Popping In Once More

Hi, friends. Is there anyone still reading this blog, which now lives in a very quiet corner of the internet?

Well, if there is, here’s a quick update:

  • The baby I once coined Twinkle, our fourth child, is now nearly fifteen months old. She still doesn’t have much hair, just got her tenth tooth, isn’t walking yet, babbles all the time but doesn’t say many “real words” (trying not to worry), and she gets into ev.ery.thing. She is also one of the happiest babies I’ve ever known and I wish she could stay little a while longer.
  • We’re kinda-sorta trying to have another baby. I want one desperately. Just one more. My husband doesn’t and won’t agree to using Clomid, but has agreed to trying without. The likelihood of it happening without Clomid is slim, so I’m still hoping he’ll change his mind, but either way, we’re back on this road again and I have so many feelings about it. I know it sounds like an embarrassment of riches to be asking for a 5th child. I also know I’m probably just begging for more heartache and disappointment. I wish so many things could be different, but they’re not, and so this is what it is. We’ll see what the future holds, I guess.
  • I recently had my first piece published at Her View From Home: “You’re a Once in a Lifetime Friend.” If you’re interested, please read and/or share. I’d love your support!
  • I have started blogging as my real self on a new blog: Living on Coffee & Prayer. I’m not sure how often I’ll be writing, but you’ll find personal essays and poetry there when the mood strikes. Because Waiting to Expand is anonymous, any mention of it on the new blog will be politely deleted, but I would love for you to come over and say hello and follow along if you’d like!

If you’re still here, thank you. I miss my old blogging friends and send love to you all!

She’s Here

Our fourth child, our third daughter, arrived eleven days ago.

Isabel*Joycie*Grayce was born on June 1st at 4:53 a.m. in a natural hospital birth. She weighed 8lbs 6oz and measured 20.5 inches long. She was six days overdue, covered in vernix, had almost a completely bald little head, and her eyes were bright and alert. Her sweetness was apparent instantly. In every way, she is perfect.

It’s hard to accept that she is our last child. I’m still not sure she is, though my husband adamantly disagrees. But that’s another story for another day.

Today, I am savoring every moment. The snuggles. The sleepy sighs. The dreamy smiles. Her tiny, precious weight against my chest.

These are the best days of my life and I am treasuring every one of them.

An Update, At Last

It’s been a month since I last came here and recounted the story of our home-selling/buying drama and my mega-freak outs. I was in a great deal of turmoil for a few weeks there but I’m relieved to report it’s all over now. We are still living out of boxes and I’m a little overwhelmed with everything we need to do, but we moved into our new home two weeks ago and are soooooo happy. I can feel the sense of peace and joy deep within. I’m yelling and crying no more. I feel connected with and close to Honey again. My three little ones are enjoying their new room and yard and making friends with the neighbor kids. We love the extra space we now have. It’s pretty much a fairy tale around here right now.


During moving weekend, we also threw a big joint birthday party for my Poppy and Skittle. A birthday bash AND moving? The timing was basically as bad as it could get and it was a insane few days with very little sleep and a whole lot of stress. BUT we survived it with the help of our little village and now Poppy is one and Skittle is three and life feels incredible and magical and wonderful. I wish things could stay this way forever. (Well, maybe with a few less boxes to unpack.)

Other news:

  • The five of us flew to Idaho for a seven-hour, whirlwind trip at the end of August for my dad’s memorial service. It was so good to reunite with family and friends I hadn’t seen in years. And to hear others say such nice things about my dad. To remember he had some redeeming qualities. To know that his life wasn’t a total waste. I felt sad flying back home, like it was my final good-bye to that man. Tears gathered in my eyes as we took off. Strange as it sounds considering our history, I miss him sometimes.
  • A while ago, another one of my articles was published on Scary Mommy. But it was published here first.

And that’s it. The past few months have been consumed almost entirely by planning a party for our littlest ones, my dad’s death, and especially selling/buying a house and now we’re mostly past that. There’s stuff to unpack and furniture to assemble, cupboards to paint and hardware to change, but the crisis is over. It’s weird. I’m not quite sure what to do with myself.

But other than the one-hour commute twice a day to take Cupcake to/from school, I have no complaints. I’m enjoying the stillness. The bliss.

