"I will not cause pain without allowing something new to be born." Isaiah 66:9

Monday, December 12, 2011

Thoughts at Christmas...

This time of year always has me thinking about "What If...".  This season was different I will admit, but still thoughts of my babies lost bombarded me as I decorated the Christmas tree.  I'm very blessed to  have family that remembers my babies and chooses to acknowledge them.

Two things happened this year that really made my heart smile and choke up at the same time.  The first one was as I was decorating the tree, Foxy (my husband) was staring intently and I defensively asked what he was staring at!!  He commented, "Layla and Michael".  I had put the ornaments that I had done for them myself.  Foxy doesn't speak about the babies much, and I don't expect him to, I know he thinks of them often and is sad about them too.  Sometimes the acknowledgement is very fulfilling for me and makes me feel not alone!

Then later as my sister was helping me decorate the tree she said, "Layla and Michael sure do have a lot of ornaments!".  Yes, they do!  They are special and loved and taught me so much throughout the past 4 years.  I appreciate that they are remembered, honored, and spoken of by name.

The next ones are from the annual walk to remember held here in Tyler to honor lost babies at our Children's park!  I've actually not been able to make it to one, but got these ornaments last year!

These are from my sweet Kindred Spirit, Andrea, and I cherish her remembering my babies!!!
This season is hard.  Remembering the losses is hard.  Thinking about having a 2.5 year old this year, or an almost 2 year old is hard, but I don't want to forget.  I want to hold them in a cherished place in my heart and family, and I'm glad they have names to use in reference to them!  Merry Christmas to my angel babies, Layla and Michael, may you spend it dancing with the angels in heaven and snuggling the one whom we celebrate!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Awesome Opportunity for TNT--Please check it out!

So, if you've followed me long you know that I like to run.  Really, I love to run.  It's the only athletic thing I've ever done actually, so finishing multiple half marathons has been a HUGE accomplishment for me.

In April of 2009 I ran the Country Music half marathon (my second) with Team in Training (TNT) to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma society.  I did it because some of my runner friends, who had encouraged me a lot, had just lost a friend to Leukemia after only a month.  I thought it was the least I could do.  It was AWESOME!!!!  If you like to fund-raise, run, and have a great time, you should totally do a race with TNT, the support and encouragement you get is unmatched and the money goes to help people who are affected by blood cancers, for research, monetary help, etc.  I personally loath fund-raising and so probably won't ever do that again (never say never).  Since then I just like to donate money to TNT for my friends running their races.

Anyhow, here's a cool opportunity to support TNT...

Virtual 5K for TNT

I'm all over this as the money goes to a great cause, it's not too much and gives a sense of unity without anyone having to travel!  I encourage anyone who likes to run to participate in this event, just go to the link, read about it and sign up--easy peasy!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Once Infertile...

Always infertile, yes or no?!?

I think this is different for different people, so feel free to comment your thoughts. Here are mine...

I still consider myself technically infertile and while people who can never get pregnant or carry a baby might disagree with me (and I can see why they would), here's why I say that.

First, the scars of what I've been through (as I cannot speak for my husband) will always remain, not that they hurt, as scars heal. However, they are a constant reminder of the road I've walked, the struggle to the finish line, the hurt along the way.

Second, I don't just get pregnant easily and actually wouldn't want to knowing I have an autoimmune disorder that could cause another miscarriage. These things along with the need for medical intervention to help ensure a healthy pregnancy make me continue to consider myself infertile.

A friend of mine who adopted commented tonight that she was having a hard day of struggling with being infertile in a fertile world. Some people believe that however you come to have a child is all that matters, and ultimately it is! I don't know a person who has adopted who would take that back just to "birth" their own child. Still, it is a loss and people should be able to mourn it as they need to.

It does make me sad that I'll never just "get knocked up" the old-fashioned way. I know it is hard for lots of people, not an all consuming, occupy your thoughts 24/7 kind of sadness, but one of those that can sneak up on you in the middle of a latte and take your breath away.

So if someone who can't just baby dance and have a baby needs a minute to hurt about that, give them the space to do so!

Just my thoughts for this Thursday night. :)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Is today Monday???

It really felt like it! However, a yummy dinner found on Pinterest (from a blog I will be following from now on, then this laugh from my sister...

"I'm pretty sure that's the definition of hell: Cowboys fans, drive 30 MPH everywhere, and no drive through daiquiris"

Plus some smiles from my favorite little one, a great run, and all is right with the world!!

Happy Tuesday!!!!

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Monday, October 3, 2011

To be candid

I'm in a very good place in life, but that does not change where I've been. This is pregnancy and infant loss awareness month. I embrace the recognition that is slowly growing for bereaved mothers, fathers, grandparents, aunt, & uncles who have lived this painful road.

It is also Br.east Cancer awareness month (especially according to the NFL, love them boys in pink)! Also, a special place in my heart as one of my precious, beautiful, courageous, strong pledge sister battled and BEAT breast cancer, she was diagnosed at 29. Don't think youth is on your side, check your boo.bies!!!

This has me in a very contemplative mood tonight. Lately the name Layla is everywhere. Today I found myself staring aimlessly at a yogurt container in the grocery store from a Layla Farms brand. My baby was tiny and didn't become a full "person" by many standards out there, but in my eyes she is and will always be my daughter. There are days I can't help but wonder what she would've been like, what Michael would've been like. Would they look like Cala? Would she be very vocal, him very serious? Would she be a wide-eyed 3.5 yr old? Would he be an adventurous almost 2 year old? I don't know and I never will. I don't cry about it hardly ever anymore, and while I do think things happen for a reason I cannot think my babies' deaths happened "for a reason". That sounds cliché and hollow when in reference to life, life within me. I know good things have come from my losses, as God works good out of all things if you allow Him to. Today I celebrated that as I received a very special gift from a friend who just had her rainbow baby 10 days ago. We knew each other outside of loss, but bonded over it. I celebrate that I am a different person in many good ways because my losses have made me more sensitive, more cautious in words and questions, and more supportive to people in pain.

