In Honor of Veterans Day

My pap, my mom’s dad, was a hero to many, myself included.  Since he was a veteran and today is Veterans Day, I wanted to post a little something about him.

For the first 5 years of my life, I grew up just down the street from my nana and pap’s house. Being so close in location, I would go over almost everyday. I loved going there, as I would assume (or hope) most kids do with their grandparents. 

  
When he was there, you would always find my pap in the back room in his recliner, chewing his tobacco, watching TV, and eating.  He was usually watching either the Steelers game, a country western flick, or some type of action show.  I sat on his lap a lot. He had a really big, hard belly (sort of like Santa Clause) and I loved to rest on it. He loved to eat, and I’m positive thats where I get my love for food from. 

   
 

When I was 5, my mom and I moved away after my parents divorced. We no longer lived within walking distance. A plane ride became the quickest way to my grandparents, and so, thats how I traveled to see them every summer when I got out of school. I would spend about a month at their house each time. While I was there, we swam, played bocci, ate spaghetti, and played cards, among many other things. 

  
My pap would also drive the motorhome down to visit us too. I remember how much I would look forward to those visits.  We would go to Disney World, strawberry picking, the circus, and other places when he did.  He would cook for us and come and watch my soccer games. 

  

I continued my summer trips through my school years, until I moved far enough north to where I was within driving distance again. Then I would go for events, like weddings, holidays, etc.  I had the opportunity to introduce both my pap and nana to my husband back in 2001. My pap gave his approval. This meant a lot to me. 

  
Many times I told my husband how I prayed they would make it until our wedding day. I couldnt imagine getting married without them there. Thankfully, in 2007, they both attended our wedding. I cherish the photos and the time we had.

   
   

Time kept passing and each visit changed from the last. In late 2010, my pap left us and went to heaven. He was 90.  Just months prior to his passing, I got to spend some wonderful time with him, just the 2 of us. I am so grateful for that time. I will never forget it.

 

My pap didnt pass quietly thats for sure, just as he never lived that way either. He was part of the Fire Department for almost for 60 years. He was the Fire Chief, president, and annual Fire Hall santa (gotta love that belly!). He was the mayor, a councilman, and a constable. He served in World War II for 4 years, receiving several medals for his service. I could go on. 

  
After his mass, his coffin was placed on top of a fire truck and driven to the cemetery where he rests in peace. At the burial, a 21 gun salute was performed and American flag placed over the coffin. A large celebration followed the burial where we listened to recordings he made during WWII when overseas, people gave speeches about him, and ate and drank in honor of him. 

This is just a tidbit of my pap’s life. He was and is an influential person in my life and the community. Today, in honor of Veterans Day, he is featured on a flag hanging above where he worked for so many years. Love you, Pap! 

  

Christmas Festivities

I am pleased to report that we are almost completely BOOKED with Christmas activities every weekend from now until Christmas!! This is a dream come true for me my friends. 

Weekend of November 14th and 21st-Decorating & shopping! 

Weekend of November 28th-Christmas lights at the zoo while in Ohio on our trip, a date night for hubby & I. 

Weekend of December 5th- A Christmas Carol play at the theatre, another date night for hubby & I. 

Weekend of December 12th-Christmas party! Time to let loose. 

Weekend of December 19th-Overnight trip to Gaylord Palms for ICE and ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas, yet another date night for hubby & I. 

Enjoying each others company and love this holiday season is our top priority, probably more than ever before.  Dont get me wrong, its always been a priority, but this year is different. 

Last Christmas Eve was our first babies due date, and it was also the day we got a positive pregnancy test for our 3rd pregnancy.  Aside from that, we planned to be pregnant by this Christmas had our FET not been cancelled last month. As you can see, if we allow it, this Christmas could be very sad and heartbreaking. 

Instead we are making a conscious decision to do happy things rather than just sit and mope around. It is by no means easy; it’s living during infertility and pregnancy loss.  Im sure there will be tough days where we feel tested, but my hope is that I won’t let IF and RPL steal my joy this Christmas! They have already stolen way too much. 

Annual OB Appointment & More

Today I had my annual OB appointment. The last time I saw my OB was right after our 1st FET loss last September and right before our 2nd FET last December. 