Life is really, really good.

An Update, Because I Have Nothing Better to Discuss

Why, hello there.

It’s been a while. Or at least, it feels like it has. I’ve been so busy lately and I just haven’t had the energy, ability, or desire to write something worthwhile. At least not here, in this venue. But I’m feeding Poppy right now while binge-watching Army Wives, and I thought it would be a good time to pop in for a quick update on all the happenings in the Dash home.

So, here we go…


  • My mom left on Monday after spending eleven days with us. It was a glorious visit filled with lots of fun and laughter and very little strife, but I was on the go every second she was here. There were days I was only at home to sleep. I am exhausted. And lonely once again now that she is gone. Getting back into our old routine is always a little hard.
  • Breastfeeding continues and I donate hundreds of ounces every month to a set of twins who were born just a week after Poppy. Have I mentioned that before? I’m glad my body does this one thing right. And thankful that is has helped me to reach my goal weight earlier than I ever have postpartum, despite the copious amounts of sugar I’ve been eating. Breastfeeding cravings are seriously no joke!
  • Another essay of mine will be published on Scary Mommy on June 15th. This one will be published under “Anonymous” (to protect my kids) and is a bit more controversial than the last. I’m nervous about some of the hate it will surely get, but plan to brush it off and embrace the moment.
  • I’ve been thinking a lot about the future. This is really another post for another day, but I’m getting the itch to start “trying” again. We’ll be waiting until next spring, but I feel hopeful and scared and anxious for it all at once. I’m ready for it. But I’m not. But I am. But I’m not. And on and on it goes and always, at the back of my mind, there’s the question of whether I’ll ever even have the chance to have a fourth, ready or not.


  • We should hear any day or minute about what kind of raise or promotion he will or will not be getting. He recently retained a mega-million-dollar account for his company and worked his ass off to do it, so we’re hopeful they will compensate him accordingly and we will be deeply disappointed if they decide not to.
  • He’s always and ever an incredible husband and father. Hard-working. Jovial. Steady. The rock of our family. I’m the one who stays at home and yet he does so much to help me. Every day, I am reminded how lucky I am.


  • She is about to graduate from preschool and I feel excited and a teensy sad to be staring kindergarten straight in the face. She looks forward to school every day, though, and I really, really hope that continues. It reminds me so much of myself.
  • That Scary Mommy essay I mentioned earlier? It’s about her. About how difficult it can be to be her mother, with the amount of attitude and grief that she throws at me on a daily basis. I really hope I don’t regret being so very honest in such a public format. Mom-guilt is real and constant and I’m already feeling it over this. Especially considering that, since writing this, she hasn’t given me many problems at all. I’m thankful for that, but it’s also very…curious. Could she be outgrowing it, after all? Or am I just immune to it after all these years?
  • The other day, she said to me out of the blue, “Mommy, I know you want another baby, but if you can’t have one, I’ll let you play with some of my dolls.” If only it were that easy, sweetheart. If only. And also…please don’t let this be some sign of what is — or is not — to come.


  • We just embarked on potty-training not long ago. We haven’t had many successes yet, but not many accidents either. Apparently, this kid has a bladder of steel.
  • She’s starting to talk, act, look, and walk more like a little girl than a baby. It breaks my heart, but I am enjoying every minute of this age with her. Everything she does is adorable. My favorite is when she dramatically throws herself onto the floor and says, “It’s no fair!” Any guesses where she learned that from?


  • Still no teeth. Still screaming in the middle of some nights and at random times during the day as if they will be arriving any moment. And he’s also taken to clamping down — hard — while nursing. This period of teething is so fun.
  • In the last week, he has gone from rolling around and getting stuck in odd places and then screaming for help to efficiently army crawling and getting to exactly what he wants. The dog food & water bowls now remain on the countertop during Poppy’s waking hours.
  • He had a prolonged cough and wheeze for months and there was talk of asthma, but the cough and wheeze are now almost entirely gone. Fingers crossed they stay that way!


