sad when I watch my husband play with our niece, nephew, cousins... and that voice in the back of my head wonders if he'll ever be able to roll on the floor with OUR child, or be able to put together toys on birthdays & Christmas for OUR child.

I know this isn't anything earth-shattering... it's nothing we haven't all been thru before (and may be again)... and that in itself makes me sad.

Confessions of a Deer Widow, the Aftermath

First, the good news...... GRUMPY GOT A DEER!!!! WOOHOO Happy Dance!!! I have about 20lbs of venison in the fridge, much of which will go in the freezer this week, some of which we'll grind later in the week for use in chili, sauce, etc.

And now, the progress report:

  1. I was supposed to clean the house. I did some housework, but by no stretch of the imagination would it qualify for "cleaning the house". Oh well, the dirt will still be their tomorrow, right?
  2. Laundry... umm....well.... I got most of it washed & dried, about half of that folded, and um... none of it put away. But I admitted up front that I really suck at the putting away part of laundry, so nobody should be too surprised about that.
  3. Reading.. THIS ONE, I did! I got thru an entire book this weekend, and am planning to start another tonight.
  4. This good ol' #4 was cleaning out the car. Yeah, that didn't happen.
  5. I got my haircut! Didn't lose much length, but she added in some layers. It's got a LOT more volume to it, and more "movement" (as my stylist says).
  6. Yoga/exercise routine... nothing. and yes I feel guilty about that, so there will be no snarkiness about it (at least from me).
  7. Family time... another success! I spent Friday evening with my Mom & Grandma. We ordered chinese takeout, played cards, chatted & laughed! Had a WONDERFUL time! I also had a few conversations with my cousin who's away at college. So, I'd say the family time goal was a definite success!
  8. Outside Christmas decorations. Yeah, nothing there. It was cold, I was unmotivated, the couch was waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too comfie.
  9. Bedtime routine. I'd say I did about 50/50 here. It's getting there, and I've heard it takes 21 days to create a habit, so I'll keep working on it.
  10. Didn't get ANY Christmas shopping done. Didn't even really think about it. Other than Friday night at Grandma's, there wasn't much leaving the house for me.
  11. I did get the meat that HAD been in the fridge into the freezer. Now, I have MORE meat that has to get repackaged and frozen, so apparently that one is a bit of a revolving goal.

Oh, and a quick cycle update: cd33, still no o, no AF, and no idea what the hell is going on.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Recipes Worth Sharing - Chocolate Kahlua Dessert

I stumbled across this recipe online a few years ago. I tried it once, and FELL IN LOVE! It's great to make for parties, as it makes quite a lot, and looks awfully pretty layered in a trifle bowl.

Chocolate Kahlua Dessert

  • 1 box Devil's Food cake mix (and all required ingredients to make cake in pkg directions)
  • 2 pkg Instant Chocolate Pudding Mix (Jell-O brand Devil's Food or Fudge)
  • 3.5 cups whole milk (can substitute low fat, but why?)
  • 0.5 cup Kahlua liqueur
  • 2 containers Cool Whip (normal size, not family size)
  • 6 Heath Bars, crushed (I've had better luck finding bags of Heath ball candy in the stores. I use a whole bag, and crush them with a hammer.)
  1. Bake cake as directed in 9x13 pan, cool and cut into bite sized pieces.
  2. Prepare pudding with milk first, then add Kahlua.
  3. In a punch, trifle, or other large bowl, layer ½ cake pieces, then ½ pudding mixture, then ½ Cool Whip and Heath Bars. Repeat and refrigerate.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Confessions of a Deer Widow

So, the GrumpyOne left last night for his second hunting weekend of the year. First one was in early October for the first weekend of archery season. Today is the kickoff of rifle/long gun season in Michigan, so he HAD to be hunting for opening day. I expect him back Sun evening, hopefully with some yummy ground venison for us to put in the freezer.

