Thursday, July 29, 2010

Journaling my way to peace

It’s amazing what happens to your blog once you have something to talk about. All of a sudden there are new worries, new stresses, and new excitement to chronicle for the world to read. Your fingers fly everyday to record for posterity every ache, every thought, and every symptom. What once was a weak attempt to continue writing once a week through the fog of bitterness and defeat, has become an effort in reigning yourself in not to blab the constant state of your bowels and heartburn. (Yea, as if I really edit that out!)

In an age of technology, I think many of us have forgotten the simple things though. Like journaling the old fashioned way. You know, writing to yourself in a small book, way back before we became so narcissistic that we assume EVERYONE wants to read our innermost personal thoughts? I found an almost blank journal on the bookshelves at home. Apparently I had decided two or three years ago to keep a gardening journal. I have started writing in it daily at work to record the most random thoughts, quotes, fears, symptoms etc. It’s rather ugly, like someone’s 80’s wallpaper threw up all over it. I can’t imagine I ever chose it for myself, but I’m a little to thrifty to buy something new (or impatient when I had words ready to bleed across a page, take your pick)

It’s very therapeutic. There is no pressure to make a cohesive sentence or edit my sometimes horrible spelling. I do not have to pretend to be able to make a descriptive sentence full of spelling bee adjectives. It’s just me and my thoughts in a quiet moment of reflection during a hectic day.

Don’t get me wrong, I do end up smearing the blog with some of the same things that fall on those pages. Consider that journal a rough draft of the blog. The point is, it makes me appreciate myself and the simple things in life. It helps me to calm down and breathe.

I’ve never been good at keeping a journal going for long periods of time and I don’t expect to start now. I’ve done them on and off for years both electronically and via paper. I challenge you to spend a week chronicling your thoughts for just yourself though. Not on a blog, not with the intent of it to be read but just for you and then go back and read it at the end of the week.

Are you a person you would want to be around? What would you say to yourself if you read those words on a blog?

Some psychiatrists say that talking to yourself means you’re crazy. I say if you don’t even like talking to yourself, then how can you expect someone else to?

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Gossip Ladder

I had an interview this morning for a job that has become available in my company. I’m unsure whether I want the job but it never hurts to interview and find out more information on it since it is potentially a pay raise. Unfortunately, I don’t need the added stress at this time on top of the family/pregnancy issues but I’m managing. I hope the added stress does not adversely affect my pregnancy because that is the most important thing in my life right now. I don’t need any more complications in that department.

What I find humorous is how much of a gossip mill this place is. I do not work with the women up in the offices. I work with the men out in the plant in a dirty non luxurious office so I do not get in on the interoffice politics and gossip. However, today, since my interview was in the main offices, I was let in on some of the gossip. There is an intern who has applied for the job as well. Apparently she doesn’t like the competition and the back stabbing and gossiping has begun because it was obvious what I was there for. I had no sooner sat down at my desk after the interview before the receptionist had called to inform me of what was being said that I had “looked at her crossly and she had glared back at me.” W.T.F. She hasn’t even finished her college degree. I noticed she was dressed up when I walked by her but that was about it.

I find it laughable because A) If she’s my only competition (which she’s not, there are candidates from other facilities in both the US and Canada), she doesn’t stand a chance in hell. I have far superior qualifications and a superb resume not to mention a decade on her in age. B) I am not intimidated by her at all and actually feel rather sorry for her from the few opportunities I’ve had to deal with her C) her ego and self-inflated worth is hysterical.

It’s definitely making me reconsider the job even more since I would have to move to that office environment should I accept the job. I’ve always worked with men, now I remember why. If these people only knew how petty that is to me, and that I have far more important things on my plate that surpass this by a mile, they would be ashamed of themselves.

It begs the question as to why human nature, especially in women, is so petty. That whole “high school” mentality never really goes away for a large majority of the population. Its nature to be competitive and many people pull themselves ahead by trying to demean or cause emotional harm etc. to others. I can’t even say that I’m not guilty as I definitely am. I demean stupidity. Stupidity is one of my pet peeves. It’s not a pretty trait in me. I have also acted in a group mentality before. I admit it. The older I get and the more struggle in life I have, the less I do it and maybe that is the key is what life hands you and how your defense mechanisms react. So maybe its part genetics, part society and part experience. I just find it interesting the various forms it takes and in what circumstances.

On the matters of real importance, I’m nervous about having another blood draw this afternoon (okay more nervous about the results) and also excited to get it behind me. I have a good feeling that it will be positive outcome but the fear is there trying to creep in on me. I can’t help it. This constant waiting on information is driving me insane! You always think that the feeling of limbo will pass once pregnancy is achieved, but its just a different waiting period. I’m not sleeping, at all. I’m trying not to stress but that isn’t working. I’m exhausted. I’m going to try and clean my house tonight as the stress of a messy home is taking its toll; I just haven’t had the energy to do anything constructive about it.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Sunday Series: The Impossible

I know many of you are not very religious or have varying religions. That’s Okay. I am not here to preach to you. I have long questioned my faith and my faith has been tested and found lacking during my struggles. I’ve had run ins with the hypocrisy and politics of the Southern Baptist church and run screaming from overzealous churches where people jumped up in the aisle’s and went into trance like states. I have explored Wicca and other pagan religions and even married a practicing Druid (who has a Mormon upbringing and an Anglican minister for a father that also holds a master’s in psychology- it’s a wonder he’s even sane much less confused). I am NOT one to preach to anyone. However, I have come back to faith, not religion. I’m being a more faithful person and have found a non-denominational church that really speaks to me. Some lessons speak to me more than others and I want to share those portions of certain sermons that may speak to you or help you through this time. If you want to steer clear of those particular posts, have no fear, I will try and remember to label them Sunday Series so you have the choice.

