Thankful.

I’m not going to waste a valuable moment of this day pining for the things I don’t have. I’m not going to stare teary-eyed at the empty chairs at our dining table and wonder where the rest of our family is. Today is Thanksgiving, and I intend to make the most of it. 

Growing up, my family had a simple tradition for this day: as we sat around the table, we took turns sharing what we were thankful for. There would always be giggles because someone would inevitably mention that they were “thankful it was almost time to eat!” But it was nice, hearing each family member reflect on something that was meaningful to them. 

This year was the first year that Jonathan and I did not make “the rounds.” If you don’t know what I mean, allow me to paint this beautiful picture in your mind: “The rounds” were the pilgrimage that took us to every relative’s home for dinner and ended with us basically crawling through our own front door by the end of the day, 10 pounds heavier and loaded with casserole dishes filled with enough leftovers to keep us out of a grocery store until December… 

Being hundreds of miles from everyone we know and love, we decided a quiet Thanksgiving at home would better suit our budget this year. I cooked, he stayed out of my way, and we had a nice candlelit meal. Just the two of us. And it was nice. 

We even told each other what we were thankful for. We’re a little goofy, so we didn’t get too deep and mushy with it, but it was special in our own dorky way. 

But I saved one tiny little piece of thankfulness to say here this evening. 

I want you all to know that, above all else, this year I am thankful for you. Each and every one of you. For encouraging me, for supporting me, for sharing your stories with me. For proving that even in the darkest of hours there can be strength beyond all measure, and for showing me that even when when there’s no choice but to succumb to the pain that it’s okay because life is messy and we don’t always have to have it together. I have come further, grown more, and had more appreciation for this journey in the last few months than I ever could have done on my own. You are all heroes to me. True heroes. And I am eternally thankful to have such beautiful, brave women in my life today. 

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. 

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Hmm… I seem to be growing more emotional as the evening goes on. There must be a logical way to explain this, right? 😉

Now, I’m just going to scoot out of here before you catch me crying. That would be pretty embarrassing. ;’) 

 

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Beginning to notice…

It took a long time for me to be able to look in the mirror and see any results. Sure, the numbers were going down on the scale, but my pudgy butt looked the same to me. Jonathan would point out that he could tell my “shape was changing,” which I guess is man-talk for “you look less fat.” 😉 Maybe I just really needed to hear someone else say it before I noticed any difference myself.

Strangely enough, I noticed my legs first. I don’t know how to describe it other than to say they starter to have a more defined “swoop” (?) to them. (I’ve clearly had a long day because that phrase made sense in my head.) I thought that was an odd place to begin seeing the first signs of change, but there ya go. Suddenly, I no longer dreaded pulling on those tight fitting workout pants. Even better, when they started feeling a little baggy on me, I took a chance and grabbed a pair in the next size down. I threw a little one-woman dance party in my bedroom when I pulled them up and found that they fit. 😀

Then, one morning as I was putting on make-up, I noticed that my cheeks weren’t nearly as poofy, and the saggy little pooch underneath my chin that haunts me in every single photograph was less pronounced. That’s when I started getting excited about losing weight. Finally, I was beginning to look healthier (and younger, which is always nice!)

I feel better, which is incredibly important no matter who you are or what you’re going through. I know that happiness is more than a pant size, but right now these changes have to be my victories. This has to be something I can smile and feel good about because if I let myself sink back into that dark place that lets me be miserable and scared, I don’t know when I’ll have the courage to crawl back out again.

I’m not going back there. I am NEVER going back there!!! 

I don’t have any new weight loss to report, but today I am celebrating my progress so far.

And folks, I’m ready…

I’m ready to post a side by side. Please be kind…

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The first picture is from June. I’m standing next to an 8-foot-tall (I think?) polar bear in Atlanta. Now, to be fair, that dress looked a lot cuter before the belt rode up from my waist and got eaten by my boobs. I can’t explain why I thought it looked okay when I put it on that morning. I can, however, promise you that the next time it leaves my closet it’s going to be donated… or burned.

Second photo: November 9th. I probably could have chosen a better photo as my “now” because the sun is just glaring something awful. And having the sun in my eyes gives me epic-bitch face and I don’t know why (I’m actually a nice person, I promise!) But I am just so proud of it… Jonathan caught this picture of me moments after we finished Run or Dye (which I lovingly nick-named Run or Dye trying!) This was my first 5k ever! Was I able to run the entire time? No, but I had fun, and that’s all that matters. I will be doing these more often, and someday I’m going to run ALL THE WAY! 😀

I no longer see getting fit as a form of torture. It’s something I’m excited about, because if 20 pounds has made this much difference I simply cannot WAIT to see how I feel at 30. 40. 50…

When I make it back to my goal weight, my hope is that I’ll be able to look in the mirror NOT to search for the signs of change, but to welcome back an old friend.