This month is one of my favorites as it includes football, my anniversary, my sister's anniversary, both my FIL & SIL's birthdays, and the beginning of cooler weather. Still this month always sends me back, helps me focus, remember, and accept the grief that is never fully gone.

If you know someone who has lost a baby...

Don't be afraid to mention it.

Ask questions if you're interested.

Send them an uplifting message.

Keep them in your prayers.

Show support by helping this not be a taboo subject.

We can face it, tackle it, grieve it, and learn from it, just like we do cancer.

Every situation gives us an opportunity to grow. How will you grow??

Sending so much love to my BLM friends! Thank you for walking this road with me, supporting me, and sharing your stories with me. It is a great honor to be entrusted with your heartbreaks and I don't take it lightly!

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Sunday, September 18, 2011

Race for the Cure

This race has always been one I enjoyed doing, but it's been nearer and dearer to my heart since my sweet friend, Maxine, was diagnosed with br.east cancer 3+ years ago at too young of an age!

Luckily, my sign says in Celebration of... Not in Honor of...! Yes, my tough as nails, funny as can be, beautiful friend will be 3 years cancer free soon! Can I get an amen?!?

That is partially made possible by people like my other friend, Julie, who is now the areas only fellowship trained bre.ast cancer surgeon. She and her partner sponsored the kids "fun run" at the Susan G. Komen race yesterday!

Obviously I want no one to need their services, but if you have a br.east issue or concern, you should definitely see them at B.reast Care Specialists of Shreveport. (Periods within a word keep them from coming up in an inappropriate search--just FYI, I recently learned that!)

So proud of Julie!!

And so happy to be out running again with her and my sister...

And to be accompanied by the Real Dr. Mook!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

I remember

10 years ago today I was in grad school in Dallas. I'd been there less than a month and didn't love it. I was on my way to work and when I got there I heard the news. All I wanted was to go home and be with the ones I loved.

I remember feeling a serious sense of evil, like the air was just full of it. I was worried about people I knew who were in NYC, who flew planes, who had military families this would directly impact.

The worst attack on American soil. It was dark, ominous, gut-wrenching, and we should never forget! We should never forget why our men and women are fighting and dying.

Reflecting today brings pride at how our country came together, at the people who jumped to the aid of others, the firemen and policemen and women who ran to the aid of these tragic sites, some who lost their lives for it. Others lives were forever changed by the sights, the smells, the denseness of the air. It makes me grateful for those who serve our country still, friends, friends' husbands, the families I worked with whose children miss their parents for months on end while we remain safe in our beds. The soldiers who come home battled and scarred, and the ones who never come home. These are all true heroes and I'm grateful for their sacrifice.

I remember, I will never forget September 11, 2001!!!

God bless America & may peace reign worldwide!

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Friday, September 2, 2011

Can I get a What What?!!?

Happy news here in Texas-land.  As many of you have read, our move here was much against my will, and I'm still not a Texan, will never be, and will always dream of moving home.  However, it's about to get way cooler up in this place!  Why, you ask?  Well, see these two faces (not the little one)...

They are about to be here PERMANENTLY!!  That's right folks!  My sister and Brother (in-law, my sister didn't marry our brother, we don't even have one) are moving to the big town of Tyler!  They're going to be bunked up here at the Troxclair hizzy for a few months too!

Hallelujah and praise be to God, as I've been praying for this since we parted ways two years ago (she went somewhere much cooler!).  I'm so grateful that I will have my sister here with me and that we can start up some routines that we've been missing #1, TV show watching together--yes, we have a list of shows we enjoy watching together because our husbands just don't get it.  #2  RUNNING, we're about to hit the half/marathon trails together again (though it will be too soon for the Tyler half this year--catch us next year--maybe?!?!).  #3 Cooking, my sister is the bomb digity in the kitchen, and I'm not too shabby, but at least this way we'll be running together to walk the evil deliciousness off!  #4 Concerts, sis and I LOVE music, not always the same stuff, but our tastes coincide more and more and we love to go to concerts, so we'll be doing this madness together--stat!!  This list could continue to grow, but I'll leave it at that.

I'm so excited and I just can't hide it!!!  Come Sept 30th the reuniting of the sisters begins...

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Why Blogging?

This is a three part answer for me.

First, I started blogging at the suggestion of my sweet friends, Nan, Andrea, and Shandrea. I started because I love to write. In high school I journaled obsessively and it was cathartic. One of my favorite classes ever was creative writing during my senior year. So in the pain of losing two babies, I started blogging, getting out those hurts that had been brewing for a while at that point. It provided a sort of therapy that cannot be replicated even in actual therapy. Sometimes you just need to say things with no response.

Secondly, I continued blogging because people "got it"! It was the most comforting feeling in my time of crisis to know that there were actually multiple people who could relate, had felt the same feelings, and wanted to support and encourage me! The degree of this support was something I never could have imagined, and has kept me going more than once!

The final reason I blog is for others. I didn't realize how much my story could help other people. My husband asked me one day in frustration "why do you do that? Why do you put all your life out there for strangers?". It didn't take me long to respond, as I got an email that afternoon from a reader telling me how much she appreciated what I wrote. Yesterday I got a package in the mail from a friend thanking me for sharing my story as it encouraged her to keep going.

So blogging=winning for me!!

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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

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Monday, August 22, 2011


Laughing is my favorite exercise, it doesn't require sweat, or gear, or moving really.  Does that still make it exercise?  I personally think so as, when you start to cry from laughter you MUST be burning calories, so since I'm a professional--laugh away!!