The current series of sermons is referencing movies and how they can illustrate what the bible tells us. This past weekend’s movie was Alice In Wonderland (they showed clips from the Johnny Dep version. Seriously, who can NOT get on board with going to church when you get to see Johnny splashed up on three jumbo screens! YUMMY –Sorry God).

“The only way to achieve the impossible is to believe the impossible.” Charles Kingsley

That is my motto for the week because it really jumped out at me and I definitely need the impossible right now. Struggling with infertility and loss, things that are joyous and lighthearted for some, are scary and apprehensive for me, even though I want it really badly. Getting pregnant again is scary. I’m afraid of losing it. I’m afraid of complications. I’m afraid of not being a good mother.

After yesterday’s Dr.’s appointment, I’m afraid its ectopic and I will have to have surgery. My Dr., bless his heart, did wait on my lab results last night and called me at 8pm to let me know the hormone levels look good for a normal pregnancy so he feels the risk is smaller than before. He also studied my screen shots and feels there is a very good chance the fluid is from my cysts collapsing in on themselves, leaking the fluid out. He does not want to take chances though and ordered more blood work for Wednesday (a fourth beta draw) and an ultrasound for Monday. His hope is that Wednesday’s draw will show another progressive doubling which will trend for my levels being over 3000 by Monday which should give them a view of a sac (hopefully in the right spot!). Once they establish the sac is indeed within the uterus, they will no longer worry about ectopic and just monitor me for progression/miscarriage.

I feel like I have to conquer the impossible: remaining calm, keeping faith, believing my child is okay and everything will be fine, continuing to live daily with the unknown. To an infertile, the impossible is achieving that precious baby in our arms and remaining sane and strong through the process. BELIEVING we will achieve the impossible so that we actually can. That’s a large order. So for this week, BELIEVE the IMPOSSIBLE with me!

“Jesus replied, ‘What is impossible with men is possible with God.” ~Luke 18:26-27

I have no control over what happens inside my body now. The fate of me and my child is in the hands of God. “I am the master of my faith, the captain of my soul” ~Nelson Mandella from the Movie Invictus. I have to believe in my faith and have faith that the impossible will come to pass.

It’s a struggle. I am struggling with this task but I’m moving forward and believing. I want this child and I’m not giving up.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Not my happy ending to the day

to make a long story short, there is about three times more fluid in my ute than a few weeks ago after the cyst rupture. They couldn't even see my left ovary for some reason tonight...they took a million sonogram pictures of the right one which had all the cysts last time.

Given the hormone levels and the fluid etc. he is worried about an ectopic. He did another Blood draw today and said he was going to try and wait on the results tonight and would call me. If the beta's have not doubled again and/or the progesterone levels have dropped or not risen then I have to come in on Wednesday for another draw and ultrasound.

As is, I already have another ultrasound scheduled for Monday. He wants to see/find the baby as soon as possible so if it is ectopic they can get me in to surgery immediately. He told me not to lose hope. The lining had thickened up, the betas were good so far so there is a possibility its fine and I just had some smaller cysts rupture and leaking fluid but they need to keep an eye on it.

I just don't even know what to feel right now. I'm really hoping he calls with good numbers tonight but I don't see how since the blood wasn't even drawn till 5:30pm.

Thoughts and prayers would be much appreciated.

Menu Monday

I’m pretty sure I’m going into this week with no idea what to have for dinner. I’ve been flying by the seat of my pants and my poor grocery budget is suffering for it despite the little bit I’m getting from the garden right now.

This has been a very weird and hectic past week despite my best efforts of maintaining control and routine. I will definitely have to scrounge as I won’t be letting myself go to the grocery store till the weekend. So based on what I can think of that is lurking around my fridge and pantry, my menu will probably look something like this:

Turkey Meatloaf, brown rice and green bean casserole

Chicken noodles soup

Turkey Bacon, eggs and toast

Grilled burgers with coleslaw

Fried cabbage, Perogies and brats (for him)

Okay, okay, so my menu really isn’t that bad. I suppose its lucky that I have quite a bit lurking around huh? I’ll throw in some fried okra somewhere and maybe even some squash fritters or zucchini bread.

I also need to make a peach and blueberry pie but I don’t have any flour or a store bought crust so that may be a problem.

I have an entire bushel of peaches to deal with and 3 pints of blueberries. I’m going to freeze at least 2. I still haven’t canned beets or made pickles. They are claiming we will have a few evenings of rain this week. I’m hoping I will get something done finally.

I did get the corn taken care of and I have a lovely bucket full of butternut squash and winter squash (which keeps for quite sometime so I don’t have to hurry on that.

The Last McFatty Monday till 2011

This will probably be my last McFatty Monday update. Last week, we achieved pregnancy and I’m very ecstatic. Fearful but ecstatic. We got our first beta numbers in. At 14dpo- 155 with a progesterone level of 50.2. At 16dpo=320 with a progesterone level of 52.

My first OB appointment is this afternoon. While I will continue to follow everyone’s weightloss journeys, trying to exercise regularly and eat well, I will not be focused on LOSING weight during pregnancy of course so I will just be monitoring my weight gain (or hopefully lack thereof for awhile) during weekly pregnancy updates.

