Monday, December 16, 2013

How I fell in love with New York City

So sorry I've been away for so long!!  I'll try my best to not do that again!  I've been debating several different topics for my next blog post, and then before I knew it, several weeks had flown by and I hadn't posted.  I will post an update about our TTC journey very soon, I promise!  First, though, I wanted to post about a trip Dusty and I took a year ago, and was recently reminded of thanks to my Timehop app.

Last year, for my 30th birthday, Dusty surprised me with a trip to New York City.  I had, for about as long as I can remember, wanted to go to NYC at Christmastime to see the tree at Rockefeller Center.  For my birthday, Dusty had researched flights and picked a weekend for us to go, and then presented me with a certificate stating he was taking me to NYC in December.  We were able to find a relatively cheap flight, and the best part of the trip was our hotel was "free".  Because I traveled so much for work last year, I had so many Hilton Honors points, that we actually stayed at the Hilton in Times Square for 3 nights on points, which was awesome!! 


Dusty and I arrived in NYC around 11:30 on Thursday night.  We immediately dropped our bags off in our room and ventured out into Times Square.  I was absolutely in awe of my surroundings.  The first picture below was taken from the plane on our way into NYC, and then the 2nd was a selfie while we were walking around Times Square the first night.




 

The next day, we went to Junior's for breakfast, walked around inside Central Park, walked down 5th Avenue, and then all of the sudden, looked to our right, and found ourselves at Rockefeller Center.  It honestly was breathtaking and I felt like a little kid on Christmas morning!  The picture below isn't the best, but I wanted to post what it was like when I first saw the tree! 

Then, after walking around Rockefeller Center, we walked to Macy's, and let me tell you, that was overwhelming!  I went in wanting to look for coats and purses, and let me tell you, I have never given up and just walked out of a store until then!  Ha!!  Macy's in NYC is the world's largest store and it felt like it!  Dusty and I went in on one floor and took escalators down one level and I promise you, we looked around and I think the entire floor was men's underwear!  Ok, probably not the entire floor, but it sure felt like it.  We quickly gave up and left!
 
After we left Macy's, we went to the most delicious restaurant, Tony's Di Napoli, and ate way too much food.  It was fantastic!  After that, we went back to the hotel to get ready for a light tour, which was really a great way to learn a lot about some attractions around the City in just a couple of hours.  In this tour, we visited Lincoln Center, Grand Central Terminal, Macy's, Bryant Park and Lord and Taylor to look at the Christmas displays.  They were all absolutely gorgeous!
 
The next day, we ventured out and decided to try the subway.  I had read about an app on TripAdvisor called HopStop, which was great, all we had to do was plug in where we wanted to go and it walked us to the nearest subway station and told us which train to take.  We decided to go visit High Line Park.  High Line Park is a 1 mile park built on old elevated tracks and is just neat!  After leaving High Line Park, we went to Wicked (Amazing!!), then dinner at Porter House, which was delicious, and then Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola.  Dizzy's is a jazz club with an amazing view of the Manhattan skyline.  After leaving there, we went back to Bryant Park, hoping to ice skate, but the line was too long, so, being that it was 10:30 at night, I decided to give Macy's another try.  I'm so glad I did, as I found a coat that I absolutely loved, and then another for my mom for Christmas. 
 
Our last day, we went to the Empire State Building, and then Battery Park to see the Statue of Liberty.  We were just planning to view the statue from the park, but when we got there, there was a ferry leaving to go by the statue, so we hopped on the ferry!
We absolutely loved everything about NYC!!  We want to go back, as there were so many things we didn't get to do.  Also, people talk about New Yorker's and their attitudes, but I have to say, everybody was SO nice to us!  We didn't encounter anyone that was the slightest bit rude.  We are really hoping to get to go back during warmer weather and spend more time in Central Park and visit the 911 Memorial.  Also, when we were in Aruba, we became friends with a great couple from NY, so we'd love to go back and be able to visit them!!
 
Below is a collage of some of my favorite pictures from our trip.  So thankful for my amazing husband who gave me one of my best birthday presents ever! 
 



Wednesday, November 27, 2013

On the Go...

Dusty and I have been on the go a lot lately.  We are constantly planning weekend trips and doing various things.  Since getting back from Vegas, we have gone to Omaha for a weekend trip, and then to Nashville for a weekend trip, yes, both times were to see SNC.  :)  We've done some other things here and there as well, and I've been traveling quite a bit for work. 

A couple of people have made comments about us always being gone and never being home.  I almost feel like they think we're wasting money being on the go all the time.  I don't care what people think.  It is none of their business. 

The truth is, Dusty and I are both hurting right now, and constantly being on the go is almost therapy for us.  The less time we have to sit at home and dwell on the fact that we're there, just the two of us (and Banjo and Winston, of course), the better our moods are.  Dusty and I have always enjoyed traveling, and it really is a way for us to escape everything and just relax, and stop thinking about all of the stresses in our lives, whether it is TTC, or work, or whatever. 

So, until we have children, we will try our best to continue to live life to the fullest and really just enjoy each other and the things that bring us a little bit of happiness right now.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Everybody is pregnant...

Is it just me, or is everybody pregnant right now?  I can't open Facebook or Instagram without seeing smiling, beautiful pregnant women.  And honestly, I'm more ok with my friends being the pregnant ones because at least then I can try to feel happy for them, but no lie, in the last 2 days, I've seen 3 separate celebrities announce pregnancies.  I just want to scream.  I really love the ones that are like, so and so and their boyfriend are expecting.  That's lovely. 

