Saturday, November 30, 2013

Sandra Bullock


"When people are like, 'Life is good,' I go, 'No, life is a series of disastrous moments, painful moments, unexpected moments, and things that will break your heart. And in between those moments, that's when you savor, savor, savor,'"

(Photo courtesy People Style Watch)
I love Sandra Bullock and am inspired by her for so many reasons. But also because she says true, not pretty but so very real things like this. 

I have learned to love the in between. Savor savor SAVOR. 

Happy Thanksgiving and Black Friday and Small Biz Saturday and, yay, can we start Christmas now? 

PS) I'm thankful for life. The living, breathing and feeling kind. 

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Domestic in Decatur: Whole Wheat Pancakes


 
Holy crap these were so good.
I'm on a quest to make things not taste weird when using whole wheat flour. This recipe from Fifteen Spatulas actually says it in the title: Whole Wheat Pancakes (that actually taste good).
 
I recently made these Carmelitas and used whole wheat flour instead of regular.
Uhm, eh. I took a batch to a recent girl's weekend and watched as a friend ate a piece.
Her face was funny.
She was inspecting it as she ate it. Something was off. She knew it. And at that moment, so did I.  They probably tasted way different from when she made them with the original, normal, better-tasting ingredients.
BUT.
The whole wheat flour worked very well with these pancakes.
I was, however, extremely skeptical when one of the steps said: Combine the milk and vinegar and let the mixture curdle while you mix together the other ingredients. 
 
Vinegar? CURDLE?! I didn't understand. I still don't but try not to question the experts. 
 
I pushed through and let the milk... (gulp) curdle.
 
These came out tasting not like vinegar at all! Rejoice. 
Only things I did different were added a little vanilla to the batter, and did part half & half and part skim milk to equal my one cup of milk for a creamier texture. 
 
Jimmy liked these as well. We're always looking for new versions of everyday foods that won't spike his blood sugar. Fatigue is an on-going issue. I don't know if these did that, but it was worth a shot.  
 
They were so good they didn't even need maple syrup.
 
Pssssh. Yeah right.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Sweet Strength

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Feel the Feelings

I had one-on-one therapy today.  I even used the full amount of time, which I don't normally do.

I don't always agree with everything my therapist says but over the course of our two years together, she has gotten to know me, and mine and Jimmy's relationship through our sessions. She's able to call me on my crap when needed. I hate and love that.

This was the first time seeing her since we received the 'zero fertilization' call.  I had a lot to fill her in on, including my feelings about the whole thing and our possible decision on how to proceed.

I told her I realized this is harder than I thought it was going to be. And that I was sad. And that I cry.

I told her I was having a hard time controlling those feelings and that I wanted to make sure I wasn't going to fall in a dark hole.

She told me she wasn't concerned about me falling in a dark hole because I know how to distract myself and I know how to do things that make me happy. Therapist could be onto something. I have been known to drive myself to eat my favorite meal when my soul needs it. Or go to Starbucks for a warm, giant chocolate-chip cookie when my soul really needs it.

But she told me I also needed to allow myself to feel the feelings. Feel the feelings. Be in it. Let myself be sad, mad, upset.

Stop trying to go go GO. Just stop, breath and feel feel FEEL. Maybe not fight it and question it so much. This feels weird to me. But I get it.

We also talked about grief today. I grieved for the old Jimmy and our old life everyday for about a year following the accident. I sporadically still do.

Grief is very real here too. 

There are days when I ask myself... when did life get so hard?  I think this non-realistic thought of "nothing else bad is going to happen to us. We've already had our bad thing."

[INCORRECT BUZZER SOUND]

Just like everyone else, we have to work through the hard stuff and more hard stuff to get to the good stuff. And then, there's gonna be more hard stuff after the good stuff. Life is crappy crapshoot that is sucky and wonderful.

I had a quick moment of clarity today when I looked at my husband today while he was on the phone, reconnecting with an old friend. He was so happy in that moment.

This sometimes sucky, always messy life is so worth it.  I could have been robbed of that.

