Crushing the Fall Checklist like RAH!

Hi everyone!

We are officially in the season of WINTER!  Woohoo!  I know.  I know.  Technically, winter visited us on the 22nd of December, BUT there have been temperatures closer to Summer than Winter. Nevertheless, I wanted to check in and show how we did on our Fall Checklist challenge.

So you know how it goes.  We came across a great Fall Checklist by SimplyKierste and blogged about it here.  So, here's how we did.



1.  Bake pies.  Yep!  I baked two pecan pies for the very first time.  I also made sweet potato pies in Fall.  And while cobbler isn't exactly pie.  I made a peach cobbler as well!  Woohoo!

2.  Visit the pumpkin patch.  Yes! In our Fall recap, Superbug, Honeybee, and I visited the pumpkin patch for a nice Fall retreat.  A couple of weeks later, the entire family went to a pumpkin patch to celebrate National Adoption Month.

3.  Go through a corn maze.  Done!  Granted, it was a tiny one for the babies but it still counts!

4.  Bake fall cookies.  Yes!  We made some great white chocolate chip macadamia nut cookies and some oatmeal raisin cookies as well.  Nothing says fall like the fresh smells of fresh cookies.

5. Trick-or-treat.  Well, we didn't actually trick-or-treat since we don't really do Halloween.  But we did go to our church for their Trunk and Treat and that's pretty close.

6.  Go on a hayride.  We did this twice!  And had a great time every time we did so.

7.  Decorate.  We knocked this one out for Thanksgiving.  Thanksgiving accents were everywhere.

8.  Tailgate.  My college homecoming was the perfect tailgating location!

9.  Count our blessings.  :) Each and every day.

What we didn't do :(
1. Jump in a pile of leaves.  We don't have that many trees yet.
2.  Go on a nature walk.  We'll tackle this one for sure in the future.
3.  Pick apples.  How disappointing it was that we couldn't get out to the orchard and pick apples.  That's a must next year.
4. Sit by the fire.  We did it in the summer, but that doesn't count for the fall.  We'll try it again next year.
5. Carve pumpkins.  Never really been a fan of things pumpkin related *gasp I know*
6.  Roast pumpkin seeds.  See above.
7.  S'mores and bonfire.  I love s'mores.  But we did it in the summer and not the Fall.  We have to do better next year.
8.  Drink apple cider.  Yuck lol.  Not a fan!  But maybe Superbug will try it next year.

So, 9 items out of 17 completed.  I say we knocked out quite a few.  Woohoo!!!  Now it's time to focus on our Winter checklist.  That one is coming soon!

Have a great evening.
-WinterMommy



Christmas funs

Hi everyone!  I apologize for falling off the map.  It's been pretty uneventful in our household though we did just celebrate an awesome Christmas.  There is always something so great and special about spending time with people you love and celebrating the true reason for the season of Christmas.  (We even bought a Happy Birthday, Jesus cake).

Christmas is an a great time for our family.  This year was the first one where we were able to celebrate with our Honeybee as a legal (official) member of the family.  No worries about pictures that my mother couldn't take because of confidentiality agreements.  No plans for social worker visits.  No.  This time we just enjoyed spending time with each other.

We started with Christmas Eve.  Every year FatherWinter's family has their annual Christmas Eve fellowship.  There's tons of food, gift exchanges, and fun memories.  This year, because NanaWinter is ill, we decided to host the event at our home.  Enter 24 people, massive amounts of food, special memories for NanaWinter, and a great time that didn't end until 3AM Christmas morning!



FatherWinter and I still had gifts to wrap, so we were up for another two hours wrapping and placing gifts.  It was a great time, but meant we were exhausted.  No one moved until 10AM Christmas morning.

I like to do Christmas brunch.  So I made our Baked French Toast Casserole, Scrambled Eggs, Bacon, and Cinnamon Rolls.  A really great meal but I felt a little twinge in my stomach that was a foreboding of things to come.

Fast forward to 3PM and we still hadn't opened gifts.  To his credit, Superbug was very patient.  He knew there had to be a good reason.  He was right.  A bit later Superbug's birth father, FatherPharoah came to visit.  For the record, I love his visits.  They are a testament that blended families do work.

FatherPharoah came and he and FatherWinter embraced.  We all chit chatted, caught up on life, and then began opening gifts so that FatherPharoah could be present for all the gift unwrapping.  I think that's an important time and Superbug was so pleased to have him there.  Then Superbug gave FatherPharoah a gift he'd purchased for him (thinking he would mail it to him).  As always, his timing was perfect  FatherPharoah loved the gift Superbug gave him.