Recently, I thought, you know what, I'm going to look on Pinterest and search for infertility, and came across a funny ecard (yes, I know, totally 6 months ago) that just pretty much sums up how I feel most of the time.  I apologize in advance because this is pretty snarky and mean.


But - isn't that the truth?!?  It seems so unfair that Dusty and I are finally in a place where we are able to have children, and support them financially, and here we are, unable to have children, easily, at least.  Anyway, I've really been down and just in a bad place, but, I must say, I've had several friends and family members reach out to me, some without even knowing how bad of a place I was in, and really have helped pull me up, which I am so very appreciative of.

I'll post again in the next week or so with an update as to what is going on in the baby making world.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Struggling

Being 100% honest, I am really struggling right now. 

I know IUI wasn't a guarantee or anything, but when all things looked good and the counts were near perfect, it just felt right.  It felt like it would happen.  And then, absolutely nothing happened. 

I was trying not to dwell on it and was trying to just not even think about it.  After all, it was just another negative, what's new, right?  I've been seeing negatives for 15 months in a row, after all. 

And then, and I'm hesitant to even post this because I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings, but a couple of our friends posted on Facebook in the last couple of weeks that they are expecting, and it just threw me over the top.  I am happy for them, I really am.  They are great people and they deserve all the happiness in the world.  But damnit, so do we! 

At this point, it just feels like God hates us, and to be honest, I'm not very fond of him at the moment.  I get we are all given struggles to get through, but I'm tired of it.  I don't want to try to get through it anymore.  I want to have a baby.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Another Negative

Another negative.  Another disappointment.  More tears.

Two weeks ago, Dusty and I had another IUI procedure.  Everything about this one felt so right.  I took my clomid and scheduled my first ultrasound with my actual doctor.  At the first ultrasound, I had one large follicle on the right side, and we scheduled the IUI for the following Monday.  It all seemed perfect.  My ultrasound was on day 12, which is usually too early and has led to multiple ultrasounds, but this time, it was right on time.  For the IUI, Dusty's counts were pretty much perfect.  Dr. P was the one to do the IUI.  I just knew all of these things were coming together perfectly.

Apparently none of that matters.  

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Vegas & Straight No Chaser, Baby!!

Dusty and I went to Vegas recently, and I wanted to share a little about our trip on here.  About three years ago, Dusty and I were flipping through channels on the tv, and came across the local PBS station.  They were airing a special with a group called Straight No Chaser (SNC).  We instantly fell in love the group.  The things they were able to do with no instruments or special effects were incredible.  Dusty and I attended our first concert in October of 2010 and after seeing them live, loved them even more!  Part of the appeal for Dusty and me is our love of music, including the technicalities within music (more Dusty than me), and Dusty and I have such an appreciation for the musical talent these guys have. 

Since seeing Straight No Chaser in 2010, we saw them again in October of 2011 in Kansas City.  We went to Iowa to run the Race for the Cure with his sisters in Des Moines, and just happened to check their schedule and saw they were going to be in Kansas City the very day we would be driving through there on our way home from Iowa.  Then, they were in Fort Smith in April of 2012, so we saw them a third time then.

Last fall, SNC had a Straight No Chaser cruise event.  We had already planned other vacations last year, and didn't have the funds or time off to do the cruise.  After seeing other "Chasers" post videos on YouTube and other places, I knew I didn't want to miss out on the fun if they did another cruise. 

Instead of a cruise this year, they had a Chaser Summit in Las Vegas.  Included in the Summit was a cocktail party with the guys, bowling and hanging out with the guys, Q&A time with management and with the guys, and 4 concerts!!  Dusty and I got to meet the guys of SNC and listen to some amazing music. 

Here are a few of our pictures from our time in Vegas. 

I may or may not have a big time crush on the guy holding the red solo cup in the collage pic (hey, he's HOT!!!).  It's all good, Dusty is completely aware of this.  :)
 
Here is a link to their newest mash-up, which was a HUGE crowd favorite!
 
 
So - that is a recap of our Vegas trip!  Love Straight No Chaser...as if you couldn't tell.
 

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Officially Negative

Sorry for my time away from posting any blogs.  Work has been a little crazy, not much has changed on the baby front, and then Dusty and I took a quick 4 day trip to Vegas over the weekend, which I'll post about in another post soon.

On Monday, September 23rd, I went to the doctor's office to have a blood test done to confirm I wasn't pregnant.  I got there at 8:00, and was back at work by 8:20.  My doctor's office called around lunch time with the news that I knew I would hear, I'm not pregnant. 

I really do love my doctor's office, but the down side is having to see so many different doctors, so, when I got a call with my results, it was actually from the nurse of the doctor I saw from my 2nd ultrasound of my 2nd round of clomid, so, a doctor I saw in June.  The nurse asked me if I wanted to continue with another IUI this cycle, and I told her I wasn't having a cycle, which was the whole reason for the blood test.  I then told her that my regular doctor's nurse {even though I haven't seen that doctor since April!!!} said I would be prescribed something to start my period.  The nurse's response was something like, oh, let me check with her.  So, about an hour later, I got a call telling me they would call in a prescription {yet another one} for a hormone to make my period start.  It would be a 10 day prescription and my period could start any of the 10 days, or none of them, and if it didn't, to call back. 

Well...here I am, 8 pills into this perscription and nothing.  I'm now on cycle day 48 and nothing.  Go figure.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Angry

As I have said before, I want this blog to be my honest feelings.  So, I apologize in advance for this blog post, because I know it isn't going to be a popular one.  Some of you may be disappointed in me for what I write here in this post, and I'm sorry, I really am, but, this is how I'm feeling right now, and I promise you I'm trying to fight it, but right now, at this moment, I'm losing the battle.  So, I want to get the words out, I want to write.  It's therapeutic for me.