Whenever he goes out of town, I always make big Big BIG mental plans for all the things I'm going to do while he's gone. On this weekend's list:

  1. Clean the house
  2. Get the laundry DONE (as in washed, dried, folded, and PUT AWAY! I'm usually good at the first half, but can definitely use some work on the second half.)
  3. Catch up on some reading
  4. Clean out & vacuum my car
  5. Get a much needed haircut
  6. Work on a REAL yoga/exercise routine
  7. Spend some time with Grandma, and other family
  8. Possibly put up the outside Christmas decorations, depending on weather (and next weekend's forecast).
  9. Work on a bedtime routine (you know, make-up off, face washed, teeth brushed & flossed, reading (instead of watching tv) for my pre-sleep downtime)
  10. See what Christmas shopping I can knock out
  11. Get the meat in the fridge repackaged and into the freezer

To me, that looks like a pretty daunting list. Fortunately, I'm off work on Friday, so I have a FULL 3 days to get it done. And I've already made some progress on some things. I've got myself a salon appointment for tomorrow afternoon, so I'll definitely accomplish #5. I went to the library today at lunch, so I'll do something with #3. And I made plans with my Mom and Grandma for a "girls night in" for Friday night, so that takes care of #7.

Now the confession...

Whenever he goes out of town, I fall into a bit of a depression. I may complain about him (much more IRL than I do here, but believe me when I say that I complain), but the truth is, I miss him to pieces when he's not around. I've often spent entire weekends home on the couch, alternating between surfing bad TV (Flavor of Love marathon anyone?), and napping.

Trying to keep myself busy, and productive, is as much about fighting off the depression as it is getting things done that I really have to get done. So, if you can take the time, please say a little prayer for me this weekend, or send me some good thoughts. I'll update on how I did with Monday's post.

Oh, and I'll be posting another recipe for tomorrow's post.

Blogger Flame of Fortitude

I don't want to sound completely ridiculous, or like Sally Fields (You like me! You really really Like Me!!!), so let me just say that I feel incredibly honored to be included here. Thank you Nancy, for the honor of "passing the torch", and for being the first person to introduce me to the blogosphere.

Now, my nominees: (and I know many of them will have already been nominated, or will have already written their post, but I'm saying it anyway, dammit!).

Mel because I honestly believe that without her, there would be no "us". And without "us", I'd be doomed to an awful death, left babbling to myself, yelling about "lying fertility friend" and "sonofabitchin metformin", and well, that just wouldn't be pretty.

Chicklet, Wendy, and R&R because even when I'm at my lowest, those girls can always get a giggle out of me! Their snarky humor allows them to speak out loud the things that I only wish I had the courage to drop from my lips.

Frank because he can find the strangest little tidbits of humor in the insanity that is IF treatment.

Jen for continuing to support those of us in the trenches, even tho she has so much going on in her life.

Smarsh because, dammit, that guy can write! Don't believe me? Check out this post

PJ because her writing speaks to my heart.

Again Nancy, thanks for the nomination. It really does hold a special place in my "blog heart" (if you'll indulge me that last little bit of nonsense)!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


Apparently some of the BlogHer advertisers don't care for my last post too much. Best Buy is the only ad that still shows up right now, with the rest of the ad rotation being blank. Oops... umm... sorry BlogHer.

Anyway, I'm feeling a bit more human today. Still pissed off and frustrated as hell with my body, with finances, with IF. You know, the usual.

I think I'm just really overwhelmed right now. I (still) have lots in my life that isn't where I want it to be. And none of it is a quick fix, I have no easy buttons. I don't know where to start to make it right, but wallowing in all of it sure isn't going to get me anywhere.

So, it's time to really focus, and pick a battle. Preferably something that with the proper attention, I CAN conquer (so, sadly, IF probably won't be it this first time out). And most importantly, something that I can check off the mental list in a somewhat short time. I need a win here, and I need one quick!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Woe the fuck is me

This is a total "woe is me" post, born of intense frustration. Please don't take offense....

