May 2, Past & Present 

May 2, 2016 was the last time I (physically) went to work. At the time I had no idea that would be the last day I walked into my 3rd grade classroom to teach.

I had been bleeding quite a bit over the past weeks since my BFP and figured I was having yet another miscarriage. The pain became overwhelming so I left work and headed to my RE’s office. 

This is what we saw…


Relief. A heartbeat. Followed by horrible news…the other embryo had implanted in my fallopian tube. And it burst. And I was bleeding internally. Things became a blur as I was rushed to the ER for surgery. All I knew is that I had to undergo general anesthesia at just 6 weeks pregnant and was told the chances of the baby in my uterus (who is now sitting next to me) had a small chance of surviving it. I was devastated. I thought not only am I going to lose my tube, but another baby again. 

I came out of the surgery and so did Miracle with his heart still beating. I was told the next 48 hrs were crucial. I was in so much pain I could barely move after the surgery. It was worse than my c-section recovery by far. 48 hrs came & went, and there he was on the screen, still alive. 

We battled subchorionic hemmorages and placenta previa over the next few weeks, with lots of bedrest, but we made it to full term just in time for Christmas. God fulfilled the desires of our hearts as He promised He would.

Here we are in the present, May 2, 2017. If I had chosen to return to work from my FMLA leave it would have been today that I went back. I thought I might have mixed feelings about not being there when the day came, but I feel peace. I even had a cardinal and a butterfly visit my yard at the same moment and I like to think it was Isaac’s twin stopping by for a visit to let me know he or she is alright.

I know here at home with my boy is where I want to be. And might I add that while I always knew teaching was challenging, I had no clue that being a stay at home mom was even harder. Its by far the hardest job I have ever had, yet the most rewarding. Ill leave it at this—Stay at home moms dont get enough credit! Shoutout to my mom who stayed home with my brother & I…I get it now. 

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Time Off

Today I told my boss about my upcoming FET cycle. By no means did I have to do this; I chose to. 

As a teacher, when we request a day off, we put it into a computer system and request a sub. The principal then approves it electronically. There generally is no face to face correspondence when a request takes place. The days are earned over time and can be used as needed.  I LOVE this perk about my job! 

Since I got my FET calendar, I have been requesting upcoming times off for appointments more than I normally would. So today I took my calendar in to my superior and explained why, even though she never asked about it or disapproved any of it. Note: this is part of my personality—I never want anyone to think I am just a slacker looking for time off. I have to explain. 

Anyways, I felt totally at ease approaching the situation, as the administrators I work with are very supportive. They all know that we have now gone through 3 IVF cycles, followed by 3 miscarriages—I have continued to teach there through them all. They have seen me at my best and my worst. 

What a relief to have this off my shoulders! My boss was great about it, and reassured me not to stress. This means a lot to a Type-A person like me! One more step in the right direction, right? 

The Infertile Mother 

After our first IVF and subsequent loss, I started to think about how it would be nice to stay at home with our child for the first few years of their life should we ever have one.  

By the time our 3rd transfer and 2 more losses occurred, I no longer was just considering being a stay at home mommy should we have a child, I was set on it. After all the trauma, I couldnt (and wouldnt) even ponder the idea of going back to work after a short maternity leave. 

Note: Im well aware all mothers struggle with going back to work after they have a child. I get it.  But Im going to be brutally honest here and share my inner thoughts on the topic (some might not want to hear them, if thats you, stop reading!) 

I feel like after all the injections, pills, surgeries, procedures, thousands upon thousands of dollars, tests, pregnancies, losses, bloodwork, scans, and appointments that I earned the right to stay at home with our awaited baby longer than the normal amount of time.  I didnt just accidentally get pregnant, I didnt just try a few times, get pregnant and deliver. In fact, I didnt even try for many years, get pregnant and deliver.  I didnt undergo the all mighty IVF and achieve success the first few times either! 

After everything I have given and lost, how could I NOT stay home with this child for a few, measly years??? Come on!

It wasnt until this year, 2016 (1 full year after out 3rd loss), that I have begun seriously considering going back to work after a maternity leave.  I must say I have even surprised myself (and hubby) with this new state of mind.  

Some background on my career-I am a teacher. I have been teaching for 6 years now, 5 years in 4th grade and 1 (this year) in 3rd grade.  I love working with kids and watching them grow, probably one of the reasons I want to be a mommy so bad. I also enjoy working with adults, teaching at the local college. I guess I just enjoy learning and teaching, and teaching and learning! I have my Masters and dream about getting my Doctorate eventually. 

I have always liked to succeed at my job, I dont mind working hard, giving 110%, or putting in extra hours. But infertility and pregnancy loss took a lot from me in 2014 and 2015. It didnt happen overnight, it was sucked out of me little by little, day by day. I didnt want any of my career anymore–I just wanted our baby. These diseases can change so much. Its nuts. 

However, my outlook right now is that I would like our baby, and my career. You know…kind of like a normal person!?! Im not sure if this will change. It very well could. But right now I am getting my self back I think.  I want it to stay that way. I hope it does. The group of adults I work with this year have made it really easy for me. I am blessed with where I am at right now career wise, and I would love to keep my position and have a smiling (sometimes crying!) baby to come home to everyday.

I know juggling a career and a baby wont be easy. But being a stay at home mom sure wont be either. Both deserve all sorts of props if you ask me.  And having a baby wont be all rainbows and unicorns anyway it is sliced, but finally, I feel ready for the challenge of having that family/work balance in my future should I be so fortunate. And for that, I am proud of myself!