I have been seeing my OB since 2003, and I highly value her opinion. When she came in the room, she had that “I’m so sorry” look on her face when she asked me how I was doing. You see, I was just 2 weeks shy of my first OB appt with her before we lost our last baby at 10 weeks.  

We caught up on all that went down since, and debriefed on where we are at now in this process. As she called it “limbo.” She informed me that she will send over my results from today to my RE so she has the up to date info in her files.  They are strict about having these every year when it comes to transfers. 

On her way out she said, “It’s been such a long time, I dont really know what to say to make things any better.” I told her not to worry, we are keeping the faith, and our time is coming soon. She agreed and we wished each other happy holidays. 

I did get to ask her some really important questions since our most recent classification as recurrent miscarriers, which we did not have the title at our visit last November.  Here is a summary-

  • Since I had the LEEP procedure done with her back in 2003, and I have a history of RPL, my cervical length will be measured every 2 weeks between weeks 14-24 to ensure it is where it needs to be. So glad to hear I will be monitored super close through the second trimester. This eases a lot of my fears about my cervix shortening without any warning. 
  • I will also see a perinatologist (high-risk dr) throughout any future pregnancy I have. 
  • She does not feel I need to be on Lovenox during any future FET’s. Why? I miscarried BOTH with it and without it. It obviously isn’t the issue, plus I am only heterogeneous for Prothrombin, not homogeneous. 
  • She doesnt feel I should give up because of this Adenomyoma. If it shrinks, even a little, she said to do the transfer. She reminded me that plenty of women can go on to have successful pregnancies with fibroids/adenomyomas. She feels my RE just wants things as optimal as possible based on our history. 

I also hit up my family Dr. today. She has prescribed me a medication that will balance me out while on the Lupron Depot (a.k.a. Stop me from being completely crazy).  

This anti-anxiety medication is used frequently to treat women in menopausal states, which is ideal for my situation since that is exactly what the Lupron will be putting me in. Of course, it has absolutely 0 estrogen in it.  It will take about 3 weeks for it to fully kick in, and is not meant to be used longer than a few months at a time. I plan to use it throughout the duration of the Lupron (3 months), and go off it before another FET. My RE is good with this too, as there are no counteracting agents between the 2 medications. 

Overall today was a very good day! I saw 2 doctors, both of which are looking out for my overall well being, physically and mentally. I had some fears about my future, and they have been put to rest. Here’s to new beginnings! 

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Christmas. My favorite. Since I was a child, it has always been. 

Im sure my mother’s influence plays a part in my liking; it is also her favorite holiday.   Growing up, we had decorations to the fullest right alongside the warm traditions. Being a Christian also plays a big part of my love for Christmas. Knowing Jesus was born on this day brings so much joy! 

I only decorate twice a year- fall & Christmas. And my fall decorations are minimal compared to my Christmas ones. Prior to this year, all of our decorations have pretty much been interior only.  Why? We always wanted to paint and have gutters installed before we moved the show outdoors. Well, as you might recall, we have both of these done now, and I am super excited to announce that we are decorating the exterior this year! 

In addition, we will be decorating earlier than usual. In the past, we have always begun on Black Friday and continued through the weekend. However, we will be gone over Thanksgiving week this year so that is not an option. Instead, we will begin both the inside and outside this weekend coming up. Im guessing it will take me about 3-4 full days to get the inside done, and my hubby 2 for the outside.  I have about 10 tubs or so in the attic of stuff, along with 3 decent sized trees. It takes awhile to sort through them and lay it all out. 

Anyways, my hubby and I went to Lowe’s and did some damage on exterior lights yesterday. We knew beforehand that this would be the case so we werent that surprised. We got the LED ice blue and white icicle lights for the perimeter, matching tube lighting for our columns, and matching netting for our bushes.  We also got a sparkly, oversized LED Frosty for the lawn. I am trying to talk my hubby into getting the tube lighting for our roof too (just running it up to the center peak in 4 lines from each corner of the house). I dont think it will be that hard to convince him since he has been saying he wants to do it anyways. We just figured we would start with this and go back for the rest. 

   
 
Of course with all the lighting came extension cords, clips, timers and such. And I just couldnt pass up the cute santa dog hats for our two little stinkers! 

Post Birthday Reflection 

I am officially 33 now. In actuality, the day wasnt that bad after all. I totally worked myself up for nothing. 