This is going to be quite difficult as I’ve been a starvin’ marvin for the past week. It’s quite bizarre. Even before I knew I was pregnant I was suddenly getting hungry (to the point of stomach twisting, almost gagging because I was so hungry) every few hours. It’s continued for a week. The odd thing was, I was losing weight. By Friday I had dropped four pounds (from Monday). Today I am back up three so it must have been a fluke caused by nerves or something (or else that steak I had this weekend packed on the pounds!)…oh wait….scratch that…steak and ICECREAM. I forgot I had a Bruster’s brownie sundae yesterday. (on top of homemade creamed corn over a buttermilk biscuit). Okay… I was a pig this weekend but it was so good. I would like to see the person that turns down southern creamed corn and fluffy biscuits OR a brownie sundae after a day of swimming in the insane heat and sun. I’ll be extra cautious this week.

Anyway, I’m very thankful that I participated in this and dropped the weight I did and look forward to participating again after a healthy baby is born. Fingers crossed! I wish lots of luck and love to all my girls who are still on the weight loss journey. Do not give up. I predict you will all be skinny minis by the time I’m a hugely pregnant woman begging to give birth soon so that I can see my feet once more.

Sunday, July 25, 2010


and remind me of that. I kept temping this weekend...and now I'm freaking out because the past two days my temp has steadily dropped. It's not supposed to do that during pregnancy right?

I know your temp can't continue to rise for 9 months, but does it settle back down once pregnancy is established or should it have stayed around the higher temp? I don't remember reading anything in the books about that when I was learning to chart?

I'll try and do some research later. Hopefully my lab reports I get back this afternoon will reassure me with great beta and progesterone numbers. Tomorrow's dr. appt seems a long way away!

That lurking fear is starting to get a foothold today.

Friday, July 23, 2010

How to Ruin a Digital Pregnancy Test

I can’t help but think about the Pregnancy Test Commercial that states “1 in 4 women can misread a traditional pregnancy test.”

I’ve always laughed at this commercial. Now I’m laughing at myself. I did fine with the “traditional” tests but failed miserably at the digital. In my bleary eyed attempt at providing DH with a digital confirmation (as pink lines apparently are not good enough for him nor is a Dr. doing a urine test) at 6:30 am, I became a bit overzealous and peed on the stupid stick before turning it on. I quickly redid but never got a reading. It didn’t say NO, but it wouldn’t stay on. It just kept turning off! ::headdesk::

I refuse to purchase another. I can’t get “more” pregnant because it digitally says so, and we will hopefully have our Beta numbers back from the lab today.

Now that I’m over peeing on things, I need to quit temping. There’s no point, which is a good thing.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Thankful Thursday

Thankful Thursday

I’ve never done a thankful Thursday post before. Several blogs I read do this and I love reading why they are thankful. Today, I have the urge to put it out to the world what I am thankful for.

1) great friends- who accept me for being neurotic, spacey and spastic all at the same time.
2) pink positive pee sticks and unexpected surprises
3) an amazing husband who is so even tempered
4) Panera bread-for a to die for carb filled lunch that is conveniently next to my Dr’s office
5) Yellow tomatoes in my garden
6) A dishwasher-because every fork in my house is dirty and I don’t have to dread doing the dishes by hand. Just load it and press start.
7) DVR- because after I pull weeds in the garden and tie up my previously mentioned yellow tomato plants, I plan on relaxing on the sofa with a bowl of pasta and a recorded movie.
8) Friday’s that are just around the corner, which means a weekend of swimming and gardening (and maybe a little housecleaning thrown in)

Peestick Paradise

I’m calm. I’m surprised I’m calm. I POAS again this morning. The line was much darker and showed up right away. I smiled this time. My heart fluttered. The CP was there in the back of my mind and a little part of me feared the line would begin to fade.

My DH claimed he can actually see it now and wants me to pee on the digital so he can see the word pregnant. I assured him I will do that tomorrow. I want to tell my mom. I don’t know how I’ll see her tomorrow night and not tell her!

I want to scream from the rooftops. I want to curl up in the bed with my DH and snuggle. I want to jump out of my skin. I wasn’t expecting excitement. Given circumstances and past experiences, I was expecting to feel reserved fear. Today I feel calm, peace and happiness.

I want to soak up every minute of this child. Every moment I may have. I’ve dutifully called the OB to set up Beta’s and progesterone check. My GP declared me not to take the antibiotics and just follow up with the OB to see what he will have me do. My GP actually returned my call yesterday personally and squealed in my ear. She was so excited.

I didn’t sleep last night. I have so many thoughts running through my head. I vary from being giddily happy to an almost Zen like calmness. (Maybe the lack of sleep). I don’t need answers from the Beta. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt this baby is growing. But I will go through the motions to make sure I do everything possible to keep it that way and prepare myself for what may come.

I want to ramble. I’ve written this twice. I can’t keep my thoughts together. I’m overwhelmed.

First beta draw and progesterone check is today at 1pm. Next Draw is Saturday morning at 9am. OB appt Monday at 3:30pm. ::chews nails:: Why am I nervous? I know I’m pregnant. I have two sticks that tell me so!

I heart Pink Dye Pee sticks at the moment.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

UMM...BFP...For reals?

Just when you think you have jumped through the ringer, the world is against you and life is sucktastic, you are thrown a curveball that completely turns your world upside down.

I’ve become one of those that read every scrap of information that comes with medications. I want to know what could go wrong, what to do, where it comes from etc. I overanalyze every symptom for the first few days on the new meds looking for reactions etc. I think this stems from the experiences I had with the allergy attack and the prednisone they put me on.