  • We have started the home selling/buying process. At three bedrooms and 1500 square feet, we are maxed out on space here. I feel sentimental over leaving the only home our three children have ever known, a home that has seen me through some of my best and worst life moments, but we desperately need more space. I’m excited for what is to come, but I feel overwhelmed and stressed about the whole process. There’s so much to do! And how does anyone accomplish all of it with KIDS?!
  • Poppy and I will be flying to Idaho in a few weeks to visit my mom for a long weekend. And, later in the summer, we have two short beach getaways planned. We really should be spending our weekends and money getting our house ready to be put on the market, but quality family time is important. Or at least that’s what I tell myself every time I start to feel guilty about it.

So with all of that going on, I’m not really sure when I’ll be returning here. It may be in a week, or a month, or a year. I want this to be a place I can turn to, a release, a diary, but not an obligation. I’ll be back, maybe at the peak of craziness when I crave a shoulder to lean on, or maybe once the dust settles. This summer is going to be a whirlwind. And no matter what yours has in store for you, I hope you all are able to take a few minutes to enjoy a mojito and the sun on your face. Life is beautiful. Even when it’s hard, it’s beautiful.

Be well, friends. I’ll see you again soon. xo

Checking In and Looking Ahead

I’m feeling a little “stuck” lately. I don’t know what to write beyond updates on my life. At this point in time, I’m not planning to sign off here as I did after Skittle’s birth. I have never intended to be a mommy blogger, but I have enjoyed coming here to connect with all of you from time to time over the last year, even though I’ve recently written very little about infertility and loss, which was the original purpose of this blog. I don’t anticipate that, in the months ahead, I will return here as regularly, and yet I DO hope to return, providing updates, as well as giving small snapshots of our life and voicing concerns, worries, and other feelings I encounter along the way. Things could change of course, but for now, that’s my plan for Waiting to Expand as I once again go about parenting a new baby and waiting for the next time when we “try” again….

For the moment, though, here is my oh-so-exciting update on life since Poppy’s arrival:

  • It turns out that Skittle and my mom did have the stomach flu. Two days later, it hit Honey and Cupcake. Six days later, I got it. It was awful. So far, Poppy is the only one in our home who has not gotten hit. I’m praying, and fairly certain, it will stay that way. There is a sort of magic in breastmilk, isn’t there?
  • Poppy is proving to be a fairly easy baby. Not as chill and blissful as Skittle was (and continues to be), but easy enough. He sleeps plenty and often seems pretty content when he’s awake. He does prefer to be held and will fuss, especially in the evenings, after being in his swing or bouncer for too long, but I’m still able to get a plenty of time unattached to a baby. And he usually lets me sleep for 4-5 hours at a stretch at night, which is awesome.
  • I’m bored. I never thought I’d say that with a newborn in the house, but I am. In the weeks before his birth, I worked hard to get ahead. And now my mom is here until November 8th and she does everything — from laundry to dishes to cooking and cleaning and getting my girls ready in the morning. Poppy doesn’t require much from me beyond breastfeeding, so I have a lot of free time on my hands. I know I’ll be yearning for that as soon as my mom leaves, but right now, I’m wishing for something more to do than crochet another baby hat.
  • My mom has been here three-and-a-half weeks now and we have nearly two more to go. Things are good mostly, but as predicted there have been difficult moments. It took us less than two weeks to have a screaming match, with her threatening to go home and me responding with, “Good! Go! You’re a bitch, Mom!” Not my finest moment. Thankfully, neither of us hold grudges and we both forgive quickly, so we have since moved on from that night. But I do find myself growing irritated with her more and more. Little, stupid things are starting to bug me. And she has it in her head that mothers and daughters should be best friends and NEVER have disagreements, which compounds the problem because she has unrealistic expectations. I love my mom and I am soooooo grateful for her help, and I am always aware that one day she will be gone and I will miss every one of these uncomfortable moments, but I am ready to have my house and family back. I think five weeks is just too long to be together like this. There are times when I start to forget why I even like her and I don’t like feeling like that at all. She’s amazing! Funny, and selfless, and hard-working, and so generous, and loving, and thoughtful, and she always thinks the best of me. She’s wonderful! THAT is what I want to remember. ALL that I want to remember.
  • Both girls seem to be doing pretty well with the new baby. I haven’t noticed any changes at all with Cupcake. She tells everyone we meet about her brother and loves to hold him. Our greatest challenge is getting her to keep her hands OFF of him because she loves to touch, hold, kiss, and hug him multiple times a day, regardless of whether he is sleeping or she has washed her hands or not. About two weeks ago, we did start to notice some changes in Skittle, but because they occurred just a few days after the flu hit, it has been difficult to determine whether her behavioral changes are because she was sick or because of the new baby. Regardless, we went through about a week of nearly constantly crying. She had a short fuse and nearly everything made her scream or wail (which is sooooooo unlike her), but that seems to have greatly resolved now. The only aftermath we continue to battle is that she has become extremely picky at mealtimes. Foods she has always loved are now pushed away. I know this is her way of controlling things in her life when she feels her life is out of control with all the changes and it’s fine by me if she wants to live on hot dogs and Annie’s bunny crackers for a while. I keep offering a variety of food and I have faith that, with time, she will begin to eat real food again.
  • My moods have been a bit unstable over the last week. There have been several days when I felt sad or incredibly irritable for no reason at all. I’m guessing it’s hormonal, but it’s made for a few not-so-fun days, with me crying or yelling at the drop of a hat. One thing that has helped a lot, though, is just getting out of the house. I took Poppy to the pumpkin patch when he was two days old. We’ve also been to the mall twice, downtown trick-or-treating, the movies on a date night with Honey, pedicures with my mom, and dinner with my friend Leigh. And we have plans for another trip to the mall, a big baby expo, and coffee with Leigh as well. I know some people like to understandably keep their newborns in a bubble these first weeks, but that could never work for me. Partly because I have two older children who beg to get out of the house and partly because getting out is so good for my own mental health. I feel so much better when I do!
  • So far I have lost twenty pounds and I have about fifteen more to go. This is the lowest weight I’ve been at 3-4 weeks postpartum, but I dread the thought of having to lose the last of this pregnancy weight. I’m hoping breastfeeding and pumping will work some magic, as it did after Skittle’s birth, but still… My sweet tooth is out of control right now and I need to stop eating so much! Can someone come put padlocks on my cupboards please?
  • Can I just reiterate how impossibly adorable my Skittle is? There is just something about her that is so irresistible. She makes me heart melt and swell over and over again every day with her sweetness. She’s just so easy to love. And the bond that I feel with her! Oh, my goodness, it makes every hard day of TTC and parenting worth it. If I could be guaranteed that every child would be like Skittle, I would have two dozen of them. (Well, if my ovaries would work like they should!)
  • I get asked a lot how I’m feeling and I always respond with, “I feel great!” And that’s mostly true. I’m usually quick to recover after birth, especially after a natural birth (which is one reason I know it’s the right thing for me). I have lots of energy and I feel as though I’m healing well “down there.” That being said, I am getting daily headaches, which are annoying. And my hemorrhoids are causing me off and on discomfort, more than they ever have before after a birth. AND I’m still bleeding. A lot. I don’t remember there being this much blood nearly four weeks later with either of my last pregnancies. The doctor seems unconcerned since I’m not hemorrhaging, but I hate it. I’m ready to put the pads away!
  • Not trying to offend anyone here…but I REALLY hate it when people ask me (or anyone) if my baby is a “good” baby. Because it implies that there’s such a thing as a bad baby. Babies aren’t good or bad. They’re just babies. And yes, there are easier babies and there are more difficult ones, but the difficult ones aren’t BAD, are they? They just have more needs, or needs that are harder to understand and meet. But in the end, they’re just babies and there’s nothing bad about them. Okay? Okay. [end rant]
  • There are a few minor health issues with Poppy. I think he has clogged tear ducts in both of his eyes. They are so goopy and crusty right now. And he’s developed a cough recently, which I think I can blame on my mom, who has a cold. I’m pretty sure she caught it from my husband, who caught it from me and my daughters, who had it a good couple weeks before Poppy ever arrived. Seriously, guys! The germs that little kids bring home. There’s no end to them! Also…Poppy does this weird gasping thing every now and then (like, multiple times a day), usually when he’s sleeping. It sounds like he’s trying to suck in more air than he’s able to get into his lungs and it’s unpleasant to hear. That, combined with the cough, makes for an anxious mama. I’m constantly jumping out of my skin with every weird sound he makes.
  • I’m already thinking ahead to the next time we try to conceive and to the next baby. I can’t help myself. I hate the TTC process, but I just love pregnancy, and giving birth, and these newborn days so much. And they are all gone so fast. And knowing that our next baby will likely be our last, I feel myself grieving already. I wish I could live in the moment more, and just treasure this time that I have with Poppy right here and right now. I try to. And I do. But a part of me is always longing to do it over again. To relive it all. And then I start to miss it before the moment is even entirely gone. It’s an endless cycle and will likely be lamented on this blog many times in the weeks, months, and years ahead. (And of course, it need not be said that this is all conditional, based on the hope and idea that I’m even able to have another child. Grieving over losing that would be an entirely different sort of loss and pain…)

