Thursday, October 20, 2011

For the love of ...


This past weekend we went camping with our friends Bryan and Erica. We specifically chose a site right on Lake Allatoona so our doggies could play in the water. So, Saturday morning after breakfast J and I took Savannah down to the shore. She happily ran in and out of the lake for a few minutes as we worked our way around the little cove. Puppy bliss!

The lake is low so the shore was made up of the rocky, muddy lake bottom. As Savannah ran out of the lake she let out a pitiful yelp and kind of hopped back into the water. She immediately came out and over to me and Jarrett, holding up her back right paw. We thought she just stepped on a sharp rock or something but she wouldn’t put her paw back down. We decided playtime was over, J picked up the wet pup and carried her back to the site.

We examined her paw and leg and didn’t see any visible damage like a cut or something stuck but she was definitely in pain and refusing to use that paw. We held and/or carried her around the campsite the remainder of the day – propping her up on a cot in the tent to rest for most of it. She was sad and snuggly. We were concerned and did our best to keep her immobile. Sad puppy = sad puppy parents.

Sunday morning came and there was no improvement. We headed home from camping and kept her on bed rest for the day but at this point we knew we’d be heading to the vet on Monday.

J was at the vet first thing Monday without an appointment but the doctor saw him. He called me at work and informed me that while she had not broken her ankle or toe (some of our theories), she had completely torn the cruciate ligament in her knee (ACL on a human, CCL on a dog). The vet said we could try and manage it with rest and let scar tissue form on our own or get the $2600 surgery. Oy.

Over the last few days, we have gone back and forth over what to do. Of course, we want what is best for Savannah, but we have some financial considerations as well. If you know me, you know I was all over the internet gathering research. We read success stories for both methods, but the more I read, the more I was convinced she needed the surgery. All the evidence for a dog her size with a complete tear pointed that way. I spoke to a coworker whose dog had the same thing and he gave me the name of the hospital they used and liked.

We have a consultation with the doctor on Tuesday. We know he’ll recommend the surgery (which turns out to be more like $3800 if you include all the follow-ups, etc.). J remains a bit cynical that vets always suggest surgery because that’s how they get paid. I see his point, but I read articles from vets and owners alike that pretty much said this was our best choice. I’ll have a ton of questions because I have also read about all the possible complications.

Luckily, the hospital takes a special credit card that you can apply for to help pay for things like this. We were approved for a big chunk of the cost, which we can pay off without interest for up to 24 months. Still, it’s one of those unforeseen expenses that makes you cringe. But we love our Savannah and want her to be healthy and happy.

The recovery won’t be any fun either – about 12 weeks total – with the first few requiring very little movement on her part and definitely no stairs. Um, have you seen our house? THREE LEVELS! So far J has been carrying her up and down. I tried once and well, we took a tumble. Not sure what we’ll do when he has to travel for work in a couple of weeks. Anyone want to take in me and my injured pup for a few days? Now accepting applications.  :)

Monday, October 3, 2011

Not tonight, dear

I haven’t posted on our baby-making quest lately so I thought I would provide an update on how it’s going. Basically, it’s not, at least for the time being. While the doctor gave us an all clear to try on our own during the time we’re working to get my insulin numbers down, it just hasn’t worked out that way.

As expected, there is a certain level of stress that comes with feeling like you have to do the deed on prescribed days and times. While we both know there are certain things that need to happen in order to conceive, the timing has just been … off. For the past two months I've either been sick to my stomach, cranky, bloated and/or J has been exhausted, traveling or injured and we would both rather stick hot pokers into our eyes than force intimacy. It’s a mutual feeling of frustration because ideally we want to conceive child under sweet, loving circumstances and not just getting the job done. I know we are not alone in this struggle  but it's annoying nonetheless.

So, August and September were duds and there is no one to blame but ourselves. On the bright side, I continue to lose weight (well, depending on the week!) and spend time at the gym. The diet is still the hardest part and I have not been as faithful to the right foods as I should be. Prime example: J having to physically take away the biscuit I nibbled on at Cracker Barrel AFTER I defiantly ordered both the grits AND the hash brown casserole despite him alerting me to how many carbs I was ingesting at one sitting. I justified it to myself as a reward for biking for 45 minutes earlier that morning, but I know that doesn’t stop those delicious starches from becoming evil sugars. I would live on carbs if I had the chance – how sad is it they are my number one enemy? It makes me want to cry.

All that being said, we’ll see what October holds in store!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Big Time

I have been slightly giddy since about 3 p.m. yesterday when I learned that an article I had written was picked up by The Huffington Post. For a writer trying to build freelance credibility, showing up on a national forum like this is a pretty big deal. Here’s a little background:

I recently got in touch with a former coworker who is the managing editor for a new young, professional women’s website, The Daily Muse. They were soliciting articles and since I don’t have the opportunity to write much in my actual job, getting to flex my skills is something I welcome.

The first piece I pitched was on something I know all too well: lessons from being a job hopper. As most of you know, I’ve had more than my fair share of jobs over the years. Yes, the reasons may be valid, but I’m not unaware of how it comes off to hiring managers. However, I also think it’s not as bad as it would have been even 10 years ago. Plus, I have learned a lot and I figured there were others out there, especially young women just starting off in their careers, who could benefit from what I now know.

The article was posted on The Daily Muse site Wednesday, which was enough for me! But then yesterday I was informed by the editor that it was also posted on Huffington Post. The site also has a partnership Forbes and Business Insider. The Daily Muse sends them their articles and some get selected for syndication. Hooray! I’m not holding my breath, but if it were to show up on Forbes, I would die.

I’m already working on my next article for The Daily Muse and I’m excited to have an outlet to do what I love. If I can gain some additional exposure and help build my portfolio, then perhaps my dream of being an actual freelance writer isn’t as far off as it seems!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Just not feeling it

I’m having an off week. Even though I can see and feel results from the medication, diet and exercise, my motivation is really low right now. After a kick-ass weekend of multiple work outs, I have since wilted. I’m blaming it on a few things:

1.    The ridiculously large and painful blister on the back of my heel that bloodied my sock during cardio on Sunday. Ew and ouch.
2.    P.M.S. (The periods are to help emphasize how strongly I am feeling this).
3.    Overall sense of fatigue and low morale.
4.    Lingering sense of grief that I can't shake.

I’m pretty sure #3 is directly related to #2 and that it will all fade in a few days. I went to the gym on Tuesday as scheduled, but only did about 20 minutes of half-assed cardio because I was both tired and my blister was super sensitive. I have an appointment with my trainer tonight and although I’m going to go, I have a feeling it will be another low-effort session, or at least as low-effort as he’ll let it.