Here's the link to a hilarious blogpost by a truly hilarious blogger.  You can thank me after you quit crying laughing.  This one is especially funny to me as I LOVE monkeys and have always wanted a pet monkey--my husband continues to refuse (I'm thinking one may show up here one day--just saying!!).

Happy Monday everyone--it's always better with laughter!! :)

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Ultimate Sacrifice

I have enjoyed telling people for years that I know two Navy Seals.  They are bad asses and everyone knows it.  They endure training that most of us could never comprehend and they carry out missions that are so serious, so awesome, and so dangerous that they are TOP secret.  The two SEALs that I know were two of the funniest people you could ever meet, and genuinely personable, friendly and kind to everyone they met.  They were both completely separate people with great characteristics, but both the kind of guys that everyone loved and wanted to be around.  I could tell story after story of times they made me laugh until my face hurt, and I'm not even one of their close friends.

When you think of the pride of having one of your own serve our country in such a magnanimous way, you purposefully ignore the danger involved with what they do.  You choose to see them in your mind carrying out those missions, whooping and hollering together in celebration afterwards, then keeping it all shady around everyone else.  You picture victory all the time, missions accomplished, bad guys killed, and rigorous training for the next hard core mission that they tackle.  You picture them tossing a few back on their few breaks between missions and just overall being awesome.

But that refusal to consider how serious, how dangerous, and how real their missions are is really for our own self preservation.  It's easier to not acknowledge those things because those things won't actually happen to people you know or care about.

The realization of this war came crashing down on Saturday when both Navy SEALs that I know were killed when their helicopter was shot down out of the sky.  All of the lives lost were someone special to people all around this great country.  All of these men died doing something that they believe in, something they felt was worth dying for, something that allows me to sit in my recliner, snuggle my baby, watch foodnetwork, and blog at free will.  My friends died for my freedom, for all of us to live the privileged lives that we do on a daily basis.  They are gone and they aren't coming back.  They are HEROs.  They are the reason we celebrate Memorial Day and they are to be heralded as some of the bravest, most admirable men I ever knew.

These two were sensational people on a personal level, but professionally they were beyond what I can put into words.  It hurts my heart that they are gone, but it hurts me more for their families who I know are grieving in a way that I cannot comprehend.  Please pray for their families and friends who will feel the emptiness of their space forever.  Pray for all of our servicemen.  Whether you support this war or not, they are fighting to protect you and me and those we love every single day.  They leave their families for months, sometimes years at a time, they miss birthdays, births, holidays, and milestones all the time, for that we should all be grateful regardless of our political views.

Rob and Jonas, we will all miss you forever, and are so very grateful for your selfless service.  God bless you and keep you until we all meet again!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

You would think...

That they had been hard at work all day...

But no, they have just been laying around!!! Such sweet dogs!

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Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy 4th of July!!

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Thursday, June 30, 2011

What a difference a year makes

Last year on June 30th we were dealing with some very awkward shadiness from our supposed birthmother.  She wasn't responding to texts or calls and her mom was making strange texts to me with very odd behavior.  What we didn't realize until the next day was that the reason was she was giving birth to the child that we thought for 6 months was to be our child.  We had prepared our lives and our hearts for the arrival of a baby after 3.5 years of trying to make our family grow.

To say that the next few days was utter devastation would be a gross understatement, and I've prayed all along that this baby, our Cala would not be born on the same day.  Not that I have ill feelings towards that baby, as she was an innocent pawn in a very ugly game, but I didn't want them to share a birthday.  That was such an awful time of realizing we had been so violently deceived and taken advantage of; to know that another human being would intentionally hurt our hearts the way that we came to realize was an awful experience.  Someone described it as the most reprehensible act a person could do to another person, and I agree.  Choosing to parent a child that was not born of your flesh is a gift, and I will always see it as that, and I see the child as a gift to the family that they join, so intentionally taking advantage of such a situation is beyond anything that I can comprehend.  I think about that little girl often and hope that her life isn't horrible, though she is living without her mother, which can't be a positive thing.  I do hope that she overcomes the obstacles that have been forced upon her and lives a happy life.

But today I'm completely reminded of the utter pain and devastation that we waded through one year ago and am grateful that I have my husband, my sister, and good friends to continue to support me through these trials and that this year is completely different.

I also ask you to send some love over to Michele at My Life After Loss, as they were planning on adopting a child who was born this week and the birthmother changed her mind.  My heart breaks for them and sends so much love to them during this gut-wrenching time and the healing time that is ahead of them.

** Sorry this isn't my most eloquent post, this is just emotional for me **

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

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Thursday, June 23, 2011

Thankful Thursday

Just  a quick list of things I'm thankful for right now...

1. My sweet husband, I can't say enough good about this beautiful, funny man.  I wish I had snapped a pic yesterday of him in his visor, because he looked adorable with those curls poking out everywhere!

2. My animals and finding good veterinarians here in Tyler.  Leaving our vet behind in Shreveport was really hard because she is so awesome and is a blessing of a friend, but these vets and their staff do love our pets and that really helps for our fur babies!

3.  My sister, there are just things that can't be replaced, and can't be fully put into words, my sister is one of those things.  I'm convinced that in Sept of '84 God gave me one of the best gifts ever and that was Rene'.  I'm forever grateful!

4.  Friends who are there to love and support me and encourage me in life.  I've heard it said that if you have more than a couple of true friends you are truly blessed, well consider me well beyond that!  I have friends who call me daily and weekly, as if I never moved from Shreveport or live miles away from them wherever, because miles don't affect true friendships and I'm very grateful for all of them!

5. My OB, who is in town for the rest of the summer and laughs at my neurosis without making fun of me.  He has a way of shedding light and calming me without being condescending.

6. My pool during this heat!

7. That peace that God gives when you ask for it and truly give up your worries to Him.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Random stuff

While in the pool the other day I saved the life of a dragon fly baby twice...