I’m rambling. Sorry. And many thanks to those of you who stuck with this long post. I promise there are better things to come for this blog. Some day. Once I’m getting a full night of sleep and the hormones aren’t causing me to flip out and I’m able to put down my bowl of ice cream long enough to type it out. There will be a day like that somewhere in my future, right?


There’s no other word for it.

Well, that’s not entirely true, is it? There are other words for it really…surprising, unplanned for, accidental, unforeseen. There are more surely, but “unexpected” seems to perfectly describe the course my life has taken. The path most of us infertiles face. The pregnancies that come when we’ve hit rock bottom. The losses that occur just when we start to feel “safe.”

And it’s unexpected that I’m coming here now, under much different circumstances than I predicted in my last post. I’m here because I need to say this, because I need to tell you, though I don’t have the right words to say or know how it will be received. But let’s not beat around the bush.

I’m pregnant.

Unexpectedly expecting, so to speak.

In fact, today I am thirteen weeks pregnant. Entering my second trimester. I have had three ultrasounds. Baby has a good heartbeat and is measuring a couple days ahead. When I start to feel anxious, I bring out the doppler and search for that heartbeat while muttering prayer after prayer. It all still feels unreal.

This is my first natural pregnancy. No Clomid, or RE, or monitoring. No endless cycles of hope and then failure. My body is a funny thing. Since puberty, it has not cycled regularly. It did not know how to put all the pieces together to make it all function so that a mature egg would be released on a monthly basis. By my college days, it hardly happened at all. And yet, there is something about the weaning process that just works for my body. My menstrual cycles don’t start until after I wean my babies, but always within thirty days of the time when I have officially stopped breastfeeding, I ovulate. And this time, I was prepared for it. Watching and waiting and having a bit more sex than is usual for us. They say it only takes once and I’m proof that it does.

I’ve been wanting to come here for a while now to share my news. But I didn’t know what to say. And I was scared. Scared that putting my news out into the world would be an irreversible curse. But if I’m being completely honest, even more scared that the easy road I have walked to achieve this pregnancy would mean I was no longer wanted or welcomed here. I didn’t want to face the rejection.

The day I learned I was pregnant, I told two of my good friends. One of them said to me, “See! You’re not really infertile at all!” I didn’t say much to that (well, I did actually — I argued with her over it, but she didn’t want to hear me or believe me, so I let it go), but she just clearly has no idea. If I hadn’t caught that one lucky, post-weaning egg, we would be right back where we were two or three years ago as we were trying to conceive Skittle…smack dab in the middle of Clomid and uncertainty. One ovulation doesn’t mean anything. I will always be infertile. Who else prays so fervently countless times each day for a healthy baby? Who else has high blood pressure only when at the OB’s office? Who else lives from one doppler listening to the next, just hoping her baby will still be alive? There was once a time when I wanted nothing more than to be as fertile as the next gal. But infertility is part of my identity now, a part I am not ashamed to own anymore. And if I don’t belong here, in this community, then I don’t know where I belong at all.

With that said, I don’t know if I’ll be posting here again in this pregnancy. That’s not to say that I definitely won’t…I just really don’t know. Maybe it will depend on the feedback I get to this post. Maybe it will depend on how anxious I become over the next few days or weeks or months. Maybe it will depend on something completely unexpected. I think when it’s time to post again, I’ll know. I’ve known this post needed to be written for weeks now and I will trust my heart to tell me when there is more to say.

Until then…may life’s unexpected twists and turns be kind to you, friends. Thinking of you all. xo

Odds ‘n’ Ends: Yeast Infections, Baby Aspirin, and More

First, a warning: This post mentions pregnancy, like always. And the next two paragraphs are about my vagina. There will be talk of discharge. If you’re squeamish, feel free to scroll down.