As for the diet … fail. I have had two TINY pieces of cake this week (thanks a lot, coworkers!) and additional other carbs I should avoid. I have also had two whole sodas. That is as “bad” as I have been since I started. Again, blaming the PMS. I HAD to have McDonald’s French fries last night instead of turkey tacos on wheat tortillas. It was imperative. J doesn’t fall for this “excuse” but until he knows what it feels like, I will continue to ignore his comments pertaining to this matter.

I don’t want to reverse any of the progress I have made so I’m hoping that I can get back on track in the next day or so. Actually, it will probably have to wait until Sunday. Saturday is football and that equals beer. It’s just a fact. BUT … I probably won’t do the spin class and two-mile walk before indulging like I did last week.

I know most of you don’t answer when I try to start a discussion but I’ll try again anyway. I am nothing if not persistent: When you lose your motivation, what helps you push through or do you give in for a bit and then just get ramped up again?

Monday, September 12, 2011

Heavy heart

So here’s my latest thought on parenthood: While I know there are so very many wonderful things that having children brings into your life, there can also be great sadness. I was reminded of this grim fact last week when I received the news that the 12-year-old son of my friend was a victim in the flooding in Northern Virginia.

My friend is actually my 10th grade English teacher, who I adored. We’ve kept in touch some over the years and I am an avid reader of her blog, An Inch of Gray. I never met her son, but felt somehow connected to him and the rest of her family through her posts. Regardless, I was filled with such deep sadness upon hearing of their loss. In fact, it’s all I have been able to think about and I can't even pinpoint why it has affected me so greatly.

My heart has been heavy with grief and my head lost in thought. Those thoughts range from wondering how the family begins to cope with this tragedy to how scared he must have been when he first got caught in the flood. I then turn to thoughts about how having a child is voluntarily setting yourself for potential loss and it frightens me a little. I know that’s not how you should think, but in light of what has happened, I can’t help it.

It won’t stop us from our quest to become parents, but it does make me pause for a moment and remember that all life is truly a gift and we must be grateful for every day we spend with those we love.

My thoughts continue to go out to the family as they start to put the pieces back together.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Quick Update

OK, so we're about just about a month  into this whole diet/exercise/medication thing and I thought I would give you an update. We'll start with the good things:
  • I have actually made it to the gym 3 times each week. I don't hate it quite as much as before.
  • I've lost about 5 pounds and am fitting into some pants I haven't been able to wear in a while.
  • My soda cravings are fewer and far between.

Now, here are the not so good things:
  • I'm still not great about the diet. Definitely making smarter choices more often, but not always.
  • My medicine actually makes me feel pretty sick most days. Hoping that will fade away ... STAT.
  • My trainer has decided I can do more than I say I can. Yesterday's session kicked my jiggly butt.

With the exception of the side effects of the medicine, I think things are going well overall. I have another two months before my insulin/glucose numbers are checked again and I may be able to get off the medicine at that time, but the diet and exercise will remain ongoing staples to keep me heading toward better health.

Thanks to friends and family who have been supportive. I truly appreciate it! And by the way, since no one officially commented on the hair, I'm going to assume you all just loved it. Might go even redder next time ;)

Friday, August 26, 2011

Grumpy Bear

How many of you have ever wished you could take a vacation from yourself? And if you’re feeling that way about hanging out with you, how must those who deal with you every day feel? That is a scenario I have been dealing with lately. Pretty much everything that has come out of my mouth in the last few weeks has been negative … and don’t even get me started on the things in my head that I don’t say out loud!

I’m trying to chalk it up to the bevy of changes that have taken place since being told to make the changes to my diet and exercise regimen. Not to mention that the medication I’m on makes me super nauseated for a few hours each day. All of that leads to an unhappy combination and that’s WITH being back on my anti-depressants! Big changes like that can be difficult to adjust to and I’m hoping that things will even out soon.

Yesterday was a prime example of my current state of mind: We attended the Virginia Tech Atlanta Alumni Association Kick-Off Happy Hour, except, nothing was happy about it for me. After a particularly rough day at work, I had zero energy around being social and it would have been best had I just excused myself and stayed at home to pout. With every whine or complaint that fell from my lips, I told myself to STOP, because no one likes to be around a negative Nancy, myself included, but I have never been one of those people who can pretend to be happy and in a good mood when I’m not. My moods are on crystal clear display at all times.

As much as I enjoy time with friends, I am eagerly awaiting this weekend because we have NOTHING planned. Football season starts next weekend, which means hanging at the Hokie bar every Saturday … and I’m looking forward to it, but I think a couple days of no social obligations will be good for me before taking that plunge.

So, confession time: How often do you wish there was an OFF button when you're feeling cranky?

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Crazy? Stupid? Love? You decide.

OK, so the change I was talking about comes in the form of my hair. When J and I went to see Crazy, Stupid, Love a couple of weeks ago I was smitten by Emma Stone's hair color. Granted, I have always wanted to be a redhead since watching The Little Mermaid for the first time but have never really gone through with it.

What's the consensus? Do we like?


Monday, August 15, 2011

I'm still Lizzie from the block

Anyone else have two lines from the heinous song Jenny from the Block stuck in their head on constant replay? No? Shoot. Going forward, I am going to start strategically planning the last song I hear during my morning commute to avoid tragedies such as these.

We had a nice time with J’s parents this weekend. I hadn't seen them since Christmas. Where does the time go? The highlight was dinner at Ray’s on the River. Parmesan-crusted scallops with lobster risotto, people. And Cloudy Bay Sauvignon Blanc. Yum, yum and more yum. Were these items approved by my diet? Do I care? Answer "no" to both. We all deserve a little happiness, right? At this moment in time, mine happens to come in the form of things you can eat. If you haven’t been there before and you like seafood, I highly recommend it. Lovely little atmosphere and great food.

Worst part of the weekend was probably during a quick spell at the food court when the overpowering scent of Cinnabon wafting through the air, like those cartoons when the animated swirls of aroma have actual hands/fingers that worm their way into your nostrils. It always smells enticing to me but yesterday it was almost too much to bear. I told J that if the devil himself had sat down across from me and offered a deal for my soul just for one bite, I would have said yes in a heartbeat because this girl don’t play no fiddle. No worries though, Lucifer never showed and my soul remains intact.

As for this week, I start with a personal trainer tomorrow and after a hike and a strength-training workout yesterday, my body is already a bit achy. I have never experienced that so-called 'good' pain of exercise. Pain is pain and none of it feels very pleasant. I know this is the right thing to do in order to achieve the health results I need and want, but I’m a little scared. I have never been enthusiastic about paying someone so they can make me hurt. I'm a big believer in paying people to make you feel good, like massage therapists.

And for those of you on Facebook who may have seen my vague status post about revealing the results of my latest inspiration, you only have a few more days to wait. There will be sorrow and joy, this I promise. I'll be curious to know which side each of you land on.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Food for thought ... literally

The major pitfall to any diet, I have decided, is having to think about food so often. When I was eating anything I wanted, I hardly thought about it except to figure out what I wanted for each meal. Now, however, I think about food constantly: Can I eat this? What is an exact serving size? Has it been too long since my last meal? Who can I bribe for a Dr Pepper and a cupcake? It’s rather annoying to have these thoughts running through my head all day long on unending replay.