He was seriously too cute! At one point I put him on the bill of my hat to dry out, then he fly to safety!

Then while driving around I saw this beauty and couldn't help but snap a photo for everyone's entertainment...

Seriously dude?!?

Then last night I was feeling very bad and Filé snuggled up to make me feel better, she is really a sweet dog!!!

Last Friday, Jessica, my extraordinary hair girl gave me a new do and I'm proud to say I can actually fix it!!! Hooray!

Not so wordless on this Wednesday!

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Monday, June 20, 2011

Husbands and IF or Baby Loss

So, I have thought about this a lot, and while my husband is no saint, he sure has been great throughout our losses and infertility.  I've often wondered how deeply it affects him and know that he lets me know in subtle ways.  He has his own fears and phobias and I know that while he doesn't remember exact dates like I do (what man does?) our experiences have touched him deeply.  He's certainly not one for mushy gushy stuff and oftentimes if I mention anything he changes the subject or simply responds with an "I don't know what to say".  He doesn't get as irate as I do about people saying or doing stupid things, but he gets his own degree of frustrated with people.

Sometimes I think that he never thinks about it like I do, but then he'll make a comment, or have a reaction and I know that it's on his mind sometimes too.  Certainly the feelings aren't the same for men, they don't carry the children, and so they don't feel so much of the failure aspect that we as mothers do, but he's expressed his concerns before as to it "having something to do with me".  So, again without massive conversations I know he worries too.  He worries about all kinds of things, currently it is the lack of middle back seat to put a car seat in (which I'm not nearly so anxious about--funny huh?!!?).

I have to say that I know that infertility and loss reek havoc on a marriage oftentimes, and I know that I am blessed that it didn't tear us apart, but actually strengthened us as a couple.  We've learned to talk more, we've learned how to grieve and how to let one another grieve differently, which can be very hard.  My husband is my best friend, he's a constant support, he is there for me in all aspects of my life and encourages me in anything that I want to do or don't want to do.  I'm very blessed, very very blessed and I know it.

If your marriage has suffered from infertility and loss, please know that I send you so much love and support and prayers to make it through this hard time.  I'm certainly not trying to rub it in either that my experience hasn't been detrimental to my marriage, it has been tested for sure, but at this point it is thriving and I pray the same for all couples who endure this trial.

Feel free to leave any thoughts on the subject as I know so many people have so many different experiences and advice if you have any for people going through these things.  My advice is to communicate, communicate, communicate, even when you want to crawl in a hole and never come out! It's way harder to communicate than to shut down, but more effective to talk it out, even if that means a screaming session or two, or needing to see a counselor, or seeking guidance from a pastor or trusted friend or family member.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

I don't eat seeds...

My friend, Audrey (she's 3) got me on watermelon this season and I bought one the other day.  I cut it open today and I'll just say that trying to slice it all up nice and pretty isn't happening today!  My alternative???
Cut in half and use a melon baller as a spoon!  Why not?!?!  While we're on this subject...I am not a fan of false advertisement, why don't you just shoot me straight?  If the melon has small seeds that you can just swallow, just say "eatable seeded watermelon" (also I checked on the word eatable, and it's there and means "of food quality to be eaten") don't lie and said "seedless, because there are in fact seeds in there!  And while I know that you can eat them, I still prefer not to and attribute most of that to my Uncle David who told me when I was little that if I swallowed the seeds then watermelon vines would grow out my nose and ears.  Again, I know this isn't true, but you know how some things just stick with you??  This is one of those, and I choose to spit out the tiny seeds too!

Happy summer eating!  What's your favorite summer treat???

Monday, June 13, 2011


I got funny pics of each dog...

O'Hara is hanging out in the shade under my bench I'm sitting on!

Filé is waiting by the door hoping to follow me inside--no luck sister!

Noble has a treasure she keeps guarding and no, it's not a bone!! It's a broken sprayer for the hose that she carries around like gold!!

She's daring O to touch it!

Sampson and the others have dug holes under these bushes to cool off in...

Nope, not vicious, that's mid-yawn!!

And just chillin'!!!

And Filé rolling around in the grass!!

See how entertaining these dogs are?!? I laugh all the time!

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Pool time

I'm really reveling in the fact that I get to go out to my own pool and lay around with no children right now.  I know that's a blessing and I don't take it for granted...

BUT for some good laughs about being at the pool, around children, and the funny things that happen, you should head over to, because well, that crap is funny!!  And who couldn't use a good Monday laugh!

Maybe I can get some funny pics of the dogs today while I'm out there.  They are acting like the heat means they should lay in my house, on my bed, perhaps on my pillow ALL DAY!  Not so much my furry friends, outside it where your molting fur belongs!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

IVF thoughts...

I've had this post ruminating around in my head for months now, mostly because I keep hearing dumb comments in regards to IVF.

Lots of people seem to think, well, my friend so&so did IVF and they have a baby, why don't you just do that?  Here are some things you may not know about IVF, that may make you a little less inclined to suggested it to an infertile person (who I assure you has already considered it in some way, shape, or form, you did NOT bring the thought to their mind!).

1.  It costs thousands of dollars, and no not like two of those thousands, try 10 of those thousands and upwards.  One friend I have it cost her $30,000.  Yes, THIRTY THOUSAND dollars, that is a years salary!!!!!

2.  It is HARD on a woman's body.  You are basically chemically controlling things that should happen naturally, like turning off their cycle, then revving it back up turbo charged to "get the most eggs" and then slamming it back to a halt again.