For over a week now, I’ve had some vaginal itching. It has come and gone and changed in its intensity throughout the days and I’ve been trying to manage the discomfort with vaginal wipes and extra showers. I’m pretty sure it’s a yeast infection because A) I’ve had them before, though never in pregnancy. My other two experiences were while taking Provera last year, but according to all my research YI’s are incredibly common when with child. And B) there’s some of the classic “cottage cheese” discharge. It’s not much and I don’t see it every day, but it’s there.  I was planning to ask my OB about all of this at my next prenatal appointment, on Tuesday, but last night I just couldn’t take it anymore. After an afternoon of constant itching and bemoaning how miserable I felt, I decided to call the on-call nurse. She agreed that it was most likely a YI and gave me permission to use Monistat to treat it. She said her reference recommended the 7-day cream or suppositories, but told me it was my call if I chose a 1- or 3-day treatment instead.

So last night, I started the 7-day cream and, today, I feel even worse. I mean, the itching and burning is not just irritating now, it is unbearable. So much so that, this morning, I was curled on the floor, crying, because it just felt impossible to endure a moment longer. Which, of course, I have. I know that from my past experiences, Monistat can and does cause the itching to increase while using it and then the discomfort improves throughout the day until the cream wears off, but returns again with another dose. After completing the treatment, though, I suspect that I will feel much better, as I always have before. But for now, I just have to get through this. In this moment, my vag is mildly itchy but not to the point where I can’t function. Tomorrow, I fear, will be another repeat of what happened when I awoke today. This is seriously getting in the way of Life. That is, I can’t walk on the treadmill like I do every day, I can’t chase my daughter around the house, and I’m not sure how I’ll get it together enough to go grocery shopping first thing tomorrow morning. Which is why I will be switching from the 7-day cream to the 3-day suppositories in hopes that it won’t be quite as bad, or at least the discomfort won’t go on for quite as long. Has anyone else had this same horrible experience with YI’s and treatment? Particularly while pregnant? Anyone have any great home remedies to help with the itching right now? Please, if you do — reveal your secrets! I am willing to try almost anything, as long as it is safe in pregnancy.

Also, I have another question for you fellow infertiles who have gone or are going through a pregnancy…when does one typically stop taking baby aspirin in pregnancy? I had thought that stopping it about a month before the due date was the typical answer to this. But then I read — somewhere — that aspirin or ibuprofen can cause a heart valve (I think) in the baby’s heart to close too early, which then made me panic that I could, inadvertently, be killing or harming our little Skittle. To be fair, my RE never supported my use of baby aspirin, but never told me I couldn’t or shouldn’t take it either. She just didn’t deem it necessary, but I felt compelled to to use it as a precaution. I haven’t asked my OB for his opinion on it, because I’m afraid he’ll tell me I can stop taking it at any time because he’s not as familiar with miscarriage or infertility, and I don’t know if that’s the right answer either. I don’t want to do anything irresponsible either way. So instead, I’m coming to all of you, to hear what your doctors have told you to do, and I will then make some sort of decision from there.

In other news:

  • I successfully weaned myself from my progesterone suppositories a couple weeks ago. Not a drop of blood in sight, but that didn’t stop me from tossing and turning a few nights, in constant fear that I would start spotting at any moment. Thankfully, though, it appears my placenta is doing its job and I needn’t have worried so many days away after all.
  • I’m feeling definite baby movement now. The last three days, there has been a significant change in how frequent and how strong the movement is. And with every kick or roll I feel, I just fall even more in love with this little being that is becoming inside of me.
  • Today, at 17w3d, I had a stranger ask me if I’m expecting. Well, okay…she’s more of an acquaintance and she didn’t ask me, she asked my husband, but still. It feels like a huge milestone to have someone who doesn’t know you’re pregnant or even TTC notice your bump and have enough confidence in her assessment to ask the big question aloud. I didn’t get that from anyone until I was about 20-22 weeks pregnant with Cupcake, so it was exciting to experience it so early in this pregnancy.
  • A 16-week bump photo is up on the Skittle page!