Frankly, I would prefer to think about anything else: Did the guy who robbed the Waffle House right by our house at gun point flee into our neighborhood? Did we record last night’s episode of Love in the Wild? Will I survive working for an investment management firm in this crazy economy?

If I had to choose between the two evils of eating healthy and working out more consistently, I’m going to have to go with the work outs. Less thought, more doing. And I would be willing to put in the extra effort to work off the bacon cheeseburger. But no, instead I get to be tortured by both a diet AND my new trainer. Couldn’t be happier unless I were dead!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Back to good

In order to refrain from unleashing any further negativity into the blogosphere, I waited to post until I was feeling more balanced. With the help of half-a-pill of celexa each day, that mission has been accomplished. Apparently I need just that little to maintain my sanity and all-around loveliness. I'm back to being myself and J is glad to no longer fear for his life. I’ll just have to wait until the time I actually become pregnant to cross that bridge.

Since returning from Vegas, life has thrown a few curve balls; the first being the entirety of last week when I couldn’t seem to physically recover from the trip. My throat was sore, my head ached and I was so exhausted I could barely keep my eyes open at work. I was also put on a diet and exercise program that meant several comfortable aspects of my life had to change ASAP. The second was a failed date night on Saturday when we ended up walking out on our almost meal, which never actually arrived. The third was getting caught at work last night with a completely flat tire. J was kind enough to drive down and help me change it. All were little things, but each was inconvenient enough in its own right to cause some irritation on my end, especially when crammed into a short period of time.

For those of you wondering, the diet has actually gone pretty well thus far. Tomorrow will be a week and well, that’s a couple days longer than I have ever lasted before. I haven’t been perfect, but I am making better choices over all and thinking more about what I eat. I consider that progress because I’m not going to change over night. After re-joining the gym for the umpteenth time I went to a spin class Saturday morning (yeah, THIS girl was up before 10 a.m. on a weekend to exercise), had a meeting with a trainer/short workout on Monday and will be heading back tonight after work.

On another note, J’s parents are coming to visit this weekend and we’ll have a belated celebration of both his and his mom’s birthday with a nice dinner out. Then, next weekend is our fifth anniversary! We’ll go to another nice dinner. It’s funny – we haven’t been to a really nice restaurant in forever and we’ll hit two different ones on consecutive weekends, but I’m not complaining! If I fall too far off the wagon during those meals, I’ll just hop back on come the next one. I won’t let it completely derail me as has happened in the past.

I hope everyone else is busy enjoying the last few weeks of summer. I’m actually looking forward to the slightly cooler fall temps this year. Oh, and of course, the start of some Hokie football.

p.s. - Next week, be on the lookout for an exciting change!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Off my meds and off my rocker

The diet is actually going OK so far and I even went to spin class yesterday morning (boy is my butt sore). The main thing that is NOT going well? Being off my antidepressants. I have broken down three times in the last week over the smallest things. I don't have an ounce of control over my feelings ... hence bursting into tears at Whole Foods last night when I realized I had picked up wasabi instead of soy sauce (although, there is a much longer story as to why we got stuck getting dinner at Whole Foods when we had already been at a restaurant for nearly an hour) and verbally abusing the idiot woman who pushed me into the sushi display, causing me to stub my toe (which made a loud CRACK is now all swollen, bruised and taped up so I can walk).

I don't like this version of myself and I know J's not a fan either. After several failed attempts of coming off my meds, it's pretty clear I'm just one of those people who need it in order to maintain a balanced life and an iota of sanity. Not sure what the next move is, especially since there is more and more data to prove that being on antidepressants while pregnant can be harmful to the fetus, but I can honestly say that it's more important for me to be on an even keel than it is to be pregnant. I am positive that being off the medication AND dealing with the added pregnancy hormones would lead to very bad things. If that means I need to forfeit becoming a mother in order to keep both myself and the baby safe, then that's something with which I need to come to terms.

I don't know ... I need to talk to the doctor about all this.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Let them eat cake (except Liz, she gets spinach)

Oy vey. There is a difference between knowing you should do something and being told to do so by a doctor, as I learned yesterday at my appointment: you feel more pressure to actually do it when told by a medical professional.

As previously mentioned, I am insulin resistant. That means that my body secretes extra insulin (apparently a LOT of extra in my case) to help break down glucose and stop my blood sugar from becoming too high. Again, she reassured me that I am not diabetic, as my glucose was in the normal range. In order to manage my insulin levels, I have been placed on a strict diet, exercise and medication regimen:
  • No white flour products, potatoes, rice, etc.
  • Carbs are OK only if they are whole wheat and high in fiber
  • Sugars and sweets are off limits
  • Only certain, less sugary fruits allowed (goodbye, watermelon and pineapple!)
  • Lots of lean protein and veggies
  • Eat every four hours
  • 20-30 minutes exercise, 3x week
None of this is rocket science; it’s the way we should all eat in the first place. Only difference is that now I know the “bad” foods affect me more severely than someone without insulin resistance. The interesting thing to note is that insulin resistance and being overweight is almost like a chicken and the egg kind of scenario: being overweight can lead to insulin resistance and insulin resistance can lead to being overweight, etc. Even when I was skinny I had a horrible diet so I’m not sure which was first for me.

In addition to the new diet and added importance of exercising on a regular basis (btw, we’re rejoining the gym this week — ugh), I have started a medication called Metformin, which, along with the other healthy behaviors, can help lower insulin levels, increase your ability to lose weight and get rid of other factors related to insulin resistance like acne and cycle irregularities. I’ll be following this routine for about three months and during this time J and I are advised to continue to try and conceive on our own. Then, I’ll be retested and whether I need any additional fertility assistance will be evaluated at that time.

Keeping up with diet and exercise have always been a really hard thing for me to do, so support is key right now. Even yesterday when we were picking up stuff at the grocery store, walking past the bakery and all the cookies, cakes and pastries was painful. I can’t tell you how bad I wanted something ... anything! But that’s not to say I will cut out absolutely every sweet — it’s just not possible — because at some point, I’ll break and binge. So this week’s indulgence will be a Gigi’s cupcake for J’s birthday on Sunday. I am already salivating.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

I went. I saw. Vegas conquered.

Been waiting with bated breath for the Vegas recap? Well exhale, because here goes. I’ll break it down by day:

The moment we stepped onto the outdoor oven that is the Las Vegas strip, I was a little overwhelmed. Talk about a stimulus overload! Where do I look? Is that Elvis? Oh crap, that's a wall! We immediately headed to the Stratosphere and as mentioned, I thought I was going to die, because we rode the Big Shot, which thrusts you off the top of the building, like, for real. Thrill rides are not my thing but I didn’t want to be left out. I’m such a sucker for peer pressure. J kept yelling for me to open my eyes and I kept yelling for my mommy. I was a little wobbly until I had my first drink to straighten me back out.

