Friday, January 30, 2009

This, that & the other

Today was another day off for me, due to ultrasound & bloodwork for my prep cycle this morning. Once again, in my true, messed up fashion, my P4 is STILL elevated & I need to go back Monday for another u/s & b/w. I'm debating on whether or not I should try and rush around to get back, or just ask to get a sub for the whole day again. I hate missing my kids so much & I really need to get my evaluations done, but like I said, I hate hurrying to get back, too...I think I'm going to go to my classroom tomorrow (while I'm at the church for my friend's testimony speech) and get everything set up, just in case.

In other WONDERFUL news, we were both surprised & touched when we got the following email in our inboxes yesterday. I will cut & paste a copy of our pastor's weekly e-message that is sent out to the congregation:
e-Message From The Heart

"I know how you feel" is one of the most misused and hurtful phrases a person can utter. Unless we have been through almost the exact same experience, it is essentially impossible for us to know how another person feels.

Recently a childless couple trying to have a baby came to us with a request that we ask the congregation to pray and pass the word that they need to find a young woman, age 18 through 33, to donate eggs for fertilization and implantation.

In the Old Testament the inability to have children, called barrenness, was believed to be a curse from God. Today it remains one of life's greatest heartaches and hurts. It hurts so much that sometimes in our well meaning desire to comfort we say things that hurt even more.

It is especially difficult, I am told, to bare this sorrow in a church like ours where we are blessed by so many beautiful children and babies. But by the grace of God, modern medicine is making amazing strides. Now more couples who dream and pray of giving birth to a child of their own are seeing their prayers answered.

What is needed is an act of love. The donor will need to meet with doctors and take some medicine before the eggs are harvested. There is some financial support for the donor. The procedure is not painful but it is certainly a significant gift to give.

Please pray with me that the Holy Spirit will move the right person to step forward, and that the result will be a healthy child delivered to loving and grateful parents.

You or a potential donor can get more information from Pastor Wendy.

Psalm 113, verse 9 says: "He gives the childless woman a family, making her a happy mother. Praise the Lord!"

~Pastor Dave

So have I mentioned yet that I LOVE him? I told DH yesterday that I hoped it was ok with him that I loved the pastor. He said, "That's fine...but you do know you can't marry him, right?" And I replied, "Oh yeah, I know, he's already married, it's fine" - LOL - nevermind the fact that I, too, am already married. It's ok. He's a little too old for me anyway...

Please continue to pray...and if you wonder why I haven't posted in a while, it's because I've been entering contests like mad over at the bloggy giveaway carnival (button in my sidebar)!

Monday, January 26, 2009

The new look & some random stuff do you like the new look? I LOVE it and I'm totally in awe of Erin's bloggy design awesomeness! There's still time to get in on her 50% off special! Scroll down to the bottom of my sidebar to find the link to her site!

And I figured I would throw in a very late MPM for good measure.

Monday - meatball subs with homemade meatballs
Tuesday - homemade stromboli (yes, I realize we had this last week, but DH requested it again...who am I to deny him of an easy meal??)
Wednesday - family night w/ in-laws
Thursday - chicken in a pot (crockpot recipe) which is very similar to the recipe I've linked up to (except mine just uses a few cloves of garlic under the skin & you get the same effect). Make sure you add some paprika and onion powder to the mixture & slather it all over and inside the chicken!)
Friday - DH will be at a basketball game, so I'll probably be on my own
Saturday - food at DH's football banquet
Sunday - SUPERBOWL PARTY (GO STEELERS!) I'm making buffalo chicken dip!

Last week's Sweet & Sour Chicken was a HUGE hit w/ DH. He even suggested I make it when his family comes for dinner some night. It was kind of messy & I used more egg than it called for, but the end result was worth it...and the hour in the oven gave me plenty of time to clean up my mess.

And on a very serious note, will you all please pray for my friend Kelli? She's pregnant through an FET after 2 previous miscarriages both around 9 weeks. Please send up some sticky vibes for she & her hubby!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

What a crazy week! It's a LONG one!

