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

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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