The Trust Exercise (aka Delestrogen)

The Trust Exercise: You know the drill.. One person stands with arms crossed and blind-folded.  A second person stands directly behind with arms outstretched ready to make the catch.  Hubby and I did this exercise once.  He’s a bit bigger than me so I thought I would immediately fall into his strong arms.  On my first attempt, though, my instinct told me to take a step back.  I didn’t even think about it – my feet just started stumbling as I fell.  The second time around, I had to tell myself that he was there ready to catch me.  Then I made the decision to fall.  He caught me.  Simple as that.  Then we switched places.  Same thing happened with him.. he stumbled on the first attempt, then on the second attempt he simply fell – it was a bit of a challenge for me but I caught him.

Today’s trust exercise was a bit different – with the same result.  Today was my first intramuscular shot of Delestrogen.  This new medicine will help my body get ready for my FET (Frozen Embryo Transfer).  It will help in building a healthy lining to welcome the little embryo(s).  All the fluff aside, the instructions called for my husband to inject what looks like a 2″ needle into the top of my hind quarters.  There is nothing pretty about this needle.  But for those of you who will be taking this injection, I will spare you the details and give you some tips later.

In preparation for this shot, we read the instructions together.  We thought it was no big deal. At this point, we’ve done dozens of injections – having daily shots of Gonal F/Menopur & Lupron.  We pulled out the necessary supplies.  Then, when we found the needle that connects with the syringe, we both paused.  This was supposed to go where???  My husband somehow hyped himself up to do it but I wasn’t ready.  When I was ready he hesitated.  We carried on for about 3 minutes then I finally grabbed a pillow and closed my eyes.  He injected the delestrogen and it was over. It hurt… yes, it did.  But we did it!

This was our trust exercise. I couldn’t… WOULDN’T go through this if I didn’t trust my husband.  And he made this most frightening experience a little better because he was talking the fear out of me the whole time.

So, here are my tips… ice it! I didn’t ice the injection site because I break out in hives when my skin has contact with cold things.  But Ice It for about 5 min before you inject, it will make your life so much easier.  For me, I gave myself a pinch.  I usually do this before getting blood taken to direct my attention to a different area of pain while I get injected.  Lay on your side or flat on your face so your muscles are relaxed. Finally, don’t sit down for about 30 min.  I did this after my shot and it hurt badly.  Instead give yourself a bit of time to relax, watch TV or read a magazine to pass the time 🙂

Well, there you go.  After a month of birth control & 2 weeks lupron, I’m finally on a new page in my IVF cycle.  Just a step closer to transfer day!

Just a Miracle

Ever have one of those days when, if anything goes right, it would be a miracle from God?

That day is today. I received a phone call last night, shortly after typing my last post, appropriately named, “How Do You Relax??”

I gladly answered the call from Freedom Pharmacy, excited to get my injections started!  Minor detail…. after speaking with my insurance, they informed me that I needed to pay the full amount of my deductible (and then some) and they needed the payment in FULL before they can ship my meds! How was I going to get $3,000 in 3 days? For some, that may be pocket change… for me: a working-class, paycheck-to-paycheck, trying-to-get-by gal… that’s a lot of money!

My husband kept telling me that it’s nothing to stress about, that we’re in it together, and to listen to this song: It’s Working, by William Murphy (which I now have on repeat). And I said, if anything good happens today, it will be a miracle from God.

And guess what…. we were blessed by God.  We received a miracle from God.  Today, less than 24 hours after the dreaded phone call (2 days before the payment due date), we were able to pay for the meds in FULL! I’m entirely grateful to God, our Provider.

I’m far from perfect and my struggle with infertility has been the biggest hurdle, yet, in my faith. But, there is a true living God who loves me despite it all.  And He loves YOU too!

Slacker

I’ve been neglecting my blog…  In my head, not so much. I’ve had things I’ve wanted to write about almost every day.  But, time flies so fast and now it’s been 4 months since my last post and I have so much to say!  In 4 months:

Infertility: We have tried.  I took the last round of fertility meds I stored in my closet from before our hiatus in September.  Needless to say, no news to report.  We are still trying, naturally.

Empty Nest Bucket List:  I’d like to report some progress in this area! I have a lot of updates to my bucket list… and a family road trip coming up.  More to write!