So of course, I read the antibiotic pamphlet from cover to cover and it stood out to me “Do Not Take While Pregnant, Consult with your Doctor.” Okay, no biggie. I had a cyst rupture; I have an infection and two negative pregnancy tests (Day 8 and 9). So before I started taking them, I decided that if my temperature was still hovering I would test with FMU. I dutifully took my temp and PIAC this a.m. I was a little surprised that my temperature had jumped upward rather than gone down, but that could be an infection sign. So I dipped a stick.

Immediately I noticed a faint shadow along with the glaring control line but that could be a trick of the light so I walked away. I came back with my coffee and stared. There, as clear as day, was a second line. It’s faint, but its there, without any squinting or straining. Not as light as my chemical pregnancy lines, but not as dark as my line with Bumblebee (though I didn’t test until day 18 or something which could explain that!)

I’m lost. I was setting myself up for a negative and got the opposite for once. I didn’t even get excited. I was like a zombie walking into the bedroom clutching my coffee like a life vest and looked at my husband and said “Well, we’re pregnant,” in a dull voice and eyes that would rival Bambi’s in oncoming traffic. Bless his heart, he responded with “uh, okay.” We just stared at each other shell shocked as if a bomb had gone off and half our house was missing.

I immediately started taking pictures with my cell phone to get confirmation of my eyesight from some very trusted BOTB friends (though I didn’t send it because my west coast gals would yell at me for waking them up at 3:30 in the morning ::coughcoughishacoughcough::). DH asked me what I was doing and said “let’s not tell anyone until you have gone to the Dr.” I gnashed my teeth and glared at him and said “I’m not keeping this from my friends, they have been there for me through the last ones and its not fair to any of us to keep this to myself no matter how it turns out.” Which is probably not true but I know they would want to know and I cant’ keep this to myself. Now that EVERYONE knows our struggles and miscarriage, I promised I would not keep pregnancies from my close friends and family. We did that with bumblebee because we wanted to make sure things were good and do everything in person. The result was that my in-laws never knew until it was all over. They never got to experience any of the joy with us so it doesn’t feel real to them, like it does to my parents. I will not do that again. If we don’t make it to a baby, then we don’t. But I’m not keeping these precious lives to myself in fear. That feels worse than having to tell everyone I lost them, by not acknowledging them at all. They are real. They are part of me. They are mine, if only for a moment, a breath, a pink mark on a fading stick.

So for today, I am carrying life. I’m scared. I’m worried. I’m freaking the fuck out. I’m calling the Dr. at lunch to find out what to do about the antibiotics and possibly get a beta. I have an already established appointment with my OB on Monday so I’m not going to call them since that’s only a few days away. (My OB is a 45 minute drive from work where as my GP is less than 10 and on my way home).

If it wouldn’t be too much to ask, could you pray for me and my baby? I would greatly appreciate it.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Overachieving Perfectionism

In the McFatty Monday post yesterday, Blair talked about being an overachiever and workaholic. Those words have been going around in my mind repeatedly for the past 24 hours. I do not consider myself a workaholic. There are days when I do nothing but lay on the sofa when I feel run down. The guilt that comes from those days is overwhelming though. I’m definitely an overachiever. I want a lot and over commit myself. I go bigger and better and basically beyond my physical means (and sometimes financial).

It’s in my genes. My father does everything on a grand scale and I am so used to his work ethic (the man is like the energizer bunny even at 60, he NEVER stops working) and his schemes and capabilities I forget that I don’t have the means to do so and my husband is a LOT more laid back than him and refuses to keep up with my demands. (See, not every girl marries the image of her Daddy!) I am my father’s daughter so I needed a calmer person to balance me out though sometimes his affect on me tips the scales which causes that ever present guilt. It’s a vicious cycle.

Example: Gardening. Most people are happy with a small garden: 2-3 tomato plants, 2-3 squash and zucchini plants on a 5 x 5 patch of ground (or a little bigger). Me? No, I have my Daddy bring in one of his monster tractor’s to till up a ¾ acre pasture for me so I can garden on a grand scale in addition to my nice neat 728 square foot box garden. I conveniently did not consider how I would manage this gigantic garden without a cultivator tractor or even a large tiller. That’s where I overstretch my financial capabilities. We just can not afford the equipment to manage my grand scale farming ideas! I grew up with farmers, I’m USED to the big huge gardens. I don’t know why I do this to myself. My “little” garden is fabulous. Everyone loves it, even the hardcore traditionalist farmers. My parents plant about 10 acres on their farm and always have more than enough to share with me to allow me to can for the winter. Their neighbors who are large scale commercial farmers share their abundance with us as well. So why do I stress myself out to mimic my roots? To do what my parents do which is what I think I have to do to carry on tradition when I have just changed it slightly to suit our life? Why is it not good enough for me to keep doing what works? Is it a keeping up with the Jones’ complex? I never thought I had an issue with that and none of my neighbors do anything close to what I do but maybe I’m keeping up with my idea of the Jones’s.

I think it is partially detachment anxiety and partially filling a void. My parents live an hour away with my sister and her boys next door. My in-laws live 4 hours away with both their other children and all their grandchildren down the road. But here, it’s just me and my husband stumbling along as home/small farm owners and no children. I feel isolated and alone and I have such a great desire to have a family and raise my children with all the benefits and advantages that I had plus some. I hear stories of dinners together and what the nephews are doing and I realize that both our families know and participate in each other’s lives but we are alone. I look out at my quiet piece of land and see this beautiful little garden and a bright shiny swimming pool just sitting there waiting to be loved. And I feel that I’m not good enough to love it all and care for it all alone.