Two Things…

There are two things weighing on my mind this Friday morning:

1) I am still waiting for my period. There are no signs that it’s even on its way. I’m not spotting or cramping and my temp is still up, though it did drop slightly today. I took my last progesterone pill on January 14. Usually the flow begins 2-5 days later, sometimes 7. The longest ever was 10 days, never 11. So that makes this officially the longest a withdrawal bleed has ever taken to start, and it’s odd, annoying, and frustrating. I am ready. I yearn to move forward. This whole standing still business is really getting to me. I’m losing patience. I want as many opportunities to try this year as possible because 2013 could very well be it for us, one way or another. But I I know I can’t control this, so I’m trying not to melt down into a full-fledged freakout. Breathe in, breathe out…

2) My sister’s shower is tomorrow. I will be taking a three-hour road trip (one way) to go to this. I am not excited. My husband and daughter are coming along for moral support, but they will go off to a nearby mall to play and I will be alone for the actual festivities. Well, as alone as you can be in a room full of happy, laughing, loud, celebratory women. I don’t know how hard this event will be for me, but I know it won’t be easy. There is a tight thickness in my chest every time I think about it. I want to enjoy it because this is a party to celebrate the impending birth of my niece or nephew (and, as someone who grew up as an only child, need I mention again how much that means to me?), but the heartache and resentment that my sister has caused me still runs like a current beneath my skin. Sometimes I am good at ignoring it and sometimes not so much. I forgive her because I must, but it’s not so easy to forget that she burned me when I needed her the most. Nor is it so easy to forget the general pain of infertility and loss when surrounded by babyness. It will be three hours of bold reminders of what I don’t have but should. To make this day a little bit easier on myself, I have sandwiched it between three hours of fun on the road with my family. We will play my favorite music, eat my favorite snacks, and I’ll read my favorite magazines while my husband drives. I may not enjoy that small chunk of time while I’m celebrating a baby that’s not mine, but I will enjoy every other hour of Saturday. Of that, I am determined.

Also, I made my sister a gift for the shower. I’m not uber-talented at making beautiful hand-quilted blankets (as she is), but I can be crafty in other ways:

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It’s a wooden box I painted, distressed, and modge-podged to match the nursery (I hope). They’re doing a jungle theme (and don’t know the gender — hence, the yellows and greens), so I thought it might be nice to keep necessary supplies in it: things like diaper cream, lotion, vaseline, nail clippers. All the precious little baby items that must be corralled, or you risk them taking over your entire house. For the shower, I filled it with a bunch of stuff and wrapped it in cellophane (stating the obvious here since you can see it with your own eyes). A few of the fillers (like the outfit and toy) I bought while in London and the rest came from her registry. And then I finished it off with a homemade gift tag.

I do hope Sis is able to fully appreciate this. Sometimes I think she fails to see how hard I try. And fails to understand what sort of love for and commitment to our relationship that I must have in order to spend hours toiling away at making this amidst my very intense heartache. I keep hoping that something I do will eventually speak to her. Maybe this. Maybe tomorrow.

Cycle Update…or Not

It’s CD38 (or is it 39?) and things are boring. That’s the thing about taking Provera. I took my last pill yesterday and am now just waiting for my period to come. But as I did not ovulate this month, I’m not in the two-week wait. There is no teeny tiny, itty bitty hope of a BFP. At least not this week. I’m just waiting for next time.

I have spent the last ten days, every day that began by swallowing a Provera pill, indulging everything I fancy. Well, maybe not everything, but close enough. I’ve ingested way too much sugar and caffeine over the last week-plus. There is a small person inside my brain that has been screaming, Stop! You’re sabotaging your fertility! If you don’t have another baby, all the blame will be yours! And then there’s another someone who says, So what? Where has reading every nutritional label gotten you? Certainly not another pregnancy…  One thing is for sure: if I gain ten pounds this year, it will not be because of the Follistim. No. It will be entirely my fault.  But now I’m back to eating right. And I’m exercising until I can’t anymore. This week, it has been for at least ninety minutes each day to make up for all the crap I ate. I’ve even resorted to counting calories for a few days because it gives me a sense of control and quiets the mean voices in my head. Yes, my relationship with food and exercise is a bit…unhealthy. I’m pathetic really.