Let me just start by saying that this week has been insane. What was supposed to start out as a normal week has ended up being quite crazy. It started when G & I got home from his parents' house late Sunday night (after watching the football games). There were two messages on the answering machine. One was from my co-worker and one was from my boss, both telling me that due to a malfunction with the sprinkler system at the church (where I work), the daycare had to close on Monday & therefore, I wasn't needed at work. WOOO-FREAKING-HOOO! The best part of that news was that I was supposed to be working daycare all morning on Monday since, being MLK Day, my preschoolers didn't have school. That meant that I would spend six hours harping on K-6th graders instead of loving my little the unexpected day off (when G also had the day off) was a welcomed surprise! We ended up going out to lunch, running errands, and getting a few things done around the house (like catching up on some Big Bang Theory episodes on Tivo).

Tuesday went off without a hitch & that was the day of my meeting with the pastor, which I already blogged about! Coincidentally, I was up in the church office on Thursday and I got to see our donor request printed on the Prayer Needs list. I wanted to steal a copy from the office, but I figured I would wait until Sunday at church...since, you know, stealing from a church didn't really seem like the right thing to do! LOL :)

Wednesday was my "tough child's" observation at the local special services facility (place for special services & early intervention). It was supposed to take place at the beginning of the month, but due to weather, was cancelled and rescheduled for Wednesday. Before my 4-year-olds had even left for the day, my boss had received a call from the special services facility, asking if they could come and observe THE NEXT DAY!

Now, for those of you who don't work in education, you probably don't/won't understand the significance of this. Let me try to make you understand...I referred this child for special services in October. Well, actually, I asked his mom in October if she would be willing to have him evaluated. She agreed, but took a bit of time filling out the paperwork, getting doctor's signatures, etc. Once the paperwork is in, the special services facility has (I believe) something like 60 days to schedule their initial observation. They are overwhelmed with applications and, being free services, everyone wants them. So it took from that time (probably November) until January to get the observation set. After the first observation, they have another 60-or-so days to do their in-classroom observation & then another 60-or-so days after that to begin rendering services. So you can understandably see why I wanted him to be referred ASAP at the beginning of the year & why I was SO surprised to hear that they wanted to come in immediately for the in-classroom observation. This told me that they saw a number of things to cause them alarm.

Then, of course on Thursday, I was a mess. I was so worried (as teachers often are) that A) the child-in-question would have a great day & not show them anything they needed to see in order to qualilfy him for special services (this has happened to me before, I kid you not!) or B) they would be observing ME & find something wrong with what I was doing in the classroom that would cause him to act the way he was. I know that B) sounds really absurd, but after being observed by administrators in the past who have NO idea how to teach elementary kids, and then try to instruct you precisely on that which they have no personal experience, you tend to be very self-critical.

Let's just say that I needn't have worried. My kiddo came in doing a great job & really demonstrating that he got our routine (hung up his coat & backpack on his chair & then gave me his folder from his backpack all w/o assistance), but after that, she pretty much got to see him all in action. I won't go into detail, but I will just say that it wasn't so much behavior issues that she got to see as much as behaviors that has that sent up the red flags everywhere. She was really a great lady and knew what she was looking for & I was grateful to hear a lot of reassurance that the things she was seeing were the exact things that I have been seeing these past few months...and that it's not just me, but that there ARE real issues at hand. And his brother even helped me out by throwing an all-out I'm-4-but-I-act-like-I'm-2 temper tantrum, which I'm sure she made note of. I thought that was a nice touch.

When the observer left, she stressed over and over that she was going to send us paperwork and could I PLEASE send it in ASAP! WOW! So I am sure I will be filling out tons of paperwork (on top of my 14 report cards that I have to squeeze in somehow) next week.

And finally, yesterday, Friday. I got the day off of work because I had to go for ultrasound and bloodwork for my prep cycle. In my true my-body-is-a-piece-of-crap fashion, the bloodwork came back with my estrogen elevated, which showed that I ended up ovulating right through the birth control pills and the lupron. I am such a freak! Go me! So, now I have to double my dosage of lupron & come back in another week to see if my E2 is down low enough to start the Estrace & progesterone meds. I am now starting to worry that this cycle will overlap with our Presidents' Day weekend trip, but there's nothing I can do about it we wait. And I emailed the nurse to find out about my TSH level and how it looked this time, so I'm waiting on that one, too.

Wow...what complete craziness...and oh yeah, the new blog makeover is awesome, and coming soon to an infertility blog near you!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

PSA: I am in love with my pastor!