My perfectionist side of me that has a mental breakdown over weeds in the garden can not wrap its mind around what to do without this dream of a family. So I keep forcing myself into bigger projects, more hobbies, more THINGS TO DO. I stress myself out trying to make my home PERFECT and everything I do Excellent and admirable because I feel like a failure and feel alone.

I don’t think that my garden adventures, landscaping failures and general lack of time and overachieving endeavors are a direct result of my lack of children but I do think I tend to go overboard with it. If I had children or never wanted them, would I still garden and stress about the amount of work that needs to be done to the house in the short time and limited budget? Absolutely. My parents were amazing people who somehow ran a farm, took care of a family, ran a business, gardened, kept the house up and a barrage of other home projects. They both had their contractors licenses, my dad is an engineer, my mom is a finance expert. I was raised to think I could conquer the world in a day and nothing would elude me if I just kept trying and working toward it.

At what cost to sanity though? When do I say enough is enough? I finally said enough is enough on the big garden after a heat wave blistered my precious tomatoes, squash and beans but left the weeds thriving (I have weeds out there taller than me!). We are mowing the whole thing down and returning it to a pasture and focusing on my pretty “little” garden. Where do I draw the line on fertility? Or diet? Or other aspects of my life?

I’m a 32 year old infertile with a dream and too much to do. What do I do? I sew, cook, bake, garden, keep house, work full time, swim, mend fences, do yard work, and tend my little zoo of animals. What do you do when you become overworked, overzealous, or lost in the madness of seemingly unattainable dreams?

Monday, July 19, 2010

Menu Monday

This week, I’m making more of an effort to jump back on my healthy eating/dieting bandwagon. I finally picked up the exercising and but let the foods slide so that didn’t do me much good! This week I’m determined to do both! So here is to a healthy menu! (mostly)

Grilled Chicken and Steak Skewers (zucchini, small potatoes and pearl onions)

Baked Turkey Breast with Green bean casserole

Spinach lasagna (with WHEAT noodles)

Creamed Corn over biscuits with a slice of tomato with Broccoli Slaw salad

Garden Update:
Field Peas and Pumpkins are coming in. New batch of green beans are running. Baby eggplants are everywhere. My new squash and zucchini plants are blooming. I have small okra everywhere. Cucumbers are still coming in abundance. I got my first beautiful yellow tomato out of the little garden! I’m so excited. The heirlooms are blooming.

The big garden? Yea, lets just forget that little adventure. We have to pull all the fence posts and strings up and its getting completely mowed down. It was a huge disaster, disappointment and waste of time and money. It gets too much sun and with our heat wave this year and our schedules we could not keep it watered and lost many of our plants to heat blistering, dryness and being choked out by the crazy morning glory vines and crab grass that runs rampant out there. It’s mostly good ole Carolina Red clay so with the heat it just becomes like a solid brick. That field is not good for a garden and will be returning to a horse pasture. In fact, late this fall, we are most likely going to be bringing in two of my parents horses to spend a few months with us so they can eat out the underbrush that has grown up in the pasture and give my parents a chance to reseed their pasture. I’m actually REALLY excited by this. I’m not keen on Sonny coming to stay because he has a cribbing problem and will chew my beautiful barn up and Harley, well Harley has a personal space issue and an attitude problem but I love him anyway. He has so much personality and is always a joy to watch his antics. (My sister and I actually bought him as a birthday gift for my dad 8-9 years ago) I just can not wait to see horses in my yard again that it does not even bother me that I’m going to have to repair and put back up a lot of my fencing I just took down!

This week I will be canning beets (yep, I got stuck doing that again!), green beans and possibly pickles. This coming weekend I am actually hoping to get to the farmer’s market for some fruit so I can make some jams and jellies as well as pickle some peaches!

Treading Water

Do you ever just stop when you are swimming and gently tread water and look around you? You take in the sky, the trees, the sounds of summer and wonder how you can miss this stuff on a consistent basis because you are so busy trying to get through the next thing. My days have become small increments of getting through. I get through work by blocking off my day in increments and counting down the increments. I get through the week waiting for the weekend. I push myself into getting a certain number of things done per evening, per week etc. My life goes into a tailspin if it gets out of hand because I lose control in my mind.

I am so out of control in some areas that I’m obsessive about others. The result is that I don’t always stop and enjoy just treading water. I don’t take the time to feel the coolness against my skin, the feeling of freedom from gravity, the joy in the song of a bird, and the sun shining on my face.

I’m not happy at work. My job is boring and it’s just a job. There is nothing exciting or challenging or even remotely stimulating about it. It is merely a paycheck to keep a roof over our head and health insurance. A trained monkey could do my job. I think my job would be more interesting if they would give me some freedom, let go of the short leash they have me on, quit micromanaging me and let me actually DO my job and work with my vendors and customers. However, I feel that I’m just the paper pusher behind the scenes, stifled in a corner while other people get to go DO. It’s suffocating. I don’t look forward to going to work in any remote way. I only look forward to going home and thus the past 2 ½ years of my life have passed in this manner. I’m only thankful that I HAVE A job in this economy.

The summer is half over and I have not taken the time NOT ONCE, to lie out in the pool. This used to be one of my favorite pass times. I could easily have given Sookie Stackhouse a run for her money in the tan department. I have not thrown ONE pool party or dinner party. My deck isn’t even cleaned off nor is the patio around the pool. The lawn furniture has not been cleaned because we haven’t used it.