3.  Needles, do any of you have needle phobia?  Try overcoming that to give yourself (or you husbands giving your trembling wife) up to 3 shots per day.  I pulled out my paperwork, so I wouldn't under or over estimate the number of shots that are given during a cycle.  Mind you, I was on the lowest dose of meds they give (and I'm forever grateful and think women who do the mega doses and do this over and over without having a baby are stronger than any of these women who have a drug free birth).  In my low dose cycle I gave (or Foxy gave) me a total of 56 shots, either in my stomach or my hips.  I should've been on the progesterone shots for another 2-3 weeks, but they were breaking my hips out so badly that I couldn't sit in a chair or lay on either hip (which is relatively impossible).  Since I had to stop those I got some extra suppositories to make sure my levels stayed up, because the meds for IVF stop your production of progesterone which is ABSOLUTELY necessary for pregnancy!

4.  Steroids, anyone have to take those for an illness?  Yep, and you revel in the fact that for 24 hours you get a LOT done because they make you wired!!!  Well, when you take them for 63 days, they make you hungry--ALL THE TIME--hence a 15.5lb weight gain prior to even getting pregnant.  They make you retain water and swell, so no clothes fit you.  They give you insomnia, for which there is NO medicine that will help.  And for those who the IVF doesn't work for that first time, you still look like you might be pregnant and your clothes don't fit, with nothing to show for it, but a few thousand dollars down the drain and another broken heart.

I say all of this to say that women who have done this over and over again are my heros.  They know the true cost of being a parent, as none of it is about you.  It's not about your pain, your discomfort, your time being taken away, your sleepless nights, your drained bank account, none of that matters for a mommy.  These women demonstrate the sacrificial heart of a true mother long before (and if ever) a baby comes into their homes.  When you say things like "you'll understand when you have a child" this is one of the MOST insulting things you could tell one of these women.  For they've given up their vacation time for doctors appointments, they have to schedule each day around giving their shots at the same time, some days multiple times.  I had a friend last week tell me she showed cheek in her husband's work parking lot, because she needed a shot and he wasn't done with work, that's the kind of things that an IVF mom does to have a baby.  They test their marriages to the limits, and many do not survive, so a big shout out to those who do and are stronger for it, I can name quite a few couples that I admire for the strains their marriages have survived and the effort and love that is there (what a testament to their children one day!).  And while you complain about pregnancy hormones making you crazy, I double dog dare you to take these hormones and have any resemblance to your former self (and I can say that as I've been on both sides, promise you without a doubt the drugs are worse than pregnancy hormones).  While you complain about being pregnant in hot summer months, they deal with hot flashes just like menopause without a promise of a cute cuddly one to love at the end!  So your face and your back and your chest are broken out while you're pregnant, it is gross and uncomfortable, but you're pregnant and you will (most likely) have a baby at the end, while many women have these effects from the hormones and come home empty handed with a pee stick that has "not pregnant" in bold to taunt them for their efforts.  Another friend had a failed IVF and received the bill monthly for the loan they took out to cover their costs, how would you like that?  A bill for no baby.  (Please don't compare this to your hospital bill you still receive after your baby is born--your baby is there smiling up at you!).

I consider myself one of the MOST blessed people in the world honestly, because I haven't gone through this over and over with poor results and I am certainly not complaining, but I would like others to know how hard it is for an infertile who is trying desperately to have a baby, to hear you complain about an epidural, or the heat, or your bad skin, or your heartburn, or your vomiting, or your constipation.  I know the list of ailments goes on and on and on for a pregnant woman, rough stuff that truly makes the fact that pregnancy is categorized as a "Disease" in medical texts all too true!  But before you complain, before you regale your list of what you won't do (like be big pregnant in the heat of the summer, or go 40 full weeks in pregnancy), please consider who you are talking to, and maybe take it to someone else!

I continue to pray for all of my infertile sisters out there who continue to walk this path and try with all their might to achieve what comes so easily for so many others!  Concurrently, I will continue to help educate people on this rough road, and learn from the things that I have experienced!

I did IVF, I had the best outcome possible, but someone slap me if I ever utter the phrase "Why don't you JUST do IVF??".

Friday, June 10, 2011

Pool time and after

After a long day of lounging by the pool and watching Noble try to eat bugs out of the air, I decided to make my own...

Heavy on the cheese please! Yummy yummy!!!

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Thursday, June 9, 2011

Fur lovin'

We've had a lazy day here and my girls have been snuggled up with me for most of it.

O'Hara and Noble both like snuggling my Teddy bear!

Sampson doesn't like to get in the bed as much (I think because the girls don't share well), but he loves a good rub...

When he does join he likes to be RIGHT beside me!

And Tasso, he steers clear of the bedroom full of dogs usually!

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Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Blog friends

Today I got to meet another blog friend in person! Woo hoo! These meetings never let me down. There is something we as IF or BLM bloggers share that just makes meeting like seeing a long lost friend. Today was no exception!!

I got to meet Amy over at! We have a mutual IRL friend, but it seriously felt like we've just been friends forever!!! I credit Amy with a lot of our IVF success as she so highly recommended Dr. S, who we used and LOVED. A recommendation as rave as hers could not be ignored and I'm happy to say Amy is back at SHER doing IVF again with the same nurse I had (who I'm pretty sure I mentioned I LOVED also)! So praying nothing but awesome things for her.

I'll be forever grateful for her honesty, candor, and support throughout our RE search and beyond! She's a doll, just as cute in person as I imagined which matches that fabulous personality I've come to love since we became "blog friends"!!! So send her some love. Also know her hubby is precious! He just listened to us yap away, added a few funny comments, & laughed at us a lot! It was fun talking infertility, treatment, and DOGS!!! I'm fairly certain she loves her girls as much as we love our brood! Swapping stories was great!!!

Blog friend meeting success!!!

Who's next?!?

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Monday, June 6, 2011

I'm fine, but sometimes Life Isn't fair...

I hate that some people work really hard to get the things they end up with, whether that be their family, their homes, their vehicles, whatever; while others just seem to get things while they are busy being irresponsible and thoughtless.