Right now, I'm angry.  I'm angry at my body.  I'm angry at the whole world.  I'm angry at God (and I know I shouldn't be, I really do, and I really feel guilty even typing that).  This anger is always right under the surface.  It is almost as if I can literally feel my blood simmering in anger, just waiting to reach a boiling point.  And unfortunately, when it has reached that point, I have struck out against those I love the most, my husband and my mom. 

Dusty and I have been through a lot, and this is the first time I really have felt truly angry with God.  In June, 2010, I lost my dad.  I was a daddy's girl through and through, and at 27, my daddy died, on father's day.  I had all the reason in the world to be angry with God then, but I wasn't.  That doesn't mean I wasn't hurt, I was, it was the hardest thing I had ever been through, but I don't remember anger.  Then, in July of 2012, my father-in-law died suddenly from a heart attack.  Again, I could have been angry, but I wasn't.  God gave me strength then, to be Dusty's rock, for once, after he had been mine over and over. 

However, in this moment, I feel anger.  And it hurts me to feel this way.  I know it isn't healthy, but I don't know what to do.  I've prayed, and prayed for a child.  It hurts so hard when I see others happy with their children.  Dear friends, please don't take this personally, as I am truly happy for you, but for myself, I hurt.  One of my dearest friends told me this week that she is pregnant, and I really am happy for her, and she even told me she hesitated to tell me, because of my situation.  I told her that she shouldn't worry about that!  I really am thrilled for her and her husband, they deserve all of the happiness in the world.  But it stings at the same time.  And I swear to you, there are record numbers of pregnant women walking around right now.  Everywhere I look, I see a beautiful, round, glowing pregnant woman and I turn green with envy and quickly look away.  

I know that Dusty and I have a very long way to go in this journey and it is way too early to feel this way.  And I know this too shall pass.  

For an update on the TTC journey, as I last told you, I'm not pregnant.  The IUI didn't work.  However; my period has still not started, and I'm about a week late at this point.  I've taken a couple more pregnancy tests just in case, but they continue to be negative.  My stupid app that I use to track my period (yep, there's an app for that), is even asking me if I'm pregnant.  

I called my doctor's nurse yesterday and asked what is going on.  I'm scheduled to go in for a blood test on Monday to verify I'm not pregnant, and then when that is confirmed, I'll be given medicine to start my period and get moving down the road with the next IUI.  I asked the nurse what was going on, and she said that it may be that I didn't ovulate right, or something like that, even with the trigger shot.  So, who knows.  All of these hormones and drugs going into my body has it confused, I'm sure.  So now, I'll take more to help straighten out the mess the others caused.  What a vicious cycle.   

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Big Fat Negative...

Seven times...that is how many times I stared at a home pregnancy test wishing for that second line to appear.  Zero times is how many times it did.  Yes, I tortured myself 7 times in less that a week.  

I couldn't wait, so I took the first test early last week.  Then, I convinced myself it was just too early, so I waited a couple of days and tested again, and again, and again, each time becoming more and more angry and depressed.  

I don't even really know what to say.  I'm discouraged.  I'm hurt.  I'm boarder line depressed.  

I'm 31 and childless.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Let's get pregnant...

One week...7 days.  That's all.  Only 1 week has passed since our IUI procedure.  It feels like much longer than a week. 

Last Friday, Dusty and I went in for the IUI procedure.  Dusty did his thing, and we got to the clinic at 9:00 to drop off his part of this process.  Then, we had an hour to spend before it was time for the IUI procedure.  I tried my best to not focus on how unfair it is to have to go to the doctor to get pregnant.  There is nothing intimate about it, nothing beautiful, nothing like that at all.  Dusty's in the bathroom doing his thing, and then an hour or so later, a doctor is going to take that, put it in me, in order to help us try to get pregnant.  It makes the whole process feel cold and distant.  So...to try to keep from dwelling on that, Dusty and I went to Walmart (of course), because we had to pick up dog food for the pups {man, those little guys burn through the food, haha!!}, and then went to Petsmart so I could get filter cartridges for my fish tank filter.  Then, we headed back to the clinic for the IUI. 

The actual IUI procedure wasn't too bad.  There was a little bit of pain, but nothing compared to the HSG test.  As I told the doctor, it would be well worth it if we get pregnant.  The doctor and his nurse were great!  As we handed Dusty's sample to the nurse, she said something like, alright, we'll see you in an hour to get you pregnant.  Then, as we were getting ready for the IUI procedure, the doctor said, let's make this work, there is no reason why this can't work the first time.  I really appreciated the positive thoughts, and I pray they helped! 

The IUI procedure only took about 5 minutes, and then they had me stay on the table for 20 minutes before leaving.  I didn't know how I would feel afterwards, so I stayed home for the rest of the day.  Dusty headed into work and I laid on the couch watching past episodes of Scandal, Grey's & Lost. 

In the week since the procedure, I have felt great.  I haven't had any cramping or any side effects.  I hope that isn't a bad sign!  I've been exhausted, but I figured that's just the stress and anxiety of the last week's activity catching up with me. 

So...it's been a week, and I have 7 more days before I'm supposed to take a pregnancy test.  From what I've gathered, since the trigger shot I took was an HCG shot, which is the pregnancy hormone, if I were to take a pregnancy test now, it would be positive.  My 31st birthday is Wednesday.  I'm going to have a very hard time waiting until next Friday to take a pregnancy test.  I may take a test on my birthday.  Wouldn't that be the best birthday present ever?!?!  I remember last year, I took a pregnancy test on my birthday.  That was a very depressing day.  I remember wondering how in the world I was turning 30 and childless.  I hope and pray this birthday is better.