Breathing a Sigh of Relief 

Last week, I was majorly stressing a few things. But today, I am totally breathing a sigh of relief.

My formal observation is over and it went great.

Our flooring has been installed in our master bedroom and looks beautiful.*

We are more than halfway through our Lupron treatment

My doggie had a simple stomach bug and is completely better now. 

Our anniversary trip for 2016, not 2017, is booked and I cannot wait.*

When I got weighed yesterday, I was back down to my normal weight again

The Bachelor is back on, hallelujah.

Thanks to MLK, my Monday is actually today, which makes for a short work week. 

And that’s all folks…hope you have a fabulous week! 

*posts to follow soon 😊

Lines in the Sand

Since our losses, my life has distinct lines drawn in the sand of the events that happened before and after them.

Its almost like my life has been broken into sections, which I hear is quite common with trauma.  Unfortunately though, most of my memories have become based around these tragedies. For instance, if someone mentions something that happened years ago, I can place it by recollecting the loss lines I have drawn.

Some of my memory has become so much sharper, like with anniversaries and dates, & such, while other parts of my memory have become so much duller post loss.  I can remember certain foods I ate or clothes I wore during my pregnancies/losses. I can remember discussions that took place or peoples facial expressions.  I can remember days of the week for appointments years ago. Sometimes my husband thinks Im crazy how well I remember these details. The ironic part is that I am not trying to remember them, I just do.  

Here are some events drawn in the sand. 

Before pregnancy loss-

  • Losing my grandparents
  • Losing our family dog, Autumn
  • Losing my moms dog, Sophie
  • Getting married 
  • Buying our home 
  • Finishing my masters degree 
  • Beginning my teaching career 
  • Adopting our first dog, Nacho
  • Adopting our second dog, Rocket
  • Traveling to be in all of my close friends weddings 
  • TTC on our own 

After our 1st loss-

  • The death of our dog, Nacho
  • Trip to Ohio for my dads 60th birthday
  • Starting my 5th year teaching 
  • Being excited & hopeful for our next transfer 

After our 2nd loss- 

  • Adopting another dog, Jax
  • Redoing our master bedroom 
  • Really getting into yoga 
  • Questioning my career & doing another transfer 
  • Getting closer with God

After our 3rd loss-

  • Starting this blog
  • Coming out & talking about our TTC struggles with friends & family
  • Taking a medical leave from work
  • Having numerous surgeries done
  • Seeing a therapist & various other doctors for anxiety
  • Resigning from my current position & taking on a new one 
  • Becoming less social, drinking less, going out less, etc. 
  • Taking part in more self-therapy 
  • Getting closer to my mom 
  • Getting closer to my hubby 
  • Discussing options other than IVF for a family

I dont really know the point of this post. I guess it was just something on my mind that I wanted to see on paper. And probably because subconsciously Im hoping that the next line drawn in the sand in our lives is “after bringing baby home” and not “after our 4th loss.”  

Angela & the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, or Week

I certainly feel like Alexander. 

This week has been tough overall, but today took the cake.

There really wasnt 1 particular event that took place today that sticks out, it was more of a build-up of things leading up to it I think. 

Tuseday was my first day back to work after being off for over 2 weeks. As a teacher, going back after Christmas break is probably the worst thing ever (in my opinion).  Heres why. After Thanksgiving break, you know Christmas is around the corner. With Spring break, the end is near. But the new year, its high stress time in the school system. Testing, testing, testing! Need I say more testing? Ugh. 

Anyways, as you can see, getting back into the routine is not easy. For the kids either might I add. Well, my first day back at it, I found out my formal observation would be in a week. Every teacher in the county has 1 per year here in FL. Basically, your adminstrator comes in and watches everything you & your kids do for an hour, writes it all down, scores you, then conferences with you about it after.  So that notice threw me into a whirl wind of pre-planning, planning, replanning, and finalizing planning. Still not done. 

To top it off, I had a parent conference & a team meeting that I had to present information from a county data meeting I attended right when we returned. Grades had to be finalized too. In addition, I spent time setting up the spring online college course that was supposed to start this week, only to find out it was cancelled due to low enrollment. I was annoyed I spent time setting it up, but at this point, actually happy to take a break from it until the summer.

  
Then, I came home two days in a row this week to find my little dog, Rocket (my baby!) pooping in the house & throwing up. He never ever does this. I was, of course, a wreck. I am taking him to the vet tomorrow and hoping its something minor. 

  

Next up, the fertility clinic called this a.m. to inform us that the SA I dropped off for hubby over my break got screwed up by the lab. Meaning they didnt do an analysis, only a culture. Which in turn means no count. Are you kidding me? If we want one, he will have to redo it again. Im sure he will be thrilled. Ha. Yea right. 

Finally, the last part of my rant…all of our furniture has to be out of our bedroom by Sunday because we are getting new flooring put in on Monday. Hubby was supposed to be off tomorrow so we could do this together, but now he has to work. Yea, you guessed it, Ill be doing *some* stuff on my own. 

Who knows what else has happened this week and/or today, other than my neck and back killing me & not sleeping well. None of this may seem that awful. Im sure its reallynot. Maybe its the Lupron finally kicking in making me feel like I am losing it. I know it is definitely making me forget things here & there, & in 1 week, Ill be getting my 2nd injection! Needless to say, when I left work today I was on the verge of tears. I felt like throwing in the towel. TGIF!

Heres to hoping next week is a better one! 

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!!