We wandered through the Venetian (gelato ... mmm) and ended up at Carnaval Court, which is attached to Harrah’s. This outdoor bar has a laid-back party atmosphere and if you have never been, I highly recommend it. The establishment is known for its flair bartenders (think Tom Cruise in Cocktail but way better) so it's a very entertaining place to just sit and drink. I don’t know how long we sat there — at least through 4 rounds of free shots from the bar and a few buckets of beer. After that it gets a wee bit hazy but we stumbled to O’Shea’s for the world’s longest game of beer pong. I think we ate at Diablo's. There might have been guacamole. There was definitely Dos Equis. We ended up back at the hotel and in bed by 8:30 p.m. I’m blaming the time change and early outbound flight.

Next morning we were up bright and early.. We hit the buffet and made our way down to the MGM pool area, which has a really cool lazy river. We relaxed, had some more drinks (there’s nothing like a gigantic $24 mug of pina colada and a raft!) and soaked up some of the 105 degree sun. We cleaned up and swung by the MGM lions, where J and I got a photo of us with a cub. I got to pet its butt. Totally not worth the money but some of us don’t get to go to South Africa and play with cubs there, so we take our chances when we get them.

From there it was on to Minus 5 in the Monte Carlo — one of my favorite experiences since it was so unique. You get bundled up in an anorak, gloves, boots and basically head into a freezer where the entire bar (cups, seats, tables) is made of ice! It was pretty … cool. Sorry, couldn’t help it. We ended up back at Carnaval Court. More shots. We totally missed our dinner reservations and ended up snacking on corn dogs and garlic fries. We hopped a cab to Fremont Street to experience “old Vegas” and a fun little zip line ride. Gambled a few bucks at Binion’s and stopped by the fountains at Bellagio. In bed by midnight. Hey, no judging.

Another early morning with breakfast at the Bellagio buffet and a walk through Caesar’s Palace. We lost Bryan at some point. No worries, we found him. Luckily, he had not been murdered by some crystal meth tweakers. Then we were back at the pool. We had agreed not to start the drinking until later but once we were down there, I started craving a beer. It just felt right to take some swigs while making fun of all the folks who made poor choices in pool attire. The others followed suit. Two more buckets of beer later...

After lunch I was feeling sluggish so J and I took five hour energy shots. This is the exact moment where it all went wrong. I had never tried one before and it immediately made me ill. This devil elixir will henceforth be referred to as Satan spit. We went back to (all together now….) Carnaval Court but all I could get down was some water. I fell in love with the charismatic bartender (FLIPPY) and eventually sipped on a mixed drink just so I could see him twirl some more bottles. There were more shots … some from the bar and some from our new bar buddies Peter, Mike and Brandy … oh, and 80s music. I remember 80s music. Between the waves of nausea and wanting to die, I really enjoyed myself. Peter dropped 20 shakers-worth of shots. Bummer. That was our cue to leave.

Bryan and Erica had tickets for the Beatles LOVE show so when they went to the hotel to change, J and I went to the Forum Shops at Caesar’s — swanky! He treated me to some goodies from Fresh but by the time we were headed back to the hotel, I was feeling super sick again. J napped and I laid as still as possible begging for mercy until we all met up for our fancy sushi dinner at Yellowtail. I was able to choke down 2 pieces of salmon, one sliver of my shrimp tempura roll and a ginger ale. What a waste — although those three bites were really yummy. I tried to stay in good spirits best I could but I was down for the count after that. We all headed back to the hotel. Must have been around 11 p.m. I know, we’re so lame.


Despite my 9-hour turn for the worse on Friday, it was an awesome trip. We loved vacationing with friends!  The trip was filled with was endless Hangover quoting and That’s What She Said jokes, J and I won (and lost) $60 in penny slots, there are videos we’ll never share with the public and lots of other good memories. In the end, there are now four of us in our wolf pack and I’m ready to do it again any time (except next weekend, the Jonas Brothers are in town)!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Vegas Prologue

Let's see: Vegas trip began with me thinking I was going to die and ended with me wanting to die. More details to come once I have fully recovered -- gimme a couple more days  :)

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Who's ready for a vacation?

This girl is! Good thing too: we leave for the bright lights of Vegas at 0830 tomorrow morning.We're going with some good friends -- everyone except for me has done the Vegas thing before so they have the distinct honor of showing me around. We're staying at the MGM Grand and plan to hit some of the tourist hot spots (Fremont Street, Bellagio Fountains, etc.) and then just relax and enjoy ourselves at the pool or some laid back bars. There is even a possibility of J and I renewing our vows at a cheesy Vegas chapel. And don't worry, I promise that what happens in Vegas will most likely show up on this blog ... unless, of course, we get into some Hangover-style shenanigans and I am sworn to secrecy! For those of you wondering, I did NOT get knocked up during July so I'll be good to indulge in some drinks, of which I'm sure there will be plenty, knowing this crowd. I actually kind of hope this ends up being my last big hoopla before there is a bun in my oven.

The only sad part is that it's a fairly short trip -- we'll fly back on Saturday (to leave Sunday for recovery, or if you're J, heading out for a business trip). I hear that's about as long as you want to stay in Sin City, which is fine, but I could really use a full week of doing nothing. I have had a busy stretch at work and the down time is much needed.

My hope is that once I get back I can focus on everything a bit more clearly. I tend to fall into a summer haze most years and motivation can be hard to find. Honestly, I'm still reeling from the fact that we're suddenly expected to work during the summer after having them off for so long during our younger years. You'd think I'd be over that by now -- right? -- but I know too many teachers who still enjoy this perk and I definitely get a little envious of their schedule.

Actually, aside from the whole summers off thing, one of the many reasons I have always longed to be a teacher is because I also really love the back-to-school part. Getting new pencils, pens and notebooks. Even though schools around here begin as early as August 3, when September hits, I don't just get excited for Hokie football: the whole pomp and circumstance of going back to school gets me going as well. Who knows, maybe teaching will be my post-baby career?

Friday, July 22, 2011

And the culprit is ...

Insulin resistance, as the doctor expected! I heard back from Dr. K’s office today and my initial blood work showed that to be the one problem that could be affecting our ability to conceive. I was relieved to hear that nothing more serious reared its ugly head.

The nurse explained that this is not diabetes, BUT it does put me at risk for one day becoming diabetic and chances that I will have gestational diabetes are increased. My body's cells have a diminished ability to respond to the action of the insulin hormone. To compensate for the insulin resistance, the pancreas secretes more insulin. Apparently that affects a woman’s cycle and all sorts of other stuff that can make getting pregnant more difficult.

