Wishful Thinking and Daniel Fasting (TMI allllll the way through this one)

Hello!  I'm hoping all is well with you.  It's been a few days since I've had a chance to write, but i figured I would share a bit of what's going on in my world.  Earlier this week, I had an interesting episode occur.  And here is where the TMI occurs.  I visited the ladies room at work and discovered there was quite a bit more cervical mucus than usual.  It was of the extra creamy variety (sorry, sorry, I know…TMI).  My cycle was about  8 days or so away and while I am used to a bit of discharge leading up to a cycle, this was so much more than that.
Almost immediately, my body let me know not to get my hopes up.  I started cramping...a lot .  That was even earlier than usual.  So, all this week, my mind and I have been going back and forth over what the cramps could mean.  My side sounds something like this:

could be pregnant.  The cramps could be implantation cramping or uterine cramping or anything related to pregnancy.

My mind eagerly destroys that and speaks things like:

It’s probably pre-menstrual cramping.  The same you get every month.  The same you’ve gotten every month for almost four years.  The discharge?  Yeah, it’s a little more, but you have been inhaling water this week.  Extra moisture, extra release.

Ugh, my subconscious annoys me.  The fact is S. and I are still actively trying without trying to give away to the other that we are hoping that this time is the “it”  time.  We’re in a waiting pattern for when we can try assisted fertility treatments again and so we’re limited to “the old fashioned way”.  That being said, it doesn’t appear to be working.

So, fast forward to today and  I’m sitting here again hoping that the tweaks in my breasts and the cramps on the right side of my abdomen are good news and not another defeat.  In the meantime, I suppose it’s not a bad idea to find out if the fertility diet I read about really works?

Speaking of diets and eating properly, tomorrow is the start of the DanielFast.  Our church family is doing it for the month of February.  I'm very excited about it.  Not because of any of the weight attribution aspects, but because of the opportunity to get a deeper understanding in God.

I've been praying about a few things for quite some times.  Still, I am not where I want to be in my walk with Christ and feel like there is more that He would have from me.  When our Pastor announced he would like the church congregants to join him in the Daniel Fast, I was excited.  Maybe the devotion and prayer time is exactly what I need to see where God is going to take me in the upcoming year.

Either way, I think I am looking forward to the journey.  If I get healthier from it, all the better.  If I get a stronger relationship in Christ, better still.

I'll keep you updated on these symptoms.  


Blizzard Stories...

I apologize for the blackout.  We've been having "fun" addressing Winter Storm Jonas.  With all of the warnings and advisories the meteorologists put out, I made sure to stay home Friday.  The school systems mimicked our lead and kept our little people home as well.

The snow was scheduled to start at 1PM.  I was all set to sit down and hunker in, but then we received a call.  My husband's father was admitted to the hospital with severe abdominal pain.  This was huge because my father in law never goes to the hospital.  After a series of phone calls, S., our son, our daughter, and I loaded up the vehicle and drove an hour away to the hospital...with the knowledge that the blizzard would begin in a couple of hours.

We arrived to the hospital and went to his room.  You could tell he was in such pain.  The doctors had run tests and were awaiting results, but were certain that surgery would have to be performed. He was pale and in such massive pain.  While waiting for results and guidance, the snow began to fall.

A phone call from home let us know the snow was falling at a frantic pace.  The doctor told us it would be several hours before the test results were read and he would call us with the results.  So at my father in law's insistence that the family leave for safer road conditions and with the assurance of a follow-up call from the doctor, our family climbed in the car to make the hour trek back home. Only, it wasn't that simple.  By now the snow had been falling at a pretty good clip and driving was slow.  The roads weren't exactly pretty either.  I'm eternally thankful for four wheel drive and a dedicated husband.

Close to two hours later, we made it home and got inside.  I made some hot chocolate and checked some email while we awaited the doctor's call.  Another hour later, the doctor called and told us they were taking my father in law back for surgery immediately.  Our father in law had an organ transplant in the last year and the scar tissue had wrapped itself around his bowel.  About 8 inches of his small intestine was now dead and had to be removed.  The surgery would take about an hour and they would let us know how the surgery went.