  • its cd27, with no sign of ovulation. apparently, the met isn't working as much as I thought
  • the met is, however, taking away all of my energy. it's worse when I eat high sugar foods. and if I get even a teeny bit off the dosage schedule, I pay for it the entire next day
  • I saw another bfp in the blogosphere this morning. that makes 3 in a week, and that's only on my blogroll. (of COURSE I don't begrudge ANY OF YOU your success, so please please PLEASE don't think that)
  • every bfp I see makes me wonder why the FUCK I haven't seen mine yet
  • worse than that, it makes me think I may never see one
  • which of course leads to the whole "what have I done wrong?" thought pattern, and we all know how much fun THAT can be
  • I'm tired of having to work so fucking hard for this, with no real hope left (right now anyway) for success
  • even if I thought it might be time to move on to the "next step", our finances simply won't allow it. not now, not next year, and maybe not in 2009
  • in 2009 I will be well beyond the age at which I "ideally" wanted to start my family

Woe is me, woe is me... I'm going home early and getting drunk... Woe is me, woe is me... I'm getting so drunk that I pass out and will sleep the day (and hopefully this mood) away

Woe the fuck is me

Monday, November 12, 2007

Help Wanted, Healthy Ovary

Looking to fill TWO positions, ASAP.

Ideal candidate(s) would:

  • Be drug and disease free
  • Be a self-motivated worker
  • Produce and release 1-2 quality eggs every 28-30 days
  • Be goal oriented and able to work within required timeline
  • Maintain appropriate production schedule without the need for outside stimulants

Benefits include:

  • 9 or more months vacation time upon completed project
  • Good health insurance coverage
  • Pay is negotiable
  • Bonus plan eligibility upon project completion
  • Full retirement package after 20 years of dedicated service

Corporate culture:

  • Non-invasive management methods preferred
  • Daily (brief) progress updates required
  • Some toxicity found in workplace, but we are actively working to minimize/remove those risks
  • Work area was thoroughly cleaned of all unnecessary and unwanted physical hazards, using the most up-to-date technology available, approximately 3 years ago. Area has been stringently monitored since then to avoid recurrence of previous hazards.

Does this sound like you? If so, applications are being accepted here.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Recipes Worth Sharing - Linda's Taco Salad

Some of you may have noticed that I have a second blog going on. It's nothing fancy, just a collection of recipes that I've found, some that I've even used, and that I want to have access to in the future.

I've had a lot of fun working on it, and still do when I make the time for it. Some of the recipes there are from friends & family, and someday soon I hope to include the recipes I have for the good, "old world" Italian cooking that's been passed on through the generations.

I've decided to occasionally pic one of my favorites, and share it here (since I KNOW I have a whole lot more readers here than on the other blog). Here's the first installment:

Linda's Taco Salad (Linda is my cousin, and she makes this salad for most family gatherings & parties during the summer. She & her brother fight over who actually created the recipe, but she was the one that FINALLY responded to my request for it, so she gets the credit!)

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 lg head iceburg lettuce, shredded (or 2 bags ready to use shredded iceburg, or 2 16 oz bags of salad greens, chopped smaller)
  • 3 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 16 oz bottle ranch dressing (I prefer sour cream & onion flavored ranch)
  • 1 can pitted black olives (optional), diced/sliced to a size you like
  • 3-4 green onions, chopped (use the whites of the onion, too)
  • 1 qt grape tomatoes, diced to a size you like
  • 1 pkg mild taco seasoning mix
  • 1 bag Taco Doritos

  1. Brown the ground beef until just cooked, drain. Return it to frying pan & follow directions on taco seasoning mix. If the mix calls for liquid, drain again once added & cooked (you don't want the beef to be too wet).
  2. Place all ingredients except dressing & Doritos into a large serving bowl, mix well.
  3. Just before serving, add about 1/2 the bottle of dressing and crushed Doritos. Serve with remaining dressing in case people want to add some.