Instead, this summer has been one giant unending cycle of cleaning house, working in the garden, preserving foods, stressing out and trying to overbook myself to keep me from thinking. I’ve been planning huge 60th birthday parties, Infertility Journey group for church, exercise sessions with friends, fall garden projects, but I haven’t just enjoyed the stage I am in, which is mid summer, with veggies coming in, opportunities to fire up the grill and eat healthy. I’ve barely used anything from my garden…it has gone into cans and in freezer bags for the winter and we have been living off sandwiches and quick heavy pasta’s because I’m so busy dealing with the produce. I haven’t even ENJOYED canning, I’m just doing it to get it done. Then what do I do? I complain about it.

This blog that was going to be full of fun and insight and keeping me sane has gone down hill on a consistent basis to drivel about weightloss plateaus and disappointing charts. I keep making promises to myself to pull my bootstraps up and start writing something worth reading again, but I don’t even take the time to do that.

I’m being forced on a TTC break thanks to a ruptured cyst and resulting infection. I’m not happy about it at all. I want to cry if I let myself think too long on it but the choice has been taken from me. I’ve been living with constant pain and soreness in my abdomen for two weeks now. I start antibiotics today. Follow up appt next Monday.

For the next month, I can solely focus on my weight/diet and LIVING. I don’t want to look back and say “I wasted five years of my life waiting on a child that never came.” Right now, I look back and feel that I’ve wasted so much of the last three years of my life being obsessed with that next phase of our family that I’ve lost precious time of just living. I read back over this blog and I’ve had this same argument several times so I am at a loss of how to actually accomplish living. How do you learn how to live?

I’m relatively happy. I’m not depressed. I appreciate so many things in my life and I try to be thankful for those and focus on those: the joy of dogs who love me like crazy, a supportive husband, my ability to turn a few ingredients into an orgasm for your mouth, a ripe tomato, a lovely home that has stood through many a storm (even if the moldings, cabinets and counters are stuck in the 80’s). I have recently rediscovered my love for going to the movies with my husband. An activity we abandoned some time ago due to the expense but we have taken it up again as “us” time in our busy schedules.

How do you live? What activities make you feel your life means something? I keep moving in the direction of trying to help others through their infertility struggles, starting groups etc but I’m having second thoughts on this. I feel like it’s dragging me down in the same muck that I’m stuck in now and I need to get OUT of the mire, not further immersed. I need a break from my own fertility issues and maybe giving it “a bigger meaning” by helping others isn’t the best way to do that In this moment.

McFatty Monday update: still stuck on the plateau. No loss this week. Going to work on furthering the low carb endeavors and working out harder.

I really want to write. I love to write, but if I don’t talk about fertility or weightloss, what would be interesting for anyone to read much less me to write? I’m in a very confused moment right now. Before posting this, I ran over to Blair's Blog to see what her questions of the day are and saw this paragraph:

Why is it that weight loss is such a journey? (& why does it always feel like such a whiney one?) I wish I could wave a magic wand that made every week be fantastic, that made medications not alter appetite, that made it easy to admit that I just couldn’t hack it when it came to losing another round of big numbers. Is it because I’m afraid of success? Am I afraid to be deserving of good things, to want good things for myself, & to make them happen? In weight loss, but maybe even in life?

I wanted to weep because she always sums everything up so well and I feel the same way but not just about weightloss....about fertility. I am definately struggling right now trying not to think that I deserve what I get (or don't get) because I haven't done enough or worked hard enough or I'm not perfect enough, or nice enough. As for that question? Sometimes I wonder what I've learned about myself through this journey. Everytime I think I've learned a lesson, I have to relearn it.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Blueberry Cream Cheese Muffins

One of my Dad's neighbors has HUGE blueberry bushes the size of houses with the most amazing blueberries. She doesn't charge to pick them and people who know her drive from states away to come pick her berries. My father brought me a gallon of blueberries this past weekend. I was in heaven.

Since it was a co-workers birthday yesterday, I decided to try out a new recipe that has been formatting itself in my head for awhile. A cross between my Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins and the Blueberry Muffins I love so much.

I think they need a little tweaking to notch that flavor up a level but they are yummy just the same!

Blueberry Cream Cheese Muffins

Heat oven to 375° F. Lightly coat a 12-cup standard muffin tin with oil and set aside. Mix 8 ounces (one block) cream cheese, 1 egg, and 3 tablespoons sugar in a small bowl and set aside.


1 1/2 cups self-rising flour
3/4 cup white sugar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
1/3 cup milk
1 cup fresh blueberries
Splash of vanilla
1 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Combine 1 1/2 cups flour, 3/4 cup sugar, salt and baking powder. Place vegetable oil into a 1 cup measuring cup; add the egg and enough milk to fill the cup. Mix this with flour mixture. Fold in blueberries. Fill muffin cups 3/4 to the top.

Place two teaspoonfuls of cream cheese filling in the center of each cup. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until done.

I use a cookie scoop to fill muffin cups. So I used two scoops of blueberry batter and one scoop of cream cheese mixture.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Dr.'s Update

The General Practitioner felt that my abdominal pain was caused by a ruptured cyst but did blood and urine panels to rule out intestinal infections etc. She suggested transvaginal imaging but I would have had to go over the hospital for that. So I declined and promised to call my OB as they had the right equipment, which I did. The OB asked me to come in and I had a pelvic and a dildocam scan. they confirmed I had fluid most likely from a cyst rupture. They also found two more cysts on my right ovary: 1 inch in diameter and 1/2 inch in diameter.