I go in on August 4 to meet with a nurse to discuss some dietary changes (read: cutting out carbs and sweets) and get a prescription for a medication that should help regulate everything that is out of whack. I have heard that this medicine can also help you lose weight, clear up any blemishes and some other good stuff like that. Sign me up!

I’ll learn more about what exactly this means and how long before things should get back in the groove and we’ll be back to a high probability of conceiving naturally. I'm not sure how long they will suggest we continue trying on our own without luck before they search out any further issues. Let’s hope it ends up being as simple as getting on this medicine and changing some dietary habits so I can be happily impregnated in a few months!

Why yes, I would in fact like some cheese with my whine.

I’m having a cranky kind of day. Nothing especially bad has happened but all the little things in life that annoy me seem twice as obvious today. You know what kind of day I’m talking about? Well, I’m hoping that by writing some out, I can release the negative energy surrounding them and enjoy the fact that a) it’s Friday and b) I go on vacation next Wednesday. Here goes:

-    Having the elevator stop at almost every floor during my 20-floor ride to the lobby
-    People who feel the need to press the Lobby button even though it’s already on
-    Leaving my debit card in my suit pants from yesterday
-    Greasy hair because I couldn’t will myself to get up early enough to shower this morning
-    The erosion of the tip of the heel on my favorite shoes
-    Feeling defeated by 9:10 a.m.
-    Regret for things in the past that were out of my control
-    Waiting for the doctor to call back from the message I left at 9:30 a.m. YESTERDAY
-    Still harboring resentment for not having summers off in the working world
-    Fighting the urge to gorge on chocolate before lunch
-    A slow leak in my tire that I forget about until it’s almost lost all air
-    Breaking my no Dr Pepper rule just to survive the morning
-    Sweaty feet
-    The endless want from being a product of mass consumption (it’s how I’m programmed to function!)
-    Women twice my age who look and dress cuter than me
-    Feeling a bit lost career-wise
-    Sacrificing the integrity of something just to make certain people happy

I could go on, but I’ll stop there. How about you — what are some of your tiny annoyances? Feel free to release yours here as well!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Box (no, not that bad Cameron Diaz movie)

Oh! I totally forgot about this until just now! When I was visiting my parents earlier this month, I discovered a box in the guest room closet that had things like graduation mementos, old notes from friends and even a few love letters! Also, in a plain white envelope was a letter addressed to me in what looked like my handwriting. I opened it to find a letter we had been asked to write to ourselves back in 10th grade English class (shout out to Anna)! Let me tell you, revisiting your 15-year-old self can be a little scary.

First of all, I was depressed. Most of you know that I have dealt with diagnosed depression since 2000, but it seems it started much earlier than that. I noted how I just didn’t feel like myself anymore — unhappy, interested in the same things, wanting to cry all the time. I think those things could be chalked up to normal teenage hormones, but given how everything played out, perhaps it was something more serious. BTW -- after 11 years, I am finally going off anti-depressants for good (you know, because of the whole trying-to-get-pregnant thing).

Next of all, I talked about boys (duh!). My girlfriends were all dating someone at that time and I was feeling pretty sorry for myself. I named a few guys I had a crush on and I can tell you that I never ended up with any of them, but I’m not complaining. At that point in time it seems I had a penchant for greasy, stoner types who played hacky sack in the hallway. Um, ew. I have no idea what I was thinking back then. Thank goodness I passed that phase PDQ.

As for the love letters, I should have probably thrown them away, but it was sweet to read a few. I can definitely say that I have been “loved” in my lifetime. And although all my love goes to my husband these days, those relationships and boys who crossed my path along the way helped make me who I am today so throwing them away somehow felt like throwing away a little piece of me. Instead, I just folded them back up and returned the box to its place in the closet.

Opening that box brought back all sorts of memories, but as much as I sometimes miss the innocence and lack of responsibility of youth, all in all I am happier to be 32, married and hoping to bring a child of our own into the world who can start filling her own box of memories.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Friends are friends forever?

Liz and Erica on St. Patty's Day
If I were to try and fill this blog solely with our adventures in infertility, it would be spotty at best so don’t be surprised if you see more frequent posts that have nothing to do with baby-making. Today’s ramble was inspired by a conversation with a friend of mine. I stated that good friendships, like good marriages, require work from both ends. Relationships go through phases and the ones that are meant to last, do. That got me thinking about the friends I have had over the years.

The one constant has been that I have always kept a very small circle of close friends, as in 1-2 at any period in my life. I have yet to determine whether that is by choice or just the way it has worked out. I used to long to be more popular and have a slew of close girlfriends, but these days, I am content with what I have and am happy to say Georgia has treated me well when it comes to friends (see photo!).

I have a pretty high standard for friends, a standard that has been cultivated over the years from too many feelings of being let down by someone I cared about. I need my friends to be an active part of my life and reach out to me as often as I reach out to them. In the spirit of honesty, I admit that I have not always been a good friend. There are more than a few occasions where I acted like the total and complete opposite of a friend. I’m thankful to say that I’m still friends with some of the people I hurt (and you know who you are) the most during my misguided, fickle, jealous youth — proof that the good ones stick.

Friendships were easier to keep up when we were in school; everyone was together all the time. Now that we have grown up and moved all over the country, a lot more effort is needed to keep the connection fresh. Distance and different types of lives make it difficult and while things like Facebook are great for not losing touch completely, I think it also leads to a false sense of intimacy.

I no longer waste time on forcing friendship. I will try numerous times to connect but if all I get is static on the other line, I eventually leave it up to them. In fact, J and I did that with a couple we were friends with in Virginia. We invited them to a million different things, but they always had an excuse so we finally stopped asking and they never took the time to reach out to us. We ended up cutting our losses. Sad, but true.

What about you? Are you still in touch with friends from different times of your life? Do you make it a priority to maintain those connections? The best girlfriends are simply invaluable and I’m curious to see what others do to keep those relationships fresh.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Always be my baby

It's time to show some love for my original babies: Will and Zach. As previously mentioned, I have always loved kids, but these two sealed the deal.

I had worked as a camp counselor my first two summers in college but was interested in something different the next year. I don't even remember how it all happened, but I was introduced to this family from our church with an 18-month-old who were expecting their second. I started four days before Zachary was born.

I spent most of that first summer with Will and was just plain smitten with this kid. Not only was he adorable, but he was also really well-behaved. He was just learning to talk and watching his little personality bud over those couple of months was pure joy. I will forever remember his little hand dance to whatever music I had playing in the car and his fascination with any kind of ball.

The next year, Zachary was older and I would watch both of them. Zach was more active then Will but man, that kid made me laugh. I was even there when he took his first steps. I couldn't imagine being more proud had it been one of my own. I remember gently knocking him down at one point so I could video more steps for his parents!