See? It's not all bad.

I'm going to feel my feelings and stuff now. But I wanted to post this little saying (below) because while Therapist helped me to realize I need to take a little break, that doesn't mean I'm giving up. I will soldier on. My cute little husband and I will get through this. This hard stuff. 

There is going to be good stuff.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Silently Healing

Peep.

I'm still here. That was a little peep out of me.

I've been here. Silently healing.

Remember that blog where I kept telling you that we were okay after our little dose of tough news that our first round of IVF didn't work? Really I think I was trying to convince myself. We were not okay. But I really thought we were.

It reminds much of days following the accident.

I was in pure survival mode and wasn't allowing myself to feel or digest anything yet because there were things that needed to be done. Arrangements to be made. So much stepping up to the plate that I had to do. After the 'surviving' ended and the living with it began, I started to feel and accept and it sucked so bad.

The survival mode phase of this wasn't as long, but it did exist. I told myself we needed to move on, accept this quickly and make a decision about what do to -- now.

That forced me to constantly talk about it. To bring it up non-stop. It was all I could talk about for days and it was suffocating me and my husband.

There were so many tears, a few moments of rage and then some brutal truth. That brutal truth, although painful to hear, paved the path to a morning of honest discussion.

We made a decision about what to do next. We're still gonna keep at this thing, just tweaking a few things to try and attain success. It's not going to be easy. It hasn't been easy so far but we deserve to be parents.

We're going to approach each and every challenge like we always do: together and in our messy little way. Apparent fits of rage and then apologies and love.

We know that something is missing in our lives and it's time we go and get it. Or her. Or him.

Jimmy and I spent the weekend apart. Leaving him this time was probably the hardest since the accident. My heart was broken walking out the door. The look on his face didn't say: "go! have fun! be safe and call me when you get there!" It said: "this sucks and I really don't want you to leave."

There's no doubt it was because of the hard time we were/are going through. We both needed a little extra something. Being apart didn't feel right but our brains kept us on track and I went. I think it was for the best, as hard as it was. Being apart kept us from constantly talking about it. I wonder if my friends were concerned hearing the deep sighs coming from me. The heavy load weighing on my heart. Could they see it? Could they hear it? Was it contagious?

I had one really hard afternoon where the tears just wouldn't stop. A nap and knowing I needed to get out of the mountain house helped, though.

I feel I actually came home with a clear(er) head on the subject.

We didn't bring the topic up until couple's therapy yesterday.  I told the therapist our news and Jimmy told our therapist our decision. The way he said it with conviction made me realize we made the right decision.

Being on the same page is so comforting, refreshing... everything.

Jimmy and I will continue to move towards our goal. I realized that as badass and strong as we are, we're only human and need time to not only survive, but to accept, grieve and heal.

With that said... we're coming to get you Baby Moore. Sit tight. 

Friday, November 8, 2013

The Thing About IVF? Sometimes It Doesn't Work

It didn't work for us this time. As sucky-hard as that news is, Jimmy and I are doing okay.

This was a gamble. We knew striking out was a possibility.

Right after I published a cheery blog about my egg retrieval and moving forward, the embryologist called us and said we had no fertilization and that I should stop taking my medication.

I was pretty upset right off the bat. I kinda felt like we had this. We were so close. Well, it felt that way. But it guess you don't really have it until you take home a baby.

It was quite the curve ball also for the staff who had not anticipated this outcome based on what they saw with our sperm/eggs.

Jimmy and I had some sad time together and then we had to pick ourselves up and carry on with the day. I asked him if he wanted me to cancel his dentist appointment. He said no.

I'm glad we went.

The car ride there was pitiful, though. I was tearing up behind my monster aviators which are a savior for times like these.

Remember, a nurse rides with us to most places and they don't know everything happening with us yet. So, yeah I was hiding behind my glasses.

But we kind of snapped out of it after the dentist appointment. I don't even know why. Was it the traffic corner transvestite with his/her whistle and baton? Maybe.