Like I said, things are boring. I have nothing more exciting to talk about than food and diets.  Should I write about the weather next? 🙂

There have been moments of panic recently, when I’ve had nothing to do but obsess over the future, wondering, what happens if my next cycle turns out exactly the same as this one? Because for some reason, after five months of good success with Clomid (at least when it comes to ovulating), my body decided it would not respond this month. I don’t know why. I don’t even understand how this can happen, especially when they increased the dose. It doesn’t make sense to me. And if there is no legitimate explanation, what’s to say it won’t happen again? What if even Follistim can’t help me now? I don’t know what the next step would be, what my doctor might recommend. We haven’t discussed it yet. I can only guess, but I don’t want to. I just want this to work.

And so, I wait as usual. Anxiously. Impatiently. I wish I could fast forward so I would know what the outcome will be. The unknown is the worst. But this is out of my hands. All of it. And that royally sucks too.

Not Good

The last few days have been hard, and disappointing.

Reason One: I have not felt well and I don’t know why and it’s odd. After a fever for five days, my temp dropped back to “normal” by medical standards…except it’s not normal for me. My BBT is in my post-ovulation range or even slightly higher, which means I either ovulated already (not likely?) or something else is going on. After my fever disappeared, though, I developed some intense nausea and bloating. Starting Christmas afternoon, the last two days have been spent feeling miserable, with me unable to do anything but sit on the sofa and beg my husband and mom to answer my call for water, or a blanket, or whatever. And on top of that, I have other suspicious symptoms: three swollen and painful lymph nodes in my neck, no energy at all, and very dark urine (even though I’m not dehydrated and normally have very pale urine). Is this a mild flu? Is it something more serious? Or is it nothing at all? It’s all very confusing and weird and I don’t know what to make of any of it. I’m going to watch my symptoms through the weekend and will call our family doc on Monday if they persist.

Reason Two: My u/s yesterday was another big fail. No progress. It was, once again, hard for them to get a good view of Lefty, but it doesn’t look like there’s any lead follicle that’s ready to go. The tech did seem confused because my lining was so nice and the one follicle she did see, she couldn’t get a solid measurement on and wondered aloud if I had already ovulated, but I highly doubt it. The RE that was in-office for the day wants to cancel this cycle and have me make another appointment to see my own doc. Which is fine, but I will definitely be asking for a phone consult versus meeting the doc in-person. There’s no reason I should waste 4-5 hours getting to and from the doc just so she can see my pretty face and tell me things that I already know and we’ve already discussed. I asked about continuing with this cycle for a few more days to see if I’ll ovulate anyways (just as I did last month) and then have my Honey give me the trigger shot when I get a positive OPK. The nurse thinks this is probably okay, but will check with Dr. Young and get back to me today.

My great fear is making a wrong decision about the next step. As far as I can see, I have three viable options: A) Should I just go forward with the 150mg of Clomid for another cycle? After all, it always takes two rounds of 100mg before my body responds. Maybe it’s the same with 150mg. But can I handle these daily headaches for another cycle? And is this too much Clomid I’m taking? I’ve been on it for so long now and I think, technically, I’m now past my “lifetime limit.”  B) Should I add Follistim after finishing my five days of Clomid? I think this is what my doctor wants, but I’m nervous about the cost and the daily injections and, whenever possible, I prefer to go the less invasive and simpler route. And there’s still concerns about frequent headaches and overdoing the Clomid with this option. C) Or should I switch to Femara and give that a go? I’m nervous about trying a new drug because I don’t know if my body will respond. What if it doesn’t and I waste a cycle (or two! or three!) trying to figure it out. We spent many cycles trying to find what dose of Clomid worked for me and I don’t want to be in the same position with Femara. At the same time, though, maybe a new drug will be just what my body needs to kick it into gear and make this thing happen. Not to mention, it’s cheaper than injectables and I may get a break from the headaches. But really…I just want to do what’s going to give me the best chance at having our next baby as soon as possible with the least amount of grief.

Guys, I’m so disappointed. I really thought I would respond well to this higher dose of Clomid. Now, with all that’s been happening in my body this week, I just feel like I don’t know anything. Everything is so far beyond my control and it leaves me shaking with fear. Please, please, please let something change in the new year.