Not only were the kids awesome, but I became close to their parents as well. They treated me very kindly and made me feel like a part of the family. It was truly the best summer job I could have imagined and consider myself very lucky to have had the opportunity. My parents even felt like surrogate grandparents, as I would often bring the boys over to play at their house.

I can't pinpoint what brought all this up, but I got a definite pang of heartsickness today, missing them. They are a busy family and it has been difficult to keep in touch since J and I moved to Georgia. I seriously doubt the boys sit around thinking fondly of their nanny of long ago, but I hope they know how much I love and miss them. They will forever be a part of my heart.

Note: I can't find any photos but as soon as I can, I will add one or two to this post.

Friday, July 15, 2011

One test, two tests, three tests ... more?

Glucose test = done!

I was a little apprehensive about this one solely for the reason that unless there is alcohol in it, I have a very hard time drinking a large amount of liquid in a short period of time . However, I didn't have to drink as much as I feared and although not something I would sip on voluntarily, the drink wasn't as bad as some I have had for other procedures (colonoscopy prep and contrast CT scan, SO GROSS). It actually tasted like a super sweet orange Gatorade. I was tempted to ask if they had it in any other flavors but I already knew the answer.

If you have ever done this test, you know you have your blood drawn, drink the liquid and then wait two hours and have your blood drawn again. I decided to wait it out at the doctor's office and there were a ton of people who came through the waiting room during that time. At one point, I was the lone heterosexual out of three lesbian couples. If you think about it, I guess they are prime patients for a reproductive clinic! There were also two pregnant women who came in for check ups. Admittedly, there is always a small twinge of jealousy that pops up when I see women who are expecting, but in this case, it offers hope as well.

The results from this and last Friday's blood work should come in early next week To avoid going to the office so many times, I plan on asking if there was anything definitive from them or whether we should wait until we do Jarrett's test to start constructing a plan. In the meantime, I'm peeing on ovulation tests and we're continuing to try on our own.

Oh yes, don't be surprised if you start to see me ordering Vodka and Sprite ... a good friend of mine said that was an easy way to make a switch to Sprite only once you do become pregnant and aren't ready to share it with the world. I know the moment I don't order wine or a beer that people would be suspicious of me. Now, since I just let you all in on my little secret, no questions if you see me do it!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Sugar, we're going down ...

It's time to admit to something I have known for a while but was too ashamed to say out loud: Any problems we could experience getting pregnant are most likely tied to the fact that I'm overweight. Both PCOS and insulin resistance are linked to excess weight. Honestly, part of the reason I was nervous to see the specialist was because I thought she might look at me and say that simply losing weight would cure the problem. That is not at all what she said, but I guarantee it is part of the solution.

I have my glucose test scheduled for Friday. Regardless of how it turns out, I want to renew my conviction to losing at LEAST 10 lbs. in the next few weeks. I know even that little amount can help all sorts of things. It's going to be hard because I have the most pathetic sense of will power of anyone I know. One would think that since it would be a good thing in so many ways -- most importantly, potentially conceiving -- that I could stick to it, but I just know myself too well.

I have it in my head right now, at 10:15 a.m., that I will definitely get on the treadmill after work, but come 3 p.m., I'll be tired and the thought of doing anything but lounging on the couch and unwinding from the day will make me break out in hives. This is the aspect I probably need the most help and support in through this whole endeavor so please send positive thoughts my way!

Friday, July 8, 2011

It's all in the code

I suppose things have a way of working them out, or rather, doctors have a way of coding things to go through insurance.  :)  Overall I feel that things were fine and we're definitely moving in the right direction. I was proud of J:  He only complained about the long wait a couple of times. I give him some slack because he's always been uncomfortable in doctor offices. My goal is to make this process as painless as possible for him.

So, we met with Dr. K and after looking over all the information and asking a few questions, she suggested our first move be an ultrasound. We were able to do it right then. Although most things looked fine, she couldn't rule out either Polycystic Ovary Syndrome or Endometriosis. Some of my egg sacs were a little smaller than they should be but at this particular day in my cycle, she couldn't tell if one would mature.

Given some of my history she believes I could be insulin resistant, which could also be the main cause of my irregular cycles and lack of ovulation. I will have to take a two-hour glucose test to see how my body treats glucose to determine if that is the problem. J also has to have the standard analysis of his swimmers. After those results plus the results from the seven different vials of blood, there will be enough pieces to figure out what the next steps should be.

I'm hoping to get those two tests done in the next couple of weeks. Everything except for J's analysis should be covered by insurance because they do not have to be considered infertility testing and can be coded as gynecology -- yay! We were VERY happy to learn that. Depending on what happens, we can save up for any additional procedures. Hooray for progress and thanks for the prayers and well wishes. We appreciate your support!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Ensure you're insured

Our appointment with the fertility specialist is tomorrow. I have a host of feelings about it; so many conflicting ones that I won't bore you with most of them. The one that I WILL share is my frustration with a little obstacle we encountered yesterday.

I received a call from the office confirming my appointment and reminding me that our insurance will not cover the consultation or any following testings, procedures, etc. Hold up ...WHAT? I had called the insurance company back when we made the appointment to check on this very topic and the representative told me our plan covered anything considered diagnostic. We have been under the impression that finding out what, if anything, was wrong wouldn't come out of pocket.

Immediately I was on the phone with our insurance company to find out the truth. Unfortunately, whomever I spoke to before was gravely misinformed. Our plan in fact did NOT cover anything related to infertility. I panicked for a moment ... or two. OK, I panicked for about a half hour. We're not exactly swimming in piles of money. The consultation alone was going to cost more than $500 up front.

After I calmed down J and I talked about what to do. The doctor we're seeing offers free 30-minute consultations. She will review our medical history and make recommendations. The original consultation would have been more in-depth and include some preliminary testing. So, that's what we're going to do. We'll hear what she suggests and if it includes certain tests, which I'm sure it will, we will learn the cost and then save as necessary.

I'll admit that my bubble is a bit deflated. I was so excited to start getting some answers and now I feel like it's still out of reach. I guess we'll just have to see what tomorrow holds and what we can do from there. Wish us luck!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Holy guacamole...and catfish...and beer

That is just some of the yummy goodness I filled my tummy with this past weekend. I enjoyed it immensely. I did not enjoy the inability to zip up my pants this morning. Operation Detox is in effect.

We had a lovely time at my parents' new home on the lake. There are few things as fun as floating with friends and night-time boat trips to see fireworks. One of said friends is a sweet little girl age 8. She was giddy to help take care of baby JH3, who was there with us. She kept saying how much she loved babies and wanted to have one, once she was older and married and all that stuff. I couldn't help but smile at how much she reminded me of me. Heck, I still get giddy when I get to help take care of a baby. But this weekend I mainly looked after my own baby, Banana.