I probably won't blog about my results, positive or negative, for a while, because Dusty and I want to be able to tell our family together, if we are blessed enough to be pregnant.  I'm so sorry, guys, but I know you guys understand.  In the meantime, I'll try to find other things to blog about that aren't boring.  :) 

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

WooPigSooie!!

The Razorbacks had their first home game of the season on Saturday.  It was a great game, they won 34-14!  I must say, I’m pretty impressed with how the Hogs looked and have more hope than I had a week ago at this time!  Anyone that knows me, knows I am an avid sports-girl and Razorback fan.  I have loved the Hogs from as early as I can remember.  With where I grew up, most people are either OU or Arkansas fans, with very few being Mizzou fans, even though I’m from Missouri, so it was just natural for me to be a Razorback fan.
As with every home game, we had a big tailgate before the game with my brother and his family.  It is always a good time with friends and food, and beverages, of course, but having had my IUI the day before, I, of course, did not partake in the beverages.  J  Below is a picture of our set up.  My brother goes all out for tailgates, as you can probably see. 

This game was incredibly hot.  I don’t know how the players did it.  I think it was around 97 degrees at kick off and it was miserable!  Kick off was at 3:00, and as we were packing up the tailgate around 1:30, I had sweat just rolling off of me.  Luckily, I have a great boss who has tickets for a box.  My boss was out of town attending a different game in Dallas, so he offered his tickets to me.  I must say, if I hadn’t been sitting in the box, I probably wouldn’t have stayed for the entire game.  I could get used to being in a box, haha!


So, that was a recap of what we did on Saturday.  I will post a recap of my IUI sometime in the next couple of days. 

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Quick Update

I just wanted to post a quick update after my ultrasound this morning.  One follicle continued to grow, so that's good!  The doctor also decided that, based on the size of the follicle, I could wait another day for the IUI.  So, tomorrow morning, I'm going in to get my trigger shot and then on Friday, we will do IUI (with another different doctor...and a guy doctor...).

I don't know why, but I'm feeling down after the appointment.  I really have no idea.  I hope it is just the crazy hormones from the estrogen supplement I'm taking.  The doctor didn't seem discouraged or anything like that, so I really don't know what's going on.

I also had a horrible dream last night, which led to me waking up and just crying my eyes out, so my day didn't start off too great.  I have the most vivid dreams, and they are always about the most bizarre things.  This one involved Dusty and I driving off into the ocean and him becoming a catfish and me not being able to make him a human again.  It was HORRIBLE!  I really would love to know what a dream interpreter has to say about some of my crazy dreams; I think I would stump them!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Doctor Visit Update

As I have previously posted, I had my first ultrasound of this cycle yesterday.  It went very well!  Thank you, God!  I met another new doctor, Dr. H, and she was super nice!  We got started and as always, the first thing she checked was my lining.  Apparently those little green pills being shoved up my you-know-what are doing the trick, because she said that my lining looked great.  Then, she checked my left side, and there were 1 or 2 small follicles developing on that side, but we didn't really spend much time there because of two reasons, 1, they were small, and 2, that is the side of my blocked tube (even though it is still possible, per the doctors, for a follicle on the left side to be picked up by the right tube, which just seems completely crazy).  After checking my left side, we moved to my right side, which looked good!  I had one very good sized follicle, a medium one, and a couple of small ones.  She said it looked good.  Thank God for all of these positives!!

So, the next step is another ultrasound tomorrow, to check the status of things, and then if everything is still looking good, I'll get my HCG trigger shot at the doctor's office (again, thank you, God, for me not having to give myself a shot, or have Dusty give me a shot), and then we'll do IUI on Thursday!  And yes, Dr. H called it IUI, so I'm going with that. 

I'm so thankful for our family and friends who are keeping Dusty and me in your prayers.  So many of you have let us know you're keeping us in your prayers and that means more than I can even express.  Thank you all so much.  We can really feel your prayers and feel very positive about this cycle.  I know that is because of everyone's prayers, thank you all again!! 

I'll post an update and let you all know how tomorrow and Thursday goes.  I know I've said it about 50 times this post, but thanks so much for the prayers, Thursday is a very big day, and the prayers are much needed!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Rough Week...

Last week was a pretty rough week.  I know I really don't have much to complain about, so I should just shut up, but I want to be honest with my feelings  and emotions on here, and to tell the truth, last week was difficult.

I started the increased dose of clomid on Saturday, the 17th.  Through Tuesday, there were no major changes from my previous symptoms, just headaches.  However; beginning Tuesday evening, I started having pretty intense constant pain in my middle back.  I don't know if this was a kidney infection, or what, but it really hurt.  I also experienced my first of several hot flashes with this cycle.  Wow!  Those suck.  I woke up in the middle of the night, Tuesday night, and was just drenched in sweat and incredibly hot.  It was 71 degrees in our house; I shouldn't have been that hot.  That was when I figured out I was having a hot flash.  Then I had another one on Wednesday while at work.  It was lovely.  Also, my back pain seemed to get much worse on Wednesday and Thursday.  It even woke me up those nights with pain so intense, it took me over an hour each night to get back to sleep.  I thought about using a heat pad to help the pain, but with the hot flashes, I was hot enough to begin with!  I didn't want to add any heat! 

Beginning late Thursday, I started having a constant dull ache around my ovaries.  I am sure this is from my ovaries becoming very stimulated with the increased dose of clomid, and I was expecting this pain, but it still hurt.  By Friday, I felt like my insides were completely beat up.  I went home from work early on Friday just to go home and rest. 