I have to follow up on the 26th with my regular OB and this Dr. wanted me to not take the clomid next cycle which is so frustrating as it would be month four...which is the average conception month and our previous conception month. It will also be august which was when we concieved last time. I just want to cry.

So this morning my GP's assistant calls me and says "yea, so your white blood count is elevated to 13.3 so there could be some infection. We want you to have an abdominal scan" I explained to her that I already had one at my OB and what they found. She is speaking to the dr. and supposed to call me back.

The little hypochondriac that sits on my shoulder is freaking out right now. I'm having twinges on the right side (which could be all in my head now that I know the cysts are there) and I have noticed the past few days when I went to the potty there was a bit stronger smell when I I'm worried I have an infection thanks to Mr. Cyst. URGH

I may be taking my SIL up on her offer to carry a child for me. If only I could afford the egg withdrawal/sperm withdrawal, implantation and insertion and all her medical bills that would not be covered by my insurance...oh wait..that's right...that's why we didn't move straight to IVF. Darn budget and economic recession.

Monday, July 12, 2010

McFatty Monday: Finally a little progress!

Another week has come and gone. It’s insane how fast the time is going. Summer is half over, fall is just around the corner. I feel like I need to start Christmas shopping!

I finally started exercising this week on a consistent basis. A dear friend of mine, Beth, has been driving over with her dog and we have been walking ½ mile to a mile and then swimming laps afterwards. Our workouts have been consistently about an hour. On the few days she hasn’t come, I have done about 30 minutes in the pool. So last week I worked out Tuesday through Sunday, everyday in addition to gardening for several hours.

So how did I do on the food portion? Well, not great but not bad. My carb intake was WAY Too high but my calories and nutrition wasn’t bad. See, I have this little problem in the summer time. It’s called a fresh ripe tomato. When I have those in my garden I practically LIVE on turkey, lettuce and tomato sandwiches. They are so yummy, quick and I don’t feel weighted down afterward. I tried to stir things up with baked chicken, garden salads and boiled eggs. I had another little issue: Homemade Blueberry muffins with fresh picked blueberries. Again, CARBS.

My portion sizes weren’t bad, none of the items were that bad, but again, with PCOS I’m supposed to stay away from the carbs: sandwich bread, muffins, and fruit…all carbs. ::sigh::

Then last night disaster struck. Yesterday afternoon during our workout after church, I was hit with sharp abdominal pain. I went in to use the potty and was immediately wracked with coughing, puking, stabbing pain. It was awful. It was a throwback to my cyst rupturing, my gall bladder going bad and even my m/c pain though not quite as severe. Enough to have me crying and curled up in the fetal position though. My husband brought me some of the oxycodine pills from my M/C aftermath and that helped dull the pain and let me sleep through part of it. My parents came down and I was not up to swimming with them again or grilling out as I had never made it to the grocery store anyway. So we ordered pizza. I ate two slices of Pizza Hut, Stuffed Crust Veggie Pizza with no sauce.

A little ray of sunshine this morning was that I had lost two pounds, despite the pizza. So that’s good right? I’ve got to keep the exercising up! I think that’s the answer to getting over this weight loss hump. Hopefully this abdominal pain will go away soon. It’s been somewhat manageable this morning but it has already flared up on me once today causing me quite a bit of discomfort and agony here at work. I have a Dr’s appt scheduled at 3. Maybe I will get some answers in a few hours.

Between the abdominal pain and the classes at church (we are moving forward with starting a community/church group for IF/loss sufferers in our area) the next two nights in addition to possible storms, I do not foresee being able to workout in the next two days but I’m not letting that deter me. I am planning on Wednesday being back on the exercise wagon. Really, two days off a week is not going to affect my exercise. Many people workout every other day anyway.

So this week is going to be yet another busy week with gardening, canning, classes, working out, work meetings and then preparing for the in-laws visit this weekend (which means cleaning my house!).

In other news, my chart looks half way decent this month. FF has flip flopped between day 16 and 17 for O so I’m not sure how good our timing is though. For now, I will hold out a little hope as it’s the most decent looking chart we’ve had since starting the Clomid again.

I will probably test on Sunday if it still looks good so that if by chance I get a BFP I can get into the Dr. on Monday for Progesterone and Beta tests. Fingers crossed.

How is everyone else doing this week?

Metta (who hosted McFatty Monday this week and did an excellent job! You go girl and rock out that bathing suit!) asks
How are you working through body image issues? What do you do when you find yourself on your own ledges of self loathing? How do you want to help your little ones, boys and girls, love themselves no matter what?
Having always been overweight, I'm very self concious but I overcompensate for that sometimes by being a bitch. It's one of my biggest flaws (besides my roly poly stomach and waving underarms). I am proud of myself because I rarely give up. I threaten to, and I fall off the bandwagon, but in my life I have accomplished a lot and I hold my head high and DARE people to say anything to me about my flaws which includes my weight. There are more important things than a svelt physique thought being healthy should never be discounted. I try to remember everything I am good at and what my accomplishments are when I get on those loathsome ledges. I want to make sure that my children are very active and love being involved in activities that they enjoy so that they too have positive outlets. I want to insure that they have good habits in exercise and eating but also that they respect people's struggles and mind their manners. I will reinforce that all people are beautiful and as long as they continue to try and never give up on themselves, they should always hold their head high and be proud. Tomorrow is another day of this life's adventure.