***Note: I try to only mix dressing & Doritos into the salad that I know will get eaten at that serving. The salad keeps ok in the fridge for a few days without them, but once they're in, you've only got about 24 hours before it turns into an icky slimy mess.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

The 12.5%, Statistically Speaking

We've spent some time lately in the blogosphere talking about the 12.5% of the population that we represent. I decided to do some research, and see how that 12.5% fits in with some other important health related issues of the day.

According to the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics:

  • 16.8% of the population (under age 65) was uninsured in 2006.
  • 6.5% of children ages 3-17 have ever been diagnosed with ADHD.
  • 14% of adults have been diagnosed with chronic sinusitis.
  • 17% of adolescents (ages 12-19) are overweight.
  • Of kids ages 12-17, 12% had smoked cigarettes in the last month, and 18% had consumed alcohol (data collected in 2004).
  • 17% of adults (over age 20) have high cholesterol.

Now, those may seem like some pretty random numbers. To be honest, they are. But I picked them because:

  1. The percentages are similar to our 12.5%
  2. ALL of the above conditions/concerns get more attention in the media, and in society, than our 12.5%.
  3. None of the above diseases are life threatening in and of themselves (just like infertility), and yet ALL of them are covered by health insurance.

I'm not sure what all of this means in the "big picture", or what, if anything, we can do about it. I do know that even though I'm not a stats expert (hell, I've never even taken a statistics class), those numbers don't lie. And I know that just seeing that all in black & white makes me angry.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Blogtavism, My Story

My husband and I, like most couples, are working our way towards living the "American Dream". We have gotten a good start on it, as we are both from very supportive families, both work full time jobs, own our own home (along with the bank, of course), have the requisite 2 cars, as well as lots of the toys that go along with being young adults in today's society. Hell, we even have the picturesque golden retriever prancing around the back yard. All that is missing is children.

We have both always wanted kids. Have talked about "someday" being parents for the entire 11 years we've been together. We have got a niece and nephew on his side, and both of his sisters have asked us to be legal guardians, should the unthinkable ever happen. We have got LOTS of little cousins on my side, all of which are more like nieces & nephews than cousins. We both grew up babysitting, have volunteered as youth mentors, spent weekends with young relatives "just for the fun of it". We have surrounded ourselves and our lives with children because we enjoy their company, the innocence they bring to any situation, the joy we feel watching them experience something for the first time. And yet nature, or God, or biology, has decided that we don't get to have our own (at least not in the conventional, unassisted way).

I thank God every day for the fact that our medical insurance has covered a significant portion of our infertility treatments. I was diagnosed 3 years ago with endometriosis. I have since also been diagnosed as anovulatory, most likely caused by polycystic ovarian syndrome (or PCOS). Because of these diagnoses, it is incredibly unlikely that I will ever be able to get pregnant without medical assistance. So far on our journey through infertility, I've been on 6 different prescription medications, have had 2 HSG tests to insure that there is no blockage to my fallopian tubes, have been through 2 insemination cycles with a reproductive endocrinologist (RE), and at least 6 monitored cycles with additional testing. If we did not have infertility coverage through our medical insurance, almost all of this would have been out of our financial reach. Thankfully, all of our testing, surgery, medications, and doctor visits have been covered by insurance, with only the inseminations themselves being a 100% out-of-pocket expense. Had we not had the coverage that we do, we would have been spending at least $1,000 per insemination cycle with the RE. That can certainly be cost-prohibitive for the "average American family". It definitely would have limited our options, and could very well have delayed the more recent diagnoses that I've received, in turn delaying the entire process.

Since we don't yet have children, we still have some decisions to make. I am currently on a medication that seems to be working, so we plan to stick with it for a while longer. Unfortunately, if we need to take that next step, it will mean returning to the RE, and to more invasive procedures. Having more comprehensive coverage would certainly make it easier to plan the next steps in our journey. Taking the oppressive cost of IVF off the table would allow us to explore all of our options, and to make a decision with our doctor based on our medical needs, not our checkbook balance.