Ok, so maybe "in love" isn't quite appropriate, but I do LOOOOVE him! I've been patiently (or impatiently) waiting for weeks to hear anything back from the church about aiding us on our search for an egg donor. I had written to one of the associate pastors asking if she would agree to be our contact person if we were to anonymously "advertise" for a donor & I basically heard NOTHING back (turns out they were waiting to talk to the ministerium attorney, but still - something to tide my patience over would have been nice). Last week, I took matters into my own hands & set up a meeting with the senior pastor to discuss the matter. I met with him today & all of my feelings of frustration melted away...I truly do love that man. He is just so kind and dear...and he "gets" it.

He spent a lot of time asking me questions about the procedure, the far-reaching implications of donating eggs & our "criteria" for the donor. I could tell that he wanted to be sure that we really understood what we were doing & by the end, I think he did. We were both tearing up. At one point, we were discussing adoption vs. doing the study & he said, "Don't even think about money, which is more important to you: just getting a baby to parent or the whole experience (pregnancy)?" and without a second thought, I of course said that the experience of pregnancy has ABSOLUTELY been the hardest part for me to let go of...and he immediately said, "Well then this is what we have to do...we will find you a donor."

Then I mentioned about how we understood that some people may be offended to which he replied, "Well sure, people will be offended, there's always someone who is going to be offended by something, but think of the good that could come from this! Think of the joy that a woman could have knowing that she gave another woman the opportunity to become a mother! This is just such a great opportunity for our church to rally and support each other!" And I just sighed, nodded, and teared up. Wow. He gets it.

So at the end, he prayed with me and said that they will print it in the bulletin this week & he (in his typical diplomatic nature) will make an anonymous announcement at all of the services this weekend & do a bit of tugging on the old heart-strings.

Today is a good day. I just have good feelings about this...He makes me feel all warm & fuzzy inside. And you know what? Today he made me realize that God is there...God is HERE. And instead of making me angry, it actually encouraged me to see this wonderful man of God humbled by the things about God that he doesn't understand. Like why there are tons of bad parents out there who can get pregnant at the drop of a hat & then there's people like us who want it so badly we can taste it, yet we have to jump through hoops. And yet, even a pastor can't understand what God is doing with all of it...but one thing that Pastor D was sure of, we will be blessed through all of this.

And you know what? For once, I agree. I'm in a good place today, where I can see that there's a time for wailing and lamenting about the bad stuff in my life, but I spend way too little time praising God for the good. The good hubby I have, the good job (no matter how frustrating), the good home, the good family, and all around the GOOD people in our lives. I think my hardened heart is finally starting to soften. And you know what else? I think I might cry again in church this week...but for totally different reasons...

Monday, January 19, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

I love doing MPM! I feel like it helps me to organize my week & prep ahead what I need to so that weeknight meals run smoothly...especially since DH coaches basketball & I don't often know until about a half hour ahead of time when he will be home for dinner...

Sunday - Chili & cornbread while watching the games at IL's house
Monday - Steak, Baked Potatoes & green beans (I found a good sale on fresh ones at the store - I am wondering how they will be in the winter time!)
Tuesday - Homemade Stromboli*, using sauce & cheese leftover from making baked ziti at our get-together with friends this weekend.
Wednesday - Family night with ILs
Thursday - Sweet and Sour Chicken (first time trying this one - can't wait!)
Friday - probably go out w/ friends since we are chaperoning an activity night @ DH's school.

*For my strombolis, I simply use thawed bread dough. I stretch/roll it out, then either load half with toppings (pepperoni, turkey pepperoni, cheese, deli ham) or I start at one end, load up a strip with the toppings and then roll until those toppings are covered & repeat. Both ways work great - it just depends on how you like yours!

Sunday, January 18, 2009


In case you haven't heard, I WON!!! Some new digs for the Infertility Chronicles are on the way very soon!! Wahoo!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Preschool funnies

I don't want to run the risk of being nominated for the "Most Depressing Blog on the Web" (see post below), so I thought I would post something a bit more upbeat and funny today...and believe it or not, it comes courtesy of my 3-year-olds! They made me laugh and smile on two separate occasions today...I think I needed some moments like these with this particular group of kids to get me to lighten up and see the good in them...