So, for an hour, we sat while TONS of snow fell all around us outside.  Finally, the phone rang and the doctor explained the surgery was a success, that my father in law was in pain from the surgery, but on medication, and that he would be able to speak with us later that evening, but we should consider keeping it brief to let him rest.  What a relief!  S., my mother in law, and I were able to relax much better after that.  My mother in law was able to do so even more after hearing her husband's voice.  With her fighting a severe illness of her own, she cannot be in the hospital because of a compromised immune system.  It was frustrating for her not to be with her husband or able to get to him if she could with all of the snow.

About fifteen minutes later, my father in law called and calmed her fears.  He let her know that he was hurting, but was okay and wanted to get some rest.  I love their love.  Meanwhile, we (S. and I) sat and watched the snow fall for 36 hours straight.  It was amazing.

Today was the first day we've seen sun in 36 hours.  The sun rose and the men shoveled the sidewalks and driveways while I made hot breakfasts and cocoa.  I think we've watched so many Lifetime movies, I should own stock in the channel.  The only interesting thing was our neighborhood was plowed right away (surprise!) but the connecting sister subdivision was not and they are not happy about that at all.  You should read the comments on our HOA page.  But it wasn't an HOA thing, it was a private resident thing who owns some equipment and took it on himself to plow the roads on this side of the development because that's what he uses.  

Either way, there is no school tomorrow and I'll be teleworking because I can't leave the little people when my mother in law has a medical appointment.
Please keep our family in your thoughts and prayers.  We've a lot going on with all of the medical appointments and doctor visits, but this too shall pass.  Pray especially for my husband.  He seems to be handling everything well, but it has to be a lot to have both your mother and father ill at the same time.  I appreciate all of your prayers.

In the meantime, I hope you all have fared well in the storm.  The news just said we hit 20 inches in snowfall total in our neighborhood.  Other have received much more.  Got to love the Winter.

Be blessed and I will speak to you soon.


Decisions, Decisions...

You know the saying "Be careful what you wish for"?  Well, I have got to be more careful about what it is I wish for.  It's been on my head for quite some time now that I would like to seek new job opportunities because I feel I have I can't progress any further where I am. and because I want to see what else is out there.   I love the office where I work.  The fifteen minute commute makes it heavenly in an area where commutes average an hour to an hour and a half. (S.'s commute was 2 hours just because of the traffic!) I even enjoy my coworkers and my supervisors.  But I've been wanting something more.

On a whim, I decided to apply for a job where the description matched everything that I've ever wanted to do.  It's in my field (the real one that I got a degree in :) and it comes with some pretty great benefits.  The recruiter called and had the initial interview and immediately moved me to the next level in the hiring process.  Plus, he believes that the income could be higher than what I requested.  

BUT, the part that I didn't see in the description was it's about 40 minutes away from home.  That's not bad but with our  area traffic, the location [which is a major employer in our area] turns into an hour plus commute unless I leave crack of dawn in the morning. That might be doable, but someone has to put our oldest on the bus and while S. can do so now, what happens with my mother in law has those conflicting early morning weekly medical appointments.

Sigh.  What to do, what to do?  I haven't even spoken to S. about it because we have been so busy this weekend.  I've been thinking about it hard though.  Especially the money and benefits.  With them, S. and I could start IVF much sooner than later.  The extra income would be more than appreciated as we try and do more for our family. 

Think about it.  We could start birth control next month to regulate and then be on the road to IVF by March.  That would be amazing!!  But there are cons.  This is a timed contract.  It exists for 9 months and then the contract ends.  It could be picked up again, but there is no guarantee.  The place I work now is guaranteed for five years.  It's stable in a time when stability is sorely needed.

Photo credit: MattressInquirer.com
If I take the new job, I'd still have to figure out the morning blood work and lab visits and medical appointments so that my new schedule isn't compromised.  The job I work now allows the flexibility to work from home, get the job done, etc.  Only thing is it doesn't challenge me and that is frustrating. But the other job is short...UGH...What do I do?!!!

Decisions.  Decisions.  Decisions.

Pray for me, ya'll.


Because he's such an amazing father...

I'm a few days late in posting.  My apologies.  It's been kind of stressful in our world.  S.'s mom was recently diagnosed with a terminal illness that required hospitalization and some very frank conversations.  S. was at the hospital and in the company of medical professionals more than he saw the inside of his home.  It's been very stressful to say the least.   But I admire so much the strength, grace, and faith in which he has handled everything.