So many people have babies so easily, not trying, not deserving, not worthy of such a gift.  I know this makes me sound judgmental, and I'm sorry if this offends anyone, but these women who commit adoption fraud, or beat their children, or don't take them to the doctor regularly and continue to procreate without effort just seems wrong to me.

It also seems wrong that people who work hard for their money, who put forth lots of effort to get a good education, to have a good career to provide for their families, and then plan and save and work hard, seem to get the shaft and end up suffering while people who are given everything continue to be given things and getting things that they haven't earned.  Sometimes, it seems unreal to me that people who act irresponsible seem to be rewarded for that behavior.

I read today that in one state people will have to pass a drug screen before receiving welfare, I'm not one to talk about political things on my blog, or really at all.   BUT people are protesting that saying it's unconstitutional, while most places require you to pass a drug screen to get a job, seems fair to me.  I support that motion and hope it goes to all states.  Having watched the system be abused outright in my old job, I feel I have some room to talk here.

It also seems unfair that people assume that just because people have money that life has been easy for them, or that they were given something.  I know that somewhat counteracts what I said earlier, but I know people who grew up very privileged and haven't allowed that to make them lazy or feel entitled, they worked hard to maybe maintain the status they were raised with.  And some of us worked very hard to make the lives of our family better off than ours were growing up (with pushing, prodding, and encouragement from our families, who worked hard to get us there).

I know, I know that life isn't fair.  It never has been, never will be, and I believe that hardships produce character.  I'm grateful for many of the hard things that I've been through knowing that they have made me the person that I am today, but I will end with this still as I have some people on my heart tonight...


Sunday, June 5, 2011

Can a woman get a Mozzerella ala Caprese salad around here?!?!

Apparently not at any Italian restaurant in this town.  Why do I know?  Because I've called EVERY SINGLE ONE of them!  Why would I do this you ask?  Because my husband LOVES Italian food, and I do too, but pasta is very gluten-full and I've yet to find a place that serves gluten free pasta (if you know of any, we probably don't have them here!).  Anywho, it's hard to eat gluten free at an Italian restaurant, but I do know that salad is one of my favorites, and what I chose at 75% of my visits to Macaroni Grill (which I LOVE), so it's always safe, however, we don't have that here and so I'm trying to decide what I'll do at this nice dinner with hubby who is very excited about me saying yes to Italian.

I've been gluten-ing myself a lot lately and my stomach is paying the price, so I have to cut back (which means I should quit completely), but it's really hard!  I'm planning on having some allergy tests run and a Celiac test done in a couple of months when my annual visit to my internal medicine doctor comes back around, maybe that will turn up some clear answers as to whether or not it's a gluten allergy that I have or just wheat, or something else completely.  I am convinced that one of those is the culprit, as being gluten free made my life much happier and my tummy practically in heaven!  Lately I've had a serious craving for things of the gluten persuasion though and I've given in, which didn't seem terrible at first, but now it's certainly catching up to me and leaving me feeling pretty yucky!

So, goodbye bread, goodbye cinnamon rolls, donuts, most everything fried (this is good for my waistline, you see!!).  I'm about to go back to my boring GF life.  Though I must say the dinners I've made the past few nights were GF and YUMMY!!!

Cat Days of Summer?!?

I usually post about the dogs, they cooperate a little more for photos, but Tasso was being hilarious this am, so it's his moment to shine...

He LOVES to go outside, but we try not to let him because he never returns in a timely manner and I'm terrified of coyotes getting him. One day last week he ran out as I was leaving for work and I'm just not as quick and coordinated right now so I didn't catch him before he hit the azalea bushes! When I got home from work he was sitting out of reach of the dogs (they have a radio fence and he likes to torment them) panting quite like a dog and ran immediately inside! This is a pampered kitty and he was HOT!!! he hasn't tried to jet out again this week! :)

So this am he was jumping at the window where Noble was sitting outside of it attacking her with all his might despite the glass separation!

Then he gave up and sat in the chair next to me, "his" chair as I can find him there often!

A little grooming post dog attack!

He's an awesome cat and bless his heart deals with our dogs constantly. O'Hara loves to jump on his head, which he actually loves and they wrestle constantly! Noble just likes to follow him around and whine and try to get him to play with her! Sampson and Filé really don't give him much thought, which is fine by him!

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Wednesday, June 1, 2011

What are they thinking???

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Thursday, May 26, 2011

Why Haven't I Written About this Before???

I saw my counselor today, which is always a good thing and helps me put things in a rational perspective.  She is very kind and considerate and remembers things that I've told her (good thing since I'm pretty sure that's in the job description and I think she has notes there in front of her!).  Anyhow, towards the end of my session today she asked me if I had read this book...
I had already noticed it on her desk, it's hard to miss with that great bright yellow cover and the adorable kid with a flat top on the front!  I told her that in fact I had read the book, and she asked me how it made me feel about my babies that I've lost.  Now, for those of you who have not yet read it, GET IT NOW!!!  Especially if you are a BLM!  I don't want to ruin it or give anything away, but I do believe it will bring you a special kind of peace about your loss.  (And now you can stop reading my review if you want nothing ruined)...

I told her that it made me feel confirmed in my feelings about my babies, made me feel good that they are in a place better than anything you or I could imagine.   There is nothing that takes away the pain of losing children, but to know that I will see them again one day, which I knew in my heart, (but it was nice for more confirmation) gives me hope and it makes the pain not so heavy, not so permanent!  I told her it also made me sad for the woman in the book, who had no confirmation, no closure on her loss, and for the many women who never mention their losses to anyone.  The women who never celebrate that they knew life within or grieve completely that it was lost.  This seems more true for the older generations of our parents, and our grandparents, who believe that therapy is hokey, medication is for the weak, and that if you just ignore a problem it will go away.  Sadly, losing a child doesn't go away and it's amazing the women in nursing homes who will share with you that they lost a baby 58 years ago and never talked about it.  It breaks my heart for them, and makes me want to reach out even more to those out there who have lost a child or suffered from infertility, to tell them "You are NOT alone!".  I pray that our society continues to reach out, to make taboo topics not so taboo, and to comfort people who are hurting and offer help.  I'm always here for anyone who needs to talk about these issues and am grateful each time someone who needs support reaches out, because I know what having support has done for me!