And then I’mma take that girl shopping. ;D

Stay strong, and no matter what you’re going through right now, KEEP GOING. 

I want to believe!

What comes to mind when you see the word unexplained?  A grainy black-and-white picture of a UFO? A blurry wisp of a ghostly figure in the window of an abandoned hospital? The phenomenally normal results of my recent blood labs? (No? I guess that last one’s just me then.)

I am healthy. Absolutely healthy. If my test scores were any more perfect, Doc probably would have called me a cheater and sent me to the principal’s office.

I decided to illustrate my frustrations artistically using my amazing computery Paint skills.

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(You’re impressed, I know.)

Cue the X-Files theme, because there’s just no way to explain why I’m not pregnant yet. (God, I am so lame and I really should stay off Hulu for a while… )

Why am I so unbelievably pissed about those results, though? How spoiled am I? There I am, listening to a smiling, cheerful doctor list off my numbers, hearing that everything came back normal, and yet I was…

…disappointed? What the fu-…?

Thyroid? Normal. Glucose? Normal. All those other fancy words I don’t understand? All amazingly normal. People bargain, plead, wish, and pray every single day to hear results like that, but I was hoping for an answer today. I was really, truly hoping that one of those little numbers would be so far out of whack that the Doc could take one look and go, “AHA! THERE IT IS!”

But it’s never that easy, is it? It is literally a mystery why I am having such a hard time popping out a kid. Damn you, little ovaries. Something is wrong with you, why won’t you speak up and tell me what it is?!

We also found out the results of hubby’s SA, and he’s good to go. No problems there. Super fertile. Must be nice! (Does this mean we throw him in with the others and pelt him with passive aggressiveness and old chewing gum wrappers? No? Awwa… )

So of course, the spotlight is turned back on me, and at this point it’s less “spotlight” and more “light bulb inches from my face while I’m strapped to a chair with my interrogator coming out of the shadows with a pair of pliers.” We have ways of making you talk…

 What’s next? I’m being referred to a specialist. There’s nothing more my PCM (or my Nutritionist) can do, since my results clearly have them both scratching their heads and questioning everything they think they know about science.

In the meantime, I’m just going to keep my fingers crossed, keep cheering for my fellow hopeful-babymakers, and try really hard not to beat myself up too much for stopping by Starbucks for a much-deserved treat on the way out of the hospital today.

But oh man, as someone who rarely indulges in caffeine, it was soooo worth it. 

Rockabye Someday: An Inspiration

I don’t even know what to say! This girl is the kind of friend a person hopes to find but almost never gets in her lifetime. I miss her terribly and wish I didn’t have to live so freakin’ far away, but I would never wish Georgia on her! As you can see, she is THE WV Travel Queen and she is always updating her blog with breathtaking pictures and pieces of our home state. Whether you’re interested in photography, travel in general, or want to take a look at an already beautiful state through the eyes of someone who is truly in love, you should spend a little time over there today. 

Sara has been especially supportive of our journey, and has been there for me to listen to my whining about how unfair the baby universe is loooong before I was ever brave enough to start writing Rockabye Someday. She probably deserves a medal because she took my blubbering in stride, smiling and reassuring me that not only was there a baby in my future, but it was going to have an awesome mom.

That, ladies (and gentlemen in the IF world), is a true friend. All too often we read about our fellow if/ttc bloggers being shunned by their friends and family, as if lacking the ability to bring a new baby into the world at a moment’s notice is shameful. So, I don’t think she even understands when I try to tell her how priceless her support is. I never would have had the courage to begin my own blog without reassurance from the handful of people who understood how important this was for me. I ESPECIALLY wouldn’t have been able to do it openly.

I could go on forever about how clever and talented and ambitious and awesome she is, but at this point I really just need for you to take a look at her blog. See for yourself what an amazing woman Sara is. With a best friend like that backing me up every step of the way, it’s no damn wonder I am so fearless when it comes to sharing my own story. 😉

Thank you, Sara, for everything. If anyone is the inspiration here, it’s you.

West Virginia travel queen

It’s nice to know that I’m not alone in the “aspiring blogger” world.  In fact, one of my close friends began blogging around the same time I did and it’s been reassuring knowing someone who is in a similar situation.  (what I really mean is it’s been nice to have someone to whom I can ask all my stupid WordPress questions so I don’t look like an idiot to strangers when I can’t figure out how to do something)

Friends, meet Amanda. 