We were learning about our new shape of the month today, the rectangle. We sang a song about rectangles, looked at a rectangle and talked about its sides and corners, traced & colored a rectangle in our shape books, and then we went on a "Rectangle Hunt" in the classroom. We tiptoed around the room pointing out lots of different classroom objects that were rectangles. I really tried to engage the kids by going a little over-the-top crazy when I got to the bookshelf full of (rectangular) books! I exclaimed, "Oh my goodness boys and girls! I just found a whole shelf full of books that are rectangles!" to which one little boy replies, "Wow, Mrs. S, I am so proud of you!" Too too cute...

Then, after the shape hunt was over, we all went back to sit down on our carpet pieces (I never understood why they called them carpet squares...we call them carpet rectangles!) and one child wouldn't come sit down (you know which one I mean if you've read my blog before). I started doing my count down to give him the opportunity to make the right choice and he still wasn't of the other boys in the class rolled his eyes and sighed in a "why isn't he listening to the teacher?" kind of way and I looked at the other kids and said, "Goodness, what am I going to do with him?" Without missing a beat, one little girl said, "I think you should send him to jail" and another chimed in, "I think you should throw him in the sink!"

So there you have it...the ultimate punishment...the sink! :) Kids are too funny!

Monday, January 12, 2009

the ups and downs

As you can see from my blog's tag-line, infertility is definitely full of its ups and downs. This week has been no exception.

We continue to search for our egg donor for the embryo biopsy study. As I mentioned before, everyone who has come forward has been too old, too pregnant or too infertile. A former student's mom (who is 36) offered to do it, and when she couldn't, she told her sister about it (also a member of our church), but she's currently BF-ing her 3rd baby, so is therefore not ovulating right now. A second friend from elementary/middle/high school emailed and offered, but she's currently TTC her second & has discovered that she's not ovulating, so that disqualifies her from being a good candidate...It truly is a humbling experience though. It's so amazing to me how many people have come forward and said, "If I wasn't __________, I would absolutely do this for you. I really wish I could." And you know what? I think they really mean it. And that warms my heart. There really are still good people out there. Those are the ups we've been experiencing...

And of course there are the downs, as well...I'm not even really sure how to type this out because I'm still so shocked about it really, but I guess I'll throw it out there...and maybe some feedback from my loyal readers will give me better insight into that which I obviously don't understand.

A few days after we learned about the donor egg study, I emailed one of the pastors of our church (a woman who suffered with infertility herself for 13 years before adopting her son 5 years ago) who is also the leader of the infertility support group at the church. I wrote to ask if she would consider being a contact person when we anonymously put a request for an egg donor volunteer in the church bulletin. The church often uses the bulletin to post for people who are in need of jobs, cars to borrow for work, or even a hospital bed for someone on bed rest.

Why would I think this need would be any different? Well, apparently it is. Because it has been over a month and still, nothing has been printed in the bulletin and all I have heard back from this pastor (twice) is, "We've (all of the pastors) been discussing what to do about this, since it is such a sensitive area." and, "Well.....I don't know yet. Have you tried looking at colleges and universities for a donor?" Both of these statements have done nothing but INFURATE G & me. Am I wrong to feel this way? I mean, I just don't understand...this is supposed to be our safe haven. Our place to go for help. And here we are, nothing short of begging, and our own church isn't willing to help us. I mean, granted, they haven't told us no, but I just don't understand.

First of all, the whole "sensitive" comment doesn't make an ounce of sense to me. This situation isn't any more sensitive for anyone than US. WE are the ones putting ourselves out there and shouting to the world, "Hey look at me! We're infertile!" Seriously, would it offend you to see that advertised in your church bulletin?

And secondly, I absolutely cannot believe that she would even THINK of suggesting that we search colleges and universities for an egg donor. The whole point of asking at the church was to give us a bit of control over our clientele. We want someone with a vested interest in helping someone else...not a vested interest in making a few extra bucks to pay tuition. I mean, who's to say that our college donor wasn't out drinking and doing drugs while growing our eggs? Even as a responsible college student, I know that I never could have understood how much the gift of egg donation would have meant to an infertile couple, so for the pastor to even SUGGEST it just totally upsets me. I even just put our request on a prayer card with, "Prayers for an infertile couple seeking an egg donor" and they won't even print that in the bulletin...I seriously have sat through the past two church services and cried and cried...