Now, go get this book! It's amazing and an easy quick read that will leave you feeling good and peaceful and hopeful and grateful!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Written by an RE, who obviously "gets it"

I borrowed this from my friend, Kat's fb page...


This is so true. Very touching. Another neat note on the sacrifices Mothers-to-Be make on a daily basis for the children they don't even have yet... Written by a Fertility Dr in Arizona on Mother's Day...

She broke the bread into two fragments, and gave them to the children, who ate with avidity. “She has kept none for herself,” grumbled the sergeant. “Because she is not hungry,” said a soldier. “Because she is a mother,” said the sergeant. – Victor Hugo

The other day I ran into another one of those patients that always makes me smile when I see her. She brought me up to date on what was happening in her life. It was a story of debilitating pain and multiple surgeries to try and relieve the pain. Instead of relief she developed a tumor in the area that required more surgery. In the end she was still in just as much pain and on chronic medications for it. I expressed my heartfelt sympathy for what she has had to go through. She smiled and said she’s fine and that she is almost off of the pain medications because she is planning to come to see me soon to try to have another baby. She was coming off of the medications not because she didn’t have pain, she was coming off of the medication because she wanted to have another baby. I looked into her eyes – and her smile and realized I am a better person for knowing her.

Mother’s day is upon us. It is not that welcome of a holiday for my patients. Gifts passed out at church or given by a well meaning spouse do little to fill the void of yearning that brings them to my office. We hear stories about the great love, sacrifice and courage that mother’s have for their children, but little is said about the incredible love, sacrifice and courage of my “mothers-to-be”.

It takes incredible courage to acknowledge that there is even a problem. We all want to believe that we are in control of our lives and to acknowledge that there is a fertility problem is to internalize a lack of control over this incredibly sensitive part of their lives.

It takes courage to seek medical attention. No one likes to see doctors (I’m over a year late for my colonoscopy), and the trip to the fertility doctor is a particularly difficult journey.

It takes courage to undergo procedures that are not comfortable and are in an area where discomfort is particularly unwanted.

It takes courage to face the possibility of disappointment. Studies have shown that when a woman experiencing infertility has a period, indicating that once again she is not pregnant, she experiences the same degree of grief as if her brother or sister had just died. Most of us will go through that only once or twice in our lifetime. Imagine going through that every month for years. Then imagine going through a specific procedure to get pregnant and having it not work.

It takes courage to hope that it will work the first time and proceed , and even greater courage to experience a failed attempt and then turn around and have the courage to hope again.

These women undergo great sacrifices.

They sacrifice the intimacy of what was supposed to be a wonderful and intensely personal experience with their partner for a doctor’s office.

They sacrifice time on often repetitive visits for monitoring and procedures.

They sacrifice financial resources as they struggle to have something that everyone around them seems to receive without thought and sometimes with disdain.

They sacrifice personal comfort, sometimes thinking that if they experience pain, they will be more worthy of the “gain” they so desperately seek.

Why? Why do they do this? They do this for the same reason the mother gives her bread and goes without. They do it for love. The only difference is that they do it for a deep abiding love for a child that they have not yet held, a voice they have not yet heard, a smile they have not yet seen, and a touch they have not yet felt.

My smiling patient had experienced infertility for 10 months when she came to see me. It was clear that each passing month was difficult. She had endometriosis and her husband had a sperm problem. We unfortunately discovered that her biological clock was more advanced than it should have been. When two months of inseminations failed, she went immediately to IVF. She required high doses of medication to produce 9 eggs but only made 4 embryos. One of them would be her beautiful baby boy.

Sixteen months after delivery, she was back for a brother or sister. She did IVF again. Similar story with a positive pregnancy test but then the pregnancy hormone dropped, leaving her with what is called a “biochemical pregnancy”. The pain from her medical condition had reached a peak and she had to stop infertility treatment to pursue that. She returned two years later after many surgeries and no relief in her pain with the intent to continue but could not. She returns now two years later having experienced a tumor where her pain surgeries had been and having had an additional 7 biochemical pregnancies – and she still wears a smile. She is the epitome of the courage, sacrifice, and love that characterizes mothers in general and the “mothers-to-be” that I have the privilege of associating with every day.

To each of them and to mother’s everywhere, Happy Mother’s day!

Drew V. Moffitt, M.D., FACOG, is the co-medical director of the Arizona Reproductive Medicine Specialists (ARMS), the director of the Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center and an assistant professor at the University of Arizona. He is now president of ARMS and director of the Division of Reproductive Medicine and infertility for the residency program at Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center. Dr. Moffitt has significant clinical experience in assisted reproductive technologies and reproductive surgery.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Photo Quotes

So, at the suggestion of a friend I've decided since I LOVE posting pics of my fur babies, to start a "make a quote to go with this pic" blogpost once a week!!!

So, I'll post a pic of the dogs (and cat if he ever cooperates) and y'all tell me what they are thinking or saying! I am considering prizes for very funny ones!

We shall start with this one...

Post away!!! (This is Noble, our 6 yr old female shepherd laying on my pillow).

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Friday, May 20, 2011

The saga of File'

So, about 3 months ago we adopted sweet File'.  I really do love this dog, though she's a little neurotic, and by this I mean, we've had to put her on doggy prozac because she has extreme separation anxiety.  Let's be real, she just has extreme anxiety ALL THE TIME.  It's hard to blame her as she was just dumped somewhere and left to die basically, which may be dramatic, but seriously, the dog had heart worms and was just dropped off.