Monday? AGAIN? Really?

This week is going to be a really crazy week at the Gourmet House. I have classes over the next two nights at the church and a ton of canning to do! I picked enough beans to over fill a banker box plus that many carrots, two gallons of tomatoes and a gallon of cucumbers! Plus my dad brought me at least a gallon if not more of blueberries and my neighbor brought me figs! So I have preserves to make and freezing to do!

I have definitely got my work cut out for me. In addition, I need to tie up my heirloom tomatoes and Roma’s (the late crop) and string my field pea poles plus weed. Given the craziness of the week, it looks like the cooking will suffer.

Tentative Menu:
Rotisserie chicken and salad (from the Grocery Deli!)


Blueberry Cream Cheese Muffins (for breakfasts)

Grit casserole

Squash fritters

Zuchini Bread (to have on hand for quests this weekend)

Lots of Sandwiches!

Fig Preserves


Monday, July 5, 2010

Happy 4th of July Menu Monday

I spent all weekend practically in my garden. Pumpkins and field peas are planted. More marigolds and petunias are planted. Black plastic is down in spots I'm reserving for august plantings. Tomatoes are tied up and picked. I got 2 gallons of small yellow tomatoes that I'm going to use for salads and can for sauce. Parts of the large garden have been mowed down. There are still a few rows that I've got to mow down but the lawnmower died and has to be repaired. We lost some plants in the recent heat wave but we are back to irrigating so hopefully we will get produce again soon. We are getting cucumbers and tomatoes currently and are new crop of beans are starting to run. I have not cooked much lately though I have a few recipes to throw up here when I get a few minutes including my chocolate chip zucchini bread. SO YUM! This week:

Blueberry Muffins
Blackberry dumplings

Biscuits, egg, bacon and tomato

Chicken and spinach alfredo

Garden Pizza

Chicken Tender Salad with Honey mustard

Turkey melts

Our July 4th holiday was very quiet this year. We grilled with another couple and went to a movie. On the fourth we actually worked in the garden, took a quick dip in the pool, rented movies and spent a quiet evening at home with banana splits. I'm a very social person so it was a bit odd to me but we have had so much to do and had issues with the pool that it was really nice to just relax after accomplishing so much this weekend which included (taking down part of our pasture fence, staking tomatoes, planting garden, putting down plastic, weeding, getting the pool clear AGAIN and dealing with a pump/leak issue, mowing down part of the big garden to better manage weed issues, cleaning the house.

I hope everyone had a safe and happy 4th.

McFatty Monday-Taking Breaks

Well, I took the weekend off. I needed a break. I was at a breaking point mentally with the fertility and the weight. I took the weekend off from both. I was not at a detrimental part of my cycle to have it affect our chances of conception. I still temped, but I didn’t renew my VIP or enter the temps or worry about forcing sex when we were tired etc. I ate what I wanted which included quite a bit of chocolate chip zucchini bread, garden tomato sandwiches, burgers on the grill and grit casserole. It was a very yummy carb loaded weekend. I worked my butt off in my garden but took my time and planted flowers to make it pretty. I swam laps last night. I relaxed in the pool with my husband. We rented movies and ate Brusters Banana split sundaes. We went to the theater and grilled out with friends.
It was nice. I feel renewed despite the fact my vacation went way too fast and everyone has today off but me. I’m almost ready to go back on a real diet, cutting carbs but not totally since my tomatoes are coming in and I will cut someone if they get between me and a tomato sandwich. LOL
My mind is already looking toward fall (my favorite time of the year) and all the things I want to do this year. I’m starting to look forward again instead of wallowing in the now. I feel better. I gained a pound though, which isn’t too bad considering EVERYTHING I ate. I need to do this for myself though. I need to break that goal weight or I’m afraid I’ll give up. I’m going to do it this month. I AM.

Sometimes, even if its once every few months, I think you need to take a break. A true break..not half hearted ones where its "i'm just goign to watch what I eat blah blah blah". Because you never shut your brain down when you do that. You have to take a mental break but not for long because you can't slip back into an old life style. We always have to watch what we eat forever more, but a long weekend of pure enjoyment, meh, we need that from time to time.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Today it hit me at one of those wierd times

While pulling up fence posts in what used to be a horse paddock. I needed the posts for my tomatoes so I set out to wrap up the wire and pull the posts and I started bawling.

I found my horses homes last fall when they kept breaking through the fence. My husband and I work full time and he had started going to school full time at night which left me to deal with chasing horses and fixing fences. After one particular night where the neighbors kids chased them with their dirt bikes out to the main road and I was pitifully trying to catch them while stopping and bending double during pregnancy I said "I can't do this." I was afraid I was putting my baby in danger as well as my horses and we made the painful decision to let them go until DH is out of school (three more years now). It wasn't a wasn't long after the horses left that I miscarried.

So today, I spent the morning taking down a fence to horses I don't have because of a baby I don't have either. It really hit me hard that thanks to IF we have cut back on our lives, afraid to do things that would cause me further problems, not living so we could save money for medical bills and future possible procedures.

I don't know what the answer is but I can't keep doing this. I think its time I set timelines for myself because I can't keep putting off my life for years to come. I really need to find balance again between struggling with infertility and living life because I tend to lose myself in one or the other at different times. I need to explore how to be both an infertile woman and a vivacious person who lives life to the fullest. How do you balance everything? If I can't balance this, how can I balance motherhood and living? So many questions and fewer and fewer answers.