He is the go to person in his family.  Both of his parents and all of his siblings depend on his clear head and God-given wisdom.  It is apparent in the way he carries himself that God is truly with him. I believe it is a comfort to his family just knowing he is there.  It also helps that our entire family's core is built on nothing less than faith, prayer, and obedience to God.  Still, our prayers have constant for healing and restoration.

This week, I've watched my husband play chauffeur, legal analyst, technical writer, and interpreter for all of the various tasks that fell to him.  He handled them well, though I saw the strain that others did not.  Tonight, my mother in law rest comfortably in bed at home, full of smiles and peace, released from the hospital with a plan of attack for the foreseeable future and things have, for all intents and purposes, returned to a semblance of normalcy.

This weekend, the normalcy was babysitting.  I came home from work yesterday to find the delightful joy of a house FULL of children.  My nephews (both preschoolers) and niece (elementary aged) were visiting for a sleepover.  Their parents had an out of town engagement and S. and I agreed to watch the kids for them. It's been a blast.  Our children are around the same ages as my niece and  nephews.  When the kids get together, it's nonstop action and a lot of squeals and peals of laughter.

One of the things that was so striking in this visit is witnessing S. interact with his nephews.  My husband really is a great father.  I don't tell him enough, hardly ever, but my goodness.  He's really good.  I mean.  I know that already.  He's been amazing with our children.  Our son, mine from a previous relationship, is truly his son in every way except biological.  And though our son's biological father is active and supportive in his life, our son reaps the benefits of having S., his bonus father, in his life as well.  The same is to be said about our daughter, whose adoption was only recently finalized.  S. is amazing with her.  It is like he was put on this earth to be a father.  He is patient beyond all fault, fair in discipline, and purposeful in his actions.  Even when I don't agree with some of the execution, I have to acknowledge that S. is really being a great dad.

But this weekend, he has been amazing.  He's kept them entertained with all sorts of creative games. He has given baths.  He's taught the little ones that they "can" do something when they believe that they are too little to do it by themselves.  He's made them laugh.  [And]  When they have been a bit too active, he's gently guided them to an appropriate level.  He has been awesome.

There is no wonder that I desire to see him continue being a great father to a child conceived during our marriage.  We both have a strong desire for more children--both through adoption and biologically.  It would be a wonderful blessing to see S. cut the cord for a child or see the heartbeat flutter on the screen of an ultrasound.

So, I'm thinking of having a conversation with S., after our guests return to their home, while we are able to spend a bit of time by ourselves.  I think I want to try another IUI.  I know.  I know.  The chances are slim with S.'s count, but I've been doing research.  There are things we can do naturally that may increase his sperm numbers.  The endocrinologist said there was nothing that he saw that readily explained S.'s low numbers and that it could have been that he was simply "past his prime". So, I'm thinking about getting some of the fertility vitamins I've been reading so much about and taking them as well as having S. take the complementary male vitamins.

Maybe the numbers will improve.  Maybe another IUI would work.  Maybe an IVF wouldn't be necessary.  Since, we're not in a position to do an IVF right now, an IUI would be a more easily attainable goal.  But do I try it especially with all that is going on right now.

There are a bunch of doctor appointments that S. will be attending over the next few weeks.  There will be a bunch of doctor appointments that I would like to accompany him and my mother in law to over the next few weeks.  Where would RE appointments fit in with all of that?  Could we do it?  Can we do it.

It appears it is time to have a discussion.  Let's see where this road leads us.  I'll check in with you guys later and let you know what we come up with.

Have a great evening.

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year, everyone!  It's the first day of 2016 and I feel wonderful.  Last night my family and I bought in our new year at our church's annual Watch Night Service.  I was so blessed to be there, so happy to be able to sing praises to God.

I know 2016 will be an amazing year and it isn't because of pregnancy (though that would be icing on the cake).  I just feel like 2016 is going to be a year of great, a year of purpose, a year of faith.  I'm looking forward to seeing all that is coming this year.

In the mean time, I'm about to continue this Southern tradition.  Black eyed peas, collard greens, and cornbread on deck.  And I'll add that baked chicken as a bonus.

Happy New Year!!!!