Oh!  Not to mention the estrogen supplement.  That started Thursday night.  Let me tell you, it's quite a lovely experience to take a little green pill and push it up someplace where you never, ever consider putting a pill (or at least I wouldn't).  There is something that almost feels degrading to have to do that.  I know that sounds stupid, but that's how I felt.  Maybe this is just my hormones going crazy that make me feel this way, but by Saturday evening, I had a break down.  As I was laying in bed, putting the pill where the pill is prescribed to go, with Dusty standing on the other side of the bed watching me, I had a break down and just started bawling.  I cried and cried about how it isn't fair that in order for me to hope to get pregnant, I have to shove pills up my you-know-what. 

Well, I realize that is nothing compared to what couples go through, so I really just need to suck it up, and I'm trying.  I really am.  I just wanted to jot down and share what I'm feeling leading up to my first ultrasound of this cycle, which is in about 30 minutes.  Wish me luck!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Puppies!!! Meet Banjo and Winston!

Guess what?!?!  Dusty and I decided to get puppies!  First, let me say, that Dusty has wanted to get a dog since we moved into our house in November, but I had always said that we didn't really have time needed to devote to a dog, and that we'd wait until we had kids and they were old enough to want a puppy, and at that point, we'd get puppies. 

Well...somehow, I had at one point, liked the Siloam Springs Tailwagers Facebook page, and on Thursday of last week, they posted pictures of several of their dogs up for adoption.  That was when I saw this little guy!



I thought this little puppy was the cutest!  I showed Dusty the picture, and Dusty immediately said that he didn't understand why we couldn't just go ahead and get a dog now.  After seeing the picture of this puppy, Banjo, I agreed!  However; knowing our dogs would be outside full time, I wanted to get two dogs, so they would have a buddy to play with and hang out with.  So, we saw this little guy and thought he'd be a good playmate for Banjo.


On Monday, Dusty and I went to the animal shelter and adopted these little guys!  They are so much fun!  We really enjoy coming home each evening to spend time petting and playing with them!



 
Today, we took them for their first vet visit.  They did so well!  The vet thinks that Banjo is Border Collie mixed with something else, we aren't really sure what, and Winston is a Beagle/Corgi mix.  The vet also confirmed what the shelter said, with Banjo being around 3 months old, and Winston being 4 or 5 months old. 
 
Here they are at the vet appointment.  Yes, Winston was standing over Banjo.  He won't be able to do that for much longer!  :) 

So here are our puppies!  :)

 
 

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Admiration & Overwhelmed

First off, I have to say that I really admire the couples that battle infertility for years.  We’re one year into this, and we’re tired.  And, what is sad is this is usually just a starting point for most couples.  I’m really glad we started this process in April.  I wouldn’t want to just now be starting to look into why we haven’t had a baby yet.  I know that if it comes to it, and we find ourselves with many more months ahead of ourselves before having a baby, I know we’ll find the strength somehow to do it, but right now, I’m overwhelmed and tired.  I just don’t know how couples do this for years, or how they manage through more invasive procedures.

My cycle started today, which is probably a big reason why I’m feeling this way today.  I knew it would, so it isn’t like I am disappointed because it is another month of not being pregnant.  However; with it starting, it is the start of the cycle that we are increasing my clomid dosage, adding estrogen and trying AI.
Sidenote, yes, I typed AI.  So…I know I have referred to this as IUI in previous posts.  Is there a difference?  I’ve done some digging online and will find some sites that say they are the same thing, just some doctor’s refer to it is AI (artificial insemination), while others call it IUI (intrauterine insemination), while other sites say those two things are different.  I am about to get all medical’ish here, so I apologize in advance, but from what I read (nothing official, just message boards, basically), is that the difference is in where the sperm is placed, with AI being near the cervix, and IUI being through the cervix and in the uterus.  I honestly have no idea which I’m having.  When I first talked to the nurse a couple of months ago about wanting to go this route, I said that we wanted to do what Dr. P recommended, which was IUI.  The nurse said something like, we call it AI.  So, that being said, I don’t know if it the same thing or not.  I know, I should have asked at the time, but I didn’t think it all of the way through.
Anyway, back to this cycle.  I talked to my nurse today and she called in the prescription for the clomid and estrogen supplement, as well as an HCG shot {surprise number 1!}.  The HCG shot was kind of a surprise to me.  The thought of giving myself a shot kind of scares me.  She did say that I would bring my HCG shot with me to the doctor appointment, so maybe I won’t have to give myself a shot (but everything I read online seems like the shot is given at home after the appointment, so who knows).  While on the phone, we also scheduled my first u/s for this cycle.  I wanted to ask about the AI vs IUI, however; I was at a client’s and couldn’t step away so I wouldn’t be overhead, and really didn’t want my client’s personnel to hear that discussion, so, I guess I’ll just ask when I go in for my ultrasound.  

Then, as I'm scheduling my u/s with the nurse, I find out that Dr. P is out that week, as is her husband, who is also a doctor at the clinic and happens to be my 2nd choice for who to see for an u/s.  So…then I try a third doctor that I’ve seen once for an u/s.  Is she available that day?  Nope, of course not.  It’s like a tour of my you-know-what.  It’ll be the fourth doctor (and nurse) in about as many months to be downthere.  I realize I could go to a different doctor’s office and not have a clinic that has so many doctors, and that would reduce my chance of this happening, but the thing is, I love my doctor and really don’t want to change, so it is a minor inconvenience that I’ll get over.  By the way, my first ultrasound is scheduled for 8/26.
I went to the pharmacy to pick up my clomid and estrogen after getting a text telling me it was ready (I just love that).  I had my second surprise of the day when I picked up my prescription.  As the pharmacist was telling me how to take the estrogen supplement, she says, “they want you to insert this vaginally…”  What??  Did she just say I insert that pill, vaginally?  It’s a pill!  That’s interesting…
So…all of that above has led to a very overwhelmed feeling today.  I know that the things I’m having to do this cycle are incredibly minor compared to things others have dealt with, but it just felt like a lot today.  I just need to suck it up and get over it!  It will all be worth it, someday.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Waiting...