I also think we realized that this isn't the end of the road for us. We still have options. Some of them may not be 100% ideal, but I think we know the result(s) will be ideal.

We will talk with our doctor after she consults her colleagues and make a decision on what we need to do next.

Meanwhile I have a hair appointment tomorrow and I am considering taking advantage of a girl's mountain weekend coming up. Seems like it might be good timing.

Jimmy and I also have some therapy sessions next week. Also good timing.

It's nice to hug my husband and I know I have him. I can go in for a hug whenever I want. Even if he doesn't want me to. Too bad.

I'm looking forward to spending the weekend with him.

We really are okay. I promise. We have to keep things interesting right?

I will keep you posted on journey and put all your prayers on a shelf for when we will need them once again.

Thanks always for the support. 

"Experience is one thing you can't get for nothing."
Oscar Wilde

Thursday, November 7, 2013

The Egg Retrieval


I am resuming my morning coffee today after yesterday's procedure.

The egg retrieval went well. It was super quick and painless for the most part.

My friends picked me up at home and drove me and waited for me to be done, which was amazing. I didn't have to be alone at all during this.

It was super early and so we decided Jimmy would stay home. We're both working hard on our own things right now. It's still super important that he get his rest as he continues to remain off the vent and work towards weaning of his diaphragm pacer.

Meanwhile, at the clinic...


I got suited up and ready to go, got my IV and did my final paperwork and answering of questions. Met the doctor and she told me she'd be using a little needle to extract the eggs. She said it was a pretty straightforward process.

 
I finally was walked back to the OR and it was a pretty fun atmosphere... for an OR. 
 
The staff was super likeable and comforting and there was fun music playing as I was slowly drifting off into happy sleepy land.
 
The next thing I know, I woke up in recovery just a short time later feeling like I had just taken a really good nap. I had some white/cran/grape juice and it was THE BEST JUICE EVER. 
 
They told me the retrieved 20 eggs.
 
That sounded like a lot. The doctor, in her non-excited way, told me that was on the higher end of what they normally get.  I read online the average of eggs retrieved is 8-15. Nice.
 
I slept a lot when I got home after getting some food. I got home right when Jimmy was waking up and we were able to have breakfast together first.
 
I was a little sore but nothing too bad. They tell me to take it easy for awhile because I'm at risk for some stuff happening. So, easy breezy activities for the time being.   
 
Where do we go from here?
 
Today we should be getting a phone call from the clinic telling us how many fertilized eggs we have to work with.  I'm so anxious to see how our lil guys are doing together. They best be behaving. Or not behaving. 
 
Then, we wait and see how they grow in the lab. If they do what they're supposed to in 3 days, I could have my embryo transfer as soon as Saturday. If the experts feel more time is needed for optimal growth, it could be more like Monday.
 
Tomorrow I start my big shots in the booty. Aye.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Jimmy Vs. The Biopsy Gun

I was told the wrong day. MY EGG RETRIEVAL IS TOMORROW. ALERT! TOMORROW!

I'm actually very excited about this development because I don't have to sit around all day tomorrow looking at the clock and thinking of things to do to take my mind off it. Holy anticipation!

Today was a big day as well. Jimmy had what's called a sperm biopsy done at his doctor's office. We had this strategically done 1-2 days before my egg retrieval because we came to learn that our fresh sperm was going to do better for us than the frozen.

We're still going to see what we get from the frozen from his surgery last month, and add it with what we got today.

The embryologist, after looking at today's sample, tells us, "we should be fine."

Okay. We'll take that.

Jimmy did really well with today's procedure. The doc first numbed the area with a couple of needles. Jimmy was looking at the ceiling, trying not to see any of it.

He was making random small talk to take his mind off it. I'd randomly hear, "I'm hungry." Or I'd ask him how was he was doing. He'd say, "Fine. Just thinking about the 200 other places I'd rather be than here right now."

Then. The doctor came back with this thing.

A biopsy gun.