Newlywed/Marriage:  Yesterday, June 23rd, was our 2-Year Wedding Anniversary!  I give all long-term married couples HUGE kudos and welcome ANY marriage advice you can give.  Year 1 was very difficult… and Year 2 was hard work!  I can say that our love for each other is stronger.  But I am gearing myself up for Year 3… let the battle (for a love-filled lasting marriage) begin!

I promise myself I will write more this week, lots to say and lots to read… can’t wait to catch up on with my fellow bloggers.

When It’s Not You…. He’s Still Your Better Half

I’ve been sitting on this post for quite some time… since December, actually. I’ve thought about how to word it, because I am sensitive to my audience. A lot of US are dealing with different stages and issues of infertility. Now (in February), I’m a little past “numb”, stepping into “giving up” and ready to “move on”.

But first, I want to talk seriously about dealing with your spouse’s infertility.  From conversation, I hear a lot about the 1st person point of view towards infertility.  As a spouse who is married to someone dealing with infertility, I felt I should write a little from my point of view.

Going into a marriage some (especially the young at heart) might have expectations right off the bat: double-income, buy a house, have a child or two.  Often there’s a timeline.. like a 5-year-plan of some sort.  In reality, it might be a 10 to 15-year plan with some bumps and forks in the road.

In the past year, I was seeing the fertility specialist several times a month! I would go in for procedures and, every 3 months, there was a ‘next level up’ in the plan. Though chances should have been better with each level, the only thing that increased was the medical bill. I sat down and talked with the specialist. What could it be? I’ve had prior pregnancies, no complications. Then she discussed my spouse’s ‘levels and counts’. When I found out about his infertility, I deliberated on how to tell him. I didn’t want him to read into any unintended tone in my voice. I never want to be degrading or insensitive. I suggested alternative medicine and used subtle hints instead.

I once read a funny Facebook Post listing points about how men think: “Ask for what you want. Let us be clear on this one: Subtle hints do not work! Strong hints do not work! Obvious hints do not work! Just say it!” ~M.R.

It is true, he didn’t get the hint. By the time I finally got it out, it was in frustration. The tone came out, it was not how I intended to say it! “You’re not even trying,” I complained! “Do you even want a baby,” I pleaded. Because of what he’s already been through, I set myself to protect him. In turn, I lashed out in frustration.  ‘Perhaps it’s something that will fix itself in time,’ I thought to myself.

If I could say one thing about the situation: I don’t blame him, I don’t blame anyone.. but I’m still disappointed. I’m sad.  I’m hurt.  And if I didn’t allow myself to feel this way, separately from my husband – I believe it would have affected my marriage.

When I met my (now) husband, I was drawn to his character.  I thought about the fun we would have, our experiences together.  For a mere blip (a year or so, out of a lifetime) I dreamed of a child we could share.  But, there is more out there I look forward to.  I love him to pieces, then I’d put him back together and love him to pieces again 😉

Holidays and the Sports Fanatic’s Wife

I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that I am a Sports Fanatic’s wife.  No, he doesn’t paint his face and scream at opponents’ fans as they pass us in the stands.  But he wakes up and goes to sleep to the lullaby horns of Sports Center on ESPN.  One day, he frantically looked through the house for a “Let’s Go Bucs” light that flashes like a stop-light because “WE need it so the Bucs will win.”  Most recently, I watched the start of a game in which I left to run errands as they were leading 10-0 and upon my return they were down by two touchdowns… as soon as I sat down they made a touchdown and my husband would not let me leave the couch until the last second of the game because “the Bucs played better when I was watching them.”   They did end up winning that game, by the way 😉

Now, I’m not one to complain.  I enjoy watching the games myself.  Having a teenage football player of my own, I am known to yell and jump a little when the games get interesting.

Another thing about this guy is that he needs a little nudge to get into the holiday spirit.

So this, my friends, is how I got my husband to pose with me and Santa for one Christmas picture:

Our Picture With Santa

Our Picture With Santa

Notice, Santa must be a Bucs fan too.

We also have a tradition in which we each put up one ornament every day from the day after Thanksgiving until the tree is fully decorated… hubby’s first ornament, can you see it?  You may have to squint…

Our Tree 2012

The good thing is that while football is an integral part of our family-life, we have learned to incorporate it into the holidays, which I SO love!