Waiting…I’m not a very patient person.  When I was in junior high, and even through my junior year of high school, I thought I wanted to be a teacher.  My mom ALWAYS told me that I didn’t have the patience to be a teacher.  She was right.  I have no idea what I was thinking!!  Thank goodness for an accounting class in high school!  I took that class as an elective and thought, man, this is easy!  I’m going to be an accounting major.  Ha!

Anyway, back to the waiting around part.  It is amazing how I spend months hoping and praying my period wouldn’t start, and now, this month, all I find myself thinking is how much I wish it would hurry up and get here so we can start the next steps towards trying to have a baby.  Isn’t it ironic, don’t you think? 

This waiting, combined with hitting the year mark of trying to have a baby, really has Dusty and me in quite the funk.  I think that is mostly my fault.  I can easily get dejected, and unfortunately, I think I pulled Dusty down with me this time.  I’m really trying my best to relax and be positive, but it is so hard.  In the back of my mind, I keep thinking about how this is the last time we’ll try (with medical help) until January, due to the expenses we’ve incurred and the lack of insurance coverage.  In January, we’ll switch to my husband’s insurance, which has infertility coverage.  I need to stop putting so much pressure on myself, because I know that doesn’t help things, but it is tough. 

Thank you to all of you that have commented or let us know you’re praying for us.  The prayers are very appreciated, and much needed right now. 


Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Amazing Aruba

As I mentioned in an earlier post, Dusty and I recently celebrated our 10 year anniversary.  We were blessed enough to be able to spend our 10 year anniversary on gorgeous Palm beach in Aruba.  This beach was absolutely amazing (hence the title of this post, haha)!!  Dusty and I have been fortunate enough to go on some wonderful vacations in some gorgeous places around the Caribbean, and I must say, I think we enjoyed this one more than the others (which is saying a lot)!  We book all of our vacations through our wonderful friend and fabulous travel agent, Sarah with Beach Bum Vacations, and she definitely recommended the perfect place for us to celebrate our 10 year anniversary!!  Along with recommending such a wonderful place, she also sent us a wonderful bottle of chardonnay during our vacation!  {Thank you so much, Sarah!!} 

This picture doesn't do it justice, but the beach was gorgeous!  

  
Although we spent most of the time laying on the beach doing absolutely nothing but swimming and soaking up the sun, we did try some delicious restaurants around the island.  Here is a picture of us enjoying dinner at La Trattoria el Faro Blanco, which sits next to the California Lighthouse. 
Below are some more pictures from our vacation.
  

We have definitely come a long way in 10 years.  I wanted to find a couple of pictures from our honeymoon to show just how far we've come, and well, I realized that our honeymoon pictures are somewhere in this house, printed out!  I didn't even have a digital camera when we got married, wow!  So, instead, I found our honeymoon scrapbook, and took a couple of pictures of that!  I could have scanned in just the pictures, but I think showing the scrapbook pages is funny!! 

 
 

From Branson to Aruba in 10 years.  :)
 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The Royal Baby

Does anyone else wish we had a royal family here in the states?  I don't know why, but I feel slightly obsessed with the royal family.  I just love William and Kate, and of course, the new baby.  I guess part of it is that they are pretty much the same age as Dusty and me, and new parents, as I had planned Dusty and I would be right about now. 

Unless you live under a rock, or have an amazing ability to completely disconnect from the world, you know that William and Kate had their baby yesterday, and the world got a peak at the prince today.  I just finished watching a 3 minute video on people.com of William and Kate introducing their baby to the world. 

Watching the video is bittersweet for me, especially seeing how proud William is holding his son.  I can't wait to see Dusty cradling our baby in his arms {can you imagine how tiny our baby will look in Dusty's arms??}.  If things had gone as planned, I fully expected Dusty and I to have a baby now, too, but we all know that hasn't worked out like I thought it would.  So, seeing a new baby is tough for us at times.  We've had a few friends & family recently have babies, and please don't take me wrong, we are incredibly excited for you all {shout out to Suzy and David that had their baby on Friday, yay!!}, it just pains us too.  However; I have to have faith that Dusty and I will have children of our own some day as well.  I can't wait for that day...

Friday, July 19, 2013

10 Year Anniversary

This post is a week late, but I still wanted to post it.  Last Friday, July 12th, Dusty and I celebrated our 10 year anniversary.  It is really hard to believe that 10 years ago, we were newly weds!
 
 
 
I thank God so much for bringing Dusty and me together.  He truly is my rock.  Dusty and I have been through so much in our 10 years of marriage, and he has been there for me through everything.  Before we were married (many, many years ago, haha), I didn't think I would ever find a guy that I would actually consider my best friend, but Dusty really is that.  I can't imagine having gone through the struggles faced over the last few years without Dusty by my side.  Thank you baby! 
 
Here are a few more pictures from our wedding.  :)
 
 
 
 
I love you, Dusty!
 