Amanda is the voice behind Rockabye Someday, in which she shares her journey of trying to start a family.  I am incredibly proud of her for putting her life out there for all the world to see and I know that by sharing her struggles and triumphs, she has touched the lives of countless others in the same position.   She is an amazingly strong individual with an old…

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“That’s Me Thursday!”

The Barren Librarian came up with a pretty nifty idea! Once a week, she posts three things about herself that have nothing to do with infertility and she calls this fun little game “That’s Me Thursday!

Today I’m going to tell you three things about me that have nothing to do with my IF because goddamnit, IF is NOT who I am. I’ll do this every Thursday until I run out of interesting/embarrasing/hilarious things to share. I’d love to learn more about all of you, because goddamnit, IF is NOT who you are either. So if you want to participate please let me know in the comments so I can check in and see all the awesome things about you!”

We should really get into this! One of my favorite parts of blogging has been watching the connections I make here grow into friendships, and since we can’t all get together and giggle over the itty bitty details over a bottle (or two) of wine (okay, okay, decaf coffee if we have to be fertility-friendly and boring like that!) like normal little groups of friends, let’s give this “That’s Me Thursday” thing a try. See what we learn about each other that has absolutely nothing to do with examining pee sticks through one bloodshot eye at 5 in the morning.

Seriously, I’m curious! Who are you people?? ;P

1.) I am fascinated by medical anomalies. Well, anything medical, really… but the more bizarre, the better. Ever heard of the Mutter Museum? It’s sort of a dream of mine to go there. I was probably a mad scientist in a previous life. I don’t mean the sick and twisted “do experiments on people” kind, just the “have shelves of two-headed babies in jars” kind. Um. Yeah. That’s not helping things, is it? Moving on.

2.) I play video games. Not incredibly interesting, but it’s not something you hear about every day. (What else is a childless 26-year-old woman supposed to do for fun, anyway?) The husband and I don’t watch TV (aside from a few good shows what we keep up with on Netflix or Hulu) so our spare time usually consists of shooting aliens or zombies. Or Minecraft. He says this trait is one of the reasons why he married me. He better be kidding. 😀

3.) Would you like an embarrassing story? Well, here ya go! My parents bought a new house in a new state in 2012 but wouldn’t be able to move for a few months. We all agreed that my husband and I should move down early and “house sit” until they could get there. It seemed like a pretty good idea, since my husband was scheduled to leave for basic training within a few weeks anyway and I was going to stay with my family until his training was complete. This would give me a little over a month and a half being completely on my own, but I would be able to focus on the cleaning/unpacking/organizing/planning for my family’s arrival to the sunshine state. I’m a nester, so I was okay with that. Plus, there was a pool, so yeah, I wasn’t going to argue. ;P

Unfortunately, at that time, I had never been on my own before. Also, I am a scaredy cat with an extremely overactive imagination. You’ve probably already figured out where this is going…

My husband had been gone for about a week, and my nerves were already pretty shot. Puppy begins whining about 5AM for her morning walk – right on schedule, of course. So I go downstairs with her and just before I reach the back doors I hear the sound that the outdoor shower by the pool makes when it’s running, but it’s too dark to see anything outside. I run up to my room, grab my golf club and my phone, and hide in the closet and call (who else?) my mother. I tell her that someone is outside the house, and she obviously tells me to call the police. So, one frantic 911 call later  the cops are shining their flashlights and checking around. One finally comes to the front door and is greeted by my pajama-wearing-golf-club-carrying-crazy-ass…

He explains to me that the sound I was hearing was simply the sprinkler system.

No crazy midnight outdoor shower bandits, just sprinklers on a timer, spraying water a little too close to the house.

Not my finest moment, I tell ya.

A little mercy…

It is a very well known fact that chocolate and crying can sometimes magically make things better.

I don’t know how it works. I don’t question it. I just let it happen, embrace it, and thank all of my lucky little stars that it does.

I cried and I pouted. I threw a little tantrum here on my blog. I made sure that the universe understood that I wasn’t a happy camper. And every few minutes or so, I checked to see if a miracle would happen and an earlier appointment would show up.

And guess what?

An empty slot opened up just moments ago on my Doc’s calendar.

And it is only 6 days away.  😀

I rubbed my eyes, I double checked the date, and I’m pretty sure I heard a choir of angels singing in the distance…

Ok, I’m just being dramatic about that last thing, but I grabbed that appointment as fast as I could. Waiting a week for answers is a lot easier than waiting an entire month.

I just really wish this could have happened before I consumed an unfortunate amount of sugary happiness…