Now, excuse me as I see him turn on the “let’s go Bucs” light and I am now needed to watch this game so they can win.

On a side-note: GO SEAHAWKS!!!!! They just won in over-time, they are my home team, after all. 🙂

New Friend-Date

I was at Target a couple weeks ago and picked up a book called MWF Seeking BFF by Rachel Bertsche.  Turns out, she’s a fellow WordPress blogger (http://mwfseekingbff.com , I’m not sure yet how to add a link to my post). I was looking for a good lunch-break book and got some great suggestions (thanks IVF Male for suggesting Game of Thrones, still need to look it up!).  With the colorful polka-dots and catchy title, it was an instant buy. Like the cover, it’s a fun-read about a newly-married gal who moved to a new city and started looking for a new BFF.  I can totally relate in the sense that some of my closest friends live in different states and I have been on a search (or more like, on a hunt) for new BFFs.  Ladies, is it just me, or is friend-making in our 20’s & 30’s a little more difficult and/or complicated than passing notes in High School?  I find, especially in this state, that it is very rare to meet a native Floridian as much as it is hard to build a friendship before my new buddy has to move away.  So it can be complicated, yet I am thankful I’ve made a few fabulous friendships along the way.

That being said, yesterday I went on my first “blind” friend-date.  Let me give you some history.  Back in July, the boys were spending time with their family on the West Coast.  Hubby and I were like honey-mooners for a month! We went on this pub-crawl and met some other fun couples during the event.  No surprise, I had a few (or several) glasses of wine and I was a blabbering fool.

Can you guess who these ladies are dressed up as?? 

You will see ANYONE at a Pub Crawl!

Well, the next morning, I woke up to drunk text messages.. to another lady!  According to my husband I instantly connected with someone.  I don’t even remember how I we exchanged phone numbers.  Nooo… I’m not leaning that way, I am still a faithful, loving wife to my husband.  These text messages were like, “My son’s name is the same as your husband’s!” and, “let’s get the kids together sometime!” Yes, we shared drunken-lets-be-friends text messages.  And funny thing, we have stayed in touch ever since.

So, a couple days ago, she sent me a text message that she was going to take her daughter to a Fall Festival, and we decided to meet up!  Can you imagine my anxiety?  That morning, I kept thinking, “will she like sober-me?” I can’t remember what drunk-me was like… I’m a little reserved at first and drunk-me is much more outgoing!  I was excited but a bit nervous.

As it turned out, my new friend is a little more reserved too! Not so much that we didn’t have good conversation, but we had a great time.  We had plenty to talk about and the kids were shyer than us adults.

Back to the book I’m reading, one of the author’s latest posts reads, “It’s not that your new potential friend doesn’t want to have a friend date with you. It’s that everyone is waiting for someone else to make the move. To do the work. To take a chance.” (From her post on Friending the Only Thing You Need to Know, Oct 29).
Even us introverts have to take a step once in a while… and, when all else fails, there’s nothing like a little liquid courage 😉 Kidding, of course

Bathroom Dilemmas

Excuse the hair, my hair gets everywhere

Ahhh, the age-old conflict between man and woman…. he squeezes, you slide. He likes it under, you like it on top.   What do you think I’m talking about? Toothpaste and toilet paper of course!

I’ve heard of major arguments stemming from these two innocent bathroom fixtures. They can’t help but cause confusion, after all, there are no instructions on how to consume them.  And at times it can be so confusing! I will share something embarrassing: one day, I was reloading the toilet paper.  For some reason I could not figure out how to get it to get the paper to roll over.  Rotating and rotating the stupid little tube.  I had to sit and look at it for a second thinking, why is this so difficult?? When it suddenly came to me, flip it over! DUH.  Now, I can say we both agree on the toilet paper roll issue.

But the one thing we do NOT agree on is toothpaste.  Can you guess which one is mine?  Well I can tell you a little about our personalities.. he’s a laid back, ‘it’s all going to work itself’ out type of guy.  And I’m an orderly, ‘have processes and post-its for everything’ type of gal.  Our solution: Get Two.

Can’t agree on toothpaste? We have 2.  Don’t watch the same shows on TV? His DVR is in the Living Room, mine is in the bedroom.  Other issues work themselves out.  I love chocolate, he doesn’t care for it.  He loves strawberries, me not so much.  Our method of resolving the little things in life seems pretty easy right?  Are we avoiding some type of toothpaste and TV blow up in the future?  Probably.  But one can only hope either one of us never runs out of toothpaste!