 
 


Thursday, July 11, 2013

Up to Speed

My last post left off with my normal MRI.  That was great news, of course!  I couldn't have all of the fun with having tests, so Dusty got in on the fun at this point.  Dusty got the dreaded cup and brown paper bag.  His test came back ok...not as good as it could have been, but not terrible, either.

After the HSG, MRI, blood work & Dusty's results, my doctor recommended clomid with IUI.  Well, IUI is around $700 each time, and not having insurance coverage for infertility, we decided to try the clomid alone a couple of cycles (which still ends up being around $300 each cycle).

May was the first month I took clomid.  I had three ultrasounds in this cycle to check my follicles.  The first u/s was early and didn't show any.  The 2nd & 3rd u/s showed one follicle on my left side.  This was discouraging as this is the side that the HSG showed as blocked.  During the June cycle, my 2nd u/s showed that the follicle developing on the right side decreased in size after my first u/s, which isn't what we want.

After that u/s, my doctor recommended increasing my clomid from 50mg to 100mg and also recommended taking estrogen with the clomid (as the increased clomid can cause other side effects that have a negative impact on trying to get pregnant, which the estrogen offsets).  As it turns out, Dusty got a somewhat unexpected bonus at work, and because of that, we decided to try IUI with my next cycle on clomid.  Because we are actually out of the country right now celebrating our 10th anniversary, we decided to take this month off and try again next month.

So, that catches you up on what we have been going through since April.  Hopefully our luck will change soon!

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Test, tests, and more tests...

To pick up where I left my 2nd post, I'll fill you in on more of my TTC story. 

Once I visited with my doctor in April, she wanted to do blood work to make sure I was ovulating.  I did that, and everything tested normal.  After that, Dr. P ordered an HSG test (hysterosalpingogram).  The purpose of this test was to examine my fallopian tubes and uterus to check to see if my tubes were blocked.  The test was ordered for a Friday afternoon and Dusty and I took off the afternoon of my test, as I was told it would take a couple of hours and I wasn't sure I would feel like going back to work after the test. 

Dusty and I arrived at the hospital and I went into the lab to have blood drawn for a pregnancy test.  After that, we went into the room to wait for the test to begin.  We had a wonderful nurse who showed us everything that would be used during the test and explained step-by-step how the test would go.  She then had me change while waiting for the results of the pregnancy test and waiting for the radiologist.  This nurse was wonderful!  I was so scared and nervous, not to mentioned a little freaked out because a radiologist would be the one doing the test, (which involved blowing up a "balloon" inside me, and then shooting dye into my uterus).  I guess I just thought it would be an OBGYN doing this test and the thought of a different kind of doctor doing anything there, well, that just wasn't what I had in mind.  However; after talking to the nurse, I was actually starting to calm down a little.  Well, Dusty and I waited and waited.  After nearly 2 hours, the doctor finally came in and gave us quite the surprise.  The doctor told us that my pregnancy test was positive, barely, but still, positive. 

As you can guess, we were quite surprised, but we both had this feeling that it wouldn't last and wasn't even real.  On a side note, because my insurance doesn't have infertility coverage, we had already paid for the test when we arrived, and as such, we had to go get a refund, since I didn't actually have the test.  As we were getting a refund, several of the clerks congratulated us, which really just made us feel awful because we both thought it wouldn't last.  And it didn't...

The next day, I took two at home pregnancy tests, and both said positive.  Still, we both had a feeling that it wasn't real.  I bled the entire day and the next morning, took another test, and it was negative.  {I can't help but think that those earlier tests will be the only positive pregnancy tests I will ever have}

On Monday, I went back to the doctor for another pregnancy test, which of course, was negative.  The nurse didn't really have an explanation for what happened.  She said it was possibly "just a chemical pregnancy."  Whatever it was, it still hurt. 

We then rescheduled my HSG test for a couple of weeks later, which turned into another two weeks of being nervous and getting anxious about it.  One funny thing did happen in between the scheduled dates of my test though.  On the weekend before my 2nd scheduled test, Dusty and I went to Little Rock to watch my niece and her dance team compete.  While sitting at the hotel bar between dances, my husband found himself sitting next to the doctor that had informed us our pregnancy test was positive.  I'm not sure if he recognized Dusty or not, but I was dreading having the test done in a few days and the doctor recognizing Dusty during the test!  There is just something uncomfortable about that!

As it turns out, I didn't have to worry about that.  When we went back for the test a couple of days later, we had a different nurse and a different doctor, and it was not good.  The nurse acted very nervous and explained things completely different than the first nurse had.  She was so nervous, she made me even more anxious.  Then, the doctor came and, and I'm sorry, but he looked like a total creeper.  I would have given anything in that moment for it to be the doctor that sat at the bar with my husband over this guy!  He came in and asked me what was going on.  Seriously?  There are only a couple of reasons a woman would have that test, does he really need to ask? 

We got started on the test and it was AWFUL.  The doctor was incredibly rough with me and I had never experienced such pain in my entire life!  I started crying the minute the test started and didn't stop until long after it was over.  It hurt so bad.  Thank goodness Dusty was standing there holding my hand the entire time or else I never would have made it through the test. 

Then, in addition to the pain, I could tell something with the test wasn't going well.  They had me roll to my side to try to see if dye would go through my left tube and it wouldn't.  We finished the test and I found out my left tube appears to be blocked.  Not only that, but then the doctor says to me that I have the smallest uterus he has ever seen.  I have no idea what this even means, but my first thought was there must be no way at all that I can have children. 

Thank goodness my doctor called me later that day and went over the test results.  She wasn't sure what the results of the test really meant either, and wanted more information.  Dr. P then ordered an MRI to get a better look at my uterus and to try to see if there was a problem.  I had the MRI about a week later, and the results came back normal, thankfully. 