And even though I know petless parents resent the comparison, there were some definite similarities about taking care of a child and taking care of the dog. We had fun watching her swim, letting her float on us when she got too tired; made her take a nap if she played too hard; took time to make sure she was fed and having fun; baby gate her in a room for an hour or so when there are too many other people/dogs around. What? You can't do that last one with a kid? My bad.

Monday, June 27, 2011


I encourage comments!

Fun and fretting

J and I are headed to my parents' fab new house for the fourth of July/my birthday weekend. Coming along for the trip are two different sets of cousins: the Atlanta Arnolds and Memphis Stones. Hooray! It should be a nice, relaxing visit and I am really looking forward to spending time with a bunch of people I truly enjoy. Can't beat that, can you?! Let's hope the weather cooperates.

The following week will conclude with our appointment with the reproductive endocrinologist. As the date  approaches, I'm actually getting a little nervous. While I'm excited to start this part of the journey, I would be lying if I didn't admit to being apprehensive as to what it will bring. I am trying to stay positive and convince myself that it will be the easiest of fixes, but seldom does it seem that my medical issues are easy.

I also worry about any potential strain this could lead to in my marriage. Honestly, I think we'll be just fine but I have heard way too many stories about couples that have grown apart during this very emotional time. J and I have discussed potential scenarios in the broad sense before, but what will happen when it all becomes real? That is just something we will have learn as we go.

Does anyone have any advice on how to calm some of my anxiety?

Sunday, June 19, 2011

What rhymes with orange? Spray tan

I'm very fair-skinned. J has even referred to me as transparent. Last year I had a couple of benign spots on my skin that had to be removed. It definitely made me think differently about being out in the sun. But I'll admit that I have always preferred the way I look with some color.

Several weeks ago there was a Groupon for 1/2 off a spray tan. Sounded like a good deal to me! J is out of town so I took advantage of yesterday to pamper myself. I got my nails done, my hair cut and finally went in for my tan.

Since this was my first experience, the girl had to tell me what to do (she was weird, pale and apathetic to boot). She told me to wipe off my hands and fingers with a baby wipe so the color wouldn't get too dark, which I did. What she DIDN'T tell me was to wipe off the bottom of my feet.

The tan has now fully-developed and not only are the bottom of my feet a mess, but the overall look just isn't me. It's not really orange, but it's definitely not natural looking. I'm going to see how much I can rub off before showing up to work looking like a freak tomorrow.  :(

Guess I'm destined to be transparent.

ADDENDUM: Folks at work have assured me it looks fine (until I show them my feet). I'm feeling a little better about the experience now.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

I love children + I love books = I write children's books

This post is related to getting pregnant in only the slightest of ways but my blog, my rules, right?!

My general love of kids led to many child-centered jobs and activities when I was younger (and could afford to live on the low salary). I have substituted in a preschool, been a camp counselor and a nanny. For me, the most rewarding of those was being a nanny. That's probably because I did it for an awesome family who treated me very well. I came to think of the two boys almost as my own. I started when one was T-minus 4 days old and the other 18 months. They are now 11 and almost 13. Holy moly how time flies -- I think I just had a heart attack seeing that written out.

Anyway, as a nanny I got to read a lot of children's books. Some were awesome (classics from my own childhood and some new faves) and some ... not so much. As a writer, reading them inspired me to create my own stories. Over the years I have written 6-7, but only a couple of have struck me as real possibilities to become published.

Though I've had them on hand for quite some time, life has gotten in the way and distracted me from making a real effort to start sending them to publishing companies. Plus, it can be very discouraging to read the statistics concerning an unsolicited manuscript's chances of getting picked up. So, from time to time I get motivated, revisit and tweak the stories and consider sending them out. I usually get no further than the consideration stage.

Lately, however, I have felt a sense of urgency to stop just waiting for things to happen and start MAKING them happen (hence, the intense attempt at baby-making). This includes getting published. So, I did some research and found a company in Massachusetts that still accepts unsolicited manuscripts -- a rarity in the industry these days. Even better, I could send two different manuscripts, saving me the effort of trying to decipher which of my stories I think they might like more.

Earlier this week I packaged up two of my faves and sent them on their merry way. As exclusive submissions, I'll have to wait around three months before I can even hope to hear something ... and that's only if they are interested. If the lines are silent after then, I can start sending them elsewhere. So, here's to actively trying to make some of my dreams come true and ... the sanity to withstand the waiting!

Editor's note: I am adamant about having my stories published in tangible, actual pages-with-cover form. No e-books for this old school girl. I will rebel against the e-reader revolution till the end!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Baby love

Unsurprising fact: I love being around babies. As an only child I don't have brothers or sisters to make me an aunt. Luckily, J's brother has a great brood of kiddos; Three girls and one new little boy! Sadly though, they live in Texas so we don't get to see them as often as we'd like -- usually only once a year. However, my cousin and his wife had a baby boy last year and live just a few minutes away. We get to see them a lot, which means I get my necessary fill of baby love. Yay!

JH3, as I'll call him, turned one in March and we have been a part of his life from the day he was born, visiting at the hospital. Since Second Cousin Liz is kind of a mouthful, even for those of us with fully-evolved vocabularies, J and I have taken on the role of honorary Aunt and Uncle and we enjoy spending time with and spoiling JH3 as if he were actually our nephew.

I honestly think being around him helped J feel more comfortable around babies and therefore, the idea of having one of our own. He didn't have a lot of experience with children, especially wee little ones, before his brother's kids and having frequent access to one definitely boosted his confidence that he wouldn't break them! It also doesn't hurt that JH3 is a really good baby -- happy, healthy and pretty laid back (and did I mention he's irresistibly cute?!)

I credit some of that to his parents, who aren't afraid to bend his schedule a little to go on fun adventures, so JH3 comes along for impromptu lunches, dinners and drives. Seeing a real-life example that your social life doesn't have to completely come to a halt after having a baby has been good for me and J, a natural concern for folks like us who relish time with friends.

So, there's my little shout out to JH3 (and his rockin' parents). Thanks for being you!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Just keep swimming ...

Here's something I find myself thinking about on a far more regular basis then I would like: semen. First of all, ew. Second of all, moving forward I will refer to it in any form except for the proper one because, well, see the first of all.

Why do I think about it? Because you need it to procreate - duh! How do I think about it? Is J wearing the right underwear to maximize his swimmers? Has he been spending time too much time in hot tubs? Are they Olympic-caliber, Phelps-like swimmers or just the occasional summer swim team type? Can he really weed out all the girl swimmers so we can only have boys like he claims? Okay, maybe not the last one. :)

I mainly keep these thoughts to myself  ... well, until now I guess! J isn't a big fan of discussing this topic and I can't really blame him. It's just one of those weird little things that seem to pop in my mind now that I'm so focused on becoming pregnant.