Ikea and the Cheap Date

Well, I have to say that this past weekend was what I truly needed: A Break!  Well, sort of.  We lived and breathed football, as usual.  But we managed to sneak in a few other things.  For one, I’ve been continuing my Fall Cleaning Project, and in my determination to make our little place look bigger, I set out to Ikea to pick up some mirrors!  I find it interesting how my children HATE going shopping with me. In fact, I have to bribe them to go to the grocery store with me, using a $5 spending limit on whatever their snacking hearts desire.  But….. when I mention IKEA, their faces light up and they are always willing and ready to go! Perhaps it’s the vibrant colors or the luring smell of Swedish meatballs but I dare not jinx it with my questioning!  For me, Ikea is like the Target of home decor stores.  I always go for one thing and come out spending $200 which somehow includes a piece of furniture.  But that day we bought exactly what we needed… Mirrors (pictures soon).

Later that evening, we planned to go on a date.  Since we are taking a break from the baby-making, we decided to go to a place called the Wine Room.  A small spot off of Park Ave about 15 min from our place.  This place has wine bottles racked as far and as wide as you can see.  Couches for relaxation, light music in the background (that evening was oldies R&B music), and a Cheese & Tapa bar in the middle.  As you walk in, you can purchase or reload a money card (sort of like a game card at Dave & Busters), they give you wine glasses, and set you free to taste away.  Along the walls are, for lack of better words, “vending machines” of wine bottles where you can choose to purchase 1, 2, or 3 ounces of your selection for a price per ounce.  Some as low as $1/oz. and others $15/oz. or more!  Let me just tell you, having Not a sip of alcohol for at least 6 months, I was a Cheap Date.. Yes, ladies and gents, after 6 oz. of the $1.50/oz Chocolate Raspberry wine, I was feeling happy.  Hubby was happy, we had a good evening 😉  NOTE: For those of you with a Sweet Tooth, I highly recommend Chocolate Cellar California Wine, it tastes like a Chocolate Raspberry Truffle.

“Screen Shot” taken from Google Maps, see the arrow on the floor? Courtesy of Google Maps

Finally, drum roll please……. we have decided that we found a ‘Home Church’! (A “Home Church” is one that we can finally settle down, get involved, go to regularly..etc. )  I must say, we have visited over 10 churches over the past 3 years.  And if you have had this experience, you can relate to how tiring it can be.  Sort of like dating, you want to give the new relationships a try, but if there is no chemistry you must search again.  but after 4 visits, I believe I can say we have found a church we love.

Though they are little tidbits from a great weekend, I can honestly say I woke up this morning feeling refreshed and ready for a great week!

And, I hope you all enjoyed your weekend as well 🙂

Why My Husband Shouldn’t Send Me Furniture Shopping

Here’s the 4-1-1: I bought a condo in 2005, JUST RIGHT before the real estate market started going downhill.  At that time, my boys were smaller, we had small furniture, small toys, small everything.  It was just right…

Since then, they’ve grown, I met my loving, patient hubby (more on that later) and everything is now king-sized in the still tiny 2 bedroom condo.  Well, since we are unable to sell this hole-in-the-wall, we are stuck here trying to maintain a decent looking household and not look too crammed in.

Sooo… my hubby sent me out on an errand.. “Let’s get a Sectional Couch,” he says. Woo hoo, I’m excited and I find a great deal through Craigslist.  While he takes the younger son to football practice, he sends me on my way to check out the couch… here’s where it all goes wrong.

We do the right thing and measure the wall by the window (the one closest to the door): 6 feet.  Fabulous! In lady-terms, that’s one foot taller than me.  Shouldn’t be hard to measure when I get there….

So, I get there, and use my awesome measurement technique, and I buy it on the spot!  (He said if it looks good, go ahead and buy it).. see how I’m transferring the blame here?

Well, on Tuesday he went to pick it up, brought it in the house, and sent me this picture… See the black shelf to the right of the picture?  Well that is the Entertainment Center that already sticks out because we moved it to fit in the sectional.  And now both the couch and entertainment center do not fit entirely in the living room!  However, there is just enough space to walk in.  Hey… once you get in, the couch is pretty comfy!