For every man, woman, or couple that I've talked to about it, infertility is a difficult road to travel under the best of circumstances. Adding financial limitations into the decision making process does nothing but rub salt in a very open wound. It is infuriating to me that good people, with stable lives and love in their hearts, have to give up the dream of being parents because the cost of treatments is so burdensome. With modern medicine finding reasonable and reliable treatments for this condition, why are those of us dealing with infertility having to make our checkbooks a deciding factor?

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Afraid of Success?

I think I'm actually afraid of finally winning at this damn "game". Fear is the only possibility I can cling to that might explain my ridiculous behavior over these past few cycles.

The metformin really does seem to be working (altho you can't tell that from this cycle, yet). I've had 2 definitive ovulation cycles since I've been on it. My cycle length is reducing to something MUCH more respectable. I have an idea of when I *should* ovulate (which I haven't ever had in the whole time we've been doing this, other than the monitored cycles with the RE).

And yet, when it comes down to "doing the deed", I can't muster the energy to do the damned deed. I know, I know, it shouldn't feel that way. But it does... "baby making" sex SUCKS, and anyone that's been in this game long enough knows that.

The last time we were really "trying", hubby said that he felt like a sperm donor, a means to an end. I'm starting to relate to that feeling... starting to feel like a "sperm receptacle", or an egg factory. My life is once again being dictated by the thermometer, and it frustrates the hell out of me. So I rebel... "Fuck it" I say. And then I get that lovely confirmed ovulation on my chart, and I spend the 2 week wait kicking myself, knowing that we're not really "in" for that cycle. And that I have nobody to blame but myself.

Do I need a break? Maybe. Maybe the stress of all of this is too much right now. We have lots of other stuff going on right now, I'm getting into my busy season at work, our finances are a mess, the holidays are coming, our marriage can still certainly use some TLC...

Will I take a break? I doubt it. We're not getting any younger, we're at the perfect time of year to conceive and avoid that busy work season, I've finally found something that makes me ovulate and I don't want to waste those good cycles or go off the med...

Maybe I'll hope that unplanned sex will actually be timed well enough for a *surprise* pregnancy. Maybe really try to get my shit together on all the other stuff I'm feeling so overwhelmed by, and if a baby puts itself in the mix, it'll be a bonus. Maybe just say "fuck it" until after the busy season, and get back to the RE in May.

Or maybe I'll just keep on whining about it all...

Monday, November 5, 2007

Vote for Mel!

Ok, seeing as how she is the glue that holds our entire corner of the blogosphere together, I can't NOT include a post about this for her.

I'll summarize the details for you here:

She's been nominated, and is a finalist, for the "Best Medical/Health Issues Blog" on the web. Winners will be determined thru a good ol' fashion vote, so let's STUFF THAT BALLOT BOX!!! Voting closes Nov 8, and you can vote once every 24 hours.

So, go here, scroll down to "Best Medical/Health Issues Blog" under the heading "Topic Area Categories", and vote for Stirrup Queens!

Oh, and if you want to hear what Mel has to say about it, her post is here.'

(And Holy Hell! Her blogroll is up to 1,000!?!?!?!)

Friday, November 2, 2007

Happiness??? Oh Happiness???

Well, I just read Lori's post on Happiness, and I'm being a good little blogger and considering myself tagged.

6 Things I pay for that come with Happiness (It's a Bonus!)

  1. Christmas ornaments. I love 'em! And each one I buy, I can manage to look at years later & remember where I got it, what struck me about it, etc.

  2. A piece of Muffaletta from Vito's. Now THAT's Mmmm Mmmm Good!

  3. Our camper. I've talked about it several times already, but I can't wait for the time when it's all ready to go, and we can just "take off" for weekends away, not having to worry about hotels or restaurants or who can watch the dog.