Yeah. I mean, if there's ever an upside to Jimmy not being able to feel..

Doc went in twice with this and it clicked really loud twice, sounding like a staple gun. Should I not say STAPLE GUN when talking about this delicate region?

He didn't have any reactions or anything. It was fairly uneventful in terms of him handling this without anesthesia which was a concern.

We then dropped off The Goods at our clinic and I may or may not have kissed the (clean) outside of the sample cup for good luck before I let them take it away.

Okay. So, I will be giving up my goods tomorrow morning at 8am. No eating/drinking after midnight for me. I was told to eat a high-protein diet today, so Welcome To Moe's it was. Lots of fluids, no alcohol. 

Monitored anesthesia with sedation. My poor friend driving me home. Hope I'm not loony tunes.

I will try and lay down here shortly to get some rest. 6am will come soon. And with no coffee?!

This whole thing is so surreal. Going through this and seeing this whole operation. Technology is truly something.

Meanwhile, I watched this again today (and cried.) It's the IVF couple who went on The Today Show and went live with their egg retrieval, etc. (Why didn't we do this, Jaye? :)

They also shared their news right away on the show. Gutsy. Risky. Brave. I love it.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Moving Right Along...


 
The meds are working... they say I'M READY.
 
My egg retrieval will be first thing Thursday morning. 
 
Tonight, I take my hCG, or "trigger shot." It's a single shot and the timing is critical. They tell me to stop all my other meds (except one pill I take) and then right at 9pm tonight inject this particular shot into my tummy.  
 
It's timed to coincide with the final maturation of the ovarian follicles. When the trigger shot is released, the follicles release their eggs and then we further proceed with trying to... knock me up.
 
Tomorrow morning I go back for more blood work to see how the trigger has worked, pre-op and any ER (egg retrieval) Q&A.
 
Thanks to a dear friend for volunteering to get up at the ass crack of dawn to drive me as I will be put under for the procedure. It's tough not having family here for this stuff but when our friends step in it truly means the world.
 
So grateful.  
 
Okay. So, big things happening this week!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

The Last Few Days


8am just rolled out of bed selfie.

1. IVF: Injections, ultrasounds, call backs.
I've been to the clinic for two ultrasounds/blood work in the last 3 days. I go in for another round tomorrow morning. Estrogen, progesterone, follicle/egg levels are where they are supposed to be. Was instructed to continue on meds as we continue to track my progress, hopefully narrowing in on an egg retrieval date in the next week.   

2. Aztec sweater
I wore this aztecky sweater to the doctor's this morning. I got it from TJ Maxx for $20. STEAL. Although, pretty sure I caught my doctor looking at me like I pulled out the ugly sweater for the party too soon.

3. I'm Thankful For...
Welcome, November! I'm not gonna even get mad about the giving of thanks every day on Facebook. Really, I'm not.
No, really...

4. Jimmy
He hasn't been on the ventilator in TWO WEEKS. WHaaaaat?! I need to take a break to process this. Okay, I'm back.
Pure amazingness. He's crazy determined and getting it done. He's had some really tired days and low-grade fevers here and there so he's not been coming off his diaphragm pacer as much but that is beyond okay. He always got his goal in mind.
I will make him something he likes for dinner to celebrate. As opposed to something I like.  

5. Taming the Worry
I was talking to my mom on the phone last night and told her I'm worried about all this IVF stuff not working. Then, before she could offer her wisdom, I came up with this: "Well, if I do get pregnant, I'll worry about it sticking. Then I'll worry about health of baby. Then I'll worry about labor/birth. Then I'll worry about newborn/quad dad/crazy hormonal mom challenges. Then I'll worry about daycare, schools, judgey Atlanta moms and then if my kid will like me".
The point of the story is: SHUT UP BRAIN.
I'm not gonna be any good to anybody when I've shriveled
up into a tense little wrinkly raisin from worrying too much.
So, I'm gonna go on the patio with some hot tea and read some Bridget Jones and try to not
worry for like 5 seconds.
  
Happy Sunday!