It seems as though every day there is something new going on with this sweet chocolate lab.  Lately her fur has been looking kinda weird, just splotchy and uneven, and a different color than her coat!  So, I called the vet and they wanted her to come in for a check-up post heart worm treatment, wanted to check and make sure her heart is okay.   She has gained some weight, which is good because she was skin and bones when we got her and we've been trying to fatten her up some!  Doctor says that her fur abnormality is nothing to worry about, that oftentimes when an animal has a bad illness their hair will come back in differently.  It should even out in the next 3-4 months.

However, the saga with this sweet animal continues... I mentioned that is seems like her back haunches are thin and weak and when she climbs up into the car she has a hard time getting her back end up in their, and when she jumps off the bed her back legs slide out from under her a lot.  So, Dr. L decided to do an x-ray.  When he called me to come back and see the x-ray I was pretty sure that something wasn't completely right.  He explained very well what the problem was, and the diagnosis is...bilateral hip dysplasia.  This made me want to cry immediately, but I saved it until I got in the car and called Foxy.  I told him about the diagnosis and proceeded to cry.  We have deduced that the previous owners probably found out that our little chocolate bar had the heart worms and dysplasia and probably just didn't want to deal with it, so they dumped her.  While we're not foreseeing any great hunting out of her like we had anticipated, we are certain that we can love her a lot and make her much more comfortable than those awful people ever did.

So, she's on some anti-inflammatory medicine for a few days, then as needed, and also on some glucosamine to help lubricate her joints better (the dogs' food already contains that, but she needs more).  Bless her heart the doctor also said she needs to trim down--so all our hard work down the drain.  He says the thinner she is the better, so she's on a special diet for a while, poor girl sore joints and a diet, who likes a diet??  Not me!  Lucky for File' Gumbo, the doctor also prescribed swimming, so out to the lake the chocolate bar goes, which she LOVES!!  Says that's the best exercise to be easy on her joints!

Who knew we'd have such high maintenance animals?!?!  So, all these silly dogs will continue to be spoiled and not worked!  This also makes Foxy think we need a new lab puppy "for hunting" next year--we shall see!  I'm thinking four dogs, a cat, and a baby may have us busy enough!!!

On a completely different note, I purchased some Almond Joy pieces today, this is yummy goodness that you should try, and the best part???  Foxy doesn't like coconut, so they'll be around a little longer :)

Happy Friday everyone!!!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Some things that don't change...

As a BLM I'm learning that some things don't change, even though I thought they would.

It still infuriates me to see pregnant women smoking. I found this past weekend it also makes me twitch when they go on and on and on about quitting smoking when they found out about their unplanned pregnancy and how proud they are of themselves.

Seeing pregnant people still gives me a slight tug at my heart, like I'll never forget that longing and pain I had for so long! Then I think about people who see me and feel the same way, and wish I knew who they were so I could lend a word of comfort!

Using ART, I don't know that I'll ever not kinda wish it could have just happened "the old-fashioned" way and I have friends who I know mourn that loss more than I do even.

I'll never enjoy hearing someone suggest "why don't you just try...". Oh, amazing I had not thought of that and it sounds as easy as picking up a pizza for dinner!

My heart will never not break for those on this terrible road and I'll never not rejoice just a tiny bit more for those who finally reach success who have struggled so hard for what comes so easy to most!

And the last one is maybe the hardest...Baby Showers will never be the same for me. This past weekend my mom and my friend, Keiah, honored my babies, Layla and Michael, while also honoring sweet Cala, and that meant the world to me. Something about showers leaves so many BLMs sad (for showers they never had, for planned showers that didn't happen, for showers that were not followed by a baby coming home) or anxious (am I jinxing this pregnancy?, will this baby actually come home with me? Has everyone forgotten my lost babies but me?). It's such a rare catch 22 of complete elation and complete sadness/anxiety. I've been blessed to have so many people loving and supporting me through this journey and celebrating with me and I'm so grateful for those who have kept positive throughout and helped me to do the same!

But being a BLM some things will always be different.

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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Wordless Wesnesday

What do you think they're talking about???

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Monday, May 9, 2011

RE Question

Hello to all my bloggie friends!

I have a question.  There is a blogger out there looking for a good RE in the San Antonio area.  Can anyone help with suggestions?  Info on good and bad experiences welcomed so that I can share!  Thanks in advance for helping out another person seeking good care!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mothers Day

This is a day that stings for so many people, those who've lost children (either in utero or afterwards), and those who are wishing, hoping, praying, taking drugs, poking themselves with needles, enduring countless exams, taking horrible hormones, and crying tears of disappointment constantly to become mothers! This day can be so painful as those around us are constantly honored and congratulated for something that we have NOT chosen to miss out on! This is a disease or disorder that we have no more choice about than anyone else who suffers a disease does.

I just want to send love to all the babylost mommies and infertiles who endure this holiday with tears and hurt! Sending you lots of hugs today!

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Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Vaca pics (baby names)

As I mentioned before, in March Foxy and I went to Amelia Island for a short vacation (i.e. Foxy had continuing ed!).  Here are some of the pics, mostly names in the sand that I got while there (along with a killer sunburn)...

                                                 We really liked the birdies!!!!

                                              For Britt...

                                             For Shandrea...

                                              For Andrea...

                                                  For Nan...

                                                 For Angie...

                         For Angie, Nan, Shandrea, and Andrea--thank you all for so much!!!

                                               Toes in the sand...

                                    These were everywhere, love me some quadrefoils...

It was a great trip and I'm so glad that we did it!  I enjoyed the names in the sand for my girls!  Sending love to all of those angel babies that brought us together.  I wouldn't be where I am now without the love and support of all you wonderful ladies!