After gifts were opened, we invited FatherPharaoh to go downstairs and have a yummy meal from the feast leftovers.  The fellas then played a few games and then it was time for FatherPharaoh to visit other family members.





Christmas and Honest conversations

Merry belated Chistmas!  I've been trying to get to this blog for a couple of days now, but it has been nonstop and crazy here.  First, we hosted my husband's family's Annual Christmas Eve fellowship.  It was wonderful.  Twenty-four people, tons of food, gifts for S.'s mom who is currently fighting a terminal illness (but she's fighting and we are fighting with her), and great conversation.  Unfortunately, it wasn't over until 3AM and S. and I hadn't wrapped gifts yet.  So, for the next two hours, we wrapped and placed gifts under the Christmas tree.  There weren't a ton, but the wrapping was pretty extensive lol.  S. and I didn't lie down until 5 and the family didn't move until 9:30 AM.
I did our traditional Christmas brunch and we waited until afternoon when other family members stopped by before we opened gifts.  It was a great time...until the virus hit.


I got hit by a massive stomach virus that had it coming from both ends.  I recognized it as the same virus that had hit my hairdresser's home about two weeks ago.  She told me they'd been around someone with the same two week prior.  Made sense with the whole two week incubation period.

I was pretty weak and only just started taking crackers and water this afternoon. It was also this afternoon that my husband and I had some earnest and honest conversations.

It started with our talking about how successful the Christmas Eve party was and somehow we got on the subject of pregnancies.  Don't ask me how.  We usually don't discuss them.  But this time we had honest conversations about how many pregnancy announcements there have been since S. and I have started out #TTC journey.  In almost four years, we've had literally hundreds including simultaneous announcements of two sisters.  This Christmas we've seen the birth announcements of two friends who delivered on Christmas Eve.  Last week I was informed a colleague is expecting at 5 months.  She's skinnier than a twig lol.  It's something to be sure.

There have been tears, angry moments where I cried in showers and parking lots.  There have also been countless celebrations for the same persons.  We've genuinely been excited and happy for the announcers, but it didn't take away from the pain that we weren't conceiving.

S. said one simple phrase and it made me feel better.  He simply said, "One day it will be our turn". That meant a lot to me because we never address the elephant in the room.  We don't talk about it.  We just keep hoping and praying that God is going to let this month be our month.  We held that attitude for our IUI.  We were disappointed, but not defeated.  It will happen.

S. even talked about how we would announce our pregnancy.  He wants to have a party and announce it there.  I wouldn't mind that.  I hope we can do it soon though.  I don't think another four years is feasible.

For now, we're working on TTC naturally until we can figure out where we can find 20K for an IVF treatment.  Sigh....why does it cost so much to become a parent.  And why do insurance companies now cover abortions but not fertility treatments.  Sigh, that's a subject for a different day.

Have a great evening.  Merry belated Christmas.  Happy Holidays.

I understand...

Since starting this TTC journey, I have found so much comfort in the shared stories of other families walking the same path.  Some, like me, are facing secondary infertility.  The unexpected difficulty in conceiving hit hard and the perceived slight that some in the community offer as if secondary infertility isn't "real" infertility has been a shared sentiment.  In other cases, also like mine, the culprit seem seems to lie with the males.  Test results showed abnormal counts, abnormal shapes, or abnormal movement. Then there were PCOS cases, unexplained fertility cases, endometriosis cases, and so many more.

Somewhere in all of the diagnoses and all of the treatments, this secret society was born.  #TTC or trying to conceive sisters were born.  Women who knew the struggle of daily blood draws and hormone injections.  Women who fought the battle of baby envy and baby-related event withdrawal. They just didn't speak to each other.  The kept their stories to themselves.  Sometimes it was a feeling of shame, of failure.  Sometimes it was a perception of embarrassment.  Whatever the reason, it was a silent cry that repeated itself over and over again.  But that's starting to change.

A couple of days ago, a beautiful woman whom I have never met shared a video on her social media account of another beautiful woman who was also trying to conceive.  This woman had a strong following in the social media world.  Her grace and character was felt in every post.  But this post was different.  This post was a letter of pure, open, raw, and unadulterated honesty.  It spoke of her pain and journey with infertility.  Her emotions.  Her pain.  She was effectively "coming out".  More than that, she was becoming a beacon of light for so many.

That woman will never know how many lives she has impacted by being open, honest, and transparent.  She will never know how many people are so appreciative for her stepping into the public eye and sharing something that so many others think should remain private.  This woman spoke eloquently of her experiences with infertility and I am so glad she did.

I knew she understood.  I knew she wouldn't judge me for crying at a pregnant belly or sobbing in the shower after multiple pregnancy announcements.  I knew she wouldn't give me a side eye for peeing on multiple sticks on multiple days.  She would understand.