So...next, more tests.  But, this post is long enough for now, so I'll wait to write more about that later.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Summer Sidebar Story

I have to take a post to brag about my niece, Summer.  This little girl is absolutely amazing and so beautiful.  Summer is a dancer.  She started dancing when she was 2 years old.  Little did we know what she would progress to 7 years later, although I guess we should have had an idea, since her first word was dance (no lie)!

Summer recently competed in the Talent on Parade National Championships where she took the overall grand champion for the 9-12 age division!  This little girl has worked so incredibly hard at dance over the last year and has progressed so incredibly quickly.  Summer spends 6 days a week at her dance center, and even when she gets home, she typically starts dancing even more!  Summer just blows me away with her dedication, humbleness, kindness, compassion and talent! 

Here are some pictures from the recent championship, in which she performed a lyrical to "Papa, Can You Hear Me?".



She just started working on this move a few months ago!


 I love the emotion on her face below

I can't get over her excited face


Tuesday, July 2, 2013

What's My Story?

I find myself writing this blog as an outlet about the struggle DH and I have gone through to have children, along with various other things going on in our lives right now.  I'll be posting several blog posts that catch you up on what we have been through at this point.  I've always hesitated to start a blog that is primarily about trying to conceive (TTC), as I always thought to myself, as soon as I do, I'll get pregnant and then that will just be discouraging to any readers that are TTC.  Well, it's been nearly a year of trying, and we aren't pregnant yet, so I might as well start this blog.
 First off, I'll give you some more background.  As I mentioned in my previous post, I am 30, moving up quite steadily in my career, DH and I bought a house recently, and everything is moving along exactly as I always envisioned in most aspects of our lives.  So, we decided, we're ready, let's have our first baby.  I even thought about the timing and when we could get pregnant so I would be due outside of my peak busy season at work (January through April 15th).  I know that shouldn't matter, but to me, it does, or did, at that point a year ago.  You see, as a CPA, I am a slight control freak.  So, even though I always had this horrible fear that I would have problems getting pregnant, I thought that I could control the situation and make it work whenever I told my body it was time to have a baby.  Hahaha, funny plan.

After 8 months of trying with no luck, I decided to see my doctor.  In April, I went to visit my OBGYN, Dr. P.  I told her that DH and I had been trying to get pregnant since August with no luck (obviously).  She asked me all the relevant questions; when did I stop birth control (March 2012), were my periods regular (yes), was I tracking them (yes), had I checked my ovulation with one of those over the counter kits (yes, the first month, it said I ovulated), were we trying every other day around the 14th day of my cycle (yes).  I even told her I bought a fertility kit for myself and a sperm test kit for DH, both came back with good results (my doctor didn't even know the OTC sperm test kit existed!!).  Which brought me to April and sitting there on the table, telling my doctor all of these things.

Thank goodness my doctor is awesome.  I was afraid she would be like, ok, well, keep trying and if nothing happens by August, call me back.  Did she?  Nope!  Dr. P immediately started talking about the various tests that could be ran and what those tests would check for.  We hashed out a game plan, and started scheduling tests and calling insurance.  I'll blog more about the tests I went through in another post or two (look at me, planning ahead for another post and everything).  So, here we are, two and half months later, nearly $3,500 poorer, and still trying to get pregnant. 

Stay tuned for more of my story!

Monday, July 1, 2013

The Blog Bandwagon

Everyone's doing it, right?  It seems like everyone I know has a blog.  I'm a little behind on jumping on the blog bandwagon, but I tend to wait things out a while to see if I really want to do something or not before I dive in.  Just to prove my previous point, I didn’t even read Harry Potter until the summer the very last movie came out (see, I told you I wait things out). 

So…do I want to blog or not?  Here are the things that go through my head when thinking about that.

1.      Why should I blog now?  I’m boring, I’m an accountant, it doesn’t get much more boring than that
2.      Who would read my blog?
3.      I’ll wait until I have kids to blog, then it will be a great place for my family and friends to come read up on our lives
4.      Several friends have fantastic blogs, I don’t want to feel like I am trying to copy them, or trying to keep up with them
5.      And lastly, what in the world would I even blog about

Well, before I get into answering those questions, I’ll tell you a little more about myself.  I am a southern girl, although some would argue that.  I grew up in southern Missouri, and by southern, I mean, I could literally stand at one point in my home town and throw a rock and hit Oklahoma and Arkansas.  So, that being said, I claim to be a southern girl.  I am 30 years old (when did that happen???).  As I mentioned above, I’m an accountant, CPA to be precise (which I tend to do, being a CPA…).  I love everything Arkansas Razorback (WPS).  I have a fantastic family who I care so very much about, and the most wonderful husband anyone could ask for.  My husband and I have been together for nearly 12 ½ years!  We met my first year of college and have been inseparable since.

Now to answer the questions above…

1.  Why should I blog now.  Well, as I will go into more in later posts, my husband and I are trying to have children.  It isn’t working so well.  In updating his sisters about the recent tests and various other things, one suggested I blog about it.  I had been thinking about it anyway, and so I guess that was the little push that made me jump in and start this blog (and actually publish it). 

2.  Who would read it?  I don’t know.  But if it helps somebody else at some point, then that is good enough for me.

3.  See number 1…it’s not happening very timely

4.  Friends – know now I’m not going to be as good as you.  J

5.   Probably mostly TTC for now, and whatever else is going on in our lives at the time, and I pray to God that someday, I will blog about our beautiful children.

So…here goes.  Post number one is in the books!