On a strangely-related note (swimmers=water=ocean=fish), I am also taking prenatal vitamins. Love what they're doing for my nails! However, this particular brand has a DHA supplement, which contains fish oil. If you have never taken fish oil supplements then you are blissfully unaware of the side effect lovingly known as fish burps. Yep, when you take these, you get an unpleasant fishy taste in your mouth when you burp and for whatever reason, you tend to burp more when you take them. Blech.

Wow, I just covered semen and burps in one post. Are you as grossed out as I am right now?

Monday, June 6, 2011

Babies of the four-legged variety

J and I love our dog something serious. Before she came into our lives, I was the one who was all about getting a puppy. J was amenable to the idea but not dead set on it. And once I convinced him, he didn't even want to consider a Labrador Retriever. His exact words: "Everyone has one of those. I want something different." I had to remind him the reason everyone has a Labrador ... they're frickin' AWESOME.

He now knows that to be the truth because he is more obsessed with our darling Savannah than I am. We have been lucky to have a very sweet, well-behaved dog. In turn, she is as spoiled as ever. We treat her as is she were our child.

So here comes my dilemma: I am worried about the lack of love she might feel if a baby came into the picture. Is this enough to stop me from wanting to have a child, of course not. But, I do think about it. She has been our little pride and joy for four years and it hurts my feelings to think how hers will be hurt when our attention gets directed elsewhere.

So, my fellow dog-lovers with children, how have you handled the inevitable change that comes in the relationship with your pet when you have a baby? Any wise words of advice?

p.s. - this was written with Savannah curled up in my lap

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Love racking up those bonus miles, but ...

Here's today's question: how does one go about getting pregnant when her husband is a traveling man? That is a problem that pops up most months for us Lowmans. J isn't always here when he needs to be. So with his schedule and my unpredictable cycles, it can be super hard to coordinate.

The frustration of watching a month go by without any real possibility of getting pregnant (hello, June!) leads me to the weird thought/wish I had a few months ago: How great would it be if every person was born with a unique code of some kind that "unlocked" pregnancy? So, when the time came that both you and your spouse were ready to procreate, you entered your codes into the universe and BAM! - bun in the oven. That way 1) you couldn't get pregnant without the consent of your SO, 2) you would eliminate unwanted pregnancies (bonus: also sickening shows like 16 and Pregnant!!) and 3) you eliminate all the hassle of getting pregnant. OMG - sex could be just for fun again! It's an ingenious plan, right?

Notice that I am specifically choosing not to look at any of the potential downsides to that plan and only focus on how wonderful it would be. It already took J and I five years to get to the point that we're both ready to have a family ... but who knows how long it will take to actually make that happen? On that note, I am sticking with my theory that special DNA fertility codes are the way to go.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


It's a negative, Ghost Rider.

'Twas to be expected, but still = bummer.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

This one goes out to the one(s) I love

Let's take a moment to be brutally honest: there are some things about trying to have a baby that concern me. In fact, if I thought about it for too long, I am sure the list would be daunting. But I'll keep it to superficial things right now ... and no, that does NOT have anything to do with gaining weight, stretch marks or anything like that. In fact, I look forward to having a valid excuse for all of those other than the truth which is, I'm very out of shape.

I'm talking about things I would have to give up for at least the nine months of pregnancy: caffeine probably being number one, followed closely by alcohol and third place being pills. I am neither an alcoholic nor a pill-popper but I do like having drinks with my friends whenever the mood strikes (and since we're being honest, the mood strikes most every weekend) and I have become accustomed to advil for aches and pains, unisom for sleepless nights and pretty much every medication on the market for upset tummies.

And caffeine, well, I have a nasty soda habit that I have tried (and failed) to break for years. Oh yes, and sushi. My ideal Friday night consists of sushi and wine. Sigh. However, despite all of that, if it were for the greater good, which it would be, I can adapt. I certainly wouldn't be the first woman to give up some of her faves in order to have a healthy baby.

Maybe I'll be one of those pregnant ladies who craves fruit and veggies? Ha ha ha ha ha ha. OK, I just came back to reality. Pass the pickles and ice cream.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

TCB ... or TTC*

So, we have actually been "not preventing" pregnancy for a couple of years. I went off birth control back in early 2009 and at that point we agreed that whatever happened would be okay, but we weren't actively trying to make a baby. It is just recently that we have flipped that switch to ACTIVE. And I'm an inpatient kind of girl.

That being said, we're giving it a couple of months on the ovulation timing method but I have already scheduled an appointment with a reproductive specialist for July. Why? Because I feel as if the deck is stacked against us from the beginning. I have always had a sneaking suspicion that it could be difficult for me to conceive. That theory is based solely on a diagnosed tilted uterus and a family history of fertility issues.

More than that, I have a history of abnormal paps and in 2008 I found out that I had cancerous cells on my cervix. They had to be surgically removed and at this time I am all clear. However, I am well aware that they could rear their ugly little cancerous heads again at any time. Now, that doesn't necessarily relate to any potential problems getting pregnant, but it does put us on a timeline. Every time I get a normal pap, I feel like we only have the one year until my next one to get a bun in the oven. Because, if those suckers come back, it will likely lead to a hysterectomy. I'm by no means an anatomy expert, but I'm pretty sure that would make having a baby a moot point.

My next check-up is scheduled for October, so I want to go ahead and find out if we have any other issues working against us and if so, devise a plan of attack. Even though J and I haven't been what is considered "actively trying" for all that long, I'm hoping the fact that I have been off birth control for so long without any luck, in combination with my other issues will prove to the doctor that further testing is needed. We shall see.

We still have June to see if anything happens naturally ... oh, and following Murphy's Law, we just booked a trip to Vegas with our friends for the end of July. That means fun fueled by alcohol, which of course means I'll get pregnant beforehand and have to be the sober one. But, if it takes a dry trip to Vegas to finally make this happen, I'll happily sip my water with lemon.

* I promise not to use a lot of the jargon found on pregnancy/infertility sites (TTC = trying to conceive). But t worked for the title this time, so deal!

Friday, May 27, 2011


This August J and I will have been married for five years, something that seems like an admirable milestone in this unfortunate age of couples who are quick to divorce. I know there have been times we have been super frustrated with one another, but just like they say: we are stronger for it. Another milestone in our relationship is that we are finally both on the same page about starting a family.

If you know me at all, you know that I have been ready since day one. However, like many men, J had to come to it on his own terms and part of that meant selling our condo in Virginia. Well, that 1300 sq. ft burden was gloriously lifted from our shoulders the end of February. I also can't help but wonder that J realized he's not getting any younger and the longer we wait, the older he'll be (and feel) as a parent.

As a lapsed writer, I plan on getting back into the swing of things by documenting our journey;  from trying to conceive to the day we can only hope will have us holding our own little pink, smooshy-faced bundle of joy. Although I will attempt to be graceful in my words, my guess is that some of the posts could lean toward the TMI category. If that's not your kind of thing, I'm going to suggest you read no further. Otherwise, we (meaning I) invite you to join us on this adventure!