That's one of the reasons I started writing this blog.  I wanted to do something similar.  I wanted people who have the desire to read to know that they are no alone.  Someone else is with them, supporting them, hoping for them.  Someone else cares.

And today I need the support of the #TTC community more than ever.  Today, S. and I have had to face the sobering reality that an IVF is not financially feasible at this time.  A recent company acquisition by a new buyer has found my husband and his department without employment.  He's been there for over 8 years and has made some very close friendships.  A testament to his heart, he is more worried about his colleagues than himself.  Of course the timing sucks.

We were looking into financing options for the IVF as other options were exhausted.  Unfortunately, without employment, everything must stop even though I am still gainfully employed and there are other sources of income available.  So, I have to call the RE on Monday to cancel our upcoming appointment unless something changes between now and next month.

We won't stop trying to conceive.  Never that.  But, at least for now, we'll continue trying to do things the old-fashioned way.

Have a great evening.
-K

How did I miss my appointment?!

I am so very frustrated!  I walked into the office this morning and noticed I had a missed call on my work phone.  It was the number to our fertility clinic.  I wondered to myself why they would call me except to discuss finance options for the planned IVF and suddenly had a thought.  I pulled up my online family calendar and there it was, plain as day.  S. and I had missed our follow-up appointment with our doctor.

How in the world did that I happen?  I am so serious.  I'm meticulous about things related to this fertility journey.  I am actually anxious to get as much preliminary stuff out of the way as possible because I know that there are several weeks of birth control pills that I must take first before we get into the core things associated with the IVF.  At least that is what my nurse said when I spoke to her last.

S. had a ton of questions prepared.  I had even more questions on my end.  So, you can imagine my frustration in knowing that I simply forgot that I had the appointment on yesterday. I mixed my days up.  Some how, I realized the appointment was the 15th, but didn't realized that yesterday was the 15th.

Ughhhhhhh.  This has just been that kind of week all around.  So, I called the office today and tried to lock on another appointment, but it is on Christmas Eve.  You could tell the receptionist didn't want to schedule one on that day and I didn't want to attend one on that day either, but it was the only time available.  So, I scheduled it anyway.  THEN, when I went to pick up our daughter from daycare this PM, I realized that they would be closed on that day and I certainly can't bring her to the office with me.  I feel like that's being more than a little insensitive.  And I don't want to bring anyone any pain at all.

Here's hoping everything works out well and in a very quick fashion.

I will talk to you all soon.

-K.

Moving forward

It's been a few days since I've written.  I've had a few emotions to get through.  I don't know if it's hormonal residuals or cycle induced extra, but whatever it is; it's driving me crazy.  I read a infertility related post recently that said every failed infertility attempt was like getting through the grieving process all over again.  Maybe that's it.  Maybe I've been grieving.


After I took the HPT for my first IUI and received the negative result, I already told myself that it wasn't really negative.  It was just too soon.  I rationalize.  I convinced myself that I should have taken the test with morning urine and not afternoon.  I had a thousand excuses.  Then, I quickly went to anger...and on to bargaining..and then the depression.  I've managed to go full cycle with accepting that IUI#1 was a failure.  What I was not expecting was the wave of emotions that followed.

This past weekend, my family and I attended a work function.  It was a very nice event, well catered, well entertained, and very enjoyable.  When I walked in, I was introduced to a young woman who was very pregnant.  I felt giddy.  Seriously, I can't explain that one.  I was so immensely happy for this woman whom I'd never met before.  She and her husband explained that they were having child number three.  I remember just feeling really excited for this family, and that was just odd for me because I am not one to randomly cheese (smile) and go haywire. Nor am I one to get extremely excited over strangers with burgeoning bellies.

Fast forward to today and my emotions were all over the place.  I woke up and didn't want to go into the office.  I didn't want to deal with anyone.  I just wanted to be left alone.  I knew my cycle was still on, but it was just about over (TMI).  So my hormones should not be this bad, but they are.  I got to work this morning to emails that just sent me in a sour mood.  I went to a meeting that I was not scheduled to attend where I was designated to complete a task I wasn't scheduled to complete.

When I went home, I was well aware that my mood was not exactly the best.  I was frustrated and short-tempered...unintentionally so.  My son said "Mommy, you're cranky.  You sound frustrated".  That made me feel like the worst person in the world because I never want anyone in my family to feel like they are a bother or frustration to me, especially not my little ones.  Then S. called with a needed "favor" and I ended up needing to leave the house to run an errand when I was limited on time.  I finally got everything done I was trying to do and made it back to the house only to leave immediately thereafter for choir rehearsal.