In fact, the day was pretty nice. I was woken by my husband with 2 sweet cards and a giftbox.  One of the cards was a birthday card, the other a just because card. I must share with you the just because card.  

A little background to the card first. Many of you know that our Chihuahua fur baby, Nacho, passed away over a year ago.  I miss him everyday.  When my hubby was at Walgreens looking for my b-day card, he came across this. 

  
Unreal! What are the chances of finding a card that has your dog’s name and breed, and looks almost identical (see the real Nacho below)?!? Such a sweet reminder that he is looking over me each day. 

 

My hubby purchased a lovely Northface jacket that I can take on our trip up north in a just few weeks. I love it! Then I went on to work as usual after our morning together. There I was showered with love from my amazing team of teachers. They even ordered a yummy lunch for me! This is a big deal in teacherland because we cant leave for lunch. They made it happen though.  I took my class out for recess, even though it wasn’t our regular day to go out, and the kids were like, “but it’s Wednesday!” My reply was “but it’s my Birthday!” Haha. They took it. One of my students even gave me a pretty candle. 

 

When I arrived home from work, my mom had left some things on our kitchen table for me to open. A gift card for a mani/pedi, a fondue set, and an adult coloring book. I cried when I opened the coloring book because I have been wanting a bible verse one for quite awhile now! I have several other types but the bible ones are not as easy to find.  I mentioned it one day to my mom and she remembered, which really made me feel special. Here is a picture of all the spoiling that took place from friends, co-workers, my spouse, and my mom & stepdad…
  
My dad and stepmom also sent me much love from out of state with this adorable Coach clutch, just my style!

  
That evening, my love and I went to dinner. We ordered way too much food! Two appetizers, salads, bread, and our main courses. There was NO way I could do dessert. 

At the end of the night, we booked a getaway to the Gaylord Palms Resort in Orlando. I am thrilled!! We only live a hop, skip, & a jump away from this area, yet we have never been to this resort. I have driven by it millions of times on our way to Disney, but that’s the extent of it. At Christmas time, they go all out. The hotel is an atrium with a massive tree in the center, 22 million lights, and a program they put on called ICE! Its only 9 degrees inside of ICE. Brrrr! I will be sure to post pics of this experience after. 

I seriously havent felt so spoiled in such a long time. I know I have said it before, but I will say it again, I am so blessed to have such an amazing support system in my life!! I think 33 might be my year!!

The Verdict is In 

We will start the Lupron depot intramuscular injections December 1, immediately following our Thanksgiving vacation. The 2nd injection will be a month later, around December 30th, and the 3rd, another month later, around January 27th. 

Our H/S and SIS combo will take place towards the end of February after the Lupron has had a full 3 months to work its magic. 

If all goes *well* and the mass is gone, our FET will be right in the beginning of April 2016. And of course if all goes *well* then, we will finally be bringing home our Christmas miracle.  Can you even imagine that?!?

Thanks for the feedback on my prior post about when we should start the injections. You all had some amazing points and ideas, and I dont know what I would do without you all. 

Keeping it Real 

According to my findings, the average life expectancy rate in the US (2015) is 78 years. Thats it. I thought it would be much longer. Maybe its because I have what is now clear to me to be longevity in my family. My maternal grandparents lived into their 90s and my paternal grandparents are still at it in their 80s.

The statistic is still depressing to me as I sit here on the eve of my 33rd Birthday. The realization that I have lived more than a quarter of my life already, closer to half of it than not, is surreal. And what sinks in the most tonight is that almost half of it will have been lived without the children I so badly desire.  Yet almost a tenth of it spent on trying to reproduce unsuccessfully.  Shitty. 

I am trying to stay positive, but who am I fooling? When it comes to birthdays, they have simply changed for me. I used to love them. My mom always made fun of me for it and joked that it was more like my “birthday month.”  No more. For the first time, this year, I can really say that I just want the day to be over with tomorrow. I wasnt sure how I would feel about it, but as tonight crept up, it started to become clearer and clearer.  

That being said, I would be okay with not hearing any happy birthdays or acknowledgments, as morbid as it all sounds. I even considered staying in my bed for the day, but I wont. Infertility and RPL have such profound effects on what are supposed to be the most special days. I hate it. I hate what they robbed from me. **ck you IF and RPL. 

This blog is about being real, and this is where I am tonight. And Im quite okay with that.