So maybe I'm being overly sensitive & please feel free to call me out on it....but I just know that this situation has made me look at our church (which I hold so near and dear) in a completely different way. I feel like so many bridges have been burned by what should have been an amazing opportunity for us, and an amazing opportunity for the church to fill this miraculous need for us...this down is a pretty low one...

Thursday, January 08, 2009

blog design giveaway!

I am in dire need of a blog makeover...if you are, too, then check out this contest! There's a button in my sidebar, as well!!

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Still searching...

Since several of you have been asking (via blog comments or my facebook), I will tell you that we've really made no headway in our search for an egg donor. Multitudes of gracious women have come forth to offer their eggs, but to no avail...everyone is either too old or too pregnant (LOL)...we continue to search and pray.

We are currently in the midst of our prep cycle for the study. The prep cycle consists (mostly) of the latter-portion of an IVF cycle. Basically, I will suppress using lupron (which is actually an early-stage IVF thing) to make sure my lining is fully gone & starting at square one, then I will start taking progesterone and estrogen supplements to thicken my lining. Their goal is to make sure they're using the best mix of meds possible to make my lining nice and plump (ie - cozy for those little embies that will hopefully settle in). Normally, they don't do a prep-cycle with birth control pills, but since my body is STILL all screwed up from that suspected endometrioma (the cause of my 72 day long cycle), they put me on the pill to regulate me out...I was supposed to get bloodwork done on January 2nd (CD 21), but couldn't because AF showed up early and, Jan 2nd ended up being CD2 instead! The nurse doesn't want that to happen again, so now they're controlling my cycles with BCP so that I can make it to CD21 for bloodwork.

While emailing with the nurse about my prep-cycle instructions, she let me know that my TSH (thyroid) level came back "slightly elevated," to which I mentally replied, "OH Dear Lord, for the love of Pete!" (whoever Pete is). Seriously? What is my body thinking now? Let's just throw another whacked-out number into the mix & see if the doctors can figure out how to handle yet ANOTHER curve ball in this 28-year-old medical anomaly body of mine. Seriously...I guess I shouldn't be too surprised though since TSH issues run in my family (brother, mom, cousins, aunt, grandparents)...but honestly, I just want to cry if they tell me something ELSE is wrong with me...

Two days back to work under my belt and all is well. I'm actually counting down the days until my ultrasound & b/w on the 23rd so that I can have a day off. With all of my frustrations with work lately, I have decided that if I need u/s & b/w, I will not be rushing around to get back to work afterwards. It's just too stressful and at this point, I need all the de-stressing I can get...especially when you consider that when this DE cycle does come about, this may very well be our best and last chance at ever having a biological (for G) child.

We're also discussing the possiblity of going down to Fl over Presidents' Day weekend (our 11 yr old nephew's baseball team is supposed to be going down for a few games) and also a vacation of some sort for our 5th anniversary. The thought of either of these makes me all giddy! :)

Please continue to pray for everything...

Friday, January 02, 2009


Right now, I'm in recovery mode. After dealing with Christmas festivities for work, then for family & then SIL's wedding on NYE all in a row, I can honestly say that I don't feel like I've had much of a break and I'm NOT ready to go back to work on Monday AT ALL.

Regardless, we had a great time this break!! G & I both had appointments today for blood-draws at the RE. Neither of us passed out (well, really he was the only concern), so we're very relieved/proud about that!! Now we just need to find that donor & we are good to go! Please! Help us get this show on the road!

Hopefully posts will become more frequent very soon once I get back into my normal work routine!

Here are some pics from Christmas, the rehearsal dinner & the wedding! Enjoy!

Christmas Eve before church

The annual "driving to central PA on Christmas morning" shot (notice my unsightly lack of makeup and hairstyling that morning)! Hey, who's watching the road anyway?

Christmas night at my parents' house (in our new sweatshirts!)
The obligatory "under the mistletoe" picture
G & his two favorite girls, my cousin Jenna & me at my family's Christmas party
The cake that our awesome neighbor made for the rehearsal dinner!

G & I with our "sons," Jeff & David at the rehearsal dinner
G & I at the rehearsal dinner

Me with nieces Caroline (junior bridesmaid), Brigid & Kathryn in the party bus!
G & I dancing the night away (we clean up pretty good, huh??)!