It was when I got to choir rehearsal that things took a crazy turn.  While in the middle of rehearsing a song, in walked one of my girlfriends with her beautiful pregnant belly that had to have grown by leaps and bounds this week.  In she walked and the moment I saw her belly, tears started falling.  I mean lots of tears and sobs and I was a mess.  We were fortunately in a song of worship so I was able to stop and get myself together, but oh my goodness.  What in the world is going on?!

I don't know if anyone else has experienced a crazy overboard of emotions after a medicated fertility cycle, but I have to admit, I'm not looking forward to what IVF #1 will bring if IUI#1 cooked this up.

Oh. my. goodness.

Have a great night.

-K.

IUI #1 =BFN

I received the call from my nurse. She didn’t even have to say anything. It was all in her voice. It was negative. Why does that word hurt so freaking much? Negative. You know, the Christian in me knows that my will isn’t always going to line up to God’s timing. I know that I’m simply going to have to accept that it wasn’t time. That doesn’t stop me from hurting right now. I’m so angry. I’m so hurt. I’m so emotional.

BFN!!!
And on top of that, the MOMENT she said negative my cramps kicked into overtime as if they were announcing that my cycle has ALWAYS been ready to go; I was just fooling myself to think otherwise. I…am..so..hurt. I haven’t even told S. yet. I don’t want to tell him that over the phone. I’m at work another few hours at least before I can go home AND I have class tonight. Who the blood clot wants to go to class after that? But I have to because I have finals. Ugh….And there is no one I can talk to, no one I cry on because as wonderful as S. is, he’s going to hold it in. That’s him. And none of our friends know we’re undergoing this procedure. Nor does our family. So, I get to stand beside my beautiful loved ones with their burgeoning bellies and deal. I feel like I shouldn’t be hurt. I feel like I’m being ungrateful because God has granted us two children. But…still….

I don’t need to write a long prose or long drawn out letter. The test came back and it’s negative. Let the eating of carbs and sweets begin.


5:29PM

Having had a bit of time to process the events of today, I still find that I'm hurt and disappointed.  I'm just thankful that S. is the man that he is.  We simply started discussing what our next steps would be.  We don't know yet.  We know that we have dialed our RE nurse and will be discussing IVF as an option tomorrow. That's so much more expensive that we even want to consider right now, but we have to try.  I just pray it works, whatever it is.

-K


Testing, testing 1, 2, 3...

Tomorrow S. and I will visit our RE’s office.  I will have my blood drawn and the nurses or doctor will inform S. and I if our first IUI was a success or a failure.  I don’t think I’ve been this nervous for a very long time.  I don’t even want to play the game of symptom checking any more.  I just want to know.

S. and I had a wonderful day yesterday.  He received a major honor in our community of faith.  We got to fellowship with friends and family afterwards.  It was wonderful.  But we were surrounded by beautiful pregnant bellies.  I laughed and smiled with them all while we shared memories of our pregnancies and they shared discoveries of new ones.  They asked when S. and I would have additional children.  Little do they know that we ask the same question silently to ourselves.  I really, really, really want to hear good news.  I’m told I still have to wait for a phone call just to let us know.  I hope not.  I don’t think I could stand waiting any more.  And remember, I’m still reeling from the BFN I received 11piui via the HPT (which was REALLY stupid of me to do).  I really, really want to be pregnant.  I want to see a light of pure joy in my husband's face and not the disappointment we've seen month after month when my cycle comes.  Here’s hoping tomorrow’s news will be wonderful.


Wait! What's going on?!

I hate this two week wait.  I wish I knew what was really going on with my body.  I am currently exhausted.  No.  Seriously, I am exhausted.  I feel like I can barely keep my eyes open.  I went to bed on time and had eight hours of sleep.  WHY am I so sleepy?  Could it be something positive?

I have to wait until Tuesday to know for sure, but could my exhaustion be pregnancy or is it just another cycle related symptom.

I am so tired.

Maybe I'm not out of this after all....

-K

11 days past IUI

Hello everyone. I posted a video update of the latest update in our fertility journey. Feel free to visit at https://youtu.be/l1gLFTaoQIo

Complete Reversal?

I kid you not this two week wait is going to drive me bonkers.  So, against better judgment, I took a HPT this morning and saw an infinitely faint positive line!  BUT it was so faint, I wasn't sure I'd seen anything at all really.

But now my body seems committed to the line.  I've been super tired all day.  I'm cranky.  I'm annoyed.  I'm nauseous.  I'm cramping.  I'm leaking extra wet cervical mucus.  This is crazy!

I haven't even told S. yet.  I'll keep it on the wraps for now, but oh my goodness!!!  HURRY UP!!!