  4. Rimadyl. It's brought our aging Golden Retriever back to her energetic, playful self.

  5. Gas station cappuccino. I don't know why, but I love the stuff. It's a must for an evening road trip, and a treat for any chilly day that we're out and about.

  6. Candles. More specifically, any baking scented candles. Vanilla is a safe staple in the collection, but I love most any of the baking type scents (apple pie, banana nut bread, etc). I love the smell, the way the flames flicker, the soft and warm light they give off, the way they will warm our living room just enough to take the chill out of the air.
6 Things that are Free that come with Happiness

  1. Grandpa's sweatshirts. Being able to curl up on a cold day in one of his sweatshirts always makes me feel safe & warm.

  2. Playing cards with Grandma.

  3. Kisses from the Kaylah puppy, or snuggles from Paisano (the angry cat).

  4. My hubby's sense of humor. And the fact that he's made it his personal mission to get me to laugh (a big hearty laugh) at least once a day.

  5. A cup of coffee out on the patio on a cool, clear morning. So relaxing, so peaceful.

  6. Family nap time. Hubby & I will occassionally take a nap in the evenings, or the middle of a weekend afternoon. We'll call the dog & cat up on the bed, get all snuggled in together, and snooze for a while. Heavenly!

As a side note, it was much easier for me to come up with the free happiness things than the bought happiness. Not quite sure what it means, but I found it interesting.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

On the Road Again....

and Again and Again and Again.

Have I mentioned how much I HATE that song? Hate it hate it hate it! My Dad used to sing it as we were heading for the annual reunion on his side of the family. 6 hours in the car (each way) to spend 4 days in a town that I was related to. Yep, the whole town... Kinda scary, isn't it? And did I mention that my Dad can't sing? As he likes to say, he "can't carry a tune in a bucket". So, I always tie that song to memories of those dreaded trips up north to spend time with that side of the family.

Anywho, we're heading out of town, again, tomorrow. Going up to do some more work on the camper, and Mike might even get some hunting in while we're there (altho that is not his priority).

By the end of this weekend, we'll have owned the camper for a total of 16 days. In that time, I'll have put over 2,000 miles on my ass in the truck for trips directly related to the camper. Bear with me while I run the math here for you. And my sincere apologies, as I'm sure my equations will not be properly formatted, but its been a while since I've even attempted algebra, lol.

The first weekend,we went to stay with our friends up north, which is about 125 miles away (250 mile round trip), and we went every day to look at the camper. It was about a 175 mile round trip from where we were staying. 250 + (175 x 3) = 775.

Then, I woke up that Monday morning not remembering if I had closed the roof vent on the camper. And "they" had rain forecasted for the whole week. And we had the only set of keys to the thing. And the camper was still at the sellers house, which is about a 400 mile round trip. So now we're at 400 + 775 = 1175. Still with me?

Then this past weekend (well, Friday of it anyway), we had to go meet up with the sellers. We still owed them the final payment on the camper, and they still had the hitch that they were "throwing in" with the purchase. And they live all the way across the state. We're about 3 miles from the eastern shore, and they're about 1 mile from the western shore, 200 miles from us. Another 400 mile round trip! That makes it 400 + 1175 = 1575.

Saturday was spent getting a new hitch installed, as the one they "threw in" was a rusted piece of crap that won't work on our truck. GRRRR! Another 100ish mile round trip, bringing our grand total to 1675.

Sunday, we got to go pick up the camper. We had to go back to the property the sellers own up north (200 miles away), take it to our friends that are so kind to let us leave it on their property for the winter (90 miles), and then come home (125 miles). 200 + 90 + 125 = 415. 415 + 1575 = 1990. Let's just call that 2,000.

And now tomorrow morning, we leave to go up to the camper again. Back to our friends house. Another 250 mile round trip... 2,250 miles, on my ass, in 16 days!

I so can't wait to put my ass On the Couch Again.